Hello! So what did everybody think of the new episode! I can't wait until next Sunday to see how everything goes down! So this is my version of what I thought was going to happen after the barn scene when Carol headed back to the RV. For future references, yes I am a Daryl/Carol shipper and I love the idea of them being a couple. If you don't like that, that's totally fine. Don't like, don't read. Obviously this is an AU!fic set after the barn massacre. Daryl and Carol's relationship can be read however you chose in this fic. I didn't have my beta reread this before I posted so sorry for any mistakes. Also I apologize if Daryl seems a little OOC. This is my first TWD fic so please be kind!
Warnings: mild language and suicidal thoughts.
Disclaimer: Nope! Nada… I don't own anything.
Daryl didn't know what to expect when Carol ripped herself from his arms. He didn't know what to expect when his feet suddenly developed a mind of their own, and he went after her. He didn't know what to expect to see when he got to the RV and opened the door…
But it sure wasn't the scene that was now before him. "What the hell are you doin'?" he nearly screamed. For there was Carol, sitting on the table, fresh tears flowing down her face from her closed eyes. But Daryl barely even noticed that. All he was able to see was Carol's trembling hand holding a pistol that was slowly making its way to her temple.
At the redneck's sudden outburst, Carol's eyes snapped open to look at him. Her hand froze beside her head. When she spoke, it was in an anguished whisper. "She's gone, Daryl. My baby… gone." She gave a tormented scoff. "Do you honestly think I have anything left to live for?"
At the realization that she could pull the trigger and end her life then and there, Daryl slowly held his hands in a defensive position beside him, panicked that one wrong movement would end her life. "Carol, please jus think about what you're doin' here!" He lowered his voice tremendously as he took a small step towards her. "Jus' think for a second."
Carol gave a sickened laugh. "You know what, Daryl? I've done nothing but think for nearly this entire damn week. And you know what I've decided? I've decided that if it ever came to this; if my baby ever became a Walker…" She trailed off, as if the words were choking her to say. She eventually continued, sounding weaker than before. "If my baby ever became a Walker, then why live? If my child isn't allowed to live then why should I?"
"Woman, you're not thinking straight!"
"I'm thinking perfectly straight and I know what I want! I want to be with my child! I want to leave this world my way and not be torn apart by those monsters!"
Daryl was frozen in place. This woman absolutely refused to see any sense, but could he really blame her? Sure, he hadn't completely fallen off the deep end when Merle went missing, but the relations between brother to brother and mother to child were utterly different. Granted, he had been mad as fire and wanted to do what he could to get his sorry excuse for a brother back, but Carol was dealing with her loss in a totally different manner. She carried that child for nine months, birthed her, raised her, and protected her from her ass of a father… only to have all that work stripped away. All Carol's hope was as shattered as her heart, a broken and bloody piece that was lying on the ground. Daryl stared at her tear-streaked face and just hoped that he could piece it back together before she made her permanent mistake.
Daryl attempted to lower his voice once again. "What about what happened at the CDC, huh? You said that Sophia didn't deserve to die like that and ya knew you were taking a risk coming back out here." At the sound of her daughter's name, Carol let out an inhuman like noise that sounded like a mix between a sob and a hiccup. He attempted to take another small step closer. Hell, if that gun would've still been in her lap he would've just marched right over there and chucked it out the door. "You were the one that saved us, remember? You whipped out that grenade from your bag and we got away. You could've both died there, but you kept going." Daryl felt his pulse quicken when he noticed that her hand had begun to waver slightly. He kept going. "And what about Ed? You protected Sophia from that bastard for twelve years. You put up him for as long as you possibly could to protect her. If it was me that was down at the quarry that day instead of Shane, I would've probably killed Ed for layin' his filthy hands on you. You were the best damn mother that girl could've asked for and don't you let nobody tell you otherwise."
Carol lowered the weapon only slightly at his words. It was still dangerously close to her head. Daryl took another step closer. "You're probably the only person in this camp that everyone gets along with," he added. "Everybody is at somebody's throat nowadays, but I don't reckon I've ever seen you get mad." Another step. The gun was lowered another few inches and Daryl wanted nothing more than to just get it out of Carol's hands.
He thought of one last thing. He didn't know if it would work and frankly, he was a but skeptical, but if it would save Carol it was worth a try. He was extremely uncomfortable telling her all this, but if it would save her life he wouldn't think twice. "You remember what happened this morning? I was saddling up to go out again but you stopped me. You said somethin' and it's been in my mind since then."
"What?" Carol whispered as she looked up at the redneck.
He was so close to her now. Just a few more steps. "You said you didn't want to lose me. I'm not sure if I completely knew what that meant until a few minutes ago, but let me ask you somethin'." He took the last step that he needed to bridge the gap between them. "What if… I don't want to lose you?"
That was what did it. The gun was lowered from Carol's head and Daryl took that opportunity to grab it from her hands and throw it to the other side of the RV. "Woman, what—" but he was abruptly cut off by Carol, who nearly slammed her small form into his and threw her arms around his neck. Daryl stumbled back a bit but managed to stay upright. She was shaking like a leaf and was sobbing into the crook of his neck. He never had anyone even attempt to hug him and he was perfectly okay with that. This was different. Very awkwardly, he put one arm around her waist and held her there, just letting her cry. If it had been anyone else he would've just shoved them away. Carol wasn't just anyone. He let her cling to his neck and sob into his skin.
She was mumbling incoherently, but Daryl was able to hear at least a few words. "Sophia… sorry… baby girl… so…sorry… dead… gone…" Very carefully while still holding on to Carol, Daryl walked over to the booth in the RV and sat them both down. Carol adjusted herself so that she was still able to hold on to him and Daryl found that he didn't really mind this at all. He hadn't removed his arm from her waist.
This was how Lori found the two. She went to retrieve them to tell them that they were about to have the funeral service when she stopped just inside the doorway. Carol was holding onto Daryl like he was her lifeline and Daryl had his chin propped up on top of her head and his arm was holding her securely to his chest. Lori almost had to take a double look to make sure that her eyes weren't deceiving her. She cleared her throat gently. Daryl's head snapped up instantly and he narrowed his eyes, while Carol barely even acknowledged the Lori's appearence.
"It's time to bury her," Lori said in a soft whisper. Carol let out another whimper and seemed to clutch Daryl tighter. His eyes softened and he glanced back down at the grieving mother.
"Jus' give us a second," he said. Lori took this as her cue to leave and she exited the RV after giving one last look to the pair.
A few seconds passed before either of them made a sound. "Daryl, I don't think I can go." Carol finally said. She pulled herself from his arm and stood to look out the window.
Daryl stood up but made no advances to go towards her. "What?"
"That's not my daughter being buried today. My daughter didn't just die; she's been dead for a while now. I can't, Daryl, I just… can't."
"This is one thing you can't change my mind about," she insisted. "That's not my child out there. That's not my baby."
That was like a kick in the gut. After all that time he'd spent out there searching for Sophia, after all those words were exchanged in the clearing with only the roses to hear, Carol was absolutely refusing to bury her daughter's corpse. Daryl flashed his eyes to the ground and briskly nodded, knowing that this time, there was nothing he could say to change her mind. Wordlessly he walked over to the other side of the RV, perfectly aware of the woman's gaze on his back. He reached and picked up the gun he had thrown. He emptied the revolver of all its bullets before sticking it into the pocket of his dirt coated jeans. All the bullets went into the other pocket. Daryl walked to the entrance of the vehicle and stopped in the doorway.
"I'll be back after the service," he told her. Before stepping out he addressed her once again. Carol wouldn't look at him. "Yus.. don't do somethin' we'll both regret," he murmured.
Carol closed her eyes and placed her forehead against the thick glass. Daryl cast one last glance in her direction before walking down the steps and out into the world. His footsteps grew heavier with each step closer he was to the barn. He didn't know what to expect when he returned, but he just hoped he wouldn't come back to find an empty RV and another missing woman. He couldn't go looking for anyone else, not after this failure.
But more importantly, he didn't want to come back and find another body lying in wait to be buried.
So what'd ya think? I really adore this pairing, but if you don't that's perfectly okay. I've got some Caryl stuff on my Tumblr if you want to check that out. The link is on my profile page. Thanks for reading and I'd really appreciate it if you took some time to review!