After The End
Rosie pressed the pads of her fingers to her eyes when she woke in the morning, feeling the early signs of a headache. I didn’t even drink last night, she thought to herself with a frown as she wrenched her eyes open. The room was engulfed in darkness and, as Rosie heaved her body up out of the incredibly uncomfortable cot, she searched the room to find her friend. Daryl was snoring softly from his spot on the couch, one arm hiding his eyes from the world while the other hung from the couch limply. She couldn’t help but smile at the sight as she tiptoed to the bathroom.
After splashing her face and swapping her t-shirt for the last clean one she had, she let herself out of the bathroom only to see that Daryl was still fast asleep in the same position. Her stomach did a little flip as he moved in his sleep, the memory of his warm hands on her legs and his chapped lips against hers rushing back to her.
She squeezed her eyes shut as she exited the room, praying that she didn’t wake him up. The hallway was brightly lit and it took her eyes a moment to adjust from the darkness into the bright lights. She heard the sounds of chatter and followed it until she reached the large room where they’d had dinner the night before. She was greeted with a light chorus of ‘good mornings’ from the majority of the group, some of whom were halfway through some powdered eggs.
“Here ya go, Rosie,” T-Dog smiled at the young girl while handing her a plate.
“Oh my god, thank you!” Her words came out in a slight squeal making her friend laugh as she took the plate, her mouth starting to water.
All the seats were taken so she hoisted herself up on the counter behind where a sickly-looking Glenn sat, nursing his head in his hands.
“How you doing there, bud?” She laughed and kicked his chair, making him groan louder without moving at all. She just laughed again before tucking into her eggs.
Dale’s greeting to Daryl caused Rosie to snap her head up immediately, her face instantly reddening as their eyes connected.
“How are you feeling this morning?” Somebody asked him and Daryl just shrugged as he looked away from Rosie. She brought her gaze back down to her eggs as her heart sunk. He didn’t look pleased. He looked the opposite of how she had woken up feeling.
“You need these, man?” Shane offered Daryl the bottle of painkillers that were being passed around and Daryl took it and emptied a couple into his mouth before dry swallowing.
“Sleep okay?” Carol asked him from where she sat at the table.
Rosie hadn’t even noticed that she was staring at him again, watching his every move. His eyes inadvertently found hers again and he scowled before shoving a forkful of eggs into his mouth from Glenn’s untouched plate.
“Nah, not really,” his voice came out rough and Rosie took a sharp intake of breath. She stared at her eggs as she willed herself not to cry, the sudden feeling of exhaustion taking over her.
She forced herself to take a deep, even breath and look up at the group with a normal expression. The first thing she saw were Daryl’s stormy eyes on her, his expression changed from anger to curiosity.
“You okay there, Rosie?”
Her eyes shifted to where Shane sat, looking at her with concern in his eyes, his fork halfway to his mouth. She forced a smile and nodded at him. “Yeah, I’m good,” her voice betrayed her, coming out shaky and thick. She cleared her throat, feeling more worried eyes falling on her as she hopped off the counter and headed to the door. “Just hungover.”
“But honey, you didn’t drink last night?” Lori’s statement sounded like a question and Rosie cursed herself for not thinking of a better excuse.
“Oh yeah,” Rosie let out a forced laugh, still backing out into the hallway. “Just don’t feel good, you know.”
Before anyone else could stop her, she was out the door and speed-walking to her and Daryl’s shared room. She knew there was a fifty-fifty chance of somebody following her to make sure she was okay, so she shut the bedroom door and then locked herself in the bathroom. She slid down the door until she was sitting, her knees held to her chest as she let the frustrated tears fill her eyes.
Her entire being was filled with humiliation and irritation. She was so embarrassed about what had happened with Daryl and the way he had acted this morning. The tears rolled down her cheeks as she focused on breathing deeply. Her breath stopped completely as she heard the bedroom door open and someone knocked quietly on the door she was resting against. She prayed with all her heart that it was Daryl, the butterflies in her stomach already starting up as she strained to hear anything to give away who it was.
“Rosie, honey, you okay?”
She dropped her head onto her knees at the soft and unmistakable voice of Lori.
“Y-yeah, I’m fine, Lori.”
“Let me in, sweetie. I have painkillers.”
Rosie took a deep breath as she pulled herself to her feet and opened the door. Lori gave her a sympathetic smile and handed her the bottle. She let herself into the room and shut the door while Rosie sat on top of the toilet seat and emptied two pills into her hand.
“You look tired,” Lori’s voice was sympathetic as she watched the younger girl swallow the pills with water from the sink.
Rosie let out a laugh as she wiped her cheeks and sniffled, sounding pathetic to her ears. “Thanks.”
“Something going on?” Lori sat on the edge of the bathtub, watching her friend carefully. “You wanna talk about it?”
Rosie sighed, so tempted to go on a rant about Daryl’s recent behavior. She so would have loved a second opinion, even a girly chat like she would have with her girlfriends before the end of the world. Unfortunately she knew that if she hadn’t completely pushed Daryl away from her now, gossiping about him would do the trick.
She just smiled at the other woman and shook her head. “Just really exhausted,” she said and Lori nodded understandingly.
Both women’s heads turned to the sound of Carl’s panicked voice as he rushed into the bedroom, tears flowing down his cheeks. There was more commotion in the hall as a flurry of voices could be heard.
“What’s wrong?” Lori shot over to where Carl was now trying to hold back sobs and Rosie was right behind her.
“Dad said to get our stuff.”
Lori looked at Rosie, fear in her brown eyes, before she ushered her son out of the room, leaving Rosie by herself, rooted in fear.
Daryl was in front of her in a second, their drama from the night before forgotten. “Grab ya shit, we’re gettin’ out of here.”
Rosie nodded at his serious face, the tone of his voice starting to spook her. She picked up her already packed bag, her dirty t-shirt from the night before left on the bathroom floor, forgotten. Daryl had picked up his own pack and glanced back at her. He held his hand out and she took it without hesitating and he was quickly pulling her out of the room and into the hallway when the lights shut off.
Dale had rushed an explanation to Lori and Rosie as Rick, Shane and Daryl switched between yelling at Jenner and trying to open the locked doors by force. Rosie had tried her hardest to remain calm amongst the panic going on around her. When the door was finally opened, she headed up the ramp with the rest of the group, catching Daryl’s eye as he searched for her. She nodded at him, urging him to go ahead and help the others and he shot off ahead of her.
“Come on, there’s only four minutes left!” Glenn was yelling and Rosie glanced behind her to see T-Dog speaking to Jacquie urgently. As Rosie surveyed the two, her eyes were drawn to where Andrea stood near Jenner, unmoving.
Rosie tore her eyes to look at the exit Daryl and the others had disappeared through, watching as T-Dog made his way out. She looked back at Andrea and swore loudly before rushing over.
“What the hell are you doing? Let’s go!”
Dale had noticed the woman at the same time and was racing over as well, taking a hold of Andrea’s arm and attempting to drag her.
“Dale, stop! I’m staying,” Andrea’s voice was so determined, her jaw set as she stared at the heartbroken man.
“No, Dale. This is my choice.”
“Amy wouldn’t want this,” Rosie’s voice came out sad and defeated, seeing the unwavering look in Andrea’s eyes.
“Just go, Rosie. Go!” Andrea shoved Rosie back lightly.
Rosie stared at her friend, her mind going over Amy’s last moments as a few tears dribbled down her cheeks.
A rough hand grabbed her above the elbow and started to pull her along. She already knew it was Daryl coming back for her and she let him drag her as she took one last look at where Andrea and, now Dale, stood. Andrea just gave her a nod before going back to look at the older man.
“Come on, Rosie!” Daryl’s urgent voice pulled her back to earth and she started to sprint as they jumped from the shattered window. Daryl let go of her as they both made their way to his truck, waiting for the explosion.
This chapter was such a pain to write, I hope you guys like it! Please keep up the votes/reviews :) xxx