Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction using characters from the Walking Dead franchise, which is trademarked by AMC and Robert Kirkman. I do not own any of the characters depicted apart from my own original characters, nor do I share any of the beliefs the characters in this story express. I am not profiting financially from the creation and publication of this story.
There were a couple of things Daryl Dixon knew for sure. One of them was knowing his way around a Horton® Scout Crossbow. Another was, despite that world going to shit and the living dead coming back with a vengeance, Merle Dixon didn't know if he was up or freaking down. Nothing much had really changed now that the world had ended. Especially those two things. His older brother was always shoving something up his veins or inhaling some sort of vapour. Before he hadn't cared, until Merle was in some sort of fight and a broken bottle was being whipped out, and the black and white brigade was showing up on their doorstep the next morning. But now he just wished he'd shut the fuck up! Higher then a fucking cloud, Merle Dixon was stomping way too loud. Breathing too harshly. They weren't hunting game this time around, but in this back water town there's bound to be a bunch of geeks hiding behind every corner. 'Near Atlanta' don't mean shit when there isn't any fuel to get you there. The world depends on fossil fuel; I mean, how stupid is that?
The dead walking. Daryl snorted softly. He wished his Daddy was still breathing, only to eagerly watch him being ripped apart by greedy, gnarled hands. Dixon Senior wouldn't have survived this long into the End, and his sons would have kicked back and watched him fail. Nobody in this world needed that good for nothing sack of meat. And by the way Merle was stumbling over his feet and slurring curses at the top of his voice his older brother will soon be next on the Dead Dixon List.
"Fucking Christ Merle! Shut your yabbering hole and help me find this motherfucker place", Daryl hissed as Merle kicked a paint can and dozily watched it bang against the street kerb. Merle lifted his lips, his eyes catching fire he punched Daryl in the arm. Not even trying to hold his strength back.
"Aw poor little Darlina need help from her Big Brother?" Merle sneered condescendingly "Shit boy. Can't you do anything by yourself?"
Daryl glared back at him, tapping his fingers lightly against the trigger on his crossbow. He knew this was a bad idea. Yet he needed new supplies, bolts and trigger wire, but he still shouldn't have said anything to Merle. As soon as he'd heard about Daryl's plans to make a run into town he'd all but moved like a bat outta hell. Looking for his next fix. Stupid. When would he learn Merle don't care nothing 'bout nobody?
Daryl tilted his head, bringing his hand up and smacking a fist into Merle's chest to make him stop. He got a grunt and a glare for his trouble, but Daryl was concentrating on more important things. He was getting that feeling again. The one that told him when to duck when his father swung his baseball bat at them; the one he'd get and he'd know to adjust his shot and his bolt would hit home. Daryl glanced to the side. Seeing the shop door slightly open, he suppressed a satisfied smirk having found his mark, but just in case he looked across the street, only to have the feeling start to ebb away before it swung back into full force as his eyes fixed back on the supplies store. Maw Maw Dixon said he had the Gift. Whatever the fuck that meant. All Daryl know's is that if he doesn't listen to his instinct, he's bound to end up in a world of hurt.
Merle was turning around, probably wandering after a pink fucking duck that talked like a sixties dancer, before Daryl grabbed a fist full of his shirt and dragged him along behind him. Again, he got a bruise for his trouble, one that'll probably be black and blue and fading into some sort of yellow in the morning, but the feeling was getting stronger. Whatever was behind that door was either something really fucking good, or really, bloody, bad.
"Merle". And that was all Daryl had to say. His older brother was already reaching for his knife, his eyes clearing up like fog rolling away in the early morning. Merle was good like that, Daryl can bitch and moan however much he wants, but at the end of the day Merle's the only one who's got his back. And he could sense violence and blood and death like Daryl could sense where his prey was hiding in the overgrowth.
Nudging the door open Daryl took the lead, his hands like a vice on his weapon. The shop was shadowed and the windows were boarded. Obviously a stand was made here. And by the blood caking the glass cabinet near the cash register it was clearly a last stand against the dead. Or Scavengers. They've run into a few. People like Merle and their Daddy who were trouble in their past life, and now are the only ones with the guts to survive. People willing to maim and torture scouts for their crew's location, then proceed to descend on them like locusts. Picking everything clean and killing everything and everyone that remained behind. His brother's his kin, but Daryl's got no illusions how Merle would deal with this apocalypse if he were willing to leave his little brother.
Both brothers' swerved towards the sound of shuffling, Daryl lowered his crossbow and took aim as the linen cloth covering the table was moving from beneath by an unseen force. The Dixon boys stared in surprise as a small figure crawled out from beneath the dark, and after raising his weapon in disbelief Daryl knocked Merle's knife out of his hands when he realised his brother wasn't doing the same, while his brother stared into the biggest brown eyes he's ever seen and arm's stretched up high towards them in a grabbing motion.
"Jesus fucking Christ Darlina. I think she's alive"