Hey all!

Here's some more Daryl-ness from me, with a side of 'Caryl' (eventually).

This will be a three-shot, and each chapter is inspired by a different song by the band Black Label Society. Each corresponds to a different aspect of Daryl's character and personality as he grows through the show. I may eventually push past the mid-season finale, or I may stop at it. Not certain yet. I highly recommend listening to the songs as well!

Enjoy and please review!

I disclaim TWD and its affiliates.

A never ending rolling nightmare with no end in sight
I start to drink, get high and smashed, it gets me feeling right
The cage is broke, the tank is full, it's where the violence rules
Drinkin' booze and raisin' rifles, hell straight through and through

'Beserkers', Black Label Society

The world wasn't really as bad as they made it out to be….

Not when you have guns that blow holes the size of softballs through dead and rotting skulls.

Not when you have a crossbow and a machete, and both do just damn fine killing things when the gun happens to be too loud.

Not when you have a stash of drugs in your brother's back pocket, just waiting to take everything that was fucked up in the world away to another place.

It wasn't that bad, really…

Daryl couldn't understand why the people around him always looked so afraid. It was the end of the world, sure, but….

Something like that was bound to happen eventually, right?

The world just couldn't go on and on forever. Nothing ever did.

And in the end, everyone dies. Not exactly something that can be stopped.

He smiled behind the thin line of smoke trailing from his mouth and looked around at the group they'd reluctantly buddied-up with, all curled around their fires like freshly beaten dogs, watching the woods with wide, white eyes. He laughed and pulled on the joint again.

Merle had his meth, but it wasn't good for nighttime. Not if he wanted some sleep. He only used it before going out, if Merle wasn't being a jackass and hoarding it for himself.

The others thought he was always jacked up on the shit. Apparently even the cop couldn't tell the difference between being high on pot and rushin' on meth….

He snickered a little and waved at the man he presumed to be the "leader" of this posse of pathetic cowards. The glare he received in return had him laughing enough to startle the blond-haired girl nearby.

Crushing the smoldering joint under his boot, he leaned forward to get a better look at the child near the other fire. Wide-eyed and staring at him, she looked just like all the others. Just another dog, beaten down by the shit-party of the new world. He dipped his head a little towards her and grinned when she glanced away. Girl was scared of everything, it seemed.

His eyes rose a bit and found two more staring into his own. Soft and stern and sad all at the same time, they belonged to the woman now draping a protective arm around her daughter.

He offered her a little wave as well.

Might as well be nice before the weed wore off and he remembered how much he hated himself….

"What the hell? You people act like you never saw a Walker before."

He spat at Shane's boot, bypassing the now splattered brains at his feet. The children in the group were still screaming, being held by their mothers and freaking out over something that was over and done with.

He bumped the cop's shoulder hard as he pushed past him. And yeah, he did it on purpose; dumbass took too long to reach for a weapon when the Walker came stumbling toward the camp. He'd been closer, and he'd had the gun in hand.

If 'President Walsh' wanted to start shit on not using the damn thing, he'd be more than happy to oblige.

The little girl stared at him again as he made his way back to his tent.

He was glad she'd finally stopped crying.

He hated hearing kids cry.

"Goddamn pussies…"

He kind of preferred hunting alone.

Maybe it was more efficient to have Merle with him—after all, four eyes scouting for wild game were better than two—but Merle had a bad habit of never shutting up. He appreciated the need for quiet, and yes, when Merle spoke he did so at a whisper, but dammit, sometimes enough was enough...

Besides, Daryl had the quietest projectile-weapon of the group.

And nobody touched his crossbow but him.

There was one problem he found, though, when alone in the woods for hours on end.

It gave him time to think.

And if there was one thing he hated doing, it was thinking.

Thinking meant allowing himself to acknowledge certain things he'd rather not, like the fact that all of the people around him were probably going to end up Walker-chow someday, or the fact that Merle himself would either be killed by a gun in his face when he mouthed off too much, or overdose on something he cooked up too strong…

Or the fact that his life really sucked, and it really wasn't worth living all that much…

Or the fact that his life had always sucked, and living in an apocalypse was actually a tiny bit better than what he had known growing up…

Thinking brought memories.

Memories brought pain.

He'd rather have Merle whispering nonsense in his ear after all, now that he thought about it…

Anger felt good.

It was something he'd always known, like a familiar food or a good friend.

Or a security blanket.

It felt good to yell, to lash out, to reach up with a balled fist and knock the snot out of someone's head.

It felt good to lunge out at this new guy, this "Rick Grimes", spitting curses and letting all of his concern for Merle spill out in the form of hatred and violence.

It felt good, until 'supercop' caught him in a choke hold (weren't those illegal?) and made him actually listen.

He didn't want to hear Rick's words. He didn't want to hear any apologies or promises and he didn't want to hear his brother's name….

He didn't want to do anything but beat someone's face in.

Doing that would make the worry go away. It would make his knuckles sting and push back the tightness in his chest.

Anger felt good, because without it he'd just remember that his brother was all he had….

And that wasn't much, because Merle was a piece of shit and was never there for him anyway….

So anger felt good.

Violence felt good.

It was who he was and he liked it.

And everyone else could just go to hell.