Thanks first to several people cause I'm feeling kinda mushy right now:
♥ Thank you to lovesswingdance for mentioning the pairing in a fandom friendzy and reminding me of the one scene that started it all.
♥ Thank you to kaitlia777 for the lovely icon that sparked the fic idea and title.
♥ Thank you to fadeintohim for being a fantabulous beta and cheerleader for me!
♥ Thank you to my lovely TWD fandom friends from the capturing_norm community for putting up with my nonsense and always cheering me on in my creative endeavors! I'll see you all tomorrow night for the EPIC WATCH PARTY!!
Title: Taking the Safety Off
Spoilers: If you've seen through episode 1x05 plus the preview for 1x06, you're good.
Genre: Gen, comfort.
Word Count: 1013
Giving in to her overwhelming emotions, Andrea turned her face into the pillow and sobbed as though her heart were breaking.
Rick stood in the doorway, watching Andrea cry, wondering if she would let him comfort her. As wrong as it may be, she'd been on his mind a lot lately. Hell, she'd been on his mind since the first moment they met. It was lucky for him she hadn't known how to turn the safety off on her pistol – there was murder in her eyes when she'd looked at him and told him that he'd killed them all with his stupidity. He smiled at the memory. She'd had so much spunk; it hurt his heart to see her so broken now. He wished she'd let him take care of putting Amy out of her misery. She might hate him for it, but he would prefer that to watching her suffer the guilt she surely felt now.
He'd started to go after her when she ran from the control room earlier but he had been afraid of how it might look to the others. He'd always been an honest man, a man who lived his life in black and white. Right was right, wrong was wrong – no shades of gray. And here he was, a married man thinking about another woman and how much he'd like to hold her. A loud sob jerked Rick’s wandering thoughts back to the present and he decided that right or wrong be damned, it was time to take the safety off.
“Andrea?” Rick spoke softly, as he walked toward her. He hadn't intended to startle her but, at the sound of his voice, Andrea jumped and was half-off of the sofa before Rick could reach her. Seeing him, she frantically started grabbing her boots and weapons and said, “Is it my turn to stand watch? Let me just get my stuff-“
“Andrea, stop! Nothing’s happened. We're not under attack. We're safe here. Daryl and Shane are standing guard and Jenner’s watching the monitors. Glenn and Dale are taking the second watch and then Daryl and Glenn will take the third watch. You're off duty tonight. I just wanted to check on you, make sure you were ok.” Rick gently eased Andrea back toward the sofa until she had no choice but to sit back down, her grip on her boots and weapons slowly easing off.
“I'm fine, Rick. I don't need anyone to baby sit me.”
“Andrea, you're a strong woman, I get that. But I also know that you're hurting, you're pissed off and you're not sleeping. I just came to sit with you, watch over you so you could maybe feel safe and get some sleep for a change. I won't let anything hurt you, you know that. You can let your guard down. Please, just let me do this? Let me fight your demons for you tonight and you can fight with me tomorrow, ok?”
Rick settled himself back against the cushions, wrapping his arms around Andrea, pulling her back against his chest. She wanted to struggle, but she couldn't deny that Rick’s warmth and strength felt really good to her. She needed that, even though she hated to admit it.
“What about your wife? Shouldn't you be with Lori and Carl?”
Rick sighed, replying softly “Carl has been asleep for hours; he’s fine. And I really don't want to talk about Lori right now, ok? Just relax, close your eyes, and get some rest.”
Andrea hated to admit it, even to herself, but a tiny part of her felt a thrill that Rick was here, with her, and not with his better half. Andrea had always tried to keep her nose out of other people’s business, but she saw more back at camp than anyone might have suspected. She knew what had been going on between Shane and Lori, and she knew that it would break Rick’s heart if he ever found out. She couldn't bear to be the one to tell him, even if it might clear the way for her to be with Rick.
She settled herself more comfortably against Rick’s chest and felt his arms tighten just a bit, for a quick moment. She glanced up at him breaking the uncomfortable silence, “Has anyone ever told you that you're a bit of a pain in the ass?”
Rick laughed, really laughed, for the first time in what felt like months. “Oddly enough, Daryl told me that not twenty minutes ago.”
Andrea laughed with Rick, feeling herself begin to relax, letting some of the regret and tension slide away. Patting his arm, she whispered, “Thank you.”
Rick tightened his arms in a brief hug pressing his lips to the top of her head, holding her until he felt her breathing change as she slipped into what he hoped would be a dreamless sleep. Only then would he allow himself to rest.
I hope you enjoy it! ♥