You Saved Me (a Daryl Dixon Love Story)
I woke up in a cold sweat. I had nightmares almost every night. I’d spent so long alone, looking out for myself, no one on guard, that sleeping long enough to dream left me with crippling nightmares. I’d cry and scream, bloodcurdling screams, that attracted the entire camp to my tent for fear of a walker attack. They should have known it wasn’t, due to the fact that someone was always on watch at all times of day and night, but the fear didn’t change anything. Dale took to putting me on watch from midnight to 4, in order to break up my sleeping pattern.
Last night however, no-one came to wake me up. I sat bolt upright. I grabbed the cloth on the floor by my bed and wiped away the sweat and tears before Daryl burst into my tent. He looked around the tent to check there were no actual walkers before looking at me.
“Thought ya was meant to be on watch tonight?” He stuck his head out of the tent, waving off the crowd I assumed had gathered outside my tent, before shuffling closer inside.
I flopped back on my bed with my arm over my eyes. “So did I. What time is it?”
“Almost 4. I was just on ma way to relieve you.” He came and sat on the foot of my bed.
“Argh! I’m sorry I freaked everyone out again. I slept too long. When I’m on watch, I can’t sleep long enough to dream.”
He rubbed my knee. “Don’ worry ‘bout it. We all gotta find our ways o’ dealing wi’ this. You was on yer own for a long time. I don’ blame ya fer bein scared.”
I peeped out from under my arm. “Shouldn’t you be on top of an RV somewhere, Dixon?” I smiled.
“I wanna check yer alrigh’. Problem, Waylick?”
I nudged him with my toes. “I’m fine, Daryl. Really? I just needed a few minutes to catch my breath. Go on, get out of here.”
He gave me one last smile before heading to the flap of the tent. “Shout if ya need anythin’, Ditzy.” And then he was gone, zipping the tent behind him.
I groaned into my makeshift pillow before turning over and trying to get a little bit more sleep. It wasn’t long before I simply gave up and grumbled to myself as I got dressed. I pulled on a sun faded hoody, with some knee length jeans-turned-shorts. I pulled on my Converse, and fluffed out my short hair. I’d cut it all to my ears the day a walker had grabbed me by it, in order to prevent it getting me killed. Beauty wasn’t worth my life. I’d been a creative writing graduate before all this, working in a library, you didn’t need a pretty face to do that. Oh I missed actual books. And my Kindle.
I shook the thought from my head and picked up my weapons. I had a knife in an actual sheath that went through my belt loops, a crow bar, and a Browning BDA. When I’d first gotten to camp, there’d been a no guns rule. The owner of the farm Hershel, had been uneasy, and Rick had made everyone turn in their guns. Daryl however, had had one in his motorbike’s satchel. He’d given it to me in secret a few weeks ago.
“Don’t you go shooting that off in yer sleep mind? Keep it away from yer bed. I don’ want no one getting shot up comin’ in to check on yer.”
I cocked my head as I looked at the gun. “Why are you giving me it? If Rick or, God forbid, Hershel found out, they’d have me kicked out.”
He put his finger under my chin and raised my eyes to meet his. “Because yer bin lookin out fer yerself with no one else for so long, it might ease the nightmares. And because I trust yer to use it to help if there’s a situation, not hinder. I promise, if they find it, send em my way and I’ll take care o’ it fer yer.”
“Thank you Daryl.” I smiled and started to walk past him back towards camp, before I slipped on some damp leaves. He caught me round the waist, but there was a scary second where I thought I was going to land on my face.
Daryl pulled my back to my feet, but we were a lot closer together now. I could see my reflection in his eyes. “Thanks.” I breathed.
For a moment, he said nothing. He leant forward until our noses touched. Then he closed his eyes and turned and walked away. “No problem, Ditzy.” He called back over his shoulder.
I’d spent days thinking about it, but for now I shook the thought out of my head, shoving the gun inside my hoodie’s huge pocket. I grabbed the crowbar, and walked out of the tent. I looked at the sun almost rising on the horizon and yawned, stretching out. I walked over to the fire, where Glenn was already up too, boiling some water. He smiled at me as I reached the fire and flopped into one of the deckchairs that surrounded the pit. I leant forward and grabbed the coffee tin. I’d practically been living on the stuff since I arrived. It was instant, and I always drank it black, but it gave me that energy boost to get me through the day after a nightmare. I looked inside and shook the contents.
“Glenn, Imma gonna need more coffee.”
He gave me a sympathetic smile and handed me a mug. “I already made you one. So you’re good until tomorrow morning. But I think I’m heading into town soon anyway. We’re running out of some more bits and bobs.”
I gave him a knowing look as I took the coffee from him. “And is Maggie going too?” I said teasingly.
Glenn blushed to his baseball cap. I giggled and whispered “Glenn and Maggie sitting in a tree, F-U-C-K-I-N-…”
“Okay! Don’t let Hershel know.”
I gave him a wink. “Don’t worry about it Casanova.” I drained the coffee, and felt much better. “You got anything to eat?”
He fumbled around his knapsack. “I got… some cookies? There were plenty more on the shelf, and no one here seems to like cookies with nuts in.”
“I do!” I said, and swiped them from him, opening the box and stuffing one in my mouth. “Ah heaven!”
“Okay, Casanova, I’m headed up to the RV.”
He grinned like a Cheshire Cat. “Maybe I’m not the only one hoping for some alone time with someone special today.” He laughed, nodding towards Daryl.
I gave a sarcastic laugh, and took his hat from him as I walked past, throwing it (accidentally) onto a tree branch.
“Aww man! Kat, that was not fair!” he called after me as I jogged to the RV.
I climbed up the ladder, tossing my crowbar up ahead of me. Daryl jumped and turned to face me. When he saw I wasn’t a walker, he came and helped me up on top of the van.
“Whatcha doin’ here, Ditzy?” he said as I picked up my crowbar and straightened up.
“Couldn’t get back to sleep after the nightmare, figured I might as well be a bit useful.” I smiled softly.
“Yer don’ have tah. I got this covered. You can go get breakfast or something.” He walked to the edge of the roof, looking over towards the woods.
“Daryl, I know I don’t have to. I want to. I like your company. It’s comforting.” I smiled softly at him, and rubbed some leftover blood from my crowbar. “I feel safe with you Daryl.”
He sat down beside me, still looking over at the trees. “I like your company too, Kat. But I shouldn’t. And neither should you.”
“No Katherine. Be friends with Glenn.”
“I am friends with Glenn. But I’m your friend too. Haven’t you ever had a damn friend?”
He gave me a sidelong glance. “Not really.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Not even as a kid?”
“No.” He shrugged. “All the kids in the neighbourhood were too scared of Merle to play with me, and even when Merle was in juvie, they still thought I’d be the same, and avoided me.” His attitude turned from indifferent to angry. “I’m good on my own. Better. I don’t need no friends hanging around and pulling me back. I can’t go saving everyone’s ass all the time. I couldn’t save Sofia! Or Amy! Or even my own goddamn brother! So I ain’t bothering no more! Ya’ll can go suck it!”
He tossed the rifle into my lap and climbed off the side of the RV. I crawled over to the edge and watched him as he hit the floor. “You saved me, Daryl Dixon.” I whispered as he turned away.
He paused a moment and almost looked over his shoulder. Then he walked away to his own little camp.