Hello loves! Thanks for sticking with me and my slow updates, it really means the world to me that you are reading this! This chapter is much darker than I had originally planned but hey I went with it! It delves into some of Daryl's past and family issues. Let me know what you think! BTW, holy crap 30 chapters!?
Warning: this chapter is pretty dark, it has mentions of child abuse/neglect, alcohol/drug use, and rape
Breakfast was quiet and a little awkward. Daryl ate silently, listening to Carol and Sophia chatter away. He didn't know how Carol acted so cool and calm while he was mortified that Sophia had heard them. She had tried to tell him it wasn't a big deal, that they would just have to be a little more conscious of the noise level next time. The red had yet to leave his scruffy cheeks.
"So when you get married can I change my name too?"
Daryl promptly choked on the orange juice he'd been sipping. Standing, he wiped at his mouth, took a step toward the door, stopped and then started again while quickly mumbling that he was late for work. Carol watched the shy man reach the door and then turn back to plant an awkward kiss not quite on her mouth and then finally flee the scene. She raised her coffee mug, blowing on the steaming liquid and shot her daughter a look, "You're bad," then gave into the smile she'd been holding in. The girl just giggled mischievously and carried on with her pancakes.
Later that day, Carol was surprised to see a panicky Rick lead a very pregnant Lori into the emergency room. A new Grimes entered the world screaming and with a head full of dark hair. Carol had gone to see the newest addition on her lunch break, the exhausted parent smiled as she cradled the little girl in her arms. The little bundle of joy seemed to bring the two Grimes back together, they looked happy and Rick had his arm wrapped around a tired but beautiful Lori. She was glad to see them looking so content together, she knew the last year had been rough on their marriage, after Shane had left town Lori told Rick about the brief affair. There had been a good deal of arguing but they decided to try to work things out and it seemed Judith's birth would help with the healing.
Carol sat on the counter, sipping wine and watching Daryl finish doing the dishes, "She's beautiful, she's got these big eyes and dark hair just like Lori. I love when they're that small, I miss Sophia being a baby," she smiled wistfully then smirked, "But I don't miss the crying…Lord, could that girl wail. Ed wouldn't come home for days because she cried so much."
She noticed he was quieter than normal, he hadn't said anything since she started talking about Judith. She knew family wasn't his favorite subject but she still felt like she knew so little about him, so she pushed, "Did Merle or your mother ever tell you what you were like as a baby?"
Daryl froze, his teeth grinding as he clenched his jaw tightly. Without a word he finished drying the last plate and walked outside, the late fall air was cold and clear. He took a deep breath and ran a hand through his messy hair. He loved Carol but she wanted to talk about things he'd tried so hard to forget, things he'd buried deep down. He paced the patio, hands never still, teeth gnawing at his lip anxiously. He knew he'd been out there at least an hour, thinking, worrying, arguing with himself. Carol was probably in bed now, he hoped she wasn't mad that he'd just walked away from her. But the time had done him good, he realized that she'd heard plenty of other shitty details about his life and hadn't run.
Carol was attempting to read a book when he finally crept into the room, his eyes avoiding hers. He cautiously sat on the bed next to her legs with his back to her and head down. He took a shaky breath and reminded himself that it was Carol, his Carol, the woman that loved him. He still had a hard time believing it, believing that anyone could love him, let alone someone like her. It was because of that love that he would push himself, force himself to tell her the things that he tried to forget.
"I'm sorry Daryl, I know you don't like talking about your family, I shouldn't have asked…It's just…I just wanna know you."
He chose to ignore the statement, knowing if he didn't get it out now he never would, "Merle said I was little, real little. And I cried all the time, cried like them babies ya see on TV whose mama's did shit they shouldn't when they's pregnant…He took care o'me mostly, he was six when I's born and uh…she…she didn't want nothin ta do with me. Merle said she wouldn't even hold me for tha first year or so…But that weren't her fault. I can't blame her fer that…she…it weren't her fault."
Carol leaned forward, her hand searching his out, shocked to see tears filling his eyes. She was speechless, no words came to her so she let him continue.
Daryl swallowed hard, looking down at the soft hand in his, he tried to blink away the tears in his eyes, refusing to let them fall, "She didn't want me. I wasn't supposed to happen…right before she died she told me how…how," he took a shaky breath, "He came home drunk and meaner than usual. He always liked to hit her, especially when he was drunk…did other things too…he beat her half ta death and when she woke up he was on top o' her. She said she screamed and screamed but he just laughed…Said I was born nine months to tha day…it wasn't her fault she didn't want me."
The hand that wasn't holding his covered her mouth in shock, realizing what he was saying brought a lump to her throat and tears to her eyes.
"Few months later she died, house burned down with her in it. They say it was an accident but I don't know... I don't know if she really wanted to die but I know she wanted to get away from my ol' man and dyin' was the only way she knew how."
Carol let her hand travel up to cup his rough cheek, his eyes finally meeting hers, tears now spilling over. He looked like a little boy and an old man all at once, weary and relived at the same time. He sucked in a ragged breath, his hand coming up to press her palm against his cheek, "I know you say I'm good…but how? How can I be good when I was made like that? When I got that bad blood in me?"
She maneuvered her way onto his lap, wanting his full attention, she held his face in both hands, never letting him look away, "You are the best man I have ever known. You are kind and honorable…You have a good heart Daryl, nothing can change that, not even that monster you grew up with could change that." She softly kissed his cheeks, nose, and forehead, nothing was forgotten as she told him what a good man he was and that she loved him.
Their tears finally ceased as their mouths met, the emotional admission had left nerve endings raw, left them both needing love and kindness. As the wet tracks on their faces dried, they found each other's mouths again and again. His arms wrapped around her tightly as she rubbed herself against his erection. Her kisses became more urgent as she pulled the old t-shirt up over his head, his bare skin setting hers on fire. It was a blur of hands and mouths and want until finally he was inside her. Both let out quiet groans as she rode him, his hands seeking out her breasts, occasionally sliding down to the curve of her backside. They each finished rather quickly, holding each other close, trying to muffle the sound of their joining.
Daryl lay on his side, watching her drift in and out, his rough fingers trailed along her still naked torso. His mind going over everything he'd told her, and all the things she'd said in return. He didn't understand how she could love him but decided maybe he should stop questioning it so god damn much. She now knew one of his darkest secrets, knew where he came from, knew what kind of blood was coursing through his veins. He'd always known it was bad blood, always said it would end with him, not that there was ever the worry of it being passed on…Fuck. Shitfuckdamn. Fuck, he was an idiot.
"Yeah?" she looked up at him sleepily.
He was embarrassed that he hadn't thought of this before, he hoped she wasn't pissed, "Uh, we…um…that was…we…that was the third time, and we didn't…and I uh, I ya know, I did it in you…What if…"
It took Carol a minute to realize what he was stammering on about but then it finally dawned on her that he was worried about getting her pregnant. She couldn't help the slight smile that formed, he looked so sweet and nervous, "Daryl relax. I started taking birth control back in July, plus I think I'm near the end of my baby making days anyways. We have nothing to worry about," she gave him a quick kiss and snuggled further into the quilt.
Daryl gave a relieved sigh and finally let his head hit the pillow. He loved Carol but he never wanted to pass on the Dixon genes, he decided long ago that they would die with him. Even if what Carol said was true, he didn't want the chance of another foul-tempered Dixon in this world. Plus, he wasn't dumb enough to think he should be anyone's daddy, he wouldn't know what the hell to do.
He was on the verge of sleep when a thought struck him, "You said July?"
Carol gave a loud yawn in the middle of her answer, "Yeah."
His blue eyes narrowed, then a wide grin took over, "We met in June."