Author's Notes: To everyone that reviewed the last story, you guys freaking rock! I had always wanted to write an AU story about the characters, I just never thought it'd do well. I also wanted to explore what these complex characters would of been like if the world had never ended. I'm just hoping I can do them all justice.

Anyway, here's the next chapter!


Chapter 2: Promise

Atlanta Police Department, 3:30 PM

When Rick had first joined the police force out in Kings County, he had always thought things would have been different from would they turned out to be. When he was younger he thought being a cop meant being involved in all the challenging high-profile cases, working with the best trained police officers, rising through the ranks fast and never having a dull day.

So he took a leap of faith on his dreams, and became a cop, thinking the experience would be just like he had dreamed it up to be. As it turned out, the reality of being a cop and his dreams of being a cop, were two very different things.

Most of his police work wasn't really that challenging, it was more cut and dry, most of the crimes he dealt with never really needed any solving done in the first place, they just needed an officer there to either help prevent a situation from turning into a worse crime or clean up after it.

It would always be the same cases everyday; the domestic disturbance case; couples or people arguing or fighting, till the cops got called and had to break it up, the petty drug case, that only ended up wasting tax payer money, and maybe the occasional robbery, but living in a small town meant that the robber was usually someone the entire town knew, and it'd only take a week or so to actually catch them. Everything turned in to a routine, and eventually he just got use to it.

Then came the day that changed Rick's life as a police officer forever.

Him and Shane had gotten an APP over their squad car radio from a neighboring county about two armed suspects involved in a high-speed chase heading in to Kings County. When the radio hadn't said though was that there was more than just two suspects, there was actually four.

That wrong information would coast the lives of four other officers, and it had almost coasted Rick his life as well, if it hadn't been for Shane pulling him out-of-the-way from an oncoming bullet, who knows what might of happened to him. In the end, after the fire fight was over, him and Shane had been last men standing.

Everything had changed after that day.

Kings County had mourned the last of four of their officers, but hailed Rick and Shane as heroes. They were in news paper, they were on TV, they were on the internet, everyone wanted to know their story.

Things were different at home for Rick though, Lori and him hadn't been doing too good before the shooting, and it seemed the shoot out only made things worse, it got to the point where they went from fighting about everything, till they just stopped speaking to each.

Then one day he came home and found Lori waiting for him with her bags packed, she leaving, going stay with her family in Kentucky.

He really wasn't sure what happened after that. There had been a lot crying, yelling, screaming, insults traded back and forth, it was almost like every fight they had ever gone through had been brought back up to the surface. Finally the fighting had gotten so bad, that Rick had ben the one to suggest that maybe they should just get a divorce.

Everything after that was just going with the motions of being a hero cop who was getting divorced from his from his wife. Then out of the blue, another surprise had come his way, in the form of a promotion and transfer no less.

It turned out the suspects Shane and him had busted had been some high-profile criminals wanted by the FBI, of and since the two of them had been the ones to take them down, they were being offered a transfer to work in the city of Atlanta and to be promoted to defective.

It hadn't taken Rick long on making up his mind about Atlanta, for him, moving to Atlanta meant a fresh start for him and for Carl, hoping that maybe living in the big would keep his mind off his parents getting a divorce. Shane had taken the promotion and transfer without a second thought in his mind, saying that since he was Rick's partner, they were stuck together till the end.

So, with nothing left to lose, he packed up everything he could, sold the family's house, signed a lease for a new apartment in the city, which of course Shane got an apartment right next to his, and moved out of Kings County with his son and best frien. And well, the rest is history.

As Rick continued to think about the past, he wandered aimlessly around the Atlanta police department, looking for the Captain's office to his squad, as he turned down a hallway, that he could have sworn he had passed before, he was stopped by a woman.

The woman was wearing a black and red pantsuit, she had ebony skin, with a blemish free complexion, her long, dark dreadlocks were wrapped in a tight pony-tail, her face was almost unreadable, masked with an expression that he just couldn't place.

"You look lost." She said, staring at him with sharp, calculating, onyx eyes.

Rick sheepishly rubbed the back of his head, almost feeling intimidated by the woman's stare. "What makes you think I'm lost?"

There was amusement in the woman's eyes, but her expression still didn't change. "Because you've walking around this station in circles for the last twenty minutes."

Rick wasn't sure what surprised him more; the fact that he had been going in circles, or that this woman had apparently been watching him. "And you watched me walk around in circles for that long?"

The woman shrugged her shoulders, then said. "It's my job to know who people are and what they're."

"Well, I don't know what your job is." Rick shot back, staring back at the woman.

"If I said I was the captain of police, would you believe?" She asked, stepping forward, placing a hand on her hip.

Rick studied the woman, her cloths didn't say anything about rank at all, and something about the presence she gave off didn't say she was an average cop, at least not the type of cop that he had met in his life.

"No." He finally said, still looking into the woman's eyes.

The corners of the woman's lips twitched up, "Very good, detective Grimes."

"How do you know my name?" Rick asked, confusion displayed on his face.

The woman pulled a business card, she then walked forward and placed it in Rick's hand, she then got close to his ear and whispered. "Like I said, it's my job to know who people are."

Wordlessly, the woman backed away from him, then disappeared down a hallway, with a smug grin on her face.

Rick stood frozen in place, wondering what the hell had just happened. After a moment his brain had succeeding in rebooting itself, shaking his head, he looked down at the business card the woman had just given him, hoping to get some answers.

Look down at the card, he learned that her name was Michonne, but what he also found out was that right under her name read 'Internal Affairs'

Rick looked up from the card, even more confused that he had just been. Why in the world did a woman from Internal Affairs just play mind games with him.

Sighing, he placed the card in his wallet, "This is gonna be a long day." Rick said to himself, as he continued his search for the Captain's office.

After getting lost about half a dozen times, Rick finally found his Captain's office door. He took a deep breath, trying to shake off the nerves he was still feeling from speaking with that woman. Deciding it was now or never, he lightly knocked on the door.

"Come in!" Yelled a voice from the other side.

Taking another deep breath, Rick opened the door.

Sitting at a mahogany desk, was his Captain and new commander, he was kind looking gentleman, with balding white hair, maybe in his early or mid 60's, there was a strong sense of honor justice about him, at least that's what Rick felt looking at the man.

Holding up a phone to his ear, the man mouthed one minute to Rick, he then said. "Alright, Harrison, send the girls my love." He then hung up the phone and outstretched his hand to Rick. "Afternoon, son. I'm Captain Dale Horvath."

Rick shook hand. "Detective Ri-"

"I know your name, son." Dale said cutting him off. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Detective Rick Grimes, have a seat." He gestured to one of the chairs in front of his desk and Rick sat down.

The Captain reached into his desk and pulled out a vanilla colored folder and placed it on the desk, "So, Detective Grimes, hows your boy liking the city?"

Rick went to answer, but paused for a moment, he hadn't even say he had a son yet. He gave Dale a questioning look, wondering if he was going to have another situation like he had just been through with the woman from internal affairs.

God he hoped not.

Dale then started to chuckle, smacking the desk lightly. "Don't worry, Detective Grimes, I'm just having some fun." He said, reading the worry on Rick's face. "Your partner, Shane told me about your son. Said something about hoping to scaring the daylights out of you. How did that go by the way?"

"I almost thought I was gonna get shot." He replied.

"Well we wouldn't want that happening again." Dale said, looking at him dead in the eyes, smile doping from his face.

"Sir?"

The captain's smiled returned and he started laughing again. "I'm sorry, son. I just couldn't resist trying out my Michonne impression. I'm guessing you've already met her."

"How did you know about that?" Now Rick was really confused.

Dale's smile grew, "When you entered my office, you had a lost look in your eyes; Michonne can have that effect on people.

Pulling out the business card the woman gave him, Rick stared at it for a moment, questioning again what the woman had wanted from him.

"Sir, am I in trouble?" Rick asked holding up the card.

Dale shook his head "No, son. She's just probably got some questions rolling around in her head. And I have my own questions as well."

"And what are questions do you have, sir?"

"I just want to know what kind of man you are."

"What kind of man, sir?" Rick repeated, confused at the question."

Sighing, Dale stood, he walked over to his office window overlooking the city, and for that moment, he looked much older than he actually was, he rubbed his eyes lightly, trying to wash away the tired, old images of the past the began to play in his vision as he stared out at the city he had sworn to protect and serve.

"I've seen a lot of stuff, detective Grimes. " He said with a heavy tone, "I've seen a lot bad things happen to good people, and sometimes there is no happy ending after, no justice. I've had to watch as the men and woman under my command lost faith in this city, lost faith in this department, and finally, lost faith in themselves."

Dale stopped for second, mentally counting how many officers had lost themselves under his command, then giving a bitter, short laugh he remembered that it didn't if it was only 1 or 100, they were still souls he hadn't been able to save.

"This isn't like Kings County, son." The older man said, turning away from the window to look at Rick. "You're going to see some terrible things, and like it or not, you will take this job home with you."

For the second time today, Rick was questioning if moving to the city had been the best idea. He looked at his new command, doubt clearly visible on his face. "I don't want this to change me." He said truthfully.

"It will." Dale said sighing, somberly, he put a hand on Rick's shoulder. "It always does."

"Then...then how do I not let it break me?"

A faint smile returned to Dale's face. "Your son." He answered.

"My son?" Rick repeated.

Dale nodded, walking back over to his desk and sitting down. "The only thing that makes this job, is the support and love from your family and friends." He said sincerely. "No one can make it alone in this world."

Listening to the old captain speak, started to make the doubt in Rick's mind fade away and determination take its place.

"You just have to remember, son. When the world goes, don't let it take you down with it."

"I won't, sir. I promise." Rick said honestly.

Dale's smile returned. "I hope so, son. I hope so."


Grimes Apartment, 8: 00 PM

"You really grew up on a farm?" Carl asked Beth.

"You bet." The girl answered proudly, smiling brightly at him.

The two of them were sitting upside down on a leather coach in the living room, trading stories about themselves back and forth. They had been talking for hours and had no plans of stopping soon.

When Carl first heard that he would be stuck with a babysitter while waiting for his dad to get off of work, he had thought the worst. Memories of the boring, stuck up babysitters he use to be forced to deal with in Kings county played in his mind, and he feared that would be the same type of person he was going to be stuck with again. But after meeting Beth Greene, Carl knew that he had been so wrong.

She told him about herself, how she had moved in to the city recently like him, she was living with her older sister only a couple blocks away from his apartment, she volunteered at an animal hospital after school and during the summers, and she loved to sing, which he personally thought was pretty cool since he had never met a singer before.

Then he talked about himself, he told her how he had moved to the city because of his dad's promotion, what life was like back in Kings County, how his uncle Shane would never be allowed un-supervized near thanksgiving dinner again. And, She listened to every world he said, and it felt actually being able to talk to someone new.

The girl was probably everything he expected his babysitter not to be; she was fun, easy-going, and pretty...not that he cared about that sort of thing...

"There are farms in the city?" Carl silently hoped his uncle Shane didn't find out, the man had already been kicked off a farm before after breaking into a burn and starting a fight with a roster and a cow then demanding he should be able to buy them and eat them.

"No silly, outside of Atlanta." Beth laughed, shaking her head. "Maybe you can see it one day, we have lots of animals; goats, chickens, rosters, cows."

Carl made a mental note to never tell his uncle about the farm.

Sliding off the coach, Beth got close to Carl's face and poked him in the forehead "Now Mr. Grimes, since we've been talking for so long, you have to make me a promise."

"Um wh-what kind of promise?" Carl asked, blushing at how close Beth's face was to his.

Beth looked him in the eyes sternly and held out her pinky to him. "A pinky promise."

"Aren't we a little old for that?" He asked, trying to remember the last time he had to make a pinky promise.

"You're twelve!" Beth said to him.

"Hey, I'll be thirteen soon!" Carl shot back, he then said. "Aren't you a little old for that?"

Beth lightly bopped Carl on head and stuck her tongue out at him playfully. "I'm only fifteen, jerk!"

"Fine, whats the promise?" He asked, extending his pinky to her.

Smiling, Beth entwined their pinky fingers. "It's a promise to always be friends, no matter what."

"You and me...we're friends now?" Carl asked, surprised that he had made a friend his first day in Atlanta.

Beth looked down, blushing a little. "I really don't know many people here, you'd actually be my first friend in Atlanta."

"You'd be mine too." Carl admitted truthfully.

Feeling less embarrassed, Beth looked back up at Carl, her smile had grown ear to ear and he couldn't help but grin sheepishly back at her. She just seemed to have that effect on him.

"So I guess this makes us friends, right?" He asked as they shook hands with their pinkies.

Carl's only answer was a wink and her bopping him again on the forehead.


Author's Notes: Well, this couldn't get anymore AU then it already is haha. I know that police promotions don't work out the way I wrote it, at least I hope they don't! Anyway, Thanks for reading, Please Review and if you have any questions, suggestions, or feedback, I'd love to hear them.

Seeya Soon.

~Solareon