Imagine for episode 4 of season 10
Summary: After Negan and the reader finally get to enjoy some of his freedom within the community, the night in which he saves Lydia from her attackers and accidentally kills Margo threatens to turn their little idyll into hell on earth.
Rough fingertips ran along your spine, up and down as you cuddled your head into the soft pillow, hugging it loosely before you glimpsed at the man beside you. He grinned at you, the hazel eyes lightening up in the warm midday sun as he shifted towards you, groaning contently as soon as he moved close enough to cuddle his bare chest against the side of your back.
“Those breaks keep gettin’ better”, he mumbled, the mix of a big smile and his signature smirk palpable as he pressed a kiss to your shoulder, before nuzzling his nose into the crook of your neck, holding you a little tighter than before.
You hummed in agreement, smiling to yourself as you leaned closer into his touch.
Yeah, those breaks really kept getting better.
Couple days had passed since the meet up with Alpha at the border and the waves of walkers had stopped soon after, and you used the breaks with Negan as much as you could since you got them back.
It was like a little break from reality, a time bubble only reserved for you and with each and every second in it at your own disposal. Sometimes you ended up just like now, a tangle of limbs underneath the sheets or slumped against each other and panting heavily in the shower. Other times you just laid curled up together on the bed, simply napping together or chatting a little here and there, enjoying the luxury of being able to get sprawled out as much as you liked on that big bed before heading down to cook.
It was heavenly, really.
“I could just keep on laying’ here all fucking day, just like that”, Negan mumbled, holding you tighter as he nuzzled his nose a little more into your skin, brushing his beard against it until a small laugh left your lips.
“Mhmm me too”, you mumbled, smiling softly as he pressed another kiss against your neck, motivating you to slowly turn around to take a look at him and damn, that was one hell of a view.
He glanced down at you, that mix of a grin and a smile growing wider, showing his dimples underneath the salt and pepper stubble as some loose black hair strands dropped into his face.
“Goddamn addictive”, he chuckled, pulling you a little closer as he leaned down to press warm kisses onto the sensitive skin underneath your collarbones and up your neck, a wide heartfelt smile taking over the grin as he nuzzled his nose into the crook of your shoulder before a content hum fell from his lips.
“Mhmm my big ol’ softie”, you teased as you wrapped your arms around him, burying one hand in his hair to caress your fingers through it as he let out a small groan.
“Softie? Try to tell that to your pussy after that fuck”, he chuckled, the tone in his voice playful as he dove back out of the curve of your neck and gave your waist a teasing squeeze, watching you squirm a little as he grinned at you.
“Oh you know what I mean”, you laughed softly, stroking your hand through his hair as you mirrored his grin,”I love that rough and hard as nails badass side just as much.”
“Yeah, think I heard that”, he teased, cockily raising his brows as you shoved his chest with a laugh, only to flinch slightly as he reached down your body to tease his fingertips over the small marks he had left on the inside of your thighs.
“Fuck, Negan”, you mumbled, eliciting a thick chuckle to fall from his lips as he reached back up, cupping your waist before he leaned down, smoothing his body against yours until he pressed against you and let his head fall into the curve of your neck, just like before. He hummed deeply, enough to let his chest rumble against you as you hugged him back and buried your hand back into hair, running down until your could circle your fingertips over the nape of his neck. You closed your eyes, holding the big man tight as his weight pressed a little in on you and his warm breath ghosted over the side over your neck before his deep voice sounded a little muffled through to you, “Fuckin’ heaven.”
You softly chuckled, holding him a little tighter for a while until a grumble rumbled through your stomach.
“Well shit, sounds like someone’s hungry”, he mumbled, a wide grin spreading across his face as he lifted his face up, while a roguish glance filled his eyes as he leaned a little closer in, “Well then lets get ya some of Daddy’s spaghetti.”
“Wow”, you chuckled as you gave his shoulder another small shove, only getting him to look more suggestively at you before he let out a deep chuckle and forced himself to sit up.
“C’mon, we gotta get up or you can bet that sweet ass of yours that I won’t let you get outta that bed so fast again.”
“Sounds like you’re cumming again”, Negan mumbled just a little while later with a wide grin on his lips as soon as he watched you shoving a fork full of the spaghetti in your mouth, humming in relish as soon as you could taste the delicious tomato sauce spreading through your mouth again.
“Mhm it’s so good”, you said, gulping down and licking the sauce off your lips, the wide grin also on your lips as you dug back into the noodles on your plate.
“Looks like I gotta cook this more often”, he chuckled, taking another bite as well while you quickly and heavily nodded
“Oh definitely”, you chuckled, watching the enjoyment on Negan’s face grow only more before it fell and filled up with a little tension as soon as he looked outside the large windows.
“Ah those assholes better piss off”, he growled, his eyes still focusing outside, enough to make you turn a little to get a look at who was wandering around outside, just before you caught Margo walking along with Gage and Alfred down the street, chatting up a storm with still the same grumpy look on her face.
“Oh Margo…that bitch”, it slipped out of your lips, remembering the last council meeting with her little drama more than you liked while Negan let out a small groan.
“Mhmm and her little asshamsters”, he said, sighing as he dug his fork back into his spaghetti and peeled his glance away from them for a moment ,”Talked to Lydia, those fuckers keep bothering her, told her to not let ‘em provoke her but I don’t think that will work well.”
“Fuck…”, you huffed, glancing from Negan to the three outside that began to vanish behind another house before you softly shrug your shoulders ,”I’d try to talk to them but after that last town meeting I’m sure it would only make it worse if I’m the one to do it…one shit thing that Michonne isn’t here.”
“Nah, she doesn’t want anybody to shut them down”, Negan shook his head,”Said it’s her fight…think she just doesn’t want to stir more up, just wants to fit in in the end”
“I know…but still, they shouldn’t just get away with it”,you said, already pissed off by the imagination that after trying to stir the whole town up, they put their stupid hate out on someone who was already struggling,”I can still try to bring it up at that weekly council meeting tomorrow, doesn’t have to be a big thing, but if those couple people know then at least it can be handled silently, without big fuss, like she wants.”
“Yeah, sounds good”, Negan nodded as you got back into your spaghetti, shoving another fork full into your mouth, letting Negan’s lips quirk a little back up as he raised his voice,”Till then, just keep your eyes open.”
You gave him a quick nod back as you glanced down, hoping that they wouldn’t bother Lydia until you could do something against it with others who were in charge, or at least that somebody was around to step in when they even only tried to start something.
Still, you dug your fork back into the spaghetti as it got quiet for a moment, unable to resist that delicious red sauce that just tasted too good. You’d done it from time to time too, often to surprise Negan in the cell with it but even though it had been tasty, for some reason it had never been as good as Negan’s.
“Fuck”, you heard Negan scoff, directing your eyes back up to him, already expecting that Margo and her minions had reappeared again but instead he nodded to the clock behind you on the wall ,”Time passes too damn quickly in here.”
“We still got a bit”,you said, grimacing slightly as you let out a small sigh, knowing that Negan wouldn’t like what would follow,”And we gotta use it because I got a night shift at the infirmary.”
“What?”, he asked, puckering his brows as his mien darkened for a moment.
“Yeah”, you nodded, sighing once more as you tried to put a little smile on your face to make what you were about to say sound a little better ,”Kinda suppressed it till now…but its only till ten or eleven so I’m gonna slip in back to you as fast as I can afterwards.”
“Good”,he said, letting a grin slip back on his lips as he let out a small chuckle and moved his hand to caress it up your thigh,”Well then we really gotta use that time.”
”Yep, definitely”, you chuckled, grinning back at him before you nodded towards your plate and that goddamn addictive sauce, and gave the hand that still rested on your thigh a small, teasing squeeze, “But not before I’ve finished the spaghetti.”
The hours after the break were long winded. Here and there patients came in and out of the infirmary, not all too many but by the time night fell over Alexandria you could feel some sleepiness slipping inside you. The sun had vanished behind the horizon for some time now and was replaced by the moon that was already shining brightly at the dark firmament.
Letting a little yawn fall from your lips you sorted some meds and salves you had used for the last patients back into their drawers, just pushing them shut as Siddiq strolled back into the main room, deep circles underneath his eyes and a sleepy look on his face.
“Coco hasn’t been sleeping at all last night”, he mumbled as soon as he saw your glance wandering over him, giving you a weak smile before he grabbed another cup and the can on the counter that probably had only some cold coffee left in it from this afternoon.
“Don’t you rather wanna take a nap?” you asked, just as he took the can in his hand and let out a small yawn, “All the patients we got right in here right now are cared for anyway. If there’s someone new Dante or I can take care of it, or the next shift.”
“No…can’t fall asleep anywa-”
He stopped the very next moment, not even finishing his sentence as his eyes fixed onto the window behind the counter, squinting as if he was focusing on something outside before a shocked scream echoed through from outside into the house.
A cool shudder run down your back as you already found yourself rushing outside, following Siddiq who was beginning to run into the dark, following the source of the scream that suddenly melted into a loud mess of angry voices. Your feet were meeting the ground in heavy and fast steps while your head desperately tried to grasp a clear thought on what was happening right now that got so many people rilled up.
You made your way down the street, finally reaching the clothesline ropes that were still home to several sheets and blankets that covered whatever scene had just happened and made it harder to find your way to the source before you suddenly stood right before it and your heart dropped.
In the middle of the people who had already gathered stood Negan, half crouching, half leaning down with his hand protectively placed on the head of a bleeding Lydia who was clinging to his boots, curling around them as if they were her only straw left to hold onto.
Gage stood beside him, just picking himself up from the floor, pulled up by Alfred into the crowd, that was only parted at one point and revealed Margo’s slumped figure against the wall, blood dripping down the wall from he spot it met her head.
A nearly silent “no” left your lips in shock as you connected the dots feeling your heart beginning to speed up more whole your eyes jumped in between the people, for a second keeping you glued to the spot before Negan got pulled away from Lydia and snapped you back into a reality that seemed too surreal to begin with.
Your feet started walking before you could think further, only catching how Dante leaned down to Lydia as you rushed towards Negan while his eyes first fell on you and seemed to fill with more devastation.
“They attacked her”, he mumbled, his voice unsteady as he gulped thickly and grasped your hand with his trembling one, his eyes moving to the lifeless body of Margo for a second as until they jumped back to you ,”I didn’t mean to-”
He shook his head, grasping your hand tighter as he shook his head, “Just pulled her away from her.”
“I know…it’s okay”, you nodded, trying your best to calm Negan and yourself down, keep your heart from pounding its way out of your chest, and your body from trembling as much as Negan’s hand did. And while your body was already fully up to speed with the situation, your head still had problems realizing this was real and not just another nightmare.
Still, slowly, slowly it began to creep into your mind, find its way inside and elicit more stress and terror as you began to get what kind of storm this was going to provoke.
Those three assholes attacked an innocent girl, and as much as the fear and panic in you tried to suppress it, a part of you already knew that Negan would be the one to pay the price for saving her just because he’d accidentally killing one of her attackers that had left her bleeding on the ground, one that would have had no problem with killing her in the process of their sick game.
“It was Negan, Negan killed her”, Alfred’s voice echoed through the air, loud and aggressive, enough to snap your eyes up and catch the man who was trying to distract from his own deeds and push the attention on Negan, the easiest target for anyone’s wrath in this moment.
Anger began to fill you up, fueled by the fear and panic about what this piece of shit was gonna unleash on Negan, and it seemed to take over your face, mix into the despair since Negan gripped your hand tighter and shook his head slightly.
“It’s okay”, he said, trying to suppress the tension in his voice in an attempt to calm you before another voice, somewhere from the end of the crown cut through the air again.
“You see what he did! Should’ve never let him out”
“No, no it’s not”, you mumbled, a lump beginning to form in your throat as you shook your head, glancing at Negan before another shout sounded through the air and felt like another punch in the guts, worse than the others before.
“Finally kill him!”
“He didn’t do anything wrong! He didn’t do anything wrong”, Lydia screamed, darting your eyes from Negan and the crowd down to the girl who was still wrenching in pain and to Daryl who was crouching down to her in this moment.
“Get him out of here”, he called out, waving towards someone behind you while your heart seemed to pound even harder against your chest as you gripped Negan’s hand tighter while Lydia’s voice cut through the air again.
“No, he didn’t do anything wrong!”
“I know, I know”, you only heard Daryl mumble as he leaned down, stroking his hand over her hair as Roger stepped in front of Negan and got a rope from his belt.
“Are you kidding me?”, you asked, staring unbelievingly at him as he shook his head.
“No, absolutely not. Hands”, he demanded again, eliciting a small scoff from Negan as he reluctantly loosened the grip on your hand until he let go and reached his arms forward, allowing the guard to wrap the rope around his wrists.
You still stared at him, still not completely able what kind of nightmare was playing out in front of you before he nodded forwards, “Let’s go.”
You moved along with them, stubbornly staying at Negan’s side who let the guards guide him to not cause more drama, though you could tell by the look on his face that they pissed him off regardless.
You could still hear the angry voices that called for punishment as you closer to the cell as you stayed unable to form any proper sentences, not sure what to say or do, too overwhelmed by the anger for those assholes and the others who let the actual attackers guide the wrath so easily to Negan and by the fear of what would follow now.
“Get him inside”, Roger commanded Brandon as soon as you reached the stairs that lead to the cells, who quickly moved to Negan and placed his hand on his shoulder, trying to guide him downwards.
“Not you”, Roger moved in front of you as soon as you tried to follow them, shaking his head while you puckered your brows.
“You’re not going down there, he’s gonna stay by himself after that.”
“After saving Lydia?! He didn’t kill her on purpose.”
“Yeah, we’ll see that”, Roger grumbled, a snarky tone in his voice as Negan stopped as soon as he caught the angered expression on his face.
“Sweethe-”, he began, taking the first step he’d walked down back up and towards you before Roger shook his head again and snapped towards him.
“No”, he growled, raising his hand to push him back that turned the softer look on Negan’s face to calm you into a tense and cold one, nearly threateningly as he stared down at the other man.
“You’ll let me talk to my wife”, he snarled, his eyes narrowing more for a moment as Roger gulped, suddenly turning rather rueful as the taller man stared down at him.
“Just a moment”, he mumbled while Negan nodded, slowly walking past Roger to get to you.
“It’s okay”, he said, clearly forcing his voice to sound calm as you gulped thickly, trying to keep yourself levelheaded and focused on him for that moment ,”It’s gonna be okay. We’ll figure this out, I know we will.”
“Distract yourself a little, help Lydia and then you can try again when it’s a little quieter, okay?”, he added as soon as his voice had hushed the first time, glancing you as you slowly yet reluctantly nodded, trying to not make this even harder for him than it already was, though the imagination of him having to be alone in there while the people outside went as far as calling for his death elicited a stinging pain inside you.
“Okay”, you finally mumbled, glancing up at him as he forced a small smile on his lips, “I’ll try later.”
“Good”, he mumbled, keeping that tiny smile right there before Roger cleared his throat again, and this time Negan nodded in response and slowly moved downstairs, giving you one last glance before he vanished in the dark.
And just like that, you were suddenly alone.
“Fuck”, you mumbled, gulping thickly to keep that lump from forming again in your throat as you heard more calls from angry Alexandrians while another part in you was mad at yourself. He shouldn’t have had to calm you down, that should have been your job for him.
More thoughts made their way into your head as you finally made your way down the street, pressing in on you and letting you realize with each passing second how urgent and real this whole situation was.
First you weren’t allowed to join Negan in the cell, but what would follow? With people starting a witch hunt on him they’d first take his new gained freedom away, the breaks, the ability to be somewhere else than in this goddamn cell. They’d take everything he’d worked for away again. And that was just the light version. What when they’d try to hurt him, punish him for something others should be punished for? What if someone tried to form these calls for his death into the reality, try to attack him? It wouldn’t be the first time for sure, but you had thought that these days laid far, even years behind you.
You were back at point zero, if not deeper, and this whole shit was about to start anew.
You throat began to close up as you forced yourself to keep walking, feeling the pressure rising on your chest, as if it would tighten your ribcage to press all air out of your lungs while your heart kept beating and beating faster and fueled the lump in your throat to grow again each time you tried to swallow it down.
This was a nightmare, and you knew you wouldn’t wake up from this one.
Only few lights were burning in the infirmary as you reached it, urging yourself to get up the porch and slip into the large main room through the front door.
“Hey”, you mumbled as soon as you caught Dante at the counters, patching Lydia up who sat on the wooded top, wincing as he tried to lift her arm a little.
“Can you help me here real quick?” he asked, though he sent you a surprised glance, a little befuddled that you turned up at the infirmary after all this fuss. Still, you quickly made your way over to them, trying to keep yourself controlled as he motioned for you to hold her arm up, keeping it steady as he took a look at the large, dark becoming bruise on the side of her ribcage that made you nearly gasp as you realized just more what kind of torture those three had put her under before Negan had stepped in.
“It’s okay”, Dante mumbled as he moved in to spread a thin sheet of salve over the bruise, something to calm the pain it elicited down before he glanced up at you for a moment, “Can you get some ice out of the cooler for that here?”
You nodded, softly letting go of Lydia’s arm to not hurt her more before you moved over to the freezer, peeling a bag with ice cubes out of one of the drawers before closing it back up and reaching for the towels to wrap around the bag only to first be distracted by a group that passed by the window outside.
They were far enough for their voices to sound muffled into the infirmary, yet loud enough for you to understand them, even though you wished you hadn’t in the very next moment.
“He needs to be put down.”
“Well, now the harm’s already done…they should’ve already let him bleed out on the hill, that’s what you get for keeping him alive.”
Then their voices blurred into something not understandable, but the words you had figured out sent a new shiver over your whole body and got the tremble back into your hands that tightened around the ice cold bag, trying to keep yourself from shaking harder.
They wanted him dead, they wanted your husband dead for something he’d done right.
They wanted him dead and weren’t thinking one bit about the people who’d beat down on an innocent girl.
They didn’t care for justice or anything just merely related to that, they had just waited for Negan to do something they could take as a new point to punish him for, without a second thought.
You couldn’t keep your eyes from becoming misty and your heart beat to speed back up, washing some more panic into you even though you began to force yourself to walk back to Dante and Lydia, trying to overplay the turmoil that was going on in your inside.
“There you go”, you mumbled as you reached the bag towards Dante, avoiding to look completely up to not let either of them see the tears that had begun to form in your eyes.
“Thanks”, he said, even though he halted for a second and you could tell he had heard the voices as well, just like he had noticed your reaction to it.
“I’m sorry, I just-”, you started shakily, feeling as if you had to say something though the growing lump in your throat stopped you as soon as you looked up.
“It’s alright”, he nodded, even though that didn’t help much to control the way your body was reacting to the stress it was put under and you hated it.
“Sorry…”, you suddenly heard Lydia mumble, snapping your glance to the battered girl as you quickly shook your head.
“No, no, don’t be. That’s not on you, that those damn assholes”, you said, trying to sound as firm as you could with your shaky voice, not in any way wanting that another innocent person put the fault on themselves while others were clearly the guilty ones.
“I can do this alone, it’s okay”, Dante mumbled as soon as you caught the first tear slipping out of your eyes, no matter how hard you fought against it and glanced back at him, stroking the tear off your face as he nodded outside,”Get some fresh air.”
“Really? I can pull myself together”, you mumbled, gulping thickly while a small part in you knew that you had just lied, regardless of how much you wished that to be the truth right now.
“I mean it”, Dante instead said before you slowly nodded, giving in to the fact that you weren’t much of a help this way either.
“Okay”, you mumbled, sighing softly before you glanced at Lydia, urging up a small smile, “Get well.”
“Thanks”, she softly mumbled, wincing again as Dante started to move the icebag underneath her arm while you slowly made your way outside.
It took just moments until you plumped down onto the stairs of the back porch, one spot where the odds of hearing or even meeting other angry Alexandrians was the lowest and as soon as your body smoothed against the wood, the tears began to flow, one by one.
“Fuck this..”, it slipped out of your lips as you brushed the tears off your face annoyed by them and annoyed even more so by this whole goddamn situation.
This midday you had laid in that big bed with Negan, relishing in that new earned domesticity that was completely normality for anyone else in this community, something they didn’t have to raise their pinky for since they lived here while Negan had to work his ass of for it, and now they were taking everything away again, just like that.
They were taking it, and they had the audacity to turn him into the bad guy even though you could bet that Michonne, Carol or Daryl would have done the very same for Lydia. If it would’ve been them, it would be seen as it was, an attack with one accidental death. But of course, with Negan involved, it would be turned upside down.
This was complete and utter bullshit, and the realization that you had nearly no power to change it drove you crazy.
You fumbled on some loose threats of your pants to focus your blurry glance on at least something as more tears began to fill it back up, just as you heard the creaking of the back door behind you.
“Hey you”, you heard Dante say, letting you look up for the moment as he strolled over to you, a glass of water and a small pallet of tablets in his hand.
“Just Valerian, to calm a little down”, he said, leaning down to place both things in his hands down beside you before straightening himself back up and resting himself against the railing of the stairs.
“Thank you”, you mumbled, slowly moving in to pop one of the glazed tablets out of the package and putting it in your mouth, washing it down with some water in hope that it would calm you a little, or at least a bit of the placebo effect would take care of it.
“How’s Lydia?”, you asked, not only to distract yourself from the elephant in the room but also out of genuine interest.
“She’ll be okay. Your brother’s with her now”, Dante mumbled, eliciting another odd feeling within you as soon as he mentioned Daryl, though he didn’t leave you much time to think about it as he raised his voice again.
“Why aren’t you at the council meeting?”
“What?”, you immediately asked, puckering your brows in confusion that soon got replaced by another painful sting as soon as Dante’s cleared his throat slightly and glanced back at you.
“There’s a meeting, right now, they took Gage and Alfred to tell their side of the story…”,he mumbled, stopping for just a moment to let out a small sigh ,”I don’t wanna upset you all over again really, but Aaron said they’ll take a vote and I think you should know.”
“What vote”, you asked, and while your heart was pounding against your chest again there was a tiny part of you that already brought up the worst imaginations, and even those got topped as soon as Dante raised his voice again and brought a pain into your body you last had felt on the hill all those years back, holding Negan’s bleeding and nearly dying body in your arms.
“If they’ll spare him or…or If they’ll execute him.”
Faint light flickered through the cell, falling right onto the grumpy face of Daryl as he stared to the bars down at Negan on his bed, completely silent even though he could tell a storm was raging in the other man’s head.
Negan almost had Daryl where he wanted him to be, admitting that he didn’t want to kill him anymore after saving the girl’s life, after years of probably getting a hard on thinking about murdering him.
Well, that’s how the table turn, just like they had for him this night, going from having some freedom to being cooped up in this fucking cell again, with people calling for his death outside.
He couldn’t do much about it in here, he really couldn’t and he hated every second of it, especially since he was sure that his girl would be their target as well and even if she wasn’t, she was suffering enough right now, having to defend him against these assholes after finally thinking this would be over.
So now, now that he had the man himself down here by the cell, he had to try something, no matter if it would work or not.
“I know this isn’t the right damn moment to ask for something but this ain’t for me”,Negan started, watching as Daryl’s brows twitched in confusion as he glanced up,”Shit that’s for her now that I got ya here.”
Suspense fell over Daryl’s face for a moment and Negan could tell that he’d struck a nerve there, but Daryl stayed so that was already a start.
“Don’t know whatcha heard, thought or what fuckin’ ever”,Negan started again, running his palm over his stubbly jaw and watching Daryl closely ,”She never betrayed you, not once.”
“Why’re ya telling me this”, Daryl grumbled faster than expected back, focusing him there on that bed, but he stayed and that practically meant he had caught him in his net, he wanted to know more.
“’Cause I damn well know how important you still are to her, Should’ve seen how excited she was after that little talk of yours after the storm”,Negan mumbled, a small, genuine smile slipping on his lips as the memory of her wide smile and brightened eyes popped back up in his mind,”And crap, I want her to be happy ‘bout that part of her life too. Believe me or fuckin’ not, Daryl.”
He stopped for a moment, running his eyes over the other man, waiting for a reaction but instead, that stubborn idiot kept staring down at him but well, at least he stayed.
“Just thought you should know that“, Negan added, grumbling for a moment to figure out how else to persuade him from the fact that she hadn’t betrayed his damn ass,“She tried to find a way out, pulled me back when I was about to lose my damn self and do something stupid.“
„She ain’t flawless“, Daryl grumbled, again faster than expected while Negan shook his head, groaning softly and knowing that this for sure was gonna be harder than that little talk about Lydia earlier.
“That’s not what I’m saying and you know it. Fuck, everybody makes mistakes, me, her…you“,he mumbled, fixating him with his glance as Daryl chewed on his lip, visibly growing more restless,“just saying she tried to make it right.“
“Y‘know when I threatened you before that big day at the hill…that little speech over the walkie with Michonne?“, Negan started, going in for the next step now that Daryl was showing signs of a reaction, voluntary or not, but hell he was gonna stir something more up at him, even if it was just enough for him to go a little easier on her.
“Shit I was pissed, at the whole fucking world, at dead fucking Simon for fucking everything up, and I wasn’t thinking straight“, he continued, rising his voice again as he caught Daryl beginning to shift a little from foot to foot,“Your sis smacked the shit out of me for what I said there, no shit. Said she’d leave me right there and then if I’d do it, cause he’ll I wouldn’t be that guy she knew.“
For a moment, Negan leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees, looking straight at Daryl who began to look more interested, even though that sure as hell was hard to tell through that grumpy facade he tried to keep up.
“Brought me back to think straight. Called me out on my bullshit and that’s why I made that second call that night, realized I was wrong. That’s why I planned to let my men shoot in the grass in front of you instead on you to get to a damn agreement in the end, that’s why I let Gabe live…but I‘m sure you know of that part already of Gabey boy…had to give her a promise to always try to find a way out.“
He sighed as soon as his voice had hushed, still not getting a word out of the other man, which was one pain in the ass, but at least he could see that flickering in his eyes, the slight tensing of the muscles in his face that gave away that he was thinking about it and that was one hell of a success.
“What I wanna say is…”,Negan mumbled, going for one last hit as he shifted a little over his bed,”I know you’re gonna do whatcha wanna do in the end, but don’t punish her for shit she didn’t do. She doesn’t deserve that.”
A small huff left Daryl’s lips, not as if he wasn’t believing him or thinking he was talking shit there, that was gladly not the case, but rather as if Negan had actually struck something there and it was bothering Daryl more than he liked.
“You’re gonna get your chance to tell your side”, Daryl finally grumbled, and at this very moment, Negan knew he’d scored a goal. That avoiding of answering to what he’d just said, that try to distract instead and come back to Negan’s trail, paired with the obvious effect his words had on him? Yep, he’d gotten him to think about it, about everything (Y/N) had tried to tell him, about the way he’d treated her especially right after the war and about the way they were behaving around each other now. He had him.
Daryl pushed himself away from the bars in the very next moment, shooting him another glance before began to rush up the stairs while Negan fell back against the bed, groaning slightly as his back met the slightly squeaking mattress.
“Who’s the sucker now?”
Your heart pounded up into your throat as you stormed through the dark, your breath so fast it seemed to cut crannies into your windpipe while your steps seemed to become faster with every second as you made your way down the street, right towards the meeting house.
Hearing people call for Negan’s death had already been bad enough, but as horrible as this sounded, you knew those calls, you still weren’t used to them and each of them was like a stab in the chest, but you knew them and they had just been calls in the end.
But now, now this was going up to the council, now this seemed to form into a decision, into something real, something that could actually form threats into a deed there was something to be actually scared of.
They were deciding over your husband’s life, and on top of this, they were consciously keeping you out of this decision and just the thought of it was letting your anger boil up more and more, pairing with the fear and panic into a toxic cocktail.
Your whole body was trembling the moment you stormed up the wooden path to the house, your body pumped with adrenaline as you reached the wide doors, you were done talking nice, so fucking done.
And that just intensified as you heard Aaron’s voice echoing outside to you.
“…A man like that, who’s done the things he’s done, killed the people’s he’s killed something inside him is broken.
We need to face that fact. I’m a yes.”
With that, and a hard push against the doors you swung them open, letting you immediately stand in the doorway while a fury you of an amount so large you had rarely felt in your life spread through your body.
“What the hell is happening?”, it rumbled up your throat as you stepped inside the house, moving past the rows of chairs and tables toward the long one they were sitting at.
They were staring at you, all together, as if they were seeing a ghost before Aaron cleared his throat and looked at you, a cool glance in his eyes.
“We’re doing what has to be done after this incident.”
“What has to be done? Are you kidding me?”, you roared, glaring down at him before you got cut off by Gabriel.
“(Y/N), you might wanna stay calm for this.”
“Stay calm? You’re contemplating to kill my husband after he did the right fucking thing. I’m so goddamn done staying calm, I’m fucking done keeping my cool just so I don’t have to fear that you will take something away from me or Negan”, you growled, the lump growing back in your throat while more and more anger began to boil up within you.
“I’m member of this council too and you haven’t even told me to take part in this vote that is so fucking absurd to begin with.”
“Because you’re too emotionally close to him to make a fair vote”, Aaron said, so completely serious in what he was saying there that you felt as if you were stuck in one of your horrible and obscure nightmares.
“Too close? You have a grudge on him and you still vote. He fucking saved your ass just a week ago and now you vote to kill him, what the fuck, Aaron?!”, you growled, glaring down at him as heavy pants shook through your chest and Aaron said nothing, leaving you to let out more of the anger that desperately wanted to get out.
“If anyone else would have done what he did, if it would have been Michonne, or Carol, or whoever else it would have not been questioned, but when Negan saves a girl who’s being beaten by three people and he shoves someone away to get them to stop hurting her he’s the monster who deserves to be killed?”
“Just as Aaron said earlier, he is broken. He’s done terrible things and he will continue to do them”, Nora suddenly spoke up, sitting there so awfully calmly next to Aaron, as if they were talking about changing some shifts up and not talking about taking Negan’s life.
“Oh shut up, Nora. You don’t know shit about Negan and you don’t know any fucking thing what people have to do outside to survive. You’ve been here since the beginning, you don’t know what you have to do if you don’t wanna die”, you called, beginning to lose some control over yourself but differently to other times, this time you didn’t care, you wren’t gonna let them harm one hair on Negan’s head, “We have all done terrible things too, you’re acting like saints even though you’re not one bit better. We’ve all killed and we’ve all done terrible things, if we go by your logic we all should be locked up and executed. Negan works his ass off to make it right to you people and all you do is punish him for something others should be held accountable for.”
Just then you caught the first tear slipping out of your eye, rolling against your trembling lips as you stared down at them, still not believing what you had to fight for here.
“I won’t let you hurt him”, you brought out again, gulping thickly as you could feel your whole body shaking, “If you put your hands on him I will raise hell.”
“I’m with her on this”, you suddenly heard Siddiq say from the other side of the table, lifting just a tiny weight off your shoulders as your misty glance snapped towards him and Laura, who seemed to form the “no” part of the council on this vote, while Aaron’s side was definitely the “yes”
“And killing him now over this undermines the civilization that we have built.”
“What about the people who never got to witness that civilization because of him?”, Aaron spat back, turning the rage right back to top level in you.
“What about the people that can’t witness anything anymore because of us?!”, you growled, sick of his goddamn attitude as Siddiq’s voice echoed through the room again.
“Aaron, what the hell are you even talking about? The Whisperers are attacking us-”
“Okay, let’s take a break”, Gabriel tried to cut Siddiq off in a desperate attempt to calm the situation that immediately failed just there and then.
Let me finish.
Look at what’s going on at Hilltop.
We’re taking our eyes off the ball.”
“The council wasn’t made for this, deciding on a man’s life in the dead of night because people are carrying pitchforks and torches”, Gabriel said and before you could react in any way, you heard footsteps coming closer and sounding through the room that made you glance back and let your eyes fall on Daryl who was walking closer up and let an awful, tension filled pressure wash anew through you.
“Look, if you can’t make a decision, the people out there are gonna make one for you”, he said while you stood like glued to the spot there, already imagining Daryl’s stand in this and it just made your stomach turn again.
“Well, what’d Michonne say?”, Gabriel asked while Daryl walked a little closer, his eyes swaying over you for a minute, halting at your tear clouded eyes for a second before they swayed back to Gabriel.
“She wants me to be her vote”, he said, an ice cold shudder running over your back as you stared at him, already prepared for the worst ,”Lydia said Negan saved her, so he saved her.
I’m a ‘no’.”
And just like that he made your jaw nearly drop, surprising you in this moment more than you had expected but you couldn’t even find words for how glad you were for this surprise.
“So we’re tied.
Gabriel, where do you stand?”, Aaron spoke up again and while part of you already wanted to lash out again and keep this vote from happening at all, the other parts were distracted by Daryl for another moment before you got pushed back into the brutal reality as soon as you heard the priest’s voice again.
“I’m gonna take the night to clear my head and consider my vote, and I suggest you all do the same”, he said, and even though you shouldn’t have been surprised to hear something like that coming out of his mouth, it still struck the wrong nerve within you. This vote shouldn’t even be happening, at he had to think a night about it? The answer should be no, nothing but fucking no.
“This should be called off”, it finally blustered out of you while Gabriel shook his head softly while the others already began to stand up, letting the panic and the horrible feeling of being helpless rise back up in you.
“As I said, we will come back to this in the morning. Refreshed and with a clear head”, he said, and just as you opened your mouth to argue against him he cut you off, “This is not up for discussion. You should go to sleep and do the same.”
“How am I supposed to sleep when you wanna kill my husband”, you asked, this time not firm but instead being overruled by your emotions as more tears shot back up in your eyes and turned your voice shaky, all while the others already began to walk past you, ending this meeting against your will.
You wanted to say more, stop them from keeping this going, protect Negan like you knew he’d protect you too but instead, they didn’t leave you a choice as they marched outside, leaving you behind, all of them except for Daryl.
He looked at you while you were searching for words, hoping you could come up with another idea to turn this whole night into less of a nightmare but you didn’t, you had to watch as they left and vanished outside while the lump in your throat was starting to become bigger, fueling the tears in your eyes to multiply with each second until they dropped down your cheeks.
“Shit…”, it just fell nearly silently from your lips as you brushed the tears off your face, feeling as if the walls were beginning to close in around you urging the feeling into your body that you had to get out of this house now or you’d lose your mind.
Shaking you found yourself rushing out of the room, outside until you could breathe the cold night air in and feel it spreading over your face that was still heated from the warm tears and the heat that had been elicited by the overboiling emotions.
You breathed shakily out, feeling how a whimper was trying to press itself out of your lips while the horrible feeling of helplessness washed over you once more, right as you heard Daryl’s footsteps coming up behind you until he stepped into your field of view, looking at you but still not saying a thing.
“Thank you”, you finally mumbled, glimpsing at you through the tears in your eyes, “For voting ‘no’”
“Didn’t do it for him”, Daryl grumbled, while you slowly nodded, trying to keep the turmoil taking over in you just yet.
“I know”,you mumbled, gulping thickly before another shaky breath fell from your lips,”But you judged fair, no matter what you think of him…they didn’t.”
And with that and at the thought that you were completely at their fucking mercy at this moment, with no idea how the hell you could protect Negan the tears began roll down your face again.
“Shit…I’m sorry”,you mumbled as a small whimper left your lips while you kept trying to brush the tears off your face while you only spiraled deeper into the void of desperation ,”Shouldn’t do this in front of you, I just-”
“It’s okay”, he mumbled a little softer than you expected while you kept trying to keep yourself from turning into a sobbing mess, even though finally giving in to your weak growing legs and plummeting down on the upper stair step of the porch, shifting uncomfortably over it as soon as your body brushed against the cold wood.
You couldn’t keep it in anymore, no matter how hard you tried.
The first small sob left your lips as you felt the reality of the situation crushing in on you, of the realization what Aaron and half of the council tried to push through there, of the knowledge that letting them hurt Negan wasn’t an option for you but also the fact that you had no idea how you should proceed.
What the hell was happening? Why did everything have to turn to shit as soon as you both seemed to finally catch a break?
You tried to keep your whimpers quiet as they pushed through your lips, though you couldn’t control the utter panic that was streaming through you and that let your whole body shake vehemently as more tears fell down your face.
Old and long suppressed pictures made their way back into your head, of the blood of your family that spread over the floor, soaking the bottoms of the packed sports bags that had stood in the hallway, ready to be grabbed by them but instead of fleeing, they laid beneath a group of walkers, their disgusting groans sounding through your old home as they left nothing of them.
They began to pair with the nightmares you’ve had in the past, the nightmares for Negan, the ones left him bloody and lifeless, the ones you couldn’t become reality.
“I don’t know what to do anymore”, you whimpered, not even directly talking to Daryl, just unable to keep that thought from slipping out as you sniffed and wept, shaking more and more uncontrollably before you suddenly caught Daryl dropping down beside you.
You had expected a lot in these moments, just like you had in the meeting before but you sure as hell hadn’t expected what he was doing right now. He halted for a moment before he moved in, wrapping an arm around you to pull you slowly into a brotherly hug.
He held you while more sobs began to break out of you, not even leaving much room for surprise of his gesture as you just let go for a moment.
Finally, you didn’t hold back anymore and just let the pain find its way out with the tears that kept coming and coming until they finally began to ebb down along with the shakes that rumbled through your body that began to grow too tired and weak for sobs, and slowly turned them back to silent whimpers.
It was then that you began to actually realize that Daryl was comforting you, that he was being caring and protective after eight years of constant tension between the both of you, that he was actually being there for you in a situation that revolved around Negan.
And while the weight on your shoulders was still heavy, so much that it still seemed to crush you, a tiny bit of the one that had belonged to Daryl all this time got lifted.
“Gonna work out”, you heard him grumble, rubbing his hand over your back a little roughly but still in order to calm you further down, while you just stayed huddled to his side for a moment, trying to calm yourself further down until the whimpers were stopping and you were only sniffling slightly anymore.
„Thank you“, you quietly mumbled, your voice still shaky as you slowly backed a little away, just enough to glimpse at him,“Didn’t expect that.“
”It’s okay”, he mumbled as he gulped thickly, staying on his spot next to you and not fleeing in the very next moment like a tiny part of you still feared.
„I don’t wanna fight anymore. I don’t want that tension between us“,it broke out of you, quiet but still with enough force behind it to sound through to him, your emotional walls too lowered and exhausted right now to keep you from talking ,“I know that’s not my call to make, I know…and in the end this is all up to you, but can we please bury that hatched?“
A cool shudder ran over your back as soon as your voice hushed and you almost were too afraid to look at him before he slowly began to nod.
“Yeah“, he said, taking a load off your mind as a small smile slipped on your lips and you brushed some more of the tears off your cheeks.
”Great”, you mumbled, not sure what else to say while that odd mix of desperation and fear about Negan’s trail and the relief of this whole situation on the porch bounced through your body.
”Y’know, don’t always agree with Gabriel but you should try to sleep a bit…just try”, he mumbled while you slowly nodded, though you definitely had other plans before this could just be considered.
”Yeah, I just have to talk to him before that”, you mumbled, watching as he stayed calm and just gave you another nod before glimpsing back at you.
”Okay…gonna look after Lydia”, he mumbled, giving your shoulder another small pat before he slowly lifted himself up from the stairs and took those few steps down until he stood back in the grass.
”Yeah, do that”, you said, trying to keep that small smile on your lips as he shifted a little from foot to foot before glancing back up at you.
”See ya tomorrow.”
”Yeah, see you”, you nodded, watching as he halted for just another moment before he slowly made his way into the dark, over to the infirmary, leaving you to put your plan into action.
Next thing you knew, you were rushing down the street towards the cell, determined to not give in this time and get your time and talk with Negan, even though you knew you wouldn’t be allowed to stay the night. Either way, all you needed was to talk to him, even if it was just for a couple of minutes, and you were not gonna let anybody cross through those plans, not this time.
“Roger?”, you asked as you finally made your way around the corner and caught the guard leaning against the wall, watching as his face quickly snapped towards you, the look on his face revealing immediately that he knew why you were back here.
“No”, he quickly said before you could just raise your voice, while you let out a small sigh, trying to play it low while you knew that there was no way you were gonna let him fob you off.
“I just need ten minutes, please”,you said, walking a little closer while Roger let out an annoyed huff as he puffed his chest a little out though you couldn’t care less right now about his little power game,”I just need to talk to him.”
“Give me those ten minutes and I won’t bother again”,you began as he first didn’t answer, forcing up a small smile on your lips that let you hope made you look at least a little friendly despite your bloodshot and probably puffy eyes ,”Please Roger.”
He glanced at you, biting the inside of his cheek as he pondered for a moment, giving you enough time to try to figure out how else to convince him before he began to slowly nod
“Alright, then minutes.”
Rarely you’d made your way down the stairs as fast as now, nearly stumbling over your own feet, determined to use every second of those ten minutes until you were finally inside the cell and looked into Negan’s surprised but relieved face as he rushed up from his spot on the bed.
“Hey, Sweetheart”, he mumbled, quickly moving over to you as the lock behind you clicked and Roger’s footsteps traveled back upstairs.
“Hey, I only have ten minutes”, you said, gulping thickly as Negan got close enough to wrap his arms around you and pull you close, one hand reaching up to move his thumb over your cheekbone, below your reddened eyes that had caught all his attention.
“I don’t want you to wreck yourself over this, okay? We’ll figure it out”, he mumbled, leaning in to press a kiss over your lips before he let out a small sigh and preempted you in the next step, though a part of you just wanted to melt into his touch and forget about the world outside.
“I heard about that vote shit and the hearing”, he said, pulling you closer as the cool shudder from before washed back over you, reminding you of the time limit with him, reminding you of the whole goddamn meeting.
“I won’t let anything happed to you”, you said, sensing your throat tightening again as you shook your head and glanced up at him,“I won’t. They won’t harm a single hair on your head.”
“I know”, he nodded, forming up a small smile on his lips as his hand moved to your jaw, caressing it as he caught the way your body still slightly trembled, “But it won’t get so far, okay? As I said, we will figure that shit out, we always have and we will now too”, he said, so much more calm than you right now and you weren’t sure if you should find it alarming or if it should relax you as well.
“I already talked to them. Had the damn meeting without me and…”, you mumbled as your voice got unsteadier again but you tried to pull yourself together, “When I got in Aaron just talked shit about you and voted yes and I…I went off.”
“Now I would have liked to see that”, Negan mumbled, obviously trying to lift your mood with those words and that small grin on your lips but this time, it didn’t work as you still had their voices echoing through your head.
“Sorry”, he mumbled, moving his arms to wrap them completely around you and hold you tightly,“Y’know what? Little plan change…I want you to take your mind of this crap for tonight. I will figure something out, promise ”
“I’ll figure something out to turn that shit around. You’ve already done enough and I sure as shit don’t wanna pull you deeper into this bullshit”, he said, glancing down at you as he let out a little sigh.
“Don’t come up with this again, you’re not pulling me into anything. You’d protect me too if things were reversed…I’m supposed to be strong for you now. That’s my job and I can’t just leave you to do all alone just because they might get a little angrier at me than they’re already anyway”, you said, watching as Negan gulped thickly and slowly nodded, though you could tell there was more to come.
“I know, I know but the night is long after these ten minutes and I don’t want you to worry all those goddamn hours or even cry yourself to sleep because of this shit. You’re already all worked up and I get it, shit if this was you I’d be raging as well, but I know I can find a way out, I’m the one in fucking trail after all, they’re gonna concentrate on me. I’ll manage, your man’s a sly fox when it comes to this”, he said, remaining serious before he let a tiny grin slip on his lips for the last sentence, holding you closer while you had to agree with him, regardless of the fact that you desperately felt the need to do something against this plot against him.
“And you’ve already been strong enough for me, now and in the damn past…either way, I sure as hell know that my great ass wife is there to step in for my sorry ass if shit just nearly goes down”, he mumbled, making sure you were looking him straight in the eyes for this while you slowly nodded.
”I just need you to trust me on this, okay? Whatever I might come up with”, he mumbled, still keeping his eyes fixed on your face as you halted for a moment, sighing a little, knowing that his plan was better even though you didn’t like the feeling of being on the ropes, not knowing what would happen in the morning.
“Okay”, you finally mumbled, nodding softly, still feeling the restlessness and fear whirling through you before Negan pulled you closer until he could embrace you completely, hold you tight as you leaned your head against his neck and tried to not let the emotions boil back up.
“I won’t let them hurt you, not ever”, you mumbled, trying to reassure yourself and Negan at the same time, hugging him closely back while you could feel him nodding softly.
“I know, shit I know”, he mumbled, leaning in to press a kiss to your temple before the time limit slipped back into your head and made you tense up for a moment.
“The ten minutes are almost up”, you gulped, feeling how Negan loosened his arms just enough for you to back a little away and glance at him, watch as his eyes wandered slowly over your face.
“Yeah…I know but y’know what, as soon as you get out of here you go to the house and curl up in that great ass bed”, he said, still trying to lift your mood while a small grin slipped on his lips ,”And you’ll have some damn dirty dreams.”
Looking at him, you couldn’t keep the grin from mirroring on your lips, even if it was just a smaller version it let a satisfied smile spread over Negan’s face.
“Now that’s what I wanted to see”, he said, biting his lip as he glanced down on you while a part of you couldn’t believe that he’d actually managed to calm you down in this whole shit show that was happening around you.
He pulled you slowly back against his chest, embracing you in one of those big bear hugs that sparked some more warmth within you and let you relax for a moment as you urged yourself to just relish in it before it was gone.
Negan hummed deeply as he cradled you, leaning his head against yours while you melted against him, trying to shut down your busy mind to just concentrate on his touches, his warmth and his scent as it lulled you in for a little longer until you heard him mumbling your name.
“Yeah?”, you asked back as he shifted his head a bit more against yours.
“You’re the love of my damn life, you know that, right?”, he said, sending a warm wave through your body as you slowly leaned back, glancing up at him to give him a soft smile.
“You’re mine too”, you mumbled, watching as your smile got mirrored on his lips before the heavy footprint began to make their way down the stairs, pairing the warmth with the same tension from before and the realization that you would actually have to leave him in a couple moments.
“Ten minutes are up. Time to say goodbye”, you heard Roger’s voice echo down into the sell, intensifying the tension within you only more as your eyes snapped towards the open door to the stairs.
“Shit…”, you mumbled, your voice quiet even though it was filled up with suspense as Negan tugged on your shirt, enough to make you turn back around to him.
“It’s gonna be okay”, he said before he leaned in to press a kiss over your lips, trying to calm you a little down that helped only partly this time, still you nodded as soon as he slowly let go and you heard Roger’s footsteps halting before the cell.
“Yeah…yeah, it will be”, you said, gulping thickly as he reached up to your face, cupping your jaw to make you look at him for another moment, giving you that look of reassurement before Roger cleared his throat.
“As I said, ten minutes are up.”
“Yeah, I’m coming”, you said, only briefly turning around to him before facing Negan once more and leaning in to peck his lips one last time.
“See ya tomorrow morning, Sweetheart”, Negan mumbled, loosening his arms around you to let you leave, though not without giving your hand a small squeeze and one of his signature grins.
“Yeah”, you nodded, squeezing it back before forcing yourself to let go of him once for all, right as Roger opened the cell door and motioned for you to come out to him.
You followed the instruction this time, moving outside and hearing in the same moment how the door crashed into the frame again and the key turned in the lock, only leaving you one more moment to glance at Negan as he settled down on the bed and shot you a small supportive smile, before you got urged up the stairs.
Each step felt heavy as you made your way up, and they felt even harder as you eventually made your way down the street that was only enlightened by a coupe of lights.
Everything happened the way Negan had said; you slipped back into the house, peeled yourself out of your clothes, curled up underneath the sheets of the bed, right at the spot where you’d laid this midday with Negan and tried your very best to take your mind off this whole thing, for his sake and the hope that you’d have more strength to continue your fight in the morning.
Everything happened the way Negan had said.
Everything but one thing.
You didn’t see him back the next morning after a nearly sleepless night.
The next morning, Negan was gone.
(The gif isn’t mine/ it was originally posted by dancing-at-the-funeralparty)
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