"This is the nurse's station. You'll need to check in here before you do your rounds. There will always be another nurse here with you so if you ever need help, you can ask for it. At the moment, we're in a funk. Most of the patients here in the ICU are in comas. You can tag with me while I finish my rounds." The older woman gestured with her hand for Beth to follow and she did. Nerves were eating away at Beth's insides. Her first day at her new nursing job with the ICU and she was anxiously running everything she knew through her head to make sure she didn't screw up. The older nurse, Carol, led the way into a room and picked up the clipboard at the foot of the bed.
"This is our newest patient. He was in a motorcycle accident over a week ago and hasn't woken up since. Thirty-five year old male suffering from multiple fractures and bruising along with internal bleeding. Police said he was speeding on his bike and a car ran a red light and hit him. At least he was wearing a helmet but the doctors found evidence of the impact still causing some head trauma which is what they think has kept him out of it for so long…Doctor Greene, your father, was his surgeon. You'll need to change the dressings on his wounds soon." Beth watched as Carol read off the chart before moving her blue eyes to the man in the bed. His dark brown hair was slightly long, his bangs brushing his closed eyes and the ends just touching his shoulder.
His face was uninjured, thanks to his helmet, and Beth found herself drawn to his features. A bandage was wrapped around his chest and one of his arms was in a cast. She was certain there were more injuries hidden beneath the sheet covering him but from what Beth could see, he didn't seem to be in too bad of a shape. Beth stepped next to the man, looking at his vitals and reading them aloud to Carol, who recorded them on the board before putting it back in its place and turning to leave.
"We need to complete our rounds, and then you can come back and change his dressings. I'll be going home by then," Carol told her from the door and Beth nodded and walked to follow her out.
"What's his name?" Carol looked at her curiously and Beth nodded her head toward the man in the room.
"I'm not sure. When you see as many as I have, you quit looking." Beth frowned and went back into the man's room and looked at his name on the chart. She walked back to his side and gently took his uninjured hand, giving it a light squeeze.
"My name is Beth, Daryl, I'm going to be looking after you."
Beth smiled as she went to the nurse's station to check in for another long shift. She had survived her first week of grueling shifts and while she was exhausted when she returned to her small house, she was always eager to return to the hospital. The other nurses smiled back at her, greeting her in return when she greeted them. Carol was the only exception. The older nurse seemed cold to Beth and it made the blonde's smile falter slightly. Thankfully, she didn't have to work with the older woman very often.
"I just did my rounds, changed the dressings in 412, 413, and 414. You should be good for a little while. I'm leaving," Carol told her before walking off. Beth sighed and looked at the other nurses who were there with her.
"You just gotta ignore her," one of them, Sasha, told her.
"She's been doin' this for a long time," the other, Haley, added.
"Regardless for the length of time she's done this job, I expected people to still care about their patients," Beth muttered and Sasha smiled sadly.
"She was here during a bad wreck that involved some kids. The kids and her became close and then somethin' happened and they both passed away from their injuries. She took it pretty hard." Beth nodded, feeling guilt and remorse weigh down her stomach. She shouldn't have just assumed the older nurse had stopped caring. Beth could hear families reading or talking to their loved ones in the nearby rooms and her blue eyes instantly looked to see if anyone was in room 412, Daryl's room. The room was empty of anyone but the still unconscious man, like it always was.
Beth felt her heart get heavy. She prayed every night that someone in his family would pop up and be there when she came in for work. Beth wasn't stupid, she had seen the scars on his stomach, chest, and back when she had changed his dressings (with some help of course, she struggled to move the muscular man being as small as she was). Her mind had instantly figured out that he had survived through some traumatic childhood abuse of some sort, but she still hoped that a sibling or a cousin would appear and care for the man. To think of him so alone bothered and hurt the petite woman like nothing had ever hurt her before.
Beth's shift flew by. Families and patients calling for assistance or discussions had kept her surprisingly busy. Exhaustion pulled at her eyelids but Beth decided to do something for Daryl. After she was clocked out, she made her way to his room and sat down beside the bed, gently holding his uninjured hand in hers. She tried to do this every time she came into his room, announcing her presence and talking about random pieces of news in the world. Carol didn't seem to like it whenever she did this, but Beth couldn't bring herself to care.
"Hey, Daryl, it's Beth again. I just got off work but the other nurse, Karen, she's really good and she's very nice. She's been in here with you before, so you probably already knew that…but she'll take good care of you while I'm off. I have a little bit of down time, so I wanted to read to you part of a book I've been reading. The book's about these two brothers…" Beth explained the book to Daryl, catching him up on the few chapters she had already read before reading the next chapter aloud to him, her hand never leaving his.
Movement in her peripheral vision made her blue eyes jump from the page she had been reading aloud to look at the man in the bed. He hadn't moved or shown any sign of waking, but Beth could have sworn she had seen something. Her eyes moved to the hand she was holding and she squeezed it slightly. Her eyes went back to the man but there was still no change and his hand was still limp under hers. She sighed sadly, her eyes moving to the clock on the wall where she noticed it had been over an hour since she had started reading to him. She marked the page and stood up.
"No wonder I'm seeing things. It's been over an hour since I got off, I need to go get some sleep…" she muttered to herself before facing the man in the bed. "I've got to go now, Daryl…I'll be back tomorrow." Her hand moved on its own and brushed his bangs off his closed eyes. Her hand shot back to her side once she realized what she was doing. "Okay, yea…time to go. I'll read to you some more tomorrow. See you later, Daryl."
"Good morning, Daryl," Beth chirped as she entered his room the next day. "It's Wednesday, September 17th today. You're healing nicely; we can officially stop wrapping some of your cuts. I bet that is a relief…" Beth went about the room after checking his vitals and his injuries, opening the curtains to let some of the sunlight filter in. She stepped back to the bed side and gently squeezed his hand. "It's beautiful today so I opened the curtains for you. You strike me as someone who would prefer to be outside so I bet all of these fluorescent lights are bugging you. I hope you don't mind the sun too much. I'll make sure to come in frequently and adjust the curtains so that the sun doesn't shine in your eyes." Beth smiled and squeezed his hand again, her eyes taking in the relaxed face and still body.
"I have to continue my rounds but I'll be back and if you liked that book yesterday, I brought it with me again today. I could read you some more later tonight when I get off work."
"You shouldn't spend so much time in here with him," Carol's voice came sternly from the doorway, making Beth jump at the suddenness of it. The blonde let out a huff and walked towards Carol.
"All of our other patients have had family or friends come visit them almost daily. He deserves to have company too." Beth stood calmly in front of Carol as she told the older nurse her reasons. Carol's face softened and she touched Beth's shoulder gently.
"Just don't get too attached, Beth. One way or another, he'll be gone before too long," Carol squeezed her shoulder before turning and walking off. Beth sighed, her heart heavy as she looked back at the man in the bed. She walked back over to him, adjusting the blankets on him.
"I have hope," she murmured to him. Her hand moved on its own accord to his hair and gently ran it through his hair to push some of it off his face before grasping his hand again. Beth sat down beside him and smiled at the man, "I know you will wake up from this…I need to go do my rounds now."
Beth exited Daryl's room and made her way through to her other patients, conversing with their families easily. The families were all so wonderful but Beth could see the deep concerns and worries about their loved ones. She did her best to soothe them of their concerns and answered any questions they had. Her rounds took longer than most of the other nurses because of this but she knew the families appreciated her work.
The petite blond made her way back to Daryl's room but stopped when she heard feet moving quickly towards her. Her blue eyes widened when she saw a man in a police uniform approach her, his eyes wide in concern. He was out of breath and Beth realized he must have been running.
"Is everything okay, officer?" she asked him, her brows furrowing with her concern. The officer met her eyes.
"My brother, Daryl Dixon, is he here?" Beth's eyes widened more before her smile grew and she felt happiness exploding in her chest.
"Yes, he's in this room actually," she gestured to the room she was about to enter and the man nodded before walking in.
"Forgive my asking, but everyone said he didn't have family…" she started and the man shook his head.
"I'm not really his brother. I'm Rick Grimes, the Sheriff back in our hometown. He's my best friend…I've been trying to reach him but…how long has he…?"
"A little over two weeks, I think. He's healing really well," she comforted the man and she could see some of the tension leave his body.
"Do you know how to reach his family?" she asked curiously and the sheriff nodded.
"I know where his older brother is, or at least where he was…not sure you'd really want him coming though…He's not the friendliest." Beth shook her head at the man in front of her, her ponytail and braid moving with her head.
"All of us here are used to emotional people, regardless of whether it is anger or sadness. He's his brother; he deserves to know where his brother is and what has happened to him. Whether he's rude, crude, whatever…he needs to be here. I have faith that Daryl will wake up soon and he'll need whatever support he can get." Rick sighed and nodded and Beth smiled.
"Alright…I'll go track down Merle," the sheriff looked at his friend, his brother, in the bed with a look of guilt. "I'm sorry it took me so long to realize something had happened…" he whispered. Beth laid a gentle hand on his shoulder.
"He'll forgive you." Rick looked at her through the corner of his eye.
"You don't know him, how can you be so sure?" She shrugged.
"Call it a hunch," she replied. Rick nodded and stepped back from her and gently placed his hand on the foot of the bed.
"I'll go find Merle…I'll be back as quick as I can. If…if he wakes up, will you call me?" the sheriff asked and he quickly wrote down his cell number.
"Of course," she comforted before clipping his number to the patient charts on the clipboard. Rick nodded and left. Beth smiled and walked to Daryl's bedside, grabbing his hand and squeezing it like she always did.
"You hear that, Daryl? Rick's going to find your brother for you. Hopefully, you'll wake up soon to see them."
There's a muffled voice, soft and sweet, talking in the room. His ears are registering the flow of the words, but his brain is unable to comprehend the words that are being said. A dark blue eye opens slightly but the room is bright and it closes just as quickly. It feels like an eternity later when he is able to open it again, the soft voice still going from beside him. Something warm and smooth is holding his hand gently. His eye moves to take in the fuzzy shape of a hand in his and it follows the small hand up a thin arm that is covered in black blurs. His brain tries to think of what those blurs might be but he can't figure it out. The blue eye takes in the soft green of a sleeve before settling on the long, blonde hair that is pulled back in a ponytail with a braid in it. Then it takes in the soft face and he feels his breath catch.
The woman's image is fuzzy but there is a light behind her and she looks ethereal to him. His brain automatically thinks he's dying or dead and an angel has come to condemn him to hell. His eye struggles to stay open and then it can't anymore and it closes. The last thing he feels before slipping back into unconsciousness is her squeezing his hand. He hears a faint voice, calling to him in question and then he's gone.
Beth stared at the man standing on the other side of Daryl's bed from her, her eyes narrowing dangerously, her hand gripping Daryl's tightly. She had just gotten off of her shift and had started reading to the unconscious man when Rick and this man, Merle Dixon, walked in. Merle had instantly rubbed her the wrong way, especially when he made fun of the man in the bed and her reading aloud to him. Beth took a deep breath and loosened her hold on Daryl's hand as she stood.
"Are ya leavin' so soon, Sugartits? I was hopin' you could entertain me like you've been little Darylina here." Rick gave Merle a warning glare and Beth huffed, the legendary Greene daughter temper simmering under her skin. Merle glared at Rick before plopping unceremoniously in the chair next to the bed and staring at his brother. Beth's eyes narrowed at him again before she saw it. The fear and concern in his eyes. Her temper instantly cooled and she walked around to Merle and put her hand on his shoulder, making him jump before smirking lewdly.
"Damn girl, ya can't have both us Dixons. Me or Daryl, Sweetcakes." Beth rolled her eyes, a smile forming on her face as she squeezed his shoulder.
"I'll take Daryl," she told him simply before carrying on with her original discussion plans, "I know you're concerned about him, you don't need to hide it behind sexist remarks. He's been healing really well. We're just playing the waiting game for him to wake up." Beth chewed on her lip as Merle glanced at her then his brother.
"Do you know anything about what caused the wreck?" Merle asked quietly and Beth could see this shocked the officer next to them.
"There wasn't any alcohol in his system when he was admitted, so it wasn't because of him driving drunk." she told the older Dixon. "I don't honestly know much about it but I did hear someone say it was probably a hit and run. The officers at the scene would be able to tell you more about it if you want their number."
"Nah, cops and Dixons don't get along too well," Merle replied and Beth's eyes quirked to Rick. "Officer Friendly there's the only exception, but he gets along with Daryl a hell of a lot better 'n me." The three were quiet for a moment before Merle turned to Beth and gestured to her book.
"Why were you readin' to Darylina?" Beth felt her cheeks warm and she shuffled her weight slightly, embarrassed at having been caught.
"All my other patients here in the ICU have had company. I've tried to keep Daryl company as often as I could until his family came to see him." She could see a brief glimpse of guilt flash on the older brother's face and she instantly regretted what she had said, despite its truth.
"We had a fight," Merle told her and Rick. "I wanted to leave, move on. He wanted to stay here with his friends and new job. I got mad, thinking he was choosin' them over his own blood. Said some nasty things I shouldn't've. He jumped on his bike and left. That was almost three weeks ago…it's my fault he's in here."
"No, it's not," Beth's voice was firm and Merle looked back up at her. "It's not your fault, Merle." The blonde waited, watching Merle to see if he would say anything else but he didn't. He stared at her before looking back at his brother. She turned and grabbed an extra pillow and a blanket and handed them to the older brother. "We don't often let people stay the night but we make exceptions, and we'll make one this time. That seat over by the window reclines. It's not the most comfortable but it'll be enough. I'll leave you to it. I have to be back in the morning for work so I will check in on you then."
When Beth returned the next morning, she could barely stiffen the loud yawn that escaped her lips. Her coffee cup was practically glued to her mouth as she nodded at an exhausted looking Karen and started for Daryl's room.
"Beth!" Karen's voice sounded panicked and Beth whipped around quickly, her coffee spilling a couple of drops on to her hand. The heat of the drink scorched her skin and she hissed. Her mouth had become numb to the burning sensation after her first couple of drinks, her desperation for caffeine outweighing her brain's pain receptors. "You don't wanna go in there," Karen told her firmly and Beth immediately felt concern rising into her chest. "I guess they found his brother last night. The man's a royal ass hat. He's been rude and sexist all morning." Beth huffed and turned, stomping into Daryl's room and glaring at Merle.
"Are you tryin' to get yourself kicked out? Cuz security don't like "ass hats" being in their hospital!" she asked him angrily, her southern drawl becoming stronger with her anger. Merle's eyes widened before he laughed coldly.
"I didn't like that other nurse, Sugartits. She didn't seem to care too much about my brother. Not like you do." Beth's cheeks reddened slightly and Merle shot her a smirk.
"First off, my name is Beth, not Sugartits. Secondly, she cares. Sometimes we nurses get swamped and our shifts are long. Mine are normally around ten or so hours right now. So sometimes, we aren't as caring as we should be, Merle. You can't fault someone for that."
"I saw you at the end of your shift last night, sweetheart. You were here after clocking out and reading to him cuz he ain't had anyone visit him. If you can be compassionate about someone at the end of the day, then others can too." Beth stared, her mouth agape, at the Dixon in front of her. "I guess you're a rare breed of person. Alright, fine, I'll play nicer with the other nurses, mom." The man snickered and Beth snapped her mouth shut, settling her glare on him before leaving to start her rounds.
Her coffee was gone by the time she made her way back down to the Nurse's station and to Daryl's room when she saw Merle fly out of the room and look around wildly. Carol approached him, asking what was wrong but he ignored her. When his eyes met Beth's, she saw a mixture of emotions on his face and felt her heart speed up.
"Beth!" he hollered and she gestured for him to keep it down while walking briskly to him. "It's Daryl, he's awake!"
Beth practically threw herself into Daryl's room behind Merle. Her wide blue eyes met the groggy, dark blue eyes of Daryl Dixon and she froze for a moment in her spot by the door before she was moving a in a flurry, paging the doctor and getting the man some water before dashing back to his bedside. She gently lowered the water to Daryl's mouth, a bendy straw sticking out of the cup that made his eyes quirk to hers before he took a long sip.
"Do you remember your name?" she asked him softly, her hand unconsciously finding his and holding it. His eyes drifted to their hands for a moment before looking back up at hers, recognition flashing in them.
"You…" he started, his voice gravelly and rough from disuse and she lowered the cup back to his mouth for him to take another drink. "You were here before?" Beth's eyes widened in surprise before her face lit up in a dazzling smile that made Daryl's heart audibly skip a beat on the monitor. Her eyes flew to the screen before going back to his.
"I'm Beth, I've been taking care of you. Do you remember your name?"
"Daryl, Daryl Dixon. Where am I?" Beth nodded, her smile getting even brighter, which he didn't think was possible.
"You're in the hospital. You were in a wreck, do you remember that?" Beth stepped away from her spot beside the bed as the doctor came in and took over talking with the recovering Dixon brother. Daryl's hand felt cold and empty after Beth had let it go and it took all of Daryl's willpower to look away from the blonde nurse and to focus on the questions the doctor was asking him. There was a whole flurry of activity and Daryl honestly could barely stay focused or awake enough to keep track of it all. He must have dozed off or something cuz the next he knew, it was just Rick, Merle, and Beth in the room with him. The open curtains revealed a dark sky and he blinked in confusion.
"It happens," Beth's voice interrupted his thoughts and his eyes met hers again, "blacking out or dozing off after waking up from being in a coma with a head trauma. You slept for a while."
"How's little Darylina feelin'?" Merle asked from beside him. Daryl let out a growl and opened his mouth to retort something back to his brother but stopped when he saw Beth shoot a look that made his brother retrace his steps and mutter, "how are you feeling, Daryl?" This made the younger Dixon smirk and he glanced shyly at the blonde.
"Better now that I know someone's got reins on you," he muttered. A pretty blush appeared on Beth's cheeks and she ducked her head shyly, brushing a bang back behind her ear. He cleared his throat in a weak attempt to push the weird swirl of emotions in his body back and looked around. "Is it normal…to be unfocused? Can't remember much…like events. I 'member people, names…but the rest is hazy." Beth nodded as she moved to sit beside him, her hand going to his again. When his eyes went to their hands, she pulled it back with a bright blush and put her hand back in her lap.
"Sorry, habit…uh, yeah, it-it can happen after a head injury. Sometimes you may have difficulty registering what you are seeing. Like, you could be watching Oprah on the TV and not recognize who she is or your eyes are seeing it but your brain isn't registering it. It's happened. It'll get better with time."
"Will it really?" Merle asked and Beth's eyes moved from Daryl's to the older Dixon's, her jaw tight and her eyes bright.
"Yes. I have faith. I had faith you, Daryl, would wake up, and you did. I have faith that the head trauma did no lasting damage to your brain and that you'll be right as rain in no time. The doctors have scheduled tests over the next couple of days and we'll know I'm right when the results are in." Daryl looked over to Rick and held out his hand and the sheriff walked the couple of steps and clasped it tightly as he sat on the edge of the bed by his brother's legs.
"Do you feel any pain?" Beth asked before yawning widely, her hand covering her mouth as she did so. Daryl shook his head, his eyes settling back on Beth's pale face, taking in the deep bags under her eyes and the shaking of her hands. Her eyes followed his and she smiled softly, letting out a chuckle.
"Too much caffeine, not enough sleep or food."
"When do you get done?" Rick asked her, his face gentle with a look of appreciation for the blonde.
"Oh, I got off an hour or so ago," she replied with a flip of her wrist, signaling it was no big deal to her that she had stayed late. Daryl felt a protective surge run through him. This small slip of a woman had been taking care of him like a guardian angel (his thoughts briefly returned to that brief moment of consciousness that he originally thought he had dreamed where he had seen her as she spoke, her eyes downward cast and her hand in his. He had really thought she was an angel and how fitting that thought was now that he could see how she cared for his health, his quick recovery, how she had faith in his healing.) and now she was staying late to talk with him and his family. The protective feeling surged stronger and he growled at her.
"Then what the hell you doin' here? Go the fuck home, woman. Don't need you here." Beth's eyes were wide and Daryl felt guilt clawing at him. Rick and Merle both smacked a leg and he glared at the two of them. Beth stood and gave a shaky smile.
"O-ok, I'll just see you tomorrow then. Get some rest, you three." Beth's eyes flitted to Daryl's briefly before she ducked her head and left the room.
"Way ta go, dumbass," Merle scolded and Daryl shot his brother a surprised, then agitated look.
"Shut up, jackass. She was tired, she ain't needed here right now. Other nurses and people are here, ain't they? They can do their job until she gets back to do hers too. Plus I got you two clingin' all over, I don't need some bitch doin' it too." Rick sighed as he moved into the seat Beth had been occupying.
"Beth, and the other nurses here, have worked hard to make sure your recovery was as smooth as possible while you were in a coma, Daryl. The least you could do was be appreciative of the care they've given you."
"That's what I's tryin ta do! She was tired and hungry. She needed food and rest."
"A'right, but you went about it the wrong way." Rick's soft words made Daryl's thoughts whirl and he sighed, leaning back on his pillows and covering his eyes with his uninjured arm, which still felt oddly cold and empty without Beth's small hand in it.
Beth sighed as she approached Daryl's room. She had left his room for last while doing her rounds, finding herself without the heart to be cheerful to the man after his rudeness the night before. His words had cut her deeply and had kept her up half the night, the pain of them making her eyes sting. She had to actually put on make-up before coming in to work to hide the dark bags under her eyes. There wasn't much she could do about the redness the tears had brought forth so she had spent much of the morning not making eye contact with people. She had already heard one of the other nurses gossiping, asking if anyone knew if Beth had broken up with someone, but she didn't really feel up to talking to them. The blonde straightened her shoulders before knocking and entering Daryl's room.
"Good morning, Mr. Dixon. Merle, Rick," she set her charts and coffee down before crossing to the windows and reopening the curtains with a huff. Seriously, who keeps closing these damn things? I get closing them a little to keep the sunlight out of his eyes but to close them all the way? Unnecessary. She thought furiously before turning back to the three men in the room. The tension was terrible, thick in the air as Beth moved about, checking what needed to be checked on the injured man before grabbing his chart and filling out the necessary information.
"Yesterday you said you were experiencing fuzziness in your vision and comprehension, how is that today, Mr. Dixon?" she asked, finally glancing up to meet Daryl's eyes for a brief glance.
"Beth," he started and she shrugged.
"On a scale of one to ten, one being no pain and ten being unbearable, how is your pain today?"
"Beth," he growled out, his face turning stony as his frustration rose.
"Yes, Mr. Dixon? Do you need something?" she asked as sweetly and politely as her hurting heart would let her. Her heart was still clenching tightly in her chest and she had to force herself to stay put in the room to finish her job.
"We're…gonna go get some coffee. Come on, Merle," Rick stood and had to practically drag Merle out of the room. Merle mumbled something about not wanting to miss the show down, earning a glare and a middle finger from his brother. The door closed and Beth felt the silence turn awkward, the tension still hanging in the air and mixing with the awkward silence in the most uncomfortable way. Beth had never felt so out of place, unwanted, or upset in one sitting. Daryl readjusted slightly in the bed, his eyes down at his lap where his uninjured hand messed with the cast of his broken wrist. Beth sighed.
"I'll go, I've got other patients to take care of and coffee that I desperately need and want to guzzle like its water. I get it; I pissed you off somehow last night. Probably from all the coddling and everything. I'll stop."
"Beth," Daryl tried interrupting, again, but she plowed on.
"Judging by how you're healing, I'd say you'll be out of ICU soon – though that is the doctor's call and not mine and they'll know more after your tests today and tomorrow – and you'll be home and back to your life shortly after that…" Beth realized she was rambling, saying things she shouldn't because none of it was really her call but she wanted to believe that he was recovering as he should be.
"Dammit, woman, let me talk!" Beth's mouth snapped shut at his outburst and she felt her cheeks redden in embarrassment. The man in front of her heaved a sigh as the quiet sunk around them again. He looked uncomfortable, his eyes glancing at her from under his bangs. "…'m sorry," he mumbled. Beth could barely hear him over the sound of the machines around him but she was glad she did. His eyes met hers, his head tilting up so that he could do so fully, allowing her to see the remorse of his words the night before. "I'm…not used to being cared for by anyone," admitted and Beth found herself suddenly standing beside his bed, her hand holding his. It took the gentle squeeze of his hand in hers to make her realize that she had moved, that he had grabbed her hand willingly. That he had initiated the contact this time. She sat down gently beside him on the bed, their fingers lacing together.
Beth's mind whirled through the images of his scarred chest, abdomen, and back. She had seen them while changing the dressings on his injuries while he had been out of it, heard the whispered rumors of the other nurses saying it was most likely from child abuse when he was growing up. She couldn't imagine what that had been like, if the rumors were true. After hearing his words, she figured they had to be. She squeezed his hand tightly for a moment, meeting his eyes and giving him a soft smile.
"Well, you better get used to it, Daryl. You're a great guy; you deserve to be taken care of." Daryl's eyes moved away from hers, his cheeks tinging slightly.
"You don't even know me."
"I know a good person when I see one," she told him firmly as she stood, patting his leg softly as she walked back to her stack of charts and her coffee. "Now, I need to get back to my other patients but I'll be by in an hour or so to take you to get your first test done. It's a CT scan and the doctor wants to do one with contrast so a technologist will help hook up the IV of the dye."
"Wait, a CT scan? That's one where I'm in a tube like thing, ain't it?" He asked and Beth could see uncertainty flash across his face. She instantly put her things back down and walked back to his side.
"Not quite. You're thinking of an MRI. A CT scan...well you're put on a sliding tray type thing and you're slid into the center of what looks to be a donut. Since we're scanning your head for any lasting trauma or injury, your head will go into the center of the donut, we'll do a quick scan and that'll be it. It'll take about a minute to do."
"Will you be there?" he asked and Beth's heart skipped.
"No, but you'll be in good hands with the techs." Daryl's heart rate accelerated on the monitor and Beth brushed some of his bangs back, calming him. Daryl tilted his head just barely into her touch, taking a deep breath through his nose.
"I'd rather if you were there," he admitted nervously, keeping his eyes closed to avoid seeing the judgment he was sure she had on her face. He jumped slightly when he felt her lips brush his forehead and his eyes opened, meeting hers in surprise.
"I'll…see what I can do, okay? If all else fails, I'll be here when it's over. It'll be okay, Daryl." The door to the room opened and Beth heard a chuckle.
"I told you she wouldn't kill him," Rick said as he and Merle walked in. Merle whistled lowly, a smirk covering his face.
"I 'unno, Officer Friendly, things sure did seem tense in here when we left. I half 'spected to see his body being wheeled outta here." Beth chuckled as she walked back to her things, her hand touching both Rick and Merle's shoulders in greeting before she picked up her things.
"I'll be back in an hour. Don't stress about it, Daryl."
"Are you ready, Daryl?" Beth asked as she reentered his room an hour later. Daryl grunted as he adjusted himself in the bed. Beth smiled as she took the various cords from the monitors off his arm and finger and he eased the blankets back. "Take it easy, you haven't been on your feet in a while." Beth told him as she helped him stand, his knees shaking and nearly giving out under his weight. Merle assisted, helping his brother get eased into the wheelchair. Beth ran her hand through Daryl's hair and he relaxed slightly.
"Alright, we'll be back in a jiffy!" she told Merle before wheeling the younger Dixon out into the hallway and to the elevators. Daryl was silent, his body getting tenser with each step Beth took. "I'll be there with you." She told him softly and he shifted to look back at her briefly before nodding. Beth could see him take a deep breath and relax as the elevator door opened and she pushed the chair in, turning so he could face the door. The test flew by quickly, Beth hanging close to Daryl and talking with him to help keep him calm and relaxed whenever she could before taking him back to his room.
"The doctor will be coming in to discuss the results with you soon, okay?" Beth told him as she helped him get comfortable back in his bed. Daryl nodded, his hand grabbing Beth's elbow gently, his thumb rubbing circles on her skin before letting go and sighing impatiently.
"Daryl," Rick greeted as he walked into the room, taking off his Sheriff hat and putting it on Beth's head with a smile. "Beth, Merle." A man walked in behind Rick, another officer. "This is Officer Jones, he's the one who arrived to your wreck, Daryl."
"Glad to see you're awake and doing well, Daryl. You can call me Morgan," the officer told them. "I just wanted to let you know that we have the guy who hit you on camera and that he's been arrested for a hit and run. Traffic camera showed him speeding through a red light as you passed through it." Daryl nodded, the memory of the green light and accelerating on his bike before things went white flashing through his mind. Beth sat in silence. Daryl was lucky his legs hadn't been mangled in the wreck. Hell, all he'd had was a sprained ankle. He should have died. Her hand wove into Daryl's and he squeezed it as if sensing her thoughts and reassuring her.
Beth ignored the fluttering in her stomach. It was inappropriate, she knew it. The group was distracted as the doctor walked in. The man paused, looking at the group of people.
"I have your CT scan results, Mr. Dixon, if I can have a moment?"
"It's fine, you can tell me with everyone in here." Daryl told the doctor and he nodded.
"There's no sign of injury or trauma on the scans, everything is healthy looking. You haven't had any more complaints of pain? Any fuzziness? Moments of blacking out?" Daryl shook his head, "excellent, I'm thinking we'll move you out of ICU and within a day or so, you should be good leave. We'll discuss the maintenance of your cast and everything when it gets to that point. Any questions?" No one in the room had a question so the doctor nodded and left the room. Beth squeezed Daryl's hand, smiling brightly at him. Morgan announced he would be in contact with the wreck and helping sort everything on his end and he too left.
"I told you everything would be fine. We'll have to wait to see if they have a bed open for you and, if they do, we can see about getting you situated." Daryl frowned, his eyes moving from Merle to Rick then back to Beth. He let out a sigh in annoyance. He wanted to ask Beth if he'd ever see her again after he left but he knew if he did so in front of Merle, he'd never live it down. Merle smirked when he met Daryl's eyes, a knowing look crossing his face and Daryl cursed softly.
"What's the matter, Darylina? Thought you'd be ready to get out of here?"
"Don't start, Merle," Daryl grumbled, making Rick chuckle. Beth looked between the three men in confusion. She was torn. On one hand, she was ecstatic that Daryl was recovering well enough to go home soon but she was also saddened by the news as well. She'd never see him again after he left and that felt like a punch to the gut. Beth squeezed Daryl's hand while she was lost in thought. She jumped when he squeezed back; she had almost forgotten they were holding hands. Her eyes met his and she could see something in them, something she was sure showed in hers. She stood, letting go of his hand with a sigh.
"I need to get back to work, check in on my other patients…I'll be back later, okay?" Daryl nodded and Beth returned the sheriff hat to Rick, her hand going on his arm before she moved to Merle and squeezed his shoulder. When she left, Merle turned to Rick and Daryl.
"So, baby brother has the hots for Ms. Beth?" Merle laughed and Rick joined him. "Oh, Beth, please, come home with me," Merle teased and Daryl threw his pillow at him, his cheeks turning red.
"Shut up, jackass."
"Okay, they have a bed ready for you downstairs," Beth announced as she entered Daryl's room pushing a wheelchair in front of her. "Ready to be out of ICU?" she asked as she walked around the chair to help clear the various wires from Daryl's arm and hand and pulled back the sheets to help him stand. Daryl nodded, standing with a tight grip on the arm of the bed. Merle had left to go home and shower and rest in his own bed while Rick had left to go spend time with his son and Lori and Daryl was glad for the silence their absence brought.
"You're awfully quiet, everything okay?" the blonde asked and Daryl sighed heavily.
"Will I…" he paused, "nothing, never mind." Beth quirked an eyebrow and smiled softly, placing her hand on Daryl's arm and positioning herself so that they could look each other in the eye.
"No, please, what were you going to say?" Daryl stared at her for a minute before running his hands through his hair in agitation and mumbling.
"I dunno." Beth gave the man an exasperated look.
"Don't do that, do go 'I dunno'" she impersonated his voice and gave an exaggerated shrugging of her shoulders as she said it. Daryl glared at her terrible impersonation of him before his eyes moved to stare at his feet.
"Will I…see you again after today?" he asked the blonde nurse nervously. Beth's eyes widened in surprise. He wanted to see her again? Her heart leapt in excitement and she couldn't help the smile that brightened on her face. Daryl refused to look at her and she could see his cheeks reddening. "Forget it. Shouldn't a said anything."
"No! I….I'm sorry, I was surprised." Beth set her hand on Daryl's knee and he raised his eyes to meet hers. She could see his blue eyes were searching her, analyzing her, looking for any sign of dishonesty or joking. "I would love to see you again after today." His blue eyes widened in surprise before he smiled a full, real smile that made Beth's heart skip a beat and her cheeks warm. Beth pulled out a small notebook and quickly opened it to the first clean page and jotted something down, tearing the sheet out and handing it to the man. "Here's my cell number. When you're out and situated, give me a call. Maybe we can have coffee or grab dinner sometime?" Daryl stared at her, his eyes wide with his lips still in his smile as he nodded and took the piece of paper, folding it carefully and holding it tightly in his fist.
"Yeah, I, uh, I look forward to it." Beth smiled even more and nodded, walking around the wheel chair and wheeling him down the hall to the elevators.
Beth waved goodbye to Karen and tiredly made her way to the elevator, her thoughts swirling around the younger Dixon brother. He had stayed overnight in a bed downstairs and was supposed to be going home sometime during her shift earlier that day. She had stayed later after Karen had called and said her son was really ill and that she was having to wait for her husband, Tyreese, to get home from work before she felt comfortable enough to leave the ill child. Beth had calmed her and offered stay until the older woman could come in.
Unfortunately, this meant that she missed Daryl leaving, if he did. Part of Beth was still saddened that he was gone. She had enjoyed being able to sit and talk with him during her breaks or after a long shift and it was weird for her to not do so. The blonde had fought to keep her spirits up as time seemed to slow to a crawl during her long shift and Carol had certainly not been helpful to the process. The older nurse constantly talked about how the Dixon brother had been lucky to wake up at all, that their patients always left in one way or another, and that Beth should focus on more important things.
It had taken over an hour for Beth to get the image of Daryl in a body bag out of her mind and her heart still had lifted from its new position in her feet. The elevator buzzed and the doors opened, allowing Beth to exit to the floor Daryl had been staying on. She recognized one of the nurses at the station and walked over to her.
"He's gone home," the nurse told her with a soft, understanding smile. Beth nodded, swallowing heavily.
"Thanks, Haley," she turned and walked back to the elevators, her thoughts swirling with doubt. Would he call or text her now that he was free from the confines of the hospital? The blonde walked calmly out to her car and got in, her mind a jumble of doubts and concerns as she drove home.
Daryl stared at the slip of paper lying on the table in front of him, his uninjured hand holding his cell phone. Did she really want him to call her? Would she really want to spend time with him outside of the hospital? She had seemed excited about seeing him again but she was at work, she was required to be nice at work. For all he knew, she could have given him a fake number or the number to that loser line he heard radio stations using. He gave an agitated sigh and entered the number into his phone. There was only one way to know if she had given him her or number or not.
His thumb hesitated over the call button and he growled. He had just been released from the hospital earlier that day. Would he seem too eager if he called her that night? He looked at the time on his phone. Her shift had ended a couple of hours ago. Would she be asleep already? Would she even want to talk to him this late? Daryl slammed his head down on the table and he heard Merle let out a bark of laughter. His phone was yanked out of his hand and he shot up out of his chair, glaring at his brother as he eyed Daryl's phone with a smirk.
"Let me help ya some, Darylina," Merle taunted before pressing the call button and holding the phone to his ear. Daryl moved quickly, trying to grab his phone from his brother.
"Hello?" Beth's tired voice came from the small device and Daryl paused as Merle shoved the phone into his hands. "Hello?" she asked again and Merle shoved Daryl in the shoulder.
"Say something, dumbass," the older Dixon ordered with a chuckle. Daryl put the phone up to his ear and cleared his throat.
"Uh, Beth? It's…Daryl," he closed his eyes tightly as Merle snorted and walked out of the room. Daryl walked to his room and closed the door.
"Oh, hey! How does it feel to be home?" she asked and Daryl could hear the happiness in her voice.
"Uh…weird," he replied. "After being there so long…"
"I bet!" The blonde got quiet for a moment and the phone call was filled with an awkward silence. "I…I missed you today." Beth admitted softly into the phone. Daryl stared at the phone in surprise for a moment before putting it back to his ear. "I realize how awkward that sounds…Sorry." Daryl cleared his throat again and looked at his cast.
"Uh, nah, it's fine," he mumbled. He moved the phone to rest between his left shoulder and ear and ran his right hand through his hair, tugging on it slightly as he wished he could tell her that he had missed her too and that he wanted to see her and not just see her for dinner sometime or whatever, right now. He wanted to see her bright smile and beautiful face right then and there.
"Daryl?" her soft voice broke through his thoughts. "Everything okay?"
"Yeah, just…thinking…" She yawned and Daryl looked at the clock, doing the math in his head to figure that she must have been awake for quite a while and that she must be exhausted. "Do I need to let you go?"
"Hmm? Oh, no, I just got home a little while ago; stayed later for Karen. I'm," she yawned again and Daryl could hear the word "awake" muffled in it, making him chuckle. "Keep talking to me," she mumbled and Daryl moved to lie back against his pillows.
"Bout what?" he asked her and he could hear movement through the phone as she adjusted and he could hear sheets ruffling.
"Anything," her voice was heavier and he could tell she was fighting sleep.
"You'll just fall asleep on me," he teased.
"I won't…" she mumbled and Daryl smiled hearing her breathing evening out as she lost the fight and succumbed to sleep. He hit the lights and lay down on his pillows.
"Good night, Beth."
Beth squeezed her eyes tightly shut against the sunlight streaming through her bedroom window and stretched, giving a loud, satisfied moan as she felt the tension in her muscles and bones shift after a night of fitful sleep. She felt something cold under her cheek as she rolled over and sighed, glad to have the coolness against her warm skin. Her thoughts whirled back to the dream she had been having before the sunlight had danced just right into her room and woke her.
There had been zombies and she had been struggling to survive on her own before she met a faceless man. Her dream had spanned years of the two fighting to survive together and falling in love. The dream had turned steamy then and she could still feel the thrums of pleasure coursing through her body.
"G'morning," a deep voice said sleepily and Beth tensed, her mind rushing to think of whether or not she had had company when she had fallen asleep. That voice was very familiar to her but her brain couldn't place whom it belonged to while it was still waking up and recovering from her dream. Beth lifted her head off of her pillow and looked around the room, only to find it empty aside from herself. "You fell asleep on me last night…guess I fell asleep shortly afterwards..."
Blue eyes looked down at her pillow and she noticed her phone laying on it, still plugged in to its charger. She lifted the device to her ear and listened to the breathing on the other end.
"Daryl?" she asked once her brain remembered talking to him on the phone before she fell asleep.
"Uh…good morning," Beth told him lamely. He chuckled and Beth felt her heart skip a beat with the sound.
"Did you know you snore?" he asked and Beth scoffed.
"I certainly do not!
"Alright, if you say so…but you didn't get woken up by a freight train under your ear." The blonde could feel indignation filling her. She didn't snore and she knew it. "I'm joking, Beth…You do talk in your sleep though…did you have pleasant dreams?" she could hear the teasing in his voice and Beth's cheeks warmed in embarrassment. Had she said something in her sleep? Oh, god, had she moaned out loud when her dream had turned so…she shook her head to try and shake the images and feelings of the faceless man's callused hands on her body from her mind.
"Wh-why do you ask?" her voice came out in a squeak and she felt her humiliation grow.
"Curious is all," his tone was still light and Beth groaned. It was a hidden confirmation from his that she had said or done something when her dream had turned steamy. She felt desperate in her desire to change the topic.
"Breakfast?" she asked before her brain could stop her and she instantly closed her eyes as her embarrassment grew. The question was already out there, though, so she resigned herself to correcting it. "Would you be interested in going to get breakfast with me?" Beth could feel her nerves growing as she wondered if he would take her up on the offer after the awkward conversation they had just finishing having.
"Where?" the one word brought Beth's heart to her throat and she fought back a smile.
"There's a diner down on fifth that has a good breakfast menu all day. Their coffee is to die for, too…how about we go there? Meet there in…thirty or so minutes?"
"Yeah, see ya there."
Daryl listened to her farewell and gave a short one in return before clicking his phone shut and unplugging it from its charger. His heart was hammering in his chest. He had just agreed to go to breakfast with Beth.
What had he gotten himself into?
He had woken up about twenty minutes before Beth had to a soft noise coming from his phone. That's when he had noticed their call was still connected and he put the device to his ear, about to tell the blonde good morning when he heard the sound again but much clearer this time.
Not just any moan, though.
A word had carried out of her mouth and into the phone with it.
Part of him had been torn to hang up the phone and attempt to erase what he had heard from his mind while another part of him wanted to wake her up. Part of him, though, wanted to be there, with her, causing those moans and to hear the word come from her lips without a phone between them. He had been with women before but never had one word made him so turned on and scared at the same time as the one Beth Greene had said.
The word hadn't really been a word at all. It had been a name.
"Daryl." She had dreamed about him.
Beth sighed as she stared at the clothes in her closet. She had been staring hopelessly at her options for the past ten minutes. She couldn't decide if she should dress casually or if she should aim for something more dressy for the spur date they were going on. She needed to pick something and quickly because she was down to fifteen minutes before her and Daryl were supposed to meet for breakfast. The blonde struggled to not think about how awkward and embarrassed she was feeling at the fact that he had heard her mumble or moan (she didn't know which one) in her sleep. With a sigh, Beth reached out and blindly grabbed a top out of her closet, keeping her eyes closed. The fabric of the top was soft, making Beth smile before opening her eyes and looking at the choice.
The top in her hand was a white and grey striped sweater that hung off of the shoulders. Fall was moving in and the morning was crisp so Beth felt that the sweater would keep her warm in the cooler air while also looking nice enough for what she was determining would be a casual breakfast date with Daryl Dixon. She worked quickly, pulling the sweater on along with her jeans and a pair of boots and taming her hair into a side braid before quickly leaving her small house and driving the short distance to the diner. Beth's heart hammered against her ribs and in her ears as she parked her car and she felt her cheeks warm when her eyes fell on Daryl.
The man was leaning against his truck that she was parked next to, a cigarette hanging from his lips. He was wearing a long sleeved flannel button up with a leather vest on over it and a pair of torn black jeans and boots. The blonde honestly thought he looked amazing, like he should be for breakfast instead of the waffles and bacon she was planning to eat inside the diner. Beth felt her blush deepen when their eyes met and a smirk crossed his lips as he pushed himself up and put out his cigarette. With a racing heart and sweaty palms, Beth unbuckled and grabbed her purse from the seat beside her as Daryl opened her car door and helped her out.
The two stared at each other for a moment and Beth felt the awkward silence deep in her gut. The man in front of her shifted slightly before clearing his throat.
"You look nice," he told her softly and Beth felt her embarrassment and awkwardness fall away.
"Thank you. You look very handsome yourself," she replied truthfully. Handsome is an understatement. Daryl snorted before turning and hesitantly reaching out to her, his hand finding her lower back and using a slight pressure to guide her closer to him and the two walked into the small diner.
The diner was quaint but the aromas of the food cooking made the couple's mouths water. It was a "pick your seat" type of place, so Daryl led the way to a booth in the corner, his callused hand sliding from her back to her hand and holding it as they walked the few feet to the booth. Beth stared at the white angel wings stitched into the back of his leather vest in awe of the design and couldn't help but think how well it fit the man in front of her. Daryl sat facing the door and Beth slid into the seat beside him, their hands still clasped and resting on Daryl's knee. Their waitress approached and took their drink and meal orders (he ordered the same as her, a waffle and bacon with a cup of coffee) before leaving the couple. Daryl pulled his phone out of his pocket with his injured hand, having to hold it awkwardly due to the green cast, and turned it to show something to the blonde beside him. Beth's eyes widened at the mangled motorcycle in the image he was showing her.
"Is that your bike?" she asked incredulously. Daryl sighed sadly and nodded. "How did you survive that? How did you get out of it with a broken wrist as your worst injury?" she asked and Daryl shrugged.
"Yeah, I asked Rick to text me a picture of it and he did last night, rather hesitantly. He knew how much I loved that bike…and I'm not sure. Rick's wife, Lori, seems to think I had some guardian angel looking out for me. Witnesses say the guy who hit me clipped the rear tire first, which somehow ended in me getting thrown from the bike. Rick says if that hadn't happened, if I had been on the bike when the guy hit the rest of it the second time, I'd be dead." Beth stared at the image for a bit longer before meeting Daryl's eyes, the movement of her head making a bang fall into her eyes.
"I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm glad that happened, you getting thrown off that is. I'm glad you're still alive and that I met you," she told him softly. His eyes softened and he squeezed her hand in his before letting go and brushing the bang back behind her ear.
"Me too." Beth smiled and squeezed his knee before her attention was pulled to the waitress returning with their breakfast and drinks. The two ate in silence for a bit before Daryl reached over and grabbed a piece of bacon off of Beth's plate and ate it, despite having bacon of his own. Beth stared at him in shock, then mock anger before grabbing a piece off of his plate in return and eating it, matching the grin on his face with one of her own.
"So I was awake in the hospital for, what, a week, almost two? We talked everyday…but…" Daryl paused, a sudden look of reluctance on his face.
"They weren't very deep or personal conversations," Beth interjected when Daryl stopped talking and he nodded.
"You have any siblings?" he asked, his voice soft and hesitant, as though he was worried about asking her any personal questions. Beth smiled and dug out her own phone, turning it to show him the lock screen picture. The picture was of her, Maggie, Shawn, her father, mother, and Glenn on the middle Greene sibling's wedding day to the Korean.
"That's my brother Shawn, he's the oldest of the three of us. He's married, has been for a few years now, we suspect they'll announce a baby in the near future. This is Maggie, she's technically my half-sister but we're really close. She married Glenn, that's him, about five months ago. Of course, I'm sure you guessed that these two are my parents. This is my daddy, Hershel, and mama, Annette." Daryl looked over the small image on the screen, trying to take in the beautiful and happy family it held but his eyes kept going to the Beth in the image.
She stood between the bride, Maggie, and their mother. Her hair was pulled over one shoulder and curled, hanging down over her bare shoulder from the strapless bridesmaid's dress that hugged her torso before hanging loosely to her knees. She wore a pair of cowboy boots with the dress. She looked beautiful but what really sold Daryl was the brilliant smile and the brightness of her eyes. That smile took his breath away every time she gave it to him or he saw it.
"You look beautiful," he whispered before his brain could stop him, his eyes going to hers as nerves and regret filled him. How would she react to him saying that about her? A blush covered her cheeks and a shy smile lifted her lips.
"Thank you." The two sat in silence for a moment, both munching on the last of their breakfast.
"What about you? I know about Merle, but do you have any other siblings or family?" Beth asked. A brief, dark look covered Daryl's face and Beth remembered all of the scars on his chest and back. She knew about the scars, and Daryl knew that, he had been awake during some of the dressing changes she had done for his injuries after all, but Beth had never asked about them. Hell, she had ignored them. After taking care of the man when he had been in the coma, she had seen the scars plenty of times and easily ignored them.
"No, Merle is it as far as blood goes. Rick's my brother too, been through a lot with him. He helped me get away from my old man, helped me get through training, got me a job as a bounty hunter, keeps my arms and desk full of cases and people to hunt down. When Merle said he wanted to leave and me to go with him a few weeks back…well, you know what happened. I chose to stay. I love that job, I love Rick and his family. They treat me like a family should treat a person." Daryl sighed and Beth put her hand back on his knee and gave it a squeeze.
"It's okay, I'm sorry. You don't have to tell me anything you don't want to." Daryl nodded at her words, his hand moving to grab hers from his knee and holding it.
"Since we're talking about the heavier topics, I got one for you, how come you're single? I thought you'd be claimed, taken, whatever you want to call it," Daryl asked as the waitress returned with the check and to clean away their empty plates. It was Beth's turn to sigh as she reached for the check, only for Daryl to snatch it from her and bump her knee with his as a gesture for her to get out of the seat so that they could leave.
"I dated someone a few years ago," she started.
"A few years ago? Wouldn't you have been in high school a few years ago?" Daryl interrupted making Beth laugh.
"I'm twenty-six, Daryl," Beth paused, "how old did you think I was?" The man shrugged as he handed the cash to pay for their breakfast to the man at the register before guiding her back out of the restaurant.
"I dunno, twenty? You don't look twenty-six."
"Oh…well, no, I'm twenty-six. Anyways, a few years ago, I was dating this guy but things weren't working out. I wanted to be a nurse or a doctor, he wanted me to go into music and become a famous singer so that he, and I quote, "would never have to work again." The longer we dated, the more I saw of this arrogant, self-righteous guy. I broke it off shortly after a fight about me going to nursing school. Spent the time since doing school part time and working two jobs so I didn't have the time to date. What about you?"
"Guy sounds like a douche. Glad you didn't put up with that. It's your life, not his." Daryl paused as he leaned against his truck and pulled Beth into his arms as a cool breeze brew through, causing a chill to race down Beth's spine. The blonde tucked herself into his arms and felt a sense of calm and happiness flow through her at the safe feeling she got as his arms wrapped around her. "I've never dated," he admitted softly. Beth looked up sharply, surprise evident on her face.
"Never? How does a great guy like you not have girls flocking all over him?"
"Well, I….I've been with women…" a blush and an awkward look crossed his face at the words and he cleared his throat. "Merle and I…never stayed in one place long enough for me to even think about dating someone." Beth mouthed an "oh" and Daryl nodded. The couple stood holding each other in silence for a moment before Beth could feel a shift in the man's body language. She looked back up at his face and saw a smirk slide into place.
'Oh no,' she thought. 'He's gonna mention this morning…'
"I just have two questions left. One, wanna talk about your pleasant dream this morning?" he teased and Beth blushed furiously, burying her face in his shirt to hide the dark redness of her face.
"No!" came her muffled response from inside his shirt and Beth felt his laugh through his shirt. Mortification filled the blonde as images of the faceless man filled her mind. Her mind traitorously thought of how the unknown man's callused hands felt on her skin in the dream and Beth's mind screeched to a halt. Callused hands. She recalled the feeling of Daryl's hand in hers and how rough they felt.
It had been Daryl.
She had dreamed about her and Daryl surviving in an apocalypse together.
She had dreamed of them falling in love.
She had dreamed of them having sex.
And, oh god, she had moaned out or said his name in her dream.
He had heard it.
And he hadn't run away.
He didn't seem to feel awkward about it, Beth reasoned. If he could openly tease her about it, surely that meant he was okay with it, right? The blonde pulled her face from the fabric of his shirt and hesitantly lifted her face to meet his eyes. His blue eyes were full of mirth and something else. Adoration. Beth swallowed heavily and licked her dry lips, her eyes watching as his followed the movement. That settled it. That told her he was just as interested in her as she was in him. She set her jaw and straightened slightly, keeping eye contact with him.
"You," she told him simply, even though he already knew. "I dreamed of you. Of us." The man's hands lifted from her lower back and cupped her face. Her eyes fluttered shut as his head tilted down towards hers and a sigh escaped her lips as his lips met hers gently, at first, then hungrily. The sensations and feel of his hungry kisses sent a shock through her body and Beth felt herself fall into him, one of his hands moving from her face to her waist to help keep her standing while the other slid into her hair, gripping it slightly. After a dazzling, breathless moment, Daryl pulled away and Beth heard herself give a small whine at the loss of his lips on hers.
"Second question," he asked around his breaths, "dinner? I'll pick you up at…seven?" Beth's words were stuck in her throat so she nodded before pressing her lips to his again.
This is it, she thought, he's the one.
A/N: It’s been a busy few weeks and I apologize for the long wait on my fic updates! This week is Fall Break so I’m hoping to get quite a bit written. Here’s a short, “teaser” chapter to hold you until Wednesday night when Break begins and I am able to write more! Thank you for your patience and your support and love on this fic and my many others!
I listened to ‘About Your Heart’ by Mindi Gledhill while writing this.
Heads up on steamy stuff and thangs in this chappy and the next chapter!
Fire burned through Daryl’s blood as Beth pressed her lips back to his and her hands trailed up his chest and into his hair, her nails scratching at his scalp and making him groan.
Screw dinner; he thought as his hands traveled into her hair and the wind blew a cool breeze across the couple as they stood in the diner’s parking lot, seven is too far away.
Beth’s teeth nipped at Daryl’s bottom lip and he had to fight back another groan, his hands tightening their grip on her hair and keeping her body tight against his. The blonde pulled back just barely, her breath ghosting over his lips, her hands moving from his hair to his shoulders and chest.
“How bout dinner at my place?” she whispered, her lips brushing his as she spoke. Daryl sealed their lips together again, his brain giving up on his doubts and concerns he had felt earlier that morning concerning the blonde in his arms as he pushed her backwards and into her car, his hands staying between her head and the car to protect her from getting hurt if he was too forceful. Beth gave a low growl into the kiss, her hands moving down his chest to his belt loops and using them to tug him into her.
“Screw dinner,” Daryl growled against her lips and Beth nodded.
“My place, now,” she finished, her hands rising slightly to run a feather-light touch along the top seam of Daryl’s jeans, making him suck in a breath and curse lightly.
“Fuck, girl, you’re not as innocent as I thought.”
“Wanna follow me home,” Beth pressed a teasing kiss to his lips, “or ride with me there?”
“If I get in that car with you, Beth, it’ll be moving…but not down the road,” the hunter replied honestly making Beth’s cheeks turn pink and a fire of arousal rush through her body and straight to the apex of her thighs. Daryl’s eyes never left Beth’s and he watched as her eyes reflected that rush of arousal. Her pupils were now completely blown and Daryl knew his were the same with how badly he was aching to be buried inside her. The realization of their situation hit him then and Daryl felt a tiny sliver of doubt form in the back of his mind.
“You better have a lead foot then, Dixon,” Beth replied, her hands moving back up his chest to his neck and pulling him into another kiss.
“You better tell me now, Greene, if this is moving too fast cuz once we’re at your place, there may not be an opportunity to do so,” he warned her. Beth swallowed before rising on her tiptoes and whispering into his ear.
“If it were up to me, you’d be fucking me against this car right now.”
A/N: So warnings: smut ahead. Be nice, it’s been a loooong time since I wrote smut (my other Bethyl fic, Living and Dying, doesn’t count because that was ‘eh’ and crap).
Also, they say the ‘f’ word a lot, so there’s that too. Such potty mouths.
“You better tell me now, Greene, if this is moving too fact cuz once we’re at your place, there may not be an opportunity to do so,” he warned her. Beth swallowed before rising on her tiptoes and whispering into his ear.
“If it were up to me, you’d be fucking me against this car right now.”
Daryl blinked at the blonde for a second before he pressed his lips to hers, a hunger for her taste and her body rushing through his.
“How far’s your place?” he asked, forcing his lips and body away from hers. His jeans were uncomfortably tight and it was taking everything in him to not do as she said. Beth’s face was flushed and she fought to still her hands.
“Not even ten minutes away,” she quickly replied. Daryl squeezed her hip with his uninjured hand before pushing himself away from her.
“Lead the way.” He quickly turned and walked around his truck and climbed in, starting it up and waiting for Beth to back her car up before doing the same and following her out of the parking lot.
Beth took deep, steadying breaths as she sped down the road, her eyes flitting to the truck in her review mirror.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this. It’s our first date…is it too soon?” Beth thought aloud as she glanced in her review mirror again, her eyes meeting Daryl’s through the mirrors. “Hell no. Look at that man, Beth. You’d have to be flat outta your mind to not want to jump that man’s bones.” The blonde mumbled to herself as she turned on her blinker and slowed down to pull her into her driveway, Daryl’s truck following her car up the lengthy driveway and up into her small house that was tucked back behind some trees.
She quickly parked her car and climbed out, eager to see if Daryl still wanted to do this. The man was closing his truck door as she stood, waiting in front of her car and the front door of her house for him to catch up to her. He approached quickly, his face set and determined as a little skip entered his step right before his uninjured hand came up and settled on the side of her face and his lips crashed to hers, instantly opening against hers and his tongue gently running along her bottom lip. Her mouth opened for him and she fought to keep herself standing and her keys in her hand as she gripped at him as he pushed her backwards, towards the door to her house.
The couple stumbled slightly on the small step in front of her door and Beth gasped as Daryl caught them both from falling, his teeth nipping at her lips as his uninjured hand wound itself tightly in her hair, forcing her head back a little more as he moved his kisses down her neck. The sudden jarring of her body against the door, the light nips of Daryl’s teeth on her neck, and the friction of his muscular body against Beth’s made her feel like a wanton mess and she struggled to focus on getting the key into the lock as Daryl’s hands moved down her back, the cast making his movements awkward and rough.
Beth let out a frustrated huff as she continued to struggle to find the keyhole with her key and she finally had to turn away from Daryl and face the door, slipping the key into the lock and turning it. Daryl’s arm wrapped itself around Beth’s middle and his hand splayed across her abdomen before moving lower, his fingers messing with the button of her jeans and managing to undo it while he pressed kissed and bites along her neck, her hips bucked against his hand as it moved into her jeans and the couple stumbled into her house.
Daryl removed his hand from her jeans before spinning her around and yanking her jeans down while her hands rushed to his leather vest, pushing it off before yanking his button up open, a few of the buttons tearing off and flying off.
“I liked this shirt,” he growled against her lips before claiming them in a bruising kiss.
“You can punish me for it, if you want…but I can sew them back on later,” she pulled him into another kiss before pushing his shirt off and pressing their bodies closer together as she fought to kick off her shoes and jeans. “Much later,” she gasped as his hand yanked her sweater over her head and immediately went to her bra-covered breasts, “not gonna need clothes today.”
“At all today?” he asked as he pushed her against the wall and helped remove her jeans by gently putting his foot on the bottom hem while she lifted her feet to yank them free with a frustrated groan.
“No, no clothes today, Dixon. Naked. In my bed. All day.” Beth’s hands moved down his chest to his stomach and she smiled as his muscles jumped and his breath caught in his throat. Their lust seemed to slow just for a moment, their kisses turning languid while she ran her hand across his stomach and along the top of his jeans. His breath jumping with his muscles and his uninjured hand tightening its hold on her hip while her fingers quickly and expertly undid the button and pulled the zipper down.
She gave Daryl a small smirk before slowly lowering his jeans past his erection and letting them drop to the floor. Her eyes took in the tent in his boxers and she felt her mouth water and her core get wetter. She hooked her fingers into his boxers and slowly, too slowly for Daryl’s liking, removed them from his body, leaving him naked first. Beth licked her lips, the temptation to wrap her lips around him growing and she fully planned on treating him to a blowjob but his hand stopped her.
“Later, Beth,” his voice was deep and husky and it sent a shiver down Beth’s spine. Daryl’s eyes took her in, drinking in the plain black bra and boy short underwear she was wearing. His eyes moved back to hers and he kissed her, slowly as his hand moved behind her back and undid the snaps of her bra before pulling it off and flinging it down the hall from them. “Bedroom?” he asked her as he palmed her breast with his one good hand, her back arching into the touch. She could see the frustration that his other hand was in a cast and unable to be of much use to them during their activities and she brought his head down to a kiss, gasping in it as he pinched her nipple.
“Too far,” she moaned out as she wrapped a leg around his waist and ground against his erection, her underwear the only layer between them as he bucked against her before holding her still.
“I’m gonna fuck ya, Beth Greene, a lot. But I ain’t gonna have our first time together be in your hallway. Bedroom. Where is it?”
“Down the hall, to the left,” Beth replied, her hand going to his and pulling him quickly down the hall and to the left, the couple entering her bedroom and Daryl spinning Beth around to face him, his lips crashing into hers as he guided her back to her queen sized bed before picking her up and dropping her onto it and climbing onto it after her. He laid his body on top of hers, placing kisses against her skin before taking a nipple into his mouth, making Beth squirm against him.
“Daryl, please,” she moaned, her hips rising off the bed, her core in dire need of friction. The man nipped at her breast lightly before raising his head to look at her, his pupils blown to black and his arousal increasing at the sight of her flushed skin and chest heaving.
“Please what, Beth?” he asked as his hand moved lower and hooked in her underwear. She keened and tried to raise her hips to help him remove them but he didn’t move, his eyes staying on hers.
“Goddammit, Daryl! I need you inside me!” She lifted her hips again and this time Daryl pulled her underwear off, throwing them off somewhere in the room as his eyes took in the sight of her soaked with need.
“You wouldn’t let me give you oral, Dixon, don’t you dare waste time with that now,” Beth threatened him and his chuckled.
“Fine, but later, I want to taste you. All of you.” Daryl laid his body back on top of hers and they both sighed at the feeling of finally being skin on skin. “I’m gonna fuck you now, Beth. You ready?”
“Good,” Beth replied, pressing her lips to his as she opened her legs to allow him to position himself between the, “I was ready back at the diner. Just...it has been a little while.”
“I’ll be gentle,” Daryl replied as he lowered his hand to her and circled her clit before testing her with a finger, then two. “Fuck, you’re tight,” he muttered against her lips as he lost himself to her moans and the feel of her clenching around his fingers.
“Please, Daryl, I need you.” Beth moaned out. Daryl withdrew his fingers. “No need for a condom, I have an IUD.” Daryl met Beth’s eyes as he lined himself up and began pushing into her, groaning at the feeling of her surrounding and clutching at him. The couple took a deep breath, both enjoying the feeling of him being fully seated in her before Beth wiggled, her legs lifting and wrapping around his waist as she moaned out a “fuck me,” and Daryl did.
His thrusts were deep and hard, making them both moan and curse with each one. Their hips met thrust for thrust, each one getting harder and faster the closer the couple got to completion. Daryl watched as Beth threw her head back, her eyes closing in pleasure as he thrust roughly into her, the sound of her headboard hitting the wall making both of them feel more turned on and the race for completion stronger and faster, his name falling like a chant from her mouth. Keeping his weight on the forearm of his injured wrist, he used his uninjured hand to move between them to her clit and that did it. Beth’s body arched into his, her muscles contracting around him as she climaxed. He thrust into her a few more times before coming inside of her.
“Fuck,” he groaned out as he pulled out of her and lay beside her, pulling her sweat slicked body to his. Beth hummed a satisfied response and he turned his head, taking in the mass of knots in her hair and the happy, post orgasm smile on her face.
“So…better or worse than Dream Me from this morning?” he teased, making Beth blush and poke him.
“Hmmm,” she teased, as if thinking about it, making Daryl chuckle softly, his laughter vibrating through their touching chests. “So much better. Dream You and I didn’t finish. I woke up before we could…but you’re absolutely better than any dream, Daryl. I don’t know what I did to deserve you,” she said as she began placing kisses along his shoulder, chest and neck, moving her body so that she was straddling him. Daryl looked up at her, his eyes full of adoration and hints of lust as he began to respond to the sight of her naked body on top of his.
“I should be the one saying that, Beth…”
I don’t know what I did to deserve her, but I ain’t gonna ruin this. I’m gonna fight to be the man who deserves this woman, if she’ll continue to have me, he thought as he leaned up and kissed her, his hand burying itself in her hair again as they prepared for round two.
Chapter 15: chapter 15
A/N: Sorry for the time I've made you wait for this update. To say I've been struggling would be an understatement. I looked at the hunt for Beth as a light of hope in my life. To lose Beth after my sister was too much. I still struggle with the loss of my sister. She was my encourager for my writing.
This chapter is in memory of her, as is everything else I do.
This chapter is also for you, my followers, in my gratitude for all of the love, light, and prayers you have showered me in.
Its been a while while since I wrote something and I'm doing this on my phone, so please pardon any errors. I will fix and update any errors later. Thank you all, so much.
Chapter 15 -
Beth sighed as she lowered herself on Daryl, the feeling of him inside her, long and hard and hitting all of the right places, filled her with a wanton need she had never felt before.
"Ah, fuck, Beth," Daryl breathed out as she rocked her hips slowly, keeping him sheathed inside her. She breathed an incoherent response as he hit that spot inside her that made her weak. She forced herself to keep her pace slow, torturously slow for both of them, and even had to push Daryl back down on to the bed and keep him from taking control and speeding up their lovemaking.
"Down boy," she teased, her hands laying on Daryl's abdomen as she stilled her hips. "Just relax. Enjoy the show." Beth's hands left Daryl's skin and trailed up her body, stopping just briefly to touch herself, causing her to throw her head back and moan softly.
"Beth...come on, girl," Daryl growled, his eyes watching as she played with herself before moving to her breasts. He thrust his hips into her, throwing her off of her slow rhythm and causing her to breathe out a moan. Beth met Daryl's eyes and she smirked at him, stilling her hips again but continuing to pleasure herself with her hands, one hand on her breast and the other moving to be between them, playing with her clit. Daryl watched in fascination as she pleasured herself, her breaths turning into moans and soft whimpers. All interest in reaching his own orgasm vanished as he watched, and felt, her approaching her own climax. "God, you're so wet and hot, tight..."
He moaned to her as her fingers picked up speed, her eyes closing as pleasure coursed through her. He could feel her walls tightening around him as she neared orgasm, her breaths hitching with moans. He placed his hands on her hips, lifting her slightly before lowering her roughly back onto him, causing Beth to let out a gasp, her hips bucking against his as he slammed into her again, one hand reaching up her gback to lay her against him. He tangled his good hand into her hair and pulled causing Beth to moan and her neck to be exposed to him, his lips immediately seeking her neck and shoulder while his hips continued their rough thrusting.
A shudder passed through Beth and she groaned as she came, her walls tightening around him as he thrust into her. Daryl lifted Beth and tossed her on the bed beside him, startling her. Her flushed face turned to question him but he didn't give her the chance to ask him what he was doing. "Turn over, get on your knees," he growled at her. Beth, still recovering from her orgasm, did as she was told lazily, Daryl helping her to do so more quickly before he slammed back into her, her hand grabbing her headboard as he thrust into her from behind, his hand grabbing her hair again and pulling her back against him as his thrusts hit faster and harder.
A second orgasm rushed through her unexpectedly as he continued to pound into her, his injured hand looped around her hip and his fingers playing with her clit. Beth's eyes rolled back as she was buried in all of the pleasure Daryl was bringing her. It was almost too much, almost painful as her senses overfilled with everything he was doing, her second orgasm still ripping through her body as a third one hit, her breath lost in the crashing waves as she practically keened from the overwhelming pleasure. The world was lost to her as she felt herself drowning in the fucking she was receiving from Daryl. It was rough and passionate and she had never been flooded like this before. His thrusts were wild now, his own orgasm nearing, his world solely focused on the tightness of Beth, her heat and the sounds of her, her gasps and whines as he slammed into her, pinched her, fucked her. Briefly, under the haze of everything, Daryl worried he was hurting her but it was lost as soon as he thought of it, his attention focusing on her.
The flush of her skin, the arching of her back...he was lost in it all. The incoherent words and noises she was making, the flood of her pussy around him; he had never experienced this before. The past hour of lovemaking he had had with Beth had made him feel pleasures he did not know could come with sex. Everything became too much and he lost himself in his orgasm as it ran over him like a truck, the world turning white around him and Beth. Lost in the pleasure, Daryl could barely recall what he said or did as he came, Beth's walls squeezing him for every drop as he did so, her pants and moans drowning out everything else until he barely had the strength to move, to pull out of her heat and pull her to him and back on to the mattress.
Beth felt the darkness of sleep lift as a calloused hand moved slowly, softly, down her back. She smiled as she felt Daryl sigh, his breath brushing through her hair as she tucked her head further into the space between his shoulder and chin as she lay facing him. She slid her hand up his chest to his shoulder before tilting her head back so that she could look him in the eyes. His hair was wild and he still had the post-orgasm look of happiness from their second round of fucking. Beth knew her hair must look a mess as well but she didn't mind. Her body was another matter. She was pleasantly sore but sticky and she really wanted a shower.
"I need a shower," Daryl mumbled gruffly, his voice vibrating through his chest and in to hers.
"I was just thinking that," Beth replied, her voice soft, her throat dry from their rough lovemaking.
"Did I hurt you?" Daryl asked, his voice turning remorseful as his eyes met her's before glancing down her body, taking in the small signs he had left on her body from their rough fucking.
"No," Beth replied, "that was...amazing. I've never..." She trailed off and Daryl nodded, his eyes barely able to stay open, despite the nap they had both taken. Without even looking at the clock, Daryl knew they had slept for at least two hours. His hand continued to move slowly, languidly, up and down Beth's back.
"Me either...should I apologize for that?" Daryl asked, his lips lifting into a small grin. Beth smiled and shook her head.
"It was incredible. Overwhelmingly good..." Beth gave Daryl a small peck on his chin before sitting up, unashamed of her nakedness, and standing beside the bed. "Let's shower, then eat. I'm starving!"
Daryl took in her body, nodded, and swallowed before moving to stand beside her. He watched as her eyes and face lit up, a sly look coming across them as she glanced up and down his body before kissing him softly. Daryl groaned. He was as bad as a hormonal teenager when he was around the blonde.
Chapter 16: Chapter 16
A/N - Hello, everyone! I am so sorry for the delay in my writing. I've been super busy with life. I got married and moved so my life was/has been chaotic. I'm quitting my career soon and going back to school to do something else. Anywho, my apologies. I haven't been in a healthy state of mind lately, depression is a biotch. Thank goodness for my new husband and for all of you.
As always, this is for my late sister and for you. Now it is also for my hubby, who I will never let read this because I am self conscious.
I listened to Imagine Dragons on shuffle (and South park) while writing this chapter.
"So, basically, if I understand you correctly...you are going to use a saw. That saw. To cut my cast off." Daryl eyed the tool wearily. He sighed and shrugged it off the best that he could. He figured that the doctor was a medical professional and wouldn't saw his arm off.
"Don't worry, Daryl, he's done this many times," a nurse Daryl recognized from his time in the hospital said with a smile. "I'm Karen. I know, it's been a while." Her smile turned sly and she tilted her brow slightly at Daryl. "How's Beth?"
Daryl rolled his eyes but he couldn't stop the grin that came to his lips at the mention of the blonde's name. Karen's smile widened.
"I knew it. She's been awfully cheerful at work but wouldn't explain what was going on. I figured it had something to do with you. So, how long have you been seeing each other?"
"You're awfully nosy," Daryl growled, his eyes narrowed on the brunette whose grin only grew. "Aren't you supposed to be working in the hospital? Why are you in this clinic?"
"This clinic is run by the hospital so I volunteered to help due to the rush of flu and cold patients. Now, you can't change topics on me, Dixon. Spill."
"Since I left the hospital," he muttered, his eyes going to his wrist. That tricky woman had distracted him through the entire time the doctor sawed off his cast.
"So almost three months? That's exciting! You're obviously good for her," Karen smiled and handed the doctor a pair of scissors to help finish cutting the cast off. "Christmas is fast approaching, have you two decided how you are going to spend your first holiday together?" Daryl tilted his head and eyed the woman in front of him.
"You really are nosy," he replied. In truth, they had only briefly mentioned the upcoming holiday and hadn't really set their plans in stone. "I think I'm going to go with Beth to see her family but we haven't really discussed it or decided on it yet."
"Meeting the parents, huh? That can be tough at the holidays but I'm sure you'd have lots of fun with them. I hear they have a large farm and great land for hunting. Beth mentioned that you like hunting. Oh! You know, you could teach Beth how to hunt!" Karen's face lit up, "plus, it would give you two time together." Daryl rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to the doctor, who was just finishing with his cast removal. Karen chuckled to herself and bid her farewells as she cleaned up and excused herself from the room.
Daryl thought back to the blonde, sleeping in her bed after a night at work. He pictured her dressed for an early morning hunting trip, her hands holding his crossbow as he taught her to read the tracks in the ground.
Yeah, that might work. As soon as he was done with the doctor, he would head over to her house and discuss it with her. After she woke up, of course.