Prompt: Beths newfound potty mouth surprises the group.
A/N: This fic is rated M for Mature due to Beth's potty mouth.
The first time Daryl heard Beth curse, there were three curse words she said to him and one hand gesture. In one day, at the moonshine still. The first two words, she had been yelling at him. He had deserved it, and he knew it the minute the words left his mouth.
"No, you were bein' a jackass! If anyone found my dad…"
"Like none of the people we lost meant anything to you! It's bullshit!"
Later that evening, with moonshine coursing through their bodies, they burnt down the rundown house and still.
And as he watched his past, their past, catch fire and burn, her smack to his stomach pulled his attention from the flames to her face, then her hand. With her middle finger held high. It would be hours later before he thought about the crude words and gesture coming from the blonde and how it was the first time he had ever seen or heard such things from her.
"Guess I'm rubbin' off on ya," he told her a few days later as they walked through the trees.
"What do you mean?" she asked, her eyes staying focused on the ground in front of her, looking for the tracks of the rabbit they were hunting. She had lost the trail and she knew Daryl had noticed. The blonde was trying desperately to find the trail again, her stubbornness refusing to let her give up on it. When she heard Daryl's steps behind her slow and stop, she closed her eyes tightly with a sigh. She had walked too far.
"This is harder than I thought…" she told him as she turned and walked back to his side, giving him a small grin when she noticed his smirk. He gestured to the tracks and pointed off to the left, allowing her the time to find the trail again and lead the way after their meal. Daryl observed as she walked softly, her eyes taking in the small signs of the animal, like he had taught her.
The two were silent for the rest of their hunt, their conversation not forgotten but delayed as they caught up to the small animal. When the rabbit was in sight, Daryl raised the bow, silently pointing out how he was holding it and how he pulled the trigger, Beth's eyes eagerly taking in his stance and grip on the weapon, watching as he pulled the trigger and the bolt hit its target. She smiled brightly at him before walking off to retrieve their lunch.
"What did you mean when you said you guessed you were rubbing off on me?" she asked as she walked, knowing he was only a step behind her. He was always within reach. Now that they were on their own and the trails of the other Prison family members' had run cold or had washed away in the rains, the two were inseparable. The hunter had told her himself that he knew she could handle herself, but still he always stayed close by, keeping her in his line of sight at all times. He watched her back, kept her safe and if a walker was too close, he was there, always.
Not that Beth was incapable of taking care of herself. She was very capable and they both knew it. She had saved Daryl's ass earlier that day when several walkers came from nowhere when the two had stopped to investigate a house.
Beth kicked a walker away from her before stabbing Daryl's knife into its skull and pulling it out. Daryl was taking care of another walker when one stumbled around the corner and grabbed ahold of him. With her heart in her throat, Beth raced forward, yanking the walker away from the hunter and shoving the blade through its eye with a growl.
"Bitch," she spat out as she pulled the knife out and pushed its body back. Her eyes then raced upwards to inspect Daryl for scratches or bites and he let her, their eyes meeting when she was satisfied to see him unharmed. He gave her an appreciative nod with a small smirk on his lips, his own eyes looking her over before gesturing for them to move on.
"I mean," Daryl spoke softly from his position behind her, the soft rumble of his voice pulling Beth back to the present and out of her thoughts. The blonde loosened her grip on the rabbit in her left hand and relaxed her other hand from where it had unconsciously risen to rest on the handle of her knife at the memory of that morning's fight. Beth turned to look at Daryl over her shoulder and she saw the slight quirk of his brow at her tense posture before it lowered and his face returned to a neutral expression, "that…you seem to be more…vulgar now that it's just us. It just seems like…maybe I've been a bad influence on you."
The blonde let out a small laugh and shook her head.
"You're not all to blame, Daryl. I was a bit mouthy before the end of the world. I never said or did anything vulgar in front of daddy, and consequently y'all when we were all at the prison because, I mean, my dad was there. It may be the end of the world but daddy'd still give me a whooping for havin' a mouth."
"Can't imagine you got many whoopin's, Greene," Daryl muttered, stopping Beth in mid-step.
"I got my fair share of 'em. Not as many as Maggie and Shawn, but I still got 'em," Beth chuckled slightly, "I could normally avoid getting on daddy's bad side. Maggie called it the "baby blue" gift. Said all I had to do was bat my baby blues at daddy and he'd forgive me. Wasn't true, of course."
"Name one time you got a whoopin' and I'll believe you. Good girl like you don't get whoopings." Daryl glanced around, his eyes falling on Beth more than their environment.
"I really did get spankings, Daryl, grounded too! It shouldn't be that difficult to believe!" Beth sighed, "but, okay, so when I was in elementary school I punched a boy and broke his nose. Can't remember why but I did. Got a whooping and grounded when I got home." This made Daryl chuckle and he raised an eyebrow at the blonde in disbelief.
"Tougher and meaner than ya look, Beth." Beth smiled at the hunter and gave a nod before her eyes widened and she smiled.
"Oh, one other time, I cut Maggie's hair while she was sleeping." Daryl let out a small laugh at this and Beth joined in. "She was growing out her hair and it just looked so weird on her, ya know? And she was always complainin' about it knotting up so...I helped her out and cut it one night…did a terrible job of it, too!"
"Another time I got into an argument at school…this girl was being rude and saying some pretty rude things about Maggie and her boyfriend at the time. Saying things like Maggie slept with different guys all the time and called her skank. I don't remember exactly what started her talking like that but I basically told her that Maggie wasn't a skank and that the girl was a twat for saying such things. I got detention for using such language and then daddy was furious when he came to pick me up after I got out…even though what I'd done had been in defense of Maggie, daddy said I needed to find other ways to handle such situations. He grounded me for a few weeks on that one…"
"You called a girl a twat? Now I know you're making stuff up!" Daryl chuckled as he stepped over a fallen log, his eyes staying on Beth to make sure she didn't trip or fall over the log. "Can't believe I just heard you say it now, either."
"Twat, twat, twat," Beth replied, a smile lighting up her face as she repeated the word. "Need I say it again for you to believe it, Daryl?"
"Maybe one more time?" Daryl teased.
"Twaaaaat," Beth sang softly with a giggle.
"That's a foul one, Greene. I heard worse though," Daryl shrugged. Beth lifted an eyebrow.
"What, like cunt? That's one of the foulest. I don't like using it. In fact, I don't think I've ever used it…" Hearing the word made Daryl stagger in his steps, his blue eyes fastening on Beth's in shock. "Don't look surprised, Daryl. I have ears. Even in the small town I lived in, some people used that word…I know it."
"Wasn't expecting it, is all…"
The two grew quiet as the day progressed, only talking really when Beth felt the need to share another story of her youth and the mischief she would sometimes get into. As Daryl expected, her behaviors tapered into the calm, polite, and quiet girl he came to know the older she got but he found himself still surprised when she shared a story of a party she went to and how her father found out about it and grounded her, despite her confessing to only drinking cola and not alcohol.
Days turned into weeks and Daryl knew Beth was about ready to get a crossbow of her own. She had become extremely skilled at tracking and her aim, while still iffy at times, had greatly improved. By some miracle, the two happened upon a weapon store with bolts and even a crossbow ready for the taking.
"Knock it," he grunted as he handed the weapon to the blonde, her blue eyes wide in awe and excitement. Beth followed his instructions and placed her foot in the stirrup, her hands grabbing the string and pulling it back, her arms tightening as they pulled at the 150 weight string.
"Fuck," she grunted, her arms shaking slightly before she finally felt, and heard, the string knock into place. Her eyes widened and she glanced at Daryl in excitement, "I did it!" she whispered loudly. Daryl felt his lips quirk into a proud smile and his arms wrapped around the blonde as she flung hers around his neck. Surprise filled the hunter as he realized that he had welcomed the hug and even, to some degree, initiated it. More than anything, he was full of pride for the blonde. She had been struggling nearly daily to knock his crossbow whenever they had downtime for her to practice. The struggles had lasted weeks but slowly, every time she tried, he could see her getting stronger and pulling the string further with each try.
"Knew ya could, Beth. Gotta keep workin' on it, though. Need to knock it lot faster than that when you're in danger," Daryl whispered into Beth's ear, his warm breath causing a shiver to go down Beth's spine. The blonde pressed a short kiss to Daryl's cheek before pulling away from him.
"You got it, Mr. Dixon," she teased as Daryl stared at her in shock, his hand going to his cheek as she turned away, her bag loaded down with bolts and various other tools and weapons they had found in the store. The hunter stared after her for a moment before his lips lifted into a grin and he followed after her.
"Think that's the first time I heard you say 'fuck', Greene," he muttered. Beth turned to look back at him and smiled.
"Do we need to have another "twat" moment, Dixon? Do I need to shout it from the rooftops so you believe that the word 'fuck' came from my mouth?" A snort escaped the hunter and he shook his head.
"No, I believe you now. Cursin' like a sailor these days," he pointed to her as he said this and Beth batted her eye lashes at him.
"I don't have a clue what you mean," she sang innocently, making the hunter snort again. The two continued trekking through the woods, surviving and relying on each other. Daryl didn't know exactly when he fell for the blonde but he knew it had taken him a long while to realize how important she had become to him, how much he cared for her. By the time the realization struck, the weather had turned cold and the two were searching for a warm place to spend the winter.
It took one freezing night for him to make a move, to press a gentle kiss to the blonde's forehead as she curled tightly into his side, her body wracked with shivers and a fever as the wind cut through them like knives.
Another few days later and he got the courage to kiss her cheek as she sweat out the last of the fever inside a boarded up house, the fever burning her so intensely that he doubted she'd remember it (but she did).
"Daryl," Beth whispered on the first night she'd been symptom free making the hunter glance at her, worry that she was going to announce not feeling well again and that the concerning and stressful time over her health would begin again shining in his eyes, "will you please just fucking kiss me?" Daryl stared at her in surprise before lowering his lips to her forehead again. The blonde moved and met his lips with hers, her hand moving to his hair and easing his surprise at the contact. The kiss provided warmth for both of them and it was the first of many heated kisses the two would share before they bumped into the first group of their family.
Beth's eyes locked on the rabbit as she lifted her crossbow and fired her bolt into the animal, Daryl's hand rubbing distractedly on her lower back before tucking into her back pocket and squeezing her ass. She fired the bolt and whirled on the hunter, her lips crashing into his before she saw if she had hit her target or not, the two crossbows falling to the ground as the couple held each other tightly, their kiss turning urgent as their hands explored and pulled the other impossibly closer. Beth broke the kiss, her lips trailing down Daryl's neck before going back to his lips.
"Daryl," she whispered as they broke apart, his hands exploring up and under her sweater as he grunted before claiming her lips again. The blonde groaned, her leg wrapping up and around Daryl's waist, aligning their pelvises as she broke their kiss again. "Fuck me, Daryl. Please. No more backing out. I need you." Daryl's eyes widened slightly at the blonde's words before he groaned, his hips rocking into hers as he nodded.
A crashing sound echoed in the trees around them and the two broke apart, their eyes wide and their breaths heavy as they spun, hands immediately falling to their knives. The couple felt their bodies flush in embarrassment when their eyes met the wide, disbelieving eyes of Rick Grimes.
Beth's mouth opened and closed in shock, her brain registering that the former sheriff had probably seen what the two had been doing and had heard what she had said.
Later, when the three were alone again and the awkward feeling had faded, Rick confessed that Beth's potty mouth had caused him to trip on a tree root in shock. He, like many others, was shocked to hear such words trickle from the innocent and kind mouth of one Beth Greene, and hear them they did.