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

Chapter 54: 30 Days Without an Accident

I gently tipped the bow in Anna's hands, so that she aimed a little higher. She squeezed one eye shut focusing on the buck a few feet in front of us.

"Be patient, we've been trackin' this guy for miles,"I whispered.

I stepped away from her to give her some space. She released the arrow, it whizzed through the air towards the buck. I never saw it leave her grip. I heard the string of the bow snap, signalling that the arrow would fail. Just as the buck made a leap to clear the area I fired my arrow at it. It soared through the air, pursuing it. It cut through the flesh of its rump. We raced after it, our feet thumping along the forest floor. However, it knew the land better than we did and although it was injured, it was quicker.

I saw that it was useless and dug my heels into the ground. Anna rammed into the back of me, causing me to stumble. I caught onto a tree and up righted myself. I turned back to face her, catching my breath. From the look on her face, she expected me to yell at her. I waved her off. Anna frowned down at her bow. I laughed slightly.

"I broke it, sorry."

"It's fine. I can fix it later. You know why that happened?"

"Uhh..."

"You're to rigid. Let it flow, relax a little."

Anna nodded. Kicking the dirt at her feet.

"Sorta, failed that, didn't I?"
"You're still learning and it was a close one. We have rabbits to get through today. C'mon."

The hotel, luckily, wasn't too far. We left our horses tethered to a tree. We located them and, thankfully, they were still there in one piece. I mounted onto the back of the grey stallion. You'd be surprised how many horses there were. All together we had three. Michonne had the other. I grabbed Anna's hand and lifted her onto the chestnut mare and led her towards the hotel, side by side.

I took Anna with me most days to teach her how to hunt. Finn had asked me to, maybe to toughen her up a little. I wasn't going to say it out loud but, Anna was weak. She depended on Finn too much. Now, she depends on God too much. Her faith in being saved was distracting her from surviving. I never mentioned it to her, it gave her hope and like I said it was a distraction from all of this. We all needed one. She was getting better, though. Slowly, but she's getting there. First time I brought her out she tripped over her own feet. It's a wonder how she managed on her own. I smirked to myself.

"What?" she asked.

"Nothin', you just remind me of someone."

The hotel came into view and I sighed a little to myself. The little building was where I spent my first days with Rick and the others. Where I proved myself to be worthy of the group and where I built a kick-ass perimeter. This place was home. Finn waved from the back porch. We waved back and opened the gate. I let Anna through first. We both hopped down and I handed her the reins. She tugged the two horses towards the stables, which was really an old shed. I eyed the walkers stuck to the spears along our makeshift fence.

"Colin!"I yelled.

"I know! I know!" he laughed, jogging out of the shed. "I was just getting to it."

"I'm sure you were,"I smiled.

He winked and started clearing the walkers by whacking them with a shovel. I set the rabbits on a picnic bench. Finn came over wiping his hands on an old rag.

"Good hunt then?"

"We tracked a deer all day, no luck. Anna's coming along smoothly,"I told him.

He nodded.

"That's okay. You teach her about herbs and stuff?"

"What I know. Don't worry, Finn. If she ends up alone-which she won't- she'll be prepared."

"She's just a kid,"he mumbled.

"We're all new to this, Finn. She's making progress-quit fussing, she's FINE!"

Finn chuckled and nodded.

"We've got two truckloads of stuff. Think we can head back for a visit?"

"Sure we can. Maybe tomorrow, it's getting late."

Finn's eyes brightened, excited to return to Charlotte. We hadn't been at the prison for over a month. We hadn't even heard from them in a long time. I knew they were okay though. Sometimes you can just feel it. I missed them, sure but we had work to do. I bet you can guess Daryl and I had a fall out. We did, not a major one. I decided I wanted to come here, but without Rick. I didn't want to depend on Rick like a life support. I felt fine and I have been fine since we left. Daryl, being Daryl, got really pissed. He was just worried, I know but I didn't want to be the reason why Rick was missing from the prison. Even if Rick refused to make any decisions now. Daryl said he'd come too, but I told him to stay. I needed to prove to him and myself that I was better. I just hoped when we go back he won't still be annoyed. He's stubborn like that. I did, however, bring Jay.

"How's the bite?" Finn asked.

I shut my eyes. Yeah, that. Well, okay there was one little accident. It was either me or David, who had just got back onto his feet. Of course he apologised until he was blue in the face. No way in hell was I going back with one dead body. I had been successful apart from that.

"It's fine."

"Gotta say, you're one tough chick,"he laughed, giving my back a friendly clap.

"So are you,"I joked, walking towards the hotel.

I hurried down to the kitchen, realising I was starving. David looked up from the counter. He was preparing the vegetables for dinner.

"Hey, Harls!" he greeted with a grin.

"Hey Dave. You ok to head back to the prison tomorrow?" I asked, grabbing and apple and sitting up on the counter.

"It's a bit crowded back there don't you think?"

"It is..."

"What happens to this place? I mean, we've worked hard on it... Don't wanna lose it."

"That's true,"I frowned.

"You, Finn and Jay can go back,"he shrugged.

"Anna would come too. You just want to stay here with Colin and Nathan? What if something happened?"

"We've practiced evacuation 10 billion times,"he smirked.

I rolled my eyes at him, smiling. I basically came up with every scenario that could possibly happen. Sometimes, I didn't even tell them the plan. I would just scream that there were walkers in the kitchen and see how they would react. The first time they panicked and ran around like headless chickens. We worked on it though.

"None of you know how to hunt."

"I just really don't want to lose this place."

"We'll come back. You know the guys back there need the crap we've gathered."

"Because we're better than them?"

"Got that right."

We laughed a little. There was something about being away from the prison was calming. We were free out here, there was more space. We weren't trapped behind a big tall fence. For a world covered in dead people I have never felt more relaxed. Maybe I was adjusting. Either way, I was content as I could be.


xxx
The next morning we were up early. Straight after breakfast we started loading any spare things into the trucks and car. Colin led the horses into the newly repaired horsebox.

"Did you fix the tires?" I asked, walking past him.

He thought for a moment and then nodded.

"We really have to wash them."

"We'll do it when we get there," Finn said, shutting the boxes.

"Is that everything?" I asked.

"Everything important,"Anna said, looking down at a crumpled piece of paper.

I put my fingers to my lips and whistled loudly. Sam came bounding out of the front door, tongue like a streamer hanging from his mouth. I opened the door of the car and he jumped in, wagging his tail.

"We're going to see Carl, Sam!" I told him.

He barked once and tried to sit still, but he was too excited, so he continued to wriggle. I got into the drivers seat and waited for everyone to lock up and get ready. Jay got in beside me, letting out a sigh. He placed his walking stick on the floor at his feet.

"Hershel's gonna laugh at me,"he muttered.

"Hershel laughs at you anyway,"I replied, starting the engine.

I turned my eyes to him, seeing him scowl. I laughed, pulling out of the drive after one of the trucks.

"C'mon, he still only has one leg. You're even."

Recently, Jay has been getting pains in his right knee. Nathan believes it's arthritis.

"Did you take your medicine?" I asked.

"No."

I turned to scold him but caught him grinning.

"Don't worry about me, sweetheart. Are you excited to see little lover boy?"

I cringed, gripping the wheel.

"Please. Never say that again. Like, ever."

"Like, okay."

I breathed a laugh, casting my eyes to the sky.

"You are so annoying."

We sat silence for the rest of the journey. It was short enough. Not less than an hour or so we see the prison towers in the distance. We drove up to the gate. We waited for just a minute and the big red gates slowly opened. We rolled up the drive to park the cars. I rolled down my window. Rick leaned down.

"Good morning, Mr. Grimes."

"Special delivery!" Jay hollered at him.

Rick grinned, slapping the top of the car. He opened the door and I climbed out. I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him tightly.

"So glad to see you,"he said.

"You too,"I smiled.

I opened the door and Sam jumped out, making a beeline for Carl. He jumped at his chest, knocking him onto his back and licking his face.

"Hey!" I yelled at him.

Carl was laughing so I left them alone.

"Are those trucks full?" Rick asked.

"To the brim. Got little bit of food, deodorant, books you name it,"Finn replied walking over.

I noticed some people had come out of the prison to see what was going on. The majority I didn't even recognise or forgotten their names.

"DADDY!" Charlotte yelled, racing over and leaping up into Finn's arms.

"This place looks great," I commented, walking with Rick to the top of the hill.

I crossed my arms and looked down at the miniature farm.

"Well, we had to prove we could cope without you,"he chuckled.

Hershel climbed up the hill, holding out his arms. I gave him a quick hug.

"Uh, Jay's inside. Careful though, he's go a stick."

Hershel merely laughed, heading towards the prison.

"Is he ok?" Rick asked.

"Nate think he has arthritis,"I sighed. "Stubborn ass won't rest either."

"Sounds like him."

"HARLEIGH BENNING!" I heard the familiar voice of Maggie call behind me.

She grinned once I turned to face her. Glenn trailed along behind her, looking slightly worried. I was starting to think his face just fell like that. Maggie wrapped her arms around me and I hugged her back, laughing. I opened my arm for Glenn to join, which he did.

"I missed you guys!"

"Thank goodness you're back! Daryl has been driving us up the walls!" Maggie laughed.

" 'Will I go check on them? No I won't. Maybe I should.' Nearly everyday!" Glenn sighed.

"Does he know I'm here?"

"Nope."

"Better go say hi then."

The headed into the prison and into the old cellblock. Carol was leaning against the banister of the stairs, talking to Beth. They both looked over when I walked in. Carol let out a surprised noise. I tapped my lips with my forefinger. She nodded, covering her mouth with her hands. Beth smiled at me as I passed by her.

For some unknown reason I felt nervous walking towards Daryl's cell. Maybe because he might flip out because I had been gone so long. He sat on his bed facing the opposite wall. He was staring down at an old map. I leaned against the door frame, watching him. I expected him to look up immediately. I held back my laugh realising he hadn't noticed.

"Whatcha doin'?" I asked, hearing the grin in my own voice.

Daryl swung his head up.

"Leigh."

"Hey," I said, casually.

He stood up and walked up to me. I forgotten how he almost towered over me, my head only coming up to his shoulders. I tilted my face up, biting my smile.

"Y'look different, Leigh."

"Probably cause my hair grew, also I've been out in the woods, killin' stuff and living with my grandfather takes it's toll-"

He shut my blabbing up by taking hold of my face and planting a kiss on my lips. He leaned back and brushed my hair out of my face. I could feel heat rising to my cheeks and mentally cursed at myself. He breathed a short laugh.

"Shut up," I mumbled, rubbing my cheeks.

He wrapped his arms around my waist and hugged me so tight I felt my feet leave the floor. He kissed the top of my forehead.

"God, I love ya, Leigh."

"So you're not mad at me?"

" 'Course I am."

"Clear as ever, Dixon."

"What're y'doin' here?" he asked.

"Well, Finn wanted to see Charlotte,"I shrugged, smirking ever so slightly.

"Wha' 'bout me?" he laughed, taking my hands.

"Yes, Finn missed you very much. I think you should go hug him."

He rolled his eyes at me. I chuckled and walked out to Carol. She giggled and opened her arms to me. I hugged her tight.

"I missed you so much," I told her, stepping back. "How's story time going?"

"All right I guess,"she replied.

"I told Finn, sorry. He's ok with it though. Actually, I think he grabbed a bottle of wine for you,"I grinned.

Daryl came out of his cell and joined me at my side.

"So, get in there. Oh, and I brought back some books too."

Carol beamed at us.

"What y'smilin' about?" Daryl asked, frowning.

"You guys just look right. Too cute."

"Stop," we said in unison.

I rubbed my face trying to hide my reddening cheeks.

"I, uh, gotta go help the others," I said, excusing myself.

Daryl nodded to Carol and followed me out.

"Where the hell have all these people come from?" I asked.

"Rick's been takin' in a lot of 'em."

"Huh," I breathed, pushing the door of the prison open.

Colin whistled at me, catching my attention before tossing a can at me. I popped the tab but the cola didn't fizz.

"Gonna wash them horses soon," he told me as I walked to the back of the one of our trucks.

I placed a hand on my hip, looking at all the crap we had.

"Where's all the rabbits?" I asked.

"Oh, we ate 'em all last night. Sorry."

I shook my head, waving him off.

"Didn't'cha eat last night too, Leigh?" Daryl asked, looking concerned.

"Oh yeah. Just soup, I went to bed early," I said, quickly.

I'm waiting for him to badger me about my health. I subconsciously placed my hand under my rib cage, where a bunch of bandages hid the nasty bite. He'd lose his shit. Colin's eyes dropped to my hand then quickly back up to my face. I met his eyes and shook my head slightly. Luckily, Daryl was distracted by Rick who passed him a cardboard box. Colin gripped my arm and pulled me away from them. Of course, that grabbed Daryl's attention, but he was busy holding stuff for Rick.

"Does everyone here know about that?"

"Some of the people from Woodbury, yeah..."

"They'll start talkin'."

I swallowed and bit my lip.

"Listen to me, Harleigh. If they start acting... off about the whole thing. Like, ya'know, wantin' ta rob your blood while ya sleep we'll leave. The seven of us, Charlotte too. Ye are my family now. Anything odd goes down here we're getting out."

"Nothin's gonna happen, Colin."

"I'm just saying. A way out does weird shit to people. We're the one's who have your back,"he said, sincerely.

I smiled, thanking him with a nod.

"Rick and Daryl and the others, they're my family too. We'll be fine."

Carl walked up to me and smiled.

"Hello, kiddo!" I grinned.

I ruffled his hair. He laughed and pushed my hand away from him playfully.

"Jesus, could you stop growing please?"

"Yeah," Rick agreed, joining us.

He smiled at his son then turned to me.

"How's all the hunting going?"

"We could get what we needed but we found loads of animals already bitten... We saw a deer yesterday, but uh, got away," I shrugged.

"Our traps are working pretty well, sometimes walkers get there first."

"Did I hear somethin' 'bout a deer?" Daryl asked.

"Mmm hmm," I replied.

"Think you can track it?" Rick asked.

"I can try. 'S long as Leigh didn' scare it off," he smirked.

"It was close okay? My arrow grazed it,"I grumbled.

Daryl scoffed and shook his head.

"Ok, big shot you're on! Let's go catch this motherfucker. I bet it'll be my arrow!"

"Fine," he shrugged. Rick placed his hands on his hips, shaking his head laughing.

"How long has it been and you guys are arguing again?" Rick asked.

"This isn't us arguing."

"Yeah, wait 'till we get back with MY kill and her denial," Daryl said, swinging his crossbow onto his shoulder.


"Let's go Pocahontas."

"I will win,"I reassured, Rick and Carl as we left them.


xxx

"So, I've been teaching Anna," I explained to Daryl.

I was trying to convince him that it was not me who let the deer got away.

"Either way, proves I'm a better teacher."

I scowled at his back, then laughed a little.

"I forgot how much of a jackass you are."

"And I forgot how much y'talk."

"I don't."

"Y'do."

"Fine."

"Leigh! D'ya wanna catch this deer or not?"

I nodded, although he wasn't looking at me. I spotted a walker just ahead. While Daryl raised his crossbow I had already sent an arrow through it's skull. He glanced over his shoulder at me and I smirked at him. He rolled his eyes and continued walking as I retrieved my arrow.

"How's the hotel?" Daryl asked.

"Fine,"I shrugged.

"Will y'be goin' back?"

"Tired of me already?"

"A little," he sighed, looking ahead.

I raised my eyebrow at him and he grinned.

"Nah,"he said, wrapping his arm around my waist and pulling me in.

I glanced up at him to see he was staring at the ground. I smacked his chest.

"You ass! You're trying to distract me!"

"Naw... I'm not. Why? Am I distractin'?" he smirked.

"You're an ass,"I said, slowly so he could comprehend. He just laughed and let his arm drop.

xxx
"Leigh, Leigh! Move it will ya?" Daryl whispered.

I groaned and buried my face in his shirt.

"Leigh, I gotta get up. I'm goin' on a run."

"Can I come?" I asked, sleepily.

"I think you're too tired after last night,"he said.

I could hear the cockiness in his voice. I peeked up at him and laughed loudly.

"Ohh, you," I chuckled.

He pushed me and I rolled off of him, still laughing. I knelt up, rubbing my eyes. I looped my fingers in his belt and pulled him over. He sighed and leaned down to give me a quick kiss.

"I'm coming," I said.

"Again?"

"Oh, for fuck sake, Daryl."

He laughed and pulled on a new vest.

"Let's get breakfast," he said, taking my hand.

"Y'know what I would love? Breakfast in bed," I sighed, looking up at him.

"Too bad that ain't gonna happen,"he said, dragging me to my feet.

"You suck-don't."

"Wasn't gonna, jeez Leigh, y'filthy mind."

I shook my head and changed quickly into a cleaner top. He leaned against the wall, facing the door. He then led the way out. We went outside to where Carol was cooking breakfast. A bunch of people shouted hellos at Daryl. Safe to say I was a little surprised. Daryl strolled up to Carol.

"Looks good,"he complimented.

I felt my stomach rumble at the smell.

"Just so you know, I liked you first," Carol joked.

"Stop."

"Mother of divine feed me now,"I groaned.

I caught Daryl's eye and blushed, knowing he had another joke in mind. Carol laughed.

"Nearly ready."

"Rick brought a lot of 'em in too," Daryl said.

"Not recently. You're going to have to live with the love."

"Wait a minute, how long was I gone again?"

"Shuddup,"he muttered.

"If there's any competition I'mma hunt people down,"I joked.

Carol grinned at me.

"No one would mess with you."

"Bet your fine ass. Definitely not leaving now. Guess you'll have to put up with me, huh?"

Daryl gave me a weary, playful look.

"You guys gotta see somethin'. Patrick you wanna take over?"

"Yes, ma'am!"

A young man, who I had never seen before took Carol's place.

"Mr Dixon-"

I choked on my own saliva.

"Just wanted to thank you for bringing that deer back yesterday."

I sighed, hanging my head and rubbing my face. Daryl stared at him for a moment then looked at me.

"Y'hear that?"

"Yes, Daryl,"I mumbled, rolling my eyes.

Carol chuckled, bumping her shoulder against mine. Daryl turned back to Patrick as he spoke.

"It was a real treat, sir. I would be honoured to shake your hand."

He held out his hand and Daryl looked at it. He then licked his fingers clean and took his hand giving it a firm shake. To say Patrick looked delighted was an understatement. He may even piss his pants yes.

"I brought that deer, like I told ya,"Daryl said, as we followed Carol.

"You sure did Mr. Dixon, sir."

"Shuddup."

"We had a big build up over night. Don't think we'll have many for the run."

"Leigh is joinin' us. I'm sure one of 'ers will come too,"Daryl said.

"Colin's pretty quick on his feet," I nodded.

I zoned out after that watching the walkers rattle the fence. It was like the last time I was here, but now they had people taking them out.

"Sorry, pookie,"Carol smiled.

I snorted and Daryl bumped her with his shoulder. I followed him back so I could get some breakfast.

"I'll go load up for the run, get Colin too."

"Alright, Mr. Pookie, sir."

"Shuddup."

I laughed loudly as we walked in separate direction. I stood in front Patrick watching him turn over some bacon slices. I felt my mouth water from the hunger.

"They'll be ready soon," he said, not looking up.

I nodded anyway and ran a hand through my hair. He glanced up and his face fell. I realised he had seen the faded bite marks on my forearm. I saw him go to yell for someone.

"You shut your mouth or I will shut it for you,"I hissed.

He clamped his mouth shut and nodded his head. He knew not to fuck with someone with a bite mark.

"You're Harleigh."

"Yeah."

"For a while I thought you were an urban legend," he grinned, looking excited.

He held his hand out his hand. I glanced down, noticing the bacon.

"Is it ready now?" I asked.

"Oh,"he said, retracting his hand. "Yeah."

He plated them up and I took it, thanking him. Sam trotted over just in time. I tossed him a slice then ate quickly. I found Colin and Daryl over by the cars.

"How are you today?" Colin asked.

"Alright," I shrugged.

I saw Beth and some dude kissing and then talking quietly. There's something new.

"Like a damn romance novel," Daryl muttered.

"Daryl reads romance novels,"I whispered, only loud enough for him and Colin to hear.

Colin waited for Daryl to smile before laughing.

"Did you see Anna?" I asked Colin.

"Yeah, she's still a little disappointed."

"I thought about bringing her but, I dunno."

"Not yet,"he agreed, shaking his head.

The motorbike engine signaled it was time to leave. Colin got into the pickup truck and I joined Daryl. We drove out to the yard to find Michonne and Rick talking.

"Like a damn family reunion," Daryl announced as we rolled up beside them. Michonne gave me a small wave which I returned with a smile.

"Didn't find him," Michonne said.

Daryl quickly told Rick our plans. I clung tightly to Daryl and we drove out of the prison, kicking up dust behind us.


It wasn't long until we stopped outside a store. Daryl killed the engine and waited for me to hop off. The new guy, Bob was walking towards us. Him and Daryl walked over to the fence. Colin strolled over to me with his hands in his pockets.

"So, did he find out?" he asked.

"Find out what?"

" 'Bout that,"he mumbled, nodding to my stomach.

I placed my hand over the bandages.

"He didn't say anything," I whispered.

He hadn't yelled, or asked or even looked at it. Maybe he just didn't notice. Maybe I got away with it.

"The hell is that?"

We walked over to the group who were standing just outside the fence. I could hear music in the background.

"Put a boom box out there three days ago,"Sasha said, sounding triumphant.

"Hooked it up to two car batteries,"Glenn said.

Daryl led the way through the fence, Colin and I at the back. Daryl told us to watch out and make sure it was safe. Colin tapped my shoulder. I glanced back at him.

"We should check the tents, to see if there's any medicine."

I nodded and led him away from the group. Sasha spotted us and gave us a quick nod. I edged towards one tent, it's door billowing in the light breeze. With the end of my rifle I moved it aside. I choked on the smell. Goddamn was it ripe. Colin snorted and pushed me aside. He opened the tent.

"Wow, this IS worse than my grandma's feet."

"Not gonna ask."

"Ah, look. This poor motherfucker's still movin'."

I took hold of my machete and with a whomp, I swung it through the air and cracked the walkers skull open. It's body was so broken and decayed that it had no way of following the music.

"Jeez,"Colin mumbled.

I pushed him playfully. We started searching the tent for useful supplies. He was quietly laughing at me. He opened a small cabinet. I heard him gasp so I looked over at him. He turned his wide eyes to me, taking out a roll of toilet paper.

"Oh my God,"he whispered.

"Harleigh?" Michonne called.

Colin pointed at me and then him, back and forth a few times before stuffing as many rolls into his backpack. We stepped out of the tent. Michonne gave us a curious look. We stared blankly at her while walking towards the others. Michonne leaned against the wall giving us a funny look. Daryl sat on the window edge next to Zach. Whatever they were talking about grabbed her attention. Colin beamed at me.

"We share that shit, okay? No one else can know."

"What about David?" I whispered.

"Fuck that guy, his ass is huge."

I shut my eyes and squeezed the bridge of my noise trying not to burst out laughing.

"You look at his ass?" I said, nudging him.

"It blocks out the motherfucking sun. Hard to miss."

I stifled my laughter by covering my mouth. Zach and Daryl glanced up momentarily before returning to their conversation.

"... but you're still being kind of surly. Homicide cop."

Michonne let out a bark of laughter.

"What's so funny?" Daryl asked.

"Nothin'."

"Actually, he's right. Undercover. I don't like t'talk abou' it, s'a lot of heavy shit, y'know?"

Daryl turned away from Zach and smiled at me. I smiled a little but something behind him caught my eye. I replaced my rifle with my bow and arrows. A walker slammed up against the window. Daryl got to his feet.

"At your service, Detective Mr. Pookie, sir."

"Shuddup, Leigh. Let's do it."

"The fuck is a pookie?" Colin grumbled, following me.

Tyreese dragged a body out of the store and we all walked in, keeping our eyes peeled. Everyone grabbed a cart and started to find the stuff we needed. Colin and I walked with Daryl for a bit, but he seemed a little too determined for Colin's liking. Colin didn't take anything too seriously. He told me that he wanted to die laughing. I went with him because I knew Daryl wouldn't do anything stupid. He made a beeline for the hair spray.

"What the hell?" I whispered.

"Fire!" he grinned, manically.

"Colin, we should be getting the important stuff!"

"Fire is important, Harls! Light, heat, cooking and shit and you can melt walkers faces off! It got me this far. C'mon, I know where the lighters are."

I rolled my eyes. He handed me a can and turned his back to me so I could shove it into his backpack. We strolled over to the counter. Colin grabbed as many of the multicolored lighters as possible. The one's that didn't fit into his pockets he shoved into mine.

"You will thank me later," he whispered.

He then looked around me frowning. He nodded his head in the direction he was looking in. I followed his gaze and saw Bob staring at a bottle of wine. I didn't think much of it until he looked around, checking to see if anyone was watching. He couldn't see us because there were a few shelves between us. He then put it back onto the shelf. I jumped as the shelf collapsed, sending the whole thing crashing down on Bob. I went to run to help but Colin grabbed my elbow.

"We should get out of here," he mumbled, his eyes on the ceiling.

I felt my forehead crinkle in confusion. I nearly left with him, but I saw Daryl run to help. Colin didn't bother hold me back this time. I hurried over and grabbed the shelf, helping him and Ty lift it off Bob. The others soon ran over. We pushed the shelf upright. I glanced up, not taking my hands off it to see if it was steady. I saw the crack form in the ceiling first. Then, it crashed inward. A walker swung down, hanging by it's gut. I took a few steps back. My eyes landed on Colin, who hadn't move. He gave me an 'I told you so' look.

"We need to get outta here now," I said.

"Bob's still stuck! Get 'em outta there!" Daryl said, rushing back to the shelves.

All around us, walkers fell from the ceiling. We split, running to get away from the walkers crashing through. I skidded as one landed in front of me. It smacked the floor with a gross splat, splitting in half its innards going everywhere. I slipped and fell on my ass. I clenched my teeth as pain shot up from my tailbone. I hissed and dragged myself off the ground, holding the shelf. Which wasn't smart seeing as Bob had just pulled down one on top of him. I straightened up, groaning with the pain.

Next thing I know, I'm slammed into the shelf. It rocked back and forth before both I and the walker toppled it. I landed on top of it on my back. If my spine wasn't damaged before, it was now. I didn't hesitate to grab the walker's collar. I shoved him and his snapping jaws away from my neck. I felt my heart beat quickening as my body refused to exert anymore energy after two falls. The walker also had a grip on my my shirt. I heard it rip in its grasp.

Gunshots crackled around me. I tried to not freak out as slimey saliva dripped down from it's gaping mouth. I felt it splat on my cheek and roll down towards my neck. I gagged a little, struggling to get the hell away from the bastard. I place my feet on its hips and shoved it away from me. It lost its footing, slipping. I pushed it away from me, swinging my leg up and cracking its skull with my boot. I rolled the body off me and lay still to adapt to the pain.

I sat up slowly and got onto my feet, wobbling slightly. I spotted Daryl moving through the aisles, taking out walkers. I grabbed my bow and arrow and aimed at the one behind him. It soared through its skull, pinning it to the wall for a millisecond before snapping under the walkers weight. Daryl noticed and gave me a quick nod whilst taking down another. I gave him a pathetic salute, hopping down from the shelf and crossing over to where Bob lay.

He was calling out for help. I was in too much pain to lift a damn shelf by myself. I stopped, seeing Daryl surrounded. I went blank for a second. Thankfully, Bob's cries for my help woke me from my daze. I tugged my rifle out and shot down some of the walkers surrounding Daryl. Glenn came running over, his gun going off. Walkers dropped like bags of rocks one by one.

"WILL YOU HELP ME?!" Bob screamed up at me.

He held a walker away from him. I crinkled my nose slightly at him. This was his fault. I shook my head. No, he didn't mean for this to happen. Just as I decided to help, Daryl ran over and dragged the walker away from him. I put a bullet in his head as they pushed the shelf off of Bob. He stumbled out, giving me a look that told me that he knew I had seen him with the bottle. I stared blankly back at him. Colin ran over and wrapped his arms around my shoulder.

"We're gettin' you the hell outta here!" he yelled over the commotion.

Daryl glanced over. His head whipped back to Zach who let out a scream of pain. While they stood and stared in shock, Colin began to drag me towards the door. Daryl yelled for them to follow us. We ran towards the door, the sound of scraping metal following us. The ceiling crashed down sending debris flying everywhere. We all escaped with a few scratches. We stood outside staring at the building as the inside collapsed. Colin gripped me tight.

"Are you ok?" he asked.

Daryl came over as soon as he heard those words. Colin dropped his arm. Breathing heavily, he limped over to the others. Daryl cupped my face in his hands.

"Alrigh'?" he asked, his chest rising and falling quickly.

"Yeah," I whispered. "You?"

He shook his head slightly. Before I could do anything about it though he started to walk towards the cars. I rubbed my lower back a little, swearing under my breath. We walked silently to the cars. No one said another word.


xxx
I had asked Daryl did he want me to go with him to tell Beth. He said no. So, I sat on his bed waiting for him. I groaned and unlaced my boots, kicking them off. I rubbed my forehead, then smoothed my head. I frowned feeling something hard caught in it. I tugged whatever it was free and inspected it. A yes, a fragment of some dude's skull. Delightful. I chucked it into the bucket that was a bin. I heard it crack against the floor.

I bit my lip and looked around the room before flumping down onto the pillow. It smelt like Daryl. The whole room smelt like Daryl. It was like, pine cones and blood all rolled into one. I liked it. The curtained moved and he stepped in. I stood up and looked at him.

"Are you okay, Daryl?"

"Said she don't cry no more,"he grumbled.

He pottered about the cell for a moment, something for his hands to do. I watched him, scratching my arm.

"Said she's glad she didn't say goodbye."

I pressed my lips together unsure of what he was getting at. He looked up.

"I hate goodbyes, Leigh."

My eyebrows pinched together.

"And y'keep leavin'."

"Daryl what-"

"First it was y'damn sister. Then ya left without me or Rick whicha. Now y'gonna go again, ain't cha?"

"Well-"

"What's so bad about this place, Leigh?"

"Nothin'-"

"Why ya keep leavin'? Y'safe here with me. With all of us. Chrissakes, y'leave for a month and y'get a damn bite!"

I really did think I got away with that.

"So, you noticed..."

"How the hell wasn't I gonna, Leigh? A huge damn bandage. That could'a killed ya! Wha' if it ripped y'damn ribs apart?!"

I kept my mouth shut and stared at my feet.

"I couldn't see ya t'day, Leigh. Thought the worst."

"Don't you always?" I mumbled.

"Yeah. 'Cause the worst happens. We've lost people. Good people. We lost Zach today. Wha' if somethin' happens t'ya Leigh?!"

"We've talked about this,"I sighed.

"Not really. It can happ'n. Even if y'have fuckin' super blood or whatever th'hell it is."

"I'm not getting hurt on purpose Daryl! Jesus, what the hell. You KNOW I can look after myself!"

"Y'ain't careful enough. Y'ain't leavin' this time, Leigh."

"Who says I am?" I muttered, frowning.

"I heard David and Finn talkin'."

"Yeah, talking. It's up to me though."

"Why? You their leader?"

"They seem to think so."

" 'S dumb, Leigh. Y'safe here,"he said again.

"The others don't think so."

"Fuck what the others think!" he snapped. "We're y'damn family. Not them. You're my family!"

"I care about them too."

"Will y'listen t'me? Leigh. I'm askin' ya to stay with me. Stay here."

He sat down on the the edge of the bed and looked up at me. I saw desperation in his eyes. He bit his lip and dropped his head.

"Can't lose you too, Leigh. If y'saw Beth's reaction. Didn't even cry. It'd ruin me if I lost ya,"he said, his voice barely audible.
I didn't hesitate to go to him. He wrapped his arms around my waist and buried his face in my stomach. I smoothed his hair, feeling my throat dry up.

"Love you, Daryl,"I choked.

Notes

I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL - my thoughts when the walker fell from the ceiling.

So, this is up sooner than I thought. I said it'd be up in a few days but here it is. Hope you enjoyed. I'll get going on another chapter soon. As you have guessed this is based on S4 plot, so spoilers and all. Hopefully, it won't be redundant and word for word. I hate that. So if it gets like that TELL ME and I will put in a dancing clown or something.

Thanks for reading. Comment or whatever so I know y'all still here ;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