WAIT, hear me out. The reason I didn't update sooner is that I turned 21 last week, and I was very, very busy celebrating with my friends and family for several days. You can't possibly be mad at me for birthday festivities. Also, this chapter is longer than the rest! It's mostly sex, and the rest of it is feelings (there is also significant overlap of those two things).
So, I am both happy and sad to announce that this is, indeed, the last chapter of The Arrangement. I have a few ideas for possible sequels and/or stories that can be read as being in the same universe, but I make no promises. For now, just enjoy the final installment of The Arrangement, and I thank everyone so much for reading through to the end with me! Reviewers for last chapter are kaszz-chan, SparrowofTruth93, Neutral747, Kitty Bane, StrawberriCat, simplegay me, Arsenal Averson, and the ever-lovely writerchick0214, whose review was in PM form! Thank you all so much, I hope you love the final chapter!
(Last time on The Arrangement, in case you need a reminder, Glenn confessed his love to Daryl.)
Daryl's face falls a little and he looks sad and sort of confused. He sinks down onto his knees.
Glenn's heart clenches in his chest, because he's horribly misjudged the situation and Daryl doesn't really want to be with him.
But then Daryl opens his mouth and breathes in to speak. It takes him a second. He doesn't move at all, not to look away or to remove his hands from Glenn's grip, but he does end up whispering, "No, you don't."
"You tryin' to tell me that after all the time you spent tellin' me you didn't fuckin' know, suddenly, after all this time, you do? After we haven't done anything in months? You ain't even known if you were gay." He's agitated now, trying to keep quiet in case Rick can hear, but it's difficult and his breathing is coming faster and his face is twisted up into an expression of bewilderment, anger, and hurt.
"Daryl, Daryl, please," Glenn murmurs, stroking his thumbs over the backs of Daryl's broad hands. "I know I've been stupid, and it took me way longer than it should have, but there's no doubt in my mind anymore about the way I feel."
Daryl stays quiet—he's in no way calm, but he waits for Glenn's explanation.
"It didn't take me long," Glenn says, voice haggard with emotion, "to figure out how attracted to you I was. Once I just let myself feel…" He pauses here, cheeks flushed with embarrassment over the exact method of self-discovery involved. "Once I let myself feel, without thinking, it was really clear to me. But you'd just confessed your love to me, and I didn't want—I didn't think I felt the same. So I let it go, because I didn't want to hurt you. But… last month, that day when we went on the supply run for Judy, and that walker almost got you…" He raises his eyebrows expectantly and Daryl nods in recognition.
"Daryl, it wasn't just that I wanted to save you—I had to. I absolutely had to. There was no rationality behind any of that. It was straight-up emotion. It was like something came over me—and that's when I knew."
Daryl just stares at him for a few seconds, looking less upset, but kind of stricken, and then he whispers, "Why didn't you say anything?"
"I was scared?" Glenn offered, chuckling weakly. "I told you I've been stupid. And an asshole."
Daryl smiles then, miraculously. "I ain't arguin' with that."
He takes his hands back and puts them instead on either side of Glenn's face and just watches him for a few seconds while Glenn's heart flutters.
He leans in and presses a kiss on Glenn's mouth, and lets it linger there. When he pulls back, he closes his eyes and rests his forehead on Glenn's. "Are you sure?" he whispers raggedly, looking pained like he's waiting for a no.
So Glenn traces his fingers over Daryl's eyelids until they open and they make eye contact.
"I am absolutely sure," Glenn says, leaning in for another kiss, and this time, they don't stop. It starts off as innocently as possible, just one chaste kiss after another, but then they deepen and Daryl's tongue begins to sweep softly at Glenn's lips, then into his mouth. Glenn gasps a little and then reciprocates, and the feeling of it shoots straight down between his legs. He finds himself grasping the front of Daryl's shirt, pulling him closer, desperate to be closer.
Daryl responds in kind, his breaths moving in and out of him sounding strained, his large hands pressed against the small of Glenn's back in a way that speaks of overwhelming need.
Glenn's finally had enough. He's achingly hard, and they're kneeling with their thighs slotted together, so he can tell Daryl is, too, and that makes him fucking dizzy and warm. So he leans back, using his grip on Daryl's shirt to keep them connected, until he's flat on his back, half on top of the sleeping bag. He stretches his legs out and lifts his hips up to rub against Daryl a little. The feeling makes him groan.
Daryl breaks the kiss, panting heavily, letting his head rest in the crook of Glenn's neck. He asks roughly, "What do you want to do?"
Glenn grins widely, murmuring against the curve of Daryl's ear, "I seem to remember our last encounter being interrupted."
Daryl lifts his head up to look at Glenn's face, smiling apologetically—he takes in a little bit at a time, his gaze flickering from his nose to his lips, back up to the soft lines of his brow and down to his jaw, then up to his eyes again.
Glenn just nods, running his hands over Daryl's thick biceps.
So Daryl kisses him again, gentler this time, moving his hands down to the hem of Glenn's t-shirt. He pulls back and tugs the shirt off. As soon as he's bare-chested, Glenn, hair mussed, gets to work on Daryl's buttons to even out the score.
"There we go," he says as soon as the shirt is off, letting his hands roam over the bare expanse of skin. "I haven't seen your arms in months. Didn't seem right." He remembers the little scar he felt on Daryl's hip before, when they had sex in that clearing, and he revisits it, feeling the ridge of it. Then he moves up to where the bolt lodged itself in Daryl's side, back when they were looking for Sophia still, and he covers both sides of it with his hand, feeling it out in the darkness.
Daryl smiles shyly, the same way Glenn's seen him do probably hundreds of times, and moves down the length of Glenn's body slowly. He hovers over the button of his pants, stops for a second, then reaches out toward the pack on the other side of the tent. He manages to get it with the tips of his fingers and drags it over, reaching in one of the pockets and rummaging around until he pulls out the bottle of lube. He sets it down carefully on the floor and turns back to Glenn, reaching out to pop the button effortlessly.
Daryl curls his fingers into the waistband of Glenn's jeans and underwear and tugs, letting the zipper open by itself, and he gradually works them down to mid-thigh. Glenn's erection, when released from the confines of his boxer-briefs, bounces out into the open air and hits his belly. Daryl just stops and looks for a moment, admiring the view, absently rubbing Glenn's thigh and hip in wide motions.
Glenn just cannot even believe this is happening. He's mostly naked in front of Daryl, Daryl with the sexy arms who just oozes maleness, Daryl who makes his heart do ridiculous dances in his chest, and that look he's getting is nothing short of reverent. He knows, of course, that Daryl loves him, but seeing that love, seeing the reaction Daryl's having to his body, to his presence, is different. A pleased flush spreads out over his face and down his neck.
He reaches for the button of Daryl's pants and opens them up, sliding the zipper down. Daryl's wearing what appears to be a pair of blue briefs underneath, and the sight of the bulge inside them, visible in the V of the undone zipper, knocks the breath out of Glenn.
Daryl stops him there by grabbing hold of Glenn's waistband again and pulling the jeans and underwear all the way off, casually dumping them to one side. He stands up as much as he can in the low tent and finishes the job, stepping out of his pants.
Dear god, how did Glenn not know that he was attracted to this? Daryl's body is both slim and muscular. He's broad without being bulky, and it's that combination—sleekness and masculinity—that has him so intoxicated, so unbelievably hot. No girl ever made him feel like this, not in the same league as this, ever ever. And his cock, now that Glenn is taking the time to actually look at it, is long and dark, curving up toward his stomach. It's beautiful.
Daryl gets on his knees again, between Glenn's legs, and bends down, hooking one hand behind a knee and using the other to stroke the thin, sensitive skin where leg meets hip. Glenn gasps at this, and Daryl puts his face in that same spot on the other side, nuzzling against it. Glenn's gasp changes into a moan and he writhes.
"Ready to start?" Daryl murmurs into his crotch.
"Yeah," Glenn manages to choke out, closing his eyes. The warmth of Daryl's face is gone, and then the sound of a cap popping open fills the tent. Seconds later, Glenn feels cold, slick fingers contact the underside of his balls and he twitches, shocked by the sensation.
"Shh," Daryl hushes through a grin. Now that Glenn's eyes are open again, he can see the slow movements leading Daryl's hand back, and it's not quite so startling when the fingers touch him again, sliding farther down. Glenn pulls up his knees and plants his feet on the floor to provide easier access.
"I know you ain't ever done this before," Daryl says then with two fingertips pressed gently against Glenn's entrance, "so are you sure you're ready for this?" It's such a strange sensation, because no one's ever touched him therebefore. He can hardly focus on Daryl's words.
"Uh huh. I'm ready."
So Daryl leans down and kisses Glenn again, full on the mouth, as he pushes one finger inside. Glenn arches his back and throws his arms around Daryl, just barely managing not to break the contact between their lips. It hurts a little bit, but mostly at this point it just feels weird, so weird he almost can't stand it. His body is resisting it and so Daryl leaves his finger where it is for the moment until he slowly relaxes.
"That's right," Daryl mumbles encouragingly against Glenn's lips, eyes hooded like he's intoxicated by Glenn, by this whole thing.
He pushes the finger in farther.
Glenn screws up his face and lets out an, "Ah!" of pain and surprise.
"Hey, shh." Daryl brushes a piece of hair off of Glenn's forehead where it was stuck with sweat. "You gotta kinda… bear down on it."
"What the hell does that mean?" Glenn wheezes, even as he does it, which makes Daryl chuckle into his collarbone.
"There ya go."
After a few seconds, the movement inside of him starts to feel good rather than painful or strange, and all he can do is hold on for dear life and pant and squirm. When a second finger is added, he hisses a little bit, but adjusts quickly, and it feels even better after a few seconds—and then everything in Glenn's brain comes to a screeching halt when the pads of Daryl's fingers brush over what really must be that spot. His whole body jerks and out of his mouth comes an abrupt but loud noise. Even though it was just a quick thing, he shoves his wrist into his mouth and bites down anyway, because hopefully there is more of that to come and he doesn't want to alert Rick to what they're doing in here.
There is more, as Daryl proves with a smirk, and Glenn sobs as quietly as he can into the skin of his wrist because it's so overwhelming, it's just too much sensation. Daryl takes pity on him after a few exquisite strokes and pulls mostly out, preferring to run his fingers with a persistent, firm press in circles along the rim.
"I think I gotta do a third finger," he says, "bein' that you've never done this before."
Glenn nods, closing his eyes and shifting a little, trying to relax.
"Hey, hey," Daryl speaks insistently, using his other hand to jostle at Glenn's hip until Glenn opens his eyes again to look at him. "You wanna stop, anytime, you tell me, alright?"
"Yes, yes, of course," Glenn promises, reaching up to frame Daryl's face with his hands reassuringly, instantly calmed by his own need to see Daryl's nerves and insecurities disappear. "I want this, Daryl."
He gets a skeptical look in return, so he lifts himself up a little and pulls Daryl's face down the rest of the way to meet him in a kiss. He squeezes his eyes shut and digs his fingers in, trying to convey everything he feels through this contact. A few seconds into the kiss, Daryl starts to respond. It's not long before it becomes heated and Glenn is harder than ever, his arms now thrown loosely over Daryl's shoulders, panting into his neck after they break apart. His dick is sliding against Daryl's stomach with every breath and their legs are tangled together. The feeling of bare skin against his makes him weak.
So Daryl hurriedly pulls back and rewets his fingers with more lube, managing to calm himself down in time to be gentle about pushing his first two fingers in again. Glenn bites back a moan, arching his back and curling his hands around Daryl's shoulders.
"Alright, alright," Daryl murmurs soothingly, pressing that last digit against Glenn's entrance, letting it linger there for a few moments, applying a little bit of pressure. "Here goes." He works it in next to the other two, slowly but surely. He curls all of them together, rubbing them against Glenn's prostate until Glenn, squirming there on the floor of the tent, sees fucking stars. He makes devastated noises with his mouth, trying as much as he can through the distraction of the fierce pleasure to keep them quiet.
Daryl keeps it up, stroking inside of him, for what feels like forever and Glenn is wound up so tight, strung out, trying to catch his breath, and his muscles taut and twitching. He cracks open an eye and watches Daryl's face—his eyes are still half-lidded, he's staring at Glenn, letting his eyes roam a little—but mostly they're glued to the spot where they're joined, where his fingers are inside of Glenn, and he's got a little pleased smile on his face. He's teasing.
"Ohh, god, Daryl," Glenn breathes. "Please, please, I think I'm ready."
"Mkay," Daryl says, pulling his fingers out, leaning over to give Glenn's stomach a kiss right below his navel as he strokes a hand over Glenn's ass. He leans back to grab at the pack again and takes a little more time finding what he needs, digging down to the bottom and grumbling when he doesn't immediately find it.
Eventually he pulls out a little square package and brings it over, tearing it open and hastily removing the condom inside.
He rolls it on himself, carefully, bracing one hand on the floor next to Glenn's hip as he does so. Then he sits back on his heels and takes hold of each of Glenn's legs, pulling him closer as he spreads them apart to settle comfortably right where they meet. Daryl moves his hips so that his cock, sheathed in the condom, rubs delicately up against Glenn's, smearing a trail of lube. He doesn't let his gaze wander from Glenn for a second. Glenn is panting and squirming under him, palms pressed down flat on the floor.
Daryl lets go of one pale leg to grab hold of his dick and position it, and then he begins to push inside, using his hand to keep it steady.
Glenn groans, scrunching up his face as Daryl enters him. It hurts, much like it did when that first finger entered him, but a little more severe. Because—Daryl is pretty big. It's kind of overwhelming, having that girth stretching him out—he's never felt anything like it. But the burn of pleasure is still present, and so he tells himself to hold on. If his previous experience with those gorgeous fingers is any indication, at some point it'll start to feel better.
Daryl keeps going, slow and steady, gauging Glenn's reaction as he works himself in further and finding no reason to stop altogether. He still whispers, concern evident in his voice, "Tell me to stop and I will, just say the word, okay?" Glenn merely blows out a breath and nods.
Finally, Daryl is fully seated. Carefully, he lifts off of his heels and stretches his legs out behind him, pressing the full length of his body to Glenn's. He buries his face in the crook of Glenn's neck and exhales shakily. Here, inside of Glenn, with his face hidden and their bodies touching, he finds the ability to whisper the words that he's never actually said.
"I love you." His warm breath bursts against Glenn's skin. Glenn throws his arms lazily around him, still trying to adjust to the sensation of being stretched and filled.
"I love you too."
Daryl makes a scoffing sound that is sort of like bewildered disbelief and nuzzles—he's kind of a nuzzler, Glenn notices—up behind his ear.
"If you're ready, I think I'm gonna start movin' now, alright? I promise, it gets better once you start movin'."
So Daryl does—he pulls out almost all the way and sets to work with slow, deep strokes, pushing himself up a little so he hovers above Glenn's body, giving him more leverage. It takes about three of these before the pain subsides and Daryl is so right, it's so much better. His body twitches with the effort not to move.
"You don't have to stay so still or nothin'," Daryl tells him softly, still thrusting as he leans heavily on one hand so he can use the other to wipe the hair off of Glenn's sweat-slicked forehead. Glenn follows the hand with his head, unwilling to give up the contact. Daryl humors him, cupping the side of his face. The next thrust is particularly good, a little deeper than the rest, and so Glenn gasps and takes Daryl's advice, wrapping his legs around Daryl's waist and squeezing. He needs that again.
"Perfect," Daryl breathes as Glenn arches his back. After that his breaths become deeper and more ragged and his thrusting less careful—he stays in deep but doesn't pull as far out every time and they start speeding up, just a little at a time.
Glenn finds that it's not only the movement inside of him that feels so good—that's most of it, yes—but also the pressure of their bodies pushed together and the friction of Daryl's stomach sliding against his cock and his balls, lighting the sensitive flesh on fire. He starts returning by rolling his own hips in time with Daryl's and the muscles of his ass clench involuntarily.
Daryl groans too loudly, caught off guard by the spike of pleasure, and he removes his hand from Glenn's face to stroke it over his nipple instead, speeding up his movements.
"Uhn, oh, Daryl," Glenn whispers, reveling in the electricity of that touch. His hips move mindlessly as he arches into Daryl's touch.
It doesn't take long before they're both too close, too frantic, to do anything but close their eyes and thrust, faster and faster. Glenn is almost too caught up in the sensation for conscious thought, but he manages enough to be able to need more, to need release. He squeezes his legs tighter, pulling Daryl flush against him by the shoulders, biting down on Daryl's earlobe and then pressing his nose into the little dip just behind his ear.
"Daryl, I'm close, I need—"
Daryl wordlessly slips his hand between them, taking hold of Glenn's dick and pumping it, deliciously slow.
Glenn is very, very close now, building up to what's promising to be the most amazing orgasm he thinks he'll ever have. He sobs into Daryl's neck just as his movements start to become erratic and seconds later, he's coming hard, squirting into the space between them. It's already smearing on both of their stomachs a second after that when Daryl stops thrusting and his body jerks roughly and unrhythmically instead. He lets out a low grunt, squeezing his eyes closed and letting his mouth fall open—after a moment of tense stillness, his body relaxes and he just manages to pull out before collapsing to the side, landing half on and half off of a very dazed Glenn.
Tiredly, he turns his head and places a dry kiss against Glenn's shoulder.
Glenn just lets himself come down from his high, unable to be too engaged in thought.
After a few minutes, Daryl pushes himself up and reaches into the pack again, pulling out what seems to be the first thing he touches—just a folded wife beater—and he uses it to wipe down first Glenn's stomach, then his own. He tosses it aside lazily and then reaches under Glenn's legs and waist to lift him slightly, moving him so that he's lying fully on the sleeping bag instead of half-sideways like he was. Glenn reaches out and guides Daryl down next to him by the back of his neck, scooting over so that they both can squeeze on top of the bedroll. Daryl wraps his arms around Glenn's waist and puts his forehead on Glenn's cheek.
Glenn can feel tension creep into Daryl's arms, and when he turns his head, Daryl's eyes are open and his face is serious and closed off—but there's still heartbreaking uncertainty there. Glenn frowns, reaching up to gently scratch his fingers over Daryl's scalp.
Knowing Daryl's background, knowing the way his father, mother, and brother have treated him and the discrepancy between his idea of his own self worth and how wonderful he actually is, Glenn can guess the problem.
"Do you want to know why I love you?" he whispers, looking into Daryl's eyes. Daryl stays silent but his face opens a little more and he looks like he is desperate to know, to end his confusion and insecurity.
Glenn grins at him and begins: "I love your eyes," he says, "and your lips, and your arms, and your dick, and all the rest of your body. I love your voice, and I love that you're shy. You bring in food for the group, and you don't have to—you love those people. You loved Sophia. You're impressively talented at shooting and hunting, and carving. You stayed friends with me even though I hurt you. You… put up with me. You got shot with your own arrow and fell down a ravine, twice, and you managed to find your way back to the farm. You're so determined. You never let anyone bring you down. You're true to who you are."
Daryl looks shocked, so Glenn plants a soft kiss on his lips.
"It's because of you, Daryl. You have to believe that I love you."
Daryl nods, slowly, and then a smile spreads onto his face.
"You wanna hear about why I love you?" he asks, his eyes lingering down on Glenn's chin.
"Yeah, why?" Glenn asks.
So Daryl exaggeratedly settles onto his back to tell him exactly why he loves him ("Gotta get comfortable," he says, "we might be here for hours"), and Glenn takes his hand and plays with his fingers while he listens. He's captivated by the words and by Daryl himself. They stay up late, past the point when they get too cold and have to get dressed again and unfold the sleeping bag so they can both settle underneath it, past the point when Daryl gets sidetracked in his list of the things he loves about Glenn when Glenn kisses him hard on the mouth.
They fall asleep in the early hours of the morning huddled together, and when they wake up a few hours later to the sounds of the farm just beginning to stir, nothing has changed between them. Glenn wants to stay wrapped up in Daryl all day. Watching Daryl's eyelashes flutter as he wakes, Glenn marvels at the way things have ended up; months ago, he was confused, stringing Daryl along to try to make sense of things at the end of the world—but now, he's never been so sure of anything in his entire life. They belong together.
It's kind of funny. If not for the disease that took over the rest of humanity and that ended everything they previously knew, maybe they never would have met. Glenn remembers that conversation they had, forever ago, when Daryl explained to him that he'd already given up on love and Glenn felt so uneasy—guilty, he thinks now, guilty that Daryl wanted someone to love and Glenn was just an idiot questioning his sexuality.
They're lucky to have found each other in this horrifying new world. Glenn knows that soon, they'll have to leave the haven that is Daryl's tent and face the group—and who knows how that will go down—they're in the middle of Georgia, after all—so for now, he pulls Daryl closer and cuddles against his side, reveling in the knowledge that he has someone with him to take on life in the apocalypse together.