I take no claim for any of the Walking Dead themes or characters.
Here's a new Darryl/OC for you Walking Dead fans out there! Hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think and if you'd like me to continue, please.
It was a mistake to walk this far into the woods. Walkers were everywhere. He could hear them groaning from all directions, sticks snapping underneath their heavy and sloppy feet. The slow and imprecise crunching of leaves sounded all around him. Daryl Dixon certainly didn't have enough arrows to shoot every one of them, and even if he did, he didn't have enough time to take them all down. There were just too many for him to take care of himself, so the only thing he could do at this point was run.
"Fuck this." He groaned angrily and slapped his crossbow over his shoulder, securing it and devising a plan as he ran.
Running straight to the camp would be too dangerous. If he lead the walkers back it would be disastrous. Not that he particularly cared for any of the people there though. He knew they all looked down on him and thought he was no good. He didn't give a shit though. For now he would stay with the group. What else would he do? In the back of his mind he knew that his brother, Merle, was probably walker food by this point. If the trail of blood from his hand hadn't lead the walkers to him by now, Daryl figured his damn overconfidence and stupidity would have done the trick.
The branches flew by him as he made progress away from the swarm. He looked back quickly and saw that the group behind him had diminished greatly. Several had tripped on the roots veining over the dirt ground, others had been distracted by other noises in the woods. Daryl took off east, away from the camp, and blazed through the trees.
The squirrels and few rabbits he had collected bluntly swung from his belt, drumming a constant beat onto his thigh. He was looking for the girl, Sophia, and had encountered the small game along the way. Maybe if he could circle back around to where he was headed he could still search the area he had intended to today.
After acquiring a map from the old doctor, Hershel Greene, the group had been marking places they had already looked as well as other likely areas they could travel to within the coming weeks. Daryl saw an area he thought he was likely; close to a larger part of the stream but not yet close enough to the highway they had lost her near, and headed out at dawn.
He ran for a while, veering first away from the camp, then wrapping back around to the section of land he wanted to search. It was a quick job getting rid of the walkers. For creatures that ate brains you'd think they'd be smarter. Daryl laughed to himself and slowed his pace, carefully combing through the trees for any signs of life, either natural or unnatural.
The area was quiet besides the twinkling of running water in the brook. The water was deeper here, more of a place for fishing than the shallow water Rick had lost her in. Sharply gazing through the trees, Daryl spotted an old fishing shack up ahead. It half sat on the water, a tiny dock underneath it. The wooden sides looked old and slightly rotted, however it was still a good shelter despite its age.
With his eyes on the building ahead, Daryl walked closer. His eyes shot to the ground for a moment, noticing something among the brush. An old, rusted hammer lay haphazardly underneath some ferns. His eyebrows furrowed in confusion and he quickly reached his strong, thick arm up over his wide shoulder and grabbed the crossbow he strapped to his back earlier. Holding it in front of him, he peered through the sights and walked up to the old building like a panther stalking its prey.
Turning a corner to face the door, his eyes went a little wider than normal. His scruffy jaw dropped almost unnoticeably and he gripped his crossbow even tighter.
The door of the small, ten foot by ten foot shack had been completely boarded up from the outside. It was hastily done, with nails half hanging out, bent, and unevenly placed. There were dozens upon dozens of different sized nails lining the boards planked over the door. Claw marks scratched into the wooden boards at all angles. A bucket of white paint had been chucked onto the ground near the left side of the wall, its contents long spilt onto the surrounding ground and grass like starchy white vomit. The brush had dried to the inside of the container, leaves stuck to the bristles for what looked like a long while.
The reason for the bucket of paint and brush was clear. A message had been sloppily painted onto the wooden boards, drips of paint leaked from the letters and down the wooden siding.
Daryl paused, soaking in the gravity of the note.
Sure, he had seen the graffiti around Atlanta when the other survivors had spray painted sayings like "Dead Inside" on various garages, signs, buildings and doorsto warn other survivors who come across the area, but never had he seen something like this.
His mind raced. Did that mean that someone was in there? The message says their alive, but who knows how long they have been trapped in there. Was it more than one person? Why were they boarded inside in the first place? Who exactly boarded them in anyways?
Daryl looked around the surrounding area to make sure there were no walkers lurking about. After making sure the coast was clear, he lowered his crossbow slightly.
"Anybody in there?" He quietly called out, his neck slightly craning towards the blocked door.
Nothing called back.
Speaking up, he walked closer and tried again. "Is there anybody in there?"
Daryl closed his sharp blue eyes and focused his ears on the inside of the fishing hut. Ever so softly, he heard a reply.
It was female, and it was weak. It was alive.
His eyes sprang open and he jumped, almost tripping on a root below him. A plan immediately came into place in his mind and he moved into action.
Re-strapping his crossbow to his back, Daryl ran back twenty feet to the patch of green ferns hiding the hammer he came across several minutes ago. His dirty hand wove through the leaves, searching for the tool that would help him get the girl out from the shack. After only a few second of fruitless search, Daryl started ripping the plants out of the ground. The dirt clumped roots showered chunks of soil onto his knees and boots before he chucked the ferns behind him in haste. His fingers groped the hammer and he yanked its half buried handle out of the ground. Daryl sprinted through the trees back to the fishing shack with the newly acquired tool.
"I'mma get you out, miss," Daryl called out loudly to the girl, hoping she was still conscious enough to understand.
One by one Daryl yanked out the old rusted, half bent nails, letting them fall to the ground like a metallic rain. If a nail was stuck he banged the damn thing until the wood broke off in chunks. He worked from the top to the bottom, ripping off the boards once the nails were mostly all out and chucked them into the woods.
After seven boards he grew frustrated. Whoever did this made sure that nothing would easily be able to break in. It looked sloppily done at first glance, but the construction was almost masterful. Daryl was a strong man and could take care of himself but other people would have a rough job deconstructing this.
He worked diligently and silently. Enough noise was already being made from the hammer and the ever constant cracking and splintering of wood. Every few moments Daryl paused and listened for anything approaching the area. Nothing so far.
After yanking off the last board, Daryl dropped the hammer by his feet with a thud. The door to the shed was riddled with holes from the nails. Daryl pushed gripped the old knob and pushed it open quickly. Sunlight leaked though the door and illuminated the damp room. The only source of sunlight came from a window on the far side that had been left open an inch, but he could tell it was also nailed shut. It was open for ventilation only, not for entrance.
Underneath the window was a body of the girl who had called out, laying on the wooden floor. It was frail and lithe. Her skin was pale like the moon but covered in dirt smudges. She was scrunched up in the fetal position and holding her knees to her chest. Daryl could barely tell she was breathing.
The sound of his boots reverberated around the one room shack as he softly tred inside, dodging empty cans of food. When he reached the girl he knelt on one knee next to her. Her face was covered by her hair. It was extremely long, trailing off around her in loose dark auburn curls.
"Can you stand?" Daryl's voice broke the silence.
The girl, probably in her very early twenties, moved for the first time. She took in a deep breath and opened her eyes. They were the color of icebergs. As soon as she moved she winced.
A delicate, thin fingered hand lifted itself from her knees and brushed some of the tendrils of hair out of her face. She was wearing cut-off jean shorts and a billowy pale blue top with lace trim. Her face looked exhausted, famished, worried, and afraid. There were smudged trails of tears underneath her extremely pale blue eyes. Daryl could tell she was wounded, but couldn't tell where.
Focusing in on her, he spoke, "Where are ya' hurt?"
The girl pointed down. Daryl looked down at the girl's leg and noticed the swelling around her ankle.
Holding a hand up to his forehead, Daryl shook his head, "Shit, that looks bad."
It was quiet for a moment while Daryl stared at her. She was beautiful, even with the dirt all over her. Her frame was small, she was short as well, probably only about 5'5''. She couldn't weigh more than a hundred pounds. Her waist was tapered and small, her bosoms were round along with her bottom. Daryl was pretty sure he could hold both of her wrists in one of his hands. She was delicately beautiful. Frail. Breakable. He felt himself wanting to protect her.
A look of terror overcame her face. She looked outside of the door, her thoughts far away from the small hut. Immediately she sat up and pushed herself backwards into a corner, holding her knees back to her. Small, quiet whimpers came from her full, pink lips.
Daryl whipped his head around to the entrance of the fishing shack. Instinctively he grabbed hold of the crossbow on his back and held it up in front of him.
Distant twigs snapped. Low growls called from up the stream.
"Fuck!" Daryl yelled and lowly turned his head back to the girl shaking in the corner. He got to his feet quickly and jumped over to the corner where she sat, leaning over and picking her up by the waist, hoisting her up over his shoulder. "We've gotta' hit the road, doll."
The girl didn't struggle; all she did was secure herself onto the stranger's shoulder and hugged him around the waist tightly, shutting her eyes.
Daryl held her by the back of her thighs and took off running out of the shack and back towards the camp. A wandering walker was up ahead of them. It shuffled across the floor like a deranged raccoon. It was missing an arm, but what was left of it had wriggling maggots weaving across the bloody stump. Its clothes were torn and rank. Aiming and shooting, Daryl's arrow sliced through the dead man's eye. The body fell to the floor with a thump. As soon as Daryl caught up to it, he retrieved the dripping arrow with ease and reloaded.
The pack from before must have relocated him and caught up. He didn't do a good enough job losing them. "Fuck me," he muttered underneath his breath.
A female walker was crawling over the ground. She was missing half of her face; the only thing left on one side was yellowed skull and mangled brain matter. Daryl kicked her in the face to finish off the job someone had previously started and kept running.
The girl on his shoulder squeaked in fear every time she felt him kill one of the walkers. Unintentionally Daryl found himself rubbing her thigh in comfort as he made his way back through the trees, killing walkers along the way. A trail of rotting corpses laid behind them like breadcrumbs in a fairytale. Even though the girl was extremely light, after a while of carrying her he felt the muscles in his shoulder and upper back start to ache. With every leap he took across the woods Daryl felt the girl bobbing slightly, her breasts bumping against his back.
The sky was starting to deepen in hue. The afternoon sun was falling to dusk. Daryl's breath came in heavy and labored. He hadn't seen another walked in a while and figured he had killed most of them. It was getting dark in the forest.
Daryl could see the break in the trees up ahead. His legs bound even faster and his breathing became even louder. Hershel's farm house loomed in the distance. Eyes on the destination, Daryl sped up as fast as he could travel, now darting through an overgrown field of wheat. He heard the girl yelp and then go quiet. Daryl felt a presence and paused. Turning to the left, he spotted a sickly hand on her shoulder. A half eaten walker lay hidden amongst the brush, growling and snarling.
"Fuck off!" Daryl shot the walker through his mouth then pulled the arrow back out. He stomped on its head until blood and flesh squished out from underneath his boot. Daryl yelled with every hit.
Kicking its decrepit arm away from them, Daryl readjusted the girl on his shoulder and started running back to their camp on the edge of the Hershel property. Her arms no longer held his waist, instead they hung from her shoulders limply swinging back and forth with every step he took. She must have fainted, either from being frightened or from the pain her ankle was in. It was probably stressed out from being upside down and smacking into his chest every few seconds.
It was only a few moments before he made it to the camp. Almost there, he slightly changed paths and darted to the farm house instead. Daryl jumped up the steps two at a time and banged on the front door.
"Daryl what's going on?" Rick Grimes called from behind him. The cop jogged up to Daryl on the front porch.
"What that fuck does it look like I'm doin'?" Daryl pounded on the door again. "Would somebody open tha' fuckin' door! God dammit!"
Rick noticed the girl on his shoulder and bent down to inspect her, a worried look in his eyes, "Sophia?"
"No," Daryl answered quickly.
The front door opened and a slightly annoyed Hershel Greene stood inside the home, his arm holding onto the door jam, "What exactly do you mean by slamming on my door at this time in the evening?" His stern eyes glanced at Rick like it was his doing.
Daryl pushed his way inside and stomped into the room where Rick's boy, Carl, had been healing the day before. He laid the girl onto the bed gently and looked up to Hershel Greene, "Can you fix 'er up?"
Hershel looked mildly flabbergasted at the intrusion, but his relative good nature came in and he briskly walked to the bedside.
Rick followed and continued to ask questions, "Who is she, Daryl?"
Man, this guy just does not shut up. Daryl shook his head in annoyance and threw his hands out in front of him, "How tha' fuck do I know, officer? I just want you to fix her."
The commotion brought the attention of the other people in the house and on the property. Beth and Maggie Greene, Hershel's daughters, walked into the room with concerned looks on their faces. Maggie's eyes went wide and she put a hand to her mouth, "She bit?"
Rick, who was also about to say the same thing, turned to Daryl as well with an expectant look on his face.
Daryl shook his head, "Naw, she 'aint bit."
Hershel had been inspecting the unconscious girl and called to one of his daughters, "I need some antiseptic, hot towels, and bandages."
Beth took off quickly to retrieve the items. Maggie lingered for a moment with a concerned look, but quickly followed her sister.
Daryl felt Rick grab his muscled arm and pull him out of the room and out onto the porch. He followed the officer begrudgingly, waiting for the questioning he knew was coming.