03: Nothing Is Forgotten

Hershel Greene had been hesitant to allow them to stay, but it ended up being mutually beneficial to both groups to give them sanctuary. Carol's tent was set up on the edge of the other tents on the Greene's lawn. Everything was in its place and tidy. She'd never liked a dirty home. Her eyes moved to where Carl and Sophia were doing their lessons and then her eyes moved to Daryl.

Daryl had placed his tent further away from the others, but he was close enough to keep an eye on Sophia and Carol. He somehow felt responsible for the girl and her mother now that he had saved the girl from a fate worse than death. He felt the woman's eyes on him and turned his head and met her gaze for a moment before turning away and returning to repairing his arrows.

She moved toward his small camp and approached as quietly as she dared. "Daryl, I'd like to talk to you about-about something." She nervously wrung her hands together as she tried to form the courage to broach the subject she so desperately needed to discuss with him. Out of everyone, she felt he was the only one that could truly have the patience to teach them everything they needed to know to survive.

He looked up at her, eyes squinting as he took in her demeanor. He snorted softly before he set the arrow aside and brushed his hands on his pants and stood up. "Out with it. Ain't got all day."

She tried not to smile at his attempt to keep distance between himself and anyone that might see his worth. She placed a hand on her hip and shrugged. "I was just kind of hoping you'd teach Sophia and me some more of what you were showing her back at the highway." Her eyes moved up and met his and held him in her gaze. "Unless you're too busy t-"

"I ain't too busy." He reached for his crossbow and a couple of arrows. "Just gotta see 'bout something to eat. Then I'll come find y'all. Okay?" He strapped on his knife and headed toward the direction of the furthest tree line. He turned slightly when he got about ten foot away and called back to her, "Clear some handgun usage from Shane. I'll pick them up before we head out." The less he had to deal with Shane, the better off they all were.

Daryl reached around Carol's waist, positioning her arm how he'd tried to explain it for the third time. He'd finally given up and just showed her what he meant. "Like this." He glanced at Sophia, smirking in her direction. "Your girl is a quick study."

Carol's body trembled slightly at his closeness. He was the first man aside from Ed that had touched her like this in a long time. Her life had taught her to make herself small, so that's what she did. She heard his breath against her ear. "Is this better?" She readjusted her body, trying to stand the way in which he'd showed them both. "And swing up to land the blow under the chin?"

He shook his head, readjusting her once again. "Nope. Like this, and you'll want to swing in whatever direction that allows you to penetrate the brain. You'll likely only get one shot. Don't want to waste whatever opportunity you get. And you strike hard. Hard as you can." He released her, stepping toward Sophia and readjusting the knife she held in her small hand.

Sophia's eyes narrowed. "So if one was comin' at me, I'd do it like this?" She mimicked what he'd shown them and did it with a loud grunt. "Right?" She looked expectantly at Daryl, eager for his approval.

He reached out, ruffling her dirty blonde hair and winking at her. "That's right, kid. Just like that." He looked over at Carol then, deciding to move onto something a little easier for her to handle. "Gimme that," he instructed Carol and reached for the bag they'd brought that held the handguns she'd gotten from Shane. He selected one and passed it toward her. "We'll give this a shot."

It turned out that Carol was a lot more equipped to handle the firearm that she had been the knife, and they were returning to camp. She'd managed to hit the target twenty out of the twenty-five times she'd fired. She walked quickly, keeping pace with him as she held Sophia's hand tightly. "Thank you, Daryl. It means a lot that you're helping us out like you are. If there's anything I can do for you, just let me know. I'll do what I can."

Daryl glanced at her, squinting as the sun burned brightly above them. "Ain't nothing. Gotta be ready in case them freaks make it here. Won't get as lucky as you've been. Can't have someone else savin' your ass all the time." He hadn't meant to sound as short-tempered as it came out. He instantly regretted it, but before she sped up before he could apologize. "Carol," he called.

"It's okay. I get it. Thanks for helping us. We really appreciate it." She hurried in the direction of camp, pulling Sophia along behind her.

Sophia moved with her mother, not wanting to upset her further, but she looked back, meeting Daryl's eyes. She frowned, not understanding what had just happened. He'd been so nice to them, and she didn't understand why he was acting like a butthole now. Grownups always confused her, but he acted more like a kid, and that confused her even more.