A/N – This was just an idea I had… I don't know if it's been done before, I'm a little behind in my reading, but I thought I'd give it a go. I'm not sure if this is a one shot or the start of a new fic for me. Let me know what you think please! Thank you!
Disclaimer – I own nothing and cannot claim credit for any people, places, or anything at all, but I'm so very glad that The Walking Dead creator doesn't mind if I borrow his creation and characters because it is oh so very fun to do so.
She stared out the passenger window as the trees rolled past. She sighed. This was unreal. She had never thought he would come. She had never thought that he would actually stand up and say, "Wait…" and that he would grab the only bag he had left after leaving the farm and follow her into the woods and back to the vehicles.
It was after Rick's rant… they'd all stood there in silence after he'd screamed that if they didn't like his way of doing things, they could just go. Send him a postcard, he'd said. Everyone had been stunned by his outburst. He'd been a good leader; she knew that… she'd known that since the first time she met him, that he was a born leader. But she didn't trust him… not after he'd kept information from them. And even less after hearing that he'd killed Shane – not because she thought he shouldn't have or because she judged him for it, but because he'd said he'd killed Shane for them, for the group, and she was certain that wasn't wholly the truth.
She didn't think Rick killed Shane for the good of the group. And she'd stood there, listening to him yell, listening to him scream at them that they could go and she knew she had to. Even if it meant dying out there, even if it meant she was alone, even if it meant learning to take care of herself – with weapons and all – she just had to go.
Her whole life, she'd been told how to feel, what to do, that her voice didn't matter, that her feelings and her opinions didn't matter. And she was DONE.
This wasn't about Sophia. She didn't really blame Rick for that; she never had, she'd just been so angry in the beginning, but she'd never truly blamed him. And she'd thanked him for searching for her daughter, countless times. Rick had brushed it off each time, but she knew he had appreciated the gratitude, it reaffirmed that he was doing well, that he was doing his best. This wasn't about Sophia.
This was about trust. It was about believing that the person who led you had your best interest in mind. And Rick didn't, not anymore. Something had changed him, had made him colder, crueler, more in tune with this new world perhaps, but not a man she trusted anymore.
In the moments of silence that followed, her gaze had flickered to T-Dog who stood on watch and looked uneasy after Rick's speech; then to Maggie and Glenn, Beth and Hershel who all looked stunned ; to Lori who looked afraid and Carl who was still sobbing into his mother's shoulder; and then to Daryl. He'd looked… well she wasn't sure… but he was silent, brooding maybe, his eyes shaded and his lips drawn into an unreadable thin line on his face.
She had stood there, her eyes on Daryl and then she turned her attention to Rick again. He was still radiating anger from his very pores and he'd spun, turned his back to them all and that's when she'd said it.
Rick had spun again to face her, his eyes seething. "What?" His voice had been low, incredulous.
She'd almost taken it back, her resolve wavering, but she took a deep breath and found her voice. "I'm… I'm sorry Rick. But I can't…. I can't stay here… not… not with you… with you like this. You're a good man, and a good leader, and I'm grateful for all you've done for me, but I can't follow you anymore." She stammered the first few sentences but the last words were strong, decisive.
Rick had snorted. That was his response. A snort of derision, bordering on laughter and then his eyes had narrowed. "Well, gee, Carol… good fucking luck out there on your own then. And don't think I'm giving you a weapon, you'd probably just shoot yourself anyway and then we'd be out another gun and another bullet. You want to die… fine… get the fuck out of here. It's not like we've ever needed you."
She hadn't known what she'd expected. For Rick to beg her to stay? Did she want to stay? She knew without really asking herself that she didn't. She didn't trust him. She'd trusted him before, but he wasn't that Rick anymore. This Rick was unpredictable and angry and self-righteous and she could NOT trust him.
"I don't want your guns. I'll figure it out on my own," she'd said, her voice calm and full of a strength she hadn't even realized she possessed. And she'd turned, grabbing her oversized purse, the only thing she'd been able to salvage from the farm, and she'd moved to leave.
Her breath had caught in her throat at his deep, throaty voice. She'd thought maybe someone would say something… Lori maybe, they had been something like friends… but she never imagined that he would say something.
"I'm comin'," he'd said, his voice begrudging but determined and he'd gotten up from the side of the fire, grabbed his bag and moved towards her.
Rick had elicited an angry growl of frustration and he'd shot daggers at her before looking at Daryl. He'd opened his mouth to speak but whatever he saw in Daryl's eyes stopped him.
Daryl had breezed past Rick and over to her. When her eyes met his, he'd averted his eyes quickly and mumbled something that sounded like, "hell, ya ain't goin' alone", but she couldn't be sure.
And then he'd stepped away from her and into the woods and she'd followed. They'd taken the bike and driven a few miles before she started to shiver uncontrollably from the chilly night air. He hadn't said anything about it but he'd stopped as soon as they came across some abandoned vehicles and found a truck. He'd barely acknowledged her and she'd stayed silent as he loaded the bike into the bed of the truck and then spared a glance at her and nodded for her to get in.
They'd been driving in silence ever since… his focus only on the road ahead of them, on some plan or idea that she wasn't yet privy to… her staring out the window wondering at the craziness of it all. He had left with her. He had left. With her.
A/N – So what do you think? One shot or should I keep going?