We had done so much since everyone from Woodbury joined us. The fences and gates were fixed, cell blocks cleared, tombs secure. Dad and Hershel had even started a little farm in the field with pigs and a horse, growing plants. We made a barbeque and dining area outside, under cover and homey. Our numbers had grown, more than just the Woodbury people.
Things were amazing.
"Hey, Victoria. Morning."
Everyone greeted me as I made my way to Carol, Houdini right beside me. I smiled and nodded to them all as I walked past. When I reached the barbeque I looked up at Carol as I leaned on the was cooking breakfast for everyone.
She grinned. "You handle it better than Daryl."she noted, speaking about how everyone treated us.
I shrugged. "He doesn't like the attention."
She just kept grinning. "He does if it's from you." she nodded in the direction behind me. "Speak of the devil."
I turned, seeing Daryl headed towards us. Houdini ran up to him, all excited. I had left Daryl inside so he could sleep in, but he always woke up once I left. He told me he didn't like not knowing where I was.
"What's up, Dr S?" Daryl nodded to the doctor.
He nodded, standing next to me and kissing my shoulder. Turning to Carol he grabbed a bowl. "Smells good."
"Just so you know, I liked you first." she told him.
But I shook my head, smirking. "Pretty sure I did." I corrected, leaning over and kissing his cheek. "You sleep okay?"
He shrugged, absentmindedly patting Houdini. "S'okay."
Carol put the utensils down. "I need you two to see something." she turned to a boy next to her. "Patrick, you want to take over?"
"Yes, ma'am." he smiled. Patrick was about Carl's age. Real geeky looking. Dark hair, olive skin, glasses. He was sweet and funny, and a good friend of Carl's. Oh, and did I forget to mention he had a huge crush on me?
Carol stepped over for Patrick before moving to head off, Daryl and I walked around the barbecue ready to follow, when Patrick stopped us.
"Uh, Mr Dixon? I just wanted to thank you for bringing that deer back yesterday. It was a real treat, sir, and I'd be honoured to shake you hand."
Daryl looked at me as I tried to hide my grin. Sighing, he licked his fingers, getting rid of the juices from the meat, before taking Patrick's hand and shaking it- slightly unenthusiastically.
I rolled my eyes, tapping his shoulder. He turned to me and I gestured for him to move on. With a nod he let go of Patrick's hand, following Carol and me.
I laughed. "You don't know how to feel about him do you?"
He just shrugged. "He's a good kid."
"Yeah, but you hate him giving me loved up looks." I noted.
I just grabbed his hand and leaned my head against his arm as we walked. "You don't have to worry about a teenaged boy, my brother's age, taking me away from you."
"Yeah? What about guys your age?" he asked, though I could tell he was joking.
"Nope. I love you too much to just leave you for some okay guy my age."
He grinned. "Love you too."
"About today." Carol started. "I don't know if we're gonna be able to spare a lot of people for the run."
As we neared the fence Daryl spoke up. "That place is good to go. We're gonna move on it."
"Yeah. Thing is, we had a pretty big build-up overnight." Carol sighed.
We looked over at the fences surrounding the prison. It was getting worse. Walkers were grouping up, pushing against the fence. As much as we tried to spread them out, they just kept coming, piling up and pressing on the fences. If we didn't do something about it soon, the fences would fall.
"Dozens more towards tower three." Carol explained. "It's getting as bad as last month. They don't spread out any more."
"With more of us sitting here, we'll draw more of them out." Daryl noted. "Get enough of those damn fence-clinger they start to herd up."
"Pushing against the fences again. It's manageable, but unless we get ahead of it, not for long."
I nodded. "Get more people out on the fences today. When we get back we'll talk about our next move during a council meeting. Sound good?"
Both nodded before we walked off.
"I gotta go find Alyssa." I told Daryl. "Meet you at the car in a bit?"
"Yeah." he leaned forward but I took a step back.
"You should see your face. It is covered with food." I scrunched my face up, smiling at the same time.
"Yeah really." I nodded.
Daryl reached forward and pulled me in for a kiss. I laughed, giving in and wrapping my arms around his neck. All the while Houdini barked happily, circling us.
I shook my head giving him a quick peck before stepping back and heading for the prison. Walking backwards, still looking at him I called. "You're lucky I don't kick your ass Mr Dixon."
"I'm so scared." he joked, heading for the car.
I jogged into the prison, nodding at everyone I passed. Houdini was right beside me, panting away, so happy.
Eventually I got upstairs to Alyssa's room. It was the one next to ours. She didn't share a room, except with Houdini when Daryl and I were on guard tower duty. Since that day by the bus, she had practically glued herself to us. Whenever she knew the both of us would be staying at the prison, she'd stick to our sides, just like Houdini. But today she knew we were going on a run.
"Aly?" I whispered as I pulled her curtain out of my away and walked in.
We had all decorated our rooms the way we liked them. I had found pink sheets for Aly, and a fluffy cushion. She had kitten, puppy and unicorn posters on her walls. And whenever I went on a run I made sure to find her a toy of some sort- mostly stuffed toys. So her room was very girly.
"Vickie?" she groaned, rolling over in bed. Houdini jumped up, licking her face, sending the little girl into a fit of laughter. "Dini!" she giggled, calling Houdin by his nickname she gave him.
I smiled, sitting on her bed, Houdini calming down and lying next to me right away. "Just coming in to check on you before we go."
She sat up, rubbing her eyes, dressed in purple pj's with white rabbits on them. "When will you be back?"
I sighed. "You know I don't know the answer to that."
She just nodded, patting Houdini, keeping her eyes on the dog. "Okay."
"Now remember, if you need anyone go find Carol, Hershel or Beth. And if you can't find them-"
"Look for Rick." she nodded.
"And don't leave the prison. Unless it's being evacuated. Don't play by the fences, even if the other kids are- that includes Mica and Lizzie. Go to story time. Drink plenty of water. And most importantly, take care of Houdini." I told her.
"If you're not back can I sleep in your bed?"
I smiled, leaning over and kissing her forehead. "Of course you can. So can Houdini." I stood up, sighing. "I gotta go now. Be good?"
She gave a sharp nod, serious look on her face. "Be good."
I was by the truck, packing up supplies for the run with Zach, Beth's boyfriend. Guns, gas, water; heck even some food just incase. We needed to be ready for anything.
"Hey." I heard Zach speak. Turning around I saw him standing with Beth. "Was just gonna come find you."
She chuckled, leaning forward to kiss him. "What's up?"
"Well, the council pulled back everyone on the coal crew from going on the run. They're short handed right now. Figured I'd step up to help. Go with them. Just, you know, wanted to make sure that I saw you before."
She shrugged. "Okay."
"'Cause, you know, it's dangerous going out there."
She smiled. "I know." she said, kissing his cheek. With that she walked over.
"Okay. Are you gonna say goodbye?" he called after her.
I rolled my eyes. "It's like a damn romance novel."
"It's like a damn romance novel."
I grinned, walking behind Daryl and jumping on his back. "What's like a romance novel?" I asked, kissing his neck. He just put the stuff in the back of the truck, shaking his head as I jumped off.
Zach laughed. "You two. You're a romance novel." he shook his head, walking away.
Daryl turned to me, leaning on the truck. He grabbed my waist, pulling me closer. "How's Aly?"
I shrugged. "She doesn't want us to go." I told him, my hands playing with the buttons on his shirt. "Nothing new there."
He nodded. "She ask if she can sleep in our bed, again?"
"Yep." I said, popping the 'p'.
"You say yes, again?"
"Sure did." I grinned.
Daryl adored Aly just like she adored him. She thought he was some kind of superhero. And as much as it seemed like she annoyed him, she didn't. In fact, he cared for her as much as I did. At night he always tucks her in, tells her a story, wishes her happy dreams. Whenever she has a nightmare, she calls for him, so he can kill the monsters with his crossbow.
"Houdini with her?"
"Of course." I nodded.
"She know the rules?"
I rolled my eyes. "Daryl I went over everything with her. She's fine."
"Just makin' sure."
I smiled, leaning forward to place a kiss on his lips. "One of the many reasons why I stick around."
We looked over by the car where Sasha, Tyreese and Glenn were getting ready. Bob had been the one to call out, stopping by the hood of the car.
"I'd like to start pulling my weight around here." he said, talking to Sasha.
"Bob, it's only been a week." she pointed out.
"That's a week worth of meals. A roof over my head. Let me earn my keep."
"You were out on your own when Daryl and Vickie found you." Sasha noted. At the mention of our names Daryl walked towards them, gesturing for me to follow.
Yes, when we found him. Since the fight with Woodbury, dad had put his gun down, making sure Carl did the same. He had talked to me, made sure I knew what I was doing, telling me he'd rather I stayed at the prison and helped him with the farming, things like that. But I couldn't do it. Not because it sounded boring, but because of the deal Daryl and I had made.
We agreed that he wouldn't try to stop me from doing what I wanted as long as I didn't do anything stupid, alone, or unarmed. I promised I would stay with him and not do things on my own, as long as he knew there would be times I'd have to do things without him.
Since then, when he goes on a run, I'd usually be there. Bringing people in, looking for supplies, hunting, we do it together.
Bob nodded at Sasha. "That's right."
"I just want to make sure you know how to play on a team."
"We ain't gonna do it unless it's easy." Daryl told them, walking past.
"You know, he was a medic in the army." Glenn spoke up, leaning on the hood of the car on the opposite side they were standing on.
Instead of following Daryl I stopped by Bob, nudging him with my elbow. "And anyway, the more the merrier right?" I grinned, turning so I faced Sasha. "Plus if we don't like him, we can always use him as bait." I shrugged, obviously joking.
"Hey." Bob stepped back from me. "I'll do anything to stop you from making me bait."
"Look at that, he's so willing to help." I smiled, looking at Sasha.
When she didn't say anything Bob shook his head. "You a hell of a tough sell, you know that?"
Finally she nodded. "Okay."
"Vic, you ready?" Daryl called from his bike.
I smiled at Bob before jogging over to Daryl, getting on the back of his bike. "Ready."
Michonne rode through the gates before dad and I closed them, we had fixed the entrance up and built more on to it to help keep walkers out.
She rode up the road a little, dad and I running over to go see her once everything was secure.
"We're glad to see you." dad smiled.
"Glad to see you, too." she said back before turning to me. "Somebody hit the jackpot." she pulled out a pile of comic books.
"No way." I grinned. "Awesome! Thank you."
"I get to read them when you're done." she nodded, reaching into her bag. "And I found this." she pulled out a shaver, handing it to dad. He took it, looking at it curiously. "Your face is losing the war."
Dad nodded. "You're gonna stay a little while?"
"Just a little while." she answered.
I grabbed the reins of the horse, heading over to put it away. One of my jobs was to take care of her, brush and feed her.
"Here you go girl." I smiled, giving her some hay.
I looked over my shoulder, hearing the cars and Daryl's bike coming down the hill. Vickie sat behind Daryl, looking over at me. I waved, sighing. I didn't like her going out without me and dad, but I trusted Daryl and the others.
"Well, well, look who's back." Daryl nodded to Michonne, stopping the bike.
"Didn't find him." she told us.
I looked down at the ground, nodding. "It's good you're back."
"Glad you're in one piece." Daryl nodded.
"I'm thinking of looking over near Macon." she went on. "It's worth a shot."
"No." I sighed. "It's not." a few days after the fight, Michonne had decided she would look for The Governor.
Back then I agreed wholeheartedly. But it had been months, with no sign of him. She left and was gone for days sometimes weeks on end. We'd worry. We had no clue if she might of found him, but he killed her. Or if she got bitten by a walker. And I was tired of worrying. It was time she stayed.
"Seventy miles of walkers. You might run into a few un-neighbourly types. Is it?" Daryl asked, agreeing with me.
"You heading off?" dad asked, looking at me.
I nodded. "Check out the Big Spot."
"The one I was talkin' about? Just seein'." Daryl shrugged.
"Yeah." dad looked around, away from us. "I gotta go out and check the snares. I don't want to loose whatever we catch to the walkers."
"I'll go." Michonne spoke up.
"You just got here." Carl called, heading over to us.
She turned to him, smiling. "And I'll be back." she moved over to the car, jumping in.
Daryl started the bike, dad leaning forward to hug me. "You be careful, all right?" he stepped back.
"Don' worry. I'll take care of her. Always do." Daryl nodded before we started for the gate.