The sun was already turning softer as the dusk began to slowly set in and drowned the trees and all that surrounded them into a warm light as the truck rushed past them. Normally you liked this time of the day that made all seem a little more peaceful but at this point, on this day, this time was just an indicator of you getting closer to the Hilltop, the place you wanted to be the least in these moments. Between your legs still stood the big, black sportsbag that held all your and Negan’s personal belongings in you had taken several hours ago from the Sanctuary, before you even knew that you were about to take off to the Hilltop first before going back to Alexandria. You weren’t even sure whose glorious idea it had been to make the big detour to the Hilltop instead of just driving back, you only knew that you couldn’t stand the idea, even worse, you were afraid of it. Tara, Rosita and Aaron, along with the new people from other communities were talking quietly here and there and just as occasionally as you heard them talking, you could see Tara’s, even Rosita’s, cold glances wandering over to you. Aaron was the only one of your old friends in here who didn’t treat you like a complete stranger or even enemy, he was still pretty reserved and talked as little with you as he could, but in comparison with the other two, especially Tara, he was being kind.
You gulped as you looked down to the sports bag and fumbled once again nervously on the loose black threads on its belts, knowing that sooner or later you would arrive at the Hilltop and you would have to see all those people who wanted you nothing else than gone. And next to all them was this one person ghosting through your mind, that made it harder for you with every moment and every foot this truck drove. Daryl. The encounter on the battlefield with your half-brother had been enough for you, his coldness, his harsh and sharp, even hatred filled words, his crossbow that had pointed at you, all this still send harsh shivers through your body. It had been about two weeks, maybe a little more or less since then, but not even nearly enough to make him calm down just a tiny bit. You knew as soon as he would see you, see the bag and what was inside, that his blood would boil up and make him lash out again. Hell, after everything you could understand that he was angry and needed time and space, and you were able to give him that but in his anger he was being blind as well, and that was your problem. You had saved him from Saviors when this war had begun, you had always tried to find a way out and you weren’t Negan’s little minion. If he’d only see that, you would be fine. And next to all this stress with Daryl, there was also Maggie at the Hilltop and next to Negan you could imagine being the person she wanted to see the least.
The cars were driving a lot faster than usual, obviously trying to make the detour work out and as then the car began to jerk slightly as the underground got rockier, your eyes darted at the front window and caught within moments the tall, wooden walls of the hilltop. Heavily gulping you stared back down, your body sensing the way the truck was driving up the Hill until the squeaking of the rustic gates sent ice-cold shivers through your body. Unknown voices mixed quickly with familiar ones outside the truck, people walking around and stopping nearby, ready to help unload the supplies the trucks were bringing into the walls of their home. Then, the engine of the vehicle hushed and the truck came to a stop even though every inch of your body had wished for it to go on and on forever so you wouldn’t have to face this whole mess. Tara, Rosita and Aaron, along with the other three people began to get up from their seats, while you remained like stuck to the wooden bench, not knowing what to do now. You didn’t want to face them, especially not Maggie and Daryl. And no matter what you do, something would be wrong about it. If you would go outside now, help carrying the stuff like it was nothing, you could already hear those voices say what a respectless fuck you were for just walking around in front of Maggie who was carrying the unborn baby of Glenn who’d been killed by the man you had fallen for. Just by the man who was still their enemy in their eyes, especially in Daryl’s who would feel provoked by this as well. And If you would stay inside, protect yourself from just another destroying encounter that would in the end get nobody just anything than more distress, no matter who it was, somebody would call you a spineless coward. But even though there almost nothing you hated as much as being called cowardly, right now, being called that was the better option to one or even more fights that would most certainly sooner or later emerge.
Already beginning to move on you saw tara walking with a cold stare out of the truck, already carrying a small basket in her hands before the corners of your eyes caught Aaron stopping right next to you. Looking up you met his glance, his eyebrows pulled questioning up as you let out a tight and uneasy breath. “Shouldn’t I better stay inside?”, you asked, already trying to read a reaction off of Aaron’s face before he answered. “They’re gonna come and take things in and out, they’ll see you either way”, he said, giving you a small nod before he shoved himself past your legs and stepped outside the truck as well. Shivering you tightened the grab you had on the belts, as if you were trying to find something to hold onto while your mind was filled with muddled thoughts. This was a lose-lose situation for you and the more you thought, the more you knew deep down that if they would find you in here, not doing a single thing, you would turn into a bigger target or they would think even less of you than they already did. They saw you as a traitor either way, but a traitor who was now not willing to even work was probably even worse than the provocative traitor who crossed paths with those people.
So even though every inch of your body tried to keep you on this bench, every bit of the pain that was left tried to keep you inside the truck and every bit of the fear tried to keep you from standing up, you finally got yourself onto your feet. Slowly you got on your knees, shoving the black sports bag beneath the bench as much as you could so no one would think it belonged to the supplies that were meant to be carried out. And then you grabbed one of the boxes with some tools, moved the truck’s tarp a little open before taking a deep breath and shutting your mind out to not let your fears make you run as far as you could into the truck.
Warmth was the first thing you felt when your feet hit the earthy ground, the very last sun rays dancing over your face as you tried to let them fill you with some lightheartedness as your slightly dazzled eyes began to get used to the light outside the dark truck.
People were buzzing around, carrying boxes in and outside the trucks, unknown faces mixing with familiar ones as your alert glance forced you to search for Daryl’s face. And as they gladly didn’t find him, they instead caught Aaron and a group of others who were carrying some boxes as well as they made their way up the impressive stairs of the Barrington house. With quick feet and trying to catch up on them you rushed over the uneven ground, doing your best to not trip until you finally stood behind the last member of the small group as they walked inside. The chilly air of the old mansion let some goosebumps spread over your skin, just like the very first time you had stepped into its inside that already laid so far in the past. Step by step you got further inside, reaching the stairs as you had do take care that none of the people who rushed down the stairs were taking you right with them. Your stomach tightened, your body tensed up and it just got stronger as you heard this one familiar female voice that let your blood freeze within seconds. Of course she was in here. She was the leader, it was part of her job to tell the people where she wanted them to carry the supplies the Hilltop needed.
A cold shiver ran down your spine as you realized that you were about to see her again and even worse, she was about to face you again. The very last time that had happened, you had cowered crying and whimpering over an unconscious Negan, cradling his blood-soaked body against yours as you held him and tried everything in your might to stop him from bleeding out until Rick had said those two words that had saved your world and had let hers break apart.
While your mind was trying to figure ways out how to get as fast as possible outside this house, your body kept moving and your feet kept taking you up the stairs while you fingertips rigged nervously into the cardboard material of the box in your sweaty hands. And then you saw her standing next to Enid as soon as you had reached the stair’s top, while both of them were too busy explaining to another group where they had to carry the supplies in their arms to notice you.
You knew it was ridiculous, of course it was, but still you tried to hide yourself at least a little behind the blonde man who was walking right in front of you, trying to procrastinate just another awful encounter for a little longer. You had enough of them behind you already and even though, or maybe even especially because you knew that there was no way past facing her, you wanted to keep the turmoil that was rising in your body as calm as you could for some longer, even if it were just seconds. For a moment Maggie’s face lightened up as the other men stepped away, revealing the baby bump that was slightly hidden behind the wide shirt she was wearing but that still showed that she was at least somewhere at the beginning or maybe even in the middle of her last trimester. Her eyes caught Aaron who was leading your group closer over to her, her voice boomed through your head as her friendly tone greeted him while you knew that this was about to hush sooner than you liked. Your eyes trailed nervously through the room, your body shivering as your eyes suddenly caught Enid’s whose were staring right at you, coldly, while a harsh gulp ran down her throat as she seemed to realize that Maggie was about to find you too in the matter of seconds. And then, she did. For the matter of a second, not more. Just that and her whole body seemed to tense up, all the muscles in her face formed it into a serious expression while she turned completely cold within this tiny second. And within this second you tensed just as much up as well, the pressure on your ribcage seemed to press all the air out of your lungs as you were forced to step closer towards her as her glance wandered to Aaron for a moment, then she forced herself back to concentrate on the men and women in front of her and in front of you.
You could feel your own pulse pounding in your ears as there was only the blonde man in front of you left and you could see that Maggie was tensing up as well while Enid was still keeping an eye on her as she was speaking to a woman who was talking about whatsoever. Your body felt like it was burning up as you saw the blonde stepping away and before you could prepare yourself any more or could look at her you heard her voice. “Stairs down, first room on the right side”, that was all she said, her voice firm and strong even though there was a slight stirring inside that revealed how much was going on in her. And then your body forced you to look up at her, her eyes darting right into yours as they screamed out the stirring that had sounded through her voice as well. Those words had been not only the first ones from her to you after the war’s end, or even after finding out about what you had with Negan, they were the very first ones after Glenn had died. And by the look in her eyes, you knew that she actually wanted to say something else. She wanted to growl, maybe even yell at you, asking you what the hell was wrong with you for falling for him and for turning up at the Hilltop now. You could hear her imaginary voice yelling about what Negan had done to Glenn, to the father of her unborn child, about how you could even look into the mirror anymore. But she didn’t. The woman who had once been a close friend just like all the others that had been part of this family, was now looking at you as if you were the completely opposite. And right now, it felt like Carl had been wrong with saying in his letter to you that no matter with who or where you were, you would be part of this family. Right now, it felt like you weren’t part of it anymore at all, regardless of how much you wanted it.
So you just stood in front of her, knowing that anything you would say would make it all just worse while a harsh gulp traveled down your throat, your lips pressed tightly on one another while the pain filled glance which you tried to keep as strong as possible began to trail off as you just gave her a small nod.
The next thing you found yourself doing was stumbling down the stairs, doing your best to keep the calm face expression on to not let anybody see the mess that was actually going on in you. You made yourself through a group of a few more busy people until you had found the room you were searching for and began to step inside as you already saw Aaron and two other men laying their boxes down. Slowly you walked in, your glance searching for a place to leave your carton on before you saw the taller one of the men walking over to Aaron, placing a hand on his shoulder before he calmly rose his voice. “Been a while already but I didn’t get the chance to say it yet…I’m sorry for what happened to Eric”, within these words your breath stopped for a moment, your mind processing within seconds what that must mean. You knew that a lot of people had fallen on both sides, you had heard about what had happened to Tobin or to Francine and even though you had known that there had to be more, you hadn’t thought of Eric. You hadn’t seen him around since you were back at Alexandria, but since you had barely stepped a foot outside the infirmary, you hadn’t caught any suspicion, nor had you heard Siddiq or anybody else talking about it. And now, now that you heard it, you didn’t only feel incredibly bad for what Aaron must have gone through, you felt horrible for not noticing it earlier as well and it made you ask yourself what else you didn’t know yet. “Thank you…it’s okay”, Aaron said, giving the tall man a small, forced up smile while you let out a tight breath and laid the box onto a small table before Aaron’s glance caught yours. Gulping you looked at him, another tight breath falling from your lips as you stepped a little closer. “Aaron, I didn’t know”, you said, almost exhaled as you let pressed your lips on one another, trying to search for the right words,”I’m sorry.” “Thank you”, you just heard him answer as he gave you a small nod, clearly not too sure how to behave as well before he exhaled shivering and turned around, leaving you alone in the big room.
Just moments later you walked out of the mansion again, breathing in the fresh air as if it would urge the tension out of your body while you began to make your way over to the trucks that were parked along the side of the Barrington house. People were still carrying boxes of supplies in and out if the trucks, even though it gradually became less busy around the vehicles. You tried to loose yourself some more up as you made your way through a few trucks, intending to go back to the one which had gotten you here and see if you had anything left that was meant to stay at the Hilltop. Your breath was becoming less tensed again, your ribcage rising and falling with less pressure before it suddenly stopped by the sight in front of you. There it was, the truck you had searched for and there he was, the person you had hoped to be able to avoid in every way possible. Your mind raved, questioning if you should just turn around and go to another truck as long as he hadn’t seen you before fate took this decision away from you. Just as you thought it couldn’t become worse you saw Daryl grabbing the dark belts of the sports bag you had placed beneath the bench and began to pull it out with puckered brows and a questioning glance in his eyes. A tight breath left your lips as your heart began to pound relentlessly against your chest while you knew that you had to do anything, right now.
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.
Agony struck through your body as you writhed in your disturbed sleep, the screams in your head forming into a horrific orchestra, determined to bring you down and drive you crazy until a deep, soothing voice began to interrupt them and sound through to you. It grasped you, taking you to tear you out of the nightmare’s grasp while a familiar warmth began to engulf you tighter, bringing your consciousness slowly back as the dream still tried to pull you back into its darkness. “Baby? Hey….Baby, wake up”, Negan’s voice mumbled, bringing you closer to the surface of finally waking up again until you broke through it and began to sense what the horror in your head was doing not just to your mind, but to your body as well. You were trembling like an aspen leaf, your chest rising and falling through sharp breaths that cut through your throat and got disrupted by the taste of salty tears that trickled down your cheeks as a wave of icy coldness and boiling heat mixed within your veins. “Shh…hey, it’s over. Everything’s fuckin’ fine. I’m here, Sweetheart”, Negan’s voice sounded through to you once more as you were finally able to open your eyes, glancing at his face that was only softly enlightened in the moonlight but which gave enough light to show the concern that had taken charge of his features. Pants were still leaving your trembling lips as his eyes caught yours, running over your face in worry as his hand reached up, his thumb stroking softly over your skin to get rid of the salty tears. Still in panic your glance wandered in restlessness over his face, his throat, his body, checking that he was fine and trying to prove to yourself that the nightmare hadn’t shown the truth. There were no screams, he wasn’t torn up, there was no thick, dark red blood covering him, trickling down on the pile of rotten corpses that belonged once to the people you loved. He was alive, not a hint of blood on his body, nor on the prison suit and there he was, laying right beside you, holding you in his arms and pulling you deeper into his embrace to comfort you. “Hey, look at me, Baby”, he mumbled, trying his best to hold your gaze that still wasn’t sure enough that he was actually safe and sound, “It’s okay, everything‘s okay.” Finally, you got yourself to look into his eyes as you slowly began to calm down and felt his thumb continuing its calming brushes over your wetted cheeks . Slowly, you began to nod, sniffling slightly before he you watched him leaning in in the faint light until his lips could caress soothingly over yours, keeping them captured until he felt you melting into him, yearning for the kiss and his touches as if they could force the rest of what the nightmare had left in your bones out of your body. His lips had just left yours as you sunk against him, burying your face into the crook of his neck as the fear got hold of you again and urged you deeper into his embrace, as if he would vanish into thin air if you let go. “I love you”, your still trembling lips mumbled against his skin as you felt him tightening his arms around you before a set of warm lips placed on your temple. “I love you too”, he mumbled back, pressing another kiss against your skin as you cuddled closer into his embrace, “So fuckin’ much.”
You stayed this way for minutes, engulfed by Negan’s arms as you were calming your body and mind down, slowly getting the trembling under control as well as the mess the nightmare had formed on your head. “You wanna talk?”, you heard Negan eventually mumble as you found yourself sitting next to him on the edge of the cheap bed, feeling how he wrapped his blanket around your shoulders as you glanced reluctantly at him, not sure if you should worry him even more. But before you could think more, he let out a deep sigh and pulled you closer, recognizing the signals you were sending him. After all, that man knew you and he knew that look. “Was about my damn ass, huh?”, he grumbled, wrapping his arm around your waist as you longed for his warmth that set a clear contrast to the iciness that was radiating from the cold cement ground against the soles of your feet. “You…the others”, you mumbled, gulping heavily as you tried to keep the pictures out of your mind before you slowly leaned your head against his shoulder and felt him resting his against yours. “Well, now it’s over and fuckin’ done…I don’t die, that’s not how it works”, Negan mumbled, a soft, supportive chuckle in his voice, meant to cheer you up as his hand reached up and stroke for a moment along your cheeks. “You tell me when you need your man to loose ya up, right?”, he added, his hand that was still cupping your waist squeezing it playfully as he finally elicited a small chuckle to fall from your lips as well. “Yes”, you mumbled against the blue fabric of his prison suit as you huddled closer up to his tall frame,”But for now…can you just hold me?” “Oh I can do that sure as shit”, he mumbled back as he loosened his hold on you for a moment to scoot back on the bed and eventually open his arms for you. “Thank you”, you said, giving him a small but grateful smile as you climbed back into the bed, ”Thank you for being there.” “No damn need to thank me…that’s my job, isn’t it?”, he grumbled with a small chuckle as you got closer to him, “Come here.” Quietly, you let yourself fall next to him again, feeling how he wrapped his arms around you and grabbed your leg carefully to hook it over his, making sure that he could hold you as close as possible. ”There you go”, he mumbled as he pulled the blanket back over your bodies, tucking you in along with him as you nuzzled your nose into the warmth of his neck, breathed deeply and contently out before allowing yourself to close your eyes again without having to fear that those pictures rushed up again. “You got no idea how much you help me with that”, you mumbled against his skin, feeling how he leaned his head back against yours, pressing a kiss to your forehead before a questionably hum left his lips. “Hmm?” “You help me deal with this”, you muttered in response as you cuddled into his comforting warmth ,”You make me stronger.”
The gravel was crunching beneath your shoes’ soles as you made your way towards the infirmary, the lack of sleep dragging on your body while you tried your best to stay awake. The extra strong coffee you had made yourself at your old home was still lingering on your lips, letting you hope that it would kick in soon while your heavy eyelids sent you a whole different message. You had woken up at least five more times that night, not crying and trembling like the first time after the nightmare, but with enough restlessness stuck in your body to have a hard time falling asleep once again. Each time Negan had been the one to let you sink back into those sleepy depths again, just with holding and caressing you until your body relaxed again in his arms and allowed you to get at least a little sleep. Without him there, you were sure you wouldn’t have been able to get more than an hour sleep, sure, it still wasn’t much, but you were grateful for every damn minute, especially after a nightmare as horrific as the one that had haunted you this last night. You knew that these things wouldn’t just completely vanish because someone loved you, that’s just not the way it works but since you had him with you, they were at least a little less frequent and much easier to deal with. Especially, because you also knew how these nights were without someone by your side and thinking back to them let an icy shudder run up and down your spine. You huffed quietly as your tired eyes finally captured the infirmary from afar, reminding you of the extra hours you probably had to add onto your usual shifts once again. A cold was going around, nothing threatening but strong enough to let a few people lay pretty low in the bed’s of the infirmary, joining the two workers who had hurt themselves working on the bridge and who all needed to be taken care of. And since the consequences of your involuntary participation in the fight between Daryl and Justing had let you lay just as low as the patients at the infirmary for two whole days, it was your turn to take over the extra shifts at the infirmary. You hadn’t returned to Rick’s big project above the river, not because of the fight, but because Siddiq needed you in Alexandria. You could still see the disappointment written over Rick’s face as he got the news, taking with you also a bunch of others from the bridge that just added onto the problems that had emerged after the fight. Justin’s sudden and gruesome death along with the vanishing of a bunch of other saviors were just a few of the things that had let he situation escalate, tearing a giant crack into the alleged pace that had rested between the communities. You could tell how important the bridge was to Rick, building something for the future, for the future that Carl would have wanted. And now you were looking at the nearest future in front of you at the end of the path, hoping that you wouldn’t have to take yet another extra shift. You got less time to be with Negan because of them, shrinking your time with him to a minimum before you were forced to sleep if you didn’t want to walk around as dead as the walkers outside the gates the next day. It wasn’t just dreading on your nerves, you could tell it was dreading on his too, even though he was trying to stay strong for you. Still, there always was this underlying darkness that kept welling up from time to time, trying to pull him into its depths and take him in. Until now, you could always manage to pull him out again, one way or another, and let him see the light again but this shrunk time didn’t contribute to it. And even though you tried to suppress it, tried to stay positive, if you were honest, there was a painful and wrenching fear lingering deep down in you that one day, you might not be able to pull him out of this darkness anymore.
“You want me to eat? Well, I want you to stay and talk to me”, Negan mumbled, glancing from the sandwich to the woman who was staring disbelieving and annoyed at him. He needed to do this, he needed to be seen as a human again, not just the monster behind bars. He needed to talk. “I mean, I I’m proof that you’re making a civilization, right? I mean, that’s what your boyfriend says, so hard to be that if I’m dead from starvation”, he added, watching the annoyance on Michonne’s face growing some more before her huff echoed through the room. “First, (Y/N) wouldn’t let you do-”, she began, stopping as she stepped closer to the bars, narrowing her glance as a shudder ran down Negan’s back. “She doesn’t know, does she? You didn’t tell her about this…this little game.” “No”, he responded in a growl, feeling an uncomfortable iciness spreading over his body. He wasn’t gonna let anyone pull her into this, especially not if this conversation would end up to have consequences for him. No, fuckin’ sir. ”Don’t pull her into this”, he added in a rasp, hearing another annoyed snort falling from her lips as she clenched her jaw and stared at him, as if she was prepared to attack. “Second, I thought you said you weren’t on strike.” “I’m not if you stay and talk to me”, he mumbled, going for a second try, trying to read something off her face in the faint light before Michonne made a sudden movement, grabbing the edge of the chair and pulling it towards her. “I’d say it’s about 20 minutes before the sun hits that bar.
That’s all you get. Then, you’re gonna eat every last bite”, she growled, a glare in her eyes as she plopped down on the chair, “You wanna talk? Let’s talk.”
“Sarah, you have to eat”, you mumbled with a small sigh as your glance wandered over the girl in the bed in front of you, coined by the thick cold she had caught herself. Her eyes were slightly swollen, a cloudy glance stuck in them, her nose was reddened by the countless times she had wiped it, the blonde hair was hanging in strands around her face while the rest of her body was buried beneath thick blankets. “At least a little”, you added, placing the soup on the nightstand by her side as you slowly caught her shaking her head while a painful cough rumbled through her throat. “I’m not hungry.” “I know…I get it, but you have to try, at least a few spoons so your body can get some strength back”, you mumbled, a slightly pleading tone in your voice as you felt like you were playing a record back over and over again. “Okay”, she finally muttered after a few more silent moments, ultimately grabbing the bowl and the spoon before slowly and hesitantly taking a few first gulps. Giving her a thankful smile you turned around to go on with your work, hoping to not catch one nasty cold yourself before you heard Siddiq’s voice echoing through to you. “(Y/N)? Need your assistance over here.”
“I’m grateful at least one of the women I’ve loved doesn’t have to see me like this”, Negan mumbled, feeling his heart sinking a little by those words as he leaned against the cold wall and glimpsed at the woman behind the bars. Till now this damn talk had been all easy for him, now, slowly, the hard one emerged and urged uneasiness into his bones. “What do you mean? As opposed to the asshole that you were before?”, she huffed, giving him an snide glance from her position on the old wooden chair. “God, she was…she was an angel”, he continued, ignoring the remark as his throat threatened to grow tight, throttling his air a little as he let out a deep sigh. “She deserved better than she got…(Y/N) does too…wish I could give her more.” Her eyes filled with all kinds of remarks he could figure out just too well but instead of speaking them out she remained silent for a moment before finally opening her mouth again. “What happened to her? Your wife?” “What used to happen”, he answered, the invisible thread spinning tighter around his throat as a cold shudder ran down his back, “Cancer.” “We would’ve loved to have had a kid…”, it fell from his lips, urging the old memories and thoughts further into his mind before new ones mixed in and let him once more realize what could be…or rather what could have been if shit would have turned out in some damn other way. “If things were different…I’d love to have kids with (Y/N) too”, he mumbled, his voice shivering slightly as it filled with emotion before he gulped thickly and glanced back at Michonne. “Kid like Carl…”, he mumbled, seeing the twitch in her muscles, revealing what his mention elicited in him even though Negan could feel the sting in himself as well. That kid had been something special, someone he would have loved to mentor some more…to actually have him like him. ”You got lucky.” “I think about him every damn day.
But he’s still here.
In everything we do.
I look around, and I see him everywhere”, she said, her voice thick with emotion as Negan moved a little closer and sighed quietly.
“Do you see him in this cell?” “Everywhere.”
“Haven’t slept well, huh?”, you heard Siddiq ask as he shoved the rest of his utensils back into the drawer, glancing at you as soon as it crashed back into the counter. “Woke up a couple of times”, you mumbled, leaving the nightmare part intentionally out as you met his glance and saw him nodding slowly before a small smile grew on his lips. “Go take a nap upstairs.” ”Really?”, you asked a little astounded as he began to nod once more. “Yeah, half hour can do wonders sometimes…I know that”, he mumbled, letting a small chuckle out before he nodded back towards the patient rooms,”And I’ll be fine for that time, seems like we got a little break now, so use it.” “Okay”, you responded, feeling how your body was already yearning more for a bed as soon as the opportunity seemed to unfold itself,”Thank you.”
A content groan left your lips as soon as you fell onto the bed, stretching your tired limbs out as soon as you settled into its middle and rested your head onto the soft pillows. Another hum left your lips as you closed your eyes, hoping to get the best out of the half hour while the soft blankets and pillows let a small part of you remember the nights with Negan in his large bed back at the sanctuary. The luscious black sheets and countless pillows that got only topped by the way Negan’s arms wrapped around you at night and kept you in his embrace. If you were honest, those strong arms were something you were missing right now too, no matter how big and comfy the bed was. A small huff left your lips as you opened your eyes just a little, glimpsing at the digital clock on the nightstand that let you remember to just use the time you had. So instead of letting your thoughts run free some more, you cuddled into the pillows, humming quietly before closing your eyes again and allowing yourself to drift a little off.
“She made me…not weak”, Negan mumbled, a hard gulp traveling down his throat as he shifted over the cement ground, feeling how the cold stone of the wall pressed into his back as he ran a palm over his thick beard, “And now…with (Y/N)…” Another sigh left his lips, filled with tension as he glimpsed up, catching the Michonne’s glance just for the matter of a second. ”Before her…I thought having someone you love with you in this…in some way it does make you weak…the dead harden us, y’know”, he mumbled, letting out a bittersweet chuckle as the woman behind the bar just stared at him, not disinterested, but rather as if his words began to let something stir within her. ”You feel like a shell of a fuckin’ person walking around, well that keeps you alive ‘cause you’re in some damn way not as vulnerable or fuckin scared, whatever”, Negan scoffed lightly, gulping as he felt the stinging pain of the past trying to bite his ass, ”My wife’s death put me in that kinda bubble…that’s what got me through for some time…” Another deep sigh fell from his lips, the difficulty of talking about her and the pain connected to her death pressing in on him before he glanced up at Michonne and caught her eyes. ”And I can tell you’ve gone through that phase too, in some way.” She stayed quiet, her glance intensifying by his words that told him he was right, even though she didn’t say a word, didn’t move an inch. ”And then, well then if you’re lucky you meet someone who makes ya feel alive again”, he went on, seeing how she kept staring at him as another small chuckle left his lips, ”That fuckin’ bubble bursts and shit’s scary as fuck, dangerous too ‘cause…as I said, it makes you vulnerable as hell.” ”Then why did you get together with her? Why are you still with her when it makes you so vulnerable?”, she suddenly spoke up, startling him a little by her abrupt response and the snapping even a little venomous sound. ”I’m just a human too, even though you probably see that different”, he said, breathing through as he glanced at his hands that fumbled on the loose threads that surrounded the fabric covering his knees ,”That temptation to feel shit again was bigger in the end. She trumped that.” “And now, well now I guess part of me was wrong back then…sure loving someone makes you vulnerable…maybe weak too, ‘cause she’s my raw fuckin’ point…but that strength she gives me…that outweighs that weakness…gives you a reason to keep going”, he mumbled, feeling a little warm sneak up deep within him as he talked about her. ”And if I’m honest, when I got her with me I often catch my damn self not even giving a single flying fuck. Not fucking caring if it makes me weak or strong…that’s what she’s doing to me”, he quietly chuckled, having to admit even to himself how big her impact was on him, especially in this dark time ,“I’m just happy to have her.” “What’s your point?”, Michonne growled, her voice sharp as she stared down at him on the cold cement ground. ”As much as Ricky the prick is a pain in the ass to me, to you he’s probably in some way what (Y/N) is to me.” ”Negan, what do you want to tell me with this?”, she added, the growl in her voice still clearly audible as he glanced up at her and made sure that she looked him in the eye for his next words. ”We’re the same.”
Siddiq had been right, the half hour had helped, letting you feeling at least a little more awake through the next few hours until you found yourself back in the kitchen, cleaning the bowl Sarah had finished much to your gladness. Siddiq stood next to you, sorting in the new meds and bandages into the drawers before he stopped to glance outside, sighing quietly as he propped his hands onto the wooden counter. Distracted by him you glanced up as well, catching a set of four men and women coming from the gates, carrying a few small boxes that gave away the place they had come from pretty quickly. ”Coming from the bridge, huh?”, Siddiq mumbled, quiet enough that it could sound like he was speaking to himself before you slowly nodded. ”I liked working there”, he added, letting out a small sigh as he shrugged his shoulders and gave you a small crooked smile,”Was a bit of a challenge.” ”Yeah…I liked it too”, you mumbled, thinking about the opportunity to be in the woods, another set of surrounding than all the same walls in the infirmary for a few hours a day. “Maybe if the cold beats retreat we’ll get to go there again…at least for some shifts”, you said, turning off the water and reaching out for a small black towel to dry the bowl in your hands up while Siddiq remained quiet. ”What?”, you mumbled quietly as he still hadn’t said anything back, before he slowly shook his head. ”Heard they’re pulling even more people back…heard rumors Carol’s taking her team too and besides, Eugene told me the waters been becoming harsher from the rainfalls, some kinda roulette game if the bridge’s gonna hold or not.” A sigh left your lips as soon as Siddiq’s voice hushed, leaving you torn about the thought what must be going on in Rick in these moments, standing in front of the alleged shards of his heart project. ”Shit…feel sorry for Rick”, you mumbled, catching Siddiq nodding quietly before he shrug his shoulders and pushed himself to loose the tension that had begun to spread over his face before he glanced back at you. ”Maybe it still works out, who knows.” ”Yeah”, you mumbled, giving him a small smile before you glanced back outside, finding the men and women that slowly got completely out of your view, descending behind a few of the rebuild houses. Within just a few moments Michonne replaced them, walking down the street with fast steps that let her dreads dance over her shoulders as she stumped over the blacktop. Your glance followed her for a second or two before you glanced down again to the sink, hoping that at least on this day you could leave on time to return to Negan.
“We don’t have your bat, Negan”, Michonne’s voice echoed through the cell, a firm tone in her voice as an ice-cold shudder ran down Negan’s back, taking his body in within the matter of milliseconds. That couldn’t be true…no that couldn’t be fucking true. “But…but she said Lucille’s at the armory-”, his voice brought out, shivering as he thought back to the things (Y/N) had told him after confronting Rick. She wouldn’t lie to him. No, fuck no she wouldn’t do that. She had been the one to take Lucille with her on that goddamn day at the hill, she had been the one to make sure the bat could stay a little in his room at the infirmary…so what the fuck had they done after he had been imprisoned…what the fuck had they done to her?! Heavy breaths left his lips as he stared at the women behind the bars, his brows puckering in desperation while a small, sly smile formed on her lips as her voice echoed through the cell again. “She was.”
“See you tomorrow”, you said, a smile spread over your lips as you shoved your jacket over your arms while your glance wandered from the descending Siddiq to the clock that finally showed you that you could leave as planned, with enough time left to make a short stop-by at your old home to get some new clothes for the night and maybe even hop into the bath for a quick shower. A content sigh left your lips as you finally slipped outside and walked down the porch’s stairs before a familiar voice stopped you from going any farther. “(Y/N), Wait”, Michonne’s voice made you turn around to her as she approached fast until only a meter parted you. “We have to talk…about Negan”, she said, the firmness in her voice immediatley letting a shudder run down your back as you stared in confusion at her, waiting for her to say something. “I know you didn’t know but I want you to do so now,…in case something like that happens again”, she said, a sigh leaving her lips as she glanced at you while the restlessness in your body grew. “Michonne what?” “He refused to eat, only gave in when I agreed to talk to him.” ”He didn’t eat?”, a coldness shook through you, sending an awful mix of emotions through your veins, an odd feeling of disbelief filling you up even though you could tell she was saying the truth, ”For how long?” ”Since yesterday, but it’s ended now, hopefully”, she sighed, your mind still trying to sort everything she had just said before you heard her voice again. ”You should check on him, either way…the sooner the better”, she mumbled, her voice as firm as before, ”Didn’t take everything I said very well.” ”Is he-” ”I don’t know what he’s doing. But in case he’s throwing a tantrum, I can’t have that. Don’t need him to drive the guards crazy.”
Those last words of Michonne kept echoing through your head as you rushed down the streets, your shoes’ soles hitting the blacktop with fast steps while your breath grew quicker and sharper, daring to slice cuts into your throat. How the fuck hadn’t you noticed he wasn’t eating? Or had there even been a chance for you to do so? He always got the meals during the day, the plates were each and every day already gone when you got there. Your head was an only mess, trying to figure out what exactly Michonne could have told him while his refusal got clearer to you, it made sense, even though it was hard to admit. That damn darkness was creeping up again, the memories of what he’d lost, the knowledge of how people were seeing him now, like a monster behind bars. and that was just a small part of it. Your heart pounded up into your throat, your pulse echoing through your ears as you finally approached the brownstones, not sure what to exactly await before the odd glance the guard was giving you just let the uneasiness in you grow. “Well, thank god you’re here”, a huff left his lips, pushing you to furrow your brows in worry and confusion before he slowly shook his head and pulled the keys out of his pants pockets. “What-” “See for yourself.”
The moment the door to the house opened your heart skipped a beat, letting the blood in your veins freeze as a rush of panic and concern washed over you. Cries bounced off the walls, deep, heart wrenching sobs that belonged to the man you loved. All out of sudden your feet began to run, to rush through the house, shut out everything around you as you stemmed the door to the cellar open and got hit by the uncovered sound of his agony filled sobs and whimpers that let your heart break a little more with each second you were exposed to them. You couldn’t think, couldn’t even perceive the way you stumbled down the stairs even though your shaking and fast legs dared to let you fall with each step. Everything in you had blacked out until you caught the metal bars appearing in front of you, showing you the fitting picture to the sounds that reechoed through the cell. There he was, almost vanishing in the faint light, cowering in the middle of the cell, his hands buried in his short dark hair, his body slightly teetering back and forth as tears streamed down his cheeks and wetted his thick beard as the sobs let his chest rise and fall in a threatening fast rhythm.
“Negan…”, fell from your lips, quietened by the lump that was forming in your throat, urging tears into your eyes as you stared at the picture of misery in front of you Negan had turned into. “I won’t open the door until he’s on the bed. Rule is rule. Don’t know if he’s fakin’ just to attack as soon as that door’s open”, you suddenly heard the guard’s voice sound through to you, adding with those three sentences a boiling anger to your deep worry that formed into a threatening glare that snapped towards the guard. “You can’t fucking possibly think that?! Get that damn door open”, blustered out of you, not as aggressive as the emotions in you tried to push it but breaking and panicking by the thought to not get to him. A sigh left the guard’s lips, his brows pulled into a deep frown before he clenched his jaw and pushed the key into the lock, pushing the door just enough open for you to slip in. The anger in you wanted to shoot him one more glare for this petty act, but instead the worry in you took over, pushing you through the gap in the door before you found yourself sinking to your knees in front of him. The tears began to blurry your view as your lips gaped open, letting restless breaths fall from your lips as you slowly reached out to him, placing your hand on his shaking shoulder as you suddenly heard his broken voice sounding through to you. ”Lucille’s gone”, he sobbed, confusion rushing through your mind as soon as he spoke up once more, ”She…she’s out there again.” ”I thought she’s in the armory…”, your trembling voice mumbled as you shifted closer to him, remembering what they’ve had told such a long time ago, after you had taken her with you from the tree on the hill, after Negan had been imprisoned, while your mind was working flat out now, trying to find answers even though there was no way. ”Was”, Negan whimpered, his broken voice sending painful stings through your body as he finally looked up at you, showing in the faint light enough for you to see his red rimmed eyes that were swollen from the still flowing tears, ”Said she got lost on a weapon transfer…they didn’t fuckin-…fuckin bother to look aft-” ”Oh my…”, only fell from your lips, the agony that was taking him in was settling over to you as well, forming a whirlwind of pain within you that grew and picked up pace with each second. “Come here…”, you mumbled, feeling your voice trembling as you wrapped your arms around him, pulling him into your embrace before his shaking body melted against you, his face burying into the curve of your neck. His hot tears met your skin as you cradled him, your hand reaching up to caress through his hair, trying to comfort him as well as you could before something wet touched your fingertips, letting you flinch away before your eyes stared in the faint light at your fingers whose tips were covered in his thick, red blood. A shivering breath fell from your lips, your mind trying desperately to figure out why he was bleeding, why blood was trickling from the wound on his forehead you hadn’t been able to see in the faint light. Heavy pants began to shake through your ribcage, letting it rise and fall against Negan’s slumped shape in your embrace as your eyes wandered in panic through the cell, before the sunbeams streaming through the gaps of the metal bars on the windows highlighted a spot on the stone wall that shook a wave of pain through you. Blood was sticking to the stone, shimmering threateningly in the light while your heart seemed to stop for a moment and a wave of nausea washed over you as realization kicked in. He had done this to himself. he had bashed his head against the wall. He had- ”Negan, wha-”, your voice couldn’t bring the sentence to an end before it broke, the lump in your throat growing to a size that made it harder and harder for you to speak. Panic began to rush through you as your mind kept trying to tell you to keep a cool head and be strong for him even though nothing seemed harder than this in these moments. You should know how to deal with this, you should. But this was the man you loved in your arms, still sobbing and whimpering, his body trembling in your embrace while the blood of his self-inflicted wound was sticking to your fingers and was still slowly trickling down his forehead. Tears blurred your view again as your body began to tremble harder, enough for Negan’s whimpers to stop for a moment and loose his own shaking body out of your embrace. You wanted to say something, not only ask him why even though you secretly knew the answer, but rather comfort him and find a solution that would let his pain vanish. But while a wrenching fight was happening between your wild running emotions and your mind, Negan slowly backed away, enough for his tears clouded eyes to capture your face that was still taken hostage by shock, pain and a good ounce of disbelief. “Don’t cry”, his trembling lips brought out, his face wrenching in agony as his trembling hand reached up and brushed over your cheek that had become home to the first tears that had rolled down your face against your will ,“I…I don’t want to you cry because of this-” “Negan, you bashed-…you harmed yourself, I-”, it blustered out of you even though you wanted to say anything else, ”I’m just-” New tears trickled down his face as he tried to suppress another sob to erupt his chest while his hand fell from your face. “I’m sorry”, he whimpered, lowering his head as suddenly all the alarm clocks in your head clicked on and let the urge to stay strong and keep a cool head for him to overcome the wild running emotions of pain. “No, no, don’t Negan…you don’t have to feel guilty, okay? Don’t do that…”, you said, trying to keep your voice as steady as you could as you reached out to him, softly cupping his face to lead it up until you could glance at him. “Okay?”, you mumbled again, brushing your thumbs over his cheeks to get rid of his tears and give him some soothing touches before you slowly saw him nod. “I love you”, you quietly mumbled as you leaned in, kissing him softly, hoping that it might calm him at least a tiny bit. “I love you too…I-” he mumbled against your lips, his voice breaking as new tears welled up in his eyes and throttled him. “Shh…It’s okay”, you mumbled, keeping your voice soft as you caressed his face even though you were fighting against the tears that tried to find their way into your eyes as well ,”It’s okay, Negan.” You gulped quietly before you pulled him back into your embrace and cradled him tightly, kissing the top of his head while you tried to not only calm him but yourself down so you could help him instead of breaking out in tears.
“We’ll calm down now and find a solution…okay?”, you quietly mumbled into his hair, nuzzling it as you cradled him tightly while small whimper left his lips. “There is no-” “There is”, you cut him off, softly but firm enough to sound persuading, hoping to shut down his negative thoughts,”I’m here, alright?” Your fingers ran through his hair, the tips still daubed with his blood as you caressed them over his scalp, teetering him softly back and forth while the feeling of new tears pressing against your skin let you rise your voice again. “Always.”
You weren’t sure how long you exactly stayed this way on the cold cement floor, his trembling body melted against yours, his face buried into the curve of your neck while you cradled and caressed him, trying to calm him further down while the constant shroud of tears in your eyes kept taunting you. Softly, you pressed another kiss to his hair, nuzzling your nose into his dark locks while your fingers suddenly touched the blood on his forehead again, letting you flinch slightly as you knew that you couldn’t stay this way forever. Who knew how often he had done that to himself, who knew what that could have as consequences. Hell, you needed to be strong now, you had to take care now and check him as well as you could and maybe distract him a little with treating his wound would help at least a tiny bit. “We…we need to get that cleaned up”, you eventually mumbled, gulping to get rid of the rest of the lump that had been lingering in your throat,”Alright? And then we’ll take it from there.”
Seeing Negan trying to lift his weakened body up and slumping himself over to the bed broke your heart all over again, the hurt glance in his eyes only contributing to it as you sat down on the squeaking mattress. Your hand patted his softly before you bent down, your still trembling fingers reaching past the thin book and the few magazines you had been able to bring him, even though it had taken a lot of persuasion and discussions with the guard. Finally, you got to the bit of medical utensils you had deposed here when you had still taken care of his cut wound before grabbing them and shifting back closer to him, enough to let him feel your closeness. “Okay, there we go”, you quietly mumbled as you sprinkled disinfection liquid onto a thin cloth, glancing softly at him before you carefully reached up to dab the cloth over his wound. Negan flinched slightly by the sting the disinfection was eliciting before lowing his head slightly to make it a little easier for you. It did, treatment wise, but hell, it also made it harder. With that, you saw the wound in all its gruesome glory. Saw what he had done to himself. A small gasp left your lips, almost sounding like a whimper you couldn’t suppress as a stream of light hit his wound, enlightening it as you tried to concentrate even though the voice in your head began to count how many times he must have bashed his head against the wall to get to this wound. Every time your mind added another bash a stinging pain shot through your body, making it harder for you to stay focused, making it easier for the tears that kept shrouding your eyes. It had to have been at least five times…if not more and you were afraid that there may be more injury lingering beneath the wound than your eyes could perceive. Another shivering breath left your lips as you tried to remove the blood before you felt Negan’s still slightly shaking hand reaching out to you. Lightly, it grasped yours that still rested on the mattress, squeezing it gently like it already had done so often when trying to comfort you in the past. Lowering your hand from his cleaned wound you laid the cloth next to the bed, just to reach up again and cup the side of his face to let him glance at you. For a moment, you were torn, unsure if you should ask him how often he had done this or let it be, avoiding the risk to well up pain and stress again that would ruin the bit of calmness he had achieved by now, especially because you weren’t sure if this information would be worth much in your hands. You decided for the latter, hoping that you could ask Siddiq later on to take care of his physical health and for now, trying to take care of what seemed much more urgent. His mental health. “I’m sorry you have to-”, you heard him mumble, his voice breaking in the end as you shook your head softly and brushed your thumb over his cheek. “Shh, it’s okay…it’s okay…don’t worry about me now”, you muttered, feeling how more thoughts pressed in on your mind, the rest of his talk with Michonne, or even more what had led to it, the hunger strike. An urge in you wanted to know about those things but you kept pressing them back, telling yourself that you should take care of them on the next morning, when the situation had calmed a little down and distanced itself. For now, there was only one thing that had directly led to his behavior and his breakdown, or at least it had been the one to trigger it and finally open the gate for all the darkness that had already so often tried to captivate him. God, you knew how much the bat meant to him, what kind of memories were stuck in it and not only that, but also what an emotional crutch it had been for him through the apocalypse and its troubles. You had to find a way to get her back, somehow.
You glanced back up again, looking with agony in your veins at the man in front of you who seemed like he was slowly breaking apart, giving in to the pressure that had been lingering over him over the last year and a half. It elicited a fear in you that crawled through your body, nestling in beneath your skin as you reached out to him and bit new forming tears back. “Come here”, you softly mumbled, shifting back onto the mattress until your could lean into the pillow and guide him closer to you. Within seconds he allowed himself to fall back into your embrace, bury his head into the curve of your neck as his large and tall frame huddled up to yours. You cradled him softly against your body, running your fingers through his hair, while your arm wrapped tightly around him as your mind spooled back to the reason for this all, just as much as the urge to help him. “I’ll try to find her-” “No”, he cut you off, his voice still coined by the sobs and whimpers from before as he rose his head from your shoulder for a moment and let his bleary but determined eyes glance at you ,”No, you won’t go out there for me when that shit herd’s roamin’ around.” You stared at him, unsure and a little desperate in what to do now before you breathed through and gulped softly, nodding as you knew that this wasn’t gonna be the way to go, at least not right now. You guided his head back into the curve of your neck, brushing over his hair before you sighed softly and tried to let your head work as well as it could in these moments, before you rose your voice again. “You know what? Maybe Michonne didn’t say the truth, maybe she’s still somewhere here. Maybe she just didn’t want you to know”, you said, keeping your voice as soothing as you could as he shifted slightly in your embrace. “You think that?”, he asked, his voice raspy as he nuzzled his face closer into your neck while a small ounce of hope seemed to create within the desperation that had taken hostage of his voice before. “I think it’s more than possible…why should they leave her behind when she’s one of the things they can have power over you with? I know that’s nothing great to hear…I know…but I’m sure they wouldn’t want to miss out on that opportunity”, you mumbled, not only to calm him but also because you felt like this could actually be true. There was much that could simply get lost, but something as powerful and meaningful as Negan’s bat? The possibility was small. “So yeah, I think she could still be here…”, you added as you could feel his breath growing a little steadier as you teased your fingers through his hair, pressing another kiss to his forehead as you leaned your head against his. “I love you, Negan…I love you so much”, you softly mumbled, feeling how the lump that was still lingering in your throat was pressing in on you again as you cradled him tightly and felt how your worry about him took some more charge over your body as the urge to just function was slowly vanishing A soft ‘I love you too’ was the only thing that got a tiny smile for a moment on your lips before new tears formed in your eyes as you nuzzled your nose into his hair and caressed him softly.
You kept cradling him, holding him tightly in your embrace until you felt him beginning to slowly relax, the exhaustion the sobs and the hunger strike had brought into him mixing with the bit of calmness you had been able to create. With the passing time, his breath grew steadier, his body melted against yours and his head sunk a little deeper into your neck until you could tell that he had fallen asleep by the time everything outside had turned pitch black. Just then, just when you were sure he was somewhere in the depths of sleep you allowed the tears that had lingered in your eyes to break out and roll down your cheeks, releasing the tension and pain that had been stuck in your body. You knew that you had to find a way to help him as soon as the sun would rise again, but right now a part of you was just thankful that he seemed to be at least swinging in a peaceful sleep. It was an odd mix of emotions that streamed through your body, fear and deep worry mixing with shock and a bit disbelief that still let part of this whole scene seem surreal while you quietly sniffled and tried to somehow handle the fact what he had done to himself hours before in just this cell. Eventually, your last tears dropped into his black locks as you closed your eyes and nuzzled his hair, hoping dearly that better days would await the both of you as you held him just as soothingly and tightly as he had held you in the last night.
Halloween Special & entry for @underatedcharactersunite “7 Minutes in Heaven” writing challenge! I had so much fun writing this so hopefully you’ll enjoy it too and check out the other works of the participating authors!🎃🖤
Summary: When the reader finally decided to follow Negan’s invitation to a halloween party, little did she know that an unexpected game would reveal more than just a surprising confession.
My prompt: “Bottle of Whiskey”
Music was echoing through the hallways, bouncing off the cold stone as it streamed through the air and filled up your way. You got closer to its source with each step you took as you fumbled nervously on the sleeves of the dress that was swinging around your body, soft, dark red fabric that felt blissfully on your skin. A shivering breath left your lips as you reached up, readjusting the hood of the dress a little bit and gulped quietly as you entered the next and last hallway before getting to your destination, the halloween party whose host had gifted you the exact dress that was engulfing your body in these moments. Its hood and the deep red color gave away the intended costume pretty fast, even though you could tell by the sumptuous fabric and its subtle style that it definitely hadn’t been just some costume you could buy in some shop before shit hit the fan, but rather a piece you could find in a pretty little boutique. You could still see Negan’s roguish grin when he had gifted it to you just days ago, telling you with a wink that you could take the dress as a personal way of his to invite you to the party. He had been gone as fast as he had come, giving you no chance to protest the luxurious gift or even give him an answer to the invitation. And till an hour ago, you hadn’t even known the answer yourself. You’d wanted to see him, if you were honest there was nothing else you wanted as much but you had your reasons for your doubts. You actually liked him, not directly because of his position as the strong leader but rather because of the things he said and did when he was around you. The visits on your work. The times he ate alone with you in the kitchen. The moments he spent with you during your breaks. And hell, so much more. And all of them filled with his odd but entertaining sense of humor, his charm, his roguish grin that kept dancing over his lips but also, and that was something that seemed to stay hidden from most people, his other, if you even dared to say so, softer sides. So his invite had for sure elicited an excited warmth within you and had kept a large smile on your face for the rest of the evening until you had fallen into your bed and old fears began to sneak up as soon as the light was shut down and darkness began to surround you. What if this all was just one sided and you were actually misinterpreting all of it? Negan was a charmer, a big one, and even though the feeling liked to sneak up in you to tell you that he might see something in you, there still was this little devil on your shoulder telling that you were just a nice time killer. Just as it told you that the dress you were wearing was no evidence for anything, he had six wives who were getting tons of those black dresses, one red one didn’t show anything. And those wives were just adding onto this, if you were honest, they were probably the main reason you doubted to come. Only the thought of him with them made you feel sick to the stomach, let alone the chance that you might have to see them swirling around him tonight. Your stomach tightened again in response to your train of thought, keeping the uneasiness in you alive as you felt the cold metal of the final door pressing into your palm. You could still always leave, right? With this last thought you breathed out and pushed the handle down, let the music hit you as the darkened room that was filled here and there with some colorful lights took you in. The door shut fell into its lock behind you as your eyes roamed through the room, along the people wearing provisory costumes and whose attention laid mostly on the drinks in their hands and the people around them that gave each of them a break from the cruel world outside. Your gaze wandered around the room, caught a strongly buzzed Simon rushing through groups of people as fast as his state let him while a loud laughter left his lips each time he tried to start a conversation with anyone in his way. Your eyes caught caught all this but no bunch of black dresses. A first bit of relief began to wash into you as your eyes began to double check, wandering over the faces of all the guests you could see but still, they weren’t here. And just as you allowed yourself to breath with a little more ease, your eyes caught the reason you were actually standing in this room. He sat alone at the bar, a glass of whiskey in his hand, the large, fancy looking bottle standing right next to him as he took another gulp of the amber liquid. He looked as breathtakingly handsome as ever, no doubt, even though his appearance was slightly changed for this night. He was all in black, his usual leatherjacket clinging to his broad shoulders, a black shirt underneath that was as dark as his pants and the boots that were free from any dried mud the days around the Sanctuary’s compound usually left on them. A pair of dark gray wolf ears was finishing his outfit, sticking right out of his black hair and letting him match more than ever the look of the big bad wolf. Much to your surprise he didn’t seem to enjoy the party as much as you had expected, his jaw was clenched beneath the salt and pepper beard that peppered his face as he swallowed the whiskey and stared over the edge of the glass into emptiness. Should you walk up to him? Or should you just wait until he noticed you? Just as this debate began to form in your head it got taken away from you as a pair of hazel eyes meet yours, glancing at you as they slightly widened and the frown that had pressed over his face got replaced by an excited grin. “There she is!”, you could hear him say, loud enough for you to hear it on the other side of the room while the glance in his eyes and the gravel of his deep voice elicited a whole other kind of warmth to wash into your body and let your cheeks light up.
You were thanking the dimmed light over and over again in those moments as you saw him pushing his tall frame away from the bar, grabbing the glass, the bottle of whiskey and his bat that was resting beside him before strutting over to you. You could tell by his walk that he’s had a good bit of the whiskey already, a little tipsy if you looked close enough even though the sound of his voice had still been steady, not a hint of slurring, differently to his second hand man who was still rushing through the room. “Hey there, doll”, Negan chuckled, the smirk spreading wider over his face as he let his tongue run over his lower lip as his eyes ran over your body and brought the heat in you to rise with each passing second, “Shit, you look hot as hell. Fuckin’ beautiful…knew it would look great on ya.” “Thanks”, you said, feeling a smile on your face growing as he nodded over to a nearby bar table, hinting at you to move over to its place in the corner of the room.
“Almost thought you wouldn’t come anymore”,you heard him mumble as soon as he had placed the bottle and the glass on the wooded surface and leaned back over to you. His voice wasn’t filled with any kind of accusation, rather a mix of relief and a bit disappointment sounding through its deepness before he lightened up again and rose his voice with another chuckle, “Whatever, doesn’t matter, you’re here now!” “You want something to drink? Can get ya anything you want. Hell, we can share this nice ass whiskey or I’ll get you some other shit…just think tequila and gin will be hard to get a damn grasp on, Simon’s watching like some fuckin’ broody hen over that crap”, he said, laughing quietly as he glanced over to Simon before looking back at you, his eyes nearly analyzing your face before he let out another throaty chuckle ,”But if you want hell, I’ll throw myself in a fight with him. Lucille’s thirsty too.” He grinned down to his bat as you let out a small laugh, feeling how you grew more and more comfortable, just like the tingling in your stomach did. “Oh, I bet she i-” “Aaaand our first pair is-”, you suddenly heard Simon slur loudly, darting your attention to his figure within a group of people, gesturing even more excessively than he usually did as he looked into the faces of his bystanders ,”Can I get some drum roll!” He laughed out, shoving up the sleeves of his shirt before he swung his arms around, until his fingertip ended up pointing right into your direction. “The big man and his-”, he grumbled, circling his finger as long as his drunk mind was searching for the right words before they blustered out of him,”His little red ridin’ hood” “What the hell’s that?”, Negan scoffed, turning around to his second hand man, the frown from before spreading over his features again in response to the sudden interruption. “Seven minutes in heaven”, Simon blurted out, grinning satisfied about his glorious drunk idea. “Come on Simon, we’re not in fuckin’ high school anymore”, Negan scoffed, running a palm over his salt and pepper beard as a growl left his lips. “You can play the advanced version too…if y’know what I mean, boss”, Simon drunkenly grinned, stepping a little closer as he suggestively raised his thick brows and nodded towards the door on the other side of the room, “Big bad wolf devours the red rid-” “Shut up”, Negan cut him growling off, shooting him a warning glare that Simon’s boozed brain didn’t seem to quiet get. “Come on, Boss man”, he grumbled, his curled fist nudging Negan’s leather call arms as you began to realize that Simon wouldn’t let it be. Another annoyed and helpless huff left Negan’s lips as he was looking at his second hand man who allowed himself way more than he’d ever do in a sober state. You grew more restless before you let out a sigh and reached out to Negan’s arm, letting your fingers grasp his sleeve to get his attention. “We can just go over, he’s drunk as fuck…I don’t think he’ll stop otherwise”, you mumbled as soon as his hazel eyes met yours in the dimmed light, raising his brows questionably. His glance wandered over you, not in the hungry, suggestive way you would usually expect, but rather testing, maybe even a little concerned: “That okay for you?” You nodded, even though the suggestive glances of the people surrounding Simon would be enough to give anyone doubt, no matter the fact that you knew Negan wouldn’t push you to anything if you agreed to go. Still, there was this odd tingling in your stomach that seemed to grow with each passing second before you caught Simon grinning at you. “Oh someone wanna gets fuc-” “Shut up, Simon or I swear I’ll rip that stupid mustache off your damn face”, Negan growled, his eyes piercing through the shorter man in front of him before he clenched his jaw and glanced back at you, “Lets get away from that drunk asshole.”
“Some damn crap…”, Negan mumbled as he walked after you into the faintly lighted room, his hands carrying the whiskey and his bat before he placed the bottle on the table in the middle of the room and leaned Lucille against its edge. “They probably expect me to fuck your brains out now”, a small snort left his lips before he looked at you, stopping abruptly as he got a little closer and and ran a palm over his jaw, noticing the way you looked at him.“We don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to…no fuckin’ pressure here. We can just sit down and sip that delicious whiskey.” You wanted to be close to him, of course you did, in one way or another, but not with this dumb game. There was a temptation lingering in its depths, the chance to at least feel his lips on yours, feel his hands running over your body but there was still something else holding you back, telling you that this wasn’t the way to go. Noticing your first hesitation he plopped down on the chair, taking the further decision from you as he nodded at the chair diagonally from his, only the table’s edge parting you. Sitting down you could see him reaching out to another clean glass on the table before he nudged it towards you and began to pour some whiskey into both of your glasses, sipping on its amber liquid as soon as he could get a grasp on it. “Why did you come so late?”, he asked after a short moment of silence, licking the liquor from his lips before his hazel eyes met yours again, “That’s no fuckin’ accusation…just wondering.”
Didn’t want to take the chance to see your tarted up wives wiggling around you and risk throwing up if I had to see you leaving with them.
That’s what was rushing through your head, but it wasn’t leaving your mouth, in no way you were gonna just give that away and make yourself look like some desperate little fool in front of him. So instead you cupped the fancy glass in your hands, played nervously around its sharp cut edges and decided to tell the best fitting alternative you could bring up that was still filled with truth, even though not so specific. “Wasn’t sure if that was my place to be.” “Didn’t give you that great ass dress for nothing”, he said back as soon as your voice had hushed, sipping on the whiskey with a small grin as he gestured swiftly at the red fabric engulfing your body. “Hmm?”, he mumbled, taking another thick gulp of his whiskey as you gulped, unsure if you should tell the truth this time. You glanced up at him, giving him a little helpless smile as you knew that by the moments that had passed by now you had to tell before you raised your voice, more bittersweetness mixing into it than you liked. “You got six wives you give tons of dresses to. It’s nothing someone can be smug about…that’s nothing special.” “Well, you are”, he startled you with his quick answer as he suddenly began to glance down at his glass and the bottle beside it, turning quieter and more hesitant while a wave of surprise and warmth rushed through your veins,”They’re not here for a reason. Didn’t want them here…with you.” You could feel your mouth beginning to gap softly open in surprise as you stared at him, still not sure if that what had just left his lips was real or just a ridiculous mirage, meant to trick you and show you what you longed for only to turn out to vanish into thin air. “Now who do you think did I throw this party for?”, Negan said, raising his brows as if he was astounded by your astonishment. “But why-?”, just left your lips, your voice soft and still filled with surprise as you glanced at him and caught the way his eyes began to slowly burn into yours. “Heard you talking ‘bout it to that guy on a run…just wanted to give you a lil’ treat”, he mumbled, glancing down as the big bad wolf suddenly seemed not as pumped up with confidence as usual, but rather unsure of what was to come next. For a moment, you put your surprise and the warmth his words had elicited back, remembering the conversation with the younger Savior. You could still hear him pointing out that the 31th was coming soon, how you had told each other what you had done on Halloween with friends or even family, swinging for a moment in nostalgia, even if it was just short and briefly. All that but you had never thought Negan had noticed. “Know how important those fucking memories can be…or at least that what we can carry with us into this shithole of a world”, he interrupted your train of thought as you caught him glancing for the split of a second down to his bat before a small bittersweet chuckle left his lips, “Wasn’t even the answer to your question, huh?” You said nothing, not because of his question, but because you were still astounded by him, by what he had done for you. That wasn’t just some dirty remark or compliment he was whispering in your ear to charm you or show you his interest, that man had organized all this in the room next door just because he thought you would like it. That wasn’t just something flirty, that was a big heartfelt gesture you had never expected to experience again. And you dumbass had almost not come. Hell, now you could understand his questions, the small remark about thinking you wouldn’t show up anymore, and you began to feel terrible about it. “Fuck, you make me nervous like some fuckin’ teenage boy”, he suddenly chuckled, the things the whiskey was doing to him slightly showing in his glance and the way his laugh rumbled through his broad chest ,”Now that’s something you can be fucking smug about.” “Fuck…I’m talking too much…fuckin’ whiskey”, he said the next moment, shaking his head as he ran his palm over his beard and stared down at the liquid in his glass. “No…it’s fine”, you softly mumbled before you gulped slightly,“I didn’t tell you the whole answer to your question either.” Negan’s brows perked up, curiosity and a little surprise twinkling in his eyes as you gave yourself another push. “I didn’t want to see them with you”, you grumbled, leaving his glance to nervously switch to the large bottle of whiskey that was ,”That’s why.” “Really?”, you heard him say, the slight astonishment in his voice letting you glance back a him while his signature grin began to finally spread back over his lips. “Don’t even think about teasing me ‘bout it”, you mumbled, loosing up as you chuckled quietly and nudging his knee slightly beneath the table while you caught his grin growing wider. “Don’t worry”, he grumbled, chuckling throatily as his large hand reached out to yours and gave it a soft but teasing squeeze, before he took another gulp of his whiskey and nodded toward you,“You can tease me back too. Gave you the best fucking content for that crap.” “Hmm”, you mumbled in approval, grinning and softly chuckling as a pleasant and excited cocktail of emotions rushed through your veins that just got intensified as Negan’s hand kept cupping yours, his thumb slowly brushing over the hand of your back. “But thank you…for this all”, you mumbled as you slowly glanced up into his eyes,”And sorry for coming so late, I just-” “No need to thank me and don’t you be sorry, you couldn’t know. Planning was a little fucking off…my ass just had to get fuckin’ used to doing that kinda stuff again…for someone”, he mumbled stopping for a moment before he glanced back at you,”And like I said, you’re here, that’s fucking all that matters.” A smile mixed into the grin on your lips as the genuineness in his voice just let the warmth flowing through your body grow and made you feel how your cheeks began to glow. To your surprise, instead of making another remark he just let out another chuckle, glanced for a moment at your intertwined hands before his eyes captured yours again, keeping them locked to his while it suddenly became completely quiet in the room, only the music and voices of the people next door sounding softly through to you. You could feel the tension growing in the air, spanning in between you as his touch and his glance let the growing warmth seep into every of your cells, only letting your longing for him become larger.
“Two minutes left…”, Simon suddenly yelled drunkenly through the door, eliciting a growl to fall from Negan’s lips as he atmosphere in the room got suddenly broken off by his second hand man. “You’re not answering ‘cause you’re balls deep i-” “Oh shut the fuck up, Simon”, Negan angrily growled, glaring at the door as he stood up, grabbing his bat just to swing it against the door’s wood, successfully silencing and chasing Simon away. As you turned around, trying to get a better look at the door your eyes caught Negan’s hand reaching out to you, offering you a help to get back on your feet. Sliding your hand into his, the warmth was back there, the longing was flaring up once more as he lifted you with ease on your feet, letting you land right in front of him, only a few inches parting you. The sudden movement let the hood of your dress fall back, landing softly on your back as your eyes first met Negan’s again, catching his glance burning into you as he quietly chuckled. “Shit, let me get that for ya”, he grumbled, reaching up and around your neck to grasp the hood and place it over the back of your head once more. “Damn…”, he grumbled, leaving his hands at the side of your face, his eyes nearly analyzing it as the ran over your features. “Alright, two more minutes till we’re out…”, he mumbled, his glance still as intense as before until they landed back to lock with yours, “Hell, we can just wait it out, unless you-” He stopped, the hunger spreading further over his face as it elicited the heat to rise in your body, unlocking more of the yearning you were feeling for him and the urge to finally feel his lips on yours. “We can try, right?”, you suddenly softly mumbled, surprised by yourself as your emotions were taking charge, overpowering any doubtful thoughts and talked for you, creating a flickering in Negan’s eyes that let the butterflies in your stomach go wild. “Yeah, we can fuckin’ try”, he grumbled back, his hands finally cupping your face as he leaned down, his hot breath brushing over your skin until his lips finally captured yours. The tingling warmth and smokiness the whiskey was leaving on his lips mixed pleasantly with his own taste as his lips caressed over yours, testing at first, as if a small part of him expected you to still pull away. But instead you sunk into him, felt yourself melting into his touch while deep growls rumbled through his chest as you carefully placed your hands over his leather jacket, its smooth surface brushing against his fingertips. Negan’s careful caresses turned quickly stronger, their growing intensity elicited a content hum to travel up your throat as his large and warm hands slowly left your cheeks and wandered down until his arms could wrap around your waist and pull you flush against his tall frame. You ran your fingers up until they tangled into his dark hair, brushing past the thin headband that was holding his wolf ears up while you took in every little piece he gave you, every little caress, growl and touch. His beard stubble softly tickled your skin as he sunk further into the kiss, taking you right along with him into a trance that made you after all slowly realize that this all was actually happening, this all was real. Eventually, your lips slowly parted, urged away from each other by the growing need for oxygen even though you still remained close, his lips hovering over yours as his hot breath brushed over your skin. “Hot damn…”, his deep voice lowly grumbled, letting your cheeks glow some more up before a certain drunk voice boomed through the door again. “You done, boss man? Seven minutes are over…prob’ly by far already…can’t tell anymore”, Simon slurred with a quiet laugh eliciting a growl to fall from Negan’s lips, his face turning slightly as if he was preparing for another snapping remark until your voice made him halt. “Just let him talk”, you mumbled, the smile he had put on your lips becoming everlasting as you caught how the grin that began to replace the frown and his eyes captured yours once more as his tongue ran slowly over his lower lip. “Now how ‘bout we grab that nice ass whiskey, some of those corny ass halloween muffins and get our asses outta here…can think of a better place to continue”, he mumbled as he leaned in, pecking your lips as the longing in you let you hum in approval against his lips. “That a fuckin’ yes?”, he chuckled as he backed just a little away, enough for you to look into his eyes and see the playful way his brows perked up, close enough to still feel his hot breath on your skin. Feeling how he pulled you closer, the warmth and the realization that your wished were finally on their way to come true spread out in your body before you slowly began to nod. “Yes.”
(The gif isn’t mine/ I found it on google so credits to the original owner)
The soft sun light was streaming into the cell, dipping it into a warm light that had the power to soften even the cold stone walls surrounding you. Your eyes were only half opened, your body not ready to fully come back yet as you shifted closer into the warmth by your side, taking in the comforting scent that was engulfing you as the figure holding you began to shift slightly. He was still asleep, swinging somewhere far away as your head turned slightly, moving a bit from the comfortable spot on his broad chest to let your eyes run over his peacefully sleeping face. He still looked as handsome as ever, enough to take your breath away and keep you in a certain trance, but still, it was obvious what the cell had done to his appearance by now. His beard had grown longer, the salt slowly beginning to dominate the pepper while his hair remained black as pitch, even though it was shorter than usual, still coined by the last time they had cut it. It had been a year and a couple of months by now. A year and a couple of months in which a whole lot had happened. Just shortly after the day you had come back to the cell things had began to truly develop. Maggie had given birth to a little boy who was now carrying the name of his grandfather and just around this time things had began to truly change around Alexandria. It was thriving. The windmill that had been in planing back then was now standing tall within the walls that were stronger than ever. The houses and the church had been rebuild, shining brightly and not showing a sign of the flames that had once torn them apart. Several cropfields were planted all over Alexandria, nourishing it and the other communities including the Sanctuary with all they could provide, ranking from deep red and tasty tomatoes to luscious and juicy apples. There truly seemed to be peace for now, there was still a certain tension swinging here and there in the air, but coming from a spot where each of the sides were ready to rip each other apart, this seemed like something impossible beginning to become possible. Things would be great, if only Negan’s freedom would be one of them. You would be lying if you would say the cell was easy to deal with, even though he had overcome the first obstacles along with you, you could see how much it tried to impact him. One day, you still hoped he’d get out and get the chance to show that there was more to him than what the people were thinking and maybe, maybe find the right way to his good intentions that you were sure lingered within him.
With a content hum you nuzzled your nose into the warmth of his neck, feeling how the slight imprint of his scar was brushing against your skin as you pressed your lips softly to it, hearing how it elicited a small, pleasant growl to fall from Negan’s throat. “Mornin’ Baby”, he grumbled, tightening his arm that had lazily rested around your waist, pulling you closer into his warmth as his lips pressed a sloppy morning kiss to your temple. ”Morning”, you mumbled, back burying your head deeper in the curve of his neck, neither ready nor willing to get up yet. ”Wanna hide in that damn beard?”, Negan throatily chuckled, his hand moving to teasingly squeeze your waist as you just gave him a sleepy grumble back. ”Hmm, thought you were excited for that damn bridge.” The bridge. Once made to be able to carry the cars and trucks of people rushing to their woks through the woods had over the draining time of abandonment let nature take most of it. And out of all times it began to fall apart now when it was actually being used again, needed just like the other routes to transport supplies to the other communities. It had been already 35 days since the project had started and most of the time you had switched between Alexandria and the quarter of tents they had build up there, helping Siddiq in the provisory infirmary. But now that Enid was joining in, trying to help as well with her new learned knowledge, you were needed right at the pulsing spot of the bridge, right on the stems to help building it, at least for now. Negan was right in some way, you were excited to get out of that tent for once, but there were other factors greatly playing in. After all, you weren’t the only one on that bridge, new and old faces were swarming over it as well and especially this one old one gave you chills. Daryl. With the most of them, things were beginning to work out. You were growing closer to Rick and Michonne again, were earning most of their trust back, just like Gabriel, Aaron’s and some of the others. There were a few that were still showing you the cold shoulder whenever you were close to them and by now, these people weren’t letting you care all too much. You didn’t like it, but you weren’t gonna push yourself onto people and make yourself a fool. You neither had to be everybody’s darling nor did you have to please each and everyone. But Daryl, yes Daryl was the only one of those you really wished to have back. Dryly said you could “coexist”, you could be at the same place without him going off like a firework at new years eve but except for his grumbles, you hadn’t exchanged one proper word. If you were honest, you feared that one or just a couple of words from yours towards him would let that rocket explode after all. But those thoughts were drifting off in these moments as you cuddled closer into Negan’s embrace, eager to soak up the last bit of his comfort until you had to abandon the bed eventually. ”Don’t wanna leave yet”, you grumbled against his skin with a light chuckle, hearing a throaty one rumbling back in response as he wrapped his arms tighter around your body and pulled you closer until his lips moved in to press another drowsy kiss to your skin. ”Then I’ll just keep ya here”, he chuckled lowly, his raspy voice vibrating against your skin before you lifted your head slowly from his shoulder and glanced sleepily at him. ”Could think of some plans”, he grumbled, raising his brows suggestively as his drowsy hazel eyes glanced at you, his lips formed into the signature grin while you let out a small laugh and shoved his chest playfully. ”Oh, I’m sure of that.”
“Take care, alright?”, Negan grumbled just a little bit later as he stood with you in the middle of the cell, holding you in his arms after you had finally gotten yourselves to slip out of the bed and get ready. He was keeping you close, his hazel eyes wandering over your face as a wider smirk let the muscles in his cheek twitch. “Need you back in that bed tonight”, he added lowly, a grin dancing over his handsome features as his hand ran down your body to give your ass a tight squeeze before a throaty chuckle left his lips as he caught you flinching slightly in response. “Nah, I’m serious”, he mumbled as he tipped in to press a short kiss to your lips before you gave him a small nod. “I know, but it’s just the bridge, not the same as taking care of wounds and stuff but it’s still fine”, you muttered back, running your hands from his shoulders to his neck, caressing your fingers through his dark hair at the nape of his neck while a pleasant growl elicited his lips. His lips met yours in another peck, just until he pulled away, gulping slightly as he remained close enough for you to feel his hot breath brushing over your skin. “Fuck, I-”, he began, before his voice suddenly broke off again, leaving you confused as you leaned closer in. “Hmm?”, you mumbled against his lips, feeling him pulling you closer as the grin got back on his lips. “Can’t fucking wait till you’re back”, he grumbled with a throaty chuckle, teasingly squeezing your waist before he finally leaned back in, giving in to the longing you were feeling too. Just as soon as his lips captured yours again, the heavy footsteps of the guard coming down the cement stairs echoed through the cell, slowly but surely inducing your departure for the day.
The sun was shining brightly down on you as you found yourself kneeling just hours later on the bridge, your mind drifting here and there off to Negan as your knees dug into the wood of the stem, monotonically hitting nails deeper into lumber as people were swarming around you to fulfill their tasks. One of them was Daryl, doing his job as always while he remained close enough for you to see him from the corners of your eyes, leaving your body always in at least a bit alertness. He wouldn’t angrily approach you out of nowhere, you were past that point, still, his presence wasn’t exactly giving contributing to any calmness that tried to spread out in your body. Trying to ignore the tension as much as you could you shifted a little bit away from the pile of sand by your side that chafed uncomfortably against any bit of skin that was exposed before you went in for another hit. ”D’you want some water?”, Henry’s voice echoed through to you as the dull thud the hammer produced mixed within the other noises around you. Within seconds you glanced up, catching him standing with a big trunk of water in his hands by your side, reaching a cup down to you. ”Yeah, sure”, you said, pressing a smile into the corners of your lips as you grabbed the cup, filling it quickly with water before letting the cold liquid wash down your throat with relish. ”Thanks”, you mumbled as soon as you gave the cup back to the boy, seeing him grabbing it quickly before he moved on with his job for today. Just as you went back to working, dedicating your attention to the nails and lumber in front of you a loud thud and the sound of a male voice made your eyes snap up. Your glance caputred Henry struggling on the ground, his back pressing against the bridge’s wood as Justin towered over him, the jug in his hands as he drank from its opening, completely ignoring anybody around him. Your eyes wandered from the Savior to Henry who was getting up again from the punch he must have taken in, his brows puckered and his face fallen into a deep frown as he grabbed his stick, tightening his hold on it before rushing it against the weakest spots of Justin’s knees, swinging him right to the ground in the matter of seconds. Your eyes stayed darted at him, just like the ones of everyone else, bewildered of what he’d done as you let out a scoff, watching how most of the people began to go back to their work as soon as Henry began to storm off and another Savior walked up to Justin instead, quirking an eyebrow mockingly. ”Hey man, it’s cool I got my ass handled by a kid once too…’course I was six at that time”, he mocked, chuckling as Justin groaned, struggling to get up while a harsh frown spread over his face, increasing with every word that flew more out of his fellow Savior’s mouth. Clenching your jaw uneasily you stared at the scene playing out in front of you, seeing how the anger began to build up more and more in Justin before he let out a growl and got up, pushing himself past the other man, his eyes darting darkly at Henry. You could feel the urge in you rising to do something, keep that dumbass from hurting a kid but before any of your thoughts could be turned into action, fast footsteps sounded over the surface of the bridge, letting it vibrate beneath them before you saw Daryl’s figure rushing towards Justin. ”Hey! Kid’s just doin’ his job”, you could hear Daryl grumble, grabbing the Savior’s arm to turn him around to him, “Get back to work.” ”I don’t need you people telling me what to do. You ain’t my babysitter anymore”, he growled in response, glaring at Daryl as the anger vibrated through his voice and seemed to rush even further through the air, even as he began to turn around again, heading towards the kid. With each step he got closer to your spot on the bridge as you suddenly saw Daryl grabbing the Savior’s shoulder, trying to stop him before Justin turned around, his face flushing in a bright red as his fist rushed towards Daryl, letting your heart skip a beat even as he dug quickly, moving away from the oncoming fist. It could be only seconds that past as you watched the scene right in front of you, not more than one, two meters away from you, seeing how Daryl stormed up from his lowered position, his fist rushing right towards the man’s face in front of him. A gasp left your lips as you watched him falling back, landing right next to you in the large pile of sand, groaning out in anger and pain while he didn’t even seem to notice you, his rilled up anger only letting him concentrate on his opponent. Rage spread over Justin’s whole face as his fury eyes kept darting at Daryl, just as yours travelled down, watching his hand grabbing into the sand, burying into it enough to catch a whole handful. It was only a second that past between thinking and doing, between your mind working flat out and telling you that this handful of sand would land in Daryl’s face if you wouldn’t do anything and your hand eventually reaching out, grabbing the Savior’s wrist, letting your fingers wrap around it with as much strength as you could bring up. ”Get the fuck away”, Justin growled out the moment he felt your fingers touching his skin, his eyes suddenly darting at you, the pure fury letting a shiver run down your spine before the corners of your eyes caught something rushing up. A duil pain suddenly spread out over the side of your head, knocking you right to the ground as your sight turned blurry for a moment until your head crushed against something hard behind you, eliciting a breathy groan to fall from your lips as you gritted your teeth in pain. Your eyes were squeezed tight as if they could mild the anguish seeping into every of your inches before you opened your eyes again, catching an empty spot next to you on the pile of sand. Instead, voices and groans darted your still blurry glance farther, your rapidly pounding head dulling out everything around you as you finally caught the two fighting men again and the people that began to neglect their tasks and instead watch the scene that was playing out in front of their eyes. It seemed like everything you saw was switching rapidly between slow motion and fast play as you tried to keep your mind from clouding just before the bridge began to vibrate beneath another pair of feet. It took seconds until your eyes caught Rick storming into the broil, your mind becoming clearer again, rallying and recovering itself from the punch as you tried to prop yourself on your hands, keep yourself steady as you caught from the corners of your eyes how the two men were torn away from each other. Voices were still mixing wildly with one another before Rick’s voice suddenly pitched out, “Enough! I said enough!” The voices were becoming lower, just quiet grumbles sounding through to you from the background as you saw Daryl moving past Rick, spitting blood to the ground while his face was caught by the anger that was still boiling within him. ”Get back to work!”, Rick huffed, a scoff leaving his lips as he turned around, finally capturing you on the ground, still struggling to get back. ”What the hell happened with her?”, Rick called out, stumbling towards you as you groaned quietly in pain, starting another try to get yourself to sit straight. ”She got in the way”, you heard Justin yell back from somewhere in the group of people that had held him back, letting an even harder frown spread over Rick’s already tense face. ”You gotta be-”, he scoffed, shaking his head in disbelief as he turned his back completely to Justin and instead shuffled towards you, sighing deeply as his eyes wandered over you and his hands reached out to your body. ”Lets get you away here.”
Your feet shuffled over the dirty makeshift paths in-between the tents, feeling how Rick slung his arm a little tighter around your waist to keep you propped up, not trusting you to keep yourself properly on your feet. Your head was still pounding, supporting the dizziness that was seeping into your skull and limbs as you glanced over to Rick by your side. ”Thanks”, you mumbled as you saw him nodding slightly before he turned slightly glancing closely at you. ”Is it bad?” ”It’s getting better, I guess”, you mumbled, trying to walk as much as you could by yourself before he gave you a small nod and glanced back to the tents, trying by all means to avoid crashing into any of them or the wood they were attached to. ”Gonna get you to Siddiq, think he’s still there…if it’s too bad I want you to go back home with him”, Rick mumbled, writhing you along the path as you looked in front of you, already recognizing the improvised infirmary tent from afar.
”No concussion, but you definitely shouldn’t go back out there today”, Siddiq grumbled as you found yourself siting on a cot after he had tried to examine you as well as he could in the tent. ”So she’s going back with you?”, Rick asked from the other side of the small room as he leaned against a steady shelf, gesturing at you as Siddiq glanced from you back to him. ”Yeah, think that’s the best. Wouldn’t make much sense keeping her here…and I got some kinda meds back home I think that could help her with those smaller symptoms”, Siddig said, reaching up to run his hand for a short moment over his jaw while Rick nodded tensely. ”Alright.” ”She can stay here too till I take off, got not many patients here today so that won’t be much of a problem”, the younger man said, collecting few of his utensils he had used before shuffling over to the other other side, shoving them back into their place in a drawer while you caught Enid watching you from the side of the tent. ”Good…well, see you…gotta take care of a whole other problem…and you, get better, okay?”, Rick grumbled as he glanced at you, before scoffing as you could read off his face that he’d have to go through the fight on the bridge all over again with its source.
As soon as Rick was gone, time began to pass slowly, you stayed alone in the tent after Siddiq and Enid left to take care of some people around the camp, sitting on the cot, trying to stay still and let your body fight against the dizziness. You glanced outside, leaning into the few pillows on the cot until your eyes caught a shadow dragging over the earthy ground that got closer with each second. First, you expected Siddiq to walk right back in, get some new salves or bandages but instead your heart skipped a beat as you caught the person belonging to the shadow standing in front of the tent’s entrance. “Just here ‘cause Carol pushed me”, he grumbled, his eyes darting at you through his straggly brown hair as he forced himself to step under your surprised glance farther into the tent, his glance wandering to the ground as he kept a good bit of distance between the both of you. You caught your own lips gaping slightly open in wonderment, your mind still trying to get that he was actually coming in, taking a step towards you. Of course it wasn’t all too voluntary, the way his body tensed displayed it as much as his words did but a year ago, even Carol wouldn’t have gotten him to speak just a single word with you. “So-”, he mumbled, shifting with his dirty and worn off boots from side to side as he still refused to look directly into your eyes, “Thanks.” His voice clearly showed the challenge he was overcoming to speak this word out but still, within all the tension that was stuck in your body a little relief began to sneak up in you. “No problem”, you mumbled softly after a few moments of silence, unsure what to exactly say as Daryl slowly nodded, his hands twitching slightly through the restlessness that steamed visibly through him before he finally glanced up at you. “Why’d you do it?” “Should I’ve just let him throw that sand at you?”, you asked, the quickest response leaving your lips in tension before you caught yourself again and raised your voice calmer, gulping as you could feel yourself growing more tense ,”Didn’t want you to get hurt.” A thick scoff left Daryl’s lips, his eyes darkening within seconds as the suspense in him rose, letting his jaw clench tightly as his lips pursed in anger. “He hurt me too, hurt glenn, abraham…maggie… and ya still with him”, he growled, eliciting a shudder to run down your back as the temperature in the tent seemed to lower until it reached the freezing point ,”Don’t act like you give a shit.” “Are you kidding me? I do-”, it broke out of you, emotions whirling up again before you tried to get them back under control as soon as you stopped mid sentence, looking at him, sighing quietly as long known pain spread out in your body,”Why can’t we for once talk like normal people?” “Think the reason’s sittin’ in that cell”, Daryl growled back, shutting your calm argument down within seconds before he huffed out and leaned back against the table behind him, obviously trying to get himself under control. You weren’t even sure if he was trying to keep his cool for you, you actually highly doubted it, instead it felt more like he had given Rick or rather Carol a promise to try. “I care, I really do”, you mumbled, a little helpless and unsure how to go on, else than trying to reassure that you were being genuine. “Seems like you care more about that prick”, he snapped back, the control he seemed to have tried to maintain visibly vanishing as you let out a small sigh. “Daryl-” “But be sure that there’s nothin’ gonna come back from him on the long run”, he growled, cutting you right off as he pushed himself away from the table and stepped a little closer,”He ain’t gonna love ya or some shit. That asshole, all he cares ‘bout is that damn bat.” The words leaving his lips were as sharp as a hunting knife, underlined by the growl that was just growing thicker while you knew that he was slowly falling back into the old scheme and that was a dirty one. Once he had stepped over this certain line, not much was able to hold him back, and especially not you. “He’d switch ya for it any time without battin’ an eye”, he spat out, his eyes glaring at you through the strands of hair hanging into his redder growing face while your body grew tense, seeing how he waited for the pain to spread over your face. He wanted to hurt you with those words, make you feel his anger and disappointment that was boiling deeply within him, and you knew it. You knew what their only purpose was and still it struck a small cord within you, even though you were determined to not show him. So you stayed still on the cot, hearing how he let out an angry snort as he shook his head about you, growling as his words began to rush repeatedly through your head. One last time he glanced at you before he turned around and stomped out of the tent, without being held back by you. If you knew it would help, even just a tiny bit, you would have tried to, but right now you knew more than with a hundred percent certainty that any reaction of yours would just make it worse and probably catapult you to the state back you’ve had more than a year ago. And that was one of the last things you could need. So you remained silent on the cot, glancing outside, watching the sun stream in beams through the roof the tree’s crowns were creating while slowly but surely Daryl’s words began to let their effect act on you. Negan had never said those three words to you, at least not yet, but so hadn’t you, even though you did feel it. You loved him. You loved him with all you had, more than you had ever thought being capable of and even though you couldn’t pinpoint a moment of realization, you knew it had been a long while already. If you were going back in time, skipped through all these events you had gone through with him, you knew you had already loved him when you had held him beneath that tree on the hill in your arms, sobbing and covered in his blood, afraid to lose him forever. And from that point on it had just gotten stronger. Those words had rushed through your mind several times already, more than you admitted to yourself. In the mornings, when he was all drowsy, pulled you deeper into his embrace, kissed your temple and let you drown into his scent and warmth for another five minutes. During the day, when something happened and all you wanted to do was show him or at least tell him about it. When you came back from work in the evenings and could finally fall into his arms again and let him take you in. When he made you laugh with the odd sense of humor he had and the roguish grin that danced over his lips when he attempted to tell you yet another one of his dirty jokes he was dragging into an unbelievable length with tons of colorful and way too descriptive details. When he was panting above you, kissing you feverishly and filling you up with the pleasure only he could give you. And eventually when you cuddled up to him in the night and felt him tucking you in along with him, slinging his arms protectively around your body before letting you drift into a deep sleep. Those were just a few of the moments you caught those words sneaking up in your throat, pressuring you to let them flow from your lips even though you had stopped them each time till now. And you had your reasons. You weren’t completely sure if he was ready to say it back and the last thing you wanted was to push him. You wanted to hear those words when he was ready for it, when he felt like saying them and not because he felt obligated to because you had told him. After all, showing someone you loved them was even more important than just words, and that was definitely something you both did, still, it would be a blunt lie if you’d say you hadn’t thought about telling him anyway, knowing that he deserved to hear them. It was an ever running circle of wanting to tell him and not knowing if you should, as you deeply down knew that you were simply thinking too much about it and were making it more complicated than it actually was. You let out a small huff, fumbling a little uneasy on one of the loose threads that were poking out of the seam of your pants as you refused to let any of the other things Daryl had said come too close, knowing how hurtful they would turn out to be if you would let them take your mind and feelings hostage. No matter how untrue they were. Sighing you leaned back, shutting your eyes for a moment, fighting the dizziness that was still keeping your body in its claws before the singing of the birds and the soft swishing of the trees in the wind outside began to relax you. Just as you began to drift off, feel how your body slumped into the pillows behind you, Siddiq’s voice ripped you out of the trance you were falling into. “(Y/N)? We’re taking off.”
He should have told her this morning. He really should have grabbed himself by his own damn balls and just get those words over his lips instead of breaking his voice off like some damn flop and tell her the other first thing that came to his mind. But shit, he wasn’t good with that kinda crap. He could swing big ass speeches with the most ease, put the magic of effectively swinging his dick into the right words but these three words, they were a whole different challenge, larger than he liked to admit. The reason wasn’t that he didn’t fully feel it, hell no, that was definitely not the issue here. He felt all of that crap, from this specific kind of warmth she elicited within him to that feeling he had with her that made a nut busting orgasm look like some lousy fucker. And if he was honest, he was feeling it clearer and more intense than ever before and if he wanted to sink even deeper into some goddamn sappiness, whatever it was he had with her, that shit was some kinda once in a lifetime thing. Finding each other in the circumstances they had and especially staying and growing even closer to the other one within the harder times that followed, that really had to be some special shit. So what was exactly his goddamn problem? It shouldn’t be that hard, right? He was feeling it, that much that his damn heart felt like it had a massive, pulsing and rock hard boner on a full time basis, so why couldn’t he let that damn boner cum and let those words spurt out of his mouth? He had told her other things, things he’d put right on the same level as those fucking three words, still, they seemed to be something different, something like a milestone that couldn’t be compared to anything else. If he looked closely, forced himself to drown deeper into his own mind and feelings, he knew that there were some reasons that would stay hidden from him, while others were literally shown to him, a bit fear and maybe even some guilt were right there on that silver plate his mind presented him. Most of it was utter bullshit, he knew it, but that didn’t make any of it easier. He sometimes did felt guilty, keeping Lucille in mind and the things he had fucked up back then, the things he had screwed up on his first try. He had loved her, he really had. He hadn’t carried the bat around with him and now wished and longed to have it back with him in the cell for nothing and everything it stood for still had a large impact on him, having given him so much strength and protection over all this time. He’d give so much to have it back, his dirty girl, let his hands grab the smooth wood and swing it through the air, preferably to end up hitting some of the sorry fuckers outside or hell, just lean it next to his bed like he had done it before the time in this hellhole. It was all that he had left from before. He knew where the bat was, probably locked up in the armory or so, and he also painfully knew that the real person was still laying on that hospital floor, nothing more than skin and bones. But shit, if there really was some kind of heaven, he hoped the real Lucille would be up there with someone who deserved her and fucked her brains out and back in on a daily basis. If that was the damn case, she’d probably be looking down on him right now, shaking her head and crossing her arms, wondering what he was waiting for. Hell, he was even sure she’d like the shit out of (Y/N), someone who was getting him back from all the shit he had done and let him finally feel like he was alive again. He hadn’t done it right at his first try, at least not until the last time he’s had with her, so he couldn’t do the same thing with his second, no matter if there was some fear that she might not say it back. He just had to make it right now. This time, he had to be the one she deserved. He had to tell her.
The time that had passed on your drive back to Alexandria and eventually the tablet Siddiq had given you in the infirmary had done their job, helping you to deal with the dizziness and the pain that still let your head pound. Walking still wasn’t your favorite thing to do in these moments and you could still hear Siddiq telling you to lay down as soon as you could so your body could take a proper break, but there was a certain place you had to get to to finally do that. “Oh there he comes again…bringing me that shit ass food, huh? Little early today, aren’t ya?”, you eventually heard Negan say with a little tease but mostly a huff in his voice as you found yourself walking along with his guard down the cement stairs into the cellar until you reached the bars of his cell and let his glance turn utterly confused.
“What happened?”, he asked only minutes later as you stood in the cell, heard the guards footsteps descending again while his hands were cupping your face carefully, his eyes examining you worriedly. “Dumb fight on the bridge…not between me or someone…just got pulled into it”, you mumbled, feeling how his thumb began to brush in a caressing manner over your cheek while you tried to put the day properly into words. “You know what? You get your sweet ass on that bed and tell me then all about that crap…don’t need you to crock up”, he said, his voice gentle but still firm as well as you glanced at him, painfully seeing the concern washing over his face. “It’s not that bad anymore-” “No discussion. Know what you’re doing there”, he cut you off, his eyes keeping yours on lock as he let out a small sigh, “Sweet as fuck that you don’t want my ass to worry but I can’t have that. So lets take this to the bed.”
The mattress that showed all other times how old and cheap it was felt now soothing to your body as soon as you began to sink into it and the pillow Negan had quickly leaned against the wall to give your back a little support. As you began to talk he shifted uneasily next to you, his eyes still filled with concern as you told him about the fight between Justin and Daryl, your rather involuntary participation in it, Siddiq’s diagnosis for you and eventually your talk with Daryl. You told him everything as he kept asking for details, especially as soon as you reached what Siddiq had told you to do to get better as soon as possible, and you kept telling him everything until the latter of all these events. The first part of your conversation flew out of your mouth without being stopped, the push Carol had given him, the more or less meant ‘thanks’, even the part as he began to accuse you of lying about caring for him, but as soon as you had passed this part, your voice began to stall. “What did he say?”, Negan grumbled as soon as he caught the reluctance in your eyes and noticed the increasing breaks in your voice. You glanced at him, saw the concern mixing with restlessness within his eyes as he loosened his puckered brows up to rise them questionably. “He said you wouldn’t care on the long run”, you mumbled, as you felt your voice stalling again, “And…you’d choose the bat over me any time.” You knew there was one other thing Daryl had said, the one thing you had racked your head over before departing from the camp side, but this was something that as always didn’t make it to travel past your tightening throat. Everything else, but not that. You weren’t gonna risk that he felt like he had to prove something just because Daryl had given in to his anger again and had thrown a fit. That just wasn’t worth it. “But you know that’s bullshit right?”, Negan’s voice ripped you away from your circling thoughts, darting your attention back to his face and his darkening eyes. “Of course, I just-…I don’t like rilling you up with those kinda dumb accusations”, you mumbled, shifting a little more into the pillow behind your back as he slowly nodded. “Okay”, he grumbled right before he let out a little huff and ran his large palm over his thick beard, “I mean, not fucking okay, I want you to tell me that shit instead of carrying it around with ya…but I get it.” His head left his jaw again as it reached out to yours and gave your hand a soft squeeze before he glanced up at you again. “But just to make this crystal fuckin’ clear, I’d give a lot to swing Lucille through the damn air again, a whole goddamn assload of crap…but not you”, he mumbled, eliciting a small warmth inside you as his grasp on your hand tightened, ”Not fucking ever…that’s not even up for discussion.” You have him a soft smile, turning your hand slightly so you could lace your fingers with his as Negan’s face began to slowly relax again. ”Now how about you lay down and give your body some damn rest?”, he mumbled, already a turning a little to grasp with his free hand the blanket at the edge of the bed and pull it up over your legs. ”Yeah, probably for the best”, you said, nodding softly as you readjusted yourself and shifted down until you could rest your head on the pillow. Quickly, Negan pulled the rest of the blanket over your body let out a small chuckle, ”There ya go.” ”Can you come here?”, you mumbled as soon as you slung the fabric a little tighter around your body and cuddled into the pillow, feeling how you longed for his closeness and warmth as the consequences of the punch began to let your eyelids grow heavier. ”Sure thing, just a moment, Sweetheart”, he mumbled, seemingly sunken in some thoughts as he caressed your covered side for a moment while you began to give more and more in to the longing of diving into a comforting sleep. ”Fuck…”, he grumbled, your half closed eyes catching how he stroke uneasily over his beard once more before his hazel eyes glanced at you ,”Baby? Don’t fall asleep on me yet.” ”Hmm?”, you mumbled as you opened your eyes a little more, slightly confused as you caught his glance while he shifted a little closer. ”Listen, that’s not because of any shit Daryl said or what fucking ever…I just-”, he grumbled, letting the confusion in you slowly grow as a small huff broke his voice off. “Hell, I already wanted to tell ya this morning but-”, he mumbled, stopping once more as he let out a nervous chuckle. Slowly, you raised your head a little, glancing at him as your eyes ran over his face, searching for an answer before you slowly raised your voice, ”Negan, what?” “I love you.” His voice was deep, thick with emotions and genuineness and with this one moment and those three words slipping out of his lips, you felt like your breath was being taken away for moments, catapulted into a trance that let the past seconds seem surreal. ”Hell, I love you so fucking much”, he added, his eyes meeting yours as those words left his lips once more and let you realize that those moments were no beautiful hallucination but instead pure reality. A big smile began to grow on your lips as it got more and more clear to you, as the worries you’ve had were pushed out of your mind and suddenly the thing you had wished for, the thing you hadn’t wanted to push him to had solved itself in the best way possible. He loved you. Shit, he loved you and your heart felt like it was about to burst as it filled up with more and more happiness, growing with each passing second as it pounded within your chest and pumped warmth through your whole body. Your eyes wandered over him, catching how he gulped, his eyes having left yours seconds ago as he shifted over the mattress. ”I know I should’ve said it a whole fucking while ago already, fuck, I-” ”I love you too”, you cut him right off, not allowing to let those thoughts just nearly take up more of his mind as your voice lead his eyes right back to you, letting them widen and his lips gaped softly open, ”I love you, Negan.”
For seconds your mind seemed to black out until you felt his lips meeting yours, their warmth contributing to the growing one within you as the first careful moves turned feverish and longing to not only hear the words, but feel them too. You were wide awake again, completely forgetting about your pounding head and the dizziness that still tried to flare up here and there, but got tamed by the whirling emotions within you. Your fingers reached up, entangling in his thick beard, caressing his jaw as he kissed you and grabbed you to keep you close to him, careful as if he was afraid to hurt you after the incident yet firm enough to hold you tight. You were insatiable for his kisses, yearning for each of them as you heard his low growls and purrs rumbling against your lips while you clung to his body. The only reason you parted was the growing need for oxygen, but still you remained close to each other, panting softly before you opened you eyes and saw the big smile that had mixed into his grin and got dragged over his whole face. Both of you were speechless for a moment, even Negan and as you slowly came back an feeling him pressing another peck to your lips, you caught the grin beginning to mix into the heartfelt smile a little more ”Fuck, you got any idea what that just did to me?”, he softly chuckled, biting his lower lip as he reached out to your hand, cupping it with his as he lead it closer to his lap while the grin grew wider, ”Show ya what.” ”Got me rock hard”, he grumbled teasingly as you let out a chuckle, only gasping softly as he placed your hand right over the large bulge that was growing beneath his prison suit and let you know that those words weren’t empty promises, “Say it again and that beast breaks free.” ”Sure”, you chuckled, the big smile on your lips sticking to them as you playfully teased your fingers over the noticeable tent and grinned with another chuckle at him. ”You know what? As soon as you’re fine again, that big fucker’s gonna make you feel it too…shit, till you can’t think of any fucking thing else”, he purred, biting his lip as he his hand placed back over yours and raised his brows in a playful manner. ”Then I hope my head recovers quickly”, you teased back, hearing him letting out a throaty laugh as he picked your hand up and lead it to his lips. brushing them over its back before pressing a kiss to your knuckles. Your fingers slipped eventually away from his, reaching out to his neck to softly pull him back down to you. You hummed as you felt him propping himself over you, his hazel eyes wandering over your face in a combination of roguishness and deep affection while your fingertips played softly with his beard. “I love you”, he mumbled again, eliciting another wave of warmth to wash over you, forming the smile that was everlasting on your lips to grow bigger again before this loving reaction made him lean a little more, “So fuckin’ much.” His lips met yours again, this time caressing not as feverishly but rather thoroughly and loving over yours, as if he attempted to feel you and taste the words that had earlier escaped your mouth off your lips. “I love you too”, you mumbled again, not ever growing tired of hearing and saying them as Negan smiled against your lips before he leaned down, brushed them over your neck and pampered your skin with kisses and small nibbles. You hummed in approval, soaking up each of his caresses until he backed slowly away and instead shifted next to you on the bed, just as you had earlier asked him to. His back leaned into the pillow as he pulled you into his embrace, cradling you against his chest as you leaned your head against his neck and heard a low chuckle leaving Negan’s lips. “But I mean…how couldn’t you love me with that beast in my fuckin’ pants”, he mumbled teasingly, darting your attention right back to the bulge that was still boasting beneath his prison suit as he jerked his hips playfully up and let out another throaty laugh. “Oh there he is again”, you chuckled, pinching him teasingly into his side as you huddled closer up to him, “But no, he’s not the reason, just a really great extra.” “Hmm”, Negan grumbled with another low chuckle, pulling you a little closer into his embrace as he got a little quieter again. Nuzzling your nose into his warm neck you hummed contently, feeling how the sleepiness was beginning to wash up once more within you as Negan pressed a small kiss to your temple. You wanted to say more but the emotions in your whole body were whirling wildly around, too many and too intense to catch them and form just a half proper sentence with them. So instead, you cuddled closer up, choosing actions over words as you placed a soft kiss to his skin and caressed your fingertips over his chest while you slowly closed your eyes and enjoyed the low hums and content growls that rumbled up his throat. ”Sleep tight, Baby”, Negan lowly grumbled in response to your relaxing body that melted more and more into his embrace as you slowly nodded and buried your head deeper into the curve of his warm neck. ”Hmm…after this, think I’ll sleep better than ever.”
You remained to be right, your sleep was peaceful and soothing, the effect of Negan’s confession outdrowning any pain the consequences of the punch wanted to put into your body. It was only for rare moments that the sleep let go of you, allowing you to crawl a little out of its grasp even though it kept you in its darkness and only let two voices sound through to you, one of them more familiar and deeper than the other.
”What did you do to the fucker who did that shit to her?”
You drifted back away for moments, shifting a little to get comfortable, trying to let your head figure out if those voices were real or just made up by your drowsy mind before a warmth caressed over you for a moment and consoled you again as its accompanying voice bounced off the cold stone walls and echoed through your head.
”I got my future laying right here on that bed…but you..your family is dead, Rick. That bridge It’s not the future. It’s a monument to the dead”
It got darker, darker and darker around you, the sleep was grasping and tightening its hold on you in the silent moments that passed, and as the final words sounded through to you, you were already sinking back into the sleep’s unending depths.
“You’re not saving the world, Rick. You’re just gettin’ it ready for me.”
Summary: As some music streams from the outside into the cell, Negan decides to use this rare possibility for a small dance with his girl.
This is one of the drabbles for the time jump between season 8 and 9! It’s linked to my series, so If you like you can find itrighthere, but you can also easily read it independently from it.
Warm evening sunbeams shone through the cell’s windows and danced over the cement ground, filling the prison with orange rays of light while the smooth sound of music was beginning to sound through the glass behind the thick metal bars. It wasn’t loud enough to understand each and every word as it had to come from someone trying to make their work shortly before the houses more entertaining, but it was still enough to hear its soft and pleasant melody and enough to let Negan jump out of the prison bed to stand right in front of you, with his large hand stretched out to you and a wide grin dancing over lips. “Come here, we gotta use this”, he mumbled, his deep voice mixing warmly with the sound of the music while excitement about the sudden and rare entertainment spread over his handsome features, “I’m gonna make it one hell of a fuckin’ fun. I promise, Baby.” A chuckle was rumbling through his broad chest, letting it shake softly beneath the steel blue prison suit as he perked his dark brows up and grinned wider as soon as you slid your hand into his. Quickly, his warm hand enclosed yours, large enough let it almost vanish in his before he lifted you with ease from the cheap bed until your bodies were parted only by inches. Slowly, he lead you closer to the window, increasing the volume of the music just a little bit until he turned around to you and sneaked his arm around your waist. Glancing up at him you caught his hazel eyes wandering over your face, lit up softly by the warm evening sun as it drew bright lines around his face, his black hair and the salt and pepper beard. “There we go”, his deep drawl rumbled as he pulled you closer, keeping you right there with him until you could feel his warm body pressing against yours. Slowly, you slid your hand up his chest, reaching his shoulder within moments where it came to a rest as he raised his hand that was still engulfing yours, forming the position he wanted to have the both of you in. “Some surprise entertainment delivered to my damn doorstep…Gotta be a lucky day, huh”, Negan quietly chuckled, leaning in to peck your lips before you laughed quietly against his and gave him a small nod. “Definitely”, you mumbled, caressing your fingertips over his shoulder as you were feeling his warmth through the fabric of the suit tingling against your fingers. ”Now if that fucker is longer here we could later on fuck to the damn rhythm of that music”, Negan snickered, perking his brows suggestively up as a wolfish smirk spread over his lips as you chuckled quietly. ”Then lets hope he’s got some more work to do”, you laughed, feeling how Negan’s hand was squeezing you teasingly before he pulled you even closer against his tall figure.
A small hum left your lips as you eventually leaned in and could feel his head beginning to rest against yours, his thicker growing beard tickling you softly as you began to dip in closer until your nose could nuzzle into the warmth of his neck. His scent slowly engulfed you as he gradually began to swing the both of you softly from side to side, only centimeters at a time in the rhythm to the slow music. You could hear Negan’s deep voice humming along the melody while his chest was rising and falling softly beneath the prison suit against yours while his warm breath was brushing over your skin, creating small goose bumps of comfort all over your body. Negan’s thumb stroked slowly over the back of your hand as he held it in his large, warm one, while his lips pressed a kiss to your skin with a deep purr that was able to let a pleasant shudder wash through your body before his head leaned slowly back against yours. A content sigh left your lips as you huddled closer, taking in his warmth while the sound of the music set you slowly into a small trance, able to let you forget the cell Negan was held in for a small while as only his touches, the soft swinging and the deep rumble of his humming voice managed to let you melt completely against him.
“Don’t fall asleep here on me, still gotta hear how fuckin awesome your sweet moans gonna mix with that music”, Negan chuckled playfully after a while of just keeping you close and swinging you softly from side to side, eliciting a small laugh to fall from your lips as you teasingly dug your fingertips into his shoulder but remained buried in the crook of his neck. “I won’t, promise”, you mumbled against his warm skin, feeling it vibrating softly against you as soon as a chuckle rumbled through his throat as he cradled you a little closer against his firm chest. Humming you melted closer, drifting further off into your little trance. There was a small part of you imagining the both of you dancing just like this outside the cell and in a house with a cozy living room, with a white shirt and some gray sweatpants clinging to Negan’s body instead of the steel blue prison suit and with some fire crackling softly in a chimney instead of cold metal brushing against metal whenever a soft gust brushed against the door. But as much as this small part in you wished for you to have those things someday, as much knew the whole rest of you that this moment right now within his embrace was just perfect as it was in its very own way.
Summary: While the Reader has to deal with the annoying sides of being a woman, Negan tries his best to take care of his girl and her pain in his cell.
This is one of the drabbles for the time jump between season 8 and 9! It’s linked to my series, so If you like you can find itrighthere, but you can also easily read it independently from it.
“Right here?”, Negan asked as you felt him shifting over the softly squeaking mattress, letting his large hand caress over your lower stomach that felt like an elephant was sitting on your belly, pressing in on it while thousands of knives where diving and wrenching into your hurting flesh. “Yeah”, you mumbled, cuddling more into his side, feeling his arm wrapping tighter around your body as his thumb slowly stroke over your skin. “Fuck this”, you grumbled, feeling another cramp spreading out over your lower stomach, letting you squirm beneath the thin blanket of the prison’s bed while Negan let out a small sigh. “Ah shit, that fucker in there throwing a fit again?”, he asked, letting you sink a little more into his side as you slowly nodded, feeling the pressure pushing more into your already hurting body. “Hell, if I could, I’d get ya some hot bag or some damn chocolate”, he mumbled, pressing a kiss against your temple while a bit of disappointment was swinging in his voice. “I know, but your hand’s doing a pretty great job too”, you chuckled softly, reaching out to caress your fingertips over the back of his hand for a moment. “That’s what it always does, right?”, Negan chuckled throatily, tightening his embrace a little around you while his warm hand soothed your pain a bit and calmed the storm within your body’s middle. “Yeah, it sure does”, you mumbled with a small laugh, leaning your face into the warmth of his neck, breathing contently and deeply in and out as soon as his scent and warmth began to lull you a little more into their comfortableness before another cramp made you flinch slightly. “Fuck…that bad?”, Negan mumbled concerned, circling his fingers gently over your skin as if it would magically let the pain vanish. “Yeah…shit, I already took one tablet at the infirmary…hoped it would kick in faster…fucking hate this crap”, you grumbled, huffing as you shifted a little, as if it would loosen the tension that was building up in your lower stomach. “Well then maybe I gotta put a baby in there next time so you can skip over this shit”, Negan chuckled, trying to make you laugh and distract you while thumping his pointing finger softly onto your skin as you let out a small chuckle and cuddled closer into his embrace and the fabric of his prison suit. “Yeah so I can deal with the millionth times worse pain nine months later”, you joked, feeling how Negan leaned his head against yours and caressed your stomach a little more with the rough tips of his fingers and the warmth of his palm. “Anyway….for now I just need you to keep your hand there and cuddle me some more”, you mumbled, feeling how he tucked you a little more in while a small chuckle let his chest vibrate as you shifted a bit to nuzzle your face into it, craving the warmth that was radiating through the steel blue fabric. “Aye, aye, Captain…as you fucking wish”, Negan chuckled, pressing another kiss on your forehead, letting his warm lips caress over your skin while his thick beard stubble scratched softly against it. “If you need somethin’ else, need the seamann to sail the red sea or just give you some nice ass back rub…just let me know”, Negan mumbled against your skin as he softly laughed and held you a little closer as you let out a small chuckle. “I will, but this is perfect right now”, you mumbled, humming as you felt his warm hand caressing once more over your stomach. “Alright, then just let me keep ya warm and cozy and then, hopefully, this fucker will calm their ass down”, Negan mumbled against your skin as he pulled you a little closer into his embrace, motivating you to nuzzle your face deeper into his warm chest until you closed your eyes and just let him hold you in his strong arms.
You felt like you could still hear those words echoing through the cell as the metal bar door crushed into its lock behind you and Rick’s heavy footsteps began to descend until they hushed completely. Negan stood still there like glued to the spot, his bare feet pressing against the cold cement ground while his eyes were wandering over your face, nearly analyzing it, as if he couldn’t believe you were actually there, as if you were more of a mirage the loneliness of the prison had forced him to imagine. His face was taken hostage by a wild mix of emotions, ranking from surprise and disbelief that let the muscles of his face fall flat, to happiness that curled the slightly open gaping lips just a little but softly up, to uncertainty that was letting his brows twitch for a short moment. “Yeah”, you mumbled softly as you were finally able to open your mouth, feeling how all those emotions that were written over his face were running through your veins too. You had missed him, you had known that before, that much that it had felt like a pain able to wrench you apart, but now that you were seeing him, not more than a few meter away from you, you realized it once more. As soon as your voice had hushed, Negan’s eyes ran slowly south, down until they suddenly captured your wrist, catching the absence of the bracelet, of his gift. His eyes widened slightly in the matter of milliseconds, a harsh gulp travelled down his throat while his body tensed up as if the blood in his veins had frozen. You’d bet that normally, he’d just be confused if he was seeing you without it but now, now this had to seem like you were there for the beginning of the end. ”I didn’t take it off. It broke..happened at the infirmary, I-”, you mumbled, feeling how the tension got a hold of you as well, your eyes wandering consistently over his face only to be stopped as you saw it softening again in relief. It got silent for a few seconds, both of you unsure what to do, what to say before a shivering breath fell from his lips as his head dropped slightly, before he swallowed harshly and glanced slowly back up to you. ”I-…fuck”, he scoffed, only stepping slowly closer before his hand was reaching up to stroke uneasily over his thick salt and pepper stubble before he tried to rally himself and find the right words. ”I don’t think little of you, I don’t fucking…I’m just, fuck”, he scoffed, his jaw clenching tightly as he took a deep breath before his eyes found yours again, eliciting a warmth to slowly sneak up in you that got suddenly larger with the next few words ,”I can’t lose you. I’m just so damn fucking scared of it that I-” “Shit, that’s why I freaked out when that Caleb fucker-. Fuck, I was jealous, I know, fucking sick to the fucking stomach jealous. But not ‘cause I don’t trust you or think you’ll take the easy damn way and just piss off…I’m just shitless fucking terrified.” “I-”, he sighed deeply, obviously showing that he wanted to say and explain more, push those words out that seemed to be like stuck to the back of his throat while you could feel that they wouldn’t get out before each of you got some of the tension out of your bodies.
You weren’t even sure how it exactly happened, somehow your body took over your mind for a moment and only let it come back as soon as only centimeters parted you, your eyes met for the split of a second before your arms wrapped slowly around his neck, a little cautious about his possible reaction before this caution got quickly pushed out of your mind as soon as you could feel his strong arms wrapping around you. First slow, as if he was still expecting you to pull away before he got his confidence back as he felt you slowly melting against him. His embrace got tighter, his arms cradled you closely against his chest as your face leaned against his neck, taking in his familiar scent and finally feeling his warmth surrounding and lulling you in again. God, had you missed this. It had been three days, nothing much if circumstances were normal, but with the fight and the uncertainty of the future swinging threateningly through each passing moment, those three days had felt like a painful eternity. Your bodies clung to one another, almost as if you were afraid the other one would vanish as soon as you’d let go just a little bit. It took only moments for his head to drop to your shoulder, before his nose nuzzled slowly into the fabric of your shirt, breathing thoroughly in and out as he cradled you even tighter against his broad chest.
”I missed you…so fucking much”, he finally mumbled, and even though his voice got muffled by your shirt you could still hear the mass of emotions that was streaming through each of his cells and elicited a wave of warmth to wash over you. ”I missed you too”, you mumbled back, feeling how the growing warmth inside you got larger with each of his words and each passing second he held you. “I’m sorry I took so long to come back…I-…Negan, I was scared too”, you quietly mumbled, your voice breaking a little before you felt him shaking his head slowly against your shoulder. “You’re back, damn, that’s all that matters to me”, he mumbled against the fabric, pulling you even closer as you got slowly lost in his comforting warmth. You longed to simply stay like this forever, just not ever let go but there was a small part in the back of your head telling you that you couldn’t, you still had to get the rest that was still uncertain out of the world, you had to settle every little misunderstanding or issue, even if the temptation to just let him hold you through the whole night was growing with each second you spend longer this close to him. And you could feel those exact thoughts running through his head too, letting him shift slightly as both of you seemed reluctant to break off the comforting hug. ”Still got some more shit to explain to you”, he finally muttered slowly, his voice clearly showing the reluctancy that was stuck within him before he gulped harshly as soon as you slowly leaned back, just enough to look into his eyes. You could sense a little fear and nervousness dancing through his glance that just got a little less as you slowly nodded and gave him a soft ‘okay’.
Moments later you found yourself sitting on the bed right next to Negan, your jacket already placed next to the bed on the floor, your hand laying in his while his thumb stroke slowly over its back, tracing small patterns into the skin while he seemed to search for words. A small sigh fell from his lips as his other hand sneaked up to let his palm stroke over his thick salt and pepper stubble before it fell down to his knees again as his face finally turned towards you. ”I’m sorry…real fucking sorry…that night it just got too damn much. I know that’s no excuse, but-”, he sighed, his glance were falling from yours before you squeezed his hand softly and shifted a little closer. He was beating himself up, you could see it clear as the day and you hated it as he seemed to fall into the role of feeling like the one who always fucked things up. And it wasn’t even true, hell, It wasn’t the case that he was the bad and you the good one in your relationship. The situation was the big deal and his position in it, first the war, then the cell. Besides, you felt like you were far from perfect as well, you unwillingly fucked some things up too from time to time and yes, you made mistakes. But that’s simply human, right? You had been mad at him, sure, but now that you had heard the first part of his explanation already, things were standing in a different light. ”Negan”, you softly mumbled, your voice reassuring before he slightly shook his head and gulped uneasily. ”Just feels like I can’t give you shit. Not even just about those big things, also this damn small shit”, he grumbled, sighing before he glanced a little up, “Sounds fuckin’ sappy, but just walking down the damn street with you in my arm or, hell cooking some spaghetti for ya…I can’t do any of that.” Another sigh left his lips and his behavior got clearer and clearer to you with each second, but the moment you wanted to say something he rose his tense voice once more. ”I don’t wanna be just the damn asshole who just takes and doesn’t give shit back”, he mumbled, the pain clearly audible through his voice before his brows puckered in distress and a harsh gulp travelled down his throat, “Couldn’t make it all up to Lucille the way I wanted…thought I could just make everything better for us and then this crap cell happened. Feels like I’m fucking doomed to fucks us up too.” ”And then there’s this fucker who could give you all that and…fuck, that just drove me crazy…it still does.” You let out a small, worried sigh, trying to find the right words as you were squeezing his hand before you took a breath and rose your voice, determined to get those things as fast as possible out of his head.
He was always there, putting himself back when you needed him. You could be truly yourself when you were with him, without having to worry or adjust just in the tiniest bit. Hell, he was your rock, no matter how clear that was to him or not. The very last thing he did was ruining your relationship. The situation was far from easy, you couldn’t and wouldn’t deny that, but this wouldn’t make him less of a great partner. If you were honest, you couldn’t imagine someone better, someone who could make you laugh or smile as much as he did. To you, he really was all you had ever searched for and all you hadn’t even known you were searching. He was all you wanted and needed. And Caleb, he was the very last thing he had to worry about, not only because the man who had seemed so kind at first had changed over your last conversation, but because he simply wasn’t Negan. And the very same thing counted for anybody else. The words began to flow easier as soon as you saw his face relaxing, saw the tension wash from it and saw his eyes soften and a smile beginning to grow on his lips that made his dimples softly show beneath the thick beard stubble.
”Anybody could be out there and I wouldn’t care, you’re here and I just want you, regardless of this cell or not”, you finally mumbled, the relieved smile that kept growing on Negan’s face letting the warmth in you grow some more before you knew you had to add something, something you needed to get off your chest after having to wreck your head all these days over it. “And the thing is…I just…I never had those big insecurities or doubts with you…I mean, sure I had those small thoughts once in a while, just asking myself why the hell you want me but I guess…I guess in some way that’s normal…you always made me feel special and desired and I just-”, you said, stopping as your glance wandered through this cell before you gulped slightly and glanced towards him ,”I thought maybe you think all those things because I don’t show you enough how much you mean to me…or because I’m not loving en-” “No, no, no, shit Baby don’t even think that. That’s all just me, this crap cell and all that shit stuff happening around, but in no damn way you”, he cut you off, his voice determined as he grabbed your hand tighter, making you look at him to make sure you were understanding each of his words. “And those small shit insecurities, fuck, why’d you have them? You’re fucking mind blowing awesome, hell to me, you’re my damn perfect girl”, he mumbled, squeezing your hand tighter as more warmth got unleashed while his warm hazel eyes wandered over your face. “Well and that’s the way I see you too”, you mumbled back, trying to give him the last bit to reassure him before he chuckled quietly and quirked one eyebrow. ”I’m your perfect girl?”, he grumbled teasingly, as he not only let a wave of laugh wash through your body but even more relief. He got his humor back along with the happy grin that was dancing over his face and those two were some of the best ways to confirm he was fine again. ”You know what I mean”, you chuckled, shoving your elbow playfully into his side before you glanced up into his hazel orbs. ”So this is settled?” ”Yeah”, he said, running a hand over his beard stubble as he loosened the other one that had clasped yours, before he reached out to your legs, grabbing them carefully so he could pull them over his own until you ended up on his lap and felt him wrapping his arms around you. “We’ll get through this here”, he mumbled, pressing a kiss to your shoulder before you slowly wrapped your arms around his neck, longing to feel him as close as you could while more and more relief washed through you the more you realized that everything was truly fine again. ”Fuck, you got no I idea what big ass rock just fell from my damn shoulders”, he mumbled into your shirt, bringing the relief that also streamed through your veins to a point. Glancing down at him you caught his eyes darting at you, softening as they met yours. Your hands wandered to cup the back of his neck, your fingertips toying with the dark locks at its nape before you slowly leaned down and let your lips meet, finally. A tingling but comforting warmth streamed through your body the moment you met, feeling his lips caressing over yours, capturing them longingly and with a certain hunger the last days of your absence had created. Humming into the kiss you kept your eyes closed, feeling how his arms tightened around you, pulling you closer against him, how his hands held you while deep growls that rumbled through his chest and up his throat vibrated against your lips. Only slowly you let go of each other, only pushed by the urge to catch some breath while your face was still hovering closely over his, far enough away to glance into his eyes, close enough to still feel his hot breath brushing over your skin. A relieved smile began to grow once more on your lips as you glanced at him and felt the unbelievably large mass of feelings you had for him wash over you again. For the split of a second, it seemed like some certain words ghosted through your head, whirling up more of the emotions that were already dancing wildly within you while you could swear by the look in his eyes that there was something, if not the same, at least similar, rushing through his head. You were too stirred up to think logically, but there still was a tiny part in you telling you to not rush it while you already were in such an emotional state and situation. ”You’re the best damn thing that fucking has and could’ve ever happened to me…I want you to know that, alright?”, you heard Negan mumble, his voice thick with genuineness as he glanced at you and made the smile on your lips grow even larger than it already was, while your heart began to flutter and pound excitedly against your chest. ”That works the other way around too”, you mumbled back, instead of switching them with this other pair of words, realizing that the moment was perfect as it was, that those word he had just told you meant not less than the ones that had ghosted through your head seconds ago. One day they would slip out of your lips, you were sure of that as you realized with each passing moment back in his arms how deep those feelings for him were, deeper than you had ever experienced or expected to experience but for now, you were simply happy to have him back in this moment that couldn’t be better just the way it was.
”Shit, you really got the fuckin power to turn me into some drippy fucker”, you heard Negan mumble after a few moments, his lips pressing with a grin against your shirt before he let out a small chuckle. ”You’re not drippy, just sweet”, you mumbled with a soft laugh back, glancing down at him as you wrapped your arms closer around his neck and looked into his hazel orbs. ”Mhmm”, he just chuckled, running his tongue quickly over his lower lip before he shrug his shoulders slightly,”Fuck, I don’t care anymore either way.” With a deep hum he leaned in, pressing another kiss to your shoulder before you could see his grin growing wider before he glanced up again and let you see the roguishness that was stuck in his eyes. ”Just be aware that I’m also that fucker who fucks your brains out and pounds your sweet pussy into the damn mattress till you can’t think and walk straight”, he purred, tightening his hold he had on you teasingly before a laugh escaped your lips. ”Oh I’m more than aware of that”, you chuckled, seeing him biting his lower lip before he pulled you closer with a pleased sigh, right until he could bury his face in the crook of your neck and breath contently and with another deep him in and out. The warmth within you grew some more as you wrapped your arms closer around him, enough so you could lean your head against his and let your fingers run through his dark locks. Your eyes eventually closed as your whole body relaxed and melted against him, leaving you wrapped up in his embrace while his warm breath that brushed softly over your skin let you swing into a peaceful trace.
”You’re gonna let me make it up to you, Baby?”, Negan mumbled after a small comfortable while of just being entangled in each other against the fabric of your shirt. Loosening your hold on him you glanced down, catching him pressing his lips against your skin while his eyes were traveling up until they could lock with yours. ”You don’t need to, It’s not-”, you said, already somewhere else with your thoughts before you recognized the tone in his voice along with the roguish glance in his eyes and began to chuckle softly,”Oh you mean that making up.” ”Is that a yes?”, he hummed, grinning up at you as his arm tightened a little more around your figure. ”Yeah”, you mumbled back, your smile wide as you leaned in until you could press your lips in a short but loving kiss to his. Feeling your lips part you still remained close to him, feeling him leaning once more up to give you a soft peck before his hands moved to your waist, cupping it tightly as he turned around, enough to let you fall into the bed, let you sink into the mattress while he moved in the matter of seconds on top of you. ”There we go”, he chuckled, caging you in between his arms as his lips met yours again in a more heated kiss. Humming against his lips your hands wandered up his chest until they found their rest around his neck, letting you feel his warmth and the dark locks at its nape. ”Damn, I’m so fucking happy you’re here”, Negan mumbled as your lips parted for a moment, his lips not able to stop from turning into a wide smile that overpowered the grin by far. His lips met yours again, caressing over them while pleasant growls rumbled through Negan’s chest and up his throat, letting it vibrate softly against the palms of your hands. Slowly your fingers wandered down, right until they reached the button border of his shirt, feeling the fabric of the prison suit brushing against your fingertips as they were wandering farther down, ready to unbutton it before Negan suddenly broke off your kiss. ”No, no, you’re first”, he chuckled lowly against your lips, pressing a peck to them before you heard his gravelly voice vibrating against you once more ,”Let me take care of you.” “Okay”, you mumbled softly, feeling the yearning for him grow as he smirked at you, his teeth sinking into his lower lip before he leaned down until his lips pressed against the sensitive skin of your neck, eliciting a soft hum to fall from your lips. Your fingers found their way into his dark hair, running through his black locks as his lips created a warm path down your neck, over your collarbones before his hands slowly began to slide beneath your shirt. His rough, warm hands ran over your skin, letting goosebumps of longing spread over your body as they moved your shirt up, right until he could pull it over your head, his eyes glowing up as soon as they began to wander. Your back pressed seconds later back into the mattress as his lips were placing open mouthed kissed down your stomach. His warm breath let pleasant chills run down your spine as your fingers caressed through his hair, feeling how he nuzzled his nose into your stomach before his teeth began to teasingly scrape over your skin. A soft chuckle fell from your lips in response before you glanced down, catching his hazel eyes and the large grin that was spread all over his face before he chuckled lowly and leaned in, playfully biting your stomach, letting his teeth sink just enough into your skin to give you a soft tug while his beard stubble was tickling you softly and elicted a laugh to fall from your lips. Negan’s low chuckles vibrated against your skin as his bites turned back into kisses until he made it to the waistband of your pants, his fingers beginning to fumble on the zipper as you laughed quietly. “Think you gotta get the shoes off before”, you mumbled, seeing him glancing back up again with a groan before his deep laugh mixed in again. “Fuck”, he grumbled with another chuckle, leaning back up again to move down to your feet, “You’re getting me all fucking dazzled.” Chuckling he moved to swing your legs over his lap, grabbing your ankles as his fingers were fumbling on the shoe laces. ”Shit, fucking boot fucker”, Negan grumbled as he wiggled them struggling off of you, pushing the first shoe to the floor, seconds later then the other before his hazel eyes wandered back to you, traveling over your legs before he let out a humorous scoff and glanced grinning at you. ”Damn those pants are annoying, gotta get them off of ya”, he grumbled biting his lower lip, already climbing back up to you before sliding the fabric off your skin in the matter of seconds, leaving you in only your underwear and Negan roiled up in the best way possible. His lips were meeting your lips again, heated and more rough than before but still with some of the smile on his lips he didn’t seem to be able to get off of them. Smiling into the kiss yourself your fingers caressed over his jaw, pulling him closer to you as low hums and growls vibrated against your lips while your feelings flared up once more, washing a wave of warmth through your whole body. It kept streaming through your veins, each of your inches, each of your cells, while the relief mixed further into the happiness that was letting the warmth grow with each second. Negan’s beard stubble brushed against your skin as your lips parted for a moment, feeling how he let out a satisfied hum before your eyes fluttered open and saw his warm orbs glancing into yours. Your lips grew into a wider smile as your fingertips caressed his stubbly jaw, hearing another small growl eliciting his throat as his eyes wandered over your face, seeing them slowly narrowing in the lust and yearning that was streaming through your body as well. ”I’m all yours”, you whispered against his lips, knowing the effect it had on him that got quickly confirmed as a purring growl escaped his lips and a flicker danced through his darkening eyes. ”Fuck Baby, and I’m your damn man”, he growled against your lips, his hot breath hitting your skin before his lips captured yours once more. He groaned quietly into the kiss, relish washing through his voice as he pressed the largely growing bulge beneath the fabric of his pants against your covered but growing heat. “Oh, I know you like that”, Negan purred with a grin against your lips as soon as a hum had escaped them, adding another one as he was grinding himself once more, now harder, against your most sensitive spots. “Fuck, I know what you like else, too”, he grumbled with a low chuckle, pressing another kiss to your lips before they left them to find their way south. Negan’s touches were lingering, enough to make you painfully long for more of him while his lips gradually traveled down, his strong hands managing to get rid of your bra in the matter of moments before they fondled your breasts, caressing them with his fingers and those warm lips of his. Soft moans left your lips, increasing as soon as he was hovering over the waistband of your already soaked panties, his hot breath letting goosebumps spread over your skin as his darkened eyes glanced up at you while a wicked grin danced over his lips. “Gonna make you feel so fucking good”, he purred against the fabric, allowing another wave of heat to wash through your body before he leaned further down, pressing his lips to the part of your panties that was hiding your most sensitive spots while a satisfied growl left his lips. You hummed softly, feeling how Negan’s lips pressed then to the inside of your thighs, the roughness of his beard sending pleasant shivers down your spine before a soft giggle left your lips as soon as you felt him chafing his stubble teasingly along the sensitive skin. “Negan, no”, you laughed quietly, squirming as he looked with a wide grin at you, raising his brows suggestively before dragging his stubbly cheek once more over your skin just until his warm lips pressed a final kiss to them and his fingertips finally found the waistband of your panties. As soon as the fabric had left your skin, one more growl elicited Negan’s throat as two of his fingers trailed along your wetness just before a gasp left your lips as his lips captured your heat and began to do their magic. Every flick of his tongue was sending hot shivers through your veins, pooling even more in your body middle while two of his fingers began to pump into you as his other hand traveled over your body until his thumb could caress your heated flesh in circling movements. Soon, he set you into a beautiful trance, pushing you further into it until your body shook in pleasure, soft moans left your trembling lips and your fingers were twisted into his dark locks as he finally carried you through your high.
“Told ya”, Negan quietly chuckled as he climbed moments later back up to you, licking his lips as his arms caged you in between them once more, letting him hover right over you as his hazel orbs caught yours and brought a whole different warmth back into your body. “Fuck, can’t tell you how goddamn happy I am”, he mumbled, the smile that had never really left his lips was mixing stronger into the grin that was still dancing over his face. “Same goes for me”, you quietly chuckled, your breath becoming steady again as you saw him leaning down, pressing his lips against your neck, his smile clearly palpable before he teased you with his tickling beard once again. “Oh come on”, you huffed with a chuckle as you squirmed beneath him, digging your fingertips softly into the fabric of his prison suit’s shirt while a low laugh escaped his lips and his raspy voice vibrated against your skin. “I know you actually like that…shit, I know you love it” “Mhmm”, you chuckled, half in approval, half squirming and trying to keep more laughs from shaking through your body before you tugged on his shirt ,”Now get out of your clothes too.” “Oh someone’s greedy”, Negan grumbled, kissing your neck swiftly before he leaned back, grinning at you and licking slowly over his lower lip before he got himself on his knees and pulled the pieces of the prison suit off his body until only a pair of black boxers and a large, promising tent beneath them was left. “What? You know the last damn piece’s yours”, he chuckled, biting his lips as he glanced down and jerked his hips a little and in a teasing and playful manner forwards. Having to grin to yourself you leaned up, your fingertips meeting his warm skin and the fabric of the waistband before they slipped in-between and finally pulled his boxers down, revealing the beast that was hidden beneath it. A low growl left Negan’s lips as he got fully rid of it and caught the anticipated expression that was spread all over your face, right before he was guiding you back into the mattress, leaning over you, his breath ghosting over your face as his large hand gave his pulsing dick a few tight pumps. A manly grunt left his lips as his hand moved to grab your waist, as yours wandered to his back, your fingertips caressing over his skin while your body’s heat grew in more anticipation, mixing with the relief, lust and happiness that was already deeply stuck within you.
Then, he finally sunk into you, inch by inch, letting a soft gasp fall from your lips as he stretched you in the best way imaginable out, leaving you clinging onto him as you wrapped your legs around his hips to allow him to sink even deeper. “Fuck, you’re wet”, he growled, his hips meeting yours as he thrusted once more into your heat, groaning in deep relish as he caught your face twisting in pleasure. “Slippy like a damn ice track”, he added with a low chuckle, grinning at you as your soft moan got interrupted by a laugh as you dug your fingertips teasingly into his skin. “Really?!”, you chuckled, raising your brows playfully before the grin took over as soon as his deep laugh rumbled up his chest and his hands gripped you a little tighter. “Mhm yeah”, he mumbled grinning, leaning down to press a kiss to your lips before his hips began to move in rhythm with yours, letting the pleasure spread all over his face in the matter of seconds.
Soon enough your bodies were a tangle of limbs, getting lost in each other while the happiness and relief that was still streaming through both of you was letting more small laughs and playful moments create as you clung to one another. Those small laughs mixed with his deep groans of pleasure and your soft moans, reechoing through the cell as you sunk deeper into the lust and longing that got unleashed more and more with each passing second, each deep thrust, each touch and each kiss. Everything felt intoxicating, his skilled movements that turned slow lovemaking to a whole different and heated dimension every other moment. His touches that could be lingering once, tracing his fingertips over your skin and to your sweetest spots to pamper them with skill and in the other moment hard and yearning as they grabbed your hips to thrust deeper. Your kisses that could change from slow and loving to passionate and rough, but either way managed to let both of you sink into an even deeper trance. The only constant was the smile that was still lingering on both of your lips, somewhere always there even if you were sunken in a deep, longing kiss.
You stayed this way, entangled in each other and filled up with the best whirlwind of emotions swirling through your bodies until you were nothing but panting messes, clinging to each other while small happy chuckles left both of your lips. You didn’t even really notice the cell around you, it felt somewhere far away from you as Negan’s warm hazel eyes ran over your face, his smiling lips gaping softly open to give space to small pants while your fingers traced over his stubbly jaw, smiling just as bright as he did before both of your lips met again.
Your breath was finally steady again as you found yourself cuddled up to Negan’s side, your bare body pressing against his while his arms were securely and protectively wrapped around you, keeping closely in his warm embrace. Your leg was hooked over his, allowing you to huddle up even closer as your fingers toyed softly with the small, dark curls that peppered his chest, and your nose nuzzled into the warmth of his neck, burying your face into its curve like it was your very own sanctuary. Negan’s head was leaning against yours, his warm breath brushing over your skin as his lips placed a small kiss to your temple and his fingers traced up and down your arm, while the soft gestures of the big bad wolf let a smile on your lips grow as you pressed a gentle kiss to his neck. And there you laid, both with big smiles on your lips, more than happy regardless of the fact that you were in a cell, laying on a cheap mattress with only a thin blanket covering your bodies. Negan pressed another kiss to your temple as his hands reached up to tuck you a little more in along with him until he wrapped his strong arms tighter around you and let out a little but content sigh as he cradled you against his chest. Both of you were swinging in this comfortable silence, still stuck a little in the bubble you had brought each other in but if you were honest, there weren’t many words needed right now, if any. Each of you already knew what was most important, what mattered the most.
Summary: After the fight, both, Negan and the Reader go through their personal hells. And while Negan is locked up in his cell, with his hopes for her returnshrinking with each passing day, the reader fights a battle with herself until she encounters an unexpected helper.
This part is written alternating between both POVs and we finally got a bunch of appearances of the other characters again!
There he sat, completely quiet, with his eyes staring into the emptiness of the dark cell while the thoughts in his head were too loud to understand or even grasp any of them. His knuckles were swollen, dark red blood shimmering on the thin skin, evidence of the times he had punched his fists against the cold, hard stone. It hadn’t helped him to let out any of the frustration, anger, regret and disappointment that was filling his body all the way to the stop, it had just given him another pain adding to the one boiling within him. It hadn’t been many, maybe two or three punches and by the second one he had already slumped against the wall, recognizing what had happened, what he had done, what he might have lost. Hot tears had burned in his eyes waiting for their release, pants had left his lips along with growling curses that weren’t nearly able to express the mess that was going kamikaze in his mind. And now, fuck now he was sitting slumped in on the cheap bed like some sorry fuck, his elbows digging into his thighs as his hands were buried in his hair, his eyes staring at the cement ground, burning from the tears that had found their way earlier or later out of them, falling down his cheeks only to leave an uneasy and drying tension on his heated skin. Last night around this time, she had laid in his arms, cuddled up to his side with her head resting on his chest, contently and steadily breathing in her peaceful sleep. He had guessed these nights would be counted, but little had he known that it would be the last one. He had fucked it up. Again. Big fucking time.
The first sun streams were beginning to fall into the room as your eyes slowly fluttered open, battered from the tears you had shed before falling exhaustedly asleep. For the first seconds, you found yourself irritated, wondering why you were laying sprawled out on the bed in your old room instead of huddled up in Negan’s arms before your mind began to replay the events of the last night step by step, letting you live right through it again. Negan’s burning jealousy of the guy you saw nothing else in than a friend, the way he had already looked at him as he had done his job as new guard and brought you down to the cell, the suspense that had radiated through him just a while later, his loud, booming filled voice that was filled with anger and desperation, the accusation that you would leave him just like that earlier or later anyway for someone else outside, simply because he was stuck in this dark, cold cell. A shiver ran through your body as soon as you found yourself shifting over the sheets, feeling how the clothes of the last day dug into your skin and reminded you even more of the fact that everything seemed to have changed. For moments you just felt empty, completely and entirely empty, as if anything that had happened had just been a nightmare. But it hadn’t, if it had, you’d find yourself in Negan’s arms right now, feel him kissing and cradling you, soothing you until you could fall asleep again instead of staying wide awake and alone in this large bed. A weird mix of madness and pain was beginning to sneak up within you again, creating too many thoughts for you to process. A tight breath left your lips as you pressed yourself into the soft pillows, suddenly tensing up as you heard Rick and Michonne’s voices echoing dully through the house, reminding you in the worst way possible that there was more for you to come. They would notice that you had slept here instead of the cell. They would ask questions. They would know. And you would have to go out there, continue your shifts at the infirmary as if nothing had happened, while all you wanted to actually do was bury your head under the sheets, press it into the pillows and never get out of them again or at least until every of your problems had magically vanished.
Quiet curses left your lips as you pushed yourself up into the pillows against the headboard, hearing how their voices got more distant, letting you hope for a second that they would leave the house. But just moments later this little hope got destroyed as you heard the cabinets in the kitchen cluttering, heard their voices continuing and heard one of them still strolling through the house. Of course, they weren’t leaving yet, it was way too early, too early for them to leave, too early for the little time window you spent each morning in this house to happen, including getting ready for the day after spending the night at the cell. So you couldn’t even pretend to have simply arrived earlier, not even after you felt yourself weighing out any possible explanation. Your eyes darted at the small digital clock on the nightstand, trying to find out how much longer you could push it until you would have to do something if you didn’t want to be late for your shift and make everything even worse.
It took a few more minutes for you to lay in the bed, filling up with more thoughts and emotions with each moment until you got yourself to heft your still exhausted body up, make it walk until you could shed your clothes to get yourself under the shower. It often helped washing a bit of stress off of you but all it did this time was setting you for moments into a dull trance, staring at the water and soap that were going in a little tornado down the drain. You could feel the stream flowing down your skin, feel the drops hitting the back of your head as hard as the thoughts in your head seemed to pound against your skull. It was odd how weirdly opposite emotions were able to mix. The anger within you, paired with the disappointment about the things he had said, while on the other side your whole body and mind missed him deeply. Around that time of the day, you’d usually still be laying in his arms after just waking up, feeling him drowsily mumbling his good mornings to you before pulling you once more closer into his embrace until he could brush his lips over your temple, kiss you and let you slowly start the day with him. Yesterday, you had figured that at least after the first bumper caused by the guard change things would get back to normal, but little had you known that this had just been the beginning. But that didn’t mean you would never have these mornings again, right? After you would get those things out of the world, they’d come back…right? If you would get those things out of the world. But what if not?
A sharp, cutting breath fell from your lips as you caught an ice-cold shudder running down your spine by the thought, letting you recognize just now that tears had shot into your eyes, burning for their release. “Fuck”, you scoffed, brushing the tears that were threatening to fall down your cheeks from your skin before you moved around to turn the shower off, frustrated that this had turned into the opposite of what you had hoped it would be. Forcing yourself to suppress your up boiling emotions and thoughts for at least a small while you grabbed the towel, breathed deeply through and stepped out the shower.
You were pushing it, pushing the time, pushing yourself until you found yourself finally standing in front of the door, with the handle in your hand, still not knowing what the hell you should tell them if they asked questions even though you had racked your brain for the last while over it. The creaking of the opening door eventually echoed horribly through your head as you made your way out of the room, hearing their voices somewhere downstairs while more shivering and tight breaths left your lips. The stairs grid beneath your shoe soles as you made your ways down, growing more tense with each step until you finally got into the hallway, hoping that the both of them were busy making breakfast in the kitchen, maybe not even noticing you. And you kept hoping this until the moment you suddenly saw a shadow spreading over the floorboards that were enlightened by the bright morning light, right before Rick stepped into the hallway, his hand holding a mug of coffee while he glanced still a little drowsy, but mostly confused at you.
“Morning”, you said, trying to let your voice sound as relaxed as possible while you could already feel Rick’s glance wandering skeptically over your face. “Morning…you’re here? Didn’t hear you coming in earlier”, he asked, taking a sip of his coffee while his glance didn’t leave your face as you could already feel more suspense and helplessness washing up in your body. “Yeah…I uh…I came in-”, the last words got stuck in your throat, realizing that even trying to lie would just make it all worse. And so you stood there, shifting uneasily from side to side, before you pushed yourself to say something. “I…well, I slept here last night…that’s why you didn’t hear me…I came in late”, you mumbled, feeling how your words got more quiet with each sentence while your glance escaped Rick’s and instead switched uneasily through the room. Seconds of almost unbearable and tension filled silence passed until you finally heard his boots shifting only a few inches over the wooden ground and eventually felt how his voice lead your glance back to his still slightly confused face. “Something happened? You-”, with that Rick cut himself off, the last word falling into the sound of a question as he gestured only slightly at you, seeming almost as helpless as you yourself. Each of those seconds were awkward as hell, and while Rick was one of the last people you wanted to discuss any problem regarding Negan and your relationship with, you were about 100% sure that he wasn’t wild to hear about your love life with his old enemy as well. But still, you had to answer this question. In some kinda fucking way. “I…we had-”, you stopped, swallowing hard as you inwardly cursed yourself for acting like a helpless lamb, “We had a fight,…that’s why.” Your voice was mumbled, uncomfortable to speak something negative out about the relationship as good as anybody you knew wanted to see fail, regardless of the fact that Rick was tolerating you by now. Your glance was only gradually falling back on Rick, testing his reaction as he only slowly began to nod, a wave of thoughts visibly washing through his head. “I guess I’ll go over to the infirmary, my shift starts in a bit”, you said, trying to get out of the uncomfortable tension while you could see the questions literally rattling through Rick’s brain, even though you could tell that he didn’t want to ask any of them, at least yet.
With a stressed breath falling from your lips you finally made your way out of the house, knowing that one question, when or if you would go back and spend the nights at the cell again, would come up at some point. You were like stuck in a bubble on your way to the infirmary, only half catching anything of what happened around you until the sound of the infirmary’s front door falling into its lock forced you to jump back into reality. Tossing your jacket over the backrest of one of the chairs you could feel yourself trying to suppress any new thoughts that wanted to push themselves through your skull and into your mind so you could focus on the work that was laying in front of you. Everything else seemed to fall apart, now that things at the infirmary had just yesterday seemed to get better after that one horrible day, you couldn’t get right back to it. You couldn’t fuck this up too.
Easier said than done.
Throughout the countless seeming hours you could feel your concentration trying to sneak away from you by any chance, trying to give thoughts about Negan and your fight a loophole to slip right back in. You were fighting it, were trying to be focused whenever anyone with complaints came in, tried to let the things Siddiq had taught you guide you, and for a while it worked and you could act like everything was fine. Until the moments in between came, when the whole house seemed quiet, when only the voices of the people outside sounded dully and almost inaudible through the walls, when you were completely alone. Alone with those damn thoughts. With all those questions that just piled up more and more. Asking yourself for the reasons. Asking if he actually thought those things about you. Asking if he simply fear made him think so. Asking if maybe your own behavior was the reason for Negan’s outlash. Hell, weren’t you showing him enough what he meant to you? Weren’t you loving enough? Were you giving him the feeling of just being something temporary even though you didn’t mean to? Were you- Fuck, this was eating you up, more and more thoughts and questions burned into your head, leaving a mark of pain as you tried to tame their flames and get them away from you. There could be thousands of reasons based on you, based on Negan himself or based on what the hell ever and you knew whatever it actually was, you wouldn’t find out for sure unless you would go back.
A shivering breath fell from your lips as you found yourself standing pondering in front of the counter’s drawers, slowly drifting out of your thoughts and glancing down at the bandages you had planned to sort in before the terror in your mind had taken you hostage again. “Fuck”, you just quietly exhaled, grabbing and rather tossing than laying one of the white bundles into the drawer before the creaking of the opening front door made your eyes shoot up. Within seconds they caught a blonde thatch and glaucous eyes that glanced at you, belonging to the very person who was intertwined in the mess of the last night. “Hey”, you just breathed out, a little surprised by his sudden visit as your eyes wandered over his face while he began to press a small smile into the corner’s of his lips. “Hey, just wanted to see how you’re doing”, Caleb said, stepping inside the room and closing the door with a small thud behind himself without breaking eye contact once, as if he wanted to check if you were about to tell him the truth or not. “At least better than last night”, you said, with a weak chuckle, trying to not poke too much into your boiling feelings, nor lie, simply because you knew he would notice. “Don’t you have a guard shift now?”, you asked trying to push a small smile on your lips, your fingers fumbling on one of the bandages and its soft fabric while you tried to not let any of those feeling or thoughts boil over again. “Nah, Miles got his one, I got a break till this evening…really need to catch up on some sleep later”, he said, trying to let a loosening chuckle fall from his lips as he walked a little closer until he leaned not more than a meter away from you against the wood of the counter, gulping as his eyes ran once more over your face. “As I said last night…you deserve better than that”, he eventually brought out, almost cautious as you turned your glance away from him and down to the bandage, feeling how you grew more tense with each of his words and with each you got closer to this conversation you really didn’t want to have. “(Y/N), he’s-”, he began, stopping as he saw your reluctancy before you let out a small breath and glanced back at him, seeing him clenching his jaw, almost as if he was growing more tense too. It took a few silent seconds until you could visibly see this tension being written all over his face before he huffed and glanced back at you. “Listen I don’t wanna make it harder for you, I just…I’m sorry for having to tell you that but some rose-colored glasses can sometimes blind people…he’s a monster and he’s not gonna change.” With those words slipping out of the mouth of the else so kind man a frown spread over your face, letting the blood in your veins freeze and the muscles in your face fall into rigidity. “He’s no monster”, it slipped out of your tense lips, feeling how you clenched your jaw and felt your body growing into a bigger mess. Fight or not, this wasn’t something you were gonna let anyone say about him.
You could sense Caleb growing more restless next to you as you broke of the eye contact and searched for unsuccessful help in this damn bandage again before your glance wandered back up to him, feeling how words pressed into your throat, urging to get out. “Weren’t you the one who told me that everyone deserves a second chance?”, even though your voice was tense, it was oddly calm, almost disappointed by the young man you saw in front of yourself, someone you had till now and last night seen as nothing but kind and open minded. “Almost everyone. His lieutenants, his people, the workers, yeah, they do too…but not people like him.” With each words that flew out of his mouth it just got worse, the temperature in your body seemed to sink even lower as you let out a shivering breath. “You don’t even know him”, it slipped out of your lips, hearing yourself sound like a dumb and naive little school girl, trying to convince her parents that her new crush wasn’t as much of a bad influence as he seemed to be to them. “I know enough to be sure”, Caleb mumbled a little too fast in response, his voice still calm while something odd, even urging swung within it.
“Then why did I deserve a second chance? Each one of us?”, you said after suspense filled moments of silence, glancing right into his eyes while your voice grew colder, “I’ve killed too, I’ve done things I don’t even wanna think about.” With that, some kind of switch seemed to go off in the blonde man in front of you, letting a deeper frown spread over his face while you could see the same stern glance you had seen last night in his eyes spreading out in them again. “He’s killed people with a baseball bat, he’s burned people’s faces as punishment, he put people in tiny cells, he let others work for him after killing one or more of their friends…he’s killed your friends- in front of you”, his voice grew restless, more desperate than stern by the time he finished, as if he his urge was to persuade you while you could feel your emotions boiling up, shutting out the fight and the anger you still had about Negan’s behavior and letting instead the protectiveness take its place, for now. “Do you know what Rick has done? He’s tortured men and killed even more without batting an eye. I’ve seen him rip a guy’s throat with his own teeth. This place-”, you said, feeling your breath grow quicker as you gestured with a small swift of your hand around,” He wanted to take it at the beginning, he wanted to push his sights onto people and if they wouldn’t accept them he planned to just slash their throats and take over.” For a moment, maybe not more than a second you paused, trying to get your emotions at least a little under control before the next words pressed out of your lips. “But he didn’t ‘cause he had people around him telling him what kinda shit he was about to do. Negan didn’t. He was alone from square one, he-”, your voice stopped abruptly as you found yourself falling into an endless lope of having to justify yourself and your relationship, over and over again since people knew what you had with Negan. A scoff feel from your lips, quiet, but still loud enough for Caleb to hear as you turned completely to the drawer and grabbed the bandage that had been your provisory stress ball for the last moments. “Why am I even doing this?”, you mumbled almost inaudible to yourself, already mad about yourself for feeling like you had to justify each and everything. “’Cause you’re madly in love with him”, you heard Caleb mumble after moments of silence, his voice low, restless and if you weren’t completely wrong, disappointed, “You’re still defending him.” You gulped as you felt his eyes darting at you, staying like glued on you until you slowly glanced up again and saw into his tension filled face. “That’s usually something real fine…”, he mumbled, letting out a small humorless chuckle before his eyes grew just a tiny bit softer as they captured yours ,”Just don’t want you to get all hurt when you really go back.” You just looked at him, unsure what to think, unsure how to estimate Caleb anymore before he let out a small sigh and softly pushed himself away from the wooden counter. “Think about it…sorry, for rilling you all up, wasn’t my intention. Actually that was the opposite of what I wanted to do…”, he said, the remorse audible in his voice while you knew that this was true, just as much as you knew that he had meant those things anyway. “Either way…I’ll see you around. If there’s anything…you know where to find me”, he finally said as you still hadn’t gotten yourself to answer just anything, ending up to just nod while a thick gulp travelled down your throat, uncertainty daubing your face before you glanced one last time at him before he looked away and eventually shut the door behind himself.
Alone again you felt yourself falling into a bubble once more, trying to fight off the terror your mind was throwing consistently at you and mixing with Caleb’s confusing behavior. And while you stayed in this bubble, it got more and more clear to you that you couldn’t go back to the cell this evening. You just weren’t ready for whatever the hell might wait for you and your future. And you didn’t come to this decision with ease. Your head was filled up with a deadly storm, nothing else and you knew that you had to still this storm before you walked back into the brownstones, if not completely, then at least as much as you could. So you stayed as long at the infirmary as you could, eating your dinner there in loneliness and hoping that Rick and Michonne would be already sleeping when you’d come back into the house. The awkwardness about the talk of this morning was still lingering in the back of your head and you weren’t ready to answer any of the questions they might have while you hadn’t an answer for them yourself. You didn’t know when you’d go back. You didn’t know what exactly was going on in Negan’s head. You didn’t know what would happen if you would talk to him. If you were honest, you didn’t know a fucking thing. And so the same procedure happened again. The night gave you as good as no sleep, instead letting you roll around over the sheets, toss your body into the mattress and the countless pillows for god knows how many times. And when those tactics eventually worked, they only did so for a small while and even this small while was filled with nightmares or the lightest sleep possible. The morning left you exhausted instead of refreshed, even though there was a small part of hope lingering within you, hoping you would find a solution within the next hours and a way to calm the storm that was fully whirling up again as soon as you felt the first sun beams dragging you completely out of the little bit of sleep it had given you. The words you shared with Michonne and Rick weren’t many, only a quick ‘see you’ when you left for work. And you thought about Negan. A lot. Not only about the fight or any of its reasons, even more about how he was feeling now, what he might be thinking about this all. You kept cursing yourself about it, mad that you were giving those ugly feelings so much space to slip in and try to eat you up. And just as much as you cursed yourself, you tried to focus on the work at the infirmary, trying to let it distract you instead of letting the thoughts distract you from your shift. And while this worked at least for the most part, something else didn’t. You didn’t find answers for your questions. You didn’t find a way to calm the storm. Instead you sometimes felt like they might even became worse. At the end of the day, you found yourself sitting by the table in the infirmary, with your elbows propped on the wooden surface, staring at the light of the small lamp and the beams that got reflected on the porcelain of the plate that stood in front of you. You hadn’t managed to eat much, just a few bites and you had to force yourself to somehow get them down your throat. You hated to admit it, but you were consistently on the edge to break out in tears, only the bubble you were stuck in keeping it from actually happening, even though you knew that it would burst earlier or later. You had no where to go, no one to talk to. You felt alone, so fucking alone.
The sky was already pitch black when you made your way finally down the road, only enlightened by some of the still functioning street lamps while the chilly breeze made you sling your jacket tighter around your body. Another shiver was running over your back as you spotted the brownstones from afar, standing tall over the other houses before the branchy crowns of the trees whose leaves had already fallen finally covered them. The thin diamond bracelet you got from Negan once was dangling from your wrist, pressing against your skin as you wrapped your arms tighter around your body, bringing him right back into your mind. You had stared way too often down at those tiny stones today, watching them blinking in the sunlight while you couldn’t even closely bring yourself to take it off, not even for the sake of maybe getting to still your thoughts. The cold was spreading all over your body when you finally got to the porch of Rick’s house, carefully stepping up the stairs before your eyes got drawn away from the cold and the bracelet that was still pressing into your skin. You had seen it before, of course you did, but there was a difference. Around the two blue handprints on the floorboards at the side of the porch were lines drawn, a saw laying right next to them as if they were just waiting for the sound to rise on the next morning to be cut out. He wouldn’t remove it, Rick would never do that, not to one of the very last things his son had left behind, instead your mind worked out as you were standing in the freezing cold that he must want to transfer is somewhere where it wasn’t exposed to nature’s caprices. The thought of what it did to Rick and even Michonne let a shudder down your spine, adding to the ones that were already cursing through your veins and letting some of the grief you yourself hadn’t even fully processed well up for a moment. With a heavy sigh and the feeling of the cold trying to engulf you once more you forced your glance off the handprints and finally got yourself towards the entrance, ready for yet another sleepless night.
Sweat was bedewing your skin when your eyes snapped open, heavy pants letting your chest rise and fall while the nightmare was already slipping out of your mind, leaving nothing but the terror it had put into your body behind. For moments you were stuck in a bubble of shock the terror had brought with itself before it slowly ebbed gradually down. The sheets were sticking uncomfortably to your skin as you rolled to your side, groaning quietly as your eyes caught the digits on the small clock. Still more than an hour till you had to get up and you knew that you couldn’t fall asleep again nor risk to get an even worse nightmare. Your heartbeat still hadn’t fully calmed down as you buried your face into the pillows, trying in some way to get comfortable in their middle for just as long as you could.
You could bear another half hour, not more, until your racing thoughts urged you to distract yourself from them and the nightmare, which even though you couldn’t fully remember, had to have been about Negan. Freshly showered and slipped into new clothes for the day you got down the stairs, trying to let the bright sun light that was streaming softly through the windows light up your mood. The floorboards were creaking softly beneath your shoes as you walked down the hallway, slipping your arms through the sleeves of your jacket, ready to step out of the infirmary before a familiar voice stopped your steps. ”(Y/N)? You got a sec?” You turned around, looking into a pair of blue eyes that belonged to the man glancing at you as he slowly made his way out of the kitchen. “Just wanted to ask you something’”, he said, his voice careful as he let out a little sigh, seeming to struggle slightly with himself, “Just need to know if you’re gonna go back to, y’know…the cell.” He stopped for a moment, catching the glance in your eyes before he slowly shook his head, “Nothing to do with you, Siddiq just called, the baby can come any moment now…and he made me remember something…you’ve been taking care of his wounds and you’re the only one right now he thought to handle those injuries. Having him catch some infection with that would be the last thing I needed…we’re still stocking the supplies for the infirmary up.” A sigh left his lips as his wandering glance got back to your eyes, seeing the bit of guilt for asking you swaying within them before some memories that suddenly blinked up in your mind made tension that had just waited for its chance to build up vanish. ”It’s not gonna be a big problem…I deposed a small storage there just a week ago…just so I wouldn’t have to take the stuff with me every evening”, you said, remembering cursing yourself out way too often for having to turn around half way to the cell because you forgot some new bandaid, before you finally decided to just built up this small stock, no matter if Negan’s old guard was at first for whatever reason doubtful about it. ”I only used the bandaids anymore, not because the wound still needs it, just for safety…he sometimes even did it himself”, you mumbled, feeling your heart twinge by his mention before the devil on your shoulder teased you by remembering that you hadn’t answered the first question, nor that this storage solution could be something long term, used up was used up. “I…I’ll go back there. Just don’t know when exactly…”, you mumbled, partly embarrassed by yourself for having such a big fight with yourself going on you that didn’t seem to be able to calm, instead, you felt like a complete idiot who was procrasting this even though it got worse with each hour. “Okay, good to know-” “Daddy!”, Judith’s soft voice ripped him away from you, letting him glance back into the kitchen for a short moment as he turned on his heels. “I’m right back, Sweetie”, he said, his voice softer and calming towards his daughter in the next room before his glance wandered back to you. “Alright, gotta take care of Judith’s breakfast now. I’ll see you around?”, he asked, already half way on his path to the kitchen before his blue orbs glanced once more towards you. “Yeah”, you said, forcing a tiny smile into the corners of your lips before Rick vanished completely in the kitchen. And with that, you made your way out of the house too, finding your way to the infirmary while the next hours felt like they were passing as slowly as days, dragged into an unbearable length while you knew that this wasn’t something you could keep doing for much longer.
Third Day. Third Fucking Day. Both yesterday and the day before around this time, he had already been sitting just like this on this shit bed, staring repeatedly from the windows to the small digital clock next to the stone wall, watching the digits turn with every second, every minute, every hour. What had formerly been a help for her to know when she needed to leave for her shifts was now almost like a torture device for him, letting him watch the changing digits while he was trying to figure out if the time had arrived yet she usually got over to the cell. She hadn’t come, just like the little devil on his shoulder had told him from the very beginning. Still, there had been some hope in him that she would suddenly appear in front of those cold metal bars and come in to him. Now, even more of this hope was gone, if he was honest, as good as everything. She wouldn’t come back. His usual large confidence seemed to have disappeared along with his hope and instead he was worrying that he wouldn’t even be able to talk to her again, explain himself to her. But fuck, maybe he didn’t even deserve that. After all, and this had become clearer than ever before in the last lonely days, he was the reason for all her worry. The reason she had problems with those fuckers outside and her asshat brother, the reason she had to deal with all this crap. Hell, she was better off without him. Right? Even though this thought was striking his mind over and over again, it was knotted to a biting pain, caused by the thought that there would be someone else instead. This someone who was probably standing in these fucking moments in front of this fucking house, playing pocket ball with one hand and swinging those fucking tiny silver keys to his cell with the other. He hadn’t even seen that asshole since the incident, the meals were brought by some other guard, probably, and that was the only thing he saw positively in this, he had been able to scare the living shit out of that asshat. But when he wasn’t the one bringing him food, hell knew if he was actually still standing in front of that house, maybe this damn fucker was already out there, sleazing up to her. Talking to her. Charming the damn fucking pants off her. Touching her- “Fuck”, Negan growled out through gritted teeth, kicking any against the stone beneath him, letting the cement brush harshly against the bare soles of his feet while his mind began to work flat out again by the thoughts this fucker had whirled up, all along with the longing to have her back he couldn’t fight, no matter what the devil on his shoulder was telling him. Before this crap fight he’d worried about the things he wasn’t able to give her anymore since he was stuck in this hell hole and now, now these things were far off right now, more out of reach than ever. Now he’d just like to have her right there with him. Have the things he had just days ago. Feel her body writhing in pleasure beneath him, see her face twisting in the lust he was pumping into her, hear her soft moans vibrating against his skin, feel her fingertips digging into it, feel her hands running down his back and her lips brushing over his skin until they got caught by his once more. But not just that, fucking was great, no question and with her it was the most mind blowing and nut busting shit he’d ever experienced, but it wasn’t the only thing, not by far. Fuck, just seeing her looking with those sleepy eyes at him before she huddled up to him and nuzzled her face into his neck, feel her fingers smoothing his hair back and running softly through it, sense the way she felt within his arms and cuddled up to his chest, hear her laugh echoing through this cell or simply just her voice, see the way her lips curled up when he got to make her smile. He’d give fucking everything to have that right now. Yep, he might was about to turn into a sappy fucker right there, he was aware of that, but he didn’t care, he didn’t give a single fuck about that right now if he was honest. The shivering breath that left his lips shook through his whole body, letting him flinch as soon as he suddenly heard the creaking of the door upstairs and the sound of footsteps coming down the cements stairs. For the split of a second he hoped it was her, even though reality caught him quickly and forced him to realize that it couldn’t be her. She never came down alone, always had a guard with her to get the door open. But it wasn’t time for his next meal yet, so who the fuck was coming to pay him visit? That Caleb fucker? Was he scraping up the last bit of the gut he had in his tiny balls to come here and taunt him? A growl elicited Negan’s throat only by the thought, his eyes were wandering from the gray ground up until they met the metal bars, ready to glare at the blonde man he expected to appear behind them. But the man who appeared wasn’t blonde, hell, that fucker behind the bars there was giving this shit situation the biggest plot twist Negan have had in a while. ”Now would you look at that”, he mumbled, the corners of his lips curling up into a dangerous grin as his eyes gored through the door, “Ricky’s here.”
“Come on, where are you?”, you grumbled, your fingers slipping through the small packages of salves, trying to find the one you could have sworn to have dropped it in there earlier, but which had now vanished into thin air. With an annoyed grunt you pushed the drawer back into the counter, hearing the dull thud echoing through the empty infirmary. Your fingers were still lingering on the handle, pondering if you should open it again and search for it once more, or simply move on and take care of it later, when you weren’t all tense. Within seconds you decided for the later, knowing that the salve was probably in there but your stiff glance wasn’t allowing you to see it. With another huff you moved to the side, your steps creaking over the floorboards as you were suddenly feeling a tugging on your wrist that only lasted seconds, enough to spend confusion out in you, too much for the bracelet on your wrist to take. A twinging sound echoed through the room as it snapped, rushing with a painful sting against your wrist before the sound of each of the tiny diamonds meeting the wooden floor resounded and let a sudden rush of panic wash through your body. ”Fuck!”, you gasped out, freezing cold and boiling heat mixing within you as you stared in horror at the snapped string and the stones which spread out all over the ground ,”No, no, no, no….” You fell to your knees, feeling them hitting the floor the moment a lump began to form in your throat as your hands were already rushing to the diamonds, trying to catch them all in your hands, trying to tell yourself that you could fix it. ”Shit…”, you panted, your voice filled with panic as reality sneaked up more and more, showing you the destroyed bracelet and showing you even more how small the chance was that you could ever fix it. This couldn’t be real now, right? This was just a nightmare, right? No, this was true, all of it. Out of all days, all moments, Negan’s gift had to go bust just now, leaving you with an ugly feeling mixed from distress and stinging pain. You didn’t want to believe in such stupid signs but right now, as you sat there in front of the broken string and the diamonds, it felt like this was just putting more weight onto your fears. And it wasn’t just this unfortunate moment, you had this bracelet for so long now, since the time you began to truly recognize that there was clearly something deeper developing between the both of you. And with this realization, the bubble around you began to slowly burst. You missed him, fuck, you missed him so damn much. And just as much as you missed him, you ached to get an answer to your questions. But there was this goddamn fear holding you back, the devil dancing on your shoulder, whispering into your ear that you might not like the answer to those questions or worse, that the answer could mean the end. Maybe you were exaggerating things, maybe not. But if you were, then just because you were dead afraid to lose him. A sudden shudder that shook through your body shot tears in your eyes, the bubble bursting more with each passing second while the lump in your throat grew to an unbearable size. It was pushing those tears further, further until you felt a whimper leaving your lips as the first of them rolled down your cheeks and turned your vision into a blurry mess. For a moment, you forgot everything around you, the infirmary, the possibility that anyone could come in just now, the only thing on your mind was a wild mix of all the emotions you had tried to suppress. You had known from the beginning that they would act up earlier or later, that it would be even worse then, but any other way hadn’t seemed much better. More and more tears streamed down your cheeks, stirring up a bigger mess in your head until you found yourself leaning with your back against the counter, staring at the string and the diamonds in your hands you had somehow managed to scrape up from the floor. “Fuck this…”, you mumbled, not forceful or harsh as one would expect those words to sound, but rather broken and weak. Why couldn’t things be easy for once for the both of you? First there was the war, then this damn cell. Why couldn’t you just have it as easy as other couples even in this mess of a world? Why?
You knew you couldn’t sit there forever, earlier or later someone would come in and you couldn’t afford anyone to see you this way, this hurt and with from tears swollen eyes. A huff left your trembling lips, the rest of the tears running in between, letting you taste their saltiness as you clasped the string and the diamonds closer and heft yourself slowly up. With small thuds you let the purport in your hands fall onto the counter, still hoping that you were able to somehow fix it even though you deep down knew that you probably couldn’t. Brushing your fingers over your heated skin, you got rid of the tears daubing your skin, scoffing about yourself in annoyance. What the hell were you doing? “(Y/N)? Sorry, I-”, you suddenly heard a familiar voice say, careful and quiet, but enough to let you flich in shock up, confused that you had been sunken that deeply into your thoughts that you hadn’t heard him coming in. Your glance darted at the man at the door, looking right into his eyes that stared back at you. One was clear again, healthy probably, the other opaque, almost as if it had turned blind. His hands were stroking uneasily over his tidy black pants, fitting perfectly to the rest of his priest outfit while you were still frozen your mind only slowly coming back to do its job. You had completely forgot about it in all this, he was here to get his meds. You could still remember the messily written notes of Siddiq about his regular patients, could remember your shudder that had run down your back when you had seen Gabriel’s name and now, now it was his turn to get a new stock. “Are you okay?”, he asked cautiously, glancing at you as you realized that your eyes must be red rimmed, giving away the fact that you had spent the last while crying instead of working. ”Yeah”, you mumbled a little too quick, stroking once more over your cheeks, hoping to get the very last tears off your skin before you let a huff out as soon as you saw his glance, “Sorry, I’m being completely unprofessional right now…shouldn’t mix this here with other stuff…I’ll get you your meds in a sec” Your glance was trailing off until it got stuck on the remains of the bracelet again, embarrassed of what you were presenting him. ”Don’t worry, I can understand you.” With that you glanced back up, surprised by his words before you caught him walking a little closer and nodding towards the broken bracelet. ”Someone gave it to you?”, he asked, his voice still careful as a shivering breath fell from your lips while you slowly began to nod, trying to figure out what to do next. ”It was him, wasn’t it?”, he added, gulping softly before he shrugged his shoulders slightly as soon as your eyes met his again, ”Never saw you wearing it before he…took you. Just assumed it.” You just nodded again, still surprised by his interest in your feelings after all. ”Something happened?”, he asked calmly, walking once more a bit closer while a bittersweet chuckle left your lips, mixed with a good ounce of insecurity. ”I don’t think you wanna hear me whining about my problems with Negan…after everything.” ”If it helps you, I don’t mind. That’s somehow what’s my job around here, isn’t it?”, he said, surprising you once more while a small, supportive smile grew on his lips as soon as he saw this certain surprise written over your face. ”Take it as a talk to a friend, or maybe, if you want to, as confession.” ”Why would you want to do that for me?”, you asked, your voice was soft as your eyes were roaming over his face, trying to find answers. ”I know you tried to help me when I was at the Sanctuary, so I’m just giving back…and I do think you deserve to be treated better than a lot of the people around here do”, he said, his glance reassuring as you eyed him, still unsure of the situation. “You don’t have to, of course. I just know that it often frees and maybe, maybe I can help”, he added and while you knew he was right, this still wasn’t easy for you, not at all. Hell, Negan was the only one you were letting you see this vulnerable. But an urge in you pushed you, especially the small bit of hope that was still lingering within you. There should have been alarm bells going on in your head to begin with, trusting someone with this kind of information, but you did so with Gabriel. Not because your bond was particularly close, but because he took his job or rather his beliefs in doing-better serious. He wasn’t gonna tell anybody about this talk. So finally, after a few silent moments you began to softly but still reluctantly nod. “We…well, we had a fight…”, you began, still unsure how to start and handle this conversation while you could feel your emotions urging you to continue, somehow. And you did. You told him about it, the fight and your reasons to not go back there yet, not everything, nothing too detailed, but enough for him to understand what your problem was. And while you were at it, you could feel the feelings within you boiling up again that were still just too easy to rile after the breaking of Negan’s gift. You found yourself holding new tears back, cursing yourself inwardly while a shivering sigh fell from your lips as soon as your voice came to a stop for a second and you caught him still listening carefully to you.
”On the day of the last battle…I know he spared me because of you”, he finally said after a small while of silence, the mentioning of this day enough to get your full attention, ”I know I sat there on this grass instead of in front of his gun because of you. And I know he didn’t try to shoot them right away and gave them a chance instead because of you. Not only because you may have said something or not. It was his decision in the end, obviously. But people like him, to come to this kind of decision…he must really feel something deep for you.” You glanced at him, feeling how there was a tiny warmth somewhere inside you, poking softly, almost not enough to be noticeable , through the thick layers of distress. ”And trust me, before the day in this trailer with the dead around us…I doubted he still had feelings left at all”, Gabriel mumbled, his voice still calm and reassuring but there was a serious glance stuck in his eyes. He sighed quietly, breaking eye contact with you for a moment to let his glance wander to the ground for a moment, as if he was struggling slightly with what was coming next. ”People can get better…or maybe come back from what this world has done to them, leading them on a wrong path…I shouldn’t judge, not after the things I’ve done, so…”, he said, his eyes meeting yours again as a small gulp traveled down his throat, ”I don’t know if you noticed it or not, but I think you’re the one doing this to him.” The lingering warmth in you began to grow slowly, poking a little stronger through the heavy layers hiding it before Gabriel took a deeper breath and glanced once more into your eyes. ”And it seemed like he was doing this in some way to you too. You seemed very happy with him back at the Sanctuary, despite everything. Now…it’s not easy for me to speak in his favor after everything that has happened, but I am rather doing this for you and for my beliefs now”, he continued, his voice becoming a bit firmer as if he was trying to reassure himself in this, but for some reason, especially the fact that he was doing it despite of the past situation, made you already believe a little more into what he was about to say. ”I’m sure he hasn’t assumed those things because he thinks little of you or there’s anything wrong between you…I think he is simply dead scared to lose you”, he finally said, his voice still a little reluctant at the last words but even more calm and, what mattered the most, genuine. You could feel the warmth finally breaking through the layers, speaking to the part in you the devil on your shoulder hadn’t managed to suppress yet. ”So if you go back, I think the only way it gonna go is into a better direction”, he added, sighing quietly as he leaned himself only softly against the counter, placing his hand on the wood while his eyes wandered for seconds through the room before they found you again, “Take this advice or leave it, but I think else you wouldn’t stop torturing yourself. I do think we both actually know that you should do it.” Slowly, you began to nod. He was right, of course he was and if you were honest, you had known it from the beginning, you had just needed someone to spell it out. Still, the idea of it was giving the fear in you something to feed on even though the growing warmth was fighting it more with each passing second. “So will you?”, he carefully asked, as you glanced down at your hands, reluctant for a moment as you realized how bizarre this whole situation with Gabriel actually was, even though you weren’t gonna lie and say it hadn’t worked for you. “Yeah…”, you finally mumbled, glancing up to him as you took a breath and nodded softly, “I think…I think I’ll go there after my shift.” As soon as you had said those words, you found yourself a little astounded by them, as if this wasn’t real, just some dream you were having in your sleep but after a few more seconds, the tenseness about what you were actually gonna do showed you quickly that this way very much real. One more time you glanced at the priest, found his healthy eye following your movements bereft he smiled slightly and gave you a soft nod. “Thank you”, you mumbled, giving him a smile back as he shook his head slightly. “There’s no need to thank me for that.” “It is, I’m not sure if there’s anyone else out there who’d do it too”, you said, the smile still lingering on your lips even though there was a small sting of pain anytime you talked or just thought of the fact that your relationships with each person who had once been a close friend was either destroyed or was only slowly building up again. “And now I’ll get you your meds”, you finally said, ripping yourself out of the odd but helpful situation this talk had brought you in, with the result that turned from being only words into reality not more than a half hour later.
The wind was biting into your skin, sending chilly and uneasy shivers down your spine as you found yourself walking towards the brownstones, while from the pocket of your jacket, the remains of your bracelet tinkled softly within the plastic bag you had carefully pushed them in. When you had first left the infirmary, your steps had been slow, the warmth still fighting with the fear for a win until it got the apprehend and let you walk faster. You missed him and you wanted to settle this, so why the hell make things even harder by overthinking this over and over again? A heavy breath fell from your lips as you got closer, passed the last houses until you caught Caleb sitting on a chair in front of the entrance whose eyes were finding yours the moment you stepped closer.
”Can you get me down?”, you asked as soon as he was in earshot, seeing his glance narrowing slightly as a gulp travelled down his throat. ”You sure you really wanna do this?”, he asked, hefting himself off the chair. ”Yes.” ”I don’t understand you…”, he mumbled, his eyes wandering over your face, seemingly trying to find an answer before he let a huff out and nodded inside. ”But Rick’s already down there-” “Rick?”, it slipped out of your lips in surprise, your brows staying puckered as you glanced at the blonde man. “Yeah, wants to talk to him or something….anyway, he’s got a key too”, Caleb mumbled, obviously not liking your intend even though you found yourself caring little to not at all for it. Whatever was going on in his head, and if Negan had been actually right with his interest in you, it didn’t matter. ”Okay”, you only said scantly and with a small nod, before moving past him inside the house.
You were still wondering about Rick’s visit as you found yourself making your way through the house, walking the path you had walked countless times before while trying to keep the suspense in your body as low as possible. Finally, you got to the last door before the stairs begun and opened it softly while already voices from downstairs began to echo through to you. At first, you only heard Rick’s voice saying something you weren’t understand as you shut the door behind yourself once more, but as then, the familiar deep voice you had missed that much spoke up, your full attention was right there, leaving you unable to move for seconds.
”C’mon Rick, I won’t turn into some fucking sappy whiney fucker with ya, I just wanna know how she’s doing…and after I had to listen to your damn fucking corny daydream future shit monologue, I think I really fucking deserve that.”
The warmth in you grew more, even enough to let a soft smile grow on your lips while it decided for you to keep staying at the beginning of the stairs for just now instead of interrupting them.
”If I’m telling you this, be sure I’m not doing that for you.”
”Well shit, Rick, I fucking know. Now I don’t know what wires in your head aren’t doing their job right now but I’m not fucking joking here.”
”I don’t know how much I need to tell you more”, a deep huff echoed from the cell through to you, seconds of silence passing before your heart began to flutter once more by his next words ,”I miss her. There you got it. I’m not even shitless scared to admit that but do what ya gotta do to use that against me. Hell, I don’t even fucking mind anymore.”
”Just tell me how she is”, he added as you felt this warmth taking you completely in, telling you that this decision to come back today had been right.
”Don’t know what you did to her but it hit her good. Don’t think she’s getting much sleep…has been pretty much throwing herself into the infirmary. I barely see her”, Rick’s voice was grumbling and quieter than Negan’s even as he let out another scoff, ”And that’s it, I’m not your message boy, Negan.”
“I’m the one in charge, not you. You’re no leader anymore, you’re a prisoner who’s rotting in this cell. You should get used to that”, with that you heard the screeching of a chair being dragged over the floor, reminding you that it was time for you to stop listening to them without their knowledge, especially because this talk seemed to be over now for at least one of them.
“Well, then is this thing here going to be some kinda weekly shit? Like some damn newspaper about what shit I’m missing out?”, Negan asked with a huff, as you heard Rick’s footsteps sounding over the cement floor. “We’ll see”, you heard him mumble just as you gave yourself the last push and stepped down the stairs into a sudden and complete silence before Rick’s blue eyes caught yours. “Can you open the cell for me?”, you asked, feeling how your feet hit the ground after the last step and a testing glance of Rick’s before he slowly nodded. The cement floor scrunched beneath the soles of your boots as you finally did your last steps until you stood before the cell’s door and glanced inside.
There he was, his hazel eyes darting at you in utter surprise, dark circles stuck beneath them as if he had slept just as little as you had. Slowly, they were softening as the seconds passed while his lips were gaping slightly open, his whole body stuck in rigidity. The sound of the key sliding into the lock echoed through the dead calm cell in the very moment his face muscles began to become just a little less tense and allowed the corners of his lips to curl softly up as he spoke. “You came back.”