A.N: Hey guys!

Here a new METH drabble! It was inspired by 2 songs: Think Twice by Eve 6 and My Confession by Josh Groban, I sure hope you like it!

Also if you want to follow me on twitter I'm steph2106.

Oh and I am writing a full Daryl/Beth story based on season 4 trailer but I am in need of a beta….is any of you interested? If yes please PM me.

Again I hope you enjoy!

Read and Review.

Steffy2106

Think Twice:

Beth couldn't help but sulk as she was giving the bottle to Judith. She loved the little girl like she was her child, but taking care of the baby gave her so much time to overthink everything.

Her relationship with Merle was more or less public knowledge now...Well they came clean to Maggie and Hershel, who almost died of a heart attack, and they were both lucky that Merle had amazing reflexes because Maggie had tried to stab him.

Once the initial shock had passed they were more or less fine with it. Well no, fine was a too big word, they were resigned...Maggie was sure Merle was going to screw up and break her baby sister's heart. She said she would be waiting there to mend her broken heart when it would happened.

As for Hershel, part of him thought that Beth was only mistaking a crush for real love and once the heat of passion was gone she would realize the truth and call it quit with Merle.

The thing was she loved him, she knew she did, he was making mistakes on a daily basis, but it didn't matter. It didn't make her love him any less. She seemed to love everything about him, the good and the bad.

Merle had been the one that had been adamant to keep it a secret, but she had figured it was because of their age difference and due to the fact that most of the group saw him as a threat .They didn't really choose to come clean to Maggie and Hershel, they had been careless one day and had been caught kissing by Glenn, the only person who couldn't keep anything from Maggie, just a look from her and he would have vomited everything back to her.

Merle and Beth had decided to be proactive about it and went to Hershel. If Beth was completely honest she would admit that she had been happy they came clean, she thought it would change their relationship, that they would be more of a couple...but nothing had changed, Merle continued to barely acknowledge her in public, never giving a tender gesture or nice word for her.

He had never said he loved her, well not in so many words, but she knew he did...at least she thought so, it was Merle Dixon after all. She knew she would be at loss if she expected big sentiments with him, but she couldn't help but expect at least something, a little something that would let her know for sure that she was his first choice, not just a convenience of the moment. She wanted to be someone he was proud of, even Daryl who was almost as damaged as Merle, showed his love to Carol in public. Of course it was not as lovey-dovey as Glenn, but it was a brush of the hand when they were sitting side by side, a kind of unguarded smile he had only for her...Some little things that showed he loved her, and cared for her.

Beth sighed. She knew that if she ever mentioned it to Merle he would get mad, he would tell her she knew who she was getting with and that him not touching or looking at other women should be enough. That it was something private and that she never complained when he was making her scream his name at night and he was right, at night when he was touching her she had no doubt he loved her, but when the day came and they were out he was just Merle Dixon. She hated herself, but she couldn't help and wonder if Maggie hadn't been right, maybe he only loved her for her body and naivety not for the woman she was trying to become. Beth sighed again

"Why so sad?" Asked Rick walking in the cell.

"What?" She was startled. "Oh no, I'm not sad."

"Two sighs in less than a minute," He cocked an eyebrow with a little smile. "I'll say it's a State of Emergency."

She chuckled. "It's just stupid Rick really, nothing you should worry about."

He came and took Judith from her arms. "I'm sorry, but I think that everything that makes you sigh twice does deserve my undivided attention." He sat on the armchair and jerked his head toward the chair beside the crib. "You are taking care of my baby as well as a mother would Beth, you matter a lot to me, and you're family." If he was honest Beth was the person he loved the most after his children; she was a bit like the little sister he never had. She was always listening to him when he was weak and felt broken and she never lost her unwavering trust in him. "You always listen to me when I need to get things out of my chest."

"That's what friends are here for," she replied sitting on the chair.

"Then let me reciprocate. What is troubling you?"

"It's really stupid." She shook her head. "And I'm pretty sure you don't want to hear it."

Rick rolled his eyes. "It's about Captain Hook isn't it?"

"Captain h—"she realized he was talking about Merle and giggled. "HE would kill you if he heard you call him that. You know that right?"

Rick gave her a toothy grin. "Well what big bad Merle doesn't know can't hurt him...or me, can it?"

"Daddy told you?" She said looking down. She realized Rick's opinion mattered a lot to her, after all she didn't want him to be disappointed in her.

"He did, he had to. You know I'm in charge of the group after all...I'm surprised you didn't." He said gently but she didn't miss the underlying disappointment in his voice.

"I'm sorry I just—I didn't want..."

"You didn't want what?"

"To disappoint you."

"Oh Beth no, I'm not disappointed. Surprised yes! But it's your life, and I know how strong you are, I see how you take care of my little girl every day, I see how you put your heart in everything you do. You are probably seeing something in that man none of us can see; something hidden really, really deep down."

"He is a good man you know, there is the face he shows me and the face he shows the world."

"So why are you upset?"

"I wonder sometimes if he cares about me as much as I care about him."

"You know I don't want to defend the man, but I'm sure he does. He would have to be pretty stupid not to see how lucky he is to have you."

"Yeah see that's the thing I just... I just wished he showed it to the world every once and a while you know? Just acknowledge that I'm his that he cares for me, that I matter..." She groaned hearing herself say that out loud made her feel even stupider. "But the thing is, I have no right to whine or complain about that, I knew what I was getting into...Merle Dixon will never tell me he loves me, he will never bring me flowers I just...Idiot."

"You're not idiot, you can't help how you feel...nobody can, but I think I can help you with something."

"You can?"

Rick chuckled. "I will tell you a secret Beth, a secret that has been kept since the dawn of time."

"Okay..."

"Men are idiots."

Beth couldn't help but laugh at that, she was laughing so hard tears were coming out of her eyes. "Oh god I didn't see that one coming. Thank you. I didn't think I could laugh so much."

"No I'm serious, we all think we're unique, special, that nobody understands us..." he snorted. "We are all just the same; we are four types and four types only. You have the sensitive dreamer kind, which is Glenn, you have the protective brooding type, which is Daryl, you have the masochist with the hero complex, which is...well me, and you have the egotistical alpha male, which is Merle Dixon."

Beth pondered that for a minute. Egotistical alpha seemed pretty right to her. "Okay?"

"He knows he has you, he knows you love him and he knows everybody is scared shitless to even try to cross his path. Someone like him doesn't want to care or love or need anyone. Loving someone is a weakness, a liability he doesn't want or need."

Beth paled, was it true? Merle would never love her.

Rick saw her pale. "No, no it's too late for him, believe me he would have never gone to see Hershel if he didn't care for you. But loving someone and admitting you do are two different things. He doesn't want to need you, because he worked so hard his whole life not to need anyone, and he is just egotistical enough to think you love him enough to never break up with him no matter how much he screws up."

"And he might just be right about that," admitted Beth guiltily.

Rick grinned, "yeah well it doesn't matter, the thing is to make him doubt."

"And how do I do that?" Beth was clueless, she had never been in a relationship before, not really and having to deal with a man as complicated as Merle was a challenge.

"I'll help you with that, but don't tell anyone, Maggie was kind of happy the relationship was strained."

"Yeah like everybody else...Why are you willing to help me?"

He shrugged. "Well I can see you love him and you have always been so good to me and Judith. I want you to be happy and for some obscure reason he seems to do the trick."

"Thank you."

"Yeah, I will probably end up being punched but its ok I can deal with that. Do you trust me?"

"I do, of course I do."

Rick nodded. "Okay...so here is what we're going to do..."

TWDTWDTWDTWDTWDTWD

Beth was all giddy come dinner time, she was wondering if Rick's plan would really work, for all she knew it could backfire, Merle could decide he didn't really care and call it quits. Beth had voiced her doubts to Rick but he told her to trust him and she owed him that much, plus she was miserable already.

Usually when she went in the commons for dinner she tried to sit at the table with Merle, but tonight she didn't and went to sit beside Rick who was feeding Judith.

When she sat down Rick kissed her forehead before giving her Judith. He leaned in and started to whisper in her ear. "Don't look at him, whatever you do just look at me. Now you are going to laugh and blush, I don't care what you have to think about but blush okay?"

Beth laughed, and blushed bright red replaying in her head the last time her and Merle had sex. He was removing all her inhibitions when they were together and she was doing things with him she never thought she would have done.

Rick actually laughed. "Wow that's the reddest I have ever seen you; not sure if I want to know what you are thinking about."

"Probably not."

He looked up quickly in Merle's direction and chuckled. "Now I'm going to talk to everybody and when the moment is right you will have to side with me okay?"

Beth was confused but nodded anyways.

"Perfect." Rick stood. "Excuse me everybody I would like to have a moment of attention if you don't mind."

The chatters died, and everybody turned their attention to Rick.

"Winter is coming and I believe we should fill the prison as much as we can to make sure we don't have to take a risk and hold a seating if necessary." People nodded in agreement. "I was thinking that for the next week we can send people by teams of 2, two teams at the time to do runs."

"I think it's a good idea," said Maggie.

"Is anybody against that?" When everybody remained silent Rick continued. "Okay then, so here are the teams: Merle and Daryl, Sasha and Tyreese, Michonne and Carl, Maggie and Glenn and finally Beth and I."

"Beth? Why Beth?" Asked Hershel. "Not that I want to undermine your authority but I am not sure it's the right time to take Beth out."

"I've got to agree with the ol'man the girl is better here taking of the baby and shit. D'ya even ask her?"

Beth reddened in anger, which showed what opinion Merle had of her...'taking care of the baby and shit'

"And did you ask her?" Rick turned to Hershel. "No offense but Beth and I talked about it and she wants to be more proactive and I think this run might be a good idea, plus you know I'll keep her safe."

Hershel turned to Beth. "Is that what you want?"

"Yes I do, plus I'll know what to get for Judith and everything that we might need for her."

Hershel nodded.

"Ya I think the teams ain't gonna work," said Merle. "I think we need to change round."

"What do you have in mind?" Asked Rick.

"Ain't smart to put yer two best hunters together ya should split Daryl and I."

"You have a point. What's on your mind? "

"Dunno," Merle shrugged. "Take my brother I'll take the girl to the baby store."

Rick threw a quick "I told you so" look to Beth. The players may change but the game remained the same.

"No I don't think so," said Rick.

"Why the fuck not? Maybe we should let her decide so what' d'ya think sweetheart?" He shot her his thousand dollar smile. He knew her inside out she would chose him, there was no other way…he was under her skin like she was under his.

Beth looked from Merle to Rick and jerked her head toward Rick with a smile. "I think I better go with Rick, Judith is his daughter after all."

Merle eyes narrowed ever so slightly, his smile faltered, and you could see his jaw muscles tightened.

"Okay perfect so tomorrow Glenn and Maggie will go and Beth and I too." Said Rick coming back to sit beside Beth.

He kissed Judith's forehead and rested his hands on Beth shoulders. "Stay in your cell tonight, he is going to come to you…he will be nonchalant, pretend he doesn't care, invent the silliest excuse on why you want to sleep alone."

"But I suck at lying, he will know there is something and when he finds out we played him he will be so mad he is going to dump me." She said with big eyes, she was really starting to regret listening to Rick.

"We want him to know you're lying and please be a bit more confident he won't let you go…He might not know it yet, but trust me. Plus worst case scenario I swear I'll fix it." He kissed her forehead. "I'll see you in the morning."

Rick looked at Beth leaving with Judith tight in her arms, her shoulders were a little slumped, and he knew she was scared, but she was such an amazing young woman. In the world before, a man like Merle couldn't even dream to get a woman like her.

He saw Merle glare at him and it took everything he had to stop himself from smiling. It was the most fun he had in a while, teaching a lesson to Merle Dixon while getting Beth what she deserved.

"Hey officer friendly!" Said Merle when the commons cleared out, "Got a minute?"

Rick nodded. "I'm on my way to the tower."

"I'll walk with ya. The ol'farmer talked to ya?"

"About what? Hershel and I talk about a lot of things."

Merle growled, he was not going to make it easy for him…fucking bastard, but he had to make him understand. He had tried to grin and bear it when she chose officer friendly over him for the run. "Bout me and the girl."

"Beth? Why can't you say her name?"

Merle rested his hand on Rick's shoulder to stop him and tightened his hold until he knew it was painful, but the cop kept his face smooth. "I know her name jest fine ya feel me? There is nothin' I don't know bout her if ya see what I mean."

"Ah…yes… your relationship?"

Merle nodded sharply.

"Yes I know, I do think she lost her mind for choosing you but-" Rick shrugged. "I am not the one to judge."

"Ya think ya'll be better for her. Ya don't know what she needs, she needs me, she's good with me."

"What are you implying?"

"Don't fuck with her, with me. She is too nice, but I ain't an idiot I see ya around her tryin to take my place." Merle's hand tightened into a fist, "I only have one hand, but ya touch my girl and I'll make ya feel the burn."

"I wouldn't dream of it and if she is so good with you why should you worry anyways? You are what she needs right?" Rick left with a grin on his face.

Merle was furious, what was his fucking plan? Beth was his and he would fight anyone trying to take her away from him. He barely stopped himself from beating the shit out of officer friendly right now, but he knew that if he did that they would kick him out. Beth would never follow him if he was to blame and thinking about leaving his girl here without him made him feel the pain almost physical.

Merle made it to his cell and frowned to find his bed empty. Usually Beth was waiting for him after putting the baby to bed. He usually was grumbling pretending he couldn't have a night to himself, but then he was making love to her, sometimes softly, sometimes roughly and he kept murmuring 'ya ain't sick of yer ol'Merle are ya? Ya can't get enough of him.' And he loved how she confirmed breathlessly how much she wanted him, how much she needed him and how much she loved him until they both came.

Merle didn't like the feeling that was settling in the pit of his stomach…. After the way officer friendly acted with her today, he didn't like that.

What if she ever realized she could do better, that she could—He snorted. Was not gonna happen! She wanted him, she chased him.

"What'ya doin sugar? Ol'Merle's been waitin for ya." He asked leaning against her cell door.

Beth turned in her bed and muffled a yawn. "I'm tired tonight Merle and I have to get up early and I'm kind of sore from the other night."

Merle grinned but he didn't miss the fact that it was the first time since they started having sex, that she refused him.

"It's okay we don't need to have sex, we can just sleep."

Beth looked at him. "Are you actually suggesting we cuddle?" She asked incredulous.

Merle shrugged. "Ya always complain I ain't caring enough. Isn't that what ya want?" But deep down he was surprised to have said that, was he turning in a damn pussy? Merle Dixon didn't cuddle with anyone.

Beth couldn't believe what she was hearing, she'd be damned, but Rick was right. "Thanks but no, I would rather stay here if Judith is feeling sick."

"The little girl seem fine to me," said Merle looking to a sleeping Judith.

"Yeah she is but she might be."

Merle had to fight his animal instincts, all he wanted to do was grab her, put her on his shoulder, throw her on his bed and kiss some sense into her. But what if she screamed, fought him…she had lungs on her; she would wake up the whole block. "Fine…." Merle walked away briskly. He should be happy to have his bunk to himself for once. She was always glued to his side, like she was an extension of him. He was getting his bed back so why was he so….so….dissatisfied?

Officer friendly was weak, he was not what she needed, he could never keep her satisfied. He knew her inside out, she might be a lil' angel in public but she was a devil in bed, she was full of passion and desire, you had to be a real man to handle her, officer friendly would get burned.

TWDTWDTWDTWDTWDTWD

Rick was parked just at the edge of the trees, not too far from the prison, but far enough not to be seen from the tower.

"I actually enjoyed coming out for a run, thank you."

"You're welcome, plus now Judith is set for winter. If you want, you can go more often…not with me though."

Beth frowned, she didn't understand. He just told her she did well and yet he didn't want to go with her anymore?

Rick seemed to read her mind and chuckled. "Oh don't worry I would take you if I could but after today and after what will happen when get back to the prison, there is no way in Hell Merle will let you go on a run with someone other than him." Rick rubbed his jaw. "I hope he won't punch too hard."

"He won't punch you."

"Oh yes he will and its okay."

"How long are we going to wait here?"

"Just an hour or two, just making sure he is worried enough…we'll go back when the sun starts to set."

"How do you know him so well?"

"I don't know him, I know guys like him….Shane was a guy like him before Lori," he said with a pang of both anger and pain. He hated Shane for everything he did and yet he couldn't help but miss his best friend every once in a while.

"I'm sorry."

Rick shrugged. "There is nothing to be sorry about, our world went to hell and it brought the best and worst out of people."

As the sun started to set Rick drove to the prison, "okay now get out of the car laughing and lean against it like you are in no rush to get in."

Beth leaned her shoulder against the back door, Rick joined her and leaned against the car facing her, he stood so close she could feel his body heat radiating on hers.

Merle heard the car and rushed out of the prison as if he had seen a hoard of walkers. What took them so long? They were going to look for baby clothes, not a fucking rocket. When he saw officer friendly standing so close to his woman his blood rushed in his veins like lava, officer friendly was going to pay for this offence even if it was getting him kicked out.

Beth looked up to see Merle storming their way. "He is coming and he looks pissed."

Rick kept his back to Merle. "You'll owe me one." At the same moment Merle pulled Rick by the collar and punched him square in the jaw.

Rick expected the punch to be forceful, but this one was so strong it blinded him for a second, he could taste the blood in his mouth.

Merle was hovering over him huffing like a bull. "I told ya, I told ya to stay away from my girl. But ya didn't listen did ya? What made ya think I would let ya steal her away from me? What?!" He roared.

The others started to gather around them.

"Stop, Merle Stop!" Said Beth reaching for his arm.

"Stay out of that!" Merle barked getting out from her hold quite roughly, so roughly she stumbled back. "Why d'ya go like that with him uh? Ya think y'all be better with him than with me?"

"No Merle I-"

"Ya think he'll love ya the way I do? Think again sweetheart cuz he ain't!"

"You love me?"

"What?" Merle had been so mad at Rick, at her….he had been so furious at himself for almost losing her he didn't even realized what he said.

"You just said that he can't love me the way you do….You love me?"

"Ain't matter now, what we feel or not….What matters is how ya jest go and—"

Beth raised her hand to stop him. "No actually it's all that matters."

Merle looked at her incredulously. "That's what ya want? Love, flowers, rings and shit?" He nodded "Okay sweetheart, ya win." He raised his hands in surrender. "Ya wanna babies, let's go have one."

Hershel cleared his throat loudly.

"Ain't gonna do that right now ol'man," said Merle, still hovering over Rick but keeping his eyes on Beth. "Ya want me to marry ya? Okay lemme go steal some fucking rings. Ya know how I feel bout ya, fuck woman I almost died for ya a few times. Ain't what ya say? Actions speak louder than words."

"It's still good to hear every once in a while."

Merle looked around and sighed with exasperation. "I love ya woman, I have been wrong, thought I was strong without you, for so long nothing could move me….for so long nothing could change me. I surrender each time I see yer face, yer so beautiful can't believe yer with me. Happy now?"

Beth smiled brightly before throwing a grateful look at Rick. "Very happy, yes."

Merle grunted, extending his hand to her. "Come on lets go now, I'll tell ya more."

Beth took his hand eagerly and intertwined their fingers together.

"And I swear any of ya ever try to take her away from me yer dead, every single one of you." He pulled Beth's hand so she stood closer and wrapped a possessive arm around her waist. He kissed her forehead. "And ya, never leave me okay?" He whispered keeping his lips on her forehead.

She shook his head. "I promise I'm with you until the day I die."

"The only thing I hope is I dying before ya cuz I won't make it without ya woman, not today not ever." Merle admitted out loud as they walked back to his cell.

Rick looked at Merle and Beth going back in the prison from his spot on the floor. He laughed, wiping the blood from his mouth. Those two had needed a little help, but at the end they were going to last….As he said before the players might change but in the end the game would always be the same.

The end