Thanks for hanging in there and reading, I really appreciate it, although part of me thinks that you are all nuts to be interested in reading something I've written (must be a 'first story I've written for fanfic' inferiority complex). No offense intended at all!

Daryl sat on the white quartz boulder in the little meadow near the house, cleaning one of his Rugers. He had been in his room for two days now and the new door that opened up onto the porch had been a God-send. He had successfully been able to avoid just about everyone and Rick had let everyone know that Daryl really wasn't up for having visitors. It was nothing personal, Rick had told the group, it was just that Daryl was easily tired out and that Rick didn't think that everyone popping in to see him throughout the day was a good idea.

Maggie came in twice a day now to change his dressing and even she had left him alone for the most part. He was surprised to find that he actually sort of missed conversing with her, but it was probably best that they were starting to drift apart and he was certain that in a few weeks, their friendship would weaken or possibly dissipate altogether. He was pretty sure she'd figure out that being friends with him wasn't really worth the effort.

He pushed a cotton pad soaked with Hoppe's 9 solvent down into the barrel of the Ruger with a steel cleaning rod and then ran a pad on the metal parts of the pistol's exterior. After wiping it down, he applied lubricating oil to the pistol and rubbed it in well with a cotton cloth.

The day was sunny and hot and the heat had convinced him to remove his shirt and tie it around his waist and to take off his boots and socks. His sleeveless t-shirt was starting to get damp with sweat and he wiped his brow and took a sip from the water bottle he had stuffed in the backpack that he had tossed on the rock next to him. Daryl heard footsteps along the shore and a moment later Andrea appeared on the edge of the pines that blocked the view of the meadow from the house. Andrea waved and started to walk towards Daryl.

So much for sneaking out of the house and coming to the meadow for some solitude. Daryl put the Ruger he'd cleaned down on the red and brown Aztec blanket he was sitting on. Maggie had brought it to him his first night back in his room when she came to change his dressing before she went to bed. She told him that she thought it would look good at the foot of his bed and it matched the decor of his room. He had agreed with her and earlier he had actually toyed with the idea of snatching it for his room, himself.

Andrea smiled as she approached Daryl. "Mind if I join you?"

Daryl shrugged, "Don' know why you'd wan' too. Ain't very good comp'ny."

Andrea climbed up on the rock and sat down about two feet from him. She watched him as he pulled the cylinder from the second Blackhawk and soaked a cloth patch with the Hoppe's 9 solvent. She cleared her throat and asked, "Would you be okay with sharing your stuff? My Lady Smith could use a good cleaning."

Daryl was threading the saturated cloth through the cleaning rod. "Sure. When'd you clean 'er last?"

Andrea frowned and thought or a moment. "Few weeks ago, I guess."

Daryl slid the cleaning rod into the Ruger's barrel. "You ain't fired it for a couple weeks?"

"I used it quite a bit a week ago. I know I don't clean it often enough."

Daryl pointed at her gun. "These days a firearm is one a your best friends. You gotta keep it clean and oiled if you 'spect it to work right all a time. Can't let it get all gunked up. You gotta take care a it like your life depended on it 'cause it jes' might."

Andrea pulled out her Lady Smith and started to disassemble it. "Thanks for the lecture, Dad."

Daryl put the small wooden box with the gun cleaning supplies in it next to Andrea so it was between the two of them. "Jes' trying to keep you safe is all," he muttered.

Andrea started to clean her gun. After a few minutes of silence she said, "I'm still having a hard time with the fact that we're all infected. It sort of changes things to know that if any of us died, for any reason, that we would turn into one of those... things."

Daryl was rubbing solvent on the Ruger's gun barrel, "Changes things?"

"Yeah. I mean, if one of us was to get sick and die, or drown or have a heart attack or something, the rest of us would have to make sure they didn't come back. I don't know about you, but I'm not comfortable with the thought of having to shoot one of my friends in the head. It's hard to have an image like that in your mind as the picture of the last time you saw a person you cared about. Blood, brains and depending on the caliber and the range, there might not be much of a head left at all."

Daryl wet another cloth patch with solvent. He knew Andrea was thinking about Amy and he thought about the very last time he'd set his eyes on T-Dog. The top half of Shane's head had been pulverized by the Blackhawk he now held in his hand. "Don't have to shoot 'em in the head." he said. "Could stick a sharp knife into the top a the head or even drive a long nail in the the top with a hammer or a big rock if you got the time. It'd do the trick but make for a better lookin' corpse."

Andrea laughed. "You've got a point there. Minimal blood and an intact face and head. Pretty clever, Dixon."

Daryl smirked.

Andrea looked over at him as he ran the pad over the metal on his pistol. "Could you do it? Say it was me, could you drive a nail into my head or a knife? Or into Rick's? Or Maggie's?"

Daryl snorted, "In a heartbeat."

Andrea raised her eyebrows. "Really? It would be that simple for you?"

Daryl stopped cleaning his pistol and looked at Andrea. "It'd damn well better be that simple for you, too, Blondie. Ain't none a us wanna come back as a walker an' hurt no one else. If it was me I'd hope to hell you wouldn't hesitate for a second and shit, I don't care if you blow my fuckin' head off. 'Jes don' let me come back."

Andrea nodded. "Okay," she said with a smile. "I promise that if you die, I will make sure you don't come back as a walker, but I would never blow your head off, you've got such a pretty face."

Daryl 'pffft'd' her. "Yeah, too fuckin' bad 'bout the world goin' to hell. I had a big modelin' job with Prada all lined up."

Andrea smiled. Daryl didn't show his sense of humor very often. "I promised you, now you need to promise me. If I die, and you're there, will you make sure I don't come back?"

"Ain't into makin' promises, but I will in this case, if it'll make you feel better." He grinned at her, "An' if it comes down to it, I'll just drive a big ol' nail into each a your ears; no holes in your head to see, minimal blood, brain still gets pierced but you're still pretty."

Andrea smiled and leaned in closer. "You think I'm pretty, Daryl?"

Daryl blushed and grabbed the lubricating oil. "Shut up," he grumbled. "You know you're pretty. You don't need to hear it from me."

"Fuckin' right she's pretty!" agreed Imaginary Merle. "Never understood why I never bumped uglies with 'er."

'She wouldn't a touched you with a ten foot pole an' you know it.'

"Sure she woulda! She's sittin' there flirtin' with your ugly ass. Ever'one knows I'm the good lookin' Dixon brother. If she's flirtin' with you, I coulda had 'er easy."

'She ain't flirtin'.'

"Son, you really need to get laid. How long 'as it been for ya?"

"Shudup, Merle." Daryl muttered.

"What? Did you say something?" Andrea asked.

"Nah, jes' thinkin' out loud is all."

"A girl just likes to hear it once in a while from a man." Andrea said. She looked away from Daryl and rolled her eyes.

Shit, had she really said that? Did she really think that? She was a civil rights attorney, a liberated, self-sufficient, strong and independent woman and she didn't need any man to validate her worth; but she had just told a crossbow wielding, squirrel eating, motorcycle riding, ignorant redneck that she liked to be appreciated for her outer beauty. Was she nuts? No. Her education and her debating skills had been rendered useless by the apocalypse and after sleeping in tents and being dirty and hungry and cold for so long, she had forgotten what it was like to even care about her outward appearance. In a house now where hot water and soap was plentiful as well as food and where she could lay her head on a pillow in a comfortable bed, she could afford the luxury of caring about her appearance. Dammit, she just wanted a little confirmation that after all the shit she'd been through for the last months, a man could still find her attractive. Was that too much to ask?

They cleaned their guns in silence and then Andrea said, "Well, I'm finished. Thanks for letting me use your kit." She holstered her gun and climbed off the rock.

Daryl raised his eyes and watched her climb down. "You're welcome."

She looked back at him and smiled. "I'm going to pick a bouquet of wildflowers for my room. This field is full of them! Would you like me to pick some for yours?"

Daryl laughed. "Right. As soon as I'm done crocheting the doilies to put the vases on, you can fill my fuckin' room with flowers." He waved a hand at her, "Don' be silly."

Andrea shrugged and turned to get down to business.

Daryl polished the wooden grips of the Blackhawks. Every so often he would steal a glance at Andrea as she flit about the meadow picking flowers. Damn, she had a great ass.

"An' some grade A fancy tits, too." added Imaginary Merle.

Daryl found himself focusing on Andrea's ass whenever he stole a look at her. It was round and looked firm and for a second he wondered what it would feel like if he gave it a good grab. His cheeks and the top of his ears reddened. He smiled to himself and almost laughed. He could just imagine what would happen. He'd grab her ass and then he'd find himself knocked through a wall ten feet away and missing half his teeth. She'd be hopping from one foot to the other, doing a boxer's dance like Muhammad Ali, pumping her fists and daring Daryl to stand so she could knock out the rest of his teeth.

Andrea finished collecting the flowers she wanted and turned and caught Daryl looking at her. She gave him a wave and he waved back, then she turned and walked toward the house.

She had quite the wiggle in her walk. He'd never noticed that before.

Andrea smiled all the way back to the house. She'd seen Daryl taking peeks at her as she picked flowers and she was delighted that she had caught his attention. She had visited with him for a while but had left before her presence annoyed him and she was happy to have spent some time alone with him.


Glenn was in the war room working on the security camera receiver program in the computer system. He had gotten the feeds up and running from the other cameras but he was having trouble getting all the monitors to synch with their respective cameras. Working cameras and feeds didn't amount to crap if the monitors wouldn't display the feed. He worked with and tried to tweak the program and then, when he thought he'd done everything he could do, he held his breath and rebooted the system.

Yes!" Glenn hollered. All twenty of the monitors had flashed and blinked and now all but one showed a live feed. The monitor linked to the camera in Daryl's room just showed a blue screen. Daryl had made dismantling that camera a priority when he was reestablishing himself in his room. Many of the new feeds were from perimeter cameras in the woods and near the shore of the lake. One was in the far corner of the hidden meadow near the house and Glenn could see Andrea and Daryl sitting on the big white quartz boulder . He scrolled the mouse to zoom in and zoom in it did, a bit too close. He pulled the zoom back a bit and the view was as if he was three feet from the two as they worked on cleaning their firearms. Glenn was amazed at the resolution. He saw Andrea sneaking peeks at Daryl as he apparently ignored her presence while he worked on his pistols. Then Daryl was talking to Andrea and Andrea was smiling. Glenn smiled. Damn, what a great tool for spying on people if they were in the right place at the right time. The smile left Glenn's face as he surveyed the other new feeds. Yup. There was his and Maggie's' room. There was Rick and Lori's, Andrea and Carol's, Dale's and Carl's. He hadn't seen a camera in the room he shared with Maggie. Of course he hadn't thought of looking for one. He had figured the master bedroom had a camera in it because it was where the owner of the house and the base leader slept. He never for a moment had even suspected the other bedrooms would be set up with surveillance cameras.

As he was watching the screens, he saw Andrea climb down off the large rock in the meadow and meander about the field, picking wildflowers. He could see Daryl raise his head as he looked away from the weapons he cleaned every once in a while and looked in Andrea's direction. Glenn smiled. Ha! Was Daryl checking out Andrea's ass? It appeared that way because Daryl seemed to be looking in her direction as she bent down to pick flowers when her back was to him; once she stood or if she was facing Daryl's direction, he would be looking away or back down at his guns. Glenn laughed. "You dirty dog, Dixon!" he said out loud. And why shouldn't Daryl look? After watching a bit longer, Glenn could have sworn that Andrea knew exactly what she was doing and was purposefully standing and bending at angles that would show off her derrière to Daryl.

Maggie walked into the war room and upon seeing Glenn watching a screen with a huge smile on his face she, too, looked up at the screens as she approached him. "Is that our room?!" she exclaimed.

"Yeah," Glenn said, "but look at this!" He pointed to the screen showing the action going on out in the meadow.

Maggie watched for a moment then gasped and put her hand over her mouth, "She's doing that on purpose! Look at that! She's practically wiggling her ass at him!"

Glenn laughed, "Yeah, Andrea's pulling out the big guns now."

Maggie laughed, too. "No, if she'd pulled out the big guns she'd be out there bending over and sashaying around in Daisy Dukes*. "

Glenn smacked Maggie on the butt. "You should be the one wearing Daisy Dukes. You've got the best butt in the house, sweet-cheeks. I'm a lucky man."

Maggie gave Glenn a feigned look of surprise and smacked his arm. "Is that so, honey-buns?" she asked as she reached down and gave his butt a good hard pinch.

"Oww, damn, Maggie, that hurt!"

"It hurt? Well, mister, I guess its time to break out the ol' 'Buns of Steel' workout video for you so you can get crackin' and toughen up that bum of yours."

Glenn frowned. "There's nothing wrong with my bum," he said defensively, causing Maggie to giggle.

"You're right, honey-buns," she said," your butt is just glorious."

"Glorious? Right. You liar." Glenn grinned at Maggie. "but speaking of glorious, lets talk about your butt."

Maggie shook her head, "Too much area to cover and not enough time."

Glenn's eyes lit up, "You know what? I'm going to name your butt! I'll call her 'Gloria'."

Maggie smirked and shook her head at Glenn. "Glenn, you really are crazy."

"Crazy about you and Gloria," Glenn replied. "Gloria the glorious butt." He pulled Maggie in for a hug and kissed her soundly on the lips.

Maggie rolled her eyes and hugged Glenn back. He pulled away from her and raised his eyebrows. "I just had the best idea!" he said excitedly.

"Hopefully its better than the butt naming one." Maggie teased.

"Yes, well, almost. Its pure genius! I'll disable the video feed from our bedroom and then we can look for the camera in the room together!"

"What's so genius about.."

"Naked." Glenn added.

Maggie laughed and grabbed his hand, "Well, come on, lets go!"

*Daisy Dukes – women's really short shorts made from cut off denim jeans. How short? Partial butt-cheek exposure is expected. Made famous by Daisy Duke who liked to prance around in them on the old "Dukes of Hazzard" TV show.