DISCLAIMER: I do not own any part of The Walking Dead. This is for entertainment purposes only.
A/N: This is a fill for a prompt I found on twd-kinkmeme LJ. Things may be a little OOC from time to time (i.e., Daryl). This has the potential to become awkward and cute all at the same time. Never thought I'd see myself writing this. I really don't know what came over me but oh well. Oh, and there may be a few references from Survival Instinct in here. If you've played it, you'll see it. Feedback would be greatly appreciated. If y'all like it, I'll be sure to try and update more frequently.
"Maggie, come on! This isn't fair! It's your car—you know how much of a piece of shit it is!" Beth switched hands with her cell phone as she let her eyes wander at her surroundings. She was on her way home from Sasha's house after putting in a couple hours of work on a project for Mr. Harrison's class. Of course, the old Sable had decided to act up now of all times. "It's going on 7 o'clock and I'm stranded outside of a bar for crying out loud."
Beth could hear her half-sister sigh into the receiver, "Where are you?"
"I don't know. I think Barksdale or something like that."
"Barksdale? I'm not driving clear to Barksdale, Beth." Maggie sounded agitated with her. Beth assumed she was still probably upset over last week's fiasco. "You said you're outside a bar—go ask some guy to help you out."
"I am not asking some strange drunk man to fix your car for me. Please, Maggie. You know I can't go inside a bar," Beth pleaded.
"Find another way home." Maggie hung up.
Beth lowered the phone from her ear and stared at it in disbelief. Maggie didn't understand how nervous it made her to be stuck in Barksdale right outside of Jake's Bar. The place looked like it suited plenty of motorcyclist, all of the bikes lined up in a row. If she were Maggie, she'd have no trouble waltzing on in to ask for help. But she wasn't her, she wasn't as fearless. The only thing she could do to keep herself from having some mini panic attack was imaging someone tripping and landing on one of the motorcycles, knocking it over and causing a domino effect. She could picture all the gruff, bearded men with their beer bellies rushing through the doors with angry scowls plastered on their faces.
Beth sighed as she turned her attention back to her cell phone and dialed Shawn's number. Since Maggie had been away at college, just having returned for summer break, Beth had become a lot closer to Shawn. It only made sense really. They attended the same high school together, him being a senior this year and her a junior, not to mention living together. Shawn always took pity on her since she was the youngest.
"What's up?" Shawn answered after the fifth ring.
"Hey, can you come get me? The Sable broke down and I'm stuck in Barksdale," Beth cut right to the chase.
"Uh, now's not really a good time. I'm nowhere near Barksdale. Can't Maggie come get you?"
Beth couldn't help but wonder what that meant. Was he really busy or was he doing something he really shouldn't be doing? Sometimes she felt like she was the only innocent one. "I tried, she's not coming."
"Alright, alright. I'll see what I can do. But just to warn ya, it'll probably be a while."
"Can you hurry? Please? I'm not in a very good part of town and it's gonna be dark soon." Beth glanced back over towards the bar and bit her lip. She hadn't seen any movement so far but just to be on the safe side, she double checked to make sure the doors were locked.
Shawn tried to stifle a laugh, "Aw, quit being so naïve, Bethy. Nobody's gonna get ya. If you're so worried, just stay in the car and keep everything locked up. I'll be there in about half an hour or so, alright? Grabbing my keys and leaving now."
"Thank you, thank you, thank you! I owe you!" Beth smiled. She hung up and placed her phone in the center console. All she had to do was wait—she could do that.
Out of curiosity, Beth tried to start the car one last time. She turned the key in the ignition but it only seemed to mock her, giving her a half sputter before going silent. Beth exited from the car and slammed the door shut, sighing in frustration. Maggie knew the car was having troubles and yet she never went and got it fixed. Beth absent-mindedly kicked the car's front tire which in turn made her toes throb. That was a dumb idea.
Beth froze as she immediately realized the voice was talking to her. She was the only one around who had a car among the sea of motorcycles. She slowly turned to see a man standing just outside the bar, approximately in his early thirties, dark wispy hair, and an unlit cigarette hanging precariously between his lips. As he reached up with his lighter to light it, her eyes were then drawn to his bare arms. He wore a leather vest over top of the sleeveless button up, his jeans were in need of a washing machine and some patchwork around the right knee, and his worn boots matched the rest of his attire. She watched him as though she were hypnotized. He slid the lighter into the cigarette pack and set them on the seat of one of the bikes suggesting that it was his.
Before Beth could even mutter up the courage to reply back to the man, still staring at him with her large doe eyes, he began to saunter over.
"Won't start or what?" The man took a drag of his cigarette and blew the smoke away from her, glancing the car over.
"Y-Yeah. I tried calling my brother, he said he'll be here soon," Beth stammered over her words, her eyes locked on him.
"Well hell, it ain't like I got much of anything better to do. Pop the hood," the man pointed a finger at the car.
Beth nodded and hesitantly followed his instruction. For a moment, she was afraid he was going to sabotage the car or something—kidnap her, take her against her will, rape her… Isn't that what always happened in those kind of movies?
But when she turned back to face him, she found herself watching him rather intrigued as he was leaning over the car and examining different parts and pieces of the engine she wouldn't even begin to know the names of. She watched as he reached further and caught her eyes drifting, landing on the bit of his now exposed stomach and making out the outline of his hipbone. By the time she even realized she was staring, she felt her face growing warm as she forced herself to look away.
The man leaned back flat on his feet as his shirt fell back into place on its own. He pulled a rag from his back pocket and wiped his hands on it, looking over at her. "Best guess is your spark plugs. Know when you last had 'em replaced?"
Beth blinked, "I'm… not sure. I don't really know a whole lot about cars. I just leave it to my brother."
The man flicked the ashes off the end of his cigarette while the faintest little smirk played at his lips. "Okay, Barbie."
"I am not a Barbie!" Beth retorted instantaneously growing red in the face. After she gave herself a moment to think about that term, she realized maybe it was partially a compliment coming from him. Barbie's were pretty… But her initial thought was that he was insulting her just like everyone else. Calling her Barbie made her seem unintelligent, like she was the perfect little girl who always listened to what her daddy said. Even if it was true, she hated being looked down upon like she was 10 years old. She didn't always have to listen to her dad if she didn't want to. She chose to behave, unlike Maggie and occasionally Shawn.
"Alright, alright," the man put his hands in the air as if to forfeit. He took another drag of his cigarette before he tossed it on the ground and smashed it with the tip of his boot.
It was Beth's time to smirk now as the words rolled off her tongue, unable to register what she was saying coherently until it was too late. "If I'm Barbie, does that make you Ken?"
The man furrowed his brow before he chuckled softly, "What?—C'mon, Barbie. You tryin'a flirt with me? You've gotta be like 15. I think I'm a little old for ya."
"My name's Beth," she folded her arms in front of her chest defiantly. "And if I was 15, I wouldn't be driving by myself now would I?"
He shrugged as she noticed he was chewing on the side of his lip. And why was she suddenly finding this man attractive? He had to be thirty at the bare minimum and he was too old for her.
"So, you got a name?" Beth leaned against the car as she allowed her eyes to take him all in again from his scuffed up boots to his dirty hair.
"Daryl." He seemed to be returning the favor as she noticed his eyes weren't exactly glued to just her face. Maybe she was seeing it all wrong, but she couldn't help but hope he found her in the least bit attractive.
"I'm 18, just to let you know. Legal adult. So, maybe you could lay off on the 'Barbie' and '15'." Beth kept as straight a face as possible as she lied between her teeth, placing her hands on her hips now. She was only 17 but she would be 18 in a couple months. Summer was practically right around the corner. If she played her cards right…
Daryl shifted his weight as he slightly made a face and cleared his throat. "Alright, whatever you say."
"Is that so hard to believe?"
What on earth was she doing? Here she was thinking she couldn't wait for Shawn to pick her up and take her home—home where she would be safe and not have to worry about some creepy guy emerging from the bar and trying to rape her. Now she was talking to who could potentially be that creepy guy, flirting with him. Beth Greene didn't flirt. She barely knew how to, being the innocent one skating by in life and doing what she always had to. And now she had resorted to flirting with a thirty-something year old man?
The faint little smirk played on his lips again as he shook his head. Maybe she was beginning to see it as a challenge. Sure he was attractive but he was the complete opposite of what her daddy would ever even begin to approve of. He wasn't even the typical guy Beth found attractive herself—the bad boy with the greasy look and motorcycle—he seemed more like Maggie's type. Maybe this all fell back to the whole 'the more you can't have something, the more you want it' scenario, being told you can't have it so you crave it more.
It's then that she's decided she wants him. She wanted to prove that she could get him, to step outside her barrier and explore a little. This was something the average Beth Greene would never even think about doing. But this was the way she could prove she wasn't just some little girl. If she could convince Daryl, get it in his mindset, she could have him. Because really—what was stopping her?
A blue Ford Ranger pulled up beside the Sable as Beth immediately recognized it to be Shawn. Daryl must have picked up on it being her brother as well because he slammed the hood back down and brushed his hands off on his jeans.
"Hello," Shawn exited from the Ranger, eying Daryl suspiciously.
Daryl bowed his head in recognition, "You must be the brother."
"Yeah, I'm him. And you are?" Shawn crossed his arms.
"Just some guy trying to help out," Daryl replied. He started to walk away, jamming his thumb over his shoulder at the car, "Should probably get that fixed."
Beth grabbed Shawn's arm before he could even open his mouth. She knew he would be triggered to say something back in response to Daryl's sarcastic remark but she really didn't want him to start anything.
"Jackass…" Shawn muttered under his breath.