“The fuck is wrong with you?”
Attempting to glance across the truck to the occupied passenger seat, a tight hot pain shoots up the side of your neck. Breathing through it you take Negan in through your peripherals instead, furrowing your brows a little. “Nothing.”
Negan snorts, not convinced in the slightest and shifts slightly in his seat to get a better look at you. “Yeah cause I'm gonna waste my breath pointing out something that isn't fucking there aren't I? Now out with it.”
Realising how ridiculous the whole thing is you focus on the road in front of you and sigh softly. It really wasn’t important. You brush it off with a small shrug that only manages to send another jolt of pain through your muscles. “I must’a slept funny or something. I woke up and it hurts like a bitch when I try to turn my head that way. Nothing to write home about so don’t worry yourself.”
The silence stretches out between you both making the air stagnate. The road you're taking has been clear for months, Joey’s meticulous planning paying off – you couldn't even see one stray rotter. You move out a little to avoid a pothole and try to ignore the way the atmosphere makes your skin crawl.
Eventually he puts you out of your misery, the pout evident in his voice. “Didn’t say I was fucking worried.”
Huffing a small laugh you shake your head a little and feel the tension ease. Driving Negan around really wasn't anywhere near as bad as the other saviors had told you it would be. Hell – Sometimes it was a lot of fun. You just felt out of sorts today on account of the crick in your neck. While it wasn't a big deal, you hoped you wouldn't get into any kind of fight today. Just in case.
Another couple of miles down the road and Negan’s drawl diverts your attention. “Pull over.”
You frown at the road, easing onto the brake while scouting round for whatever Negan had spotted as best you could. “I thought we were in a hurry to meet up with Simon.”
“Don't make me ask twice fuck face.” You know he's probably just playing around but you hear the warning in his voice and decide not to question him again.
Conceding to the man you bring the truck to a stop and pull the parking brake. Without the rumbling sound of the engine the world falls into the eerie silence you have grown so accustomed to. When Negan makes no move to get out of the truck or even say anything, you grow uneasy and make another aborted attempt to look at him. You end up turning your body in his direction instead to see him delicately pull the leather from his hand, a soft smile playing on his lips.
You stay quiet figuring that you'll find out what he's up to soon enough. You had stopped trying to predict Negan's next move a long time ago. He was too smart and too dramatic to be predictable.
His hand lands on your shoulder making you flinch. “What are you doing?”
Negan scoffs. You imagine him rolling his eyes too as he squeezes the meat of your shoulder. “What does it fucking feel like?”
You decide not to answer given that you have no idea what it was meant to feel like. You had no idea what he was even trying to do. All you knew was that his leather glove was now on the dashboard and he was digging his fingers into your skin. Part of your brain realised that you ought to object or something but instead you keep still, letting him do his thing. You try to supress a hiss when he nails the source of the pain with his strong hands but you don’t quite manage it.
Negan lets out a triumphant grunt when he hears you. “There it is. Shit. Would you just relax already? I'm not going to fucking hurt you. Acting like no ones ever given you a god damn massage before.”
A massage. It made sense now. You weren't stupid, you knew what one was but it was hardly the first thing that came to mind when someone gripped you like that. The world you knew now wasn't cut out for massages and shit. Even in the old world, it was something you had never crossed off your bucket list.
You're not sure if its the way your face heats up a little, or the way your eyes drop to look at your lap but something gives you away. Negan suddenly feels much closer to you than he did a few moments ago. “Huh. Well shit. You've been missing out.”
You opt for the safety of silence again, still finding your current situation completely bizarre. He thumbs the spot at the juncture of your neck and shoulder and presses down, circling slowly while his other hand cups your neck and follows suit on the other side of the pain. It hurts, the pressure feeling foreign to you but it isn't so bad.
You take a deep breath in through your nose and force yourself to relax. You smell the spice of his cologne, the sun warming the leather seats and the fresh grass and dirt drifting in from outside. Negan methodically keeps circling his fingers against your skin and before long it isn't hard to relax at all.
Your breathing evens out and at some point your eyes flutter shut. It's as though Negan somehow managed to stop time itself. The world outside doesn't matter any more. “That's it. Close your fucking eyes. Feels good right?”
Instead of bringing you out of your thoughts his hum of approval and low drawl draws you further under. You drink his voice in, feeling it warm your insides. Your lips part ever so slightly and you feel yourself becoming more malleable under his deft fingertips, the pain ebbing away into something much better.
“’Bout time someone touched you like you deserved butternut.”
He speaks softly, like he’s giving away a secret or something precious. You can't bring yourself to open your eyes and break the spell though you can't help but gasp softly into the quiet. You wonder how he knew, you had thought you were getting by just fine on your own but the way the pads of his fingers that gently stroke the nape of your neck make you feel tell a different story. When was the last time someone touched you like this?
You feel heady. Drunk on his touch in some parallel universe where this isn't dangerous, where this isn't a mistake. You're not sure how long you both stay there in the quiet but eventually it comes to an end. Still stroking his fingers over the same spot, his other hand comes round and he gently takes your chin between his fingers.
“Turn your head. How’s that?”
Reluctantly, you open your eyes and oblige the man, blinking dreamily at him as you turn your head, still coming out of your daze. You find yourself mirroring his lazy grin as you get caught up in his fiery gaze. It takes you a moment to realise that while there's still a twinge of pressure, the pain has gone.
Swallowing thickly, you nod. “Better.”
Negan chuckles, running his tongue over his bottom lip and sits back, letting his fingers drag a little before leaving your skin completely. “Fucking A.”
You nod to yourself, turning back to watch the derelict road. Absentmindedly you thumb the dents in the steering wheel, still holding onto the peace inside you, not remembering the last time you felt this content.
You turn back to Negan who looks as peaceful as you feel, looking out the front window with that same soft smile lingering on his face, absently pulling the glove back onto his fingers. Your face flushes with warmth as you speak quietly. “Thank you.”
He looks right at you then, his eyes not leaving yours for a second as he nods, so sincere it feels strange. “You're welcome “
Negan keeps his intense gaze on you, giving you every ounce of his attention making warmth prickle through your body. The moment stretches on until eventually you can't help but look away. Sucking in a deep breath you try to get a hold of yourself. His deep chuckle makes you huff a laugh at how ridiculous the whole thing is.
Psyching yourself up to go back to reality you grip the wheel, shifting in the seat. “We – uh. We good to go?”
Drumming his hands against the glove compartment, you don't need to see him to hear the smile in his voice. “Yep. Let's fucking go.”