After Negan feels pushed to set another example in Alexandria, Rick forces his daughter to make a final decision
Negan x Reader/Rick’s daughter
Your pulse pounded in your ears and the shots from moments before still sounded cruely through your head as you ran out of the house, Carl close on your heels as you stumbled down the porch and sprinted towards the sound’s source.
Your eyes were searching for an answer outside, for an answer to these shots before your heart stopped as you heard Negan’s voice.
“Are you people fucking kidding me?”, He roared through the air before your eyes caught his tall figure standing over a crouched, dark haired man.
He had to be Robert, judging from his clothes and the messy hair cut but your focus was only laying on him for some more seconds before you glanced at Carl, who you had tried to convince that the man who was raising his bat into the air in these moments wasn’t the monster he saw in him.
“Now I knew you fuckers were a pain in my ass but this-”, he pointed his bat at the kneeling man, “This is beyond fuckin’ stupid. What kinda dumb asshole thinks tryin’ to shoot my men is gonna work the fuck out.”
A cool shudder ran over your back as you slowly began to get the scene in front of you, before an even colder, even icy one spread all over your body as you realized what Negan was gonna do.
He was gonna make an example out of him.
He was gonna punish him.
But would he really?
After everything that had already happened for your family and community to hate him?
“Now Rob here for sure knew what was comin’ to him when he was gonna get caught! Sure, you did, huh?”, Negan called sarcastically out as he nudged Lucille’s end against the man’s shoulder.
Fuck, he was gonna do it.
But would he go all the way?
Your heart seemed to pound its way up into your throat, taking away your ability to breath as your glance wandered from Negan to your father who was suddenly stepping into the wide circle of people that was building up around the scene.
“I don’t wanna do this, fuck no I don’t. But you fuckers really don’t give me a choice. I need you to get that those fuck things are a big ass no-no. Thought we’d be finally on a path of understanding, apparently we’re not”, Negan growled, his eyes staring at the ground as he didn’t seem to notice that you were part of the circle, too caught up in his rage.
“Well, then back fuckin to it.”
And just like that, your heart stopped with the next scene.
With the swing.
With the blood.
With the cracking skull.
With the screams.
Your whole mind seemed to shut down as you watched Negan leaning back, saw the blood dripping from his bat and captured the dead body laying on the ground.
You couldn’t stop tears from welling up in your eyes as you caught from their corners how Carl stared at what laid in front of him, how everything you had just tried to tell him was vanishing from his mind.
He had been willing to talk to you like a fucking normal human being instead of treating you like a traitor as everyone else and now, fuck now there was no way this was gonna stay this way.
You could only see your Dad storming from the circle before your glance wandered to Negan, blurred by the welled up tears as your eyes caught his.
His face fell in the matter of seconds, the mask like mix between a grin and frown falling right off his muscles as you could see the panic growing in his eyes that rushed restlessness over his body.
But before you could concentrate more on him, could see what he would do next you felt your body urging you forward out of the circle as you saw from afar how your father stormed into your home.
You had to go after him.
You had to.
You couldn’t keep on standing here, hoping that this was just an awful nightmare.
Your heart pumped against your chest as if it tried to break out of your ribcage as soon as you could feel yourself rushing over the blacktop, trembling as your mind skipped through all kind of horrifying scenarios you could imagine.
Would your Dad lose control now?
What if he would make an impulsive move?
What if this whole shit would turn into an even bigger bloodbath?
Your thoughts got cut off from nausea that began to capture your body, settling into you as the panic turned your view almost blurry while you tried to make your way up the porch, horrified with what could happen next.
Footsteps rumbled down the staircase as you stepped into the house, the door falling with a loud thud into its lock before your widened eyes caught your father stumbling down the stairs, a big sports bag in each of his hands.
“Dad? What are you doing? What-?”, you choked out, your heart still beating as fast as a hummingbird’s wings as he tossed the bags to the ground.
“You need to make a decision”, he said, his voice swinging between utterly stern and on the edge of an emotional outburst,”I can’t do this anymore. Either you break things up with him or you’ll have to go.”
“What?” Dad I-”, your voice got cut off by the growing lump in your throat as you stared with watery eyes at him while he clenched his jaw, coldness spreading over his features, freezing them with each passing second more.
“If you decide for him, take them and leave the house now”, he said, exhaling thickly as you couldn’t get a single word out,”And don’t come back wailing when you finally get who he really is.”
He ran a palm over his beard stubble, glancing from the bags to you as a pinch of hopefulness flared up within them.
“If you decide for us, I’ll carry those bags back up and all will be fine.”
“Dad, you can’t mean this”, you said, your voice thick with emotion and disbelief as the first tears threatened to roll down your cheeks ,”Dad, please don’t make me do this.”
“I have to, I have to-”, he called out, anger and pain mixing in his glance as more panic rose in your body, seeping slowly but surely in each and every of your cells.
“No, no you don’t”, you said, your lips trembling as you felt the first tears falling while this all felt like a horrible hallucination.
“You’ve just seen what he did! Again!”, he called out, his finger shooting up as he pointed it outside, while thick pants shook his chest while more and more tears began to make its way down your skin, blurring your view and wetting your face.
“And don’t tell me you love him, don’t you tell me that!”, he shouted now, the anger overcoming the pain as his face grew blood red ,”He’s a monster! And nothing, nothin else!”
You stared at him, startled by his words and by the events that had happened outside just now as your whole body trembled like aspen leaf and your mind sunk into the absolute mess of emotions and thoughts.
“But I do”, you choked out, staring into the eyes of your father that darkened even more with just these three words,”And I love you and Carl and Judith too, I just-”
You hoped he’d say something else.
You hoped he’d take those words back and let you stay.
You hoped he wouldn’t make you choose.
But he didn’t, he didn’t say more nor did he take anything back, he just stared panting at you.
And he made you choose.
He actually made you choose between him and the others, and Negan.
“I can’t”, you choked quietly out, your voice paired with a whimper as you stared at the packed bags.
“You have to…there’s no other way.”
You couldn’t leave Negan, not even after what had happened.
You could rip his head off right now for pulling such a show but you still loved him, no matter if you were cursing yourself for it in these moments.
Besides, you knew what your own father had done as well, what he was capable of.
He wasn’t doing it the way Negan did, but that didn’t make it any less cruel.
But could you leave your family?
It wasn’t even about your father, it was about your half brother and Judith as well, you couldn’t just leave them could you?
You could think over and over it again and there wouldn’t be a sane way to choose, a better way to choose.
You loved both, Negan and your family, but in the end, there was only one difference that finally pushed you over the edge to make a decision.
“Only because you were the one making me choose”, you heard your own voice say, almost as if it didn’t belong to you while you reached out for the bags, lifting them with a sniffling groan before you glanced a last time at your Dad.
Part of you hoped he would stop it now, tell you that he was only bluffing you but instead, he didn’t say a single word.
He just stared at you, cooly, still you could see him breaking beneath the the stare that broke your own heart all over again.
You choked on your tears as you turned around, your shoulder slumped in by the weight of the bags and the pain that shook through your body.
The air outside hit your wetted face as you tried to lift your arm, leaning your face down to brush the tears of your face, hoping that the most people would have gone back into their houses.
They had, all of them except a couple that were still huddled around the bloody corpse on the blacktop.
You stumbled past them, with as much distance between you as you could manage, balancing on the side of the road while the belts of the bags cut into your hands until you could swear they were red swollen.
Sniffles still left your lips as you tried to pull yourself together, catching how the gates came closer and closer, right along with the trucks and the tall figure right beside them, in the midst of his men that were swarming into the cars.
You didn’t want to face them, not even face him right now but you had to, there was no other way.
So you walked closer, feeling the bags growing heavier until you could feel pairs of eyes falling onto you, forcing you to look up as well. First, you met a couple unknown eye pairs, only familiar from the visits to Alexandria, then, then your glance fell on a hazel pair of eyes as you forced yourself to keep walking.
“Get in the fuckin’ trucks, now”, you only heard him roar, not taking his eyes off you while the people around you began to disappear.
Still, you could see his brows puckering, his lips falling a little open in confusion as soon as you stepped closer towards Negan who stood right by the entrance of his truck.
“He made me choose”, was the only thing you managed to bring out, your voice more strained than you had thought.
“What did you-”
“What does it look like?!”, it suddenly snapped out of you, not as harsh as you intended it to be but as pain drowned as you actually felt in these moments.
A big but whimpering sigh left your lips as you tried to grip the bags tighter that threatened to fall right as you caught Negan reaching towards them.
“Don’t touch me”, you hissed shakily, pushing yourself past him without looking once more at him.
Instead, you forced yourself further to the open door until you could step upwards, gritting your teeth as you lifted the bags one by one and finally slipped into the truck’s inside.
“Fuck”, you cursed shivering as you tossed the bags down, pushing them as far as you could with your feet to the side before you felt something warm grasping your wrist and turning you around.
“Why Negan? Why did you have to put on a big fucking show?!”, it bursted out of you as soon as your eyes caught the man in front of you who let go of your wrist and instead shook his head and sighed out.
“That guy shot at my fucking men.”
“You could’ve punished him else! You didn’t have to bash his fucking head in front of fucking everyone! You knew what they were already thinking about us being together, you knew-”, you scoffed out, cutting yourself off as your was voice growing louder and weaker at the very same time while Negan stared at you in the dim light of the truck, his brows puckering stronger as he clenched his jaw.
“I needed to do it, I don’t get fucking joy from that crap! I needed to so this shit won’t fucking happen again!”, he defended himself, while the whole reality began to hit you, urging tears back into your eyes while the desperation grew and grew within you.
“You don’t get it, huh?”, you said with a trembling tone that threatened to let your voice fall apart while feeling how the lump that was growing in your throat pressed in on you,”I was just trying to tell Carl that you’re not as bad as they think, that you’re a good damn man and then you come around to prove the fucking opposite!”
“I was just about to find a way to them again”, you added, sniffing as you stared to the ground not bearing to look at him as more tears filled your eyes ,”And now it’s worse than ever.”
You pressed your eyes shut, damning those tears as the frustration took hold of you, turning you inside out as you shoved your shoe’s tip angrily into the wood of the truck’s floor, “I’m so fucking dumb for loving you.”
It got completely silent for a moment before you heard Negan exhaling shakily, letting you glimpse sniffling up for a moment as you caught his eyes fixing on you, while your blurred view caught the pain your words had elicited whirling within them.
“Well, then maybe you should’ve chosen them”, his voice was firm but it didn’t take a genius to hear the little tremble and hurt through it before his heavy footsteps sounded through the truck.
Unable to think clear, nor to figure out if you should be even more angry or pay attention to the pain that sneaked up within you by the hurt in his voice you shifted on your feet, trying to still the storm in your head.
“D.J.? Get your ass over here you’re driving that truck now”, you heard Negan roar outside the window as you finally got yourself from the spot you had seemed to be glued on and plop yourself onto the bench at the truck’s side.
The wood creaked beneath the thin cushion as you shifted, staring onto the ground and resting your elbows on your knees while you caught from the corner of your eyes how first Negan let himself fall onto the passenger seat and then how his savior took his place in front of the steering wheel.
Quickly, you concentrated your eyes onto the ground, onto the wooden panels, the creaks within them and the dirt that stuck in the crannies.
You didn’t want to see the gates open and neither did you want to see you driving out of it, all you wanted right now was to tune out and dive into some other kind of world far, far away from here were everything was fine.
You knew when the engine started and the truck began to roll that you’d be leaving Alexandria without knowing when you’d come back, if you could ever come back.
You were leaving your home there, the home where no-one wanted you anymore, the home that wasn’t even your home anymore.
Your home was the Sanctuary now, wasn’t it?
The place you had only once seen from afar, had never even been inside and just knew from Negan’s stories.
People do make a home, you knew this very well, but the only person who would turn the factory into a home for you was Negan, the man you’ve had a fight with just now and-
Shit, yes, that’s really what it was, shit.
Pure, steaming shit that embodied your life right in these moments.
You stayed this way, with slumped shoulders, sniffling and noticing how Negan turned in his seat to check on you every once in a while.
The ride was long and bumpy, the air was growing colder as the sun began to slowly move on and sink closer and closer towards the horizon while the effect it had on your body didn’t take long to set in.
The exhaustion the stress had put on your shoulders already had an ugly effect on you but the coldness now slipped beneath your clothes and seeped into your skin, bringing back the shivers that had just began to become smaller.
“Shit”, you scoffed quietly and almost inaudible beneath your breath, shifting over the uncomfortable becoming bench before you caught something moving in the front of the truck.
You didn’t look up, still the corners of your eyes caught how Negan stood up from his seat, the wood squeaking in protest as he was moving into the back of the truck, passing you even though it felt like his glance was brushing over your figure.
He was roaming around somewhere in a box in the back, huffing a little here and there while you could feel yourself growing slightly restless, asking yourself what the hell he was doing there.
“There you are”, you heard Negan sigh after a couple more moments, quiet and almost as if he was talking to himself before you could hear the footsteps again, even see him from the corner of your eyes but instead of passing, he stopped in front of you, not more than a few feet parting you.
“You’re freezing…”, you heard him mumble, the sternness from before gone and replaced with worry while you could finally see what he was carrying in his hands as he was letting half of it fall to spread out. A blanket, thick and warm, probably exactly meant for cold and long nights in the truck.
He waited another moment, as if he was checking if you were gonna snap at him or push him away but right now, you were only waiting about what he was gonna do yet, way too exhausted to start the fight anew.
”I’m sorry…for it all”, he mumbled with a sigh, slowly coming closer as your eyes still didn’t look up at him,”And I didn’t mean to say that…”
He was growing quiet for another moment before he raised the blanket a little, enough to turn it and drop it carefully around your shoulders, “I’d be a broken damn mess if you’d decided against me.”
You weren’t looking up at him right away, still you could feel a little warmth arise in your body, working on you and your whirling mind that just wanted to be at peace again.
“I love you and hell, I wish I could make it all right for ya…I’m trying to balance this thing too, y’know…keeping this whole thing running and giving us two-”, he stopped, sighing deeply out, waiting for seconds as if he was trying to grasp words and put them into the right sentences, “Now I get that I sucked at doing that job today and I’m damn sorry for it…never intended it to happen this way…I just…hell I struggled, hard.”
You could tell he was trying his best to say what he was feeling, trying to show you his position of the things and part of you did see it bright and clear while the other was still drowning in the pain of being forced to choose.
“I get that you’re mad at me, I do and hell you got all right to be pissy at me just…just know that I didn’t do all that to make it harder for us…I just wanted to do the right damn thing and face planted it into a fuckin’ pile of shit”, he said, shifting from foot to foot as the truck was driving over a bit bumpy road, “Just know that you’re my damn top priority, no matter what.”
You caught him sighing, saw him fumbling on his fingers as one of his hands moved up, as if he was stroking over his beard, waiting if you would give him a response and just as you already saw him beginning to move back to the front seat, the stubbornness in you gave in to the pain.
“I don’t know what to do”, you choked out as you glanced for the first time since the plopping down on this bench at him, feeling how the lump was right back in your throat as soon as his hazel eyes fixed on yours.
God, you just wanted it all to be right, yes, part of you was still mad at him for what he had done back in Alexandria, while another part deep down in you knew that this had in the end just shot out the process.
Besides whatever could have happened with Carl, your Dad would have exploded earlier or later.
You had seen it seething in him like a volcano for the last weeks, only slowing down its fuming when the accident had happened but except for that…a bit of you had always known and feared that it would go wrong some day.
And he would have made you choose, earlier or later.
The stress and exhaustion was pressing in on you again, bringing the agony back and pushing you further to the edge as you saw Negan’s eyes softening in worry.
“I also didn’t mean to say I’m dumb for loving y-…. I just-”, you began, unable to finish as your body finally gave in to the pressure of the lump and set the welling tears in your eyes free and elicited a sob from your already sore throat.
“Oh shit, Baby…c’mere”, you heard him sigh concerned, falling down onto the bench next to you, waiting for a second to find out if you were letting him before you felt him wrapping his arms around you.
You sunk into his embrace, feeling how he pulled you into his lap as more sobs and whimpers erupted your body as they brought all of the pain back up to the surface.
”I couldn’t even say goodbye to Carl and Judith, I-”, you sobbed as your head sunk into the curve of his neck, your tears quickly beginning to wet the fabric of his shirt as he pulled you closer, cradling you in his arms.
“Shh..”, he hummed against your skin as he leaned his head against yours, pressing a kiss to your forehead as you caught for air between the sobs.
“This is…this is exactly what I never wanted to happen”, you whimpered, feeling him exhaling deeply as you clung to his chest, memories flooding your mind of the fears you’ve had when your relationship had still been a secret.
You had to lie back then, and you’d hated every second of it, but at least you had both.
At least you had Negan and your family, without more hatred and agony swirling in the crack that was already between them.
Now, well now everything was even more messed up than it had already been.
”I know this is all fuckin’ crappy, I know…”, he mumbled, not only worry but also guilt swinging through his voice as he nuzzled his nose into your hair, holding you a little closer while he wrapped the blanket a bit tighter around your shivering frame,”But things will get better…we’ll figure this out.”
You were still sniffling and whimpering as you felt him holding you tighter, trying to calm you while more and more of the burden that had lasted on your shoulders got released and turned you into a bigger mess with each passing second.
You tried to let Negan’s words work on you, you really did but you were too deeply stuck in your own sorrow to make your sobs and cries stop yet.
So you only sunk deeper into his embrace, trying to concentrate on his deep voice, his warmth and his calming scent, hoping that your body and mind would give in to it earlier or later.
”We’re almost there”, you heard Negan mumble after a good while, when your breath was all calm and steady, and the shivers and sobs had stopped to erupt your body. Slowly, you were shifting your head a little out of the curve of his neck, enough so you could glance forward, straight through the large front window of the truck.
It was growing dark, still you could see what was beginning to appear behind the horizon the crowns of the trees were creating.
The Sanctuary, just like you remembered it from the one time you had seen it. Tall, dark and with a presence radiating from it as if it stood over each and everything.
So there it was.
Your new home.
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