Rick looked out the window before turning back to Jackson, who was silently watching the brothers as Beth and Carol sat beside their men, Striker pacing a few feet away as the group sat waiting.
Rick walked up beside Jackson, speaking quietly. "Beth and Carol, they've become quite close with the brothers."
Jackson smiled lightly. "about damn time they found themselves women."
Rick shrugged. "their good men. Beth is young but she loves Merle . And Carol and Daryl are made for each other."
Jackson smirked. "Gypsy will be beside herself to learn she may finally get some grandkids."
Rick smiled. "I hope so."
Jackson looked over at Rick. "what happened? My nephews have been missing for weeks, lost when they went north to check on some of our allies."
Rick nodded. "they saved us when we were trapped by walkers, they were taking us to Sunnyhill. The roads are terrible, we damn near had to drive into Alabama to get around. Yesterday, some pirates came after us. Merle and Daryl killed some of them, but the leader and the rest of his men were after us. We stopped in a small town 10 miles north, Merle made some sort of explosive chemical and Daryl set up and escape route over a building with a chain. This morning they set off the chemicals when the pirates attacked. The whole place went up in flames as the brothers escaped, but they were shot as they were getting away."
Jackson swore. "Fuck, Buck is not going to like that. We've been worried about pirates, but having some attack his sons brings this to a whole new level."
Rick nodded, hesitating before he spoke. "Daryl was unconscious by the time he got to us, Merle had to carry him before he collapsed. If they don't make it….i can put them down for you."
Jackson shook his head. "no. these are my nephews. My brother's sons. I watched them grow up, I've taken bullets for them. and you can fuckin' bet if I had a choice, I would have taken these bullets too. If they don't make it, I owe it to them, to my brother."
Rick nodded. "I hope it doesn't come to that."
Jackson nodded as he ran a hand over Merle 's shoulder. "me too, because that may just fuckin' kill me. I watched these boys grow up."
Hershel walked up beside Jackson. "well you saved all of us then. We all owe our lives to the brothers."
Jackson smirked. "yeah, they're something else."
Hershel nodded. "they speak very highly of their uncle Jackson."
Jackson chuckled as he rubbed Daryl's head. "well big man and Baby Boy are very important to me. They gave you the whole story?"
Rick nodded. "took several nights but yes. "
Striker spoke up from were he leaned near Merle .
"its 20 years of watching as our nephews become strong men. We watched Merle turn from a high strung meth cook into a calm leader, well set for his future. Watched Daryl grow from a tiny boy who was terrified of any man that got close to him, to a confident young man that doesn't take shit from anyone."
Hershel smiled. "you must have a few stories about them."
Jackson chuckled. "did Daryl tell you how he got out of being grounded when he was 14?"
Hershel thought for moment before he shook his head. "no, I don't remember hearing about that one."
Jackson smirked and looked at the group around him.
"it was a few months after Baby Boy turned 14."
"I said no! now go to your fuckin' room!"
"come on dad!"
Buck shook his head. "I said no! you're not comin' to meet with these ice runners and that's god damned final! One more out burst and your grounded."
Daryl turned to Gypsy who shook her head. "mom!"
Daryl looked back at Buck . "this is fuckin' bullshit!"
Buck eyed Daryl. "bring me the bow."
Daryl looked shocked at Buck . "you've got to be kiddin' me!"
Buck shook his head. "two weeks, no huntin', no clubhouse."
Daryl glared at Buck as he grabbed the crossbow and roughly thrust it at Buck . Buck took the bow, walking to the gun cabinet, placing it inside and locking the cabinet, pocketing the key.
"now go to ya room and finish ya homework. Let ya mom rest, she's got a nasty headache. Merle and I will be back later."
Daryl shot a look over to Merle who had stayed silent the whole time. "have a good fuckin' time."
Merle sighed as Daryl stomped upstairs and slammed his door. "sorry about that."
Buck shook his head. "it's not your fault. He's a teenager, if he didn't slam a few doors or throw a few bitch fits I'd be worried."
Gypsy sighed as she got up from the kitchen table. "I'm going to lie down. Hopefully Baby Boy is less pissy tomorrow."
Merle chuckled as he followed Buck to the bikes. "we can always hope."
"two weeks? Damn Buck that's the harshest punishment you've ever handed down on Baby Boy ."
Buck sighed as he nodded to Jackson. "I ain't bringin' him to meetings yet, despite his protests."
Jackson nodded. "I ain't saying that, for gods sack he's 14. But two weeks?"
Buck shrugged as bikes approached. "I figured it would ring his bell a bit."
Jackson chuckled as the Ravens got off their bikes. "oh it'll have an effect."
The ravens walked up as the demons prepared for the meeting.
"come on mom!"
Gypsy sighed. "Baby Boy please, Buck isn't trying to hold you back, but you are 14. He wouldn't let Merle go on runs until he was 18. And it's the same for you."
Darryl gritted his teeth. "mom it's a meetin' not a run."
Gypsy looked over at Daryl. "Daryl, I have a massive migraine. My head is killing me and all I want to do is go lie down."
Daryl growled as he walked to his parents room door. "fine. But I want my bow back!"
"no fuckin' way."
The ravens president Marcus glared at Buck . "you should rethink that decision Buck ."
Buck raised an eye brow. "I don't think so. No ice runs thru my territory."
Marcus chuckled darkly. "well then. Seems we have a problem, since I have something of yours."
Buck raised the signal and the dozen demons around him pulled their guns. Marcus smirked.
"ah ah. I'd be very careful, my men are already there."
Daryl pulled the knife out of his bed post before throwing it back at the post. He reached up to grab it again, before he heard a noise.
Looking out his bedroom window Daryl saw several men jump the fence, running up to the house in the dark.
Smirking, Daryl grabbed his knife. Dad thought he wasn't ready, time to show he was.
Buck ripped the knife out of the Raven's chest before he turned to Jackson, who was on the phone with Noah as he ran to his bike.
"They're after Baby Boy and Gypsy!"
Merle ran to his bike at Buck s side. "mom's not answerin'! dad what the hell are we gonna do?!"
Buck growled as he jumped on his bike. "we're gonna kick ass demon. That's what we're gonna do."
Buck nodded to Noah as he pulled up beside him, the two groups of demons reuniting to fight to defend his family again. Buck bite his lip as he realized how badly he had fucked up. He had left Daryl and Gypsy with no weapons at all. He had even taken the weapons cabinet key and the crossbow. The bow Merle had gotten Baby Boy 5 years before. It was small for Daryl now, as he was hitting another growth spurt. He was beginning to look like Merle did when Buck first met him: all arms and legs.
Buck shook his head as he had a stroke of deja vu. Once again Buck was headed into a fire fight, knowing his son was already either dead or in the process of fighting for his life. And oddly Daryl had the same amount of training Merle had had when the Incendios attacked. Even though he was always asking to do harder training.
Jackson drew up next to Buck , pointing to a pile of bikes on the side of the road near the already opened gate. The Ravens were still here. The demons flew up the driveway to surround the house, Buck pulling up the grass right next to the porch, Jackson on one side and Noah on the other.
Buck pulled his gun as he reached the front door, which was slightly ajar. Kicking the door, Buck entered the house at the same time Striker and Dayne busted in the back door. The demons swarmed the house, but stopped dead in the kitchen.
Piled by the table was 2 bodies. And tied up next to them were 4 more men, beaten and bloody. All wearing Ravenscolors. And Gypsy standing tapping her foot.
"I had bet a bet with Baby Boy . You're 5 minutes late! Now he gets a new crossbow."
Buck blinked, as did every other demon, Noah recovering first.
"you and Baby Boy did this?"
Gypsy snorted. "I had nothing to do with this. Baby Boy woke me up afterward, mostly because he wanted to order a pizza. Which is why the gate was opened."
Merle gaped at Gypsy. "wait, little bro did this? All on his own?"
"um, excuse me?"
Buck looked behind him where on the grass amongst the bikes and men standing armed for war, was a pizza delivery man. Buck turned back to Gypsy, when he heard stomping above him.
Daryl jogged down the stairs in jeans and his vest, and shoved past his father and brother on his way thru the demons to the delivery man. Handing the man the cash, Daryl turned back and carried his pizza back thru the men crowded around looking very confused. The pizza man quickly got back in his car and drove off as fast as he could.
Buck and Merle glanced at each other as Daryl shoved past, jogging up the stairs with his pizza. A second later his door slammed shut and the demons were silent. For about two seconds before Noah started laughing.
"son, you just got told off by the littlest demon!"
Jackson chuckled at the memory as several members of the group laughed. Rick was nearly in tears, Hershel red with laughter. Maggie was giggling with Glenn, and Carol snickered.
"Buck ended up standing there looking like a fool while the demons, me included laughed our fuckin' asses off. Merle actually threw up he was laughing so hard."
Striker chuckled. "god Noah found that funny as shit. Made Buck apologize. Merle told us about it."
"well Baby Boy ya got my attention."
Daryl snorted as he picked up another piece of pizza while he changed video games. "figured dead bodies and men tied up in the kitchen would be noticed."
Buck nodded as he grabbed Daryl's desk chair and sat down. "I fucked up tonight."
Daryl raised an eyebrow. "really? I hadn't noticed I had no weapons, not even my fuckin' bow."
A snicker came from the door way, and Buck and Daryl turned to see Merle leaning in.
"I think I may throw up again, this is funny as shit!"
Daryl glared at Merle . "ya can shut up cause I'm pissed at you too."
Merle looked confused. "me? I didn't do nothin'!"
Daryl nodded. "exactly. you did nothin' and you-"
Daryl gestured to Buck . "you locked up every single fuckin' weapon, didn't even leave the key with mom."
Buck sighed. "Baby Boy I'm sorry. I shouldn't have taken the key with me. Honestly if I had been thinkin' I would have left it with Gypsy."
Daryl snorted. "ya weren't thinkin', that the problem. Neither of ya are."
Merle walked in and stood next to Buck . "what the hell does that mean?"
Daryl looked up at Merle . "I'm not a fuckin' kid. I have been watchin' you train for your black belts for years bro. Every time you went in the weight room I stayed in the other room, workin' on the exact shit you were Merle . I watched you do somethin' and I copied it, I wasn't just fuckin' around.
Merle raised an eyebrow. "how much do ya know?"
Daryl smirked. "enough to take down 6 guys that were at least 10 years older and 80 pounds heavier then me. And I did it in the dark, with only a Buck knife. Sound familiar?"
Merle nodded reluctantly. "you have a point there Baby Boy ."
Daryl scoffed. " I tried to tell you guys in trainin' that I wanted to go faster, because I was already way ahead of the shit you have me workin' on, but ya didn't listen. I'm sick and tired of this. I know I'm 14, but I ain't gonna be treated like I'm a broken kid again because I'm not!"
Buck frowned. "I'm sorry I didn't understand about the trainin', but do ya really think we treat ya like a child?"
Daryl nodded. "I can't go huntin' on my own, Merle has to go with me. Even though he hates huntin' and stomps around scarin' away all my fuckin' prey. I can't go practically anywhere with out an adult, not even goin' out with my friends! You're only teachin' me basic weapons trainin', not the shit I want to learn. I still get weighed 2 times a week for gods sack! Its been 8 years, I'm not a starvin' beat down dog! Quit babyin' me!"
Buck shook his head at Daryl. "I ain't meanin' to make ya feel like that."
"then let me grow up. Dad by this time Merle was cookin' nearly 40 hours a week, while raisin' me."
Merle shook his head. "Daryl, Silas was a piece of shit but there's one thing that fucker did teach me; you come first. It's all about you Baby Boy , to all of us."
"Merle the one thing I want to be in life is a demon. I trained and I tried learnin' as much as I can from watchin' ya but I need more. I know what everyone says, and I want to be ready."
Buck looked at Daryl. "what do you mean what everyone says?"
Daryl rolled his eyes at Buck . "its not exactly a secret that Merle is gonna be pres some day. Fine by me, because pres isn't the position I want. I know I'm goin' to be SAA, and I'm goin' to be fuckin' ready."
"he's very tenacious isn't he?" Carol said quietly as she held Daryl's hand.
Jackson chuckled. "Baby Boy is a force of his own. Honestly, I can tell you in a ring, Baby Boy could kick his fathers, brothers, and uncles asses."
Merle nodded to Buck as he left the room, before he turned back to Daryl, who was ignoring him.
"litte bro come on. Talk to me."
Daryl sighed. "why? I know you're just goin' to say wait, I'm too young, I'm not ready. That's bullshit Merle and ya know it."
Merle shook his head at Daryl. "na, I say that you'll just work harder to prove me wrong."
Daryl snorted. "damn right I will."
Merle sighed. "are ya hurt at all?"
Daryl shrugged. " After I took down the first two I used their guns to catch the rest. Didn't get hit much, just a few bruises, maybe a busted finger."
Merle chuckled. "well ya did better then me, ya kicked ass."
Merle sat next to Daryl, eying the pizza before Daryl shut the box. "hey?!"
Daryl shook his head. "I kicked ass tonight, it's my pizza."
Merle chuckled. "seriously though, ya did all that by watchin' me?"
Daryl shrugged. "most of it."
Merle smirked. "damn, I'm a good teacher."
Daryl chuckled. "no, Buck is a good teacher. Even if he forgets keys at times. Which I'm still pissed at you for."
Merle frowned. "ya mad at me because Buck took the key?"
Daryl shook his head. "I'm mad at ya because you let Buck take the key. Ya let him leave me with no weapons."
Merle nodded. "sorry bro. we had no idea they were playin' that level."
Daryl snorted. "Merle they will always play that level. For fucks sack my name is Baby Boy , doesn't sound very threatenin'. But I know I will always be under threat, my job is to take a bullet for ya one day."
Merle frowned. "don't say it like that."
Daryl chuckled. "Merle I want that job. I want to be your SAA. I can do it, I know I can. You've protected me all my life. It's time to start teachin' me to protect you."
Merle sighed. "SAA is a lot of things Baby Boy ."
Daryl nodded. "I know. But ya say it's all about me, well for me it's all about you. You're my big bro, I want to be fightin' beside ya."
Merle chuckled. "all right. Well startin' tomorrow, you're goin' after ya black belt."
Carl looked up at Jackson. "Merle has black belts?"
Jackson nodded. "Merle has a few. Baby Boy too, but not as many as Merle . Together, they're damn near unstoppable."
Carol smiled lightly. "did Buck start trainin' him harder after that?"
Jackson laughed. "oh Baby Boy started doin' shit none of us thought possible."
"what the fuck are ya doin'?!" Buck screamed.
Daryl shook his head. "Dad watch!"
Buck shook his head. "get the hell down from there right now!"
Daryl shrugged. "okay!"
A split second later Buck 's heart nearly jumped out of his throat as Daryl jumped off the roof. He nearly looked away, but didn't as Baby Boy suddenly spring boarded off the roof of the garage, before tumbling on to the ground. As he rolled Daryl somehow flipped out of the summer-salt, and did a back flip off onto his feet.
Buck stared as Daryl smirked at him. "what….what the fuck was that?"
Daryl snickered. "part parkour, part free runnin'."
Buck blinked. "that stuff on the news? The guys bouncin' off the sides of buildings?"
Daryl nodded. "it ain't too hard. I practiced a lot before this one."
Buck raised an eye brow. "This one?"
Daryl smirked. "wanna help me scare Merle and uncle Jackson?"
"wait like the guys on youtube?"
Jackson smirked at Glenn. "if you've watched those, you've probably seen Daryl. He's one of the top free runners out there."
Glenn turned to Rick. "that's how he did it, how they got into the building. Daryl must have jumped."
Rick frowned and looked at Jackson. "that was a 10 foot jump, could Daryl have made that?"
Jackson nodded. "easy, first time I saw him do parkour he did a jump between buildings."
"why the hell is dad askin' us to meet him at Daryl's school?"
Jackson shrugged to Merle . "no idea. All I know is Buck said Baby Boy has a point to prove."
"Damn right he does."
Jackson and Merle turned as Buck walked up beside him, giving them a weary look.
"guess what Baby Boy does for fun after school?"
Merle frowned. "what?"
Buck turned about pointed to the line of 6 portables, Daryl standing on the last one. "that!"
Daryl gave a wave before running, flipping over the gap between the portables and continuing to flip and back flip his way across the roofs, before landing on his feet in front of Merle , Jackson and Buck .
Merle blinked before he grabbed at Daryl. "What the fuck were ya thinkin'?! Ya could have been killed!"
Jackson gave a low whistle. "god damn Baby Boy !"
Buck rolled his eyes as Merle huffed, preparing to lecture Daryl, before Buck clapped a hand on his shoulder.
"Count ya selves lucky. I got ta find out by him jumpin' off the fuckin' roof at home!"
Daryl smirked. "i think it's pretty cool."
Buck chuckled. "it is, but its also a god damn terrifyin' thing for a father ta witness. His own kid jumpin' off a 2nd story roof, boucin' and back flippin' ta safety? Fuck I damn near shit myself."
Jackson smirked. "well Baby Boy , what else can ya do?"
"so that's how Daryl got between the buildings!"
Jackson nodded to Glenn. "add to it he's good at pickin' locks, and Daryl can get in to damn near anywhere. It's fuckin' useful."
Striker smirked before looking away from the group as Jackson continued to share stories about the brothers. Striker ran a hand down Merle 's cobra tattoo, thinking back to a day a few years back, one of the roughest in his life.
Striker sat on his bike in front of the club house. The only other bike there was Noah's, and Striker eyed it as he sighed. Striker knew what was coming and it hurt him to the core. That in a short time, that bike would never ride again.
Striker entered the clubhouse, not bothering to turn on the lights as he walked the familiar hallways by memory, right up to the last door on the left. Striker forwent knocking as he stepped into the room. Striker eyed Noah who looked up at Striker. The two men looked at each other before Striker sighed.
Noah smirked lightly. "they said 4 weeks 4 weeks ago. But I can feel it now, I give myself less then a week."
Striker swore as he threw himself down in his normal chair. "fuck Noah, why didn't ya say anythin'?!"
Noah chuckled. "cause I got to watch my son and Gypsy renew their vows. Got to see Merle graduate again, Daryl graduate from college for the first time. I need the weeks, needed to see my family thru this before I told them how close it was. Buck knows its comin', he's stickin' ta me like glue."
Striker snorted. "can ya blame him? You've been beside Buck his whole life, and now he's losin' ya to something he can't even fight back."
Noah sighed as he nodded. "cancer's a bitch like that. That's why I need ya ta promise me one last thing."
Striker chuckled. "this makes how many promises over the years?"
Noah smirked. "hey I always held up my end of the deal. You're SAA aren't ya?"
Striker laughed. "fuck we were shit faced the night we made that promise and ya still remember it!"
Noah chuckled. "it's what I do."
Striker eyed Noah. "ya want me ta watch out for ya boys."
Noah nodded. "Buck 's gonna hold himself together for the club and family, but you know better. He's gonna need both you and Jackson."
Striker nodded. "not a problem. And the brothers?"
Noah leaned back in his chair smirking lightly. "watch out for the bar fights for the first few weeks, but Merle and Daryl will probably be who pulls Buck out. Those three are a good match, they'll help each other. I just need ya ta protect them, like ya would have if I was still here."
Striker smirked. "i never thought about stoppin'."
Striker sighed as he remembered back to the day, 2 weeks before Noah died of the tumors raging in his lungs. Buck had taken Noah's passing hard, leading to many nights of Jackson and striker tag teaming the Dixon family. One of them would go with Buck , typically to monitor his emotions during club business which striker helped with, or Jackson would go out to curb Buck 's violent outbursts when he was drunk. The other would stay with the brother's and Gypsy, as they all suffered thru the grief of loosing Noah.
Striker smirked lightly. The Dixon family was strong, much stronger then they knew. But it still hurt to see Merle and Daryl still like this.
Striker heard the roar of bikes approaching, and he gave Jackson a nod as he went out to lead in the medical time. The sound of pounding boots approached, and Buck tore into the room.