A/N: Thank you to my wonderful beta, spikeslovebite. All mistakes are my own due to my inability to stop feckin around with it once she sends it back.
Another girl. Another little dead girl. Carelessly wiped from the face of the earth as her extended family had a front row seat. Debilitating pain sucked her soul deeper into the pit of despair as she witnessed Beth's brains splatter Rick. In less time than it took to blink, Daryl stepped forward with brutal efficiency and killed the bitch who'd taken their last little girl.
Seeing Daryl break, Carol forced herself to move through the anguish, to grasp his shoulder, to pull him in and hold on as voices filled the blood soaked hallway.
Waking in the hospital her first thoughts had been of Daryl and Noah. The young man she had kept alive. Afterwards a tiny glimmer of hope began to beat against her chest, even after she'd told Daryl she didn't think they got to save anyone anymore. Then that female cop had come and told her and Beth their people were coming to get them. To exchange them for two of her officers.
More hope flared and she began to believe. Believe in puppies and rainbows. Carol snorted to herself as Tyreese took hold of her. No such thing anymore, Carol. No such thing as happy endings. Just more heartache and gut wrenching agony. Was this all their lives had become? To watch slowly as their children died? To be the last one standing?
The need to leave, run, so she wouldn't have to witness others in her family dying slammed into her like a freight train. Carol panicked as Tyreese helped her into the bright sunlight, all the while watching Daryl carry Beth and place her in Maggie's arms.
She couldn't live with this. She couldn't watch as one by one they were taken from her. She couldn't see Daryl fall. Spiraling out of control, her world tipped on is axis as her breathing become more erratic.
Suddenly Carol felt new hands, one wrapping around her waist to take her weight from the big man, the other grasping the side of her head and pulling her into him as he buried his face in her neck.
"You're okay, you're okay. I've gotcha. Just breath." Carol felt Daryl's tears as they mingled with her own. "Can't do this without you no more. Stay with me. Just need ya to stay with me," Daryl whispered through his own grief, holding her close.
What could she do? What could she say to the man she knew she loved?
"Never leave you. Promise."