NOTE: this is sort of like my previous fic "Like a Wedding Dress Needs Dirt", where it's just a quick little study on what could have happened between the time Daryl and Beth find the funeral home, settle in, and Beth gets kidnapped- they'll be three parts to this fic.

1- Home Sweet Home

They'd struck gold, that's all Daryl could think when he looked into the funeral home, empty now besides him and Beth. It was a sad thing, this abandoned building with it's drafty white walls and its dark passageways, surprisingly clean despite the obvious apocalypse that raged outside. It seemed that the building would have looked the same even without Walkers banging at the door, the same sad ambiance that surrounded death clinging to the structure without the twinge of fear that came with it on the outside.

It was strangely fitting.

Lying now in the casket he's made his makeshift bed, Daryl Dixon looked at the piano Beth sang at only the night before. The room was still warm with her sweet, melodic voice, and he was sure that if he closed his eyes he could still hear her echoed around the high ceilings of the white room. It had been a long time since he's heard music, whether it be from the first night that Beth sang at the prison, or the rough sound of a cheap jukebox nearly four years earlier in a rundown bar.

When he stood in the doorway, drawn by the sound of the piano and the silky sound of her soft southern voice he found a second of momentary peace. The candles casted an orange glow in the room that illuminated only her and the piano, her back turned to him but her blonde tangled hair looking smooth and catching the light to almost seem like a halo. She sounded like an angel, and Daryl almost felt bad about what he had yelled at her, that day seeming to be far behind them now, and about how she must think he hates her singing.

It was a weird and cruel twist of fate that they were the ones thrown together in the mess that happened at the prison. Daryl Dixon and Beth Greene, polar opposites in every aspect, now a duo. Daryl had only shared a few words with Beth before the fall of the prison, and he respected her for her ability to keep it mostly together, and that damn stubborn side of her might irk him sometimes, he could still respect her for the strength she's been showing these past few days- plus he knew he wasn't Mr. Sunshine all the time either. When he stood in that doorway he found he was momentarily taken by the sweet sound of her voice, enraptured almost by the reminiscing and hypnotizing sound of her singing at the funeral piano. There was a strange emotion that was invoked in him at the sound of her singing voice, the gentle and soprano tune immediately calming him. The Walkers had drifted away, his woes of the prison melted, as he stood in the doorway and simply listened to her he felt more relaxed than he had in a long time. And when he walked into the room and she heard him, the music stopping, he almost immediately missed it.

When he requested that she sing again, the playful, "I thought you didn't like my singing," stung only slightly, the underlying meaning behind it reminding him of when he lost his temper with her (an instance he won't let happen again), and also reminding him of what an ass he had been to her in the beginning of their survival oriented journey. He had swung himself into the comfortable casket, pleased to find that it was soft, although a quick bitter thought of how even the dead had it better than him, even when it came to beds, came and went just as quickly. "Well, there ain't no jukebox, so..." She had smiled at that, agreeing to sing for him.

The sweet, young Beth Greene singing to the hardened, old Daryl Dixon while he laid in a casket was a sight to behold- a funeral fit for a king. He knew that before the apocalypse he would have never had a funeral like this, maybe he'd get a spot in a graveyard- but it wouldn't be in no damn plush coffin with a pretty girl to sing him a pretty song, that was for sure. He watched her as she sang, drinking in the sight of her fair skin glowing in the orange light, her eyes darkened in the dim atmosphere as she opened her pink mouth and letting her heavenly singing voice fill the once still and quiet room. Her voice let a warmness into the air, the sad sound of the song with the warm, orange glow of the candles mixed in the funeral parlor, making a sweet mixture of life and death in the white room. Daryl had let his eyes drift to the ceiling, tearing his eyes from her shoulders that moved with her fingers over the piano keys, and the slight movement of her ponytail as she sang.

Whether or not he was consciously aware of it, the sound of her voice had lulled him into a peaceful state he hadn't felt for a long time- maybe there was a memory of a lounge singer, a distant song on the radio, or maybe even a song sung to him by a woman long forgotten- but it was Beth Greene he was aware of, and the unmistakable ache in his chest at the sound of her voice made him think that he was a fool, a goddamn fool- but a fool that would die for a pretty girl nonetheless.