Hi, everyone!

A few weeks ago, kevkye sent me a message asking if I could write a OS based off the idea of Daryl being in the military

on an overseas tour of duty then coming home to Beth. Inspiration struck and this was born.

It's super long. I hope y'all enjoy it!

Daryl met Beth Greene while she was sitting at a crowded bar. It took him two beers before he nutted up and went to talk to her.

"You look lost," he said over the loud boom of the music.

The girl turned her head toward him and gave him a quick once over. "I'm just lookin' for my sister."

"Where'd she run off to?" He asked then cleared his throat. He was holding the neck of his beer bottle a little harder than before. It had been a long time since he had approached a woman in a bar.

"Well, she fell in love with a friend of mine about five minutes ago, so I'm left to fend for myself."

"What kinda sister's that?" He asked curiously.

"Maggie," she said and pointed to the brunette dancing next to a lanky Asian kid. He was no match for the woman grinding up against him, and he seemed to know it, too because he had a wide-eyed look on his face that almost made Daryl laugh.

"She's gonna chew him up and spit him out," he said right next to the girl's ear.

She laughed. "From what she says, he'll love every minute of it."

"Damn. She's a talker, too?" Daryl shook his head. He never understood the need to talk about sex or give the details out to other people. His brother shared plenty over the years, but that had never been Daryl's style at all.

She caught his stare and sighed. "She's a force of nature."

They fell into an awkward silence for a few seconds before he asked, "Y'all just out for a drink or celebratin'?"

Her smile grew wide as she pulled the strap of her top to show him bright pink button there. "It's my birthday!"

He nodded and tried to check her out without her noticing, but she blushed under his stare. Daryl felt a little bad about it, but for the first time since he walked across the room, he realized she look a little young.

"Your twenty-first?" He asked, taking a pull of his beer.

She narrowed her eyes a little. "Would it change how you're lookin' at me if it was?"

He swallowed hard as she turned toward him, her bare knees brushing his jeans. Daryl couldn't speak, so he just shook his head.

"What's your name?" She asked leaning a bit closer.

"Daryl Dixon." He almost said his rank, too, since she was staring at him like she was his S.O.

"Beth Greene," she said and held out her hand. He took it and shook it. "How long have ya been in tha Army?"

"Fourteen years," he answered as he saw her sister walk back over with the guy in tow. He didn't even bother asking how she knew. It was always the fucking haircut and the fact that Fort Benning was right down the road that gave him away.

"When did ya join?" She asked, stirring her drink with a tiny straw.

"Ya tryin' to figure out how old I am?" He asked gruffly and looked away.


He shrugged. "I'm thirty-four. Does it matter?"

Beth laughed and laid her hand on his arm. "Oh, Daryl. Age is just a number."

"Ummmhmm." He wasn't looking at her face but her hand over his forearm.

"And I've never liked math."

Months later and half a world away, he would remember her flushed cheeks and wide smile. Beth Greene was something else, and she gave him all her attention for the rest of the night.

When everyone started to leave, she grabbed his hand and said, "Take me home."

Home ended up being his shitty one bedroom apartment, fifteen minutes from base, but it hadn't matter. That first night was still a blur of clothes getting pulled off and the sounds of her moaning low against his ear.

The next morning, she had woken him up by tickling his ribs and asked, "Do ya wanna go eat? I'm starvin'."

They went to a diner near base, and she blushed and kept her head down, eyes on her plate when a couple of his soldiers stopped by their table to say, "Good mornin', Sargent."

It sorta took the shine off everything that had been happening.

She wasn't the sassy girl from before that borrowed his old grey t-shirt and tied it in a knot behind her back so it wasn't so big. Beth smiled politely at them and almost seemed to be taking inventory of how she appeared and what she had done.

He had barely gotten her number before she had ran to her car after he dropped her off at the bar when they were done eating.

It took a week for her to answer his calls and another couple of days before she would agree to meet him for lunch.

He watched her as she walked into the little diner, wearing jeans and t-shirt with her hair pulled back. She wasn't all made up and in heels like she had been the first time they met. Didn't matter for a second though. She was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, and for a little bit of time, she was going to be sitting with him.

Beth had smiled and leaned down to hug him when she got to the table. His shock must have shown because she said, "A hug is nothin' compared to what else we've done."

It went well after that.

She asked why he wanted to meet, and he asked why she didn't.

Him because he thought she seemed like a nice woman, and he wanted to get to know her better. And her because she didn't want him to think she was a booty call.

Lunch ended with a kiss on his cheek and small wave as she headed off to her next class, and he went back to base.

Later that evening, he was working out what to say in a text to her, when there was a knock on his door.

He pulled it open, phone still in hand, and saw her standing there.

"What're ya doin' here?" He asked dumbly.

Her smile fell a little, and she took a step back.

"I just thought I'd come visit. Prolly shoulda called first. I'll go."

"No!" He said and grabbed for her hand. He held out his phone and said, "I's just gonna message ya."

Beth looked down at the phone and twisted her lips to the side, "I'm 'Birthday Girl' in your contacts?"

He flushed red and yanked the phone back. "I know your name."

"I know," she said with smile. "So ya wanted to go to dinner?"

"Thinkin' about it," he muttered.

"Can I leave my backpack here? I have some homework to do when we get back."

Daryl found himself nodding, excited that she wanted to stay even if it was just to sit around and study.

They ended up a little Mexican food place and after they were seated, Beth said, "I don't even know what you do. I know you're a Sargent, but that's it."

Daryl cleared his throat. "I'm a combat engineer," he said. "I make sure people get from point A to point B without gettin' killed."

"Have ya ever been overseas?"

"Once," he answered quietly. "Got another tour comin' up in three months."

She gasped and looked up at him. "Seriously?"

"Yeah. Iraq tha first time. Afghanistan this time."

She hummed and asked, "For how long?"

Daryl shrugged. "Twelve months with tha option of a four month extension if need be."

"That's a really long time."

He shrugged. It was, but it wasn't. Time seemed to pass by in a blur over there, and it took him a long time to adjust when he got back home. If he ever really got back to himself at all.

"I'm leavin' in May for a summer abroad. Then I come back and do my student teachin' and graduate in December," she told him, smiling softly. "I guess we'll both be overseas."

"Where ya goin'?" He raised an eyebrow at the news.

"Edinburgh, Scotland."

Daryl snorted. "Don't know much about women, but I do know they drop their panties a lot easier for a man that talks funny."

Beth flushed red and looked at the chips and salsa on their table. "I just really wanted to see tha Isle of Skye and get outta Georgia."

He nudged her foot with his under the table to get her to look back up at him. "You'll be over there with all them green hills, and I'll be in tha desert."

"I'll write to ya," she said and kicked the toe of his boot.

Daryl laughed loudly and shook his head. "I gotta laptop, girl. Even got internet over there. All ya gotta do is send me a message."

"Oh, I didn't realize y'all had all that," she whispered and seemed a bit embarrassed.

"Least they can do, I guess. We're over there in tha middle of shit, so we can bring us a laptop and use it when we're off duty. Still, there'll be weeks when I'm out on a mission that I won't get to use it or tha phone."

"I could call ya?" She asked with a smile.

For some reason, he didn't wonder why she was so interested in calling him or sending him e-mails. They had really just met, but for some reason, it felt like she had always been there, that it was only natural that she be able to speak to him whenever she wanted no matter where in the world he was. It was strange and made him a little uncomfortable. People that got left behind worried, and he always liked knowing that there was no one back home worrying about his ass.

"Nah, I gotta get a phone card and do tha callin'," he answered. "Ya ain't gonna have tha same number in Scotland," he pointed out then chewed on his bottom lip.

"They let me bring my laptop, too, ya know," she said with a grin.

Daryl nodded and looked away. The server came and they ordered, both falling into silence for a little while before she said, "Ya live in your own apartment. I didn't know ya could do that."

He shifted in his seat a little. Military questions were easy to field. He had been doing it for a long time. "Either live in tha barracks or they give ya a stipend for housin'."

Beth nodded. "I'm learnin' a lot about tha Army tonight."

"Well, if ya take away somethin' from tonight, I guess it's good ya learn a little about basic military housin'."

She laughed and reached out, tugging on his hand that laid on the table. "Did ya just make a joke?"

Daryl made a little noise and shrugged. "I get a month off in tha middle of my tour, too. Can go anywhere in tha world as long as I'm back at my post on time," he said without really knowing the reason why. It made Beth smile, though.

She had only known Daryl Dixon about two weeks before she knew she was going to marry him.

When he had first come up to her at the bar, she was attracted to say the least and figured it was time to try that whole one night stand thing that Maggie and few of her friends had told her to do to get over Zack.

Daryl was reserved and gave her small grins when they talked. He cursed and laughed. He didn't look at her like she was insane when she told him about her cutting wrist.

A week after she showed up at his apartment, she was practically living there. The drive to school was just a bit longer than before, but it was so worth it to go to sleep with him at night. He didn't seem to mind either that she was leaving more clothes than she was taking back or that his shower now had her shampoo and razor in it.

Daryl left her a key one morning when he had head out before her since P.T. started at six.

So you don't get locked out. He had written on a torn sheet of paper from her notebook, and she had jumped around little after she put it on her keychain.

That evening she was cooking spaghetti when he came home and hugged her from behind. "Ya know, I ran a mile about a minute slower today than I did last time. You're makin' me lazy."

Beth grinned and turned in his arms. "Ya don't mind at all," she whispered and leaned up on her toes to brush her lips against his. "Food's ready, so I can just turn it down real low, and we can go work on your stamina if ya want?"

She would never get tired of the way his eyes seemed to burn when he was staring at her. Daryl's hands slipped from her waist to her butt. When he picked her up, she wrapped her legs around his waist and kissed him harder.

They bumped into the table and the doorway then into the wall as he walked toward their bedroom. Walking and kissing and carrying were hard to do at the same time.

He dropped her down on the bed and crawled over her. There was a split second were he looked scared before he said, "I wanna meet your dad."

Beth smiled widely and nodded. "Sunday dinner sound good?"

"Yeah," he breathed out right before he kissed her.

That night they ate spaghetti in bed which led to a whole other round because she got a bit of sauce on her chest, and Daryl decided to make a game of it.

It was a really fun game, though, and she would never think of spaghetti sauce again without blushing.

Hershel Greene was a genuinely nice man, and when he introduced himself to Daryl and told him he was happy that he could make it, Daryl believed him.

Maggie didn't remember him from the bar, but Glenn did. Turned out they were in a bit of a relationship limbo since that night, but Beth didn't know all the details. It was weird since Maggie was open about everything with her sister, but Beth thought it was a good sign.

"Well, Daryl, how long have you and Bethy known each other," Hershel asked as they sat on the porch.

Beth and Maggie were fixing lunch and Glenn was sitting in the railing across from them.

"Nearly three weeks," he said. "We met on her birthday."

"So y'all met at a bar?" Hershel questioned. There was no bite in his tone, though.

Daryl hummed and nodded.

Hershel rocked and he remained quiet. It wasn't too long before Daryl was answering questions about his service and his family. Where he lived, and what he planned to do once he got out of the military.

It was a standard "meet the parents" conversation or at least he imagined it was. It was his first time doing so.

Glenn got grilled next, and Daryl was glad he wasn't in the hot seat anymore. His answers were a bit more hesitant, but Hershel seemed to like him. There wasn't much not to like about Glenn. He was kind and definitely a good person.

"Well, I'll tell ya this, Glenn," Hershel said as he started to stand up. "You're gonna have to learn to tell her 'no'."

His cheeks burned and Daryl had to smother a laugh. Glenn eyed him, and he knew they were thinking of that first night.

"Yes, sir," Glenn said with a nod.

"Y'all havin' a good talk?" Beth asked from the screen door.

"Of course," Hershel answered. "Nothin' a man likes better than meetin' both his daughter's boyfriends on tha same day. I gotta split my attention so no one's gettin' scared yet."

Beth laughed, and Daryl felt himself grin a little at the sound. "Oh, daddy, Daryl's been in combat. You don't scare him."

It was Hershel's turn to bark out a laugh. "We're talkin' about different kinds of scared, sweetheart."

Lunch went well. Everyone talked and Daryl felt a little out of place. He had never had family meals growing up. Even now, when Merle came around, it was just beer and hot wings from a bar.

"Beth says you're getting' deployed in January," Hershel said after they had finished eating.

"Yes, sir," he answered and put down his fork. "I'll be headin' out January third."

Beth raised and eyebrow but didn't say anything. He hadn't told her he had gotten his shipping out date yet. He really wasn't sure how to bring it up.

He was worried this would all end once he left, and he was trying to put it off for as long as possible.

"That's a hell of a change for tha new year," Maggie said and shook her head.

"I don't mind," he said. "Sooner I leave, sooner I get back."

"Daryl's gonna come stay with me in Scotland for his thirty days of leave in June," Beth added with a smile and took his hand.

He hadn't mentioned that to Hershel and hadn't really planned on it that first meeting. Just like him and Beth didn't really say they were pretty much living together.

"Is that so?" Hershel asked.

"How is that even possible?" Maggie asked after him.

"Can go anywhere," he said gruffly. "Just gotta let 'em know and show back up when I'm supposed to."

Maggie made a humming sound while Hershel just eyed him a second before looking away.

Beth reached under the table and squeezed his thigh. "It's gonna be a lot fun," she said with a smile.

"Ya don't have anybody ya need to come home to in Georgia?" Maggie asked.

He swallowed. "I got an older brother, but he ain't really around."

"I mean, if you can, why not, right?" Glenn chimed in from across the table. "No sense in comin' back here if you can go see Beth."

"Exactly," Beth agreed.

Dinner ended a little after that, and he and Beth were back on the road toward Columbus within the hour. It wasn't that they left on bad terms, but it seemed like it was strained, and he knew why.

He was getting shipped to war, and she was heading to Scotland. He would be gone in damn near two months after only knowing her three months total, but they were acting like they were solid as hell already.

It would scare anyone, especially since this was their first meeting with him. Daryl was thankful for the bike to work through all his thoughts before they got back to his place because the way Hershel shook his hand as they left made him feel like the man knew exactly what was going through his mind.

Was it too soon to not want to ever let her go?

Daryl had been quiet since they got back from her daddy's house, but that wasn't unusual. He talked to her, but he enjoyed silence, too.

Most nights, she would study or do homework, and he would sit on the couch working his way through whatever book he had at the time or cleaning his weapons.

She let him do his own thing as she started a load of laundry then went to take a shower. With her hair being so long, there was no way she could wake up early enough to wash it in the mornings before school.

The bathroom door opened as she tilted her head under the spray, and she opened her eyes to see Daryl peeking into the shower from behind the curtain. He had his eyes squinted tight, and he looked like he was trying to think of something to say. He wasn't even looking at her body or moving to join her like he sometimes did.

"I like ya here," he finally said in a quiet voice.

Beth smiled and took the two steps across the tub to kiss him. "I like bein' here."

His hands traced up her arms and settled on the sides of her neck as he leaned his forehead against hers and closed him eyes. "I wanna marry ya," he whispered. "Isn't that crazy?"

When she met his eyes again, her heart hammering in her chest, she saw the confusion and nervousness there. She knew he hadn't had the best life growing up, and that everything about what they were doing was new and strange for him. She couldn't tell him he was crazy, though, because she felt the exact same way.

Beth shook her head. "I love you. I've loved ya since that first night." Her hand went to the nape of his neck and she whispered, "I'd marry ya tomorrow."

They stood in a sort of limbo for several seconds before Daryl backed away and started pulling off his shirt and pants. He stepped into the tub and pushed her back under the spray.

She wrapped her arms around his waist and ran her hands up and down his back, skimming the scars that were left there from when he was a boy.

The thing between them was moving fast, it was something she hadn't seen coming, but she didn't want it to slow down either.

A few days after the shower incident, they ended up telling her dad and sister over dinner. Neither one was exactly excited, but they agreed to help.

A week before he was shipped out, they got married in a small ceremony at her daddy's farm. It was just family and a couple of his Army buddies. Merle hadn't show up, but that didn't surprise him. Merle always had a way of popping up at the wrong moment not the right ones.

She wore this pretty white dress that wasn't appropriate for the winter weather at all, but it looked good on her. Daryl couldn't help but staring the whole evening. He had never seen anything as beautiful or thought he would ever be with someone like her.

She was so much sunlight and warmth that it almost made him forget that things could be so shitty.

Soon though, he was on a plane going away from her toward the heat of the desert sun and the freezing nights.

He was going back to war.

And that was a place that even sweet, beautiful Beth Dixon couldn't touch.

They talked a lot through email.

Calling cards were easy to come by, but it was hard to catch her at a decent hour, so most of the conversations happened when she was half asleep in the middle of the night.

She sent him pictures a few times, but he had brought his laptop with him and had a whole folder on there that was "just for him" pictures.

He couldn't help but compare this tour to the last one that he had done. It was so different. He had someone that sent him packages, someone to call, emails to check. He had someone he was actually going to visit on his leave.

And it wasn't just someone.

It was his wife.

That so new when he'd left, that he sometimes had a hard time remembering to call her that. If another soldier came into his room and asked who that smoking hot woman was in his pictures, he would stop, smile, and it would hit him all over again.

Beth Greene was Beth Dixon now, and she was waiting on him.

The days went by quickly, and before he knew it, he was two weeks away from meeting her in Scotland.

Daryl could tell by the tone of her emails that she was excited and happy.

She'd been having a good time playing the student and tourist. There were picture of her in the Highlands and then the weekend she had spent in London. Little stories about the friends she had made over the last few weeks.

Beth was having the time of her life, and she said the only thing missing was him, but soon, he'd be there, too.

She was saving the Isle of Skye for when he came. Beth wanted him to be there for that, and make it like a honeymoon. He had to admit that he was looking forward to going to Scotland more than he ever thought he would.

It was just after nine at night his time, and Daryl sat on his cot, waiting for the call to go through.

"Daryl?" She asked, her voice crackling a little.

"Hey, girl," he said quietly and laid back on his pillow.

"What're ya doin'?"

"Just got up a little while ago. I don't have classes today. What about you?"

"Just layin' down. Been busy today, and I think I'll be outta range startin' tomorrow. I gotta job to do before I leave."

She was quiet, and he knew she was worrying. He hated that he was causing it, too.

"But then you'll be on your way here?"

"Absolutely," he said. "Cain't wait. Everyone's jealous."

Beth laughed then said, "I doubt that."

"Tha single ones talk. Tha married ones are keepin' it to themselves."


Daryl closed his eyes and imagined her like the last time he'd seen her. "Have you even looked at yourself lately?"

"Ummm, yes. I just walked past my mirror."

"Well, then ya know what we all see then."

She made a noise like she was blowing him off the said, "I love ya."

He barely got the words out of his own mouth before the sirens started blasting. Daryl groaned and shot up.

"Gotta go, Beth. I love ya, and I'll call ya back as soon as I can. Don't worry."

"Wait! Daryl!"

But he pressed the red button and threw the phone on his bed.

In practiced moves, he put on his gear and took off down the hall to the shelter.

It was several hours later before everything was calmed down enough to call her back.

"Daryl?" She asked softly.

"Yeah, it's me, sweetheart."

Beyond that, they didn't really talk all that much. He couldn't tell her that everything would be okay. That was a promise he would never make because it was one he had no control over.

They hung up a little while later, and he tried to get a few hours of sleep before he had to go out on his team's mission. He tried to remind himself that in short amount of time, he would be with her again, and maybe that would help her feel a little better.

Nothing ever went like Beth planned.

Her classes were great, and pretty basic stuff, so she wasn't worried about her grades. However, she was stressed about Daryl coming to visit her. She was staying in an apartment with two other girls right off campus, and they didn't mind him staying with them, but she also wanted them to have some privacy, too.

It had been six months since she'd seen him or touched him. They needed time completely alone. That's where the trip to the Isle of Skye came in. She hung up the phone with the lady that ran the bed and breakfast there and sighed. They would have to push their trip back one weekend because a huge wedding was happening there, and she couldn't pass up the money. Beth understood, but still, it frustrated her beyond belief. The discount the woman gave her helped ease that ache a little.

It had been less than five minutes when her phone rang again. The odd number alerting her immediately that it was Daryl calling.


The line was full of static, but that cleared up as the call went on usually. Sometimes there was a delay and his words wouldn't get to her like that should, but it was better than nothing.

"I got some bad news," he said immediately.


"Listen, sweetheart, I'm sorry. I just got called in by by S.O.. Merle's in tha hospital. He got hit by a drunk driver down in Macon. I don't know how he is or much of anythin' besides 'em tellin' me to get there quick. I have to go there, Beth."

Her heart dropped to her feet. "But…tha whole thirty days?"

Silence stretched on the other end of the line. "I'm sorry. I don't know how long this'll take. He's tha only family I got left."

Tears filled her eyes and spilled over onto her cheeks. "I get it," she whispered. "When do ya leave?"

"They're getting' me on this transport that's leavin' in a coupla hours."

"Okay," she said then cleared her throat to rid herself of the lump there. "Okay."

"I'll call ya when I get back to Georgia."

"Okay," she whispered again.

"I love ya, Beth. I'll talk to ya soon."

"Bye," she said, but the line had already gone dead.

For the next week, Daryl argued with doctors and nurses on his brother's behalf. He told them repeatedly that Merle wasn't going to be put in some rehabilitation home until he got back. Both his legs were broken and a few ribs. He was going to be wheelchair bound for eight weeks, but there wasn't any way in hell they could afford that type of cost.

It left him very little time to talk to Beth, and she was starting to get mad—not that he blamed her.

Finally, when he was at his wit's end, Hershel Greene stepped into Merle's hospital room.

"Sir," Daryl said and stood up quickly.

"Who tha fuck is this sonofabitch?" Merle asked while stuffing jello into his mouth.

"This is Hershel. He's Beth's dad."

"Ahhhh, I never met her," Merle said and went back to eating.

"Looks like ya need some help," Hershel said and took a seat across from him.

"I need somethin'." He put his head in his hands.

"Built a ramp up to tha front door of my house. His nurse can visit there until he gets tha casts off."

"That's seven more weeks, Hershel."

"But you'll be here for three of 'em. So just four weeks where it will be the two of us."

"I cain't let ya do that," Daryl said. "It's too much."

Merle tossed the jello cup on his tray and pushed it away. "It's settled. Me and tha old man are roommates."

"That's that," Hershel said and stood up. "Beth said y'all will get out tomorrow?"


"I'll be around to get ya."

Daryl leaned back the recliner that night and tossed an arm over his eyes. Even thousands of miles away and pissed as hell, she was taking care of him.

He never thought there would be a time when he longed for the desert, but after spending three weeks with Hershel and Merle in that farmhouse, he was ready for his post again.

At first, neither of them got along all that well, but they bonded over the Braves and everything was right in the world. Hershel didn't allow alcohol in the house, and Merle couldn't go out and get it or his usual drugs, so he was sober for the first time in a very long time.

He was still Merle, though, loud and crude. He made fun of Daryl's wedding picture, and Daryl punched him in the shoulder. Hershel told them to stop acting like kids, and Daryl stomped upstairs, further proving Hershel's point.

Beth was busy with school, and they talked through email a lot again. He bought some calling cards, but they didn't get to talk for more than fifteen minutes at a time.

When his time was up, Hershel drove him to the airport, promising to take care of Merle. Maggie and Glenn were coming down so they were going to lend a hand, too.

"Be safe over there, Daryl," Hershel said as he let him off at the airport.

"Yes, sir."

Hershel looked like he wanted to say something else, but he just smiled. Daryl took his duffle and went through the doors.

The last six months of his tour were the worst.

Beth got back from to the states in August, but he still had five months on his tour.

She had been helping Merle out with his physical therapy appointments and took the lease back over at his apartment. They had a shared bank account now, so his check was more than enough to cover expenses while she was in school for her last semester.

He missed their first anniversary and had to settle for talking to her on the phone. The letter he had written her got there a few days late, but she called and cried when she told him how much it had meant to her. He shrugged and wiped his eyes. She couldn't see him, and she'd never know how much he felt for her. How it filled him up until there was nothing left but her there inside his chest.

Then she graduated, and he missed it, too. She sent him an e-mail, but it was the middle of the night for him.

He opened it up and there she was in her cap and gown, her father and Maggie beside her.

Three more weeks.

He couldn't wait.

All he had to do was stay in his twenty years and draw his retirement, so it was possible they'd have to endure another tour before he got out.

That was a new concept for him, too. He never thought he wouldn't re-up, but with Beth being in his life, he didn't want to do it anymore. He had plenty of experience to get a civilian job, and then she could stick close to her family and so could he.

It would all fall into place for them.

His leg was bouncing as they taxied up to the jet way, and the person beside him looked a little worried, but Daryl didn't care.

He'd been traveling damn near twenty-eight hours on little sleep, and he had just landed in Atlanta, Georgia. Beth was in that airport somewhere, and she was waiting by the baggage since she couldn't get to the gate.

God, he wished she could have been waiting right at the exit for him. Twelve months. He missed her. He wanted to breath her in, hold her close, tell her he was proud of her in person.

"Ya alright?" The guy next to him asked.

Daryl nodded. "Yeah. I'm tight."

He didn't seem convinced. "Ya sure? Maybe ya need a downer or somethin'?"

He snorted. "I haven't seen my wife in a year," he said. "Just excited s'all."

The man smirked a little. "Gotcha."

Daryl grabbed his carryon as soon as he was told he could, and then they were starting to deplane, but the pilot came over the speakers.

"We had the privilege of flying Sargent Dixon home today. We'd like to let him off first, if that's okay with everyone else."

He felt his cheeks flush as everyone stood up as he passed, clapping and shaking his hand. God, he hated acknowledgment, but hell, it got him off the plane first.

Daryl walked as quickly as he could down the jet way, past the terminals, following the signs that led to the baggage claim. He didn't let the escalator take him down; he walked as it moved, avoiding other people, apologizing when he brushed up against them.

Then he caught sight of her standing down front with a little sign that said, "Welcome home!" She was wearing a pretty little sundress regardless of the fact it was January and had to be freezing outside.

He was a few steps away when she let go of the sign and ran toward him. Daryl dropped his bag and caught her, crushing her against him.

He didn't give a damn who was watching, he sat her down on her feet, held her face in his hands and brought his lips to hers. Beth reacted just like he thought she would, she knocked his hat off when her hands went to the back of his neck, tugging him closer. He pulled away after a few seconds.

"Hey, girl," he said with a smile.

Beth was crying but smiling at the same time. "Hey. Ready to go home?"

"Hell yes," Daryl said and grabbed his bag and hat then her hand. "Let's get outta here."

He ignored the onlookers, the people with cameras out. It'd probably end up on the internet before too long. People loved welcome home videos.

He felt himself getting a little choked up when he realized that he really wanted to have that video for himself. It was probably the happiest he had ever been.

They barely made it inside their apartment before he had her pushed up against the wall and his lips on hers.

He had waited for this moment for months.

She tasted just as sweet as he remembered, and her skin under his fingertips was a dream come true. Beth parted her lips, letting her tongue sweep out and linger over his bottom lip.

"Bedroom," she whispered.

He picked up her and carried her down the hallway. All the while, she was unbuttoning his shirt.

Daryl dropped her on the bed and tugged off his combat uniform top. His pants went next then he fell forward onto the bed, caging Beth in with his arms.

"I missed you so fuckin' much," he whispered against her lips.

Daryl forced himself to slow down and went from her lips to her neck and down her collarbone. The dress she was wearing had thin straps that he pushed down her shoulder and Beth sat up and let him pull it down her body.

The only thing she was wearing underneath was a thin pair of purple panties.

"Would it ruin tha mood if I told ya I jerked off so many times to those pictures of you on my computer? And that the ones where you're wearin' these are my favorite?"

"No," she breathed and twisted her fingers in his hair. "I'd like to think I accomplished my goal then."

"Ya sure as hell did."

The panties went next, sliding them down on her legs and tossing them off to the side of the bed.

Daryl kissed down her body, licking and sucking as he moved over chest and down her stomach.

When he was settled between her legs, he moved her thighs over his shoulder and grabbed her waist, scooting her toward his mouth.

He traced his tongue on her lips and sucked her clit softly at first. As she got closer, he licked her harder or pressed his tongue inside to make her pant. Soon, she was arching off the bed and saying his name in that soft, sated voice that he hadn't heard in so long.

Daryl moved up her body, kissing back up the same way he'd went down, and when he was level with her face again, he kissed her lips tenderly, his hand tangling into her hair again. Beth wrapped her legs around his waist and pulled him forward until he was pressed right against her.

For just a second, he pulled back and looked into her eyes as he pressed his hips forward, sliding himself into her a little. After a few shallow thrusts, he pushed in hard, both of them groaning as he bottomed out against her.

The way her fingernails raked down his back and her heels dug into his ass when she tried to lift herself closer to him with each thrust drove him insane. Sure, he had taken care of himself over the last year, but his imagination was nothing like the real thing. The sensation of her all around him, moaning against his shoulder when she would raise her head up a little to bite and suck on the skin there. Daryl wasn't prepared for the overload, and as he felt himself getting close, he pulled out and rolled over, bringing her on top of him.

"Like this," he said. His voice was gruff and low.

Beth smiled and raised up just a little to line them up then sank down on him.

He groaned and his hands flexed on her hips as she started to bounce slowly on his lap. Daryl took two steadying breaths then opened his eyes. Her breasts swayed with each movement and her hair would cover them up then shift on the next down stroke to show her nipples. For some reason, that was more erotic than if they had just been bare to him altogether.

Daryl sat up and scooted back to the headboard, wrapping an arm around her waist, he leaned down and took on of those perfectly dusty pink nipples in his mouth and sucked gently before scrapping his teeth over her a little harder.

Her rhythm faltered, and he watched as her hand moved between them, and she started stroking herself while she continued to grind against him.

"Too much," she whispered and took her hand away.

He shook his head and laid her back on the bed, pulling out and replacing his dick with fingers. Daryl went to work on her tits while he curled and thrust his fingers inside of her. Before long she was squirming and pressing his shoulders, trying to get him to stop, but not saying the words.

She was balanced right at the edge again when he brought her hand up to his mouth and sucked two of her fingers into his mouth. Once they were wet, and she was panting again, he pushed them down her body.

"Rub yourself," he breathed out and tilted his head to watch again.

It hadn't been a minute before she was crying out again, her head thrown back against the end of the bed.

This time, he didn't wait for her breath to steady; he rolled her over and patted her hip. Beth got on her knees and her elbows, her head hanging down with her hair falling off the bed.

"Fuck," he groaned as he thrust into her hard.

The pace he set was fucking brutal, and the moans coming from her mouth told him that she loved it just as much as he did. He could feel the tingling start deep in his stomach, and he slowed down before taking her hair and twisting it around his forearm and pulling her head back a little.

He leaned forward and kissed her. It was sloppy and wet. He could barely thrust anymore because of the position, but he liked it. His mouth settled against her cheek and his entire body stiffened as he came, his hips stilling and pressing into her as far as he could go.

They were both sweaty and breathing hard when he pulled out and brought her back to the pillows with him.

"God," she whispered and threw an arm over her eyes. "My vibrator sucks."

He laughed and that turned into a groan when she rolled over onto his chest. "I love you," she whispered with a huge grin on her face. "I'm so happy you're home."

Daryl nodded and couldn't help the wide smile that spread across his face. "Me too, sweetheart. Me, too."

He was home and safe. There wasn't a moment in his life better than this one.

There was no welcome home party waiting for them to go to, so they stayed burrowed under the covers for most of the day.

Beth told him that the party would happen the next day at her daddy's farm. Then she dropped the bombshell that his brother had moved in with Hershel a couple of months earlier and seemed to have straightened up under the man's guidance. Beth said he was even dating some nice woman named Carol.

"Why tha hell didn't y'all tell me?"

Beth scooted closer to his side. "Merle was scared it wouldn't stick, I think."

She traced his fingers over his chest, and his moved along her back.

"I missed you so much," she whispered.

"I missed you, too," he said and looked down at her. "Think I learned more about ya through e-mail than when we was datin'."

"Right?" She laughed quietly. "I've got a surprise for ya."

"It's just my lucky day."

She got up and walked across the room to their dresser. He watched her hips sway and couldn't stop the desire from building. She slid back under the covers and handed him an envelope.

"So, this is a gift from everyone to us. Like every single person we've ever met."

He opened the flap and inside he found a single piece of paper with a check attached.

Good to see you. Now leave again. The Isle of Skye is waiting.

The amount written on the check was more than he'd ever seen on one before.

"Are ya serious?" He asked.

"I was just as surprised as you, but I cain't wait to go!"

Daryl smiled and tossed the whole thing on the bedside table. He had no more words at the moment. All he wanted to do was be with her until he felt like he was going to pass out from exhaustion.

So that's exactly what they did.