AUTHOR’S NOTE: Consider this to be The Walking Dead as told from the reader’s perspective, meaning that some parts of the show will be cut out and replaced with different things. A lone ellipse (a ‘...’) signals a scene change. Three tildes (‘~~~’) signify a scene change/POV change. Okay, let’s start!
A Walk Among The Dead
008.) “After You”
Season 2 Episode 6 & 7: Secrets & Pretty Much Dead Already
He woke up with a start, eyes frantically searching the room. He didn’t remember what he had dreamed, but it had been something frantic, judging from how fast his heart had been beating. His eyes fell to you, who slept beside his bed, head resting on your arms. He waited for his heart to calm before he reached out to touch your shoulder, your eyelids fluttering open to stare up at him sleepily. “G’morning,” you said with a tired smile. He nodded, trying to sit up. He hoped you didn’t notice his shaking hands. You sat up, looking at him worriedly. “Don’t take it too fast. You’ll bust the stitches.” He rolled his eyes and looked around the room.
“Them’s my clothes?” You looked to where he pointed. You nodded.
“Margie brought them in earlier this morning. Said she knew you’d want to change as soon as you woke up.” He nodded, and you stood up to grab them. “Sit up, I’ll help you get them on.”
He clicked his tongue, glaring at you. “I ain’t a kid,” he huffed.
You smiled, “Well, until you’re all better, you are.” You pulled his shirt off of the clean jeans before twisting your mouth. “Lemme go get a washcloth.” You set the shirt back on the pile of fabric, then walked off to the bathroom, and he heard the running water for a few seconds. You walked back into the room, a rag in your hand. You bent down to be level with him, touching the warm cloth to his face. He jolted in surprise. You held his face in your hands. “You’ve got blood and dirt all over you. Lemme get it.”
“I can do it myself!” He pushed you away, and you squinted at him. He reached for the rag, “Gimme it.”
“Gimme it.” He glared at you.
“N. O. No.” You crossed your arms, sticking your hip out to the side and biting on the inside of your cheek. After a moment of you staring contest, you looked down. “Just… Just lemme do this, okay? I gotta make sure you’re all here.” He grunted, rolling his eyes and looking away.
“I’m all here. Ya can see me.”
“I know, but… I was scared, yesterday. Usually you’re back in a few hours. You were gone for most of the day. Then Andrea thought you were a Walker… I freaked.” You pressed the rag to his chest, cleaning off the blood. You almost scrunched your face in disgust; you had kissed this filthy skin the previous night. Now you probably had ebola or something. But, you managed to keep your gaze down, focusing on his chest. “As I said yesterday; I give two damns about you, Dixon. Maybe even three.”
You tossed the dirty rag to the floor once his chest had been cleaned off, walking back over to the chair and picking the shirt off of it. You stepped back in front of him, lip trembling. He could’ve died out there, and your group wouldn’t have known. He just would’ve been missing. You dropped the shirt on the side of the bed, setting your hands on the back of his head and pulling him into your chest. “I was scared, Daryl.” He lifted a hand up to touch your arm.
“Well, I’m back, so there’s no need ta be scared, now is there?” You nodded, and he pulled his head back to look up at you. “Yer actin’ like a baby. I though’ I told ya ta man up.” You wiped at your eyes, which had started to tear up, and pulled away. You picked the shirt up, then set to work on helping him pull it on.
You sat in the tent, Margo playing with your hair. You leaned your head back so that she could have access to all of your long hair. “Can I braid it?” she asked.
“Yea, if you want.” She smiled, moving up to sit beside Daryl, who flipped through a book Andrea had brought him. Her chubby fingers tugged at the hairs by your forehead, pulling them back into a thick strand. “Make sure to overlap them properly; I don’t want three big pigtails.”
“I know, I know, sissy.” She pulled hard at one pesky hair, then said, “They’re going down to the range today to practice shooting…” You knew that tone in her voice. The tone she used when she wanted something. “Are you going?” You nodded. “Then… then can I go?”
“No,” was your short answer.
“Hey.” You both looked at the hick, who had set the book on his chest and was looking over you two. “She should learn. Make ‘er less of a liability.” You frowned.
“I promise I won’t do anything bad with it. I just wanna learn how to shoot so I can protect myself and everyone else on camp. I’ll be responsible... besides… Daddy was gonna teach me after school started.” You blinked; that was the first you heard of that.
“Are you lying, Margo Elizabeth?”
“No! Daddy really was! He said you started when you were ten!” You sighed, then turned to her. She kept a firm grip on your hair. It just felt wrong, having her learn to shoot. Is this what your mother felt when she and your father had the disagreement over you learning to shoot? Wrongness? But… They had a point. She needed to learn to protect herself.
“If anyone on that shooting range gets hurt ‘cause of you, you won’t see a gun ‘till your ninety.” She nodded. “It’s not a toy, Margo. You need to treat it like what it is; a weapon.”
“I got it, (F/Name).” She moved your head, pulling more hair back and twisting it into a braid. She pulled a rubber band from her wrist and wrapped it around the end. “There, it’s done.” She turned to the man, “I think she looks good with all her hair pulled outta her face.” You felt naked without your bangs, so you pulled a few strands out. She smiled.
He waved his hand, “I guess.”
Shooting was only fun because you got to watch Margo and Carl point and shoot at the bottles.You took the pistol your father had given you and lifted it up, pointing it at the bottle. You shot it once, and the red bottle exploded in fragments of glass. You lowered the gun, glancing over at your sister, who was struggling to keep her hands from shaking. You got down on a knee, wrapping your arms around hers and steadying her hands. “Okay, now look down the barrel.”
“It’s hard, sissy.”
“It’s like math, Margie. It’s just an equation.” She nodded, and you let go of her hands. She closed her eyes and inhaled, then her eyes snapped open and she popped a round off. It was a little shy of the bottle, but close enough that all she had to do was readjust her hand and shoot again. The clear bottle exploded in shards of glass.
She smiled widely, turning to you and smiling. “I… I did it! I shot the bottle!” She turned to Carl, “Did you see that!? We’re just as good as the adults!” He nodded excitedly, lifting the pistol back up to his gaze and shooting it at another bottle. She mimicked him, pointing the gun again. She missed occasionally, but was able to get the hang of it. You pat her head.
“Good job, kiddo.”
When you returned, Daryl was outside of the tent, sitting at the table and eating in something that looked suspiciously like squirrel. You stuck your tongue out as you clicked the safety on Margo’s pistol into the ‘on’ position, sticking it into a drawstring bag (the one Glenn had given to you from his last run into town) and pulling it shut.
You sat beside him after a minute, looking at the plate in front of him. You had called it; cooked squirrel. Delicious. Margo had run off to talk the day at the range over with Carl, so it left you all alone. “You clean your wound off with alcohol yet today?” He glanced at you, then nodded. “Good. Take the antibiotics?” He nodded again, sucking juice off of his fingers. “And where did you get the squirrel?”
“Ha. Ha. Ha. So funny. Very good. Wow.” You smacked the back of his head, “Seriously, smartass, where’d you get it?”
“From a tree. I shot it with an arrow.”
“When you were s’posed to be laying down? Resting?”
“Never said I got outta the tent.” With that, he pointed at the tent, and you frowned when you saw duct tape over the side of the fabric window.
“You shot a squirrel…”
“Through the side of our tent?”
“Daryl, what the legitimate fuck?” He smirked. Your frown widened. “I hope to God you don’t ever do that again. Because you’ll forget to duct tape it, and then we’re all Walker bait.” You stood up and walked away, crossing your arms as you did so.
That night, as you laid on the ground (you were trying not to jostle Daryl, since you moved while you slept), you heard him mumble your name underneath his breath. You looked over at him, and he was looking at you. “What? Are you awake?” you asked quietly, trying not to disturb the snoring Margo.
“Yer shiverin’.” He jutted his chin forward in the direction of your body. You looked down at your arms, seeing the goosebumps on them. You nodded. “C’mere.” You shook your head, and he squinted at you.
“I move too much while I sleep. I could end up making your wound worse.” He rolled his eyes at that. You closed your eyes, thinking the conversation was done. You opened one when you heard the rustling of fabric, then opened both when he laid beside you. “Uh… what are you doing?”
He wrapped an arm around you. “No, yer not fine. Yer cold.”
“Well, if someone hadn’t shot a squirrel through our window, I’d be fine.” He smirked at that. You sighed when you realized he wasn’t going to let go of you. You turned over to wrap your arms just below his chest but above his wound. You pressed a kiss to the fading red mark.
He set his head onto your shoulder, pushing your tank top’s strap out of the way with his nose, kissing the skin there. You shuddered when you felt his teeth on you, biting into the junction of your shoulder and neck gently. Your head thrashed into his chest at the feeling. It was like pain and pleasure, all in one. You bit into your lip, tilting your head to the side out of instinct. He pulled away after another moment, his tongue licking over the spot. You let out a garbled moan, biting your lips harder to try to keep it in.
He pressed a kiss to below your ear, “What, (L/Name), can’t handle a guy kissin’ that spot?” You pushed him away, face bright red and breathing labored. You had never been bitten there before. It was hot.
You nodded. “It feels weird…” You looked at him from beneath your eyelashes, and he looked away, rubbing his forehead.
“Goddamnit.” You blinked up at him, and he sat up. You sat up with him, tilting your head to the side. He grabbed you by the braid, pulling your head back and placing his lips against your throat. You fell back onto the ground as he dragged his lips down, to the top of your tank top. He growled and moved one of his hands to push up the fabric, pulling it so it was off of you.
You blushed; this was going fast. You weren’t going to be able to keep quiet. Margo was in the tent. But, oh God did it feel good, the way he pushed your thighs apart to lay in between them. He let go of your braid, instead moving to hold your hips in place, since they kept moving up to touch his.
He moved a hand to slide up your stomach, over each of your ribs, over your clothed breasts, and it rested against your collar bone. He traced over the protruding bone with his fingertips before moving his hands back down to your waist.
You pushed yourself up onto your elbows, trying to kiss him, trying to touch him. You could only feel his hands on your hips, nothing else. You needed to feel him. It was instinct you were running on.
You leaned up further, raising a hand up touch his chest, trying to undo the buttons on his shirt single handedly. He let go of your hips to undo them, his shirt fluttering to the ground. You pressed your lips against his, sucking on his lower lip and gently biting it. He groaned, moving his hands to grope your chest through your bra. You pulled away to stare up at him with flushed cheeks and a bruised mouth.
Your hips pushed up to press against his, grinding against him. He grunted, leaning down to press his lips against yours again while his hand moved around to your back and unhooked your bra. Your mind finally clicked back into place, and you frantically listened for Margo’s snores.
There was a steady inhale, then a snore. You looked up at him with wide eyes, “She’s in the tent.”
He groaned, “So?”
“I don’t feel right… doing this with her so close.”
Daryl leaned down, pressing his mouth against your earlobe and sucking on it. “But ya want it.”
You let out a shaky, “Y-yeah.” He smirked, and you frowned. “Don’t look at me like that, Daryl Dixon.”
He whispered against your ear, “I could always eat cha out.” You blushed and scooted out from under him, grabbing your shirt and holding it to your chest. Your cheeks were a bright red, your eyes reminding him of a deer caught in headlights.
“You-you’re not in the condition for that!” You clipped your bra back behind you, pulling your tank top back on. Then you grabbed a blanket and pulled it overtop of you. He grabbed you and pulled you close. “G-goodnight, Daryl Dixon!”
He kissed your earlobe once more, enjoying the way you tensed up and how your cheeks flushed an even darker red. So you were sensitive there… Making sure his mouth was right by your ear, he said, “G’night, (F/Name) (L/Name).”
He watched as you covered your face with the blanket, trying your hardest to slow your frantic breathes.
The following morning, you sat around the campfire, eating eggs off of a plastic plate. Margo was chomping on her own portion, smiling at you happily. You smiled back, ruffling her hair as you ate. It was a relatively peaceful morning among your group.
That is, until Glenn stood up.
You all looked over at him as he said, “Um, guys?” You tilted your head. He looked around your group nervously. “So... the barn is full of Walkers.” You blinked, then looked at Margo, who was staring at the boy with wide, frightened eyes. You looked over your shoulder, at the barn.
Rick stood up, then Shane, then Daryl. You grabbed your sister, nearly knocking the plate out of her hands, and picked your drawstring bag up. Then, you quickly made your way to the barn.
Oh fuck, there were Walkers in there. You could hear them. The moaning, the groaning, everything… You hated that sound… You wanted those things in the barn dead. Your hand slid back to your bag, and you could feel the outline of your father’s pistol. Daryl knocked your hand away.
Shane walked away from the barn angrily, “You can not tell me that you’re okay with this.”
“No I’m not, but we’re guests here. This isn’t our land.”
The hick spat, “This is our lives!”
“Lower your voice.” You glanced at Glenn, who was looking around worriedly.
“We can’t just sweep this under the rug.”
“It ain’t right. Not remotely. We’ve either gotta go in there, we’ve gotta make things right, or we’ve just gotta go.” Shane was pacing around, then pointed to the barn. “Now we’ve been talkin’ ‘bout Fort Benning for a long time now.”
“We can’t go.”
“Why, Rick, why?”
Carol spoke up, “Because my daughter’s still out there.”
Shane rubbed his hands over his face, “Okay. Okay, I think it’s time that we all start to just consider the other possibility.”
“Shane! We’re not leaving Sophia behind.”
“I’m close to findin’ this girl! I just found ‘er damn doll two days ago!”
“You found her doll, Daryl. That’s what you did. You found a doll.”
“You don’ know wha’ the hell yer talkin’ about!”
“I’m just sayin’ what needs to be said! You get a good lead, it’s in the first forty-eight hours!”
“Lemme tell you somethin’ else, man. If she was alive out there, and saw you comin’, all methed out with your buck knife and geek ears ‘round your neck, she would run in the other direction!”
Daryl went to punch the cop, and you grabbed him before he could do anything, “Don’t you dare! Don’t you dare pull this shit, Daryl!” He went for another swing, but you grabbed his other arm. “DON’T FUCKING DO THIS RIGHT NOW!” you screamed.
“EVERYONE SHUT UP!” At the little girl’s screams, your group fell quiet. “Just… just shut up!” She was shaking. You walked over to her. She grabbed your hand. “We need… We need to kill those things, sissy. They’re gonna eat us.”
Rick pushed Shane away. “Now just lemme talk to Hershel. Let me figure it out.”
“What are you gonna figure out!?” Shane screamed.
“If we’re gonna stay, if we’re gonna clear this barn, I have to talk him into it. This is his land!”
Dale stepped up, “Hershel sees those things in there as people. Sick people. His wife, his stepson.”
You turned to him as Rick asked, “You knew?”
“Yesterday, I talked to Hershel.”
“And you waited the night!?”
“I thought we could survive one more night! We did. I was waiting until this morning to say something, but Glenn wanted to be the one.” You let go of the hick’s arms, and he rolled his shoulders and glared at you. You glared back before looking away and crossing your arms, sticking your nose into the air. They continued arguing, but fell silent when the Walkers in the barn slammed against the door. You stepped in front of Margo protectively.
“We need to do something about this,” you turned to look at Rick, “now. They’re scaring the kids.”
He nodded, “We’ll see what we can do.”
You sat across from Lori and Carl at the table, Margo beside you, doing some algebra. After a moment, the boy looked up at his mother. “Does Shane think Sophia’s dead?”
She hesitated for a moment before saying, “Shane’s… just scared.”
“Of the things inside the barn?” Margo said.
You nodded, “Mhmm.” You poked her face. “I’m a little scared, too.”
They looked back down at their work, but Carl muttered, “I’m not leaving until we find Sophia. And I don’t wanna go even after that.”
“Me too. I don’t wanna leave the farm. It’s scary out there. For the first time in a long time… I feel safe. Even with those things in the barn.” She scribbled down an answer. “We’re not leaving, right?”
You looked at Lori, unsure. You thought you were staying, but you had heard the whispers among camp. “Well, we’re not leavin’, kids. Now finish those problems.”
“I just think she… She’s gonna like it here. This place, it could be a home.” Lori pulled her son into a hug.
After a moment, Carol came running up to you. “Daryl’s angry at me.” You turned to look at her with wide eyes.
“What?” You stood up, setting a hand on the table.
“He was going to go off and look--and, and I told him we didn’t know if we were gonna find her, and that he needed to heal and--” Her voice cracked. You pat her shoulder. “He took off. I don’t know where to, but…”
“Don’t worry.” You smiled at her. “He’s probably off doing something dumb. I’ll find him.” You pat her shoulder again, rubbing it encouragingly. “And we’re gonna find her. I believe we will.” She nodded and forced a smile of her own. “Mind helping Margo with the last of her math homework while I got find hick charming?”
“Not at all.” She shakily sat down, patting the young (blonde, brunette, blackette, etc.) on the back. “What are you doin’, sweetie?”
“Some algebra. Then I’m reading some works by Poe.”
You had found him by his bike, cleaning it with a rag. You leaned against a tree and stared at him for a second. “You’re angry at Carol?” He remained silent, rubbing at a particularly heavy spot on the paint. You crossed your legs at the ankles, staring at his face. He looked up after a moment.
“I don’ have ta explain myself to ya.” You rolled your eyes, kicking off the tree to walk over and crouch beside him. He looked at you, and you looked back, both of your gazes even. “I don’ and I won’.”
“I’m not expecting you to explain yourself. I’m expecting you to stop being a dick. Carol’s fears are rational. She’s scared she won’t find her daughter.” You poked him in the chest, “You need to start realizing that people don’t think we’ll find her. You need to start understanding that there is doubt among our group.” You looked up at him evenly, then stood up. “You need to stop being a dick to everyone, Daryl.”
He clicked his tongue, “How do ya do it?”
“What?” You turned to look at him.
He glared up at you, grabbing your hand. “How are ya so stupid?”
You shrugged your shoulders, “Years of practice.” You tore your hand from his, “Now go make peace with Carol.”
With that, you turned on your heel and walked away.
You were sitting in your tent a couple hours later, having been dismissed from cooking duty early for finishing cutting your portion of the food and getting the water to a boiling point. You stared up at the fabric ceiling… I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. You could hear the crunching of grass outside, but chalked it up to Margo coming to find you.
You were surprised when you heard a gruff voice, “I apologized.”
“Good for you, Dixon. I’m proud.” You looked over at the fabric opening, seeing his shadow overtop of it. He didn’t leave after a few moments, like you expected him to. Then, you heard a sigh and footsteps fading away.
He had walked away.
You jolted out of your little nap at the sound of gunshots. Your first thought: Margo!? You stood up and dug into your drawstring bag, pulling out your father’s pistol. You were out of the tent before your mind could process what was happening.
You followed the sound of gunshots down to the barn, where you saw Walkers. You had your pistol to your face in no time, aiming at a Walker and shooting. You glanced over your shoulder to see Lori in front of Margo and Carl, the little girl watching with wide eyes.
You continued to shoot at the Walkers until they all laid on the the ground, dead. Then you turned to see Hershel breathing heavily, his eyes glazed over. You forgot; he saw these things as people.
Your head shot around when you heard faint growling.
Then you heard Margo’s loud cries.
Carol’s sobbing came next.
And you saw the little girl--no, the Walker, stumbling out towards you.
With one last shot, Sophia was on the ground.
Your hopes of staying on the farm laid there, too.
END CHAPTER 8