A/N: Don't think I forgot about this fic because I didn't! Please enjoy this new chapter, I know it's been a while :)
The infant cried all through the night and nothing Beth did could console her. She had tried just about everything she knew how to do and finally set her back down in her bassinet, frustrated beyond belief of her inability to soothe her own child. It was her first full day back from the hospital and the little one was only less than a week old. However, her lungs could wake the entire farm.
"I don't know what to do." Beth cried to the baby that cried even louder.
Beth was exhausted and sore and her head throbbed. Her emotions were going haywire and her mind was going insane. She didn't know who would stop crying first, her or the newborn.
"I've tried everythin'. What do you need?"
The little girl shut her eyes, clenched her tiny hands and wailed. Beth glanced out the window and an idea crossed her mind.
She took the crying child out into the field. The sun was just rising upon the Georgia farm, gently laying its rays upon the crops and the soil. Beth stood for a moment, breathing in the fresh morning air. She glanced across the land and noticed the girl had stopped crying.
She sighed, feeling the baby's cheek against her chest. Charlotte's big blues were wide open, zig zagging in all directions. She had finally calmed down. Beth didn't know if it was the sound of the chirping birds or the feeling of the light upon them that calmed the baby.
Beth lifted her slightly, resting her cheek upon Charlotte's tiny head. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I don't know anythin'. I'm all alone." She breathed in the baby's fresh new scent, "I'm all you've got right now. Go easy on me."
Beth remembered the memory of when she brought Charlotte home like it was just yesterday. Daryl wasn't in their child's life and for a moment Beth was the only one raising her. She felt ill-equipped and naive but she was the only one Charlie had. So much had changed since then but Beth didn't want to raise her hopes on just how much things could truly change.
That afternoon Beth found herself on the porch of the farm house with her guitar on her lap. She tuned it here and there, tried a few notes and then tuned it again. She thought about the coffee shop and how nice it would be to play there again. Perhaps one of those days she would gather up the nerve to do so. There were some many things Beth missed about her life before motherhood and perhaps it was time she brought them back.
Daryl was coming out of the barn, cleaning his hands with a rag when he spotted her from across the field. He stopped in his tracks and his heart skipped a beat at the mere sight of her. He had always admitted to himself that Beth was a pretty girl. That sweet face and those darling eyes caught his attention from the very instant that she walked into that bar the night they met. He had felt so guilty bringing such a pretty girl back to his dump of a place that he actually muttered an apology at some point. Still, the feeling of her lips that night, the touch of her soft hands, the warmth of her supple skin, he could still remember it all. And now he stood there, yearning to feel it all over again.
Charlotte waddled out of the barn a moment later. She held an old Rubik's cube she had found laying around in her hands and was so distracted trying to figure out what the thing was for that she bumped into Daryl's leg. She stumbled backwards and shook her head; she glanced up at her mother and then at Daryl. She pressed her lips together, raising a brow and said, "Why don't ya take a pi'chure?"
Daryl snapped out of the stupor he was in and looked down at the girl, "What ya say, Kid?"
"I said, why don't ya take a pi'chure?"
Daryl frowned, "The hell did ya hear that?"
"Uncle Merle." She said with a shrug, "Ya'lls starin' somethin' awful at my Mama. Take a pi'chure. I think it lasts longer."
"Yer Mama never spanked ya, did she?" He asked her, giving her a little playful nudge.
"No." Charlie answered, the sarcasm going over her head.
Daryl shook his head, "C'mon."
Charlotte didn't hesitate and followed after him. They made their way to the porch of the house where Beth was strumming the guitar. She looked up when she saw Charlotte running to her and set the guitar aside so the small child could run into her arms and scurry onto her lap. Beth looked up at Daryl and felt her ears go red. She could still feel his kiss on her lips. She cleared her throat, "Hi."
"Hey." He muttered, looked back to the barn and then at Beth. "Ya got a minute?"
Daryl hadn't said a single word as she followed him deep into the woods. Beth grew nervous with every single step that she took in the silence; she got that same swirling feeling in the pit of her stomach that she got the night she followed him into his trailer. It was strange, the longer Daryl was in her life, the less she listened to logic. She mused about the idea of repeating all those mistakes again.
Finally, Daryl stopped. Beth came to a sudden halt to stop herself from bumping into him. She looked up and saw Hershel's old cabin right before them. She frowned at this and looked at Daryl with confusion and question. "Is this what you wanted to show me?" She had been too lost in her thoughts and nerves to pay attention to where they were going.
"Yeah." He said; she could hear the tone of excitement in his voice. He walked around the cabin, inspecting it. Beth stood, hands on her hips, brow raised, waiting for him to speak up again. "Think I could fix it up."
She moved her head to the side, processing his words. It then hit her like a bucket of ice cold water on a November morning. "You want to live here?" She asked, alarmed. The surprise in her voice had been much more obvious than she intended. He looked at her with a perplexed expression and she cleared her throat, "I mean, what's wrong with the farm house?"
"Can't keep mooching off of ya forever." He muttered, inspecting the windows and peering inside.
"You're not. Stop saying that." Beth stepped closer, nervous of what kind of wild animals could be lurking about the old cabin.
"Don't matter. Yer old man and I agreed I'd only be stayin' till I was better."
"Daddy said that no longer mattered. That you were still welcome."
Daryl knew she was right. Hershel had really come to appreciate Daryl's work around the farm and enjoyed his company as well. Still, Daryl didn't feel right. "I ain't family."
Beth frowned at this. She grabbed Daryl by the wrist and pulled him back. "Yes. You are." She stared hotly into his eyes, "Yer family, Daryl Dixon."
"I ain't yer family. I ain't even yer husband." He yanked his arm out of her grasp.
Beth let out a soft gasp and Daryl instantly regretted his words. She glared at him, standing her ground, "No one said ya had to be. You're my daughter's father. That makes you family."
Daryl shook his head, his eyes downcast. "I ain't done right by ya…"
Beth stepped closer, taking his hand softly this time. "You've done your best…"
Daryl looked down at his hand in Beth's. She was too sweet for the world they lived in. He didn't deserve her. Still, it be a cold day in hell before he let some other man come around the farm, calling himself Charlotte's daddy. He felt guilty at that thought. He didn't expect Beth to stay a single mother for the rest of her life.
"You're doing you're best to change. For her…" She kept her eyes down on his hand for a moment and then looked up to meet his gaze, "I don't know...maybe...maybe for me too."
"Ya deserve better, ya know that?"
This made her smile, "So suddenly you know what's good for me?"
He scoffed, "Nah, I ain't mean that."
"Then what did you mean?"
He shrugged, not sure what to answer.
Beth shook her head, "You can be such a fool sometimes, Daryl Dixon." She dropped his hand and turned to leave when he stopped her.
"Wait." Now it was his hand around her wrist. Her eyes watched him with patience and Daryl wondered why she still gave him chance after chance to explain himself. All those times he failed to show up for Charlie, all those times he failed to call or give an explanation. She had forgiven them. Perhaps not in the right way but in some way she had or else he wouldn't be living under her family's roof.
"You what, Daryl?" She questioned him, her tone laced with a soft impatience.
He felt that same rage growing inside of him that he felt the night before in the barn. His eyes focused on her lips, his head growing jumbled with excess thoughts, his mouth was unable to form any words worth her ears. He felt at a total loss but the impulse was too great and he muttered a "Fuck it," underneath his breath and pulled her in for a kiss. The kiss only lasted a second or three and when Daryl pulled away, Beth's eyes were looking straight up at him. Her cheeks were flushed red and her expression was a little dazed but there was a determination in her eyes and before Daryl could speak, she kissed him back.
Like water bursting through a broken dam, the feelings between the two could not be contained. Beth didn't stop to think about it when they stumbled into the old, dusty cabin filled with years of cobwebs and dust bunnies. Racing to see who could take their clothes off first on top of an old rug, Daryl couldn't begin to feel more ashamed of himself but at the same time he didn't care. All he wanted was Beth and by the looks of her eagerness, she wanted him too.
He towered over her once they were down to bare skin, kissing her mouth and the skin on her neck down to the curve where be shoulders began. He could feel her fingers tangle themselves in his hair, her body pressed beneath his own while soft moans escaped her. This time they were both sober and had no single excuse to use at the end of it all. Nonetheless, neither of them thought of the consequences or what they would say to one another when they finished. All they wanted was to be present in that single moment.
When they finished, Beth looked up at his eyes. She lifted her lean hand and with the tips of her fingers, she brushed the hair out of his face. They were both breathing heavily and the feeling of elation was beginning to settle. "We like making the same mistakes, don't we?" She whispered, half joking with a sheepish smile. She hadn't known what else to say. Logic had been thrown out the window.
Daryl leaned his head down and kissed her forehead, "Ain't ever say it was a mistake in the first place."