Hoping to slowly leave the horror of Negan’s breakdown behind, the Reader helps Negan shave to make a first tiny step into a new direction.
This is a drabble for the time jump within season 9! It’s linked to my series, so If you like you can find it right here, but you can also easily read it independently from it.
“Let’s get rid of that Santa beard”, you mumbled with a smile as you picked up the scissors from the small nightstand of Negan’s cell. Right next to the scissors had laid two small bowls with shaving foam and warm water, a small fluffy towel and a straight razor that were waiting for their job later on. You turned around, giving him another smile as you glanced at him on the wooden chair in the middle of the cell, still with his slightly slumped in figure and the healing but still horribly visible wound on his forehead. This one horrifying day was about a week and a half ago by now, Alexandria was still in a complete exceptional state after Rick’s death and you had the odd feeling that this would last for a good while longer. The first days after, you hadn’t left Negan’s side, stayed huddled up in the bed with him, cradling and holding him close, only leaving it to pick up his food and make sure he was eating as much as he could. He still was in a state that made your heart ache but for today and to finally but slowly help him out of this slump, you thought of making a small but maybe meaningful step in a new direction and finally get rid of his thick beard, to literally cut him off from the terrible memories that were now connected to it. Especially now, since the people who usually took care of his beard and his hair cut would have waited a whole lot longer until taking action again. Slowly, you stepped closer to him, reaching up to run your fingertips softly through his dark hair until he raised his head a little to glance at you as your fingertips trailed down until they could grasp a bit of his beard. “Ready?”, you mumbled with another small smile as he slowly nodded. “Ready as hell…let’s get that fucker off”, he mumbled, forcing a small smile onto his lips as you ran your fingers once more along his jaw before getting back to your work.
“Thought you liked it…the beard”, Negan mumbled, for the first time in a while some of his old tease sounding through his deep voice again as you finished your work with the scissor and brushed your fingers over his jaw to get rid of the salt and pepper hair that was entangling into the rest of his stubble. “I did, just think we gotta start off new, huh?”, you mumbled, leaving his side for a moment to get the shaving foam and the thick brush. “Like those girl’s gettin’ their hair colored or cut the fuck off after breaking up with some jerk?” “Kinda”, you said softly chuckling as you turned back around to him and felt as if you saw for the first time ever since a bit of his signature grin spreading over his lips, taking in his handsome features that had been held hostage by pain way too much in the last while. It was just a small one, and still it let some more hope wash into your body as you glanced with a loving smile at him. Slowly, you got the foam on his face, brushing it in the rest of his beard before some memories flowed back into your mind, letting you grin slightly as Negan’s glance captured yours. “Remember that first time I did this?”, you mumbled in response to his questioning glance as you looked down on him, his face’s lower half completely covered in white foam just like all this time ago in Rick’s house. “Hmm, yeah”, he grumbled, the small grin that let your heart flutter still on his lips as you placed the bowl of foam down beside him. “You looked just like this with all that foam on, really had to control myself to not laugh”, you softly chuckled, grabbing the warm water and the towel to get ready to shave. “Still caught that grin, believe me that, Sweetheart”, he mumbled back before he pointed swiftly up to his in white covered face, “That’s how you usually look.” A half chuckle, half groan left your lips as you shoved his shoulder playfully in response to his old humor that was finally showing through again, enjoying this lighthearted moment while it lasted. He could fall back into this black pit every minute, so if you had the chance to first grasp some small but happy moments, you were gonna do so. They were a start.
The razor knife slid along his skin as you carefully got the rest of his beard step by step off, touching him softly to keep him in posture until you could finally wash the little rest off foam off and let him brush the towel over his bare skin. “Can finally see your face again”, you eventually mumbled as you traced your fingers over his skin, sensing its softness after only being used of the long and rough beard,”So damn smooth.” For another small moment you could see the smile on his lips before slowly but surely the darkness that tried to devour him began to try its best to settle in again, clouding his glance and doing its best to push the smile off his face. Softly, you caressed your fingers over his skin, cupping his face as you tried to find a way to get him at least for this small moment back into the lightheartedness you had felt before. One more time you glanced at him before you slowly leaned down and captured his lips, gentle and careful to feel him all the way as your hands held him close to you. Your lips moved in a pleasant and even calming rhythm until you felt him pulling you down onto his lap, wrapping his arms around you as some small but content growls rumbled up his throat. Slowly letting go of him you glanced into his hazel eyes, giving him another small peck before he pulled you closer and nuzzled his face into the curve of your neck. “Love you, Baby”, he mumbled, pressing a small kiss against your skin as he held you tight, almost as close as in those nights before in which it seemed like you were his only anchor holding him here. “I love you too, Negan”, you mumbled back, wrapping your arms around him as you nuzzled your nose into his dark hair, closing your eyes, hoping that even though the light at the end of the tunnel was still far out of reach, that this would be at least a first tiny step into the right direction.
Sun beams enlightened hazel eyes, letting them light up in their warm tone, enhancing each of their features and the flow of their colors as they always did around this time in the morning, when the light intensified and streamed through the metal bars on the cell’s windows. But there was a difference to those other mornings, one that still had the ability to let an ice-cold shudder run down your spine. Those eyes were just as captivating as always but at the same time the glance stuck in them displayed each moment that had happened last evening and the following night. They were still slightly reddened, the rings beneath them dark and the rest of his features still coined by the tears that had flown over them in the last night. They were dried by now, just like the blood on his forehead wound that still looked as horrific as last night, despite your tries to take care of it. Part of you still didn’t want to believe it, even though you deep down knew that everything about this was true, every single bit. And just as much as you knew this, you knew that you had to find a way to help him out of this pit of darkness he seemed to have fallen into.
A small sigh left your lips as you felt his hand cupping yours a little tighter, letting his fingers intertwine with yours a little more as you shifted closer against him. The first hard part of this morning laid behind you, the first careful attempts to talk to him properly, not just about Michonne’s conversation with him and that what had followed, but also the reason she had decided to visit him. A tiny bit of this talk seemed to have already paid off as you glanced for a moment at his breakfast that was gone by now, leaving only a few bread crumbs on the white plate beside the bed behind. It was just a tiny step, but at the same time it felt like a big and mighty one. You still weren’t sure how often he had done this to himself, how often his skull had met the cold stone and the agony just thinking about it just like the fear of triggering something in him hindered you from asking further. ”It’s almost time for your shift…you should call the guard down”, Negan mumbled with a heavy gulp, even though you could tell he was trying his best to keep his voice firm. ”I don-” ”No, you won’t stay here for me and get yourself into trouble, not gonna happen”, he cut you off, pushing the thought about staying with him that had ghosted through your head away before it could fully unfold. ”Siddiq would understand…I’m sure of that…if you feel like you need me here with you, I’ll stay”, you said, your voice soothing as you glanced at him and caught him gulping heavily as his eyes wandered over the gray cement ground. ”Still, you’d get some kinda problems for fuckin’ sure…I’ll be fine…as long as I can have you back in that bed here tonight I’ll be fine”, he said after a couple of silent moments, squeezing your hand lightly as he glanced up and forced a weak smile onto his lips. You still looked at him with doubt, feeling like you didn’t want to leave him alone right now even though his words began to push you slowly into a different direction. ”I’ll be fine, Baby”, he mumbled once again as gulped, “I…I won’t do it again.” His voice was quiet even though he tried to put firmness into it as he grasped your hand tighter and glanced for a moment at you. You wanted to say something, put all those thoughts that were swirling through your head into sentences but instead you leaned in and reached with your free hand up to cup the side of his jaw, softly caressing it before you slowly leaned in. Your forehead rested against his, careful to not hurt his wound as you closed your eyes for a moment and let your fingertips toy softly with his thick beard. You could feel him moving a little until his hot breath was brushing over your lips before they eventually captured yours, gently even though some small, needy growls still rumbled though his chest and vibrated against your skin as his warmth took you in. ”I love you..so damn much. You know that, right?”, you softly mumbled as your lips parted again, feeling like he needed to hear those words more than ever before. ”Yeah…I love you too, Sweetheart”, he rasped quietly, pulling you into his embrace until your face could bury into the curve of his neck and his arms could wrap tightly around your figure, allowing him to lean his head against yours and softly nuzzle his nose into your hair. You could feel yourself melting into his hug just as much as he melted against your body, cradling you and keeping you deeply in his embrace as you closed your eyes for a moment, knowing that you had to leave this moment of comfort, earlier or later.
The walk to the infirmary was harder than ever, feeling bad conscience poking you with each step you took even though part of you knew that there was no way Negan would have let you risk just getting an ounce of trouble for neglecting your shifts for him. Still, your thoughts were cycling around him, around the self-inflicted wound on his forehead, the horror that must still linger inside him and around the fact that he was alone again, alone with that horror. But instead of being able to get back into the cell with him and make sure his demons weren’t flaring up again, you found yourself at the end of the endless seeming path to the infirmary as you shoved your jacket off and tried to get rid of a bit of the tension right along with it. You could feel Siddiq’s eyes wandering over you, his brows furrowing slightly as you could tell that your first tries of loosing up were more than unsuccessful. ”Everything okay?”, he mumbled as he leaned himself against the kitchen counter, still eyeing you as if it would give him answers.– ”Yeah I just-”, you began, stopping as you felt your throat tightening and thoughts of last night washed up again. “Can you take a look at Negan?”, you reluctantly mumbled after a few silent seconds, feeling the fear creeping up in you again that his wound might be worse than it looked, that he could have hurt himself more than you thought. “What’s the matter?”, Siddiq asked, moving a little closer as you could already feel your body beginning to cramp by the thought of having to speak part of last night’s events out again. “He uhm-”, you said, gulping as the barrier in your head stopped you for a second from ending your sentence ,”He…he bashed his head against the wall.” The words felt like poison to your body, biting into your skin, stinging in your mouth, twisting and wrenching your heart in the worst way imaginable while a horrific mix of boiling heat and icy coldness washed over your back. “Purposely”, you added in response to the confusion on Siddiq’s face while this one word just increased the effects of its poison. “I’m not sure how often exactly,…must have been a few times, I-”, you went on, feeling your throat lightning with each words as yo twisted your hands nervously, “,..I cleaned the wound and… and I don’t think he’s got a concussion but I’m not one hundred percent sure.” You glanced at him, saw the concern that was displayed on his features before you breathed shivering out and gulped quietly. “He doesn’t know I’m asking…I just-”,you began again, the whirling up thoughts stopping you once more before Siddiq already took charge and gave you a small smile. “I’ll take a look.” “Thank you”, you breathed out, forcing a smile onto your lips as well before Siddiq sighed quietly and stepped a little closer as he ran his palm over his dark beard stubble. “How about you get a little out for a bit?”, he asked after a small pause, glancing carefully at you as if he wanted to test the waters before he rose his voice again,“Got Will at outlook B, got himself hurt when he tried to repair some loose bars…looks like he’s got a wound on his forearm but I can’t tell more just from a few words nor if he’d need to come home. But I’d need someone to take a look at it.” You pondered, sighing quietly as the thought of being this far from Negan in his current state let the restlessness inside you whirl up once more. “Think you need to calm a little down too…that could be a way”, he added onto it, seeing the doubt that was painted all over your face. You knew he was right. You knew he was but still you hesitated, wrestling with your ongoing thoughts, even though you knew just as well that Negan would want you to go and especially not stay back because of him. To be honest, if he would find out you did, it could just make his feelings and fears worse. Silent moments passed until you gulped quietly and began to slowly nod, remembering Negan’s words from this morning. You were gonna be back with him tonight, just like he said. “Yeah…”, you eventually mumbled, looking into Siddiq’s eyes as you caught him nodding slightly,”I’ll just let Negan know, just to be sure…then I’ll get on my way there.”
The car vibrated beneath you as you drove over the abandoned country roads, following the paths that were here and there vested with guidance sings that showed you the way. The med bag and a half loaded gun on the passenger seat shifted from side to side as you turned into the next road, taking care to not miss a sign and risk having to drive a detour. Gas was a rare becoming good these days, leaving only a few cars available for each community and one of them was transporting you through the forests and overgrown fields in these moments. You couldn’t fully tear your thoughts from Negan as he kept swinging through your head. You were still deeply worried, even though he had done nothing else than encourage you at your little detour to the cell before you had swung yourself into the car. You tried to keep that in mind, tried to let the small smile he had put on his lips for you calm you, just like his warm hand that had engulfed yours and squeezed it softly as he had told you to take care before rasping those three words that had as always elicited this special warmth in your depths. They had been the last ones he had told you before you had left and they still echoed through your head and acted soothing on you even though you couldn’t deny the worry that was washing up again and again, flooding your mind until you forced yourself to concentrate on your upcoming job. After all, maybe you should use Siddiqs advice and use this opportunity, earn some strength which you could help Negan with in the end as well. Hell, use even Negan’s words, even though a part of you feared that he had put on a show or even just chocked back his agony to not burden more concern onto you. This was still the man who had harmed himself last night, and the more you reminded yourself of it, the more you wanted to turn around and head back to Alexandria. But instead, the car began to softly shake as you turned into the last road on your way, the blacktop already coined by nature’s forces it was constantly exposed to, letting the car shake a little more as your eyes caught Will’s outlook and the small house beside it from afar.
Shadows danced over the ground of the cell as Negan stared to its cold cement surface, sniffling quietly as he rubbed his eyes that must be as red and swollen as a damn monkey’s ass from all the tears that had broken out of him again. He hated this shit, of course he did, even more than the damn stinging salve Siddiq had daubed onto his wound but this all was still far from how much he hated what he was doing to his girl. He was putting her through pain and he knew it. He had most certainly heard it last night, when she had thought he had fallen asleep in her arms and small but heartbreaking sobs had erupted her body. Only the memory of it shot painful venom into his veins, leaving him with an ugly but still certain feeling that he couldn’t do this anymore to her. Shit, he couldn’t see the damn tears in her pretty eyes anymore which he had forced into them, he couldn’t see the way she was losing sleep over him and woke up with more worry, he couldn’t live with the feeling that he was the reason for her pain. Maybe he didn’t have to do this much longer, the shadows that had danced over the ground belonged to two people Negan knew, one of which he had last seen on the day of the battle, who had begged and screamed for his death. She was on her way down here in those moments, he could already hear her footsteps. Maybe he was just minutes away from leaving this damn world and doing for fucking once the right thing, making the way free for (Y/N) to finally be happy without any sorrow and worry. The door creaked as it opened and the widow finally stepped in, glancing at him as if part of her couldn’t believe that she had actually reached her destination while the rest of her stared with hatred and disgust down at him. Maybe it wouldn’t take much to drive her over the edge, just some egging and provoking here and there, mention the night he took the life of her husband, the way he cracked open that man’s skull and popped out his eyeball, maybe even lie and say he enjoyed that shit. That whole crap should be enough to make her do it. Make her do it before his girl got back. She didn’t have to see this, she didn’t have to see this happening. And once it was done, when she’d find him it would hurt like hell and the thought of it wrenched him apart, but soon, when his body was already rotting in the ground and the most tears had been cried, she’d realize that he was right. He was just a burden. She was better off without him.
“Alright, that’s it…but I’ll still get you back to Alexandria”, you mumbled not more than a half hour later, fixing the last bit of his bandage as he shifted uncomfortably on the worn off chair he had plopped himself earlier on. “Really? Think that’s necessary?”, he grumbled, puckering his brows as he stared at his covered wound and huffed quietly. His blue eyes were scanning over the cloth, as he ran his hand through his dirty blonde hair that was sticking out from the multiple times he must have already done it before he glanced reluctantly back at the small house. “Yeah, that bandage is fine for the first bit but I want Siddiq to look over that…and I don’t think you should be out here with that kinda wound”, you mumbled back, pushing your used utensils back into the leather bag before glancing up at him. “Okay”, he finally said before he heft himself slowly up from the wooden chair and let out a strained groan, “Just gotta get my stuff.” “No, you gotta rest. Stay, I’ll get it for you.”
“Alright, there we go”, you mumbled as you got him into the passenger seat after placing his bag of clothes in the backseat, hearing him groan quietly as he fell onto the fabric and adjusted himself a little. “Thanks”, he said, a sharp breath falling from his lips as he shifted his arm into his lap to give it a little stabilization before you shut his door with a dull thud and moved over the driver’s side. Moments later you started the engine, letting the car zoom and shake slightly beneath you as you began to roll down the street again. “Thought you’d be much more tense”, Will said after a small while as he leaned into the backseat, fumbling on his walkie as you let your brows pucker in confusion while you turned your head and glanced a little questioning at him. “Hmm?”, you mumbled, looking back at the street as you the corners of your eyes caught him running a palm over his short dirty blonde beard stubble,“Now I didn’t think you’d be so calm with Maggie coming to Alexandria.” With that an ice-cold shudder ran down your back as your head snapped towards him, your eyes burning into him as you tried to figure out if this was real or if you had just hallucinated his voice. “What?!”, it left your lips almost without your own notice, your eyes only looking back at the road for a split second before you stared back at Will. “You don’t know? Must’ve been a half hour before you got here”, he grumbled, holding up his walkie as he cleared his throat, “Got a shitty connection out here but enough to figure out she arrived…thought you had a walkie with ya too.” “No, no I don’t I-”, your voice broke off as panic began to wash through your veins, adding onto the tension that had been lingering the whole time within you. She hadn’t been in Alexandria for all this time, she wasn’t visiting for some cookies and a nice cup of tea. She was there for Negan. Your foot began to press down onto the gas pedal, simultaneously to your up-speeding heartbeat as your brain began to visualize your deepest fears that could happen right in these moment. You shouldn’t have driven out. You shouldn’t have fucking driven out. If you hadn’t you’d be there now, you’d be there to keep her away from him. He needed you and you weren’t there to protect him. You were in this fucking fucked up car, in the middle of fucking nowhere. “(Y/N), you gotta slow the hell down”, Will mumbled nervously, shifting uneasily in the seat beside you as you shook your head and glanced for a moment at him. “She could be doing what fucking ever to him right now, I won’t slow down”, you said, half panted, your voice filled with panic you couldn’t hold back anymore. Part of you tried to keep yourself under control, the other, the one that seemed to take over right now, put terror in each and every of your cells. You knew her, you knew what she was capable of, she’d kill him if she got the chance. That’s all she ever wanted. “Will, I need you to give me your walkie”, you said, trying to grasp a clear thought before you already saw him shaking his head from the corner of your eyes. “No, forget it (Y/N), not until you go down from that damn gas pedal”, he said, trying to keep his voice firm as you let out a stressed sigh. “Alright, if you don’t hand it over, could you please ask if they know where she exactly is? Please, Will”, you said, your breath shaky as you slowed a small bit down for a moment, hoping to persuade him before he huffed slightly but finally got it up to his lips. His voice boomed through your head even though he was talking lowly, your heartbeat pounded and echoed through your head as you waited for an answer coming from the other side. But it didn’t. “Told you we got a shitty connection out here”, he grumbled as he lowered the walkie again while the fear in you seemed to fill you up until you threatened to burst. “Fuck”, you cursed, pushing the wheel slightly as your foot pressed down on the pedal again while a lump began to slowly grow in your throat. Just last night he had hurt himself and now, shit, now someone tried to do what fucking ever to him. What if you weren’t there on time. What if Michonne wouldn’t hold her back or if it wasn’t enough? You couldn’t lose him. You couldn’t lose Negan.
Your nervously sweaty becoming palms pressed against the wheel, your foot growing heavy on the pedal while the walkie began to rustle, not even full words streaming through it, only loose vowels that were as good as impossible to fully combine. “Sounds like some shit’s going down”, Will grumbled to himself, only letting you grow more uneasy as the trees rushed fast by you, letting them look like a green blurry mess beside you until you suddenly caught figures and horses with a carriage appearing at the horizon that just had to be from Alexandria. They were blocking the road as they were buzzing around the carriages, fast and as restless as your racing heart. Your car got closer and closer until you were forced to gradually slow down, especially as you began to slowly recognize them. Beneath others, there were Diane and Michonne, from afar it looked like you could even see Carol and then, then you saw someone else. Maggie. Your heart skipped a beat as you skimmed over her, catching the crowbar in her hand that let a whole different nausea wash over your body. She was coming back from Alexandria, she was with Michonne…so had she been at his cell? Had she hurt him? Had she- Before you could grasp another thought the panic of losing Negan took over your mind, mixing the most terrible emotions within you and letting you feel like you blacked out for a moment as your senses only perceived their figures shortly before you, the stopping car beneath you, the sharp sound of the car’s door as you crashed it back into its frame and the way your feet hit the blacktop. Eyes were fixed on you, on your in panic and anger trembling body, on your eyes that had already become watery, on the heavy breaths that let your chest rise and fall rapidly. Your glance wandered over the crowbar, over its clean surface that didn’t let one ounce of relief run through you. That didn’t mean shit, especially not to a mind as full of panic as yours. Every single emotion rushing through you just got worse with each step as one special pair of eyes were fixed on you as you stomped towards them, focusing on you and wandering in a glare over your face. For the first time after one and a half year. “What the hell did you do to him?!”, it blustered out of you, half angrily panting, half with your voice threatening to break at the end of the question while your whole body formed into an agony mess, fearing whatever the answer may be. Maggie’s glance narrowed some more as you stood before her, her lips pursed in an angered manner before the sound of her voice let every cell in you shudder.
“Nothing”, she snarled, the tone in her voice cold as this one word echoed through your head and couldn’t decide if it should elicit confusion or relief, ”Wanted to kill him but you know what? He’s already so much worse than dead.” She huffed, her face pulling a thicker frown onto it as she stepped closer to your suddenly frozen self and clenched her jaw tensely before a tinge of satisfaction spread over her features. “He begged me to kill him. Let that sink in, (Y/N). He begged me crying and sobbing on his damn knees to kill him.” No. No, that couldn’t be true. She was just messing with you, right? Just trying to drive you wild to hurt you. But her voice sounded genuine, that painfully genuine that part of you tried to avoid seeing it, even though her eyes spoke the same language. What she was saying was the truth…and after knowing what had happened last night, after knowing how fragile he was at the moment…even this one part in you that tried to deny it lost its fight. “He wanted me to do it because he couldn’t”, she growled, the hint of satisfaction still painted on her face as you first recognized the single tears that had begun to roll down your cheeks, along your features that were still frozen in shock and pain. “He’s so pathetic and weak he couldn’t-” Her voice still echoed through your ears as she got cut off by the sound of nearby shots and louder becoming growls of the dead, before a mess of voices and information prattled in on you within just a couple of moments, visualizing a horrifying picture even though its mass only let you catch pieces of its puzzle. Diane panted about a shootout at the camp between some Saviors and the departing Kingdomers with consequences that ended bloodily, with deaths especially on the latter side. Daryl who you hadn’t even recognized till now was running closer, with eyes searching panicking over the forest, growling over splitting up with Rick so he could lead the herd further away from the communities and the bridge, all while the disturbing loudness of a mass of undead growls and the closeness of the bridge didn’t bode well. Something had went wrong. Horribly wrong. The fast footsteps of Michonne and the rest of the group boomed over the earthy ground, seemingly letting it quake every second as they ran. And you ran with them. You were torn. Completely and utterly torn. Back in Alexandria was Negan, your mind was rushing around him, visualizing what must have happened between him and Maggie while each more moment your mind made up hurt you more. He wanted to die. Negan wanted to die. The man you were loving had begged someone to kill him. You couldn’t wrap your head around it while your body was far ahead of it. It was wrenching in agony, similar but still different to the pain you had felt under that tree on the hill, with his blood sticking to your fingers as he threatened to bleed to death. Still, your feet were running. Scared about what might happen at the bridge that could change everything while you knew at the same time that there was no way you could return now to Alexandria. Part of you wanted to split up, split into two, get one part of yourself to Negan while letting the other one run towards the bridge. The decision was made for you as your eyes caught the bridge, caught a mass of dead bodies stumbling over it while its end within the trees couldn’t be seen, while your hand instantly and driven by your instincts reached to your gun holster, lacing your fingers around it, ready to use it if you had to. “What was that?”, Carol shouted through the growls as another shot filled the air before your eyes ran over the bridge that filled more and more with walkers that had a very certain goal in their eyes. “It’s Rick”, another voice shouted as you caught him near the end of the bridge on the other side of the river, pressing his hand onto his side that was soaked in dark red blood while his hand with the revolver was still high up, darting at the walkers in front of him until his glance fell for a moment on the group of people by the river’s side. Shock rushed through your veins as you stared at him, catching how Daryl’s figure showed up beside you while your fingers still rested around your gun that tingled from the stress that seemed to multiply with each passing seconds. “Move north, break up the rest.
Bring some guns!”, you heard Maggie shout, footsteps echoing over the ground as more people rushed towards the river. Instead of following her lead like the others behind you your glance stayed fixed on your friend on the bridge as you saw him glancing down at you and Daryl, confusion and shock spread over his face as you could see him puckering his brows softly in concern as he shook his head and moved his blood covered hand as if he wanted to stop you all, as if he wanted to signal that it was okay this way. From the corner of your eye you could catch the others running through the woods closer towards the bridge while your glance stayed focused on Rick and the walkers that stumbled closer, stretching their arms toward his figure as only meters parted them. For a second you got dragged out of the trance this whole situation had thrown you in as Daryl threw his crossbow from his shoulder, grabbed a bolt and cocked it into its bowstring before rushing back to let it shoot towards the closest Walker to Rick, almost tearing the rotting head apart as it hit its target. Your eyes stayed fixed to your half-brother as your fingers finally pulled the gun out of its holster, your glance meeting his as he pushed in another bolt. For the first time since he knew of what you had with Negan, you seemed to have a little bit of the old connectedness back as neither of you needed words to know what you were going to do. Together. Your hand grasped the gun tightly as you rose it up, darting at the walkers before Rick as you pulled the trigger, releasing bullets that brought down walkers as much as Daryl’s bolts did. Rick glancing back and worth between the both of you and the walkers, bending as he had to give in to the pain his wound was forcing up in him while his eyes got fixed on something within the dead for moments. Slowly, he glanced a last time at the both of you as you reached the end of your weapons’ capabilities, gulping softly as he nodded grateful towards you while he rose his colt, his arm shaking threateningly as his blood began to cover the silver surface of his gun before his finger moved to the trigger. And he pulled it.
For a moment, the world seemed to stop spinning as the bridge turned into a giant fireball, enlightening the air as its heat hit your skin and brought your blood to boil. Rick had blown himself up. He had blown himself and the bridge up to save all of you. The realization of who you had just lost began to kick in as your lips began to tremble and tears began to slowly fill your eyes, blurring your view of the burning walkers that began to fall down the remains of the bridge into the wild water of the bridge that was as effervesced as the feelings that were streaming through your body. “No”, left your quivering lips as this day turned more and more into a living nightmare. Your glance was fixed to the burning bridge that began to be covered in thick, black smoke that rose up onto the sky until the corners of your eyes caught Daryl’s head sinking in pain and utter grief. Your head turned towards him as you felt your throat tightening while the first tears began to roll down your cheeks, catching his shoulders beginning to shake as he spun his body slowly away from the place that had become the death of his best friend. You wanted to say something but instead his teary glance only met yours for the matter of seconds, filled with a pain that you had seen rarely in his eyes before he sniffled as turned once for all away, grabbing his crossbow tightly as he made his way into the woods, slumped in like a wounded animal with nowhere to go instead of away. Away of the bridge. Away of the one place that had been supposed to be part of the future Carl had wished for. Away from the place that had turned out to be the opposite. Rick was gone and you still couldn’t believe it, couldn’t fully grasp it as your mind rushed through the years you had known him, from the moment he had shown up at the campsite to this very last moment on the bridge, leaving you with a feeling of grief you had hoped to never feel again. Still, you did. Rick Grimes was dead.
You couldn’t remember much of the way back, it was like a cloth torn apart my moths, leaving blank spaces that couldn’t get filled. All you recognized was your heavy foot on the gas pedal, the trees rushing past you, mixing into a mess of green and brownish spots until you caught Alexandria’s gates. From then on, cries and murmurs mixed with one another, your eyes caught Michonne as she parted herself from Carol, still crying and whimpering as she vanished alone in her home to sink into her deep cut grief, Alexandria’s residents stood either in shock by another or cried silently, all while you stumbled panicking towards the brownstones. You had just lost a close friend and you still couldn’t grasp it, couldn’t realize it. All you knew was only that you couldn’t lose Negan as well. Agony was dominating your body as you got closer to the tall houses, fearing that he might have harmed himself again or worse. With every damn time someone hurts themselves, their dread towards it sinks, with every damn time someone hurts themselves, their ability to take a step further becomes more likely. What if Negan had reached that point already? What if you would step down those stairs and see him there, dark red blood trickling down his skin and staring with dead eyes at you that had just this morning looked with deep running love at you? What if you had already lost him but just didn’t know it yet? What if? You fought against those thoughts, tried to keep the little flame of hope up in you as you reached the houses and found yourself rushing down the stairs, trembling and afraid of what was to come. Your panicking glance bounced around the room like a pair of table tennis balls, searching for his figure as soon as you reached the end of the stairs before you did. Slumped in he sat on is bed. Alive. Still, your eyes scanned over him, searching for wounds but all you could catch was the injury of last night and the empty yet hurt expression that was spread all over his face, up until the moment his eyes met yours.
The moments between this once glance and the time that passed until the guard had opened the door and let you slip inside had been as torn apart as the time you had spent in the car back home. Almost as if it hadn’t happened. Still, you stood in front of him now, trying to make him look at you as he gulped and glanced at you, his eyes swollen and red from the crying even though an odd expression laid over his face, as if he was pretending that nothing of what you had heard had happened. “What’s happening outside? Sounds like one hell of a mess”, he asked, obviously trying to bring up as much firmness as his sobs dreaded voice could, forming into words what his facial expression had already told you. He was trying to be strong for you right now, you could see it right there and then in front of you as the man you loved tried to keep the threateningly rickety scaffold he was upright for you. You couldn’t lie to him now, not even withhold it. Not now that he knew something was going on, not in these circumstances. In the end, it would just make it worse, besides the fact that you were by far not emotionally stable enough in these challenging moments to decide completely rationally. “Rick’s dead”, it blustered out of you, the words seeming so impossible as you spoke them out, as if it wasn’t real, almost, as if you were telling a lie. “What?!”
Painful stings pelted onto your body as you brought as short as you could out what had happened at the bridge, unable to go in detail as your body feared more agony that only waited for its moment to sneak up. The words left your lips almost as if they didn’t belong to you, they just flew out as your eyes stayed fixed to Negan’s face, each muscle that twitched, each dried tear on his skin. Tears clouded your eyes as he reached out to you, pulling you trembling closer until he could wrap his shaking arms around you, trying to comfort you even at his lowest. His touch was soothing as you gave in to it and its caresses for a couple of moments, before you had to tear yourself from him as you got to the part that you feared the most, the part you had to tell him even though your whole body twisted even only thinking about it.
“Negan,…Maggie was there too”, you mumbled, indirectly revealing your knowledge to him as your voice was breaking in the end while his face fell in the matter of seconds, breaking the thin shield of calmness he had put on for you before it twisted in agony, wrenching you apart as you caught tears beginning to force their way into his eyes, unable to be held back anymore, as his shoulders slumped in like the ones of a hurt animal. “I…I’m sorry”, he whimpered, his head lowering as the sob shook through him, shooting painful stings through your veins as you stared at him in pain. “I should be dead…I have to be dead”, he mumbled, turning slowly away from you as your throat tightened again, his tears and words forcing a thick lump into your throat. “No”, it broke out of you with as much force and strength as you could bring up before his tearful eyes glanced for the matter of a second up before they stared back to the ground as a shudder let his shoulders shake. “’Cause…’cause I’m just a fuckin’ burden, you’d be better off without me.” “No, no Negan I wouldn’t-” “You should go…”, he mumbled shakily, “Maybe if I try that crap again I’ll get it done myself.” The pain that got elicited by those words was indescribable, mimicking knives that dug into your body and turned and twisted until you were an agony filled mess, with more tears filling your eyes and a shock running through you that let your lips gap open but didn’t allow to let words flow out of it at first. “Negan, stop saying that”, you finally said, your voice hitching through the tears that began to choke you ,”And I won’t leave you.” “You should be able to mourn now,…you should be able to lean all the fuckin way onto me and not have to fucking worry even fuckin’ more”, he said, his voice as broken as the man in front of you before he shook his head as more tears rolled down his cheeks and got entangled in his thick beard. “Heard you crying last night…when you thought I was sleeping”, he brought out, adding more shock to the agony whirling through your body as you tried to step closer to him before his weak voice echoed off the cold walls once more, “You shouldn’t suffer because of me…you-…you deserve to be happy and I can’t give you that.” “That’s not true”, you chocked out, reaching towards his shaking hand until you could softly grasp it,”Negan, you make me happy.” “No, no, all I do is make you worry-” “I worry because I love you. That’s part of the deal…you’d worry about me too”, you said, your voice coined by the thick lump in your throat as you carefully moved closer until you could reach up and softly place your hand on his neck while the other still grasped his fingers , “If you love someone you worry about them when they’re not feeling well..but that doesn’t mean they don’t make you happy.” A shivering breath fell from your lips as you couldn’t prevent the most urging tears to make their way down your cheeks, letting you sniffle quietly as you tried to keep the rest of you as much under control as you could. “And I think in some way you know that…”,you gulped, trying to catch his glance as your fingertips caressed over the trembling skin of his neck ,”All this shit here is just fucking with your head.” Negan’s face wrenched in pain as you glanced through tears clouded eyes at him, feeling him shaking beneath you as it broke completely out of him, sobs rumbling through his chest as you tried to push yourself out of the shock that froze your bones. Negan began to slump in even more, trembling like an aspen leaf as your hand left his and instead allowed you to wrap your arms around him, pull him into your own shaking embrace until his head sunk into the curve of your neck and his quivering arms slung around your body. His hot tears and his panting breath hit your skin as you dandled him back and forth in your arms, your hand caressing through his dark hair as more tears ran down your cheeks as you somehow tried to comfort the broken man in your arms. “I can’t lose you”, it broke whimpering out of you, pulling him deeper into your embrace as you cradled him, closing your eyes as you leaned your head against his, nuzzling your nose into his hair as he slowly tightened his arms around you as well.
The sun was already going down when you found yourself sitting on the side of the bed, still holding him as he leaned against your side, sniffling as his face stayed buried in the curve of your neck and his shaking breath hit your skin. Your fingers ran through his hair, drawing slow circles as your lips pressed to his temple, softly and careful as you tried to keep more tears from coming up again. “I need you here with me, Negan”, you quietly mumbled as you held him closer, feeling how the lump began to press in on your throat again no matter how much you tried to fight it, “I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Negan shifted closer, his arms still trembling as he slung them a little more around your waist as you tried to keep your voice from breaking. “I don’t know how to get through those nights with the nightmares, I don’t know how to live without you, I-”, you said, feeling how your voice broke either way before you felt him slowly beginning to lift his head from your shoulder until he could glance at you. His eyes were still swollen from the tears, his lips still trembling as you reached up, cupping his jaw as you caressed your fingers along his beard, chocking back more tears as you caught his glance and breathed softly out, “Negan, you’re my everything.” His face relaxed a little by your words while your thumb gently stroke over his cheek, wiping away the last tears as you quietly gulped. “If I could, I’d take all that damn pain from you onto me…I really would but I can’t…”, you mumbled as his still clouded hazel eyes ran over your face, “I can’t just fix everything but I…I can help you through it…but you have to want it…” He swallowed thickly, his eyes wandering for a moment to the ground before they met yours again as a quivering breath fell from his lips. “I want it…I just don’t wanna-”, he stopped, unable to put the rest into words even though you could figure it out yourself. “I love you”, he brought out, his voice thick with emotion as you softly nodded and began to lean in, trying to grasp some hope even though you still knew how fragile he was. “I love you too”, you mumbled back just before your lips softly captures his, feeling him melting into your touch the moment you met while he held you a little closer than before. It was just a short, sweet kiss, but still it seemed to bring a little comfort into both of your bodies before your lips parted again but his face remained close to yours. “Let’s lay down, alright?”, you carefully asked after a couple of moments, trying to shift this whole situation a little before you could feel him slightly nod.
You slowly moved back into the pillows, letting him move against your side as you pulled him back into your embrace, into the very same position as you had already laid in last night. Slowly you moved in to nuzzle your nose into his hair while your fingertips caressed over his arm, slowly tracing up and down the prison’s suit fabric as you slowly began to feel him relax a little. “Everything will get better, Negan”, you mumbled, moving your hand slowly up to brush over his beard, caressing it softly as you heard the first peaceful sound leaving his lips since you got back. You tried to grasp it, let it give you some more strength even though there was still an unbelievable amount of distress lingering within you. Still, you tried to push it away for a moment and take a breath, to focus on helping the man in your arms. “And you know what? As soon as things have calmed down, I will try to find Lucille…maybe she’s even still here…and I’ll try to figure things out, maybe we can make this all a bit better…get you out of here just for an hour or so to work or maybe just get some things inside here…but it will get better, okay?”, you mumbled as your fingers ran along his jaw before you pressed another small kiss to his forehead. You could still hear the mess that was happening outside stream inside the cell through the windows, hear the grief the people outside were experiencing which was lingering in you as well, only pushed back by the mission to take care of Negan even though you knew it would break through earlier or later. But next to all this pain and stress, as you finally heard him say “okay” quietly back, a part of you eased a little. You knew this wasn’t it with this one word, by far not. The rockiest of the roads you already had to overcome as a couple laid in front of you now, densely cluttered with large and sharp rocks that were ready to turn this path into a harsh and merciless test. Still, you refused to let the hope in you vanish. You were going to do everything in your might to help Negan through this, stand by his side along this rocky road until and beyond he would reach its end. No matter if it would take weeks, months or even years…
Agony struck through your body as you writhed in your disturbed sleep, the screams in your head forming into a horrific orchestra, determined to bring you down and drive you crazy until a deep, soothing voice began to interrupt them and sound through to you. It grasped you, taking you to tear you out of the nightmare’s grasp while a familiar warmth began to engulf you tighter, bringing your consciousness slowly back as the dream still tried to pull you back into its darkness. “Baby? Hey….Baby, wake up”, Negan’s voice mumbled, bringing you closer to the surface of finally waking up again until you broke through it and began to sense what the horror in your head was doing not just to your mind, but to your body as well. You were trembling like an aspen leaf, your chest rising and falling through sharp breaths that cut through your throat and got disrupted by the taste of salty tears that trickled down your cheeks as a wave of icy coldness and boiling heat mixed within your veins. “Shh…hey, it’s over. Everything’s fuckin’ fine. I’m here, Sweetheart”, Negan’s voice sounded through to you once more as you were finally able to open your eyes, glancing at his face that was only softly enlightened in the moonlight but which gave enough light to show the concern that had taken charge of his features. Pants were still leaving your trembling lips as his eyes caught yours, running over your face in worry as his hand reached up, his thumb stroking softly over your skin to get rid of the salty tears. Still in panic your glance wandered in restlessness over his face, his throat, his body, checking that he was fine and trying to prove to yourself that the nightmare hadn’t shown the truth. There were no screams, he wasn’t torn up, there was no thick, dark red blood covering him, trickling down on the pile of rotten corpses that belonged once to the people you loved. He was alive, not a hint of blood on his body, nor on the prison suit and there he was, laying right beside you, holding you in his arms and pulling you deeper into his embrace to comfort you. “Hey, look at me, Baby”, he mumbled, trying his best to hold your gaze that still wasn’t sure enough that he was actually safe and sound, “It’s okay, everything‘s okay.” Finally, you got yourself to look into his eyes as you slowly began to calm down and felt his thumb continuing its calming brushes over your wetted cheeks . Slowly, you began to nod, sniffling slightly before he you watched him leaning in in the faint light until his lips could caress soothingly over yours, keeping them captured until he felt you melting into him, yearning for the kiss and his touches as if they could force the rest of what the nightmare had left in your bones out of your body. His lips had just left yours as you sunk against him, burying your face into the crook of his neck as the fear got hold of you again and urged you deeper into his embrace, as if he would vanish into thin air if you let go. “I love you”, your still trembling lips mumbled against his skin as you felt him tightening his arms around you before a set of warm lips placed on your temple. “I love you too”, he mumbled back, pressing another kiss against your skin as you cuddled closer into his embrace, “So fuckin’ much.”
You stayed this way for minutes, engulfed by Negan’s arms as you were calming your body and mind down, slowly getting the trembling under control as well as the mess the nightmare had formed on your head. “You wanna talk?”, you heard Negan eventually mumble as you found yourself sitting next to him on the edge of the cheap bed, feeling how he wrapped his blanket around your shoulders as you glanced reluctantly at him, not sure if you should worry him even more. But before you could think more, he let out a deep sigh and pulled you closer, recognizing the signals you were sending him. After all, that man knew you and he knew that look. “Was about my damn ass, huh?”, he grumbled, wrapping his arm around your waist as you longed for his warmth that set a clear contrast to the iciness that was radiating from the cold cement ground against the soles of your feet. “You…the others”, you mumbled, gulping heavily as you tried to keep the pictures out of your mind before you slowly leaned your head against his shoulder and felt him resting his against yours. “Well, now it’s over and fuckin’ done…I don’t die, that’s not how it works”, Negan mumbled, a soft, supportive chuckle in his voice, meant to cheer you up as his hand reached up and stroke for a moment along your cheeks. “You tell me when you need your man to loose ya up, right?”, he added, his hand that was still cupping your waist squeezing it playfully as he finally elicited a small chuckle to fall from your lips as well. “Yes”, you mumbled against the blue fabric of his prison suit as you huddled closer up to his tall frame,”But for now…can you just hold me?” “Oh I can do that sure as shit”, he mumbled back as he loosened his hold on you for a moment to scoot back on the bed and eventually open his arms for you. “Thank you”, you said, giving him a small but grateful smile as you climbed back into the bed, ”Thank you for being there.” “No damn need to thank me…that’s my job, isn’t it?”, he grumbled with a small chuckle as you got closer to him, “Come here.” Quietly, you let yourself fall next to him again, feeling how he wrapped his arms around you and grabbed your leg carefully to hook it over his, making sure that he could hold you as close as possible. ”There you go”, he mumbled as he pulled the blanket back over your bodies, tucking you in along with him as you nuzzled your nose into the warmth of his neck, breathed deeply and contently out before allowing yourself to close your eyes again without having to fear that those pictures rushed up again. “You got no idea how much you help me with that”, you mumbled against his skin, feeling how he leaned his head back against yours, pressing a kiss to your forehead before a questionably hum left his lips. “Hmm?” “You help me deal with this”, you muttered in response as you cuddled into his comforting warmth ,”You make me stronger.”
The gravel was crunching beneath your shoes’ soles as you made your way towards the infirmary, the lack of sleep dragging on your body while you tried your best to stay awake. The extra strong coffee you had made yourself at your old home was still lingering on your lips, letting you hope that it would kick in soon while your heavy eyelids sent you a whole different message. You had woken up at least five more times that night, not crying and trembling like the first time after the nightmare, but with enough restlessness stuck in your body to have a hard time falling asleep once again. Each time Negan had been the one to let you sink back into those sleepy depths again, just with holding and caressing you until your body relaxed again in his arms and allowed you to get at least a little sleep. Without him there, you were sure you wouldn’t have been able to get more than an hour sleep, sure, it still wasn’t much, but you were grateful for every damn minute, especially after a nightmare as horrific as the one that had haunted you this last night. You knew that these things wouldn’t just completely vanish because someone loved you, that’s just not the way it works but since you had him with you, they were at least a little less frequent and much easier to deal with. Especially, because you also knew how these nights were without someone by your side and thinking back to them let an icy shudder run up and down your spine. You huffed quietly as your tired eyes finally captured the infirmary from afar, reminding you of the extra hours you probably had to add onto your usual shifts once again. A cold was going around, nothing threatening but strong enough to let a few people lay pretty low in the bed’s of the infirmary, joining the two workers who had hurt themselves working on the bridge and who all needed to be taken care of. And since the consequences of your involuntary participation in the fight between Daryl and Justing had let you lay just as low as the patients at the infirmary for two whole days, it was your turn to take over the extra shifts at the infirmary. You hadn’t returned to Rick’s big project above the river, not because of the fight, but because Siddiq needed you in Alexandria. You could still see the disappointment written over Rick’s face as he got the news, taking with you also a bunch of others from the bridge that just added onto the problems that had emerged after the fight. Justin’s sudden and gruesome death along with the vanishing of a bunch of other saviors were just a few of the things that had let he situation escalate, tearing a giant crack into the alleged pace that had rested between the communities. You could tell how important the bridge was to Rick, building something for the future, for the future that Carl would have wanted. And now you were looking at the nearest future in front of you at the end of the path, hoping that you wouldn’t have to take yet another extra shift. You got less time to be with Negan because of them, shrinking your time with him to a minimum before you were forced to sleep if you didn’t want to walk around as dead as the walkers outside the gates the next day. It wasn’t just dreading on your nerves, you could tell it was dreading on his too, even though he was trying to stay strong for you. Still, there always was this underlying darkness that kept welling up from time to time, trying to pull him into its depths and take him in. Until now, you could always manage to pull him out again, one way or another, and let him see the light again but this shrunk time didn’t contribute to it. And even though you tried to suppress it, tried to stay positive, if you were honest, there was a painful and wrenching fear lingering deep down in you that one day, you might not be able to pull him out of this darkness anymore.
“You want me to eat? Well, I want you to stay and talk to me”, Negan mumbled, glancing from the sandwich to the woman who was staring disbelieving and annoyed at him. He needed to do this, he needed to be seen as a human again, not just the monster behind bars. He needed to talk. “I mean, I I’m proof that you’re making a civilization, right? I mean, that’s what your boyfriend says, so hard to be that if I’m dead from starvation”, he added, watching the annoyance on Michonne’s face growing some more before her huff echoed through the room. “First, (Y/N) wouldn’t let you do-”, she began, stopping as she stepped closer to the bars, narrowing her glance as a shudder ran down Negan’s back. “She doesn’t know, does she? You didn’t tell her about this…this little game.” “No”, he responded in a growl, feeling an uncomfortable iciness spreading over his body. He wasn’t gonna let anyone pull her into this, especially not if this conversation would end up to have consequences for him. No, fuckin’ sir. ”Don’t pull her into this”, he added in a rasp, hearing another annoyed snort falling from her lips as she clenched her jaw and stared at him, as if she was prepared to attack. “Second, I thought you said you weren’t on strike.” “I’m not if you stay and talk to me”, he mumbled, going for a second try, trying to read something off her face in the faint light before Michonne made a sudden movement, grabbing the edge of the chair and pulling it towards her. “I’d say it’s about 20 minutes before the sun hits that bar.
That’s all you get. Then, you’re gonna eat every last bite”, she growled, a glare in her eyes as she plopped down on the chair, “You wanna talk? Let’s talk.”
“Sarah, you have to eat”, you mumbled with a small sigh as your glance wandered over the girl in the bed in front of you, coined by the thick cold she had caught herself. Her eyes were slightly swollen, a cloudy glance stuck in them, her nose was reddened by the countless times she had wiped it, the blonde hair was hanging in strands around her face while the rest of her body was buried beneath thick blankets. “At least a little”, you added, placing the soup on the nightstand by her side as you slowly caught her shaking her head while a painful cough rumbled through her throat. “I’m not hungry.” “I know…I get it, but you have to try, at least a few spoons so your body can get some strength back”, you mumbled, a slightly pleading tone in your voice as you felt like you were playing a record back over and over again. “Okay”, she finally muttered after a few more silent moments, ultimately grabbing the bowl and the spoon before slowly and hesitantly taking a few first gulps. Giving her a thankful smile you turned around to go on with your work, hoping to not catch one nasty cold yourself before you heard Siddiq’s voice echoing through to you. “(Y/N)? Need your assistance over here.”
“I’m grateful at least one of the women I’ve loved doesn’t have to see me like this”, Negan mumbled, feeling his heart sinking a little by those words as he leaned against the cold wall and glimpsed at the woman behind the bars. Till now this damn talk had been all easy for him, now, slowly, the hard one emerged and urged uneasiness into his bones. “What do you mean? As opposed to the asshole that you were before?”, she huffed, giving him an snide glance from her position on the old wooden chair. “God, she was…she was an angel”, he continued, ignoring the remark as his throat threatened to grow tight, throttling his air a little as he let out a deep sigh. “She deserved better than she got…(Y/N) does too…wish I could give her more.” Her eyes filled with all kinds of remarks he could figure out just too well but instead of speaking them out she remained silent for a moment before finally opening her mouth again. “What happened to her? Your wife?” “What used to happen”, he answered, the invisible thread spinning tighter around his throat as a cold shudder ran down his back, “Cancer.” “We would’ve loved to have had a kid…”, it fell from his lips, urging the old memories and thoughts further into his mind before new ones mixed in and let him once more realize what could be…or rather what could have been if shit would have turned out in some damn other way. “If things were different…I’d love to have kids with (Y/N) too”, he mumbled, his voice shivering slightly as it filled with emotion before he gulped thickly and glanced back at Michonne. “Kid like Carl…”, he mumbled, seeing the twitch in her muscles, revealing what his mention elicited in him even though Negan could feel the sting in himself as well. That kid had been something special, someone he would have loved to mentor some more…to actually have him like him. ”You got lucky.” “I think about him every damn day.
But he’s still here.
In everything we do.
I look around, and I see him everywhere”, she said, her voice thick with emotion as Negan moved a little closer and sighed quietly.
“Do you see him in this cell?” “Everywhere.”
“Haven’t slept well, huh?”, you heard Siddiq ask as he shoved the rest of his utensils back into the drawer, glancing at you as soon as it crashed back into the counter. “Woke up a couple of times”, you mumbled, leaving the nightmare part intentionally out as you met his glance and saw him nodding slowly before a small smile grew on his lips. “Go take a nap upstairs.” ”Really?”, you asked a little astounded as he began to nod once more. “Yeah, half hour can do wonders sometimes…I know that”, he mumbled, letting a small chuckle out before he nodded back towards the patient rooms,”And I’ll be fine for that time, seems like we got a little break now, so use it.” “Okay”, you responded, feeling how your body was already yearning more for a bed as soon as the opportunity seemed to unfold itself,”Thank you.”
A content groan left your lips as soon as you fell onto the bed, stretching your tired limbs out as soon as you settled into its middle and rested your head onto the soft pillows. Another hum left your lips as you closed your eyes, hoping to get the best out of the half hour while the soft blankets and pillows let a small part of you remember the nights with Negan in his large bed back at the sanctuary. The luscious black sheets and countless pillows that got only topped by the way Negan’s arms wrapped around you at night and kept you in his embrace. If you were honest, those strong arms were something you were missing right now too, no matter how big and comfy the bed was. A small huff left your lips as you opened your eyes just a little, glimpsing at the digital clock on the nightstand that let you remember to just use the time you had. So instead of letting your thoughts run free some more, you cuddled into the pillows, humming quietly before closing your eyes again and allowing yourself to drift a little off.
“She made me…not weak”, Negan mumbled, a hard gulp traveling down his throat as he shifted over the cement ground, feeling how the cold stone of the wall pressed into his back as he ran a palm over his thick beard, “And now…with (Y/N)…” Another sigh left his lips, filled with tension as he glimpsed up, catching the Michonne’s glance just for the matter of a second. ”Before her…I thought having someone you love with you in this…in some way it does make you weak…the dead harden us, y’know”, he mumbled, letting out a bittersweet chuckle as the woman behind the bar just stared at him, not disinterested, but rather as if his words began to let something stir within her. ”You feel like a shell of a fuckin’ person walking around, well that keeps you alive ‘cause you’re in some damn way not as vulnerable or fuckin scared, whatever”, Negan scoffed lightly, gulping as he felt the stinging pain of the past trying to bite his ass, ”My wife’s death put me in that kinda bubble…that’s what got me through for some time…” Another deep sigh fell from his lips, the difficulty of talking about her and the pain connected to her death pressing in on him before he glanced up at Michonne and caught her eyes. ”And I can tell you’ve gone through that phase too, in some way.” She stayed quiet, her glance intensifying by his words that told him he was right, even though she didn’t say a word, didn’t move an inch. ”And then, well then if you’re lucky you meet someone who makes ya feel alive again”, he went on, seeing how she kept staring at him as another small chuckle left his lips, ”That fuckin’ bubble bursts and shit’s scary as fuck, dangerous too ‘cause…as I said, it makes you vulnerable as hell.” ”Then why did you get together with her? Why are you still with her when it makes you so vulnerable?”, she suddenly spoke up, startling him a little by her abrupt response and the snapping even a little venomous sound. ”I’m just a human too, even though you probably see that different”, he said, breathing through as he glanced at his hands that fumbled on the loose threads that surrounded the fabric covering his knees ,”That temptation to feel shit again was bigger in the end. She trumped that.” “And now, well now I guess part of me was wrong back then…sure loving someone makes you vulnerable…maybe weak too, ‘cause she’s my raw fuckin’ point…but that strength she gives me…that outweighs that weakness…gives you a reason to keep going”, he mumbled, feeling a little warm sneak up deep within him as he talked about her. ”And if I’m honest, when I got her with me I often catch my damn self not even giving a single flying fuck. Not fucking caring if it makes me weak or strong…that’s what she’s doing to me”, he quietly chuckled, having to admit even to himself how big her impact was on him, especially in this dark time ,“I’m just happy to have her.” “What’s your point?”, Michonne growled, her voice sharp as she stared down at him on the cold cement ground. ”As much as Ricky the prick is a pain in the ass to me, to you he’s probably in some way what (Y/N) is to me.” ”Negan, what do you want to tell me with this?”, she added, the growl in her voice still clearly audible as he glanced up at her and made sure that she looked him in the eye for his next words. ”We’re the same.”
Siddiq had been right, the half hour had helped, letting you feeling at least a little more awake through the next few hours until you found yourself back in the kitchen, cleaning the bowl Sarah had finished much to your gladness. Siddiq stood next to you, sorting in the new meds and bandages into the drawers before he stopped to glance outside, sighing quietly as he propped his hands onto the wooden counter. Distracted by him you glanced up as well, catching a set of four men and women coming from the gates, carrying a few small boxes that gave away the place they had come from pretty quickly. ”Coming from the bridge, huh?”, Siddiq mumbled, quiet enough that it could sound like he was speaking to himself before you slowly nodded. ”I liked working there”, he added, letting out a small sigh as he shrugged his shoulders and gave you a small crooked smile,”Was a bit of a challenge.” ”Yeah…I liked it too”, you mumbled, thinking about the opportunity to be in the woods, another set of surrounding than all the same walls in the infirmary for a few hours a day. “Maybe if the cold beats retreat we’ll get to go there again…at least for some shifts”, you said, turning off the water and reaching out for a small black towel to dry the bowl in your hands up while Siddiq remained quiet. ”What?”, you mumbled quietly as he still hadn’t said anything back, before he slowly shook his head. ”Heard they’re pulling even more people back…heard rumors Carol’s taking her team too and besides, Eugene told me the waters been becoming harsher from the rainfalls, some kinda roulette game if the bridge’s gonna hold or not.” A sigh left your lips as soon as Siddiq’s voice hushed, leaving you torn about the thought what must be going on in Rick in these moments, standing in front of the alleged shards of his heart project. ”Shit…feel sorry for Rick”, you mumbled, catching Siddiq nodding quietly before he shrug his shoulders and pushed himself to loose the tension that had begun to spread over his face before he glanced back at you. ”Maybe it still works out, who knows.” ”Yeah”, you mumbled, giving him a small smile before you glanced back outside, finding the men and women that slowly got completely out of your view, descending behind a few of the rebuild houses. Within just a few moments Michonne replaced them, walking down the street with fast steps that let her dreads dance over her shoulders as she stumped over the blacktop. Your glance followed her for a second or two before you glanced down again to the sink, hoping that at least on this day you could leave on time to return to Negan.
“We don’t have your bat, Negan”, Michonne’s voice echoed through the cell, a firm tone in her voice as an ice-cold shudder ran down Negan’s back, taking his body in within the matter of milliseconds. That couldn’t be true…no that couldn’t be fucking true. “But…but she said Lucille’s at the armory-”, his voice brought out, shivering as he thought back to the things (Y/N) had told him after confronting Rick. She wouldn’t lie to him. No, fuck no she wouldn’t do that. She had been the one to take Lucille with her on that goddamn day at the hill, she had been the one to make sure the bat could stay a little in his room at the infirmary…so what the fuck had they done after he had been imprisoned…what the fuck had they done to her?! Heavy breaths left his lips as he stared at the women behind the bars, his brows puckering in desperation while a small, sly smile formed on her lips as her voice echoed through the cell again. “She was.”
“See you tomorrow”, you said, a smile spread over your lips as you shoved your jacket over your arms while your glance wandered from the descending Siddiq to the clock that finally showed you that you could leave as planned, with enough time left to make a short stop-by at your old home to get some new clothes for the night and maybe even hop into the bath for a quick shower. A content sigh left your lips as you finally slipped outside and walked down the porch’s stairs before a familiar voice stopped you from going any farther. “(Y/N), Wait”, Michonne’s voice made you turn around to her as she approached fast until only a meter parted you. “We have to talk…about Negan”, she said, the firmness in her voice immediatley letting a shudder run down your back as you stared in confusion at her, waiting for her to say something. “I know you didn’t know but I want you to do so now,…in case something like that happens again”, she said, a sigh leaving her lips as she glanced at you while the restlessness in your body grew. “Michonne what?” “He refused to eat, only gave in when I agreed to talk to him.” ”He didn’t eat?”, a coldness shook through you, sending an awful mix of emotions through your veins, an odd feeling of disbelief filling you up even though you could tell she was saying the truth, ”For how long?” ”Since yesterday, but it’s ended now, hopefully”, she sighed, your mind still trying to sort everything she had just said before you heard her voice again. ”You should check on him, either way…the sooner the better”, she mumbled, her voice as firm as before, ”Didn’t take everything I said very well.” ”Is he-” ”I don’t know what he’s doing. But in case he’s throwing a tantrum, I can’t have that. Don’t need him to drive the guards crazy.”
Those last words of Michonne kept echoing through your head as you rushed down the streets, your shoes’ soles hitting the blacktop with fast steps while your breath grew quicker and sharper, daring to slice cuts into your throat. How the fuck hadn’t you noticed he wasn’t eating? Or had there even been a chance for you to do so? He always got the meals during the day, the plates were each and every day already gone when you got there. Your head was an only mess, trying to figure out what exactly Michonne could have told him while his refusal got clearer to you, it made sense, even though it was hard to admit. That damn darkness was creeping up again, the memories of what he’d lost, the knowledge of how people were seeing him now, like a monster behind bars. and that was just a small part of it. Your heart pounded up into your throat, your pulse echoing through your ears as you finally approached the brownstones, not sure what to exactly await before the odd glance the guard was giving you just let the uneasiness in you grow. “Well, thank god you’re here”, a huff left his lips, pushing you to furrow your brows in worry and confusion before he slowly shook his head and pulled the keys out of his pants pockets. “What-” “See for yourself.”
The moment the door to the house opened your heart skipped a beat, letting the blood in your veins freeze as a rush of panic and concern washed over you. Cries bounced off the walls, deep, heart wrenching sobs that belonged to the man you loved. All out of sudden your feet began to run, to rush through the house, shut out everything around you as you stemmed the door to the cellar open and got hit by the uncovered sound of his agony filled sobs and whimpers that let your heart break a little more with each second you were exposed to them. You couldn’t think, couldn’t even perceive the way you stumbled down the stairs even though your shaking and fast legs dared to let you fall with each step. Everything in you had blacked out until you caught the metal bars appearing in front of you, showing you the fitting picture to the sounds that reechoed through the cell. There he was, almost vanishing in the faint light, cowering in the middle of the cell, his hands buried in his short dark hair, his body slightly teetering back and forth as tears streamed down his cheeks and wetted his thick beard as the sobs let his chest rise and fall in a threatening fast rhythm.
“Negan…”, fell from your lips, quietened by the lump that was forming in your throat, urging tears into your eyes as you stared at the picture of misery in front of you Negan had turned into. “I won’t open the door until he’s on the bed. Rule is rule. Don’t know if he’s fakin’ just to attack as soon as that door’s open”, you suddenly heard the guard’s voice sound through to you, adding with those three sentences a boiling anger to your deep worry that formed into a threatening glare that snapped towards the guard. “You can’t fucking possibly think that?! Get that damn door open”, blustered out of you, not as aggressive as the emotions in you tried to push it but breaking and panicking by the thought to not get to him. A sigh left the guard’s lips, his brows pulled into a deep frown before he clenched his jaw and pushed the key into the lock, pushing the door just enough open for you to slip in. The anger in you wanted to shoot him one more glare for this petty act, but instead the worry in you took over, pushing you through the gap in the door before you found yourself sinking to your knees in front of him. The tears began to blurry your view as your lips gaped open, letting restless breaths fall from your lips as you slowly reached out to him, placing your hand on his shaking shoulder as you suddenly heard his broken voice sounding through to you. ”Lucille’s gone”, he sobbed, confusion rushing through your mind as soon as he spoke up once more, ”She…she’s out there again.” ”I thought she’s in the armory…”, your trembling voice mumbled as you shifted closer to him, remembering what they’ve had told such a long time ago, after you had taken her with you from the tree on the hill, after Negan had been imprisoned, while your mind was working flat out now, trying to find answers even though there was no way. ”Was”, Negan whimpered, his broken voice sending painful stings through your body as he finally looked up at you, showing in the faint light enough for you to see his red rimmed eyes that were swollen from the still flowing tears, ”Said she got lost on a weapon transfer…they didn’t fuckin-…fuckin bother to look aft-” ”Oh my…”, only fell from your lips, the agony that was taking him in was settling over to you as well, forming a whirlwind of pain within you that grew and picked up pace with each second. “Come here…”, you mumbled, feeling your voice trembling as you wrapped your arms around him, pulling him into your embrace before his shaking body melted against you, his face burying into the curve of your neck. His hot tears met your skin as you cradled him, your hand reaching up to caress through his hair, trying to comfort him as well as you could before something wet touched your fingertips, letting you flinch away before your eyes stared in the faint light at your fingers whose tips were covered in his thick, red blood. A shivering breath fell from your lips, your mind trying desperately to figure out why he was bleeding, why blood was trickling from the wound on his forehead you hadn’t been able to see in the faint light. Heavy pants began to shake through your ribcage, letting it rise and fall against Negan’s slumped shape in your embrace as your eyes wandered in panic through the cell, before the sunbeams streaming through the gaps of the metal bars on the windows highlighted a spot on the stone wall that shook a wave of pain through you. Blood was sticking to the stone, shimmering threateningly in the light while your heart seemed to stop for a moment and a wave of nausea washed over you as realization kicked in. He had done this to himself. he had bashed his head against the wall. He had- ”Negan, wha-”, your voice couldn’t bring the sentence to an end before it broke, the lump in your throat growing to a size that made it harder and harder for you to speak. Panic began to rush through you as your mind kept trying to tell you to keep a cool head and be strong for him even though nothing seemed harder than this in these moments. You should know how to deal with this, you should. But this was the man you loved in your arms, still sobbing and whimpering, his body trembling in your embrace while the blood of his self-inflicted wound was sticking to your fingers and was still slowly trickling down his forehead. Tears blurred your view again as your body began to tremble harder, enough for Negan’s whimpers to stop for a moment and loose his own shaking body out of your embrace. You wanted to say something, not only ask him why even though you secretly knew the answer, but rather comfort him and find a solution that would let his pain vanish. But while a wrenching fight was happening between your wild running emotions and your mind, Negan slowly backed away, enough for his tears clouded eyes to capture your face that was still taken hostage by shock, pain and a good ounce of disbelief. “Don’t cry”, his trembling lips brought out, his face wrenching in agony as his trembling hand reached up and brushed over your cheek that had become home to the first tears that had rolled down your face against your will ,“I…I don’t want to you cry because of this-” “Negan, you bashed-…you harmed yourself, I-”, it blustered out of you even though you wanted to say anything else, ”I’m just-” New tears trickled down his face as he tried to suppress another sob to erupt his chest while his hand fell from your face. “I’m sorry”, he whimpered, lowering his head as suddenly all the alarm clocks in your head clicked on and let the urge to stay strong and keep a cool head for him to overcome the wild running emotions of pain. “No, no, don’t Negan…you don’t have to feel guilty, okay? Don’t do that…”, you said, trying to keep your voice as steady as you could as you reached out to him, softly cupping his face to lead it up until you could glance at him. “Okay?”, you mumbled again, brushing your thumbs over his cheeks to get rid of his tears and give him some soothing touches before you slowly saw him nod. “I love you”, you quietly mumbled as you leaned in, kissing him softly, hoping that it might calm him at least a tiny bit. “I love you too…I-” he mumbled against your lips, his voice breaking as new tears welled up in his eyes and throttled him. “Shh…It’s okay”, you mumbled, keeping your voice soft as you caressed his face even though you were fighting against the tears that tried to find their way into your eyes as well ,”It’s okay, Negan.” You gulped quietly before you pulled him back into your embrace and cradled him tightly, kissing the top of his head while you tried to not only calm him but yourself down so you could help him instead of breaking out in tears.
“We’ll calm down now and find a solution…okay?”, you quietly mumbled into his hair, nuzzling it as you cradled him tightly while small whimper left his lips. “There is no-” “There is”, you cut him off, softly but firm enough to sound persuading, hoping to shut down his negative thoughts,”I’m here, alright?” Your fingers ran through his hair, the tips still daubed with his blood as you caressed them over his scalp, teetering him softly back and forth while the feeling of new tears pressing against your skin let you rise your voice again. “Always.”
You weren’t sure how long you exactly stayed this way on the cold cement floor, his trembling body melted against yours, his face buried into the curve of your neck while you cradled and caressed him, trying to calm him further down while the constant shroud of tears in your eyes kept taunting you. Softly, you pressed another kiss to his hair, nuzzling your nose into his dark locks while your fingers suddenly touched the blood on his forehead again, letting you flinch slightly as you knew that you couldn’t stay this way forever. Who knew how often he had done that to himself, who knew what that could have as consequences. Hell, you needed to be strong now, you had to take care now and check him as well as you could and maybe distract him a little with treating his wound would help at least a tiny bit. “We…we need to get that cleaned up”, you eventually mumbled, gulping to get rid of the rest of the lump that had been lingering in your throat,”Alright? And then we’ll take it from there.”
Seeing Negan trying to lift his weakened body up and slumping himself over to the bed broke your heart all over again, the hurt glance in his eyes only contributing to it as you sat down on the squeaking mattress. Your hand patted his softly before you bent down, your still trembling fingers reaching past the thin book and the few magazines you had been able to bring him, even though it had taken a lot of persuasion and discussions with the guard. Finally, you got to the bit of medical utensils you had deposed here when you had still taken care of his cut wound before grabbing them and shifting back closer to him, enough to let him feel your closeness. “Okay, there we go”, you quietly mumbled as you sprinkled disinfection liquid onto a thin cloth, glancing softly at him before you carefully reached up to dab the cloth over his wound. Negan flinched slightly by the sting the disinfection was eliciting before lowing his head slightly to make it a little easier for you. It did, treatment wise, but hell, it also made it harder. With that, you saw the wound in all its gruesome glory. Saw what he had done to himself. A small gasp left your lips, almost sounding like a whimper you couldn’t suppress as a stream of light hit his wound, enlightening it as you tried to concentrate even though the voice in your head began to count how many times he must have bashed his head against the wall to get to this wound. Every time your mind added another bash a stinging pain shot through your body, making it harder for you to stay focused, making it easier for the tears that kept shrouding your eyes. It had to have been at least five times…if not more and you were afraid that there may be more injury lingering beneath the wound than your eyes could perceive. Another shivering breath left your lips as you tried to remove the blood before you felt Negan’s still slightly shaking hand reaching out to you. Lightly, it grasped yours that still rested on the mattress, squeezing it gently like it already had done so often when trying to comfort you in the past. Lowering your hand from his cleaned wound you laid the cloth next to the bed, just to reach up again and cup the side of his face to let him glance at you. For a moment, you were torn, unsure if you should ask him how often he had done this or let it be, avoiding the risk to well up pain and stress again that would ruin the bit of calmness he had achieved by now, especially because you weren’t sure if this information would be worth much in your hands. You decided for the latter, hoping that you could ask Siddiq later on to take care of his physical health and for now, trying to take care of what seemed much more urgent. His mental health. “I’m sorry you have to-”, you heard him mumble, his voice breaking in the end as you shook your head softly and brushed your thumb over his cheek. “Shh, it’s okay…it’s okay…don’t worry about me now”, you muttered, feeling how more thoughts pressed in on your mind, the rest of his talk with Michonne, or even more what had led to it, the hunger strike. An urge in you wanted to know about those things but you kept pressing them back, telling yourself that you should take care of them on the next morning, when the situation had calmed a little down and distanced itself. For now, there was only one thing that had directly led to his behavior and his breakdown, or at least it had been the one to trigger it and finally open the gate for all the darkness that had already so often tried to captivate him. God, you knew how much the bat meant to him, what kind of memories were stuck in it and not only that, but also what an emotional crutch it had been for him through the apocalypse and its troubles. You had to find a way to get her back, somehow.
You glanced back up again, looking with agony in your veins at the man in front of you who seemed like he was slowly breaking apart, giving in to the pressure that had been lingering over him over the last year and a half. It elicited a fear in you that crawled through your body, nestling in beneath your skin as you reached out to him and bit new forming tears back. “Come here”, you softly mumbled, shifting back onto the mattress until your could lean into the pillow and guide him closer to you. Within seconds he allowed himself to fall back into your embrace, bury his head into the curve of your neck as his large and tall frame huddled up to yours. You cradled him softly against your body, running your fingers through his hair, while your arm wrapped tightly around him as your mind spooled back to the reason for this all, just as much as the urge to help him. “I’ll try to find her-” “No”, he cut you off, his voice still coined by the sobs and whimpers from before as he rose his head from your shoulder for a moment and let his bleary but determined eyes glance at you ,”No, you won’t go out there for me when that shit herd’s roamin’ around.” You stared at him, unsure and a little desperate in what to do now before you breathed through and gulped softly, nodding as you knew that this wasn’t gonna be the way to go, at least not right now. You guided his head back into the curve of your neck, brushing over his hair before you sighed softly and tried to let your head work as well as it could in these moments, before you rose your voice again. “You know what? Maybe Michonne didn’t say the truth, maybe she’s still somewhere here. Maybe she just didn’t want you to know”, you said, keeping your voice as soothing as you could as he shifted slightly in your embrace. “You think that?”, he asked, his voice raspy as he nuzzled his face closer into your neck while a small ounce of hope seemed to create within the desperation that had taken hostage of his voice before. “I think it’s more than possible…why should they leave her behind when she’s one of the things they can have power over you with? I know that’s nothing great to hear…I know…but I’m sure they wouldn’t want to miss out on that opportunity”, you mumbled, not only to calm him but also because you felt like this could actually be true. There was much that could simply get lost, but something as powerful and meaningful as Negan’s bat? The possibility was small. “So yeah, I think she could still be here…”, you added as you could feel his breath growing a little steadier as you teased your fingers through his hair, pressing another kiss to his forehead as you leaned your head against his. “I love you, Negan…I love you so much”, you softly mumbled, feeling how the lump that was still lingering in your throat was pressing in on you again as you cradled him tightly and felt how your worry about him took some more charge over your body as the urge to just function was slowly vanishing A soft ‘I love you too’ was the only thing that got a tiny smile for a moment on your lips before new tears formed in your eyes as you nuzzled your nose into his hair and caressed him softly.
You kept cradling him, holding him tightly in your embrace until you felt him beginning to slowly relax, the exhaustion the sobs and the hunger strike had brought into him mixing with the bit of calmness you had been able to create. With the passing time, his breath grew steadier, his body melted against yours and his head sunk a little deeper into your neck until you could tell that he had fallen asleep by the time everything outside had turned pitch black. Just then, just when you were sure he was somewhere in the depths of sleep you allowed the tears that had lingered in your eyes to break out and roll down your cheeks, releasing the tension and pain that had been stuck in your body. You knew that you had to find a way to help him as soon as the sun would rise again, but right now a part of you was just thankful that he seemed to be at least swinging in a peaceful sleep. It was an odd mix of emotions that streamed through your body, fear and deep worry mixing with shock and a bit disbelief that still let part of this whole scene seem surreal while you quietly sniffled and tried to somehow handle the fact what he had done to himself hours before in just this cell. Eventually, your last tears dropped into his black locks as you closed your eyes and nuzzled his hair, hoping dearly that better days would await the both of you as you held him just as soothingly and tightly as he had held you in the last night.
The soft sun light was streaming into the cell, dipping it into a warm light that had the power to soften even the cold stone walls surrounding you. Your eyes were only half opened, your body not ready to fully come back yet as you shifted closer into the warmth by your side, taking in the comforting scent that was engulfing you as the figure holding you began to shift slightly. He was still asleep, swinging somewhere far away as your head turned slightly, moving a bit from the comfortable spot on his broad chest to let your eyes run over his peacefully sleeping face. He still looked as handsome as ever, enough to take your breath away and keep you in a certain trance, but still, it was obvious what the cell had done to his appearance by now. His beard had grown longer, the salt slowly beginning to dominate the pepper while his hair remained black as pitch, even though it was shorter than usual, still coined by the last time they had cut it. It had been a year and a couple of months by now. A year and a couple of months in which a whole lot had happened. Just shortly after the day you had come back to the cell things had began to truly develop. Maggie had given birth to a little boy who was now carrying the name of his grandfather and just around this time things had began to truly change around Alexandria. It was thriving. The windmill that had been in planing back then was now standing tall within the walls that were stronger than ever. The houses and the church had been rebuild, shining brightly and not showing a sign of the flames that had once torn them apart. Several cropfields were planted all over Alexandria, nourishing it and the other communities including the Sanctuary with all they could provide, ranking from deep red and tasty tomatoes to luscious and juicy apples. There truly seemed to be peace for now, there was still a certain tension swinging here and there in the air, but coming from a spot where each of the sides were ready to rip each other apart, this seemed like something impossible beginning to become possible. Things would be great, if only Negan’s freedom would be one of them. You would be lying if you would say the cell was easy to deal with, even though he had overcome the first obstacles along with you, you could see how much it tried to impact him. One day, you still hoped he’d get out and get the chance to show that there was more to him than what the people were thinking and maybe, maybe find the right way to his good intentions that you were sure lingered within him.
With a content hum you nuzzled your nose into the warmth of his neck, feeling how the slight imprint of his scar was brushing against your skin as you pressed your lips softly to it, hearing how it elicited a small, pleasant growl to fall from Negan’s throat. “Mornin’ Baby”, he grumbled, tightening his arm that had lazily rested around your waist, pulling you closer into his warmth as his lips pressed a sloppy morning kiss to your temple. ”Morning”, you mumbled, back burying your head deeper in the curve of his neck, neither ready nor willing to get up yet. ”Wanna hide in that damn beard?”, Negan throatily chuckled, his hand moving to teasingly squeeze your waist as you just gave him a sleepy grumble back. ”Hmm, thought you were excited for that damn bridge.” The bridge. Once made to be able to carry the cars and trucks of people rushing to their woks through the woods had over the draining time of abandonment let nature take most of it. And out of all times it began to fall apart now when it was actually being used again, needed just like the other routes to transport supplies to the other communities. It had been already 35 days since the project had started and most of the time you had switched between Alexandria and the quarter of tents they had build up there, helping Siddiq in the provisory infirmary. But now that Enid was joining in, trying to help as well with her new learned knowledge, you were needed right at the pulsing spot of the bridge, right on the stems to help building it, at least for now. Negan was right in some way, you were excited to get out of that tent for once, but there were other factors greatly playing in. After all, you weren’t the only one on that bridge, new and old faces were swarming over it as well and especially this one old one gave you chills. Daryl. With the most of them, things were beginning to work out. You were growing closer to Rick and Michonne again, were earning most of their trust back, just like Gabriel, Aaron’s and some of the others. There were a few that were still showing you the cold shoulder whenever you were close to them and by now, these people weren’t letting you care all too much. You didn’t like it, but you weren’t gonna push yourself onto people and make yourself a fool. You neither had to be everybody’s darling nor did you have to please each and everyone. But Daryl, yes Daryl was the only one of those you really wished to have back. Dryly said you could “coexist”, you could be at the same place without him going off like a firework at new years eve but except for his grumbles, you hadn’t exchanged one proper word. If you were honest, you feared that one or just a couple of words from yours towards him would let that rocket explode after all. But those thoughts were drifting off in these moments as you cuddled closer into Negan’s embrace, eager to soak up the last bit of his comfort until you had to abandon the bed eventually. ”Don’t wanna leave yet”, you grumbled against his skin with a light chuckle, hearing a throaty one rumbling back in response as he wrapped his arms tighter around your body and pulled you closer until his lips moved in to press another drowsy kiss to your skin. ”Then I’ll just keep ya here”, he chuckled lowly, his raspy voice vibrating against your skin before you lifted your head slowly from his shoulder and glanced sleepily at him. ”Could think of some plans”, he grumbled, raising his brows suggestively as his drowsy hazel eyes glanced at you, his lips formed into the signature grin while you let out a small laugh and shoved his chest playfully. ”Oh, I’m sure of that.”
“Take care, alright?”, Negan grumbled just a little bit later as he stood with you in the middle of the cell, holding you in his arms after you had finally gotten yourselves to slip out of the bed and get ready. He was keeping you close, his hazel eyes wandering over your face as a wider smirk let the muscles in his cheek twitch. “Need you back in that bed tonight”, he added lowly, a grin dancing over his handsome features as his hand ran down your body to give your ass a tight squeeze before a throaty chuckle left his lips as he caught you flinching slightly in response. “Nah, I’m serious”, he mumbled as he tipped in to press a short kiss to your lips before you gave him a small nod. “I know, but it’s just the bridge, not the same as taking care of wounds and stuff but it’s still fine”, you muttered back, running your hands from his shoulders to his neck, caressing your fingers through his dark hair at the nape of his neck while a pleasant growl elicited his lips. His lips met yours in another peck, just until he pulled away, gulping slightly as he remained close enough for you to feel his hot breath brushing over your skin. “Fuck, I-”, he began, before his voice suddenly broke off again, leaving you confused as you leaned closer in. “Hmm?”, you mumbled against his lips, feeling him pulling you closer as the grin got back on his lips. “Can’t fucking wait till you’re back”, he grumbled with a throaty chuckle, teasingly squeezing your waist before he finally leaned back in, giving in to the longing you were feeling too. Just as soon as his lips captured yours again, the heavy footsteps of the guard coming down the cement stairs echoed through the cell, slowly but surely inducing your departure for the day.
The sun was shining brightly down on you as you found yourself kneeling just hours later on the bridge, your mind drifting here and there off to Negan as your knees dug into the wood of the stem, monotonically hitting nails deeper into lumber as people were swarming around you to fulfill their tasks. One of them was Daryl, doing his job as always while he remained close enough for you to see him from the corners of your eyes, leaving your body always in at least a bit alertness. He wouldn’t angrily approach you out of nowhere, you were past that point, still, his presence wasn’t exactly giving contributing to any calmness that tried to spread out in your body. Trying to ignore the tension as much as you could you shifted a little bit away from the pile of sand by your side that chafed uncomfortably against any bit of skin that was exposed before you went in for another hit. ”D’you want some water?”, Henry’s voice echoed through to you as the dull thud the hammer produced mixed within the other noises around you. Within seconds you glanced up, catching him standing with a big trunk of water in his hands by your side, reaching a cup down to you. ”Yeah, sure”, you said, pressing a smile into the corners of your lips as you grabbed the cup, filling it quickly with water before letting the cold liquid wash down your throat with relish. ”Thanks”, you mumbled as soon as you gave the cup back to the boy, seeing him grabbing it quickly before he moved on with his job for today. Just as you went back to working, dedicating your attention to the nails and lumber in front of you a loud thud and the sound of a male voice made your eyes snap up. Your glance caputred Henry struggling on the ground, his back pressing against the bridge’s wood as Justin towered over him, the jug in his hands as he drank from its opening, completely ignoring anybody around him. Your eyes wandered from the Savior to Henry who was getting up again from the punch he must have taken in, his brows puckered and his face fallen into a deep frown as he grabbed his stick, tightening his hold on it before rushing it against the weakest spots of Justin’s knees, swinging him right to the ground in the matter of seconds. Your eyes stayed darted at him, just like the ones of everyone else, bewildered of what he’d done as you let out a scoff, watching how most of the people began to go back to their work as soon as Henry began to storm off and another Savior walked up to Justin instead, quirking an eyebrow mockingly. ”Hey man, it’s cool I got my ass handled by a kid once too…’course I was six at that time”, he mocked, chuckling as Justin groaned, struggling to get up while a harsh frown spread over his face, increasing with every word that flew more out of his fellow Savior’s mouth. Clenching your jaw uneasily you stared at the scene playing out in front of you, seeing how the anger began to build up more and more in Justin before he let out a growl and got up, pushing himself past the other man, his eyes darting darkly at Henry. You could feel the urge in you rising to do something, keep that dumbass from hurting a kid but before any of your thoughts could be turned into action, fast footsteps sounded over the surface of the bridge, letting it vibrate beneath them before you saw Daryl’s figure rushing towards Justin. ”Hey! Kid’s just doin’ his job”, you could hear Daryl grumble, grabbing the Savior’s arm to turn him around to him, “Get back to work.” ”I don’t need you people telling me what to do. You ain’t my babysitter anymore”, he growled in response, glaring at Daryl as the anger vibrated through his voice and seemed to rush even further through the air, even as he began to turn around again, heading towards the kid. With each step he got closer to your spot on the bridge as you suddenly saw Daryl grabbing the Savior’s shoulder, trying to stop him before Justin turned around, his face flushing in a bright red as his fist rushed towards Daryl, letting your heart skip a beat even as he dug quickly, moving away from the oncoming fist. It could be only seconds that past as you watched the scene right in front of you, not more than one, two meters away from you, seeing how Daryl stormed up from his lowered position, his fist rushing right towards the man’s face in front of him. A gasp left your lips as you watched him falling back, landing right next to you in the large pile of sand, groaning out in anger and pain while he didn’t even seem to notice you, his rilled up anger only letting him concentrate on his opponent. Rage spread over Justin’s whole face as his fury eyes kept darting at Daryl, just as yours travelled down, watching his hand grabbing into the sand, burying into it enough to catch a whole handful. It was only a second that past between thinking and doing, between your mind working flat out and telling you that this handful of sand would land in Daryl’s face if you wouldn’t do anything and your hand eventually reaching out, grabbing the Savior’s wrist, letting your fingers wrap around it with as much strength as you could bring up. ”Get the fuck away”, Justin growled out the moment he felt your fingers touching his skin, his eyes suddenly darting at you, the pure fury letting a shiver run down your spine before the corners of your eyes caught something rushing up. A duil pain suddenly spread out over the side of your head, knocking you right to the ground as your sight turned blurry for a moment until your head crushed against something hard behind you, eliciting a breathy groan to fall from your lips as you gritted your teeth in pain. Your eyes were squeezed tight as if they could mild the anguish seeping into every of your inches before you opened your eyes again, catching an empty spot next to you on the pile of sand. Instead, voices and groans darted your still blurry glance farther, your rapidly pounding head dulling out everything around you as you finally caught the two fighting men again and the people that began to neglect their tasks and instead watch the scene that was playing out in front of their eyes. It seemed like everything you saw was switching rapidly between slow motion and fast play as you tried to keep your mind from clouding just before the bridge began to vibrate beneath another pair of feet. It took seconds until your eyes caught Rick storming into the broil, your mind becoming clearer again, rallying and recovering itself from the punch as you tried to prop yourself on your hands, keep yourself steady as you caught from the corners of your eyes how the two men were torn away from each other. Voices were still mixing wildly with one another before Rick’s voice suddenly pitched out, “Enough! I said enough!” The voices were becoming lower, just quiet grumbles sounding through to you from the background as you saw Daryl moving past Rick, spitting blood to the ground while his face was caught by the anger that was still boiling within him. ”Get back to work!”, Rick huffed, a scoff leaving his lips as he turned around, finally capturing you on the ground, still struggling to get back. ”What the hell happened with her?”, Rick called out, stumbling towards you as you groaned quietly in pain, starting another try to get yourself to sit straight. ”She got in the way”, you heard Justin yell back from somewhere in the group of people that had held him back, letting an even harder frown spread over Rick’s already tense face. ”You gotta be-”, he scoffed, shaking his head in disbelief as he turned his back completely to Justin and instead shuffled towards you, sighing deeply as his eyes wandered over you and his hands reached out to your body. ”Lets get you away here.”
Your feet shuffled over the dirty makeshift paths in-between the tents, feeling how Rick slung his arm a little tighter around your waist to keep you propped up, not trusting you to keep yourself properly on your feet. Your head was still pounding, supporting the dizziness that was seeping into your skull and limbs as you glanced over to Rick by your side. ”Thanks”, you mumbled as you saw him nodding slightly before he turned slightly glancing closely at you. ”Is it bad?” ”It’s getting better, I guess”, you mumbled, trying to walk as much as you could by yourself before he gave you a small nod and glanced back to the tents, trying by all means to avoid crashing into any of them or the wood they were attached to. ”Gonna get you to Siddiq, think he’s still there…if it’s too bad I want you to go back home with him”, Rick mumbled, writhing you along the path as you looked in front of you, already recognizing the improvised infirmary tent from afar.
”No concussion, but you definitely shouldn’t go back out there today”, Siddiq grumbled as you found yourself siting on a cot after he had tried to examine you as well as he could in the tent. ”So she’s going back with you?”, Rick asked from the other side of the small room as he leaned against a steady shelf, gesturing at you as Siddiq glanced from you back to him. ”Yeah, think that’s the best. Wouldn’t make much sense keeping her here…and I got some kinda meds back home I think that could help her with those smaller symptoms”, Siddig said, reaching up to run his hand for a short moment over his jaw while Rick nodded tensely. ”Alright.” ”She can stay here too till I take off, got not many patients here today so that won’t be much of a problem”, the younger man said, collecting few of his utensils he had used before shuffling over to the other other side, shoving them back into their place in a drawer while you caught Enid watching you from the side of the tent. ”Good…well, see you…gotta take care of a whole other problem…and you, get better, okay?”, Rick grumbled as he glanced at you, before scoffing as you could read off his face that he’d have to go through the fight on the bridge all over again with its source.
As soon as Rick was gone, time began to pass slowly, you stayed alone in the tent after Siddiq and Enid left to take care of some people around the camp, sitting on the cot, trying to stay still and let your body fight against the dizziness. You glanced outside, leaning into the few pillows on the cot until your eyes caught a shadow dragging over the earthy ground that got closer with each second. First, you expected Siddiq to walk right back in, get some new salves or bandages but instead your heart skipped a beat as you caught the person belonging to the shadow standing in front of the tent’s entrance. “Just here ‘cause Carol pushed me”, he grumbled, his eyes darting at you through his straggly brown hair as he forced himself to step under your surprised glance farther into the tent, his glance wandering to the ground as he kept a good bit of distance between the both of you. You caught your own lips gaping slightly open in wonderment, your mind still trying to get that he was actually coming in, taking a step towards you. Of course it wasn’t all too voluntary, the way his body tensed displayed it as much as his words did but a year ago, even Carol wouldn’t have gotten him to speak just a single word with you. “So-”, he mumbled, shifting with his dirty and worn off boots from side to side as he still refused to look directly into your eyes, “Thanks.” His voice clearly showed the challenge he was overcoming to speak this word out but still, within all the tension that was stuck in your body a little relief began to sneak up in you. “No problem”, you mumbled softly after a few moments of silence, unsure what to exactly say as Daryl slowly nodded, his hands twitching slightly through the restlessness that steamed visibly through him before he finally glanced up at you. “Why’d you do it?” “Should I’ve just let him throw that sand at you?”, you asked, the quickest response leaving your lips in tension before you caught yourself again and raised your voice calmer, gulping as you could feel yourself growing more tense ,”Didn’t want you to get hurt.” A thick scoff left Daryl’s lips, his eyes darkening within seconds as the suspense in him rose, letting his jaw clench tightly as his lips pursed in anger. “He hurt me too, hurt glenn, abraham…maggie… and ya still with him”, he growled, eliciting a shudder to run down your back as the temperature in the tent seemed to lower until it reached the freezing point ,”Don’t act like you give a shit.” “Are you kidding me? I do-”, it broke out of you, emotions whirling up again before you tried to get them back under control as soon as you stopped mid sentence, looking at him, sighing quietly as long known pain spread out in your body,”Why can’t we for once talk like normal people?” “Think the reason’s sittin’ in that cell”, Daryl growled back, shutting your calm argument down within seconds before he huffed out and leaned back against the table behind him, obviously trying to get himself under control. You weren’t even sure if he was trying to keep his cool for you, you actually highly doubted it, instead it felt more like he had given Rick or rather Carol a promise to try. “I care, I really do”, you mumbled, a little helpless and unsure how to go on, else than trying to reassure that you were being genuine. “Seems like you care more about that prick”, he snapped back, the control he seemed to have tried to maintain visibly vanishing as you let out a small sigh. “Daryl-” “But be sure that there’s nothin’ gonna come back from him on the long run”, he growled, cutting you right off as he pushed himself away from the table and stepped a little closer,”He ain’t gonna love ya or some shit. That asshole, all he cares ‘bout is that damn bat.” The words leaving his lips were as sharp as a hunting knife, underlined by the growl that was just growing thicker while you knew that he was slowly falling back into the old scheme and that was a dirty one. Once he had stepped over this certain line, not much was able to hold him back, and especially not you. “He’d switch ya for it any time without battin’ an eye”, he spat out, his eyes glaring at you through the strands of hair hanging into his redder growing face while your body grew tense, seeing how he waited for the pain to spread over your face. He wanted to hurt you with those words, make you feel his anger and disappointment that was boiling deeply within him, and you knew it. You knew what their only purpose was and still it struck a small cord within you, even though you were determined to not show him. So you stayed still on the cot, hearing how he let out an angry snort as he shook his head about you, growling as his words began to rush repeatedly through your head. One last time he glanced at you before he turned around and stomped out of the tent, without being held back by you. If you knew it would help, even just a tiny bit, you would have tried to, but right now you knew more than with a hundred percent certainty that any reaction of yours would just make it worse and probably catapult you to the state back you’ve had more than a year ago. And that was one of the last things you could need. So you remained silent on the cot, glancing outside, watching the sun stream in beams through the roof the tree’s crowns were creating while slowly but surely Daryl’s words began to let their effect act on you. Negan had never said those three words to you, at least not yet, but so hadn’t you, even though you did feel it. You loved him. You loved him with all you had, more than you had ever thought being capable of and even though you couldn’t pinpoint a moment of realization, you knew it had been a long while already. If you were going back in time, skipped through all these events you had gone through with him, you knew you had already loved him when you had held him beneath that tree on the hill in your arms, sobbing and covered in his blood, afraid to lose him forever. And from that point on it had just gotten stronger. Those words had rushed through your mind several times already, more than you admitted to yourself. In the mornings, when he was all drowsy, pulled you deeper into his embrace, kissed your temple and let you drown into his scent and warmth for another five minutes. During the day, when something happened and all you wanted to do was show him or at least tell him about it. When you came back from work in the evenings and could finally fall into his arms again and let him take you in. When he made you laugh with the odd sense of humor he had and the roguish grin that danced over his lips when he attempted to tell you yet another one of his dirty jokes he was dragging into an unbelievable length with tons of colorful and way too descriptive details. When he was panting above you, kissing you feverishly and filling you up with the pleasure only he could give you. And eventually when you cuddled up to him in the night and felt him tucking you in along with him, slinging his arms protectively around your body before letting you drift into a deep sleep. Those were just a few of the moments you caught those words sneaking up in your throat, pressuring you to let them flow from your lips even though you had stopped them each time till now. And you had your reasons. You weren’t completely sure if he was ready to say it back and the last thing you wanted was to push him. You wanted to hear those words when he was ready for it, when he felt like saying them and not because he felt obligated to because you had told him. After all, showing someone you loved them was even more important than just words, and that was definitely something you both did, still, it would be a blunt lie if you’d say you hadn’t thought about telling him anyway, knowing that he deserved to hear them. It was an ever running circle of wanting to tell him and not knowing if you should, as you deeply down knew that you were simply thinking too much about it and were making it more complicated than it actually was. You let out a small huff, fumbling a little uneasy on one of the loose threads that were poking out of the seam of your pants as you refused to let any of the other things Daryl had said come too close, knowing how hurtful they would turn out to be if you would let them take your mind and feelings hostage. No matter how untrue they were. Sighing you leaned back, shutting your eyes for a moment, fighting the dizziness that was still keeping your body in its claws before the singing of the birds and the soft swishing of the trees in the wind outside began to relax you. Just as you began to drift off, feel how your body slumped into the pillows behind you, Siddiq’s voice ripped you out of the trance you were falling into. “(Y/N)? We’re taking off.”
He should have told her this morning. He really should have grabbed himself by his own damn balls and just get those words over his lips instead of breaking his voice off like some damn flop and tell her the other first thing that came to his mind. But shit, he wasn’t good with that kinda crap. He could swing big ass speeches with the most ease, put the magic of effectively swinging his dick into the right words but these three words, they were a whole different challenge, larger than he liked to admit. The reason wasn’t that he didn’t fully feel it, hell no, that was definitely not the issue here. He felt all of that crap, from this specific kind of warmth she elicited within him to that feeling he had with her that made a nut busting orgasm look like some lousy fucker. And if he was honest, he was feeling it clearer and more intense than ever before and if he wanted to sink even deeper into some goddamn sappiness, whatever it was he had with her, that shit was some kinda once in a lifetime thing. Finding each other in the circumstances they had and especially staying and growing even closer to the other one within the harder times that followed, that really had to be some special shit. So what was exactly his goddamn problem? It shouldn’t be that hard, right? He was feeling it, that much that his damn heart felt like it had a massive, pulsing and rock hard boner on a full time basis, so why couldn’t he let that damn boner cum and let those words spurt out of his mouth? He had told her other things, things he’d put right on the same level as those fucking three words, still, they seemed to be something different, something like a milestone that couldn’t be compared to anything else. If he looked closely, forced himself to drown deeper into his own mind and feelings, he knew that there were some reasons that would stay hidden from him, while others were literally shown to him, a bit fear and maybe even some guilt were right there on that silver plate his mind presented him. Most of it was utter bullshit, he knew it, but that didn’t make any of it easier. He sometimes did felt guilty, keeping Lucille in mind and the things he had fucked up back then, the things he had screwed up on his first try. He had loved her, he really had. He hadn’t carried the bat around with him and now wished and longed to have it back with him in the cell for nothing and everything it stood for still had a large impact on him, having given him so much strength and protection over all this time. He’d give so much to have it back, his dirty girl, let his hands grab the smooth wood and swing it through the air, preferably to end up hitting some of the sorry fuckers outside or hell, just lean it next to his bed like he had done it before the time in this hellhole. It was all that he had left from before. He knew where the bat was, probably locked up in the armory or so, and he also painfully knew that the real person was still laying on that hospital floor, nothing more than skin and bones. But shit, if there really was some kind of heaven, he hoped the real Lucille would be up there with someone who deserved her and fucked her brains out and back in on a daily basis. If that was the damn case, she’d probably be looking down on him right now, shaking her head and crossing her arms, wondering what he was waiting for. Hell, he was even sure she’d like the shit out of (Y/N), someone who was getting him back from all the shit he had done and let him finally feel like he was alive again. He hadn’t done it right at his first try, at least not until the last time he’s had with her, so he couldn’t do the same thing with his second, no matter if there was some fear that she might not say it back. He just had to make it right now. This time, he had to be the one she deserved. He had to tell her.
The time that had passed on your drive back to Alexandria and eventually the tablet Siddiq had given you in the infirmary had done their job, helping you to deal with the dizziness and the pain that still let your head pound. Walking still wasn’t your favorite thing to do in these moments and you could still hear Siddiq telling you to lay down as soon as you could so your body could take a proper break, but there was a certain place you had to get to to finally do that. “Oh there he comes again…bringing me that shit ass food, huh? Little early today, aren’t ya?”, you eventually heard Negan say with a little tease but mostly a huff in his voice as you found yourself walking along with his guard down the cement stairs into the cellar until you reached the bars of his cell and let his glance turn utterly confused.
“What happened?”, he asked only minutes later as you stood in the cell, heard the guards footsteps descending again while his hands were cupping your face carefully, his eyes examining you worriedly. “Dumb fight on the bridge…not between me or someone…just got pulled into it”, you mumbled, feeling how his thumb began to brush in a caressing manner over your cheek while you tried to put the day properly into words. “You know what? You get your sweet ass on that bed and tell me then all about that crap…don’t need you to crock up”, he said, his voice gentle but still firm as well as you glanced at him, painfully seeing the concern washing over his face. “It’s not that bad anymore-” “No discussion. Know what you’re doing there”, he cut you off, his eyes keeping yours on lock as he let out a small sigh, “Sweet as fuck that you don’t want my ass to worry but I can’t have that. So lets take this to the bed.”
The mattress that showed all other times how old and cheap it was felt now soothing to your body as soon as you began to sink into it and the pillow Negan had quickly leaned against the wall to give your back a little support. As you began to talk he shifted uneasily next to you, his eyes still filled with concern as you told him about the fight between Justin and Daryl, your rather involuntary participation in it, Siddiq’s diagnosis for you and eventually your talk with Daryl. You told him everything as he kept asking for details, especially as soon as you reached what Siddiq had told you to do to get better as soon as possible, and you kept telling him everything until the latter of all these events. The first part of your conversation flew out of your mouth without being stopped, the push Carol had given him, the more or less meant ‘thanks’, even the part as he began to accuse you of lying about caring for him, but as soon as you had passed this part, your voice began to stall. “What did he say?”, Negan grumbled as soon as he caught the reluctance in your eyes and noticed the increasing breaks in your voice. You glanced at him, saw the concern mixing with restlessness within his eyes as he loosened his puckered brows up to rise them questionably. “He said you wouldn’t care on the long run”, you mumbled, as you felt your voice stalling again, “And…you’d choose the bat over me any time.” You knew there was one other thing Daryl had said, the one thing you had racked your head over before departing from the camp side, but this was something that as always didn’t make it to travel past your tightening throat. Everything else, but not that. You weren’t gonna risk that he felt like he had to prove something just because Daryl had given in to his anger again and had thrown a fit. That just wasn’t worth it. “But you know that’s bullshit right?”, Negan’s voice ripped you away from your circling thoughts, darting your attention back to his face and his darkening eyes. “Of course, I just-…I don’t like rilling you up with those kinda dumb accusations”, you mumbled, shifting a little more into the pillow behind your back as he slowly nodded. “Okay”, he grumbled right before he let out a little huff and ran his large palm over his thick beard, “I mean, not fucking okay, I want you to tell me that shit instead of carrying it around with ya…but I get it.” His head left his jaw again as it reached out to yours and gave your hand a soft squeeze before he glanced up at you again. “But just to make this crystal fuckin’ clear, I’d give a lot to swing Lucille through the damn air again, a whole goddamn assload of crap…but not you”, he mumbled, eliciting a small warmth inside you as his grasp on your hand tightened, ”Not fucking ever…that’s not even up for discussion.” You have him a soft smile, turning your hand slightly so you could lace your fingers with his as Negan’s face began to slowly relax again. ”Now how about you lay down and give your body some damn rest?”, he mumbled, already a turning a little to grasp with his free hand the blanket at the edge of the bed and pull it up over your legs. ”Yeah, probably for the best”, you said, nodding softly as you readjusted yourself and shifted down until you could rest your head on the pillow. Quickly, Negan pulled the rest of the blanket over your body let out a small chuckle, ”There ya go.” ”Can you come here?”, you mumbled as soon as you slung the fabric a little tighter around your body and cuddled into the pillow, feeling how you longed for his closeness and warmth as the consequences of the punch began to let your eyelids grow heavier. ”Sure thing, just a moment, Sweetheart”, he mumbled, seemingly sunken in some thoughts as he caressed your covered side for a moment while you began to give more and more in to the longing of diving into a comforting sleep. ”Fuck…”, he grumbled, your half closed eyes catching how he stroke uneasily over his beard once more before his hazel eyes glanced at you ,”Baby? Don’t fall asleep on me yet.” ”Hmm?”, you mumbled as you opened your eyes a little more, slightly confused as you caught his glance while he shifted a little closer. ”Listen, that’s not because of any shit Daryl said or what fucking ever…I just-”, he grumbled, letting the confusion in you slowly grow as a small huff broke his voice off. “Hell, I already wanted to tell ya this morning but-”, he mumbled, stopping once more as he let out a nervous chuckle. Slowly, you raised your head a little, glancing at him as your eyes ran over his face, searching for an answer before you slowly raised your voice, ”Negan, what?” “I love you.” His voice was deep, thick with emotions and genuineness and with this one moment and those three words slipping out of his lips, you felt like your breath was being taken away for moments, catapulted into a trance that let the past seconds seem surreal. ”Hell, I love you so fucking much”, he added, his eyes meeting yours as those words left his lips once more and let you realize that those moments were no beautiful hallucination but instead pure reality. A big smile began to grow on your lips as it got more and more clear to you, as the worries you’ve had were pushed out of your mind and suddenly the thing you had wished for, the thing you hadn’t wanted to push him to had solved itself in the best way possible. He loved you. Shit, he loved you and your heart felt like it was about to burst as it filled up with more and more happiness, growing with each passing second as it pounded within your chest and pumped warmth through your whole body. Your eyes wandered over him, catching how he gulped, his eyes having left yours seconds ago as he shifted over the mattress. ”I know I should’ve said it a whole fucking while ago already, fuck, I-” ”I love you too”, you cut him right off, not allowing to let those thoughts just nearly take up more of his mind as your voice lead his eyes right back to you, letting them widen and his lips gaped softly open, ”I love you, Negan.”
For seconds your mind seemed to black out until you felt his lips meeting yours, their warmth contributing to the growing one within you as the first careful moves turned feverish and longing to not only hear the words, but feel them too. You were wide awake again, completely forgetting about your pounding head and the dizziness that still tried to flare up here and there, but got tamed by the whirling emotions within you. Your fingers reached up, entangling in his thick beard, caressing his jaw as he kissed you and grabbed you to keep you close to him, careful as if he was afraid to hurt you after the incident yet firm enough to hold you tight. You were insatiable for his kisses, yearning for each of them as you heard his low growls and purrs rumbling against your lips while you clung to his body. The only reason you parted was the growing need for oxygen, but still you remained close to each other, panting softly before you opened you eyes and saw the big smile that had mixed into his grin and got dragged over his whole face. Both of you were speechless for a moment, even Negan and as you slowly came back an feeling him pressing another peck to your lips, you caught the grin beginning to mix into the heartfelt smile a little more ”Fuck, you got any idea what that just did to me?”, he softly chuckled, biting his lower lip as he reached out to your hand, cupping it with his as he lead it closer to his lap while the grin grew wider, ”Show ya what.” ”Got me rock hard”, he grumbled teasingly as you let out a chuckle, only gasping softly as he placed your hand right over the large bulge that was growing beneath his prison suit and let you know that those words weren’t empty promises, “Say it again and that beast breaks free.” ”Sure”, you chuckled, the big smile on your lips sticking to them as you playfully teased your fingers over the noticeable tent and grinned with another chuckle at him. ”You know what? As soon as you’re fine again, that big fucker’s gonna make you feel it too…shit, till you can’t think of any fucking thing else”, he purred, biting his lip as he his hand placed back over yours and raised his brows in a playful manner. ”Then I hope my head recovers quickly”, you teased back, hearing him letting out a throaty laugh as he picked your hand up and lead it to his lips. brushing them over its back before pressing a kiss to your knuckles. Your fingers slipped eventually away from his, reaching out to his neck to softly pull him back down to you. You hummed as you felt him propping himself over you, his hazel eyes wandering over your face in a combination of roguishness and deep affection while your fingertips played softly with his beard. “I love you”, he mumbled again, eliciting another wave of warmth to wash over you, forming the smile that was everlasting on your lips to grow bigger again before this loving reaction made him lean a little more, “So fuckin’ much.” His lips met yours again, this time caressing not as feverishly but rather thoroughly and loving over yours, as if he attempted to feel you and taste the words that had earlier escaped your mouth off your lips. “I love you too”, you mumbled again, not ever growing tired of hearing and saying them as Negan smiled against your lips before he leaned down, brushed them over your neck and pampered your skin with kisses and small nibbles. You hummed in approval, soaking up each of his caresses until he backed slowly away and instead shifted next to you on the bed, just as you had earlier asked him to. His back leaned into the pillow as he pulled you into his embrace, cradling you against his chest as you leaned your head against his neck and heard a low chuckle leaving Negan’s lips. “But I mean…how couldn’t you love me with that beast in my fuckin’ pants”, he mumbled teasingly, darting your attention right back to the bulge that was still boasting beneath his prison suit as he jerked his hips playfully up and let out another throaty laugh. “Oh there he is again”, you chuckled, pinching him teasingly into his side as you huddled closer up to him, “But no, he’s not the reason, just a really great extra.” “Hmm”, Negan grumbled with another low chuckle, pulling you a little closer into his embrace as he got a little quieter again. Nuzzling your nose into his warm neck you hummed contently, feeling how the sleepiness was beginning to wash up once more within you as Negan pressed a small kiss to your temple. You wanted to say more but the emotions in your whole body were whirling wildly around, too many and too intense to catch them and form just a half proper sentence with them. So instead, you cuddled closer up, choosing actions over words as you placed a soft kiss to his skin and caressed your fingertips over his chest while you slowly closed your eyes and enjoyed the low hums and content growls that rumbled up his throat. ”Sleep tight, Baby”, Negan lowly grumbled in response to your relaxing body that melted more and more into his embrace as you slowly nodded and buried your head deeper into the curve of his warm neck. ”Hmm…after this, think I’ll sleep better than ever.”
You remained to be right, your sleep was peaceful and soothing, the effect of Negan’s confession outdrowning any pain the consequences of the punch wanted to put into your body. It was only for rare moments that the sleep let go of you, allowing you to crawl a little out of its grasp even though it kept you in its darkness and only let two voices sound through to you, one of them more familiar and deeper than the other.
”What did you do to the fucker who did that shit to her?”
You drifted back away for moments, shifting a little to get comfortable, trying to let your head figure out if those voices were real or just made up by your drowsy mind before a warmth caressed over you for a moment and consoled you again as its accompanying voice bounced off the cold stone walls and echoed through your head.
”I got my future laying right here on that bed…but you..your family is dead, Rick. That bridge It’s not the future. It’s a monument to the dead”
It got darker, darker and darker around you, the sleep was grasping and tightening its hold on you in the silent moments that passed, and as the final words sounded through to you, you were already sinking back into the sleep’s unending depths.
“You’re not saving the world, Rick. You’re just gettin’ it ready for me.”
Summary: The reader is placed in front of a hard decision as she gets her hands by pure chance on the keys to Negan’s cell.
This is one of the drabbles for the time jump between season 8 and 9! It’s linked to my series, so If you like you can find itrighthere, but you can also easily read it independently from it.
The metal door crashed with a dull thud into its lock, echoing through the cell and the outer room you found yourself standing in next to Negan’s guard.
He sat, as always, on the other side of the metal bars on his bed when you were let out of the cell, his eyes still wandering over you, revealing how much he was already waiting for the evening when you’d come back.
His guard began to fumble on his waistband, trying to slip the keys back to the other bunch on the ring attached to his leather belt as his walkie began to suddenly beep, the shrill tone bouncing off the cold walls and letting it echo through the rooms while an annoyed huff left his lips.
“Yeah?”, Roger grumbled, picking the walkie hastily up while his feet were shuffling restless over the cement ground, listening to the stressed voice of the man on the other side of the line.
“Gotta go, you find yourself out”, he finally said as he pushed the walkie back and glanced for a short moment at you, giving you a small nod before he began to rush up.
His heavy footsteps echoed over the ground and up the staircase, that strong that it felt like the floor beneath you would vibrate softly in response before the door upstairs crashed back into its frame.
As soon as the sound hushed you glanced back through the bars, catching Negan grinning softly at you as he ran his palm over his thicker growing salt and pepper beard.
“See you tonight”, you mumbled, giving him a small smile as you saw him lifting himself back up from the bed and beginning to stroll closer to the door until only the metal bars parted you.
“Yeah, see you, tonight, Baby. Now get up or I can’t guarantee for fucking anything. Might rip those fuckers here apart and get you back inside”, he playfully chuckled, teasingly raising his brows as you gave him a small laugh back, even though you could see something flickering beneath the playfulness in his eyes.
The distress of the loneliness the countable hours of the day would bring, the pain of being locked up and only seeing the same four walls each and every day, every hour, every minute, every second.
For a moment he reached through the bars, his large hand squeezing yours reassuringly before you gave him another small smile as soon as his warmth left yours again.
“Till later”, you mumbled, seeing how he gave you a small nod as you knew you had to go now if you didn’t want to make it all harder for each of you.
With a small sigh you finally made your way up the stairs, hearing quietly in the background how Negan made his way over to the bed as suddenly something sticking out from the dull cement stairs caught your eye.
It was small and glimpsed in the faint light and at first you didn’t recognize it, until the moment you leaned down, squinting your eyes slightly with puckered brows and caught what as laying right by your feet.
Two small silver keys, that laid there by your soles.
Two small silver keys Roger had tried to fumble apparently unsuccessfully onto his key ring earlier.
Two small silver keys that belonged to Negan’s cell.
Your breath seemed to stop for a moment, your heart seemed to skip a beat as you stared at the metallic figures on the ground and felt how your lips began to part in bewilderment.
Your finger began to grasp them almost unconsciously, as if you were stuck in a trance until the cold metal touched your fingertips and got eventually wrapped up in your palm.
Your mind seemed empty and filled up with thousands of thoughts at the same time, leaving you split and torn as a shivering breath left your lips and your eyes darted back down the stairs.
What were you supposed to do now?
You couldn’t lie, this scenario had spooked here and there already through your head but now that it turned into reality, you felt completely muddled.
There were those two sides again, the two sides you had already been stuck between in the war.
Negan on the one side.
Your old friends on the other.
Your mind was spilling over with thoughts and emotions, with the feeling of not being able to betray the people outside that began to finally accept you again but even more, with the urge to finally see Negan free again, to finally see him completely blithe again.
And for a moment this seemed more important than anything else.
But still, you couldn’t form a single straight thought as your foot met the cement step down to the cell again, your lips shivering as you got down, step by step until you saw the metal bars again.
“Negan”, only left your lips breathily, your hand still clasping the keys as you saw him looking irritated at you, surprised about your sudden return.
Puckering his brows he ran a hand over his thick beard stubble as he lifted himself off the bed, tapping over the floor as his deep voice echoed through the room.
“Somethin’ wrong?”, he mumbled worriedly, his eyes wandering over you, trying to read the answer off your face as you gulped heavily and glanced up at him.
“Roger he-”, you mumbled, too startled to bring your sentence to an end before you slowly opened your hand, “He lost the keys.”
Negan’s eyes widened as he came closer, squinting them as if the keys in your hand were a mirage that could vanish into thin air in the matter of seconds.
His glance wandered up, catching the look in your eyes that wandered repeatedly to the lock of his door and seemed to reveal just enough for his face to fall into a flat frown and his brows to pucker harder.
“No. (Y/N), no. You won’t fucking do that”, he nearly growled, letting your glance snap up to him as confusion and pain spread over your face.
“Negan, I-”, you began, gulping harshly as a shivering breath fell from your lips, “I see you suffering in there, I-”
“Doesn’t matter”, he cut you off, his voice intentionally sharp as if he wanted to cut those thoughts out of your head, “You won’t fucking do that.”
“Why?”, your voice was shivering, a little weaker than you intended to as he already shook his head and stepped even closer to the metal bars.
“’Cause I won’t let you put yourself at that much fucking risk for me, not gonna happen”, he scoffed, his eyes darting at yours, trying to keep them locked with his, “You’re just about to be on a better fucking path with them and that shit took you way more time and fucking work than you deserve. I won’t let you ruin that because of my ass.”
You glimpsed at him before your head sunk a little as a thick gulp wandered down your throat while your eyes captured the keys in your hand once more.
“But what kinda girlfriend am I if I never try to get you out of there?”
“The kinda awesome one that comes every fucking night here to stay by my damn side….and the one who’s not thinking clear right now”, with that your eyes wandered back up to him, puzzled by his response as he sighed and ran his palm over the silver struck thick beard.
“First, this is not your responsibility, not in any damn way. You’ve done more for me than I could ever fucking ask for…second, if this would happen”, he gestured at the keys with a swift motion, “What do you think would follow, huh? A damn flight, with a damn hunt that’d be opened on us? No fucking sir, I won’t put you in that kinda position. I won’t let you…and third…as I said and no fucking matter how much I wanna screw some of those fuckers outside over…You’re finally on your way to get what you had before my ass came along, I won’t be the one to ruin that.”
“Alright?”, he added, pushing the thoughts that had been running through your head already further to the surface, revealing the real problem.
You couldn’t have both, Negan released and the people outside respecting and trusting you again, at least yet.
“Listen, I’ll get out of this shit thing here some day. Earlier or later, they’re gonna fucking need me or some other shit’s gonna happen, but this here, this won’t be the way to go”, he said, still seeing the inner turmoil painted all over your face, “And I fucking know that this wouldn’t be the damn way you want it to happen too.”
You glanced up at him, sighing quietly and trying to let the tension leave your body while the keys seemed to burn into your palm, begging to be recognized.
But he was right, with each of his arguments, no matter how much you wanted to see him outside this cell, this wasn’t how you wanted it to happen.
You wanted peace with the people outside when it happened, not all of them, few had gone too far but at least with the ones who had begun to let you in again.
“So lemme tell you what’s gonna happen now. You’ll swing your sweet ass up there, give Roger the prick those damn keys back and get yourself the damn respect of them you fucking deserve”, he finally said, his hazel eyes capturing yours, keeping them locked to make sure you understood each and every word of his.
“I’ll be fine”, he said, as he reached through the bars and grasped your free hand, squeezing it lightly before he let out a small loosening chuckle ,”Baby, I’ll be fuckin’ fine.”
“Okay”, you finally mumbled, deeply exhaling as you stared at the keys once more time as his hand left yours and your eyes met his once more, reassuring you that you were doing the right thing.
And you were keeping this glance in his eyes in mind as you eventually made your way up the cement stairs, through the unfinished house and finally to his guard.
Summary: As some music streams from the outside into the cell, Negan decides to use this rare possibility for a small dance with his girl.
This is one of the drabbles for the time jump between season 8 and 9! It’s linked to my series, so If you like you can find itrighthere, but you can also easily read it independently from it.
Warm evening sunbeams shone through the cell’s windows and danced over the cement ground, filling the prison with orange rays of light while the smooth sound of music was beginning to sound through the glass behind the thick metal bars. It wasn’t loud enough to understand each and every word as it had to come from someone trying to make their work shortly before the houses more entertaining, but it was still enough to hear its soft and pleasant melody and enough to let Negan jump out of the prison bed to stand right in front of you, with his large hand stretched out to you and a wide grin dancing over lips. “Come here, we gotta use this”, he mumbled, his deep voice mixing warmly with the sound of the music while excitement about the sudden and rare entertainment spread over his handsome features, “I’m gonna make it one hell of a fuckin’ fun. I promise, Baby.” A chuckle was rumbling through his broad chest, letting it shake softly beneath the steel blue prison suit as he perked his dark brows up and grinned wider as soon as you slid your hand into his. Quickly, his warm hand enclosed yours, large enough let it almost vanish in his before he lifted you with ease from the cheap bed until your bodies were parted only by inches. Slowly, he lead you closer to the window, increasing the volume of the music just a little bit until he turned around to you and sneaked his arm around your waist. Glancing up at him you caught his hazel eyes wandering over your face, lit up softly by the warm evening sun as it drew bright lines around his face, his black hair and the salt and pepper beard. “There we go”, his deep drawl rumbled as he pulled you closer, keeping you right there with him until you could feel his warm body pressing against yours. Slowly, you slid your hand up his chest, reaching his shoulder within moments where it came to a rest as he raised his hand that was still engulfing yours, forming the position he wanted to have the both of you in. “Some surprise entertainment delivered to my damn doorstep…Gotta be a lucky day, huh”, Negan quietly chuckled, leaning in to peck your lips before you laughed quietly against his and gave him a small nod. “Definitely”, you mumbled, caressing your fingertips over his shoulder as you were feeling his warmth through the fabric of the suit tingling against your fingers. ”Now if that fucker is longer here we could later on fuck to the damn rhythm of that music”, Negan snickered, perking his brows suggestively up as a wolfish smirk spread over his lips as you chuckled quietly. ”Then lets hope he’s got some more work to do”, you laughed, feeling how Negan’s hand was squeezing you teasingly before he pulled you even closer against his tall figure.
A small hum left your lips as you eventually leaned in and could feel his head beginning to rest against yours, his thicker growing beard tickling you softly as you began to dip in closer until your nose could nuzzle into the warmth of his neck. His scent slowly engulfed you as he gradually began to swing the both of you softly from side to side, only centimeters at a time in the rhythm to the slow music. You could hear Negan’s deep voice humming along the melody while his chest was rising and falling softly beneath the prison suit against yours while his warm breath was brushing over your skin, creating small goose bumps of comfort all over your body. Negan’s thumb stroked slowly over the back of your hand as he held it in his large, warm one, while his lips pressed a kiss to your skin with a deep purr that was able to let a pleasant shudder wash through your body before his head leaned slowly back against yours. A content sigh left your lips as you huddled closer, taking in his warmth while the sound of the music set you slowly into a small trance, able to let you forget the cell Negan was held in for a small while as only his touches, the soft swinging and the deep rumble of his humming voice managed to let you melt completely against him.
“Don’t fall asleep here on me, still gotta hear how fuckin awesome your sweet moans gonna mix with that music”, Negan chuckled playfully after a while of just keeping you close and swinging you softly from side to side, eliciting a small laugh to fall from your lips as you teasingly dug your fingertips into his shoulder but remained buried in the crook of his neck. “I won’t, promise”, you mumbled against his warm skin, feeling it vibrating softly against you as soon as a chuckle rumbled through his throat as he cradled you a little closer against his firm chest. Humming you melted closer, drifting further off into your little trance. There was a small part of you imagining the both of you dancing just like this outside the cell and in a house with a cozy living room, with a white shirt and some gray sweatpants clinging to Negan’s body instead of the steel blue prison suit and with some fire crackling softly in a chimney instead of cold metal brushing against metal whenever a soft gust brushed against the door. But as much as this small part in you wished for you to have those things someday, as much knew the whole rest of you that this moment right now within his embrace was just perfect as it was in its very own way.
Summary: While the Reader has to deal with the annoying sides of being a woman, Negan tries his best to take care of his girl and her pain in his cell.
This is one of the drabbles for the time jump between season 8 and 9! It’s linked to my series, so If you like you can find itrighthere, but you can also easily read it independently from it.
“Right here?”, Negan asked as you felt him shifting over the softly squeaking mattress, letting his large hand caress over your lower stomach that felt like an elephant was sitting on your belly, pressing in on it while thousands of knives where diving and wrenching into your hurting flesh. “Yeah”, you mumbled, cuddling more into his side, feeling his arm wrapping tighter around your body as his thumb slowly stroke over your skin. “Fuck this”, you grumbled, feeling another cramp spreading out over your lower stomach, letting you squirm beneath the thin blanket of the prison’s bed while Negan let out a small sigh. “Ah shit, that fucker in there throwing a fit again?”, he asked, letting you sink a little more into his side as you slowly nodded, feeling the pressure pushing more into your already hurting body. “Hell, if I could, I’d get ya some hot bag or some damn chocolate”, he mumbled, pressing a kiss against your temple while a bit of disappointment was swinging in his voice. “I know, but your hand’s doing a pretty great job too”, you chuckled softly, reaching out to caress your fingertips over the back of his hand for a moment. “That’s what it always does, right?”, Negan chuckled throatily, tightening his embrace a little around you while his warm hand soothed your pain a bit and calmed the storm within your body’s middle. “Yeah, it sure does”, you mumbled with a small laugh, leaning your face into the warmth of his neck, breathing contently and deeply in and out as soon as his scent and warmth began to lull you a little more into their comfortableness before another cramp made you flinch slightly. “Fuck…that bad?”, Negan mumbled concerned, circling his fingers gently over your skin as if it would magically let the pain vanish. “Yeah…shit, I already took one tablet at the infirmary…hoped it would kick in faster…fucking hate this crap”, you grumbled, huffing as you shifted a little, as if it would loosen the tension that was building up in your lower stomach. “Well then maybe I gotta put a baby in there next time so you can skip over this shit”, Negan chuckled, trying to make you laugh and distract you while thumping his pointing finger softly onto your skin as you let out a small chuckle and cuddled closer into his embrace and the fabric of his prison suit. “Yeah so I can deal with the millionth times worse pain nine months later”, you joked, feeling how Negan leaned his head against yours and caressed your stomach a little more with the rough tips of his fingers and the warmth of his palm. “Anyway….for now I just need you to keep your hand there and cuddle me some more”, you mumbled, feeling how he tucked you a little more in while a small chuckle let his chest vibrate as you shifted a bit to nuzzle your face into it, craving the warmth that was radiating through the steel blue fabric. “Aye, aye, Captain…as you fucking wish”, Negan chuckled, pressing another kiss on your forehead, letting his warm lips caress over your skin while his thick beard stubble scratched softly against it. “If you need somethin’ else, need the seamann to sail the red sea or just give you some nice ass back rub…just let me know”, Negan mumbled against your skin as he softly laughed and held you a little closer as you let out a small chuckle. “I will, but this is perfect right now”, you mumbled, humming as you felt his warm hand caressing once more over your stomach. “Alright, then just let me keep ya warm and cozy and then, hopefully, this fucker will calm their ass down”, Negan mumbled against your skin as he pulled you a little closer into his embrace, motivating you to nuzzle your face deeper into his warm chest until you closed your eyes and just let him hold you in his strong arms.
You felt like you could still hear those words echoing through the cell as the metal bar door crushed into its lock behind you and Rick’s heavy footsteps began to descend until they hushed completely. Negan stood still there like glued to the spot, his bare feet pressing against the cold cement ground while his eyes were wandering over your face, nearly analyzing it, as if he couldn’t believe you were actually there, as if you were more of a mirage the loneliness of the prison had forced him to imagine. His face was taken hostage by a wild mix of emotions, ranking from surprise and disbelief that let the muscles of his face fall flat, to happiness that curled the slightly open gaping lips just a little but softly up, to uncertainty that was letting his brows twitch for a short moment. “Yeah”, you mumbled softly as you were finally able to open your mouth, feeling how all those emotions that were written over his face were running through your veins too. You had missed him, you had known that before, that much that it had felt like a pain able to wrench you apart, but now that you were seeing him, not more than a few meter away from you, you realized it once more. As soon as your voice had hushed, Negan’s eyes ran slowly south, down until they suddenly captured your wrist, catching the absence of the bracelet, of his gift. His eyes widened slightly in the matter of milliseconds, a harsh gulp travelled down his throat while his body tensed up as if the blood in his veins had frozen. You’d bet that normally, he’d just be confused if he was seeing you without it but now, now this had to seem like you were there for the beginning of the end. ”I didn’t take it off. It broke..happened at the infirmary, I-”, you mumbled, feeling how the tension got a hold of you as well, your eyes wandering consistently over his face only to be stopped as you saw it softening again in relief. It got silent for a few seconds, both of you unsure what to do, what to say before a shivering breath fell from his lips as his head dropped slightly, before he swallowed harshly and glanced slowly back up to you. ”I-…fuck”, he scoffed, only stepping slowly closer before his hand was reaching up to stroke uneasily over his thick salt and pepper stubble before he tried to rally himself and find the right words. ”I don’t think little of you, I don’t fucking…I’m just, fuck”, he scoffed, his jaw clenching tightly as he took a deep breath before his eyes found yours again, eliciting a warmth to slowly sneak up in you that got suddenly larger with the next few words ,”I can’t lose you. I’m just so damn fucking scared of it that I-” “Shit, that’s why I freaked out when that Caleb fucker-. Fuck, I was jealous, I know, fucking sick to the fucking stomach jealous. But not ‘cause I don’t trust you or think you’ll take the easy damn way and just piss off…I’m just shitless fucking terrified.” “I-”, he sighed deeply, obviously showing that he wanted to say and explain more, push those words out that seemed to be like stuck to the back of his throat while you could feel that they wouldn’t get out before each of you got some of the tension out of your bodies.
You weren’t even sure how it exactly happened, somehow your body took over your mind for a moment and only let it come back as soon as only centimeters parted you, your eyes met for the split of a second before your arms wrapped slowly around his neck, a little cautious about his possible reaction before this caution got quickly pushed out of your mind as soon as you could feel his strong arms wrapping around you. First slow, as if he was still expecting you to pull away before he got his confidence back as he felt you slowly melting against him. His embrace got tighter, his arms cradled you closely against his chest as your face leaned against his neck, taking in his familiar scent and finally feeling his warmth surrounding and lulling you in again. God, had you missed this. It had been three days, nothing much if circumstances were normal, but with the fight and the uncertainty of the future swinging threateningly through each passing moment, those three days had felt like a painful eternity. Your bodies clung to one another, almost as if you were afraid the other one would vanish as soon as you’d let go just a little bit. It took only moments for his head to drop to your shoulder, before his nose nuzzled slowly into the fabric of your shirt, breathing thoroughly in and out as he cradled you even tighter against his broad chest.
”I missed you…so fucking much”, he finally mumbled, and even though his voice got muffled by your shirt you could still hear the mass of emotions that was streaming through each of his cells and elicited a wave of warmth to wash over you. ”I missed you too”, you mumbled back, feeling how the growing warmth inside you got larger with each of his words and each passing second he held you. “I’m sorry I took so long to come back…I-…Negan, I was scared too”, you quietly mumbled, your voice breaking a little before you felt him shaking his head slowly against your shoulder. “You’re back, damn, that’s all that matters to me”, he mumbled against the fabric, pulling you even closer as you got slowly lost in his comforting warmth. You longed to simply stay like this forever, just not ever let go but there was a small part in the back of your head telling you that you couldn’t, you still had to get the rest that was still uncertain out of the world, you had to settle every little misunderstanding or issue, even if the temptation to just let him hold you through the whole night was growing with each second you spend longer this close to him. And you could feel those exact thoughts running through his head too, letting him shift slightly as both of you seemed reluctant to break off the comforting hug. ”Still got some more shit to explain to you”, he finally muttered slowly, his voice clearly showing the reluctancy that was stuck within him before he gulped harshly as soon as you slowly leaned back, just enough to look into his eyes. You could sense a little fear and nervousness dancing through his glance that just got a little less as you slowly nodded and gave him a soft ‘okay’.
Moments later you found yourself sitting on the bed right next to Negan, your jacket already placed next to the bed on the floor, your hand laying in his while his thumb stroke slowly over its back, tracing small patterns into the skin while he seemed to search for words. A small sigh fell from his lips as his other hand sneaked up to let his palm stroke over his thick salt and pepper stubble before it fell down to his knees again as his face finally turned towards you. ”I’m sorry…real fucking sorry…that night it just got too damn much. I know that’s no excuse, but-”, he sighed, his glance were falling from yours before you squeezed his hand softly and shifted a little closer. He was beating himself up, you could see it clear as the day and you hated it as he seemed to fall into the role of feeling like the one who always fucked things up. And it wasn’t even true, hell, It wasn’t the case that he was the bad and you the good one in your relationship. The situation was the big deal and his position in it, first the war, then the cell. Besides, you felt like you were far from perfect as well, you unwillingly fucked some things up too from time to time and yes, you made mistakes. But that’s simply human, right? You had been mad at him, sure, but now that you had heard the first part of his explanation already, things were standing in a different light. ”Negan”, you softly mumbled, your voice reassuring before he slightly shook his head and gulped uneasily. ”Just feels like I can’t give you shit. Not even just about those big things, also this damn small shit”, he grumbled, sighing before he glanced a little up, “Sounds fuckin’ sappy, but just walking down the damn street with you in my arm or, hell cooking some spaghetti for ya…I can’t do any of that.” Another sigh left his lips and his behavior got clearer and clearer to you with each second, but the moment you wanted to say something he rose his tense voice once more. ”I don’t wanna be just the damn asshole who just takes and doesn’t give shit back”, he mumbled, the pain clearly audible through his voice before his brows puckered in distress and a harsh gulp travelled down his throat, “Couldn’t make it all up to Lucille the way I wanted…thought I could just make everything better for us and then this crap cell happened. Feels like I’m fucking doomed to fucks us up too.” ”And then there’s this fucker who could give you all that and…fuck, that just drove me crazy…it still does.” You let out a small, worried sigh, trying to find the right words as you were squeezing his hand before you took a breath and rose your voice, determined to get those things as fast as possible out of his head.
He was always there, putting himself back when you needed him. You could be truly yourself when you were with him, without having to worry or adjust just in the tiniest bit. Hell, he was your rock, no matter how clear that was to him or not. The very last thing he did was ruining your relationship. The situation was far from easy, you couldn’t and wouldn’t deny that, but this wouldn’t make him less of a great partner. If you were honest, you couldn’t imagine someone better, someone who could make you laugh or smile as much as he did. To you, he really was all you had ever searched for and all you hadn’t even known you were searching. He was all you wanted and needed. And Caleb, he was the very last thing he had to worry about, not only because the man who had seemed so kind at first had changed over your last conversation, but because he simply wasn’t Negan. And the very same thing counted for anybody else. The words began to flow easier as soon as you saw his face relaxing, saw the tension wash from it and saw his eyes soften and a smile beginning to grow on his lips that made his dimples softly show beneath the thick beard stubble.
”Anybody could be out there and I wouldn’t care, you’re here and I just want you, regardless of this cell or not”, you finally mumbled, the relieved smile that kept growing on Negan’s face letting the warmth in you grow some more before you knew you had to add something, something you needed to get off your chest after having to wreck your head all these days over it. “And the thing is…I just…I never had those big insecurities or doubts with you…I mean, sure I had those small thoughts once in a while, just asking myself why the hell you want me but I guess…I guess in some way that’s normal…you always made me feel special and desired and I just-”, you said, stopping as your glance wandered through this cell before you gulped slightly and glanced towards him ,”I thought maybe you think all those things because I don’t show you enough how much you mean to me…or because I’m not loving en-” “No, no, no, shit Baby don’t even think that. That’s all just me, this crap cell and all that shit stuff happening around, but in no damn way you”, he cut you off, his voice determined as he grabbed your hand tighter, making you look at him to make sure you were understanding each of his words. “And those small shit insecurities, fuck, why’d you have them? You’re fucking mind blowing awesome, hell to me, you’re my damn perfect girl”, he mumbled, squeezing your hand tighter as more warmth got unleashed while his warm hazel eyes wandered over your face. “Well and that’s the way I see you too”, you mumbled back, trying to give him the last bit to reassure him before he chuckled quietly and quirked one eyebrow. ”I’m your perfect girl?”, he grumbled teasingly, as he not only let a wave of laugh wash through your body but even more relief. He got his humor back along with the happy grin that was dancing over his face and those two were some of the best ways to confirm he was fine again. ”You know what I mean”, you chuckled, shoving your elbow playfully into his side before you glanced up into his hazel orbs. ”So this is settled?” ”Yeah”, he said, running a hand over his beard stubble as he loosened the other one that had clasped yours, before he reached out to your legs, grabbing them carefully so he could pull them over his own until you ended up on his lap and felt him wrapping his arms around you. “We’ll get through this here”, he mumbled, pressing a kiss to your shoulder before you slowly wrapped your arms around his neck, longing to feel him as close as you could while more and more relief washed through you the more you realized that everything was truly fine again. ”Fuck, you got no I idea what big ass rock just fell from my damn shoulders”, he mumbled into your shirt, bringing the relief that also streamed through your veins to a point. Glancing down at him you caught his eyes darting at you, softening as they met yours. Your hands wandered to cup the back of his neck, your fingertips toying with the dark locks at its nape before you slowly leaned down and let your lips meet, finally. A tingling but comforting warmth streamed through your body the moment you met, feeling his lips caressing over yours, capturing them longingly and with a certain hunger the last days of your absence had created. Humming into the kiss you kept your eyes closed, feeling how his arms tightened around you, pulling you closer against him, how his hands held you while deep growls that rumbled through his chest and up his throat vibrated against your lips. Only slowly you let go of each other, only pushed by the urge to catch some breath while your face was still hovering closely over his, far enough away to glance into his eyes, close enough to still feel his hot breath brushing over your skin. A relieved smile began to grow once more on your lips as you glanced at him and felt the unbelievably large mass of feelings you had for him wash over you again. For the split of a second, it seemed like some certain words ghosted through your head, whirling up more of the emotions that were already dancing wildly within you while you could swear by the look in his eyes that there was something, if not the same, at least similar, rushing through his head. You were too stirred up to think logically, but there still was a tiny part in you telling you to not rush it while you already were in such an emotional state and situation. ”You’re the best damn thing that fucking has and could’ve ever happened to me…I want you to know that, alright?”, you heard Negan mumble, his voice thick with genuineness as he glanced at you and made the smile on your lips grow even larger than it already was, while your heart began to flutter and pound excitedly against your chest. ”That works the other way around too”, you mumbled back, instead of switching them with this other pair of words, realizing that the moment was perfect as it was, that those word he had just told you meant not less than the ones that had ghosted through your head seconds ago. One day they would slip out of your lips, you were sure of that as you realized with each passing moment back in his arms how deep those feelings for him were, deeper than you had ever experienced or expected to experience but for now, you were simply happy to have him back in this moment that couldn’t be better just the way it was.
”Shit, you really got the fuckin power to turn me into some drippy fucker”, you heard Negan mumble after a few moments, his lips pressing with a grin against your shirt before he let out a small chuckle. ”You’re not drippy, just sweet”, you mumbled with a soft laugh back, glancing down at him as you wrapped your arms closer around his neck and looked into his hazel orbs. ”Mhmm”, he just chuckled, running his tongue quickly over his lower lip before he shrug his shoulders slightly,”Fuck, I don’t care anymore either way.” With a deep hum he leaned in, pressing another kiss to your shoulder before you could see his grin growing wider before he glanced up again and let you see the roguishness that was stuck in his eyes. ”Just be aware that I’m also that fucker who fucks your brains out and pounds your sweet pussy into the damn mattress till you can’t think and walk straight”, he purred, tightening his hold he had on you teasingly before a laugh escaped your lips. ”Oh I’m more than aware of that”, you chuckled, seeing him biting his lower lip before he pulled you closer with a pleased sigh, right until he could bury his face in the crook of your neck and breath contently and with another deep him in and out. The warmth within you grew some more as you wrapped your arms closer around him, enough so you could lean your head against his and let your fingers run through his dark locks. Your eyes eventually closed as your whole body relaxed and melted against him, leaving you wrapped up in his embrace while his warm breath that brushed softly over your skin let you swing into a peaceful trace.
”You’re gonna let me make it up to you, Baby?”, Negan mumbled after a small comfortable while of just being entangled in each other against the fabric of your shirt. Loosening your hold on him you glanced down, catching him pressing his lips against your skin while his eyes were traveling up until they could lock with yours. ”You don’t need to, It’s not-”, you said, already somewhere else with your thoughts before you recognized the tone in his voice along with the roguish glance in his eyes and began to chuckle softly,”Oh you mean that making up.” ”Is that a yes?”, he hummed, grinning up at you as his arm tightened a little more around your figure. ”Yeah”, you mumbled back, your smile wide as you leaned in until you could press your lips in a short but loving kiss to his. Feeling your lips part you still remained close to him, feeling him leaning once more up to give you a soft peck before his hands moved to your waist, cupping it tightly as he turned around, enough to let you fall into the bed, let you sink into the mattress while he moved in the matter of seconds on top of you. ”There we go”, he chuckled, caging you in between his arms as his lips met yours again in a more heated kiss. Humming against his lips your hands wandered up his chest until they found their rest around his neck, letting you feel his warmth and the dark locks at its nape. ”Damn, I’m so fucking happy you’re here”, Negan mumbled as your lips parted for a moment, his lips not able to stop from turning into a wide smile that overpowered the grin by far. His lips met yours again, caressing over them while pleasant growls rumbled through Negan’s chest and up his throat, letting it vibrate softly against the palms of your hands. Slowly your fingers wandered down, right until they reached the button border of his shirt, feeling the fabric of the prison suit brushing against your fingertips as they were wandering farther down, ready to unbutton it before Negan suddenly broke off your kiss. ”No, no, you’re first”, he chuckled lowly against your lips, pressing a peck to them before you heard his gravelly voice vibrating against you once more ,”Let me take care of you.” “Okay”, you mumbled softly, feeling the yearning for him grow as he smirked at you, his teeth sinking into his lower lip before he leaned down until his lips pressed against the sensitive skin of your neck, eliciting a soft hum to fall from your lips. Your fingers found their way into his dark hair, running through his black locks as his lips created a warm path down your neck, over your collarbones before his hands slowly began to slide beneath your shirt. His rough, warm hands ran over your skin, letting goosebumps of longing spread over your body as they moved your shirt up, right until he could pull it over your head, his eyes glowing up as soon as they began to wander. Your back pressed seconds later back into the mattress as his lips were placing open mouthed kissed down your stomach. His warm breath let pleasant chills run down your spine as your fingers caressed through his hair, feeling how he nuzzled his nose into your stomach before his teeth began to teasingly scrape over your skin. A soft chuckle fell from your lips in response before you glanced down, catching his hazel eyes and the large grin that was spread all over his face before he chuckled lowly and leaned in, playfully biting your stomach, letting his teeth sink just enough into your skin to give you a soft tug while his beard stubble was tickling you softly and elicted a laugh to fall from your lips. Negan’s low chuckles vibrated against your skin as his bites turned back into kisses until he made it to the waistband of your pants, his fingers beginning to fumble on the zipper as you laughed quietly. “Think you gotta get the shoes off before”, you mumbled, seeing him glancing back up again with a groan before his deep laugh mixed in again. “Fuck”, he grumbled with another chuckle, leaning back up again to move down to your feet, “You’re getting me all fucking dazzled.” Chuckling he moved to swing your legs over his lap, grabbing your ankles as his fingers were fumbling on the shoe laces. ”Shit, fucking boot fucker”, Negan grumbled as he wiggled them struggling off of you, pushing the first shoe to the floor, seconds later then the other before his hazel eyes wandered back to you, traveling over your legs before he let out a humorous scoff and glanced grinning at you. ”Damn those pants are annoying, gotta get them off of ya”, he grumbled biting his lower lip, already climbing back up to you before sliding the fabric off your skin in the matter of seconds, leaving you in only your underwear and Negan roiled up in the best way possible. His lips were meeting your lips again, heated and more rough than before but still with some of the smile on his lips he didn’t seem to be able to get off of them. Smiling into the kiss yourself your fingers caressed over his jaw, pulling him closer to you as low hums and growls vibrated against your lips while your feelings flared up once more, washing a wave of warmth through your whole body. It kept streaming through your veins, each of your inches, each of your cells, while the relief mixed further into the happiness that was letting the warmth grow with each second. Negan’s beard stubble brushed against your skin as your lips parted for a moment, feeling how he let out a satisfied hum before your eyes fluttered open and saw his warm orbs glancing into yours. Your lips grew into a wider smile as your fingertips caressed his stubbly jaw, hearing another small growl eliciting his throat as his eyes wandered over your face, seeing them slowly narrowing in the lust and yearning that was streaming through your body as well. ”I’m all yours”, you whispered against his lips, knowing the effect it had on him that got quickly confirmed as a purring growl escaped his lips and a flicker danced through his darkening eyes. ”Fuck Baby, and I’m your damn man”, he growled against your lips, his hot breath hitting your skin before his lips captured yours once more. He groaned quietly into the kiss, relish washing through his voice as he pressed the largely growing bulge beneath the fabric of his pants against your covered but growing heat. “Oh, I know you like that”, Negan purred with a grin against your lips as soon as a hum had escaped them, adding another one as he was grinding himself once more, now harder, against your most sensitive spots. “Fuck, I know what you like else, too”, he grumbled with a low chuckle, pressing another kiss to your lips before they left them to find their way south. Negan’s touches were lingering, enough to make you painfully long for more of him while his lips gradually traveled down, his strong hands managing to get rid of your bra in the matter of moments before they fondled your breasts, caressing them with his fingers and those warm lips of his. Soft moans left your lips, increasing as soon as he was hovering over the waistband of your already soaked panties, his hot breath letting goosebumps spread over your skin as his darkened eyes glanced up at you while a wicked grin danced over his lips. “Gonna make you feel so fucking good”, he purred against the fabric, allowing another wave of heat to wash through your body before he leaned further down, pressing his lips to the part of your panties that was hiding your most sensitive spots while a satisfied growl left his lips. You hummed softly, feeling how Negan’s lips pressed then to the inside of your thighs, the roughness of his beard sending pleasant shivers down your spine before a soft giggle left your lips as soon as you felt him chafing his stubble teasingly along the sensitive skin. “Negan, no”, you laughed quietly, squirming as he looked with a wide grin at you, raising his brows suggestively before dragging his stubbly cheek once more over your skin just until his warm lips pressed a final kiss to them and his fingertips finally found the waistband of your panties. As soon as the fabric had left your skin, one more growl elicited Negan’s throat as two of his fingers trailed along your wetness just before a gasp left your lips as his lips captured your heat and began to do their magic. Every flick of his tongue was sending hot shivers through your veins, pooling even more in your body middle while two of his fingers began to pump into you as his other hand traveled over your body until his thumb could caress your heated flesh in circling movements. Soon, he set you into a beautiful trance, pushing you further into it until your body shook in pleasure, soft moans left your trembling lips and your fingers were twisted into his dark locks as he finally carried you through your high.
“Told ya”, Negan quietly chuckled as he climbed moments later back up to you, licking his lips as his arms caged you in between them once more, letting him hover right over you as his hazel orbs caught yours and brought a whole different warmth back into your body. “Fuck, can’t tell you how goddamn happy I am”, he mumbled, the smile that had never really left his lips was mixing stronger into the grin that was still dancing over his face. “Same goes for me”, you quietly chuckled, your breath becoming steady again as you saw him leaning down, pressing his lips against your neck, his smile clearly palpable before he teased you with his tickling beard once again. “Oh come on”, you huffed with a chuckle as you squirmed beneath him, digging your fingertips softly into the fabric of his prison suit’s shirt while a low laugh escaped his lips and his raspy voice vibrated against your skin. “I know you actually like that…shit, I know you love it” “Mhmm”, you chuckled, half in approval, half squirming and trying to keep more laughs from shaking through your body before you tugged on his shirt ,”Now get out of your clothes too.” “Oh someone’s greedy”, Negan grumbled, kissing your neck swiftly before he leaned back, grinning at you and licking slowly over his lower lip before he got himself on his knees and pulled the pieces of the prison suit off his body until only a pair of black boxers and a large, promising tent beneath them was left. “What? You know the last damn piece’s yours”, he chuckled, biting his lips as he glanced down and jerked his hips a little and in a teasing and playful manner forwards. Having to grin to yourself you leaned up, your fingertips meeting his warm skin and the fabric of the waistband before they slipped in-between and finally pulled his boxers down, revealing the beast that was hidden beneath it. A low growl left Negan’s lips as he got fully rid of it and caught the anticipated expression that was spread all over your face, right before he was guiding you back into the mattress, leaning over you, his breath ghosting over your face as his large hand gave his pulsing dick a few tight pumps. A manly grunt left his lips as his hand moved to grab your waist, as yours wandered to his back, your fingertips caressing over his skin while your body’s heat grew in more anticipation, mixing with the relief, lust and happiness that was already deeply stuck within you.
Then, he finally sunk into you, inch by inch, letting a soft gasp fall from your lips as he stretched you in the best way imaginable out, leaving you clinging onto him as you wrapped your legs around his hips to allow him to sink even deeper. “Fuck, you’re wet”, he growled, his hips meeting yours as he thrusted once more into your heat, groaning in deep relish as he caught your face twisting in pleasure. “Slippy like a damn ice track”, he added with a low chuckle, grinning at you as your soft moan got interrupted by a laugh as you dug your fingertips teasingly into his skin. “Really?!”, you chuckled, raising your brows playfully before the grin took over as soon as his deep laugh rumbled up his chest and his hands gripped you a little tighter. “Mhm yeah”, he mumbled grinning, leaning down to press a kiss to your lips before his hips began to move in rhythm with yours, letting the pleasure spread all over his face in the matter of seconds.
Soon enough your bodies were a tangle of limbs, getting lost in each other while the happiness and relief that was still streaming through both of you was letting more small laughs and playful moments create as you clung to one another. Those small laughs mixed with his deep groans of pleasure and your soft moans, reechoing through the cell as you sunk deeper into the lust and longing that got unleashed more and more with each passing second, each deep thrust, each touch and each kiss. Everything felt intoxicating, his skilled movements that turned slow lovemaking to a whole different and heated dimension every other moment. His touches that could be lingering once, tracing his fingertips over your skin and to your sweetest spots to pamper them with skill and in the other moment hard and yearning as they grabbed your hips to thrust deeper. Your kisses that could change from slow and loving to passionate and rough, but either way managed to let both of you sink into an even deeper trance. The only constant was the smile that was still lingering on both of your lips, somewhere always there even if you were sunken in a deep, longing kiss.
You stayed this way, entangled in each other and filled up with the best whirlwind of emotions swirling through your bodies until you were nothing but panting messes, clinging to each other while small happy chuckles left both of your lips. You didn’t even really notice the cell around you, it felt somewhere far away from you as Negan’s warm hazel eyes ran over your face, his smiling lips gaping softly open to give space to small pants while your fingers traced over his stubbly jaw, smiling just as bright as he did before both of your lips met again.
Your breath was finally steady again as you found yourself cuddled up to Negan’s side, your bare body pressing against his while his arms were securely and protectively wrapped around you, keeping closely in his warm embrace. Your leg was hooked over his, allowing you to huddle up even closer as your fingers toyed softly with the small, dark curls that peppered his chest, and your nose nuzzled into the warmth of his neck, burying your face into its curve like it was your very own sanctuary. Negan’s head was leaning against yours, his warm breath brushing over your skin as his lips placed a small kiss to your temple and his fingers traced up and down your arm, while the soft gestures of the big bad wolf let a smile on your lips grow as you pressed a gentle kiss to his neck. And there you laid, both with big smiles on your lips, more than happy regardless of the fact that you were in a cell, laying on a cheap mattress with only a thin blanket covering your bodies. Negan pressed another kiss to your temple as his hands reached up to tuck you a little more in along with him until he wrapped his strong arms tighter around you and let out a little but content sigh as he cradled you against his chest. Both of you were swinging in this comfortable silence, still stuck a little in the bubble you had brought each other in but if you were honest, there weren’t many words needed right now, if any. Each of you already knew what was most important, what mattered the most.
Summary: After the fight, both, Negan and the Reader go through their personal hells. And while Negan is locked up in his cell, with his hopes for her returnshrinking with each passing day, the reader fights a battle with herself until she encounters an unexpected helper.
This part is written alternating between both POVs and we finally got a bunch of appearances of the other characters again!
There he sat, completely quiet, with his eyes staring into the emptiness of the dark cell while the thoughts in his head were too loud to understand or even grasp any of them. His knuckles were swollen, dark red blood shimmering on the thin skin, evidence of the times he had punched his fists against the cold, hard stone. It hadn’t helped him to let out any of the frustration, anger, regret and disappointment that was filling his body all the way to the stop, it had just given him another pain adding to the one boiling within him. It hadn’t been many, maybe two or three punches and by the second one he had already slumped against the wall, recognizing what had happened, what he had done, what he might have lost. Hot tears had burned in his eyes waiting for their release, pants had left his lips along with growling curses that weren’t nearly able to express the mess that was going kamikaze in his mind. And now, fuck now he was sitting slumped in on the cheap bed like some sorry fuck, his elbows digging into his thighs as his hands were buried in his hair, his eyes staring at the cement ground, burning from the tears that had found their way earlier or later out of them, falling down his cheeks only to leave an uneasy and drying tension on his heated skin. Last night around this time, she had laid in his arms, cuddled up to his side with her head resting on his chest, contently and steadily breathing in her peaceful sleep. He had guessed these nights would be counted, but little had he known that it would be the last one. He had fucked it up. Again. Big fucking time.
The first sun streams were beginning to fall into the room as your eyes slowly fluttered open, battered from the tears you had shed before falling exhaustedly asleep. For the first seconds, you found yourself irritated, wondering why you were laying sprawled out on the bed in your old room instead of huddled up in Negan’s arms before your mind began to replay the events of the last night step by step, letting you live right through it again. Negan’s burning jealousy of the guy you saw nothing else in than a friend, the way he had already looked at him as he had done his job as new guard and brought you down to the cell, the suspense that had radiated through him just a while later, his loud, booming filled voice that was filled with anger and desperation, the accusation that you would leave him just like that earlier or later anyway for someone else outside, simply because he was stuck in this dark, cold cell. A shiver ran through your body as soon as you found yourself shifting over the sheets, feeling how the clothes of the last day dug into your skin and reminded you even more of the fact that everything seemed to have changed. For moments you just felt empty, completely and entirely empty, as if anything that had happened had just been a nightmare. But it hadn’t, if it had, you’d find yourself in Negan’s arms right now, feel him kissing and cradling you, soothing you until you could fall asleep again instead of staying wide awake and alone in this large bed. A weird mix of madness and pain was beginning to sneak up within you again, creating too many thoughts for you to process. A tight breath left your lips as you pressed yourself into the soft pillows, suddenly tensing up as you heard Rick and Michonne’s voices echoing dully through the house, reminding you in the worst way possible that there was more for you to come. They would notice that you had slept here instead of the cell. They would ask questions. They would know. And you would have to go out there, continue your shifts at the infirmary as if nothing had happened, while all you wanted to actually do was bury your head under the sheets, press it into the pillows and never get out of them again or at least until every of your problems had magically vanished.
Quiet curses left your lips as you pushed yourself up into the pillows against the headboard, hearing how their voices got more distant, letting you hope for a second that they would leave the house. But just moments later this little hope got destroyed as you heard the cabinets in the kitchen cluttering, heard their voices continuing and heard one of them still strolling through the house. Of course, they weren’t leaving yet, it was way too early, too early for them to leave, too early for the little time window you spent each morning in this house to happen, including getting ready for the day after spending the night at the cell. So you couldn’t even pretend to have simply arrived earlier, not even after you felt yourself weighing out any possible explanation. Your eyes darted at the small digital clock on the nightstand, trying to find out how much longer you could push it until you would have to do something if you didn’t want to be late for your shift and make everything even worse.
It took a few more minutes for you to lay in the bed, filling up with more thoughts and emotions with each moment until you got yourself to heft your still exhausted body up, make it walk until you could shed your clothes to get yourself under the shower. It often helped washing a bit of stress off of you but all it did this time was setting you for moments into a dull trance, staring at the water and soap that were going in a little tornado down the drain. You could feel the stream flowing down your skin, feel the drops hitting the back of your head as hard as the thoughts in your head seemed to pound against your skull. It was odd how weirdly opposite emotions were able to mix. The anger within you, paired with the disappointment about the things he had said, while on the other side your whole body and mind missed him deeply. Around that time of the day, you’d usually still be laying in his arms after just waking up, feeling him drowsily mumbling his good mornings to you before pulling you once more closer into his embrace until he could brush his lips over your temple, kiss you and let you slowly start the day with him. Yesterday, you had figured that at least after the first bumper caused by the guard change things would get back to normal, but little had you known that this had just been the beginning. But that didn’t mean you would never have these mornings again, right? After you would get those things out of the world, they’d come back…right? If you would get those things out of the world. But what if not?
A sharp, cutting breath fell from your lips as you caught an ice-cold shudder running down your spine by the thought, letting you recognize just now that tears had shot into your eyes, burning for their release. “Fuck”, you scoffed, brushing the tears that were threatening to fall down your cheeks from your skin before you moved around to turn the shower off, frustrated that this had turned into the opposite of what you had hoped it would be. Forcing yourself to suppress your up boiling emotions and thoughts for at least a small while you grabbed the towel, breathed deeply through and stepped out the shower.
You were pushing it, pushing the time, pushing yourself until you found yourself finally standing in front of the door, with the handle in your hand, still not knowing what the hell you should tell them if they asked questions even though you had racked your brain for the last while over it. The creaking of the opening door eventually echoed horribly through your head as you made your way out of the room, hearing their voices somewhere downstairs while more shivering and tight breaths left your lips. The stairs grid beneath your shoe soles as you made your ways down, growing more tense with each step until you finally got into the hallway, hoping that the both of them were busy making breakfast in the kitchen, maybe not even noticing you. And you kept hoping this until the moment you suddenly saw a shadow spreading over the floorboards that were enlightened by the bright morning light, right before Rick stepped into the hallway, his hand holding a mug of coffee while he glanced still a little drowsy, but mostly confused at you.
“Morning”, you said, trying to let your voice sound as relaxed as possible while you could already feel Rick’s glance wandering skeptically over your face. “Morning…you’re here? Didn’t hear you coming in earlier”, he asked, taking a sip of his coffee while his glance didn’t leave your face as you could already feel more suspense and helplessness washing up in your body. “Yeah…I uh…I came in-”, the last words got stuck in your throat, realizing that even trying to lie would just make it all worse. And so you stood there, shifting uneasily from side to side, before you pushed yourself to say something. “I…well, I slept here last night…that’s why you didn’t hear me…I came in late”, you mumbled, feeling how your words got more quiet with each sentence while your glance escaped Rick’s and instead switched uneasily through the room. Seconds of almost unbearable and tension filled silence passed until you finally heard his boots shifting only a few inches over the wooden ground and eventually felt how his voice lead your glance back to his still slightly confused face. “Something happened? You-”, with that Rick cut himself off, the last word falling into the sound of a question as he gestured only slightly at you, seeming almost as helpless as you yourself. Each of those seconds were awkward as hell, and while Rick was one of the last people you wanted to discuss any problem regarding Negan and your relationship with, you were about 100% sure that he wasn’t wild to hear about your love life with his old enemy as well. But still, you had to answer this question. In some kinda fucking way. “I…we had-”, you stopped, swallowing hard as you inwardly cursed yourself for acting like a helpless lamb, “We had a fight,…that’s why.” Your voice was mumbled, uncomfortable to speak something negative out about the relationship as good as anybody you knew wanted to see fail, regardless of the fact that Rick was tolerating you by now. Your glance was only gradually falling back on Rick, testing his reaction as he only slowly began to nod, a wave of thoughts visibly washing through his head. “I guess I’ll go over to the infirmary, my shift starts in a bit”, you said, trying to get out of the uncomfortable tension while you could see the questions literally rattling through Rick’s brain, even though you could tell that he didn’t want to ask any of them, at least yet.
With a stressed breath falling from your lips you finally made your way out of the house, knowing that one question, when or if you would go back and spend the nights at the cell again, would come up at some point. You were like stuck in a bubble on your way to the infirmary, only half catching anything of what happened around you until the sound of the infirmary’s front door falling into its lock forced you to jump back into reality. Tossing your jacket over the backrest of one of the chairs you could feel yourself trying to suppress any new thoughts that wanted to push themselves through your skull and into your mind so you could focus on the work that was laying in front of you. Everything else seemed to fall apart, now that things at the infirmary had just yesterday seemed to get better after that one horrible day, you couldn’t get right back to it. You couldn’t fuck this up too.
Easier said than done.
Throughout the countless seeming hours you could feel your concentration trying to sneak away from you by any chance, trying to give thoughts about Negan and your fight a loophole to slip right back in. You were fighting it, were trying to be focused whenever anyone with complaints came in, tried to let the things Siddiq had taught you guide you, and for a while it worked and you could act like everything was fine. Until the moments in between came, when the whole house seemed quiet, when only the voices of the people outside sounded dully and almost inaudible through the walls, when you were completely alone. Alone with those damn thoughts. With all those questions that just piled up more and more. Asking yourself for the reasons. Asking if he actually thought those things about you. Asking if he simply fear made him think so. Asking if maybe your own behavior was the reason for Negan’s outlash. Hell, weren’t you showing him enough what he meant to you? Weren’t you loving enough? Were you giving him the feeling of just being something temporary even though you didn’t mean to? Were you- Fuck, this was eating you up, more and more thoughts and questions burned into your head, leaving a mark of pain as you tried to tame their flames and get them away from you. There could be thousands of reasons based on you, based on Negan himself or based on what the hell ever and you knew whatever it actually was, you wouldn’t find out for sure unless you would go back.
A shivering breath fell from your lips as you found yourself standing pondering in front of the counter’s drawers, slowly drifting out of your thoughts and glancing down at the bandages you had planned to sort in before the terror in your mind had taken you hostage again. “Fuck”, you just quietly exhaled, grabbing and rather tossing than laying one of the white bundles into the drawer before the creaking of the opening front door made your eyes shoot up. Within seconds they caught a blonde thatch and glaucous eyes that glanced at you, belonging to the very person who was intertwined in the mess of the last night. “Hey”, you just breathed out, a little surprised by his sudden visit as your eyes wandered over his face while he began to press a small smile into the corner’s of his lips. “Hey, just wanted to see how you’re doing”, Caleb said, stepping inside the room and closing the door with a small thud behind himself without breaking eye contact once, as if he wanted to check if you were about to tell him the truth or not. “At least better than last night”, you said, with a weak chuckle, trying to not poke too much into your boiling feelings, nor lie, simply because you knew he would notice. “Don’t you have a guard shift now?”, you asked trying to push a small smile on your lips, your fingers fumbling on one of the bandages and its soft fabric while you tried to not let any of those feeling or thoughts boil over again. “Nah, Miles got his one, I got a break till this evening…really need to catch up on some sleep later”, he said, trying to let a loosening chuckle fall from his lips as he walked a little closer until he leaned not more than a meter away from you against the wood of the counter, gulping as his eyes ran once more over your face. “As I said last night…you deserve better than that”, he eventually brought out, almost cautious as you turned your glance away from him and down to the bandage, feeling how you grew more tense with each of his words and with each you got closer to this conversation you really didn’t want to have. “(Y/N), he’s-”, he began, stopping as he saw your reluctancy before you let out a small breath and glanced back at him, seeing him clenching his jaw, almost as if he was growing more tense too. It took a few silent seconds until you could visibly see this tension being written all over his face before he huffed and glanced back at you. “Listen I don’t wanna make it harder for you, I just…I’m sorry for having to tell you that but some rose-colored glasses can sometimes blind people…he’s a monster and he’s not gonna change.” With those words slipping out of the mouth of the else so kind man a frown spread over your face, letting the blood in your veins freeze and the muscles in your face fall into rigidity. “He’s no monster”, it slipped out of your tense lips, feeling how you clenched your jaw and felt your body growing into a bigger mess. Fight or not, this wasn’t something you were gonna let anyone say about him.
You could sense Caleb growing more restless next to you as you broke of the eye contact and searched for unsuccessful help in this damn bandage again before your glance wandered back up to him, feeling how words pressed into your throat, urging to get out. “Weren’t you the one who told me that everyone deserves a second chance?”, even though your voice was tense, it was oddly calm, almost disappointed by the young man you saw in front of yourself, someone you had till now and last night seen as nothing but kind and open minded. “Almost everyone. His lieutenants, his people, the workers, yeah, they do too…but not people like him.” With each words that flew out of his mouth it just got worse, the temperature in your body seemed to sink even lower as you let out a shivering breath. “You don’t even know him”, it slipped out of your lips, hearing yourself sound like a dumb and naive little school girl, trying to convince her parents that her new crush wasn’t as much of a bad influence as he seemed to be to them. “I know enough to be sure”, Caleb mumbled a little too fast in response, his voice still calm while something odd, even urging swung within it.
“Then why did I deserve a second chance? Each one of us?”, you said after suspense filled moments of silence, glancing right into his eyes while your voice grew colder, “I’ve killed too, I’ve done things I don’t even wanna think about.” With that, some kind of switch seemed to go off in the blonde man in front of you, letting a deeper frown spread over his face while you could see the same stern glance you had seen last night in his eyes spreading out in them again. “He’s killed people with a baseball bat, he’s burned people’s faces as punishment, he put people in tiny cells, he let others work for him after killing one or more of their friends…he’s killed your friends- in front of you”, his voice grew restless, more desperate than stern by the time he finished, as if he his urge was to persuade you while you could feel your emotions boiling up, shutting out the fight and the anger you still had about Negan’s behavior and letting instead the protectiveness take its place, for now. “Do you know what Rick has done? He’s tortured men and killed even more without batting an eye. I’ve seen him rip a guy’s throat with his own teeth. This place-”, you said, feeling your breath grow quicker as you gestured with a small swift of your hand around,” He wanted to take it at the beginning, he wanted to push his sights onto people and if they wouldn’t accept them he planned to just slash their throats and take over.” For a moment, maybe not more than a second you paused, trying to get your emotions at least a little under control before the next words pressed out of your lips. “But he didn’t ‘cause he had people around him telling him what kinda shit he was about to do. Negan didn’t. He was alone from square one, he-”, your voice stopped abruptly as you found yourself falling into an endless lope of having to justify yourself and your relationship, over and over again since people knew what you had with Negan. A scoff feel from your lips, quiet, but still loud enough for Caleb to hear as you turned completely to the drawer and grabbed the bandage that had been your provisory stress ball for the last moments. “Why am I even doing this?”, you mumbled almost inaudible to yourself, already mad about yourself for feeling like you had to justify each and everything. “’Cause you’re madly in love with him”, you heard Caleb mumble after moments of silence, his voice low, restless and if you weren’t completely wrong, disappointed, “You’re still defending him.” You gulped as you felt his eyes darting at you, staying like glued on you until you slowly glanced up again and saw into his tension filled face. “That’s usually something real fine…”, he mumbled, letting out a small humorless chuckle before his eyes grew just a tiny bit softer as they captured yours ,”Just don’t want you to get all hurt when you really go back.” You just looked at him, unsure what to think, unsure how to estimate Caleb anymore before he let out a small sigh and softly pushed himself away from the wooden counter. “Think about it…sorry, for rilling you all up, wasn’t my intention. Actually that was the opposite of what I wanted to do…”, he said, the remorse audible in his voice while you knew that this was true, just as much as you knew that he had meant those things anyway. “Either way…I’ll see you around. If there’s anything…you know where to find me”, he finally said as you still hadn’t gotten yourself to answer just anything, ending up to just nod while a thick gulp travelled down your throat, uncertainty daubing your face before you glanced one last time at him before he looked away and eventually shut the door behind himself.
Alone again you felt yourself falling into a bubble once more, trying to fight off the terror your mind was throwing consistently at you and mixing with Caleb’s confusing behavior. And while you stayed in this bubble, it got more and more clear to you that you couldn’t go back to the cell this evening. You just weren’t ready for whatever the hell might wait for you and your future. And you didn’t come to this decision with ease. Your head was filled up with a deadly storm, nothing else and you knew that you had to still this storm before you walked back into the brownstones, if not completely, then at least as much as you could. So you stayed as long at the infirmary as you could, eating your dinner there in loneliness and hoping that Rick and Michonne would be already sleeping when you’d come back into the house. The awkwardness about the talk of this morning was still lingering in the back of your head and you weren’t ready to answer any of the questions they might have while you hadn’t an answer for them yourself. You didn’t know when you’d go back. You didn’t know what exactly was going on in Negan’s head. You didn’t know what would happen if you would talk to him. If you were honest, you didn’t know a fucking thing. And so the same procedure happened again. The night gave you as good as no sleep, instead letting you roll around over the sheets, toss your body into the mattress and the countless pillows for god knows how many times. And when those tactics eventually worked, they only did so for a small while and even this small while was filled with nightmares or the lightest sleep possible. The morning left you exhausted instead of refreshed, even though there was a small part of hope lingering within you, hoping you would find a solution within the next hours and a way to calm the storm that was fully whirling up again as soon as you felt the first sun beams dragging you completely out of the little bit of sleep it had given you. The words you shared with Michonne and Rick weren’t many, only a quick ‘see you’ when you left for work. And you thought about Negan. A lot. Not only about the fight or any of its reasons, even more about how he was feeling now, what he might be thinking about this all. You kept cursing yourself about it, mad that you were giving those ugly feelings so much space to slip in and try to eat you up. And just as much as you cursed yourself, you tried to focus on the work at the infirmary, trying to let it distract you instead of letting the thoughts distract you from your shift. And while this worked at least for the most part, something else didn’t. You didn’t find answers for your questions. You didn’t find a way to calm the storm. Instead you sometimes felt like they might even became worse. At the end of the day, you found yourself sitting by the table in the infirmary, with your elbows propped on the wooden surface, staring at the light of the small lamp and the beams that got reflected on the porcelain of the plate that stood in front of you. You hadn’t managed to eat much, just a few bites and you had to force yourself to somehow get them down your throat. You hated to admit it, but you were consistently on the edge to break out in tears, only the bubble you were stuck in keeping it from actually happening, even though you knew that it would burst earlier or later. You had no where to go, no one to talk to. You felt alone, so fucking alone.
The sky was already pitch black when you made your way finally down the road, only enlightened by some of the still functioning street lamps while the chilly breeze made you sling your jacket tighter around your body. Another shiver was running over your back as you spotted the brownstones from afar, standing tall over the other houses before the branchy crowns of the trees whose leaves had already fallen finally covered them. The thin diamond bracelet you got from Negan once was dangling from your wrist, pressing against your skin as you wrapped your arms tighter around your body, bringing him right back into your mind. You had stared way too often down at those tiny stones today, watching them blinking in the sunlight while you couldn’t even closely bring yourself to take it off, not even for the sake of maybe getting to still your thoughts. The cold was spreading all over your body when you finally got to the porch of Rick’s house, carefully stepping up the stairs before your eyes got drawn away from the cold and the bracelet that was still pressing into your skin. You had seen it before, of course you did, but there was a difference. Around the two blue handprints on the floorboards at the side of the porch were lines drawn, a saw laying right next to them as if they were just waiting for the sound to rise on the next morning to be cut out. He wouldn’t remove it, Rick would never do that, not to one of the very last things his son had left behind, instead your mind worked out as you were standing in the freezing cold that he must want to transfer is somewhere where it wasn’t exposed to nature’s caprices. The thought of what it did to Rick and even Michonne let a shudder down your spine, adding to the ones that were already cursing through your veins and letting some of the grief you yourself hadn’t even fully processed well up for a moment. With a heavy sigh and the feeling of the cold trying to engulf you once more you forced your glance off the handprints and finally got yourself towards the entrance, ready for yet another sleepless night.
Sweat was bedewing your skin when your eyes snapped open, heavy pants letting your chest rise and fall while the nightmare was already slipping out of your mind, leaving nothing but the terror it had put into your body behind. For moments you were stuck in a bubble of shock the terror had brought with itself before it slowly ebbed gradually down. The sheets were sticking uncomfortably to your skin as you rolled to your side, groaning quietly as your eyes caught the digits on the small clock. Still more than an hour till you had to get up and you knew that you couldn’t fall asleep again nor risk to get an even worse nightmare. Your heartbeat still hadn’t fully calmed down as you buried your face into the pillows, trying in some way to get comfortable in their middle for just as long as you could.
You could bear another half hour, not more, until your racing thoughts urged you to distract yourself from them and the nightmare, which even though you couldn’t fully remember, had to have been about Negan. Freshly showered and slipped into new clothes for the day you got down the stairs, trying to let the bright sun light that was streaming softly through the windows light up your mood. The floorboards were creaking softly beneath your shoes as you walked down the hallway, slipping your arms through the sleeves of your jacket, ready to step out of the infirmary before a familiar voice stopped your steps. ”(Y/N)? You got a sec?” You turned around, looking into a pair of blue eyes that belonged to the man glancing at you as he slowly made his way out of the kitchen. “Just wanted to ask you something’”, he said, his voice careful as he let out a little sigh, seeming to struggle slightly with himself, “Just need to know if you’re gonna go back to, y’know…the cell.” He stopped for a moment, catching the glance in your eyes before he slowly shook his head, “Nothing to do with you, Siddiq just called, the baby can come any moment now…and he made me remember something…you’ve been taking care of his wounds and you’re the only one right now he thought to handle those injuries. Having him catch some infection with that would be the last thing I needed…we’re still stocking the supplies for the infirmary up.” A sigh left his lips as his wandering glance got back to your eyes, seeing the bit of guilt for asking you swaying within them before some memories that suddenly blinked up in your mind made tension that had just waited for its chance to build up vanish. ”It’s not gonna be a big problem…I deposed a small storage there just a week ago…just so I wouldn’t have to take the stuff with me every evening”, you said, remembering cursing yourself out way too often for having to turn around half way to the cell because you forgot some new bandaid, before you finally decided to just built up this small stock, no matter if Negan’s old guard was at first for whatever reason doubtful about it. ”I only used the bandaids anymore, not because the wound still needs it, just for safety…he sometimes even did it himself”, you mumbled, feeling your heart twinge by his mention before the devil on your shoulder teased you by remembering that you hadn’t answered the first question, nor that this storage solution could be something long term, used up was used up. “I…I’ll go back there. Just don’t know when exactly…”, you mumbled, partly embarrassed by yourself for having such a big fight with yourself going on you that didn’t seem to be able to calm, instead, you felt like a complete idiot who was procrasting this even though it got worse with each hour. “Okay, good to know-” “Daddy!”, Judith’s soft voice ripped him away from you, letting him glance back into the kitchen for a short moment as he turned on his heels. “I’m right back, Sweetie”, he said, his voice softer and calming towards his daughter in the next room before his glance wandered back to you. “Alright, gotta take care of Judith’s breakfast now. I’ll see you around?”, he asked, already half way on his path to the kitchen before his blue orbs glanced once more towards you. “Yeah”, you said, forcing a tiny smile into the corners of your lips before Rick vanished completely in the kitchen. And with that, you made your way out of the house too, finding your way to the infirmary while the next hours felt like they were passing as slowly as days, dragged into an unbearable length while you knew that this wasn’t something you could keep doing for much longer.
Third Day. Third Fucking Day. Both yesterday and the day before around this time, he had already been sitting just like this on this shit bed, staring repeatedly from the windows to the small digital clock next to the stone wall, watching the digits turn with every second, every minute, every hour. What had formerly been a help for her to know when she needed to leave for her shifts was now almost like a torture device for him, letting him watch the changing digits while he was trying to figure out if the time had arrived yet she usually got over to the cell. She hadn’t come, just like the little devil on his shoulder had told him from the very beginning. Still, there had been some hope in him that she would suddenly appear in front of those cold metal bars and come in to him. Now, even more of this hope was gone, if he was honest, as good as everything. She wouldn’t come back. His usual large confidence seemed to have disappeared along with his hope and instead he was worrying that he wouldn’t even be able to talk to her again, explain himself to her. But fuck, maybe he didn’t even deserve that. After all, and this had become clearer than ever before in the last lonely days, he was the reason for all her worry. The reason she had problems with those fuckers outside and her asshat brother, the reason she had to deal with all this crap. Hell, she was better off without him. Right? Even though this thought was striking his mind over and over again, it was knotted to a biting pain, caused by the thought that there would be someone else instead. This someone who was probably standing in these fucking moments in front of this fucking house, playing pocket ball with one hand and swinging those fucking tiny silver keys to his cell with the other. He hadn’t even seen that asshole since the incident, the meals were brought by some other guard, probably, and that was the only thing he saw positively in this, he had been able to scare the living shit out of that asshat. But when he wasn’t the one bringing him food, hell knew if he was actually still standing in front of that house, maybe this damn fucker was already out there, sleazing up to her. Talking to her. Charming the damn fucking pants off her. Touching her- “Fuck”, Negan growled out through gritted teeth, kicking any against the stone beneath him, letting the cement brush harshly against the bare soles of his feet while his mind began to work flat out again by the thoughts this fucker had whirled up, all along with the longing to have her back he couldn’t fight, no matter what the devil on his shoulder was telling him. Before this crap fight he’d worried about the things he wasn’t able to give her anymore since he was stuck in this hell hole and now, now these things were far off right now, more out of reach than ever. Now he’d just like to have her right there with him. Have the things he had just days ago. Feel her body writhing in pleasure beneath him, see her face twisting in the lust he was pumping into her, hear her soft moans vibrating against his skin, feel her fingertips digging into it, feel her hands running down his back and her lips brushing over his skin until they got caught by his once more. But not just that, fucking was great, no question and with her it was the most mind blowing and nut busting shit he’d ever experienced, but it wasn’t the only thing, not by far. Fuck, just seeing her looking with those sleepy eyes at him before she huddled up to him and nuzzled her face into his neck, feel her fingers smoothing his hair back and running softly through it, sense the way she felt within his arms and cuddled up to his chest, hear her laugh echoing through this cell or simply just her voice, see the way her lips curled up when he got to make her smile. He’d give fucking everything to have that right now. Yep, he might was about to turn into a sappy fucker right there, he was aware of that, but he didn’t care, he didn’t give a single fuck about that right now if he was honest. The shivering breath that left his lips shook through his whole body, letting him flinch as soon as he suddenly heard the creaking of the door upstairs and the sound of footsteps coming down the cements stairs. For the split of a second he hoped it was her, even though reality caught him quickly and forced him to realize that it couldn’t be her. She never came down alone, always had a guard with her to get the door open. But it wasn’t time for his next meal yet, so who the fuck was coming to pay him visit? That Caleb fucker? Was he scraping up the last bit of the gut he had in his tiny balls to come here and taunt him? A growl elicited Negan’s throat only by the thought, his eyes were wandering from the gray ground up until they met the metal bars, ready to glare at the blonde man he expected to appear behind them. But the man who appeared wasn’t blonde, hell, that fucker behind the bars there was giving this shit situation the biggest plot twist Negan have had in a while. ”Now would you look at that”, he mumbled, the corners of his lips curling up into a dangerous grin as his eyes gored through the door, “Ricky’s here.”
“Come on, where are you?”, you grumbled, your fingers slipping through the small packages of salves, trying to find the one you could have sworn to have dropped it in there earlier, but which had now vanished into thin air. With an annoyed grunt you pushed the drawer back into the counter, hearing the dull thud echoing through the empty infirmary. Your fingers were still lingering on the handle, pondering if you should open it again and search for it once more, or simply move on and take care of it later, when you weren’t all tense. Within seconds you decided for the later, knowing that the salve was probably in there but your stiff glance wasn’t allowing you to see it. With another huff you moved to the side, your steps creaking over the floorboards as you were suddenly feeling a tugging on your wrist that only lasted seconds, enough to spend confusion out in you, too much for the bracelet on your wrist to take. A twinging sound echoed through the room as it snapped, rushing with a painful sting against your wrist before the sound of each of the tiny diamonds meeting the wooden floor resounded and let a sudden rush of panic wash through your body. ”Fuck!”, you gasped out, freezing cold and boiling heat mixing within you as you stared in horror at the snapped string and the stones which spread out all over the ground ,”No, no, no, no….” You fell to your knees, feeling them hitting the floor the moment a lump began to form in your throat as your hands were already rushing to the diamonds, trying to catch them all in your hands, trying to tell yourself that you could fix it. ”Shit…”, you panted, your voice filled with panic as reality sneaked up more and more, showing you the destroyed bracelet and showing you even more how small the chance was that you could ever fix it. This couldn’t be real now, right? This was just a nightmare, right? No, this was true, all of it. Out of all days, all moments, Negan’s gift had to go bust just now, leaving you with an ugly feeling mixed from distress and stinging pain. You didn’t want to believe in such stupid signs but right now, as you sat there in front of the broken string and the diamonds, it felt like this was just putting more weight onto your fears. And it wasn’t just this unfortunate moment, you had this bracelet for so long now, since the time you began to truly recognize that there was clearly something deeper developing between the both of you. And with this realization, the bubble around you began to slowly burst. You missed him, fuck, you missed him so damn much. And just as much as you missed him, you ached to get an answer to your questions. But there was this goddamn fear holding you back, the devil dancing on your shoulder, whispering into your ear that you might not like the answer to those questions or worse, that the answer could mean the end. Maybe you were exaggerating things, maybe not. But if you were, then just because you were dead afraid to lose him. A sudden shudder that shook through your body shot tears in your eyes, the bubble bursting more with each passing second while the lump in your throat grew to an unbearable size. It was pushing those tears further, further until you felt a whimper leaving your lips as the first of them rolled down your cheeks and turned your vision into a blurry mess. For a moment, you forgot everything around you, the infirmary, the possibility that anyone could come in just now, the only thing on your mind was a wild mix of all the emotions you had tried to suppress. You had known from the beginning that they would act up earlier or later, that it would be even worse then, but any other way hadn’t seemed much better. More and more tears streamed down your cheeks, stirring up a bigger mess in your head until you found yourself leaning with your back against the counter, staring at the string and the diamonds in your hands you had somehow managed to scrape up from the floor. “Fuck this…”, you mumbled, not forceful or harsh as one would expect those words to sound, but rather broken and weak. Why couldn’t things be easy for once for the both of you? First there was the war, then this damn cell. Why couldn’t you just have it as easy as other couples even in this mess of a world? Why?
You knew you couldn’t sit there forever, earlier or later someone would come in and you couldn’t afford anyone to see you this way, this hurt and with from tears swollen eyes. A huff left your trembling lips, the rest of the tears running in between, letting you taste their saltiness as you clasped the string and the diamonds closer and heft yourself slowly up. With small thuds you let the purport in your hands fall onto the counter, still hoping that you were able to somehow fix it even though you deep down knew that you probably couldn’t. Brushing your fingers over your heated skin, you got rid of the tears daubing your skin, scoffing about yourself in annoyance. What the hell were you doing? “(Y/N)? Sorry, I-”, you suddenly heard a familiar voice say, careful and quiet, but enough to let you flich in shock up, confused that you had been sunken that deeply into your thoughts that you hadn’t heard him coming in. Your glance darted at the man at the door, looking right into his eyes that stared back at you. One was clear again, healthy probably, the other opaque, almost as if it had turned blind. His hands were stroking uneasily over his tidy black pants, fitting perfectly to the rest of his priest outfit while you were still frozen your mind only slowly coming back to do its job. You had completely forgot about it in all this, he was here to get his meds. You could still remember the messily written notes of Siddiq about his regular patients, could remember your shudder that had run down your back when you had seen Gabriel’s name and now, now it was his turn to get a new stock. “Are you okay?”, he asked cautiously, glancing at you as you realized that your eyes must be red rimmed, giving away the fact that you had spent the last while crying instead of working. ”Yeah”, you mumbled a little too quick, stroking once more over your cheeks, hoping to get the very last tears off your skin before you let a huff out as soon as you saw his glance, “Sorry, I’m being completely unprofessional right now…shouldn’t mix this here with other stuff…I’ll get you your meds in a sec” Your glance was trailing off until it got stuck on the remains of the bracelet again, embarrassed of what you were presenting him. ”Don’t worry, I can understand you.” With that you glanced back up, surprised by his words before you caught him walking a little closer and nodding towards the broken bracelet. ”Someone gave it to you?”, he asked, his voice still careful as a shivering breath fell from your lips while you slowly began to nod, trying to figure out what to do next. ”It was him, wasn’t it?”, he added, gulping softly before he shrugged his shoulders slightly as soon as your eyes met his again, ”Never saw you wearing it before he…took you. Just assumed it.” You just nodded again, still surprised by his interest in your feelings after all. ”Something happened?”, he asked calmly, walking once more a bit closer while a bittersweet chuckle left your lips, mixed with a good ounce of insecurity. ”I don’t think you wanna hear me whining about my problems with Negan…after everything.” ”If it helps you, I don’t mind. That’s somehow what’s my job around here, isn’t it?”, he said, surprising you once more while a small, supportive smile grew on his lips as soon as he saw this certain surprise written over your face. ”Take it as a talk to a friend, or maybe, if you want to, as confession.” ”Why would you want to do that for me?”, you asked, your voice was soft as your eyes were roaming over his face, trying to find answers. ”I know you tried to help me when I was at the Sanctuary, so I’m just giving back…and I do think you deserve to be treated better than a lot of the people around here do”, he said, his glance reassuring as you eyed him, still unsure of the situation. “You don’t have to, of course. I just know that it often frees and maybe, maybe I can help”, he added and while you knew he was right, this still wasn’t easy for you, not at all. Hell, Negan was the only one you were letting you see this vulnerable. But an urge in you pushed you, especially the small bit of hope that was still lingering within you. There should have been alarm bells going on in your head to begin with, trusting someone with this kind of information, but you did so with Gabriel. Not because your bond was particularly close, but because he took his job or rather his beliefs in doing-better serious. He wasn’t gonna tell anybody about this talk. So finally, after a few silent moments you began to softly but still reluctantly nod. “We…well, we had a fight…”, you began, still unsure how to start and handle this conversation while you could feel your emotions urging you to continue, somehow. And you did. You told him about it, the fight and your reasons to not go back there yet, not everything, nothing too detailed, but enough for him to understand what your problem was. And while you were at it, you could feel the feelings within you boiling up again that were still just too easy to rile after the breaking of Negan’s gift. You found yourself holding new tears back, cursing yourself inwardly while a shivering sigh fell from your lips as soon as your voice came to a stop for a second and you caught him still listening carefully to you.
”On the day of the last battle…I know he spared me because of you”, he finally said after a small while of silence, the mentioning of this day enough to get your full attention, ”I know I sat there on this grass instead of in front of his gun because of you. And I know he didn’t try to shoot them right away and gave them a chance instead because of you. Not only because you may have said something or not. It was his decision in the end, obviously. But people like him, to come to this kind of decision…he must really feel something deep for you.” You glanced at him, feeling how there was a tiny warmth somewhere inside you, poking softly, almost not enough to be noticeable , through the thick layers of distress. ”And trust me, before the day in this trailer with the dead around us…I doubted he still had feelings left at all”, Gabriel mumbled, his voice still calm and reassuring but there was a serious glance stuck in his eyes. He sighed quietly, breaking eye contact with you for a moment to let his glance wander to the ground for a moment, as if he was struggling slightly with what was coming next. ”People can get better…or maybe come back from what this world has done to them, leading them on a wrong path…I shouldn’t judge, not after the things I’ve done, so…”, he said, his eyes meeting yours again as a small gulp traveled down his throat, ”I don’t know if you noticed it or not, but I think you’re the one doing this to him.” The lingering warmth in you began to grow slowly, poking a little stronger through the heavy layers hiding it before Gabriel took a deeper breath and glanced once more into your eyes. ”And it seemed like he was doing this in some way to you too. You seemed very happy with him back at the Sanctuary, despite everything. Now…it’s not easy for me to speak in his favor after everything that has happened, but I am rather doing this for you and for my beliefs now”, he continued, his voice becoming a bit firmer as if he was trying to reassure himself in this, but for some reason, especially the fact that he was doing it despite of the past situation, made you already believe a little more into what he was about to say. ”I’m sure he hasn’t assumed those things because he thinks little of you or there’s anything wrong between you…I think he is simply dead scared to lose you”, he finally said, his voice still a little reluctant at the last words but even more calm and, what mattered the most, genuine. You could feel the warmth finally breaking through the layers, speaking to the part in you the devil on your shoulder hadn’t managed to suppress yet. ”So if you go back, I think the only way it gonna go is into a better direction”, he added, sighing quietly as he leaned himself only softly against the counter, placing his hand on the wood while his eyes wandered for seconds through the room before they found you again, “Take this advice or leave it, but I think else you wouldn’t stop torturing yourself. I do think we both actually know that you should do it.” Slowly, you began to nod. He was right, of course he was and if you were honest, you had known it from the beginning, you had just needed someone to spell it out. Still, the idea of it was giving the fear in you something to feed on even though the growing warmth was fighting it more with each passing second. “So will you?”, he carefully asked, as you glanced down at your hands, reluctant for a moment as you realized how bizarre this whole situation with Gabriel actually was, even though you weren’t gonna lie and say it hadn’t worked for you. “Yeah…”, you finally mumbled, glancing up to him as you took a breath and nodded softly, “I think…I think I’ll go there after my shift.” As soon as you had said those words, you found yourself a little astounded by them, as if this wasn’t real, just some dream you were having in your sleep but after a few more seconds, the tenseness about what you were actually gonna do showed you quickly that this way very much real. One more time you glanced at the priest, found his healthy eye following your movements bereft he smiled slightly and gave you a soft nod. “Thank you”, you mumbled, giving him a smile back as he shook his head slightly. “There’s no need to thank me for that.” “It is, I’m not sure if there’s anyone else out there who’d do it too”, you said, the smile still lingering on your lips even though there was a small sting of pain anytime you talked or just thought of the fact that your relationships with each person who had once been a close friend was either destroyed or was only slowly building up again. “And now I’ll get you your meds”, you finally said, ripping yourself out of the odd but helpful situation this talk had brought you in, with the result that turned from being only words into reality not more than a half hour later.
The wind was biting into your skin, sending chilly and uneasy shivers down your spine as you found yourself walking towards the brownstones, while from the pocket of your jacket, the remains of your bracelet tinkled softly within the plastic bag you had carefully pushed them in. When you had first left the infirmary, your steps had been slow, the warmth still fighting with the fear for a win until it got the apprehend and let you walk faster. You missed him and you wanted to settle this, so why the hell make things even harder by overthinking this over and over again? A heavy breath fell from your lips as you got closer, passed the last houses until you caught Caleb sitting on a chair in front of the entrance whose eyes were finding yours the moment you stepped closer.
”Can you get me down?”, you asked as soon as he was in earshot, seeing his glance narrowing slightly as a gulp travelled down his throat. ”You sure you really wanna do this?”, he asked, hefting himself off the chair. ”Yes.” ”I don’t understand you…”, he mumbled, his eyes wandering over your face, seemingly trying to find an answer before he let a huff out and nodded inside. ”But Rick’s already down there-” “Rick?”, it slipped out of your lips in surprise, your brows staying puckered as you glanced at the blonde man. “Yeah, wants to talk to him or something….anyway, he’s got a key too”, Caleb mumbled, obviously not liking your intend even though you found yourself caring little to not at all for it. Whatever was going on in his head, and if Negan had been actually right with his interest in you, it didn’t matter. ”Okay”, you only said scantly and with a small nod, before moving past him inside the house.
You were still wondering about Rick’s visit as you found yourself making your way through the house, walking the path you had walked countless times before while trying to keep the suspense in your body as low as possible. Finally, you got to the last door before the stairs begun and opened it softly while already voices from downstairs began to echo through to you. At first, you only heard Rick’s voice saying something you weren’t understand as you shut the door behind yourself once more, but as then, the familiar deep voice you had missed that much spoke up, your full attention was right there, leaving you unable to move for seconds.
”C’mon Rick, I won’t turn into some fucking sappy whiney fucker with ya, I just wanna know how she’s doing…and after I had to listen to your damn fucking corny daydream future shit monologue, I think I really fucking deserve that.”
The warmth in you grew more, even enough to let a soft smile grow on your lips while it decided for you to keep staying at the beginning of the stairs for just now instead of interrupting them.
”If I’m telling you this, be sure I’m not doing that for you.”
”Well shit, Rick, I fucking know. Now I don’t know what wires in your head aren’t doing their job right now but I’m not fucking joking here.”
”I don’t know how much I need to tell you more”, a deep huff echoed from the cell through to you, seconds of silence passing before your heart began to flutter once more by his next words ,”I miss her. There you got it. I’m not even shitless scared to admit that but do what ya gotta do to use that against me. Hell, I don’t even fucking mind anymore.”
”Just tell me how she is”, he added as you felt this warmth taking you completely in, telling you that this decision to come back today had been right.
”Don’t know what you did to her but it hit her good. Don’t think she’s getting much sleep…has been pretty much throwing herself into the infirmary. I barely see her”, Rick’s voice was grumbling and quieter than Negan’s even as he let out another scoff, ”And that’s it, I’m not your message boy, Negan.”
“I’m the one in charge, not you. You’re no leader anymore, you’re a prisoner who’s rotting in this cell. You should get used to that”, with that you heard the screeching of a chair being dragged over the floor, reminding you that it was time for you to stop listening to them without their knowledge, especially because this talk seemed to be over now for at least one of them.
“Well, then is this thing here going to be some kinda weekly shit? Like some damn newspaper about what shit I’m missing out?”, Negan asked with a huff, as you heard Rick’s footsteps sounding over the cement floor. “We’ll see”, you heard him mumble just as you gave yourself the last push and stepped down the stairs into a sudden and complete silence before Rick’s blue eyes caught yours. “Can you open the cell for me?”, you asked, feeling how your feet hit the ground after the last step and a testing glance of Rick’s before he slowly nodded. The cement floor scrunched beneath the soles of your boots as you finally did your last steps until you stood before the cell’s door and glanced inside.
There he was, his hazel eyes darting at you in utter surprise, dark circles stuck beneath them as if he had slept just as little as you had. Slowly, they were softening as the seconds passed while his lips were gaping slightly open, his whole body stuck in rigidity. The sound of the key sliding into the lock echoed through the dead calm cell in the very moment his face muscles began to become just a little less tense and allowed the corners of his lips to curl softly up as he spoke. “You came back.”