AN: So I'm sorry I separated them, I didn't know it was so overdone. Also on a side note, I am constantly trying to improve my writing. I know the first story is terribly written and throughout it I identified problems and tried fixing some as I went. I have thought about going back and editing the whole story, but have refrained from doing so because it is my first complete and first published fanfic so it kind of has sentimental value and I'd like to keep it as it is.

I want this story to be better than the first so I am going to do my best with writing it. If this doesn't work out I'll probably just delete it and keep the first and edit it. This first chapter is not much. It's more of an introduction as a result of a sleepless night so forgive me if there are any errors.

Chapter 1

Broken glass crunched beneath her boots as she slowly stepped out onto the sidewalk. She had passed through where a window once was to a corner store. The store itself had little to offer in terms of supplies, but she was going to take what she could get.

It had been a few months since the farm was overrun. After tracing her steps back to the farm Lily had been trying to use whatever tracking skills she possessed to follow the others on foot. So far she had no luck and no sure sign that she was on the right trail. Many times she told herself that it was pointless and that she should just give up, but then a voice in her head asked what she would do instead.

Survive until she died of starvation, dehydration, or walkers?

To Lily anything but the latter sounded more appealing, but none were true options to her. She had some faith that she would find the others, but it was beginning to diminish with each passing day.

As for now, she had to veer off the path she was following in order to obtain more supplies. Hunger and fatigue were starting to take their toll on her and she began to question how much longer she could carry on like this.

Many nights were spent awake clutching a makeshift weapon to her chest, many days were spent with her stomach crying out for any bit of food, and every day was spent with fear coursing in her veins making her paranoid.

Bypassing nearby walkers was easy as Lily crossed the empty streets littered with debris and bodies; there were birds flying about that had grabbed their attention. The crows just poked around for food on the ground mostly, but on the occasion one would peck at a walker's rotting flesh removing the skin or even taking an eye. Lily made a note to stay away from the birds.

For the moment her place to stay was an empty jewelry store located on the outskirts of the small town. She picked this spot because it had a gate to pull over the door. The iron bars locked with a padlock made her feel more secure. Behind one of the smashed counters a few blankets were set up and this is where she set down her bag of recently scavenged supplies before sighing and falling onto the covers. They offered little to no comfort from the hard tile floor of the store, but it couldn't be helped.

She put her hands behind her bed and stared at the ceiling of the store. She would rest for now and tomorrow she would continue onward. She would have to find her way back to the road she had been following and then continue straight while keeping an eye out for any signs that the group's vehicles took a detour or any places they might have stopped at.

Lily bolted upright when she heard a bang on the gate at the front of the store. She grabbed her pistol from its place right beside her. Another bang made her stand. She crouched down and walked over to the large display window. A quick peek outside calmed her nerves a bit. It was only a couple of walkers shambling about and carelessly knocking into things. Of course there was still the concern for walkers, but if it was one thing Lily had learned so far it was that there was more fear to be had with the living than the dead.

Daryl had wanted to go back and search for Lily and nearly did. With a determined chin he had slung his crossbow over his shoulder and seated himself on his bike and started it up.

"Daryl!" Rick said firmly moving to stand in front of the bike. "That place is crawling with walkers. Lily's smarter than that, by now she's far from that place and we should be too."

Rick's eyes pleaded Daryl to stay put, to not do anything foolish and in vain. The gears turned in Daryl's head. His mind battled with his heart trying to shake reason into his emotions.

Reluctantly he killed the engine.

"Thank you," Rick said before turning back to the others to discuss their next plan of action.

Hesitantly, Mason walked over to Daryl and stood in front of him. Daryl looked at him, the scowl disappearing when he saw the boy's eyes red from crying. Mason had his head down a bit and soft sobs attempted to be supressed could be heard. He sniffled then brought his arm up to wipe his nose with the sleeve of the jacket he wore.

Without saying a word Daryl outstretched his arm and pulled the boy closer to him. As soon as his hand made contact with his back, Mason quickly wrapped his arms around Daryl and unleashed all the tears he was trying to hold back. His arms wound tightly around Daryl and his face was buried in his shirt. "It's okay," Daryl said somewhat soothingly.

Now Daryl was sitting on the porch of an abandoned house located in the woods that the group had found. He was skinning his latest kill. Beside him Mason sat looking out at the woods before them. Daryl was going to ask what he was looking for, but when he saw the boy's eyes he knew.

Mason was looking beyond the woods, past the trees in search of someone approaching. The look in his eye said that at any moment Lily would walk right up on out of the woods like she had been gone for a minute. A twig snapped and Mason straightened his back leaning forward a bit.

A squirrel scurried into sight then made its way up a tree. Disappoint met Mason and he slouched again, but the expectant look didn't leave his eyes.

Daryl wanted to snort and tell him that she wasn't going to come, but he knew it wouldn't have been right to say that to him. He also knew he wouldn't say it because part of him thought she'd walk out with her arms outstretched for both of them. He caught himself staring out at the trees for too long and shook the silly thoughts out of his head and resumed his work. Hoping and praying that she'd come back wouldn't bring her back and yet he did this anyways to himself and even now in his mind he hoped and prayed it like a mantra. It went to the beat of his heart and it wasn't going to stop until she was back in his arms.

AN: I hoped you enjoyed this chapter.