A/N: Day 3! And things are heating up. Which is good, because it's freezing in my part of the world. Thank you all for your lovely comments, I'm glad you're enjoying these little fics. Title taking from Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie.
She is a one night stand gone awry.
That's what it is. That's what it was supposed to be. Just one night.
And hell, he wasn't even supposed to go home with her.
Merle being Merle dragged him some bar, pushed some random girl at him. Always the same kind of girl, the girls with fake nails and fake tits and a truckload of daddy issues to match.
Resigned to his fate, he makes his way over to her. Only to knock into someone else in the process.
A very pretty someone else.
"Sorry," he mutters, steadying her. She smiles softly, straightens her dress and the sash that says "bridesmaid".
"It's okay," she replies, "I'm sorry too."
He gives her a look, confused.
"Why the hell for?"
"Your girl's leaving," she gestures towards the door, and he shrugs.
"Ain't my anything," Daryl scowls and normally that's enough to scare them away, to make them turn tail and run back to their friends. Not this girl. Oh, she just grins.
"Good," she smirks, "you can buy me a drink, then."
So one drink turns into two, and two into three, and Merle is entertaining a bridal party and she's perched on his lap with her arms around his neck and he doesn't even bat an eye when he stumbles drunk, arm wrapped around her waist, into a cab.
It's different. He doesn't remember everything, but it's different. It's not a quick fuck in an alleyway. It's not him sneaking out before dawn. It's something softer, something slower. It's drunken, hazy kisses, hands trailing everywhere. It's her moans and cries and her hips thrusting up to meet his.
He'd write it off as a drunken dream, had he not awoken to her on top of him, stroking his hair.
"Morning," she whispers, fingers combing through the greasy strands, wearing nothing but a smile.
"Um, hey," he murmurs, glancing at the alarm clock. He's late. And by late, he never should have stayed.
"You want breakfast?" she asks, pressing a kiss to his chest, relieved to note he still has his shirt on.
"Gotta get goin'," he clears his throat, glancing around the room for his pants.
"Oh," she replies, her tone disappointed, "can I call you?"
Maybe he's still drunk. Or maybe this deviation from the norm has got him all kinds of confused to the point that he gives her his real number.
She doesn't call him for three weeks.
Until the world goes to shit and her voice, tiny and frightened, is on the other line, begging him, get me out.
And he does.
She is siren. Sent to lure men to their deaths with her beauty. That much he is certain.
He gets out with Beth and Merle. Merle gives him shit, calls him a romantic fool, running to the aid of his bitch like some kind of fucking prince charming.
Beth doesn't take to kindly to being called a bitch. And Merle doesn't take kindly to being put in his place.
It's a long drive to Atlanta.
She's not the worst person to have around. Sweet girl like her, well, she makes them seem like something other than no-good, dirty rednecks. After she convinces them he isn't taking advantage, however.
That one nearly makes him lose his shit.
But she's sweet. Sweeter than he remembers, though he sure remembers how she tasted sweet. Knows how to placate him without riling him up, knows how to distract him subtly, knows how to pull him from the darkness with her own unique light.
The thing is, though, he saved her. Scaled the fire escape, bashed in the skulls of a few of those dead fuckers. Risked life and limb for her. And she's so fucking grateful.
And she loves to show that gratitude.
Merle teases, but there's a glint of jealousy, that Daryl found himself a hot piece of tail just in time for the end of the world. A hot little piece who just loves to ride his cock, because the girl ain't quiet, and the girl ain't subtle, and sometimes she'll drag him to their tent or sometimes to the woods and every time they're fucking like today could be their last, and hell, maybe it is.
"Holy fuck," she breathes, flopping back on the sleeping bag, arm thrown across her forehead, "how does this get better?"
"Ain't got a clue, girl," he murmurs, nuzzling into her neck, nipping at her creamy white skin, "but I ain't complainin'."
"Was I loud?" she wonders, "I was loud, wasn't I?"
"Screaming my name like a banshee," he smirks, "as usual."
"Oh my god," she buries her face in his chest, "I'm going to get so much grief for this. They already give me the fifth degree as it is."
"What, like, 'is the redneck forcing you' and shit," he scowls and she glances up at him, chin resting on his shoulder.
"More like, how big is it."
"Bitches probably jealous," he says roughly, "how ya gettin' fucked by my big dick every night."
"Yeah, they're practically swooning," Beth teases, catching his bottom lip between her teeth.
They kiss lazily for a while, nipping and licking and sucking, and he knows she's getting worked up, can feel her subtly grinding against his thigh. Knows before long she'll be rolling a condom over him and riding him like a prized stallion. Knows she'll be moaning and whimpering and cursing his name.
Girl could go all day if she wanted.
All night, too.
"I want you," she breathes, and his hands find her tits, running the pads of his thumbs over her pebbled nipples.
"Tell me somethin' I don't know," he growls and she grins.
"I think I've always wanted you. Don't think I've ever wanted anyone the way I want you."
The kiss he gives her is rough, possessive. It's with his lips, his teeth, his hands, and finally, his words, that he says everything he's been feeling.
"You're mine, girl."
But Beth is not weak, or simpering, or delicate.
"And you're mine."
She throws his words right back.
She is a distraction.
Deep down, he knows it's not her fault. This shit with Merle, well, that's on Merle. But he blames himself, and in turn, he blames her.
Yeah, he's that kind of asshole.
Merle is a no show in Atlanta, but he has his hand, so maybe that's something. Maybe his brother is out there, doing what he does best. Getting by. Surviving.
Beth's not a survivor. She's not built for how things are now. And that's a reality he's forced to accept, a harsh reality sure, but a reality. She's not a permanent fixture. Not in this world.
The quarry isn't safe. Not as more walkers pour out of the city. Only thing that means safety is walls and even they aren't a guarantee. People die and people move on and the Sheriff decides to lead them to the CDC, like there's going to be some sort of magic cure.
He knows they'll be shit.
Beth's quiet. Like she realises he's on the edge, about to snap. Stays close, but out of the way. Reminds him of his mother, how she acted sometimes around his father, and that's what gets him. That's what makes him sit up and stop.
"I'm an asshole, you know that girl," he tells her, on the road, as they follow the convoy towards the CDC. She gives him a tight smile and he sighs.
"Don't know how to act around you, sometimes."
"Just be yourself, Daryl," Beth frowns, "I'm not looking for prince charming."
"You wouldn't like who that is," he murmurs absently.
"Daryl," she says softly, drawing his attention, "I've seen glimpses. And from what I can see, he's a good man. You're a good man. You saved me."
"Probably the only good thing I've done in my life," he confesses gruffly.
She's quiet, after that.
The CDC has him on edge, especially when the doctor jabs them with needles. He stands in the doorway when Beth's in there, watching carefully, crossbow in hand. If it makes the scientist nervous, then good.
He should be. Anyone that meets her should be.
This place isn't for real. There's so much wine and food and he finds himself actually enjoying himself. These people don't get on his nerves for a change, and hell, for the first time they're looking at him and talking to him, like he's not some kind of redneck piece of shit. And with Beth, perched on his lap, arms around his neck, it fills him with a warm feeling of déjà vu.
"Gonna go take a shower," she murmurs in his ear. And Glenn, who overhears, shoots him a smirk, which Daryl, drunkenly, returns.
Yeah. A shower.
His boots are heavy as he walks down the hall to their room. Opens and closes the door quietly, like she's not waiting for him, like she's not expecting this.
Like she didn't leave the bathroom door open, on purpose.
He kicks off his boots, shucks his vest, his shirt. Unbuckles his belt and his jeans drop noisily onto the tiled floor. Steps into the shower and under the hot spray, a feeling of pure bliss, second only to her soft and supple body.
"Took you long enough," she murmurs, taking his bottom lip between her teeth, sucking it gently. Her hands run down his shoulders, trailing down his biceps, and she slides down his body onto her knees.
Underneath the spray of the water, she looks like some kind of fantasy. This woman, this stunning, goddess of a woman, with her tongue tracing the tip of his cock, running along the ridges, swiping across his balls. He barely has time to process these sensations before she take him, all of him, into her warm, wet mouth.
"Holy shit," he curses, his hand finding purchase in her hair, thrusting into her mouth. She coughs once, gags, and he slows his movements, only slightly. She can take it. She can and she will.
"You love this, don't you girl," he grunts out, as she bobs her head down his length. A nod, almost imperceptible, "you love my cock, filling you, stretching you."
She moves away, cock slipping out of her mouth with a wet pop.
"Love it more in my cunt."
And that's it. That's him, absolutely done. This girl might be a distraction, but she is a beautiful one. One he's more than willing to die for.
He hauls her up against him, grips her thighs and backs her against the shower wall. He doesn't need to check if she's wet, he knows she is, knows she's wanted this since the moment he stepped into the bathroom. Hitches her leg over his hip and with a single, powerful stroke, thrusts into her warm, inviting heat.
And the girl fucking moans.
He grabs at his shoulders for purchase, nails dragging along his back, adding her own marks to join his old ones. Throws her head back so hard, he's almost surprised she didn't break the glass. All but screams when he slips his free hand between them, finding her clit, stroking erratically.
He could die tomorrow and die a happy man. Doesn't give a shit what those people in that dining room think of him. Doesn't give a shit about anyone or anything except for her.
She's a distraction, for sure. But now she's his purpose for surviving.
She is a good girl.
Hard to believe as it may be, but the past few days have been a revelation. Since the herd, since Sophia went missing, since Carl got shot. Since Maggie Greene rode up on a horse to take Lori back to her injured son, to find her baby sister alive.
There were hugs and tears and promises. There was Beth, on the back of his bike, directing them all to her family farm.
He'd done his part, he'd saved her. He got her out and through some kind of miracle, reunited her with her family. She didn't need him any more. She didn't need to fuck him to keep him on side. She could wipe her hands of him; pretend nothing had happened, be the good girl her daddy knows her to be.
He should have realised, should have known, that the moment she slipped her hand into his at Otis' funeral, that this was far from over.
Beth is a good girl. Good girls aren't supposed to scream at their fathers. Good girls aren't supposed to defy their wishes. Good girls aren't supposed to sneak into his tent in the middle of the night.
Daryl isn't the good guy, as much as she likes to convince him he is. If she wants to sneak into his tent, well, he isn't going to stop her.
Hershel isn't the first man to threaten him with shotgun. Maggie neither, but their threats don't faze him in the slightest, not when she's throwing her own threats around, screaming that if he goes, so does she. Apparently losing your daughter, and finding her again, will make a father agree to anything.
Still, doesn't mean Hershel will be calling him 'son' anytime soon.
Sweet Jesus. She pants heavily, the sound only amplified in the small canvas tent. Her hands firmly planted on his chest as she rides him, grinding her hips with each downward motion.
This is dangerous, this is reckless, this is perfect.
"Daryl," she whines, and her breath suddenly hitches as his thumb finds her clit, rubbing fast little circles, helping her to chase her release.
"Gotta be quiet," he hisses, but he knows better than anyone that it's easier said than done for her.
"Please," she begs and he's not sure what she wants, all he know is she wants him to make her feel, feel the wave of pleasure rush over her, feel him inside of her. All he knows is she wants him to make her feel alive.
He thrusts up to meet her, his thumb still rubbing her clit, his cock finding that spot within her that makes her see stars. She falls and he chases her until they're both fluid and boneless and gasping for air.
"You're daddy's gonna murder me," he breathes, murmuring into her hair. She snuggles into him, and he knows she'll fall asleep there, that in the morning she'll still be there, and her daddy and the shotgun might make another surprise appearance.
She's a good girl, and good girls are nothing but trouble.
But this one is worth it.
She is strong.
Stronger than they give her credit for. Stronger than he gives her credit for.
She holds her own all winter. Can wield a knife, can take down a walker. Can keep watch, though usually he doesn't sleep, instead opts to watch her. She contributes, in quiet, subtle ways. He notices; they all notice.
The farm was a disaster. Her father was, at times, on the brink of insanity. Her dead mother, dead brother, stumbling out of the barn nearly broke her. And then she put a knife through her reanimated mother's skull.
And she chose to live.
Nights on the road are cold, and maybe he's a little grateful for it. It slows down the walkers, and the living bunker down out of the elements. He thinks of Randall sometimes, of Randall's group, and it makes him want to hold her tighter, keep her closer. Drives him forward to find a place with high walls and strong defences, somewhere he can lock her away and nothing can ever touch her.
It's later, he finds the prison.
He's never believed in miracles or destiny or fate. Never been type of guy that good things happen to, that fortune seems to favour. It's walls and fences, infested with walkers, and maybe it's then, his stomach settles, because this is his life, fighting tooth and nail for something good.
She was a one-night stand, a lifetime ago. And as he walks the perimeter and down to the group, her sweet voice carries across the fire, drawing him closer like a siren's song. She is a distraction, but the best kind of distraction. She's a beacon of hope, the one good thing he's ever had in his life. And he'll never let her go.
She's strong. They both are. And they'll fight the demons of this new world together.