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This is why

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It's wrong, it's immoral, it's also kind of really weird but she has the most intense crush on Daryl Dixon.

It wasn't something she thought right away. When she first met him, he didn't even catch her eye. Honestly, nobody caught her eye. She was going through a stage in her life that was quickly resembling a large black hole of nothingness which allowed for no light or joy to fill her days and soon any hope she had was just being continuously sucked out of her.

That was a dark period in her lifeline, one where she couldn't bring herself to sing or get her mind to think of new lyrics; when all her creativity and passion and love she usually felt was being stamped on and destroyed. But then they left the farm, lost it and although she was sad, although she was scared, it was cleansing.

So many happy memories had been made on her little farm, but they were overtaken by the startling fear and depression she experienced so deeply in her last months there, leaving a vivid imprint and a void that, no matter how much she tried to embrace the good over the bad, she couldn't forget about.

It's not something she could explain to someone then let alone now and it's not something that she can make rational sense of either. There was just something that manifested in the very foundation of the house when the walkers came, breathing fear and paranoia until the atmosphere was as tense as a held breath.

The walls were closing in on her practically every day, crushing her free spirit and the song from her lungs until one day they just shut. The day that her mama died and then Shaun soon after that with no downtime to get over the immense change in her life, one without her mama's guidance and support.

Once her mama was taken, there was no one to pull her out of the sinkhole that house became. Deciding to slit her wrist was a huge but very conscious and thought out decision. But when it was time to take action, when she pulled the broken glass over her tender flesh and let it tear, she realised she was feeding it.

Letting her blood splash against the bathroom tiles and absorb the very last of her life force. It was the defining, startling reason why she didn't want to die. Standing there letting that malevolent energy completely take her was not how she wanted to go. She didn't want to give in. She wanted to fight. She wanted to kill and gut and survive like Rick's group.

She wanted to wield a gun and run like she was flying, she wanted to shed the scared little girl who prayed to God and cried for her old life, for all the little things she used to complain about. Beth wanted to be strong, brave and utterly fearless.

To walk with hairy legs and shorts like Andrea, to stand up to judgement and disappointment like Lori, to shout her mouth off and share her opinions like Maggie and be respected like her daddy. Most of all, she wanted to be like Rick and his people, but not just be like them, but be one of them.

Later, in the prison, that's exactly what she was. She still wasn't quite the woman she wanted to be, still flinched when she stabbed a walker through the skull, still got taken off guard by the throwback of her gun, but she was one step closer to being that woman and every day, one step closer to staying alive.

Coming back to life was a difficult process; an intense one, like being reborn. Everything was sharper, brighter, more vivid and open to her. She took note of things, of people, of their expressions and their behaviours. Carol's nervous ear scratch, Rick's face rubbing, Carl's fingers clenching the edge of his daddy's hat, Maggie's nail picking and Daryl's lip chewing.

Daryl.

He became the most vivid of all, the most startling, exploding in her vision to a new light. He was so handsome and one of the best men she had ever met. Kind beneath all of his bravado and fiercely loyal. Full of an intense need to please and a heart rending vulnerability on his shoulders that she didn't think he was aware of.

All his nervous little ticks and habits, his deep-set scowls and bulging, menacing biceps. Despite the sensory overload he is to her, the one thing she picks out of the crowd the most is the way he sucks his fingers clean. He does it all the time and sometimes he looks like he's just doing it for the sake of doing it, a mindless habit.

Other times it's a very conscious thing, something defiant and unique. Every time he sucks his fingers clean of a meal he's proving a point, marking his stance to whoever's watching. There's still old-world manners in these people's bones and they don't have cutlery anymore but no one eats as savagely as Daryl does, something still prim and proper in the way they clean up.

He was a hillbilly, a common guy and he knows it. He still doesn't feel like he fits in with them, that he's one of them and she identifies with that because she feels like this group have embraced her loving father and her strong-willed sister but she's just the unfortunate side package that got tied to those two skilled members of the group.

Beth understands how Daryl feels, she understands the need to clean his fingers off with his mouth like an animal and show his defiant need to stand out from the crowd and be accepted for all of his flaws. But while she identifies and respects the movement, she's also completely and utterly fixated on it.

There's not one thing she can think of in this world that has ever turned her on so much. To be completely honest, she's never really experienced things like this. In the time where she should have been understanding her body and exploring with boys, she was losing her family, her life and her mind.

There was never time for that and now it's like everything that was repressed and shut down is sparking back to life any time she glances at Daryl's biceps or his hair in his eyes or his ass, the outline of his crotch and God, every goddamn time he sucks his fingers, it's like her panties are being soaked with several glasses of water and it leaves her red faced and aching.

She's never wanted someone so bad in her life and it's progressively getting harder to act normal or even pay attention to her surroundings when she's got Daryl in her sights. Like right now, she is literally sitting in front of her whole family but her stupid fucking eyes won't tear themselves away from Daryl's thick fingers disappearing into his mouth.

He pulls them free and reaches down hooked fingers to his cut open can before he stops, looking up at her from under his eyelashes and through the fringes of his hair. "What? Ain't got no fancy ass table manners like you but I ain't no fuckin' freak show to stare at, girl."

Beth startles and glances around as everyone stops talking and stares at the two of them. With burning cheeks, she looks back down at her food. "Er, nothin', just spaced out. Sorry."

Daryl hums and scoops up more food while Maggie places the back of her hand on Beth's forehead and forces her to look up. "You comin' down with somethin'? We were out there all winter. What'd you think daddy? Is she sick?"

"Calm down," Beth mutters, jerking away. "M'fine, jus' a little tired."

"Beth, just let daddy loo-"

"I said I'm fine!" She snaps.

The table falls silent again and it's Daryl's interested eyes she connects with before she glances away sharply and backs her chair out so it scrapes across the floor. Without a word she leaves, her heart beating wildly and her face bright red but clit pulsing so hard she nearly cums when she catches Daryl's eyes tracking her walking out the door.

Later on, after her meltdown, long after everyone's gone to sleep, Beth is starving. She abandoned nearly all her dinner earlier on and while it's not only biting her in the ass now, it was a really fucking stupid idea then because she knows better than to waste food. Now a feeling she knows all too well is stirring and this time, it's not because of Daryl Dixon.

She's so goddamn hungry and she's willing to take down anyone who gets in her way of eating. Setting her face into a scowl in case of stragglers tonight, she smacks her curtain aside and leaves her cell practically on her toes. There doesn't seem to be anyone around though which is good because she hasn't got much tolerance for human interaction.

She's pretty sure her periods coming, which isn't something she's been able to experience all winter being under fed and exhausted. Now her body is settling back into regular meals, she's been cramping up and her skin is acting out. Any day now though it could be coming and she's more certain of the thought when she gets a pang in her sweet tooth.

God, she misses chocolate so bad. Ice cream too. Licking her lips, Beth slips into the kitchen and cradles her stomach. What can she eat that's going to satisfy her craving? The sweetest thing they've got is jam… She hunts around the kitchen for it and uncaps the lid, glancing around quickly before she pulls a Daryl and scoops jam onto her fingers.

Her eyes flutter closed as she moans to herself, opening them quickly and reaching inside for another eager scoop. "Hey, save summa that."

Beth jumps, nearly dropping the jar and barely catching it against the counter. "You scared the crap outta me wh-"

She goes silent as she looks up, her voice dying in her throat. Daryl Dixon is out of bed and he looks sinful. His hair is mussed and standing up in a way she's never seen before and lends a boyish quality to his face as do his relaxed eyes. Apparenly, it's too soon for him to start scowling yet.

His face isn't even the most torturous part though because the man that rides her every thought train is standing in front of her in nothing but sweats. Low slung ones that sit on his hips like temptation. She can't even believe this is something she's witnessing as if she needs to pinch herself to confirm reality.

Never in all her wildest fantasies has she pictured Daryl wearing sweatpants. He doesn't seem like the type of guy but Jesus was she wrong. Nothing has ever looked so good on him and with no top on either, all hell is breaking loose between her legs. While she's internally rejoicing, she watches Daryl grow more uncomfortable.

Beth frowns a little, feeling almost bad for finding such visual pleasure in his appearance when she can see how tense and rigid his whole spine has gone.

"What?" He snaps.

She shakes her head trying to analyse his jumping muscles. Does he want to run? If he wants to leave, why is he still here?

"Nothin'," she finally answers. "Just cravin' some sweet stuff."

He hums and crosses his arms and God she hopes he doesn't notice her squeeze her legs together in her pathetic little sleep shorts. Looking between the two of them and what they're wearing, Beth finds it almost shameful that they've resorted to wearing different outfits to sleep in.

It's like they're too comfortable here already, even though Daryl's been talking about staying on guard and Beth has been privately agreeing with him. Yet here they are, completely unprepared should anything happen. Her in a crappy vest top and tiny shorts and his bare feet, shirtless torso and wielding nothing but those goddamn huge biceps.

After dancing a little on his feet, he seems to make the decision to stay because he steps forward, albeit with a jerk in his step. "Why'd you run off earlier?"

She scoops up more jam, blushing when he raises his eyebrow at her choice in cutlery. "Just sick of Maggie not listenin' to me. She's scared I'm lyin' 'bout how I'm feelin' 'cause of… y'know," she finishes with a shrug.

Daryl comes closer and while she sticks her fingers in her mouth and licks them clean, he reaches over with his own two hooked fingers and chooses a huge chunk of jam, pressing it along the side and coaxing it out of the opening all the way up to his mouth. With her own jam long swallowed, she stares as he licks his fingers clean.

By the end of it, she's no longer sucking her own but biting them, her heart racing in her chest at his eyes staring unflinchingly at her. "Right."

There's a silence but it's not awkward and they fill it by taking turns to dip their fingers in the jam and scoop up chunks to their mouth. After a while, she feels too sick to carry on although still craving ice cream despite her sickly stomach. Daryl goes on twice more before he stops too, turning the lid with one hand and using his other to suck a droplet of jam up from his thumb.

Not long after he pushes it aside, he clears his throat and jerks his chin in a random direction. "Gonna head out."

"Okay, night," she mumbles, still not tired enough to go to her cell.

Daryl nods and turns to leave, her eyes straying to his ass for so long she nearly misses the scars all over his back when he goes to turn the corner. Before she can stop herself, she gasps aloud and because it's so quite it resounds off of everything, tripling her heart rate in a second flat.

He stops and turns on the heels of his feet, a lot more graceful than she would have expected him to be and scowls at her. "You got summat to say?"

Beth blushes and shakes her head, realising this must have been why he was dancing around the door earlier. He wanted to turn and leave straight away but he knew she would see his back and instead he tried to delay by coming in here and interacting with her. Daryl scowls deeper and she blushes even harder.

"I'm sorry," she apologises quickly as he opens his mouth. "I really am."

"You're always fuckin' judgin' ain't you?" He hisses. "First at dinner an' now this."

"No!" Beth denies quickly, standing from her seat and rounding the table as she says, "you've got it all wrong, Dar-"

His voice raises as he comes closer. "Have I? Cause' you're always starin'! Catch you lookin' at me all damn day! What is it, girl? You ain't never seen a hillbilly before? Walkers comin' make you rude?"

"What? Daryl c'mon, you're blowin' this way outta proportion! It ain't like that!"

"Liar," he mutters darkly. "You been watchin' me since the farm. You got summat against me? You got somethin' to say? Why don't you go ahead and jus' say it, girl, damn!"

"I don't judge you when I stare at you, idiot! I don't stare 'cause I'm judgin' you! I stare 'cause I can't stop thinkin' 'bout you!"

A pin could be heard in the silence but all that sounds is Beth's muttered, "shit."