After the reader escapes from her abusing group, Daryl and Carl find her scared and lost in the woods…
The wind was rustling through the trees, birds were chirping their songs while the sun shone softly through the forest canopy. Idyllic. Well actually, it was quite the opposite. The rustling of the trees, the songs of the birds were in your pounding head nothing more than a terribly resounding orchestra, the sun streams felt like stitches in your eyes but you couldn’t close them. Not here. Sitting with your back against a tree, a dead walker next to you, that you had killed with the last strength you had left, your blood covered hands that were tightly clasping your knife that much, that it hurt, just like the rest of your bruises and wounds covered body. Closing your eyes now, could mean death and you didn’t want to die, you really didn’t. That was probably also the reason why you ended up right here. You didn’t know how many days had gone by, but it had been probably quite a few. A few since you had escaped that hell hole of a group, that was the main reason for your messed up body. You didn’t even know how you got yourself into this shit, how you ended up with them, but you did. You had been alone a whole while before you met them, had fought yourself through this world on your own but you had known that you are stronger in a group. And next to that, you had hoped for people that could make life more about than just surviving. But these people, they took surviving to a whole new level. It’s not that you had been naive or anything, you had been warily knowing how all this could change people or what sides of them it made them show but even your wariness couldn’t beware you of the things that had happened. After some time, it had begun. Every time something you did, didn’t work out the way they liked they gave you what they felt you deserved and that was beating you until you laid whimpering on the ground. You couldn’t defend yourself, not because you couldn’t fight, you could, but not a big bunch of men at once. Who knows what else they would have done to you if you wouldn’t have taken your chance and escaped, killing two of them on your way out. And now you sat here against that tree, not even being able to cry because of the shock that was still stuck in your bones and simply because you were dehydrated as hell. But you were alive.
“You think I’m going back without stuff?”, you suddenly heard a male voice grumble not too far away from you. You jolted slightly up, feeling the pain shooting through your body while you tried your very best to suppress the pain-filled groan that made its way up your throat. It was none of the men from the camp you had escaped from, but who knew if this person wasn’t as bad as them. Next, you heard another male voice, a younger one before you saw a walker stumbling towards you through the trees, its rotting mouth wrenching open while your grip around the knife got even stronger. “Got it”, you heard the male voice from the beginning say again before you saw a bolt shooting through the walkers head, that fell lifeless to the ground. The first danger, the walker was gone, but that guy would get that bolt back, and he would find you, regardless of if you would move now or not. You felt your heart pounding relentlessly against your chest, your breath trying to increase while you tried everything to keep it calm. You heard footsteps coming closer before you saw the man walking through the trees, a crossbow in his hands, grabbing the bolt to pull it out of the walkers head. Maybe, maybe you had luck and he wouldn’t see you. He turned around, his glance towards the ground while you watched his every step until his glance suddenly went up, goring through you. “Holy hell”, he said while you felt your heart pounding even faster against your chest. “What is it?”, the younger voice said before you saw him walking up to the man, his glance wandering into your direction. You wanted to say something, tell them to just keep on walking, that you don’t have anything they could take and not hurt you but you couldn’t. Your throat couldn’t be drier and all you got out of it was a helpless whimper, while you pressed yourself harder against the tree. “We’re not gonna hurt you if you don’t try something against us”, the boy with the sheriff hat on his head said before he slowly walked towards you while you slowly nodded feeling your body still being a trembling mess. The man with the crossbow kept eying you before also he walked closer to you. “Maybe, you know, we can help you”, the boy said as he kneeled next to you while your grip around your knife was still strong. “You just gotta get your hand off that knife first”, the man said while your glance went up to him. You hesitated for a moment, they didn’t seem like they would want to hurt you, but after everything you’ve been through you didn’t know if you could simply trust that. “Listen, we’re good people. Really”, the boy said before you swallowed and slowly loosened the grip on your knife but kept on watching every move they made, so that you could grab it in case something happened, even though you didn’t believe that you were strong enough to use it anyway. “You’re alone out here, huh?”, the man said while he eyed you again, the multiple wounds and bruises that spread over your whole body. You slowly nodded. “Escaped”, you tried to get out of your dry throat, somehow trying to explain. You saw the man grab a water bottle out of his backpack, opening it and holding it in front of you. Now you were the one eying him. That was probably the somehow kindest thing someone had done in ages for you. You slowly grabbed the bottle got it to your mouth and took a sip, feeling the water bring back some life into your dehydrated and weak body. “I’m Carl, that’s Daryl. What’s your name?”, the boy said while you took another sip. “(Y/N)”, you forced out of your mouth. For a few minutes, they just kneeled next to you while you drank the water slowly, you would have loved to just let the water rush down your throat but you were that weak that you couldn’t even do that and as well as that, you also knew that you would probably throw it up again. “How many walkers have you killed?”, the man, Daryl, asked after watching you for the past few minutes. “I don’t know, many”, you said still with a weak and trembling voice, but at least you could get some words out. “How many people have you killed?”, he asked while you looked swallowing at him. You were sure that this was some kind of test and that the result would determine what would happen next. In your head, you counted the people whose lives you took, you were sure that there were people out here that had killed way more but you weren’t proud about your count either. Even if it had been necessary. “Eleven”, you said swallowing while trying to read something out of his mimic. “Daryl, she’s hurt, she needs our help”, you heard Carl say now. “I know. We still gotta do that”, Daryl replied before he looked back to you. “Why?”, he asked still looking at you. “When I had to protect myself, when…when there was no other way”, you said while asking yourself if that had been enough as an answer. Daryl looked over to Carl, who nodded before their glances wandered over to you. “We got a place, not too far from here. If you want to, you can come with us”, Carl said while you looked at him. A new chance. But that’s what you had thought the last time as well. “See, we understand you. But we just wanna help you”, Carl added. “You look as if you could need that”, Daryl grumbled. You looked at your hands, still covered in a mix of walker and human blood. You didn’t ever want to go through something like this again, never. But what did you have to lose? Even though you hated to admit it but in the condition, you were right now, you wouldn’t survive a lot longer. “Okay”, you finally said quietly before you tried to get yourself up, you felt a hand on your upper arm, trying to pull you up before you jolted shocked up, your eyes widening. Not because of the pain the bruises and his grip let you feel, simply the touch of someone scared you to death and catapulted you back to the thousand times this touch was meant to bring you to the ground and not let you get up again for a good while. “Sorry”, Daryl grunted while he loosened the grip on your arm. You finally stood on your feet, trying to not let your weak knees force you to the ground again while you still trembled at his touch. “Gotta prop you now. Won’t get you to the car else. You ready?”, he asked while he looked at you through the hair strands that hung into his face. For a short moment, you felt like you had to throw up just thinking about someone coming that close to you, even though you knew that this was just to help you. You slowly nodded before you first felt Daryl wrapping an arm around you, Carl following him to do so while you felt you tried to get the pictures out of your head, showing you the moments the feeling of someone touching you was followed by unbearable pain. You slowly stumbled through the forest, your body still trembling before you saw a car standing on the side of the street not too far away. “Here we are”, Daryl said, before he opened the door of the car and let you slid onto the bench. You breathed more easily again as you felt their touches leaving your body and the door shut next to you. Moments later you saw Carl sitting down next to you, giving you another bottle with water while Daryl started the engine. You kept on watching both of them, just in case, but something about them gave you a good feeling. And slowly but surely, you felt how your body began to signal you that you should finally give yourself a rest, finally close your eyes and get the sleep you needed that much. You kept fighting your tiredness for a few more minutes even though you had this good feeling about them before everything before your eyes slowly but surely got black.
“She’s waking up”, you heard a female voice say as your heavy eyelids slowly opened. Your blurred vision slowly turned clear while you saw faces around you looking directly at you and you felt panic crawl up in you. You gasped trying to escape somehow before your body crashed against the backboard and a pain-filled grunt escaped your mouth. “It’s okay. it’s okay you’re safe”, you heard one of the women say while you looked with wide-open eyes at them, your relentless pounding head not letting you think clearly. The faces of the people in front of you mixed with the ones of the men, the piles of shit, that had been abusing you for so long. You gasped for more air, feeling the pain take over your body while it turned once again into a trembling mess. “Get them, get Daryl and Carl”, you heard one of the voices say while you tried to find out what was happening to you. You weren’t in the woods. You weren’t in the car. You were sitting in a bed, people around you, you had no idea of who they were. You were trapped, not only between these people but also in your mind that began to torture you even more. And it didn’t stop until you heard two voices coming closer. “It’s okay, it’s okay. Listen. You need to calm down”, you heard Carl’s voice say, your vision slowly turning clearer. “Hey”, you heard Daryl’s voice slowly coming closer while your tensed muscles began to relax and you felt your breath slowing down. “Y'all need to get out”, you heard Daryl say into another direction before you heard footsteps distancing. Your eyes captured Carl and Daryl’s faces as you calmed down. Their glances were stuck on you while you looked down to your hands that clasped the bedsheets that strong, that your knuckles turned completely white. Slowly, you let go seeing how blood streamed back into your hands before you looked up again. “You’re in our place. Alexandria. You passed out on our way back”, Daryl muttered still looking at you. “You don’t have to be scared anymore”, you heard Carl say before you nodded slowly. ”They just want to help you. But if you feel like you’re not ready for all of them yet, we’ll find another way”, Carl continued while you nodded again. You couldn’t have them around you now, not that many. It was a miracle to you that you already allowed Daryl and Carl to come this close. ”We just have to find a way to patch you up”, You heard Carls voice again while you looked down on yourself. You weren’t wearing your clothes anymore, just a big shirt, you were mostly cleaned up, a few parts of your body already patched up, the rest still revealed your hurt skin. ”I’ll do it”, Daryl said beginning to grab the bandages and salves from the ground your panicking self had tossed from the bed. ”Alright. Gonna tell my Dad what’s going on”, Carl said before he stood up, looked one last time at you and left the room then. “You okay with that?”, Daryl asked as he looked up from the salves. You still felt this weird feeling coming up in your stomach thinking about someone’s touch but when somebody had to, and your body begged for treatment, then Daryl or Carl would be the first ones you’d choose. “Yeah”, you said, your voice still weak before you saw him nodding and slowly beginning to treat one of the wounds on your arm. “I’m not good at this”, Daryl grunted after a few moments while he spread some salve over a wound on your arm. “I don’t care”, you mumbled still looking at him while he just grumbled something incomprehensible. To be honest, you’d rather have him doing it even though it might not be perfect, than someone else whose touch would send you right into another panic attack. “You don’t have to answer,… but who did that to you?”, he asked after a while of grumbling spreading salve over your wounds. “My last group”, you said swallowing after a few moments. “Assholes”, he grunted before he looked at you. “Not gonna happen to you again. You know, I can understand that you don’t want the others close at first”, he said beginning to wrap bandages around your wounds before he continued. “But they’re good people.”
The next week you stayed in the improvised hospital of Alexandria, to your luck, no one else got hurt, you were alone in that room, except the times Daryl or Carl came in to change your bandages or get you some food or sometimes even just sat next to you and talked. You didn’t know why, but especially Daryl tended to stay longer and to look out for you. But every time you heard voices mixing before the house you felt your heart beginning to race again, the pounding of your head got stronger and you felt shivers running up and down your back. You believed Carl and Daryl that these people were good, but still, only the thought of all of them around you made you feel that nervous and terrified that you wanted to throw up.
Your mind still messed with you, especially in the nights. Nightmares had been a common thing to you when you had been with the other group and they still haunted you, as well as in this one night.
It was dark, you couldn’t see them, but you could hear them. Their laughter. Their comments. The kicks and punches began to hit your body, while you gasped for air feeling like you were drowning while helpless whimper escaped your mouth and hot tears streamed down your face. And they just wouldn’t stop. Your whimper seemed to motivate them to beat you even harder, before you began to saw their faces, their lips formed into big grins, their eyes darkened and filled with gory joy.
“(Y/N)? Come on wake up”, you heard Daryl’s voice rip you out of your nightmare. You opened your eyes and saw Daryl’s face right before yours while you were still panting and trembling uncontrollably. “It’s alright, it’s over”, he said as he sat down next to you on the bed. “Nightmare, huh?”, he asked while you could see his face in the faint moonlight as you slowly nodded. “Why did you came here?”, you asked quietly after you had calm down again. “Had some feeling”, he muttered while before he got quiet. “Daryl? Can you…can you stay?”, you asked swallowing after a few minutes. You knew that if he would go now if you were completely alone, that nightmare would come back to you. “Sure”, he said, while he took a pillow from the bed, threw it next to it before he took a blanket and threw it beside it. “You can’t sleep on the floor”, you said trying to find something more comfortable in the room. “Nah, it’s alright, I’ve slept a million times on the floor, I can do it again”, he said while he looked at you. ”Thank you”, you said while you saw him crouching down and slipping under the blanket. ”Anytime”, he mumbled while you shifted a bit more to the edge of the bed. ”Not just for this thing right now, I mean for everything”, you said, looking down to Daryl whose eyes darted up to you. ”Anytime counts for that too”, he said one small smile flashing over his lips. ”Goodnight”, you said, still leaning over the corner of the bed while you looked at him. ”Goodnight”, he said back, before you slightly smiled and let yourself fall back into the soft pillows of the bed. You couldn’t remember when you had a real bed the last time, before Alexandria, you had slept on the hard ground, an old big flannel you had found had been the only thing that kept you a little warm in the night. You would have loved to forget all this, just erase it out of your mind and just begin anew, but it wasn’t that easy. It wasn’t just the wounds and bruises that even though they began to heal, were still stuck on your body and reminded you every time you looked at them or felt them when you moved your body of what you have been through, the games your mind was playing with you were worse.
The soft light of the first sunbeams woke you up. Your eyes fluttered open, while you slowly remembered last night. Your glance wandered through the room, searching for him as you saw him. He stood with his bare back towards you, not noticing that you were awake. Your eyes got slowly used to the dimmed light as your glance fell on his back that was covered in scars and you didn’t need to look close to see what they came from. Beatings. You swallowed seeing how he pulled a shirt over his torso right before he turned around and saw you looking at him. “My father”, he grumbled after a few moments, recognizing the cause for your glance. “I’m sorry, I-I didn’t know you also-”, you said swallowing while you couldn’t really finish your sentence. “Don’t have to be sorry”, he said going over to you before he grabbed some of the salves and bandages again. “There’s more important shit. Like getting you back on track”, he said, a slight smile flashing over his lips and your lips as he began to unwrap the old bandages.
Weeks passed and things got better, they really did. Slowly, you healed and not only your physical wounds and bruises, also your mental ones even though that took a lot longer. But you had help, Carl, especially Daryl stood by your side, was patient with you and gave you finally again the feeling to be worth something. And after some time, you could finally make the firsts steps towards the other people who lived in Alexandria without beginning to panic. First, you got to know Carl’s Dad Rick, who also happened to be the leader of this place, two women named Michonne and Maggie followed, as well as a man called Glenn and all the others. You began to evolve into a member of this all, an equal member, not a victim that was used and beaten when it didn’t work the way it’s supposed to in someone’s opinion. The nightmares got less strong, they still haunted you, but not nearly as brutal as before. The happiness you had thought was gone forever came finally back. You began to grow even closer to Daryl, even go on runs with him after some time. Something about him made you feel safe, it felt like the feeling you had at the very beginning, but a whole lot stronger.
It was one of the days you went on a run, you drove over the empty roads, walkers stumbling at their sides while you drove past them. You bowed over to the radio, seeing a tape in there before you heard Daryl grunting. “Oh hell no, that’s one of Rick’s. Some weird shit”, he said before he looked back to the road. You pushed the button, not just interested in what music would play, but also to tease Daryl a bit. “You’re doing that on purpose, huh?”, Daryl asked after grumbling a bit while a small grin flashed over his lips. “Maybe”, you chuckled looking at him while he couldn’t suppress a little chuckle as well. You leaned back into the seat, began to hum a little bit along a few songs that sounded quite good while you kept on driving. “Now look at this”, you heard Daryl say before he slowed the car down and you looked up. A bunch of packed cars and trucks, parked on the side of the road. “Maybe there’s something in there”, he said, eventually stopping the car before the both of you walked out of it and towards the first car. “Not even a walker in there”, you muttered while you looked through the dusty windows before you opened the door and began to check its inside. A few cans of canned food and some bandages were the only usable things you found, but at least something. “You can already go over to the other cars, I’m checking the ones on this side”, you said as you put the first supplies into your car. “You sure?”, Daryl asked as he looked at you. “Yeah, I am”, you said before Daryl nodded. “Alright, take care”, he said before you went off to the other cars, few of them almost parked in-between the trees of the forest. Slowly you went through them, found more or less usable things before you suddenly felt a hand clasp around your mouth, arms pulling you back behind some trees while muffled screams escaped your mouth. “Oh (Y/N). Never thought I’d see you again”, you heard a too familiar voice whisper into your ear, that brought memories back that had tortured you in your sleep. “Remember me? It’s Matt”, he said before a throaty laugh escaped his mouth. “Hoped some dead ones devoured you alive after you killed Don and Steph”, his voice continued while your eyes widened trying your very best to escape his grip. “You really want me to do it slowly, don’t you (Y/N)”, you heard him say while you saw his knife twinkle in the sunlight. “Who’s that guy? That prick with the crossbow, huh? Did he save you?”, he whispered before he laughed. “God damn it, he has to be really stupid to do that!”, he chuckled quietly while you kept trying to get out of his harsh grip as well as somehow trying to reach out to the knife sticking in your pants. “You know, now that I think about it…we two could have had so much fun together but you chose to be a little bitch and just fuck every little bit up. Shit, you deserved every single beating. Every. Single. One”, he said tightening his grip on you while the knife began to travel up and you kicked harder against him still trying your best to get out while you felt the panic crawling even faster up in your body. The times you laid on the hard ground, panting in unbearable pain while your body was nothing more than a hurt and trembling mess shot through your mind. “Now I’ll first kill you and then your friend. Can’t wait for it”, you heard his voice again while you kept kicking even though nothing seemed to work. “(Y/N)? You here?”, you suddenly heard Daryl’s voice. You didn’t want him to come here, if you would die, then at least you didn’t want to drag him into this as well. “Yes, she’s here”, you heard Matt say before he stepped forwards with you. Daryl’s glance darted towards you, he swallowed hard while he pointed the raised crossbow right at Matt’s head. “Let her go”, Daryl growled while you heard Matt laugh once again. “Oh you are really that dumb! This little bitch caused a hell lot of trouble and now she’s getting all this back and after that my friend, after that I’m coming for you”, Matt chuckled while his knife traveled even higher up your body and you slowly saw Daryl heating up. “You like her, huh? Too bad that you both won’t be able to let that thing grow”, he chuckled again while you used the distraction Daryl caused to slowly reach out for your knife “Won’t say it again, let her go”, Daryl growled once again while you could see his shoulders already shaking in anger “Oh man, I’m not even scared this shit is just too sad”, Matt continued chuckling before you could finally grab your knife. You heard Matt’s chuckle right next to your ear as you dug your knife into his stomach. “Son of a bitch!”, he called gasping out while you turned around and dug the knife over and over again into the torso of the person that had abused you for so long. Your heart pumped wildly against his chest while you could see his body twitching the last couple of times not thinking about stopping until you sat heavily breathing back, not only your hands covered in blood but also half of your body. “He, it’s okay”, you heard Daryl say as he came closer and laid a hand on your shoulder as the bloody knife slid out of your hand and you looked heavily trembling at the messed up body in front of you. You saw from the corner of your eye how Daryl crouched next to you, still the hand on your shoulder before you felt him pulling you into his embrace. You let yourself fall into his arms, still paralyzed through the literal blood rush you had been in before you felt tears rolling over your cheeks. That all, meeting this monster again and everything that had followed it had just been too much, it had pushed you over the edge and just let all the feelings, all the sorrow wash over you again. You didn’t know for how long you simply laid in his arms before you slowly calmed down again. “Better now?”, you heard him ask while he rubbed over your back. “Yeah”, you said, slowly releasing yourself out of his embrace before you wiped your tears away. “That prick got what he deserved”, he grunted as he looked over to the dead body. You nodded before Daryl got up and helped you on your feet again. “Got everything we need, we should drive home”, he said, while he didn’t leave you out of his sight as you walked back to the car and sat down. Daryl reached over to the radio, pushed the button and let the music start again. “Thought you hate it”, you said while you saw him starting the engine. “Seems to cheer you up, I can cope with it then”, he said looking over to you with a small smile on his face while you couldn’t do else than smile back and be even after what just had happened endlessly happy that after all the things you’ve been through you finally found happiness.
You have been on your own since the beginning, always keeping yourself away from people. So when a boy in a sheriff hat came fighting into your life you were more than surprised.
pairing: carl grimes x reader
warnings: violence, and swearing
a/n: takes place in the beginning of season 7. Unedited I hope you guys still like it :) might do a part 2!
Y/N= your name
That morning had been like any other you woke up huddled on the branches of a tree with your backpack. You would climb trees to insure yourself safety as you slept, people rarely look up there and if they did they might just think you were a corpse (you had enough walker blood on your clothes from fighting to look like one) and the dead had no possible way of getting to you.
You got down the tree and started towards the gas station you saw last night. By the time you got to the gas station last night it was too dark to go check inside so you decided to wait until morning. You push threw the door and a small bell jingles causing you to grab your gun out of instinct, you hold up the gun as you make your way down the first isle.
“Shit” you breathe, as you throw an empty can on the ground, nothing absolutely nothing. You walk down the final isle almost at the front when you hear that damn bell jingle as someone or something walks into the small gas stations store you put your back up against one of the shelves to try and not be seen before you have a plan. “I got this one dad.” is all you hear before the door shuts.