Part One of Three
AN: Edited because I am never happy when I reread something. There were things I wanted to smooth out and adjust. Sorry, I didn't mean to have to repost it but I zigged where I should have zagged in the document manager.
They lost so much.
Lori, T-Dog, Carol.
Maggie washed her hands in a bucket of rain water. So much blood. She felt like her skin would never be clean. Every time she closed her eyes she saw it. She could hear it, and feel it.
"Nope no way, not her. We ain't losing nobody else, I'm going for a run."
"I'll back you up." She needed to be doing something. Something other than thinking and feeling.
That was why she needed to go with Daryl to find the baby formula. For Lori. To take her mind off of Lori.
They'd lost so much. The hum of the motorcycle engine made talking impossible. She didn't want to talk. She felt comfortable not talking with Daryl.
She felt sad for Daryl. She knew he'd cared for Carol. She felt sad for everyone. So many things they'd been through together, they were all a family. She felt sad for Carl especially, what he did for his Mom. And the baby. What kind of life was that child going to have?
They'd make the prison safe. Things would get better. They had to.
A bump in the road made her tighten her arms around Daryl for a moment and she felt him tense. Her eyes itched and everything was... she shut her eyes against the onslaught of feelings threatening to overwhelm her and pushed them down. She was doing something important. We ain't losing nobody else.
They grabbed everything they could carry from the daycare and marked the location on the map just in case they needed to go back for more later on.
Maggie scanned the side of the road as they sped past. Everything was quiet and deceptively peaceful.
And then Daryl stopped.
"No." He turned off the engine. "Get off."
She slid off and stood on the side of the road. There were no walkers in sight. "Is there something wrong with the bike?"
Maggie stared at him. "What are you doing?" He was the one who picked up a doll to bring back for the baby. Daryl wouldn't leave her stranded. He frowned and stared really hard at the trees on the left.
"Are you okay?" She asked him.
"Uh huh." He cleared his throat and pushed down the kickstand. He took a few steps towards the tree line and looked back at her uncertainly. "I gotta..." He looked like he was about to say something else before suddenly switching gears and changing his mind. "I gotta take a piss."
"Oh." Maggie watched him walk away. "I'll wait here." She added lamely.
He was gone a few minutes and when he got back she didn't ask any questions.
"Let's go, we're wasting daylight." He snapped and mounted the bike. She didn't bother reminding him he was the one who had stopped in the first place.
At the end of the day she sat up in the watch tower with Glenn, her hand in his. She watched the sky turn from blue to orange to red, and thought about all the sun sets she'd watched back at the farm, and how far away that old life was now. She thought about her mother, and her step mother, and brother, her cousins, and her friends; all of whom were dead now.
And she thought about Lori.
She watched the lone figure walk out into the field and stand by the grave. Carol's grave. He knelt down and placed something small and white at the base of the marker. She remembered Carol telling her a story one night while they were on the road. Everyone was tired and hungry and scared. She remembered Carol watching Daryl while she spoke, and how he wouldn't meet her eye. It's a story about hope, she'd said. She told the story about the lost children along the trail of tears and white roses blooming where the Cherokee mother's tears had fallen. Never lose hope.
Maggie watched Daryl kneel at the grave and then stand up and walk away, and she squeezed Glenn's hand and looked back out towards the setting sun.