A/N: Here is your epilogue. It's the icing on top of my cake and this story is now complete. I'll be sending out links to those who want them and the rest can go and find the story, "You Are The Wilderness". It's not currently up, but I'll try to find a way to invite you all to it.

Just remember (I'm speaking because of the comments), everything happens for a reason. Look at the big picture, and trust me that I'm not going to butcher the characters that you love, including Shan. I have HUGE plans for Shan, Daryl, Merle, and the entire group/groups, really.

I'm sad to wrap this up, but it's been amazing and I want to say I APPRECIATE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU! Even the ones of you who have never reviewed. I still love you. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it...and I hope to see you over at the sequel.

:) Now go read and review, lovelies.

Epilogue: Without You

Daryl's ears were ringing, by the time he reached the large farm that engulfed most of the land in the tiny town of Senoia, Georgia. The Triumph puttered to a stop, and he turned the engine off, staring around the yard at the mess of bodies. Two or three were human, the blood on their faces probably still warm from their untimely demise. The rest were walkers, their chins impaled with something extremely sharp, like a sword.

Narrowing his eyes, he left the bike, and sprinted for the steps of the house. If Shan was here, hurt or not, she would be in the house. She would probably be lying in bed.

"Shan?", he called, walking through the open door. There was no sound, except the crickets and birds outside. It was a blow to his morale, as he creaked up the stairs slowly, crossbow drawn to his face. His breathing was ragged, and he hoped for the best; although he unfortunately had planned for the worst, "Answer me, now…"

The blood trail was ominous, as he caught sight of it. It trailed up the stairs in a dark line. The blood also smeared, with a hand print, along the yellow of the wall. Swallowing hard, Daryl pushed forward, slowly opening the door to Shan's room.

"Hey…you in here…", he started to ask, as the puddle of blood came into frame. It was black, and sticky; dried from hours of lying pooled on the hardwood. Aside from the puddle, was what seemed to be slippery footprints. They were strewn and were hard to make out, as if someone staggered along and out of the room.

Suddenly the world was spinning. The unfortunate truth was sinking in, and the disbelief was leaving him. He had to believe what he was seeing. It was right in front of him. However, instead of dealing with it. He did what he could; staring intensely at the dark puddle. He brought a hand up to grip his growing hair, and met the nearest wall with his back, before his system shut down, and a loud sob escaped his lips.

The sob rang through the silent house, like a cry from a wounded animal. Daryl's face contorted in pain, suffering, and fear. She was probably out in the woods, shambling around; destined to eat someone. She had crawled from her sacred place. She had waited for him, and he had failed her. Another sob left his mouth, and the anger began to build.

"NO!", he screamed into the silence, punching his forehead with enough force to send stars across his closed eyelids, "FUCK FUCK FUCK!"

"Fuck…", he breathed, the sobs rocking his body subsiding into pitiful whimpers as he leaned his head back against the wall. This couldn't be the end of everything. This couldn't be what he deserved. It sure as hell wasn't how she deserved to go down. This wasn't exactly swinging. However, as he drifted off into an intense daydream, the truth of the situation began to dawn on him.

He would have to put her down.

"Daryl?", Rick called not even sure he had the right house. From the tracks on the map, and the direction the group was already forced to go, he had managed to track Daryl directly to his old home, "Daryl?"

Daryl didn't answer. He didn't move. He simply stared straight ahead into the void that was becoming the darkened room. He had sat in the same place from dawn, and now it was twilight; the sun drifting steadily toward the earth.

As Rick slowly climbed the stairs and entered the room, he noticed Daryl's demeanor. It wasn't threatening, or scary. It wasn't typical Daryl. His tear stained face read so much more. It was heartbreak; turmoil; despair. Daryl was in pain.

"The rest of the group are outside. I couldn't leave them at the highway…but I couldn't leave you, either…"

Daryl slowly lifted his tired eyes from the ground to stare at Rick's.

"Just go…", he wheezed, a tear falling from the corner of his right eye. Rick narrowed his own eyes, and stepped toward Daryl, kneeling in front of him.

"Did you find her?"

"Don't matter, does it? We're all dyin'. Some faster than others…ya know?", Daryl whispered, shrugging his shoulders, "She's bit. Crazy, right? Too good to be true, really."

"C'mon. I'll go with you. We'll find her…take care of it."

"Nah. Imma stay here.", Daryl said with a soft smirk.

"You can't stay here. We…I…I need you."

"I said…I'll stay here. Git. I don't need nobody else gettin' hurt…", Rick ran a hand down his face as Daryl spoke these words. Daryl's eyes were cloudy, and although Rick had to think for the greater good, he quickly found a silver lining.

"Alright. We'll all stay…", Rick said quickly. Daryl narrowed his eyes.


"We'll all stay. It's safe, for now…and if she's out there, I don't want you to have to go through that alone.", Rick explained. His fatherly tone calmed much of Daryl's despair, but didn't stop the pain in his chest as he leaned over with a nod, and rested his elbows on his bent knees. Rick smiled at the nod, and patted the top of Daryl's hand, before standing to his feet, "I'll do what I have to do, but if she's gone….she wouldn't want you to go down with her, Daryl."

"Gone…", Daryl whispered finally, scoffing a bit in crude humor. In his typical nature, his heart began to ice over, the longer he sat there. It began to matter less, as killing began to take over his brain. He was going mad, and he liked it. It fit. He had lost everything; given up everything. He deserved to be broken. He deserved to feel pain.

Tonight…he would gather the gumptions.


Tomorrow wasn't something he wanted to think about. Losing someone is one thing. Killing someone you love…is something impossible to grasp. It was something he was thrown into. Now, the group was moving into HER house, to sleep in HER rooms, and she was nowhere to be found.

"No no no…", he whispered into the dim light of the room; a line that would be repeated hundreds of times over the next few hours, as he came to terms with the fact that Shan, was truly gone, this time.

"Without You" by Breaking Benjamin

Search for the answers I knew all along
I lost myself, we all fall down
Never the wiser of what I've become
Alone I stand, a broken man

All I have is one last chance
I won't turn my back on you
Take my hand, drag me down
If you fall then I will too
And I can't save what's left of you

Sing something new
I have nothing left
I can't face the dark without you
There's nothing left to lose
The fight never ends
I can't face the dark without you

Swallow me under and pull me apart
I understand, there's nothing left
Pain so familiar and close to the heart
No more, no less, I won't forget

Come back down, save yourself
I can't find my way to you
And I can't bear to face the truth

I wanted to forgive
I'm trying to forget
Don't leave me here again
I am with you forever, the end

Holding the hand that holds me down
I forgive you, forget you, the end
Holding the hand that holds me down
I forgive you, forget you, the end