Status: Ongoing

Starting Over

Is This Really Happening?

When you finally awoke it was well past dark. The only light came from the half moon spilling in through the small barred windows in the hall. It seemed to give your cell an eerie feeling as you listened to the complete silence, except for the steady snoring of Hershel a few cells down.

You were already itching to move around within three minutes of laying there awake. Looking around you notice the crutch leaning against the bed in arms reach. Someone must have put it closer to make it easier.

As soon as you made the move to sit up though you regretted it. Your whole body ached more than you would have liked and the pain in your ankle seemed to increase without any pressure even on it.

"Shit." Cursing to yourself always felt like it helped in its own little way. Unfortunately, it never helped for long.

Before your body could completely persuade yourself to stay in bed, you threw your legs over the side and reached for the crutch.

A sudden pain shoots up your leg when you lean over stopping you from grabbing it. You instead rub your aching calf to relieve the pressure building up.

Walking on the twisted ankle was a huge mistake on your part is what you were now realizing. I could use a steaming bath right now.

Instead of a soothing bathe in hot water, you settle for a nice "stroll" outside in the warm summer night. Standing was even more difficult though as you steadied yourself on the crutch.

When you finally knew you wouldn't fall over, you slowly and hopefully quietly exited your cell and headed for the doors leading outside.

You let out a well-deserved sigh when the relaxing humid air hit your skin. The sky was cloudless and showed an infinite expansion of stars, and the constant chatter of cicadas settled a tranquil warmth over you.

Nothing could ruin a summer night in Georgia. Except maybe the nonstop mosquito assault. It didn't matter much to you anymore though. Living in Georgia for so long basically gives you an immunity toward the pesky insects.

Your reverie is short lived though as the dormant walkers started to groan once again after smelling living flesh in the air. You didn't let the disgusting sounds completely drain you though as you breathed in deeply.

After about five minutes of standing, your legs started to get weak, so you decided to look around for somewhere to rest. Luckily, one of the prison yard's picnic tables was still intact some odd feet away.

As you made your way over you began to notice the walkers getting more rowdy than usual, but you didn't think much of it. Before you could reach the table, you trip over a piece of debris and fall to the hard concrete ground.

You instinctively hold your hands out to take most of the impact, but you only end up scraping your hands and knees. When you looked at them blood slowly formed at the scratches.

After assessing the damage, you start to reach for the crutch but end up grabbing at air. The moon didn't supply much light, so you had to grope around searching for it.

You finally saw the light grey of the arm rest and went to get it. The distance was farther than you thought, so you had to crawl over to it.

Before actually grabbing it though, a foot suddenly appears beside you making you nearly shit yourself. Your body jumps back in defense as you look up to see a confused Daryl.

"What're ya doin'" He throws his crossbow over his shoulder and picks up the crutch before walking over to you.

You're still looking up at him in surprise even when he holds his hand out for you. Finally coming to your senses, you put your own hand in his and let him pull you up. "I was going over to that table to sit, but I tripped on something."

Instead of handing you the crutch like you expected him to, Daryl puts his arm around your waist and leads you to the table. Your shirt had come up an inch from the earlier struggle, so you could feel his calloused hand brushing against your skin with each step.

Your body reacted like it always did and completely drove you crazy. When you reached the bench, you sighed in relief as you plopped down. Daryl picked up on it and instantly questioned you.

"You a'right?" He laid the weapon and crutch on the table and sat directly beside you, too close beside you. So close you could smell his musk mixed with dirt.

Within the whole minute of silence Daryl grabbed your hands and looked at the bloody palms. You winced when he accidentally touched one of the sores.

He mumbled an apology and dropped them back onto your lap. Then he noticed your knees, and you could have sworn that it was the worst but best attention you'd ever had in your entire life.

Daryl proceeded to kneel in front of you and put his hand close to your knee but not directly so that he didn't hurt you again. "You're gonna need some band-aids."

"Well, thanks Captain Obvious." You chuckled nervously to distract yourself from his hand practically on your thigh. You couldn't look him in the face for anything at this point as he continued to inspect the wounds with his hands.

Despite the humid summer air, you found yourself being overtaken with chills from head to toe. You were really glad that it was dark, or else Daryl would notice your tomato red face.

"Is there somethin' wrong?" He asked a bit sadly after removing his hands. The loss of warmth gave you an odd ache that made you want to look at him for reassurance.

His face was a mixture of confusion, sadness, and worry as he looked up at you from the ground. "What do you mean?" You asked just as confused.

Daryl then took his seat back beside you and turned so that you were staring at each other. "You've been actin' weird ever since we got back. Did somethin' happen?"

Your body instantly locked up, and you racked your brain for some excuse. But nothing good was coming to mind. It took so long that Daryl eventually assumed that something did happen. You just hoped that he didn't blame himself, even if it is his fault you're like this.

"I knew it. What happened? Did ya get bit? Did tha' group show up? Are ya okay?" Daryl's mouth just went wild as he tried to figure out what was wrong. It kind of gave you a bit of happiness to know he cared so much.

You really just wanted him to care enough to understand how you feel. Or to even possibly return those feelings. But you knew it was only a dream and that nothing that good could happen at this point.

After a minute of silence, you decided to tell him somewhat the truth. You placed your hand on his that had returned to your leg and looked him in the eyes.

"I'm fine, Daryl. Really. But can I ask you for a favor?"

His face seemed to relax, and he merely nodded in response. Those beautiful blue eyes seemed to taunt you as you searched for the right words.

"I know this may sound bad, or possibly really really mean. But can you please stay away from me for a while?" Daryl immediately took his hand back and looked at you confused and offended.

You quickly tried to clarify, but he didn't seem to understand even after that. "Don't get me wrong, Daryl. I don't hate you. It's just that I need some time to think, and well, you kind of confuse me and make me feel uncomfortable sometimes."

Within a single second Daryl grabs his crossbow and turns to you with a very bitter expression, "Well, I'm sorry a worthless redneck like me makes ya uncomfortable. I'll just stay outta yer way."

Before you can stop him, he rushes off toward the watch tower and leaves you alone in the dark.

He completely took that the wrong way.