“Ten fucking minutes left!”, Negan called out as he dashed through the bedroom, his eyes gleaming excitedly up as he grabbed your wrist and pulled you up from the black leather couch. “Follow me Baby, ‘cause I got a surprise!”, he chuckled as he bit his lip with a grin and dragged you away. “Hell, Negan, where are we going?”, you asked as he quickly grabbed Lucille, swung her on his shoulder and opened the heavy wooden door of the apartment hastily. “As I said, it’s a damn surprise so don’t make me fucking ruin it for you”, he chuckled as the door fell shut behind you and he pulled you with him through the hallways of the Sanctuary until you got to the stairs that let up to the roof. His large hand wandered from your wrist to your hand as he let his fingers entangle with yours while he stumped the stairs just as excitedly as before up.
Just seconds later you found yourself standing in front of a bunch of massive fire crackers, ready to be fired and shot into the night sky, next to them a small provisional clock that was counting down, a gas lamp and eventually an amused Negan who was grinning widely at you. “Simon found this shit on a damn run and boom! Here we are”, he chuckled as he leaned slightly back, his glance filled with the joy of a kid who had just gotten a new toy to play with. “And no worries. My men got that shit with the dead fucks covered”, he said as he walked towards you. “Come here”, he mumbled before he pulled you into his arms as they wrapped tightly around you and pulled you close. “Last minute’s going. Get ready”, he said as he looked at the clock before he glanced with a smirk back to you. Your arms wrapped around his torso as you cuddled closer into his warm chest that was being the best heater in this cold December night and leaned your head against his neck before you heard his voice counting down. “Ten – Nine – Eight – Seven – Six – Five – Four – Three – Two- One -” And with that you felt his warm lips on yours as he pulled you into a deep and smoldering kiss that managed to get your knees weak, while small hums and growls rubbled through his chest. “Happy New fucking Year, Baby”, he muttered against your lips, your eyes still closed before you slowly opened them and looked into his happy face. “Happy New Year”, you mumbled as you pecked his lips and felt him leaning his forehead against yours for a moment while a deep content hum left his lips.
“Alright, first one”, Negan called out moments later as he had let go of you and his lips had curled back into the wide grin while he was stumping towards the first smaller tube like fire cracker that was securely placed on the ground. “You ready?”, he asked as he looked with a smirk back to you. “Of course”, you chuckled before he leaned down, enlightened the fuse and quickly jogged back to you just as a tall spray alike flame in form of thousands of small glittery sparks bursted out of the tube. “Ho-ly shit! Now look at that damn fucker! Small as hell but cums like a big one!”, Negan called out as he pulled you closer to him, happy laughs erupting his and also your body while you watched the flame bursting higher until it slowly burned out. A small cold shudder ran over your back as Negan’s warmth left your side to grab the lighter from the ground for the next firecracker. “Ah shit, wait”, you heard him say as soon as his glance had caught the tremble that shook through your body. Quickly, his leather jacket slid from his body before he grabbed it and walked closer. “Leave it on. Negan, you’re gonna freeze”, you said as you nodded to the plain white shirt he was just wearing underneath while he shrugged his shoulders. “Well shit, then my ass gotta have to freeze”, he said with a small chuckle before you gave in and slid your arms through the warm leather sleeves. “Hell, now you’d just need to wear no fucking thing underneath”, Negan mumbled with a wide smirk and a throaty chuckle as his eyes roamed over you. Letting out a laugh as you slightly shoved his chest you nodded back to the fire crackers. “Maybe later but now it’s my turn”, you chuckled as you took the lighter out of Negan’s hand and walked towards a bunch connected rockets. Quickly, you enlightened the fuse before you stepped back again and rushed to Negan’s side while the first firecracker painted the night sky in a bright red. Just as Negan’s arms wrapped back around you, the next rocket let the sparks switch from red to light blue while you leaned against him and stared up into the sky that painted into more and more beautiful colors with every moment. “That was a great surprise”, you mumbled as you leaned slightly up to peck his lips. His warm lips placed on yours again while you heard another rocket shooting up before you felt his lips forming into a wide smirk against yours. “Well, Baby got some good news for you, ‘cause there’s another rock hard surprise just waiting for you in my damn pants.”
The Christmas lights of the tree were letting a soft light stream through the room as you were placing your present for Negan beneath the thick branches. Your glance fell for a short moment onto the gift box that was filled with a bottle of his favorite Scotch and the pair of leather gloves you had found on a run for him, since his old ones were already torn up and the damaged seams on their sides seemed pretty much irreparable. And judging from the softness of the black leather that should perfectly fit his hands, they had probably costed a big bunch of money before all of this. But the gloves weren’t the only thing you had for him. The thing that was way more important was the small sonogram picture that showed everything Negan and you had wished for.
You both had tried for a good while, had already held a bunch of negative pregnancy tests in your hands so till you took the latest one, you had waited. You had just wanted to be sure, keep yourself and Negan from experiencing another disappointment and keep yourself from having to see the sad look in his eyes when he stared at the single line on the test. So when you had taken the last one, you hadn’t just been pretty late, something had already felt different as well. You hadn’t known what it exactly was but in the end this feeling had been right. You were pregnant.
So now you were holding the small black and white picture in your hand, ready to place it in the small gift box. The original reason why you had let Carson perform the ultrasound scan on you had simply been that you wanted to be completely sure before telling Negan but now, with Christmas right around the corner this scan had given you another great opportunity. A warm feeling spread through your body as your hand rested on your belly and your glance wandered over the sonogram picture. Even though all that could be discerned on the picture so far was a small, light, elongated spot in-between the dark circle, your heart began to pump like crazy while a giant smile painted on your lips every single time your glance brushed over the picture’s surface. That was your baby.
Lowering the lid of the box, you slowly saw the picture vanishing beneath it before your fingers began to lace a bowtie around the small edges just as the thud of the heavy wooden door let you flinch up. “Oh shit, did I just catch someone fucking red-handed?”, Negan asked with a throaty chuckle as you turned around to him, hiding the box behind your back. “I did”, Negan stated with another laugh as he saw the way you stared at him. Widely grinning he walked closer, before he leaned to the side to catch the small box behind your back “Now what do we have there?”, Negan asked as he raised his brows curiously. “It’s-uh-just a little extra”, you mumbled as Negan stepped closer until not more than an inch fit between the both of you. “Well, when It’s just a little extra I’m damn sure you could give me a hint what the hell you got in there”, he mumbled with a big grin while his tongue slid slowly over his lower lip. “No”, you said, a small grin planting on your lips as well as you tried to relax. “Let me at least guess”, he said as he bit his lips and placed one of his large hands on your waist. “Uh-uh”, you muttered, shaking your head with another small grin while Negan groaned theatrically. “Come on”, he pleading urged with a laugh as you shook your head again. A sigh left Negan’s lips before the grin on them grew wider as he leaned in. Before you could do anything else his hands kept a firm grab on your waist as his lips began to tease over the sensitive flesh of your neck. “No, that’s not fair”, you groaned with a laugh in protest, as Negan’s lips placed more kisses over your neck while one of your hands placed on his chest, trying to push him softly away. “Oh I know”, he mumbled against your skin as he pulled you closer, before a small huff left your lips. “Alright, then go on. Three tries, not more”, you muttered, knowing too well that he wouldn’t ever guess what you were hiding. Negan backed away from you as he eyed the small size of the box and bit his lip once again. “Alright, first one…you got some hot-ass panties in there which you are gonna put on for me tonight”, he guessed as one of his hands pointed teasingly up to you while the smirk on his lips grew wider. “No”, you said, watching the smirk on his face fade. “Some-”, he began before a knock on the door distracted him. “Simon, I said no fucking interruptions anymore”, Negan scoffed as you saw the door opening. “The men got the shit to the kitchen you wanted to have, just wanted to let you know”, Simon said with a huff as he leaned against the door before he scratched the back of his head. “Well, everything except for the bread”, he said as he grimaced while you already heard Negan letting out a deep scoff. “Can’t those fuckers get some shit right for fucking once?”, Negan rhetorically asked with a huff before he let the palm of his hand run over his stubble and looked back to Simon. “Either way, I’ll handle that…go on ahead”, Negan said scoffing and with a quick finger movement that let Simon close the door again. “Alright gotta get shit done but after that, no single fucker’s gonna disturb us anymore”, Negan said with a grin before he leaned in to peck your lips. “Only good thing is that this crap’s gonna keep me from thinking about that fucking extra gift…you sure that there are no cute-ass panties inside?”, he teased mumbling against your lips before you shoved his chest with a laugh. “Very sure”, you said with another chuckle before you felt his warm lips placing on yours again and the urge to finally tell him that you were about to be parents just grew with every single second, even after Negan let go of you and made his way to prepare your dinner.
“Fuck, this is good”, Negan groaned delightfully as he shoved another spoon of the chocolate mousse you both had for dessert in his mouth. The basket with the bread that had been completely filled was already looking blanker and your both plates that had been filled with a bunch of delicious foods were empty by now and while all that had changed over the evening, the one thing had stayed the same. The small box laid still at the same spot on your lap and just waited for the right moment. Your fingers were nervously running over the box’s edges as you watched how Negan set the now empty small bowl down and wiped the chocolate mousse with his finger quickly from his beard stubble. You gulped, knowing that you couldn’t wait much longer anymore before you gave yourself a push, grabbed the box and laid it on the table. Negan’s brows raised curiously but before he could say a thing you opened your mouth. “So…uhm…‘cause it’s my extra gift I thought I could already give it to you”, you said with a small smile as you slowly shoved the small box over to him, “So I finally get to see what the hell you hid in there? Now that’s a damn fucking honor”, he chuckled as he dramatically placed a hand on his chest. “That shit’s been tickling my balls the whole damn day”, he added with another chuckle as he grabbed the small box. You gulped nervously but with a smile across your face as you watched him unknotting the red bowtie. A big amused smirk was still laying on his lips while your heart pumped heavily and your breath stopped for short moment as he lifted the lid and revealed the sonogram picture. His brows puckered for a moment and the smirk changed before his mouth dropped slightly open as he slowly seemed to get what this picture meant. “I’m pregnant”, you spelled it out to give his mind the last push before he turned even more big-eyed as he looked up to you. “You’re gonna be a Dad”, you mumbled with a big smile as the happiness over-toned the astonishment on Negan’s face. “Holy-”, he began but stopped, still somehow not believing what was happening right there as he stood up, still taken aback before he stumbled over to you. You had just lifted yourself from your seat as you felt Negan’s strong arms wrapping tightly around you, pulling you as close as they could against his chest, before you felt one of his hands burying into your hair, keeping your head deeply in the curve of his neck. His chest was rising and falling at a fast pace, just as his breath that repeatedly hit your skin while you could swear to be able to feel the intense way his heart was pounding against his chest.
For moments you stayed just like that before Negan’s arms slightly loosened as he backed away, some tears of joy watering his eyes as his lips seemed to form into a wider smile with every second. “We’re…fuck, we’re gonna have a baby”, he mumbled happily but still astonished as you nodded with a wide smile. Leaning back in, one of his hands cupped the back of your neck and pulled you into a deep, longing kiss while his other slowly and carefully began to place on your belly. First you felt just his fingers, then his warm palm before his thumb began to slowly stroke in small circles over your stomach. Slowly, more and more warmth streamed through your body before his lips let go of yours and his still with joy filled glance wandered from your face to the place where his hand rested. Your palms were still resting on his chest as he dropped on your chair, your hands wandering to his shoulders and neck as his hands placed on your hips. Carefully, he reached out to pull your top a bit up, his glance still focused on your belly as he pulled you closer, wrapped his arms around your hips and leaned his head against your stomach. His beard stubble tickled your skin as he let out a content sigh, the big smile that was just as bright as yours was still planted all over his face as he turned his head to place a kiss on your belly. “Hey kiddo, here’s Daddy”, Negan murmured against your skin with a small, happy chuckle while your hand ran slowly through his dark hair and caressed his neck. His nose nestled back against your skin with a content hum, the smile that was formed on his lips began to be clearly palpable against your belly while his warm breath hit your skin repeatedly.
So if you wanted to say it with Negan’s words, the ones he seemed to have mostly lost to the joy that was filling him up right now, you both were right in these moments the most happiest fuckers this motherfucking asshole of a world had to offer.
The hallways of the Sanctuary were faintly enlightened as you made your way side by side with Negan through them, tension filling you up by the thought that he was about give you an explanation why he had left after kissing you and why he had acted like a goddamn jerk later on. This tension got accompanied by another strained feeling, produced by what you had heard about the escape of Carson and your friend Gabriel as you had followed Negan through the hallway.
And then you sat in the apartment, the moment you had waited for became real as you sat down on the leather couch and watched how Negan let himself fall onto the armchair towards it. His glance was fixed onto the end of Lucille’s handle as he held her in between his legs and rolled her end uneasily over the carpet, a deep sigh leaving his lips as he ran one hand over is face, trying to find a beginning. ”I guess I got a special fucking talent for fucking things up that matter the most to me…”, he mumbled, a nervous and humorless chuckle leaving his lips as his words sent a shiver through your body. He gulped harshly, his glance still casted to the ground as he took a deep breath. You knew exactly that this was hard for him, talking about his own feelings especially when they made him vulnerable, but right now you couldn’t have consideration for that. Deliberately or not, he hadn’t done that with you too in that truck, even though this was by far not the reason. You simply needed to know, you finally needed to get an answer to the “Why?” that was spooking through your head for already way too long. “I panicked, fuck…I know that’s no damn excuse”, he mumbled, his eyes meeting yours for a moment before he clenched his jaw and breathed stressfully out. “I would’ve been the last person to not understand if you would’ve told me you needed some time for yourself to get sorted, …I know how that feels”, you mumbled, not to directly reproach him with it but rather to show him that you weren’t mad at him for panicking but for what he had done. “I know, I just-”, he said, stopping as the words seemed to be stuck in his throat again. A moment of silence followed as he stared into the emptiness, his lips pressed tightly on one another as he heavily gulped. “You make me feel shit again and that…”, he began, uneasiness in his voice before he took another deep and heavy breath, “It fucking terrifies me.” You weren’t even looking directly in his eyes but right there, right in these moments there was nothing of the big bad wolf left in his glance, in it he was just a man at one of his most vulnerable points. The words echoed through your head, stirring up something in you and creating tiny bit of that familiar warmth in your body. “I didn’t have that since Lucille and I-”, Negan said his body tension up as he shifted uncomfortably on the armchair while that feeling in you increased as he opened more up to you. “In that damn truck,…it all got so real, I couldn’t see past shit anymore and that crap battered my ass down… and it hit the fucking panic button. I just…I didn’t know what to do”, he said as he gulped harshly, his brows puckering as he tried to keep himself sorted. “I’ve already screwed once marriage up and now,…fuck”, he scoffed, running a hand over his face as his voice broke, the desperation in it so real that it send shivers through your bones that just got stronger as he finally looked directly into your eyes.
“Damn rain ruined our cookout”, you grumbled into Negan’s white shirt as you watched the raindrops splatter onto the metallic top of the grill that should have been by now home of sizzling steaks and sausages.
Instead you found yourself laying in Negan’s arms, leaned against his side on the porch swing, feeling its soft movements dangling the both of you while some lonely water drops of the summer rain made their way here and there towards your skin.
“Maybe that but not the whole fucking evening”, Negan mumbled into your hair before he leaned a little in to press a kiss on your forehead.
Just as you cuddled a little more up to him and felt his hand wandering over your legs that were swung over his, another bunch of raindrops splattered against the porch’s railing and bounced up into your direction.
Within the moment the drops hit the skin of your legs and Negan’s arms you could suddenly feel his lips forming into a big grin against your forehead.
“You know what, Baby? I got an idea”, he grumbled smirking, loosening his grasp on you before he let your legs slide off his lap, stood up and nodded towards the rain as he stretched one of his large hands out for you to take it.
“Let’s make this rain our damn bitch”, he chuckled with a wider grin, anticipation already spread all over his handsome features while your glance went for a short moment outside where the rain was falling in long, tight threads to the ground.
If you were honest, they did seem very tempting to your inner child.
“I mean, the rain’s gotta be warm and y’know I’ll make it fucking fun”, Negan chuckled before you glanced back at him and saw into is eyes that were filled with utter joy and excitement.
Within seconds he had persuaded you and made you slide your hands quickly into his large palm before you saw the grin on his face widening as he grasped your hand tighter and helped you with ease up.
Just moments later you found yourself standing in the warm summer rain, feeling it falling on your skin and pelting down onto your clothes as it let the light fabric cling to your body within seconds before Negan’s warm hand was slowly leaving yours.
Before you had fully recognized him slipping from your side you suddenly felt large splashes of water hitting your skin, letting your glance snap up only to look into to the roguish, almost devilish amused, face of Negan who had one of his feet buried in a puddle of rainwater and didn’t wait another second to let it snap up again to hit you with the next splash.
“Oh you asshole”, you called indignantly but laughing out, looking wide eyed at him while a booming and throaty laughter mumbled through his broad chest. “Ah come on, you else never fucking complain when I spurt on you”, Negan chuckled as some wet strand of his dark hair detached from their slicked back state and fell into his face while the smirk on his face grew wider.
You let out a chuckling groan, shaking your head playfully about him before you felt another splash hitting your skin and letting you flinch up.
And even though the way Negan’s wet clothes clung to his body, the way he stroke his dark and wet hair with a wide grin on his lips back and the way the raindrops ran down his skin almost caught all of your attention for a moment, the revenge thoughts quickly got it back.
“Just you wait!”, you called snickering out through the rain that kept pelting with small thuds onto the earthy and grassy ground while Negan rose his eyebrows and let his tongue run teasingly over his lower lip as if he wanted to spur you even more on.
Giving him one last grin you turned around and paced over to the small flower field at the hedge, already seeing the watering can lingering by its side that had filled itself with rainwater by now.
“Oh hell no”, you heard Negan call from somewhere behind you, catching on about what you were heading for while it just made you run faster as Negan’s splashing footsteps sounded closer and closer through to you.
More laughs left your lips as made your way closer to the watering can but almost tripped on the slippery grass before you finally grabbed the green can and turned as fast around as its weight allowed you to.
Catching Negan just a few feet away from you, you heft the can more up, wrapped your hands around its end before pushing it away from you, letting the water rush out of its larger opening in a big splash right against his tall frame.
“Holy Fuck!”, he called out as the water hit his face and his broad shoulders, soaking his shirt even more than it already was before his eyes darted right at you again as he stroke another bunch of wet hair strand out of his face.
“Ya better run”, Negan said lowly, smirking wolfishly as he was already beginning to take some teasingly slow steps towards you in the pelting rain before suddenly letting his arms and hands shot towards you, trying to grasp you as you jumped back as new laughter erupted both of your bodies.
Feeling how more and more raindrops ran down your skin and the water of the ground splattered against your legs with each fast step you took, you ran faster, trying to outrun Negan who was already on his way to you, coming closer and closer with each of his large steps.
“You won’t get me”, you called out, already breathing heavily as more chuckles left your lips before you suddenly felt his fingers trying to grasp your waist.
A gasp left your lips as soon as his fingers tightened, his large hands cupped your sides before he stopped you completely by wrapping his strong arms around you and pulling you against his firm and wet chest.
“Gotcha”, Negan drawled as his hot breath vibrated against your ear and his arms tightened a little more around your body.
“And you can bet your sweet ass on that I won’t fucking let you go again”, he chuckled, his wet and warm lips pressing in against your jaw and down your neck before he let his teeth tug softly on the sensitive skin of your neck.
“You’re just afraid you’re gonna get another load of water”, you chuckled, turning around in his arms to face him as he leaned closer in to you.
A wet hair strand fell into his face while more rain drops got caught in his salt and pepper beard before his grin grew even wider, “The only fucking one who’s gonna get a damn load is you”, he chuckled lowly against your lips before he quickly captured them and pulled you in a deep kiss.
Almost as if the rain was melting the both of you into each other you stood in the middle of the garden, slinging your arms around his neck and burying your fingers in his tousled hair, while Negan pressed your body closer against his as deep growls rumbled through his chest and vibrated in an intoxicating rhythm against you.
Almost breathless you let go of each other, his lips hovering still closely above yours before another chuckle wandered up his throat as he leaned in to give your lips another peck.
“Now lets get inside”, he murmured with his deep drawling voice against your wet skin, “Gotta peel that wet shit off of you…unless you wanna fuck in the rain?”
With a thick knot in your stomach and a heartbeat that was speeding up with each passing second, you left Negan’s patient room and followed Rick towards the infirmary’s large kitchen. With each step you were catching up on his heavy footsteps, feeling as if he was leading you like a lamb to the slaughter even though he had just asked you for a talk. A talk for the very first time in a while and a goddamn talk after the tension between the both of you hadn’t ebbed away, not even closely. He was still looking at you the very same way as he had when he had found out about your relationship to Negan, so now your mind and body tried to prepare for whatever he was about to throw at you while thousands of questions buzzed through your head uncountable bees in a busy hive.
By now, you could hear Siddiq roaming around in the kitchen, grabbing meds out of drawers that were originally supposed to carry cooking utensils while the sound of whatever he was doing in these moments echoed horribly through your head.
Sooner than you liked you found yourself standing in the kitchen, leaning against one of the wooden counters while Rick stood just a few feet away from you, sinking his fingers into the brunette curls at the back of his head as he was letting out a sigh. For a short moment, your eyes wandered to Siddiq, eyeing the old brown leather bag you hadn’t seen him use before while the name that was scribbled onto it’s side with a black sharpie, just like the special meds inside let a another shudder run through you. ‘Maggie’ was written on the bleached out part at the bag’s edge and meds just as vitamins that could be used for the last bit of her pregnancy and the eventual birth were sorted into its inside. You knew it couldn’t be too long anymore, just as you knew that Siddiq would leave Alexandria a little earlier than the estimated birthdate to make sure everything was fine. So the fact that he was now already packing the bag to make sure he had everything for whenever this time would be was surprising you less than Rick turning up at your doorstep. “You need me to go?”, you suddenly heard Siddiq ask, ripping you away from your thoughts of Maggie and back into your nervousness about Rick as he looked up from one of the drawers and made the leader’s glance dart at him. “No, no, it’s fine”, he just said giving you a small bit of hope that this talk wouldn’t turn into just another fight before the way his blue orbs wandered over to you quickly let your stomach drop again. “Well, I wanted to ask you for something”, Rick said, letting the astonishment in your body grow as you slowly rose your brows and waited for him to continue. “Now that…Negan”, he spoke the name out as if keeping it in his mouth any longer would poison him, “is doing better…I’d like to have you working outside. We can need every helping hand…so after everything…yours too.” With that he stopped and looked at you, into your eyes that darted with even bigger astonishment than before at him. You knew that they needed help, that Alexandria was trying hard to recover, still you hadn’t thought of him asking you for your help, not after your last encounter. Hell, you had expected him to throw anything at you when he had stood in the doorframe of Negan’s room. Anything but this. “If it’s okay, she could accompany me”, you suddenly heard Siddiq rip you out of the surprised trance you had been floating in over the last seconds. “I’ve been having a lot work lately, from small stuff to bigger wounds and by now I got the feeling she knows more about the meds we got here than me”, Siddiq added with a sympathetic chuckle, referring to the uncountable times you had sorted tablets and salves in and out, had helped him treating and changing Negan’s bandages and had him teach you one or the other thing that could be helpful, adding onto the bit Hershel had taught you such a long time ago. You were still swinging somewhere between astonishment and surprise as some relief sneaked into your body, slowly settling in as you began to realize that this could be a first step into a better direction, maybe into finally becoming a part of all of this again. Just as Negan shot into your mind along with the fact that you had to leave him alone to fulfill Rick’s plea the relief got poked by some guilt. But before you could even think about it any more you heard Rick’s voice ripping you out of your thoughts. “Good idea but I need her somewhere else, the crops or the wall maybe”, Rick said, something swinging in his voice you couldn’t fully recognize along with its pressed and a little too fast pace. “So what do you say?…Could be a new beginning”, Rick asked, as his eyes were like glued on you again while this last part made a rush of hope rush through your body even though you were still feeling overwhelmed and a little confused. Sure, Rick was clenching his jaw, his nostrils were trembling a bit and the muscles in his cheek were twitching slightly like they always did when he was tensed up but for a situation like this, a situation after your last arguement…not nearly as much as you had thought. Rick’s brows perked up as he looked at you, and just as your eyes met his again you knew that you had to take this opportunity if you wanted things to become better, even if you just wanted to not let them become worse. Hell, after all, you had waited for some kind of possibility this whole time so now, you needed to take it or you wouldn’t just be a hypocrite, you’d lose the last bit of hope for a new start too. So you pushed your guilt away, told yourself that Siddiq would take good care of Negan, as well as that Negan wouldn’t want you to pass on a chance like this and with that, you gave Rick a nod. “I’m in”, you told him, seeing him responding with a nod as well while a small smile began to form on your lips as you began to realize that this was real just before you could hear Rick clearing his throat. “Alright, then I’ll see you tomorrow morning at 9 am at my house.”
Still feeling as if you were half-way stuck in a trance you found yourself sitting not too much later at the edge of Negan’s bed just seconds after you had told him about everything that had happened in the kitchen. And while you had talked, you had seen the worry that had plastered all over his face when you had rushed into the room being mostly replaced with relief. But still, you could see in his eyes that a bit concern was left and it didn’t surprise you just remembering the way you had laid sobbing in his arms after the last and only time you had been outside this house and had encountered a whole lot of them in the worst way possible. “If he’d riled you up and made you cry, I fucking swear I’d climbed out of this goddamn shitbed and ripped him a fucking new one”, Negan grumbled reaching towards your hand to let his fingertips run over your knuckles while his jaw tensed slightly. You looked softly at him, having to give him a tiny smile caused by his protectiveness before you curled your fingers around his to reassure him a little, “It wasn’t just him this last time…was just the cherry on the top”, you mumbled, catching his hazel eyes as they glanced up. Back then, you had been mad – furious at Rick for what he had done while you were gone, for taking Lucille and for the chains he had put on Negan that were now gladly gone, but it had been a bit since then and even though the stubbornness in your body protested a little, you couldn’t pass on any chances. “I know he’s just asking for my help to work…but it’s a start”, you mumbled, letting your smile grow a little as you shifted a bit on the mattress. “Yeah…now I’m glad Rick’s swallowing whatever shit he’s got stirring in his damn skull, still…take care, alright? Don’t let any of those angry fuckers get you down”, he mumbled while you could see in the way he was glancing at you that didn’t trust Rick’s offer all the way yet. “I won’t”, you mumbled, giving him another small smile before you exhaled softly as you heft yourself a little up to climb next to him into the bed, feeling how he was wrapping his arms around you as soon as you huddled up to him. His scent quickly engulfed you as you nuzzled your nose into the warm skin of his neck and hummed quietly in approval as soon as his lips pressed a kiss on your temple while you hoped that as soon as you’d close your eyes, this new start wouldn’t turn out as just a dream that splattered like an air bubble.
“Feelin’ fine?”, you heard Negan ask the next morning, careful and still a little concerned as he had just gulped down another spoon full of his oatmeal and was eyeing your face, taking care of that he could catch any of your reactions. “Yeah”, you mumbled, shifting on your chair and letting the wide end of your spoon sink into the thick mixture as you looked into his hazel eyes, “Just a little nervous, that’s all.” You gave him a small smile, and neither it nor your words were a lie. Sure, there was still the fear about the reactions of your old friends and anybody else who was working out there which was the source of the nervousness that streamed through your body and made your hands clammy, but the fact that this might be a promising offer kept it in rein. Your glance wandered to the digital clock on Negan’s nightstand, on which the digitals formed again and again into the next one and diminished the time that was left until you had to make your way towards Rick’s house that was after all, your old home too. And just as another two digits changed and the clock turned into 08:50 you felt Negan’s hand moving over your legs that were hooked over his until he could squeeze your thigh softly. “You’ll carry this crap off, Baby. I fucking know it. You’ll rock the crops or the damn wall or what-fucking-ever”, Negan chuckled softly, winking uplifting at you as he was giving your thigh another squeeze with his large warm palm and was choking his own concern back. “Thanks”, you mumbled, giving him a loving smile before your eyes darted at the clock on which the digits changed faster than you liked. “Want me to pump some special luck into you?”, Negan asked lowly but still with a chuckle as he got your glance back to him, letting you look into his roguish and wolfish eyes as he perked his eyebrows with a wide grin on his lips up. Snickering, you swung your legs off his and shifted off the chair. “I’d love you to do that but I gotta go…don’t wanna be too late on the first day”, you said, giving Negan a small grin as you leaned down to him and cupped his jaw to caress your lips over his. A low growl travelled up his throat as he sat the bowl in his hands aside to pull you a little closer while his salt and pepper beard tickled your fingertips and the sensitive skin of your face before you slowly let go of him. “See you this evening….at the latest”, you mumbled against his lips before pressing another quick peck on his lips before you suddenly felt a little guilt washing back up. “Don’t you worry your sweet ass off for me, I’ll pass my time, too”, he mumbled with a smirk spread over his handsome features as he must have caught the way you had tensed at the sound of your own words. “Might gonna spend some quality time with my dick”, Negan grumbled with a throaty chuckle before you let a laugh vibrate against his lips and shoved his chest playfully, “Or get my ass to begin that book you brought me from home.” He grinned wider as he quirked an eyebrow at you as you leaned in to press your lips once more on his lips before you eventually made your way outside.
The sun was already shining brightly as you made your way down the road, catching how more and more people streamed over Alexandria’s streets and found their proper place to work. You were tensing, this awful feeling that your lungs were pressed more and more in was spreading over your ribcage while the house got closer and closer until you stood eventually right in front of it. It was one of the homes that had fully survived the flames and for a short moment you remembered the night you had stood in front of it, surrounded by the fire of other houses, right after you had helped Carl, right before Negan had beaten the man to death who had left you with bleeding wounds and dark bruises for doing so. A shudder ran down your spine just thinking about those moments that almost made you feel the stinging of your injuries and the biting heat of the flames again. Taking a deep breath you stumbled up the stairs, your clammy hands pressing onto the fabric of your pants before your eyes caught something in the corner of the porch that hadn’t been there before. Two handprints in dried blue paint, a small and a bigger one. Just as your mind began to grasp whose handprints that had to be, the small one that fitted to a toddler and the other that could fit to someone older, but still far from fully grown, a harsh shudder ran through you and the squeaking sound of a door made your glance shot up. Rick’s blue eyes darted at you as he stood in the door way, glancing at you while you felt a little bit like a helpless first grader waiting for the teacher to guide you into the class. “Hey”, you just mumbled, glancing inside at the clock on the wall that had just pointed at the black 9 on the clock face. “Guess we’ll get going then”, Rick said with a quick nod, a little tensed as well before he made a quick hand gesture down the porch.
Moments later you found yourself walking with Rick down the street, here and there you could catch some eye pairs glancing at the strange view of the both of you together. “You’ll work at the crops, digging up some soil and planting the vegetables we can grow right now”, Rick mumbled, his glance still darting right into what laid in front of him instead of you. You just mumbled an “Okay” back along with a small nod as he lead you further away from the infirmary and his home, along houses that were being rebuild, other crops and small and newly dug up fields where people were already working on growing new supplies. Just as you got closer to the plain opposite of where you had started and walked into the direction of the older parts of the wall, that were already a little rusted and would probably get within the next months renewed to build Alexandria bigger and stronger, your eyes caught another field. A big part of it was already dug up, another bit of it was still nothing but dirt and grass that was marked off with a red cord while five people were pacing over the field. “Almost there”, Rick mumbled as you walked closer, giving you the possibility to get a closer look at who you were about to work with. Two men and a woman were digging up the soil within the marked part, another man and a girl, maybe around four or fifteen, were crouching down to prepare seeds to be planted. Rick was a step ahead, pointing at the digging three as you still walked over the road ,”Might recognize their faces. They got from the Hilltop here to help. From left to right, Seth, Molly and Rob.” Rick’s finger wandered over them, from the tall, light brown haired man who seemed to be in his late thirties, to the short and sturdy woman who must be in her late twenties or early thirties and then to the slim and auburn haired man who had to be about the same age as the woman. You gave him a nod, right before he gestured to the two who were crouching on the ground and who both hadn’t caught Rick nor you yet. “They’re from the kingdom…that’s Caleb and the girl’s Eden”, Rick mumbled, nodding towards the both of them. The man was just picking up his small shovel to dug a little deeper into the soil as his glance went up to capture you and Rick. He was probably in his mid-twenties, his short, ash blonde hair was already a bit tousled from the work while some glaucous eyes wandered over you as his eyebrows puckered slightly, as if he was pondering for a moment.
The girl, Eden, was looking for a short moment up as well, but instead like the young man she just clenched her jaw for a few seconds before she quickly glanced back to the ground. Your eyes stayed stuck on her for some small moments, glancing over her face, over the undeniable resemblance and the long blonde hair that was just a bunch of shades lighter than the young man’s which made you quickly realize that both of them must be siblings. ”Thought you could help Caleb and Eden with the planting”, Rick mumbled while your eyes wandered over the field as the young man’s were darting back to the ground again. “They already know you’ll join them. So Caleb’s gonna induct you in everything else you need to know”, Rick began to say, dryly and clenching his jaw again before you looked for the first time since you had left the house into his eyes. “Okay”, you mumbled, feeling the nervousness beginning to sneak up into you again before you already saw him turning into the direction you had come from. Still you felt a bit like that schoolgirl, not really sure how to behave, but before you could decide how you’d do that towards your old friend, he took the decision from you as he gave you a nod and made his way back down the street. Gulping, you glanced at the workers while a small part of you was glad that none of them were one of your old friends even though you exactly knew that these five probably weren’t be too happy to work with you as well. War’s end or not, their thoughts about Negan couldn’t have changed much. And same would most likely count for the person by his side. So was it now your turn to shift those thoughts? At least about you?
With a deep breath you began to stroll over to Caleb, feeling the restlessness in your body grow while you were still figuring a way out how to properly act. Just as you stood a few feet away from him, his eyes darted up at you and before you could press out a “Hello” or anything else, he quickly got on his feet, smeared the dirt a bit off his hands and onto his jeans just to stretch a hand out to you. “Hey, I’m Caleb”, he said, giving you a slight but still friendly smile that perplexed you for the very first seconds. That on his face wasn’t Rick’s work, he had given you this job but you couldn’t think of him explicitly telling them to be nice to you. No, this guy was actually just being kind and just as you realized it you tried to get rid of your own clammy hands and gave his a small squeeze before you finally got yourself to raise your voice. “Hi, Rick just told me about you”, you said, pressing a small smile into the corners of your lips, “(Y/N).” “Yeah, I know”, he said, still with that friendly smile that you hadn’t expected from any one here in Alexandria towards you, but as much as it surprised you as much made it loose you a little up. “Okay, think we’ll get to introduce you to our work now, right?”
After the next while you were a lot smarter about what was going on at your new workplace, got to know that they were mostly trying to plant kale and tomatoes at the moment, just to have, especially with the former, vegetables that could mostly grow all year long. You got to know where the big metallic box with the tools you needed stood that got used by some other people at different crop fields as well and had already been the source of some drama when some shovels had mysteriously disappeared and then one day later just as mysteriously reappeared. You got to know the way they liked to work and plant the seeds and seedlings they had transported from the Hilltop over to Alexandria and while Caleb stayed as friendly as he had been at your welcoming, the other four, including his sister, kept their distance most of the times. They weren’t rude and not nearly as passive or even openly aggressive like some of your old friends had been around you, but rather reserved and while you weren’t gonna hold that against them, you definitely preferred Caleb’s openness. “Seemed surprised earlier”, you heard Caleb say as he dug into the soil and shoveled deeper into the dirt before his glaucous eyes wandered up to you while you had just planted your first Hilltop plant into the earth. You swallowed slightly, not sure what to say as your glance met his, “Just isn’t the reaction I mostly get when I meet people around here”, you mumbled, letting out an uneasy chuckle before you caught him shrugging his shoulders slightly. “War’s over, we don’t have that peace for nothing…now I don’t know everything but I heard Michonne say you wanted it to stop so…”, he grumbled, digging with his hands into the earth before he looked back up at you, “And every-…at least most people deserve another chance.” His eyes were darting at you, before you gave him another small but thankful smile and got back to the plant in front of you, grabbing your small shovel just as you heard his voice again. “Talking about second chances, huh?”, Caleb said as he made your glance wander up to him, watching him nodding over to the tool box and a person you hadn’t even thought you’d see again. Your lips began to gape slightly open, the shovel loosened itself out of your grasp and fell with a dull thud into the dirt as your eyes wandered over the woman, as if they wanted to make sure that she wasn’t just a mirage. But she wasn’t, the a bit too sharp hair cut was still the same, the clothes were changed from the cloak to some jeans and a plaid shirt and the blonde was just a bit more grown out than before, revealing more of the brunette roots. Jadis. You gulped, not able to get your eyes off the woman as your only real encounter with her flashed in front of your eyes. The fight, right after you had seen Negan and Rick almost killing one another in a burning and walker infested building, right after you had been with them in this burning hell, right after you had fallen with Negan through the glass window and had ended up injured but differently to Negan conscious on the blacktop of an alley. Right as you had tried with all might to protect Negan from her, tried to keep her from taking him, tried to unsuccessfully tell her that her group’s massacre hadn’t been his but Simon’s fault, tried to use Negan’s beloved bat to win against her while you were fighting a whole other battle with the unconsciousness that wanted to drag you into its depths. And it had won along with her, she had taken him away from you that day. When you had found him back, alive and along with Lucille strolling through her junkyard, you had pretty quickly found out that Negan hadn’t killed her, not even after what she had tried to do to Lucille. He seemed to rather pity her, felt on top of that guilty to have trusted Simon just to be betrayed that greatly and with that, you weren’t feeling the urge right now to go for her jugular. Still, it was odd to see her now, here in Alexandria after all. But maybe that was the way others were seeing you too.
”Surprised again?”, Caleb asked as he for the first time managed to get your eyes off of her again,”I was too, after everything that has happened between her and Rick-” He shrugged his shoulders slightly as his eyes darted for a moment to the plant in his hands before they wandered back up to Jadis. ”But Anne’s been doing a good job as far as I know-” ”Anne?”, you asked as he trailed off in response to your puckered brows. ”Yeah, Anne. Got no idea where she got that ‘Jadis’ thing from but apparently the one now’s her real name”, Caleb mumbled, shoveling some soil around the thin roots while you gave him a small nod. ”Either way, eyery hand can help and as I said…she seems to do a good job and for now, that’s the only thing that counts, right?”, Caleb added, while he put his attention back to the work right in front of him. ”Yeah”, you just mumbled back, feeling how your glance began to wander back up to the large tool box just to suddenly meet a pair of dark eyes that darted astounded right back at you. Just like you had been looking at her moments ago, she was now looking at you, with slightly widened eyes and lips that were gaping surprised open right before she seemed to force herself to rally her mind again. Gulping she looked away, grabbing a small rake before she quickly made her way back towards where she had come from, leaving you still a little wondering.
And after Jadis or Anne or whatever she was really called had left, Caleb kept on talking a little here and there with you, in between shoveling deeper into the soil and planting new vegetables, all while the others mostly stayed focussed on their work and the talks they already had with one another. And with each hour that passed in the warmly shining sun, you were finding more things out that made you feel like you had truly been living in a bubble for the last weeks, shielded from any information that considered the past, the present and maybe even the future. Morgan was gone, not dead, but gone. First he had lived at the junkyard, apart from people to find himself again, then, despite Rick and others trying to persuade him otherwise, he had left into the unknown without telling anybody where he was going or when – if he was coming back. Another thing were the missing people you noticed, the ones that had died during the battles and of whose faiths you hadn’t known about till now, except for Eric’s. Tobin and Francine were just a few of the names that made you gulp harshly and clench your jaw when you thought about the fact that they hadn’t died because of the dead, but because of a goddamn war. There were new people as well, or at least people new to Alexandria that had been transferred here from other communities to help rebuilding the Safe Zone. A few of them had been residents of the Hilltop whose faces you could recognize here just as you had done it with Seth, Molly and Rob’s, others were completely unknown like Caleb and Eden. Next to the new people, there was newly achieved knowledge too, from a book the Hilltop had been given by another small group which contained all kinds of instructions for windmills, water pumps and anything else a community needed to someday fully function on its own. The story about how they got it was almost a little too strange to actually believe, but after all and after how much you had heard this book could help, it seemed to have been worth it. And next to all this, you were sure there was more you were about to discover, step by step.
The sun made its journey over the sky above you while hour after hour passed and the day at the crops began to leave its marks on you. Your back and knees were aching slightly from bending over the soil and shifting over the earthy ground, and while you inwardly cursed the hell out of it, a tiny part of you was in an odd way glad about feeling like you had done something. Your hands were still stained with the dark brown earth as you began to collect your tools shortly after Seth had called out that it was quitting time for today. Caleb was at the other side of the field, talking to his younger sister and Rob, while Seth and Molly were collecting the empty food cans you had eaten in your short break as you began to shove the small rakes and shovels into your arms before you got yourself with a small but strained groan back on your feet. Your fingers laced around the handles, making sure that you wouldn’t let everything fall within the next seconds while a small smile began to grow on your lips as your mind wandered to the fact that it was just a bit left until you could go back to your transitory-home and Negan. After all, he had been for the last weeks in the infirmary and even for the bunch of months before as good as always been around you, so not seeing him all day long let your longing for him grow and made you look forward to the moment you could walk back into the infirmary. Still with the small smile on your lips and with your eyes stuck to the tools in your arms you began to stroll in the direction of the metal box, keeping yourself from stumbling over the uneven ground before your eyes went up to the metallic box that was glistening in the warm light. And just as your eyes got a little dazzled by the reflecting beams you caught the person standing next to it who just began to drop a little rake along with other tools into the box. The moment your eyes caught the sharp hair cut again your feet stopped walking while your mind was already beginning to rush, troubled with the question of what to do if you didn’t want to have this all to end up awkward as hell. You couldn’t go back to the crops, if, and you were sure that she’d notice, it wouldn’t only make it more awkward, it would make you feel cowardish too. So even though you wished you would have just kept kneeling a little longer on the ground, you began to make your way towards her and the box, keeping an eye on the tools in your arms while you could feel how her glance began to capture you as the clicking sound of dropping metal echoed through your head. A tight breath left your lips as you reached the box, catching how her earth stained hands were sorting more tools into its inside. And just as you began to loose your grasp on the ones in your arms as they were beginning to dig uncomfortably into your skin, you suddenly heard how she uneasily cleared her throat and rose her voice. “Heard he killed him…Simon”, she mumbled, leaving you for a short moment astounded as your eyes got lead by the sound of her voice up to her face and met her eyes for a split second. Slowly, you began to nod, your eyes pacing in between her and the tools as you were trying to estimate her more with every passing second, “Yeah…he did.” For a short moment, she stayed quiet, the corners of your eyes only caught how she gave you a small nod as well while only the sound of the clinking metal on one another and the dull voices of the people around you sounded through to you. “That it had been his…Simon’s decision to murde-”, she began again, her voice breaking shaking off as she couldn’t even finish the last word before she took a sharp breath and looked hesitantly at you ,”…that’s what you were trying to tell me, right?” When you punched me to the ground and pressed your shoe’s sole into my face? Yes, I tried. You gulped down your first thought, knowing that after all, she had just lost everything. That she refused to let someone from the other side, who’s crouched whimpering but still protectively over the alleged enemy and murder, talk to her wasn’t a big surprise. And as much as you didn’t like to admit it, every one would, you included. “Yeah”, you ended up to just mumble back while you caught her giving you another nod before the last one of her tools landed with the dull thud in the box. With a tight breath falling from her lips, her hands found the box’s side, her fingertips pressing against the dirty metal as if she was searching for some support. “Sorry”, you suddenly heard her say, quietly but clear, before this one word made you look up into her eyes that were even though they were holding a glance you couldn’t fully recognize, genuine. “Sorry ‘bout your people too”, you said back after a few quiet seconds, feeling like you couldn’t leave the obvious hanging in the air. She just gave you another small nod as her eyes went down, filling with some sadness before she cleared her throat once again. “See you around”, she mumbled awkwardly as she was glancing up at you for a small second before loosening her hold on the metal and leaving you standing there, with the last tools in your arms and still astounded that you had just talked to her.
The proceeding evening sun was turning everything in even warmer colors as you found yourself walking up to the infirmary’s front door whose white surface got drowned into a bright shade of orange. Smearing the last bit of dirt off your hands on your now brownish looking pants you grabbed the doors handle and pushed it open, letting you slip inside before you closed it with a small thud behind yourself. “I’m back”, you called out, trying to find out if Siddiq was still working only to hear the familiar voice calling back that brought a pleasant warmth into your aching body. “Fuck yes!”, you heard Negan call back with a loud and throaty chuckle as your cheeks began to gleam in anticipation and your feet were carrying you through the kitchen and the hallways, leaving swift footsteps behind that sounded over the wooden floorboards. Chuckling quietly you let your foot nudge against the edge of his door that was just off the latch before it opened and revealed Negan leaning against the backrest of his patient bed, grinning widely at you while something very familiar was gone. “You’ve shaved”, you said surprised as you looked into his eyes and saw his lips widening that were no longer surrounded by the salt and pepper beard. “Well, ‘hello’ to you too”, Negan chuckled, running a hand over his clean shaved cheek as you began to walk over to his bed’s side. “Surprised, huh? Had to get that shit off before it could run wild”, he said smirking as one of his hands reached up to your hip. “Really? I liked it”, you chuckled as you already saw him perking his dark brows up. “Better than clean fucking shaven? Don’t tell me you don’t like it, getting that shit off was hard as fuck…had to take care that I wasn’t getting those damn bandaids wet…I bet Doc would’ve killed me otherwise”, Negan snickered teasingly. “No, I like that just as much. The work was worth it”, you chuckled, before you leaned down to him to press your lips on his, letting them caress over the familiar lips and the unusual smoothness of his face’s skin you hadn’t felt till now and which was replacing the tickling of the beard. Humming contently into the kiss you felt him pulling you a little closer while the hunger you had build up for him over the day got slowly satisfied. “Come here”, Negan grumbled against your lips as soon as you’d let a little go of him to catch your breath. “Nah I have to shower first, I got earth all over me”, you grumbled as you looked down on your stained pants and shirt, “I’m too dirty.” Just as you had spoken out the last few words you let out a small groan as you heard Negan’s throaty chuckle and saw him grinning widely at you. “Oh, you can’t be too damn dirty for me”, he teased lowly, running his tongue over his lower lips before another chuckle rumbled through his chest as you playfully nudged his arm. “I’ll be right back, and then I’ll have some surprises for you too.”
A bit later, after you had washed the soil off your skin and had pulled some clean clothes for the evening and the night over, you sat on the chair next to Negan’s bed, your legs swung over his like usual while you ate the last bites of your sandwich and finished to tell him about the last bit of your day, including all the surprises you’ve had. From Jadis or Anne – you still weren’t too sure what to call her – to the people you worked with, Negan was being curious about everything you had done all day. He had been just as surprised as you about the fact that she had decided to live here after all, had been more than glad that you didn’t have another awful or painful encounter with anybody outside even though you could tell by the way he was now clenching his jaw slightly that he was at least a bit suspicious of Caleb and his friendliness. “I just fucking want you to be okay, that’s why”, Negan said, running his fingers over your legs as he had seen the way your brows had rose slightly in response to his glance. “I know”, you said back, watching how his glance was focused on his tracing fingers while you knew that next to the concern there was a tiny bit that was poking his jealously vein. He glanced up at you as you stayed silent for a moment, his eyes wandering over your face before he gulped as he seemed to try to read your thoughts off your expression. Clenching his jaw slightly, you could tell that he was pondering, probably cursing the hell out of himself before his hazel eyes found yours. “I’m not jealous of that guy. I’m damn happy for you, I really fucking am”, he finally said, referring to what hung unspoken in the air while even though he was denying it for your sake and you truly believed him that he was more than happy for you, a part of the sound in his voice and his glance backstabbed him regarding the jealousy, no matter how small he was trying to keep it. Setting the plate that was laying in your lap aside you gave him a soft smile before you a small strained breath left your lips as you heft yourself up from the chair and climbed next to him into the bed. “I know”, you said again, leaning in to peck his lips before you smiled at him as you pressed another kiss against his clean shaven cheek,“There wouldn’t be a reason to either way.”
Feeling how Negan tucked you in beneath the blanket along with him, you cuddled closer up, laid your head into the curve of his neck and let your hand rest on his slowly rising and falling chest. A small yawn left your lips as you could feel the work of the day urging your body to pay the price while Negan leaned his head against yours and let his lips press a soft kiss on your forehead. “Maybe I can make you some spaghetti someday with those tomatoes I’ve planted”, you chuckled quietly, nuzzling your nose into the warmth of his neck as his lips grew into a soft smile before you suddenly felt it hush as he was tensing a little while your mind began to replay your words that suddenly began to look different as you thought about them once more. Someday, someday when he was in prison, someday when he wasn’t able to cook for you, nor to do anything with you outside his cell. You gulped by the thought while you began to inwardly curse yourself as more suspense began to build up in you. Both of you knew that this day would come on which he would be locked away and it ached inside you just giving it a single thought, just like it did with the pictures your mind was making up as soon as it was swinging towards the cold cell. You both weren’t actually talking about it, rather trying to blend it out to use the time he still had outside but you knew that it had a limit. Two more weeks, that was what Siddiq had said would it take till Negan was fit again and enough healed to be recovered enough for what he had diplomatically called ‘the next step’. Two weeks and while that was still a bit, it didn’t feel like enough. Probably nothing would when you knew what was coming after, even though there was a part of you that was simply glad that Negan was properly recovering. It was a goddamn double edged sword. “I’m fucking sure you will”, Negan mumbled, his deep voice was soft as he leaned in to press a gentle kiss on your forehead, almost as if he was urging himself to think positive, also for you. Just as you felt like some guilt poking you again you could feel a small grin of his growing against your skin. “But you won’t beat mine. I can tell you that. No one beats my spaghetti”, Negan teased with a small chuckle that made you loose up again ,”Not even my girl.”
Days began to pass, you continued your work at the crops and for once everything seemed to become better. While Caleb stayed as friendly as before, the other four were still reserved and kept their distance but you felt like they were loosening a tiny bit up, at a slow, even glacial pace, but it was better than you had dared to wish for at the very beginning. There were some small lows in between whenever Tara or Rosita passed the field and cold glances were shot your way and while they hurt as much as before, they were outweighed by the hope that you might were able to make something better out of your chance, if not with them, then at least with the others of your old friends. Negan made some progress as well, he got stronger again, could walk some more on his own, the wounds healed a little more and while Siddiq was glad about the course Negan’s recovery was taking, he still made sure to tell each of you to soft-pedal since his full recuperation would still take a bit. After all, the wounds still weren’t as healed as he liked and Negan’s body’s new won strength could still swing quickly into the weakness again if he was overburdening himself just a little too much.
Almost a week had gone by as you found yourself kneeling on the soil again while the sun was on its way closer to the skyline of the trees and your body was marked by the hours you had already spent on the field this day. Your eyes were focused on the seedling in front of you, on the small shovel in your hands while you heard how Caleb strolled over the field and eventually let himself fall next to you again, groaned slightly in response to his aching knees that hit the ground before he bent himself over the dark soil again. The sudden roaring of truck engines made your glance snap up for a moment that was that loud that you could even hear it at the field that was a good bit off the gates before you caught how Caleb looked up for a moment. “They’re going on a run?”, you asked, puckering your brows slightly in response to the zooming sounds that began to quickly depart before Caleb shook his head as his glaucous orbs darted at you. “You haven’t heard yet? That thing’s spreading out like a wildfire around here ”, he asked, raising his brows as he shifted a little over the soil while you were already shaking your head, confused by his question. “The Hilltop got in touch with Rick, not even a half hour ago. Maggie gets closer to giving birth with each day and as much as Eden told me, she asked Siddiq to come over. Don’t know if she had some trouble or something, but to be honest I was already surprised that she didn’t call earlier…it’s a good bit till the due date but you can never know, right?”, Caleb asked, his eyes back at the seedling while your mind already swung in a state of trance from the moment on he had mentioned Siddiq’s name. Sure, he had been prepared, the leather bag with her name written on the rugged fabric, the small calendar you had seen him fill out with the possible birth date and you had known that he could go any day, but still, that he was gone now whirled up a whole new set of questions. Not only if Maggie and the kid were okay, also now that Siddiq was gone, who was with Negan? After all, Rick wouldn’t leave him unattended, not even if he would chain him to the bed again, no matter if it was a simple fact that Negan wouldn’t make it far with his body that still needed to become stronger. So did they put a guard in front of the infirmary? Pondering you stared at the ground for a few moments, knowing that you had to wait at least an hour, if not more until it was quitting time and you could find out, till then, all you could do was keep yourself occupied with the seedlings that wanted to sink into the earth to your knees.
The next while felt longer than you liked, each minute seemed to stretch out before you could finally leave the crops behind yourself. The questions had kept bouncing around in your head even though you had been able to keep your mind occupied with work. You found yourself strolling over the streets, passing people who were just finishing their work or were chatting about whats-o-ever, while you began to blend out everything around you and focused on getting to the infirmary. As you were coming closer to the house your eyes were already wandering over to the door and the windows, trying to find a guard or at least someone rummaging around in the kitchen. But you found no one, instead you walked like always into the house that was engulfed in an utter silence that made an uncomfortable tension in you rise. Your footsteps sounded dull over the wooden floorboards and just as you wanted to call out that you were back home, expecting that Negan would call back as always your eyes captured a note laying on the counter of the kitchen. Quickly you paced towards it, your eyes already trying to catch what was written on it before you had even reached the counter until you finally stood in front of it and let your glance slide over the hastily and messily written words. “Sorry I couldn’t say goodbye. Happened pretty fast. I know you know how to go on with Negan’s wounds. I’ll leave you in charge of that. I’m counting on you. I’ll stay in contact with Rick for the rest. See you!”
Your eyes rushed over the words once more, leaving you for a moment standing still by the counter while the sentences rushed through your head. Sure, you knew how to treat the wounds and for the rest Siddiq had mentioned, that must have meant the week Negan was supposed to stay longer at the infirmary, just like the possible extension in case the recovery would slow down again. So Negan still had to be here, right? “I’m back”, you called out, hoping to hear his voice before the silence that followed let the pressure on your ribcage grow. “Negan?”, you called out as you felt how your feet were beginning to make their way through the kitchen and along the hallway. Still no answer. Your breath was becoming heavier, your body more tensed while you tried to keep the thoughts in your head quiet. Hell, after all, he had to be here, he wasn’t fully recovered and maybe, maybe he was just sleeping and didn’t hear you. A part of you still expected to find a guard at some point but instead you found yourself right before Negan’s room, slowly opening the door in hope you’d discover Negan behind it, somewhere deep in the land of slumber.
But you didn’t.
The bed was empty, the sheets tousled and everything else that belonged to Negan, spare shirts and sweatpants as well as other personal belongings you had brought him from the Sanctuary that had laid on the shelf in the corner of the room were gone.
He was gone.
“Negan?”, you called out again after you had stood in bewilderment in the doorframe for moments before you were now pacing through the room, into the next hallway while your mind was forming into a mess. You were rushing through the house, looking into empty chambers and bathrooms even though you already deep down knew that you wouldn’t find him here. His clothes were gone, shit, every fucking thing of him was gone and you knew that Negan hadn’t been the one to walk himself out of the infirmary. He wasn’t here, but there was another place where he could be that made a cold shudder run through your body as you were just thinking about it. Right now, you had no idea, how or why, your mind was way too muddled for that, you just knew that you had to see it with your own eyes.
Your mind was buzzing around this unfinished house, around its basement in which laid the one thing Morgan had built and left even after he had abandoned Alexandria. It wasn’t far, just down the street, far away from the newly arranged fields and instead by the other unfinished townhouses of which a few most of them had made it undamaged through the flames. And while you were stuck in a trance, you paced down the road that was almost empty, blending out anything and anyone on your way. Your pulse was pounding in your ears, the tension was rising and the fear to actually find Negan behind cold metal bars was settling down in your body even though a force in you tried to deny it. Your eyes were focused on the last house before you urged yourself to walk closer to the corner towards the entrance, knowing that if you would find anyone standing there, guarding the house that your fear would turn into a horrible reality. A tight breath fell from your lips, your hands turned clammy before you crossed the corner and felt how the blood in your veins froze. A dark haired man stood in front of the door, leaning against the brick wall while a gun was resting in his belt’s holster next to a walkie as he let his hand wander of the thick beard that was covering his cheeks and jaw. “Fuck”, just pressed itself out of your lips in a breathy and almost inaudible manner while your mind and body was turning in a whole lot worse mess. Within seconds the dark eyes of the man darted towards you, wandering over your face as he gulped heavily as soon as he realized who you were and what you were about to want. For moments you just stood there in silence, stuck in shock and still swinging somewhere in denial, trying to tell yourself that there had to be other reasons why this man was standing there even though you knew the truth. “He’s inside”, and with those words the man broke the last bit of hope deep inside you as he spoke up and heft himself away from the wall. A shudder ran through your body, the pressure tightened on your ribcage and threatened to press all air out of your lungs while an awful mix of boiling heat and icy coldness rushed through your veins. “I can let you inside the house but not into the cell”, the man added, as if he was reading off of your face while another shudder ran down your spine, your body still glued to the spot in bewilderment before you felt yourself nodding.
From this point on everything felt like you were stuck in some video game, playing some shitty avatar that was controlled by someone else while you were stuck in a bubble that made everything around you seem surreal. You passed the guard, heard him saying something to you that didn’t come through to your mind, walked into the house, paced down the stairs and the bubble bursted right as you reached the open door behind the stairs that lead into the next room as a familiar voice made a shudder shoot through your body. “Roger boy, is that you? Trying to get on my fucking nerves ‘cause your ass can walk around like a free fucking chicken while I’m stuck in this shit-thing? Or do ya wanna give Rick a report of how I’m doing? Huh? How I’m fucking doing in here after you and your oh-so-fucking-glorios leader dragged my ass behind those bars? How long has it been? An hour? Less than that? Little early for a report…unless you wanna sleaze up to Ricky’s ass”, his voice was provoking, a chuckle was rumbling through it but it wasn’t the familiar, throaty and amused laugh, no, you could hear that he was sinking to a low and was trying to keep himself entertained so he wouldn’t fall too deep. A tight breath fell from your lips, your mind still a goddamn mess while you were slowly realizing that this was real and not some kind of illusion you could escape earlier or later. “Roger, you there? Or did I chase you away?”, Negan asked with another chuckle that mixed with a huff, right before you felt your body moving closer, as if it wasn’t under your control, your eyes stuck to the bar-door on the right side of the room. And then, with one last step you stood in front of the door while your heart skipped a beat in agony while the blood in your veins seemed to freeze once again. There he was, sitting on a bed in the corner of the room, his elbows propped on his knees as he was staring to the ground. Your eyes were rushing over him, finding not his usual white t-shirt and the grey sweatpants on him but instead some kind of prison uniform they must have put him in. The thick fabric of the steel blue collared shirt he was wearing instead was stretching slightly over his broad shoulders, matching with the blue cloth pants while his bare feet were pressing against the cold cement ground. Your heart ached by the sight of him that got partly blocked by the cold metallic bars that rushed more realness into the situation that seemed like one of your nightmares you just wanted to wake up from. Negan began to shift as you still stood speechless in front of the door, seeing him letting out another scoff before he rose his voice again and with that his glance as well, “Rog-” Within seconds his voice hushed, his hazel eyes darted at you and got drowned immediately into a sorrow filled and confused glance. “(Y/N)…Baby”, he stumbled, his dark brows perked up, then puckered as he rose himself up from the bed with a small and shaking breath before he just stood there, gulping and still staring the same way at you as you were looking at him. “The infirmary was empty and I figured-”, you mumbled, stopped by the sudden lump that was forming in your throat while Negan’s glance stared with more sorrow at you as a deep sigh left his lips. Slowly, Negan walked closer to the door, his eyes wandering to the ground, then back up to you while you were trying to keep it together. Hell, it was hard to see him this way, goddamn hard, but there was this small part in you, next to the rest that was whirled up into a threatening tornado of emotions, that was telling you that you couldn’t be the one to fall apart now. He was the one locked away, it was your part now to be strong, right? No matter how much it hurt or how hard it was. “It..fuck…happened right after Siddiq took off…hauled me through the goddamn backyards to not cause too much of a damn stir….bet Doc doesn’t even know they got me inside this thing here”, Negan mumbled as he stood right on the other side of the door that was the only thing left between you in these moments, while the small part in you got squeezed even smaller by the pain while Negan’s words suddenly began to boom again through your head, just as he had spoke them out. Especially the very last part. Of course Siddiq didn’t know. He wouldn’t want Negan to leave the infirmary yet. Not even for another week, or even more.
And just as a tight breath fell from your lips and your eyes met Negan’s for a split second, everything made suddenly sense. Why Rick had out of all sudden wanted your help, why he was talking about a new beginning, why he hadn’t been as tensed when he had talked to you as you had expected. Why he declined Siddiq’s offer for you to stay at the infirmary and work with him, why he instead wanted you far away at the crops, far away from the infirmary and even this goddamn cell. He had planned this. He had fucking planned this all. He fucking knew Siddiq would be called to the Hilltop soon, he knew Negan was supposed to stay longer at the infirmary than that and he just as fucking knew you wouldn’t let him get Negan into the cell if you were still around the infirmary nor would you reject the chance for a new beginning.
He had planned this. Your old friend had shoved you over the checkerboard like a pawn and you had in your hope jumped right onto it. He didn’t want to give you a new chance.
“Baby?”, you heard Negan ask as you caught how your thoughts had made your glance trail into the emptiness. “I-I’m coming back, I have to talk to Rick”, it left your lips almost unwittingly to your consciousness before you glanced back up to him. “Listen, he won’t let me out of he-” “I know”, you cut him off with a heavy gulp before your voice lowered and got softer, “I know…it’s something connected to this, I just gotta know if it’s true. I’ll be right back and tell you. I promise.” Negan’s hazel eyes stayed glued on you for some more seconds before he slowly began to nod just as you heard the voice of the man you where about to search for echoing quietly through to you.
Not even moments later you were pacing up the wooden stairs again, anger and dissapointment beginning to pump harder through your veins as your own footsteps sounded like dropping bombs in your head before you began to make your way back through the house only to stop as suddenly a pair of familiar blue eyes darted at you. “I’ll leave you alone”, you out of sudden heard the voice of the guard you hadn’t even noticed till now behind Rick as he was just tugging his walkie back into his belt and rushed back outside. So there he stood, sighing deeply while his jaw clenched now as uneasily and tensed as you had expected him to the day he made you the offer. His hand ran through his curls before he looked at you as you still stood like glued to the spot there, too many emotions of all kind raging in you for you to make a proper beginning before you suddenly felt how words began to travel up your throat. “Did you plan this?”, you asked, your eyes focused on Rick, a small part of you hoping to find confusion that would destroy your theory but instead they looked back at you as if he exactly knew what you were talking about, even though you could tell that it began to put pressure on him as well. Instead of giving you an answer he just stared back at you before his eyes travelled to the ground as he let out a stressed sigh, but you weren’t done yet. You needed to know everything of this, how much he had fooled you and why, even though most of you felt like you already knew the truth.
”One week”, you began, feeling how your throat was already tightening as you looked some longer at Rick ,”Siddiq wanted Negan to stay at least one more week at the infirmary.” Rick sighed, his jaw clenched one more time as he seemed to try to find words. “You wanted Negan to get into that cell as soon as Siddiq’d leave, huh?”, you continued, feeling how your voice began to tremble ,”And since you knew that his leaving was possibly gonna happen before he gave you the full go with Negan, you needed to get me out of the way.” You took a deep breath, trying to sort the mass of words and emotions while your glance stayed fixed. “Because neither did you want to leave him just on my watch because you don’t have a fucking ounce of trust left…nor did you want me to get in the way because you knew I wouldn’t let you to transfer him into this shithole before he’d have recovered like Siddiq wanted him to”, your voice was becoming a bit louder, sharper just before it broke down again as soon as you reached the end of the sentence and began to feel how the disappointment was beginning to drown the anger out. You had really hoped for a new beginning. You really had and a part of you felt dumb and naive for allowing this hope to just blindly accept what Rick had asked you too. Hell, you probably should have known better after all.
“You didn’t ask me for help because you actually needed it or because you wanted to give me a new chance…you just wanted to have an easier game…right?”, it blustered out of you, not louder or sharper like before, instead more broken as you could feel how this letdown of his and even frustration about yourself began to form a thick lump in your throat, while Rick still didn’t say a thing. “You knew I’d take it because I wanted this shit to get better. You knew I’d do it”, you said, almost whispered as the lump didn’t allow you to speak louder while you could feel some tears trying to force themselves into your eyes even though you tried everything to keep them from finishing their mission. Taking a deep breath you gulped the tears and the lump for a moment away and felt how the boiling heat in you got the upper hand again. “Did you even tell Caleb to be nice to me so I’d stay there for sure?”, you asked with a growl and a humorless and bittersweet chuckle before you saw Rick shaking his head and rising his voice for the very first time. “No, I didn’t”, he said, forcing himself to sound firm as his eyes darted into yours and a heavy gulp travelled down your throat as you could feel yourself trembling slightly through all the emotions that seemed to rush through every vein and inch of yours. “But the rest is true, or what?”, you asked with another bittersweet chuckle, the hurt still more audible in your voice than you liked as you were staring disbelieving and expectantly at him before he let out a sigh and began to slowly nod. At this moment, Rick suddenly didn’t seem as collusive as his plan anymore, if you were honest and looked through the feelings that were urging you to not let yourself be fooled once again, the glance in his eyes filled with a good bit of shame. A tension filled silence began to set in, and with each passing moment you felt how your emotions were taking more and more control of you. You were mad at Rick, furious but the anger got now drowned out by the disappointment again, by the pain that got set free as the bubble of hope you had began to build yourself up with the wish that you could begin anew with at least some of them bursted. You had been in this conflict for months, in-between two sides while you the fear of losing one or even both of these sides had grown with the war and then, when peace had finally set in, it hadn’t fully been peace for you, another, other, war had started just for you personally and for this one week everything had finally seemed like you were maybe on a way to stop this war too and come on the long way to peace with the other side. And now, now this whole thing had just been another low that began to accompany the others you had already experienced since you were back.
You could feel the lump in your throat growing again, sense the feelings taking over as you sunk your head as soon as you felt how the tears were trying to make their way into your eyes again. “You know what, forget it”, you huffed, your voice sounding more broken than you liked while you were giving in to the disappointment just for these moments. “What?”, you heard Rick say, as if he was torn himself and something in you snapped and made your glance shoot up at him. Your clouded eyes met his, a harsh gulp wandered down your throat before you could feel how it began to break out of you. “I’m sick of this, Rick. I’m fucking sick of this crap. The only fucking person who’s had a halfway normal talk with me here from our old group is Michonne”, you said, feeling how your ribcage was trembling underneath the pressure of the frustration and disappointment. “I’m not fucking telling you to be suddenly all peachy with me again. I just want a damn chance to explain myself, I just want you to believe me like Michonne does. If she can, why can’t you?”, your voice was shaking even as you tried to keep it firm while Rick just stared at you at let out a deep sigh as there was still a bit of the shame stuck in it. “I bet she didn’t even know about this plan here”, you added, your glance wandering over his face as the way his cheek muscles twitched and he clenched his jaw was enough to tell you that you had just spoken the truth out. Another shivering breath fell from your lips, the lump was still at its place and made itself a home while Rick’s silence just spurred the pain that had grown in you on. “I’m not a damn traitor. And you know that. I don’t know what you keep telling yourself to make yourself believe otherwise, but I’m not. I’m with him but Rick, you and I’ve met even during this shit war. You know that I wanted it to stop. You know that I never wanted to get any of you hurt”, your voice kept talking, not even as if it was under your control anymore but rather under the one by your raw emotions. And it didn’t seem to stop just yet. “This chance there meant a whole damn lot to me. That’s all what I’d asked for and you got no damn idea how fucking shitty it is to see that this was all just made up to treat me once more like an outsider”, you said, still shaking but more louder and firmer now even though you could still feel the tears burning in your eyes while Rick gulped harshly and shifted uneasily over the cement ground. “No matter what you say, you still know me. I haven’t just turned into a whole other person”, you added as your voice became calmer again, before it hushed completely and your whole focus was now on Rick and whatever would be his final reaction. He was becoming more restless, more uneasy than before and you could tell that your emotional outbreak had caused to break down some of the wall he had built himself up for you. And judging from the way he was acting now, he was realizing that he had crossed a line with this plan. You glanced back up at him, catching how he pondering ran a hand over his beard stubble before his eyes wandered up until they could catch yours while a deep sigh fell from his lips “You’re open for another offer…a real one?”, he asked, obviously trying to keep his voice firm as you just stared in surprise at him for a moment, trying to process what he had just told you before you already heard him beginning to continue. “I actually need your help now that Siddiq’s gone”, he said, a slight reluctancy sounding through his voice as he gulped, “Need someone who knows the meds and how to treat some wounds properly…” With that he stopped for a moment, his eyes that had trailed through the room as he had talked stopped at your face, while you stayed silent, waiting for him to go on so you could see for yourself what he was planning this time. “For the first few hours till midday I got Rosita to do that, as for the rest, I’d need you…while she’s there you work like before at the crops then take over for the rest of the day”, he mumbled, running his hand once again over his stubbly cheek while your curiosity began to grow since this could be only the first part of the offer. After this disaster, Rick certainly knew that he, even though he probably didn’t like to admit it, owed you something, owed you a fair deal to help him out again even if the rewarding side for you might be a thorn in his flesh. So you glanced expectantly at him, waiting if he would actually go through with it until he finally rose his voice. “And for that…”, Rick began, the uneasiness in his tone clearly revealing how much he actually disliked the part he was about to speak out ,”I’ll let you to him from the evening after work, till the morning.” With that your eyes widened slightly, and the surprised feeling in you rose some more. That was a lot. A whole lot. Hell, you were still mad at Rick for taking Negan out of the infirmary and lying to you, no question, and you’d be mad about that for a while but this offer was big. Your eyes darted warily into his, trying to find out if there was any lie hiding behind them like it had with the first one but instead you only found a genuineness filled glance, even though it got a bit poked by the morosity of his that was obviously not pleased with the fact hat his prisoner would be able to have company for the night. “He needs someone to take care of his wounds either way, so that’d be your job too”, Rick added hastily, almost as if he had couldn’t believe that he was actually making this deal that would after all be to Negan’s favor as well and mad him have to justify this offer to himself as well. You were still a little stuck in a trance before you forced yourself to rip your mind out of it, to let it run over what Rick had said, over each sentence as a small part of you was still warily before the genuine way Rick had behaved and the nights with Negan quickly outweighed any left doubt. “Alright…if we start with it this night, I’m in”, you finally said, mostly to test if Rick actually meant it serious before you saw him clenching his jaw but nevertheless giving you a nod. “Okay”, he said, gulping and still not fully believing what he was allowing you there before he was beginning to rummage with his hand in his pants pockets, before his fingers fished a small silver key out and he nodded towards the staircase.
Already turning around, ready to make your way down you suddenly heard Rick’s voice again. “(Y/N)? Before I let you in-”, he said, stopping to let a deep sigh fall from his lips as if he was getting once again ready for what he was about to say, “Maybe this is actually a new beginning…Carl-” He stopped again, gulping just as he had to mention the name of his son while the sadness in his eyes began to let you realize something. The guilt over crossing the line big time wasn’t by far the only reason why he had given you this offer, this was about not disappointing Carl too, about living up to what he had wished for you all. After all, this had even saved the life of his enemy. “I read his letter for you before I gave it to you…he’d wanted that”, Rick mumbled, his eyes were casted to the ground, his voice thick with emotion before he tried to rally himself. “I just-”, he began but instead of continuing just shook his head with another sigh before he looked up at you. “Yeah…I hope so”, you quietly said, looking into his blue orbs while a big part of you was just trying to sort this mess of what had happened in the past hours.
Just moments later you walked down the stairs, your body tensing slightly in the new mix of feelings that was rushing through you while you almost expected that Negan must have heard most of your argument and probably also your new deal with Rick. Your eyes were like glued to every bit that laid in front of you including Rick who was tensely coming closer to the cell while both of your footsteps sounded dull over the cement ground. And then you finally saw Negan, standing right at the door while the way his face had lightened and loosened up told you that he knew. You were like stuck in a trance again as you heard Rick telling Negan to go into the back of the cell, saw him sliding the key into the lock, right before the click of its unlocking echoed through the room and the metal door sprung open. With a few fast footsteps you stepped inside the cell, hearing how it closed again behind you, heard Rick saying something before it got silent and you got ripped out of the trance as soon Negan’s eyes met yours. Neither of you said anything, neither of you knew what to say or think, neither of you knew if you were supposed to feel devastated by the fact the he was stuck in this thing or happy and glad that you were at least able to be with each other for the night. It was a mess, a full-on giant mess that got provoked by all kinds of feelings and thoughts of which the relieved ones suddenly grew as Negan walked towards you. His arms wrapped around you, a deep breath left his lips and shook through his chest as he cradled you against him while both of you knew without speaking a single word that you needed to get through this mess together, somehow.
With a wide heartfelt smile painted all over the face, happy laughs and chuckles rumbling through the firm chest, wide open and soft eyes and half humming, half singing a nursery rhyme, that’s the way the leader of the Sanctuary sat on the couch in the bright living room, bouncing Judith softly on his leg while she giggled enthusiastically.
Right now it was hard to picture this man, who acted so fatherly and kind in these very moments, with blood splatted over his leather jacket and his salt and pepper beard, laughing mockingly, an odd, terrifying and still jolly glance stuck in possessed looking eyes and a bloody baseball bat in his hand on whose barbed wires stuck bone, flesh and brain mush of two of your friends.
Still you forced yourself to, as you sat on the other couch, glancing at him and your younger sister while you tried to keep the new picture from growing too much on you as it let, much to your annoyance, a warmth grow in you.
But all the work of suppressing didn’t pay off as some new thoughts began to sneak into your mind.
Did he have a family before all this? Had he been a Dad and had bounced his own children on his leg like Judith right now before the world had gone south, had made him lose them and had turned a part of him into the person you had seen that night?
Or didn’t he ever have children but had wished to and it had for some reason never worked before the apocalypse had taken this chance once for all away from him?
Or maybe, he was just a damn psychopath playing games with you right in these seconds.
Cursing inwardly about yourself you leaned deeper into the soft beige fabric of the couch, gulping heavily as you tried to deny that there was something in you that felt drawn to whatever the hell was happening in front of your eyes.
“Loosened your bodice a bit, Sweetheart?”, Negan asked, suddenly with that signature grin on his lips even though there still was a good bit of the heartfelt smile left as he ripped you out of your trance.
Your glance shot at him, shocked by the sudden sound you had heard as a throaty laugh was filling the air.
“Just thought ‘cause…damn Baby, you were smiling at me and I hadn’t seen that yet”, he grinned, his hazel eyes were darting right into yours while you could feel some heat rushing into your cheeks, displaying the embarrassment that was running through your veins along with the anger about yourself.
“No need to blush”, Negan grinned, letting his tongue run over his lower lip, “Even though I really gotta say I fuckinglike that view.”
“Got some other shit for you on my mind that could make you fucking blush as well”, he grinned, winking at you while another throaty chuckle rumbled through his chest.
You were still perplex, trying to get yourself back in line as you clenched your jaw tightly and tried to get think of a comeback.
Instead you just narrowed your glance slightly, put the uninterested expression back on as well as you could right now while Negan was still grinning widely at you, now with his brows perked up.
“Oh I see whatcha trying to do”, he mumbled smirking, still lightly bouncing Judith on his leg, “But you can’t hide what was already fucking seen.”
You gulped, biting your inner cheek as you felt horribly insecure and exposed right in these moments, not able to fight back because you actually knew that he was right.
No matter how much you hated it.
As if he knew what you were thinking, he knowingly grinned and chuckled lightly as he slightly shook his head before he glanced back at the quietly giggling Judith.
“Maybe you should go tell your big sis that I’m not as much of a bad fella as she wants to think. May-fucking-be you should tell her that big ol’ Negan’s actually a damn fine man”, he chuckled right before you heard Judith giggling a little louder as her tiny and chubby hands reached out to Negan and made a soft grabbing motion.
“Yeah? Will you do that?”, Negan cooed, chuckling while the big smile made his dimples visible and let the pearly white teeth flash up.
You gulped, feeling how the warmth that was still lingering in you got joined by a whole other mix of different feelings which turned into a whirlwind of emotions inside you just as Judith giggles hushed as she quietly yawned.
Playfully, Negan widened his eyes as much as Judith widened her small mouth before she let herself drop down and slump right against him, without even finishing her yawn yet.
Her rosy cheek pressed flush against Negan’s chest as her chubby fingers softly grabbed the fabric of his white shirt and curled her hands into small fists to hold a little closer onto it as she let go of the yawn.
“After some nap? Alright”, Negan chuckled before he looked to his side, “But I think you forgot something fucking important.”
With that he grabbed the grey elephant that had been leaning against his side this whole time before he carefully pulled it over to Judith, whose eyes were lightening up by the sight of her favorite stuffed animal and whose hand was leaving Negan’s shirt for a moment to take the elephant into her small embrace.
“There we go”, he quietly chuckled, placing the plushy in her arm that was almost too big for her to hold.
Still, she did as she closed her eyes and some small curls fell into her relaxed face before the way Negan’s arms wrapped around the small body on his lap got your attention right back to him.
The grin was gone again as he kept her safely against his chest, one of his large hands moved up to cup the side of her small head while the heartfelt smile was fully taking its place again that forced you to throw the acting psychopath theory over board.
This right there, this was real and genuine.
And while he began to dandle her into a dovish slumber, you could feel how the smile began to grow on your face again, slowly but surely, until it had curled the corners of your lips up. And just as you realized what was happening again, what this whirlwind inside you was doing to you, a pair of hazel eyes darted right back up into yours and damned you to let this whirlwind rage wilder until, earlier or later, in weeks or in months, it would make you loose any control over it once for all.
The sun was already standing high on the sky as its warm sun rays streamed into the room and made the sleep slowly loose its grasp on you. Your body still felt strained from the events at the Hilltop of the past day as you began to let your eyes flutter open and tried to suppress yesterday’s memories and to instead give the new day a chance to make it better. Slowly, you shifted closer against Negan’s warm body, feeling how he began to stir as a few small dozy growls rumbled through his chest and let it vibrate against your body. “Morning”, you drowsily mumbled just as you heard the quiet rattling of the cuffs that were boasting around his wrists since the last day and which got you right back to reality. ”Morning, Baby”, he mumbled just before a deep cough rumbled through his injured throat and cut him off just as you could feel his body tensing in pain against yours. You lifted your head out of the curve of Negan’s neck, glancing worried at him just as another cough let him grimace and flinch slightly up. “Fuck this”, he coughed out, clenching his jaw tightly as you let out an uneasy breath. “Shit, the wound really did get worse, huh?”, you mumbled, glancing at the white bandage that boasted around his neck as you remembered last night’s pain he had just shoved off and told you he was fine. “Nah, I ju-… fuck”, he began again, trying to do so again as another cough thwarted his plans and made him squirm as soon as the pain reached his neck and made you sit straight up, knowing that he wouldn’t make you stay this time. “I’ll go get Siddiq.”
Just a short while later you found yourself standing next to Negan’s bed again, hearing Siddiq’s uneasy sighs as he looked over the wound that was just as bad as you had feared it to be. Negan’s face twitched in pain anytime Siddiq’s tried to carefully clean the swollen cut that looked almost as dangerous as it had shortly after the events on the battlefield while his cuffed hands balled tightly into fists as he tried to keep the pain filled grunts in that would else cause even more pain. ”This isn’t working this way”, you heard Siddiq grumble as he cautiously tried to shift Negan’s head slightly up, trying to get him into a better angle for him to take care of his injury while he glanced stressed at the cuffs that made it harder for him to move his patient’s body. ”I’m right back”, he said after another few moments of unsuccessful tries before he gave you a quick nod and rushed over to another room just to come back a minute later, carrying a small silver key in his hands. A tiny bit of relief tried to sneak its way into the tension Negan’s pain had brought into your body as you hoped that the cuffs would at least leave his body for now. You shot a questioning glance over to Siddiq just as he let out a deep sigh, shrugged sightly and looked over at you. “I understand Rick but they don’t help me with his treatment…they’re constantly in the way when I’ll try to take care of the wound on his hand and now with this one as well”, he mumbled, nodding towards Negan’s neck before he shook his head slightly ,”Also don’t need to put a patient under more unnecessary stress, prisoner or not.” You just quietly nodded before you heard the small clinking of the unlocking cuffs, even though your relief about their absence was shrouded with the gloom of Negan’s hurting wound.
“Don’t know how this could have happened”, you heard Siddiq say with a scoff a bit later as you stood in the one of the other room of the infirmary, helping him sorting out the things he needed for Negan’s further treatment. Within a second a cold shudder ran over your back as your mind brought you suddenly back to yesterday’s morning and with that to the realization that you had been the last one to take care of his neck wound before it got infected. “I changed the bandage the last time”, you pressed gulping out, feeling the pressure and tension rising within you as Siddiq’s glance shot up before he quickly shook his head. “No, that’s not your fault. After you left I had to take it off of him again, just for another check up”, he added, already letting a small burden fall from your shoulders even though a certain tension was still poisoning your body,”Already used a stronger salve yesterday because it didn’t quite looked like it should after this amount of time.” Siddiq gulped heavily before he let out another sigh and looked back into the drawer to some salves and tablets just before he shook his head once again and rose his tensed but calm voice. “I didn’t want to directly take heavy measures since I didn’t want to pump him full of meds right again and stress his body more than it already is.” “And now?”, you asked, letting a small, tight breath fall from your lips as your glance wandered up until it caught Siddiq’s eyes. “We’ll have to switch to those meds, I don’t want to take any more chances when it comes to these wounds.”
“And now?”, you heard Negan say the very same words you had asked Siddiq before, forcing a small grin onto his lips as you got back into the room and sat down next to him. “Siddiq’s gonna give you some stronger meds”, you said with a small sigh as your glance wandered over the thick, white bandage. “Feels like I gotta treat that wound for the damn cuffs”, Negan grumbled, twitching slightly in pain as his voice rumbled a little too loud and heavy through his injured throat. “(Y/N), you’ll come over for a moment?”, Siddiq’s voice let your glance dart to the door where the doctor stood, leaning against the doorframe. Nodding you stood quickly up and followed him back into the main room of the infirmary.
With a small sigh he nodded to meds that were placed on one of the wooden counters, before his glance wandered back to you. “I’ve used them before on other patients, they’re pretty strong, but they’ll help the wound heal and numb the pain”, he said, running his hand through his dark hair before already beginning to grab them as he walked closer towards you. “He’s gonna be like dazzled for the first little while after they set in…after that they could make him jump from a bright high into an utter depth…just so you won’t be surprised”, he mumbled while you already knew by the sound of his voice in connection with these words that this what was about to come wouldn’t be easy for anyone of you. “I’ve seen all kinds of people grin in the one moment like a ceshire cat and in the other they were weeping from this stuff”, he sighed, looking down to the medicine in his hands ,”Strong curative powers sometimes demand strong side effects” “But if we got a bit luck he’s gonna sleep through the most of it”, he quickly added as he noticed your tensed and a little warily glance. “I’ll give them to him and then I’ll be outside for a bit, do you trust yourself to stay alone with him?” he asked, leaning himself against the wooden counters while he nodded over to his ready bag that stood the corner of the room before you gulped slightly. “I guess I can”, you said, letting your glance wander up at him even though there was still a little doubt swinging in you ,”I really don’t wanna keep you from your tasks.” “You don’t, this here’s my task too. Either way, if there’s something serious I don’t want you to hesitate. You’ll find me at the walls near the gate, okay?” he asked, making sure to capture your glance as if he wanted to assure that you were alright with anything that was waiting for you before you gave him a nod. “Okay, thanks.”
For the first while after Siddiq had given Negan the meds, things went as predicted, as soon as they seemed to set in, Negan began to get more drowsy than usual until he couldn’t fight the sleep anymore and let it drag him into its depths. For an hour and a half, maybe a bit more or less it stayed this way, he slept deeply, only grumbled here and there a bit in his sleep and had the same small and quiet growls rumbling through his chest like they always did in his sleep.
“(Y/N)?…Baby?”, you then suddenly heard Negan drowsily mumble as you stood by the window before his voice made you turn around and look with a small smile at him. “You’re awake”, you mumbled, strolling back over to the side of his bed as you could already see him grinning widely at you. “Hell yes, I am”, he grumbled with a smirk, the enthusiasm in his voice implying that he was right now at the high Siddiq had told you about but even though you knew that this could end faster than you liked, right now you were just glad that he was feeling as well as he could in his situation. “Feel like I could shoot cumloads like a fucking machine gun”, he mumbled with an even wider grin and as loud as his wound allowed him to just as his eyes widened slightly as he rose his voice again and tried to lift himself a little up,”And rip some dead assholes a new one in passing” “I’m sure you can but you gotta keep laying”, you quietly chuckled, as you placed your hand softly on his chest to guide him back against the mattress. “Alright”, he mumbled before the grin got back on his lips as his roguish glance captured yours, “You’ll come here?” “Yeah”, you said already seeing him trying to raise his arm a little to let you slip next to him. Carefully, you laid your head into the curve of his neck, trying to not come too close to his swollen wound beneath the bandage as you cuddled up to him and let out a content hum as soon as his warmth was beginning to take you in. “You know what I also feel like doing?”, you heard him ask with a wolfish undertone as he tried to slip his arm closer around you. “Tell m-” “Fucking”, it blustered throatily chuckling out of him, almost snickering before you could even end your sentence and realized that the meds hadn’t only boosted his happiness, they had done the very same thing with his horniness as well. “Y’know what you could do?”, you heard him ask in the next moment before you let out a little, chuckling sigh. “Well, I got a good guess but go on.” “That was a fucking great decision”, he chuckled enthusiastically before you could feel him pulling you with the strength he had left closer against his body. And as he then started to raise his voice, you already knew from the countless of dirty jokes he had told you since you knew him, how detailed and filled with his colorful language whatever was waiting for you would be.
“You know….you could suck with those great lips of yours on my fucking dick, swirl your tongue around that juicy fucking head…let me slip my cock deep down till I blow my cum into ya and turn your throat into a fucking ski slope”, he chuckled, the grin clearly audible as a small chuckle fell from your lips in response to the enthusiasm in his voice that was even drowning the purrs out that were rumbling through his chest just before he raised his voice again. “Or hell, you could ride my dick like you’re in the fucking Kentucky Derby…shit, that would be one hell of a fuck”, he chuckled happily as you buried your head a little deeper in his shirt as his meds infused dirty talk that was stuck with extreme enthusiasm was rather beginning to serve as an entertainment instead of a turn on.
“Ahh and your fuckin’ moans when you cum for me…fucking love them”, he snickered as he leaned his head against yours and pressed a quick kiss on your skin. “You know what I love just as fucking much as that?”, he grumbled against your skin while his voice began to turn a little softer. “What?”, you asked mumbling, already expecting yet another enthusiastic and dirty thought of his. “That shit you just did”, he mumbled, a smile forming against your skin before you lifted your head a little out of the curve of his neck and perked your brows in confusion up just as you saw his glance turning softer, even though the wide grin was still plastered over his lips. “That little sigh-…hum thingy you always do when you cuddle up to me…that’s fuckin great”, he mumbled, the grin turning more into a smile as you felt a just as wide smile beginning to grow on your lips, while a small, surprised breath left your lips. “What?”, Negan mumbled, still with the wide mix of a grin and smile on his lips as he cocked an eyebrow at you and laughed quietly, ”Too fucking cheesy for you?” “No, not at all”, you mumbled back, a small chuckle falling from your lips as your hand slid over his chest and ran up to his shoulder ,”Just a little surprised you noticed that – but in a great way.” “Well then-”, Negan began just before a cough rumbled roughly through his chest and up his throat while his face twitched in pain. “Ah shit”, Negan cursed as you looked worriedly at him while the aftershocks of the cough still let him shift uncomfortably. “I’ll get you some water”, you said as you already stood up but felt how Negan reached up as fast as he could to wrap his hand around your wrist. “No, stay”, he grumbled the grin still on his lips. “I’m right back”, you chuckled as you slipped your hand out of his grasp and made your way around the bed, already on you way towards the door as you turned around again ,”Just gotta take care that you and your throat are doing fine.” “Aww”, Negan exhaled theatrically before he chuckled and glanced just as enthusiastic as wolfish at you, before his tongue ran slowly over his lip while he glanced down to his crotch. ”You’re gonna take care of him too?”, Negan asked grinning, letting his hips jerk slightly up before he glanced back at you. “If you behave, maybe”, you chuckled and shook your head slightly about him before you gestured towards his neck,”And favor your throat a little, we can talk all day when its fine again.”
You were still softly chuckling when you made your way into the kitchen and began to get Negan a glass with water, already expecting him to bombard you with a bunch more dirty remarks but instead of that, you found him slumbering like a little baby. And it stayed this way for a while, which actually gave you a little relief and made you hope that his rest would give his throat the opportunity to let the swelling and its cause ebb away again. All until he woke up again, with the difference to the last time that he wasn’t the overly happy and extremely horny man from before anymore but instead usually quiet and here and there a little dazed by the sleep that was overcoming him just for a minute or two from time to time. And even though his silence and his dizziness made you worry a little you were glad that he at least wasn’t sinking into a low. Yet.
Shifting slightly on the chair next to the bed you adjusted your legs a bit that were still hooked casually over Negan’s while your hands were busy with sorting meds and salves into the box that rested on your lap. Negan’s fingers were slightly fumbling on some loose threads of your pants until you could feel I’m beginning to stop while his body slightly shuddered beneath you. Your glance wandered quickly up to him, catching him gulping heavily while he stared at the ceiling with clouded eyes as another shiver ran through his body as he uneasily breathed out. And there it was, the low you had feared.
“Hey…Negan, what’s wrong?”, you mumbled worriedly, swinging your legs from his and placing the box on the nightstand before you moved from your chair onto the mattress right next to him. A tremble shook slightly through his body as he gulped, turning his head a little towards you but still not daring to look you in the eyes. “I let her rot”, Negan chocked quietly but painfully out, and without hearing anything further you knew who he was talking about, just like you knew that this would become harder than you had expected. “I was a goddamn weak asshole”, he grumbled, scoffing as his clouded eyes met yours for a moment before they trailed off. “Negan, what-”, you began trying to find a way through to him before his eyes that began to fill with more tears glanced back at you. “I let someone else put her down…some fucking kid and then I fuckin’ ran…I”, he started, his breath becoming heavier as his jaw clenched in distress, “I just left her there.” A shivering breath left your lips as your hand placed softly on his chest, your thumb beginning to stroke soothingly over the fabric of his shirt while you grew inwardly restless, hoping that you would be able to calm him down. “I just left her to rot on that hospital floor”, Negan chocked quietly out, as he let out another tight breath while his lip quivered slightly as he tried to glance away from you. “Negan, hey”,you mumbled softly, trying to get his attention back at you to have a chance to soothe him,”You were probably in shock you-” “In shock for weeks?”, he asked, perking his brows up before they puckered as a lone tear was beginning to drop from the corner of his eye down his rough cheek. “I was in that area for fucking weeks and…”, he gulped, stopping for a moment as another pain filled shiver ran through him,”I didn’t get my ass to go back there and-” Stopping again you glanced at him, concerned and aching in the pain the sight of him in this distressed state brought into you. “And give her the fuckin’ burial she deserved…something I fucking owed her”, he said, his voice becoming louder before it broke off at the end of the sentence and more tears began to force their way towards release. “I’m a piece of shit”, he scoffed, not at all in self-pity but entirely in utter disgust towards himself while exactly this disgust made a painful twinge shoot through your body. “No you’re not”, you mumbled, trying to keep yourself calm even though you could feel your body tensing harshly ,”Don’t talk that way about yourself.” Negan sniffled slightly just before a scoff fell from his lips as his teared up eyes darted right back at you. “Why the fuck not? That’s nothing but the goddamn truth.”
And with those sentence that shot another sting through your body, you realized again that you had to help him through these deep rooted fears and regrets the meds had let rise with an unbearable force and without any filter to the surface. You found yourself beginning to grasp out anything you already knew about his past, especially the things he had told you in one specific night in which the regrets had almost eaten him up as well. And with that, also the things he had done well, the things that had made you actually grow unconsciously closer to him as they had shown you that besides his mistakes, he had realized and learned from them and had tried his best to make them up. He had stood right by the side of his wife till the very end, had helped her through her entire sickness and hadn’t left her side until she had stopped breathing no matter who had tried to force him to leave, all while the world outside the hospital had fallen apart. And right there was the next thing you laced into your tries to soothe him. The mix of grief and the unknown of an destroyed world. Let alone grief let people do things they didn’t even want to do, let them make decisions that weren’t right, if there even was a right or wrong in those situations. And this was exactly the thing that had made him run away. You had seen that happen to a lot people, good people who would have almost fallen apart through grief and who had acted out in this painful distress. Even you were certain that if you wouldn’t have had anybody with you when you went through the loss of your family, you would have turned into something you didn’t even want to imagine, especially at the beginning of a world that was ruled by the dead. And that was the point, Negan had been hurting and grieving, had been completely alone with no one to be by his side in the worst time, and all that while he had to try to survive in a world he didn’t even know, with walking corpses around every corner that wanted to tear the flesh off his bones. Running away hadn’t been the right thing to do, and you knew where his regrets were coming from, but you also knew that those mistakes were not born through spite or malice but simply through pure grief and pain. After all, they were humane.
So you found yourself laying on your side next to him in the bed, his still trembling arm slung around you while you were propped on your elbow to have a look at him while one of your hand ran still softly over his chest. “Ya know what?”, you heard Negan mumble as his still clouded eyes captured yours ,”I’ve already had one chance and I fucked it up…” “You…”, he muttered, trailing off before he seemed to rally himself as his glance stayed fixed on your worried one ,”You’re my second chance…you’re my second chance to be happy with someone and I’m already on my way to fucking destroy it too.” “You’re not on your way to destroy it, Negan”, you said back as soon as his voice had hushed, not only to calm him down but also because you saw this as the utter truth. Negan quietly gulped as his glance wandered over your face before you huddled a little closer up to him. Moving your hand slowly up you smoothed his dark hair back, watching him close his clouded eyes for a small moment as he leaned into your soothing touch . “I’m lucky to have you, you know that?”, you quietly mumbled, as you let a small, uplifting smile grow on your lips. And just as you began to grasp some hope, another shivering breath fell from Negan’s lips before he clenched his jaw tightly. “Why the fuck should you be lucky to have me?”, he asked, his brows puckering tightly as this question made it feel like something broke in you. If the meds hadn’t fully captured him, if he hadn’t been this stuck in his fears and regrets there would have still been the part of him joking around and making a dirty comment, but instead of that his eyes were fixed on you, completely serious and filled with genuine sorrow and distress. “I bring you nothing but pain and stress”, he growled out, the anguish mixing with the same disgust you had heard before and right now as by the way he was looking at you you could tell that he meant every single word he had just said “That’s not true, not at all”, you mumbled, feeling how a lump began to slowly grow in your throat as the way he was seeing himself began to turn into a painful torture for you too. Tensely and worried you looked at him, with your fingers still caressing softly through his hair as you realized that just saying that this wasn’t the truth wouldn’t do it.
“Alright…buckle up because this about to get sappy”, you mumbled with a soft chuckle as you tried to loose the situation a little up while you huddled closer against him. Taking a deep breath you looked at him, gulping slightly as you hoped that you would be able to calm him down and knew that lifting the lid to your feelings and putting them into words wasn’t by far as easy as it might seem to one. But then, as you saw Negan growing unsteady and restless again, the words just began to flow out. The simple fact that you had your insecurities too, had some moments in which you asked yourself why he wanted you or what he saw in you. But whenever those damn thoughts tried to sneak up, he was right there, making you feel like you were truly the most desired woman. He made you feel great, no matter if he did it with his very own way, with some of his very special remarks or just some glances and the way he acted around you. He made you feel comfortable, that much that you had learned to cry again in front of someone without any shame, without feeling like you had to hide it to not seem weak. You could simply let your guards down when you were with him which meant in this kind of world even more than it had already before. And no matter if he realized it or not, this big bad wolf who could be at the very same time the biggest goofball with a dirty mind and a very own sense of humor that managed to make you laugh till your stomach hurt, had developed to be your crutch and calm anchor as much as you were it for him.
”Wasn’t glad for no reason to just be able to lay down next to you after all the stuff that happened yesterday”, you mumbled with a small, uplifting smile as you glanced at Negan who had begun to calm down and whose eyes had stayed like glued on you since you had begun to talk and which had stayed this way no matter how often you had trailed off to find the right words. “I’m lucky to have you. Believe me that”, you added, letting your fingertips caress through his dark hair just the way you knew he liked it,”Alright?” For another short moment Negan stayed quiet, his glance wandering off of you for seconds before he began to nod as he glanced back at you, “Alright.” Finally, the corners of his lips curled slightly up and even though it was just this small and you knew that the meds still had a strong grasp on him, you were glad for the moment. “And now we’ll sleep some more, okay?”, you asked, moving closer in to him as your fingers still massaged his scalp soothingly and your lips pressed a small kiss on his forehead before you rested your head against his. You could feel him nodding slightly before he moved a bit in to lean his head closer against you and you finally heard the familiar content growls rumbling quietly through his chest. Still a little tensed and hoping that he would fall asleep before the meds would let the next shock shake through him you cuddled closer, nuzzled your nose into his dark curls and didn’t stop to caress him until you were sure that he was swinging in a deep sleep.
The next days got better, Siddiq began to use milder meds as the strong ones that had put you both through a roller coaster of emotions had at least done their job. And with that, the mood swings began to get better as well, he began to be less dazzled and dozy and the tension and concern that had been stuck in your body had been taken by the relief about his growing well being.
The sun was standing high at the sky when you were rummaging through the drawers of the infirmary’s cabinets, collecting and sorting out things Siddiq needed which had become somehow part of your job since you were spending most of the time in this house and needed something to fill your time with. Next to that, Siddiq taught you here and there a few small things and it felt good to be a help, no matter how small it was and somehow it at least gave you the feeling that you might be able to become part of this all again.
You were just done with getting some salves and bandages ready for Siddiq when you strolled back into Negan’s patient room, catching him glancing at you with still sleepy eyes before he tried to shift himself a little up into the pillows to get a better look at you.
“Talked a lot while I had that shit runnin’ through my veins, huh?”, he suddenly mumbled as you were on your way around this bet as you got slower, not sure by the sound of his voice of what would follow this question. “Hmm”, you just mumbled back, nodding slightly before you threw a pillow on the wooden chair next to his bed. “Still meant a lot of the crap I said”, he continued, capturing your glance as you let yourself fall on the stool while your eyes wandered over his face as he clenched his jaw slightly. “And I don’t only mean the fucking stuff”, he said, a chuckle falling from his lips that should obviously serve as a way to loose himself up before you could see him tensing slightly as he glanced for a small moment away from you. “Now I’m not as well with this sappy stuff as I am when I got some damn meds fucking with me but that shit with you being my second chance-”, he began, gulping as his eyes caught yours again, “I meant that too.” You gave him a smile, seeing how he visibly began to loose up. “I meant what I said too…all of it”, you mumbled, leaning against he bed as you looked at him,”That wasn’t only to soothe you.” Negan’s lips began to curl up as the tension seemed to wash completely out of his body and his large hand reached out to yours to fumble on his tiny bracelet for you that was still dangling around your wrist. Slowly, Negan’s tongue slid over his lower lip, before a grin began to grow on his lips as he looked with a wolfish but still roguish and playfully teasing glance up at you. “By the way, you look hot as fuck today”, he grinned, taking up that one part of what you had told him, as you began to chuckle and playfully shoved his chest. “Seriously!”, he called out, throatily chuckling as he bit his lip and smirked at you. “That fucking hot that I could cum on fucking command in these damn sweatpants”, he chuckled, winking at you as he grinned wider. “Sure”, you chuckled, leaning in to peck his lips before you felt his throaty chuckle letting his lips vibrate against yours. “Wanna give it a try?”
After a Nightmare leaves the reader completely devastated, she hesitantly turns to the big bad wolf himself for comfort
Only a few lamps enlighten the staircases of the Sanctuary as you rushed up each step, cold shudders ran up and down your back, tears still trickled over your cheeks and seemed to become your awful and everlasting parter since the nightmare had ripped you out of your sleep. Slinging the cardigan you had hastily overthrown closer around your body you tried your best to get the horrific pictures that seemed like burned into your mind finally out of your head. Since the world had gone south, nightmares hadn’t become something unusual to you but the one that made you rush through the hallways in the middle of the night had been the worst you’ve had in a long while. That bad that your muddled mind didn’t try to shut down and calm down again but instead left anything, including any stubbornness behind and gave in to the urge in you to be comforted. You weren’t even sure what you were actually doing in these moments, this certain urge just kept you going as more pictures forced themselves back on front of your eyes. Blood. Tons of thick, dark blood. Strained death rattles that combined with the blood freezing last screams of your loved ones before you had to see their dead and torn up bodies over and over again until they slowly began to reanimate, one by one. Dead eyes that showed that none of the persons you loved to death were left in the bloody and hungry corpses that were stumbling towards you, ready to tear the flesh off your bones until you were one of them.
A whimper forced its way up your throat and left your lips as everything around you seemed to turn for a moment and your trembling hands found the closest wall next to you to keep yourself steady. Leaning against the cold stone you pressed your eyes quickly shut for a moment, hoping that it would urge the pictures out of your head but instead, the darkness in front of our eyes made them seem even clearer. Your eyes snapped open again as your breath grew heavier and your glance got clouded by more tears again while your body was already on its way again to its destination that somewhere inside you carried the last hope for some comfort.
‘He had told you to come if you needed something or if anything was wrong. He had told you so’, was the only thought that began to ghost though your mind as you almost unconsciously rushed further until the thought that had seemed so persuasive to your muddled and scared mind suddenly turned ridiculous as you found yourself standing in front of some certain, heavy, wooden doors. There was a reason why only your muddled mind had thought of this idea as good, there was a reason why your calm and even stubborn mind had seen this as the opposite. He probably hadn’t even meant it, had just said it to sound nice or in hope you would come in and defer to his suggestive remarks, tear the clothes from both of your bodies and tumble with him right into his bed. You had a lot grown closer than you wanted to admit, but still not that close. Not that close that it was actually a good idea to stand in the middle of the night in front of his door, nothing more than an emotional mess and needy for some comfort. Right? You’d just make a fool out of yourself. And this wasn’t you, you weren’t begging for him and you weren’t compelling anything onto him. What the fuck were you even doing there? This wasn’t you, right? This was just the horror of the nightmare that made you act out. Right?
With another shudder that ran down your spine you still found yourself gasping quietly for air between the whimpers that still forced themselves up your throat before your hand fell from the door handle. You should go. Now, before this whole situation would get even worse and before you had even less sleep left before your next shift. Scoffing and quietly sniffling you turned your back on the door and as your hand moved up to stroke the last tears of your face you began to shuffle down the hallway until your blood seemed to freeze for a second.
The creaking sound of the wooden door as it slowly opened ran like an ice cold arrow through your body as you exhaled harshly and your eyes shut as thousands of curses about yourself shot through your head. “(Y/N)?”, Negan’s deep and drowsy voice sounded with an confused undertone through the hallway as you let out another strained sigh and slowly turned around, realizing that you had to handle this now, somehow.
Your glance just went for the matter of a millisecond up as you turned around, catching him standing with from the sleep tousled hair, sleepy eyes and just his boxers and one of his white shirts in the hallway. That was all you saw before you slightly dropped your head, still utterly ashamed and insecure about what to do before your muddled mind took over once again. “You said I could come when something was wrong and I thought…”, you began, heavily gulping before you shook your head slightly ,”Nevermind…I-…this was a dumb idea…sorry for waking you up.” You still weren’t looking up as to your surprise you heard him coming closer, his shadow in the faint light drawing other patterns over the walls before you heard the sound of his voice again while you weren’t even sure what to expect. “Now I wasn’t fucking around when I said that”, he said, genuineness filling his voice accompanied by something else you couldn’t completely unravel and something that you hadn’t even dared to hope for in the last seconds: Concern. A bit of the tension began to leave your body by the sound of those words, even though a small part of you still thought that you were hallucinating them. Your mind and body were torn into all kinds of directions, just a wild mix of hope-filled longing, shame, sorrow of the nightmare and uncertainty of what the hell you were doing and if any of it was right. In your uncertainty you looked for a short moment up, enough for him to catch your glance as his brows puckered for a moment. “Did you-”, he asked, trailing off as his worried eyes focused on yours which the tears must have left bloodshot,”…shit, come here.”
You hadn’t even fully realized his words as you felt his arms wrapping around you and pulling you carefully against his firm chest. And as soon as your face got buried in the curve of his warm neck and your hands found their way to his back you felt the lump in your throat growing again, tears shooting back into your eyes against your will and small whimpers traveling up your throat and falling from your lips as he pulled you deeper into his embrace. “Did any fucker hurt you? Did-”, his voice rumbled through his throat as you felt his body tensing up as you realized what he must have thought had happened when you stood with red rimmed eyes in the middle of the night in front of his door. “No”, you quickly said back only to feel the shame rising in you once again as you knew that you had to tell him that all this was just happening because of a lousy nightmare. “I know this sounds ridiculous but…”, you began, your voice trailing off as you felt yourself gulping harshly ,”well…that ‘fucker’ was a nightmare.” You didn’t really know what to expect as soon as the words had slipped out of your mouth, but much to the annoyance of the shame that was trying to make itself a home in your body, he pulled you even closer and leaned his head against yours. “Fuck, that shit’s not ridiculous”, you heard him say back, determined and even with a soothing undertone as you could feel your body beginning to slowly relax. You could hear him exhaling slightly, as if he wanted to start another sentence but instead of rising his voice he wrapped his arms a little tighter around you and kept you securely in his embrace until it felt like he completely enclosed you. This wasn’t like the times he had slung his arm playfully and teasingly around your waist and had let his hand give your waist a small squeeze or the times his hands had placed on your hips to pull you closer against his body while that big grin of his had danced around the corners of his lips. No. This was just a heartfelt, big bear hug. And for the matter of a second your mind tailed off and realized that you couldn’t even remember the last time someone had held you, especially this way.
For a while you just stood there with him, engulfed in his embrace, the horrors of the nightmare slowly beginning to beat the retreat as you felt him shifting slightly and finally felt his skin vibrating against yours as he rose his voice. “How ‘bout we get in, huh? Don’t think you came here to stand with me in this cold ass hallway”, he said, accompained by a small, loosening chuckle before you slowly lifted your head away from his warm body and hesitantly looked up at him, feeling how a tiny bit of the insecurity caused tension rushed back into your body “Don’t worry, Sweetheart”, Negan chuckled, leaning a little in before the mix of his roguish grin and a charming smile spread over his handsome features ,”Didn’t expect you to let me fuck that nightmare outta you.” “I mean, if you’re feeling like it…you know my dick’s always fucking ready for you”, he chuckled, giving you a small wink even though you could tell that he was also obviously trying to cheer you up in his very own way,”If not, well I gotta say I’m a damn good pillow too.” The smile mixed a little more into the grin as you couldn’t stop a small chuckle from leaving your lips that pushed the thoughts of the nightmare some more back. “Now that’s what I wanted to see”, Negan said, grinning triumphantly as he made a swift finger gesture towards your lips before he leaned a little closer in and let a warm shiver run through your body. “Know how to make my girl laugh”, he mumbled with another small chuckle, letting you for a short moment remember the uncountable times he had already turned your boring shifts into the complete opposite after he had come around or had cheered you with his remarks and jokes up on a darker day. “So you’ll come with big ol’ Negan?”, you heard him ask with a grin just before you felt an urge in you for more of what you had already felt overcoming your insecurity and doubts and letting you nod in agreement.
Just moments later you found yourself stepping into the his large bedroom that was just enlightened by the lamp on his nightstand and the faint light that streamed through the big windows. Within the moment your glance fell on his king size bed that was adorned with black sheets and a bunch of dark and thick pillows you felt the doubts washing back up in you. Was that really what you should do? Even if it wasn’t sex and just cuddling up to him, wouldn’t that mark you down as just another woman that warmed his bed just with the even worse addition that you were showing him some more your weakest sides in these moments?
“Hmm? Somethin’ off?”, you suddenly heard Negan ask as he snapped you right back into reality. His glance trailed over your face, seemingly catching your insecure glance as he let out a small sigh. “In case that calms ya…hell, can’t fucking remember the last time I’ve said that but this is a damn premiere for me here too”, he said, nodding towards the bed and letting a charming smile dance around his lips before his mien got infused by something he was obviously trying to hold back as best as he could, “Haven’t done that in years.” Negan gulped heavily for a small moment, making you wonder of what exactly he was thinking of even though whatever it was, it washed a little relief into your body. Maybe, because for this short moment, there was some insecurity in the big bad wolf too, something that made you realize that he genuinely meant what he said and something that let some doubts vanish out of your body. Within another second you could see him forcing him to rally himself again as he let his signature grin curl his lips back up. ”You can flatter yourself with that, that’s some special service right there for you”, he chuckled before he stepped a little closer,” And only for you, you can believe me that.” He still had the roguish grin on his lips as he said those words but the way his voice turned a little softer at the very last words made it seem like it actually meant something to him that you believed him. And even though you weren’t too wild to admit it, it persuaded you some more and washed a specific kind of warmth into your body. ”So what do you say? You’re gonna slip with me in there?”, he asked as he swiftly gestured towards the dark and soft sheets before his face turned a little more serious, “But in case you don’t, you know you can always go back.” ”I know, but I-”, you began, feeling how the longing in your body for some more comfort and the craving of feeling his arms wrapped around you again thwarted any plans the last doubts in you had ,”I wanna stay.”
Just moments later you saw Negan slipping beneath the sheets as you strolled over to the other side of his bed and watched him shifting slightly up into the soft pillows. Softly, you laced your fingers around the sheets’ edge and pulled it up, enough for you to slip in before your glance already caught Negan opening his arms for you while you couldn’t stop your heart from beating a little faster. The soft sheets engulfed you within seconds and let a pleasant shiver run through your body just before you began to slowly shift over to Negan, whose eyes were darting at you while his arms opened some more for you. “There we go”, you heard him mumble as soon as he could wrap his arms back around you, pull you closer against him and make your heart skip a beat as soon as you found yourself sinking into his warm embrace. Slowly, the very last insecurities in you stopped fighting back and instead the longing for comfort took back over as you felt his scent and warmth beginning to enclose you. His arms were securely wrapped around you when you ran your hand up until you could let it rest on his firm chest, nuzzled your face into the curve of his neck and felt him leaning his head against yours, letting you feel the soft tickling of his beard stubble and his hot breath against your skin. Slowly, he loosened one of his arms to reach down to your legs until his large hand could place on your thigh, sending a warm shiver through your body before you felt him guiding you over his hip until your leg hooked around his and gave you a more comfortable position to huddle closer up to him. ”Wasn’t shitting you back there, you can use me as your damn pillow”, he quietly chuckled as he wrapped his arm back around you while you could feel yourself beginning to relax and to notice how even your mind began to calm and shut down.
For a small while it felt even a bit delusional that you were actually laying just like this with him in bed, cuddled up to the big bad wolf, feeling his chest rise and fall beneath your hand, feel his arms wrapped around you as if they didn’t even intend to ever let you go again as they cradled you against him, feel his lips and stubbly cheek brush over your temple, feel his rough fingers beginning to trace soothingly up and down your arm, feel his warm breath hitting your skin and finally feel again how you could close your eyes without seeing any of the horrible pictures again. “You know, if you got the need to get that crap off your chest, I got an open ear for you”, you heard him quietly mumble while he shifted his head a little closer against yours while you could feel a small smile growing on your lips. “No…It’s good that way now”, you still quietly mumbled, keeping your eyes closed as you just wanted to keep the bit of peace up instead of letting the memories of the nightmare ruin it again ,”It was just some past stuff…” You gulped slightly, cuddling a little closer against him as if it would assure that the pictures and screams would stay away from you. “Fuck, that’s the worst“, you could hear Negan grumble, a deep scoff leaving his lips as you could feel him tensing for a short moment as if some memories had just shot up in him as well. And just as you felt it, he almost unconsciously wrapped his arms a bit closer around you and cradled you a little tighter against his chest. “Thank you”, you just quietly mumbled as you felt how his lips formed into a mix of a smile and his signature grin against your skin. “Anytime, Sweetheart”, he muttered back before you could feel his warm lips pressing a kiss on your temple that sent a just as warm shiver through your whole body, “And I’m dead honest with that.” Softly, you smiled against his warm skin, feeling how the sleep was slowly beginning to loom in you again as a small yawn fell from your lips. And for the first time in a very long while you didn’t feel any fear emerging within you when you felt the sleep grasping you and slowly pulling you into its depths. All you felt was safe and protected and a part of you that was growing bigger with every passing moment wished that it would always be this way.
The sun was already turning softer as the dawn began to slowly set in and drowned the trees and all that surrounded them into a warm light as the truck rushed past them. Normally you liked this time of the day that made all seem a little more peaceful but at this point, on this day, this time was just an indicator of you getting closer to the Hilltop, the place you wanted to be the least in these moments. Between your legs still stood the big, black sportsbag that held all your and Negan’s personal belongings in you had taken several hours ago from the Sanctuary, before you even knew that you were about to take off to the Hilltop first before going back to Alexandria. You weren’t even sure whose glorious idea it had been to make the big detour to the Hilltop instead of just driving back, you only knew that you couldn’t stand the idea, even worse, you were afraid of it. Tara, Rosita and Aaron, along with the new people from other communities were talking quietly here and there and just as occasionally as you heard them talking, you could see Tara’s, even Rosita’s, cold glances wandering over to you. Aaron was the only one of your old friends in here who didn’t treat you like a complete stranger or even enemy, he was still pretty reserved and talked as little with you as he could, but in comparison with the other two, especially Tara, he was being kind.
You gulped as you looked down to the sports bag and fumbled once again nervously on the loose black threads on its belts, knowing that sooner or later you would arrive at the Hilltop and you would have to see all those people who wanted you nothing else than gone. And next to all them was this one person ghosting through your mind, that made it harder for you with every moment and every foot this truck drove. Daryl. The encounter on the battlefield with your half-brother had been enough for you, his coldness, his harsh and sharp, even hatred filled words, his crossbow that had pointed at you, all this still send harsh shivers through your body. It had been about two weeks, maybe a little more or less since then, but not even nearly enough to make him calm down just a tiny bit. You knew as soon as he would see you, see the bag and what was inside, that his blood would boil up and make him lash out again. Hell, after everything you could understand that he was angry and needed time and space, and you were able to give him that but in his anger he was being blind as well, and that was your problem. You had saved him from Saviors when this war had begun, you had always tried to find a way out and you weren’t Negan’s little minion. If he’d only see that, you would be fine. And next to all this stress with Daryl, there was also Maggie at the Hilltop and next to Negan you could imagine being the person she wanted to see the least.
The cars were driving a lot faster than usual, obviously trying to make the detour work out and as then the car began to jerk slightly as the underground got rockier, your eyes darted at the front window and caught within moments the tall, wooden walls of the hilltop. Heavily gulping you stared back down, your body sensing the way the truck was driving up the Hill until the squeaking of the rustic gates sent ice-cold shivers through your body. Unknown voices mixed quickly with familiar ones outside the truck, people walking around and stopping nearby, ready to help unload the supplies the trucks were bringing into the walls of their home. Then, the engine of the vehicle hushed and the truck came to a stop even though every inch of your body had wished for it to go on and on forever so you wouldn’t have to face this whole mess. Tara, Rosita and Aaron, along with the other three people began to get up from their seats, while you remained like stuck to the wooden bench, not knowing what to do now. You didn’t want to face them, especially not Maggie and Daryl. And no matter what you do, something would be wrong about it. If you would go outside now, help carrying the stuff like it was nothing, you could already hear those voices say what a respectless fuck you were for just walking around in front of Maggie who was carrying the unborn baby of Glenn who’d been killed by the man you had fallen for. Just by the man who was still their enemy in their eyes, especially in Daryl’s who would feel provoked by this as well. And If you would stay inside, protect yourself from just another destroying encounter that would in the end get nobody just anything than more distress, no matter who it was, somebody would call you a spineless coward. But even though there almost nothing you hated as much as being called cowardly, right now, being called that was the better option to one or even more fights that would most certainly sooner or later emerge.
Already beginning to move on you saw tara walking with a cold stare out of the truck, already carrying a small basket in her hands before the corners of your eyes caught Aaron stopping right next to you. Looking up you met his glance, his eyebrows pulled questioning up as you let out a tight and uneasy breath. “Shouldn’t I better stay inside?”, you asked, already trying to read a reaction off of Aaron’s face before he answered. “They’re gonna come and take things in and out, they’ll see you either way”, he said, giving you a small nod before he shoved himself past your legs and stepped outside the truck as well. Shivering you tightened the grab you had on the belts, as if you were trying to find something to hold onto while your mind was filled with muddled thoughts. This was a lose-lose situation for you and the more you thought, the more you knew deep down that if they would find you in here, not doing a single thing, you would turn into a bigger target or they would think even less of you than they already did. They saw you as a traitor either way, but a traitor who was now not willing to even work was probably even worse than the provocative traitor who crossed paths with those people.
So even though every inch of your body tried to keep you on this bench, every bit of the pain that was left tried to keep you inside the truck and every bit of the fear tried to keep you from standing up, you finally got yourself onto your feet. Slowly you got on your knees, shoving the black sports bag beneath the bench as much as you could so no one would think it belonged to the supplies that were meant to be carried out. And then you grabbed one of the boxes with some tools, moved the truck’s tarp a little open before taking a deep breath and shutting your mind out to not let your fears make you run as far as you could into the truck.
Warmth was the first thing you felt when your feet hit the earthy ground, the very last sun rays dancing over your face as you tried to let them fill you with some lightheartedness as your slightly dazzled eyes began to get used to the light outside the dark truck.
People were buzzing around, carrying boxes in and outside the trucks, unknown faces mixing with familiar ones as your alert glance forced you to search for Daryl’s face. And as they gladly didn’t find him, they instead caught Aaron and a group of others who were carrying some boxes as well as they made their way up the impressive stairs of the Barrington house. With quick feet and trying to catch up on them you rushed over the uneven ground, doing your best to not trip until you finally stood behind the last member of the small group as they walked inside. The chilly air of the old mansion let some goosebumps spread over your skin, just like the very first time you had stepped into its inside that already laid so far in the past. Step by step you got further inside, reaching the stairs as you had do take care that none of the people who rushed down the stairs were taking you right with them. Your stomach tightened, your body tensed up and it just got stronger as you heard this one familiar female voice that let your blood freeze within seconds. Of course she was in here. She was the leader, it was part of her job to tell the people where she wanted them to carry the supplies the Hilltop needed.
A cold shiver ran down your spine as you realized that you were about to see her again and even worse, she was about to face you again. The very last time that had happened, you had cowered crying and whimpering over an unconscious Negan, cradling his blood-soaked body against yours as you held him and tried everything in your might to stop him from bleeding out until Rick had said those two words that had saved your world and had let hers break apart.
While your mind was trying to figure ways out how to get as fast as possible outside this house, your body kept moving and your feet kept taking you up the stairs while you fingertips rigged nervously into the cardboard material of the box in your sweaty hands. And then you saw her standing next to Enid as soon as you had reached the stair’s top, while both of them were too busy explaining to another group where they had to carry the supplies in their arms to notice you.
You knew it was ridiculous, of course it was, but still you tried to hide yourself at least a little behind the blonde man who was walking right in front of you, trying to procrastinate just another awful encounter for a little longer. You had enough of them behind you already and even though, or maybe even especially because you knew that there was no way past facing her, you wanted to keep the turmoil that was rising in your body as calm as you could for some longer, even if it were just seconds. For a moment Maggie’s face lightened up as the other men stepped away, revealing the baby bump that was slightly hidden behind the wide shirt she was wearing but that still showed that she was at least somewhere at the beginning or maybe even in the middle of her last trimester. Her eyes caught Aaron who was leading your group closer over to her, her voice boomed through your head as her friendly tone greeted him while you knew that this was about to hush sooner than you liked. Your eyes trailed nervously through the room, your body shivering as your eyes suddenly caught Enid’s whose were staring right at you, coldly, while a harsh gulp ran down her throat as she seemed to realize that Maggie was about to find you too in the matter of seconds. And then, she did. For the matter of a second, not more. Just that and her whole body seemed to tense up, all the muscles in her face formed it into a serious expression while she turned completely cold within this tiny second. And within this second you tensed just as much up as well, the pressure on your ribcage seemed to press all the air out of your lungs as you were forced to step closer towards her as her glance wandered to Aaron for a moment, then she forced herself back to concentrate on the men and women in front of her and in front of you.
You could feel your own pulse pounding in your ears as there was only the blonde man in front of you left and you could see that Maggie was tensing up as well while Enid was still keeping an eye on her as she was speaking to a woman who was talking about whatsoever. Your body felt like it was burning up as you saw the blonde stepping away and before you could prepare yourself any more or could look at her you heard her voice. “Stairs down, first room on the right side”, that was all she said, her voice firm and strong even though there was a slight stirring inside that revealed how much was going on in her. And then your body forced you to look up at her, her eyes darting right into yours as they screamed out the stirring that had sounded through her voice as well. Those words had been not only the first ones from her to you after the war’s end, or even after finding out about what you had with Negan, they were the very first ones after Glenn had died. And by the look in her eyes, you knew that she actually wanted to say something else. She wanted to growl, maybe even yell at you, asking you what the hell was wrong with you for falling for him and for turning up at the Hilltop now. You could hear her imaginary voice yelling about what Negan had done to Glenn, to the father of her unborn child, about how you could even look into the mirror anymore. But she didn’t. The woman who had once been a close friend just like all the others that had been part of this family, was now looking at you as if you were the completely opposite. And right now, it felt like Carl had been wrong with saying in his letter to you that no matter with who or where you were, you would be part of this family. Right now, it felt like you weren’t part of it anymore at all, regardless of how much you wanted it.
So you just stood in front of her, knowing that anything you would say would make it all just worse while a harsh gulp traveled down your throat, your lips pressed tightly on one another while the pain filled glance which you tried to keep as strong as possible began to trail off as you just gave her a small nod.
The next thing you found yourself doing was stumbling down the stairs, doing your best to keep the calm face expression on to not let anybody see the mess that was actually going on in you. You made yourself through a group of a few more busy people until you had found the room you were searching for and began to step inside as you already saw Aaron and two other men laying their boxes down. Slowly you walked in, your glance searching for a place to leave your carton on before you saw the taller one of the men walking over to Aaron, placing a hand on his shoulder before he calmly rose his voice. “Been a while already but I didn’t get the chance to say it yet…I’m sorry for what happened to Eric”, within these words your breath stopped for a moment, your mind processing within seconds what that must mean. You knew that a lot of people had fallen on both sides, you had heard about what had happened to Tobin or to Francine and even though you had known that there had to be more, you hadn’t thought of Eric. You hadn’t seen him around since you were back at Alexandria, but since you had barely stepped a foot outside the infirmary, you hadn’t caught any suspicion, nor had you heard Siddiq or anybody else talking about it. And now, now that you heard it, you didn’t only feel incredibly bad for what Aaron must have gone through, you felt horrible for not noticing it earlier as well and it made you ask yourself what else you didn’t know yet. “Thank you…it’s okay”, Aaron said, giving the tall man a small, forced up smile while you let out a tight breath and laid the box onto a small table before Aaron’s glance caught yours. Gulping you looked at him, another tight breath falling from your lips as you stepped a little closer. “Aaron, I didn’t know”, you said, almost exhaled as you let pressed your lips on one another, trying to search for the right words,”I’m sorry.” “Thank you”, you just heard him answer as he gave you a small nod, clearly not too sure how to behave as well before he exhaled shivering and turned around, leaving you alone in the big room.
Just moments later you walked out of the mansion again, breathing in the fresh air as if it would urge the tension out of your body while you began to make your way over to the trucks that were parked along the side of the Barrington house. People were still carrying boxes of supplies in and out if the trucks, even though it gradually became less busy around the vehicles. You tried to loose yourself some more up as you made your way through a few trucks, intending to go back to the one which had gotten you here and see if you had anything left that was meant to stay at the Hilltop. Your breath was becoming less tensed again, your ribcage rising and falling with less pressure before it suddenly stopped by the sight in front of you. There it was, the truck you had searched for and there he was, the person you had hoped to be able to avoid in every way possible. Your mind raved, questioning if you should just turn around and go to another truck as long as he hadn’t seen you before fate took this decision away from you. Just as you thought it couldn’t become worse you saw Daryl grabbing the dark belts of the sports bag you had placed beneath the bench and began to pull it out with puckered brows and a questioning glance in his eyes. A tight breath left your lips as your heart began to pound relentlessly against your chest while you knew that you had to do anything, right now.
“Wait, no. This is-”, you called almost unwittingly out, your body taking this job away from you as Daryl’s glance snapped up by the sound of your voice just as the sports bag hit the earthy ground. His eyes glared up within seconds, the glance in them revealing to you that someone must have warned him at least about the fact that you were here before his hands ripped on the zipper and revealed Negan’s white shirts and some grey sweatpants. “Oh I see”, Daryl snapped, his breath growing unsteady within moments just like yours grew heavy and uneasy while your mind tried desperately to figure out what to do and how to handle whatever he was about to throw your way. “Ya have the damn nerve to get here and then-”, he growled, stopping for a short moment as he stared angrily at the bag before letting his eyes snap up to you again,”You got his damn stuff with ya?!” “Daryl, I-”, you said, your voice breaking as your mind turned into a muddled mess, “I didn’t plan to come here,…I didn’t plan to-” “I don’t give a damn about what ya planned”, Daryl cut you furiously off, his eyes burning into you,”You’re a disgusting backstabber no matter what.” “I’m not. Be angry at me, alright. But I’m not a goddamn backstabber”, your voice was uneasily, even trembling slightly as the agony in your body rose with every passing second. “You are”, Daryl growled loudly, just before his fists balled and the desperation in your body wasn’t able to be held back anymore as you rose your shaking voice. “I saved you from some goddamn Saviors when this shit war began, I fucking tried to get Carl to you in that bomb night against Negan’s plan, I-”, you said, stopping as you let out a tight and frantic breath ,”I made mistakes and I get that you’re fucking mad at me for being with him but I don’t ask for more than that you listen to me for once. Just fucking believe me that I tried to find a way out, I didn’t hookwink you.” “Doesn’t that all mean anything?”, you added, the tremble in your voice even stronger than before. “No”, Daryl snarled as he glared at you,”Not if ya want that asshole after all.” If there was any hope left in you, it sunk even more right at these words but as you saw into Daryl’s eyes, you knew that he wasn’t done yet.
“You’ve seen it. He killed Abraham and Glenn with this shit bat. He let ‘em kill Oliva. He fucking put me in that damn cell and let me grub dog food. He made me clean that fuckin’ piss up after he burned that guy’s face. You’ve seen it”, Daryl snapped even louder, his words letting even more pain burn in you as he heavily breathed and glared at you, “He’s a damn monster…and so are you.”
His voice cut like a sharp razorblades into your skin, poisoning your body and mind with more hopelessness. Negan wasn’t a saint, you knew that, and you weren’t gonna justify the horrible deeds he had done but right now, Daryl was acting as if he had never done anything cruel. As if he had never killed without a second thought. As if he had never brutally shot or slaughtered someone down or even tortured someone. You had seen him do all that as well. You had seen him killing without batting an eye. You knew he had tortured Randall back at the farm as well. After all, Randall had deserved all that for staying with a group of rapists, he had deserved to go through hell but at the time the torture had happened Daryl hadn’t known about all that. Daryl would have done it with someone threatening but still innocent as well.
Negan had a lot of blood on his hands, but Daryl’s weren’t clean as well.
So you got it, you got that he hated Negan after everything, you got that he was mad at you for being with Negan, but in these moments he was being just plain unfair. “Said it before, say it again. You ain’t my sister anymore, you’re fucking dead to me”, he added with a growl, snapping at you as if he wanted the razorblades to cut even deeper. “Then I must’ve already been that a long time before you knew what I had with Negan, huh? If not, why would you’ve driven that damn garbage truck into the Sanctuary while you knew I was inside”, you asked, your voice by far not as firm as you wanted it to be but rather shaky. By the glance in Daryl’s eyes you knew that there was an explanation, whatever it might be, in your favor or not, but just like you saw that, you saw as well that Daryl wouldn’t give you an answer to it. “Just get yaself back to that asshole”, Daryl snapped, obviously trying to get around giving you an explanation, his body rising with frustration and anger as Daryl stepped closer again, ready to lash out, ready to take this argument to a more painful stage.
“Ya know what? Merle was right about ya all along…you’re a weak bitch”, he growled and with the sound of Merle’s name out of Daryl’s mouth the razor-blade sunk completely into your skin.
That was it. Merle was a bête noire for you. All you ever saw in him was a racist and sexist asshole who was taking your brother away anytime your Mom and even your grandparents tried to get him to come on the right path again. But anytime he was with you all for a little longer, every time things seemed to become alright, Merle showed up again and pulled him right back into his bullshit. Every single time. He made Daryl feel like he owed him something, like he wasn’t worth enough to be taken care of and like simply the fact that he was closer related by blood to him than to you was making Daryl have to stick to him. It had always been a special kind of relationship you’ve had to Daryl, it never really felt like you had an older brother, it also wasn’t the same sibling relationship you’ve had with your younger sister. It was different and often it felt more like you had to take care of him than the other way around, even though he was so much older than you. Either way, you had always been close and even if it had always left you frustrated, angered and even shattered on the ground when he was leaving with his older brother, you had always blamed Merle, not him. Just this one time, when he had left with Merle while you had lived at the prison, that had been the time where you had blamed Daryl as well. After all this time, after all these events that had let you feel like Daryl had finally seen what Merle had done and after your group had seemed like the family Daryl needed, you had felt more than betrayed when Daryl had left with Merle instead of staying with you and the others, even though you had even tried to figure a deal out. It had felt like you had been once again the second choice after Merle. As if no matter what he did, no matter how close you were to Daryl, he was gonna choose him over you. After he had returned, you had gradually begun to figure things out and had begun to feel again that you weren’t the second choice after all. But now, this sentence that had just fell from Daryl’s lips was taking you right back, was breaking up old wounds and was letting you feel like you were losing your half brother once again to someone who was already long dead.
“So now Merle’s the sacred fucking god again?”, you asked with a growling but even more desperate and confused tone as you couldn’t control the anger anymore this whole situation and the simple thought of Merle flared up in you. “He’s at least better than you”, Daryl growled back, coming closer again as his chest rose and fell heavily up and down again, an outbreak of the vulcano that was seething in him close. “At least he knew what family meant”, Daryl snapped back, giving the fire in you even more fuelwood. “Merle didn’t know shit about family and you know that”, you growled back, your voice beginning to become strained as you tried to appeal to the part in Daryl, somewhere deep down in him that knew the truth, “He le-” “But he didn’t get his’ killed” And with that you stood ramrod on the spot, within a second not able to move anymore as involuntary tears shot up in your eyes and the worst kind of pain rushed through your veins. Your body began to burn in agony as Daryl’s words about your biggest regret boomed through your head, the weak spot he wasn’t poking now, he was beating it up.
Your lip quivered as your mind forced up pictures of your family, of the walkers that were all over them and left not even enough to let them reanimate. Of the packed bags in your old home’s hallway that were turning blood red as the thick blood of the puddles were soaking their fabric. Of exactly those ready bags your family could have safely and soundly grabbed and taken with them, if your family wouldn’t have waited for you, if Daryl and you had been just a little earlier, if you had done anything just a little faster, just packed your clothes you had at Daryl’s faster, just run to Daryl’s bike a little faster, just any little thing.
Whenever Merle had begun to say that it had been your fault, Daryl had been the one to tell him otherwise when you had been too grief drowned and weak to. Deep down you knew Daryl was now just saying this in his anger because he knew this was gonna hurt you the most, and still it had his wished effect on you:
Tears that began to roll down your face and dropped into your quivering lips, pain that was making it unable to move for you while the first inexorable sob was traveling up your throat even though the determination in your body tried to fight it. You didn’t want to cry, you didn’t want anybody to see you this weak but your body and and your memories really didn’t care about that. And Daryl, Daryl just stood there and looked coldly at you, his glare burning into while a heavy scoff left his lips. You weren’t able to say anything, you were just as defendless as you were helpless whenever it came to the topic of your family’s death. In all this time, Negan had been the only one next to Daryl you had revealed this part of your past to and now Daryl had busted it out after all these years again, not caring that there were people around you that would hear it too. The people who had stopped walking after they had heard Daryl’s loud voice, the people who were now looking at the both of you and which you were blending in again just now. Your clouded eyes only caught how Daryl let out another scoff before he turned around and rushed away, leaving you alone with the bag in front of your feet and the people who were now beginning to walk and work again. Your body was trembling, stuck somewhere between icy coldness and boiling heat as you leaned with another small sob down and began with shaking hands to pull the zipper shut again. With a harsh gulp you grabbed the belts, trying to keep more tears from falling down your cheeks before you felt more tight and trembling breaths rumbling through your chest as you heft the bag inside the truck and slipped through the tarp yourself.
That was enough for you, you had done your part, you had helped and no one was getting you outside this truck again before you were arriving back at Alexandria. You didn’t care if this meant that you were fleeing from any problem, you had tried to face it but that what had happened in response had given you the rest. First Maggie and now Daryl. You weren’t supposed to be out there, hell, you weren’t even supposed to be on the compound of the Hilltop. No one wanted you here and you didn’t want to be at this place as well, you just wanted to leave it. You just wanted to stop yourself from going through torture after torture. And no one could blame you for that.
No one was coming into the truck to carry something out or to get something inside, they seemed to be done with this vehicle and for today, this seemed to be your only luck. You tried to muffle your sobs that were still forced up by your body, just like the pictures and sounds you’ve had to see and heard the day your family died. The blood. That what was left of the ones you utterly loved. The blood soaked bags. The sounds of the gorging walkers that were feeding on your family’s bodies. Daryl’s hand that grabbed yours to drag you out of the house before the walkers could get the both of you as well. The thought and the awful fact that you could never even bury them. All this kept your tears coming, kept your body shaking and kept your heart pounding with a painful harshness until the quiet sobs turned into whimpers.
Your tears were already tried up when Tara, Rosita and Aaron along with the three others got back into the truck. You stayed a little hunched over on the bench, trying to keep it together and trying to not let them see what a mess you still were even though you knew that there was no way they didn’t know about the fight. By the time the engine finally started again you felt like you had never liked its zooming sound any more than in these moments as it indicated that you could finally leave this place behind.
But before your thoughts could leave it behind as well, Merle sneaked one more time up in them as your eyes darted at the gun in Aaron’s holster and symbolized yet another boasting difference between the both of you. While you had given guns a wide berth before all this, Merle had always wielded them around as if they were some harmless toys that were just there to boast his self-esteem or to actually keep other men from him after he had fucked something up. But long after the world had gone to shit, you had been the one to kill Merle’s walker, you had done it just so Daryl didn’t have to and just like you had done that, you had tried to keep yourself calm whenever Merle had been around at the prison even though he had been one of the only people, if not the only one who could bring your blood to boil within seconds. You’ve had to admit that Merle cared in some odd way about Daryl, that he had shown the slightest sign of being redeemable, even though you could never get to take to Merle, not after everything that had happened, not after all the pain he had given you and didn’t even feel sorry for.
And as Merle finally slipped out of your mind, you realized that it would be a long drive until Alexandria. You wouldn’t be there before the early morning hours so you just tried to do what you did before you heard that you were driving to the Hilltop. Just trying to think of that damn moment you could huddle up to Negan and feel him cradling you against his chest. Just this one thing you could look forward to.
Your body was aching from all the sitting on the wooden bench when you finally saw Alexandria’s sign enlightening in the truck’s headlights. Relief began to wash over you, even a small smile grew on your lips as you knew that it would be a matter of a few moments until you could finally find some rest again.
The next thing you saw yourself doing was getting yourself out of the truck, the black sports bag in your hands while the cool night air hit your skin in a blissful way. For a short moment your eyes caught Rick as he was walking towards the truck, beginning to check on everyone and asking Tara and Aaron a few things before he grabbed a box to carry it towards his house. You took a deep breath before your feet began to carry you towards the infirmary, your legs still wobbly from the long drive while you swung the bag’s belts over your shoulder. The streets were only enlightened by the fair moonlight as you made your way closer and closer towards the infirmary until you finally stood right in front of its door. With a relieved smile on your face you grabbed the metallic handle and slowly opened the door, hoping to not wake Negan up from his sleep. You really just wanted to lay down next to him, just that. If you would wake him up, he would immediately see that something was wrong with you and even though you were calm again, you knew that this layer had only the chance to become as thin as a paper sheet over the drive. And even though you longed that much for it, you knew that if Negan would take you in his arms and ask you to tell him what had happened, you would break out in tears again and after all, seeing him all ruffled and concerned about this dumb fight would just let you feel worse. This wasn’t something he should worry about now, the only thing he should do was concentrating on recovering. You would tell him, of course you would, you couldn’t nor wanted to keep some secrets from him, but you would do it tomorrow, when you were levelheaded enough again to not have a full on emotional breakdown.
Slowly you made your way over the wooden floorboards, letting out a few curses under your breath whenever they squeaked slightly beneath your shoe soles. Finally your hand wrapped around the handle to the door that would lead you to Negan, before you slowly opened it and slipped inside, careful to not smash the big bag against the walls. Just as you looked up, hoping to find Negan sleeping peacefully, your breath stopped for a moment. He was there, he was sleeping in the bed like always but what made everything in your body whirl up were the things that were boasting around his wrists. Silver handcuffs that tied him to the bed, the thin, metallic chains connected to them leaving only enough freedom for him to lift his hands in the slightest way. Within seconds your pulse began to pound in your ears, tightness spread out all over your ribcage again as your eyes wandered over the metallic cuffs. The last morning before you had taken off to the Sanctuary he hadn’t even been strong enough to sit himself up nor able to be the slightest threat possible, these goddamn cuffs weren’t necessary. If they were anything, they were there to display power.
Within just a few more seconds your heartbeat increased and your eyes got irritated as they didn’t find something leaning against the wall. Lucille was gone, even though the bat had been completely out of Negan’s reach. A harsh gulp travelled down your throat as you began to realize that Rick must have used the time you weren’t there, used it to do or take the things away from Negan he couldn’t do while you were by his side. And with the anger Rick still had towards Negan, who knew how he would use Lucille against him. With a tight and uneasy breath you slowly felt the belts of the bag sliding down your arm, then down your hands until it met the ground with a soft thud that still boomed sharply through your muddled head. Again you had to take in a punch in the gut and right now, it felt even worse as it destroyed the moment you had clawed on since you had stepped into the trucks at the Sanctuary. It screwed you once again over and destroyed the small layer of calmness you had built up. You needed answers, now, and the only person who could provide them for you right now was the man who was still outside, carrying boxes to his house.
With heavy footsteps and a just as heavy breath you walked over the streets, trying to keep yourself controlled and trying to not let the fantod the whole day had grown in you take over, especially as your eyes caught Rick walking alone over the streets. “Rick, I need to talk to you”, you said as loud as you could to get his attention and as he stopped by the sound of your voice and a sigh left his lips you knew that he was aware of why you were walking up to him now. Clenching his jaw he turned around to you, his hands gripping tighter into the small carton he was carrying before he let out another deep sigh. “There’s nothing to talk about, (Y/N)”, he said sternly, his eyes meeting yours in the faint light. “There is. Why’s Negan handcuffed and where’s the bat?”, you asked, trying to keep your voice firm instead of letting it break like it threatened to. This day had brought you enough, you just wanted it all to end, you just wanted to have a tiny bit of peace after all. You didn’t want it or this night to become just another continuation of painful moments. “’Cause he’s a prisoner and that…thing-“, Rick scoffed out, his jaw clenching again before his brows puckered slightly as he rose his voice again ,”They’ll stay on him.” Desperation began to settle in your body as you let out a trembling breath, knowing that you couldn’t stop now. “You didn’t put them on him before as well, why now?” “’Cause I got the chance to, couldn’t before ‘cause you were mount guarding over him 24/7“, Rick growled, snideness clearly audible in his voice as you could feel yourself growing uneasier. A part of you wanted to growl back, a small part of you even wanted to yell about the simple way everybody was looking at you without a chance to explain yourself but the bigger part in you knew, even after this day, that this wouldn’t get you far. You had to soft pedal, you had to keep calm and most of all you just wanted the growing distress and agony to leave your body instead of letting it tremble like they did right now. “Could you please uncuff him?”, you asked with a slightly shaking voice, almost feeling ridiculous as you spoke those words out but they were your only chance. “Why should I do that, (Y/N)?”, Rick asked, his face grimacing in lack of understanding and even frustration as he walked a few steps towards you. “’Cause he can’t even sit himself up…that’s how weak he still is, there’s no need for those cuffs”, you responded, heavily gulping and growing more restless before you rose your voice again, “If he was a possible threat to you, I could understand, but he’s not. He’s a weak and injured man and those cuffs will just make it worse.” “No” “Rick-” “You won’t change my mind”, he said sternly, just as a deep sigh left your lips and you began to realize that you wouldn’t get those damn cuffs off of him, at least not tonight. The only hope you had was that Siddiq would say something against them, would tell Rick that they were restricting him or were giving him a harder time to treat Negan, especially the wound on his hand. And after all, there still was another topic you had to check off.
“Then at least please tell me where the bat is”, you asked, gulping as you already knew that this wasn’t something Rick wanted to hear out of your mouth. “What-”, he began, grimacing even more frustrated as before as his fingers pinched the bridge of his nose while he shook his head before he looked beyond belief at you ,“He killed Glenn and Abraham with that thing. Is that even clear to you?” “Yes,…it is-” “And ‘cause he cares about this thing you just throw everything over board? He beat them to death with it, he-”, Rick growled out, stopping before he shook his head angrily again before glaring at you, “And this right here shows me that I can’t trust you with it.” You looked unbelieving at Rick, the frustration growing in your body as you let out a scoffing sigh. “What? Do you think I’ll throw it around and try to kill you all with it?”, spoke the pain and desperation of the day out of you, that was now just stronger as you saw the way he looked at you and grew even more as you heard his voice again. “Who knows.” Your eyes filled with more hurt as you looked at him, he was angry, of course he was but this was a step too far. It was jinxed, at least it felt that way. And as if you weren’t able to find a way that would let you make it right with both sides. You didn’t want to have to choose any over the other even though the situation was forcing you to and you didn’t want to settle into a goddamn villain- nor victim role, you just wanted a damn chance.
You gulped, your glance trailing for a moment to the ground as Rick seemed to begin to notice the effect his words had on you. A sigh left his lips that quickly mixed with a scoff as he turned around and walked a few steps before he suddenly stopped again. “That damn thing is in the storeroom of the armory, and it will stay there”, Rick growled out before he let out another sigh, “Michonne told me. ‘bout your talk.” With that, your glance snapped up again, remembering the first talk with one your old friends that had given you a little bit of hope that it would become some day better again. But at least for now it didn’t look like it, right now stared Rick unbelieving into your eyes as if he couldn’t recognize you as the person he had once been close friends with. “Tell me one thing (Y/N). Is he worth it? Is he really worth it?”, Rick asked, his glance goring through you as you looked right back into his eyes, knowing that you weren’t gonna give in now. “Yes.”
With a mix of frustration, pain and simple exhaustion you found yourself standing in front of Negan’s door again, your nerves even weaker than you had thought they’d become as you slipped once again into the room. A sharp shot of pain rushed once again through you as your eyes caught the handcuffs, right before you leaned down to grab the bag and slowly walked towards him and to the chair on the other side of his bed. Lowering the bag to the ground you let out a small strained breath, just before you heard the drowsy sound of a familiar voice.
“Sweetheart?”, you heard Negan dozily mumble, just as you turned around and looked into his sleepy eyes that were glancing in the faint light at you. ”Hey”, you just mumbled quietly, forcing a small smile onto your lips before you heard the small clinking of the cuff’s chains as Negan moved his hands slightly. “I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have gone”, it blustered rattled out of you, your glance wandering to the chains as you gulped harshly. “I was here before and then I…I tried to persuade Rick with the cuffs but…Lucille’s in the armory-”, you began again, your muddled mind cutting you off as it forced you to look back up at Negan’s face. ”Just come here for a moment, alright? Missed my girl”, Negan’s raspy voice asked with a sleepy grin and a quick wink, obviously trying to distract you as his words still began to loose you up, just like the sound of his voice and the simple fact that you were finally in this room.
Slowly, you sat down next to him as he shifted as much as he could to the side, dragging his hand over to him until the metallic cuffs didn’t allow him to move more. ”I’m sorry”, you mumbled again, feeling how the day and now the night as well were pressing in on you as a lump developed in your throat. ”That shit here’s not your fault”, Negan mumbled as he glanced down to the cuffs and even though he was seeming more than calm now, you knew that he had probably spent the day and night letting masses of curses about Rick rumble out of his lips, you could even imagine him yelling furiously at Rick to not touch Lucille when he had taken her. A shivering breath left your lips as you slowly and reluctantly nodded, looking up at him again as you felt his eyes wandering over you. ”But next to that crap…I could use a damn welcome kiss”, he said as he gave you a small, uplifting grin, “A blowjob too but a damn kiss will do for the start.” He chuckled quietly, grimacing slightly in pain as the rumbling of his laugh was hurting his throat’s wound before the grin slipped back on his lips. Finally feeling a little lightheartedness rolling back into you, you leaned down to let your lips capture his, your hand moving up to cup the side of his jaw as his beard stubble tickled your fingertips and a contend growl rumbled through Negan’s chest and vibrated against your lips.
Slowly, you let go of his lips again, your forehead still leaning against his as you felt the scenario coming up you had thought of before walking for the first time into the house this night. Negan’s touch didn’t only comfort you, it brought the longing in you up to let go and whirled your emotions back up only to slowly create more cracks in the thin layer of calmness. A shivering breath left your lips, your nose tingled slightly as you could feel some tears trying to force their way up into your eyes. ”Baby, what’s else wrong?”, Negan asked, half serious, half with a deeply worried undertone as a tight breath fell from your lips and your emotions pressed the truth out of your body. ”I’m just burned out… feel like I can’t anymore”, you mumbled, your voice shaky and your eyes beginning to cloud with tears before you breathed sharply in and sat yourself up, Negan’s concerned eyes darting at you. “And I should be strong for you now and I’m messing it up”, you mumbled, your voice pressing through the lump in your throat as your head dropped slightly just as you heard his voice again. “You’re not, that’s bullshit, you’ve been strong for me all these fucking days”, you heard him firmly say, even though there was still the softness of the worry clearly audible in his voice before you glanced up at him. “There’s more, huh?”, he asked, his eyes wandering over his face as you knew that you weren’t able to hold it back anymore, you couldn’t even wait until later. “We made a detour to the Hilltop”, it blustered shakily out of you and with these words, you unleashed the storm that had caused havoc in you.
There was no way of keeping your emotions in line anymore, you weren’t even truly in control of yourself anymore, it just all got out as if some urge in you thought that this was the only way for you to find at least a little peace. The cold behavior of your old friends. The encounter with Maggie. The fight with Daryl. Merle. It all got out. And the latter of the people you had mentioned, had even been unknown to Negan until now. Merle had always been a topic you weren’t wild to talk about and till now, you had just suppressed him, but the poisonous mix of Daryl’s mention of him and your family’s death had turned the tables. So accompanied by the tears that had already taken your eyes and cheeks as their new home, Merle slipped out of your lips again, not everything about him, but just the most important things that lead to your tearful reaction. The rest was for other times, for other countless hours you would be able to fill with him or else of your yesterdays and for the times Negan and you would still spend unraveling the puzzles of each other’s pasts some more. So for now, it was just these important things, especially because you doubted that you could take anything more after Daryl’s words had let you shatter on the ground. And that was also why you found yourself huddled up next to Negan, your face pressed into the curve of his neck, his arm trying to hold you against him as much as the cuffs allowed while his lips pressed some soft kisses on your forehead and temple, just like countless of soothing words and arguments against Daryl’s accusations fell from his lips, along with his familiar curses.
Dawn was already beginning to slowly set in as your tears had dried, your breath was calm again and you began to hear Negan’s deep voice once more. “Why don’t you show me what you got back from home”, you heard him ask as his head leaned against yours. “As some distraction, huh?”, he added as you shifted slightly and began to sit yourself up next to him, realizing that this was probably the best thing to do right now if you wanted to keep your thoughts off of Daryl and anything that surrounded him. “Okay”, you said, your voice still strained from the crying as you gave Negan a nod and looked into his softened eyes that began to have a little less concern filling them.
Slowly, you got up from the bed, and grabbed the dark belts of the bag before you could slide it until it hit the side of the bed. Leaning down you began to open it, your body feeling slightly drained as heaved it up to place it on your lap to have a better look in it. “Your tons of white – and a few grey shirts…sweatpants-”, you began to mumble with a tiny grin as your hands slid through the things in the bag and got a few of them out to have a better access to the objects hidden beneath the clothes. ”Normal pants..”, you continued as Negan’s chuckle let a small grin form on your lips just as you caught the red cloth underneath another bunch of white shirts. “Oh and I got you the red scarf”, you said, the small smile dancing around the corners of your lips as your fingers laced around the fabric and pulled it out until Negan saw it. A big grin began to plaster on his lips, a small chuckle leaving his mouth as he looked with a wolfish and roguish glance in his eyes at you. “Us”, he corrected you with a wider grin before he rose his deep voice again, “You know what great shit we can do with that thing?” His throaty laugh rumbled though his lips as he saw how you let a small chuckle out just before he grimaced in pain as soon as the laugh rumbled some more through his injured throat. “Got the wound worse?”, you asked, worry laying in your voice as Negan slightly shook his head. “Nah it’s fine, think it’s just the healing process”, he mumbled, before he gulped slightly, “Doc’s gonna look over it tomorrow anyway.” You gave him a small nod, your eyes sticking for a moment on the white bandage that was still boasting around his neck before Negan got back on his mission to distract and cheer you up with the things you had gotten from the Sanctuary.
“That’s my favorite shirt”, he said with a small grin, nodding over to one of the countless white ones you had laid over his lap. “What?”, you asked, your brows furrowing in slight confusion as another throaty chuckle fell from Negan’s lips. “I’m not shitting you”, he said grinning, his tongue sliding for a short moment over his lower lip, “That shit’s fucking soft, softer than the others.” Quickly, your fingers slid over the shirt, your fingers moving over the soft fabric as a small chuckle left your lips. “What?”, he asked with another chuckle after you had given him next to the laugh a slightly irritated look, all while his brows perked curiously up. “Didn’t think the big bad wolf would pay attention to the softness of his shirts”, you chuckled quietly and with a teasing undertone just before he let out a laughing snort. “Fucking dare you to tell that anyone else”, he chuckled, the smirk still all over his lips as his eyes wandered over your face, relief mixing into his glance as he still saw the bit of lightheartedness he had managed to slip back into your body.
“Well, I’d also have some other ideas but…”, Negan mumbled after you had shown him the rest of the stuff you had gotten back before he gestured with his head towards his side, ”Now I know I can’t hold you but for the rest of the night, why don’t you use me fucking ruthlessly as your pillow?” You gave him a nod, a soft smile laying on your lips as you packed the bag up again and placed it next to the bed.
Finally you laid next to him down again, hooking your leg around him to keep you on the bed, your hand resting on his chest while your head leaned against his warm neck just the way you had wished you could do it for the whole time you had been in the truck. “Ah, this is good”, Negan exhaled with a content sigh as you cuddled up to him and his comforting scent began to shroud you again. ”Thank you”, you mumbled into his shirt, as you felt Negan’s hand caressing the small of your back as much as it could. ”There’s no fucking need to thank me for that”, Negan grumbled back, his head tilting slightly as he leaned it against yours, “especially not ‘cause I’m also the damn reason for it.” For a short moment it got silent, but before you could tell him else you heard his voice again, now, different to before tensed and with a bit pain sounding through. “I’m fucking sorry you gotta go through this because of my ass.” “It’s not your fault”, you said, now quick enough to not let him drive himself deeper into this. Raising your head you looked up at him, giving him a soft smile while your fingertips caressed slightly over his chest, trying to show him that you meant what you said. Him giving himself the fault for all this was the last thing you wanted, nor did you ever considered him as the problem for the issues you had with the others. Of course, they acted this way because you were with him, but that didn’t make it his fault for you, not in any way. “It really isn’t”, you mumbled reassuring, your eyes still darting at his as he gulped slightly, the muscles in his cheek twitching uneasily by the pain it caused before he gave you a small nod. “Don’t waste time for thoughts like that…just concentrate on recovering, alright?”, you said, softly nodding towards the bandage around his neck as you waited for a reaction of his. “Alright”, he mumbled a little reluctantly back, before you leaned slightly in to press some kisses over his rough jaw and nuzzled your nose into his stubbly cheek the way you knew he secretly liked it.
And so you gave him comfort and solace, just like he had given you the utter most of it before. Just like you both always did.
“Negan, Put me down!”, you called half laughing, half serious as you felt Negan tightening the hold he had on you, keeping you securely thrown over his shoulder as he stumped into the cold water of the lake.
The splashes of the cool wet already began to hit your skin as you gripped into his skin and began to shake your hips and legs, trying to get out of his tight grab before he could get you both even deeper into the cold.
“Nope, and this whole fucking wiggling won’t get you anything”, you heard Negan’s chuckling voice say, his throaty laugh booming through the air as he placed a quick slap on your ass.
“Come on, this isn’t fair”, you groaned with a small laugh just as you heard his rough chuckle again and even though you couldn’t see his face you knew that he had a giant smirk plastered all over it.
“Well, this is what makes it this fucking fun!”
With that he finally stopped, the water already reaching over his hips as you could feel its coldness beginning to dive through your skin and into your veins and then Negan’s arms suddenly left your body and let you sink into the water.
Within seconds the cool water surrounded you completely, leaving you for a short moment shocked before your feet found the ground and let you rush yourself back over the water again.
“You fucking asshole”, you laughed, stroking your hair back and rubbing your eyes to get your sight clear again as you felt Negan’s arms wrapping around you and pulling you against his warm and wet chest.
“Just did as you fuckin’ told me”, he said shrugging his shoulders and rising his brows innocently before you playfully shoved his firm chest. Just as your fingers felt the short and wet dark curls that clung to his chest beneath them, you felt him pulling you closer until his warm skin was meeting yours in the cold water, their mix creating a familiar tingling in your body.
“Oh you’ll get that back”, you chuckled, seeing him grinning wider as his tongue ran slowly and teasingly over his lower lip and his intense and roguish glance darted right into your eyes.
He smirking leaned in until his lips could meet yours, their heat mixing blissfully with the coolness the chilly water had brought on yours before his voice vibrated wolfishly against your lips.