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Lollipops: A Christmas Special

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It begins and ends with those little fuckers. No clue what he's gonna do when they really do fucking run out of them. Probably go searching four towns over just to make his wife smile that goddamn heart stopping smile full of teeth and full cheeks. Wife. It still makes him reel, thinking of Beth like that. His gorgeous wife who birthed his son who bears his name. It's too fucking much, everything he's got in such a shitty existence. Shit scary too, fucking terrifying, but he's learning to handle it so he can get his head in the fucking game and protect them. It's all he functions for anymore, the only reason he still walks the Earth.

No one and nothing else motivates him like his family and he'll never put anyone before them. Fucking crazy, since he never thought he would think like that. Years ago, he would have thought about exactly one person: his own damn self. Merle looked out for his own drunk ass, so Daryl didn't have no qualms about looking out for himself too. Now he's the last person he thinks about. When he doesn't jump from three stories, it isn't because he fears the pain or the breaking of one of his bones, it's because he wouldn't be able to walk to his son's crib and pick him up in the dead of the night to cradle, leaving his precious girl to sleep.

Her too. She's the reason he turns back from danger. So he can massage her tired shoulders, so he can soothe her after a day of looking after their son, feeding him with milk she produces all by her goddamn self. Fuck, she's perfect. He don't deserve her; don't deserve to look at the stretched skin their son left behind, evidence of the miracle she carried and birthed. Don't deserve his big, dirty hands on her fucking amazing body that he watched grow and transform and bloom before it reduced, shrunk, reshaped. She blows his fucking mind with her big blue eyes and soft, downy hair.

He loves her. Plain and simple. Loves her so much fucking more for protecting their son in her damn stomach. It's his wife he watches now with eager eyes, tracking her puzzled frown as she tucks at the ribbon he hastily tied together. There's a spot of blood on it after he cut his sweaty hand when it slid down onto his blade killing a walker. She doesn't care though: excitement is beaming out of her eyes despite the frown, her fingers eager on the satin.

"Just tell me what it is," she breathes as she glances up at him, still tugging.

Daryl smirks, eyes drawn as always to the wedding band on her left finger. "Open it an' you'll see."

She giggles and looks back down, putting conscious effort into it and finally, successfully unties the ribbon, smoothing it out on the table they're sat at. Her hands are practically shaking as she opens the little gift box he hauled out of an old Walmart, glancing down as the flat pack walls of the box collapse outwards dramatically and reveal the gift.

"Oh my God!" Beth exclaims, gripping the clear bag tied with red and green shiny ribbon. "Oh my God!" She repeats.

Daryl huffs a laugh, fingers fidgeting under the table. "You like 'em?"

"Like? Like?" She asks almost hysterically. "Daryl, thank you so much!"

He watches her as she pulls at the bag, ready to rip it open for the candy inside. "No," he says, reaching his hand over.

She looks up at him with big, doe eyes. "What? Why? Daryl, it's a candy cane," she stresses, like he didn't search a whole damn town for them.

"Yeah, I see that," he answers, tugging on the bag until it comes out of her hand. "You ain't havin' 'em yet. Got bigger plans for 'em."

She gapes at him. "So you're teasin' me? You're showin' me what I ain't allowed to eat yet?"

He smirks. "Winter's here. Christmas."

She arches an eyebrow. "You can't possibly know that."

He shrugs. "Guess."

"I really can't have them?" She asks, deflated. "Not even one?"

"Yeah," he says easily. "You can have 'em now an' never know what I got planned or you can wait for summat better."

"What kinda plans?"

"Sexy ones. Dirty ones," he answers without missing a beat. "Fuckin' filthy."

Never will he get bored of the way Beth's eyes blow wide with lust. "I'll wait."