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Of All The Things Left Undone, Telling You Was One

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It’s been a couple of days since you arrived at Hilltop. Paul was currently running around the perimeter getting the “fresh air” that Michonne insisted he get. He can’t help but be angry at her because he wants to be there with you.. In case you wake up or.. No. He can’t think about that. You’ve fought for this long to stay breathing so you won’t stop now. He has to keep reminding himself that it’s not her fault. She’s just looking out for him.

After so many laps he sat down on the manor steps leading up to the front porch. Facing their little colony, his eyes wondered around everyone within eyesight. Some were chopping firewood for the coming cold months, some were tending to the crops talking softly. He felt terrible for not being much help to anyone lately. At that thought he got up and began to head over to David and Owen. They had quite a bit of firewood left to chop. “Mind if I join you?”

“Sure” they said in unison and proceeded to give him an ax. “How’s (Y/N)?”

“Still breathing.” He shouldn’t be so clipped with them. They didn’t do anything. But he couldn’t help himself. He doesn’t want to talk about you. Especially to people who barely had anything to do with you in the first place. To show he was done talking he began to chop. Hard and fast. Vigorous physical activity always helps to keep his mind at bay. It worked for a while. Until he heard the loud call of his name. He turned to see Daryl, wide grin spread across his face, standing by the medical trailers door. He’s never seen him smile so wide unless (Y/N) was involved. Oh! He dropped his ax and ran as fast as he could. Daryl leaned back to give the other man room to get through the door.

Paul’s heart was pounding. His breath coming in short gasps. As he rounded the corner to your room he froze at what he saw. You were sitting, actually sitting on the bed with Rick. All the air he had in his lungs left in a rush with one word leaving his lips, “Baby..”

You turned your head and saw him. God you missed him. Your body aches like a bitch but you tried to get up anyway only with it ending in Rick stopping you. Why isn’t he moving? Is he waiting for an invitation? You thought with a hint of bitterness. “Paul..” you began with a raspy voice. And that’s what got his feet to work. He came over in a flash and sat in front of you.

“I’ll leave you two to it. Glad to see you awake (Y/N).. We’ve missed you.” Rick said as he began to lead Daryl out of the room.

Paul lifted a hand and gently lay it on your cheek. You closed your eyes for a moment. When you opened them again, your eyes locked with glassy greens. Tears cascading down his face. You whisper, “Come here.”

He leans forward and gently presses his pink lips to yours. God you missed this. You were so afraid you’d never see him again. Yet here you are lips pressed together. Your breath leaving your body as you deepened the kiss. He pulls back at the sudden gasp you let out. Worry etched in his face. “I’m okay. Just moved too quickly.” At that he smiles. You smile back.

“Hey..” you say. All playfulness gone, tone serious. “Iwantyoutolivewithme.” you say so fast that he asks you to repeat yourself. “I want you to live with me. In Alexandria. You don’t have to If you don’t want to..but I’d like for you to. I can’t stand the thought of you being here, so far away. What if something happens to one of us again and we never get the chance to at least say goodbye? I couldn't…” He puts his index finger to your lips.

“Stop.” He takes a breath and searches your (Y/E/C) eyes, “You don’t need to explain yourself. Before you got shot I was already planning to. Then I saw them carry you out of that RV.. and I couldn’t breathe. I thought I’d lost you. But then Rick told me you were still alive, barely, but still alive. I knew that if by some miracle you survived, I would do whatever you asked of me.” He looks down and reaches for your hand. As he begins to gently caress your wrist with his thumb, he begins again. “ I need to tell you something. Something I’ve known for a while now and have been to afraid to let it be known..”

“Okay..” You say. You can feel the blood rush to your face, knowing your cheeks and ears have begun to turn a dark pink.

“Remember that day we went on a run together to Wal- Mart? Right before we got together?”

“Of course. That’s another day on the long list of days where I almost bit the dust.” He doesn’t look amused as you say that. He actually looks pretty hurt. His eyebrows are creased together with a frown painting his mouth. “I’m sorry.. Go on.”

He begins to lightly trail his fingertips across the inside of your arm. Going up and then back down. You loved when he did that. It always tickled but not to the point of annoying. It felt calming. “You were standing in an aisle staring at something. When I walked over and asked you what was up you simply said that you didn’t have room and walked away. Right away I knew what you meant. You wanted to have something that reminded you of your old life. Wanted something that could take away your frustration. So I put them away in my bag and later surprised you with them. Your face..when I pulled out those pencils and that notebook lit up like the Fourth of July.. That’s the moment I knew. That’s the moment it hit me. I am so in love with you, (Y/N). I will do whatever it takes to make you happy.”

You couldn’t help yourself. Hearing him recalling that story in such specific detail made your eyes water. And when he got to the point, the dam broke. “Don’t cry, baby. It’s meant to be a good thing you know.. You having my heart and all.”

You were speechless. You knew this was more than just hooking up. But you never expected it to go any farther than that. He’d told you his past at one point, how damaged the saint of Hilltop really is. You loved him. You knew that. With the way things were with him back in the day, you never thought he could love you.

You can’t think much with the copious amount of drugs running through your system to dull the pain. You feel like you’re drifting on cloud nine. You carefully pull your arm away and beckon him to come closer. Patting the spot right next you on the hospital bed. As he scoots closer, you lay down on your good side facing him. He puts his arm around your waist and brings his face into your neck. His beard is scraping the soft skin as he leaves little pecks here and there. You smile and lean back. You look directly into his eyes and say, “I love you too, Paul.”