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Chapter 17

Chapter 17

Heather woke up the next morning, her mouth dry and her head pounding. Rubbing her temple she turned in the sheets, searching the other side of the bed for Merle. He wasn't there, instead she found the other side of the bed cold and empty.

Sitting up slightly she squinted, taking in the empty cell, sighing as her brain decided to remind her of the events of the previous night.

"Heather?" Rick was walking past the cell "You not up yet? Did you really drink that much last night?" He was laughing.

Since arriving at the prison Heather hadn't really spoken to Rick. He was very reserved and had taken a step back, from what Heather could gather from the other survivors. With all that considered Heather liked Rick, he seemed kind and level headed, someone you'd want in control.

"No...I mean I not compared to my uni days but...think I'm just out of practice." She sat up, smiling as Rick stood outside the cell.

"You okay?" He asked, studying her.


"I know we ain't had much to talk 'bout...but from what I've heard you ain't normally this quiet."

A small laugh escaped Heathers lips before she rubbed her face in her hands, trying hard to keep it together. The way Merle had dismissed her came crashing back as Rick continued to stand outside her cell, studying her as if she was a real prisoner.

"Just...rough night."

"Had a few of those...wanna talk about it?"

"Not really?" Heather bit her lip, trying her hardest not to sound rude.

"S'fine, but if you ever do, I'm in the cell next door...you know that right?" He looked at her pointedly, Heather finally realising why he was asking.

"You heard?"

"I got the gist." He was smarter than Heather thought, they hadn't said anything, really, but his face told her he knew everything she was in turmoil about.


"You still not wanna talk?"

"I just...I feel so stupid." Rick came into the cell, his walk lazy as he sat down on the edge of her cot. "We have so much more to worry about."

"Why do you think we fought so hard for the prison Heather? Why did you?" He was bent over on her bed, his feet on the floor and elbows resting on his knees, staring at her "Me?...I did it so Carl could live instead of just survive. Sure we have a lot to be concerned about, but what would be the point in fightin' so hard if we aren't gonna enjoy it...now I'm not gonna pretend I know Merle, or really like him." Heather laughed as Rick paused "But he cares for you, and that's important."

"I just...I think I messed it all up. We worked well, me and Merle. I don't know why, but we did...we do."

"Merle isn’t the kind of guy to stay quiet, he'll tell you if you've screwed up that bad." The smile tugged at the corner of his lips.

"I think I just misread it all, maybe he just..." She worried over the words that her head was coming up with. What? Merle just thought of her as a friend? A daughter?

"Ask him. Don't leave it. They're my last words of advice, and the ones I'll stand by." He said, standing up, stretching before leaving the cell giving her one more look before turning the corner.

Heather sighed, falling back into bed, covering her eyes with her hands as she wished the cell would just lock for the next few hours. Knowing it wouldn't she got out of bed, and dressed, pulling a worn black t-shirt on over equally worn jeans.

She could hear the prison, alive with its new occupants, laughing and enjoying their breakfast. Heather was hesitant, standing at the top of the stairs she instantly felt stupid, shaking herself before walking down them.

"Heather!!" Maggie called from somewhere within the throng of people, she saw her hand waving from somewhere across the floor, heading toward it she smiled at a few friendly faces.

"You okay?" She asked, throwing her arms around her when they finally met "You’re not too hungover are you."

"No...not really, just didn't sleep so good."

"Slept too much in your chair last night." Glenn said as she sat down, handing her a cold coffee which she took appreciatively.

"Yeah probably." She said between slurps, affording her a smile from Hershel. "Anyone seen Merle?" She asked trying to be casual.

"Went out for a ride on his bike, Daryl tried to stop him but it didn’t work."


Maggie studied her, but didn't question it which Heather was grateful for.

Unfortunately for Heather, there wasn't much to distract her from the events of last night, they were taking a day off after their huge effort the day before, and to recuperate before they went out again tomorrow.

"Wanna help set up the BBQ?" Maggie asked, a huge smile across her face. This was such an innocent question but it bought back so many memories. They came rushing back, vividly. Her Dad crouching in the garden, tools and BBQ pieces spread everywhere as he swore trying to get two pieces to fit together. The grey sky above him threatened rain but he was insistent they had a BBQ on the bank holiday weekend. She remembered the multiple cups of tea she brought him as they struggled to put together the huge BBQ they'd bought that day.

Heather tried so hard to forget England, to forget her family. It was always there though, in the back of her brain, telling her that she wasn't a different person, she was still that useless uni student that she'd left England as.


"Yeah...I'd love to." She replied quickly, doing her best to cover her over working brain.

Glenn, Daryl and Tyreese took the BBQ out of the back of the truck, Heather winces as the BBQ scraped against the already fading paint work.

There wasn't actually anything to do, Heather realised as they watched the men get to work, linking the BBQ up to a gas canister.

"You ever think of cutting you hair?" Maggie asked, sipping at the ice-tea Carol and Rose had made that morning.

"Every damn day." Heather laughed, tugging at the dry ends of her hair which now sat at her waist.

"Want me to do it?" She asked, smiling as Glenn swore behind them about something.

"My nan loved my hair long..." Heather started.

"Oh, I just thought, it must be a nightmare."

"No, it is. I dunno, I guess it's stupid."

"I get it." Maggie said, fiddling with the necklace around her neck.

"I mean, I think it could do with a trim. Maybe a couple if inches...or 5?" She laughed as Maggie jumped to her feet, running towards the prison, no doubt to get scissors.

"Sit still!!" Maggie cried for the 5th time, as Heather adjusted herself on the concrete floor, trying to get comfortable. Maggie had taken the role as hairdressers seriously, she'd spent a long time going between cells, asking for scissors, hair brushes and combs.

"Sorry." Heather giggled as she bit her lip, ignoring the looks Daryl and Glenn were shooting them.

"Now...head down." She worked for another ten minutes, hair floating to the floor, blowing across the prison yard as Maggie worked. "Voila!!" She said, with one more stroke of a brush she revealed a cracked mirror, attempting her best hairdresser flourish.

Heather stared at her reflection, something she didn't do often. She looked much the same, she thought, just with worse eyebrows and darker circles. Concentrating on her hair however, she couldn't help but smile. The blunt ends now sat just below her shoulders, it looked lighter, and healthier. Heather brushed her fingers through it, relishing the way they didn't get stuck at the knotty ends.

"I like it," she smiled at Maggie "thank you."

"You're welcome." She smiled, studying her handiwork "You look SO different...like we haven't just dragged out of a lake."

They worked on odd jobs through out the day, nothing too strenuous but enough to keep Heathers mind off of Merles continued absence. They were clearing out another truck ready for tomorrow when she heard it, the unmistakable sound of Merles bike, the loud pipes echoing through the woods.

She watched, her stomach in knots as Daryl opened the gate to let him in, his mouth set in a grim line as the bike slowly came to a stop, the prison yard suddenly seeming so quiet without it. He kicked the stand down, leaving the bike surrounded by the sandy dirt it had thrown up in his entrance. Not talking to anyone, Merle stalked past her, not even affording her a look as he walked into the prison.

"You two fight?" Maggie asked, giving her a sceptical look.

"Something like that."

"If that’s what's got your panties in such a twist today...he ain't worth it."#

Heather ignored her, she knew where Maggie stood when it came to Merle, and she completely understood.

"I'm just gonna..." She tried to think of an excuse, already turning to leave.

"Just go." Maggie was shaking her head, but didn’t look angry.

Nodding Heather followed Merle into the prison, just seeing him disappear round the corner of their cell. Making her way towards the stairs Heather braced herself. She could face a horde of walkers, travelling across the desolate highways on her own, but talking to Merle right now seemed impossible.

He was bent over, searching in his bad when she finally made it to the cell.#

"Where've you been?"

He turned to her, obviously not hearing her approach as he realised who it was. His eyes scanned her body, finally coming to rest on her newly cut hair.

"Ya had a fight with Mickey? Looks like she needs to sharpen her blades."

"Maggie did it. I like it."

He stood there, still inspecting every inch of her new hair cut, his hand dropping to his side, still clutching whatever he had taken from his bag.

"It looks good Sugar."

"Merle...where'd you go?"

"Just out."



"Your stitches are still in, you shouldn't be over doing it."

"Didn't pull any of 'em if that’s what you wanna know."

"Merle what's going on?" His eyes fell to the floor as Heather walked further into the cell.

"Last night..." He started, "Ya don't need ta do that."

Heather didn't quite understand what he meant.

"Get drunk? I had a few glasses of wi..."

"Kiss me." He cut her off, holding up his stump to further stop her coming closer "Ya don't need to. I ain'tgonna..." He didn't finish, his words falling short.

"Don’t need to?"

"Look at you,ya young, beautiful, hell ya way too nice."

"Merle why do you think I kissed you?" She asked, standing straight as he stared down at her.

"Ya don't need ta...I ain'tgoin' no where."

"Merle. Merle look at me." He didn’t, just continued to stare at the floor, his breathing had quickened. "Merle I kissed you because I wanted to. I know we wouldn't have met if it wasn't for all this, I know we aren't exactly conventional. But I wanted to kiss your Merle. I do."

Heathers breathing was fast now, she was scared, for once not of walkers, but of rejection, again from the man who now stood in front of her, studying the concrete floor.

"I ain't what ya think I am. I'm not nice, friendly, hell Sugar half the people in this prison fuckin' hate my guts."

"I know" she took a step closer to him, her courageincreasing when he didn’t move away "Merle, I've been with you long enough to know all that. To know you're not perfect, to know we haven’t got all that much in common. I know people look at us, wondering what on earth happened to land us two together. But I still wanna kiss you." It was a bold move, she knew it, but she didn't care anymore. She had mistaken every feeling she had for him for friendship, joked about what they meant to each other.

"Go on then." She stared at him as his eyes met hers, daring her, a small smile crept onto his lips. Moving cautiously forward Heather stood face to face with him, their lips inches apart. She cocked her head slightly to the left, her eyes on his lips as he slowly licked them. Leaning in ever so sightly more their lips met. He didn't kiss her back straight away. She stood, her heart in her throat as she waited, her lips just resting on his.

Merle lifted his hand to rest on her back, pulling her so that their bodies were touching. Then, slowly, softer than Heather had imagined, he kissed her back. The feeling started off slow, in the pit of her stomach, but was soon in every muscle of her body. It was as if a fire was lit that was slowly taking over her, his touch suddenly burning on her skin as their kiss intensified. He tasted like whiskey, he'd been drinking on his short stint away from the prison.

It was over, Merle grabbing her shoulders, pushing her away, studying her lips carefully before his eyes met hers.

"Ya sure 'bout this?"

"Shut the fuck up Merle." She said, before kissing him again, this time deeper, all the feelings, hurt and frustration coming out. His hand wondered her body. Finding the new blunt ends of her hair as his stump rested on her hips, she slowly pushed him toward the bed.



Please rate/comment/follow!

This chapter has been a long time coming hahaha



Your writing is really good, I love the relationship between Merle and Heather can't wait to hear more of the story. Please update!!

Amy cook Amy cook

Finallyyyyyyyyyyy hahah! I loved it!

rachelloyd rachelloyd


I'm workin' on it...and I have ANOTHER day off tomorrow so it will probably be up then!

Hopefully things won't be too awkward!



WasHangerlane WasHangerlane

Yessssss it finally happened and now ol' Merle is all shy hahaha. Please update super soon, I need to see what changes between the two of them! x

rachelloyd rachelloyd


Thank you thank you thank you!

It makes me so happy to read all y'all nice comments n stuff, and to see that you're enjoying it, hope you like the new chapter, even if there isn't a lot of Merle


WasHangerlane WasHangerlane