Disclaimer: I do not own TWD.
A/N: As promised, the first chapter to the prequel of Look Alive, Sunshine! Enjoy, guys.
Home Is Nowhere
Beth had stopped counting the days since the fall of the prison. Who knew how long it had been. It seemed like an eternity that Beth had somehow accepted.
They were always moving.
It seemed as if they didn't belong anywhere. Wanderers for life. Destined to wander the desolate land till death.
Beth looked ahead, blue eyes landing on his back, studying the angel wings on his vest. His silence was one she had grown used to. However, every now and then, she'd pry for a conversation. On that day, the Georgia heat waved over them with a humid hotness that wore Beth down, uninterested in making any type of small talk with the man she had been traveling with for months, possibly longer. It felt, to Beth, like an eternity.
The weather had been a strange one. Cool one day, hot the next. Summer days were coming to an end and fall would take over. Beth worried about the coming days. The winter would be unbearable and wretched and she dreaded it. However, she tried not to think about it.
Instead, she set her thoughts on the others. It seemed as if they had given up hope of finding them and had accepted the fact that that they never would. Beth didn't know how she felt about that. She didn't want to give up but it had been such a long time sine the fall of the prison and there was no way of knowing who had made it out alive. Still, she couldn't help but to think of Maggie or of her father. It all had been so cruel…
Beth bumped into Daryl's sturdy back when he suddenly stopped without warning. She looked at him, frowning and was about to speak when he lifted his hand and pointed a finger upward. Beth looked in the direction his gaze went to see three walkers ambling through the trees about ten yards away. Daryl took a hold of her wrist and lead her in the opposite direction.
The walkers caught wind of the living and their growls and moans lightened up the silence. Daryl picked up the pace, dragging Beth behind him.
They were always running.
More walkers continued to emerge from behind the trees, alarmed by the wailing sounds of the rest that followed in pursuit. Daryl let go of Beth's wrist and pulled out his crossbow that hung around his shoulder. He aimed with ease and shot a walker that had appeared in front of them. The bolt shot through the air, striking it through the forehead. The walker fell to its knees and then limp on the ground. Daryl leaned down and yanked the bolt out of its head, flicking the blood off it.
"Beth!" He called out to her, "Hurry!"
Beth dodged a female walker that had jumped from behind a thick trunked tree, raising an arm for her. She ran to catch up to Daryl. "Wait!" She called after him, feeling herself fall behind.
Daryl shot another walker down, a woman with a bloody yellow dress. "C'mon!"
Beth caught up with Daryl, the dead continuing to follow them. Daryl grabbed her by the arm and ran through the trees, leaving the dead behind.
After what felt like hours of running, they finally stopped in a small clearing. Beth fell back down, planting herself on the ground, catching her breath. "Are—are they gone?" Her cheeks were flushed and sweaty.
Daryl nodded, no longer able to hear the sounds of the dead following close behind them. He sat down next to Beth, dropping his crossbow next to him, catching his breath as well. They sat without a word, listening to each other's heavy breathing become softer and softer with the passing minutes.
Daryl glanced up at the sky; it was a soft orange-yellow. He could barely see the sun behind the trees. "Should get a move on. Sun's goin' down." He stood to his feet, hauling his crossbow with him.
Beth looked up at him, "Now?" She was still panting softly and her legs felt numb.
"What? Ya wanna sleep out in the open?"
Beth looked away, rolling her eyes. Sometimes Daryl was impossible but he had a point and she had learned in their time together that he knew what was best. Beth knew she was alive because of him. She had the thought very clear since the night they burned down the tiny shack home.
Beth felt him come closer and glanced up to see him standing in front of her, reaching out his hand to her. Beth pressed her lips together, rendering to his orders and took a hold of his hand. Daryl pulled her up to her feet and the two made their way out of the woods.
They came upon the highway for what could have been the hundredth time. Daryl went around, peering into cars. Beth stood by, looking down the highway in the direction of the city. She didn't see anything but darkness. Daryl opened the two back doors of a van and looked to Beth, "C'mon."
Beth said nothing and climbed into the van.
Daryl climbed after her and shut the doors closed. The back of the van was spacious but with nothing of use inside.
"Better get some rest." Daryl said, heading to the front seats. "I'll keep watch."
Beth didn't fight him on it. She was exhausted and didn't have the energy to argue with him. He never let her take the first watch. Beth set aside her pack and settled against the left wall of the van and tried to relax. The van was a step up from the trunk they had spent the night in before, that or the truck stop restrooms.
Beth lay down, resting her head on her pack, curling into herself. The nights were getting colder and winter would arrive without warning. When she couldn't sleep, she went to the front of the van with Daryl and sat on the passenger's side.
"It's quiet." She commented, referring to the night and not the silence between them.
"Yeah." Daryl muttered.
Beth rolled her eyes, "It won't kill you to converse once in a while, ya know."
Beth frowned but a smile slowly crept across her face and she laughed, "You're somethin' else, Daryl Dixon."
Daryl glanced at her from the corner of his eye. She had told him that many times before.
"Why ya wanna small talk anyway?"
"I don't know." Beth glanced out the window, "It be a nice change."
"Ya always get what ya want?" his voice was barely a mutter but Beth heard him perfectly.
Beth whipped her head at him, frowning at him with those piercing blue eyes of hers. "You and I both know if that were true, it wouldn't just be the two of us."
Daryl nodded. Beth had a point. "Suppose that's true…"
Beth put her feet up on the seat, her knees to her chest. "Who do ya miss most?"
Daryl huffed, rather amused by her question. "The Lil' Asskicker."
Beth thought of Judith and saddened. There wasn't a day in where that little girl didn't cross her mind. She had practically helped raise her. "…Me too."
Daryl noticed Beth's fallen expression and felt bad about it. He almost felt responsible for erasing the smile on her face. "Hey."
Beth met his gaze.
"Ya were great with her."
This made her smile and Daryl was relieved it had. "Thanks." She sighed, "I always wanted kids of my own."
Beth fell silent as she thought of the future she would have had if the world hadn't gone to shit. She felt rather sad about the children she had never met and only existed in another world.
Daryl raised a brow, surprised at the news. "Yeah?"
She nodded. "Yeah. Too bad it ain't gonna happen, ever."
The two averted their gaze and both glanced ahead, out the window lost in their own tormented minds.
"S' probably for the best." Daryl said, shifting slightly in his seat. "Don't want a kid growing up in this bullshit of a world."
Beth lay her head back against the seat, "Yeah…" Daryl was right. It was cruel enough for little Judy to have to grow up in such a world; she didn't want to imagine another child having to do so as well. "What about you?"
"You ever want kids?"
Daryl shrugged. "Never thought about it." And he never really had. He was far too busy following Merle around to think about such things.
Beth nodded, accepting his answer.
"Sides, I wouldn't be good at it."
Beth laughed lightly, "Well, I think ya would be good at it." And she truly believed it. She remembered how determined Daryl had been to save Judith's life when she was born. He wasn't going to sit by and let her die.
Daryl merely shrugged and fell silent again. He never thought of himself as the fatherly type but it was something he knew he wouldn't have to worry about.
"Ya should sleep." He suggested. There was no point in the two of them losing sleep.
"I'm not tired."
Daryl huffed again, not believing her. He glanced over at her to see her eyes ahead on the still road underneath the moon. They closed and opened slowly and he could see the exhaustion in them. "Go." He said firmly, in a tone he had used on her multiple times before.
Beth turned her head to meet his attention. "What about you?"
"I'll wake ya when it's yer turn."
Beth sighed, knowing he wouldn't. That was just the way Daryl was. He carried the entire load on his back without asking for any help. "I'll just rest here." She smiled at him weakly, eyes growing heavy, "Ya shouldn't be on your lonesome."
Daryl looked away, letting Beth's words sink in and in a way, he was glad he wasn't. In fact, he was glad Beth was with him.