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[personal profile] mercyrobot
Title: What Else
Characters: Daryl, Carol, Carl (gen)
Words: 591
Rating: G
Spoilers: Through Pretty Much Dead Already (2.07) Theoretical nod to the Nebraska teasers, but that's just theoretical.
Summary: Post-ep for Pretty Much Dead Already, because I apparently needed closure.
Disclaimer: Do I look like AMC? Do I write comic books? (The answer is no times two.) All fun, no profit.



She'd been washed and dressed and said words over. Only seemed right. Nobody'd argued. Hershel's people kept their distance, dealt with the rest how they saw fit. Carol had picked where they buried her. Carol didn't know what was going to bloom there but Daryl did, knew the leaves even without the blossom. He didn't know whether or not he wished they were going to be there to see it.

Pile of rocks didn't seem like enough. They had two days and there was a bunch of meat smoking that needed watched over and Daryl kept popping stitches and Hershel wasn't exactly going to be in the mood to sew him up again, so he had to stay pretty still, and a pile of rocks didn't seem like enough. He pulled another one getting the piece of a downed tree he wanted.

Shane gave him shit for sitting on his ass. Daryl showed him the side of his ribcage and the back of his middle finger. Now he was yelling about something else but far enough away not to listen to. One direction down the field was Carol, sitting by the grave. The other direction was Rick taking off after Shane, both of them shouting now. Lori came over and started scrubbing a pan like it had done her wrong. Her eyes were red.

Daryl could tell everybody's footsteps if he concentrated but Carl's were easy. Smaller, shorter, lighter. Slow right now, hesitations in between as they came closer, so Daryl looked up and waited.

"Is that for the... for Sophia?"

"Yeah."

"Can you show me?"

He cut his gaze over to Lori, who he knew was watching. Not much of a nod, but she did. He showed Carl on a scrap piece of wood with the smallest knife he had until Carl could put a few details on the real thing, and help sharpen the bottom so it could be stuck in the ground easy. Lori nodded again when Carl asked to go with him, out down the field. He stopped Carl short and they stood there a minute, quiet, until Carol'd stood up and brushed the grass off her pants.

"Thank you," she said, running her fingers over the roses carved on the cross, over her daughter's name. Her voice cracked.

"I helped," Carl said. "Some."

Carol bent down and hugged and kissed him. Daryl saw her reaching out again when she straightened up, so he was ready for it and didn't flinch. Her face was wet against his neck and she came away with a streak of dirt on her cheek because he was a little bit grimy.

They staked the cross down into the clay and stood there a minute longer. Carol and Carl might have been praying. Carol squeezed Daryl's hand hard enough to hurt. "Damn, woman, you got some grip," was what he broke the silence with, and a hoarse laugh came after, like she had to blow the dust off it before she could use it again.

Carl ran on ahead and they walked back slower. Daryl'd known he was bleeding some ever since he'd pulled the latest stitch, but not bad, not a lot. But Carol stopped and took her hand from his side and looked at her fingers in alarm, then his shirt. "Why didn't you--"

"Just needs stitchin' back up," he said. "Nothing worth worrying about."

She wiped her hand off on the hem of her shirt and squinted up into the sunset at him. "What else've I got to do?"

Date: 2011-12-03 08:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alias_chick.livejournal.com
That was lovely! Thanks for the great read!

Date: 2011-12-03 08:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
And thank you for reading! :)

Date: 2011-12-03 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rasmizar.livejournal.com
I love this, a lot. =)
Daryl's pov feels very real to me, and it's amazing how much you manage to convey in so few words.

Daryl showed him the side of his ribcage and the back of his middle finger.
Oh Daryl. *g*

Date: 2011-12-03 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you, I'm glad!

(Heheh, Daryl's rude gesturing may or may not have been influenced by how much time Reedus spends showing that finger to people. ;P)

Date: 2011-12-03 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rasmizar.livejournal.com
yeah, I had noticed he seems to be rather proud of his middle finger *g*

Date: 2011-12-03 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vegarin.livejournal.com
That was so lovely and heartbreaking. Oh, Carol. ::sniffles::

Date: 2011-12-03 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
*passes tissues* Thank you!

Date: 2011-12-03 03:43 pm (UTC)
vikingprincess: Big girl panties?  I'm putting on my ass-kicker boots and going commando! (Default)
From: [personal profile] vikingprincess
I think Daryl would have become a phenomenal man if he hadn't had to grow up around Merle. As it is, he's a pretty amazing one anyway. This just shows that (and I can see the whole 'what else have I got to do?' line being used and re-used in the series, just like you did here, because it really works.)

Date: 2011-12-03 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
I think you're right, he'd be so different. But we love him the way he is. And I was writing toward that line the whole time, so I'm glad it works! Thanks!

Date: 2011-12-03 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beautifulntime.livejournal.com
This is gorgeous. It feels so very Daryl, and since we didn't see Daryl in the comic books, this is a wonderful textual addition to his TV persona.

Thanks so much for writing this. :)

(Also, I have no idea what your icon is from, but I really like it.)

Date: 2011-12-03 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
And thank you for reading! I've not read the comics yet but I wish he were in them!

(And the icon is Rhoda from The Bad Seed, haha. Which is quite a ridiculous movie, but one of my favorites.)

Date: 2011-12-03 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com
Oh, man.

This show guts you, doesn't it?

Great little bit of much needed closure, with great character voices.

Date: 2011-12-03 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
Guts about covers it, I think. T_T I'm glad you liked it, thank you!

Date: 2011-12-03 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baranduin.livejournal.com
This was pitch perfect. You've got Daryl's voice just right. It would be easy to tip over into caricature with him but you don't, you get it just right. Thank you for writing this. the episode was so gutting, reading this is like a little balm.

Date: 2011-12-03 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! Keeping him in character and voice was really important for me so I'm especially pleased to hear that.

Date: 2011-12-03 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] basserandstuff.livejournal.com
This is wonderful! I love the idea of the cross with Sophia's name on it with the roses. Very lovely story. :)

Date: 2011-12-03 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
Thank you! The idea of Daryl carving it kind of ate my brain and wouldn't leave me alone. :)

Date: 2011-12-04 03:38 am (UTC)
ext_28878: (Default)
From: [identity profile] claudia603.livejournal.com
oh gosh, this was just perfect. I just watched the final episode and this was exactly what I needed afterwards...

Date: 2011-12-04 04:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad it could help with the midseason trauma. <3

Date: 2011-12-04 04:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] storyfan.livejournal.com
Of course, I don't know this fandom at all (par for the course with me, what with my penchant for gay detectives), but since it's your story I wanted to read it.

I've always liked your style of writing and how you can change it to fit the fandom. In this piece, I noticed the shorter, clipped sentences, as if nobody really has anything to spare — time or emotion. Everything is what it is, and then they go on.

I'm probably way off, but that's what I'm seeing. A lovely job by you, as always.

Date: 2011-12-04 05:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
Your intrepid wading into uncharted waters never fails to give me joy.

Your instincts are completely correct! Nobody does have anything to spare, because it's a zombie apocalypse show but not in a funny Shaun of the Dead cricket bat way, in a serious business "oh my god the world as we know it has actually properly ended and we have to somehow keep existing" way. (I highly recommend it, and the first season is on Netflix and the rest will probably be in reruns on AMC till it picks back up in February if you're at all interested. ;))

And thank you, dear, OF COURSE. <3333

Date: 2011-12-05 11:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] storyfan.livejournal.com
You're quite welcome.

I'll have to check out the show. I saw a few clips, and it looks proper scary.

Date: 2011-12-06 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ebonlock.livejournal.com
Gorgeous. Thanks for posting this, it'll help get me through the weeks until the next new episode :)

Date: 2011-12-06 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thirstyrobot.livejournal.com
Thank you! And you're welcome! We'll all need all the help we can get, I think. ;P

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