Disclaimer: I don't own AMC's The Walking Dead or any of its characters. Wishful thinking aside.
Authors Note #1: This is my fill response to a prompt posted on LJ at the TWD_Kink Meme community: "Daryl/Glenn: Scars: Glenn has a scar that he hides from most of the group; the only one he has let see it is Daryl because Daryl knows when to ask and when not too. - Somehow the group sees the scar and Rick keeps asking about it won't let it drop. So finally Daryl is all like "It ain't a geek bite and it ain't fresh so it's none of yer business!" Later Glenn opens up to Daryl about it. It could be from past abuse from his father (which they bond over) or from when Atlanta was napalmed. -*Rated for: adult language, adult situations, discussions of scars, a few off color allusions to race (nothing harmful meant fyi. Just sticking with the dialog they have been alluding to in the show between Daryl and Glenn), pre-slash leanings, and manly adorableness.
Authors Note #2: Please read and review. I am excited to see what you all think. I am open to comments, advice, and constructive criticism.
Redefining the Gyre
You didn't have to be a rocket scientist to see that this wasn't going to end well. - He hadn't caught it from the beginning. Too busy helping Carol re-arrange the grating around the fire pit to realize that the amicable conversation ebbing and flowing around the circle of chairs was really anything but. - Because within a matter of seconds everything had gone quiet. Dead quiet. With all conversation brought to a screeching halt as Rick's voice sounded out just a few decibels too loud, making the tail end of phrases like "show me" and "nothing to hide" air out far too loud in the sudden absence of noise.
Echoing mockingly around the circle as every head whipped up, alert and worried. On point before the echoes had even had a chance to lessen. Staring at the two men unabashedly as at least four sets of hands inched towards their gun holsters. - ...Fucking perfect.
The whole thing made his hackles rise, prickling the hairs on the back of his neck the longer the moment stretched. Until the air was as strained as a freshly pulled trip wire. Tense and just itching to break. – …And yet, it was more then that. Different and dark in a way he hadn't sensed for a long time. This wasn't just a normal disagreement or partially subdued fight.
It was worse.
Because the kid wasn't meeting Rick's gaze and his back had gone arrow straight, archin' back in his chair like he was trying his best to burst right through it. Looking more like a half feral tom cat that was being slowly backed into a corner the longer the man kept on pressing.
He straightened from his place beside Carol, catching her skittish, sideways look at the two of them before he placed the ghost of a light fingered press across her delicate, bird-like shoulder. Reassuring her without words as he slipped from her side and moved closer to where the kid seemed to be getting the tenth degree.
He only had to hear a few more words before he realized what the whole argument was actually about. And he couldn't help but scowl, directing his glare towards the older man as Grimes continued talking. Voice low, but insistent. ...Figures. Because just like every half assed dimwit that had been on the government's payroll before the whole world had gone to shit, Officer Friendly had apparently decided that he had license to go poking and prodding into things that didn't concern him.
– Only this time kid wasn't talkin' and it was clear that Rick wasn't going let this one go easily.
He had to admit that it was a mean looking sonofabitch. Rough ridged and puckered into ropey little knots of scar tissue the longer it stretched. Lancing across the back of the kid's thigh in a mess of pink virgin flesh and puffed up tissue. – The kid had gotten himself good, whatever he'd done. It had already gone and scarred up all right and proper. Standing out like some sort of perverse, fucked up beacon across the span of the kid's milky white thigh. But even there the kid had been lucky, snagging more meat then anything else. – Hell, a few inches to the right and it would'a been a whole different ball game.
Musta' done some freaky ninja shit to pull that one off.
'Course he'd seen it before, he had eyes. But the others still didn't know how to look and see at the same time. …City folk. It'd probably be tragic if it wasn't so god damn pathetic. – But even then he hadn't meant to see it, just happened to pass by the kid's tent when he'd been in the middle of pulling on a pair of jeans back in the Quarry camp. Long before Rick, Atlanta, and Merle.
After all, it was hard to miss. It stood out on the kid like a sore thumb. - Clashing rather magnificently with China's smooth, ivory skin. All baby soft and ridiculously unmarred. He shook his head in frustration at the mere memory. -…For fucks sakes the kid was practically pretty. – He'd had no idea a guy could even look like that.
Talk about a mind fuck.
At the time he hadn't given it more then a passing glance. It had been a nasty looking thing, even back then. Mean and angry looking just like a proper scar should. Puffed up and ropey in a way only torn up skin and a crappy stitching job can rightly create. .. - He should know after all.
But other then that he hadn't given it much thought. Personally he thought it gave the kid some character. But given the nature of his own collection he figured he probably didn't have license to judge. He bore his own scars like some people did medals. Quietly, but unshrinkingly... - Like lessons taught and lessons learned. Nothing more, but certainly nothing less.
But at the end of the day he supposed that wasn't really the reason why he found himself moving forward. Feeling the acidic bite of raw anger surging up in his throat the longer Rick kept pushing. – Because the point was that anyone and their doting maiden aunt could see that the kid didn't want to talk about it. …That much was as clear as day.
And apparently Captain America couldn't see the god damned forest for the trees because he just kept on pressing. Sticking his nose where it didn't belong in the first place. Blundering around like a bare assed idiot lost in the dark. Careless, stupid, and mindless of the consequences as the kid visibly closed off. – Because right about now he didn't give a flying shit about Sheriff 'Do-Gooder' and his high and mighty good intentions. It didn't take much to see that not only did the kid not want to talk about it, but he probably had good reason not to want to talk about it as well.
For christ sakes, end of the world or not, a man still needed his god damned pride!
The whole thing only served to rub him the wrong way. Probably because in a weird, and likely very twisted way, he knew he could relate. God knows he had about a dozen or so he didn't want people prying about. That shit was personal. Every scar had a story. Standing out as a reason for some long thought out action, or the result of a foolish one. Hell, in his case most of his had more in common with that of nightmares then some "feel good" monstrosity lurking under fanciful colors and over commercialized labels. – There was no way to sugar coat it. Life hadn't been kind to him, and his body had born the brunt of that reality. But at the same time, hell if he regretted even a single moment of it.
After all, who could regret the life that had shaped you? – Ain't natural to wish for anything different in his opinion.
– Besides he sure as hell didn't need their sanctimonious asses telling him that it was fucking "share time." ..Like they even had the right to know in the first place?
So perhaps that's why he found himself suddenly pressed between the two of them, forcing Rick to back off by pure presence alone. Nudging him back with the firm jut of his shoulder until Glenn had enough room to collect himself. Unable to stand the way the kid had gone quiet. Plush pink lips thin around the edges as the others stared, drawn closer by the ruckus as Rick tried to skirt around him. – Restless and eager, like a wild dog that had sensed blood on the wind.
"It ain't a bite and it ain't fresh, so the way I see it, it ain't none of 'yer business." He spat. Breaking the silence with a near growl as his voice echoed out the close space. Slicing right through all the bullshit, until he'd hit the heart of the matter right on its god damned head.
He fixed the older man with an impassive glare. Holding his gaze just a second too long before the Sheriff finally backed off, nodding towards the both of them as he readjusted his holster. Looking strangely chastised as the toe of his boot dug into the half trampled grass. - Blinking owlishly into the noon glare as Grimes' gaze flicked from him to the kid, then back again. Looking at the both of them like he'd never seen anything quite like them before.
But before he could even begin figure that one out, the kid was already making a less then graceful exit. Managing to avoid both Lori and the old man as they half rose from their seats. Jack-rabbiting towards the trail that led down towards the sheltered river bank they'd been using to wash up and do laundry since they'd made camp here in close to two weeks after abandoning the Green farm. - Too road weary and low on supplies to justify pushing the vehicles any further.
He waited a while before following. Ignoring the stares and half muffled murmuring as the others gossiped. Pointedly not watching as the kid's footsteps faded from his hearing. He didn't need a hunter's eye to know where the kid had gone. – He stayed long enough to eat two helpings of the Rice-a-roni and powdered egg mix Carol had managed to fix. Not missing the tiny smile she gave him as he held up his plate for seconds. Inwardly raising a brow when he noticed that his helping was at least two times larger then Shane's.
Feisty little bird.
He found the kid exactly where he'd expected. Perched atop the massive downed trunk that spanned the length of the river bed. Hanging just above the water like some sort of trapeze that led from one side of the bank to the other. He sat down without comment. Taking in the kid's hunched profile for a moment before he unsheathed his buck knife, dug out his steel block and set about sharpening its edges. Skilfully sliding the blade down the length in a series of firm, even strokes. Content, at least for the moment, to let the silence breathe.
Instead they simply sat there, watching the fast running current race on by. Burbling and sloshing as microscopic whirlpools spiraled out of control only inches away from their swinging feet. Ebbing and swelling as kamikaze eddies dashed themselves across flat planed pebbles and sharp edged rocks. Like birds caught within a widening gyre. Helpless and lost the center of it's ever widening pull.
The silence felt keen. Visceral and over saturated in lue of the kid's usual, inane chatter. Glenn was always babblin' on about something. Didn't matter what it was, he always seemed to have some god damned opinion on the matter. In fact in the first few months he'd been tempted to just gag the little chink, anything for a few seconds of blissful peace and quiet. – Certainly never thought he'd miss it at any rate.
But he did. Because this silence was awkward. It was raw edged, tense, and spluttering with the ghosts of half started syllables and frustrated sighs. It reminded him of the engine on Pa's old T-bird. The old clunker he'd gone and tinkered with in the backyard shed whenever he and Mama were quarreling. Cussin' himself hoarse into its ornery metal guts as he wrestled with its rust riddled frame until all the anger and frustration had seeped out from his pores in the form of a good old fashioned sweat. - Exorcizing his demons through the harsh tang of salt and the angry burn of abused muscles.
– It had been one of the only useful things the old booze hound had ever taught him.
He tested the edge of his blade with a satisfied grunt, trying to cover up his growing frustration as he eventually sheathed it. Reveling in the cool steel and that unique butter soft slide as the worn leather sheath welcomed it back. His frown only deepening when the kid didn't even react.
And after a long moment he took a leaf out of the kid's book and focused his gaze on their surroundings. Idly watching the way a thin layer of cresting foam was lapping at the edges of the nearest whirl pool. Skimming across the surface like a sweet honey glaze. - Sugar sweet and fluffed into delicate tufts of frothy white grit and barely trapped air.
...For fucks sakes!
He wrinkled his nose. Staring the kid down from out of the corner of his eye as he held back a sigh. Annoyed in spite of himself that the kid was making him work for it right from the get go. Because for once, it was going to be him that was going to have to break the silence…
Moody little shit.
A/N: - Please let me know what you think? Reviews and constructive critiquing are love! Hopefully chapter two will be up shortly!
"One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world will be better for this." - Miguel de Cervantes