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We gives thanks

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Daryl was helping Rick carry a table down the steps of Rick's house. 

It was the first thanksgiving dinner they were going to have in Alexandria and Daryl actually was excited. 

He was married to a beautiful young woman, 

Beth Greene. Now Dixon. 

His brother Merle was alive. 

All those months ago, he had only found the knife that his brother wore as a hand and he feared the worst. 

When they had showed up in Alexandria a month later Merle stumbled up to the gate, Carol was the one who opened the gate and saw him, she surprised him when she flung her arms around his neck. 

"I thought you were dead! "

"Shoot, nothing can kill Merle but Merle"

They kissed after. 

He was being held captive by the governor but he was able to escape but he was badly injured and for a while he stayed hidden. 

He planned on finding Daryl, someday. 

He could track his brother even in hell. 

--

"You know your ass could help, this thing weighs a ton" Daryl groans. 

"Now why would I do that? " Merle is reclining on the porch drinking a beer. Carol comes out and has her arms full of a big white table cloth. 

"Because you don't get any of my best cookies I made if you don't"

Merle gives her a wolfish grin. 

"Don't" Carol warns. Seeing the dirty comment in his eyes 

She tosses him the table cloth. 

He takes it and stands up cracking his back. 

"Fine" He helps Daryl and Rick move the two tables so it's one long table on the green lawn of their front yard. 

" when's your wife getting back isn't she providing the Turkey? "

Beth had left the house first thing in the morning, before Daryl woke. She left a note saying that she was getting the turkey and for him to help set up. 

P. S. Don't try following me I mean it! !

He hated that he was worried. He almost wanted to go find her but it was barley noon and he knew she was capable of hunting on her own (both Daryl and Merle himself taught her) 

"There she is now" Eugene who was helping Tara carry chairs outside.

Sasha was setting the table and Maggie was helping as she rides up on her black horse. Buttons. 

She looks absolutely beautiful. 

She's dressed in a deep vivid blue long legged overalls (or was it a romper, Daryl wasn't good at woman's fashion) that tied around the neck and left her pale arms bare. 

She had his cross bow tied to the saddle and tossed over her shoulder, necks tied with rope.. 

was two huge white geese. The beasts wings spread out and Daryl swears they give Beth an appearance of angel wings sprouting from her back, four huge white feathered wings like some fucking angel in blue. Blond hair over her shoulder. 

 

Merle makes a comment about how she looks like Athena, goddess of the hunt with his crossbow and two birds hanging from her back. 

Noah and Eugene can't rip their eyes away. 

Abe's booming voice shakes him back to himself "well damn, ain't that the most gorgeous creation of God you ever did see fellas. And she even brought dinner. "

 

Beth's face turns pink and she lowered her gaze. Bashful and demure. He felt his heart beat faster in his chest.

Thump thump thump thump thump. 

 

She looks at him and gives him a smile that stuns him to his very core. 

"Hey Mr. Dixon, wanna help me? I didn't find a turkey but I found these. "

He comes up to her and helps her down. 

He can't help it he has to kiss her, taste her. 

Cradling her waist and small pregnant belly, their unborn child conceived one night in a dark cave during a run. 

Memories... 

She smells like flowers and honey. Her perfume or shampoo he isn't sure. 

"I also found some dry instant mash potatoes. I think it should be enough. "

Daryl wants to scold her for going on a run on her own. He holds his tongue. 

She did good. She brought back a bounty. 

A male and female, mates. She did good, she made sure to kill them both like he taught her. So one didn't have to live without the other. That would have been cruelty. 

"Me and Merle will take care of these. I'll make you some bolts with these feathers. "

Her mouth curves up. She leans up and kisses him. 

She tastes real. 

Alive. 

---

Daryl and Merle pluck and clean the fowl. They split them down the middle and cook them on a large grill they found out on a run one day. The girls are inside finishing up the side foods. 

Beth's garden yielded them green beans and corn and yams

(along with other veggies and fruits. He was happy to watch her garden from his place on the wall.) 

It was time to put food down and the two geese were done. 

"We should give thanks to Beth for finding them. It may not be a turkey, it's better. She really is a Dixon. " Rick said, fatherly pride in his voice. 

" Hell yeah she is, baby brother and I taught her everything she knows. " 

Merle beams, setting down the one goose with Daryl setting down the other, Beth is walking down the stairs carrying a salad. 

Her belly is small and just barley makes a imprint. 

She hunted down dinner while two months pregnant with his son. 

Fuck yeah she was a Dixon. 

------

The sky is light purple and pinks, the clouds are gold.stars are slowly yawning awake. Daryl sees one single twinkle hidden behind a cloud. 

The table is covered in food and his family all are taking their seats. 

Merle and Carol are sitting directly across from them and he has to take a moment. 

He didn't even know he was allowed to have this. 

A family? A healthy marriage and a unborn baby on the way? Food, actual food on the table not canned beans like his childhood. Or sometimes he went hungry. 

He could see in Merles eyes, he was thinking the same thing. They both made eye contact and smile. 

Beth is sitting beside him, "I made corn bread. I know you've been wanting it. " 

Daryl has. Been craving it. 

"Thank you" 

The table is filled and  Michonne says grace. 

Every one says Amen. 

His family begins piling up their plates. 

Daryl takes Beth's, "want me to make yours? "

She smiles big and sweet. "You wanna? "

He shrugs, he gives her everything he can reach and a big cut of Goose. 

He hands her her plate and lean decides he has to kiss her one more time. Because she's there beside him, he knows later he'll wrap his body around her and consume each other. All lips and tongues and wet private parts and soft skin and I love yous. 

"I love you" She says, she means it. 

"I love you too" He means it. 

When everyone has their food and he sees a few black noses appear. 

Their dogs begging for some scraps. 

"Aweee look Daryl, Gus wants some"

Their cane corso is wagging his tail. 

"No begging, you too, Dog" He snaps his fingers. He knows Beth "accidentally" Dropped a goose skin and some cornbread. 

He smiles, he looks around, he sees baby Herschel (Beth was right) in Glenn's arms. 

He sees Judith sitting in her mother's lap. 

Rick makes eye contact and raises his glass. 

 

"I wanna make a toast... "