Disclaimer: I don't own TWD or any of the characters. I'm just playing with them on a whim.
A.N.: Technically, this story has nothing to do with the song "Angel with a Shotgun" though I did have it stuck in my head while I was writing it. This story was inspired more by this picture: data3. whicdn images/ 71505785/ large. jpg I don't know who drew it, but I have this to say to that artist: I have nothing but respect for your obvious skills. I got the picture off Google after Deviantart refused to load.
She was being taken. That's all he could think… she was being taken. As soon as he saw the car driving off, he knew that he wouldn't be able to catch it… not by running. What he was about to do was something that no one knew. It was the secret that he had guarded even from Merle. He had found out when he was ten. Merle was in juvie, his mom was gone, and no one noticed when he was gone for days at a time. Trial and error helped him learn that it could be hidden. He ran back to her backpack and quickly put his jacket and shirt inside before putting it on his back, and then he let them out. He hadn't let his wings out in months… not since the last time he went alone on a hunt. In seconds, they were fully extended. Over six feet in length, his wings stretched out over his head before he started running. He quickly jumped into the air. Running, he probably would've already lost the car… flying, he could easily outpace it. He could fly all night and well into the next day as well… running would tire him out in a couple of hours. Beth was counting on him to keep her safe, and he would do everything in his power to do just that, even give up his secret.
Quickly, he caught up to the car. They were driving fast, and he was determined to not let them get to their destination. He flew ahead of them just a bit and landed in the middle of the road, crossbow at the ready and wings stretched out with the tips pointed towards the sky… looking like an avenging angel out for blood. The car screeched to a stop ten feet from where he stood, and a large man slowly got out, holding his hands up as if to show that he was unarmed.
"Where's the girl?" Daryl growled. "I know you took her."
The man, a preacher of some sort based on his clothes, reached slowly into the car and opened the trunk while stuttering, "I'm sorry, I didn't know she had God's protection. I thought she…."
"Stay there," Daryl told him, walking slowly around the man with his wings folded up against his back and keeping the crossbow on him at all times. When he looked into the trunk, he noticed that Beth had been knocked out and wasn't moving, so he asked, "What did you do to her?"
"Chloroform. I couldn't have her yelling. It would've brought them back outside," the man stated, clearly terrified.
"Why'd you take her?"
The man obviously didn't want to answer, but Daryl's crossbow made him rethink that decision, "She is living in sin and must be punished. She travels with a man and yet has no wedding ring. Now that he has been punished, it is her turn."
"You sent the walkers into the house?" Daryl's eyes narrowed even further.
"They were there to punish…."
"You tried to kill us?"
"Daryl?" Beth mumbled, not quite awake.
"Can you stand?" Daryl asked without moving his eyes from the preacher.
"I don't think so," she said, trying to sit up.
"She should be…," the preacher started before Daryl interrupted.
"If you say that she needs to be punished one more time, I'm gonna put an arrow in your eye. Beth, make sure you have everything. We're gonna get out of here."
Beth felt around and made sure she had her knives. She almost started panicking until she remembered that she had been forced to drop her backpack before she was drugged. Finally, she nodded at Daryl, "I think I've got everything."
"Alright, move over there," he told the preacher, motioning towards the far side of the road a good twenty feet away from the car.
Daryl leaned over Beth and put one arm behind her, letting her lean against him while she sat up the rest of the way. Then, he handed her his crossbow and lifted her out of the trunk.
The preacher, seeing what was going on, started to move towards them as if to stop Daryl, "You can't take her! She is…."
"She is mine!" Daryl stated, flaring out his wings.
"Daryl, when did you get wings?" Beth asked, still slightly slurring her words.
"I'll tell ya when we find somewhere safe. Hold onto my crossbow," he told her, preparing to take off.
"You… you're the man she was with… I tried to kill… what are you?" the preacher asked, quietly panicking.
"If you come near us again, I'll be the man who kills you," Daryl stated, taking a step and then launching himself into the air.
He flew over the woods, keeping low near the treetops. He didn't want anyone to see him with his wings out. Flying slowly, he searched the woods for a place to stay that would be relatively safe. He spotted a small campfire, but it was surrounded by men who were fighting. He couldn't hear the words, but he saw them attack one of their own as he flew around them, so he knew he had to get far away from them. Continuing on until it was almost dawn, he finally spotted a small cabin far away from the campfire and near the road. He didn't see anyone on the road, but he circled the area a couple of times before he landed just to be sure. Beth, who had drifted back to sleep just after he took off, had been awake for a couple of hours, so he sat her down and got his crossbow back. Since he knew that she wanted answers about his wings, he left them out as he led the way to the cabin. They made sure it was clear of walkers before they set up alarms, boarded up the windows, and blocked the only door. Once they got settled on the floor, Daryl took the backpack off (he had to unhook the straps), and they ate a can of green beans they found in the cabin (there were rows of canned vegetables that had somehow not been looted along one wall). Once they finished eating, Daryl waited for the questions he knew were coming.
Finally, Beth picked one, "How long have you had wings and how did you find out you had them?"
"I got 'em when I was ten. I was climbin' a tree to get a squirrel and fell. I must've been eighty feet up, thought I was gonna die. They appeared before I hit the ground. I spent the next week figuring out how they work and how to hide them. When I went back home, I just didn't tell anyone, even Merle. You're the first person that's seen 'em."
"Does it hurt when you hide them or bring them out?"
"Nah, it just itches somethin' fierce."
"Why didn't you tell anyone about them?"
"It wasn't any of their business. Over time, it just became habit. I don't let them out much, just when I'm huntin' alone. They'd be easy for a walker to get a hold on."
"Why'd you tell me now?"
"I couldn't catch the car if I ran. Flying, I can go a lot faster. I don't get as tired neither."
"How much can you carry?"
"I've carried a buck for a few miles before, but nothin' heavier."
Beth finally asked the one question she had really wanted to ask, "Can I touch them?"
Expecting this, he just nodded and turned so his back was towards her. She reached out and gently ran her hand along the top of one wing. The feathers felt like a bird's and were the same dark brown color as Daryl's hair, though in the dark they had looked black. As she touched the feathers, she noticed some of them were out of place and started fixing them, drawing on everything her daddy had taught her about birds to make sure she didn't hurt him. Daryl jumped slightly when she first started, but he relaxed into the touch after she had finished with the first one. Eventually, she had them all fixed and sat back. Daryl had almost nodded off where he was sitting… he had been awake all day and had flown all night carrying her. Add all of that into weeks of exhaustion, and it was amazing that he was still awake. She nudged him up off the floor and pushed him into the bed room where he lay down without complaint for once (usually, he would argue with her until she took the bed). She then moved back into the living room and lay down on the couch… a few hours of drug induced napping doesn't help exhaustion that much. In a few hours, the two of them would get up, pack up as much food and supplies as they could carry in Daryl's backpack and in a backpack she had seen in the other room, and leave the small cabin to try and find the rest of their family. Hopefully, she could convince Daryl to stretch his wings a bit more often. She had really enjoyed flying, and maybe he could see someone they knew from the sky instead of looking from the ground. After all, they had almost missed the prison because of a single line of trees. As she slipped into sleep, one image stayed with her… the image of Daryl standing next to the open trunk, wings flared out defiantly, and crossbow pointed at the kidnapper… an image of her angel with a crossbow.