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A Winter Romance

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A Winter Romance


I never will forget the station where we met
You dropped your skis, a happy circumstance
No one would have guessed we had started
Started a winter romance

And all the way to Maine, on that enchanted train
The passing scenery didn't get a glance
We held hands completely, light hearted
Off to a winter romance

But though the snow is gone, the romance lingers on
And those who said it didn't stand a chance
Will know when they see us together
That love's not controlled by the weather
And all of our summers, we'll have our winter romance

~°~°~

It has always been a dream, to go to Switzerland, he didn’t even know why, really, but his grandfather always told him about it, and he made it sound so heavenly and so special, with all the rivers, mountains and valleys, the cows with their bells that were peacefully grazing on stunningly beautiful mountain pastures in the Alps. He remembered he was very small and was sitting on his grandfather’s lap listening to his every word and hanging on his very lips.

Now finally the day had come, and he and Carl were packing for their trip to Switzerland. Three whole weeks in a beautiful hotel, one of the best, the guy at the travel agency had assured him. It was located in Verbier in 4 Vallées which meant 4 valleys, he had explained, and it apparently had all one could hope for. Carl would be so happy to hear that the ski slopes were close to the hotel. He was thrilled that he would finally learn how to ski. The guy also explained that for him though, the obviously exhausted father, there was this spacious and huge high-tech Spa with heated in and outdoor pools, fitness, and if he liked some fun in the evenings they had live DJ’s, bars, even a nightclub and a perfectly styled lounge in the meeting points. He also more or less implied that if Rick wanted “some action” there were surely lots of single ladies there to help out an “attractive guy like him”. Rick told him that he had to watch his son, and that he just wanted some peace and quiet, and mister “action” then assured him that the hotel was the best place for that as well.

He booked ski lessons for Carl and himself, because he had learned how to ski when he was a boy, and also his parents took him skiing during school holiday, but all that seemed like such a long time ago that he wasn’t sure anymore if he still had the skills.
All other activities they would check out as soon as they were there. He was just very happy to spend some quality time with his son. Carl had been very mature about the whole divorce and custody thing. He even told him that he thought that they should have done it a lot earlier, and that he actually had known for a long time that Rick and Lori didn’t really get along anymore. Rick had been dumbstruck and speechless. Carl was almost thirteen now and it was not a very easy age, but they managed. He hoped that Carl would be happy to spend some time with him there.

~°~°~

His parents waved and Carl and he waved back, then they went on to board the plane. Inside they found their seats and sat down. He was happy to see that it really was worth it to spend extra money on the seats. Carl seemed to be happy in his window seat, he had put on his headphones and seemed to enjoy whatever game there was on his pad.
Rick had used some of his own money to buy them business class seats, he really needed this trip to be the best thing they had had for a long time, so he wanted to make it as comfortable as possible for the both of them.

Rick took out his book, he had started it almost six months ago, and he decided to finish it on the flight, when he looked up and looked directly into the eyes of a rugged looking man. The man was looking at him with squinting eyes and a frown on his face, his longer bangs covered most of his right eye. The brunette looked up at the space above the seats, then at the numbers, then back at Rick. The frown still very present on his face he then looked away and over his shoulder at a woman that was standing directly behind him. She shrugged her shoulders. The man turned back and then looked at him again, his eyes a bit more open now, and Rick could actually see their color, they were ocean blue, deep and kind of dark. Rick was fascinated with the color.
He was brought back into the “here and now” when the guy addressed him.

“You seem to be sitting in our seats.” He said kind of gruffly in a rough and low voice.

Rick again had to shake his head to wake up out of his oblivion.

“Ugh, I don’t think so, I .. let me check.” Rick pulled out the ticket sections and was just about to show them to the man with the irresistible blue eyes when he realized and with great embarrassment that he in fact was in the wrong seat, and so was Carl. They were in the right row but their seats were actually in the middle row of the plane, and at the moment they were occupying the ones on the left side. Rick blushed furiously, he raised his head to look into the ocean blues again and smiled kind of awkwardly.

“I’m so terribly sorry, I didn’t realize, I asked for a window seat for my son because it’s his first flight to Europe, there must have been some mistake. Wait let me get my stuff, and I will tell Carl…. “

The woman that had been quiet the whole time now intervened. “Actually I don’t need the window seat, it’s fine by me, let him sit there. I’m Carol by the way, and this is Daryl.” She pointed to the object of Rick’s fascination, the man with the unruly long brown hair and the ocean blue eyes.

“Rick. And this is my son Carl.” He stated matter-of-factly and looked first at her and then at the man with the intriguing eyes, whose name was apparently ‘Daryl’, and who gave him an almost invisible nod. “Are you sure? I really can move, that’s fine. I’m so sorry.”

“That’s fine.” She told him with a wave of her hand and a half smile. “Really.” Daryl turned to her and murmured something about it being her first flight also, and that she should have the window seat. He seemed worried about her. Rick wondered if they were married, or boyfriend and girlfriend, or just friends.

He then again tried to tell her that he was fine moving the both of them into the two middle seats, but Carol wouldn’t have it, and it was settled then, they were allowed to stay and Rick was actually relieved because he knew that Carl would have been terribly disappointed to give up his window seat. He looked over at his son. Carl hadn’t noticed that there had been a problem with their seats, he had immersed himself deeply into that virtual world.

Rick’s eyes then were drawn back to Daryl. He attempted not to be too obvious about it but he was kind of watching him move the luggage up into the overhead compartment. Daryl was standing right beside Rick, with his back to Rick. Daryl was wearing only a thin black t-shirt now, his leather jacket had just been put into the compartment, and Rick simply wasn’t able to not notice his strong arms and nice biceps and triceps. When Daryl took Carol’s bag and also put it up there his t-shirt rode up and his black worn jeans slipped down just a tad Rick had a rather lovely view at Daryl’s backside and broad back. All of a sudden it sunk in that he was checking out the guy. Rick averted his eyes and in doing so he noticed Carol’s knowing eyes. She apparently witnessed the whole spectacle of Rick’s ’Daryl watching’. She was smirking at him. Rick again felt so very embarrassed, not only because Carol noticed but also because Daryl was a man, and Rick hadn’t noticed a man’s, any man’s attractiveness so to speak, for a very long time. Rick knew that he liked both genders when he was about eleven and realized that he checked out his male classmates as much as his female classmates. In all honesty, he never really acted on this attraction to males, except for one very hasty kiss in the locker rooms, but it was always there. So far he hadn’t met anyone that stirred up his bisexuality, however it seemed that his body and mind seemed to like this ruggedly handsome guy that was now sitting directly beside the aisle in one of the seats in the middle row that originally belonged to Carl and him.

Rick needed to get a grip on himself, well he at least told himself to do that. Daryl’s whole body was turned away from him and to Carol, who was sitting right beside him, on the other side. Rick couldn’t see her very well, but they seemed to be talking. They were very quiet. He wasn’t able to understand any of the words.

Rick decided then and there that he would forget about Daryl and Carol, would be grateful for their kindness, and would just enjoy the book and the flight, and looking forward to going to Switzerland.
He lay back in his seat and got comfortable. He closed his eyes and fell asleep.

~°~°~

~°~~°~°~

~°~°~

Daryl hated people, they were loud, touchy and nosy and usually just hateful. And now, today, he added stupid. Was it really that hard to compare two numbers? That guy and his son were just two dumbasses who took their seats, and now Carol, kind as she was, couldn’t say no, because of the kid. He knew it, it was just because of the kid, had it been the guy and his wife, he was a hundred percent sure that she would have insisted on their seats. The kid probably was a little younger than Sophia ….was, were …
It was still hard for him to think of the little girl. She had been so sweet and lovely, shy and also not that much of a people person, and he understood, they had understood each other, both having a raving lunatic for a father. Why her? He asked himself that lots of times. He taught her as much as he could, and Carol always said that it wasn’t his fault, but somehow he still felt responsible. Six months ago Sophia was out in the woods with a few of her friends and a poisonous snake bit her. She didn’t notice until it was too late. It was too late.
And Carol, well she was holding up well enough, but he knew that fake smile of hers, and she was wearing it lots of times lately.

He needed to cheer her up, she was his best, and his only friend, the only person, that knew who he was, and still liked him, wanted to spend time with him. Sure there were some of his employees that were nice enough, but they all knew him as Daryl Dixon, owner and manager of Dixon Hunting Bows.
Also they knew not to get on his bad side, at least those who still wanted to work for him.

Carol protested a lot when he invited her for a holiday, she knew she needed some time away from all this, but still she would tell him it was too much and so on. Sophia’s funeral as well was six months ago, and still Carol had not been able to get back into her old life. She seemed lost, and from time to time Daryl was afraid that she might try and kill herself, so he decided to try and be there for her even more. They spent almost every day together in the first four weeks after her daughter’s death, then it was every second day and now it was three days a week, and Carol started to work in his business, she was actually fantastic with the customers, and in her shift not one person left the shops without at least some extra arrows. She knew how to handle each and every one of them.

They had talked about so many things over the months and Switzerland came up more than once. There was something in her voice when she talked about it that he couldn’t but notice that it obviously was a dream of hers to go there.
Daryl decided then and there that he would surprise her with a trip to Switzerland, a stay in a classy hotel and all the extra luxuries that she would never buy for herself, even if she had the money. And he didn’t think so, Ed was a drunk and a casual laborer. They only ever had just enough back then when he was still alive. He died seven years ago in a car crash. He was drunk, and thankfully the girl in the other car survived. Carol would have been devastated if she had died as well. Everyone who knew Ed was glad that Carol now could find some peace. It was an open secret that he beat his wife. So everyone was shocked when they heard about Sophia’s death, however not one of them offered help or asked her if she needed to talk or whatever. They were all selfish assholes, Daryl thought, and Carol knew then that all her so-called friends weren’t friends at all. So she turned to him, they knew each other from way back, when Ed and Carol came into one of Daryl’s shops, then he only had the one, meanwhile there were six of them, and a place where he taught cross bow hunting, and Ed wanted to buy a cross bow for hunting.
It had clicked immediately between them, and they secretly stayed in touch. Ed was extremely jealous and after Carol tried it once to ask Ed if it was alright if Daryl came over for dinner, and even explained that Daryl was gay and they only liked each other as friends, she got beaten up so very badly that she never even mentioned his name to Ed ever again.
Daryl visited her in hospital, it was a safe zone, because Ed didn’t come, not even once. That also was the time Carol became pregnant with Sophia and was always afraid that the next time Ed beat her she would loose the baby. So she tried to be as silent and as accommodating as possible, to not give him an incentive to beat her again. It worked out well, Ed had good work at the time, and was away more than he was at home, and the baby could grow big and strong and was born without any complications.
Carol was the best thing that could have happened to him she helped him through some very bad times and he would do anything to make her smile again, a genuine smile.

~°~°~

Merle had thrown a fit when Daryl told him that he would go to Europe and not go to Amsterdam to bring him some of the nice stuff. Daryl always hated it back in the day when Merle used, and he was glad that he didn’t really any more. He stopped three years ago when he almost overdosed and then realized that life was in fact precious. Since then Merle was genuinely trying to change and it worked more or less. Daryl knew that Merle only wanted to get a rise out of him by mentioning Amsterdam, and he indulged him.

Merle was trying and that was all that counted. He loved his brother, he was all the family that he had left and all the family he cared for. Well except Carol, she was family as well.
He remembered the discussion they had before Daryl left the house this afternoon to pick up Carol. Merle offered to drive them to the airport and Daryl was surprised.

“Oh little brother, old Merle cares about you, and so I will drive you lovebirds to the airport, so that you can go to pretty Switzerland.”

“You know that she is only a friend. How many times do I have to tell you that?” Daryl barked at him.

Merle held up his hands. “Easy now easy boy, I was just kidding. I know you like dick, and I don’t understand it, but you’re my brother, brother. Now get your scrawny ass in the truck, I drive.”

Daryl watched with an open mouth and shook his head. This day was obviously full of surprises. Merle knew of course but he never acknowledged it openly. He was as homophobe as they could come, but apparently he made an exception for his little brother. It was unbelievable, but who was he to argue with old Merle. Well, miracles did happen or so it seemed.

~°~°~

Daryl left Martinez in charge for the next weeks but he needed to check in from time to time, he knew there would be questions, because he never before had been away for more than a couple of days. Merle promised to call him in an emergency or if he needed any help. Merle was involved in the hunting lessons and usually did the smaller groups with the guys who thought they didn’t need any lessons but never in their life actually had held a cross bow in their hands.
Daryl checked his phone one last time, and then put it away. He loathed having to use a mobile phone at all, but it just didn’t work without it, still it didn’t mean that he had to like it.

He looked over at Carol again, she had her eyes closed. She tried to relax. It was her first flight she was nervous. He took her hand into his, she squeezed it and looked at him with a grateful smile on her face.

The plane and her crew was getting ready and he squeezed her fingers softly again to tell her that everything would be fine. She lay back in her seat and so did Daryl. He attempted to convey to her that she didn’t need to be nervous, that this would be a safe flight, and it seemed to work, the plane was in the air and they now had some hours to relax and enjoy the flight as much as possible.
Carol seemed to calm down and her tense muscles also loosened up when she realized that her expectations of turbulence and sudden movements were only in her mind.
She started to really enjoy it and that made him smile.

Daryl then also started to get comfortable. He got out his ipod and headphones and sighed deeply when his music filled his senses.
He then for the first time really looked around in the business class part of the plane. There were altogether only five rows and in each row there were six seats divided by the two aisles, therefore always two seats together. The business class was fully booked it seemed.

He looked to his left where Rick and his son were sitting in their seats, he still was somewhat pissed about it.
Carl seemed to be asleep in his seat and Rick had his eyes closed, Daryl couldn’t say if he was actually sleeping.

He seemed very at ease, in his lap there was an open book that was draped over his right thigh. His left hand was lying in his lap. The right hand was lying on the book cover. Daryl could see the wedding band. The hand was very elegant, it had a fine bone structure, but it didn’t look like a woman’s hand, it was very masculine, but also very finely sculpted. He’d like to stroke over the fine bones of every finger, and see how sensitive they were……

‘Whoa, Daryl thought to himself, don’t go there, buddy, the guy is married. And even if his wife isn’t here, he is probably as straight as they come. He wouldn’t look at you twice. Forget it.’

Daryl turned away again, and closed his eyes again, he concentrated on listening to his music again.

~°~°~

~°~~°~°~

~°~°~

The taxi was very nice and very extravagant. It was a nice ride altogether.

The flight also had been really pleasant, still in the end they were both happy to be standing on solid ground again.
At the airport everything went really well. Rick said goodbye to Daryl and Carol in the plane, and again thanked them for their kindness, he saw them again when they picked up the luggage. Then again when both of them got into their taxi, and Rick tried to ignore that little pang in his gut, when he thought about never seeing those beautiful eyes again. He let go of the thought and of the man and kept his focus on the main reason why he did this, his son.

~°~°~

They were glad to finally arrive at the hotel, the cold was something else, really, he hoped they had enough clothes to stay warm, otherwise they needed to go shopping.

Rick followed his son into the hotel. Carl seemed to be in a hurry, Rick wasn’t even able to take all of it in, but he guessed that there would be time enough to have a look at all of it, outside and inside, by daylight.

“Dad, come on, let’s get to our rooms, I’m hungry.” Carl whined.

“Yeah, just a second, I’m coming.” Rick went after his son. They pulled their luggage after them until they reached a friendly smiling guy, who was standing behind the reception desk.

After some instruction and introduction Rick received the plastic key cards for the suite. They had a small suite, with two sleeping rooms, so that Carl wouldn’t be alone, but still had his privacy.

They thanked the concierge, their luggage would be brought up into their suite, so Rick decided that they would get something to eat now and then afterwards go into their rooms, it was fine with Carl, or course.

Just when they turned around he saw two familiar figures walk over to the reception where Rick and Carl were standing.

Both Rick and Daryl were staring at each other for some seconds before they both looked away.
Carl looked at his dad, with a confused look on his face. “Aren’t those Daryl and Carol who let me stay in the seat?”

“Yeah.” Rick grunted. He let his head hung and then turned to Carl and tilted his head. “Let’s go eat?”
Carl nodded enthusiastically.

Rick nodded to Daryl and Carol in passing. Carol grinned at him. He didn’t know if he liked that they were staying at the same hotel, but if he could trust his gut, then it might be a good thing because something inside of him was jumping up and down, and gave him a tingly, squishy feeling all over.

~°~°~

Chapter Text

The last few days they spent getting to know the place, which was simply said fantastic and was really worth every dollar they spent.
Carl loved the place and already had his fourth skiing lesson today. Rick wasn’t sure if he actually liked the skiing or if he liked the teacher. Michonne, the girl with the beautiful smile, he called her in his mind, was something else. She was really strict and Rick was reminded of one of his teachers from high school, whenever said teacher gave you that look – one tended to just do whatever they wanted. She was a real badass or so Carl called her, and Rick had to agree.

His poor back was still hurting from the fall yesterday, and he was ‘excused’ from the lesson today. Michonne prescribed him a day in the spa for his aching muscles. She even booked a massage for him, and who was he to protest. It was his holiday after all.
She also promised him to take care of Carl, and his gut told him, that he could trust her to keep him safe. Carl and he had met another boy around his age, Patrick, and his adoptive parents Glenn and Maggie. They were a really nice couple. Maggie also didn’t go skiing because she was pregnant, and Glenn was worried about her constantly, which was getting on her nerves.

Therefore Glenn, Carl and Patrick would be spending the day outdoors mostly and Rick would maybe meet up with Maggie for lunch, well she said to text him if she was in the mood, and he was fine with that, the rest of the time he would be enjoying himself in the spacious and extravagant spa.

~°~°~

“Dad, dad … hey, are you listening?” Carl was waving his hand in his face. Rick must have zoned out. He didn’t notice that Carl was talking to him.

“What is it?” He stuttered a bit, his voice low and raspy.

“I need to go now, Michonne is waiting and Patrick and Glenn are already gone. Can you give me the money, I need to buy the extra pair of gloves and the jacket.. we talked about it.” Carl’s voice sounded somewhat impatiently.

“Yeah, right, sure.” Rick gave him the money and Carl said goodbye and wished him a nice day.

“You too, son, and be careful, stay with Michonne.” He stressed. Carl nodded and then was gone. He seemed happy, and Rick was really glad that Carl seemed to have a lot of fun.

~°~°~
~°~°~°~
~°~°~

“You really don’t need to do that Daryl, really, I know you worry about me, but it’s fine if you spend some time alone and outside. I know you and I know that this is driving you crazy. I like to interact from time to time, and you don’t, so please, take some time off from babysitting me. I will survive.”

Daryl’s reply was a single grunt.

Carol sat across from him in the breakfast room. She was absolutely correct, he was going crazy, he couldn’t remember ever feeling this caged, the same bunch of people day in day out, smiling at him, and greeting him and expecting that he greeted them back. It had only been four days and there were so many more to come, they were here for three weeks and he didn’t think he would last that long before he’d kill someone.
The scenery was so beautiful, even the breakfast room was overlooking the mountains bathed in morning sunshine, one could enjoy the buffet before setting out on a day of skiing or walking. He wished he could perform a magic trick and wish all the people away, for at least a day or two.

Carol would attend some of the seminars and courses they offered in the hotel. Today she wanted to learn how to bake some specialty of the region, well it involved lots of Swiss chocolate and everything covered in chocolate was a great idea, so he would actually be looking forward to hearing about it in the evening. And of course tasting.

Until then, he apparently was free to do anything he wanted. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. It definitely didn’t involve snow, he didn’t like the cold, he was a Georgia boy after all, and never in his life did he imagine it being this annoying, the cold he meant. And skiing, that was a definite no. He had brought his travelling bow, and he actually wanted to ask their nice know-it-all concierge if he was allowed to hunt and if so where and what. Perhaps the chef would be happy if he brought them a nice deer or whatever they had here. Well he would talk to them later.

“Well pookie?” She smiled at him as if he was a little boy. He hated when she did call him that, well not really, but did it have to be here in public?

“What do you want me to say? I just worry. You know that. Has been and always will be my job to keep you safe.” He mumbled into the table, but he knew she could hear him.

“Why don’t you go and ask our lovely concierge about your hunting trip. Or go and spend some time outside in the sun?” Carol smiled at him encouragingly.

“Yeah, will do, probably.”

“Don’t you go and spend the time moping in your room. I will check on you later. This is such a nice place, there must be something for you to do, that you actually enjoy, I don’t want to start worrying about you, honey.” She added.

“Now I need to go, and I really hope that you find something that you will like. I will talk to you later. … Hey, look at me.” She grabbed his chin gently and looked into his eyes. Then she gave him a kiss on his forehead.

“Thank you, for bringing me here. You don’t know what this means to me.” Her eyes were watering a bit, and they looked into each other’s eyes, the love and the respect clearly visible for the both of them.

Daryl blushed and averted his eyes, even if she still held his chin, then she let go of him, and smiled at him again.

“See you later, pookie.” And didn’t she say it even louder the second time. So embarrassing, he thought.
He watched her walking out of the breakfast room, and in passing he saw her stopping for a second at a table. It was Rick’s table. After Carol had left Rick saw him watching and he nodded, Daryl kind of nodded back. Then he looked away again.

While finishing his coffee he was looking out of the windows and at the beautiful mountains, covered in snow and gleaming in the sun. He then looked around the room. Most of the faces he knew now, some were new, some were missing.
Then his eyes locked again with another pair of unmistakably blue eyes. Rick, the bane of his existence, and mostly though because the guy just wouldn’t leave his thoughts, it was as if he was constantly there, in the back, lingering and waiting.
Today was especially bothersome, because he looked excruciatingly hot in the dark jeans that sat really low on his hips and the blue button down that brought out his eyes. Daryl saw them, Rick and his son, coming into the breakfast room this morning, all freshly showered and curly hair still a bit damp. He wanted to stand up and run, or at least take another seat at their table, because of course Rick took a seat directly in his field of vision.
And today just like every one of the last four days he would look at Daryl, a beaming smile on his face that went straight to Daryl’s groin, and lit up something inside of him, and made him feel like the center of Rick’s attention for just a few seconds. And today as well it made the world seem just a tad duller when he then averted his eyes again to search for a table for them to start their breakfast.

If he didn’t know better he’d thought that Rick led him on, or was flirting with him, but at the same time that seemed so very absurd that he discarded the thought right away.
Still there was something in Rick’s eyes and the looks that he gave him. He just wasn’t sure what it was yet.

Just now, again, he could have sworn, that there was this heated moment between them, Rick was at his table, all by himself, and like Daryl he was enjoying the scenery. And just like Daryl’s eyes always returned to Rick’s, Rick’s eyes as well kept coming back to Daryl’s from time to time.

Then Rick stood up rather slowly, and he came over to Daryl. Daryl’s heart started to beat faster.

“Hey.” Rick said in that low voice when he reached the table.

“Hey yourself.” Daryl grunted back. Rick was standing there with his hands in his hips. Daryl’s heart was beating so loudly he was sure Rick must have been able to hear it.

“I was wondering, my boy is out skiing with his friends and I .. ugh, Carol just told me that you needed some relaxing, and I was about to go to the spa to get a massage, and then take a sauna. I hurt my back yesterday while trying to ski, and it should be amazing, the spa I mean. And well, Carol said that perhaps you’d like to join me, since she will be at her seminar, and I’m starting to feel like an idiot here … you seem to .. .”
Rick’s nervous babbling was disrupted by an equally nervous Daryl.

“What, no … no it sounds like a decent way to relax. So yeah I will join you. But no massage. I don’t like strangers touching me.” Daryl heard himself say. What? Did he just agree to go to a spa?? And then a sauna?? He could actually hear Merle’s hollering laughter in his head. Sauna and spa, back in Georgia he would have killed anyone even suggesting something like that to him. Sauna and spa, my ass. But here he was, agreeing to a nice spa session with mister sex on legs, Rick I’m as straight as they come. Carol knew, and she was playing matchmaker again. He could feel it. He groaned inwardly. This could only end in a disaster.

“Oh, alright, perfect, so I will see you later. My massage is at ten a.m. It’s an hour long. Meet me at the reception at eleven?”

Rick sounded so relieved and hopeful, he couldn’t refuse now, it was definitely too late, and today was even getting worse, because today would be like the black day in the history of the Dixons because for the first time, a Dixon would go to a spa. His father would have said, if he even knew what a spa was, that this was something for pussies. Well, if Rick, who was definitely very male, could do it, so could he.

“Yeah, you do that. I’ll be there. Should probably say that I’ve never done anything like that before, and probably never will again. Don’t know what Carol told you, but I’m not really the spa kind of guy. Probably would have been killed if I did something like that back home.” Daryl grumbled.

Rick laughed out loud but stopped immediately when he looked at Daryl and realized that Daryl was actually serious. There was an awkward pause between them. Then Rick cleared his throat.

“Well, see you then. And bring a towel. They probably have them there but it’s safer that way. They also have robes in the rooms so you could bring that as well. And ugh, yeah, I’ll leave you to your coffee now, so, see you later.” Rick said his goodbyes and then turned and went out of the breakfast room.

Daryl shook his head and sighed deeply, how was he supposed to survive a naked Rick, when seeing him walking around in tight jeans already gave him a raging hard-on. He thought about cancelling again, but the prospect of seeing Rick naked or even just with a towel around his slender hips was just too divine. He couldn’t and even if he really embarrassed himself by sporting a boner right in front of the guy, he wanted, no even more so, he needed to see.

~°~°~
~°~°~°~
~°~°~

Rick was sitting on a massage bench in a cozy room with only a towel around his hips. He felt like a teenager again, being terribly nervous about meeting Daryl later.

When Carol suggested to him earlier that he could ask Daryl to join him in the spa, at first he was skeptical and asked her if she was sure that this was something Daryl would like. But she told him that she knew that he would like it, but wasn’t aware of that. She told him that Daryl was not enjoying the time at the hotel as much as she liked and hoped that maybe some time with Rick would help him feeling more at ease. Rick wasn’t sure how he could be any help to make Daryl feel more at ease but she seemed to know him pretty well and of course Rick was dying to spend some time alone with the sexy guy. He still wasn’t sure what the relationship between Daryl and Carol was like, but he decided that he’d probably find out soon enough.

When Daryl mentioned that he had never done anything like that before it came as no surprise. He still couldn’t believe his luck that Daryl really agreed. He’d never in his life imagined that he’d come to the spa with him. Daryl mentioned that he didn’t like strangers touching him. He hoped that Daryl didn’t regard him as a stranger anymore, because he would definitely love to touch him. Rick took several deep breaths and told himself to calm down. His massage would be in a few minutes and he didn’t want to scare the poor thing away with a tent in his towel.

Some minutes later a woman in her forties entered the room, she asked him if he was comfortable. He was actually. Then she put on some low music and took some scented oil in her hands to warm it up. She asked him how he fell and what hurt the most. He told her, and she explained what she was about to do.

He then just tried to relax and enjoy the massage. She knew what she was doing and she loosened up his tense muscles, bit by bit.

He almost fell asleep thinking about Daryl’s broad back, and nicely muscled arms that were covered in many layers here, unfortunately. He only ever saw his arms on the flight, but that image was imprinted in his mind forever.

Rick imagined Daryl’s hands on his back and arms, he imagined Daryl kissing his shoulders and nipping his skin. He was starved and hungry for Daryl’s touch. He realized it wasn’t that he was just horny, but that he wanted Daryl, and only Daryl. His cock sprang to life again, and he began to wiggle around to find a more comfortable position. He blushed furiously and hoped that he had been subtle enough. Immediately he ceased thinking about Daryl and at the same time he thought of disgusting things like the zombies, he had seen on television last month, to get his so far neglected cock to behave. It was hugely embarrassing and he hoped that his masseur didn’t notice. Probably this happened a lot and she wasn’t even bothered by it.

~°~°~
~°~°~°~
~°~°~

He still couldn’t believe it. He was going to a spa with a guy that he was hot for. A spa!!

He hated getting naked in front of people. There were other people there for sure, and as much as he would love to get naked with Rick. He didn’t want other people to see his scarred body. He wasn’t ashamed of his body, on the contrary, he was proud to having survived his father and everything else like school and homophobe assholes and bullies. But he was kind of self-conscious when there were lots of strangers around.

He just needed to make do. He would see how it went and if it became too much, he’d just opt out.

Daryl was standing at the reception desk a little early. He was nervous and had a jittery feeling in the pit of his stomach. He still was not sure what Rick wanted with him, but he hoped to find out in the next hours. He may be shy but if he decided on something then he made damn sure he got it. And he wanted Rick.

A few moments later Rick came to the desk, he was dressed in a t-shirt and the same tight and dark jeans and had a towel around his neck, and a robe slung over his right arm. He came to stand really close, and Daryl could smell a lingering scent of sandalwood. It was intoxicating the mixture of this scent with the musky smell of the man himself. He looked and smelled literally good enough to eat.

“Ready?” he asked him.

“More or less.” Daryl replied huskily.

Rick grinned at him and told him not to worry. That he’d love it, for sure. Rick told him that they had several different saunas and that there was a small one that was outside and where you could just go and lie down on the snow to cool down after taking a sauna. He said that he booked it for them so that they wouldn’t have any strangers hanging around.
Daryl was still processing the fact that one would be lying around in the snow probably naked even, when he realized what Rick said. They would be alone in the sauna. Oh my, he was definitely fucked. He wouldn’t be able to distract himself, and that would probably lead to chaos and destruction. Still, he couldn’t and wouldn’t back down. It was either going to be a marvelous or an embarrassing experience.

~°~°~

They were standing in the locker room, Daryl made sure that Rick didn’t get a look at his back. He took off his clothes totally aware that Rick was watching him and trying not to be too obvious about it. Well he was a hunter, there wasn’t much that he didn’t notice.

When they were both only in their towels Rick told him to put on the robe. They also put on the slippers they were given at the reception of the spa, they’d need it to go outside.
He did as he was told and they went outside. It was so fucking cold. Daryl swore under his breath.

When Rick told him to take off the robe and put it up on the hook outside of the small wooden sauna Daryl couldn’t but bark at him.

“Are you fucking crazy? It’s fucking cold as it is and now you want me to take off the robe as well. I’ll be freezing my dick off.”

“Well I hope not.” Rick mumbled.

Daryl looked at him with an open mouth, he wasn’t sure that he heard right, so he just let it slide.

“Just give me the robe and rush into the sauna, it will be nice and hot inside.” Rick grinned at him kind of wolfishly. Daryl really wasn’t sure if there was a double-entendre there, he wasn’t sure of anything anymore to do with this guy. He again realized that he didn’t even knew his last name. So he blurted out.

“What’s your last name anyway? I don’t even know your name!” Daryl grunted.

Rick looked at him kind of funnily. “It’s Grimes. And yours?”

“Dixon.” Daryl replied.

Rick again looked at him kind of strangely, but then he ushered him inside of the sauna. He did as promised and after Daryl was safe and sound he took off his own robe, hung it up and came inside.
The draft was annoyingly cold, and he was glad when Rick closed the door behind himself.

Daryl was standing inside of the small sauna. Fit tightly there was probably space for nine persons at the same time, but then all would have to sit upright and very closely together. He was extremely relieved that Rick made sure that they would be alone.
Rick was really close, he could feel his presence even more than seeing him standing there. There was something about this moment that both men knew they couldn’t ignore anymore.

Rick moved even closer, they were about the same height so they were looking into each other’s blue eyes in the low but warm light of the sauna. Rick looked at Daryl’s mouth, Daryl licked his lips. It was happening, it was actually happening he thought. They would kiss. It was obvious.

Rick came even closer and then his right hand touched Daryl’s hip, his thumb was touching bare skin, the other fingers held on to the towel. Rick’s other hand came up to close around his upper arm and then he gently pulled him into his space. They still had their eyes open, watching each other, sharing space and breath, it was intense, their lips still didn’t touch, but Daryl longed for his touch, longed for his taste. His whole body trembled with excitement and hot arousal. Rick sighed and made a small whimpering sound. Then Daryl couldn’t hold back anymore, he grabbed Rick, slung one arm around his back and one hand curled deeply into the dark hair. He closed his eyes to just feel and then he crushed his lips to Rick’s full lips. Their mouths already open and inviting each other’s tongues inside. The kiss was hot and intense and there was nothing slow about it. It was passionate and full of longing. For a full minute or maybe more he forgot all around himself. He and Rick had begun to blur, to merge, connected by lips and tongues, hands and fingers.

Then Rick began exploring his body, his hands started stroking over his back. Up and down and all over, and suddenly but almost in slow motion Daryl became aware that Rick was running his fingers along his scars, and that he had stopped kissing him.

They broke apart. Their eyes connecting again.

There was realization in Rick’s eyes and also, was it pity, Daryl wondered with horror.

Rick stood before him, his fingers still on his scars on his back, when Daryl suddenly took a step back to get out of the embrace.
Rick hung his head, then raised his head again, a frown on his face.

“Are you Merle Dixon’s brother?”

~°~°~

To be continued ………

Chapter Text

Rick remembered. He never forgot a face, and maybe he wasn’t that good with names or would have known right away, but he never ever forgot a face. And Merle Dixon’s face was not an average one most of all when he was screaming his ass off and was high as a kite. Rick must have been in his early twenties when one day one of the senior officers and his partner came in with Merle Dixon in handcuffs. He was in a terrible state but even then Rick remembered him shouting one thing over and over. ‘Don’t put me away or he’ll get to the kid, please don’t put me away, I’ll never do drugs again.’ It was something like that. And he also remembered that at one point Merle was crying, because this time he wouldn’t just go to juvie. He was way over eighteen now. This time they had him for stealing and possession of drugs and some other things. He would go away for some time.

Rick then asked the senior officer what Merle was talking about and they told him that Will Dixon, Merle’s father was known for getting violent, for beating his wife, and after her death in a fire in her room while being drunk, for being very rough and possibly getting violent with his boys. They also told him that the younger one however was always protected by his older brother, but now that Merle would go to jail for some time the father would probably go after his second son. Rick was horrified and asked why they didn’t do something. The officers explained that it was an open secret, everyone knew, and that the wife had been in hospital several times but never filed a complaint afterwards. And without that and without any obvious evidence they couldn’t do anything. Their hands were tied.
Rick had been very angry then, he was furious now, how could that be, they were police officers, they represented the law and were supposed to help people, like Merle Dixon and his brother, and of course the mother.
Rick also remembered that Daryl’s name came up only once in their talks. So when Daryl told him his last name he finally remembered. Of course he couldn’t be sure, but Rick always went with his gut, and most of the times he was right. He’d made some bad decisions but still his gut was very reliable, and the second he pieced it altogether he knew that Daryl was that younger Dixon. Daryl obviously fell victim to his father’s wrath just like his older brother. Rick again felt anger and a longing for vengeance and also guilt, he felt guilty as a police officer to not have been able to prevent this.

~°~°~

Daryl didn’t reply. He just looked at Rick, and stepped back even more, he put about one and a half feet of space between them.
They were standing there looking at each other. Rick tried to keep his face open and tried to keep out any traces of the pity and the shame he felt. Shame because as a police officer he felt like a failure.

Daryl’s face closed down. His eyes were only small slits and he looked at Rick with a sneer. Rick knew then that his gut was right, unfortunately. How he wished that it weren’t.

Daryl then moved and pushed Rick aside, to get out of the sauna. Rick tried to hold him by his arm, but was thrown backwards when Daryl fiercely pulled his arm out of his grip.

Daryl moved as fast as a cat and raised his hand, he pointed his index finger at Rick and his face was very close to Rick’s own.

“Don’t you ever touch me again. I will kill you if you do.” Daryl emphasized every word, he was talking in a low and very menacing voice. Rick was shocked, he’d never wanted to be on Daryl’s bad side, but he needed Daryl to listen. He needed to make him stay, to hear him out.

Rick stepped back and put some distance between them, as much as it was possible in the small space. He held up his hands in a peace offering way.

“I’m sorry, please, Daryl. Let me explain.” Daryl evaded his eyes. He looked down at the ground. Rick tried to get him to look at him, but it didn’t work. Still, Daryl didn’t run off, so he apparently wanted to hear him out. Rick would try and make the best out of it.

“Look, I’m really sorry. I am. I didn’t want to spring this on you. I … yes I know your brother. I saw him a few times when they brought him in.” Daryl raised his head in a sudden movement and looked at him with wide eyes, the shock visible on his face.

“You’re a cop?” he barked. Rick nodded to confirm Daryl’s question. It seemed that Daryl didn’t take this news well, he scoffed disdainfully, and he seemed to force himself then to stay and keep on listening. Rick was glad that he stayed, which meant he still had a chance.

“Yeah I’m a cop, I’m actually the deputy of King County Sheriff’s department now. I’m sorry to disappoint. It seems that you don’t like cops much.” Daryl scoffed again even louder this time.

“Anyway, I know all about your abusive father, and I know about your mother. I’m really sorry that this happened. I know … “

“You know what, officer friendly, you know shit.” Daryl yelled and abruptly turned around and opened the door to the sauna. He didn’t even put on his robe, he just stomped back into the spa, and Rick was left standing there inside the sauna, feeling miserable as hell.

“Well, this went well!” Rick sighed. He was devastated. He really liked Daryl. He didn’t want this to end like this.

~°~°~
~°~°~°~
~°~°~

“What a total asshole.” Daryl was pacing in the room, and Carol wondered if they’d have to pay if he ran down the carpet.

“Honey, he tried to explain, you didn’t even let him. You don’t know what he was going to say.”

“I know what he would have said, that he was sorry that they didn’t do anything, that he’d probably find the scars disgusting and that he changed his mind. And then probably something like ‘but let’s stay friends’ – nah, I don’t need this. I had this enough in my life, I just wanted…” Daryl suddenly fell silent.

“What did you want?” Carol asked him gently.

“I wanted him.” Daryl whispered.

“Yeah, I know, honey. I know.” Carol sighed. She took him by the hand and sat him down on the spacious couch.

“You know, you should probably get some sleep. You look exhausted. I will order some sandwiches later, and you’ll stay in the room and watch TV. I will check on you later. Alright?” She asked him.

Daryl didn’t really reply. He was exhausted, she was right. This thing with Rick, it was driving him crazy, it was stressful and yes, exhausting. Maybe some sleep really would help to clear his mind. He needed to think, or maybe be needed to forget. Either way, he was tired as hell, and he would just close his eyes now and…..

Daryl fell into a fitful sleep. He dreamed of all kinds of ways the situation in the sauna with Rick could have ended instead. It was unnerving. When he woke it was dark outside. He’d slept for almost five hours. And that was a lot for him. He didn’t sleep well and was a very light sleeper.

The room was dark and Carol must have put his legs up on the couch at some point. She also covered him with a soft blanket. He was comfy.

He switched on the light beside the couch, on the table there was a plate with a nice looking sandwich and a note that said EAT ME , there also were some chocolate cookies on another plate. He wasn’t hungry and not even the prospect of Swiss chocolate could change his mind.

He went into the bathroom to take a shower, and wash off Rick’s scent that still seemed to linger and after that he went to bed. He just wanted to fall into oblivion, this just hurt too much.

~°~°~
~°~°~°~
~°~°~

“Then tell me what to do?” Rick pleaded.

“I don’t know Rick, give him some time, he really likes you, but he is very suspicious of affection. It’s just hard for him to trust someone, let alone someone who knows his past. In addition to that you’re a cop and cops are not his favorite people in the world, as you can imagine. He never had any trouble with the law, he just kept to himself, but all the experiences with his father and his brother just made him question everything. The police came to take away his brother and after that his life was a living hell, and it never got any better until the day Will Dixon accidentally fell down some stairs. Yeah, don’t look at me like that, he really did. Daryl was away on business and Merle was in prison. It was just their lucky day. After that Daryl started to relax and started to live. He started to learn who he was and we became friends around that time. I’ve known him for a long time, and I know, that he likes you Rick, you just have to give him time, but show him that you’re interested.
Show him that this knowledge and his scars don’t make him any less attractive to you. Be patient. Think of him as a wild animal. Just be there for him, and let him come to you. I know this is probably not the best advice, but it’s the only one I can offer.” Carol then stood up and went back to her group.

Rick was sitting at the dinner table, he was waiting for Carl, Patrick, Glenn and Maggie. They would eat dinner together.
Rick would think about all Carol said later on, in his mind a plan was slowly forming. He could do that, he thought to himself. Be patient, she had said, well he would try.

“Dad? Dad?? What is wrong with you?” They were standing outside of their suite and Rick stood there card key in his hand but he didn’t open the door.

There was a look of worry on Carl’s face slowly followed by a look of impatience. He took the key from Rick and opened the door so they could go in. Rick closed the door behind him. He looked at Carl and told him.

“I’m fine, I’m sorry, son, I was thinking.”

“About what? Must have been something? You were totally gone. Are you really ok?” His son asked him. “I’m fine, Carl, I was thinking about something. It’s fine. I will go to bed, now. Sleep tight. See you tomorrow.” Carl nodded and also wished him a good night.

~°~°~

Rick was lying in bed, on his back, he was staring at the ceiling and he couldn’t sleep. He wondered what Daryl would do if he just went over to his room and knocked. Probably punch him, Rick thought. Carol told him about Daryl’s business, not much really, just that he owned several hunting shops that specialized in cross bows for hunting. The funny thing was that he passed one of those shops every day on his way to work. The guy was tough and smart and extremely hot. He was different and interesting and he was worth every second Rick spent thinking about winning him back.
And he would show him that, Rick decided then and there that he would do anything to get Daryl to listen and to give him a second chance. Everyone deserved a second chance.

~°~°~

Three days later and still he was being ignored, and masterfully so. Daryl always found a way to ignore him. Rick didn’t know how he did it but whenever Rick tried to form a plan where he could actually intercept him, Daryl was long gone, or didn’t come at all. He never even saw them in the dining rooms. He saw Carol once or twice and she always had a sad smile on her face, or shrugged her shoulders but she didn’t offer any information or advice anymore. She clearly couldn’t help him with this situation.

On the fourth day after the total disaster in the sauna Rick saw Daryl exit the hotel, a cross bow slung over his broad back and a bag pack in his hand, he ran after him but Daryl drove off in a big black jeep before he could reach him.

Rick went back inside to ask the concierge about Daryl. He only explained that mister Dixon would be going on a hunt. He didn’t offer any more information and of course he wouldn’t because he’d consider this an indiscretion. Well, he couldn’t change it anyway. He’d try and ask Carol later on.

When he turned he almost ran into Carl who was standing there with Patrick. He was beaming at him.
“Dad, Michonne asked us to join her for a two day trip to a mountain hut. It’s on one of the smaller mountains beside the Mont-Blanc. Can we go? Please can we go?” Carl begged him.

“What, now?”
Carl turned to Patrick. “Next Monday she said, didn’t she?” Carl asked Patrick, and the boy nodded.

“Yes, it’s next Monday. She totally knows the way and she will be our guide. Patrick’s parents will come also, and Carol probably will come too, because Maggie asked her.”

Suddenly this was getting interesting. “What about Daryl?”

Carl frowned but replied. “Don’t know, Carol said she wasn’t sure if he’d be back then from his hunting trip.”

Rick’s mind was racing, an idea was forming in his head, and even if Daryl didn’t come, it still was an option.
“Yeah, why not. We’re in.” He grinned at his son.

Carl jumped and hugged him fiercely. “Thank you dad, this will be so much fun.”

~°~°~

It was beautiful. Daryl was standing there in the sun, he looked at the mountains all around him, the trees and everything mother nature had to offer was covered in snow. It looked as if someone had blown a massive amount of powdered sugar all over Switzerland. He still was cold and he still didn’t like the snow, but for the first time since they had come here he actually felt as if he could breathe.
And he desperately needed to breathe.

The situation with Rick was driving him nuts. He so longed to talk to him again, and not surprisingly so longed to kiss him again, hold him again, do all kinds of things to him, but he was afraid, afraid that Rick would reject him, for what he was. Carol told him over and over again that Rick wasn’t that kind of a guy. She told him that Rick was a decent guy that genuinely seemed to like him, but Daryl couldn’t overcome himself. He was afraid. There was no greater pain than the emotional one, and he’d rather have his dad beat him again, than to go through the pain of being rejected.

Daryl breathed deeply. He sighed and then he decided to indulge himself by lighting one of his cigarettes. He only smoked when he needed to relax really badly. Most of the times he was able to get through whatever it was without smoking, but sometimes he indulged himself.

After he finished the cigarette he took out the map and went over it again. The guide told him where to go and what to avoid. There were some dangerous areas. The guide also explained to him the danger of avalanches and how to behave if something like that happened.
Daryl told him that he’d avoid those areas at all cost. Even though he was a tracker, he wasn’t an idiot and first of all he was in a strange country and second of all, there were fucking masses of snow everywhere.
No, he definitely would stay on the tracks and would look out for deer or rabbits, but if there weren’t any he would go back to the hut.

There was a small hut that he booked for three days, he would go back to the hotel early if he was fed up with being all by himself in the hut, but it was nice and warm, it had two rooms and a small private sauna, which he definitely wouldn’t use. It was a perfect place for lovers or so he thought, and wouldn’t it be perfect if Rick was here with him. That would never happen though, obviously.

Anyway, after he left his things in the hut and parked the jeep in the small garage, he took his bow and small pack with all the necessities and started to walk along the tracks that the guide gave him. He’d enjoy this, well at least he planned to.

~°~°~
~°~°~°~
~°~°~

Rick found Carol in the lounge. She was drinking a coffee and was reading a book. She looked comfortable. When he approached her she looked at him with knowing eyes, as if she expected him.
She put away her book and looked at him expectantly.

“I don’t want to bother you again, Carol, but I saw Daryl leaving today, and Carl mentioned a hunting trip. He also mentioned that Maggie asked you to join us to go to the mountain hut with Michonne. I was wondering if you knew if Daryl planned to come too?”

“Well I don’t know about the trip with Michonne, there’d be several people he doesn’t know living together in a really small space. Even if only for two days he’d go crazy, so no I don’t think so.” Rick’s hope was crushed, and he dismissed his idea immediately.

Rick sighed.

“Rick, do you like Daryl?” Rick looked at her. She was being earnest and she obviously expected an honest answer.

“Yeah I do, and I know I haven’t known him for long, but I know that I really like him.”

“You don’t just want to fuck him, because I could understand that, and wouldn’t judge you.” She bluntly added.

Rick rolled his eyes and scoffed. “If I just wanted to fuck him, I’d have given up long ago, too much trouble, and you know that. Also I’m not that kind of guy, I’m not into one night stands. I really want to get to know him, be with him.”

Carol seemed to ponder that. She looked at her fingers for a second, then she looked up and back into Rick’s eyes again.

“I could get a key to the hut he’s staying in. I could say it’s a surprise, and the concierge already thinks that we’re a couple, so that wouldn’t be a problem. You could drive there and wait until he comes back from his trip. Talk to him, make him listen. You’d be alone, and well maybe he’ll give you a second chance.” She smiled at him.

Then her face was getting hard and the smile was replaced by a frown. She continued.

“I’d do that for Daryl, not for you, because I know for a fact that he likes you, but I assure you I will have your balls for breakfast if you hurt him in any way. And don’t think that I’m joking. That man is precious and he deserves to be treated as such.”

Rick nodded. He appreciated her help and he respected the hell out of her. She was a great friend and he told her that he would never intentionally hurt Daryl. He just needed a chance to speak to him, talk things over, start again, as the people they were.

Carol nodded back and then she stood up and patted his shoulder.

“Be right back.” She told him.

A few minutes later she came back and held out her hand, there was a key chain in her hand with a single key on it. He looked at the key and then at her. He thanked her, then he stood up and hugged her briefly. She hugged him back for a second and then they parted. She told him to get going, or so he would lose the light.

He asked Carol to tell Carl that he’d be back in two or three days. He could reach him on his cell. He felt guilty for leaving Carl all by himself and told Carol as much, she just told him, that he spent all his time with Patrick anyway and Maggie and Glenn would be glad to take care of him. She also told him that he deserved a few days and that it didn’t make him a bad father. It didn’t make him feel less guilty but at least he was assured that Carl was taken care of. He had Michonne, Carol, Patrick, Glenn and Maggie, that was actually more than he could ask for. He’d never in his life imagined that he’d meet such a fantastic bunch of people here in Switzerland of all places.

~°~°~

About an hour later Rick arrived at the hut. He rented a SUV and parked it in front of the garage. Daryl must have parked his car inside there. He took out his bag and the plastic bag with the additional things he brought. He closed the door and then went to the hut and took out the key. For a second he was nervous. What if it didn’t fit?
But it did and he went inside and closed the door behind himself. It was warm inside. There was a nice fireplace in the middle of the spacious living room. He would start a fire as soon as he was settled in. In the extra bag he brought wine, beer and two glasses, he didn’t know if Daryl liked beer or wine.
He put them aside in the kitchen, he didn’t want Daryl to know that he planned anything, no, that was for later, if there was a later. He hoped and dreamed.

~°~°~
~°~°~°~
~°~°~

It was getting dark outside and he actually didn’t see any game. Not one. There were tracks of rabbits and of deer but they were probably older. He wasn’t sure, snow wasn’t something he was used to.

Daryl decided that he would go back. He was tired, the walking was difficult and he kept sinking into the deeper snow, it was exhausting really.

Forty-five minutes later he arrived at the hut. Daryl was alarmed when he saw the dark SUV parked in front of the garage.
There was light in the hut but he didn’t hear any voices. Through the windows he could see that they, whoever they were started a fire in the fireplace.

Daryl really hoped that the hotel didn’t make a mistake and gave the hut to more than one recipient.

He thought about knocking but decided against it. He wanted them to know that he had the key to the hut. He opened the door and entered.

“Hello?” there was no answer.

Daryl went over to the fireplace and when he looked at the couch he saw a sleeping form lying there peacefully.

It was Rick.

The figure then stirred and stretched, he slowly woke up and then opened his eyes, when he saw Daryl he beamed at him, that dazzling smile, that made Daryl go weak at the knees. He was here, he actually was here, with him. It wasn’t a dream.

“Rick?” Daryl asked softly.

Rick sat up on the couch and stood up. He then walked over to him slowly. Rick came closer and closer until there were only a few inches between them. He raised his hands and slowly as if to give Daryl every chance to say no, he put his hands on his cheeks and jaw. His thumbs stroked softly along the finely structured bones.

“Daryl I am so sorry. I didn’t want to hurt you. I missed you so much these last days, and even if we met only a few days ago I feel as if I’ve known you for all my life. I want to be with you. Please give me another chance, make it right.”

Daryl felt hot, he felt the heat emanating from Rick, he felt heady from breathing in Rick’s incomparable scent. He wanted to taste, to feel, to touch. He didn’t want to talk, not right now. Daryl thought that he’d never get the chance to be with Rick again, and now that he was standing right here, in his grasp, he wouldn’t let him go ever again.

“Don’t want to talk now, kiss me, kiss me now.”
When Rick heard what Daryl said, his pupils were blown wide, he took Daryl by his broad shoulders, turned him, and pushed him down onto the couch. Daryl sat down and Rick settled in his lap, with his legs over Daryl’s thighs.
Rick gently took hold again of his face and then lowered his lips. He kissed him, slowly at first, but it got heated again when their tongues touched. Daryl’s heart raced and he could feel that Rick’s heart was matching his beat. Rick was so hot literally and Daryl couldn’t breathe his head began to spin and he felt intoxicated. Rick was his drug. Their whole bodies were touching now and Daryl was starting to grind his hips into Rick’s he wanted to feel Rick’s cock, wanted to see if he was as aroused as he was. And he was. With every move of his hips he felt the hard cock in Rick’s jeans. He needed more. He wanted to taste.
Daryl grabbed Rick and with one strong and fast movement he changed their position so that Rick was sitting on the couch. Daryl knelt between Rick’s legs and looked up at him, Rick’s eyes were half closed and so dark, there was only a tiny bit blue visible anymore. His mouth was opened slightly.
Daryl licked his lips. He leaned in and started to open Rick’s button down. When the shirt was open he pushed it aside to stroke the bare skin of Rick’s chest. His nipples began to harden and Daryl had to taste. He lapped at each nipple, gently biting each one. Rick gasped and whimpered when Daryl sucked on the left one and then the right one. He curled one hand into Daryl’s unruly bangs and gripped him strongly, not so much that it hurt, just as much for it to feel wanted and desired. Daryl kissed his way down until he reached the happy trail. He then stopped the kissing to open Rick’s belt, and button. He unzipped his jeans and reached into the boxers to take out the hard cock. It was already leaking, and there was a bit of pre-cum at the tip. Daryl lapped it up and tasted it. He closed his eyes savoring, Rick groaned, and the grip in his hair became tighter again.

“Like how I taste?” Rick asked him in a low and sexy voice.

“Mmhm.” Was Daryl’s reply.

“Well then go on, taste some more.” Rick told him, and there was something in his voice, something edgy but sexy and just a tiny bit dominating that Daryl’s cock twitched and he just couldn’t wait to do as he was told. It seemed that he liked Rick telling him what to do.

Daryl pulled Rick’s pants and boxers down a bit more, and Rick helped by taking them off altogether. He then took off his shirt and pulled at Daryl’s clothes until he also was naked, Daryl then assumed his place again between his legs, his face nuzzled against his sack until he started tracing the length of his shaft with his tongue. When he reached the tip he tasted salty pre-cum again. Parting his lips, he took him into his mouth and slowly slid his lips down Rick’s thick shaft until he’d swallowed every inch of him that he could manage. As his nose brushed his pubic hair, Rick’s moans filled the room. "Yeah baby, oh my god, that’s amazing" he whispered. Daryl took hold of his balls in one hand and his shaft in the other, stroking him with his mouth as he jerked him off with his hand. Rick then pressed his hips forward, arching his back and let out a deep, “Aaaaahhhh,” of pleasure. "That's so good."
Rick then pulled him up and flipped them over on the couch so that Daryl was under him. His wet cock was pressed against Daryl’s as he grounded it into him. Daryl loved the feeling of Rick lying on top of him, he pulled him as close as possible and they rocked into each other. Their movements became faster and faster until in two or three frantic thrusts they came almost at the same time, with Daryl first and Rick closely following. Their cum was now smeared between them, mixed with sweat from their heated bodies. Rick lay there on top of him, breathing heavily and slowly stroking his hair with his one hand. Daryl closed his eyes and just enjoyed the moment. They would have to get up sooner or later to get cleaned up. They made enough of a mess as it was.

Daryl slowly drifted off and fell asleep with a tiny smile on his face.

~°~°~

To be continued….

Chapter Text

Rick slowly woke up and looked around the room, which was cozy and warm from the heating system and the additional fire. It was lit by two small lamps that were on each side of the room, and of course the fire. It gave the room a very romantic atmosphere. He then realized where he was and who he was with. And oh my god, he thought, it really wasn’t a dream, he was indeed half lying on top of the very warm body of Daryl Dixon, his lover, he liked the sound of that. Daryl was still sound asleep, he was breathing deeply his mouth was opened just a tad and his left arm was still holding him strongly.
Very gently Rick tried to move and slide out of his grip and off the couch so as not to disturb Daryl. He didn’t want to wake him. He managed to softly lay Daryl’s arm on the couch beside his sleeping form and then he knelt right in front of the couch, naked as he was.
He stayed there even if he longed to go and wash the sticky mess they made off of his body. He didn’t though, he wanted to take the opportunity and look at his lover.

He looked at Daryl, really looked. Until now there really hadn’t been time for this, it was always intense and passionate between them and there hadn’t been any time to explore.
Daryl’s body was fit and not overly muscular, except for his nicely shaped arms, he had a few tattoos and on his chest there was just about the right amount of fine hair. He had strong hands and fingers, Rick liked it when those hands touched him or held him. He felt save and desired.

While Rick was enjoying his tour over his lover’s body he noticed a change in it, the breathing wasn’t as deep as it had been anymore, he looked up into Daryl’s face and a pair of stunningly blue eyes, even visible in this light, were looking at him, with some concern in them.

“Hey.” Rick said softly.

“Hey yourself.” Daryl equally softly replied.

Rick then took Daryl’s hand in both of his and gently stroked it. He looked down at the strong hand that he was holding. Their fingers played with each other and interlaced. He loved the tingly feeling that was building inside of him, from just this touch.

Daryl’s eyes lost some of the concern that was so obvious a few moments ago. His eyes shone brightly and there was so much emotion reflected in the blue orbs. Rick longed to kiss him and so he did, he leaned in and closed the distance between them, he put his lips to Daryl’s almost in slow motion. The kiss was sweet and innocent. It was a loving kiss, not that much a sign of the passion that was between them minutes ago but of the affection and the feelings that they had for each other. And there it was, the knowledge that they needed to acknowledge this affection to each other, they needed to talk. Rick wanted to make sure that Daryl knew, that this wasn’t only physical, this was much more to him. And he also needed to know how Daryl felt about him, he hoped that they were on the same page.

~°~°~

They kissed and necked a little bit, then he stood up and pulled Daryl up with him, he took him into his arms, and kissed him deeply once more, then he led him to the bathroom. They needed to get cleaned up, they were really sticky and it was getting uncomfortable. Also Rick wanted to have this talk now, and he believed that Daryl did too, and they needed to be clothed and ‘civilized’ to seriously talk and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to keep his hands to himself for long if a naked Daryl would be lying in front of him.

They showered together and it got heated again between them, his cock wouldn’t understand that Rick wanted to simply take a shower with his new lover, it obviously found Daryl irresistible, and who was he to judge, he agreed whole-heartedly. Daryl thankfully didn’t fare any better, and so he took both their hard and leaking cocks in his strong hand and started to stroke them. Rick at first only looked, the sight too amazing and too intoxicating for him to do anything else, then he put his hand over Daryl’s. They looked into each other’s eyes and stroked faster, they were breathing each other’s breath and then kissed. Rick groaned and again the sound was enough to bring Daryl over the edge. Rick followed again after a few fast strokes of their combined hands. They stood there under the now lukewarm water, enjoying the aftermath of another very intense and shared orgasm, until the water started to get even colder. They washed up hastily and exited the shower. Daryl always made sure that he never stood with his back to Rick. Rick noticed but didn’t say anything. There they were toweling off and then went back into the living room to get dressed. Rick put on a white t-shirt that clung to his slender body, boxers and a blue jeans without a belt, it was hanging rather low on his hips and he knew that it looked good on him. Daryl threw on one of his t-shirts, a worn and thin dark grey one, and black baggy pants, he skipped the boxers, which earned him a heated look from his lover.

~°~°~

They tidied up a bit in the living room, and Rick asked Daryl if he wanted a glass of wine or a beer. Daryl asked for a beer, Rick got himself a glass of wine. They sat down on the couch again, a bit of space between them, but not too much. Just enough so that they were able to talk.

~°~°~

For a second they were both quiet, and just enjoying the quiet. It was comfortable just sitting there sharing space. Rick put his arm up on the back of the couch and held out his hand, Daryl did the same and they held hands again, their fingers again intertwined.

Rick didn’t believe in fate and all that but he knew one thing, he met this wonderful man on a plane to Switzerland, and right at the time when the mess with Lori and Shane was finally over and done with, he accidentally took the man’s seats on the plane, and then even booked the same hotel, and the best of all, they were even living close to each other, it was fate, it had to be. And if Daryl now agreed to become his boyfriend, then he would definitely believe in miracles. Things like that, they didn’t just happen, except maybe in fairytales or in the movies.

Rick then looked up from their intertwined hands and fingers. He locked eyes with Daryl. He tried to put all that he felt for him into his eyes.

“I know this is probably a bit too much, and way too early to say, but I do care about you so much, I don’t want this to be over between us after this holiday. I need you to know that I am all in. I didn’t think that I’d ever meet someone again for whom I would feel this much, and this after knowing you only for a short time, but I do and I am old enough to know that this isn’t just an infatuation or a crush. I’ve had crushes when I was in high school. Now, this is different, and I want to ask you right here and now if you want to be with me. Be my official, well, boyfriend, or partner or whatever you want to call it.
And I know I talk too much, and possibly come on a bit too strongly and I apologize, but now I’m finished and really nervous about what you will say.” Rick blushed slightly and smiled a little awkwardly.

Daryl cleared his throat. He then looked away and started to chew on his lower lip. Rick didn’t know if this was a good or a bad sign, or if he only needed some time to think this over. Daryl took his time, and after probably five unbearably long minutes Rick almost wanted to let go of Daryl’s hand, but then Daryl apparently decided that he had mulled it over for long enough.

Daryl looked at him with such an intensity that Rick felt his heart starting to beat faster. He felt breathless all of a sudden.

“You know, I’ve known that I was gay since I was probably seven years old and I’ve had my share of crushes and half-hearted affairs with guys in back alleys or on the back seats of trucks, but I’ve never wanted anyone as much as I’ve wanted you, still want you, I don’t know about any deeper feelings and I don’t want to talk about love and all that, because I’m not good at it and I don’t know much about it. I know that I love my brother, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in love, so don’t expect any big declarations or anything. I’m not that kind of a guy, but I am honest as much as I can and I will stick to what I say. But I won’t make any promises. Promises are worthless, don’t ever make any promises to me, if you can’t keep them. I’ve had enough of that in my life.”
Daryl stopped then, looked away again, and Rick patiently waited. He still had Carol’s words in his mind. Be patient, Rick. So he waited. Daryl then regarded him with a guarded look.

“You really mean that?” He asked him.

“What do mean?” Rick replied.

“The … boyfriend … thing.”

“Yeah, I mean that, I mean that with all my heart. I want to be with you, I want to get to know you really well, be the one that you will let inside, be the one that you call your lover, and partner and be the only one that is allowed to touch you, because I don’t share.” Rick mock growled, and then smirked.
“Daryl I haven’t been this sure of something in a long long time, I want you in my life. Want to share it with you. I want to really try and make this work.” Rick said earnestly.

“I don’t know if I’m any good at this. You don’t even know me.” Daryl’s face suddenly had changed and there was this concern again, and an insecurity that hadn’t been there before.

“You never know if you don’t try. Of course it won’t be easy, no relationship ever is, but don’t you want to try?” Rick actually pleaded and he wasn’t above begging, if it made Daryl reconsider and agree that they would try this.

“I … Rick, I really don’t know if I can do this, because I’ve never been in a relationship, like ever.” Daryl sighed and shook his head. “I want to do this, I really do, I still have this dream of a normal life, you know normal as in having a house with a partner, and maybe kids, and perhaps a dog, and having breakfast, lunch and dinner at a table with the family. Celebrate birthdays and other holidays. A normal life. I’ve never had any of this. My life was different, as you know. And I’m glad that you do know, so I don’t need to explain. You understand. I like that, I really do, even if I reacted kind of violently the other day. I’m sorry for that, by the way, I was acting like an idiot.” Daryl then tried to pull his hand away from Rick’s but Rick didn’t let him, he held on to him to assure him, that this was all fine. Daryl sighed again and squeezed his hand.

“Hey, we were both idiots. Let’s just forget that. Let’s start over. Alright?” Rick asked and tried to get Daryl to look him in the eyes. And Daryl finally looked at him again, he nodded, and Daryl nodded back.

“So we agree? Do we make this official?” Rick asked.

“What do you mean, official?” Daryl mumbled wide eyed.

“We tell everyone that needs to know, that we’re together, an item, boyfriends, partners ….. “ Rick seemed to search for more words, so Daryl humored him. “Man, did anyone ever tell you that you’re really rather bossy?” Daryl grunted at him exasperatedly.

“Oh each and every day.” Rick even had the audacity to grin broadly at him. Daryl couldn’t but chuckle slightly.

“Like I said, no promises, but yeah, I will try, and we will try, I suppose. So yeah, we’re officially together now.” Daryl said.

Rick beamed at him, and then he pulled him against him, they both were moving towards each other, and then kissed. Their tongues touched, and they copiously explored each other’s mouths.

Daryl then pulled away so that there was maybe an inch of space between their lips. Rick followed him, to capture his lips again, but Daryl wouldn’t let him.

“Well, then maybe now is the time to tell you that I don’t share as well, and I can be pretty possessive. So I hope you’ll take off your wedding band. I don’t want to be reminded constantly that someone else called you his or hers. Carl’s mother I presume?”

Rick looked at the golden band around his finger. “You know, I don’t even notice that I still have it on, and I know how that must have looked to you, but I don’t love her anymore. Not that way. She will always be the mother of my son, and I will love her in some way, but it’s over and of course I will take it off. You can do it, if you want.” He held out his hand.

Daryl hesitated for a second but then took Rick’s hand in one hand and with the other he slowly pulled off the ring.
He then wanted to give it back to Rick, but Rick told him to get rid of it, as a kind of symbol of his commitment to him. Daryl couldn’t believe that this could actually be happening to him. Carol would now tell him that he deserved it, but it was still hard to get over the feeling inside of him. He would try.

Daryl then stood up, he went over to the door, put on his shoes, went outside and around the house for a second and threw the ring as far as he could. He breathed in the cold air and then ran back to the house, to get inside. He was freezing now, of course. He went back to Rick who sat there with raised eyebrows and a question mark hanging in the air.
“I threw it away, so if you weren’t serious about me getting rid of it, we possibly have a problem now, because it’s gone for good.” Daryl said meekly.

Rick laughed out loud. He grabbed Daryl’s face with his both hands and kissed him soundly on the lips. “Oh my god, I love you.” He proclaimed.

They both froze and were silent all of a sudden. Then Rick whispered. “I do, I really do, and I know you don’t believe me, because we’ve known each other for only ten days, but I do. And you don’t have to say it back, of course, I don’t expect anything. I just needed to say it or I would explode.”

Daryl stayed silent, he nodded.
Then they just lay back against the back of the couch in each other’s arms. Just being there with each other. It was all very new and both were afraid to do or say something stupid that would upset the other one.

Rick hoped that he didn’t scare Daryl off with declaration of love, but he couldn’t stop himself, he had wanted to say it before when they talked, but he didn’t and now it simply needed to be said, and he really hoped that it would be alright.
Rick sighed and snuggled closer to Daryl, he was leaning against the other man now, with his shoulder and part of his back. Daryl then raised his arms and slung them around him, Rick sighed again, he felt so wonderfully safe and loved and at home. Daryl was like coming home. He always thought that this was something that came directly from a romance novel, but it was true, he felt like coming home with Daryl. Daryl was home.

~°~°~
~°~°~°~
~°~°~

They packed their stuff and put it back into the cars. Daryl then looked around the room, he went to the bedroom one last time. He took out his phone and took a picture. It was sentimental and in his mind he could hear Merle’s roaring laughter, but still, this was the bed in which they made love. For the first time, he made love, and he never in his life could have imagined it feeling like that.

Daryl stood there in the doorway and remembered.

~°~°~

After they had declared themselves boyfriend and boyfriend or whatever, they went over to one of the bedrooms. They switched on the lights and looked at the huge king size bed. It was a beautiful room with light wooden furniture and dark wooden parquet flooring, decorated with only one big beautiful picture of a photograph of the wintery scenery around the small hut. The bed looked extremely inviting. They were both exhausted from all the excitement, and possibly insufficient sleep.
Rick told him that he’d love to make love to him right now, but was exhausted and wouldn’t want their first time and most of all his first time ever with a man to be a tired groping and falling asleep on each other. Daryl was still processing the fact that Rick was as much a virgin in this department as he was, when Rick was already undressing. He then went to the bathroom to get ready and when he came back, Rick was standing there in only his boxers. He also went to the bathroom for a moment and then came back. Daryl was already in bed. He had on a shirt and boxers. He was terribly nervous about his scars, because even if Rick knew they were there, he still hadn’t seen them up close.

“I usually sleep naked.” Rick stated matter-of-factly, then took off his shorts and also climbed into bed and under the covers. Daryl just looked at him with wide eyes. “You?” he asked him then. Daryl still didn’t reply, he wasn’t sure how to address the fact that he didn’t want Rick to see his back yet. He didn’t want to hurt him, but he needed time. He didn’t trust easily, but Rick seemed to understand.
“You don’t have to, you know. I just told you so that you could tell me if this was making you uncomfortable. You just do whatever you need to do, I don’t want to change you, Daryl. I just need to know when I’m doing something wrong, so that I can change it the next time.”

“Nah, it’s fine, you can sleep naked, it’s not that. I don’t know how to say it without sounding stupid, but I don’t want you to see my back. It’s just too personal, too private. I don’t know you this well, and yeah, we’re together now, but it’s too much.. you understand?” Daryl pleaded with him.

Rick nodded then, and just leant over and kissed his lips tenderly. “Take as much time as you need. I will be here when you’re ready.”

He then slid down and lay down on his back, he switched off the lamp on his nightstand and looked over at Daryl. He held out one arm to invite him into his arms.
Daryl hesitated a second only because he was still amazed how lucky he was, then he switched off his lamp as well and lay down in Rick’s welcoming arms. He put his head on Rick’s bare chest and put one hand on his belly. They stayed like this until they fell sleep.

~°~°~

In the morning Daryl was roused by a very aroused officer Rick Grimes, who nipped and kissed the back of his neck, and close to his ear. They were both on their sides and he was lying behind him, his erection was pressed eagerly into Daryl’s clothed butt and again he was emanating heat and smelled heavenly like Rick.

“Morning sunshine.” He whispered into his ear. Then his hand sneaked around him to find Daryl’s cock already hard and waiting. He took him out of his boxers and stroked him a few times, giving extra attention to the sensitive tip. Daryl moaned into his pillow, and wasn’t this a perfect way to wake up?

“I want you to make love to me, I want you inside of me, deep inside of me, I want to feel you completely, I want you to fuck me and hit my prostate every time. I always dreamt about my first time being with someone that I adore, and I adore you. I want to feel your hard cock inside of me.” Rick breathed the words into his ear, it made him tingle, and gave him goose bumps, his cock started leaking and if possible even got harder still while he listened to Rick telling him what he wanted from him. He wanted nothing more than to make love to Rick but he was a little apprehensive.

Daryl then turned around. He sat up. He ran his hand through his hair, and as excited and aroused he was, he was also scared he realized. Rick sat up too, and put a hand on his shoulder. “Did I say something wrong?” he asked him softly.

“Nah, it’s just that I don’t have anything with me, and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You won’t baby, and I got everything. Lube and condoms, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t plan any of this. Carol gave them to me. She is something else.” Rick chuckled, and Daryl had to smile too, well that was just typical.

“I want you.” Daryl said in a low voice.

“I want you too. We’ll figure this out together, alright?” Rick said and Daryl nodded.

~°~°~

Daryl took hold of his dick, he pressed hard to stop himself from coming right now, just by looking at Rick. Rick’s ass was high in the air, he was on all fours and looked at Daryl over his shoulder.

After their little difficulties Rick took out condoms and lube and put them on the bed, he then pulled back the covers and presented himself, cock half hard now, to Daryl, Daryl got back hard instantly. His eyes roamed hungrily all over his body. Daryl then told him to turn over, and Rick did as he was told. He opened himself up for his lover, and Daryl could see his puckered opening. His cock twitched by the thought to be inside of this hot entrance. He then took off his boxer shorts, to free his hard member, still the t-shirt stayed on.

Daryl looked at Rick again and groaned, he needed to taste, so he kissed first one, then the other butt cheek and earned another whimpering sound from Rick. Daryl got so aroused that he started to kiss, lick and suck on the puckering virgin hole. He drove Rick wild as he felt his tongue and lips suck the soft warm outer sphincter and Rick began to beg: "Oh Fuck, Daryl. Holy shit this is so good. Please I need more.”

Daryl then squeezed some lube onto his fingers, waited a second for it too warm up and then used his fingers, slowly, first only one and then another and a third. Rick was breathing heavily and moaned constantly, and Daryl didn’t know how much more of that he could endure without coming. Rick was so hot.

Rick then looked over at him over his shoulder with heavy lidded eyes. “Daryl please, fuck me, I’m ready. Please I go crazy here.”

“You can talk.” Daryl grunted. “I have to watch you, and I have never in my life seen something hotter. You ready?” he asked again.

“Yeah, I am, told you. Fuck me.”

“On your back, I want to see you. Alright?” Daryl asked and Rick nodded.

Rick was then lying under him. He looked at him intensely. Daryl kissed him once and then put one of the pillows under Rick’s butt. He then rolled a condom on, and used a nice amount of lube, warmed it up in his hands and put it on his rock hard member. He positioned his cock and slowly slid in just a little bit, Rick hissed but shook his head to tell him to go on. Then Daryl pushed in further until the head was inside, he sighed and needed to stop for a moment, to control himself. Otherwise he’d just thrust into the inviting warmth that was Rick Grimes.

“Move, I’m fine. Move, I need you to move.” Rick growled.

And Daryl did, he started slowly, and went deeper with every thrust until he was fully sheathed inside of Rick. It was heaven. They looked at each other, and then Daryl started to thrust in earnest, Rick’s left leg was high up in the air and was held up on Daryl’s shoulder. Daryl was searching for the perfect angle, to make Rick’s virgin dream come true, and with the fourth or fifth thrust he found it. Rick shouted and growled and squirmed and begged him to go faster. Daryl still needed to control himself so that he wouldn’t come before Rick. He needed Rick to come before him.
So with every move he hit Rick’s prostate and then stroked his cock at the same time until Rick suddenly gasped and clenched around him and told him that he was going to come, and he did, all over his belly and Daryl’s fingers. Rick again clenched his inner muscles around Daryl’s cock and he couldn’t hold back anymore, he came deep inside of Rick, and rode out his orgasm until he had to pull out his slowly softening member. He got rid of the condom by using a tissue and putting it on the nightstand to throw it away later, then gently lay down beside Rick who had his eyes closed and was still breathing kind of heavily. Rick opened his eyes and looked into Daryl’s longingly. He then raised his head to put a kiss onto his lips.

Daryl used another tissue to clean up Rick’s belly and his hand, again the need to taste was too strong, so he did and it tasted alright he guessed, like Rick, like his lover. He then cleaned up the rest and threw the used tissue on the nightstand as well. He would tidy that up later.

He pulled up the covers and lay down beside Rick again. They fell asleep in each other’s arms.

~°~°~

So yeah, he needed this picture to always remember what the room and the bed looked like, where he and Rick both lost their virginity. Well technically speaking only Rick, but they talked about it and Daryl told him that he wanted to try, but needed a bit more getting used to everything before he’d do that, and Rick as always told him, that he was fine either way, and that he should just tell him whenever or if he was ready.

~°~°~
~°~°~°~
~°~°~

The last days of their stay in Switzerland were just a blur.

After they returned from the hut, Rick had immediately sat down with Carl to tell him about Daryl. His son was really confused at first and probably a little angry that he didn’t know that his father was bisexual. Rick told him that it never really came up, no pun intended, but that it wasn’t intentional. Carl looked at him kind of funnily the next days. It would take some getting used to, but since Carl’s best friend’s brother was gay and “really cool” with his motorbike and everything, he seemed to still think that his father could be bisexual and still be a cool guy.

However, it would definitely need some time, and he was fine with that, Carl was the most important thing in his life and he needed him to be alright with this aspect of his life. Otherwise it would be really hard to start a relationship with Daryl, if he wasn’t able to bring him into his home.

Daryl and Carl started to talk with each other and apparently Daryl was a badass and a cool guy, and he had to promise Carl that Daryl would be teaching him how to use a cross bow, and how to track and how to ride a bike, and a horse, and so on.
Daryl obviously was much cooler than big old dad, but that was fine with Rick.
He was relieved that Carl liked him.

~°~°~

The three days in the hut with Michonne, and the rest of the group were exhausting and he probably had a case of extremely blue balls when they returned to the hotel, because in the hut they didn’t have one minute of privacy. Still it had been lots of fun. Rick and most of all Carol were really surprised that Daryl had agreed to come at all. And they found out that Michonne actually was born in Georgia and she promised Carl to come visit in her holiday.

Glenn and Maggie’s baby was due in around five months and they planned to have a big party when it was born. Carl was invited and so was he and Daryl. The couple knew probably what was going on with the two of them, but they only ever looked and never asked. It was fine by him, his private life was supposed to stay private. They all were allowed to know that they were a couple but it was none of their business who was the top or the bottom or how many times and in what positions they had sex. Thank you very much.

When the day came that Glenn and Maggie and Patrick left, Carl was really sad. He came to like him a lot, but they promised to visit each other.

Carl was also sad because he didn’t know how to spend their last two days of the holiday. Rick promised him two days of father and son time. Carl agreed gladly.

Carol and Daryl took that time to be with each other. Daryl needed Carol and she needed him, that was obvious. They were friends and family for each other.
Rick tried to be not jealous, but it didn’t completely work. He told Daryl, but Daryl only laughed, and said that he found that really cute he didn’t know what to make of that, but for Daryl this discussion was over. Carol would be like Carl for Rick, the most important person in their lives. Rick understood even if it hurt slightly.

~°~°~

Then the day had come and they had to leave.

When they were sitting in the SUV taxi that would bring them to the airport they looked back at the hotel and back at the snowy mountains and all they had come to love.

It would always be in their memory. It would always be their beginning.

~°~°~


But though the snow is gone, the romance lingers on
And those who said it didn't stand a chance
Will know when they see us together
That love's not controlled by the weather
And all of our summers, we'll have our winter romance

~°~°~

This is the end.

Chapter Text

Two years later…

Daryl came in and went right into the kitchen. He put the bags with the groceries onto the kitchen counter.

“Hey Carl?! Come on down, I brought the things you asked me to.” A few seconds later he heard someone racing down the stairs.
Carl came rushing into the kitchen and looked into the bags, he began putting the things on the counter and got out all kinds of material to start with the cake.

“Well hello to you too.” Daryl grumbled. Carl turned to him and rolled his eyes, in the same unnerving yet endearing fashion his father did. “Sorry, Daryl, hello Daryl. Fine now? If you don’t want to help get out of the kitchen, he will be here in about four hours and I need to get it done by then. I promised Carol, and she showed me everything I need to know.”
Daryl held up his hands. “Easy, kid, I am gone in a sec. How’s Judith?”

“She’s sleeping, at least she was twenty minutes ago. You can check on her if you want. She was cranky the whole day, probably she’s teething again, that’s what Dad said, when I talked to him earlier.”

“I'll go check on her. You bake your cake.” Daryl grunted. Carl scoffed but went on with whatever he needed to do.

‘Teenagers’, Daryl thought. He went up the stairs and into Judith’s room. She was sleeping soundly, fortunately. Daryl sat down on a chair that was placed directly beside her cot.

Had someone asked him a few years ago that his life would be like this, with a family and a house and a partner, whom he loved, and who loved him just as much, he would have laughed in their face and called them a liar.

~°~°~

Daryl remembered sitting in that plane that brought them home again, home to Georgia and back to work and their lives.
Carl got the window seat again, with Rick beside him, and Daryl and Carol took middle seats just like they had on their outbound flight. After the plane was in the air and Carl was asleep Rick and Carol changed seats so that he and Daryl were able to sit together. They held hands most of the flight, and just looked at each other. Most of the flight Daryl was awake and stared at Rick, who was sleeping, he could not believe that this man was his lover, his boyfriend, his partner, his everything. He still wasn’t sure what he felt for Rick, but Rick told him, that he’d wait, he’d wait as long as Daryl might need.

He looked at the hand in his hand, their fingers intertwined, and he looked at the ring finger that was now ring-less. Daryl decided that he needed to fill this space. He would buy rings or at least a ring, and he’d give it to Rick. He hoped Rick wouldn’t want Daryl to wear a ring, he didn’t know if he could, or even wanted. It was not his thing, but also perhaps with time.

Still he wanted to show the world that this man was his, and he liked the thought that Rick would wear his ring. It felt really nice and gave him a warm feeling.

When the flight was over and they arrived back home Daryl still wasn’t sure what would happen now, would Rick really want to be with him, here outside of their little carefree wintery bubble, where there was just their everyday life.

He prepared for the farewell and kind of withdrew a little, he didn’t let Rick take his hand and more or less hid behind Carol when they were waiting for their luggage. Rick of course realized what he was doing and he frowned at him.

When they had their luggage they went to the exit, where Daryl could see Merle waiting for them, he was smirking as always.
“Hey, little brother!” he yelled loudly. Well, Merle was always loud but this was actually kind of embarrassing. Daryl looked over at Rick who calmly observed the situation. Daryl nodded at him. Rick then frowned even more, he came over to him.
Daryl noticed that Carl was embraced by apparently his grandparents while Carol greeted Merle. He tried to look away, tried to look everywhere but at Rick.

Rick hung his head and tilted it to the side to catch Daryl’s eyes. Daryl then looked at Rick and their eyes met.
“What’s going on, Daryl? You changed your mind?” He asked in a low voice.

“What .. no.” Daryl shouted out immediately, and then added in a normal volume. “No I just, I’m not sure you if maybe you did.”

“What?” Rick slurred slightly irritated. “Why in hell would I do that, now that I’ve found you, I won’t let you go. You won’t get rid of me that easily Daryl Dixon!” He winked at him and then grinned.
“I didn’t change my mind and I never will. So if you didn’t and I didn’t, then we’re good?” Rick asked him.

Daryl nodded with a little smirk of his own, and then there it was again that beaming smile, that Rick gave him, that made his knees week and his heart beat faster. Rick then hugged him, and kissed his cheek, then his mouth for just a sweet little kiss. He could hear his brother yell something like ‘Do I have to see this, get a room’ and then Carol telling him to shush in her usual effective way. Daryl was a bit nervous because they were in the middle of the airport, and he had never done anything like that in front of his brother, he needed to get used to it obviously because Rick was that kind of guy who just told everyone to fuck off or look the other way if they didn’t want to see.

He told Daryl that he would call him later tonight, after they settled in again. They exchanged numbers when they were in Switzerland.

~°~°~

The weeks and months after that day had been a blur of events and developments.

They moved in together about a month later, when they found the right house. Rick needed space and so did Daryl, and they wanted to have guest rooms for Carol and Merle. Carl was thrilled with his new rooms, he had lots of space for his games and if his friends wanted to come over.
Daryl also needed a room for his office because this way he was able to be at home more often and be there for Carl. They got along really well after some difficulties in the beginning. When Carl realized that Daryl wasn’t going to take away even more of his father’s time from him he relaxed and they started to get to know and like each other.

~°~°~

About three months after Rick and Daryl moved in together, one evening Lori, Rick’s ex-wife was at the door. Rick let her in and they went into the kitchen, Daryl went into his office to give them space. After a while he heard loud voices and then Lori was crying. He headed over there to see if Rick needed his help with anything. Rick was looking at the floor when he came into the kitchen and Lori had her head in her hands.
She looked up at him when she heard him coming in. Then she looked at Rick. “Ask him, he’s here now.”

“Ask me what?” Daryl asked. Rick looked at him, and there was a strange look in his eyes.

“Lori is pregnant, with probably not my child, but we can have it tested, and she asked me if I wanted to adopt the baby, because she, or I should say they don’t want it.” Rick’s eyes were hard when he looked at Daryl, he obviously disapproved of his ex-wife’s behavior and for understandable reasons.

Daryl didn’t really need to think about it, he wanted kids, and they had already talked about the possibility of an adoption, but of course that would have probably been a long and difficult procedure. Now this was a gift. A child that was possibly Rick’s child and it was definitely Carl’s little brother or sister. He couldn’t believe his luck, he hoped Rick was thinking and feeling the same, it was his decision after all.

“Don’t have to ask me. You know what I think. It’s your call though.” Daryl told him.

Rick shook his head. “No it’s our call. Do you want it?” He asked him.

“Yeah I do.” Daryl grunted. They locked eyes for a few seconds and there was so much love in them, Daryl had to look away it was too intense in front of Lori.

Rick hung his head, he seemed to contemplate the situation, after all he would be reminded of Lori’s and his ex-partner’s affair all the time, when he took in this child. After a while he looked at Daryl again and then at Lori.

“We’ll do it. But I want the test. I want to know, need to know. It will not change my decision, but I want to know what I will tell her when she will be old enough. She would want to know her biological parents. Daryl and I will be her parents and I want you to prepare all papers so that she will be legally mine and Daryl’s after the birth. If you want to be a part of her life then I will not keep you from doing so, but it’s either you will be there or not at all, I won’t let you come visit her once in five years. You either will be a part of her life or you won’t. Are we clear?” His voice was gravely quiet.

Lori nodded. Meanwhile she had collected herself and was standing there looking at Rick with sad eyes. Daryl had the feeling that this wasn’t really what she wanted.
Rick asked her if she wanted to see Carl, but she shook her head, again sadly and said that he probably didn’t want to see her anyway. Daryl wanted to tell her that it wasn’t true, and that she should go to him, but she was walking out already, and so he kept his mouth shut.

~°~°~

Several months later Judith moved in with them. She was Lori’s and Shane’s daughter, the paternity test was definite, but just like Rick told them all those months ago, it wouldn’t make a difference and she was now officially their adopted daughter. She was Carl’s sister and she even had some eccentric godparents in Carol and Merle.
In the weeks after her birth they all were rather nervous and anxious but they had lots of help with Carol staying over many days and nights. And Judith was apparently a very well behaved child, she almost never cried and she was very sweet and astute.

With time they all had a new routine and everything was working like a well-oiled machine. Carol didn’t need to stay over anymore, and Rick, Daryl, Carl and Judith were a real family, with all the normal ups and downs a family experienced.
Judith even managed to twist Merle around her little finger. He was literally putty in her hands, and addressed himself as ‘uncle Merle’ whenever Judith was around. It was weird but also nice.

Now their little girl was almost fourteen months old and she was his little ass-kicker, well he wasn’t allowed to call her that actually, but he still did in his mind and when nobody was listening. He was looking forward to everything that there was to come. He really loved life for the first time in his life.

~°~°~

Judith cooed and mumbled something in her sleep. Then she was quiet again.

He left her room and went to the bathroom to get ready for later when Rick came home. It was Rick’s birthday today and there would be a party with all their friends and family. Merle and Carol would be there obviously. Maggie and Glenn would come with their little boy. Michonne would also come, she moved back to the States almost a year ago, and went back into her original profession as a lawyer, she told him that after she lost her little boy and boyfriend in a car crash she needed an out and that was why she went to Switzerland to work there as a skiing instructor. Carl was over the moon that she was here now, they were pretty good friends, she also was a brilliant mother figure in his life besides Carol who also did her best.
He actually considered inviting Lori and Shane, Lori and Rick managed to be civil to each other, so did Shane and Rick, and Lori visited her daughter once every two weeks. She was grateful that Rick stayed true to his word and allowed her to see her. Judith should know who her mother was, so Daryl was of course fine with it. Still, Carl and Carol both told him to not invite them because then everything would be awkward and embarrassing. Carl also told him that it was fine to see his mother on his own, but not in one room together with his father, he was simply tired of them fighting, he wanted his dad to have a nice party and it wouldn’t be possible if Shane and Lori were there. Daryl conceded.

~°~°~

The party was nice. The cake that Carl baked was a complete success and Rick was so proud of him. They all went home about twenty minutes ago, the kitchen was almost completely tidied up again, Carol was a miracle worker. Carl was upstairs, he told him that he would tuck in Judith and then said goodnight to both of them.
Daryl then took two glasses and poured champagne in each of them. He didn’t really like the stuff but it was for a special occasion. He checked his pants for that special something that he put in there a few hours ago.

He went back into the living room. Rick was sitting there on the couch, his eyes closed, his head was leaning against the head rest.

Daryl sat down beside him and held out one glass. “Hey.”

Rick opened his eyes. “Hey yourself.” He looked at the glass and smiled at Daryl, then he sat up and took it from Daryl. “Again?” he asked.

“Nah, this is for something else." Daryl then unceremoniously pulled the ring out of his pocket and held it out to Rick. It was a plain but classy ring in white gold, with an engraving on the inside. Rick took the ring from him and looked at it. It read you have my heart. Rick visibly swallowed a few times before he looked up at Daryl, his eyes were wet, and he looked at him with such love that Daryl again had to look away. There were still times when he wasn’t able to understand and comprehend that Rick really loved him.

He then carefully took the ring from Rick again to take his hand in both his and put the ring on his finger. Rick looked at it, gently stroked the ring with his fingertips, he looked up and again there were unshed tears of joy in his eyes.
“Thank you Daryl, I don’t know what to say really, but thank you, and I love you, so much. You know that. This means a lot.”

Daryl had planned to give him the ring so many times in the last weeks but there had never been the perfect moment, only tonight, tonight had felt right. Tonight felt right. It was perfect.

Daryl chewed on his lower lip, then he stopped to say what he wanted to say. “Never told you before, but now I want to. I love you. I know now, that it is love what I feel. The ring .. it’s .. I hope you like it. Wanted to ask you to get into a fucking domestic partnership with me, but it’s not legal in this fucking state, so we’ll have to wait, but when it’s legal I want to do this here. It’s our home.”

Rick beamed at him again, he leaned in to kiss him, careful to not spill the champagne. Daryl then raised his glass. “To you, your birthday, and to us!”

“To us!” They clinked glasses and drank a small sip. Then Rick put down his glass on the table and took Daryl’s from his hand to also put it down on the table.

He then leaned in again to kiss him, but this time the kiss was deep and intense. Their tongues were stroking and exploring each other’s mouths. Rick then stopped, he was breathing heavily and obviously aroused, Daryl was in no better state. Rick then and stood up, he held out his hand to Daryl. “Come on let’s take this to the bedroom. I don’t want to wake the children.” Daryl stood up as well and let himself be led.

~°~°~

Rick closed the bedroom door behind them. Moonlight shone into the room. They didn’t switch on the lights. It was their rule, Daryl would take off all his clothes, and also his shirt, but only if the lights stayed switched off.
Daryl stood beside the bed, and waited for him, somehow this today felt different to all the other times they had been together.

Rick stood before him, stroked his cheekbones and his jaw with both his hands, he then lowered his lips to kiss him again. They kissed deeply and thoroughly. Rick then started to undress Daryl. They didn’t stop until both of them were naked.

Daryl then sat down on the bed, Rick sat beside him, he knew there was something amiss, and he waited.

“Is something wrong?” Rick asked.
Daryl shook his head and then reached out with his hand to search for the light switch of the bedside lamp. He looked again at Rick, whose eyes looked huge in the moonlight and then switched on the light.

The room was then bathed in warm light. Daryl breathed deeply, he felt good. It felt good and right. It was time, for him to show all of himself to his love. They looked at each other lovingly. That night should be the first of many to come.

They made love that night, but slowly to savor every second. Their eyes stayed locked with each other for the whole time. Rick was usually the one who would top, even if they did reverse roles from time to time, but Daryl loved the feeling of Rick on top of him, his body pressing into him, and his cock, hot and hard, and moving in and out of him.

Tonight was no different, Rick hit his prostate with every deep thrust of his hips, and Daryl arched his back into every movement, his moans and whimpers got louder the closer he got to come, and Rick thrust his tongue into his mouth with every thrust of his hips, to prevent him from shouting out his name, when he spilled hot white streaks of cum on his chest and stomach.

Rick held still for a few seconds to let Daryl catch his breath and then he pushed his still rock hard cock inside of Daryl again until he came deep inside of him.

Daryl loved this part of their lovemaking when Rick would lie down on him carefully, his head on his chest, his spent cock between them and just enjoying his aftermath together with his lover. He would then hold him tightly and kiss his head.

Daryl came back into the bedroom a wet cloth in his hand, he had cleaned himself and now cleaned their combined cum off of Rick’s body. Rick then woke up from his slumber. When he was finished Daryl put it down on the floor, he would get rid of it tomorrow.
Then he climbed back into bed.

“May I see?” Rick asked quietly.

“Yeah.” He nodded.

Daryl turned around slowly, and then apprehensively waited for Rick’s reaction. The only thing he felt immediately was Rick’s lips on his back. He seemed to trace each scar with his lips and tongue. When he reached the last one on his lower back he gestured Daryl to turn around again.

“I love you.” Rick said.

“You too.” Daryl mumbled. It would take some time for him to say it each and every time, but he knew Rick understood.

Then Rick turned around and reached out to switch off the lamp.

They lay down again, Rick behind Daryl, he pulled up the blanket over the both of them, then he kissed his shoulder and put his arm over his waist.

Daryl sighed. “Goodnight Rick.”

“Goodnight love.”

The END. And this time for real.