Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
The hand resting on the grip of his gun rubbed over the aged wood as he watched the good doctor walk to the end of the porch and down the stairs. His common sense told him to ignore him, his beautiful wife, and their crumbling marriage. His body told him that it had been a long time since he had purposefully reached out to a woman for reasons other than acknowledgement of a job well done or friendship.
Rick stepped back from the door as his senses told him that he had an audience. He could feel her disapproval and he tried to quell the anger rising in him at what he felt was her judgment of his actions. Slowly he turned to face her.
Michonne’s stance unconsciously matched Rick’s as he stared back at her. Rick Grimes was not someone she feared but respected and in her own way loved deeply even in the distance she felt growing between them. She knew its origin; the moment she had pressed him to “see” Alexandria. Even though he had agreed, she knew a greater part of him had stayed on the highway or in that barn waiting for something bad to happen. She went over the words she wanted to say. To reach him.
“This place could be good for us. What you worked to build at the prison can happen here.” She moved down one step closer to him. “If, that woman is what you want then win her the right way. Don’t become Ahab and taint what’s good about this place. About us being here.
Rick’s gaze hardened and Michonne watched as the shifting sunlight in the room turned the crystal blue of his iris to a winter grey. She braced herself.
“When did you take to ease dropping? Shouldn’t you be walking the streets of this blissful burg, looking for peeping toms and drunks?” Rick asked the expression on his face shifted from dismissive to accusatory as he waited for her to react to the barb. He could not stop the thought that the discord between them was her fault because of her need to “save” them. He did not need or want her being his conscious, reminding him of past history. He warred within himself, he did need her close, at his side, but that meant letting go and being in the present. Agreeing to the job of being satisfied in this house, becoming at peace in this place with his children, with his hybrid family and with…what was Michonne to him? Being in Alexandria was forcing him to ask that question.
“When did you start hating a man,” Michonne spoke calmly trying to reach him through the barrier he was building between them, “because he’s a physical reminder that he is married to the woman you…chose…to use as a tool to destroy what we might have here?”
The two strong willed people stared at each other. “Why can’t you put the past and this place into perspective?”
Rick left the door and moved closer to her, “and why are you determined to wallow in a fantasy a few hundred blind fools have created?” His anger whipped the words toward her.
Michonne’s stance stiffened even more. “I’m not blind Rick, I can see what you and Daryl and Carol are doing. You’re lying to the people you call family and because of those lies someone is going to be hurt. I won’t let it be Carl or Judith.”
He couldn’t let her words be the last. “You’re so happy to be Deanna’s little toy puppet that you haven’t been outside that fence,” Rick nodded toward the window that served as a frame for a section of the wall he was becoming very familiar with. “Everyone but you can see how thin this place is. The danger these people are putting us in.”
In the silence between them he carefully watched as Michonne’s eyes narrowed and the fingers of her right hand curled upon themselves as if molding around her sword, a sign he’d come to learn meant she was fighting to control her temper. Her gaze weighed him. His words. His intent. There were no further words between them as she turned and went back up the stairs leaving him alone.
Upstairs in her room Michonne kicked the door shut behind her. “How adult is this,” she mouthed as she flopped backwards on the bed.
Her self-flagellation was interrupted by a gentle knock on the door. “Come in,” she answered. The door opened slowly and Carl stepped inside. He stood with his back against it looking down at her. With a long sigh she turned her head and looked at him. “I’m twelve hiding in my room because daddy is mad at me.”
Carl grunted an almost perfect imitation of his father.
Michonne remained quiet but scooted over and patted the space next to her, a silent invitation to the young man. He stretched out beside her on his back mirroring her pose. “He’s mad at all of us.”
“Not Judith,” Carl echoed with a smile.
Michonne turned her head until she could look out the window. She was still processing what had just passed between her and Rick. Recognizing why his words hurt, why the growing distance between them hurt even more.
She looked back at Carl when he shifted closer to her. His action indicating that he wanted to talk. “You and Edith, huh?”
“She’s similar.” He said without asking how she knew.
“Yeah,” Michonne said thinking she understood what he wasn’t saying. “Just be careful, your first time should be special.”
Blushing Carl set up. “It’s not like that…I know.”
Michonne smiled. “Who?”
Michonne smile grew. “Daryl Dickson’s version of the birds and the bees, that, must have been scary.”
Carl stared out the window. “Are you and dad, okay?”
Michonne shrugged not ignoring his question. She just felt her answer would not be good enough. “There’s several hours of daylight left. Perhaps you and Edith can check the wall, again. This time from inside the compound.”
Carl nodded at her pleased she was still looking out for him.
“Don’t worry about Judith. When she wakes, I’ll take her to the Stevenson’s.”
Just outside the door he called out, “Thanks.”
With Carl outside and Rick doing whatever the wait for Judith to wake up put Michonne on edge. She found herself walking from one side of the room to the other her thoughts dwelling on the past she had accused Rick of living in. Memories flooded her mind. The feeling of joy and life as she stood on that porch amidst the scents of chocolate, flowers and death. Finding Carl and Rick. In her tears she had promised herself she would accept her part of whatever success they celebrated or failures they faced. More importantly she’d promised she would no longer wall away her feelings. But she had. From the moment she sat in front of the camera in Deanna’s home, she’d broken that promise. She had built a wall of hope that had momentarily blinded her to Carol’s false blandness, Rick’s quick acceptance and Daryl’s loneliness. She rubbed at the ache in the middle of her chest. It wasn’t a physical pain but mentally she felt as battered as her body had been days after her fight with the Governor. She found herself standing in front of the window. Her forehead pressed against the cool glass. Looking out into the darkness she named and cataloguing each fear, each emotion. She was jealous. Not just because Rick was lusting after another woman but because she was beginning to feel he no longer needed her. That she was becoming the invisible side-kick or a stick-figure drawn on a scrape piece of paper when a person was bored. Perhaps they were all right and she had weakened the bond that held them in her push to seek refuge in Alexandria. Michonne moved away from the window at the sound of Judith’s cry. She passed Rick’s bedroom door refusing to check-in with him. In the baby’s room as she readied the rapidly growing toddler she continued the painful introspection. Awareness filled her that she had become someone they lied to. Tears formed and the middle of her chest ached even more as she picked up Judith and her diaper bag. At the front door she stopped hand poised above the door knob, held immobile by her and Judith’s reflection in the small panes of glass. A plan began to form. A measure to validate a Michonne she could continue to respect. It began with her reaffirmation of the promises she had put aside in her effort to serve as the bridge between her family and the Alexandrians. She shifted Judith higher in her arms, kissed her cheek and exited the house.
It was deep dark before Michonne returned to the house. Instead of going inside she sat on the stairs her shirt unbuttoned, her locks freed from the style she’d taken to wearing. At her feet lay the uniform tie and jacket and a make-shift weapon she had fashioned from a branch. She’d been anxious all day unable to stay still so she had walked Alexandria until some of the residents had begun to ask her if something was wrong. To keep from answering the same questions she had walked the outside perimeter ever widening her route until sunset. Without lifting her head she knew Rick was standing behind her. The silence between them filled with the sounds of their breathing, the call of some night animal and the shifting of his feet against the wood porch. Tired of the unease between them Michonne reached down picked up the tie and jacket, stood and walked until she was standing parallel to a silent Rick Grimes. “Tomorrow, I’m leaving for a while.”
Weak sunlight filled the room as Michonne laid a backpack and drawstring bag on the bed. The backpack contained clothing, a book she had borrowed from Deanna’s library, knife, gun and ammunition. Leaving the room she stopped at the bathroom and packed the drawstring bag with items she probably would not be seeing for a while. She walked purposely down the stairs and into the living area. From there she took down her Katana - - placed it in its sleeve before placing the strap over her head. The familiar weight calming her nerves. From a frame on a table near the kitchen door she took several phots and placed them in a pocket of the backpack. In the kitchen she took the sandwiches and other food items she had put aside and added them along with matches, salt and a bottle of whiskey taken from a cabinet to the drawstring bag. Without looking back she stepped out the back door. She was not surprise to see Rick waiting for her at the gate. She walked to him. Stopping when they were several feet apart. “Still going?” He asked.
“Still going,” she answered.
“If you’re not back in a week, I’ll come looking.”
At his words Michonne looked over his shoulder passed the ruined houses lining the road to the miles of trees, awakening a part of her past self. Remembering the upheaval his announcement of her plan had caused at a hurriedly called family meeting. She had carefully and silently listened to every argument for or against her leaving. It wasn’t until everyone has stopped talking after noticing her silence that she voiced her reasons. “Before meeting Andrea I’d closed myself off, built strong enough walls to protect what was left of me. Getting past her death and becoming a part of everything you were building at the prison, I thought the holes in my psi were healed. It wasn’t until we lost Beth and Ty and fought so hard in that barn to stay alive that I realized just how close I am to being the emotional walking dead I once was. How close we all are. So I grabbed onto the idea of Alexandria and the knowledge that there was someplace safe for us to live. But instead of surviving - - here - - we’ve begun to lie to ourselves and each other. We’ve become each other’s excuses to not let go of the past. So, I’ve decided to take a time out, because…I’m beginning to wallow in the trivia. Because…I’m not Deanna’s flunky,” she looked at Rick as she said each word, “not Carl and Judith’s babysitter, though I love them fiercely. Nor am I…Rick’s sensible shadow.” Her eyes moved over each person as she spoke. As abruptly as she had started speaking, she stopped leaving the room. She let the memory go, mouthed a quick prayer for those she was leaving behind. For those she loved.
Rick moved his head closer to hers until her eyes met his. “I. Will. Come. For. You.”
Her answer was to grab the front of his shirt pulling him closer. She placed her lips against the corner of his mouth, and ignoring the surprise on his face she stepped passed him and through the gate.
I own no part of the Walking Dead except this story idea. This story is what I would like to have seen happen during the last episode.