I came across a Beth and Daryl video on YouTube to Emily Kinney's song Be Good that she sang in "Alone" and this came to mind. What did he think when she sang the rest. What we might not have seen. I'm hoping this clears up my writers block on Give Me a Sign and then I plan on writing an AU fic because I've read way too many good ones now. I'm hooked.
Of course, I don't own TWD Characters. I just use and abuse them.
"And pine for summer. And we'll buy a beer to shot gun. And we'll lay in the lawn. And we'll be good" Her voice was barely a whisper above the sound of the piano as he listened to her play. She seemed disconnected from the world at that moment and he didn't want to take that away from her. He heard her fingers falter over the keys and he cleared his throat, taking his opportunity to make his presence known. Her head snapped around to him and he wondered if he scared her.
"Place is boarded up tight." He muttered as he walked into the small chair filled room. He placed is crossbow on a small couch and headed to the coffin. "Only way in's through the front door." He saw her nod out of the corner of his eye and he looked over the coffin. This would suffice. He jumped in with a grunt. She gave him an incredulous look.
"What are you doing?" He sighed as he prepared to lie down.
"This is the comfiest bed I've had in years." He moved around getting more comfortable.
"I ain't kiddin'" His body relaxed for the first time in weeks and his arm rested on his head. She looked down at the floor nervously. "Why don't ya go ahead and play some more. Keep singin'" Her eyes rose to his and a smirk graced her lips and a glint in her eye.
"I thought my singin' annoyed you." She smirked. He felt a tug somewhere inside at his drunken stabs he took at her in that shack came flashing to mind at her simple remark.
"There ain't no jukebox, so…" his words trailed off as her smile grew and she turned around. He settled himself further into the coffin. His eyes stayed on her and her hands went back to the piano and began to ghost over the keys. He regarded her for a moment, thinking about what he had said to her. His regret stung as the memories from the shack rustled across his mind.
"And we'll buy a beer to shot gun. And we'll lay in the lawn. And we'll be good. Now I'm laughin' at my boredom and my string of failed attempts" He threw his head back in frustration as he wondered if she forgave him for his remarks. There had been no sign since they burnt down the shack that she hadn't but that didn't mean that she wasn't feeling pain or anger. She was better at hiding things like that. He stopped listening for a few seconds as his mind wondered and then drew himself back out to her. Back away from his regret and the nagging feeling in the pit of his stomach.
"Now I've got friendships to mend and I'm selfishly dispossessed. You don't wanna be my boyfriend and that's probably for the best .Because that, that gets messy and you will hurt me or I'll disappear. So we will drink beer all day and our guards will give way and we'll be good." Her voice carried on the verse as she seemed to put more heart into the words. Her fingers stilled and her head hung down, her shoulders slumped. He rose up and pulled his legs around to hang out of the coffin.
"Ya' alright?" He asked his voice low. She turned and looked at him; a small and weak smile was forced to her lips.
"Yeah. I'm ok." She looked down again as her body language gave away more than she spoke.
"What made ya sing that one?" He asked.
"I wrote it." She smiled sheepishly as she nodded to her notebook. He nodded and looked down at his legs. The circulation constriction was beginning to cause his toes to go numb.
"Why?" He asked as he stood up to walk around. Her eyes followed him with a questioning look.
"Why'd ya write it like that?" He stopped walking and pulled up a chair and sat down next to the bench. The question in her eyes begged him to elaborate. "You said 'You will hurt me'. Who were you talking about?"
"Daryl, it's just a song. The lyrics don't need to mean anything." She was lying and he knew it. His glare told her so. "I don't think you will hurt me." She assured him. He wasn't satisfied but he could tell she wasn't giving up any more information. He stood up again, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable in the room.
"I'm going to go check the perimeter again." He muttered as he walked out of the room with his crossbow over his shoulder. She sat, dumbfounded for a moment, then rose and followed him outside.
"Why do you run?" She practically yelled at him. He turned on her and glared.
"Keep yer voice down!" He said in harsh whisper as his eyes looked around to make sure nothing was out there. A lone walker in the distance was headed in their direction but it was far enough away that it wasn't an immediate problem. Her eyes followed his and her hand went to her knife, prepared to handle it if need be. Her focus shifted between it and the man before her.
"There was no reason to check everything again. You just wanted to get away from me. You asked me to sing and I did. I wrote that song a few months ago, before we left the prison. This is the first time I've sat at a piano to put the words to music. What is wrong with you?" Her voice was harsh, demanding, and accusatory.
"I ain't gunna hurt ya!" He growled.
"You think after the shack I don't know that? You think after all of this I wouldn't know by now that I'm the safest person in this shit whole world?" The walker ambled closer, his limping body moving faster than either had expected. She pulled her knife out and slammed it into the head of the thing and drew back as though it was an act as simple as taking a breath. He laughed.
"Maybe…" He started and looked down. "Maybe I'm safe with you." Beth gleamed at his words. She put her knife back in its sheath and reached for his hand.
"Come on, the perimeter is fine. Let's get some rest." He nodded and suddenly felt very sheepish. He didn't answer her questions. He just spat out what she already knew. He was trying to control his anger. He thought he had left most of it behind. But hearing her sing about being hurt, about someone not wanting to be her boyfriend, he couldn't help but think it was his fault. Hell, only two he ever knew she had were dead. Maybe that's what it all meant.
She pulled him into the house, locked the door, and without stopping to ask if this was ok, she pulled him into the back room that had already been set up as a bed from the pull out couch. She dropped his hand and kicked off her boots and removed her sweater. She wanted to take everything off and for a change and sleep without her blood stained clothes but that wasn't an option. Instead she just awkwardly pulled off her jeans, careful of her injured ankle, to reveal boy cut shorts that were too small so they could fit under her pants and crawled into bed. Daryl just stood there dumbfounded yet again. She looked at him expectantly.
"It's better than the coffin. Don't worry, we'll be good." She whispered and pulled the blanket down next to her where she wanted him to lay. He hesitated a moment longer and finally moved. He dropped his crossbow on the floor next to the bed and pulled off his vest and flannel so he was wearing just his undershirt and jeans. She scrunched her nose at him. He gave her a questioning look at her expression. "This is the most comfortable bed we've had in years and you're sleeping in jeans?" He nodded and climbed in.
They lay in silence for a long time, neither giving into sleep just yet. Finally, when the quiet was more than he could stand he spoke.
"Ya deserve more than this world can give ya." He whispered. Her head snapped towards him, her eyes urging him to explain himself. "I think I get it now. That song. Ya think that everyone is gunna be gone." He turned his head and looked at her. She swallowed a lump in her throat but didn't offer a response. "Hell, ya think yer gunna be gone." He realized he was rambling for him and closed his mouth and looked back up at the darkened ceiling.
"I don't see that for myself. I want it but I know it's not an option in this world. It's a distraction." She responded finally. He wanted to tell her it was possible, to not give up hope, but the words stuck in his throat. Instead he raised his arm up over her head on the pillow and grabbed her arm with the other and pulled her to him. She was shocked by his movements but it vanished almost immediately when she felt her body relax into the crook of his arm. He smelled like sweat, death, and the forest. Her heart flutter as the feeling of something so peaceful, something so enveloping and knowing this would never be the norm for her. She felt pain at the realization but her body began to relax on its own and soon her breath evened out and she was fast asleep.
Once he was sure she was asleep he allowed his hands to play in her hair. He sat like that for a moment, his mind jumping around to random thoughts. Mostly how he wished he could help her find a life she deserved. He owed that to her, to her family, and mostly to her father. When he realized sleep would not come to him anytime soon he gingerly moved her lithe body off his and slipped up and out of the room. He walked around the house, just his knife on his side, and looked back into the room they were in earlier. He flicked his lighter over a candle and grabbed her book. Guilt tugged at him as he opened the pages and found the song she had been singing. It had been after Zach died, he realized. She didn't want to lose anyone else just like he didn't.
He dropped the book and it flipped to an open page where her pen sat as a placeholder. He snatched it up and wrote something. He knew what he was doing was wrong but I couldn't bring himself to stop.
"I would break I would burn, I would suffer. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you. I would lie I would steal for no other. You make me feel so alive I'd die for you."
He wished he could be as lighthearted as she was but his life was dark. Underneath he scribbled:
"I'm not what you want but I'll give ya whatever you need."
He tossed the book aside, groaning at the sentiment that was so unlike Daryl Dixon. His brother and laughter are probably laughing their asses off in hell over this one. He blew out the candle and pulled at his hair with a rough tug and a groan and walked back into the room where he had left her sleeping. She was curled up on her side, facing away from the wall. He noticed her shivering and was wrapped around her small body before his mind could even register the movements. When she was warm he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
She awoke a few hours later feeling more rested then she had since she left the farm. She wasn't surprised to see his body protectively covering hers but wondered what, in the midst of the night, had prompted that. She slid from his grasp carefully so as not to disturb him and pulled her jeans back over her legs. Once again dressed and warm she turned and watched him sleep. The stress lines on his face were gone, his guard down, and she could swear this is what he must have looked like before the world turned to shit. She smiled to herself and limped out of the room quietly, her hand on her knife as if instinct, and went to the small bathroom to relieve herself.
When she was done she walked back down the foyer to the main room. The one with the piano. She noticed her notebook was not where she had left it and edged closer, her guard up instantly. Who is here? She wondered. She thought about alerting Daryl but nothing else looked out of place so she hobbled over to it and picked it up. The page flipped open to unfamiliar handwriting and she read the words.
Tears sprang to her eyes as she realized what she had done. If he read anything in here, she didn't care. It was just musings and thoughts, nothing personal. But for him to put his own thoughts, his own words onto paper in a promise she would always have from him, melted her heart. She set the book down and acted like she hadn't seen it. She couldn't deal with the emotional weight of it right now. Before she could head into the kitchen to set out breakfast for them she heard his rough footsteps come up behind her.
"Gunna go out an' check on things. Go back n' rest. I'll let ya know when I'm back." He grunted as he hoisted his crossbow on his back and walked out the door. She smirked at the way he never fully changed and how he could just seem to forget that they had spent the night in each other's arms (if he even knew at all but she suspected he did). She shrugged and relished in the idea of climbing back into the bed. She did need to rest her ankle some more anyway.
She decided not to remove her clothes this time and just crawled back under the blankets. The musky scent of the pillows from the body that once kept it warm lulled her back to sleep. So much for being rested she thought as consciousness left her.
She was jolted awake some time later by a knock on the door. "Yeah?" She mumbled with sleep in her voice.
"You decent?" He asked timidly. She laughed for a moment.
"Come in, Daryl." He opened the door and she rolled her eyes at him. "Really, you are the only person concerned with modesty when the world has all but ended." He looked down and shuffled his feet.
"Pulled us some stuff out for lunch. Ya coming?" She nodded vigorously and scrambled as fast as she could out of bed.
"Come on! Hurry up!" He grumbled behind her in the hallway. She laughed out loud.
"I'm going as fast as I can!" She countered. Before she knew what was happening he was grunting and picking her up, bridal style, and carrying her through the door. He sat her down in the chair where he had their buffet laid out and ready for them.
"Alright! Let's eat!" Just as he began to dig in the cans began to rattle. Something or someone was on the front porch. He grunted in frustration and grabbed his crossbow. He looked over his shoulder and pointed back at her. "Stay." He commanded. He ran from the small kitchen and to the front door. Peering through the boards he saw no rotting flesh or biting walkers at the door. He undid the lock and pulled back the door slightly to confirm nothing of any danger was out there and saw a scruffy looking mutt with one eye looking up at him expectantly. "It's just a damn dog!" He yelled back to Beth. Daryl leaned down and extended his hand. "Hey, come here boy." The dog whimpered and ran off as he lunged forward grabbing at air. He stood and watched the dog run off before closing the door and heading back to the kitchen.
"He wouldn't come in?" Her voice didn't startle him and he wasn't surprised she didn't listen to him.
"I told you to stay back." He threw his arm out in aggravation.
"Yeah, but Daryl… you said there was a dog." Her eyes lit up as she smiled at him and his frustration evaporated.
"Maybe he'll come back 'round." His arm moved to her shoulder and turned her back to the kitchen. "Come on." Beth turned and limped her way back to her chair thinking about how much contact her and Daryl had had recently. Ever since the shack he seemed to open up. But ever since her injury he just seemed to need to touch her. To feel her and make sure she was alright. She knew it was stupid and he was probably only being gentle with her because she was hurt. But Daryl Dixon wasn't one to touch someone on his own. He wasn't one to curl his fingers around someone's hand or tangle himself up in the body of another person in a non-intimate way. Or at least that's what she thought. But she could see him changing. She smiled as they sat down to eat.
Silence encased them and it wasn't uncomfortable. When they finished what they wanted they just enjoyed the peace and shelter. Daryl was the first to break the silence.
"Ya know, always wanted a dog." He admitted. She quirked an eye at his admission. "Ol' man never would let me get one. Probably woulda killed it anyway." He grunted angrily. Beth held her breath as he spoke about his dad for the first time to her. She didn't want to break this moment. If he wanted to speak she would let him. "Mean sumbitch, that man." He muttered as he picked at his nails with the tip of his knife.
"What about your mom?" Beth asked, generally curious.
"Died when I was young." He laughed out loud which surprised Beth. "I actually told Carl this after Lori…" He didn't finish. He didn't need to. "I'm shocked the kid kept it to himself." Beth wasn't but she waited for him to continue. "She musta got drunk one night and fell asleep with a cigarette in her hand. Burnt the place down with her in it. Came home to lights on the street and realized they were at my house." He shrugged at the distant memory. He waited for her apology but it never came.
"That why you don't like to drink?" she pressed.
"Some of it." He admitted, his hand slipping and cutting the tip of his finger. He didn't flinch and Beth had no clue he'd done it. He dropped the knife and stuck that hand in his pocket. Knowing her, she'd want to sew it up or something.
"Daddy never let us have a dog. He was afraid it would spook Nelly, all the barking." Daryl's heart clenched at the thought of Hershel and even the damn horse that bucked him down the cliff. "I even tried talking him into a small house dog. I think he never wanted to bring work home with him anymore than he did with the horses and barn cats." Daryl nodded.
"Maybe once we settle down, we'll find a dog." She laughed, openly and loudly, in a way that surprised her and she covered her mouth with her hand. "What's funny?"
"In all the time I've known you settling down and Daryl Dixon never went together in the same sentence." Her response was lighthearted and he knew she meant nothing by it. The wilderness would always be his first home, they both knew that. But with the right reason, the right people, he would stay by choice.
"Ya never know." He responded, his smile wide for his sullen face. She smirked at him and they fell back into a comfortable silence. The rest of the afternoon not much was said. She hobbled around the house washing clothes, organizing their food, and cleaning up after them. Daryl spent his time wandering around the outside of the property looking for anything that might be a threat. After several hours and only three walkers down he decided to head back in. The light was slowly starting to fade. He found her in the kitchen shuffling food on the table in near dark.
"Everything's good out there. Think we'll be alright another night." He told her. She looked up briefly and nodded. "I'll go get a few candles." He turned and headed back into the viewing room.
"Daryl, will you get my book while you're in there?" His heart stopped as he thought back to what he wrote the night before, almost forgetting his scribbled words on the blank page he found. He scooped up a few candles and her book and thought for a moment about tearing out the page. But a stronger part of him wanted her to see it. He headed back for the kitchen and set the candles on the table and lit them with his hardly working lighter. He watched her out of the corner of his eye as she opened the book to a new page. She caught his stare and smirked. This is it.
"I'm going to leave a thank you note." She explained. He was disappointed and relieved all at once. She hadn't seen his promise.
"For when they come back. If… they come back." She started writing, her eyes hidden from his view. He scooped out jelly from the jar and ate at it.
"Maybe you don't have to leave that." She looked at him questioningly. "Maybe we'll just stick around here for a little while. They do come back we'll just make it work." She looked back to her book and back to him. "May be nuts but… maybe it'll be a'right." She smiled brightly at him.
"So you do think there are still good people around. What changed your mind?" He suddenly felt very uncomfortable. He knew what changed his mind. It was a tiny young woman who saw light in darkness. And she was sitting right next to him. He found himself unable to speak.
"You know." He answered as he put another spoonful of jelly in his mouth. She chuckled.
"What?" He should have known she wouldn't let him off with just that. He grunted something that sounded like I dunno. "Don't 'uh unno'. What changed your mind?" She asked again. His throat was tight and the food before him all but forgotten. All he could do was stare at her, his gaze piercing and powerful. She could feel something, something strong in that gaze. She was suddenly very aware of what changed his mind. The words in the book made sense. It wasn't just survival for him. She was all he had left. She knew Daryl was good on his own but he wanted and needed her to be there with him. He needed her to keep going, to see the good in life. She was his light at the end of the tunnel. She felt like a train had hit her. "Oh." It was all she could say.
He felt like a weight had been lifted from his chest and yet his heart hammered in fear. Had he really just put is heart on his sleeve?
The moment was ruined by the sounds of barking and cans clinking on the porch. He growled and grabbed the jar of pig's feet.
"I'm gunna give that mutt one more chance." He pushed away from the table; regard gone thinking of nothing but the one eyed dog and the distraction he had created. Had he known what was waiting behind that door he would have been more careful. He wouldn't have opened the door without looking and he wouldn't have left his crossbow behind.
He'd told her to run as he took out the herd that pushed into their 'home'. He told her he'd meet her out on the road and convinced himself that she would be fine. When he got rid of most of them, his body running to get back to her, he wasn't expecting to see her gone. He wasn't expecting to see the car drive off.
Without thinking he screamed her name and chased after the car. He tracked without knowing he was. Before he could register that the sun had come up and that his body was broken down by exhaustion he stopped and realized the trail was gone. There were two directions and he had no idea where she could be. He collapsed, broken and defeated.
"You." He admitted into the ground as his body shook for the first time since Merle. "It was you."
Why couldn't he tell her? Why couldn't they be good? Why couldn't he protect her like he promised to?
If he ever found her again, would she forgive him?
This was just something I've been kicking around. I know it's pretty much what happened in the episode but I wanted the in between scenes we didn't see. There could have been so much more. Let me know what you thought?