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An Enemy of the Crows

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Today had been a shitty fucking day.

Negan had recently started a new job as a gym teacher at the local high school, and while he didn’t totally hate it, it definitely wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. The pay was pretty decent, and he was good at bossing people around, but he viewed this as more of a stepping stone than an actual career.

It was the end of the week, so Negan had just told the kids to play basketball and leave him alone. Unfortunately, one asshole kid had tried to show off, and attempted to dunk, resulting in him getting his arm caught in the hoop. Negan not only had to get him down, but also spend his lunch hour taking the kid to the nurse’s office to make sure the idiot hadn’t broken his fucking arm. To top it all off, his fucking car broke down about three miles into his ride home, leaving him to walk the rest of the way. At least it wasn’t raining, and he could take a shortcut through the park to shave off fifteen minutes of his journey.

At the halfway point of his trek through the park, he decided to take a break so he could finally eat his lunch. Negan plopped down onto an empty bench and opened up his lunch bag, removing his sandwich and a bag of chips. He took a bite of the sandwich, then set it down on a napkin next to him to open up his chips, which were the best part of the meal, in his opinion. Unfortunately, his terrible luck had followed him into the park, because as soon as he set the sandwich down, a crow swooped in and snatched it.

“What the fucking fuck?” Negan groaned, jumping up from the bench and watching the bird land a few feet away. “Give me back my sandwich, you little feathered fuck!” In his rage, Negan picked up a rock to chuck at the bird. He wasn’t going to hit it, but he wanted to at least scare it away.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” came a slightly amused female voice from behind him.

Negan turned to see a woman about his age sitting on a bench diagonal from him. “Why’s that?” he asked.

“Crows have good memories,” she said as she tossed breadcrumbs to an assortment of birds that were milling about in front of her.

“Pardon my fucking French, but what the fucking fuck does that fucking mean?” Negan asked her, somewhat insulted that she didn’t even seem to be paying attention to him while he was speaking.

The woman threw one last handful of breadcrumbs to her feathered friends, wiped her hands on her pants, and turned her full attention to Negan. He almost felt like the breath had been knocked out of him when their eyes met. She had a very piercing, intelligent gaze that almost made Negan want to look away, to escape her scrutiny, had he not enjoyed it so much.

“Crows can remember faces,” she explained. “Not only will they remember someone that has wronged them, but they’ll tell all the other crows about it. Then, all of a sudden, you’re labeled an enemy of the crows, and you’re getting dive-bombed for the rest of your life.”

Negan looked to the crow, who was now long gone with his sandwich, and then back to the woman. “Are you fucking with me?”

She shook her head and laughed, which in turn made Negan smile. He was used to making people laugh, that was part of his charm after all, but many women found him to be crude and harsh. Especially the kind of women who spent their afternoons quietly feeding birds in the park. He did better with loud-mouthed women that hung out in bars.

Not wanting the conversation to end, he put his chips back into his bag and walked over to her. “So are you some kind of bird scientist or something?”

“No, nothing like that,” she smiled as she began gathering her things as well. “It’s just one of those random facts I know. I’m sure you have plenty of random information in your head too.”

“If I do, I’m too fucking hungry to think of anything at the moment,” Negan grinned and moved to stand before her, offering her a hand up. “That crow just ate my fucking lunch.”

The woman took his hand and stood up from her bench. “Well, I’m very sorry to hear that, but at least you made that crow’s day!”

“How about I take you for a bite to eat?” Negan offered, not wanting to leave her company quite yet. “You know, to thank you for saving me from being stalked by crows for the rest of my days.”

“I was actually about to go get some ice cream,” she replied hesitantly. When she noticed how disappointed he looked, she quickly added, “But I was gonna go to the diner anyway. You can get some food since that mean old crow left you starving, and I can have my ice cream. Sound good?”

“Yeah, sounds fucking great,” Negan agreed, smiling from ear to ear. “I’m Negan, by the way,” he introduced himself, sticking his hand out for a formal greeting.

“I’m Lucille,” the woman replied, shaking his hand with an equally large smile on her face. “It’s nice to meet you, Negan.”

“Lucille,” he repeated, “That’s a great fucking name.” He kept her hand in his for a bit longer than necessary, until he had to drop it, as they began to walk. “Come on, let’s get you some fucking ice cream.”

Today had been a great fucking day.