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Daryl doesn't know how they got here, but he doesn't want it to stop.

She's on her knees in front of him, staring up with those guileless eyes, big and blue and beseeching, jar cradled in her little palm, rosebud mouth pink and soft and inviting. She's all of five foot nothing where she sits, and Daryl feels her presence on his chest like a boulder.

Mr. Dixon, she calls him, and it plucks the strangest notes in his gut and groin, like a stray dog nibbling on a shank bone. The words seep inside him, along with their image—her hair bursting from its binds in the dim shack, on her knees in thrice-ripped jeans, yellow shirt stained with gore that he won't apologize for, for if he starts he'll never stop. Apologies—on her knees—Daryl across his father's knees—a three bit whore called Cindy framed by his brother's knees, plunging into his pubic hair like a backwards halo, lips red and wet and violent, a scar slashed across her face, endlessly sewn and undone. Beth's lips stretch across her smile and he feels the same shock he felt, walking into Merle's bedroom—the delayed realization, the building panic—the moment of release, an “oh” of knowing deep in his throat that he's seeing something that shouldn't be seen—that they're the last two people in the world and she's calling him Mr. Dixon from her knees.

Take a sip, she says. Pass this time we have on our lonesome, with only a walker and the wind to hear. Put away your daddies and drown your worries in drink. Come to my table. Come play.

Daryl doesn't feel as sick as he should.

“Com'mon,” she says, pink and yellow in her ratty-tatty jeans. “You got somethin' better to do?”

She doesn't even know what she's saying, and that makes him even hotter.

It must have been too long since he's spoken, because she's beginning to look unsure—her elbow falling limp, a little crinkle between her brows—and Daryl lets slip the four deadly words.

“Wanna do something else?”

“Like what?”

God, she's young; young and brilliant and skinny enough to fold in half like a pretzel.

“Y'know.” He shuffles his feet, hoping she can't see the heartbeat pounding in his throat. “Stuff. Pass the time.”

It takes several moments under his hot eyes for the meaning to sink in.

“Oh,” she says. “Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“Oh.” The crinkle in her brow is deepening and she tilts her head, jar dropping to hang limply by her side. She looks like a heron, balancing on straight legs and a straight back, looking at him through wide blue eyes. “With me?” she asks.

He snorts, shrugs. “Ain't like I got any other choice.”

He means it as nothing more than the fact it is—is a little scared, of the rest of the words that stir in his chest, how it's her, it's always been her, since he rode up on his bike to her piling stones—but fresh hurt stirs in her eyes, where it had begun to fade since he dropped the liquor in her hands. But the hooch also makes her bold, and she straightens further from her haunches, hurt turning to fire.

“Well, come on then,” she says defiantly, daring him. She's always daring him, this girl, with her sass and her fortitude, the steady drum of her feet in front of him, the determined stretch of her thighs—he's distracted himself more than he should , watching those long legs swinging through grass and brush when he should have been watching the trees, the road behind them—keeping them safe, keeping them strong, when all he wants to do is bury himself between those legs and forget himself.

He'd had an epiphany, on that run from the prison, her lean arms pumping and legs springing like a gazelle—of how shit so much of his life has been, and how desperately he wants to take this girl for a ride.

She's still looking at him, taking his measure; her little teeth emerge, to chew on her lower lip. He feels something stir in him, something buried and cold.

She jumps when he tosses the hammer down. He likes that.

“Spread that blanket out,” he says. It takes a moment, but she does, stumbling to her feet to drag the red quilt from beneath her. She clears the floor as he watches—she knows he's watching, he can see it in the whites of her eyes—she clears the floor as he runs his eyes across the dip of her back and the curve of her ass, flexes his hands. When she finishes, she stands head down, slightly turned away; he can see the arch of her nose, the soft brush of her eyelashes as they blink, the shadows they throw across rosy cheeks.

Her breathing deepens as he steps up behind her to hover, just hover, at the edge of her corporeal awareness. But she feels him; her shoulders vibrate with it.

He raises his hand and spreads it across her bowed neck, knuckle by knuckle until he cups her from spine to skull. He can feel the hair rising beneath his palm; she shivers and he can't help swaying forward, brushing the lightest touch against her ass and making them both stutter.

“You ever done this before?”

“Few times.”

“With who?”

“Zach. In the showers.”

“You ain't really done it then.”

His other hand creeps across her hip, fingers dancing dangerously close to the crease of her thigh. The knob of her spine and the jut of her hip sit hard against his palms and he leans forward so she feels his breath between his fingers.

“What do you want?” he asks.

“I–, I don't know.”

His hands tighten dangerously. “Yes you do.”

She hesitates; he can see the thoughts spinning through the back of her head, the adrenaline rushing from her glands down to her veins as she takes deep, heaving breaths. Then, slowly, she steps back against him.

Daryl hisses when her ass comes in contact with his crotch, and deeper contact still, pressing until the the scratch of his filthy boxers is nearly painful. He moves his hand from the back of her head to wrap around her throat, loosely, pulling her back so her head is flat against his chest. He can feel her heart pounding through her back. He cranes his neck and he can see by the flutter of her eyelashes that her eyes are closed, the dark spiral between her lips that her mouth is open; her chin is trembling like she's about to cry. Daryl lets his own eyes close as he buries his face in her hair, inhaling deeply. She smells disgusting, like decaying flesh and acrid fear; but there is also earth, and the clear sharp scent of her sweat; somewhere beneath it all he imagines the powdery scent of baby, and that almost makes him stop their game—but then she pushes her whole body against him, arching the crown of her head into the base of his throat. He can see her little breasts push forward, straining against the fabric pulled taut across her chest from where it's trapped behind her body. He tightens the hand on her hip, dragging across her lower stomach, letting his pinky dip to nearly the top of her sex; his other hand slides across her collarbone until she's wrapped up completely, his bicep spanning the width of her chest, hand grasping the opposite shoulder; she's breathing in shallow gulps, and he pulls on her, hard, feeling the length of her against him.

He brings his lips to her ear and brushes the shell, lightly, with his lips, just a tease of wet sticking pressure until she gasps another little, “Oh,” but higher pitched and desperate. He likes that too.

“You sure you want this?” he murmurs, hot breath curling in the spiral of her ear.

“Yeah,” she mutters, barely mouths, and he snaps his hips brutally, drawing a surprised keen from her lips.

“Didn't hear ya,” he growls.

“Yes,” she snaps, trying to turn her head to look at him; the hand across her chest snaps up to grab her chin, forcing it back forward.

“Eyes forward, girl.”

He waits until she relaxes to release the pressure, turning his grip on her chin into a caress that travels up to her cheek through the edge of her parted lips. He sucks the shell of her ear into his mouth, circles his hips against her ass, breathes in through his nose at the sound she makes. His own breath is coming harsh and deep now, drowning out the quiet rasps from the walker outside to something like the murmur of traffic outside his brother's place in Valdosta. Beth's ass isn't as meaty as those of the girls he'd taken there, and without the heels she's shorter than them too; he wonders, if they'd ever gotten their shoes off, if they'd've felt like this, small and slight and tucked against him like she could phase backwards into the clutch of his ribcage. His arms circle her like ribs around a heart, drawing her back and starting a steady rub of his hips, a trail of fingernails up and down her artery while his hand rubs circles into her stomach. Her hands still hang limply at her side, like she's forgotten they belong to her; they clench and unclench with the rhythm of his hips.

Bringing his hand back to her shoulder, he begins sucking a trail down her neck, swirling his tongue against her skin with every kiss and her hands come up in shock at the feeling, gripping the arm across her chest, little fingernails digging into his skin. He reaches the curve of her shoulder and she's downright whimpering, shuddering against him and whispering little whining words under her breath.

“Speak up, girl.”

“Daryl,” she gasps, the word tumbling out like he's released a plug inside her and the only thing there is his name. He nips at her shoulder, moving the fabric out of the way with his cheek, scratching her with his scruff in the process. “Daryl,” she says again, a downright whine, gripping his arm like she's ready to do chin-ups.

“Tell me what you want,” he says again.

“I–, I,” she stutters, the shivering in her bones intensifying until he feels a spike of worry shoot through him at the way she trembles.

Removing his mouth from her neck, he loosens his hands and takes half a step back. They're still close, but not glued together. She turns her head and he can see the edge of her eyes for the first time since this began. He shudders at the sight of her blown pupils, licking his lips nervously.

“Why'd you stop?” she asks, thin chest heaving.

“I... fuck, Beth, what are we doing? I—“

“No,” she says fiercely, spinning in his arms before he can grab her. She lands with her hands loosely gripping the edges of his vest. The full sight of her face stops both of them.

“Beth—“

“No,” she says again, this time softer; but her mouth still pouts, her eyes still burn. “You finish what you started, Daryl Dixon.”

In answer, he kisses her.

His first thought—it's been so long—his second—christ, these lips—his third—she tastes like sunshine—rocket through him with a surge that leaves him weak. They don't bother with chastity; her mouth opens easily under his and they're making out in earnest, her knuckles white around his vest and his hands going from her waist to her ass, kneading the flesh and dragging her against him until they both gasp. She's bent backwards on the tips of her toes and she grabs the back of his head for balance, jerking his hair roughly and he bites her lip with the shot of lust it strikes through him.

He wrenches his lips from hers to attack her neck, sucking into her fiercely as her hand wanders to the flesh of his lower back, still too timid to go lower but burning nonetheless. With a growl he rips his vest off, letting it fall behind him and he grabs her ass tighter, digging his fingers between the cheeks as his other hand goes to her shoulder blades to pull their chests together, flattening her breasts against him. He's hot, he's burning in this mess of the shack and he can't take another moment of not being inside her.

The hand on her back goes up to her neck to grip her hair, and he drags her head back harshly. Her mouth gapes in a silent gasp as she looks up at him, eyes darting between his eyes as he continues to knead at her ass, slower now, the fire in his dick burning.

“Get down on your back,” he growls, “and take off your clothes.” He releases her so suddenly she stumbles; he steps back and nearly cries at the missed warmth against his front.

Her eyes are impossibly wide, hair spilling and wild. Her mouth hangs open like a spigot and she doesn't even notice.

“Don't make me tell you again,” he says, dragging his eyes up and down her body, dick twitching as he imagines all that pale, untouched skin.

She stares at him for a few more moments, unblinking. He growls deep in his chest, taking a menacing step forward, and her hands jump to the button of her jeans, sliding them rapidly down her hips as she toes off her socks and shoes. He only has time to note that her panties are plain grey cotton before she's got the hem of her shirt lifting up towards her head. He watches hungrily as inch after creamy inch is revealed until she stands before him in ratty bra and panties; her chest is nearly flat and her pubic hair wild and it's the sexiest thing he's seen in his life.

She pauses, watching him nervously for his reaction to her near-nakedness; she jumps when his eyes return to her face. He wonders what she sees there.

“On your back,” he says quietly. She obeys without a word, sliding her butt down the quilt so she can rest her head. The blanket isn't big enough and she has to bend her legs to keep her bare feet off the dirty floor, giving him a good view of the wet stain on her panties. Her hands flutter nervously and eventually rest on her stomach, hiding the cute little belly button and vibrating like she wants to reach for her clothes. Without looking away from her eyes, he goes down to one knee to remove one boot, then the other. He leaves his socks on. Still not moving his gaze from hers, he drops down between her legs.

He looks at her spread beneath him, and feels an inexplicable burst of tenderness rush through him, followed instantly by a shot of shame. She doesn't deserve this, a quick screw on the floor of a dead man's shack; she deserves... flowers, and candlelight; pansy shit like soft jazz humming from the bedside table. In the old world, she would have all that; wouldn't even need to ask for it, with those ensnaring eyes and her creamy, arching neck. She's just the girl Daryl would have hated, before; clean and good and too pure for his redneck ass to even fantasize about without inviting divine retribution. And she is, he thinks; she's good. Maybe not pure, and neither of them are clean, metaphorically or otherwise—but the goodness shines through every line of her body as she waits for him, nearly naked on the filthy floor of a moonshiner's shack.

He rests a trembling hand on her knee. Her thighs clench and unclench, but her eyes are calmer, watching him almost curiously as he looks at his hand, filthy and dark against her blonde skin.

“Daryl?”

“You sure you want this?” he asks, not looking at her.

“You keep askin' that, I'm beginning to wonder if you do.”

“'Course,” he says, running his hand down the soft hair of her calf. “I'm here, ain't I?”

“You don't have'ta feel obligated,” she says quietly. “You've probably been with plenty'a girls.”

“Yeah, drunk and coked outta my mind.”

He feels instantly like he's said the wrong thing, scared her off; she frowns deeply and he moves to take his hand away. Before it fully leaves her skin she's lunged forward to grab it. She hovers a moment, unsure, before lacing his fingers with hers against her leg.

“So you never... you've never been with someone you loved?”

“You think I love you?” he asks, horrified.

“No!” Her cheeks burn. “No, I'm just... I thought...”

“Beth,” he growls, biting in a way that scrapes his throat raw, “You want me to do this, lemme do this.”

She looks at him flatly. “You really are the romantic, aren't you, Mr. Dixon?”

Another sick shot of lust shivers through him at the title; she must see it, cause her hand tightens on his and her eyes go darker.

Before he can think, he growls, “Say it again.”

“Mr. Dixon,” she whispers, eyes tracking his as he crawls up her body. He stops when he's poised over her, hands flat on the quilt beside her head.

“Again,” he says, kissing her jaw.

“Mr. Dixon,” she breathes.

“Mr. Dixon, what?”

“Please, Mr. D–“

She stops with a gasp when he slips a hand between her thighs to press into her cotton-covered pussy, growling at the way the fabric slides over her wet flesh. Her head is arched backward, her mouth open and eyes closed as he rubs gentle circles against her opening, trailing his fingers up her neck from where he rests on his other elbow. She clenches her thighs around him, trapping his arm against his side. She doesn't look at him, but he's looking at her, watching her face fiercely—every twitch, every tremor as he circles higher and higher and higher, working between her lips and chasing her keening gasps until he finds her clit and presses down hard.

She's a vision as she comes—little teeth bared in a whimpering grimace, sweat standing proudly on her upper lip which he licks away as she comes down, shuddering in his arms and he cups her, rubbing her sex soothingly. She slowly releases her grip on his biceps, trimmed fingernails leaving moon-shaped grooves that make him hiss the air hits them. He watches as her eyes slowly slide open to half-mast, blinking up at him in a daze; her mouth is parted in a small “o”, pink and inviting, and he can't help but taste it.

“Daryl,” she whispers against his lips, and he slowly slides her panties down.

“Beth,” he murmurs, kissing her cheek and wrapping a hand around the inside of her thigh, squeezing lightly as he settles himself on top of her. He kisses down her chest to pull out a tit and take a nipple in his mouth, sucking lightly as she squirms and moans and presses a hand to his lower back, pulling him against her, riding the feel of the press of his dick. He moves his hand up to caress the crease of her thigh and onto her mound as one of her hands suddenly slides up under the back of his shirt.

He grabs her wrist with the one between her legs, and they both freeze.

“Daryl?” she asks, a wrinkle between her brows. Hand shaking, he brings her wrist up and pins it above her head, then reaches down to undo his jeans. “Daryl, what is it?”

“Shut up,” he growls, yanking at his zipper.

“Daryl,” she says more forcefully, reaching to still him with her other hand. He bats her away, then gasps as he feels her hand sink into his pants and grasp him, hard. He didn't know her hands were that strong.

“Daryl,” she murmurs, head tilted back, fingers relaxed above her head; she loosens her grip and strokes him lightly, making him tremble. “You know I've seen them before.”

His gut clenches. “Doesn't matter.”

“It does matter.” She stops with her hand around the head, cradling it as tenderly as a twitching cock can be cradled. His hair hangs in a curtain around them, brushing her cheek like raindrops. “You matter.”

A shudder runs through him from deep in his bowels to the soles of his feet. He takes her hand gently and puts it on his shoulder; reaches down to position himself; sinks deep inside.

They both groan aloud with the sensation of it, this aching filling; Beth whimpers at the tug of his foreskin inside her and Daryl is burning, burning, buried in her heat and no longer so dispossessed; here on the floor of a childhood hell, his ankles chilled from the cold floor and nose prickling with memories he'd so much rather forget—with Beth in his arms and her eyes on his face, he feels like he's come home.

“You gonna move, or just sit there all day?” Beth gasps out, arching under the press of his body, looking for friction; he realizes he's drifted out again and snaps to life. He smirks and grinds into her until she squeals. She glares up at him and defiantly runs both hands up under the back of his shirt, raising an eyebrow as his face darkens, then dissolves into another evil smirk; she doesn't even have time to look nervous before he's pulled nearly all the way out and slammed into her again.

“Daryl, fuck,” she gasps, fingernails digging into his scars and brave runner's thighs trapping him, strangling him as his cock sings and his heart bleeds and he screws her into the ground. After a few more thrusts he gathers her up close to her chest so only his hips are moving, snapping into her brutally and drawing higher and higher keens from her throat.

“Fucking hell, Beth, so good,” he mutters, burying his face in her neck and shuddering as she nips at his, running her teeth and tongue to his shoulder and biting down hard with each thrust. Her ankles lock around his ass and her hips rise to meet him every time in a thundering dance that drives Daryl crazy. Beth's gasping and he's grunting and when he feels her inner walls start to shudder he shoves a hand down between them and pinches her clit hard.

He swallows her scream with his mouth and refuses to stop, closes a hand around her tit and rubs her clit as she comes again and again, sobbing out her release until tears track down her cheeks.

A few more thrusts and it's over for him; he reaches behind him to unlock her ankles and pulls out of her still clenching heat to groan and splatter across her white belly.

He opens his eyes and if it were biologically possible he would come again from the sight: little Beth Greene, cheeks flushed and eyes wild, one tit hanging out of her bra and unshaved pussy open to the air, red and pouting and next time, next time, when I catch my breath, I'll eat her out until she can't remember her name, and she's looking up at him with tear marks running to her temples and his come barely visible on her white skin.

With a groan he collapses on top of her, unmindful of the way his spendings smear on his shirt—it's had worse, after all—heart filling at the little hum she makes, like his weight is something welcome. He's landed with his head on her chest, pillowed between her breasts; with a little fumbling between the two of them, they get her bra off so he can lie more comfortably, pressing kisses to her flesh every few moments, soaking up the smell of her.

“Wow,” she finally breathes, like it's taken her this long to catch her breath.

He grunts in reply, already fucked out from the emotions of the day and the moonshine on her breath and the warmth of her little body welcoming his. He takes a moment to feel old, then; wishes suddenly that he had met Beth when he was younger, no matter that that man would have deserved her even less than he does now; wishes they had more than a cold concrete floor and the shuffles of walkers at the door; wishes he could have taken her on a trip somewhere, someplace nice, with cotton sheets to match her cotton skin and a giant bed they wouldn't leave for days.

Well why the hell can't we, he thinks, ears pulsing with the pounds of her heart, Ain't like there's anyone to kick us out. I'll find her a place. Maybe be good for something. I'll be good for her.

The walker noises from outside really are louder now, and he realizes he and Beth must have been louder than he thought. As if anticipating him rising off her body, Beth presses a hand to the small of his back, keeping him close.

“Just a little while longer,” she murmurs.

He might have been the one to start this thing; but he realizes now he'd walk to the moon if she asked him to. Flay the flesh from his bones. Maybe even—

“I ain't in love with you or nothin',” he says.

“Just keep telling yourself that,” she mumbles sleepily.

The thing is—he doesn't even try.