He was listening to her hum, her fingers strumming effortlessly on an old ukulele he'd found on a run. He hadn't actually expected her to know how to play and neither had she. She just picked it up and started strumming like it was second nature and surprised the both of them,
The night was full on and the town was settled and fast asleep for the most part. Except for those on watch. He had to admit , it was nice. Being there on the porch, the cool air around to them, listening to the soothing sounds of her humming and the plucking of the little instrument.in her delicate hands. His gaze was soft upon her, he couldn't help how endearing it was or the fact that was bringing back memories of Beth.
She'd been more than special to him. She'd bright him back to himself and losing her like they had,, he'd never really gotten past it. He'd learned to live with it, but the memory of her smile, her voice and her words still tore at him when he was alone. Tonight, however... her memory didn't hurt much. Not with Amelia there, her voice trailing around her in a lovely way. Daryl was sitting on the floor, his back to the wall next to the , one leg stretched leg out and the other bent up. He was slowly cutting away at a piece of wood, not making anything in particular or really paying attention to what he was doing. His eyes were fully on Amelia and it warmed him to see her so calm... so happy.
When she was finished playing, she looked over at him wit ha bright smile, then tilted her head a little. " What?" She asked, questioning the look on his face. For a moment he just staring at her then he shook his head , tossing the little piece of wood aside and ricking his knife back in his belt.
" Nothin. Jus reminded me of someone, is all. She like to sing also.." He said quietly, looking down at the floor boards and brushing at the splinters he made idly with one hand. He heard her lift her feet up beneath her on the porch swing, setting the ukulele aside.
" That was hardly singing." She said kindly, still smiling a bit, folding her hands onto her lap. After a while she motioned to him. " She was special to you, wasn't she." She said, more than asked. Of course Amelia had no way of knowing who Beth was. He hadn't ever mentioned her before. He glanced over at Amelia and nodded, vert slightly.
" Her name was Beth. She was Maggie's little sister and she was... very special." He said, a soft sadness in his voice. He didn't have to say Beth was dead. It was there in his voice. Amelia lowered her gaze then stood up, moving to sit next to him on the floor. Her shoulder touched his after she settled, her hands curled up in her outstretched legs.
" I'm sorry." She said, and he could hear that she meant it. It has always stuck him as funny, the way people apologize for things that they had no control over but for some reason, he was still glad to hear it when it came to Beth. The whole world should be sorry for losing her. He simply nodded, then peered out into the dark. They sat like that for a while neither one of them said anything or really even needed to. They did that sometimes, just sat in the quiet with nothing but each other. And it was the best thing in the world. He eventually broke the silence.
" Going back out on a run in the next few days. Need to resupply gas and propane. Glenn found some flyers for a place we haven't checked out yet. Hopin it's still standin." He looked over at her, swallowing lightly at how close she was. Her beauty seemed to strike him more and ,ore with each passing day. The healthier she got, the stronger she was, the more lovely she seemed to him. And she could be sexy as hell when she wanted, without even trying. A smirk, the flip of her hair and it had things stirring in him he hadn't felt in a long time. Of course, he told himself she was a gorgeous woman and he was just a hot blooded man. But times like these, when he could see her in the shadows barely a breath away from him, he couldn't help but feel that maybe it was more than that. She met his eyes and tilted her head ever so slightly.
" So soon?" She asked, eyes searching. " You just got back this morning." He nodded, looking away.
" We're short handed with Abraham and his crew looking for metal scrap to fortify the south wall. Rick and Glenn are gonna head back to that vet hospital in Deerborn to see if we missed anythin. So yeah, I'll be headin out..... with you." He intentionally said that part last, giving her a sideways look to gauge her reaction. She just grew still beside him, like a deer in headlights but her face was blank and her eyes moved away from him, staring out at nothing.
" Me..." She finally said. " Rick's okay with that? Letting the big bad beast out of his sight?" She said almost snidely, then shook her head. " Sorry. I didn't mean that. " She ran a hand through her hair, a sigh escaping her lips.
" I suggested it to him. He knows we're short on people and I promised i'd look out for ya." He reached across himself to touch her arm. " Hey.. It's gonna be alright. You got this." He let his hand fall to his leg. " An I got you." She looked back at him, her face lightening a little and she nodded. She didn't say anything after that. She didn't have to. They both looked out into the night in silence.
"Daryl!" She called out from her modest bedroom. The house she shared with him didn't have much in it. It had been mostly empty when he moved her in there. And that hadn't really changed. It had what they needed. And she was good with that. So was he. He came marching into her room after she called his name, a pack on his back, his crossbow in his hands.
"What? Come on, we're gon be late." He growled out. She turned to him, hands on her hips and shook her head, letting out an exasperated breath.
"I can't find my machete. Anywhere." She said, a soft sound of panic in her voice. She couldn't say why, but she didn't want to be outside the walls without it. She'd left it on the night stand. It was always there. Right where she could see it. They'd only been out of the house for a few hours that morning. And she knew it was there when she left. So where the bloody hell was it? Daryl crossed the floor to her side, glancing around at the disheveled bed and the open drawers of the night stand. She'd even moved it away from the wall to see if the machete had fallen behind.
"Check under the bed?" He asked, stepping around her to peer around. She just nodded, and then threw her hands up.
"It's gone. Someone took it." She immediately jumped to. Sure, she was probably just making an assumption, but her heart was hammering in her chest. She was freaking out a little about the whole run and not having the machete was so not helping her state of mind. As if he registered her growing frustration and fear, he grabbed her by the upper arms and gently turned her to face him.
"Hey. We'll find it when we get back. Couldn't of gone far. Okay?" He held her stare. "But ya gotta calm down." Her hair was in a hasty ponytail, a few stray strands wandering on each side of her face. He lifted one hand and curled the hair behind her left ear, his fingers trailing unintentionally along her scar. "Jus breathe for a minute." He said. And she knew he was right. She'd been working really hard to control her emotions these days. She closed her eyes and just let out a deep breath, leaning forward and pressing her forehead to his chest. And he let her.
"Sorry." She muttered. "Toning down the crazy now." She felt him chuckle a little, and she lifted her head. He was smiling ever so lightly. And she nodded. "I'm good now. Let's go." And she turned, hesitantly, fighting the need to look for the machete some more. She knew he was right. And she knew it was just a blade. But her fingers itched for it at the mere thought of exiting the gate. He followed her out of the room, down the stairs and outside. She grabbed her backpack on the way. The sky threatened rain. But they couldn't put off the run any longer.
Rick and the others had all met up earlier that morning with her and Daryl to go over what the plan was. Head south, find the safety depot in Gray Lake , grab what they could find if the supplies were there, and come back. It shouldn't take more than a week as long as no complications came up. A week out of the safety of Alexandria.. A week she knew she could survive just fine on her own.
But things were different now.
Now she had Daryl and people who were counting on her not to fuck up. It didn't help her anxiety any but with Daryl sturdy and string at her side, his confidence at her abilities flowing off him in waves, she couldn't help but smile a little.
They met up the others at the gate. She and Daryl took a pickup truck. Rick and Glenn took a car and they split up about a mile from Alexandria, Daryl turning down a dusty road. He reached to the car radio and turned it on, pushing play on the tape deck. ' Carry on Wayward son' by Kansas started playing and she raised an eyebrow at him, settled in the passenger seat. He shrugged.
" It's a classic... apparently." He muttered and she let out a soft laugh, shaking her head.
" You're a classic." She joked, and he nodded.
" Damn right, woman." He said, staring out he windshield as the sky let loos and the rain began to pour down, a harsh roll of thunder mingling with the music. She smiled at him, watching hi, quietly. Damn right you are, She thought and then looked out of her window.