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 return shrinking 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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
“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?
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.
”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.”
(The gif isn’t mine/ it was originally posted by dancing-at-the-funeralparty)
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