After The End
Rosie was sat at the dinner table, sandwiched between T-Dog and Carl. She silently spooned mashed potatoes into her mouth, keeping her eyes glued to her plate. The whole room was quiet, except for the clattering of cutlery on plates. Since the events of that afternoon, her mind hadn’t been particularly busy. She’d just helped with dinner, keeping her thought process blank, instead just focusing on peeling the potatoes and washing the beans.
Rosie had briefly entertained the idea of taking some dinner to Daryl, but she didn’t feel ready to face him. His words echoed in her mind, making her feel lower and shittier than the mud on her boots. She knew he was sensitive about his scars, that much was obvious, but his reaction had been much more shocking to her. She wondered if he really thought so low of her that she would judge him based on something like that. His tone had been so aggressive and had genuinely frightened her, something that she didn’t know he was capable of. Embarrassment bubbled inside of her as she remembered the insult he had thrown her way so easily, making her feel like some desperate, clingy girl that he couldn’t get rid of fast enough. She bit back the hot tears that threatened to fill her eyes, instead focusing on the fact that she had promised herself she wouldn’t cry over Daryl Dixon.
In the end, Carol had volunteered to load up a plate of food and take it to the room Daryl was resting in. As the woman arrived back to the group, she caught Rosie’s eye and cleared her throat.
“He wants to see you,” she said quietly, but her voice echoed in the silent room. Slowly, everyone’s eyes shifted to Rosie, who just looked back down at her plate. She took her last mouthful of mashed potato and stood up, scraping her chair back.
“Thanks for dinner,” she mumbled to no one in particular before leaving the room. Instead of heading down the hallway and into Daryl’s room for the night, she left the house to go to her tent, causing everyone to watch her in surprise. When she was safely in her tent, she grabbed her camping pillow and shoved it in her face before letting a muffled scream explode from her lips.
If Daryl Dixon wants to apologise, he’s just going to have to try a little harder.
The next morning Rosie stood watching as T-Dog and Dale set up the awning from the RV. She hadn’t slept very well the night before, tossing and turning until she finally rose at the crack of dawn. She let out an involuntary sigh as she thought about him, her stomach flipping uncomfortably.
“That’s the hundredth timed you’ve sighed this morning,” T-Dog said without looking at her, still focusing on steadying the pole that supported the awning. “What’s the problem?”
Rosie shoved her fingers in her face, chewing on her thumb obsessively. “I’m fine,” she mumbled.
T-Dog finally finished his job and turned to face her, mopping at his sweaty brow. “Whatever it is, it’ll work out,” he said it quietly so as not to attract Dale’s attention.
Rosie nodded and ducked under the arm T-Dog had extended, cuddling into his side slightly in a one-sided hug. “Thanks, T,” she said before stepping back.
Rosie turned just in time to catch the peach that Glenn tossed her way before he threw one to T-Dog as well. She bit into the juicy fruit immediately, her taste buds stinging as the sweet flesh exploded in her mouth, making her sigh happily.
“Glenn,” she paused before taking another bite and moaning in satisfaction. “You are my angel.”
T-Dog laughed at her, already halfway through his own peach.
Glenn didn’t say anything, his face distracted and distant as he nodded her way.
“You okay?” she asked him, dropping the peach pit at her feet and scuffing her boot to kick some dirt over it.
“I’m fine, why?” Glenn snapped slightly, his eyes wide as he looked at her. His eyes darted between the two standing in front of him and, when neither responded, he walked away quickly, still clutching the basket of peaches.
“Mustn’t be used to all the sex,” T-Dog muttered, causing Rosie to burst into loud laughter. She covered her mouth with her hand, trying to stifle the noise as she playfully hit T-Dog’s chest. The man started laughing too, Rosie’s soft giggles and wide smile being so contagious.
She felt someone watching her and turned to glance at the trail that led up to the farmhouse. Her laughter stopped immediately as she caught sight of a familiar scowl. Daryl was being helped to the group of tents by Rick, trying his hardest to walk on his own but not being able to put weight on his wounded side. He was watching her and T-Dog, his face twisted in an angry frown. As she caught his eye, he looked down.
Rosie followed his cue and dropped her eyes to her shoes, the memory of Daryl’s hurtful words coming back to the front of her mind immediately. She glanced back up when she heard the zip of his tent, noticing as he clambered inside and Rick left him to be.
“I’ll be right back,” Rosie murmured to T-Dog, avoiding his knowing gaze. She couldn’t help herself, she just had to see that he was healing okay. Or at least that’s what she told herself.
She trudged slowly over to Daryl’s tent, stopping in her tracks when she noticed Andrea crouched down in the entrance. Anger clouded Rosie’s mind and she focused on taking deep breaths. To Rosie, it was all Andrea’s fault. If Andrea hadn’t have shot Daryl, he would never have been unconscious.
Andrea stood up and began to walk away, only to turn back to the tent as Daryl spoke. She chuckled at whatever he’d said and turned, catching sight of Rosie. Both bodies stiffened and Andrea approached the younger woman slowly, warily.
“You apologise?” Rosie’s voice was a little harsher than she intended.
“Yeah,” Andrea crossed her arms over her chest defensively, her light eyes flickering away from and back to Rosie’s blue ones nervously.
There was silence between the two women and Rosie was about to make her way to Daryl’s tent when Andrea spoke again.
“I wanted to apologise to you too, not that I think that should be the only apology,” Andrea hinted, causing Rosie to roll her eyes in frustration. “I know I shouldn’t have shot the gun, even if it were a walker. I don’t know what’s going on with you and Daryl, and I don’t need to, but for what it’s worth I’m sorry that I shot him.”
Rosie nodded curtly and paused before speaking. “Sorry I punched you,” she said quietly yet clearly.
Andrea threw her a tentative smile but Rosie wasn’t quite ready to be best friends again. She nodded again before walking past Andrea and over to Daryl’s tent. She could see his eyes watching her through the thin material and she resisted the urge to roll her eyes at his nosiness.
“Hey,” she said quietly, avoiding his eyes as she entered the tent and zipped it up behind her. She worked to keep her voice cool, wanting him to know that she was pissed.
Daryl grunted in response and Rosie shifted so that she was sitting next to his makeshift bed of blankets and clothes where he was lying. He was playing with an arrow, poking it through the sides of his tent, also avoiding her eyes. Something about him showed her that he was nervous.
She finally let her eyes fall on his blank face, turned away from her slightly. She let out a sad sigh, annoyed at herself for avoiding him for so long. The only person I want to spend time with, however much of that I have left, and I go and alienate him, she thought to herself. As the thought settled in her mind, she forced herself to remember the way he had yelled at her. Though she was still pissed, she couldn’t reject the relief she felt that he was okay.
She dropped a hand on his shoulder, hurt coursing through her as he flinched at the touch. Starting from scratch I guess.
“How are you feeling?”
He finally turned to look at her, forgetting about the arrow he’d been playing with. He shrugged and his eyes left hers again, now drifting up to the ceiling of the small tent. “Better.”
“That’s good,” she said softly, and rubbed his shoulder with the same hand before starting to move it away. Surprising them both, he grabbed her hand and placed it back on his arm, leaving his over it and holding her there. She smiled at him.
“How are you?” He said quietly.
“I asked Carol to send you into my room,” he started but Rosie cut him off.
“I know,” she said honestly, staring into his eyes coolly. She pretended not to notice the twinge of hurt that flickered across his eyes, even though her heart squeezed slightly.
“Oh,” was all he said, frowning.
“I’m mad at you,” Rosie mumbled, staring at her fingers as she played with the frayed hem of her t-shirt. She allowed her eyes to travel back up to his and noticed that his face was showing annoyance.
“Why? ‘Cause I yelled at ya?” Daryl’s voice came out mad and Rosie recoiled.
Humiliation coursed through her. This, she thought to herself. This is why you’re mad.
She kept her gaze steady and cold, raising an eyebrow sassily. “If you’re going to yell at me again, I’ll just leave,” her voice was even as she moved to stand up, but Daryl’s hand flew to her wrist and yanked her back down.
The two stared at each other, engaged in an unofficial stare-off. Rosie didn’t budge. Being stubborn, she had won her fair share of staring competitions.
Eventually, Daryl rolled his eyes and turned away. He mumbled something incoherently and Rosie moved a bit closer. “What was that?”
Daryl looked at her, his face twisted with annoyance once again. “I said I’m sorry,” he spat. Though the apology was far from sincere, Rosie sensed it was the best she could get.
With a sudden burst of courage, she decided to push her luck once more. “And you’re not going to yell at me again?”
“Rosie,” Daryl said in a warning tone.
She laughed. “C’mon, Daryl. You said no more mood swings, didn’t you? Just make an effort.”
Daryl just nodded and Rosie beamed at him until a small smile twitched the corner of his mouth up.
She leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss to his mouth before letting her lips land on his jawline. She left a trail of kisses up his jawline until she reached his ear. “Because, if you yell at me again, that’ll be it,” she whispered seductively into his ear.
She felt him trembling slightly under her and leaned back, a mischievous smirk on her face.
He nodded, his own smirk appearing.
“Good,” Rosie beamed, dipping her face so that her lips brushed the tender skin on Daryl’s temple softly.
“Hey, where you goin’?” He barked, propping himself up onto his elbows and watching as she headed towards the opening to the tent.
“Got work to do, Daryl,” she spoke before a cheeky smile adorned her face. “Can’t lay on my ass all day like you, can I?”
Rosie spent the rest of the day going from job to job. She had declined going on gun practice with Andrea, Lori, Shane and a few others, stating that she was comfortable enough with her aim. She had smiled proudly when Shane told her she probably didn’t need it anyway. Instead, she settled on helping Carol with some of the more domestic chores.
The two women were kneeling by a bucket of soapy water, scrubbing the clothes of everyone else. Rosie went back and forth between the bucket and an old, thick tree where she had decided to hang the clothes to dry. As she settled on her knees next to Carol again, she squinted in the direction of Daryl’s tent.
“I know why you’re helpin’ me,” Carol said with a smile in her voice, causing the younger girl to look at her. When Rosie cocked an eyebrow in question, Carol let out a soft, tinkling laugh. It shocked Rosie, having been so used to Carol’s cries for her daughter. “You wanna keep an eye on Daryl.”
Rosie blushed slightly, not bothering to suppress her guilty grin, making Carol laugh again. “No point in denying it,” Rosie laughed along with her, taking a soaked t-shirt from her and moving to hang it on the tree.
When Rosie looked over at his tent again, Carol told her to go. Without another word, the younger girl took off, grabbing a peach from Glenn’s abandoned basket on the way.
“’Bout time,” Daryl’s rough voice sounded as she walked in and zipped the tent up behind her.
“What’s the supposed to mean?” Rosie laughed, offering him the peach. He took it silently and bit into it before responding.
“Caught you staring at me every other minute,” he replied with a mouthful of peach, nodding his head to the spot where Carol remained doing the washing.
Rosie laughed and dropped down next to him, nudging him until he shuffled along. “I can’t keep my eyes off ya, Daryl, you’re just too gorgeous!” She put on a fake valley girl accent before erupting into laughter. Daryl couldn’t help the amused smile that took over his face, before he rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, yeah,” he grumbled, but she didn’t miss the pink that tinged his cheeks.
Rosie leant forward and snatched the half-eaten fruit out of his hand before bringing it to her own lips and chewing thoughtfully while he watched her. “So, whatcha doin’?”
Daryl shrugged. “Nothin’, I’m bored outta my mind.”
Rosie finished off the fruit and threw the seed into the corner of the tent, a devilish smirk taking over her face.
“What?” Daryl questioned, smirking.
Rosie teasingly, placed a hand on his chest as she leaned down to graze his lips with her own. He kissed her back softly but froze when her other hand fell onto his belt buckle. He pulled away disapprovingly, seeing an innocent look on her angelic face. In a swift movement, he grabbed her hand that rested in the dangerous position and moved it onto his chest with the other. He now had both her wrists locked in his one hand while she pouted at him.
“What?” Her voice came out close to whiney and a smirk took over his disapproval.
With his free hand, he pushed a strand of hair behind her ear and cupped the back of her neck. He pulled her down to him and kissed her slowly. As she started to get more eager, he pushed her off gently and laughed at her exasperated face.
“Daryl,” she whined, trying to free her hands. He laughed, making her frown more.
“Don’t wanna wreck my stitches,” he said softly, finally freeing her wrists. “How will I explain that one to the doc?”
Rosie rolled her eyes and shot him a playful glare before finally exiting the tent. She left Daryl alone to the nervous knot in his stomach and the need to relax his muscles.
Thanks everyone for reading and commenting. Please let me know if you like the direction I'm taking this story in as I will occasionally have doubts and want to scrap it haha.