you've got my heart breakin'
Daryl figures Andrea's sort of pretty, and since he has to be stuck scouting out the area they've delegated themselves to now—it's actually a place he'd gone when he was younger. A sweet little campsite far from any walkers, far from Hershel's farm, far from anything that poses a threat. He thinks they all need a little bit of a break.—with someone, he's glad it's somebody with looks, some common sense, marginal intelligence, and somebody he doesn't feel like shooting with his crossbow half the damn time.
She stands beside him on the gravel road leading to the campsite, too far away to touch, but close enough that he can feel the summer heat rolling off of her skin in waves. He swallows thickly when she wipes a bead of sweat from her forehead. She pulls her thick sun bleached hair into a lopsided bun on top of her head. She fans herself with one hand and turns towards him, jerking her head down the road. "Shall we?" she asks, and he grunts something unintelligible. She rolls her eyes, spearing him with a look and toddling off, wiggling out of her t-shirt as she went. She hangs her t-shirt on a low tree branch, rolling her tan, glistening shoulders, in nothing but a tank top.
Daryl jumps when he realizes Andrea's twenty feet ahead of him, and that he's been staring at her the whole time like a complete moron. Rick blinks at him curiously from his half-assed soccer dad van. He glares at the sheriff, grumbling a gruff "what are you lookin' at?" before he's jogging to catch up with Andrea.
There are times after that when he realizes that she's pretty, but there are also times when he realizes that she's not the conventional pretty like he'd originally thought. No, she's theunconventional kind of beautiful. She's pretty when she wakes up, she's pretty when it's the afternoon and she's sweating and trying her damnedest to hit a cracked plate Daryl's tossing into the air for her to shoot, and she's pretty when she sits beside the fire, talking TV show superheroes with Carl and soap operas with Carol.
Not that anything like that matters anymore; those actors and whoever else are probably dead and reanimated, but it doesn't stop Andrea from bitching about Stefan and Elena and Caroline or something or other from a stupid vampire show she'd been into before the world had went to hell. He secretly thinks she just likes to humor Carl, and talking (not grieving) is sort of comforting to Carol. So, he doesn't make fun of her for having watched too much TV before the Walkers and the end of the world.
He lopes a few more paces until he's in step with Andrea and she gives him a long side glance before she's activated her bitch lawyer mode. She stands tall, pistol held just as he'd shown her, feet ready to break into a run at any moment. She's all business, ready to crack down on any Walker that dares cross her path.
He laughs before he can stop himself, and she spears him with a glare so dark that he thinks he might be a little crazy for thinking she's still attractive.
"Will you shut the hell up?" Daryl hears Andrea snap one day. Lori gapes at her, lips parted, eyes wide. Andrea glares at the woman from over the fire where she's warming her hands. "All you do is complain and complain and complain, and we're all tired of it—"
Rick steps in, holding his hands up, playing the mediator, "Andrea," he starts, "calm down, honey—"
"Don't 'honey' me. Control your wife! Lori, you've got it good. Your boy's fine. Your husband's fine. You're fine. You're alive and all you can do is complain about not having a shower or not having a blanket!" Andrea breaks off, laughing crazily, shaking her head. It's silent, the two women just staring at each other.
"My sister's dead, Lori. I shot her...in the head." Andrea's voice grows soft, and she shoves her hands into the front pocket of her sweatshirt. "You should be thankful. You don't know how good you have it." she finally murmurs, turning on her heel and heading towards the camper.
Lori stands still, looking around the fire, waiting for someone to jump in and defend her. Nobody moves. Lori deflates, and Rick places a comforting hand on her shoulder, but his lips twitch into a smile. Daryl snorts, and goes after Andrea before she does something stupid.
She fires a gun like she's in a movie, or one of her ridiculous crime shows. Her eyes are all wide and dramatic. He kind of wants to laugh at her, but she's a good shot and he really doesn't want to be shot in the head again. Now that she actually knows how to shoot, she might not miss.
Daryl laughs at her silently when they're taking down a line of Walkers that up and walked out of the forest around their camp. He likes to think that they're doing some good, taking down these ten Walkers, but he also knows that for every ugly, stinking Walker they bring down, five more take its place. He's kind of bitter about that.
Andrea stands beside him, more sure next to him, where he can hiss directions at her out of the corner of his mouth, than she is next to anyone else. She's firing and firing, hitting her mark nine times out of ten. He's impressed. Well, he would be if it weren't for the Hollywood look on her face.
"Okay, Mirishka Haggerty. Lose the Law and Order look." he snarks when the last Walker's head is blown off.
Andrea spears him with a sharp look. "What's that supposed to mean?" she shrieks, and she spends the next fourty-five minutes yelling at him for making fun of her, and he decides her angry face is prettier than her shooting face.
She sleeps in his tent sometimes. She'll crawl inside at two in the morning, zipping the flap shut beside her, and she'll curl into a ball beside him, never touching him, but close enough to feel the warmth he radiates. She tells him he's like a damn furnace.
Daryl asks her about it one night, and she's quiet for a bit, eyes closed. She laughs to herself, and then, "...I get scared sometimes." she cracks her eyes open, looking at him. "I guess when I think of 'safe', I think of you."
She's got a bucket list.
Daryl thinks it's the most hilarious thing ever. They're in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, and she has a damn bucket list. They could all die at any moment, and she has a damn bucket list.
"Well, what else have I got to live for?" she cries defensively, crossing off number seventeen on her list.
He doesn't tell her that he thinks she should live for him.
She looks great in red.
She's wearing one of his old cut-off flannels over a bloodstained white wife beater. He's kind of glad Carl's tagging along with them on the hunting trip 'cause if the kid wasn't there, Daryl's pretty sure he'd do something drastic. Like, i.e., ripping Andrea's clothes off and having his way with her up against a tree.
Andrea likes hugs.
Daryl's not a huggy person, but all these fucking people do is hug. It's disgusting. They hug when they wake up, they hug when they eat, they hug at random intervals during the day, they hug before they go to sleep. The group hugs are even worse. He gets shivers just thinking about it.
He just hates hugging, okay? Manly men don't hug. Red-blooded manly men don't hug.
So why the fuck is he letting Andrea smother him with her arms? She hugs him randomly sometimes; just walks right up to him, no matter what he's doing, and wraps her little arms around his middle. It's always confuses the fuck outta him, but he never pushes her off.
It's dark now, and she's hugging him so tightly he feels like he might fall apart if she lets go. Her face is pressed into his chest, hands gripping the back of his shirt. Her shoulders are shaking, and it takes him a second to realize she's crying.
Aw, hell. The only thing he hates more than hugging is crying.
She's sniffing and blubbering something about mermaids, and then he realizes she's talking about Amy. He squares his shoulders, and wraps a hesitant arm around her back. She huddles against him, sobbing.
From across the camp, Rick flashes him a discreet thumbs up.
Daryl mouths, "I know where you sleep," at him.
She's a powerhouse kisser.
He shouldn't be surprised, because she comes off too strong on everything she does, but he doesn't really mind it comes to this.
She's crawled into his tent sometime before, sliding up against him like always. But this time, he could feel that something was different.
"S'wrong?" he asks tiredly when she sighs.
She's quiet for a moment, and then, "Do you think I'm pretty?" she asks in a small voice. It's the weirdest thing he's ever heard her say, and he actually laughs out loud.
Her face falls, and she makes a move to leave as he laughs. She starts to stand but he catches her arm, pulling her back down, "Don't you know that I think you're the prettiest damn thing I've ever seen?" he muses lightly, fingers dancing along her arm.
There's a look in her eye he's never seen before, and before he can wonder what said look is, she has him pinned on his back, and her fingers are deftly working his belt loose.
Later, her legs are tangled around his, and his hand is wrapped in her hair. Suddenly, she starts to laugh. He gives her a questioning look.
In answer, she idly remarks, "I'll have to cross this off of my bucket list."