So, Survivor is actually one of my favorite shows and I have had the idea of Daryl competing on this show for a while. And then I started imagining Beth competing, too, and this was an idea that I couldn't stop thinking about until I wrote it down. This was supposed to be a one-shot, but there is just way too much to write so it will be three parts. Sorry for the randomness!
He stands away from the others, watching with a slight frown on his face and his arms crossed over his chest. He still has no idea what he is doing here. Well, technically that isn't true. He knows that he could blame this whole damn thing on Merle. They had been in Atlanta to sell some of the meat they had hunted to a butcher shop they had a working relationship with and Merle found out that there was a casting call for a reality show.
"I don't know this show," Daryl frowned when Merle told him, shoving him into the lobby of the building where the casting was.
"We'll get some DVDs," Merle said. "Trust me, baby brother. This is right up your alley."
And now, he's here, on some beach on some tiny island off the coast of Vietnam, watching a bunch of idiots he just met doing their best to build a shelter out of palm trees and bamboo.
He is going to speak and say that they should probably put the wall of the shelter to the water instead of facing it since the wind comes in from the water and the wall would help break it up, but the couple of episodes he and Merle watched, Daryl had noticed that those who take charge in the first few days are always the ones up on the chopping block first. It will put unwanted attention on him and despite not really wanting to be here, the prize of a million dollars at the end is just too damn appealing to him to get kicked off already.
Daryl looks and sees a little blonde-haired girl with big eyes smiling up at him.
"I'm Beth," she says and sticks out her hand.
After a moment, Daryl shakes her hand with his. "Daryl," he grunts.
"Daryl," she repeats, still smiling. "I was wondering if you could help me with something."
Beth had taken the time to look at everyone on the beach – part of her tribe – and she watched the way they talked and interacted with everyone. She took her time, studying, and she then focused on Daryl. It was clear that he thought everyone else was an idiot and she knew that he would probably be her best chance. She has always prided herself on reading people right and looking at Daryl, she knows that she can trust him.
"What are you doin' up there again?" Daryl asks from below.
"Keep watch," she tells him again and she sifts through the nooks and crannies of the tree she has climbed into. "I was walking, gathering firewood, and I was looking around. This tree didn't look right to me."
Daryl tilts his head up to look at her in the branches. "Looks jus' like a tree," he shrugs.
She smiles. "I have seen every single episode of this show," she tells him. "And there is a hidden immunity idol in this tree. I know it."
"Every episode?" Daryl asks.
"Yep. Has kind of always been an obsession of mine."
She moves another rock away and then gasps. A wrapped cloth tied with tweed. Almost afraid, she reaches into the hole and slowly pulls it out. Daryl steps back to give her room as she jumps down from the tree and stands in front of him.
"That it?" He jerks his chin towards it.
"It has to be." Beth quickly looks over her shoulder to make sure that no one is coming and then takes a step closer towards Daryl, using their chests to shield what she's doing. She unties the tweed and parts the cloth, seeing the wooden necklace inside with different colored beads and what looks like an arrowhead. "I found it," she whispers, hardly believing it.
She can still actually hardly believe that she's here at all.
"How you gonna hide it?" Daryl asks.
Beth doesn't even hesitate before she shoves it down the front of her shorts. She then takes a step back so Daryl can look at her. "Too obvious?"
Daryl looks for a second and smirks with a slight shake of his head. "Not unless you're actually named Ben instead of Beth."
She blushes and smiles again and pulls it back out.
Without a word, Daryl holds his hand out for the cloth-wrapped idol. And without hesitating, Beth hands it to him and he sticks it down the back of his shorts, making sure his tee-shirt is covering it.
"So, I guess this means we're in an alliance together," Beth beams up at him.
"Guess so," he shrugs as they start to walk back to where their camp is being set up, making sure they pick up sticks along the way so everyone else will think they were just off, looking for firewood.
In the end, Daryl decides to speak up and tells the others in the tribe that they should build the shelter with the wall to the water.
"I don't know how much it rains here, but, we're gonna wanna break the wind up if it does storm," he says and he doesn't expect anyone to listen to him, but he says it anyway.
But to his surprise, they do listen to him.
"You've done this before?" One of the guys ask as he hands Daryl the machete.
He shrugs. "I camp out a lot."
"Thank God!" One of the girls exclaims with relief.
"Come on in, guys!" Jeff calls out as both tribes meet on their colored mats to stand in front of him. Daryl stands with the other guys, the girls in front of them. Daryl immediately looks at Beth and he nearly smiles because she just looks so happy to be there.
"So, the two tribes – Degar in the blue and Kinh in the purple – how is camp life so far?" He asks them and immediately there is a chorus from both tribes of "Great" and "Awesome".
Daryl doesn't know if he agrees with either of those words. They had been trying to get a fire started, but hadn't been able to and if they don't have a fire, they can't boil their water to make it safe to drink and they can't go long without water.
"Well, we'll see how long those sentiments stay true for you," Jeff smiles. "Survivors, you are going to be playing in your first Reward challenge this afternoon.
"Behind me, you will see an obstacle course. This is simple enough. Two people from your team will be tied together and will go through the course together. When they reach the end and are on the mat, the next pair starts. The first tribe to have every pair on their mat, wins. Any questions?"
Daryl looks at what he is able to see of the course. A lot of crawling and climbing and a lot of mud pits from the look of things.
"You wanna know what you're playing for?" Jeff asks.
"Yes!" Nearly everyone answers him.
Daryl is too busy looking over everyone in his tribe – five guys and five girls.
"Fire in the form of flint," Jeff says, holding the small block of flint up. "As well as a fire making kit." He opens up the lid of a chest. "You have sticks, kindle, kerosene. If you cannot start a fire with this, you should probably just pack up now and go home.
"I'll give you guys a minute to strategize and then we'll get started."
"So the slowest pair should go first. That way, the others can make up the time," one of the guys, Aiden, speaks up and from the way he is saying it, it's clear he is telling them. "Jared, you're the smallest guy. You and… Beth should go together."
"If we're the smallest, won't we be the fastest?" Jared asks. "I ran track in high school."
Daryl frowns at Aiden's idea, but doesn't say anything.
"I think Jared should go with Jessie and they should be in the middle," Beth says.
Aiden looks at her, amused. "Oh, yeah. Why?"
Beth doesn't back down and doesn't cower. "You saw the way Jessie ran through the water from the boat to the shore. She's fast. And if Jared is fast, we stick those two together in the middle so if we're in the lead already, they'll give us more of a lead and if we're behind at that point, they'll help us make up some time."
"Sounds good to me," Jessie smiles at her.
Everyone else seems to be in agreement and after a moment, Aiden sighs.
Beth looks at Daryl and gives him a little smile and he just gives her a nod.
"Survivors ready?" Jeff asks with his hand in the air.
Daryl double-checks on the blue harness tied around his waist and then looks to Beth behind him, also checking that she is tied tightly. It was decided by the tribe that they will go first and set the speed. Daryl is relieved that he's been partnered with Beth. She's really the only one he's talked to and she's already declared them to be in an alliance together.
Daryl may not know the first thing about how to play this game, but he's always been good at reading people and trusting his instincts and he can tell that Beth is a genuine person.
"Go!" Jeff shouts and they're off, both tribes cheering and yelling them on and distantly, Daryl can hear Jeff narrating the whole damn thing, but he's able to tune that all out and just concentrate on this ridiculous obstacle course.
Climbing over wood hurdles, looking back to Beth after he practically leaps over each one, but she's right on his heels. He dives into the first mud pit and belly crawls beneath the netting over his head and glancing over his shoulder, he sees that Beth is still right there. She's keeping up with the pace so he keeps it. Monkey bars are next and she's able to fly across them so fast, she nearly collides into his back. Another crawl through a mud pit, hopping on tiny round pads in some more mud that aren't stable at all and wobble under the slightest of weight, threatening their balance, and then climbing a wall of net. Daryl scrambles up it, feeling it sway and move beneath him, and once he reaches the top, he waits for Beth to get to his side.
"Wait 'til I'm on the ground. Then jump," he tells her and doesn't wait for her to respond before he's scrambling down the other side. There is just enough rope for him to stand at the bottom of the net. "Jump!" He calls up to her.
Beth doesn't hesitate – or show any fear in thinking that maybe he won't catch her – before she pushes herself off the top and flies down into his arms.
"Daryl and Beth saving themselves a few seconds with Beth jumping into Daryl's arms and racing towards the mat!" Jeff is announcing. "Degar! Next pair, go!"
Beth is panting heavily beside him and her hands rest on her side as if she has a cramp, but she is smiling widely. She is covered in mud and Daryl can imagine that he's a mirror image.
"That was fun," she says breathlessly and Daryl smirks, finding himself agreeing.
"Degar wins reward!" Jeff shouts, his hands flying into the air, and Daryl tells himself it's just the adrenaline that has him celebrating with the rest of the tribe.
Beth is carrying the bucket to go to the pool of water in the jungle to carry back to the fire for boiling when she hears hurried footsteps behind her. She looks over her shoulder, expecting it to be Daryl, but instead, it's Jessie. Beth stops and waits for her to catch up.
"Hey," Jessie says in a hurried whisper. "I can trust you, right?" She asks.
Beth instantly perks up. "Of course."
"In the chest Jeff gave us, I found this." Jessie holds up a piece of rolled up parchment and Beth doesn't need her to say what it is for Beth to already know. "It's a clue to the hidden immunity idol."
"Really?" Beth asks and hopes she isn't giving anything away. She thinks of the idol she has already found and is buried at the bottom of her pack. Of course she won't tell Jessie that.
Jessie unrolls the paper and both lean into read it.
"Go back to where you lay your head. From there, walk towards where the sun disappears and count your steps as you do. It's not too far from ocean, but not too far from the root," Jessie reads.
Beth is grateful that she has found the tree already because reading this clue, it makes no sense. "Root?" She questions out loud. "So… I guess this means the idol is anywhere in the jungle, but still within view of the ocean."
"Yeah?" Jessie reads through the clue again. She then looks to Beth. "You won't tell anyone I have the clue, will you?"
"Of course I won't," Beth promises and in the back of her head, she wonders how she would feel about being in an alliance with her and Daryl.
But maybe not. Jessie seems like she could be very sneaky.
She's actually been thinking about keeping hers and Daryl's alliance a secret from everyone. She'll make up her mind after the immunity challenge to see what happens and what she has to do.
"Do you want to be in an alliance?" Jessie asks.
"Yes," Beth easily smiles.
"We need a third," Jessie thinks out loud as they begin walking again to get water. "What do you think about Jared?" She asks.
Beth is quiet for a moment. An alliance between Jessie, Jared, Daryl and her would give them four. And she knows Aiden is already working on his own alliances. Aiden has taken it upon himself to be the leader of their tribe – though none of them asked him to be – and if they lose the challenge tomorrow, she wonders what it will take to get them to vote for Aiden. He's a strong player, yes, but he's incredibly full of himself. She also doesn't doubt that he would say and promise anything to save his own skin.
"Jared could work," Beth agrees, still thinking.
She hopes they win immunity tomorrow. She needs a couple more days to work things out.
The nights are colder than any of them had ever thought they would be and in their shelter, they had made an elevated bed out of bamboo so they are not sleeping on the ground with the crawling bugs and crabs and rats of the beach.
The wind is brisk and they are all grateful for the wall that protects them a bit from it.
Beth burrows herself into her hooded sweatshirt and rolls herself into the tightest ball she can to help combat the shivers. Her eyes grow heavy and the last thing she remembers clearly seeing is Daryl sitting up by the fire, staying awake as if he's keeping watch.
"Welcome to your first immunity challenge and this is what you are all wanting." Jeff pulls a cloth away, revealing a wood statue holding a spear. "Whichever tribe wins the challenge, gets immunity and you are safe from tribal council tonight."
As he talks, a light rain begins to fall.
"Your challenge is head-to-head combat," Jeff informs them.
From the corner of his eye, Daryl can see that Beth looks a little nervous.
"One person from each tribe will be on the elevated platform in the mud pit and you will proceed to try and push the other off, using this foam pad. You may only use this pad to hit. Not your head or your feet and you are allowed to go more than once if you don't feel like playing everyone on your tribe. Whichever tribe gets five people of the other tribe knocked off the platform first will win immunity and will be safe from tribal council.
"Any questions? I'll give you a minute to strategize and then we'll get started."
Aiden, of course, takes charge and Daryl stands there with his arms crossed over his chest, listening to his game plan with a slight frown, but doesn't speak up to suggest something different. He doesn't know enough about this game to offer strategy.
He keeps glancing over to Beth, seeing that she is quiet. He nudges her gently with his elbow and her eyes fly up to look at him.
"You'll be a'right," he says and she gives him a nod and smile that doesn't reach her eyes. In the back of his mind, he thinks that she really is a little thing.
"First up! For Kinh, we have Bob and for Degar, we have Beth. Survivors, take your places."
Beth grips the blue pad in her hands and she looks at Bob as they meet in the middle of the platform. He looks to be about her height, and she knows he's probably looking at her like she's some little girl, but she's not some twig who can snap. She's a farm girl and is used to physical labor. But still, going up against a man, she can't imagine this ending well for her.
"Go!" Jeff calls out.
And she's right.
With the rain soaking the platform, her feet aren't able to get a grip and within seconds, Bob pushes her clear across the platform right into the mud without any effort at all.
Beth tries to keep her face blank even though she's fuming with disappointment.
She can only hope her tribe wins immunity today. If not and they go to Tribal Council tonight, there's no way she's going to be able to keep from being voted out.
"Competing next. For Kinh, we have Jim and for Degar, we have Daryl. Survivors, ready? Go!" Jeff commands.
Daryl grips the pad and looks at his opponent. Jim is a lanky guy – tall and skinny – but Daryl is not going to be fooled. And when Jim rushes him, charging him like a bull, despite the rain pouring, Daryl manages to brace his entire body for the impact. Jim manages to push him back an inch and again, he's aware of Jeff narrating and his tribe is cheering for him and he's still learning this game. He's only seen a couple of episodes, but he knows that tribal council is not where he wants to be and he wants that million dollars in the end more than anything.
Sorry, Jim, Daryl thinks to himself as he shoves as hard as he can and the man stumbles back and falls down on the platform. Daryl makes sure he doesn't use his feet to push the man off the rest of the way into the mud and his tribe cheers loudly for him.
"Kinh, one! Degar, one! Next two!" Jeff announces.
"Both tribes are tied at four and next up, again, for Kinh is Bob and for Degar, we have Daryl! Attempting to win immunity for their tribe."
Daryl stared at the man in front of him and his hands tightened around the pads. He's not exactly sure why, but he feels a little angry looking across the platform at Bob. Maybe it's because he had so easily dominated Beth or Daryl had seen how angry she was with herself when she had pulled herself out the mud. Beth's his one and only ally in this game and has already showed him that she trusts him – handing him the idol so easily to hide and then leaping into his arms during the reward challenge – and maybe he wants to protect her and get a little bit of revenge on the guy who had beaten her.
"Go!" Jeff shouts and Daryl and Bob immediately charge one another.
The rain is falling down harder and his hair is getting in his eyes, but Daryl doesn't care about that right now. They collide and push at one another, both sliding on the rain and mud-slicked platform.
"Come on, Daryl!" He can hear Beth cheering for him over the rain and he's not sure what it is, but whatever it is, Daryl is able to give Bob one hard shove, surprising the man, and he is able to gain ground on him, pushing Bob towards the edge of the platform until he is in the mud and his tribe explodes with cheers.
"Degar wins immunity!" Jeff shouts.
Daryl drops the pad and tries to catch his breath and then he finds himself surrounded by his tribe, all celebrating, and Beth's arms are around his waist, hugging him the tightest.
That night, they all sit around the fire, eating rice and coconuts and one by one, they head off to their shelter to get some sleep for the challenge the next day and then, it's just Daryl and Beth still sitting up, sitting on the sand, side-by-side, close to the flames.
"So, is it everythin' you thought it would be?" He asks her.
Beth smiles as she chews on a piece of coconut. "I think so," she replies with a nod. "The bugs and the heat and already wanting to kill for a shower, it's what I've always dreamed."
Daryl smirks a little at that and she laughs softly, nudging him playfully with her arm.
"What about you?" She asks. "Why did you want to be here?"
Daryl shrugs. "Never been to Vietnam. Figured it'd be a good first stamp for the passport I jus' got for myself before comin' here." She smiles and he shakes his head a little. "Nah. My brother likes to live through me sometimes. He's got a pretty long record and wouldn' be approved for a passport, so if he can't be here, I'm the next best thing for 'im."
"That's sweet," Beth smiles.
He can't help, but look at her, surprised at her comment. "It is?" He asks because he never would have called anything about his and Merle's relationship as sweet.
Beth nods. "That you're here for him because he can't be."
Daryl shrugs, not knowing what to say to that. "Million dollars didn' sound so bad, either," he says and she laughs again. He smiles a little. He likes her laugh. It's gentle and light – like the calm breeze blowing in from the ocean at the moment.
Beth's face drops a little as she looks towards the shelter where the rest of their tribe is sleeping; or where they are pretending to be asleep; maybe eavesdropping on them.
Daryl stands up. "Wanna get some more firewood so we have it in the mornin'?"
Beth looks relieved at his suggestion and she pushes herself to her feet without a word.
They walk away from camp, following the beach, using the moon as their light.
Beth still talks in a whisper though, stepping in to stand close to him. "Jessie found the first clue for hidden immunity idol and she wants to be in an alliance with me. I didn't tell her that I already had the idol and I didn't tell her about the alliance between you and me."
"You wanna keep it a secret?" He asks.
Beth is quiet for a moment, thinking it over. "That I have the idol, definitely. And I think we should wait and see how we do in the next immunity challenge. If we lose and we go to Tribal Council, the others will want me gone, for sure."
Daryl frowns at that. "Why you?"
"I'm the youngest and tiniest on the tribe. They think I'm weak," she explains to him.
"Our tribe is a bunch of idiots, girl," he grumbles at that and not able to help herself, she stands up on her toes and kisses his cheek.
"Thank you, Daryl," she murmurs quietly and even in the moonlight, she swears that she can see his ears turn a faint pink. "But if we lose and go to Tribal, I already know what we should do. And that's why I need our-" she gestures between them. "-alliance to stay quiet for the time being."
"Whatever you think we should do," Daryl shrugs. "Just followin' your lead."
Beth smiles up at him and she is tempted to kiss his cheek again, but she is able to keep herself under control. She didn't come here to fall for a tribe mate. She came here to win.
"Tree mail!" T-Dog announces as he and Miranda come through the trees and T-Dog is holding a book in his hand.
Beth gasps the instant she sees it. "The catalog!" She exclaims and grabs T-Dog's arm, bouncing up and down, and he laughs as they head towards the fire where the rest are.
"What is it?" Nicholas asks as he chews on a piece of coconut.
"It's the rewards catalog," Beth tells them all. "How many can we pick?"
"Three," T-Dog reads from the slip of paper that had come with the book. "If we win, we get whatever we've asked for."
"Alright," Aiden stands up and takes the lead as always. "We'll go through everything before we make our choices." He takes the catalog from T-Dog and opens it to the first page so they can all see what the offered item is.
Beth settles herself down next to Daryl and hugs her knees to her chest. She knows exactly which three she would choose – always playing around while watching the show in her living room back home – but she'll wait to see if the tribe makes the same choices.
They spend the next few minutes, going through the pages, calling out when they want something or debating when not agreeing with someone else's choice. Nicholas wants bread and they have to explain to him that that's a pretty stupid choice.
"Okay," Aiden says when they reach the last page. "So, we all agree on fishing equipment?" He opens the catalog to the page that shows a chest of fishing equipment.
"And…" he flips to the next page. "The tarp and rope?"
"And last," he flips to the last page that they want. "Peanut butter."
Beth smiles to herself. She knows what Daryl thinks about the others, but they all chose exactly what she always chooses. Maybe they're not all idiots.
"Come on in, guys!" Jeff calls out as the two tribes come in from the directions of their camps and meet on their mats. Daryl looks over to see the other tribe. "Degar getting their first look at the new Kinh tribe. Bob voted out at last night's Tribal Council."
Daryl finds himself not really all that surprised even though everyone else is gasping and murmuring like they never saw that one coming.
"Ready for your next rewards challenge?" Jeff asks.
"On my signal, one person from each tribe is going to swim out and unhook a bag from a rope beneath the water. You swim back with the bag and the next person goes. There are five bags. Once a tribe has all five bags, the remaining members must put together a puzzle from the pieces in the bag that spells out a phrase. Whoever puts their puzzle together correctly first, wins reward.
"And this is what you are playing for." Jeff pulls off the first cloth. "Degar, you chose the tarp and rope, the fishing kit and jars of peanut butter." He pulls off the second cloth. "Kinh, you chose the tarp and rope, blankets and pillows and the bag of potatoes.
"Any questions? Degar, you have one extra member so you'll be sitting someone out. I'll give you a minute to strategize and then we'll get started."
"I would like to do the puzzle," Beth speaks up the instant they're in the huddle.
"Hold on," Aiden frowns. "Who's good at swimming?"
"Not me," T-Dog admits.
"Are you good at puzzles?" Aiden asks.
"Puzzles, I can do," T-Dog nods.
Aiden looks to Daryl. "You a good swimmer?"
Daryl shrugs. "Good enough."
Aiden then looks to Beth. "Are you a good swimmer?"
"Yes," Beth answers truthfully and she has always wanted to do a puzzle on Survivor, but if she has to swim to get that jar of peanut butter, then that is what she'll do. And hopefully, she'll get the chance to do another puzzle.
"Survivors, ready?" Jeff calls out and Beth shakes her hands out as she takes her stance on the mat. "Go!"
Beth takes off running across the beach and into the shallow water as fast as she can and once she is deep enough, he dives seamlessly beneath the surface of the ocean.
The rest of the Degar tribe can't help but watch from the beach with their mouths hanging slightly open in shock and then once they get over it, they start cheering wildly for Beth as her head pops up at the first marker – far ahead of the swimmer from the other tribe. She takes a big gulp of air and then sinks beneath the surface, un-clipping the bag of puzzle pieces.
"Beth has given Degar a big lead!" Jeff announces as Beth glides through the water as easily as if she was a fish and then is running from the water back to her tribe's mat on the beach. "Already back with their first bag of puzzle pieces and Karen hasn't even gotten Kinh's first bag un-clipped yet. Jessie running into the water to get Degar's second bag!"
Beth is panting heavily and she watches with the rest of her tribe, cheering Jessie on.
"That was amazin'," Daryl says from next to her.
Beth laughs a little, looking up at him, and she feels a tightening in her chest when he moves his eyes to look down at her. "High School Swim Team. All state," she boasts.
Daryl smirks. "And you wanted to do the puzzle."
"Y-O-U-G-E-T-R-E-W-A-R-D. Degar! Wins reward!"
The tribe explodes in cheers and Beth is so euphoric that they have fishing gear and peanut butter, she can't stop herself from leaping into Daryl's arms and hugging him. And maybe he doesn't seem to mind since he's holding her up and hugging her, too.
None are surprised when Daryl takes their fishing equipment and just a bit of time later, he comes out of the ocean with eight fish on the line. They build up the fire and he shows them all how to gut them, too, and they eat fish and rice with a dessert of fingers of peanut butter.
"We've won three in a row. Let's keep it up," Aiden said.
"Immunity is ours tomorrow," Jared grins and they all laugh and agree except for Beth and Daryl is quiet as always.
Beth has seen enough episodes to know that the last thing they need to be is cocky.
"First things first. Beth, I will take the idol back," Jeff says and steps forward to take the idol Beth is holding out towards him. "Once again, immunity is back up for grabs. Your challenge today, in pairs of two, you will run down and with your partner, you will roll the large wooden blocks back to your mat. Once you and your team have all of your blocks, you need to build a staircase and if put together the correct way, the blocks will spell out your tribe name on the side.
"Whichever tribe puts together their staircase, gets everyone up to the platform and raises their tribe's flag first wins immunity and are safe from Tribal Council tonight.
"Degar, you have one extra team member. You need to sit someone out and it cannot be the same person you sat out during the rewards challenge. Any questions? I'll give you a minute to strategize and then we'll get started."
"Alright. First up for Degar is Beth and Daryl. And for Kinh, we have Jim and Eugene. Survivors ready? For immunity. Go!"
Daryl and Beth take off running down the beach as quickly as they can to their first blue block and Beth grunts when she and Daryl began turning it, rolling back towards their mat. It is a lot heavier than it looks and by the time she and Daryl get their block to the mat, she is sweating and out of breath.
"Both tribes are nearly tied with two blocks each!"
Daryl shakes his hands out and he looks to Aiden and the other nods and when T-Dog and Miranda get back with their block, Daryl and Aiden take off to get their second to last.
"Both teams have all of their blocks on the mat and can begin work on their staircase!"
Beth studies the sides of each one – or at least she tries to – but Aiden is already shouting at them to move this one or that one and the others are following.
"No!" Beth yells back at him so everyone can hear. "You need to put that one here! That doesn't go there!"
"Yes, it does!" Aiden shouts back. "Where else would it go, Beth?"
"Right there!" Beth is pointing, but Aiden continues to ignore her and move the blocks to where he wants to put them.
"Degar is not listening to one another as they argue about the placement of the puzzles. Kinh, almost done with their staircase."
"Just stop," Jessie demands. "Let's look this over one more time."
"Kinh has their staircase together! They just need every one up to the platform… and Karen raises the flag! Kinh! Wins Immunity!"
The Kinh tribe explodes with cheers as the Degar tribe all seem to deflate. Beth leans forward, folding her arms against one of the blocks and resting her head against them. Tribal Council tonight. She knows what to do.
They stand waist-deep in the ocean and Daryl looks over to Beth as she scrubs water over her arms, washing them off.
"Who we votin' for tonight?" Daryl asks her.
"Nicholas," she answers without pause.
"He's Aiden's right hand man and we're going to show Aiden that he's not in charge."
Daryl smirks a little at that. "A'right," he nods his head. "Why just not vote for Aiden?"
"Not yet. He's an ass, but he's too good at challenges to get rid of him right now. It's all about winning challenges to get us to the merge. Once we get to the merge, we can take him out whenever we want."
"You already thinkin' 'bout the merge?" Daryl asks.
Beth smiles at him. "Ten steps ahead," is all she says and he smiles. "I'm going to tell T-Dog about the idol," she then says. "What do you think about him?"
"Seems like a decent guy," Daryl shrugs.
"I think he'll be good to have on our side," Beth continues thinking out loud. "And he and Miranda seem like they're pretty clos so he might be able to bring her along."
She sees T-Dog on the beach and she leaves the water to go to him. Daryl watches as she speaks with him and a moment later, both are wading back into the water towards Daryl.
"Nicholas?" T-Dog asks, looking to Daryl.
"Guy's an idiot and 'as been pretty useless. Jus' does what Aiden tells 'im to," Daryl says.
"Very true," T-Dog nods, stroking his chin. He then looks back and forth between Beth and Daryl before settling on Beth. "You two in an alliance?"
Daryl thinks Beth is going to deny it like she said that she would.
"Yes," she answers. "And I have the idol."
T-Dog's eyebrows shoot up. "Already? How'd you find it?"
"I looked," Beth shrugged and T-Dog grins at that.
"You talkin' an alliance?" He then asks.
"Top three," Beth nods with a smile.
T-Dog looks at Daryl and then at Beth with a grin and nods. "I'm good with that. We still don't have the numbers. Aiden and Nicholas are going to be voting for you tonight."
Daryl scowls at that. "She's the best swimmer in the whole damn game."
T-Dog shrugs. "They don't think they need her."
Beth looks to Daryl. "I told you." He is still frowning as she looks back to T-Dog. "Who else is on their side?"
"Seems like Jared. He's become a little lap dog. Maybe Agatha, too," T-Dog replies.
Beth nods and leaning over, she splashes some water on her face. "I'm going to go talk with the other girls." She leaves them, wading back towards the shore, and Daryl watches her go.
T-Dog watches her go, too. "And though she be but little, she is fierce."
Daryl smirks at that and nods in agreement. He's glad he's in alliance with Beth. He'd hate to be the one to piss her off like that.
"Everyone, take a torch and light it in the fire," Jeff instructs. "In this game, fire represents life. When your fire is gone, so are you."
Daryl nearly rolls his eyes at the over-dramatics, but he doesn't and follows everyone's lead before sitting down on one of the stools, Beth sitting down in front of him.
"So, first time at Tribal Council. What are your thoughts? Beth?" Jeff asks after he sits, too.
"I have seen every episode of this show and just sitting here, it's a little surreal," Beth smiles. "But I know how dirty the first tribal council can be and anything can happen."
"Aiden, are you expecting it to be dirty?" Jeff looks to the man.
"No," Aiden shakes his head with his best charming smile. "I've spoken to just about everyone and we all seem to be in agreement with who is going tonight."
"Agatha, is that true?" Jeff asks. "Are you all in agreement of who you are voting for?"
Agatha shrugs. "It seems like there are certain people in this tribe who would love to control everything that everyone else does."
"Daryl, is she talking about Aiden?"
"She's not talkin' 'bout me, that's for sure," Daryl answers and there is soft laughter.
Jeff smiles. "Well, let's see if you are all in agreement. Let's vote. Beth, you're first."
Beth practically hops up from her stool and walks up the little bridge that leads to the table where there is parchment and a pen. Everyone takes their turn and when it's Daryl's turn, he walks the same path, and at the table, he writes down Nicholas's name without hesitating. He already talked with Beth about it and she's not using the idol. She's pretty sure that she has the numbers on their side and Daryl knows that she knows what she is doing, but he really hopes she knows what she's doing because he has no idea what he would do without her in this game. He can't imagine making it too far without her. She has the brains for this. He may be one of the stronger ones on the team, but he's not much else.
He's the last one to vote and once he comes back to sit down on his stool, Jeff nods to them.
"I'll go tally the votes," he says.
Beth turns on her stool just enough to give Daryl a little smile and he smiles a little, too.
Jeff returns with the basket where the votes are. "If anybody has a hidden immunity idol and you want to play it, now would be the time to do so."
No one moves.
"Alright. First vote," Jeff pulls out the parchment of paper. "Beth."
And even though he knew she was going to be getting votes, Daryl still feels himself tense.
"Second vote. Beth," Jeff reads the parchment and turns it so they can all see her name.
"Third vote. Nicholas. That's two votes, Beth. One vote, Nicholas."
He can't see her face, but Daryl knows that Beth is trying to hide a smile.
"Fourth vote, Nicholas. Two votes, Nicholas. Two votes, Beth."
"Fifth vote, Beth. Three votes, Beth. Two votes, Nicholas."
From the corner of his eye, he can see Nicholas sitting on the stool next to him, smiling.
One million dollars, Daryl, Daryl speaks to himself in his head. Can't punch him or you get kicked off and can't get the money.
"Sixth vote, Nicholas. We are now tied. Three votes for Beth. Three votes for Nicholas. Next vote." Jeff opens the parchment. "Seventh vote, Nicholas. Four votes, Nicholas. Three votes, Beth. Seventh vote…" he opens the next parchment. "Nicholas. Five votes, Nicholas. Three votes, Beth."
Daryl can see Nicholas's smile slipping and he almost starts smiling himself.
Jeff opens the next parchment. "Second person voted out of Survivor: Vietnam." He turns the paper over so they can see the name. "Nicholas."
"Son of a bitch," Nicholas whispers.
"Nicholas, bring me your torch," Jeff instructs as Nicholas stands up.
Beth turns on her stool and gives a sweet-as-apple-pie smile at Aiden, who is still looking a little confused as to what just happened, but then he sees Beth smiling at him and his jaw tightens.
"Nicholas, the tribe has spoken," Jeff says and snuffs Nicholas's torch out. They watch Nicholas walk out of the Tribal Council area and then Jeff turns back towards the rest of them. "Well, it would seem that Nicholas, and a few of you, did not see that coming. Maybe the person who thinks is in charge actually isn't in charge at all."
Beth turns to look back at Daryl behind her and they share a small smile.
"Grab your torches and head back to camp. See you tomorrow."
As they all stand up to get their torches, Beth leans in towards Daryl and slips her hand into his. He looks down to her and she gives him a smile as he squeezes his hand. Daryl feels himself smiling a little. Aligning himself with this little thing was obviously the best thing he could have done for himself.
Two down. Sixteen more to go until he and Beth are in the final two.
Thank you very much for reading and please take a moment to review!