Okay, you need to know my dark secret, I am a Merle/Beth….also knows as METH fan. I wanted to write a full story for them, but I decided to start by a one shot as Merle is overly complicated. I listened to the song Lullaby by Spill Canvas and it inspired me to write a METH story. Also a special thank you to noxid anamchara for her advice, she told me to just write him if I felt like it. Thank you girly.
Let me know what you think.
Disclaimer I don't own the Walking Dead.
Merle Dixon leaned against the wall following with his eyes as his brother's woman was taking his little angel to the showers.
She was walking slowly keeping her arm tight around Beth's waist as if she was going to crumble on the spot.
Merle grunted and shook his head, the girl was not as weak as everybody was thinking, there was so much strength there, strength and bravery he kept discovering for the past few months. He wanted to be the one taking her to the shower, he wanted to be the one to make sure she was okay, he saved her life for fuck sakes and when the governor retreated he didn't even have the chance to talk to her before Carol and Maggie came and took her away from him. Maggie didn't forget to throw him a venomous glare.
She had some fire in her that one; he couldn't help but wonder how the Chinaman was keeping her satisfied. He chuckled.
He heard the uneven steps behind him and didn't need to turn to know it was the old farmer.
"What d'ya want?" He asked, as Herhel stopped a few steps behind him. "Jest checkin the girl's fine, y'all took her away from me so fast. I ain't gonna hurt her ya know."
"I know you won't. I know you'd rather die than let anything happen to my Bethy."
"Wouldn't go that far ol'man. I was jest at the right place right time." He crossed his arms on his chest.
Hershel looked up to him. "If that's your story. I was wondering if you had a few minutes for me Merle, I'd like to talk to you."
Merle shrugged. "Jest talk ol'man."
"Not here, in private…Just come to my cell please, and call me 'old man' once more I will shove my foot so high up your ass we'll need an excavation team to get it out, did I make myself clear?"
Merle couldn't help to smile at that, he liked the old man; he was one of the few that didn't seem to see Merle as a threat. "Woudn't want ya to do that, we can't say ya have a foot to spare."
Hershel snorted, walking the direction of his cell. "I wanted to talk to you about Bethy." He said as soon as they reached the cell. "Please sit."
Merle shook his head, and started to pace. He knew it would happen, people didn't trust men like him with their women, especially when they were as innocent and fragile as the girl. He was even surprised people didn't stop them from getting closer before.
"Jest say it, that even if ya appreciate me saving yer girl you want me to stay away from her, that she's young and impressionable and that you don't think we should be friend."
Hershel nodded trying his best to hide his smile. Merle was getting so worked up without even realizing it.
"But ya need to know I ain't never hurt a woman none, if I had an idea they would hurt yer Maggie I woudn't have stand by it."
"I know, and I think you're good for my Bethy."
Merle looked at Hershel through narrow slits, the old farmer couldn't think that, Merle was not an idiot he knew he was good for no one, especially not the sweet blond angel.
Hershel chuckled. "Don't get me wrong, in the world we had before I would have shot you so fast for just looking at my daughter the way you do."
"I ain't lookin at her, she is jest a good kid."
Hershel continued like Merle didn't interrupt him, he knew it would be hard for the younger man to admit his bond to his daughter, he was not even sure he knew it himself. "But the world changed, you step outside, you risk your life. You take a drink of water, you risk your life. You don't have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you're risking it for. As for my Bethy, she has had her fair share of heartbreak and losses, she grew older than her 19 years…The light in her eyes dimmed and I was scared I would lose this side of her, but this bright light is still here. The thing is I only see it when she's with you. In this world I want her to be as happy as she can be, I want her to find someone that would die for her to live, and I believe you might be that man."
Merle closed his eyes for a second, and let the words sink in. He didn't even understand why hearing this made him happy, but it was all he wanted to hear. He realized right on the spot that keeping his angel safe and happy was the only thing he wanted.
"My Bethy sees things in people, just like her mother could see things other people couldn't see. I thank god my Annette saw past all my bad behaviour, she was my saviour in so many level. Where Josephine, my first wife, was all fire like my Maggie is, Annette was all sweetness and heart, but she also was the strongest woman I had ever met, standing by me through thick and thin…"
"Not that it's not fascinating what yer sayin Ol'….Hershel but really I don't have time to-" Merle wanted to go and check on Beth before his shift started. She had been in shock; he just wanted to make sure she was still there somewhere.
Hershel raised his hand. "I intervened in your favor with Rick, I told him not to underestimate your loyalty to your brother, but I have been wrong there is something that surpasses the loyalty to your brother, it's what you feel for my Bethy. I saw you today, when they attacked…. You could either have Daryl's back or saved Beth, you didn't hesitate, you didn't think, you ran to her and put your arm between the walker's mouth and her neck."
"Nothin' happened between us." Merle knew there was no reason for him to deny it, he had a choice to make out there and he had surprised himself to run away from Daryl to save Beth. If anyone would have told him he would have chosen anybody over his brother he would have scoffed or punched them.
"Just, just know that if you two ever decide to become more than friends I will not stand in your way."
"She wants to see you," said Carol coming to the cell.
"No," Carol jerked her head toward Merle. "Sorry Hershel she wants to see him."
Hershel smiled. "It's quite alright." He was actually pleased his Bethy wanted to see Merle; it meant she was not closing herself off.
Carol stayed with Hershel as Merle went to Beth's cell.
Merle had lied to Hershel when he told him nothing happened with Beth. It had been a couple of days since she came with a coffee for him in the tower. She was always blushing when she was nervous, and he loved it when she blushed.
"Come in sugar," he had said his back to her.
"I… Carol asked me to bring you coffee. How did you know it was me?"
"I saw ya come from over there," he said pointing to the door. "With your blond hair and yer smile….you shine so bright it's insane, you put the sun to shame."
She looked down and blushed again, which made him smile wider, he might have been old enough to be her father but his charms worked just fine.
"I'm scared," she said barely louder than a whisper.
Merle had reached for her but let his hand hanging just above her shoulder not sure of what to do. He was not one to comfort people, if she needed that she better go to her daddy or officer friendly, but weirdly enough he didn't like the idea of anyone else comforting her.
"Why yer scared?"
"I heard you, Daryl, Rick and my dad talk yesterday about the governor. You said he was crazy, that you were expecting a massacre."
Merle wanted to kick himself; if he had known she had been there he wouldn't have said that. "Ya know ol'Merle say a lot of shit."
She looked up to me, as if she was just waiting for hope.
Merle sighed and rested his hand on her shoulder. "I won't let anythin' happen to ya sugar, no matter what I will keep ya safe, ya believe that right?"
Beth had brought a trembling hand to his cheek and cupped it. She expected him to slap it away but they were both surprised when he leaned into her touch. "I trust you." She stood on her toes and simply brushed her lips against his before running away.
Merle brought his hands to his lips as if it just happened, it was a chaste kiss and yet it was the kiss that had the most effect on him, since that day he only wanted one thing, kiss her again but this time he wanted to kiss her Merle's style.
She was on her bunk, her arms around her legs and her forehead against her knees.
He looked at her for a minute. "Sugar?"
Beth looked up and smiled slowly. "Merle, thank you. You saved my life."
Merle walked in and sat on her bed, "Told ya I'll keep ya safe." Merle realized he saved her more for himself than he did for her. When he saw the walker about to bite her, his heart literally stopped in his chest.
She yawned coming closer to him.
"Jest sleep Angel, I'll keep ya safe."
"I need to tell you something Merle…When I thought I was going to die I realized I never told you."
"Told me what Angel?"
"I just….I think, no, I know…..I love you." She said looking away. "It's okay, you don't have to say anything."
Merle took in a sharp breathe; he didn't know what to say or what to do. Nobody had ever said that to him and certainly not someone like her. "Ya shouldn't waste yer love on me girl, I ain't worth it, find someone who deserve it."
She looked up and even if she tried to hide it Merle could see the hurt in her eyes. She laid down. "Lay down with me, just for a while, please."
Merle nodded, kicked his boots off, and laid down facing her. If only she knew how he was wrapped around her finger, how he would do anything, kill anybody in the world if she wanted him to.
She inched closer to him and rested her forehead against his. She was exhausted and it was hard for her to keep her eyes open.
Merle brought his hand to her face and gently rubbed her cheekbone. "Sleep Angel, I'll stay here with ya, I'll be here when ya wake up."
"Just…your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth." She gently leaned and pecked his lips. "And I don't care if you think I am wasting my love on you, I know you're worth it."
Merle closed his eyes for a minute, hoping deep down that the old farmer was right and that she could see something deserving. "We'll talk later jest sleep." He pulled her closer.
Beth nodded turning around, resting her back against his chest. Merle moved a bit and kissed her neck where her necklaces' closed.
Merle didn't sleep; he was just at peace to hold her tight in his arm, to feel her chest rise up and down gently. After the horrible day they had, the only person she wanted was him, she felt safe with him and he loved that. He loved the way she looked at him….If he was honest her name was coursing through his veins; he needed to be with her.
He had to admit it she had taken a huge place in his life, much more than he wanted her to. She moved a bit and her body fit his perfectly. As she was sleeping he figured out everything, he had been constructed for her and she had been molded for him.
He kissed the top of her head and sighed. He was a big man, who had been beaten to the pulp, who cut his own hand, who had killed people and it took a barely legal, 100 lbs. angelic girl to take him down. Just a chaste kiss from her could take him to his knees.
He was falling for her, he knew it and there was no reason to fight it, it was too late…he was just going to enjoy the ride and hope he could become the man he was seeing, the man that deserved her trust and love.