“ Move it or lose it, Hurl.” Bypassing the red-neck perv rather easily, her tiny hips swaying as she sped off down the hill like she was still eight years old chasing the neighborhood cats on her way home from school. Ava was a child at heart. She was free-spirited, foul-mouthed and quite frankly…
Shane walked up as Abe and Glenn drove up back to the camp, nodding at Glenn as he headed towards the trunk to help unload the things they’d brought back from their run. “Really appreciate it Glenn,” he patted him on the back, lifting out one of the boxes and handing it off to Dale. He pretended not to really notice Abe as he reached in beside him. It was no secret he didn’t like Abe. He didn’t like any guy who showed an interest in his baby sister. He couldn’t count the amount of times she’d brought a guy home to meet him and he’d be on the couch, cleaning his guns while wearing that favorite police baseball cap of his. It’d always done a pretty good job of chasing them all off.
He resisted rolling his eyes as his sister tackled Abe. He muttered under his breath, carrying a few things back to the RV with Dale. He gave a quick smile to Gray and Max as he passed, snickering as Max started worming her way out of her mother’s arms and towards Ava who was screeching about cookies. When he went back for his second trip for supplies, he let out a loud grunt when Ava threw herself on him. He should probably be used to this happening by now. Between Ava and Max it seemed like he was always being climbed on…sometimes Gray too.
Letting out a slightly dramatic huff he tried swatting his sister away, pulling away as she kept repeating his name. “Jesus woman, like you needed anymore sugar.” he snatched the box of cookies from her hands, grinning as he took a large bite of one.
: Nah, I think it's my daddy issues and my sugar deficiency. I might be slightly retarded. I dunno. Maybe you spoiled me too much.
Hey, ain’t nothin’ wrong with a little spoilin’ every once and awhile.
: Pft. -swats him away; signature little sister pout mode- Not guilt trippin' you just sayin' that I'm gonna be dead someday. Might regret bein' so mean to your ONLY little sister. The very same little sister who followed you so close I bumped into the back of yer leg. -dramatic sigh-
*shakes his head*You ever tone down the drama queen act?
: There was a time you loved me MOST. Remember that when I get drug off by geeks and they eat my face. Oh God...I hope they don't eat my face first...I'm so pretty.
Ain’t no way I’ll let any geeks eat any of your faces off so you can quit tryin’ to guilt trip me*ruffles her hair*
: SHUT UP AND HUMOR ME. God, your gettin' to be such a buzzkill from hangin' out with yer boriiiiing wife. -fake snore- DARYL WOULD GET ME A COOKIE AND TELL ME I'M COOL.
Excuse me? You don’t hear me goin’ about that redneck of a man you hang around with do you? ….Least not to your face. You be nice to Gray.
: -dances into askbox- BROTHER BEAR ! DIIIID YA MISS ME...DID YA DID YA -does the robot- but seriously aren't you so proud to have a sister that's THIS cool ? I mean c'mon. I'm cooler then an icebox, bro.
Cool…right. Whatever you say Ava. How the hell could I miss ya if you’ve been a total of ten feet away from me?
” It’s different for me when I look at myself then when you look at me. I saw something totally different. It’s not like I wanted to feel fat and gross.” It was true, if she could take out that feeling, she would have put up with all the cravings and the crying so much easier. She just didn’t like feeling like she wasn’t attractive to her husband anymore. She worried about him straying, always and when she was pregnant that feeling became much worse. ” The energy is from me. Sorry.” She smiled a little, her eyes flickering over to the tent as she heard giggling coming out of there which she could clearly see Carl making puppets for her as the sun started to come down and Max was giggling like a maniac.
” She loves you. So much. I mean she loves me cause’ I’m mom. I have the answers to everything. But she loves you because you’re her Daddy. I never had that with my Dad. He always thought if he raised me with callousness that I would learn to depend on myself and I did. But it also gave me zero self esteem and a need to be loved. Think it did me more harm then good. I mean, I found my footing easily with you but sometimes I question myself. Like am I doing it right ? Being your wife and Max’s mother. I question more about those things then I do anything else.”
This was something Shane never really understood. He could tell her she was perfect and wonderful but there were those days when she just wouldn’t believe him. “Babe, you’re perfect. Really. I never even thought of bein’ with anyone else.” he kissed her temple, tightening his arms around her.
“And Max thinks you’re a badass. Don’t you hear her goin’ on and on about you all the time?” especially lately now that Gray had to stand up to idiots like Merle. “Pretty sure the only reason she likes me is ‘cause I let her climb all over me and I wake up at the ass crack of dawn when she begs.” he laughed. “But hey, you ever feel like this again you just tell me. I can keep goin’ trust me.”
Moving her fingers into his hair when she felt his face nuzzling her neck, she gave a little giggle at him talking about six kids. ” Oh please. I worked my ASS off to get my body back into shape after Max. I dunno if it’d bounce back after that many children.” Really it was hard for her to get pregnant with Max. She had a really hard time during the pregnancy too. She was always sick and she spent half of her pregnancy on bed-rest. Max was born breach. Both Gray and Max could have died. So as much as she would have loved to have a little boy, to give Max a brother-the look on Shane’s face when he thought she was going to bleed out was something she would like to avoid.
Especially now. She would probably die in this day and age if she ever had another baby without the hospital care that she had with Max those four years ago. ” Besides I drove you crazy when I was pregnant. No one could move the bed or I’d throw up. She was tough. When I wasn’t throwing up anymore, she was kicking me all night long.” With the way Max was now, it wasn’t that hard to believe she was a stubborn baby either. ” Let’s not forget the three am cravings for vanilla ice-cream and pickles. Not the dill pickles but the spicy garlic one’s. I bet you’ll live your whole life and never forget that.” She smiled, moving to nuzzle his cheek affectionately. ” If I had to do it all over, I wouldn’t wanna do any of it with anyone but you. No one could sit there with me for hours, trying to help me put jeans on and make me stop crying because I swore I was a whale, like you could. Patience of a saint.” This made her laugh, “Well with me you do anyway.”
“I keep tryin’ to tell ya woman, bein’ fat and bein’ pregnant are two different things. Actin’ like you were fat. Please. It looked like you just shoved one of them little beach balls under your top.” he shook his head. “Never could get the smell of those pickles outta my truck either. Not to mention I had no idea how you even ate them.” that had been a scary nine months for him. Between mood swings, cravings and Gray being sick Shane wasn’t sure he’d want to do that over again. Even if he did want more kids.
“Least we got Max though huh? Energy like hers it’s like we already got six kids.” he snickered. Sometimes he wondered if Max really even realized what was going on. For all he knew she could’ve seen this as one big camping trip.
” You were not an asshole. And you still aren’t.” Her eyes scanned over his face, moving one of her hands to squeeze his. Turning her face, she kissed the inside of his head, moving her kisses around to his knuckles before she paused to look at him. ” I loved you then and I love you now. You were always more then just my best friend, Shane. Both of us knew that. Maybe not right away because I had no self esteem and you weren’t a mind reader but—it’s always been that for me.”
She moved around to sit in his lap, resting her head against his shoulder. ” I dunno I felt awkward. You were my first—everything.” She said honestly, it wasn’t like he hadn’t known that. She was the only girl in highschool who wouldn’t put out back then. It was more out of respect for her own body then anything else but the older she got, the more she realized that she had been holding out for the right person. Shane was just that for her. No matter what anyone else thought.
His arms snaked around her waist, burying his face into her neck. “Why’s it awkward? Makes me feel kinda proud.” he snickered, placing a few kisses under her ear. “I probably shoulda realized everything sooner. My mom always teased me about likin’ you ever since I was a kid. Kept telling me we were gonna end up married with six kids.”
A lot of people had teased him about it. Even Rick. He’d always just laughed it all off. “Probably be true too if all this hadn’t happened. Can’t imagine this is the best kinda place to raise kids with crazy uncle Merle and Ed runnin’ their mouths every damn minute of the day.”
” Baby…” She sighed, tugging him along with her, she moved to clean off his hands. A slight smirk spreading on her face when he went back into his usual antics, ” Shut up.” Her dimples gave her away though, even if she didn’t want to smile and even if the whole side of her face had been bruised. She couldn’t help it. ” Me defending your honor after you defended mine ? Only you and I could get into fights in direct line of the other.” No one bad mouthed her husband, not without choking on some teeth or getting a verbal assault that would make them wanna crawl back in the womb and stay there. Carol had gotten a pretty light lashing.
” Haven’t been hit like that in a long time. Last person that raised a hand to me got the shit beat of out him by you too.” She said quietly, ” I was younger then, I thought it was my fault then. I used to blame myself because I would think that he knew I loved you. I was just afraid of rejection. Stupid things you do when you’re that age. I known you my whole life and the prospect of you loving me too seemed so ridiculous. Especially with all the pretty cheerleaders you had hogging your ass.”
“Gray…” he cupped her face, tilting her face up towards his. “Baby, it was never your fault okay? He was a fuckin’ prick. Hell I was an asshole back then too.” he’d promised her back when he’d stopped her ex from hurting her that he’d make sure no one ever did this to her again. Seeing that bruise on her cheek made him angrier more with himself than with Ed.
“‘Sides you’re way hotter than all those girls that were on the squad.” he chuckled. “I’d never thought you’d wanna be with a big douche bag jock anyways.”