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

Chapter 46: Don't Let the Dead Bite

Eva and Luke had hunkered down for the night under the large roots of a tree that created an almost cave like shelter. They shared a sleeping bag that had been packed in the bag to keep warm. Luke had slept soundly, he didn't know what was going on but Eva was up all night. Every bump and snap making her jump. Finally the sun rose and she could see that there was no one around to hurt them. Eva had no idea what to do now. She wanted to go and find her mom and everything would be okay again. The town had been quiet even before the outbreak and now it was gone. She had cried most of the night and still tears were streaming down her face. Luke woke up and sat up beside her. He giggled and blew raspberries at her. He still made her smile.

xxx

"Man, that sun's a bitch!"Colin groaned covering his eyes with his hands."Look at it. Sittin' up there. Thinking it's better than me."

"Shut. Up."

David was in a bad mood. By the time they reached the tank the flames had caught up with them and neither of them knew how to drive a tank anyway. They had lost everything. Their shelter, their clothes and what little food they had left. The only weapon they had was a fire axe, which was tucked into David's belt. To top it all they both had horrible hangovers. Colin stopped walking. David sighed and waited for Colin to empty his stomach. Nothing came out, only retching. They hadn't eaten in hours. Colin spat and wiped his mouth. He continued to trudge after David.

"What's the plan Dave?"

"There is no fuckin' plan. We had it all back there man!"

"Let's try Woodbury!"

"Oh fuck off that place don't exist and you fuckin' know it."

"You are so pessimistic."

David spun to face him.

"I am! And I've been right haven't I?"

"About what?"

"ABOUT EVERYTHING!"

"Keep your voice down man."

"NO! I HOPE THEY FIND US AND EAT US ALIVE!"

"Look man, quit shoutin'. I've a fuckin' headache."

"That's the least of our problems, Colin."

"I know I know."

They continued to stumble through the woods.

xxx

Eva wanted to turn back, but she continued to walk further and further away from the town she grew up in. She wasn't going very fast. Luke was clutching her hand taking tiny steps, the bag on her back was heavy, creating a patch of sweat to stain her t-shirt.

"Well lookie here."

She jumped and looked up from the ground. A bald man dressed in white flashed his yellowing teeth down at her. She pulled Luke towards her, holding up her broken crib bar.

"You lost sweetheart?"

She was frightened by this man. He was scary looking and smelt like hospital. She hated the hospital, that's where her dad had passed away.

"Are you alone?"

She kept her mouth shut, frozen with fear.

"Good,"he growled yanking the bar out of her hand.

He threw it on the ground and snatched her forearm. She opened her mouth and screamed, scaring Luke who began to cry. He started dragging them both through the woods. She stumbled and tripped over her feet, screaming and crying. The man dragged her to her feet.

"Shut up! Don't want those dead guys showing up do we?"

"Y'wanna let 'er go?" a rough voice spoke.

The man instantly dropped her arm. He grinned at the other man that edged into the clearing, a rifle raised and pointing at him.

"Finders keepers."

"Listen here y'lil creep. I'll blast y'damn head righ' off."

"For your information, these are my children."

"I doubt tha' y'white coat bastard, let 'em go."

The man turned and grinned down at Eva with his horrible teeth.

"Tell him sweetie."

"Go to hell,"she spat.

The bald man frowned, then went to take a swing at her. There was a snap and when she opened her eyes the man was on the ground with an arrow protruding from his neck. She covered Luke's eyes and looked over at the man who had saved them. He swung his weapon onto his back and crouched down in front of her.

"Did'e hurtcha?"

She shook her head wide eyed, but then raised her arm. There was a red mark from where his fingers had wrapped around her wrist. The man took her arm in his hands and looked at it.

"I think y'll be okay,"he said, then gave her a tiny smile.

She smiled back at him.

"Where didja come from?"he asked.

She pointed back to her town.

"My mom and uncle are gone,"she said, her voice shaking.

He nodded.

"D'ya wanna come with me? We have food and other kids too."

She nodded. He then went to pick up Luke but she stopped him.

"He's learning how to walk."

"Alrigh' gimme y'bag then."

She took it off and handed it to him. She took Luke's hand who was sniffling. They walked slowly with him. She hoped the man didn't mind the slow pace. When she looked up at him he seemed to be okay with it.

"I'm Eva,"she told him.

He glanced down at her.

"Daryl."

xxx

"All of our booze man,"Colin groaned, it had just sunk in what had happened to them.

"Ah Christ. I'm such a fool."

"I know,"David grumbled.

"Hey! You were part of it!"

"It was your stupid idea!"

"Yeah! And how many of them assholes did we take down?!"

David shook his head, not bothered arguing with him. They both jumped as something landed in front of them. Some one. A woman at that. David was beginning to believe that they never existed and some lonely guy made them up and put them into magazines for other lonely men enjoy. She was breathtaking. They didn't know if it was because she frightened the shit out of them or it had been so long. Colin had to stop himself from drooling. They pulled themselves together, realising a very sharp pointy arrow in their faces.

"Hello darlin',"Colin grinned, hoping his Irish charm would get him some where.

His eyes darted from the arrow to her bright green eyes.

"What brings you to these parts huh?"

She didn't answer, just glared at them. A dog trotted up to her side. David groaned internally. He was terrified of dogs ever since one chased him through his neighborhood. He could still remember the breeze on his ass, the dog had the missing fabric in its mouth. The dog at the woman's side growled, making him whimper. Colin rolled his eyes.

"Look lady,"David said, not taking his eyes off the dog."We were just walking. Ain't doin' nothin'."

She smiled."So?"

"Don't shoot?"

"Arms up assholes."

Colin scoffed."Are you kidd-WHOA OKAY, OKAY!"

They both raised there arms up into the sky. Colin glanced back at the arrow stuck in the tree trunk that had nearly grazed his ear. When he turned back around she had another ready. David was shaking now, less composed than his friend. He started blubbering.

"Look lady we don't have anything! But if you let us go we know where there is stuff!"

She rolled her eyes. Colin knew that the two of them could easily over power her, she wasn't exactly healthy looking. If she didn't have a bow and a dog they could do it.

"Any weapons?" she asked.

They shook their heads. She lowered the bow and took out a small knife. She strode up to David and held the knife to his chest.

"Whatcha call this? Huh, tough guy?"

Colin groaned, a pool had appeared at David's feet. He had pissed himself. The woman yanked the axe out of his belt, smirking to herself. She pushed past them to the tree where the arrow was.

"Seriously man?" Colin muttered, his arms aching.

"She's scary!" David hissed.

"She's just one woman,"he snapped.

"Then why the fuck are your arms up too?!"

"You're right,"he lowered his arms and turned around."Listen here b-where'd she go?"

David lowered his arms and turned also.

"Hey!" Colin called after her.

She flipped them off over her shoulder.

"Man, that's our only weapon!"David said, desperation in his voice.

Colin nodded and they started following her.

"Shit, she's quick,"David muttered, out of breath all ready.

"Hurry up, David."

"You slow down, Colin!"

"You want to catch her or what?" he spat.

She had stopped in a clearing just ahead.

"Hey, we want our axe back!" Colin shouted at her.

She turned with her eyebrow raised. They noticed she wasn't alone. A man with curly hair and a beard stood in the clearing. He turned with his hand on his gun.

"Shit,"David mumbled."Maybe it isn't worth it."

"It is! That's our damn axe! We didn't do anything wrong!"

"This is Colin and David,"she said to the man.

The man whipped his gun out and pointed it at them. David wanted to piss himself again.

"Okay, how the fuck does she-"Colin frowned.

"Ya seen anyone in lab coats out here?" he asked.

They stared at him blankly.

"Nooo?"

"Word of advice. Stay away from them."

"Cheers,"Colin muttered.

He bravely put his hand out for the axe. The woman glanced up at the man. He lowered his gun but slowly shook his head.

"Come on man!" David snarled, his eyes darting away from the dog.

"You know about the fire?" he asked.

"Yeah. We started it,"Colin admitted.

David jabbed him with his elbow.

"You what?" the woman growled.

"How about we all get to know each other huh? I'm Colin. Pissypants here is David."

David scowled. "You know how much I drank last night."

"Rick. This is Harleigh,"Rick muttered.

"Harleigh, huh?" Colin grinned.


Rick and Harleigh looked at each other.

"So are you two uh, together... like together together?" David asked.

It would be just his luck if the first woman he'd seen in a year was taken.

"No,"they both said in unison.

Then they turned and walked away from the two men.

"Hey! You can't leave us here without a weapon!" David called.

"Sure we can,"Harleigh called back over her shoulder.

"But if you guys wanna help we might give it back."

David and Colin looked at each other. They continued to follow the pair through the woods. David stayed well away from the dog whose name they learned was Sam. Colin caught up and walked beside Harleigh.

"So, can I call you Leigh?"

"No."

"Oh."

He fell back a bit to walk behind them, that way he could look at her ass. He didn't think she was beautiful or perfect and maybe two years ago he wouldn't have found her so attractive. Maybe she was better looking back then, she was sorta scrawny now but she was better than nothing.

He put her in the cute category.

"Did you hear that?"Rick said after a long silence.

He turned to face the men behind them. He followed their gaze. He rolled his eyes and cleared his throat.

"No?" Colin muttered.

He and David jumped as the trees began to rustle beside them.

"OH GOD! SHOOT IT!" David screamed cowering behind Rick.

"Back off,"Rick snarled, elbowing him in the face.

"My nose!"

"Shuddup!" the voice from the trees said.

"Oh, it's Daryl,"Harliegh sighed, lowering her bow.

David would have found the man more intimidating if he didn't have two children clinging onto him. The older girl stared wide-eyed at the group, both hands clutching Daryl's and the little boy holding onto her ripped t-shirt.

"Who th'hell are these guys?" he asked.

"David and Colin. Where'd you get them?" Rick asked, almost in a joking tone.

"White Coat was tryna kidnap 'em. They're from th'town. Mom and uncle went missin',"he reported.

Colin's heart sunk, he had heard the baby cry after all. Harleigh wandered over and crouched in front of the children.

"Hey there. I'm Harleigh, that's Rick."

Her voice was so soft David and Colin didn't recognise it.

"Eva and this is my brother Luke."

"He's cute. Are you guys tired?"

Eva nodded.

"We'll get you back to our camp soon okay?"

She nodded again then turned to look at Daryl. He gave her one little nod. She let go of his hand and picked up Luke.

"Will you help us find our mom?"

"We'll see what we can do,"Rick replied.

Daryl walked beside him, Harleigh followed at the same pace as the children and David and Colin followed at the end.

"I'm gonna do it man,"David whispered.

"Do what?" Colin asked.

"Smack her ass!"

"Don't you idiot!"

Before he could even finish the sentence a loud WHACK filled the forest. David could see the punch coming, he didn't know it would knock him off his feet. The girl was strong but it was worth it. Dazed, he felt himself lift off the ground. His back was slammed into a tree, he began to panic, his feet weren't touching the ground.

"Y'do tha' again 'n' I'll cut y'damn hands off 'n' shove 'em up y'friend's asshole. YA GOT IT?!" Daryl shouted up in his face.

Colin had never seen a man react and move as quick as Daryl had. David's collar was choking him, he could feel his face go blue.

"Didn't know she was with you, man,"he choked out.

"I don't care. Y'don't touch a woman like tha'."

David nodded, apologising. Daryl dropped him on his ass, forcing his teeth down on his tongue. Rick watched with amusement.

"Told you,"he said to Harleigh.

She nodded with a small smile.

"Let's keep movin',"Daryl muttered, now leading the way.

Colin pulled David to his feet.

"I bih my dung."

"Good, serves ye right."

"Like doo weren't dinking ov it!"

Colin shook his head and followed the others. Rick had picked up Luke now and they moved at a quicker pace. Finally they reach the edge of the trees. There was still a distant sound of crackling. Smoke still hung in the air. They carefully made their way down the slope towards the smoldering town.

"Should we really be bringing the kids in there?" Colin asked, glancing at Eva and her brother.
Daryl, Rick and Harleigh stopped walking and looked at one another.

"I'll stay here,"Harleigh offered.

"Hell no,"Daryl said.

"I will,"Rick said.

"No... How about we hide them?" Harleigh suggested.

Daryl shook his head.

"Jus' stay close,"he said to Eva who nodded.

"I can help,"she smiled.

Harleigh raised her eyebrow and looked to Daryl. He nodded once and started walking again. They reached the ashen streets of the town.

"Those things are still moving,"Colin muttered to David.

"Looks like you guys had a good set up,"Rick said, looking up at the overhead boardwalks.

"Why'd ya ruin it?"

David looked to Colin.

"We were drunk,"he muttered.

"Yeah well, now y've split up a family,"Daryl muttered, peering around a corner.

Colin sighed and shook his head.

"We'll find them, okay?"he said to Eva who just gazed blankly up at him.

Then she turned to David.

"I hope you know, because of you I don't know if Luke's diaper is dirty."

David blushed and kicked a clod of ash at his feet. Daryl breathed a laugh.

"Jeez, tha's wha' tha' is?"

He caught Harleigh smirking and raised an eyebrow at her. She nodded. He threw his head back and laughed loudly. Colin didn't like how they could communicate without talking. He needed to know everything that was going on.

"Okay guys, concentrate,"Rick said with a serious tone. His smile only just faded.

"On what, know one's told us anything! What are we doing?" David snapped, annoyed that he was the joke.

"There's a tank we want to search."

"Why?"

"Belongs to White Coats."

"I thought we were staying the hell away from them?"

"I advised you two to stay away from them. Then you started to follow us,"Rick said.

He paused, staring at the two men, his brow slightly crinkled.

"Now, Daryl has taken out one. Which means there could be more hanging around. So everyone stay together."

"We're useless without any weapon, man,"Colin shrugged.

"Human shield,"Daryl said, loading his crossbow.

He glanced at Harleigh. She had been struggling with her new bow, but now it was like an extra limb.

Grandpa Jay had decided:"An old, rickety, wooden rod ain't good enough for MY granddaughter."

He then passed her a large, black, metal compact bow along with a new quiver packed with brand new arrows. Some of which could decapitate a walker within twenty feet or expand when entering the skin, creating a two inch cut. She had to wear fingerless gloves so her hands wouldn't blister.

Daryl had been wondering what that old man was up to. The group clustered together, Colin and Rick at the front and the kids in the middle. Colin knew where the tank was and wanted to prove himself to the group. Luke had grown cranky and was starting to cry again. There was nothing they could do about that except grin and bear it.

Many ash covered corpses sat up from the ground their flesh had melted into. Sam circled the group, as if they were his flock. It made everyone but David feel safe.

"Just around the corner, outside the pharmacy,"Colin told everyone.

By now, Harleigh had picked up Luke and was carrying him.

"Oh it must be his nap time soon,"Eva said, flustered that her brother was slowing down the group.

She felt like it was her fault but there was no way she would leave him behind.

"It's fine,"Harleigh replied.

"Leigh, get ready,"Rick said.

She placed Luke back down on the ground, replacing him with the bow once the tank came into sight. He started screaming as soon as his feet touched the ground.

"WHOA WHOA WHOA! Anyway of shutting that siren off?!" Colin barked.

"He is not a siren! He is my brother!" Eva snapped.

"Guess if there's a fight it'll come t'us,"Daryl murmured.

Rick wandered over to the tank. One side of it was scorched but that was the only damage. Rick knew how to open tanks so he set about searching it. The others kept their eyes peeled, breathing in the ashes floating in the air. But none of them noticed the nearby White Coat.
He swung upright. The previous night his head had been a torch, leaving behind a blackened skull. His coat singed in places, patches of white still showing through the soot. He climbed to his feet and dragged them over to Rick. He too, hadn't noticed his attacker until it's blackened teeth sunk into the the flesh of his forearm. Rick let out a yelp, kicking the chest of the thing that was once a man. It's chest collapsed with the blow. Daryl aimed and shot it down.

"Shit! Rick!" Harleigh cried rushing over.

Rick was lost for words, he held his forearm and slid down the side of the tank to sit on the floor. Daryl and Harleigh were at his side in a split second. His blue eyes were wide and full of panic.

"Cut it off!" Daryl said grabbing his knife.

Harleigh stopped him.

"We are too far from the pri- from the camp. He'll bleed out!"

Rick clutched Daryl's shoulder.

"Carl. Judith."

Daryl shook his head.

"What're we gonna do Leigh? Y'need him, we all need him."

Harleigh stared blankly at the wound for a moment. It wasn't too big. She muttered something under her breath and tore a piece of her shirt off. Daryl couldn't hear her over Luke's wailing and David's panicked voice.

"Oh man there's more! There's more coming! We are fucked. we are so FUCKED!"

"What didja say Leigh?" Daryl asked, getting impatient and angry.

She tied a knot above the bite then tossed a gun to Colin.

"Make yourself useful, take the axe too! "she ordered.

"Leigh what's th'plan?"

"Snake bites Daryl. I'm gonna suck the poison out."

"Y'kiddin'."

"No. And I'm the only one that can do it,"she said firmly.

Daryl just stared at her, this was nuts, but he could see the determination on her face. No way could he talk her out of it.

"Now cover me,"she said before he could argue.

Daryl quickly turned his back and joined the two men. David was whacking down as many as he could. Colin's aim was better than Daryl had expected. The two kids hid in the doorway of an abandoned shop. Luke was stunned into silence. Rick was the one making all of the noise. He was screaming, yelling and swearing at he top of his lungs, he'd quietened down just long enough to hear Harleigh spitting.

Daryl couldn't help but smile, his girl had balls.

The herd of walkers gradually fell in numbers but Daryl knew there would be more on the way.

"VAMPIRES TOO, COLIN! VAMPIRES! SHE'S A VAMPIRE!"

"Would ye shut up?!"

"THE WORLD'S GONE MAD! JESUS SAVE US ALL! I DON'T HAVE ANY GARLIC!"

"For fuck sake, get a grip-"BANG.

The last one fell. Daryl turned back to Rick and Harleigh.

"My arm's numb,"Rick said, still looking dazed.

Harleigh pulled a bottle of water out of her bag and poured half of it over the wound, using the other half to wash her mouth out. Rick then pulled her in for a hug.

"How d'ya know y'got it all?" Daryl mumbled, trying to ignore how close Rick held her.

"The taste,"she said, pulling away and wiping her mouth.

"Thank you, Leigh,"Rick sighed as Daryl crouched down.

He had the first aid kit and started bandaging up the wound. Rick ran a hand down his face.

"Congrats, you might be the second person to survive a bite,"Harleigh grinned.

"What?"

The three turned and looked at Colin and David who both stared at them wide eyes. Rick clasped Daryl's hand and pulled himself to his feet.

"You don't repeat that,"he said, already back to his old self.

"You're immune?" Colin asked, his voice barely audible.

Harleigh caught Daryl's eye. No one said anything.

"We trusted you. Now it's time you trusted us. Do not repeat it,"Rick said, firmly.

They nodded.

"Let's go,"Daryl said.

They climbed back up the slope at the edge of the town. Colin stopped walking, making everyone look back.

"C'mon,"Daryl said to him.

Colin shook his head.

"We're not going with you guys."

"Can't stay out here by yourselves. Ain't safe anymore,"Harleigh said.

"Yeah, you guys passed our test,"Rick said with a small smile.

Colin continued to shake his head.

"C'mon man,"David begged.

"We can't Dave. We messed up back there, big time. Now these guys have lost their mom. I won't be able to sleep unless I try find her."

David groaned.

"Ugh you're right. Okay? Fine."

Colin smiled and held the gun out for Harleigh to take. She glanced at it and shook her head.

"Keep it."

He nodded and put it back into his belt.

"If you find her. You guys come and get us. We will bring them to you."

Colin and David nodded.

"Thank you,"Eva said, quietly.

She held Luke's hand tightly.

"No problem. What is your mom's name?"

"Sandra... and Uncle Tom too."

Rick evaluated the two men for a moment. Then he glanced around to make sure they were alone. He trusted Daryl was alert enough to already know that they were.

"We're at the prison if you need us."

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