A/N: Short little one-shot dealing with character death. Don't like, then I'm sorry, but it is definitely Caryl fic. What if Carol hadn't made it out of the hallway with T-Dog? I love Carol and would never want her to die in the show, but I honestly thought she was gone, so here's my take on if she had been. I live on reviews. I will continue with a series of one-shots if anyone is interested. Not all angsty, but I NEED reviews to keep me goin Thanks!

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. I am no one lol.

Daryl stared down at the lifeless form…or what was left of it. An axe lie limp in his hand. He'd been standing in this position for nearly an hour having refused to let anyone near the body, determined to take the swing himself. The bites covered her body, leaving her gentle face totally unmarred. The hallway lay scattered with her and T-dogs remains, but the soft features and her pale complexion remain completely visible, haunting Daryl. There was no fear in her expression, just neutrality.

Carol. He thought bitterly, willing her body to reanimate in death. Of course he didn't want her to turn into one of those…things…he just wanted to see her move. Wanted her to squeeze his shoulder once more in comfort. He wanted her to place a soft kiss atop his forehead, pushing his boundaries with every new touch. He missed the way she pushed him to be a better person and reassured him that he was, in fact, already an inherently good man. Daryl had never been in love; never experienced anything close to it…except with what he had with Carol. What they had was stronger than physical attraction. Their bond was something that could have only grown from a world that literally ate people and spit them back out as flesh-eating monsters. After Sophia, Carol had grown from a meek, beaten housewife and proved herself to be a strong asset to the group, but he knew the pain was still too much for her at times. He heard her cry in the darkness of the night, when she thought he slept. Daryl liked to think the mother and daughter were reunited in death. He didn't know what to believe about the after-life, but he imagined them together in a nice, safe place.

Daryl began to pace, swinging the axe back and forth. His breathing picked up. This shouldn't be this hard. She could literally turn at any minute and he just couldn't do it. There was something in him not ready to take that final swing. He needed…to talk to her. There was so much he wished he could tell her. He had thought he had time to say all the things that he wanted to. He thought he had time to tell her about the way he felt around her. Things had just seemed stable at their little prison compound. They had a seemingly safe and closed off location, hopes for the future security of food and water. Things had been finally coming together and now she lie dead on the floor of this dark hallway, waiting for Daryl to bury an axe into her brain so she wouldn't come back as the thing she dreaded the most.

"Carol…" he said quietly, feeling like words were necessary. "I'm sorry I wasn' there. Shoulda bin protectin' you."

An arm twitched.

"I woulda protected you forever woman," he spoke as a leg gave a spasm. "You hear that? Forever."

Another spasm travelled throughout the form.

"I'll miss ya."

As if simply waking from a spell, the body that used to be Carol' slowly opened its eyes. A yellow film covered what used to be her beautiful blue orbs; this thing a monster in Carol's lovely form. Before the body could make another move, Daryl opted away from the axe and pulled the knife from his belt, swiftly burying it into the top of the undead head that used to be the woman he loved. A single tear fell down his cheek and he wiped it away quickly, removing his knife and covering Carol's remains with a sheet. In one swoop, he lifted her body from the ground and carried her out of the prison walls, to bury her. Carol would have expected him to move on. She wouldn't be here, but he'd live for her alright. Live for the woman he loved.