Woohoo! I've got you guys a long update to make up for that long wait! I needed to fit in a request and some really cute stuff. Thanks to SOA loving mom for letting me paraphrase a line from one of her SOA fics, it was just too cute to resist! (yeah, dead bodies are cute stuff in this universe)
Just a little housekeeping note. From the beginning of "Country" we have called the leather that our guys wear "vests" for the simple fact that most people reading this fic aren't familiar with MC lifestyle and/or don't watch the show based on it. The correct term is "kutte" and we'll be using it from here on out. Just didn't want anyone to be like "Whaaaa?" when I swapped over. Enjoy Christmas, Dixon style!
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving
"So ya really gonna make me go in here?"
Daryl stood on the steps of the small brick building, two pillows tucked uncomfortably under his arm as he eyed Baby Girl. He looked like a petulant child. She turned from the spot in front of the glass door, rolling her eyes and sighing in exasperation.
"Yes, Desperado, I am. This is for our daughter."
"Don't seem to make sense to me," he countered, "women been havin babies for forever, didn't need classes to do it. Shit, girl. You're the toughest bitch I know. Ya got this."
"Those women weren't me. Besides, this class is for you too. So you know what to expect." She headed into the doors, noting that they were already ten minutes late by the clock high on the wall. The storefront was an alternative medicine and herbal shoppe during the day, and a Bradley Method birthing class site for the herbalists wife on evenings such as that one. Daryl tried to reinforce his argument as he followed his waddling seven and a half months pregnant wife carefully through racks of tinctures and herbal extracts.
"What the hell do I need ta know? Me an Merle help out Herschel when he has to come out and pull a calf if one of yer Paw's heifers gets in trouble. Ain't like I got t'do anything anyhow but stand there while ya push Peach out…" Daryl was cut off mid sentence as Amber stopped in her tracks right outside the door to the classroom. She turned and the look she had on her face made his nuts draw up two notches. He had the sudden realization that he had somehow just shot himself in the foot. Amber looked up at him, her eyebrow raised as she spoke in measured tones.
"Daryl. Joseph. Dixon. Did you just compare me to one of Papaw's thousand pound cows?"
He shook his head, swallowing to give himself a moment to think of a way to get out of the predicament his mouth had just gotten his ass into. At her last doctors appointment Amber had measured full term and was more than a little uncomfortable with it, both physically and self esteem wise. "Fuckin course not girl. Ya ain't big as a minute. Just sayin none a that shit's gonna freak me out."
Baby Girl propped a hand on her hip. "Good answer. And as for you just standing there while I push Peach out, trust me, there will be plenty for you to do. You had the fun of putting her in there, you sure as HELL are gonna get to help me get her out."
Daryl nodded quickly, grabbing the handle to the class door to open it for her. "Course I am. That's why I'm gonna be there. Ta help you. Now c'mon. We're late for class." Amber glowered at him, unconvinced by his sudden show of eagerness as she passed into the classroom. Six other couples already sat on the floor, men's backs against the wall as their women sat between their legs leaning against their chests. Soft music was playing as the instructor, a woman Roxie would have identified as a "hippy" talked them through a relaxation exercise. She looked up at her late comers and smiled.
"Hi! Welcome, I assume you are Mr. and Mrs. Dixon?"
"Daryl and Amber, please." Baby Girl said, heading to the only spot open, against the far wall. Daryl scowled back at the other dads who were looking at him with wide eyes. He had picked Amber up straight from an afternoon stocking the war room and making some buys, and was still wearing his leather. He would have bet his bike he was the first DEMON to have to take one of these classes. Those men would have shit for sure if they knew his Desert Eagle was tucked into his waistband under his kutte. There was no damn way he was taking his family anywhere without a weapon now that the Irish were coming. He was broken from his thoughts by an elbow in his ribs.
"Hey, help me out here." Amber asked, embarrassed. It took a second for him to figure out what she needed and then barely held back his snicker. He dropped the pillows to the floor and then helped her down, Amber plopping down clumsily in her heavily pregnant state. Daryl slid down the wall and in behind her, fighting the urge to roll his eyes, instead returning Baby Girl's smile with a smirk of his own as she settled in with her back to his chest. He would have rather took on half of Ireland with just his knife before putting himself through what he considered these useless classes. But then he considered the warm weight against his body and knew he would rather take on ALL of Ireland before pissing off the current princess of the DEMONS mother chapter. He wrapped his arms around that princess and placed his hands over his daughter, mirroring the other men's more sure actions as Amber followed the instructors direction on how to relax through imaginary contractions.
Daryl Dixon was not a stupid man. Not at all.
Christmas Eve Amber is eight months pregnant.
Daryl pulled the large box in from the porch, finally settling it under the tree in the living room of the house on the pond. Amber sat on the couch, feet up, with an amused expression on her face.
"Come on, Desperado. Tell me." She asked for the tenth time,
"Nope." He answered for the tenth time, plopping down next to her, one arm going around her shoulders to tug her against him, the other hand seeking out Peach like usual. He poked and she kicked back, making him smirk and poke again. This back and forth continued for a minute before the person receiving both pokes and kicks tired of it.
"Okay, enough you two." Amber admonished playfully, pushing Daryl's hand away. "You know you're gonna make her mean."
"She's already mean, didn't have a chance with'er mama that way."
He dodged the swat that came at the back of his head and turned to dig his scruff into Baby Girl's neck before working his way up to kiss her lips soundly. All remarks were forgiven, it seemed as she melted under him, arms coming up around his neck. Daryl's tongue sought entrance to her mouth and gained it easily. He was just starting to consider exactly how they could work around her belly for couch sex when she pulled back with a sigh.
"We need to get up to Mamaw's, we're already late."
Daryl growled in frustration, dropping his head to her shoulder as her fingers threaded through his hair. "How 'bout I just take those biscuits and potato salad you made up there and then we stay down here?"
"Don't even. You know you like Christmas up there as much as everyone else does."
He shrugged against her. " I like the food."
Amber rolled her eyes. "God forbid a big bad DEMON enforcer admits he's a big creampuff who loves Christmas."
"Ain't a fuckin creampuff. Just like buyin shit for my girls."
She smiled at the now plural 'girls', kissing his hair as his hand stroked her belly. "Are we going to tell them what her name is now that we finally decided?"
"Ya sure ya want to name her that? I done told ya, kinda a joke ta name the redneck's kid THAT."
Amber giggled. "Oh get over it. Only you think that. It's a beautiful name, especially with that part for your mom. And she will be a country girl. It's not like you're gonna call her anything but Peach anyway."
"All right then, come on." He kissed her belly before standing and heading to the kitchen to begin loading up the food. He had already loaded the presents into the back of Silas' spare farm truck they had been using since Daryl had totalled his. He and Baby Girl had been looking at vehicles for the last month or so but Daryl had balked at spending that amount of money at once, even though they had it in savings. Living nearly bill free as they did on the farm had afforded them freedom but the first thirty four years of Daryl's life still made him uneager to spend large amounts of cash without serious deliberation. That coupled with him only wanting the safest thing possible and the fact that 'vanilla' vehicles like minivans just weren't him or Baby Girl and it had led to them sticking to the farm truck for now. They still had a month to go before her due date and Daryl knew they had to get something before then.
Baby Girl was putting on her coat when he got to the front door, taking the basket of biscuits from him. Sugar followed them out. She was as welcome in the big house as she was the one on the pond and would most probably spend Christmas dinner under the table begging table food from everyone. Daryl got Amber and the food settled in the cab, then letting down the tailgate to let the dog up in the bed. He then slid behind the wheel. Time to get their Christmas on, farm style.
Two hours later Daryl walked around the vehicle that sat in the front yard of the big house, hands on his hips as he looked between it and his wife. He was trying to decide whether to kiss the fuck out of her or bend her over and whip her ass. After dinner and the usual hour of opening gift after gift (in which he had scored a sweet new knife among other things and grinned like a fucker when Baby Girl squealed over her new addition to her necklace, a solid silver peach inlaid with diamonds that now lay against her skin along with his rattlesnake and arrow) Merle had disappeared for a moment up to his and Beth's house, to return while Amber distracted Daryl with another piece of her mamaw's chocolate cake and a cup of coffee. Then the whole damn family had followed them outside to where Amber's gift to him waited.
A brand new Hummer H3. Black of course.
"Girl…" he managed to growl out, when he made his way completely around the truck and back to his wife. He wasn't exactly mad, just shocked. He had looked at this very truck on the lot a couple weeks before. It was true that they couldn't get anything safer unless they went with an armored car, and it looked sweet as fuck, the interior solid black leather and the windows tinted as dark as Georgia law would allow. But a quick look at the price tag had turned his stomach, it would take over half their savings and buying something that big on payments wasn't them.
"I know you think it's too expensive, but I saw how you looked at it and it's so SAFE." Amber said in a rush, giving him a nervous half smile. Daryl scrubbed a hand over his face and sighed, collecting his thoughts. Before he could say anything, Merle stepped up, speaking low so Silas and Roxie couldn't hear from where they stood on the porch.
"And ya know bro, it's gonna be handy as hell for club business…"
Daryl looked over at him with a scowl, "Ain't no fuckin way we're puttin dead bodies where my kid rides, you dumb ass!" he hissed.
Merle threw up his hands, "Just sayin bro…"
Amber flapped a hand at Merle before looking up at Daryl. "So does that mean you're gonna take it? Please baby…"
He gestured toward her new pendant. "I think ya spent a whole hell of a lot more on my gift than I did yours."
"This is for all three of us baby. You know you wanted it."
He eyed her for a second before offering up a slow grin and wrapping her in his arms as well as he could with their daughter between them.
"Get your pretty ass in my new truck. I reckon I need to take it for a drive around the block, test that shit out."
12:06 am Christmas Day
Daryl had Amber's arm as she made her way into the house. Even with the nap she had taken early in the day she was dragging. After taking a drive in the Hummer they had ended up back at the big house, every one hanging out and picking at leftovers until late like they always did after family dinners. It still amazed Daryl how he and Merle had just slid into the normalcy of family, with the help of their women. Amber had tried to help clean up the kitchen but the other women had made her take a seat at the kitchen table with her feet up in a chair so she could take part in the conversation while still off her feet. The announcement of Peach's official name had went well, only Merle snickering until Beth elbowed him in the ribs and reminding him that part of it was the femenine of his name and after his mother. He had nodded solemnly at that.
Then Merle, Barry, and Daryl had spent an hour or more on the porch, with the excuse that they were smoking. Amber, Beth, and Deb knew better. They were discussing the news that had come from some of Norm's sources overseas. The Irish were amassing an army and arming it to the teeth. Amber and Deb had stepped out for a second to bring them coffee, Daryl fanning away his smoke before dropping a kiss on Baby Girl's head in thanks. At that moment Barry had been saying how DEMON nomads were on high alert and readying to make the trip on a moments notice, with other charters, Le Mechant (now that they were considered allies), and the SONS right behind. Daryl saw Deb cast a nervous look in her daughters direction and her only answer was a small shake of her head and a frown. He tucked that away, definitely going to ask what that was about later.
He directed Amber towards their bedroom when they got into the house and then went to lay the platters of leftovers Roxie had sent home with them in the kitchen but she sank down on the couch instead with a groan.
"Ya back hurtin again?" he asked, sitting down next to her and urging her to turn to put her feet in his lap. He eased off the sneakers that she had been relegated to wearing since the swelling in her feet had made boots or heels out of the question. She was wearing a pair of maternity jeans and one of his few long sleeve black tees, fabric stretched to the max over Peach.
"Yeah, has been off and on all day. I'll be alright. Were there any biscuits left from dinner?" She looked longingly toward the kitchen. Daryl started to snicker and remind her that they had all just ate themselves into a stupor only a couple of hours before but then thought better of it.
"Ya want me ta heat ya some up before bed?"
She nodded with a grin. "In the oven with butter. Then is there any way you could make chocolate gravy?" she stroked her belly and pouted at him playfully. "Peach wants chocolate."
"Yeah, I bet she does." He agreed with a sigh as he put her feet on the couch and made his way to the kitchen. Ten minutes later he had the biscuits in the oven and the gravy rolling. He stuck a finger quickly in the sweet stuff and popped it in his mouth. He nodded, it would do, wasn't Amber's but it would definitely do. But then he heard a rustling sound from the living room and went investigate. Sugar was now sitting in Amber's still warm spot on the couch watching as her mistress investigated the large box that was under the tree. She was on her hands and knees, back to the kitchen door so she didn't notice as Daryl leaned in the doorway, arms crossed over his chest. He watched her for a moment with an amused expression. Baby Girl was always like this when it came to gifts, whether Christmas or her birthday. Even though this gift was technically for Peach, it had been driving her nuts, especially since she knew he had been getting Norm's help with it in his shop for the last month. It had taken a pretty penny in custom ordering and hours helping Sarge as he welded, but finally it had been finished. And Barry could kiss his ass.
That amused expression turned to a scowl, however, when she tugged at the paper, trying to get the tape Ella had helped him wrap it with to come off without tearing anything. She was a sneaky little shit, he'd give her that much. Daryl made his way silently over, crouching just behind Amber.
"What the fuck'er ya doin?" he growled.
She jumped and whirled around onto her bottom as quickly as her state would allow, giving him her best wide eyed look of innocence. "Just looking."
"Bullshit." He countered, trying his best to look stern and not crack a grin. It was hard, she was so damn cute like that. He reached over her to finger the strip of tape that was half pulled off the package.
"An this just happened ta fall off while ya was lookin?"
She nodded. "Yep. Funniest thing."
Daryl crawled forward and ended up straddling her legs, his nose only inches from hers. "Ya bein bad on Christmas night, Santa don't visit bad girls."
She leaned back on her hands and wiggled her eyebrows at him. "Biker Santa does, bad girls are his favorite. In fact, he ALWAYS comes on Christmas."
Daryl eyed her, finally losing it when he got her very bad and very dirty joke. He snickered and then looked up at the tree. "Don't seem to remember us fuckin under the tree last year, do you?'
"No sir I don't. What a shame, I think we need to make sure we don't forget this year."
Daryl stood up and Amber gave him a disappointed look until he whistled for Sugar and opened the door to let her out. She smiled and pulled her shirt over her head as he got back down the floor.
"You're always so weird about her being around when we mess around."
Daryl shrugged. "You'd be weird about it too if ya saw some of the shit I did with that nasty bastard year before last. Now hush and let me get these britches off ya. Biker Santa's got a bad girl ta teach a lesson to."
Twenty minutes later they lay under the tree, both out of breath and slicked with sweat, Amber's curiosity in the gift long forgotten. Daryl smirked at Amber's taste still in his mouth as he unwound her hair from the fingers of his right hand. He had pulled it as he pounded her from behind. He sat up, ghosting his fingertips over the handprint he had left on her ass.
"Fuck girl, I love ya…"
"Love you too. See? I told you Biker Santa always comes on Christmas."
Daryl pinched the handprint, making her squeal. "Smartass. Ya alright?" He had had to be careful this time, it was obvious the baby had dropped in the last few days, leaving a lot less room.
"Fine as frog hair, Desperado." She said contentedly, reaching for his discarded tee and pulling it on. Daryl grabbed his boxers, reveling in the smell of sex in the air as he pulled them on. But then a smell just underneath that alerted his brain that something was wrong. Oh shit, he forgot the…
The screech of the smoke alarm in the kitchen sliced through the air and he scrambled to his feet, cursing his way quickly into the kitchen. The chocolate gravy had scorched into a solid state, smoking. Grey tendrils escaped from the oven too, changing into billows when he opened the door.
"FUCK!" he exclaimed, dumping both pans into the sink and running water over them. The smoke alarm was silenced a second later when it was impatiently popped off the wall. He opened the window over the sink, glad the weather was still mild. Then he walked back into the living room to face his wife who looked up at him, still in the floor in front of the tree. It wasn't like she was able to get up by herself at the moment. She looked up at him pitifully.
"Was that all of them?" she asked tentatively.
She held her hands up and Daryl pulled her carefully up and up against him.
"It's alright, baby. I've ate enough today already."she said quickly, dropping one of those searing kisses on his chest. He started to relax in relief but then he saw it. Her lip quivered, barely noticeable but it was enough. He had shit to fix.
"Hey." Daryl said softly, tucking a tendril of hair behind Baby Girl's ear before using two fingers under her chin to make her eyes meet his. Yep, there were tears balanced on her lower lashes. Fuckin hormones. "We got shortenin and buttermilk left?"
She nodded hopefully and he went on. "I'll make some more. Jus sit on the couch and give me a minute."
This was how Daryl Dixon ended up making biscuits at almost one o'clock Christmas morning in his boxers. An eight months pregnant woman is a scary thing to behold. When he finally pulled the fresh bread out of the oven (these weren't as good as Baby Girl's either) it was after one. He loaded her plate up with them and the gravy, moving to the living room to find Amber hard asleep on the couch, face buried in Sugar's thick white fur as they snuggled. He set the plate on the end table and just looked at her for a minute.
"Jesus, girl. Ya better be glad yer the prettiest thing I ever seen…" he murmured under his breath before shooing the dog from her spot. Then he slid his arms under his wife, still picking her up easily despite her recent weight gain. Amber automatically pressed her face into his shoulder as he walked to their bedroom.
"Daryl…" she sighed as he pulled the covers up around her shoulders and then slid in behind her.
"S'alright Baby Girl, sleep."
9:08 A.M. Christmas Morning
Daryl rolled over in his sleep, seeking Baby Girl's familiar shape against his. But something was wrong, she was there but…he was wet. It was a warm wet, but still wet, soaking in fact, from his chest almost to his knees. Before his sleep addled brain could wake up enough make sense of it Amber shifted against him, sitting up quickly.
"Oh god, oh no, oh NO!" she exclaimed, voice still thick.
Daryl sat up then, taking stock of the situation as best as he could. He rubbed his eyes and moved out of the bed. "Calm down. The midwife said ya had almost five pounds a kid sittin on yer bladder. She just kicked ya is all. Let's get in the shower and then I'll change the…"
"Dammit Daryl!" Amber interrupted as she looked up with panic wide eyes. "I didn't wet the bed! My water broke!"
He froze in front of the closet where he had stepped to grab some clean sheets and then whirled around. "Whadya mean, ya water broke?"
"As in MY WATER BROKE! What the fuck do you think I mean?" She flipped back the covers showing him. The wet spot on the white sheets was colorless and growing. Then Daryl realized there was no acrid smell of urine, but a flat almost chemical smell that was unfamiliar.
"It AIN'T TIME!" he countered, almost as if saying it could stop the flow. "Ya got another month!"
"Tell that to your daughter!"
Daryl had the realization that they were arguing over the reality rather than doing something about it. "Well c'mon. We gotta go to the hospital. They can give ya somethin ta stop it, right?" He asked as he grabbed her a pair of pink sweats she had been wearing around the house.
Amber shook her head as she scooted clumsily out of the bed. "Not with my water broken. But I'm not hurting yet, not really. We've got time to get to the hospital, don't panic. But Peach is coming TODAY."
Don't panic. She was joking,right? The kid was coming a full month early, that couldn't be good. They didn't have the car seat in the Hummer, the bags weren't packed. They weren't READY DAMMIT! Daryl quickly knelt at Amber's feet helping her into the pants. As he stood she suddenly gripped his biceps, fingernails digging into his flesh.
"Ow, fuck g…" The look on her face shut him up quickly. Then his name came out of her mouth starting as a low moan and ending up almost in a scream. Her knees buckled and he caught her against him. Her belly was hard as a rock in an intense contraction. Daryl felt like his head was going to explode. Baby Girl had a very high pain tolerance since her injuries, if this took her off her feet then shit just got real.
Merry Fuckin Christmas.