Leah walked towards the room she was sharing with Andrea after Daryl closed the door in her face. The white walls acted as her support as she drunkenly made her way. What in the world had just happened back there?
Well, I just kissed Daryl. Dammit. I liked kissing Daryl. Why did I stop? No wait, did he stop it? No, I did. Yeah. Way to go, Horvath. You always screw everything up. Why couldn't you just enjoy the moment? Now it's going to be awkward. You have to live in this huge ass building with him for who knows how long? It's gonna be hella fun trying to avoid him. Daryl is already awkward enough as it is.
Leah slid down the wall and leaned her head back. She pulled her knees up and wrapped her arms around them. She wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry over the situation.
Jacqui rounded the corner of the hallway and quickened her pace when she saw Leah on the floor, "Honey, are you okay?"
"Oh. Jacqui," Leah laughed. "Hi."
Jacqui crouched down next to the girl and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Do you need help?"
Leah nodded then shook her head, "Hmmm?" She stared up at Jacqui before realizing what it was she truly needed. "I need advice."
"Okay, let's go sweetie." Jacqui couldn't help but smile at the confused drunk girl on the floor. She grabbed her hands and helped pull Leah to her feet. "We'll go to my room."
Inside the room that was almost identical to Daryl's, Leah took a seat on a blue sofa and smiled at Jacqui. "I'll try not to drunk talk at you. I was just with Daryl and we drank a lot. A lot. Sometimes I ramble when I drink."
Jacqui hid a smile, "With Daryl, hmmm?"
Leah nodded. "Yeah. It was so strange. Daryl of all people." She tucked her feet underneath her and made room for Jacqui to join her on the sofa. The woman sat, facing her and ready to listen as Leah poured her heart out. "I told you about Jack and how the Dixon's reminded me of him, but it's been so different lately. I don't know how to explain it. And then we were in the kitchen… then … we were really close and all the sudden he was gone. Then I went to his room to yell at him and before I knew it we were kissing. And I liked it. I actually liked Daryl's lips on mine … I freaked out on him, but I didn't mean to. I want to kiss him again. I want to kiss him always. But, I mean, he's Daryl and he's bad news. But, damn. Damn. Damn. Damn! He's a good kisser."
While Leah drunk talked her feelings out, Jacqui covered her smile with a hand. She had seen this coming, but had never said a word to Leah. Daryl had been watching her closely for weeks now and even though Jacqui had noticed, she wasn't sure that anyone else had. She had been waiting for this moment.
"What do I do, Jacqui? I think he was mad at me! I don't want the wrath of Daryl! Oh no, no, no. He might shoot me with his crossbow next time he sees me."
Jacqui couldn't hold back her laughter anymore, "Oh honey. I'm pretty sure that won't happen."
Leah leaned her head on the back of the couch. "I'm pretty drunk. Sorry."
"Want to know what I think?" Jacqui took Leah's hand.
"Of course! You're so wise, Jacqui. I just always screw life up."
"I'm sure that's not true. But, for what's worth I think you should go back to Daryl."
Leah's eyes widened. "Go back, right now?"
Jacqui nodded with a smile on her face. "There aren't a lot of good things left, Leah girl. If kissing Daryl is good, hold on to that! It might not ever be love, but it is something to help get your mind off the terrible things in this world. Don't throw it away so quickly. Rules of the old life don't apply anymore."
She sighed, "He is a REALLY good kisser. Really good, Jacqui."
"Then what are you still doing here?"
"Right. Right. Okay. Here I go." Leah stood up, feeling a little less drunk now. "Wish me luck."
"Good luck. Hold onto him, Leah. Hold onto him."
The walk back to Daryl's room was long, even though he was only a few doors down.
Leah leaned both hands against his doorframe and fought the internal battle of whether or not to knock. Maybe she wasn't drunk enough anymore, maybe she should drink more and gain the courage needed to walk through the door, tell him that she needed to kiss him. Tell him that she really didn't want to stop kissing him. Ever. But, Daryl had all the booze in his room. She wished she had the foresight earlier to bring the pink wine with her.
"Daryl," she whispered and listened for movement on the other side of the door.
Maybe he was asleep. She knocked softly. "Daryl?"
She heard footsteps and stilled, waiting for him. The door swung open.
Daryl grunted. "Oh for chrissake! I told you to leave."
Leah shook her head, "I made a mistake. I'm sorry. I don't know why I said those things."
Daryl studied the drunk, dark haired woman in front of him. If he had been sober he would have closed the door in her face. However, he wasn't anything close to sober. His drunken body needed her. His lips wanted to latch themselves on to hers and experience that crazy rush of sensations again. His gaze traveled to her pink lips and he swung the door open wider.
"Git in here, 'fore anyone sees you."
The couple didn't waste anytime once the door was closed behind Leah. Their lips drunkenly crashed together and Daryl held her against the door, strong hands pressing into the wood behind her. She smiled into his kiss and reached up, grabbing the hem of his somewhat clean flannel. Yes, coming back had been the right decision.
Their bodies pressed into each other, as Daryl's lips ravished Leah's skin. His kisses moved from her lips, down her jaw and to her neck where he spent a good amount of time kissing and licking above her collarbone. Each time Leah moaned, he sucked harder, not caring what her neck might look like in the morning. He wasn't being gentle, but Leah didn't care. Her body pressed into him, fighting to get closer.
She laid her palm flat against the skin just above his jeans, feeling strong muscles that rippled each time he moved. When his lips left her well worked neck and came back to hers, Leah wasted no time in pushing her tongue into his mouth. They danced together, searching and persistent. The taste of different alcohol's mingled together. Daryl's hands left the door behind her and she felt them encircle her waist, holding fast and strong. Without breaking their kiss, Daryl picked her up and moved her onto the loveseat. He was above her now, pushing her backwards and enjoying his position of power on top. Before tonight, Leah's body underneath him had just been a far-fetched dream that invaded his mind at night.
The heat in their kisses burned like fire between them. There was just the right amount of sucking, nibbling and teasing combined with deep, and through kisses to keep Leah entertained. The excitement of their lips meeting each other had Daryl stirring and Leah felt him pressing hard into her jean clad thigh. However, things stayed innocent between them. He didn't push her too far and was uncharacteristically a gentleman even in his drunken state. He eventually pulled away from her mouth once he knew he was reaching the point of no return.
Their breathing was heavy as they stared at each other. Leah ran one hand up his arm, squeezing the bare skin. With a groan, Daryl shifted his body, wrapped his arms around her and turned so they were side by side rather than him crushing her under his weight. No words were exchanged, only small kisses as exhaustion began to overtake their bodies.
That's how they fell asleep that night. Bodies pressed against each other, wrapped up in a comfortable tangle of limbs.
Walking around the next morning like nothing had happened the night before with Daryl was far easier than Leah thought it would be. She was thankful that he had only met her eyes briefly once, while they ate breakfast in the kitchen. She appreciated their unspoken agreement to keep the events of last night under wraps. It was far easier this way.
When Jenner strode in, with a curt 'morning', Leah saw something pass between Dale and Andrea. Her friend hastily nodded to her uncle in encouragement. They wanted real answers, not the run around that Jenner had been giving them.
Jenner led them back to the large, open workstation area and asked Vi to playback TS-19. Leah rubbed her temples. She was never good at math and science and trying to understand Jenner was making her hangover worse. Beside her, Glenn moaned and leaned on his elbows watching as the MRI image on the screen played. Leah pulled her eyes away and allowed herself a quick glance in Daryl's direction. He was standing with his arms crossed and a semi- confused look on his face, also trying to wrap his foggy brain around what Jenner was saying.
Test Subject 19. She was bitten, infected and volunteered to let the scientists at the CDC study the process of her death and resurrection.
Leah watched in shock as the events played on the screen and TS- 19 breathed their last breath. "My god," she whispered. Dale placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. It felt as if the air in the room had suddenly gotten colder and the survivors all watched in shocked silence.
But, it wasn't over. Leah flinched as a bullet entered the patient's brain. Daryl saw her reaction and caught her eye from across the room. The protector inside of him was rising to the surface.
The more Jenner spoke, the worse things became. There seemed to be no hope left at all. Leah looked around the room at the drawn faces. Jacqui was crying, Dale's eyes were wide and Daryl was staring at his boots. Shane looked as if he was ready to punch something. Rick and Andrea continued to press Jenner for answers.
There was nothing left. Nothing.
Leah let a ragged breath go.
If that wasn't enough, they had less than an hour left of fuel in the generators. Less than an hour left until facility wide decontamination. Leah turned to ask what that meant, but Jenner was gone.
"Jenner!" Rick called out to him, but the doctor didn't say a word.
Leah felt a chill run down her spine, "I don't like this, guys."
Rick nodded in agreement. "We need to find those generators. Shane, Glenn, T. Let's go. Everyone go back to your rooms. Stay close in case we need to get out fast."
Leah and Andrea paced inside their room. Dale had joined them and sat on the edge of an office chair with his head in his hands.
"We need to do something," Andrea said.
Dale gave her s sympathic look. "We can't do anything until Rick and them come back with answers. It won't be too long now."
All the sudden the air vents cut off.
"What the?" Leah reached towards the duct in the ceiling. "Nothing."
Only about a minute went by before the lights cut off as well.
"That's it!" Andrea stormed towards the door.
The rest of the group met them out in the hall and Jenner rounded the bend. He had changed his clothes. Dress pants, tie, lab jacket.
"What the hell's going on?" Daryl asked as the doctor passed him, grabbing the bottle of liquor out of Daryl's hand on his way.
The system was shutting itself down. Prioritizing energy.
With Rick and Shane gone, Daryl stepped up to the plate to get answers from Jenner. He ran to catch up, "Hey. I'm talking to you! What the hell you mean?"
Leah followed him closely with Dale right beside her. Jenner was talking now and she fought to understand the implications of what he was saying. Suddenly, alarms sounded and Rick yelled at them to go grab their stuff. As they ran towards the doors, Jenner locked them down.
Leah pounded her fists against the steel that had risen up right in front of her. "No! No! Open them, dammit!"
Daryl watched her punch the door and felt his stomach sink. With a sudden rush of anger he charged towards Jenner, fist and whiskey bottle raised.
Dale grabbed Leah and pulled her into a tight hug, together they moved arm in arm to the center of the room and listened hopelessly as their fate was explained.
The air would catch on fire. Jenner made it seem peaceful. In an instant, all their problems would be solved. All Leah wanted to do was survive. She wasn't done living. Not yet. She watched as Shane and Daryl attacked the door with axes unable to make a dent, willing the door to break down despite the fact that Jenner said it would withhold a rocket launcher. Anger was welling up inside of her as Jenner tried to convince them that this was for the best.
"You can't do this," she cried after Daryl's angry outburst and attempt to put an axe in the doctor's head. "You can't decide how I die! Give us the choice!"
Within the span of a few tense, chaotic seconds, Jenner reluctantly opened the doors and a mad dash was made for the exit.
However, Jacqui didn't budge. Leah looked behind her and screamed her name. Jacqui just shook her head and took a seat on the floor.
"Jacqui no. Please no!" Leah pleaded with the woman.
"No sweetie. I'm staying. I'm not going back out there."
Tears fell down her cheeks as Daryl grabbed her elbow and jerked her away from the workroom. "Leah, c'mon!"
"Remember what I told you," Jacqui called after her. Leah watched Jacqui push T-Dog way through her tears as Daryl drug her along, leaving the other's behind.
"Get out!" She heard her yell at T-Dog. "Get out!"
As they ran quickly to the exit, Leah noticed too late that Dale and Andrea were missing. "Where's Uncle Dale?" she screamed as they came to the main entrance and the men fought to open the outer doors. "Where he is?"
She turned to run back for him, sobs wracking her body, and collided with Rick. "No," he commanded. "Do not go back for him."
She went to push him, but his strong arms caught her and pushed her towards Glenn who grabbed onto Leah's shirt. "There's no time, Leah!" He yelled at her. "We have three minutes left!"
She was sobbing too hard to realize what was happening around her and Glenn had to push her down as Rick detonated a grenade against the glass, causing it to splinter into a million little pieces.
"Give her to me, Chinaman." Daryl grabbed her roughly by the arms to drag her away from the ticking time bomb of a building. Leah fought against him, crying through her screams. He didn't speak, just held fast as she struggled against him, desperate to go back for Dale and Andrea.
"Stop crying and take this." He pressed the axe into her hand as a wall of walkers made their way towards them in the sunlight.
With one hand, Leah furiously wiped the tears from her eyes and prepared to do her part defending the group. As a longhaired walker lurched towards her, Leah lifted her axe with a yell and swung with all her might. The dead woman went down spewing blood and brain matter everywhere. She charged forward, running on pure adrenaline now, desperate to get away from the large building before it blew into thousand of tiny little pieces. Another sob hit her when she realized that Dale, Andrea and Jacqui would be included in those pieces. Why had they stayed behind?
They left her. Left her.
Another walker approached and Leah hacked at him with the anger that controlled her now. With a force that she didn't even know she possessed, she gave another mighty heave and landed the axe into the skull on the ground. As she was about to take another blow, strong arms wrapped around her waist and carried her towards the cars.
"We gotta go," Daryl's voice shouted in her ear. He ran with her to his truck and threw her into the passenger side before running around and jumping into the driver's seat.
Then, it seemed like a miracle and Leah watched as if in slow motion as Dale and Andrea emerged from the broken window. "Oh! They're out. Daryl, they're out!" she was crying again and threw open the squeaky door of the truck, planning on running to meet them.
"No!" Daryl climbed over the seat and caught her around the waist again. "You need to get down!"
"Run!" She screamed from inside Daryl's arms towards the pair. "Run!" Her screams were mixed with sobs.
"Get down, now!" Daryl was yelling at her.
Daryl's body covered hers as he threw her onto the concrete beside his truck muffled her last scream. She hit the ground with a cry as he buried her head in his arms, shielding her from the deadly debris he knew would come flying as the CDC incinerated itself.
AN: So- I will be going on a very brief hiatus. Why? Well, I have a beta! Cheers for Dannythelion1st! She's going to help me clean up the first few chapters of this story, frankly I missed a lot of errors and that is super embarrassing! Eeeep! Don't worry though, I won't be gone long. She edits like a boss. While she is working, I am going to be writing ahead as much as I can between now and next week.
Hugs under the guise of reviews are much appreciated!
Ps- I love this fancy new FF site! It makes reading so much easier!