A/N: Fill for a prompt on The Walking Dead kink meme: "Daryl and Glenn are by each other when a group of walkers come. Daryl grabs Glenn's hand and runs pulling the kid along." This is also my very first fic for The Walking Dead, so I hope it's well received.
"Whose fuckin' idea was this again?"
Glenn glances over. Daryl's grip on his crossbow is so tight his knuckles are white. Not a good sign. "Shane's." Sort of, anyway. Shane had been the one to recommend they check out the ratty motel, but it had been Rick that had roped Glenn (and by extension, Daryl) into coming. Glenn is seriously regretting that, now.
Apparently so is Daryl. "Remind me to shoot him when we get back."
Glenn snorts, even though he's only half-sure it was a joke. At the moment, watching the herd of walkers that's far too close and shambling closer with every passing second, he's sort of echoing the sentiment. "Where are Rick and T-Dog?"
"Upstairs." Daryl hasn't taken his eyes off the group once since Glenn spotted them. He's got his crossbow at the ready, a bolt already nocked in place, but they both know it won't do them much good. There's too many to take down with just the crossbow and the gun will just attract more. They haven't been spotted yet, but it won't be long before they are. They need to do something before their options run out. "You got any ideas, Short Round?"
Glenn pointedly ignores the nickname and instead focuses on the herd, does some quick thinking, and then looks back at the older man with a sheepish expression. "Hide?" He offers, and Daryl finally breaks his vigil in order to shoot him a gruff look. The Asian man shrugs helpfully in reply, half expecting Daryl to snarl something at him.
Instead, Daryl takes one last look at the walkers and then hunches his shoulders, lowers his crossbow. "Right." He says, more to himself than anything else. He glances around for a moment before his eyes settle back on Glenn, and then he reaches out, suddenly, with his free hand, closes it tight around Glenn's and tugs with urgency. "C'mon."
They don't run. Daryl leads him at a brisk walk, never once letting go of his hand even though Glenn has already fallen into step behind him. In fact, he's not just holding it; he's squeezing it, so firmly Glenn is pretty sure his fingers are starting to tingle. He doesn't complain, though, because he sort of gets it; just squeezes back just as hard and lets the older man tug him around, watching the doors—
"Wait!" And now Glenn is the one doing the tugging. "Wait, wait."
It's the only door without a lock on it. Every other one has led to motel rooms, and they've all been locked – old fashioned key ones, nothing modern about this place – but this one's doorknob lacks a keyhole and it's a different color than the others.
He and Daryl share a look, and then Glenn reaches out, gives the knob a turn, half expecting to be met with resistance, but instead it turns and the door swings open, out, like a fucking godsend. He doesn't even have time to relish the feeling of relief before Daryl is shoving him non-too-gently inside without even looking and then stepping in himself, drawing the door shut behind them.
There's no light, but it's a tiny space, and it smells like bleach and Clorox. A maintenance closet, probably; the sort maids used for supplies. They must've stumbled into the management side of the motel without even realizing, and they're probably better off for it.
The sharp smell of cleaning products will mask their own scent. They might get out of this alive after all.
But still, it's small. There's a shelf in here that's taking up more space than they are, and the only reason Glenn knows that is because it's digging painfully into his shoulder. It's not much wider than it is long, either, so Daryl is pressed right up against him, and there's not even enough room for him to hold his crossbow like this; he has to drop it. Instead his arms end up around Glenn's waist, because it's the only place even remotely comfortable to put them. Glenn doesn't have it in him to get flustered over it; he's too busy trying to calm his racing heart, sure that it's so loud that they'll be heard, found, eaten.
It's so loud, in fact, that he can't hear anything else. There's just his pounding heart and the soft sound of Daryl breathing, right by his ear. He doesn't hear the shuffling of the dead as they go by, but he does see the shadows pass under the door. Both he and Daryl freeze, inhaling but not exhaling; baited breath and muscles clenched so tight it's a wonder something doesn't break. Daryl's fingers dig deep into Glenn's hips, and he's a little bit glad for it, because at that moment, it feels like the only thing keeping him grounded.
They stay like that for what feels like hours, not moving or even breathing. Glenn thinks it's never going to end – the shadows keep passing, one after another, clusters sometimes blocking out the light completely for full stretches of time – but eventually, it slows to a trickle, the time between each dark spell lengthening until finally there's just light, and it's only then that they both relax, just a bit.
Until the door suddenly rattles. Daryl jerks for the knob, scrambles to hold it shut while Glenn instinctively shrinks back against the shelf, ready to bolt as soon as he sees proper light because that's what he does and he's fucking goodat it.
But when the door is yanked open, there's nothing dead on the other side. Just T-Dog and Rick, who must've seen them duck in here from upstairs and waited until it was safe to come fetch them.
Glenn almost laughs, he's so relieved.
Rick looks them over and raises an eyebrow. "Should we give you two a minute?" It sounds like he's teasing, one corner of his lips twitching up. It's then that Glenn realizes what they must look like, Daryl's arms still around him and Glenn pressed close against his side, the both of them probably flushed and rumpled.
Daryl must realize it too, because his ears turn a little bit red and he scowls at the other two. "Shut up." He grumbles, avoiding all of their eyes. He grabs his crossbow and steps out of the closet, Rick and T-Dog stepping aside to give him room. Then, to all of their surprise, he turns right around and reaches back for Glenn, curls his fingers around the Asian man's hand, and tugs him out as well. "You alright?" He asks, and although his expression is a little on the sour side, his tone is one of thinly veiled concern.
There's an awkward moment between them. Daryl refuses to let go of Glenn's hand, and he stares intently at him, like he's looking for some indication that Glenn might be lying to him. It's made even worse when Glenn realizes they might be having a momentin front of Rick and T-Dog, which is actually kind of embarrassing.
"Do you two want to go back into the closet?" Rick offers after a moment, grinning just a bit, the look on his face suggesting that neither of them will hear the end of this for weeks. Their resident cop has a rather evil sense of humor when he's not trying to keep everyone from killing each other, Glenn has found. "Because, you know, we'll wait."
"Fuck you." Daryl shoots back almost immediately, and Glenn can tell the venom in his voice stems entirely from his embarrassment; if he were really pissed, he'd just start swinging. The older man drops Glenn's hand like he's been burned and turns away. "We goin' or what?"
T-Dog snickers and Rick just shakes his head. "Yeah, we're going."
They came in through a dirt access road hidden in the surrounding woods, the sort used by power and utility companies, and that's the way they leave. T-Dog and Rick lead the way, not saying much but not uncomfortable, either.
Glenn falls back with Daryl, the two of them keeping pace but far enough behind that they can talk without being overheard. Normally they'd keep a much tighter formation, weapons at the ready just in case, but they've been using this road for almost three weeks now and haven't spotted a single geek; just a couple of abandoned cars here and there left behind by people that thought they were being smart, taking the back road.
"You know," Glenn says absently, and Daryl grunts at him to show he's listening. He's still bothered by earlier. Glenn thinks it's sort of cute. "If you're going to do things like that, we should probably just come out and tell them."
That seems to get the older man's attention. "What?"
Glenn coughs, wondering if he's just misstepped. "I just… I mean, I don't mind." Truth be told, Glenn sort of likes those moments where he ends up the focus of Daryl's little world. He usually has to wait until they're fucking for that, so it's a nice surprise whenever it happens outside of a tent. "But the others are going to figure us out pretty quick if it keeps happening, and I don't think they'll be too happy if they have to figure it out on… their… own…" He trails off, realizing that Daryl has stopped walking and is now staring at him with a look that Glenn isn't sure how to interpret. "Um…"
"You're an idiot." And before Glenn can think of an appropriate response to that, Daryl is shoving him back against one of those empty cars and kissing him, hard. It doesn't last long, but the force of it is enough that Glenn is dazed when Daryl pulls away. "They already know, dumbass."
It takes Glenn a moment for his brain to catch up with the words, but when it does, his eyes widen and he swings his head to look at T-Dog and Rick, who have stopped walking and are patiently waiting for them to catch up. They're also pointedly not looking at Daryl and Glenn. And, well… shit.
He looks back at Daryl, who isn't even bothering to hide his amusement. He's smiling and everything, in fact, as he lets Glenn go and starts to walk again. "You really thought we was being sneaky?" He asks, and when Glenn looks away and tugs at the brim of his cap to hide his blush, Daryl actually laughs. "With the way youscream in bed? We're lucky the whole damn world don't know yet. Or what's left of it, anyway."
Glenn scowls, but knows he's being baited. Daryl gets a kick out of seeing him flustered and pissed, and he really doesn't want to give him the satisfaction. Instead, he thinks for a split second before grinning smugly and countering, "Yeah, well. Iwasn't the one screaming last night, now, was I?"
"Oh Jesus!" Apparently they're back in the range of the others, because T-Dog immediately looks downright pained. He gives Glenn a dirty look. "I could have gone my whole damn life without ever having that mental image. Goddamn it."
Rick just sniggers.
They start walking again, Daryl and Glenn falling a few steps behind. They're quiet, but not uncomfortably so, and when Daryl reaches out, quick and sure, to take hold of Glenn's hand, palms together and fingers intertwined, gentle this time, Glenn smiles to himself and holds on tight.
Thank you for reading!
Disclaimer: The Walking Dead and all associated characters are the property of whoever owns them. That person is not me.