Work Header

The Lion's Den

Work Text:

There was enough blood on your hands to last you a lifetime and yet here
you were, another pawn in the war against Alexandria, preparing to watch the
life fizzle and die from the eyes of your new enemies.

You’d been at the Sanctuary a couple of months and managed to settle in much quicker than expected. Although, it didn’t hurt that the boss had taken a shining to you and inducted you into his ranks, giving you privileges most new Saviors could only dream about.

Blind luck had been on your side that day and with each passing one you wondered when it might run out.

Negan had called for you and requested you meet him in his quarters, which was exactly where you were right now. 

The cold leather of the couch brought a small amount of blissful relief from the sweltering heat outside where the summer sun was furiously shining down. Even Negan himself had shed his signature leather jacket in favour of a plain white t-shirt.

You waited for him to finish his conversation and as Fat Joey was dismissed at the door, Negan shut it and dropped down on the couch opposite you. You leant forward, your arms leaning casually against the tops of your legs while you waited to hear why he’d summoned you.

“Well fuck me, if this ain’t the hottest damn day yet.” He started, running a hand over his brow as he gave you the once over.

“Seeing as I’m sweating like a bitch, I’m gonna say you’re probably right.”

“God, that is so damn attractive.” He responded, his words dripping with sarcasm.

You couldn’t help but laugh. The guy was a dick, a massive veiny dick, but he was also mighty entertaining at times. One minute he could be the most terrifyingly brutal person you’d ever have the misfortune of meeting, the next, a complete comedian that constantly threw people off guard. But you saw right through the façade he upheld for the residents of The Sanctuary. The system he had in place worked, it did, but it also meant that examples were made of the unluckiest among you when Negan needed to exert his power to keep people in line. You were sure he enjoyed it, but you also were sure you knew why he did what he did. It wasn’t just the sadism, it was because he cared. It was a notion that seemed impossible, but you knew it was true. You’d seen the human side to him on more than a few occasions, when he’d given you a glimpse and you were certain there was a Dr Jekyll lurking somewhere beneath the darker side he usually chose to reveal.

A moment passed and Negan still hadn’t told you why you were here, so you broached the subject yourself.

“So, what do you need?”

“Well, that dick Rick off my back would be a great fucking start,” He said, but the smile on his face soon faded as his expression turned serious as he looked at you, “but that’s not why I asked you here.”

“Alright, well shoot.”

His fingers tapped against the handle of Lucille which was leaning against his thigh and you could almost hear the cogs ticking in his brain.

“You seem pretty at home here. Remind me, how long’s it been?”

“Uh, month and a half, maybe two?”

“Right. Well, you’ve shown a lot of promise and that ain’t just coming from me. Simon, Arat, the others, they think you got something… I think you do, too.”

“Okay.” You said nodding, but still unsure where this was going.

“Which is why I don’t know what to do with you.” You sat back, a little unsure how to decipher what he was trying to say. Did he not want you here anymore? You thought long and hard about everything that had happened, but you knew you’d played everything safe. Everything. You did as he asked, you worked your ass off to prove yourself and you could even go far enough to say you and Negan had bonded. But now you thought that maybe you’d overestimated yourself.

“You’re gonna have to give me a little more than that Negan, you’re not making any sense.”

He stood, Lucille hanging limply by his side as he paced.

“Look, there’s no fucking easy way for me to say this, okay? You’re great. One of the damn best. Which means I need you out there, doing what you do. But,” he paused as he ran a hand over his face, “things have to work a certain way here and if you’re out there cracking fucking skulls and showing everyone that you’re hot shit, then it means you can’t be…” He trailed off as he looked at you and you were surprised to see your usual expressive leader unable to get his mouth around whatever it was he was trying to say.

“I can’t be, what?”

He sighed and was about to speak when a knock sounded from the door and Negan looked over his shoulder annoyed at the interruption. “Fucking, fuckballs,” he muttered before shouting towards the door, “come in!”

Fat Joey entered with a man trailing behind him holding a tray of drinks, the ice clinking as he walked. His long, dirty hair was plastered against his forehead and the side of his face and he wore a filthy tunic with a bright orange A graffitied on the front.

“Refreshments, as you asked, sir.” Joey said, motioning for the man to place them down on the table in front of you.

He walked towards you silently, eyes on the tray in his hands, but as his gaze trailed up to you he stopped and stood stock still. It was a lingering look, but he seemed to remember where he was and proceeded to put the drinks down carefully. Though his actions didn’t go unnoticed by Negan who moved to invade the man’s personal space, leaning in close.

“See something you like Daryl?” The sinister edge to his voice made the goosepimples rise on your arm and it wasn’t in a good way.

“Nope.” He said looking at Negan

Really? Cause I think she’s hot as hell, so you gotta be lying if you say she doesn’t make your pathetic excuse of a cock twitch. So lemme ask you again… you see something you like?”

Daryl looked at you again and the conflict was evident in his eyes as he considered his next words carefully, but knowing Negan, you knew whatever he said would result in some form of punishment either way. He cleared his throat then finally managed to answer.

“I guess.”

“That’s what I thought,” Negan said with a smile “that wasn’t so hard now, was it?” As soon as the words left his mouth, Negan swung his fist hard clocking Daryl square in the jaw and he stumbled back gripping onto the couch as he went down against it.

“Get up.” Negan said, gripping Lucille tight now with both hands and you noticed Joey looking unsure of what to do, so he just stood watching, waiting for Negan to address him when the time came. But you weren’t Joey and despite not knowing what the hell had gotten into Negan, you wouldn’t stand for him torturing someone just for looking at you. You stood and gripped Negan’s forearm hard holding him back.

“This can wait, Negan. We need to finish up here.” The stern look you gave him was at first met with rage in his eyes, but the beast in him soon calmed as he remembered why you were here in the first place and he took a step back.

“Get him the fuck outta here.” Negan demanded and Joey quickly grabbed Daryl and dragged him from the room, shutting the door briskly behind him.

“Shit Negan, what the hell was that?” You heard Lucille drop to the floor and the next thing you knew, your lips were locked with his as he pulled you against him. You inhaled in shock and he took the opportunity to explore your mouth and it wasn’t long before your tongue was dancing against his in a dizzying kiss.

This couldn’t happen, shouldn’t happen and you felt a pang of guilt as you realised you were enjoying the way his mouth fit with yours and how desperately he held you. You’d been craving this since you’d arrived at the Sanctuary. Only, you didn’t want it from Negan. You pulled back and away from him before it went any further and it dawned on you how much warmer the room had gotten in that short space of time.

“Fuck Negan, that was…”

“A long time coming?”

You looked at him, knowing the answer was yes, but not wanting to admit it out loud. Yes, it was a long time coming. Yes, the two of you had become close in the short space of time you’d known each other. Yes, you’d started to like the man you’d sworn to hate and yes, you’d been reeling him in little by little.

But that had been your intention all along.

Get as close as you could while you waited for the opportune moment. But you never thought it would come to this.

“What were you going to say before?” You asked, ignoring the question.


“Before Joey came in. You never finished what you were going to say.”

“Right, yeah.” His jaw clenched as he looked at you. “Ah fuck…I’m just gonna tell you straight alright? I was gonna say that you can’t be mine. Not in the way I want and not if I still want you working for me. You’re not cut out to join the others. You’re not wife material.”

“Gee, thanks. You backhand compliment all the girls like that?”

“You see, that shit is why you’re so awesome. You make me fucking laugh. You’re a fighter, you’re tough and you always got my back.” He leant down to pick up Lucille once more defeatedly. “Which is why I don’t know what to do with you. I can’t break my own rules by letting you be my wife and still one of the highest-ranking fuckers here, so it’s one or the other and its fucking killing me.”

“Then let me choose.”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me. If you put the offer out there, then let it be my choice. You just gotta give me some time, you know. Weigh it all up and think it through.” You said and he looked like he was considering it. All you needed was time and this was the perfect opportunity to keep him close, but enough reason to keep him at bay at the same time.

“Well, alright. Consider the offer there. Come back to me when you’ve made a decision.”

With the way he looked at you, you thought he was going to kiss you again, but he didn’t. Instead he opened the door for you, indicating you could leave, so you did.

All you had to do now was make sure everything else went according to plan.

Rick handed you a glass of water as you sat out on the porch of his house in Alexandria. The sky was clear but there was a light comforting breeze in the shade where you sat.

“I’m sorry for doubting you.” Rick said as he took as seat. He looked tired, the lines around his eyes more obvious than before and you wondered how things had been since you left.

“S’alright Rick. You weren’t the only one. I think Carl was about the only person who was fully for it.” You responded and both laughed remembering how enthusiastic he’d been.

“I guess, we just didn’t wanna lose you. We’ve lost so many people and it never gets any easier. After Glenn and Abraham, I suppose we lost a lot of faith. We all wanted Daryl back, you gotta know that, we did. We just didn’t know how.” He took a sip of his drink, before turning to you with a smile on his face. “Shoulda known you wouldn’t let him go that easy.”

“Damn right.” You said, tears threatening to pool in your eyes. You hadn’t been there the night the group had met Negan for the first time. You’d stayed back in Alexandria to hold down the fort, but when you’d heard the news you’d dropped to your knees, distraught at the loss of two of your closest friends and terrified of what Negan might do to Daryl while he had him prisoner. “I guess it seemed a pretty reckless idea in retrospect, but I knew I could do it, Rick. I knew I could get him back.”

“And you did.” You were both staring at the entrance gate of Alexandria, waiting for the car to arrive from Hilltop and your heart beat anxiously in your chest at the thought of seeing him again.

“You think he’ll forgive me, Rick?”

“For what? Saving him?”

“No, for getting as close as I did. With Negan.”

“How close did you get?” Rick asked, a little concerned.

“Close enough.” You admitted. “I mean you know how the plan was always to gain his trust, right? Well, I did. But I think I ended up with a little more than that.”

“Oh please tell me you didn’t…”

“God no! No, not that, jeez Rick. There was one kiss…god I don’t even wanna think about it.” You squeezed your eyes shut trying to block out the memory, but it was there and you could almost still taste him on your lips. You’d hated yourself after that, realising you were in way too deep, which is why you’d launched the escape plan sooner rather than later. After Negan realised Daryl was missing, he’d flipped his absolute shit and sent you out with the search party. Which was how you’d managed to make your way back to Alexandria after getting conveniently separated from the group. “I can’t believe he asked me to be one of his wives. I mean I knew he trusted me, but i didn’t thi-“

The rumble of an engine could be heard approaching and you stood up instantly and walked down the small steps to the road. Rick followed you and you both made your way towards the gate.

The dirty black car rumbled its way into the safe zone and you recognised Sasha behind the wheel. It hadn’t even come to a full stop before the back door was thrown open and Daryl practically jumped out, no longer in the filthy tunic you last saw him wearing and looking a lot more human too. Slamming the car door, he now stormed towards you, but you couldn’t move. You were cemented on the spot, a tsunami of emotions hitting you all at once from seeing him outside of the Sanctuary, seeing him safe and not knowing whether he would be pissed or pleased to see you.

But you got your answer when his arms enclosed around your waist and he kissed you like it was his last day on earth. This was everything you had wanted since you’d lost him to the Saviors that night and you couldn’t stop the tears from falling as you realised that this was real and you really had done it. It had killed you to see him holed up in that cell and treated like a dog. It had taken all your strength not to blow your cover when they’d tortured him to make him submit. Every day you were expecting Negan to find out who you really were and you counted yourself beyond lucky that he hadn’t. It was all such a relief that you’d almost forgotten about the guilt. The guilt for kissing Negan, for gaining his affection and for even liking him in his best moments. You’d have to tell Daryl the whole story, you owed him that much.

“Daryl,” you sobbed as you broke away, “I need to talk to you about Negan.”

“Darlin’, it don’t matter, ya hear? It don’t matter.” He said and you realised he was crying along with you. “I’m so damn proud o’you and I ain’t never leaving your side again, I promise you.”

A simple nod was all you managed before his lips found yours again. You didn’t even care that you had an audience. Daryl was back and the only thing left to do now was plan your next move against Negan and The Saviors.

And boy would he be surprised to see you again.