A few weeks ago, I posted the opening chapter of my first The Walking Dead fan fic, The One My Father Didn’t Kill, which is based around Daryl’s story in season 7. Today I want to share the opening chapter of my latest TWD fan fic also set in season 7, A Raggie Romance.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

+++++++A Raggie Romance+++++++

1 ~ Awakening

“Maggie?” Rick’s rugged, demanding voice reaches me in the blackness I cling to like the last floating remnants of a shipwreck.

That’s my life now. One shipwreck after the next, only all the ones before I had him to survive with. That’s all gone now. No Daddy. No Beth. No Glenn.

My body contorts as I see Glenn’s face again. His eyes locked on mine. We can’t believe what’s just happened. We never expected Negan to pick her — no one did. I was sure he’d take Glenn, who’d defied him trying to defend me. 

But Negan didn’t beat Glenn to death and though he did kill one of us, which was bad enough, the briefest wave of relief spread over me as I looked into Glenn’s almond eyes — my eyes. 

Then Negan did something. I don’t know what, I wasn’t looking anymore. But the next thing I knew there was a gun shot. At first, I didn’t realize who was hit or why anyone had pulled the trigger. Had Rick tried to attack Negan? I was surprised he’d remained steady so long, even with Carl as motivation. 

But then I realized it wasn’t Rick because those almond eyes, alive just a moment ago, flickered and died as Glenn collapsed into a heap on the ground. 

I don’t remember what happened next. There was a lot of noise, mostly from me. And then everything went black. 

“Maggie…” Rick’s voice isn’t so rugged and strong this time. It sounds like he’s crying and, strangely enough, that gets me to finally open my eyes.

I’m lying in a large, plush bed in a room that I have no doubt is at the Hilltop’s Barrington House — our destination before Negan sidetracked us. Faint flickers of consciousness flood back in. Negan let us go somehow. We returned to the RV. Rick insisted on going to the Hilltop, not Alexandria. For me. For the baby. For Glenn.

We should have gone to Alexandria. Prepared a plan to defend ourselves — take the offense again. But Rick let that all go for what? For me?

No, a voice says in the back of my mind, he did it for Glenn and Daddy and Beth and everyone we’ve ever lost at the hands of evil. And that’s good enough for me.

Rick’s clinging to my hand, his head buried in the sheets. The scruff of his beard rough against my skin but soothing too. “Why?” The word comes out of him like it had to beat its way out.

I shake my head. Why? Why are we in a world where people rise from the dead to eat the living? Why have we survived? Why have men, “good” men, turned out to be the worst monsters alive?

“He has… to die.” My throat burns with the effort to speak through the sobs.

Rick nods, his scruff scratching my hand. “For Glenn he whispers.” Warm tears drop onto my fingers.

I squeeze his hand not to reassure him but to hold on to what little strength I have. “For Michonne too.”

His body makes the same convulsing one mine does when the grief washes over me anew.

Other than our sobs, we are silent for the next few hours. The time it takes for the sun to lower beyond the trees. The doctor checks in once; Rick turns his back but doesn’t leave the room. Everything is good with the baby. The medicine is working. I’m to stay as calm as possible — an impossible task in and of itself — and get lots of rest.

Rick sits beside the king-sized bed where I lay under expensive white sheets and a down comforter. I stare at the ceiling.

“We’ll have to be smarter this time,” I say, my voice as rugged as his now.

He nods as if his brain is connected to mine. “No renegade missions. It’ll take time too. Maybe a few months….”

“Get him to trust us, but not too much. He’s not the type of man to respect a non-threat,” I say, the words sour on my tongue. I think of Glenn again, but my eyes are too dry to tear. Did Negan see him as a threat, and so he eliminated him? Or did he see me as a threat and take Glenn to break me?

“He’s going to wish—”

“—he had killed us,” I say, my jaw hard and hands fisted.

Rick reaches out and takes one. His touch loosens me, reminding me I’m supposed to be calm — for the baby. Glenn’s baby.

He plays with my fingers, getting them to open one by one. It feels nice. Like I’m some how not completely alone in the middle of the ocean clinging to the last floating piece of my sailboat. I never would have picked Rick as the person I most wanted to pop up out of the debris and cling to life beside me, but we’re bonded now. Common mission, same mind, matching scars.

“You’re not going to do this alone,” he says.

“Why are you still here?”

He flips our hands, clasping them as if we’re two kids preparing for a thumb war. He shakes his head, arguing with himself.

“Lori?” I guess.

“I should have been there.” He looks up at me, giving me that classic I-mean-business-Rick-look. “You were there for her. I’m going to be here for you. Don’t tell me not to.” He shakes his head harder. “I can’t—”

“—be around them. I know.” I reach over and wipe the big man tear leaking down his chin. “We’ll have to go back, for a little while.”

His head tilts slightly to the side as he gazes at me curiously.

I shake my head. “Too many…memories.”

He bows his head, pressing our hands to his forehead. “Then you’ll live here.”

“After Negan. I want to see him die.”

Rick presses his free hand to my trembling forehead. “Calm, Maggie. Calm.”

I nod, sucking in a deep breath and trying to focus on something peaceful but I have no such memories. They are all tainted with blood. The only light spot is my friend — funny, I never really thought of him that way before — sitting next to me waiting for a thumb war.

“We will kill Negan,” he promises.

I nod, because of all the uncertainties of this life that’s the one fact I’m sure about. It’s Negan or me and it can’t be me because of Glenn. Becuase of Glenn’s baby. “And then what?”

“We make a world where or children can live.” Rick’s eyes droop as he says this.

“You look like hell.”

He tries to smirk. “Never felt worse.”

I let go of his hand and carefully shift myself over. “Take a nap. There’s plenty of room.”

“I should argue with you,” he says still trying to be a Southern gentleman after all this time.

“I’m inviting you for a nap, Rick. In a king sized bed with down comforters. Take it.”

He rolls onto the empty spot I left for him, kicking off his boots. With a puff of air, his head plops down on the pillow.

I extend my hand into the empty space between us just as he reaches for me.