A/N: Hello :). There's no The End, because I'm thinking of writing a Michonne version. Depends on what happens tonight (next week?). If I do that, then this will end up being three parts with a reunion.
Enjoy! And I'm not done with Verbal Communication. It's just that I want to post the last 3 (?) chapters at the same time, and work is keeping me from writing them as fast as I want to.
The noise from the encroaching horde of walkers threatened to turn into that all too familiar sharp ringing in his ears. He couldn't move. He couldn't get to anyone. Glenn wasn't responding. Neither was Tobin. Daryl was out of range, and he didn't know how far ahead Michonne was. He was stuck. And the only ones getting anywhere, getting anything done was the herd. They approached the RV, slow, steady, and unimpeded by anything. His gunshots had drawn them, and now he was stuck.
What was it that Glenn had said? He could've sworn he'd been listening and walking at the same time, but now he couldn't remember.
He looked up from the dashboard and made direct eye contact with a starving, emaciated male walker. He slowly slid out of the driver's seat and sat close to the corpses. Out of sight. The walkers would be flush against the RV any minute now.
He was losing time. And he couldn't communicate with anyone, and the plan was falling apart. He wasn't holding up his end.
Had Morgan held up his? Had he gotten back in time to tell everyone that the rehearsal had gone live?
He needed to know. He needed to know that Morgan was preparing the others just in case. He needed to know that Carol was ready to handle it. Maggie, Rosita.
He needed to get back to Carl. And Judy. He needed to know that Michonne had made it.
He blinked at the ceiling to keep the tears at bay, his chest cavity tight, the RV a little smaller and hotter than before.
He looked at the dead bodies inches away from him.
What if he died here? He didn't know how, but what if? What if he completely failed everyone, his children, his family, Michonne? How the hell was he going to look them in the eye if this failed? He very easily ignored the Alexandrians. Very easily. They were walking corpses themselves, worse than the walking dead, sad as it was. Annoying as it was. But how could he face himself?
He needed Michonne to make it back. He needed her to get ahead and warn the others. His mind drifted to the full container of applesauce he'd pulled off of one of the attackers, and he snatched it back. He couldn't go there. Not there.
What had he said to Michonne last? He'd told her to run. Her and Glenn. He'd told her to make it no matter what. Was she making it?
His heartbeat slowed when he remembered how exhausted she had grown of making it. There had been nothing heartwarming about that conversation, about her apprehension and fear. But the memory of her voice brought him a degree of comfort just the same.
When would he see her next? What had she looked like the last time he'd seen her? Had he really taken a good look? He remembered her face: expression as urgent as his. He remembered her voice: tone as urgent as his.
He needed to see her again. He could not rot here. She wouldn't. She was pushing on and doing her part, and he needed to do his. The people he'd killed-
The RV shook as the walkers walked into it, but his heart didn't jump.
The people he'd killed outside the RV hadn't turned yet. He needed the walkers to get to them before they did. Feed and move on.
That wouldn't help the fact that he was losing time, but he would get out. He just had to wait. And keep his mind from running amok with grim possibilities in the meantime.
He sat up straighter and gripped the walkie-talkie with both hands. He'd told the others that running home would be for their peace of mind, not necessarily for the safety of their loved ones. Where they were now, outside, they had the power to guarantee everyone's safety.
That had made complete sense a couple of minutes ago. Now he couldn't reach anyone or hear anyone and all he wanted to do was run towards Alexandria to catch up with Michonne. Cute off from everyone and without any indication of how they were coming along, all he wanted was the peace of mind.
He brought his knees together and laid his head down, closing his eyes, shoulders tight with tension. Everyone had heard his little spiel except for Michonne. She didn't have a walkie-talkie, because the way he'd designed the plan, they were going to stick together. No need for radio when she'd be right by his side.
He wanted to hear her voice now. He wanted her to tell him something, anything. He pictured her running home, strong legs eating ground, leading, alert, having more hope for the people she was carrying on her shoulders than he did.
And he pictured her, after she'd cut down the threat in front of her and had a quick moment of peace, he pictured her thinking of him, hoping he'd make it, having complete faith that she would see him again. That he would make it so.
He opened his eyes and lifted his head. He dropped his shoulders. He spread his legs apart and rested his forearms on them, fingers twitching.
He just had to wait.