Part A: Rick
Rick looked at the walkie for what seemed ages. Hearing Michonne's voice after all of these years made him feel alive again.
Conner and Heath both smiled and let Rick have his moment.
"Let's go to them. They're not far and damn I want my girl now" Rick said with a look of hunger no other had seen in him before.
Conner's smile turned as he tapped the collar around his throat. Rick made a feral sound like a lion would right before attacking its prey.
He put his hand up to the metal contraption around his throat and made the same sound again. They were reminded daily that if they left their controllers designated area that they would receive a sharp shock, most of the time deadly.
Rick finally just slumped to the ground and buried his face in his hands. He felt defeated all over again. The knowledge of Heath and Conner sitting at his sides didn't help much.
Jadis was their controller and she left a very small range of motion for them. He wanted to wrap his hands around her throat until all the life in her was gone but even trying would enact a immediate death.
"You guys need some help?" came a voice from the little plain below. Rick and the others looked down and saw a man in a cowboy hat, and some others including a man Rick never thought he would see again, Morgan.
Before Rick could answer Morgan was leading his group right to them. Once they arrived Morgan wrapped his arms around Rick and held him tightly.
"I heard you died" Morgan said releasing his grip. "I almost did" Rick said smiling. "What's that piece of machinery on your neck?" Morgan asked looking worried. "This is an amplified shock collar, if we leave this friendly circle made by our not so friendly Jadis, we will be shocked to death.
Morgan looked at the ground at Jadis's name. He never trusted her fully and now he knew why.
"I can get that off" came a voice in the crowd. A young man in his mid to late 20's with stringy hair and a body to match cane towards them. Attached to his left hand was a more muscular guy who had a look of trouble maker on him.
"Rick these are my friend Nick and Troy" Morgan said as they came closer. "Nice to meet you both but any try at removing them will kill both of us instantly" Rick said, sounding like a man who has given up.
Without any more talk, Nick moved behind Rick while Troy moved to the front grabbing Rick's arms and holding them tightly.
"Hold still captain, Nick is a fucking genius with this shit" Troy said grinning from ear to ear. Rick let his body relax as best as he could and closed his eyes. He had seen people try before and it always ended up horribly.
"3,2,1" he heard Nick say and then he hears it, the snap of the collar coming off. His heart started beating faster and he felt his optimism in seeing his family again grow.
"Where did you learn to do that?" Rick asked astonished but thankful. "Oh this psycho chick who is still following us by the way, had those on us and Troy and I might've used some of the meaner guys to practice on until we got it right" Nick said pulling Troy in for a deep, passionate kiss.
"Now Rick, shall we go get your girl? Heath said as Nick untangled his lips from Troy's and undid their collars as well. Rick nodded and with the help of his new friends they gathered up their guns and supplies and followed the trail Jadis had taken.
"Just wait Michonne, I'm coming to you my love" Rick said as his new found group started heading out.
Part B: The Safe Houses
Gracie pulled the string back and released it like Daryl had showed her earlier that day. She could feel the vibration run up her arm as she did so. It felt great. It felt even better when the arrow hit the target dummy right in the head.
"Wow Gracie you've gotten really good at that" Judith said from behind. "I've been practicing all day" Gracie said putting the bow down and going over to judith, her face flushing a slight pink.
Judith laughed softly, took Gracie's hand and pulled her in for a small kiss. Gracie gladly returned the kiss.
"Ewww gross" came a voice from the other side of the dummy. "Who are you?" Judith said putting herself between Gracie and the boy.
"I am Hershel Rhee Greene and I came with my mom from the commonwealth". "Well, Hershel Rhee Greene kissing someone you love isn't gross" Judith said pulling Gracie to her side.
"How would you both like to kiss me?" Hershel asked with a grin. "Eww both girls said and ran off laughing towards Gracie's house to continue prep for the wedding whenever it could happen.
"You'll both be mine" Hershel said and went back to eating his snack cake he had been eating when he heard the girls.
Negan and Maggie
She did it for them.
Maggie's eyes stayed closed as she welcomed Negan's embrace. He had strong arms and she could feel they were protecting her. She even liked the feel of his hand in her hair as he repeated "it will be alright"
She scoffed at herself for being so weak. For throwing herself like a maiden in distress into a man's arms and crying. Then she remembered why.
When she had seen Negan free she saw red. Lydia helped relieve a small portion of it but not all. Once Lydia was out of the room, Maggie planned on slitting the man's neck for real this time.
But, then came the voices
"Maggie Greene, your worth more than this. Sometimes it feels like forgiveness is impossible but it isn't" said her fathers voice as it played in her head.
"It's time my Maggie. Hershel is eight now and you deserve happiness. I have forgiven Negan, and i believe you can as well" Glenn's voice said after her dads had stopped.
Maggie could feel the truth. Both men had found a way to forgive Negan even from the other side. The tears welled up and the next thing she knew she was in Negan's arms.
She wasn't crying for her hatred towards Negan, she wasn't crying because she felt guilty for hating him. No, she cried because she realized that they were at peace and that allowed her to be at peace in a way.
The anger and guilt she let go wasn't the anger and guilt she felt around Negan, it was the anger and guilt at herself for what happened to both her dad and Glenn.
They had given her a way to move forward and she wouldn't waste it. She didn't know if that meant with Negan or not but at least she had one person at the moment to cling to.
And so she allowed herself to cling. Allowed herself to relax and before she even knew it, she was fast asleep in Negan's arms and was sleeping peacefully.
Negan watched as her body calmed down and smiled. He knew that those tears weren't for him but he was glad to see whomever they were for allowed this badass woman some peace.
"Maybe one day sleeping beauty, you will cry tears like that for me" Negan said and gently picked her up and took her to one of the empty beds. He wanted to lay with her but that wouldn't have been right so he went to the cot next to hers and laid down.
Closing his eyes, he realized just how tired emotionally and physically he was, Negan watched Maggie until he himself drifted off to the most restful sleep he had had in a long time.
Part C: Michonne
Michonne kept her sword drawn as her and Jadis headed to where she hopefully would find Rick.
"You know these people will hunt you and him no matter where you go" Jadis said as they walked.
"Then they will learn what happens when you mess with us" Michonne growled poking Jadis's back with the tip of her sword.
Michonne thought about the excited looks on Judith and RJ's faces when she brought the brave man home.
As they walked they noticed people coming at them from the west. That's when she spotted him. Spotted the man she never gave up hope would be alive.
As the big group approached from the opposite direction they were heading Michonne knew Jadis had lied about taking her to them.
Returning her gaze back to Jadis, she saw the woman's hand reaching for a hidden weapon, her eyesight set on Rick. Michonne's vision turned red and without any hesitation drove her katana through the back of her head with the point of the sword sticking out of Jadis's left eye.
Michonne smiled as she watched Jadis's arm go limp and her gun fall to the ground with a satisfying thud.
No one moved. Except for one. Michonne felt his arms wrap around her neck and he kissed her. He kissed her like she was the last living person on the planet. He kissed her like he always kissed her, like she was a goddess.
No one moved. No one dared pull them apart. Finally after several minutes they slid apart, not to far but far enough to breathe and talk.
"Shall we go home everyone?" Rick asked the group and turning to Michonne said "shall we go home Ms. Richonne Grimes, I cant wait to see my not so baby girl again" Rick said kissing her cheek.
Michonne grinned and said "you also have a son waiting to meet his brave man". Ricks eyes filled with tears and without needing to say another word, the group headed back to the coordinates Daryl had given Michonne.