Disclaimer: I don't own The Walking Dead.

Summary: She sobbed into the dirt, unable to feel anything other than his strong arm around her waist. DarylCarol, set during 2.07, oneshot

After that monster of an episode last night, these two needed something written about them. Just saying. Oh my goodness. Insanity. Such a good episode. So many heartbreaking moments. The last scene was just…epic and awful and awesome and sad and so many adjectives I can't describe. And I love Daryl. Like so much. Anyway, please enjoy! I'd love to hear your opinions!



One word, one simple and uncomplicated word, rang through her head. Numbness settled into her body, going through every vein, every bone. She thought she may not be able to move, but almost without even registering it, she was running.

A name came crashing from between her lips, dry sobs wracking her body even as she sprinted with all she could to the forefront of the crowd.

Her little girl, the last person she had left, her baby Sophia…


She's a Walker.

"Sophia!" she shouted. She could barely get the words out. Her feet pad on the dirt, and she felt almost like she was flying in the complete and utter mania of it all.

Let her daughter bite her, she didn't care. She didn't care about anything other than holding her baby girl for one last time.

"No!" A grunted dismissal, mocking what she had been thinking in disbelief just before.

A strong arm, yanking her to the ground, pulling her away from what she most wanted.

There was a difference between not finding her, having that little sliver of hope that she would be found alive and safe, and actually seeing her in all of this horrifying reality. Her child, stumbling and dead, groaning like the floorboards of their old home.

Her name, alternated between a simple murmur and a deafening shout, is the only thing that Carol can seem to produce. She can't think of anything else. Can't even imagine anything past this very moment. The dirt swirling around her, everyone's shocked gasps, and Daryl Dixon's arm wrapped firmly around her as he took up the space behind her, lying on the dirt just as she was.

She struggled for a bit, but Daryl's arm was firm. The only anchor to keep her from running out to her daughter - no, no, not your daughter anymore - and subsequently ending herself.

Images flash through her mind, all of her daughter. Her first steps, first birthday, first day of school…

First day after the Walker outbreak, first day seeing her talk animatedly to the Grimes boy, first day without her father…

First day without her

Her daughter stared blankly ahead, and the groans seemed to get louder the closer she got to the group of survivors.

She's so close.

"Sophia!" she shouted again, as if somehow her voice would be able to break through the fog of her mind, as if this was just a phase, like the time Sophia had wanted to be an astronaut, and her mother's voice would somehow break her out of the trance. She reached out a hand and tried to wriggle towards her, as pinned to the ground as she was.

"Shh, shh," came the reassuring sound from above her.

Carol hadn't even realized that Daryl was saying anything to her, she was so pleading with sorrow and unknowing of anything else around her other than her daughter, whose skin was now a sickly gray and her eyes were a dull yellow.

She moved to sit up, Daryl moving his arm accordingly to rest around her shoulder and neck. He was breathing heavily, but it was all background noise to the thoughts of terror that sifted through her mind.

Rick stepped forward, a determinedly grim expression on his face. Raised the gun.

"Don't watch," he murmured.

But she can't help it, her eyes are glued to the scene before her.

A shot, a thud as her daughter's limp body fell to the ground.

Carol buried her face in the dirt, felt Daryl move along with her, saying soothing things that just aren't working, no matter how much she might want them to. The tears come in torrents, now, and her body almost can't take it.

She can't really focus on anything. Nothing except the loose dirt underneath her shaking fingers, the way her vision is blurred by tears, the delayed outcry of everyone. She can hear Lori sob, Carl shout. Everyone started to show their grief in a different way. Dale, Glenn, T-Dog, Rick, Lori, Carl, Andrea, Herchel's group. Not Shane, oh no he couldn't be bothered, right? She grit her teeth and let the sobs shake her body like nothing had before. There was no other feeling she could conjure up to express the utter loss she felt right then. Nothing at all.

"Carol," the voice above her said, gentle and calming. There was no intention with her name, just the mention of it to keep her grounded. She realized she had been making these wounded noises, as if she had been the one shot. In a way, she had.

She can't stop herself, her chest heaving and her heart breaking and everyone around her coming undone. None so much as her, none.

Through blurred eyes, she noticed a hand on the dirt near her. Scarred and tanned and slender, digging its long fingers into the ground like the roots of a tree. She didn't think, only moved her own hand to clasp onto the oddly familiar looking appendage. She gripped hard and let out a strangled scream.

The hand - Daryl's hand, she belatedly realized in her uncaring grief - moved to twine its fingers through her own, shaking, trembling ones.

Carol leaned forward, clenching his hand to her chest, and cried.

The only thing breaking through that were Daryl's lips, pressed lightly to the nape of her neck in that same awkward endearment she had offered him just a day before.

He leaned forward, resting his head to her neck, and let her just cry. Everyone else was comforting each other in their own way, but Carol didn't think there would be any soothing words that would help.

She found that she could smell the roses - the Cherokee Roses, like Daryl had shown her. Somehow, that was what she was sensing right now, with Daryl's sweaty chest pressed against her back and her daughter dead just feet away.

Carol couldn't form any words, nothing coherent for however long she was out there.

She had one thought, though. One thing that somehow kept her from falling off the edge.

I hope those roses keep blooming for my girl.