Author's Note: This is AU. Takes place after Sophia's death, but without any other set events surrounding the setting of this story.
Lori had suggested to Rick that Carol and Daryl be sent in to town on the next supply run. When he asked her why she made such a suggestion, Lori merely smiled. The next week, Rick approached Daryl and asked him if he would be willing to ride into town and pick up a few things. After a bit of grumbling, Daryl finally agreed.
As Rick was handing Daryl the list of items they needed from town, he said, "Why don't you take Carol along with you. It'd do her some good to get off the farm for a bit."
"Uh…sure," Daryl took the list from Rick and called over to Carol, "Woman! I'm goin' into town and you're comin' so hurry it up!"
Carol abandoned Lori at the clothes line, and hopped on the back of Daryl's motorcycle without question. She couldn't explain why she was so eager to go with him; maybe it was because she wanted a break from the farm, or maybe it was something else.
When they arrived in town, Carol followed Daryl into the local store. He handed her the "shopping" list and told her he would keep watch with the cross-bow while she got what they needed. After a few minutes, Carol had the backpack full, and they were ready to head back.
Carol was about to hop onto the motorcycle when something caught her eye. A few stores over was a dress shop, and in the window, a beautiful white gown. She wandered over to the window with a dreamy look planted on her face. Daryl was growing impatient.
"What you lookin' at?" He headed towards her, "Oh."
"It's a wedding gown," Carol said on a breath, "Isn't it beautiful?"
"We gotta head back…"
"Okay," Carol nodded, still not taking her eyes off of the simple, lace, form-fitting gown. It wasn't over the top; it was simple and it was beautiful.
"Besides, didn't you wear one of them things at yours and Ed's weddin'?"
"No," Carol turned attention from the dress to the ground beneath her feet, "Money was tight. I just wore one of my Sunday dresses."
"You wanna go in and look at it closer?" Daryl decided to tease her, "Your nose is practically pressed to the glass."
Carol sighed and turned away, "No, that's fine. Besides, what would I ever do with a wedding gown?"
"Get married?" Daryl didn't know where that had come from or why he had said it, but he instantly fell like a complete and utter moron as soon as the words spilled sloppily from his mouth.
"Ha," Carol rolled her eyes, "Who'd wanna marry me?"
"I dunno," Daryl shrugged, "World's gone to shit; surely there's someone out there wantin' to marry someone before everyone gets 'et up."
"Well Daryl," Carol chuckled, "if you got one thing goin' for you, it's that you're a hopeless romatic!"
"I try. Do you think you ever will though?"
"Will I ever what?"
"Get married again," Daryl asked simply.
"Daryl, the world isn't the same any more, and I doubt it ever will be. Why worry about something silly like marriage when we have to fight each day to survive?"
Daryl leaned against the window, "I dunno…it just seems like maybe you should. Then you wouldn't be alone."
"I'm not alone," Carol reminded him, "I have you."
Daryl didn't know why his cheeks felt flushed, but he ignored it and said, "Yeah, but if you find someone you want to survive with, you should. Hell, Rick or Hershel could officiate and Lori and Andrea would go hog-wild with plannin' a weddin'. I-I could maybe find some more of them wildflowers for you to hold on to…or somethin'…"
"It would be nice," Carol pictured herself walking towards the man she was about to marry, Daryl's flowers in her hands. She imagined Rick saying a few words and Hershel reading out of his family's bible. She imagined having a big dinner afterwards, and everyone would have a good time…it'd take their minds off of the troubles of the world…
"But you're forgetting," she reminded him, "I don't have anyone to marry."
"Shit, I'd marry you."
Daryl kicked himself. Why would he say something like…
"What?" Carol laughed a playful laugh, "Daryl Dixon, did you just propose?"
"…No…" Daryl looked at her as if she were insane.
Carol playfully folded her arms across her chest, "It sure sounded like you just did…"
"Tell me why I'd want to marry a pain in the ass like you?" Daryl asked; it was his turn to fold his arms across his chest.
"Well, what makes you think I'd want to marry a jerk like you?"
"Ooh, harsh," Daryl clutched his chest, "I'm heartbroken."
Carol rolled her eyes, "I think you'll live."
"No," Daryl objected, "I've never proposed to anyone before. My first shot and it gets turned down...that stings."
"I thought you said that wasn't a proposal."
"What if it was?" Daryl shrugged.
"Daryl Dixon, why would I marry you? The thought of a wedding…in the midst of all of this…seriously?"
"I just think if you find someone you want to survive with, it'd be nice to marry the guy."
"Well what about you?" Carol asked.
"What about me?" Daryl asked, defensively.
"Have you found someone you want to survive with?"
"Well yeah…but I ain't no marryin' type."
Carol shot him a look.
"I mean…can you picture me as a husband," Daryl chuckled.
"Yes," Carol said.
"Wait…are you serious?"
"Of course," Carol said in complete solemnity.
"You'd make a good husband. You have that whole instinctive-protectiveness thing down-pat."
Daryl was flattered but caught off-guard by her compliment, "Aw, shit, woman…who'd marry me?"
"Whoever she is," Carol smiled at him, "she'd be lucky. So who is she? The woman you said you wanted to survive with?"
"Oh," Daryl uncomfortably placed a hand on the nape of his neck, "Uh…just this chick."
"Woman, get on the damn bike! We ain't got all day here…"
"You're changing the subject!"
"Fine," Daryl grumbled, "I'd want to survive…well…with you."
"Me?" Carol couldn't believe what she had just heard.
"Well yeah you," Daryl chuckled, "Who'd you think, silly woman?"
"I…I don't know…"
"C'mon, we need to get back…"
Carol glanced towards the wedding dress one last time, "Alright," she followed him towards the motorcycle.
Daryl ran into the store.
"What are you doing?" Carol called after him.
He pulled the mannequin out of the window display and fiddled with trying to pull the dress off.
Once he had gotten the dress off, he headed out of the store and handed it to her.
"What in heaven's name am I supposed to do with this…?"
"Wear it," Daryl mounted the bike, "when we get married."
"Daryl," Carol couldn't believe what he had just said, "You can't be serious?"
"Woman, you an' me are gonna get hitched and you're gonna wear that damn dress."
"I thought you weren't the marryin' type?" Carol fought the smile that was tugging at her lips.
"Hey, miracles still happen. Now shut up and say yes."
Carol tilted her head and stared at him with a look of mock-confusion.
"Damn it," Daryl growled, "you know what I meant!"
"Yes," Carol laughed, "Yes, Daryl Dixon…I will marry you."
She walked up the front lawn with the bouquet of Cherokee Roses he had given her ("So that Sophia would be there too" he had said) towards Hershel, Rick, and Daryl. Everyone else stood off to the side, allowing her to walk down in between them – a makeshift aisle.
Hershel read a few verses from his bible, Rick said a few words, and finally…
Rick smiled as he said, "I guess I now pronounce you…husband and wife! You may kiss your bride!"
Daryl blushed; in all honesty, he had never kissed anyone before. As quickly as the blush had appeared, it vanished as he said, "Get over here and kiss me woman, I ain't got all day!"
Author's Note: Ahhhh the fluffiness!