Notes: Another one sitting in an old folder, discovered whilst looking for the half complete final chapter for Rhythmus (It's disappeared). Written whilst 5B was airing.

She could hear his footsteps through the heather as Daryl approached her, the soft crunch under his feet breaking up the crickets that had just began their evening chorus. He stood a little ways behind her for a moment, before taking the final couple of steps to stand beside her, his knees brushing her shoulder.

"Don't." Carol didn't want or need Daryl to say a word. She knew his intention and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.

"Aint done nothin' yet." He crouched down, passed her the canteen he had been holding and lay down his crossbow, before sitting down next to her. She could feel his gaze fixed upon her as she took a sip of water.

"So, the jig is up."

She turned her head and gave him a pointed look. Daryl just shrugged. She could've sworn there was a ghost of smirk on his face.

"Don't gotta wear those goddamn sweaters no more, at least."

They both snort at that and Carol let out a sigh, plucking at a strand of heather and running it through her fingers. "I'm sure Deanna will force me to keep wearing them as part of my punishment." She tossed the heather into the breeze. "What do they call it - becoming the mask?"

Daryl looked at her, puzzled. "Ain't gon' be no punishment. Besides, we were all in on it. Not one of us said shit to them. If there were gonna be a punishment, we would all be takin' it." He stood up, stretched out a hand to her and she took it, letting him pull her upright. "You saved their lives, who gives a shit about pretendin' to be goddamn Suzie Homemaker?"

Carol let out a snort as she brushed off the seat of her pants. "I was goddamn Suzie Homemaker." Just a couple of years ago, there would be no acting to be performed. "For longer than I've ever been anything else."

"Except now good ol' Suzie has got herself a sharp-ass knife and some shootin' skills."