Chapter 3 - A New Life
The first couple of days at camp were difficult but gradually everyone was starting to set into their roles. Mostly men and a couple women did guard duty and patrol of the camp while the women cooked, washed clothes and looked after the children. To her surprise even the Dixon brothers were helping out, well they hunted for fresh meat. Rosalie had to admit that she did not like Merle one bit he was constantly high and tried to sleep with any woman he could. However she wasn't sure how she felt about Daryl, he was quiet but still snappy he pretty much stayed clear of everyone at camp.
As for Rosalie well she was appointed the camp doctor which was a blessing as well as a curse. She loved helping people it was the reason she had become a nurse, to save lives. However she was constantly busy looking at scrapes, splinters and any other minor injury. Understandably everyone was on edge not fully knowing all the different ways the virus could spread so she had to deal with a lot of panicked people and parents. Although she had told everyone that it was only passed through bites and scratches from the dead they still insisted that she doubled checked to make sure.
When she wasn't tending to people Rosalie spent most of her time with Connor either reading or playing board games. Although she was also trying to teach him basic survival skills. She may have felt safe at camp but that didn't stop her from worrying that something could go wrong, if they ever got separated she wanted Connor to be able to look after himself.
Connor was currently wondering around camp while the adults had a meeting about who was going on a quick supply run to the city outskirts. He was hoping that Shane wouldn't let his mother go, the anxiety of not knowing if she'd come back would be too much for him. He knew it sounded somewhat selfish that he only wanted his mother to stay with him but he just didn't want her to get hurt, or worse.
Connor rounded a corner and saw someone sat on a log, Daryl was it? He wasn't sure but he knew he was related to "that asshole Merle" as he mum would say. Connor debated for a moment before making is way over to the man who looked like he was skinning something. Connor stood in front of Daryl not sure what to say.
"What d'you want kid?" The man grumbled startling Connor in the process.
"Um I was just uh wondering...what are you doing?"
"Skinning and gutting squirrels" came his simple reply, Daryl didn't even take his eyes away from the task at hand. Connor stood there awkwardly mumbling a "cool" before sitting down.
Daryl glanced at the kid next to him, he recognised him as that nurse Rosalie's kid. She would probably kick his ass for talking to her son but the young man didn't look like he was going anywhere anytime soon. "What?" He asked gruffly.
"Can I have a go?" Connor burst out following it a moment later with a "please"
Daryl let out a snort of laughter "yeah sure ya mum would love that"
"She would. She's been teaching me stuff, you know how to survive. So learning to skin and gut an animal would be very educational for me." Daryl looked at the boy skeptically before sighing.
"Fine but I ain't letting you do it, not wasting the meat just watch. And if your mum asks it was all your idea" Connor beamed at him as Daryl thought him, the boy was constantly asking questions about everything. Daryl thought he would find it annoying but he actually enjoyed teaching the kid.
A voice startled them both as Daryl was telling Connor about the organs and why it was important to not cut through them. "What's going on here then?" Daryl looked up seeing Rosalie stood there, hands on her hips and eyebrow raised as she looked between the two.
"Daryl was teaching me how to gut and skin squirrels" Connor beamed happily.
"Well that is-" but before she could finishe Daryl interrupted. He knew her reaction wasn't going to be good so he thought he'd save himself the lecture.
"I get it I'll stay away, don't want your son around a redneck piece of trash like me right?" Daryl spat out causing a shocked look to cover Rosalie's face. He expected her to grab Connor and storm away, telling the whole camp what had happened but instead she walked closer crossing her arms and just stared at him.
"Actually I was going to say thank you for teaching him something useful. Lori just wants him to do school work she doesn't agree with me teaching him stuff like this" this time is was Daryl's turn to look shocked, it was safe to say that he was not expecting a thank you. Nobody had ever thanked a Dixon. Rosalie sat down next to Connor "so how much have you learnt"
"Actually I just finished telling him, I would let him try but uh I don't have any squirrel left. I was going on a hunt tomorrow though"
"Mum can go with you" Connor blurted out causing both adults to stare at him. Daryl turned his gaze to Rosalie.
"you hunt?" He was rather shocked, he never expected a girl like her to hunt.
"Uh yeah, my dad taught me"
"Yeah grandpa was great at it. You should see mum with a bow it's awesome!" Connor praised
Daryl seemed to be thinking it over for a moment before nodding "you can tag along, just don't slow me down or I'll leave your ass behind"
"Uh thanks...I guess" Rosalie mumbled. Connor got up quickly after that claiming he was hungry which just left Rosalie and Daryl sat there in an awkward silence. Finally Rosalie decided to break the silence. "Thank you"
"What for?" Daryl asked confused
"For making him smile" Rosalie got up to leave. It was true what she said to Daryl, it had been a while since she'd seen her son smile that brightly. These past few weeks had been hard, the panic attacks, the nightmares where he sometime woke up screaming. Rosalie knew how to make them better and that was to keep him busy it helped to take Connors mind off the new dangerous world that they lived in. Connor was not one to trust easily so when she saw him smiling and talking to Daryl it had completely took her by surprise. She had to admit she was weary of the younger Dixon at first but after seeing Connor smiling she just couldn't hold onto that feeling of mistrust.
As Rosalie walked back into the main camp area she barely had chance to register what was happening. An angry looking Shane stomped towards her and grabbed her arm leading her back towards the woods. "You are not going on a hunt! Especially not with Dixon!" Shane roared at her once he let her go.
"Excuse me? Who said I needed your approval to do anything?!" Rosalie shot back. She would not take being bossed around like that, even if he was her brother.
"People at camp need you! You can't just go running off into the woods with Dixon! You have responsibilities!"
"I'll be gone for half a day I'm sure people will manage to clean there own cuts for a couple of hours!" Rosalie hissed back at him "now is this really about my responsibilities or is it about Daryl?" She wasn't stupid, she heard the venom in Shane's voice when he referred to the Dixon.
"Out of all the people why the hell would you go with him Rosie?! His brothers a fucking drug addict for Chris's sake! He's trash!"
Rosalie was livid, she stepped closer to Shane glaring at him, yet her voice remained calm as she spoke "Daryl Dixon is not his brother, I trust him" Shane scoffed but Rosalie held her hand up stopping him from talking "he was with Connor today, teaching him how to skin and gut animals and you know what I saw? I saw him smile Shane, a real goddamn smile. Tell me when was the last time you saw that" Shane remained silent "exactly, so I'm going to go hunting with Daryl whether you like it or not." Rosalie went to walk away but stopped "and don't you ever do that shit again Shane"
With that Rosalie went back into camp receiving looks from some people who had clearly heard the siblings fight. Rosalie paid them no mind as they whispered, she never cared what people thought of her anyway. Connor was waiting on a log for her looking guilty, she knew he was the one that told Shane obviously not thinking that his uncle would react in such a way.
"I'm sorry mum, do you have to stay here now?"
"Oh sweetie you don't need to be sorry and no I gave your uncle Shane a piece of my mind" she smiled kissing the top of his head.
"Good because I like Daryl. I just wish people wouldn't judge him because of the way Merle is"
"Me too. Now come on let's help out with making tea shall we?" Connor nodded and rushed over to Carol who was preparing everything to see if she needed help. Rosalie couldn't be prouder of her son in that moment, he saw the good in everyone and was more willing than most to give people chances. Even after his father left when he was 10 and the panic attacks started Connor was the one that got Rosalie through it all, without him she would truly be lost. Although they both found it hard to let other people into their little family afraid that they would be left broken again, Rosalie saw the smallest crumble in Connors walls when he was talking to Daryl and that made her smile.
It was now the next morning and Rosalie was up at the crack of dawn getting ready for the hunting trip with Daryl. Connor asked if he could come too but she refused but she promised that maybe he could in the future. While getting ready she pulled on a pair of skinny blue jeans and a plain tank top knowing it was going to be hot today. She laced up her black boots before heading out the tent and grabbing a hunting rifle that she got off Dale last night. Unfortunately no one had a bow and she had left hers at home.
She caught Daryl just as he was making his way into the woods, "hey!" She whisper shouted
Daryl just turned round and nodded his head in the direction of the woods before he continued walking, Rosalie just rolled for eyes before following after him.
"So Dixon what we hunting today?"
"Just the usual, squirrel maybe a couple of rabbits, not much big game round here"
"Oh okay so I-" but she was cut off by Daryls annoyed voice
"No talkin' you'll scare them away, plus I like it quiet" Rosalie just huffed before falling into step with the hunter.
It wasn't long before she spotted the first rabbit, she put her hand out to stop Daryl before crouching and readying her rifle.
"This ones mine" she whispered looking through the scope, once she had the perfect shot she fired hitting the rabbit square in the eye. She looked up at Daryl with a smug look, she knew he doubted her abilities and was more than happy to prove him wrong. Daryl just stared at here before he continued walking, her smile dropped slightly.
They'd been in the woods for three hours now, she'd caught 2 rabbits while Daryl had her beat with 4 squirrels. It was a silent game that had started between the two and it turns out she wasn't that good at hunting squirrel.
Rosalie was so lost in her thoughts she didn't realise how far behind she was, she also didn't notice the walker sneaking up on her left until it grabbed her sending both of them to the ground. Rosalie let out a scream dropping her rifle, she put her hands out in front of her trying to push the walker away, she was frozen as she looked into its lifeless eyes. She'd never seen one up close before and it was truly terrifying. After a couple seconds she snapped out of it using one hand to hold the walker at bay while she reached into her belt. Her fingers could feel the handing of her knife that she had recently decided to keep on her at all times, she quickly gripped it before slamming it into the walkers skull, it went limp straight away, it's dead weight falling on her. She was frozen she couldn't believe what she'd just done, she was so lost in thought that she almost missed the rushed footsteps heading towards her.
Daryl had noticed that Rosalie wasn't behind him, he felt the slightest bit of worry which grew when he heard her scream pierce the air around him. He ran in the direction he came in he quickly got to her only to see her stabbing the walker on top of her. He was in shock, she was tougher than her had originally thought. His worry started to increase again when he noticed she was unmoving underneath the walker. He quickly rushed over to her roughly pulling the walker off her. He saw he wide eyes and tears stained cheeks and decided to lightly call her name. Her eyes snapped to him and she slowly started to sit up while Daryl checked her for bites
"Did it get ya" Daryl asked while still frantically looking for bites, after finding none her turned to look at her once more "the hell happened?"
It took Rosalie a while to compose herself before answering "I-it just came out of nowhere, it's my fault I just oh my god" Rosalie didn't know what she was doing when she wrapped her arms tightly around Daryls neck, she just needed some comfort right now.
Daryl was in complete shock as she clung onto him tightly sobbing into his shoulder. He wasn't used to this kind of affection, he didn't know what to do so he just sat there with his arms at his sides letting her cry. After a while Rosalie composed herself and pulled away from Daryl. She normally wasn't one to cry but that had really shook her "oh god I'm so sorry, I don't know what came over me, I shouldn't have done that"
"S'alright" he mumbled before quickly getting to his feel and adjusting his crossbow on his shoulder while pulling her knife from the walkers lifeless body. Rosalie quickly followed his lead picking up her rifle, she slowly took the knife was Daryl's hand giving him a small smile and a "thank you"
She sighed while taking in their surroundings "we should uh probably head back now, Shane's probably back from the run now and he'll definitely freak when he see's me"
Daryl let out a huff of laughter before nodding "we should, stay close this time, don't wanna loose ya again" Rosalie just smiled and followed him back to camp not realising how serious Daryl was being, loosing her and hearing her scream honestly scared the shit out of him, though he would deny it until he was blue in the face.
They managed to get back to camp around half an hour later, lucky for them Connor was the first to spot his mum running to her and engulfing her in a bear hug
"I missed you so much, are you okay why are you covered in blood" Connor rambled on when Rosalie spotted Shane stomping towards them.
"What the fuck happened to her?! What the fuck did you do Dixon?!" Shane was up in Daryl's face at this point
"Didn't do nothin'! She got attacked by a walker, killed the thing herself too"
Shane got even more in Darryl's face before Rosalie came between them pushing Shane back "Stop! He's telling the truth Shane! It's my own fault anyway"
Shane stopped glaring at Daryl turning his glare to her instead "what?" He gritted out
"I-I wasn't paying attention, I fell behind, I didn't even hear the walker coming. Shane I'm so sorry, but hey I managed to kill it myself come on you can't tell me that you're not at least a little impressed that your baby sister managed to kill one of those things" she smiled up at him trying to lighten the tense atmosphere, the smile quickly dropping when she saw the disappointed look on his face
"Just go get cleaned up" his emotionless voice cut through her like a knife as she watched him walk away.
She turned to face Daryl "thanks for today, I had fun dispute the whole nearly dying thing" he just nodded before heading in the direction of his and Merle's tent
She sighed before turning to Connor "come on bud lets go get cleaned up huh?" Connor nodded following his mother through camp
Connor broke the silence first "for the record I thought you taking on a walker was pretty awesome" he beamed up at her before Rosalie ruffled his hair, the two laughing as they made their way towards the lake
Another chapter already, I am on a roll with updating my stories now :D
So this is basically the original hunting chapter but I just added a bit onto the beginning. I just loved the original chapter so much that I had to put it in there. Hope you enjoyed it :)
Thank you to everyone that has followed, favourited and reviewed this story so far!
- Emily x