So this is what being saved felt like.
Andrea couldn't catch her breath. The stench of death and rot surrounding her made it so she didn't want to breathe, but she forced her lungs to take in air and then push it out. Air she could breathe because she was alive by the grace of this stranger who stood as powerful as a god with two mutilated walkers in chains.
Then the stranger revealed their face, pushing back their hood, and Andrea was thunderstruck. She was dark and beautiful, her long dreadlocks framing a face that looked like it was sculpted by a master carver, flawless in it's proportions and features. Her eyes were as haunted and closed off as an abandoned house, but there was a light in them that spoke of warmth and sweetness within, hidden out of necessity and suffering. Then she opened her mouth to speak.
“You alright there blondie?”
Andrea nodded, conscious that she was all agape, but only a fool would take their eyes off of this woman who looked like salvation personified, like an angel sent from above to destroy the world and build it anew.
“You should probably get up. There's bound to be more.”
Andrea scrambled to her feet, unsteady and exhausted from running. Any thoughts of getting back to the others left her mind.
“Name's Michonne.” The woman's voice was a little softer now, the adrenaline of killing the walker dissipating.
“Andrea.” The blonde's mouth was so dry it felt painful to speak.
“How long you been running?” Michonne tugged the chains of her walkers, making them turn with her so that they could leave this place.
“Since last night.” The exhaustion and delirium was starting to catch up with Andrea. All she could think was that this woman was sent by whatever god was still around to save her. 'She's probably got wings under her clothes.' She thought through the muddiness of her mind.
Michonne fumbled under her coat and handed her a canteen. “You can have the rest.”
Andrea uncapped it and drank deeply. The water was lukewarm, but it soothed her.
“Thank you.” Andrea licked the drops of water from her lips, the taste of sweat and dirt hitting her tongue. She kept drinking the water until her mouth felt clean.
“Don't mention it.”
As they walked, Andrea stumbling and following her, there was little conversation. All Andrea wanted to do was to fall to her knees and scream out thanks. Michonne. She repeated the name in her mind, tasting it's syllables and turning it into something holy. Her heart felt split open, and for the first time in a long time, she actually wanted to live. Not just survive out of spite, as a revenge against a world that took everything from her, but live, to flower again, to stay by this woman's side forever.
Andrea's mind was clouded, yes, but this was as piercing and true as a bolt of lightening. She would do anything for this woman, and wanted to spend all of her remaining days repaying her for this rescue.
'Were you go, I follow.' She thought as they strode through the forest. 'I'll go into hell for you.'
“What d'you say?” Michonne turned back, looking at the haggard pale woman behind her who was talking in hushed tones to herself. A twinge of worry went through her. Maybe this woman was just exhausted, or maybe she'd had the poor judgment to rescue someone who was too far gone. Michonne had seen it, living people gone feral and more dangerous that the dead. As much as the world had been unkind and awful before, it was even more so now.
“Nothing.” Andrea mumbled, the words in her head colliding with the ones in her mouth and causing her tongue to be confused. “We should find some more water.”
Michonne just nodded, and they walked on.