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

Chapter 40: A Friend For Hershel

I lay on my stomach trying to finish a crossword puzzle. I was back in my cell and I was struggling with probably all of the words. Glenn had picked up loads of stuff like this to keep us occupied. What I really wanted was a working radio or a CD player to listen to music. My stomach rumbled, telling me it was time for dinner. I hopped down off the top bunk, leaving the puzzle behind. I made my way downstairs to the common room. Some of the others were there, putting together their own dinners. I sat down beside Jay who handed me a bowl of piping hot soup.

"We need to get some fresh meat into you. Find more deer or catch a rabbit or something. It's good for the blood,"he said.

I nodded and brought the spoon to my lips taking a careful sip.

"What's happening is that ya ain't got enough oxygen in your blood. That young man says your body is too focused on fighting off infection. Ya got too many white blood cells, not enough red."

I hummed in response.

"S'long as I'm here we'll be fine."

I smiled and nodded, drinking some water to cool my mouth down.

"Hope you don't mind that I continue to have a few drinks,"he chuckled, bring a beer bottle to his lips.

I shook my head, laughing. I could tell he had already had a few.

"Hey, Harleigh, could you get Daryl to come up here and get something to eat?"Carol asked, walking down the stairs from the watch tower.

I nodded and stood up. I made my way down to Daryl's tent.

"Hey you. Comin' to get food?"

Daryl looked up. He had all of his weapons laid out on the ground.

"What are you doing?"

"Makin' sure everythin's workin'."

"Oh, okay."

"I'll come up when I'm done."

"Oh, I'll wait,"I smiled, sitting down.

He gave me an odd look... his features showed he was worried, or guilty.

"What?"I asked, feeling my heart drop.

"Listen, Leigh. Promise y'won't get upset."

I nodded, calmly, but inside I was panicking. What had happened? Had he been bit.

"Krista..."

"Yeah?"I urged, quietly.

"She's actin' really weird 'roun' me."

"Weird how?"

"Keeps trying to, I dunno, come on to me."

"And what did you do?"

"Told her to shove it where the sun don't shine."

I laughed.

"Didn't let 'er do nothin'. That woman's a walkin' STI."

"Alright. I'm glad you told me."

"Really? Y'not mad?"

"It's not your fault Daryl,"I chuckled.

He frowned slightly but nodded. We sat silently for another few minutes while he sharpened knives and cleaned out guns and arrows.

"Hey!"Maggie called breaking the silence.

I shielded my eyes and looked over at her.

"Yeah?"

"You wanna control your old man?!"

My face dropped.

"What has he done now..."I whispered, getting up onto my feet.

Daryl followed me up to the prison and back into the common room. I had left for what? Ten minutes? Now, Jay was on the floor giggling. Maggie looked furious. I didn't see why I mean he's just having some fun. Right?

"Wha's the problem?"Daryl asked, voicing my thoughts.

She then pointed over to the corner where Hershel sat, a bottle of God only knows in his hand.

"Oh,"Daryl mumbled.

I frowned, confused.

"YEAH! OH!"Maggie yelled.

Daryl's arm moved around my shoulder. I froze up instantly. Holy shit, the others were in the room and Daryl's arm was around me. He leaned down to my ear. My breath stuck to my lungs.

"Hershel had a drinkin' problem,"he whispered, dropping his arm again.

I nodded, feeling a little shocked. I shook my head.

"C'mon, help me lift him up,"I said, grabbing Jay's forearm.

Daryl grabbed the other and we pulled him into sitting position. Slowly we helped him to stand.

"Ah friends again are we? Might live to see a great grandchild!"

I dropped his arm immediately. He slumped sideways to the floor, Daryl still clutching his arm.

"Oh nelly!"Jay cried as he hit the floor.

I burried my face in my hands.

"You are so stupid Grandad,"I grumbled.

"I am not! Ya'd be a great mother!"

"Shut up, shut up, shut up-"

"Don'tcha agree Hershel!?" he boomed.

Hershel nodded his head quickly.

"Shut up."

"Don't you shut me up girl!" he giggled.

I could tell Rick and Carol were trying not to laugh as they hurried over to help. Hershel then tried to stand up, forgetting he only had one leg. Glenn and Beth caught onto him just as he began to tilt to the side.

"What will we do?"Carol asked, lifting Jay's arms around her shoulder.

Jay swiveled his head to look at her.

"Did ya know I lost Harleigh at the mall one time? SEVEN HOURS. Seven whole hours she was missing!"

Now I could see Daryl's expression change to amusement.

"You're going to bed now,"I muttered.

"Lemme jus' tell the story. Sit me down there love"

Carol and Rick helped him sit on one of the wooden chairs.

"Where was I? Oh yeah! Seven hours,"he nodded his head for about a minute as we waited for him to continue.

"...And?"Rick chuckled, grinning.

I guess he was glad for any kind of distraction. I pulled a chair out from under the table and sat down, covering my face with my hands.

"Oh! I called everyone! Her dad, her aunts and uncles, even cousins! We searched the whole buildin' an' then we had to call the cops!" he started laughing now."Y'know where she was? In the library reading. God bless her soul she was the cutest little thing. "

"Stop,"I mumbled.

"Ya still are don't worry, pet... This other time! I took her huntin' righ'? And we were in the field out the back of my brother's house. We saw this lovely rabbit and I said, ya shoot that and I won't tell your dad that ya broke the TV with the baseball bat. I said, I would take the blame. So she showed no mercy on that there rabbit and she let that arrow go. We run over to the kill. And when we get there ya know what? Wasn't a rabbit! She had shot my brother's bloody cat! So we went inside, didn't say a word. We didn't tell him. He would always wonder what happened to his cat and we never told him! I still took the blame for the TV."

I was horrified to know that everyone had now taken a seat and was listening.

"Don't give me that face young lady, let an old man reminisce with a couple of strangers. I remember one time on her birthday I walked into her room and she was there with all her friends and they had eaten a load of sweets. A truck full, probably. One of her friends made her laugh an' of course Harleigh threw up-"

"Okay, that's enough."

"No! I have another! She brought this boy home one time. What was his name?"

I shrugged my shoulders, not wanting to get involved, that way he might shut up.

"...Anyways he ended up choking on a carrot and he flipped the table over. I don't know how. One second I was eating a lovely casserole made by wife an' next thing it's on the bloody floor. So the guy passes out righ' and we call the ambulance while Harleigh tries to resuscitate him. HA! Good enough for him. Stuck up dork that one, Harls."

"Are you tired yet?"

"No... Oh! While we're on the boyfriend route-"

"Stop! Stop right there!"

"Or what?" he grinned.

I let out a sigh, shaking my head.

"Ok. I won't tell them about the one that-"

"Stop."

"I'm stopping. I have stopped."

"I wanna know..."Beth mumbled, followed by noises of people agreeing.

"Yeah, well, tough shit."

"Well! There was this one guy-"

"Can you-"

"And he was a total ballocks. Y'sure did know how to pick the losers, hon. That's changed don'tchu worry now Daryl-"

"Grandad."

"Yes?"

"Please, shut up."

"No. Anyway this guy drove Harleigh to the middle of nowhere. They had got into a fight. He told her to get out of the car and left her there. No phone or nothin'. She borrowed money from a gas station an' called me an' I got her. This other one was nice but then we found out he tried to murder his whole family. That ended that."

"Wait...what?"Rick asked, looking a bit shocked.

"Oh yes. Psycho."

"They weren't ALL bad,"I muttered.

"They were just the one's that stuck out sweetheart. As they should. But they were all decent to ya... Never hit ya or nothin'."

"Are you tired yet?"

"I think I am. Another time Hersh! Oh- he's passed out. Light weight. Some one help me up!" Rick and Daryl placed his arms around their shoulders and lifted him to his feet.

I followed them to his cell and they sat him down on the bunk. We left the cell and Rick looked at me.

"Rick, I'm so sorry. It won't happen again."

"It's fine,"Rick said, waving his hand."I thought it was funny."

I folded my arms and scowled.

"Lighten up Leigh,"he chuckled, patting my back.

"Yeah, whatever I'm going to bed."

I made my way upstairs and quickly got changed. I flung my dirty clothes onto my laundry pile which was slowly building up. I'd wash them tomorrow. The bed creaked as I sat down. This had to be the most uncomfortable bed in the world, but it was better than nothing. A shadow fell across the door making me look up. Daryl came in and sat down beside me.

"He's knocked out 'n' so's Hershel."

I groaned and hid my hands in my face.

"He's such an idiot."

Daryl breathed a short laugh. I rested my head on his shoulder, letting my eyes close. His arm fell around my waist.

"Hey, um... d'ya wanna come 'n' sleep in the tent with me?"he asked, quietly.

"Is the bed comfy?"

"Don't squeak..."

"That'll do. C'mon I'm wrecked."

Everyone was returning to their cells for the night so Daryl felt brave enough to catch my hand as we headed out to the yard. He opened the tent door for me, letting me go in first.

"What a gentleman,"I commented with a sly smile.

He laughed a little and followed me in. I sat down on the cot and kicked off my boots. I rubbed my eyes, scooching back to the inside of the cot. Daryl lay down on his back, folding his arms behind his head. I sat indian style with my back to the wall of the tent.

"Y'didn't tell me 'bou' tha' guy leavin' ya in the middle 'o nowhere,"he said, after a few moments of silence.

"Didn't come up,"I shrugged.

"Did. Tol' y'bou' the time I got lost in the woods."

"And your itchy ass. Yep, I remember,"I laughed.

Daryl let a small smile play on his features.

"So, Daryl, did you have any girlfriends?"

Daryl glanced up at me and shook his head.

"Nah."

"Really? Well there's no way you were a virgin."

"Tha' good was it?" he smirked.

I blushed and smacked his elbow. He grabbed my wrist and pulled me down to him. I rested my head on his chest, pulling at the loose thread of his jacket.

"Just forget everything that old man said, alright?"I mumbled.

He didn't reply, making me sigh.

"What's wrong?"

"It's jus'... he said none of 'em ever hitcha"

"You haven't either."

"Nearly did."

"But you didn't. C'mon Daryl, everyone wants to punch me, it's no big deal,"I joked, hoping to lighten the mood.

When he didn't say anything, I looked up. He was frowning. I sighed again, rolling off of him and onto my side of the bed.

"We should get some sleep,"Daryl muttered, turning away from me.

I rolled my eyes. Usually I would put my arm around him when he turned away, instead I turned my back to him too. I pulled the blanket up to my chin. Yeah, this was comfier than the cell bed. I felt the covers move then a warm arm slink over my waist. I smiled to myself, feeling Daryl's chest against my back.

Notes

three chapters tonight hopefully ;D keep up the feedback <3 sorry about slow updates internet is still being a bitch

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