AN: Okay… sigh… I feel this requires an explanation. I have received numerous messages and emails from people who read the start of The Red Strokes on Tumblr and wanted to read the rest. I have been unable to fulfil that request since I removed all my RPF, but today I thought well maybe… maybe this is a way I can sort of allow those people the chance to see how the fic ended, while at the same time making it Caryl. So yes, this is weird and I'm not sure how it's going to work. This may be a stupid idea, a stupid concept, and just altogether insane… but for those people who wanted to know how the red strokes ends… this is the best I can do for you. Feel free to tell me I'm crazy or I'm not crazy or whatever you're feeling :)
Once they were safely out of ear shot of their fans Carol giggled. Daryl shot her a look. "Did you see the dirty looks I was getting from all those women?" She had arrived to the set on the back of his motorcycle. The location had been leaked and there was a huge crowd of fans gathered at the entrance. She noticed the evil glares the second she slid off the bike and removed her helmet.
"Oh come on, there were lots of guys there who were wishing they were in my spot," Daryl shot back with a shy, but flirty smile.
When he smiled like that she understood why every girl back by the gate was weak in the knees. Her coworker was undeniably one of the sexiest men on the planet. He was also charismatic, charming and just incredibly nice. He was a good guy, plain and simple.
Carol considered herself lucky to call Daryl a friend. He always knew how to make her laugh and his constant, yet bashful flirts, and touchy feely nature made her feel sexy even if it was essentially harmless and meant nothing. He was complex though, that was for sure. The way he could be confident and shy at once made her dizzy sometimes.
"So I'll see you in a few hours," Daryl said, giving her a peck on the temple. They had worked so much together over the years that sometimes it surprised her when Daryl would kiss her or touch her because when they were in character - 'Daryl the TV guy' wasn't like that at all. She had to laugh every time she thought about how ridiculous and confusing it was that the execs had named all the characters after the actors who got the role. It was certainly something unique about their show, but sometimes made interviews a bit difficult.
Carol nodded and waved bye. They had both been called back to reshoot a couple short scenes. The filming likely wouldn't take long but wardrobe and makeup certainly would. The transformation to dirty, sweaty zombie slayers took time.
The day passed quickly, as it always seemed to on set. Carol loved her job and the people she worked with. But even with the short reshoots she was tired by the end of the day. Daryl found her once he was done and they got ready to leave.
"Want to go for a drink?" he asked. Thankfully security had cleared up the fans or she would be waiting a long time to get Daryl past the screaming women.
Carol sighed, "I could really use a cup of coffee, though I doubt that's the kind of drink you had in mind."
"Nope, but it's fine. I know the perfect place." He got on the bike and steadied it while she took her spot. They roared off into the night and she had no idea where they were headed.
Daryl pulled into a parking garage, found his spot and then got off. "Your place?" Carol asked with a tight lipped smile after removing her helmet.
"Yep, I make a mean cup of java and I have a fully stocked bar. Oh, and a shower if you're interested?" he waggled his eyebrows flirtatiously and Carol rolled her eyes. This is what it was like between them though. Sometimes Daryl had game and sometimes she would see his cheeks turn pink. She knew the flirt was harmless though, as usual. Though she did plan on taking him up on the use of his shower. Even if she didn't have a change of clothes it would be nice to rinse off the dirt, makeup, and sweat.
Turned out Daryl's condo actually had 2 showers and after leading her to the guest bath and finding her towels he left to use his shower in the en suite. For all the times she had showered in hotel rooms across the country it still felt odd to shower at someone else's house. When Carol stepped out and went to reach for a towel she noticed a clean t-shirt sitting on top. Her eyes widened when she realized that Daryl must have snuck in at some point while she was showing to deliver it. She blushed, wondering how she didn't notice, and hoping the glass had been fully steamed before he made his appearance.
Carol got dressed and wandered out to his living room. She had been there once before at a party Daryl hosted over a year ago. It was a pretty wild night. Most of the cast hadn't seen each other for weeks as shooting had wrapped and they had a great night of drinks with crazy friends.
While he was busy in the kitchen getting drinks Carol got out her phone and started to browse. He came back and handed her a steaming mug. She grinned and said thanks, taking a sip. "Hey, have you heard of Caryl RPF?" Carol asked setting the mug down.
He shook his head and plunked down beside her. "Whatcha lookin' at?"
"Tumblr," she replied flashing the screen in his direction. "There's a special Caryl tag devoted to you and I. Caryl2"
Daryl looked a bit confused, "I knew we were called Caryl, like our characters I mean. But what's this RPF thing?"
Carol sighed, it wasn't the easiest thing to explain, especially when she was tired. Once again she cursed TPTB for not being more creative with the character names. "Okay, so there's TV Caryl and there's 'us' Caryl. They think you and I are together." She looked at him with a smile, "there are even stories about us fucking, which is what the RPF thing is. Real Person Fiction."
"Wait, how do they know we're fucking?" he asked.
"We're not fucking," Carol laughed.
"Oh right," he snorted and moved closer. "Well are any of them any good?"
She raised her eyebrows. "You want to read one?"
Daryl shrugged "Why not? Our fans are pretty talented at most things. I bet writing is no exception."
"Well, there is this one they keep talking about. Let me see if I can find the link...Ok got it," she replied after scrolling a bit on her touch screen.
"Just highlight it and have Siri read to us," Daryl suggested. Carol turned up the volume a bit and set the phone on the coffee table to listen.
When the first chapter ended they looked at each other. "For the record, I have never masturbated, thinking about you, in the shower," Daryl said. "In bed, maybe, but never in the shower," he joked. Carol smacked him but laughed and he blushed at his admission.
"I think I'm going to need something stronger than coffee for Chapter 2," she sighed. "Got any good wine?"
Daryl stood, "red or white?"
"Both," she said, not entirely kidding.
He returned moments later with 2 bottles and 2 glasses. Daryl poured her a glass of Red to start. He poured his own glass and resumed his position beside her, entirely too close for most people, though Carol was used to fact that Daryl likes to get in your space sometimes, and she never minded.
"Ready?" she leaned forward and started Siri reading chapter 2.
"Holy fuck," Daryl muttered, several times. Carol felt her own face burning as they listened. At the same time it was fuelling something inside her and she wondered if the story was turning Daryl on too. As creepy as it was to hear an explicit sex scene about themselves she had to admit it was making her incredibly horny.
When it ended she took a long sip of wine before making eye contact. "For the record, I don't have any piercings below my ears." She laughed, "but I'm seriously considering getting some."
Daryl snorted. "I'm a fucking stallion. That was awesome." He tipped back the last of his wine and poured them both more. Carol knew she should have declined, but the wine was a great distraction from the fire burning low in her belly. "I'm kinda liking this RPF thing. Are there any more?" She gave him a look, but he was pumped. Daryl grinned, "We should totally do some crazy pose and tweet it, then see how fast it's all over tumblr."
"I don't know..."
Daryl nudged her, "Oh come on, we do it all the time for the Carylers."
"Okay," Carol gave in. She always gave in so easy to his crazy schemes. "What have you got in mind?"
He smirked, "How about a Peletier tongue shot? And I'll Tweet it from my account? That should do the trick."
So Carol found herself hanging out her tongue, imitating one of Daryl's signature poses that his fans often requested, while he snapped her photo. He tweeted it and within seconds there were favorites and retweets.
"Okay, check Tumblr now," he said after a few minutes.
Carol opened the app on her phone and went to the Caryl2 tag she'd been looking at before. "You have got to be kidding me," she said in awe. The photo had already been blogged by 4 different people and there were comments and reblogs on all of them. Carol laughed and blushed as she read a few of them. "CP can lick me with that tongue any day. Hmm, what are Caryl2 up to tonight? Are they trying to kill us?"
They looked at each other again and laughed. They both adored their fans fiercely and weren't laughing at them, just at the craziness of the world they were caught up in since joining the cast of The Walking Dead.
Carol hadn't noticed that Daryl had filled up her wine glass again until after she had taken another sip. "Um, I guess it's going to be a cab ride home for me hmm?" she said, as Daryl drank more wine. She didn't have a vehicle but even if she did, neither of them were in any condition to drive. Coffee with Bailey's and 3 glasses of wine for her, and a shot of something earlier and at least 3 glasses of wine for him meant neither was getting behind the wheel.
"Why don't you just stay?" he suggested. "It's late. It would be a long and expensive cab ride." He used the excuse as if money was a huge deal, which was obviously amusing.
"I don't know. Probably not a good idea," she replied hesitantly.
"You can have my bed, I'll sleep on the couch. No big deal," he shrugged. Once again she found herself giving in to his crazy schemes. Must be the alcohol, she thought. "But there's one thing we have to do before we go to sleep," Daryl said, standing up.
When Carol stood, she realized just how much she had drank. It took a minute to get her bearings before she was ready to walk. Once again she had no idea where she was going as Daryl took her hand and led her from the room.