It's a funny thing, falling in love while the world falls to its knees around you, crumbling with a silent roar. Out of a plane of such desolation and such grief has sprouted this wonderful and vibrant thing, unfolding slowly like the petals of a flower in the spring, kissed by the soft glow of sunlight.

It changes everything for them, this love, shifts everything around and aligns them like magnets, forever drawn to each other above all else.

They are Dean Winchester and Daryl Dixon, and now they are the only things that exist for one another. Their world is not falling apart but growing, becoming brighter and stronger with each passing day, and their world revolves around each other and this new, burgeoning thing that's growing between them. When they're together, they're together, and that's all that matters or all that ever could.

They come together one day at sunset, sitting side by side in front of a dying fire, still glowing embers falling at their feet. One of their hands finds the others, and that's it for them, though neither would ever care to admit it. They stay out there together, hand in hand, until night falls, whereupon they retreat to the tent propped up nearby so that they can be free to touch and to kiss, to learn and to explore.

It's in that tent where they fall in love, shrouded in the rays of the moonlight that filter in through the pores of the fabric. They sit there and they talk and they laugh and they fiddle with their weapons and sometimes they argue and most of the time they fuck, rough canvas scratching at their backs.

They're imperfect in almost all that they do and all that they are, but somehow they're perfect together; like two halves of the same whole, always having been destined to find the other, their one missing piece. Dean had thrown out the idea of soul mates once, once when they were sprawled out on the floor of their tent with their legs intertwined, but after being threatened with a promise that he'd wind up on the wrong end of a certain crossbow should he ever say it again, he'd learned right away not to press the issue.

"'Member what you said?" Daryl had asked, cheeks tinted just the lightest shade of pink. "No chick moments."

"Just a suggestion. Stranger things have happened," Dean had grunted in response, stretching himself out so that the tips of his bare toes stuck out through the front flaps of the tent. "We've gotta get a bigger spot."

"Sure, honey. Let's go house huntin' in the middle of walker territory."

They are protectors and fighters and lovers and friends and brothers, bound together by something far more powerful than blood. They have seen loss and have experienced pain but when they're together, they are together, one unyielding force to be reckoned with. There is nothing that they've faced, or have yet to face, that could be any stronger than they are—of that much they are certain. They are malleable, but not breakable, and they will stand and survive and continue to grow and to love and to learn from one another.

They are Dean Winchester and Daryl Dixon, and they are the light in the bleakest of worlds.

They are the lovers, blossoming from beneath the cracks of their shattered lives.

They are the thing worth fighting for.