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

Chapter 37: Agapē

I thought we would get back undetected, but Rick had decided to hold another meeting and we walked in late, hand in hand.

"Oh Daryl, good you're here if you could-"Rick stopped talking and stared at us, just like everyone else in the room.

Daryl dropped my hand, making my heart sink. Everyone saw it, everyone probably knew.

"Sorry, went for a walk,"I grumbled, a little pissed off.

They looked like they bought it, or pretended to. I headed straight for my cell and flopped down onto my bunk. I stared at the wall until I felt the tattered mattress sinks. Daryl's arm slinked over my hips. I ran my hand over his forearm, linking my fingers between his.

"Sorry,"he murmured.

I shrugged. I felt him sigh.

"Hate when y'do tha' Leigh."

"I know,"I smirked.

"'Spose y'hate when I ignore ya 'round the others."

"No, I understand."

He stayed quiet as I smoothed his hand with my thumb.

"Dunno why, Leigh, 'm sorry."

"Shut up,"I laughed.

"I'm serious, Leigh. Don't wannya to be upset."

I turned around and faced him.

"Not upset, Daryl,"I smiled.

My smile widened watching him nod slowly. He had opened up so much over the past few weeks. He didn't flinch as much and he talked more often. Only with me though, he was still closed off around the others, a little less but he didn't talk like Rick or joke around like Glenn. But that was who he was.

"Daryl?"

"Yeah?"His husky whisper replied through the dark.

My throat closed up and pressed my lips together.

"What?"He asked after a moment's silence.

I wished I kept my mouth shut.

"Somethin' wrong? Are ya sick?"

"No, no."

"What is it then?"

I paused again and sighed.

"I love you."

I realised I was holding my breath. I let it out slowly as silence filled the room.

"Oh,"he quietly replied.

His arm left me, making me feel bare. I regretted saying it, I wanted to eat up my words, rewind, anything.

"Think y'should sleep, Harleigh,"he muttered.

He rolled off the bed and left the cell. I lay on my back with my hands covering my face.

"Fuck,"I grumbled.

xxx

I got up early the next morning in a foul mood. I went and ruined a perfect night. That's how I roll ladies and gents. I stomped out of my cell and downstairs.

"Maggie's looking for you,"some one said.

I growled some sort of response and made my way over to the other cell block, ignoring my aching body. To my horror Daryl was also there, helping Glenn carry stuff around the room. The majority of the block's occupants were outside enjoying the sun. Krista emerged from a cell, wiping her mouth. Tyreese edged out behind her, zipping up his fly. Krista smiled.

"Hey darlin'."

"Did you... what."

"Men are easy to manipulate sweetheart. That could buy me my safety."

I gawped at her for a moment.

"Y'know what I'm sayin'? I'll work my way up to the sheriff."

"Don't... his wife just died."

"He's lonely then, huh?" she winked and strolled out.

Must warn Rick. I stood frozen for a moment, forgetting whatever the hell I was going to do, Krista had distracted me. Next thing I know Glenn's waving his hand in front of my face.

"Whatever you said to me it went over my head,"I heard my voice in the distance.

He chuckled.

"I can tell. You okay?"

"I dunno. I just forgot."

"Forgot what?" He frowned.

"I don't know,"I shrugged.

"You're getting weirder and weirder lady"he joked.

I nodded again."Are you awake?"

"Yeah, yeah I'm fine,"I mumbled.

I patted his shoulder, just as Maggie walked past. I followed her outside, she turned and grinned at me. Then, she took both my hands and pulled me over to the benches.

"So,"she grinned.

I stared blankly at her.

"So?"

"How was it?"

"How was what?"

"Oh c'mon!"

"What?"

"You and Daryl's walk,"she said, gesturing quotations for 'walk'.

I blushed and she laughed.

"I knew it!"

"Was it obvious?"I mumbled.

"No, only me an' Glenn, swear to ya."

I nodded and smiled.

"So?"

"I was amazing,"I giggled and bit my lip.

"So when did this all start?!" she asked, crossing her legs.

"That was the first-"

"Oh I know that!"

"Oh... during that first long run. I kissed him."

"Oooh. Then what?"

"It was awkward,"I shrugged.

"We all had our suspicions to be honest."

I blushed again.

"Beth told me about yesterday too."

"Stop,"I groaned, embarrassed.

"It's cute!"

"Well I may have just ruined it..."

"What?! How? No!"Maggie frowned."Well go fix it!"

Just on time Daryl strolls outside with his crossbow slung on his back. I stand up but before I know it he's beside Rick who is talking to my grandad, Jay. So I walked over, with every intention of saying hello to Jay. I knew Daryl was ignoring me this fine day.

"Hello sweetheart,"Jay smiled, his eyes twinkling.

"I see you're on your feet."

"You too. Gonna go huntin'. Wanna join for ol' times sake?"

I smiled and nodded.

"Take Daryl with you,"Rick said, patting Daryl's shoulder.

Jay agreed.

"Sweetheart, that's my bow where's yours?"

My heart dropped.

"Some guy broke it. I'm really sorry."

"Didja kill him?"

"Yeah..."I mumbled, thinking he was gonna be mad.

"Good. Little bastard, breaking that bloody bow. I'll make ya a new one chicken."

I smiled and nodded.

"Right. C'mon you two. Try and keep up. Was trackin' a deer before I fell,"he said, starting to walk out of the prison.

Daryl followed us without protesting. We left the prison grounds, Daryl and I following Jay over to where he fell yesterday. He then pointed to the ground at some tracks and off he went. My bow was ready and loaded, my eyes darting in and out of the foliage. I slowed down a bit, trailing along at the back. Daryl and Jay walked ahead. I looked up and saw Jay talking to Daryl. He raised a weathered hand and clapped Daryl's shoulder.

"Righ' you are, son!" he grinned.

I raised my brow at the men's backs. While they were distracted I spotted the buck. A good few feet away. Both of the guys were now staring at the ground talking about the tracks. I sighed and raised my bow letting the arrow soar through the airs and slice through the flesh of it's neck.

"You guys done talking?"I asked, a little smile playing on my lips.

Jay turned and stared at the buck on the ground.

"Darn. Y'got even better child!" he said, strolling over to it."Here help me with this son will ya. There's a good lad."

So now we had fresh meat for a while. I wondered if there would be fruit yet. Maybe I could bring Beth, Carol and Charlotte out. We made our way back without any drama. Apart from the whole tension thing between Daryl and I as he continued to not acknowledge me but what can ya do? I left Daryl and my grandad alone with the deer and walked up to the girls. They agreed to come with along with Carl. He thought to attach a little red wagon to Sam to help carry back the fruit if we found anything. Sam still had his old harness. Usually I left it in my bag, in case he got caught on something, but in the prison we kept it on, he often pulled the wagon around. We used a rope and tied the wagon to it. Carol found some cardboard boxes. She carried them letting Charlotte sit in the wagon. I was outside the prison for the second time. Sam trotted at my side, the rattle of the wagon loud on the empty road. Carol and Beth were laughing at Charlotte. Carl had a serious look on his face, he always did these days.

"Remember that garden we picked flowers in? I'm thinking there's our best chance,"I said to him.

He nodded, looking ahead.

"Everything okay?"I asked.

"Yeah."

That wasn't too convincing, but I let it slide. I heard groaning and a clattering of teeth to my right. Weird, usually I would smell them first. He staggered towards us, his neck and shoulder ripped to pieces, head rolling with ever step. His pasty skin gleamed in the sunlight, bloodless lips curled up, also bitten. He was dressed in a filthy reflective vest, soiled with human waste and dried blood. His feet pointed inwards, he reached out a bony arms attempting to snatch us.

Killing them is like breathing. You don't notice.

I glanced down at Sam, he was growling and when I looked up my arrow is skewered through the back of it's throat. I retrieved it, yanking it out along with a few black decaying teeth. We found the garden and I had been right. Fruit was growing on trees and bushes. They started picking the ripe ones. Apples, berries, peaches etc. All untouched by the walking dead. Carl and I kept watch, though nothing attacked us. We were soon finished there and arrived back at the prison. I saw that Daryl and Jay were still working on the buck. I sighed a little.

"Carl, I'm going for a walk,"I said to him.

He frowned, unhooking Sam from the wagon.

"I'll come with you-"

"No. I gotta be alone,"I mumbled.

"Take Sam... please."

I nodded.

"Thanks, kid. C'mon Sam."

He wagged his tail and he padded along beside me as I walked out into the forest. I picked up a stick and began throwing it for him. He was calm enough, letting me know that there was no danger around. We started climbing a slope and came across some railway tracks. I decided to follow them, continuing to throw the stick. A broken down train came into view, blocking the rest of the way. I didn't want to leave the track, I'd get lost. I sat down on the tracks petting Sam as he chewed on the stick happily. I sighed a little. I had realised I hated myself today, why did I go and blab to Daryl. Why am I such and idiot? What am I gonna do? I looked at Sam again, he had an unconditional love for me. He never got pissed off or ignored me when I say stupid stuff. I wish I hadn't said anything at all, everything was going well, why did I mess it up? I wiped my frustrated tears away. I'm an idiot. Sam stopped chomping on the stick and looked at me with sad eyes.

"Oh don't you fuckin' start,"I grumbled.

He put his head on my lap and whined. I through my arms around his neck and buried my face in his fur.

"Ew, you stink,"I laughed, standing up.

Maybe I'd go wash him to keep my mind of things. He ears pricked up and he started walking off in the opposite direction, towards the train. I sighed and followed him. He started barking at an overturned carriage.

"Shush! What is it?"I asked.

He continued to bark. I got down on my hands and knees and peered through the broken window. Squinting through the darkness I couldn't see a thing and I hadn't brought a flashlight. I stood up again and found one of the wing mirrors by the front of the wreck. I picked it up and went back to Sam. Using the mirror and the sun I shone a light into the cabin. Something small was shuffling inside. I got up off the ground again and pulled one of the upside down doors open. That took a while, I had to put all my weight and strength into it. I then stepped up on the narrow (what should be top) door frame.

The inside smelt of blood, decaying flesh and wet dog. The last scent confused me. I stared down at the darkness of the cabin and stepped inside. On the floor, well the ceiling now was a little door, maybe used once to fix the bottom of the train. I punched it open, letting light flood into the little room. By my feet was dead dog. I jumped back a little thinking it was a raccoon or ready chomp me in half. I was about to yell at Sam for making me more sad but I heard shuffling. I swear, if I'm stuck in a small space with a rat I will flip out. I moved a blanket with shaky hands out of the way to find little puppies. There were about eight of them, but only three are moving. I didn't hesitate to scoop them up and climb back out of the cabin. Sam wagged his tail, seeing the puppies.

"Jesus Christ, Harleigh!"Rick was saying marching over to me.

I had stumbled back to the prison and everyone had gone crazy.

"Went for a walk,"I mumbled walking past him.

Carl was the only that didn't look worried or pissed.

"Are those puppies?" he asked, hoping to change the subject.

"Yeah, here, have 'em,"I smiled passing the three fluffy bundles over to him. I started walking back towards the cell block.

"Harleigh! Are you listening to me?!"Rick's voice said behind me.

He hand grabbed my arm. I yanked my arm away.

"Touch me again, Rick and I'll break your jaw"I spat.

Wow. I don't even know what's wrong with me. Rick looked a little shocked but raised his hands up.

"Leigh you're under a lot of stress."

"I am not, shut up."

"You are. Okay. You don't realise it but a lot of shit has happened to you. We were just worried about you."

"I'm able to take care of myself."

"I know I know. But we can't help that we care."

"Yeah, yeah,"I mumbled walking away.

"Some one got up on the wrong side of the cell today,"Krista joked.

Yep, something has definitely snapped in my head. Whatever it is. Usually I can let comments like that slide I mean, it was no big deal. But next thing know I'm pointing my revolver at her face.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa!"

"Nobody has to get shot-some one stop 'er!"

"Harleigh put the gun down."

I stared at Krista, now quivering. She was so weak, so easily wiped out. One squeeze, boom and she'd be gone. I had done this before I could do it again.

"Harleigh?" my grandad's voice reached my ears.

I had zoned out, Krista was still here. I hadn't done anything. My eyes found him, standing with Daryl. He looked so shocked and scared. While Daryl, well, had the same blank expression. The one he had been wearing all day. I lowered the gun.

"Sorry,"I whispered before turning away and walking to the cell block.

I sat down my lumpy mattress. I stared at the opposite wall. I felt my chest tighten, soon it was becoming too hard to breath. I was panicking. They were going to see me as dangerous. They were going to lock me up. They were going to throw me out. Then I'd be eaten alive, abducted or die of starvation. I was screwed. I was going to be alone. I wouldn't be able to leave this cell, I had just made fool of myself. Why did I do that? What's going on with me? Maybe Rick's right. I was dealing with a lot more stuff than the others were. With the Governor, cracked men in lab coats, my time possibly running out and if Daryl had something to do with it I was going to punch myself. I had told myself, I had warned myself: no feelings, it'll end badly. Goddamn I was agreeing with the Governor now! I held my head in my hands and tried to regain control of my breath. My hands were shaking too much.

"Harleigh?"

I jumped to my feet.

"What?!"I yelped.

Carol's blue eyes were wide and watching me.

"Are you alright?"

"Yes. I dunno. No."

"You wanna talk about it?" she asked softly.

I shook my head. She nodded and sat down on my bed. I stared at her.

"Aren't you scared?"I asked.

"Of what? You? No,"she smiled.

"Oh,"I mumbled, sinking down beside her.

I cast my eyes down to the floor.

"You're safe here with us. You know that right?"

I nodded. She paused for a moment.

"Did you and Daryl have a fight?" she asked carefully.

"No,"I replied glumly."I'm just an idiot."

And then I burst into tears. Ever had those moments were you felt like you were watching some one else deal with stuff rather than yourself? That's what it felt like then. Maybe I've lost my mind, this was so unlike me. I hadn't realised that it had bothered me this much. Carol pulled me into her shoulder and let me sob like a tool while smoothing my hair, still filthy.

"You, Harleigh Benning, are no idiot. You're one of the most caring and bravest people left,"she said softly.

"I'm stupid. I was going to kill her!"

"No you wouldn't do that."

"I have!"

"They deserved it then. You've got good judgement."

"I smell like crap,"I commented moronically.

I felt Carol laugh.

"Well we can fix that. I'll wash your hair for you if you want."

I nodded my hand and she took my hand. We went to the shower room, it was empty thankfully.

"No one else starts crying,"I grumbled, my eyes dry again.

"Oh please,"she sighed, unfolding clothes, looking for something."We've all had our moments. Even Rick and Daryl. I think you've held it together the longest."

I took a shaky breath and nodded. Maybe she was right. She threw me a towel, half a bar of soap and I hid behind the wall were the community showers were. I peeled my clothes of and pushed the button. Freezing water hit my heated skin, cooling me down. I calmed down almost instantly. Carol picked my clothes up off the ground. I cleaned myself up, feeling better. I dried myself off and put on the new fresher clothes. Carol had a basin of water ready.

"I tried heating it up."

"Thank you Carol,"I said dipping my hair into it.

She started washing it, with what smelt like strawberry shampoo.

"Been saving this up for a rainy day."

"Thanks."

"It's fine."

"Will you cut it?"I asked.

"Sure."

After a while I heard a snipping of scissors.

"Have it like before?" she asked.

"Yeah."

She finished and past me a brush. I began hacking through the tangles.

"Don't throw that water out, I wanna wash Sam."

"Alright."

I hugged her tightly and thanked her again. She needed to get back to work and left me. I picked up the basin and mustered all the strength I had to go outside. I sat down on the concrete and called Sam over. He bounded over in seconds followed by Carl with the puppies.

"I just finished feeding them,"he smiled, sitting Indian style on the floor beside me.

I smiled a little, this morning he had been in a bad mood. I dunked an old bit of cloth in the soapy water and began scrubbing Sam. His fur was shedding everywhere, covering my clean clothes. I swore and brushed myself off every few minutes.

"Have you named them?"I asked.

"No... Can I?"

"Sure,"I shrugged.

He started thinking watching the three puppies in his lap. The were some kind of mix, there was collie in there somewhere.

"Maybe wait 'til they are older,"I suggested.

He nodded and smiled. We talked as we cleaned Sam and the puppies, I was glad he didn't ask me how I felt of any of that crap. it was now evening time. Something was off about the prison today, apart from me nearly murdering one of our group.

There was a tent set up in the yard.

Notes

there ya go, a little filler and harleigh making a tool out of herself yep

Agapē means love in Greek btw. We see a load of different kinds of lovin' in this chapter
2 chapters today hopefully because I love you all <3

thanks for all the feedback means a lot :D

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