Heather refused to leave, walking around Hershel, who stood still in the middle of his cell, she succeeded in not wincing when she saw the deep gashes on Merles stomach. Blood covered his skin as Hershel moved forward, a bottle and cloth in his hands.
"What do you need me to do?" Heather asked, hating the feeling of being useless.
"That lamp," Hershel motioned to the small battery powered lamp in his cell. "Could you hold it, high enough for me to see."
Heather jumped on it, grabbing it and moving further towards Merle, who hadn't spoken in a while. His skin was looking pale and waxy, his forehead beaded with sweat. Daryl however was stood, just as pale, leaning on the bunk.
"Daryl." His head whipped up at his name "You okay?"
He nodded at her, not talking, his mouth set in a thin line as he looked down at his older brother.
"Daryl, can you go get Maggie for me?" Without talking he left the cell, taking one long look at Merle before he left.
"We're gonna have to stitch a few of these Merle, without anaesthetic it's gonna sting a little." Merle sputtered loudly, which Heather could just make out as a laugh.
"Heather..." He managed, his one hand clutching at the sheets, she lowered the lamp slightly, leaning in to hear what he was saying "There's some whiskey in my cell, could ya' grab it for me?"
"Sure Merle, sure." She laughed, Hershel nodded at her as Maggie came in the cell, Daryl tagging behind her.
The stitches were done with little problem, now dosed up on whiskey Merle was a good patient.
He was still and quiet as Hershel worked hard and stitching up the deeper wounds, attending to the smaller cuts and scrapes afterwards. It took a long time, he had a very deep gash on his back which Hershel worked on for a good 45 minutes while Heather could do nothing but sit and watch, Merles hand in hers as she watched him wince.
Once Hershel had finished he wrapped Merles chest and abdomen in bandages, telling him to take it easy while Heather helped Daryl carry him to his cell. They set him down, as gently as possible, he had been quiet, making little remark over being carried through a prison, with so many people staring agape at him as they walked passed.
"You should go get some food...sounds like Carol is dishing out down there." Daryl grumbled, taking a seat in the cell, his eyes trained on Merle, who had fallen asleep quickly once he'd settled.
"I'll go grab some for us." Turning and walking out of the room.
"No need ta." Daryl called from behind her.
"You need to eat Daryl, I'll get something for Merle as well in case he wakes up."
As she walked down the stairs, Heather was acutely aware of all the eyes on her, there were plenty of people she recognised there, but more that she didn’t. Heather still didn’t feel completely at home at the prison, that coupled with so many faces following her every move made her feel uncomfortable.
"Over here!" She heard a voice from in the sea of people, craning her neck Heather could sea Rose leaning over a huge pan, steam rising from it as Tilly stood at her hip.
Heather ran over, smiling meekly at the parting crowd, enveloping Rose in a hug she could feel Tilly hugging her leg.
"I can't believe...I just" Rose was choking up, her words sticking in her throat "I didn’t know"
Heather understood, The Governor had convinced them all that Rick, this group, and the prison were dangerous. That them still surviving was a threat to everyone in Woodbury.
"He tricked you, he tricked everyone Rose. No one would blame you."
She smiled meekly at Heather, still not looking sure.
"Think I could get a few bowls of that? Where's Carol?"
"The lady with the nice eyes?" Tilly pipped up.
Heather laughed, "Yeah her, seen her around Till?" She asked kneeling down, ruffling her mousey hair as the young girl laughed.
"She was with the man with the beard."
"They're over by the other set of stairs lovely." Rose said, handing her a tray with three bowls of steaming stew. Heather thanked her, giving her a reassuring smile as she headed toward Carol.
Trying to manoeuvre her way through the crowd, carrying a tray with three bowls on proved to be harder than Heather imagined, after 2 minutes of struggling she finally saw the long braids of Michonne, sat at a table with a fair few of the remaining original prison group. Rick was, as always, commanding the groups attention, while the rest, which included Carol, Carl and Glenn, sat fixated as his arms moved, regaling no doubt what had happened at Woodbury.
"Heather!" Carol shouted, waving her over, sitting down on the chair that carol was patting beside her, Heather set down the tray and gave everyone a sheepish smile.
"Asleep." Heather answered Carol, who out of everyone, looked the most concerned "Hershel did a fantastic job, he's gonna be fine after some rest...thank you so much, for everything."
"You worked as hard as anyone Heather, why don't you get those bowls up to the Dixons, we're gonna do our real talk in the morning...you and Daryl will be there I'm hoping." She turned to Rick who was looking directly at her now. Heather was honoured, she really felt as if Rick wanted her as part of the decision making.
"Ofcourse, and again, thank..."
"No need to thank us Heather, we're a team, we stick together."
Heather had to mentally stop herself from thanking him again, as she told them all goodnight, they carried on talking as she left.
As she came toward the cell she could hear Daryl talking, glad that Merle was awake she carried the tray in, as she did Daryl got to his feet quickly. He'd been sat on the chair he'd dragged in from somewhere, a quick glance at Merle, Heather could see he was fast asleep.
Heather met Daryl's eyes, he looked uneasy, his cheeks flushed as his eyes met the floor.
"Stew?" Heather had spent enough time with the older Dixon brother to know this wasn't something to make a big deal out of.
"Thank ya." He said, accepting the bowl from Heather as she sat back down in his chair.
"He's gonna be okay you know."
Daryl didn't say anything, his full concentration on the bowl of watery stew in front of him.
"He always is, if he can survive cauterizing his own arm, I think he can make it through this."
Silence, still, but it wasn't awkward. Heather had once thought Daryl disliked her, but she had now come to realise that Daryl was just a very different man to Merle. He was silent, watching what everyone else did and fully appreciated what was happening around him. He wasn't as bold and brash as Merle, but certainly wasn't a shrinking violet.
"You're good for him...Merle." Daryl had finally broken the silence, getting up, he turned towards Heather before he left "He will be okay, and that's down to ya..." He gave Heather a meaningful look, before making his way towards the crows nest.
Okay so this is a little slow..I'm trying to read through online timelines as quick as possible to try and remember what happened next in the show and at the same time re-reading the comic lol.
The good news is I have 1 WHOLE week off work, so I'll be able to try and get back into the swing of it with all my free time.
Remember, comments and ratings keep me motivated haha