~~~~~~~~~~~The first chapter to be background stuff about the relationship Cassie, Daryl, and Merle have and it is kinda long and maybe a bit boring (sorry). Ohhh if anyone has any requests on what they want to happen I am always up for it :)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What can I say about Daryl and Merle Dixon, I've know them since I was in high school, sophomore year to be exact, and they both could be great friends; if they wanted to be. Before the dead started walking again I was relatively normal, I had my demons but who doesn't. I never thought that I would be in a world full of zombies, hell I never would have thought I could survive in this world. At a point I thought I wouldn't survive in the normal world but Daryl saved me. His brother on the other hand ruined me; I couldn't blame it all in him though I took part in it too. Daryl even tried to save me when everything was lost and it was hopeless.

Pre-apocalypse

I walked up to him on a dare from my friends, the guy in my math class who didn't talk too much. They all thought he was weird, trashy, a hick, or whatever they told me; I knew he couldn't be as bad as everyone said he was. He was a Dixon, yeah, but that doesn't mean he was like the rest of them. I sort of knew his brothers reputation, but he didn't seem like that guy at least from the outside anyway. The dare was I had to go sit with him and start a conversation and stay there all lunch even if he didn't talk. I never backed down from a challenge and this didn't seem like a problem by any means. My group of friends was starting to piss me off anyway and this was a way to get away from them for a little while.

"Hey," I said sitting down putting my lunch next to him.

"Hi," he answered looking confused.

"I'm Cassidy, but you can call me Cassie. I think I have math class with you," I said my voice bubbly as I took a bite of my sandwich.

"Daryl, yeah you sit a few seats in front of me," he said looking down.

"I thought so. So what's up," I asked smiling at his super confused look.

The rest of lunch went by fast him and I getting to know each other, I was really glad he decided to talk to me. He could have just walked away when I sat down but thankfully he didn't. I found out we really didn't live too far apart and a few other things. The end of lunch bell rang and I stood up to throw out my lunch, and I looked over at him.

"So same time tomorrow?" I asked wanting to know more about this boy.

"Uhm yeah… if you want," he said looking guarded.

Over the next few weeks he and I talked more and more, in the hall ways, in class, in lunch and it was really nice he was a really cool guy. Slowly, I pulled away from my friends who were giving me shit about talking to him. They would say "Cassie why are you still talking to the hick" and "Oh you're sitting there again" or "Your ditching us for HIM?". My answer to my materialistic, preppy, garbage bag of friends was yes. Let's just say they didn't like that all too much. Let's just say they told me it was them or him, obviously I picked him.

"So I don't have any more friends," I said walking into math class one day.

"Yeah? Whys that?" he asked leaning his head on his hands.

"Those douche bags told me I had to pick them or you, and well I picked you," I said sitting down and turning to face him. "We can be outcasts together!"

"I aint an outcast, you're on your own girl," he said with a smile.

"Oh yeah, fine then I don't need you," I said turning around like I was really mad at him. I heard him laughing behind me until the teacher started talking.

One day I offered to drive him home because we had this test we needed to study for. He didn't want me to take him home, but eventually I convinced him with my big blue eyes and my puppy dog look. We were on our way home when he looked into the back seat at the guitar I had sitting there.

"You play," he asked.

"Yeah I take that thing everywhere with me I love it," I said smiling. "Where's your street,"

"You could just drop me off here," he said quickly.

"But I thought we were guna study," I said my voice disappointed.

"Merle came home today, we gotta spend family time," he said his voice low.

"Oh um okay I guess," I said pulling over to let him out.

Like a creeper I watched where he went in case I had to find hid house for some reason, the way he said family time didn't sound right to me. The next day I walked into lunch to find Daryl not there, this happened for the rest of the week. Where the hell was he? Like the good friend I was I found where his house was and went over there, parking my SUV across the street. I looked around the small house, his truck was there but it didn't look like anyone was home. I knocked on the front door and waited, nothing, I knocked again and this time I heard a voice from inside say something. The door opened and I was face to face with Merle Dixon, or who I thought was Merle.

"Um….. is Daryl here," I asked feeling like a little kid calling for their friend to come play.

"He aint here, he went out huntin'," he said ready to close the door but he stopped and looked back at me. "Oh, you mus' be that girl he talks 'bout," he said shaking his finger at me.

"Ha yeah, I guess, I'm Cassie," I said looking up at him. "Can you tell him a was lookin' for him,"

"Well, he didn say you were this pretty," he said.

"Well thanks, um well can you just tell Daryl I stopped by," I said backing up a bit.

"Yeah, yeah sure sweetheart," he said closing the rusting screen door. "You wanna get high," he asked through it.

"No thanks I'm okay this time," I said with a giggle. Merle may be a little creepy but he wasn't so bad.

The rest of the school year went by fast; thank god I could stare at these stupid ass kids for any longer I needed a break from them. During the summer I got the chance to play my music in the local café every Friday, that was one of the best experienced of my life. Daryl almost always showed up too, being he was my best friend and all. Since I made him sit through my shows, him looking and probably feeling super uncomfortable, I told him he could teach me how to hunt. And he did, I got pretty good at using a crossbow too he even said he was proud of me. according to him and Merle I was being a real redneck southern gal… great… the rest of high school went along like that Daryl and I became inseparable, he was even my prom date…. I made him go…. I didn't tell him but he looked so good in his little tux it was very enjoyable.

"DARYL DARYL DARYL," I yelled running down the street and into his house almost smashing into Merle.

"Woah sweetheart slowdown," he said grabbing me and stopping me from going into Daryl's room.

"Oh hey Merle… could ya let me go I gotta talk to Daryl I gotta tell him I got in!" I said not being able to hold in my excitement.

"No ya can't go in there right now," he answered with a smirk.

"What? But why….," my voice trailed off when Merle put his fingers up to his lips signaling me to be quiet. My eyes went wide and I started to laugh "Oh my god! Who is he with in there," I said holding my hand over my mouth to keep my laugh in.

"I don know some chick," he said "Ya guna wait,"

"Eh I don't know, he should have his fun. Oh my god how mad would he be if I busted in there yelling about an acceptance letter," I giggled taking a seat next to Merle.

He just laughed even harder than I was and put his face in his hands "I shouldna stopped ya," he answered through the laughing.

Eventually, after what felt like an hour Daryl came out with some blonde trashy ass looking girl… he could do so much better than that. Yeah I mean she had nice boobs and she had a rockin' body but her face was trash. She really tall also, like taller than me and I was 5'6 but if that's what he wants I'm happy for him. he let her out and before he could turn around a ran up to him jumping up and down him and Merle looking at me with the what the fuck look.

"Daryl I got in!" I yelled showing him the letter his eyes going wide.

"Good for you, see I knew you could do it," he said a bug smile on his face bringing me in for a hug "Why are ya just tellin' me now," he finished.

"'cause you were fucking in there and I didn't want to disturb you…. Not like it has ever stopped you before," I mumble the last part

"It was only three times," he said his face getting red.

"Wait Darlyania ya walked in on 'er," Merle said giving me a look.

"Yeah he has a few times," I said laughing. I mean I really didn't' care so what if he saw me naked it happens, Daryl knows more about me than I think anyone else… including myself…

"I didn take ya for the sluttly type," Merle said raising his eyebrows.

"She aint a slut Merle," Daryl yelled in my defense. I smiled he was defending me.

"Eh I kinda am, not guna lie here," I said knowing it was the complete truth.

Later that day, after my show at the café Daryl and I went for a walk around the neighborhood.

"You guna miss it here," he asked handing me a piece of gum.

"I'll miss you, this town not so much," I answered.

"I can't believe you're guna leave me here," he said smiling shaking his head.

"I'm not leaving all be back every chance I get I promise, and you said you were taking me out for my 21st so I'm holding you to that," I said pointing at him.

After graduation I had to leave for college fast because I got a job out there, so the part of graduation didn't last very long. Everything was going pretty well my classes were awesome, the people were cool, and there were hot guys everywhere! It was like heaven. Unfortunately, Daryl and I didn't get to talk as much as I'd liked over the year. By the next year I was pretty settled in my surroundings, so we were able to talk a little bit more. When I came home for break, only during the summers, we hung out when we could we were both busy taking care of business. The next time we were able to actually hang out was my 21st birthday and let me tell you it was well worth the wait.

I hadn't been to the Dixon's house in a very very long time like, since before I went away to college. Today was my 21st birthday and it was going to be spent with my best friend like we promised in high school. I laughed thinking about that conversation "Ima get you shit faced drunk Cas, you're guna love it" he was crazy. The house looked exactly the same as before; I knocked on the door waiting for someone to come to the door. It was Merle who answered.

"Well happy birthday girl," Merle slurred obviously high already.

"Thanks sweetheart," I said grabbing his face like he used to do to me. "Daryl here," I asked looking at the needle sitting on the coffee table.

"Nah , he asleep," he slurred as he laid down in the couch. I don't think he has been to sleep yet…

I left Merle there as he was mumbling to himself and made my way to Daryl's room, letting myself in when I got there. The dude was passed out, I got an idea he was going to hate this but what kind of friend would I be if I didn't torture his life. I ran for the bed dive bombing in him, startling him awake, his blue eyes opening wide. I threw my leg over him, so I was straddling him, and started bouncing up and down smacking his chest yelling "Wake up Daryl poo it's my birthday!"

"Kay I'm up," he growled grabbing my hips stopping me.

"Well lets go then," I said rolling over and getting off the bed.

"Jus give me a minute," he answered as I was walking out if the room.

I walked back out to Merle who was still mumbling about something and sat down on his legs when he wouldn't move them.

"He'll be out in a minute," I said leaning back. "He better not take long," I finished, scowling at the thought.

"He won't. never does, wouldn expect him to after the way your sexy ass woke 'im up," he said not slurring as much.

"Merle that is the nicest thing you ever said to me," I paused thinking about what he just said. "MERLE ewww! No why did you put that thought in my head I don't want to think about that!" I shrieked my voice all high pitched.

He just laughed at me, and every time I made a face he would just laugh harder and harder. "You wanna get high," he asked pulling out an illegal green substance.

I thought about it for a minute before I answered, "Nah thanks though," him asking me that was becoming a tradition.

Daryl came out of the room, and I jumped up and gave him a hug; he flinched a little bit. We spent the morning and afternoon hanging around this shitty ass town and talking about what's been going on in our lives. When nighttime finally came around he took me to the local bar, ordering me a shot for my first legal drink. It burned all the way down and I must have made a face because he and on a huge smile. The night went smoothly, for the most part, before I knew it I was shitfaced, gone, I was partying in alcohol heaven. I was dancing with some dude when I started to feel uncomfortable with him so I walked away, more like stumbled away and sat down leaving the guy there staring.

"Maybe we should go," Daryl whispered to me, if I could smell the alcohol on his breath then it must have been reeking out of my pours at this point.

I nodded, falling in the floor when I got up knocking the bar stool on top of me. Everything was starting to spin now, I felt strong arms lift me up and take me outside. I took my shoes off and leaned on Daryl all the way back to his house, only stopping once for me to puke my guts up.

"My parentss can… can't ssee me like thiss," I managed to slur out. "Let me sstay over," I asked.

"Okay," he answered picking me up as we reached him house… I couldn't get up the stairs… "Get ta my room, could ya do that," I asked softly.

"Duh!" I said tripping into the wall as I staggered to him room. My clothes were pissing my off they were too itchy they had to come off like right now. I pulled off my shirt and went looking in a drawer for one of his same with the pants; I was sort of dressed when he came in. I fell into his bed as he walked over handing me a bucket and a blanket. "Don't leave! I don't wanna be alone," I slurred into the pillow as I moved over so he could get in.

"I don't.." he began but I cut him off.

"Get in the damn bed, I'm not guna hurt you," I growled as I hit the wall.

"Yes mam," he answered.

"I'm guna snuggled with you," I whispered "So get over it,"

"I don't want to," he started but I laid my head on his chest and he stopped throwing his arms around me.

"I brushed my teeth don't worry," I said looking up at him, he had a smile in when I said that.

"Good, I can't deal with nasty ass breath," he answered softly, his hand moving toward my waist.

"Shut up. So I'm thinking we should have sex," I said. He sat right up when I said that and looked at me like what the fuck are you talking about? "Not right now but you know when I'm not about to puke my guts up…. like tomorrow or something, not lay the fuck back down I was comfortable!" I finished and he listened to me.

We never did end up hooking up, and I didn't see his after that until after I graduated from college and got a job. It happened to be by chance I saw him when I was visiting my parents on my 27 birthday; he didn't see me. I went to the Dixon house and let myself in finding Merle shooting up what was probably meth.

"Ahh long time no see girl," he said removing the needle. He looked down at his stuff and back at me and smiled I already knew what that meant, I changed my answer this time I wanted to know what made him so hooked in this shit. I sat down and pulled up my sleeve.

"Use a new needle please," I asked.

I was in a cloud, I felt better than I've felt in a really, really long time…. Things went on like that for a while before anyone noticed I would say like 6 months before things started to get crazy. I lost my job because I never went in, so I had no money to support my new habit. I started to get money in other ways, or if I didn't have money I'd do a favor for my dealer… sometimes that didn't work out too well' let's just say I was beaten up more than once.. Every time I walked into the Dixon house and Daryl saw me he looked so disappointed, but honestly I didn't care at that point. Merle and I got high together all the time, this went on for a very long time over 2 and a half years. My breaking point was when Daryl found me in the bathroom ODing and rushed me to the hospital.

"You're goin ta rehab," he snarled at me.

"No I'm not," I growled back at him. "Whata you care it's not your business,"

"Whatever, Cas you're going I don't care what you say," he answered sitting down, all of a sudden his face changed from sad to angry he grabbed for my arm. "LOOK WHAT YOU DID TA YOURSELF CAS," he yelled flipping my arm showing me the track marks up and down my arms. "This isn't who you were supposed to be," He finished dropping my arm and walking away.

I went to rehab, he was right I looked terrible. My once bright blue eyes were dull and lifeless, my skin was patchy my hair dull, I looked like a street whore…. Which I was… After a very very long 3 months I left rehab and went to a sober living home and stayed there for about a year. When people started walking back up from the dead I knew I had to get back home, it was time to go. I made it there before things got really bad, my parents' house was empty but everything was still there, I went to the garage and grabbed my old crossbow and my guitar, stupid I know, and threw them in my car along with a few other things I found. I drove to the Dixon's house hoping they were still there; they were. I got out and walked up to them.

"I know I dint have time to apologize now but I would really like to come with you if it's alright," I asked my words coming out fast.

"Duck!" Daryl yelled, I did as he said. He shot a dead person that was coming up behind me. "Get in," he said opening the door.

I slid in there sitting next to Merle…. Maybe this was a bad idea… I looked up at Daryl who gave me a glare, I pulled my arms in wanting to make myself as small as I felt.

"We've got a lot to talk about don't we," I said quietly shifting my body towards Daryl and away from Merle.

"Yeah," he said his voice harsh "We do,"