Oh man, I'm nervous to let you guys read this, but here is the start to my story "Come Alive". I've never written for someone like Daryl before, so I find that to be half the battle and I really want everyone to stay in character. This will take place halfway through season one and continue into season two and I will continue to write in between the gap that was left from two to three.
Note: The nickname Ajax is a salute to the HMS Ajax, the Royal Navy cruiser that served during World War II. It is now a town in Ontario, Canada.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but any OC's that may appear.
"So…how long have you been here?" Glenn didn't fancy himself as a socialite, heck even in school he'd been rather awkward, but as he waited in the bowels of 'Heavenly Grace' retirement home, he was more than pleased to find someone to talk to who wasn't breathing out of a tube in a hospital bed. Not that he was complaining, the place was a white light in the now grey world, but his situation was a temporary one, and he knew his group would be returning again. Guillermo was a ballsy man to have the gull to hold him out on that roof in front of them boys from camp. Rick had been amped with concern, Glenn had seen it on his face, and no doubt he would drag Daryl and T-Dog back for his Asian ass again. They were playing a rather dangerous game of Blind Man's Bluff here, and he rather hoped that Guillermo wouldn't push it too far, seeing as they were playing with unarmed weapons without Rick's awareness.
Glenn turned his attention back to his new companion who was sitting against the starch white wall of the building. She was dressed heavy in a long leather coat that ended just above her knees. It was difficult to tell the color now, though dark chocolate brown was visible underneath the settled mud and gore. She was wearing tight black pants and low heeled rider boots that were chinked with all the dry dust and mud of Atlanta. Her face was soft and worn like an aged painting where vibrant color only remained in her auburn hair. He settled his gaze on her dark eyes that were staring back pensively, "It was last Tuesday they brought me in so I've been here six days." Her voice was soft with a touch of abrasiveness from having grown hard in the dead world. He thought she might be a caring person if Armageddon hadn't driven it out of her first. Her gloved hand rested under her chin, playing with the woolen scarfed tucked into the front of her done-up jacket. He was growing sweaty just looking at her.
"Did you come from the cold because you look ready for winter?" He forced a smile and she disregarded it with indifference.
"No, I was in Savannah on vacation. Long story short, now I'm here."
He'd learnt fast when talking with her that she was short on details, and he didn't wish to pry, knowing that his relationship with her wouldn't go beyond the borders of this city, maybe not even passed this room, "Savannah, wow that's way down East. How did you end up in Atlanta?"
"The Apocalypse has no need for distance. I did what I could to get away, and I was separated from the person I was with." She studied her gloved hand momentarily as if the worn leather was the most fascinating thing she had gazed at, "I guess my search continues from here."
"Well, I am with a group of people, perhaps I've seen who you're searching for." Said Glenn keeping at his best to try and help, even though he would be scolded by Shane if he knew he was helping another person. Large groups were a danger and it was best to try and keep connections to outsiders at bay, but Glenn was used to the way things had been, and he felt he was still wet behind the ears when it came to cutting people off, "Who are you looking for?"
"It's not your concern." She said tightly, and Glenn had to look away from the look on her face to prevent himself from pain. She had looked so defeated and hateful, much like a cornered animal about ready to try anything to survive on their last leg. It was love that was compelling her, but he didn't want to get into details about her missing person.
"Sorry." He rubbed his neck while kicking his feet out in front of him, "So, you said your name was Ajax? That's kind of a guy's name—no offense."
She chuckled, "None taken, it's supposed to sound masculine." She drew up her hood around her face and threw on a pair of black goggles that hid her eyes. After tucking in the last remnants of her hair that had been tied back in a pony-tail from view, she pulled the wool scarf around her mouth and he saw just the fraction of a smile behind it, "Now you assume me to be man, right?"
Glenn pulled a bemused face, "Uh, yeah, but why would you want people—"
"To mistake me for a man?" She interrupted and he nodded, "Because men last longer in this world and are asked fewer questions. Take a surviving group like this for example. If they had seen a gun wielding woman, what do you think their reactions might have been?"
"I…I'm not sure." He answered in honest confusion.
"They happen to be friendly survivalists, so I doubt anything bad." She continued as she removed the goggles from her eyes, "But some groups that consist of only men, and men alone, they find a woman on her own…well, I wouldn't be counting my blessing anytime soon had that been the case." She finished with a cryptic glance to him.
Glenn understood her meaning now, and though he was somewhat of an innocent person from his upbringing, he knew well enough about how dark the world could get, and for a vulnerable woman left alone in the hands of deprived men, he knew where such things would lead, "So, what's your real name?" A subject change was in order, and they were both glad of it.
"Oh, I don't like to share that. I don't really know you well enough to be giving you my name…Glenn." Her hard look made his cheeks flush. He had been so frivolous and had openly introduced himself out of pure, harmless intentions. He didn't read any danger here, and she knew that as well, but he had to agree that there could be a case in which one might want to keep their name hidden, "Will your Southern brigade be coming back to fetch you soon? I expect by the look on your Sheriff that they'll be making haste."
"Oh Rick? He's a good man, he's just been bent by the world to survive; we all have." Glenn rubbed his hands together again as he risked a glance at the open room that was filled with the sick, both young and old. How long would these people last before ailments took them, or worse Walkers? The place was reek with death and sterilizer, a pleasant replacement from one of blood and decay, "You should come back with us, seeing as you have nowhere to go."
"A forward offer, but how do you know I have nowhere to go?" She challenged.
"Because you've been here for six days, and you have already been healed by Guillermo's men." He rebuked smartly, "Sorry if I am being a pain in your side, but I just figured you could use the help, at least until you have a heading on that missing person." In the back of his mind he could hear Shanes' nagging about recruiting more strangers to the Quarry, but he trusted Ajax enough to at least not slaughter them in their sleep.
She was quiet at his side for a moment and he saw the turmoil on her face, "I guess I could hang around for at least a few days, But I'm not joining your little band of brothers or anything." She said the latter part to make it seem less final, but already Glenn was grinning.
"Good, we could use the extra gun on the way back, just don't let Daryl know I said that."
"He the redneck looking one with the scowl?" She questioned.
He laughed, "Yeah that's him, though I'd lighten up on that redneck stuff unless you want to sit on that crossbow."
"Oh very colorful." Said Ajax, she hid her smile behind the wool again, but her eyes were alight with humor, "And what about your dark companion, does he have a name?"
"He responds to T-Dog well enough, so just call him that."
"What a bizarre group you come from."
"Well, not exactly a group any of us would normally hang with I'll give you that, but the world is strange, and the people even stranger."
"So I've come to learn." She muttered. He watched as she pulled out a Beretta from inner pocket of her jacket. The barrel was extended by a suppressor on the end, much like the rifle she carried on her shoulder.
"Jesus, are you an Italian mobster or something?"
She burst out into real laughter, her body shacking as the hood slipped of her head, "Heck no, I've had these with me since Savannah when I was traveling with my group. Things turn awry there quick and we were scattered. I actually had more, but they were lost in the chaos and these were the only two I could grab; my Beretta and my AWM-F. My group and I had found a collection of them in a residential home actually, so perhaps that person was mob, though in Savannah Georgia, I doubt it."
She seemed to enjoy that small story, and Glenn had to admit that it improved his mood as well, "How come you never tried to find your group?"
"I had found some of them." Her tone turned grim, "I had to put bullets into two of them because the geeks had already gotten to them first. Damn shame really…this fucking world." She shook her head, pulling herself together as she stashed away her handgun and brought the sniper rifle just an inch closer to her raised knee by her small duffle bag.
Glenn was silent for a moment, having not experienced much action when it came to Walkers yet, other than his trips to the city. He hadn't for a moment stopped to think about the circumstances in which one of their own at camp could be bitten and it sent a chill crawling down his spin. Ajax must have noticed because she gave him a reassuring smile that was backed with a sturdy gaze. Both of their heads snapped forward when they heard a ruckus start down in the lower level of the building, "Your squad is here." She noted.
"Yeah…are you ready to meet the family?" said Glenn in a teasing tone.
"Just as long as they think I'm another male added to the group." She started to assemble her disguise again and Glenn frowned.
"Wait, you're forcing me to lie to them?"
"I'm not forcing you to do anything, I'm only asking. I'm not going to be staying with your group for long anyhow, so can you please keep this up for me?" She paused half way through tucking her hair back while Glenn struggled to form a coherent answer.
"Dammit!" He cursed, "You're lucky I like you."
"I'll take that as your confirmation." They stood up together and she adjusted the strap of the rifle on her shoulder with her duffle bag before they fell in stride. Glenn wasn't allowed to leave for he was supposed to be used as leverage for 'Heavenly Grace' to acquire weapons, so instead they stood next to an ill-patient, confined to rest until death found him here. Glenn spied the small Chihuahuas nestled in a woven basket on the ground and cracked a smile which Ajax saw, "Did they tell you about their ferocious canines too?" She asked from behind her scarf.
"Another lie huh, one that could cost many lives if they come across anyone else who isn't level-headed like Rick."
"You speak highly of him." It wasn't a question, but Glenn didn't answer either way. His attention was drawn in by the three familiar men entering behind Guillermo and his grew. Rick was at the head, looking relieved in that damned Sheriffs outfit that helped everyone sleep a little better at night. He was the Lone Ranger in that hat and Glenn couldn't help but smile back as he approached.
"Jesus." Rick breathed before turning swiftly to Guillermo, "You're either the dumbest son of a bitch I've ever met or the smartest," Rick growled in the man's face as he stepped forward, "What the hell were you thinking? Pulling unloaded guns on us? You're boy there had us believing that you all were locked and loaded and going to blow us away. And we were ready to retaliate, no questions asked." Rick pointed a finger in the leaders face while he did his best to keep his composure. The two continued to silently feud while the two yappy rat dogs barked from their place on the ground.
"Damn." The man T-Dog stepped up to Glenn, "I thought you was dog food man, but it turns out it's the goddamn Taco-Bell rat they got hiding." He shook his head, almost looking jovial about the turn of events.
"Better than getting thrown off a roof." Glenn added, "Took you guys long enough to get back here."
"Yeah, shrimpy had us believing that there was an arsenal waiting for us here so we had to plan. Good thing they showed their bluff before things got out of hand." The dark fellow looked around the room at the elderly people that were both frail and feeble in their last moments. His eyes settled on Ajax, whom kept up her façade with remarkable ease, "Who's this?"
"Oh uh, Ajax, he's been staying here too." Glenn stressed the word while shooting a look at his comrade, who adamantly ignored his protests. T-Dog seemed more fixated on the gun lapsed on her shoulder, while wondering how such a small person could brandish such a weapon.
"What's going on here?" Rick asked as he came up to his group, Guillermo following tight at his heels.
"Chinaman's picked up another straggler." The voice of the crude redneck had Glenn flinching while Ajax turned her gaze towards him under her black goggles. Though he seemed a foul person at first, a lost child also lurked underneath and she wasn't immediately disturbed by his presence. A man was free to his own values and opinions, it was the one thing this cruel world could not take away and he used it openly to his own comforts.
"I see." Rick continued, "What's your name son?"
"Ajax." She said gruffly, and Glenn turned to her in amazement at how she masked her voice. The rest of the eyes were focused on her gun, and she smirked though having a difficult time wondering whose look was more comical.
"You have yer'self some fire power there." The Sheriff pointed to the thing everyone was staring at, "A suppressor, I bet that comes in handy."
"Fairly." She replied calmly.
"You Italian or something?" T-Dog asked.
"Canadian actually." It was news to Glenn as well, though he assumed she was more open to the group because they were her next shot at finding her missing person, "My stay with you won't be permanent, I have other business to get back to, but I need to get re-established." Daryl made a noise at her, something like a grunt of disbelief crossed with doubt.
Rick scratched the stubble on his chin, contemplating her with scrutiny, "What's yer other business?"
"I'm looking for someone." Daryl raised his head with intrigue and she caught a lost look in his blues eyes that led her to conclude he too was searching for someone.
"Well, I suppose if you can hold your own in a fight, and aren't planning on staying long term than I can invite you along." Rick looked over his shoulder at the other men. T-Dog gave a nod with Glenn while Daryl just grunted again before turning away, "Alright then." One firm nod from Rick and she was allowed to stay.
The group prepared their leave from 'Heavenly Grace' once again, and Ajax was surprised at herself about how much she wished to taste open air again, even if it was the dry and corroded breeze of Atlanta. Guillermo shared a final word with Rick and his group before he came up to her, smiling knowingly at her disguise, "You sure you'll be alright with them chicka?"
"They're good men; the very same as you I think." She touched his forearm for a moment before removing it again.
"Well, we will miss your protection at any rate. It was a nice feeling to have someone under our roof who was trained with a gun." Her lips quirked as she was filled with guilt, and he looked regretful, "Ah, don't listen to me, we'll be fine. You go out and find your compañero, true?" She nodded a solid once and a smile played out across his face.
"Hey Canada, get yer ass movin'!" Daryl called out as they started to leave without her.
"I'd better get going now." She said with conviction.
"Careful around him, he cut off a person's hand, he showed me!" Miguel warned her as she passed by. She tossed him a funny look, finding it doubtful that the redneck would dismember a person, though not finding it entirely impossible either. She took one last look at 'Heavenly Grace', and in not believing God, but within herself she came to the conclusion that it was as close to Heaven she would ever find again.
Is there anybody out there who
Is lost and hurt and lonely too
Are they bleeding all your colours into one?
and if you come undone
As if you've been run through
Some catapult it fired you
You wonder if your chance will ever come
Or if you're stuck in square one
Square One, Coldplay...
So, how was my first attempt? Bear with me here, I'm new to this category and I am trying to make this story my own without copying TV episode dialogue. It will follow with the events, and diverge from them as well. This chapter was mixed POV's, but I will focus more on Ajax next chapter as we try to piece together her story. Do you believe her when she says she is only in disguise for survival, or is there more to it? Also, her relationship with Daryl will be slow, starting out as a friendship seeing as they think she's a guy! Why is it poor Glenn must always be secret keeper?! Leave a review and let me know how I did, and also I am looking for a beta to catch any mistakes I make, so volunteer if you want!