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I'll Keep You Alive If You Show Me The Way

Chapter 49: You Take the Breath Right Outta Me

"Here, son, gimme a hand with this,"Jay said signaling to the shelves in his and Hershel's cell.

Daryl placed his crossbow down on the table and obediently did as he was asked. Jay cracked a grin and pointed to the bunks.

"I get top bunk 'cause I got both m'legs y'see?" he told Daryl.

Jay sometimes reminded Daryl of the children he had come across during the course of his life. Jay had several nails in the palm of his hand. He straightened the piece of wood that would become a shelf. He lowered it and moved it around the wall trying to find the right spot.

"Used to... hold these... fight with my older brother about top bunks. He always won. Never thought to chop his leg off,"Jay joked.

Daryl remained silent. He didn't mind Jay but he was, possibly, Harleigh's last relative. He was nervous of fucking up.

"Do you think here's okay? Hersh hasta be able reach it, sorta short that fellow. Didja notice he lost a foot?"

Daryl let a short laugh escape through his lips as Jay grinned at his own joke.

"Y'joke an awful lot,"Daryl heard himself say.

"It's to cover up the fact tha' I'm scared shitless, son,"he replied, clapping him on the back.

He took a nail out of Daryl's hand. "Hold this up now."

Daryl placed his hands were Jay's previously were. Jay left his side for a moment to get a drill. While he moved, Daryl worked up the courage to talk again.

"Scared?" he managed to say.

"Yup. Shitless. Don't think I was this bad before I came here. Thought I was the last of the Bennings, y'know? Now Leigh is here. I'm delighted but, I remember that girl's first steps."

Daryl nodded, not really knowing why. He didn't understand, his family were gone and never really gave a damn about him in the first place.

"Did you have any kids, Daryl?" Jay asked, his voices softening.

Jay spoke with confidence, loudly, never caring who heard.

"No,"Daryl replied quickly.

"Ah... Ever want any?" Jay asked, putting on a pair of very crooked glasses, the lenses cracked.

"No."

"So, ya never had a lady friend?"

"Not really."

Jay was smirking as he drilled a hole in the wood, then placed a nail down and brought the hammer down on it.

"What a pity."

Daryl shrugged uncomfortably.

"Ya fond of my girl?"

"S'pose."

Jay's smirk faltered.

"Doesn't sound like it, son. Ya either do or ya don't."

Daryl stared at the drill as it cut into the wood again. Jay turned his head to face him, raising his brow.

"Do ya love her?"

Daryl fidgeted, nearly dropping the shelf.

"C'mon, son. I ain't gonna laugh atcha. I just need to know. Ya don't gotta marry her or anythin'."

"Yeah."

"Yeah what?"

"I do, uh, love 'er..."

"I know. Just gotta hear it from ya,"Jay grinned again.

Daryl nodded, wanting to run from the room.

"Ya sound doubtful... Somethin' ya wanna say?"

"No."

"Ya sure?"

Daryl nodded once.

"Well okay."

Silence fell between the men apart from the shrill noise of the drill.

"She's complicated, my Leigh, eh?"

Daryl frowned. "Don't think so."

"No?"

"I understand her most'a th'time."

"She doubts herself an awful lot."

"She shouldn't."

"No. Everyone makes mistakes."

Daryl shrugged. "Don't think she's made many."

"No?"

"Hasn't done nothin' I wouldn't... maybe I wouldn't walk inta buildin' full o' walkers so carelessly,"Daryl smirked.

Jay placed a hand on his heart.

"Christ, she didn't."

Daryl nodded.

"When she first joined th'group... went straight into a mall. Done stuff like tha' a few times since."

Jay shook his head, laughing nervously.

"Look after her Daryl, I'm too old t'chase 'er 'round. I trust ya."

Daryl didn't know how to react or respond so he just stood there and handed him another nail, without tearing his gaze away from the shelf. Daryl stole a quick glance at the older man. He was smiling now.

"Ya gotta find your confidence young man. Ya doin' a fine job."

Daryl shrugged. "Ain't doin' much."

"Ya huntin', feedin' us. Rick's right hand man. Ya good with all the children, makin' swings and everything. Most importantly ya lookin' out for my girl and I'm forever grateful, son."

Daryl shrugged and let go of the shelf.

"Did your dad teach ya to hunt?" Jay asked.

"No, m'brother Merle... Dad wasn't really there for us."

"Well, Daryl, I'd be proud to call ya my grandson,"Jay smiled with a twinkle in his eye.

Daryl stared blankly at him for a moment before shaking himself awake.

"Tyreese is wantin' t'go on a run. I best get goin'."

"Mmm. Thanks for helpin', son."

Daryl nodded and left the cell feeling a little shocked.

xxx

The next day Daryl led the way into the woods, Harleigh followed at a distance with Sam and the three puppies. Luckily enough, Sam was able to keep the younger dogs together and they followed obediently. Daryl wasn't going to admit it but part of him wanted her to stay behind with Rick. What if something happened and she needed blood? He certainly couldn't do anything. He hated feeling like this. In the beginning, he didn't have anyone, nor did he need anyone. Now he had someone, a woman at that, who followed his very footsteps.

It scared the shit out of him. He had never been in this position before, he never liked anyone this much before and now that he did it was in the apocalypse. Everyday was a struggle, every day you woke up and wondered would you live to see your bed again. Everyday you wondered would anyone be shot, bitten or taken. Everyone was frightened. Daryl wasn't used to caring, it was something he tried to avoid, but Harleigh was different.

He didn't expect it. He hated her the moment he laid eyes on her and she him. He thought she was a threat and when she joined the group she was arrogant and reckless. Nearly got him killed once or twice, but there was something there. Some part of him wanted to make sure she was safe, even when they argued or he was pissed at her. He never really took her seriously when she was pissed at him. She was smaller than him and it just looked cute to him. There's a word he never used before; cute.

Sometimes he wondered what the hell was wrong with him. He always put himself first, now it was her.

Whenever they went hunting together he couldn't help but to notice how she could keep up. He remembered hunting with her the first time, she asked dumb questions and stumbled around the place. He wondered how she survived alone the first time. The second time she spent alone was when she left her sister's group. She had followed her instinct to leave Woodbury. Damn, he was glad, if she had stayed... what if he had shot her, or some one else from the prison had? She never spoke about what happened during her time with her sister or when she left. Daryl never really asked anyway. He didn't want to know. Whatever had happened was in the past. She lost her sister, but that wasn't much of a loss.

The whole group had pulled together and defeated the Governor. Then, another can of worms opened up. Now they had idiots in long white coats after them. Daryl thought the group would have booted Harleigh out to get rid of the danger. He was sure he would have left too or eventually followed her. But the group stood by her and now they were dealing with it.
Daryl looked over his shoulder.

"Quit checkin' up on me! I'm right here, ya asshole,"she said.

For a second he didn't pick up the joking tone in her voice. When he did, he smirked at her, before turning back around.

"Well, y'so quiet back there. It's freakin' me ou' are y'okay?"

"Yeah, very funny Daryl. Hahaha,"she replied sarcastically.

He grinned to himself.

"Wanna take a rest? Y'sound outta breath."

When she didn't reply he turned back to face her. She stood still with her arms folded, scowling.
"What part of no oxygen did you not understand, dumbass?"

Daryl stared at her dumbfounded.

"Leigh, I didn't mean t'upset ya..." he mumbled, looking at his feet.

Harleigh started laughing.

"Gotcha,"she said walking past him. "Anyways, I could outrun you any day, Dixon."

"Sure y'can."

"I can. Just not today. We're meant to find food."

He grabbed her hand and pulled her towards him. His lips found hers. He moved his hands to her hips and gently pushed her towards a nearby tree. He pressed her against it. His pulse quickening, he moved his lips along her jaw, down her neck to her collar bones.

"Stop,"Harleigh said, her voice shaky.

"Why?" he asked, not moving away from her.

"You're gonna give me a heart attack."

He opened his eyes quickly and looked at her. She blushed, making him laugh.

"Can't kiss ya now can I?"

"That's not on your mind."

"Nothin's on my mind, Leigh,"he shrugged.

She raised her eyebrow at him.

"What's this then?" she asked grabbing below his belt.

"'S nothin'."

She grinned and patted his shoulder.

"Well, get your 's nothin' together. We have people to feed."

"Wanna help get it t'gether?"

"Go away,"she laughed, pushing him away.

He watched her walk away before slowly following.

"Leigh, there ain't anythin' up here,"he said.

"That's only 'cause you're not concentrating."

"Been concentratin' for th'last four hours. C'mon."

"No."

He sighed and kicked a twig. Before he knew it his feet left the ground. Sam started barking aggressively. The sky was the ground and something tight gripped Daryl around his ankle. He could hear Harleigh laughing madly behind him.

"Ahahaha! Look at you. You look like a freakin' piƱata!"

"Wha's happenin'?"

"You set of a fucking trap!" she continued to laugh hysterically.

The rope untwisted and he slowly swung to face her, scowling. Her knees buckled and she fell to the ground laughing.

"I. Can't. BREATH!"

"Get me th'fuck down."

She attempted to get of the ground but just doubled over giggling.

"LEIGH!" he snapped.

She sobered up quickly and loaded her bow. She closed one eye and took aim at the rope. The arrow flew and tore through the fibers. The rope snapped and Daryl fell to the ground with a loud thud. He groaned loudly, rolling onto his back. He heard snuffling in his ear as one of the puppies came over to investigate. Harleigh appeared in his line of sight, grinning. She wiped her eyes.

"Damn, where's a camera when ya need one?" she asked, putting her hand out to take the arrow out of Sam's mouth.

"Shuddup,"Daryl mumbled, feeling his face go red.

She sat down beside him, crossing her legs.

"Y'okay? Y'wanna take a break? Y'sound outta breath, Daryl."

Daryl frowned, as she cheered at her own impression.

"I don't talk like tha'."

"Yes, you do."

"Don't."

"Do."

"D-"

She pressed her lips to his, shutting him up.

"Ya do. I win. Now get up,"she slapped his chest twice, making him flinch.

She then pouted at him.

"Aw, did I hurt the ickle baby?"

"Leigh, I'mma kick y'ass soon."

"Have to catch me first,"she grinned getting up.

Daryl pushed himself to sit up. He saw her take off with great speed, with three dogs following her. He frowned and looked to his side where the other, Caz sat. He picked him up and followed after the others. Harleigh was sitting on a rock, waiting for him.

"I told you I could out run you."

"I was on th'floor. Y'had a headstart,"he said, sitting down beside her.

She just smiled back at him before standing up again.

"C'mon there's two houses just down the road. Let's look for food."

Daryl got to his feet again and followed her down the path to the two small cabins. Harleigh reached out and pushed the front door of the first house open. A loud buzzing noise reached Daryl's ears. He frowned as Harleigh pulled her shirt up over her nose, coughing. She slammed the door again. Daryl went to glance through the window but it was if it was covered by a black blind. Billions of flies crawled around the glass of the window, some escaping through gaps in the frames and flying off towards the trees.

"Were there walkers?" Daryl asked.

Harleigh shook her head, covering her mouth with the back of her hand. She bent over holding her stomach. Daryl wasn't aware that his mind could think of a million things in a split second. He shook his head clear and rubbed her back.

"Ugh, gross,"she mumbled, standing up.

"Let's check th'other one,"Daryl said, trying not to laugh at her.

This time he opened the door. When he wasn't hit with an awful stench of decaying bodies he presumed it was safe enough to step inside. He led the way into the kitchen and started looking through the cupboards.

"Look what I found, Sammy!" Harleigh said holding up a tin of dog food.

Sam barked and shook his tail. She opened the tin and emptied it into a bowl. The puppies came over and sniffed, eventually copying Sam.

"Ain't they a little young t'eat tha'?" Daryl frowned.

Harleigh shrugged and opened another cupboard. They found a few tins and packed them into the bags. Daryl stood behind Harleigh as she reached for the last tin. He wrapped an arm around waist and kissed her neck.

"Probably a bed here,"he mumbled next to her ear.

"Probably,"he heard her say.

He gently turned her to face him and took the tin out of her hands, placing it on the counter. He hoped she didn't noticed his hands shake as he reached up and cupped her face. He shouldn't be this nervous. He felt her soft hands on his forearms. He leaned in a kissed her slowly. She returned, making it more and more impatient. He felt her tongue graze his lips and he opened his mouth.

She moved her grip to his hair.

He dropped his hands to the backs of her thighs. He lifted her up to rest on his hips. It was so easy, she was as light as a feather now. Her lips moved down his jaw and found the spot on his neck that she new drove him nuts. He opened one eye and stumbled out of the kitchen to find the bedroom. He pressed his back to a door, his hand fumbling for the handle. He shoved the door open and sat down on the bed. She pushed him down onto his back and sat up again. She peeled her top off over her head, tussling her hair. Her hands then dropped to his shirt and started fumbling with the buttons.

"What the fuck,"she grumbled, frowning.

Daryl chuckled and went to help her but she slapped his hand away a tore the shirt open. He sat up and shrugged the shirt off. She unbuckled his belt. Daryl rolled them over and placed her head on one of the pillows. He tugged her shorts down and threw it on the ground. The rest of their clothes followed. He rested his right forearm above her head, leaning on it. His other hand went to her thigh as she wrapped them around his waist.

He pressed his lips to hers, stopping a short gasp escaping. Their hips moved together finding the right rhythm. Daryl dropped his head to bury his face in her neck. He breathed in her familiar scent. He could feel her fingers tugging at his hair. Minutes ticked on before he leaned up to look down at her face. He could feel her heart thumping along with his. He could hear her breath hitching. Her grip on him tightened. He smiled at the concentration on her features. His muscles tightened and he rolled off of her.

She turned and rested her head on his chest. He pulled the over them. He could feel his eyes drooping. They couldn't fall asleep, if they stayed out all night people would start to worry. He was about to move but he realised that Harleigh had fallen asleep already. The dogs would wake them if something happened, Daryl reassured himself. His crossbow was somewhere on the floor, along with the rest of their weapons. He draped his arms around Harleigh, smoothing her back. He stopped fighting to keeps his eyes open and drifted off to sleep.

xxx

He opened his eyes, sun shining into them. Shit, they had stayed out all night. He went to move and realised he could. He looked down quickly. Harleigh was gone. He sat up panicking. He got up and pulled his pants on. As he fixed his belt the door opened. Harleigh stared at him, her head tilted to the side.

"You goin' somewhere?"

"I thought... where'd ya go?"

"Made you some coffee,"she grinned gesturing to the cup in her hand.

She was also wearing some one's dressing gown.

"Did I scare you?" she asked frowning.

Daryl shook his head and sat back down. She set the coffee down on the bedside table. She pecked his lips.

"We stayed out all night,"Daryl mumbled.

"So?" she asked moving away.

"The others will be worryin'."

"We'll head back soon."

He glanced at her, noticing she was getting dressed. He never thought to look for her stuff. He picked up the mug and took a careful sip. It wasn't the greatest coffee ever, actually he never really drank coffee.

There were loud scraping noises and the door swung open. Sam jumped onto the bed and sat down beside Daryl, his tongue hanging out. Daryl gave him a quick pat. He finished the coffee and picked up his shirt. He realised the big tear in it and laughed. He looked back at Harleigh who sat on the bed petting the puppies. She looked up and blushed.

"Check the wardrobe,"she mumbled.

He got up and opened the large wooden wardrobe, taking out another shirt. He finished getting dressed and they grabbed all of their things. They left the cabin and started walking home. Daryl took Harleigh's hand and watched the puppies tug an old boot along. They kept quiet and reached the prison in a few hours. The gates swung open before they reached it.

"Are you guys okay?" Carol yelled down the road at them. "We were worried sick!"

Daryl made sure to tighten his grip on Harleigh's hand, he could feel himself wanting to let go.

"Yeah, we found a load of stuff,"Harleigh smiled as they stepped through the gates.

By then, Sam was carrying the puppies. They had made him something like a saddle, with pouches on either side. Usually he carried extra ammo. He had the boot in his mouth. Carl closed the gate as some of the others approached. Daryl stepped closer to Harleigh, looking at the ground.

"Told y'all they were okay!" he heard Jay's loud voice boom and he was standing just outside the prison, that's how loud he was.

"Dad was going to send out a search party,"Carl said.

Rick was striding towards them, one hand on his holster.

"Where the hell were you two?" he demanded.

"We got a load of supplies. I was tired and needed a rest,"Harleigh shrugged.

Rick opened his mouth to argue but Michonne cut him off.

"Look, they're back now. That's all that matters."

Rick stared at the couple for a moment before nodding once.

"Yeah, you're right,"his eyes fell on their hands, then back up to their faces.

"Didn't get hurt or anythin'?"

"Nope,"Harleigh replied.

She pulled Daryl up towards the cell block. As they reached Jay, Daryl remembered something.

"Leigh, I gotta show ya somethin',"he said, before leading her into the cells.

Jay tipped his hat to them as they strolled by. They both looked at each other, wondering where the hell he got that. Maggie and Glenn looked around as soon as they entered the room.

"Hello you two,"Maggie smirked.

Daryl continued to pull Harleigh to the cells.

"Hi-sorry, Daryl wants to show me something."

"Hasn't he shown you enough?" Glenn joked.

Him and Maggie started laughing. They were still laughing as Daryl and Harleigh reached the stairs. Daryl stepped into their cell and opened his bag.

"What is it?" Harleigh asked.

Daryl pulled a large book out of the bag.

"We went on a run the other day, we were in th'same area as Jay's house... So I found it,"Daryl shrugged handing over the photo album.

Harleigh stared speechless at it before flinging her arms around his neck. He wrapped his arms tightly around his waist.

"Thank you,"she said quietly.

"No problem, Leigh."

He held her for a while until she let go. She peered down at the book and then opened it. Daryl watched her as she smiled. It was an odd smile, one that he'd never seen before.

"I love y'Leigh."

She looked up at him, her smile widening.

"I love you too, Daryl."

"Daryl!" Rick called.

Daryl sighed and left cell. He found Rick outside, with his hands on his hips.

"Yeah?"

"What the hell was that last night? You never do anything like that."

"Leigh was tired,"Daryl shrugged, keeping to her story.

"Sure she was. You and I both know ya got distracted."

"Did somethin' happen when we were gone?"

"No, but we were beginning to think the worst."

"It was one night, y'all knew we were gone. Besides Leigh 'n' I can take care of ourselves."

Rick shook his head."Just don't do it again. Or give us some warning."

Daryl shrugged but nodded anyway before heading back inside.

He stepped back into the prison. An unfamiliar sound of laughter reached his ears along with Jay's chuckling. He frowned and went to Jay's cell. Himself and Harleigh sat up on the top bunk. Jay's arm was around her and her head rested on his shoulder, both looking at the photo album.

Daryl smiled to himself and left them alone, going up to his and Harleigh's cell.

Notes

Becca requested a Daryl cares chapter and Daryl&Jay bonding thingy and because she's the best I did it.
Can't wait to hear feedback guys :)

I need TWD back I have no life apart from it you guys I'm serious THIS FANFIC IS THE ONLY WAY OF DEALING WITH MY ADDICTION...I have a problem I just found myself rewatching some of s3 today and I spent last week going over s2... I care about the characters more than I care about people I know. i just want it to be october and cry ok... i'm gonna go eat a donut and maybe rethink my excistance

Comments

I'm super sad because I've realized this may never get updated. It's legitimately the best story on this site

wolvesyroses wolvesyroses
1/17/16

Oh I really love this story. I hope it gets updated >< please update!

Gilyflower Gilyflower
3/25/15

This is the most amazing story ever on this site ever please update. Harleigh is amazing and you are a great writer.

reddeadwalker reddeadwalker
10/21/14

Amazing writing, as always.

SierraaDixon SierraaDixon
3/22/14

Holy crap please update!!! This is one of the best I've read in a long time!!!

elissa_mirinda elissa_mirinda
3/16/14