Author: MoxieMayhem PM
When Callie was rescued by Merle Dixon, she didn't expect the spark, the concern. She also didn't expect finding a whole group of survivors. Merle/OC.Rated: Fiction M - English - Horror/Romance - Merle D. & Jim - Chapters: 17 - Words: 38,535 - Reviews: 128 - Favs: 115 - Follows: 143 - Updated: 02-04-12 - Published: 05-04-11 - id: 6963562
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own The Walking Dead or any of the characters.
A/n: Okay, so, this is the first fanfic I've attempted in years. I'm not very happy with it at this point but I'm hoping it will get better. Also, I know that Merle isn't his usual charming self but I'm running off the idea that his being exposed to solitary survival with no drugs or alcohol would drastically change a person.
CHAPTER ONE: OWE
Snarling, snapping, their fingers grabbed at my back and their putrid breath ran over the back of my neck, countering every twist and lunge I made to get away. I willed myself to run quicker, faster. I couldn't let the walkers get me. Trees whipped by me as I ran further into the forest; there was light up ahead, a clearing maybe. Picking up the pace, I barrelled forward, trying to reach the clearing before the walkers reached me.
All of a sudden, the earth fell away and I tumbled down dirt and sticks, smashing into rough concrete and rolling into the road. My wrist flared angrily where I landed, my ribs screamed, and blood trickled, warm and sticky, down the side of my face. Disorientated, I heard a car horn blare and the thud crunch of a walker being flattened. Everything hurt, the pain and the drive to get away from the walkers consuming me. I scrambled to my knees and started crawling away; my jeans shredded against the pavement taking some skin with it but I didn't care. I had to get away from the walkers.
"Hold on there," A rasping male voice practically snarled form behind me. One heavy hand landed on the back of my dirty shirt, pulling at me to stop. I kicked and thrashed, the fact that walkers couldn't talk never registering in my panic. "Git your ass up and in the truck!" With a powerful yank, the voice hauled me to my feet. He didn't give me time to balance and dragged me to a moving truck with the passenger side door gaping open. The hand shoved me through the door, pushing me roughly out of the way as he joined me in the small cab. I crawled out of the way and when I looked up to see where I was going, I screamed. I could see the walkers coming at the truck through the other window.
"They're coming!" I shrieked, wriggling about, trying to get away from the walker while trying to stay in the van. The door slammed behind me and a body pressed against me, hard with fear, before moving over me, clambering into the driver's seat. I flung myself back into the other seat, fumbling with my seat belt just as a walker slammed into the driver's side window. I screamed shrilly and the man cursed sharply, turning the key in the ignition. The engine turned over once, twice before it started up. Jerking the vehicle into gear, he slammed his foot down and the tires screeched as we rocketed away from the walkers. I leaned back against the seat, gasping, a hand pressed against my chest where I could feel my racing heart. "Thank you,"
"Yeah," The man grunted. I looked over at him, finally seeing him after that quick encounter. He was older, with sharp cheek bones and solemn eyes; he wore dark clothing, the exact color unknown in the night, and had only one hand. The other arm, where a hand should be, was a bandaged stump. I stared at the amputated limb for a moment before changing my focus to the road in front of us. It felt odd to look at what used to be a limb; a sick combination of unease and morbid curiosity washed over me and I pushed it down. Even if I didn't know the man I wanted to know the story behind the hand. It was recent too, the end of the bandage having been soaked with human blood. The man must have been in pain but he didn't show it, he seemed more concerned about where he was going. Maybe once we were both calm again, I could look at it for him. At least that would be some sort of payment for what he did. Obviously it wouldn't be enough, I owed him my life, but it would be a start. Silence fell over the cab, heavy and stifling and I didn't know how to break it without it being awkward.
"Name's Merle," He said gruffly while I pondered how to strike up conversation. Apparently, Merle felt the same way about the quiet.
"How'd ya get so many of dem assholes on ya?" He shot me a quick look, turning the truck around a bend.
"They found my camp where I was drying meat," I answered with a sigh. "All my supplies were back there,"
"Well, you can't go back. Suppose you can ride with me for a bit until you figure your shit out," Merle muttered, obviously not a big talker. Maybe he was a decent guy, it would be a nice change of pace considering what was going on. "Of course, you will have to...pay me back," A lecherous grin spread over his face and the look he gave me made me feel grimy.
"I'd rather be eaten by walkers," I snapped in return, crossing me arms.
"Hey now, I'm just trying to be nice,"
"Nice or not, it's disgusting. Hand to yourself," I emphasized the word in its singular form. Merle snapped his mouth shut, his eyes hardening. That must have hit a nerve and rightly so. I turned my body to face the door, watching the scenery flash by. At least I didn't have to look at him. It continued that way, in a stubborn quiet, for a good while and it was only ended when Merle pulled over into an RV camping area. He parked the truck and switched off the engine; we sat there, me awkwardly avoiding looking at him and him staring angrily at the steering wheel.
"I ain't gonna say I was sorry cause I ain't. I deserve something for saving your life," Merle suddenly snapped, jabbing the wheel with his finger to make his point. He was rationalizing his behavior, that was a good thing for me. It meant he realized that had been wrong but doesn't want to admit it. Maybe he was just as alone as I was and didn't want to drive me off.
"I never said that you didn't, but you aren't getting that from me," I answered stiffly. "I'll make it up to you some other way," I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye, he was still focused on the steering wheel. Merle seemed to consider what I said before shrugging it off.
"Fine. I'm too fucking tired to give a shit," Merle reached over to the floor mat in front of me, I leaned away instinctively, but he wasn't grabbing at me. Instead, he grabbed a pile of cloth. "Here," He shook one free onto my lap. "Pin that up over the windows. It'll keep any walkers from looking inside and getting excited," I took the fabric and watched him do his window before mimicking him with the passenger side window. We finished at nearly the same time so I helped him to cover the windshield. It wasn't a comfortable or companionable atmosphere, we were both busy watching each other, gauging the mood and how to react. "I sleep in the back here," Merle crawled through the cut out into the back of the truck which was black as pitch. I didn't follow, I listened to him fumble around for a bit before a lantern was lit. The back area lit up and I could see that he had built a make shift home from cot to hot plate to supplies. Merle sat the lantern down by the head of the bed and flopped onto the low cot, toeing off his boots as he went.
I followed him after a moment and sat down by the hot plate, crossing my legs Indian style and looking around. There wasn't much room in the van, but it provided a safe place to sleep. "You you have a first aid kit?"
"Yeah. Why?" Merle was already laying down, throwing an arm over his eyes to block out light.
"I have a cut to clean and your...you're bleeding," I couldn't say stump. That was just weird. Merle looked at his arm and saw the blood. He muttured angrily as he sat back up and stood swiftly. Merle stomped over to where I was sitting, underneath the hot plate was a medical kit. He tossed it to me flippantly and walked back over to the cot.
Sitting back down, Merle said, "Clean yourself up. Spare clothes are behind ya," I nodded and went about carefully cleaning the wound which was just below my hairline. It wasn't very large but like every head wound, it had bled profusely. When it came time to change, I asked Merle if he would turn around and his did with much protesting. To be on the safe side, I turned around as well. I took off my sweater, sticky with blood, and used the clean parts to wipe myself down before pulling on one Merle's jumpers. Thankfully, the jumper was long enough that when I took off my pants, it covered me up quite well. The pants were too big but I used my belt to sinch them in so they worked well enough. Cleaned up and content I took the first aid kit over to Merle. He took it without a word and I asked if he wanted help.
"Do I look like I need help?" He snapped in reply. I rolled my eyes and walked back over to where I had been sitting and resumed my earlier position. I decided that I might as well try to get some sleep. Curling into a ball in the space I had, I tucked myself into the jumper and tried to get comfortable. I could hear when Merle finished cleaning up, he sat the first aid kit on the ground and kicked it out of the way. The cot creaked when he settled onto it again and I thought that he was getting ready to turn out the light.
"What in the blue hell are you doing? Git over here, we'll both fit," Merle said from across the box. He patted the cot next to him where he was still sitting. I glared.
"Considering you just propositioned me, I'm going to stay over here," I sniffed. Merle gave an exaggerated sigh.
"I ain't gonna try anything. It gets cold in here and two bodies are better than one where that's concerned," He patted the cot again with a leer. I eyed him and the cot wearily. It was a cot, not the ground and definitely not three square feet between supplies.
"You promise you won't try anything sleazy?" Merle raised his hand and placed his stump (freshly bandaged) on his heart, like he was swearing. Well, a visual perversion of swearing at least
"I swear on the grave of my old man, may he rot in hell," Not feeling very comforted but chilled enough not the care, I crawled over to the cot. Merle smirked, satisfied with himself (the lech) and laid down on the cot, towards the wall of the box. I sat on the cot stiffly and bent over to untie my heavy duty hiking boots. I slid them off one by one and tucked them under the cot before lying down and tucking myself under the sheet and blanket that Merle had already mussed with his movement. I turned away from him, curling on my side, trying not to touch him at all. The cot was narrow though, so my back brushed his just enough to leech warmth and to solidify his presence. Apparently he was waiting until I was settled before he turned off the light, plunging us both into darkness. In the sudden void, all my other senses were heightened. I could hear Merle breath, smell sweat, dirt, and blood from earlier still clinging to me, feel the rough rasp of cheap linen on my skin. All my senses were on high alert and it took me a long time to fall into an uneasy sleep.
A loud thumping woke me up sometime later. I stirred and frowned but paid the sound no mind, my sleep-hazed brain too slow to process the sound clearly. It was scratching, thumping, and it wasn't until the sounds were joined by a low, animalistic growling that I realized it was a walker. Walkers. They found us! Gasping, I sat up in the cot, jostling Merle. He grunted and flopped over, murmuring "What is it?" grumpily.
"Walkers!" I whispered fiercely. I needed to find a weapon but my body wouldn't move. It was frozen with fear of an ambush, why couldn't I move? Why wasn't he moving, he was more than capable of handling walkers? Merle sat up behind me, the cot forcing him close to me. His heat seeped into me and like a moth to a flame, I drifted towards him. It was false comfort and safety, but it was better than dying as a deer caught in the headlights. He shifted as well, scooting closer to me so that he could pat my cheek clumsily in the darkness. I flinched and jerked away from the touch. Not what I was expecting.
"S'okay. They can't get in," He grunted before flopping back down. "Go back ta sleep, they'll wander away eventually. They always do," Merle rustled in the darkness, getting comfortable again, finally stilling even though the sounds outside were getting louder. More and more walkers were showing up. What if they didn't wander away? What if they were still there in the morning? I shook myself, that was stupid. We were in a van for God's sake, Merle could just drive us away from them. Despite my revelation I was uneasy and shaken. I laid back down, this time facing towards Merle. I didn't move any closer, but I could see a faint outline of his form even in the dark and it gave me some peace of mind. Rude, chauvinistic human being or not, he did save my life. I wrapped the blanket as tight around me as I could and listened to the scraping downs and the pained moans. They were out there, waiting but we were in here, safe.
It was hours before I fell asleep again