The Blind Leading the Blind
Andrea's ears are red.
That only happens when a) she's embarrassed, or b) when she's pissed as hell.
And right now she's pissed as hell.
So is he. They've been yelling at each other and arguing for what feels like ages now and neither will back down. He's huffing and she's got her arms crossed in front of her and he expects to see steam coming out of her ears. Her eyes are so icy white that Daryl fears at any moment she's gonna start controlling the weather and put a lightning bolt in his ass.
But he doesn't back down because hell, he's just as stubborn as she is. He stands his ground. Because being third down the chain of command doesn't mean she can take off and do whatever the hell she wants, go on a suicide mission cause she thinks she's Wonder Woman now. And when Rick is gone, Daryl is in charge. It's not written in stone or anything, but it is what it is.
Besides, Rick's only been gone for two days and Rick always makes it back. He's tough and smart, and who knows what would happen to her out there? And if something happened to Rick, then something happened to Rick and they'll just have to move on without him. That's the new world they're living in.
So no, she's not going anywhere. Period.
He sets his foot down so loudly he thinks people in hell can hear it.
"Whatever, Daryl," she finally says and storms out, slamming the door shut with so much violence it almost comes off its hinges.
He stands there, heart beating fast, breathing hard, his hands balled into fists.
He wants to fucking punch a wall or break something or snap someone in half. Her voice is still ringing in his ears and he can still see her face, hear all the things they yelled at each other.
He needs to take the rage out on some squirrels.
But he's so angry he can't even shoot a damn one. How he wishes he could get his hands on a bottle of any type of alcohol. Hell, he'd drink butane if it promised to dull him down.
And even when he manages to cool off a bit, he's still pissed as hell. He realizes he's not really pissed at their fight, he's pissed that it happened. He's pissed that it's got him all riled up. He's pissed that they were both just stubborn and stupid and couldn't control themselves. He's pissed at the anxiety of the aftermath.
He's pissed at this world and his role in it. Why the hell is he in charge, anyway? Why did he take on the responsibility? Cause Shane is gone now and Rick trusts him and these idiots look up to him. Why? Cause they're stupid and he has some resemblance of thought. It's bullshit.
This is bullshit, this new compulsion to protect them. And it's what started his fight with Andrea.
They had disagreements before, but mostly amicable ones. She'd say, "you're right," or he'd say, "you're right," and that was that. After all, they were of similar minds, and though both were stubborn as mules, they both tended to think the same way. And Rick was good at delegating with both of them, firing ideas back and forth between the two of them and making the right choices. The three of them made a good team. There never was any conflict before.
But this is the first time they had an actual fight, and Daryl doesn't know what the hell to do or think.
He doesn't go back to their room that night, merely climbs into his truck and spends the night there, unable to sleep and reliving the fight over and over in his mind, wondering if maybe it was his fault and he should've done something more, said something else, or just walked away. He wants to go back in time and change things but he can't, and even if he could, he's not sure he'd let her go out there and get herself hurt. That was just not an option. Rather have her pissed and alive than happy and dead.
When he wakes up the next morning, with a neck kink (great) and dark circles under his eyes, he feels like shit.
He feels like he's ran a marathon then marched down to a bar, got plastered, beat the shit out of someone, and then passed out over his Grand Slam at some dirty Denny's (for the third time in his life).
But he finds out Rick is back, and that makes him feel better.
When he sees Andrea's face again he can tell she's still pissed (but also relieved that Rick is safe). He looks at her but she refuses to look at him and fuck this. He can't be in the house with her around anymore so he takes his plate and marches out to eat his breakfast outside.
Truth is, he hates this. He hates being mad at her but that's nothing compared to how much he hates the fact that she's mad at him.
Aren't they supposed to make each other happy? Isn't that what people in these relationship things do? He's all confused and fearing the worst and in need of advice (much as he hates to admit it, but he's new at this and Andrea's a complicated one).
He can't go to Rick. Rick already has too many problems, with a pregnant Lori due any day now, the group relying on him too much to keep them safe. Rick doesn't need to hear about his stupid problems, he's too stressed out and Daryl has to look out for him. Plus, he's married and that's not what he and Andrea have (not that he knows what he and Andrea have. Not anymore, at least).
Hershel, maybe? The old man might have some wisdom in him but Daryl isn't close to him and that would just be plain awkward. Hey, Foghorn Leghorn, I know you just lost your whole family, but can I talk to you about my chick problems? Thanks, bro *fist bump*.
T-Dog? T-Dog is just gonna be Team Andrea, probably try to kick his ass for yelling at her because T-Dog and Andrea are close.
He sees Glenn cross the yard and figures, ah hell. He's pretty much desperate at this point.
Glenn is gathering water from a well when Daryl approaches him. He tries to shut his brain down because if he thinks about it some more, he's just gonna change his mind and turn around. And he can't do that. He doesn't know why. But he needs to figure this out and he's just too confused.
"Hey," he says and Glenn jumps back. He doesn't know why Glenn gets skittish around him. But it's fun.
"Oh, hey. What, what's going on?" Glenn replies.
Glenn starts pumping water again, now wearily, and Daryl just stands there with his arms crossed. How the hell is he gonna bring this up, though? Put Glenn in a little box that says 'The Doctor Is In' and start talking?
Glenn is sort of perceptive, though, and picks up on Daryl's sour mood. "What's wrong?"
Daryl stays quiet for a while. Truly doesn't even know how to word it. This is ridiculous. Merle would kick his ass.
"Me an Andrea got into it yesterday," the words finally come out in a mumble and oh, God, he hates himself. All he hears in his head is, what are you doing talking about shit like this with some Asian kid? Are you high? What did you smoke?
"Why?" Glenn asks, all new and pink and innocent.
Daryl groans at him. "Does it matter?"
"Well, yeah," Glenn says, using some sort of Glenn logic that only makes sense to Glenn. "Was it a big fight?"
He shrugs his shoulders. "Kinda."
"Did she hit you?"
"No!" Daryl snaps, looking at him like he's lost his damn mind. "The hell's wrong with you? Ya let Maggie smack you around?"
"No," Glenn says stubbornly. "I mean, she pinches me sometimes, scratched me once, but I, you know—never mind. What did she do?"
"Just screamed and stormed out," he says, reliving the moment and ugh.
"Did you sleep on the couch?"
"Oh, man," Glenn says gravely, grimacing. "That's not good."
His heart sinks as he looks at Glenn. So not the answer he was hoping for. "It's not?"
"Maggie's never thrown me out," Glenn says. "I mean, she threw an egg at my head once. That was gross. But she's never thrown me out."
Fuck, Daryl thinks.
"I bring her flowers, sometimes. When we fight," Glenn suggests like he's trying to throw him a lifeline but it completely misses him. "But I guess Andrea's not into that, huh?"
Yeah, thanks for the useless noise, asshole.
"Sorry, man," Glenn adds and fuck, that's it. He walks away and when he reaches the fence he leans his elbows onto the logs that run across the top.
Well, fine. It was fun while it lasted. He doesn't know how they're gonna deal with the awkwardness of living under the same roof but they'll figure it out. Not like they don't have bigger things to worry about, like freaking zombies everywhere. They'll get distracted soon and move on. He doesn't like it. He really doesn't fucking like it, he realizes, but it is what it is.
He stays there for a while, playing with the grass, digesting this. Relationship status: clicking 'single'. It's almost evening when he feels movement behind him and turns around, and what do you know? Speak of the devil.
Daryl tries to seize her up but he can't really read her. She's squinting at the sun and has her arms crossed, and looks at the ground when she nears him. She doesn't say anything as she reaches him and leans on the fence, looking ahead. He does the same. They do this a lot, mimic each other randomly. He doesn't know why. She started doing it and now he does it, too. It's weird.
"So that's it, then, huh?" He doesn't know why but why drag it? Best to just get it over with and move on.
She looks at him, frowning or squinting at the light, he doesn't know.
"You gonna give me my Dear John letter?"
She looks at him as if he's gone mental and that must be it, he thinks. He's gone mental. That's what this all is. It makes sense now.
One side of her body turns and faces him. "Daryl, it was a stupid fight."
That, right there? Total foreign language. Some Chinese or something. He furrows his eyebrows at her, confused.
Andrea squints and shakes her head like he's talking to her in another language, too. "You think I would break up with you over a stupid fight?"
He stands back and faces her. "Glenn said-"
"You went to Glenn for advice?" she exclaims and grimaces. "Oh, Daryl."
He frowns. "What? He's got a girl, too."
He looks at her and thinks about it and yeah. Okay. Point 1 to Andrea.
His frown intensifies and he heavily tosses a piece of grass away, all bitter like an 8 year old throwing a tantrum. "Hell, like I was thinking straight."
She smiles and is so overcome by his cuteness and insecurity that she reaches for him, pulls him close, covers his cheeks with her hands and kisses the mole next to his mouth. "It's good to fight every once in a while, Daryl."
He breathes easier and feels like a heavy weight has been lifted off his shoulders, but not all of it. This is too weird. New and solid and just weird. But he can't stop himself from pressing his hands to her hips.
"Didn't feel so good to me."
"No, it's good," she says. "Airs everything out. If we're fighting, especially over stupid stuff, it means we're doing something right."
He thinks about this, makes no sense, but he figures it must be some sort of chick logic.
"So we still on?"
"Of course, you idiot," she says and kisses him and he lets all his frustration out into lips moving, tongues scraping, and hands touching. It's different, more intense, rock solid.
She pulls back after a moment, eyes darkened. "You know what else is good about fighting?"
She looks at him and raises an eyebrow suggestively, her hand reaching below. "Make up sex."
He smiles and grabs her hand and and drags her towards the house, taking long strides, and she jogs to keep up with him and giggles.
That door's gonna fall apart, Daryl thinks as it's violently tossed again, but puts it out of his mind as he gets rid of her shirt and she pushes him down on their bed, straddling.
He runs his hands up and down her thighs and grins at her. "You wouldn't throw an egg at me, would ya?"
She looks confused and pretty all bathed in the afternoon sun. "What?"
"Never mind." He reaches for her and kisses her.
I think I have a problem.