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Expanding The Bond

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Daryl rolls through the prison gates on his motorcycle, trying to process everything that had just happened to them. He’d never been too fond of Andrea, she was always quick to judge him and even quicker to blame him, but he'd be lying if he said he didn't feel anything for her. She was one of them, even if she had made some mistakes, and had tried to do the right thing. That's all that really matters in the end and she definitely didn't deserve to go out like that.

He’s not sure where the Governor is now, but they've wasted enough of their time on him. It’s time they start focusing on other matters. Sure they’ll always be on the lookout. Daryl's not sure they'll ever be able to let their guard down after everything that's just happened, but right now they’ve got other things to worry about. There's a busload of people, a busload of people they don't know a thing about, that's driving through their gates right now and they still have to come back from the attack they almost lost.

He parks his motorcycle and gets off, orange poncho and gun, a gun that he’s already itching to replace with his crossbow, slung over his back. He watches Rick park the truck and get out, Michonne's still sitting in the passenger side in shock. He hadn't realized just how close her and Andrea had been. Maggie and Glenn already have the gate locked and secure, the rest of the prison they'd left behind is coming out to meet them, and for the first time in a while Daryl feels safe. The prison is secure, the Governor is missing in action, and everyone he loves is okay. Overall, it’s been a rather successful day.

“We really going to do this?” Daryl asks quietly so that only Rick can hear him, coming to stand next to his mate. He lets their shoulders brush against each other, relieving the instinctual part of him that’s been desperate to know if Rick's okay even though the logical part of him knows that he is.

Karen, the girl they’d saved from the Governor’s massacre, begins to help the people they’d saved from Woodbury off the bus. Tyreese and his sister Sasha are quick to jump into action as well, Daryl can't tell if they're always like this or if they're just trying to look like they're worthy enough to keep around, not that they'd kick them out anyway. Carol looks at the two of them, Daryl knows she’s got to have a million questions swimming in her mind, for a few seconds before she turns back around and talks softly to Beth. There’s nothing but understanding in her gaze, she knows they wouldn't have done this if they had any other choice, and Daryl’s grateful to have her support, even if he doesn't need it.

“Do we have a choice?” Rick asks, putting his hands on his hips. He looks tired, probably more exhausted than Daryl’s seen him in weeks, and he wants nothing more than to take him back to their cell and force him to lay down. He's not even sure when the last time he had slept is and it's starting to show. “What else are we supposed to do? They’re either too old or too young to take care of themselves, they wouldn't survive without us. We did the right thing, right?”

Daryl can tell Rick’s starting to doubt himself and he can’t have that. “Of course,” Daryl says, resting his head against Rick’s shoulder for a few seconds. He presses a kiss against his shoulder blade before he pulls back. "We did the right thing, it's the only thing we could have done. There's nothing wrong with that, we'll figure it out." He doesn’t regret taking them in and neither should Rick. He knows it’s the right thing to do and they don’t really have any other choice. Sure it means more mouths to feed, more cell blocks to clear, but at least they’re not leaving them in a camp to die alone.

“Carl didn’t look too happy,” Daryl says softly after a few seconds of silence, remembering the look on Carl’s face as he stormed off in the other direction.

“Yeah,” Rick says, running his hand down his face, “he’s just going to have to get over that. What’s done is done, we did the right thing. Besides, we can’t just turn around and say, ‘sorry, you’ll have to leave now’ because a teenager is ticked off at his father. We’re not those kind of people.”

Daryl doesn't say anything else, there isn't really anything else that can be said, and is content with just standing there next to Rick. He wraps his arm around Rick’s waist, letting his fingers brush over the jut of Rick’s hip bone. It’s been a while since the two of them could just stand there next to each other without having to worry about anything life threatening, he’d be lying if he said it isn't nice.

The two of them stand there, watching the newcomers as they file past them. There’s about fifteen of them, not including Karen, Tyreese, and Sasha, and they all look confused and wary. Daryl’s not surprised, this situation has got to be hard for them to take in and he’s sure they lost close friends during the Governor’s massacre. Tyreese and Karen lead them inside, trying to gather them all into one little group, and the rest of the prison jump to make accommodations.

Following up the pack is a guy, probably in his late twenties to early thirties. Daryl can’t get that good of a look at him, he seems to be doing everything he possibly can to avoid as many people as possible, and he’s sure he doesn't recognize him. He’s timid, refuses to look up from the ground in front of him, and Daryl automatically feels a protective urge come over him he can’t really explain.

It’s not until he gets closer and Daryl can smell him that he realizes he’s an omega, sweet scent perforating through the air. They don’t come across many omegas these days, they weren't exactly common back before the world went to shit and they’re even less common now. His status explains why he hadn't been on the initial attack even though he’s well within the age range they had seen. Even though Daryl’s sure the guy can hold his own the Governor probably hadn't trusted an omega on the battle field, he seems like the type of guy who would hold traditional viewpoints.

The guy looks up right as he’s passing them, bright green eyes peering straight through Daryl, and stops in tracks, staring at him and Rick both. He wishes he knew what his name is so he can stop referring to him as the guy in his head. The guy’s beautiful, tall and slim with shaggy blonde hair and the most beautiful eyes Daryl’s ever seen. Daryl can’t stop looking at him as he feels an uncontrollable urge overcome him, something he finds he hardly has the energy to fight back. Daryl wants to go to him, scent him, wrap his arms around him and pull him tightly against him until he’s sure he’s okay, but he fights back the urge. That’s the last thing this guy needs right now.

The guy tenses up, frozen in place, and Daryl can tell all he wants to do is book it in the other direction but instinct is forcing him to stay put. He’s obviously terrified, Daryl wouldn't be surprised if he thinks he and Rick are just going to take advantage of him, and all he wants right now is for the omega to be comfortable, even if that means he has to let him go. He already cares about him enough that he feels he'd do anything for him, no matter what it may be.

“Sammy,” Daryl hears Karen call and looks up to see the woman standing at the entrance to the prison. “Come on, your falling behind.”

Karen’s voice seems to snap the guy out of his trance and he swivels on his heel, continuing on his path without another glance back at them. His steps are awkward and seem halted, like he's fighting with himself every step of the way, and Daryl wishes there was something he could do to make him more comfortable. Daryl can feel Rick tense next to him, can sense the corded muscles in his mate, and he’s absolutely certain he's feeling the bond as well.

“Please tell me you felt that too,” Daryl whispers, unable to make his voice sound any louder than that, watching Sammy as he walks into the prison.

“Oh yeah,” Rick says, looking over at Daryl. “I think he’s ours, Daryl. Our omega.”

Daryl looks Rick over, notices the nervous sweat as it beads on Rick’s neck and his eyes blown wide with need, and he knows they’re bodies are both crying out for Sammy. They’d always felt like something was missing with them and it looks like their bond is looking to fill that void with an omega.