After escaping a fiery blaze at Hilltop, which came under fire from Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers, Aaron (Ross Marquand) confronts a masked Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in a sneak peek look at Sunday's The Walking Dead 1012, "Walk With Us." Aaron and Negan were forced to team up earlier this season in "Ghosts," where it was all hands on deck when Alexandria had to fend off a 49-hour walker attack amid increasing tensions with Alpha and her Whisperers. Since escaping the Alexandria jail — freed by an unrevealed accomplice in 1005, "What It Always Is" — Negan fell in with the Whisperers and received his own fleshy mask in 1011, "Morning Star," where he seemingly picked a side in the Whisperer War.
Aaron is seen carting Luke (Dan Fogler), unconscious but alive, when he's stopped in his tracks: in front of him is Negan, disguised as a Whisperer and wielding a blood-covered replica of baseball bat Lucille.
"Alright, alright. Hold on one second," Negan says, holding his ground as Aaron unsheathes a sword. "I said hold on! Don't go and do something stupid."
"The only stupid thing," Aaron spits back, "would be to not kill you."
Negan swears he can explain, but after trusting Negan once before, Aaron doesn't want to hear it. Negan tries to defend himself — "Aaron, I am not..." — but Aaron roars at him: "Enough of your bullshit!"
The masked Negan is invisible to the pack of approaching walkers who force Aaron to back off, allowing Negan to escape.
"I don't know," Marquand previously told ComicBook.com when asked if Aaron might ever forgive Negan for terror inflicted eight years earlier when he was part of the lineup where Negan picked Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) for death.
"I think while Aaron certainly is appreciative that Negan saved him [in 'Ghosts'], I think he's very aware that Negan is an opportunist and he will do and say whatever he needs to to preserve his own life. And I think that if he hadn't saved him, there would've been some pretty stiff consequences for him moving forward," Marquand said. "So I don't know if it was so much that Negan decided he has to save Aaron versus not saving Aaron would mean that Aaron would likely, may likely die. He might get eaten alive and then he'd have to answer for a lot of questions if he ever got found. And a search party might be put into a place to go and kill Negan."
Marquand added Aaron doesn't believe Negan has "changed all that much," a belief that was reinforced when Negan fled Alexandria in "Silence the Whisperers."
Negan was forced to flee as he awaited a decision from the Alexandria council, who voted whether to execute Negan for the accidental death of Margo (Jerri Tubbs), killed when Negan rescued Lydia (Cassady McClincy) from a violent ambush.
"Walk With Us" premieres on AMC Sunday, March 15 at 9/8c. For everything TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.