Disclaimer: I don't own AMC's The Walking Dead, wishful thinking aside.
Authors Note #1: This is a response fill for the USS Caryl's 1st Kinky/Non-Kinky Drabble Challenge on tumblr regarding the following prompt: "Halloween at the prison."
Warnings: Contains spoilers for all four seasons of the Walking Dead, very very light sexual allusion, fluff, hurt and possible strong language.
"Thought everyday was Halloween around here," Daryl grunted, leaning up against the door jamb as he watched Carol attach a cardboard cut-out around Judith's tummy. Trying and failing to quell the faint upturn of his lips as he watched Judith's limbs whirl excitedly, her flowery headband already crooked as Carol worked quickly to tidy up the finishing touches of the costume.
Ever since Judith had figured out how the whole crawling thing worked, they'd had a hell of a time getting her to stay still for anything. Even dinner time.
The cardboard cut-out was one of the many things the kids had been up to since Glenn had mentioned out that Halloween was only two days away. He was pretty sure this particular masterpiece was Mika's, something which – if you turned your head thirty degrees to the right and squinted - kinda looked like fairy wings.
"It's as good an excuse as any to dress up," Carol hummed, speaking carefully around a mouthful of pins before she plucked one from between her lips and started securing a few scraps of beige colored mesh along the outside - determined that the chubby little thing would at least look the part.
Judith just squealed, stuffing her fist boldly into her mouth as she basked at the attention. She looked pretty in pink as Daryl eventually wandered over, tugging playfully on her frilly new dress. Judith grinned, gap-toothed and drooling as she played with the hem of her dress. It was a heady, ruffle-ridden monstrosity that Beth had found in the kid's section of a local Wal-Mart that no one save for Beth and little ass kicker herself seemed to like.
He slumped across the bottom half of Carol's bunk with a tired sigh. Halloween? Christ. He couldn't remember the last time he'd even given the day a second thought. There wasn't much in the way of trick or treatin' and celebrating out in the sticks. Not when it was a good five miles between houses and any neighbors you did have were more likely to greet you with the barrel of a shotgun then a bowl of candy.
"What are you going as?" Carol asked, shooting him an encouraging smile as she struggled to fasten the safety pin around a whirl of mesh she'd managed to arrange across the outside as somewhere down the hall, the sound of laughter, honest and clean, rose and fell like a cresting ocean wave.
"An undercover cop," Daryl deadpanned, managing to keep a straight face for a handful of beats before he returned her delighted grin. She was infectious that way, always trying to pull him out of his shell.
"Does your outfit come with handcuffs?" she asked innocently, not missing a beat as she raised her eyebrows, gifting him with an indecent little wriggle as he huffed in response, shifting awkwardly as a smart reply eluded him.
He was saved from having to work for it when Judith burbled, distracting Carol for a few crucial moments as she fastened the last pin with a flourish.
"There!" Carol exclaimed. "The prettiest fairy princess in the prison!" she cooed, leaning down to smother her with kisses as Judith bounced in place.
"More like princess of the garbage heap," he remarked, raising a brow at the makeshift wings and the smudge of dirt that stood out on her nose as Judith blew a spit bubble in his general direction.
Carol nudged his feet off the bed. "Don't be mean," she retorted, straightening the baby's headband as she lifted Judith up in her arms.
The admonishment was absent of any actual heat, however, as Judith wriggled in her grip, her cardboard wings fluttering and jumping, tangling with the muted rays of the weak, afternoon light until it looked as though they'd managed to capture the very sun itself.
An idea struck him as one of Judith's hands tightened around the woman's collar, fisting the fabric as she chewed idly on her fingers.
He got up with a grunt, joints cracking as he shouldered his crossbow.
"Where are you going?" Carol asked, curious and worried as he ducked his head, watching her from behind the fan of his dark lashes as Judith made grabby hands at him, pouting as he made to leave.
"A real fairy princess needs a wand, don'tcha think?" Daryl grunted, rolling his eyes like it was the most obvious thing in the world as Carol watched him go, momentarily speechless before mirth and opportunity got the better of her.
"Don't forget those handcuffs!" she hollered, dissolving into laughter as Judith giggled and screeched, clearly not one to be outdone as he slouched out the door, the ghost of a grin tugging at the corners of his lips.
His cheeks were all but flaming as he shouldered his way down the stairs and made tracks to the junk pile that had been building up along the side of the prison, figuring that was as good a place as any to start.
He'd be god damned if Judith Grimes didn't look like the best fairy princess this side of the apocalypse come Hallows' Eve.
A/N #1: Thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think! Reviews and constructive critiquing are love! – This story is now complete.