Aurora slept right through until the next morning. She was still exhausted when she woke up since they hadnt really had a proper meal in days and with her growing a baby she certainly needed more sustenance than what she was getting.
She stretched herself out and sat up, looking around the room for a moment. She hoped that perhaps Jay or Harrison might have made their way to bed with her and got some rest but she should have known better than that. Jay wouldn't rest while he was trying to protect them and until they found King... God she hoped they would find King and Monica.
Aurora climbed out of bed and made her way downstairs to find that Jack and Scarlett were asleep and that Harrison was fast asleep on Jay's lap. Aurora smiled, being filled with love for the two of them. "Jay..." she stepped closer to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Let me take over, you should rest." She kissed his head and ran her fingers over Harrison's cheek.
Jay walked back into the living room to find the others. They looked exhausted. Especially Harrison. He was just a child. He wasn't old enough to look like the world was wearing on him.
Jack had his head leaned back in a large lazy boy and Scarlett took the couch. Harrison was sitting on the floor in front of her and she was trying to convince him that he needed rest like the rest of them. And just as Aurora had probably figured, he was fighting it.
"C'mon," Jay said softly and pulled Harrison into his arms. "You can help me keep watch." He knew perfectly well that once he got comfortable, the boy would fall asleep. They made sure the door was locked and then Jay took the other chair in the room and aimed it at the door. He had his gun at the ready. Harrison climbed up into his lap.
Sure enough, an hour later, and Jay was the only one still left awake. He could feel Harrison's soft breathing against his chest. He looked at him and gently moved the hair out of his face. It was getting long...
His heart swelled with love. He loved this boy like he was his own.
Aurora shook her head, knowing instantly that he would blame himself. "It's not your fault. None of us could have predicted that this would have happened." She sighed and wished she could take some of the weight from Jay's shoulders but she didn't really know how, especially since she was carrying so much herself. Perhaps all she needed to was some time to rest.
"We'll do what we can, remember?" She tried to smile a little and she accepted his gently kiss before he left the room so that she could rest. Aurora didn't spare any more thoughts for Mitchell. She did what she needed to do to protect her family and she knew that Harrison felt like he was doing the same at the time. She just didn't want him to have to grown up too quickly. He was such a joyful child and she couldn't bear the thought of losing him.
Soon enough she drifted off into a sleep, one that was far deeper than any she had managed since they had left their home.
Jay took in the information and nodded. He was relieved to hear that Harrison hadn't delivered the killing shot. But he was full of other anxieties now. Like the fact that he was so young and wanted to to protect his mother. And that Aurora was the one to do it.
"If I had just gotten there sooner," he said softly. He turned to look at her once again. "I'm sorry. You shouldn't have had to..." He looked at his hands. "It all got so fucked up so fast. This isn't how any of this was supposed to be."
He sighed heavily. Then stood. He had other things that needed to be done and dwelling on this would not help him with that. He leaned over and kissed Aurora before walking out to check on the others.
Her eyes were already closing and she could feel herself drifting off because she had expected Jay to leave her in leave instantly but instead she felt the bed dip slightly with the weight I'd him lowering himself onto the bed. It was enough to make her open her eyes again, especially when she heard him say her name.
She looked over at him and could see the look upon his face and a part of her knew what he was going to ask before he had the chance to ask it. She sighed and bit down on the inside of her lip. "Harrison shot him twice but not with the intention of killing him. He was too close to me and he shot him to keep him away." She avoided his eyes for a moment. "I killed him." Her admission was quiet and she could already feel the guilt swimming over her once more. "He would have killed him...I didn't want him to...and I couldn't let Mitchell near him..."
He helped her climb into bed and pulled the old blankets over her. He moved the hair from her face when she started to speak. He nodded slowly. Then he sat next to her, the bed squeaking.
"Rora..." He said softly after running an exhausted hand down his face. He turned his head to look at her.
"Who killed Mitchell?" he asked. He swallowed hard and let his eyes drop to his hands which he was wringing together. "Did Harrison shoot him?"
She was right. He was only just a kid. And Jay couldn't live with it if he was forced to kill at such a young age...
Aurora knew that her tears were a result of exhaustion and pregnancy hormones but she couldn't hold it in anymore. Right now she needed Jay to hold her and tell her everything would be okay and that's exactly what he did. They hadn't even had the chance to be this close with all the walking they had been doing and they hadn't had a real place to stay I'm days.
She leaned into his hand and allowed her eyes to meet his. "What we can." She repeated and then nodded before she sad down and Jay helped her take off her shoes. "I'll rest. I'm too tired to do anything else." She said as she started to lie down. She knew that Jay wouldn't sleep with her because he felt like he needed to keep everyone safe.
"Make sure Harrison gets some sleep please? He's trying to be brave and help but...he's just a kid."
Jay half expected her to protest, or to say he at least needed the rest too, which he did. What he didn't expect were the tears. His eyes grew concerned and he circled around the bed to take her hands in his. She sounded so hopeless. It broke his heart. But he knew he had to stay strong for the both of them.
"Whatever we can," he answered, looked down for a moment. Then he was looking into her eyes and taking her cheek in his hand. "We do whatever we can. This isn't the end." He pulled her forehead close and kissed it for a long moment, closing his eyes.
When he pulled away, he led her to the side of the bed and helped her sit down. He knelt in front of her and sighed heavily. "This isn't the end," he said once more, as if he needed to hear it as well.
"Please... Get some rest."
While Harrison didn't need to worry himself about her pregnancy. She did. With every day that passed she found herself getting more and more worried about what would become of their unborn child. They were constantly on the move and she was beyond exhausted and she was not eating enough to account for the fact that they were travelling and she was trying to grow a human. Still, everyone, even Harrison, gave her bits of their food to help her.
After a week, Aurora was like the others. Tired and pale. She didn't want to make too much of a fuss but she was struggling although she was also grateful for the fact that she wasn't more heavily pregnant. Though, the time would come where she would be. Four months wasn't exactly a long time when you were stuck out of on the road like this.
When they found a farm house she helped check out that it was safe and when they realised it was she sighed out with relief. At least they could sit and eat tonight. Once they had eaten she watched Jay walk away, only to return moments later to take her hand. Jack was distracting Harrison and she knew he would take care of him so she followed Jay who was clearer wanting her to get some rest.
A bed seemed liked the most precious thing in the world right now and with tensions and emotions running high, she couldn't stop the tears from flowing from her eyes. "What are we going to do?"
A day passed like this. And then two. They checked every building they came across for any signs of the others, but Jay couldn't find anything of note. They avoided the main roads and towns because he knew that's what King would have done. They killed any infected that they came across and continued on their way, hoping for any kind of a sign.
They slept wherever they could. In barns or old abandoned houses. They took tuns keeping lookout because Jay almost kept himself awake far too long to function. He hunted and brought them small game, lighting only the smallest of fires to cook it on so that they wouldn't be seen.
Days turned into a week. A week of walking with hardly any idea in mind where they were headed. Jay left clues behind everywhere they went for King, just in case. Clues that only people they knew would understand. A scrap of Jay's flannel. Scratching a word into a post, but not indicating direction.
Tensions were still high, though less so now that the group was mostly just tired. They stumbled onto an old farm house and cleared it out before calling it home for the night. Jay was thinking they might just stay there a couple nights to regain their strength. He hadn't seen any signs of being followed.
While investigating the rest of the house, Jay and Jack found a nursery. Initially, Jay wondered where the baby was now. Did it survive? But he also thought about his own child. It would never get a nice room like this. Or so many toys.
They ate in silence, as usual, but this time it was around a large dinner table. Scarlett was on watch that night, so Jay sought out a bed down the hallway. He could do without. The floor was fine for him. But he wanted Aurora to be as comfortable as possible. Anywhere they could find a bed, he wanted her to have one.
He took her hand and led her into the bedroom before letting go to pull off the blankets and shake them of any dust. He coughed a little, waving his hand in front of his face before laying the blankets back down.
"C'mon... you should get some sleep," he said.
I'm honestly Aurora felt sick. She felt sick about the fact she had killed Mitchell and she felt sick about the fact that their future was so unclear now. She didn't know how she was supposed to take care of herself enough to really make sure their baby would survive this.
She could hear raised voices but she ignored them as she leaned her hand against a nearby tree and took a deep breath until Jay neared here. At that point she stood up straight and tried to offer him a smile. Harrison wasn't too fair behind and he gave it away quickly what they had been talking about. It was a worry of hers too.
"But I am worried. Mom what does she mean?"
"Honestly baby, it is okay. Let's focus on finding King and the gang okay?"
At first Aurora denied it, but then Scarlett snapped at her and she took it with anger. He watched her eat some of it before looking away. He heard her walk off some after she was done. Jay glanced up at Scarlett. She was looking back.
"I don't need your input," he said shortly.
"Listen. If we don't find the others. Then you [i will] be needing my input. Thank God you have me. Thank God I went to medical school. And thank God Doc showed me what he knew. If Aurora gives birth out here-"
"We have months to find them," he bit back.
"And what if she miscarries?" Jay just glared at her. He breathed hard. "I'm sorry, but it's the cold, harsh truth. Back there? We had supplies to help her through this. But now?" She held out her arms, gesturing to the wilderness around them.
Jay stood up. "Let's move out," he said, without acknowledging what she had said. He hated that she was right...
He met Aurora and passed her, but not without putting a hand on her back to show her that he was still here for her.
Harrison came up between them. "What did she mean? What's miscarries?"
"Nothin' kiddo," Jay said as they moved through the trees. "Nothin' for you to worry about."
There was no denying that this whole situation was more than frustrating. She was equal amounts of pissed off and scared but she had to stay strong from Harrison and for the rest if the group.
Once the car was out of sight they started to make a move and used the trees as cover until they eventually came to a stop to eat something. Aurora had been trying to ignore the hunger she felt but she wouldn't be able to ignore it for much longer. She managed to finish her food and looked up at Jay when he offered his to her.
"You need to keep your energy up too you know."
"You are growing a human Aurora. God damn it just take it." Scarlett snapped and Aurora reached out to take the food. There was no denying that tensions were high and once she finished she had to stand and walk away for a moment.
Jay walked to the back of the car, placing a hand on the trunk. When only Scarlett stood next to him, he turned to look at the others, hearing them speak in frustration. If they were going to ask him to choose a side, he was going to scream. But fortunately, Aurora gave in and Jack joined them.
"Scar, go steer while we push," he ordered and she did as she was asked. She opened the driver's side door, put it in drive, and pushed with the others with one hand on the door while she steered with her other. Soon enough it reached the side of the road and it fell into a small ditch in the trees. It wasn't nearly as covered as Jay would have liked, but it would have to do.
They made their way back to Aurora, pulling backpacks over their shoulders. "Alright," Jay said. That was it. And he started to walk. They couldn't stay anywhere for too long, especially on the road like this. He made his way over to the other side and hugged the trees as they walked, hoping they would keep them from view of any passersby.
An hour later and his stomach was really starting to feel how empty it was. And he knew if he was feeling hungry, Aurora had to be feeling it twice as bad. They moved further into the woods so that they could all sit and take a break. He pulled out some of the canned food he had managed to snag before escaping the apartments. It wasn't much, but it would do them for now. Or at least until he could hunt some.
He looked over at Aurora and held out the rest of his can. "Finish mine," he said softly. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve. "You need it. For the baby."
It wasn't long before they made the decision to head out and look for the others. They were carefully about which way they went but eventually they ran out of gas. It was inevitable really.
Aurora glanced over at Jay and sighed, wishing that there was something she could do to lessen his frustrations but she knew it wasn't likely. He hated being the one that people relied on and he had become so good at being King's right hand man.
They climbed out of the car and she asked Harrison to stand back while she made her way to the car to help push it, only to find Jack's hand find her shoulder. "Oh no you don't."
"Are you serious?"
"Deadly. Don't you dare put a single hand in this car. I mean it."
"Or what?" She asked with a glare only to see Jack give her one back. "Fine!" She stepped back and took Harrison's hand.
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