This is it, the last one for a while. *big sigh* If you need me, I'll be off in a corner, crying a little.
Title: Flash Fiction #31
Fandom: The Walking Dead
Word Count: 728
Characters: Rick Grimes, Andrea, OCs
Author’s Note: luveskane and I decided that it would only be right for Rick to finish off Flash Fiction Month. I desperately want him to have a happy ending, so I gave it to him.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Rick or any other character associated with The Walking Dead – I just like to take them out and play with them from time to time. This is unbeta’d and unedited – all errors are my own. If you see anything that needs correction, please let me know! Concrit is always welcome!
Rick Grimes sat on the porch swing, the sound of the children playing and laughing as they chased the dog music to his ears. The years had been long and difficult, the road behind them littered with broken dreams, losses, and so much pain. He thought back, remembering the struggle of day-to-day living, trying to survive against the threat of the walkers, an enemy that seemed endless and overwhelming. It made him sad to remember that the walkers weren't the most dangerous of enemies; at times, their fellow survivors were just as brutal, just as ferocious. He still had pain from time to time, his scars still stood out against his skin. The worst scars, though, were the ones on the inside. They never saw the light of day, but they ached all the same.
The screen door behind him closed with a bang, bringing him out of his reverie. He looked up and smiled as Andrea crossed the porch, dropping onto the swing next to him. He wrapped his arms around her and closed his eyes in contentment as she snuggled her head against his chest.
"What's got you looking so gloomy, honey? It's such a beautiful day. I thought you’d be out playing with the kids, enjoying yourself."
He sighed and looked down at her. "I was just thinking about before. All the things we went through, all the people we've lost along the way."
She sat up and looked him in the eye as she stroked his cheek. "I wish you wouldn't do that to yourself. I know it's hard to let go of the fear and worry but it's been years. The walkers are gone now. Looking back… it doesn't do anything except bring you pain. We made it through, we survived. I’m not saying that you should forget those times, honey. Just don’t live in the past.”
Rick looked away, his gaze going immediately to the electric fence that encircled their land, to the huge shed that housed their generators and fuel. Andrea followed his gaze and shook her head as she caught Rick’s chin in her hand, forcing him to look back at her. “You do what you have to to protect us. The fence, the generators, those are necessary. Those represent lessons learned. But you also need to remember is that you have a beautiful family that adores you. We have this land, our home. Life is good now, so smile for me! Or do I need to get my gun and threaten you with it again?"
Rick laughed, remembering the first time he'd met Andrea. "I don't know, you think you can figure out the safety this time before you aim it at me?" She poked him in the chest, squealing as he hauled her into his lap. He wrapped his arms tight around her, holding her close against his chest. "I love you, you know that right?" He caressed her cheek, kissing her softly. "You've made me happy again. I wasn't sure that was even possible." She smiled as she kissed him back, saying “I love you too.”
They held each other, allowing the gentle rocking of the swing and their own company to comfort them.
"Grandpa Rick! Come see what Carl Jr. did!" Little Caroline's voice brought Rick's attention back to the present. She was laughing as she danced around in the yard, pure joy evident in the smile on her face.
Rick sighed and lifted Andrea out of his lap, pressing a kiss to her forehead as he stood up. "Duty calls, honey. What time did Carl and Sophia say they'd be here to get the kids?"
Andrea grinned and said, "Sophia said six o'clock, dinnertime as usual. You've got a couple more hours to play before they get here. Go have fun. I'm going to go start dinner."
Rick blew Andrea a kiss and walked down the stairs to the yard. Carl Jr. was trying to convince the dog that he was really a horse; the dog was having none of it and kept rolling over on his back, throwing Carl to the ground. Caroline clapped her hands, thrilled with the game. Rick scooped her up and swung her in the air, laughing as she squealed before he caught her.
Andrea was right; life was good now. Sometimes, people got a happy ever after after all.