Disclaimer: I don't own AMC's The Walking Dead or any of its characters, wishful thinking aside.

Authors Note #1: Like many, the 'caryl mattress scene' in the promo for "Consumed" gave me a serious smut-chubby. So this is just my take on how things went from where we left them in the clip where Daryl is settling down on the mattress beside her. Note that this story was written before "Consumed" aired.

Warnings: *Contains: vague spoilers for "Consumed" via the promo, adult language, adult content, angst and smut. This is really just an excuse to write smut, completely porn without plot.

The Porcelain Pull (put your teeth into me and tear)

She wasn't really thinking when she pulled the shirt over his head. Threading it through sweat-stained armholes and rucked up collar – the worn fabric skimming across the sharp bite of his cheekbones – when she'd caught him in mid roll. All she knew was that she wanted anything but this. Anything but him leaving as the silence had grown too heavy and he'd grunted something about taking a piss before she surged up and grabbed him by the belt loops.

The best and worst part of it, was that he'd come easy.

Smothering downwards like he'd just been waitin' on her this whole god damned time.

It was all there – the relief, excitement – all there in the way the curve of his back started to relax. Coaxing the barest amount of movement from his hips as she pulled him down. Until there was nowhere to look but at each other as he loomed – imperfect and partially shadowed - in the air above her head.

He looked at her like she was the last thing he'd ever see. Piercing and shy as he slowly let himself sink down, pressing their foreheads together as heat rushed to her cheeks and filled the air to bursting.

She'd be a liar if she didn't admit that deep in the pit of her belly, something warm, unfamiliar and good burbled and twisted. She arched her back, lazy and unexpectedly coy as pleasure and embarrassed gratification surged, welling up from somewhere deep inside she barely recognized as he made a harsh sound in the back of his throat and firmed against her thigh.

He kissed her hesitantly, forearms quivering, like he was unsure or holding himself back – maybe both as her fingers tried to learn every inch of him at once. His lids were at half-mast when she brought him down for another kiss – sloppy and far less careful – as the scream of raw nylon and old cotton-down sheets scritch-scritched in the absence of words.

It felt strangely lop-sided, unfamiliar, but not unpleasant, the way he deferred to her. Waiting for her lead. Until her fingers wriggled between them, interrupting the sinuous grind of hips on hips – all dangerous friction and him panting into the curve of her throat.

Her eyes fluttered shut. Finding herself caught in the act of either shoving him away or pulling him close – overstimulated and needy – as the harsh burn of stubble seared across her breast. Fielding the complex sensations of too much and not enough as the underwire of her bra flexed, dangerously close to snapping when they both tried to yank it down at the same time.

She thrusted up on her own accord, pulse racing and greedy, as he met her there. Pressing down just enough for a burst of off-centre friction – close up and raw - as the crook of an index finger dared to trail down the slope of her shoulder blade.

The hands that'd tangled in his belt, tugging on the loops and fasteners, jerked.

Jangling into the quiet as he whispered something unintelligible into her skin.

"I ain't gonna last," he rasped, words startling out into the spaces between heartbeats as she helped him kick off his ratty jeans and boxers. Until she was sighing into the crook of him, her center warm, wanting and slick as he reached between them, fumbling as the tip of his cock smeared pre-cum along the pale inside of her thigh.

"I know-" she murmured, fingers curling in his hair, tugging him back down for a sloppy kiss before taking his hand in hers - guiding him home as the world stilled and all rational thought fled.

"-it's okay."

It wasn't until after.

When she was admiring the marks his fingertips – harsh half-moons with a permanent dirt inlay – had made on her hips. Soaking in the rash of stubble burn and the dull, satisfied sort of soreness that only happens for a woman when you've gone too long without and your body isn't sure how to feel about it.

That she realized that for all its imperfect timing, it'd had to be now.

She hadn't been ready then – before - even at the prison.

They hadn't been ready.

He hadn't been ready.

He snuffled a half-snore into the crease where armpit met the freckled cream of her right breast. Making her smile as she teased a snarl out of a greasy wisp of hair. Gentling her fingers across his scalp as he slept on, content and nakedly oblivious in a way that almost eclipsed the soaring pleasure that had existed only a few minutes before.

Unable to stop herself from thinking, that, in a roundabout way, it seemed as though she'd proven herself right after all.

Maybe everything really does work out the way it's supposed to.

A/N #2: Thank you for reading. Reviews and constructive critiquing are love! – This story is now complete.