AN: Oh look, I'm back! It's shocking I know but I've been trying to get back into that writing phase and suddenly, here I am...for the time being. I know that I have plenty of other fics which I could be updating but alas, inspiration has not come to me for any of them yet *cries into pillow*. So in the meantime I have been looking at prompts, mainly from books to help with writing. I recently bought an awesome one called '642 Things to Write About' by the San Francisco Writers' Grotto (a book I would definitely recommend) and one of the prompts was: 'Start a story with: "This is what she wants most in the world."' When I read this, I immediately thought of Carol and how she would want to start things over after the terrible life she has already had. I completely and utterly ship Caryl, so I tried to add in as much as I thought I could. This is the first TWD/Caryl fic I have written, so please be gentle with me fellow fans.

Rating: T

Disclaimer: I do not own anything to do with The Walking Dead *continues to cry*.

To Start Anew

This is what she wants the most in the world, a chance to start anew. Life had surely not been kind to her in the past, that much was certain. Her husband – for the most part of their marriage – had been the meanest parasite of a so-called human being that she had ever known. She had been forced to believe that she was always in the wrong no matter what she did; if she stepped a toe out of line, she would be punished. Sometimes there never had to be a cause or reason, she would still be punished. You deserve it, is what he always told her and that had slowly become her mantra. You deserve it.

After years of living in her own personal hell, the world had turned into just that: hell. The dead had eat the living. Surely this was a world that only belonged in fiction? But it was happening right in front of her very eyes. Staggering, decomposing bodies littering the streets, flesh dripping from teeth, blood-lust in their eyes. She pinched herself several times, expecting to wake from a terrible nightmare, but this had indeed become reality. It was survival of the fittest from here on out. She didn't see herself as particularly strong, her husband had seen to that, but she would do her best to go on, if not for herself then for her little girl. However no matter how hard she tried, it had all been in vain.

She had prayed and prayed for her husband to pay for the pain and suffering he had inflicted upon her and suddenly, they had finally been answered. The dead may be walking but she could still start again, take a shot at some form of happiness (as happy as you could be in this world), yet it had been snatched away from her as quickly as it arrived. Her baby girl had gone missing and when found, she had been turned into one of those...things. The last heart-string that had kept her life intact had snapped the moment she witnessed her little Sophia stumbling out of that barn. She could hear Ed's voice echoing in her mind, 'you deserve it!' She had crumpled and fallen (literally and mentally) and nothing could bring her back to the norm...or so she had thought.

He had been there when she had continuously pummelled a pick-axe into her dead husband's head. He had been there when everyone, including herself, had all but given up hope on finding her precious daughter, refusing to stop the fight until he brought Sophia back to her. And of course he had been there when the worst had happened, when her world had completely fallen apart. He'd held her tightly while she sobbed, while she thought that nothing would ever be the same, and it wouldn't be, but what she had found abnormal was that like with her daughter, he refused to give up hope on her. 'You deserve it. You deserve it.' But she didn't deserve it - how on earth did she deserve the horrors that life had continued to throw at her? Simple, she didn't and one person in this post-apocalyptic world could see that. Daryl Dixon had lived through just as much as crap as she had and he'd be damned if he stood by and let her suffer any longer. Sure, the whole world (or what was left of it) suffered nowadays, but he was the first person (except her daughter) who had cared about her in a long time. He wouldn't say it out loud, but he did. Little by little he helped piece her back together and into someone that she never thought she'd be – a stronger, tougher version of herself. Maybe she could start anew after all but only if he stuck along for the ride.

AN: So what did you think? Ok? Sorry if it's a little short.

A decision now needs to be made - if you thought it was any good, what do you think of a follow-up chapter? There is another prompt in the book, which says: "She is lying. This is what she wants most in the world." Would you like me to write a chapter with this prompt in mind? I have a slight idea for it at the moment but I will go with the majority of those who answer...providing of course that anyone reads this fic lol. Anyways, I would love to know your opinions either way, so please R&R! Love to all.