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Tethered

Chapter 6

Chapter Six


The next day Rick, Carl and Michonne were back. With them came weapons, guns and ammunition.

Heather was in the yard when they arrived back, moving cars in case a quick get away was needed. She had yet to meet Rick yet and was genuinely nervous about doing so. Maggie had explained how the last survivors that had come across the prison had been thrown out by Rick, without anyone being able to say anything to dissuade him.

He walked past Heather, affording her a quick glance but nothing more. Barely registering he'd seen her before walking into the prison with two heavy bags. Both Carl and Michonne gave Heather sheepish grins before following Rick into the prison.

Defeated Heather turned to Maggie next to her, who shrugged.

"You'll be fine. We won't let him chuck you out." Heather nodded and carried on working, not wanting Rick to have any other reason to dislike her.

They'd been working another half hour before Beth came out of the prison "Y'all coming in for lunch?"

"Depends...did you make it?" Maggie called, wiping her forehead with a dirty arm, spreading whatever it was across her head.

"Shut up and come in!"

"Maggie..." Heather grabbed her arm as they went into the prison.

"You'll be fine, honestly."

"No...it's, you've got dirt, like all over your face."

"Right. Thanks." They both laughed as they entered the prison, Heather stopping when she saw Rick sitting on top of one of the tables, eyes on her.

"Don't be scared." Hershel came up behind her, ushering her further into the room. Heathers legs felt like lead beneath her. She could fight Walkers, but the idea of being torn away from Merle, from this safety was terrifying to her.

"Heather." Rick looked at her, she felt like he could see through her. His blue eyes ran from her feet to her head, reminding Heather of the first time she'd met Merle.

"Hi."

"Don't worry, you've got yourself some fans here. I'm not going to ask you to leave."

"I didn't think...I wasn't."

"We won't hold being with Merle against you either." Heathers mouth opened and closed, a million things going through her head at once before Rick actually smiled. He laughed, Heathers heart started to slow, not beating out of her chest anymore.

"Take a seat, we're discussing the weapons."

That was it? Heather was sure she would undergo vigorous questioning, character judgement.

This seemed easy.

They talked for an hour as everyone shared the lunch of corn and rice. Rick, Michonne and Carl had bought a lot back with them, including things for the baby Judith but not including an old friend of Rick's. They all discuss negotiating peacefully with The Governor, which Merle has a lot to say about, Heather opted to stay quiet, anything she wanted to say was already being
said.

In the end it was decided they'd meet with the Governor, if only to ensure they could fully realise what they were up against. Rick would take Daryl and Hershel with him, as back up, and meet the Governor. Rick asked Michonne, Merle and Heather exactly to expect.

"He's charming."

"Yeah...like I said real Jim Jones."

"Exactly." Heather agreed with Michonne.

"Man knows people." Merle continued "Knows what they'll do to protect tha ones they love." He looked to Heather when saying this, an apologetic look in his eyes.

"He'll try and manipulate me?" Rick asked, to which all three of them agreed.

The morning of the next day Heather woke before Merle, untangling herself from him she let him sleep, changing quickly and quietly making her way downstairs.

Sat around on the tables were Rick, Michonne and Daryl. Heather hesitated halfway down the stairs, unsure if this was a meeting she wanted to crash. Her decision was made when

Michonne spotted her on the stairs, nodding at her to join them.

"Morning." Heather spoke up "Any of you had breakfast."

"We were kinda waiting..."

"I can start it? I know where it all is...Maggie showed me."

"I'll help." Michonne got up from her seat, stretching as she did. Rick and Daryl carried on talking in hushed voices, not that Heather had heard Darly talk in anything over a whisper since she'd arrived. There night on watch had been spent in relative silence. He was unlike his brother in that way.

"What's on the menu?" Michonne asked, her step falling in line with Heathers.

"Porridge? Sorry...oatmeal you guys call it right? Seems to be one of the only things everyone has an abundance of in the apocalypse."

Michonne laughed, "You don’t need to be so scared y'know...they're good people."

"I know..." Heather said, grabbing the oats while Michonne expertly lit the camping stove. "I just...it's hard."

"Woodbury fucked you up?"

"You know...it wasn't even that bad. I was there for so long and didn't see any of it. I knew Merle wasn't always honest with what he was doing...where he was going. But it didn't matter. I felt safe. I think that’s the worst thing y'know. I was completely oblivious to it all. I was in more danger there than facing the walkers alone."

Michonne nodded, watching Heather mix the oats and water over the heat, grabbing the bag of oats and adding more.

"They eat a lot."

"You...you knew straight away didn't you?"

She tilted her head from side to side "Not exactly...but knew it wasn't right. Merle, he was one of the reasons it wasn't."

She said it so offhandedly that Heather could have passed over it. No one at the prison was a big fan of Merle, Daryl being the only exception. Even then Heather felt a lot of that had to do with the idea that 'Dixon's stick together".

"He isn't perfect." Michonne scoffed while stirring the pot, peering over the lip of the huge pan

"No...I know what he's done, or at least some of it. But who can say they're perfect anymore.
You're saying everyone here hasn't had to do shit they're not proud of?" Michonne opened her mouth to argue. "No I know...Maggie and Glenn. Merle has a lot to make up for. He was protecting Woodbury. His home, he was doing what he could to survive. I dunno who here would have done much differently, or could say they haven't done." Heather had been told, in depth, a lot about the group. Maggie had told her of a boy who they though was a danger to their group and farm, Randall who was beaten for information. Merle had done wrong, but who in this world hadn't.

Michonne said nothing else, she looked over Heathers shoulder. Turning she knew who she'd find. Merle stood there, a smile on his face that told Heather he'd been there a while.

"You defendin' me again Sugar?"

"When am I not?"

"You got anything to make that oatmeal not taste like wallpaper paste?" He was leaning over Michonne now, a look of disgust on his face as he looked into the pan. "How 'bout a little Sugar?" He said grabbing Heather by the waist, spinning her round as she tripped over her own feet.

"You should be so lucky." Heather said as Michonne walked away, not looking impressed.

"You ain't gotta do that y'know..." Merle was holding her hips now, the metal of his arm pressed lightly against her skin, cold to the touch.

"I know. Not gonna stop me."

"Not much does." He helped her take the pot into the man room, struggling the whole way to get a grip on the pot but wouldn't let Heather help.

Everyone was tense once the trio had left. Heather watched as Daryl and Merle said an un-emotional goodbye that ended in Merle jokingly 'allowing' Daryl to use his bike.

The day at the prison started well, Heather worked with Maggie, Carl and Beth. Glenn was telling them how fortifying the prison. Making sure all entrances to their living quarters were properly secure. Cars without any fuel were moved into place, to use as cover in case of an attack. There were guns strategically placed in all their watch towers.

They were in the prison when Merle joined them. He was on edge.

"Carl, come here. You stash these at the loading dock." He said, passing him guns and ammo

"All right? Beth, put more up on the catwalk. If anyone gets pinned down, we need to make sure that they have plenty of ammo...I'll go work on the cage outside."

"What we should be doing is loading some of this firepower in a truck and paying a visit to the Governor." Merle was leaning on the railings. "We know where he is right now."

"Are you suggesting that we just go in and kill him?" Glenn was still kneeling over a box of bullets.

"Yeah, I am."

"We told Rick and Daryl that we'd stay put."

"I've changed my mind, sweetheart." Heather rushed up to Merle, holding her hand up to his chest which he pushed away. "Being on the sideline with my brother out there ain't sitting right with me. The three of them are right in the middle of it. No idea we're coming...They could get taken hostage or killed. A thousand things could go wrong. And they will." Heather knew Merle was right, if anyone here knew the Governor it was him.

"My dad can take care of himself." Carl said, standing bravely looking up at Merle.

"Sorry, son, but your dad's head could be on a pike real soon."

"Don't say that to him Merle...I'm serious." Heather said, grabbing his shoulder.

"It's not the right move. Not now. Can't take the risk of putting them in the crossfire. That's my decision."

Merle made a move to walk down the stairs, happy to carry on arguing.

"It's final." Glenn said, more authority in his voice than Heather had ever heard. Merle slammed his metal arm onto the bars, storming away.

Notes

Comments

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
5/14/16

Finallyyyyyyyyyyy hahah! I loved it!

rachelloyd rachelloyd
4/28/16

@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!

:D:D

xoxo

WasHangerlane WasHangerlane
4/26/16

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
4/26/16

@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

xoxo

WasHangerlane WasHangerlane
4/14/16