I love "Waiting on You" and I love domestic fluff. I can't help it.
Sam is a complete surprise. It isn't as if they are planning on a second. They have never talked about having another one. Molly is four and Daryl still will look at her sometimes and wonder where the hell she came from because he has a daughter and a wife and a nice house that smells of chocolate and lemon dust spray and he can't believe that this is his life. But he always reminds himself that it is and he worked damn hard to get his one.
Once he buys the garage from Dale, he works twelve-hour days, six days a week to get used to the business and figure out how to run things and it takes him a while to get the hang of things – of owning his own business and all of the paperwork and being someone's boss – but he catches on and he runs a pretty damn good garage. Beth and her bakery are doing as well as always and for the first time in his life, Daryl finds himself to be financially stable.
And then, one afternoon, Beth comes to the garage after closing the bakery for the day and Daryl is in the office, trying to work on some paperwork between his customers so he doesn't have to stay late that night finishing it. She smiles as she comes in and sits down in the chair across from him and Daryl lifts his eyes, giving her that small smile of his.
"I brought you something," she says and places a small pink cardboard box down beside the picture frame he has on his desk – a picture of him and her when they had first gotten together. "I had one left and I know how much you love them."
Daryl takes the box and peeks inside. A custard-filled, chocolate iced donut. "Thanks," he said and picked it up.
"Daryl, I'm pregnant," Beth blurts out just as Daryl takes a bite of the donut and most of the custard falls out with a plop back into the box.
"Fuck," he mutters and he lifts his eyes to look at Beth when he hears a faint giggle.
"I'm sorry," Beth shakes her head. "The last time I told you that, you cut your hand."
"Yeah," he puts the donut back down and wipes his fingers on his jeans. "You need to get better at tellin' me that." Beth gets up and goes into the bathroom, coming out with a few paper towels and handing them to him. "When'd you find out?" He asks as she sits down across from him again.
"About an hour ago. I've been late and I just had a feeling so I went and bought a test. I have to go to the doctor to confirm but the test says I am," she says, watching him closely.
He's wiping at his fingers and then his mouth and picks up the donut again. He doesn't say anything. He takes a bite and chews and she sits there and waits, knowing that he just needs a few minutes for her sudden announcement to settle in his mind and his silence is nothing to be alarmed about. So she sits there and watches him eat the rest of the donut. And when he's done, he wipes his fingers and his mouth again on the paper towels and stands up. Beth doesn't move as Daryl comes and he crouches down in front of her.
He stares at her and Beth doesn't say anything, staring into his eyes. He slides his hands over her thighs and then grasps his fingers around her hips.
"Yeah?" He then asks.
She smiles a little. "Yeah."
And when he breaks into a small smile not even a second later, her smile grows so wide, she's almost laughing and he pushes himself up to press his lips to her.
Just because Sam is a damn big surprise, that doesn't mean that he's not wanted.
Daryl and Beth go to the doctor and Dr. Carol Peletier does a quick but thorough examination and confirms that Beth is indeed pregnant. The baby's rapid heartbeat fills the room and thumps in their ears and all of the memories of being pregnant with Molly floods them both. Beth's eyes begin brimming with happy tears just as they had the first time and Daryl stands there, listening to it, the same feeling of shock sweeping over him.
He smiles a little when Beth smiles at him but in his head, he's already thinking of how much money they have in the bank and checking account because although he's happy about the baby, he always thinks about the money.
Evergreen is a damn small town and not only is it a small town but it's a small southern town and news and gossip always spread like a damn wildfire. Daryl and Beth have no idea how it happens but her pregnancy doesn't stay a secret for long and soon, everyone is offering their congratulations to them – at the bakery, at the garage, when they go to the grocery store and are pushing their cart up and down the aisles.
"She's glowing," Lori explains with a smile when she hears Daryl grumbling to Rick about it.
Daryl looks to Beth as she is pushing both Molly and Judith on the swings of the play set in the Grimes' backyard, all three laughing and smiling. Daryl looks at Beth closing and feels himself frowning a little confusion. Beth looks like she always does.
She always looks like she's a piece of the sun, shining a little brighter than everyone else, and making everyone around her feel just a little bit warmer.
When she was pregnant with Molly, Beth and Daryl borrowed baby books from Rick and Lori and read them over to cover in preparation for their first baby. And within the first week, they learned that those books were pretty much useless.
They don't read any books this time around but there is a chapter in the back of one that Daryl does read. And after reading it, he makes sure that he takes Molly out hunting at least once a week. Just the two of them spending time together because he never wants his daughter to feel forgotten or like no one cares about her with the new baby coming.
He knows all too well what being a little kid is like and feeling those things and he doesn't want him and Molly to ever have those things in common.
They have Carol tell them as soon as she can and she tells them in Beth's fifth month that they're going to be having a boy this time. Beth, again, starts laughing and crying and grasps Daryl's hand tightly and he stands next to the examination table, quiet and stunned.
Having a daughter was terrifying. He didn't know anything about being a dad and being around Juju was one thing – she was his little asskicker – but this was going to be his daughter and he was completely responsible for her health and safety and for her life. But he got the hang of it pretty quickly and he thinks he's pretty damn good at being a dad.
But having a son is even more terrifying because as Carol points to the grainy ultrasound screen, showing them both this and that of their son, Daryl can only stare and think about the Dixon blood running through his son. Being a male and having the Dixon last name has never really worked out for anyone in the family before. Even he took more than thirty years to get his life together.
Daryl stares at the screen and finds himself terrified of bringing another Dixon boy into this world. But Beth smiles up at him then and he does his best to smile, too.
Beth's pregnancy craving this time around seems to be tomatoes – which is a pretty easy one as far as Daryl is concerned because they grow their own tomatoes in the backyard and she can go out whenever she wants and plucks one from the vine.
She sprinkles salt on them and eats them like apples and Daryl loves watching her do it because she always closes her eyes and moans at that first bite as if she's never tasted anything more delicious and one of her hands will rub at her growing stomach and when she looks at him and sees him watching her, she giggles a little.
He smiles, too, and steps up to her, wiping at the tomato juice on her chin with his thumb.
In the bungalow they live in, there are three bedrooms and Rick and T-Dog come over to help Daryl paint the walls and get the furniture moved in. They have all of Molly's baby furniture stored up in the attic and they carry it down to be used for the newest Dixon.
Beth tries to come into the room a few times to look but Daryl frowns at her each time keeps her out, not wanting her to inhale the paint fumes and T-Dog laughs about him being so overprotective but Daryl doesn't see the bad in being that.
He has even taken to only smoking his cigarettes at the shop and changing shirts before he comes home because he doesn't want Beth to even catch a whiff of it.
Beth and Molly sit at the piano in the living room and Beth is teaching Molly the basics – notes and scales and the way to curl her fingers over the keys – but Molly's favorite thing to do is to sit beside Beth as Beth plays songs, her fingers flying up and down the keys and singing along and telling Molly when she can turn the page of the sheet music.
She laughs and looks at Molly and says her little brother is kicking up a storm and Molly's hands immediately rest on the bump to feel it, too. She giggles and Beth laughs again and she keeps playing so the baby kicks more.
"Did I kick that much?" Molly asks.
"More. And right in my ribs, too," Beth smiles. "Your daddy called you our little fish, kicking around in its bowl all day."
Molly looks thoughtful at that. "I do like to swim," she then says with a nod of her head and Beth laughs again, taking her fingers off the keys and leaning over, kissing her on the head.
"Will you teach your brother how to swim?" Beth asks.
Molly nods more quickly this time. "I'm going to teach him everything."
Daryl overhears this and his thoughts begin to drift to his own older brother and how the things Merle had taught him hadn't been the best things in this world to know. But just as he reminds himself that this is actually his life, he reminds himself that Molly and this new baby are the new generation of Dixons and they're the best damn thing to ever happen to the name.
Maggie comes to Evergreen from the farm and she, Lori and Sasha throw Beth a baby shower with everything in shades of blue, games and finger sandwiches. Daryl stays away from the house for the day, busying himself at the garage and in the woods, and when he comes home, Molly greets him at the door with excitement and grabs his hand, pulling him in the living room where Beth is sitting with all of the presents she has received. Baby clothes and toys and stuffed animals.
"So much damn blue," Daryl grumbles.
Beth laughs. "You said the same thing about Molly and the pink," she reminds him. "There's some cake left over in the kitchen."
"You make it?" He asked.
"No, Lori made it from a box," Beth answered, continuing to fold all of the onesies she got.
Daryl makes a face at that and Beth smiles and shakes her head to herself. She isn't looking at him but she knows he's making a face and she thinks of how much she has spoiled him. But she secretly loves that Daryl has such a sweet tooth for only the things she makes.
"What about Sam?" Beth whispers to him one night when he's almost asleep and it's a bad habit of hers – talking to him right when he's about to drift off but it's a habit she can never seem to break herself from.
Daryl grunts, the most answer he's going to give.
"I was thinking for the baby. I like Sam," she continues in a whisper. "It was Shawn's middle name," she then adds.
Daryl doesn't even think about it. "I like Sam," he grunts and Beth leans in, kissing him softly on the cheek.
Molly's labor had hurt like hell but had been relatively short for a firstborn.
Sam, on the other hand, seems to be in absolutely no hurry to meet them and Beth is in labor for a day and a half before she's dilated enough and Carol tells her to start pushing. She's sweaty and screaming and crushing his hand in her grip but Daryl doesn't even wince as he stands beside her and never leaves her side.
And when their son is here, screaming his lungs out, covered in blood, Beth bursts into tears just as she had when she saw Molly for the first time because their son is the most beautiful thing in this world and Daryl cuts the cord and Carol cleans him as quickly as she can before she places the baby in Beth's arms.
Daryl lowers himself into the chair next to the bed and stares at the baby, no longer crying, as Beth sniffles and holds him tightly and whispers his name to him.
"He looks like you," Beth then says, lifting her eyes to Daryl.
Daryl smirks like that. "He looks like a lump, Beth," he points out to her and she just laughs softly and gently passes Sam from her arms into his.
Daryl sits back in the seat and holds the baby with ease – a skill he perfected with Molly – and he stares down at Sam in the same way Beth had. With awe and love and a million of other things he has never seemed to be able to identify. He looks down at Sam and all of his worries about being a boy and having the Dixon blood are still nagging him in the back of his head but they're quieter now and he can't imagine ever letting his son go through what he and Merle had gone through in their lives.
Daryl will be damned before he lets that happen.
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