Warnings: THIS IS UTTER CRACK. Set before "Days Gone By."
Disclaimer: All rights for The Walking Dead go to Robert Kirkman and AMC. The photo in question can be found all over Tumblr.
Andrea had no idea why one of the group had felt the need to grab the box of books and magazines from one of the cars left on the interstate. There were several true crime novels and a couple of back issues of GQ thrown in with what looked like every single Stephen King book ever written. She found the box tucked in the back of T-Dog's van that morning in an attempt to find something less depressing than the Cormac McCarthy book Dale had.
She was planning on taking Daryl the couple of books to read as a sort of "thanks for catching dinner" gift and grabbed the first thing her hand skimmed across.
A couple of the older, thicker GQ issues slid into the dirt from between the two novels her hand closed on. Lori, who was folding laundry with Carol, Amy, and Jacqui just a few feet away, walked over to help her gather everything.
"Thanks. Apparently I'm all butterfingers this week," Andrea joked.
"You're all butterfingers all the time," Amy cracked from her perch by the fire pit.
Lori gasped suddenly. "Oh my God… Is this that Daryl?"
She was holding one of the magazines open to the page it fell open to and the blush staining her cheeks was impressive. Amy was on her feet in seconds and crowding behind the older woman to see what she was staring at.
"Let me see—whoa!" her sister's chin dropped.
Curious, Andrea tucked the books under one arm and she looked upside-down at the page Lori held.
Sure enough, the man in the cologne ad had the same face as the man working in the shade of the pickup just a few yards away. Andrea found herself checking the model's cheek for a familiar mole.
By now, Carol and Jacqui were gathered around Lori. Carol was the one who confirmed it all by pointing out the facial feature Andrea recognized. "It is. See that mole?"
"Wow," Amy muttered. "He looks good when he's not frowning."
"How on earth did Daryl Dixon end up in an ad for Ralph Lauren?" Andrea wondered.
"How'd I what now?"
All five women made similar startled sounds. Daryl, who had an empty water jug in his hand, narrowed his eyes in a gesture Andrea was soon learning was his version of an amused smile. The look (and half the blood in his entire face) drained away, however, when he saw what Andrea held.
The jug kicked up a small dust cloud when he dropped it and he pulled the magazine away from Andrea so fast that she didn't feel the pages move.
"Jesus Christ! Don't wave that shit around. You have any idea what my brother'd do if he saw this?" he whispered.
Jacqui's eyebrows looked like they were trying to meet her hairline. "You were a model, Daryl?" she asked in the same hushed tone.
He shushed her and rolled the magazine into a tight tube.
Amy did her best unintentional impersonation of a fish. "No way!"
"Would y'all hush for Christ's sake? I don't think they heard you in fuckin' Canada," Daryl hissed. While he was distracted by her sister's persistent ability to make noise, Andrea snatched the magazine from him and flipped through it.
"Hey!" he shouted.
Amy smacked his arm. "Canada, was it? Dude, pot meet kettle."
The look on Daryl's face was one Andrea never thought she'd see coming from him. Utter defeat. He looked like he wanted to throw up.
Lori awkwardly patted his shoulder. "Come on, Daryl. It's not that bad."
"Hang on," said Andrea as she flipped through the other copies she found, "there's more than just the one…"
With all of her friends peering over her shoulder, Andrea discovered three ads in total with Daryl Dixon in various states of dress and undress. One in particular had Andrea's brain misfire and she couldn't stop staring at it.
"Aw, fuck," Daryl groaned and looked skyward, praying for God to strike him dead.
Amy and Lori peered at the photo closer and Carol kept staring at the man himself like she was trying to imagine the effect in person.
"Daryl, that's more eye makeup than I've ever worn," Lori whispered.
"Aw, go to so much hell," Daryl grumbled.
"This is weirdly attractive," Andrea muttered under her breath. Amy snickered at her and Jacqui, who was keeping sort of a look out for them, suddenly slapped the magazine shut. Without warning, she rolled it up again and shoved it under Andrea's shirt.
Jacqui smacked her arm. "Hi, Shane," she said and waved at the man walking toward them.
"Hi… Dixon, stop botherin' them. And Carol, Ed said he—"
"Oh, he's not bothering us," Amy interrupted. "He was just entertaining us with some stories from the work he used to do."
Andrea stifled a laugh when Daryl pulled the same "you-did-not-just-say-that" face she often made around her sister.
"While I'm sure it's fascinatin' to hear about the time Dixon got in a bar fight over some floozy, y'all got work to do."
Daryl decided he didn't like Shane. At all. "I was the bartender, you asshole," he snapped. With that, he shoved past Shane on his original mission to fill water jugs.
He'd burn the magazines later.