I found myself missing these two... Just a quiet moment inspired by a Leonard Cohen song. Sorry for any errors. If I don't post this now, I never will.

The Walking Dead doesn't belong to me. I borrowed the last two lines from the show...

He didn't wake up by degrees. Usually his consciousness joined his body and in one smooth movement he was sitting up, getting on with things. Who really slept anymore, anyway? And maybe he never had, even before. He sure as hell never lay around long enough to dwell.

This was different. He must have been sleeping. Time had passed, there had been a transition of sorts and now he was not awake, but aware. Heat and weight and breathing, right there, beside him. As he took stock of his limbs, he narrowed in on his fingertips and the sensation of soft skin beneath them. He twitched his fingers involuntarily, but did not move them away.

His right arm was pinned as was his right leg. His chest felt heavy. He made no effort to shift his position, but slowly opened his eyes. The room was still dark, but dawn was approaching. The longer he stared into the black, the more details of the room shifted into focus. Pitch black gave way to gradually lighter shades of gray.

Turning his head a fraction, his nose pressed against her soft curls and he breathed her in. How did she manage to always smell so damn good? He knew he didn't smell nearly so sweet. Hadn't stopped her from pressing up close. He was aware of other parts of him now awake and sighed inwardly, torn between wanting a graceful exit and wanting to stay put.

He knew when she awoke. Her body no longer resting, but still. It had a different weight to it. Her breathing, warm on his chest through the shirt he was wearing, altered it's rhythm. He didn't move his nose from her hair, breathed in again without really thinking about it.

"I fell asleep." She murmured into his chest, her lips pressing the words against him. He could hear her light, almost playful smile in her tone and felt himself relax.

"Me too." He confessed. Neither of them moved.

"Is it very late or very early?" She asked.


Usually if he was up this early he'd go on a hunt. But he didn't feel like rushing off and she didn't seem to be in a hurry either. Besides, they'd had a good feed the night before. Being full was as good as a good drunk these days. Explained why he'd fallen so deeply asleep without his guard up.

"I'm supposed to help out this morning." She sighed into his chest.

"You got time." He said without thinking. Maybe it was the dark that made him bold. Or the fact that she was already there, in his arms.

They were silent for a spell, but he knew she hadn't fallen asleep. He twitched his fingers again, aware now that they rested on the small of her back where the skin was exposed between her shirt and the waistband of her pants. He moved his fingers lightly once more, then pressed them more firmly against her skin. Then caressed.

She squeezed in closer to him, her arms and legs gripping him in a way that made him want her closer still.

"I like waking up like this." She whispered. Always the brave one.

He could tell her anything, he knew that. She was his best friend in all of this. The one he looked to. The best part of every day. The good thing in his life.

"Me too." Was that enough? He chewed his lip for a moment, hesitant. Could she feel his heart hammering against his chest? He closed his eyes and told himself to stop being such a god-damned pussy. How many more chances was he likely to get? He pressed his lips against her head and kissed her like he'd wanted to do a hundred times.

She lifted her head then and looked at him. He could barely make out her features in the dim light, but she was smiling. He found himself smiling back, still feeling awkward as fuck, but safe in her warmth.

She kissed him then, softly pressing her mouth against his. Friendly, inviting, but nothing they couldn't walk away from, embarrassed perhaps, but friendship intact. Maybe she was belly-full drunk too.

She pulled back from her kiss, still smiling. Waiting.

"Good morning." She said softly.

"Yeah." He agreed, suddenly done with thinking. He cupped her head with his left hand and pulled her toward him for another kiss. Soft kisses became firmer, hungrier and he shifted, finally, to pull her body flush against his, his hand firmly against her exposed back. He didn't spare a moment to worry about how he must smell or taste. She wasn't complaining.

They kissed long and deep, like they should have been doing for a long time, he realized. She ground against his hardness and he moaned, pressing back against her. She grinned against his lips and rubbed herself against him again.

"Easy." He rasped, not wanting to spill his load in his pants like some thirteen year old.

She sat up then, astride him, still barely more than a shape in the darkness. She pulled her top off over her head and let it drop to the floor. He cursed the dark and reached out to touch her, his rough hands running over smooth skin he'd only imagined before this. She reached down and started undoing the buttons on his shirt, taking more care than the shirt was worth. He gasped and bucked as she ran her hands over him. His own skin was not smooth, but not so damaged that it didn't respond to her touch. He sat up, shrugging off his shirt and pressing against her, needing to feel her skin against his. He reclaimed her lips, her small noises of pleasure shooting straight to his groin.

"Carol," He uttered, not sure how to say what he needed. What he wanted, so badly.

"Yes." She said, reaching down and undoing her belt buckle and then his. "We have time." She rose up on her knees, shimmying her pants down over her hips. He shoved his own pants down, all doubts and fears vanishing the moment she took him in her hand, stroking the length of him.

He swung her back down on the bed with an embarrassing amount of enthusiasm. She giggled sweetly as he covered her body with his own, kissing her again. He didn't want to ever stop kissing her. Kicking their pants off, she encouraged him in hushed tones, hot little breaths against his ear. When he finally sank into her they both froze for a moment, and stared at each other. The darkness was giving way to light. He could make out her eyes, twinkling at him.

"Second thoughts?" She teased.

"Hell no."

She shifted beneath him, clenching in a way that made him gasp. Kissing her once more, he gripped her hips and thrust into her, clumsily at first, but finding a rhythm between them before long. He didn't last long. Collapsing against her chest, he pressed his mouth against the skin there, wishing to know every inch of her.

She was humming and stroking his hair. He looked up at her, her features in focus now. She smiled at him, pushing the hair from his eyes and tucking it behind his ear. He kissed her again, long and deep. Naturally, as if they'd been doing it all along.

"I can do better." He said, insecurities rising again.

"Well, you know where to find me." She grinned. "Though for the record, that's the best morning I've had in a very long time."

"Me too." He bowed his head and smothered his smile against her bare skin. "Hell, who am I kidding? Best morning ever."

They held on to each other for awhile, he felt himself dozing when she pulled away from him. He gripped her more firmly, but she gave him a kiss and sat up.

"I really do have to get up. They're expecting me." Her expression was regretful but firm. He moved to join her. "No, you rest." She insisted. "I'll see you out there."

He watched her dress, thinking he'd follow her, but he must have drifted off. When he opened his eyes again, the sun was up. He half wondered if he'd dreamed the whole thing, but his body ached in all the right places. He was looking forward to seeing her again.

He felt his nerves flare up as he stepped outside, worried that maybe things would be different between them or that the others would notice and make a thing out of it. People greeted him and he tried to ignore or respond as he normally would. Really he only had eyes for her and made a beeline to where she was working.

She was grinning at him as she often did, perhaps on the brink of teasing him.

"Smells good." He said, looking away and then back at her, trying for casual.

"Just so you know, I liked you first."