Troy Otto isnt disillusioned, he knows exactly what he is and no one has ever let him forget it. Not his father, not his mother, not even his brother. So when Troy sees the venomous loyalty Madison displays in regards to finding her husband- he's in awe. He'd like to put her in a box and watch her forever. She's the most interesting thing he's ever seen, because out of all the people hes separated. None has ever been so s t r o n g. He knows he has to have her before he even understands why.
She gets him and he adores her for it as much as he hates her. So when he puts the knife to her neck for calling him out on the mother who never loved him even after he took care of her- his hand is anything but still. He hates how she sees through him like glass and plays him just as well. Troy isnt stupid. He knows.
“You're better than this.” She says calmly, the fear barely present in her eyes.
No I'm not.
It takes him longer to realize that whatever it is between them- and there is something between them- is genuine. It takes him longer to figure out who Nick was before the apocalypse, takes him significantly less time to figure out how to use it.
Now Troy doesnt hate Nick, exactly. He's not really good at explaining the feelings he has. He just kind of wishes he would disappear sometimes. Than he thinks about Madison and regrets even feeling that way at all.
Because regret is one of the few feelings he does understand.
“There's a fight coming, and you have to save us, can you?”
It's after Big Otto's death and they're letting the Indians into the ranch that he sees Madison looking weak for the first time. Even after her beloved Travis died, she didnt look like this. She's standing along the fence pleading with Nick about something and his blood spikes.
“Leave it alone.” Jake says quietly. “Dont get involved.”
But Jake should know it's a moot point, staying away from Madison is harder than breathing- and he does that without even thinking about it. He does wait though, wait until she's turned to her cabin for the evening before he seeks Nick out.
“You busy?” He says casually approaching the boy.
The short hair better fits his militia persona better. But Troy knows the eyes are still Nicks. Just as distrusting and lost as his own somedays.
“Actually, I have a few things to do if you don't mind.” And Nick brushes past him, but Troy is undeterred . He has ammo for this fight and has been waiting for the right moment for it. He knew it wouldn't take long.
“Feeling conflicted about getting your colored girl and leaving your family here huh Nicky?”
The boy bristles, his whole body tensing.
“Dont worry, your moms in good hands. Ill take care of her.” That- at least he means. “You can go. In fact this time maybe she wont go after you.”
“What are you talking about?” Nick still hasnt turned to face him, but his words are spat through gritted teeth, and it makes Troy smile even bigger.
“Oh! You think I wouldnt find out? Did you forget my brothers boning your sister? Try not to think about it the image doesnt sit pleasantly with me either. Point is Nick, I know what you did to her. What you always do to her.”
“You need to shut up. You need to shut up right now.”
“See thing is Nick. I cant. Because you all think its me right? Me who is overly interested in your mom- searching out a mother figure. No. She's looking for someone who adores her instead of spits on her good intentions at every turn. I can be that for her Nicky. So you go on. Go get your wet back, bring her back here or don't. I'll ease the ache out of her eventually.”
Thats when he feels the crack in his jaw, Nicks fist knocking him to the ground. Nicks on top, than he is, but a few good punches in, Nick ends up on top again just as his limbs are beginning to ache and blood is filling his mouth and god does he feel alive.
“My mother “ crack “Doesnt need” crack “a son” crack. Nick's breathless from the force of his hits, and Troys jaw aches. God does it ache, but Nick's nothing compared to his old man. “She has me.”
And Troy laughs up at him, eyes rolling back in his head. “Nah. She doesnt need a son. She needs a husband.”
Than Nick's hands are around his throat and Madison and Jake and Alicia are pulling him off screaming what the hell is wrong with you, and Troy gasping for air, blood pouring out of his mouth, does the only thing he can to release the feeling overwhelming his chest.
He laughs and he laughs and he laughs.
“I don't know what you said that made him decide to stay, let alone beat the shit out of you.” a small smile tugs at her lips, and god does he find her beautiful. “But thank you.”
“Anything for you.” He wonders if she knows he means it.
He waits. Troy is a patient man. The most patient man, he thinks. The hunter waiting for the prey. He waits for Alicia to go to Jake's. He waits for Nick to go to his post at the gate. He waits for Madison to leave and busy herself elsewhere, and when they're gone and their space is empty he lets himself in.
It's not to hard to figure out whose bunk is whose. He thought maybe she would have relocated from the last time he popped in and had a conversation with her. But no. He can tell this bottom bunk is hers- he can smell her scent embedded into the fabric in a way, and he lays down on the blanket to breathe in her scent deeply.
He closes his eyes and he can hear the blood rushing through his limbs down towards his prick. He pauses giving it a tight squeeze before opening his eyes.
He was sure that was another part of him that would never be fixed. Madison was the most incredible woman.
Troy hated Walker. He hated sharing the ranch with Walker. He knew it was mostly because of his father. But still the hatred feels thick so the fact that he's seeking him out is as mind boggling to him as it is to Walker when he sees him.
He stares at Troy expectantly and Troy realizes he's put himself in a vulnerable position. He's come here asking for help from a man he hates who is probably going to be less inclined to help him considering he's promised to take Troys scalp more times than he can actually remember.
“Can we..talk in private?”
“Troy...what are you doing?”
He halts his movements and feels his face flame with embarrassment as he squeezes his aching prick in his hand. She's a lady and he's wrecking her bead and her space and hes embarrassed but he's close to something and this is the closest to something he's ever been. But each tug is mixed with pain, and while he doesnt hate the feeling, not even close enough to halt the motion, he knows it's what keeping him from getting there. Wherever there is.
He swallows unable to look at her, staring up at the bottom of the top bunk from her bed.
“I...I know this looks bad. But...you don't understand. I..I need.”
She frowns disapprovingly as she moves just a step closer. “Jesus Troy, you're chafing you need to use...” she pauses leaning into the nightstand and pulling out a bottle of lotion before handing it to him, her gaze still turned away.
“I..need this?” He asks, and there must be something in his voice that causes her to look at him.
“You've never...masturbated before?” She asks her voice a hushed whisper, though it sounds loud in the quiet room.
“Ive never.. I've never been able to...” instead of talking farther he gestures towards his erection. “They told me I was..” his voice trails off and Madison nods “Ok. Use that. You need to...use that from now on, and not again in here Troy, I'm serious.”
“Okay.” He says his voice quiet as he puts lotion on his dominant hand. “Stay.”
“Okay?” he asks.
“Okay.” she replies again.
He cums so hard his world goes black and quiet for a full minute before he cleans himself up and prepares to leave.
“The truth is, there's many things I'm good at.” Troy starts staring at Walker. “I'm by far superior with a weapon for starters. But you see.” He licks his lips and stares up to the ceiling. “There's other things I'm..not so good at. Things.... I cant talk about with my people.”
“So you thought you'd try talking about them with me?” Walker says, disbelief coloring his every word.
“I...Theres something I want to be good at, for someone else. It's important.”
“What are you asking for Troy?”
“I don't see why youre bringing me out here.” Alicia said quietly. “You hated Travis. You were going to kill him as your little science project.”
That was thing about Alicia, she might carry a lot of hate but every time she spoke it was factual. This is how it is, there's no use of lashing out. He hardly ever saw the girl act out especially compared to her brother.
“Just wanna see if you can give me a direction from where he fell to where the plane crashed.” He unfolds the map on the hood of the car, pointing to where the plane went down. “Here, is where it was. Tell me how many minutes. Give me something. Remember.”
Alicia had bright eyes. He liked that about her. She cared for Travis to. But unlike her mom, she probably never told him that.
“10...maybe 15 minutes.” She says her voice wavery as she points to the map. “Im pretty sure it was that way.”
“Alright.” He says folding it back up. “That wasnt that hard was it.”
“Why are you leaving?”
“Got something to do. Wont be more than a few days.”
“You arent taking any men Troy, what are you doing? This place cant afford to have you leave for a few days.”
“It has Jake.” Troy says finally, his tone softening with her wounded look. “It has you.. Youll take care of things til I get back.. This...has to be me.”
He adjusts his review mirror and is happy to see her standing there watching him drive off.
“I need to know how to please a woman.”
To his surprise Walker laughs. “That's a very..difficult question. Woman arent easy.”
Troy frowns, “No. This isnt just any woman. This is Madison.”
Walkers face does something than, “Madison Clark?”
He pulls his truck up to the gate to find his brother there to greet him. He doesnt pull the gate through instead turns the truck off and tells him to go get Madison.
She comes along with Alicia, and Nick. Nick glaring at him every step of the way. Troys sure he was probably hoping he'd never come back.
“Troy.” Madison says fondly and he cant help but smile.
“Got a present for ya. Wasnt sure how you wanted it delivered but...”
He heaves what looks like a body bag out of the truck, only to hear a low gurgling sound.
“Troy... what is this?”
“Troy...I don't think”
“Nick, come over here, help me get it upright!”
Nick does, though his eyes never leave his mothers as he brings what he knows to be an infected upright. As soon as the thing is steady he rips the restraints and the tarp falls down at the infected's feet, revealing none other than her late husband, Travis.
His head is turned to the side sickly, a bone sticking out the left side of his neck, and some of the back of his scalp is missing leaving the brain exposed- dried blood stains his abdomen deeply, and a bullet wound leaves a very mishapen hole on his neck.
Alicia falls to her knees at the sight, her eyes watery and a million miles away. Troy has enough mind to wonder if she's back in the helicopter.
“Knew this sonofabitch would be a fighter.” Troy says “Fall would have obliterated anyone elses skull musta had something broke his fall- looks like it broke his neck, his skull is mostly intact.”
Unshed tears are in Madisons eyes, and he knows he says the wrong thing. Nick is looking at him as if hes a fucking monster. And hes used to it, he really is, he's seen the looks more times than he can count, more times than he can remember. Yet something dark scrambles deep inside of him.
“I thought Id bring him home to lay him to rest.” He says quietly. “I...didnt know if you wanted to take the kill.”
And Nick's gaze soften slightly as he recalls a far off memory of Luci, barely clinging to life- and his words. “you owe me that.” It was only a month or so ago, but it feels like a lifetime.
Madison still hasnt spoken, her eyes on the broken shell of a man whom she once loved. She holds her hand out, and someone, Troy didnt see who, places a knife in it. She walks forward as if it's only her and Travis in the entire world. Like she doesnt have an audience of people behind her on the dirt road into the ranch.
“Travis.” her voice is soft and she touches his cheek, and for a minute, Troy swears the infected leans into her touch for a minute, before trying to thrust his clothed mouth in her direction. “Im so sorry. I love you.” She drives the dagger into his head with a squelch that doesnt sound nearly as satisfying as Troy thought it would.
Her face is stained with tears, and her other with blood as she lays a hand on Troys cheek affectionately. “Thank you.”
The crowd dispurses, but Nick and Alicia stick around to help unload and ultimately bury the body.
“You know she probably killed our father.”
“Madison wouldnt do that.”
“You know she would. She would do anything for those kids of hers.”
“She wouldnt do that to our dad Jake.”
“You know as well as I do she would, and even if she didnt, you know just as well as me that Dad would never in a hundred years take his own life.”
Troy swallows and tries not to think about it.
He breaks in when she's sleeping that night, Nick on the bottom bunk across from her.
He isnt worried about waking him, Nick sleeps like a rock and Troy knows Madison isnt going to want him to wake up to this.
She's wearing an oversized tshirt, that used to be one of his though he doubts she knows that when they were given extra clothes upon entering the ranch, still the knowledge makes his blood rush south and he breathes through his nose to calm himself down.
This isnt about him. This is about her. He owes her.
He manages to get her undergarments down just past her knees, before he hears her breathing hitch. He registers right away that she's waking up, but instead of delaying, he presses his lips against her opening and breathes her in deeply.
He starts slow, running his tongue lightly across her clit paying special attention to it before applying pressure there with his thumb and flicking his tongue against her slit. She makes a small noise sitting up abruptly and he stares up at her pressing a hand down on her stomach to keep her down.
“Troy. Stop.” her whisper is harsh but firm, and he inserts a finger into her abruptly as he stares at her, his lips glistening with the essence of her in the dark.
“Be quiet Madison. You don't wanna wake up Nick do you?”
She looks concerned, her head whipping to her sons bed to make sure he's still asleep and hasnt caught her in this awkward position.
Troy smirks. “Its seems like youre enjoying it anyway.”
He takes his time despite the ache in his groin, and exerts all of his energy into pleassuring her until she is writhing against his mouth and her own hand is shoved between her teeth in a desperate urge to be quiet.
Pride swells in his chest when he tastes her completion, and he pulls up, gently pulling her panties back over to cover her shame, a large smile on his face.
“I owed you.” he says quietly, gesturing towards the dresser drawer. “For the lotion. Night.”
He walks out as if he's in complete control, but he's already trying to figure out how he can do it again.
“You know what he did?” Troy is hysterical. He remembers the love hate he felt towards Madison the night he held the knife to her neck. He does not share the feeling with the gun poised at Nick's head in front of Madison.
“He killed your father.” Madison says quietly.
“You let him.” Troy says brokenly, and he can tell that the Madison before him is scared. She's not shaking like his hand is. But it's in her eyes. She does not know how to win this one.
“If he hadnt done I would have.” She speaks earnestly. “I didnt want to lose this place. I wasnt willing to risk losing the lives of these people, of my kids, of you.”
His hand shakes harder, violently.
“I loved you.” his voice is cracked with despair. “I loved you you know?” He kicks nick away with his foot and runs his hand through his hair, the pistol pointing upward against the side of his head.
“You...you need to go.” he says “Because if I see you here again. I'm going to kill all of you.”
When he walks away this time, he doesnt look back.