A fanfiction by: Karategirl666
As of 7/22/2013 fic was rewritten and edited for reader and writer benefit.
Disclaimer: If I owned the walking dead and profited off it there's no way I'd be writing fanfiction. No I'd be bathing in money reading the walking dead comic books while watching the walking dead series all the while knowing I was completely benefitting off the walking dead.
Daryl slowly moved through the house his cross bow aimed his hands steady. He was careful of his trigger finger which normally was quite fast and not judgmental. But today he had to ask questions first and shoot later. He was looking or Sophia and after all his work he didn't want to just end up shooting her with an arrow. The house gave a creak and he let out a small breath trying to calm his trigger finger that twitched threateningly. He slowly cleared two rooms before walking into what looked like to be a dilapidated kitchen. After a long moment of looking around his eye caught a hauntingly dark nook. He slowly walked over and opened the door to see a small closet with a pillow and blanket. A door slammed and he turned quickly facing a young girl. But not the young girl he was looking for.
"What's your name?" He asked and she just stared at the bow her jaw clenching. "What's your name girl?" he asked more forcefully as he took a step forward. With this one movement she turned and ran out of the door at her top speed. "Hey!" He ran after her knowing this teenage girl was his only lead. "Stop your running damn it!" He said throwing the crossbow on his back so he could run more efficiently. "I said stop!" He tackled her to the ground and spun her on her back. As he did she threw a good right hook knocking him off her body. She tried to get to her feet but Daryl latched onto her ankle and pulled her back down to the ground.
"Stop it!" She yelled.
"Then stop trying to run you crazy bitch!" he yelled before she punched him again. "Knock it off or I will hurt you!" He bellowed latching onto her wrists and holding them down to her chest.
"Get the fuck off me." She said with a clenched jaw and bared teeth.
"I'd love to but first you're going to answer some questions."
"Get off me!" She screamed.
"I aint moving none until you answer some fucking questions girly!" She slammed her knee between his legs and he cried out before punching her across the face knocking her out cold. He rolled off her his hands between his legs as he cringed in pain.
"Stupid stupid bitch!" he yelled before looking to her as he started to ignore the throbbing pain between his legs. She was out cold which meant he couldn't question her. Not yet at least. He slowly lifted her up into his arms wanting to drag her more than anything but knowing that wouldn't make her too cordial when she got up. He went into the house put her down into a chair and tied her hands behind her back with some ripped pieces of cloth from the curtains around the house. Just as he finished tying her up she slowly began to come to.
"Owe…" She muttered. "Owe…"
"You think your owe you slammed your god damn knee between my legs." She slowly looked to him with wide green eyes.
"Well…" She shifted in the chair. "You wouldn't get off." She said before looking over her shoulder down at her ties.
"Those are double knots you'll never get out of them…" She slowly looked at him and for a minute he had wanted to step back. The look in her eyes was scarier than the look his brother used to get after a few hits of crystal.
"I'll never get out of them huh?" she asked before her hands slowly came out from behind her, completely untied.
"Shit!" he tossed his crossbow up into his hands. "Don't fucking move." He said with a glare and she just tilted her head with a smile.
"My legs are still tied there's nothing to get skittish about." She slowly slunk out of her emerald green jacket and he stared down at a massive slash on her arm which had a steady line of blood flowing down from it. The blood line lead him to her wrists that had bandages around them. He hadn't noticed them before but now a new concern then the thought of her withholding information about Sophia entered his mind.
"You've been bit…"
"No I haven't…" She said. He looked her over to see she looked pale and her eyes were a little sunken in.
"You look sick."
"I have an infection from some cuts I sustained while trying to rescue someone."
"Rescue some one?" he asked perking up.
"A little girl someone?" She looked at him for a long moment before nodding.
"Was she yay high?" He asked putting his hand to his hip. "With short dirty blonde hair?"
"Yeah she was…" she said looking him over with a quirked eyebrow. "I think she might have thought I was a death dealer or something kept running from me even when I told her I wasn't dead."
"You know the undead people… What do you call 'em?"
"Where did the little girl go?" He asked ignoring her question.
"I fell knocked myself out in the process of trying to stop her from making so much noise and attracting more death dealers and mark my words there's a lot around here in these woods."
"So you have no idea where she went?"
"I just came back from tracking her so I have a pretty good idea where she went…" she lolled her head back as her stomach twisted. She wasn't feeling well. The headache she had before had been made worse by him cold clocking her. "I need you to untie my legs…" she said feeling like she was going to throw up.
"Look man I've got an infection I'm feeling pretty sick just let me head up to the bathroom…"
"Let me see your cuts before I even think about letting you go."
"I can't take off these bandages I'll have nothing else to cover them with and without I'm open for all sorts of nasty infections to add onto the one I already have…"
"Like the kind that makes you turn into a mindless cannibal?"
"I'm not bit."
"I should just leave you here…"
"If you even want a chance to find that little girl you won't do that…" she leaned her head back and he could see sweat dripping down her neck. "Just… Please I'm going to get sick…"
"Show me the cuts…"
"I can't do that and I've already told you-."
"I've got me a doctor you show me the cuts I let you go and I'll take you to him." she slowly looked to him.
"You've got a doctor?" He nodded. "Bull."
"You want to stay in that chair?" She sighed rolling her eyes before taking off her bandages to show a ring of cuts around her wrists and a long slit down her left forearm. It was clear all of them were infected, the veins in her arms standing black instead of a healthy blue. "Untie yourself… We're heading straight away to the farm and then as soon as your semi okay to go we head back out to look for the girl…"
"You're not even going to let me upstairs to throw up are you?"
"You don't leave my sight." He said pointing his bow as she untied her ankles.
"Fine…" she walked to the closet and pulled a cargo leather back pack a long black metal stick which was a little taller than her and another back pack full of weapons.
"I'll be taking those guns from you."
"Like hell." She said he went to move forward and the stick flew from her hand down to the very base and she stuck the end to his throat. "I could have just crushed your wind pipe there but I didn't because I need something from you and you need something from me. Let's just head to this doc in peace and quiet shall we and maybe if this is a fruitful partnership you might just get your hands on some of these weapons." He looked at her for a long moment as she dropped the stick from his throat and began to walk. "I'll walk ahead of you just make sure you don't shoot me." His eyes narrowed as he followed. As they walked out of house he halted seeing a familiar flower resting by the door. He quickly plucked it before putting it in his pocket discreetly. "So who's this little girl to you? Your daughter?"
"No." he said.
"So someone you care about daughter?"
"I said shut up."
"I heard you."
"Would you just shut up?"
"I might kill you before we get to the doctor…" He said.
"Not if I kill you first…" she muttered.
"What was that?"
"Who's this?" Carol asked as she slowly came out of the RV.
"It's not Sophia…" Dale said quietly seeing Daryl walking back with a young woman at his side.
"Who is this?" Carol asked as they reached her.
"My name is Emma ma'am." She said with a nod her way.
"This is the little girl's mother…" Daryl said.
"Well ma'am I'm glad to tell you that I was the last person to see your little girl alive…"
"Oh my god…" Carol said with a smile. "Do-do you know where she is?"
"I know where she's heading, but I'm awful sick and I need some tending to before I can show your man where she went." She said.
"Let's go." Carol said to Dale. "Let's go." They quickly made it onto the RV
"Have you been bit?" Andrea asked her.
"No she's just cut up real bad." Daryl said.
"My name is Andrea."
"Emma." She said shaking her hand.
"Where was my daughter heading last time you saw her?" Carol asked.
"Towards the river, I was tailing her but I think she thought I was a walker that's what you call em right?" they nodded. "Yeah so I tailed her as long as I could telling her I was alive but the poor thing was right shaken."
"When was this?" Carol inquired.
"Few days ago I've been looking for her ever since…" Daryl looked the young woman over, she was for more cordial to them then she had been to him.
"Why did you stop tailing her?" Andrea asked.
"I fell from the tree line I was up in knocked myself out woke up with this huge gash on my arm. Haven't been feeling right since, but I tried." She said looking to Carol. "I did try."
"Why?" Andrea asked. "Why would you care about some little girl?"
"You ask a lot of questions." Emma said tilting her head as she looked her over.
"Needed question." Andrea said. "So why'd you tail the little girl if you didn't even know her?" Emma jaw clenched as she looked down at a bracelet over her wrist.
"I had a little sister when this whole mess started…" Andrea looked over her pained expression. "Then I… Well... Then I didn't." She looked to Carol. "Honestly when I saw your little girl for a moment I thought she was my Annabelle maybe that's what scared her off, quickly though I realized that was impossible I tried to keep her calm but she was just so scared…" Carol slowly nodded her eyes welling with tears. "I'm pretty sure I found her tracks so we'll find her."
"You said you were up in the tree line?" Andrea asked.
"There are walkers in the forest I keep up high move quietly from tree to tree I don't bother them they don't bother me, worked pretty well until that branch broke and I pulled a humpty dumpty." Dale laughed from the front of the car.
"That was funny…" He said quietly.
"That doesn't look good at all." Andrea said looking at the cut before looking down at her wrists. "You get those from your fall too?" She looked down at ligature marks around her wrists that were festering and infected.
"No those are from before." Emma said.
"Looks like you were tied up for a while." Andrea commented. They all looked to her even Dale looked over his shoulder at her.
"Let's just say there are a lot of lonely men out there…" she muttered. "Some who don't ask for the company they want." Emma said.
"Jesus…" Andrea said. "Are you okay?" Emma laughed surprising everyone in the RV.
"Oh yeah I'm just fine the guy went out for water before he was going to do whatever he wanted with me and he never came back… After a day which is how long it took me to wiggle my way out of the restraints on my wrists I headed out found out he was a death dealer or walker as you say. Man I really enjoyed smashing his head to mush…" She smiled and Andrea nodded in almost admiration. "It didn't help Daryl here tying me up though kind of irritated my wrists."
"You tied her up?" Carol asked looking to him quickly.
"She kneed me in the balls." Daryl muttered and the girls laughed except for Carol who just smiled, no longer having the ability to laugh without her daughter.
"We've all wanted to knee him in the balls at some point too bad someone who barely knew him beat us or at least me to the punch." Andrea Said and Daryl just glared.
"We're here." Dale said.
"Let's get you to the doc quick." Carol said and Emma grabbed her bags it was then they noticed all the weapons.
"Did you find-." Rick stopped his question mid sentence as he met the group at the RV. There was a new face. "Who's this?"
"Her name is Emma she's the last person as far as we know to see Sophia and she needs medical attention." Carol said getting right to business.
"That's a lot of weapons there Emma." Rick said instantly thinking of the safety of the others around him.
"Yeah, and they're mine." She said walking past him.
"Who is she?" Rick asked Andrea, a little surprised at the attitude she had copped with him right off the bat.
"Carol told you, she's Emma." She said.
"Fill me in." He said to Daryl who nodded.
"I didn't know I'd be using so much antibiotic." Hershel said as he and Emma walked out of the house where the others were waiting.
"Thank you so much for the help, I'd like to offer a trade something to help you at some point in your time here for the care." She reached into her bag. "Are you more of a hand gun or shot gun man?"
"I have all that I need I didn't help you for payment."
"I feel as though I should pay you back though so here…" she handed him a silver shotgun. "Thank you for tending to my wounds I do really very much appreciate it."
"You stay on those pills for a week and you just might pull through, you'll also have to stay on the fever reducer."
"Thank you." She looked to see a huge group had gathered including one child.
"We need answers." Rick said.
"I'm prepared to give them." Emma said walking down the steps.
"You'll also want to give us those weapons." Shane muttered.
"I don't give over weapons unless you've earned them…" she said with a glare.
"Those are dangerous." Rick said.
"Yeah you'll find out how dangerous if you come after me for them." Daryl couldn't help but look away and conceal a smile. "Let me take a minute to introduce myself, my name is Emma Jameson, like the whiskey. I'm eighteen years old and I tell you now that age does not reflect the knowledge I have when it comes to life people and how shitty those people can be. You fuck with me. I blow a hole in you the size of Texas. You patronize me that's a hole the size of Kentucky. You even try to take my guns and I swear I will fucking annihilate you… Do we have an understanding?" they nodded wide eyed. "Excellent now I will only stay as long as it takes to find the little girl and I swear Carol I will try my hardest to help Daryl find her." With that sentence Rick felt better than he had before about her presence. "Tonight's too dark to search the woods and it would be near impossible to follow a track but I propose we head back to the highway and walk it. Shine some lights to give her something to follow if she's out there. Who's your gun man?"
"Me." Shane said.
"Who's the man who keeps the guns?" she corrected.
"That's me." Dale said moving forward. "Dale."
"Well Dale you keep these safe and don't hand them over I won't kill you and you'll get this when I come to claim them…" she walked over and held a gold compass out for him.
"I like it." he said.
"Then do right by me."
"Will do." He said taking her bag.
"Who's coming with me to walk the highway?" She asked turning to the group.
"Emma." She turned to look to Hershel. "You need to rest."
"The way I see it that little girl can't rest out alone in those woods, so I won't rest until we find her." She said walking away her stick still in hand. "Who's coming?"
"I am." Carol Andrea Dale and Daryl said.
"Good let's get a move on then." She said heading to the RV.
"She reminds me a lot of you…" Lori said to Rick.
Dale Carol and Andrea had stayed back at the RV while Daryl and Emma had moved forward onto the highway. Their eyes were peeled for walkers and Sophia. They shined their lights out into the forest instead in front of them so if she was out there she could follow it.
"How did Sophia get lost?" Emma asked still paying attention to the task at hand.
"We had been blocked by all these cars decided to take a stop and scavenge while we were doing so a horde came we hid under the cars. We thought it was over but when Sophia peeked her head out to get to her mom one came out of nowhere and chased her into the woods with another. Rick chased her out but lost her."
"Poor kid that must have been frightening… I probably didn't help her fear none either."
"Where are you from with that accent?" he asked eyeing her.
"Savannah." She said.
"And you made it out here on foot?"
"I had a motorcycle but got taken out by a damn deer a few weeks back. I've been walking ever since. After we find this girl I'll come back out here see if I can't find a ride."
"Rick might invite you to stay."
"I'm better off on my own." He looked to her. "Everyone is. The less people to worry about the longer you'll survive." He looked to her and realized how much truth was carried in her words.
"How old are you girl?"
"18. I said it before…" She said.
"How old was your sister?" Her jaw clenched.
"Young." she said. "I really hope we find Sophia."
"Yeah. Me too."
"There was a little boy in the room when I was getting tended too he looked mighty sick."
"That's Ricks son. He was shot by a hunter when he was looking for Sophia…"
"Jesus…" She said shaking her head.
These people have worse luck then I do…
"He'll pull through alright."
"Yeah he was kind of going in and out there." She stopped putting her hand out. "You hear that?"
"Shuffling… There's a death dealer about." She said before letting a low whistle escape her. Daryl raised his bow as one came out from behind a large truck. He let loose and arrow and Emma tilted her head.
"Nice shot right between the-. There's more…" she rushed forward pulling her walking stick. He watched as she spun it on one hand before turning and using the momentum to crack the stick against one of the walkers heads. She then jumped into the air rose the stick high up and brought it down on the other. They went down and she looked around before spinning the stick in one hand and grabbing the arrow Daryl had fired.
"Here…" She handed it to him.
"Thanks… That's an interesting trick with that stick."
"It's not a stick. It's a combative Bo staff. A martial arts weapon." She said as they continued forward.
"You trained in that or something?"
"I used to be then the world went to hell and all I got now is this staff my knowledge from before and the training I receive in the field now." They both came to a stop at a large semi that had flipped. On each side was a wall after a moment she looked to him. "Think there's any way she's on the other side of this thing?"
"It's possible." He said.
"I could scale this but not with how dark it is…"
"We'll come back tomorrow if we haven't tracked her down yet."
"I hate going back." She said not moving when he went to walk. "I mean how do we tell Carol we haven't brought her daughter back yet?"
"She doesn't hold much hope on nights she doesn't expect us to find her when it's dark. Its days that it's harder to tell her…" She slowly nodded before looking at the Semi.
"Maybe I could try…"
"It's too dangerous… Come on." He turned and headed off. She looked at the Semi before quickly following him. When they got to the Sudan Emma watched as Carol turned away and headed into the car with a pained expression. The ride was quiet deathly so and Emma kept wanting to say something. Anything to make the pain Carol felt go away. When they got back to the farm Carol quickly got out and headed to the RV. Emma watched her with a tilted head.
"You did what you could. You both did." Andrea said.
"Doing what we could would be bringing her little girl home…" Emma said her jaw clenching before she moved forward. She walked to the RV door and knocked. After a moment Carol opened it with a raised eyebrow before her expression softened.
"You don't have to knock this is for everyone…" She said before heading in. Emma slowly walked in and heard the others following. They watched as Emma walked into the back bedroom where Carol had been held up. Carol sat on the bed while Emma sat on a chair.
"I uhm… I just want to say I know how much pain you're in… The not knowing of where she is… My sister went missing before she-she went missing though…" Carol tilted her head. "She just disappeared… The pain that came with not knowing where she was, was crippling… I could hardly function. All I could do was look and hope." A tear rolled down Carols cheek and Emma moved forward taking her hand. "I just wanted to tell you this so you understand why I'm going to do everything I can to find her. Because I want to stop the pain you're in."
"What… What happened to Annabelle?" Carol asked. "Did you ever find her?"
"I did…" Emma said with a smile.
"Was she alive?"
"Yes… But she was sick… Real sick…"
"No… She had contracted pneumonia during the cold nights… I couldn't… I couldn't help her… She got sicker and sicker until one night her coughing stopped and…" Her jaw clenched as she took a shaky breath. "She was gone… You're lucky though if we find Sophia and she's sick you've got yourself a doctor." Emma looked down at their hands. "Before Annabelle slipped away I got to hear of her two weeks alone in the woods. She survived on berries some that made her sick some that didn't. She learned which ones didn't. She told me how she learned to hide when death dealers came and that there were ten she had to do so from. She told me how she wasn't scared because she knew I was looking for her. Carol…" The woman's eyes rose to hers. "My sister was eight years old. You daughter is Twelve. She has a lot more going for her then Annabelle did. If my sister of eight years could survive the woods for two weeks your daughter can survive the woods for a few days." They watched as Carols eyes widened and she smiled softly. "Children more so than adults adapt to their surroundings because of the fact they are children. They have a luxury of an imagination that us adults have long since lost. That whimsy keeps them up. Keeps them positive. It keeps them alive Carol." The woman let out a sob before moving forward and hugging her tightly.
"She's still alive." She said. "I know she's still alive." Emma smiled hugging her back.
"That's right and Daryl and I are going to find her." Emma said.
"Thank you so much… Thank you so much…" Carol said rocking back and forth.
"Now…" Emma pulled away. "Get some sleep. You want to be well rested for when we bring your little girl back. Don't want to be looking like a death dealer do you? All tired gaunt and sullen faced?" Carol laughed and it was the first time anyone have heard her do so since Sophia went missing. "Good night Carol."
"Night sweet heart." She kissed the top of her head like a mother would to a child and Emma got up closing the door for her. She looked to see everyone was staring at her.
"Was that true about your sister?" Dale asked. Emma smiled as she held up her wrist which held a braided grape vine bracelet with dried flowers sticking out of it.
"She made this for me when she was lost." She said. "In the woods all alone and she stopped to make me a bracelet and herself a wreath to wear around her head." She laughed. "Like I said… Whimsy."