My Guardian: Chapter One
So, below you will find the first chapter of the companion fanfic to Maggie's Nightmare. For all of you that are interested in DETH , the Daryl/Beth pairing, or for those of you that just want some additional background info on the characters I created in Maggie's Nightmare ... I hope you enjoy!!!
This story follows a natural progression for Bethyl, bringing Daryl and Beth closer - taking them from friends, to more than friends and eventually to lovers. It takes time for them to get together, but don't worry though ... it's going to get juicy - promise :-D
For those of you who want to get right to Bethyl action ...
** SPOILER for this story: If you don't want to wait for the natural progression of their relationship from friends to more than friends, you can skip to Chapter Nine (their first kiss), Chapter Thirteen (they tell each other how they feel about each other), and from that chapter on ... Bethyl takes off. So, if you don't want to wait for them to hook up, you can just skip ahead ;)
And, now to our story ...
Daryl’s POV – The day the townsfolk of Woodbury arrive at the prison
I stood next to Rick and watched as everybody shuffled off the buses. I waited and watched. It was all I could do at that moment. I just looked on, while Carol helped an elderly woman step off the bus and escorted her inside the prison.And, one after another they walked off the buses. From what I could tell, it was mostly elderly men and women, some people looked sick or had injuries, and kids; there were looked to be a lot of kids.
I just kept thinking to myself that it had been hard to survive and keep our small group alive; I wondered if we had made the right decision by taking these people in.
“Sure we made the right decision, Rick? Looks like a lot of responsibility and extra mouths to feed keep stepping off these buses.”
Rick looked over at me; his facial expressions said it all. He looked just as uncertain as I did.
“I know Daryl. But, we couldn’t just leave em,’ now could we?” Rick's gaze turned back towards the people, then down towards the ground; his right hand settled on his revolver.
“I know. I agree with ya. Jus worried bout how we’re gonna make this all work. That’s all”
“Yeah. We’re gonna have to figure this out as we go. But, we cannot survive in this world without people. Not anymore.”
I exhaled deeply, squeezing tight to the grip of my crossbow that slung across my shoulder. Don't know why, but it made me feel at ease to know it was there. “Hmpf. Well, guess we better figure out where all these people gonna sleep tonight.”
“Thanks, Daryl." I started to walk away but Rick leaned in and blocked my exit. "First,can ya get everyone together in the common area? I’m gonna be in there in a minute. Gonna talk to everyone as a group. I’m going to talk to them a bout what happened. But, I'd like it if you could help me in answering their questions. They’re gonna have a lot. And, I think it’s best if we both are able to take the lead here. Alright with you?”
I nodded in agreement. “Sure. No problem, Rick. Jus let me know what you need.”
“Alright then, let’s get em inside and try and get em settled.”
Rick nodded and crossed his arms. He looked real deep in thought. I was jus glad I wasn’t the only one worried about how we were going to take care of all these folks.
Maggie, Glenn, Beth and Carol made sure to usher all of the townsfolk into the main common area of our cell block. Looked like a damn refugee camp, people were scattered around the floors, sat on tables, with their belongings strewn across the ground beside them. Their whole lives packed into a few bags now. This was much different than what they were accustomed to. I could tell by the looks of their faces they hadn’t seen the worst of this new world from the shelter behind the walls of Woodbury.
Glenn and Maggie were seated at a table near the entrance to the cell block, so I walked over to stand next to them.
“They look a bit hopeless, don’t they?” Glenn interjected.
Maggie slapped him on the arm.
“Glenn, give em a break. They’ve been pretty sheltered. It’s gonna take em a while for them to get used to the prison.”
“Yeah, I guess. Just thought they’d be a little more excited that they were safe here. Like it was for us.”
“Well, they aren’t coming from being on the run for seven months now are they?
“Guess not. What do you think, Daryl?”
Glenn looked up at me for my take on the situation.
“Yeah. This is gonna be a change for us all, I think.”
I ran my hands through my hair and rubbed the back of my neck. I looked out at the large group of people that sat before me.
Glenn looked over at me, his head tilted to the side.of people that sat before me. “Well … wait, what do you mean?"
“It took a lot to take care of this group. And, I ain't jus talkin' bout keepin' everyone safe from walkers. Water. Food. I look out ... and I see a lot more mouths to feed. And, a lot more people that are gonna need our protection.”
Glenn looked down at the table and considered what I said. He looked over at Maggie; the concern began to build in his eyes. He looked back at me.
I nodded my head. “Yeah. Exactly. More mouths to feed. More responsibility for me and you. More supply runs. We’re jus gonna need a lot more of everything.”
Glenn exhaled slowly; absorbing what I'd said. He was started to really understand what this meant. A lot of the supply runs had relied heavily and him and me. And, a lot of the hunting for meat, pretty much feel completely on my shoulders. So, he was finally starting to get it. Although, we couldn’t just leave em there, by taking them in, we'd put ourselves in a position where a lot of innocent and fairly helpless people were counting on us to survive now.
Beth’s POV –
“Think it’s over? I mean everything with … you know who.”
Geez, I couldn't even bear to say his name out loud. He'd become some boogeyman in my mind, a devil lurking in the corners whose very name could bring him back at any moment. Of course, I wouldn't admit that to anyone else. But, that's exactly how I felt. The Governor. A terrible nightmare. And, I wondered if he was really gone. If he would ever come back. I tried to convince myself that he never would. I tried, I really did.
My father smiled and put his arm around me, pulling me in close for a quick hug. He must've sensed my apprehension.
“I can’t answer that, Bethy. I think the only thing we can do now is focus on creating a life here as best as we can. Rebuild. Focus on how we’re all gonna get along here.”
“Yeah. I guess so." I shrugged my shoulders and looked out at what looked to be a sea of people. More people than we'd ever imagined would be under the roof of our humble cement home. "We definitely have a lot more people here now, that's for sure.”
“Sure do.” He nodded and looked down at his hands, which he was anxiously rubbing together.
“Everything okay, Daddy?”
“Just hope we know what were gettin' ourselves into here.”
“Yeah. Me too.”
I looked over at Daryl, Glenn and Maggie; they sat across the room. Carol, Carol and Michonne all sat together at a table with the Tyrese and Sasha. Everyone seemed to have a look of concern. Guess no one really knew what to expect now. Certainly not all of these new people from Woodbury; they all looked pretty upset by the whole thing. And, they didn’t even know the worst of the story. Not yet at least.
“To be honest, Daddy … do we even know if we can trust them?”
“Don’t know, Beth. But, I trust Rick." He paused for a moment to think. "Plus, we couldn’t very well jus leave them behind. It wouldn’t be right. We have a responsibility to each other to take care of one another; even if things in this world have changed – that should be something that never does. Ya understand?”
“Of course, Dad. I know exactly what you mean.”
I smiled at him and winked. I just kept thinking to myself what a wonderful man my father was. He was a moral man, a loving man and a generous man. He'd shown that over and over again in his life and I would always appreciate that about him. Before Daddy and I could continue our conversation, Rick walked into the room. His presence caused a hush to fall over the group. People stopped talking, they sat up straight. They were anxiously awaiting him, it was obvious. Rick spent no time dilly-dallying. He stood right up front on a table, makin' sure that everyone could see and hear him.
“For any of you that don’t know, I’m Rick Grimes. Now, I know many of you have a lot of questions, which I will be happy to answer for you. And, I know y'all must be tired and we'll get ya settled into your new living quarters as soon as we can. For tonight, we’re all gonna bunk here in this cell block until we can fortify one or two more of the adjacent cell blocks.”
Rick nodded over to the table where Maggie, Glenn and Daryl were sitting. Daryl got up and walked up over to Rick; he jumped up on the table and stood beside him.
“Some of you may know Daryl, from some of the events that took place at Woodbury. His brother Merle Dixon was with you all at Woodbury. I’ve asked him to come up and help me in answering any of your questions.”
Daryl stood up there with his arms crossed; he nodded his head to the crowd at his introduction.
“Well, it’s an open forum, so if any of y’all have any questions …”
There was a moment of silence before a man in the crowd stood up. His wife sat beside him; her eyes wide and weary.
“Well, I guess I’ll ask the obvious question … what the hell happened? And, where’s The Governor? Can you tell us what's goin' on here, Rick?”
Rick started by explaining what had taken place. There was a lot of information that they'd been kept in the dark about. It was real apparent that they certainly didn't know their leader all that well. I looked on at Rick and Daryl began to explain what had really happened between our two groups and what the Governor had been responsible for.
Rick started off by explaining how Maggie and Glenn had been abducted and tortured. And, how he'd ordered Michonne killed jus because she'd decided to leave. I could see the people grimace and their faces crease with worry and then sadness, especially, when they got to the part about what the Governor had done to their own people.
Daryl and Rick tried their best to really clarify everything for them. They were so sure, so confident. They looked like to generals standing up there. So calm yet formidable. The difference between their former leader and our leaders was astounding, I thought. I felt so lucky at that very moment. So lucky to be led and guarded by such strong men. It was a comforting thought. However, the people of Woodbury could only be comforted and consoled so much. There was a lot for them to be distressed over. So much really. And, besides the horror of their new reality, the Governor had sheltered them from so much and fed them so many lies; it really did take a while to sort it all out.
Of course, not surprising, they seemed the most upset about learning how the Governor killed all of those innocent people just because they refused to go back and fight us. Rick asked Karen, the one soldier who survived the attack, to go into more detail about what happened. I could tell her story had everyone reeling; there were gasps and ‘Oh, no’s!’ being exchanged between them. I wasn’t shocked at all though. After what he did with Maggie, Glenn and Michonne and for waging an all out war with us for no good reason; nothing he did really surprised me. I was might be young, but I certainly wasn’t naive. He was a monster, through and through. Suppose that's why I couldn't shake the feelin' that he still could be lurkin' in the shadows out there. He was certainly lurkin' in the shadows of my mind.
After about an hour, Rick called our core group up to the front and introduced us all to the people of Woodbury.
“This here’s my son, Carl." He grabbed Carl around the shoulder protectively. Carl just looked up at his dad, and then stared coldly out at the group of people. “And, my baby girl, Judith, is asleep right now in one of the cells.” He laughed. “I’m sure y’all will meet her soon enough.”
“Over here is Hershel and his daughters, Maggie and Beth. Next to Maggie is her fiancé, Glenn.” Daddy said hello, while Maggie lifted her arm and gave a quick smile and waved.
”To my left is Carol. And, over here is Michonne.” Both women nodded. Carol gave a quiet ‘hello.’
Rick paused and looked around at his group, or what was left of it. He smiled at all of us.
“I hope we can all get to know one another. And, if you need anything or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
Rick motioned for Daryl to come over and whispered something in his ear. Daryl nodded in agreement.
“Alright, folks. I think that’s enough for today. Let’s get you all settled in for tonight, and we’ll plan on figuring out more permanent sleeping arrangements tomorrow.”
Daryl walked over to where me, Maggie, Glenn and my Dad were standing.
“Rick asked if I would help secure the adjacent cell blocks with him. Glenn, Maggie … we’ll need your help to make sure we got the cell blocks cleared and locked down. Alright?”
Glenn and Maggie nodded and started to walk off' they'd gotten their marchin' orders, but I wanted to help too.
What was I supposed to be doin'?
Before he could step away, I reached out and grabbed a hold of Daryl’s arm. He swung around quickly, he's instinctive reflexes were quick. He seemed relieved that it was just me. His gaze softened as he looked down at me.
“What’d ya need Beth?”
“Well, I was just wondering what the rest of should be doin’.”
Daryl smiled a bit. Well, as much as Daryl ever really smiled.
“Try and get these people a place to sleep for tonight. There’s not enough beds for everyone. So, go ahead and put the older people and the kids in the beds for the night. The rest will need to sleep on the ground, so if you can start to get them sorted out for the night ..." He paused and looked at me for an answer.
I quickly replied, knowing exactly what he'd meant. Blankets, pillows, towels. Anything that could make the others more comfortable. “Oh, sure. No problem. Carol and I will make sure to get em’ all settled. We'll take care of it.”
He winked at me and walked off with Maggie and Glenn. I continued to watch as they walked away. I caught myself smiling, when I caught sight of the angel wings on Daryl’s vest. He really was an angel, I thought to myself. He’d kept us safe and saved my family many times, and I’d always be grateful for that.
“He’s a good man.” Daddy leaned over and nudged my shoulder.
“Daryl, he’s a good man. Ya know, he doesn’t know it, but he’s one of the best of us.”
“Yeah, he is, isn’t he?”
I smiled. He was right. Daryl had proven himself to be not only brave but loyal and self-less. He so was much more than where he's come from. And, I'd always admired and respected Daryl. Maybe it was more than that now though. I loved him. I loved our entire group – they were all my family now. But, I found myself feeling something else too for the first time, which kind of confused me. I missed him when he left. It was weird. Something I hadn’t experienced before. I felt a strange twinge in my chest, an emptiness as he disappeared around the corner.
What the heck was that? I wondered quietly to myself.
I didn't have much time to think more about it. I had quite a bit of work to do gettin' everyone settled in. Plus, I still had Judith to take care of. So, I just shrugged it off and looked back over to my Dad who sat there just smiling back at me.
He patted me on the shoulder. “Well, Beth, sweetheart … looks like you got some work to do. Better get to it.”
I gave him a hug and walked over to Carol to discuss how we were going to get this group settled for the night.
END CHAPTER ONE
So, what did you think? Like it, love it, hate it? I'd love to hear what you think :-D
Although Daryl and Beth might not be an obvious couple, I feel that they are both really innocent in many ways. And, I think this is the most important factor in them coupling up in the future.
You definitely get the impression that Daryl isn't very experienced with women, he's extremely emotionally immature when it comes to relationships. Not just with women but with everyone. He's not had much time to really develop emotionally, so he's not very mature in that sense. Actually, Beth might be more mature emotionally. And, although Beth is young in years, she has had to grow up very fast in the last year during this Zombie Apocalypse. So, Daryl and Beth are both quite a bit innocent when it comes to the opposite sex, and now they have shared so much together.
I'm really looking forward to developing their fast courtship and describing how they interact together as they face off against the living and the dead together ...
So, thank you for reading so far ... I hope you will continue to follow along with the story.
And, as always, please review, comment, or vote and rate this story on your way out. You know I love to hear from you :-D