Well, this is is. The last chapter. I seriously teared up when I was writing this. This story was one of my favorite stories to write for and I am so sad it's over. But all good things must end, right? I hope you all enjoy and thank you so much for all the love and support you have given me for this story. It really meant a lot.
2 Years Later- Christmas
It was a small get together. A very small one. But neither of the guests seemed to mind. Carol, dressed in a form-fitting red dress swayed her hips along with a slow Christmas song playing on the radio. The skirt swished against her thighs, then flared out when Michonne grabbed her hand and twirled her around. Together, the two women were putting the finishing touches on their Christmas supper while Merle and Daryl were in the living room entertaining Michonne's almost three-year-old boy, Andre.
"Have I told you yet that you look absolutely gorgeous tonight, Michonne?"
Michonne looked absolutely stunning in the shimmer-y gold dress that hugged her curves and complimented her skin beautifully.
"You've told me about...five times, now." Michonne laughed and bumped Carol with her hip. "But I don't mind. You look beautiful yourself, Carol Ann. Daryl is sure going to enjoy unwrapping you, tonight."
Carol blushed almost as red as her dress and went back to where she been putting the ingredients together for a green bean casserole. She and Daryl had almost been married for three years and Carol had never been so happy. Already this marriage had lasted twice as long as her last one and she knew, without a doubt, that she and Daryl would be together forever. She loved him more than words could describe and the same went for him.
"Speaking of unwrapping..." The deep voice coming from the doorway to the living room startled them both. They turned around to see Merle smirking at the two of them.
"Merle Dixon!" Michonne cried. "Were you listening to us the whole time?" She swatted at him with a towel when he nodded and chuckled. Carol didn't think her face could get any redder.
"I came with a request and didn't think I would overhear anythin' that could be considered embarrassin'...or private." He turned to Carol and winked. Carol scowled and threw a green bean, which hit him on the chest and bounced to the floor.
"You better pick that up later or Andre the Vacuum will find it," Michonne muttered. Andre was still in the terrible two stage and his favorite past time was to give his mother a heart attack and eat whatever food, or non-food item, he found on the floor.
"I'll get it right now." Carol picked it up and with a glare at him she threw it away. "So, Merle, you said you came with a request? I think it's time you spit it out so Michonne and I can talk about more private things."
"This request was not made by me, mind you, I'm just the messenger charged with this important task."
There were several beats of silence as Carol and Michonne waited for Merle to continue.
"Out with it!" Michonne finally said, getting impatient. Merle just smirked.
"A Mr. Andre requests that we open gifts before we eat our meal and not after."
Carol and Michonne looked at one another, one eyebrow raised. It wasn't far-fetched that the little boy was impatient to open his gifts, but he would have never told Merle to rely the message back to his mother. No, he would have come storming into the kitchen and demanded it from her, instead.
"Hm. Tell Mister Andre that if I agree to his request, then he has to go to bed on time, tonight." Michonne crossed her arms over her chest. Merle nodded and turned to leave the room.
"You know Andre wasn't the one to send Merle in here, right?" Carol turned to her friend.
"I know," Michonne smirked. "Merle Dixon is a little eager for his gifts, I see. But you and I both know that if Merle asks Andre to do something, the boy actually does it."
It was true. Andre had Merle wrapped around his little finger, but the little boy also looked up to the man, something that made his mother very weary, and always aimed to please him. So, if Merle told him that he needed to go to bed on time that night, he would go to bed on time.
"Maybe you should just marry the man and all of your problems will be solved," Carol teased.
When Michonne didn't say anything, Carol turned to her. The other woman had her back to Carol and was chopping up some vegetables, which she had been doing before Merle had interrupted them.
"Don't tell me he asked you to marry him!" Carol cried. "I didn't even think you were dating. Have you been keeping secrets, missy?"
"No, he didn't ask me and no, we're not dating. Yet. When he picked me up to bring me here, he asked me out to dinner, though."
"What is that now? The fifteenth time he's asked."
"Thirteenth...and I said yes."
Carol threw her arms around Michonne. "We're going to be sisters!"
"Whoa!" Michonne held Carol at arm length. "It's just a date. It may not even work out between us...and I don't think Merle is the marrying type, anyway."
"Daryl's told me many times that he never thought he would get married and here we are! But in all seriousness, 'Chonne, I'm glad you're giving him a chance."
Ever since their first meeting, two years ago during Merle's welcome home party from jail, there had been a little spark of something between the oldest Dixon and Carol's friend. Of course, Merle hadn't been immune to Michonne's beauty and didn't seem to mind that she had a kid because he had flirted with her most of that night.
Michonne had been put off by the attention and for the most part ignored Merle whenever they would be in the same vicinity. But two years had softened Carol's friend. As it turned out, Carol hadn't been the only one with hang-ups from a previous relationship. After Mike had left the moment he found out Michonne was pregnant, she stopped trusting any man.
"Why would any man want to be in a relationship with a woman who has a kid?" Michonne had confessed one night. "Especially a man like Merle. I'm better off just being a single mom and having Andre be the only man in my life."
However, things had changed. Once Andre began to walk, Merle would be the first person he walked to when they would come by for a visit. For some reason, the little boy had made a connection with the gruff and sometimes crass man and somehow that little boy had melted Merle's heart. Now, when he flirted with Michonne he was serious. He wanted a relationship with her, but she had been so untrusting. Carol understood and together, they had many talks about the subject.
Now, it looked like finally Michonne was ready for that next step and Carol couldn't be happier.
At that moment, Merle returned with hands clasped behind his back. "Andre has accepted your terms."
Michonne smiled and rolled her eyes. "Of course he did." She turned to Carol. "Why don't we put that casserole in the oven and go open some presents?"
"Sounds good to me!"
An hour later, the floor of Daryl and Carol's living room was completely covered in various colors of wrapping paper. Andre sat in the middle of it all with his toys and played with them as Michonne and Merle watched him from the couch with smiles on their faces. Carol sat in Daryl's lap in the armchair. The adults had also opened their gifts and Carol had received a beautiful necklace with a Cherokee rose on it from Daryl.
"I can't help but notice that you didn't give Daryl a gift," Merle drawled, his attention on them now.
"She doesn't have to give me one," Daryl answered and he meant it.
Merle just laughed. "That wife of yours has you whipped, baby brother." Daryl didn't say anything and pulled Carol closer to his chest.
"I do have a present for him. I just won't give it to him until later..." When you all are gone.
"Ohhh. I see." Merle winked and Carol refused to look any of them in the eye. It wasn't what any of them thought, but she wasn't going to ruin the surprise by blurting it out. When she finally did get the courage to look up, Michonne was looking at her with a knowing look. Carol gave the barest of nods and Michonne smiled brightly for a second, and then turned quickly to her son, not wanting her smile to give anything away to the men of the room.
Daryl kissed under her ear and whispered. "I can't wait to see what it is."
Carol hoped that when Daryl realized what his gift was that he would be happy. She didn't know what she would do if he wasn't.
After a large meal, followed by dessert, Michonne decided that it was getting late and that Andre needed to get to bed. The young boy hadn't protested and when his mom picked him up from the table, he fell asleep almost instantly. Daryl and Carol walked them to the door where Carol gave them a hug and Daryl shook his brother's hand.
When she pulled Michonne close, her friend whispered, "I want all the details later."
"Of course." She pulled back and smiled.
With one more goodbye, Merle slung an arm around Michonne's shoulders and they walked out into the night. Daryl wasted no time. Once the door closed, he held Carol closed and kissed her soundly on the mouth.
"I love you," he said, kissing her again.
"I love you, too," she said back, but started feeling nervous. It was time.
"Why don't we leave the clean up for tomorrow and call it a night?" She suggested, knowing that he would agree but asked anyway.
"All right. But you know those pans are goin' to be a bitch to scrub tomorrow."
"I know," she said and placed a hand on his shoulder. "That's why I'll have you do them, my strong man." She kissed his cheek and led the way to the bedroom, hoping Daryl could see the way her hands were shaking.
When they both walked into the room, Carol closed the door softly behind her and turned to Daryl, who was perched at the end of the bed. "Are you ready for your present? I-I actually have two of them for you."
"Lucky me." He smiled.
She went to the closest and took out a wide box wrapped in gold wrapping paper. "Here's your first one."
Daryl took the box and eagerly ripped the paper. Carol watched him, amused and anxious. Finally, he lifted up his gift. It was a leather vest and on the back angel wings were sewn. "It's because you're my angel," she said. Carol had spotted the vest when she had gone shopping at one of the malls in Atlanta. The idea for the angel wings came to her when she passed a kiosk that did patches.
Daryl put in over the dark green dress shirt he wore and stood up to look at himself in the mirror. His eyes met hers in the glass. "I love it." The truth of his words shown in his eyes. "But how come you didn't want to give it to me earlier with everyone there? Merle would have been so jealous," he smirked.
She bit her lip. "I said I had two presents for you and I wanted to give them both at the same time." Carol took a deep breath and looked him right in his beautiful blue eyes. "I'm pregnant."
Daryl's eyes widened and his mouth fell open. "A-Are you serious?"
She nodded and in an instant, Daryl's strong arms were wrapped around her waist and she was being spun around the room. Carol couldn't help but laugh at him and wrapped her arms around his neck when he placed her feet back on the ground.
"So, you're happy, then?"
"Am I happy? Of course I am! We're goin' to have a baby and I get to raise a child with the woman I love. I could never be happier." He kissed her passionately.
"I love you, Daryl. So much."
"I love you, too, Carol. My angel."
6 Months Later
Sophia Rose Dixon came screaming into the world and Daryl and Carol knew they had never seen a more perfect baby. Sophia had quickly become their little angel.
That's it. *sniff*. I hope you all are satisfied by the ending and yes, I do ship Michonne and Merle! ;)
Now, I just want to thank everyone who took the time out to read this story and I also want to thank Haitus80. Without her, I don't think I would write as much as I do, now. :)
Oh, and if anyone is interested, I'll be posting a new story soon. I've been working on it for over seven months and I'm really excited to finally let you read it! Daryl is going to be a little different in this one and it will follow the show, except Daryl isn't with the original group at first. It will be called Letters to the Dead. I hope you all will give it a look, if not, then that's okay, too! :)