Part 66 - Survival of the fittest

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Morning had come around slowly, I couldn't sleep at all. I kept running through where Rick had stabbed that guy repeatedly in my mind, I didn't think he was capable if that, nor biting a chunk out of joes throat. I had never seen Rick like that before, he was angry, full of hatred, yet an animalistic being protecting what was his. I'd be lying if I said it didn't worry me. I shook off these thoughts, I needed some fresh air, the air in the car was stale and damp, the smell of rubber filled my nostrils. I carefully opened the car door, in hope I wouldn't disturb the sleeping Michonne and Carl. I clambered out and took a short walk through the woods, carful not to stray too far away from the truck

Rick's POV -------

The door of the truck opened, I glanced up to see who it was, later to realise it was Jess, she walked past the truck and into the opposite side of the road and into the woods, I assume to get some air or something, I needed to talk to her, but I needed to talk to Daryl first. "How'd you wind up with them?" I asked, trying to wipe off the dried blood from around my face with the edge of my coat sleeve. "I was with Beth" Daryl answered looking up at me. "We got out together... I was with her for a while" he continued. "Is she dead?" I questioned, wondering what had happened to Hershel's daughter. Daryl shook his head "She's just gone" he paused, looking down to the ground as he did, beginning to fiddle with the little stones on the dusty road. "After that, that's when they found me... I mean, I knew they were bad, but they had a code.
It was simple... Stupid, but it was something... It was enough" he continued on again, his eyes back on mine. "They said they were looking for some guy. Last night they said they spotted him... I was hanging back. I was gonna leave. But I stayed" his eyes moved over to Jess, then to the truck behind us. "That's when I saw it was you four, right when you saw me, I didn't know what they could do" his head sank, he was disappointed in himself, but he couldn't do anything, I know that, we all do. "It's not on you, Daryl. Hey. It's not on you... You being back with us here, now, that's everything. You're my brother" I reassured him. Daryl nodded "Hey, what you did last night anybody would have done that..." He reassured back, he was referring to what I had done, biting into that guys neck and stabbing that other guy.

Something happened to me... I don't know what... I stabbed that guy because he threatened my family and had a knife to Jess's neck, I love her so much and I don't think I could cope without her, she's been there for me through thick and thin, she's perfect. I couldn't just let him off lightly, you threaten my loved one and I'll end you. Simple. The other guy? Something came over me, like a lust to rip his throat out. At the time I thought it was the only way to get him away, but now that I think about it, I shouldn't have done it. "No, not that... Something happened... It needs to stop, it isn't me. Daryl, you saw what I did to Tyreese... That just isn't me, or it wasn't" I buried my blood stained face in my hands. "You did to protect your family, good enough reason for me...That's why you're here now. That's why Carl and Jess is" Daryl continued to reassure me. "I just want to keep them safe" I replied, lifting my head back up and glancing over in his direction. "That's all that matters.. You okay?" He asked with a quick smile. "Yeah. I'm okay." I nodded. "I know" Daryl replied, nodding. "How?" I asked, confused as to why he asked me. "Cause I'm okay, too." He replied with a pat on the back before getting up and lending me a hand up.

Jess's POV -------

I leant against a big oak tree, I looked up at the large canopy it created with its vast mass of leaves. I took in a deep breath of air and exhaled, I enjoyed this, the early morning dew on the grass surrounding the trunk of the trees. The damp wet smell of the mud and bark in the morning, I was a very outdoor person, before all this started, I think I spent more time out than I did inside. I heard footsteps behind me, using me to turn around and look behind the tree I was leaning against. It was Rick. I didn't say anything, well... I didn't really know what to say, so I just stared at him. "Look... I'm sorry" he pleaded, "I know you probably expect me to come out with some sort of excuse, but I'm not going to... Not this time" he continued "What I did last night was uncalled for and unnecessary..." He paused and looked around the woods before continuing "I see you looking at me now, and you just look scared... Of me. I love you Jess, you know that, I don't want you to feel like that just because I got carried away last night" he shuffled on the spot and pinched the roof of his nose, clearly uncomfortable to be standing in front of me. "What you did last night scared, the hell out of me" I began "I'm not scared of you, I just didn't think you were capable of something like that, but I was wrong" I continued "but, I also thought that last night you were just protecting your family, and if you hadn't of done what did, I don't think we would have gotten out of there in one piece" I finished, Rick looked up and walked towards me, his deep blue eyes were filled with sadness and disappointment. I moved closer to him and placed my hands in his and gave then a squeeze. "And I love you too" I confessed. Rick pulled me into a hug, he nuzzled his face into the nook of my neck and squeezed. "Its gonna be okay" I said, hugging him back just as tight as he was, and I didn't want to let him go.

A few hours later -------

Everyone had grouped together and began to venture through Georgia to find the rest of the group. We had been walking for a while, most of the day almost. "Hey dad!" Carl shouted, he had walked ahead a while ago, I assume to be by himself. We all ran to him, thinking why he had called his father, when we had gotten to him, he was pointing to a large sign. "Terminus... Those who arrive, survive" I read out, "What's Terminus?" Carl asked. Nobody answered. There was a brief silence "Hang on I think I saw one of these signs near the house... I recognise it but didn't think much to read it properly..." Michonne piped up "Do you think the others might head there? It would be a good place to look?" Carl replied, a hint of excitement was in his voice. Daryl looked at the map that had been placed on the sign. "It'll take us at least another 3 days to get there" he stated. Rick walked up to the sign and studied it for a moment "Alright then, best place to look I think... Let's head to Terminus"

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