Title: Sketches

Author: GageWhitney

Rating: T

Pairing: Daryl/Andrea

Disclaimer: Very much not mine.

Summary: "Did you draw this?"

Note: Based on a prompt by sparkledark: Daryl has a secret artistic talent, painting or drawing or maybe even creative writing. He's been mocked for it by Merle in the past, so he doesn't talk about it or show anybody his work, but Andrea finds something he's created and is surprised and impressed and wants to talk to him about it.


"The hell you doing in here, blondie?"

Andrea startles and spins around to see Daryl standing just inside the entrance of his tent, his hand on the frame. He looks confused and suspicious, anger starting to bubble just beneath the surface.

"I, uh… I was looking for ammo, but I found this," she says. She holds up a piece of paper with a half-finished sketch of a squirrel on it. "Did you draw this?"

His face falls briefly before his jaw tenses. "So?" He moves to grab for it, but she holds it behind her back, out of his reach. "Give it here!"

"Daryl, it's just… it's wonderful." She frowns. "Why didn't you ever mention that you could do this?"

He releases a heavy breath and shakes his head. "Don't like people to know," he says. "Merle used to call me a pansy ass when he caught me drawing. Started keeping it to myself."

"You shouldn't," she says. "Seriously, I mean it. You have a real talent, Daryl."

He ducks his head and grunts. "Whatever."

She purses her lips and silently curses Merle and the rest of the Dixon family. "Are there more?" She waves the picture. "I only found this one."

Silently, Daryl walks out of the tent, and she stands there for a few moments, confused. Thinking she's upset and embarrassed him too much, she's about to put his drawing down and leave when he stalks back in with a small notebook in his hands.

"I keep them on the bike," he explains. "Thought it was safer." He offers her the notebook sheepishly.

Andrea smiles and takes it from him. It's sort of messy, like him, with many of the pages ripped out and shoved back in for safekeeping, layers of ink and charcoal smudged along the edges.

"Mind if I sit?" she asks, already plopping herself down on his bedroll.

"Uh… no." He hesitates, and then sits beside her, watching as she starts to look through his work.

She starts at the beginning of the notebook and sees sketches from another life. A motorcycle that might have belonged to him. A pack of cigarettes. A ramshackle house. An acoustic guitar.

He speaks up before she can ask. "Just stuff that was around," he explains.

She nods and continues looking. Sketches of various people start peppering his work, and Andrea stops when she comes to a drawing of an older woman. "Who's this?"

"My grandma," he says. "I found a box of old pictures one day."

"You never met her?"

Daryl shakes his head. "She died a long time ago." With his index finger, he traces lightly over the woman's face. "Looked like a nice lady, though."

Andrea gives him a small smile, feeling her eyes get a little watery. "That's nice that you were able to connect with her like that."

He shrugs. She keeps flipping.

"Is this…?"

"I told you a saw one."

She frowns at the page, staring at the creature. "It's so weird looking."

"A lot weirder in person," he says, and she giggles in response.

She continues flipping pages, taking note of each one, and eventually comes across drawings she can tell were done after the world ended. His crossbow. The grouping of tents. The RV. A deer.

There's a drawing that makes her stop, then, her heart in her throat. It's of a little boat on the water at the quarry, and two girls that she recognizes as herself and Amy, fishing rods in their hands and that dumb straw hat on her head.

Amy in the drawing is smiling, laughing, and Andrea can make out the grin on her charcoal face as well.

"Daryl…"

"Sorry," he says immediately. He shakes his head. "I just saw y'all out there, and… I shouldn't have –"

She cuts him off. "No!" she says. She can't help the tears that well up and threaten to spill down her cheeks. She traces the drawing lightly with the pads of her fingers. "No, don't apologize."

He stares at the floor, not wanting to watch her while she cries and mourns her dead sister all over again. After a few moments, he says, quietly, "You can keep it, if you like."

She sniffles. "Thank you."

"It's all right," he says.

Before he can say any more, Andrea throws her arms around him and hugs him tightly. He tenses up, his arms frozen at his side, before gingerly moving his hands to her lower back. She sniffles again and pulls herself back.

"I don't have any pictures of her," she tells him.

He nods.

"Thank you," she says again.

He shrugs. "Had to draw something," he mumbles sheepishly.

Andrea smiles. "You can draw me again sometime, if you want." She shrugs. "You know, if you need a model or something. I won't tell anyone."

He raises an eyebrow. "Think I saw that in a movie, once," he says, clearing his throat nervously. "Never finished it, though. I know the ship sank."

Her face gets pink. "I didn't mean it like that," she says, and he nods. After a beat, she winks. "Unless you want to."

"Hmmph," he says. His eyes rake appraisingly over her figure once before settling back on her face. "You want me to draw you, you've got to sit real still."

She blinks. "Okay."

"And you can't be jabbering on and distracting me."

She raises an eyebrow, but says, "I think I can manage that."

He nods. "All right, then."

"All right."

Andrea rises and goes to the entrance of his tent. She pulls the zipper shut and turns back to him. "Where do you want me?"

Suddenly, he looks nervous, eyes flicking between her and the door. "Now?"

She shrugs and takes a seat on the floor opposite him. "Why not?"

"Yeah, okay," he nods. "Just hold on a second."

He twists around, looking for his few drawing supplies in a pile of his belongings. When he turns back, she's pulling her t-shirt over her head.

"Uh…" His eyes go wide. "I didn't… I mean, you don't have to…"

"Daryl." A sudden, wicked grin appears on her face. "If we're going to do this, we're going to do this right."

She reaches back to release the clasp on her bra, and the pencil falls from his hand.

He wonders what Merle would say about his hobby now.