No one knows her name, her age, or anything else about her. She was found on the side of the highway after the bombing of Atlanta, abandoned by her father. She won't talk much, and definitely won't reveal her name. She isn't comfortable around these people. Though the little girl has never met them personally, she knows the Dixon's. They're speech and mannerisms are familiar to her. When she approaches the brother one day asking for a favor, Merle takes interest in the girl. But out of all people in the camp reaching out to her, why is this orphan seeking refuge with the rednecks?
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Disclaimer: I do not own The Walking Dead or it's characters. I only own my OC and her father
The small girl approached the brothers' camp with caution.
After the group had first made camp, she took notice of the brothers immediately.
They were familiar to her, she didn't know either of the men personally, but she recognized they way they talked, walked and acted toward others in the group.
She also recognized their isolation. She greatly envied the time they spent alone. She wasn't used being so crowded, especially at a campsite. Luckily, the rest of the group payed her no mind, the only ones that even acknowledged her were Dale and Officer Shane.
The little girl turned her head around to the RV, seeing Dale was occupied with a book. She had spent most of her time on the roof with him in silence. She enjoyed his company, and he didn't seem to mind hers. She would sit with him, the umbrella shielding them both from the sun, while she discretely observed the Dixon's.
She turned her back away from the RV, making sure that if he were to look over, he wouldn't see what she was hiding behind her back. But she kept her back also out of view of the Dixon brothers. She couldn't show them right away, she had to be sure about them first. The last time she was caught leaving camp, Officer Shane yelled at her. Not that she cared, she just didn't want to be bothered. She hated the attention. She always stayed out of everyone's way, she didn't want anyone's attention.
Except the Dixon's.
She turned her head back to the brothers, and stopped walking a short distance away from their separated camp. They were sitting across from each other. The younger brother, she heard others call: Daryl. The older brother, with the shaved head, she recognized as: Merle.
Daryl seemed to be fixing the end of an arrow, although she couldn't tell what was wrong with it. Merle was on her right, fiddling with a pocket knife, obviously bored.
Be Blank. Be firm. Be Blunt. Be like Daddy. She told herself.
This was either going to go really good, or really bad.
Don't be annoying, the second things go in the wrong direction, just walk away. Don't care.
She felt her insides twist and turn with anxiety.
This was a bad idea, they don't want to talk to a little girl. Just leave, walk away before-
"-Somethin' ya want?" Daryl looked up from the arrow in his hands.
Merle followed his younger brother's eyes, raising his eyebrows at the sight of the girl. Not many would come over to them to talk, especially any of the children.
The brothers watched her, waiting for an answer. She couldn't have been more than 4'5". Her chestnut hair was put up into a high, crooked ponytail, a couple thick strands of hair had been missed, framing her round face.
Her grey eyes seemed very focused as she switched her gaze from Daryl to Merle. She shifted her right hand, holding it high behind her back, hiding what she held.
Her eyes abruptly went to the ground, unsure of what to say. She had been waiting for this, planning it, but she had never thought of exactly what to say.
"Little girlie, why don't you just head on back to your mama." Merle said, motioning with his head to the group's camp.
She looked up at Merle, grateful for something to respond with, "Mama ain't here."
"Go find her." Daryl dismissed her, returning to his task.
She almost frowned. Be blank. "Mama ain't here," she repeated. "Mama left Daddy, said he ain't no man. Said he had to find his own pair a stones 'fore he got her back."
Daryl glanced back up scrunching his eyebrows together, while Merle's lip twisted up into an amused grin.
"That so? Where's your Daddy at now?" Merle asked, leering over at the group's camp, he seemed genuinely curious.
"Daddy ain't here either, mister." She said with a seemingly blank expression.
"An' where'd he go?" Merle closed his pocket knife, placing his elbows on his knees, leaning forward. He was grateful for the entertainment the small girl was providing him with.
"I dunno. Officer Shane found me on the highway after he left. When Daddy didn't come back, he brought me to camp with everyone else after the bombin'."
Merle's smile faded, rolling his eyes at his brother. "Officer Shane." He mocked.
"Daddy says we should show respect for the law. Whether or not ya have it." She explained herself, hiding her embarrassment.
"An' whys that?"
"So they stay outta our business."
Merle laughed, causing a fit of coughs to erupt from his throat, "listen to you." He said when he finished, "this officer stay outta your business then?"
"Not always, mister. But I been gone since dawn, just gettin' back now. No one seemed to notice." The girl shrugged.
"What you been doin'?" Daryl asked with an accusing tone. Merle just grinned at her, he was enjoying the answers she was giving them.
She pointed behind the Dixon brothers, indicating where she'd been, avoiding the initial question.
The Dixon's briefly glanced at the wooded area behind them, then turned back to her.
"What's your name, girlie?" Merle asked.
The girl's hand tensed around the secret she held behind her back, reminding her what she was there for.
"Are either of you misters hunters?" She asked, certain she already knew the answer. Both Dixon's didn't fail to notice the questions she had dodged.
"Why." Daryl asked dismissively.
The girl considered that enough confirmation. She hesitated a moment to look toward the RV, checking if Dale was still occupied.
She slowly pulled her secret from behind her back, holding it up for the Dixon brothers to see.
Both of their eyes widened, Merle's smile disappeared from his face.
Her hand was wrapped around the tails of three squirrels, they hung from her hand, unmoving.
After a few moments of silence, the tiny brunette began to feel very self-conscious of her game. The squirrels weren't very big, in fact, one in particular was very small.
"Daddy never taught me how ta skin 'em." She said, breaking the silence
"You set snares?" Daryl asked.
She shook her head, grabbing the hem of her shirt and lifting it to reveal a slingshot, held in place by her waistband.
"Well, I'll be damned." Merle stood, laughing.
The girl visibly flinched at the older brothers sudden movement, but stayed in place.
He stalked toward her, chuckling, "Nice shot, aren't ya?"
"Daddy taught me." The girl held back her smile, secretly brimming with pride.
Merle reached toward the squirrels, "well, lil' girlie, thanks for dinner."
The girl's brows knitted together as she frowned. She stepped back immediately pulling the squirrels closer to her.
Merle stopped, it was the most emotion either brothers had seen out of her.
"You can have 'em if you teach me how ta skin 'em." She told Merle, she seemed to be glaring up at him.
Merle's face twisted into a scowl, before he could say anything, Daryl spoke, "how come your daddy never taught you?"
Her face seemed to be wiped clean of expression by the mention of her father. She switched the squirrels to her other hand. Then held up her right hand, palm out, revealing a thick pink scar that ran across her palm.
"last time I got cut."
Merle placed his hands on his hips, glancing at his younger brother, who's just shrugged in response.
"This why you came for a visit?" Merle smirked.
"Yes, mister." She nodded sheepishly.
"Why not go play with the other kiddies?"
She shrugged, "I don't like 'em."
"You don't like the kiddies?"
"I don't like a lotta people, mister. That's why you're over here, ain't it? You don't like people."
Merle laughed, "best you stay outta our business, girlie."
"If you stay outta mine I'll return the favor."
He crossed his arms, "just curious why you wanna learn to skin. Not what good little girlies oughta be doin'."
"I wanna do somethin' important."
"Lot's a' important things to do. Why this? You're gonna get your hands dirty, ya know." He warned, still smirking.
"I ain't afraid a' blood. Daddy's been teachin' me ta hunt since I was little."
Merle stared down at the little girl, thinking her words over. Daryl didn't say anything, he just watched the encounter, curious with his brother's behaviour.
Merle's hesitation made the girl anxious. She held up the squirrels again, "you can have 'em."
Merle glanced back at his brother, turning back to the girl, he said, "you got a knife?"
The girl smiled, nodding eagerly. She pushed her hand with the squirrels toward Merle.
Hesitantly, he took them from her. Then she turned, and ran toward camp to get her knife.
"Merle, what the hell, man."
Merle turned around to face his brother, clutching the squirrels in his hand, "problem, Darlina?"
"The fuck was that?"
"Got dinner for us, baby brother. We were gonna skin 'em anyways."
"Coulda' got dinner ourselves, no interest in hangin' around playin' Barbies. Why you doin' this, you hate kids. You some kinda pedo now?"
"What's the harm in teachin' the little darlin' to take care a herself."
"Merle I know don't give two shits 'bout nobody, 'specially some kid."
Merle hesitated a minute, a thoughtful expression crossing his facial features, "thought she looked kinda familiar." He muttered, not looking at his brother.
"See her everyday, she always sits on the trailer with that old man."
"Yeah, guess you're right." He nodded, "eyes playin' tricks on me."