It had been one hundred and sixteen days since that one early autumn evening had happened. One hundred and sixteen days and none of these had made it any easier for Daryl. In contrast. It had been over three months now, but he still couldn't realise what had happened back then. It had been one hundred and sixteen days, since his life had changed completely and Beth Greene's had blown out forever.
Daryl hated to think about this day, he forced himself to not do so. He had even punished and harmed himself a few times to stop it, but his memories had their own way. And if he wasn't thinking about that day, about what he had done wrong or not at all, Daryl was thinking about her. The whole day long, every hour, every minute, every second, every moment. Even in his dreams.
But even when he had thought about that time back one hundred and sixteen days already so often, he could just remember about a few things, not at everything at all. And somehow he was glad about that, because the less things he still knew, were enough for him to wake up every few hours at night. Screaming and bathed in sweat.
Daryl could ask the other to tell him about the things he had missed or didn't know any more to finish his incomplete puzzle, they would tell him about it. But at the same time he knew it was better he couldn't remember about everything any more. Of course, the other were and acted also all different since that day, especially around him, but the happenings hadn't changed the other as much as him.
They all tried to leave him alone, leave him his peace and space, because talking to him didn't work, they already got that pretty soon. It wasn't a good time for all of them, but since a few weeks things became better again, at least for them. They were happy, even smiled, except when he entered the same room. They had all pretty quickly forgotten about what had happened or at least didn't want to think and talk about it any more.
A gift Daryl didn't have got, even when he also didn't want it. Just the thought about forgetting her caused his whole body to cramp and filled with new sadness. They were in Alexandria now, in a village. In a real, working village. And it made their all lives easier, but for Daryl it made everything just even more difficult, heavier and worse. The other, especially Rick, were trying to employ him with work, but they could only do that during the days.
In the nights he was alone with his thoughts and memories. And they were even louder then. Daryl had thought he had found his place in the group, but he hadn't. It was only because of her and now he was all alone and misunderstood again. He was here because he was still here. No more, no less. He was still breathing, but he wasn't living at all.
Even when they were still back in the forest, in the middle of nowhere, Daryl had already tried it then the first time to kill himself. He had run away, while everyone was still asleep. He had almost made it, already had the blade of her knife by his wrist, when Rick found him. Since that day, they didn't leave him alone for too long any more.
The second and third time was when they were already here in Alexandria. Aaron had got sceptical, when he had left into the woods with a rope and Denise had caught him, when he had just wanted to steal different medicines to finally fall asleep forever and make the voices inside his head silent.
It was his brother's, mother's, father's, Hershel's, Maggie's, Rick's and the rest of their family members voices, but never Beth's. Somehow he was glad about that, he probably wouldn't be able to stand to hear her beautiful voice for one more time, but on some days he simply begged for it. The voices told him all the things he had done wrong, not good enough and how damn disappointed they were about him. Even when Daryl already knew these things by himself. They talked to him all day long, made him reproaches and what a useless person he actually was.
No one understood Daryl or his feelings, but he didn't care about that, because there was only one person in the whole wide world, who could understand him. And she was gone. Like she had told him once. And he couldn't even tell with words, how fucking much he missed her. Everything about her.
It should had been him instead of her. He was nothing, worthless in contrast to her. Beth was everything, especially for him. She didn't deserve that kind of sudden, pointless death, even when she also didn't deserve it to be in a world like this. But ending her life in that way was more than just brutal for him.
He hoped, wished, prayed to God, that hopefully it had happened fast. That she hadn't any pain or fear. Just imagine so made Daryl damn angry about himself. Just with this thought his belly began to knot, imagine it that Beth was in pain and he wasn't able to do anything against it, to take it away from her.
The tears he had cried that one fatal evening, the next days and even the next weeks long were different from the tears he was crying right now. He had finally realised what had really happened there, even when at the same time he still hadn't at all. It seemed like a dark, scary nightmare, but it was his life since one hundred and sixteen days.
That time back the tears were running out of his eyes without any stop, he couldn't control them. He was crying all the time, even when he was asleep. He just had to look at anything random, because just everything remembered him about her, and new ones already rolled down his cheeks. But now it was different. His tears weren't just water any more, they had a deep meaning, had so many feelings inside, were more or less controlled.
During the day he tried to hold them back, but in the evenings, when he was sitting all alone in his room, he let them fall down his face. He saved them the whole day long to let them out in the end. And he had never thought it was possible, but right now they hurt even more. Maybe because of that.
Every situation he had with her together started every morning and the last once, the bad once, were playing in front of his inner eyes in the evenings. It was the same every day. The things he could have done better, more often and the worst, the things he should have done, but hadn't. He really had the chance to get the life he had always wanted, dreamed about, but had never even dared to ask for, to get her and he just failed pitifully like always.
Daryl didn't know what to do any more, he couldn't help himself, nobody could. He was already desperately and slowly became to get crazy. Why couldn't the other just leave him alone and let him die like he wanted so bad? Then his pain would have an end and he could be with Beth again, like he had already wanted that one autumn evening.
He didn't have anything left from her, expect that knife he hugged every night. If he had had a shirt from Beth, with her scent, that would probably make his tears stronger, but his heart also a little lighter, at least for some moments.
He knew it wasn't possible, also back then, but sometimes he wished he would have a photo from her. Because Daryl was afraid about forgetting her beautiful face. The way she had smiled at him, how her angel eyes were shining, how golden her pretty hair was. Just everything.
He missed her voice and especially her soft touches, but nothing could bring these back to him. Sometimes, and Daryl knew it was a bad thought, he wished to have her diary, so he could at least have her thoughts saved. He wasn't interested in the things she had written inside the little book, but just the knowing, that these words came from her hands and thoughts gave him chills.
But he hadn't anything really left from her. Just his memories, which didn't let him sleep.
It was today, when the cold December wind had blown next to his body and the faint light of the sun had fallen over the frozen lake, when Daryl suddenly knew what he wanted to do tonight, what he wanted to try.
That view somehow remembered him about his father. Daryl's mother had died in a dry summer and months later his old man still wasn't over his wife's death, of course he wasn't. Beth and Daryl's mother couldn't get compared and also the feelings he had right now and his father had back then, but still someone special had left the other life in a brutal, sad way.
Even when Daryl was still little then, he remembered, that his father had lighted up a single candle in their living room at a day like this. Just sat in front of the candle and watched the flame hours long. And till today Daryl hadn't understood his father, but now he somehow did.
Everyone was downstairs in the living room to warm up themselves by the fire, but like every evening Daryl left alone into his cold room after dinner. No one questioned so any more, even when he knew they were still worried, that he could try to harm or kill himself again.
Daryl didn't use anything inside his room. He felt like he didn't deserve it. He slept on the hard ground, without a blanket. Still hadn't used the shower or any of the new clothes, he knew were inside his closet.
And Daryl also knew, that there was standing a candle in one of the shelfes, he hadn't used till today. He always sat in complete darkness here, didn't want any light, because his real light was gone.
But tonight he took the candle down from the shelfe and placed it on the little, round table in the middle of his room. The first few seconds he just stared at the white wax, like he was waiting for something. But if he was serious, he was simply scared, just horrified about what will happen, even when he knew at the same time, that nothing will happen at all. Maybe because of that he was so scared.
After breathing one more time deep inside his lungs, Daryl took the lighter into his shaking hand and finally lighted up the candlewick with a fast raising heart. While still holding back his breath, he took the candle carefully into the middle of the table and like his father had done years ago, Daryl just stared into the flame.
In that moment he really felt like his old man. He exactly knew how he must have felt back then or at least a little. Because the feelings Daryl had right now, were nothing in contrast to the feelings his father had, if you could even give it that name. Of course, his father was also sad and desperately, but these feelings Daryl just had in his little finger.
But still he could somehow indicate himself with his father. Even understood it why he had acted the way he had, after his mother had died. But all that didn't mean, that it was okay to beat the hell out of his children.
Something Daryl won't ever do. Harm and hurt himself, that he could understand, he had already done so, but torture and mistreat someone, who couldn't help it, wasn't the solution. Especially someone helpless, broken and traumatized like the little boy he was back then, who had just lost his mother.
But still Daryl looked into the flame and his whole body filled with new sadness. He knew his father had done the same thing like him at the moment. Had just looked helpless into the flame. Daryl had watched his father doing so from the door frame, not knowing what he was doing there.
For what was he waiting for? What did he expect? And he still didn't know the answer to what his old man had done back then, but still he did the exact same thing right now. Since Daryl was little, he could never handle or at least name the feelings he had inside himself.
He didn't know what happiness was, what you called hope or how love felt. But he exactly knew sadness, pain and angst and what these feelings caused his body and made him do. And so Daryl also hadn't known how to handle the many unnamed feelings he had back then, when his mother had passed away and his father was as far away as her.
He was laying all alone in his room, on top of his old bed with the even older and stinky pillows and blanket, staring tired up at the celling. He had asked himself what had happened to his mother and right now he also asked himself so about Beth.
Of course, he knew from both how they had died, but where were they now? There just had to be a place where all the gone people had to be. That just couldn't be the end and also not the beginning.
And just then a thought, Daryl hadn't since such a long time, suddenly hit him again. Maybe because he was still also a kid back then when his mother had died, he had always imagined, that they were all coming back as kids. Not here in this world, Daryl was captured in right now, but somewhere else.
Where they could be free, could do whatever they wanted. Being just happy and peacefully. They were all kids, didn't matter with which age they have died, because children were always unconcerned. So the place, where they all had to be, looked for Daryl.
They were all playing together, were nice, helpful and kind. Didn't have any problems, because children didn't have any. They didn't fight, made wars or hurt each other. They were all together there on one big meadow. The people they had become here in this
world didn't exist any more. The things they had done didn't count any more. It was all gone.
And even when he didn't want, when he didn't feel like he deserved it, Daryl began to smile, when he thought about a young, sweet Beth Greene. The way her golden locks were flying in the wind, her big, blue eyes shining with the sun together, frenckles everywhere in her cute face and that sincerly, warm smile on her lips.
Daryl saw her like that in front of his inner eyes. Little Beth, running unconcerned over the meadow, trying to catch butterflies and smiling all over her face, when the sun tickled her nose. She have had to be such a sweet, kind girl, when she was younger. Some neighbours girl everyone liked and loved to see smiling like that. She was everyone's sunshine and that had never changed over the years.
In the very next second, Daryl imagined a picture in front of his inner eyes, which caused some tears to burn in this eyes instantly. He was also little now, the small and way to thin little boy with his messy hair and dirty, old clothes. Never having the force to look someone directly into the eyes and always seemed so wild and unsure at the same time.
Without any hesitant little Beth came directly into his direction, showed him one of her sweetest smiles and looked with her baby blue eyes up at him, so Daryl couldn't move even one muscle, when she took his hand into hers and leaded them over to the big tree on top of a little hill.
When they were close enough, and Daryl didn't stare all shocked at the sweet girl in front of him anymore, he got it, that there was a wooden swing festened on a big branch. Suddenly Beth let go from his hand for sitting down on the swing and expectant she looked over her shoulder back to Daryl, while she glasped the rope of the swing with her tiny fists.
For the first time a happy smile got on Daryl's lips, when he got it that Beth wanted him to swing her. Even when she was a little girl, she still trusted him and wanted to become friends with him. Beth Greene was simply magic for Daryl. The bright smile and her happy giggles were everything for him, when she looked back at him, while he swinged her till sunset was coming over the country.
So imagined Daryl heaven and hell, he really couldn't wait for it. He couldn't wait for little Beth, to swing her all day long and look directly back into her cute face. It would have been enough for him, enough for the rest of his being.
When Daryl was himself a little boy, he had always wished, even hoped, that when someone loses a beloved person, they were able to see each other again for one last time. Before they have to go separate ways and the dead one had to go to the place, where all the children were.
They could talk to each other one last time, tell them things they have missed, while they were both alive and the other still had to know. They could touch each other one last time, feel the other to make the good bye less heartbreaking.
Every one should become this last time with their loved ones. They just couldn't leave without saying good bye. It wasn't fair, especially when one still had to tell the other so much. But didn't matter how often Daryl had prayed so before going to bed, to see his mother tonight in his dreams one last time, it never happened
All what he had was this wish and the hope, that wherever his mother and now also Beth where, was a nice place. And maybe, maybe they were all children again now. Didn't think about anything difficult, just lived in the moment and were endless happy.
While Daryl was still looking into the flame, being deep inside his thoughts, tears were rolling down his face without even knowing so. Of course, it was terrible what had happened to his mother, but it was nothing, really nothing in contrast to what had happened to Beth. His beloved Beth.
In contrast to his mother, she was always there for him. Believed in him and his actions, trusted him without any hesitant, accepted and understood him without even asking. Beth was way too good for this world and hell, if Daryl had been able to, he would have stopped the world to change into the one it had become. Just for her.
She deserved better, so much better, but he had never wanted her to leave anytime soon and especially not the way she had. Beth deserved better, but not like that. Daryl could just hope, that right now she had it better. Right now she didn't have to feel angst, worried or desperately any more.
But he won't ever find out so and it broke his heart every time he remembered himself about that. Didn't matter how much or how often he prayed, wished and tried to whoever was listening to talk into to stop it, to make it unhappen and take him instead of her. But nothing happened, it was the same every day and he won't ever find it out, till the day they will meet again. For Daryl, this day should have already been the second Beth's lifeless, shot body had fallen to the hospital ground.
Even when he forced himself to not do so, he still couldn't stop himself from asking how much pain she must have had. And no one could help her, it was too late. Daryl had wanted to pretend her from everything bad so much, but finally she got the worst. And it was all his fault, he had failed again.
It made him sick, thinking about how much misery and throes she must have felt. He couldn't even imagine it and it should have been really him instead of her. Beth was too pure, too beautiful, too unique and too perfect to die so soon. For him, it would have been the perfect death. Painfully, senseless and unexpected, but not for her. Not for his Beth.
While Daryl was still looking into the flame, reminisce about things he thought about since so many days, his head become heavy, when he supported his chin on top of his palm. The things he could have made better, the things he had done completely wrong, the things he should have told her, should have showed her.
Finally also his eyes became heavy, his cheeks all red from the warmth of the flame and the cold winter air he had inhaled the whole day long, while working outside. Slowly his head began to sink with his hands, till he fell asleep on top of the table.
Daryl had to blink three times to get used to the bright light, in the middle he was standing. Finally he got it, that he was in the middle of a forest. He was never in this one before, nothing looked familiar to him. It almost seemed and also felt for him like this forest wasn't from this world.
Everything looked so calm, peacefully, bright and silent. Only the birds were hear able in the treetops, singing their song, some butterflies were flying next to him and the sunbeams made their ways trough the branches. Suddenly one white dove flew over his head into the distance and Daryl followed the animal, till his eyes suddenly caught something standing in the middle of the forest.
He narrowed his eyes sharp to get a better look from what was standing there so far away from him. It was something white, he could tell for sure, but only after staring at it for moments, he finally got it at what he was actually looking at. And he just couldn't believe it. It couldn't be true, it was impossible.
It was her. It was Beth. Standing in a white, long dress, her golden locks in her usual high braid and with that bright, familiar smile on her lips she was looking back at him. For the first few heartbeats, Daryl was just endless shocked and overwhelmed.
He couldn't, he just couldn't believe his eyes, trust them about what they were showing him. They had already made fun of him so often, since she was gone. But his heart had never given up. Maybe it was really her.
Maybe it was all just a nightmare and nothing had ever happened to her. Maybe she was still here. Safe. Alive. These thoughts were running wildly trough his head, while Daryl still kept on staring at her with an opened mouth and unbelievable eyes.
And even if he wanted, he just couldn't stop the tears building up in his eyes, also his hands began to shake and his heart wanted to jump out of his chest. "Beth." He whimpered helpless to himself, still unsure if he should keep standing where he was, to look at the beauty she was for one last time before he will blink and she will be gone again, or trying to run to her, to either find out if it was just in his imitations or maybe..
Even when it would be the last thing he would be able to do in this world, run over to her and take her tight into his arms, Daryl would always do it, because it was his Beth. She was his life. She was worth it all and even more and he would do everything for her, even when it would mean his own death.
Without any more hesitant, he finally began to run, run like he had never done in his life before. While rushing as fast as possible, he begged to whoever was listening, that Beth will still be there, when he will finally reach her. That it wasn't just a dream. That he could really touch her, tell her everything he ever wanted, see her again.
"Beth. Beth. Beth." He repeated every few seconds and with every step he got closer to her. Her name falling over his own lips felt so good, so liberating. And his heart began to pound even harder, faster and louder against his rips the closer he came to her. First she was only a silhouette, but soon he could make out Beth's beautiful smile, her locks flying in the wind and her bright, light blue eyes fixed at him and only him.
She looked so real, so touchable, like in his memories. Daryl was always afraid about forgetting how she looked like. The unique way Beth had smiled at him, how her soft touches felt, how good her words were. Even when she would be gone, when he will finally reach her, he could still lock this last picture of her deep inside himself. So he won't ever forget how she looked like.
"Beth. Don't go away. Stay. Please. I need you. Beth." Daryl begged breathless with trembling lips, even when she kept where she was. Even when she didn't move one inch, he was still afraid about losing her again. And then he could suddenly hear it. It was only one word, but it was enough for him to believe she won't go anywhere, because it came from her own lips.
"Daryl." It was nothing more, only his name, but it was enough. He had thought he won't ever be able to hear it coming from her soft lips any more and it simply gave him goose bumps everywhere on his body. Daryl came closer and closer to where she was still standing in the middle of the soft moss.
All the feelings he had captured, held back the last months, came on the surface now, while he made his way over to his Beth. How could someone love only one human so damn much? All the feelings he had, even the one he couldn't name, belonged to her. Beth made Daryl feel this beautiful, heartbreaking way.
And finally only one word held the two of them apart. "Beth." Daryl whimpered once more, before he crashed into her stretched out arms and wrapped his around her small upper body to pull her as tight as possible against his chest.
She really was it. Beth, she was real. Here. Safe. Alive. In his arms and he won't ever let her go again. Tears were streaming uncontrollable out of his eyes and landed safe on top of her skin, while he had his face buried deep inside the soft skin of her neck.
He could exactly feel the way his whole body was shaking and if she wouldn't have her arms around his neck, he would fall apart and into a million little pieces. He exactly knew it. And even when Daryl had his eyes pressed close, he still also knew that everything on her was like in his memories.
Her scent, he unique, special, delicious scent he had used to fill his lungs with whenever he could. A mixture between honey, the forest, a warm summer night and the sun. The way her hair tickled his skin, whenever he had comen closer to her locks. The sound of her angel voice, when she repeated his name over and over again, trying to calm down his nerves so.
But he won't ever, because he had her back. And he will stay like that for the rest of his life. Nothing could take his Beth away from him any more. She was part of him, his better half, the reason he was still here. Daryl didn't even try to calm down, he simply didn't want to. He just wanted to let everything out right now, because now he could. Now Beth was back. The only one that understood and could heal him.
"Daryl. Oh, my chaperone." She whispered against his ear and caused even more tears rolling down his cheeks. Beth felt so good in his arms, he had almost forgotten how alive, special and happy her hugs had always made him feel. "It's alright Daryl. Please, try to calm down. Shsh... Everything will be good." Beth tried once more and even when he wanted to spend the rest of his life in her arms, he still pulled a little away, till their eyes could meet and new tears filled his already glassy and red eyes.
Only then Daryl eyed her close for the first time. Even when she was still the same, still his Beth, she also looked different at the same time. Her golden locks seemed longer and brushed in that high, perfect braid.
Beth looked so clean, her white, long dress was nowhere dirty and just flew unconcerned in the warm breeze. Only then Daryl got it, that it was summer here. It was warm, not uncomfortable hot or biter cold, like in Alexandria. What was this place here? Where were they?
There were no wounds, scars or bruises in her face or somewhere else on her body. Even the bullet hole was gone. With a shaking hand Daryl carefully had to stroke over this part of her face, where the shot had gone trough her body. But there wasn't anything. Just her soft, warm skin.
Instead, little freckles covered most part of the skin around her nose. Especially that little one on the tip of her nose was simply the cutest. Beth's lips were rosy and looked so soft as always. Daryl had already dreamed about them more than once, so kissable they were looking for him.
And finally his look wandered up to her eyes. Her beautiful, light blue angel eyes he had fallen in love with the very first second. They were so endless clear, lovingly and made him speechless every time. Like a God damn angel Beth looked up at him and Daryl still couldn't believe how lucky and happy he was in this moment, while he framed her sweet face with his shaking palms and stroked gently over her warm cheeks.
Best he wanted to bury his face against her neck again, being so overwhelmed, grateful, relieved and ashamed all at the same time. But Beth made him stop so easy with also taking his face inside her soft palms and whispering against his nose "Hey my chaperone. I have missed you."
Daryl pressed his eyes closed for some moments to let her words and their meaning sink inside himself. He didn't deserve her, her warm words, her attention and she also shouldn't miss someone like him, after what he had done or better hadn't done.
Exhausted, tired but also relieved and endless happy, Daryl leaned his forehead against Beth's and looked her deep in the eyes, when he answered with a shaking voice "I have missed you so much, when you were gone Beth. I can't even tell you. I'm so fucking sorry."
Her lips formed an even warmer and sincerely smile then, before she answered him truthfully "You don't have to be sorry for anything Daryl. Nothing is your fault. I know you are sorry, I know you blame yourself for everything that have ever happened to me and I know you have already missed me enough for three lives."
Being shocked and confused, because he didn't really know what she meant with that, Daryl pulled his forehead away from hers to eye her worried "What do you mean with that? Why do you know that all? Are you still.."
His voice finally failed him with just thinking about it. But she was here, right in front of him. He could touch her, smell her, talk to her, feel her. She just couldn't be.. "Gone. Yes, my chaperone. Even when I'm with you right now, I'm still gone."
This word caused a cold shiver to run down Daryl's back and he began to feel ill instantly and everything started to spin around. So it was still all only a dream and Beth wasn't back. She was still gone, far away and unreachable from him. Right now she was just in his imitation.
"But.. How.. You.. so real.." Daryl whimpered with shaking lips, not willing to let her go again. He had just got her back to only find out what he had already known since months. To let her go again? He wasn't ready for it, he never was.
He could see, that Beth had tried it to be strong till now, to be strong for him. But now it also broke her, when some clear, in the sun glistening tears build up in her so endless, beautiful eyes. "I know my chaperone, I know. You also feel so real. And I also don't want to leave you once more."
"Then just stay. Stay here by me. Please." Daryl tried to talk her into it, there just had to be at least one possibility. Even when Beth's lips formed a smile, he still got it how happy and at the same time also sad made her his suggestion. "I want Daryl, I want so bad, but.. I just can't."
Even when he had already known the answer before, it still broke and hurt his heart. "Then let me got with you. Please, Beth. I'm nothing without you and I don't want to be alone any more. I need you so bad. I want to go with you."
Lovingly she whipped his falling tears away from his cheek, even when Daryl hadn't even noticed them, so desperately he was. "I know you want Daryl, but it's not your time yet. But I have to go back again." Filled with endless sadness, he leaned against her touch trying to think about only one thing, why he should stay alive and shouldn't die and go with her.
"But what.. What is this here? Why can I see you, touch you, when I'm not also dead?" Daryl asked curious, being still all confused about how he had come here. Just moments ago he was in the snowy, cold Alexandria and now he was here, in the arms of Beth Greene in the middle of a beautiful summer.
Gently Beth stroked one of his dark hair strands back behind his ear, so Daryl's face was free and she could eye him closely, like she also wanted to lock every part of him inside herself to be able to remember it all later.
"It's your chance to say good bye Daryl. You know, like the good bye you think everyone should become with their loved once. I'm here because you wanted me to be and because I also wanted to see you one last time and tell you to don't be too sad and blame yourself for what has happened." Beth told him softly, while their eyes were spellbound to each other.
Her answer made him speechless. Of course, this was always like he had imagined a last good bye, even when he was still a little kid. Something or someone had made this possible, to make his greave less, to maybe even stop his sadness, but the only one, who could ever stop it all, was standing in front of him.
"But it also wasn't your time sweetheart." Daryl whispered, his head still in her hand. He had never called her like that before, but he should have definitely done it, because it caused that sweet smile on her lips and her eyes began to shine surprised. Only one from a thousand of things he should have told her, should have let her know.
"Sometimes life has different plans for us my chaperone. Now I know how stupid I was and how much I have risked and lost. But maybe it was the plan since the beginning. I just wanted to save you all and now I can save you Daryl. Now I can watch you from above, protect you from any harm and make sure you are alright."
Daryl listened carefully to her words, but not even all the words in this world would be enough reason for him to explain her death, why it was alright, even good, that it happened the way it had. "But I'm not alright without you Beth. I need you. I can't any more, I'm nothing without you."
With one of her sweetest smiles on her lips, Beth took his left hand away from where it was still resting against her cheek and gently involved her fingers trough his, when she told him "Even when you can't always see, hear or touch me Daryl, I'm still there for you. Every moment, every time, just always, I will be right next to you. When you look up at the sun it will be me, the moon, the stars, the rain, the snow. I'm never far away from you. It wasn't what I had in mind back then, but still. I'm not gonna leave you."
She was talking about the last time she had spoken to him. When they were at the funeral home, the house he had almost made to their new home, before they had to leave. Just thinking about the night back then, where he had lost her, caused even more tears in Daryl's flooded eyes. He had thought he had already cried them all out the last months, but he was so wrong about that.
Still holding his hand tight in hers, looking up at him like the angel she was, Beth finally went on, after she had got the feeling that he had realised everything she had already told him "You are strong, so strong Daryl. You can beat this world, make it into a better one. And our family needs you. Rick, Carl, Judith, Maggie, they all need you and care about you. I know you will make it Daryl, because I believe in you. And just your tries make me so endless proud about you my chaperone. Even more than I'm already are."
To make it clear how serious she meant it all, Beth kissed long and lovingly Daryl's fingers, she even closed her eyes while doing so. He watched her with widened eyes and goose bumps everywhere on his body, while she was kissing his fingers. After Beth even stroked with her fingers over the skin her lips had just touched. How did she always manage it to make him feel so damn good?
"But I can't do this all without you Beth. You.. you have seen me the last months, since.. Someone as young, pure and perfect like you shouldn't have died in such a cruel and brutal way. I should have done something. Should have saved you. It should have been me instead of you. I would have deserved it, but not you. I can't live without you any more." Daryl tried to make her understand it, maybe they could change positions, because Beth deserved to live. To feel the sun on her skin, to inhale the wonderful smell of the woods, to hug her sister and to take Judith in her arms.
"It hadn't hurt Daryl, nothing. It really hadn't. It was like falling asleep and also now I don't have any pain. I'm alright. You don't have to think or worry about that any more." Beth secured him, trying to make him sleep better, even when Daryl already knew it right now, that it won't help.
"And I'm also not alone up here. I have finally seen my father, mother and brother again." His face heated up with just thinking about the old, wise man, the awful way he had to die, the woman's turned body he had shot once and the young man he had never got the chance to get to know.
"Andrea. T-Dog. Dale. And I also finally got the change to meet your brother Daryl. We are all up here, watching down at you. I'm not alone and you also aren't. We are all with you, always." Beth told him with glistening eyes herself, while she stroked gently trough his beard with her thumb and still held his left hand secure on her right one.
"Merle, is he also alright?" Daryl asked curious, when all the feelings came back with just thinking about his older brother. "Yes, he is also good. And he misses you so much Daryl." Beth secured him with a smile on her lips.
"I also miss him so much." He response with a broken voice, being sad about not being able to have got such a good bye with his older brother like right now with Beth. "He knows Daryl, he knows." Beth secured him, while she whipped some new tears away from his cheeks with both of her hands now.
"And is he.." Daryl just had to ask, but couldn't even end his sentence, when she already interrupted him with "Yes, he is nice to me Daryl. Don't worry. I'm used to Dixons, you know." Beth said sweetly and also a little teasing at the same time, while she pulled him down to her, so their foreheads rested against each other.
Her statement also got a little smile on his lips, but just for one quick second. It almost hurt, smiling. Something he hadn't done since such a long time. He couldn't even remember about it any more, it was months ago.
No, he could even remember exactly about the last time. It was at the funeral home, when he and Beth were sitting by dinner, next to the many candles. She was writing this little note and he was watching her dreamily, while she was doing so and he had eaten jam absently during.
Beth had asked him then what had changed his mind. Why he suddenly wanted to stay and deal with whatever will come. He should have told her already back then, should have told her everything. And only then Daryl remembered about the big reason, why he had always wanted this good bye.
"Beth. I.. I have to tell you something." Daryl started nervously, after he had pulled his head away from hers, even when he didn't want to leave this closeness. Patiently and waiting for him to go on Beth looked up at him with her big, beautiful angel eyes and like always they made him speechless.
"I want.. You.. I.." Daryl stammered desperately and nervously. He just couldn't bring the words over his lips, because there were so many. He wanted to tell Beth so many things, that he just didn't know where and how to start. The way she made him feel. How damn beautiful she was. How much he cared about her. How much he..
"Shsh.. It's alright Daryl. You don't have to say anything, because I already know everything what you want to tell me so bad, since such a long time." Beth told him and made Daryl all shocked with her statement. But how did she knew about it all? He had never the force to tell her at least, that for him she was the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world. Didn't even mention the feelings he had for her.
"Can you.. Can you also read my thoughts?" Daryl asked worried, being still overwhelmed with what she had just said. He knew she could watch down at him, see what he was doing, so maybe she could also read his thoughts. His cheeks blushed then with just thinking about that she also knew the thoughts and dreams he already had.
With a compassionate smile playing on her lips, Beth looked up at him, before she said to calm down his nerves "Don't worry my chaperone. I can't read your thoughts, but I already know it since a half eternity. Even when I was still.." She suddenly trailed of, probably being afraid about saying it out loud and he could break down again.
Still all curious Daryl eyed her. Did they even talk about the same thing or was it a big misunderstanding? After some moments staring down at her, Beth finally went on "I know you want to tell me so much. But you don't have to tell me anything right now Daryl, because the words are written in the middle of your eyes. I can read it all in them, even when you want to say them out loud so bad."
Feeling caught, his cheeks heated up even more. On the one hand he was glad, that Beth did know about it since the very first day, that she didn't have to die without knowing what she meant to him. But on the other hand was it always his biggest hurdle to say it out loud. Beth had already known it for so long and he could have had it all, because she knew.
"Don't worry Daryl, you don't have to tell me anything right now, even when I know you want so bad. You can tell me everything, when you are back in Alexandria. I will listen to you, I have always done. Or you can tell me everything, when we see us again one day. But till then I just want to let you know one thing." Beth explained him softly, before she looked him deep in the eyes, framed his face tighter and finally said it out loud.
"I also love you Daryl Dixon."
How long, how endless long he had waited to hear these words coming from her lips. It felt like a eternity, like it was in one of his lives before. Daryl had always hoped, prayed, wished for her feeling the same way, like he did for her. But how could someone as pure and beautiful like her love someone like him?
He didn't deserve her love, her trust, her at all. Beth was perfect and he was the complete opposite. Little tears were running down her cheeks, while she eyed Daryl's expression lovingly. She had probably asked herself already forever, how he would react to her words. How his expression would look like, what he will do and say next.
And even when Daryl had dreamed in his sleep or during the days already so often about it, he was just speechless and overwhelmed right now. He could just stare down at her with tears also rushing down his face. With his shaking fingers Daryl gently whipped her clear tears away, never stopping to look right into her angel eyes, before he finally response with a shaking voice.
"I love you so much Beth Greene."
She formed a sweet smile, being happy to hear it coming from his lips, like she had probably imagined already so often. Beth placed her hands on top of his lower arms, while Daryl was still holding tight her face inside his palms, before she answered "I know my heart, I know."
And then Daryl couldn't any other, couldn't hold it back any more, even when he didn't know what he was exactly doing here, when he pulled her closer to his face to cover her tear strained, soft lips with his. Their first kiss felt like their lips, their fleshes, their bodies were made for each other. He was still shy and nervous to kiss this beauty, who had just confessed her love for him, but Beth didn't let go from him.
Their kiss contained all of their love, they had locked, saved back inside themselves since the very first day they had fallen in love with each other. It caused the little hairs on his arms to raise, while a warm, comfortable shiver ran down his whole back.
Daryl was far away from his problems, worries and sadness right now. He just lived in the moment, for Beth, for their first kiss. She tasted so much better than he had ever dared to think and dream about. With her arms wrapped tight around his neck, she pulled him down, so she didn't have to stand on her tiptoes the whole time.
With his thumbs Daryl stroked carefully over her warm cheeks, at the skin right next to where their lips were dancing with each other. It was so endless beautiful and he never ever wanted to end this precious moment. Beth Greene was the best thing, that had ever happened in his life and he wanted to make her feel so with every time their lips met.
Tears were still falling down their cheeks, while Daryl took in everything he could to not ever forget this moment right here. It was too beautiful to miss just one detail. Beth was too beautiful. And even when he had wanted to never end their kiss, they finally still had to get some air inside their lungs again.
Breathless and with a wild raising heart, Daryl leaned his forehead against Beth's, while they both tried to catch their breaths. "I don't want to let you go again. I just care about you too much for doing so." He whispered in the second the reality hit him like a hard slap in the face. Beth had her eyes still close, while Daryl watched her closely, before she whispered back "I'm not gonna leave you my heart. I'm never far away, I'm always close. And one day nothing will be able to hold as apart any more."
After Beth had opened her eyes and had looked him deep into his, he just had to ask himself for the hundred of time, how they could be so damn beautiful. She finally leaned her head against his chest, her arms still wrapped around his neck.
Also Daryl leaned his head against her shoulder, placed his arms tighter around her small upper body so there wasn't any space left between the two of them. "You will beat this world Daryl. You will take care of Judith, Carl, Maggie, her baby. They all need you and I know you will make it good. You know, we all have jobs to do."
He buried his nose closer into her skin, inhaled Beth's beautiful scent deep inside his lungs, before he whispered worried "But what if I can't do it? What if I fail? I'm nothing without you Beth. I can't do anything right without you. What if I will miss you more and more with every day, till I can't handle it any more?"
Slowly Beth started to move between his arms, almost like she wanted to dance with him. She tried so to calm down his nerves, at least a little. "I know you can make it all Daryl, but.. When you will really miss me too much, when you really can't handle it any more, when you really want to see me again, then you can come to me."
"You won't be mad or disappointed at me then?" Daryl asked her worried, he didn't want to make her feel this way for not even one more time. "No, my heart. I know you will try it, give your best and I just can't be like that to you. I won't ever be disappointed in you Daryl." Beth tried to secure him, her words did feel so good.
"Maybe I can visit you again." Daryl said more to himself than to her, but still she nodded her head and he knew she was smiling, while doing so. Just imagine about her sweet, truthfully smile, he wanted to taste her again. Taste her smile again.
Beth was already looking up at him, when he pulled a little away, so their eyes could meet again. "I love you so much my angel. I love you so much." Daryl whispered, while their foreheads rested against each other and tears were rolling down their faces.
She took her right hand away from where it was resting behind on his neck to take his left hand, to interlope their fingers next to where his heart was beating so fast against his rips. And shortly after Beth had told him the three, simple words, which caused the same reaction to his body like the first time, he covered her lips with his once more.
Knowing that it will be their last kiss for a very long time.
When Daryl opened his eyes again, he got it that somehow it had got dawn and he exactly knew what it meant. Their time, their last good bye was almost over. Beth had to go back and so did he.
With his lips and nose rested against her soft forehead, the two of them kept on moving that comfortable way. Silence covered the two of them finally, while they made their circles over the soft moos. His and her tears were falling together down on top of their hands, still holding tight onto each other, while Daryl held her close to his chest.
His left cheek was pressing against her tremble, while they cried quietly. "You are so beautiful Beth." Daryl whispered with his last power, he suddenly felt so weak. "Live your life Daryl and in the end we will see us again." Beth response, her voice sounded so broken and sad. He hated it to hear her like that.
"Do you wait for me?" Daryl whimpered between sobs, he just didn't want to let her go. "Of course I do my heart. I will miss you till that day, because I love you so much." Her voice already seemed so far away from him, even when Daryl still held her tight inside his arms. "I love you to the moon and back my angel. So much. Stay safe, I have to tell you so much, when we will see us again."
It almost felt like falling asleep, so light and unconcerned he suddenly felt, almost like he was floating, floating into another world. Softly he kissed her forehead, taking in her scent and skin one last time. Daryl knew he was shortly before falling asleep, but before he could do so, he heard Beth's angel voice one more, when she whispered
"One day we will see us again Daryl and even when I already look forward to this day so much already right now, I still hope it will take a long time."
Her words were still in his ears and just one second ago he had held her warm body between his arms, but now everything was different. Daryl couldn't hear the birds or the soft breeze moving trough the trees any more, instead there was silence. He also couldn't feel Beth in his arms any more, instead they were empty and cold.
Slowly his eyes fluttered opened, trying to get used to the now darkness in the middle he obviously was. Only after blinking three times, Daryl saw the single candle in front of him on the table, on top he had fallen asleep, clear. The candle was shorter now, it was probably in the middle of the night now. And then everything got back to him in one big wave.
He was back in Alexandria, in his cold room, alone. Without his Beth. He had probably just dreamed it all, didn't get his last good bye with her like he had always begged. But it had felt so damn real. She still didn't know how much he cared about her and how much he loved and adored her.
Daryl didn't know what he had expected, when he pulled the chair closer to the table, so he was sitting on the very edge to be as close as possible to the candle, when he whispered with new tears rushing down his face "Please, Beth. If this all wasn't just a dream, when I have really met you and you really love me, then.. Please, give me a sign. I have to know. Please.."
Daryl knew he was begging, but when she did really listen, she should give him a sign. He needed it so bad and just when he had wanted to give up, the candle, with its big flame, suddenly got out from one second to the other, without him doing anything.
With big, shocked eyes Daryl watched the smoke climbing up into the air. It was a sign, it was her, it was really his Beth. He hadn't just dreamed everything, it was real. It all was. She was real. Slowly a big, overwhelmed smile got on Daryl's lips, when he stood up and went over to his window to open it.
He inhaled deep the cold, winter night air inside his lungs, his eyes were closed while doing so. He could feel her, he could feel Beth everywhere, she was close to him, did listen like she had promised.
"I won't disappoint you my angel. I promise you Beth. I just love you too much for that." Daryl whispered up into the night sky, knowing that someone was listening right now, because the moon and the stars were shining down at him.
Exhausted and tired he dragged himself over to his bed, where he will sleep inside for the very first time tonight. Knowing that he will get the best rest since months. Because he won't sleep alone.
From now on Beth will always be next to his side, till the day they will meet again. She lived in him now.