carl x sophia

"Daybreak."  (a Walking Dead One Shot, Caryl.  Season 2 AU).

So.  I had a couple of ideas for the October challenge that I didn’t manage to finish in time.  One’s still a work in progress.  This one’s my latest disasterpiece, lol.  I hope somebody out there likes it. 

Winter melts into Spring and everything’s green and pure again.  So beautiful she almost forgets the way things are.  Almost. 


The baby finishes her bottle with a distinctly unladylike grunt and Carol smiles.  Kisses each chubby, dimpled finger that clumsily splays over her lips until giggles gurgle from the tiny girl’s mouth and Patricia abandons the dishes in the sink to marvel at them both. 


“That baby is a miracle.” 


Voice soft with affection and wonder of her own, Carol agrees.  “She is.” 





The stop and go thud of a hammer echoes in the distance when she steps outside, the outlines of Rick, T-Dog, and Jimmy small and barely visible as they toil to further reinforce the outer barricade that has kept the farm a safe haven through one long winter already.  


There’s a crispness to the air, a hint of approaching Fall that she breathes in deep.  Savors even as she loops the loose ends of her scarf around her neck and trudges through grass that is just beginning to grow brittle. 


“Carol!  Wait up!” 


Glenn breaks free from Dale’s side and jogs to catch up to her, greets her with an infectious grin that’s fairly brimming with mischief and makes her lips twitch accordingly. 


“Where, uh, where you headed?” 


“Nowhere in particular.  Why?”  





The stable hums with the soft, content nickers of the horses and the music of children’s laughter. 


“That’s not how you do it.  Tell him, Daryl.”


“You ever gutted an animal ‘fore, Boy?” 


“Eww!  No!”


“You little pussy.” 


“Yeah, pu…” 


She steps out of the shadows, making her presence known in the nick of time, and the guilty looks on all three faces is downright comical, the pink tips of Daryl’s ears especially endearing.  She smirks and folds her arms across her chest.  “You’re all wrong.” 


“You think you can do any better, Woman,” Daryl mutters in bashful challenge, still having difficulty meeting her eyes, “then c’mon.” 


“You’re on.” 


Sophia grins.  “I’m on Mama’s team.”


In unison, Carl and Daryl claim betrayal.  “Dirty traitor!” 





“So.  Pick one.” 


Lori bites her lips, glances her husband’s way with helpless eyes that sparkle and shine in the candlelight, the flicker of the jack-o-lantern’s mishapen grin.  “I don’t know.  Rick, what do you think?” 


Beth’s cheeks pinken with suppressed laughter, and she bounces the baby on her skinny knees when Rick looks just as clearly torn as his wife at his son’s suggestion, and Carol revels in the warm, gentle swell of fondness she feels for these people.  Her family


Diplomatically, Rick passes the buck along to their host.  “I think Hershel should be the judge.  It’s his house.” 


The Greene patriarch arches a wizened white brow, is wry in his remark.  “My house, is it?” 


Awkwardly, Rick rubs the back of his neck and studies the pointed toes of his dirty boots.  “Yeah.” 


“In that case…” 





That very night, two carved pumpkins take places of pride on the farmhouse porch.  Stay there ‘til the wind starts to blow colder and the leaves shimmer russet and gold in the trees and Carol’s not sure who’s more disappointed to see them go when they eventually do—herself or Daryl. 






The kaleidoscope brilliance of Fall gradually fades into the stark grayness of another winter, food and warmth harder to come by.  Necessity breeds a deeper closeness. 


Carol welcomes Daryl when he abandons his lonely bedroll for good.  Seeks sanctuary in her humble collection of patchwork blankets and pillows, Sophia squeezed between the two of them as a reminder of what brought them together as unlikely friends.  What still keeps them apart as more





“You can’t,” Carol insists softly, vehemently.  “You can’t go alone.” 


His coat is ill-fitting and bulky, his hair a touch too long and falling into his eyes when he ducks his head.  Gnaws anxiously at his thumbnail.  “Be just fine, Woman.  Ain’t never needed nobody ‘fore.  Been on my own for a long time.” 


Sophia’s thin shoulders slump beneath her hands, and it isn’t lost on Daryl.  Nothing ever is.  She shivers when he chucks a finger under her chin, peeks up at him through lashes spiked with gathering tears. 


Shit,” he swears gruffly.  “Not you, too, Kid.” 


“It’s different now,” Sophia sniffles.    


His eyes catching hers over the top of her daughter’s wind mussed hair, Daryl fiddles absently with the strap to his crossbow and frowns.  “Yeah?  How so?” 


“You got us.” 



He takes Glenn with him beyond the wall.  Reluctantly agrees to let Jimmy tag along as they venture deep into the surrounding forest and an outside world they no longer recognize. 


For two nights, there’s a yawning emptiness in her bed that not even Sophia’s growing limbs can fill and a lump of dread lodged in the pit of her belly like a stone.  For two days, she seeks the comfort of Maggie’s unspoken understanding. 


Then the third day dawns. 




She wakes on the third day to the pounding of T-Dog’s boots on the porch steps, the bang of the front door against the wall as he shoulders it open, his rifle shaking in his hands.  He looks like he’s seen a ghost, and it doesn’t take long to figure out why. 


Glenn’s lips are pale and trembling.  His eyes haunted as he helps Daryl shoulder the burden of Jimmy’s dead weight, what’s left of the boy’s left leg soaking through a makeshift tourniquet and dripping blood, thick and dark, all over the floor like a crimson rose. 


Hershel springs into action, immediately pushing Glenn for answers.  “What the hell happened out there, Son?”                                                                                                      


Patricia readies their meager supplies and Sophia and Carl watch it all with wide, worried eyes.  “We’re going to need some help.  Carol?” 


But she’s lost, frozen to the spot, and she can only nod when Lori places the baby in her arms.  Squeezes her shoulder and gives her a reassuring smile, her brown eyes warm with understanding.  Then she’s hurrying after the others and Beth’s ushering the children upstairs and Dale’s by her side, dodging tiny fingers that want to pluck and pull at his bushy brows. 


“He’s all right,” the older man says.  “He made it back.” 


“He made it back,” she agrees.  The rest?  She’s not so sure. 





He comes to her hours later, after T-Dog has relieved Rick once again for watch.  After Glenn and Maggie have sought their own refuge away from prying eyes.  After she’s sent Lori away, to bed and hopefully rest.  He finds her in the kitchen staring sightlessly out the window at the stars that have begun to blanket the navy sky. 


“How is he?” she asks, nuzzling her damp cheek into the baby’s soft hair.  Hugging her close when she starts to fret in her ongoing battle against sleep and whispering nonsense words into the shell of her tiny ear, bits and pieces of almost forgotten lullabies. 


“Running a fever.  Old Man’s not sure if it’s the virus, or…” 


“It’s just an illusion, isn’t it?  All that we’ve built here.  We were foolish to even think…”  She doesn’t finish because he’s a solid wall of heat and careful restraint behind her.  Comfort she has no right to. 


“We’re tryin’.  S’got to count for somethin’.” 


“It could’ve been you.” 









The boy hangs on.  Survives.  His scars, though?  He doesn’t bear them alone.   





It snows.  Pretty and pristine, it paints the farm in the pale promise of something new.   


The children become children again.  The rest of them, too.  Even Rick.  Even Daryl.    


To Carol…that’s worth all the soggy socks, the pink sniffly noses.   




The house is quiet by the time the little upstairs bedroom door creaks open beneath Daryl’s hesitant hand.  Nobody stirring but Rick downstairs, pacing the halls with one very restless baby girl.  Still, Carol’s awake when he sets the candle he’s carrying down on the bedside table.   Realizes it’s just her. 


“Where’s ‘Phia?” 


“Downstairs.  With Beth.” 


“Doing what?”


The concern he can’t quite hide makes her smile.   “Painting each other’s toenails.”   


He pauses in the act of unbuckling his belt, fixes her with a stare.  His blue eyes, however, glint with amusement as he pulls the covers back and sits down to work on untying his boots.  “Stahp.” 


“Sleeping,” she tells him more honestly.  “Keeping each other warm.” 


“Pfft.  Scoot over.” 


One breath and the dancing flame of the candle dies, casting his features in shadows and silver moonlight.  Her fingertips seek out and kiss his.  “Daryl?” 


“C’mere, Woman.” 




“What is this?” she wonders aloud, weeks later.  When she’s warm and safe in his arms again and the stars wink outside their window.  “What are we doing?” she tries again when he takes his time answering.  His warm breath stirs her hair and his fingers hesitate only briefly before they lace with hers.  She waits.  Waits some more. 


“Keeping each other warm.” 




Winter melts into Spring and everything’s green and pure again.  So beautiful she almost forgets the way things are.  Almost




The breeze blows gentle and the baby snores as the rocking chair creaks, her hair curling in dark wisps around her sweet face and one of her small fists tangled in Lori’s long hair.  She’s worn out from a day spent toddling around the farmhouse, testing her mama’s patience and her own limits, and Carol can tell she’s not the only one.  It’d been a difficult pregnancy, a dangerous birth her friend had never quite fully recovered from, and she worries.  They all do.  “You want me to take her?  You can go get some rest.” 


Lori shakes her head in answer.


They lapse into easy silence again and Carol’s gaze drifts outward.  To Hershel, teaching Rick how to sow seed in the fields.  To Glenn and Maggie, sharing a tender moment beneath the shade of the trees.  To Dale, nearby with Jimmy.  And finally to Daryl, walking toward them with Carl ever in his shadow and Sophia by his side, his chin dipping in an acknowledgement that makes her cheeks flush and her heart threaten to take flight.    


“Love looks good on you.” 


Carol gasps, turns startled blue eyes on Lori’s knowing face.  “What did you just say?” 


“You heard me.” 





He brings her a flower, another Cherokee rose.  Thumbs her tears away when the memories start to ache behind her breastbone and kisses her mouth like she’s something rare and precious when really it’s him that’s special.  Him that makes her thankful for the end of the world.  From that first rose to the moment he stumbled out of those woods.  Bruised and bloody but with her baby in his arms. 


“Patricia wanted me to tell you dinner’s read…shit.  I’m sorry.  I didn’t know.  I’ll just…” 






“Fuck off, Man.” 


“Right.  Yeah.  Congratulations, you two.” 




The evening’s warm, the air heavy and sweet like Summer as twilight starts to fall and the fireflies begin their nightly dance.  Sophia’s voice brave and determined when it reaches her ears through the open window.   


“Do you like my mama?” 


“What do you think, Kid?” 


“I think you love her.” 


“Ain’t saying I do, but if I did…you have a problem with it?” 


“What do you think?” 


“Thinking this is something best talked ‘bout ‘tween me and your mama.  S’what I think.” 






“We love you, too.” 




That night, they do more than just keep each other warm. 


Carol gives him her trust and her whole heart, lets him cover her body and kiss her scars.  Make her sigh until she sobs and clings to him, loving fingers woven through his hair and trembling legs tangled with his own. 


It is enough just to hold each other.  Enough to look into each other’s eyes and see the truth shining there, bright and undeniable. 


Without words, they love each other.  Until dawn breaks gentle and soft. 






Glenn eases down beside her on the porch steps, stares at the pocket watch he holds in his hand with wonder.  Carol doubts it’s left his possession since Hershel gifted him with it.  “Penny for your thoughts.  For what it’s worth,” she teases, nudging his shoulder with her own. 


A flicker of a smile flirts with Glenn’s lips but he remains serious. 


Worried, she presses.  “Glenn?  Everything okay?” 


“Everything’s great.  Really great.” 




The watch swings like a pendulum from his wrist, and it takes several seconds for him to respond.  “You ever think about how different things might have been?  Say if Shane hadn’t left?  If Andrea hadn’t gone with him?” 


Her eyes find Lori, across the yard with Rick swinging the baby between their arms and making her squeal.  Carl, tickling his sister’s chubby belly on each upswing and making her squirm.  Dale, deep in animated conversation atop the RV with T-Dog and Hershel.  Binoculars around his neck and book in hand.  T-Dog and his rifle at the ready for trouble they haven’t seen in months.  Sophia, sunbeams catching in her strawberry hair as she sticks close to Daryl’s side, never strays far.  Finally, the man himself, always keeping her and her girl in his sights.  Her voice catches as she poses a couple questions of her own.  “If Daryl had walked out of those woods alone?  If he hadn’t even walked out of them at all?” 


Glenn looks stricken, guilty.  “I’m sorry.  I never meant to upset you.  I just…”    


“Everything works out the way it’s supposed to.  You have to believe that.”  Sophia waves and Carol stands up, dusts the seat of her pants before making her way down the steps.  “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m being summoned.” 




She turns.  “Find Maggie, Glenn.  Ask her.” 


“You think she’ll say yes?” 


“I know she will.” 




Daryl takes her hand as Sophia walks on ahead, the pond gleaming gold in the afternoon light. 


“Hey.  You alright?” 


She brings his hand to her mouth and brushes a tender kiss to his scarred knuckles, smiles.  “I’m good.” 


“Just good?” he teases gruffly. 



the walking dead: is "just following the comics" is a complete BULLSHIT
  • so I just wanted to say my peace about the whole following the comics thing bullshit, because some fans are saying Glenn's death had to happen because it happened in the comics well here are few things that happened in comics that didn't happen on the show (speaking as someone who hasn't read the comics, just looked few things up on the internet)
  • 1. Andrea & Dale were together
  • 2. Andrea is still alive
  • 3. Andrea is with rick
  • 4. Daryl Dixon doesn't exist in the comics
  • 5. Lorie & Rick had better relationship
  • 6. Carl didn't have close relationship with Shane as he did on the show
  • 7. Carl was the one who KILLED Shane, Rick killed walking dead Shane
  • 8. Carol died not Sophia
  • 9. Rick & Michonne are not a couple
  • 10. Judith died in Lorie's arms
  • 11. Lorie didn't die at child birth
  • 12. Sophia was Carl girlfriend
  • 13. Rick didn't know they were infected from the begging he found out that later.
  • 14. Maggie doesn't have a sister named Beth
  • 15. Maggie didn't have a step-brother or a half sister, she had a lot of brothers and sisters.
  • 16. Michonne has two daughters, didn't have infant baby boy
  • 17. Merel Dixon doesn't exist in the comics
  • 18. the governor cut off Rick's right hand
  • 19. the writers changed Negan random choice and made it Abraham instead of Glenn
  • 20. they also changed when they let him choose to kill two from the group and NOT one.
  • these are just few of the things I know about, I'm pretty sure there are more differences, that the show weren't true to the comics because it didn't fit or whatever.
  • my point of this long post is I don't give a shit about following some stupid comic story line, they clearly didn't follow through on a LOT of stuff so this whole following the comic books is BULLSHIT
  • Daryl should be blamed for it (even if it's indirectly) like Rick was blamed for it indirectly in the comics, so enough with the whole it's not his fault bullshit
  • #Glenn Rhee DESERED BETTER.