Glenn lingered outside the cell, working himself up to go in.
The prison was quiet, everyone outside, tending to other things. And he was grateful for that. At least he and Daryl could have some privacy.
He was about to go in when Daryl peered round the corner of his cell, locking eyes with Glenn.
"You'd make a shitty hunter," Daryl told him. He crossed his arms and leant against the frame of the cell's entrance.
Glenn swallowed and was sure Daryl must have heard him. Even though he wasn't intimidated by Daryl like he used to be he still knew that at certain times Daryl could be volatile. Merle was that sore point still.
"I don't know what to say," Glenn confessed.
"Ain't nothin' to say," Daryl countered. "it's all been said."
"Maggie and Carol think that..."
"Maggie and Carol are just trying to make nice. There's nothing to say," Daryl repeated. "We don't have to be friends. We don't have to be anything. Let's just play nice and leave it at that."
Glenn nodded, not sure what else to say. And then Daryl was turning away and Glenn was standing alone.
Something settled into Daryl.
A feeling, deep in his gut. It made him uncomfortable, restless. His gut was clenching worse than those days he had to go home when he knew Daddy would be drunk and angry, when he knew he was in for a beating.
But there were no beatings in his life any more.
It was a realisation that had done this to him. A realisation of the truth in the prison right now.
He'd sat there thinking about the group.
What he'd done for them. What they'd done for him and he realised that he was the bottom of the list of important people in the prison right now.
Hershel had his girls to care for him and Glenn was their family through his relationship with Maggie. Rick had Carl and Judith, and Michonne seemed to be close to them since their trek out together.
And there was him. Him and Carol, the odd ones out.
And that's what hit him.
The fact that he would give his life for every single one of those people if he could, but he knew that all of them had someone else to live for, someone who relied on them.
It wasn't that he knew that Rick or any of the others didn't value him and what he did, it was knowing that all of them had something else that they needed to protect more than him.
If Rick could save Daryl in a situation, Daryl knew he would, without hesitation. But if he had to pick, if Carl was also in danger, Rick *had* to pick him. And of course he did. He'd hate Rick if he didn't.
It was just that realisation. That you were at the bottom of that list.
And God, it made him feel pathetic.
It made him miss Merle.
Merle who did everything he could at the end to protect him.
Merle who would have died for him and did.
He died for him.
And he had no one left.
He was pulled from his self pity by the sound of someone stirring by the door to his cell. He looked up to see Michonne standing there. Her face was blank, unreadable.
He hoped he managed to pull himself together enough to stow away his own emotions.
"Was jus' going down to sit by Andrea's grave a while. Wanna come?"
He felt a new wave of pity hit him. Poor Andrea.
God this new world sucked.
Why did the people in his life have to keep being taken? Why couldn't he go and someone like Andrea live? She was a sweet girl. She tried so hard to do the right thing.
"Hey?" Michonne said gently, pulling his attention back.
He shrugged but got up anyway. He could do with looking at something other than his cell.
Michonne talked to Andrea.
Talked to her like she was there with her. Told her about the things the new people were getting up to at the prison, how the group was getting on and all the while, Daryl stood behind her, kicking up the dirt with his boot, feeling awkward as his darted to Merle's own grave and then away again.
He couldn't look at it without seeing Merle's clouded eyes as he'd slowly made his way towards him, or the way he snarled at Daryl as he tried to turn him into his next meal. Mostly when he looked at it though he remembered the way Merle had been laying on the floor after Daryl had killed him.
The way his skull had been caved in as Daryl had stabbed it time and time again. How it didn't really look like Merle after that.
He remembered Andrea afterwards, when Michonne had finally left the room with her.
She still looked like Andrea. At least until you got to the hole in the back of her head, brain matter matted into her blonde hair. The memory of it nearly made Daryl gag.
Michonne was still going strong in her talk and Daryl's legs ached so he sat down at the foot of Merle's grave, but he was facing Michonne. She smiled slightly to him as she continued her chat.
He let out a small sigh. Wished he could say something to Merle.
Wished he could feel like it would help if he did.
He looked over to the cross he'd made again. Then looked past it to T Dog and Lori's.
They'd made sacrifices too. Just like Merle. For Carol and for Judith.
Merle was as good as them. Deserved to lie beside them.
Damn, he didn't wanna do this right now. He stood up again. "Where are you going?" Michonne asked.
"I can't sit here and talk to the dirt," Daryl griped as he headed off back towards the prison.
Michonne watched him go and looked back to where Andrea sat across from her. "Glad to see you two are getting along," Andrea said to her. "Maybe it was too soon for him," Michonne pondered.
"Or maybe he just doesn't see Merle."