"After you fell, did you black out?"

Amy sucked in a deep breath as she felt the thread tugging the skin around her shoulder wound. She pulled her stiches when fighting off the walker in the courtyard. "No."

"Do you remember falling?" Hershel asked. He sat next to her at one of the tables in the side cell. Once Amy and the others had returned from scouting the courtyard, everyone else had returned to the main block.


"One more," he warned.

She winced at the sting of the needle.

"How has your memory been since?"

Moments from the traumatic evening flashed through her mind, distracting her from the uncomfortable feeling of the thread sliding through her skin. Her recollection was perfect. "It's fine."

"That's good," he said. "It doesn't sound like you've got a serious concussion."

Snipping from the scissors signified the end of the stitching, and she relaxed at the sound, not realizing how tense she was while Hershel was working.

"You'll probably have a headache for several days and be careful to not bump your head for a while. Let us know if anything feels different though."

She nodded. "Thanks, Hershel."

As he was packing up his instruments, it was completely dark and silent beyond their side cell.

Grabbing her lantern, Amy dragged her weary self up the stairs. Even her mind was quiet for a change. She couldn't believe they had actually been attacked and so soon at that.

She had just started down the upper landing, when she saw Rick leaning against the railing. From the lantern at his feet, a soft glow washed over him. He met her gaze as she approached.

"How bad was it?" he asked.

"Three stitches in the arm, none in the head, and I've got a concussion," she said while walking over.

Rick swore aloud, and the darkness of the block seemed to settle more deeply on his features.

"Hey," she said softly. "It's gonna be okay. I'm fine."

His gaze drifted downward on the block. As he remained silent, she wondered what sort of tortured thoughts may be going through his head. She joined him at the railing and rested her forearms against it.

"But we had too many close calls," he finally hissed, "and you weren't the only one."

Amy sighed and focused on her blood-stained hands. "Yeah, we did."

"I don't know what we're going to do about tomorrow."

Remaining silent, she scrubbed at the splotches of blood on her hands. She didn't know either.

"Damn it, Daryl!" he growled. "We can't do this!"

She startled at how his voice carried across the landing. He looked like he regretted his sudden raise in tone also and stepped away from the railing. Sighing, he ran a hand across his beard.

"We're too battered to fight. There's too many of them, too few of us. We started something yesterday night!" he said lowly. "And I can't risk having you get more hurt right now."

"Rick, I'll be fine," she insisted. "It's just a headache."

He shot her a disbelieving look. Like her, she figured he also knew that fighting with a concussion was a risk.

He swallowed thickly. "This can't be real," he whispered in a softer tone. "It just can't be. He can't be gone."

"Well he is," she said with a slight edge to her voice. She was in no mood to be talking about Daryl after all that had just happened.

Rick stilled, and his eyes snapped to hers.

Amy turned so her back was to railing. "We have no choice but to stand up, fight, and make the best of what we've got."

Stepping closer to her, he looked at her levelly. "Yeah, but we're more vulnerable without him. What if this all goes south because of it?"

"He doesn't make or break us!" Amy hissed.

"He could!" Rick bit.

"No," she said in a lower tone. "He doesn't."

"Would you have gotten hurt if he were here?" he challenged.

"You can't know that!"

Amy crossed her arms and just looked at him. Her exasperation was quickly growing with this conversation and how he was overreacting, but she checked herself. She shouldn't be cross with him when her frustration was actually directed toward their unfortunate situation and not completely at him.

Relaxing her defensive stance, her eyes softened as she watched him hang his head and sigh. After hearing and seeing how much Daryl's leaving was affecting Rick, she realized this was also a reflection of her own feelings, and that had irritated her. She didn't want to be reminded of Daryl right then.

"Hey," she breathed. "I'm sorry. I miss him too."

Rick merely sighed and avoided looking at her.

She couldn't help but worry again about him and how he was reacting so strongly over Daryl's leaving.

"This isn't like you. What's going on?" she asked gently with a frown at her lips.

He opened his mouth to answer her but then shook his head and sighed. "Nothin'," he muttered after a pause.

Her eyes narrowed slightly. "Rick," she said firmly.

"I'm seeing stuff. Things," he mumbled.

"Rick," she pressed, clearly displeased with that answer.

"Lori!" he snapped.

Closing his eyes, he drew a deep breath. "I'm seeing… Lori," he whispered.

She remained silent at his surprising confession, but as she thought about it, the last couple of days started to make more sense. This would account for all his erratic behavior and wandering around.

Rick stood with his head bowed, and she frowned seeing him like that. He really wasn't doing well. None of them were.

"Why do I still see her? Why can't I stop this? Everything now-it's too much. It's too much," he murmured brokenly as he massaged his brow.

Amy stepped away from the railing and closer to him as he continued speaking.

"And I can't escape. I just ca-"

"Hey, hey, hey," she interrupted quickly in a soft tone. She needed to break him from his ramblings that were going nowhere. "You've been through a terrible shock, and have not been allowed any time to process it. And yet, you've still managed to lead us through all these fights. I think that's pretty great considering."

He looked dismissive.

"You're doing the best you can," she added.

Rick looked up at her, and she saw just how lost he was. His eyes locked on hers in what she figured to be a desperate need for her affirmation.

"Do you trust me?" he asked simply.

The scene before her was oddly mirroring the pair's time together just a couple hours prior, only she was the one standing in Rick's shoes.

"You said earlier that you needed me. Well, we need you now too," she said.

Rick nodded and the lines of tension on his face relaxed some.

"I'm going on watch," he said.

"You sure about that? I could come relieve you."

"Nah, I'm good," he said with a shake of his head before walking off.


Amy let him leave at that. She needed some time away from him and more desperately, some rest. She was just as stressed out as he was. The strain of dealing with Woodbury was pressing in hard and making them all feel edgy.

She watched him leave and when he disappeared into the shadows at the stair's foot, she let out a frustrated sigh. Resting her elbows on the railing again, she lay her face in her hands.

They really were in quite the mess, and that terrified her. Rick was right. They were in no shape for fighting. And what if that ultimately cost them their lives? What if they really were about to meet the end?

Straightening up, she wiped at her watering eyes. The pain was assaulting her head in waves.

She had been slowly coming to the conclusion that the Doctor wasn't coming back, but at that moment, it finally felt real. In this world, her hope in him wasn't going to carry her anywhere. Only hard choices would, and she was preparing herself for those she would likely have to make in the coming days. She didn't have room for the Doctor's ideals of peace anymore. She had to be ready to do what was needed.

She stayed out on the landing for a bit longer, overlooking the dark cell block. It was a cruel thing, this world. Life seemed to only bring people into Amy's life just so she could watch them leave.

In the weeks following sleeping with Amy for the first time, the Doctor's room turned from a once seldom visited space into something else. He was different too. He was relaxed, content even. The Doctor marveled that this was what a normal life looked like. Well, sort of.

The entire nights on end he used to spend tinkering with the console and performing other various feats of engineering were also a thing of the past. Additionally he slept more. Not as much as Amy, but more all the same. Generally, he would join her in bed halfway through the night so they could wake up together. He also found himself quite reluctant to get up in the morning given how much he enjoyed snuggling with her.

Once in a while he worried that his focus was not entirely on his work, but why couldn't he have both? He could make it work.

One morning the Doctor forced himself to get up before Amy. He was in the middle of a project that demanded his attention at various steps and at very specific intervals. Sadly, the next step had to be early that morning. He mused how it was unfortunate that he couldn't also time travel inside the TARDIS.

Despite this, he was feeling wonderfully relaxed as he inspected his work. In the past, he always dressed the same all the time, but as he was standing there in a less formal state, he decided he liked it. His coat was still upstairs, the top few buttons were loosed on his shirt, and his braces hung limp against his thighs.

Oh, and his bowtie. Also in his room. He actually kinda wanted that back.

The Doctor smiled easily to himself as he checked various gauges and wiring. She should be down any minute. He continued working and soon heard Amy padding down the stairs.

Looking up from his work, he smiled when he saw her wearing one of his dress shirts, the hem of which barely concealed her pants. Her gorgeous long bare legs past his shirt soon made their way to him.

Amy smirked at him as she lifted one of her arms. The long sleeve of the shirt bunched up to reveal her hand clutching a crumpled up long piece of fabric. His bowtie.

His smile widened and he did up the last few buttons of his shirt as her arms wound around his neck. Craning his head down, he met her in a kiss, and when they broke apart, she straightened his collar before slipping the fabric around his neck. Pulling her against him, he let his hands rest on her hips as she looped the fabric into a bow tie.

A whirring sound interrupted the moment, and both Amy and the Doctor jumped in alarm. Looking around, they found River standing in front of the main door.

River took one look at them, and despite whatever she may have felt, her face remained neutral.

"Oh my, I've got a knack for terrible timing," she said breezily.

"Bloody hell!" Amy exclaimed.

The Doctor glanced over at Amy and saw how she backed against the console and away from him. Turning red, she tugged quickly at her shirt in an effort to cover up more, but that was to no avail. All the while she avoided looking at either River or him.

He, however, was furious and what really set him off was how River did not look surprised or sorry in the least.

"What the hell, River!" he yelled.

"I bring you a message, Doctor," she stated.

"I'll leave you to it," Amy mumbled before slinking away and up the stairs.

"Sorry, Mother," River added, though it seemed to be merely for Amy's sake. He questioned how regretful River actually was given it did not color her voice in the least.

Amy spared a brief glance at River before ducking her head again. She still hadn't looked at him once.

The Doctor watched her leave when he noticed from the corner of his eye that River was also observing her exit as well. With his eyes, he bore holes into River as she watched Amy.

"What?" the Doctor snapped when he no longer could hear Amy's footfalls.

"Nothing," she chipped.

"You disapprove?" he challenged venomously.

"I didn't say anything," she said evenly. Her eyebrows raised and she looked dismissive, but her eyes held a harsh glint to them.

The Doctor's features darkened as he silently stared her down.

She remained silent and that disgusted him. Shaking his head, he huffed and marched around the console, snapping the occasional switch with more force than necessary.

"What's the message?" he bit. He stared at the console, not willing to give River the respect of looking at her.

"Apalapucia has fallen."

Whatever he was expecting to hear was certainly not that. He could feel the very heat draining from his face, and he looked up at her with a start.

"What? How's that possible?" he asked. His voice held a subtle tremor.

"I phoned. Why didn't you come?" she hissed. "We needed you!"

"River! What happened!" he cried.

River was never one to lose her cool or become overly emotional, but if she ever had a moment, this was as close to the Doctor ever seeing her in such a state.

"Oh, Doctor," she said. Her face held a mix of emotions: disgust, hurt, grief. When she looked away from him and to the ceiling as if to try and maintain her composure, he saw how her eyes held an extra shine. She shook her head, her curly hair bouncing around as she walked away. "I'm done here."

The Doctor's gaze changed to a glare when she turned to walk away, and he strode after her. He hadn't gotten his answer yet. "River!"

Without a glance back, River touched the device on her wrist and disappeared.

Stopping in his tracks, he groaned angrily aloud. He stormed back to the console and struck the deck in a fit of rage. His old girl buzzed back at him.

"Sorry," he muttered.

Seething, the Doctor just stood there. His frustration was directed toward River and her infuriating ways, but really, he was also outraged with himself. He knew that planet was having a tough go of things lately, and he should have seen this particular spot of trouble coming. If only he hadn't been so distracted.

After stewing for several minutes, he realized he wouldn't be able to function until he found out what happened or at least a better idea at that. River mentioned phoning him, and he would start there. Walking over to where the phone receiver hung on the console, he picked it up and asked the TARDIS if any messages were left.

"Five hundred sixty hours and twenty-three minutes ago," the TARDIS interface chirped, "you received two messages."

The Doctor quickly did the calculation in his head. That equated to three weeks and two days. He frantically racked his brain. What had he been doing on that particular day nearly three weeks ago?

Oh no.

He closed his eyes in dismay.

And worse was the fact that he hadn't checked the phone since then. Had he really been that distracted since then? His routine and life had indeed changed significantly.

"First message," the TARDIS continued.

His palms turned clammy as he pressed the receiver closer to his ear.

"Doctor, I've been on Apalapucia on and off for the past few weeks looking into some problems with their power grid."

It was River's voice in the message.

"They just phoned me again," she continued. "Something's up, and I could really use you on this one. I can't stop by the TARDIS. Come now."

The message ended with a click.

The Doctor gulped as he feared what the next message would be.

"Second message."

"Doctor!" an unfamiliar voice gasped. "Please come quick!"

A loud boom followed by a continued rumbling in the background interrupted the voice.

"The grid-it's alive. We can't-stop it," the voice resumed between pants.

A multitude of screams arose in the background.

"Is he coming?" asked a different fainter voice.

"He's not picking up!" the caller cried. "Doctor! Hurry!"

A click signified the message's end.

The Doctor was now the one left gasping for breath.

"No more messages."

With a shaky hand, he returned the receiver to its resting place before slowly sinking to his knees.

Amy's body jerked violently as she awoke with a start. She was sleeping hard, so the sudden wake-up was painful as she gasped for breath. Furthermore, the faint light filtering through the cell block made her squint at the dull pain she felt behind her eyes.

What was going on?

"Amy! Get up!" someone yelled.

She kicked herself free from the tangle of blankets around her legs, jumped to her feet, and snatched her weapons off the metal table. She raced down the stairs to meet the sounds of clicking and snapping. Nearly everyone stood in the cell block loading and readying their weapons.

"What is it?" Amy asked.

"Shots fired," Glenn answered. "Outside. A ways off."

Dread overwhelmed her as she quickly scanned all the faces around her.

"Where's Rick?" she demanded.

"On watch," Glenn replied with a frown as he smacked a rifle magazine into place.

"What the hell! He stayed out there all night long?" she exclaimed in disbelief. Amy marched past everyone and toward the side cell.

"Yeah. I sat with him for a while earlier, but he still wouldn't come in," Glenn said, the words quickly spilling from his lips as he jogged after her.

Everyone else filed into the side cell after them, and while Glenn was unlocking the gate to the tombs, Carl pushed past the others toward him.

"Glenn, I'm coming," Carl announced.

As Glenn pushed the gate open, Amy caught how Maggie's frown deepened. Glenn also looked displeased and sighed as he attached the set of keys to his belt.

"Carl I need you to stay here and protect the others and your sister."

"But I can-" Carl argued.

"No, Carl," Glenn interrupted. "Please get the gate behind us," he called over his shoulder as he led the way into the darkened hallways.

In addition to Maggie and Amy, Michonne and Axel sprinted after him, and Amy heard the gate shut soon after. She spared a glance behind to see an angry Carl framed by bars. As they raced toward the sliding door leading to the courtyard, she heard the alternating rounds of fire echoing from the outside. With each shot, her heart fluttered with worry at Rick being out there all alone.

Upon reaching the sliding door, they all paused behind it. Glenn looked to Maggie and she rested her hand on the door handle.

"Three, two, one!" Glenn murmured.

Maggie tugged the door open, and Glenn peered around the corner with his gun raised.

With the door open, the shots sounded more clearly but most of them were not ear-splitting. Amy guessed that there were several attackers not in their immediate vicinity.

Glenn edged further outside the doorway and glanced all around.

"It's clear, but run for cover."

"And Rick?" Amy asked from the back of the group.

"Up in the tower," he answered.

Her body trembled at the gunfire and in anticipation of having to go out there, but before she knew it, she was running outside with the others.

When she cleared the cage, she dove for protection behind some barrels. Working together as a team, they covered each other as they sprinted from one object of cover to another. Amy finally reached the fence, but then bullets whizzed by and peppered the ground around her. Panic flooded her veins as she dove for cover behind some boxes near the fence.

She gulped for air as she lay on her back. Glancing upward, Amy found Rick in the tower who was focusing intently from behind his rifle. Drawing another deep breath, she peered around the boxes and out into the inner field. There, she found a half-dozen Woodbury men fanned out behind two cars.

She positioned her gun and squeezed off several shots. More bullets whipped over her head in response, forcing her to duck again. As she waited for a chance to fire again, Amy noticed that everyone else had joined her behind the fence at various posts on either side of her. The next several minutes were spent in a similar fashion of alternating fire, ducking for cover, taking pensive breaths, and summing up the courage to face it all again. Rick had a definite advantage from the height the tower offered and unleashed more shots upon the men. Collectively, they managed to take out a couple of the intruders, but at least three more remained behind the vehicles.

While Amy was aiming at what little was exposed of one of the men, quick movement behind him caught her attention. A different Woodbury man suddenly, and frantically by the looks of it, abandoned the cover of the vehicle and raced away from it. She puzzled at the man's curious course but she acted quickly to train her sights on the running man before pulling the trigger. The gunshot exploded, and seconds later she confirmed that he lay motionless on the ground.

But something else about the man held her eye. An object was sticking out of his back.

Gunfire erupted from either side of Amy, but her focus remained on the man. Her eyes narrowed in confusion and concentration. Was that an arrow?

More movement in the field grabbed her attention as another Woodbury man fled, but he was quickly shot down as well. Immediately all gunfire ceased, leaving a perfect calm in its wake. Up in the tower, Rick let out a whoop for joy, and she looked up at him. Smirking, he called to them. "Hold your fire, guys."

Amy's heart fluttered as she tried to make sense of everything happening.

Could it really be?

Without the roar of gunfire, it was already quiet, but somehow everything grew silent as she scanned the field and held her breath in anticipation.

Daryl emerged from behind one of the vehicles with his crossbow raised and aimed at one of the fallen Woodbury men.

In a single rush of air, Amy laughed aloud and her face split into a grin. She abandoned her place of cover, and as she walked along the fence, she felt like she was soaring. Glenn let out a whoop and jogged over to the gate with his keys already in hand.

Still out in the field, Daryl intently checked over the fallen men and retrieved his arrows. She also caught sight of Merle for the first time as he stabbed a walker next the cars with the blade fixed to his wrist.

Axel jogged over to help Glenn with the gate, and Amy strode along the fence with the other woman toward the gate. A lightness filled the air as they shared relieved smiles.

Growls of all the walkers in the field, however, chased away the levity of the moment. With the gunfight having just ended, the walkers were the least of her worries, but she grew hyper aware of them once again. Stopping dead in her tracks, she scanned the area surrounding Daryl and Merle and how walkers were closing in from all directions. The men weren't swarmed yet, but they would be soon.

Daryl straightened from snatching an arrow off of the ground, and when he glanced all around, he too saw the walkers. He broke into a jog while brandishing a knife from his belt. Merle ran close behind him.

"Maggie!" Amy called.

While Amy shoved the muzzle of her gun through the chain link, she saw from the corner of her eye that Maggie stopped and looked back at her. Amy set her sights on a walker lumbering toward Daryl and fired a shot. In the time it took her to aim at another walker, she heard multiple shots fired off to her side and someone running behind her.

Daryl ran up to a walker and stabbed it in the head, and Merle took out another one nearby. A ways behind them, about twenty walkers lumbered together as a heard, but the men finally reached the easier terrain that the drive way offered. They sprinted up the path as a sporadic steam of gunfire cleared the way for them.

Amy heard and saw the gate slide open just as the men approached it. Only then did she break her intense scan of the field, and only then did a smile edge over her lips again. Breathing a sigh of relief, she lowered her weapon and stuffed it back into her waistband. She couldn't wait to see him again.

Daryl and Merle crossed into the courtyard, and Glenn and Axel quickly slipped the gate shut again. Rick beamed at Daryl and welcomed him with a handshake and Glenn rushed forward to clap him on the back. Daryl ducked his head at the sudden attention, but he gave them a half-smile in return. He genuinely seemed pleased though, and Amy noted how bright his eyes were from behind his unruly fringe.

Merle kept his distance and was more or less ignored while the others greeted his brother. Amy hung back too while everyone else packed closely around Daryl. Rooted in place, she was in shock for a moment that he actually was standing there unharmed with them. For once, something perfect happened. A small laugh escaped her lips when she realized how her cheeks were aching from smiling so much.

When the others finally gave Daryl some space, Amy couldn't wait any longer and ran over to him. Throwing her arms around him in a tight hug, she felt him take a step back, probably from the force of her over-exuberant hug. For a second he just stood there unmoving and then in what she figured was Daryl's way of returning a hug, she felt one of his hands rest lightly against her back.

Amy tucked her head into his shoulder. She couldn't let go. Not yet.

He remained stiff at the contact, and she reluctantly let him go.

"Hey," she murmured with a smile.

"Hey," he grunted back. He looked uncomfortable by her closeness, but she caught how his eyes flicked briefly over her.

When she stepped away from him, Rick caught her in a quick wordless hug. They had their Daryl back, and it was amazing.

"Daryl, did you see anyone else from Woodbury on your way over just now?" Glenn asked.

"Nah. No one," Daryl said.

"We should take out the Governor now," Glenn appealed to the group.

"Easy, Glenn," Rick said.

"But we should hit him while he's still weak!" Glenn insisted.

"Ideally, yes. But it'll be to no use if we aren't at full strength," Rick said.

"But this is our shot!" Glenn exclaimed.

"No, look at yourself. You're barely healed, and Amy's not doing well either."

Amy's attention was drawn away from the conversation when she noticed Daryl staring at her. His features darkened as he looked her over briefly.

"We're all battered. We just need a couple days," Rick continued, "and then we'll get him."

Glenn still looked tense, but his eyes no longer glittered with the hatred Amy knew he held toward the Governor. "Okay," he said.

"In the meantime, I want people on watch at all times," Rick said.

The group began conversing about other things, and Amy merely listened. Without anyone saying so directly, she picked up on the reluctance the others felt at seeing Merle again and the occasional side glances sent his way. She too, had her reservations and didn't know what to expect regarding him joining them.

As the group continued talking amongst themselves, Rick then stepped aside and approached Merle.

"I trust you won't cause any problems," Rick warned lowly.

"I wouldn't dream of it," Merle replied with a smirk.

Merle's joking fell flat with Rick. "See to it then," he said seriously.

That was the extent of anyone issuing any warnings or conditions on Merle's stay when they stood there. Amy figured that everyone was so relieved at Daryl's return and too weary from all the battles to raise another fight just yet. If Merle was the small price they had to pay in getting Daryl back, then it was well worth it.

Rick called to Glenn and asked that he help with surveying the area. The others quickly disbanded and went their separate ways. Amy was about to take a look around the courtyard as well when Merle's words stopped her.

"I suppose you'll be ditchin' me now for yer woman," he drawled.

"Stop," Daryl grunted as he adjusted something on his crossbow.

"After all this time away ya barely acknowledge her?" he taunted.

"Merle!" he snapped.

Merle scoffed and slowly shook his head.

"You've always been a pussy."

"Hey!" Amy yelled.

A slow grin edged over Merle's face as his eyes drifted to Amy for the first time since he arrived. He chuckled lowly.

"You," Amy growled as she marched right up to Merle, "leave him be."

Merle slowly appraised her while remaining unfazed by her demand.

"I've always liked a little spunk," Merle said as his gaze shifted back to Daryl while ignoring Amy, "in a woman, Daryl. You've got a good 'un here."

Amy's eyes glittered and her blood boiled at the disrespect Merle was showing to the both of them.

"You have no business speaking to him like that! He can do whatever he wants!" she snapped, choosing not to make any comment to his assumption of what their relationship was or wasn't.

Merle's eyes flicked back to hers like a snake. "Oh, is that so?" he remarked lazily.

Unwavering, she sent him a fierce glare.

He smiled easily back at her, and his eyes roamed over her this time as he addressed his brother.

"Hell, Daryl. I think she'd be better off spendin' her time with me then."

Balling her firsts at her sides, her eyes shone with raw, unbridled anger.

"Excuse me," she hissed loudly, "but I'll choose on my own what I do. Thank you very much."

Merle chuckled again, the sound coming deep within his throat. He tilted his head as he continued watching her with an amused grin. "You don't know what you're missing out on, sweetheart."

Amy stepped closer into his space, and her eyes narrowed as she regarded him.

"Call me 'sweetheart' one more time," she growled. Her fists trembled with fury at her sides as she glared at his face that seemed stuck in an infuriating grin.

A calloused hand then slipped around her arm and gently tugged. She saw Daryl outside her peripheral vision beside her, and she sent one last glare Merle's way before allowing Daryl to lead her away.

"Take your shit inside," Daryl growled back at him.

She noticed how Daryl's face was all hard edges and the way his eyes held a steely glint. They walked deeper into the courtyard and further away from the sound of Merle still chuckling to himself.

Daryl released his hold on her, and only upon rounding a building's corner did she unleash her frustration on him.

"How can you put up with him?" she exclaimed. "He's so maddening!"

"I dunno. I jus' do."

"Well he has no right to push you around like that."

"Yeah," he said with a shrug of his shoulder.

"I mean it," she insisted.

A brief silence fell between them, but he broke it first.

"Merle may be a creep, but he won't hurt ya," he murmured.

"Thanks," she replied. "I'm not afraid of him."

His face relaxed some, and the corner of his mouth twitched into a half-smile. "Good." He readjusted the crossbow at his back.

The confrontation with Merle caused Amy's headache to flare, and intense pain briefly surged right then. She grimaced but made no comment as she rubbed her head.

Rick and Glenn then walked into view and called Daryl over, but he paused a second as he regarded her questioningly.

"It's nothing," she whispered while forcing a smile.

Daryl frowned, but she waved him off. Once he left with Rick and Glenn, her smile fell and she screwed her eyes shut at the pain.

Shuffling to a brick wall draped in the shadows, she slid down the wall until she was sitting. With her back pressed against the cool surface, she sat there taking deep breaths until the pain eased before heading inside.

A/N: What a wild year and a half it's been for me. I swear at times I feel as though my life is like a fanfic. I'm so sorry for letting this story sit, and I want you to know that not updating it weighed heavily on my mind. I still fully intend to finish this fic one way or another. To anyone who is still interested, thank you for your support.

Many thanks to EternallyElvish for looking over this chapter!