Title: Wear Your Heart On Your Skin
Pairing/Characters: Daryl/Andrea, Lori, Carol
Betas: fleete and metaallu
Warnings/Notes: Established relationship, vague spoilers for the Woodbury comic arc (and season 3), AU. references to possible past rape
Summary: Andrea is jealous that Daryl brings Carol flowers. But it isn't as simply as that.
Andrea isn't the jealous type. She never has been. So when she does get jealous, it hits her out of the blue.
She's cleaning the fish she caught that morning when Daryl comes back into camp. He's got something that looks like a pig over his shoulder, and that self satisfied look he gets when a hunt's been good. She grins slightly; the sex will be amazing tonight. It always is when he bring back something big.
Big kills make him horny. Not that she minds.
It's weird that she's so in tune with some of his habits. They've only been sleeping together for two months, and only sharing a tent for one. Sometimes Andrea doesn't believe it's been four months since the farm. It feels longer, like years should have passed by, not mere months.
She tries not to think about Woodbury or the prison much.
Daryl catches her eyes across the distance and gives her a little nod that means ieverything's good./i She nods back and gives him a wide smile. She expects him to make a beeline for her. Well, not her in particular, but she's in the spot they've set aside in the camp to butcher meat. The makeshift smoker Daryl set up is just beyond her.
Only he doesn't.
He cuts across to where Carol is sitting and mending some clothes. Andrea watches as Carol looks up and smiles at him. Daryl hands Carol some pale white flowers. He says something, and Andrea really wishes she could lip read. Then Carol kisses his cheek. Daryl smiles shyly at Carol before ducking his head and moving away.
Something in Andrea's chest twists sharp and painful.
It's nothing, she tells herself firmly. Daryl's given Carol flowers before, right? And it's sweet that Daryl would do something nice for Carol like that. If anyone in this camp deserves nice things, it's Carol.
Andrea goes back to concentrating on cleaning and preparing the fish for cooking or smoking. She doesn't have time to be silly and childish over Daryl giving Carol flowers. She's fine with it.
Except he's never given me flowers, she thinks despite herself.
"Hey," Daryl says. "Good catch?"
Andrea looks up and gives Daryl a smile. "Yeah, fish were biting like crazy this morning. Looks like you did pretty well yourself."
He lays the pig out on the stone they've been using as butcher block. "Just luck. Thinking of smokin' it," he says. "It'll keep longer."
"More like pure Daryl Dixon skills," she tells him. "And smoking sounds good. God, it's been forever since I've had pork."
Daryl gives her a quick kiss on the lips after making sure no one's looking. "I'll show you skills tonight, angel face," he growls softly.
Andrea grins and swats him on ass. "Better get that thing butchered then; you're wasting daylight."
He chuckles and sets to work.
She smiles to herself as she finishes up the fish. Nothing to worry about at all. Besides where would she put flowers if Daryl brought her any?
But the first bit of doubt has taken root.
Over the next few weeks, Andrea - well it's not like she sets out to see things. She just does.
She starts to notices that Daryl brings Carol flowers a lot, and she still can't decide if it's always been happening or if this is something new. She notices that Carol mends Daryl's clothes, which, God, why is she even noticing that? It's not like ishe/i can sew and Lori's got enough on her plate and Maggie would rather fix Glenn's things.
She almost drives herself to tears one night trying to sew a button onto one of Daryl's shirts, before Maggie takes pity on her and does it. Andrea's grateful only Maggie was around to see that and that the other woman never brings it up later.
After that Andrea tries to get ahold of herself, because if Daryl wanted a woman that could cook, clean, and sew like Carol - well he'd be with Carol wouldn't he?
She tries to be less stupid. She tries to remember that Carol is her friend, and that she itrusts /iDaryl. She trusts him more than she has any man besides her father. It's just, she doesn't think she's loved a man like she loves Daryl. The thought of him dying makes her heart want to stop. She knows she'd go on without him, because he wouldn't want her 'opting out' over him, but it would be like losing a limb.
Her resolve lasts only a few days.
It's late, and Daryl's on watch. Andrea makes her way through the darkness towards where she knows he's standing. She can't sleep, and even if she could, she likes to keep him company on watch. Daryl likes the extra set of eyes and her aim with her rifle.
Someone's already standing with Daryl though.
He's pointing up at the sky, gesturing to the stars, maybe telling Carol the stories his grandfather told him about the constellations. Carol's standing real close to Daryl, like she's leaning into him.
Andrea turns on her heels and makes her way back to their tent. She only realizes she's crying when she's curled back in pallet of sleeping bags and blankets. Angrily, Andrea wipes her face.
She hates that she's being this way; this is how high-schoolers and women in romance novels act. Not civil-rights lawyers who were survivors of the world falling apart and the dead walking. Carol and Daryl weren't even kissing, and yet, it still feels like a kick to the chest.
She closes her eyes, but she can't sleep. She can't stop picturing. She can't stopping hearing his words; "in this new world there's only one use for women like you. If I want someone that can shoot, I've got men for that; so there's only one thing you're good for..."
Andrea's still awake when Daryl comes into the tent. She listens to him kick off his boots and strip down to his boxers. When he slips in next to her, he reaches for her. It's what he always does when he's been on watch - he'll slide his rough fingers up her spine, he'll touch the pulse point of her neck, before kissing her shoulder and settling down to sleep. It's like he's reassuring himself she's alive still.
She normally loves it when she's awake for it.
Tonight, Andrea flinches away from him.
Daryl's hands still and then pull away. "Andrea?" he asks in a hushed voice, but it feels too loud. "You awake?"
She curls onto her side away from him. "Yeah," she whispers back. The word come out snappish. She angry, she realizes. She's furious that he's made her feel like this, that he's made her question whether he wants someone like Carol more than her. She's furious that made her have to remember...
"What's gotten into you?" he asks. There's frustration in his voice, like he can't figure out what he's done wrong.
Andrea sits up so quickly that Daryl flinches back from her. She knows she'll feel horrible for that later. "I don't know, genius. Why don't you ask Carol? Maybe you can take her some more flowers while you're at it!"
With that she lays back down and puts her back to him.
There's silence in the tent for what feels like ages.
"Fine. Be like that, bitch!" Daryl snarls. She hears him shoving his clothes and boots back on, like he'll explode if he stays in the tent.
Andrea thinks she'll start crying when he zips the tent behind him like a door slamming. She doesn't though.
She doesn't sleep either.
Daryl's already gone from camp when she leaves her tent the next morning. No one acts any differently towards her, not like she'd been a jealous bitch and chased Daryl off or anything similar. By midday, though, she's exhausted and just wants a nap. There's just too much to do.
Lori corners her while she's cleaning some of the lesser used guns. "You look like you're going to fall asleep sitting."
Andrea looks up at the heavily pregnant woman. "I'm fine Lori."
Lori frowns and looks Andrea over. "Are you pregnant?"
"What? No!" Andrea exclaims quickly. "No, no, I'm just tired. Didn't sleep last night."
Andrea's surprised when Lori gingerly lowers herself onto a log. "Do you...want to talk about?" Lori asks softly, kindly.
"No," Andrea says, then bites her lips. "It's nothing really. Just had...words...with Daryl."
Lori snorts. "Words, huh? So you two had a fight?" She scans the woods then looks back at Andrea. "Couples fight all the time."
"He didn't sleep in the tent," Andrea says plaintively.
"I once got so mad at Rick I drove to my parents' house an hour away," Lori laughs. "I was pregnant with Carl at the time, and it was that or throw something at Rick, but I don't even remember what I was so angry about now."
Andrea has to smile at the mental image of Lori so pissed at Rick she didn't want to be under the same roof with him.
Lori shakes her head. "Go lay down for a bit. It won't seem so bad once you've gotten some rest."
"Why are you - I didn't think you liked Daryl," Andrea says.
"I don't understand him," Lori tells her after hesitating. "But Rick likes him and he's good with Carl." She then leverages herself up and heads back to whatever she was doing before.
Andrea wonders how she always ends up underestimating Lori Grimes.
Andrea wakes from a light doze to the sound of the tent zipper.
"Just me," Daryl says, before her surprise can turn into anything else.
She rolls over and blinks up at him. "Hi," she says, shyly. She's just in her panties and one of his undershirts. She wonders if she could talk him into some make-up sex. It'd be easier than talking about things.
Daryl looks her over as he kicks off his boots. He does that sharp little intake of air he always does when he's hit with wanting her. "You trust me?" he asks, sitting down on the pallet with her.
"Yes?" Andrea blinks at him and finally notices what's in his hand. He has a bottle of rubbing alcohol, a pen with a needle instead of a pen tip, and some gauze. She frowns slightly and glances back to his face. "Daryl, what are you -"
He touches his fingers to her lips to quiet her. Then he lifts her wrist closest to him and kisses the inside of it. "I want to do something," he says, thumbing her wrist. "But you gotta trust me, Andrea."
She gets, after a moment, that he wants to give her a...pen tattoo? Prison tattoo? She's not sure why, but it seems important to him. "I trust you with my life," she tells him.
Daryl smiles just a bit. "Good. Now don't look 'til its done."
Andrea nods and turns her head.
It hurts. She's not sure if it hurts more or less than the tattoo she got on her hip when she was eighteen. He gives her breaks, stroking his fingers up and down her arm, telling her how good she's doing.
Then, he's done.
"You can look, sweetheart," he drawls.
Andrea turns her head to look at the inside of her wrist. Daryl wipes away a bit of blood, and she can see there in blue ink the outline of a some kind of flower. It's the prettiest thing she's seen.
"I can color it in later, if you'd like," Daryl says, not really looking at her.
"I love it, thank you, Daryl," she tells him. She does love it, its better than any real flower he could give her.
Daryl's ears get a little red as he wraps her wrist in gauze. "It'll never wilt," he mumbles.
She rises up and kisses his mouth. He slides his fingers into her hair and kisses her back. When they break apart he rests his forehead against hers.
"I love you too," Andrea whispers.
Daryl presses her back into the blankets and kisses her some more.
They wind up late for dinner. Nobody asks about Andrea's wrapped wrist. Though Glenn looks a little too pleased with himself until Maggie pinches him.
Across the fire Carol smiles at Andrea like a sister.