Summary: The more time that passed, the more they realized that the only thing harder than surviving in this new world, was trying to find a life worth living. A series of 22 pieces staring Beth and Carl.
Author's Notes: I've been meaning to write this for a while, but I kept getting distracted by other stories I'm writing at the moment, but after seeing a disturbing lack of Carl/Beth stories, I just thought I might as well get this out of my head.
Disclaimer: The walking Dead and all its characters belongs to Robert Kirkman, AMC, Telltale Games and whoever else I'm forgetting to mention.
Warning: Rated T for language, violence, and many other stuff and things, but will change with each chapter.
Those words were all Beth could think about, the only way she could describe the horror she was seeing; the prison fences were destroyed, torn apart by misses, from tanks, grenades, and walkers.
The people they had rescued from Woodbury, their people, were all gone; torn apart from bullets and walkers, sometimes not in the order.
They had tried to fight back, hoping that making a last stand would save the prison, but in the end, it didn't even matter. The Governor had returned, bringing an army of savages with. The sick, monster of a man had learned his lesson from his last attack on the prison, no longer were his soldiers untrained, naive citizens, no, his army now was ruthless, deadly, and their motto was 'No Survivors'
The first ones to die were the Woodbury refuges; elderly, woman, children, the Governor's men killed them all without a second thought.
She wasn't sure who was alive and who was dead anymore, she had been separated from the group, she didn't even know if Judith was even alive anymore. She wanted to pray, she wanted to talk to god, to beg for help, but she couldn't even calm herself down enough to form a calculated thought. She wished Carl was here, he always knew how to help her in a stressful time, he always made her feel stronger, but he wasn't with them anymore, he hadn't been for a long time.
Carl had left the prison some time after the Woodbury Refugees had come to live with their group, he had runaway in the middle of the night, managing to sneak past the security of the prison, the only thing he had left behind was a note that read:
'If you won't do what you have to do, than I will. I'm sorry. Goodbye'
They had looked for Carl for months, but they found no traces of him, not even Daryl could find his trail. Most of the group never really got over him leaving. Rick had blamed himself, it had taken days for Michonne and Daryl to even get him out of his cell. Her daddy had felt guilty for not being able to console him, like Rick, he had taken it as a person failure. For Carol, it had been like losing another child all over again, she looked at Carl as a son, and not knowing if he was alive or dead felt like the search for Sophia all over again. Daryl wouldn't talk to anyone but the main group, hating himself for not being able to find another missing child. Michonne had become even more stoic, only showing any emotion to the main group and the main group alone, to everyone else she was as cold, if not colder than she had been in the first days in Woodbury. And Beth couldn't just understand why Carl had left the group, had left her, she knew he was angry, she knew their were problems he had to deal with, she just thought she could be there for him, and that they could deal with them together.
None of that mattered anymore though, everything was gone, the prison, their group. They had been broken.
Without knowing it, Beth had ended up outside of the prison, she stumbled over a corpse, and fell on top of it, she caught a glimpse of the Corpse's face, and she couldn't stop the tears from streaming down her face.
The corpse had been Maggie, her older sister, her last surviving sibling.
"God, no, please, please no." She whispered desperately, as she clung to her sister's body, she didn't notice a group of the Governor's men approach her.
They raised their rifles, and Beth didn't even bother to look at them. Nothing matter anymore, she feared it'll all end this way, she had tried to tell herself over and over again that things were getting better, that she wouldn't have to be afraid of getting killed or eaten anymore.
Christ had she been wrong.
Beth hung her head low, touching her sister's forehead with her own, she wasn't going to fight anymore, all she wanted was to be able to see Otis, Patricia and her family again.
"Please, "She cried out quietly, "just end it."
Just as soldiers raised their rifles to fire, a loud, rage filled screamed caught their attention.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Carol had appeared behind the three armed men, "Get away from her, you bastards!" She dug a machete into the eye of the first man, then quickly, she spun around and cut off the second man's head.
The third man had raised his rifle to attempt to fire out the rage filled woman, but she was too quick, too feral, for him to counter. She dove onto the man, knocking his rifle out of his hands, she then dug both of her thumbs into the man's eyeballs, the man screamed and pleaded for mercy, but Carol didn't stop until she heard a satisfying pop.
The man's pleases ended once and for all.
Getting off of the corpse, Carol walked over to Beth, the girl still hadn't looked up from Maggie's body. "Beth, get up." Carol said panting.
Beth shook her head, tears dripping on Maggie's face. "There's nothing left, Carol. We can't...we should just give-"
Whatever Beth had been about to say had been cut off by Carol picking the girl up by her shirt roughly and forcing her to look her in the eyes.
Beth saw something she had never seen in Carol's eyes before; Rage, pure and inconsolable rage.
"You're not dying here, and I'm not losing you!" Carol screamed. "Not to walkers, not to these godless monstrous men, and certainly not to yourself!"
Beth started to shake in Carol's iron grip, tears were rolling down her face uncontrollably, she hated feeling so weak. She went to plead again with Carol, to beg the woman to just let her die, but the woman cut her off again.
"I've already lost one daughter, please don't ask me to lose another." Carol said. She started to cry, but even with her cheeks stained with tears, Beth could still feel the rage that was boiling inside of the woman.
Not knowing what to do or say, Beth buried her head into Carol's shoulder and sobbed, she cried harder than she had done in her entire life.
As Beth cries echoed softly in her ear, Carol stroked the back of her head, watching as the place they had called home was laid under siege.
It felt like forever since the prison had fallen, Beth wasn't sure how much time had passed; months, years, she had stopped counting.
All she knew was that her world had ended. Again.
The prison falling had change them, changed them in ways the first months of the outbreak hadn't. Any traces of their old selves had long since faded away. They were colder, more ruthless, and just a little less hopeful than they would have liked.
They had only returned to the prison once after it fell, and after seeing what was left, Beth wished she just left well enough alone.
A place they had looked at as their sanctuary, was now in ruins, the only thing that was left was the dead, nothing living had survived, and if it did, it had long since left.
Even though Maggie had been the only member of their old group to be confirmed dead, they still mourned all of their friends, their family, because even if anyone had survived, the chances of finding them again were slim to none.
After that, life became a simple routine; survive, endure, survive.
In a way, they had both died in the prison, only to be born again in blood.
They stopped trying to find a safe haven, realizing that nowhere was safe anymore, they decided that life on the road was just better than some false hope.
Currently they were traipsing through Alabama, hoping that the winter wouldn't be as bad further south, and luckily it hadn't been, the coldest day they had experienced so far hadn't even gone below 35, or at least that's what the poor excuse for a thermometer was reading.
Beth side-stepped a sluggish moving walker, then quickly taking her machete out of its case, she decapitated it, making sure to slice it through the brain, just to be safe. Carol, who had watched from the side lines, gave a nod of praise towards her, happy that the young woman had become strong enough to not need her protection anymore.
In the time that had passed, Beth learned many things living back on the road, for one, vanity was overrated. She cut off her long locks of blonde hair, and settled for a shorter haircut like Carol, her hair was now easier to clean and harder to grab by the dead and living.
There were harder lessons to learn, like hunting and tracking, but if they had wanted to eat, they had to pick it up fast.
The hardest lesson she had learned was killing; when, why, and how, those were the only things that mattered any more when it came to taking a life. And most of the time only the when and how seemed to come up. The first time she had killed another living person, she had nightmares for weeks, but now, it didn't even bother her that much. She sometimes hoped if her daddy was still alive, he'd never find her, she wasn't sure if she could face him after what she's had to do to survive.
Even so, not a day passed by where she didn't miss him. If she was honest with herself, she missed everyone from her old group, but the person she thought about the most from day-to-day was Carl. She sometimes liked to think since he wasn't present when the Governor returned, that maybe he was still alive, surviving out on his own, that maybe her and Carol could find him again, and maybe, just maybe, they could have a piece of their old family back again.
The thought would vanish from her head quickly though as quickly as it would come.
If the entire group couldn't find Carl, then she knew the chances of her and Carol find him were slim. It saddened her to think that way, but the odds of Carl still being alive after all this time were almost none existent at this point.
Holding out her machete, Beth let the pouring rain clean off the blade, when she was sure it was clean enough, she slid it in back in its case and the two woman started walking deeper in to the woods. Their feet sunk slightly in to ground with each step, it had rained constantly for the last couple of days, and every was soaking wet. In a way it was actually a good thing, it made being tracked by other survivors harder, but it also made tracking animals to hunt harder as well, either way, Beth just wanted to get back to their little camp and change out of her soaked clothes.
After a mile of walking, the sound of twigs snapping softly caught their attention. Carol rolled her rifle off of her shoulder, silently motioning for Beth to do the same.
Carol had a suspicion that they were being stalked, she knew Beth was feeling the same too. They weren't being paranoid either, even though the rain had been pouring down hard, it still wouldn't mask the sound of a walker or animal stumbling around, no, it had to have been a living person, the steps they were hearing were to gentle, to careful, the dead didn't sneak, the dead didn't stalk, the dead just eat.
The wind started to pick up, making the trees howl and the rain hit their faces. Beth saw a shadow move though the trees, she fired in the blink of an eye, and a faint grunt of pain told her she hit her target. Just as she was about to fire again, she felt the cold steel press against the back of her head.
Carol whipped around to point her rifle at the stranger holding Beth at gunpoint, but before she could let at a shot, she too felt the barrel of a gun pressing against the back of her head.
"Drop your weapons." Said the first stranger, their voice was muffled by a black helmet covering their face, but it was clearly feminine. The second stranger, who had a more masculine build, lightly tapped Carol on the head, telling her to follow the directions that had just been said.
The two woman both let go of their rifles and let them drop to the wet ground, mud soon began to cover the weapons, and Beth mentally cursed. It was going to be a pain clean those when, or if they got of this alive.
Then without warning, the female Stranger pistol whipped Beth in the back of the head and her world went dark right after.
Groaning softly, Beth slowly opened her eyes, her vision was blurred slightly, but when it cleared up, it was only mildly better than having her eyes closed. Taking inspection of her surroundings, she noticed that she was in some type of interrogating room, it was faintly lit, with only a dim lightbulb hanging from ceiling, she also noticed that she was seated in some metal chair and that Carol was right next to her.
"How long was I out?" Beth said, she went to rub the throbbing spot of her head that had been pistol whipped, but her hand wouldn't move. Looking down at her hands, she noticed she was handcuffed to the metal chair she was sitting in. "Oh, please tell me I'm dreaming..."
"Sorry, baby. Not dreaming." Carol said in a mothering tone. "And you've been out for the last two hours."
Beth groaned again, she couldn't believe they'd been captured, she really couldn't believe that they were also still alive, a part of her wanted to know why, but she knew the reason probably wouldn't be anything good.
The sound of the door to the room opening caught their attention, one of the strangers that had captured them walked in, by the looks of their body type, it was the female stranger. She was dressed in some sort of military looking, black riot gear. She walked over to the table and took a seat, not saying a word, just staring at them from under her helmet. After two minutes passed in silence, the stranger finally spoke.
"Whats your name?" She said, voice muffled and filtered by her helmet.
Beth replied "What makes you thin we'll te-"
The stranger held a hand up, cutting her off. "I didn't ask you, Blondie. I asked her" The stranger said, pointing to Carol, causing the older woman to glare at their unknown capture in confusion. The stranger sighed, then grabbed her helmet, took it off and placed it on the table in front her.
Carol face went from cold anger to mild surprise when she got to see their captor's face; the woman, or rather girl, had dark bronze skin, making Carol guess that she could have been from hispanic decent, she was young, maybe even younger than Beth by a year or two, she sure looked it, well only in the face at least. Even though their captor had a young-looking face, her eyes looked old,and tired, like they had seen more of this terrible world, than most people should ever see.
"I'll repeat again." The girl said, slowly in a hispanic accent. "What. Is. Your. Name."
Carol glared at the girl "What does it matter to you?"
The girl smiled, though their was no amusement in her face, just rage, boiling up to the surface. "You wear a dead woman's face." She spat venomously, she then leaned forward, only a few inches were now separating her and Carol, she looked her dead in the eyes then said "Now answer my fucking questions."
"Peletier." Carol said with just as much malice as the girl. "Carol Peletier."
The girl backed away from Carol's person space, and ran a gloved hand through her dark coal hair, she then looked up at the blackened ceiling, taking a long, tired intake of breath.
Picking up her helmet that she had left on the table, the girl looked at it for a moment, she then let out an ear piercing scream and started to bash her helmet against a wall, cursing loudly with each strike. Finally, after her helmet was reduced to nothing more than a scrap of plastic, she tossed it aside. She then turned back to face Carol, looking far older than she had just looked.
Sadly, the girl then said quietly. "So, Sophia really is dead."
Carol froze in her seat, her face losing all color, the restraints that were keeping her locked to the chair, suddenly felt much heavier, her body started to tremble and her eyes got glassy. It had been so long since she had heard her own daughter's name, it almost felt foreign on her ears.
"How do..." Carol bit her bottom lip, trying to keep her voice calm and even. "How do you know that name?"
The stranger's eyes looked lost, dull and tired, the rage that had just been streaming out of her body had all but faded away, now the unknown girl looked just as she was; a girl, too young to be living in such a cold, hopeless world.
Wordlessly, she walked over to the door she had entered from, banged on it twice, then door opened and she walked out without giving a second glance back.
Beth watched the girl disappear, there were a million questions roaming around in her head, and judging by the desperate look on Carol's face, the woman wanted answers just as much, if not even more than she did.
An hour passed before the door to their room was opened again. The unknown girl had returned, but this time she had someone with her; a young man, who looked about her age, dressed in the same clothes, he looked related to the unknown girl, from the similar facial features he bore, to his bronze complexion, he could pass for a close family relative, maybe brother. He patted the girl once on the shoulder then walked out and closed the door behind me, but Beth had no doubt that he was on the opposite side of it, no doubt standing guard if anything were to happen.
The girl reached into her pocket, taking out an old, rusty looking key, she walked over to Beth and unlocked her restraints, then she did the same to Carol. Beth noticed that the girl's eyes were now bloodshot and glassy looking, almost like she had been crying.
"You never answered me questions." Carol said, glaring at the unknown girl.
Instead of answering Carol, the girl just asked "What does the name Morales mean to you?"
It took only a couple of seconds for Carol to register the name in her memory, eyes widening in rage, she stood up and slammed her hands on the table, Beth flinched, but the girl didn't even budge, neither did the young man in the corner of the room.
Carol then screamed at the girl. "How do you know these names?!
The girl looked up at Carol, she smiled sadly then said. "I thought giving my doll to Sophia back at the quarry would have given her luck." The girl then looked away from Carol, and placed her head in her hands. "Never have I been so wrong."
It took a moment for what the girl was saying to register with Carol, she had to search through memory, remembering so many different events that had happened since she had last been to Atlanta, and when she finally remembered, she felt almost foolish not matching the face to the name. Her legs suddenly felt weak, she collapsed into her chair and looked down at the ground.
"Eliza?" Carol said softly. "Eliza Morales?"
The girl nodded her head, looking away.
Beth stared at the girl who Carol had just identified as Eliza, she was just still just as lost as she had been before, the name didn't ring any bells to her.
"We thought...we thought you all had been lost." Carol said hoarsely, looking at the girl sadly.
"Not all of us," Eliza replied, rubbing at her eyes, trying to keep them dry. "They tried to keep me and my brother safe as long as they could, but in the end...their time ran out."
Beth finally spoke up, trying to get some answers of her own. "You've met her before?" She asked looking Carol.
The woman nodded her head slowly. "A very, very, Long time ago, deer. She was part of our original group"
"Which looks likes its gotten a lot smaller now." Eliza said, earning a glare from Beth, but the girl just shrugged it off.
There was a bang on the door, Eliza sighed and stood up. "I gotta go, but I'll have my brother, Louis show you guys to your room."
"Room?" Beth repeated in confusion.
Eliza nodded, "I've pulled some strings here and there, you guys can stay for a while at our camp, till some things get sorted out."
Not waiting for a reply, Eliza walked over to the door, she banged on it twice, the door opened up and the same boy from before walked it. She patted him on the shoulder, then walked out of the room.
The boy turned to Beth and Carol, smiling. "Well as my lovely sister just said; Lets get you guys to your room."
Beth looked at Carol, who still seemed to be trying to process the conversation she had just had with Eliza.
She lightly touched her shoulder,giving it a squeeze, feeling almost weird to be the one comforting Carol and not the other way around. Carol smiled faintly at her, thanking her silently. They then stood up and followed the boy out of the dark room and out the door.
When they walked out of the room, they were welcomed by a dark corridor, and even though they could barely see, the boy Louis seemed to have no problem leading them around.
After being lead around in the darkness for five minutes, Louis came to a door, he looked back at Carol and Beth and smiled a little. "Welcome to Fort Rucker, ladies."
Louis threw open the door, blinding Beth and Carol from the outside light for a moment, but when their pupils adjusted, they both gasped.
They had been in a military base the entire time, and by the looks of it, the base was still fully operational. There were armed survivors everywhere you looked, tanks, trucks, cars, there was a barbed wired fences surrounding every wall to the outside. For the last standing member of Hershel's farm and the last standing member of the Atlanta group, it looked like a sanctuary, something they had given up looking for long ago.
Beth looked from the base then back to Louis. "How is this possible."
Louis smiled "Hard work, that's how." He then said quietly, smiling falling a little. "And many sacrifices."
Shock wearing off some, Carol walked up to Louis, and put a hand on the boy's shoulder. "Your parents would be proud of you." She said in a mothering voice. "
The boy sniffed a little, nodding his head, before starting to lead them forward again. "Alright, let's get you guys to your room."
As they followed the young Hispanic teen around, Carol's mind was still lost in a sea of questions, while Beth's was just amazed at her surrounding.
Lost in their own world, they didn't even notice that Louis had brought them to their room already, he opened the door for them, and Beth was surprised again.
The room wasn't much, there were only two beds and a nightstand with a lantern in it, but compared to where they had been staying, it might as well been a Trump hotel. She also noticed that her and Carol's duffel bags from their camp were placed in the corner of the room and that their was a set of cloths on each of the beds.
"Sis told me to drop off you stuff from your camp and some spare cloths." Louis said noticing Beth looking at her and Carol's things.
Taking a step back, then teen then said. "Well, I leave ya guys to get settle in and change." He then went to walk out.
"Wait." Beth said making the teen stop short. "What happens now?"
Louis shrugged, rubbing the back of his head. "Well, me and sis gotta talk with Shane first, then we'll figure out what the long-term plan is for you two.
Beth and Carol shared a surprised look, thinking the same thing; He couldn't be talking about the same Shane, the Shane they knew had been dead for years now.
There was a knock on the door, Louis opened it up, and the teen smiled. "Ay, speak of the devil, come meet the new guests, hermano."
A young man walked in, he was dressed in the same the military styled riot gear that Eliza and Louis had been dressed in, only his was more in ruined, his boots were covered in mud, his jacket was ripped open and torn from almost every angle, he actually looked like someone had thrown him in barbed wire. His face was young, yet old-looking, sleepless bags had found their way under his eyes making them looked bruised, his face was unshaven, with light chestnut-brown whisker like hairs coming in.
A familiar looking sheriff's hat sat on top of a mess of short, spiky brown hair, his light, ice blue eyes looked directly at Beth and the girl felt her heart skip a beat.
There standing in front of her, was someone she hadn't seen in years, someone she had thought was lost forever, someone she had loved there was so many questions she wanted to ask, things she wanted to say.
She looked in to the young man's cold, blue eyes and whispered. "Carl?"
Author's Notes: Well that's the end of the first chapter. Please review and give me any feedback you have, good, bad, or weird, I love it all!
Till next time.