Between the Raindrops

We're better than alright.

Lilith cringed at the sight of the makeshift wall that protected the citizens of Woodbury, she couldn’t see it the way they did, it was like a prison. If all the world was a stage then this was what was left of the stars the once graced it. They were nothing more than followers of a sick man who deemed himself their saviour, but, she knew better. She knew better than to accept their collected sigh of relief at her presence. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t tried to run away from the town before.

“Lilith,” a random woman smiled as she engulfed her in a tight hug “We’re all so glad you’re safe. Your brother was so worried about you, dear.”

“I’m sure he was.” she muttered in disgust as she yanked herself away.

She’d never taken the time to learn the names of the people who so clearly seemed to care about her safety. The fact that they’d managed to block the memory of her arrival to the town baffled her. It was understandable, however, seeing as the last person who remembered that day was thrown into a sick game of fight or be eaten. He’d arrived with her and was killed when he demanded that they leave together after being promised their freedom. They’d gone through hell, and back, only to be torn apart in the very end. The fact that the people of the town had enjoyed it was sickening to her, it was twisted, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that she’d be so cold. She was amazed that they paid no mind to how she carried herself.

“Come on, the Governor’s expectin’ ya.” Merle stated as he took her by the arm and guided her towards the place she was meant to call home. He was one of the few she trusted, to a point, and he did his best to keep it. “You can at least pretend to smile every once in blue moon, girlie. Wouldn’t hurt ya much to be friendly.”

Her silence screamed a thousand words as she came to a halt and glared at the aging Southern man. He sighed in frustration as he began dragging her away, once again, accepting his defeat. Lilith’s moments of silence made his mind wander towards memories of his younger brother, in the way that they both managed to keep their mouths shut tight when they didn’t agree with the way things were being run. They were equally stubborn and hardheaded, which made it easier for Merle to see her as something other than a piece of ass. He’d never had the chance to openly hit on her due to her stunning similarities to Daryl.

“Governor,” Merle called out as he tapped his fist against a dark apartment door “Got Lilith here safe and sound.”

The sound of shuffling feet quickly making their way to the door forced Lilith to shut her eyes tight and pray to anyone who was willing to listen. She silently wished that the man who’d answered the door had flung himself into a pit full of geeks.

“You’re alive,” the pepper haired man breathed as his arms engulfed her small frame “I was so worried about you. Look at me, here I thought you’d been attacked, I shouldn’t have placed any doubt in Merle finding you.”

“Yeah, how silly of you, of course your hound dog’s gonna hunt me down without a hitch. What’s the point of even worrying if we both know that Merle’s gonna be the one to find me. He always does--” she blurted before a sharp pain dulled the right side of her face.

“You don’t speak to me like that, Lilith. Don’t forget that I’m only trying to keep you safe from the world we live in. It’s dangerous out there but, keep in mind, it can be pretty dangerous in here as well.”

Merle looked away from the pair and tried his best to keep from reaching out to Lilith in an effort to show her that everything would be fine. She took the hit like a champ, just like Daryl used to, and bit down on her tongue. He balled his fist at the memories that suddenly flooded back to him, he couldn’t protect his baby brother and he couldn’t protect Lilith, there would always be someone higher up who called the shots. There was always that persistent little voice that demanded to unleash and protect the Lilith, the closest thing he had to family in Woodbury, but it was quickly silenced by his fear. In a case of fight or flight, Merle know where he stood.

“I don’t mean to break up this heartwarming reunion, but we’ve got two new ladies ya might wanna tend to, Governor.” Merle spoke suddenly pulling the Governor away from inflicting any more unnecessary damage to Lilith’s pretty face. “We came across a helicopter crash just after finding Lilith. Two women were hiding near the site and, lucky for us, I just happen to know one of them.”

“Alright,” he nodded “Take Lilith to her room and see to it that our guests are comfortable.”

“Wouldn’t it be better for him to just have me tag along? I doubt that you’d be too pleased if I ran off again while your best man wasn’t on duty, brother.”

Merle watch them exchange glares, their obvious dislike towards each other, for the moment, made him somewhat uncomfortable. They were always butting heads about one thing or another. It was always easier to sympathize with Lilith, however, seeing as she was never meant to be in a town like Woodbury to begin with. “I don’t mind her taggin’ along if it’ll keep her from running off again.” he shrugged “It’s better to be on the safe side of things, Governor.”

“Of course,” he said sternly “Make sure she’s within your sight at all times. I’ll be down shortly, I have a few things to attend to, it won’t be too long.”

Lilith walked away with her chin held high, Merle walking along side her, eager to meet the acquaintance of the two outsiders. She found herself wondering if the Governor would keep them as pets, if he liked them enough, or throw them out to fend for themselves. Her hope was that he’d lose focus on her and switch to someone new. There were a few things that could go wrong with his attention shifting, she knew, but it’d be worth it to run free. Her life was no longer her own and she couldn’t stand it.

“How do you know them?” she asked as they reached the street “The new chicks.”

Merle thought for a moment, he’d never really brought up his past with her, there was a slight hesitation before he finally decided to reply. “I met the blonde when the world went to shit.” he muttered before he spat on the ground “She was part of the group me and my baby brother joined before we were separated.”

“Separated? So, you mean to say, that there’s still a chance that he’s alive and kicking?”

“Who knows.” he shrugged thoughtfully. As much as he wanted to, he couldn’t find it in him to hold on to much hope. Daryl was tough, but soft, and often let his conscience get the better of him. “I don’t wanna put too much hope on a dream.”

Lilith took his somber tone as a sign to keep her mouth shut. She’d never experienced Merle in this state and had no idea how to comfort him, she simply pat his shoulder and flashed a small smile, understanding people and their emotions was never one of her strong points. “I know what you mean.”
♠ ♠ ♠
I'll be posting the next chapter up soon. I figured that I might as well write it up since I have nothing to do till 7 or 8 in the PM.