You Broke Through
I DON'T OWN WALKING DEAD OR DARYL DIXON, BUT I CAN REALLY REALLY WISH FOR IT.
Day six of straight driving. Six days of only stopping to siphon gas from cars they passed. The days had been raining, the nights long and cold. Daryl shifted in the seat of his bike, his jacket and pants were still damp from the day's storm before. He felt exhausted and his body ached from riding. He didn't know how much further he could keep going. As the miles ticked away in front of him he felt his eyelids start to droop a bit and he shook his head to wake himself up. His bike swerved a bit as he attempted to wake himself up. That shocked him awake, but as he continued driving he felt his eyes shutting.
"God" he thought "this driving is murder for me right now, wish we could just stop for a minute" Daryl shot a quick look back at the other cars behind him. Lori was sitting in the front seat and caught the change in Daryl. She had been watching him pretty closely the past couple days.
"Hey Rick, I think Daryl needs to stop. He hasn't gotten a chance to rest in days."
"Well none of us have, we have all been driving for days Lori" Rick replied staring forward. Lori wasn't about to give in on it.
"Well, yes that's true, but the rest of us have been in a car and have taken turns driving and sleeping. When was the last time you saw Daryl sleep?"
Rick started to reply then stopped and took a moment to watch Daryl ahead of them. He saw Daryl's head dip a few times and realized that Lori was might. They needed to stop for Daryl.
"Alright, we will stop for Daryl, but he cannot know we stopped just for him, you know he will want to just keep going if we mention it. But if we stop for a while maybe he can get some warmer clothes on, get some sleep." Lori nodded agreeing to the terms of stopping. Rick honked twice at Daryl, noticing he flinched a bit at the sound. He pulled over, the other cars stopping behind him. Daryl went ahead a bit further then turned back around and stopped by the rest of the caravan. He dismounted from his bike and went up to Rick as he was getting out of the car.
"Hey, why did we stop? Do we need something or what?" Daryl shivered a bit and pulled his jacket a bit closer around him.
"We thought we would end the road trip for a while for today, give everyone a chance to stretch their legs and get out of the cars." Rick said pulling a jacket out of the car, "Here, want to change up a bit? Your jacket still looks damp from that last passing rainstorm we drove through." He extended it out towards Daryl who eyed him a bit warily.
"Eh, I'm alright Rick" he said his teeth chattering a bit, "I'll dry out fast". He quickly turned away and walked back to his bike to check it over. Rick watched him and laid the jacket on top of the car, just in case.
Night came quickly, and Daryl hated it. He couldn't shake the chills he had been having, just couldn't get warm. He had changed his clothes and had even gone back for Rick's jacket. He was sitting inside one of the cars shivering, trying to get himself warm, when Carol knocked on the window.
"Hey, how you feeling" she asked sitting inside the car with him. "Did you get any sleep today once we stopped?"
"I'm fine! Whys everyone on my damn ass today?" he snapped quickly getting out of the car. The night air hit him hard and cut down to his bones. He was started to shiver harder. He walked quickly past Rick and Glenn.
"I'll take night watch…alone" he muttered, his teeth chattering
Rick and Glenn looked at each other, Glenn shrugged and Rick watched Daryl walk into the darkness. Carol walked up to Lori sighing.
"What's wrong Carol?"
"I'm worried about Daryl. He was sitting in your guys car all hunched over and shivering. I know he was trying to hide it, so I tried to not say anything. But he got mad at a comment and left the car. I don't think he slept at all today after we stopped."
"To be honest, he is why we stopped" Lori said, "I saw him swerving a bit on his bike this morning. We have all been in the cars for days, but he has been the only one actually driving all those days, not to mention it's been raining. I think sometimes we take Daryl for granted, he just never stops. I was worried he would get hurt riding, but now I'm kind of concerned about him being sick".
"I think we need to talk to Rick about staying here for a few days" Carol said "we really can't risk any of us getting sick." Lori agreed and they both got up to go find Rick. They found him hunched over a map.
"Rick, we need to talk to you about Daryl" Lori said. "Where is he at?"
"He is on watch, what do you need him for?" Rick said, focusing on the map.
"Rick, Daryl should be sleeping! He has been going, going, going and we are worried that he is getting sick! He has been awake for six days riding that damn bike of his!" Lorie exclaimed.
"I saw him in the car Rick" Carol said "He didn't look good and he was shivering badly. I didn't get a chance to check, but I think he might be getting a fever. I could see some sweat on his face and he looked flushed."
Rick sighed running his hand through his hair.
"What do you want me to do Carol? Daryl isn't a little kid; he is a full grown man. A very stubborn man at that. I can't just go over to him and give him orders. Just let him do what he wants for now. Daryl can take care of Daryl. Let's just leave him alone, leave the man be for a night." He turned from them and went back to going over the map. Lori led Carol away back over to the cars.
"I know what I saw" Carol told Lori, "Daryl is sick and standing out there all night is only going to make it worse." She turned, walked back to the car, got in and slammed the door. Lori was left alone in the night. She waited for moment then returned to her own car where Carl was already sleeping.
Fog hung heavy in the air the next morning. Rick woke up first, exiting the car; he looked around their small camp for Daryl. Not seeing him he made out to find him. Walking up the road a short ways he found Daryl slumped up against the side of a truck. Rick stopped short from him to observe him for a minute unguarded. Daryl had his crossbow down by his feet and he had his arms pulled in tight to his body. Rick watched him rub his hands up and down his arms. Sighing Rick knew the girls had to be right, Daryl wasn't right and he needed to actually rest. He slowly backed up a bit, and then called out to Daryl before coming into his field of view. Daryl immediately straightened up, grabbed his crossbow, and nodded off to Rick and he approached him.
"Hey" he said "Didn't see any walkers all night, heard some deer passing by, along with rabbits, squirrels. I want to get out here later, try and get some meat for us all. Oh ya, I grabbed your jacket last night….thanks." He took it off, handing it out to him. Rick took it from him, taking a good look at Daryl. He saw that Carol was right, he had sweat on his brow and he could see him shivering beneath his jacket. Daryl caught him looking him over.
"What you looking at Rick. You gonna give me the third degree to?"
Rick tried to choose his words carefully.
"Daryl, I'm just a bit concerned for you. You have been running hard for the past seven days now. We all got to watch out for each other, and that includes us watching out for you to. Let me just get a feel on ya, the girls were a bit concerned last night that you might be running a fever, maybe getting a bit sick." He tried reaching out to place his hand on Daryl's forehead to feel for fever. Daryl jerked back, grabbing Rick's wrist before he could touch him. Rick could feel the heat coming through Daryl's skin.
"I'm so damn tired of women not minding their own business! Now you to Rick!" He pushes Rick away from him. "I'm not gonna be watched all day by everyone, I'm done telling people I'm fine. Privacy…damn!" He turned watching out towards the woods. Rick tried following.
"Daryl, wait Daryl! Where you going?"
"I told you, I want to go get some damn meat. Aint no one else gonna do it around here but me!" He shouted over his shoulder at Rick. Rick sighed, but just watched him go. He had felt the beginning fever on Daryl, but thought it best to let him blow off some steam. He turned and walked back towards camp.
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