Welcome to Home! The is the continuation of Leah and Daryl's story in Accident or Grand Design. If you haven't read it yet, I suggest you go read all 46 chapters over there first! ;) And 'hello!' to all my faithful AOGD readers, it's only because of you that there is a sequel.
Home is going to take the same type of path that AOGD took- loosely following the storyline of TWD. I'm pretty excited to write my own version of this new season, I have some tricks up my sleeve for you guys. So much pressure, though! I only hope I can do Season 3 justice. It's so damn good.
Which brings to me to this: I own nothing related to The Walking Dead. (Sadly... a girl can only dream. Oh to own Daryl!).
Hidden beneath the shadow of overgrown brush, Daryl kissed Leah roughly. His hands gripped her hips tightly and he held onto her for dear life as he poured pent- up frustration and emotions into his kiss. The past few months had made these stolen kisses so much sweeter. No privacy, no time to be alone, constantly on the run. Every private moment the couple had they made the most of. Privacy was a luxury of the past.
Leah moaned into his mouth, feeling her own surge of emotions exit her body. As his tongue glided over her teeth, Leah's fingers gathered up fistfuls of Daryl's shirt and she closed the distance between them, pressing their bodies together. Their lips devoured each other hungrily, before Daryl pulled away too soon for Leah's liking.
While keeping one loose arm around her waist, he raised his crossbow and shot a squirrel out of a nearby tree.
"Real sexy, babe." Leah laughed sarcastically as it landed with a thump on the forest ground.
He rolled his eyes but gave her a sideways grin before going off to retrieve the dead animal. Popping the bolt out of the squirrel's head, Daryl wiped the ooze off on his pants before stuffing the animal in his back pocket and replacing the bolt into his quiver. When he was finished, he wasted no time in grabbing Leah's body and attaching his lips back to hers. He had long ago come to terms with that fact that her taste was addictive.
This was life now. Kissing a filthy hunter, who carried animal carcasses in his pockets, and loving each moment of it. Leah smiled against his lips.
Daryl pulled away slightly. "Whu?"
Leah smiled wider. "I just love you."
The corners of his lips turned up. "Love you." He leaned in to kiss her again, backing her up into a tree.
A few more stolen kisses set a fire burning between the two of them and they pulled away before their instincts could take over. A frustrated growl rumbled low in Daryl's throat. They had been doing this for months, extinguishing things before they got too far. He just wanted to be with her.
Leah gripped his arms and kissed the side of his mouth. "We should get back," she sighed. "I think we did really well, and I know everyone is hungry." She patted the bag full of fresh game at her side.
With a frown, Daryl pulled away from her body. "Need to get you somewhere alone for one damn minute where walkers ain't gonna bite my naked ass."
Leah choked back her laughter and looped her arm around his waist. Together they walked back towards their temporary home. Today, home was in the cars. They never remained any place too long these days. They stayed busy running from, and trying to outsmart the herds of walkers that seemed to be migrating with no apparent direction. Every stop was just temporary as they journeyed onto the next unknown destination.
They fled from house to house finding shelter wherever they could; stopping to scavenge towns until they were picked clean. Home was on the road, in storage units, then there was the police station, the motel, the school. Months and months of temporary roofs were left in their wake.
Daryl kept his left arm around Leah's shoulders and a keen eye on their surroundings as they walked. He missed being with her intimately. Sometimes he thought that being inside of Leah was the only thing that felt good anymore. Hell, everything about her felt right. Comfortable. Cozy. She was home and he never wanted to leave. She had a way of bringing parts of him alive that had been dead for so long.
She shifted, pulling on the bag hanging from her shoulder and readjusting it. He grabbed the strap of the bag and helped her hike it back up her shoulder. "Too heavy?"
She shook her head. "Nope. I'm glad we got a lot. It's been too long. Lori and Carl need to eat."
Tromping through the woods and hunting together had quickly become their only time alone. They really made a great team; Daryl quickly took down fresh game, and Leah retrieved and carried his kills. The rhythm they had fallen into was flawless. A few months back, Leah had joked that she felt like his hunting dog. With a twinkle in his eye, Daryl had teased her about being his bitch. Before the outbreak, it was a word that ruffled Leah's feathers. However, from Daryl's lips it was laced with affection and sounded almost sweet. Funny thing.
They rounded a natural bend in the brush, which would lead them back to the road where everyone was waiting. They would probably be sleeping in the cars again tonight. Rotating watch shifts and taking power naps like a well-oiled machine.
Daryl stopped in his tracks before the cars were in sight and quirked an eyebrow, taking in their surroundings.
"What?" Leah whispered, afraid that he had heard something approaching.
He let go of her shoulder and turned in a circle. "This place looks familiar."
Leah watched and waited while he got his bearings.
"Yeah," he confirmed. "Remember that prison?"
She nodded. "Yes." It had been months, right after they left the farm and landed at the bed and breakfast, but she clearly remembered how terrifying the prison had seemed after just being run off the farm.
"Should be right over that hill right there." He started to climb over a mound of fallen leaves and logs. "C'mon."
She took his outstretched hand and Daryl helped her up the incline. When they reached a clearing Daryl whistled under his breath. "Thought we were close."
Leah shook her head; he never ceased to amaze her with his outdoor skills.
They had doubled back. Come full circle from where they started. The prison loomed in the distance, looking more like a safe haven than ever before. Leah's attitude against the prison was vehement months ago. But that was then. This was now and those high fences looked like a little slice of heaven.
She watched the walkers in blue jumpsuits roam in circles on the other side of the fence. Well, almost heaven. If only the place wasn't completely overrun.
Daryl grinned. "Looks like I got my wish."
She turned her gaze from the prison towards him. "Huh?"
He pointed her eyes to a guard tower. "Right there. A place ta fuck ya without walkers bitin' my naked ass."
Leah playfully hip checked him. "Daryl Dixon!"
He laughed. "Whu?"
Leah raised one eyebrow and gave him a sly gaze. "You mean 'make love' to me?"
"Pffh. Aye, girl. Don't get your panties in a bunch. Just need ta be with ya."
She grinned teasingly at him, knowing just how much they needed to be together. She felt it too. The dull ache inside of her that longed to be intimate with him and the hatred towards the circumstances that made it nearly impossible. She looked back at the prison yard and sighed. "Likewise, babe."
Daryl grabbed her hand and pulled her back down the hill, "C'mon. Let's go tell Rick and the others."
"Do you think we can clear it?" She asked as they walked.
"'Course. We'll clear out the yard, secure the fences and make camp. That fence is safer than any house we've been in." He said, and easily helped her over a fallen tree.
When they reached the clearing of the woods and stepped back out onto the road, their tight knit group was milling about, everyone carrying out their assigned task with efficiency.
"Rick," Daryl called out.
Rick looked over his shoulder at the pair emerging from the woods with the cold, hard look that seemed to be his permanent expression these days. With a sideways cock of his head, Daryl motioned for Rick to join them on the outskirts of the group.
"Know where we are?" Daryl asked as Rick approached.
Their leader nodded. "I'm working on it. Mapping out a new route with Glenn. Thinkin' about pushing out west further."
Daryl shook his head. "No. 'Member that prison we found few months back?"
Risk raised an eyebrow, indicating his immediate interest. "Yeah?"
"It's just 'bout quarter mile from here."
Rick's hopeful reaction was immediate. "Really? How does it look?"
"Same as a few months ago. Overrun," Daryl answered. "Nothing we cain't handle though. The yard looks contained."
Rick crossed his arms and chewed on his bottom lip thoughtfully. "Contained enough to make camp?"
Daryl nodded. "Yup. From what we could see."
Rick slapped Daryl's shoulder and a grin spread across his face. "Let's go take a look real quick then. Leah, will you tell everyone where we went?"
"Of course," she answered before they parted ways. Daryl gave her hand one last squeeze before disappearing back into the woods, with Rick on his heels.
"Nicely done," Hershel said when he saw the loot Leah was carrying as she approached the circle of vehicles. Most days she only came back with a bag that was halfway filled. Today it was overflowing.
Leah gave him a smile and plopped the bag on the hood of the truck. Eight squirrels would go a lot further than their usual two. "I hope you're hungry!" She teased. "We hit the jackpot."
Hershel placed a heavy hand on her shoulder; the twinkle was long gone from his eyes. With a sigh, he pulled the first squirrel out of the bag. "I'll help you skin them."
Darkness was quickly falling and they sat on the pavement, backs against the truck, and began the unpleasant task of prepping dinner. Carl wandered over just as Leah began to tell Hershel what they had found while hunting.
"Rick and Daryl went to go check it out. Six months ago I would not be praying so hard that it works out." She shared.
"How far is it?" Carl asked, watching anxiously as they worked.
Leah gave him a small smile, knowing that he was hungry, yet not one to complain anymore. "Not far. Daryl said about a quarter of a mile."
Hershel and Carl both nodded.
"Good," Carl said. "They'll be back before it gets too dark."
"I hope so," Leah agreed.
It felt as though the sun was setting quicker than normal, the longer Daryl and Rick were gone. Leah tried to focus on her task, but her mind and eyes kept wandering. It wasn't like the two of them to stay gone past dark.
"They'll be back soon," Hershel reassured her, with his hands deep in the belly of one furry rodents.
She threw a furry skin into the growing pile and gave him a smile. He always seemed to know what she was thinking these days. Just like Dale had. "I know. Can't help but always worry though, you know?"
Hershel gave her an understanding nod. "Have faith, dear."
It wasn't until the squirrels were cooking over the fire that Rick and Daryl strode back into the protective circle of cars. Leah let out a sigh of relief when Daryl crouched down next to her.
"Hey," he greeted her with his gravely voice.
"Hey yourself. Welcome back."
He surveyed the meat sizzling on the make shift spit over the fire. "You skin all them yerself?"
Daryl nodded. "Nice work."
"Thanks." She placed a hand on his knee as Rick whistled for those on watch to join them.
Glenn, Beth and Maggie moved closer inwards to the group. Close enough to hear Rick's whisper, but still keep an eye on the surroundings.
Rick wasted no time in sharing what they had found. Excitement laced his voice when he talked about the possibility of safety, more ammunition and soil to grow crops.
"We'll sleep here tonight in the cars and push out in the morning." He ended with. "First thing in the morning. We're taking that prison."