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Rick and Carl stared down at the lifeless body of their wife and mother, eyes wide with shock. Cas darted over, one hand on his sidearm, he wouldn't draw it unless it was necessary.
[b [+blue "Rick, Carl, you both need to get back. You too Andrea. If he's had that scar for months then he is truly immune. Dakota, I trust what you're saying is the truth, but I still want to check him over okay? He might need antibiotics to fight an infection. We don't know what sort of bacteria could have been in the Corpse's bite. Everyone else needs to back the fuck off, you put either of them in danger and [i I] will put a bullet through your fucking skull. You got that?!"]] Rick and Carl stepped away numbly, both of them still in shock. Daryl stepped forward, stopping instantly when Cas's eyes narrowed and his hand tightened on his gun, the safety switching off in a millisecond with one quick move of his finger.
"This is why I didn't want any of you carrying guns! Now we have a dead woman and child that's going to get sick while we don't even have the start of a vaccine!"
[b [+blue "Hershel, shut the fuck up and go back inside. This is our groups problem not your family's."]] Hershel's eyes widened at the deadly calm in the coreman's voice, he had gone from the kind, almost jovial doctor to an ice cold killer in barely a second and it was giving the whole group whiplash.
[i [b [+blue We had the start of a vaccine, one that used my DNA, but it was destroyed when the CDC blew up...]]] He thought to himself as he watched the veterinarian herd his family back to his house.
A few hours later, Cas had been able to check AJ over, he was running a mild fever but he wasn't sure if it was from the bite or if it was from the cold he had contracted due to his autoimmune disease, which he relayed to Dakota, and gave her some toddler antibiotics that Glenn had grabbed on the run. Andrea was still glaring daggers at both Dakota and AJ, who was fast asleep.
Cas stood and walked over to Lori's body, pulling his gun and putting a bullet between the body's eyes without a second thought. A few people gasped and stared at him in shock, Rick was the only one who looked at him with any sort of understanding.
[i [+magenta "What the hell was that for!"]] Andrea stormed up to him, intent on ripping his gun from his hands, only to find the shining black muzzle pointed at her head,
[b [+blue "Back the fuck off Andrea, or do you want Carl to have to suffer through watching his mother turn into a flesh eating monster?"]]
[i [+magenta "But she was shot, not bitten."]]
[b [+blue "Doesn't matter, the virus is in our blood, we turn whether bitten or not after we die. Deal with it and start putting bullets through heads."]] He snapped and stormed off towards the house to check on Shane and get him the anti-depression medication Glenn got while he was out. He should have gotten it to him sooner, but shit had hit the fan before he could.
"I told you [i not] to say anything!" Dakota shouted as everyone started surrounding her and AJ. She quickly assessed her situation and found Lori and Andrea to be the most dangerous seeing as they were the ones saying AJ should be shot.
"Everyone calm down!" Rick said, but it was drowned out by the arguing. Lori and Andrea wanted him shot, which broke out into an argument of morals by Dale when finally Andrea stepped towards Dakota and AJ. Dakota quickly pulled her gun out. "Back the fuck up!" She commanded. It had been quiet enough for only Andrea and Lori to hear. Andrea listened. "He's immune!" She yelled loud enough for everyone to hear. They all fell silent.
"That's impossible, right?" T-dog said looking to Rick at the last part. But befor Rick could say anything Lori stepped forward grabbing AJ's arm.
"This is bullshit," Lori said.
Everything stilled when the shot rang out, half the group was staring at Lori's lifeless body in shock and the other half were staring at Dakota. Hersel's family had come out of the house with because of the commotion.
"Did you think I was waving around this gun for show? I don't fuck around when it comes to my son!" She had AJ safely nestled to her chest, "If any of you so much as touches him you'll have a bullet between your eyes." When she was confident no one was going to move she slowly lifted one of the legs of AJ's pants to reveal a scarred bite mark. "He got that months ago, you ever known someone to live that long after getting bit?"
Cas sighed softly, he was dreading the talk he was getting ready to have with Rick and Carl, but something needed to be said. Lori was sick and there was nothing he could do about it, he didn't have the proper medications for what she had and she needed therapy.
[b [+blue "Rick, can I talk to you and Carl privately?"]] He rubbed the back of his neck, a somber look on his face. Both of them tensed slightly but nodded, following him a ways away from the camp.
[b [+red "Is this about Shane? Is he getting worse? Can you not help him?"]] Cas held his hands up to stop the onslaught of questions from the young man,
[b [+blue "No, it's not about Shane, he's not getting worse, and I can definitely help him. I actually wanted to talk to you about Lori."]] Rick frowned slightly
[b "Carl you should go help your mom with the laundry."]
[b [+blue "No Rick. He needs to hear this too. He's too old now for him to have not noticed that something is [i wrong] with your wife."]] Rick glared at the soldier, steel blue eyes narrowing,
[b "He's my son, and I say he doesn't need to hear this."] Cas pinched the bridge of his nose and pinned the older man with a harsh glare,
[b [+blue "And I'm the doctor and psychologist with a PHD in psychology, with a focus in behavioral disorders who's telling you that one way or another, your son will get this information, whether it's right now, or in an hour when I take him out to hunt. Your choice."]] Carl looked between the two men before deciding to chime in,
[b [+red "Dad, I deserve to know if something is wrong with mom. Like actually wrong, I can already tell she's not exactly in her right mind, and I know what happened between her and Shane. I was in the house when everything cam out, she caused his psychotic break dad, maybe we can help her."]] Cas sighed softly and ran a hand over his head, his hair was getting long, he was going to have to do something about that soon.
[b "Alright. What's wrong with her?"]
[b [+blue "Honestly, this is speculation because I can't stand to be around her for longer than three minutes without wanting to throttle her, but from the symptoms she's exhibiting, hyper paranoia, rapid, violent mood swings, the muttering to herself, snapping at everyone for seemingly no reason, I can say she's probably suffering from acute schizophrenia, and DID."]] Cas glanced back at the camp and fought the urge to flip the woman in question the bird for the dagger-like glare she was sending their way.
[b [+blue "Dissociative Identity Disorder, it used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder. The biggest issue with both of these disorders, is that without proper medication and therapy, those that show signs of them or have been formally diagnosed with them can become violent and dangerous."]]
[b "You had Glenn get the medications for Shane, can't you get the medications for Lori and give her the therapy yourself?"]
[b [+blue "No. My degree is in Psychology, not psychiatry, and most pharmacies don't carry the medications I would need, at least not at the strength I would need them at, because people like your wife, who are showing the symptoms she is, are locked up for both their own and the public's safety. You need to figure out what you're going to do with her, because I can't help her."]]
[b "Can't? Or won't? You're helping Shane."]
[b [+blue "Rick, don't insult me. Shane is suffering from a fixable condition, a condition that he's in because of your wife might I add, that needs minimal medication and a little bit of time to recover from. Schizophrenia and DID are both chronic conditions that worsen over time, and are not curable."]]
[b "What am I supposed to do?"]
[b [+red "Is there anything we can do?"]] Cas opened his mouth to answer the both of them when Glenn and Dakota came back. His eyes immediately went to the young lady that he considered his daughter even after so little time with her and frowned slightly. She seemed tense. His eyes flickered over to Glenn, who looked like he was going to explode, he was so wound up and tense.
[+magenta "Aj's been bitten."] Cas blinked slowly as he processed the words that tumbled from the Korean's mouth. In those few moments it took for him to process the words, all hell broke loose.
Dakota was helping Carol with the laundry at camp while AJ ran around chasing a butterfly a few feet off. [i 'Do you honestly think that I would let my daughter in there alone if I thought that it would put her in danger?'] The words Cas said two hours ago had been replaying in her head. She'd never had a father in her life so she wasn't entirely sure how she felt about it.
"Everything alright?" Carol asked noticing how in her head she was. Dakota was about to answer when Rick came up.
"Glenn is going on a run and someone has to join him, so do we have any volunteers?" Dakota jumped up faster than she thought possible.
"I'll go," She said.
"No, there is no way I'm letting a kid go."
"I managed perfectly fine before I joined you and I am going insane sitting here doing nothing, I'm going," She said while fastening her machete to her hip. As she started putting AJ in his baby carrier Carl, who had just started getting up and around, spoke up.
"Why don't you leave him here, it'd be safer." Dakota snorted,
"Yeah, no. Thats not gunna happen, he safest with me." She was slinging him onto he back when she saw the look Lori was giving her. "Can I fucking help you?" She asked.
"How is bringing him where there are walkers safer than leaving him here? I mean-" Dakota quickly interrupted her,
"Look lady, I don't tell you how to raise your kid, don't tell me how to raise mine." She gabbed the hood of Glenn's jacket and started heading off towards town.
"You don't trust us, do you?" The journey towards town had been quiet up until they arrived at the shop.
"Not all of you, no. But then again how many of you trust me?" She asked browsing an isle for soap. Glenn was about to answer when AJ started coughing.
"Is that normal?" He asked looking back at the boy, who had his head nuzzled against the nape of Dakota's neck. Dakota turned to face him.
"Yeah, he gets 'em a lot, just look for some cough syrup." She answered before noticing Glenn's eyes go wide as she heard AJ scream. After quickly disposing of the Revenant she put AJ down to start tending to his bite. "Stop staring and give me the rubbing alcohol and bandages." Glenn, who was still in shock handed them to her. She started humming again while cleaning the bite before she continued to look through the shop.
"What are you doing?!" Glenn shouted, seeming to come to his senses, he looked like he was fighting down a panic attack. Dakota looked at him.
"You can't tell anyone alright? I promise he's fine."
"He's been bit!"
"He's [i fine]!" She growled while giving him a warning look which was enough to shut him up. She figured she'd be able to explain everything to the group once they got back.
Cas grunted at the shrill voice blaring in his ear. He'd been so focused on listening to what was going on in his patient's room that he hadn't even noticed Lori walk up to him.
[b [+blue "Can you shut up for two seconds you stupid bitch?"]] Lori gasped and held up a hand to slap the former soldier for the insult, but he grabbed her wrist and had her pinned against a wall in just a moment, before she even had the chance to realize what had happened, [b [+blue "You seem to forget that I'm a trained soldier. Do you honestly think that I would let my [i daughter] in there alone if I thought that it would put her in danger for even a [second]?"]] He spat, pressing her harshly against the wall,
"He still attacked me!" Cas snarled at her plaintive whine, forcing himself to keep from breaking the woman's arm.
[b [+blue "You've done nothing but be a heartless bitch to him since your husband arrived, at least that's what I've heard. Now, you have two options, you can get the hell away from this room and stay away from Shane, or you can march your scrawny ass in there and listen to him while he explains his side of the story."]]
[+purple "Cas, please let her go."] Cas blinked and pulled away to look at the former deputy. The man stood at the doorway, one arm stretched to the side where he was still shackled to the bed. His dark eyes were cool as he stared at Lori. [+purple "Actually, she won't listen on her own, so I'm going to tell her my side of the story while you have her restrained."] Cas pulled Lori away from the wall and all but frog marched her into the bedroom, flashing a worried smile at Dakota, wondering silently if she had heard him call her his daughter, and what she thought about it if she had.
"I don't want to listen to your excuses Shane. Let me go asshole." Lori struggled in Cas' grip, making him tighten his hold on her upper arms,
[b [+blue "No. Yer goin' teh shut up an' listen for once in yer life woman."]] He hated having to do this, it was clear in his face, but if this is what Shane needed to get better then his concern for his patient was greater than the lack of comfort he had in keeping Lori pinned down so she would listen.
"Just wait until Rick hears about this!"
[b [+blue "Anyone else 'avin' a 'Arry Potter flashback?"]] Cas asked sarcastically, his heavy accent colored with mirth, though the humor quickly left his face as Shane sat down and pinned Lori with a look that could only be considered desperate.
[+purple "Lori, when I was at the hospital to get Rick evacuated there were soldiers there. Most of the Doctors and Nurses were gone, or fleeing with other patients. The soldiers were shooting just about anything that moved, patients, staff, civilians, the lot. I wasn't going to be able to get Rick out by myself, so I pushed a bed in front of his door and locked the wheels. You and Carl were my first priority, Rick would have killed me if I didn't get you guys out. Before you get even more upset, I did not want to start a relationship with you at first, one I prefer men and two, your husband is... was my best friend. It just escalated. I did honestly believe that Rick was dead after a couple of months had gone by and we didn't hear anything. I thought a soldier had searched the hospital and killed any patients left. It was just as much of a shock to me when he stepped off that truck as it was to you and Carl. Then you started blaming me and accusing me of lying to you to be able to have sex with you. You wouldn't listen and it broke me that you thought I would stoop that low. I admit that I took it too far at the CDC, but to be fair I wasn't myself."]
"That's no excuse!" Lori snapped, straining against Cas' hold,
[b [+blue "Actually, any actions done in the midst of a mental or psychotic break can't be held against the one committing the crime or actions because they are not in the right frame of mind, that's why there was a plea for temporary insanity in the courts."]] Cas stated, his eyes taking Shane's dejected form in as Lori slumped into his arms, her body shaking with silent sobs, no one in the room was on her side, and she knew it.
"Fine, I understand. But I can't forgive him for what happened in the CDC, everything else before that... he's forgiven. And I still want him to stay away from Carl until you give him a clear bill of mental health Castor." Cas looked from the dark haired woman to Shane and raised a single eyebrow,
[b [+blue "Can you handle that Shane?"]]
[+purple "I just wanted her to listen. I can handle that."] Cas nodded and let the dark haired woman go, not realizing that her forgiveness was just a ruse. He realized too late and she had already backhanded Shane across the face.
"Stay the hell away from my family you sick, twisted-" She was cut off as Cas bodily picked her up and all but threw her out of the room, his body shaking with the Scotsman's rage he had inherited from his father.
"Knock, knock," Dakota said before hesitantly entering the room Shane was being kept in. He chuckled,
"I gotta admit you're the last person I thought I'd see walk through that door," His voice was quiet and he looked beyond exhausted. Dakota smiled;
"You shoulda seen me trying to convince Cas to let me in, even now he's standing outside."
"Why do you even want to see me?" He asked looking up at her, the dark circles under his eyes reminded her of the Revenants.
"Why not?" She replied making him laugh bitterly.
"I could write a list just from our first meeting." Dakota hummed still standing at the door awkwardly, "I really am sorry about the way I've been treating you and your kid," He said looking at the toddler hiding behind her leg.
After a moment of studying Shane's face, she replied, "I forgive you." He quickly looked at the teen.
"Thats it?" The bewilderment was clear across his face.
"I can tell you mean it this time," she laughed sitting on the side of the bed with AJ crawling on her lap. Shane smiled,
"Hey kiddo," He said, sitting up as AJ took hold of his finger. "How old is he?"
"Two, he'll be three in December," she replied. He nodded,
"So, whats your story?"
"Well before I met all of you guys I was with another group. Two men a woman and AJ. The woman, her name was Sabrina, died first from an infection. She was AJ's mother and she asked me to look after him. Then Joel, Kay shot him when he went crazy," Dakota saw Shane wince at that. "And then there was Kay," She hesitated. "I dont really wanna talk about him," She said while adjusting the yankees cap on her head.
"Was that his?" Shane pointed to the hat.
"Yeah, so were the machetes," She said gesturing towards the two swords leaning against the door frame. "He taught me how to use 'em."
"I'm sorry for bringing it up," He said looking sincere.
"Its not your fault," She stood up, "You just focus on getting better, Rick could use a friend." She looked over to see Shane about to say something when he was interrupted by a shrill voice,
"He attacked me and you're letting him near two children?!" It was Lori.
"Fuck," Dakota whispered.
Cas had been keeping a close eye on Shane, suddenly wishing he could get the poor man some anti-psychotics. They had switched from having him tied to a chair to having him shackled to a bedpost with heavy iron shackles, so he could move around and sleep comfortably.
[b [+blue "How are you doing today Mister Walsh?"]] His voice was soft and gentle, a completely different person from the man who had gotten so pissed off at the former cop that he had punched him. Cas felt guilty, he should have known that Shane was loosing it when he had to pull the man off of Lori.
Cas was jerked back to the present when Shane sorted and scooted forward to lean closer to the Colonel,
"I'd be doing a lot better if you let me go, Doc." Shane sighed and sat back in his chair,
[b [+blue "You know I can't do that until I'm completely sure you're safe to be around children. I can't afford to put Carl, Dakota or A.J. in anymore danger than they are already in being in a world like this..."]]
"I'd never hurt a kid!" Cas's brows furrowed and he sat forward,
[b [+blue "Shane, what is the last this you remember clearly? I need to know so I can make a proper diagnosis."]] Shane drew a shuddering breath, his face twisting in pain,
"You pulled me off of Lori... I... I can't, it was like I wasn't even in control of myself..." A shuddering gasp left Shane's chest, pulling at Cas's heartstrings even as his brain began cataloging everything and matching mental illnesses to Shane's symptoms.
[b [+blue "Shane, have you ever had any other episodes where you didn't remember something properly, possibly during a time of immense emotional or mental stress?"]]
"Few times when I was younger, but once I got out on my own they stopped until..."
[b [+blue "Until Lori refused to let you explain yourself?"]] Shane winced and nodded. Cas sighed and patted the older man's leg before standing, [b [+blue "I know, I know... I'll be right back Shane, gotta go talk to Glenn about picking something up for me on his next run."]] He left the room, his heart aching for the man shackled to the bed because of something that wasn't even really his fault. Daryl jogged up to Cas, crossbow slung lazily across his shoulder.
[b [+red "You look like a man on a mission, you figure out what's wrong with Walsh?"]] Cas glanced at the redneck and smiled softly, scratching nervously at his stubble,
[b [+blue "I think so... The fix could be as simple as forcing Lori to sit down and make the bitch listen to Shane's explanation, thus getting rid of the stressor that is causing his break down, but I'd like to see if Glenn can pick me up some anti-depressants while he's out on his run. At least to knock the edge off for the poor man until he can get his head straight."]] Cas stopped next to the group by the well and wrinkled his nose at the stench, [b [+blue "Whose brilliant idea was this? Now we're down a well and have over a dozen people to feed and water, not to mention the cattle."]] Everyone looked around sheepishly, making the Navy Coreman swipe a hand down his face in exasperation before he looked at Glenn and pulled the young Asian aside, [b [+blue "I know you hate it when people request things on a run, but this could possibly help the group out majorly. I need you to pick up some anti-depressants from the pharmacy, he might not need them, but I'd like to have them on hand if my first plan doesn't work to pull Shane out of his funk."]]
"It's for the good of the group Colonel, I have no problem picking them up, but I don't know what to look for."
[b [+blue "Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Prozac, or Zoloft would work, If you could get me a bottle of each that would be amazing, in case Shane's allergic to one of them or we need it for another member in the group."]] Glenn nodded briefly,
"You mind writing those down for me? I'm going on a run with Maggie tomorrow."
[b [+blue "Yeah, I'll get the list to you tonight. Thanks Glenn."]]
The next day everyone had set up camp at the Greene farm and Carl had started his slow recovery, when Dakota went to visit Carl she made sure to bring AJ. She didn't know anyone in the group very well, after all she'd only been with them for three days but she trusted Carl, and she knew he liked AJ and hoped the boy would help cheer him up.
"Knock knock," she said walking in the room, AJ walking beside her.
"Carl!" AJ shouted, running up to jump on the bed, Dakota winced and put her hands on his shoulders.
"Hey, Carl's in some pain right now so you have to be gentle okay?" she asked brushing a curl away from the kid's face as he nodded. Carl and Dakota sat talking for a few minutes with AJ putting in his two cents once or twice before Hershel came in. He had the two leave so Carl could rest and told them to help gather some water at the well.
She arrived with AJ on her back to find Dale and T-Dog already there pumping some water into a cup, but a noise coming from the well caught the girl's attention.
"No!" she screamed slapping the cup away from T-Dog before he could take a drink, "There's one in the well."
About thirty minutes later Dale had gathered Glenn, Maggie and Lori and thought up the brilliant plan to lower Glenn into the well to pull the Revenant up. "This is the stupidest idea I've ever heard of!" She shouted, she'd been trying for the past ten minutes to convince them to think of another plan but in vain. She watched in horror as Glenn plummeted down the well when the support beam broke. She quickly took AJ off her back and turned him away from the scene which ended in the Revenant ripping in half, contaminating one of the wells. "Told you," she muttered.
Cas's attention was mainly on helping Hershel, but when the old veterinarian shoved him out of the room he huffed and growled before storming down the stairs in time to hear Dakota's words. His gaze snapped to Shane and narrowed as he took the ex-cop in slowly, cataloging every minute detail he could about his appearance.
[b [+blue "Shane Walsh if you so much as twitch I'm going to put a fucking bullet through your head. Drop the gun and sit down slowly."]] His voice was a commanding growl, startling everyone, especially the cop. Andrea, the blonde gun-freak, stepped forward, a confused look twisting her classically pretty features
"Wait, why? What's going on here?"
[b [+red "You don't bring home a dead man's gun..."]] Daryl whispered, but the group was so quiet, every single one of them could hear the redneck's words. Cas took a step towards the unstable man, one hand held aloft, the other wrapped tightly around the handle of his gun.
Shane's hands were shaking, he was shaking, as he dropped the gun. Tears pricked his deep brown eyes, bringing a harsh well of sympathy up in Castor's chest.
[b [+blue "It's going to be alright Shane, I just need to to sit down for me... Why don't you kick that gun to Rick, wouldn't want anyone to get hurt now would we?"]] Shane seemed to follow the Colonel's orders without so much as a thought to disobeying, the gun was slid over to Rick and Cas tied the shaking cop to a sturdy wooden chair. [b [+blue "Now, I need you to sit their while I talk to the rest of the group, can you do that?"]] At an affirmative nod the colonel smiled at the former cop and pulled away from him. Backing away slowly, never taking his eyes off of the bound man. The rest of the group followed him silently.
"So what exactly is that about?" Cas snorted and glared at the dark haired woman that had become quite a thorn in his side,
[b [+blue "That, my dear, is a possible psychotic break. One of two things happened. He either killed Otis himself and took the gun, or wrestled the gun away from him after shooting him so he could get out with his bum leg."]]
"Shane would never!"
[b [+blue "Rick, I would normally never talk to a woman this way, let alone another man's wife, so I apologize ahead of time."]] The deputy shot him a confused look as her rounded on Lorie, eyes narrowed and shoulders squared, [b [+blue "Listen here you bitch,]] the gasps and exclamations of the rest of the group made him frown as he waited for them to quiet down, [b [+blue "I don't just immediately dislike people, unless my instincts scream at me that they are dangerous, you however are the biggest fucking cunt I've ever met. I've spoken to Shane at length and he's not so bad once you get past the fact that he's a controlling asshole. Now that means I also got all the gory details about the two of you after all this shit started. Do I condone you cheating on your husband? No, that's just plain wrong and unchristian, and I'm gay, my whole life is unchristian. Do I think you are to blame for this? No, you honesty believed Rick was dead, but you should have told him immediately when you found out he was alive. What I do blame you for is the fact you were so pissed at yourself after you found out Rick was alive that you didn't even let him fucking explain himself! That's the whole fucking reason he even started to break down in the first place."]] Cas took a deep breath as he finished speaking, his own hands shaking nearly as badly as Shane's were when he entered to house, except his were from anger rather than a mental break. He grumbled to himself in Gaelic as he stepped back into the house to pry the true story from the former cop, hopefully with enough help he would be able to bring the man back from the edge of insanity. He'd seen it enough in soldiers on the front lines that he also knew how to treat it, at least enough to get the man back on his feet, at least then they would know if he was truly and asshole or if it was because his ind had been breaking this entire time.
It had been four hours since Rick, Carl and Shane went looking for Sophie, and one hour since they heard the gunshot. "I'm sure its nothing Lauri, probably just a walker," Carol had been comforting the woman for most the hour.
"Lauri!? Is there a Lauri here?" A woman came riding in on a horse. After Lauri showed herself the woman spoke again, "Carl's hurt, Rick sent me," She gave everyone directions and took off with Lauri. After they wrote a note on a car window and left some food in case Sophie came back, they were off. It was a thirty minute walk and when they arrived Lauri and Rick were standing next to a bed with an injured Carl and introductions were brief.
"What happened?" Carol asked,
"My son Odin shot a buck, and the boy was behind it," Hershel responded. After a long few minutes of waiting Shane came back and dumped the supplies needed for Carl's surgery, Hershel and his wife immediately went to work while the group and their daughters waited outside.
A gun caught Dakota's attention, it wasn't one of theirs, and she was sure he didn't have time to pick up a new one. "Dear God," she turned to Shane as everyone focused their attention on her hugging AJ closer. "What have you done?"
Cas was fuming still when they emerged from the woods, his hands shaking slightly as he slung his gun over his shoulder. A slight smile twitched on his lips when he saw Dakota running after A.J. playfully.
Daryl dropped back to walk next to the Colonel, biting his lip as he tried to figure out what to say,
[b [+red "Why do you care so much about her? We... you barely know her, hell the group barely knows you but they differ to you more than they do Rick or Shane."]] Cas smirked slightly, stopping his stride as Rick approached Carol slowly, his head hung low.
[b [+blue "I have always had a soft spot for kids, even if she's not really a kid in this world anymore. Plus I can't stand the fact that Shane would kick a little girl and a toddler out on their own. To an extent there's safety in numbers nowadays, and..."]] He stopped talking when Shane stormed past, grumbling under his breath about stupid whores. Cas's blood ran cold and he could feel every muscle in his body tense as he turned to watch the cop, [b [+blue "Do you want to repeat that Mister Walsh?"]] Carol and Rick, who had been watching Cas and Daryl started towards them, hoping to make it to them before the situation escalated.
"I said that I still don't want the bitch here, her or the bastard she calls a son." Cas's movement was lightning quick, giving just about everyone who was watching whiplash. Shane wasn't even sure the Scotsman had moved until he saw the blood staining his knuckles and Daryl having to use his entire body to hold the man back.
[b [+red "He's not worth it Cas. T-Dog needs your help, you still haven't been able to stitch him up after he got himself cut."]] Cas growled as he tore himself from Daryl's grasp and stormed over to the rest of the group, ordering T-Dog to sit.
It took a few minutes, but he managed to get the wound cleaned, thankfully someone had stashed away some whiskey and antibiotics to clean it and prevent infection.
Dakota stood in shock, it had been a while since someone stood up for her like that. Everyone was staring at her and AJ except for Sophie's mother. Dakota knelt down in front of her, "What's your name?" She put a hand on the woman's shoulder.
"Carol," she answered a small smile twitching at her lips when AJ reached his little hand towards her.
"Well Carol, I'm Dakota and this is AJ, I know you're scared but the sheriff wasn't far behind your daughter and I'm sure he'll help her." Dakota comforted the woman for a few more minutes before introductions were made. AJ had been put down during this time and was walking around and giggling at a few select people in the group Dale, Carol and Carl to be exact.
"And this.. is Shane," Dale said.
"I'm sorry about earlier," Although it was an apology Dakota and any smart person could see he didn't mean it.
"Sorry about being a dick or sorry for getting called out on it?" She responded making Shane slam his fist on a car and stalk off a few feet. When she looked back at the group she found AJ hiding behind Carl's leg, looking quite scared of Shane. Dakota bent down and slowly started walking towards him. "Im gonna getcha," she whispered causing AJ to run around with her chasing him.
"No mommy no!" He giggled when Dakota caught and spun him around. Though most of the members were smiling at her and the boy Dakota saw the way Andrea and T-Dog bristle at the name and Shane just looked disgusted but she didn't comment on it. The fun quickly faded when they saw the three men emerge from the woods without Sophie.
Cas couldn't help his knee jerk reaction to the police officer's words. His green eyes narrowed dangerously and he stalked forward, his fingers tangling in the fabric of the man's shirt.
[b [+blue "Who the fuck died and put you in charge? Last I checked you pussy footed off when Rick came back. Now you want to try an' man up and take charge by tossing a fucking toddler and a girl no older than the boy you treat as a son out on their ears."]] His accent thickened as he pulled the cop closer. His voice was soft so the Corpses couldn't hear him but the danger in it sent shivers down everyone's spine. [b [+blue "You throw her and the little one out and you lose me too. And T-Dog won't last too much longer bleeding like that. Not to mention the fact that we have no clue what was on the metal that cut him."]] He said the last part so low that only Shane heard him, honestly he would never leave someone to die if he could save them, but the cop didn't know that.
[b [+red "Colonel..."]] The Scotsman shifted his gaze to the redneck but didn't release Shane. [b [+red "We ain't gonna let them be kicked out. Just put Shane down and come help me look for Rick and Sophia."]] Cas let Shane drop to the ground, and pinned him with a dark glare.
[b [+blue "She and the baby better still be here when I get back, or else."]]
Dakota saw the colonel's eyes widen when AJ started to cry. Hugging him close Dakota started humming a tune her own mother used to sing to her as a child. Dakota found out it helped AJ and it became a habit for her to hum it to him. Soon enough AJ was only sniffling. After the last Revenant passed the three of them stayed in the car for a few more minutes before even thinking of leaving. Picking AJ up Dakota followed the colonel as he got out the car when they saw a little girl run into the woods with two Revenants close behind. She could do nothing but hug AJ closer and turn his head away as the sheriff chased after her, the girl's mother was being comforted by the rest of the group. When Dakota walked up to do the same a man with dark hair turned to her, "What the hell are you still doing here? We dont have the room or resources for more people go away!"
"But she has a kid," a boy no older than herself stepped up. "You gotta let her stay."
"She herself is a kid, you can't turn her away!" The older man from before shouted. As a few people with the group started arguing with the man Dakota saw the colonel getting angrier,
"Shes not coming and thats final!" Then snap. She saw it in his eyes, the colonel was furious.
The Colonel would have been completely and totally lying if he ever said that he wasn't extremely grateful to the white haired woman with the grenade. He frowned as he looked the woman over again, now that they weren't in immediate danger from death by explosion or Corpses, and realized that "woman" was not the correct term for her.
She barely looked sixteen, maybe seventeen.
[b [+blue "Thank you for rescuing us Dakota, I can't speak for the rest of the group but I am personally in your debt."]] He gave her a curt nod as everyone filed onto the RV and into other cars. Without even asking either Rick or Shane whether or not the young woman was welcome among them, Cas dragged her, and the toddler she was traveling with, into his chosen vehicle. She was a child herself still and he would not leave her in the area around the CDC when he knew that Corpses would be flocking to the area after such a loud noise.
The group made it a ways away from the CDC before they were forced to stop by the RV breaking down, [i again] from the sounds of it. Cas spotted them first, his green eyes widening at the sheer amount of Corpses shambling their way. He let out a low whistle, drawing everyone's attention before nodding to the herd. Grabbing Dakota and AJ he pulled the both of them into the van they were driving and shut the doors, grabbing a musty blanket to throw over the three of them. He made sure he was perched over both of them should any Corpses choose to investigate the van and find them.
He thanked his Navy training silently as he held his breath and peeked out from under the blanket to watch the herd amble by. His heart was pounding in his chest and he was almost afraid that one of the Corpses would hear it and he'd be nothing but dinner.
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