|Fool Enough to Believe
Author: cinnysangel PM
a oneshot that takes the conversation about The Cherokee Rose one step furtherRated: Fiction T - English - Daryl D. & Carol - Words: 1,513 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 3 - Published: 11-09-11 - id: 7537447
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to The Walking Dead, AMC or any of their affiliates. This is purely for entertainment purposes and is a fan created fiction. This story does not reflect the actual Walking Dead series and doesn't claim to be anything but a fan (me) expressing my appreciation for the characters and the wonder that is The Walking Dead. All OFC's (Original Fictional Characters) are a product of my own imagination. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.
A oneshot that takes the conversation about the Cherokee Rose between Daryl and Carol one step further. This is not a romantic story.
Fool Enough to Believe
The reality of the situation settled on her. The longer Sophia was gone the less likely they would find her… alive. Carol felt her hope disappearing as quickly as Sophia had disappeared. The guilt she felt over giving up had prompted her to clean Dale's RV. She didn't do it for him or for Sophia she had done it because she felt like a bad mother. Rick should have been able to keep her daughter safe. He was a cop after all. She didn't believe Rick would find Sophia, not after Carl was hurt. Her only hope was Daryl. With each ticking moment and every empty handed return, she had lost hope that they would ever find her daughter.
He came back again without Sophia. Instead he brought her a flower in a beer bottle. Just the idea of it seemed ridiculous. Truth be told Carol had thought Daryl had taken that final step over the line into insanity when he gave her that flower. She didn't want him to bring her a flower. She had wanted him to bring her, her baby. She almost told him to take the damn thing outside. But then Daryl told her that story of the Cherokee Rose. She knew he was trying to comfort her and help her through her grief. Now that he was gone, something about the conversation bugged her. She couldn't put a finger on what it was as she sat there looking at the rose.
Dale had the binoculars up but wasn't looking through them. His attention was on Daryl the moment he saw the man walking into camp with that beer bottle. When Daryl had gone inside Dale had moved closer to the skylight in the trailer. He knew it was wrong to listen to the conversation going on inside but he did it anyway. He reasoned that he needed to listen because Daryl was acting differently. The group couldn't ignore signs that one of their own was on the brink of a mental break down. His mind instantly went to Andrea. What if he ignored her breakdown? She'd be dead and maybe he would be too. He shoved those thoughts out of his head, straining to hear what was going on below him. The words he heard coming from Daryl had Dale more fearful than ever. That man inside the trailer giving hope to a mother was not the Dixon Dale knew him to be. That is why Dale decided to watch him carefully.
Now that Daryl was back outside he immediately threw a fit like a child having a temper tantrum. Daryl kicked a stone and then another, finally throwing his crossbow into the grass. He had his hands on his hips, his chest heaving like he had run a marathon. Dale knew it was best to leave him alone when he was like this. He didn't think he was in any danger. This wasn't Merle Dixon standing there. Although the younger Dixon could be verbally and physically threatening like his older sibling, Dale understood there was a difference between the two. Daryl rarely lashed out without a reason. Besides, if this was Merle Dixon the conversation would have never happened.
Daryl picked his crossbow back up, cleaned the divot of grass from the end while inspecting it for damage. He let out a line of words even too crass for a biker bar. Dale pretended to be searching the grounds of Hershel farms as Dixon continued to swear and pace like a caged animal. This was the man that they knew, the hot headed southerner that overreacted more often than not. Gone was the kind compassionate person Dale had witnessed moments earlier. Dale couldn't decide if he believed what he heard was a moment of weakness or something else.
To allow him a chance to calm down, Dale turned his back to the younger man hoping to make Daryl believe he wasn't paying any attention to him. It got quiet and Dale waited a few more minutes before facing Daryl once again. When he finally did Daryl was staring a hole through him. So much for Daryl thinking he hadn't listened.
He didn't know if he should be pissed off that Dale had spied on him and Carol. He guessed it looked rather strange, him carrying the rose into the RV. He probably would have done the same thing if the roles were reversed. Hell he would have asked right out and not been sneaky about it. He learned a longtime ago that you speak your mind always. He didn't like this covert shit. He hated the suspicion that had settled over their camp. Hell if anyone should be suspicious, it should be him. He was cut and dry with his agenda. Survival for all of them and find his brother. He didn't worry about relationships and the camp hierarchy. The days of being a good friend and neighborly were over. It was live or die now. And this relationship stuff was bullshit. He wanted to tell Dale that too. He wanted to say, just cause he gave Carol that flower and told her that story it didn't mean he wanted lasting relationships. The problem was he couldn't find the words or figure out why it hurt so damn much when he saw Carol coming out of the RV with the rose.
Without a word he spun on his heels, stalking off to the barn. His anger radiated from his body like a heat source.
He stopped walking but refused to face her. "If you don't want it just throw it out. You don't have to return it." He tossed the words over his shoulder. "It's only a stupid rose."
"It's not stupid. I'm keeping it. Please don't walk away."
He took a couple of steps, stopping when she pleaded with him. The snarl on his face was the only thing keeping him from dropping his guard and letting her comfort him. He turned around slowly, planting his feet in the ground, impatience oozing from his skin. "Then what do you want?"
Carol took a step forward. She wanted to reach out and touch his arm but her hand fell back to her side a second later. "I wanted to say thank you. For everything you're doing."
He chewed his bottom lip nervously. He wasn't used to people being grateful. He was ill-equipped with what to do with praise or a compliment. He couldn't accept it and an awkward moment passed between them.
She knew he was uncomfortable and wouldn't hang around like this forever. She had to say what was on her mind. The moment she figured out what was bothering her about their talk she had to tell him he was wrong. She had to make him see what he was missing. Life was just too short and too precious.
"Daryl, was this the only rose you found?"
He looked at her with an intense stare. He could ignore her question and keep walking, or he could answer her and find out what she really wanted. "There was another, why?"
She had moved a step closer without even realizing she did it until her arm stretched out again and her hand landed on his shoulder. She rubbed her palm over the stained material of his shirt as if she was trying to smooth the wrinkles. It was a motherly gesture, one she didn't believe he ever experienced. She took a deep breath, releasing it in a whisper. "The other one was for Merle." When he shook his head she caught his gaze refusing to look away. Nodding she said, "Not because of him. You told me the flowers were for the Cherokee mother's comfort. That flower was for your comfort, for your tears. For all the tears you've shed." She broke a petal off of the back of the rose, sliding it into his shirt pocket. "While you're out looking for my little girl, you remember that."
Daryl watched her walk away. He still wasn't fool enough to believe a rose grew for his brother. But he was beginning to believe maybe one did for him.