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Of All The Things Left Undone, Telling You Was One

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You were walking through the forest alongside Daryl, avoiding the road at all costs considering you didn't want the saviors to find you again.

You were scavenging for more supplies when you both stumbled upon a cabin a few miles back. Daryl told you he'd go inside and look around. Agreeing, you stood to keep watch. Something caught your eye. You walked over and realized it was a backpack. Picking it up, you unzip it and see it was packed full of useful things like lighters, cans of food, a pack of cigarettes and bottles of water. While you were searching through the bag you hadn't heard the sound of footsteps behind you. Luckily Daryl came out of the house in time and yelled your name. But not before you heard the boisterous sound of a gun going off. You felt searing pain in your shoulder. You heard yelling but weren't sure where it was coming from. Your vision started to blur and your breaths became rapid. It hurt. It hurt really fucking bad.

When you had woken up, it was dark out. The sound of life within the forest was echoing all around you. You were confused and tried to get up but a hand gently laid you back down. You had looked up at Daryl with questioning eyes.
“Ya got shot. The guys dead. Cleaned it best I could.” You had lifted your arm up to feel the wound but had come into contact with gauze instead. The shirt you were wearing was ripped at the collar and was a bloody mess.
“Who? How long have I been out?” You’d asked.
“‘M guessin’ a savior. Not sure though cause he was alone. Ya been out for two days.”
“Shit. We gotta get back, Daryl. They're probably worried about us. We have to go!”
“We ain't goin’ anywhere now. Your dumbass decided not to wake up till dark. Ain't my fault. ‘sides.. It was better to keep you in one place. With that wound and all.” he said pointing to your shoulder.
You knew Daryl was worried. He always worried about you. This probably tore him up. Two fucking days you've been laying there like a dead weight. Two days he's been worried sick about you. You can't imagine how everyone else at home feels.

This is the fourth day past the day y'all were supposed to get back to Alexandria. The day you got shot was the day you were supposed to be there. It's fair to say you're worried too. You hope no one went out looking for you two.

You're close to Alexandria now. You can hear the laughter. You and Daryl are exhausted and out of breath. Your shoulder is in excruciating pain but you keep pushing on. Daryl gave you the last bit of water a few hours ago after an award winning amount of protest from you. He threatened to push his “thumb in your newly blown in hole” if you didn't take it, so you did. The gate in front of you is a sight for sore eyes. You've felt as though you've never been so happy. The squealing of the gate brings you back to reality. You look at Daryl and smile. He smiles back. You begin to open your mouth to speak but your body feels numb. Your pulse slows and your head feels dizzy. The last thing you see is Daryl rushing towards you with Eugene following behind, then everything goes black.

You're regaining consciousness. You can feel that what you're lying on is soft. You can faintly hear someone saying “infection...blood poisoning...very weak right now…I'm doing my best but don't count on anything.” But everything is black. You're trying so hard to just open your damn eyes but they won't move. I’M HERE! You begin to panic. All you want to do is see.. Then nothing.

After the news of you and the others arriving to Hilltop, he got excited. He hasn’t seen you in a couple of weeks. And you being here, right now was completely unexpected. He finished his task and began to tread over to the gate. But what he had seen was not what he wanted. You were being carried out of the RV on a stretcher, much like the stretcher Maggie had been on. His heart dropped. Rick, panting, ran over and held up his hands. “(Y/N)’s still alive. Got shot in the shoulder by a man they didn’t know. But still alive.”

He was pacing when Alex came out of the medical building. With one look he knew it wasn’t good. Alex walked over to him and placed his hands on his face, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Go in. Go in now.”

You’re just lying there barely breathing when he looks at you. He feels his eyes well up with tears. And his chest releases all the air in his lungs. He quickly scans the room and your surroundings. Daryl is sitting on the other side of the bed, holding your hand and crying softly. Michonne, Rick and Carl are at the end of the bed sitting solemnly. He walks over to you and grabs your other hand that isn’t currently being held and sits down in the chair provided. He leans over and kisses your cheek. A tear falls.

He knew before he even met you that he did not want to fall in love again. Couldn’t stand the thought of having his heart ripped to shreds ever again. Yet here he was.. Like a broken record. He had fallen for you. He had even asked Rick if he could take up a permanent residence in Alexandria with you. After Rick had agreed, he made him promise not to tell you. He wanted to surprise you. And here you are, in his territory, dying before he even got the chance.

Chapter Text

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.”