Carylers!

Awhile back I promised our dearest Gone Random another jealousy!fic.

I'm finally getting around to upholding that promise.

Be advised: angst and general unresolved emotional turmoil abound. Also, I have no idea how long this is going to be or where it's even going at this point. Just bear with me and go with flow?

TO THE ANGSTCOPTER!

*flies away leaving standard disclaimer of all the things in her wake*


They stood in front of the cross in silence, just the two of them. It happened as if in slow motion, the rest of the group rushing about the interior yard, desperate to re-secure the busted fences.

The herds were getting thicker, more determined, something strange in their behavior making them seem almost intelligent now. They weren't safe anymore.

She wanted to laugh at thinking they ever were, or ever would be.

Carol reached up to finger his shoulder, the large man in front of her peering down at the pathetic attempt of a grave marker.

He turned, slow and steady, raised his head to find her eyes. They were dark, glistening with unshed tears. Sad and angry and lost. He wasn't the fighter he felt he should be, but he was strong and hardworking and good.

And when he looked at her, she saw the self-blame. She shook her head, forced a compassionate smile and without taking a moment to dwell on the action, reached out wrap her arms around his neck.

Tyreese bent in to her comforting gesture and she felt the power in his muscles flex and then diffuse, big hands coming to rest along her lower back. His head, heavy and sullen, fell into her shoulder and he breathed out the loss of his sister.

Carol held him. He was broken and bitter and needed someone in that very moment, someone to understand, someone who had felt the impact of that first devastating loss and knew the agony and rage it could create.

She was quiet, listening to his deep, shaky breaths. They'd gotten closer in the past month, and she knew that at this point he was most certainly a very good friend. Loyal, helpful, humorous and gentle; powerful, vicious, pent-up and simmering. A grizzly trapped inside a teddy.

"Ty, I'm sorry…" she felt ridiculous saying it out loud, because she knew he knew she was. It almost defeated the damn purpose, but….

He groaned angrily into the skin of her neck and his hold on her small frame tightened.

Carol shook her head and tried again.

"It hurts. It'll hurt for awhile. Nothing I say, nothing anyone says will ease the pain. But we're here, and you're not alone. And that makes it…easier to suffer through it."

He nodded slowly, sighing heavy against her.

For this first time since they buried Sasha, he spoke. The words came out deep and dripping with remorse and restrained, unresolved fury.

"That helps…thank you…"

His bruising fingers relaxed suddenly, as if he'd just realized how hard he had been holding her. In silent apology they smoothed against the sides of her waist and Carol rubbed a hand across his shoulder blades in response.

A twinge of unbidden, confusing heat shot down her spine then, and on instinct she glanced up and around the grave site.

The group, her family, busied themselves with repairs and patrols.

All except for one.

An anvil slammed its way into her gut when Carol found him standing by the remains of a tower, frozen as if in mid-stride.

Daryl was too far away for her to make out his facial expression.

But not so much that she couldn't recognize the rigid spine, sinking shoulders and balled fists.

She frowned and hoped Tyreese couldn't feel it.

The lingering damage to her closest and most personal relationship was the last thing the grieving man needed to worry himself over.