A/N: I do not own The Walking Dead or the universe therein. I do however like writing fanfiction. Sorry for the slight delay. Had a few things come up. Sorry this chapter is so short. Let's get on with the next chapter now!
Chloe awoke with a start. She was covered in sweat and her chest was heaving. She'd had the nightmare again. The one with Jared that she had tought school with. She wondered how he would have fared in this new world if he had made it instead of being bitten in those first few moments of terror. He wouldn't, she thought. Jared was a great man, but he wouldn't have had the grit to do the things you had to do now days. Then again, what did she know. She didn't seem to have the stomach for it either and she was still alive.
"Chloe?" A soft voice asked from the doorway.
Chloe looked up to see Carol standing there, a small smile on her lips. "Yeah?"
"I was getting worried about you. You missed breakfast." She walked in and sat on the bed next to Chloe.
Chloe sat up and looked about her at the sunlight pooring in through the open door. "Where is everyone?"
"Out and about. Most of them are getting ready in case the Governor comes back. Rick is supposed to meet with him again today. Beth had the girls down in her cell coloring. She's trying her best to keep them out of trouble." A smile played on her lips again. "Janie sure likes to sneak off though. She caught Beth changing a diaper earlier and ran off. We found her following Carl around."
"She's developed a crush on him, I think." Chloe stood grabbed her shoes from under the bed and put them on, thankful that she had remained fully dressed after a bathroom trip the night before. A blush stole cross her cheeks as she thought about the night before. "Where's Merle?"
"I'm not sure. I've not seen him since early this morning. Come now. I'll make you some oatmeal. It'll be easy on your stomach." Carol stood and walked with Chloe to the kitchen area.
Chloe was sitting at a table eating her oatmeal when Rick come in and slammed his gun down on the table. "Did he say anything to you?"
Chloe dropped her spood back into her bowl and stared at him. "Who?"
"Merle! Did Merle say anything you about leaving?" Rick demanded.
Chloe visably paled. "No... no. He wouldn't..." She looked from Rick to Carol, tears forming in her eyes. Her hands splayed gently on her stomach.
"Well he's gone. Michonne too." Rick grabbed up his gun and stormed to the door leading out. "When you're done with your breakfast, I'd like to meet with everyone." He slammed the door on his way out.
Chloe stared after him for a long moment then turned her gaze to Carol. Tears were sliding down her cheeks. Carol sat beside her and hugged her to her chest, letting her cry it all out.
A little while later Chloe sat beside Hershel with Jackie on her lap. She hugged the little girl to her. Janie sat on the other side of the table with her hand resting in Carl's. Carl let out a frustrated sigh but in the end he let the little girl lean against him. Carol sat off to the side with Judith in her lap. On the other side of Hershel was Beth. Maggie and Glenn walked slowly up to the group and stopped close to Beth. They all turned to Rick with heavy silence.
Rick fidgeted for a moment. "When I met with the Govoner, he offered me a deal. He said... he said he would leave us alone if I gave him Michonne. I was going to do that to keep us safe." He paused and looked around at each of them. "But I changed my mind. But now Merle took Michonne to fulfill the deal and Daryl and Harley went to stop them. I don't know if it's too late." He swallowed, looked around once more. "I was wrong not to tell you. I'm sorry."
Chloe sobbed silently, burrying her face in Jackie's hair. Hershel put a hand on her should and squeezed lightly.
"What I said last year," Rick continued, "That first night after the farm, it can't be like that. It can't. What we do, what we're willing to do, who we are, it's not my call. It can't be. I can't sacrifice one of us for the greater good because we are the grearter good. We're the reason we're still here, not me. This is life and death. How you live, how you die, it isn't up to me. I'm not your Governor. We choose to go. We choose to stay. We stick together. We vote. We can stay and we can fight or we can go." He turned and walked away.
Chloe looked up to see sympathy in several pairs of eyes. Janie was sobbing into Carl's chest and Carl was doing his best to confort the girl. Jackie sat silent, clinging to Chloe. Hershel motioned for Chloe to give him Jackie and she complied. The little girl clung to him in turn, snuggling into his shirt front. Chloe stood and took a few steps after Rick. Before she got ten feet she fainted and crumpled, Glenn barely catching her for she smacked onto the concrete.
Late that night Daryl came and Harley came back, a look of defeat on both their faces. Michonne wasn't far behind. Chloe was still sitting in the kitchen area, waiting. She had put the girls to be long before. She stood abruptly when the three of them walked in. She noted very quickly that Merle was not with them.
"I'm sorry." Daryl said. He went straight to her and she flew into his arms.
The other adults were soon with them. Each one with the same questions but no one dared ask.
"When we got to the meeting place it was like a massacer. There were dead bodies every where. Some were walkers, some were fresh, half eaten." Michonne said quietly.
"Merle...?" Chloe looked up at Daryl.
"We didn't find him. We looked around the entire area and couldn't find a trace of him." Harley said. She stormed off into the cell block and they could hear her cell door slam.
"We don't know what happened to him." Daryl said softly. He tightened his hold on Chloe and let her sob into his shirt. "We'll look again, I promise. We'll find him one way or the other, Chloe."
A/N: Again, I'm sorry it's so short. Episode 15 doesn't have a whole lot for me to work with from her point of view. I was going to put the last two episodes together but I just don't have time for that at the moment. I hope this will tide you over. :) As always, feel free to review.