My Guardian: Chapter Four
As always, I want to thank you everyone who is reading and subscribing to the story .... I really appreciate it! And, a Special Thank you to Pepper90 for commenting on the last chapter - you rock!! Thank you, thank you!!
A note: From Maggie's Nightmare, you may know that Daryl and Beth's little relationship starts with these nightly visits during Daryl's shifts on night watch. So, I'm starting things off now ... we're gonna start to see these two build more and more towards a relationship (fairly quickly), and they're gonna talk about some heavy shit that is going to help them bond as a couple. So, please hold on, while the next few chapters will be "bonding chapters" and may be a little more heavy than cute.
Now back to our story ...
Daryl’s POV -
It had only been a couple of hours into my night watch, when I heard a noise coming from the prison. I turned around to see the door to the prison open. From a distance, I couldn’t tell who it was … at least not until she stepped into the moonlight. It was Beth.
“Whatch you doin’ out here so late?”
Beth walked up closer and I could see she had a tray with four mugs on it.
“Brought you boys some coffee; thought you could use a little pick me up.”
“Thanks. Sure was nice of you.”
I reached over and grabbed one of the mugs from her tray.
“You know where Glenn and Tyrese are?” Beth stepped a little closer to me, and I could see her face in the light of the moon. She was smiling, her lips closed and full.
“Yeah, they’re down at the fences. They’ll be back to meet up here soon. You wanna just leave that here with me?”
“No, that’s okay. I’ll wait.”
“Well, here … if you’re gonna wait. Let me take that.”
I reached over and grabbed the tray from her and set it down on the hood of one of the cars parked near us. She followed close behind me, and leaned up against the side of the driver’s side door.
“It’s nice out tonight isn’t it?”
“Yeah. It’s been quiet tonight. Not too many walkers. So, that’s always good. Just a couple that were roaming near the fence.”
“Is that why Tyrese and Glenn went down there?”
“Yeah, sure is. We’re trying not to let them pile up on us. Killing them as soon as we spot them, no more letting them roam around the perimeter.”
“Well, I guess that’s probably for the best.”
She leaned back against the car and crossed her arms, and with one of her hands she reached up and started to twirl her hair around her fingers. I could see the talk about the walkers had made her anxious. So, I walked over and leaned up against the car beside her. I reached over and put my arm around her.
“Hey … nothin’ to worry bout though. We’ve got it under control.”
I pulled her into my side, giving her a reassuring half hug. I looked down at her as she brushed the hair back from her face.
“Sure. It’s silly I guess.”
“Nah … it ain’t silly. But, seriously, you don’t need to worry bout any of that stuff right now.” I paused and tried to change the subject. “So, how’s Little Asskicker? She sleepin’ now?”
“Yes. She is. Sound asleep. Got another couple hours before she gets up for a feeding.”
“She ain’t givin’ you too much trouble?”
“She’s an angel – you know that!”
I smiled and laughed a bit. “Angel, huh?”
“Yeah! A quiet baby with all these walkers around – she’s a freakin’ miracle!”
We both laughed a bit. In the darkness I started to see a figure walking up to us, and then I heard Glenn’s voice.
“Hey Beth, whatcha doin’ out here?”
“Just brought ya some coffee.”
“Oh, nice.” Glenn grabbed for a mug and slowly sipped the coffee before continuing. “So, you get a chance to talk with Beth yet?”
“Yeah, I did.”
“Can talk to you for a second?”
Then, Glenn gently grabbed Beth by the arm and led her away, just out of earshot. I could hear them talking, but I couldn’t exactly make out what they were saying. A few minutes later they both walked back over to where I was standing, and Glenn reached over and took the other coffee mug.
“I’ll take this to Tyrese. I’ll catch up with you later, Daryl.”
I nodded to Glenn and he walked back down into the lower prison yard where Tyrese was waiting.
“What was that all about?”
“Oh, nothin’ really. Glenn’s just been worried about Maggie. She ain’t been the same; ya know … since she got back from Woodbury.”
“I know. Glenn mentioned somethin’ to me about it earlier.”
“He did? What did he say?” Beth looked genuinely curious, or maybe it was concerned – I couldn’t quite tell.
“He said Maggie was off. Wanted to know if I knew anything.”
“Why would you know anything?” Beth crooked her head to the side, she looked a little annoyed.
“And … did he?”
“No, he didn’t say much.”
“That’s it? He didn’t say much?”
Beth pushed herself up off the car, and stood in front of me. Almost like she could tell I was feeling like bolting, running away. And, here she was this tiny little thing blocking my escape. She stood up straight, pushed her shoulders back and crooked her head to the side; posturing and pushing me for more information.
“Oh, come on, Daryl. He must have told you something?”
“He didn’t tell me anything that we all don’t already know. Okay?He said he had beat up Glenn pretty bad, left him in a room with a walker while he was tied to a chair.”
“And? What about Maggie?”
I looked away. I didn’t have anything to do with it, but Merle did … and I felt ashamed.
Beth looked back at the ground, I watched as she crossed her arms protectively.
“That’s it. He didn’t know exactly what happened, but he said from the look of her … well … Merle thought he worked her over pretty good.”
“Jesus, Daryl. How could he just stand by and let that happen?”
“Come on, Beth. Merle wasn’t a saint, but he certainly wasn’t okay with that kind of shit. It was a complicated situation and he was just obeyin’ orders – you know that.”
“Obeying orders – what bullshit!”
Beth exhaled loudly and quickly; stomping off. She stopped and kicked the ground with her boot, sending dust and rocks into the air. I could tell she was pissed. She was always so calm and sweet, but I could tell she was pissed now. She ran both her hands through her hair and then turned around to face me, her eyes still not meeting mine. When she finally did, she just had a simple question.
“Did he think anything else happened to her?”
Fuucck! My mind screamed; I had hoped she wasn’t going to ask that. I wasn’t comfortable talking bout this kinda stuff, especially, with Beth. She walked back up to me, closer and closer until we were just a foot apart. Her big blue eyes bored into mine, I could see she was tearing up.
“Well? What did he say?”
“He said he didn’t know, but that he wouldn’t put anything passed that guy. From some of the things Merle told me, that guy was fuckin’ insane.
“Yeah, I know. And, my sister, was locked in a room with him doing God knows what to her.”
Beth managed to get out the last few words before bursting into tears.
I hated to see her like that. God, I felt awful. I know it wasn’t my fault, but I couldn’t help but feel somehow linked to the whole thing, since Merle took them to Woodbury – trying to find me.
“I’m so sorry.”
“Sorry? Why are you sorry? You didn’t do anything?” She whimpered.
“I dunno. Guess I kinda always felt like this was my fault.”
Beth forcefully tried to stop herself from crying now. She took in several deep breaths before continuing.
“This isn’t your fault. Not in any way is this your fault.”
I shifted my weight, leaning back onto the car near us. I let my head hang in front of me; trying hide some of the shame and guilt I felt.
“Guess I thought maybe … everyone here kinda blamed me for all that. Blamed me for Merle. For getting involved with that mess in Woodbury.”
I could feel my face flushing, my eyes filling to the brim with tears. But, I held them back - no way was I gonna to cry in front of Beth.
“No one here feels that way, Daryl. No one ever has. Please … trust me on that one.”
“If you say so.”
She walked up to me close to me, so close it made me a little uncomfortable at first.
Then, I felt her hand on my forearm. She held it tighter and tighter as she spoke.
“I do say so. No one here puts any of this on you.”
“I just feel bad for everything. Maggie’s hurtin,’ Glenn’s upset and now you … and, to boot -- Merle’s dead! I ain’t even got a body to get mad at!”
“You ain’t got nothin’ to worry about with me.I’m fine.” Beth leaned back up against the car beside and looked over at me with a half smile.
“Sorry about that Daryl. I didn’t mean to take this out on you. I just got riled up is all. The thought of what might have happened, and now to see Maggie so out of sorts … I guess I feel kinda helpless.” She exhaled deeply. “I just hate to see her like this. Matter of fact; I’ve never seen here like this. I don’t know … I feel like she’s just trying to brush this off. She won’t talk to me bout it and I’m starting to get real worried. And, from what Glenn’s told me; we ain’t even seen the half of it. She’s been hiding it pretty well from us all, but she ain’t dealt with this yet and it’s eating her up.”
“Man …I just wish it was me that went with Glenn that day. It shoulda been me. We’re the supply runners. Of all the times for Glenn to have gone with Maggie instead of me … If I had gone, none of this woulda happened. Just feels like a lot of this shit rolls back down hill to me.”
Beth looked at me, not saying a word. Then, she leaned in and wrapped her arms around my waist; putting her head against my chest. I didn’t know what to do at first, she caught me off guard. But, I found myself wrapping my arms tightly around her and I just held her.
“It ain’t your fault - none of it. You’re a good man, Daryl … and everyone knows it. None of this was your fault. I hope you believe me when I say that. We wouldn’t even be alive if it wasn’t for you.”
I held onto her; pulling her into me tighter. She tightened her embrace, and rubbed my back as if she was trying to sooth me or somethin’. It was sweet; guess she did have that whole mothering thing going on right now.
Everything she said made sense, but I couldn’t help but doubt myself - I didn’t really believe that no one blamed me. If I had gone with Glenn that day or Merle hadn’t been such a stubborn son of a bitch; none of this would’ve ever happened. But, it was nice to hear Beth say it. I hoped and prayed that everyone here knew how sorry I was, and I hoped that in the end they saw that Merle sacrificed himself trying to end this whole thing with the Governor for us. Merle could be such a bastard in one hand, and in the other he was as loyal as they come.
As I stood there, Beth still wrapped in my arms. I beautiful woman holding onto me, and all I could think about my brother. Damn! Even after he was dead he managed to get me all twisted up inside. He always had a way of doing bad shit, and leaving me with the mess to clean up. But, Merle was dead … and I couldn’t do nothin’ to let him know how pissed off I was with him … or how much I still missed him.
I exhaled deeply trying to let go of some of the emotions I was feeling. I felt Beth shiver a bit in arms, and she whispered.
“Damn! It’s getting’ cold out here at night.”
I looked down at her, and rubbed her back to warm her up. When I realized I had seriously just gotten lost in my own thoughts. Jesus, how long had we been just standing here together? I looked back down at Beth, her head still nuzzled against me. My arms still around her. I bit the bottom of my lip and looked around to see if anyone was around and didn’t see anyone. Thank God for small favors. Don’t want anyone gettin’ the wrong idea.
“Hey, ya alright?” I asked as I pulled Beth away from me.
“Yeah … you?” She smiled sweetly.
“I’m fine.” I said confidently - although I was lying.
“Thanks for talking with me, Daryl. I know you’ve got work to do out here, so I’ll leave ya to it.”
She walked over and picked up the tray she had brought out – her mug of tea still on it.
“I’m just gonna head inside; check on Judith.”
“Alright, Beth … good night.”
I watched as Beth walked back inside, she closed the door and I continued with my guard watch. Although Beth had tried to make me feel better, my mind remained busy and my heart was heavy the rest of the night. If Beth and Glenn were that worried, then Maggie must not be doing well. Maggie was so sweet and so was Beth; It made me real upset to think of either of them hurting because of something I did or didn’t do. My mind wandered all night; I just wished that there was a way to make this better for them.
END CHAPTER FOUR
NotesAs you can see with this chapter, Beth and Daryl are spending more and more time together. And, although the conversation got pretty heavy, they still took one step closer to each other. But, we can see that Daryl is still very conflicted about what happened at Woodbury, he feels like he's somehow responsible, and he still has to deal with the death of his brother. So, he's got some stuff he's working through. Beth's got her sister and Judith to worry about. So, they've both got some things that are weighing heavy on each of them.
I'm going to spend the next few chapters developing their bond. They will continue to take steps towards each other and get to know one another better - not just as friends but on a deeper level.
Teaser for Chapter Five ...Beth continues to visit with Daryl. And, Glenn and Daryl go out on a supply run when things take a turn for the worst. Dun, dun, dun ...
So, let me know what you think; like it, love it, hate it ... let me know your thoughts.
And, please review, comment, or vote and rate this story on your way out. You know I love to hear from you :-D