The three survivors found themselves seated on the roof of the abandoned house continuing to sip away at their moonshine with light chatter.
"I get why my dad stopped drinking," Beth spoke suddenly changing topics.
"Why?" Daryl asked.
"Do you feel sick?" Daisy asked flinching slightly back at the possible smell of vomit.
"Nope, I wish I could feel like this all the time!" Beth exclaimed while standing up at stretching quickly and then returning to her spot. "That's bad…"
"You're lucky you're a happy drunk." Daryl pointed out
Beth laughed, "Yeah I'm lucky, some people can be real jerks when they drink."
Daisy turned her head to the man seated next to her and let out a short sarcastic laugh, which earned her a glare and a light playful kick. "Yeah, I'm a dick when I'm drunk." Daryl admitted he paused and then continued, "Merle had this dealer, this janky white guy, a tweaker. One day we were over at his house watchin' TV. Wasn't even noon yet and we were all wasted, Merle was high. We were watching this show and Merle was talking all this dumb stuff about it and he wouldn't let up. Merle never could." He paused again smiling at the memory.
He took a sip and continued, "Turns out it was the tweaker's kids' favorite show and he never sees his kid so he felt guilty or something. So he punches Merle in the face, so I start hitting the tweaker, like hard." He laughed slightly while pretending to punch the tweaker. "As hard as I can, then he pulls out a gun and aims it right here." He pointed to the center of his forhead, "he says 'I'm gonna kill you bitch!' So Merle pulls his gun on him. Everyone's yelling, I'm yelling, I thought I was dead. Over a dumb cartoon about a talking dog." He laughed.
Daisy was hanging on every last one of his words like a child in story time, "So how'd you get out of it?" she asked.
Daryl laughed at her intrigue and simply said, "I puked."
Daisy and Beth made a face and Daryl laughed again, "They both started laughing and forgot all about it." He sighed and suddenly became solemn looking at Beth, "You wanna know who I was before all this? I was drifting around with Merle doing whatever he said we were gonna be doing for the day. I was nobody, nothing. Some redneck asshole and an even bigger asshole for a brother."
Beth sighed, "You miss him don't you? I miss Maggie. I miss her bossin' me around." She laughed, "I miss my big brother Shawn he was always so overprotective…and my dad. I thought—I hoped he'd live the rest of his life in peace, you know? I thought Maggie and Glenn would have a baby, and he'd get to be a grandpa. And we'd have birthdays, and holidays and summer picnics and he'd get real old. And it would happen, but it'd be quiet. It would be okay, he'd be surrounded by people he loved." She laughed facetiously, "That's how unbelievably stupid I am."
"That's how it's supposed to be," Daryl grunted.
"I wish I could just change," Beth said staring at the stars.
"You did," Daryl followed her gaze.
"Noy like you it's like you were made for how things are now." Beth admitted.
Daryl shook his head, "I'm just used to it…things bein ugly. Growing up in a place like this…"
"Well you got away from it," Beth reasoned.
"You did," Daisy agreed.
Daryl smiled slightly, " Maybe y'all gotta keep reminding me sometimes."
"No," Beth shook her head, "You can't depend on anybody for anything, right? Someday we'll be gone."
Daryl frowned, he hadn't liked where the conversation steered off into, "Stop."
"We will, you're gonna be the last man standing," Daryl looked down at the ground and Beth urged, "You are and you're gonna miss us so bad when we're gone Daryl Dixon."
Daisy coughed uncomfortably, "You're not a happy drunk at all!"
Daryl laughed in agreement but Beth shook her head, "Yeah, I'm happy. I'm just not blind. You gotta stay who you are no who you were. Places like this you have to put it away."
"What if you can't?" Daryl asked unsure.
"You have to or it kills you…" Beth said.
"You're friends sound like really great people," Daisy attempted to rejoin the conversation.
Daryl smiled, "They're more like family now, you would have loved 'em."
Beth smiled, "They would have loved you too."
"We'll find 'em guys. We'll find someone." Daisy coughed and snuffed out her third cigarette. "We should go inside."
"We should burn it down!" Beth exclaimed standing up with excitement.
Daryl cheered and Daisy laughed, "We're gonna need more booze." The three ran into the house and began destroy the inside of the dwelling. They smashed moonshine bottles on the floor and turned the whole house over.
"C'mon everybody out!" Daryl ordered and the three vacated the house with all their things in tow. "Y'all ready?" He asked as he light a rag that he put in the last moonshine jar and threw it at the house sending the whole thing aflame. Beth smiled triumphantly and threw her middle finger up at the burning massacre. Daryl looked at Daisy and she smiled back at him and they both raised their arms and mimicked Beth.
"Are we close?" Daisy asked, the sun had risen and after much annoyance from the two women Daryl had finally agreed to teach them how to track.
"Almost done," Daryl said as he hunched over her taking a look at the track.
"How do you know?" Beth asked also hunched over Daisy.
Daryl leant over Daisy's shoulder and brushed away a few leaves, "The signs are all there, ya just gotta know how to read 'em."
"What are we tracking?" Daisy asked looking up at him, Daryl hadn't realized how close he had been to her face until she turned around. He backed up abruptly.
He shrugged trying to play it cool, "You tell me, you're the one who wanted to learn."
Daisy sighed, "Well something came through here…" She moved a few more leaves around.
Daryl rolled his eyes in response, "Obviously."
"The pattern is all zig-zaggy…Oh! It's a walker!" She exclaimed finally in realization.
The corner of Daryl's mouth twitched in a small smile he was trying to repress and he reached his hand out to help her up. "Maybe it's a drunk," he lied.
Daisy smiled smugly and turned to Beth, "I'm getting good at this!" she turned to Daryl with the same smug grin, "Pretty soon I won't need you at all!"
Daryl laughed and pushed her arm slightly, "Yeah, keep on trackin."
A snap of a twig behind them caused all three to turn abruptly with weapons at the ready, "What was that?" Beth whispered.
"Keep an eye out," Daryl warned.
A snarl next to Daisy and Beth caused the two to gasp but Daisy reacted quickly she pushed Beth away and the blonde fell hard onto the ground but out of the walker's grasp. It was now headed with determination towards her, Daisy looked up and jumped grabbing the branch above her and with a grunt and a heave she lifted her body off the ground and brought her knees to her chest effectively keeping out of the walkers reach. Daryl then with the ease of a finger twitch shot a bolt clean through the walker's head.
Beth stood astonished at Daisy's quick reflexed and upper body strength," How'd you do that?" She stammered out. Daisy confident that she was out of danger relaxed and dropped to the ground flexing her torn palms.
Daisy blushed but she felt comfortable around the two now, with a pink face and a dopey grin she waved her hand in the air like she was showcasing something invisible, "I can move…Cirque de Daisy!"
"What?" Daryl asked confused.
"You know like Cirque de Sole—Never mind," Daisy shook her head with a slight laugh.
"You were part of a circus?" Beth asked shocked.
"Sure was," Daisy admitted.
"Wow, that's so cool what did you do?" Beth asked.
"I threw knives, performed on aerial silks, and did a bit of acrobatics." She paused and calculated Beth's amazement, "It's not that cool really, it's required for everyone in the troupe to know acrobatics and aerial silks is like acrobatics with training wheels so everyone knows that. My specialty were the knives."
Daryl remembered their talk from the night before, "We gotta find this girl some decent throwin' knives and she'll be savin our asses left an' right."
Beth laughed and turned to Daryl, "Can you teach me how to use you're cross bow?"
Daryl shrugged, "Sure, I guess." The two were expressing so much interest in Daryl and he wasn't used to it. He wasn't used to teaching or feeling like he was good enough to be looked up to. He removed the bow from around his shoulders and handed it to Beth who held it up as Daryl positioned her arms into the proper stance. The three continued on while Daisy tracked the walker from before. Daryl lifted up a few branches and the girls ducked under them an into a clearing seeing their target kneeling away from them chowing down on some poor fellow's flesh.
Beth gasped in realization, "It's got a gun." She continued to advance on it at the head of their pack but suddenly she fell to the ground with a small scream. She attempted to shoot the walker from where she was but only managed to lodge a bolt through it's neck.
"Watch her," Daryl ordered Daisy as he swooped the crossbow out of her hands and put an end to the walker's existence.
"Can you move it?" Daisy asked and she gently rotated Beth's ankle she had to remove a small bear trap from her leg and was highly skeptical of Beth's ability to continue on for the day.
"Yeah," Beth lied, she could move it but she knew she wouldn't be able to support herself for long.
"Alright then, let's go. There had to be a reason that trap was set…" Daryl thought out loud in a nervous grumble.
"Can we—Can we hold up a sec?" Beth asked after a few steps.
"You alright?" Daryl asked coming up to her.
"I just need to sit down." Beth said as she examined the puncture marks in her boot.
"Alright," Daryl sighed, "Hold up." He removed his crossbow and handed it to Daisy who gave him a confused look.
"Hop on," He said finally as he lowered himself a little in front of her.
"Are you serious?" Beth asked tentatively.
"Yeah," Daryl said, "It's a serious piggyback. Jump up." Daisy laughed at them Daryl seemed to have a way with kids.
"Yer heavier than you look," He may have put up this rough, tough, and intimidating air about him but he really was a big softie it seemed.
A funeral home surrounded by a graveyard came into view, "Maybe there are people there!" Beth exclaimed.
"Yeah, if there are I'll handle 'em…" Daryl grunted.
Beth laughed, "There are still good people out there, Daryl."
Daryl exchanged a quick glance with Daisy, "I don't think the good one's survived…"
They reached the exterior of the house and Daryl put Beth down on a bench in the front yard. "Stay here, we'll clear the house out," Daisy said to Beth, "Keep watch and scream if you need us." She added as she and Daryl walked up to the door. The man in question flung the door opened and banged hard followed by a whistle.
"Give it a minute," He said to Daisy who nodded although he wasn't looking at her, when nothing approached he nodded towards the inside signaling to move in.
"It's so clean," she remarked as they cleared each room.
"Yeah," he agreed, "someone's been tending to 'em…may still be around." He said sadly.
Once they had cleared the house Daryl noticed Daisy's distraction, "what is it?" he asked.
Daisy chewed on her lip with uncertainty, she wasn't sure Beth was going to make it and it was worrying her. This felt like a last hoorah if any for the girl. In truth she had been reckless and inconsiderate of hers and Daryl's safety although she was not going to admit it out loud. "Nothing," she finally croaked out with a fake smile as she willed herself to walk passed Daryl. He frowned and reached out taking a hold of her shoulder as she passed.
"Hold up a sec," He said.
"What's up?" She said shifting uncomfortably and feeling guilty for thinking that Beth was slowing them down.
"Yer worried about Beth," Daryl said, Daisy began to shake her head in protest but Daryl cut her off, "It wasn't a question, I know you are."
Daisy sighed, "Yeah…"
"She'll be okay, it'll do us all good to rest inside for a few days and this is as good a place as any." Daryl paused and then lowered his voice to a whisper, "You're not an asshole for thinking what you're thinking. Ya just can't act on it and leave her behind."
"How'd you—" She started.
"You think I'm not thinking of the best possible solutions to survive too?" He asked. He hadn't realized it but his hand was still gripping her shoulder and the two were standing extremely close. They locked eyes, blue against green and they froze.
"Let's bring her in it's getting dark." Daisy said with an uneasy cough trying to ignore the clench in her stomach when she stared into his eyes.
"Come on, Let's get that ankle wrapped," Daisy clapped her hands with feigned excitement.
Daryl regarded everything in the downstairs of the mortuary including the few dead bodies dressed in fancy clothes with full faces of makeup. "Looks like someone ran out of dolls to dress up."
Daisy snorted and Beth huffed, "It's beautiful, whoever did this cared….they wanted these people to get a funeral. They remembered these things were people before all this. They didn't let it change them in the end. Don't you think that's beautiful?"
Daryl cleared his throat uncomfortably Beth's ridiculous idea of beauty left him speechless. He clearly couldn't tell her she was nuts , "Look after Daisy finishes wrappin up yer ankle ya need to rest. There's a bedroom upstairs just relax and sleep okay?" Daryl said quickly changing the subject. Daisy looked up him quickly before finishing up Beth's ankle.
"Come on blondie I'll help you upstairs." She offered as the two hobbled up and out of the basement. When Daisy came back downstairs she found Daryl in the kitchen. "You find anything?" She asked but stopped abruptly when she found the shaggy haired man standing in front of an open cabinet stocked with food.
She looked at him to see his eyes wider than she had ever seen them, "Peanut butter, jelly, diet soda, and pigs feet! That's a white trash brunch right there."
Daisy laughed at him, "It all sounds good to me." She sat down at the table as he handed her items.
"Keep yer grubby paws off those pigs feet, they're mine."
Daisy laughed and leaned forward on the table, "They're yours!" After a few minutes of eating Daryl informed Daisy that he was going outside to set up some security system. Daisy with curiosity began digging through the kitchen drawers and picked up four steak knives. She set up the cutting board against the wall and began practicing by throwing the knives with precision into the board.
"I don't think you realize how cool that looks," Daryl said from behind her causing her to jump.
"You think I'm cool?" Daisy teased.
"Nah, I said what you're doing looks cool." He corrected as he took a seat next to her on the ground. "You should teach me."
"I can try," She shrugged she took his hand and placed the knife in it directing him how to throw it and showing him how she does it. The first couple of times not only did Daryl miss the target but he didn't lodge the knife anywhere and it just clattered on the floor with a loud bang.
"This is frustrating," He grunted attempting one more time.
"You know what they say about practice right?" Daisy said.
"It makes perfect, yeah I know." He sighed.
"I got cha somethin'" He said suddenly.
"What's that?" Daisy asked as she followed him into the living room. He reached down and picked something up from the coffee table.
"I found it outside when I was settin' up the cans." He informed her turning around and presenting her with five freshly picked Daisies.
She blushed hard and took them from his hands, "You know…like yer name?" He said bashfully causing himself to blush as well.
Daisy swallowed hard and looked up at him with pink cheeks, "No on'es ever given me a flower before…"
"Really even while you performed?" He asked suddenly forgetting his bashfulness.
Daisy frowned and shook her head, "I'm…I don't know…I just never got any."
Daryl cleared his throat and looked at anything but Daisy's eyes, "Well there you go…and stuff…"
She laughed, "Thanks pal." She bumped his shoulder playfully, "I'm gonna put these in water." She turned on her heal but changed her mind and walked back to Daryl.
"What's up—?" Daryl's question was cut short by the girls abrupt hug which caused him to blush hard. After a moment he wrapped his arms around the petite woman as well. Daisy couldn't help but notice how she fit perfectly into Daryl's arms in the hug, it was comfortable, she released him and beamed up him still holding the Daisies.
"Thanks…for the daises I mean. I thought I'd say it again." She said quickly before she hurried out of the room.