Happy New Year! sorry its been a while, Christmas kinda got in the way! Enjoy, don't forget to leave reviews! could help me find inspiration to get these chapters up quicker!


(song by Orla Gartland)

Daryl lowered his cross-bow as soon as he realised it was Elliot, his mouth creeping up into an apologetic smile. Elliot waited for him let the crossbow dangle over his shoulder.

"That's the second time you guys have taken aim at me today, if I didn't know any better I'd say ya'll planning something," she half joked.

" Checking for walkers," Daryl offered as an explanation for why he was out in the yard.

"Same. Old habits die-hard," Elliot laughed at the pathetic attempt of conversation between them.

"M'guess," Daryl grabbed at his crossbow as he went to walk on past Elliot. He left her standing in the bushes as she stared after him.

"Daryl, what is it that I've done?!"

He stopped in his tracks before turning to see her, Elliot had her right arm crossed across her body holding on to her left arm, her head cocked to one side looking like a confused kid.

"You ain't done nothing," He called behind him, he didn't want to fight with Elliot, he didn't want to fight with anyone. He just wasn't used to someone pushing him like Elliot was, not since Meryl, the Atlanta group usually left him to sulk or deal with the situations in his own way but Elliot was like Meryl in the sense she would push his buttons until he cracked. But the difference was hers was unintentional although she sure as shit didn't seem afraid to come back at him.

"Then why you being such an ass? " Elliot noted how that made him stop walking away, she waited as he turned to regard her. For a split second she was worried maybe she'd pushed things too far, he was carrying a loaded cross-bow after all and it wasn't like anyone would come looking for her. The silence made her feel uncomfortable, " One minute we're getting on just fine then all's of a sudden you turn and I don't get it,"

Daryl wasn't in a hurry to respond, he mulled over what she said and just glared with pensive eyes. He didn't feel he owed anyone an explanation for the reasons he was the way he was, it had gotten him through life so far and it had kept him alive. " Don't take it personal, Elliot. I always been this way, always will be," the last part nearly got lost in the wind between them, Daryl pulled the cross-bow tighter over his shoulder and kicked at the dirt at his feet looking for a distraction but not wanting to turn his back on Elliot again.

She understood what he meant but it was by what he didn't say, Daryl was a closed book, what you saw at that moment was what you got and she had to respect that, and he had to respect her if this whole situation was going to work out. Elliot walked toward him holstering her weapon, she was done fighting right now, " You wanna finish this check before sundown?" they both walked in silence occasionally glancing at the other or stopping to check the noises from the surrounding woodland was actually from wildlife rather than unwanted walkers.

"Albany," Elliot turned her head to face Daryl as he broke their silence. "Albanys where I lived before the world went to shit,"

She could see just how much it took for him to share intimate details and felt obligated to return the favour but more because she wanted to set him straight.

"I'm not from "Old Money" She felt ridiculous just saying it " I'm not from any kind of money,"

The mood was quickly changing from awkward to a comfortable stroll, like a well rehearsed dance, each of them matching each others stride. " I just married a guy who I thought I loved, he was the one with the money, not me. " She sounded pathetic as she felt. The end of the world had made her face the reality that had been her life and see it for what it had been, an unhappy loveless marriage. A total waste of time.

The silence that consumed the rest of the walk was a comfortable one, it was more a dance as they learnt each others style, Daryl was more of a hold at arrow point kind of guy whilst Elliot was quick to remain hidden whilst holding aim at potential assailants. The team work between the two worked well although Elliot found herself oddly more aware Daryl. She noted the way his muscles flexed in his arms as he supported his bow, he was hardly Albany's next Mr. Muscle but she could see he was one who knew how to handle himself. His scent had filled her senses as she kept a pace behind him, it was a mixture of sweat and a manly musk, how real men smelt after a long honest hard days work. The soft lightening of the candles in the house came into view as the reached the end of the check.

"Thanks for helping Dar," Elliot whispered as turned back on the porch steps to face Daryl. He clearly wasn't expecting such as sharp stop as he halted on the step below Elliot bringing his face just a mere few inches between their faces, body heat swapping from one being to another. Elliot felt her eyes widen at just how close her and Daryl right now, she felt her throat dry as he gazed at her with a look that filled her with nerves. It felt like they were trapped in that gaze forever before Elliot was forced to turn to see who slammed the door behind them.

"Rick was beginning to worry about you two," Maggie stated as she lent against the door frame with her arms folded, Elliot felt like a school kid missing curfew.

Daryl jumped the last few steps. Very careful so as not to brush Elliot, and pushed his way past Maggie, " Nothing to worry over," he mumbled as he made his way inside and up the stairs to his sleeping quarters leaving Elliot out in the cold and wondering what the hell just very nearly happened out on her front porch.

She shook herself out of it and climbed the last few stairs letting the breath out of her lungs but found the old Greene sister was non too reluctant to move she looked at Maggie who had a know all grin plastered on her face.

"What!?" Elliot asked aware of the blush creeping up her cheeks.

"Some one is sweet on Dixon," Maggie chided hiding her school girl giggle, she thoroughly enjoyed this situation. Laughter was few and far between in this world now, Maggie wanted to saviour it.

"Someone is delusional," Elliot lied as she was stuck on the porch with the oldest, but not most mature, Greene sister. "Daryl and I were just checking for any issues around the fence, trying to make sure we stay safe!"

Maggie smiled as she shook her head, " I can see whats happening! I think its cute Elliot, Daryl needs a little distraction."

Elliot could not belive Maggie had been so aware of what she had only just become aware of herself, she found Daryl Dixon attractive but she was pretty sure she wasn't throwing the vibe she wanted to jump his bones out in the public domain. If Maggie had picked up on it the who else had?!

"Am I that pathetically obvious?" Elliot sighed looking at her feet, she really had forgotten how to hide her emotions since being on her own.

" Not at all, its just I'm a girl too. I was you before I met Glenn, Elliot. " Maggie offered a smile , " No shame in it girl. All human."

Elliot was touched by Maggies honesty and insight, it felt alien as ever since she left Kentucky she had never had close girlfriends and the friendships she had forged at high school had faded fast when she left.

"Come on Brookes," Maggie pulled Elliot into the house, " Hope you don't mind but Glenn and I may have found your stash of alcohol and decided we all needed a break from the shitty reality outside the gates."

The scene in the Lounge was one to envy, strangers who'd become family all sat around sampling the finest whiskies and wines that were housed in the Brookes cellar, luckily for them Danny had always enjoyed spending money on lavish things. Elliot glanced around and saw Maggie snuggled up the Glenn on the opposite chair Rick was sat with Carl who was looking up to his dad as he stole sips of the amber liquid. She pushed the jealousy down deep within as her gaze fell onto Daryl who had been caught like a rabbit in the headlights watching her. She smiled at him before settling down next to Beth who had found a guitar in one of the rooms and was serenading the group with country music.

"So ya'll found the liquor store," She laughed as she took her seat and joined in the merriment.

Daryl had made his way out side to grab some air, he was still adjusting to the close proximity that came with the Georgia group. He heard the door shut gently behind him and turned to let his glance fall on the front door seeing who was heading out turning so his back was against the first stair post he pulled his left knee up creating space for his night-time companion. Elliot sat down the first step looking out to the front yard and down the long driveway into the blackened distance. Both content on the silence that hung over them, until Daryl noticed the bottle of amber liquid she was swigging from like a hungry babe.

"Hey you gonna share that doll?" Daryl felt the glare she slung his way and took the bottle from her hands he felt how cold she was. Taking a long gulp he nodded in appreciation that Elliot had taste for the finer whiskeys left in this world. He placed the cap on letting the burn in his throat linger before sucking in the cold Georgia air.

"You really are a little Southern Belle playing dress up aren't ya?"

Elliot smiled at Daryl's cryptic slur, was he trying to insult her or what " What the hells that meant to mean Dixon?"

"The music, the whiskey, the sass, god lord the southern sass. It's a quite refreshing I'm not gonna lie," he took out his cigarettes and offered her one which she excepted.

"I always thought I hid it well you know, thought I'd stamped out the damn redneck," She laughed embarrassed at being caught out.

"No such luck lady, I bet you even still got your Christmas lights up there if I looked," Daryl relaxed against the post he loved how easy it was to talk to Elliot, he convinced himself it was the fact she was a southern gal, on his level.

"So, how'd you end up out in the suburb of Georgia?" he handed her the whiskey which was emptying quickly.

"I got knocked up pretty young," Daryl took a long drag on his cigarette allowing her to continue, he figured it was too late to change the subject. " Thought I was in love at 15 kept my baby which pissed my old man off no end. Babies daddy bailed leaving me with my baby boy aged 16 with no fucking clue of what I was gonna do. Got kicked outta school. So was just me and my Joshua. We moved out here because my mom's sister had a diner where I could work, she helped me with Joshua too. Aunt Carrie, she was an angel on Earth. I worked when I could to get as much money as I could for Joshua, then some years later I was doing an evening shift when I met some fancy head of a construction company, Danny. He was real sweet you know, way outta his depth down here in the South but the fact he was persistent was cute besides I didn't exactly have a queue of willing boyfriends lining out the door,"

She finished her story there but Daryl had more questions, mostly about the men who had left Elliot and under what circumstances.

Taking a long drink Elliot swiped her mouth with the back of her hand before Daryl saw that the bottle was emptied. "But everyone's got their own shit in this hell on Earth , right?" Elliot leant her had back against the post taking in deep breaths, Daryl found himself mesmerised by Elliot's exposed neck he had the deepest urge to just grab her by the waist and drag her ass over to him so he nip at the flesh until she begged him to stop. But given how much alcohol they'd consumed it may have been in bad taste and the fact she'd probably had enough of Rednecks like Daryl Dixon grabbing at her to last her a lifetime.

"I'm gonna head on up, You gonna be okay making your own way upstairs?" Daryl went to offer his hand to pull Elliot up but she just turned and shook her head.

"I'm just gonna sit out here for a while," She watched as Daryl stalked away from her, she thought the alcohol would give him a reason to stay and talk but she figured she blew that by drinking the majority of it for Dutch courage although Elliot was sure she'd seen a flicker of something in his eyes but obviously she was wrong. She dragged her self up the stairs, passing the room Daryl had claimed as his own she catch him as he was pulling his shirt up and over his back. Her mouth dried and she hurried past before she brought attention to herself.