' You're not supposed to be here right now!' Amelia heard the girl whisper, the child's voice echoing in the void, bouncing around her like it didn't have one place to be. ' There's a devil out there. He doesn't want you to get home!' The voice moved again and again.
'What devil?' Amelia asked. For a moment, there was no answer and Amelia worried that the child faded into the dark but then her voice screamed next to Amelia's ear, a high -pitched howl that would have made Amelia run if she could have. Then the child yelled, over and over.
' Wake up, Amelia! Wake up, Amelia! Wake up!'
" Dammit! Snap out of it! " She froze in place at the sound of Daryl growing in her ear, the feel of his arms wrapped around her in a bear hug from behind. She could feel his heart slamming against her back, rapid and caged. It took him a moment to realize she wasn't struggling anymore. In fact, she was staring still and wide eyed at the nine walkers on the ground. Some of them Daryl killed , the rest she had. " You good?" Daryl demanded, his grip loosening ever so slightly.
" Yeah." One word and he let her go. She could apologize for the crazy later. He urged her forward and they darted across the street, bounding up the steps of the first house they came to. Daryl had to kick in the door and they quickly shoved a couch against it, hastily going on guard afterward and all they did was listen, the sound of their hearts like a stampede in their ears.
There was silence around them. If there were walkers around, they hadn't heard the door busting open but Daryl stepped forward anyway. " Wait here." He ordered, his voice holding a gruffness that made her want to recoil from him but she just stood there, along in someone's living room, waiting as Daryl cleared the house.
And she breathed..
In and out, over and over. A steady rhythm till her heart settled . She'd blacked out again. She hadn't even seen it coming , then again... she never did. She'd mowed those walkers down, which wasn't a bad thing. The bad was the fact that she blacked out in front of Daryl and he reacted the only way someone could.
Eventually, Daryl made his way back into the living room, slowing his steps when he saw her standing there in the exact spot he left her. He looked her up and down. " You hurt?" He asked, his voice still a little rough, but kinder now. That was almost worse she didn't deserve kindness. She nodded slightly, unable to look at him. She forced her legs to move, slipped the knife into her belt and headed to the nearest chair and sat. She set the gun in her opposite hand on the table next to her, beneath a lamp that looked like something out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. He just watched her, then moved to the door, checking to make sure the couch was firmly against it before he tosses his crossbow down on it and sat beside it.
The silence was almost deafening.
" I'm sorry." She finally managed, her voice sounding strange in the still air. He didn't look at her, just sat back completely , draping his arm along the back of the couch. He shook his head a bit.
" Nothin to be sorry for." He countered, nudging a throw rug with his foot. " Killin walkers is a good thing." He gave her a sideways glance, a slight smirk on his lips. She couldn't help but to smile back, before settling completely into the chair. It amazed her how quick he was to just accept her, to deal with her issues like they were no big deal and she loved him for that.
She froze in place, not that he noticed. The sudden realization that she was fall for him was like a piano being dropped onto her head. Her palms grew sweaty and she let eyes drift to him, focusing on him in the shadows. She was told a story once about how there were moments when people just woke up and realized how much someone meant to them. She'd never really taken much stock in it but sitting here, watching him breathe, seeing him think, the depths of his eyes so compassionate and intelligent.. she knew it was true.
All the things he was for her and who she was when she was with him... all of it accumulated into her falling for him before she even realized it was happening. She startled a little he turned his eyes to her, and she blinked.
" So someone's messin with us." He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. " There's too many walkers between the compound and here. So we're prob'ly safe for now." She swallowed then let out a sigh.
" What do you want to do? We could try to make a run for it." She offered, pushing her hair out of her face. He shook his head.
" Too close to night fall.. too risky. We'll hunker down here." He stood up then and began moving around the room. He grabbed the coffee table after shoving the stuff on it onto the floor, hoisting the wooden piece of furniture into the air and settling it on top of the couch and against the door. Then he grabbed his crossbow and headed toward the hall. " Come on." She didn't hesitate. She grabbed her gun and stood, following him into the kitchen. Together, they shoved the fridge in front of the back door. Then they went around the house, which wasn't really all that big and made sure all the curtains were closed. It made things really dark but she managed to scrounge up a few candles to light.
There was only one bedroom. She lit a candle and set it on the nightstand. The bed was large, covered in fancy purple blankets and silky sheets. She had to smirk at it, she couldn't remember ever seeing something so ridiculously unnecessary. " You should sleep." She heard Daryl say, turning to see him leaning against the door frame, his crossbow hanging from one arm. He was watching her, something hidden in his eyes. " I'll keep watch. "
Amelia met his gaze. " We should both rest. Even if we don't sleep, we'll need the energy." She turned a little to face him. " It's quiet enough. We should hear anything trying to get in. " Which was true and wasn't exactly like they could just go out a door. The only way out was a window in the bedroom they were standing in. They'd made sure of it. It opened up to a short roof over the back door. They could get out onto it and hop down easily, making a run for it if they needed. She thought he'd argue with her but instead he stepped in, closing the door and setting his crossbow down on the bed. He moved to the tell dresser in the corner and began to drag it. She quickly moved to help him and then they settled it against the door.
He moved to the floor beside the bed and sat down, dragging the crossbow to his lap. She smirked at him. " What are you doing?" She asked, putting a hand on her hip. He looked up at her , raising a brow.
" What's it look like? " He coiled the strap on the crossbow, watching her. " restin. like you said." She laughed a little before stepped towards him.
" I didn't mean on the floor, you dumbass." Amelia smiled, then motioned to the bed. " It's big enough for the both of us. Unless you have a serious aversion to purple." She sat the on the edge of the bed. He narrowed his eyes, looking from her to the bed and letting out a little growl before standing up.
" Yer the dumbass." He muttered, nudging her lightly as he walked around to the other side of the bed and laying down with a hop, the bed shifting with his weight. He didn't bother going under the covers . He crossed one arm behind his head after shoving some of the fancy pillows on to the floor. Then crossed his booted feet at the ankles. She just chuckled and laid down beside him, choosing to be on her side and facing him.
" I really am sorry, ya know." She offered up after a minute, He turned his head just enough to see her, then he lifted his free hand and slipped some of her hair behind her ear. She'd noticed how often he did that, the feeling of his calloused fingers trailing along her skin was oddly pleasant.
" I know." He said. " Go to sleep." Then he let his hand fall. She watched him for a long time in the candlelight. He never closed his eyes, just laid there in silent thought. Eventually , tiredness won her over and she slipped into a peaceful sleep, the last image in her mind was of Daryl laying at her side.