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I'll Keep You Alive If You Show Me The Way

Chapter 21: In Bloom

I was wrecked. Emotionally, physically and mentally. All I wanted was to sleep. But I had promised to help out with the new members. Glenn said that there was another block nearly cleared, one that Axel had first lived in with another prison. It was identical to ours. He suggested we moved the new fifteen in there and for us to swap around with Sasha, Tyreese and Karen to look after our new neighbors. I thought it was great idea, that way our original group wouldn't have to split. We had cleaned as much of us as we could yesterday. Our group was now sitting in the common room of our cell block coming up with plans. We had more people to take care of and more mouths to feed.

"Well I wanna set up a perimeter outside the prison fence... secure us y'know? Take out all the geeks and fix the gates again," I said pointing at the map Glenn had drawn out on a sheet.

"Yeah, let's not forget the Governors still out there," Glenn reminded us.

He wouldn't be a problem for a while, he was weak because according to Karen, only two men were with him.

"We'll need to get supplies," Maggie pointed out.

We had so much to do I felt stressed and lack of sleep wasn't helping.

"Maybe you guys should rest first," Carol said, eyeing Rick, Daryl, Michonne and I.

"I won't be able to sleep, I wanna start now," I told the group, everyone agreed with me so we started work.

Grabbing our weapons we headed out the first gate and down onto the grass. Rick, Michonne, Carl, Maggie, Glenn and Tyreese stayed on the ground while Daryl, Carol and I took to a tower. The one that hadn't been burnt to ashed. Body by body, each fell to their final deaths. Maggie, Carl along with the help of Sam, began to distract the walkers away from the gate. The others quickly put up the furthest gate, Glenn and Tyreese continued to secure it as Rick and Michonne moved to the inside one. The three of us came down from the watch tower. Carol and Daryl went to help with the gates. I helped Maggie and Carol kill off walkers piling against the chain link fence. I had decided I had done as much as I physically could and headed back to the prison to sleep.

xxx

I was shaken awake by Maggie.

"Can you come and help please?" she asked. I nodded slowly and got up.

She left me to get dressed, I slipped on shorts and a light t-shirt. It was roasting outside. It was somewhere between Spring and Summer, raising the temperature. It almost felt like we were in the middle of summer. I followed Maggie to the second block, swapping with Karen and Sasha.

"This is weird," I mumbled to Maggie, gazing around at the new people.

All of them seemed to look up to us... respect us. Maybe they were just thankful we hadn't just left them to perish. We started making our rounds, asking people did they need or want anything. We came to a group of three elderly woman knitting, something they had brought from Woodbury.

"A little bit of entertainment would be nice," the oldest one, who sat in the middle said in a raspy voice.

She had wispy white hair and peered up at us from behind her crescent shaped glasses, she was hunch over and gave us a pleasant smile, deepening her crows feet. I couldn't remember her name, or anyone's to be honest. I scribbled down "entertainment" in black ink onto my forearm. My whole left arm would be covered up soon. Why hadn't I brought paper? I was gonna die of ink poisoning, wasn't I?

"Where are those lovely men?" the one to her right drawled in a southern accent.

She didn't look up from the pink thing she was knitting. She had a short grey perm and her wrinkled hands shook as she stabbed her needle through the pink wool. The third lady had fading brown hair slapped her thigh.

"The Full Monty! That's what we want!" she said, with a British accent and a nod of her head.

The other two ladies giggled in agreement. Oh good lord, I was never going to get that image out of my head. I sucked in my breath to stop myself from making a dying whale noise. I felt Maggie tug the hem of my shirt and I followed her outside into the fresh air. She turned and looked at me wide eyes. Her lip quivered, which sent us both into fits of giggles.

"Oh my god! We have to stop! We gotta go back in!" she gasped between breaths.

One of my hands clutched my side where a stitch had formed and the other covered my eyes so I couldn't look at her. If I did it would become uncontrollable.

"Okay, okay. You ready?" I sighed, still not moving my hands.

I heard her squeak a yes. And removed my hand from my eyes just to see Daryl and Glenn make their way up to us. Maggie clasped a hand over her mouth.

"Harleigh, I can't, I can't-"

"You can, you can-"

"You can what?" Glenn asked.

He wore worried expression, which made everything even more comical.

I balled my fist and bit down on my knuckles. We had shit to do!

"What y'doin? Is everythin' alrigh'?"

Maggie spluttered and we both collapsed on each other laughing.

"Oh fuck! This is it! This is how I die!" I gasped.

I couldn't breathe and when I could it hurt like a bitch. My lids were brimming with tears and I had to sit down on the concrete floor. I held my head in my hands.

"Maggie," I said, steadily. "That image will haunt me to my death bed."

"What image?" Glenn whined.

I snorted, clapped my hand around my mouth.

"Nothin' sweetie," Maggie grinned, trying to regain control. I just shook my head slightly and got up off the ground.

"But there are people inside that wanna meet you," she continued.

I punched her lightly on the shoulder as all four of us walked into the cell block. As soon as we walked in the ladies were wolf whistling and calling Daryl and Glenn over. Other rounds of "yoo-hoos" joined in too.

"What's ... going...on?" Glenn asked slowly.

We shook our heads innocently and walked around to people again asking them if they needed anything. Daryl stood by the door, unsure of what to do with all the attention on him. I found myself over by the three knitting ladies.

"He's nice, isn't he?" the grey haired asked me.

I looked over my shoulder at him. He was covered in a layer of dirt but something was so damn appealing about him, it annoyed me. He caught me looking over at him so I swiftly turned back to the ladies.

"You guys need anything?" I asked, politely.

"No, sweetheart. Thank you for all this... I just wish my son was with me. What's your name, pet?" the white haired one asked.

I told them and I learned their names. The white haired lady was Dolly, the grey haired lady was Peggy and the brown haired one was Tina. I liked them, they were awesome. Tina's wrinkled fingers clasped around my wrist.

"That lady over there had very brittle bones," she told me.

I glanced over, not knowing who she was pointing at and scribbled down "bones" onto my arm. I began to walk towards to Glenn when some one caught onto my shoulder. It was Daryl. I slowly faced him. He looked like he wanted to say something. I waited patiently as he searched for words to say. He finally opened his mouth to speak but looked down at the floor with surprise. I followed his gaze to find a young girl, about three or four attached to his leg. She looked up at Daryl with chocolate brown eyes.

"Are you my daddy?" she asks innocently.

Daryl's eyes left hers and jumped to mine. I smirked at him.

"Oh lord! I am so sorry!" an African-American woman apologised, rushing over.

She had to nearly yank the three year old off of Daryl's leg.

"S'fine," Daryl mumbled, awkwardly.

"Hey Harleigh! Beth wants you!" I heard Glenn call from the upper floor of the cell block.

Beth came down the stairs.

"Will you come and help me get flowers please? I think people should mourn,"she smiled, walking up to me.

"That's a good idea, Beth. Sure, I'll help,"I smiled back.

"I'll come too," Daryl said.

I didn't argue. I followed Beth out of the prison. I whistled for Sam who came bounding over in seconds. Carl followed him over.

"Are you guys leaving?"

"Yeah, you wanna come?" Beth asked. Carl nodded.

"Tell your dad first," I said, not looking at him as I grabbed my bow.

"Sure,"he said and disappeared into the prison.

I felt the sheriff's badge stick into my thigh from where it was in my pocket. I shook the memories of Carl killing the boy out of my head as he came back out of the prison carrying to cardboard boxes.

"Ready?" Beth asked.

We all nodded and left the prison grounds. Walkers pushed there rotting bodies away from the prison fence, snapping their heads towards us.

"Do you think they'll just disappear someday?" Beth asked me.

"I think if their not fed they just... stop," I told her.

We were walking side by side since I didn't want to be near Carl or Daryl right now. I knew eventually I'd forgive them, get over it and talk to them again, but I needed them to know I wasn't happy with everything that happened. We followed the road for about a mile until we came across a house. It was perfect for what we were looking for. The garden was overgrown, but many different flowers were blooming among the weeds. Beth hurried into the garden with one of the card board boxes and began plucking the floors out of the soil. Carl joined her while Daryl and I kept watch. Sam trotted between Carl, Beth, Daryl and I happily shaking his tail, so I knew we were safe enough.

"Y'gonna talk to me?" Daryl asked, breaking the peaceful silence.

I rolled my shoulder and heard him breathe a frustration sigh.

" 'M sorry, y'know tha' righ'?" he said. "It didn' mean wha' it sounded like..."

I shrugged again. I didn't know what to say, also I knew my shrugging pissed him off, even when we were talking. He didn't yell at me though, or say anything after that.

"Oh! There are roses here!" Beth grinned. I walked over to her.

"Watch the thorns," she said as I carefully reached for the stem, placing my thumb and finger between two thorns. I tugged it out of the ground.

"Wow," Beth whispered in awe as we looked at the flower.

I put the rose into the box with the other flowers.

"Amazing how they continue to grow through all this, huh?" I mused.

"Yeah... we nearly have enough," Beth said as we both stood up
.
I snapped an arrow at a walker approaching a preoccupied Carl. Once Beth was happy we headed back. We opened the gate and Rick was marching down towards us.

"Uh oh," I heard Carl whisper behind me. I frowned as Rick met us.

"Carl! Where the hell were you?" he asked.

My eyes widened and I spun and faced Carl.

"I told you to tell him you were leaving with us!" I snapped at him.

"But I was with you! I was safe I j-"

"I asked, you, to tell Rick!" I stood beside Rick as we both waited for a answer.

God, I felt like his mother or something.

"I'm sorry. Ok?" he mumbled before walking off.

Daryl and Beth left us. I faced Rick.

"Rick, I'm sorry I thought he-"

"Not your fault," he shook his head. "I dunno what to do with him."

"He is turning into a teenager," I reasoned.

Rick suddenly looked sad. He rubbed the stubble on his jaw.

"I failed him-"

"No you-"

"I did, Leigh... I promised myself to put my family first. Lori's gone and now Carl's able to kill an innocent kid without a second thought!"

"We're your family too Rick... We're all safe... Things are just different. Maybe it's good he learns to-"

"No. It was wrong. Killing living people is still wrong,"Rick said firmly.

I nodded, he's right. He looked at the ground then to me again.

"I stopped seeing her."

"That's good."

"Right after we brought the survivors back."

I nodded again.

"Let's go back inside," he sighed.

He took my hand and led me up to the prison gate, Carol pulled it open.

"Should I talk to Carl now or later?" he asked me.

"I think you should wait until he comes to you, maybe."

Dude, I don't know! I'm not a parent. Rick took my hand for a second, giving it a tight squeeze before he disappeared into the prison. I watched him for a moment as I tried to figure out what to do for the rest of the day. Daryl came over to me.

"We're gonna go on a run, Glenn and Maggie. Y'in?"

I nodded my head and followed him to a car.

xxx

"I see you have the list," Glenn said.

I looked down at my blackened arm.

"Yeah, we need to go to a supermarket, pharmacy, a clothes shop and Hershel wants to start growing crops," I muttered reading through the list on my arm.

"Mmm, well, we gotta be back before nightfall," Glenn said pulling into a small town.

Glenn and Maggie said they would go to the pharmacy and supermarket, leaving me with Daryl. I tried not to groan, the last time we were together in a shop we were nearly dinner. We walked into the hardware store without a word. There were walkers inside but some just lay on the floor already dead.

"Some of these have knife wounds in th'head," Daryl said, one of his arrows whizzed through the air, slicing into one walkers forehead.

Most of the shelves were already empty and loads of packets littered the ground.

"Let's just get whatever we can and get out," I mumbled stepping further into the building.

I grabbed a shopping cart, we needed a lot of crap. I didn't feel like running into the Governor, or anyone really. I loaded my bow, pointing the arrow at the floor but prepared to raise it at any moment. I heard a loud rattle behind me, I looked around and watched Daryl throw tools into a box.

"Y'wanna be any louder, Dixon?" I asked.

I heard him mutter something as he continued to make a racket. I rolled my eyes and headed over to the kitchen section. It'd be easier to cook food with actual cooking utensils right? I grabbed a pot and a pan, threw them carelessly into the cart and continued down the aisle. I found plastic cups, plates, utensils and bottles.

I headed over to the furniture area. Blood was splattered across the couches, cabinets and the covers on the beds. We could clean the bed covers off, they'd be ok. Which reminded me that we needed basins. I groaned and looked down at my arm, there was too many things we needed... we'd have to come back again some other day. I heaved the heavy cart towards the entrance. Daryl was behind the counter, looked like he was searching for something. I paused and watched him.

"There's a truck outside," he said, not looking up.

"I don't think this is safe, don't wanna come back tomorrow," he explained.

I didn't reply. Something outside had caught my eye. I stared out the open doors to so see if I could see anything. It wasn't a walker and it wasn't Glenn or Maggie. I heard a whistle beside me causing me to jump. Daryl raised an eyebrow, tossing me the keys. I caught them and glanced out the door again.

"Y'okay?" he asked hopping over the counter.
"Uh huh... gonna ..." I mumbled, not finishing my sentence, I pushed the cart outside and found the truck. I unlocked the back of it and slid it open.

"That's some stash ya got there."

Panic jolted through me. I raised my bow and aimed towards the voice. No one was there. I breathed a sigh of relief, I must have imagined it.

"Behind you, babe," I spun around.

What my eyes fell on nearly made me lose my balance. I gripped onto the side of the truck. My eyes darted around for Daryl, Glenn or Maggie. Nope. I looked back at the man, amusement plastered onto his strange face.

He was weirdest living being I had ever seen. Clumps of his black hair were missing, his eyebrows were barely visible. His eyes were pale blue almost white, making me think he was blind. His nose was broken and his lips were cracked. He was clean shaved, a scar ran horizontally across his neck as if some one had cut him. He wore tattered clothes like the rest of us. He had broad shoulders, he was tall. He walked with a limp as he approached me, his booted feet turned in slightly.

"Y'wanna hand all that over?" he smirked.

I nearly threw him the keys out of pity.

"Fuck no," I growled.

The man frowned at me. He shook his finger at me.

"Now, now, girly. I don't wanna hurt you-"

"Then get lost."

He raised his fair eyebrows and smiled.

"Y'wanna back off?"

The man's face fell at the sound of Daryl's voice. He raised his hands slowly.

"Didn't know you had friends, Harleigh."

I gawped at him. How the hell did he know my name?

"Y'know this guy?" Daryl asked, edging around him, crossbow aimed at his head.

The man's milky eyes followed him as Daryl joined me.

"No," I muttered.

"How do y'know 'er name?!" Daryl yelled at the man.

"How could I not?" he smirked, getting a kick out of freaking us out. "Everyone knows about miss immunity."

Daryl glanced at me quickly.

"I'm just gonna leave," the man said. "Shoot me and you'll be sorry."

His eyes flickered up to a rooftop. I followed his gaze. Two people stood there wearing...what looked like lab coats? Daryl lowered his crossbow and the man walked off rather casually.

"That was the weirdest shit ever," I frowned.

Daryl nodded in agreement.

"Let's get outta here," he mumbled as Glenn and Maggie came into sight.

We hopped into the truck without a word to them as they piled their supplies into the back. Daryl groaned and punched the steering wheel. My body jumped and I glanced at him wide-eyed.

"I tol' y'to tell no one!"

"I told my sister, I didn't know she blurt it out to the world. I had to, she saw it and nearly screamed bloody murder."

Daryl shook his head and sighed, focusing on the road.

"This ain't good."

xxx

"Hey, wake up," Daryl said, softly.

I opened my eyes, we were outside of the prison. I sat up. How in hell had I fallen asleep on Daryl's shoulder?

"Sorry," I mumbled.

The sun was setting outside, blending orange, yellow and pink into the clear blue sky.

"S'fine."

"Do you miss him?" I blurted out.

He nodded, knowing what I was talking about.

"Course... y'miss Sarah?"

I felt a jab in my heart. I nodded slowly and turned to get out. Daryl caught onto my wrist.

"I am sorry, y'know that right?"

"I know," I said, giving him a small smile.

He smiled a little and let go. We got out of the truck and were greeted by Rick and the others.

"We'll unload all of that later... let's go down for the memorial," Rick said as the door to the second cell block opened.

The new survivors were led down to the bottom of the yard by Karen and Tyreese. We all followed after them. Rick and the others had been busy making a wooden cross, one larger than the one that was already there.

I stood at the back of the group, folding my arms. Beth and Carl were going around to everyone handing out flowers for them to put down. I declined one, I'm not into the whole flowery stuff. It would mean more to some one else. Hershel opened up an old bible and began to read out of it. I didn't listen, I admired how some of these people still believed. I couldn't and I haven't for a long time.

Hershel began naming everyone who had passed away. His voice was strong over the muffled crying around me. Jealousy bit me as I watched Daryl hand Carol a small white flower. She smiled sadly up at him. He was naming out everyone the Governor had killed at the side of the road, then to everyone who had died on the farm which turned into our group. Rick's group.

"Shane, Sophia, Amy, Andrea, Milton, T-Dog, Axel, Oscar, Dale, Jacqui, Jim, Allen, Ben, Donna, Merle, Sarah, Tyler and Lori."

The long list finally ended there with a long moment of silence. Ever notice how focused you are on your breath when it's silent? Then you feel trapped, constricted, praying for the silence to end. Next, everyone lay down their flowers. I watched impatiently, I just wanted to go and do something, anything. The ceremony finally closed and everyone made their way back to the prison, some clutching to one another for support. Carl was still staring at the cross. I approached him, slinking an arm around his small shoulders.

"Are you mad at me?" he asked.

I rubbed his back.

"No. Just a little disappointed," I murmured.

I knew that was worse; when some one was disappointed at you instead of mad.

"Before my mom... she said that if something didn't feel right I shouldn't do it... It didn't feel right to kill that guy," he said, looking up at me.

"But dad didn't kill the Governor and he killed Merle and your sister."

"I understand that."

He seemed to be shocked by that response. I thought for a moment.

"Carl, maybe your dad didn't kill the Governor because he was looking after people too. Rick didn't know he was just going to kill them all. We shouldn't fight one another right now."

Carl nodded.

"I won't do something like that again."

"Good."

"I'm sorry," he said, turning into hug me. I wrapped one arm around him.

"It's fine, here," I pulled the sheriff's badge out of my pocket.

"You dropped this," I smiled placing it into his hand. He looked down at it.

"You know, I think dad likes you," he said as we began to walk back to the prison.

"Hmm?"

"I mean, he always asks you what to do. He trusts you."

"Well, we all need some one we can trust. Do you trust me?"

"Yeah,"

"Good decision," I winked.

He laughed as Glenn closed the gate behind us.

"Hey, Harleigh can I talk to you?" Glenn asked. I nodded, Carl left us.

"I just wanna apologize-"

I laughed. "Everyone's apologizing to me today!"

"Well, we must've all screwed up. I'm just sorry for the way I've acted around you. Telling what to do and what not to do..."

I shrugged. "Dude you and your girl were kidnapped, it's expected."

He smiled and hugged me.

"We actually have a chance now don't we?" he asked.

We strolled over to the truck to help Daryl, Carol and Maggie unpack it.

"Wouldn't relax just yet," I admitted, feeling like a downer.

"You're right, we've a lot to do," he agreed reaching for a bag of clothes.

Carol and Daryl were joking about something, I tried to ignore them but the jealous feeling was eating away at the back of my head. Harleigh, you gotta stop with this crap and focus.

Daryl took a bag out of my hands and carried it into the prison. I climbed into the truck to get the supplies at the back. I pushed bags towards Carol, who was smiling to herself.

"What's got you all happy?" I asked.

She looked up at me taking the bag.

"Oh, nothing."

I raised my eyebrow, leaning against the side of the truck. She blushed a bit and carried away some bags. I watched her go, dumb bitch is like a teenage girl. Grumbled words that even I couldn't understand seethed through my clenched teeth.

"Whatcha say Harleigh?" Maggie asked.

I snapped out of my trance and looked down at her.

"Said I was hungry," I lied.

Nice save, Harleigh...

"I think Sasha and Karen were cooking earlier, should be ready soon,"she said, giving me an odd look.

"Cool," I muttered turning back to drag the rest of the supplies out.

I went to carry them in when Rick appeared. He took the bags out of my hand, I thanked him and held the door to the prison open for him. I followed him inside, all of our group was in since Karen and Tyreese were on look out. Maggie and Glenn had followed us in. Everyone was more relaxed and wound down than usual. Rick put the bags down and turned to me.

"Harleigh, do you think we should go after the Governor?" he asked me, pulling me aside.

I thought about it for a moment.

"I think we should fix this place up first... then give it a go."

"I don't know... I don't want him to get away and build a new army."

I bit my lip, I wanted to tell him about the man Daryl and I met today... but Daryl told me not to say another word about it.

"You 'spose he'll still want me and Michonne?"

"Maybe... I don't want him to be running around tellin' everyone about you... people are gonna wanna meet you at least."

"Meaning, there's creeps out there willing to cut me up."

Rick's eyes locked with mine. I noticed how they seemed to be regaining light. Changing back to the striking blue the were before Lori died.

"I won't let anyone near you ok? Or Michonne... It's my fault Merle d-"

"Stop. He drove himself to the Governor."

He nodded. "I still feel guilty about it."

"Don't be, we both understood. You just want to keep this group safe. And you can," I reassured him.

He smiled slightly. I had forgiven him, I mean he really was just trying to keep people safe. He just went about it the wrong way.

"Carl has the badge again."

"Yeah, we were talking. I'm going to go check on him again now."

"Alright," I said before pulling him in for a hug.

He left me after that and I went to my cell to lie down. There was a tap. Daryl stood in the door frame.

"Hey," he greeted.

"Hi,"I smiled sitting up.

I was done being distant with him. He cast his gaze to the ground.

"What's up?" I frowned.

"Do y'wanna come huntin' tomorrow?" he asked.

"Yeah, sure."

He looked a bit surprised.

"I'll wake y'early then."

Notes

omigoshomigosh im so excited for the next chapter HAHAHAHAHAHAHA so many people have been waiting for it and I've been yelled at about it :D
thank you for feedback i can't wait to hear from you all :3

Comments

I'm super sad because I've realized this may never get updated. It's legitimately the best story on this site

wolvesyroses wolvesyroses
1/17/16

Oh I really love this story. I hope it gets updated >< please update!

Gilyflower Gilyflower
3/25/15

This is the most amazing story ever on this site ever please update. Harleigh is amazing and you are a great writer.

reddeadwalker reddeadwalker
10/21/14

Amazing writing, as always.

SierraaDixon SierraaDixon
3/22/14

Holy crap please update!!! This is one of the best I've read in a long time!!!

elissa_mirinda elissa_mirinda
3/16/14