This is my first ever fanfiction, so please be gentle.

I don't own the Walking Dead or any of the characters. Nor do I own the brilliant Rodney Atkins Song Country Boy written by Jon Henderson and Neal Coty.


Beth Greene couldn't sleep. It had been 3 days since Patricia had been ripped from her hands, since the farm had been overrun with walkers. She was still trying to get her mind around it. So she watched the others in the group sleep, most of them she didn't know very well, but she trusted them with her life. She'd noticed last night that as the others slept around the campfire they were always connected to somebody else as if they were afraid to be left alone. Lori was wrapped around Carl and Rick was below them with a hand grasping Carl's knee. Maggie and Glenn were a tangle of limbs and her father had a hand in Maggie's hair as well as a hand around herself. She craned her neck and saw Carol on her side close to Lori facing away from the fire facing towards Daryl with an arm unconsciously stretched towards him.

Daryl was sitting on the hood of one of the cars that was set in a crude circle around them to offer some sort of protection with his crossbow next to him, he was fletching some arrows he had made, while scanning the area. T-Dog was on the opposite side of the circle, a rifle slung over his shoulder as he looked out into the night. But it was Daryl that drew her attention, he really was an enigma.

Beth extracted herself carefully from underneath Hershel's arm and made her way towards Daryl with a blanket in tow.

"Can I sit with you?" she asked tentatively, she hadn't spoken to him often and she knew he wasn't much for talkin'. The only response she got was a grunt which she took as an affirmative.

She hopped up next to him on the opposite side from his crossbow so she was between him and the curve of the windscreen. "You cold?" she asked. He shook his head and carried on with his task, so she wrapped herself in the blanket and leant back against the windscreen with both feet up on the hood so she was looking at Daryl. They sat in silence for a while as Beth looked up at the stars.

"Do you think it's all worth it?" she sighed

Daryl looked at her over his shoulder and scoffed at her. "Stupid girl" he thought but he said "Course it is, worlds still the same, just without the first world crap". She thought on this for a while, that pretty much covered it.

"Just with a lot more venomous people and wild animals" She smiled at him, the unexpected jest took him by surprise and he barked out a laugh. "Kids got some spunk after all" he mused to himself.

"People are always going to be who they are meant to be, this world is just giving them different chances is all." Daryl said quietly.

"When I was a kid I always wanted to be a real singer, not one of those who were just in it for the money, but real singers like Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris" she sighed.

"Their lives weren't easy either, were they?" Daryl answered "Gave them a lot of writing material".

"Yeah, I guess" Beth whispered.

"You can still do that you know, be a singer, songs will be even more important now to record the events and thoughts of this time." Daryl said gently.

Beth fell asleep not long after, Daryl secured the blanket around her and continued on with his task. Hershel woke a few hours later frantic "Beth!"

"She's here old man don't panic, you ready to take over watch?" Daryl said gruffly. Hershel made his way over to them. Beth had stretched out during her sleep and her feet were in Daryl's lap and he was sat awkwardly obviously uncomfortable with the situation.

Hershel chuckled to himself "Don't mind her, she's a regular octopus when she sleeps, forgets all personal boundaries." He took Beth's legs and slid into Daryl's position as he moved out.


They were holed up in a small rural cabin, Carol was in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner and Beth was sat at the table with a notepad in front of her and the guitar chord book Glenn had found for her on one of their last runs.

"What you up to, Beth?"

"Just writing….Carol?"

"Yes, hun"

"Daryls a good man isn't he?

"Of course he is, one of those rare ones"

"I thought so, there's something about him isn't there?

"What you have to understand able Daryl is that life hasn't really changed for him despite the world going to shit, things are still out there to get him and he still has to hunt to survive. But before he was on his own and he didn't have to think about anybody else. He's not used to caring and that scares him. You know, how would you handle Nellie when she spooked?"

"You had to stay calm and not push her, give her space to think about it and then she would most likely do the right thing."

"Just so, bit of advice when you speak to Daryl think of Nellie." Carol smiled sadly at Beth, her eyes wide and glistening with unshed tears.

"You love him don't you?" Beth said quietly

"Just as I love all of you, but he's special, do you know what I mean?"

"Yeah, I get it" Beth said as she began to write again.


Yet again they were camped out near some small town, out in the sticks where it was safest. The camp fire was burning low and Rick was on watch on the outskirts of the ring of cars. Beth pulled the guitar from the back of her father's car, and glanced at the rest of the group. Lori was sat with her back to Rick, with Carl wrapped in her arms as much as her growing belly would allow, Maggie sat next to Glenn with her arm threaded through his. Hershel was sat on the opposite side of the fire chatting to T-Dog while pouring out some water. Carol was close to Daryl who was turning a spit over the camp fire full of squirrel.

"What you gonna sing for us tonight hunny?" Maggie queried as she made her way back to the campfire.

"Its one that I've kinda been writtin" Beth whispered.

"Really! You haven't written since…. How did that happen?" Maggie gaped, Hershel smiled

"That's what the song's about sorta..about finding your place in the world and being the best you can be" She snuck a glance at Daryl, she could feel the tension coming off him as she sat down in the open spot between her father and Daryl.

"Lets hear it then" T-Dog said "Best part of my day, hearing you" he smiled, everybody else murmured their agreement. She felt Daryl relax slightly, she hoped he would understand the meaning behind her song.

Beth plucked nervously at the first few chords and began to sing softly with her head bowed over the guitar.

"Now he ain't much for talkin'

But he means every word he says

And that color on his arms and neck

Ain't from no tanning bed"

She snuck a glance at Daryl through her lashes and saw a small smile of encouragement there and a glance at Maggie saw her sister with a wide grin, both gave her the courage to continue.

"Leaves no doubt 'bout where he stands

On a Chevy or the Lord,

yeah you can always tell a country boy

Now his idea of heaven

Is home sweet home east Tennessee

But for a girl like you he would pull up roots

And move down the road a piece

He'll always take his own sweet time

If you give him a choice, yeah

You can always tell a country boy"

Glenn smothered a chuckle behind his hand and rolled his eyes "you got him spot on Beth" he said with a wide grin. The others had obviously not quite twigged yet that the song was about one of them, apart from Daryl who had straightened up and had narrowed his eyes at her with a look that smothered with anxiety but really hid his confusion and sense of betrayal.

"Yeah you can always tell him

But you can't tell him much

'Cause all he's ever gonna be

Is who he always was"

Even Daryl smirked at this and continued to turn the spit, the others were in various degrees of hilarity but trying to hold it in after realising the song was about Daryl. Beth was worried about the next line but didn't know how else to put it.

"A cross between his old man

And his momma's pride and joy

You can always tell a country boy"

Most of the group stopped laughing knowing this was a sore subject for Daryl and Daryl's eyes suddenly narrowed and he was on his feet with his back turned as Beth sang the next line

"He'll go off and take a long walk

When he needs some time to think"

He turned towards her and smirked and nodded at her before sitting back down, the others relaxed and enjoyed the song again.

"Might even let you drive his truck

When he's had too much to drink"

Glenn was the first to laugh this time as he thought back to the time they were on a run and he and Daryl had had to hide out in club, till the herd had passed through. Daryl had drunk a whole bottle of Southern Comfort and Glenn had driven back. He couldn't even remember telling Beth this story, that girl was sneaky.

"But his true blue is Old Glory

Waitin' out there on the porch

You can always tell a country boy

Yeah you can always tell him

But you can't tell him much

Sometimes his gears'll turn so slow

You swear they're gonna rust"

Carol gave Daryl a nudge with her shoulder and smiled at him. She thought of the hints she had passed that had gone over his head.

"From the way he bangs that old guitar

To the gravel in his voice

You can always tell a country boy

You can drag him from the country every now and then,

But you can't drag the forty acres out of him…

Yeah you can always tell him

But you can't tell him much

He's on the fence about a lot of things

But on you his mind's made up"

Daryl cocked his head to the side and narrowed his eyes, "whats she on now" he thought.

'Cause he swears there's nothin' sweeter

Than the sweet sound of your voice

You can always tell a country boy

Now whatever's on your heart

Come on and tell a country boy"

Everybody was silent for a few moments thinking of the times they had gone to Daryl without even really thinking about it to voice their thoughts and problems, he may not have said much in return but what he did was always what they needed to hear.

Beth was looking sheepishly at Daryl, he leaned over and said in a teasing manner "That was beautiful Beth, but come on hand it over to the master" Beth grinned at him happy that he wasn't too pissed at her. The others were chuckling softly during the exchange.

Daryl settled the guitar on his lap and fiddled with the strings and began to roughly string some chords together the song slowly became recognisable and T-Dog snorted in laughter as Daryl started singing "The Eye of the tiger" his voice wasn't the best, but pretty soon all the others were joining in and laughing at the situation while striking poses. Beth sat back and enjoyed the feeling of every body being happy for once, even if it was only for a short time. Daryl looked at her under hooded eyes and nodded, she was glad he understood. But knew this won't be the end of it, Daryl would probably make her skill the kills he made for dinner for a month.