He calls her three months later. She picks up on the second ring, her voice all breathless, as if she'd ran to the phone. "It's me," he says, his voice scratchy and tired.
"Hi," she responds, "I was wondering if you were ever going to call."
He thinks that maybe he should have practiced what he wanted to say, but everything sounded so dumb in his head, 'sorry for fucking you and then leaving you in the barn,' but maybe it would have been a start. He's silent and can hear her breathing over the receiver, the low din of the television playing in the background.
"I'm sorry," he tells her, and it doesn't seem like enough.
"Come see me," she says, and it takes him by surprise; he was expecting anger, a demand for an explanation, maybe even angry tears.
"Okay, I'll text you the address," he can hear her hesitating, probably wants to say something else, "I'll see you in a couple of days?" she asks.
He falls to his knees the next time he sees her. She opens the door and he wraps his arms around her hips, burrowing his face against her flat stomach. She cradles him like a child, running her fingers through his hair, pressing and tugging at the thick strands.
"It's okay," she says, her voice pitched low and sweet, full of love and Daryl almost starts crying, "you never did anything wrong, it was never bad," she tells him.
"I-- I never meant--," he starts, the lump in his throat making it hard to speak, but she cuts him off.
"Shh, it's okay, I know," she cooes, and he's so unworthy, he doesn't deserve her kindness or her forgiveness because she was his sister and he knew better but it was always impossible to ignore her.
She runs her hands over his shoulders and tugs at his arms, he stands and she leads him over to the tiny living room, there's a couch and a small table and she gestures for him to sit.
"I ordered Chinese, in case you haven't eaten," she tells him as she walks to the kitchen area, he nods and she brings over the food and drinks.
They don't speak as they eat, the only noise coming from the busy street below and the occasional slam of a door somewhere in Beth’s building. But they watch each other, shy glances from his part and outright observation on hers, it's like they're speaking without words; it makes Daryl's chest tighten.
After, he showers and is completely prepared to spend an uncomfortable night on the couch but Beth insists that he sleep in the bed with her. She calls him over and he hesitantly crawls into bed with her, she lays on her side and it's almost instinctive the way he curls around her smaller body. His arm around her waist, his face buried in her hair, lips pressing against the silky flesh of her neck; it makes it easier to talk.
"Why New York?" he murmurs as he's drifting off to sleep.
"No one knows us here," she replies.
The next morning he wakes up alone in bed, and for a second he thinks that maybe she's left him there, a punishment for all those years, but then he hears sound coming from the kitchen and so he gets up to see what she's up to.
Beth is in one of his t-shirts, black and faded, little tears at the collar but she doesn't seem to mind as she hums while she cooks breakfast. He leans on the entryway to the kitchen and just looks at her for a little while.
"Not nice to stare," she tells him, turning around with a smile on her face, "eggs and toast okay?"
He nods and takes his plate from her, it feels surreal being there with her. It feels almost normal and Daryl's not too sure what to think about that. There's so many things to say but where to even start, is it still a sin even if he's not related to her by blood.
Like the night before, their meal is taken in silence, Beth turns on the tv and she turns on some documentary about whales. She's eating her toast when he turns to look at her, "I changed my name," he says.
He shrugs, "I ain't a Greene no more," he's waiting to see her reaction but she looks pretty confused by his confession.
"You mean, you're not adopted anymore?" she asks, a hint of sadness in her voice.
"Not legally," he says, "I'm a Dixon again."
"Oh," she responds, "is it because of... us?"
"Mostly, yeah," and he's trying so hard to seem nonchalant about the whole thing, about how it wasn't a bureaucratic mess going through all the paperwork; he did it for a lot of reasons, her being the number one.
"Have you told anybody else?" she asks, even though she means, 'have you told Hershel and Annette? What about Merle?'
"Nah," he shrugs, "just you."
Beth leans over to kiss his cheek, "I'm gonna go take a shower, okay?"
He nods and she leaves him on the couch, Daryl sighs and goes back to the bedroom. He lets himself fall on the bed and be enveloped by her scent, clean and fresh, he'd miss her so much over the years. Her smiles, her laughter, her little toes, all that pink skin, he can still remember how she felt the first time he put his fingers inside her. He lets out a frustrated groan because he's gotten hard and he can hear the sound of the shower running.
He lays on his back and pulls his dick out without ceremony, pushes his sweatpants down his thighs and grasps at his hardening cock.
Daryl closes his eyes and thinks of the barn, the hot, humid air and how it was stifling but at the same time it made him desperate and eager for her. He thinks of how small she felt in his grasp, he squeezes his dick and lets out a hiss in pleasure. His mind wanders to foreign territory and of all the things they could do, things he wants to do. His thumb circles the slit on the head of his cock and he moans, a sound startles him and when his eyes fly open, Beth's standing at the foot of the bed, towel clenched tightly around her body.
"Don't stop," she says, voice breathy and demanding at the same time.
His cock twitches in his hand, her eyes drift down his body from the tattoo on his chest, to the sparse trail of hair that leads down to where his penis is surrounded by a tuft of thick, dark hair. Daryl breathes in and out and starts pumping his hand up and down, Beth moves to the side of the bed, next to him, and she sits. He squeezes and palms at his cock and her gaze switches from his eyes to his dick, her lips part in a gasp when he licks his fingers and circles the head.
"Daryl," she murmurs, lost in the trance that his movements make.
She looks like a teenager, wet hair framing her face and blue eyes wide like saucers. His hips start jerking on their own and he's so close, he lets out a rough grunt when she licks her lips, leaving them plump and glossy. A rough jerk around the head of his cock has him coming in spurts, nearly silent except for his heavy breathing. His hand is wet with come as well as the base of his cock and Daryl is just about to get up to clean himself off when Beth grabs ahold of his wrist, she brings his hand up to her mouth and Daryl inhales sharply when her tongue flicks out.
"Fuck," he curses, as she licks him clean, all the while keeping her eyes on him.
Once she's done with his hand she lowers her head to his cock and swipes at the semen that has dripped down, little pink tongue lapping up all his come. She rights herself and gives him a tentative smile, "You taste good."
"Christ," Daryl groans, hiding his reddening face behind his hands, girl always had a mouth on her. Beth giggles in response and presses a chaste kiss to his stomach.
"Shower's free if you want it," she tells him, standing from her perched position on the bed. He nods and when he pushes himself from the mattress Beth drops her towel, she turns from him and starts digging through her wardrobe.
Daryl shakes his head in amusement, he doesn't know how he's going to survive this.
Beth takes him to Central Park. It's beautiful, he can't deny it, with the falling leaves and the golden, red trees, but it's too crowded for Daryl's taste. There's kids running around, people on their phones, and once, a jogger almost runs right into Daryl. Beth laughs and pulls him along to a hot dog street vendor, they each buy one with everything on it and go sit on a bench.
“I love coming here,” Beth says, a wistful tone in her voice.
“Why'd you leave Georgia?” Daryl asks suddenly. He’s been wondering for a while now, she’d gone to college for teaching and here she was in the middle of New York City, barely scraping by. He didn't understand it.
Beth pushes a stray strand of hair away from her face, she looks thoughtful for a minute before she responds, “I want to be a singer,” she says, with a sheepish smile on her face, “I know it's dumb, but it's something I want to do.”
“It ain't dumb,” Daryl responds softly. He raises his hand and brushes it against her cheek, “It ain't.”
Beth smiles at him, her cheeks flushing, “If it doesn't work out, I can always go back to teaching.”
Daryl nods, she can do anything she sets her mind to, he's seen it enough times in the past, she's smart and kind and pretty to boot. His chest swells with emotion, he can't believe he's here with her. Daryl leans in and presses his lips against hers, a short, chaste kiss that leaves her grinning and giggling.
He tries not to smile, but his lips twitch and finally he just gives in, he smiles and Beth curls herself against his side. With her head on his shoulder and his arm around her back, they just sit there on the bench and watch people walk by. It's nice, something Daryl hasn't felt in a long time, even with the noise and the distant sound of police sirens he feels at peace by her side. He wonders if this is how Merle feels when he's with Carol, but he doubts it because Merle's never been one for quiet and tranquility.
He also wonders what Merle would say if he saw him with Beth. Would he be angry and against their relationship, maybe a little at first but then he’d see how well they are together, it ain't like they were ever really kin anyways. It's easier to think about Merle's reaction than the rest of the family, he gets a feeling of dread come over him when he thinks about Hershel finding out about him and Beth.
“Whenever I get homesick, I usually end up here,” she tells him.
“You gone down to visit?”
Beth shrugs, “Not as much as I should, you?”
“Not since I saw you there,” he responds, and Beth shifts in her seat, he can see a light blush starting up in her cheeks.
She clears her throat, “Right.”
Beth stands and sticks out her hand, she's warm and Daryl's own hand feels enormous when he wraps his own stubby fingers against her own. Beth smiles at him and then she steers him away from the park bench, they walk back towards her apartment.
They make their way inside in the dark and Beth pulls him to her bedroom, she slips out of her sneakers and pulls him to the bed, Daryl sits on the edge and pulls his boots off as Beth lays back on the mattress. The sounds from the city drift up to the window beside Beth’s bed, and it’s nice; peaceful in a different way the farm had been. Daryl curls up on his side and Beth plasters herself to him, her face fitting in the crook between his head and shoulder, her small hand covering his waist and part of his stomach, she lets out a little sigh and Daryl lets his eyes shut.
They fall asleep with the sun setting over the horizon, bathing them both in orange-red light, the silence feels like coming home, it feels like the ride from the boy’s home to the Greene farm back when he was a child.
That next night he makes love to her.
And Daryl can say with a hundred percent certainty that it's love, it's nothing like the animalistic rutting of their first time; this time there's no desperation, no anger or frustration. He worships every single inch of her body, pressing feather light kisses to her skin that have Beth squirming on the bed, breathless with passion.
“I love you, girl,” Daryl tells her, his mouth pressed to her hipbone, his eyes on her pale skin.
Beth runs her hands through his hair, she pushes it off and away from his face, “I’ve known for a long time,” she says, and she tugs on his hair till he's looking up at her, “I love you too.”
Daryl knows that as well, he's felt this burning affection for Beth since he can remember. He’s known since he was a knobby kneed boy and even after he became a man and learned to live with his shame. He grew up alongside her but they've never shared blood, Daryl doesn't know how loving Beth can be wrong. He just wants to spend the rest of their lives in this little apartment.
She pushes at his shoulders until he’s laying on his back on the bed, Beth sits up on her knees and straddles his hips. She rises to her knees and takes his cock in one hand, using the other to spread her slick all over her pussy, Daryl groans at the sight and lets out a loud curse when she starts sinking down on him.
She's gorgeous and perfect and she's just for him. Beth takes his big hands in her own and intertwines their fingers, she holds on tight as she rides him; her inner muscles squeeze and Daryl whimpers and Beth giggles in response. She bounces up and down on his dick like she's being graded on it later, her hips swivel and grind and he starts reciting football teams in his head to keep from coming.
Beth grunts and cries out before going still, her hips still moving slightly in the aftermath, thighs trembling from her orgasm. She's sweaty and red faced and all Daryl has to do is thrust up a couple more times, each movement jiggling her little tits, he lets go of her hands and wraps his arms around her back, forcing her to lean over him. He takes one hard nipple in his mouth and sucks, Beth moans and his thrusts grow more desperate, he bites at the soft flesh and comes harder than he’s ever come before.
It leaves him gasping for breath and feeling completely fucked out. One look at Beth’s pretty face and he can see she feels the same, blissed out in a way that only happens when you're truly comfortable with the person in bed with you.
He wants to stay here forever, wrapped up in her arms, in the sheets that smell like fabric softener. Daryl knows it’s impossible, he knows that they have to come up for air sometime, that they even have to go back South and face Hershel and Annette, and Maggie and even Merle and Shawn but he lets himself believe that they can make it. Daryl lays on his back and drags Beth up his body, her head lays atop his chest and he brings her hand up to his mouth, he presses a soft kiss against her digits and even after she falls asleep he doesn’t let go, just intertwines their fingers and stares at the ceiling.