Prompt #5: “Wait a minute. Are you jealous?”
Rick stands on the guard post, his rifle in hand as he paces slowly back and forth. It’s a rather quiet day at the prison so far. A pretty day. The sun is high and bright, a soft breeze from the east whips around him, keeping him cool. He glances off toward the yard as Carl and few kids walk through, their lively banter filing the air. His hat is low over his eyes as he kicks a soccer ball with his foot. His ever-growing dark hair cups his face. Rick’s chest swells as lingering thoughts of Lori invade his senses. He looks so much like her. Rick drops his eyes away from his son and swallows, closing his eyes as he lets out a breath through his teeth. She could still be here, if you-
“Don’t,” He whispers, willing her ghost to leave him alone.
A rumble in the distance snaps him out of his trance. He raises his rifle, looking through the scope, and his anxiety lowers just a bit. He spots Daryl on his bike, leading Maggie and Glenn in the truck, with Michonne bringing up the rear with her trusty horse, Flame. He lowers his weapon as Carol, Beth, and Carl run to the gate, the three of them opening it to allow the scavengers back in. He watches quietly as the three flock around the returning members of their clan, smiles and hugs going all around. They’ve been gone for almost five days, longer than usual. Everyone is glad to see them.
His eyes drift to the dark-skinned samurai as Carl gives her a high five. She smiles widely back at the younger boy before tilting her head back and laughing loudly at something he’s said. Carol joins them a moment later, throwing her arms around Michonne’s shoulders before leaning into her, resting her head against hers. Daryl and Maggie are the next to join the group, Maggie hugging Carl swiftly before looping her arm around Michonne’s. Daryl even tugs at a few of her dreads, causing Michonne to swat at him with her long fingers.
Rick sucks his teeth a little as another deep breath escapes him. They love her already. It was a rocky start at first. They, well, he and Daryl mainly, didn’t trust her and she sure as hell didn’t trust either one of them. Glenn and Maggie were really the first to give her a chance. She led you back to us, Rick. She didn’t have to do that. Herschel held off her departure for as long as he could, knowing that her concussion was healed but just not wanting her out there on her own. Next was Carl, suddenly turning a new leaf when it came to the woman after their visit to the old neighborhood. Then, day by day, she lightened up, they all lightened up and now she’s one of them. Except with Rick. She has indeed, not lightened up when it comes to him.
She still side eyes the shit out of him whenever he’s around. If she’s talking, laughing, joking around, it’ll instantly come to a stop if he even acts like he’s coming toward them. In fact, she’ll grab her katana and leave the situation entirely, suddenly needing to check the yard, or help clear the gate. It bothers him. Why? He’s not sure, but she’s good with everyone else, literally everyone; but him. Standing here, watching her interact with everyone makes it even worse. Daryl refused to call her by name when they first met, referring to her only as the last samurai for weeks on end. But here they are, laughing and goofing off like they’ve known each other their entire lives. She forgave him, why not Rick?
She went out of her way to help Carl back in King County when she didn’t even have to. He gave her the slip and even shot off that mouth of his, but he’s her most trusted confidant now. Alright, so he put his gun in her face, multiple times mind you, and told her that she had to go once she was patched up. Is that really that bad? Okay, so he banished her to sleeping out in the yard at night. If she would just talk to him, he could clear the whole thing up. She won’t even give him a chance. Merle! Even fucking Merle gets a small reprieve from her and he nearly killed her! He shoots little comments and slurs toward her all day long, Nubian goddess, sweet cheeks, black mamba. She just smirks, trading barbs with him until he ultimately gives up when he can’t get a rise out of her. She stopped threatening to kill Merle like a week ago, but Rick still can’t even get a glance from her. What does he have to do?
Rick is so deep in thought that he doesn’t even notice Glenn approach him from behind. Glenn follows the older man’s gaze to the group of people below, then steps up beside him, resting his forearms on the railing as he leans over, “Daryl’s wondering where you are. You should go say hi.”
Rick blinks as he readjusts the rifle in his hands, tucking it under his arm, “Maybe later.” He answers, taking a few steps to his left as he continues his glare out beyond the walls.
Glenn drags his eyes back up to the sheriff, a smirk on his face, “Why? Cuz Michonne is down there?” Rick cuts his eyes toward the younger man, tightening his jaw, “Dude, she’s cool. You need to give it a rest.”
“What are you talking about?” Rick asks, slightly annoyed.
Glenn smiles again, looking back down on his family as he catches Maggie’s eye. She covers her eyes with her hand to block the sun, but raises the free one, wiggling her fingers at him. He holds up his own hand to her before she smiles back and turns toward her friends once more. He takes a breath as he looks over the land, the yard, then back on the rambunctious people below them. It’s coming together for them; finally. He tosses his eyes back toward Rick only to notice him watching her again. Watching her place her hands on Carl’s shoulders, shaking him lightly as they move toward the prison. Watching her turn back toward Daryl as he makes some sort of crude joke, probably about her butt. Watching her as she laughs, throwing her head back again before she turns fully and punches Daryl in the arm.
Glenn knows that Rick won’t go down to join them but he also knows why. It’s a little bit of everything really. He’s still reeling from losing Lori and having fatherhood thrust upon him again with a newborn. He’s anxious that the governor is still out there, somewhere, and he’s angry that he couldn’t stop the bastard. And, because he’s jealous. Sturdy, well, not so much as of late but, usually sturdy, gruff, gritty Rick Grimes is jealous. Jealous of Daryl, of Carl, of Maggie, Carol, Herschel, Beth, and Glenn. Because of the new, popular, pretty girl in town. She gets along with everyone but Rick. She likes everyone but him; and it’s killing him. Absolutely killing him.
Glenn laughs a little to himself, leaning back as he grips onto the railing in front of him. It’s funny really, and it’s, dare he say, nice. It’s reminiscent of the old days when you didn’t have to worry about a walker biting your face off. When all you had to worry about was impressing a pretty girl. He turns toward Rick, slapping him on the back, “Maybe try being nice, for a change?” He starts, before moving toward the ladder, “You know, say hi, how’s it going, how was the trip, instead of pointing your gun in her face and telling her she can’t stay in the block with us.”
Rick turns his head toward Glenn, sucking his teeth a little but doesn’t speak, “It gets cold at night man, she can’t stay in that bus forever. Just,” Glenn sighs, stopping on the ladder, “Quit being a bitch, tough guy. Go say hi.” Glenn disappears from sight as he climbs down the ladder, stopping once more to yell, “That’s why she likes us! We’re nice!”
Rick turns as Glenn makes his leave, shaking his head a little. He drops his eyes to his family once more as Glenn jogs to catch up with them, wrapping his arms around Maggie’s waist as they move beyond the second fence and into the workout yard. Rick continues to watch as Glenn disconnects from his wife and throws an arm around Michonne’s shoulder before turning back to face him. He raises his free hand and promptly flips Rick off, smiling all the while as Michonne grabs his hand dangling off her shoulder.
Rick scoffs loudly, smirking to himself before he turns back out toward the outer fence, “Fucker.” He sighs, his blues scanning the trees and grass for more of their dead friends. He bites the inside of his mouth as he focuses in on nothing at all. Glenn’s words float around his brain for a few minutes before he clicks his teeth and sighs heavily. He throws his rifle over his shoulder and heads for the ladder, starting his decent. He moves inside the prison, finding them all in the common area, pulling out bowls and cups as Carol starts on lunch for the hungry, rowdy warriors.
Rick leans the rifle against the wall and heads toward Carl, who is butted up right next to Michonne. He rests his hand on his boys’ shoulder and clears his throat, grabbing both of their attention. She glances at him, quickly, but before she can look away, “Hey,” He pipes up, although lowly, as he drops his eyes some before he makes direct contact again.
“Hey.” She answers briskly, pushing her eyes away from him to grab her katana and standing up to walk away.
“How was the trip?”
She stops, shooting her eyes back toward him, “Um, good.” She says, nodding her head slowly, “Really good.”
“Good,” He answers, nodding his head as well, “Glad to have you back.”
She smirks a little, just a little, and puts her katana back down. She climbs back onto the picnic table they dragged inside and resumes her spot next to Carl as Rick sits to join them, “Thanks.” She says after a few beats.
Glenn watches the pair closely, smiling widely as he elbows Maggie and pushes his chin toward the two of them once he has her attention, “I am so good.” He says, dusting off his shoulder with his hand.
She giggles lightly, “Shut up.”