She was quick about boarding up the back windows, moving now to the front of the house; she could board up the upstairs a little later, she wasn’t planning on using that floor just yet. Her mind continued to reel as she worked, finding it harder and harder to concentrate on the job at hand. Shaky hands nearly dropped the hammer, the fright causing her to take a step back and cover her mouth. What was she doing? What was she going to do? Of course being on your own meant not having to look out for anyone but you. It also meant not having to feed anyone but yourself. But it got damn lonely. That she knew from experience.
The hand that covered her mouth began to shake the more she thought about the group. Memories flooded her dull blue eyes, causing her to stumble back against the wall. The quarry, the first time she’d met Rick. She’d always had a thought that under that good cop persona, there was a monster. Her mind flicked to the next memory; the farm. Him killing Shane and making the decision to leave the farm and take control over the group. After that, it was the prison. Sure, he’d saved them more than once, kept them going. But under all the concern was that hidden monster, just waiting to claw it’s way from under his skin. A few tears streaked down her cheeks and she forced the bile down in her stomach; she couldn’t afford to get sick. Not now.
With a deep breath, Carol pushed herself away from the wall and began hammering away at the boards again, harder this time. She knew there was a risk of attracting walkers, but she was prepared. Maybe not as prepared as she should be, but dammit it had to be something. Her whole body tensed when she heard the bike, her eyes growing wide to try and discern if she’d been hearing things. When it shut off in front of the house she was in and she heard his voice, her heart skipped three or four beats; what was he doing? She peeked through the holes in the boards to make sure it was actually him; maybe she’d imagined the bike and his voice? She swallowed hard and wiped her face clear of tears before moving to the door, knife in hand.
"Daryl?" She asked weakly, her head barely peeking out the front door. Sure enough, there he was. Just as plain as day. The sight of him made her heart soar, but it also brought fear; why was he here? Her eyes grazed over the yard and surrounding property before she stepped outside of the house, hand down by her side. "What are you doing here?" She asked in a soft voice, her features twisting slightly as she tried not to break down in front of him.
"Come to take you home," he stated simply enough. It was true. That was his intentions from the get go. She wasn’t being left out here to take the brunt for something that any of them could have done just as easily. Where he was angry with her for not telling him what she had done, he understood where she was coming from. It wasn’t that long ago that he fell under the saying, ‘Zero tolerance for walkers or them to be.’ And it was only a matter of time before David and Karen died and turned. They all knew that. Even if none of them wanted to say it out loud for fear that they’d upset the edge that Tyreese was teetering on.
He clasped his fist. “So get your shit, an’ let’s go. Daylight won’t hold off forever.” And the herd that he’d passed about ten miles back wouldn’t either. He used his size to muscle passed her and into the house. “Where is it?” He wasn’t letting her stay here a moment longer.
He lowered his crossbow to a chair as he moved to grab the pack that set against the wall in the dim light that came through the window that she had to finish boarding up. He clasped it tight. “This all Rick left ya with?” He was furious.
He understood Rick’s need to do something about the situation that Carol had put them in, but banishment was not the answer. Not with the Governor still on the loose wanting to exact his revenge on whomever was associated with Rick and the others that were responsible for tearing his town to shreds and turning his people against him. But other groups as well. People weren’t meant to be trusted. Not anymore.
Family was family. And you didn’t turn your back on family.
His statement left her at a loss of words, causing her to blink rapidly; what had he said? When he moved into the house past her, a thin hand reached out to touch his shoulder, but quickly retracted as if she’d been shocked. “Daryl…” She whispered quietly, shaking her head. She shut the door and moved into the house, crossing her shielded arms over her chest, leaning against the wall. “Rick was right to kick me out.” She said finally, her blue eyes looking him over, trying to gauge his reaction. “What I did was…immoral. Necessary, but immoral nonetheless.”
She heaved a soft sigh, feeling herself breaking as he stomped around the house to grab her belongings. When he spoke, she nodded her head, swallowing hard; he didn’t always need to come to her rescue. But somehow, he always managed to find her. “You all don’t need someone like me in the group.” She whispered, dropping her soft gaze to the ground; thin brows knitting together. “Besides. Tyreese would more than likely kill me and honestly, I’ve lasted this long. I don’t want to be taken out by some revenge filled man.” She licked over her chapped lips with another sigh. “Daryl I’ve excepted what I’ve done. Even began to realize that it wasn’t my place to do something about it. I don’t regret what I did. Nor will I ever. I was trying to stop something that was completely out of my control. And we see what happened there.”
She still didn’t move from the wall, her lips pursing as her eyes continued to follow him. “You know Rick will never allow me back.” Her voice was soft, eyes filled with a small amount of pain as she looked up at him. She’d done a lot of thinking in the past few hours. “I was thinking about heading west… Towards the coast. Try my luck out there…”
Piece of work. Sure. His father and even Merle had used that one before but it had not been in the affectionate manner it is being used in at the moment. Obviously, this is different and the Tracker reminds himself of that as he stands and follows after her. Even though she had just loosed a bolt he stands ready with another fitted into place, elbows cocked and the barrel sweeping left to right. It was smart
To cover yourself from all angles. Even swings around once or twice to make sure they will not be snuck up on. “Well, I trust ya’. I mean, I ain’t about t’give it to ya’ an’ let ya’ go solo on runs but, I mean, y’can let a shot off now an’ again.”
She turned to watch him swing around and smiled softly, continuing to walk with her hand on her hip. “I wasn’t planning on going on a run with it, Daryl. I can barely hold the thing.” She laughed softly and shook her head, her eyes scanning the bushes around the area they were walking. “I was just saying I appreciate you allowing me to shoot it. I’d like to get one of my own eventually. Something more… light. Made for a woman, instead of a strapping redneck such as yourself.” She turned to flash him a playful smile before joggin up to where the bolt had landed, her hand leaving her side for a mere moment to grip the bolt like he had so many times before. She gave it a small tug and knitted her brows together when it wouldn’t budge. “Well come on, now.” She said with a sigh. This was why she’d wanted him to come along. “Apparently that bow took all of my strength.” She teased. “Could you?”
This bitter earth / What fruit it bears
What good is love / That no one shares
And if my life is like the dust / That hides the glow of a rose
What good am I / Heaven only knowsseen on
It’s pure excitement and pride that radiates off of her and damn if Daryl can’t blame her. He was still a kid when the same rush of emotions had socked him in the gut hard enough to leave him breathless and grinning. It’s infectious. The Tracker is grinning perhaps as wide as Carol when all is said, a hand lifting and fingers curling to give a congratulatory squeeze to the back of that slim neck. Even in this heat the skin is cool. “Let’s go. Jus’ keep yer’ eyes open. I ain’t willin’ t’walk all that way jus’ at’ have m’good mood short ‘shit.” -Dips hips and extends a leg, pushing a heel back in the dirt and sweeping arms forward.- “After’ ya’.”
She continued to smile, letting out a soft laugh when he dipped low to allow her to go first. “You’re some piece of work, you know that?” She teased, resting her palm on his cheek softly before turning to walk towards the tree. Her hand rested on the hilt of the knife in her pocket, something that’s become instinct over these past few months. She kept her eyes open, glancing back only once to make sure he was coming with her. “I appreciate you letting me shoot the bow, Daryl. It means a lot.” It meant a lot more than she was letting on; in the whole time she’d known him, he hadn’t let anyone else touch it, let alone shoot it. It made her feel special in a way.