Chapter 1: Poker with a side of rightous anger
After his shift at the wall surrounding the Alexandria Safe Zone, ASZ for short, ended, Daryl entered the living room in which a couple of their men were playing poker. Abe, current resident of the house in question, was cursing up a blue streak while Daryl searched for a chair to sit down in, a behaviour that prompted Daryl to quirk one of his signature not-quite-there smirks at Abe’s last opponent.
As Dean ended the game with a win on his part, Daryl leaned closer towards Rick and mumbled "Those Winchesters Jesus brought along today seem to be quite good at poker, huh?"
Chuckling, Rick nodded, but added under his breath. "Mh, but to be fair – Abe is distracted tonight."
"What," Daryl inquired, "trouble in paradise, you recon?"
Rick shook his head. But before he could explain any further, Abe got up, too agitated to stay seated, and started to pace. "I don't get it," he groused. "What's so damn special about those books, huh?" He threw his hands up in a gesture of helplessness. "'Sides – do I look like some dipshit who treats his woman worse than a piece of meat?!"
"Good lord," Daryl mumbled under his breath, and Rick sighed, looking every bit like a man who had to endure the same argument for the umpteenth time.
Dean's brother Sam, sitting next to a grinning Jesus, chimed in. "Abe, it's not worth getting all worked up about this, trust me."
And before Abe, or anyone else, could say something, Dean laughed. "'Course I haven't read those books, but Sammy told me about them. And he's right, Abe." Here, the older Winchester brother broke the chocolate bar he had just won from Abe in half and proceeded to push one half across the table, in front of Abe's currently vacated seat. "Don't get too worked up. Just, you know, do a little bit of bondage or something. 'Sides," he added with a mischievous expression, "a little roleplaying never hurt anyone either, am I right?" He waggled his eyebrows, while his brother let out what sounded suspiciously like a long-suffering sigh.
Rolling his eyes, Sam said. "As much as I hate to admit it, Dean's right." A moment later, he turned around to face his brother. "No need to look so smug, Dean, Jeez."
"What have I got to do with anything, huh?" Paul, aka Jesus, quipped, and everybody broke out into laughter. "But really," Paul added after the much needed laughter had died down somewhat, "I don't get it either. Unless our otherwise real smart and more than capable women got it all wrong somehow. Cause from what I gathered, those books describe a very unhealthy relationship."
Sam nodded in agreement, when a knock on the door caused the assembled men to turn around.
Eileen, fellow hunter of the supernatural and Sam's girlfriend, poked her head in. After she had stepped inside and signed a greeting at everyone, Sam started translating while signing back, asking Eileen if there was something wrong.
It turned out that Eileen only wanted to ask if Sam would be much longer, because she was about ready to turn in for the night. But when Sam briefly explained what they had been talking about, her face turned from pleasant to furious in ten seconds flat. Looking alarmed, the men urged Sam to ask her what happened, while Eileen was already signing fast as lightning.
"What's wrong with Carol?" Daryl blurted shooting up from his seat.
Rick, puzzled, looked up at him, but Daryl shook his head in his subtle way, indicating that he would explain later. Surprised, Eileen stopped mid-signing, and paused. When she started anew, Sam turned to Daryl. "Carol had a minor breakdown today, because of that book series going around," he explained.
Daryl exchanged one look with Rick before he left the room, making a clumsy sign towards Eileen.
"Did ya know Daryl understands sign language?" Glenn asked Rick, who shook his head; but it was Dean who explained Daryl's reaction.
"I think he only recognised Eileen's signs for Carol's name," he said out loud while simultaneously signing it, and Eileen nodded.
Turning towards Rick and Glenn, Dean added "The sign Daryl made means thank you, by the way."
While Sam and Eileen took their leave together, the others decided to call it a night as well. Jesus left with Dean, who would share one of the empty houses with him during their stay in the ASZ, and Rick walked Glenn to the home he shared with Maggie.
"So," Glenn continued their conversation, "Daryl went to see Carol." Since it was not really posed as a question, Rick only waited a moment, but when it became clear that Glen did not plan to elaborate, Rick opted to satisfy his own curiosity. "About those ominous books – did Maggie read them as well..?"
Glenn, his face blanching a tad, answered. "Yeah, the first one – but thankfully, she recognised it for the trash it is almost right away." He shuddered visibly. "She even read some passages to me. Rick," he continued in an urgent tone, "that is some fucked up shit. I just hope Carol is alright."
Rick nodded, and they walked the rest of the way in silence, each immersed in his own thoughts. Reaching the house, Rick bade Glenn goodnight and went to the house he shared with Carl, Judith and Daryl. While he got ready for bed, he thought about the events of the evening some more; but soon enough, when he was finally in bed after another long day full of labour and efforts to try and keep the peace within the Zone, his sole hope was for Daryl to come home soon, so he could try to catch some much deserved shut-eye.
Somehow, he found that he only ever slept halfway peacefully anymore when his entire family was safely together.
More often than not, this fact was responsible for the way Daryl and Rick's shifts were planned, as the hunter was well aware of how much his presence influenced the level of rest Rick would be able to reach depended on having what he considered to be his closest family members under one roof.
With that in mind, Daryl had tried to keep his visit with Carol on the short side, but quickly found that he was unable to go through with that plan. They had been sitting together in the living-room, she curled up on the sofa and wrapped in a blanket, he a little awkwardly in an armchair, not sure how to breach the subject.
Ultimately, Carol had started to just tell him everything on her own accord, and even though Daryl did not say much in response, it seemed to have helped her to calm down some more. Almost two hours later, they had both been quiet for a longer stretch of time, each of them lost in their own thoughts, but feeling comfortable in the presence of one other, all due to the strong bond that had formed between them since they met at the quarry what now felt like a lifetime ago.
One of the things that made this talk easier was their shared history of abuse, even though they had never explicitly talked about that. Their way of communication did not rely too much on actual words – a fact that especially Daryl was thankful for, since words were still not his strongest forte.
Scoffing, he thought that in a post-apocalyptic world shock full of undead that were trying to eat you, quiet was the best option anyway, and he told Carol as much when she shot a questioning look his way, wanting to know why he had made that sound – and she laughed, but was in full agreeance with him.
As Daryl made to stand up, he shared a smile with Carol; who was well aware of the fact that she was one of the very few people he ever really smiled at to begin with. But then again, it was not a one-sided phenomenon. Daryl had a special spot in her heart as well, and her reactions to him were always a little more heartfelt and warm than with most other people of their admittedly tight-knit group.
They made their way through her house towards the front door, where Carol wrapped Daryl up in a brief but tight hug, which he returned without hesitation – another sign of their close friendship, since the designated hunter of their core group was still rather on the skittish side when it came to touching people, and be touched in return.
"You okay for now?" Daryl murmured into Carol's hair, placing a quick kiss on top of her head before he stepped back.
"Yes, I think so," she answered, smiling at him. "But thanks for coming over, Daryl. That was very thoughtful of you."
Blushing, since taking compliments was still hard for him, he bit his lip briefly, averting his eyes. But eventually, he nodded, which was good enough for Carol, who opened the door for him. After they had said their goodbyes and Daryl had made sure that Carol had shut and locked the door before he walked away, he quickly went towards their house, hoping for a night of well-deserved rest.
He had only gotten a couple of steps in, when the person on watch inside the walls caught up with him.
Not even looking sideways, since he was still able to recognise most people from the group he came to the ASZ with by the sound of their footsteps, he murmured "Hey Tara, how're thangs?"
"Depends," the feisty woman answered. "Things appear to be quiet in Alexandria so far, let's hope it'll stay that way." Sighing, she continued. "Denise and I are still getting along fine and thank heavens that she didn't like those godawful books that have been making the rounds among the women lately, or I wouldn't know what to do!"
Tara had gotten louder towards the end of her little speech and was now taking a deep breath to try and calm down somewhat. "That was a decent thing you did Daryl, visiting Carol tonight." She added after they had been walking side by side in silence for a minute. "I would have tried to do something for her, but you know how I get over stuff like that."
Daryl nodded, a half-smile playing over his face as quick as lightning – there one moment, gone in the next again. But Tara, knowing by now how to read Daryl's cryptic expressions, saw it all the same. Grinning, she said "Denise went over though, and I think it helped her, so that was good."
"Yeah," Daryl answered, "Carol mentioned that." They had almost reached the house he shared with Rick and his children by then, but Daryl had something on his mind. "So, does that mean you actually read them books? You know what they're about?"
"Let's just say they deal with an absolute prick who treats his women like shit, but makes them believe that they are in a consensual, sado-maso kinda relationship with each other, and keep it at that, shall we?" Tara groused. "Or else I will get upset all over again. You won't believe how many heated discussions I got myself into over the last couple days about this. Frankly," she added with a frustrated sigh, "it's weirding me out. Why are women, why are our women, who practically went through war to get here, like that? Huh? I. Have. No. Idea."
After that speech, Daryl felt it best not to ask any further, and they parted ways, so Tara could go back to watch, and he could finally get some much-needed sleep.
Daryl snuck into the house he shared with Rick and his kids, but even though the hunter was being his usual silent self, there was still one person in the household who had heard him. Then again, maybe Carl had just been up still, waiting for him.
“Carl,” Daryl murmured, trying not to wake anyone else up, “what do you think you’re doing, huh? You need your sleep. Go on, back to bed now!” He began to shoo the teenager along, but Carl spoke over his shoulder.
“I woke up ‘cause Judith was fussing in her sleep. Dad’s with her now, but I think she wants you, Daryl.”
They had arrived at the door to Carl’s room, and before he could slip back inside to try and catch some more shut-eye, Daryl pulled him into a one-armed hug for a brief moment. Kissing the top of Carl’s messy hair, he murmured under his breath. “Sleep well, okay?”
Leaning into Daryl, Carl whispered back “You too, Daryl.”
When he pulled the door close, Daryl smiled as Carl whispered “Love ya, papa.”
“Love ya too.” Daryl gave back, blushing slightly.
He smiled all the way to Judith’s room, where he found Rick in the armchair, trying to soothe his fussing daughter with little success. The look of relief that washed over his face at the sight of Daryl was quickly replaced by a knowing smile.
“You talked to Carl?” He asked, handing Judith, who had her arms stretched out towards Daryl, over.
“Yeah,” Daryl grunted, “He’s in bed now.” Judith started playing around with his chin scruff, and Daryl snickered. “So why are you still up, little lady, huh?” Pulling faces for her, he sat down in the recently vacated armchair.
“She teething again?” He asked, and Rick nodded.
“Yeah. I’m pretty glad we found this place, being out there with a teething toddler would be too dangerous.”
“No kiddin’,” Daryl gave back, while gently swaying Judith in his arms.
Sighing audibly, Rick rubbed a hand over his face. “Man, I need some sleep as well. You coming?”
Daryl was about to shake his head, but seemed to change his mind. “Yeah, go on ahead, I’ll catch up in a minute.”
Rick, his relief visible in every feature, bend down over Judith’s head to kiss her fluffy, blond curls. “Night, sweetheart. Don’t keep your papa awake much longer, ok?”
Grinning, Rick went to lie down in their bed to wait for Daryl – but when he arrived, he was not alone. Looking a little sheepish, Daryl went to place Judith next to Rick before he changed his clothes and hopped onto the mattress as well.
Judith curled up against him, grabbing at his shirt with her eyes already drooping, as Rick pulled Daryl closer underneath the covers. They looked at each other over her head for a long moment, before Rick thanked him quietly.
“I know you don’t sleep well before everyone is back home, so me and Judy decided to join you rather than having her sleep alone.” Daryl chuckled, and he would have sworn that Rick blushed, even though he could not see it clearly in the darkened room.
“True,” Rick admitted. “But you know it’s really you I worry about most, right?” He added, his eyes downcast.
Daryl squeezed his hand. “Yeah. I know.”
They both fell asleep soon after, and only woke again in the morning, when Carl knocked on their door, waking them up so they could have breakfast as a family.
Chapter 2: Interlude - Sam/Eileen
I started out with typing up the signed parts of communication in cursive - then read a discussion on tumblr that argued not to do that. Well. Let me know your thoughts on the matter.
When Sam and Eileen walked the quiet streets of the Alexandria Safe Zone to reach their place for the night, they held hands, enjoying the peaceful silence. Comparatively speaking at least, since, in the world after the zombie apocalypse happened, silence had become relative, what with all the undead milling about, their near constant groaning and shuffling being the background noise nowadays.
At some point though, Eileen pulled her hand away in order to sign. “I hope Carol feels better.”
Sam nodded. “Yeah, me too. Those books, man…” He shook his head, and Eileen practically growled, before she signed up a storm.
“I seriously don’t get it, Sam,” she began. “Those books describe such an unhealthy relationship, but even after the world went to shit, women are still lapping it up?! It’s unbelievable!”
Sam, who had a tough time following even though he was fluent in ASL, interjected. “Yeah, and just like Glenn said – I mean, those women we met from Rick’s group? They don’t seem like the kind that would easily fall for such bullcrap, right?”
They had almost reached their destination, when Sam added with a wink “I wonder if Daryl is able to do a little more than just talk to Carol about those books, don’t you..?” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively, but Eileen, not known to take shit from anyone, rammed her elbow into Sam’s side, causing him to yelp.
“Serves you right,” she both signed and said out loud. Shaking her head over his antics, she continued with signing. “Besides, those two are real close friends, not a couple.”
Sam, in the process of opening the door, looked back over his shoulder at her, a disbelieving expression on his face. Eileen caught herself thinking how it came in handy every once in a while, that she was not only able to speak audibly for others to hear, as well as sign, but could read the movement of lips on top of that. Or else, she mused, Sam’s burst of “What? Seriously?” would have fallen on, well, deaf ears. She snickered under her breath over her own joke, while Sam shook his head, waiting for her to comment. Smiling fondly, she proceeded to pat him on the shoulder – not an easy feat when your partner is about two heads taller than you – and reached around Sam to push the door open, motioning for him to enter first, rolling her eyes behind his back, smirking.
“Hey,” Sam lamented, once she was looking at him again, “no rolling eyes behind my back, not fair!” But Eileen just giggled.
A while later, they sat on the sofa together before bed, and Eileen picked their conversational threat back up. “So, you didn’t notice the chemistry between Rick and Daryl, then?”
Sam’s eyes bugged, and while he was still spluttering, Eileen continued. This time, she even rolled her eyes when Sam could see it. “Those two boys are a couple for sure. Their communication might be too subtle for you to pick up on, but there is a ton of chemistry between them – and such an established bond, it’s practically tangible.”
“Wait,” Sam interjected. “Aren’t they living in the same house here?”
Eileen groaned loudly behind both her hands, clutching her face. “Really, Sam?” She asked, voice dripping with teasing sarcasm. “Now you notice?”
When Sam tried to defend himself, she smiled, pulled him into her arms and kissed him out of his breath.
Minutes later, Sam’s hands had migrated underneath Eileen’s clothing and were currently caressing the bare skin on her back, while his mouth wandered along the side of her neck towards her shoulder. In between kisses he murmured how nice it was to be able to finally spend a relatively safe night with each other, but had to repeat it with his hands for Eileen to see – who promptly chastised him.
“You just had to go and jinx it, hadn’t you?” Shaking her head, she continued. “with our pre-ZA line of work, I’d have assumed you’d know better.”
Sam looked appropriately embarrassed. “Sorry, wasn’t thinking for a minute there.” He kissed her again, then pulled back, grinning and wiggling his hands. “I wonder why, huh?”
Rolling her eyes fondly, Eileen signed. “How about we both take quick showers and go to bed, then?” She laughed out loud when Sam, in his haste to get up, stumbled a bit before he regained his footing, then practically shot off towards the bathroom, tearing at his clothes on the way.
When Eileen stepped into the bedroom, she found her partner draped over the bed, his arms folded behind his head, wearing only boxer briefs and a smile.
She signed “Are you all on display for me, honey?”, a mischievous grin on her face. When Sam blushed a deep shade of red, she giggled and walked over to the bed in her bra and boyshorts. She hopped on the bed, straddling Sam’s legs, as his arms came up to grab her hips, his thumbs caressing her hip bones, and Eileen leaned into the touch, sighing. Her own hands moved across Sam’s muscular torso. She loved the way her partner was built, and she took a moment to raise her hands to tell him so, which made him blush yet again. Waiting for her to watch his lips, he, being extra careful to enunciate properly so she could read the movement, said “Thank you, but it’s you that is the beautiful one around here.”
After that, it was Eileen’s turn to blush, and she signed back. “Then I guess we have to agree to disagree.”
Sam laughed, and pulled her down so she landed on top of him, and they kissed for a long time while their hands roamed each other’s bodies. At some point during their make out Sam had snuck up a hand and opened Eileen’s bra, which she let slide down her arms. She threw it over towards a chair; when she looked back at Sam the next time, she found him watching her in awe, and she snickered.
“Perv,” she signed, winking, and he had the grace to look embarrassed. She was just about to continue kissing him, when she stopped and asked “Wait – where are our condoms?”
When she made to get up in order to walk over to search their bags, Sam held up a hand, his eyes twinkling with mischief. Using exaggerated hand movements, he lifted the second pillow, and with a flourish presented a strip of condoms that he had the foresight to store there to a laughing Eileen. She snatched them, tore one off and put the remaining ones on the bedside table.
Sam grabbed Eileen, wrapped her up in his arms and turned them around on the bed so that he was on top. He touched her all over, and bend down to suck on her nipple, making her moan. Eileen had one hand in Sam’s hair, while the other roamed his broad shoulders. He knelt next to her, both hands on her breasts, his mouth on her nipples, and her upper body arched into the touch, arousal coursing through her.
She pulled at his hair to get Sam’s attention, and when he looked up, she pulled again, kissing him hard. Sam moaned into her mouth. His right hand wandered down her body, sliding into her pants, and Eileen bucked up her hips, so his fingers slipped right between her wet folds to rub her clit. Pulling her upper body towards him with his left arm, Sam kissed Eileen deeply while he let one of his fingers slip into her pussy.
Moaning, Eileen pressed herself against Sam as she opened her legs some more to give him better access. She pushed her ass down every time Sam’s finger dipped into her drenched cunt, and Sam moaned deeply right along with Eileen. Nudging her cheek with his nose, he tried to get her to look at him, then asked breathlessly “You wanna come like this, or..?”
He was not even able to finish the question. Eileen pushed first his hand away, then her panties down and off, turned around and carefully stripped Sam out of his underwear as well, before she snatched up the condom and tore it open.
Sam only thought about chuckling over Eileen’s frantic antics for a second, too enthralled by the sight of his beloved partner rolling the condom down his cock. As soon as she was done, Eileen locked eyes with Sam, and he nodded. Smiling, she lifted her ass up, only to slowly slide down, engulfing Sam’s hard length with her body.
Eileen held on to Sam’s shoulders while she rode him hard, until she suddenly stopped. Bewildered, Sam looked at her questioningly, quirking an eyebrow – but she only smiled wickedly as she leaned forward, forcing Sam to lay back down with her movement. Then, faster than he could blink, she had grabbed his wrists and held them on the pillow above his head as she took her pace back up.
Sam, playfully testing her resolve more than actually meaning it, made as if to try and turn them over once – but stopped dead at the glare he received. His eyes popped when Eileen growled “Oh no, you won’t.”
His head fell back onto the pillow as his eyes closed, and, turned on beyond measure, Sam moaned as his hips bucked up on their own account. They met Eileen’s halfway. She kept on riding him, and he could feel his orgasm building, but was helpless to do much about it. Watching Eileen, Sam listened to her laboured breath, and their eyes met for a second before she squeezed hers shut, as she came hard on top of him, the walls of her pussy contracting around Sam, pulling him over the edge as well.
Panting, Eileen fell down on top of Sam, and his arms wrapped around her as soon as she let go of them. Holding her as close to himself as possible, he kissed every spot he could reach, until she giggled and looked up at him. “That was awesome, love,” he whispered, his cheeks still flushed. “You know,” he added after a moment of intense staring, “I wouldn’t mind if you, um, you know…”
Eileen grinned when Sam got lost in his sentence, but decided to help him out instead of letting him hang. “If we did that again sometime?” Blushing even more, Sam nodded, and Eileen continued. “Yeah, I would like that too.”
They kissed each other deeply, and when Eileen moved to get up and off, Sam held her back for a moment, just so he could kiss her again.
A few minutes later, after they had gotten rid of the condom and used the bathroom, they snuggled up under the blankets, their arms wrapped around each other, exchanging lazy kisses, sleep already pulling at them.
“I love you,” Sam whispered when Eileen was looking at him, and she smiled.
They signed good night to each other, and Eileen rested her head on Sam’s chest, closing her eyes, a thought spared for Carol, and she made up her mind to try and talk to Daryl again the next day. Smiling, she fell asleep, her dreams filled with memories of Sam.
Chapter 3: Apocalypse, anyone?
The main story picks back up in this chapter, on the morning after poker night, at the joined Grimes/Dixon house.
Sometimes during talks within groups, Sam still signs for Eileen, even though she is able to read lip-movement. Since I don't assume it would be natural in an ongoing conversation with more than one or two people for the person or persons capable of reading lips to keep everyone in their line of sight at all times, I found this neccessary.
They were just cleaning the dishes and picking up the house a bit, when there was a knock on the door. Carl, who happened to be closest, cautiously opened it. Sure, they had gotten used to living in the Alexandria Safe Zone, but some habits were hard to break. Besides, it was always better to be safe than sorry.
Their visitors turned out to be Sam and Eileen, much to Carl’s delight, who had wanted to ask them a million questions about their job before the apocalypse, but did not have a chance to yet, since he had only met the Winchesters and Eileen Leahy very briefly.
Daryl, sensing Carl’s impulse to start asking away, stepped next to him and greeted them as well. After exchanging a few pleasantries, he invited them to sit in the living room, and sent Carl to get Rick as well.
When they were all gathered around the table, it quickly became clear that it had been Eileen’s idea to go see Daryl, since she wanted to know how his visit with Carol had gone the night before. As he told them, Sam translated for her, and Carl watched with fascination.
Daryl threw a few signs in here and there, and so it was no wonder that the topic shifted to ASL next. Blushing profusely, since he was still not used to be the center of attention, let alone talk about his troubled childhood, Daryl explained that he had learned what little he did know on a short stint in an orphanage, where he had made friends with a shy kid much like Eileen herself. The boy was able to talk out loud, but could not hear himself, so he had to rely on sign language a great deal.
Rick held Daryl’s hand when the hunter admitted that he had often wondered what might have become of his friend. Like father like daughter, Judith, upon sensing Daryl’s distress, crawled up into his lap at that point, and he kissed her forehead.
“So,” Sam said, in an attempt to change the subject, “how long have you guys been together?”
Daryl, blushing even more, tried to excuse himself, but it was a bit of a hustle to try and get up with Judith in his lap – which provided Rick with ample time to gently hold him back.
Sam, feeling sorry to have brought it up, looked almost as mortified as Daryl. Eileen, on the other hand, had a hand pressed against her mouth, looking for all the world like she was desperately trying not to laugh.
Her saving grace was Judith, who started giggling when she laid eyes on Eileen, and she laughed along with the toddler. Soon enough, everyone joined in, even Daryl, albeit still blushing.
“I’m sorry,” Sam said after a moment. “I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”
Daryl nodded, and Sam sighed with relief. Eileen nudged him gently, so he would look at her when she started to talk with her hands again. She had a hard time reigning her giggles in while she signed, and soon, Sam laughed as well while signing back.
When he looked back at Rick, Daryl and Carl, he saw himself faced with bafflement and confusion. Only Judith seemed unfazed as she cuddled with Daryl, who absentmindedly played with her blonde locks.
Sam hurried to explain. “Well,” he said, still fighting a chuckle, “you’ve met my older brother, Dean, right?” After a round of nods in the affirmative, he went on. “Does he appear like the poster boy for the ultimate heterosexual to you or what?” He paused for effect before he went on. “Well, even before the zombie apocalypse, in the world as we” – here he pointed between himself and Eileen – “knew it, he had his fair share of flings with guys. Even though he always tried to keep them hidden from everyone, especially me.”
Eileen shook her head and rolled her eyes, signing again, and Sam laughed out loud. “Right, he should have known better. I mean, what can I say? Little brothers. We are not as clueless as our older siblings would like us to be.” He wiggled his eyebrows, a sly look on his face, and everyone laughed.
Eileen signed, and this time around, Sam choked on his own laughter. It took him a moment to be able to speak again.
“Damn, why didn’t I think about that?” He shook his head. “Eileen asked if anyone wants to bet on how many beds were used between Dean and that Paul guy last night..?”
Surprisingly enough, Daryl was the first one to react. He snorted, looking sideways at Rick. It took a moment for him to add up his observations from the day before, but then he began to smile as well. “I guess it won’t be much of a bet if everyone’s guess is on the same number, huh?” He chuckled.
Carl, who had grown a little desperate by that point, burst out then. “Can you please tell us about the hunting job you had before the apocalypse?”
“Oh lord,” Sam moaned, putting his head into his hands for a moment, while Eileen giggled. She started to sign, but even though she did her best to do it slowly, Daryl’s knowledge was too limited to translate, so he called for Sam to help out.
“You know, this isn’t the first apocalypse for us – as crazy as that might sound.” He added that last part on when he saw himself faced with the expressions of utter disbelief. “Yeah, I know,” he murmured, rubbing a hand over his face. “But see, we helped to avoid quite a few, so you guys never knew. Although this time around…” He looked at Eileen who seemed to have something to add, and he nodded. “Yeah, Eileen just said how this one is different, too. Seems manmade to us.” He shrugged, looking vaguely apologetic.
Carl blurted “What? You mean like in, I dunno, Resident Evil?!”
Sam simply nodded, with Eileen joining in once Sam had signed Carl’s question to her, and she looked grim. One word formed on her lips, and she did not need to sign along, since this time around, everyone had been able to read the movement for what it said: government.
It went quiet after that, as everyone hung on to their own thoughts for a while.
“So,” Daryl spoke up, “like some military type ‘a thing?”
Both Sam and Eileen nodded.
“Most likely, yeah.” Sam added. “Not that it matters in the end.” He shook his head sadly, while Eileen looked angry.
Rick made a hand sign to catch her attention, so she could read his lips when he spoke. “You seem angry, Eileen. May I ask why?”
A flurry of signs was the answer, and it appeared that even Sam had a hard time keeping up. In the end though, he nodded in agreement.
“She is furious, and I have to say me and Dean are, too, ‘cause we saved the world a few times over, and it did cost us a great deal.” He sighed deeply. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m ok with that. It’s, as we call it, ‘the life’ – meaning the life of a hunter of the supernatural.”
Eileen looked sad when Sam used air quotes, and he nodded again. “That’s right. We even lost one of our most valued ally over this manmade crap. He always had a rather dorky way about him while he tried to pass as human, using air quotes and such.” Sam had to swallow a few times before he could continue. “Please don’t mention him to Dean, ok? They had a special bond, and even though it hit us all pretty bad when the first undead turned up and God, in his wrath, pulled all his angels back into Heaven before he closed the gates for good, it hit Dean hardest.”
Eileen leaned her head against Sam’s shoulder, and he pulled her closer with one arm around her shoulders.
“You gotta be kiddin’,” Daryl said, and he sounded angry. “I mean, come on – God? Seriously?!”
Rick, a hand on Daryl’s arm, added “Angels? For real?”
“But,” Carl muttered, his voice one of confusion laced with sadness, “why didn’t they help?”
Sam sighed, and he sighed big. “Look, I know what it sounds like, but see – all those beings are not exactly what the church made them out to be, ok?”
Here, Eileen actually giggled, signing something, and Sam smiled.
“Yeah, Dean always says that angels are a great big bag of dicks, so.” He shrugged.
“But you said you were friends with one?” Carl appeared lost.
“Yeah, he was different. Always more in love with humanity then being a soldier for Heaven, only taking orders. Besides,” he added, a mischievous glint in his eye, “after he had pulled Dean out of Hell, they had that special bond I mentioned earlier.”
“Hell?!” Daryl and Rick exclaimed together, and Carl nodded vigorously.
Sam moaned, head buried in his hands. “It takes way too long to explain all this.”
Rick, ever the voice of reason, suggested for them to get together again and talk some more, when their chores for the day were done. “Or will you guys be on your way soon?”
“Well,” Sam answered, “it’s not like we have anywhere important to be, you know…”
Everyone laughed, the need for some comic relief palpable.
Soon after that, they parted to get some work done, while Sam and Eileen went to meet up with Dean and Paul to decide how they could be of use as well.
During another busy day in the relative shelter of the Alexandria Safe Zone, Daryl spent some time tinkering around in Aaron and Eric’s garage. One of their cars had begun to act up and he intended to nip that in the bud.
Busy with his search for the source of the weird noises the car had been making lately, he almost missed Dean, who happened to walk by, spotting Daryl and walking over to see what he was up to.
“Hey,” he greeted Daryl, “need a hand?”
“What,” Daryl grunted, “you know cars?”
Dean, not taking offense at Daryl’s audible pinch of doubt, grinned. “Damn right I know cars.” He simply stated. Then, right in the process of getting under the hood next to Daryl, his face clouded over.
“What now?” Daryl asked, looking up at Dean from underneath the strands of hair, hanging in his face.
“Nothin’,” Dean gave back, sounding somewhat withdrawn as he worked. “’s just, you know,” he sighed, before going on. “I had a great car, for like, almost my whole life – but had to leave her behind after this zombie shit went down.”
Daryl nodded, handing Dean a wrench, and he accepted it with a nod of thanks. “Anyways, Baby ‘s a ’67 Chevy…”
“What?! You got an Impala?” Daryl interrupted. “You kiddin’?!”
That got Dean out of his funk. He laughed before he continued. “Yeah, and she’s a beauty alright. I managed to drive her back and park her in the garage of our secret home, at least.”
Daryl scoffed. “Secret home? Why’d you leave then, ‘stead of hiding there? Rations ran out?”
“Good guess, but no.” Dean answered. He sighed again. “Though we didn’t exactly stock up at that place, since we were on the road solving cases a lot, we happened to be home when the first reports rolled in.”
They worked on a tricky part for a few minutes together, but eventually their joint efforts paid off, and Daryl motioned for Dean to do the honours of starting the car up.
Satisfied with their work, they sat down for a moment, basking in the feeling of a job well done.
“You know what I miss most in moments like this?” Dean asked. When Daryl looked at him questioningly, Dean continued. “Beer.” This time, Daryl sighed right along with him.
“Anyways,” Dean picked up where he left off before they finished their work on the car, “I had just gotten back, when Sam flipped. Eileen, his girlfriend and our fellow hunter, was still out in New Jersey, and he was adamant that we try to meet up with her, just in case things would go really south.”
Daryl nodded in understanding. “So, you pulled it off, then?”
“Yeah, though I’m still not entirely sure how we did manage that.” He took a deep breath before he continued. “Shortly after that, shit really hit the fan, and God closed the gates for good, blaming mankind for starting an apocalypse all out of their own self-righteousness.”
“Mhhh, Sam and Eileen told us this morning,” Daryl confirmed. “So, what do you recon? Carl mentioned Resident Evil… You think that could be it? Experiments gotten wrong, or taken too far?”
“Man, I remember how we played those games. And the movies? They were great, huh? Besides,” he grinned, waggling his eyebrows, “Milla Jovovich, right?”
Daryl rolled his eyes. “Yeah, she’s alright, I guess.”
“Ah come on, man!” Dean laughed. “So, you more of a Claire Redfield kinda guy? Jill Valentine?” When Daryl only shook his head, an expression of mild exasperation on his face, Dean went on with his line of questioning.
“Strictly into boys then, are you? I mean, no offense or anything,” He added, a little more cautiously, “but you and Rick are a couple, I didn’t get that wrong, did I?”
Blushing furiously, Daryl averted his eyes. “I have no idea how you figured that out, but – yeah.”
Dean, picking up on Daryl’s need to change the subject, only nodded before he went back to what they talked about before. “So yeah, God. I’m telling you man, that guy is a real piece of work.” He shook his head, looking annoyed. “And angels?” He snorted.
“Sam mentioned that you call them ‘a big bag of dicks’, that correct?”
“Yep, that about sums it up. Though I gotta admit, I’m not the one who said that first. It was actually Gabriel who did.”
“Come on, you’re shitting me now! The archangel? Seriously?”
“Believe me, I wish I was joking.” Dean’s expression turned to wistful, and Daryl had an idea.
“So, is it true, about the one angel that was different?”
“He mentioned that, huh?” When Daryl nodded, Dean looked away for a moment. “His name is Castiel. We had our ups and downs, no doubt about it, but all in all, he was a great friend.”
Dean’s voice sounded suspiciously unsteady, so Daryl tried to steer their talk into a slightly different direction. “I just can’t wrap my head around it. You know, that God, angels, all that actually exists.”
When Dean only looked at him expectantly, Daryl continued, trying to explain. “’m a redneck, just in case you didn’t pick up on that yet,” he added sarcastically, and Dean chuckled.
“Yeah, didn’t escape my notice. So?”
“Well, me ‘n my brother, we didn’t have the best childhood. Never got how people can be so damn believing, despite all that shit happenin’.”
Nodding, Dean looked off into the middle distance. I get it, Daryl, believe me, I get it. Maybe even better than others.”
Daryl laughed humourlessly. “Yeah right. So, you tellin’ me that all those monsters the other kids were always so scared about are actually real?” His doubt, despite his earlier talk with both Sam and Eileen, was tangible.
Dean studied Daryl’s face for a longer time than what was normally considered as polite, before he said, “Your own experiences made you realise that what people do to each other is oftentimes worse.”
It was obvious that what had begun as a question had turned into a simple statement at the end. Subsequently, Daryl only nodded in his trademark, curt way, and they fell silent again for a while.
“So, where’d all those monsters go then, once this thing with the walkers started to take over the country?” Daryl asked minutes later, sounding only mildly curious.
Dean grinned. “For all we know, God wasn’t the only one who got angry and closed His gates for good. ‘Sides,” he added on, garnished with his very own humourless laugh, “if the zombies can’t find enough humans to feed on, do you really think all those things that go bump in the night can?”
Daryl snorted. “Right. So y’all call 'em zombies, then?”
“Yep, but that’s cause we had several cases involving undead long before the zombie apocalypse even started.” He stated it in his usual matter-of-fact way, but smiled when he saw Daryl gaping at him, since for how short a time he knew him, it was clear to Dean that Daryl was not prone to such obvious displays of his reactions.
Dean was still busy with mentally patting himself on the back, trying to not let Daryl notice, when he got blindsided by Daryl’s next question. “So. You shacking up with Paul last night, huh?”
Just when Dean had gotten over his first shock over being caught off guard like that, Daryl added. “You thinkin’ of sticking around then?”
Dean, shifting around awkwardly for a moment, when Daryl continued. “’S just, I think you guys might be fitting in way better with Rick’s group, not those Hilltop people,” he clarified.
“I dunno, man,” Dean answered somewhat hesitantly. “Gotta talk to Sam and Eileen first.”
They parted ways shortly after that, Daryl to get to his next watch duty, while Dean went on to search for his brother and Eileen.
Shaking his head fondly behind the small window from which he had been watching part of the exchange between Daryl and Dean, Aaron turned around to walk into their kitchen, where his partner Eric was in the middle of preparing lunch for them both. Aaron began to set the table, still smiling to himself, and of course, Eric noticed. He quirked an eyebrow at him questioningly.
“Guess who happened to walk by and ended up working on that car with Daryl?” Aaron asked, before he went right ahead, not even waiting for any guesses Eric might have come up with if given the chance. “That butch guy from the group Paul brought along!”
“Dean?” Eric guessed correctly. “Huh. Those two would make an interesting couple,” he mused.
“Oh yeah, I totally agree,” Aaron said, laughing quietly. “I heard he shared quarters with Paul last night though, so who knows, right?” He winked at Eric, but after a moment he added “But all joking aside, it would be great to have a few more queers around.”
Eric nodded. “Yep, that’s right.” He looked up for a moment, his gaze glassed over, thinking, before he burst out laughing.
Aaron grinned. “What did you come up with in that brain of yours now, huh? Care to share?” He made a wiggly motion with his fingers.
“It’s just,” Eric wheezed, still trying to re-find his speaking voice, “do you realise we could have our own Pride Parade within the Zone then??”
Aaron chimed right into Eric’s laughter, and it took them a while to catch themselves again.
When they were sitting at the table, sharing lunch, Eric spoke again. “Would be great if they’d decide to stick around, though,” Eric paused for a moment. “They seem capable, right?” He asked, and Aaron nodded. “From what I heard, yes, they are more than capable.” He shook his head, a disbelieving expression on his handsome features. “Not sure I believe all that supernatural stuff, though,” he added, but Eric just shrugged.
“I dunno,” he said, “how is that so different from all those people believing in God an all that jazz?”
“Good point.” Aaron took another bite, chewing wistfully. After a sip from his drink, Eric looked at him, his eyes big.
“It just occurred to me, how is that even the first example that came to my mind? I mean, God, or religion in general? After all, we are practically surrounded by walking dead people, but I come up with this?” He threw his hands up in the air, rolling his eyes, and Aaron chuckled.
“Well,” he mused, “if you put it that way…” He then proceeded to tell Eric how he had heard that the Winchesters and Eileen Leahy had also confirmed God’s existence, a piece of information that was quite effective in making Eric speechless for a few minutes.
After gaping at Aaron, he burst out with “are you serious?”, and Aaron could not help but smile.
“I most certainly am.”
“Well.” Eric had managed to regain his composure. “We should totally invite them for dinner soon, provided they stay a bit longer.”
“Hm, yes, we should.” Aaron agreed, a smile dawning on his face. “I was just thinking – remember that first time we had Daryl over?”
Eric giggled. “Oh my, yes, of course I remember! A lot has happened since then, huh?”
Aaron, smiling back at his partner fondly, squeezed Eric’s hand briefly, and said “Yes, but Daryl’s situation definitely changed for the better – though maybe not his table manners so much…”
They laughed again, and Eric thought how today was a good day to still be alive, even in the dire circumstances they all were in.
Chapter 4: Interlude - Dean/Paul "Jesus"
This one might seem a bit out of order, since it does take place during the night after poker at Abe's place wrapped up as well.
Heads up for the top!Dean lovers out there - you might want to skip this chapter (though he does not do the deed with Cas here, but still, be warned).
On their way to the house for visitors within the ASZ, Dean and Paul walked in silence for a while, until Dean spoke up. “You’re real silent when you walk,” he stated. “How’d you do that?” Dean looked at Paul curiously, who shrugged.
“I don’t know, always been a quiet walker, I guess. Comes in handy now, so there is that.” Paul smiled, which was hardly visible with all the beard he had. A woollen hat on his shoulder-length hair, he did indeed look a lot like the version of Jesus white Christians tended to depict for worship before the zombie apocalypse.
Dean smiled mischievously, and Paul could practically hear what he was about to say before he actually got the words out. “Well,” Dean paused for effect, watching Paul out of the corner of his eye, “as long as you are not a quiet Walker, right?” Dean cracked up while Paul groaned.
“You always this funny?” He asked, shaking his head, and Dean smiled. “Dunno, but I think I’m adorable.” He answered with an air of smugness, and Paul grinned.
A few feet down the road later, Dean vaguely indicated Paul’s get up. “Isn’t it real hot, wearing all that gear in the Georgia heat?”
“It has its disadvantages,” Paul admitted, but did not add anything else, and Dean fell silent again as well.
After they had reached the house, they briefly discussed who would shower first, then they both took quick ones, so used to avoiding a waste of resources at this point. Dean sighed happily, coming back into the room where they had stored their belongings, only wearing a towel around his waist, while he rubbed at his short hair with another one. “So good to take a real, hot shower again.”
Paul nodded. “Yeah, definitely a perk of this group,” he agreed. “You want to turn in for the night?” He asked innocently, but it did not escape Dean’s notice how Paul’s icy-blue eyes had scanned over his scarcely clad body. Quirking an eyebrow, Dean let his own gaze linger on Paul’s lips for a moment too long, before he locked eyes with him. “Are there other options?” He asked, sounding just as innocent.
Paul cracked up, and Dean joined in, walking over to stand in front of the other man, wo sat in an armchair clad in boxers and a shirt. “Well,” Paul answered after a moment of intense staring, “seeing as we don’t exactly have time to waste, being in the apocalypse and all, we might as well be honest, huh?”
Dean nodded, stepping closer. “I’m in if you are,” he stated, one hand tentatively brushing a strand of hair out of Paul’s face.
“Mh,” Paul murmured, placing his hands lightly on Dean’s towel-clad hips. “Let me guess – nobody has to know..?”
“What?” Dean blurted, looking caught. “Are you… wait. What are you implying?”
Paul smiled, his thumbs grazing Dean’s hipbones, causing him to moan under his breath, his eyelids fluttering. “What I meant was that you aren’t exactly waving the bisexual Pride flag around.”
Dean sighed. “Yeah, I know. Never been out, I mean, before, you know?” One of his hands came off Paul’s shoulder to vaguely gesture around, and Paul nodded.
“You mean before the dead started walking.”
Nodding, Dean began to let his hands wander, a faint blush still gracing his cheeks. “If it’s ok with you, I’d like to keep this between us,” he rumbled, and Paul visibly shuddered.
“Man, you have a lovely voice,” he said, and Dean chuckled.
“Hm yeah, been told that once or twice,” he gave back, grinning, and Paul shook his head.
“You’re also awfully cocky most of the time.”
Dean bent down, tilting his head so that he and Paul were very close. “Well,” Dean murmured, “you could always try to knock me down a peg..?”
Paul’s eyes widened. He closed what little distance still was between them in less than a heartbeat, and their lips met in a heated kiss. After a long moment, Paul cautiously got up, making sure that Dean moved back enough to avoid any accidental collisions, and proceeded to walk Dean clean across the room, his eyes locked on Dean’s, hands guiding him.
Dean felt his calves hit the bed just as Paul stopped walking. Pulling Dean into a tight hug, he crashed their mouths together, kissing the breath out of each other, as Dean pushed Paul’s shirt up. They paused for him to pull it all the way off and carelessly throw it aside, then, Dean suddenly landed on the bed, a surprised ‘oof’ escaping his plush lips. Paul was on him again in a jiffy, his hands hungrily roaming Dean’s body, as he kissed along his jaw and down the side of his neck. Dean, with both hands tangled in Paul’s hair, gasped when Paul reached his nipple and began to tease it.
“How’d you do that?” He managed to squeeze out, and Paul glanced up at him, a mischievous glint in his eye.
“Martial arts, man.” He grinned. “Come in real handy sometimes.” Paul’s hands wandered closer towards the towel Dean was still wearing, when Dean surprised Paul with a swift move of his own. Catching Paul off-guard, he yanked him down, with one of his legs hooked behind Paul’s, he managed to reverse their positions. Straddling Paul’s legs, Dean proceeded to tug his shorts off to fling them down next to the bed to join the discarded shirt.
Paul looked up at him, one of his eyebrows quirked. “See something you like?” He asked, and Dean laughed.
“Who’s cocky now, huh?” Still grinning, he leaned down, opened his plump mouth and engulfed the head of Paul’s cock, sucking at it for a few times, his eyes locked on Paul’s.
When Dean sat back up, he grabbed the towel and pulled it away with a flourish. Paul almost expected him to say something like ‘Ta-da’. Shaking his head ever so slightly over Dean’s antics, Paul grabbed Dean’s cock and began to stroke it with a sure, steady hand. He motioned for Dean to lean down.
Doing so brought out Dean’s muscles rather nicely, and Paul sighed into the deep kiss that followed. Eventually, he managed to stop for a long enough time to use another move on Dean, so he found himself lying on the bed with Paul hovering above him once again.
A mischievous glint in his bright blue eyes, Paul, Dean’s dick still in his hand, kept on stroking lightly, when he asked “So. You got any preferences? Cause I’ve got to admit,” here, he gave Dean the pleasure of a few well performed twists of his wrist when he reached the head of his cock on the upstroke, and Dean shuddered, moaning loudly, his hands twisted in the bedsheets. “What,” Paul asked, “not curious?” He grinned mockingly at Dean, who rolled his eyes.
“Incorrigible,” Dean muttered under his breath, then, with a regretful expression, he pried Paul’s hand off and pulled him into a hug, whispering hoarsely into his ear. “What was it you were trying to say, huh?” He grazed his teeth along the outside of Paul’s ear, teasing him with his tongue as well, and Paul had a hard time to formulate an answer.
Moving his hips, Paul let their cocks slide against one another, and they moaned in unison. Looking at Dean, Paul said “You are quite the tease, I’ll give you that.” He shook his head almost unrecognisably, then proceeded to talk. “What I wanted to say was, are you top or bottom? Cause,” he kissed Dean again, making it dirty to get his point across, leaving Dean a panting mess on the sheets. “I’d really love to take you apart, you know – find out just how cocky you are.”
Dean groaned, scrubbing a hand over his face. “Argh,” he started, then had to pause to clear his throat. “You’re something else, you know that?” Almost whispering, he added after a moment “But yeah, ok, I’ll bottom for you.”
Had Paul not been as close to Dean’s face as he was, he would not have been able to catch that last part.
“You still feel like less of a man if you are the one being fucked? I mean, even after the world ended?!” He asked incredulously, but shook his head when Dean opened his mouth to answer. “It’s ok,” Paul said, “I’m sorry I brought it up. You ok to wait here for a minute?” He asked, and Dean nodded, looking curious.
Paul got up and went to get lube and condoms from his stuff. Back on the bed, he knelt between Dean’s bent up legs. “Ok, you ready?” Paul asked, and after a curt but sure nod in the affirmative from Dean, Paul made short work of preparing Dean’s hole for his dick. “You want to stay like this, or be on your hands and knees?”
Dean, who had been moaning while pushing his ass onto Paul’s fingers, opened his eyes for a moment. “Huh.” He mumbled, thinking. “I think, I’d…” Paul chose that exact moment to find Dean’s prostate and brush his fingers over it. “God,” Dean groaned, as his ass came up off the bed, chasing after the glorious feeling.
“It’s ok, Dean,” Paul quipped, “you can keep calling me Jesus.”
Dean managed to roll his eyes. “Yeah, I’d prefer that; after all, I already met God – and believe me, he isn’t half as nice as Christians think he is.” He shuddered besides the good feelings Paul’s fingers continued to cause him. “But back to topic, I’d like to stay this way, ok? So we can see each other..?” His voice faded to little more than a whisper towards the last part of the sentence, and Paul quirked an eyebrow.
“A romantic at heart, are you?” But his smile was gentle. He pulled his fingers out and cleaned them with some wet wipes, trying not to think about what would happen when all their resources from the time before the zombie apocalypse would inevitably either cease or expire. He did not count on Dean though, who had been watching while stroking his own cock lazily, left arm crossed behind his head.
“That God, before anyone knew it was actually him, mind you, advised me once in a similar scenario to hoard toilet paper like it’s made of gold, you know.”
Dean grinned when Paul, after being stunned for a second, burst out laughing. “Do I even want to..?” He asked, and Dean shook his head, still smiling. “No, you definitely do not want to know.”
Paul, shaking his head in amusement, rolled a condom down his erection and got back onto the bed, Dean’s legs left and right from him.
Looking at Dean for the go-ahead, he lined himself up after Dean nodded. Slowly, Paul pushed inside, and Dean breathed with his eyes closed. As soon as he was all sheathed up inside of Dean’s tight end, Paul leaned down to capture Dean’s lips in another kiss, and Dean hugged him close. “Make it rough, Paul, yeah? Make it count.” Dean whispered into Paul’s ear, and the only thing Paul could do was nod before he started to fuck Dean into the mattress.
Chapter 5: Where do we go from here?
The main story continues with both groups searching each other out to discuss their next move.
Meanwhile, Eileen was helping in storage, though it was rather difficult for her to communicate with Olivia, who did not know any sign language. Sam was not with his partner, because he had joined the team working on re-enforcing part of the wall surrounding the Alexandria Safe Zone, and they had agreed on meeting back up at the storage once he was done.
But now it became clear that Eileen was finished with her chore way earlier, so she used pen and paper to communicate her plan to go and find Sam instead.
On her way, she met Daryl, and they passed the time by trying to unearth more of the ASL Daryl had once known. Arriving at the spot the construction team was currently working on, they continued to converse for a few more minutes, until Sam was ready to go.
Since Daryl was already on his way to search for Rick, Sam and Eileen decided to tag along as well, so they could figure out what else they could help with. They briefly saw Carol, and that seemed to spark a thought in Eileen, who turned towards Sam, stopping so she could sign more clearly for the both of them to see.
A couple of sentences in, Sam nodded, then turned to Daryl to clue him in. “Eileen met two women in Jersey, and she says that they had been discussing this book series as well, but online with friends from around the globe.”
Daryl scoffed. “You recon this is a worldwide phenomenon?”
Eileen looked sad and signed, while Sam voiced her words out loud for Daryl. “Barbara, who was visiting her friend Kristin in New Jersey, mentioned how they got worried about their friends both in the US and on other continents.”
Sam nodded. “Me and Dean met those two briefly as well when we got there; can you believe it? They even had friends in New Zealand and Germany!”
“Oh lord,” Daryl groaned, and both Eileen and Sam looked at him questioningly. Daryl shrugged. “My stupid, racist brother would have loved a contact in Germany. Took me the longest time to get those damn runes off the tank of his bike without damaging it.”
Eileen quirked an eyebrow, and Sam asked. “What runes? Wait.” He held up a hand in a stop-motion. “Do we even want to know?”
Daryl shook his head. “I doubt it.”
They picked up their way again. “Anyways,” Sam added, “those ladies were as far from being right-wing as possible, and they said the same about their friends.” He looked at Eileen before he added her thoughts out loud as well. “Eileen said they were quite the open-minded bunch.” He cringed. “They met over the internet years ago, writing fanfiction, mostly about same-sex couples.”
Eileen giggled, then signed way too rapidly for Daryl to even try to follow, and he looked to Sam for a translation. Sam though blushed deeply, and Eileen laughed, nudging her partner into the side playfully. Sam groaned, but, after drawing his hand over his face, he explained. “Eileen read some of Barbara and Kristin’s stories, and those featured original characters as well. She said they were quite steamy, too.”
Eileen nodded vehemently, but Daryl looked utterly clueless. “What the hell is fanfiction? Never heard of that in my life.” He shook his head, while Sam groaned again, clearly unhappy over the fact that he would have to cover that particular point. Eileen, on the other hand, seemed to suddenly have a really hard time to try and stop giggling, and it took a while for Sam to explain what was so funny.
Eventually though, Daryl thought he had gotten it. Which, of course, did not necessarily meant that he believed there to be a whole book series out there, detailing a string of the Winchester’s cases, not to mention the fact that there seemed to have been a small, but very active following. As far as Daryl had understood, there had been lots of stories out there featuring both Winchester brothers in a relationship with each other.
Daryl looked disgusted, but so did Sam. By that time during their conversation they had reached Rick, who was talking to Dean. Apparently, Sam’s older brother had had the same idea – regroup to figure out what was up next.
“Why the bitch-face, Sammy?” Dean teased, but Sam only shook his head, not taking the bait.
“If you knew what we just talked about, you’d be sportin’ the same expression, trust me.”
Eileen signed, a mischievous twinkle in her eye, and Dean groaned. “Not those darn books again!” He shook with disgust, and everyone except Rick burst out laughing, while Dean pushed both hands through his hair in a gesture of frustration, leaving it sticking up every which way.
After reassuring Rick to clue him in later, they soon were in the middle of discussing their further options, when Paul joined them, not shy of putting his own two cents in. Not to anyone’s wonder, Paul stressed how much he would like for the Winchester/Leahy group to join the Hilltop Community, though he added his understanding as to how they would fit in really well with Rick’s core group, which raised a couple questions on Sam, Dean and Eileen’s part. After a brief explanation, about how Rick, Daryl and the others of their group had been wandering through the post-apocalyptic world for a long time before they stumbled across the ASZ, Eileen began to sign something, and Sam nodded, an apologetic expression on his face.
“We’d love to stay, but we were planning to try and get back to our, well, how should I put this…”
Daryl snorted, and, with a side look at Dean, who grinned, he said “That mysterious, secret hide-out Dean mentioned earlier when we worked on that stubborn car together?”
Nodding, Dean answered. “Yeah. Eileen promised two women she met in New Jersey…”
“Barbara and Kristin, was it, right?” Daryl cut in, and both Eileen and Sam nodded, while Eileen signed quickly for Dean, telling him how they had talked about that on their way already.
“Ah, ok then,” Dean picked his conversational thread back up. “So anyways, we told those ladies about our bunker, just in case that things would really go south, and in that case, they wanted to try and reach it as well. Barbara was in a hurry to get back home when the first reports popped up, since she had made the trip to Jersey without her son.”
“Oh no,” Rick’s face scrunched up into a hurt expression. “Believe me, I understand that better than I’d ever wanted to…” He shook his head. Daryl stepped closer, his hand brushing Rick’s arm, a subtle gesture to ground him, and Rick sent a thankful glance his way.
Dean looked at them, curious. “Carl? He wasn’t with you when..?” He asked, and both Rick and Daryl nodded. “Well, I’m glad you found him again. So yeah, we’d like to try for our home soon.” He shrugged.
Trying to lighten up the mood a bit, Daryl grunted “Admit it – you only wanna get back home to that car ‘a yours.”
Dean blushed, as both Eileen and Sam burst into laughter, and it took a minute to clue everyone in about the Impala.
“So,” Paul chimed in, “where is that Barbara from? Could they have made it there?”
“Possibly,” Sam answered. “We certainly hope so. The trip from Nashville, Tennessee, to Lebanon, Kansas though? I’m not so sure about that.”
Eileen rammed her elbow into his side, making Sam yelp.
“We will try, of course! Jeez, woman,” Sam hurried to add, rubbing his side, while Dean clapped Eileen’s shoulder in praise. She looked rather smug, and they all laughed again.
“So, what is that secret hidey-hole y’all got, huh?” Daryl asked. “You think it’s a good a place to hole up in during all this?”
“Yeah, we hope so,” Sam confirmed. “It really is some kind of bunker.”
“Huh,” Daryl murmured, looking thoughtful.
“I guess it’s better if we don’t stick around for too much longer then,” Dean said.
“Um yeah,” Sam chimed in, looking equally regretful. “Getting more used to each other would probably not be such a good idea.”
Eileen signed, again with Sam translating for everyone. “I would have loved to train your women, you know, in hand-to-hand combat, but also with knifes and such.”
Rick nodded. “I thought about that as well. The people here are still not trained well enough, or, in some cases, at all, if you can believe that.” He shook his head, looking displeased, and Daryl huffed.
“They were going for the white picket fence type ‘a life when we got here. Can you believe that?” He snorted, shaking his head, as Sam, Dean and Eileen gaped; it was Eileen who started to comment first. “So these people, who’ve been here before you, they’re actually serious about pretending like we’ve seen them doing?”
“Yeah,” Rick gave back, shrugging. “Maybe it’s some kind of coping mechanism? Our group was pretty beat when we got here, so we stuck around. Then we decided to stay for the kids.”
After a round of sympathetic nods, they decided on doing some more chords, and for the Winchester/Leahy party to leave the next day, with Paul returning to Hilltop.
Rick and Daryl went back to their shared house, to prepare for the evening since they had invited their guests over for a last meal and some talking before they would leave again.
But when they arrived, they found that both their kids were still out, and would not return for some time. Rick looked at Daryl, trying – and failing – for a leering expression. He wiggled his eyebrows and said, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
But Daryl only huffed; then, he waved his hands around in an uncharacteristic manner, asking in a fake, high-pitched voice “Not those books, right?!”
It took a long time for Rick to reign his hysterical laughter back in, all the while being watched patiently by a smug looking Daryl, his muscled arms crossed over his broad chest, leaning oh-so-casually against a doorframe.
Chapter 6: Interlude - Rick/Daryl
When it seemed like Rick had finally gotten his countenance back, Daryl held out his hand for Rick to take, and they went upstairs together.
“You realise we gotta make it quick though, right?” Rick asked when they entered the bedroom, and Daryl huffed.
“What good is this freaky Zone-life if you can’t even take your time ‘tween the sheets, huh?” He grumbled under his breath, and Rick chuckled. Pulling Daryl into his arms, he hugged him close and whispered into his ear. “I know, Dare. Let’s make the most of it, ok?”
Daryl nodded into Rick’s shoulder, hugging him back just as tight. After a few minutes of just standing around, holding on to each other, Daryl looked up and leaned in to kiss Rick, slowly but thoroughly. Rick moaned into the kiss, his hands already wandering across Daryl’s broad back.
Never one to beat around the bush for long, Daryl started on the buttons of Rick’s shirt. He stepped back to push it off Rick’s frame, and, after a short bout of communication via eyes and small gestures, they both got rid of their boots and what weapons they carried.
Rick, having been told how hot it was when he did that, made sure that Daryl’s eyes were on him as he slowly opened his gun belt and let it slide away. Holding Daryl’s gaze, Rick stepped up close again and freed Daryl of his shirt as well before they walked the short distance to the bed and laid down with each other.
“So,” Daryl muttered sometime into their heavy make out, “you gonna break out those handcuffs of yours soon, sheriff?”
Rick shook his head, then pulled Daryl into another deep kiss. When they parted, Rick pushed him back and straddled his hips. “I doubt that kinda thang is for us.” He shook his head, a fond look on his face. “Remember that one time I accidentally held you in a Nelson type thang, and..?”
Daryl burst out laughing. “Don’t remind me, oh, good lord…” He shook his head, still laughing.
Smiling fleetingly over his ability to make Daryl laugh full-out like that, Rick said “Yeah, that one threw a serious roadblock into proceedings.”
“Mh, yes,” Daryl mumbled, nipping along Rick’s jaw towards his ear, “wrestling comes in many styles, right? I remember we had a very different kind in mind…”
Rick blushed over the teasing, remembering how they almost had not been able to get back to their original make out then, as Daryl had reacted on instinct and started to fight Rick for real, until his brain had caught back up with him. “I seriously hope that’ll never happen again,” he muttered, shuddering – and it was not from Daryl’s ministrations, either.
“Come on, Rick,” Daryl whispered into his ear, “it’s fine, a’ight? Relax.”
Rick nodded, but was only able to ease back into the action with Daryl’s carefully guiding hands. Deciding that it was not enough, Daryl flipped them around, so that he was straddling Rick. He kissed him deeply, then made his way down Rick’s torso, kissing and nipping. When he reached the top of Rick’s jeans, Daryl slowly opened them, while his other hand tweaked Rick’s sensitive nipples, and Rick groaned, his eyes closing. Daryl smiled to himself, then got up to pull both Rick’s jeans and his underwear off, leaving him bare to his gaze.
Making sure that Rick was watching, Daryl slowly opened up his own pants, and his cock sprang free as soon as he pushed them down his ass.
Rick grinned. “Daryl Dixon, going commando. Who woulda guessed?” He waggled his eyebrows for good measure, trying to leer, and Daryl shook his head over his antics. Winking at Rick, he said “You know you like it, so quit teasin’ already, why dontcha?” Daryl proceeded to give himself a few, deliberately slow strokes for Rick’s viewing pleasure, and grinned when Rick let out a wail.
“Who’s teasing now, huh?” Rick grumbled, and Daryl winked at him, a small smile playing over his face.
Not letting go of his own cock, Daryl bend down to wrap his lips around Rick’s, swallowing the head down slowly. A low moan escaped Rick’s lips as his eyes closed in bliss.
Working his way slowly down the length of Rick’s cock, Daryl moaned as well, the vibrations of which made Rick gasp, and their eyes met across Rick’s body in a loving gaze. Rick went on to carefully weave his fingers through Daryl’s long strands of hair, softly scratching the other man’s scalp, which caused Daryl to close his eyes again. He let go of his own erection to wrap his hand around Rick’s.
With his hand covering what his mouth could not take in, he concentrated on sucking the head again, determined on making the most of what little time they had. Rick though, it seemed, had something else in mind, as he pulled on Daryl’s hair after a while, trying to make him look up.
“Dare?” He whispered. “Come up here? Please?”
Daryl followed suit, covering Rick’s entire body with his own, hugging him tight as they kissed each other long and deep. They both started to move against each other, their erections sliding between their bodies, and Daryl rolled them around so that they lay facing each other. He grabbed both Rick’s and his own cock and began to jerk them off together, while Rick continued to moan as he buried his face in the curve between Daryl’s throat and collar bone.
As his hand moved faster and faster with every stroke, Daryl whispered into Rick’s ear. “Hold on to me, Rick, please…”
A small nod indicated that Rick had heard him, and his arms wound even more tightly around Daryl. They moaned as one, and Daryl almost lost it when Rick began to push his cock into Daryl’s fist. But Daryl wanted for his partner to be the first one to topple over the edge, so he grit his teeth together, upping the speed once again. When he bit down on Rick’s ear, a warm burst of come spilled between their sweaty bodies, and Rick groaned loudly, a curse leaving his plump lips, kissed right off by Daryl.
As Rick sagged onto his back, trying to regain his breath, Daryl continued to stroke himself as he moved to lie on his back as well. A few moments later, Rick turned his head to look at Daryl while his hand sought out Daryl’s unoccupied one, twining their fingers together. “You gonna come for me, Dare?” He whispered, causing Daryl to moan loudly.
“You need me to go down on you as well?” Rick asked, a tiny grin playing around his eyes. Apparently, the thought alone was enough for Daryl, though – he groaned as his eyes drifted close, and he came as well, jerking his cock throughout his orgasm under Rick’s loving observation.
Eventually, they looked at each other, both still blissed out, for a few moments that felt like so much longer.
Holding Daryl’s gaze, Rick spoke quietly. “Ya know, I never thought I could have this again. Specially in times like these.”
Puzzled, Daryl quirked one eyebrow. “Have what? Sex?”
Rick shook his head, then changed his mind, nodded – and ended up laughing over his own indecisiveness. “No, although, that’s a good point as well,” he eventually managed to say, still chuckling.
“Well,” Daryl prompted, getting impatient. “What did you mean, then?”
Rick, still holding on to Daryl’s hand, cupped his partner’s face with the other hand and answered. “Love. I never thought I’d find love again.”
Blushing profusely, Daryl turned on his side to bury his face into Rick’s chest, and Rick wrapped him up in tight hug, determined to make sure Daryl knew that he intended to never let him go again if he could help it.
Later in the day, Rick was in the process of preparing for their visitors, when Carl burst into the house, Judith in tow, all excited about having met the older Winchester brother along the way, and he proceeded to let his dad know just how much he was looking forward to hearing some stories from their group later on.
Rick smiled along, happy to see his son behaving somewhat like a normal teenager for once. Daryl came into the kitchen then, still towelling his hair, and Judith ran at him with full speed, knowing that he would catch her to swing her up into the air, towel be damned.
Rick and Carl, rolling their eyes fondly at each other over Daryl and Judith’s antics, watched for a while, until Rick called everyone to order, assigning tasks to Carl and Judith, in order to finish preparing for their guests.
Grumbling under his breath, Carl went to set the table in the living room, thereby unknowingly giving Daryl a chance to step up behind Rick without prying eyes, wrapping Rick up in his arms.
Rick smiled as he leaned into Daryl’s chest. “Enjoyed your shower, did you?” He teased.
Snorting under his breath, Daryl shook his head. “If we can’t take our time making love, least we can do is make use of the facilities in this place, right?”
Turning in Daryl’s embrace, Rick held his gaze as he asked. “Daryl Dixon, did you just use the term making love?”
Daryl blushed and averted his eyes for a moment, before he leaned in close to Rick’s ear and whispered only for him to hear. “Yeah, I did, ‘cause I love ya.”
Which is why Carl and Judith found them wrapped up in a tight embrace and kissing each other when they went into the kitchen the next time around. Of course, Carl, being the teenager that he was, groaned loudly, telling them how gross they were, while Judith giggled, and Daryl looked on fondly as Rick, fast as can be, snatched both their children up in a tight embrace as well.