Sorry for my russian English! Do my best. Original story is here: https://ficbook.net/readfic/8342817
Cold water rolls down to soothe and irritated ligaments. Rick with a ringing returns the glass to its place, with difficulty restraining himself from breaking the shelf down and the fucking kitchen as a whole. He shouldn’t be so angry, he shouldn’t take out all the accumulated anger on his own son, but Carl’s mistake could cost them too much, damn it.
Rick did not want such a life. Even when he became a policeman. He did not want such responsibility for life: for two, for one specific life, but he no longer had a choice any more.
Rick jerks his mouth with a sleeve, removing the remaining drops from lips, and turns around. He flinches slightly in surprise at the turn itself, because Carl is standing behind his back on the border between the rooms and watches him.
- What? - still agressive asks Rick
Thrown off a bag with inventory, Carl unfreezes and quickly goes to his father. Rick doesn't have time to ask if Carl'd like another earful - Carl slides his hands on his neck, ahead of the spring reaction, and slipping a little further, hugs, slightly attracting to himself and down. He rubbed his chin into Rick's shoulder and freezes so, was moving only by his breath. Rick don't moves, probably for the first time not knowing how to react and only when Carl barely unclenches his hands, about to slip away, Rick calls himself a nerd and clings to his son with a death grip, not allowing him to move away even an inch.
Carl, his Carl. The most valuable, the most living person in the world. What responsibility did he take on the child, simply by right of blood? Carl took it upon himself, accepted it without sound - and demanded more, as he always did. He always acts in his own way, always and almost in spite, stubborn and beloved boy, but always and almost in spite, after all the tricks and mistakes, Rick Grimes loves his son. And forgives him. As now.
Rick steps over closer. The palms still wet, wet from the water, but they glide to the center, where the ribbed cubes of the vertebrae appear under the fleece; in this world, a world of walking corpses on both sides, he almost forgot about the most important thing in his life. Carl obediently staying and with a sigh rests his cheek on his father's shoulder. His breath scorches Rick’s neck at the border just above his shirt. Inhale and exhale, intermittently - somewhere in between, and with a current of trembling, raising his hair on the scruff of his neck, Rick realizes how impermissibly close his son's lips are to his skin.
It is just a hug.
Just a mistake.
Rick doesn't recognize his voice now. He raises his hands to slightly push back Carl’s head, but at that very moment Carl takes a step back, barely perceptibly sliding his lips over his prickly chin: 'An accident', Rick firmly tells himself. Carl carefully looks out from under the gloomy brown rim of the newly pulled hat and smiles unexpectedly, having made some kind of his own unspoken conclusion. Rick is twisting back, but Carl is already turning away and picking up the rucksack left there and goes to his room. Rick watches him, embarrassed and confused by such an unexpected manifestation of feelings, and mechanically straightens his collar, rubbing his palm against the lips of others. Already late at night, peering with inflamed eyes from insomnia into the faded ceiling of the living room, he hears silent, fading noises above and realizes that he is not alone not sleeping tonight.
It was awkward and frightening. But from that, Carl apologizes the only way.
For Rick’s cup, broken and scattered across the floor, Carl butts his father in the shoulder, just prying his nose against the wrinkled crease on his shirt. Rick's hand soars up to attract his son, but Carl pulls back before Rick completes the move. He's giving an unreadable look, staying calm and continues to wash the dishes, ringing the remaining instruments in place, as Rick's fingers freeze in the void. The next time he forgets to set an alarm before an important trip; angry and sleepy Rick reaches for a thermos left in the car. He shudders as if from a spark that had shied away from the insulation when he's feeling a gentle touch to his fingers - Carl apologizes for stroking the inside of his wrist and intertwines his fingers in the open movement of his hand. With the other hand, free, he unscrews the lid of the flask, holding out his father who has just cooled down coffee. He lets go of his palm: Rick allows himself to distract from the road to take a quick look at his son, but Carl straightens his hat with his free hand, pulling it a little lower, and vigilantly looks at the forest, running like a lent in a movie, tenaciously catching a glance at possible danger. Rick does not wait for the next trick - Carl does not hesitate to set himself up again. Still laughing, he is rubbing his forehead against Rick's jeans thigh, and Judith hanging over him. He stays on the floor, raising his head up; Rick does not move, looking at the extremely uneven black strokes of the permanent marker that the baby has left on herself, and he cannot understand this, cannot explain these casual or intentional touches, these prickly looks in his direction - or did Carl always look like that? The light that pierces through the light of his eyes softens when a smile brushes Carl’s lips before turning off, hiding behind the next turn of his head, and Rick wants to return to the stinginess of their touch, when there were no wormhole of unconscious doubts about all this. He wants to run away and hide, and stay in 'now', stay forever, here in a spacious and bright room, with Judith in Carl's arms and his son smiling behind the brown highlights of his hair.
Carl slowly straightens back. Rick takes Judith and leaves for the kitchen. He is no longer angry, and he wants to think that he will not have to be so lost in himself again, but there comes another day, another time, another broken order that nearly led to Carl's death and it comes completely with Carl's fault.
Rick rushes into the house. He hears Carl walking behind him, laden with things, but he doesn’t turn around, very, madly angry. He goes into the kitchen. Carl dives upstairs to his room, leaving two crawling bags at the entrance, and Rick pulls a bottle of whiskey from the locker, probably for the first time in his life intending to get drunk in this way: purposefully and to a headache. He gulps down the first portion and heavely sits down at the table, knocking the bottle down on the countertop. Smoothes hair, calming anger in temples. He hears Carl slamming the door upstairs and somewhere inside there is a waiting for his coming and Rick drinks immediately from the bottle, grimacing at the burning inside of the alcohol, violently washing away an unworthy thought.
He glances at Carl running down the stairs, and Carl, jerkingly pulling himself over a battered but clean gray shirt, is still soaring forward. He almost jump, sits on Rick's knees with his whole weight, while Rick is stunned and shocked by his movement, but now it is not just hugging. Carl pressing into him, resting his forehead on his chest, clinging his fingers to the lapels of the jacket smelling of gunpowder and carrion, gasping and this time Rick without hesitation hugs in response.
He buries his face between Carl’s warm skin and the folds of his shirt - on the other side of his cheek, hides his son in his arms. His palm, trembling from a hit on a corner of the table, slides down, just below the fabric rolled down into the roller, and touches the hot, sweat-covered skin. Rick is more careful than deliberately rubbing the sweat gathered on his lower back, but Carl nodding and moves forward under the pressure of his fingers, languidly settles back and from his heat, from alcohol taken out on an empty stomach, from the such natural and opened beauty of Cark Rick's head is spinning. Fascinated, he thoughtlessly repeats his move again - and does it again and again, caressing Carl's hot and soft skin, squeezing himself in and breathing in the silk and salty smell of Carl's hair, touch them with lips before he knows what he is doing. Carl sighs softly, clutching his neck with one hand and stunned by this sound Rick rises up, pushing the regrowing bangs back.
- Carl, -
Carl's eyes twinkle from under his covered eyelids. Rick damns himself but Carl is silent, flushed. He's not seem embarrassed and for some reason Rick does not stop themself. He lead the eye with the movement of dark eyelashes, catches Carl’s breath, his every breath and each exhale, trembling of air between them, and the crimson outline of his lips parted for him. Carl throws his head back, dropping his hat to the floor, sprinkles slightly damp, curly hair over his shoulders and strains - to fall back right there and rise his hips again. He focuses his gaze, peering in front of him, but as soon as he moves forward and raises his hands to throw his father on his shoulders - Rick grabs his hands. Сarl’s fingers slipping for an instant squeeze his wrist. That means nothing, neither stop nor allowement, a bizarre exchange that allows them to stay together for a little longer before they push each other away - as simply as if they had agreed on this in advance and Carl leaves. Rick drops his head in his hands, resting his elbows on the edges of the table, burning with shame and thirst and hisses painfully, moving slightly on the chair - all alone in the dark again and again hears the slightest rustle in the house. He does not help himself, sits motionless, causing the excitement to subside, and swears that he will not give Carl any more reason to get him crazy.
And he keeps his promise.
Until Carl falls in front of him, pouring blood over the ground beneath.
Rick watches him fall, losing even an understanding of the idea that he needs to be caught. Distrust of what happened, anger at themselves, they overwhelm at the same time, tearing it apart as quickly as the walking people would not, and very seductively, it is very necessary to bite into the third of consciousness the thought that all this is not really. Just a bad dream and Rick realizes that he is so close to losing his mind. He directs his thoughts to the place where blood, pouring from Carl’s eye socket, pours the dirty and dead earth: the only thing he should think about now is to save, save his only son. The incident is irreparable. It does not have a reverse stroke - and now this is not the Carl's fault. It's all the fault of Rick, it was his only mission and he failed, failed to protect Carl but please, please, anything, let him only live.
And someone upstairs gives them a chance.
And now he's sitting on the bed near pale but unhesitating Carl.
- Close the door, dad.
- Carl. Please, Carl.
Rick stays put. Carl lifts himself up from the bed and gets on his own.
When he returns, Rick raises his head, meeting the frighteningly icy look of his only eye and with a groan presses his forehead into the narrow thigh above him, feeling a weak, thin fingers are woven into his hair. This is a need that itches under the skin and fear that he still goes against, but Rick pulls Carl’s shirt up - a little faster than supposed to - and runs his lips and nose over his hollow belly, feeling his cheek with a moist mark on pale skin. The muscles under his lips shudder, contracting, and he, Rick, he will burn in hell - if hell is outside this world, but he will never turn back. Not now. And not ever, when Carl rests his knee on the bed and categorical presses his shoulders, forcing to fall. His soft and long hair touches Rick's face for a second before Carl flips it back and tilts his head for a kiss, picking up the silent request by touching Rick's lips.
Rick gasps. Rick asks him not to stop. Rick answering a kiss and melts with each touch of Carl’s palms, evaporates with each exhalation that has burst out of his mouth. He holds his son by the hips - and rolls to the side, crushing Carl under. Carl gasps strangledly. Spreading his legs, he wraps his arms around father, almost immediately throwing himself up from the too obvious proximity between them - Rick does not look away from the feverish blush of his face, from his lips glistening of their common saliva, from his bright eye sparkling with determination and Carl in response looks as if he -Rick - is the only thing that matters.
His narrow palms clasp Rick's overgrown bristles, childishly hastily pulling him to him, and Rick, obeying, kisses immediately. He bites and licks his plump lips, tearing his mouth that opens to his insistent tongue. He rests his elbows on the side of Carl’s head, finding something in his hair - Carl pushes his hands away, tries to do it even more insistently, but Rick pinches his wrists in the grip of his hard palm and Carl closes his eyes, trying to at least somehow remove his disfigured face.
Rick still pulls off the medicine-soaked dressing. He weighs weightlessly, in contrast to his perseverance touches his mouth with healing skin under the eye socket: Carl sobs and tearing one of his hands, raked Rick's hairs with force, tearing father's head away. Rick ignores the pain. He whispers a dull 'sorry' sealing his lips behind the flaming edge of an ear and repeating the chin line of Carl, who is whispering something under him.
Rick rises in his arms, looking madly for an instant at the son scattered beneath him and leads his hips, clutching at Carl that still holding him on his legs. Carl moans briefly and hits him on the back, then to succumb. 'Beautiful', thinks Rick. The only one his needs until the last breath.
Rick Grimes really loves his son.
And he apologizes for it.