Prompt ---> It's okay
Their nightmares had changed as the months had gone by. Just after the Turn, they were dreams filled with fear of catching the illness and becoming one of the staggering corpses. Then they were dreams about being eaten alive and ripped apart by them. Then they were about ending up alone and defenseless. Then they were about facing Turned loved ones. Then they were about losing everyone. Sometimes their nightmares wore faces.
Lori’s face. Sophia’s face. Andrea’s face. Merle’s face.
They all came out of the boiling darkness at some time or another.
Lately, Daryl could hear Glenn comforting Maggie when she woke up crying for her father and her lost sister. Tara would cry in her sleep for her sister and niece. Michonne would murmur some unintelligible syllables that Daryl comprehended without understanding.
It had been a while since Carol’s nightmares had had names.
Daryl was familiar with Carol’s nightmares. They used to be Ed. Then they were about Sophia. Then Lori. Then Judith. Sometimes they were about him. She cared about all of them, and she hurt for all of them. Now that they were back together again, away from Terminus and en route to Washington, names were crossing her lips in her sleep again.
“I’m sorry…” she choked in her sleep one night.
The crack in her voice was a lance through his chest, and Daryl remained upright, sitting beside her as the embers of the campfire glowed in the pit. He waited to see if she would pull herself out of it and drift back to restful sleep. Her disturbed stirring continued.
“Lizzie…Mika…No…Please…” She trembled.
Daryl reached out and grasped her shoulder. “Carol. Hey, you’re having a nightmare.”
Carol twitched, opened one eye blearily, and then bolted upright, gasping for breath.
“Hey, easy.” He held up his hands, corralling her wild eyes to his face. “It’s okay. You’re okay.”
“Th-they were…It was…” Her face crumpled and she covered her eyes with her hands, breaking down.
Daryl folded his arms around her, cupping the back of her head and letting her cry it out.
“I gotcha. It’s okay.”