After The End
“C’mon Rosie, this is important.”
Rosie Lester rolled her eyes dramatically, letting her hands sit on her hips while she surveyed the two men in front of her. “Do y’all think I’m a total idiot?” She said sharply, but there was a hint of humour in her voice as she emphasized her slight accent.
Shane chuckled but he sounded stressed, rubbing his face with one hand before raising his eyebrows at her questioningly.
“Sorry Shane, but Daryl’s a ‘kill the messenger’ type,” she shrugged. “You can handle him better than I can.”
Shane glanced at the man behind him before looking back at Rosie. “You’re his friend, right?”
“I try to be,” Rosie shrugged. “Don’t think he’s really one for friends though.”
“Whatever, you’re the only one he speaks to apart from Merle.”
“Exactly!” Rosie said, glancing behind her uncertainly, not knowing when Daryl would actually be back. “And you want me to tell him that his hick brother was left behind on purpose?”
Shane just looked at her pleadingly. “I’d really appreciate it, Ro.”
After a tense, silent moment, Rosie’s resolve crumbled. “Fine!” She threw her hands up in the air. “Stop it with those puppy dog eyes, Shane. And you better be prepared for his reaction.”
Shane opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted by a small cry, unmistakably from one of the children at the camp.
“Carl!” Lori Grimes called out as her young son rushed into her arms.
Rosie and the two men she’d been standing with followed a few others to the sound of the cry. Sophia appeared in sight, looking terrified and pointing behind her. “Walker!”
Rosie’s eyes followed the direction the young girl was pointing in until they landed on the lone walker hunched over a deer. Her stomach turned when she noticed the arrows in the mauled body, knowing that the man in question wouldn’t be too far away.
She followed the others as they inched closer and took turns taking care of it, hacking until the head was detached from the body. With such a large group taking on the single walker, it was done quickly and with ease. Rosie knew the difficult part was yet to come.
Just as expected, the frustrated tone of Daryl Dixon reached her ears, followed by him stepping into view. “Son of a bitch!” He shouted, frustrated, as he approached the small group and saw the chewed up deer and the defeated walker. “That’s my deer! All gnawed on by this filthy, diseased-bearing, motherless, poxy bastard!” With each charming adjective, he delivered a swift kick to the decapitated body.
“Calm down, that’s not helping,” Dale spoke up and Daryl’s eyes snapped to the older man as he advanced towards him aggressively. Everybody’s stance shifted slightly as Daryl stood in front of Dale.
“What do you know, old man? Why don’t you take that stupid hat and go back to On Golden Pond?” He spat, eyeing the bucket hat that Dale wore briefly before turning back to the dead animal. “Damn shame,” he mumbled. “I got some squirrel, that’ll have to do.”
He lifted up the rope that hung over his shoulder, a dozen of the dead critters attached to it. Rosie stepped forward and pulled the arrows from the deer before handing them to Daryl, who took them without a word.
Daryl paused as he saw the still moving head of the dead and sighed dramatically. “C’mon people,” he grumbled as he shot an arrow with his crossbow, shooting it clean through the eye. “It’s gotta be the brain. Y’all know nothin’?”
As he retrieved the arrow and everybody began to head back to the camp, Rosie fell into step behind him. He looked over at her and grunted, his version of a hello.
“I needa talk to you,” she muttered, keeping her gaze ahead as he glanced at her curiously.
He stopped walking and pulled on her arm roughly, pulling her up short. She was aware that Shane and the new guy, Rick, were watching them warily from ahead. Soon, everyone’s eyes were on the pair cautiously.
“Well?” He prompted aggressively when she didn’t say anything. He dropped his head so that their eyes were level and raised his eyebrows questioningly. “Ain’t got all day, Rose.”
She rolled her eyes at the use of her full name and noticed the tiniest hint of a smirk cross his face.
“It’s about Merle,” she spoke quietly, aware of the eyes on her.
Daryl glanced around him. “Where is he anyhow?” He stepped away, closer to the others as he began to shout for his older brother.
“Daryl, slow up a bit,” Shane was pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration and Rosie followed behind him and Rick as Daryl passed them, still calling for Merle. She was completely unsure of how this could go. Daryl could be so unpredictable.
Even though she’d only known Daryl since he and Merle had reluctantly joined the group near the beginning, something about him appealed to her. She felt safe around him, knew that he was a survivor and if she stuck close to him, maybe she could become a survivor too.
Daryl certainly didn’t consider the younger girl a friend, but she didn’t bother him as much as the rest of the group did. He didn’t even mind too much when she insisted on joining him when he went hunting, except for when her footsteps were too loud and scared off the animals. He wasn’t oblivious to the obvious crush she had formed either, not that she was shy about it. Despite his blunt rejections and occasional harsh words, she never strayed too far from him.
“He dead?” Daryl had stopped in his tracks, staring at the other man as he spoke the words in a flat tone.
“We’re, uh, not exactly sure,” Shane sighed.
“He either is or he ain’t!” Daryl was starting to get pissed off, his stance defensive as he glared at Shane.
“Daryl-” Rosie stepped forward, raising a hand towards Daryl in an attempt to calm him.
“You best stay out of it, Rose,” Daryl snapped at her, not taking his eyes off the other man.
Rick stepped forward and Daryl’s eyes darted to him. “Look, there’s no easy way to say this so I’ll just say it.”
“Who are you?” Daryl demanded, wiping the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand.
“Rick Grimes,” Daryl spat, mocking him. “You got somethin’ you wanna tell me?”
Rosie watched, her brows knitted in concern, as Rick tried to calmly explain the situation, T-Dog joining in guiltily. Her eyes remained on Daryl’s tense figure and she only moved when a fight broke out.
“I’ll take you there to him,” Rick promised eventually and Daryl spat on the ground in front of him. “That’s my word.”
Daryl didn’t speak, just eyed Rick angrily before he pushed past the group. Rosie followed him wordlessly, shooting Shane a pointed look as she passed. She followed Daryl until they reached his tent on the outskirts of the camp. He stopped short at the entrance, wheeling around to face her wordlessly.
“They wanted me to tell you,” she admitted quietly, taking a sudden interest in her dirty fingernails. “Thought you might take it better.”
“Yeah, an’ why’s that?” Daryl’s voice came out angry and spiteful, causing Rosie to flinch slightly. “You’re not my friend.”
Rosie was used to his scathing remarks, having heard much worse. She just snorted, causing Daryl to huff in frustration and enter his tent.
“I know,” he mused, loudly enough for her to hear from outside while he changed his shirt. “You wish.”
The group had congregated in the centre of camp again as they prepared for some of the best fighters to leave to go back to the city. Rosie followed behind Daryl as he approached the group, squeezing in beside him. She frowned as he shifted his body so that they weren’t touching, avoiding her stare. With a roll of her eyes, she looked back at the rest of the group.
“Come with, Ro?” Glenn asked her curiously, squinting as the sun hit his eyes. “We know Merle’s got a soft spot for you. You’re a good shot too.”
Rosie opened her mouth to speak but was cut off by Daryl’s rough voice. “Nah, she ain’t comin’. Too dangerous.”
Glenn just nodded and looked away, not daring to argue with the older man. Rosie glared up at him and Daryl just raised one eyebrow casually. Her glare was interrupted by a heavy arm settling around her shoulders.
“Everybody’s got a soft spot for Rosie, ain’t that right?” Shane grinned, pulling her into his side slightly. “’Sides, you can’t take all our best fighters. Imma need some help holding down camp. Right, Rosie?”
Rosie smiled up at him before discreetly shuffling out from under his arm. “Right,” she responded, glancing nervously at Daryl. He was glaring at Shane, his jaw set and eyes narrowed. His eyes shifted back to the young blonde girl and his face softened slightly.
“You be careful, you hear?” His words came out gruff and Rosie beamed at him, causing him to roll his eyes.
Hi guys, so this is my first fanfic that I'm posting and I'm v nervous. Please let me know (if anyone even reads this lol) if you're liking it