Title: The First Arrow
Rating: PG
Pairing: Daryl/Andrea
Warnings/Notes: Season 2 AU
Summary: Andrea's not sure why she hides the arrows.

Andrea's shirt is sticking to her back with sweat, and she'd given anything for a cold beer and some A/C. The sun seems even harsher out here on the highway with the abandoned cars dotting the landscape. They stopped for a flat tire, and while the men are keeping watch Andrea decides to make herself useful and search some of the nearby cars for supplies.

There isn't much. She finds some bottles of sunblock and aloe in one car, but nothing much else. She almost gave up before she checked the battered SUV. It's crashed into the dividing wall between the two sides of the highway and she tries not to think about what happened to the occupants, especially since there's a car seat in the back.

That's when she finds a jackpot. Well, for her at least: Fishing gear.

Well-used but in good shape. She tries to keep Amy out of her thoughts as she gathers it up.

She wants to be useful — she needs to be useful — and she's good at fishing. If they find a pond or lake she'll be able to help supplement their food. Maybe then she'll stop feeling like Daryl looks at her like she's dead weight.

She's not someone's wife or mother. She's not even someone's sister anymore.

Andrea sometimes fears that if not for Dale she would have been left behind the first chance the group got.

She's moving aside the metal tackle box when she comes across the canvas bag. She unzips it out of curiosity, and laying inside with their brightly colored feathers are arrows meant for a crossbow. They look almost brand new.

Andrea knows she should bring them straight to Daryl. He's starting to run low and won't he be proud of her scavenging skills?

Something though makes her re-zip the bag and not say a word about it. She tells Dale it's just more fishing stuff, and he smiles as if glad she'd found something to be eager about. She hides away the arrows feeling guilty and childish, but she still does it.

She manages to even put them out of her mind for a while.

Then Sophia goes missing. Then Daryl spends all his energy trying to find that poor lost little girl.

Andrea finds Daryl sitting by the fire looking more exhausted and frankly heartsick than she thought a man could actually be. A stranger might think he was Sophia's father.

"You people walk like a herd of elephants," Daryl drawls not turning around. "You need something, Andrea?"

She sits down not far from him and holds out one of the arrows. "An arrow for an answer."

He squints at her and a scowl falls across his face. "Where'd you get that?" he demands.

Andrea raises her chin. "You want it or not?"

Daryl makes a sound that's somewhere between a laugh and snort. "Merle warned me about you lawyers," he mutters, but she somehow doesn't feel insulted. "Ask your question."

She had a dozen other questions she meant to ask. Something to maybe just get him talking and bridge the gap between them. Though she's not sure why she wants that gap to be bridged.

What comes out of her mouth is almost a plea. "Do you really think you'll find her?"

Daryl stares at her hard, like he's unpacking her words and trying to find the insult. The silence stretches out until she's tempted to just give him the arrow and retreat.

"Yes," he says softly as she starts to stand.

She stops and looks down at him.

He's staring into the fire. "I'll find her." He says it with such conviction that she believes.

Daryl's a great many things in her eyes, but he's never been a liar.

Andrea's not sure what to say so she just nods and holds out the arrow. Their fingers brush and she feels an unexpected rush of warmth.

God, she thinks, I need to get laid if I'm having warm feelings about Daryl Dixon. Anyways he probably had girls with better looks and bigger breasts than her.

"Waste of an arrow," he comments as she moves away from the fire towards her own tent. "Would have answered you that one for free."

Andrea looks back over her shoulder at him. His back is too her. "I'll come up with something better to ask in trade next time, then."

"You'd better or I'll start thinkin' your not as smart as I thought you were," he says still not turning around.

Andrea goes to her tent thinking maybe she got fair bit for her arrow after all.