Chapter 17…The Way of The World

Ok, I know it's been freaking forever, but I honestly didn't know how to finish this one. I've had several of you begging for it to finished, so here it is. I hope you like it. This was a lot of fun to write, and I thank everyone that has spent any time reading or reviewing this one. I'm finishing up Wanted soon also and then I'm doing a new one that is just about Daryl and Carol getting separated and living on their own. Glad y'all still like me! Hugs, Kaye

-Lover's Journey-

Daryl crouched down in some bushes outside of Woodbury. Merle and Rick were on either side of them, Glenn had stayed back with kids and the women, who were now in the prison in the solitary area. Daryl was vibrating, he had to get her back to the baby, nothing would stop him. He was going to stop at nothing to get Carol back.

Merle put a hand on his brother's shoulder, "It's gonna be fine little brother, she's tough. You know that."

Daryl nodded; afraid if he spoke it would either set him into a fit of rage or make him crack and cry like a pussy. Rick motioned to them, the guard was changing and this was their chance to get inside and rescue Carol.

Merle led the way as they slipped in through a few boards of the wall they loosened. They slipped unseen through the streets, staying to the shadows. They slipped into the house that the governor used to hold prisoners, moving from room to room they found nothing. Daryl was starting to panic, where the fuck did he have her?

Merle stood there looking at his brother and something came to him, "The town hall. Andrea said he has his little niece tied up down there. Maybe she's there."

Daryl and the others follow Merle as they did their best to get back to the town hall. Merle slipped in the back door, surprised there weren't more guards. Merle looked at Rick, whispering, "This isn't right, there should be more men."

Rick nodded, "Could be a trap."

Merle gave him a nod, "Listen Daryl and me will search here. Why don't you head back outside the fence and cover us. If we don't make it back in an hour go back to the others."

Rick nodded, giving Daryl's shoulder one last squeeze he took off out the back door and disappeared. Merle nodded to Daryl and the two men started going from room to room. As they entered the big hallway that led to the front door they heard moans coming from the basement. Daryl took a deep breath, what if she's dead? What if the sick bastard let her turn? Merle took a deep breath as he opened the door of the basement, moving down starts first. When they both got to the bottom of the stairs a bright light flipped on.

Daryl squinted to get his eyes use to the light, when he did he saw the governor sitting in a big leather chair. A little girl in a bloody pink dress was chained to the wall, pulling and reaching toward them. Across the room was Carol, her head was hung and he could see she was a bloody mess.

Daryl held the crossbow up, pointing it at the governor's head, "WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?"

The governor chuckled, "Well look who finally showed up. Oh Carol dear we have company."

Carol was silent, she hadn't moved, it was making Daryl sick to watch, he needed to get to her. Merle smirked at the governor, "What's the matter asshole? She put up one hell of a fight?"

The governor laughed, "Yeah she's got sprit that one. She didn't even scream when I cut off two of her fingers. Tough."

Daryl growled rushing toward him, but Merle stopped him, "KNOCK IT OFF! Go check on her, go on."

Daryl half slid across the floor, he put his crossbow down next to him, his hands shaking as he raised her chin. "Carol? Baby I'm here."

She didn't say anything, she didn't move, so Daryl put his hand on her chest and was relieved to feel her taking breaths. He looked over to Merle who was still holding the governor at gun and knife point, "We need to get her out of here."

Merle smirked down at the governor, "Where are the keys to the chains mother fucker?"

The governor laughed, "On the chain around Penny's neck. Good luck getting it."

Merle chuckled, raising his gun he shot the girl right between the eyes. The governor screamed, when he ran at Merle, Merle stabbed his knife through the governor's stomach. Merle pulled the blade from his stomach and let him fall to the floor. Merle walked over and grabbed the keys from the dead girl's neck and tossed them to his brother. While Daryl unchained Carol, Merle turned back to the governor who was slowly bleeding out on the floor. Merle towered over him, "Alright now you sick twisted fucker it's time for you to die." Merle took his blade and ran it through the governor's eye, making sure the man never came back.

Daryl shook as he unchained Carol; he tried not to look at the mangled mess of her left hand. He could see two fingers were missing, her pulse was weak. He lowered her to the ground, "Woman, come on now, open those eyes for me. Come on woman!" He slapped gently at her cheeks trying to get her awake.

Carol slowly opened her eyes, "Daryl?"

Daryl let a sob of relief slip from his lips; he smiled looking down at her, cupping her face in his hands, "Oh baby….I'm getting you out of here."

Merle was by his side, he gently wrapped her hand with his shirt, leaving him in nothing but his wife beater. "Good to see you little sister."

Carol moaned out in pain as he wrapped the hand. Once she was wrapped up, Daryl pulled her into his arms and they carried her away from Woodbury and all the hell they had suffered at the hands of the now dead madman.

-Lover's Journey-

Five Years Later

Daryl struggled to keep up with the four little ones in front of him, "Will y'all slow down! Jesus I'm an old man for god sakes."

Elizabeth turned around and smiled at her father, "Oh daddy! You're not old! Come on Momma's waiting."

Daryl smirked as he followed behind the kids as they approached the prison which had been their home. He smiled as little Hershel who was two stumbled a little. Daryl scooped him up, "Come on little man, can't have you getting too dirty your momma will kill me."

Little Hershel giggled, "Uncie Daryl."

Daryl smirked, "That's right little man, Uncle Daryl."

Judith stopped and pouted, "Why does he get carried?"

Daryl smiled, "Cuz he's the littlest, why you jealous ass kicker?"

Judith beamed at the mention of her nick name, "NOPE!" She laughed and ran ahead toward the prison, her and Elizabeth hand in hand.

Three year old Tanner Dixon, stopped and gave his dad a hard look, "Daddy?"

Daryl looked down at his son, "Yes boy?"

Tanner shifted on his little feet, "Can I give momma the flowers we picked?"

Daryl nodded, "Yeah I'll give them to you as soon as we get inside the fence."

Tanner beamed running ahead too caught up with his sister and cousin. When they got to the gate, Glenn let them in, taking his son from Daryl's arms, "Did they have fun?"

Daryl nodded, "Yeah, they had fun. Let them wade in the pond a little. Any word on Beth?"

Glenn grinned, "Yeah your brother is shitting himself, baby boy born about thirty minutes ago. Both baby and mommy are doing fine. Congratulations Uncle Daryl."

Daryl smiled, life sure as hell turned out better than he ever hoped for. He watched Judith run up to her brother and tackle him in a bear hug. Daryl caught up with his two each of them taking one of his hands. Before they got into the prison, Daryl stopped and pulled out the small bouquet of Cherokee Roses that he and the kids had picked. Daryl handed them to Tanner, "Alright big man, remember what to say?"

Tanner nodded his little head, "Yes, Happy Mommy's Day."

Daryl nodded, smiling at his son, "That's right boy. Now let's go tell Mommy we love her!"

When they got into the common room, they scanned the room for Carol. Since the fall of the governor they had taken in several people from Woodbury and collected other survivors along the way. They had over fifty people living with them now. They had cleared the whole prison and even had all the generators running and they had running toilets and showers now too. It really had been the god send that Rick had always hoped for. Daryl saw Maggie, "Left your boy with his pa down by the gate."

Maggie nodded, looking at the flowers in Tanner's hand, "She's lying down. I think she's exhausted from helping Beth."

Daryl nodded to her and pulled his two kids toward the office their family lived in. When they cracked the door open he smiled to himself, there she was curled up on her side, her six month pregnant belly wrapped around a pillow. Damn he liked her pregnant. The first time he didn't get to be there the first few months. But for Tanner he was there for every moment and loved watching the changes in her body. If Tanner had been a surprise this new baby really was. Carol was close to fifty and both of them weren't sure if she could have anymore kids. But now he was adding to his family again.

Tanner inched toward the bed, his little hand coming out to touch his mother's cheek, "Mommy….Mommy wake up."

Carol opened her eyes slowly, her smile spreading as she stared at her son, "Hey little man. What do you have there?"

Elizabeth giggled jumping on the bed, kissing her mom, "Did Aunt Beth have the baby?"

Carol slowly sat up, beaming at her kids, "Yes she did. Her and Uncle Merle are doing great! They had a little boy, named him Sampson Maynard Dixon."

Daryl laughed, "Damn, that's a fucking mouthful. Poor little bastard."

Carol shot him a look, which told him there would be no picking on her nephew about his name. He sunk onto the bed, pulling her close to him, kissing her neck, "Happy mommy's day woman."

Carol's eyes went shiny, as Tanner bounced up and down on the bed, the Cherokee Roses getting crashed in his hands. He held them out, "HAPPY MOMMY'S DAY! Daddy said these are your favorite."

Carol nodded, kissing her son's cheek, "I do! This was the first flower your daddy ever gave me."

Elizabeth kissed her mom's cheek, snuggling into her big belly, "Just think mommy next year there will be another one of us to love on you."

Carol nodded, leaning her head down on Daryl's shoulder, "I know. This is all more than I ever thought I would have. Thank you Daryl Dixon for making my life so wonderful."

Daryl smirked, "Anytime woman, anytime." As they kissed the kids squealed in disgust and they laughed. Life was sweet, even at the end of the world.

Ok, I hope this ends this one for you all on a good note! Thanks for reading and sticking with me! GIANT HUGS! Kaye