After The End
It took an agonizingly long for the herd to pass. Rosie kept her eyes on Daryl the entire time, only moving out from under the car when he motioned for her to do so. As soon as she was stood up, he was glaring at her with rage in his eyes.
“What the fuck was that, Rosie?” His voice was low, not wanting to attract attention from any stragglers at the back of the herd, but it sent shivers down her spine. She could hear the anger in his tone and it upset her that it was her who had made him so angry.
She shrugged, feeling guilty as she worked at pulling the body off T-Dog, whose eyes were shut.
“You coulda died, Rose!”
“What do you care?” She mumbled, not taking her eyes off the wounded man on the floor.
Daryl grabbed her arm roughly and yanked her into a standing position, steadying her as she stumbled. “What did you just say?”
“I said, what do you care?” She exploded, spitting the words at him and watching as he frowned at her, still clutching her arm. She ripped herself from his grip, feeling overcome with emotions. The herd had filled her with a deep-rooted fear and now the man in front of her was filling her with anger. Without warning, she burst into tears, causing Daryl’s eyes to widen in surprise. She knew she was making him wildly uncomfortable, but she suddenly couldn’t stop the onslaught of emotions.
“Hey,” Daryl edged forward, moving his hand from her arm to rest on her shoulder comfortingly. She tried to pull away from his grip again, but he was much stronger than her and held on. Eventually, she stepped forward so that her face was against his chest as her tears started to subside and she was left sniffling. Daryl was tensed underneath her, one of his arms limp by his side while the other still awkwardly held her.
With a deep breath, Rosie stepped back and nodded at him before turning her attention back to T-Dog. He was incredibly pale and clammy and, as she lifted the soiled t-shirt from his wound, she could see he’d lost an intense amount of blood.
Daryl lifted the man, throwing one of T-Dog’s arms over his shoulder so that he was carrying much of his weight. He carried him to the RV where most of the group was gathered. Rosie followed after the two, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment from her continuous outbursts.
At the insistence of Daryl, Rosie had begrudgingly stayed back with the group while Glenn, Rick, Shane and Daryl looked for the spooked Sophia. Rosie had tried to comfort Carol, but it was of no use, the woman was hysterical with worry. Rosie had decided to leave her to Lori.
The four men had been gone for over half an hour and Rosie was starting to get worried. She paced along the edge of the road, staying behind the guardrail like Daryl had made her promise him she would. She kept peering into the trees every time she heard a slight rustle, her gun in her hand.
“Hey buddy,” she spoke when she saw Carl approaching her, his face downcast. “Don’t worry, your dad’ll find Sophia. She can’t have gone far.”
Carl just nodded at her before lifting himself to perch on the edge of the guardrail. Rosie found herself glancing behind her to search for Lori, feeling frustrated that the woman was letting her eleven-year-old son wander out of her sight constantly. Guilt filled her immediately as she saw Lori comforting a broken down Carol and Rosie shifted her eyes back to the tree line.
She held her gun up steady as the trees rustled, only to drop it when Glenn and Shane came into sight, arms raised slightly.
“Just us,” Shane said and Rosie smiled slightly.
“You find her?” She questioned, looking behind the two men for any sign of Sophia. “Where are the others?” Her face dropped to a frown when Daryl didn’t follow them out, causing her stomach to tense in worry.
Shane didn’t have a chance to answer her before Carol and Lori were rushing forward, asking the same questions.
“They’re on her trail, don’t you worry,” Shane said, trying to speak in a confidently clear tone but all Carol could do was sob.
“She’s still out there?” Her voice was cracking with worry and Rosie wrapped an arm around Carol’s shoulders.
“Daryl’s the best tracker around,” Rosie spoke softly to the woman and Carol turned to look at her with wet eyes. “He’ll find her no worries.”
Carol nodded at Rosie, murmuring a ‘thank you’ before she was ushered over to the RV by Lori, Carl following after them. Rosie turned to look at Shane and Glenn, her comforting look disappearing as she saw the worry in their eyes.
“It’ll be dark soon,” Shane said, his eyes wandering back to the tree line. “Not safe for a little girl with no weapon.”
Rosie shivered, feeling a cold breeze hit her as she noticed the sun dropping low. She nodded, her heart sinking. She was so worried, and not just about Sophia.
Rosie was on watch, sitting atop the RV with her gun in her hands, as Rick and Daryl emerged from the trees. Her heart dropped as she saw that it was only them, the disappointed look on Rick’s face enough to tell her they hadn’t been successful. As her eyes fell on Daryl’s frame, she couldn’t help the feeling of relief that washed over her body, glad to see him back.
The group rushed to them, Carol’s voice echoing enough for even Rosie to understand her frantic words. Daryl spoke to her quietly, his face looking determined, before he stalked away from the group with his crossbow slung over his back. She watched as he surveyed the area, his eyes darting around as his face grew slightly panicked. A smirk graced her lips as she realized he was looking for her.
“Hey,” she called softly, just loud enough for him to hear her. His eyes flickered to where she sat at the top of the RV and the urgency left his face. He was trying to control the relief that flooded him as he just nodded up at her. “No luck?” She questioned softly, moving to stand at the edge of the vehicle.
He moved closer so he was basically underneath her as he shook his head. “Nah, we’ll head out again at first light.”
Rosie just nodded, settling her hands on her hips as she looked back to where Carol was crying quietly.
“Hey.” Her gaze was torn away from the woman at Daryl’s words as he beckoned for her to climb down. “C’mere.”
“I’m on watch,” she spoke, raising an eyebrow at his words.
Daryl held up a finger before moving over to where Glenn and Dale stood, chatting to the two of them quietly. She watched, amused, as he moved back to her and spoke.
“Glenn’s gonna take over, I told him you need some sleep.”
Rosie just laughed quietly as she positioned her gun back in her waistband before climbing down the ladder of the RV and landing on her feet next to Daryl.
He nodded his head to the side and began walking, indicating for her to follow him. She did so curiously, wondering where he was leading her and why. As she jogged to catch up to his long strides, she gave him a nudge causing him to smirk at her. “Where are we goin’?” She asked as the curiosity got the best of her.
“I wanna show you somethin’,” he responded, speeding up as they edged further from the group. He gracefully jumped onto the hood of an abandoned car and held his hand out to her, helping her up. She followed as he climbed onto the roof of it and pointed to the sky in front of them.
She followed where his pointer finger was aimed, her eyes skimming the tops of the trees and seeing the devastated city of Atlanta in the far, far distance. The sun was almost completely set, a slight tinge of orange still lit up some of the sky. Rosie smiled to herself, butterflies forming as she realized that Daryl had seen this beautiful sight and thought of her. She looked to where he stood at her side only to see he was watching her intently, his eyes curious.
“It’s crazy, huh?” She mumbled, glancing back at the sky. The darkness was deepening but the moon was bright, allowing her to see Daryl perfectly as he stood so close to her.
She shrugged before answering, her voice coming out soft. “It all happened so quickly.”
Daryl just nodded, not saying anything. She looked back at him to see his heavy gaze still on her. As she looked at him, she truly believed he was going to kiss her again. All he needed to do was lean down and the gap between them would close. As she began to build up the courage to do it herself, he exhaled and moved away, starting to descend the car.
Rosie dropped her head, her heart beating fast and cheeks reddening. She looked back up to see that Daryl was already way ahead of her, not having bothered to help her down from the car, let alone to wait for her.
She looked back at the sky, now completely dark, and stayed there until Shane called her over to the group.
Thank you guys for reading/subscribing/voting/commenting :)
It really makes me feel so much better to know that somebody is reading and (hopefully) enjoying my story. Please let me know your thoughts on Rosie and her relationship w/ Daryl and the group! xx