Summary: "There never could be enough time." She replied softly. "That's why I'll stay by his side till the end. Truth is, all you can do is enjoy what time you have left, before it's too late." Post 3X16.
Author's Notes: This takes place after the season 3 finale, just a little one-shot featuring Rick, Michonne, Carl, and Beth, with an appearance by Daryl and a special 'guest' appearance. Hope ya like it!
Disclaimer: The walking Dead belongs to Robert Kirkman, AMC, and whoever else I'm forgetting, I own nothing of it, and probably never will.
No one can make it Alone
A cold gust of wind blew through the prison, winter had just started and a blanket of snow had found its way across the ground, hiding the fallen leaves and over grown grass under it. While the wonderland of snow looked beautiful to the eye, the drop in temperature came with some draw backs; traveling was harder with all the snow, hunting was much more difficult task and took even longer than it normally would, and not having centralized heating, well, that was bitch. The good thing about it though, there were less walkers, most of them were either frozen in place, and the ones that weren't were so much easier to kill now that they were slowed down by snow and frost bite.
Sounds of a community were starting to populate the walls of the prison, drowning out the moans and groans from the walkers frozen at the fence, it may not have been the type of community people had expected when they thought of rebuilding a society, but it was something, a chance, and these days, a chance was all that mattered.
Regardless of all this, Rick still wasn't content with how things were going in his life, the prison was safe, his people were safe...well, not all of them were, they had lost Andrea, and most of the group were still recovering from that, some more than others, the Governor was still on the run, with no clues to his whereabouts, but what really was tearing him apart was what was happening to his son.
His only son, his not so little boy, had killed a teen soldier from Woodbury in cold blood. He didn't want to believe Hershel, he wanted believe that his sweet innocent boy he had raised was still ten and purse, but he couldn't help the sickening fear that was his son being consumed by the darkness that this world had become. He knew there was something wrong, he'd be lying if he said otherwise, but...he just didn't want to admit it to himself, didn't want to see his son that way, like Shane.
Rick was so lost in his thoughts, he didn't even notice Michonne had called his name.
"Rick." She repeated waving her hand in front of his face. "Rick!"
whacking himself out of his thoughts, Rick gave his attention to Michonne. Her ever stoic face was looking slightly annoyed at him.
"Sorry about that." He said rubbing his tired eyes. "I'm just trying to process some things."
"Things?" She asked stepping closer to him, her eyes focused on his. "You mean like Carl killing that boy?"
Rick froze for a second, stunned by Michonne's bluntness, even after all this time he was still getting use to the way she talked to people. He managed to compose himself though and replied. "Yeah, about him..." Rick couldn't even say it.
"It's simple, Carl thought he was a threat, and he did what he thought was right." Michonne's cold demeanor sent chills down Rick's spine, and suddenly anger boiled out.
"Don't you even care whats happening to my son?" He said moving closer to her, they were standing only a couple of inches apart now. "He's losing himself to this shit hole world we live in, and all you can do is condone what he's becoming."
Michonne glared at Rick. "I'm not condoning anything, Rick. All I'm saying is that he did what he had to do."
"He was surrendering." He insisted.
"He was an enemy, nothing more." She stepped even closer to Rick, she could feel the heat coming off his labored breath. There was anger inside of him, she wasn't sure if that anger was because of her, or Carl, or maybe just the situation he was now left in.
Blinded by his anger, Rick then snapped. "Are you really that dead inside you can't how cold that sounds." He regretted those words the second they left his mouth.
Michonne backed away from Rick, her once annoyed face was now replaced with a look of pure hurt. Rick knew he did wrong, he went to reach out to her, to apologize, but she backed away even further from him.
"Michonne, look I didn't mean-"
Michonne raised a hand up silencing him. "Save it, Rick. Heard you loud and clear." She then walked away from him, not even casting him a second glance.
There wasn't many places to avoid people in the prison these days, now that the residents of Woodbury had taken up shelter with them, it became increasingly harder to find a quiet place to ones self, something that Michonne had been learning.
She wanted to avoid Rick after their argument, but she just couldn't find a place to go. Everyone was everywhere, even in the tombs there were people, it was cleared out completely now, but it didn't help her quest for privacy.
Michonne had hoped she could find solace in the prison workshop, since the room was small, and hard to find, she hoped it'd be empty by chance. When she got close to room though, she heard the sounds of two people talking, and by judging by the voices she could tell it was Carl and Beth. Leaning close to the half closed-door, Michonne looked in to witness what was going on. She wasn't spying on them, she wouldn't even think of doing that. She was just...giving them some adult supervision...without their knowledge.
By what she could see, Carl was sitting on some stool, while Beth was standing close to him, he was trying not to look at her in eyes, Michonne could read his body langauge, Rick would always do the same thing when she talked with him.
'Must be genetics.' She thought to herself.
She saw Beth step forward, placing her delicate hands on Carl's face. "You know, you can talk to me right?" She asked.
Carl still didn't look up at Beth, not even with her hands on him, instead he opted for staring at the floor, which at the moment must of been the most interesting thing in the world right now. "I know, it's just..." He bit his bottom lip, he looked like he was debating whether or not to say something. "I just..." He let out a long-winded sigh, all he wanted to do was enjoy the comfort Beth was giving him.
"Come on, you can tell me what's wrong." She insisted kindly. "Just talk to me." She gently moved his head so he was looking at her in eyes, she then rested her forehead against his, and whispered some words to him that Michonne couldn't hear. They stayed like that for some time, Beth whispering softly to Carl, and him just enjoying the feeling of being so close to her.
"Forget it, it's nothing." Carl said slowly moving away from Beth, he gave her a small smile, and Michonne had to wonder if he was faking it, she rarely saw the boy smile anymore, and even when he did, it just looked so...forced.
She saw Beth's eyes dim a little bit, but the farm go smiled back at Carl. "Just remember I'm here for you."
Carl's smile grew a little, and Michonne could tell that this time it was for real. "I know." He said. Carl then jumped off the stool and started to make his way out. "I gotta...um... ya know...I"
Beth giggled at his stuttering. "Its alright. Another time."
Carl gave a thankful small smile Beth's way, and walked out of the room. Michonne quickly backed away from the door and darted a bit away, and then started to walk forward when she saw Carl came out of from the room, making it look like she had just been strolling to the workshop room, not spying, I mean providing secret adult supervision.
Luckily Carl didn't notice anything when he walked out of the room, he greeted Michonne with a nod, and she ruffled his long hair in response, he glared at the action, but Michonne just shrugged.
"Should have been wearing your hat, deputy." She teased.
Carl just mumbled something under his breath and stalked off. Michonne's spirits fell a little bit watching him walk away, what was going on with him? Maybe Beth could help, she seemed closer to Carl than most people were these days.
She walked into the workshop, the room had been fixed up by Daryl and some of the new people from Woodbury, so now it actually looked decent enough for someone to actually build things, though barley anyone used the room, well in less they needed a private place to be alone, which was happening more than people building or working on anything. Beth sat on the stool Carl had just been sitting, she greeted Michonne with a small wave, and Michonne took that as an invitation in.
"I guess you heard a lot of that." Beth said.
Michonne threw up her hands in an apologetic way. "Not much, just the end."
Beth laughed a little. "Always the best parts right?"
"Sometimes, other times they can be the saddest." Michonne said, she edged to a counter attached to the wall and sat herself down. "Is Carl..." She wasn't sure how to format her words, talking about others wasn't really her strong point, not anymore at least. "Is he alright?"
Tucking a stray hair of blonde behind her ear, Beth stared down into her lap, she felt like she had been called to the principle's office and was being asked questions about a troubles classmate. "It's complicated." She whispered.
Michonne wanted to scowl, but held it back. She might not be the best with talking with adults anymore, but she hoped she still had a talent with kids. "Can you make it less complicated?" Beth didn't respond. "Please, Beth."
"He'shavingnightmares" Beth mumbled quickly.
"um, excuse me, he's what?" Michonne asked in confusion.
Sighing, Beth repeated slowly. "He's been having nightmares."
Now that she didn't expect to hear, Carl just didn't seem like the type to have nightmares, not that there really was a type, even she had nightmares sometimes. It was just strange, the kid always seemed so calm. "He told you this?"
Beth shook her head, still not making eye contact. "No, but I know." She said timidly, it was clear she wasn't comfortable talking about the subject. "Sometimes when I stay in his cell, he talks in his sleep, cries even, other times he just tosses and turns all night long, I'm not sure he even sleeps much to begin with."
Michonne raised her eyebrows high. "You two are sharing a cell?"
"No! Not like that!" Beth squeaked, she instantly knew what Michonne had meant by sharing a cell, her face was heating up, and she knew that if there was a mirror, she'd see that her face was fifty different shades of red now. "Sometimes I just like to sleep in his cell." She said fidgeting in her chair. "I mean, I sleep on the bottom bunk and he's on the top one, so nothing ya know..." She trailed off, not wanting to finish.
Smiling at the embarrassed girl, Michonne said. "It's ok, I get. I just wanted to make sure Carl wouldn't need to enter witness protection, nothing says trouble like a farmer with a shotgun." Beth squirmed in her seat even more at the mention of her father, she knew her daddy trusted her, he just had his concerns lately about Carl.
Michonne then asked. "How's he getting along with the Woodbury people?" Beth gripped the stool hard with her hands, and Michonne's curiosity increased, what was she missing from this picture?
"They don't like him much." The farm girl said, her voice was neutral, but Michonne could feel the faint hint of anger in it. "The looks they give him..." She gripped the stool even harder, and Michone could see that the girl's knuckles were turning white.
Beth bit her lip hard, Michonne could tell she was struggling. "There just not nice looks. There's fear and hatred in their eyes, they look at him like he's a cold-blooded."
"Because of what he did to the Woodbury boy?"
Beth nodded in agreement.
Subconsciously, Michonne gripped her sword, protective instincts instantly overcame her, she felt like showing the people of Woodbury what a real threat was like, she shook the idea out of her head though. They had a truce with Woodbury, as long as none of them actually hurt Carl, she couldn't do anything. If they did though...well, she couldn't be responsible for what would happen to them.
"It was war back then, he did what he thought was right. "
"It just doesn't seem fair, after everything he's been through, what he's had to do." Beth was now shaking, and Michonne couldn't tell if it was in anger or sadness.
Michonne sighed. The girl was still so naïve. "It's life."
"It's bullshit!" Beth snapped raising her voice, Michonne jumped slightly at the outburst, she couldn't even hide the extremely shocked look on her face. Beth never cursed, out of everyone in the entire group, new or old, she was the one who'd barley ever even yell.
"I'm sorry." Beth apologized. "I shouldn't have snapped at you, it's not you're fault."
Jumping of the counter, Michonne put a hand on the younger girl's shoulder. "No problem, you care about him, its natural to want to protect him."
Beth laughed at her response. "He does more protecting than I can do, I'm just the babysitter."
"You shouldn't put yourself down, You're a warrior just like any of us."
"Not like you." Beth countered. "You're the real warrior."
Now it was Michonne's turn to laugh. "I'm different. I'm...I'm" Rick's words echoed in her head. "I'm colder."
"No you're not! You're one of the kindness people I've ever met."
That shocked Michonne. "You think I'm kind?" She asked slowly.
Beth looked at her like she had just asked if the grass was green or the sky was blue. "Of course you are, you stayed with us when you had no reason too, you fought side by side with us till the end." Beth then smiled brightly at her. "You saved my sister, without you I would have lost her."
Michonne now put her head down, compliments were so rare to hear these days, and she couldn't help but smile to herself at Beth's praises.
Beth's smile grew even bigger when she said. "Carl always talks about how you're the coolest. How you're the badass lady with a sword and a gorgeous cat sculpture."
Michonne started to laugh, really actually laugh hard, probably harder than she had done in forever. The cat sculpture, she had completely forgot about that, the fact that Carl described her that way, just amused the hell out of her in such a funny way. Soon her laughing had spread too Beth, and now both of them were just laughing as hard as they could.
Then when Beth's laughs started to fade away, She then says. "Rick thinks you're kind too."
Michonne's laughter dies away instantly and she put her head back down. "No, he doesn't, trust me on that."
"Are you kidding me?" Beth asked raising her voice again. "All he ever does is stare at you! Carl notices, I notice, even Daryl notices!"
To say Michonne felt embarrassed would be an understatement, now Beth was starting to make her feel like she was in the principal's office. She had noticed that Rick's eyes would linger long on her whenever they could, and sometimes she'd follow suit, and guessing by the huge shit eating grin on Beth's face, the girl knew of her staring habits too.
Recovering from herself, Michonne decided to turn the tables on Beth. "So, what's going on with you and Carl?" Surprisingly, Beth didn't even look embarrassed by the question, hell, she didn't even look shocked, almost like she was expecting the question to be brought up sooner or later.
"I care about him, maybe even love him." Beth said smiling to herself. "I'm not sure when I fell for him, it just happened." Her smile grew brighter, and Michonne couldn't help but feel that the room was getting brighter along with it. "He went from being this kid who showed up on my daddy's porch, shot and bleeding to death, to someone I couldn't imagine losing.
For some reason Michonne thought of Rick, she didn't know why, she just did.
"I use to think it was wrong." Beth's smile dimmed a little. "I was at least three years older than him, I thought that something was wrong with me, that maybe Carl was just becoming a replacement for Jimmy in my head, or he was just my last option since there was no one else." Her smile fell even more, and was now all but gone. "I felt guilty, like I was taking advantage of his underdeveloped feelings, that if anything happened between us, it'd just be because there was no one else, and we'd regret it after."
Then Beth's smile instantly returned. "I was wrong though, Carl wasn't a replacement or a last option. I realized that I felt things for him, that I never felt for Jimmy, or even anyone in my entire life." She brought a hand to the necklace around her neck, the last gift she had to remember her mother. "And I really don't mind the idea of spending the rest of my life with him."
Michonne didn't say a word, not because she didn't want to, she was just speechless. She finally managed to ask. "How does he feel?"
Beth shrugged. "I know he cares about me, he's never said it with words, but he's done enough for me to put the pieces together. I'm just waiting till he's ready."
"But how...how do you know it's worth it?" Michonne asked the younger girl. "What if there's not enough time?"
"There never could be enough time." She replied softly. "That's why I'll stay by his side till the end. Truth is, all you can do is enjoy what time you have left, before it's too late."
Michonne couldn't help but smile at Beth's confident answer. "When did you become so wise, mmnnn?" She teased leaning forward at the girl.
Beth laughed and said. "I guess I'm taking after my daddy." She then stood up from the stool, and without Michonne realizing it, the girl hugged her.
"Thanks Michonne, it was a good talk."
Michonne let the girl hug her, chuckling at the girl's affection. "You did most of the talking kid."
"It was still nice to having someone listen to me. You think we could do this again?" Beth said with a puppy dog look in her eyes."
"I don't think I could say no to that face anyway." Michonne chuckled. "Sure, anytime ya wanna talk, I'll listen."
Beth beamed at Michonne, happy with the answer. "Well, I better go check up on Judith." She walked over to the doorway, but stopped and looked over her shoulder. "For the record, Carl also said you'd make a great step-mom too."
Michonne whipped her head around so fast she was afraid she'd get whip-lash or break her neck, she went to say something to Beth, but the girl was already lost in a fit of giggles and running down the hall.
She just sat in the empty workshop, stunned by what she just heard, then after a couple of minutes, the corners of her mouth curved upwards into a small smile.
Night had fallen on the prison, the sun had been replaced by the glowing moon and the shinning stars. The prison was starting to quiet down, dinner had just ended and now people were making their way to bed, the only ones awake were the ones left with insomnia.
Michonne was one of those suffering from insomnia, so instead of staring at the same metal surroundings, she opted to go outside, and enjoy the cool Georgia air. When she got outside, it wasn't long until she found herself automatically walking towards the prison graveyard, something she'd often do out of habit.
She visited Andrea's grave, it was something she did at least once a day, it didn't matter how much time would pass, she'd always miss the closet friend she'd ever had in her life, Andrea was a sister to her in everything but blood, and she still missed her to this day.
Michonne stared at the makeshift cross that had been planted at the foot of Andrea's grave as a tombstone, it stood strong and proud like the brave woman who passed, it was untouched by snow, and kept in perfect condition, which was odd because the snow was everywhere around the prison, even in smallest nook of the littlest cranny.
She wondered who had cleaned off the grave, but then she remembered, it was the person who always took care of Andrea's grave, the same person who always left a Cherokee rose tied to an arrow on it once a week.
Looking down sadly at the flower, Michonne thought about the conversation she had with Beth earlier, how there never will be enough time, and how you couldn't waste what time you had left. Sighing to herself, Michonne knew what she had to do, she couldn't avoid Rick anymore, she needed to talk to him.
"Wish me luck." She said to her old friend.
Turns out she didn't need to look hard to find Rick, the stubborn man hadn't even left the guard tower, frozen in the same spot she had left him after they had their argument. When he saw her walk into the guard tower he gave her an apologetic look. She went to open her mouth, but he cut him off.
"Listen, I'm sorry what I said." Rick said stepping closer to her. "You're not cold, you never will be, you're anything and everything, but that. Its just..." Rick trailed off, running a hand through his black hair. "Carl's the last thing I've got left from the old world, if I can't protect him from all this," He gestured to their surroundings. "How am I going to be a good enough father to Judith."
He sounded desperate, almost lost again in his own self-doubt and guilt. She could see it in his eyes, he needed something, anything right now to bring him back to earth, before he slipped up again.
Michonne stepped closer to Rick, recreating the moment they had earlier, only this time, there wasn't any anger separating them, their was just her brown eyes staring right back into his blue ones. She brought Rick into a soft embrace, burying her head in his shoulder and she was happy to feel him relax into it, because she couldn't stop shaking.
"I'm not good with any of this anymore, Rick." She said still shaking. "I can handle almost anything, but when it comes to people, I just...I just can't seem to adjust anymore." She continued to shack harder. "But I know good man from a bad one, and you're not one of the bad ones. Carl isn't broken, he just needs some time, he needs you."
Rick wraps his arms around her, and to her surprise her body stops shaking, she's not use to being held like this, but, she'd be lying if she said it didn't make her feel good. He cupped her chin with his hand, and said. "He needs you too, I told you, you're one of us now."
Michonne smiles kindly at him, not the small smirks she gives to people here and there, no a real smile, the ones she only shows to the people she cares about.
"That reminds me, you really need better pick up lines than that Sheriff." Michonne says leaning closer to him.
"Oh, and showing up with baby formula is your way of breaking the ice?"
Michonne breaks away from Rick, and he instantly thinks he's said something wrong, but instead of walking away, Michonne grabs him by the face and says "Shut up, Grimes." She then smashes her lips against his.
While caught off guard at first, Rick soon responds to Michonne kiss, putting just as much passion and force into the kiss as she is, he picks her up and her legs immediately wrap around him. "How's this for pick up line?"
"Didn't I tell you to stop talking?" Michonne groans, she then grabs Rick's face and brings it back to her's for another kiss. He carefully slides their bodies to the floor, and they can't help losing themselves in the moment.
The two were so lost in each others arms that they didn't hear the door to the guard tower open and then softly close.
A small smirk found its way to Daryl's lips as he walked away from the guard tower, he had gone to relieve Rick of watch duty and start his watch shift for the night, but it seemed that the group's leader was busy with his right hand woman.
While Daryl continued to walk down the snow-covered path back to the prison, he felt the presence of a familiar face walking along side him. She was a woman, with eyes like a sapphire and hair golden like sun, with a straw hat sitting on her head. Daryl nodded her way, and the woman smiled lovingly in response.
"Like ya said, Angel face, no one can make it alone." Daryl whispers into the passing wind as he lights up a cigarette and retreats inside the prison.
Author's notes: Well that's all folks, another One-shot done and over with. I wanted to write something kind of dealing with after the finale, there's been so many sad or depressing fics, I wanted to write something that could cheer myself up. Hope ya enjoyed it, please review cause that makes me happy too!
Catch ya later.