First publication on this site. A story for any one who loves Daryl Dixon and lets face it most of us do! Reviews and suggestions welcome. This story is a work in progress, I have a few chapters already written but want to see what people do and don't like before I proceed with uploading what I've written.

Chapter one- Fates Colliding

Daryl couldn't believe this one broad had cleared this house by her self, she was holed up pretty good, a fenced off house rigged with solar power. She didn't look nothing special, could tell she took care of her self by keeping in shape but these days everyone was running for their life's more, had no extra height to give her an advantage girl couldn't have been more than 5'6. Sure was a speedy fucker though, had Daryl knocked down and restrained before he knew which way was up. And he was pissed off. Pissed off this little lady had got one over him, pissed off he was tied to a chair and pissed off she had a this house when it's what Rick and the others needed so badly.

She stood leaning on the wall opposite, twisting a knife between her fingers, her cold blue eyes never leaving his as though she was trying to extract information from him without words. Her breathing remained levelled giving Daryl the impression she had pulled stunts like this before and come off better.

"how'd a little lady like you stumble across this haven?" Daryl looked up at her from where he had been restrained to the chair, he was pulling at the cable ties she had used to bind his hands whilst he was out cold, if he could only distract her long enough he had a good shot at turning the table.

Elliot rubbed her neck whilst considering her options, tell him this was her house and risk him trying to take what was hers or lie and try to put the scare's on this redneck. Her options weren't great.

"I didn't stumble upon it, it belongs to my fiancé, Danny" it wasn't a lie, it had belonged to Danny before , before it all got complicated. Elliot pushed the lump in her throat down to the place she had hidden everything else for so long now.

Daryl held her gaze steady, he smelt bullshit " Where's Danny boy now?" he snarled "Bit risky leaving wifey behind to play guard,"

Elliot scoffed her arms coming across her chest, " Looks like Wifey did pretty well from where I'm standing,"

Daryl managed to conceal the fact he had ripped his hands free from her ties, looking around the room he couldn't see his crossbow anywhere. The only weapons were the knife in the brunettes hand and a gun on the side, if he moved quick he could grab the gun and take down the little lady at least long enough to have a civilised conversation about sharing residency. Rick and the group were counting on him.

Daryl lunged for the gun and held it pointed execution style at Wifeys head his chest rising quickly,

"Now listen here and listen good Princess," her blue eyes held his her knife remained by her side. Daryl didn't miss the fact she wasn't fazed by the gun being held to head, in fact she was eerily calm.

"You got a pretty sweet deal here you and Danny boy," Daryl kept the gun raised his heart pounding he really didn't want to take a life in cold blood, " I got a group of people about 8, good people, who need somewhere to stay and I think you got a couple of rooms going free, am I right?"

Elliot laughed a deep throaty laugh, she relaxed against the counter, this was either a desperate redneck or a dumb one.

"It ain't polite to hold a gun to a ladies head ya know," she raised her brow throwing Daryl off guard " if it was refuge you was looking for ya probably shouldn't attack me, so I suggest you lower my gun. That is unless you intend on pulling that there trigger,"

"Not until we reach a deal sweetheart, like I said around 8 people who can pull their weight and help keep walkers off your land in exchange for somewhere to rest their heads and shelter, do we have a deal?"

"You're not the smartest redneck are ya?" Elliot nodded to the gun " think a "survivor" like yourself should know the weight of a loaded gun" a smile played on her full red lips. This guy didn't scare her he was just trying to find a shelter for his people, she had plenty of space in the house just had to hash out some details.

Daryl considered the broad before him, he'd be lying to say she didn't intrigue him with how she held her own against an opposing force. Hell little lady probably guessed he would set him self free and grab the gun and even then she still had him backed in a corner. He watched as she lowered the knife to the floor, held her hands up before him and turned so he could see she was unarmed.

"Your turn," echoed around the empty garage as Daryl turned showing he wasn't hiding anything.

"I'm Elliot, Elliot Brookes," She held her small hand to him in a peace-offering which he took noting she had a firm grip.

"Daryl Dixon,"

Elliot leant back against the counter her arms folding over chest, "Lets talk about your group, why should I let 8 total strangers in here? How can I trust you won't just wait until dusk and all 8 of you kill me in my sleep and toss me to the walkers?"

Daryl had no idea how to convince this chick to take them in , he was the brawl and muscle of the group this talking and reasoning business was always Rick's part. He figured he'd play to a woman's maternal side.

"Well 3 of our group are kids so it'd just be the 5 of us attacking you," He was glad she smiled at that. Scratching his head he thought ahead for his next argument, Hershel an old sweet man was a good selling point always good to have a doctor round these days. It hadn't gone unnoticed that she was only concerned about her own safety and the references to me and I, what about Danny Boy?

Elliot dragged in a breath, there were 3 kids out there in that hell. She didn't need to know much more before she was sold on new visitors. "How old are the kids?" it was barely a whisper.

"Beth's 17, she's Hershel's girl one of the old men in camp and then Rick has two kids, Carl who's 13 and a new arrival Judith she's barely a few months old," Daryl noticed she didn't go all gooey as he'd hoped but the kids were definitely pulling the old heart strings of the little lady.

"I've worked really hard to make this place as safe as possible Dixon, I've lost everything, all that I give a damn about in this shitty world. So if I let you and your people in you gotta give me your word I won't regret it. I see one person causing trouble and you're all gone!" Elliot again moved toward Daryl holding out her hand

"You got a deal little lady," Daryl took her hand again beaming from ear to ear, he had done it, kept his people safe and given them hope if only for a little while.

Elliot left the room with Daryl in tow, she explained she would pack up a few supplies and then they would hit the road before they lost any more light. Daryl followed her throw the house, it looked fairly untouched by walkers as Elliot explained Danny had worked on an electric fence before the break out hit wide spread, was damn proud of himself for choosing to try and have an eco friendly house as they now had intermittent electricity so long as they had sun light. Daryl mussed that this Danny guy sounded like a smart man.

"even get hot water if I'm lucky," Elliot laughed.

They headed up stairs were Daryl noticed pictures of Elliot with a handsome dark haired man in a suit decorated the walls along with a kids drawings.

"The house is spacious Daryl but people are still gonna have to bunk,"

"I count 5 bedrooms that's 4 minus where you'll be sleeping Elliot, it's a hella lot better then the digs we're in at the moment," Daryl laughed about the sleeping in the vehicles, as much as he'd grown to love Glenn sharing a truck with him and Maggie was starting to wear thin.

Elliot couldn't bring herself to argue about rooms and suggested they leave.

"Before we go I'll be needing my crossbow Princess," Daryl blocked Elliot's exit on the hallway.

"Don't call me that," Elliot went to push past Daryl Dixon but he held steady. " You can have your crossbow, although fat lotta good it did having it on your last trip." Daryl liked this girls sass, could tell she was going to a run a tight ship with his crowd. He followed her down the stairs and into a second garage where two cars sat stationary . One a BMW X5 series in a platinum white and then a Nissan Titan in black that looked a little out of place,

Daryl let a whistle of appreciation escape him , "Nice wheels Princess," he taunted as he walk around the cars he naturally gravitated toward the BMW but he was met with surprise when Elliot climbed into the Nissan, pleasantly surprised.

"Get in the damn car before I change my mind,"

Daryl walked round to the passenger side, he wasn't happy about her driving but she had agreed to let them stay and returned his beloved crossbow, hell two out of three wasn't bad. On his short journey he observed how many children's toys adorned the garage, boys toys specifically.

Elliot explained the fence that kept walkers out was run by the solar power so whilst it was shutting Daryl would have to cover her until it was closed. The task was easy was only 2 walkers out front they weren't even tempted to run in the open gates they were happy idly following the Nissan but to be safe Daryl let two arrows fire. Elliot noted how he got them execution style and smiled at him with a side ways glance.

Elliot had been given directions by Daryl and was headed on the course to collect the others, the silence had filled the air. Elliot was tempted to flick the cd player on as she so often did, it was normally the only other time she heard someone else's voice but she couldn't be dealing with Daryl mocking what ever music she had in there.

"Elliot I gotta ask you a personal question," Daryl had wanted to wait but he couldn't piece together the puzzle, he didn't miss the panic flash over her face or how quick she composed herself in a split second a wall throwing itself together holding the flood gate shut tight. " You mentioned your fiancé Danny. Will he have an issue with a redneck and his band of merry men just high tailing it into his house? I can't be dealing with some jumped up dude thinking we're pissing all over his territory,

Elliot kept looking forward her eyes never leaving the road ahead, she dragged in a breath. Why did she even mention Danny? She wasn't even sacred of this stupid redneck, why the hell did she hide behind the pathetic excuse that was Danny.

"You don't need to worry about a pissing contest Daryl," His questioned her with his eyes and watched as she reached for the cd player hitting on the guitar riff of some Carrie Underwood filling the car, "Danny's long gone," her eyes took back to the road ahead whilst she missed the silence she had grown accustomed to.

They approached the highway where the group was holed up waiting for Daryl to return, Elliot noted how a rugged looking man, a Korean guy and a young brunette all pulled there weapons out and took precautionary aim at the car. Daryl jumped out the passenger seat immediately defusing the escalating situation. The group all ran forward to greet Daryl, some hugged others shook his hand one older guy just nodded from his perch on the tail gate of a truck. Elliot climbed down from her own truck slamming the door she rested against it watching the touching reunion, how long had it been since she had seen a human treat another with compassion?

The group all noticed the girl keeping back, Rick noted the gun she held by her side. Daryl explained that they had saved each other from a small band of thugs, he embellished the story somewhat and skipped the part where she held him captive and he had threatened her with an empty gun, the guys just needed to know she had accepted them on her land for refuge. Rick wanted to talk to her, he stalked over with Daryl and introduced himself,

"Elliot my names Rick, Rick Grimes and I cant tell you how appreciative we are of you taking us in. You have my word that we will not be a bother, we'll contribute to your group. Share our supplies, help with whatever we are able," so this was the kids dad,

"That's awfully kind of you Mr. Grimes but back at the house its just me, so your supplies should be safe for now, we should start to make tracks if we're gonna get back before nightfall," She offered him a smile, her eyes not meeting his but finding the young boy Daryl had called Carl.

"Of course, we are all good to follow your lead Elliot." Rick smiled his appreciation again and left Daryl to ride with Elliot again.

The vehicles all headed back to the gated off house making good speed and arriving before nightfall.

Back at the house Elliot has shown the adults around and told them to make themselves welcome, Rick had thanked her a thousand times whilst the others had unpacked their essentials. Rick had advised they keep most of there stuff packed up in the trucks, they couldn't afford to get too content here, but none of them had let Elliot in on that detail.

Sitting at the table in the kitchen Elliot was drawn to the petite blonde cradling the baby, she saw a lot of her younger self in Beth. She saw how carefully she handled Judith, how it all seemed so natural but Beth still glanced at the older girls in the group to guide her when needed.

"You're a natural ," She smiled as he smoothed a finger over Judith's cheek, the babe had been lulled into a sleep and was not waking up for anyone. "She's really content with you, its sweet to watch,"

Beth beamed at Elliot her little eyes lighting up,

"Thanks Elliot," Beth bit her lip " I think it's real kind of you of to help us and give us a place stay. I hope you didn't feel you had to after Daryl helped you after that group of guys jumped you,"

"What? Beth, what exactly did Daryl say happened to me?"

The young blonde told the story of how Daryl had helped Elliot when she was jumped by a rouge group of bandits then when she'd gotten hurt he'd helped her back here, "That's what happened right? Daryl's real brave you know,"

"Something like that," Elliot was dumbstruck that Dixon had twisted the story just to save face, she would get that son a bitch.

Nightfall entered quickly, Elliot explained that she would be going around the perimeter to do some routine checks but that the group should help themselves to water to freshen up, really she needed a break from going from solo to host to 8 complete strangers.

Shoving her feet into her boots Elliot grabbed her knife and pulled her sweatshirt tight around her, the cold night air had a frosty bite to it but these checks were essential for Elliot, taking off from the front porch she sucked in the Georgia air and walked down towards the fence, she was looking for any weak spots in the fence she was a big fan of prevention.

When she was about half way around she could sense something near her in the dark, she kept out of the moon light and into the thicker trees on the outskirts of the garden her grip on the knife tightening. Elliot kept her steps light and took to crouching behind a thicket of trees. Somebody had broken through the fence by the sound of footsteps it was living and the lack of groans almost confirmed it but without any light it was almost impossible to tell.

Who ever it was grabbed Elliot from behind throwing her to the floor holding her down with their weight , she could feel knees on either side of her waist and her hands had been restrained it was impossible to see the intruder as her brown hair had flown over her face in the attack that didn't stop Elliot from thrashing with all her might. Survival instinct kicked in and Elliot thrust her head against the intruders , their arms freeing hers as they flew to the source of pain Elliot had created. It gave her enough time and room to shove them off before scrambling to her feet. The intruder grabbed her ankle holding her still.

"Quit havin a pissy fit, its me Daryl," The scruffy blonde grunted.

"Daryl?" Elliot crouched down to his level and grabbed his hand away from the red patch on his forehead, "What the hell where you thinking?"

"thought you was a break in," He winced as her fingers grazed the wound. " Get off," he shoved her back onto her ass.

"I'm sorry, I said I was going to do some checks," She smiled to her self as the big bad Daryl Dixon was wincing. " Shouldn't have followed me, or you coulda at least made your presence known,"

They sat in silence for a moment Elliot was pulling grass from the floor stealing glances at Daryl who was looking out to the woods beyond the fence, looking lost in thought but he was mostly sulking because this was the second time that time this girl had him pinned.

"I am sorry, had I a known it was you, I wouldn't have ….," Daryl cast her a sideways glance "Honest,"

He nodded his appreciation , not that he would have said but the girl had a hell of head butt. He stood from the ground and offered her a hand to steady herself which she accepted. They walked to the house in silence keeping pace with one another.

"Wait," Elliot stopped Daryl with a hand to his arm, "Do we tell it was the same group that jumped me came back to finish me off and you gallantly jumped to my aid or do we tell them the truth," Climbing the steps she turned to regard him hands on her hips her head pointed to the side showing she meant business.

Daryl looked to the ground a smirk twitching as his lips, he slung his crossbow over his shoulder, his hand coming up to scratch at his chin " And what 'sa truth, Elliot?" He noted the twinkle in her eye, this broad was flirting with him and dammit Daryl Dixon was playing ball.

"That big bad Daryl Dixon has been outsmarted by a little 'Princess' ," he laughed as she threw in the nickname he'd used. "Twice,"

Turning on her heel she was quick off the mark as Daryl was quick off the mark to catch up.

The kids had already retired for the evening apparently exhausted from the days events, some of the others had gone on up to bed too leaving only Rick, Glenn and Hershel down stairs huddled over a map discussing the next town run for formula for Judith.

"We're about 8 miles from that small town, there's not much there so it shouldn't be a over run but we cant account for looters," Glenn reasoned, the trio continued their discussions upon the pair entering the kitchen.

Elliot poured herself a glass of water and poured some on a rag for Daryl he declined to take it, what a baby Elliot thought and trapped Daryl in to the counter before dabbing his head herself. She made sure she was gentle, "Keep still!" Rick turned around to see Elliot tending to the wound on Daryl's head.

"What the hell happened out there?! Walkers?" Panic spread across the fathers face,

"Relax Rick," Elliot didn't want him to wake the sleeping kids, " one of those guys that attacked me was lurking around out there, Daryl took him out," her blue eyes flickered to Daryl's face she could see jaw tense and didn't miss the grip on the counter that turned his knuckles white.

"You okay?" Glenn asked

"fine, " Daryl shoved his way past Elliot out to the porch grabbing his jacket on they way.

Throwing himself down on the porch he reached into his jacket and produced a cigarette, lighting the end he took in a drag as though it was his first breath. Who the hell did Elliot think she was, he didn't need anyone lying for him. Daryl Dixon didn't need nobody's approval.

Elliot was left wide eyed in the kitchen before Rick's voice coaxed her back to reality,

"You sure you're okay Elliot?"

"Wha?," she slumped against the counter " Yeah, I'm fine thanks. What's his problem?" she crossed her arms tightly across her chest wanting nothing more to do with that damn ignorant ass right now, she'd saved his life from being killed and fed like a dead dog to the walkers and she had given him and his rather large group shelter but he still had to thank her or show an ounce of appreciation. Even after she had allowed him to lie about being beat by a girl just to save hurting his pride, why was she even bothering? Not like she knew the guy or even owed him anything.

Rick sighed his hand running through his greying hair, it was the first time Elliot had regarded the leader properly since his arrival. She reckoned he was in his late 30's but the end of the world had aged everybody a lot less gracefully then they rightfully should have. He had permanent worry lines around his bright blue eyes, they were rather sweet making him look pensive and moody. His voice brought Elliot back into the room

"Daryl's a bit of a lone wolf, Elliot," he reasoned " He's going through a bad time right now,"

"It's the end of the fucking world Rick, nobody's exactly having a ball," Elliot scoffed.

The older man smiled with sadness in eyes, "I know, it's just our group have lost a lot of people of late. Daryl's brother one of them. He's done things others wouldn't be capable of you know, sometimes he just needs space,"

He can have all the space he wants with that damn bad attitude, "I'm gonna head up to bed, I hope you guys get some decent shut eye tonight!" she smiled before retreating upstairs but not before stepping out the front porch to see Daryl sat in the swinging chair his feet planted firmly on the ground pulling him forward and backwards as he looking out into the Georgia night. Elliot thought he was rather attractive in the soft moonlight, just a shame he spoilt it by speaking her lips curled up into a smile at that thought.