A/N: Much love and gratitude goes to my beta and best friend, Spikeslovebite. I also want to thank my readers and hope everyone enjoys.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or themes in this fanfiction. Nor do I receive any monetary gain from this. It all belongs to the creators of the Walking Dead. I just enjoy toying with it.
C/D C/D C/D C/D
Love isn't blind…Doesn't look past your flaws, shortcomings, or scars. No, love faces them head on. Sees them for what they are. A life lived…Sometimes painful and hard, but always survived.
Carol was real, sometimes heart wrenchingly so, and it forced him to take notice. Not because of what she looked like, although she was gorgeous in his eyes. Not because she cooked or cleaned up after them all, and always took care of them in whatever way necessary.
It was simply her heart.
So big and strong it rendered him utterly speechless. At times he stammered, desperate to hide his own love, when in her presence. He refused to give away the fact that he'd fallen hard, face first into the dirt at her feet.
Aphrodite. Venus. Whatever name given, Carol was his perfection and he suffered in silence knowing he was unworthy. Knowing a dirty hillbilly couldn't hope to clean the soles of her shoes, let alone love her the way she should be loved.
So he left tokens to his Goddess...Sacrifices upon an altar of unrequited love he hoped she would enjoy. To see her smile and keep her safe had become his goal in life, knowing if she ever found out how he felt it would disgust her. Knowing she could never return his love. How could she? He was nothing more than a filthy redneck who'd wasted his life following his brother around from one high to another.
He had nothing of value to give, just his heart, so shriveled and dry from disuse he couldn't even show her the tiniest hint of affection. Uneducated, rough with sharp edges, and most of the time downright surly, he'd said horrible things to her after her daughter stumbled out of that barn back on the Greene farm. Pushed her as far from him as he could in hopes of keeping her from seeing his vulnerability, knowing the truth of his desire.
One evening as the others ate, he slipped silently into her cell to leave the latest offering he'd come across on her altar. As he carefully laid his gift on the pillow, Daryl was startled by a soft sound coming from a dark corner of the room, and palmed the item quickly.
"Pookie?" Carol's voice whispered, confusion wrinkling her brow.
"Sorry…sorry," he mumbled, standing up straight, eyes immediately sliding to the floor as he fisted the small bit of blue glass that reminded him of her eyes. "Just makin' sure ya was good for the night. Didn't mean ta disturb ya."
"You could never disturb me," Carol said firmly breaking the quiet of their cellblock. She'd been lying in wait for the past two nights to see who had been leaving her the small gifts, hoping against hope it might be her quiet hunter.
Forcing her feet to move as a joyful tear escaped unnoticed from her lashes to trail down her cheek, she moved to stand in front of him. A small smile played at her lips as her hand came to rest tentatively against his cheek.
Instead of flinching and jerking away from her touch, Daryl leaned in, pressing his face into her palm with a barely perceptible groan.
"Carol," he whispered, drawing her name out in such a way to send jolts of longing skittering down her spine as he turned and brushed his lips against her hand. Months of want culminated into thoughtless need.
Not giving herself any time to second guess the next move, Carol raised up on her toes and whispered, "Yes Daryl?" Her breath caressed his mouth a moment before she took possession of it in a desperate kiss, sucking his lower lip in between hers with a whimper.
Daryl's heart unlocked. His fear of her never returning his love dissipated in that moment as he returned her kiss with blazing passion. The blue glass dropped unnoticed from his fist as his arms wrapped tightly around her, certain that he no longer needed the sacrifice to a goddess when he had the living, breathing woman in his arms.