The two of us had been walking for about two hours. It took nearly three to get to the Hilltop from the Kingdom on foot. We were both exhausted by now. Neither one of us had eaten or drank anything since leaving the Kingdom. Ezekiel had given us some water, but we hadn't bothered to drink any of it yet. The heat from the sun was unbearable. But thankfully the air was turning cooler. We knew that winter would be coming soon. We'd gotten to Alexandria at the end of the last winter so we hadn't dealt with the cruel air. This time might be a little different. We could only hope that the constant movement would counteract the harsh environment.
As we continued to walk, I glanced over at Daryl. He had been awfully quiet for the last hour or so. And I knew exactly why. Because of Maggie. He had done well at avoiding her. But it wouldn't last forever. If we were going back there, the two of them were going to have to sit down and talk about what had happened. But I knew that he wouldn't say anything for now. So we continued walking in silence before making the final approach to the Hilltop. There were some of the downed trees around us that told me that we were getting close.
"Hey. Are you alright?" I asked Daryl.
He glanced over at me and nodded. "I'm better than alright," he told me, wrapping his arms around me. I laughed softly and pressed a kiss against the side of his head. He let his hand rest on my stomach as a soft blush filled my face. I really did love him more than anything else. He was better than anything that I'd ever had. "Should be getting close," Daryl commented after a beat of silence.
"I'd say we're about a mile away. What do we even say when we get there?" I asked him. We had known that we'd wanted to leave and come back to Hilltop but we hadn't even thought about what we were going to say. "We were supposed to get Ezekiel to join. Other than saying that he would think on my words, he made no other note about what he's going to do."
Daryl shrugged his shoulders, letting his crossbow dangle from his hands. "Tell them the truth. Dude will either join us or he won't. Better using our resources on a place that we know wants to fight," he told me.
But we didn't have enough people. Even if all of the Hilltop joined us, there still weren't that many and they weren't trained. Unless Maggie and Sasha had done some serious work on them in the last two or three days. However long it had been since we had been here. Lately the days all seemed to run together. And I had a feeling that it would be a long time before it stopped feeling like that.
I realized after a moment that Daryl was waiting for me to say something. "The last time that we were here, there were only ten or fifteen people that were actually willing to stand up to Gregory and fight. You think that they've gotten more?" I asked him.
"With Maggie, Enid, and Sasha here, I know that they've gotten more," he told me.
I smiled at him and nodded. He was right about that. The three of them were all persuasive in their own ways. And if all three of them managed to work together, there was no doubt that they weren't all going recruit the community. They had learned from our original group that working together was the best way to make something work.
I'd noticed that the last time that we were here, Maggie had become somewhat of a leader in the Hilltop. They would be willing to follow her. Especially after what had happened to Glenn. And Enid, they seemed to look at her like a daughter. They wanted a child to get a place to grow up in. Because that's still what Enid was. Sasha was a good fighter. They would be wise to follow her. And with Jesus on board - who had always seemed like more of a leader than Gregory - I knew that the people, even those hesitant to fight, would be willing to at least listen.
"Are you gonna actually talk to Maggie?" I asked Daryl after a pause.
Daryl's head snapped over to me. I assumed that he had been attempting to forget that for as long as possible. "What?" he asked.
Sighing softly, I reached over to Daryl and grabbed his hand. "Other than a very public - and expected - apology, you haven't said two words to her. She doesn't hate you and she doesn't blame you. She loves you. You're her family, just like Glenn was ours," I told him softly.
Glenn was a soft spot with Daryl. I knew that I had to be careful with what I said to him. The last thing that I wanted to do was hurt him. "Ain't nothing wrong there," Daryl defended weakly.
"Yes there is," I snapped softly at Daryl. He had to do something. It was going to be terrible if the two of them never spoke again. "You could barely look at her when we were here a few days ago. You need to say something to her. She wants you to say something to her," I told him softly.
I knew that the two of them wanted to speak to each other. But neither one had any idea how to start the conversation with the other. Not that I really blamed them. "What is there even to say?" Daryl asked me.
A little sigh escaped my lips as I glanced over at him. "Talk about Glenn, ask her how the baby's doing, ask her how she's doing. Say something to her. Don't make her feel like because of what happened out there, she lost you too. She's lost so much. More than any of the rest of us. Don't make her lose you. I love you two more than anything and I'm not going to watch this happen to you both," I told Daryl, grabbing his hand.
It was slightly clammy and I knew that it was because he was nervous. He didn't want to have to face her again. "You wanna know what I see when I look at her?" Daryl asked me. Not really. But I nodded at him anyways. "I see him. I see him, in his last moments, all because of something that I did."
The only thing that I wanted was for him to stop blaming himself for things that had happened. "I spoke to Negan. More than I'd like to admit that I did. He might as well have told me that he would've done it anyways. See, the Kingdom, and Hilltop - they surrendered without a fight. Negan's no fool. He knew that we wouldn't. He knew that we would fight him unless he completely broke us down. So he did. He took away a fighter, and a father. And then he took us away. He broke Rick," I said softly.
"And it all worked," Daryl said.
But that wasn't the truth. We weren't broken. None of us were. It was why we were standing up and fighting back against Negan. "No it didn't. Don't let him win. He wanted this to break us. He wanted us to admit that we hated each other for what had happened. He wanted us to blame each other. We can't let that happen," I said softly.
The look on Daryl's face told me that something that I had said had struck a chord with him. "I'm not turning on anyone. Not Maggie. And most certainly not you," he said softly.
I knew that he would never turn on any of us. Daryl loved us. We were the family that he had always wanted. And there was nothing that could happen that would tear him away. "I love you, Daryl Dixon. Never forget that," I said as the gates of the Hilltop rose in the distance.
"I love you too."
The two of us exchanged a soft kiss before I glanced up and saw that Kal was standing on one of the observation posts. As he normally was. "We're back," I commented softly as we walked up towards the gates. The guards didn't seem nervous. They all knew who we were. "Hey Kal! Open the gates, will you?" I asked as we walked over.
Kal glanced over at us, seemingly slightly concerned. I could only imagine what they thought had happened at the Kingdom. "What's going on? Everything alright back at the Kingdom? Alexandria?" he called out to us as the gates began to open.
"Everything is fine. Come on down," I told Kal. He turned away from me and began to walk down the wooden steps. "We'll talk about it with Jesus. Maggie too. And Sasha. And Enid!" I called out, remembering all of the people that were really here.
From beyond the gate, I could hear Kal laughing. Once the doors were fully open, Kal motioned for Daryl and I to walk inside. We came in and I watched as the gates closed behind us. "Anyone else?" he asked as the two of us walked in.
"That's it," I chuckled.
Kal nodded at me and motioned for us to walk over towards the trailer. We barely made it two steps before I heard another voice call out to me. "And me?" I heard Gregory ask from a small distance.
I turned back to him, trying desperately hard to smile. Gregory was one of my least favorite people in the world. Of course, Negan still held the number one spot there. "Oh, there you are. It's been so long that I almost completely forgot about you. Sorry about that," I said, not really meaning it. "How have you been, Gregory? Still trying to run the show here?" I asked nastily.
Daryl was standing directly behind me. He was probably doing so to intimidate Gregory out of doing anything to me. Not that he needed to, Gregory was already afraid of me. "This is my community," Gregory argued with me.
A bitter smile crossed my face. "Sure. Your name is on the front lines. You're the one that the Saviors talk to. The people all know who to bring their complaints to. But you don't run this place. Not anymore. Maggie and Sasha - Enid and Jesus too - they're the ones that run this place. They're the ones that people come to talk to. They're the ones that are going to help this community towards winning the war," I told him.
The truth was always a bitter pill to swallow. But it was a pill that he would have to learn to swallow, regardless. Gregory smiled at me and turned to leave. "And, as always, Sunny, it is a pleasure to see you."
"And you as well, dickhead," I snapped before turning away.
No use in making me angry. There were plenty of other people that I could talk to here. Hopefully someone could point Daryl and I towards wherever Maggie and Jesus were. "Rain? Daryl?" I heard a female voice call out.
Speak of the devil and he shall appear. She, I guess. I turned back and smiled when I saw that Maggie was standing just a few feet behind us. Daryl immediately looked at the ground. Sasha and Enid were with her, standing just off to the side. "Mags!" I yelped before jumping forward, colliding into Maggie, not so hard that it would cause either one of us any real damage. The two of us stayed wrapped in a tight hug for a while before I finally let her go. "Hey sweetie, how are you feeling?" I asked her once we both stepped back.
Maggie was smiling brightly. The pregnancy glow looked good on her. Of course, you could still barely tell that she was pregnant. Even after almost five months. "Good, actually. And it's good to see you both," she said, looking over at Daryl.
Of course, he ignored her. This was probably the wrong time for them to talk anyways. Maggie looked slightly dejected, so I brought her attention back to myself. "Good to see you too. Trust me, it's nice to be back somewhere that I actually know," I told her. The three girls laughed softly. I walked over to Sasha and Enid, pulling them both into hugs as well. "Hey Sasha, Enid, you girls doing alright?"
"We're good," Sasha said, hugging me tightly.
As I grabbed Enid into a hug, I realized how fast the little girl had become a family to me. Just a few months ago, I hadn't even known her name. But now, she - like everyone else - was family. "How are you?" Enid asked Daryl and I.
Knowing that Daryl wanted to say as little as possible, I answered for the both of us. "We're both okay. We just knew that it was time to come back. Nothing is wrong in the Kingdom," I said quickly.
The last thing that I wanted to do was make them think that things had gone wrong in the Kingdom. They had actually gone somewhat right. Other than the confrontation with Richard. "What are you both doing back here already?" Maggie asked me.
I let out a soft sigh. Despite the fact that we had done everything that we possibly could, it still felt like we hadn't done enough. The Kingdom still wasn't on our side. "We've done as much as we can in the Kingdom. It's going to take something big to move Ezekiel. It will happen. It's just a matter of time. I've made friends with him. He will join. In time," I told them.
And I was sure of it. With the next big loss - someone that was close to Ezekiel - he would decide to join the fight. I just wished that he would do it without losing someone else. "You're sure?" Maggie asked me.
I nodded at her. "I'm sure. Something is going to happen to him - and it won't be good - but that's what it will take to fight. He's going to join us."
"They seem like we can really trust them?" Sasha asked me.
Immediately I nodded at her. Ezekiel was a good man. I knew that he was someone that was trustworthy, no matter what. "Yeah. I'm sure that they'll be able to fight with us. They seemed like good people. Ezekiel... It's like he said. He's got a pretty good set-up between himself and the Saviors. But it's bound to happen. Something will break the treaty that they have," I said.
Maggie sighed and grabbed my shoulder, pulling me with her. Daryl followed at somewhat of a distance. "No use dwelling on it. Come on. We can get the two of you settled in somewhere for the night," she said.
We walked for only a moment before coming up on Jesus. I smiled and pulled the man in for a tight hug. The two of us remained locked together before Jesus moved over to pat Daryl on the shoulder. We walked over to one of the far trailers and walked inside. It was almost packed to the brim. "There's not much room anywhere else. We were working to expand but with everything going on between ourselves and the Saviors, it's been the wrong time. We've been putting people in my trailer," Jesus told us.
"Everyone?" I asked.
There was no way that there was room for more than six people in here. "Maggie, Sasha, Enid, and myself. There's room for you and Daryl too," Jesus told me. I guess that makes six.
But there had to be another place for us to go. Six people in one little trailer wasn't exactly going to be a comfortable place for any of us to be living. Maybe there was room in the Barrington House. "That's way too many people under one roof. We can find somewhere else for the two of us to go," I offered, not wanting to intrude.
Everyone shook their heads, but Jesus was the one to speak. "Rain, it's not a problem. Come on. I'll show you two where you can go," Jesus said, walking up the stairs and heading into the trailer.
"Thanks," I called out before turning back to Daryl. He was still standing out in the yard, not looking like he was planning on moving any time soon. "You coming?" I asked him, knowing that he didn't want to be trapped in tight confines with Maggie near him.
Daryl shook his head and glanced out at the fields. I had a feeling that he was going to try and get lost in the rows. "I'm gonna take a look around. Get some food. I'll be over in an hour or so," Daryl told me.
"Okay," I said softly, watching him disappear into the distance. He would avoid the conversation for as long as he could.
Once he disappeared through the sinking sun, I turned back and walked into the trailer. It was filled with crap. Most of it looked like plans for going to war. But there were plenty of clothes and extra living areas too. I saw that Maggie was sitting at a table near the door with her head balanced in her hands. "He won't even look at me," she said softly.
Moving past Jesus, I took a seat next to Maggie. "He feels guilty. About everything that happened. I've tried to get him to understand that you don't hate him and that you still love him. That Glenn would still love him, but he won't listen to me. It's not something that he needs to hear from me," I told her.
For once, this wasn't something that a wife could say to her husband. It was something that he needed to hear from a friend. From family. "I know," Maggie said softly. After a beat she turned back to me. "Did you ever go to a doctor in the Kingdom?" she asked.
A small smile crossed over my face. I had a feeling that at some point she would bring up the fact that the last time I had seen her, we had been wondering whether or not her child would have another playmate. "We did," I said softly.
Maggie's eyebrows rose. "We?" she asked.
The last time that we had been together I still hadn't told Daryl that I thought that I might have been pregnant. "Yeah. I told him," I told Maggie.
At this point, Jesus, Sasha, and Enid all looked curious. I had made it a point that only a few people knew about my potential condition. I still wanted everyone focused on Maggie and the war. At least I still had my husband. Even if something happened, we could always try again. This was Maggie's one shot. Her last bit of Glenn that she had to hang onto.
"Told him what?" Jesus asked me, snapping me out of my thoughts.
I guessed that now was as good a time as any to admit to them what was going on with me. "I suppose that I should tell the four of you while we're here. Make it easier than having to track you all down later. Maggie already knows what was going on. When Jesus got me out of the Sanctuary, I felt sick. He wanted me to go to the doctor. Maggie did too. They wanted to do a test," I said.
"What kind of test?" Enid asked me.
I smiled at her. She was still a child. She didn't quite understand what I meant. But it was clear by the looks in Sasha and Jesus's eyes that they understood what I meant. "A pregnancy test," Sasha said softly.
Enid's jaw nearly dropped but she was smiling brightly. "Yeah. It came back positive. Your baby's gonna have someone to play with," I told Maggie, a soft blush coloring my face.
She had been so good when she'd admitted to everyone that she was pregnant. I was embarrassed beyond belief to have to tell everyone. "Oh my God! Oh that's incredible!" Maggie shouted, launching herself into my arms with a tight hug. I laughed softly in her ear.
"Really?" Enid asked, coming to hug me.
Once she let go of me, Sasha took her place. I smiled at her and wrapped my arms around her tightly. "I'm so happy for you. For you both. You're going to make great parents," she said.
That was the one thing that I hoped that they were all right about. I wanted to be better than my parents. And I knew that Daryl felt the same way. "Thank you. I'm really hoping that we can do something right in the world. It's going to be a good thing. I know it. And now, our kids will have someone to play with. Other than Judith, of course," I said softly.
Judith was getting older now. She was almost a year old. Actually, she was probably a little past a year. We could never be quite sure. "Congratulations to both of you," Jesus said, coming over to give me a hug.
Maggie grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the back of the trailer. We were going towards a bedroom that reminded me of the one that had been in Dale's RV. But this one was a fair bit larger and open to the rest of the trailer. The door that had been there to once separate it was now torn off of the hinges and open. "Here, I'll get you both set up for the bed in the back," Maggie said.
Almost immediately I shook my head at her. The last thing that I wanted was to take her bed after everything that had happened. It would always be hers. I was almost used to sleeping on the floor. "It's yours. You were already here first," I told her.
She shook her head at me. "Why don't the two of you take the bed?" Jesus offered the two of us. We turned back and nodded at her. "I can talk to Daryl and see if he minds finding a spot somewhere on the floor. Enid and Sasha already have the chairs," Jesus said.
No part of me thought that Daryl would mind sleeping on the floor. I was actually more inclined to think that he was going to stay away from the trailer and Maggie as much as possible. "This is your trailer, Jesus. It would feel wrong. I'm barely two weeks along. I can tolerate sleeping on the floor for a few nights," I told him.
Jesus shook his head at me once more and motioned us back to the bedroom. "No. The bed is yours. We can make up a place for Daryl to stay. Somewhere close to you," Jesus offered.
I knew that he wouldn't take no for an answer. "Thank you," I said softly.
Enid walked over to the corner of the room and I watched as she began to knit something. I smiled at her. She - just like Carl - deserved to be a child from time to time. Jesus took a seat at the table as Sasha stood and headed out of the trailer. "We'll get the two of you something to eat," Sasha called back to us.
"Thanks," Maggie and I called out together.
We took a seat at the table as Sasha and Jesus went over to the barbecue that was outside and cooked. "Do you want to meet everyone?" Maggie asked me. I raised my brows at her. I already knew everyone? What had she managed to do in the few days that we had been gone? "See what's been going on since you left?"
"What could you have possibly managed to do in two days?" I asked her.
Maggie let a rather large smile cross her face. "You'd be surprised."
So I nodded at her and stood to leave the trailer. But before we could actually get away, I grabbed Maggie's arm and stopped her. There was one last thing that I needed to tell her. "Hey, there's something that I wanted to talk to you about. Before dinner. Without anyone else around," I said.
Maggie's eyes widened and I knew that I had said something wrong to her. I probably should have said that nothing was wrong first. "You alright? Everything going okay?" she asked.
I smiled at her and nodded, grabbing her hand. "Oh, yeah, everything is fine. I mean, you know, things will be fine once everything is over. You know, once the war ends. Once it starts, I guess," I said awkwardly. No one really knew how to describe everything that was happening. We both laughed softly before sobering once more. I wanted to ask you if you would be the aunt to my - our - child. We met up with Carol and I wanted her to be the godmother. But you're my sister. This is your niece or nephew," I told her.
Maggie smiled brightly and pulled me into her, a small laugh escaping her throat. "Oh... Of course. Of course! Why would you even ask that? Of course I will. I actually wanted to ask you the same thing. You and Daryl, of course," she said softly.
For most of Maggie's pregnancy I had almost figured that I would be the honorary aunt to her child. But the closer that we got to her due date, the more real it became. "Well you know that I say yes. It'll be nice to have a little extended family. Not that we all aren't family anyways. I know that Daryl will say yes too. But I think that I'll have to leave that one to him," I told her.
Her eyes darkened and I sighed. Things were going to be tense between all of us until they began to speak to each other again. "If he ever speaks to me again," Maggie said softly.
Grabbing her hands tightly, I pulled her into me. "He will, Maggie. He will. He just needs time. I think that he needs to take a break and realize for himself that it wasn't his fault. He'll get there. He just needs time," I tried to explain.
Daryl would eventually come to the realization that what had happened to Glenn wasn't his fault. It was just going to take him time. Like it had taken me time to realize that Glenn hadn't been my fault either. "I know he does. In the meantime, let's get you both some food. I bet you're hungry," Jesus said as he popped his head back into the trailer.
Maggie and I both turned our heads towards him and smiled. I really hadn't eaten anything today and my stomach was about to eat itself. I could eat an entire cow. "Starved. Please tell me that the next nine months aren't going to be like that," I pleaded with Maggie.
She laughed at me and wrapped her arm around my shoulder. "Oh they'll get even worse. And then you'll start wanting things like banana peels," she teased.
I was sure that my face had turned slightly green. The thought of eating a banana peel made me want to throw up the nothing that was in my stomach. "I'd rather drink bleach," I told her disgustedly.
"That could happen too," she told me. We both laughed softly and grabbed two plates for ourselves, loading on the food that Jesus and Sasha had cooked up. As we ate, Maggie walked around and explained to me everything that had happened. Daryl was up in one of the watchtowers, carving into a chunk of wood. Kal was standing guard next to him.
The sun was already setting considering that we had spent most of the day on the walk over here. Maggie walked me back and forth around the community and I smiled, glad that I was actually getting to know someone here. The only people that I had bothered to bond with here were Jesus and one some level, Kal. So as Maggie walked me around, I would explain to them who I was and tell them a little bit about myself. Most of them seemed happy to get a chance to speak to me. Or maybe they were excited to hear about what was going on in the Sanctuary. They all seemed ready to fight. Nervous, but ready.
There were well over thirty or so fighters that Maggie, Sasha, and Enid had gathered to fight. Most of them were too busy to actually stop and speak to me, but Maggie did introduce me to a few of them that had been at the Barrington House the other day. Andy was the first person that I'd met. Of course I'd almost immediately remembered that he was the one that had come to the outpost of the Sanctuary with us the other day. He seemed more than willing to go to war with the Saviors, probably because of what they had done to his brother.
Crystal was another one of the people that had gone along on the doomed food exchange with Craig, Andy, Ethan, Tim, and Marsha. She was a food exchanger for the Hilltop. Although it seemed that she had stopped going on the food exchange runs once everything had happened with the Saviors. I assumed that she had been with Ethan - who we had killed - but she seemed to have gotten over it. Although I was still a little bitter from her hitting Rick. Not that Michonne hadn't paid her back for that.
One of the other men that Maggie had introduced me to was someone that I hadn't actually met before, but I'd seen each time that we were here. He was one of the guards - along with Kal, who would also be fighting. He seemed to be just a little bit older than me. He had been at the Barrington House a few days ago to pledge allegiance to Rick and Alexandria. Not that I was surprised. He didn't look like the type of guy that wanted to be under anyone's reign that he didn't approve of.
Maggie had ensured that she'd reintroduced me to Bertie, the woman that had decided that she wanted us to fight in the first place. She was a rather nice woman, reminding me very much of Jacqui. She was one of the people that we had rescued after first meeting Jesus, not that I really remembered her that well. We had met so many people around that time, everyone started to run together.
Wesley was another one of the men that we had rescued back after their car crash. He looked somewhat like Martinez. He was in his early thirties. He wasn't exactly the nicest person in the world but he was better than nothing. It wasn't that he was rude, he just didn't seem overly fond of the whole situation. Not that I could really blame him. He seemed to be training in the yard for most of the day. He was one of the men that actually seemed to be doing a pretty good job with the hand-to-hand.
Freddie was the last of the men that Maggie had introduced to me before we'd gone back to the trailer. I vaguely remembered Freddie. He was the one that - during the rescue of his men that had been in the car crash - could have sworn that he'd seen his dead wife. At the time I'd thought that he was completely insane. Of course, now I kind of understood what he'd been talking about. He still seemed to be working as a supply runner.
Once we had said goodbye to Freddie and the others, Maggie led me back towards Jesus's trailer. "It's not a lot, but they'll work for now. Seven is seven more than we had before," I said.
"We're still working on getting more," Maggie told me.
And we would manage to get more. But for now, it was all that we needed. I was still hoping that the war was a while off. We weren't ready for it yet. "You head to bed. I'm gonna go see Daryl," I told her.
She nodded at me and placed a hand on my shoulder. "Good luck. He's been over at the tables for most of the day," Maggie told me, motioning over to the wooden tables that were just outside of the trailers.
"I'll be in the trailer in a few minutes," I told her, grabbing her shoulder before turning and walking off. As she had said, Daryl was sitting on top of the table and sharpening a knife that he was holding. I walked up to him and plopped down on the table beside him. He scooted over slightly to let me sit. "Hey," I chirped at him.
I didn't get anything more than that. I sighed and grabbed the knife, moving it to the table. "You planning on sleeping out here? Jesus made you a place to sleep in the trailer. You might want to actually take him up on it," I told him. Jesus had set him up a place to sleep on the couch. Daryl said nothing in response. "Or you could just ignore me," I teased.
"I'm not ignoring you," he finally said.
Letting out a deep breath, I shook my head at him. "You're not talking to me either. I know that it's bothering you - being here and not being able to say anything to Maggie. But you need to. Not even for her sake, but for your own. You aren't going to be able to move past what happened unless you can manage to build back the bond between the two of you. You're like her brother. She loves you. I know that you love her too," I argued with him.
They're strange avoidance of each other was driving me insane. They had to say something. The tension was driving me through the roof. "If it was the other way around, what would you do?" Daryl snapped at me. I stared at him sideways. "If Glenn had made the move, and Negan had killed me. Do you think that Glenn would have been able to look at you?" he asked.
My heart nearly stopped. What did I think about that? I knew that it would have taken him a long time to say something, but I had faith that he would have eventually said something. "I don't think that it would have been easy. But I know that Maggie would be doing the same thing. Trying to get him to talk to me. Because the four of us, we've always been one big family," I told him.
Hell, the two of us lived together back in Alexandria. "Not always," Daryl said.
My eyebrows rose and I smiled at him. "That's right. I head-butted you, Glenn hit me over the head with a bat, and we screamed at each other a good few times. But look at how far we've come. Look at everything that we've managed to forgive," I told him softly, grabbing his hand.
He glanced over at me and shook his head. "This is different," he told me softly.
After a moment, I nodded at him. "Yes. It is. Someone died this time," I told him softly. He flinched slightly. I understood. The loss of Glenn would always be a sore spot. "But that doesn't mean that she hates you. I promise that she still loves you. Maybe even more now. Because we knew Glenn longer than she did. We're her last links to him. For a few months, that is. Don't let her lose that," I told him softly.
We were both silent for a few minutes before Daryl glanced over at me and sighed. "Glenn was the first person that I told," he muttered under his breath.
"What?" I asked dumbly.
Daryl let out a small smile, the first one that I had seen since being here. "When I found the ring. He was the first person that I told. We were in a big market. I was passing by the jewelry section, trying to scavenge some clothes. Saw the ring, and I just stopped. Stared at it for a while. He saw me," Daryl told me.
My heart lifted slightly as I smiled at him. Of the many stories that Daryl had told me, he had never told me how he had gotten me my wedding ring. "What happened? You never told me this story," I said, softly goading him.
8 Months Ago...
We'd been walking through the store for just over an hour. There wasn't much here. There was no medicine, and that was the one thing that was more important than anything else. It was the one thing that I cared about. The only thing that I wanted was to ensure that all of the sick were healthy once more. The only thing that I cared about was that she would be alright. Rain meant the world to me. The only thing that I wanted was to get her back. But as Hershel had said, we had to wait and see if she would wake up.
We were walking through the store, trying to find anything that we could use. More medicine was the first thing on our list. But it didn't seem that any of the medicine that we needed more of was anywhere around here. So we turned to walking through the clothing section of the store. We really needed to find new clothing for everyone back at the prison. All of the sick back in the prison had to have their clothes burned. There was no way that we could risk having them wear them again. We'd lost so many supplies.
In the meantime, Rain was still lying in bed, sick and dying. She hadn't really improved in the fire or six days that had passed since she'd passed out in the Zach's old car. I was still holding up faith that she would live, but I was terrified that she would never wake up again. This seemed so much different from the other times that I had lost her. This time seemed like it might be the last time.
Over in the corner of the store, Glenn seemed to be doing alright. We was still pretty sick, but he was no longer contagious and he was one of the only other mildly healthy people that was able to make the run. So he'd managed to push through and come with me. Most of the people that hadn't gotten sick couldn't leave the prison as they were too busy and the ones that were still sick seemed like they were going to die at any second.
As we walked through the store, Glenn popped out from behind me and laid a hand on my shoulder. I sighed softly and stopped walking. "She's going to be fine, Daryl. I made it. So will she," Glenn told me.
"I've seen her hurt so many times before. After the farm, when she could barely walk for months. At the prison, when her father attacked. And now this. But this one seems different. It's been almost a week," I said softly.
Glenn might have been the only person that would understand. If this had happened to Maggie, I knew that he would be reacting the same way. "Hershel said that it would take time. We got the medicine in her in time. I know how you feel. If it was Maggie, I'd be tearing my hair out. I know that she felt the same way with me in jeopardy before," Glenn said.
"She must be glad you're better," I said, wanting to stop thinking about what was happening with Rain.
Glenn simply smiled at me, clearly knowing that I was trying not to think about her. "Just the same way that you'll feel better once Rain wakes up. Daryl, she won't die. I'm pretty sure that she's determined to make it longer than you," Glenn told me.
Despite myself, I laughed. And so did Glenn. It felt like it was the first time I had laughed since everything happened with Rain. "I hope she will," I said softly.
We had stopped in the jewelry section of the store and I was staring at one of the rings in the center case. A wedding ring. A small pain shot through my stomach, glancing at it. She'd never knew how I felt. "You know, one of the best things that I ever did for Maggie was finding her a ring and asking her to marry me. It might not be official, but she's my wife. I wanted her to know what she meant to me. And now she does," Glenn told me.
There was no way that even if I ever gave her the ring, she would care. She didn't want things like that. She didn't need things like that. Or maybe I was just too afraid to risk speaking to her about it. "Don't need a ring. Rain's not that type of girl," I argued weakly.
"You're sure about that? That's a nice ring. She might like it," Glenn told me with a teasing tone.
"She wouldn't say yes."
Glenn sighed and grabbed the rifle that was hanging off of his back. He pushed the butt of the gun down into the glass case. I watched as the glass went shattering everywhere. Glenn brushed some of the glass out of the way and grabbed the box, handing it over to me. The box was open and he closed it, handing me it. I stared at it for a moment before smiling softly and taking it. Maybe I'd never get the chance to give it to her. Maybe I'd never get up the courage to give it to her. But at least I had the option.
"Just in case," Glenn told me.
We turned and walked out of the building, back towards the car with the few things that we had managed to find. It wasn't much, but it seemed like the wrong time to go looking for things. "Ask her when she wakes up. You might like her answer," Glenn told me. I smiled at him and nodded. One day, I would. And no matter her answer, at least I'd know.
Daryl had never told me that story. I had always assumed that he had gotten the ring from a walker or by himself on a run one day. I hadn't known that anyone had actually known. "I didn't know," I said softly.
"I know," Daryl responded.
I reached over to Daryl and grabbed his hand, pressing a kiss to his shoulder. "He was right, you know. I would've said yes. If you'd asked me back at the prison," I told Daryl, hoping that somewhere out there, Glenn could see us. "Daryl, I loved you from the minute that I laid eyes on you. Okay, maybe not that minute. But, say, around the time we left the CDC," I told him.
The two of us laughed as I leaned into Daryl's shoulder. We really had come a long way in a short amount of time. And some of that was thanks to Glenn. "I'll talk to her," Daryl said after a beat.
I smiled at him and stood from the table. I knew that he didn't mean right now. But he did mean eventually. And that was all that mattered. "You gonna come to bed?" I asked him, still holding his hand.
Daryl nodded but didn't bother to stand from the table. "In a bit. I love you. Both of you," he told me, letting his hand graze softly against my stomach.
"We love you too," I said, pressing a small kiss against his mouth.
The two of us stood with our foreheads together before pressing one more kiss against his mouth. I laughed softly and turned from him, walking back into the trailer. Everyone was already asleep. I figured that with all of the training and preparation, people were exhausted. Jesus was asleep at the table, Sasha and Enid were sleeping in the chairs, and Daryl's bed was made up on the couch. If he chose to sleep in it. I walked into the back of the trailer and dropped softly into the bed with Maggie, not wanting to wake her up. As I laid there, I realized that it was the first time in a long time that things seemed right between the two of us. It was also the first night in a long time that I didn't dream about what happened to Glenn.
It seemed like barely ten minutes had passed before a hand placed itself on my shoulder. I shot upright in the bed, prepared for a fight. Maggie was standing back slightly, staring at me with wide eyes. Oops. Sometimes I forgot that I was such a light sleeper. "Sorry. Sorry. Forgot you were a sensitive sleeper," Maggie said, laughing and sitting on the edge of the bed.
"Sorry for startling you," Maggie told me, sitting on the edge of the bed with me.
She merely shook her head at me. "We're doing knife-throwing practice this morning. I'm going to be teaching it, but there's one person that I know that's better than anyone else with knives," she told me, giving me a little wink. "Mind helping?" she asked.
She was right. The best person that we had at knife throwing here was myself. "Sure. Mind if I carve Negan's head into one of the targets?" I asked her as we stood and walked out into the yard.
Maggie laughed at me and grabbed my hand. "I'll do it for you."
Together the two of us took a few laps around the Hilltop to check out what was going on. We both wanted to know what was happening before beginning the knife throwing lessons. The Hilltop had made a few targets out of tree trunks. They had large X's carved into the center of them. In the meantime we walked over through the gardens and past the blacksmith area. Some of the metal workers seemed to be making more weapons for the upcoming fight. It was the first time that I'd seen the Hilltop as anything more than gardeners.
Unsurprisingly I took the chance to throw knives as something to show off. We were giving the majority of the community the lessons. It was a good idea. Even the ones that weren't going to fight with us against the Saviors it was imperative that they knew how to fight against the walkers or other threats. They needed the means to do it. While we were throwing the knives I smiled and waited for Maggie and Enid to go first. Sasha was nowhere to be found. Maggie's went slightly below the X. Probably because she was throwing by the blade. Enid's went into the center of the X. She, too, was throwing by the blade.
Once they had both thrown the knives into the center of the X, I took to it. But I used one of my throwing knives. It went into the center of the X, in the handle of Enid's. Everyone looked shocked at the throw. But it was only because I was using a real throwing knife and had been doing it for a long time. I enjoyed having them. Maybe one day soon we would be able to go back to Alexandria and I could get the other throwing knives that I had left there. I waited with the knife-throwers for most of the day. It was pretty obvious that Enid and I were the best. I gave her my spare throwing knife, knowing that she would be better off with that then a poorly weighted pocket knife.
It was well after three in the afternoon when I went with Maggie and Enid to get an ultrasound to see her baby. Dr. Carson had offered to get one for me in a few weeks. He agreed with Sharon that it was still far too early to see anything. Although he did give me another pregnancy test that, once more, came up positive. While we were laughing that Maggie and I really would have children that were basically the same age, we looked at her ultrasound. The baby had a heartbeat that was echoing throughout the room. Even though we still didn't know what the gender was, we knew that it was there. I smiled and held Maggie's hand, knowing that one day soon, I would see it too.
Later that evening Maggie and I sat inside of Jesus's trailer, planning the things that the community would need to help everyone else finish up gearing for war. And to continue surviving. Enid ate dinner with Maggie and I as we continued writing out lists. Everything from food, to clothes, to weapons, to batteries, and everything in between. Daryl had been absent for most of the day, although the few times that I had spotted him he had been bouncing back and forth between helping the residents and speaking with Jesus. He had managed to completely avoid Maggie.
Once we had finished our plans, Maggie and I had essentially passed out and gone straight to bed. The two of us were exhausted. We had spent all day doing things that I wasn't really used to. Lately I was used to sitting around and grumbling to myself all day. The next morning, Sasha and I found ourselves training the new fighters. We were carefully teaching them how to win in a knife fight. I had to be careful with how much I was doing. Jesus and the others wouldn't let me do anything that was overly exhaustive.
More than once I had cursed them in every language that I knew for not letting me do what I really wanted to do. I knew that I was pregnant, but I was barely two weeks pregnant. I was still able to do pretty much everything that I had done before. We were still able to teach them to fight, but I knew that I would have been more useful had I not said anything yesterday. In the meantime Maggie and Jesus sat off to the side on tree stumps. They were planning future supply runs and planning out new jobs for everyone else. As I glanced around at the fighters, taking a step back once completing the demonstration of a move, I realized that the Hilltop forces were nearing thirty.
It was a little past midday when I made the move to ask Maggie about where Abraham and Glenn's graves were. Sasha told me that she was going to bring me over to their graves. Maggie seemed a little hesitant to make a trip to Glenn's. I assumed that she was trying to move on. So I went with Sasha and seated myself in front of the small graves. It was the first time that I had gotten to see the grave since everything that had happened at the clearing. I spent the majority of the day there. Even Sasha decided to leave before I did. The entire time I never cried and never said a word, I merely sat and remembered everything that I could about the two men.
It felt like there was nothing that could pull me from the graves. But all things had to come to an end. So, finally, well after the sun had sank, I stood and went into Jesus's trailer. Sasha and Jesus were sitting in the corner and working on a layout to the Sanctuary. I growled under my breath as they attempted to hide it from me. The two of them weren't working on anything good. Enid - who was on the couch - was watching the two of them as well. Maggie was fast asleep at the table. She seemed to have fallen asleep while working on something. Sasha had been knitting something up until she'd seen Jesus's drawing.
After a little while, I walked out of the trailer and over to where Daryl was sitting. He was at one of the picnic tables and I smiled, hopping up on it on his other side. I perched myself next to him and began to draw my own little detailed map of the Sanctuary. If Sasha was going to do something stupid, I wanted her to at least know as much as possible. Not long after, Maggie came over to us with food for the two of us. I pushed the paper underneath my leg so that she couldn't see. I thanked her for the food but Daryl said nothing. Maggie merely stood there for a moment before patting Daryl's hand and turning to leave. I grabbed her hand and told her that I would be back in the trailer soon.
Once she had gone, I leaned over to Daryl, picking at our dinner. "There's not a time limit on when it says that you have to speak with her. But if you're asking me, I say that you should do it sooner rather than later. She's making an effort. Your turn," I told Daryl.
Daryl completely ignored my comment about what had happened with Maggie and instead glanced over at the paper that I was still doodling on. "What are you doing?" he asked me.
I supposed that I should have seen that one coming. He always was pretty observant. "Uh - just drawing a map. I don't know," I said softly, pushing the paper into my pocket. "At night here, it seems like there's nothing to do. I just want to try and keep myself busy, you know? Not all of us can sit out here and brood while we sharpen our knives," I teased, poking at Daryl.
He glanced over at me and smirked. It was the first emotion that I had seen on his face since arriving at the Hilltop. "Well we could always go find a place in the cornrows," Daryl teased.
And that was the first time that I had heard him joke with me in a long time. It was nice to hear. It felt like we were slowly getting back to ourselves. I laughed loudly and leaned against his shoulder. "It's good to hear you joke again," I told Daryl, once I'd calmed down.
Daryl glanced over at me and smiled, hiding his face behind his hair. "It's good to hear you laugh," he told me softly.
Knowing that this was one of the few opportunities that I would have to make this light and funny, I poked Daryl gently on the shoulder. "Just let me look at your face, that's always something good to laugh at," I told him. The two of us both laughed loudly, shoving at each other. I almost tipped off of the table, but Daryl caught me at the last second.
Once more the two of us had to wait to stop laughing and calm down. The moment that we had, Daryl reached over to me and wrapped an arm around my shoulder. "I hope the kid has your personality," he told me.
I snorted softly and shook my head. I wanted the kid to be like Daryl, nothing like me. "God, I don't," I told him. The two of us laughed loudly once more before I leaned over and gave Daryl a soft kiss on the lips. We were slowly starting to feel like a married couple again. Like there was no Negan between us. "I know that you won't listen to me, but as is my duty as your wife, try and get some sleep," I said softly.
Of course he wasn't going to take a break from brooding. He was going to sit here until the thing between him and Maggie ended. "Goodnight, Rain," Daryl told me, shoving me gently off of the table.
I smiled and gave him a little wink, walking away from the table. As I walked back over to Jesus's trailer, I saw that Maggie was leaning against the doorway. She had clearly been watching us before. She grabbed my arm and led me back to the bedroom. Everyone else was already asleep, scattered around the trailer. "It always was nice watching the two of you talk," Maggie said as we laid down.
Glancing over at Maggie, I smiled at her. I wanted to tell her that I had always enjoyed her and Glenn talking too, but she knew that. I didn't need to tell her. So I laid down next to her and blew out the candle. "Goodnight, Maggie."
The next morning I sat upright and glanced around, immediately pulling my hair back into a tight hold. Maggie was nowhere to be found. At least, she wasn't in bed anymore. But she was a rather early riser. And I imagined that she didn't like what she saw when she closed her eyes. So I rose and grabbed a spare shirt from Maggie's pile. She was letting me take her clothes until we could go back to Alexandria and I could get my clothing. Her gray tank top went over my head before I turned and walked out of the trailer. It turned out that Maggie hadn't gone far. She was merely sitting on the steps outside of the trailer door. I walked over to her and took a seat.
People were milling around, many of them saying hello to Maggie and I before stalking off. Many even referred to Maggie as the boss. I smiled as I glanced over at her. "It seems like you've taken over the leader role here," I said softly.
She glanced over at me and shrugged her shoulders. She really was the leader here. It was just a matter of time before she realized that the people here looked to her. "Well, Gregory's still here," she told me.
I shook my head at her. Gregory meant nothing to the people here. He was just the person that pretended to be in charge. He was nothing more than someone for the Saviors to torture. "Maybe. But you're the one that the people are listening to. They're going to start turning to you. Just the way that our people once turned from Rick to Shane," I told her.
"There were some bad consequences when that happened," she said softly.
Bad things always seemed to happen. The realization was that there were always going to be bad times. But the good ones would always break them up. "There were. So I wouldn't be too shocked if something like that happens here. Just make sure that you have people on your side. People that will protect you," I told her, placing my hand on her.
She nodded at me with a small smile. A moment later another figure passed by us. I glanced up and smiled as Jesus came to take a stand next to us. "Don't worry. We'll always have people watching over her," he said.
"I believe you," I told him.
Jesus took a seat next to Maggie and I on the stairs and I scooted over to make some more room for him. There was no room in the trailer, and now there was no room outside. It seemed like we were constantly running out of room. There were far too many people around here. But that was a good thing. "Sorry for taking over your trailer," Maggie told Jesus after a beat of silence.
Jesus glanced over at us and shook his head. I assumed that he probably didn't mind the company. "Oh. I grew up with a lot of people around. I'm used to it," he told us.
"Big family?" Maggie asked.
Jesus looked back up at us and shook his head. "Uh, group home," he admitted. Both Maggie and I shook our heads. The last thing that I had thought was that Jesus had had a rough childhood. But I knew what it was like. It made you stronger. It prepared you for this world. "This isn't like that, though. Not the bad parts, at least. For the first time, I feel like I belong." We both smiled when he said that. "Trying to make sure you and Sasha become a part of this made me a part of this. When I was first here I was never here. I, um I always found it hard getting close to anyone - neighbors, friends, boyfriends," he said sheepishly.
A rather large smile fell over my face. I'd had my suspicions that Jesus might have been gay, but I had never been sure. It was nice to know for sure though. And one day it would be nice to see him with a boyfriend. We could use some new couples. It had been a long time. "You should try it sometime. Even if it doesn't last," Maggie told him.
She was completely right. I turned over to Jesus and smiled at him. I knew where he was coming from. "I understand what it's like to live somewhere and not really be there. That's pretty much the way that it's been for me all through my life. I hated being at home. My parents didn't love me. I went to prison for two months and I hated myself in there. And then I lived on my own, and didn't make any friends, for six years," I explained.
Both Jesus and Maggie looked shocked. I had never mentioned my stint in prison to anyone else. Daryl and Hershel were the only ones that knew about it. "But things changed when the world changed?" Jesus asked me.
I nodded at him with a little laugh. "Yeah. They did. Takes a pretty screwed up person to get their life together after the world ends." The others chuckled at me. "Isn't that pathetic?" I asked after a beat of silence.
Jesus shook his head at me. "Not at all. Because I did the exact same thing."
Giving Jesus a quick hug, I watched as Maggie stood from the step. "It's a good thing that you both got yourself together. Because we need you," she said. We both smiled softly. "I'm gonna talk to our blacksmith about making more spears. Maybe we can trade with the Kingdom for some body armor. Thing is, what we really need is riot gear," Maggie said. We all nodded before standing and walking away.
There were things that everyone had to get done. As I stood I walked in the same direction as Maggie. Jesus walked the other way. I assumed that there were people that he wanted to go speak to. As we walked around the edge of the trailer, I spotted Sasha, who had clearly been listening to our conversation. Maggie and I both placed our hands on her shoulders before brushing by.
As we walked, I turned over to Maggie. "Too bad that we don't still have the stuff from the prison," I told her.
We had gotten a few suits of riot gear from the prison but they were all gone. We had lost some on my father's second attack. We had lost the rest since being here in Virginia. "We lost is all during the attack from the walkers on Alexandria a few months ago," Maggie said, defeated.
It was too bad that we had lost everything. It would have really come in handy now. As we walked, I smiled at Maggie and gave her a quick hug. Jesus had come back over to stand with her as we walked towards the blacksmiths. There was someone else that I needed to speak to. "Hey, I'll see you both in a little bit." They both nodded at me as I walked over to Sasha once more. "You doing okay?" I asked her.
She glanced up at me and nodded. She didn't look wonderful, but she looked good enough. Just like she was ready for things to end. Not that I blamed her. "Just keeping on. That's the way that it works," Sasha said.
"For now. Not forever," I told Sasha as we walked towards the fields. Sasha looked exhausted. I could tell that she hadn't been sleeping much over the past few days. She was probably thinking back and forth about how to get revenge for Abraham. "This is going to end soon, Sasha, you know that it is," I told her before walking off to the side, sensing that she wanted to be alone.
I was barely walking for two minutes before I spotted another figure that I knew. But it wasn't someone that I thought that I would see here today. Or at all. "Hey, Rain," Rosita chirped as I walked over to her.
The other girl opened her arms and I smiled at her, walking straight into a hug. It seemed like it had been a long time since I had actually sat down and talked to Rosita. We had both been on such warpaths since everything had happened. "Rosita. What are you doing over here?" I asked her once I let go of her.
Some part of me had a feeling that it was for the same reason that Sasha was drawing a plan of the Sanctuary. Although she seemed to have just gotten here. She was wearing a heavy pack. "I've got some plans. Are you and Daryl back here?" she asked me.
I nodded at her slowly. "For the time being. We've done as much as we can over in the Kingdom. Anything else is going to be up to Ezekiel. They'll join us, it's just going to take some time," I told Rosita.
She nodded at me with a little sigh. Not that I blamed her. The last few weeks had been long and hard. We were all exhausted. We just wanted this to be over. "For our sake, let's hope that they join," she said softly.
"They will," I told her confidently.
She nodded at me once more and I leaned in for a tight hug. She smiled at me before I released her and walked away. We went our separate ways and I headed straight back for Daryl. He was still sitting on the bench, still carving into the wood and sharpening his knife, just as he had been for the last two days. The two of us sat together and enjoyed ourselves for most of the day. It was one of the few times that we had nothing to do, other than to laugh and enjoy the company of the other. We chatted back and forth about what was happening and about absolutely nothing. The good thing was that I heard Daryl laugh more than I had in a long time. I knew that he was slowly healing over what had happened in the Sanctuary.
It was the middle of the afternoon when I stood from the table, leaving my things with Daryl. "I have to go to the bathroom. I'll be right back," I told him. He nodded at me as I turned and strode into Jesus's trailer. I was slightly surprised to see that Enid and Jesus were already in there. Sasha had yet to leave. "Oh, sorry, I just had to use the bathroom," I told them.
It was pretty obvious from the tense air in the room that I had walked into something that wasn't meant to be overheard. Enid stood when no one else spoke. "You should tell her. About all of it," she said.
Tell me about what? That definitely didn't sound good. "Enid, not right now," Sasha said.
Ah, so we're trying to hide something about me. Definitely not. There was no way that they were going to keep me out of this. This was my problem as much as it was theirs. "Tell who about what?" I asked the small group.
"Nothing," Sasha snapped at me.
Alright, enough of the nice guy. "Your plan to go and attack the Saviors?" I asked them. Their eyes widened. Clearly they hadn't thought that I'd overheard them. "I saw you drawing the map yesterday. Listen, Sasha, I've known you long enough to know that you'll do whatever you want, but you need to think this one through. It's dangerous. Something terrible will happen," I told her.
She was upset. I understood that. Losing Abraham was terrible for her. But we had to take care of this together. Moving forward by ourselves wasn't good. "No. I'm not going right now. Not yet. Sh- I'm still - I'm still getting ready. And the thing is, Rosita is going, with or without me." So that's why Rosita was here. "So it should be with me," Sasha said.
"Then I'll go, too," Jesus said, stepping forward.
"Me, too," Enid added.
Well if we were going to start moving forward with the war, we might as well start with the strongest fighters. "I'll go. I know the place better than any of the rest of you," I offered.
All three of them immediately took a step forward. I hadn't thought that my comment would go over well. "No. Especially not you, Rain. They're all looking for you. We can't risk anyone seeing you," she told me. I rolled my eyes but nodded anyways. Until we were ready to start the war, I had to stay away from them. "The Hilltop has to be ready for what happens after. Maggie needs you," Sasha told Jesus.
"She needs you, too," he argued with her.
She needed all of us, and she needed to be making the decisions herself, not letting other people make them for her. "Not anymore. She has everyone else, and they have her," Sasha said.
Everyone let out a soft sigh. There was no good answer. "You can stay. I know you can. But I know you won't and she won't, but I wish you would. 'Cause it's a long life, and then it isn't. You can take anything else you need. But you and Rosita need to talk to Maggie. You owe her that much," Jesus told Sasha. The trailer was silent as he turned and left, closing the door behind him.
Despite the thought behind his word, Sasha didn't seem to care. She turned towards Enid. "Listen Enid, Maggie trusts you. You have to protect her, no matter what. She's the future of this place. I know it. So are you. Hold on to this for me. It's for the baby," she said, handing Enid a half-done, blue, knitted bracelet. "Maybe you can work on it while I'm gone. Maybe you can start another one for Rain," Sasha said.
She shot a smile in my direction and I grinned back at her, before turning over to Enid. I didn't want to impose on her. "I'd like that, if you don't feel like that's too much," I said.
Once more she smiled at me and shook her head. "Of course not. I'll get them both done," Enid said. She turned away from us and walked over to the door of the trailer. "Sasha," Enid called back, before leaving.
"Yeah," Sasha called back.
"In ten minutes, I'm gonna tell Maggie what's going on. It's up to you what you want to do with that," she told Sasha. I let out a soft sigh. We all knew that no matter what, Sasha was going to do whatever she thought was right. There would be no stopping her. I just hoped that she knew what she was doing. "I'm doing what you asked," Enid said softly before leaving.
The door closed once more and I sighed, turning to Sasha. She seemed to be waiting for me to say something. "Sasha. If you go there, if you go after Negan, he'll capture at least one of you. You or Rosita. Trust me, I know this one. He's impossible to get away from. And you'll hate him. For every second of every day until the day comes that you can't take it anymore," I warned her.
"You think he's going to get one of us?" Sasha asked me.
I nodded at her. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that someone would catch them. "I do. Whether you walk in there willingly or are taken by him. Trust me, this isn't going to work well for you. Either of you. Maybe you won't die, but you'll wish that you were dead," I told her honestly.
My words didn't seem to affect her. Not that I thought that they were. Because I knew exactly how she felt. Because I could imagine how she felt. "If he dies, it's worth it," Sasha told me.
"That's the same attitude that I had before. The same attitude that I had when I got there. You're strong. You'll make it," I said.
The two of us both smiled at each other. It seemed like our own way of saying goodbye, without actually saying it. "You're a good girl, Rain. Stay here, please. Protect Maggie. Just - You have something worth fighting for now. Don't lose it because you want to come out there," she said.
If it meant that we could win... Daryl and I could always try again. But we only got one chance to fix this. "That's the thing. We've all always had something worth fighting for. It might be a little something different now, but it doesn't matter. I'm ready to fight, and I'm going to go out there with them. There's nothing that's going to stop me. I owe it to myself, Abraham, Glenn, Olivia, and Spencer to go out there and fight him," I told her.
She nodded at me. I had given her the exact reason that it wasn't going to be me to try and stop her. "And that's exactly why you won't stop me," Sasha pieced together.
"Because if it were Daryl that it had happened to, I'd be doing exactly the same thing," I told her. Which was the truth. I wouldn't stop until the end, not if anything ever happened to him. "Be careful out there. I hope that I do see you again," I said honestly.
The last thing I wanted was for her to be lost. Especially after everything that had happened with Tyreese, Bob, and Abraham. Sasha moved forward and hugged me and I smiled into her shoulder. "I know. Goodbye, Rain."
Slowly, I pulled away from her. "Not goodbye. I'll see you again. One way or another. Take this," I told Sasha, digging into my back pocket. "It's a much better map than the one that you had drawn up by Jesus. The good thing about being there so long and Negan constantly taking me on walks, I learned the place pretty well," I told her.
"Thank you. And thank you for keeping this from Maggie," she said.
As much as I loved Maggie, she was too close to this and everyone else. For just a while longer, she needed to be kept in the dark. "She doesn't need to know. She's been under enough stress for the past few months," I said. I walked over to the door, but just before leaving, I turned back to her. I wanted to never speak to Negan again, but there was something that I wanted him to know. "Hey, Sasha, before I go, there's one last thing that I want to tell you." She nodded at me. "On the off chance that you do meet Negan, I want you to deliver a message for me."
Once more, Sasha nodded at me. She didn't seem convinced that it was the best idea in the world. "You're sure about that?" she asked me.
Without hesitation, I nodded at her. "Yes. Can you do this for me?" I asked.
Sasha nodded back at me. "Of course."
"Tell him that I'm still alive and well. Tell him that Daryl and I are gone, and never coming back to him. Tell him that I'm gonna kill every last one of his wives, and then him. And tell him that I am like him. I'm not going to hide it anymore. Because when the day comes, I'm going to take Lucille, and beat his skull in with her," I told her.
It was everything that I wanted to say to him. I was done hiding from him. He was going to pay for everything that he had done to me and my family. "You're not like him," Sasha said.
Maybe not. But most of the time it felt like I was. "Just - if you see him - tell him that. Please," I told her softly.
"I will," Sasha said. The two of us exchanged one last hug before turning and leaving. Sasha went out towards the walls as I turned to go find Daryl.
Just as expected, he was out on the wooden tables. I could have sworn that he hadn't moved from that spot since we had gotten here. I hadn't even seen him get up to go to the bathroom. "Hi," I chirped as I jumped back up onto the table.
Daryl raised his brows as I walked over to him. He was no fool. He knew that I had been in the trailer far too long to have just gone to the bathroom. "Where were you?" Daryl asked me, not even giving me a minute to collect my thoughts.
"Talking to Sasha," I said honestly, not really wanting to reveal everything that had been said. I knew that he would try and stop her. "Just wanted to tell her a few things. You know, we're going to go and fight soon. I guess this seems like the right time to say things to people that you might have been keeping down until now," I rambled.
Daryl opened his mouth to say something, but he never got the chance. Kal began clanging a metal bar against the stand that he was up on. I turned over to them and my jaw dropped. What the hell was happening? "The Saviors are coming! The Saviors are coming!" Kal shouted back to us at the top of his lungs.
My heart felt like it had stopped. "Oh God. It's not their delivery day, is it?" I asked Daryl. We had it planned out. We knew that it wasn't their day to come for another three or four days. We had already planned it all out.
"No. Come on, come on! We gotta go!" Daryl shouted at me.
As the men up on watch stalled opening the gates, Daryl grabbed my hand and began dragging me out of the main sitting area. We rounded the trailers over towards where the escape hatch was. The others had built it for emergencies like if the Saviors came unannounced. It looked like it would be doing its job. I was pretty sure that Sasha had built it for Maggie to escape from in the off chance that she had to get out. After all, the Saviors thought that she was dead.
Daryl and I were sprinting towards the hatch when Enid caught up to us. Maggie, Sasha, and Rosita were nowhere to be found. "We have to get Maggie. Come on!" she shouted as us.
"The escape hatch! We have to get there!" I yelled back.
"We don't have time," Enid argued.
And she was right. The escape hatch was on the other side of the camp. It would take us a few minutes to get there and the Saviors were already coming through the gates. As the three of us bounded the corner, we caught up with Maggie. Sasha and Rosita were nowhere in sight. They must have already gone through the hatch, I grabbed Maggie's hand and pulled her with us around Barrington House. We got out of sight just in time for the trucks to pull into the Hilltop. Enid stopped us in front of something that looked to be one of the pantries that the Hilltop used. It had probably once been a service entrance to the basement.
Enid opened the hatch and shoved Maggie, Daryl, and I into it. "Just stay down there. I'll keep them away. They aren't the same ones who came to Alexandria," she told us before slamming the door, leaving us in pitch black nothingness.
The three of us stood in the center of the room, listening as the doors of the trucks slammed above ground. My heart was pounding in my chest as Maggie went to the back of the storage area, searching back and forth for somewhere to hide. There really wasn't anywhere. We just had the benefit that it was dark in here and the doors were locked. Daryl was standing up by the doors and peeking through the little slivers of light. Outside I could hear Simon speaking and calling out to Gregory. Their conversation was short before the doors to the Barrington House closed. The other Saviors began to chat back and forth, many scavenging off to the sides of the community.
It meant that it was time for them to come looking. I sucked in a breath and moved back to where Maggie was standing. She had managed to push a shelf out of the way that the three of us would just barely be able to hide in. "Daryl," Maggie hissed when my husband didn't make a move to come towards us. The door above us began to creak as Saviors walked back and forth. "Daryl. Daryl," Maggie continued to call.
He finally glanced away from the door but didn't make a move. "Daryl, get back here. Just in case they come in," I barked softly at him. He finally nodded and came back, slinking into the little area. "Maggie, stand behind me," I warned her.
I pushed her behind myself, leaving her effectively out of view of whatever would happen in front of us. Daryl and I were standing, just barely looking through the rows of food. "Get behind me," Daryl told me.
I nodded and took a step back. It was the most that I could move considering what a tiny space this was. My back was pressed up against Maggie's front and my front was pressed up against Daryl's back. I could feel Maggie's hands on my back, bunching up my shirt. They were shaking. I couldn't tell if it was from fear or anger. My hands were on Daryl's back. He was holding a knife in one hand - just in case - and grabbing my spare hand with the other. I held my bow in one hand. I could fire it and keep us hidden.
We stood in silence for well over twenty minutes before I saw someone come running over. By the movement and size of the figure, I easily figured who it was. "Hey, look, Enid's up there," I whispered.
"Stay back here," Daryl warned as he moved up slightly. The shelf was still in front of us, but Daryl was standing in the light so that he could see what was happening. I was relying solely on the voices.
"Hi!" I heard Enid chirp to one of the Saviors. Someone must have been coming up to the pantry and she was trying to stall them. Good girl. But I had no clue whether or not it would actually work. "Uh, I've got fresh veggies -"
She was interrupted almost immediately. "Stop," a purring male voice called back to her. I knew immediately who it was. One of the guys that was in the Sanctuary. He was one of the more irritating ones that I had met during my brief stay there. "They're vegetables. Use the whole word. We have time," he told her.
"Roy," I growled under my breath.
The only thing that I wanted to do was go up there and rip his throat out. Knowing Roy, I knew that he would be getting far closer to Enid than any of us were comfortable with. "You know who that guy is?" Maggie whispered to me.
Daryl was standing still up by the doors, probably trying to ignore our conversation. "Yeah. He made a few passes at me when I was in the Sanctuary. I thought that Negan was going to kill him when he actually found him trying to get me to play poker with him one night. Seems to have a thing for little girls," I snarled.
Maggie's face went pale. "Oh, Enid," she whispered.
Knowing that I had upset her, I grabbed her hands and sighed. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything to her. "Don't worry about her. She'll be okay. Negan will kill him if he dares to lay a hand on her. He doesn't like men touching women without their approval," I told her.
For the many faults that Negan had, rape was not one of them. Although he did have a misguided sense of consent. "Uh - Okay. I have these vegetables they told me to bring over, uh, and the basket's pretty heavy," she said with a little laugh. I rolled my eyes. Even in the old world, she would have had no chance as an actress. Good thing there really wasn't TV anymore. "For me, I mean. Probably not you. Uh, here. Load them in the truck, and, uh, if you meet me by the garden, I can get you the rest -"
"Stop," Roy purred at her once more. My hands tightened around the railing that I was holding onto. "I don't know who you think I am or who we are. Load them yourself. I'm busy," he told her.
Through the crack, I could see him shove the basket back into her arms. She clearly wasn't expecting it as she caught the basket but it immediately tipped over. All of the vegetables that had been in there before went spilling out all over the ground. Enid dropped to her knees to pick them up. "Oh. Sorry. I'm sorry," she said quickly.
Roy seemed completely frustrated with her. "Girl, pick that shit up right now and scram. And I'll take that," he said, motioning down to the knife that was hanging off of her waist. "Now. Don't make me cut it off you, girl," he snarled at her.
She sighed but eventually handed him the knife. He grabbed it from her and turned to the basement. Daryl came darting back to us and pulled the cabinet back in front of us. "Get down," I hissed at the two of them. Roy's footsteps came over to us and I sucked in a breath as the door creaked open. Roy walked in and began to pace around the basement.
The sun was streaming in through a few cracks and Daryl pushed Maggie and I away to make sure that we weren't in line with it. My heart was thumping so loudly that I thought that Roy was going to hear me. We had gotten away for this long. We couldn't afford to get caught. I could hear the Saviors walking around back and forth outside. They seemed to be getting ready to go already. They must have come here for something specific.
My hand tightened around my arrow as I debated on whether or not I could kill Roy. I wanted to know if someone was going to realize that Roy was dead. Would they? There were so many of them. Would they even care? I didn't. The only thing that I wanted was to shoot him through the eye. But before I could, Maggie grabbed my hand and gently forced me to place the arrow back in the sheath. She was right. The last thing that I should be doing right now was killing him. No matter how much I wanted to. Daryl also tried to move out of his spot with his knife in hand, but just like Maggie had done with me, she stopped him.
Finally, after nearly twenty minutes of walking around and coming close to discovering our hiding spot, Roy left. "I'll check," Daryl said once we heard the engines revving once more. They were leaving. He popped out from behind the cabinet and walked back over to the door.
Once Daryl had walked away from us, Maggie turned back to me. For a minute I thought that she was going to punch me. "Are you insane? He would have screamed and they would have heard out there," she snapped at me.
No way. I was fast enough. He wouldn't have seen me coming and it would be one more of the Saviors down. "They wouldn't have heard him. I'd have him dead before he could even realize what had happened," I told her.
She didn't seem to believe me. "You can't do that," Maggie said. She relaxed slightly as she grabbed my hand and pulled me into her. I could see the tears building in her eyes. She was getting to her wits end. "Something is going to happen to you one of these days and I can't deal with that. I've lost so much, I can't lose you too," she weakly argued.
"You won't," I promised her. I grabbed her and pulled her gently into me. Fr a moment she sobbed into my shoulder. But I finally pushed her away and brushed the tears out of her eyes. She couldn't lose someone else. "Maggie, I swear to you, you won't."
"Then please, be careful," Maggie pleaded with me softly.
Maybe I was a little too reckless. Maybe I needed to start thinking more before actually acting on it. "I'm sorry, Maggie. I really am. You're my sister. I'm going to be careful," I told her.
She opened her mouth to say something else, but before she could, Daryl turned back to us and spoke. "He's gone," he told us, letting out of a soft sigh. Both Maggie and I pushed back the shelf and stepped out into the center of the basement.
Maggie stepped out and walked right up to Daryl. I stayed a few paces back, knowing what was going to come. This was not my place to say anything. "You were gonna kill that guy," Maggie said softly to Daryl.
He didn't bother looking up at her. He was staring at the door. "He was gonna find us," he argued.
No he wasn't. I was only going to kill him because I wanted to kill him. Because I wanted repentance for everything that had happened to us. "He wasn't, and he didn't," Maggie argued back to him.
"He deserved to die," Daryl snapped.
We had been here for going on three days and it was the first time that I had seen him say something to her. She seemed to be thinking the same thing. At least they were finally going to say something to each other. "Ever since you got here, you haven't said a word to me. Would you look at me? Please?" she begged him. Daryl turned to her but kept silent. "Daryl," she called out once more, her voice breaking.
Daryl finally looked up at her but it was through a veil of his hair. He was crying. I wanted to make a move between both of them but I knew that this had to be solved between them, not me. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry," he told her, sniffling softly.
Maggie was silent for a minute as she looked at him. "It wasn't your fault," Maggie said softly, tears threatening to fall.
Daryl sniffled once more as he nodded at her. "It was," he argued back.
Maggie looked extraordinarily pained. "No. It wasn't. You're one of the good things in this world. That's what Glenn thought. And he would know, 'cause he was one of the good things, too," she said, a shuddered breath rattling through her throat. She smiled at Daryl and I blinked back a few tears. I hadn't known that Glenn was getting to Daryl this much. "And, uh I wanted to kill that guy, too. I wanted to string them all up and watch them die. But we have to win," she told him, moving in for a hug. "Help me win," she whispered.
The two of them stayed locked in a hug for a few more moments before releasing each other. I took it as my cue to step forward. "We're both here for you. I promise you that, Maggie. No one is letting this go unnoticed. For everyone that Negan had a hand in killing, we're going to kill them. I'm going to watch them all die. For Glenn. And it starts right now. Keep this place under lock and key. Get them geared up for war," I told her.
Daryl nodded at me as I grabbed his hand and gently nudged him to leave. We had spent enough time here. We had spent enough time in stalling. We were going to go and kill all of the Saviors. All of them. And it started with us going back home. "Where are the two of you going?" Maggie asked.
The three of us jumped out of the basement and back onto solid ground. Everyone seemed to be trying to clean up the mess that the Saviors had left. "To Alexandria. We've been stalling on this war for far too long. It's time to get this done, once and for all. Come on," I said, grabbing Daryl. "Be safe out here, alright?" I told Maggie before leaving.
"Of course. Don't worry, Rain. Either of you. We'll handle things here. Make sure that Rick and the rest of them are ready for the fight," Maggie reassured me.
And I knew that she would. Things had been just fine here before we had gotten here. They would be going just fine once the two of us left. "Come on," I told Daryl, grabbing him and pulling him from the basement.
Maggie stalked off in the other direction. I could tell that she was going to try and see why the Saviors had come here unannounced. We, on the other hand, went off looking for Sasha and Rosita. We were going to make sure that they came back to Alexandria with us. It was the one thing that we needed. As many people as we possibly could. We wanted to make sure that every fighter we had was with us. It took us a long time before realizing that Sasha and Rosita were nowhere to be found. And after spending a few minutes looking for Jesus, we realized that he was gone too. There was no one of importance around that we could find.
So as the sun sank below the horizon the two of us turned to each other. "Where should we go?" Daryl asked me.
Where the hell had everyone gone? "Shit," I snarled under my breath. They had gone. They were heading to the Sanctuary. "They must have left during the visit. Come on. We need to find them. Let's try the Barrington House. Or maybe Gregory's office. He's gotta know where Jesus is, at least," I told him.
We headed straight for the Barrington House and into the back, where Gregory's office was. The door was cracked open and I could hear voices inside. "Show him out, will you, Kal?" I could hear Gregory asking.
No one responded but a moment later, Jesus came stomping out of the room. He looked pissed. But his anger quickly turned to worry when he saw that Daryl and I were packed up and ready to go. "Everything okay?" Jesus asked the two of us.
"Where's Sasha and Rosita?" Daryl asked in response.
Jesus looked shocked by the news. Maybe no one had known that the two of them had left. I assumed that no one had known. They wanted to leave and they didn't want anyone to know. "They're gone?" Jesus asked.
They were gone and at this point they weren't coming back. Not unless we could stop them, or at the very least, help them. "They left already. Come on. I think that it's time to move this war up a little faster. We need to help them. It's time to go back to Alexandria. We need to get back to them and let them know what's going on," I told the two men, dragging them towards the gate.
"As for Maggie and Enid?" Jesus asked.
Gregory was useless. We would be able to rely on the two of them to keep everything alright back here. "They can hold things down here. It's time to end this thing," I told them. And with that the three of us turned in the other direction and made way for Alexandria. One way or another, we were going put a stop to the Saviors. Once and for all.
A/N: Hi everyone! I've been extremely busy with classes lately but I'm hoping to have the next two updates (the ending of Season 7) out within a month. Finals are right around the corner so we'll see how that goes. Obviously lots of original bits in here so let me know what you thought! Thanks for all of the follows and favorites! Please review!And please, let me know what baby names you guys like! I might take them into consideration. And lets vote! Should the baby be a boy or a girl? Until next time -A
Than-Guan'Rose: That is always a perfect song to listen to when it comes to The Walking Dead!
galwidanatitud: I completely understood Ezekiel's position. But I was really glad to see him fight back in the finale. I can't wait to see what he does next season. And Shiva, of course!
lalilou10: Yes, Rain is pregnant! Glad that you liked it!
elljayde: Thank you! I'm glad that you like it :)
.2017: Thank you!
Guest: Glad that you like the pregnancy! I do like the name Maverick for a boy. I'm still back and forth whether or not I want the baby to be a boy or a girl.
TheImpossibleGirl321: Thank you so much! I'm glad to hear that you got back into the story. I had to have some original bits in there too, reading the show isn't really entertaining. I just had to put them all in there, especially because there were some people that died without Rain ever getting a chance to end things properly. Daryl is definitely nicer in this story considering the feelings that he has for Rain. But that's not to say that he's not still a hard ass that likes to mess with her. Rain's reaction to Shiva was basically mine lol. Hope you continue to enjoy!