AN: Leave a comment if you want this to be a multi-chapter! I will only do so if I gain enough comments. C: also, leave me your prompts in the ask box! I will take prompts from detailed to words to quotes- whatever your heart desires. I will post periodically in the Caryl tag.
Side note: My friend keeps saying she wants Daryl to light Dawn on fire, so... Here you go? Might be a little out of character, but as much as I knew what I wanted to do for this one, I wasn't really certain how to execute it.
Daryl stared down at her form in the hospital bed, biting his lip. He couldn't believe it... She was still alive, but unconscious. And he needed her to wake up. He could hear Rick and the others yelling and firing but he couldn't bring himself to budge. He had to wake her up, he had to tell her how he felt, he had to get her out of here. He gripped her hand, dropping to kneel beside her, hauling the AKM over his shoulder.
"Carol, please, you have to wake up," he whispered after several long moments. "You have to open your eyes, you have to be here with me again. I can't lose you... I'm tired of losing people but I can't handle losing you..." He cursed himself a little, stroking her hand with his thumb, staring at her pale form that now looked small on a hospital bed. Tears came to his eyes until he blinked them away, wondering how many times exactly she had been familiar with a room like this...
"I swear to you, if you wake up, I'll never hide my feelings again. I was a coward. I needed to get my head on straight and I took too long. I'm so sorry... I'm so proud of you," he choked out, "I'm a good man because of you." He stood, gripping her hand tighter, hearing the firing get closer. "Carol, please wake up," he whispered hoarsely, "I need ya. I do."
He shuffled closer, sitting on the empty space, his skin blackened from the pavement scuffle where he had almost been bitten and at the same time strangled to death. "I told you to stay safe... and you said nine lives. Well, prove it to me! WAKE UP!" He frustratedly kicked the monitor, his chin trembling as he fought to keep his composure. "I can't lose you and Merle... You're all I have. You're the reason I've been fighting."
He shook to his very core but turned away as the firing approached. He couldn't leave her. He would have to get out fast, he could only carry one. He had carried her before. He gritted his teeth, shifting the gun, turning around when he heard a familiar but tiny voice. "Daryl..."
His cobalt eyes met her half-open ones and he rushed to her side, whispering, "It's okay, it's okay, we're gonna get you out, I promise, I promise. You're family. We owe you... I love you, Carol." He didn't give her time to process or respond, just picked her up in his arms and headed for the door, shifting her so her head was supported against his chest with tender, loving care. He peered out the door, ducking back when Rick swept forward with a gun, rattling off gunfire, spotting Daryl with Carol and nodding his head, turning it toward the stairs.
Daryl nodded, making sure Rick was covering them before making a break for it, fairly quick despite himself, taking the stairs as quickly as he could without tripping. He sought out the first floor, skidding a bit when he ran for the exit. Walkers, walkers everywhere, attracted to the gunfire. He glanced around desperately, before darting back up the stairs, finding Rick and thrusting Carol into his arms, wrenching the gun from his shoulder. "Get everyone out!" he yelled over the gunfire, "It's being overrun! Hurry!"
Rick looked worried but seemed to know now was not the time, accepting the small woman and waving off the group. Daryl noticed his gaze lingering, hissing, "I'll be right behind you!" He waited for them to flee down the stairs, before ducking a gunshot, taking out his lighter and looking up at Dawn defiantly. "We ain't ashes," he muttered, tossing the open light to the floor and rushing after the group, ducking at the explosion, slamming the door shut and blocking it, winding down to the second floor where he had seen a dumpster down below the glass windows. Not even giving it a second thought, he charged the glass, closing his eyes for the impact, leaping and flying into the air.
He clumsily landed on the dumpster, stumbling a bit, hearing Rick calling to the others and scrambling down after them. There were luckily no walkers in that particular back alley, spotting them and scampering to catch up with the group. When Rick noticed him, he offered Carol to him respectively, and Daryl muttered a thank you, hefting her and allowing Rick to take over, making himself stay in the middle of the group to assure Carol's safety since he didn't really have a hand free.
When they got in one of the huge semi trucks, he had never felt more relieved, settling in the passenger seat and nursing Carol to him, staring at the road a little dazedly until he felt a hand on his cheek. He looked down, meeting her eyes, recognizing love in her eyes, saying everything he needed to know. He gave her a brief peck to the lips, holding her tighter and preparing for the long drive.
Now, he was sure.
There were angels in everything.