It was nighttime.
The Walkers were finally gone, Daryl and Beth had finally gotten rid of them for the time being.
Daryl sat in the damp, tall grass, his blue eyes fixated on the fire he had built in front of him. His arms hung off his knees and his teeth were grinding against his cheek.
He hoped Harli was alright.
When Daryl left the prison, everyone had seemed to disappear, all except Beth, who ran from the innards of the prison with confusion in her eyes. The two left with each other into the woods, Walkers chasing them through the forest till sunset. It was a long, dreary day, and Daryl's body ached with annoyance. He prayed everyone had gotten out alright. The bus was gone; no one else to be found.
He envisioned her green eyes staring and him, and that amazing smile that warmed his blood. Was she okay? Did she get out in time? Was she on that bus that he told her to get on? Was it really a good idea for him to separate himself from her? All of the questions and concerns rolled through his head like a destructive train.
Beth sat across from Daryl, staring at him for quite some time. He was like a stone statue, not moving or saying a word since he sat down by the fire. She knew what was on his mind, it was on her mind as well. Finally Beth took a breath and spoke, "We should do something."
Daryl didn't stir, he only stared at the fire. Beth was more stern, "We should do something."
Finally Daryl looked at her, but kept his lips sealed. Beth shifted, "We're not the only survivors... we can't be. Rick, Michonne-they could be out here!"
Her reassuring words had no effect on the solemn looking hunter. Beth continued, "Maggie and Glenn could've gotten out of A block. Harli... she could be on that bus with everyone else who evacuated."
Daryl's eyes met the flickering flames at the sound of Harli's name once again. Beth let out a small sigh, knowing that was probably most of the reason why he was so solemn. Beth began to get to her feet, "You're a tracker! You can track... C'mon! The sun will be up soon. If we head out now then we can-!"
Beth stopped and saw the same, emotionless look on Daryl's face. He would not stir; he didn't even give her a second glance.
Beth frowned and looked down, seeing her large knife sticking out of the damp ground. Her lips drew into a thin line and she reached down, yanking the knife out of the dirt, "Fine! If you won't track then I will!"
She wheeled around on the heel of her boot and turned, taking off into the darkness around them. Daryl listened to her boots stomping down on the grass as she left, he eyes finally moving to where she once stood.
Knowing full well he definitely shouldn't let her go off on her own, Daryl gave a huff and finally rose back to his feet. He began kicking dirt onto the fire, putting it out within a few kicks and reaching down, grabbing his crossbow. Shouldering the strap of his beloved weapon, he trudged off after the young girl.
Harli's eyes were heavy with fatigue, her green orbs glaring down at the water below her.
It was finally morning, and after having a sleepless, long night amongst her other three counterparts, the sun finally graced them with its presence. They sat by the creek, Sasha helped Bob clean his gunshot wound, Maggie was sharpening her knife on the massive rock they dwelled on, and Harli sat at the edge of the water, filling up a stray bottle she had found on the ground. The water was lukewarm from the humid, hot Georgian air, and Harli wanted so badly to bathe in it. She was so sweaty, dirty, and clammy, she just wanted to feel clean. Her thoughts were jogged when she heard Sasha and Bob conversing about whether or not people survived.
Harli hoped Daryl was okay.
She remembered the last time she saw him. He was descending into the battlefield like a black knight, his angel winged vest gleaming back at her. Harli closed her eyes and sighed, taking water in her hands and rubbing it up against her face. "Daryl..." She whispered to herself, feeling a warmth crawling up the back of her throat with upset. Harli didn't want to think of Daryl not making it out of the prison. Did he get killed by The Governor's men? Did he manage to survive the gunfire and get out alive? Did the Walkers crowding the prison pin him inside with no other way out?
"You three should be safe here." Harli was knocked from her thoughts at the sound of Maggie's interesting words, "The bus got out, Glenn got out, I'm gonna find him."
"Maggie..." Sasha sighed and shook her head. Harli stood to her feet and slowly walked towards them, "With any luck... the bus is gone."
"It was headed East down the main road, if I follow that direction I might be able to pick up its tracks."
"Alone?" Harli intervened and walked up next to Sasha, "You know that's a bad idea, splitting us up, Maggie."
"I couldn't find Beth..." Maggie ignored Harli's words and fiddled with her knife, "I know Glenn got out and I know which way he went. I'm gonna go get him and I'm gonna come back for you. We both are."
"Maggie!" Harli interjected once again as Maggie turned and began walking away, Maggie shooting her a look,
"You can't go by yourself!" Harli marched after her, Sasha and Bob in tow.
"We can't split up, not now!" Sasha said with a bit of irritation. Maggie stopped for a second and turned around towards the two women,
"I'm going." Maggie sternly said as her last words.
Harli sighed and stared over at Sasha, the girls holding a gaze for a few moments. They heard Bob shuffle, both looking over at him to see him grabbing his jacket and looking at Harli with a smile as he walked by her, "You said it! Can't let her go alone!"
Harli let out a deep sigh and followed after Bob, her eyes staring down and the ground, riddle with leaves, as she trudged after Maggie.
The four survivors weaved around trees and stepped through bushes, making their way to the road. Harli kept a keen eye out around them for any threats. Walkers, or people, they couldn't be careful around either anymore. Her one had lazily sat on the butt of her pistol, her other lankily hung at her side. Finally, through the thicket of trees, Harli saw the brightness of the pavement that they were seeking. Stepping out onto the roadway, Harli noticed Maggie kept a brisk, steady walk, easily keeping a distance between her and her other three behind her.
"You guys could've helped me stop her..." Harli heard Sasha say as Sasha caught up to Harli. Bob was in the middle of the two women, pressing his jacket up against his shoulder.
"You obviously don't know Maggie very well," Harli looked over at Sasha, "You know how determined she is."
"The odds of us finding Glenn... we should be out looking for food and shelter."
"Yeah? And why's that?" Bob asked matter-of-factly and Sasha rolled her eyes,
"And then what?" Harli asked.
"Maybe we didn't survive just to keep surviving?"
"Shit happens!" Sasha scoffed at Harli and Harli looked back at her, "Not everything has to mean something!"
"No, it doesn't have to, but it can." Bob said, "If you make it that way. And that's what seems like we're doin'. And I'm down with that."
"If I had my way right now... I'd be out looking for Daryl." Harli stared back in front of her, keeping a brisk pace after Maggie. Sasha looked over at her,
"So why don't you?"
Harli sighed through her nose and looked into Sasha's dark eyes, "Because I need to make sure we all make it back to everyone. And the only way we're doing that is if we stay together."
Harli heard Maggie's footsteps in front of them slow and she looked in front of her, Maggie coming to a complete stop. Harli walked up next to her and her heart leapt into her throat, her shoulders dropping faith off her body.
The grey bus sat motionless in front of them. The engine wasn't running, there were no people chattering, and the only sound they could hear were the bugs in the forest making their chirping sound. The ominous atmosphere made the four stand and stare for a few moments before Maggie took off in a jog towards the vehicle.
"Maggie, wait!" Harli yelled after her, but to no avail, Maggie didn't stop. Harli huffed and took off after her, Bob and Sasha closely in tow.
They got closer to the bus, finally slowing to a walk when they came within arms reach. The bus was so quiet, not a stir of anything within in its vehicular corridor. They walked around to the side of the bus, looking into the clouded windows to see what could be inside. Harli jumped at the sight of a Walker snarling through one window, and like dominos, Walkers began appearing from the depths on the bus. Another Walker clawed at them through an open window, the flesh of the being barely discolored, meaning that it hadn't been that long before they had turned. Other Walkers appeared through the open windows, snarling and gasping at the survivors before them.
Harli could hear Maggie becoming hysterical, Maggie's chest lurching in attempts to keep herself under control. Harli put her hand on her dead friends shoulder, and after she did, Maggie began walking towards the back of the bus, "You should go..."
"Maggie! Wait!" Harli ran around the backside of the bus and shoved her back up against the door as Maggie tried to open it, "Don't do that!"
"I have to know if he's in there." Maggie stared hard into Harli's eyes, Harli seeing her eyes beginning to get teary. Harli let out a light sigh, knowing full well she would do the same exact thing if it were Daryl in that position.
"Okay..." Harli nodded and pushed her back off the bus, "But we have to do this together."
"Are you serious?" Sasha said with disbelief and Bob nodded his head,
"It's smart." Sasha then looked at Bob, thinking how crazy he was for going with the idea, "We do it one at a time."
Sasha shook her head, finally giving in to the pressure of the situation, "Fine... but two of us should stay at the door. Just in case they pile up."
"I have to be here." Maggie stepped back a bit away from the back end of the bus, "I need to see their faces."
"I'll help with the door." Harli stood next to Bob, "We need the muscle to try and close it if they start acting up."
"Thanks." Bob smiled and Harli looked over at Sasha,
"You should man the other side and if it gets out of hand."
The three all looked at each other for a brief moment before they moved to the back door of the bus. Bob stood behind Harli, his pistol gripped in his hand, and Harli slid her knife out of its sheath, holding it in her hand as she grabbed the knob, "Ready?"
Sasha nodded and Harli lifted the handle of the door, the squealing of its joint ringing in her ear. She felt a sudden weight of a vicious Walker slam up against the door, its feet falling out from under it and falling to the ground. Harli and Bob slammed the door shut and Harli latched it, watching the Walker lie on its back and squirm. Maggie ran up and slammed the blade of her knife into the skull of the Walker, her eyes meeting Harli's briefly, as if telling Harli that it wasn't Glenn. Maggie nodded at her and Harli looked at the door, her hand pushing up the handle again and letting yet another Walker out. The Walker was female this time, and Maggie took no time to end its miserable, dead life. Harli let out yet another Walker by Maggies consent, and yet again, a knife met the Walker with pleasure.
Harli felt the door slowly being caved in on and both her and Bob pushed back with all her strength, but to no avail, the Walkers strength was too much, "Shit! I can't hold it-!"
The door burst open and Harli jumped to the side, Walkers falling from the back of the bus and landing on each other. They got to their feet and snarled loudly, going after the survivors to try and cop a fresh meal. Harli readied her knife and she heard a couple gunshots, Bob pulling the trigger of his pistol to keep the Walkers close to him at bay. Harli jumped forward and planted her blade in the forehead of a woman Walker, the Walkers body going limp and falling to the ground.
"Maggie!" Harli shouted as her friend stood still in shock, a large, busty Walker making its way too close for comfort.
"I got it!" Bob raised his arm and pulled the trigger on his pistol, blowing the face off the Walker that threatened Maggie.
Maggie finally was pulled from her thoughts and ran forward, beginning to take out the Walkers one by one with her knife. Harli shoved her boot down on a Walkers back, not letting it get up as she stabbed it in the back of its skull. Finally, the carnage was over and all the Walkers had met their demise, Maggie walking over them and staring at their faces, making sure none of them were her beloved. Harli watched as Maggie stared into the darkness of the bus, her not standing still long enough for her to make much of a rational decision.
"You should let us-!" Harli put her hand on Sasha's shoulder, stopping Sasha from stopping Maggie.
"We shouldn't let her be by herself."
"She needs to see for herself." Harli reassured, knowing she would want the same if she were in Maggie's position, "At least give her that much. We watch her from here."
Harli stared into the darkness of the bus, watching Maggie cautiously. She kept her hand on her pistol just in case something decided to threaten her friend.
Hours had passed after that moment, Glenn was nowhere to be found on the bus, which was both a relief and a disbelief at the same time. It only rid of one of their worries, not the many that clouded all of their minds.
They found refuge in the forest, a campfire lit their small surroundings and kept them warm from the chilly air of the Georgian night. Maggie lied a few feet away, her arm laid over her face. She had not said much of a word after the incident at the bus; Harli didn't blame her. She worried for Glenn also, who was one of her best friends out of the group. Bob was standing watch for a while, Sasha was staring at the fire with her lips drawn in a thin line, and Harli leaned back against a tree, whittling away at a stick with her knife out of boredom.
Harli whittled a sharp point on the thin stick as if she were making an arrow. She had forgotten that her bow was back at the prison; one in which she would never likely see again. Daryl had taught her how to become an experienced archer, and she was going to miss her favorite weapon of choice. She had grown attached to it, like it was her partner.
"God..." Harli's eyes moved up and she saw Sasha shaking her head, still staring at the fire, "I hope Tyreese is alright... that everyone's alright."
Harli looked back down at the stick and rubbed the smooth surface of the wood, "You aren't the only one."
"He was back there with Daryl, covering fire for us while we got out." Sasha nodded, "What if they got caught? What if they didn't make it?"
"They did." Harli said plainly, "Daryl, Tyreese, they're both capable of handling their own. They're strong men."
"I know. But I just can't help think of the other posibilities..."
"Stop letting those thoughts eat you up." Harli replied and stared over at Sasha, who returned her gaze, "Daryl is the most important person to me, and I love him more than anything I've ever known, you don't see me over here saying he's dead or wondering whether or not he's alive."
Even though Harli spoke the words, they weren't completely true. She didn't want to admit it, but she was scared as hell wondering whether or not Daryl was alive and well. She wanted so bad to backtrack to the prison and try to find him, even if he wasn't there, she wanted to do whatever she could do to find him and make sure he was safe. Sasha took and deep breath and nodded to herself, rubbing the tips of her fingers together as she dipped her head between her shoulders.
"You're right. It's just hard to think positive right now."
"Our people are strong; We are strong." Harli leaned forward, continuing to stare at Sasha, "We'll all come back together, somehow. We just gotta stay strong to make that happen."
Sasha finally looked over at Harli, watching as she went back to whittling the stick in her hands. She shifted a bit to face her more, "Were you always like this?"
"So... hopeful." Sasha said, seeing Harli look back at her, her knife now resting on her leg. Harli cracked a small smile,
"No... not until I met Daryl." Harli began to reminisce in the memories of quite some time before that moment, "Him... as well as everyone else. They made me hope. I've almost died for them, they've almost died for me, and we've been in situations where there isn't any hope. But we got out... we survived. Even though we lost people on the way, we always managed to keep each other going."
Sasha returned her gaze to the fire and a small smile crossed her lips. She nodded her head, "I wonder if I'll be like that someday."
"It's not easy. Not easy at all." Harli admitted, "I was weak; physically, mentally; didn't know to handle my own; always worried. But man... did I find someone to live for. That changed everything."
"Must be nice..." Sasha sighed, causing Harli to pout,
"You have your brother; you guys have each other to live for."
"I know." Sasha ended the conversation and there was a soft awkwardness around them. Bob began to whistle as he kept watch, Harli knew he was listening the entire time and was more thank likely trying to break the silence. Sasha let out a sharp sigh, "Bob go ahead and take it easy, I'll keep watch for a while."
"You sure?" Bob looked over his shoulder to see Sasha was already on her feet,
"Yeah, you need the rest more than I do."
Without another word, Bob turned around and took to where Sasha had sat previously. He lied on his back and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Harli stared into the fire and began to get lost in thought, Daryl flooding her mind more than usual. Her eyes lowered and she stared at the knife in her hand, remembering that he had given it to her long ago. Her finger brushed against the sharp blade and a light cut rolled across her thumb. Harli rubbed her middle finger against it to make sure it didn't bleed too much, feeling a light sting crawl up her hand as she did. 'Please, for my sake, be safe out there Daryl...' Harli thought to herself, closing her eyes and resting the back of her head against the tree trunk once again.
"A motorcycle mechanic?"
"That's my guess," Beth said as she followed Daryl through the forest, "For what you were doin' before the turn. Did Zack ever guess that one?"
"Doesn't matter." Daryl replied as he scouted their surrounds, keeping pace as he trudged through the trees, "Hasn't mattered for a long time."
"It's just... what people talk about, y'know? To feel normal."
"Yeah," Daryl was quick to reply, getting tired of all the questions, "Well that never felt normal to me."
Daryl and Beth were on the move once again. Quite a while before, they had found an old country club and went inside in order to find refuge, food, water, anything to keep them going. They didn't find much but trouble hiding in the shadows, Walkers strewn about here and there. As far as food, not much along the lines of anything but alcohol in the bar that they had found in the back of the building. After not finding much worth staying for, Daryl and Beth set out into the forest once again to keep at their goal: finding all their fellow survivors. Daryl had a faint trail they were following; footsteps trailing off from the railroad tracks in which they originally found.
Through the veil of trees, Daryl saw a worn down house in the midst. Since it wasn't far off the tracking trail, Daryl had veered off to find refuge in the house for the night. They appeared through the trees and Daryl stared at the house, "Found this place with Michonne a while back..."
"I was expecting a liquor store..." Beth said a bit disappointed. Daryl shook his head,
"Nah... this is better." Daryl walked forward, Beth close behind him as they both walked up to the ran down house. Walking around the side, they finally came to door of a makeshift shed sitting on the side of the house. His eyes lit up at the sight of a huge stack of mason jars filled with a clear liquid. He remembered the first time he saw the stash, how excited he got that he could finally have a good drink after a really long time. Now was the perfect time to come back to it. He needed the extra boost.
"Whats that?" Beth asked curiously as she watched him stack bottles into a crate.
"Moonshine." He said, lifting the crate and handing it to Beth. Daryl grabbed his crossbow and walked past her to the other side of the house.
Daryl opened the front door to the house, examining the cluttered interior and keeping his keen eyes looking out for danger. He kept his crossbow steady in his hand as he moved into the kitchen, eyeing the shut door that was in front of him. He grabbed the handle and pulled the door open, looking inside and seeing nothing out of the ordinary. Beth set all the moonshine down on a rickety table, careful not to disturb the dirty clutter that crowded around the surface. Daryl licked his lips and grabbed a jar of moonshine, popping open the lid and grabbing a cup, pouring half the jar into the clear container.
"Now that's a first drink right there..." Daryl said with a bit of a smirk, watching Beth hesitantly stare at the cup of booze in front of her, "What's wrong?"
"N-nothin'... it's just-" Beth stopped for a moment and then shook her head, "My dad always said bad moonshine could make you go blind."
"Ain't nothin' worth seein' out there anymore anyway..."
Daryl and Beth stared at each other for a few moments before Beth awkwardly grabbed the cup and put it to her lips, finally taking a sip. Her face turned sour at the strong, bitter taste of the alcohol, "That's the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted in my life..."
Daryl didn't say anything in response to her, but a twinge of surprise hit him when he watched Beth grab the cup and down the rest of the bitter alcohol with a sour face once again. With a light laugh, she put the cup back on the table, "Well, the second rounds better."
"Slow down," Daryl warned as Beth was pouring another glass. She looked up at him,
"This ones for you."
"Nah, I'm good." Daryl waved, causing Beth to lose her smile.
"Someone's gotta keep watch."
"What're you? My chaperone now?"
"Just drink lots of water." Daryl said as he walked past her, his eyes scouring the area for anything interesting to his eye. Beth rolled her eyes,
"Yes Mr. Dixon..."
Daryl paid her no mind and leaned down, grabbing a piece of plywood off the floor. Looking over to the counter of the kitchen, he saw an old, bloody hammer sitting on the tile. He retrieved some nails from the distillery he had seen earlier and retreated back into the house, grabbing the hammer and the plywood once more. He pushed the plywood up against the window and placed a couple nails in his mouth, pinching one nail in his fingers and pounding the hammer against the head. As much as he didn't want to make noise, he would rather have full cover of the windows than worry about a couple stray Walkers finding their way there.
"Who would go into a store and walk out with this!" Daryl heard Beth laugh and turned around to see her setting down a giant bra pot filled with cigarette butts.
"My dad, that's who." Daryl was sparked with the memory of a similar set up that his dad had when he was a young boy, "He was a dumbass. Used to set them up on the TV stand and use them as target practice."
"He shot things inside your house?" Beth asked a bit confused and Daryl shook his head,
"It was just a bunch of junk anyway... that's how I knew what this place was. That shed out there? My dad has a place just like this." Daryl looked at the numerous things that were vaguely familiar with him, "You got your dumpster chair- that's for sittin' in, in your drawers all summer drinkin'. Got your fancy buckets- that's for spittin' your chaw in, after your ol' lady tells you to stop smokin'.
Daryl reached over and grabbed a dusty old newspaper, "This is your internet..."
As he dropped it to the ground, Daryl's muscles tensed at the familiar, grotesque sound of a Walker in the distance. He turned around and stared out the boarded window, seeing it curiously limping around, most likely trying to find the source of the pounding of the hammer it had heard. Daryl turned around towards Beth, "It's just one of 'em."
"Should we get it?" Beth asked a bit worried and Daryl shrugged lightly,
"If it keeps makin' too much noise... yeah."
"Well..." Beth said with an idea as she grabbed another jar of moonshine, "If we're trapped again, we might as well make the best of it." She reached the jar out towards Daryl and shrugged her arm, "Unless you're too busy chaperoning... Mr. Dixon?"
Daryl hesitated for a moment and let out a soft sigh, grabbing the moonshine out of her hand and juggling it in his hand, "Hell... might as well make the best of it."
He then sat down on the dirty recliner, twisting off the cap of the moonshine and thirstily stared at it. Daryl looked over at Beth, who brandished another cup of moonshine in her hand, toasting his jar up in the air, "Home, sweet, home."
They both took a rather large swig of the bitter booze, Beth's face contorting at the sudden spice to the alcohol. Daryl relished in the warmth that hit his belly, not tasting a good swig of moonshine in years. To be honest to himself, he had missed the taste of not only moonshine itself, but just booze in general.
Silently, the two sat drinking together in the dirty, cluttered living space of the moonshine house. Daryl tossed his empty jar to the ground and took up another, the warmth rising in his belly as he swigged on another jar of refresh. He stared at the wall, keeping to his own mind when he heard Beth shifting about. Looking over, she had taken all the booze out of the crate and placed it upside down like a table, pouring herself another glass. She sat down opposite to Daryl and looked up to him a bit childishly, "Let's play a game."
"What?" He asked a bit skeptically, not sure if she was joking or not. Beth nodded,
"Come on, lets play a game; like a drinking game or somethin'. Better than just sittin' here in silence doin' nothin'."
Daryl grunted a bit in discontent, knowing that if he didn't do it then she would just pester him to no end till he did. He slid off the edge of the couch and sat down across from her, leaning his back up against the recliner comfortably. Beth was in thought for a moment, remembering a game she had played before, "Alright so here's how it works. I say something I haven't done, and if you have done it, you drink. If you haven't, I drink. Then we switch."
She saw Daryl's unsure demeanor and she narrowed her eyes, "You really haven't played this game before?"
"I ain't never needed a game to get lit before." Daryl said plainly.
"Wait, are we startin'?"
"How do you know this game?" Daryl asked a bit suspiciously, Beth shaking her head,
"My friends played... I watched. Okay! I'll start." Beth quickly changed the subject, "I've never... shot a crossbow. So, now you drink."
"Ain't much of a game..." Daryl wasn't one for childish games, but if it was something to pass the time and keep Beth off his back, then he was all for it. He grabbed his jar of moonshine and took a drink.
"That was a warm up. Now you go."
"Hm..." Daryl thought for a moment and chewed on his lip, his hand hovering lazily over his mouth, "I don't know."
"Just say the first thing that pops into your head."
"I've never been outta Georgia."
"Really? Okay... that's a good one." Beth said a bit surprised, shrugging and taking another drink, "I've never... gotten drunk and did somethin' I regretted."
Daryl rubbed his finger across his scruff and hesitantly grabbed his drink, taking a swig and looking back at Beth, "I've done a lot of things."
"Your turn." Beth assured and Daryl sat for another few moments, thinking of something to ask.
"I've never been on vacation."
"What about campin'?"
"Nah, that's somethin' I had to learn... to hunt."
"Your dad teach you?" Beth asked curiously and Daryl nodded,
"Okay." Beth took another drink and twiddled her fingers across the cup, "I've never... been in jail."
As if a cord snapped on a playing guitar, Daryl's eyes narrowed as he stared at Beth irately, "I mean... as a prisoner."
"Is that what you think of me?" Daryl asked with annoyance and Beth shook her head,
"I didn't mean anything serious. I just thought-like you know- the drunk tank? Even my dad got locked up for that back in the day."
"Drink up." Daryl said cockily and Beth struck a thought,
"Wait... prison guard? Were you a prison guard, before?"
Daryl only stared at her, a few moments of silence before he spoke again, "No."
Beth didn't even sense the annoyance radiating off Daryl, smiling and pointing towards him with her cup, "It's your turn again."
Daryl had enough of the childish game, his irritation beginning to get on dangerous levels with the influence of the alcohol hitting his system. He slammed his hand down on the crate and stood up, "I'm gonna take a piss."
Nonchalantly, Daryl walked over towards the back of the kitchen, dropping his mason jar carelessly. It shattered into pieces, the booze splashing against his boots as he undid his belt and whipped himself out to take a piss. Beth furrowed her brow, "Hey! We have to be quiet!"
"Can't hear ya, I'm takin' a piss!" Daryl rose his voice loudly. Beth stayed quiet,
"Daryl! Don't talk so loud!"
"What're you!? My chaperone now!?" Daryl yelled back at her as he continued pissing. He finally relieved himself and zipped up his pants, redoing his belt and turning around to face Beth once again, "Oh wait! It's my turn, right!? I never uhh... eaten frozen yogurt, never had a pet pony! Never got nothin' from Santa Claus! Never relied on anyone for protection before! Hell! I don't think I ever relied on anyone for anything!"
"Daryl..." Beth shook her head to try and stop him but he cut her off,
"Never sang in front of a big group out in public like everythin' was fun! Like everythin' was a big game!" After thrashing a couple things around in his tirade, Daryl turned around and huffed, then turned back around to face her again angrily, "I sure as hell never cut my wrists lookin' for attention!"
The Walker outside made itself known once again with a loud snarl, its dead arms slamming up against the side of the house. Daryl turned around and eyed his crossbow, "Sounds like our friend out there is callin' for his buddies!"
"Daryl! Just shut up!"
"You ever shot her crossbow before!?" Daryl grabbed up his crossbow, pointing at Beth, "Imma teach you right now! C'mon! This is gonna be fun!"
Daryl grabbed Beth by the wrist and yanked her up, kicking the front door open loudly. Beth scurried along behind him, "We should stay inside! Daryl, cut it out! Daryl!"
Daryl ignored Beth's cries and continued to angrily pull her along, seeing the Walker move towards them with acknowledgment. His chest burned with rage, "C'mere dumbass! C'mere dumbass!"
Just as the Walker cleared out of the brush, Daryl took his chance and pulled the trigger on his crossbow, nailing the Walker in shoulder and pinning it to a tree. Beth looked at him as he went to reload his crossbow, "Daryl-!"
"You wanna shoot!?"
"Daryl-! I- I don't know how!" Beth contested and Daryl ignored her, walking up behind her and wrapping his arm around her chest.
"It's easy! C'mere!" Daryl said and Beth tried to get from his grasp, "Black corner!"
"Let's practice later!" Beth yelled and Daryl put the nose of his crossbow to the ground, reloading it once again.
"C'mon! It's fun."
"Just stop it, Daryl!"
"C'mere." This time, Daryl wrapped his arm around her neck and rested his crossbow out in front of the two of them with his free arm, aiming at the Walkers heart, "Eight ball..."
"Just kill it!"
"C'mere Greene!" Daryl let go of Beth and began walking towards the pinned Walker, "Lets get these out and get more target practice!"
Beth was quick to get around Daryl, not having anymore of Daryl's hissy fit. She stomped past him and ripped her knife from its sheath, stabbing the Walker in the skull and ending its life. Daryl's piercing eyes glared at Beth, "What'd you do that for!? We were havin' fun!"
"No! You were bein' a jackass! If anyone found my dad-!"
"Don't! That ain't even remotely the same!" Daryl shook his head and Beth protested against him,
"Killin' them isn't supposed to be fun!"
"What do you want from me girl!? Huh!?"
"I want you to stop actin' like you don't give a crap about anythin'! Like nothin' we went through matters... like none of the people we lost meant anythin' to you! It's bullshit!" Beth shouted, her demeanor changing to both angry and sad. Daryl's lips drew into a thin line and he nodded his head,
"That what you think?"
"That's what I know."
"You don't know nothin'." Daryl grunted back, his voice beginning to crack when his mind started racing back to everyone they had lost.
"I know every time you look at me, you just see another dead girl. I'm not Michonne, I'm not Carol, I'm not Maggie... and I ain't Harli either. I survived and you don't get it because I'm not you, or Harli, or them! But I made it! You don't get to treat me like crap cuz you're afraid!"
Daryl leaned in close to her, his eyes boring into hers. She stood her ground and stared back at him with equal strength, "I ain't afraid of nothin."
"I remember..." Beth began her reply softly, "When we all found each other back on the highway, when we lost the farm after the herd attacked... when you told us Harli sacrificed herself for you and how much you wanted to go back. When you guys brought her back to camp that night and she was practically dead? I saw the look in your eye... and God forbid you let anyone get close to you!"
As if she were insulting him, Daryl chewed on his cheek, thinking about the awful memory of that night, "Too close huh? You know all about that! You lost two boyfriends and you can't even shed a tear! Your whole families gone and you go out lookin' for hooch like some college bitch!"
"Screw you." Beth said bitterly and she narrowed her eyes, "You can't even admit you're terrified Harli could be out there and dead. You don't get it."
"No! You don't get it! Everyone we know is dead! Including Harli!"
"You don't know that!
"You might as well because you ain't never gonna see them again!" Daryl barked back, his heart beginning to beat rapidly as he became more emotional, "Rick... you ain't never gonna see Maggie again!"
"No!" Daryl ripped his arm away from her as she tried to grab his arm in attempts to stop him. Daryl began to pant as he felt tears well up in his eyes, his back staying turned away from her, "The Governor rolled right up to our gates... m-maybe if I hadn't had stopped lookin'... maybe cuz I gave up, that's on me!"
"Daryl!" Beth attempted to calm him down but Daryl pulled away again,
"You're dad... and- and Harli." Daryl dropped his head and close his eyes tightly, "The only damn person to give a shit about me... I made her go for the bus. I don't even know if she made it or not... I could've just kept her with me. Then-then maybe she'd be here right now."
Beth grabbed him into a hug from behind, tightly keeping her arms wrapped around his chest. Daryl felt a few tears roll down his cheek, "I don't want her to be dead... I don't wanna be in this world without her."
"She's alive, Daryl." Beth said calmly and quietly from behind him, "Don't let the thought of what could have been let you think otherwise."
Daryl began to sob as he couldn't keep all his emotions in check. He had bottled up all his grief and did what he could to keep it locked up. He thought that he had come to terms with the thoughts that he wouldn't see any of his friends again, and the beloved woman that he had by his side. Her green eyes, her amazing smile, and that warm kiss that always lit his fire flooded his mind uncontrollably. Daryl wanted so badly to see her again, alive, and just wanted to feel her body in his arms again. He had to stop thinking about his obvious thoughts and start thinking more practical thoughts. He knew that Harli was strong, she had been through a lot, and he knew she could take care of her own when it came down to it.
'She's alive... she's gotta be alive.'