No Game

A/N: I was inspired after once again seeing the quote from Norman Reedus about how awkward Daryl would be in this type of situation. I know my writing doesn't do it justice, but…

I want to thank Tam for checking it over before I posted.

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.

Carol knelt, arranging the small blanket from her pack on the ground several yards away from the rest of the group, trying not to get lost in the turmoil of her mind. Tomorrow would be a long hard day and she knew she needed to rest while she could. There was a rustle of leaves off to her left and she stood quickly, right hand automatically pulling the knife from her belt.

"S' just me." Daryl's throaty whisper had the tension leaving her body within seconds.

"Wanted ta make sure you don't need nothin' for I try sleepin'." He stared at her like she might disappear with emotions she'd never seen shining in his eyes. It was the same look from earlier that day when Tyreese, Judith and herself had reunited with the rest of them. Daryl had run toward her immediately and come to an abrupt halt, sliding across the packed dirt, stopping within a hair of her person, hope and something more written across his face.

"I'm good," she answered, a slight quirk at the corners of her mouth. Seeing his face fall a bit as he grunted an acknowledgement and he slowly turned to head back to his bedroll, Carol couldn't stop the words that leapt from her throat. "But there is something I need to do."

As he looked back at her, Carol moved suddenly, placing a soft, light kiss on his lips before backing away.

"What…um…what?" Daryl stuttered, cheeks pinking as his hand rose unconsciously, rubbing the back of his neck and twisting to fully face her.

"Just needed you to know how I feel before we head out in the morning. Didn't want to leave it too late in case…well, you know," she blushed, worrying about his reaction to the kiss and her confession.

"Oh," Daryl murmured, taking several steps to stand so close she could feel the heat emanating from his body. She watched as different emotions crossed his face and his lips awkwardly puckered before his head bent down slightly, hesitantly hovering, before quickly pressing his tense mouth to hers.

"Yeah?" Carol whispered when he pulled away from her lips.

"Yeah," he answered with a crooked smile.