Actions and Consequences

chapter 22

Two days later…

Rick stood outside the tent where they were keeping a hopefully recovering Fallon, the looming decision he was going to have to make weighing him down. His eyes stared at the dirty fabric of the tent, his hand hesitating by his side, if he went in now then it would be time to decide. Rick looked up at the gray Atlanta clouds, trees bare branches extending up into sky giving the view a dismal look. He let out a breath and rubbed his chin, he had to go in now there wasn't any more time to just sit here; it was time.

Rick unzipped the tent and bucked inside, the view in there just was morbid as the one outside; as much as he didn't want to admit it. The lack of light coming through the tent made it hard to actually see what Fallon looked like, if she was actually healing or just not… He took a seat next to her on the ground and gazed down at her, she was breathing more regular now, stronger even, her skin looked like it had more color but that could just be the lack of light.

"Fallon?" Rick asked his voice quiet.

There was no answer, just like there was no answer the day before, like there will be no answer tomorrow. He sighed, his eyes shutting the thought of what was going to have to be done becoming clear.

"Fallon, of you don't say anything we can't keep doing this... We can't stay here any more. It's not safe. If you have any fight left use it now," his voice stern as if the sound of his seriousness will bring her out of this.

Still nothing... Ricks fingers brushed the hilt of his knife, he paused, and pulled it out of the holder. he bowed his head and put the point of the knife in the dirt in front of her.

"So you were guna kill me if I didn't just wake up now?" Fallon's voice cracked.

" Fallon?" Rick said his head snapping up.

"Who else would it be?" She answered in her sarcastic manor " I'm a bit upset you didn't have more faith in me," she raised a brow and tried to sit up but winced and fell back.

"Shit!" He said through a smile "How do you feel, can you get up, let me get Daryl," Rick spit out quickly.

"No! Don't get Daryl... Im fine just sore... Rick what happened?" Fallon asked trying to sit up again.

Rick looked down "What do you remember?" He asked.

Fallon just looked down her eyes set on a spot on the ground. She remembered everything, she just wanted to know what he knew.

"Not much," she lied to him "Help me up I need to get out of this tent,"

Fallon pushed herself up the pain in her wrists shooting up her arms, the muscles tensing under the pressure. Rick wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her to her knees and they both crawled out. Fallon sat on the ground and sheiled her eyes from the light, her fingers touching the scabs over her eyebrows. She looked up and met the eyes of the rest of the group who were staring at her wide eyed as they packed up.

"Mornin'," she waved at them all breaking the silence.

"Mornin'," Maggie answered with a smile.

Jalissa looked over her eyes falling on her friend, joy washing over every emotion. She dropped the bag she was holding and sprinted over throwing her arms around Fallon, tears running down her cheeks.

" I'm so glad you're okay!" Jalissa cried into her shoulder " I'm so sorry! Please I'm so sorry please forgive me I'll do whatever-"

Fallon cut her off and peeled Jalissa away from her body a smile on her face "It's okay, I forgive you," she paused. "Thank you," Fallon looked into Jalissa's dark brown eyes.

Jalissa cracked a smile "I'm guna get Daryl he'll wanna see you," Jalissa stood up a d sprinted off before Fallon could protest.

Shit... She thought... Fallon didn't want anyone to see her like this, especially Daryl... All bruised and beaten, so vulnerable . She sighed and pushed herself to her knees so she could stand. Her muscles ached and protested but she still pushed, the look of pain on her face making Rick help her.

"I don't need help!" She snapped.

"Yes you do," Rick answered handing her a water bottle.

"Thanks," Fallon answered finally feeling how dry her throat really was.

She took and long drink her eyes shutting because of how wonderful it felt to have the coolish water flow down her throat. When she was done half the bottle was gone, Fallon opened her eye and found Daryl looking right back at her; Fallon's stomach jumped.

"Hey," she whispered her throat dry for a completely different reason now.

"After all that. That's all ya gotta say, hey," he raised his brows at her.

"What do you want me to say..." She waited for him to answer.

Daryl smiled "I'm glad you're okay,"

"Thanks," she smiled back "You guna hug me or just stand there and stare,"

"Uhm," he stuttered.

He quickly walked over and put his arms around her gently, knowing she was still hurting from everything that happened. When he felt her arms wrap around him he let out the breath he was holding, he didn't think he ever feel that again.

Rick cleared his throat "Guys I'm sorry but we gotta get going if we wanna cover ground today,"

"Kay," Fallon answered still not letting go of Daryl. She backed up and looked up at him, hair plastered to his forehead, dirt on his skin, but those blue eyes still showing through. "Daryl I heard what you said," She whispered "I care about you too,"

Daryl's muscles tightened at that his eyes growing wide with shock "I…" he stuttered.

Fallon just shook her head and stood on her tippy toes giving him a kiss on his cheek "Thank you, I wouldn't be here without you and Jalissa,"

Daryl just nodded and looked down at her still surprised she was standing in front of him "Um, I have your axe over by my shit," he said.

"Great, take me to it so we could head out before Rick has a heart attack," Fallon laughed.

Fallon took a step pain from all of her weakened muscles screaming at her too stop, but that sure as hell wasn't going to happen. Daryl looked at her quickly, obviously knowing she was pushing through a lot of pain; this was going to be hard journey for her this week… Eventually, they made it to his stuff and she picked up her axe a huge smile on her face.

"Thought I'd never see it again," She looked at Daryl and muttered.

Daryl nodded and picked up the bags knowing she couldn't carry anything at this point.

"I can…" she started to say and grab for a bag but Daryl just pushed her back.

"No, you got enough goin' on… I got this just try and keep up," Daryl grunted in his usual manner.

Fallon pouted but ultimately agreed with him, they only walked 20 feet and her body was already protesting. This was going to be a very very long walk…

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