A/N: Here it is, folks. The final chapter. Enjoy.
As soon as Michonne told him that Daryl had gone, he had no doubt where he'd be going.
Knew what was on Daryl's mind. And he knew he had to try and stop him, before it was too late.
So he headed off, Michonne and Andrea backing him up.
And Woodbury was in chaos when they got there. Walkers within the walls, some people trying to fight them off but it seemed that most people had fled.
Andrea kept guard at the entrance to The Governor's place, while Michonne went with Rick. Inside his apartment, it was clear there'd been a fight and then he heard the growling of a walker...
The sound of his name being shouted by someone startled him. And it took seconds for him to understand why Rick was yelling at him.
A walker was seconds away from him and if Rick didn't have the sharp reflexes that he did and didn't shot the damn thing dead as quickly as he did, then Daryl knew he'd be done for.
The walker slumped down, partially on Daryl and within seconds Rick hauled the thing off of him and threw it to one side.
It wasn't until then that Daryl realised that the walker was The Governor. Or had been.
"You got him then," Rick said as he knelt beside Daryl, hands fussing at the wounds on Daryl's upper body.
He tried to stop him, but that required too much effort, so he let Rick do what he needed to do.
"You forgot the head shot," Michonne said. "He nearly bit your ass." But she smiled gently at him.
"Was gonna put his head in the tank," Daryl mumbled. "Guess I forgot to follow through on that, huh?" He looked to Rick who was concentrating on the wounds, his face anxious, concern and fear evident.
It didn't feel Daryl with confidence about how he was looking.
"Guess so," Michonne said. She disappeared from his sight so he looked to Rick instead.
"Let's get you back home," Rick said, about to haul Daryl to his feet. He could tell from Rick's look, his words, that he wasn't in good shape.
He might not make it back from this one. But he knew that as soon as he left the prison.
"Wait," Daryl said stopping him before he even started. "I can't leave Merle here."
Rick looked up to the tanks.
"You need to get going," Michonne said from out of Daryl's view. "I'll take care of them. All of them."
And Daryl wasn't sure he liked that idea, but as Rick helped him to his feet and his body protested with intense pain in the right side of his chest, he could have no say in it.
And then the world descended into darkness.
He became aware they were heading back to the prison.
The car journey was bumpy, jostling his body about painfully. Andrea was beside him, trying to still him the best she could. One of her hands reached across as he blinked in confusion towards her.
She smiled. He'd always liked it when she smiled. She hadn't done that much of it, not since Amy. And he could understand that better than ever.
His eyes felt heavy and she brushed some hair out of his eyes, laid her hand gently on his head.
"He's burning up. You sure he wasn't bit, Rick?"
"I checked!" Rick replied.
"He's in shock," Michonne said. "Chest wound's bad."
Michonne's voice registered with Daryl for some reason. He was able to ignore the worried words they spoke about him, but he latched on to her. "Merle?" He asked, closing his eyes as he waited for a reply.
"Daryl, Merle's not here..." Andrea started, before Michonne took over.
"I took care of him."
Rick glanced back at Daryl. Didn't like what he saw. Daryl looked too pale, too sickly. He knew he might not make it. "We bought him back too." Rick said, watching as Daryl's eyes opened again. Michonne held a pillowcase up slightly so Daryl was able to see it. "We can give him a proper send off. Whatever you think he'd like."
Daryl smiled but didn't say anything. Just let his eyes slide shut again.
"I'm gonna get you home." Rick promised.
That was the last thing Daryl heard.