Nine Lives

Dawn Cooper has always been the one to protect her family. But when Daryl Dixon steps into her life, will she let him protect her? Read this Walking Dead/ Daryl Dixon Fanfiction to follow the zombie apocalypse as seen by Dawn Cooper.

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6. Chapter 5: Meet Me at the Cross

Chapter 5- Meet Me at the Cross

That day I met more people than I had in my entire life. For some reason Carol got the idea in her head that if she introduced me to a bunch of people, they might fill the void in my heart. But that void wouldn't be closing for a long time.

On the bright side all the people she introduced me too were kind and not at all judgmental of my situation. They assured me that everyone had gone through something traumatic in the past year and a half, and that they would be there for me if I ever needed anyone to talk to.

Besides Rick and Daryl, whom I'd already met, there were newly weds Glenn and Maggie Rhee. They were an odd yet adorable couple around my age, who were very friendly towards me, and asks minimal questions about Alice but yet they seemed to understand my sorrow. Next Hershel; the father of Maggie and a petite blonde named Beth who painfully reminded me of Alice, was an elderly man who to my surprise sort of resembled Santa Claus. Michonne, who's quiet demeanor made her almost Daryl's twin. Siblings, Tyreese and Sasha who joined the group along with the others, last fall. Bob was found on one of Sasha's and Daryl's hunts, whilst Karen nearly escaped being murdered by a man known as "The Governor". The rest of the children, Lizzie, Micka, Rick's son Carl, and a bunch more whose names I've forgotten, met me with solum "hellos." I didn't understand this at first, that is until Carol let me in on the horrible news. She was part of the council which consisted of Sasha, Glenn, Hershel, Daryl, and herself, and they had discussed the attack in Cell Block D earlier that day. Patrick, the kind boy who so graciously led me to my sister, was dead. She explained that just after story time began, he complained of a stomach ache and he was excused for the night. The next morning Daryl found him as a walker right before he found me with Alice. When I heard this my heart broke, he was so nice, leading a person he barley knew to find her sister. Alice. They still had no idea what killed her. Bite marks were no where to be found, and Doctor S was performing an autopsy later tonight.

"Dawn there's one more person I want you to meet." Carol stated pulling me along.

"There's more?" I joked following her into another cell.

"I have a feeling you'll favor Judith over the rest." She smiled pulling open the cell door.

"I've liked everyone! I'm just... Tired."

My depression was getting worse, despite Carol's attempts to cheer me.

"Meet Judith."

At first I thought Carol was referring to the empty box with "Little Ass Kicker" inscribed on the side. But as my eyes shifted to the floor I finally realized who she was talking about. Judith, who's cheeks drooped with baby fat, and who's hair curled at the tips, was most likely the cutest baby ever seen. Well besides my sister. She cooed at me like a dove would coo at its mother.

"Would you like to hold her?" My eyes lit up,

"Yea! As long as her mother is okay with it."

The gray-haired woman placed the fresh smelling baby into my open arms before answering.

"Her mother won't care." Carol's face changed.

"She's Rick's and his wife Lori died in child birth last year."

"Oh my god." I murmur holding the baby closer.

"She's got a good family. She'll be alright, I can tell." Carol says shaking the baby's tiny foot.

At that moment the blonde teenager that reminded me of Alice entered the nursery.

"Time for her nap." Beth says abruptly snatching Judith from me. I can barley utter a "okay bye" before she shoos Carol and I out of the cell.

"She's really protective of Judith, don't take it personal." Carol says later as we walk towards Cell Block D.

"I can tell." I say still a little ticked off.

"Don't miss judge her honey, she's lost a lot, too many people to count. Beth just wants to hang on to the one thing that hasn't failed her." My heart softens as I say,

"We've all lost a lot. But I see what you mean, I won't hold it against her."

Carol's lips curl into a smile as we continue walking towards the Cell Block.

Coming up to the entrance, we encounter Hershel, Sasha, Glenn, and Daryl talking to Karen and Tyreese. They seemed to be having a heated argument.

"What's the problem?" Carol asks joking her place with the other council members.

"Karen just needs a little rest. I'm taking her back to my cell to rest." Tyreese replies.

"She's infected. We need to take her to the quarantine block. David has it too, she won't be alone." Sasha explains to Tyreese.

"I'm fine." Karen mutters before she erupts in a fit of coughs.

"Honey I know you want to stay with Ty, but for now we have to think about everyone else's safety." Hershel says.

Karen nods trying desperately to repress her convolutions.

"Get better Karen." I say as she is escorted by Tyreese to the special cell.

Turing to Carol I swear I notice the slightest glimmer of negativity on her face. But it disappeared as fast as it appeared.

"Are you coming?" I ask waiting for my mentor to follow.

"I have to check on Lizzie and the children, it's almost story time."

"Okay well I'll see you later huh?"

Carol smiled again,

"Of course."

The next morning the Georgian sun hung high in the sky. I could almost feel my fair skin roasting. Hershel had told me Doctor S finished the autopsy late last night and had gotten all the info he needed. Glenn had buried her early this morning while I was asleep. Hershel had given me a wooden cross and rosary to mark Alice's grave with, and although I was never particularly religious, I saw the gesture as sincere and precious.

Getting within one hundred feet of the grave site, I noticed that another was visiting the dead.

Crossbow slung on one shoulder, Daryl Dixon knelt with one knee over a wooden cross that looked similar to mine. I wasn't twenty feet away when his head turned slightly, acknowledging my presence.

So as not to interrupt him, I walked slowly to the fresh pile of unearthed dirt that contained my sister. I drop to my knees and place the wooden cross at the top of the mound, hanging the rosary around the cross. The scene makes tears shift into my eyes, but I quickly wipe them away. Daryl has already seen me cry once already, which in my opinion is one too many times.

"You religious?" Daryl asks me out of nowhere. I jump again at the sound of his voice for the second time in two days.

"No. I mean, not really. Alice was though. She'd always try to get to go with her on Sundays." My voice thickens at the thought of her each Sunday morning, dragging me into the 9o'clock service.

"You?" I question.

It takes him a minute to answer, shifting his crossbow back he says,

"Was once. Ain't anymore." The silence I had now grown accustomed to glided in on the wind. One question I was burning to ask Daryl since yesterday stood at the tip of my tongue. I decided to take a chance,

"Daryl who-" my sentence was cut short by the sound of Rick's urgent voice.

"There's been an accident, Daryl... I need you, Dawn...stay here." Rick said as he approached the grave site.

Before I could protest, Daryl was on his feet and once again left with Rick, but this time no glance was given my way. I watched the pair run in a strangely similar pace, just like they had the day I met the couple.

Ten minutes later my curiosity was burning a hole inside of me, and I knew it. So doing exactly the opposite of what Rick had told me, I sprinted towards the steps leading to the quarantine block, leaving the cross and Alice behind me.

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