A/N – I'm not even going to pretend for a second that I know what this is. All I know is that I was actually kind of devastated over Andrea's death, and any hopes that I had of Daryl and Andrea riding off into the sunset are never to be realized, so I'm probably transferring Andrea to Beth now, and Daryl's actually probably doing the same thing. UGH!
Disclaimer - I have never written anything for TWD before and this probably sucks big time and I'm sorry for that.
Summary – I don't even know what to call them Baryl? Deth? I kinda like Deth. Any way you can safely assume this is set sometime in the future when a Daryl & Beth relationship wouldn't be totally creepy.
Angels Lost In Darkness
He's not sure when it happened, always preoccupied with trying to keep the group alive, he hardly ever noticed the wisp of a thing. She was always in the background somewhere, taking care of Little Ass Kicker, helping Carol until Carol was gone. Always staying close to her father until her father was gone. Always trying to save Carl until he no longer wished to be saved. She was always around but never in his line of sight until that day.
They were sent out on a run for supplies. Their group had been thinned once again, scraped down to the bone and he's pretty sure that's how she ended up tagging along on this trip. She's silent behind him, her arms wrapped so loosely around his waist that a stiff gust of wind could knock her off the bike.
"Hang on," he scolds gruffly as he takes her limp spaghetti arms and tightens them around him. He feels her body go rigid against his back but she still refuses to make a sound which is all right with him. He was never much of a talker.
It's when they reach their destination, the abandoned town on the outskirts of Nowhere that he actually sees her for the first time. He sees her long ivory legs as she climbs off his bike, sees the sunlight reflecting off her blonde tresses, notices her body is no longer that of a young girl, but more curvy, womanly. His eyes move up to her face, and it's still youthful, though has a hardness to it that is bound to happen when you live in a world like this. Her cerulean eyes look lost as she glances at him briefly then looks at the ghost town around them.
"Come on," he says simply and turns toward an abandoned pharmacy and she obediently falls behind him.
The pharmacy is infested with walkers, but he quickly learns that she can hold her own with her large buck knife. And she almost reminds him of a young Andrea with her acute knack for killing the undead. And he wonders for a moment who taught her how to be so precise with her kills because he sure as hell knows it wasn't him.
"Who taught you how to kill like that?" he asks once all the walkers are dead, and they're now slowly strolling down the aisles, each with a red basket in their arms, picking up anything and everything they think they may need. Her slender shoulders pull up into a shrug and she still refuses to make any sort of meaningful eye contact with him and he's starting to wonder why.
"Carl helped but I kinda just taught myself," she says softly as she picks up a bottle of shampoo and inspects it closely. "It's easy to practice when there's a chain-link fence between you and them."
"There's no fences here," he says as he drops a can of shaving cream into his basket.
"No," she murmurs the corner of her mouth turning up slightly. "I just pretended there was."
"Remind me never to sneak up on you when you got that buck knife in your hand," he says jokingly, feeling like she's starting to relax a little. She looks up at him, and for once her eyes don't dart away like she just got caught, and her chin is sticking out slightly and he smirks because she almost looks proud.
"Okay," she says, the corners of her mouth turning upwards into what could almost be an actual smile, her cheeks flushing pink slightly, and he can't help but smile back.
It's later that night, when the group is back together, converging around a fire and getting ready to share a meal that Maggie notices Daryl sit down next to her little sister. They barely speak two words to each other, but the lack of space between the pair whispers a closeness that wasn't there previously. Her brow creases and she elbows Glenn in the ribs, who looks up from his plate confused until he follows her gaze to Daryl and Beth.
"It's okay," he stresses quietly, because if there's anyone he would trust enough to be with Beth, to protect her and keep her safe, it's Daryl. Their eyes lock briefly and Daryl's eyes shift hesitantly to Maggie but Glenn merely nods and he can see Daryl's posture relax slightly.
Beth can feel the hair on the back of her neck stand on end when Daryl sits down next to her. She's not exactly sure what happened when they were out earlier but she can definitely feel that something has shifted between them. They're no longer friendly strangers, two ships merely passing in the night, but something more now. She's still very much unsure of herself around him, still feels like the awkward little girl, but there's a calmness emanating from him that she can't help but absorb. He tears his piece of bread and hands her half. Her fingers brush against the back of his hand and her eyes shoot up to his, her cheeks once again flushing pink. She manages to croak out a 'thanks' and he can't help but smile down at her.
"Beth," he says, testing her name on his tongue.
"Yeah?" she half-whispers, unable to pull her eyes away from his gaze.
And it was.