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Private be home for christmas

Discussion in 'Silverwood' started by Daryl Dixon, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. Daryl Dixon

    Daryl Dixon The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    467
    Gender:
    male
    Race:
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    46
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Dec. 25th, Year 7
    @Carol Peletier @Jesus @Aaron @Beth Greene @Michonne @John Silver

    For the first time in what might have been decades, Daryl Dixon was gonna celebrate Christmas. It was the perfect day for it too, with a blanket of snow on the ground, a chill in the air and decorations adornin’ just about every goddamn building on the street. It wasn’t so much that he suddenly cared about the holiday or nothin’ – as much as he cared about someone else not spendin’ it alone. HIs family was gettin’ smaller and smaller these days, people disappearin’ jus’ about every time he turned around, but for the first time in a while, Pandora had given someone back to ‘em.

    Carol.

    It’d been years since he’d seen her and he almost hadn’t been able to believe it. But she was here. Out in the Silverwood, because she still refused to come to Misty Hollow to live with the rest of them (something Daryl wanted to understand, but didn’t, not knowin’ how she could keep away from her family – but he wasn’t – he was respectin’ her decision and all that shit, except for the fact that he was bringin’ the whole group right to her doorstep).

    She hadn’t explicitly asked him not to, though given the fact that she’d told Jesus not even t’tell ‘em that she was around he could guess she wasn’t going to be too overjoyed about this, and so when Christmas had rolled around and he’d started thinkin’ about it, he couldn’t stop himself from suggestin’ the idea of goin’ to Carol’s cabin instead of havin’ dinner at Jesus’ or his place.

    He woulda gone by himself if it came down to it, but everyone seemed to be keen anyway, which was why they were all trekking through the woods, somethin’ that made him think, briefly, of home and how they’d spent an entire winter wanderin’ place to place just lookin’ for somewhere to keep warm before they’d found the prison. But it wasn’t like that here. They could turn around anytime they wanted, start a fire in the fire place and go down to the store to buy some food and all that shit.

    Wasn’t gonna, because he fully planned on camping out on Carol’s porch if she took a bit to come round to the idea of a family Christmas. He’d even worn a jacket atop his flannel, in preparation for being out in the cold.

    “Almost there,” he said, picking his way through some brush, knowing that only a few of them had been out to Carol’s place – and that sometimes it was hard to tell in the wood anyway, what with them switchin’ shit around whenever they wanted. The path seemed like the way he remembered it though (and wouldn’t that be great, spendin’ Christmas lost in the woods).

    He thought about warning them about the tripwires, but imagined it might be a good idea to give a heads-up they were comin’, to avoid bein’ met with a gun t’the face or something. He was pretty sure the cabin was up ahead somewhere.
    ll ooc. okay, so posting order is random, i think we can go with a three day skip? let me know if anything needs to be changed/added ll
     
  2. Beth Greene

    Beth Greene The Walking Dead

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    289
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    Female
    Occupation:
    Survivor
    Location:
    405 Autumn Blvd, Misty Hollow
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    Human
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    Beth's heart was in her mouth as they made their way to Carol's cabin that afternoon. It'd come as a bit of a shock to discover Carol was in Pandora, but even more so to find she'd chosen to stay away. While Beth didn't understand why, she had a feelin' it was either to protect them or to allow her heart time to heal. Everything Carol did was to keep their family safe, and she loved them all dearly. Just as they loved her. Beth hadn't seen Carol since the prison, but she was from a time after Beth's... Well, since a time Beth never got to experience. Thank God. But that only brought a whole other bundle of complications.

    Beth had seen it before; that look of shock, a strange mixture of grief and relief. She'd experienced it herself with Lori. It had been like seein' a ghost, or maybe goin' up to heaven. To see, touch, speak to someone you never thought you'd never see again... Beth wasn't sure there was a word to truly describe that feelin'. But she'd seen it on Maggie's face, on Michonne's, on Daryl's. Hell, just about everyone she'd reunited with had looked at her the same way. It was like she wasn't real, or some kind of cruel illusion. Every single one of them had watched her die, and yet, here she was. Livin' a life day after day.

    On the one hand, Beth was nervous. Nervous for them, nervous for Carol. The fact that she wasn't expecting them meant they had no idea how she was goin' to react. Maybe she'd slam the door in their faces. Unlikely, but it was a possibility. But at the same time -- she was goin' to see Carol again. The thought of seeing her again made Beth's heart fill with joy and she found herself walking faster, her hands clasped around the present she'd brought along. Hopefully there'd be no horse's head on their porch when they got home this time. Beth had asked the neighbours to keep a close eye on Midnight while they were gone, and prayed with all her might that he'd stay safe.

    Daryl's words pulled Beth out of her thoughts and she swallowed hard, pressing her lips together as the forest floor began to clear. They were reachin' an opening which could only mean that Carol's cabin was nearby. She lingered behind a little, not wanting to go first so not to shock Carol into oblivion. Finding a previously dead family member on her doorstep probably wasn't the Christmas Day Carol had in mind.
     
  3. Michonne

    Michonne The Walking Dead

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    Female
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    32
    Apparently, the walkers did not impose an immediate danger in this foreign land. At the same time, she had faced different kind of threats which resulted in a firm refusal about the matter of letting her guard down. Even during Christmas something could go terribly wrong. Nevertheless, the decision to keep her concerns for herself had prevailed, since she had no intention to ruing the reunion.

    This special day was not about the food on the table or the joyful songs echoing across the streets of the town. Beyond any doubt, the tree decorated with the various types of ornaments and glowing lights or the stockings hanging in the living rooms filled with gifts remained famous traditions. However, beyond the customs of the material world, the celebration’s true meaning rested with the purity of love and the company of wonderful people that each person chose to have around.

    Michonne’s holidays had never reminded of a commercial on the TV where a family had the perfect house and spent the evening with a cup of hot chocolate while making good jokes. Back in her world and before the dead started to rise, she used to work too hard. Eventually she had missed the important things, for example a simple dinner, a walk in the snow, the comforts of home.

    Pandora had given the impression of an opportunity for a better future at first, yet, hardships had befallen the group. Loss was one of them and they had to deal with the new circumstances. Judging from herself, Michonne could not really blame Carol for the choice to stay away and try to adjust. In addition, she acknowledged the fact that the healing process was a personal matter.

    Nonetheless, when her family arranged the visit, she did not want to disappoint them. Therefore, she was currently at the rear of the group with her dark brown eyes constantly scanning the area. Daryl’s comment caught her attention but she did not respond. Beth lingered a little behind and Michonne stepped by her side. Understanding the girl’s hesitation was not a demanding task.

    Reaching out, Michonne placed a hand on the girl’s shoulder before letting it drop back to her side.
     
  4. Aaron

    Aaron The Walking Dead

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    Human
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    [​IMG]
    "Listen, I've gotta warn you," he whispered, leaning in slightly toward the man to his right as his blue eyes flicked toward him. Bringing John along may have been more of a gamble than he had at first realized, but then, Carol probably wasn't going to immediately be happy to find any of them on their doorstep. What was one more stranger to her? And a stranger that Aaron could vouch for a hundred percent, and would, endlessly. "She doesn't exactly ... know we're coming."

    Had he mentioned that? He may have mentioned that, but he doubted John really had any understanding of the kind of person Carol was and the reasons she might have wanted to stay away from the people who considered themselves her family. But then, Aaron didn't really understand it either. The healing process was different for everybody and the honest truth was that he didn't have an entirely full comprehension of what she had been through to require it. He didn't know her the way that others knew her, the way that Daryl and Beth clearly did.

    But Aaron would always respect her wishes, however little he understood, which was why he was half expecting them to end up having to turn back and reconsider their plans for the night. For now, though, he had a backpack over his shoulders filled with gifts for the whole group, John included, and he had every intention of giving them out when the time came.

     
    #4 Aaron, Dec 25, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  5. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
    No one, from nowhere, belonging to nothing.

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    Orphanage Caretaker, Bartender
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    Human
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    [​IMG]

    The excitement and nervousness he's felt about being basically, kind of, Aaron's date for christmas, had vanished latest once this whole forest-hike had started.
    Not only was John not too fond of long-ish hikes through uneven terrain what with his prosthetic leg, but Aaron's family also struck him as ... a little concerning, to phrase this carefully (except for Jesus, perhaps).
    Really, truthfully, Silver wasn't one to easily judge. And hell, what did he know about what those people had been through, and yet somehow each single one of those people looked like they could stab him in his sleep without as much as batting an eye.
    Which, of course, wasn't always a bad thing. But John was fairly fond of his life (even though the choices he's made lately might make it seem otherwise) and would prefer to keep it.
    So mostly he stuck to Aaron's side, focusing on not stumbling over any branches nor stepping into any holes in the ground - that would be a fairly painful experience and having his leg give in underneath him was the last thing he wanted to happen with all these people around to witness his miserable fall.

    He had opted for a tamer outfit this time around. The floral-patterned trousers had remained in his wardrobe, instead he's went with dark jeans, his trusty black combat boots and a simple enough, beige sweater (which was still low-cut though, of course, how could it possibly not?) underneath his sky blue winter coat (a christmas gift for himself).
    Though the several silver rings on his fingers had remained.
    It was odd how much effort it really took him to pay attention to not push his sleeves up too high. It was such a simple habit - John always rolled or pushed up his sleeves to his elbows - and now it was really, really important he didn't let that happen. The track marks were pretty much impossible to hide by now and while he usually opted for a bandage just to be on the safe side, that would probably have been much too attention-catching tonight and John didn't know enough about makeup to paint them over, so long sleeves it were.

    The bag slung over his shoulder contained a collection of gifts he's probably spent too much time picking out, but at least he was fairly certain he had a little something for everyone. Even if it was small stuff - he wouldn't want to show up empty-handed.

    She doesn't exactly know we're coming
    John raised his eyes from the ground (as said, making sure he didn't stumble and make a fool of himself) towards Aaron at his side, exchanging a slightly questioning glance with the other man.
    "Why exactly is this something you see the need to phrase as a warning?"

    There wasn't much John knew about how this evening was supposed to go. Apparently they were headed to a woman named Carol, who apparently lived out in the middle of the fucking woods (like that wasn't creepy enough) - and now the way Aaron warned him about this whole thing being unannounced, John was really beginning to worry whether there was a serious risk of getting stabbed tonight.
    On the other hand, what did he know? Maybe getting stabbed was a christmas tradition around here.

    The ground was annoyingly uneven and when a branch broke beneath his foot, John grasped Aaron's arm for balance and quickly decided he wouldn't let go of the other's arm until they had made it through these damned woods because he doubted he'd make it to this Carol's place without ending up face first in the dirt at least once otherwise.

     
    #5 John Silver, Dec 25, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
    Jesus, Aaron, Daryl Dixon and 2 others like this.
  6. Jesus

    Jesus The Walking Dead
    Misty Hollow's Official Agony Uncle

    Posts:
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    Male
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    Human
    Age:
    32
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    [​IMG]

    Jesus still wasn’t entirely convinced this was a good idea. Carol had been pretty firm about not wanting visitors and it was bad enough he’d told Daryl she was out there, now they were all traipsing over there with food, gifts and well, themselves, and Jesus was trying to decide how likely it was that Carol would take one look at them all, tell them to take a hike and close the door. Fifty-fifty he figured. On the one hand Carol cared but on the other hand there were a lot of them and she’d seemed sure she wanted nothing to do with them. He was a little hesitant about this whole thing but nevertheless he’d shoved all his gifts for their little group into a bag along with some foods bits and pieces and was walking along a little behind Daryl and Beth with it on his back.

    Michonne, Aaron and John were trailing around to the back. He could only wonder what John was making of this as an introduction to their unusual little family unit. Tracking through the woods on Christmas day to go an see someone who wanted nothing to do with them. As far as families went this must seem pretty dysfunctional.

    The forest opened up a little and the cabin was ahead. Having been before, Jesus was aware of the tripwires and their location, but Beth began to slow before she even got that far. Jesus figured it might be best if Daryl went on ahead as he seemed to be the one Carol was closest to and Jesus fell into step beside Beth instead.

    ”Hey, you alright?” he inquired and gave her a reassuring smile, he’d never met her before Pandora, knew she was dead in their world long before the others had made it to Hilltop. Carol had presumably seen that. This was going to be weird for them. Another reason Jesus wasn’t entirely sure Daryl’s plan to set this in motion wasn’t without its flaws. ”Come on. Mind the tripwires.” he pointed to a thin, almost unseen wire stretching between trees between them and the cabin.

     
  7. Daryl Dixon

    Daryl Dixon The Walking Dead

    Posts:
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    Gender:
    male
    Race:
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    Age:
    46
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Wasn’t that hard t’tell that the rest of the group wasn’t exactly overjoyed with the whole surprisin’ Carol, as eager as they were t’see her. He wasn’t even sure it was a good idea t’surprise Carol for Christmas. But it wasn’t like they could just call her up on the phone or nothin’ and while Daryl did understand (or was tryin’) her need t’be alone out in these woods, that didn’t mean he was about to sit around and let her spend Christmas alone. Not when they’d just gotten her back, when the family he had here was already so small.

    He listened to the sound of ‘em trodding through the woods, everyone just a few paces behind him. They weren’t loud enough for the sound unless someone was listenin’ (and who were they kiddin’, Carol sure as hell would be listenin’ for any sound out here) though to Daryl’s ears – tracker ears – they sounded like a damn herd of elephants. Most of ‘em had packs, filled with presents or whatever they’d brought. Daryl didn’t have any presents, just a pack with some water and jerky, small things just in case the woods decided t’fuck ‘em over and they ended up spendin’ the night in the open.

    He wasn’t one for presents, really. At least, not the sort that were all wrapped up and put beneath a tree. The past week or so though, he’d been leavin’ little things for the group whenever he found ‘em. A sharpenin’ stone for Michonne, t’keep the blade of her katana sharp. A music box that he’d fixed up for Beth. Some weird metal reindeer for Aaron (he’d also filled his freezer with deer meat, though it was a toss-up if that was more a gift or just Daryl needin’ some place t’put it. But he’d seemed t’like the meatballs they’d made for his spaghetti so). He’d tried his hand at ninja’in’ to give Jesus shit, leavin’ it in random places for him – a bag of jerky, a little sweater that he’d seen at the pet store when he was picking up food for Bailey – he’d wanted t’wrestle it on one of those stupid chickens but last time he’d gone near one it’d pecked him, and a pink beanie with I <3 Jesus on it. He was pretty sure it had glitter on it too. He hadn’t gotten nothin’ for the pirate Aaron had brought along – honestly he wasn’t sure he trusted t’he guy but Aaron liked him and that was enough for Daryl.

    The only gift he had for Carol was in his pack, nestled at the bottom.

    First they had t’get there.

    The cabin came into sight through a clearing and Daryl hardly paused, stepping neatly over the trip wire only to give it a little kick so the cans jangled. If none of the rest of ‘em were gonna step into them, he figured it still might be a good idea to give Carol a headsup somethin’ was out there. He didn’t hesitate as the cabin came into view, not carin’ if the rest of the group was still dawdlin’ as he came up the steps and raised a hand to knock lightly on the door.​
     
  8. Carol Peletier

    Carol Peletier The Walking Dead

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    Female
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    Silverwood
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    [​IMG]

    Carol knew it was Christmas. She'd refused the invitation to spend it in town with the others. She'd come close to going to them a couple of times. She took a walk each morning, and sometimes her path would take her to the outskirts of that little town with its magical dome. She never made it beyond the treeline, though. She'd linger sometimes just to watch the people, and she'd catch glimpses of the others. But each time she saw a hint of blonde hair she turned her back. The last she'd seen of Beth's face, it'd been covered in blood and frozen in death. She was afraid. Afraid of getting someone back only to lose her again. Afraid that as soon as she saw Beth's face she'd wake up and realize all of this had been a dream. Or it'd be real, and she'd have to accept that Pandora wasn't just a figment of her imagination or some strange afterlife.

    Carol wasn't sure which would be worse.

    She woke early that day, but took her time getting around. A soft layer of snow had settled outside, and for a time she just stood in the kitchen window and took it all in. Back in her world, before the dead had risen, Christmas had been a special time for her and Sophia. Ed would be out drinking pretty much from Christmas Eve to News Years' Day, so they'd have the whole holiday to themselves. There were rarely any presents, at least nothing new. But Carol would always bake batches of cookies, gingerbread, and pies the day before, and she and Sophia would spend all of Christmas Day playing games and stuffing their faces with treats. For just a moment she could see her daughter out there in the snow, falling onto her back and spreading her arms and legs out to make a snow angel. A gentle smile stole over Carol's lips and she felt her eyes moisten with the memory.

    She turned away from the window to look at the little island in the center of the kitchen. The entire surface was covered with large plates heaped with cookies and pie, all of which had been baked the day before. The cabin was well-stocked, and she figured she might as well make use of it. She'd send some back with Daryl next time he came 'round. There were a couple of woven baskets in the pantry room that she could pack with the treats. She'd just started into the pantry to get them when she heard the jangle of cans outside. A faint frown stole over her face, but there was a hint of a smile around her lips, too. She assumed it was Daryl - or maybe Chise, the girl who'd helped her when she first arrived and who'd kept checking in on her since.

    When she glanced out the window it was Daryl she saw breaking through the foliage around the edge of the clearing and she didn't linger long enough to see the others come out just behind him. The knock came just as she made it to the door and Carol pulled it open in the next instant. Whatever she was going to say died on her lips as she was faced with what felt like a very large crowd of people. Her eyes flicked from Daryl toward the rest - or what she could see of them - before returning to his face again. She looked like she was caught somewhere between being displeased and glad to see them, the emotions playing over her face one after the other until they just seemed to mingle together. When she spoke, though, it was with the sharpness she used when she wasn't pleased about a thing.

    "What's all this?"
     
  9. Beth Greene

    Beth Greene The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    289
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Survivor
    Location:
    405 Autumn Blvd, Misty Hollow
    Race:
    Human
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    Beth looked to her left as Michonne's hand lightly rested upon her shoulder. The group was now so tightly entwined that they seemed to know what the other was thinking without saying a word. Michonne must've sensed Beth's uneasiness or picked up on her sudden slowness, her dark eyes reassuring. Beth smiled in return. She appreciated the support, and gently gave Michonne's hand a squeeze before it fell from her shoulder. Jesus appeared by her side moments later and the three of them fell into step as he too noticed the change in pace.

    "Mhhmm," she replied, giving him the same smile she'd given Michonne. It was one that came naturally but try as she might, Beth couldn't quite get the nervousness out of her face. "I just... I hope she doesn't mind us comin' here." Strange butterflies were forming in the pit of her stomach as the cabin came into view, and while there had been an excited, nervous energy amongst the group, everyone had suddenly gone very quiet. She didn't want to ruin Carol's Christmas or upset her in any way, but at the same time, Beth desperately wanted to see her. It had been such a long time, and who knew how much time they had left. They had to treasure every moment.

    She nodded as Jesus pointed out the tripwires and watched Daryl barely miss a beat as he stepped over them with ease, givin' the cans a gentle jangle and marching straight up to her front door. Carol reached the door just as Daryl's knuckles grazed the wood, her expression changing from elation to surprise in a matter of seconds. Beth found herself moving closer to Jesus and Michonne for support, a slight crease appearing between her eyebrows. She glanced to the rest of the group, coming to a stop as her gaze rested upon Carol properly for the first time. A sudden rush of emotion overcame Beth and her eyes filled with tears, the blue shining against the bright sunlight. It was so good to see her, even if Carol hadn't caught sight of Beth yet.
     
  10. Aaron

    Aaron The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    278
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    Male
    Location:
    Misty Hollow
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    Human
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    34
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    He could practically sense John's unease about all of this, and he could blame him? It was Christmas and here they were, trudging through the woods toward a cabin belonging to somebody who didn't really want anything to do with them. And all they could do was hope that might change when she saw their faces and realized that they genuinely didn't want to see her spending a day as special as this one all by herself. Nobody should be alone for Christmas. And, well, besides that, they were an odd bunch and probably more of a dysfunctional little family than John had expected to find in Misty Hollow.

    He didn't say anything in response to the other man's question, a small smile playing at his lips as he side-glanced him. Not that he had the chance because a second later, John was almost tripping with such a lack of grace that he had to reach out and grasp for Aaron's arm, using it to practically drag himself back to his feet again.

    It might've been a miracle if the poor guy made it to the cabin in one piece, and Aaron was starting to wonder whether or not this experience might actually put some kind of strain on their relationship. Had this been a mistake? Was it too soon?

    And was Carol gonna be really pissed?

    The quiet tripwire caution he heard from Jesus ahead of them only solidified that final question in his mind and he nudged John's arm slightly to be certain they'd both be stepping over the tripwire the others casually bridged as though it were second nature. And then they were there, the door opening, Carol's eerily familiar face staring back at them. It had been a long time. But longer for others who had known her better than he had, which made this moment so much more crucial for them, so he simply hung onto John and kept respectfully back, his blue eyes drifting momentarily to Beth's turned back. She was brimming with emotion.

     
  11. John Silver

    John Silver Black Sails
    No one, from nowhere, belonging to nothing.

    Posts:
    712
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    Male
    Occupation:
    Orphanage Caretaker, Bartender
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    33
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]

    It didn't require immense people-reading skills to see that most of the people belonging to this little group were nervous, tense at least, and judging by Aaron's words this whole situation felt more important than John could even begin to understand.
    A part of him was concerned that Aaron's family would be upset that he's dragged a stranger along, especially considering the circumstances - whatever those circumstances exactly were; John had no clue but it was evident that this wasn't just a cheerful family dinner.
    Not that he could judge - he's never had a family as that he would have been able to draw comparisons here.

    His question remained unanswered but he didn't press the matter. If the other didn't want to tell him he certainly had his reasons, and John was not in any position to demand answers.
    Instead he fell silent, too.
    Walking was easier with the support of Aaron's arm to hold on to and though the former pirate tried not to lean too much on his company, his leg really didn't like the uneven ground and for however long they've been walking - by the time the cabin came in sight, the hint of a limp was weighing down John's steps.
    To say that the tripwires didn't concern him would have been a lie and to reassure himself, Silver decided to remember that this was Misty Hollow after all. If there was any place out there that justified placing tripwires around the house, then it was this one.

    This little family of theirs was a collection of very different people from what John could judge - and yet each of those people looked like they've seen hell at one point or another in their lives. Another might not have recognizes this particular look but John knew it very well, most people he's surrounded himself with had had this exact same look in their eyes back where he had come from, and it left him wondering just how much all of them had really went through and if they had went through it all together - a thought which woke sympathy and understanding in Silver, almost.

    When they all came to a halt in front of the cabin, John didn't release Aaron's arm still. Not for balance anymore but merely to have something to hold on to, somewhere to belong, so to say.
    He didn't know why he was feeling so nervous, seeing as he had pretty much nothing to do with this whole thing whatsoever.
    And yet when the woman - who must have been Carol - opened the door, raw emotions dancing across her face, unable so it seemed to decide what to settle for, John felt like he had suddenly become part of something much more intimate than he had ever expected.
    The silent display of emotion which was happening at this damned cabin already was not something John was exactly comfortable with - he had his issues with emotions, after all.

    Unconsciously he took a step closer towards Aaron, close enough that their shoulders were a breath away from touching. He was glad they had stayed behind a little, feeling like it was definitely better that he - as the only person quite obviously not belonging - wasn't amongst those who were stood right in front of Carol's door.
    Digging his fingers into the sleeve of Aaron's jacket, Silver was trying to make sense of his nervousness and anxiety. He wanted to ask whether Aaron was certain it had been a good idea to invite him over, whether Carol wouldn't be offended.... but for fuck's sake, Aaron was a grown man and if he had decided to ask John to come along, he must have had a reason, he must have been certain, he must have thought this would be okay. And the former sailor would do hell questioning the other's decisions in regards to his own family.

    So instead he didn't say anything, merely stuck close to Aaron and waited for the situation to unfold in whatever way, watching the others' reactions.

     
  12. Daryl Dixon

    Daryl Dixon The Walking Dead

    Posts:
    467
    Gender:
    male
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    46
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    He’d barely knocked on the door before Carol was answerin’ and it was easy t’see the emotions playin’ across her face. Maybe he shoulda came out first, made sure it was alright with her, but he had a feelin’ that she woulda said no. Woulda dug her feet in and been all stubborn about it. And he got it, shit, alright? It’d been hard as hell seein’ Beth after watchin’ her die (then again, first time he saw her here it’d been through the bars of some damn cell in a bunker, so he wasn’t sure it was the same sorta thing for Carol) and there wasn’t not guarantee that any one of them people behind him would be there tomorrow, but they were family (most of ‘em, anyway) damnit, and Daryl might not have much experience with how family worked, given how fucked up his had been, but families were supposed to spend holidays together and all that shit, right?

    So, he didn’t shrink back at the look on her face, or her tone, and he didn’t turn around and tell the lot of ‘em to pack it away and hoof it back t’town. “Thought we’d all come for Christmas,” Daryl explained, meeting her gaze solidly, chin tilted upward just a bit. He could tell she hadn’t seen Beth yet, wasn’t no way, and he did feel a little nervous at that. Losin’ people was hard and while it was a relief to know Beth was alive, seein’ her sure as hell was gonna bring back the reminder of how they’d lost her in the first place.

    And that wasn’t ever pleasant. Hell, he’d barely been able to reference her demise without his throat going all tight on him, and he’d known Beth was back at the house with the damn dog right as rain. “Got a gift for ya ‘n everythin’,” Daryl said, like that would have any bearing whatsoever on whether Carol let ‘em in or anything. ​
     
  13. Carol Peletier

    Carol Peletier The Walking Dead

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    The group was quiet, except for Daryl, who lifted his chin in that way that said he was being stubborn about a thing, and told her how he'd figured they'd all come to her for Christmas. "Is that so?" she asked, eyebrows shooting up. Her eyes narrowed suspiciously at the mention of a gift and she glanced toward the pack Daryl carried. In that moment her gaze was drawn by a small shuffle of movement behind him, just beyond the porch. She saw Michonne there to one side, and pressed close beside her was a slimmer form, and the edge of a blonde head covered with a familiar knit beanie.

    Carol went still, her breath misting up in front of her face in a shaky exhale. One hand lifted to Daryl's shoulder, as much for support as to push him gently aside so she could get a good look. Her lips trembled as she met those warm blue eyes that she hadn't thought she'd ever see again. The expression on Carol's face was stark with both grief and joy, and maybe just a hint of fear because what if this all crumbled away and it turned out none of it was real? This was the moment she'd been avoiding, but now that it was here Carol found she was swept helplessly away in the rush of emotions that washed over her.

    For just a second the memory was there; the sharp pop of the gun, the way Beth's head had snapped back, the life gone from her just like that. But the image cleared the next moment when Carol blinked, and before she knew it she was moving past Daryl and down the porch steps. She felt warmth trickle down her cheeks and realized they were tears but didn't care. Wasn't any shame in crying, not about something like this. She held out her arms and beckoned for Beth to come to her, and if the girl did she'd find herself drawn into a tight embrace.

    Carol didn't say anything, mostly because her throat was so tight that she wasn't sure she could speak in the first place. Everything she felt in that moment was put into the embrace, and if Beth let her she'd hold on as if she never intended to let go.
     
  14. Beth Greene

    Beth Greene The Walking Dead

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    Beth took a sharp intake of breath as Carol's gaze moved from Daryl's, to Michonne's, to finally herself. She watched as Carol placed a shaky hand on Daryl's shoulder and almost dreamlike, walked down the porch steps toward her. Beth did the same, slowly weaving through the group to get to her. She smiled, her blue eyes now brimming with tears as Carol's face matched her own. It had been so long. This was the moment she'd had been most nervous about, and yet, now that the time was finally here, all that mattered was getting to Carol as fast as possible. Everything else seemed to melt away.

    She moved quicker now, unable to stop the tears that were both happy and sad as Carol began to cry too. She hadn't want to upset her, especially not on Christmas Day, but Daryl was right. They needed to be together, and the thought of Carol on her own in that cabin broke Beth's heart. To think they could have missed out on this. Carol held out her arms as they neared, to which Beth ran into willingly.

    She practically leapt into Carol's arms as they finally met, flinging her arms around her neck and almost dropping the present in the process. A strangled sort of giggle escape Beth as she clung on to Carol for dear life, taking in the scent of her. She was really here. After losing so many; after Rick, after Glenn, after her sister... To have Carol back was more than a blessing.

    "We missed you," she whispered, tears dripping on to Carol's shoulder. "We really missed you." It was all she could say, for all other words got caught in her throat. Nothing else seemed to explain what Beth was feeling so instead she put everything into their embrace. It'd been years since she'd felt Carol's warm, comforting arms and she didn't want to let her go as they swayed lightly on the spot. But she was not the only one who'd come to see Carol and so Beth reluctantly broke apart.

    "We got you presents too," she added, echoing Daryl's words and beaming into her face. She looked over Carol's shoulder and beamed at him too. She took a tiny step back so the others could say hello and looked around at the rest of the group. She couldn't remove herself fully though and so stayed by Carol's side, her arm wrapped tightly around her back.
     
  15. Aaron

    Aaron The Walking Dead

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    He wasn't so sure his silence was helping ease John. In fact, he was pretty sure it wasn't, but as the moment unfolded before them, the last thing he wanted to do was spoil it. Beth saw Carol, Carol saw Beth, and it all came together like it always should have. Things weren't completely as they should have been. Rick should have been here. Glenn, Maggie, their baby boy. For all of the losses this group had seen since coming to Pandora, they had given back Carol and that meant the world.

    Even as John clung to him, Aaron felt himself shift closer to the other man. For warmth, or maybe just because the moment was so touching that he wanted to feel that close to somebody as well. Turning his head, he gave John a small smile, the kind that said there was nothing to feel nervous about. That it was gonna be okay. That he couldn't express how much it meant to him that he was here.

     
  16. Carol Peletier

    Carol Peletier The Walking Dead

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    It was hard to believe this was happening, even with Beth in her arms. In their world there was only one way people came back from the dead. You kill or you die, or you die and you kill. But somehow the impossible had happened, and Carol wasn't about to question such a miracle. Not now that she'd seen it for herself.

    She smiled warmly as Beth finally pulled away, her hands lingering on the young woman's arms to give them a final, affectionate squeeze before she broke contact. At the mention of presents Carol uttered a short laugh and shook her head. "You're the best gift I could've asked for," she said honestly, voice thick with the joy that had blossomed during their embrace. There was still some sadness around the corners of her eyes, because it was obvious that people were missing from their little group. Maggie, Glenn, Rick, Carl, Abraham, Rosita... so many faces she'd become accustomed to seeing at Alexandria that were missing here. Carol wasn't sure if that was a good or a bad thing. She finally turned her attention to the rest of the group, blue eyes scanning over each face equally, even the stranger's. His presence was noted and catalogued for a later, more appropriate time to be addressed.

    "That goes for all of you, I guess," she added with a chuckle that was equal parts affection and exasperation. "If I'd known Daryl would drag y'all through the woods in the middle of winter I'd've had some hot chocolate waiting." She narrowed her eyes almost teasingly at the man standing on her porch - she probably should have guessed this was coming, in hindsight - then exhaled a playfully resigned sigh and shifted to sling an arm around Beth's shoulders if she'd have it. She extended the other arm for Michonne, her gaze bright with her gladness at seeing the sword-wielding warrior, too. "Well, get on inside 'fore the lot of you come down with a chill. There's cookies in the kitchen I was gonna send back with Daryl anyway. Help yourselves." She lifted her chin toward the porch to emphasize the invitation to go in, and if Beth and Michonne had allowed the physical contact she'd keep her arms securely around their shoulders until they'd made it up to the door.

    "And take your boots off in the hall! I don't need no puddles of water all over my clean floors." She smiled when she said it, but there was an edge to her tone that suggested she wasn't just teasing.