Summary: While the reader gets involuntary pulled into the fight on the bridge, Negan remains in his cell and racks his head over how to finally tell her those three famous words.
The soft sun light was streaming into the cell, dipping it into a warm light that had the power to soften even the cold stone walls surrounding you.
Your eyes were only half opened, your body not ready to fully come back yet as you shifted closer into the warmth by your side, taking in the comforting scent that was engulfing you as the figure holding you began to shift slightly.
He was still asleep, swinging somewhere far away as your head turned slightly, moving a bit from the comfortable spot on his broad chest to let your eyes run over his peacefully sleeping face.
He still looked as handsome as ever, enough to take your breath away and keep you in a certain trance, but still, it was obvious what the cell had done to his appearance by now.
His beard had grown longer, the salt slowly beginning to dominate the pepper while his hair remained black as pitch, even though it was shorter than usual, still coined by the last time they had cut it.
It had been a year and a couple of months by now.
A year and a couple of months in which a whole lot had happened.
Just shortly after the day you had come back to the cell things had began to truly develop.
Maggie had given birth to a little boy who was now carrying the name of his grandfather and just around this time things had began to truly change around Alexandria.
It was thriving.
The windmill that had been in planing back then was now standing tall within the walls that were stronger than ever.
The houses and the church had been rebuild, shining brightly and not showing a sign of the flames that had once torn them apart.
Several cropfields were planted all over Alexandria, nourishing it and the other communities including the Sanctuary with all they could provide, ranking from deep red and tasty tomatoes to luscious and juicy apples.
There truly seemed to be peace for now, there was still a certain tension swinging here and there in the air, but coming from a spot where each of the sides were ready to rip each other apart, this seemed like something impossible beginning to become possible.
Things would be great, if only Negan’s freedom would be one of them.
You would be lying if you would say the cell was easy to deal with, even though he had overcome the first obstacles along with you, you could see how much it tried to impact him.
One day, you still hoped he’d get out and get the chance to show that there was more to him than what the people were thinking and maybe, maybe find the right way to his good intentions that you were sure lingered within him.
With a content hum you nuzzled your nose into the warmth of his neck, feeling how the slight imprint of his scar was brushing against your skin as you pressed your lips softly to it, hearing how it elicited a small, pleasant growl to fall from Negan’s throat.
“Mornin’ Baby”, he grumbled, tightening his arm that had lazily rested around your waist, pulling you closer into his warmth as his lips pressed a sloppy morning kiss to your temple.
”Morning”, you mumbled, back burying your head deeper in the curve of his neck, neither ready nor willing to get up yet.
”Wanna hide in that damn beard?”, Negan throatily chuckled, his hand moving to teasingly squeeze your waist as you just gave him a sleepy grumble back.
”Hmm, thought you were excited for that damn bridge.”
Once made to be able to carry the cars and trucks of people rushing to their woks through the woods had over the draining time of abandonment let nature take most of it.
And out of all times it began to fall apart now when it was actually being used again, needed just like the other routes to transport supplies to the other communities.
It had been already 35 days since the project had started and most of the time you had switched between Alexandria and the quarter of tents they had build up there, helping Siddiq in the provisory infirmary.
But now that Enid was joining in, trying to help as well with her new learned knowledge, you were needed right at the pulsing spot of the bridge, right on the stems to help building it, at least for now.
Negan was right in some way, you were excited to get out of that tent for once, but there were other factors greatly playing in.
After all, you weren’t the only one on that bridge, new and old faces were swarming over it as well and especially this one old one gave you chills.
With the most of them, things were beginning to work out.
You were growing closer to Rick and Michonne again, were earning most of their trust back, just like Gabriel, Aaron’s and some of the others.
There were a few that were still showing you the cold shoulder whenever you were close to them and by now, these people weren’t letting you care all too much.
You didn’t like it, but you weren’t gonna push yourself onto people and make yourself a fool.
You neither had to be everybody’s darling nor did you have to please each and everyone.
But Daryl, yes Daryl was the only one of those you really wished to have back.
Dryly said you could “coexist”, you could be at the same place without him going off like a firework at new years eve but except for his grumbles, you hadn’t exchanged one proper word.
If you were honest, you feared that one or just a couple of words from yours towards him would let that rocket explode after all.
But those thoughts were drifting off in these moments as you cuddled closer into Negan’s embrace, eager to soak up the last bit of his comfort until you had to abandon the bed eventually.
”Don’t wanna leave yet”, you grumbled against his skin with a light chuckle, hearing a throaty one rumbling back in response as he wrapped his arms tighter around your body and pulled you closer until his lips moved in to press another drowsy kiss to your skin.
”Then I’ll just keep ya here”, he chuckled lowly, his raspy voice vibrating against your skin before you lifted your head slowly from his shoulder and glanced sleepily at him.
”Could think of some plans”, he grumbled, raising his brows suggestively as his drowsy hazel eyes glanced at you, his lips formed into the signature grin while you let out a small laugh and shoved his chest playfully.
”Oh, I’m sure of that.”
“Take care, alright?”, Negan grumbled just a little bit later as he stood with you in the middle of the cell, holding you in his arms after you had finally gotten yourselves to slip out of the bed and get ready.
He was keeping you close, his hazel eyes wandering over your face as a wider smirk let the muscles in his cheek twitch.
“Need you back in that bed tonight”, he added lowly, a grin dancing over his handsome features as his hand ran down your body to give your ass a tight squeeze before a throaty chuckle left his lips as he caught you flinching slightly in response.
“Nah, I’m serious”, he mumbled as he tipped in to press a short kiss to your lips before you gave him a small nod.
“I know, but it’s just the bridge, not the same as taking care of wounds and stuff but it’s still fine”, you muttered back, running your hands from his shoulders to his neck, caressing your fingers through his dark hair at the nape of his neck while a pleasant growl elicited his lips.
His lips met yours in another peck, just until he pulled away, gulping slightly as he remained close enough for you to feel his hot breath brushing over your skin.
“Fuck, I-”, he began, before his voice suddenly broke off again, leaving you confused as you leaned closer in.
“Hmm?”, you mumbled against his lips, feeling him pulling you closer as the grin got back on his lips.
“Can’t fucking wait till you’re back”, he grumbled with a throaty chuckle, teasingly squeezing your waist before he finally leaned back in, giving in to the longing you were feeling too.
Just as soon as his lips captured yours again, the heavy footsteps of the guard coming down the cement stairs echoed through the cell, slowly but surely inducing your departure for the day.
The sun was shining brightly down on you as you found yourself kneeling just hours later on the bridge, your mind drifting here and there off to Negan as your knees dug into the wood of the stem, monotonically hitting nails deeper into lumber as people were swarming around you to fulfill their tasks.
One of them was Daryl, doing his job as always while he remained close enough for you to see him from the corners of your eyes, leaving your body always in at least a bit alertness.
He wouldn’t angrily approach you out of nowhere, you were past that point, still, his presence wasn’t exactly giving contributing to any calmness that tried to spread out in your body.
Trying to ignore the tension as much as you could you shifted a little bit away from the pile of sand by your side that chafed uncomfortably against any bit of skin that was exposed before you went in for another hit.
”D’you want some water?”, Henry’s voice echoed through to you as the dull thud the hammer produced mixed within the other noises around you.
Within seconds you glanced up, catching him standing with a big trunk of water in his hands by your side, reaching a cup down to you.
”Yeah, sure”, you said, pressing a smile into the corners of your lips as you grabbed the cup, filling it quickly with water before letting the cold liquid wash down your throat with relish.
”Thanks”, you mumbled as soon as you gave the cup back to the boy, seeing him grabbing it quickly before he moved on with his job for today.
Just as you went back to working, dedicating your attention to the nails and lumber in front of you a loud thud and the sound of a male voice made your eyes snap up.
Your glance caputred Henry struggling on the ground, his back pressing against the bridge’s wood as Justin towered over him, the jug in his hands as he drank from its opening, completely ignoring anybody around him.
Your eyes wandered from the Savior to Henry who was getting up again from the punch he must have taken in, his brows puckered and his face fallen into a deep frown as he grabbed his stick, tightening his hold on it before rushing it against the weakest spots of Justin’s knees, swinging him right to the ground in the matter of seconds.
Your eyes stayed darted at him, just like the ones of everyone else, bewildered of what he’d done as you let out a scoff, watching how most of the people began to go back to their work as soon as Henry began to storm off and another Savior walked up to Justin instead, quirking an eyebrow mockingly.
”Hey man, it’s cool I got my ass handled by a kid once too…’course I was six at that time”, he mocked, chuckling as Justin groaned, struggling to get up while a harsh frown spread over his face, increasing with every word that flew more out of his fellow Savior’s mouth.
Clenching your jaw uneasily you stared at the scene playing out in front of you, seeing how the anger began to build up more and more in Justin before he let out a growl and got up, pushing himself past the other man, his eyes darting darkly at Henry.
You could feel the urge in you rising to do something, keep that dumbass from hurting a kid but before any of your thoughts could be turned into action, fast footsteps sounded over the surface of the bridge, letting it vibrate beneath them before you saw Daryl’s figure rushing towards Justin.
”Hey! Kid’s just doin’ his job”, you could hear Daryl grumble, grabbing the Savior’s arm to turn him around to him, “Get back to work.”
”I don’t need you people telling me what to do. You ain’t my babysitter anymore”, he growled in response, glaring at Daryl as the anger vibrated through his voice and seemed to rush even further through the air, even as he began to turn around again, heading towards the kid.
With each step he got closer to your spot on the bridge as you suddenly saw Daryl grabbing the Savior’s shoulder, trying to stop him before Justin turned around, his face flushing in a bright red as his fist rushed towards Daryl, letting your heart skip a beat even as he dug quickly, moving away from the oncoming fist.
It could be only seconds that past as you watched the scene right in front of you, not more than one, two meters away from you, seeing how Daryl stormed up from his lowered position, his fist rushing right towards the man’s face in front of him.
A gasp left your lips as you watched him falling back, landing right next to you in the large pile of sand, groaning out in anger and pain while he didn’t even seem to notice you, his rilled up anger only letting him concentrate on his opponent.
Rage spread over Justin’s whole face as his fury eyes kept darting at Daryl, just as yours travelled down, watching his hand grabbing into the sand, burying into it enough to catch a whole handful.
It was only a second that past between thinking and doing, between your mind working flat out and telling you that this handful of sand would land in Daryl’s face if you wouldn’t do anything and your hand eventually reaching out, grabbing the Savior’s wrist, letting your fingers wrap around it with as much strength as you could bring up.
”Get the fuck away”, Justin growled out the moment he felt your fingers touching his skin, his eyes suddenly darting at you, the pure fury letting a shiver run down your spine before the corners of your eyes caught something rushing up.
A duil pain suddenly spread out over the side of your head, knocking you right to the ground as your sight turned blurry for a moment until your head crushed against something hard behind you, eliciting a breathy groan to fall from your lips as you gritted your teeth in pain.
Your eyes were squeezed tight as if they could mild the anguish seeping into every of your inches before you opened your eyes again, catching an empty spot next to you on the pile of sand.
Instead, voices and groans darted your still blurry glance farther, your rapidly pounding head dulling out everything around you as you finally caught the two fighting men again and the people that began to neglect their tasks and instead watch the scene that was playing out in front of their eyes.
It seemed like everything you saw was switching rapidly between slow motion and fast play as you tried to keep your mind from clouding just before the bridge began to vibrate beneath another pair of feet.
It took seconds until your eyes caught Rick storming into the broil, your mind becoming clearer again, rallying and recovering itself from the punch as you tried to prop yourself on your hands, keep yourself steady as you caught from the corners of your eyes how the two men were torn away from each other.
Voices were still mixing wildly with one another before Rick’s voice suddenly pitched out, “Enough! I said enough!”
The voices were becoming lower, just quiet grumbles sounding through to you from the background as you saw Daryl moving past Rick, spitting blood to the ground while his face was caught by the anger that was still boiling within him.
”Get back to work!”, Rick huffed, a scoff leaving his lips as he turned around, finally capturing you on the ground, still struggling to get back.
”What the hell happened with her?”, Rick called out, stumbling towards you as you groaned quietly in pain, starting another try to get yourself to sit straight.
”She got in the way”, you heard Justin yell back from somewhere in the group of people that had held him back, letting an even harder frown spread over Rick’s already tense face.
”You gotta be-”, he scoffed, shaking his head in disbelief as he turned his back completely to Justin and instead shuffled towards you, sighing deeply as his eyes wandered over you and his hands reached out to your body.
”Lets get you away here.”
Your feet shuffled over the dirty makeshift paths in-between the tents, feeling how Rick slung his arm a little tighter around your waist to keep you propped up, not trusting you to keep yourself properly on your feet.
Your head was still pounding, supporting the dizziness that was seeping into your skull and limbs as you glanced over to Rick by your side.
”Thanks”, you mumbled as you saw him nodding slightly before he turned slightly glancing closely at you.
”Is it bad?”
”It’s getting better, I guess”, you mumbled, trying to walk as much as you could by yourself before he gave you a small nod and glanced back to the tents, trying by all means to avoid crashing into any of them or the wood they were attached to.
”Gonna get you to Siddiq, think he’s still there…if it’s too bad I want you to go back home with him”, Rick mumbled, writhing you along the path as you looked in front of you, already recognizing the improvised infirmary tent from afar.
”No concussion, but you definitely shouldn’t go back out there today”, Siddiq grumbled as you found yourself siting on a cot after he had tried to examine you as well as he could in the tent.
”So she’s going back with you?”, Rick asked from the other side of the small room as he leaned against a steady shelf, gesturing at you as Siddiq glanced from you back to him.
”Yeah, think that’s the best. Wouldn’t make much sense keeping her here…and I got some kinda meds back home I think that could help her with those smaller symptoms”, Siddig said, reaching up to run his hand for a short moment over his jaw while Rick nodded tensely.
”She can stay here too till I take off, got not many patients here today so that won’t be much of a problem”, the younger man said, collecting few of his utensils he had used before shuffling over to the other other side, shoving them back into their place in a drawer while you caught Enid watching you from the side of the tent.
”Good…well, see you…gotta take care of a whole other problem…and you, get better, okay?”, Rick grumbled as he glanced at you, before scoffing as you could read off his face that he’d have to go through the fight on the bridge all over again with its source.
As soon as Rick was gone, time began to pass slowly, you stayed alone in the tent after Siddiq and Enid left to take care of some people around the camp, sitting on the cot, trying to stay still and let your body fight against the dizziness.
You glanced outside, leaning into the few pillows on the cot until your eyes caught a shadow dragging over the earthy ground that got closer with each second.
First, you expected Siddiq to walk right back in, get some new salves or bandages but instead your heart skipped a beat as you caught the person belonging to the shadow standing in front of the tent’s entrance.
“Just here ‘cause Carol pushed me”, he grumbled, his eyes darting at you through his straggly brown hair as he forced himself to step under your surprised glance farther into the tent, his glance wandering to the ground as he kept a good bit of distance between the both of you.
You caught your own lips gaping slightly open in wonderment, your mind still trying to get that he was actually coming in, taking a step towards you.
Of course it wasn’t all too voluntary, the way his body tensed displayed it as much as his words did but a year ago, even Carol wouldn’t have gotten him to speak just a single word with you.
“So-”, he mumbled, shifting with his dirty and worn off boots from side to side as he still refused to look directly into your eyes, “Thanks.”
His voice clearly showed the challenge he was overcoming to speak this word out but still, within all the tension that was stuck in your body a little relief began to sneak up in you.
“No problem”, you mumbled softly after a few moments of silence, unsure what to exactly say as Daryl slowly nodded, his hands twitching slightly through the restlessness that steamed visibly through him before he finally glanced up at you.
“Why’d you do it?”
“Should I’ve just let him throw that sand at you?”, you asked, the quickest response leaving your lips in tension before you caught yourself again and raised your voice calmer, gulping as you could feel yourself growing more tense ,”Didn’t want you to get hurt.”
A thick scoff left Daryl’s lips, his eyes darkening within seconds as the suspense in him rose, letting his jaw clench tightly as his lips pursed in anger.
“He hurt me too, hurt glenn, abraham…maggie… and ya still with him”, he growled, eliciting a shudder to run down your back as the temperature in the tent seemed to lower until it reached the freezing point ,”Don’t act like you give a shit.”
“Are you kidding me? I do-”, it broke out of you, emotions whirling up again before you tried to get them back under control as soon as you stopped mid sentence, looking at him, sighing quietly as long known pain spread out in your body,”Why can’t we for once talk like normal people?”
“Think the reason’s sittin’ in that cell”, Daryl growled back, shutting your calm argument down within seconds before he huffed out and leaned back against the table behind him, obviously trying to get himself under control.
You weren’t even sure if he was trying to keep his cool for you, you actually highly doubted it, instead it felt more like he had given Rick or rather Carol a promise to try.
“I care, I really do”, you mumbled, a little helpless and unsure how to go on, else than trying to reassure that you were being genuine.
“Seems like you care more about that prick”, he snapped back, the control he seemed to have tried to maintain visibly vanishing as you let out a small sigh.
“But be sure that there’s nothin’ gonna come back from him on the long run”, he growled, cutting you right off as he pushed himself away from the table and stepped a little closer,”He ain’t gonna love ya or some shit. That asshole, all he cares ‘bout is that damn bat.”
The words leaving his lips were as sharp as a hunting knife, underlined by the growl that was just growing thicker while you knew that he was slowly falling back into the old scheme and that was a dirty one.
Once he had stepped over this certain line, not much was able to hold him back, and especially not you.
“He’d switch ya for it any time without battin’ an eye”, he spat out, his eyes glaring at you through the strands of hair hanging into his redder growing face while your body grew tense, seeing how he waited for the pain to spread over your face.
He wanted to hurt you with those words, make you feel his anger and disappointment that was boiling deeply within him, and you knew it.
You knew what their only purpose was and still it struck a small cord within you, even though you were determined to not show him.
So you stayed still on the cot, hearing how he let out an angry snort as he shook his head about you, growling as his words began to rush repeatedly through your head.
One last time he glanced at you before he turned around and stomped out of the tent, without being held back by you.
If you knew it would help, even just a tiny bit, you would have tried to, but right now you knew more than with a hundred percent certainty that any reaction of yours would just make it worse and probably catapult you to the state back you’ve had more than a year ago.
And that was one of the last things you could need.
So you remained silent on the cot, glancing outside, watching the sun stream in beams through the roof the tree’s crowns were creating while slowly but surely Daryl’s words began to let their effect act on you.
Negan had never said those three words to you, at least not yet, but so hadn’t you, even though you did feel it.
You loved him.
You loved him with all you had, more than you had ever thought being capable of and even though you couldn’t pinpoint a moment of realization, you knew it had been a long while already.
If you were going back in time, skipped through all these events you had gone through with him, you knew you had already loved him when you had held him beneath that tree on the hill in your arms, sobbing and covered in his blood, afraid to lose him forever.
And from that point on it had just gotten stronger.
Those words had rushed through your mind several times already, more than you admitted to yourself.
In the mornings, when he was all drowsy, pulled you deeper into his embrace, kissed your temple and let you drown into his scent and warmth for another five minutes.
During the day, when something happened and all you wanted to do was show him or at least tell him about it.
When you came back from work in the evenings and could finally fall into his arms again and let him take you in.
When he made you laugh with the odd sense of humor he had and the roguish grin that danced over his lips when he attempted to tell you yet another one of his dirty jokes he was dragging into an unbelievable length with tons of colorful and way too descriptive details.
When he was panting above you, kissing you feverishly and filling you up with the pleasure only he could give you.
And eventually when you cuddled up to him in the night and felt him tucking you in along with him, slinging his arms protectively around your body before letting you drift into a deep sleep.
Those were just a few of the moments you caught those words sneaking up in your throat, pressuring you to let them flow from your lips even though you had stopped them each time till now.
And you had your reasons.
You weren’t completely sure if he was ready to say it back and the last thing you wanted was to push him.
You wanted to hear those words when he was ready for it, when he felt like saying them and not because he felt obligated to because you had told him.
After all, showing someone you loved them was even more important than just words, and that was definitely something you both did, still, it would be a blunt lie if you’d say you hadn’t thought about telling him anyway, knowing that he deserved to hear them.
It was an ever running circle of wanting to tell him and not knowing if you should, as you deeply down knew that you were simply thinking too much about it and were making it more complicated than it actually was.
You let out a small huff, fumbling a little uneasy on one of the loose threads that were poking out of the seam of your pants as you refused to let any of the other things Daryl had said come too close, knowing how hurtful they would turn out to be if you would let them take your mind and feelings hostage.
No matter how untrue they were.
Sighing you leaned back, shutting your eyes for a moment, fighting the dizziness that was still keeping your body in its claws before the singing of the birds and the soft swishing of the trees in the wind outside began to relax you.
Just as you began to drift off, feel how your body slumped into the pillows behind you, Siddiq’s voice ripped you out of the trance you were falling into. “(Y/N)? We’re taking off.”
He should have told her this morning.
He really should have grabbed himself by his own damn balls and just get those words over his lips instead of breaking his voice off like some damn flop and tell her the other first thing that came to his mind.
But shit, he wasn’t good with that kinda crap.
He could swing big ass speeches with the most ease, put the magic of effectively swinging his dick into the right words but these three words, they were a whole different challenge, larger than he liked to admit.
The reason wasn’t that he didn’t fully feel it, hell no, that was definitely not the issue here.
He felt all of that crap, from this specific kind of warmth she elicited within him to that feeling he had with her that made a nut busting orgasm look like some lousy fucker.
And if he was honest, he was feeling it clearer and more intense than ever before and if he wanted to sink even deeper into some goddamn sappiness, whatever it was he had with her, that shit was some kinda once in a lifetime thing.
Finding each other in the circumstances they had and especially staying and growing even closer to the other one within the harder times that followed, that really had to be some special shit.
So what was exactly his goddamn problem?
It shouldn’t be that hard, right?
He was feeling it, that much that his damn heart felt like it had a massive, pulsing and rock hard boner on a full time basis, so why couldn’t he let that damn boner cum and let those words spurt out of his mouth?
He had told her other things, things he’d put right on the same level as those fucking three words, still, they seemed to be something different, something like a milestone that couldn’t be compared to anything else.
If he looked closely, forced himself to drown deeper into his own mind and feelings, he knew that there were some reasons that would stay hidden from him, while others were literally shown to him, a bit fear and maybe even some guilt were right there on that silver plate his mind presented him.
Most of it was utter bullshit, he knew it, but that didn’t make any of it easier.
He sometimes did felt guilty, keeping Lucille in mind and the things he had fucked up back then, the things he had screwed up on his first try.
He had loved her, he really had.
He hadn’t carried the bat around with him and now wished and longed to have it back with him in the cell for nothing and everything it stood for still had a large impact on him, having given him so much strength and protection over all this time.
He’d give so much to have it back, his dirty girl, let his hands grab the smooth wood and swing it through the air, preferably to end up hitting some of the sorry fuckers outside or hell, just lean it next to his bed like he had done it before the time in this hellhole.
It was all that he had left from before.
He knew where the bat was, probably locked up in the armory or so, and he also painfully knew that the real person was still laying on that hospital floor, nothing more than skin and bones. But shit, if there really was some kind of heaven, he hoped the real Lucille would be up there with someone who deserved her and fucked her brains out and back in on a daily basis.
If that was the damn case, she’d probably be looking down on him right now, shaking her head and crossing her arms, wondering what he was waiting for.
Hell, he was even sure she’d like the shit out of (Y/N), someone who was getting him back from all the shit he had done and let him finally feel like he was alive again.
He hadn’t done it right at his first try, at least not until the last time he’s had with her, so he couldn’t do the same thing with his second, no matter if there was some fear that she might not say it back.
He just had to make it right now.
This time, he had to be the one she deserved.
He had to tell her.
The time that had passed on your drive back to Alexandria and eventually the tablet Siddiq had given you in the infirmary had done their job, helping you to deal with the dizziness and the pain that still let your head pound.
Walking still wasn’t your favorite thing to do in these moments and you could still hear Siddiq telling you to lay down as soon as you could so your body could take a proper break, but there was a certain place you had to get to to finally do that.
“Oh there he comes again…bringing me that shit ass food, huh? Little early today, aren’t ya?”, you eventually heard Negan say with a little tease but mostly a huff in his voice as you found yourself walking along with his guard down the cement stairs into the cellar until you reached the bars of his cell and let his glance turn utterly confused.
“What happened?”, he asked only minutes later as you stood in the cell, heard the guards footsteps descending again while his hands were cupping your face carefully, his eyes examining you worriedly.
“Dumb fight on the bridge…not between me or someone…just got pulled into it”, you mumbled, feeling how his thumb began to brush in a caressing manner over your cheek while you tried to put the day properly into words.
“You know what? You get your sweet ass on that bed and tell me then all about that crap…don’t need you to crock up”, he said, his voice gentle but still firm as well as you glanced at him, painfully seeing the concern washing over his face.
“It’s not that bad anymore-”
“No discussion. Know what you’re doing there”, he cut you off, his eyes keeping yours on lock as he let out a small sigh, “Sweet as fuck that you don’t want my ass to worry but I can’t have that. So lets take this to the bed.”
The mattress that showed all other times how old and cheap it was felt now soothing to your body as soon as you began to sink into it and the pillow Negan had quickly leaned against the wall to give your back a little support.
As you began to talk he shifted uneasily next to you, his eyes still filled with concern as you told him about the fight between Justin and Daryl, your rather involuntary participation in it, Siddiq’s diagnosis for you and eventually your talk with Daryl.
You told him everything as he kept asking for details, especially as soon as you reached what Siddiq had told you to do to get better as soon as possible, and you kept telling him everything until the latter of all these events.
The first part of your conversation flew out of your mouth without being stopped, the push Carol had given him, the more or less meant ‘thanks’, even the part as he began to accuse you of lying about caring for him, but as soon as you had passed this part, your voice began to stall.
“What did he say?”, Negan grumbled as soon as he caught the reluctance in your eyes and noticed the increasing breaks in your voice.
You glanced at him, saw the concern mixing with restlessness within his eyes as he loosened his puckered brows up to rise them questionably.
“He said you wouldn’t care on the long run”, you mumbled, as you felt your voice stalling again, “And…you’d choose the bat over me any time.”
You knew there was one other thing Daryl had said, the one thing you had racked your head over before departing from the camp side, but this was something that as always didn’t make it to travel past your tightening throat.
Everything else, but not that.
You weren’t gonna risk that he felt like he had to prove something just because Daryl had given in to his anger again and had thrown a fit.
That just wasn’t worth it.
“But you know that’s bullshit right?”, Negan’s voice ripped you away from your circling thoughts, darting your attention back to his face and his darkening eyes.
“Of course, I just-…I don’t like rilling you up with those kinda dumb accusations”, you mumbled, shifting a little more into the pillow behind your back as he slowly nodded.
“Okay”, he grumbled right before he let out a little huff and ran his large palm over his thick beard, “I mean, not fucking okay, I want you to tell me that shit instead of carrying it around with ya…but I get it.”
His head left his jaw again as it reached out to yours and gave your hand a soft squeeze before he glanced up at you again.
“But just to make this crystal fuckin’ clear, I’d give a lot to swing Lucille through the damn air again, a whole goddamn assload of crap…but not you”, he mumbled, eliciting a small warmth inside you as his grasp on your hand tightened, ”Not fucking ever…that’s not even up for discussion.”
You have him a soft smile, turning your hand slightly so you could lace your fingers with his as Negan’s face began to slowly relax again.
”Now how about you lay down and give your body some damn rest?”, he mumbled, already a turning a little to grasp with his free hand the blanket at the edge of the bed and pull it up over your legs.
”Yeah, probably for the best”, you said, nodding softly as you readjusted yourself and shifted down until you could rest your head on the pillow.
Quickly, Negan pulled the rest of the blanket over your body let out a small chuckle, ”There ya go.”
”Can you come here?”, you mumbled as soon as you slung the fabric a little tighter around your body and cuddled into the pillow, feeling how you longed for his closeness and warmth as the consequences of the punch began to let your eyelids grow heavier.
”Sure thing, just a moment, Sweetheart”, he mumbled, seemingly sunken in some thoughts as he caressed your covered side for a moment while you began to give more and more in to the longing of diving into a comforting sleep.
”Fuck…”, he grumbled, your half closed eyes catching how he stroke uneasily over his beard once more before his hazel eyes glanced at you ,”Baby? Don’t fall asleep on me yet.”
”Hmm?”, you mumbled as you opened your eyes a little more, slightly confused as you caught his glance while he shifted a little closer.
”Listen, that’s not because of any shit Daryl said or what fucking ever…I just-”, he grumbled, letting the confusion in you slowly grow as a small huff broke his voice off.
“Hell, I already wanted to tell ya this morning but-”, he mumbled, stopping once more as he let out a nervous chuckle.
Slowly, you raised your head a little, glancing at him as your eyes ran over his face, searching for an answer before you slowly raised your voice, ”Negan, what?”
“I love you.”
His voice was deep, thick with emotions and genuineness and with this one moment and those three words slipping out of his lips, you felt like your breath was being taken away for moments, catapulted into a trance that let the past seconds seem surreal.
”Hell, I love you so fucking much”, he added, his eyes meeting yours as those words left his lips once more and let you realize that those moments were no beautiful hallucination but instead pure reality.
A big smile began to grow on your lips as it got more and more clear to you, as the worries you’ve had were pushed out of your mind and suddenly the thing you had wished for, the thing you hadn’t wanted to push him to had solved itself in the best way possible.
He loved you.
Shit, he loved you and your heart felt like it was about to burst as it filled up with more and more happiness, growing with each passing second as it pounded within your chest and pumped warmth through your whole body.
Your eyes wandered over him, catching how he gulped, his eyes having left yours seconds ago as he shifted over the mattress.
”I know I should’ve said it a whole fucking while ago already, fuck, I-”
”I love you too”, you cut him right off, not allowing to let those thoughts just nearly take up more of his mind as your voice lead his eyes right back to you, letting them widen and his lips gaped softly open, ”I love you, Negan.”
For seconds your mind seemed to black out until you felt his lips meeting yours, their warmth contributing to the growing one within you as the first careful moves turned feverish and longing to not only hear the words, but feel them too.
You were wide awake again, completely forgetting about your pounding head and the dizziness that still tried to flare up here and there, but got tamed by the whirling emotions within you.
Your fingers reached up, entangling in his thick beard, caressing his jaw as he kissed you and grabbed you to keep you close to him, careful as if he was afraid to hurt you after the incident yet firm enough to hold you tight.
You were insatiable for his kisses, yearning for each of them as you heard his low growls and purrs rumbling against your lips while you clung to his body.
The only reason you parted was the growing need for oxygen, but still you remained close to each other, panting softly before you opened you eyes and saw the big smile that had mixed into his grin and got dragged over his whole face.
Both of you were speechless for a moment, even Negan and as you slowly came back an feeling him pressing another peck to your lips, you caught the grin beginning to mix into the heartfelt smile a little more
”Fuck, you got any idea what that just did to me?”, he softly chuckled, biting his lower lip as he reached out to your hand, cupping it with his as he lead it closer to his lap while the grin grew wider, ”Show ya what.”
”Got me rock hard”, he grumbled teasingly as you let out a chuckle, only gasping softly as he placed your hand right over the large bulge that was growing beneath his prison suit and let you know that those words weren’t empty promises, “Say it again and that beast breaks free.”
”Sure”, you chuckled, the big smile on your lips sticking to them as you playfully teased your fingers over the noticeable tent and grinned with another chuckle at him.
”You know what? As soon as you’re fine again, that big fucker’s gonna make you feel it too…shit, till you can’t think of any fucking thing else”, he purred, biting his lip as he his hand placed back over yours and raised his brows in a playful manner.
”Then I hope my head recovers quickly”, you teased back, hearing him letting out a throaty laugh as he picked your hand up and lead it to his lips. brushing them over its back before pressing a kiss to your knuckles.
Your fingers slipped eventually away from his, reaching out to his neck to softly pull him back down to you.
You hummed as you felt him propping himself over you, his hazel eyes wandering over your face in a combination of roguishness and deep affection while your fingertips played softly with his beard.
“I love you”, he mumbled again, eliciting another wave of warmth to wash over you, forming the smile that was everlasting on your lips to grow bigger again before this loving reaction made him lean a little more, “So fuckin’ much.”
His lips met yours again, this time caressing not as feverishly but rather thoroughly and loving over yours, as if he attempted to feel you and taste the words that had earlier escaped your mouth off your lips.
“I love you too”, you mumbled again, not ever growing tired of hearing and saying them as Negan smiled against your lips before he leaned down, brushed them over your neck and pampered your skin with kisses and small nibbles.
You hummed in approval, soaking up each of his caresses until he backed slowly away and instead shifted next to you on the bed, just as you had earlier asked him to.
His back leaned into the pillow as he pulled you into his embrace, cradling you against his chest as you leaned your head against his neck and heard a low chuckle leaving Negan’s lips.
“But I mean…how couldn’t you love me with that beast in my fuckin’ pants”, he mumbled teasingly, darting your attention right back to the bulge that was still boasting beneath his prison suit as he jerked his hips playfully up and let out another throaty laugh.
“Oh there he is again”, you chuckled, pinching him teasingly into his side as you huddled closer up to him, “But no, he’s not the reason, just a really great extra.”
“Hmm”, Negan grumbled with another low chuckle, pulling you a little closer into his embrace as he got a little quieter again.
Nuzzling your nose into his warm neck you hummed contently, feeling how the sleepiness was beginning to wash up once more within you as Negan pressed a small kiss to your temple.
You wanted to say more but the emotions in your whole body were whirling wildly around, too many and too intense to catch them and form just a half proper sentence with them.
So instead, you cuddled closer up, choosing actions over words as you placed a soft kiss to his skin and caressed your fingertips over his chest while you slowly closed your eyes and enjoyed the low hums and content growls that rumbled up his throat.
”Sleep tight, Baby”, Negan lowly grumbled in response to your relaxing body that melted more and more into his embrace as you slowly nodded and buried your head deeper into the curve of his warm neck.
”Hmm…after this, think I’ll sleep better than ever.”
You remained to be right, your sleep was peaceful and soothing, the effect of Negan’s confession outdrowning any pain the consequences of the punch wanted to put into your body.
It was only for rare moments that the sleep let go of you, allowing you to crawl a little out of its grasp even though it kept you in its darkness and only let two voices sound through to you, one of them more familiar and deeper than the other.
”What did you do to the fucker who did that shit to her?”
You drifted back away for moments, shifting a little to get comfortable, trying to let your head figure out if those voices were real or just made up by your drowsy mind before a warmth caressed over you for a moment and consoled you again as its accompanying voice bounced off the cold stone walls and echoed through your head.
”I got my future laying right here on that bed…but you..your family is dead, Rick. That bridge It’s not the future. It’s a monument to the dead”
It got darker, darker and darker around you, the sleep was grasping and tightening its hold on you in the silent moments that passed, and as the final words sounded through to you, you were already sinking back into the sleep’s unending depths.
“You’re not saving the world, Rick. You’re just gettin’ it ready for me.”
(The gif isn’t mine/ it was originally posted by dancing-at-the-funeralparty)
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