This silly thing that I started to write for my own amusement, has turned into a multi-chapter monster that amuses...well, you, since you wouldn't have read this far if it didn't. This time, Carol gets out of more scut work, and a NSFW mental image pops up. The rating is changed because the Dixon brothers have lines.

Thanks for the reviews!

"Have you lost your damn mind?" Daryl demanded. "What makes you think she'd even look at you?"

A prison yard after dinner was the ideal place for a smoke. Merle wished he had one. He didn't, though, and might never again, so he was irritable. "Well, who am I supposed to get with? Beth's a kid, Lori's dead, everybody knows Carol's hands-off, and I ain't messing with Short Round's girl. Dude killed a walker duck-taped to a chair!"

Daryl's brow wrinkled. "Who the hell duck-taped a walker to a chair?"

"Not the walker, asshole, Short Round!"


"Honest mistake. Somebody might've. Them Woodbury people are batshit."

Daryl stared into the woods. Nobody was there, undead or alive. "What do you mean, 'everybody knows Carol's hands-off'?"

Merle chuckled. "If you stripped naked and wrote her name all over yourself with a magic marker, it would only be a little more obvious."

To his horror, Daryl started to imagine how that would play out. "I don't think that would work, Merle."

Merle grimaced in disgust. "You really are fuckin clueless."

"Says the man who just got done humiliating himself in front of the whole group."

"Call it old-school," Carol said, "but the way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

Maggie pulled a clean plate from the sink and passed it to Michonne, who reluctantly wiped it dry.

"I thought it was through sex," Maggie said.

"Dreaming," Michonne muttered.

"As I was saying," Carol continued, "what you have to do is, be such a terrible cook that it puts him off you."

"Devious." Maggie grinned. "I like it."

"So this means I have to cook, too?" Michonne said. It wasn't a question. "I can't cook! I used to have six takeout places on speed dial."

"Tomorrow's dinner is your best chance," Carol decided, oblivious to the objection. "I'll help you mess it up big-time."

"What are we having?"

"Whatever Daryl catches."

"Carol-" Maggie hesitated. "Do you actually have any idea how to manage a guy, or are you making this up as you go along?"

"The last guy who was attracted to me, didn't make a move because he mistook me for a lesbian," Carol admitted. "I have no idea."

"It's the short hair, isn't it?" Michonne asked.

"What the hell is wrong with my hair? I like it this way. It's easy to take care of." She should have stopped there, but didn't. "You're the one with impractical hair. How you ever maintained your beauty regimen, living in the woods, is beyond me."

Maggie stopped working. "That's a good point, Michonne. How did you do it? Got any tips for us? We want Merle to call our hair pretty, too."

"Shut up."