11 - THE BOX OF PANDORA - SEASON 1 - THE BOX IS OPENED
ohhh we're close to the end of this season... they're back at home... but they don't have much time to relax...
oh and the dixon brothers pic is made by bam-bruto
#11 - preparing for Christmas
You never thought it would be so easy in the end. That you would arrive at the harbor and literally would be welcomed. That you'd really be on your way home. After all, it's going to take you almost three weeks, because you're on a damn boat now. But it has one very big advantage: It's quiet.
You don't have anybody from the outside getting on your nerves and asking questions. No one to fake their pity. No one to put you under suspicion.
Because you know what will come to you, even if all those who are responsible are in prison. You will have to give all the answers, first of all, how it is possible that you are the only ones still alive. They will claim that you were involved. They will suspect that you are lying to them and try to lock you up as well. There is a hard road ahead of you that you will have to walk together. But all this is not as bad as what you have experienced in this village.
In the first days on the ship, you all needed time to calm down, to somehow process what happened in Poland. Even when you are all in the same cabin, you don't talk to each other much. Most of the day you're avoiding each other and trying to come to terms with yourselves. This especially bothers Teddy, because he doesn't know how to deal with it. When things get really bad and he tries to cry himself to sleep quietly, you are all a unit again and there for each other. No stupid comments, just shared silence, and the knowledge that no one is alone.
Like the last few evenings before, you enjoy the sight of the setting sun on the horizon, the cold breeze on your skin, the salty sea in your nose. In this peaceful moment that manages to relax you, that helps you forget for a moment.
But then there's Merle and his ability to disrupt those moments. At first he leans quietly next to you on the railing and watches the sunset together with you. But when you hear a grunting sound from him and see him spit over the railing into the water, your face contorts in disgust.
"You're such a sick asshole, Dixon..." you mutter, and shake your head, panting. Silence settles again for a moment, and you watch as he rummages in his jacket pocket, pulling out two photos. He looks at them only briefly, it seems as if he just wants to make sure they are still there, and then wants to put them away again, when he feels your hand gently on his wrist.
"Is that Daryl?" you ask with hesitation, to which he nods and, after a deep breath, hands you the photos. With a smile you look at the first photo, it's quite old and already faded, frayed at the corners. It shows a much younger Merle with an even younger brother.
"How old were you then?" you ask as you continue to look at the picture. You are startled when Merle takes it from your hand, turning it over. On the back is something written in scribbled letters that you can't quite read.
"Mid-late twenties... Daryl must have been eleven or twelve ...that was shortly before our mother died," he mumbles in thought. His expression is sad as he looks back to you. You know from what he told you, that it's also from the time before he went into prison the first time.
"That picture was before our last mission.... Before Jordan had me put away.... I haven't seen him since then..." he explains with a pained smile. You remember what he told you, the bits and pieces he revealed about himself, and can't even begin to imagine what he went through. No one had believed in him when he came back, when he was given a second chance. Nobody but Wolfe and you. And if Jordan hadn't gotten in the way, he would have proven to everyone that he had made it. Getting away from this shit, quitting drugs, clearing the name his father had dragged in the dirt.
"Well then you can finally introduce him to me" you laugh and nudge him in the side with your elbow whereupon he laughs up outraged and takes the photo from you again as well. With a chuckle he puts the photos back in his pocket and looks at you shaking his head.
You look at him with a questioning look, but he doesn't explain to you what is making him so cheerful right now.
"So I interpret that as a clear yes. After all these years, I'm finally going to meet your brother, then? You really think I can handle two assholes at once?" you scoff, to which he snorts and lowers his head, chuckling.
"Hey... He's not an asshole, he's not like me...you know, Daryl was always the sweet one of us," he explains, a little confused by the furrowed gaze you give him.
"Oh, you're kidding...I thought you were the cute one," you laugh and Merle can't help but laugh again either.
"At least then we could teach you how to hunt.... And your tracking skills could use a little more fine-tuning, but you already know that" He explains in short, whereupon you become thoughtful again. Because without Merle's skills, you would have had a big problem in the mission before. He was the saving anchor and in return Jordan had him locked up.
" To be honest Merle? I'm excited about it, and I'm looking forward to finally meeting your baby brother after all these years, just like you promised," you say in a low voice, whereupon an eerie silence spreads between you.
"Yeah... Before that asshole locked me up...", he sounds bitter and lowers his gaze to the railing. It torments him, his past, what he did, or failed to do. Somehow you now regret asking him about the photos, as you know it's an exposed nerve for him.
"I'm so sorry Merle... I shouldn't have... I really tried everything to get you out of there..." you mutter, not knowing what you can do to make him feel better.
" It's not your fault, Lu. I'm just afraid I won't like what I see when I get back.... It's been a long time... I left him alone too long this time... you know.... he doesn't have anyone else... ", he explains under his breath, to which you just nod in confirmation. He told you enough about how they lived, what bad people they had to deal with, what shit Merle did until he was on your team.
"He'll be fine, you'll see," you try to cheer him up, but it doesn't lessen his worries, it can't at all. You have to smile a little, because none of the assholes who locked him up or put him down would believe that deep down he's a caring person. He doesn't show it often, and only to people he trusts, and then he must be having a good day, like today. Moments like this are rare, where you see the real Merle Dixon, where he doesn't hide behind his wall of arrogance and disrespect.
Most people who know him think he's just a loud, rude asshole. But you know he's not, not in principle, because the big bully has a good heart. Sometimes you do have to set him straight, but he's one of the few people you trust with your life.
"When we get back, you all come to my place first. I got my dad's apartment. He's only there once or twice a year. Maybe you and Daryl can come over, and we'll ask Wolfe to come with the wife and kids, and Teddy's part of it, of course, and then we'll have a good time after all that shit, and celebrate.... well a kind of new beginning I would have said," you somehow try to change the subject and are relieved when the other two show up.
"What's this I hear? A party? With Dix? Just like the old days?" laughs Wolfe, giving his friend a hearty pat on the back. Wolfe is the one of you who is most relieved. At least he's the only one who has a real family to go back to. He knows when he's at the door at home, he'll be welcomed with open arms and showered with love. That his children will embrace him and not let go, and his wife will shower him with kisses until he can't breathe anymore.
"In front of your children? Seriously? Oh, please don't... I think I'll just buy non-alcoholic beer.... ", you roll your eyes laughing and look at Teddy, who just smiles weakly. You know he's not the type to go to parties. He prefers to stay in the background, without many people around him, just with his computer. But even for this you will find a solution that is pleasant for everyone. But you have the feeling that it's not about the party at all, but about something else entirely. He seems absent, in thought, as if he's not really listening to you at all, and that sets your alarm bells ringing.
You don't need a single word from him to know something is wrong. His look is enough to confirm your concern.
"You two excuse us for a moment?" you mumble, gently grabbing Teddy's wrist to pull him aside and talk to him alone.
"Hey, what's going on? And don't say nothing right now. I know you well enough, don't even try to lie to me," you whisper as you get far enough away from the two of them. He avoids your gaze, though, and runs his hand through his hair with a sigh. He's nervous as hell, and you don't feel good about it.
"I... It's just... If we have to go home, like your dad said.... I don't know where to go.... I can't find a apartment that fast," he stutters with tears in his eyes and you can see him blush a little. A slight smile creeps onto your face at the shy sight of him. This young man is not one for a mission outside, he is someone who should stay out of the war, in a safe building, without seeing death. And now, thanks to Jordan, he has to deal with things that are almost impossible for you more experienced soldiers. And to make matters worse, he loses his home, the only safe place he's ever had. You know you can't leave him alone with that, not after everything that's happened.
"Ted, listen to me. You don't have to worry about anything. I'm going to help you and until we find something for you, you can come with me to my dad's apartment. It has two bedrooms and NO, don't you dare tell me right now that you don't want to bother me. Because you won't. You are not alone,ok? We'll get through this together.... ", you explain, realizing that your words sounded more like a command than the outstretched helpful hand you wanted to offer him. As he stares at you with a frown, you're already thinking about how you can take away his worries, when he finally nods to you in confirmation and thanks you quietly.
Well, Teddy really accepted your offer. When you arrived at your local port two weeks earlier, you were afraid that he would end up on the street because he would fight tooth and nail against any help. But all of you have now arrived back home.
First, you have sent the documents you found in the hall to Washington, after making a copy of them and stowing them safely away. You actually expected them to walk all over you as soon as you stepped back on the mainland, but that hasn't happened yet.
In fact, nothing has happened. It's too quiet. After you arrived, everyone went their separate ways pretty quickly. Wolfe headed straight for his family, though Merle exchanged a word or two with you before he, too, headed home.
Teddy still seemed a bit reserved, but once you arrived at the apartment and the pizza you ordered arrived, he became a bit more relaxed. But no matter what you had been talking about, even two weeks after you got home, Klomino always resonates. Because neither Teddy, nor you, are able to just forget it. And you would bet that the other two would feel no different.
It's the small, quiet moments that bring everything back to life. When Teddy is sitting at his laptop, and you know he's looking for it. For what happened, and for confirmation that it's over by finding nothing at all. Every time you're in the kitchen, preparing something to eat, thinking about when you're going to have your little party. It's really bad at night when the groans of the walkers, as the military calls them, creep into your dreams, pulling you out of sleep and forcing you to wake up with a racing heart. How many times in the last two weeks have you stood at the window in your living room, gazing out at the city at night? How many times has it gone through your mind what would happen if it spread to a city like this. The knowledge that Klomino wasn't the only village then gets louder and louder in your head, and you can't shake the fear that anything might have escaped. That no one noticed, or, as is so often the case, that it was hushed up.
And then you shake your head, focusing your thoughts on the stars, on the lights of the city, on the people who are all sleeping peacefully, knowing nothing of what might have threatened them. You keep reminding yourself that you'll be sitting at the table with your dad on Christmas, not watching the end of the world as Jordan had predicted.
They hunt you, the thoughts, the walkers, the dead you discovered. The knowledge that your whole unit was blown up by one bitch after YOU sent them home.
They could be alive, they could be home with their families. If you hadn't told them to go to the harbor. If they had stayed in Klomino, they would still be alive. Because together with your people, you could have easily taken out the handful of soldiers and especially Jordan and his bitch.
But you thought it would be better to send them away. To their certain death. You should have known.
"Ah fucking shit..." you curse out, your widened gaze falling to your palm. You shouldn't be lost in thought and cutting something at the same time. Mesmerized, you look at the dark blood that begins to drip onto the red paprika, running down there almost invisible as it mixes to perfection with the color of the vegetables.
You are startled when a cloth is held out to you and you look at Teddy, who, as he often does, gives you a forced smile. You wonder how long he has been standing there, or if he has rushed to you because of your cry of pain. For as absorbed as he always is in his technique, he is also observant. As if he always wants to express his gratitude, whereas you have already explained to him several times that he doesn't need to thank you. And yet he's always on hand, helping with every move, making himself useful as best he can.
"That looks deep. Maybe you should go to the doctor and get that stitched?" he mentions, meanwhile grabbing the blood-soaked paprika to dispose of it. Frowning, you glance after him, then back to your hand. It's deep, yes, but not very large. And not so dramatic that it needs to be taken care of.
Shaking your head, you walk over to your locker of medications as you press the cloth down on the wound firmly. When you've gathered everything you need to care for the wound, you sit down at the table and begin to patch yourself up.
"This is going to leave a scar, you know that?" remarks Teddy as he flips open his laptop and sits down across from you. You watch him for a moment, and snort. Apart from the fact that it won't be the first, and certainly not the last scar on your body, Teddy is already back in his element anyway, and wouldn't register no matter what you answer him now. The computer is his way of escape, his way out from what haunts him. Just as you look at the city at night and hold on to Christmas, he holds on to his codes and algorythms.
As you remove the cloth from the wound, you're relieved to see that it's already not bleeding quite as much, and you look closely at your palm. But suddenly something flashes, and your hand seems to be drenched in blood. Gasping, you stare at your hand, slowly looking at your other one. And here too: the blood is dripping from your skin. Your breathing quickens as you see Frank in front of you, the dead Frank, covered in blood with bits of his comrade's flesh in his mouth, his ominous moans spreading through the apartment.
You hold your breath, clench your hands into fists again and again.
It's over, it's not going to happen. Your dad promised you it wouldn't. He promised you that you'd spend Christmas together.
"Luna? Hey... are you okay?" it's Teddy's voice that brings you back to reality. With tears in your eyes, you recognize his worried look as he reaches for your hand and begins to clean the wound. No more words are needed, for he knows what you feel, what fear haunts you. Because he has it too, deep inside.
As if in a trance, you watch as he applies the iodine to the wound, how he slowly puts the bandage on, and you would like to burst into tears. If only it were Christmas already, you would at least have a point, something to hold on to.
A ping startles you, and as Teddy then fastens the bandage and goes to his computer, you know he has received a message. For a moment you watch his focused gaze, and just as you're about to get up to grab a new paprika from the fridge, his eyes widen and all color seems to drain from his face.
"Ted...what's wrong?" you ask with caution, but as you're about to get up from the chair, you're glued to the spot. Within a split second, such an uneasy feeling spreads through you as you had not felt even in Poland. A sense of foreboding, something evil mixed with a tiny bit of hope that you've just become paranoid.
But the fact that this time the ominous moaning is really spreading in the apartment that you last heard weeks before in Poland, and the fact that Teddy is staring at the screen as if frozen, doesn't promise anything good.
"Damn it, Teddy. What the fuck is that?" you yell at him, but he only responds by pointing at the screen, trembling, without taking his eyes off it. You get angry because you know exactly what that is, and panic grips you again. Only this time it's not unfounded, this time it seems appropriate.
Your whole body shakes as you force yourself to stand up, and you feel dizzy, so you have to hold onto the table as you walk over to Teddy. Before you can look at the screen, you close your eyes, and your hand clutches the edge so tightly that your knuckles show through white.
"Please tell me this is fake..." you whisper, and only after another deep breath do you manage to open your eyes and look at the screen. You had the hope that you will see a piece of forest, or a laboratory. But the screaming people running around in panic and the policemen desperately firing bullets at the man on the stretcher, who is currently biting into a paramedic, show a different picture.
"Luna...this is...not fake...it's from two hours ago...This is....impossible...it's right here... " Teddy gasps, pushing away from the table. The poor guy is on the verge of hyperventilating, but as you look more closely at the title of the video and the surroundings being shown, your heartbeat stops for a moment.
"It's here... in our city..." you mutter, unable to take your eyes off the loop. Your thoughts start racing, but you only ever come to one conclusion: you need to inform the others.
"Teddy.... Ted.... THEODORE... Calm the fuck down!" you yell, grabbing him by the shoulders to get his attention. You're panicking yourself, and you don't want to think about how this shit is going to end up here, but you're going to need his help.
"Teddy...I need you now...we need you... "you whisper with tears in your eyes, swallowing hard as you can see the fear in his gaze.
"You said it was safe..." he whimpers and turns away from you again, but you don't give him a chance to escape now. Now is not the time.
"I know...I'm sorry...Ted...listen to me...you need to call Merle and Wolfe, write them. Just contact them somehow. Tell them to stay in their houses. I'm going to call my dad and ask him what the hell went wrong and what we can do to fix it..." you explain tersely, to which he gives you a curt nod and goes back to his computer. You take a few deep breaths before you reach for your mobile phone and dial the number in Washington. But all you get is a busy signal. You feel sick as you check the number and dial again, but hear the same tone again.
Since you can't reach him at his office, you now try his mobile number, but there, too, you get the same message. As you stare stunned at the display, you notice that your hands are shaking more and more, and you realize that maybe Jordan was right after all.
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Drabbles 24. and 27. for Daryl please(づ￣ ³￣)づ i love the way you write btw ♥️
disclaimer I have no idea what’s been going on for the last like 4 seasons of TWD so I make up my own scenarios for good stories and drabbles lmfao 👉🏻😎👉🏻 zing
Also remember when I said “drabbles?” I meant “one shots” cuz I have no self control.
ALSO SHOUT OUT TO THE FUCKIN @thewritingdoll FOR TEACHING ME HOW TO ‘READ MORE’ ON MOBILE!!!!
You felt the first rain drop hit the top of your head, right onto your forehead and fall down to the tip of your nose and you wiped it frantically because god dammit if he thought you were crying. You knew the water works would start soon enough, but you’d fight it as long as you could. Theatricals didn’t mean anything to Daryl… and apparently you didn’t either.
He had stopped walking at least, his back to you, still as he waited for… what? This wasn’t the first time he walked away from you, but something heavy in your chest told you it may actually be the last time. Regardless, nothing you’d said ever seemed to get through to him — at least, in the midst of an argument. Maybe later he’d come back with his tail between his legs and his eyes low, biting his thumbnail nervously as he fumbled over the right thing to say.
But right now, where you stood at this moment in time, it was different. The rain was beginning to pick up and you watched the droplets roll off of the carbon limbs of his crossbow and suspend themselves, frozen in time, before falling to the ground.
You swallowed nervously, hoping your voice would sound more confident than you were feeling: “So, what are you waiting for?”
At first he didn’t respond, didn’t move, and you held your breath when he did finally shoot a quick glance over his shoulder at you before shifting his weight almost impatiently. “I dunno. You usually have some sort of dramatic, ‘what about us?’ speech ya spew before I try ‘n leave.”
“So you are leaving.”
“We’ll, I ain’t stayin’ here, that’s for damn sure.”
“But couldn’t you even bother to say ‘goodbye’? Am I not even worth that to you? Are we not worth that to you? A fucking goodbye in the very least?”
You took a deep breath. “So, that’s it?”
He could read you like a book with his eyes closed and a bag over your head. You desperately tried to remain stoic, but he could clearly hear the shift in your voice — and as if you weren’t upset enough, he let you know this all with an exasperated sigh.
“Here we go…”
You let out a sharp bark of laughter, disguising the much sharper pain in your chest at his words. “Oh! Okay, my fucking bad, Daryl. My bad I can’t just throw away everything I’ve worked so hard on like you can. Sorry I can’t just turn off my emotions and stroll the fuck out of somebody’s life — somebody I know loves me — or, at least, used to, I guess. Maybe? Maybe not even. Guess it don’t matter now though, huh?”
Okay, you’re rambling. You’re trying to dig yourself out of a hole that Daryl is standing over, toeing back in each load of dirt you shovel out onto him.
But why was he still standing there? Why hadn’t he stormed off yet, like he always did when you argued? It worried you, deep down to the core of your being; you weren’t sure why, but you had a hunch it was because before, he always came back. And he always knew he’d come back. But he stood there quietly, waiting, silent. Your hands balled into fists at your side.
There you go. You got your anger out, sort of — whatever it was, it got through to him. He whipped around furiously, and you could tell by the way he stiffened, the way he got so angry that you were finally getting through to him. And if he still decided to leave? Fine. You’d let him go. You’d left your scratch marks, and you didn’t want anybody who didn’t want you anyway.
“Pathetic? Yeah? Maybe I am, Y/N! And if I am, that’s fine — I don’t give a damn what you think. I don’t deserve to be loved. Not by anybody; definitely not by someone like you. You’ll be fuckin’ fine, alright? So just… figure it out!”
He might as well have slapped you across the face.
You still silently, the rain finally picking up, a nice dramatic scene set for this Lifetime movie argument. Did you even hear home right?
“Save it,” he bit out in response. And, there it was — he spun on his heels away from you and your heart lodged into your throat. “Just… save it, alright?”
This time, though, you stepped after him. “D, wait, please — “
“You’ll be fine,” he threw over his shoulder at you. The words almost formed a wall, halting you in your tracks. Was it the harshness or them? The certainty that you would be fine without him? It was almost comical — did he really think you’d be okay without him?
Daryl, at least, had a stuffed back pack slung over his shoulders beside his crossbow. You, alternatively, had nothing. But that didn’t stop you as you picked up a jog against your better judgement, trying to keep up with his long strides as he stormed away from the main gate silently.
If this was the time he decided to try and leave for good, fine. But you would not be left behind… whether he liked or or not.
“I don’t care if we didn’t mean anything to you,” you announced as you caught up to him breathlessly. He didn’t respond. “You meant something to me, and you’re not fucking leave me behind.”
@crossbowking @julesmalek I restarted my tag list bc it’s been so long and I’m such trash. If you want added plz message me lol
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