Daryl Dixon: A Study In

Innocence and Ill Will

Enochian Honor Society

*+~A/N_ So I had this character sketch assignment for my Creative Writing elective and for whatever reason every sample thing she had us write I used TWD characters, mainly Daryl and Glenn, and of course I jumped on the chance to go into a full length assignment using my favourite backwater redneck/secret romantic and I was positively ecstatic that when I realised my sketch could also be a fanfiction. Here it is, loves, my very first TWD fanfiction, I would really appreciate your feedback on this, be it flames or praise.

Daryl Dixon is a conundrum within himself.

On the one hand, he's basically your typical, standard issue backwater redneck. Rugged, gruff, inexplicably dirty all the time and unsurprisingly introverted. The only person he spoke to when he arrived at camp was his older brother, Merle, who was an unpleasant character to say the least. The only other times he deigned to exchange words with anyone else was when directly spoken to, and even then at times it was only a grunt or complete silence, when he felt like whatever was said to him wasn't worthy of being dignified with a response.

Poor Daryl had his hands full keeping his brother in check. Everywhere he turned it seemed that, no matter the time of day or night, Merle was constantly making a nuisance anda general arse of himself, whether he was staring a little to hard a little too long at certain areas of the female anatomy, offending the members of our group with darker skin than his by implementing every conceivable racial slur in his colourful, seemingly never ending repertoire, or being just plain mean. More than a few times Daryl was forced to step in and rear his brother back before he was slapped or smacked in his face by one of the girls, clocked in the face by T- Dog, or thrown down the nearest ravine and left to fend for himself-which he probably could-by Shane, who was already on edge enough without further agitation in the form of Merle's wanton purveyance of ignorant, racist asshatery.

Daryl had an air of innocent ill will about him, unwittingly maleficent - perhaps not as unwittingly as it could be - and was shrouded in an aura of hardness.

Guess you sort of had to be in this day and age. In the apocalypse.

On the other hand, it was almost easy to see that Daryl was nowhere near as dangerous or uneducated as everyone thought he was, or rather chose to assume he was. But of course, this is a realisation one could only come to if one bothered to take the time to talk to him, ask after his well-being-even if your only response was most likely to be an incredulous look and a wave of dismissal.

Daryl had an entire facet of him, a side hidden away from the rest of us, a side he was afraid to reveal even to himself. Something a bit softer, and gentler, capable of great acts of love and selflessness. But this was a side he couldn't unveil to anyone else, for fear of exposing it to the sort of heartbreak he had already suffered and, someway somehow, survived.

It was nothing short of a flippin' miracle.

Daryl had had someone. Someone he loved, still loves, the only person he's ever loved.

And he killed him.

*+* Le flashback *+*

When the first major outbreaks of the virus had made itself known in Atlanta in the most explosive fashion possible, there were only four words pounding through his through his mind alternatively, over and over again, beating out a frantic tattoo, the soundtrack to his fear.

Eliot. Oh my God, Eliot.

Daryl ran, ran faster than he ever had in his life, so fast and without even the thought of pause that his breaths were torn, ragged, heaving and almost reluctant, from his lungs in time with the sound of his feet beating against the pavement. He didn't want to acknowledge even the possibility that he was too late, that Eliot had already been attacked and torn open by some groaning, rotting, morbid parody of a human being.

But he was.

When Daryl had thrown open the door to their apartment, so hard the doorknob broke through the drywall behind it and was stuck, Eliot had already buried a hatchet through the brain of the walker that had torn a chunk out of his arm and was draped against the wall opposite the apartment entrance, breathing heavily. "Daryl," he breathed, voice hoarse and scratchy, Essex accent as distinctive as ever. To this day Daryl wondered what a man such as him was doing in a place like Atlanta but he was ever so glad for it, whatever it was.

"Shh, baby, don't speak, don't speak." Daryl crossed the floor in five strides and sank to his knees beside Eliot, pulling him gently into his arms and cradling his dirty blonde head in his lap.

"Daryl, you have to..."

"No-...I-I know, baby, I know. I just..."

"It's okay, sweetheart, you'll be okay. Just stay with me-until it starts, alright?" Daryl nodded as a sudden, shuddering sob was ripped from his throat, and he didn't bother to wipe away the tears that were already coursing down his face and stinging his eyes. Eliot smiled sorrowfully up at him, a sad, lamenting light dancing in his incredible violet eyes, and he reached a trembling hand up to brush away the tears. "Oh, love, you know I always did hate to see you cry."

The tears only fell harder and faster now, and vehemently Daryl cursed whatever Powers That Be that saw fit to take this beautiful boy away from him, this man that was laying here, prone in his arms, bleeding out on the floor and still had the presence of mind and heart left to care when he saw Daryl crying.

Daryl lay there cradling Eliot's dead body in his arms long after he had passed and when, after three and a half long hours the virus took hold in his brain and reanimated his body, Daryl, with a broken whispered "I love you, Eliot," put a single bullet through his brain and found that his previous notion that he was all out of tears to cry was shot straight to hell.

From that moment on, he vowed to put an arrow through every Walker that crossed his path.

*+* Le end flashback *+*

The fact that everything that had happened between Eliot and Daryl before he realised he was in love with him was happening right here, right now, between him and Glenn was an epiphany he had come to that simultaneously elated and terrified him.

And the possibility that what had happened to Eliot-something that still had him crying himself to sleep some nights, waking up from nightmares with a strange mix of a scream and a sob burgeoning in his throat-is a very likely fate for Glenn-well, frankly that was a notion that had Daryl itching to run fast in the opposite direction and put as much distance as possible between himself and the Asian boy. It damn well nearly did.

He probably would have gone through with it if he hadn't already resigned himself to the fate and fact that he had, indeed, fallen hopelessly and irreversibly in love. Again.

*+~_A/N So I just found out that I got a 93 on this assignment *cue ecstatic song and dance* so in celebration you all should review the hell out of this story and let me know whether you think my grade was accurate, over-indulgen, or under-appreciated. What the hell, why not give me your own grade? Please? I'm a review whore and this is my first TWD fanfiction, just humour me.