Chapter 1: Rise and Shine
It was amazingly quiet in the prison. That was because most of its inhabitants were either still asleep in their cells or elsewhere in the prison attending to the jobs they'd been assigned to by Rick. After allowing the Woodbury survivors sanctuary with them at the prison, Rick made it quite clear to them that as long as they stayed here, they were going to help them in any way they could; whether it be hunting, scouting, cooking, cleaning, etc.
In one particular cell, away from those that were occupied with people fast asleep, a certain couple were indulging in morning sex, trying their best to keep quiet, but everybody knew that trying to do so just made it all the more louder.
"You have to…keep quiet, darlin'," Rick gasped through his smile, thrusting into his lover who he was lying on top of, one of their legs wrapped around his waist for better access.
"Can't…help it," Dave managed to gasp back, "Feels…too good," a hand around the back of Rick's neck as he used it for leverage, leaning up and capturing Rick's soft lips with his own in a passionate, love-filled kiss.
In the throes of passion, Dave reached back and held onto the metal railing that was fixed between two of the bunkbed's poles that supported the bed above with one hand, Rick joining it with one of his own.
If they'd looked up, they would've seen their wedding rings glinting in the morning sun that shone through the windows on the opposite of the cell block.
They were both nearing completion, Rick's thrusts quickening, his hand wrapped around Dave's cock proceeding to stroke it in unison with his thrusts.
Dave couldn't take it. The passion, the heat radiating off their sweat-soaked bodies, the thrusting was too much, and a few seconds later, emptied himself onto Rick's hand as well as his own stomach and chest.
Once he started, the walls around Rick's cock tightened, and he couldn't hold it in any longer, releasing himself into Dave, who gave Rick another kiss before collapsing, both men fully sated.
Even though Rick was softening, Dave urged him to stay inside for a little while longer before eventually pulling out, moaning at the sudden loss of connection as Rick sat himself up on the bed, his fingers combing through his dark greasy, wavy hair, taking a moment to catch his breath.
Reaching over, Dave picked up and used one of the coverlets that had previously occupied their bed along with the one they were using now to wipe himself off.
"Where you goin'?" Dave asked softly, sitting himself up on the bed, using the bedcovers to cover his nakedness, "It's still early Rick, stay in bed with me a little bit longer." He then reached out with one hand, and rubbed his palm across his cheek, feeling the beard that Rick had been growing, making a mental note to shave it in the near future.
This made Rick smile, snatching a kiss before climbing off the bed, and started slipping into his clothes. Dave admired him from the bed, knowing full well that Rick will be telling him to get dressed as there were plenty of chores to do, but did they have to be done so damn early?
In the silence Dave's stomach started groaning, the two lovers laughing in unison as it meant only one thing, "Sounds like someone's hungry for Carol's beloved cooking," Rick replied as Dave got up from the bed, and started getting dressed himself.
"You know as well as anyone that she's an extremely good cook, and once you have a taste, you won't want anything else," Dave answered, slipping on a red-and-white plaid shirt to go with his faded blue jeans and trainers, which were white at one point, but were now decorated with dry blood and dirt.
Leaving his gun holster with his gun behind, he instead took the Walkman he'd acquired on their last supply run before heading out of the cell, "I'm gonna tend to the garden, why don't you help Carol with the breakfast, seeing as you love it so much. You never know, you might learn a thing or two," he added cheekily, watching as Dave was about to strike him with a pillow, Rick using his reflexes to dodge the blow and grab his playful attacker, using this moment to attack Dave with his lips.
Once the kiss had ended, and Dave had calmed down, he uttered softly, "Don't think that by kissing me that you've gotten away with it. I might have to tie you to the bed, leave you completely naked for the others to see."
"Ooh, sounds rather kinky. What other fantasies have you been keeping from me?"
Despite loving the contact, Dave felt that they needed to get a move on so he gently pushed Rick away, adding, "We'd better get going. The garden's not going to tend to itself."
"Okay, okay. I catch you later, huh," Rick said, giving Dave one more kiss before leaving the cell and on his way outside to the garden out front.
Dave shook his head at him, wondering what he'd do without him or Carl, and then decided not to. He didn't like thinking such thoughts, heading out of the cell as he needed to get going himself.
Unbeknownst to Rick, Dave was learning a thing or two about cooking from Carol, and it helped a whole lot that they enjoyed each other's company, talking about other things than the "walkers" and their dealing with the Governor, and his assault on the prison a month ago…
Rick walked outside to a quiet, calm sunny morning. Approaching the garden, he cupped his hands, dunked them into the nearby barrel of water, and splashed his face with it, relishing in how refreshing it felt against his skin.
He then peered over to where they'd situated the garden, at the front of the prison, and smiled at the progress they'd achieved already. Soon, they'd be eating freshly-grown food than the canned goods they'd been leaving since all this came about.
Clipping the Walkman to his belt, Rick slipped in both ear-phones, and made his way over to the garden, completely ignoring the walkers that continued to populate at the fences, as he dug into the earth. The music from some band he'd never heard of, reverberating inside his head while he continued his work on the garden.
As he looked up to stare back at the walkers, he noticed rather quickly that one of them looked different to the others. Its decaying flesh still hanging off its undead body like the others, an empty hole where his intestines should be, but unlike the rest, blood streaked down its cheeks from its eyes as though it had been crying them. It made Rick wonder for a minute before shaking the feeling away, and returning to his work on the garden.
While he was digging, Rick unearthed a 1911 handgun, and examined it for a moment, wondering whether it had been buried here recently or quite some time again. Judging by the look of it, he deduced that it must have been there ling before Rick and his group had come to the prison before chucking it into the nearby wheelbarrow.
As he continued to tend to the garden, his music quietly playing his ears, but loud enough to drown out the world, Rick felt for a brief moment like it'd reverted itself back to normality.
The dead weren't rising up and walking amongst them, the survivors weren't trying to do what was necessary to survive in such a place, and Rick and his family were going about their normal, boring lives like none of this had ever happened.
The notion soon dissipated when he looked back, and saw the walkers continuing to pile up by the fences, turning his head back to see Carl walking in his direction. Rick pulled out his earphones, looking toward his son, and telling by the look on his face that he wasn't pleased about something.
"Hey Dad, why didn't the two of you wake me up?" Carl asked, leaning against the small, wooden fence that surrounded the garden, waiting for his Dad to answer him.
It made Rick break out in a small laugh, smiling up at his son from his knelt position on the ground, causing Carl to look down at him with obvious confusion written all over his little, weary face, "What? What's so funny, Dad?"
Rick shook his head, realizing that he and Dave had managed to make love without waking up Carl in the cell adjacent to theirs, "Nothin', it's nothin' Carl. Just a little joke me and your father shared earlier on, nothin' for you to worry about. Besides, you clearly needed it. We both know that you've been up all night reading your comic books," Rick added, both of them chuckling together as they make their way to the pig pen, Rick filling the trough with food before noticing that Carl was staring at the sow that was lying on the other side of the pen.
"Something's wrong with Violet, she's not been acting herself lately. I think she might be sick."
Rick nodded subconsciously, "I think you're right, but I have no idea what it could be. Besides, what have I told you about giving these animals a name. They're our food, not our pets."
Carl shrugged his shoulders, "I know Dad, I get it, but we've never had a pet, not even a dog. I just wanted to name something, even if it's only for a little while," he replied innocently, making Rick almost forget that their boy was only 9, not 19. So much had happened since this whole mess had started what felt like a lifetime ago, and without realizing it, Carl had matured so fast that it sometimes made him look and sound older than he originally was.
"You know, me and your father were thinking that you should join the other kids at story-time. You used to like it when we read stories to you, especially at bedtime," Rick suggested, watching his son stop what he's doing before carrying on.
"But that was then, a lot of stuff has happened since, Dad."
Rick nodded, agreeing with him before adding, "Just consider it, okay? You need something else to keep your mind off things other than your comic-books."
Meanwhile, in the outdoor confines of the prison, Carol was busy making breakfast as usual for those who were already awake, Dave hearing the sizzling of the bacon they'd managed to salvage on their last supply run, the smell of it causing his mouth to water, and his stomach to groan loudly.
"Morning Carol…hmm the food smells really good," Dave uttered, standing beside her as he began prepping up the next batch for the grill, his stomach seeming to growl even louder.
"Just your regular bacon, sausage and toast, nothing special."
"I know, but when you're making it, it tastes like it was made in heaven itself," he smiles, using the tongs to take off the cooked bacon before adding some more on.
The compliment made Carol laugh, a huge grin on her face, "Oh, you are too kind for your own good. Besides, you're not so bad yourself."
Dave nodded, "I must admit I'm getting a lot better, thanks to your tutelage. Before all this happened, I could only make your basic meals. All these years together, with Rick and Carl, and they never complained once. God, I know we keep saying it, but I miss those days." For a moment he was transported back in time, to a time before all of this ever happened, seeing himself preparing dinner in the kitchen for when his boys got back from work and school, working part-time at the hospital allowed him that privilege.
Then Carol's voice woke him from his daydream, "Yeah, we all do but, to be completely honest with you, I'm starting to like these days too…well, apart from the walkers and the death, I mean."
"On a lighter subject," Dave started, stopping what he was doing to look her way, "How's Sophia doing?"
Carol sighed, a look on her face that made her look more defeated than anything else, but then it all disappeared in a blink of an eye, a small smile on her face as she answered, "She's doing…fine, as fine as a 9-year-old girl can be, I s'pose. Your Carl's been keeping her company, and those two are becoming inseparable."
Dave nodded, getting what she was saying, "It's obviously doing them good. They're still acting like 9-year-old kids, if you don't count the…weapons and survival training, that is."
"As long as our kids are being taught how to survive and be safe, it's all that matters, right?"
Their conversation's cut short when they hear voices coming from the other residents seated around the tables opposite them, as they greeted Daryl with, "Morning," and, "Hey Daryl," who'd just made his appearance.
Dave glanced at Carol, seeing that look in her eye, and touched her arm to get her attention, "Go talk to him. I'll keep an eye on the food, you've got nothing to worry about."
She smiled back, thanking Dave before heading toward Daryl, Dave shouting, "Morning Daryl," to which he replied back with a simple, "Mornin'". Even though they've grown to be great friends, amongst everyone else they'd first met back in Atlanta, a greeting like that from Daryl was considered a privilege. He was being awkward, it was just his character.
As he watched the two converse, Dave, and everyone else who'd spent enough time with them, realized that these two had an obvious connection and, whether they were playing with that or just messing with them, he didn't know. All that he knew was that they were good for each other, very good, and they needed to get together and fast. Dave didn't know how long this peace was going to last, and since all of "this" had happened, they'd been going from bad to worse.
During his mulling, Dave forgot about the meat cooking in the frying pan, suddenly smelling burning, and quickly deduced that it was the meat which was now on fire. Taking it off the grill, Dave put it out with water, doing so in a fit of laughter, Carol and Daryl coming over to help, but they were laughing too.
This was certainly not a good start to an otherwise beautiful day…