Here's some fluff. Enjoy your fluff.
Several things about the new world stumped Daryl.
One: he never once thought there would be such a thing as the walking dead. He'd never once believed in monsters, not once.
Well, that was a lie. There were a few exceptions.
Fine, a lot of exceptions. He'd grown in the woods, after all. He'd seen strange things. Weird lights in the sky, strange creatures roaming the forest, unnatural sounds and some paranormal shit that Merle would kick his ass for if he said the word 'paranormal' out loud, but things he'd seen and experienced that he couldn't explain.
The walkers were different, though. They were complete science fiction. They'd only existed in movies. Funny how it all worked out in the end. Zombies. Last thing he thought would ever happen to this humanity. But it happened and they're there and he just dealt with it out of necessity.
Secondly, he never thought he'd find himself a member of a community, as small as their community was. He never thought he'd have a family. He would never admit to it, not out loud and certainly not to certain members of the group, but these stupid knuckleheads... they were his family. A weird ass dysfunctional family, but the only family he'd ever known.
But most of all, he never thought he'd find himself scratching at the back of his head and frowning at a piece of paper, reading the chicken scratch writing over again and confused as hell.
The pile he'd been able to collect lay in the back of the pick-up truck and he looked at the list once more. Most of the items had been crossed out but several others he'd yet to find. He knew it would only take one trip back to collect them, but one word in particular had him all confused.
He went back into the mini-mart, his eyes quickly scanning for Glenn. He found the young man by the babies section, raiding the racks. The good thing about major cities - they'd been so overrun by the walkers so quickly that very few people had been left behind to loot the stores. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco... the virus had taken over these cities so quickly that myriads of shops and stores remained intact. No one dared enter these cities. No one was foolish enough.
Yet here he was with Glenn, looting stores in Savannah, quietly getting rid of geeks here and there while trying to stay quiet. Savannah had everything they needed, an endless supply of canned goods, clinics, and hardware stores. Score one for them. But Savannah was also overrun by walkers. Thousands of them roaming the streets, looking for their next meal. This was a pretty risky mission, but a necessary one.
Daryl didn't think like that, though. If it hadn't been for the imminent entrance of the new baby Grimes, he wouldn't even be here. He only came along because while Glenn was a genius at scavenging, strategizing, and scouting, the boy couldn't fight to save his life.
"Hey," he whispered as he approached Glenn, list still in hand.
"Almost done," Glenn said in the same hushed tone.
Daryl neared him. "Hey, what the hell's this?" He pointed at an item on the list.
Glenn stopped what he was doing and quickly glanced at the piece of paper. When he read the word Daryl was pointing at he snorted. "Uh, that's uh..." he chuckled once more, pointing to an area behind Daryl, "um, feminine hygiene aisle?"
Daryl frowned at him. It took a while, a long while, for the words to register but once they did he grimaced and nearly dropped the piece of paper in disgust, taking one step back. "Uuuggghhhhh!"
"Aisle 5, I think," Glenn added. "Right over there."
Daryl shook his head quickly. "Naw, man. Uh, you... you take care of that."
"I can't, I have to get as much baby stuff as I can, and we don't have much time," Glenn whispered.
Daryl sneered at him. "What, you want me to do it?"
"It's on your list, not mine."
"I don't even know what the fuck this is," Daryl hissed at him as quietly as he could.
Glenn shushed him, and finally relented with a sight when he saw the look of panic in Daryl's eyes. Not to mention the store was littered with dormant walkers and they couldn't afford to make much noise. Thing about the dormant ones, once they were up they had more energy than the roamers. If they made too much noise those walkers would awake and obliterate them both within seconds. "Okay, just..." he whispered as quietly as he could. "Let me finish here, and I'll meet you over there, alright?"
Daryl wanted to strangle the kid. "Fine," he muttered, walking away, would've stomped like a 5 year old child if it didn't put them in so much danger.
Aisle 5. It already gave him shivers and he wasn't even close to it. When he came upon it, he stood at the very end and sighed. To his right, shampoo and deodorant and soaps. To his left... the unknown.
He started walking, looking up and down the racks, note still in hand. When he came upon the forsaken section he stopped, staring at all the pink bags and small little boxes. He frowned, confused and annoyed, but his frown turned into a sigh of defeat when he realized there was no way out of this.
Why would Andrea do this to him? Why? She could've made Glenn do it. Glenn would've just picked up what she needed, no problem, and delivered it back without much fuss. But Daryl... What on earth made her think Daryl was the best man for this job? Had she met him?
Didn't she know he didn't even understand how he felt about her half the time? And what in the hell did this mean? It was one thing when she asked him for certain items: conditioner, those hair tie thingies that didn't pinch her hair, warm clothes... no problem. But this... this was... what the hell was this now? This was some shit Rick would do for Lori or Glenn for Maggie. This wasn't something Daryl Dixon did for anyone.
"Hey," Glenn whispered, walking closer. "You got it?"
"No," Daryl said, looking at the list and scratching the back of his head once more. "I don't even know what the fuck I'm looking for."
"Here, let me see," Glenn said, reaching for the list. He read the word once more - it was really just a brand name, but he understood why Daryl wouldn't recognize it - and looked up and down the racks. Daryl watched him wearily. "Uh," Glenn uttered as he scanned the area. No tampons in sight. "Um, I think they're all out."
"Good, let's go," Daryl said quickly.
"No, wait," Glenn hissed. "Uh, they probably need this stuff, right? You know. I mean, they need this stuff, right?"
Daryl sneered at him. "The hell are you asking me for?"
"I mean, it's here," Glenn said nervously, a bit too emphatically. "And... I mean, we might as well take some back. Right? I mean, they probably need it."
Daryl snorted and shook his head. "I ain't touching any of this stuff."
"No, come on," Glenn insisted. "If it's on the list, she needs it. Trust me."
"How the hell do you know?"
"I grew up with 3 sisters," Glenn sighed, the mere memories of three PMSing teenage girls on the same cycle making him shudder. "Trust me."
Daryl grumbled. "Fine."
"Okay," Glenn said, scanning the racks once more. Like it needed some sort of deep thinking? Daryl shook his head incredulously.
"Well," Glenn thought out loud. "Seems like all they have is sanitary napkins."
Daryl grimaced at the words. "Ya don't have to talk. Just grab it and go."
Glenn didn't seem to hear him and turned to him instead. "Is Andrea a regular?"
"A regular what?"
"You know?" Glenn said, making a little flowy motion with his hand around his groin. "Like, every month?"
Daryl stared at him strangely. Was this a bad dream? "The fuck are you, speaking Chinese?"
Glenn sighed, exasperated. "You don't even know what she uses?"
"Hell no, how would I know?"
Glenn rolled his eyes. "Didn't you ever go out with women?"
Daryl's featured hardened like he'd been insulted. "Course I did."
"You never noticed the brands and stuff they kept in their medicine cabinets?"
Daryl shrugged his shoulders, looking at all the little packages. None of that shit looked remotely familiar. "Never stayed long enough afterwards to haveta use the bathroom."
"Lovely." Glenn sighed and picked up a package. "Well, my sisters. They used to use these. I don't know what Andrea likes, but it's all they got here."
Daryl grabbed the package from Glenn's hand and frowned at it. "Wings? The hell does she need wings for?"
"I think they're just there to, uh... never mind, the less you know about this the better."
"Ya ain't kidding."
Glenn thought for a moment and finally just grabbed a few more. "Let's just take them all, might as well. We have room."
"Fine by me, let's just go."
Glenn reached for another garbage bag and Daryl threw all the little packages in, grimacing like they were going to infect him or something. On their way back, as they drove by loaners and lurkers, he felt Glenn shift uncomfortably next to him. Daryl knew him now long enough to know, and wasn't surprised when Glenn got into his "sharing of minds" mood. That kid was all chick sometimes.
"So how come you stay with Andrea?"
Daryl frowned at the road ahead. "Uh?"
"With the other women," Glenn asked, almost nervously, but nosy as he's prone to get during long trips, "you said you never spent the night. But you spend every night with Andrea."
Daryl stayed quiet for a moment, hoping Glenn would take the hint and drop it, but he knew by now, the more nervous Glenn got, the chattier he became. The kid couldn't control his yapping to save his life. Shit appeared in his mind and it came right out his mouth.
"Ain't like I got anywhere to go," he finally said.
"You could go back to your room."
"Why don't you shut that mouth of yours?" How he wishes the radio still worked, because he wants to drown out this conversation with whatever noise he can.
"Just saying," Glenn said sheepishly.
"Just sayin' what?" Daryl had to struggle hard not to throw that kid out of the moving car. What the hell was he insinuating, that Daryl was Andrea's bitch? Like hell, and if there was a bitch in the car, it was Glenn himself, letting Maggie push him around and treat him like shit when she got into one of her moods. Rick was the same, letting that vile woman walk all over him and abuse him. Plenty of whipped bottoms in that damn house, but Daryl wasn't one of them.
"Mind your damn business," he finally grumbled. Thankfully, Glenn shut his mouth and the rest of the ride was in silence.
The minute Lori began to complain about the car seat being all wrong, Daryl had to walk into the house lest he strangle the bitch. He dropped by Carol's room to give her the clothes he'd found for her, threw a box of random cigarettes at T-Dog, and found Andrea in her room, laying in bed with her arm draped across her eyes. Same way he'd left her that morning and he frowned, placing the bag he'd been carrying on the floor next to her dresser.
She took a deep breath and opened her eyes just long enough to acknowledge him. "Hey."
Daryl frowned. That morning she'd been all nervousness, clingy and whiny as she begged Glenn to please make it back in one piece. Now she barely seemed to care that he was back. He was gonna have to consult Glenn about this one. "S'wrong?"
She stayed quiet, and it looked to him like she was almost meditating or something. She finally sighed. "Nothing."
He took one step forward because this... this was some weird stuff. Andrea was not the quiet type, especially when something bothered her. And something was clearly bothering her. Maybe she was pissed at him? He didn't like the unpleasant thought. But he hadn't done anything wrong. Had he?
She nodded, eyes still closed, her hand resting over her lower abdomen. "Yeah. It's just cramps. They'll go away."
Daryl grimaced at the word, but also grew confused. He'd seen that woman get knocked out, fall down, twist her ankle, dislocate her shoulder, and in need of several stitches after many mishaps with the knives, and he'd never seen her in as much pain as she looked then.
He didn't get any of this. But then he wasn't Glenn, who had grown up with a busload of sisters. He hadn't even grown with his mother. How could it hurt that much? This woman was practically made of steel at this point but a few cramps knocked her out?
"Ya take something from Hershel?"
She shook her head. "No. We can't spare the meds. It's fine."
Okay. He stood there a while longer, not really knowing what to do. Not like he was gonna cuddle her, she hated cuddling as much as he did. Still felt wrong because her face was all red and her hand would ball into a fist every once in a while like someone was stabbing her or something.
In the end he just left cause hell, this was not his thing. He wasn't good at coddling or comforting people, couldn't make anyone better if he tried. Maybe he'd send Glenn in there so the kid and Andrea could eat chocolate and braid each other's hair and talk about their feelings. Glenn was good at all that stuff.
He picked up his crossbow on the way out and spent a few hours trying to see if he could catch at least a rabbit. His eyes kept drifting to the house, though, unwillingly, and something nagged at him. Was she gonna be okay? Maybe he should've asked Carol to keep a close eye on her. Not that Andrea couldn't take care of herself, but she was in pain and thinking of her being in pain made him feel uneasy.
Those knuckleheads. First Carol got to him, then Rick, now Andrea's all under his skin. If he kept letting his guard down he could end up being best friends with Lori.
He shuddered at the thought. But he felt a certain obligation and he still didn't like that Andrea was in pain. Nothing he could've done about it, he wasn't good at that shit, but he still didn't like it and mostly he didn't like the implications of him not liking it.
This was all Glenn's fault, really.
In the end he couldn't catch any rabbits, came back home with something else instead. When he went back into her room she still lay there, this time curled on her side, frowning into the pillow.
Andrea finally opened her eyes and looked at him and the mug he carried inquisitively. "What is it?"
"Ginger root," Daryl said, sitting by her. "S'good for you. Drink it."
She barely brought the cup to her mouth before she groaned in disgust. "Urgh, smells horrible."
"Gawd," she grimaced as she took the first sip. "What are you giving me?"
"Quit bitching, just drink it," he said. "Ginger's good for all that woman stuff."
"Woman stuff, huh?" Andrea said, shaking her head and taking a long gulp of the tea. It tasted horrid, but after 8 solid hours of the worst cramps she'd ever experienced, she was desperate for anything to work.
She was almost at the point where she wanted to throw herself at a herd of walkers. Since the world had gone to shit she'd stopped ovulating almost immediately, the stress of their new lives making her body go all crazy. But for the past month they'd been staying in a new house, all warm and safe. The stress was gone, but her period came back with a vengeance. One more minute of this and she was going to reach for her gun and blow her ovaries out.
She finished the disgusting tea and gave him the empty cup. The warm water pooled in her stomach and it dulled the pain slightly. What she wouldn't give for a heating pad. And chocolate. She would kill everyone in the house for a piece of chocolate.
She smiled at him and curled into herself again. "Thank you."
"Mm," he nodded. The bag he'd brought for her still sat parked by her dresser and Daryl reached for it. "I, uh... they didn't have that stuff you wanted, so I brought some... other stuff."
Andrea opened her eyes. Daryl sat on the edge of the bed with a giant bag between his legs, digging into it. She smiled at the comical picture. "Look at you. My period fairy."
"Haha," Daryl said sarcastically. He reached inside and kept coming out with different packages. "Here, I got you some wings. And these are some thin things... Sorry the package is open, I hadta use the bathroom on our way back. And if ya don't like wings, these are heavy, it says here, so. These other ones are for overnight. These smaller ones... hum, I don't know. Lunch time, maybe."
Andrea tried to take a peek. "No tampons?"
"T—" Daryl began but stopped. He just couldn't even bring himself to say the word. It sounded so ridiculous. "Got you what was there."
He nodded and leaned against the headrest, close to her. "Got enough shit there to last ya a while. Don't be sharing it with Maggie, neither, cause I ain't shopping for that stuff again."
Andrea looked at him and frowned, propping herself up on one elbow. "You got this stuff?"
"Course, you gave me a damn list," he said all gruffly.
"I didn't think you were gonna read it," she said, and at the image of him collecting all this stuff, she chuckled. "I thought you were just gonna give it to Glenn. I didn't mean for you to get this."
Daryl looked down at the bag, frowning at it slightly. "Oh."
She looked at him and her features softened. When Daryl looked down, there were tears in her eyes.
"Oh, hell no," he groaned.
"You actually picked all this stuff for me?" she said, her voice pitched, her hand over her chest.
Daryl groaned. "I ain't gonna stay here if ya're gonna start perioding," he said and began to stand up, but she grabbed him and pushed him back down.
"Arg. Let me go, woman!"
Andrea did so and chuckled when he stilled instead of running away. He frowned and growled but she could tell he was trying to stifle a smile. She got closer and kissed his cheek. "You're really cute, Daryl."
He made a face. "Shhh, I ain't cute, don't call me that. Jeez, what the hell's wrong with ya?"
"You are," she said.
"You're on your crazy period hormones." But he let her inch closer and didn't complain when she let her arm fall across his stomach.
"Maybe," Andrea said. "I still think you're cute."
Daryl groaned at the word again. Cute. Daryl Dixon, cute. Ha!
Luckily Andrea was no Lori or Maggie and just closed her eyes and let the matter drop. He didn't know why she never expected or demanded things from him, not that he was about to start complaining. Daryl Dixon didn't do mushy. Yeah, she would surprise him with a kiss here and there, he didn't like it at first but now it wasn't so bad. And sometimes she would hold his hand as they walked. Freaked him out a first, but now it was kind of okay. Still, they'd been doing this whatever thing for a while and she'd never tried to talk to him about it.
It was odd. She was odd, this one.
But he figured: he was pretty odd, too. Maybe their oddness cancelled each other's out, cause despite it all, he did kinda like being with her. She was strong and sexy and sometimes when he saw her shooting he had to fight the urge to jump her no matter where they were. He often found himself talking to her about stuff he didn't tell anyone else. And she wasn't demanding, didn't ever try to get all romantic, and knew when he just needed to be alone.
She was really kinda like a bro. A sexy bro he fucked almost every night and stayed in bed with til morning, but someone he could still have a beer with every weekend, watch a football game with on Sundays. Hell, she'd probably kick his ass at pool.
He closed his eyes and relaxed, opening one after a moment to look at her. "Ya ain't gonna kill me if I let my guard down, are ya?"
"Uh-uh," she hummed. "I don't get angry, really."
Despite himself, he threw an arm around her shoulders and let her curl under his armpit. "Just clingy and weepy, huh?"
"Just clingy and weepy," she confirmed.
He smiled at the ceiling. This was different, new but he wasn't scared. Who knows if it would even happen again? She was all hormonal, after all. In a few days she'd go back to her normal self and who knows. He wasn't a cuddler, neither was she. But he figured it wouldn't kill them this one time.
"Don't hurt anymore?"
"It's better," she whispered against him.
He hummed. "Gonna have to tell me 'bout all this stuff cause I don't know shit about wings or cycles."
"I'll make sure to keep you updated on all my menstrual activities," Andrea said. "Would you like me to start a journal?"
He frowned at the ceiling. "Don't wanna say the wrong thing and get you all pissed, is all."
"Daryl, I don't get like that, really. It just hurts, that's all."
"Ya got all weepy on me a moment ago."
"Fine," she added. "Sometimes I do get weepy, but that's it. I promise."
He turned his head to her, his cheek bumping her forehead. "Ya ain't gonna get like Lori, right?" It was really his greatest fear in life.
Andrea gave him a hard look. "Now, comparing me to Lori like that will get you killed, time of the month or not."
Daryl smirked and returned his attention to the ceiling. He rested his warm hand on her lower back and she hummed approvingly. "Heard her bitch at Glenn cause he didn't get the car seat she wanted."
Andrea sighed. "Well, to be fair we all know what a great driver she is. Forget the car seat, you should've gotten that kid a tank or some heavy medieval armor."
Yeah, he probably should have. Crap, the closer to her due date Lori got, the more terrified it made Daryl. All he could do was pray for a miracle and hope the Grime genes overtook Lori's cause that kid Carl was a total Lori 2.0 and he was a bratty little dumbass.
He decided shopping for tampons and napkins with wings wasn't so bad compared to what Rick had to put up with every day.
Andrea was starting to fall asleep. He was getting hungry and could already smell whatever Carol was cooking.
He didn't move, though, and when she sighed against him he nudged her foot with his. "Don't get all comfy. I ain't spending the night if I'm not getting laid."
She looked up at him. "You will if you don't want me to start crying again."
"Ah, hell," Daryl protested, though he knew she was just pulling his chain. She chuckled quietly and stamped her lips to the side of his neck and he rolled her on her back, pressing his face to her chest and humming into her skin. "Mmm. At least your tits are bigger."
Andrea sighed and rolled her eyes. "Okay fine, I retract my cute statement."