She wasn't surprised to see two heavily armed men standing outside the entrance to the house. Surely Philip had told them each how dangerous and unruly the man they were guarding was. Despite their weapons, Andrea couldn't help but smirk at each guard. They both looked no older then seventeen, with cracking voices and visible acne scars they hardly looked menacing. They stood with their chests puffed out and eyes cautiously searching around for any signs of trouble. As Andrea walked forward, one of the guards nudged the other and both stood up straight.
"Hello" Andrea said.
"What do you want?" the boy on the right sniffed, eyeing her with wariness.
"The Governor sent me to ask the terrorist a few questions and I-"
"We've been given strict orders to not let anyone down!" the other boy snapped.
She had been expecting that. After the rally, Daryl and Merle had been taken away and put in separate parts of the town. Andrea remembered locking eyes with Daryl and seeing the mixture of emotion on his face. Fear, anger, relief, and then helplessness. She had never seen him so out of sorts and it terrified her. She had tried running towards him, trying to reach him but Philip's lackeys had stopped her.
Andrea rested a hand on her hip "Is that so?" she asked "What are your names?"
"I'm Kyle" said the right guard "And this is Ben".
Andrea smiled sweetly "Kyle, Ben, I really don't want to run back to the Governor and tell him I was sent away because you didn't believe me."
She took a step closer and looked at them from under her eyelashes. Biting her lip too, Kyle and Ben's gazes were fixed on her mouth. Andrea wasn't stupid, she used to eat boys like these for breakfast back in high school. Of course, those boys weren't holding rifles or surrounded by the undead but hey, old tricks could work on fresh meat.
"So do us all a favor...and step aside."
Her deadly undertone clearly got their attention and soon Ben was fumbling with the key to unlock the door. Once opened, the three walked inside and Andrea was led to another door.
"He's in the cellar, knock three times when you're done." Ben explained "He's tried escaping a few times, but we think he's calmed down a bit."
"But still be careful" Kyle warned.
Andrea nodded, opened the door, and began walking down the stairs. She heard the door slam shut and lock and breathed a sigh of relief. Candles lighted her way, there were a few lanterns that hung from the ceiling. She reached the end of stairs and began walking towards the rear of the basement. It had been eight months she had seen Daryl, she hadn't known if he had made it out alive with the others or not. But now he gave her hope that the others were alive, but could she return to them? Could she leave Woodbury?
She turned the corner and her eyes widened. Daryl's arms had been bound tightly behind his back, she could see various fresh wounds that littered his forearms and back. They looked deep and relatively fresh. A sack had been put over his head and he was slouched forward. Pieces of broken furniture lay around him and glass from smashed mirrors were scattered around her feet. She stepped on one causing it to crack and watched Daryl weakly raise his head at the sound.
"...whose there?" he rasped, his voice muffled from the sack.
Andrea walked towards the bound man and reached behind his head to undo the sack. He flinched away until he realized what was happening. The sack was pulled off and their eyes met. The silence and tension was thick, she had so much to ask him and to say to him. Andrea dropped the bag and then flung herself at him. Her arms wrapped tightly around his neck and she inhaled his woodsy outdoor smell. To her surprise, Daryl pushed himself against to get closer and nestled his forehead in the crook of her neck.
"You're alive" he murmured "They said you didn't make it."
Andrea blinked back tears "I did. I fought my way through."
She heard him chuckle "Good girl, you're tough."
She pulled away and took in his appearance. His face was covered in deep gashes, dried blood could be seen and dark circles lay under his eyes from lack of sleep. His shirt was in shreds and it was odd not seeing his crossbow at his side.
"I'm so sorry" she whispered "I had no idea they were doing this to you, I should-"
"Stop" Daryl interjected "Nothin' you could of done about it, I'm fine."
Her hand rested gently atop a fresh forming bruise on his shoulder "How many times have you tried escaping?"
Andrea shook her head "They'll kill you if you try again" she warned.
"Blondie, are you underestimating me?"
She rolled her eyes and wrapped her arms around him again. They had never been this close, even back at Hershel's farm the two had kept distance between them. But now that he was here, now that she knew he was alive, she didn't want to let go. Even Daryl seemed to relax into her embrace, his warm breath against her neck as he sighed contently.
"I wanted to go back for you" Daryl mumbled into her hair.
Andrea looked up at him "What?" she asked, eyes widening.
"Our group met up at the highway, I wanted to go back and find you. But Rick was out of it, he had killed Shane, he-"
"Shane's dead?" Andrea exclaimed and backed away from Daryl.
Daryl raised an eyebrow at her "He attacked Rick, it was self defense-"
Daryl looked away.
"God, Daryl, what happened?"
He told her about jumping from house to house for eight months, trying to find a safe place to stay so that Lori could have her baby in peace. He told her of finding the prison and how they had cleared it out. Told her about Hershel's leg and about the prison mates they had found inside. He told her about the surprise walkers that separated the group and the losses of Lori and T-Dog. He told Andrea about Judith and all her little quirks like giggling after a feeding or sleeping with her arms above her head.
It was a lot to process and Andrea thought she had heard enough until he mentioned Michonne and the kidnapping of Glenn and Maggie. They had been the reason why Daryl, Rick, and Oscar (prison guy) had attacked the town of Woodbury. Andrea was in complete shock, this had defiantly been a wake up call. Her view on Philip had been altered slightly because of the heads in the fish tanks and keeping Penny locked up in her walker state. But keeping hostages? Torturing Daryl? That was the final straw.
"I'll get you out of here" she said "I don't know how, but I swear I will get you out."
Daryl smirked "I know you-"
The door unlocked.
Both of their heads turned towards the stairs and Andrea's hand tightened over Daryl's knee.
"The Governor is looking for you, should we tell him you're down here?" Ben called down timidly.
"No!" Andrea "I'll be up in a few!"
The door closed and locked again. Daryl looked at her quizzically, she shrugged.
"His name is Philip but everyone else knows him as The Governor."
"Sounds like a self esteem issue" he grumbled.
Andrea smiled halfheartedly "Seriously Daryl, I'll get you out of here."
"Would you come with me?" he asked, looking almost afraid to hear her answer.
She cupped his cheek and ran her thumb across his bloodied cheek. He closed his eyes and relished in the warmth of her palm, his closeness was so unusual to her but eight months of separation would do that to good friends.
"Promise me, Blondie?"
With that, she stood up and began to walk away, her fingertips trailing along his jaw. He arched out as far as he could to keep her fingers close. Andrea blinked back tears as she made her way up the stairs and towards the door. She'd take down the Woodbury army, ever walker in the world, and Philip himself to free Daryl from Woodbury. She was feeling her old self creep back and she'd be damned if she ever lost sight of what was right again.