Rating: M for language, blood and violence, sexual innuendos, sexual tension, and, well, sex.

Serpents, A Walking Dead Fan Fiction

Where it Starts

It was a close call. Sitting in the back of the room with a bowl you would own, but they didn't know. Closing on my back I feel safe at times. Certain emblems tell me it's time, serpents in my mind…

Rick Grimes is staring.

Staring at the woman who is gone but is there. He knows she should not be there. Should not lure his gaze from stocking the trunk with gun supplies and onto a more favorable distance. But in spite of what should and should not be, she does.

And Rick stares.

As the forest's clear to see, so is Rick Grimes's wife. The white dress on a slim figure. A cool smile on the face framed by chestnut hair. And pallid cheekbones, embedded in warmth. Warmth even in death.

"You see something?"

There's a ripple in the white. Rick blinks and she's back.

But so is someone else.

The smoky female voice hauls Grimes's focus from the not-there wife and to the woman who is.

"I know you see things," she says. Her lips purse, a thought between them. "People."

Rick arches an eyebrow.

And how the hell do you know that?

As Deputy Sheriff made Survival Leader, Rick has encountered his share of types. People. He's gotten apt at reading them too. After all, one has to know folk's intentions before intention forms the action. The ache at his shoulder is raw reminder of that. Still Rick saw Morgan's blade-clenching fist was set on bringing pain. He just wasn't swift enough to stop it.

But Michonne? She's a peculiar one. Rick can never read her actions, intentions. Just who is she? A foe with an agenda under that unfazed gaze? Or the friend, an ally, whatever Rick considers the people who flicker into his life until the Unnatural snatch them away.

Rick hardly concerns himself with this foe-ally getting snatched away, though. The mulish Michonne isn't going nowhere. Hell, if walkers had sense in their one-track brains, he thinks they'd run from her. Rick remembers the first time he's seen Michonne. Fists clenched around the prison gates, Walkers flanking her sides, and a bullet in the leg.

Michonne, Michonne, Rick thinks on an absent shake of the head.

Like a cat, she evades the odds.

Like a cat, she evades him.

While Rick's jaw is lax, Michonne's is the exact opposite. Stern-chinned with keen eyes all too aware of his every moment. He doesn't doubt she notes the minute throb of his pulse, fighting the unshaven skin at his throat. Why does she stare like this? As if she's peeling him apart, layer by layer.

She won't get a confession, that's for certain.

Why yes, I do see people. In fact my dead wife is standing by those woods right now. Wave hello.

Rick looks away from Michonne. Let her stare all she wants. She isn't getting to his head. Into his head. The there and not-there wife already fills the position and at least she never points out his crazy.

Speaking of which, Rick finds her again. Silent and still as he knew she'd be. Rick's dead wife never speaks. Rarely, she moves. Though she does move now. Lifting a hand, her fingers stir the air from side to side. His gaze slims, as if there's sun in his eyes…

"I used to talk to my dead boyfriend."

Rick's gaze snaps over.

Michonne's lean shoulders raise then drop to a shrug. It's the most casual gesture Rick has ever seen her make. And what a thing to act casual about.

"It happens."

So seeing dead people just happens now?

This woman's peculiar, indeed.

The glimpse of white catches the corner of Rick's vision. He means to look to it, her, but the one currently under eye demands further inspection.

Grimes didn't know others went through this. Besides a long faced boy in that 90s movie, Rick wasn't aware others "saw" people like he does. Talked to them as he has. He isn't sure if Michonne's dead boyfriend ever rung her on the phone, but still.

Rick reclines on a heel, wears an intentionally dulled expression. He prepares to word the question at the edge of his tongue.

"And how'd you drop that habit?" He asks.

Michonne looks him on even.

"I stopped."

Slightly agitated, Rick pushes back his disheveled hair. Please. Too many details. I can't keep up.

"Stopped." Rick lifts his fingers and snaps. "Just like that?"

"Cold turkey. Yeah." An inflicted tone and a lift at her eyebrow; it comes off as a challenge, as if to say can't you?

In the backdrop, his wife's dress ruffles. It tempts Rick's eye but with Michonne's hawk stare, Rick won't address the temptation. He looks skyward instead.

"It ain't that easy," he says.

As if to blame it for this all, Rick glares at the dull flat blue. In ways, he can blame it. If Heaven's up there, it's where Lori should be. Instead she skirts the sidelines of his vision, muffles his thoughts, her soundless voice whispering his name—

"I only said that I stopped," Again it's the smoky voice that clears the smoke from Rick's brain, drawing him out from the depths of dead Lori lands. "Never said it was easy, did I?"

Rick drops his chin to watch Michonne watching him. Damn this woman can stare. It'd be hell on earth if the Devil challenges her to a staring contest. Fire and walkers everywhere.

Amused by his thoughts, Rick's lip quirks.

"Nah," he says. "You didn't."

Rick taps a finger to the buckle at his belt. An idle action, but one that catches Michonne's attention. As her eyes drop down, heat creeps under Rick's collar. What is he, a kid? She's drawn to his belt, a very nice belt which happens to lie across his nether region. Still, Rick's hot at the neck, Michonne's eyes aren't drawing up, and his loins begin to feel the weight of those eyes.

Rick clears his throat.

"You want to drive?" He asks, retrieving car keys from his shirt pocket.

Michonne removes her eyes. Finally.

"Yeah." There's a catch to her voice and her expression is one of unease. Flustered?

"Good." Rick holds out the keys. Michonne reaches for them and their fingertips meet but before letting her have the set, he pauses. "I see things."

Michonne's lips twitch. Full, curvy lips of a dark and pink tone. Full. Did he mention that? This detail's something Rick picks up on without trying. He also doesn't try to note how well those lips match up with her eyes. Eyes that aren't holding him in a challenging vice right now. They're relaxed, a subtle lilt at the corners. Feminine. Against the rich brown skin, the dark eyes and full lips compete for his attention.

Woah, woah wait. What competition? In fact, what is this? Squeezing the keys between their hands, their fingertips touching, and Rick getting attentive on her face like this?

If he wasn't out his mind, Rick would think he was flirting.

He should look away now. Release these keys and release his stare. But one second becomes two, two becomes three, and three becomes several more as neither Michonne or himself look away.

Then her lips part the slightest, a short pull in air. Rick wets his own lips.

Damn it.

He hadn't meant that. Or at least what it looked like it meant. It's not long till Michonne breaks the staring contest, snatches the keys from Rick's hands and turns. She slides away, leaving Rick at the rear of the car. And speaking of rears...his eyes drift down.

Make that two damns.

Well. Michonne got a good scope of his belt, so why can't he look at her jeans? Jeans that happen to have a particularly rounded backside fitted under them. Slim as Michonne is, the details just kinda…pops. Her shirt, slightly raised above the waistline, reveals the hint of indents at her back. Suddenly in desperate need of moisture, Rick's tongue goes out to the lips again.

Indents. Yes. Lori has indents. Very fine ones at her cheekbones. Rick doesn't need to look at Michonne's back dimples. Not when he has his wife's nice ones to…

But that's the thing, isn't it? He doesn't have those dimples. He doesn't have his wife.

That lady in white, beckoning his gaze, is dead.

Dead like the walkers, animated by a feverous hunger.

Dead like his best friend, animated by a fever long before he turned.

And Lori Grimes, wife of Rick Grimes, also dead. Dead and walking.

Animated by a husband's feverous hunger.

'Least Michonne stopped talking to her dead boyfriend.

Then again, it happens… right?

Rick's gone wife is still there. So close and impossibly far. Not flesh and bone and dimples, but a living picture of his past. Rick looks at her and a slim smile touches her face. Familiar. Warm. She beckons him to return it, but Rick firms his lip. Unlike when he'd teased Michonne, Grimes feels no urge to smile.

Not at a phantom.

The phantom never loses her smile, though it does lose something; its form. The silent figure steps back, melting into greenery as the dress wades around her ankles.

Then, slowly, ever so slowly, Lori is gone.

Rick stares at the spot she leaves behind. Stares until the car engine's rev startles him in action. Rick Grimes shakes his head like a dog ridding of the wetness of a bath. It's time to go. Adjusting the crib box and gun bags one last time, Rick slams the trunk shut. He feels light of head and feet as he moves alongside the car. As he passes the backseat window, his son looks up from behind it. Rick nods to him and Carl pinches the edge of the sheriff's hat. His dark eyes are his mother's. Iron imbeds Rick's back and he moves on.

Slipping into the passenger seat, Rick molds himself against the battered cushion. His eyes slip Michonne's way. One hand taps the steering wheel, the other settled against her thigh.

"Ready?" Michonne asks.

After a deep breath, Rick responds.

"Yeah," he says.

Michonne globes a hand around the shift and tugs it forward.

He holds her eye, she looks away, and they are driving.

The following days make no room for ghosts.

No room for anything, really, save for the thinking, the watching. Rick's okay with the thinking. The mind is a familiar space. He's alright watching too, even if it's not comfortable. Really, who gets comfortable rigging binoculars to their eyes for hours on end? Though it's what binoculars let him see that's all but contenting.

Such as those…things that are not really things. They're loose-limbed with messy staggers, yet they stagger with purpose. Foggy-eyed and beastlike brains, yet those brains have desires. Monsterous jaws on rotting skin, yet a human jaw on that rotting skin.

The walkers; they are human. The truth of that is a cold nail grazing Rick's spine.

But waiting is worse. Whether it's for a pal to return after he takes off on no word, presumably after his brother, or for the inevitable encounter with a woman whose life you were about to trade for some feeble peace of mind… Rick can't get cozy watching, but he can't stand waiting.

Yet wait he does. Hands clasped between knees and his nose pointed towards the floor. Pale light dusts the prison cell, shifting through the lateral windows to pool as far as Rick's feet. From there it's all cool shadow. He likes it this way.

"Lock yourself in dark cells often?"

Ah. There she is. The woman he's been waiting for. On a brief exhale, Rick unfolds his shoulders.

"I don't mind self-imprisonment," he says. "It's all this dust I mind."

An itch hits the throat and Rick raises a fist to his mouth and coughs. Shoulda knocked on wood.

"Not very scenic either," Michonne says.

Rick looks about the cell. Well, let's see. Gray slate for wall. Gray block for table. Gray square for bible.

"No, not scenic."

He decides to make it scenic by looking at her.

Yeah. She's a much more vibrant sight than all that gray. Lean body, dark skin, bright eyes. Eyes that look him straight on. And just as when he'd first met her, the something in between them. The first time it was gates. Now it is bars.

"The smell's what gets to me," Michonne says, distaste clear in her tone. "Stale."

Michonne wrinkles her nose and Rick bites on his lip to keep a smile down. Now is not the time to smile, but the way she looks with her nose all scrunched up... it's…cute.

Michonne clasps the cell door and there's a grunt of steel.

"Can I come in?" she asks, drawing it open.

Rick lets the suppressed smile unfold.

"You already are."

Michonne's smirk appears briefly then fades. The bars part under her hand and now nothing stands in between. Just dust, air, and silence. Michonne turns to hauls the cell shut. Her katana is hoisted at the shoulder, the exposed edge rested against her waist. It's a glimmering reminder that Michonne's not here for tea. If anyone might dice Rick up for being made an almost human sacrifice, he would place high bets on her.

But given that Michonne's not fingering her weapon, she may want to talk first, behead later. Rick's stare skims from her waist to right beneath it. He lingers on her backside. Well. Her sword is sorta right there. It'd be wise if he kept an eye on the area.

For safety purposes.

Michonne turns around and shapely thighs enter Rick's view. Not meaning to act shameless, Rick's gaze trail up to meet hers, but finds themselves caught at a pit stop. His throat restricts on a swallow.

God—her breasts. Under the form-fitting shirt, they're unapologetically round. Rick's curious to know what they looks like. Bare.

He quickly pulls a hand over his face. What the hell. He can't be wondering this. Michonne's breasts aren't his business. It's wrong to picture her like that. Stare at her like that. Enticing, a bit exciting…but wrong. Rick opens his eyes to dusty foreground and prison bars, noting Michonne has moved further into the cell. Her profile mostly hidden by her long locks, her cheek seems dimpled. Is she …smiling? Rick's ears grow hot.

She noticed him staring, didn't she. Not like Grimes did a thing to make her not notice.

What's up with him, anyways?

He's hardly looks at a woman in months, his wife included. Now the wife is gone, Michonne is here, and he can't keep the foam off his lips?

Michonne pauses at the table, her back to him again as she draws a hand to her sword. To her sword. Rick tenses with a finger at his belt. All too late he realizes he has no gun there. It's near where Michonne stands, on the small table. His stomach clenches.

Michonne's katana rips the air just as Rick stumbles up from the bed, hand out.

"Wait Micho—"

She peers over shoulder.

"Yeah?" Michonne lays her sword on the table, beside his gun.

"Uh." Standing awkwardly for a second, Rick plops back down to the cot. He rubs at his neck. "Er, nothing. Never mind."

Arching a brow, Michonne slips into the far corner and faces Rick. The dim cell settles to a quiet. Real quiet. Not even the chatter of the others in neighboring cells. Rick had left them outside when he'd fessed to trading Michonne's life for a frail treaty. If the group has headed into the cell block already, he hadn't heard them reenter. But evening approaches and someone would announce supper sometime soon.

For now, Rick is alone with Michonne.

This doesn't feel wise, but not much he can do.

Not as if he can call on Daryl to monitor the situation; the Dixon's not even here. How important is supervision anyways? Michonne laid down her weapon. The woman who ate with it at her lap and walked with it at her hip has set the katana aside for this moment. A safer time alone with her will never exist.

To separate herself from her tool of survival is a true sign of trust and to trust. Rick doesn't feel he deserves it. Not this trust and not the feeling that comes with it. A softening that spreads from the chest and settles into his loins. She's made him feel this way before. And often.

Since their interaction at the car some days past, there's been a change. The two of them only needed to stand close and all the air compressed and got heavy around them. Thick, tense...even sensual. And from the looks the others gave them, it didn't go unnoticed. The group had even seemed stunned to learn Rick had sent Michonne to die. As if they knew that this stranger wasn't so strange to Rick no more.

And she now stares at him. Waiting.

But for what? Ah, the words. She's comes to him, but he needs to speak first. This was all made necessary by his doing, not hers. Rick slides his lips together. She's been patient enough.

"So," he starts on a cleared throat. "I'm sure you're aware that, uh, I'm…"

A dumbass. No, not that. Well, yeah that, but Rick means to say he's sorry.

He feels that sorry too. It sits like a stone in his stomach. One that's been settled there ever since he gave Merle word of his plan to give her up. And after pacing and rethinking, the stone only eroded when Rick decided he wouldn't let Merle do it. Couldn't send her away. Only to realize it was too late.

Rick rakes a hand through his matted hair.

That had put all sorts of fucked up in his feelings.

Grimes isn't above apology. He'd had to when he laid down the gloves of his absolute rule, admitting it'd been wrong to make this group about him. The least he can do now is admit his wrongs to Michonne. She, if anyone, deserves an owning up to.

Without her, Maggie and Glenn might've never come back.

Without her, Rick wouldn't even know of a governor.

Without her, they'd been doomed from the start.

And yet he'd shipped Michonne off without a blink. Well, there'd been several blinks, but not nearly fast enough. Rick molds a hand around his neck, looking up at her and then away. He touches himself a lot around her. The neck, hair, jaw line. Michonne inspires schoolboy nerves Rick thought he'd long graduated from.

"Look. What I was to have Merle do wasn't right. I thought again and changed my mind, but you were gone already and…" Rick clears his throat, speaks past that stone. "I was wrong, and I'm sorry."

Michonne doesn't flinch a muscle. Doesn't blink. If crickets hadn't all disappeared or died, they'd be chirping right now. Great. Does he need to grovel? Rick isn't above that either. An idle thought puts himself at Michonne's knees, hands against her thighs and…

"It was a bad call," Rick adds to the cricket-less silence.

This earns him a hint of movement as Michonne's arms fold over her chest. A frown pulls at her lips. He feels his own mouth drawing flat as he anticipates intentions, actions.

"So you sent the wrong girl to jail," Michonne says after a while. "Gave her a death sentence."

"I did." Rick draws a hand along his beard, the bristles are sharp against his palm.

"I thought that was the judge's job," Michonne glances beyond the cell for a moment then back at Rick. "Not the sheriff."

One look at Michonne has Rick at a standstill. The furrowed brows, bent up posture, downcast gaze. She looks…hurt.

And Rick, the big dummy, the cause.

This shouldn't hit him like this. But his throat aches, the back muscles tense, and the damn stone is back.

Rick stands before he can tell himself don't, closing to space between himself and Michonne before he realizes too late. Michonne's hands go slack to her sides as she stares, eyes large on Rick's face. Must be alarmed from how fast he's moved, gotten close to her.

Rick sets his arm above Michonne's head, hand flat to the wall.

"When I said it was a bad call, that was an understatement." With a breath, his face bows towards hers. "It was an idiot's call. And I'm the idiot."

Muscles shift in Michonne's throat. Nerves. Unease? He really is close. With a mild step back, Rick gives her room to breathe. Lord knows he's uncomfortable with the closeness too, but for different reasons. His body is acting up and pulses in a low place. He doesn't move completely away, though. Not with her eyes darting over his shoulder, as if seeking her katana.

He won't let her to it. They need words, not swords. Rick wants to fix this. He doesn't know what this is, but it's been cracked and he won't let her go till it's mended.

"Letting the Governor have you would've just put a wider grin on his face. Right before he went on and attacked." He says.

Grimes debated the Governor's pledge with himself, coming to the conclusion that it was empty. That man is cold head to soles. Why'd Rick ever consider he might honor a pact? Phillip wouldn't. He just wouldn't.

"Giving you up…" Rick says on a breath before pinning Michonne under his stare. "Giving you up would change nothing."

And everything. Though that he can't admit. It's something he must wrestle with alone.

How the second he learned Michonne was already taken, his world got a little darker. How his mind had flashed with her broken body, the empty black in dark eyes, and he'd kicked a wall hard enough to storm gravel on his head.

Rick sighs, eyes briefly closed. Truth burns his tongue and honesty flushes his skin. It may be too blue gray in the dim space to see, but it still seems to raise the temperature in the minimal space amid their bodies. If he hadn't recognized the tangle of his feelings then, he knows them now.

Rick is fond of Michonne.

This fondness includes not wanting to give her up to governors, walkers, or well, anyone. Protecting her if needed. Of course he'd quicken to defend any member of the group. Though that is it. Before, Rick had decided this guest with common interests was on her own. Now Rick has an uncommon interest in the guest and he doesn't want to leave her alone.

When he saw Michonne wading back to the prison, intact, whole, and safe, he'd felt good. Real good for a man at the end of the world. Good enough that, through the glare of dusk, he'd smiled down at her. Finally a woman he could smile at who was actually alive.

Rick holds her gaze now, but doesn't know what Michonne sees in his, though her expression says it's a lot to take in. She looks cornered, shocked.

"I'm sorry," Rick says again.

"How many times you gonna say that?" Michonne's frown has little strength and her tone soft. If anything, it's reaching. Curious.

"Until you say something back," Rick says. "Till you accept it. Or not. Whatever comes first."

Michonne's eyes lower and lashes graze her cheekbones.

"I'm back, aren't I?"

Rick's stirs back a bit, trying to fight the feelings that look gives him. She is attractive. This fact distracts him more than it should. A finger hooped at his waistband, Rick nods.

"Yes you are." Attractive, that is. And back. Yes. Back. Alive.

It's his turn to give Michonne narrowed eyes. He tilts his head at her.

"Just how did you, anyway?"

He's been pawing over that for a while. Michonne comes home to him, er, back to the prison. No Merle Dixon in sight and the other Dixon missing. It's a curious predicament.

Michonne throws her fingers in a careless gesture.

"Not much to explain," She says. "Merle and I talked, then he let me go. Kept going down the road."

Okay then. Knowing the drive of the eldest Dixon, this sounds implausible, but Michonne's nonchalance is nothing to doubt. Unlike Shane on Odis, Michonne has no reason to lie. Just to return to a stale-smelling prison with war boiling at their feet?

So, if not through killing or handcuffing Merle's remaining hand to a steel bar, Michonne escaped with her life on talk. Slick.

Rick wonders if Michonne really is a cat, as he'd thought of her before. Evading the odds. Evading him.

"I don't get it," Rick murmurs. He keeps one hand at his belt, the other at the wall above her.

"Get what?" Michonne's voice is coarse, and Rick feels it like a hum through his chest.

He smirks at her, subtle.


Michonne shifts back but seems to realize there's no back but the wall, no forward but Rick's chest. Rick feels no urge to free her. He kind of likes her under his hand, her body enclosed in him. Not submissive, but not resistant. She can slip away anytime she wants.

Apparently, she doesn't want to.

"I'm simpler than you think." Michonne says. Her eyes draw up as she speaks, and the look she gives him…

He's not sure what it is. Perhaps her dark-bright eyes under the dim lights, or the breaths, deepening in depth, but suddenly Rick is all too aware of Michonne's body. The rise and fall of her breasts is candy to his eye. The deep skin revealed in bare arms, a partially exposed midriff. Rick's groin stiffens.

Then his fingers get twitchy. He needs to do something with them. Touch. Body acting on it's own, Rick places a hand on Michonne's shoulder. A safe place, just testing the waters. And her waters are warm, the skin like a fever under his palm.

Her lips part on a brisk inhale. After a beat, Michonne's hand lifts to where Rick seizes her shoulder.

"Didn't I say never lay hands on me?" Her voice is like the tread of a cat's paw. Soft and forceless.

"I only have one hand on you," Rick says.

Michonne's lip sterns, then she laughs. An actual laugh. Rick's head tips in marvel. It's a pretty sound he wants to hear more of.

"You're not very good at flirting," she says. She looks thoughtful. "Somehow, it's works."

Rick has to laugh now too, a bit surprised, embarrassed, but as the chuckles settles to the dust, Rick sees they're still touching. His hand on her shoulder and hers clasped over it. Hot heat. Warm contact.

Rick eyes Michonne's full mouth.

And call it lust, desperation, missing a wife or the exact opposite, but Rick wants those lips. Right now. Bad.

So he takes them.

Rick bends to catch Michonne's lips. It's a hard, sudden kiss and they're holding eye contact. Michonne stumbles back, her head meeting the concrete with a muted thump. Rick quickly pulls back from her. His heart is ramming.

Shit, he thinks. I just… kissed her.

Nudging at the fact he's interested is one thing. But acting on it? In the moment, it'd been all he knew to do. After what'd she said, then how she looked at him...it seemed an open invitation. But she wanted him to kiss her. Right? He cannot read her and Michonne looks at nothing but the backs of her eyelids. Rick shifts on his heel, starts to pull his hand off her shoulder. The bite of her nails pauses his action.

Then her eyes slide open. The look there tells Rick everything, and there's no more need for words.

Their lips collide, a rapid meeting of mouths. They kiss like they're starved, sloppy, overeager, wet. Rick's lips are forceful and Michonne's in for the fight, working hers against his hard presses for leverage. Her mouth is hot as her feverish shoulders and tastes sharp and fresh like a mint spring. Rick slides his hand free and roams every part of Michonne. Hands sliding across her breasts, down her waist. Their kisses unbroken, Michonne slips her finger at Rick's belt and jerks him closer.

Rick groans just as a sound leaves her lips. Rick likes that sound, knows it comes from his length against her, straining hard at his jeans. He hasn't been this hard in months.

Breathless, Rick disconnects their mouths. Michonne's just as breathy as him, her eyes open and darting under the dim cell. Her hands reach for Rick's face but he bends his head to her throat and presses his mouth against her skin, working down her column, lower and lower. He doesn't think, just does, lets his body lead his actions. Lets him tell it what it wants.

Her shirt in the way of his mouth, Rick tugs and Michonne helps lift it off her shoulders. The shirt flumps to the floor at their feet and Rick pulls back to see her. He tongues his lips at the sight of Michonne's breasts, cupped by a cream bra that glows against her skin. Watching the rise of her heaving breasts, Rick's breaths harden. Anticipation curls in his stomach.

"I want it off," Rick says, hardly recognizing his own voice.

Michonne's breath hitches, then she reaches back to unsnap it. Rick is quick to shove it aside and the bra falls away. His intake is sharp. He finally sees them bare, round as her tight shirt advertised. They're centered with dark, pert nipples. Throat dried from heavy breathing, Rick needs to touch these breasts, mouth her brown, juicy peaks.

Rick reaches out and cups her, gently massaging the rounded breasts in both hands. Michonne's visibly affected as she pants, writhes. Encouraged, Rick pinches a nipple and she cries out. The sound echoes against the dense walls and both stiffen. As the cry dies down and no other noise accompanies it, they breathe again.

"Maybe we should be quick," Michonne whispers. Her thick voice stirs Rick even more.

"We'll take the time we need," He says.

Breasts still cupped in his hands, he bends his mouth to her nipple. He covers it with his lips and licks it. Michonne gasps and hers nails dig into his shoulders. Rick winces and feels more blood pump downward at the thrill. He laps at her nipple for a while, the point soft against his tongue. He moves in closer to bring his lips in closer contact and sucks to the rhythm of Michonne's unsteady breaths. When her point firms under his sweeping tongue, Rick moves in to the other nipple and laps and sucks, all the while plucking and pinching the wet one he'd left behind.

Michonne's hands are everywhere. Through Rick's hair, slapping his back, gripping his ass. When she squeezes his glutes, hard, Rick grunts. He likes that too much. His lips leave her firming nipple to line up with her mouth.

"No fair," he says, breaths fanning her lips. "You got a feel of my ass. I've never even touched yours yet."

"Go ahead." Michonne draws away from the wall and takes Rick's hand in hers. "You look at it enough."

Rick bites at his lip, smirking a little. This woman misses nothing. He lets Michonne lead his hand to her ass but needs no further direction to explore the surface. He caresses her ass before giving it a swat. Just as he'd thought. Fat and firm. He'd love to see it propped up as he came up behind her, the brown bottom rocking back against his flushed pink skin. It'd make a pretty picture.

But she was right; time is an issue here. The sunlight has retreated even further from the cell. Any minute the group could return. Rick hesitates to move his exploring hand from her ass, but he does with effort. It's time they took bigger steps.

Rick looks to her for silent permission as he reaches down. When Michonne nods, he unbuttons her jeans then slides down the zipper. Rick draws the tight material off her thighs. They quiver a little as he makes his way to the ankles and she steps out of them. Rick trails his hands back up till they settle at her ass. He pushes the panties back to grip her round buttocks bare. Hard of breath and looking eager, Michonne reaches for him. Rick thinks she'll unzip his jeans but instead she grasps him from over the material. He grunts, loudly, and Michonne makes quick work of the belt and jeans. Pants gone, Michonne seizes Rick's cock, stroking and rubbing through his boxer briefs in a steadily increasing rhythm. Rick's breaths fall like hot air. He's pulsing under her hand, getting so full he's pained.

Unable to take more, Rick seizes Michonne's wrists and moves her hands up till they're pinned overhead.

"I won't… last long like that," he says between breaths.

"Oops," Michonne says, brows raised. "Didn't realize you were that quick."

Her smirk is so smug that Rick has no choice but to wipe it off. He kisses her hard, not allowing her more than snatches of breath. Michonne seems fine with this, nipping his lip and moaning with her wrists pressing against his imprisoning grip.

Rick drops her wrists to glide his hand down her flat navel. It quivers as he goes lower and lower. Without warning he pushes his hand past Michonne's panties. She moans.

"More?" Rick asks, running his fingers across her curls.

"Is that really a question?" Her words are mumbled and he smirks against her mouth.

Rick's finger grazes past the thick curls and slides inside her easy. So wet, he thinks as he pumps her. Wet for me. His finger moves in shallow thrusts, squeezed by her clenching walls and satisfying both his cock and ego. He likes that he can affect her this way. When his fingers moves up to stroke a more sensitive spot, Michonne's hands slap his back with the force of whip.

"You're ready," Rick says, breath hoarse. He brings his lips to her ear. "To take me."

Michonne's hands tighten into his shirt.

"H-hell yeah."

Rick pulls out, his breaths rough as he looks at the wet finger. He watches her closely as he licks it. Michonne blinks a little, and her chin dips to the side. Rick knows if he touches her cheek, it'd be warm under his palm with a blush.

"Fucking adorable," Rick's voice is clouded, something of a growl.

Then his heart hits his feet. Shit. He didn't meant to admit that. Not aloud.

"Am I?" Michonne asks, looking a little less shy.

Biting a lip, she hooks her fingers to her panties and slides them down her legs, her eyes on him the whole time. Rick's eyes roam her now naked form and he can't keep his heartbeat still. She's a masterpiece. Even under weak lighting, her skin looks rich and smooth, her shape womanly and slender.

He grips himself, so ready to get inside that body. There's no more time to lose. He may be hearing things, but there's voices now. Far and muffled, but touching the walls and indicating nearness.

Michonne must hear it too because she looks off, then back at him.

"Now," she says.

Rick unfolds his fabric to loosen from the briefs material. His cock springs out, hard and long, and Michonne stares. Her eyes are wide and Rick feels a hot flush at his chest. If he didn't think himself well-endowed, her eyes confirm it.

Rick slides a finger over his sheath, already beaded with moisture. Michonne's pants fall from slack lips as she watches Rick's actions. With little warning, Rick grips the head and guides it inside her. Both suck air between teeth.

"Damn tight," Rick's voice strains as her body clenches him.

It's the best strain he's felt for a long, long time. He moves slowly at first, rocking his hips in shallow spurts as he pulls her close by the waist. Michonne's wrists cross at his neck as he moves her with his firm hands. She's clenching so right, so firm against him; Rick wants to plunge right in. He knows better, though. To do so would bring pain, especially if she hasn't taken a man in a while.

Rick wonders how long it's been for her. Given circumstances, he reckons a good while. Rick likes the idea of her not having anyone in such a long time. Maybe since the apocalypse. He wants to be the one to remind her what pleasure feels like.

He wants her to be the one to remind him too.

"I can take more," Michonne says, drawing his eyes.

Rick pauses his thrusts all together.

"You sure?"

Michonne holds him with a look that tells him all he needs to know.

Rick smirks.

"Alright." Tightening his grip at her waist, Rick jerks his hips to push inside on deeper thrusts. Gasping, Michonne scrapes her fingers down his back.

"Yeah," she gasps. "I like that. M-more."

Rick builds a quick, deep pace and it isn't long until they're both huffing for breath.

"God," Rick groans. His body can no longer stay upright and he bends over her body with a hand flat to the wall. He continues to pump in and out of her with his eyes on the heavy drops of her breasts. Called to the dark tips again, he bends to catch a nipple between his teeth. Michonne whines and her hands grip his shirt, dragging him closer in still. They both mutter sounds as the act brings their bodies deeper than expected.

Rick raises his head to kiss her, their lips brushing at the pace of their bodies. His hand moves to her hip and hoists her thigh so it's raised against his waist. The angle pulls out moans quicker than ever and Michonne says unintelligible words. Rick's name is caught inside her mumbles.

It's his name on her lips that makes Rick lose all reserves. He swoops up the other thigh and Michonne pins her calves tight at his back, gasping. The friction of her thigh's constant brush against his briefs is maddening. His quickened thrusts knock Michonne's head against the wall and her thick locks soften the blow. The rest of her hair whips over her shoulders. Rick wants to feel the thick strands, take them under his hands and let the ends play against her nipples. Instead he focuses on keeping her raised and giving her pleasure.

Rick knows when Michonne is arriving as her sides vice him so tight he can barely move. Her fingers writhe at his back, thighs tight at his waist. Head falling back, she bares her neck, and Rick kisses the exposed throat hard and fast as she lets herself go. He feels himself losing it too as his build reaches the tip. In moments, Rick lets go. He trembles as his seed spreads inside her, his pleasure rushing out with it. He'd meant to draw out before the act but got too lost in the sudden sensation. It's been so long.

Rick groans, sighs. Weak after the release, his face drops to Michonne's shoulder. He thinks to lower her legs but they're still tight against him. She whimpers, her body clutching as she pulses like a drum. Then she too sighs and goes slack.

Rick sets her legs down gently and they relax against each other, too hard at breath to move. It's not for many minutes till Rick pulls back, both floating back on earth. Rick wipes with the edge of his shirt, then waits till he goes soft before adjusting himself back to his briefs.

He doesn't want to dress, even as he parts from Michonne and thrusts up his jeans. He doesn't want this moment to leave them, just would like to ride the after warmth of their sex and let it keep him from the cold of this prison. Even soft, he wants more. Has thoughts of leading Michonne over to the cot and drawing her bare body onto the bed. Seeing her sprawled out, it wouldn't take long for him to harden again. They'd get started on another bout of action in no time.

But he knows this can't happen. Now those voices are definitely there. Far, and at least in their block. The sounds are a strike of reality, and Rick's energy begins to drain. The blood that'd kept him warm slips away. It's leaving his limbs, replacing warmth with a cold feeling.

Rick just had sex with Michonne. Good sex, and a good woman, but a woman who is not his wife.

For the first time in days, Rick sees her; a flicker then a full form at the other side of the prison bars. Rick's heart flinches. No—not now. He grips both sides of his heads, shakes his head firmly. He won't face her. Look at her. Not after he'd had another woman.

Not with that living woman still here, in the corner, watching him with perched eyes. Those eyes are the focal point on her face as shadow maps the curves of her nose and lips.

Michonne's been dressing in her discarded clothes and just finishes snapping her jeans when she approaches him. Rick steps back, but stops. He doesn't want to go near his wife's phantom, standing just behind the bars. He doesn't want Michonne near him either, but does too.

"You okay?" she asks.

"I'm fine." Rick's tone is unintentionally harsh, and Michonne's gaze draws back, looking wounded. Rick curses under breath. It's not her fault, but he's pissed. Pissed at himself for giving in, and pissed at her for making it so damn easy.

Michonne looks up at him under her thick line of lashes.

"You don't seem fine."

She steps closer, approaching slowly. Rick's anger takes a pause just looking at her. This valiant woman, prideful as she was. She'd given herself to him, even if for a moment. Now he is trying to shut her out. This isn't right. He wasn't the fuck then drop type. She didn't seem like the type either.

Despite the front, Rick knew her a little more now. Knew behind her icy glances, Michonne was warm-blooded, caring. It's why he took an interest in the first place. He couldn't just shove her away now.

Lori, despite what his eyes might see, isn't standing there. She's in that steel sky he'd glared at days before. She has passed and free. Whatever Rick does now is on clean ground. Unlike when she'd slept with Shane, there are no ifs here. No shame. New starts.

"You're not here," Rick whispers. He swallows hard. "You're not."

At the words, the white in the corner of his eye flickers, then melts away. Rick sighs. She's gone again. Never was there.

Michonne steps closer, hands at hips.

"Not here? What do you mean? I'm here."

Her coils are a thick curtain at her cheek, and she pushes them back. Compelled, Rick reaches to draw a hand through her locks. Hmm. The texture is thick but gentle, like soft ropes of hair.

"Yes. Yes you are," He says, drawings his hand back. He eyes Michonne's mouth, she eyes his, and their lips are locked in the next moment. This kiss is not rushed. It's slow, their tender mouths raw and each press of the lips careful. Rick stills Michonne's chin in his fingers, the other hand rested on her hip. He doesn't know why kissing her like this feels so good. Slow and steady, with no rush about it. The world's ending and Walkers threaten every second, but right now none of that means anything. It's just him and Michonne's mouth, kissing, and he doesn't want anything else.

Michonne breaks the kiss, and Rick groans.

"We weren't done," he says.

Michonne's laugh is low.

"But we should probably get out of here," she says.

Rick sighs.

"Yeah." Then a thought strikes him and his heart skips.

He pulls back to meet her eyes.

"Speaking of get out, we need to go on a run. I didn't—"

"Don't worry." Michonne interrupts, reading his worries. "I have something for that."


Rick's brow lifts, wonders what something is. Sure aren't any doctors issuing birth control prescriptions at the time. Those day after pills? Even as Rick nods his relief, his jaw stiffens. Perhaps he's not her only encounter since the world's crash and burn. Really, it's a smart thing to have. He can't really mind. And Michonne can have sex with whoever she wants, how much she wants. Despite knowing all this, Rick can't help feeling a mild irritation for whoever else she's had since it all. He didn't want to think of other men right now. Not when it'd just been him and her. Unreasonable, he knows. But…

There's a sound. One Rick hardly registers till it gets a good go, the slide of steel bars opening. This cell, opening. Rick releases Michonne and they part at a speed reserved for lightening.

Daryl stands at the bars. His shoulders down, his hair a violent mess. He heaves the bars to a wide gape.


Grimes's stomach tenses. Daryl looks savage with his raking breaths, his jacket loose on his shoulders. Under the shadowy space, Rick thinks he sees a dark stain at the front.

"Rick," he repeats.

His voice is weaker, and before Rick can get a word, Michonne departs from the corner she'd slid into. Daryl looks alarmed as if he hadn't noticed her at all. Rick forgot it is dark in here, and in the shadows maybe Daryl hadn't seen them together at all.

"I'm interruptin somethin?" Daryl asks, his eyes on Michonne then back to Rick.

"No." Michonne is quick to say. She moves to the table, her katana in hand and her eyes held in a tense appraisal. She's reading Daryl too, alert as a cat. "Nothing important."

Rick feels a nudge at the gut, but ignores it. She's right. Right now, what they'd done isn't important. Why Daryl rushed in on an adrenaline rush is.

"What's going on?" Risk asks, stepping closer to him.

Daryl's shoulders shudder, his fists clenched.

"He…he killed him."

Rick tries to get closer but Daryl holds out a hand. He backs into the bars; the echo tongs through the space.

"He killed my brother." The words rip out from a ragged place, sliding between terse teeth. His face crumbles, firms. "My goddamned brother."

"The governor," Michonne mutters.

Daryl's head whips to Michonne and he swallows on something, then looks to Rick again.

He shudders some more before explaining what he saw. It's bare fragments; shot up bodies, a walker brother, ripped off fingers.

Rick's throat feels narrow, his expression dark as the room. Michonne's rigid as rock too, and her hand sits on her katana's edge. She trails on Daryl's every word and each second her shoulders look more drawn, chilled. Rick doesn't understand this reaction. From what he knows, Michonne hates Merle. But she's looking on Daryl like she has words, sympathy even. And, also noting her change, Daryl's looking at her like he's waiting for both. She was the last one with Merle, Rick figures. Maybe that's why it hits her like this.

"He felt bad for the things he did." Michonne says. She strokes her blade, her fingertips grazing the point. "Really bad. When he let me off, I knew he was going to the governor's. Might not want to come back."

"You sayin my brother had a death wish?" Teeth bared, Daryl takes a step to her.

"Hey hey." Rick sets himself to a midpoint between the two, a hand on Daryl's heaving chest.

"I'm cool," Daryl murmurs, and Rick lets his hand drop, though stays close.

Daryl's blood is hot, but he doesn't need him getting riled and hurting anyone. Hurting her.

Michonne doesn't look the least bit concerned, her eyes level. She hadn't even flinched.

"I'm saying," Michonne continues, "A man like your brother survived this long under that man's strings. He's not dumb enough to just die. If anything, the governor didn't get your brother. Merle let himself be gotten."

Michonne's voice has a careful measure, a lullaby quality in its dense loll. Rick doesn't feel the worse of Merle's death and still feels himself leaning towards her, those words, like for nourishment. Daryl seems to feel the same lure. His tense body draws toward her, narrowed eyes quick on Michonne's face.

"You said there were dead bodies," Michonne continues.

Daryl drops his chin in a nod.

"Yeah," Daryl says. "The governor's people."

Michonne mirrors him, nodding too.

"You see? That makes even more sense. Merle didn't go off on a death wish. He went on strategy. Took out some men, probably tried to kill the Governor. He did this for our chances. Your chances. The risk of not surviving was a meager thing compared to getting the fields even. To keep his brother alive."

The rabid look that'd clenched Daryl's teeth and pinched his eyes; it's dying down at a rapid pace. The hot blood seems to cool as Daryl's shoulders pull back, the arms crossed over his gut. There's a long silence.

"Yeah," Daryl finally says. He holds Michonne eyes. "You probably right on that."

Rick watches as they continue to share information, gradually moving back till he's against the cot. He's not needed in this conversation. He drops to the bed, arms between knees as he looks between them. He's not sure what he's seeing. Two shifty-eyed, guarded people, talking freely to the other. Guarded postures, careful words, but something real open there too. Open doors in barbed wire fences.

"So that's probably how it went," Michonne finishes.

Daryl's chin drops again, firm before it looses tension.

Seeing Daryl not as wild-eyed as before is encouraging. Michonne's somehow tamed the hurt, put his brother's death in a logical package he can digest. Still, Rick pushes a hand through his hair. Something's bothering him now. He feels frustration. Discomfort.

His nails dig into the thin sheets. In these seconds, it's like he's not even there. How selfish of him to feel. Daryl needs Michonne's attention. Rick's had his fill. Plenty of it, in fact.

When Beth's voice reaches up the ceiling and announces supper, Rick's quick to push off the bed. Quick to move close past Daryl and Michonne, who both glance over. Daryl's scratching his hair, and Michonne's just staring. Her eyes follow Rick closely, likely reading his hardened jaw and irritated expression, but he ignores her stares.

Rick wants out of this cell, out of the dark.

Because now he's very hungry.

Author's Note:

Hi, hi.

I hope you liked this first chapter. So I plan on this to be a 2-3 shot Richonne x Dixonne deal. The M rating should account for every chapter. I'm not sure how much to say about the Ric x Dix deal without revealing too much. I'm working on a lot of speculation as well from heavy implications via the cast members during comic-con interviews. Each chapter should adhere to the M rating for language, violence and blood, and the hot and heavy ;]

Thanks so much for reading. I'd love to hear what you think!