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

Chapter 30: Hell's Chime

Day two of the end of the world and I was stuck in traffic. You'd think day to day irritations like this would be erased. No. Everyone was in a rush to get to Atlanta, they all had the same idea as Grandad. Meet up with your family in the safety of the city. Everyone had followed the same orders that had been blaring across the media. The plague was spreading, what it was, what started it, WHO started it no one knew. Everyone was equally confused, equally panicked by this unknown outbreak. Those who stayed behind either had given up, believed this was a joke or were smart, they would get out once this traffic had cleared. Car horns droned through the night sky.

I rested my head against the car wheel watching Sam pant in the passenger seat. I looked out the window and saw a family huddled together in the car beside mine. The radio talk had now turned to static, although they had been replaying the same warnings over and over it had kept me company. There's nothing anyone could do but sit and wait. After an hour of boredom and static silence, things started moving. Not the cars, the jam didn't budge an inch. Things started moving. At first I thought they were just people walking back through the traffic, giving up on Atlanta. But I doubted they would quickly turn and rip a bystanders arm off with their teeth. I don't know what came over me, something I had never done before. I shoved the rooftop window open, the screams were louder outside the vehicle. I pulled my bow out with me, shakily loaded a wooden arrow and shot at the mans attackers. The arrow penetrated it's chest. I watched as the odd shaped human, turned slowly to face me and shuffled towards my car. My eyes widened with fear, I had to have hit a vital internal organ. I heard car locks click around me.

"THE HEAD THE HEAD!"Muffled shouts were yelling from the midst of the crowd.

I loaded another arrow, raising my bow higher to aim for the intoxicated body's head. The arrow flew past it's ear, possibly grazing it. One more arrow, I hadn't shot anything in years. This time it punctured through the cranial cavity. The twisted body stumbled back and slumped to the ground. I took a shaky breath and glanced at the car beside mine, the children in the back seat had their wide eyed faces pressed against the glass peering up at me. I sank back into the car and stared at the man on the ground, the one who I had tried to save from these beasts. He lay motionless, no one ran to his aid. The drama subsided and I regained regular breathing. The pit of my stomach was aching, in fact every part of me was. It was too hot in this damn car but I didn't dare open the windows.

I mimicked the car beside me and locked the door. Sam was whining uncomfortably, his paw swiping at his nose. I pulled the mirror towards me to get a better look at what was going on behind me. Miles and miles away headlights lit the road. I pulled nervously at my ebony hair, my emerald almond shaped eyes peered out from under my long dark lashes that constantly brushed against my fringe. I inhaled yet another shaky breath, my chest wheezed and rattled. I was coming down with something and I prayed it wasn't this infection that had spread across the country. Something outside caught my eye again, it was the man. He stood up slowly, dragging his bleeding body along the cars towards mine. I squinted at him, maybe he was coming to thank me? He shuffled to a stop beside my car. He stood still for a split moment then slammed his body against the windscreen. I bit back a swear and press the car horn. This seemed to only cause a frenzy. The man was full energy determined to get through the window screen at me. But he wasn't a man. I caught a glimpse of his slack jaw that had been ripped to shreds. His eyes were like that of fish. Sam was whining louder and louder, snuffling at the car seat as if trying to shake off a smell.

I punched the roof top open again, bow and arrow ready. The smell hit me like a sack of bricks. It was the smell of feces, blood and just... death. I put the monster down. Someone was charging between the cars hurtling towards me. He sped past screaming something about walkers. What the hell are walkers? I pulled my gaze away from him and looked ahead. Oh. Those are walkers. It was like a slow moving marathon where everyone would have to drag there feet. I shook my head, something clicked in my head. An idea, a spontaneous one. I never get those ideas I always thought everything through. Maybe that was why this idea sparked excitement in me. I took the handbrake of, yanked the wheel to the right and slammed down on the gas.

The car bumped and trundled down the steep slope towards the woods. I would have to find a new way to Atlanta. As the car slid down the mucky bank and bounced off the forest floor the sky behind was alight, as if some one had set the sky on fire. The blaze lit a path clear for me to force my car through. Sam bounced around the seat beside me, his paws scrabbling to stay upright. I pulled my phone out of my pocket I had thousands of messages from people saying their goodbyes, telling me this was the rapture, apologising for all the shit they had done, etc. The recent one was from my Dad, it simply told me not to go near Atlanta. I wondered if he was there. He must know more than I do though so I trusted him. Where would I go now?

It started getting weird, I saw the people I used to care for being ripped to shreds one by one, lined up and shot for being bitten. Rick turned to tell me to get back to the prison but his face began to turn a sickly blue. He was shot dead before my eyes by Carl, who was now pointing the gun at my head.

I was yanked backwards into Daryl's arms telling me we were the only one's left, that he'd keep me alive until his last breath. He coughed and blood spilled out of his mouth, groaning like one of them. An axe swung through the air hacking his skull in half. Carol looked stunned at his crumpled body as I screamed like a wailing witch.

I was surrounded by the dead, the dead that I once knew, family, friends, survivors, everyone I could have, should have and did save only Carol and I were left. The ones she was able to decapitate grew a new head, just as horrific as the last, determined to end the end of the world. Carol turned to me and shoved me into the crowd of snappers and jumped in after me.

My body swung up right into a sitting position. THWWAACK. I forehead throbbed with pain. My body was slick with sweat. It took my aching head a couple of seconds to realise where I was. Safely in my cell, I had hit my head off the bunk above me.


I turned, dazed to face the person with the southern accent.


"Y've been squirmin' in y'sleep again, Leigh."

I lay back down slowly, panting. A rough hand looped in mine.

"Y'having them nightmares 'gain?"He whispered.

I nodded sleepily.

"Same ones?"


The bed beside me sank under his weight.

"Y'know I'd never let nothin' hurt ya,"he said, softly.

"It's not that,"I sighed.

He waited for me to continue.

"What if somethings happens to you?"

"Nothin' gon' happen t'me."

"How do you know?"I asked.

The silhouette of his shoulders roll. I curled my fingers around his collar and pulled him closer. I kissed his cheek.

"Will you stay?"I whimpered.

He nodded and I scooched over so he had enough room to lie down. I took his hand and draped it over my hip, placing my hand on the nape of his neck.

"Thanks Daryl,"I whispered.

He grunted in response, lifting his hand to push my hair out of my face.


I tried my best, I really did. But I just couldn't. I couldn't hold it in. I burst into a fit of giggles in the middle of Daryl's cell.

"Shuddup,"he grumbled, turning bright pink.

"I'm gonna die,"I shrieked, falling onto the bed.

"Harleigh! Stop!"

"I-I can't,"I gasped.

"It ain't funny."

"But it is!"I cackled.

I looked back up at him, the scowl on his face made it even more comical. I breathed in deep, trying to calm down again. Silence fell as my giggling subsided.

"Do I really look stupid?"He asked after a while.

I started laughing again.

"Fuck you, Leigh. I'll just' take the damn thing off-"

"No, no, you don't look stupid,"I said quickly, standing up.

I crossed over to him and straightened his tie"It's just weird seeing ya in a suit, s'all."

"Weird seein' y'ina dress."

"Don't get me started,"I grumbled.

"What's the point of this anyways,"Daryl asked grumpily.

"Celebrating Glenn and Maggie's love of course. Y'know what a wedding is right?"

"O'course I do, jeez, how dumb d'ya think I am?"He snapped.

"Ok, sorry, grumpy."

"Ain't grumpy."

"Yeah you are. C'mon Rick and all will be wearing a suits too."

"They won't look stupid."

"Daryl, you don't look stupid. I'm sorry for laughing. You look very...uhm... handsome,"I mumbled, feeling my cheeks burn.

"Why can't we jus' wear our own damn clothes?"

"Because this might be the last wedding...ever"I replied quietly, continuing to fix his tie and pulling at the black velvet jacket.

I have to admit, a lot of effort had been put into today. Carol and Beth had been secretly planning it as soon as the group had found out that Maggie and Glenn were together. Once everything had sort of calmed down at the prison they had asked people to get supplies needed. This included the clothes and the suits. I had only found out about it before the long run, we had only managed to get the shoes that time thanks to Carl for remembering it. After that it had slipped my mind completely, but the others were busy in the background with it.

Maggie and Glenn weren't told, in case it didn't get the go ahead, until two days ago when Michonne, Sasha, Tyreese and Karen came back with three white dresses. Unsurprisingly, wedding shops weren't ransacked by others. The older lady survivors had adjusted everything to fit properly. Except for Daryl's since he had refused to wear his until I forced him. Luckily, it fitted. A group of us had brought the children outside to pick flowers. Carol and some of the survivors had spent the whole night preparing food. We even held a stag and hen night, as one of course, not much had happened, only a few drinks, songs and stories were shared. But it had been enjoyable. Even Daryl had laughed a few times.

"I gotta go check on Maggie now, do not take that off."

"Yeah whatever,"he grumbled as I left the cell.

I ran outside and to the other cell block, where all the girls were getting ready. It was weird walking into a room of colour and the mood was completely different. Instead of gloomy there was lightheartedness in the room. Instead of frowns and worried expressions, there were smiles and laughter. I smiled to myself as I brushed past people to get to the cell Maggie was in. I leaned against the door frame and watched as Carol zipped the back of her dress up.

"Nervous?"I asked, grinning. She nodded, smiling. The bodice was fitted, with tiny white flowers. The skirt was ruffled and reached the floor, probably already black with dirt at the hem.

"You look stunning,"I smiled, giving her a quick hug.

She really did, we had managed to find make-up, all of us agreed to let only Maggie wear it since it was her day. It was only mascara and teeny bit of foundation but it made a difference.

"Great thing is, there's no where Glenn can run off to!"A British accent sounded over the bustling of the crowd outside the cell.

I glanced around and spotted Tina's brown head of hair bob as she slapped Dolly to laugh at her joke. All of the guests wore their own clothes. We couldn't dress everyone up. I rolled my eyes and looked back at Maggie.

"Ready?"I asked.

She nodded and gave a shaky laugh. We shooed the guests out of the block once Nathan had arrived. Yes, even he had crawled out of the office to help. He and Tyreese led them towards the cafeteria. I grabbed the bobbin in my hair and released my plait. My hair rolled down my shoulders in waves. I unpinned my fringe, for once it didn't fall into my eyes but swept neatly across my forehead. I smoothed out my dress. It was strapless, fell to my mid-thigh, it was deep shade of purple with an orchid ribbon around my waist. I didn't like it a lot, but this still was the apocalypse. I slid into my black heels, which were far to small. They'd do for the ceremony.

Carol clasped Maggie's hand in hers and we hurried to the cafeteria. Beth was standing outside the room in the corridor. She suppressed a squeal upon seeing her sister. Her light blue dress didn't match mine, but we couldn't match any of the colors so it didn't matter. I lined up behind Beth. Carol brushed past us, she wore her own clothes. Only Beth and I had dresses. We were bridesmaids.

"I'm so excited,"she blurted.

I chuckled slightly and reminded her that it was Maggie getting married. She blushed at herself and laughed nodding her head. Rick slipped past us.

"Mags, I'm giving you away, your dad wants to marry you off,"he smiled.

She nodded and beamed, delighted either way. They linked arms as Charlotte and Billy ran out to us. Billy was dressed in old lime green dungarees, Charlotte wore a little denim dress. Sam stood between the pair, a wreath of flowers around his neck. She beamed up at me holding up a woven basket filled with flowers. I nodded and glanced at Billy. He was standing glaring at the palms of his hands. I frowned and took a better look. Placed in either of his palms were two shiny gold rings. He was obviously told to be careful with them. Beth caught onto his shoulders and turned him the right way around.

Carl peered around the corner and nodded. I was so thankful Beth had gone in first, I didn't realise how many people lived with us in the prison. They sat on deck chairs, stools, benches, some on the floor some stood at the side, and all eyes were on us. The whispers started up as soon as Beth rounded the corner into the room. We followed the little trail of daisies that Charlotte was throwing. I heard people gasp as Maggie entered the room. I smiled, I was so happy for her, she really deserved it. We all deserved a rest from breaking our necks everyday. I saw Daryl glance back then whisper something to Glenn. Daryl stood between him and Nathan. I bit my lip, he had stayed in the hated suit.

Something told me people would be more focused on that rather than Maggie.

I followed Beth to the front bench and we stood beside Carol. Charlotte stepped around Beth and took my hand in her little one. We watched as Glenn finally looked at Maggie. A mixture of relief, happiness and love. They were just too damn cute. Nathan leaned around Daryl and Glenn and winked at me. I winked back, grinning as we all sat down. Charlotte crawled into my lap and took a lock of my hair in her fist.

"When I grow up, I wanna look like you and Maggie and Beth,"She whispered quietly as Hershel began speaking.

"You're perfect the way you are honey,"I whispered in her ear.

"Are you gonna get married?"She asked.

"Nah,"I kissed the side of her forehead and we focused back on the wedding.

Soon enough they were exchanging rings and we all cheered as they kissed. We then all piled out of the cafeteria and went to our cell block to wait for it to be set up for dinner. I swung Charlotte up onto my shoulders. She giggled and looked around at the crowd below her. Once again Carl came in and told us it was ready. We all went back into the room and took our seats. I sat between Daryl and Charlotte. The noise of the people around us was alien to me, usually everyone was quiet and kept to themselves.

Today, our group and the survivors were mixed together talking, laughing an joking. I smiled and slid my hand under the table and laced my fingers with Daryl. I had put what had happened between Rick and I out of my mind. I knew I cared about Daryl more. I refused to let guilt eat me alive. Also, he didn't need to know, so I kept it to myself. He would just get angry like that time he thought there was something between Nate and I. He jumped slightly with surprise and looked down at me. He squeezed my hand tightly.

"Nice suit,"I smirked, feeling like I needed to remind him.

He rolled his eyes, taking a swig from a bottle.

"Nice dress."

"Thank you."


I slid my shoes off, they were aching already. Daryl released my hand as food began to be passed around. Now, I think we all know that when I say dinner I mean the usual. Tinned food. Which we had saved up and we were sacrificing for today. No one cared. No one minded that we had wasted runs on this instead of gathering supplies. We all needed a break from the day to day chores. We all needed to celebrate something. Something that used to be common.

Thankfully along with usual Daryl had caught a deer and a wild boar yesterday which was separated out between us. Once everyone was finished eating the tables were shoved back. Out of nowhere it seemed, three guitars were taken out. Two older men and a woman began to strum softly, although the instruments were slightly out of tune. Maggie and Glenn shared the first dance. Maggie was laughing and smiling but Glenn just looked awkward as hell. Everyone else joined in eventually following the untuned beat. Daryl and I sat on a bench, sharing the bottle of whiskey. We were interrupted by Nathan running over.

"M'lady,"he bowed."Care to dance?"

I began to shake my head but he grabbed my arm and pulled me up, spinning me around a few times. He placed a hand on my hip and another in mine and whirled me around the room in and out of the other people dancing. He kept glancing down making sure he didn't trod on my bare feet. I laughed at his enthusiasm. He picked me up and spun us around a couple more times before he became too dizzy, putting me down. Charlotte sprinted across the room and jumped into his arms. He set her down on his toes and danced with her. That was my chance to leave. I fought my back through the crowd to Daryl. He smirked as I approached him.

"Thanks for saving me,"I laughed.

He got up, took my forearm and led me outside. The cool night air hit my face as soon as he pushed the door open. Only Carl and Beth were outside, sitting opposite each other cross legged, but they paid no attention to us. Daryl glanced at them before sliding his hand into mine. He led me towards the gate and slid it open. I stepped out onto the grass, damp beneath my feet. I followed him further down the yard.

"What are we doing?"I laughed.

"Shhh,"He whispered, stumbling drunkenly through the grass.

He sat down and patted the grass beside him. I settled down beside him, watching him as he lit up a cigarette. He passed me one and struck another match. He then pointed to the sky. It was inky black, dotted with silver lights with a big yellow moon shining down on us. I smiled and nestled my head on his shoulder. He picked up wave of my hair and studied it for a moment. I don't know what it was, was it the sky, or the apocalypse, or how great the day had been, but I had the strangest urge to say something. Something crazy. Three little words welled up in my chest. But I didn't dare utter them. He might flip out. I might be drunk already. And what if I didn't mean it? It would complicate something that could already be stopping me from surviving.

I realised a long time ago I would take a bullet for the man sitting beside me. But, I'd do that for anyone in the group, including Rick, so maybe it meant nothing. Maybe it meant everything. Maybe I was nuts.

"What y'thinkin' about?"He asked.

"Nothing,"I lied, shivering slightly with the cold.

He shook off his velvet jacket and draped it over my shoulders.

"Thanks,"I said, breathing a laugh.

"No problem, been wantin' t'take it off. Didn' wanna upsetcha,"he joked, poking my side with his elbow.

"Shuddup,"I laughed, punching his shoulder.

He lay down on the grass, arms behind his head.

"You're gonna get your suit all messed up."

"Ain't gonna wear it 'gain ammi?"He snorted.

True, we're going to rip the suits and dresses up and have them made into blankets and more suitable walker-killing outfits. I rolled my eyes and looked back at the sky.

"Is that our one?"I asked pointing out a really bright sparkle.


I turned to look back down at him to find him watching me with intensity.

"What?"I asked, blushing.

"Ain't I allowed look atcha?"He smirked.

I mumbled something I didn't even understand. I heard him chuckle.





He caught my wrist and pulled me into his chest. I rested my head and breathed in his scent. He smelt clean, unlike the usual motor oil, cigarettes, sweat and forest. I smiled to myself hearing his heart pound in my ear at an irregular pace. Either he likes me too or he's having a heart attack. Something told me it was the first one. I closed my eyes as he continued to play with my hair.

"Y'dress is nice, Leigh,"he murmured.

He was making me smile like a fool. I rested my chin on his chest, cocked and eyebrow and grinned.


He nodded, even though it was dark I could tell he was bright pink. I leaned up and placed my lips on his, moving my arms to rest on either side of his head, entwining my fingers in his. I could feel my gut twist around with butterflies, distracting me from the drone of walker groans that were still latched onto the fence. I moved my lips across his jaw and down to the base of his neck.

"I'm one lucky son'v'a bitch,"he muttered.

I breathed a laugh against his skin, kissing a trail up to his ear.

"How badly do you wanna get outta that suit?"I smirked.

He nervously laughs under me. He flips me onto the ground, hovering above me. I smile up at him, cupping my hand around the back around my neck and bringing him back down to me. My eyes flicked up to the night sky behind him.

"I swear to god I JUST saw a shooting star,"I whispered.

He sat up, looking half relieved. I knew he was still uncomfortable around me and I didn't want to force him into anything. I knew he was self-conscious because of his old scars and let's not forget how awkward he can get.

"Y'didn't,"he laughed, sitting back beside me.

"I did!"I laughed too, I really had."Maybe it's the aliens Glenn's always talking about-look! There's another."

"Make a wish then."

I thought about it and squeezed my eyes shut. The usual, y'know, everyone's safety from the apocalypse. Daryl shoulders moved as he laughed again.

"Quit laughing at me,"I mumbled, eyes still closed.

"Y'takin' for ever!"

"Well I apologise but this shit's serious,"I said trying not to smile.

I could nearly hear his eyes roll. I opened mine slowly again and laughed at him as he tipped yet another bottle back, emptying it.

"I think you've had enough."

"Never 'nough, Leigh!"He chirped.

"No seriously. You're acting weird."

" 'm not you are."

"Yeah okay,"I laughed, getting up off the ground.

"Where're y'goin'?"


"If I ain't back, it's cause I'm asleep."

"Alright,"I sighed, throwing his jacket down on top of him.

I walked, barefoot back to the prison. I noticed Rick sitting on a bench, resting his head in his hand, his elbow propped up on his knee. I sucked in a breath and walked over to him. I sat down and looked over at him.

"You okay?"I asked hesitantly.

Rick's eyes glanced at me and then he turned to look behind him were Carl and Beth were talking.

"I just Lori was here,"he mumbled."I really screwed up."

I shook my head."How many times do I gotta tell you, you did your best."

"Wasn't good enough,"he sighed."I'm sorry, Harleigh. I'm after drinking a little."

"Trust Daryl to raid every bar in the county,"I laughed hoping to lighten his mood.

It failed, he just seemed more saddened. I frowned at him.

"What's... uhm... What's going on between you two?"He asked quietly.

My heart stopped in my chest. Had he been watching us.

"What do you mean?"I asked slowly.

"I mean, I see the way he looks at you... I see the way you look at him,"Rick said, with a short, jealous, laugh.

I simply shrugged. I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't know what it was. Daryl wasn't my boyfriend. I didn't want to hurt Rick either. I think Rick just misses Lori and I'm a replacement. That's what I get for listening to Lori and taking care of her family for her, but I didn't regret it.


I've no excuse for this chapter other than the fact that I wanna see Daryl in a suit ok. judge me.

and if they do Maggie and Glenn's wedding in the show I bet there will be no suits. I love suits. So here, this is the way the show SHOULD do it. for the suits robert, for the suits.

hehe i had fun writing this a bitta lightheartness because TWD is dark as fuck ... obviously.



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

wolvesyroses wolvesyroses

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

Gilyflower Gilyflower

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

reddeadwalker reddeadwalker

Amazing writing, as always.

SierraaDixon SierraaDixon

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

elissa_mirinda elissa_mirinda