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The Darkest Storm

Talking Dreams

He woke.

Dazed, confused. The light streams around him shone bright, and hazy. He lifted his head, squinting at the immediate pain he felt and rested it back down on the solid rough surface of the stone behind him. His back laid in the mixture of wet dirt and sand, limbs sprawled out in an unnatural fashion, completely limp and throbbing from the impact of his fall.

He could hear nothing. Everything around him had suddenly fallen silent, and a new wave of brightness overtook him as he forced open his heavy eyelids and looked up into the tree line of the Georgian woods. Blood dripped from the side of his face. He grew dizzy, his eyes having a mind of their own as they defied their orders and sunk themselves back into his mind, demanding rest from all the chaos they’ve seen over the past few months. He couldn’t rest here, not now, not in the woods alone.

He finally calmed his breathing, but it didn’t stop him from wincing at the arrow that had lunged it’s way into his side that had managed to plunge itself straight through his skin. He didn’t want to move in that moment, but desperately wanted to lay there – sulking in his own misery and bad luck because he wouldn’t go out unless he was on his own.

Darcy could have been there, and this would have never happened. She was standing right there in front of him, almost healed to where she could have come with him, but his pride and arrogance, not to mention shyness, kept him from asking her along.

His mind wandered to her – thinking of her and all her beauty and charisma, wondering if she really cared about him the way he wished she did. He wondered if he were to die laying pathetically in the waters of the creek whether or not she’d mourn, miss him, go search for him. He hoped she would, he would do that for her.

Daryl forced himself again to open his eyes and turn his head to at least try to gather his surroundings. His mind was fading quickly, demanding time to rest. His blue eyes stopped on a small stuffed figure, covered in dirt and filth much like himself – Sophia’s doll.

Daryl remembered suddenly, coughing trying to clear his mind and wake himself up. Darcy, the horse, the doll…the embankment. The pieces of fragments left in his mind were being pieced together, gathering whatever strength he had left in him to recall anything that day.

He nodded, the horse had thrown him after being scared of a small snake – thrown him over the steep cliff and down into the waters below him. He fell on his arrow, and tried climbing the cliff…now he was here, laying on the ground in the open with no cover or strength to defend himself. Daryl fell out of place then, mind going blank and completely unaware.

His mind fought with his body, hearing soft footsteps approaching his way and a shadow overlooking his mangled frame. A scoff emerged from the stranger’s lips, shaking their head at the sight they deemed as pathetic.

Daryl opened his eyes as the world suddenly became clearer, and he saw the figure of his older brother standing over him scouting out the situation.

Why don’ you pull that arrow out, dummy?” He tilted his head. “Ya can bind your wound better.”

Daryl gave a faint smile, let his eyelids flicker shut at the sound of his brother’s voice. “Merle.” He called out.

Merle gave a confirming grunt with a wide smile, “What’s goin’ on here? You takin’ a siesta or somethin’?”

“Havin’ a shitty day, bro.” Daryl mumbled.

“Like me to get you a pillow?” Merle mocked. “Maybe rub your feet?”

“Screw you.” Daryl scoffed.

“Huh-uh. You’re the one screwed by the looks of it. All them years I spent tryin’ to make a man of you. This what I get? Look at ya.” Merle pressed. “Lyin’ in the dirt like a used rubber. You’re gonna die out here, lil’ brother. And for what?”

Daryl coughed, “A girl.” He tried opening his eyes. “They lost a lil’ girl.”

“So you got a thing for lil’ girls now?” Merle asked.

“Shut up.” Daryl said.

“’Cause I noticed you ain’t out lookin’ for ol’ Merle no more. Instead ya shackin’ it up with some piece of sugar you found out in the woods.”

Daryl’s heart leaped, knowing he was talking about Darcy. Merle read the look on his face and laughed. “Tha’s right. I know ‘bout that bit of ass you’ve been followin’ around. Jus’ like some sick puppy.” He scoffed. “Forget about me did ya?”

“Tried like hell ta find ya, bro.” Daryl mumbled, trying to ignore Merle’s constant jabs.

“Like hell you did. Ya split, man. Lit out first chance you got.”

“You lit out. All you had to do was wait.” Daryl’s voice couldn’t manage anything but a whisper. “We went back for ya. Rick and I.” He nodded. “We did right by you.”

“This the same Rick that cuffed me to the rooftop in the first place? Forced me to cut off my own hand?” Merle continued. “This him we’re talkin’ ‘bout?”

Daryl’s eyes scanned his brother truly since they started talking. No hands were cut off, not even a scratch could be found on his older brother. Merle’s face and clothes were clean, as clean as the day Daryl could remember when there wasn’t a time where dead people starting walking around.

“You his bitch now?” Merle teased.

“I ain’t nobody’s bitch.” Daryl grew defensive.

“You’re a joke is what ya are, playin’ errand boy to a bunch of pansy-assess, niggers, and democrats.” Merle chuckled.

“We take care of our own.” Daryl nodded. “Everyone.”

“Then what was I to ya? Left me up on that rooftop dead by them biters?”

“I told ya, we went back for you. You left.” Daryl said. “They ain’t like that.”

“They’re laughin’ at you behind your back. Ya know that don’t ya?” Merle laughed. “I got a lil’ news for ya son. One of these days, they gonna scrape you off their heals like you was dog shit.”

“But Darcy,” Daryl closed his eyes. “Darcy and I…”

You’re nothin’ but a freak to her. Redneck trash. That’s all ya are.”

Daryl shook his head. “She trusts me. We look out for each other.”

Merle hit Daryl’s chest, forcing him to open his eyes and look at him. “Hey. They ain’t your kin, and she don’ care nothin’ about ya or anybody else back in that camp of yours.”

Merle scoffed and scanned Daryl’s face as it fell dramatically. “Hell, if you had any damn nuts in that sack of yours, you’d go back there and shoot your pal Rick in the face for me and screw her already. Toss her to the side right after, she ain’t worth ya time. She’s tuggin’ you along and playin’ with ya. Get yours, and move on.”

“She ain’t like that.” Daryl winced.

“You think a girl like her and you have a chance? Look at ya.” Merle ridiculed. “You ain’t nothin’ special. Hell, I wouldn’ be surprised if she ‘n Rick were off…”

“No.” Daryl interrupted him, almost pleading. Almost as if he were trying to convince himself more than anyone that Darcy did care for him. “You’re wrong. She told me she…”

Merle reached up and grabbed Daryl’s face with one hand forcefully, interrupting his brother once more. “Now you listen to me. Ain’t nobody ever gonna care ‘bout you ‘cept me lil brother.” He patted Daryl’s cheek. “Ain’t nobody ever will.”

“Come on, get up on your feet.” Merle stood up. “Before I have to kick your teeth in.”

Daryl’s eyes drooped, closing again as he grew dizzier by the second. Merle kicked his foot, kneeling down and pulling him by his black leather boot repeatedly.

“Let’s go.”

Daryl could feel the shoes pinching his toes as Merle pulled and pulled. Daryl tilted his head over to see his crossbow lying next to him in the dirt. He’s still on his back, preparing to reach for it and get up like his brother commanded, but Daryl is still so preoccupied with the day’s events that it takes a sudden screech of a few birds flying above him to bring him to his senses.

The bright light through the tree line started to fade, making the creek look as innocuous as it has been for the past hour. But what makes Daryl jerk his foot back is the sound, like an raging animal feasting on it’s prey, indicating Merle was no longer around but a walker biting Daryl’s boot was.

Daryl scrambled backwards, kicking the walker in it’s mouth ajar and reaching desperately for his crossbow behind him. The walker climbed on top of Daryl, grabbing and nipping at his worn sleeveless shirt still growling profusely at the sight of a fresh meal.

Daryl grabbed the walker’s shoulders, pushing it to the side and bringing a fist to it’s jaw. The walker toppled to it’s side, giving Daryl enough time to reach for a stick next to him. Daryl jumped to his knees, bringing the walker to it’s back and and smashing the stick forcefully into it’s skull, hearing the gurgling noises that came from it’s shattered brains.

Just when he thought it was over, Daryl looked up ahead of him onto the sight of another walker attempting to cross the waters towards the sounds that initially attracted it. Daryl kneelt back, pulling the arrow out of his side and with all his strength, and placed it into his crossbow.

Daryl saw the figure growing closer and fumbled with fear with snapping the crossbow in place. Lying on his back and looking up into the face of something he despised, a sudden move of Daryl’s finger shot the arrow which was aimed perfectly at the forehead of the beast.

With his chest panting and the walker crumpling to the ground, Daryl couldn’t fight the cries of his body or mind any longer. He lied on his back, unmoving, and without any hope to stop his mind from fading into blackness.

-

“Daryl.” A soft voice called out to him, his mind muddled and growing quiet tired of the headaches and unconsciousness that seemed to never end on this shitty day, as he told Merle.

“Hey.” A hand glided over his arm. The feeling of warmth and comfort flowed through his body at the touch. He sighed in relief, knowing that voice anywhere, and flickered his eyes open with ease at the sight of Darcy staring down at him.

Darcy was kneeling beside him, and he instantly knew she wasn’t actually there. Just like Merle. She was in her everyday clothes sure, but there wasn’t a speck of dirt on her face, her arm was completely healed, and her auburn locks were in perfect place around her face and rested neatly on her shoulders. And she smiled at him, a true genuine smile.

“Darcy.” He grunted, the corners of his mouth tugged up into a small smirk.

“You said you’d bring yourself back safe and sound, remember?” She told him, resting her gentle hand on his forearm. He reached up with a shaky hand as he grabbed hers and laced it into his own.

“I’m tryin’.” He closed his eyes.

Darcy let out a small laugh and looked at the two dead walkers around him. “What the hell happened?”

“Damn horse threw me.” Daryl shuffled his weight. “Fell down the cliff ‘n got stabbed.”

“By your own arrow.” Darcy pointed out, reaching over and looking at the wound.

“Shut up.” Daryl mumbled. Darcy went back to his side and looked down at him with a tilted head. She stayed silent for a little bit, and Daryl finally let his eyes open once more.

“Don’t let him get to you.” She whispered.

“Who?” He squinted at her.

“Merle. Don’t let him control you.” Darcy said. “You’re better than him.”

“Ya don’ know him.” Daryl grew defensive again towards her.

“Stop defending the bastard and open your eyes.” Darcy scoffed.

“Best choose your words more carefully.” Daryl said.

“What are you gonna do? Yell at a ghost?” She raised an eyebrow. “Just listen to me.” Darcy moved over him, leaning on her arm that was now placed on the side of his face.

“You’re a good man. You’re smart and strong, and I know you care about the group just as much as Rick or Shane. You’re every bit as good as them, if not better. I’d follow you over them any day, Daryl. He’s not going to take care of you. You know that first hand.”

Daryl sighed, not having enough strength to argue and just waited for her to continue. “You run back into old ways with your brother you’re gonna start to lose yourself. You’re gonna lose the man you’ve become, someone that everyone back in that camp looks to for answers and protection.”

“Ain’t nobody lookin’ to me for shit.”

“I am.” Darcy sighed. “Now get up and climb. You’ve got a lady waiting for you to get back already.”

“Wait.” Daryl called out. “Don’t go yet.”

Darcy went to stand up, but the grasp Daryl had on her other hand tightened, pulling her back down to be inches away from his face.

He reached up his other hand, tangling his fingers into her hair and pushing it away from the side of her face and taking in her flawless features. Daryl glanced from her eyes to her lips, wanting this so desperately to be real but at the same time, somewhat glad it wasn’t because he could never get up the courage to do this in real life.

Darcy smiled lightly at him, her expression vague and sympathetic for her friend. The heart beat in Daryl’s chest filled his ears as he pulled the back of her head towards him, bringing her lips down to his slowly.

Just as he felt the slightest brush of her lips on his, Daryl woke, finding a butterfly flying round his face and landing on his forehead. Daryl sat up, scaring the small insect away and rubbing his face in embarrassment and making sure that he was actually awake this time. Daryl looked around him, seeing neither Merle or Darcy and shaking his head from his bizarre dream of the two of them fighting with each other in his mind.

Rubbing his face once more, he blinked his eyes rapidly a few times to focus before tilting his head up slowly at the cliff. Then Daryl got up, grabbed his bow and threw it over his shoulder as he stood tall and determined.

Walking to the outer steps that would eventually lead him to safety, he finally began to climb.

Notes

Let me know what you think! I'm tired and wanted to get this part up ASAP for those who commented...which were few... :( please please leave me a comment/rate/subscribe all the fun things I really want to know what you think!!

Comments

Please update this is such an amazing story and I'm dying to know what happens next!!!

Ash8 Ash8
1/22/19

@LoriG
Part 66 is up ;)

@aphishinthec
Argh you got my hopes up- I saw an update, but it was you replying to my last messaege! Please can you update @bikingthroughflowers ? Thank you!

LoriG LoriG
6/25/18

@LoriG Right?!?! Need to know how she would handle Negan.

I'm also desperate to know how Darcy would fare in the storyline now. Pleeeeeease don't give up on this fic, I'm reading it AGAIN! <3<3<3

aphishinthec aphishinthec
4/6/18

I’d love to know how Darcy would deal with Negan... you need to update surely?! Still love this story, and just read it again!

LoriG LoriG
7/31/17