Status: Ongoing

Starting Over

Figuring It Out

After what felt like hours of standing there listening to the continuous moans, silence slowly began to envelope you both. You hear Daryl let out a breath of relief and see him turn back toward a small stool left out of the barricade.

Facing him, you sit Indian style on the ground. With his head in his hands you can't tell what he is thinking, even if he is an already hard to read person anyway.

For some reason, though you liked to think out of fear of the walkers returning, neither of you said a word. Instead, you found yourself steadily falling asleep on the ugly purple carpet, feeling all of the events catching up to you.

You awake in a panic as if you only slept for a split second. When you feel the springy tension of a mattress you calm down a little but wonder how you got on the small bed.

Seeing Daryl sitting on the floor rummaging through bags, you realize that he must have done it. It gave you a weird sense of awareness as you watched him place random items into a separate bag to the side.

"Is that the one we're hiding?" Daryl doesn't jump at your voice but merely grunts in acknowledgment. You were pretty used to him being quiet all the time, but hey, you were just as antisocial as him.

Then you started to grasp your particular situation. You were both trapped in that stuffy ass room until it would be safe to leave and who knew when that would be?

You had a slight tendency of getting antsy when in such a claustrophobic location too, and the overbearing heat wasn't making anything better either. And if you weren't worrying about getting out of there you were worrying about how incredibly attractive Daryl looked right now.

You could practically see every drop of sweat make its way across his tanned skin. How they just glided down his uncovered arms and face. His chest was just barely exposed from the button-up shirt too, and you found yourself slightly leaning over to get a better look.

There was no way you could admit to anyone, much less yourself, that Daryl was a hunk. Hell, when you first joined the group you hated each other. Despite the fact that he practically saved your life you constantly fought.

"I don't need your fuckin' help, hick!" You shouted to a certain, very angry looking Daryl. "Fine. Do whatcha want, bitch." He yelled back before roughly grabbing his bow from the ground and storming off. You huffed as you continued to track your prey.

You had been following these deer tracks along with Daryl, but each time he thought you were going off of the trail he would correct you. It aggravated you more than anything to have someone tell you constantly what to do.

What made it worse was the way he said it. Like he had something better to do than help you hunt. You knew it pissed him off having another good tracker in the group, but it was about the only thing you could do to get away from everyone. Well, everyone except Daryl.

Your ill temper eventually got the better of you as you finally realized you had lost the tracks. "Fuck!" You cursed before kicking a tree stump then immediately regretting it when your foot throbbed with pain.

The past few days had been pretty tough on you, being the newbie and all. Daryl just added more suffering to your life, and you were quite frankly getting sick of his shit.

He'd always be the first to pick a fight with you when you volunteered to go out on a run alone. Somehow he still didn't trust you, but it was only fair because you planned on leaving anyway.

"Humf." You snap your makeshift bow upward toward the sound and see the redneck himself perched on a branch. He had that eat shit grin that always got on your nerves.

"What?" You ask harshly after lowering your weapon. He just keeps grinning the whole way down the tree before standing directly in front of you. As he glowers down at you he pokes your collarbone with his finger mockingly, "Ya lost it, didn'tcha?"

You roll your eyes, "Fuck off, Dixon." His grin only gets bigger as you walk away frustrated. He shadows your every move while you try to pick up the trail again. The sound of his boots intentionally breaking every twig he comes across makes your own nerves snap.

"Why won't you leave me the hell alone?" You whip around to start yet another argument, but only when you do, he's gone. "Ugh!" You groan out before continuing your search bitterly.

You don't get ten feet though when a hand shoots out and covers your mouth, pulling you to the source. Before you are able to pull out your knife to defend yourself the person shows their face and it's Daryl. Why is he always there?

He holds a finger up to his mouth and cups his hand around his ear as if to say be quiet and listen. You do so and hear a faint scuffle accompanied by the moans of multiple walkers. When he finally decides that you aren't going to yell at him he lets go of you and starts to slowly walk toward the noise.

You follow behind just as silent with your arrow pulled back. The closer you get to the sounds the lower you get to the ground out of instinct. When you are finally close enough to tell it's just a few you both round a tree to find three infected munching on a deer's insides.

Daryl takes two down and leaves the third for you. After retrieving your arrows you notice that the deer was still clinging to life and it slightly saddened you.
Then Daryl's crude exclamation brings you back to reality, "The fuckers got it. We were trackin' this for hours." He proceeded to kick the nearest walker out of frustration and to deliver a variety of curses.

"Let's just go. I'm beat." You confess tiredly before turning back to the direction of the prison. There were no more words as you both silently walked back side by side.
It seemed that despite your differences, you always managed to withstand each other at the end of the day. Especially when it came to survival.

You finally shake the thoughts out of your head as you blame it on the ever rising temperature.
"I'm going to open a window."

After waiting a minute for any objections you walk to the window. The frame was covered in dust and some kind of other muck making it difficult to open. Eventually, it gives you a cracking noise, and you let out a satisfied sigh.

A cool breeze sweeps in and nearly blows your hat off, but you happily breath it in. The wind feels amazing combined with the warm sun's rays. Summers in Georgia were always the best. Even if it was 90 degrees outside the air would perfectly balance it all out.

You couldn't help but think back to the good times when you'd just lay outside on your lawn staring at the sky. How you'd lull yourself to sleep by watching the clouds pass over and be woken up by your dog licking your face. Those were some of the best times of your life.

When you remembered you weren't alone in the room you open your eyes back up to see Daryl staring at you. He had somehow moved beside you without you noticing. He quickly turned his head out the window though as soon as you caught him.

You allow yourself a short moment to stare back at him as he looks out at the surroundings. The way his blue eyes shined brighter in the sunlight made you feel an unfamiliar emotion. His eyelashes helped emphasize them in a handsome manner but not too much.

He was literally the most beautiful man you'd ever seen, and you had seen a lot of good looking guys in the military. Even if he tended to stay covered in dirt, there was just something different about him. Maybe it was his odd behavior or how he kept to himself in a mysterious way.

Either way, you beat yourself up everyday for developing such feelings for him. It'd be better to just leave the whole group and go rogue in the long run, but you couldn't do that to Rick. You owed him this much at least, especially since Lori basically died by your hand.

That was another thing you couldn't believe to this day. When shit hit the fan, and you were left with Lori, Carl, and Maggie in that boiler room. Maggie was too shaken up to go through with it, so you were inevitably the one to do it.

The worst part was that when it came to it, Carl was the one to shoot his own mother. Just hearing the gun go off was enough to make you nearly vomit.

Sure, you'd dealt with kids and death in the military, you'd almost been killed by one for fuck's sake, but these people were a different story. You had been in the group too long and started to blend in. That was the first of many mistakes.

"We need ta put the bag there 'fore we go." You are brought out of your thoughts as Daryl points to a large oak tree.
"You mean to bury it?" He nods and turns back to the bags.
He takes something out and throws it to you. "Eat. Reckon we'll go when yer ready."

You catch the small granola bar with ease and unwrap it. "Then what?" Before turning away he shrugs making you a bit uneasy.

When you were all set Daryl gave you the bag to be hidden while he carried the other two. He decided to go out the front instead of causing a racket taking the barricade down.

So there you were with your knife at the ready when you finally felt it. The faint approach of needles in your ankle. You mentally face palm as you realize you hadn't even noticed the strained aching. Somewhere along the way, running from the walkers, you had twisted your foot, and you oddly didn't start feeling it until now.

Before you are able to tell Daryl though, he opens the door and peers out. You curse under your breath as you follow him out into the seemingly empty hall. With each step the pain increases and it soon evolves into a throbbing ache.

You hoped that you could make it to the motorcycle, but the longer you continued down the hall the more unsure you got. Then to your relief he holds up his hand just at the corner.

"What is it?" You whisper as Daryl looks around it. He gives you the sign that there are walkers and shows five fingers. You nod and hold your knife up higher.

Silently, you both creep down the hall in the other direction of the zombies. They luckily hadn't noticed you, but when Daryl attempted to open the large double doors, the rattling of the chain holding it shut drew their attention.

"Get the chain loose while I hold them off." Daryl does what you say without any objections and starts fiddling with the door. With these doors being your only form of escape you desperately hoped he could get it off.

As each zombie approached your knife dug into their skull. You had almost fallen a few times while trying to keep your weight off of your left foot, but you had caught yourself. Eventually, after killing the five on the ground you started to feel winded.

Then you could hear more groaning and look up to see others making their way toward you. "Now would be a great time to hear that door open." You yell without taking your eyes off of the monsters slowly coming.

Right before you are able to sink your blade into the next walker Daryl grabs you by the arm and pulls you through the now unchained doors. He then quickly re-blocks them with a large desk randomly sitting in the stairwell.

Without thinking of what could be waiting below Daryl descends ahead of you. You slowly began to realize how much of a burden your ankle was going to be. You managed to take a few steps down but then came to a stop when the pressure got too bad.

When Daryl finally realized that you weren't behind him he dashed back up to find you struggling. "What's wrong?" The concern in his voice saddens you and makes you look down defeated."I twisted my ankle."

You hear a frustrated sigh and know you've ruined his plan. Then you squeak from surprise as you feel Daryl's hands on your back and legs. He lifts you with ease, and you're completely stunned. "We havta get back fast. 's gettin' dark soon."

You took this as a legitimate reason for him to be currently carrying you bridal style down the stairs, though you were still surprised he was carrying you and the three nearly full bags.

With your arms wrapped around his neck and your body pressed against his you couldn't help the heat rising on your face. The smell permeating from him was making you feel weird, but you have no time to let your thoughts wonder when you hear the steady groaning of nearby walkers.

You both look at each other then at your only way out. Daryl sets you down, and you shift the weight to your other foot. "How many?" You quietly ask as he looks through the small window. His face tells you everything before he is able to speak. "Too many."

Daryl sits on the last step looking defeated. "We can't give up now. After all of that?" You try to persuade his will to live, but it seems the more you talk the more his head lowers.

" 's useless. There's no way we're gettin' through that." When he looks up you feel a stiffness in your chest and can't help but think it's your fault. If you hadn't fucked up your ankle you would probably have at least a small chance, but then you start to think of who he is. Who Daryl Dixon is.

"Listen. I know this doesn't seem possible but I know you, Daryl. You don't give up, you never have, and I doubt that's going to change now. You are the strongest person in our group whether you know it or not, but the fact is I know it. Whenever shit hit the fan, you were the first to react. All you have to do is get off your ass and start realizing who you are. You're a Dixon, and I've found out what exactly that means."

He doesn't react as much as you hoped to your heartening speech, but he still manages to look a bit more elated. Then he takes another glance through the window and returns to his hopeless disposition.

You finally decide to just sit beside him and put your head in your hands, "I'm sorry." Even though you were mumbling you knew he could hear you. Feeling his stare you look up into those eyes once more. Daryl gives you a sympathetic look as he realizes what he said.

"It's not yer fault Y/N. We shoulda got more people." He takes a glance at your foot then and motions for you to give it to him. "I'm fine." He obviously doesn't believe you and just grabs your leg and puts it across his.

You wince as he rolls your pants leg up and removes your shoe. Seeing the swollen flesh makes you remember why you aren't supposed to walk on a sprained ankle. "It don't look fine." Daryl says a bit too cocky.

Before you can get your comeback out there's a loud banging noise above. Daryl looks alert as ever and quickly jumps up. "Sounds like they're gettin' through. We needta find a way" He insisted as you put your shoe back on. That's more like it.

When you lowered your pants leg back down you noticed the watch on your wrist and came up with a genius plan. Standing up with excitement you almost fall forgetting about your ankle.

"There's an alarm on my watch. We can set it and throw it somewhere to lure them away from the exit." You can see the gears turning in Daryl's head and you mentally give yourself a high five.

You hand him the watch just as the sound of the walkers breaking through the door fills the stairwell.
Daryl presses the buttons and looks at you. You both have a silent conversation before he crouches and quietly opens the door. He tosses the watch to the left and waits.

When you hear the steady beeping Daryl points to the right. You limp after him as quiet as possible as the walkers make their way to the watch. This was actually going to work!

Suddenly, the doors behind you burst open and more zombies poured in. You looked at Daryl in a panic as they stumbled toward you. He grabbed your hand and dragged you along to the door that you prayed wasn't locked.