This story was inspired by the Walking Dead TellTale Video Game. Potentially the best, most emotional video game I've ever played (and I play so many video games). I felt like I had to write this, because I totally fell in love with little Clementine and I thought this up, so I hope you enjoy it. There are/will be some SPOILERS from the video game, maybe even the comic eventually (I like to try to include bits from the comics that don't appear the show sometimes, because why not pull from all parts of this universe, right?), so just a heads up. And just an FYI, this story will eventually be OC/Daryl (in a while), so if you're into that sort of thing you should stick around. )
The title comes from the closing song of the video game, "Take Us Back" by Alela Diane. [It's pretty beautiful.]
I only own my OC and chances are any other OCs that might pop up in the future. Basically, if you recognize something then it probably isn't mine.
1: Hide And Seek
I don't know what I expected from the coast, Savannah, but I hadn't expected nothing. Only three months had passed and the city had been picked clean. No boats, no supplies, just the dead. Maybe Georgetown will have something, anything, then I can make my way through Macon towards Atlanta through to Canada or something. I turned the car around and made my way down the highway. Savannah had been my plan. It had been the goal; now I had no idea what to do.
Once I passed into the Georgetown border I started scouring the streets for a store that looked promising. I passed by a corner store and carefully pressed the brakes as the car rolled to a stop. I grabbed my bow from the passenger seat and took a deep breath.
Inside the store the isles were littered with the walkers. "Shit," I readied an arrow and pulled back on the string as hard as I could, wobbling slightly as I attempted to aim for the nearest head. Voosh, splat. The body fell and I repeated the process, reaching back into the quiver to get a new arrow each time. Thud, thud, thud. I was moving as fast as I could, but they were advancing. "Shit," I pulled out the large bowie knife from the sheath attached to my belt. I hated doing this. I carefully plunged the blade into the remaining skulls, trembling the whole time. Why do they have to look like people? Why do they have to stare at me like that? Once I finished with the last one I hunched over. No amount of cardio in the world could have prepared me for this life. No amount of desensitizing movies or television shows could have prepared me for the way it smells, the way they look, the way it feels to kill something, anything, even if it wasn't human anymore. "Why are there so many in here?" I looked around, expecting to find a fresh blood smear from some poor bastard who led them in here. Nothing. I just need to get what I need and get the hell out of here. I grabbed a towel from one of the shelves and cleaned off the knife first, then the arrows. This part always smelt the worst, the blood always smells the worst.
I turned my head in the direction of the noise, wondering for a second if it had just been my imagination.
It wasn't my imagination. I set one of the arrows in its place and crept towards the door at the back of the store. It's probably just another one of those things, got stuck in that room, that's all. I stood in front of the door and shifted my weight so I could kick the door in. Deep breath.
The door opened and a small girl, no older than ten, peeked out from behind the door. She wore a baseball cap and two pigtails. She wasn't rotted. Her eyes weren't glazed over. She was alive. I lowered my bow immediately; it was only a little girl.
I put away the arrow and slid the bow over my shoulder before crouching down to her level, "Are you okay?"
Her voice was small, "I-I think so. I didn't know when it would be safe to come out again."
I looked past her into the room she'd been hiding in, "Where's your group?" Her head lowered slightly. Shit. Was she alone? I got down further and looked up into her sweet face, "It's just you?"
She nodded, "Yeah."
Shit. I might've been alone, but I was twenty-seven. I could handle myself fine, or at least I learned how to fast enough. But she, she was just a child, alone in a world like this. My voice cracked as I spoke, "Do you… Do you need any help or anything?"
There was a loud rumble from her stomach and she laughed as she held onto it, "I'm hungry."
I smiled back to her, "I have food in the car. You're more than welcome to have some."
"Really?" her face lit up further.
"Of course," I stood up, nodding to the counters, "First we should see whatever we can get from this place."
I grabbed a bag from behind the counter and handed it to her, "Come on, but be quiet now." She nodded and ran over to the candy section. I couldn't help but chuckle as I went off to scour for myself.
But the time we headed to the car she was carrying two bags of her own and my backpack along with several plastic bags were filled to the brims.
Once we set everything into the back of the SUV she whispered over to me, "Where did you get all this stuff?"
"Everywhere," I smiled down at her as she pulled out something from the pocket of her sweater. A Gun.
I could see how her hands shook as she held it, "All I have is this now, and my hat."
"I don't have one of those," I motioned to the gun and she held it up to me as if she wanted me to take it, but I refused, "No, you better keep it."
Her face darkened, "I don't like it."
"We should try to get out of the city before we eat."
"Okay," I grabbed a candy bar from one of her bags and opened the passenger door for her, "I get to sit in the front?"
"There's more room for you up here," I helped her into the seat. She looked so small compared to the broad back of the leather. "Here," I handed her the candy bar and shut the door before jogging around to my own seat and turning the key. I tossed the bow behind the center console and stepped on the gas.
"Is that a bow?" her words were muffled by the food in her mouth, "Like in Robin Hood?"
"It is," I glanced over to her, "I am only just getting the hang of it, though. They are harder to use that I thought."
The rest of the way we sat in silence, but neither of us seemed to mind. I was happy to have company and she seemed to be happy enough just to get a chance to eat. Maybe we could travel together? I rolled the thought over in my mind as I weaved through the overturned cars, and the more I did the more I wanted her to stay. In the thirty minutes since we'd met she'd already made me laugh. I hadn't laughed since this all started. And she had stayed alive this whole time. She could probably teach me a thing or two about surviving. Once we reached a relatively desolate area I pulled over and picked out a few energy bars for each of us, as well as some water. I handed her half of what I grabbed and started to dig into my own rations.
Mmmm. Grammhph. We both happily ate, and I tried to savor each bite. Even though I had saved up plenty of food I had always tried to keep my intake to a minimum. Conservation would be important now.
Once she was done I noticed her messing with the hem of her sweater. Her voice was almost inaudible, "Do you think…"
She paused and I took my chance to ask her, "Would you like to stick with me for a while? Maybe we can find your family?"
I saw her eyes tear up, "My parents aren't here anymore."
"Oh," I looked back down at the last bit of granola, "I'm sorry, little lady."
She wiped her face with her sleeve, "Me too."
"Hey," I snapped my head to face her, "What's your name?"
"Clementine," she smiled, "What's yours?"
"Lenore," I smiled back as I popped the rest of my meal in my mouth.
Her giggle echoed through the car, "That's an old person name."
"That's what I always say," I took a fast sip of water, "You can call me 'Lenny' if you want."
I looked back at the road. We had stopped at a fork. "Where are you headed?"
"I don't know," her shoulders hunched, "I just know I'm supposed to stay out of cities." No wonder she'd stayed alive this long; she was probably more intelligent than most adults.
"That's very smart of you." I could tell that my compliment helped her, because she immediately relaxed a bit. I sighed as I stared down either side of the street before us, "I don't know where I'm going anymore either."
I shifted in my seat to face her more directly, "Want to wander with me for a bit? I'll share my food with you, try to make sure you stay safe."
When she looked at me she had concern all over her, "Are you a good person?"
"I'm not perfect," I looked towards the bow for a slit-second and considered all the corpses I'd killed to stay alive. Maybe that made me a bad person. I looked back up to her, the corners of my mouth upturning slightly, "But I won't hurt you. That's a promise."
"You don't mind?" I could see insecurity on her face, "Having me around? I'm just a kid."
I patted the top of her head, "I think it would be nice to have you with me, Clementine." She smiled and buckled her seatbelt up again. "You feeling better now that you've eaten something?"
"Yeah," when she smiled over to me I felt better than I had in months, "I feel a lot better now."
"Then let's head out," I turned back towards the steering wheel, "You buckled in?"
She tugged on the seatbelt, "Yep."
"Good. So which way," I nodded to the road ahead of us, "Left or right?"
She was quiet for a while before she spoke, "I forgot which is which."
"Sometimes I forget, too," I tilted my head towards her, "There's an easy way to remember that. See, hold out your hands like this," I held out my hands in front of me, sticking out my index fingers and thumbs, and she mimicked me. I lifted up my left hand slightly, "See how this one looks like an 'L?' That means it's the left."
She held both hands up in front of her with a proud expression on her face, "Oh, that's so easy!"
"Isn't it?" I turned the key in the ignition, "So, which way, Captain Clementine?"
She looked over to me, unsure, "Left?"
I nodded and stepped on the gas, "Left it is."
Hope you enjoyed this chapter enough to follow and maybe even review. :) I really like this idea [and my Annie Get Your Gun story is coming to a close pretty soon, and I still want to write TWD story], so I hope it gets at least a few readers. THANK YOU!