We arrived at the camp minutes later and I immediately left the truck and ran into the arms of my brother, Jeremy, much like Andrea did with Amy. I hugged him tightly as I felt the warmth of his brown sweater seep into my skin. I glanced up at Shane, sending him a smile which he returned.
"Hey helicopter boy, come say hello!" Morales yelled towards Rick. I smiled at the nickname Morales had given him.
"Guys a cop - like you."
I saw Shane and Rick looking at each other in surprise as if they had known each other. Carl screamed. "Dad! Dad!"
He ran into Rick's arms and Lori also came jogging up to Rick, indulging him in a hug as well. I looked towards Shane with a raised eyebrow to which he shook his head - informing me he'd tell me later. I had a lot of questions for him and I intended to ask him later. But for the moment, I smiled - feeling happy that something so joyful can happen in a world like this. I nudged Dale in the ribs playfully. "Can't say you see miracles like everyday, can you Dale?"
He smiled, giving me a hug. "No you can't. I'm glad you made it back safely."
"That's Lori's husband?" I was talking to Shane behind the RV, away from everyone else. Shane nodded his head in response.
"He was your best friend in the department too, huh?"
He shook his head. "Not was, is."
"Shane, you slept with-"
"That's Uncle Shane." He told me sternly. I rolled my eyes as irritability took over my face. "You're only six years older than me. I think that whole 'Uncle' thing ended before it started."
"I don't care if I'm your same age, you're my brother's daughter and that makes you my niece. One that I promised to take care of - Jeremy too."
I raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, was that promise made before or after he was devoured in front of our eyes?"
Shane sighed as he shifted his weight onto his other foot and put a hand on his hip. "Cheyenne, don't you dare take it there. You know I tried the best I could to protect you all. What happened with John was a mistake and I would take it back if I could but if you haven't noticed, we don't get do-overs."
"You call that a mistake? I say forgetting someone's birthday is a mistake. Some psycho taking a life isn't a mistake."
"What's going on here?" I heard a voice say behind the RV. Jeremy appeared a second later, a worried look on his face.
"Oh nothing. Just reminiscing." I smiled sarcastically before walking off, not forgetting to shoot Shane a glare.
We all sat around the campfire, listening to Rick's story. Rick told us about his waking up alone from his coma, finding the hospital overrun, and hoping it was all just a bad dream. I think we all wanted to think that at least once but we had to come back to reality sooner or later. Hoping it was a dream was just wishful thinking. Dale spoke after a few seconds of silence. "Have you given any thought to Daryl Dixon? He won't be happy to hear his brother was left behind."
I mentally groaned, knowing he was right. Knowing the way Daryl was, he was going to throw a huge fit just like his brother and do something very irrational. "I'll tell him. I dropped the key - I'll tell him." T-Dog admitted.
"I cuffed him. That makes him mine." Rick argued.
"Guys, it's not a competition. I don't wanna bring race into it but I think it might sound better coming from a white guy." Glenn reasoned. T-Dog shook his head. "I did what I did. I'm not gonna hide from it."
"We could lie." Amy suggested. Andrea shook her head. "We tell the truth. Merle was out of control. Something had to be done or he could've gotten us killed."
Although, I knew Daryl would take it bad either way so I guess telling the truth would be the best way. "And if Merle got left behind, that's nobody's fault but his."
"And that's what we tell Daryl?" Dale asked in disbelief. "I don't see a rational discussion to be had from that."
He looked at Andrea for a moment before she put her head down in defeat. "Word to the wise, we're gonna have our hands full when he gets back."
"I was scared and I ran. I'm not ashamed of it." T-Dog admitted.
"We were all scared. We all ran. What's your point?" I asked.
"I stopped long enough to chain that door. Staircase is narrow, maybe half-a-dozen geeks could squeeze through there. One at a time, it's not enough to break - not that chain, not that padlock. My point is Dixon's alive and he's still up there, handcuffed on that roof."