He didn't know for how long he was asleep, but Daryl was woken up by an urgent need to empty his bladder. He guessed that with all the liquid his body was receiving from the IV, it was normal that he needed to evacuate it. He remembered that he also had an IV line when he was at the Governor's, but he didn't really notice or remembered how Samantha took care of the problem. Just thinking about it made him blush.
When he opened his eyes, he noted that Carol was fortunately replaced by Rick who was focus on a map he had spread on the floor beside the bunk. He was writing a few notes at different places and was encircling or crossing different areas. Daryl really needed to pee, but he knew he wouldn't be able to do stand up by himself; he was too weak and too groggy. He knew he had to ask Rick for his help, but was feeling a bit uncomfortable about it and didn't know how to ask him. Being dependent of other people was starting to really pissing him off.
"Hey, man…Didn't know you were awake," Rick said, bringing Daryl back from his thoughts. "How are you doing?" he asked, standing up and sitting at the end of the bed.
"But what? What is it?" the sheriff asked when he noted that Daryl seemed to hesitate.
"Damn…It's so embarrassing…I need to take a piss," he confessed trying to avoid looking at Rick.
"And you need my help…" Rick supposed a thin smile on his lips. "Don't worry Hershel told me that you would probably need to go soon."
"Doesn't make it less embarrassing."
"You don't need to be embarrassed by that," Rick assured, moving closer to Daryl to be ready to help him sitting up. "Of course it was easier when we were back there, when you had a catheter…"
"Rick…not helping," Daryl pointed out, blushing.
"Sorry…Ok, come on…You're okay to sit up by yourself?"
The hunter nodded; he guessed he could at least do that part alone. When he put his weight on his wrists, he let out a light groan but the pain was bearable. When he was sat up, Daryl remembered that he didn't have any clothes on. He was in no way to walk around naked.
"Hum, Rick…Can you just find me a pair of boxers or something?" he asked, beginning to be very annoyed by his incapacity.
The sheriff nodded and left the room. Daryl moved carefully to sit at the edge of the bed and shivered when he put his feet on the cold concrete floor. He looked at the map next to his right foot and found out that Rick was looking for a place for a future run, crossing the towns they had already visited and encircling the potential ones. Without his help, the hunter knew that the group was probably missing sustaining food. Thinking about going hunting made Daryl realised how much he missed it; being in the woods, breathing fresh air. He also missed planning and talking strategies with Rick and the others.
Rick came back a few minutes later with a pair of boxers, the sweatpants that Martinez had given him, a black t-shirt and a pair of clean socks that he placed on the top bunk and a metal pot that he put on the floor.
"I thought that I should bring more clothes than just your boxers…In case you want to get fully dressed," the sheriff explained, taking the boxers from the pile and giving them to Daryl.
The redneck thanked him and managed to get his boxers on while Rick moved the map away, giving more space to them to walk around. Daryl tried to stand up by himself, but as soon as his butt left the mattress, he found out that he didn't have any strength in his legs. Groaning more in frustration than in pain, he grabbed the hand that Rick was offering him and let himself being pulled up. But the movement was too fast because Daryl felt his blood leaving his head and felt suddenly dizzy.
"Are you okay?" the sheriff demanded when he saw that the hunter had to support himself by holding the edge of the top bunk.
"Yea, just give me a minute…" Daryl assured, closing his eyes and taking deep breaths. Fortunately, even if he could feel that his body was sore, he wasn't really in pain.
When he thought he was feeling better, Daryl opened his eyes and nodded to Rick who was waiting next to him.
"I put the pot in the corner behind the bed, so you can have more privacy," the sheriff said, taking the IV bag in one hand and wrapping his other arm around Daryl's waist.
The redneck wrapped one arm around Rick's neck and began to limp toward the corner of the cell. He groaned each time he was putting his weight on his injured leg and was beginning to be very impatient about not feeling better than that.
"You're going to be okay for that part?" Rick asked letting go of the other man's waist, but placing his hand on the middle of his back to be sure he was steady enough.
"Ain't needing no one to hold it thanks!" Daryl hissed, turning completely his back to Rick and beginning to empty his bladder. He knew he shouldn't have snapped at his friend, but he couldn't stop himself from being cranky.
Daryl's reaction took the sheriff a little bit by surprise, but knowing the redneck, he guessed easily that he was surely very upset to be forced to stay in bed and needing other people to take care of him. Daryl was never one to ask for help and when he was hurt or wasn't feeling good, the other members of the group were always more important to him than taking time for himself. When Daryl was done, Rick helped him getting back in bed.
"Planning for a run?" the hunter asked, laying down and covering himself with the sheet and the blankets. He was cold and was beginning to feel very tired again.
"Yea…For tomorrow," Rick said, hanging the IV bag above the other man. "Now that the Governor is not a problem anymore, it's easier to feel safe."
"But you shouldn't put your guards down…Who's going?"
"Glenn, of course Michonne and Karen as well…" the sheriff informed folding the map.
"Have you been to Moreland while I was gone?" Daryl inquired, playing absently with the IV line that was taped to his arm.
"We didn't do any runs while you were away. You haven't been there yet?"
"Yea, about three weeks ago, but I just took a quick look it didn't seem to have been visit by people in were no big herds over there at that moment but the road was blocked a different was easy with the bike, but you won't be able use the main road with a car."
"Can you show me?" Rick asked, unfolding the map and spreading over the bed while Daryl was sitting up.
The hunter was explaining how to get to Moreland by driving on different roads when he began to feel the pain again. Rick noticed that Daryl was biting at his lower lip and was less focus on the map.
"Do you want me to get Hershel?"
"Naw…Just need to get some sleep, I guess," he assured, lying down.
"Fine I let you rest, we'll talk about it later." Rick took the map, left the cell and went to find Hershel who came to the cell a few minutes later to give morphine to Daryl.
The morning after, when Daryl woke up he found out that his IV had been removed. He was glad about it; it meant that he was getting better and that he would be able to walk around. He knew he wasn't in good shape enough to go outside the fences to hunt or to kill a few walkers, but at least he could walk around the safe perimeter of the prison yard. Unfortunately, when Hershel came to check on Daryl later in the morning, the old man told him that he should stay in bed for the next two days. His blood pressure was low and he still had to be on strong pain killers that were making him feel a bit dizzy.
"Can I trust you on staying in bed or do I have to ask someone to keep an eye on you the whole time? Or maybe I can ask Rick to lock you up in that cell," Hershel asked when he was done examining Daryl.
"Fine I'll stay in bed…Ain't need to be babysat!" the redneck grumbled, the disappointment and the anger obvious in his voice.
"I'm sorry son, but I don't want you to pass out somewhere or to wear yourself out," the medic explained, grabbing his crutches and standing up. "I'm serious about this. You need rest to recover…And we need you to recover."
Hershel left the cell leaving Daryl cursing to himself. He didn't need to be patronised; it was just normal to be pissed when you spent the last two weeks confined to bed. It was true that almost the half of this time he had been unconscious or asleep, but it didn't change that fact that he needed to move and breathe fresh air.
Later in the afternoon, when he woke up for a nap, Daryl noted that the cellblock was really quiet. He sat up and looked outside the cell and noticed the sunlight coming from the few small windows. It looked like it was a beautiful day outside and the redneck decided that breathing fresh air could just make him feel better. So he stood up grabbed his pants and socks from the top bunk and put them on. He was already wearing a t-shirt, but he knew that it was probably cold outside. So he found his boots under the bunk, put them on and walked outside the cell.
Daryl looked around to be sure no one would see him and walked slowly around the cellblock searching for a jacket. He didn't want to climb the stairs to find his own. The muscles in his thigh were sore, but he didn't really care; he felt worse than that in the latest days. Getting across the kitchen, he found Tyreese's hoody left on a back of a chair and even if he knew it was a bit too big for him, he decided that at least it would keep him warm. Putting the piece of clothing on, Daryl felt suddenly light headed and had to sit down. He leaned forward, his elbows on his knees, his head in his hands and waited a moment. Hershel was right; he needed more time to get as strong as he was before.
After a while, when he thought he was feeling better, Daryl stood back up and walked slowly toward the back door. He knew that everyone was probably outside in the front yard and he didn't want people being worried about him getting out, so the back yard was a better place to be. So he got out and went to a small slope a few meters away. The ground was covered with green grass and was exposed to the sun. Daryl had just walked for a few minutes, but he was already tired. And since Hershel had told him that he should rest, he decided that he would listen to the doc's advises and lie down. It was a bit painful when he bent down, but once he was sit, the pain was tolerable. So he leaned back down, crossed his hands behind his head and closed his eyes.
Relaxing, Daryl began to listen to the different sounds around him. He could hear children laughing from the other side of the prison and blows of a hammer not too far away from him. He was slowly falling asleep when a familiar groan made his heart skip a beat. His hand went instinctively to his belt, but remembered that he was wearing Martinez's sweatpants and hadn't brought his knife with him. So he looked quickly where the groans were coming from and saw three walkers moving on the other side of the fence. Fortunately, he was safe, this time. But he thought it was stupid to go outside without a weapon; there was no place really safe these days.
Daryl was beginning to doze off again when he heard footsteps coming his way. He didn't have to open his eyes to know who it was.
"There you are!"
"Hey, Rick…What's up?" the hunter said without opening his eyes.
"We were looking for you Hershel told me that you were upset this morning and was scared that you decided to do something stupid."
"I did nothing wrong," Daryl defended himself, glancing toward the sheriff. "He told me I should get some rest and that's what I'm doing."
"I told you to stay in bed in the safety of the cellblock," Hershel corrected coming their way. "Daryl, I told you I was serious about it," he added, sounding disappointed.
"Sorry…But do you know how is it to feel trapped in the cell for more than two weeks?" the redneck asked, sitting up and letting out a light moan. The pain was beginning to get worst and he knew he should take something for it soon.
"I know it's hard son, but it's only for a couple of days…Look at you; you're still in pain and you look really pale."
"Maybe, but I needed fresh air for a few minutes…I ain't running after walkers…"
"Okay, but you should have told someone," Hershel said, still upset. "If something happens, you won't be able to defend yourself. We care about you, Daryl and we like to know that you're safe. We can't forget that we thought about a week ago that we had lost you…"
"M'sorry about that," the redneck apologised, lowering his head. He didn't like when people were worried about him.
"So for now on, you stay in bed until I say you're okay. You can go outside for a few minutes once or twice a day, but you need to be with someone else who can help you if you need it. And if you disobey again, Rick will lock you up…Understand?"
Daryl felt like he was child who had been caught doing something wrong. He didn't understand why it was such a big deal, but decided to follow Hershel's orders. He didn't want the group to be worried about him.
"I stay with him," Rick offered, sitting next to Daryl.
Hershel nodded and walked away, a grin on his face.
Rick and Daryl sat in the sun for a while, but when the air was beginning to get fresher, they decided to go inside. The sheriff could guess that the redneck was in pain by the way he was biting at his bottom lip and the frown of his eyebrows. When Daryl tried to stand up, he felt a bit dizzy and had to wait a moment. Rick looked at him, smiled and shook his head making him understand that Hershel was right; he wasn't ready to walk around by himself.
"Stop smiling and help me, would you?" Daryl said when he was feeling a bit better.
Rick pulled him up and they walked toward the prison. When they entered, the redneck went directly to his temporary cell without talking to anyone. He was exhausted and he was in pain, so he just wanted to lie down. Resting his head on the pillow, he heard Rick telling Hershel that he probably needed pain killers. Daryl noticed the presence of the old man and the light pinch of the needle in his arm. Feeling the effects of the morphine, he relaxed and fell asleep.
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