Keeping An Eye
Judith has been up crying and fussing all night and I am so tired, I can't remember a time when I was ever this tired. I really needed to catch up on some sleep but I don't know who I can ask to watch her. Rick was out on watch last night and only got in himself half an hour ago, he's already exhausted. Carol is busy today dealing with the walkers at the fence as there has been a bit of a build up. I wouldn't normally ask anyone else but even if I did I know the answer, they all have other jobs to do today. That means that the only person left available to look after Judith today was me. I think I only got about two hours sleep in total last night, if that. I've never looked after a baby before and I was really worried as to what could be wrong with her but when Carol had her yesterday she said she thinks she's teething. I was concerned about her because I don't want her to be this upset and in this much pain but I don't know what to do to stop it. We don't have anything she can have for the pain and I don't know how much longer I can take this… I wish Judith would sleep, even for an hour.
I had Judith in my arms and what a surprise she was crying. I cuddled her and started walking towards the communal area outside to find someone, just someone to watch her for an hour. I saw Axel sitting alone and eating his breakfast. He looked at me and studied me for a moment, I could tell he was debating about something in his head. I smiled softly at him and began to walk past him but then I felt a hand on my arm, I turned to face him and he released my arm "Everythin' ok?" He asked me.
"Yeah. Just looking for my dad," I replied.
He looked at Judith for a moment, who was still screaming "Maybe I can help," He suggested.
"You ever taken care of a baby before?" I asked, not that I was even considering leaving her with him. He creeps me out.
"No," He answered.
"Then I don't think you can help." I told him.
Axel smiled at me and wrapped his arm around me so his hand was resting on my waist and he pulled me closer to him. Judith let out a huge wail and I tried to take a step back to go look for someone but he still had a hold of me. I don't want to be near him, he scares me. Last week I caught him following me to the showers but then he walked away when he realised I had caught him. I also catch him staring at me a lot and he tries to sit next to me all the time. When he does sit next to me he'll brush his hand across mine or rub his knee against my leg. I wanted to tell someone about him but I was worried that they would think I was paranoid. It could just be Axel's way of being friendly, even if it is a little much. I could be taking this whole thing out of proportion and I could get Axel in trouble for something he's not really doing. However, I know as much as everyone here just how dangers people are, it's not just the walkers you gotta look out for.
"Everything alright?" I turned and saw Carol walking towards us with a metal rod in her hand, she was covered in blood from head to toe from being at the fence. Axel instantly dropped his hand from my waist and I took a step away from him, Judith was still crying but not as loudly as before… maybe she's getting tired and I can sleep "Judith ok?" She asked me.
"I think you were right yesterday about her teething. I was just looking for my dad, see if he has any advice to stop her crying," I told her.
"Oh ok. Well let me put this away and I'll come with you," She said.
Carol took off the apron she was wearing over her clothes and screwed it up in a ball before dumping it in one of the bins. She walked the few meters to the weapons bin and dropped the metal rod inside before coming back to me and Judith. She didn't look as bloody and scary now she took the apron off, as she approached me she took Judith off me and we went in search of my dad.
"Are you ok?" She asked me once we were in the clear from Axel.
"Yeah I'm ok," I answered.
"I saw your face back there, you didn't look ok," She stated "Look I want you to know that you can come and talk to me about anything. If there is a problem we can fix it for you and make it better," She added.
"I know I can talk to you," I said and smiled at her.
I saw my dad and Maggie walking around the grounds together up ahead "Thanks for walking with me." I said to Carol.
She handed Judith back to me and I headed off towards my dad and Maggie, I looked behind me and saw Carol making her way inside. If she can see how I react around him then maybe she'll keep an eye on him to make sure that he behaves himself from now on.
"Dad!" I called as I neared him and Maggie.
"Hey baby, what's wrong?" He asked and took Judith from my arms.
"Carol thinks she's teething but she's crying so much and she hasn't slept or eaten. I've tried everything to calm her down but nothing seems to be working. Can you recommend something?" I asked him hopefully.
"There are a couple of things you can try…" He started.
I got back from my supply run and was greeted by Rick and Carl, I got out of the car to find them already opening the trunk to see what I had managed to salvage together. It hadn't been a great run considering I had been gone for a couple but it wasn't terrible. I managed enough food to last us about a month and I found some new clothes and toys for Asskicker. I found a comic for Carl and it didn't take him long to sniff it out, he thanked me before leaving myself and Rick to look at the contents of the run.
"Not bad," He commented as he started unloading "Should last a while," He added.
"I'll have t' go again in a couple weeks but this should be good f'r now." I replied.
As Carl left us to read his new comic it was down to Rick and myself to bring everything in and put it in C Block but as soon as Rick was done helping me he made some excuse to leave. He said he had 'thangs' to do… I know sometimes he likes to go off on his own and think about things so I let him go.
I heard footsteps so looked up to see Carol walking towards me with Beth and Asskicker in tow. Beth looked exhausted and Asskicker's face was red and puffy from crying. Beth went to the other side of the room and started making a bottle for Asskicker but I noticed that Carol was looking a little off, like she wanted to say something but not knowing if she should. I raised an eyebrow at her and she sighed, she came and stood as close to me as possible "I have to talk to you about something," She said quietly.
"Everythin' alright?" I asked.
"I don't know," She said and I waited for her to continue "I think you need to keep a close eye on Axel. I saw him and Beth earlier, he had his arm wrapped around her waist, holding her to him and she looked really uncomfortable. I asked her if she was ok and she said she was but I don't believe. She looked scared to me. The way he was looking at her just didn't seem right and I'm worried something bad might happen. I was hoping you could have a word with him and keep an eye on him," She explained to me "I think he'll be more scared of you than me," She added.
"I'll keep an eye on him," I told her "Have you told Rick or anyone else?" I asked and she shook her head 'no' "Alright well, keep it between us," I told her and she smiled in appreciation before leaving to go outside.
I saw Beth heading towards her room and I followed her, she sat down on the edge of the bed and started feeding Asskicker. I stood in the doorway and cleared my throat so she knew I was there, she looked up at me in surprise but also looked a bit concerned.
"You're back," She stated "Good run?" She asked.
"Not bad, got Asskicker some more clothes, like you said," I answered and she smiled "Look I gotta talk t' yer 'bout somethin'. Carol mentioned that you might be gettin' some hassle from Axel. I told Carol I would have a word with him and keep an eye on him but yer need t' tell me if he does anythin' he shouldn't," I told her and she looked at me a little sheepishly "What is it?" I asked.
"I'm sure it's nothing and I might have got it wrong-"
"Well last week I was walking to the showers and he was following me but when I caught him he turned in another direction," She admitted.
"You tell anyone?" I questioned.
"No." She answered.
"Did he see yer getting undressed or anythin'?"
"No, like I said I caught him and went in another direction but I did make sure to check around the doors and so on… just in case," She said.
"You leave this with me, you don't need t' worry about anythin' now," I told her.
"Thank you." She replied with a smile and looked like she genuinely meant it.
It made me angry listening to what Beth was saying about Axel. As soon as I finished our conversation I went in search of the little weasel. It was actually quite easy to find him, he was outside just standing by the watch tower door watching Maggie and Glenn making out by one of the cars. What the hell is wrong with this guy? There's something not quite right about this guy. I thought he was in prison for armed robbery but it was a toy gun or something… that's what he told Carol anyway. Something about that story doesn't add up to me but until now I've never really had reason to ask more questions. I stormed over to him and grabbed his arm, forcing him to turn around and face me.
"Hiya Daryl," He greeted with a wide smile on his face "Can I help you with something?" He asked.
"Yeah yer can. Stay away from Beth… and all the other women 'round here. If I hear that you been following anyone t' the showers or makin' inappropriate comments or touchin' anyone then you got me t' answer t'"
"Hey now, I didn't mean nothin' by it. I thought Carol was a lesbian, Maggie's with Glenn, Michonne scares me and I thought I'd try my chances with Beth. I've been in here a long time, I was just looking for some female company," He explained.
"Stay away from them, if I gotta come back t' yer with this then you're gonna regret it," I stated firmly.
"I'll stay away… I'm sorry." He said.
I was sure my message had been received loud and clear before walking away from him. I did sneak a look back and saw him kicking some rocks on the floor looking upset. I started walking towards Carol to let her know that I had warned him away from Beth… and everyone else. Movement from the corner of my eye made me turn around again and I saw Axel heading into C Block, I didn't want to make it obvious that I was following him so I let him go in first and let the door close before going in after him. Beth was inside with Judith on her own so I wanted to make sure she as ok. As I want inside I heard Axel's voice, I didn't want to go in there all guns blazing so I decided to stay back and listen to what was being said.
"You been tellin' tales on me girl?" He asked her.
"Please leave me alone," She pleaded with him.
"Daryl ain't here to protect yer now," He told her.
"He won't like you talking to me like this,"
"What is he? Your boyfriend?
"No," She stated firmly.
"Then what's it gotta do with him?" He asked.
"Because he cares about people." She said.
I decided that I had heard enough so I rounded my corner and leaned against the wall, Beth saw me and smiled softly but Axel hadn't noticed me. He'd make a shit hunter. I cleared my throat which made him jump slightly, he turned around and looked at me like a deer caught in headlights. He took a step away from Beth and put a smile on his face like he hadn't done anything wrong. I stormed over to him, grabbed him by his shirt and threw him up against the wall.
"What'd I tell yer?" I asked him angrily "Yer leave her alone," I told him.
"I just wanted t' know what she'd been saying," He replied.
"Leave her alone or I swear to God man, I'll kick your hillbilly ass." I told him.
Asskicker started crying and I heard Beth rushing around to calm her. Axel obviously knew that I wasn't playing games and I meant what I said, he nodded at me and I let him go before he scurried off. Beth was trying to calm Asskicker but she wasn't having any of it, she's mad about something. I looked at Beth, really looked at her and she looked exhausted. I heard Asskicker up most of the night and I'm guessing it was Beth who was up with her.
"I wish I knew how to make you feel better," Beth said to Asskicker.
"Want a lil break?" I offered.
"Only if you don't mind," She replied.
"I got it," I said.
"Thank you," She said and handed Asskicker over to me, she whimpered at leaving Beth's arms but she started to calm after a minute or so. Her eyes were heavy and she was moments away from falling asleep "She likes you," Beth commented "If you give her your finger she'll hold on to it whilst she sleeps, it's a comfort thing for her and it settles her," She told me.
I gave my finger to Asskicker who took it in her hand. She squeezed my finger and her eyes started to close, she fell into a deep sleep within seconds.
"She's getting big," I commented "Does she need anythin' else? I know I said I got them clothes you were after but is there anything she needs… or you?" I questioned, if they needed anything I'd go out on another run.
"I think she's ok for now and I am too… thank you,"
"Well yer let me know if there's anythin' either o' yer need and I'll go on a run." I told her.
"You know, when I first met you I thought you didn't care about anything or anyone. I just thought you were someone who looked out for number one. Then I saw you going out and looking for that little girl everyday and saw how you tried to protect the farm, how you went back for Carol when everyone else left when it was taken over. I was wrong about you, you're the opposite of everything I thought you. I'm sorry for judging you before actually getting to know you." She explained
I was so used to people making the same assumptions about me but Beth is the only one who's admitted what she thought and she's had the balls big enough to admit that she's wrong, I appreciate that. Most people don't bother.
"Thanks," I said, not really knowing what else to say "As we're spilling truths… I gotta admit I didn't think you could take care of Asskicker, you're eighteen years old and you had no experience raising a baby but you've done good with her. You've really stepped up and took care of her," I told her.
"Someone had to." She answered.
I stepped outside and looked up at he night sky, I've just done my rounds inside and made sure everything was ok. I took a deep breath and looked up at the watch tower to see Rick moving around on the platform. I threw my crossbow over my back and made my way up the stairs and joined Rick on the platform.
"Everythin' alright?" He asked me.
"Everythin's fine," I replied.
"I heard a couple rumours today 'bout Axel," He started "Anythin' I should know about?" He asked.
"Nah, I got it." I answered.
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