I sit there beside Carl, stroking his hair, squeezing his hand, trying to calm him, trying to make him feel better, as the rest of them kill off the last people. I hear someone run up from behind me. I don't even care to turn around as the tears stream down my face in gushing rivers, but I am a little intrigued.
"Oh... god," Casey gasps from behind me. "Carl..." he kneels down on the other side of him and after a moment of looking over Carl he raises his eyes to look at me.
"It's my fault," I whisper.
Carl shakes his head a little, but I can tell it hurts. I mean at least I passed out when the guy shot me. I didn't have to feel all the pain. "Izzy... no," Casey disagrees.
I hear the others make their way over to us, all of them with the same response as Casey... except for Beth. "Get him up!" she demands. "If we can get him back to the house in time I can work on him! Come on! He's going to lose too much blood!"
Daryl picks him up, holding him like a little kid, being carried to bed. I stand up too follow, right on Daryl's heels, leaving the rest of them behind me. There's a chance. There's a chance that he could make it. I want to smile at the happy thought, but I cant. I cant smile right now, my body wont let me. There's too much pain... to much guilt... too much anger to smile at that little possibility.
*Carl's point of view*
It does hurt... but not as much as they think. I feel kind of.. numb. It's a weird feeling. I can move, but it's not like I want to. To be honest I'm a little ashamed having to be carried by someone. I'm not going to tell Izzy I knew the man was already aiming at me. That I let him shoot me so I could save her. I mean it was me or her... and I think she's already taken more blows for me than anyone should have to. Of course if I told her that, that wouldn't turn out too well. I mean she is Izzy.
I let myself relax, trying to catch my breath, but I cant. I guess my lungs need the air. Instead I try to focus on keeping pressure on the wound. The worst thing that could happen is if I bleed to death... I feel Izzy grab my hand and squeeze it a little. I clear my throat as best I can and whisper. "I'm fine," my voice is cracky, but it sounds strong. I don't sound like I'm slowly bleeding to death.
She's laughs, a shaky laugh. I can tell we're moving fast, and she's struggling to keep up. After a moment she lets go and slows down, letting Daryl keep moving. We reach the house after a moment. They clear off the island in the center of the kitchen and lay me down. I squeeze my eyes shut and prepare myself for the process.
*Izzy's point of view*
I make my way through everyone up to the front and see Daryl removing his jacket quickly. His face is pale, but his hands were warm when I held them. Daryl helps Carl remove his shirt. I cant help, but feel awkward. I smack myself in my mind and force myself to step up next to him. Beth steps up beside me and Daryl moves away, giving her room. She rummages through her bag and pulls out a pair of large tweezers, some peroxide, 2 rags and some medical bandage.
"I have to remove the bullet. You know what it feels like, if you think you're gonna scream... bite down on this," she hands him the rag and grabs the other rag, dabbing away the blood from around the wound. It doesn't even make a dent in the flow of blood coming from the hole just below his rib cage.
She sighs, giving up on trying to wipe the blood away and picks up the tweezers, pausing so let him know she's about to start. I've seen a lot throughout the past year, heck I've seen my best friends arm cut off. I've also heard a lot, but nothing... nothing compares to the sound of his cry. The look of pain on his face. Carl doesn't cry like that, often. I cringe a little at the sound and grab his hand trying to help in any way I can. He doesn't scream. But I see his back lurch off the counter, almost like he's trying to 'escape' the pain, like it's on the table.
After a moment she pulls out the tweezers and I see a shiny golden figure in between the 2 handles. He sighs and I see him relax. He's sweating more than ever, the droplets are practically dripping off his face. "Okay... I know... I know... it hurts. But I have to clean the wound..." Beth says.
She opens the bottle and pours it all over the bullet hole. I can tell this isn't anything as bad as actually removing the bullet because all he does is clench his teeth. I'm happy for that. Once she's done she wipes the blood away again and wraps him up as fast as she can before the blood overflows again. Once she's done she steps away and from him and Daryl steps forward. Everyone else migrated away from the kitchen during that whole... process.
"Take him up stairs... he needs to rest," Beth instructs.
Daryl nods and slides his arms under him and picks him up again as he carries up the stairs. "Where to?" he asks me.
I'm caught off guard for a moment. "Oh... um... the first room," I tell him.
Only once we get there do I remember the 2 guys we killed. He doesn't ask questions as he steps over one of them and lays Carl on the bed. I sigh and decide it's okay to leave him for a second. "Will you help me get them out of here?" I ask.
He chuckles a little, a deep throaty laugh. "Yeah."
For once I don't see Daryl as Daryl. The badass, redneck he is. I see him as Daryl. Just another man trying to survive in a world like this. He's lost his best friend... his brother. I understand why he feels so protective of Carl. He feels like its his job to protect him, for Rick. I smile a little. In a way I'm a lot like him.
I pick up the younger man's feet and Daryl grabs his arms. He leads down the stairs and we set them outside, closer the woods then the house. We do the same for the other man, but once we're done he doesn't come back up to the room with me. Instead I'm alone when I enter the room. Carl laughs a little, but he doesn't look at me. "I really should have given you more credit... this hurts like hell," he tells me.
I'm surprised when I don't have to fake a laugh and it just comes naturally. I cross the room and set on the side of the bed to Carl's left, careful not to hurt him. "You're not very smart are you Carl?" I tease him.
"Well on the contrary you did back up into the enemy." It's meant to be a joke, I know, but it still stings in places that are already wounded.
"Yeah... I did," I say, all the joking-ness gone.
"Hey. You aren't dead... I'm not dead," he shrugs a little, but winces. "We did better than we though we would."
I shake my head. "Maybe we didn't die, Carl. Maybe we're still breathing, still moving, but I SCREWED up today... big time. What happens when one time we don't get so lucky..."
"Then we'll deal with that when it happens," he insists.
I don't argue, but secretly I want to rip my hair out. Everything is my fault. Sometimes I think everyone would just be better off without me. Carl wouldn't feel the need to constantly be protecting me, putting himself in danger. It's not like I've been of any help lately with my stupid messed up ribs that aren't even healing right. I shake my head, and Carl strokes my hair gently. I look over and see his eyes are closed. I slide down beside him and a moment later, he's snoring.
Everything is just so unreal...