Things at the prison were chaotic, people had just slept wherever hey dropped, using the gangway, the cells and even the floor below, using the various pillows and sheets they had brought with them from Woodbury. Heather woke, stiff from using the floor in Merles cell, a wrapped up jumper as a pillow.
He had woken a few times in the night, his groaning waking Heather up each time, and each time she tried to sooth him back to sleep, she had concocted a way to make tea, using a camp stove she'd borrowed from Rose, who had fought everyone to take it from Woodbury. There was a pot of mixed tea bags which Heather dove into, hoping to pick out one of the more conventional flavours, knowing Merle would scold her if it was 'any fruity shit'. Mixing the tea with a shot or two of whiskey seemed to help Merle drift into a deeper sleep, meaning Heather could have a few hours of undisturbed.
Daryl was leaning on her cell door, she wasn't sure if it was because of him she'd woken, or if he'd been there a while, just watching them sleep.
"He woke up at all?"
"Yeah a few times, he's okay, just a bit uncomfortable I think." Heather stretched, very aware that she probably looked terrible, she tried her best to pat down her wild hair, giving up almost immediately.
"Rick wants us."
"Yeah he said yesterday...will Merle be okay?"
"Merle ain't the kinda person to die quietly." Heather laughed, it felt good to be around someone who knew Merle so well, who accepted him despite his faults.
Giving Merle one more quick check over, using the back of her hand to make sure he wasn't burning up, she followed Daryl out of the cell, trying to keep up with his quick pace down the stairs, spotting Carol, Rick, Carl, Michonne and the rest of the 'original' group gathered around a table.
As Daryl clattered down the stairs, his heavy boots making more noise than Heather thought possible, she smiled at how alike the brothers were in this way. They both made so much noise, throwing their own weight around when they knew they were safe, however when in the woods, or any other pressure situation there footsteps were as light as air.
Heather hadn't properly seen Maggie since she'd been in Woodbury, the stressful minutes they'd spent practically operating on Merle wasn’t the best time to catch up.The noise made most of the group turn round, as Maggie spotted them she got up out of her seat, not running but making her way towards Heather in a skipping motion.
"You okay?" She asked, her eyes full of concern as she grabbed her and pulled her in for a hug. Heather, not much used to physical contact anymore was surprised, but returned the hug just as fiercely.
"Thanks to you, and Hershel of course, he'll be fine." Hershel waved off her statement, showing that it was no big deal.
"That's not what I asked...I asked if you..."
"I'm good, yeah I'm good. You?"
"I'm great Heather...hungry?"
They wandered over to the table, Daryl had already made himself comfortable, sitting on one of the seats, his legs resting on an upturned box.
"Take a pew and a bowl Heather," Rick said, motioning the only empty seat left, there were a few people milling round, however most people were either absent or still asleep, allowing the group to talk freely. "We need a plan of action, we need to make sure these people are safe, we need to set up a way to start living here...not just surviving."
"We need more rooms, we should clear another load of cells, make 'em properly livable." Daryl said, ever the practical.
"Good idea, who wants to head that up?" Everyone looked toward Daryl, he was strong and fully capable.
"Fine..." He muttered "but this ain't no one man job."
"I'll help." Heather pipped up, she was looking forward to some back breaking work to keep her mind off of Merle.
"Me too." Glenn and Maggie said at the same time.
"Thank you." Rick said, "I'm sure there will be plenty of the Woodbury guys willing to pitch in
"We need a meeting, with everyone, I wanna work out everyones strong points, what they did in Woodbury, and work out an effective way to get this place up and running. It ain't like before, we can’t rely on canned stuff and camping stoves."
"We should set up a garden, in Woodbury they used the tiny strips of grass in the middle of the streets to grow food, it's what we need." Heather mentioned
"I could help with that," Hershel said, "I might not be good with a pitchfork no more but I know the seasons, what will grow best, how to harvest."
"Rose, from Woodbury, I think she helped you all last night, she's a good cook, and actually enjoys washing clothes...she's like a proper mum."
They carried on like that, planning their next few weeks in excruciating detail, as they did people in the Prison started to wake up around them, each time Rick would wave politely but made it clear they were discussing something private. In the end they had a solid plan, they were going to clear more rooms, but first they needed supplies, and Hershel knew exactly where to get them.
"About 5 miles south of my farm, a huge supply place, farm, outdoors, anything and everything you guys will need to really set this place up...you know it Maggie, Robbie's Dad, Kent used to own it."
"Yeah I know it...I could take ya' there."
The group agreed, Heather, Daryl, Maggie, Glenn and possibly a few of the Woodbury guys would be going, two cars, plenty of ammo, and a lot of hope would join them.
When it was all done, Rick reminded them of the lunch time meeting the whole of the prison would have, relying on Maggie and Glenn to rally the troupes, the group went their own ways. Heather grabbed a bowl of oats and headed up to see if Merle was awake.
As soon as she rounded the corner she could hear him, banging around in his cell, further proving how similar he was to his younger brother.
"What are you doing up?!" Heather said as she came into the cell, catching Merle looking very guilty in the corner of the room.
"I need ta piss."
"Right..." She stood there awkwardly for a while, Merle clicked his tounge, raising his eyebrow before Heather really got the message "Right, yeah okay." She said before turning around and waiting outside the cell.
This awkwardness was new to Heather. They had spent so much time together, that things like this weren’t normally an issue. They had survived 5 gruelling days locked in a shipping container, Merle wasn't normally shy.
"Ya can come in." She heard, his voice pained.
"Merle let me help." She said as he struggled to even walk back to the bed.
"I'm not a fuckin' invalid." Merle bit back, putting so much pressure on the chair it fell over, he almost lost his balance before Heather rushed forward, grabbing his shoulder, allowing him to put his full weight on her, she realised it wasn't Merle being shy, he just didn't want to appear weak.
"Merle, you need to rest."
"I'm fine Engl..."
"No, no you're fucking not. You've lost a lot of blood, you're black and blue all over." She literally put her finger to his mouth, shutting him up.
"You've got to get better, so you can get back to making sure I don't get myself killed yeah? You're little brother has agreed to step in for now," Heather was bending the truth here "But I need you."
Merle didn't say anything, he took a big breath in, letting it out through his nose.
"Ya got breakfast?"
So this is the point where season 3 (????) ends, I'm really sorry I haven’t actually finished season 4? I don’t think lol, I have however read 1,2 and 3 of the comics and I'm not that against spoilers at this point so I'm gonna read a hell of a lot online but more than likely just refer to the comics at this point? By just swapping out a few of the characters for other canon characters or my OC's I'm sure I can do that lol.
I'm gonna play around a lot with the time between season 3 and 4, there is plenty of dead space there I'm sure I can do something fun with, hopefully it won't be too slow.
Also, encase anyone was curious, although I'm sure you aren't. There is one song in particular
I listen to/associate HEAVILY with Heather and Merle. "Ain't no mountain high enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. It honestly captures the whole way they're both strong but dependant on each other. I can totally 100% envision the two of them in a truck, the song BLARING, both of them singing along and that image makes my heart happy :D