The RV continued to speed down the highway, lights cutting through the dark and occasionally illuminating a walker or two. Kenny easily avoided them, staying quiet for once. The entire vehicle was silent, save intermittent snoring coming from the majority of the passengers. Lee sat in the back, staring at Clementine as she slept with her hat crookedly across her forehead. She looked peaceful, innocent in a way that should be impossible these days. It was harder and harder for him to look at her without accidently seeing her as his daughter.
Lee grunted softly, shifting forward as he rested his elbows on his knees. He had said her parents would find her. For a while, she had relied on that to make it through. Fake conversations on the walkie-talkie, pictures of them, asking how they would know where she was. For a while, he had made up answers, smiling, making excuses that she would buy every time.
But after some time, the questions came less frequently. She would ask if her parents would find them, and he would say yes. End of conversation. His answer, in her mind, was as good as any reason he could have given. The walkie-talkie became less used, still hanging by a makeshift cord around her neck. The pictures had become drawings of him.
The last one had touched him, but worried him as well. What if they never found her family? Would he be able to tell her? Would he be able to look her in the eye after breaking his promise? It was difficult to imagine anything harder than that.
Except, perhaps, giving her back to them. As much as it made Lee feel like a selfish bastard, part of him didn't want to find Clementine's parents. Part of him wanted her to stay with him for good, the daughter he never had. But he knew, if her parents were alive, that he would have to return her. It would hurt, good Lord it would hurt. But that's what he would have to do.
Useless musings. Pointless thoughts, he knew. It hurt too much to think about Carley right now. It hurt too damn much.
The voice broke him out of his concentration, and he glanced up at Lilly. Hatred swam through his veins as his vision turned red, and he glared at her. "The hell do you want?"
Lilly looked at him, emotions clouding her face. Guilt? Sadness? Fear? Lee had never been good at reading people, and didn't try too hard now. Didn't matter anyways, his trust in her was gone. Carley was gone.
Lilly sat down across from him, just above Clementine's head. Her hands were folded in front of her, and she stared down. "I did what had to be done."
"Bullshit," Lee muttered, lacking the energy to do anything else. "She was innocent. Didn't do a damn thing to deserve that." He glared at Lilly. "And even if she did, do you have your food now that she is dead? Has her murder magically produced any of the medicine we lost? It was over. We were fucking done, gone, miles away. There was no point in killing anybody."
Lilly didn't meet his gaze, head down. Lee took a deep breath, letting it out between his teeth.
"Just like there's no point in having this conversation. It's over. We're miles away," he said as his voice trailed off.
"I'm sorry," Lilly said softly.
"Fuck you. I don't want to hear a damn thing from you right now. Not after I tried saved your father, stuck by you, hell, almost gotten eaten trying to make sure you made it with us."
Lee's voice dropped dangerously low. "If you go on another self-righteous killing spree, if you touch a hair on Clementine's head, I will not kill you."
Lilly raised her head, giving him a curious look. Lee's glare only deepened. "Walkers like their food fresh."
Her face went white, and Lilly faltered. Swallowing, she stood and walked back to her seat near the front. Lee hung his head, clenching his teeth as his thoughts flooded once again to Carley. The talks they'd had, her accuracy with a gun, rolling the memories over and over in his mind. Teasing her about the batteries, and her convincing him to let the truth about himself be known.
Her kiss on his cheek.
That had only been a few short hours ago. Maybe if he had negotiated better, maybe if he had taken the blame, maybe if he had grabbed the gun…
Lee sighed. "It doesn't matter anymore," he muttered. "It's over. We're miles and miles away.