Lifeline (Part 1)
Note: I fixed the formatting!!This was a request that I took forever to write because I honestly didn’t know where to go with it until a little bit ago while being half asleep (the best ideas come at night).
Summary: Daryl rescues you from a walker attack, but your family doesn’t make it. You’re welcomed into Alexandria by Carl, who Daryl brings around you since you’re around his age.
It was single-handedly the most gruesome thing you had ever seen. You heard nothing as you watched your family get taken down one by one, torn apart in places that included their hands, throats, and stomachs. Skin was torn, blood splattered across the walls and floors. It was practically a pool now.
Your brother’s blood sprayed across your face and partly in your mouth, and you vomitted. Daryl held you by your waist as you continuously screamed and tried to escape his hold. He pulled you out the last second, and no one else could have possibly been saved by the onslaught of walkers that took over.
You had never met him before, he just happened to be there ready to interrogate you and possibly welcome you into his camp. He rips you away from the scene with a look of sadness on his face and helps you escape out a small second story window which hurts your ankles a bit when you land. He rushes you to his bike all while your mind is in such a frenzy that you can’t even see straight.
l After reaching his gated community, he helps you off his bike and leads you into a house and into an empty room. He shakes his head at anyone who tries to speak to you. You don’t eat for days. You cry until you fall asleep, wake up, cry, sleep. It was an ongoing cycle that seemed to last forever. Daryl brought food to you three times a day. A boy was with him sometimes. He seemed around your age and wore a sheriff’s hat.
You ate some and threw some up. You never got much down. Your brother wasn’t able to eat anymore. He deserves to be here instead of you. You wondered if the pain of being eaten alive was as bad as your seemingly endless emptiness. All you felt anymore were your swollen eyes and a terrifying loneliness.
About two weeks after the incident, you decide to take a very long shower and sit on your bed with fresh clothes on. A knock sounded on the door and then the boy entered with a small stack of comic books.
“H-hey. You probably don’t want to talk or anything, which is okay. I brought you these,” he held the stack up, “in case you wanted to read or distract yourself. These are some of my favorites, so you might like them.” He nervously sets them on the bed next to you and backs off a few steps.
“Thanks.” You’re surprised at how weak and scratchy your voice was.
“I’m Carl.” He put on a small smile and rubbed the back of his neck.
“Y/N.” You kept your answers short. He was a nice boy.
The sun was much too bright, you concluded after spending not even a minute outside. The weather was cooling down for autumn, and winter was your favorite month.
Daryl checked on you almost obsessively and it warmed your heart to see someone you barely knew care so much. You looked from your small window and saw Carl playing with a baby in a grass lawn, helping her walk. It was a very precious sight. You smiled and watched until he went inside. These were good people. You owed them your life.
Carl came back two days after the last time you saw him and asked if you read the comics and which were your favorite and how do you think this story will end and how funny some DC characters are and the enthusiasm made you smile. After a second of trying to gain the courage to speak, you went on and eventually got into a comfortable conversation about what powers you would want if you could have any. You picked mind reading and Carl wanted practically anything that would help protect his family.
You smiled a lot that day. You still cried a lot. Carl would catch you zoning out and he would always grab your hand and squeeze it. It never failed to bring you back to earth.
After two months, you had integrated yourself into the group, never having directly introduced yourself to anyone. You spent a lot of time with Daryl learning how to shoot with guns and a bow and arrow. You decided on that weapon so you could make your own arrows and craft a bow that propels arrows hard enough to break walker skulls. It saved the group ammo.
“How old is Judith?” You asked Carl while you three sat in his living room. Her chubby hands grasped your fingers as you helped her stand up.
“Almost a year probably.”
“How old are you?” You let go of her hands and got ready to catch her if she fell. Judith wobbled a little bit but stayed put. “Good girl!” You smiled brightly and nuzzled her nose.
“Seventeen.” He leaned back onto his hands and watched you two with a smile.
“I’ll be seventeen soon. In like a week actually.” You brushed hair out of her eyes after she sat back down and threw her arms around making noises.
“What do you wanna do for your birthday?”
“I would very much like to forget it. I don’t want to acknowledge it.” You and your little brother shared the same birthday, but five years apart. You used to be mad that he always got all the attention, but you grew to not care for it.
“Why?” You hadn’t noticed that you were looking off elsewhere. Judith was crawling onto your lap, but you couldn’t seem to focus on anything anymore. “Y/N?”
You could hear Carl, but a familiar pain built up in your chest and your vision got blurry. You stood up and let Judith on the floor. “Hey.” He reached for you, but you were already running out of the house. It was going to be one of those nights. It was going to be like most nights where you cry until you’re unconscious, thinking about your family.
You always felt so bad for being such a burden to Carl. He was always so sweet to you, but you didn’t seem to be getting much better. You had spent years so close to your family and growing closer because of the experiences of this new world, and then they were gone. You didn’t feel yourself anymore, and you felt life was surreal. Your dreams are riddled with pictures of your family getting torn apart alive. It keeps you up, and it keeps you distant. You wonder sometimes if you should stop talking to Carl for the fact that he can always die too, but he was your lifeline. Daryl was also so sweet and Rick treated you like family.
You were laying on your bed when Carl came through your bedroom door. You looked over at him with tears streaming down your face, hiccuping. He looked around for a second before walking to the other side of your bed and laying behind you. Settling an arm around your waist, he moved his face into your hair and sighed. “It’s okay,” he said softly and squeezed you tight.
You turned around and nuzzled your face into his neck while wrapping your arms around him. You had never been this close to anyone, let alone a boy that wasn’t family. You calmed down after a few moments into a quiet sniffle every once in a while, listening to him breathe.