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Things with Daryl weren’t easy.

You knew he was a good man, one of the best you had ever known, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t be infuriating. He had a temper, he was stubborn, and you knew very well how harsh he could be. You cared for him deeply, you thought you might even love him, and you knew he cared for you too, but that didn’t mean things with him weren’t difficult.

You both fought a lot. You fought even before you two started being together as a couple, with had happened not even a couple of weeks ago, and now you two fought almost even more. It was always something about him being reckless, or maybe him being too harsh with the other people in your group. You were friends with everyone, but Daryl had never been, lashing at them quite a lot, and you knew better than anyone how harsh he could be sometimes.

That didn’t mean that you didn’t stand for him in front of the others, or that you let any of them speak bad about Daryl, whenever you heard something like that you shut it down and by now everyone knew better than to speak ill of Daryl if you were around, as it was the easiest way to make you mad and bite back at then almost as hard as Daryl could have. But you also called Daryl out in his behavior when he was rude to the others, and he hated it when you did it, and you two always ended up fighting.  

Mostly, though, your fights started when you worried about him being reckless, like when he did something dangerous our out of impulse, or went deep into the woods alone even after the sun went down, or anything like that, ignoring your concern for him until he managed to make you snap.

You both always made up, though. The fights were heated but you both always ended up talking things when you calmed down and forgiving each other, never holding anything against each other. Daryl could be harsh, could lash at you, but whenever he thought he’d been too harsh or rude, or when he thought he might have hurt you with his words, he always came back to apologize and try to make things right.

Daryl was really caring, more than you could have ever expected, and he could be sweet too, when he let himself be, which wasn’t often. He was nothing like you had thought him to be back when you only knew him by name, or that first day when he saved your life, when you had even wondered if maybe dealing with the monsters wouldn’t be better than dealing with the Dixons.

The Dixons and you were from the same town, Daryl and you had gone to the same school, though back then you both had barely exchanged a couple of words with each other, and as adults, you both kept stuck in that damn town. You and him weren’t friends, not even acquaintances, nothing at all. You knew very well what they said about his family in the town.

When the dead had begun walking in your town, you had found yourself alone, your family gone you didn’t know where, surrounded by monsters, everyone you saw around was dead, you hadn’t known what to do. You were running away from those things, you still hadn’t known what they were, and you thought they were going to devour you, as you had seen them do to other people, when the closer one to you had dropped dead to the ground with an arrow in his forehead.

Dumbfounded, you saw another one drop dead, and then another, and you found Daryl Dixon ahead shooting a crossbow until all the walkers that were going to you had dropped dead. Then he had approached but hadn’t said anything to you, he’d just yanked his arrows back from the monster’s heads and began walking. Not knowing what to do, you had begun following him, and that’s how you had ended up leaving the town with him and his brother Merle.

At first, you thought they wouldn’t take you with them, they had been talking to each other away from you, giving you glances, and on your side, you didn’t know what to do, maybe joining the Dixons wasn’t the best, safest idea. You knew their reputation, and the things they said about Merle…you had seen him high too, and he wasn’t nice. But you were terrified of the monsters.

Finally, they allowed you to get with them in Merle’s pickup, and you three left the town. It had been hard, running away from place to place as those monsters were everywhere. Daryl snapped easily, harsh with words, but you could deal with him. You couldn’t say the same about Merle, you hated everything that came out of his mouth, the way he looked at you, his insinuations, and you just grew tired of him more each day, you had never managed to get along with him. You hated how he behaved towards his brother too.

Merle had been the first source of fights between you and Daryl, as you were unable to stand him. Fights with Merle turned into fights with Daryl, and whenever you tried to get Daryl to see how Merle didn’t do anything to help while Daryl was always taking watch or hunting, how Merle berated him, Daryl just lashed out against you. You didn’t argue about it as much as you would want, though, as you were afraid the brothers might just abandon you on your own.

Then you had found the camp at the quarry, people that soon became your friends, and things went better. However, no matter Daryl was harsh, no matter you had new friends, you didn’t leave his side. You didn’t forget he’d rescued you and taken you with him as his brother. Despite the fights, he’d taken care of you, had given you a gun and taught you how to use it, you both had helped each other, having each other’s back, and you and him had shared nights of talking. You didn’t know what he thought, but you felt a connection with him, and you weren’t going to break it no matter you had new people now.

Things with Daryl were better at the quarry too, and he didn’t seem to mind it when you joined him after dinner, you two sitting alone, sometimes talking sometimes not. You knew he didn’t really get along with the people, which most times was honestly his fault, no matter by then you were starting to think Daryl had a really good heart deep down. He felt out of place, you could see it, and you wondered if that was the reason why he didn’t mind your company.

You fought quite a lot in that quarry too, though. About Merle, mostly. You made pretty clear that you didn’t want to have any part on Merle’s plan on robbing the camp, which earned you a small argument with Daryl and a big fight with Merle, in which he threatened you with shutting your mouth after you threatened to tell Shane about the plan. To your surprise, Daryl had sided with you, defending you. You knew it had cost him trouble with his brother, and for two days he hadn’t talked to you, as if blaming you, but when you had started to think he wasn’t going to be your friend anymore, he had come back to sit with you one night.

Besides all your fights with Daryl about Merle being an unhelpful ass, you also called him out in his behavior with the others, and he always hated it when you did. He hated it too when you tried to stop him from going out hunting alone, especially for more than a day, brushing you off or even getting angry when you expressed your concern for him, which you would never understand. You had managed to make him take you with him a few times, not many, to train you, and usually those times ended up in another argument, but you still liked to go out with him and learn something.

Despite all those fights, you still felt connected to Daryl, and you both still went to sit next to each other each night. You shared your mind with him every night, everything that worried you, and sometimes even stuff about yourself. Daryl didn’t share that much with you, but still, you felt you knew more about him than anyone else in that camp, maybe even his brother. And so, slowly, you both grew closer.

Then came that day in which he lost Merle in Atlanta, and the camp had been attacked by walkers, killing half of the people…

Then…

You were sat down on the ground, looking down so as not to see the others stabbing the heads of the people who had died bitten by walkers, though the sound was making you sick to your stomach…you didn’t know how it had happened, you had been so sure your camp was safe…

You heard someone approaching and when you looked up you saw Daryl flopping down next to you. He didn’t say anything to you, looking down, his face splashed with walker’s blood. You shifted closer, taking out a rag from your bag, and you reached out to clean his face. Daryl flinched, looking at you as if startled, but then he relaxed and let you wash the blood off his face.

When you finished, you looked at him, wondering about asking him about Merle or not…he had come back without him…

“Merle, he’s…”

“He wasn’t at the roof.” Daryl cut you sharply before you could say anything. “Just his hand, he cut it and left, don’t know where he is.”

Shit…it sounded horrible. “But you think he’s-”

“He’s alive.” Daryl cut you off again, and you didn’t say anything else.

Daryl was silent too, you couldn’t read his expression, but you knew he was hurting. You knew on first hand how much his brother meant to him, and no matter Daryl thought Merle was alive, he’d lost him. Daryl was probably brokenhearted, and you hated it, even more so because he was dealing with it all alone, you knew he wouldn’t open up.

Feeling brave, you shifted closer, and carefully you rested your head against arm. Daryl stiffed, looking at you with a frown on his face, but he didn’t snap, didn’t push you off him, instead he relaxed, allowing you to lean into him.

“If you want to talk about it…” You ventured.

“I don’t.” Daryl didn’t sound as harsh as you thought he might, though, and you had expected that answer anyway.

For a little while, none of you said anything, until Daryl called your name quietly.

“Y/N?”

“Yeah?”

“Are you okay?”

You knew Daryl cared for you on his own way, but still, him voicing his concern made you smile. Still, you shook your head. “I’m scared.”

“There ain’t more walkers around, we’re good.”

You nodded at that. Daryl had kept you safe both before and after you found that camp, and you knew he would still do it. “But what are we going to do now?”

“They’re talking about going to the CDC or Fort Benning.”

“You’re gonna tag along?” Considering how little Daryl got along with the others, you weren’t sure.

“I guess. Don’t know what else we could do, ain’t that safe to be on our own anymore, there’re dead fuckers everywhere.”

You nodded, your stomach doing strange twirls at hearing Daryl talking about you two in plural, as if he really wanted you two to still being together whatever happened now.

“Whatever you think is best, I’ll follow you.” You replied honestly, blushing a bit at your words. Daryl shifted to look at you, seeming a bit surprised, but then he nodded, a small, half-smile tugging at his lips.

You looked at him, smiling too. You felt…something you couldn’t define. Something you hadn’t felt in a long while, and certainly something you hadn’t expect Daryl might make you feel. It might be because you had seen some of your friends die, your camp being attacked by the monsters, yourself almost getting bitten as you fought. It might be because you knew Daryl was hurting and feeling alone. Whatever it was, you wanted to kiss him.

You went for it. You knew if you gave it a second thought, you wouldn’t do it. You cupped his cheek with your hand gently and Daryl looked at you with wide, confused eyes. When you pressed your lips to his softly, it made you feel more than you had bargained for, and you wondered if Daryl could feel it too.

He wasn’t pulling away or pushing you off him, but he wasn’t kissing you back either. When you pulled away from him he was looking at you, but you couldn’t read what he might be thinking. Without a word, Daryl got up, going to take a pike to keep driving it into the heads of the corpses.

You let out a sigh watching him go, hoping you hadn’t messed things between you two…

After that, Daryl’d behaved with you as if nothing had happened, didn’t mention your kiss, didn’t look at you or treated you any different, and together in his truck, you both had driven with the others to the CDC. On one side, you’d been relieved you hadn’t messed up your friendship, and he wasn’t mad at you. On the other, you’d been curious as of what Daryl might think about the kiss, if he might like you two to be together like this or do it again. It didn’t seem like so, and on your side, neither you were totally sure if you wanted it or not. That night at the CDC, though, Daryl had gone to you…

Your hair was wet and freshly washed, your belly was full of food, and you had a big grin on your face as you looked around at your friends, all celebrating, eating and drinking. Even Daryl seemed to be in the best mood you had seen him, teasing Glenn and laughing with the others. You guessed it had something to do with the booze he was drinking, but still, it was a nice sight, and you were happy to see him so relaxed and content.

You smiled at him and your stomach did some weird twirls when Daryl grinned back at you, shifting closer to nudge your shoulder with his gently, his gesture of affection taking you by surprise but making you smile again. You rested your head on his arm as you looked around at the others, smiling wider when Daryl didn’t shake you off, shifting so you could rest your head on his shoulder more comfortably.

Eventually, everyone began to get up from the table to go either to bed or to the showers, and you did the same. You couldn’t believe you had had a shower, a nice dinner, and now you were going to enjoy a real bed too.

“I’m going to bed,” you announced and Daryl nodded, getting up and following you.

You guessed he was going to sleep too, but when you were about to open the door of the room where you had left your things, you felt Daryl grabbing your wrist and pulling you to him. Before you could react or say anything, his lips were on yours. You kissed him back, couldn’t help it, butterflies dancing in your belly as a rush of electricity went through you, before you were able to form coherent thoughts. You pulled back, knowing Daryl had drunk a lot, and that might be the reason why he was kissing you like that. You didn’t want him to do something he’d regret, and made things awkward between you two.

“We can’t,” you whispered, resisting the urge to just kiss him again.

“But you kissed me.” Daryl frowned at you, seeming confused. “I thought…”

“I want to,” you rushed to assure him, not wanting him to think you were rejecting him. “But you’re drunk.”

“I ain’t drunk, ain’t that easy to make me drunk.” Daryl rolled his eyes.

“You are, and I don’t want you to do nothing you’ll regret.”

“I ain’t that drunk.”Daryl let go of your wrist, lifting his hand to caress your neck and cup your cheek. “I know what I’m doing.”

He kissed you again and you couldn’t resist anymore, kissing him back and wrapping your arms around his shoulders, holding him tight to you. You barely registered hearing someone walking down the corridor and Daryl pulled away from you just enough to open the door of your room and walk you both inside. As soon as the door closed, you were on him again, kissing him before pushing him to the bed.

You both slept together that night, and when Daryl fell asleep snuggled to you, nuzzling into your neck as you caressed his back, you thought your heart might melt or burst of happiness. You didn’t remember the last time you felt so good.

Still, you were worried about what might come in the morning, once he were sober. You were scared he’d regret it, no matter what he’d said, and you hoped he wouldn’t be mad or awkward around you…you only could hope he might want to keep this thing between you two, because right then, you had decided you did want it. You weren’t very sure about him, though…

Next morning, Daryl had once again said nothing, but he hadn’t acted weird around you either. You had woken up when he had pulled away from you, opening your eyes to find him sat down on the bed, getting dressed. Your first surprise had come when he’d turned his head when he felt you waking up, and he’d leaned over you to kiss your lips before leaving for breakfast, you joining him soon after.

Neither of you had talked about what had happened between you two, nor then, not after you managed to ran away from the CDC after almost dying in there. He didn’t put a name to what you might be from then on and neither did you, but both of you knew you weren’t just friends anymore.

Daryl had always taken care of you, but now you noticed him always having his eye on you, making sure you were alright and fed, always standing or sitting next to you. He slept by you each night whenever he wasn’t taking watch, holding you to him in the darkness, and though he didn’t kiss you that often, he always kissed your lips goodnight and good morning. When his truck ran out of gas, together with most of your vehicles, he’d taken you with him on his bike, and he was always helping you around and making sure you were safe.

On your side, you’d cared for him for a long while now, but you grew more and more protective of him, which just meant you worried more and more about him whenever he went out alone, which just lead to more fights between you two. But you both still made up as easily as you fought.

Slowly, you relaxed more around him, enough to wrap your arms around him to hold him tight and kiss his cheek out of the blue or even his lips sometimes, when you thought he might be feeling down. He did the same to you in return, slowly becoming more open with physical affection though it was still not his thing, but he’d hold your hand or place a hand on your thigh, sitting next to you, when he thought you looked worried. He always asked you if you were okay and always made sure you were. Daryl had his way of taking care of you, that made you immensely happy, and by now you didn’t have any doubt about how deeply he cared for you, just as deeply as you cared for him.

You had left the CDC not even two weeks ago, but still, you felt as if you had been with Daryl for a long while, as if you had known him forever, you couldn’t imagine your life without him in it. You had fallen hard, you knew it, sometimes it made you feel like a teen with a crush, but mostly it just made you happy, bringing something good and warm to your harsh, horrible world.

It was worth the worry and the fights.

You were now waiting for Daryl to come back after he had gone out looking for Sophia again, and you knew a fight was going to break down between you two as soon as he were back. He had it coming.

Not even four days ago he’d almost died after once again going looking for Sophia alone, no matter you’d tried to go with him, always telling you he was better alone, leaving you behind to worry about him and to feel like a bother to him. He’d come back all bloodied and battered after falling down a ravine and taking an arrow to his side, and then as Andrea’d shot him by mistake, the bullet had grazed his head. He’d scared you to death. It had made you realize how deep and strong were your feelings for him too.

You hadn’t left his side, taking care of him as best as you could. That first evening he’d been asleep under the effects of exhaustion and the painkillers Hershel had given him. The next day, he had been so weak and hurting everywhere, he hadn’t complained about having to rest, spending the day with his head on your lap and the night snuggled to you. The day after that, when he was allowed to leave the bed as long as he rested in his tent, he’d still allowed you to take care of him, even though he’d been grumbling about being doing nothing and needing to go back to Sophia’s search.

But today, as he felt his strength returning, he’d been insufferable. Trying to go looking for Sophia no matter he still had stitches and his wounds were tender, as if he hadn’t almost died four days ago. You both had fought about it, long and hard, without reaching an agreement. You hadn’t left his side, though, determined not to let him leave, which had just angered him more, but you didn’t care as long as he was safe. However, you had taken your eyes off him just for five minutes to help Maggie ass he collected some eggs, and Daryl had disappeared.

You were mad at him, but mostly you were scared and worried.

Daryl didn’t come back until late in the afternoon, and when you saw him riding back into the farm and towards the stable, relief washed over you…and you were filled with anger. You rushed towards the stable before he could leave, closing the door behind you with a loud bang.

“I can’t believe you even took a damn horse again after you fell off one and almost killed yourself!” You all but yelled.

You saw Daryl tensing and he scoffed, but he didn’t look at you. “Ain’t the same one that threw me.”

“Woah, it seems you even think sometimes, who could have thought it!” You snapped. “Are you crazy?! Riding a horse when you still have stitches on your side?!”

“Leave me alone,” Daryl growled, turning over and trying to walk past you, but you didn’t let him.

“Why you always have to be so reckless?!” You stepped in front him, forcing him to stop so as not to push you to the side. “You’re still healing…you almost died, you heard Hershel, it’s a miracle you made it!”

“Yeah, whatever,” Daryl scoffed, still trying to walk around you. “Told you to leave me alone, Y/N!”

“I’m not leaving you alone, you’re gonna listen to me for once!” You stopped in front of him again. “I told you not to go! You’re still healing! You gotta recover first!”

“You can’t tell me what to do!” Daryl yelled back, finally losing his temper too and getting on your face. “Leave me alone! I don’t need any of this shit!”

“Yeah, I should leave you alone!” You didn’t back down, angrily snapping back. “Don’t know why I care! But I do, damn it. I care about you more than what you seem to do! I don’t want you to get hurt again! But you gotta be a damn stubborn, reckless man! You’re infuriating!”

“I never asked you to take care of me or nothing, woman!” Daryl scoffed. “I don’t need it! I’m not gonna listen to this shit anymore!”

Gently but firmly, he grabbed your arms to push you to the side so he could walk away, reaching the door and opening, which just made you even angrier.

“No, no, like hell you are walking away from me! Don’t you dare to!”

You grabbed Daryl’s wrist to stop him and he turned to glare at you at the same time that you lifted your hand to slam it against the door behind him and close it again. Daryl closed his eyes, flinching, and you froze in place. He opened his eyes again, looking at you without saying anything, breathing hard.

“Daryl?” You called for him quietly, taken aback, but he was still saying nothing. At first you didn’t know what had happened, and then you’d a horrible idea. “Daryl? You thought I was going to hit you?”

Without a word, Daryl turned around, opening the door and leaving. You couldn’t get yourself to follow him. Had he really thought you would hit him? The idea made you want to cry. You kicked back into action, walking out of the stable and looking around, but you couldn’t see Daryl anywhere, as if he’d vanished.

You went to your tent but he wasn’t there either, and none seemed to have seen him. They all saw your distress, and they told you he’d be alright, no matter he was stubborn and had probably gone out alone to look for Sophia again, and you didn’t feel like telling anyone what had happened.

You went to your tent, getting inside and zipping it close so none would see you. You felt awful. You always felt bad when you fought with Daryl, you always regretted yelling at each other and half the things you said, even though it seemed you both were unable to stop fighting. But the idea of Daryl thinking you’d hit him or hurt him in any way had you in tears. You couldn’t believe he’d think that. Had you yelled too much? Had you seemed too angry? And now he’d also disappeared, going somewhere alone and still hurt, he might get worse and it’d be your fault.

You wished you could go back, change things. You rubbed your eyes, sobbing quietly, feeling horrible. You hoped Daryl came back soon and safe, even if he decided he didn’t want to be with you anymore. You just needed to make him see you’d never, ever hurt him. Your heart broke at the idea of him thinking so.

Daryl didn’t come back almost until the sundown, when you were about to panic and go out looking for him, afraid he was hurt again, or worse. Finally, you heard your tent being unzipped and then Daryl crawled inside, closing the tent behind him again.

“Are you okay?” You could help but ask, scared and worried. Daryl only nodded without looking and you, still knelt down on the ground without having moved closer. You didn’t know what to do, you wanted to apologize and make thing rights, to assure him you’d never, ever hurt him. But maybe Daryl didn’t want to see you or talk to you. “Do you want me to leave?” You asked with a lump in your throat.

Still silent, Daryl shook his head, crawling to the sleeping bag where you were sat down, though he lied down at the other end, without touching you, lying on his side with his back to you. You still didn’t know what to do, unsure about him wanting you to speak, but needing to apologize.

“Daryl…” you began quietly. “I’m sorry about before, I’m sorry I yelled at you like that. I never mean to…but I worry…” You trailed off, Daryl still not saying anything, looking at the other side of the tent.

It took you a little while to gather the courage to actually ask, “Did you…did you think I was going to hit you?” Daryl didn’t say anything, but then he shrugged. “ I wasn’t going to, I promise. I would never, ever hit you, no matter we fight or I yell, I would never. I’m sorry…” You felt like crying at the idea of Daryl thinking you might. “I would never hurt you, never.” Daryl still didn’t say anything, and you didn’t know what to do.

“Couldn’t help it,” he eventually muttered.

“I would never do it, never,” you assured him again, hoping he would believe you and trust your words.

Daryl turned his head to finally look at you over his shoulder, and he nodded. “Okay.”

It didn’t reassure you much, as he was still serious and thoughtful, facing away from you, but you didn’t know what else to say or what to do. You could smell dinner getting cooked, so you decided to change the topic, see if you could take Daryl out of his mood.

“Do you want us to go dine?” Daryl shook his head at your words and once again you found yourself at lost at what to do, though you knew you wanted Daryl to eat something. “Maybe I could go and bring us something to dine here.” Daryl shrugged and you bit your lip. “Or I can leave you alone if you want, it’s okay…”

Daryl looked at you again at that, shaking his head. “No.”

“Okay.” It made you feel a little bit better. “Then I’ll go get us something to eat and I’ll be back.”

Daryl nodded, giving you a weak, tiny smile that you were thankful for. You leaned over to press a soft kiss to Daryl’s forehead, relieved when he didn’t flinch at your touch, before crawling out of the tent.

You went back with some of the food Carol had cooked, and Daryl and you ate in silence. Once you finished, you went to wash the dishes and came back to the tent to settle for the night. You sat down on the sleeping bag, and you were surprised when Daryl, still silent, lied down to rest his head on your lap.

You were still worried about him being upset with you or angry, so his gesture made you feel more at ease, although you were still worried about him. Daryl still seemed to be thoughtful and down, and you couldn’t help but think about the way in which he’d flinched during your fight. An idea kept coming to your mind, of him having been hit by any of his friends or family before, so he might expect it from you too even though you’d never done anything like that. You weren’t sure about bringing up the topic though, you weren’t sure it was a good idea. You stroked Daryl’s hair as you thought about it all.

 “I’m sorry about before too.” Daryl murmured quietly before you could say anything, turning so he could look at you from your lap. “I’m sorry I yelled and all that too.”

You gave him a weak smile, brushing your knuckles over his cheekbone. “It seems we can’t argue without yelling…but I never mean it.”

Daryl nodded, still seeming thoughtful. “It’s just…I can’t stay here doing nothing while Sophia is still lost.”

“I know, and I want to find her too, but why it has to be always you?” You loved Daryl’s heart and his desire to help, but you wished he’d think about himself first sometimes. “You’re hurt, you need to recover. You know I worry…”

“I know and I appreciate it, but I’m going to keep looking for her.” Daryl looked at you with sad eyes though he gave you a weak smile. “I’m good.”

You didn’t reply, you didn’t want another fight to break between you two, and it didn’t seem like you were going to reach an agreement. If he insisted on going looking for Sophia tomorrow, though, there was no way you were going to let him go alone without taking you with him, no matter if you fought about it again.

Daryl didn’t say anything else, turning to look away from you again, getting comfortable on the sleeping bag and your lap, and for a while, none of you said anything, until you dared to ask him what you wanted to.

“Daryl?” You called quietly and Daryl hummed without opening his eyes. “Did…did someone use to hit you?”

You felt him stiff and you regretted having said anything, afraid you’d made him upset or he’d be angry at you, or afraid you were making a fool out of yourself. Then he nodded, still silent, but you didn’t dare to ask anything else. Eventually, though, Daryl spoke.

“My old man used to beat me. He was a mean drunk, took it out of me, hit me cos he had drunk too much, or cos he hadn’t drunk and couldn’t find booze, or just cos anything. It got worse when Merle left.”

You didn’t know what to say, heartbroken but also angry. You couldn’t believe someone would abuse Daryl, but even less his own father. You hated he’d gone through that, and you wished you could take all his pain away. “I’m sorry…” You whispered, though you knew it sounded empty.

“That’s how I got the scars on my back.”

You’d seen them, but you’d never asked. You’d wondered if perhaps he’d gotten them on any problem or fight he and his brother might have gotten themselves in, with the reputation they had in town. The idea that his father’s abuse had been so bad was horrible. You felt like crying, and also like ripping his father’s throat open. You hoped by now he’d been eaten by a walker.

“I would never, ever hit you. Never.” You assured him fiercely. “I’ll never hurt you. I promise.”

Daryl turned his head to look at you again, giving you a small smile. “I know. I trust you.”

His words made your heart melt and you almost cried. It was hard to get Daryl to open up and to trust you, you knew it well, and you had already felt lucky he allowed such a level of intimacy with you, but hearing him say it made you feel warm and made your heart flutter with love.

“And I’m never letting anyone hurt you, I promise you that too,” you said as you caressed his cheek. “None would hurt you ever again, no while I’m here.” You didn’t care what you had to do, but you knew you’d protect Daryl from anything, humans and walkers, as much as you could, you weren’t going to let anything hurt him again.

Daryl didn’t say anything but he smiled to you, taking your hand to lace your fingers and bringing your knuckles to his lips to kiss them, making your heart melt again. Then he gently pushed you to lie down on the sleeping bag, keeping himself snuggled to you and his head on your stomach. You smiled softly, reaching out to take the lantern and turn it off, leaving the tent in darkness.

You were stroking Daryl’s hair lazily, almost asleep already, when you heard him whisper, “I ain’t never letting anyone or anything hurt you either.”

You smiled, your heart filled with happiness, wrapping your arm around Daryl, holding him to you. No matter what, you knew you’d both protect each other from anything, and it made the horrible world you lived in look better, less harsh. As long as you both were together, taking care of each other, things would be alright.