Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, just playing with 'em. Cuz they're fun.

Author's Note: Written for a prompt over on twd_kinkmeme. The gist of it was Rick/Daryl, gentle!Rick, confused!Daryl, and smexy times. Takes place between 2.05 "Chupacabra" and 2.07 "Pretty Much Dead Already". WARNING: this contains sexual content (explicit), references to past physical/sexual abuse (not explicit) and some language (Daryl has a dirty mouth). Don't like, please DON'T READ.

It was almost the middle of the night and Daryl was struggling to sit up when he heard boots crunching in the gravel outside his tent. The steps were heavy, deliberate, and the tracker immediately recognized Rick's gait. Seconds later the former deputy sheriff was in his tent without a word of warning. Daryl's hackles raised at the breech of his privacy.


The words rushed out of his throat in a heavy breath when Rick grabbed his shoulders and forced him onto his back. Daryl's arms and legs flailed up in an instinctual drive to fight back, making pain shoot through his side as he tugged at his stitches. Rick was suddenly on top of him, pinning his wrists at either side of his head and straddling the smaller man's narrow hips, restricting his thrashing. Before Daryl could begin yelling, cursing, telling Rick to get the fuck off of him, who did he think he was, the other man's mouth was on his. Daryl choked on the air in his throat, eyes wide and clouded with a memory he never wanted to relive again.

But Rick is gentle, not demanding more than Daryl is willing to give. They remained like that for a handful of heartbeats, the former cop's mouth working against the hunter's, but going no further. Rick's grip on his wrists loosened, fingertips brushing lightly over the sensitive skin over Daryl's thrumming pulse. When Daryl sighed into Rick's mouth, body going lax, their kiss broke. Rick's face was flushed when he looked at Daryl, expression sheepish and soft, blue eyes going dark with something the younger man never thought would be turned in his direction. Lust. Desire.

"I'm sorry," Rick whispered, feathery touches moving across Daryl's brow, down his cheek, over his lips. Daryl could have easily shoved him away, but part of him was painfully unsure whether the other man would respect that, so he remained still. "I'm sorry," He repeated, fingers hesitating over the the line of stitches over Daryl's temple. Rick let out a stuttery breath, finally tracing the line of a bullet that could've ended the man's life with the pad of his index finger, ever so gentle and barely there. Something passed over Rick's face, something Daryl couldn't quite define, and he leaned down, kissing Daryl's temple. The hunter couldn't stop himself from flinching. If Rick saw it, he said nothing.

Rick eased his body back, pressing down on Daryl's groin, making the man's breath hitch.

"Why are you doing this?" Daryl whispered before he could lose his nerve, forcing his eyes to remain open. Rick drew back, hand replacing his lips on Daryl's face.

"We almost lost you. I could've lost you, and..." The words seemed to die in his throat, but his expression spoke volumes. He leaned in again, lips barely brushing over Daryl's. "You mean so much to me. Maybe more than you should, but I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't tell you."

He sat up, releasing Daryl's arms, and the hunter told himself that he imagined the longing brush of Rick's calloused hands over his skin.

"I pushed you. I overstepped my bounds and...I'm sorry."

The words weren't empty or hollow. His expression was earnest and pained. He was being sincere, and a small part of Daryl felt a pang of guilt that he had doubted the man. Rick had never been anything but a straight-shooter with him, but trust was something Daryl had learned to keep back at all costs. He learned it the hard way, and had the marks over his body to prove it.

He wanted so badly to trust Rick, but he had no idea how.

Daryl's hand shot out as he felt Rick shift over him, preparing to leave. He tangled his hand in the man's button down shirt and pulled him close. He felt Rick's breath puff against his lips before their mouths met again, forceful and desperate. Daryl ripped Rick's shirt open, sliding his hands over the man's bare torso. He wanted this, if he was honest with himself he'd wanted this for a long time, but he knew how it worked. It was fast, and bruising, and shed blood, because that's how men do it.

Another lesson that got carved into his skin long ago.

Daryl wrapped his legs around Rick's waist, forcing their bodies together. He coaxed Rick's tongue into his own mouth, giving the man free reign to explore every inch.

Rick's hand was warm on Daryl's bare chest, fingers tracing the lines of a past Daryl had worked very hard to become more than. The hunter barely supressed the shudder that twined up his spine at a surge of memories best left alone.

Rick broke the kiss, mouthing the line of Daryl's jaw. His hand slid over Daryl's skin, curling around the back of his neck and slipping into his hair, cradling the back of the younger man's head. When Rick sucked at a tender spot on Daryl's throat, hard enough to leave a mark, Daryl's breath hitched again, fingers curling to press into the long muscles of Rick's back.

"Rick," Daryl caught himself when he felt something like a plea bubble up.

"I know, Daryl," Rick whispered, licking at Daryl's earlobe. He was breathless, and Daryl could feel the heat of Rick's hard cock against his lower stomach. He nearly shook at the knowledge that he was the one to do this to Rick Grimes.

Rick's other hand moved down Daryl's body to the front of his pants, close and warm on his skin so the hunter could trace it's path. Daryl almost realized that Rick was doing it deliberately, making sure not to startle him, but then his jeans were open and Rick's hand was hot on his dick.

Daryl inhaled sharply, arching to Rick's body above him. Rick tipped Daryl's face back toward him and kissed him, sweet and tender. Daryl's heart stuttered as he waited for the other shoe to drop.

Rick's hand began to move, stroking Daryl's cock until the smaller man was shaking with need, clinging to Rick like a lifeline.

"Rick." Daryl's voice was strained against the other man's lips as he fought to remain in control. His thighs were locked around Rick's hips, short nails biting into his skin.

He didn't have to say anything more. Rick knew every nuance, every subtlety of Daryl Dixon's nature. He always told himself it was necessary.

Rick broke the kiss, drawing back far enough to begin sliding Daryl's jeans down his slim hips. As soon as they were gone Daryl began working at Rick's own pants, undoing them with slightly trembling hands. He grit his teeth in frustration at his own inability to control the tremor.

Rick caught Daryl's hands in his own when the younger man began pushing his khakis down. He met Daryl's blue eyes and held them firmly as he lifted the hunter's rough hands to his lips, kissing his palms. Daryl let out a shaky breath he didn't know he'd been holding.

Rick guided Daryl's hands to his hips again, leaning down to kiss him gently. Daryl pushed Rick's pants down to his knees with a steady touch, and the former deputy stood briefly to shed them entirely. His pants and shirt joined Daryl's clothes on the floor of the tent. When their eyes met again, time seemed to freeze, the air heavy with something undefinable. Rick's gaze finally slid down to Daryl's chest, and in the dim firelight filtering through the cloth wall of the tent he got a good look at the dark scars covering Daryl's body. Lines deepened between his brows, and he sat on the edge of the cot, reaching out with a hesitant hand.

"Who...how..." Rick was unable to finish his thoughts, too caught up in the implications of what he was seeing. His fingers had just barely brushed the thick scar running below Daryl's collarbone when the hunter grabbed it a bit roughly. Rick looked up at Daryl's face, and his eyes were carefully hollow.

"Don't." He whispered, not releasing Rick's hand.

"Who did this?" Rick finally asked, reaching over with his free hand to touch Daryl's forehead, stroking his brow tenderly. Daryl closed his eyes and turned his head away.

"You don't want to know."

Rick leaned in and kissed his temple, climbing back onto the cot. He gently extricated his hand from Daryl's, cupping the younger man's face in both hands and kissing his lips.

"Never again," He murmured once Daryl looked back up at him. "Never."

The hunter slid his hand into Rick's hair and pulled him down into another brief kiss. "Don't lie to me, Rick."

"I've never lied to you," The older man said lowly into Daryl's ear, pressing his nose into his light brown hair. "I never will."

Then Rick was kissing Daryl and it was tender and something like loving and Daryl's never had that before. He'd never had someone who actually showed that they cared.

Something seized in Daryl's chest and suddenly he couldn't breathe. He wrapped his legs around Rick's waist again, pulling him in and grinding up against him desperately. He felt Rick gasp against his mouth, twisting his hips counter to Daryl's own movements.

The hunter reached into the dark and blindly groped for his bag. He easily got a front pocket open and fished out the tube of lubricant he kept there. He pressed it one-handed against Rick's chest, putting some space between them. Rick's fingers closed around tube.

"Always prepared aren't you?" Rick smiled where most would smirk.

"All I could find for my crossbow." Daryl answered flatly. Rick's smile faltered only slightly but Daryl's sharp eyes picked up the brief movement.

Rick opened the tube and spread the cold lubricant on his fingers before setting it aside. He leaned over Daryl once more putting all his weight on one elbow while his wet hand moved down the slim body beneath him. The back of his hand brushed over the hunter's scarred skin, marking it's trail. Rick softly nipped at Daryl's lips as his fingers slipped between the man's legs pressing against his entrance. The hand Daryl didn't have buried in Rick's hair curled over his shoulder, grasping tightly. Rick curled his fingers, pressing inwards gently. One finger slipped in easily, twisting and probing. Daryl easily remained relaxed under his touch, loosening quickly despite the fact it had been a while. Rick withdrew his finger and pressed back in with two, scissoring to stretch the younger man further.

"Rick," Daryl finally grit out, shivering around the deputy's fingers. "Come on."

Rick leaned down, kissing Daryl passionately. He removed his fingers, slicking his cock with the excess lube on his hand and guiding it to the slim hunter's hole. Their kiss broke, and Rick leaned his forehead against Daryl's as he pushed in with agonizing slowness.

Daryl opened willingly beneath him, loose and pliant. The head of Rick's cock breeched the tight muscle, coming to a rest just inside his body. Rick stilled, panting against Daryl's mouth. The younger man's short nails bit into Rick's skin.

Daryl finally growled quietly, tightening his grip on the former deputy over him and bearing down, pulling Rick further into his own body.

"Daryl," Rick gasped out breathlessly. "Daryl, wait."

Daryl moved his legs, hooking them over the back of Rick's thighs, and pulled Rick into him to the base in one smooth move. Rick cried out wordlessly at the sudden tight heat engulfing his cock. The head brushed something inside Daryl, sending stars across his eyes, making him grit his teeth and arch his back. The movement pulled his stitches, and this time Daryl couldn't stop himself from crying out in pain. Immediately Rick's hand was on his face, touch light and concerned.


"Just move." He said around clenched teeth, trying to will away the fire in his side. Rick said nothing, just carefully began to slip out of Daryl. The hunter tried to tighten his grasp on Rick, but pain flared up again, making him hiss. Rick used the distraction to extricate himself, taking Daryl's hands in his once more.

"Move onto your side." He said gently.

"'M fine." Daryl growled, jaw still painfully tight.

"No, you're not," Rick's voice left no room for argument. "I don't want to hurt you, Daryl."

"Why not?" Daryl shot back. Rick looked down at him for a moment, and Daryl saw the unspoken question on his face.

Then realization dawned in Rick's eyes, and Daryl had to look away. He felt Rick move, and warm lips pressed against the scar across his chest. He closed his eyes tight, biting the inside of his cheek against the unwanted upswell of emotions.

"What they did to you, it wasn't love, you hear me?" Rick murmured into his ear. "You don't hurt the people you care about."

Daryl suddenly pulled his hands out of Rick's grasp and began pushing at his chest. "Get offa me, we're done." He snarled, vision blurred, angry and scared and lashing out at the one person to ever really, really care about him.

Rick's wide hands cupped his face, stilling him instantly. Daryl glared up at him, panting from the effort of fighting back. "If you really don't want this, I'll go. But you need to know that you can't change how I feel. I care about you, do you get that? You're family, you're part of this group," Rick just stared into his eyes for a moment in silence, expression firm. Then he kissed Daryl's forehead slowly before pressing his own against it. "You're not alone anymore."

Daryl's expression fell, eyes closing as he swallowed around the lump in his throat. Rick's hands stroked his skin, too warm against his face.

"Just say the word, and I'll go." Rick whispered.

There was a moment of stillness before Daryl lifted his hands, threading his fingers through the other man's hair. He drew Rick in, kissing him with uncharacteristic softness.

"Stay," Daryl breathed against Rick's lips. "Just...please. Stay." Daryl opened his eyes, finding Rick's face barely inches from his own. "Don't leave me." Rick smiled that tender smile he often turned on his family and kissed the corner of Daryl's mouth.

"I'm here. As long as you want me."

Rick moved from between Daryl's legs, kneeling beside him and guiding him onto his uninjured side with a hand on his sharp hip. Rick laid on his side along Daryl's back, slipping his arm under the smaller man's head and looping it around his shoulders, pulling him flush against his body. Without prompting Daryl drew his top leg up toward his chest, allowing Rick to cross his own leg over Daryl's, pressing the former deputy's hot cock against the hunter's ass. Rick reached between their bodies, guiding his throbbing and still-slick cock to Daryl's hole. He pushed in slowly, listening to Daryl's breathing for any hint of discomfort.

Daryl gasped quietly, reaching back when Rick stilled and flattening his hand on the small of the older man's back. "It's good. Keep going." Rick kissed the back of his neck and pressed forward, stopping only when he was buried to the hilt in tight heat.

"God, Daryl," Rick whispered breathlessly, wrapping his other arm around Daryl's waist while carefully avoiding the bandaged wound on his side. They laid like that in silence, Rick waiting for Daryl to relax around him. His fingers stroked the hunter's scarred stomach lightly, lips caressing the back of Daryl's shoulder. "You feel so amazing."

Daryl's hand disappeared from Rick's back, sliding into his hair again. His head turned, and Rick was there immediately, kissing him hungrily. Daryl rolled his hips, making both of them gasp into each other's mouths.

Without a word, Rick thrust up into the slim body surrounding him, and Daryl bit at his lips. Rick pressed his mouth against curve between Daryl's neck and shoulder, setting a slow pace with his hips. Daryl shifted, freeing the arm he was laying on and reaching down to grasp himself tightly. His mouth fell open in a silent gasp when Rick's cock found the spot within him that made stars bloom in front of his eyes. He involuntarily clenched down on Rick, and the man's hips faltered in their tempo.

"Rick," Daryl whispered, arching back and beginning to stroke himself. Rick pulled him even closer, tilting his own head back and breathing hotly in Daryl's ear. The younger man's grip on his short hair loosened, sliding across the side of Rick's face. The former deputy grasped Daryl's wrist and kissed his palm before entwining their fingers, letting their hands fall to the thin cot mattress.

"D-Daryl," He panted into the man's ear.

"Faster," Daryl urged, and Rick complied.

With every push in Daryl pushed back, grinding his ass against Rick's hips. His hand met the pace of Rick's cock, until the older man knocked it away, his own fingers curling around the hunter's throbbing erection. Daryl inhaled sharply, grasping at Rick's arm, still trapped between himself and the cot, with his now-free hand.

"Rick. Fuck, Rick." Daryl moaned, hand tightening around Rick's as heat built in his belly and slid up his spine. Rick leaned over him, kissing at the corner of his mouth until Daryl turned his head and their lips met.

"Daryl." Rick gasped, feeling his own orgasm building, setting his nerves alight. His forehead met Daryl's, and when his eyes opened the younger man was looking up at him, expression more open then he'd ever seen.

Neither looked away as Rick's pace increased slowly, growing more erratic as they both approached the edge.

"Rick!" Daryl keened softly, the hand not grasping Rick's once more twisting in his short hair. "Rick, God, I'm almost there."

"Me, too." Rick groaned, capturing the hunter's lips with his own.

When Rick twisted his wrist, rubbing the pad of his thumb across the head of Daryl's cock, the hunter came with a cry that was luckily muffled by Rick's mouth. His entire body spasmed, ass clenching down on Rick and pulling the older man over with him.

Rick's hips continued thrusting through his orgasm, moaning into Daryl's mouth. He somehow managed to keep stroking Daryl's cock even as his mind whited out, too lost in just feeling to think.

Rick slowed to a stop as he came back to himself. He released Daryl's spent cock, wiping his hand on the side of the mattress and using it to lift himself off the panting man beneath him. Daryl's head rolled to the side, both of his hands cupped around Rick's. His expression was relaxed, and that made a smile tug at the corners of Rick's mouth.

Rick withdrew from Daryl's body slowly, gently, then laid down beside him, chest still pressed to his back. After a moment Daryl moved, grabbing a shirt from the floor and using it to clean them both, releasing Rick's hand to do so. As soon as Daryl dropped the shirt Rick's arms were back around him, pulling him in close.

"Do you want me to leave?" He whispered against the back of Daryl's neck.

"No," Daryl replied, one hand closing around Rick's wrist. "Stay."

Rick reached down and pulled the blankets up over them. He kissed Daryl's temple then laid back, threading his fingers in the hunter's again. Daryl drew their joined hands up to his mouth, pressing the back of Rick's hand against his lips.

Rick remained awake until Daryl's breathing evened out, hot against the deputy's own fingers, then allowed himself to follow the younger man into slumber. He'd have a shocked group to deal with in the morning if he wasn't careful, but at the moment he couldn't bring himself to care.