Nobody has written a Richonne fic so I took matters into my own hands! I don't know how many chapters this will be, but that all depends on how good you guys think it is? So please review?
"Where were you all this time?" The one they call Rick whispers to her angrily.
They are not even halfway back to the prison yet and it is as dark as death in the forest. Woodbury was behind for at least a few kilometers but none of them dares to make a noise.
"Had business to attend to." Michonne replies quietly.
She doesn't know him enough to specify anything. She can tell he was the alpha of the group but packs function with trust and she is not one of them.
They cannot see each other and none of them is foolish enough to use a flashlight. She walks behind him while the Asian man and the other girl precede them.
"What kind of business?" He presses on. "If you're going to stay with us, you'll need to talk a lot more."
"I took you to them, didn't I?" She repeats, feeling the frustration climb to her head.
The Governor has already done enough. Her body is weaker than usual. Her skin is crippled with shards of glass in various places. Her leg still hasn't recovered properly. Her instinct for survival urges her to go on but she cannot endure anymore of these interrogations.
Rick seems to get it. The questions stop. They are going at an unbelievably slow pace, considering that guy's injuries. She is not at her best either but the road is still far, that is if they ever manage to reach it in that darkness. The Governor's men have not manifested themselves but that does not mean they were safe. She wonders briefly what her best option is, if ever those fuckers catch up with them.
The two in the front will stand no chance; that, she knows. Yet, the thought of leaving them to those ignoble men bothers her. She has helped to rescue them and it seems stupid not to stick with them until the very end. As for Rick, he looks like the kind of man who would sooner die than watch his own friends do.
Strength in number, she thinks, convincing herself. That was the only option.
They reach the prison unharmed. Michonne follows Rick, katana back in its scabbard, while the injured one was being taken care of by the same old man who had stitched her wound. The prison is as chaotic as Woodbury. There are new faces, locked outside like she had been. She does not know whether to feel good or not about being allowed in their space.
He motions for her to follow him, so she does.
He takes her to an empty cell, one on top of the stairs. It is darker in there and it smells of dankness and mould.
"That's all we got for now." He is staring at her but she is not going to complain. "The other cells haven't been cleaned up."
Michonne walks to the bed. It is still too dark to make out the particular details or colors of anything and she is thankful for that.
"Look, I got very little trust for you right now, alright?" He says. His voice takes that threatening quality that seems reserved to her only. "You're not giving me much to go on."
He lets that sentence hang in the air. Denying him an answer would probably cost her this cell and it is the thought of a bed that propels her to talk.
"The Governor is a sick man. You know that now but I knew it back then. I had to stop him." Michonne says as she carefully deposited her sword on the bed.
The silhouette of the man before her is alert; his shoulders are squared and tense and one of his hands lay close to his handgun. She would not blame him for being careful. Safety is never guaranteed, not anymore.
"Did you?" He asks and she knows he hopes her answer to be yes.
"No. I didn't." Michonne tries not to think of it, of Andrea looking at her like she was the psychopath. "I was interrupted. He's short of an eye though."
"Why?" His voice is hoarse with exhaustion but curiosity and caution keep him there. "Did he ever do something to you?"
"Took my weapon and made me believe I was free."
"We took your weapon too."
"Yeah, but your group doesn't kill innocents for their resources. Woodbury is powered like that. That's how they managed to keep it safe. Where do you think his guns and tanks come from?"
"It doesn't make sense. We had nothing to give to him. Glenn and Maggie had nothing to give to him."
"You do. You got this prison."
She watches him breathe in the realization.
"This place is a hole." He pleads. "It's dirty, it's not like that town of his."
"It's a fortress. It's perfect for him. That's what he wants. And there is bound to be an armoury somewhere around." She pauses to let out a small cough, a result of the cold, long walk they had taken. " You don't get it? He has to find you."
"Fuck," Rick swears in one breath.
She has nothing comforting to say. These were the cold news but that man, the leader, had to be made aware of them and nobody else would tell him. She knows the Governor enough. He was coming.
Rick leaves her without any more words. The mattress feels hard on her back but she has slept on much worse. She pulls the blanket around her, tucking her sword next to her and falls into a much-welcomed sleep.
He has not slept. Carl lays close to him; eyes closed and peaceful like a child who had not seen all the death and sorrows they had all experienced. His own nightmares are populated with blood and images of Lori, looking like them and calling to him with guttural moans that resonated long after he wakes up.
Daryl, the only one who could be of any help, is either gone or dead. Glenn is recovering. Maggie was too stricken. Carol can now handle a gun but she was not to be too trusted with it.
He cannot not deal with the new people either. His son is the only one left standing.
There is her too, he thinks as he rubs his eyes with the cold palms of his hands.
They are all still asleep when he reaches her cell but she herself is not. In the feeble light of the morning, he can see how filthy the place is. The bed is rusty and the cover is stained with God knows what. Something is rotting in the corner and the walls are spotted with blood like macabre wallpaper.
Michonne sits on the bed like she has been waiting for him and for a moment, he isn't sure what to say.
She isn't looking at him but at her sword, which she cleans using the crass blanket. Her fingers run along its blade carefully, as if she were caressing an infant. He watches and cannot help but think of Daryl and his crossbow.
"Good morning." He greets after a while.
"Good morning." She replies, still not looking at him. Her voice is quite but there is no trace of sleep in it.
"As well as any other night." She means it as a grim statement and he understands. Since this whole mess started, true sleep was never to be found. It had deserted them and now, nobody can remember what it was.
"Your name is Michonne, right?" He doesn't know why he needed the confirmation. He has no idea if this woman has any intention of remaining with them but he had always believed in nurturing relationships, however ephemeral they were to be.
Michonne nods while she scrapes some dried blood off the hilt.
"Our friend, Daryl," Rick decides to just dive in. "his brother was there with the Governor. His name is Merle."
"I remember that asshole. He was the Governor's lapdog. Has a blade for an arm and he isn't afraid to use it."
Images of Merle on the rooftop invaded his mind.
"Does that mean Daryl is safe?" He asked.
Michonne just laughs; it's barely audible but he feels his despair grow only larger.
"Nobody's safe with the Governor."
Rick walks up to her, a strange despair invading his senses. Her calmness is almost alluring and he needs her to lose it, just like he is about to do. He can't stand that unreadable façade, the dark eyes like locked doors, the total lack of fear. He is used to Lori, Carol, hell even Andrea. Not her.
"What do we do?" He asks, looking at Michonne like she held the solutions. There can only be one reason why she was so impassive.
Michonne finishes with a last swipe of blanket and puts her deadly sword back in its scabbard. Rick watches. She then raises her eyes and he is hit with that same feeling of endless unanswerable questions about that woman. She is assessing him and he wants, he hopes, to look less worried but he knows it would not change anything.
"I have unfinished business with him." She states and he understands it immediately.
"When do we do this?"
"As soon as today."
"Just the two of us?" Rick asks, knowing the answer. Nobody else was fit enough to accompany them. Michonne nods.
"They're going to be under surveillance mode. They'll kill us before we even reach them. How?"
Michonne is still undisturbed. He notices how her gaze never wavers. The hostility is still there, like a panther crouching behind the depth of her eyes, but it seems they have found a common enemy, a shared goal.
"He won't expect us. Not this early." Michonne says softly. "And once he's dead, Woodbury goes with him. These people only follow orders. They're like walkers' brains when it comes to acting on their own."
He chuckles at the expression although nothing is particularly funny about it. She doesn't look pleased, doesn't reciprocate. He hadn't expected her to either.
"Are you ready now?" He knows they must go early, get away from the prison and lead the others to safety. He cannot plan a murder with the others around.
"I'll be down soon." She replies.
He is about to leave the cell, wondering what language the two of them just spoke. They had just known what to do and for that, he feels the need to add something. May be it is just that he is thankful for that strange connection, for her offering to help, although very implicitly.
"I'm sorry you had to sleep here. I forgot how dirty it was. We'll get you another place when we get back."
It implies too many things but Rick has no time to watch her reaction.
So good? Bad? So horrible I should just abandon the prospect of continuing?
Sadly for those who think that the latter is an option, it actually isn't! I'm going through with this because I love Richonne, both in the show and in the comics. And since nobody else (as far as I know) is doing it, why not?
I need feedback nonetheless. I'm trying to keep these two in character you see, so I hope it's going well. Let me know!