AN: I'm just going to put this here and back away….


She finds him shivering in his cell. It's shock, not the cold that has seeped down to the bone, his skin sweating and his eyes darting nervously across her shadow. It makes her nervous, tugs at her heart and without questioning it, she's beside his bed, slipping in close beside him, cradling him in her arms and welcoming his hot, erratic breaths against her throat as the tears finally come. She feels him, and she's ashamed that she thinks of him as a man, hard muscle against her soft flesh when he's got other things on his mind. Still, she needs to do more for him, she just doesn't know what.

"Let me help you." She's glad she's managed to curtail any semblance of affection from her voice, aware of how a man like Merle Dixon would twist it, how he'd seize on her change of heart and drain the emotion dry.

He shakes his head against her, fast and sharp, his fingers digging into her hip as he holds her close. His flesh is clammy as the drugs claw their way out of his system, cursing and fighting for more foolishness to follow what he's already done. She knows it's been hard on him; the group looks at him with distrust—Glenn and Maggie with pure loathing. Daryl is doing everything to make sure Merle is accepted and Carol has watched it all with a rising sense of impatience. They are all in this together, whether Merle has been physically present from the start or not. He is Daryl's brother, and Daryl won't let him go and Merle obviously isn't walking away. She has to admire that, even though there is so much of what Merle is and what he stands for that has disgusted her in the past.

"Need…" he croaks against her throat and Carol trembles just a little at the feel of a man's lips against her. "Need more."

"You just need to switch your mind from it. Think of something else. Do something else but lie here thinking about it," she suggested, mostly with a sense of desperation to see this state end but having no idea how to make it happen.

The pressure on her hip switches as he lets her go, grasping for her hand and then, breath caught in her throat as he shoves her palm against his straining erection. He doesn't even look at her though she can feel his length pulsing against her fingers—hot, thick, hard. She hasn't thought of this in so long, intimacy with a man. She's teased Daryl but she enjoys the shade he turns when she's embarrassed him and knowing she can do that to a man and not be smacked for it has been more empowering that she'd ever guessed. But this, feeling Merle's strength and vitality in his cock, it shocks her but thrills her just as much. In an instant she's imagined what it might be like, and as he jerks his hips into her hand and groans so loud it sounds painful, she's decided it might be okay now to explore. To test those waters. She squeezes her hand around him, just enough pressure to make sure he knows she's not backing away, and the she slides her fingers up his length, shuddering at the smear of moisture at his tip depositing against her fingertips.

"You want me to distract you for a while?"

He grunts into her neck, his body shuddering violently now, but just so she knows it's not all mindless distraction, his hot tongue licks a long, slow line up her neck to her chin and he nibbles his way to her ear. Any objections are shutdown with the explicit challenge, and as Carol rolls onto her back, a breathy moan escaping her lips, he rolls with her. She releases her grip on his dick, but with a fumbling hand she finds his buckle and zipper and encloses her fist around his stiff, throbbing length. It's heavy in her hand, filled with the promise of pleasure, and hard as steel. She wants him—the shock of the discovery rocks her out of her oblivion. She slides her hand further, cupping his scrotum in her hand and rolling his balls until his hips have already gone to work. While she's been distracted feeling a man's penis in her hand for the first time in years, he's dragged up her shirt and his mouth has feasted hungrily on her breasts. His tongue is rough as he drags it across sensitive nipples—sensitive for the first sign that she's attractive to someone. She's cautious, though, knowing that for Merle this is just a means to an end, something casual to get him across the line without scraping himself out from under his own skin. Her shirt is gone as she contemplates his motives and whether doing this would add a complication into the group that they don't need. He's lavishing her breasts with the kind of attention Ed never did, not since early on before he'd put that controlling ring on her finger.

"Fuck you taste sweet." And he consumes her like he's been deprived of sugar since the Turn. Like he'd been afraid he'd never get to taste a woman ever again. He sucks one of those sweet, rosy buds into his mouth, curling his tongue around it and sucking hard. A pained streak of pleasure is pulled up from her core, reminding Carol where she craves to be touched, hinting at what is yet to come. She arches into his mouth, her fingers lightly stroking his hair as he holds her in his mouth, drawing out the exquisite sensation. At last he releases her and gone is the cold sweat and glassy-eyed stare of someone taking the long way down as they crashed after it, now he is preoccupied with something that has lit a fire in those blue eyes that turns her flesh into tinder. "You like that?"

She can't deny it. She likes it and hungers for more, and to emphasise the point, she bucks her hips up against his and a slow, wicked grin spreads across his lips. He leaves her then, leaves her looking at the ceiling of the cell as his nose strokes an invisible line of torment down her torso and his fingers get busy with her pants. She shucks them loose as soon as he shifts his weight and she is partially free, and as soon as she is naked beneath him, he exhales a long, low whistle, his eyes burning with a kind of hunger that rips through her like fire.

"I'm gonna fuck you with my tongue," he growls, all play gone, and before she's even worked out that this is exactly what she wants, before she's gathered her wits enough to nod frantically for him to do just that, his tongue splays flat against her slit as he licks right up to her clit, the move slow and tormenting. He sucks the desperate little pearl into his mouth, twirled his tongue around it, then releases and attacks her womanly folds with a voracious hunger she'd never have connected with Merle Dixon. She gushes with fluid and he moans as he laps it up, his tongue stabbing into her opening as if searching out more. Carol shakes, her breaths coming too fast for her to handle as Merle's good hand pushes against her thigh, pulling away briefly to bite the flesh on the inside of her knee before encouraging her leg to curl over his shoulder. The bottom falls out of her world of expectations as his head is repositioned between her legs and he nuzzles her pussy like it is the best meal he's ever been offered. She feels the slick glide of his tongue all over her, but its dedicated focus is on her highly sensitive clit.

She can't stop the slow circle of her hips as she tries to move in time to his mouth. She's too far gone when she suddenly realises he's stopped, that her passion has been close to spiking but was now slowly falling, the loss bringing tears to her eyes. She hadn't noticed that she'd squeezed her eyes shut, focusing on the sensations as they rushed through her body, but when at last she opens them it is to find Merle staring at her with such intensity she isn't sure if he is staring at her, or through her.

"Merle?" His name escapes from her lips and it resembles the long, drawn out sound of a siren, and the way his eyes brighten and the smirk owns his lips, she knows her capitulation has made him smug.

"You like that, Darlin'? I got more where that came from."

Carol has never in her life had a man press his lips between her legs, but Merle's expert tongue has already lit a fire she can't survive unless he burns her right through. She doesn't answer with her mouth, but her hand runs across his scalp before undeniable pressure pushes him back to where she needs to feel his mouth, and he's chuckling against her pussy before he feasts once again.

The pressure builds and she wants to scream it out, wants to give in to the rush of it and wants Merle to know what he's done for her, but she's used to keeping pain to herself, and this pleasure is as painful as she's ever experienced. She clutches at his shoulders, lifts herself a little and she knows that when he lifts his eyes to hers he can see the brightness of her satisfaction, of her shock and he sucks her clit one last time, releasing his rhythm with a few final strokes of his tongue up her slit. Carol falls back against his pillow, her stomach muscles clenching in time with her sex and she pants hard. He doesn't give her the chance to come down, sliding up her body and claiming her lips as his cock nudges her open, shunting up decisively inside her. The resistance of her muscles is short-lived and the exquisite pleasure of being stretched to fit him finally forces sound past her lips. His eyes are bright and she's reminded that only moments earlier she'd been afraid of his addiction, wanting to help him through it but now she realises he's helped her just as much, if not more. She lifts her legs up over his hips, holding him tight to her then sucks in a shocked breath when he makes his first real thrust. The movement is perfect, teasing her to the point of breaking and when he kisses her again she knows it's in part to shut her up. He feels so good under her hands, inside her and she wants more, so much more, like a dam has finally broken and the mysteries of her own body have been unlocked.

He pumps his cock into her slow, his only hand mapping her curves as he strains to hold himself up. She knows there is a knife close to her head, and she knows he won't hurt her, the gentleness of this act proof that there is more to Merle than he's ever shown the world, much like how his brother was in the beginning. The knowledge reassures her she made the right decision, that there is nothing wrong in her being in his cell, in his bed.

"Merle?" She runs her fingers through his hair, whispering his name against his lips. His head drops and his nose bumps gently against hers, his body shaking as his pelvis freezes and he contemplates what she might want, why she's said his name.


The hesitation is back, the swift return of the lack of belief in himself that had swept him into a tide of addiction and Carol wants it gone. She doesn't like seeing that level of defeat in so strong a man and if she's going to have him he needs to step up. There's no place in this world for hiding behind drugs. She knows all about burying pain but he needs to learn new ways and Carol decides, whatever it takes, she will teach him.

"Do you feel better now?" she asks, drawing him closer so she can trace her tongue between the slit of his lips. He shudders and his cock swells inside her, making her gasp into his mouth.

"Hell yeah, I feel better."

She's glad, glad that she's distracted him but his body is weak from the hit he took and she wants to continue, wants to feel good, wants them both to feel better. She pushes him up, moves so he can tell she wants him out of her and she can already feel him shutting down. But then she turns him so that he's lying on his back and she climbs on top of him, his dick glistening in the small amount of light filtering from further into the cells before she sinks down on him, takes him deep inside her and enjoys the slide. A groan infused with compounded awareness and pleasure bursts from her and Carol waits, soaking it in. She is totally naked and she can see how he stares at her breasts, how his hand comes up to trace her shape, squeeze a nipple, her body reacting intuitively with a swirl of her hips.

"Take your shirt off," she commands huskily, her eyes betraying an appetite she didn't know she had. He pulls his shirt over his head in one smooth, masculine move and she knows that she gushes, slick and hot. He tosses it to the floor and she plants both palms against his chest, course hairs scratching between her fingers. His heart is pounding against her hand and it thrills her more than Carol can understand. It gives her leverage and so she starts a steady rhythm of lift and sink, squeeze and twist, and before long Merle is cursing, writhing with her torment. She can feel a storm building inside her, the pleasure gnawing away at her restraint. It feels so good seeking it out, feeling the bump of his cock against the place inside her that feels so right, like she was made to do this, and he was made to do this with her. When the end comes, he catches her a second before she lets it all go, kissing her viciously as she cries out, her entire body trembling and quaking with the aftershocks. He pumps into her twice before finding his release and Carol strokes his back, curling up tight on his chest as they both try to remember how to breathe.

Lethargy takes her over so successfully Carol is barely aware of Merle trying to cover their dignity with a sheet. She is so replete she considers staying there, loving the fierce heartbeat pounding against her cheek, the slow release of fluids as he draws himself out of her. His hand is low on her back, caressing her lower back and ass until she's lulled toward sleep.

For a moment Carol feels happy, complete, and she doesn't want to let it go.

"I won't go lookin' for more drugs." The promise enters into the dark of the room and filters through her psyche until Carol registers what he is saying and slowly lifts up to look at him. She rests a hand against his cheek and she smiles at him, her approval and pride burning bright in her eyes.

"You don't need them anymore, I promise."

His nod is short but his gratitude burns right through her, making her heart ache. She settles against his chest again, content to just rest, to allow them both to just be. She leaves him just before daybreak, a gentle, lingering kiss to his lips, and as he watches her go, she aches for him again already.