They'd been walking for an hour or, so maybe more, when they ran into Michonne, running in the direction of the prison.
"Hey! Where's my brother? You kill him?" Daryl grabbed at her , which she dodged.
"He let me go." Daryl nodded, as if he had predicted this, he knew that Merle couldn't go through with it.
"Take her back, don't let anyone come after me." He said, preparing to run off.
"I'm not dragging her back." Michonne told Daryl, who just sighed, shaking his head.
"I'll be faster without you. Ain't 'bout bein' a hero, s'bout getting him back."
"And what happens when you run into The Governor? All his guys? You versus 25?" Michonne had already carried on, Heather followed Daryl along the road while they argued.
"Ya think he's really gonna be happy to see you?"
Heather ignored him and followed, talking was just slowing them down.
They carried on in silence, Daryl tracking like a bloodhound, aware of everything around him.
They trekked for another half an hour, Daryl silencing every unasked question with a sharp look. Finally he held out his hand, they'd come across a feed store. Bodies were lying everywhere. Some looked human still, other were Walkers, heads smashed or, shot or decapitated. They littered the ground. Heather eyes scanned every face, checking for every feature, anything she would recognise.
Lying on the ground, a bullet in his neck, lay one of the Men from Woodbury, Ben, Heather thought his name was. His skin was pale, eyes glassed over. He was dead.
Daryl came up behind her.
"He ain't been dead long. Gonna check inside."
She followed him, if there was anyone in there, there was a slim chance of them being alive. He walked slowly, his crossbow aimed in front of him.
The barn was silent as the walked around it, Daryl periodically checking behind him, making sure she was still there, still breathing. The barn, similar to the yard was littered with bodies, mostly Walkers, mostly dead. Some where still alive, dragging their bodies towards the survivors. Daryl dispatched them easily, aiming lazily at the Walkers and killing them with a
They spent their time checking the barn, every room was scoured, all areas checked.
"He ain't here."
"Where is he?"
"Maybe they took him."
Heather fell silent, the thought of Merle being taken back to Woodbury, what could happen to him there, what could already have happened.
"If they took him, that means they want him alive."
"For how long though?"
It was Daryl's turn to be silent now, he stood, staring into the distance, squinting in the setting sun.
"We go back to the prison, re-group. If we go up against Woodbury, we're gonna need everyone." He finally said, Heather agreed with him, but couldn't help but think of Merle, alone in Woodbury.
Heather stood outside the feed store, Daryl had told to her wait, but didn't say what for. Ten minutes later the roaring of an engine filled the area. The car came slowly around the corner, Heather almost started running before recognising Daryl behind the wheel. He pulled up to where she was standing, leaning over the passenger seat and opening the door.
"You hot wire it?" She asked, climbing in.
"Yup." He pulled away, looking in the rear-view mirror more than at the road ahead.
"Merle teach you?"
Daryl finally looked at Heather, really studying her as she sat in the passenger seat.
"He teach you a lot?"
"Yeah...although I'm still a lousy shot."
He laughed, a real laugh that Heather hadn't heard before. Daryl had always been closed, quiet and reserved. He tended to talk when needed, no extra words.
"He tried to teach me how to use a bow..." Heather started, Daryl nodded for her to continue "I
stole it from my camp, thinking it was better than nothing. I couldn't use it. At all. He could, even with his stump, he could at least get the arrow to fly for a bit. It took a week of lessons for me to be able to even hit a fence. He looked so impressed...I'm sure he wasn't really. He taught me how to set a fire, how to gut squirrels, said he was gonna teach me how to make
moonshine...didn't think that was as urgent though."
There was the laugh again.
"He missed you...y'know. Maybe didn't say it, or talk about it all the time. But he did."
He nodded, not saying anything, but carried on driving.
They finally made it back to the prison, Daryl slowed the car down to a crawl.
"They ain't gonna wanna go get him."
"Then we do."
"He's all I've got."
He waved at Carl who stood at the prison gates, who recognised Daryl and ran to open the gates.
"No, he ain't."
Back in the prison everyone was in action. Daryl and Heather managed to grab Rick and tell him about Merle.
"Then we'll soon find out." He said, loading his gun "If The Governor has him, he'll want to show us. Want us to see him hurt." Heather flinched.
Heather helped them pack up, finding Maggie and continued to load cars with supplies, anything they had at the prison they could take if they couldn't come back.
Heather nodded, not talking in case she couldn't stop. Her eyes lingered on the fading bruises on Maggie's arm, caught by the dark circle still on Glenn's face, and couldn't help but think about how Merle could look if he was at Woodbury.
Everyone was anxious. While Daryl and Heather had been gone, Rick had laid out The Governor's terms. That if they were willing to sacrifice Michonne, The Governor would leave them alone. Daryl had told her, on the way to find Merle that he had agreed to help Rick, agreed to take Michonne to the Governor for everyone else's safety. Heather could believe Merle would do that, he was rash and was probably thinking more about saving Daryl than what the Governor would do to Michonne.
She was helping Maggie lift a particularly heavy bag into the back of a car, hoping to hide everything too heavy to carry.
"He did it for you y'know."
"Huh?" She looked up, Maggie was looking at her, her hair falling in face.
"Merle...he wanted to save you. He thought if The Governor knew you were here he'd come and kill you. Giving him Michonne was to put him off this place. Rick told Glenn."
Heather just nodded, unable to respond to Maggie's words.
"He'll be okay."
"No one can kill a Dixon but a Dixon eh?"
Maggie just laughed as the continued to load water, food and supplies into the back of a car.
Later they all gathered round, wishing good luck and goodbye to the people leaving the prison. Heather had opted to stay and help, if she there was a chance of saving Merle, and of saving these people, she would do her best.
Hershel was leaving, taking Carl and Beth. They were to stay in the woods, not too far out and watch the prison. The rest of the group were staying, but they weren’t going down without a fight. All their preparation was finally paying off. They had hidden cars, cleared cells and set the whole prison up for warfare.
Heather had, as usual, been given to Glenn and Maggie to look after. Their job, if everything went to plan, was to wait outside and fire at the Woodbury Army, if needed. Rick handed her a gun, to which she raised her own. He gave the gun a quick look, raising his eyebrows but not saying anything more. She forgot how little the people here knew her, how they had no idea
what her and Merle had been through.
Heather took her place, they had opted not for the gun towers, that would be obvious, but the high prison walls, lying down, in wait, Heather could hear her heart beating, its rhythm keeping her alert.
It wasn't long, Heather thought they would have been waiting hours, they came, in cars, trucks, huge military vehicles. They didn't pause, crashing through the gates, people started to pour out of the vehicles, killing Walkers before their feet even hit the floor. Heather couldn’t recognise anyone, there seemed to be more people than Heather had ever seen at Woodbury. She wasn't paying attention, a loud bang came from the ground, followed by a huge explosion next to her.
They'd blown up the guard tower. Merle hadn't been joking when him and Martinez raided Fort Benning.
The explosion shook the prison, but the people on the ground carried on, unfazed. It wasn't long before every walker in the yard was dead, Heather sat still, waiting. Suddenly he appeared, walking slowly out of one of the larger trucks.
He looked around himself, confused as to why no one was fighting back. He pointed the prison and shouted something that Heather couldn’t hear. As one they all fled to the prison, leaving nothing behind but dead walkers.
They carried on waiting, Heather saw Maggie wave at Glenn over the prison wall, who waved back. They were fine, the plan was going...to plan.
Again, time flew by, it was half an hour and the people of Woodbury were fleeing the prison, all running towards their vehicles. Heather heard a sharp short whistle and sprung into action. Firing warning bullets into the crowds as they ran, trying to aim for already dead walkers, not wanting to hit anyone.
They were gone as fast as they came, all their vehicles leaving behind dust clouds as they sped away.
They all waited in silence, disbelief that it had actually worked.
Heather saw Glenn stand first, jumping, his fist in the air, a huge smile one his face. They re-grouped in the prison, everyone looked happy, but ultimately, wary.
"We did it." Glenn said through heavy breaths "We drove them out."
"We should go after them. We should finish it." Rick looked deadly serious.
"It is finished...Didn't you see them hightail it out of here?"
"They could regroup, we can't take the chance."
"He's not gonna stop." Michonne chimed in. Heather agreed.
"They're right." Maggie looked at Glenn, he seemed disappointed.
"We can't keep living like this. So we take the fight back to Woodbury."
"We barely made it back last time." Glenn again, he was looking at no one but Maggie.
"I don't care." Daryl finally said.
"Merle?" Heather looked to Daryl, who nodded. The group all checked their weapons, saying
nothing else as they left the prison.
So here it is, finally!
I made a decision on what to do.I hope you liked it?! Most of my comments on my old account were all very much in favour of keeping Merle alive, I live to please :D
This chapter is set over the end of "This sorrowful life/ The beginning of "Welcome to the Tombs".
Let me know what you think? And what you think could happen next?