Disclaimer: I'm terrible at updating… I've fallen somewhat out of love with TWD, but I do love this story and Quinn. So I'll keep trucking along… slowly. Also I don't own TWD, which is probably good because I'd be so damn slow at writing episodes each season would take years.
"They're behind that truck somewhere! Light it up, they ain't got no where to run!"
Quinn was running. Straight toward the angry shouts and gunfire of the men she and the hunter had been attempting to strand.
They had done a pretty decent job too; most of the cars she left in her wake as she dashed towards the shouts were now engulfed in flame—unusable. These well-armed bastards that were after their heads—and the heads of all of their people after the incident in the town—now had little chance of finding their sanctuary at the Greene family farm. Not without transportation.
But their work was in vain if she lost the hunter in the process, Quinn thought as she skidded to a halt behind a totaled Camry a few yards behind the fuming men. They were firing round after round into an old wrecked pickup, the only thing stopping them from approaching it and killing the hunter was his sporadic return fire.
The return fire was the only sign she had that the gruff man was still alive. Maybe their choice of sabotage rather than elimination had been incorrect, the sailor thought as she chewed her lip and checked the rounds remaining in her handgun. Or maybe every choice she made in this new world would lead to more blood on her hands.
Black boots silent on the still-smoky asphalt, the sailor burst from her hiding spot, the ringing of another shrill whistle for help driving her forward. I'm coming.
Pip…Pip..Pip. Three shots, three men down before the others turned from the truck.
"Fuck, behind us! Kill the bitch!" the man in charge of the assailants roared as they noticed the sailor sprinting towards them, the hunter forgotten for a moment.
Now within arms reach of the enemy, Quinn hit the nearest man across the face with the metal-cased mission log, yelling, "Move, Ace!" as she dodged out of the way of swinging fist.
Shots started raining down as the mob pursued her, chasing her as she backpedaled away from the hunter's hiding place, the man she had hit with the mission log now trapped in the crook of her elbow and taking the bullets in the chest with a shower of blood. With her gun hand she returned fire—vision blocked by dead weight she dragged along, and the mission log she still clasped desperately in her hand—hitting a man in the leg and causing him to collapse in a scream of pain. Could use some help here ace.
The seconds dragged on as she struggled to hold her human shield to her chest, ammunition dwindling as the remaining half dozen men stalked her with gunfire and shouts of what else they'll fill her body with after she's full of bullets.
The hunter wasn't coming. She hadn't heard his gruff voice or the recoil of his crossbow—hadn't heard anything since his last shrill whistle. These men, these disgusting cowards who she had only drawn on in that little town in defense of her own…may have killed him. She had meant to show them mercy—to give them a chance to decide not to come to the farm, to leave in peace…because they were civilians weren't they? This wasn't war.
At least it hadn't been.
With a feral growl the SEAL threw her human shield towards the mob and dropped her gun and the metal mission log as she drew her dual knives from her back with a distinct metallic whistle.
"HOOYAH!" she shouted, raspy voice cracking and eyes blazing. Back in a war zone, her mind projecting her SEALs racing forward at her sides, her boots pounding over sand or snow…or broken cobblestone left in shards from air-raids. She had to fulfill the mission, to get her man out alive at any cost. Then Leo was shouting in her ear, his towering figure sprinting at her side and casting a shadow before her, "Ladies first, Balto!" a laugh in his voice as he followed her lead. The way he always had.
Somewhere in the distance she heard the barking of dogs. The distant outskirts of her mind, or somewhere down the highway she wasn't sure—but it didn't matter.
This was war. She would win.
The bullet-riddled body collided with the leader of the pack, sending him tumbling to the asphalt and tripping several of the men behind him. Astonishment flashed across the faces of the mob as the sailor charged, sharp metal singing through the air and ponytail streaming behind her. They barely had the chance to raise their weapons in defense before she was on them. Too close to shoot, to quick to stop.
She swung, sliced, and kicked with trained precision. Drawing blood with every movement, and dropping bodies as quickly as they tried to near her. The sailor gritted her teeth as a thick hand caught her long tail of hair for a moment, before he sputtered in pain as he received a boot to the face. His nose indistinguishable in the mass of red as he collapsed.
This. This is what she was trained for. Not the brainless shuffling forms that clawed and gnawed at flesh—men. Men were easy. You could anticipate their movements, their attacks, and their defense attempts—anticipate and best them.
Finally the last left standing, her head pounding as she focused on reality—forcing down the intruding memories of sand and snow, of her men racing at her sides—Quinn glared down at the man she knew to be the leader. Her boot on his chest after having kicked her human shield off of him, she applied pressure—more and more until he groaned in pain and his eyes shot open to stare up at her. His collision with the corpse had apparently knocked him unconscious.
Her eyes were cold as she observed him quaking in fear beneath her, this man that had only moments ago threatened to violate her corpse. How foolish she had been to not immediately act to remove the threat…to trust in the good nature of people. This is war.
Knuckles whitening as she tightened her grip on her knives, the sailor opened her mouth to growl down at terrified man—only to pause and look up, hope sending her stomach churning as she heard a muffled shout.
Stooping slightly, the sailor punched the man beneath her across the face, knocking him unconscious once more before darting across the asphalt toward the wrecked pickup.
In a moment she was crouching over the hunter's battered form. Dark brows furrowed as her eyes flicked worriedly over his body, searching for injuries. He was covered in debris and ash and blood, looking very much like he had rolled in a fireplace full of glass.
"Quinn?" he questioned quietly, eyes closed, as she sheathed her knives and tugged up his shirt, revealing a large shard of glass caught in his skin. He flinched as her fingers grazed the bloodied skin.
"Hey ace, yeah its me," the sailor rasped softly in response, moving to kneel beside him as she looked for more glass stuck in his skin. Pushing the thought of how her name had sounded in his voice to the back of her mind.
His ice blue eyes flicked open, his brow creasing in pain as he attempted to sit up, one strong hand stopping the sailor's as she found another shard of glass buried in his side. "I'm fine, I'm fine," he growled, his teeth gritted as he met the sailor's eyes—knowing she was unconvinced. "Wha' happened? One of those fuckers musta knocked me out with a shot—" the hunter paused, grimacing as he moved his hand from the sailor's own to feel the side of his head and removing it bloody—"Damn…same side the blonde shot me on." He finished with a humorless bark of laughter.
The sailor raised an eyebrow at him, trying to determine how he had become a pincushion for glass shards, let alone lived through another headshot, as she muttered, "I removed the threat."
After a stretch of silence where Quinn continued to tug at the hunter's clothing in search of injuries, and he attempted to fend her off, the sailor rasped, "I thought they'd killed you."
She focused her gaze on the gash in the side of his head as the hunter stopped his mantra of "I'm fine, Lee. I'm fine," and she felt his eyes flick to her face.
The sailor let her eyes sink from his wound to his eyes as he fidgeted slightly, unshaven mouth opening and closing as he tried to say something—but then his expression changed suddenly.
Anger and surprise radiated off him as his eyes caught on something over her shoulder—and then she heard footsteps. Close behind her…clumsy and loud, something she could have caught if she hadn't been so focused on the injured man before her.
"Don't move bitch," came a deep, angry but muffled voice, sounding like the speaker had plugged his nose. His breath coming in ragged wheezes.
Shit. The hairs on the sailor's arms stood on end as she tensed, a cold metal object pressed against the back of her head. A gun. Her gun.
And then a rough, bloodied hand wound its way around her throat, even as the hunter growled, "Don't fuckin' touch her," in a tone that would have most cowering.
Quinn stayed frozen, eyes darting to the shiny paint of the truck, catching a glimpse of her captor and planning his demise as his hand tightened slightly on her throat when the hunter moved to lunge toward him.
"Move again and I'll shoot her," the man warned, his breath now heating the back of the sailor's head as he crouched uncomfortably close behind her.
She felt blood dripping onto her shoulder, and knew he must be the fellow she had kicked in the face. Eyes flicking to Daryl, she tried to calm him down and silently convey to him not to do anything stupid as she ran through potential escape plans in her head. Escape and kill.
"Pretty lil think ain't she," the man muttered in his muffled tone, his gaze mocking as he stared at the hunter and snaked his hand down toward the sailor's chest.
She felt the shaking of her captors laugh as the hunter growled ferociously at his movements. His hand was sliding lower and lower, its progression drawing the bloodied man's attention down her body and away from the weapon he had pressed to her head.
She struck as soon as she felt the muzzle slide off of her head, its wielder distracted. With all of her strength, the sailor threw her body back—elbow shooting up as she launched herself to collide with the man's already disfigured face. He let out a howl of pain—cursing as he fell backwards beneath her. Then she spun, and with a practiced twist she disarmed him, sending her suppressed handgun sliding across the asphalt.
She was about to start pounding him with clenched fists when a strong hand gripped her shoulder and tugged her off the pathetic man beneath her. The sailor made to protest, but as she turned she found Daryl Dixon looking absolutely livid—wounds forgotten—his icy eyes locked on her attacker's face. His expression clearly stating: He's mine.
The hunter had a crossbow bolt in his hand, and with a squelch and a crack of bone he drove it through the man's eye socket. "No one's gonna look at you like that," the hunter growled to Quinn as the man screamed, "Ever again."
As he finished he drove his bolt through the man's other eye, silencing his screams as he fell dead.
The sailor dragged the hunter's attention off of the dead man after a breath. Time he spent glaring down at the disfigured face and deciding if it could use a few more holes.
"We gotta go, ace," she rasped; now standing above him with her pistol reclaimed and re-holstered. One hand tugging his arm as he reluctantly looked up, she continued, "We're losing light."
But instead of standing, the hunter caught the arm she had extended to him with a strong hand and pulled her down. Down into his arms as he rolled off of the dead man's body onto the asphalt, and held firmly to his chest.
The sailor peered up at the gruff man's face as she lay on top of him, trying to catch his gaze as she murmured, "I'm pushing all the glass further into your body," and placed her hands on either side of his torso to push herself up.
"Shuddup, Lee. I don't care," he replied, his chest rumbling under her head as he tightened his arms around her, one of his large, rough, hands moving to brush her long ponytail off her shoulder and down her back.
Quinn let herself be pressed back into his chest with warmth spreading through her body at the feeling of his hand moving over her back. She tightened her own arms at his sides to silently return the embrace.
They stayed like that for a few moments; each knowing that words would jolt them back to reality.
The last hints of the sunset were fading from the sky, a thin red line at the base of the horizon barely lighting their path when the hunter and sailor finally rose. The gruff man close at the freckled woman's shoulder as she lead him toward where she had dropped the mission log.
The metal box was waiting for them, sitting amongst the strewn bodies of the enemy. The hunter bent to pick it up, flinching from the glass still stuck in his skin as he moved—but the sailor stopped him with a freckled hand and a murmured softly, "stop fucking hurting yourself," as she quickly stooped to retrieve it herself.
But the hunter didn't seem to hear her, his eyes catching on the fallen men.
"Where's the leader, Lee?"
The sailor whipped around at his words, keen eyes searching the bodies at their feet. Shit.
"He was here, I knocked him out when I heard you calling me," Quinn responded, dark brows furrowing as she scanned the darkening street for signs of movement. "Fuck," she murmured, when she found none, "we need to get back to the bike, ace. In case he's heading for the farm."
The hunter nodded his consent.
Before they darted down the asphalt to where they had hidden the bike, the hunter and sailor stooped to drive knives through each of the men's heads for good measure. Unwilling to take the chance that they could be followed.
Thankfully, the bike was right where they left it. Hidden from the road and waiting for them. It roared to life under the hunter's touch, its large headlight flashing on like a ball of fire. Quinn carefully climbed on behind the glass-riddled man, gingerly holding onto his waist as he kicked the bike forward and revved them into motion.
"I'm not gonna break, Lee," she heard the hunter growl over the roar of the bike, as he revved again and sent the vehicle shooting forward even faster—forcing her to tighten her grip on him. A move that she knew had him smirking, Quinn thought as she glared half-heartedly at the back of his head.
But then the hunter's voice sounded again, any humor in his tone replaced with a cautious edge, "Are those taillights up there?"
It was dark.
It was dark, and he had two rambunctious children in front of him, and one angry Maggie Green behind him—and all he could think about was Quinn Lee.
There was a fire burning in the middle of the survivor's camp next to the big white farm hours, illuminating those sitting around it with an orange glow as they watched Sophia and Carl happily throw twigs into it. The twigs made the fire pop and sent embers floating upward into the clear night sky, some sparkling toward the great tree that stood beside the house glowing as warmly as the group's faces.
They had been discussing the fate of the boy tied in the shed, faces serious and voices hushed…at least until the children had come running over to the fire with a disgruntled looking Glenn trailing them.
The young Korean had been tasked—well, asked nicely—by Carol to watch the children, and he had conceded. He needed an excuse to avoid the oldest Greene daughter, who would occasionally come down from sitting at her sister's side with her family in the house to try and talk to him. To try and tell him again that she loved him.
Glenn couldn't handle that. Couldn't handle love. Not now. Not when there was so much relying on his confidence in his ability everyday. The group trusted him, relied on him…and he had let them down in a moment of need.
He had frozen.
Running a hand through his thick hair Glenn looked from the kids to the fire—he had followed them over and joined the circle of his sitting companions, knowing that Maggie would not try to talk to him in front of the crowd. Brown eyes focusing on one particularly glowing log within the blaze, Glenn tried to think of what Q would say if she could hear his thoughts right now.
What would Quinn Lee do about freezing because you're scared to die because somebody loves you? Glenn almost chuckled to himself as he imagined the freckled woman's wild curls bouncing as she shook her head at him, saying something encouraging like "Don't be an idiot, G. There's nothing wrong with freezing, it happens to everyone. That's why you have someone at your back."
The thought eased some of his worries, but an imagined conversation was not as good as having his best friend at his side. There to punch him in the shoulder and tell him some story about some country he'd never heard of where she had once frozen and had to be saved.
But he couldn't imagine her freezing. Not Q. Never…she just always seemed ready. No matter how terrifying the situation or how steep the odds; she always had the same frighteningly calm expression. That's why he felt so foolish now, fidgeting in front of the fire, worrying about the one person he shouldn't worry about.
Not that he needed to worry about her trip companion either, the young Korean thought, picturing the gruff face of the hunter as he handed Sophia another stick to prod the fire with—but it was dark and they had left hours ago…after a day already so full of near death experiences.
He couldn't stop himself from worrying.
Then, he felt a vibration in his chest, and immediately Glenn's eyes shot to the road as the roar of an engine sounded. In a flash he was on his feet, eyes on the horizon—widening in fear as he saw not one vehicle, but two flying toward the entry road. Far faster than anyone need go as they approached the long gravel driveway.
"Guys!" Glenn yelled, drawing the group's attention to the road as he pointed, "Something's wrong!"
Gunshots rang out over the fields. Echoing as it reached the gathering around the fire and bringing them all springing to their feet.
"Everyone inside!" shouted Rick, as he sent Shane sprinting to get rifles.
The survivors obeyed, Dale ushering all but T, Glenn, Shane, and the sheriff into the house with the air of a protective father. Not even allowing Andrea to argue as he glared her into the house to safety.
The sheriff led the men out in front of the house, positioned between their people and the hurtling vehicles as Shane ran back with weapons in his large arms.
The deputy had the retiree's binoculars pressed to his eyes as he passed rifles to the men at his sides. The vehicles still too far away to see anything but three swerving headlights with the naked eye. "Holy shit," the hulking man whispered before forcing the binoculars into his partner's hands, "the chopper is following some giant truck, and one of our guys is hanging onto the top of the fucking truck trying to shoot the driver!" he exclaimed as Rick took the binoculars.
He was met with stunned faces, and then in a moment Rick repeated his, "Holy shit, he's right."
The binoculars quickly passed from T and then to Glenn, and when the young Korean focused his vision on the dark figure holding on to the canopy of a large truck with one hand, and firing a pistol with the other, he knew it could only be one person.
The truck driver appeared to be returning fire, and the person on the chopper sped up to try to distract the driver from his unwelcome passenger—and in a flash of the motorcycle's large headlight through the binoculars, Glenn saw her. "Holy shit, Quinn is on the truck," he muttered, and no one seemed surprised. "We need to get out there!" he continued, running toward the nearest vehicle.
The other men followed his lead, dashing toward Hershel's old red vehicle, thinking maybe they could head off the truck before anyone got hurt—but then there was a crash. The distinct sound of crunching metal as the large truck collided with a telephone pole to the side of the entry gate, its windshield shattering.
Then a gunshot rang through the air.
Followed by the sound of the chopper quickly being pulled to a halt in the gravel.
"Quinn!" Glenn yelled, forgoing the car and turning to sprint toward the crash, the other men dashing after him. "Quinn!" he yelled again as his feet flew over gravel, air whistling in his ears and deafening him to any response.
Ahead he could see a figure flash in front of the headlight of the chopper and run to try and heave open the door of the truck. The figure's attempts appeared to be unsuccessful, and as Glenn drew nearer—the other men's feet pounding at his back—he could here the gruff shouts of Daryl Dixon as he gave up on the door and started to try to climb through the high-sitting window.
"Lee! Lee, where are you?!" the hunter's panicked shouts echoed across the field.
Glenn's heart sped up wildly as he and the others skidded to a halt in front of the crashed truck, his eyes widening in fear as he took in the crash. It was a large military vehicle, painted army green and now partially smashed against the large and unforgiving mass of the metal telephone pole. Smoke was pouring from the hood and glass from the shattered windshield was everywhere, some of it that lay on the ground was coated in blood.
If Quinn had been in there when it crashed…or worse had been thrown from the top…Glenn worried, unable to vocalize anything as he approached the driver door window that the hunter had now successfully climbed through. But then he heard the gruff man speak again…soft and barely audible…and he released a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding.
"Jesus, Quinn don't fuckin' scare me like that."
Glenn laughed, short and loud when he saw the sailor's face appear in the window frame of the driver door, the hunter at her back. She was scraped up and disgruntled looking, but she was alive and moving. Clambering out of the truck as she swore colorfully, Quinn took the sheriff's hand to help her down as the lean man sped to side of the crashed vehicle.
In a cloud of dust her familiar figure stood before him—still leaning on the sheriff's offered arm as the hunter jumped down behind her—weary but smiling as she rasped, "Whatcha laughing at G?"
Where were these people finding cancer patients?
One large hand tugged through wild blonde curls as he stood at the bedside of a severely underweight elderly man. He wasn't an oncologist…he didn't feel remotely confident caring for a man with stage-three lymphoma and nothing to treat it with but morphine. Hell there was nothing much he could do for this man besides force-feed him calories and pain relievers…
But he would do it, the fear for his family's safety keeping him in the makeshift hospital day after day the same way it kept Merle and Leo obediently on patrol duty, and kept Claire teaching at the makeshift school with her best attempt at a smile plastered to her face. They all had the baby to think about. The one thing keeping them from shooting their way to freedom and fleeing to find the other Lee and Dixon siblings.
The men in charge of this prison-deemed-sanctuary killed newcomers at will—Wes had seen it himself through the corner of his dark window one night when Merle had woken him with a worried look haunting his graying face…so why where they finding and keeping these incurable patients?
The blonde man knew the reasons could only be dark…as were all reasons for decisions made by the Governor.