Michonne opened the door to their house ready to collapse on her bed and sleep for days. She and Rick had been clearing walkers by the wall since 7am and it was now 3pm. They had both decided to quit for the day and to Michonne's displeasure Rick had decided to go visit Jessie. Michonne didn't mind Rick being with Jessie but he had begun neglecting his other responsibilities namely being a father to Carl. It was probably due to the fate of Pete Anderson but Rick had begun spending a lot of time with the Anderson children leaving Carl to babysit his little sister the majority of time.
Michonne climbed the stairs to her bedroom but stopped when she heard muffled sobbing coming from Carl's bedroom. All thoughts of sleep cleared from her mind as she stopped and knocked on his door, it opened a fraction revealing one of Carl's large blue eyes in the gap, making eye contact with Michonne he opened the door a little wider revealing himself and although his face was partially covered by both his hair and the sleeve of his shirt that he had a habit of chewing on she could clearly see the tear tracks on his face and the puffiness around his eyes.
He quickly wiped his face as he opened the door fully "Uh Michonne your home early"
"Yeah we finished clearing the walkers so we thought we would turn in for the day"
Carl suddenly looked worried "Is dad home too?"
"No he went over to Jessie's" Michonne tried to get a better look at Carl's face but he continued to avoid her gaze "Do you want to come downstairs and Ill make you some tea?"
Carl thought for a moment then nodded continuing to chew on his shirt sleeve. Carl followed Michonne down to the living room taking a seat on the couch and Michonne went to the kitchen to make tea.
Michonne walked back into the living room with two mugs of tea, handing one to Carl who had pushed himself into the corner of the couch bringing his knees up under his chin "thank you" he uttered quietly taking a sip.
Michonne took a seat next to him placing her mug on the coffee table and turning to Carl "Are you okay?"
Carl took another sip of tea and placed it on the coffee table wrapping his arms around his legs "I'm fine" he said hiding his face in his knees.
"no your not" Michonne said moving closer to Carl "I care about you Carl and I hate seeing you upset."
"I know" He lifted his head slightly making eye contact with her, his eyes still red and puffy "You'll think I'm being stupid" He said pushing his head back into his knees.
Michonne moved closer to him putting a hand on his shoulder "I promise I wont think its stupid just tell me what's wrong"
He sniffled and wiped his eyes with his sleeve "I'm scared"
"about what?" she asked
"about dad" he replied the sadness clear in his voice.
"Your dad's not going to hurt you h-"
"NO" Carl exclaimed looking at Michonne with a panicked expression.
Carl moved his head back behind his knees "I'm not scared of him, I just…" he paused then in little more than a whisper he continued "what if he doesn't want me any more"
This caught Michonne of guard, she had expected Carl to be angry and resentful towards his father for being absent over the last couple of weeks but she stayed quiet as he continued.
"This is the type of place my parents wanted, he wants to start over and make things normal again with a normal house and normal wife and normal children. He's making his new perfect family and they all fit, Jessie fits, Ron fits, Sam fits, even Judith fits, but I don't, I'm not a normal kid any more, I've killed people, I killed my own mother! I cant sleep without nightmares, I see them every time I close my eyes, I cant even handle staying here behind these walls I feel like I'm going insane, I'm paranoid, I cant trust people, I'm a monster. What if he doesn't want me any more, I'm too fucked up, I'm scared he wants to replace me with Jessie and her normal family". Carl was balling by the end, crying into his jeans.
Michonne moved to hug the boy and he quickly threw his arms around her middle and continued crying into her shoulder.
"Your dad isn't going to replace you Carl" she said quietly silently glad Rick wasn't anywhere near her so she couldn't beat the shit out of him for making his son feel like this.
"He loves you and cares about you and he isn't going to replace you" Michonne said moving Carl away from her shoulder and looking him in the eyes.
"I know you miss him he's just having a hard time adjusting, he wants his old life back and we have to let him go through this but no matter what he cares about you more than anyone else in the world" Defending Rick was not what Michonne wanted to be doing right now she wanted to be violently attacking Rick but she could see it was making Carl feel better and he would always come first.
"Thanks" Carl said groggily through his slowing tears. Michonne grabbed a tissue from the box on the coffee table handing it to Carl so he could blow his nose.
A few minutes past and Carl began to calm down, his tears beginning to dry on his face "I'm sorry" he whispered.
Michonne sighed placing her hand back on Carl's shoulder "You have nothing to apologize for, were family and you can tell me anything okay?"
Carl nodded before giving Michonne another hug "Your father on the other hand-"
"You can't tell him" Carl interjected jumping back into his corner of the sofa looking panicked.
"Carl your dad owes you an apology, he can't take you for granted and he needs to spend more time with you, you deserve better,"He loves you and cares about you and he isn't going to replace you, anyone would be lucky to have a son as great as you and Judith is the luckiest little sister in the world" Michonne said handing Carl his tea which he accepted hugging it to his chest.
"Thank you" he said looking over at Michonne "for everything but please don't tell him about this"
"No problem and I won't tell him unless you let me, I promise" she said standing up.
"Where are you going?" Carl asked turning his head to see her as she moved behind him.
Michonne picked up a large blanket draped on the back of the sofa and hung it over Carl's shoulders, gave him a kiss on the top of his head and ruffled his hair silently praying Rick would soon come to his senses.