I am so sorry for the delay! The only excuse I have is writers block. Specific writers block. lol This is pretty much just a filler so I have to apologize. I'm going to try to get better at updating this story. Thanks for reading!

Up in Smoke

Sophia shoved a few more changes of clothing into her bag and zipped it up. She wasn't afraid of this trip. She knew enough to know that they would all make it home alive. What worried her was that she really couldn't see much other than that. It was like she was losing her ability to focus on the weird visions that had plagued her for so long. It was making her a little jumpy.

When it had first started she had hated those dreams. That was what she thought they were. Only nightmares that came out of no where. All of the people that she dreamed about had seemed so familiar though and the dreams had always left her with a strange sense of truth. It wasn't like dreaming at all. It was like living. Sometimes those dreams felt more real than reality did and when she started seeing that life while she was awake, she had ben sure she was losing her mind. It had scared her. She didn't want to go crazy. There was only so much room in a kids head and it got to the point where the memories of the visions and the memories of real life started meshing together, confusing and scaring her.

It wasn't until she saw Carl at school that she realized that maybe there was something else happening. maybe she wasn't crazy. She was completely lost in thought when she heard his familiar voice drift towards her from the doorway.

"I made you something."

Sophia looked up from the bag she had packed. Carl stood in the doorway, shifting from one foot the other. She wiped her hands onto her jeans and stood up. "You made something for me?"

He nodded but didn't meet her eyes as he stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. When he finally looked up she had to look away. He looked afraid and she hated the fear. She didn't want him to be afraid for her. Being afraid was a horrible feeling and it seemed like the two of them had dealt with enough fear already to last several lifetimes. "Amy and Beth helped."

She tilted her head to the side and studied him for a few long moments, her eyebrows raising. "You got help from Beth and Amy?"

He shoved his hand into his pocket, blushing furiously and then thrusting something into her hand. She closed her fist around it and kept studying him for a few more moments before looking down at what it was he had made her. She smiled once she realized what it was.

"It's pretty stupid but since you're leavin' this mornin' I wanted to have something to give you for good luck," he finally looked up and when he saw the smile on her face he seemed to relax.

"It is not stupid! It's... really cool!" And she meant it too. It was a necklace made of braided threats in different shades of greens, browns and grays. It reminded her of Daryl for some reason. There were some sort of faded silver beads woven into the thread. It looked like something that you could actually buy at a store. "You made this?"

He grinned once he realized that she truly did like the gift. "Umm... parts of it."

She looped it over her head. "I really love it, Carl. Thanks." She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. Regardless of how much they argued, she loved him. He was her best friend.

He hugged her back just as hard. Half a year ago neither of them would ever be comfortable showing this much affection towards one another but that was then.

When she pulled back she kept her hands on his shoulders and met his eyes. "I'm sorry for fighting with you so much," she said softly.

He shrugged. "I've seen the future, remember? Might as well get used to it now."

They both laughed as he ducked away from her before she could smack him in the side of the head. After a few moments they both settled down and he looked up at her, the worry back in his blue eyes.

"I still hate that you're going out there. I wish everyone would stop looking at us like we're just kids. I could go too..." He looked away and flopped gracelessly down on her bed. "It sucks."

Sophia studied him and knew where this was coming from. If he was the one leaving the safety of the farm she would be feeling the same way. He had more self control than she did because if it was her, she would throw a fit worthy of the name Dixon. That's for sure. Daryl said that she could be a Dixon. She needed to think like one. Dixons, especially Merle, had a knack for getting their way.

"Carl," she whispered excitedly as she glanced back at the closed door.

He looked up sharply, knowing by the tone of her voice in that one whispered word that she had thought of something. She sat down next to him, grabbing his hand in her excitement and quickly hashed out a plan. She could tell by the look on his face that he was willing to go along with it.


Daryl buried his face into Carol's neck, breathing in her scent deeply as he caught his breath. Her hands ran through his hair lazily, her heart pounding out a fierce rhythm against his own. She turned her head slightly and grazed his temple with her lips causing a thrill to shoot up his spine. He finally pushed himself up onto his forearms. He couldn't see much at all. They hadn't bothered with lights when they had made their way out to the barn a little while ago.

"Gonna be light soon. Best get our asses back out there," he said, his voice still heavy with lust even though he had just had her.

She chuckled and locked her legs around his waist, holding him in place. "Not yet," she whispered.

He lowered himself back down, happy to oblige. Being with her like this was about the only thing that kept him from losing his mind sometimes. It kept his thoughts organized and it kept him from flying off the handle. She anchored him to the here and now rather than letting him get lost in their still uncertain future. So they stayed like that for a few more long moments before she finally let him up.

He handed her her jeans. He had been to eager to have her to even bother taking her shirt off but she had completely stripped him as soon as they had made it to the empty stall. Once they made it outside they helped brush the sawdust and straw off of one another and Daryl just had to hope that they didn't miss any. Merle would spot it from a mile away and give them hell the whole time they were on the road. And Sophia would be with them on the road and that would make it even worse.

Carol frowned up at him when they entered the carriage house and the only person that looked to be ready to go was Sophia. She was sitting in the back seat of the truck with her skinny legs hanging out. "Hi," she said with a smile.

"Where is Merle and Andrea?" Daryl asked as he looked around the large space.

Sophia shrugged. "There wasn't anyone in here when I got out here. I hope they aren't off killing one another. Is it just me or are those two kinda toxic around each other?"

Daryl groaned. He wasn't really worried about them killing one another, but he hoped that whatever they were off doing was quick. He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. His damn brother was a real pain in his ass sometimes. He turned on his heel, telling Carol to wait for him in the truck with Sophia.


Her lips were hot and needy against his and he groped around for the light switch before giving up completely. He didn't know how this all came about. One minute Andrea was going to follow him to his room to make sure he had everything that he needed and the next thing he knew his hands were all over her before they even reached the door to his bedroom.

He gave up on finding the switch and wrapped one arm around her waist, lifting her easily. Life was a lot easier when you had both your hands to work with. He made his way towards his bed in the dark with her legs wrapped securely around his waist. The only time her mouth left his was to meet with the skin of his neck. She bit him lightly.

He collapsed on top of her and slid his hand down to her ass. She squirmed under him and met his lips greedily as she worked the button on his pants. He grunted as she shoved at his chest until he was on his back. It didn't take but a second for her to crawl on top of him and find his mouth again. Her hands pushed his shirt up and her hot mouth made contact with his chest.

He tangled his hands into her hair, his heart hammering hard in his chest, and then she stopped just as he felt her hand slide down and rub him through his pants. She moved her hand away, slid down so she wasn't straddling his hips anymore and raised up.

"What the hell did ya stop for?" He panted.

He heard her laugh softly in the dark just before the weight of her body left his thighs. She stood up from the bed quickly. "I just remembered. I don't make the same mistake twice," she said, breathlessly.

"What?" He could tell from the sound of her voice that she was now standing off to the side of the bed. "What the hell are you talkin' about?"

Her voice sounded even farther away the next time she spoke. "The last time I gave in and gave you what you wanted you decided to stop speaking to me. This time I'm gonna make you work for it."

He sat up on his elbows. "What? What the fuck are you talkin' about?" He blinked when she turned on the bedside lamp. "Work for what?"

She straitened her shirt and then ran her hands through her hair before placing them firmly on her hips. "I really hate to admit this, Merle. I really do, but the truth is, I like you. I liked hanging around with you and working on the Hummer and I liked talking to you about... everything. I'm not risking you treating me like I don't exist again. Not just for a quick roll around your bed. It isn't worth it."

He gaped at her and then glanced down at his obvious erection. This was some bullshit! Couldn't she have thought of this shit before she had gotten him all hot and bothered? But he had to admit that he was the only person to blame. There wasn't any real sense in throwing any kind of fit about it. He'd handled things wrong and fucked it all up. "Alright," he said grudgingly as he sat up and threw his legs over the side of the bed.

"Wait, what?" Andrea looked so confused that he almost laughed. If he hadn't still been sporting a raging hard on he probably would have.

He shrugged. "What the fuck did you expect me to do? Rip your clothes off and take ya anyway?" He gave her a look that let her know that he was almost offended.

She opened her mouth to say something but then shut it again quickly before glancing towards the door. A few seconds later it swung open, nearly hitting her, and there stood Daryl. His back was to them which Merle found pretty odd.

"If you two are naked then you need to put your damn clothes on so we can get the hell on the road. We ain't got time for this shit," he grumbled, still not turning around.

"We aren't naked, Daryl," Andrea said, eyes still on Merle.

"Yeah, little brother. But don't give me any shit about not havin' time to grab a piece. Ya might wanna pick the hay outta your hair before you throw stones, ya asshole."


Shane could have cried. The house where they had stashed the guns was right there in front of them and he could barely believe it. Sasha had demanded to take the lead and he had been skeptical at first but he was glad he had listened. They were all three filthy and exhausted and grinning like fools when they had stumbled out of the woods. Without a seconds thought he hugged the woman tightly, standing to his full height until her feet were dangling. He was even more surprised when she hugged him back, laughing breathlessly.

He sat her down and grabbed her hand. He was about to walk towards the house when he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder, stopping him. For a second he thought that maybe he had crossed the line in his excitement at seeing the house.

He glanced back just as Tyreese pulled him back into the woods.

"What the hell..." He shut his mouth when he heard it. The sound of a loud engine.

They all headed back to the safety of the trees, crouching down behind the foliage just as a cloud of dust rose up from down the road, speeding towards the house. This didn't seem like some random person showing up at a random house. Shane knew, deep in his gut, that this was the men that they had escaped from mere hours ago. He didn't know why they would choose to look for them at the house but he found himself cursing under his breath.

"Do you think they know we're out here?" Sasha whispered from beside him.

Shane shook his head. "I don't see why they would. As far as they're concerned, we didn't have any ties to this place. Maybe they figured this would be a place to put down roots. They're a few men short now and that makes it more dangerous out in the open."

He watched as the eight of them piled out of the truck. They didn't look broken down or tired the way Shane and his company were. He vaguely wondered where they had gotten their hands on a truck. He found himself glad, in that moment, that the three of them hadn't found a road. If they were spotted they were dead. They had no weapons and they were tired and outnumbered.

Tyreese pulled back a little further when the men went into the house. "We follow the driveway to the road. From there we'll find something. We just have to keep to the woods."

Shane shook his head. "There's always a break in the woods. This is farmland. We'll come to a break in the trees. There's pastures and there's crops. What then?"

Tyreese didn't say anything but he did pull his sister along with him by the hand. Shane glanced over his shoulder one last time and then stopped in his tracks when he heard the sound of glass breaking. Risking a quick glanced between the trees he cursed again.

It only took a few moments for the smell to reach Sasha and Tyreese, stopping them in their tracks.


They watched as the house went up in flames, none of them saying a word as the sounds of loud laughter from the men floated towards them. What little chance they had to get their hands on those guns again just literally went up in smoke.