"I.. I'm... I'm sorry, I..." God damn it. Why did I have to do that? Carol's right, she does have enough to deal with already.

I was at a loss for words.

If I didn't have scars on my back, I would have given her my shirt. But, I also only ripped up the back, so I handed her a backpack that would cover everything.

I nodded at her as if I understood everything. She nodded back as if she was confirming it.

"I'm sorry. I had no idea."

She shook her head and got up. Every step she took made me cringe. How would someone be able to walk after getting impaled by an arrow? Much less survive? If that girl had blue eyes and reddish-brown hair, I'd mistake her for a Dixon.

I grabbed her hand and we walked the whole way back to Ol' Man Hershel's farm. Layne; that girl is a hell of a tough nut.

We walked a couple miles.

"Are you okay?" I ask, suddenly worried about her.

She nods. Obviously she's not.

"Do you want me to carry you?"

She shakes her head. She hasn't talked since I ripped her shirt. Which makes sense. I wouldn't want to talk to myself.

We finally reached the farm after maybe an hour of walking silently.

I spotted Andrea on top of the R.V. yelling something I couldn't make out.

Rick, Glenn, T-Dog, and Shane all ran up to us. Rick was aiming a gun at our heads.

"Oh my god, is that Daryl?" Glenn asked.

They're probably thinking we're walkers. Layne squeezed my hand and I squeezed back, letting her know it's okay.

"That's the third time you've pointed that gun at my head, Rick. Aim at something else."

He moved slightly, but didn't lower the gun.

"Well, pull the trigger."

I saw him lower the gun, but a bullet whizzed an inch away from my face. The small hand in mine slipped from my grip.

Rick was yelling.

Glenn was having a panic attack.

T-Dog stared in disbelief.

Shane was looking around for the person who shot the bullet.

I didn't even want to look. Why?

Because there was a really good chance Layne was dead. A dead, cold body that would soon turn into a walker.

And I didn't want to be the one to put it down.

Is she dead? She's not dead. She can't be dead. Where did the bullet hit her?

I open my mouth to ask these questions, but all that comes out is a gasp.

"Daryl. Daryl, listen to me. Daryl!" Glenn was yelling at me.

"Is... is she dead?"

He shakes his head. "We don't know yet. The bullet hit her shoulder. What happened to you guys? Why does Layne have so many cuts on her back?"

Lie. Lie, Daryl. You're good at it. "She slipped and got scratched up on a rock pile. I'm fine, though. Is she gonna be okay?"

Glenn eyes me suspiciously, then nods. "She'll be fine." The Chinese kid sucks at lying, but he's good at seeing through them. I swear, he's like a walking lie detector.

Layne won't die.

She won't.


*3 hours later*


Why the hell am I in a bed?

"Daryl? Daryl?" I try to sit up, but I can't. It hurts too much.

"Layne? Holy shit." It was Daryl. I feel arms wrap around me. I'd hug back, but I was laughing too hard.

"Why are you laughing?"

"Because I'm alive, Daryl! I'm alive. And, also, this is the first time you've ever called me my own name."

I could see Daryl was surprised, but as I was expecting, he'd reply sarcastically.

"What, princess? I couldn't hear you over the sound of your laughing."