Chapter Fourteen

Naomi Grimes sat in an almost unresponsive state on the front seats of the RV for the rest of the afternoon. Though who could honestly blame her. The remainder of the group refused to let her leave the highway until they had a plan or some bullshit but she was honestly over it. She needed to go and reunite with her family, to be with her brother if he was even still alive at that point and they were robbing her unrightfully of that choice. Meanwhile T-Dog was beginning to hallucinate due to the pain of the cut on his arm that had swollen and inflated since the last time she saw him. It was the beginning of blood poisoning and he could potentially die without proper medical attention and they were also stalling hi of that chance when he could be getting help for it.

Angered, she stood from her seat and shuffled restlessly to the door. Their hushed voices carried through the air to her ears while Naomi couldn't quite hear what they were saying, she just knew that they were talking about her. She paused at the door when the bag in the peripheral of her vision caught her eye and a reckless plan sprung into her mind.

She creeped over to the gun bag that sat on the bench and quietly pulled the bag open. The gun that she had previously had was either still on the ground where she had dropped it or in someone else's hands and Naomi required a new one. She tested the weight of a few handguns in her palms before choosing the lightest and smallest one. It was loaded with a few bullets; not much, but enough to do some damage. Closing the bag, Naomi's fingers lingered on the logo that belonged to the Sheriffs County, that was part of the family a second, before she tucked the gun into the back of her pants, the bump hidden by her shirt. Naomi prepared herself to fight for her family.

The bitumen thumped under her feet as she exited the RV and moved over to the rest of the people. Her eyes were red and puffy but her expression was determined as she cut off any previous conversations to talk.

"I have to go," She held up a hand to Carol and continued on. "Carol... you need to stay here for your daughter and I'm sorry that I can't do anything else to help but my brother is out there shot so that's where I have to be. I can't wait another second here. I would never forgive myself if he died and I wasn't there."

Carol nodded in understanding, hand reaching out to rest on Naomi's shoulder as Glenn moved to stand beside her also.

Daryl nodded thoughtfully, chewing on his lip. "Okay. We've gotta plan for this. I say tomorrow morning is when we start to pull up the stakes. Give us a chance to rig up a big sign, leave her some supplies. I'll hold her tonight, stay with the RV."

"If the RV is staying I am too," Dale added in while casting a weary glance at Naomi.

Carol, who was close to tears again, looked gratefully at the two men. "Thank you," She breathed. "Thank you both."

"I'm in," Andrea agreed, hands up with a small smile gracing her lips.

Glenn looked conflicted. Obviously he wanted to help and support Carol as much as he possibly could but he would feel so awful if he chose to stay and something happened with Carl. He couldn't imagine not being there for support for his best friend. So in the end, Dale made the right decision for him.

"Not you Glenn. You're going. Take Carol's cherokee," Dale looked to the impatient Naomi. "You too Naomi. You have to find this farm, re-connect with our people and see what's going on. And also, you have to get T-Dog there. This is not an option. That cut has gone from bad to worse, a very serious blood infection. Get him to that farm...see if they have any antibiotics because if not...T-Dog will die. No joke."

Daryl moved to his bike, flinging a rag off the handlebar and at Dale who caught it. "Keep your oily rags off my brothers bike." He berated before moving a clear bag full of drugs and prescription bottle on the hood of a car closest to him. His hands began rummaging through the bottles.

"Why'd you wait 'til now to say anything? Got my brothers stash. Crystal X...don't need that. Got some kiss arse painkillers," He said, tossing an orange bottle to Naomi to which she starred down at it in surprise. "Oxcycline," Another orange bottle was thrown to her. "Ain;t that generic shit either. It's first class. Merle got the clap on occasion."

Naomi groaned in disgust, handling the bottles more carefully. "Far too much information," She complained before walking over to Carol's car, slipping into the passenger seat. Glenn knew where they needed to go and she was honestly in no state to drive.

T-Dog followed after her and moved into the backseat but Glenn was held back by Dale.

"Keep Naomi safe," The older man said simply.

Glenn furrowed his eyebrows as he did not have any idea what to do in the current situation. "I don't know what to do."

"And she doesn't expect you to son. She doesn't either and she is freaking out. All that you need to do is be there and support her. That's all she needs from you right now," Glenn nodded, slightly relieved by Dale's wise words. "And keep her safe. Make sure she doesn't do anything rash."

"Okay...yeah I can do that," Glenn nodded once again and joined the others. He slipped into the drivers seat and sped off, wanting to get them there quickly.

As it turned out, Glenn wasn't too good with recalling the rather vague directions and they found themselves circling around a few times just to gather their bearings. Naomi was agitated to no end as she needed to get to her brother and this was slowing the whole process down. He couldn't help but feel guilty for the timing. It was such a miracle to see the letterbox with the name "Greene" printed on it and they raced down the driveway quickly, eager to get inside of the large white farmhouse that stood before them.

Naomi quickly pulled off her seatbelt, yet despite her need to be by her family she found herself frozen in her seat. She was too nervous to move. T-Dog slid out of the car and into the darkness of the night. Glenn looked over to her figure with sad eyes, noticing the way that her fingers clenched around the door handle in anticipation. He took her free hand for a couple of seconds to draw her attention to him. He tried to smile comfortingly though it didn't work.

"You've got this Naomi," He told her in a soft voice just above a whisper. "You can go in there. You can do it."

Naomi let out an uneven breath and nodded before popping the door open and stepping out on shaky legs. The trio walked quickly in the dark and up the stairs onto the spacey balcony. Naomi paused at the door with the rest of them. A huge part of her just wanted to storm in there and get the whole greeting thing over and done with but another part of her was certain that going that wouldn't have helped at all.

Glenn cleared his throat as he looked over at the door. "So do we ring the bell I mean, looks like people live here," He said, looking over at Naomi and T-Dog.

"We're past this kind of stuff aren't we," T-Dog ground out, moving closer to the door while pulling the blanket further around his shoulders.

Before he could pull the door open and lead the way inside, a voice called out from behind them.

"You close the gate up the road when you drove in?"

The lady from earlier made her way up to them, arms crossed over her chest as her eyes roamed over the new arrivals and they softened as they reached Naomi. She couldn't imagine the pain of finding out that a sibling was hurt.

Glenn was shocked and embarrassed that he didn't notice the lady sooner and began to stutter out incoherent words until Naomi elbowed to shut him up, clearly impatient, before uttering out the answer herself. "Yeah we closed it. Did the latch and everything. Nice to see you again and all but if you could kindly show me to where my brother it that would be greatly appreciated."

The lady nodded in understanding and slid past them to open the door. "Of course I will. I'll make ya'll something to eat...take a look at that cut on your arm too," She said, motioning down to T-Dog's arm before letting them inside. "Come on in."

"We have uh, some painkillers and antibiotics," Glenn said as they followed her inside, shaking the bottles in his hand for effect. "We already gave him some and if Carl needs any."

The brunette smiled at him appreciatively and took the bottles out of his hands. "Thank you. I'm sure they'll be a great help."

She led them into a rather clean living room area and muttered something to a young blonde who nodded and rushed off up the stairs. Down a hallway, the four came to a stop in front of a room with the door open. The room where Carl was in, resting almost peacefully in the bed. But he was so, so pale and a stray tear slipped down Naomi's cheek as she rushed forwards towards her parents who had both stood up at their daughters presence. They reached towards her as she entered and she fell into their protective grips, eyes trained on her brother. Carl was almost whiter than the sheets he lay on, bandage covering his lower stomach. An old man had a blood pressure pump around Carl's limp arm and was reading the information off of it, he barely looked up as they entered. Why did it have to be her brother? He was in pain and there was nothing that Naomi could do to stop it and make it better.

"Hey," Glenn greeted, respectfully taking off his cap and holding it between her fidgeting hands.

"Hi," Rick replied, exhaustion clear in his voice as he ran one hand over his daughters hair and clenched his sons hand with his other.

"Uh...we-we're here okay?" Glenn said, forcing himself to stop staring at Naomi' hunched form and over at the rest of her family with a nod of his head.

"Thank you," Lori said, answering for the family.

T-Dog nodded. "Whatever you need," He reinforced before he, Glenn and the other lady walked out to give the family some privacy and so T-Dog could get treatment that he needed for his arm.

Naomi tore her faze from her little brother and nodded over to Glenn as he turned to leave. he was always there for her and it was times like that when Naomi really needed it that she appreciated it most.
As soon as they left, the man tending to Carl, pulled the machine off with a scowl, settling it down on the bedside table before gently pushing the sheet down further over Carl's stomach to reveal a painful amount of swelling and bruising just underneath the bandage. Naomi gasped at the view and buried her face into her mothers shoulder as she cried for the survival of Carl. It killed her to see Carl in such a painful state...what she wouldn't do to take that pain away. it was unbearable for her to even look on. Lori soothed Naomi gently as well. She was a mother and at that moment both of her children were in pain.

"They don't get back soon then you're gonna have a decision to make," The man said and Naomi looked between her people in confusion. She honestly had no idea what the decision was.

Lori leaned forward in her seat and explained all that was going on to Naomi. How the farmer and vet needed to perform surgery on Carl to remove the many bullet fragments from his abdomen and therefore save his life . How he had none of the medical equipment and the fact that Carl was in need of the equipment soon or else he wouldn't survive and that Shane and Otis had yet to return from their search for it.

"And that is?" Rick asked after Lori finished the explanation.

Hershel sighed as he went on to deliver the news. "Operate on your boy without the respirator."

"You said that wouldn't work."

"I don't know, it's extremely unlikely but we can't wait much longer," As soon as the sentence was finished, Lori was up and out the door, hand clamped over her mouth and Naomi was right behind her as well.

It was almost as if Naomi was running on automatic. As if she had cried so many tears that she wasn't able to produce anymore. She couldn't help but welcome the numbing sensation that ran through her whole body. She returned to the main living room to see an older blonde and the brunette prepping T-Dog before they stitched up his wound.

A frown overtook Glenn's lips as he saw Naomi at the door and he somehow managed to coax her out to the balcony sot hat she could breath in the fresher air and talk if she wanted to. She just looked out at the darkness while trying to gather her thoughts but he stayed right by her side. Her brother was dying because some arsehole shot him and Naomi wished for nothing but to do the same to the person. To put them through the horrific pain. The gun was still in place in her jeans and she realised that she was angry enough to seek revenge against that arsehole. As if automatically, her hand reached behind her and grabbed at the weapon. Glenn followed her actions and his eyes widened as he saw the gun. He knew that nothing good could come from that.

"Whoa, whoa. Naomi why do you have that?"

Naomi looked up at him, her eyes darker than he had ever seen them and it startled him somewhat as he was even more clueless in that situation. "They have to pay," She told him, trying to keep her voice hard but there was a tick in it that gave him room to assume that she wanted to be talked out of it.

"Look I think that they would be paying now. I seriously doubt anyone would purposely shoot a kid. You don't have to make anyone pay okay?"

"They hurt my little brother. He's in there dying!" Her voice cracked and she shook her head. Her emotions were returning again. It seemed as if she hadn't been all cried out.

"I know."

"He's hurt-"

"I know."

"He's so innocent. He's never hurt anything ever. Why does he have to go through all of this?!"

"I know. I know Naomi. It's shitty...so shitty but we can't do a damn thing to change it."

Naomi opened her mouth and then lifted the gun up slightly higher.

"You don't want to do that. Hey, I know you and I know that you would never do anything to hurt anyone. You're in pain, I get that but you do not want to do that," Glenn held out his hand and tried not to focus on the way that it shook. "Give me that gun. It's alright. You don't have to do this. Give me the gun."

Slowly, hesitantly, Naomi dropped the gun into Glenn's outstretched palm. As soon as the weight was gone, it was like she slipped out of a trance and realised what she was going to do. While Glenn bent to hide the gun in his bag, Naomi gasped in horror. She was so guilty. Why had she done that? Who was she?

"I-I-I...I'm so, so sorry Glenn. I have no idea what came over me. Why would I want to do that? I mean obviously I know why I wanted to do that but-"

Her rambling was cut short in shock as he tentatively placed his hand on her cheek and tilted her head so that could see him. "It's alright. I get it. But it's gonna be alright. I know that it doesn't seem like it now but it will be. Whatever happen you can through this."

Naomi closed her eyes and nodded, leaning into his touch further as his fingers gently stroked over her freckles. After a few long seconds he pulled back and cleared his throat, pointing inside. "We should probably get back. You know, before the send out their search parties."

A thin smile poked at her lips and before she could even think, she had moved forward and planted a small kiss on his cheek. "Thank you," She whispered before crossing her arms over her chest and making her way back to her brother's bedside.

Glenn stood and watched her go in shock. His left hand reached up and touched the place where her lips were before shaking his head. There was no way that she thought of him the way that he thought of her.

As soon as he was back inside, the older blonde Patricia started talking, directing her attention o him which made him feel even more awkward.

"You sure are lucky you got here when you did. I don't think you could have waited much longer," She said, pulling the thread through on the first stitch. T-Dog grunted in pain and looked up at the ceiling. "Merle Dixon," She said, reading the prescription off of one of the drug bottles. "Is that you're friend with the antibiotics?"

"No m'am. Merle's no longer with us. Daryl gave us those, his brother."

"Not sure I'd call him a friend," T-Dog said, remembering his past experiences with the man bitterly.

"He is today. His meds might of just saved your life. You know what Merle was taking it for?"

"Clap," Glenn then cringed at his use of words and tried his hardest to correct himself though it just came out a huge awkward mess. "Um...Venereal Disease. That's what Daryl said."

Patricia smirked. "Well Merle's clap is the best thing that ever happened to you."

"Look I'm really trying not to think about hat," T-Dog ground out.

Glenn sighed and grabbed the cup of tea for him off of the table, his bag and then proceeded to head back outside. He salvaged the cool air on his skin as he took the time to think. Specifically about Naomi. He was lost on things to do to make her feel better and it was clear as day that she was struggling with quite a few things. Maybe he would pray to ask for help. He had never done it before and honestly didn't hold much hope but for Naomi, he'd try anything. He placed the empty cup by his feet as he sat on the rocking chair and tried not to focus on the gun by his feet as he sat on the rocking chair and tried not to focus on the gun by his feet and what that meant. Glenn closed his eyes and began to pray. He didn't get far as a voice called out and made him open his eyes and look up.

"You praying?" She asked, leaning against one of the bannisters that supported the house with a smile.

"Why do you sneak up on people so much?" Glenn asked the farmers daughter clearly irritated as he ran a hand over his eyes.

She shrugged. "'Cos you're easy to sneak up on. Same with Naomi."

He sighed. "I was praying. Was trying to."

"You religious? You pray a lot?"

"Actually uh...this is my first try."

"Ever?" She asked, eyes wide in surprise. She had practically grown up raised on the bible and faith. Church every Sunday and verses of the bible being used as house rules and expectations. Most were around those parts and so it was interesting to speak to someone who had never even spoken a simple prayer before. "Wow sorry. I didn't mean to break your first time/"

Glenn shrugged. "God probably got the gist."

"Praying for what?"

Naomi. "Friends," He said quickly. "...Looks like they could al use a little help. You think God exists?"

It was her turn to shrug. "I always took it on faith. Lately I've wondered. Everything that's happened, there must have been a lot praying going on and seems quite a few went unanswered."

"Thanks," He said sarcastically. "That's really helping."

"Sorry. Go ahead. Really," She said but continued to stand looking at him.

He sighed. "You gonna watch me?"

She walked over and grabbed his sup. "I'll get you a refill instead," She said and then paused at the door to add in some advice as it looks like he needed it. "I know it's not my business, and feel free to believe in God but the thing is you gotta make okay somehow no matter what happens. You can't send a prayer to God and hope that that Naomi girl and her whole family will be alright," She explained before going inside and leaving Glenn to his thoughts.

Naomi appeared a short time later, still feeling guilty about her actions and having a hard time looking at him. She stared at her hands and began to explain everything to him. She told him how Carl got shot and the danger of him not making it through the surgery if Shane didn't get back with the medical equipment. And Glenn just listened. And suddenly he understood her to a deeper level. He stood, pushing her into his chair and bringing another one over next to her. If she was surprised she never showed it as he turned to face her.

"Thank you," He started and that earned him a surprised look. "For telling me that," Glenn then took a deep breath and then willed himself to open up to her about his family. "You know that I had two older sisters right?"

Naomi nodded, although she was confused as to where the conversation was heading. Glenn rarely mentioned his family as it was obviously a sore topic for him so Naomi never really asked.

"Yeah and they were always so protective over me. Whenever kids at school used to make fun of me because I'm nerdy and obsessed with almost any video game they would be there, telling the kids to back off and leave me alone. There was never a time that they didn't stand up for me. I don't know if they're alive or dead or...turned," Glenn admitted the last part with a swallow and Naomi reached out and took his hand. "Anyway, what I was trying to say is that you do the same thing for Carl. Protect him, stand up for him. I get why you wanted to do that. To hurt them for hurting him...because I think that my sisters would have done the same for me."

He had made her cry. Again. Trapped into some deep part of her and brought out even more emotion. It was so personal. The door opened and out stepped the farmers daughter holding two cups this time. Naomi scrambled to hide her tears, wiping at them with her hands but she didn't mind only held out the cup for Naomi to take gently.

"Thank you," Naomi said gratefully as she clutched the warm cup and she indicated at her to say her name.

"I'm Maggie," She said, handing Glenn the other cup.

"Naomi."

Glenn cleared his throat. "I'm Glenn."

"Thank you Maggie. For everything," Naomi said sincerely.

"It's fine. I'm sorry about your brother, I couldn't imagine what that would feel like," Naomi nodded in thanks before Maggie went on. "Apparently your parents chose to operate without a respirator."

Naomi nodded as she knew that it was probably going to happen. It didn't seem as if Shane was returning any time soon and they needed to do something. It was just down to a waiting game to ensure Carl's health.

"I know."

"I'd stay out here until it's over. I can make you something to eat while you wait."

"That'd be good thanks," Glenn answered with a small smile.

As soon as Maggie turned to go back inside, a miracle happened. Shane pulled up in front of the house. He was back just in time. A grin broke out on Naomi Grimes' face as she stood and rushed down the steps to greet him. He had come back. She had to admit that he looked like shit and was carrying himself with a limp but was okay and he had brought back the things that he needed.

"Otis?" Hershel asked from the steps and sighed in sorrow as Otis didn't make it back. "Nobody tell Patricia, we need her for the surgery."

And with that, everyone sprung back into action.

The surgery was actually quite a quick procedure that Carl got through. The boy lay, still unconscious in the bed and still in pain but Hershel said that he was going to be alright. He had made it through the worst and the only thing in his path now was recovery.
Naomi, ever the big sister, sat by his bed on the floor, blanket around her shoulders, watching her brother sleep. Lori and Rick had passed out in the chairs behind them. Cautiously, Naomi closed her left eye and then her right and allowed herself to drift off to sleep.