I slowly opened my eyes as Daryl gently laid me down on our bed back in the cell block. I could see the sun light streaming through the windows, but it was soon blocked by Daryl holding out a water bottle to me.
“Drink this,” He whispered.
I tried to sit up, but Daryl ended up having to help me. Once I was sat up, I began to chug the water. It felt so good against my parched lips and dry throat. Detaching the bottle from my lips, I smiled at Daryl. “Thank you,” I whispered breathing heavily from drinking too much at once. A shadow appeared in the cell and I looked over to see my little brother staring into the cell dumbstruck.
“Chelsea?” He asked quietly, almost as if he were afraid I would disappear if he spoke to loudly.
The smile on my lips widened and I nodded. “Come here, Riles.” As soon as the words left my mouth, Riley threw himself at, and if it hadn’t been for Daryl who was still supporting me I would have been on the ground. I clutched tightly to Riley, holding him tightly against my chest. I could hear him sobbing and feel him shaking against me, my shirt quickly becoming drenched in his tears, but I didn’t care. I stroked his long hair, tears streaming down my face also. I didn’t think I’d ever see if him. “It’s ok,” I whispered as I rocked back and forth holding him tightly to me. “I’m here, I promise. You can’t get rid of me that easily.” I joked trying to lighten the mood.
I felt more than heard Riley chuckle as he released his tight grip on me. “I love you, CC,” He laughed, hugging me once more before standing up and wiping at his eyes.
“I love you, too, Riles,” I wiped me eyes, chuckling at the nickname that he hasn’t used since we were on Hershel’s farm.
It was quiet a moment in the cell, just Daryl, Riley, and I basking in the fact that I wasn’t dead and that I was back with them. I watched as Riley smiled up at Daryl who had stood up once I became stable enough to give us some room. All of a sudden, Riley threw himself at Daryl, wrapping his arms around in a tight hug. Daryl’s eyes widened in surprise and he tensed at the feeling of contact. His eyes locked with mine and I nodded at him, indicating that it was ok. Daryl awkwardly wrapped an arm around Riley and patted his back, unsure as to why Riley was even hugging him.
Riley released Daryl and stepped back. “Thanks,” He said smiling up at Daryl.
Daryl nodded, not knowing what to say or do, too awkward for his own good. But he was saved from having to say anything when a sudden commotion could be heard in the cell block. We all looked to the cell entrance, even though we couldn’t see anything from our spot. Daryl began walking out, looking back at us and said, “I’ll be back.”
Riley sat down on the bunk beside and I wrapped my arm around his shoulder as we waited for Daryl to come back and tell us what was going on. We waited a few minutes before footsteps could be heard making their way towards the cell. Daryl walked in first and stood beside me. I looked up at him, waiting on an explanation of what was going on when Rick’s face appeared in the entrance. Rick stared at me completely in shock and I smiled, happy to see he was still alive. I started to stand, Daryl helping me, and reached out to Rick.
He pulled me into a tight hug mumbling thank God over and over again. Over his shoulder I saw Hershel smiling. Rick and I separated and Hershel pulled me into a hug asking how I had managed to survive.
“Solitary,” I laughed squeezing him tightly.
“Poor thing fought her way into a cell,” Daryl began explaining. “Must have passed out. Dehydrated.”
Hershel nodded and let go of me. The next person to attack me in a hug was Carol. “Thank, God you’re alive!” She whispered in my ear. “I was so worried.” She let go of me and wiped a few tears away.