Disclaimer :The Walking Dead, Daryl, Carol and all the other characters on the show (and the other characters) are the property of Robert Kirkman and AMC. Sadly, I do not own these characters. This writing is for pleasure only. No profit is intended.

AN: This one is shamelessly Carly. Set between Seasons 3 & 4. Enjoy!

"Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who's the oldest one of all?"

Carol stared into the unflattering mirror of the prison bathroom, fingering her silver-gray hair. Dim, filtered light illuminated patches of the room from it's high position on the walls. Outside, the sky was as gloomy as her mood. At least the dim light helped hide her crow's feet.

"Hershel is, dumb-ass. Or maybe a couple of those crones from Woodbury."

Carol spun at the sound of the gravely tenor. Sure enough, there was Daryl leaning, hip-shod, against the open doorway. The sight of his dirty, smirking face scratched a claw of irritation down the length of her spine. She crossed her arms and glared at him.

"This is the women's bathroom, Daryl. You aren't welcome," Carol snapped, flicking her chin at him. Damned if the man didn't smirk even more.

"That's what you think," the man drawled as he studied her features. "Whatcha doin in here?"

Carol huffed and turned back to the sink to wash her hands. Dipping a bowl of water from the rain barrel, she poured it into the stoppered sink. Little mosquito larvae wiggled frantically in their new home. Carol huffed in annoyance and reached for a tiny goldfish net hanging on the wall.

One of the old women from Woodbury had been a plumber's wife. The elderly spitfire had designed a catch system to harvest rainfall and pipe it directly from the roof into the bathrooms. She had even rigged up one of the toilets for flushing. It was amazing, really, the comfort of a functional bathroom. The only problem with the setup was that the water tended to draw pests.

Using the net, Carol fished out the larvae and tapped them into a ready waste can. "It's a bathroom, Daryl. What do you think I'm doing in here? Knitting?" She plunged her hands into the water and scrubbed. From over her shoulder, a sliver of soap appeared and splashed into the water. Carol grudgingly snagged the soap and used it on her grimy fingers. The water quickly clouded.

"You're welcome," Daryl offered, obviously fishing for a thank you. Carol ignored him as she cleaned under her nails.. When she finished, she took the soap and tossed it back over her shoulder without looking.

"You need that more that I do," Carol grouched as she drained the sink and refilled it with fresh water. "When's the last time you took a bath?" A second fishing of mosquito larvae finished with the removal of a tiny tadpole. Carol didn't have the heart kill the little creature, so she tossed it back in the rain barrel for someone else to deal with. Behind her, Daryl gave a good snort.

"Jumped in the creek not two days ago. Swam around for a long time. That count?"

Carol refused to turn around. "Not when you smell like a pond," she threw over her shoulder as she scooped the now clear water and proceeded to wet her face and hair. Using a tiny bottle of shampoo from her pocket, Carol placed a single, pearly drop on her palm. She carefully closed the bottle before spreading the shampoo between both palms.

"Pond's a good smell. Better than B.O."

"Not from where I'm standing," Carol said with her eyes closed, scrubbing her head. Truth be told, she was lying. The outdoors always smelled good on Daryl, damn him.

Another amused snort made her clench her teeth as she finished rinsing, looking around for a hand towel. Of course, it wasn't there. Nobody replaced the towels except her and she hadn't gotten around to it today. As if my magic, a towel was laid on her shoulder. It was full of holes and once sported a nice aqua color. It was tattered and a worn, but functional just the same. Much like it's donor.

"Thanks," she gritted out, grudgingly.

Carol toweled her short hair vigorously and mopped off the drips down her neck. When she was done, she looked back in the mirror. Static electricity had taken over her locks making every strand strain outwards like the head of a dandelion. Just great. Behind her, Daryl snickered openly.

Slamming her hands down of the sink edge, Carol spun and bore down on Daryl. The infuriating man was still leaning indolently against the open door, arms crossed over his chest. He puffed out his cheeks and blew at her hair. Carol was not amused.

Without actually touching him, Carol jabbed at him with a pointed finger. "Think that's funny, do you? Am I providing enough entertainment for you, or do you need some other women in the women's bathroom!"

Just then Glenn rushed into the room, hands already unbuckling his pants. "Whoa," he exclaimed, sliding to a stop. "Am I interrupting something?" Glen quickly let go of his zipper and scanned the scene. Then a look of panic crossed his face. "Scratch that. I don't care. I'll give you to the count of three and I'm heading over to that toilet," he said, pointing. "The working one without a door and.. well… it will be unpleasant." Glenn gave them a strained look. "Very unpleasant."

Daryl just pushed himself off the doorway and hooked Carol's sleeve, tugging a little. "I was just trying to tell you that you were in the men's bathroom, dumb-ass," he grinned.

With a frustrated groan, Carol knocked Daryl's hand away and stormed out, leaving both men staring.

"What's wrong with Carol?" Glen asked, already moving toward the toilet. Without a hint of modesty, the man started yanking down his pants as he went. "Do you think she needs help?"

"I got this," Daryl said pointed not looking at Glen. "You just worry about not shittin' your pants."

Carol moved with purpose. She wanted out. All the way out. No more 'gray' for her today. No gray walls. No gray thoughts. No gray hair.

She stormed down the hallway.

She stomped her way past both C Block and D Block, startling Judith into a howl.

She barreled through the kitchen, nearly knocking over poor old Evelyn, who was trying to, not-so-discreetly, find a snack between meals.

Without slowing a step, Carol snagged up an old plastic pickle bucket, nimbly side-stepped Hershel crutching his way in from the yard and practically flew down the steps toward the outside access.

She screeched out to Maggie on watch, that she was picking berries for dinner.

She didn't even completely undo the laced wire hole in the fence before squeezing through, although she did pause long enough to lace it back up.

Task finished, Carol snatched up the bucket, pulled her knife out of her belt just in case, and hightailed it into the woods, ignoring Rick calling her back.

All she wanted was to be alone. Was that too much to ask?

No people.

No demands.

No being in the wrong bathroom.

No mirrors.

In Carol's wake, just about everyone in the prison was ablaze with worry and curiosity. Judith wouldn't stop crying in Beth's arms. Evelyn was also in tears. Seemed that the old girl thought Carol had turned walker and was coming after her. Hershel was hard pressed to calm the woman down. Rick stomped in demanding that someone tell him what set Carol off. Daryl took in the scene silently and headed out the door.

"Daryl," Maggie called from the guard tower. "Something's upset Carol. She went out the back fence."

"On it," Daryl replied, swinging his crossbow over his shoulder. "I'll bring her back," he promised, calling up to the tower.

"I always do," Daryl muttered to himself, as he loped off into the woods.


AN: What can I say? I've been missing Carol writing Dixon Demolition. Needed a little Caryl for some inner smile. And this is all pretty new for me. I've never written a romance. I hope you like it. I hope you drop me a line and let me know.

Thanks for reading!

Surplus Imagination