The Enigma That Is
An Alex Rider and The Walking Dead crossover
He is an enigma. As well as trying to survive the 'end of the world', the group spend time attempting to decipher one of their own. Alex Rider.
Snippets of moments with Alex and the Gang.
I do not own Alex Rider or The Walking Dead, those rights belong to Anthony Horowitz, AMC, Fox and the comic book creators Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Tony Moore respectively. I make no money from this writing, I write this purely for my own enjoyment and (hopefully) the enjoyment of others.
Stupid. He was so stupid.
He let the exhaustion and stress of the last few days get to him. Big time.
He let his guard down, and his brain conveniently forgot all his training. His sole purpose for being in this country, was to slink by unnoticed, watch from a distance and stay professional and compete the mission brief. But at the first sign of trouble what does he do? He allowed himself to get dragged into a group of misfits, by a 12 year old at that! They accepted him without question, not that he didn't hear as they discussed him behind his back – his skills weren't that rusty! They allowed him to get close to their family, their children.
He had managed to keep his secret close to his chest, hide his true self away since he was 14 years old, yet somehow this mismatched group managed to unravel everything!
Things slipped through the gaps. The odd comment here, losing himself in the moment when hunting or fighting, and then of course, the issue of completely losing it, yelling at the people he had come to trust, care for and call friends.
For sure, he warned Shane off Lori not long ago, but threatening Andrea, which was probably the actions of grief and frustration, was just down right cruel!
Carol was trying to get through to him, Alex knew that she was missing Sophia like you would a limb. She was trying to care for him and Daryl, and whether it was as a distraction, the need to mother someone, or to show her gratitude Alex didn't know.
But he didn't want her thanks or pity, he felt guilt for not finding Sophia yet and he knew Daryl did too. He didn't know the older man's motivation or drive to search for the little girl. It may have been a subconscious decision to rectify the fact that they never found Merle, or it could just be that he was a nice guy who kept it hidden with a gruff exterior. Alex reckoned it was the latter. The guy got shot in the head, stabbed in the stomach and almost became walker gruel but still kept going.
He knew Rick felt the pressure of the search too, seeing as he was the last person to see Sophia. But, Alex saw that he was distracted, Lori and Shane were too. He already knew the pair had something between them but from the looks Shane gave the married couple, Alex doubted if it was just a fling, from Shane's side anyway.
Alex lay on his back with one arm behind his head on the sleeping roll in his snug tent. The moonlight shone in through a small gap between the tent flaps. A feeling of peace surrounded him as his frantic thoughts began to fade and sleep once again consumed him.
Outside the safety of their little camp, Glenn had stumbled across the horror which lay in the barn. As Maggie desperately tried to reason with him, the weary camp slept on, unaware of the terror which stood clawing at the rickety wooden doors a few fields away.
The next morning found Daryl lounging in peaceful solitude, under Doctor's orders of course. If he had his way, he'd be out searching for Sophia. He felt he was so close to a break though yesterday, if only that stupid horse hadn't freaked out, he could have covered more ground. Nervous Nellie. He scoffed out loud as he fidgeted on his sleeping bag. Of course getting shot in the head didn't help. But he couldn't fault Andrea for trying to protect the group, he just wished she'd learn to aim properly.
From outside the thin material of the tent, he heard the group beginning to wake up.
"Morning Alex!" He heard Carl chirp.
"Hey." Alex quietly returned the sentiment with a mumble.
Daryl frowned, he had been told about the incident involving Alex's meltdown. Carol put it down to tiredness, but Daryl wasn't sure. There had always been something odd about the boy. Something lurked in his past, which maybe caused his strange behaviour. He liked the kid, he really did. Alex was one of the few members of the group that Daryl didn't mind being around. They never spoke about personal things, never breached that mutually, unspoken, agreed line. On the good days he was a laugh to be around, had successful hunts and looked out for each other. But on the bad days though, the times when the kid was fidgety, quick to draw the gun, or any weapon for that matter, at the slightest sound, the way he could move without being seen, and the fighting. Daryl had heard a few different accounts from various members of the group, of how Alex dealt with an onslaught of walkers. The moves, the strikes, the final blow. The kid's been trained how to fight, maybe even to kill. Daryl wasn't stupid. He knew he wasn't the sharpest tool in the box, but he had been around fights; drunken bar brawls, back alley clashes and sharks claiming their debts. He knew the difference between learning on the spot with adrenaline, which most of the camp mates were surviving by, and a professionally trained fighter.
Daryl sighed and rubbed his forehead as he stared up at the bleak ceiling, the smell of breakfast beginning to seep in through the open tent flaps. Who knew what the deal was with Alex, but he's a good kid, Daryl knew that much.
He suddenly jumped as the sun was blocked by a shadowed figure at the doorway.
Speak of the devil.
Alex hovered at the threshold of the tent for a minute as if to ask permission to invade the small space.
"Morning." Daryl drawled, channelling his inner Merle.
Alex just sighed forlornly as he swept in to the tent and flopped down on to the floor with one arm covering his eyes.
Daryl sent a smirk in the kid's direction at the overly dramatic actions of the Brit.
"I can feel your grin burning into my very soul." Came the smothered snarky response.
Daryl just shook his head at the antics of the boy. "Well don't act so damn dramatic then."
Alex huffed as he removed his arm and stared up at the ceiling. "I did a stupid thing."
Daryl hummed in acknowledgement. "So I heard."
"I just, I don't know." He groaned and grabbed his hair in frustration. "It's so annoying!"
Daryl turned his head towards Alex and raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
Alex stayed silent and rubbed his face roughly with both hands. For once his face was like an open book, which showed his young age as he tried to decide what to say. He opened his mouth as if to start talking but clammed up before he even began.
"Is it the kid?" Daryl prodded to try and get the ball rolling. "Sophia? Cos we've done more than anyone to try and find that little girl. So don't feel guilty."
Alex sat up and lightly smacked the palm of his hands on the tent floor. "That's it though! She shouldn't have gone missing in the first place!"
"Why?" Daryl shot back. "It's not your job to keep everyone safe."
Alex looked down at his shoes. "Yeah but I should have kept an eye on her."
"She's not your kid." Daryl reminded him gently.
Alex pulled a face and sent him a look. "Well obviously. That doesn't mean I don't care for her." He hesitated before continuing. "I don't have any siblings, but these past few months Carl and Sophia have sort of grown on me. I guess they've kind of become a little brother and sister. Sort of."
He sighed and shook his head. "I just don't know what to do, or say or think anymore."
Daryl stretched his arms up above his head, hearing the bones crack and sockets pop. He winced as he felt the stitches in his side pull. "What do you mean, you don't know what to say?" He asked. "You're not hiding some big secret, right?" He said jokingly, whilst curiosity tugged at his mind.
Alex smiled and gave him a strange look. "Wouldn't you like to know?" He said in a mock mysterious tone.
Daryl grabbed up some rolled up socks from next to his sleeping bag and lobbed them at Alex's head. In that moment he didn't care if he had torn his stitches that Hershall had fixed him up with, because the look on Alex's face was worth it.
"Hey." Alex cried as his reflexes kicked in, and knocked them out of the way before they reached their target. "That better not be an old pair of undies!"
"Undies?" Daryl mocked with a scoff. "What are you, 8?"
Alex stuck his tongue out in retaliation. "Maybe." He said childishly.
Daryl just rolled in eyes and pointedly stared up at the ceiling.
Movement in the doorway interrupted their little dispute and Andrea walked in to the tent, hesitantly casting Alex a nervous look.
Alex heaved himself up from the floor with a sigh. "Well, I'm off. Things to do, people to see."
He nodded to Andrea as he walked out of the tent.
"Hey!" Daryl's shout caused him to pause in the doorway. "Don't cause trouble."
Alex sent him a feral grin. "Wouldn't dream of it." He said before disappearing into the bright morning sun that was creeping around the corner of the tent flap.
Daryl pointed his focus on to the woman who nervously stood in the tent, her hands kept fidgeting around their hold on a book in her grasp. He decided to let her stew, waiting for her to make the first move.
After an awkward silence, Andrea took a breath before she turned to Daryl and tossed him a book.
"This isn't that great, but-" She trailed off as Daryl read the cover 'The Case of the Missing Man' book which had fallen into Daryl's lap.
He skimmed through the pages. "What, no pictures?"
Andrea smiled and sent an apologetic smile. "I'm so sorry, I feel like shit."
Daryl grunted in response and looked up at her. "Yeah, you and me both."
"Look, I don't expect you to forgive me, but if there's anything I can do-" She said earnestly.
Daryl shook his head and waved a hand in her direction to cut her off. "You were protecting the group. I'm good."
Andrea smiled and nodded in relief, her shoulders slumped like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders. She moved as if going to take a step towards the doorway before hesitating. Daryl lifted an eyebrow as he waiting to see what else she wanted.
"You know Alex." She began hesitantly.
"I may have seen the runt around from time to time, sure." He drawled.
She huffed and shot him a glare. "That's not what I-." She composed herself and began again. "After I sort of shot you." She hurriedly said awkwardly. "Alex came to see me in one of the barns."
Daryl sat up slightly in interest from where he was laid up on the camp bed.
She continued, "I was in there trying to calm down. I didn't know if you were okay, and everyone was avoiding me so I needed some space, and he found me there. He basically confronted me about shooting you and said some stuff."
Daryl huffed out a laugh. "Well he kind of had a point."
She rolled her eyes. "Obviously. But in the moment, I was so wound up and mad and embarrassed that I sort of yelled at him and he threatened me." She paused to see Daryl looking slightly dubious from her accusation. "He managed to somehow grab my gun, empty the bullets and get my knife which he threw into the straw. Which, by the way, took ages to find!" She finished with a whine.
Daryl sighed, it seemed that Alex didn't tell him everything that happened last night. "Look, I heard about his melt down with Carol and Lori. It sounds like he was just tired and worried about Sophia. As for the way he spoke to you, and I don't wanna sound vain, but he was probably just shaken up about what happened to me."
Andrea rubbed her eyes. "That's a lot of 'probablys and 'maybes' Daryl."
He shrugged. "That's the best I can do. Just give him space today, he's not a threat to you despite what he said."
"But how do you know?" She asked.
"Cos he's a good kid." He said.
There was a moment of silence whilst they both processed the thoughts flying through their heads.
After a while she nodded to herself as she seemed to come to a conclusion. "Sorry again for the whole shoot you thing." She smiled weakly.
As she turned to walk out of the tent, Daryl's shout called her attention back.
"Hey! Shoot me again, best prey I'm dead." He called out with a smirk.
She grinned before continuing her trek.