Quick Update: The prison family have joined them in their house. Daryl and Beth haven't explained their marriage yet, but they are enjoying a moment together...
Regretting that he only had one hand to use, Daryl unbuttoned her jeans and slipped his fingers between worn denim and silky panties. His other hand smothering the excited sounds she made.
Then everything went wrong.
The click of the door and the shock in Beth's eyes made Daryl turn to see Maggie stood in the doorway. For the first time in a month, they had not locked their bedroom door.
Maggie had a look of horror on her face and one hand clinging to the door as if she needed it for support. The three of them froze. Daryl realising just what their would look like, moved his hand from Beth's face, but didn't step away from her, as Maggie flew across the room.
"No!" she screamed, launching herself at Daryl's back. Thankfully, she didn't have a weapon but she got her forearm around his neck to press up against his throat and had enough momentum to push him forward. At the impact of his sister-in-law at his back, Daryl struggled not to crush Beth against the wall. He was too concerned about hurting Maggie to turn and crush her against the wall, he couldn't lash out at her as he would another assailant. He staggered away from Beth as Maggie began punching his head with her free arm, screaming "Rape!".
"No!" Beth screeched, shocked at the sound of the word. She realised Daryl wasn't fighting back and desperate to help him, she jumped up and grabbed at Maggie's shoulders. It had been years since the sisters had fought physically, but this was certainly not the first time. Beth tried to tug Maggie from Daryl's back, as he began to try drop his burden backwards. Their combined effort worked and Maggie was pulled off backwards. She landed on top of Beth, they landed in a tangled heap on the floor, with Daryl on his knees next to them, trying to breathe through his battered throat.
The three of them quickly had more company. Rick and Sasha stood in the open doorway looking down on the confused scene. Carl was just behind them, peering over his father's shoulders.
Maggie stood first, pointing at Daryl. "He was raping her, holding her against the wall. His hand over her face."
"No!" Beth wailed again, as she clambered to her feet, straightened her clothes.
Daryl just managed to say 'No' too, he awkwardly fastened his fly and stood, leaning against the wall. Shock at Maggie's words rolled over him. Husbands raped wives, his parents had taught him that. Rape was what stopped him mom from drinking for pleasure, it made her drink to block out the pain and humiliation of her marriage. Maggie thought he was capable of that. Maggie thought he was capable of raping Beth.
Beth tried to explain to her sister, but she was concerned about Daryl who was looking shocked and unprepared to defend himself. "We're married. I love him. It's not like what you saw!"
"He was forcing you!"
"No! He was just keeping me quiet. Normally I can't be quiet when I'm with him. I love him, Maggie!"
Daryl risked looking up to see the reaction to these words, Rick looked amazed and Michonne who had just arrived, looked confused as she had missed the earlier exchanges. Sasha's eyes were wide as if she was watching a soap opera, she was trying to hide a little smile and turned to face the door. Her movement allowed Carl to step forward.
Maggie was still trying to talk to Beth. "You don't have to protect him! You don't have to be with him anymore, we're all here now. If it's happened before then he'll be punished, won't he?" Maggie glanced to Rick for confirmation and that was the moment the group realised Carl was armed and pointing his gun at Daryl.
Daryl had seen Carl grow from a boy to a man, but the boy was back. He face looked pale and strained, his teeth grinding together and there were tears in his eyes. Carl was usually rock steady when holding a gun, but not tonight, his hands were clearly shaking.
The room was silent and stunned, until Beth steeled herself and moved to stand directly in front of Daryl, her hands in tight fists. "You can't do this!"
Daryl's arms itched to move her out of harm's way, but he was sure if he moved, Carl would shoot and he would be more likely to hit Beth than him. There was another stunned moment of silence, until Rick took Beth's lead and stood directly infront of his son's gun. Daryl couldn't see but he was sure Rick was only inches from the barrel. "You're not shooting Daryl," he said simply.
"Dad!" Carl objected.
"We don't know what's happening here. You can't shoot when you don't know the whole story." Rick's voice sounded calm and determined.
Carl muttered something under his breath, but he lowered the gun.
"We've left Judy alone," his father continued. "Go check on her and I'll be right there. Michonne, would you mind going with him."
There was a quiet moment as Michonne and Carl left. Sasha took one last look at the drama, with a look of regret, she excused herself to check on Mika.
"This is a family matter," Rick said, backing out of the room. "I'll leave you three to talk."
"No! Rick, please stay." Maggie begged. "I need you to talk to Beth, you're the closest thing we have to the police now."
"We don't need the police!" Beth insisted. "But you are family. Maybe we need a calmer head in here."
Rick nodded and took an awkward step into the room.
Beth's eyes turned to Daryl again, he was still silent, leaning against the wall as if he hoped he might fall through it. She took his hand and gave him a little tug forward, so the four of them were stood a little closer.
Maggie seemed determined to have her say. "Beth, you are too young to make a decision like this. You can't be married after a month together! He's not right for you, too old... and you're too young, and it's a big mistake… Have you been persuaded into this?"
Daryl was looking at the floor, Beth was angry but seemed like she was trying to hold onto temper. She looked to Rick for help. "I apologise for asking, Beth," he began. "But how old are you? I know I should know, but…"
"I'm not even sure," Beth admitted. "Certainly eighteen, but maybe nineteen by now."
"Is anything happening that you don't want to happen?" Rick asked awkwardly. He hadn't asked these questions for a long while.
"No, I wanted to be with Daryl from the start. It was my idea really."
Maggie interrupted. "Then why did you keep it a secret? You're married, you say, but you hid that from us?"
Beth glanced at Daryl, he still didn't look about to speak so she continued. "Not telling you all made sense at the time. It didn't seem fair to be so happy. I couldn't really show off my wedding ring, not when you're missing Glenn so much."
"You have a ring?" Maggie sounded surprised.
Beth nodded emphatically, "Both of us do." She went to collect the rings from the bedside table and held them out in her palm, showing the black and pink rings together. "We had a ceremony, just the two of us." Beth knew her sister well enough to realise that Maggie still wanted to be angry, but she found the thought of a ceremony and wedding rings quite sweet. Her face had softened a little.
Beth turned to face Daryl, trying to get in his eyeline but he was still concentrating on the floor. She held out the rings, hoping he would take his but he didn't move. Beth could feel the gazes of Maggie and Rick on her back, did they think Daryl didn't want to wear his ring? Did they think this was a disaster already? Or that she had begged him for attention and he had just given in to her. Maybe that was the case. He wasn't standing up for their relationship, he had barely said a word. He loved her, she was sure. Was she wrong?
"Daryl?" Beth heard a touch of panic in her own voice. Didn't he want to defend them?
Daryl found it difficult to look at Beth, he wanted to fight, that was his way, but he didn't want to fight Maggie and Rick. They were family. Beth was looking at him intently, her confusion was clear, he wanted to hold her and try to make everything better, but how could he do that when Maggie thought he was capable of rape. He could have guessed her objections to him would have been because he was too old, too rough and too much of a redneck for her sweet sister, but it was worse than that. Maggie thought he was forcing Beth to be with him, and she was prepared to fight him physically. Carl thought the same. How long before Rick, Maggie and the others thought the same thing? He'd been involved in their group for so long, would he be cast out now?
"Please help me explain…" Beth's words were a whisper. She wanted him to help her, but he didn't know how. How could he explain that he loved her when he was, once again, sure he didn't deserve her?
Beth was very conscious that Maggie and Rick were watching this strange exchange, but more worried that Daryl didn't seem able to defend their relationship. He shifted slightly as if he was trying to get away, but she caught his gaze and held it. Carefully, as if she was about to pet a tiger Beth touched his chest, and laid her palm on his heart.
Daryl found himself able to speak. He wasn't sure what he hoped to say and began awkwardly, clearing his throat and looking up at their intruders. "Maggie, I'm sorry. I wasn't hurting her, I swear. I never would. I knew all this was wrong. I know I'm not good enough for her..."
"You are!" Beth growled into his chest, but let him continue.
"... but I'm trying to be good enough. I am."
Beth closed the small space between them, put her arms around his waist and rested her face against his chest. The contact seemed to drive the tension from Daryl, he put his arms around her, relief flowed through him. "I love her. I'm sorry."
Maggie let out an audible sigh of frustration, and Beth mumbled into his chest. "He don't say that very often, but I know."
Closing his eyes, Daryl let himself relax while holding his wife. Their company could have been holding guns on him and he wouldn't have cared.
There were no guns, but it was Maggie who spoke to separate them. "Look, could you stop? I can't cope with you two being all lovey-dovey. Not after what I saw earlier."
Beth looked back and with relief saw her sister was trying not to smile.
"I'll never get that image out of my head." Maggie grumbled, as the couple separated.
"Sorry," Daryl apologised yet again. Although this time he couldn't resist adding, "We'll make sure we lock the door... next time." Beth gave him a little dig in the ribs, then opened up the hand that was still holding onto their rings.
"It's good to see you both happy. Can't happen enough right now." Rick said quietly, as Daryl took the rings and slipped Beth's ring on her finger, then put his own back on too. His hand felt right again.
"I'll say 'Good night'," Rick said. "I need to talk to Carl."
"Do you need me to come with you? Could I help?" Daryl offered.
Rick shook his head. "Maybe tomorrow."
Maggie considered the couple, with her head on one side. "I'll leave you for tonight too, but be warned, little sis. Tomorrow I want to hear everything, all the embarrassing details. You don't get out of telling me that stuff, just cos I wasn't here!"
Beth grumbled, but Maggie just wagged her finger, accepted a hug from her sister and left.
This time Beth locked the door and checked it was locked. Despite the stress of the night, Daryl couldn't help smirking as she rattled the doors, just to be sure.
As she sat on the edge of the bed next to him, he asked, "You think Maggie'll be okay?"
Beth rolled her eyes, "I think she'll tease me mercilessly, maybe you too, but she knows you, she'll be just fine. What about Carl?"
"Kid's had a crush on you for a while. Considerin' what he thought he was seeing, it was good that he wanted to protect you. His Dad's held a gun to my head plenty o'times, not surprising Carl did too."
Beth looked disapproving. Daryl thought he might not be taking the problem seriously enough for her, so he carried on. "I'll talk to Carl tomorrow and make sure Rick's there. Best to let him calm down a bit first."
They were both quiet as they prepared for bed, thinking over the days events. Daryl was ready first, sitting up in bed, while he watched Beth comb through her hair. It seemed to have gotten very tangled in the earlier skirmish.
"You gonna take all night to do that," he grumbled, trying to hide a smirk.
"I thought you were enjoying watching me... You haven't looked away yet."
"I'll never stop watching you." He claimed, as his eyes concentrated on her.
Beth stood and let the robe she was wearing fall off her shoulders. "I enjoy watching you, enjoying watching me."
"You're making no sense, 'bout time you got some sleep." Daryl peeled down the covers on her side of the bed, Beth climbed in and moved close to him. Once he sorted out the covers, she noticed Daryl brought his hand to his throat before he put his arm around her. They still had lanterns lit so she could see dark marks around his throat, where her sister had been holding on to him.
Gently she touched the marks. "Did she hurt you?"
Daryl let out a snort of disapproval at the question, "Course not!"
Leaning closer into him, she whispered, "I'll kiss it better," as she did just that, dropping gentle kisses on his throat.
"Am not a kid," mumbled Daryl.
Privately, Beth thought that it was unlikely that anyone ever kissed Daryl 'better' when he was a kid, so she ignored his objections and concentrated more kisses on his throat and neck. Daryl muttered a slight protest. "You sure about this... Your sister will hear. Don't want to piss her off."
"She won't be back here."
"Well, we'll hide." Beth decided and drew the white sheet over them as she moved over Daryl.
"You'd be terrible at hide and seek."
"Then we best play something else," Beth brought her kisses back to his lips, as she lay upon his chest. Daryl let her take charge, although his hand in her hair encouraged deeper kisses and his hand on her back and bottom made her press closer to him.
Beth felt him getting hard between them, she slipped her hand down to his cock, teasing him and feeling her own excitement mount as he began to moan. "You have to be quiet," she whispered, putting her hand over his mouth, she watched the gleam in his eyes.
She couldn't stay in that position long and had to use the hand that had been over his mouth to hold herself above him, as he slipped his fingers past his damp lips to ensure she was ready for him.
That first moment, when he moved inside her always thrilled her. There was a pleasant ache in her pussy as she accepted his size, then once he was deep inside her, she was his and he was hers. She rocked her body against his, thrilling at the friction and the struggle on his face to stay quiet.
"Ssh!" She giggled, knowing he could feel her laughter. The sensation made him groan louder.
Beth put her hand over his mouth again, "Now you can shout. Shout my name. Tell me you want to fuck me forever. Tell me you love me again, tell me."
His words were muffled, but his eyes in the dim light told her what she already knew. So often he made the decisions, in bed and in their lives, but now his control was lost. Beth was excited by his need for her. Faster she moved until his passion overcame him, with a muffled shout.
"You didn't come," he objected as he slipped out of her.
"No, but you did and I love watching you lose your mind."
"You little minx," Daryl moved Beth on to her back, determined to right the wrong. His fingers and thumb worked quickly together to tease her slick pussy. "You're close, my angel, you gonna come for me now? You gonna scream? I might let you. Let you blush in front o' everyone at breakfast tomorrow."
Beth clamped her own hand over her mouth, which Daryl quickly replaced with his own.
She didn't know if she screamed, if she called his name, but she knew she lost all the control that she had. She didn't doubt that she quickly reached more than one orgasm, Daryl was looking quite smug as he settled next to her and finally let her relax.
They only had one candle lit as they settled to sleep. Beth was having trouble resting as she still felt a little exultant. "Told you I had a good feeling about today."
Daryl gave a little bark of laughter, "You a fortune teller now?"
"Maybe... I see good times ahead."
"Sweetheart, don't get too carried away. Trouble can always appear."
"Yes, but we are stacking the deck in our favour. We are good together, better than good." She kissed is cheek and carried on. "Our family is here, making us stronger. The estate is solid. The herd proved that. We're giving ourselves a fighting chance to survive, to have a good life in a bad world."
Daryl smiled down at his determined wife. If anyone else had said those words, he might have dismissed them, but her belief made him nod in agreement. He shared her desire to fight for a good life. Kissing her tenderly, he spoke carefully. "Sleep now, Beth. New day tomorrow, new start. You're right, it will be a fight, but we'll be fighting together."
Took almost six months to complete but I really enjoyed writing this Bethyl Romance. I could carry on, but I wanted this to be about the couple and how they coped before finding the group, rather than how the group got on afterwards.
Back in December when I started, who knew that the actual Walking Dead would become more romantic than any FanFic?! So thrilled to see this relationship become so close to Canon.
My only complaint with the show is that Daryl didn't get his bike, I would love to see Beth on the back of it!
If you enjoyed this please let me know, I hoped it went a little way to making waiting for October easier. Thanks you for all the comments, favourites and kudos. I'm pretty new to the fandom so it was a treat to be acknowledged.
Special thanks for all the SVM readers who read this and encouraged me, even though there were no Vampires and no Eric! Fingers crossed for Season 7 of True Blood ~ It can't be as bad as we think it will be!
Next project will probably be a Bethyl Reunion Fic ~ but there are a lot around and I'm trying to work out how to make it different. I'll post it on Twitter and Tumblr when I get started.
22nd June 2014 ~ FanOTheFang on Twitter and Tumblr