These days of dust
Which we've known
Will blow away with this new sun
I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons

Judith was out cold, but Beth still reached up periodically from her game of Solitaire to give the bassinet another little push. Rick finally stepped out of the second bathroom, clean shaven, so Daryl bumped Beth with his knee.

"Hmm?" Beth sing-songed without looking up from the game.

"Shower's open, I'll watch Judy." Beth was filthy. A fine film of dirt turned her skin grey, and she hadn't been able to do more than rinse her hair in weeks. Daryl was filthy too, of course, but she would go first. He was already frustrated that she had let everyone else go ahead, he'd be damned if he went ahead of her, too.

"I'm winning, you go on," Beth told him with a pat to his knee.

Daryl scoffed. "Like hell you are, you're showing all reds."

"No, no, I've got this game!" Beth protested, cycling through her deck looking for a card to stack. "Anyway, who's gonna watch Judith?"

Daryl frowned at the back of her head. "There are near a dozen people in this house, girl. Her father can watch her for once."

Beth twisted between his legs to look up at where he was leaned back in an armchair. "You hush your mouth, Daryl Dixon. I'm so sick of you being so concerned about who all's around."

Daryl scowled at that, extricating her from his legs as he stood. "It's not just about us, Beth!"

Beth sat down her cards as she frowned up at him. "Do you really think I'm saying that?"

"Of course I don't," Daryl hissed, crouching back down beside her despite himself. "But we can't just…You know what they'd say if they knew about us."

"Daryl!" Beth cried. Daryl shushed her, glancing over his shoulder to where Carol and Michonne where talking. Beth lowered her voice. "Do you really think they don't know about us? I was just sitting between your legs for Christ's sake! They know and, just like I told you, they don't care. Actually, you know what, they probably do care! They're happy for us."

Daryl had nothing to say to that – no comeback. She could always outwit him, it seemed. She wouldn't like hearing that, though, so he silently admitted defeat and stormed off back to the bathroom. Beth wasn't wrong; everyone probably did already know, or at least suspect, about him and Beth. They hadn't exactly been subtle about it; they had spent most nights since she came back curled around one another like cats, and that was just the start of it. Didn't make him comfortable with it. He was still afraid of their judgement, no matter what Beth said. When he turned to close the bathroom door behind him she was there – girl was unbelievably quiet – and stuck out her hand to keep him from closing the door. He tried to close the door anyway but, she shouldered her way in, bodily backing him up towards the tub, and then leaning back to bump the door closed. She promptly started toeing off his boots as he stared, uncomfortable.

"What if they notice? I bet they saw yo-"

"Daryl!" Beth snapped, too loud, and Daryl winced. "Daryl," she tried again, softer this time. "We've been doing this almost a month now. If they haven't caught on yet, they're idiots." She had pulled off her socks and begun to wiggle off her jeans.

"But your sister-"

"Screw Maggie. She's wearing an engagement ring that Glenn cut off a walker. She can get right the hell over it if she's got a problem with it." She was grinning now, sly smile undermining the venom in her words as she pulled her shirt over her head.

"I don't know if Rick will-"

"If Rick wants to buck me on this, he can find another babysitter. Rick won't care, anyway. I think Rick likes you better, anwyay" Beth was nimbly untying her hair now, nimble fingers separating her braid.

Daryl scoffed and crossed his arms. "I doubt it."

Beth rolled her eyes, standing in her ratty panties and bra. She walked up to him, edging him back against the tub again as he tried to maintain his indignation. "I don't see why not. I sure like you, myself."

He kissed her then, hand snaking to the back of her head of its own accord. She was immediately undressing him, hands struggling with his belt buckle, but he was more focused on trying to map every square inch of her mouth with his tongue. His other hand reached up to tangle in her hair as well; she so rarely wore it down that whenever she did Daryl couldn't keep his hands out of it. It was long and thick and he loved to wrap it around his fist and tug so he did – catching Beth off-guard as she attempted to wiggle his jeans down his hips. They stumbled then, smacking against the door. Daryl tried to pull back but Beth pulled him back to her by the nape of his neck.

"Shit, girl, calm down," Daryl growled into her neck in between kisses. He could feel her laughter through her throat.

"It's been near a week!" She drug his mouth back up to hers by his hair, and she was an angel standing there, kissing him in her underwear. She had torn down his defenses yet again, this time with all their weapons set aside. So he shrugged out of his jacket, letting the fall of the angel's wings take the stress off his shoulders. She practically purred at his acquiescence and darted around him to turn on the shower.

"What," he asked, stripping his jeans the rest of the way off, "do you want your sister to hear me fuckin' you?"

She grinned over her shoulder at him and shrugged. "I dunno, maybe! I've heard her and Glenn going at it often enough. She could handle it."

Daryl huffed as he took off his shirt. "I doubt it."

"I don't care," Beth insisted. She unhooked her bra with a quick flip of her wrist. She pointedly turned to put her back to Daryl before shimmying out of her panties with an exaggerated bend. Beth giggled at Daryl's pointed growl and escaped his grasping hands with a quick jump into the shower. "I thought we were supposed to be quiet!"

"Like you'll be able to keep quiet anyway," Daryl grumbled, finally shedding his boxers and stepping into the shower behind her. Beth was saying something – probably a sassy, mock-offended retort – but he didn't hear her. She looked half an angel standing there, and Daryl was properly worshipful. Her blonde hair was a drenched halo that was already closer to the color of the sun. Drops of water were caught in her eyelashes and running down her shoulders. She was tiny and strong and fragile and vicious. She was all hidden knives and doe eyes with real, if invisible, angel wings to match his fabric ones. He swept her up into his arms and moved to stand beneath the spray with her. They were kissing again; showering had quickly become a secondary concern. Her hand dropped down to fist him tightly, already practiced at just the movements he liked. He moaned quietly into her mouth; if it was up to him, Daryl could be completely silent, but he knew she loved to hear his pleasure. Sure enough, her pace sped up at his noise, and she thrust her tongue into his mouth. He slipped one hand down to grip tightly into her ass, while the other kept her in place at her waist. It seemed like he was already rock hard and getting harder all the time so he dropped his head, panting, to her shoulder. "Christ, Beth," he whispered, and she chuckled low in her throat. "It's been a week, remember?" She didn't slow so he reached between her legs. Beth widened her stance without hesitation and he snuck his hand to her clit. She sighed as he started gently rubbing. Beth's hand stuttered and then slowed to match Daryl's pace. She struggled to match his slow, steady speed, shifting from foot to foot and alternately squirming towards and away from him. "Beth," he murmured as she let out a quiet wordless keen and, unable to contain himself, he sought out her mouth again. "I missed you." He wasn't talking about the past week and she knew it; she just met his mouth and reached her other hand up to rest against his chest. He slipped one finger inside her as he pushed his tongue into her mouth. She quickly pulled back and started to say "more", but Daryl slipped in the second finger before she could finish the word. His finger found her clit again and she was scrambling to get away from him in earnest now, all while begging him not to stop. His other hand was back in her hair, tugging her head back as he pushed his fingers inside her harder and harder until she was gasping to pull her head away from him.

"Please," Beth said. Daryl could deny her nothing.

He pulled his hand from her pussy and hefted her up. She immediately wrapped her legs around his waist, and he turned so he had his back to the spray. He set her back down again, and before he could do anything she was leaning out of the tub and reaching for her jeans. She pulled a string of three condoms from her back pocket, tore one off, and passed it to him. He rose an eyebrow even as he tore the package open with his teeth. Beth shrugged, unashamed. "Did you think I was gonna be caught unprepared? I wanted to be ready soon as we got the chance."

Daryl chuckled as he rolled the condom down his shaft. "I've got another two in my pocket."

Beth rolled her eyes. "Then just who do you th-"

Daryl had picked her up again, and she was wrapping her legs around him as he quickly positioned himself and thrust in. Beth dropped her head to rest her forehead against his as they groaned in near unison. "Missed you," she murmured, and Daryl smiled. He started slowly, moving all the way out before pushing back in, but she was quickly whining and pushing against him. Daryl didn't have the energy to fight what they both wanted, and so the pace was quickly picked up. Her hands were all over him, scrambling along his back, his chest, through his hair as she writhed, and he took both her wrists in one to pin over her head. His thrusts became shorter and deeper as he dropped his mouth to lick along her breasts, teasing close to the nipple. Beth quickly started up a quiet chant of his name so he took her nipple into his mouth, sucking hard as he kneaded her ass in his spare hand. His hips stuttered as she started to tighten, and he took the hand from her wrists to reach down to her clit. He started rubbing furiously, as hard and near-painful as she knew she liked it. "Please, Daryl, please," she whined, voice getting louder and louder as her hands tightened on his shoulders. He moved the hand that had been supporting her ass to push two fingers into her mouth, struggling to keep her supported with just the hammering pressure of his hips. She sucked on his fingers in earnest, and Daryl found himself lost in the look of her pink lips on his fingers and wide eyes. His hand stopped absently, and she was instantly growling around his fingers so he started up again with a grin. Her eyes snapped shut at that, and she arched her back.

"Fuck, Beth, you look so pretty like that." She opened her eyes slyly to smile at him as he continued to pound her, but she didn't relax her position. "You look so fucking innocent sucking my fingers like that, but I know you're not," he ground out, punctuated with thrusts, and he dropped his mouth again to her breasts as he felt himself nearing the edge. "Come on, girl," he whispered into her nipple as both his hand and his hips grew frantic and uneven. "Come on, Beth, come for me."

She was so close, he could feel it, and he came inside her as she tightened and whined his name. She came a moment later as he erratically thrust into her a few more times. Her orgasm was silent, wide eyed and opened mouth, but she was almost instantaneously smiling and kissing the top of his head while he panted against her chest. "Daryl," Beth murmured, just to say his name.

"Beth," Daryl responded, content, as he pulled out and set her back on her legs.

There was a knock at the door. Daryl's head snapped up, and Beth froze, mid-reaching towards the shampoo. Another knock. Daryl reached out to inch the shower curtain back, and Beth slipped her hand over her mouth. "Daryl?" Maggie called. Beth giggled, nervous, and Daryl shot her a furious glare. "Have you seen Bethy?" Daryl audibly groaned.

"No," he called out. "I'm in the shower. Why would I know where Beth is?"

"Haven't seen her!" Beth yelled out, barely able to finish her sentence before she dissolved into satisfied laughter.

"Beth?!" Maggie shrieked. Beth laughed louder as Daryl threw up his hands. "We all knew, but you didn't have to- I mean, Daryl, I- Oh, my Lord." Beth was still giggling as they heard Maggie walk away.