okay-here's part 2- I promise, part 3 is on the way and guess what...nuthin but Meth ! Read and review. Feed my soul !

Fire and Ice part 2

Merle never saw it coming, never expected it or even thought it could be possible, but the old man shot out a right hook that came hard and fast and caught him square in the face.

He felt his nose crack. That weren't nothin knew. Thing was probably hadn't even set yet from the last time it got broke. He hadn't expected any hit from the old man, but he certainly hadn't expected such a hard hit.

From above them in the tower, Carl and Michonne watched the exchange with wide eyes, Michonne, shaking her head and laying a gentle hand on Carl's shoulder as he moved to intervene.

Below them they watched as Herschel Greene, who hadn't thrown a punch in years….stumble from the force of the blow he had delivered, stepping forward on his prosthetic leg he lurched and tumbled.

"Hell," Merle chuckled, looking at the old man sprawled out on the ground, "aint I supposed to be the one on my ass?" He pulled his hand off his dripping nose, and held it out to the man.

Herschel pulled his good leg under him and struggled with his stump. "I don't need your help." He ground out through gritted teeth.

"Come on Doc," Merle grumbled, leaning forward and taking him by the arm. "Let me help ya up."

Herschel turned from the ground and looked up at the man stricken, "I haven't laid a hand on a man in years…."

"Yeah well," Merle snorted, leaning down, and lookin the man in the eye, "Ya aint lost yer touch. Nearly knocked my lights out….busted my damn nose as it is…."

Herschel shook his head and reached out letting himself be pulled up by Dixon. As much as he had been disgusted by the man's words about his daughter….he was more disgusted by the fact that he had struck the man. Especially after the conversation they'd had a few days prior, where he'd assured him…that there was always another way, where violence was concerned.

They followed one another slowly into the block; barely making it more than two steps in before all hell broke loose.

"What in the hell happened?" Rick called out, reaching for his gun.

"Daddy!" Maggie and Beth cried out in unison, seeing the old man, with smears of blood on his shirt, and his arm.

Glenn and Carol were by his side in an instant, helping him as he hobbled over to a bench.

Only Daryl stayed still, leaning back against the cell wall, his crossbow in hand. He narrowed his eyes and looked at his brother. He'd seen this before. It was a classic really. When it came to his brother Merle, all ya really had to do was add liqueur, and ya'd usually end up with a busted nose. Only mystery here was Herschel….he'd kick his brother out himself, if he'd laid a hand on the man.

"What'd you do asshole?" He called out over the commotion in the cell.

"I didn't do nuthin…." Merle answered, his hand still trying to stem the flow of blood from his nose.

"Ya musta done somethin," Daryl said pushing himself off the wall to approach his brother.

The rest of the group looked from Herschel to Merle in confusion….they still hadn't caught on to what could have happened. Only Beth was starting to get a slight inkling to what could have occurred. Her eyes caught Merle's and he fixed his on hers before looking to the ground.

"Daddy what happened?" Maggie asked, her eyes going from Merle to her father. "What did he do?"

"He's covered in blood," Rick spoke, as he turned to face Merle, his gun still gripped in his hand.

"Better drop that fuckin gun 'friendly'," Merle spat out, "or make the shot count."

"Stop!" Herschel raised his voice, and stretched out his hand to rest it on Rick's arm. "The man didn't lay a finger on me…I hit him." He shook his head and pressed his lips together in anger and disgust. He flitted his eyes up towards Merle, "Ought to stay off the bottle." He finished.

"D'you hit him back?" Daryl asked cuffing his brother hard on the shoulder. "Did ya?"

"You hit Herschel?" Glenn shouted marching across the room.

"Fuck you!" Merle growled "Fuck all y'all! Aint I the one with a busted up face?"

"He helped me up that's all." Herschel looked at the group and shook his head slowly, "Hadn't ever thrown a punch one legged before….got off balance and fell. Merle helped me up. That's all. That's his blood…not mine."

Daryl looked at his brother and narrowed his eyes. Didn't take no genius to figure out what Merle musta said. Somethin about Beth for sure, about pussy or tits or god knows what. He clenched his teeth and cuffed his brother again hard, "hell's wrong with ya?" he seethed.

He'd known it the minute his brother had uncapped that bottle of whiskey that there'd be trouble in some form. Stupid jack ass had outright told him to fuck off when he'd tried to curb him. Claimed he'd been clean for god knows how long and he just wanted to lay on a little buzz. Didn't take him more than a few damn minutes to turn back into the type of man that'll drive anyone to strike; even a one legged bible thumper for Christ sake!

"Come on dumb ass," he snapped, grabbing his brother by the shirt. "Let me get that shit cleaned up…ya drippin all over the damn floor."

"Wait…." Beth whispered her voice barely audible above the commotion in the block. "Wait….Daryl…" she started again, raising her voice to be heard.

Daryl stopped for a moment, his hand still grabbing his brother's shirt. Christ, he thought, if this girl got involved now all damn hell was gonna break loose.

"I know y'all were fighting about me." She started her voice cracking as she raised it. "I know I'm the one causin' this whole mess…." She paused and turned around, putting her hand on her father's shoulder and squeezing it.

Rick's mouth dropped open and his eyes narrowed to slits; "What?" he sputtered, "Beth, if that man's laid a hand on you…" he started.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Daryl felt his brother tense up behind him, and he knew that a Merle fueled by whiskey and rage would be an unstoppable force. "Easy….my brother aint done a damn thing." He said stepping between the two.

"Stop…." Beth started, taking a step back and turning to face the group. "Stop fighting….all of you. This…" she paused and waved her hand around, "all of this….it's not worth it….. Everyone here…our familyfighting…each other…because they think I'm too young…."

"You are too young!" Maggie pleaded.

"I'm not…" Beth answered, raising her hand up to stop the group from protesting. "I'm not too young to make my own choices Mags…" she paused and looked around shrugging her slender shoulders, "I guess that goes for everyone here. I love all y'all…we're a family," she pleaded, "but this….it has to stop." She took a step towards Daryl and Merle, "those…things outside…the ones that are trying to eat us…that's the threat…not him…or me…or nothing we do."

She stopped and turned to face her father. "I love you daddy, and I know you trust me…so now I'm gonna do what you always taught me to do…clean up my messes…and this here's a pretty big one."

She took a step forward, lowering her eyes to avoid the stunned looks from the rest of the prison group and walked around Daryl, "Come on Merle," she said, her voice lowering, "let me help you with that."

"Shit," Merle grumbled as she walked past him, "I got a feelin I woulda had an easier time getting off this shit with you brother."

"Tough luck," Daryl answered, shoving him on his way, "hope she puts ya ass through the damn ringer."