I wanted to prove how she came to be so handy. (pftchch)

The longer they stayed at his farm, the more the group grew on Herschel. He had opinions on everyone, but tried not to judge too hard. Life was getting tough for everyone.

But the one person he knew the least about was Carol. It was her that lost her daughter, and yet the quiet woman did very little to make her presence known. She wasn't around enough for Herschel to pass any fair judgment of her, but from what he knew she was very respectful and full of conviction, at least for the group if not her daughter.

She rarely came inside the house, and Herschel never went by their tents so it was surprising to see her sitting in the parlor waiting silently and patiently.

"Hello, Carol. Is everything alright?" She stood and smiled when he addressed her.

"Oh yes. I'm sorry to have let myself in, but all your girls are out by the horses, and Jimmy is with Rick."

She was a bit nervous as to if he would ask her to go outside, but relaxed when Hershel smiled too.

"Not a problem, how can I help you?"

"I was wondering if you could teach me how to stich wounds properly. We're outside all the time, and with the—hazards come cuts. I would like to learn how to do it myself so when the time comes and we leave here, I can be more of a use to the group." Herschel was a bit disappointed at how little she thought of herself, but was pleased at how respectful she came across when mentioning his 'patients'.

"That is nothing at all, my bag is upstairs, why don't we go now." The both smiled and he gestured her upstairs where they spent the rest of the rest of the afternoon stitching Carol's mending basket items with medical stitches.

It was this afternoon in mind when Herschel deemed it proper to teach her how to perform a cesarean, just in case of the fifty possible variables.

She caught on quickly, to the techniques of holding a scalpel, and she understood the importance of anatomy and making the right cuts the right depth. She had nothing to practice on, but knew the theory, and in the worst case scenario, Herschel was confident that she could do what needed to be done to ensure the life of both Lori and the baby.

It was that lesson Carol thought of whenever she felt underappreciated, or a burden. In the case of anything happening to Herschel, she could take over first aid. She finally had a title that wasn't homemaker.

She didn't know if it was good or bad that she never had a need to fix anyone up. Good in that no one was getting hurt or that Herschel was still around to do it, or bad that she was possibly losing her skills. She confided that in Herschel one day who laughed, only to day that with her nimble sewing fingers, she would always be better than him. It was a small one, but a gesture she truly appreciated.

XXX

Once life settled into the prison once more after the passing of Lori, life slowed down and became enjoyable again. Beth and Carl became fast friends, Maggie and Glenn grew even closer, Rick recovered the loss of his wife in take solace in Judith, and Herschel, Daryl, Axel and Oscar took it upon themselves to clean up the prison.

But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as well as their reflexes. As much as Rick hated to say it, with Lori gone, Carl could learn the skills he needed to advance his ability with weapons. Rick suggested for Carl's upcoming birthday that Daryl should teach him how to use his crossbow. Daryl replied with his usual smirk but agreed, eager to see what the kid had in him.

On a nice day, more or less near Carl's birthday, Daryl, Maggie, Carol and Carol went to the front of the prison where targets were set up. Maggie and Carol at with their little basket of ripped clothes while the other two children fiddled with their precious bow. As Daryl showed him how to use it, the cockier Carl got, and the cockier boys get, the more impatient they become.

"Haste makes waste!" Carol called after them, to which she got a dual eye roll. No one liked her little proverbs, since that meant she was never wrong. Boys will be boys.

Daryl probably should have paid more attention to what Carl was doing in loading the bolt, because even from the blanket fifty feet behind them, the arrow looked crooked.

"Hey Daryl! Is this right?" Daryl was setting up targets down range and trotted over at Carl's call. Carl was aiming the crossbow down and Daryl slowed when he saw it wasn't loaded properly.

"Naw, Carl, you gotta have the odd colored feather sticking out, no to the left. That causes tension on the string and tha there is a finely tuned instrument of precision," Carl giggled, "and yeh could actually cause the calibrations to be off." Carl slowly lifted the bow, but Daryl was right, and the unequal tensions caused the arrow to shoot on its own accord. Daryl, upon hearing this, tried to jump out of the way, but instead got tagged on the front of his thigh.

He bit his lip and rolled his eyes back, "Holy shit boy! Ya went an' fuckin' shot me!" This got the girls' attention and they rushed to see the damage.

"Oh motherfu-," Daryl was jumping in pain.

"Daryl Dixon, not in front of the children!" He bit his tongue at Carol's command but was still howling. Carl was barely holding back a laugh and Beth looked genuinely upset.

"Daryl calm down and let me see!" He was shaking his hands and putting all his weight on his unharmed right knee. Blood was pooling through the front cut of his jeans. It was coming fast and wasn't stopping, it was deep.

"Beth, grab the first aid kit!" She jumped and ran the little kit to Carol. "Daryl, I need you to sit down, hold still and take your pants off." His eyes widened.

"No way, woman! I ain't taking my pants off, it's jus' a scratch!" She put an arm on his shoulder and forced him down a bit rougher than necessary.

"Do it, Daryl." She narrowed her eyes and he complied. From the back he heard Beth and Carl stifling giggles.

"Kids you best git outta this yard before I shoot you in the legs!" They ran away, finally bursting out in cackles.

"Daryl, just take your pants off, I have to stitch this shut before you bleed out or worse stain these paints."

"Or worse? Carol, I'm fine. And ain't the firs' time you're every sewing anybody up?" He eyed her narrowly.

"Don't be silly. Now take off your pants!" He couldn't beat her at this, so he might as well play along.

"Fine, fine." He undid his belt and slid then off as best as he could without snagging the gash. Carol looked down to address the wound, but first has to wiggle up the bloodied portion of his boxers before she can see the cut. She swallowed what she believed to be loudly and looked up to him, slightly blushing.

"Was that really so hard? Only about six or so and you should be good."

"It's gonna be harder for me than you, yer the one poking around me." She fiercely blushed and looked down into her bag. She removed alcohol and gauze and began to pour it on.

Dammit if she had to see him like this, he was going to at least enjoy making her blush. He hissed and hid his smile by throwing his head back and dramatically moaning. His movement caused a bit too much movement… elsewhere and Carol went redder.

She wiped away the alcohol and pulled out the suture.

"Ya know, alcohol is best for drinking, not fer wiping on skin." Her blush was moving to her ears and forehead that couldn't be covered by hair, making him smirk. She responded by jabbing the needle in a bit harsher than needed, but her restitution failed when he suddenly jerked backwards, causing more movement about six inches higher than her hands. Carol semi-violently grabbed the inside of his thigh to pull him forward, where she then proceeded to move slightly with every movement of her needle. She was not clueless, she knew how to shut him up. It worked too. Daryl was scowling to himself, damning this woman for putting him in this situation.

She smiled to herself just barely as she continued on. When she was done, and pleased that Daryl stopped with the suggestions, she looked up at his now blushing face and smiled.

"I'm done. You've been a wonderful patient. Thank you for your cooperation." She tried her best to speak in a sultry tone, but perhaps that reference was lost on him. To further prove her point, she patted him twice on the inside of his thigh, slightly higher each time. Daryl went even redder, but paled as Carol slowly drew her hand away.

"No more cuts for you, Mr. Dixon." She tried her best to smile from under her eyelashes and she carried her words longer. Daryl paled once more and stood, reaching for his pants that were a step away. As Carol stood, she 'tripped' over them and sent them a couple steps further back. Daryl reached again.

"Oh yes! Your pants, I can go mend those for you too." She picked them up along with her first aid kit as she walked back to her mending basket and blanket. She didn't look back as she left a very pale and sober Daryl Dixon standing pants less in the middle of the prison yard, frantically trying to think about that one time he found Merle with that hooker in his bed, cursing that woman who would surely be the death of him.

I like bold Carol. We have already seen that, but I also like Daryl as an adult man with the mind of a seventeen-year-old boy.

Which, I mean, he totally is.