otp: like a moth to a flame

2. I Am Drawn to Her

Andrea’s head shot up, glancing around. She couldn’t see whatever it was that had gotten Dale so excited and for the first time in her life, she did what was asked of her and didn’t question it. Her feet carried her quickly to the RV’s door. Her hand fumbled, finally managing to release the catch as the door popped open. “Carol, you need to come out here. Dale needs you.”

Carol’s head turned from the table where she sat. She’d been in a daze, trying to imagine how she’d pick up the pieces of her broken life and go on without the brightest part of it. “What is it?” She stood somewhat shakily as she put one foot in front of the other. “Is he alright?” She stepped out of the RV and onto the pavement just as Daryl came into view.

There in his arms was Sophia. She was lying so still that Carol’s knees gave way. If it hadn’t been for Andrea, she’d have fallen. Her nails dug into her friend’s arm as she held her breath.

“Poor thing is tuckered out,” Daryl said softly. “Found her up in a Sycamore tree. She’s fine. Just fine.” He moved as close to Carol as he could with Sophia in his arms. Her head rested against his shoulder. “We should get her inside.”

Carol stepped forward then, taking the girl. Even though Sophia was half her size, she made it look effortless as she cradled her tightly. “Yes, yes. Can you get the door?” She had no plans of letting her out of her arms anytime soon.

Daryl nodded slowly and stepped to the RV to pull the door free. He watched as Carol stepped through the door and disappeared inside. He hung back, unsure if he should follow when a hand on his back urged him forward. He turned, locking eyes with Andrea.

“You brought that girl home. She’ll want you there. Go on.” Andrea’s voice was soft and encouraging. She gave him a nod.

“Go on, son. We’ll keep watch.” Dale was certain that he and Andrea could put aside their differences to give the pair of them their moment.

Daryl chewed at a hanging thumbnail and gave a soft snort. “A'right. But if you need me, give a yell.” He stepped into the RV and pulled the door closed behind him.

- -

Carol laid Sophia in the bed and smoothed back the dirty blonde hair as it lay matted to her face. Dirt, blood and tears had made a mess of her little girl. She slowly moved her clothes this way and that, checking every inch of her body over for injuries. She would leave no stone unturned. 

“There’s blood,” she breathed as Daryl stepped into the doorway. “But I can’t find any place on her that would account for it.”

“It’s from a walker,” he said softly. “I killed it just as she was scrambling from the tree and she fell onto it. She’s perfectly fine. Checked her over myself. She clung so tightly to me…” He remembered the feel of the girl in his arms. “Poor thing tried so hard to stay awake to see you, but she’s been through a lot.”

Carol turned from where she’d been doting on Sophia and took the several steps from her girl to hug Daryl as tightly as she could. “Thank you so, so much. I can’t repay you enough…” Her voice wavered, thick with emotion. “I’ll do anything I can, Daryl.”

He stood there, stiff at first, then relaxed slowly. This was the first time in his life that the feeling of someone touching him didn’t make him want to be his usual asshole self. She quieted something inside him, making a hush fall over all the noise and chaos. Truth be told, that scared him more than the rage that always simmered inside of him. 

He quietly slipped his arms around her and gave her a comforting squeeze. “Ain’t nothin’ special. Couldn’t let her be out there and scared. Ain’t no way to be. Especially for a ‘lil girl.” He closed his eyes as he slowly extricated himself from her. “Lemme find some water and maybe something clean for her to wear.”

Carol looked up at him as he held her arms just above the elbows. She swallowed. “Thank you.” Her smile was soft in the dim light inside the RV. “I don’t want to let her out of my sight.” She turned back to the bed, kneeling beside it and kissing Sophia’s forehead. “I was so certain she was lost to me.”

He cleared his throat. “Don’t think 'bout that now, Carol. You got your girl back. Now we just gotta work on teachin’ the both of you something 'bout survival.” He stepped closer, placing a hand on her shoulder and giving it a squeeze. “Be right back.”

He turned and left the RV. He wanted to do everything he could to comfort Carol and the girl. His lips quirked into a smile as he thought about how the little girl had run into his arms and held on tight. He had tried to clean her up the best he could with what he had with him, but he had no means to really get her clean. He had held her tight as they’d made their trek to the highway. 

He looked at Andrea. “Need some water and maybe some soap if we’ve scrounged any up. Girl’s in pitiful shape. She has lots of scratches and skeeter bites. Gonna try an’ find some clothes that fit her too. Carol ain’t gonna leave her side. Told her I’d do it.” That was the most he’d ever really spoken to the blonde woman since they’d found the overrun nursing home, and she’d implied he was ignorant. “Know where I can get something she can wear?”

Andrea gave him a nod. “Yeah. We piled up some supplies over here. Water, soap, clothes, even shoes if you can believe that.” She started to lead the way. “We should be able to find something to fit her. She’s no bigger than a minute.” She began to rifle through the piled up clothing. “Won’t be as pretty as her little rainbow shirt, but it’ll be clean.” She just hoped the rainbow shirt wasn’t beyond salvaging. She’d heard Sophia mention how it was her favorite when they were still back at the quarry.

- -

Carol curled up in the bed next to Sophia. They’d gotten her cleaned up and into clean clothes without waking the exhausted child. She was grateful for that. There would be plenty of opportunity tomorrow for her to see those beautiful green eyes and bright smile. She glanced up as Daryl’s head poked into the room. 

“You two gonna be okay? Gonna try and get a few winks before the sun comes up. Then we’ll push off to that farm where the others are all at. Shouldn’t be hard to find it.” He gave her a cautious smile. 

She nodded. “We’re perfect. I’ll be more at ease when we find out how Carl is. I can’t imagine what Rick and Lori must be feeling right now.” She held Sophia tighter. 

“Can’t you though? You almost lost 'er.” He pointed with his thumb at Sophia. 

She frowned. “Yeah.” She didn’t want to remember the pain and emptiness she felt when Sophia had been missing. She closed her eyes. “Good night, Daryl. And thank you. Thank you so much.”


- -

The next morning dawned bright. Daryl moved his hand over his eyes to block out the sun. “Shit,” he grumbled. 

Sophia giggled. “Don’t you let me Mama hear you say that. She’ll wash your mouth with soap. Did mine once.” She made a face to show him just how disgusting it had been.

He smirked. “Like to see her try,” he grumbled. “Where the hell is your Mama anyways?” He watched as she pointed toward the back. “Still asleep?” The girl nodded. “Well, she needs it. Poor thing wore herself out crying when you run off.”

Sophia hung her head and frowned. “I didn’t mean to make her worry. Or get nobody hurt.” She vaguely remembered Carol mentioning Carl being shot when her and Andrea had been cleaning her up.

“Weren’t your fault.” He felt like an ass for implying she was to blame. “Not a bit. Now go on and get your shoes on. Gonna teach you a bit 'bout protectin’ yourself. Don’t wake her up either.

- -

Not long after Sophia and Daryl stepped out of the RV, Carol’s eyes shot wide open. "Sophia?” She’d been having a nightmare about her daughter as a walker emerging from some rickety barn. She couldn’t catch her breath. 

Sophia was nowhere in sight. She scrambled up, forgetting all about her shoes as she stumbled through the RV and out the door. “Sophia?” Her voice was full of panic.

“Mama?” Sophia came running, knife in hand. “Mama, I’m right here. It’s okay.”

Daryl was right behind her. The fear in her voice had brought him running. “I was teachin’ her how to use the knife I gave her.” He watched as mother and child embraced. 

Carol’s blue eyes locked on Daryl as she held her daughter tight. “Don’t ever take her off anywhere without letting me know again.”

“Yes, ma'am.”

Like A Moth To A Flame | Clove and Markus

Clove sat on a bar stool, her hands wrapped around the full tankard of beer in front of her. The condensation ran down the sides of the glass onto her hands, but she hardly noticed as she scanned the room for potential victims. She casually took a fake sip from the glass, trying to appear as human as possible. And the dim lighting of the pub was still bright enough to show the delicate pink pigment she had smeared on her cheeks to mimic the natural blush of a human. Her eyes fell on a solitary figure across the bar. And she was immediately taken by the man’s beauty. A soft smile touched the corners of her lips. She was a fan of playing with her food before she ate it. 

She rose from her seat, glowing in a body hugging emerald dress, not bothering to take her beer with her. Walking among the sea of drunken men, her eyes never left her target. And she boldly approached him, ignoring the many eyes ogling her form. “Is this seat taken?”

An update to: Like a Moth to a Flame - Gazing  in light of this new promo picture that has come to my attention - even better than the one of Sherlock looking at John at Appledore. (unprovoked!)

A small part of my Moth to a Flame comparison - comparing gazing from Sherlock to those in three other films about “romantic friendships”

For the full shebang (click here)

For more photo sets click the links here: Drunken Flirting ,Eye contact

Like a Moth to a Flame || Gavin and Amy

Gavin was given one job–to spot the device and then set off the signal. And he wasn’t about to mess that up. He knew how important this was. That was why Death sent him to do it. She trusted him enough to do his job. He wasn’t about to let her down. Nexus agents were easy to spot. The way they carried themselves was different than the way other people did. It was pathetic. Even then, he knew one or two of them could be master of disguises. So he made sure to go through as many wrists as he could without making it seem obvious. Asking for the time when he couldn’t see their wrist. Most pulled out their phone and that alone said enough.

As he weaved through the crowd a float caught his eye. It was of some sunscreen company and the ones who were on top of it were mostly women in bikinis so that grabbed his attention for a while and he stopped doing what he was doing to look. From the top of the float exploded some confetti, keeping his attention. Another float came by and Gavin found himself watching the parade just like everyone else. It was fun and entertaining he couldn’t help himself. His parents never took him to one. They were always to busy and he would end up watching them on the television. That wasn’t the same though and he would end up changing the channel as he got bored. A marching band passed through and someone came up beside him, making him turn to see a familiar face.

1. She Leads Me Down

The whole group headed out at daylight in search of Sophia with the exception of Dale and T-Dog. And the search had proved fruitless. Instead of staying together to make a concentrated effort to find Sophia, they’d separated - leaving Shane, Rick and Carl at a church they’d found. All the others had headed back to search the other side of the creek bank.

The news had come via a girl on horseback that Carl had been shot. That left their group with one less as Lori climbed onto the horse behind the girl to go to her son’s side.

Glenn had also taken T-Dog to the farmhouse in hopes of having his arm looked at and doctored. The infection was already spreading into his bloodstream. All they could do is hope that he’d be okay.

Daryl had agreed to stay behind with Dale, Carol and Andrea to rig some kind of sign for Sophia in case she found her way back to the road the next day, and leave her food and water. A the night began to drag on, none of them were able to sleep. Whether it be because of the lost little girl in the woods or the heat, sleep just wouldn’t come.

- -

Daryl moved through the throng of cars, eyes scanning the sides of the road for any signs of life. He’d left the confines of the RV, unable to bear Carol’s anguished sobs any longer. He saw the look in her eyes when he’d asked Andrea for his clip. That look of complete faith. It terrified him. No one had ever looked at him like that in his whole life.

Andrea had volunteered to go with him, but he’d declined. He was quieter and quicker on his own. It’s just how he preferred it.

He nodded at Dale. “Just gonna have another look. She’s out there, and I’m gonna find her.” The older man gave him a nod, and he was on his way.

Slipping off into the woods, he immediately started to look. He combed the woods for hours, making sure to cover every inch of ground that she could have walked on – any and every place she might have hidden. He was so close to losing the meager ounce of faith he had left. His eyes turned up toward the sky, whispering words to a God he wasn’t even sure existed, “Just let me bring ‘er home to her mama. Ain’t she suffered ‘nough? Don’t do this. Not to her. Not to that ‘lil girl.”

He didn’t want the last of her time on earth to have been lived in fear. She’d lived her whole life that way and she shouldn’t have had to. If he had it his way, she’d have some good times too. Her and her mama both.

- -

Carol moved slowly out of the RV, ignoring Andrea’s look of pity. She couldn’t breathe. Her lungs felt like they were going to burst if she didn’t get some fresh air into them. She stepped down onto the pavement, pulling a deep breath of thick summer night air deep into her lungs. It did little to calm the fears she had deep in her gut.

She glanced up at the sky, saying a silent prayer. ‘Just let him find her. Let him bring her back safe. Please? I’ll do anything.’

Dale peeked over the side. “Why don’t you come up? Sit for awhile.” He knew that she didn’t want to be alone, but she didn’t want to talk either. He motioned for her to go to the back of the RV and climb up.

She did as he asked and sat on a crate beside him. She hugged herself close. Her eyes erratically scanned the side of the road where she knew that he’d gone in after her. Her hand moved to her throat, trying to coax the aching sob that threatened to come out to stay put inside her. Crying never did her any good. What would make it different now?

- -

Daryl’s feet never made more than a whisper of noise, even in the dark, as he covered more and more ground. At one point, he had been about to return toward the direction of the traffic snarl and the others, but something, a pull really, had led him astray. He had gone about thirty yards to the left of their original plan and something inside him told him to keep going, not to give up. That he would find what he was looking for.

If he didn’t, then all hope was lost.

- -

Carol couldn’t stand the silence any longer. She voiced her fears. “What if we don’t find her, Dale? How…What then?” She wiped at her cheek with her knuckles as a tear escaped her eye and began to roll down. “I was never any good at anything else. Just being a mom. And you could say I wasn’t even very good at that.” Emotion choked her voice, making the last words almost incoherent.

Dale met her eyes. “You have got to stop worrying, Carol. They’ll find her.” He didn’t know for sure if they would find her alive, but he knew they wouldn’t give up until they knew one way or another. “You can’t lose faith now.” He covered her knee with his hand and gave it a gentle pat.

She let out a quivering sigh. “I hope you’re right.” She glanced toward the road again. Only a sliver of moonlight lit the road around them. The clouds were heavy in the night sky, hiding the stars. She hugged herself again.

‘Sophia, sweetheart, just hold on. Don’t be scared. He’s going to bring you home. He has to. He just has to,’ she thought.

- -

Daryl kept the moon against his back. He felt himself being pulled deeper and deeper into the woods. Like he was a moth and somewhere there was a flame. He called out softly, “Sophia? Sophia, are ya out here? Can ya hear me?”

And then he heard a noise to his right. He spun around, crossbow raised as his finger touched the trigger. The walker was shambling toward him, teeth mashing together, its smell reaching Daryl’s nostrils before it got within five feet.

He released the bolt, landing it straight through the eye socket. It felt dead at his feet. “Son of a bitch,” he breathed heavily. That was close.

He ignored the tug at his chest as he pushed through the undergrowth in the direction of the highway. He’d wasted enough time following this unseen force, and it turned out that it only wanted to kill him anyway.

“Fuck this,” he growled, reloading a bolt into the chamber as he went. Then another sound stopped him dead in his tracks.

- -

“He should be back by now,” Andrea called up to Dale. Carol had returned to the bed inside the RV when the overwhelming urge to sob returned, leaving her unable to fight it.

Dale was about to speak when he glanced around once more and gasped. “Get Carol, Andrea. Get Carol right now!”