The hallways of the Sanctuary were faintly enlightened as you made your way side by side with Negan through them, tension filling you up by the thought that he was about give you an explanation why he had left after kissing you and why he had acted like a goddamn jerk later on. This tension got accompanied by another strained feeling, produced by what you had heard about the escape of Carson and your friend Gabriel as you had followed Negan through the hallway.
And then you sat in the apartment, the moment you had waited for became real as you sat down on the leather couch and watched how Negan let himself fall onto the armchair towards it. His glance was fixed onto the end of Lucille’s handle as he held her in between his legs and rolled her end uneasily over the carpet, a deep sigh leaving his lips as he ran one hand over is face, trying to find a beginning. ”I guess I got a special fucking talent for fucking things up that matter the most to me…”, he mumbled, a nervous and humorless chuckle leaving his lips as his words sent a shiver through your body. He gulped harshly, his glance still casted to the ground as he took a deep breath. You knew exactly that this was hard for him, talking about his own feelings especially when they made him vulnerable, but right now you couldn’t have consideration for that. Deliberately or not, he hadn’t done that with you too in that truck, even though this was by far not the reason. You simply needed to know, you finally needed to get an answer to the “Why?” that was spooking through your head for already way too long. “I panicked, fuck…I know that’s no damn excuse”, he mumbled, his eyes meeting yours for a moment before he clenched his jaw and breathed stressfully out. “I would’ve been the last person to not understand if you would’ve told me you needed some time for yourself to get sorted, …I know how that feels”, you mumbled, not to directly reproach him with it but rather to show him that you weren’t mad at him for panicking but for what he had done. “I know, I just-”, he said, stopping as the words seemed to be stuck in his throat again. A moment of silence followed as he stared into the emptiness, his lips pressed tightly on one another as he heavily gulped. “You make me feel shit again and that…”, he began, uneasiness in his voice before he took another deep and heavy breath, “It fucking terrifies me.” You weren’t even looking directly in his eyes but right there, right in these moments there was nothing of the big bad wolf left in his glance, in it he was just a man at one of his most vulnerable points. The words echoed through your head, stirring up something in you and creating tiny bit of that familiar warmth in your body. “I didn’t have that since Lucille and I-”, Negan said his body tension up as he shifted uncomfortably on the armchair while that feeling in you increased as he opened more up to you. “In that damn truck,…it all got so real, I couldn’t see past shit anymore and that crap battered my ass down… and it hit the fucking panic button. I just…I didn’t know what to do”, he said as he gulped harshly, his brows puckering as he tried to keep himself sorted. “I’ve already screwed once marriage up and now,…fuck”, he scoffed, running a hand over his face as his voice broke, the desperation in it so real that it send shivers through your bones that just got stronger as he finally looked directly into your eyes.
Cold sweat damped your clothes as your eyes snapped open, your body pressed deeply into the pillows as the nightmare that had enclosed you till now was leaving an ugly tension in your shaking body. After a long break without them, the nightmares were back again and after the past night, it would’ve been a small wonder if they hadn’t returned. This time Negan’s arms weren’t wrapped around you, comforting you and pulling you into his chest to cradle you softly. No, this time the only thing surrounding you were the dark sheets and the several pillows of Negan’s bed. Your ribcage was still harshly rising and falling as you looked down at yourself, finding your body still covered in the clothes of last night and with that, all the memories were back. Carl was dead. That boy you had known since the beginning of this all was dead and a part of you was still in refusal to believe it but the more memories of the past night popped up in your mind the harder it was to deny that he was never going to come back. On top of that, your mind began to circle around Negan again, the man who had first roiling fled after kissing you, had treated you painfully repellant and had then acted all concerned and caring after seeing what the loss of Carl did to you. You scoffed by the thought of him while the confusion about the changes of his behavior were taking up a good part of you. You let yourself sink deeper into the pillows, even though trying to fall asleep again was no option, the nightmare was still stuck in your bones and you could really relinquish on a direct repetition of its torture.
For minutes you just laid in the bed, staring at the ceiling while trying to keep your thoughts out of your head before peeling yourself out of the sheets. Your feet hit the wooden floor before you heft yourself up and immediately felt how the way you had treated your body over the last day punished you now. You hadn’t eaten anything, had drunk maybe a few gulps of water and the remains of the hourlong crying were still stuck in your body, even though you felt in comparison to yesterday at least a bit well rested. Dizziness was filling your body as you made your way over to the wardrobe to pull out some new clothes while you tried your best to ignore Negan’s stuff and his scent that was surrounding them. As quickly as your still wobbly legs allowed you shuffled towards the bathroom, trying to get ready for a day that was hopefully better than the last.
Freshly showered you sat on the edge of the bed, the hot shower had, of course, made the dizziness not better but now that you had taken a small break, had sorted yourself back, your body seemed to be willing to work with you at least for now. Your glance roamed over the room, trying to find something to eat to keep the dizziness banned but much to your annoyance, you found nothing. With a sigh you got back up again, the feeling of hunger spreading further out in your body as you grabbed the handle of the heavy wooden door. Slowly, you opened it, your glance wandering quickly into the hallway as you quietly prayed to not come across Negan as soon as you would leave the apartment. This time, luck seemed to be on your side as you made your way outside, strolled along the familiar hallway until you got to your first destination.
With a small strained breath you stemmed the heavy metal door open, just before you stepped into the faintly enlightened stairwell. Your footsteps sounded dull through the air as you made your way down the stairs, passing another floor as your thoughts began to whirl around Negan just as you felt yourself missing one of the stair threads. Faster than you could think you found yourself falling, your body sliding down a few steps until you fell with a dull thud on the cold cement floor of the next platform. “Fuck!”, you cursed as a stinging pain shoot through your hip and ankle, your voice echoing through the staircase as you grew annoyed of yourself. Your hand slid quickly to your ankle, your fingers massaging it for a short moment before you heft yourself up. A small huff left your lips as you looked down to your feet, before the tension first left your body a bit as the pain slid gradually out of your body. “Holy hell, are you alright?”, you suddenly heard a familiar, deep and raspy voice say from the beginning of the stairs, a weird feeling spreading out in your whole body by the simple sound of him. “Yeah, I’m fine”, you mumbled stroking over your clothes for a moment before an urge in you forced you to look up to him. There he was, his tall frame standing right at the stairs’ railing, while you could still see in the faint light how his glance was glued on you, some pain, even insecurity flickering in his eyes. He slowly nodded, a hard gulp traveling down his throat as you felt a tension and tremble filled breath leaving your lips while your mind tried to figure out how to handle whatever would happen now as your glance went to the floor. “He wrote you a letter”, you suddenly heard Negan’s voice add, the stress in it clearly audible as your gaze shot up again as he rose his voice, “Carl,..he wrote letters.” “I just…I thought you needed to know”, he said, his palm running uneasily over his beard stubble as his jaw clenched and a rush of coldness and heat washed through your body, several new question popping up in your mind as you took a heavy breath while the curiosity trumped your urge to leave. “Do you know what stood in them?…in mine?”, you asked, the tension between the both of you was filling up the whole staircase while a shiver went up and down your spine. “Rick just told me about his and mine…Carl, hell, he wants us to fucking stop, make peace”, you heard him say, the turmoil still clearly audible in his voice. Something in you was still surprised, even after you had witnessed what Carl had said at the gates and with that, a question forced itself out of your lips. “Would you?” “I gave you a promise, right?”, he said, some warmth beginning to grow in your body as you remembered the promise to try to find a way out, even consider it if a solution came from the other side. “But fuck, it doesn’t work that way, Rick wants to plug along and kill my ass, so this shit keeps stirring”, Negan grumbled, his jaw clenching once again as his glance stayed glued on you. “(Y/N), I-”, he began, just as he got cut off by the sound of the opening door behind him and two voices that immediately let the tiny warmth that had still stuck in your body vanish. “Negan?”, the brunette asked, her hand finding Negan’s arm before it slid over his shoulder as you already saw the other, red-haired woman sneak to his other side, Negan’s glance leaving you for the first time. “So what now?”, she asked breathy as your breath seemingly stopped for a moment, your pulse pounded in your ear as your mind began to process the scene that was playing at the beginning of the stairs and even more, what that meant. Some more nausea washed over you as you realized that the floor you had passed before falling, the floor at which’s entrance Negan was standing right now was the one of his wives. He had been with those two women who were now like glued to his side. He had been there, had probably even spent the rest damn night there and that fucker still had the nerve to talk to you, to even tell you about Carl.
You found yourself rushing down the stairs, an urge in you propelling you to keep moving and just try to bring as much distance between yourself and Negan, even though you already felt the dizziness from before coming back. You should have just walked away, you told yourself, just walked away before he could begin a conversation with you. You were all fucked over again, Carl’s letter whirling as a painful addition through your mind as you first noticed the tears that were burning in your eyes. You had no idea where to go, the only thing your mind could grasp was the kitchen while you felt the increasing tightening of your ribcage, pressing all the air out of your lungs. Why? That was the question which spooked through your mind, combined with a thousand of different additions that just created more and more pain in your body.
Minutes later you found yourself rushing into the thankfully empty kitchen, the times your glance got blurry increased before you clawed your fingertips into the kitchen’s counter, trying to keep yourself steady on your legs and trying to get the thought of Negan with those women out of your head. You bit your lip, trying to hold back the tears that were urging for their release. You didn’t want shed a single tear for him, he didn’t deserve any of them and still, the first tear rolled over your cheek. You flinched as you heard the kitchen-door opening further behind you, your hand flipping up to quickly wipe the tear off your skin. “Here are you”, you heard the voice of the man say you wanted to see the least in these moments.
The dawn shrouded the forest and the high buildings of the Sanctuary into a faint light and soft fog as you arrived at its gates. Slowly you stretched your limps out beneath the thick blankets, shifting uncomfortably on the improvised mattress in the back of the truck. You hadn’t slept more than an hour at the most, your mind was still filled up with all the things that had happened in the past night, including your kiss with Negan, the way he had churned up fled after and especially the horror that had happened when he had come back to get his stuff. You could still hear his harsh words, the dismissive way he had acted as well as you could feel his glare still burning into you. And just the thought that you had to leave the truck in a few minutes and step out into reality let a small shiver run up and down your spine.
Slowly, you lifted yourself up, grabbed a small water bottle that had rolled beneath the bench next to you and swirled its cap off. You took a few big gulps of the cold water, trying to give your body a bit of the fluid back the tears of the past hours had drained from it before you carefully let some of it flow into the palm of your hand. With a small sigh you cleaned your face up from the tension the dried tears had left on it while you hoped that it would give your skin at least a little freshness to let you look as if you were fine and not the mess you actually were.
The sound of the squeaking gates filled the air as you left your little hide-away of the last hours completely, slipped back into your boots and shoved your jacket back over your arms just before the truck moved onto the compound. Your glance wandered to the window as you watched how you passed some of the destroyed fences and eventually got to a part of the Sanctuary that was now completely cleared from any walkers that had roamed over the ground. “We’re there”, you just heard the driver call into the truck’s back as the engines stopped. A heavy gulp traveled down your throat as you stood up, not knowing what would await you as soon as you would step out before you heard the dull sound of your own footsteps echoing through the truck.
The fresh morning air hit your skin as you stepped out of the truck while you tried to keep yourself straight on your legs that had lost most of their strength to the exhaustion and lack of sleep that was stuck in your whole body. “I’ve been ordered to get you to Negan’s apartment”, you suddenly heard a male voice say as your glance wandered quickly up to a man with a grey-streaked full beard whose blue irises darted right at you. You weren’t sure if you were glad or not that Negan wasn’t the one standing before you now but for a moment the anger boiled back up in you, simply due to the fact that he was continuing his fleeing and instead sent a babysitter to take care of you. “Alright”, you mumbled as you swallowed down the urge to growl that you knew the way very well yourself, knowing that this man hadn’t any fault in Negan’s shitty behavior. The savior gave you a quick nod as he turned around and began to guide you towards one of the entrances. From afar you could see Negan walking straight to another door, his brows puckered and the glance sternly directed to nothing but what laid in front of him. Something in you ached just by looking at him before you forced yourself to look away and found yourself back in the hallways of the Sanctuary. A strange tension laid all over the blue-eyed man you could only explain yourself with the things he had seen in the last night before you had left Alexandria. Hell, you could still see them. The blood overflowed Savior Negan had killed in full rage after this man had attacked you for helping Carl escape, his voice that had boomed loudly through the heated air and the way Lucille swung down to the man over and over again. This Savior right now couldn’t have any idea that the night had taken other ways than the way it had seemed to choose after Negan’s show of protectiveness.
A small shiver ran down your back as you began to enter more and more familiar hallways that showed how close you got to the room that was filled up with thousands of things that were related to Negan. The things you wanted to have the least around you right now. “Here we are”, you heard the man eventually say as you stood in front of the heavy wooden door before you gave him a small nod. “Thanks”, you said quietly as he looked for a short moment at you. “Anytime”, he just mumbled, scratching over his bearded cheek and grabbed the handle of the door, just to push it down and let the door open. “Gotta make sure you’re inside. Orders are orders”, he mumbled before you stepped in, a bittersweet chuckle stuck in your throat as you felt like a prisoner who had been just guarded to their cell. The door closed with a dull thud behind you as you shook your head in disbelief. So that was how Negan was gonna deal with it? Keeping you in the apartment while he did everything to not cross paths with you? Something in you asked yourself if he would come to his room as well but the thought of how he had behaved outside by the trucks quickly pushed the question back. A part of you wanted to get the uncertainty out of your body, hear an explanation for why he did what he did and the other part just didn’t want to see his face for a good while.
For moments you just stood like that in the middle of the room before you gradually made your way over to the bathroom, hoping that the water of the shower wouldn’t only wash the last bit of blood off of your body and calm the bruises your attacker had left, but also let you get your head clear. Layer for layer you shed the clothes off your body, just as you caught your reflection in the mirror. The only good thing you could see was that you really couldn’t tell that you had cried before. But you looked tired, played out, the choking bruises on your neck began to turn into different colors while the small wound on your temple was dyed into a dark red tone. You let out a huff as you let your glance wander off the mirror before you slipped into the shower and turned the water on. Within a second you felt the calming warmth rush down onto your body, a sigh leaving your lips as your aching muscles got some release and the shower began to manage to wash the thoughts out of your head. And with each moment that passed you craved more of that feeling of being at ease.
You weren’t even sure how long you stood under the shower but at some point you found yourself laying on the bed, dried and with clean clothes on, leaning into the soft pillows while you tried to blend out that everything around you seemed to scream “Negan” and instead gave your body the possibility to finally get some rest. You slowly closed your eyes, your mind and exhaustion fighting for the upper hand before the thoughts the shower had washed out began to find their ways back into your head, letting your mind swirl around Negan, your friends back home as well as Carl, Rick and your half-brother Daryl.
A knock on the door let your eyes snap open and your head snap up, while your brows puckered at its faintness as it repeated once again. This wasn’t Negan, not even Simon. You slowly sat yourself a bit more up, your glance stuck on the door as you debated with yourself if you should open it or just ignore the knocks of whoever was waiting behind it. Just as it seemed like the person was already long gone, you heard another knock, accompanied by a voice that let your blood freeze for a moment.
“Alright everybody. Let’s get back home”, you heard Negan’s voice call through the night, the flames that had been eating up your old home were slowly becoming smaller as your glance was stuck on the man Negan had killed for you not longer than two hours ago. Two of the Saviors picked their former member up and heft him roughly off the road as you could still feel the tingling and burning of the wounds and bruises he and his just as dead companion had left. Negan’s glance darted for a short moment to the dead man as he walked over the blacktop, the bloody Lucille swung casually over his shoulder as his eyes narrowed darkly and gored through the blood overflowed corpse. A tiny bit in you was still astonished by what he had done for you, killing one of his man in front of anybody else, making sure that no one ever touched and harmed you in the slightest way no matter what you did. Not even when you had been the one to help Carl escape.
It had been enough time since the man’s death for you to get rid of most of the blood that had been sticking on your face and for Negan to calm down again, get all of the anger out of him as well as the last bit of frustration that had been left in him caused by the fact that you had put yourself in deathly danger in order to help Carl and not even the one that you had neglected his plan. “And I’ll get you patched up”, you heard Negan’s voice rip you out of your thoughts as he gave you a small nod inside just before you slipped into the truck.
You sat down on one of the wooden benches on the side as Negan let himself fall next to you, a strained breath leaving his lips as he began to fumble on his pockets before getting out a tube of salve, a tiny bottle with disinfection liquid and some bandaids. “All I found, but it should help”, he mumbled as he turned towards you and let his glance wander over your face and the wound on your temple. “This shit’s gonna burn like fire, so get ready for it”, he muttered as he dripped some of the disinfection liquid on a clean piece of cloth and slowly reached up. “Shh”, he quietly mumbled as the burning liquid let you flinch and exhale sharply, just as he carefully dabbed the cloth on your skin until it had its job done. “You got a wound too”, you quietly muttered as you reached out for the disinfection and nodded to the small cut on his lip and the thin trail of dried blood that had made its way through his beard stubble, down to his chin. “Bullshit, you just wanna give me some payback for that burning crap”, he grumbled grinning as you shrugged your shoulders with a small laugh. “Maybe”, you mumbled, giving him a small grin as you took the cloth, got some fresh liquid on it and felt Negan reaching out for your legs, hooking them over his so you got even closer to him as he leaned in. “Then go on, Sweetheart”, he mumbled smirking, as you brought up the cloth to the corner of his lip and began to get him cleaned up. ”Now I feel like we’re in some cheesy ass movie…or at the beginning of some fucking porn”, Negan mumbled as you let out a small chuckle and shook your head lightly while you could feel his eyes darting at you. You gulped slightly as you tried to concentrate on his wound instead of his intense glance, just as you saw the corners of his lips curling up. Any halfway normal thinking person would have bet that this day, with all its tribulations, had let the bond you had formed with Negan tear apart or had it at least get severely damaged but instead it did the opposite, it grew even stronger.
“You’re taking a little too much liking into putting that shit on my skin. I swear that crap could burn off Simon’s goddamn mustache”, Negan grumbled chuckling as you backed off, finding yourself ripped out of your thoughts. “Now I would like to see that”, you mumbled with a small grin as Negan let out a throaty chuckle. “Anyway, didn’t get this salve shit for nothing”, Negan said as he leaned back to grab the tube and shuffled toward you again, “For what?”, you mumbled as you raised your brows questioning right as Negan began to swirl off the cap. “Your neck, that fucker really gave all there. Can’t leave it that way”, Negan said as he squeezed some of the thick salve onto his fingers and looked up at you again. ”I’ll be fucking gentle, I promise”, he mumbled, a small but affectionate grin forming on his face as he let his tongue slide over his lower lip just as he reached up, his one hand cupping the back of your neck carefully to hold you steady, the other’s salve stained fingers slowly beginning to stroke over your bruises. ”Alright that way?”, he asked, the grin gone as his glance was concentrated on your neck while the warmth of the salve and his fingers spread out over your sensitive skin. ”Yes”, you quietly said, your mind arguing if you should close your eyes for a moment to enjoy his touches and to get some rest or if you should instead let your glance stay focused on him and his eyes that were stuck on you. The exhaustion in your body decided for you, urging you to let your heavy eyelids fall shut for a moment as Negan’s fingers slowly circled over your bruises and even the uninjured skin.
”Mhmm you like that, don’t you, Sweetheart?”, he asked huskily before your eyes snapped open just as your sudden reaction let a deep chuckle fall from his lips. ”That wasn’t meant to let you open your pretty eyes”, he laughed quietly just before he cleared his throat and looked smirking into your eyes. ”Or did I just catch you a little off guard enjoying my damn fingers”, he asked, giving you a small wink as you let out a chuckling scoff, a small grin slipping onto your lips. “No, you didn’t.” “Really? ‘Cause there’s no need to be ashamed, they really can do some fucking magic”, Negan mumbled, letting out a throaty chuckle before it hushed as soon as his glance fell on your lower arm where the strong grip of your attacker had left some bruises as well. “He got you there too?”, Negan asked tensed as he gulped, taking your arm into his hand as his thumb stroked softly over the reddened skin. “It’s not too bad, it-”, you began, trying to soothe the growing tension that began to lay again over his body as he quickly cut you off. “It is”, he sternly grumbled, letting out a strained breath as you sighed quietly. “Anyway…it’s over now and you made sure that it won’t happen again”, you said as his jaw clenched tightly while his eyes still darted at your bruises. “You really did”, you said before you let out a small sigh as he remained silent. “After that, it’s a small wonder they didn’t kneel when I got out of the truck”, you half-joked, trying to cheer him a little up and loosen the tension as he let out a deep sigh and clenched his jaw tightly once again. “After all this fucking time, I should’ve made it goddamn clear before-…it shouldn’t have ever gotten that far that they dare to fucking touch you”, he growled as he still stared sternly at the bruises on your arm. “Negan, any other person would’ve gotten punished, if not killed for what I’ve done-” “Well, you’re not any other fucking person”, he finally said as he looked up at you for the first time again. “What I wanted to say is, with what you did for me, you’ve put a whole lot at risk to give me the safest position possible. I don’t even think you’ve realized how much…you shouldn’t blame yourself for what they did”, you said, gulping slightly as your glance met his that was still filled with utter concern. For someone who usually placed so much importance on his reputation and punishment, the things he had done for you were more than a big deal. And caused by the way the shock, tension and stress the whole day had left stuck on him, you could tell that he wasn’t completely aware of its impact yet. “Alright?”, you quietly asked, your brows raised as Negan gulped harshly and sighed deeply. “Alright.”
You spent the next hours next to Negan on the bench, one of his arms slung around you to let you lean against his side as thoughts about Alexandria, Carl and anyone else who had crashed through the wall earlier were slipping here and there into your mind while Negan began to debate with another higher Savior over his walkie about setting up camp for the rest of the night and to drive back as soon as dawn was setting in. “Steve? Stop the truck”, you heard Negan call out to the Savior who had been driving for the last while just as the truck stopped and the engines of the other cars and trucks around you hushed. “You gotta come with me”, you heard Negan say to the man as he got with a small sigh up and gestured outside. “What now?”, you asked, raising your brows as Negan strolled towards the truck’s door. “I’ll get us some shit to get comfy”, he said, a small grin on his lips as he turned his head to you for a short moment before slipping out of the truck.
The headlights of cars were faintly hitting the gates of your old home, the place where all your friends were, as you stood up from the bench in the truck. You could still feel Negan’s hand wrappend around yours as you tried to let his promise replay in your head. The promise that he’d consider ways where fewer people had to die or even ones where this whole thing could be stopped with, even if those ways came from the other side. And now it were just minutes separating you from knowing if this promise would be useful or if it was a complete waste. “You can stay in this fucker if you want”, you heard Negan say as your glance snapped away from the gates and darted at him. “No, it’s alright. I gotta come with you out there”, you said as Negan gave you quiet nod. A deep sigh escaped his lips as he looked one last time at you before he turned around and made his way out of the truck.
The crispy cold air hit your skin as you followed him outside while his men were already putting themselves in position, two others were rushing back into the truck to get the boxes and the microphone outside. You pressed your nervously sweating palms against the fabric of your pants until everything around you stopped moving, expect for Negan. Your glance kept darting at him as he walked casually towards the gates and knocked Lucille against its metallic bars, just like he had done it the very first time he arrived at Alexandria. “Joe, get your watch ready”, you heard him say into the direction of one of the Savior as he walked back before he raised the microphone up to his lips. “You may be wondering why the hell your lookouts didn’t sound the alarm. See, we are polite. I mean, I don’t know when they’re gonna wake up from that kinda shot, but they should wake up. So let’s just cut through the cow shit”, Negan called out into the microphone while his voice sounded through the darkness. “You lose. It’s over”, his voice boomed, while a shudder ran down your back. “So you’re gonna line up in front of your little houses, and you’re gonna work up some apologies, and then the person with the lamest one is gonna get killed. Then I kill Rick in front of everybody, and we move on”, he called out while the only reason the tension in your body wasn’t rising, was that you could already somehow prepare yourself for those words. “You have three – Count ‘em, three minutes to open this gate, or we start bombing the shit out of you!”, you heard his voice boom again, the microphone lowering. “Now, Joe”, Negan said with a quick finger moment into the Savior’s direction. Negan’s whistle sounded loudly through the microphone air while his glance caught yours for a moment. 3 minutes. Only 3 damn minutes. Your jaw clenched as you stared with a stern glance in your eyes up to the lookout, waiting for someone to climb up and hopefully give Negan a reason, a way out or a new deal to not bomb this place to nothing but smoke and ashes.
You could swear you heard somewhere in the back of your head a horribly monotone clock ticking as you could see from the corners of your eyes how Negan’s glance kept darting at you.
“Two minutes, Boss”
You heard the man say as you gulped hard, but kept your stern face around Negan’s men even though you could already feel the tension tearing you apart. “Two minutes, people! Dig deep. I want these apologies to be memorable. Bonus points for creativity. Work up a poem, sing a song. I love that shit. Get going!”, Negan’s voice boomed as his words made you cringe before you slowly saw Negan walking around, looking up to the lookout as well, before back to his men and then to you. He kept walking until he stood next to you. He didn’t say a thing, he only let his fingers brush against yours, that unobtrusive that it was almost unrecognizable for anyone else than the both of you. Right now, you could feel the urge in you to just want back to the few and only hours in the last night in which you had found some sleep. In which you had stopped tossing and shifting in Negan’s arms and had instead turned around and had allowed yourself to nuzzle your face into his warm chest, ignoring the slight aching that still came from the wound on your hip as soon as you put too much pressure on it. How much you wanted back there now and just feel for a small bit lighthearted, just let his warmth give you some comfort while your hand rests on his chest, feel the fabric of his shirt and his chest hairs beneath it while the way his chest falls and rises and the sound of his steady heartbeat let you drift off into the sleep. But of course, that wasn’t how it worked now.
“One minute!”, Negan called out as he left your side and walked back on the road. “One minute! Well, here we are”, he continued with a deep sigh. “I didn’t want it to come to this. Much rather would’ve been at home tonight, have some nice ass dinner with my girl”, he said, popping the last two words with his lips in an even stronger provocative tone. Clenching your jaw slightly you watched him, of course he was doing that. Of course, he was going to use this opportunity to rub under their noses that you were with him instead of them in these moments.
“But you folks wanted to order off the menu. And look at that! Now you have to eat shit. God knows I didn’t want to be the one serving it up”, Negan called out before the microphone sunk a little and his whistle sounded back through the darkness. And while he was whistling, you were grasping at straws these final seconds, hoping dearly that you’d finally see someone coming up the damn stairs of the outlook and give Negan another way, another deal, another reason to stop him from doing what would happen if no one would do anything in these dying three minutes.
Boomed through your head as the men’s voice stopped Negan’s whistle. And with that single word, it felt like a ton was pressing on your chest, pressing until no air was left in your lungs while the tension spread over your whole body. It was over. It was just a matter of seconds till Alexandria’s houses would flare up. You could feel Negan’s glance brushing over you before you heard his voice booming muffled through your clouded head. “Okeydokey. Brought this on yourself, Rick. See, was willing to work with you. All you had to do was follow a few very simple rules”, he called out as he walked towards closer towards the trucks on the road. “Now – Well, now I see that you got to go…Scorched earth, you dick!”, Negan called into the microphone as suddenly a familiar voice ripped your glance off of him. “He’s not home”, you heard Carl’s voice say as your eyes immediately caught him standing on the lookout while his glance darted down to Negan. Within seconds, the small flame of hope in you that had been about to smother flared up again. Maybe this wasn’t the end after all. Maybe there really was a way. Maybe.
(Side note: You don’t have to read any previous parts to understand the plot! I hope you all like it and enjoy reading)
“Is Gabey boy doing better?”, Negan asked as you came back to the apartment after staying two hours with your old friend and trying to help Carson as much as you could. “Yeah, a bit”, you mumbled as you let yourself fall onto the bed, your glance falling out of the window where the sky already tinted into a darker shade. Gladly, Gabriel’s fever had sunken a bit by now, but he was still very far from being okay. And while one of your friends still fought for his health, the other, or in his words former travel companion, was solving the walker problem the Sanctuary had.
You shifted on the bed, trying to give your muscles some release as you suddenly heard a thud and Negan’s loud booming voice. “Fuck fucking fuckity motherfucking fuck! Fuck!”, he shouted with a loud groan. “Negan, what’s-”, you began to ask as your body shot up and your glance caught him, holding his foot with gritted teeth. “My damn fucking toe is fucked up because of this fucking ass shit of closet”, Negan growled as he limped with still gritted teeth over to the bed and let himself fall and let out a deep sigh.
“Fuck, this swelling motherfucker is trying to compete with my dick for size”, Negan groaned with a small laugh while you bit your lip but just couldn’t hold a small comment back “And obviously winning”, you said as you looked with with a grin to his toe as you exactly knew what you had just said. Negan stayed quiet for a second before he bursted out in laughter. ”Alright, touché that one goes to you”, he chuckled as he shifted up to you and looked with a smirk at you as he bit his lower lip. ”But also weird, ‘cause you should really know better since my fucking big morning boner presses against your ass every damn morning”, he said smirking before you gave his chest a small shove but before you could say something back, he shifted again in pain. “Fuck…motherfucking shit fuck”, Negan groaned quietly for the last time and saw you giving him a small grin. “What? You swear too”, he laughed as he propped one arm beneath his head. “But still not nearly as much as you, Sir”, you teased with a chuckle as Negan cocked a brow and grinned with that wolfish glance of his in his eyes at you. “Fuck, now I don’t know why but I really fucking like when you call me that, makes my dick twitch”, he said in a low tone as he winked with a wider smirk at you. “Hell, Negan”, you laughed as you let your head fall with a small groan back. “And there you go with the damn swearing”, he chuckled as he still looked widely smirking and grinning at you. “Not much better than me. I can tell” he added as you let out a small snort. “You do?”, you asked as you raised your brows and looked challenging at him. “Yeah, you like that shit and you like my dirty damn jokes too”, he mumbled grinning as he turned on his side, propped himself on his elbow and let his tongue slide slowly over his lower lip. “You groan, shake your pretty head and shit but damn, you fucking laugh about them too”, he said as he suggestively raised his brows for a moment before his eyes narrowed with an amused glance stuck in them. “By the way, I even heard a new one. Wanna hear? I mean, I’m gonna tell you that one either way and you’re gonna laugh either damn way”, he said chuckling before you heard a knock on the door. “Boss?”, Simon’s voice asked through the wood of the heavy door. “Sorry”, Negan grumbled with a scoff before he gave your leg a small pat. “Looks like I gotta tell you my dirty, dirty joke later”, he said with a small groan as he heaved himself up again. He got up, walked over to the door and opened it and before you could catch a glimpse of Simon it closed again.
You sighed as you sat up and looked for a short moment to your hands before you could hear their voices. “The guns are ready and just waiting for our escape now. We got most of the explosives for the houses ready as well, as soon as Eugene gets us out of here, we should be able to have everything done to burn that little burg to the ground”, you heard Simon say and with those words, your whole stomach seemed to turn. Your eyes widened, as the words Simon had just said boomed over and over again through your head and you could already see Alexandria burning and all your friends with it. Within seconds your mood changed completely as your heart began to pump harshly against your chest while your whole body switched from moment to moment from ice cold to boiling hot. You had suppressed it somehow but deep down you had still known that Negan would do something if the Saviors would be able to get out, but hearing what he planned to do, was a whole different thing. And this all, the feelings that welled up showed you again how much you were actually sitting between the chairs by now. “Good. Got everything ready for the damn case they surrender too?”, you heard Negan’s voice ask while it didn’t soothe you much that there was a way out of this for them because no matter what, there would be some serious consequences that would follow. “Almost.” “Alright, then get that shit done.” “Got another thing, Pete saw who crashed that damn garbage thing into the wall. Was our old, old friend Daryl…didn’t see others. Maybe some stupid one-man show or they just hid pretty damn good”, Simon said while everything you had felt till now felt even worse. Did Daryl think that Negan would take care of that you’d get alive out of this? Or did your own brother just didn’t care anymore? Did he just didn’t care how you would end up, as long as Negan would die? Regardless of what was the truth, that gave you the rest and hell, you were feeling sick. All this was making you feel sick, the whole damn war. And with what you had heard just moments ago, you began to realize that this war would just end up letting both sides pull bigger and crueler things with every single move until more and more people would die. Your stomach seemed to turn once again and the pressure on your ribcage, then your whole torso raised with every single second and both of them created the awful need to gag.
You were strong, you had tried to keep control and remain level-headed as much as you could for so long but right now all the fears which had been lingering somewhere underneath and had just waited for their moment to come out were taking their chance now. You didn’t want to see Alexandria burn but even more, you didn’t want to lose more people, you didn’t want to lose any of your friends back home and you didn’t want to lose Negan. You didn’t care about his men, you still wouldn’t hesitate to kill any of them if they’d try to kill or hurt one of your friends, but on the other side you’d save Negan over and over again without any hesitation, doesn’t matter from whom. So in the end, there was no winning way for you. Not even close. Either way, you’d lose. And that got painfully real to you right now.
You tumbled towards the bathroom hoping that this insane feeling of nausea was just staying a feeling like it had always been other times and wouldn’t urge the bit of food you had eaten out of your body. But this time, your hope was greatly disappointed. The bathroom door had just shut with a loud thud behind you as you found yourself kneeling on the tiled floor, bend over the toilet bowl as a shudder ran through your whole body and urged it to drain itself. They wouldn’t surrender, you knew Rick, you knew everyone else back there, they wouldn’t surrender. So if that wouldn’t happen they’d die or, or they’d fight back. But at this point, a fight like that could mean death and complete destruction for both parts.
Your head pounded as other gags followed until nothing but biliary was leaving your exhausted body before you suddenly heard a heavy knock on the door. “Sweetheart?”, Negan’s concerned voice sounded through the door’s wood. “Fuck, are you alright?”, he added while you could hear the tension in his voice rising. “Yeah”, you mumbled but much to your annoyance your body had different plans and urged you back over the toilet bowl. “You’re not”, you heard his concerned and tensed voice sound muffled through the door. Instead of answering a shudder ran through your body right before you heard his voice sounding through the door again. “(Y/N)?”, he asked, his breath audibly growing quicker and restless. Your heavy breath made it impossible for you to answer as you sat down and leaned back, cleaned your lips up to get the ugly feeling off your skin while you tried to calm yourself down and get your mind back to focus. “Baby, I’m coming in now”, you just heard him say before the sound of the opening door echoed through your head before Negan’s black boots got into your field of view.
(Side note: You don’t have to read any previous parts to understand the plot! I hope you all like it and enjoy reading)
The sun was streaming through the big windows of Negan’s apartment as you sat on the couch, sunken deeply into its leather while somewhere beneath you the whole army of walkers, Rick, the rest of your friends and probably your brother Daryl too had lead here, were trying to break through the walls. You sighed quietly as your body sunk even deeper into the leather as you asked yourself when Negan would come back so you could leave and talk to Gabriel.
And just as your mind had formed the question, the heavy wooden doors swung open and let Negan step in before you already got up from your seat. “You can’t go to him”, Negan said as he lifted Lucille off of his shoulder and leaned her against the wall. “Why?”, you asked, furrowing your brows as Negan looked with a sigh up to you. Anybody else would have probably heard a sentence similar to “because I said so”, but it was more than crystal clear that you both had passed that kind of thing a long time ago. Sure, Negan was the leader in this whole community but between the both of you, there was a balance that made him actually have to give you a proper reason for his sudden change of mind. “’Cause our priest is having some infection shit because of those damn guts. Carson’s trying to get him back on track”, Negan said as he stroke over his stubble. “You told me I could go to him”, you remarked with a sigh as you stood up from the couch while Negan walked closer and you already felt the concern about your friend growing in you. “Yeah, I did. You could go to a fucking healthy priest but we weren’t talking about you sitting in the same damn room as a living germ factory who looks just as shitty as the dead fuckers outside”, he said as he stopped walking and looked at you. “Alright, I get what you mean but I’ll be careful”, you said calmly as Negan looked at you with a testing glance before you raised your voice again. “You said Carson thinks he got it from the guts, right? We both had them on too and we’re fine. He won’t infect me, as I said I’ll be careful.” “Well, I’m not interested in seeing you in the fucking infirmary laying half dead in the bed next to him”, Negan said in a serious tone and with a deep sigh. “I know…but do you think I am?”, you asked as Negan let out a big sigh, his hand stroking over his jaw for a moment while you could already see in his eyes that he knew he wasn’t going to stop you. “Alright…but if he’s coughing enough to get a fucking army infected or anything else like that, I want you to get your ass out of there”, Negan said as he looked with another sigh at you. “Alright.”
“Hey”, you said minutes later as you saw how the door of the infirmary opened and Carson’s glance darted at you. “You’re here for Gabriel, right?”, he asked with a small smile as you nodded while the door opened. “How’s he doing?”, you asked as you walked in, the concerned glance in the doctor’s eyes already foreshadowing what you saw within the next seconds. “Worse with every minute. Guess it’s an infection, maybe more than just one. I’m not completely sure yet but if it’s what I’m apprehending, it’s gonna attack his organs”, you heard Harlan say while your eyes wandered over Gabriel, who laid faintly in the hospital bed, sweat glistening on his skin while his whole body shivered. “Could you stay a bit with him? I just need to check if I find more meds…next option is some herbs at the marketplace but for now, I’ll keep going the modern way”, he asked with a sigh. “Yes, sure”, you said with a nod before Carson already rushed out of the room.
“(Y/N)?”, you heard Gabriel’ weak voice ask as you walked closer towards him.s “Yeah, it’s me”, you responded, his head slowly rising from the pillow as a small but throaty cough let his body shake, his hand reaching out to the empty water glass on the nightstand. “Wait”, you mumbled as you took the glass and quickly walked towards the counter to grab a water bottle. Filling the glass up, you paced back to the side of his bed and carefully tilted it until he could sip on it. With a small sigh, you got it back on the nightstand as you sat down on the chair next to his bed. “Why are you here?”, you heard his weak voice ask while you gulped harshly down. “To take care of you”, you mumbled, knowing that this wasn’t the direction Gabriel wanted to lead this. “No, why?”, he asked as you leaned with a sigh against the chair’s backrest and looked at him. “You heard what Rick said before he began that shooting stuff. I’m still one of you…he wasn’t wrong about this…that’s why I’m here”, you said, gulping down as Gabriel glanced for a short moment with half-closed eyes at you. “Was he right about it?”, he asked, making you let out a big sigh as you shifted uncomfortably on the chair. “Yeah…he was. I haven’t switched sides just like that, I’m still your friend”, you said as you watched his reaction carefully as he tilted his head in your direction again. “Before I was with him in this trailer, before I met you again…I wasn’t sure if you could stand him…but you do, he’s grown on you…so are you sure that it’s not just bad conscience why you’re here?”, he asked as he hardly gulped and another shudder let his body shake. “Yes…I am”, you muttered as you kept looking at him and even though you did have a bad conscience, the main reason why you were sitting next to his bed was that you were still, just like you had said, his friend. “I’m no Savior, I’m not Negan, I’m not any of this in any way”, you added, trying to show him that you weren’t just telling him some lies. “And I wasn’t involved in any of this. Negan’s not…he’s not pulling me into those things…I had no idea any of you had contact with those garbage people or anything else”, you said as your glance was still darted at him. “But you both, you’re close”, he said as another sigh left your lips. “Well…yeah…but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything he does or has done”, you mumbled as you gulped, opening up wasn’t your thing anyway and especially not in these circumstances and when it was about Negan to one of your old friends. “But you have it, don’t you? A bad conscience? After what he’s done to Glenn, to Abraham….and to Daryl”, he muttered while his words made a shudder run down your spine. You sighed deeply and glanced down at your hands and your slowly nervously sweaty turning palms as you pressed them on the fabric of your pants, not knowing how you should exactly respond to this. “I…yeah…”, you mumbled insecure, while Gabriel’s head turned a bit more towards you. “You’re not a bad person (Y/N). I know that…I don’t understand why you got so close to him but I guess, you can’t choose everything…but you could try to resist…make a stand to what you might be sliding in”, he muttered while another sigh left your lips. “Believe me, that’s all I’ve tried to do till I thought he was dead instead of safe with you in that trailer…I for sure didn’t want that to be true as well but I’m not sliding into this anymore, I’m already way too deep into this all for that”, you mumbled, struggling with yourself about how much you could reveal to him about things you were fighting with as well and things you hadn’t completely figured out yet. You saw Gabriel nodding slightly as you let out a small sigh before you heard Carson’s voice again. “I’m back”, he said as he stepped back into the room and walked closer to you both, but what he had on meds in his hands didn’t seem to last more than maybe a few hours for Gabriel. “Thank you”, the Doctor said to you with a small but exhausted smile as you stood with a nod up and saw how Carson already got back to check on how bad Gabriel had gotten in the time he had been gone. “I’ll come back later”, you quietly said before you left the infirmary again.
Gabriel’s reaction to whatever what was developing between you and Negan was the mildest one you could expect any of your friends to have about it. It was wrong what was happening there, for sure it was somehow. But right and wrong were mixed and messed up pretty badly in this kind of world already and if you were honest, nothing of what was left wasn’t fucked up in any kind of way, doesn’t matter what it was or who it was. Regardless of that, your conversation was still somehow stuck in your bones when you came back to Negan’s room and saw him standing pondering in the middle of it. “Hey”, you said as you closed the heavy door behind yourself. “Hey, Sweetheart”, Negan responded with a small smirk before he leaned Lucille against the side of the couch and walked closer to you. ”You’re done looking after sick Gabey?”, he asked as he raised his brows. “Guess I’ll drop in on the way later again”, you said before a small cough traveled up from your throat and left your lips. “I was right”, he grumbled as his jaw clenched within a second and his glance darted tensed at you. “What?”, you asked as you looked confused at him. “You shouldn’t have gone to him, he’s getting you that fucking infection shit too”, he said as his glance turned darker and his voice turned into a growl. “Because of the cough? Negan, I’m not even ten minutes gone from there, symptoms don’t show up that fast. I’m just having a dry throat”, you tried to explain yourself before you looked with a sigh at him while his whole body seemed to tense up and the thick vein on his neck began to swell. “I need to get the cut checked on and my band-aid changed tonight anyway, I can kill two birds with one stone that way”, you said, trying to get a way out of this and to your goal while you already saw that Negan was looking through what you were trying to do. “Don’t play that kinda game with me. I could get Carson’s ass here within a fucking minute to do that shit”, he hissed while he began to walk uneasily up and down, his jaw clenching repeatedly before you let out a deep sigh and his glance snapped up to you again. “Do you think I’m doing this for fucking fun? To patronize you or shit?”, he asked growling as his voice shook while he stood straight up again. “I’m not, not in any damn way”, he growled while slowly the concern began to break more and more through in his glance. “If he’s getting you worse, I don’t have just nearly enough meds here to get you back on track again”, he growled while his voice trembled even harder and the concern filled his eyes now completely up before he pinched the bridge of his nose. You weren’t even mad at him, you knew enough about his past to know why he was reacting, maybe even overreacting, the way he was right now. And especially because of that you knew how sensitive that kind of topic was for him and how careful and diplomatic you had to handle this situation now to not get you both deeper into this. “I get it, Negan, I really do. I’ll be careful, It’s not like he’d cough right into my face. I’m just sitting there”, you said calmly, while Negan’s glance still darted at you. “That’s what you told me before as well”, he grumbled, calm but he had this certain undertone in his voice. “Yes, ‘cause it’s the truth”, you responded while you felt the desperation in your body growing and besides everything, your conversation, as well as Gabriel’s state, was still lingering in the back of your head. Negan’s nose wrinkled for a moment, his fingers were back at pinching the bridge of his nose as another deep sigh left your lips while his brows puckered tightly before his hand ran over his face. “I’m not gonna have you die on me”, he growled uneasily, the restlessness that was rushing through his body was showing more and more. ”Alright…I understand you but..”, you began but stopped, while the guilt you felt towards the people you called your friends made its way back into your body. The guilt that would just grow if you wouldn’t take care of Gabriel now. ”Negan, I’ve lost people too, a good bunch of them….And those people back there have become some kind of new family for me and I’m already enough in their debt for whatever is-”, you stopped, swallowing harshly you looked at him while the tension that was laying all over his body changed. ”Either way…it’s just gonna get worse, doesn’t matter who wins, what happens, I’m more in their debt with every damn minute and now one of them is sick here so I just need to do something…”, you said as you felt a small lump in your throat while Negan’s eyes softened slowly. ”Even if that just means to take care of him for a bit so Carson can get some sleep to be fit again, search for more meds or whatever”, you said while you could slowly see in Negan’s glance that he knew that he should especially be the one to understand your situation. “If you want, I’ll tell Carson to not just check the wound, but the other stuff too…If he says it’s too risky, or that I shouldn’t be there. I can come back. he’s a doctor, he knows how to estimate the situation for me”, you said as you looked at him. You were honest, of course you’d have to fight a whole lot with it and it would be everything else than easy for you, but if Carson wouldn’t give you his ‘yes’ you would do that for Negan, just because you knew about his biggest burden and the fear he had of a repetition of it in any way. ”I’ll come back if he says so, either way, I’m careful, I promise”, you mumbled as he slowly walked closer, the tension leaving his body slowly. ”Alright…, but I count on that. If he just sees the slightest concern about that shit, I want you to come back”, Negan said harshly gulping down as his hands reached out to your hips before a knock interrupted him. ”What?”, Negan asked with a sigh and an annoyed tone before the door opened. ”Sir? Eugene’s on his way to the conference room.”
(Side note: You don’t have to read any previous parts to understand the plot! I hope you all like it and enjoy reading)
The dusk was already setting in when you stood in Negan’s room and slid your blood and gut covered jacket off your arms that had helped you, at least at the beginning, to make it along with Negan and Gabriel through the herd Rick and the rest of your friends had lead to the Sanctuary. “Damn…finally”, you heard Negan groan as he shoved the still gut covered leather jacket off his shoulders. “Alright now let’s get cleaned up. You shower first, except, Well, except you wanna get rid of this nasty shit all along with me”, he chuckled as raised his brows suggestively just to tease you. “Only shitty thing about that is, I’d probably get you dirty all over again”, he said grinning as he took your jacket out of your hands and laid both on the ground. “Well, then I better get cleaned up alone, huh?”, you asked with a small laugh as he looked back up and shook his head with a small chuckle. “Alright, I really gotta get under the shower now”, you laughed as you turned over to walk to the bathroom before you heard his voice again. “(Y/N)?”, he asked with a small sigh as you turned back to him. “Shit aside, you’re really okay? Carson’s gonna come here either way, I just wanna know. No other crap than the cut?”, he asked as he pointed to the part of your shirt that was different from your jacket soaked in your own blood. “Yeah, you?”, you asked as you slowly nodded to the scratch alike bruise that was boasting on his cheekbone. “Was that a walker?”, you asked with a gulp as you looked at him while you hoped that it wasn’t. “No, I-”, he began before he stopped and stroke over his stubble and looked pondering at you. “What?” “I accidentally hit my damn self with Lucille”, he muttered as your tensed muscles relaxed within a second and a laugh traveled up your throat. “Seriously?”, you asked chuckling as you saw him sighing with a grin he couldn’t get from his lips while he stroke quickly over his stubble. “Yeah, now get under the damn shower before I get some other ideas”, he muttered still grinning as he bit his lip. “Sure, but be careful when you clean her up, not that you get yourself hit again”, you mumbled with a grin before you turned around and began to walk over to the bathroom. “Fucking tease”, you heard his voice say with a hearty chuckle before the door shut behind you.
As fast as you could, you shoved your clothes off your body and slid into the shower, letting out a pleased sigh as you felt the hot water hitting your skin. You didn’t even care about the stinging of your wound, your tired muscles and bones felt relief after the torture they had gone through from laying on the cold hard ground beneath the trailer for way too long. The water pelted down on you and washed the blood from your skin and off your hair while you knew that something had changed. And with that, you didn’t think of the herd of walkers that was stumbling around the Sanctuary in these moments, even though their presence had lead to it. You thought about what you had felt before you had found out that Negan was alive, how afraid you had been that he hadn’t made it and how this fear had just made you realize that you had been suppressing your emotions and had been lying to yourself all along, You were developing something for him, slowly, but you were. But that wasn’t by far the only thing that wandered through your head. His confession, but not the one about his first wife, not the confession you knew about except for the cheating part and that he hadn’t been able to put her down. The confession about you was lingering in the back of your head, his words that were still ringing in your mind. “If (Y/N)…if she-…I haven’t screwed one of them for some time now…I just began to feel like crap when I did…I couldn’t anymore at some point. Felt like I was betraying her just like I did to my first wife…And I can’t do the same goddamn mistakes again…And now, now I don’t even know if she’s still alive or…I don’t know if I could put her down”, you heard his voice repeat over and over again. You knew that you hadn’t been supposed to hear it, that he may have never said those things if he hadn’t looked death directly in the eye. He should know about that, you knew that, but you had no idea how and when to tell him without making anything even more complicated.
(Side note: You don’t have to read any previous parts to understand the plot! I hope you all like it and enjoy reading)
Everything laid in ashes outside the Sanctuary as you made your way through the mess Rick and the rest of your friends along with their allies had left. You could feel the tension on your whole body as you heard the groans of the walkers sounding through the air while your glance got carried away from the Savior Negan had commanded to get you inside. You had tried to urge Negan to come with you but obviously, it hadn’t worked. Whatever he was trying to do outside here to turn the situation into a better one, all while he was hurt, you weren’t a fan of it, rather the complete opposite. And that was when the walkers hadn’t been there yet. Now they were streaming onto the compound and you had no idea where Negan was anymore, just as you had no idea where Gabriel was who you had seen just moments ago.
The groans got louder while you were still searching for Negan and Gabe who had now seemed to have completely disappeared into thin air. Your glance kept searching, regardless of how many walkers were stumbling into your field of view before a loud scream ripped you out of the trance you were swaying in. Within a second your glance captured walkers way too close to you and the blood overflowed head and shoulders of the man who was supposed to get you inside. More screams escaped his mouth while you saw how more and more walkers got drawn over to you while their rotting teeth dug into your companion’s skin as he went to the ground before your mind got what was happening right now here. To the fear you had about Negan and Gabe attended the adrenaline that shot through your veins as your widened eyes searched for a weapon. As you already felt the first rotting fingertips brushing against your skin you hastily grabbed a slim metallic pipe from the floor, the groans pounding through your head as loud as the sound of your fast heartbeat. You couldn’t die here, hell, you wouldn’t.
Heavily breathing and still hearing the screams of the Savior in the back of your head, the end of the pipe repeatedly stabbed into the decaying Walker heads. You couldn’t get to the door that lead inside, it was still way too far away and the Savior and the mass of walkers that were tearing the flesh from his dead body were a barrier you couldn’t defeat. Your heart pounded harsher against your chest before your eyes caught a trailer behind some more pipes that had secured walkers before the attack. With fast steps you shoved yourself past the dead, the pipe still tightly in your hands, ready to kill while you felt how their cold hands tried to get a hold of you.
You were stuck in some kind of trance, your mind only focussed on surviving until you landed with a thud on the ground and eventually rolled beneath the trailer. You took a deep breath as you crawled into its middle before you noticed two heavily decayed walkers that had found your little hideout. The cold ground pressed against your body as you let a deep sigh out and crawled over the cement, the small space between the ground and the metal above you giving your mind and your movements a hard time until you were close enough and their rotting arms almost reached your body. “Shit”, you growled as you dug the pipe into their heads, their blood splattering against your skin before their bodies immediately went limp as you stayed put for a moment. Had they attracted more? It wasn’t that unlikely. Hell, there was a mass of those dead assholes outside, it was a wonder that only those two had noticed how you had rolled beneath the trailer.
You rolled again on your back, sighing deeply before the worries made their way back into your head. You tried to suppress the thought of what could’ve happened, told yourself that Negan was just fine and probably just hiding somewhere until you couldn’t anymore. What if he hadn’t made it? What if they had swarmed him like the Savior who had been supposed to get you inside? What if? You bit your lip, pressed your eyes tightly shut as if it would successfully urge those questions out of your mind. And of course, it didn’t work. And as you laid there, the walkers groaning and pounding against the sides of the trailer, and the thought of a heavily injured or even dead Negan in your head you began to realize something. It didn’t matter how much you shouldn’t, how guilty you felt, how much you didn’t want to admit it or how wrong it might’ve been, you couldn’t deny and you couldn’t lie to yourself anymore. The fear and the concern just showed you the truth your mind had tried all the time to stop from showing. You didn’t just care about him, you were beginning to slowly develop deep feelings for him. Slowly, hell, almost at a glacial pace, but well, surely. You could ask yourself why and what the hell was wrong with you as much as you wanted, tell yourself that you shouldn’t, but that wouldn’t change the fact that you were. Emotions are uncontrollable, that’s just the goddamn way it is.
“We can wait it out a little bit, see if my people can figure something out. One thing that is sure as ass if my people think I’m dead a lot of folks are gonna die in there”, you suddenly heart a familiar voice sound through the metal above you that separated you from the inside. You propped yourself on your elbows to get closer to the metal, unsure if your mind was just playing tricks on you. Was Negan actually in there? “Why?”, you heard Gabriel’s voice say as you couldn’t really believe your ears. “Listen to me. I don’t have shit to confess. Except maybe the fact that I rubbed one out right where you’re sitting just to calm down a bit.” Yeah, that was definitely Negan in there. A small relieved laugh fell from your lips, realizing that both of them were as good as safe inside there and as much as it looked like right now, they were just talking. They were just fucking talking and not trying to rip each other’s heads off.
“Did you see if she got in? (Y/N)?”, you heard Negan ask. “Why’d you care?”, Gabe’s voice replied in a snarky tone while the sound of the growling walkers outside almost over-toned him. “Why? Well shit, Gabe, I just do…now tell me. Did you see her?”, Negan growled back, the dangerous hiss in his voice being even able to hear through the metal that separated you. You wanted to tell them, let them know that you were alive but you couldn’t. You couldn’t pound against the metal and call for them, you couldn’t see a way they could get you immediately up inside to them so making just a little too many noises would let you end up just as dead as the walkers outside. “No”, you heard Gabriel answer. “Fuck”, Negan scoffed while you gulped hardly down and felt how the frustration in your body grew. You laid there, beneath the trailer, not more than a few feet separated from them and you still couldn’t do a single thing. “…I still got her knife…I forgot to give her the fucking knife back”, you heard Negan’s voice again, now some desperation swinging in it before he got oddly quiet and the growls and groans were the only things you could hear.
Sleep was still lulling you into its depths as a low voice began to stream through to you, slowly tickling the consciousness awake. Softly groaning your tired mind tried to sort the voice into a category as it sounded through your head once more, pushing you enough to the edge of wakefulness to let your eyes flutter slowly open. Your view was blurry at first, only taking in the brown hair and hazy features of the man in front of you before it got clearer with each passing second. “Miles?”, you groaned drowsily, wrinkling your brows in confusion before your head bounced into reality and made you remember where you were. In a bed of the infirmary, not by Negan’s side in the cell. Working all day and night before laying down to take a nap while all the patients were sleeping – Shit. “Oh crap, the patients”, you called out, standing almost straight in your bed as you were suddenly wide awake, cursing yourself for oversleeping. You had laid down when it had been completely dark outside, now the morning sun was shining brightly through the windows, urging you to realize that your exhaustion had urged your body to take more sleep than you had planned. “Its fine, they’re all still sleeping, and if they wake up, Karen’s already ready to take care of them. We’re taking over now, came back earlier from the run than we thought”, your co worker said, giving you a small smile as your muscles began to tense a little less and the adrenaline that had rushed through your veins decreased, “I just decided to wake you up so you know we’re back.” “Okay, thank you…sorry though, just couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore and they were all asleep”, you mumbled, adjusting your clothes as you heft yourself up from the bed and have him an apologizing smile. “Don’t worry, can’t blame it on you, keeping that thing here going all alone is one hell of a job, no wonder you needed a break”, he chuckled before he nodded towards the half open door, “You mind getting Karen and me up to speed? Then you’re all free for now.”
“And Will’s wound is doing better, still needs the salve Siddiq mixed for him though.. but that must be it”, you said as you found yourself standing ten minutes later in the kitchen of the infirmary while both of them listened to you as you finished going through the list of patients that laid in the beds of the infirmary. “Great, then we see you back tomorrow, right?”, Karen asked with a smile, already grabbing some bandages while you gave her a small nod. “Yeah, see ya”, you said back, grabbing your jacket while the anticipation begun to grow in your body, only rising as you finally stepped out onto the porch that was enlightened by the morning sun. A soft breeze was brushing over your skin, bringing a little peace into your still tried body while a smile began to grow on your lips as you realized that only a few minutes parted you from huddling up to Negan. You couldn’t wait to feel his arms wrapping around you, feel him tucking you in along with him beneath the blanket and nuzzle your nose into the warmth of his neck just so you could doze back off and get something of the sleep back you lost while treating the patients all night. Your thoughts only let the smile grow wider as you hopped down the stairs of the porch and made your way down the street, enjoying the warmth of the rising sun that danced over your skin. A content sigh left your lips as you made your way further down the street, your eyes fixing on the path you were making every single day for the last seven years before a figure made its way into your field of vision that threw your good mood slowly off. His face was twisted in anger, the eyebrows pulled into a tight curve, his eyes squinting even though it couldn’t cover the furiousness burning within them while his hands clutched a piece of paper while he stumped towards you. For a moment, you questioned that Kent was walking towards you, wondering if it had to do anything with the bad news about Rosita and Eugene you had gotten yesterday but with each step he came closer, you excluded it more and more. He was having you as his target, for whatever reason. “You wanna tell me anything about this?!”, he growled, as only a couple feet parted you, the hand with the paper sheet rising up, almost holding it into your face as you glanced full of confusion at him. “What is this?”, you only choked out watching as more fury spread over his features with each of your words. “Are you fucking kidding me?”, he growled, his jaw clenching threateningly as he pushed the sheet finally into your hands. “Laid on his bed in his cell, you wanna explain this?” With now shaking hands you began to unfold the paper, still utterly confused and with the worst scenarios sneaking into your head before your eyes eventually scanned over the familiar handwriting that shook you to the core.
I’m coming back, Sweetheart. Gabriel let the door open and I had to take the damn chance. I’ll be fine, so don’t you worry your pretty head off. Don’t risk shit and come after me, just trust me. I’ll make it right for us. Love you more than fucking anything. – Negan
“He’s gone”, Kent spellt it out for you as an icy shudder ran down your back while your eyes went over and over along the lines, still feeling as if you were caught in a surreal dream instead of reality. “You set this up with him? Pushing the fault on Gabriel? You-”, Kent growled out but instead of reacting to his accusations your mind ran past it, your head only twirling around Negan as you cut him off. “He can’t be gone-…I-”, you stumbled, your fingers clamping on the edge of the sheet, your eyes still tracing over it over and over again while your throat was beginning to tighten as your body filled with worry and more confusion. Before you could even notice anything else you felt yourself moving past him, urged to see it for yourself, urged to go to the place you last saw Negan. “Where the hell are you going?”, you heard the man snap, keeping up with you as you rushed down the still empty streets of Alexandria. “I…I have to see this for myself.”
Your breath was shivering and harsh as you stumbled down the stairs, almost falling as you felt your legs becoming weaker with each step while your trembling hands still clutched the handwritten note. Part of you still tried to convince yourself hat you were still laying in the bed at the infirmary your mind was only churning up an odd dream fueled by your body’s exhaustion but as soon as you stepped into the cellar even this part vanished into thin air. The cell was empty. For a moment you froze to the spot before you stumbled slowly into the cell, glancing around the room, at the bed where Kent had found the note you were holding in your hands as if your life depended on it. “You’re gonna stop playing that game now?”, you heard Kent’s voice suddenly behind you, snapping you out of the trance the shock had kept you in while you first realized what he was accusing you off. “I am not playing any game”, you choked out as you turned around, glancing into his furious eyes that contributed to the mess of emotions that was beginning to whirl faster through you,”How the hell should I’ve helped him?” You could feel yourself torn up between the worry of what would happen now and the rising anger of Kent’s accusation, only fueled by a provoking rising of his eyebrows as if you were pulling an act on him. “I haven’t seen him since yesterday midday, I was at the infirmary the whole time, ask the patients or Miles and Karen…”, you said, just as shaky as peeved, too shaken by what was happening around you to react to the mess he was trying to throw at you. “Sure thing, (Y/N)”, he snapped sarcastically, shaking his head as he stared with you before he let out a thick huff and stormed up the stairs, following the voices that were beginning to grow louder outside the jail. A shaky breath fell from your lips as you found yourself alone in the middle of the cell, still confused and as if you were stuck in a surreal dream. You found yourself sitting down on his bed, staring at the note in your hands while reality began to sneak up on you and began to filter your emotions out of the mess that was whirling through you. You weren’t mad at Negan, not at all. You’d always wanted him out of this cell, but with these circumstances right now, you were more worried than anything. He was one strong and big man, but also one that hadn’t been outside for seven years and hadn’t even killed nor seen a walker since then. He was lacking practice and even though you trusted in his skills and determination, even the fittest fighters were able to get lost and hurt out there. And that was the last damn thing you wanted.
For the first time in all these years, Negan could actually feel the sun shining down on him. Not just some light beaming through the windows of his cell, no, actual sunshine that seemed to surrounded all of him as he sat at the door of an empty caravan, chewing on some of the tomatoes he’d taken with him out of Alexandria. It wasn’t too much, but it was fine for the start. Being outside was great, so damn great that it still felt little surreal even though he had to pay for it with a bittersweet taste that came along with the new grasped freedom. He was alone, no living fuck anywhere around him and, and this bothered him much more right now, he still had to make a plan on how to act out what had actually made him leave the cell. He still had to find a way to make it all right, to change his and her future into a brighter one than the one that had awaited them in the dark cell and fuck, he had to do so before anyone could find him outside here. They were probably all swarming out by now, trying to make up where he could go and how to catch him. All he hoped for at least was that they had found his letter and Gabey was man enough to admit that he had fucked up locking his cell door, putting no blame on his girl and leaving her the fuck alone. A low groan left Negan’s lips as he swallowed the last piece to the tomato and washed it with the last gulp of water left in his bottle down, trying to shut down his worried thoughts and instead focus on his goal. Pinching the bridge of his nose he breathed thoroughly out, clenching his jaw as he silenced his mind before a noise sounded through his head that he hadn’t heard in years. A sickly sounding groan combined with snapping sounds of rotting teeth clashing on one another and low growls that were heralding the slowly approaching threat. And even after all this time his instincts still reacted as fast as a lightning bolt striking through the air, forcing him to snap around as look into the dead eyes that were fixing on him. A fucking dead asshole, with rotting skin dangling of its bones, threatening to fall off of it with every slurfing step it took as it rounded the caravan and snapped its jaw at Negan. Quickly, it elicited an annoyed huff to fall from his lips as he raised his body up and grabbed the shovel he took from Alexandria, ready to kill his first walker since seven years.
“It was my fault…I was thinking about Rosita-…I left the cell door open”, Gabriel’s voice sounded through the window in Negan’s cell through to you, eliciting a wave of relieve to wash over your body. For the last bit you’d only heard a bunch of people outside the cell wondering and theorizing about how Negan had escaped, some speaking in your favor while others were ranting about how it had only been a matter of time till you’d help him get out. You hadn’t bothered to leave the cell and defend yourself once more, still too startled and worried to do much. A small part of what they said was right, you had lost some thoughts about letting him leave, but not out of spite towards the others, but for his wellbeing, especially during the time he had been nearly suicidal. You’d always feared he’d fall into this hole again but no matter what you had thought, Negan had kept you from thinking any more about it than the bare minimum. You could still hear him say he wouldn’t leave, even if you’d rip the door out of its angles, not wanting to risk your place in Alexandria and exchange it for a life on the run just so he could be a free man. And he was right in the end, you’d always want him to leave the peaceful way, maybe get integrated into the community, no matter how surreal that seemed to the most. Still, he was gone now. Because it had been Gabriel to leave the door open, and not you. A thick huff left your lips as you stared to your hands, hoping to grasp any sane thought even though the voices outside made thinking clearly even harder. “We have to leave now and get him before Michonne returns. Can’t risk it.” “Gotta plan it thoroughly. We need to have groups in all directions and with enough people…he’s an asshole but sly as a fox, we need to be sure to get him once we spot him.” An ice cold shudder ran down your back as you listened to their voices, realizing once more that this was the bitter reality. Of course they were gonna search for him. A shivering sigh rumbled through your body as you sprung up, glancing through the windows that were showing you the Alexandrian’s that must have almost forgotten about you in their anger and almost panic. They were still talking as they were slowly departing from the cell, making up a plan to catch Negan as fast as they could and with that, arguing about the one thing you couldn’t let happen. No matter what Negan had asked you to do, no matter how much you liked to be able to stay back, trust him, follow his plea for once and hope that everything would just work out, you couldn’t. You had to find him. Before they did.
“Home, Sweet Home”, the words rolled from Negan’s lips smoothly as he finally stared at the familiar in front of him, the dark fabric that stood tall and impressive in front of him, like the stronghold it had always been. His eyes wandered over his old home, the place that might help him to turn shit around for him and his girl now, all while a small grin forming on his lips for the first time in hours. Till now, this fucking day hadn’t been much of a lucky one. Killing walkers was as much of a pain in the ass as ever, especially when one of them lands on your supplies and taints them with its mushy and bloody fuckery of a body. Drinking water out of a small river was a damn dumb idea too, that was noted in the back of his mind now as well, mostly after his body had cranked in disgust until all the shit that had swum in his stomach had left his body the wrong way out, and as a special treat, right at the damn clearing this whole shit had begun. Fuck, he wasn’t even sure what had urged him there, regret, nostalgia, whatfuckingever, still the odds weren’t much in his favor and rather taunting to force him to throw up especially there. Next damn thing had been a bunch of wild dogs that had almost torn him apart in a shop for clothes, ending up with him saving his ass in the very last minute. But hey, at least he had a new fucking leather jacket, and damn that smooth shit felt so much better than that prison suit on his skin. And now, it almost felt a little like it used too, a leatherjacket slung around his torso, a grin on his lips and a metal pipe resting on his shoulder like his dirty girl had used to. Maybe this old place could help him with a new start. Maybe this could be it. Maybe.
A few food cans were clicking in your backpack, the knife tightly in your hands as you shuffled from the road first into the woods, hoping that the other Alexandrian’s wouldn’t directly see you and keep you from searching for him. You stayed at its edge though, enough to see the road to keep track on where you were heading while you made your way through the undergrowth, each step determined. He could be going anywhere judging from his note that seemed to say much by saying nothing concrete at all as well, for obvious reasons, still, your head was working on full speed, trying to figure out where to go, where to search for him. He wanted to change something, for you two, so maybe he was going back to the root of it all to find a start. The Sanctuary. “(Y/N)”, a familiar voice made you flinch, echoing from the road through the trees as it let you immediately flinch up and turned your head towards its source. “Judith? What are you doing outside?”, you choked out the moment you saw the girl standing on the blacktop, glancing at you while she clutched the heavy colt in her hands. “Same as you, I guess”, she said, shrugging her shoulders as you sighed and climbed out of the undergrowth of the woods, glancing to your sides to see if she was alone before a thicker huff left your lips. “Judith, you can’t go out alone, what if-” “Well now I’m not alone anymore, right?”, she said, nodding towards you and actually eliciting a small chuckle off your lips before you stepped closer to her, torn between what to do now before you already saw her changing the look in her eyes, almost as if she could guess that you’d tell her to let you take her home, to not get her into even more danger than she already was by simply being outside. “I won’t go back…and I still got something to tell you”, she said, glancing up from beneath her Sheriff’s hat as you let out another sigh. “Judi-” “I let him go”, she mumbled, widening your eyes only with this small sentence as he pressed her lips sheepishly on one another before raising her voice again. “I saw him climbing over the wall…he promised me not to hurt anyone, not even if they’d tried to hurt him…so I let him leave”, she said, huffing softly as her fingers fumbled on the metal of her gun, “He said he’ll make everything alright for you both, that’s why he had to go.” A heavy breath fell from your lips as you listened to her, hearing those words again that fitted to the one on the note that were stuffed into the pockets of your pants. “Maybe I can help you find him before the others, so you can talk to him”, she said, glancing up at you with that look that told you that she wouldn’t take a ‘no’ nor would she let you walk her home, back to Alexandria that must be about an hour march away by now. “Okay…but you’ll stay right by my side”, you eventually said reluctantly after a couple moments of pondering and hoping that you’d be earlier back than Michonne before you watched a smile spreading over the girl’s lips. “Great!”, she exclaimed, a wide smile spreading over her lips as she grabbed her colt tighter, held her hat with the other hand and began to sprint forward over the street, leaving your side within seconds. “You’re coming?”, she called the next moment, turning around to look smiling but challenging at you before you couldn’t hide a grin as you shook your head and let out a small laugh. “What did I just say?”
This wasn’t what he had wanted, not even what he had fucking expected the he had stood outside, all enthusiastic and hopeful too see his old home after all this time again. But there he was now, sitting in the great hall of the Sanctuary, or rather of what was left of it. It looked like nothing ever had happened here, as if this factory had been empty from the moment on the world had gone to shit. As if no people had ever buzzed through this hall, working and selling their goods. As if he had never held meetings in the room far up in the Sanctuary’s floors. As if there never had been life inside these walls. As if everything he had worked for and built up had never taken place. He didn’t even know what he had exactly expected when he had arrived here, after seven and a fucking half years. He’d known a couple things, the stuff (Y/N) had heard and told him, but even she hadn’t known everything about this place, nor its downfall. But here, here was nothing left. No person alive, just dead fuckers and one of his former lieutenants who had also seemed to have kicked the bucket years ago. But shit, at least he’d stayed till the very end…oppositely to everybody else. A thick gulp traveled down Negan’s throat as he glanced around from his crouched position on the couch in the middle of the hall at the furniture he had found sprawled out across the place and which was now aligned to a small room, almost as big as his cell back in Alexandria. He couldn’t deny that part of him had hoped that moving things around and creating a little space with them would elicit a feeling of comfort in him, but there was nothing. Just emptiness. The ring for his girl he had stuffed into his pant’s pocket before escaping his cell was pressing now into his skin, as if it was trying to remind him that it was still present, urging and pushing his mind to rotate over and over again, churning him up from the very inside. He’d really hoped he’d find something here that could help him change the situation, change their future and make it better, whatever the hell it might be. But with nothing left here, his hopes seemed to dangle on a thin thread, daring to tear each other second. Running his hand over his face, along the scruffy salt and pepper beard and over his mouth that had changed from a grin back into a form that looked like the one of a pissed off but especially sad smiley, he glanced around once more, feeling how a thick lump was forming in his throat, growing along with his desperation. No matter how much he wished for some solution to pop up in his head, for this place to change into something better just like the future he had longed for, he realized with every minute he spent within these walls that there was none. Not outside here at least. Here was nothing to built up on, nothing but dead fuckers and ruined buildings. He hated to admit it, hated even more that this was the painful truth, but there was not only more for him back in Alexandria, but also more for her, for them both. He had to go back.
“Oh no”, you huffed as you spotted the approaching four walkers between the trees, stumbling through the undergrowth you were making your way through along with Judith. “I’ll help”, she said as soon as you grabbed your knife, keeping it tightly in your hands before you turned around and glanced right at her. “Oh no, I know you can do this but there’s enough trouble going on right now. I won’t get you into any more danger”, you said, trying to work against her stubborn little head while the groans of the dead got louder, “Those aren’t that many, I can take care of them, just stay here.” You saw her nodding for a moment, right before your glance stayed a little longer on her before you turned back around and stepped towards the growling walkers that were already stretching their rotting arms out for you. With a huff you grasped the wooden handle of the knife tighter, stepping closer towards the first dead one as you kicked its weak legs back, snapping them by the knees into half and forcing it to stumble back into the ground, harmless enough for you to step over it and drive your knife into its skull. Sighing heavily you marched towards the other three, while you heard an approaching engine in the distance that pushed itself into your head as you made your way closer to the walkers. It were probably Alexandrians on their way to search for Negan, and while the thought of them finding him brought nausea over you again you forced yourself to concentrate on the threat right in front of you. You were swinging in a deadly trance as you fought walker after walker, panting as you struggled a little with the last and tallest one until its body finally got limp and fell lifeless to the ground. Just as you caught your breath again and shook the blood of the knife, ready to turn around to Judith your body flinched up in shock by the sound of a gunshot echoing through the air. Gasping for air you turned around, already seeing what you had expected, Judith was gone, and so was her colt, the gun that had to be responsible for the shot. “Fuck!”, you cursed loudly, filled with desperation and worry as you glanced around, trying to retrieve the source of the shot before you saw her standing on the blacktop of the road, a good bit away from your position in the woods, her body crouched, as if she was talking to someone or something on the ground. “Goddamn it”, you cursed under your fastening breath, already imagining the worst as you rushed through the undergrowth, trying to stay upright and not to trip over every root and bush in your way. You were only a few dozen meter away from reaching the blacktop as you finally saw a figure appearing beside her, tall and broad, right before this figure became a person whose appearance took your breath away once more. “Negan”, you breathed out, still not fully believing your eyes as your footsteps fastened, almost entangling with the undergrowth as you rushed through it until you reached the wood’s edge with a harshly beating heart and relief that began to wash all over you. You mumbled his name again the moment your eyes finally caught his, softening them as you watched a smile growing on his lips, pushing his dimples forward beneath the salt and pepper stubble. “You’re okay”, you mumbled with another relieved sigh, rushing towards him, lost in your emotions until you could finally feel his arms wrapping around your body and pulling you close against his. “Yeah..’cept for that this little lady shot me off the damn motorcycle”, you heard him mumble into your hair with a low chuckle, right before the adrenaline in your veins sunk a little and you began to combine what had just happened and look around you. Not only Negan was here, clad into a new leather jacket instead of the prison suit, there was also a motorcycle almost laying beside the road, its frontwheel still spinning slightly from the sudden impact it had gone through by Negan’s fall after Judith’s shot. “Jud-”, you called out, spinning in his arms around to her before he pulled you closer and made you look at him, calming you a little with his touch that felt soothing after the distress and nerve-racking emotions the day had put you through till now. “She told me she’d shoot if she’d see me again here so…”, he mumbled with a chuckle, shrugging his shoulders slightly before you heard the voice of the girl sounding through the air again. “I’ll give you a second…” “But don’t go too far, okay? Can’t have you slipping away again…I just don’t want you hurt, Judith”, you said, giving her a caring but warning look in response to what had happened just minutes ago before she nodded, this time more genuinely, before grabbing her colt and walking a bit until plunging down onto the edge of the blacktop. Breathing throughly through you forced your glance from Judith and instead closed your eyes as you hugged Negan back again, nuzzling your nose into his neck while you could feel more and more burden falling off your shoulders until his voice rumbled through to you. “You’re not mad at my ass?” “No…you just scared the shit out of me, you got no idea how many of them are out here searching for you”, you muttered back, sighing quietly as you huddled up to him ,”I’m just so glad you’re fine.” For another moment he stayed quiet, just cradling you and allowing you to calm down until your mind was less of a mess again before he shifted uncomfortably. “Sweetheart?”, he mumbled, pushing you with the tension in his voice to make you dive out of his neck’s curve and look into his eyes ,“I’m going back” “What?”, it directly jumped out of your lips, eliciting confusion once more as you stared blankly at him. In your euphoria you hadn’t even wasted a thought to what was coming next, if he was staying outside, what he had wanted to do for the both of you or if he had a new plan, but even though you could have imagined many answers, going back wasn’t one of the first ones you thought of. “Cell and all…I’m going back to Alexandria”, he added, clearly and determined, leaving no space for doubt even though confusion was still keeping all of your facial expression hostage. “I uhm…I thought I could change something”, he mumbled, sighing as he stared for a moment into the woods before his glance met yours again,”For us…get us that damn future we’ve been thinking’ ‘bout.” A weak, even sad smile was growing on his lips, catapulting your thoughts to your talks about the wishes the cell wouldn’t let you fulfill. ”Now I know I…I know I can’t”, he mumbled, gulping thickly as his voice was filled with pain and defeat while a heavy breath rumbled through his his chest. “Sanctuary’s gone…all of it…and-…fuck, there’s no damn other way out here for me to prove to them that I ain’t belong into that cell”, he said, trying to keep himself talking while you just looked at him, allowing him to get everything off his chest that needed to leave. “And I won’t bring you out here into this shit world for sure. Not you…not anything that could ever be on the way”, he mumbled with another sad smile, caressing the side of your stomach before he sighed once more and clenched his jaw uneasily, “There’s no future out here…I gotta accept that.” “In Alexandria, hell I know you’re safe, I know you got a doc when you need one, got shit to fill your stomach”, he chuckled softly as he rose his voice again, trying to lift both of your moods as a small grin slipped into the sad smile,”And I got some gossip at my little window, and that’s better than those fuckin’ dead asshats tryin’ to turn my ass into a snack.” “Are you sure?”, was the first thing to slip out of your lips as you were glancing concerned at him, “I don’t want you to feel like you gotta go back just for me…I don’t want that.” “It’s all fine, Sweetheart. Trust me, it’s fine”, he said the moment your voice hushed, leaving you no space to argue his decision. For another moment, you looked at him, watching his reaction, the glance that was filled with genuineness and muscles that were relaxed, as if he was at peace with his choice. “And who knows…maybe I get the chance to prove other shit”, he mumbled, tipping in to plant a small kiss on your lips before backing away and capturing your eyes once more, “I’m not givin’ up on our future, just gotta find a different way.” Softly, you nodded, still trying to sort the mess in your head that slowly got less entangled by the relief that washed more and more through your veins. “And at least I got a new leather jacket, knew you were always a sucker for that”, he added with another low chuckle, eliciting to let a soft laugh fall from your lips as well before another voice made you turn around. “Are you ready? Can we go home?”, Judith asked, glancing at you out of a little distance before you gave her a smiling nod and stepped finally out of Negan’s embrace. “Yeah, we can go home”, you said, seeing a small smile growing on her lips as well before she turned around and marched forward, the sheriff hat on her head swinging a little from side to side as it was still way too large before your eyes detached from her and found Negan again. “Everything will work out just fuckin’ fine”, he mumbled, taking his first steps to follow Judith and grasping your hand in the process, engulfing it in his large palm and squeezing it softly, letting you hope that he was right, letting you hope that there was no aftermath to his escape, letting you hope for your future.