Carl was nearly recovered and the group was finally settling in. Hershel's farm was an ideal site for the camp, but the tension between him and Rick was nearly tangible. You figured the whole set up wouldn't last long, but for now it was a nice break from the road. You strolled through the slight breeze towards the other side of the field. The weather was fair enough; the hot sun shone despite the dark clouds pooling far off on the horizon. Soft noises from the grass came from under your worn out boots. Daryl had returned from his daily search for Sophia early, and you figured he could use the company.
"Mind if I join ya?" you said, approaching Daryl's separate camp area. He looked up from the squirrel he was cleaning, squinting with his mouth half open. You caught yourself before a grin spread across your face, and bit your cheek. Typical Daryl; making adorable dorky faces and not even realizing it. It was so hard to hide your feelings around him.
"Shouldn' you be helpin' 'round the farm?" He continued pulling at the squirrel.
"I already finished my watch while you were off huntin'." This time, you let your smile show. You were free until you had to help prepare dinner. That meant that you were completely able to bug Daryl for hours on end, which was arguably your favorite post-apocalyptic pastime aside from target practice.
"Can't say no then, it ain't my land anyway. Squirrel?" he asked, gesturing with his bloody knife at the carcass that lay on the log he was straddling.
"You gonna cook 'em?" You raised an eyebrow as you sat down on the ground across from him.
"Nawh, they're good just like this." At the shake of your head, he shrugged and took a bite.
"What does it taste like?" You watched, slightly intrigued.
"Chicken." He answered with a grin, his teeth bloody.
The rest of your afternoon went as expected; he teased you and you stole glances every chance you could. The conversation topics remained light, though you knew that he was still upset about Merle. The two of you were bickering over preferred fletching materials when you heard Laurie shout your name from the main camp.
"'sppose that's my cue. I'll see you tomorrow I guess, unless I suffocate tonight in that stuffy old RV." You straightened, turning to leave.
"I hear ya. I can't sleep in there anymore, 'specially with Carol cryin' all night." He replied. "Doesn' smell out here, y'know. And the stargazing is pretty good, if you're inta that sorta thing. Got a tent 'case it rains. You could join me, I'll keep ya safe from walkers." He mumbled. You turned back towards him, smiling once again.
"I'd like that."
"See ya after supper then." He replied, his mumble only slightly louder now. You caught a small smile cross his face.
"You should really come." You told him cautiously. He shook his head. "I know you're upset about Merle and Sophia 'n all, but you can't avoid the group forever." He didn't respond. Instead he turned to retrieve his crossbow and the attached arrows. Pulling out his rag, he carefully began to clean the heads. Deciding that that was all you were going to get out of him, you started towards the main camp. You figured it wasn't really your business anyways.
Laurie was in a particularly rough mood, and dinner preparations were grueling and unusually unappetizing. The group ate around the campfire embers as usual, just as the sun was setting. No one bothered asking where Daryl was. Overall, there was an unnerving lack of conversation, so you ate quickly and headed to the RV as soon as you could. Remembering from an earlier glimpse that his tent was completely bare of any blankets, you scoured up what you could. A ratty blanket and stained pillow under your arm, you retrieved your bow and quiver as well. Turning to leave, you collided with Glenn, whom you hadn't heard enter.
"Whoa, where are you going?" he exclaimed, looking down at the items you held.
"I'm gonna camp out tonight. I can't sleep in here again." You stated plainly, hoping that explanation would suffice. Glenn was a good friend, but you didn't want him announcing to the camp who you were spending the night with. God knows that he couldn't keep a secret.
"No way. You can't sleep out there alone without a tent or anything. I won't let you, that's idiotic." He stared at you, waiting for some kind of response.
"S'not that big of -"
"Yes, it is. Look, if you don't put that stuff down, I'm going to have to go tell Rick about your stupid plans. And then you'll get a real lecture." He argued immediately, expecting you to give up.
"Dammit Glenn. I'm going to camp out with Daryl tonight. It's better than this shoebox on wheels." You paused, waiting for him to speak. "Don't make a big deal about it, 'kay? Besides, it ain't no secret that you're sneaking off with the farmer's daughter every night, so just don't be a hypocrite, 'lright?" His mouth hung open in slight shock. Clearly he thought that he'd been quite sneaky. You pushed past him, leaving as silently as you could.
The trek across the field felt longer than usual, the air slightly brisk in the late-summer evenings. The breeze had died down, leaving only the sound of crickets. Through the dark you could see the orange glow from Daryl's fire lighting up the woodsmoke chimney and the trees near it. Straining your eyes, you made out Daryl's form beside Merle's motorcycle.
"Hey," you said softly as you approached, not wanting to alarm him. He always had his crossbow loaded and nearby.
"Finally. Thought you bailed." He said, placing a cigarette between his lips and closing the compartment on the bike. He brought a lighter up to the end and inhaled. Damn it was hot when he smoked.
"Wouldn' bail on you." You replied. "Not when you promised me stargazin'!" You turned back towards the fire, placing your bow and quiver down on the blanket and pillow. The log that you sat on was more comfortable than the ground had been earlier that afternoon. He came and sat down beside you, leaving two feet of space between you. The silence wasn't uncomfortable, you were used to just sitting and watching him go about his business. What was making you uncomfortable was his stare. He never just stared at you; he'd make eye contact while talking sometimes, but he generally was preoccupied with something else. You turned your focus from the fire to him, watching as he pulled the cigarette from the corner of his mouth and blew out a white cloud. Unsure of what else to do, you stood up and stepped over the log, escaping his intense gaze.
"Where are ya goin'?" he asked, confused.
"Gotta pee." You replied unabashed.
"You can't wander in the trees all 'lone. It's dark. There could be walkers."
You lifted the edge of your shirt and showed him the Bowie knife on your belt. "I'm fine. I won't go far." He nodded and you turned for the trees.
When you returned to the camp after dealing with your business, you discovered that Daryl was nowhere to be seen. You half expected him to jump out and scare you. Determined not to be taken by surprise, you quietly called out his name.
"Over here." His voice came from the other side of the tent. Rounding the corner, you saw him sprawled on his back, arms crossed behind his head. "Stars are good t'night."
Taking care to leave some space in between you, you laid down beside him on the grass. He was right, the stars were in full glory due to the new moon. You watched as a few shooting stars passed by, and wondered what would happen to all the satellites. After a few minutes of looking skyward, you turned on your side to face him, propping your head up with your arm.
"What?" he asked, noticing your change in position.
"Do you think we'll get to stay here long? At this farm, I mean." You picked at the grass in front of you.
"I don't know. It ain't worth worryin' over. Now quit makin' noise and listen to the crickets."
You stuck out your tongue at him before rolling onto your back and slowly drifting off to sleep.
You woke up to a water droplet hitting you in the face, and the world swaying around you. Disoriented, it took a second to realize that Daryl was carrying you bridal style to the tent. The stars were gone, replaced by a big thundercloud. Once you reached the tent, you saw that Daryl had moved the blanket and pillow inside. Your bow and quiver lay sheltered out of the rain as well. You snuggled in tight, whispering 'thanks'.
"Oh, didn' know you were 'wake." He mumbled. "It's startin' to rain. Didn' wanna wake ya."
"You gonna put me down?" you laughed, and he answered with a little grunt. Holding onto his shoulders, he slowly let you down onto your feet.
Courage suddenly surged through you, and before you could stop yourself, you leaned forward and planted a kiss on his cheek. You began to pull away, but he quickly leaned forward and his lips crashed hard against yours. His hands met the small of your back and pulled you in tight, as his tongue brushed against your lips. You opened to him, snaking your hand up to run through his rain-dampened hair. His grip tightened on you as he began to push you backwards towards the tent, all the while exploring your mouth with a soft tongue.
Once you reached the door, he gave you a slight push down, but softened your impact with the ground. He broke the kiss, his lips finding your neck instead. You moaned as he nipped at your skin, causing him to bite down harder. Your hands knotted in his shirt and pulled him down against you, reveling in the feeling of his teeth. He moved downwards, still biting, until he reached the edge of your shirt. Grunting, he sat up and tugged at the hem. You shifted to help him easily remove it, then arched your back so he could reach the back of your bra. Once the clasp popped free, he pulled the straps off and threw it away, immediately grasping your breasts. You reached up and started on his shirt buttons as he bit his lip, one hand teasing your taught nipple and the other clamped on your hip. When you got it undone, he discarded it into the pile and his lips returned to your chest. He continued to nip at you as his hands found the button of your jeans. Making short work of it, he tugged them down by the belt loops, your underwear sliding with them. His hands wandered, brushing your sensitive skin until his fingers found your folds and caressed softly as you moaned. He bit down near your hipbone hard as he suddenly reached deep inside you, causing you to arch your back uncontrollably. You grabbed a fistful of his hair and pulled, his beard tickling you as he returned to your lips. Moaning against him, you rocked softly against his hand, wanted to feel him deeper. You reached for his pants, running a finger underneath the waistband, and felt him tense above you. Palming the bulge, you were surprised by his girth. Needing to feel more, your hands found his pants button and swiftly undid it, finding him bare underneath. He took his hand back briefly to help with the removal of his final clothing. You took this opportunity to switch positions with him, shoving him onto his back and straddling him. Rocking back and forth against him, you heard his breathing hitch. Taking a chance, you leaned down and bit his neck hard. He let out a deep moan below you and thrusted up roughly.
"Fuck, do that again," he moaned as his hand tangled in your hair. You obliged, grazing the length of his neck with your teeth and latching down just below his collar bone. He tugged on your hair, and rocked subconsciously against you again. You moaned against his skin and he pulled harder. You sat up, brushing against his lips on the way by. This movement caused delicious friction between you. His hands clamped down on your hips, guiding you over his member. He rocked up into you, burying himself to the base as you both moaned in harmony. Slowly, you started moving. He met your every move with a forceful thrust, and began to quicken the pace. Before you knew it, he had flipped you onto your back, pinning your arms above your head. He pounded into you as you angled your hips just right, allowing him to hit the sweet spot. He swore under his breath as you wrapped your legs around him, his nails digging into your hip. You bit your lip, tasting blood, and gazed up at him, his blue eyes hazy with lust. Warmth coiled in your belly, and both your moans grew louder.
"Daryl, I'm -" his lips crashed into yours, cutting you off mid sentence. A few more thrusts and you were pushed over the edge, your cry muffled by his mouth. He followed almost immediately after, moaning your name and spilling hot seed deep within you. He released your wrists, flopping on top of you with his full weight. Your sweat mixed and you happily breathed in the scent of him as your ran your fingers gently over his back, noting the raised scars.
For many minutes, the only sound was the rain on the tent and your mixed breathing. Daryl rolled off of you, and you shivered as the cold air chilled your sweat soaked skin. Figuring that you should put your clothes back on, you reached for the pile, having trouble in the dark.
"What are you doin'?" Daryl asked, his voice slightly raspy.
"I was just gonna get dressed-" you were cut off as his arms wrapped around you, pulling you onto the ground. He released you for a second to cover you both with the blanket, and then he pulled you tightly into his body.
"Nuh-uh. I ain't done with you yet."