This is a spin-off, or companion piece if you will, to my other Marol story, Plum Crisp. It can be read as a stand alone story but Plum Crisp will give you the lead-in as to how Merle and Carol came to be "bumping uglies". Rated T for Dixon mouth. No smut sorry, you'll have to go to Plum Crisp for that!

Obviously I don't own The Walking Dead blah blah blah.


The next day was laundry day. Really, every day was laundry day, as their clothes needed regular washing due to walker splatter, but once a week Carol stripped all the beds in the place and washed the sheets. There were plenty of spares in the prison, but if the weather was fine, she would dry the sheets in the sun and put them straight back on the bunks. Merle liked the fresh smell of the sundried linen.

He was accustomed to dropping his dirty clothes in a corner, and coming in at night to find them washed, and if need be, mended, then folded and stacked neatly at the foot of his bunk. Carol had been taking care of Daryl's laundry for months, and when Merle joined them, she extended the service to him. But tonight when he came into his cell, there was an underlying reek in the air; his dirty clothes from yesterday still lay in the corner, stinky socks on the top of the pile.

As he'd passed the other cells he'd enjoyed the sunshiny smell of their clean sheets. There were few enough pleasures in this life, you had to take enjoyment in what small delights you could find. But in his cell, the sheets were still as he'd left them this morning, flung back and rumpled. He usually left his bed made up neatly each morning, a legacy of his army days, but there was no point in doing that on laundry day.

Alright. So that's the way it was gonna be. Well hell, he'd been doing his own laundry for years, whenever Ma couldn't be bothered getting out of bed, and if he hadn't learned then, his time in the military would have sorted out that lack. Uniforms had to be spick and span. He could still iron better than most bitches. A little laundry issue wasn't gonna make him crumble into a weeping mess.


That night at dinner Carol repeated the meat trick. This time Carl said nothing and just passed the plate down. For vegetables there were potatoes, carrots and okra. Merle loathed okra. He had a sneaking suspicion Carol knew that. He ate it anyway. Man's gotta keep up his vitamin C if he wants to keep his teeth into old age. Healthy gums, healthy teeth.


After dinner Merle went up to the watch tower to relieve Glenn. He'd been there only a few minutes before Daryl appeared with his crossbow slung along his back, as ever. Daryl had a map in hand, and wanted to discuss the lay of the land around the prison: the best areas for game, spots known to be walker red zones, and the most suitable places to lay ambushes for potential enemies.

They'd been talking and pencilling the maps for about twenty minutes, alternating with doing the standard visual checks required of the watch, when they heard someone climbing the stairs. It was Carol, both hands around a steaming cup of java. With fall progressing, the days were hot and sunny, but the nights cooled rapidly, and the nip in the air made the hot drink very welcome.

Carol smiled at them both, but it was Daryl to whom she handed the coffee.

"Brought you some coffee Daryl."

"Thanks." He wrapped his fingers around the cup and blew on the hot beverage a little before taking a sip. White and sweet, just the way he liked it. Then he looked up in sudden realization. "None for Merle?"

"No," Carol replied lightly, with no further explanation than a small smile, then waved her fingers at them and made her way back downstairs. Merle scowled and turned his attention back to the map.

Daryl waited until he was sure Carol was out of earshot then said,

"The hell you done to Carol?"


"Nuthin? Carol's mostly a very forgiving woman; if she's denying you creature comforts you sure as hell musta done something."

"It's none of your fuckin business." Merle picked up the pencil and absently started stabbing at the map with it.

"The hell it is. You're my brother and Carol's my friend. If you've done something to piss her off it sure as shit is my business."

Merle said nothing for a long moment. But he knew Daryl was like a dog with a bone when it came to some things and wasn't going to let up, so eventually he replied.

"Just said something she didn't like, and now she's got her pantyhose in a twist about it. She'll get over it."

"You think? Guess you don't know Carol that well after all. You'd best make it right if you ever want a decent cup of coffee again." Daryl took a long slurp of his own very decent cup of joe. He knew it had to be something more serious than what Merle was describing, to make Carol behave like that.

"Hell I ain't doin nuthin. She'll come round."

Daryl snorted. "And you reckon I'm the one that's as dumb as a post when it comes to women."

Merle said nothing but shot Daryl a filthy glare, eyes narrowed to thin blue slits.

"Damn fine coffee."

"Shut the fuck up."


To be continued…

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