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The Painful Wait. PART 3 (DarylxReader)

Hope y'all enjoyed part two! Here’s part three✌🏼
Summary:
Y/N and Daryl have finally been reunited, but Daryl has fallen ill due to exhaustion and infected scars. Hershel and Maggie tend him back to health, much to Y/N’s relief. The two finally address their feelings for each other and the harsh words they exchanged.

Warnings- strong language, implied smut, angst, fluff, mentions of abuse.
_____________________________________________

“I thought I lost you.” I sob.

“You couldn’t lose me if you tried, Darlin’.” He chuckles breathlessly.

Daryl begins to stumble slightly, so I unwrap my legs from around his waist and push some strands of hair out of his eyes, which are fluttering open and shut.

“Daryl? Baby, you alright?” I ask, my voice laced with concern.

“I… I can’t…”

Daryl collapses to the earth, his head smacking onto a log in the process.

“Daryl? Daryl! Daryl, wake up! Oh God, no! No! Rick! Rick! Michonne! Glenn! Maggie, somebody! Help!” I scream, kneeling at his side and placing his head in my lap.

Rick and Glenn speed over, Hershel following shortly after.

“Hershel, please help him! Do something,” I weep.

“Y/N, I’m gonna do everythin’ I can, but right now, I need you to give him some space and go back inside.” Hershel instructs.

“What? No, no, I’m staying, I need to be with him!” I argue.

“Glenn, will you please?” Hershel orders.

Glenn grabs me from behind and drags me backwards to keep me away from Daryl. I struggle and thrash around, desperately trying to escape Glenn’s hold, wearing myself out and eventually letting him take me away. I give in and walk back with Glenn, constantly looking over my shoulder to see what they’re doing to Daryl.

I’m stuck in the library with Glenn, Carol, Carl, Tyrese and Sasha, pacing back and forth, biting the skin around my nails due to anxiety and stress, waiting, longing for news on Daryl’s wellbeing.
Maggie strolls in, blood on her hands and sweat on her brow. Her gruesome appearance makes my heart drop into my stomach and my pulse race.

“He’s out cold still, but he’s gonna be okay. You can go see him if you want.” She smiles sweetly.

“Thank you so much Maggie.” I whimper, hugging her tightly.

“No problem. Now go be with him, he needs you.”

I walk briskly to Daryl’s cell, only to be greeted by Rick and Hershel.

“Now, he’s stable, but go easy on him. He’s very dehydrated. The exhaustion was what knocked him out and he’s lost a lot of blood. Lucky for him, we managed to clean him up, stitch his cuts and chill his fever. I think what he needs is to wake up to a friendly face. You will be friendly, won’t you?” Hershel explains.

“I don’t think I’ll ever say a bad word to that man for as long as I live, Doc. I love him.” I sigh.

“You do!? Glenn owes me a drink!” Hershel chuckles and pats Rick on the back. I hug Maggie’s father with the same amount of gratitude I showed her.

“Thank you for savin’ him. You’re a good man, Hershel Greene.” I tell him in all honesty.

“I know, Y/N. I know.” He laughs.

I turn to Rick as Hershel walks away and he puts an arm around my shoulder.

“Our boy’s gonna be just fine. The man’s invincible.” He sighs.

“Don’t tell him that, he’ll probably believe you.”

Rick snickers at my remark and gives me a comforting kiss on the top of my head before heading over to the library to join everybody else.
As if it’s the most natural thing in the world to me, I climb into bed next to Daryl and cuddle up to his side, tracing my fingers along his stitches and bruises.

“What happened to you?” I whisper, nuzzling into the crook of his neck. Finally calm and at peace, I drift off into the first content sleep I’ve had in months. All because I know he’s safe.

~~~~~~

The scorching Atlanta sun beams through Daryl’s cell window, shining over my eyes and waking me up. Unlike when I first got into Daryl’s bed, I can now feel strong arms wrapped comfortably around my waist and legs intertwined with my own. I turn over to see a finally conscious Daryl.

“Hey…” I croak in my morning voice, stroking some stray hairs out of his eyes.

“Hi.” He smiles, pulling me closer to him and gently kissing my forehead.

“How you feelin’?” I whisper.

“Like I been dragged backwards through thorns. But other than that, I’m peachy.” He jokes.

I roll my eyes at his remark and playfully nudge his shoulder.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how worried I was, Daryl. I was so scared. I thought I’d lost you and I was never going to see you again and-”

“Hey, hey, hey… I’m here now, ain’t I?” He reassures me.

“Barely, Daryl! You were hurt real bad,” I sigh. “Hershel said you got lucky.”

“Nah, I’m just that good.” Daryl smirks cockily.

“Darlin’, I know you think you’re gonna live forever, but you ain’t immortal. You could’ve gotten bit, shot, stabbed-”

I’m cut off by Daryl’s lips pressing against mine, a feeling that I’ve craved for so long. Our kiss deepens, becoming more passionate and needy by the second. His fingers dig into my hips as an attempt to pull me closer, but there’s absolutely no space left between us anymore, but I definitely won’t stop him. I reach up to have my hands on either side of his face, but he pulls away and hisses slightly, wincing in pain.

“Shit, I’m sorry!” I panic.

“Nah, it’s fine, it’s fine… just stings a little bit.” He laughs.

I rest my head back onto the pillow and let out a deep, content sigh.

“Listen… about what we said before I left. I’m sorry. Weren’t right.” Daryl says awkwardly.

“Normally I’d tell you that you should be sorry. But everything you said was right. I’m too reckless. You saw, if you hadn’t have been there in time, I would’ve died. I just wish that I never said those things. You aren’t suffocating me, I just overreacted.”

“I hope you know… the only uh- the only reason I’m like that is because I uh… I guess what I’m trying to say is I, uh-”

“I love you too, Daryl.” I smile, a rush of happiness surging through me because I finally got to tell him.

“Yeah… yeah, I love you, I really do. And that night, it wasn’t just going to be a quick fuck, I really want you for you, y'know? I’m sorry, I ain’t good at this stuff. I just… I don’t know. Let’s just stick with ‘I love you’.” He blushes.

I giggle at his awkwardness and struggle to show affection, as Daryl always knows what to say, so it’s unusual to see him so dumbfounded.
It’s so refreshing to see this side of him, as he’s normally so tough and full of bravado, but to see him so soft… it’s beautiful. I can’t help but run my hands through his hair and caress his temple with my thumb, just to reassure myself that he’s actually there and I’m not dreaming. He clearly understands what I’m doing and gently smooths away a tear I hadn’t realised rolled down my cheek.

“Hey, listen… I’m fine, okay? I’m okay, I’m alive and I ain’t dyin’ anytime soon.” He says softly.

“I know, I know, I’m just trying to process it all. I’ve gone from losing sleep because I never thought I’d get to touch you again and now you’re here and I can and I’m just so happy, it’s all really overwhelming, y'know?” I laugh in embarrassment.

All of a sudden, Rick appears at the entrance of Daryl’s cell, armed with knives and guns, looking about ready to go on a Walker killing spree.

“Going on a run, won’t be long. Y/N, you coming?” Ricks asks.

“Am I not included in this? I’m comin’ too.” Daryl grumbles and tries to sit up. I let out an amused scoff, earning a confused scowl from Mr Over-Enthusiastic over here.

“You ain’t going nowhere. You had your time being overprotective and now it’s my turn. I’m gonna keep you in this prison if it’s the last thing I goddamn do, Dixon. Rick, I’ll stay here. Need to keep this one out of trouble.”

Rick bites back laughter at the sight of his best friend’s frustration and nods knowingly.

“Probably a good idea.” Rick sighs with a smirk.

“Who’s side are you on, Grimes? Good Lord.” Daryl groans, falling back down onto the limp pillows.

“Her side, dumbass. Almost got yourself killed. Consider yourself on administrative leave. Recover for God’s sake. Anyways, if you need anything, Hershel and Beth are gonna be around if you need anything. See y'all later.” Rick waves and leaves to go on his travels.

“You’re killin’ me, Y/N.” Daryl sighs.

“You did a pretty good job of that yourself baby.” I laugh, still sat up.

“Hey, listen… you think Hershel and Beth have good hearing?”

I turn back and look at a smirking Daryl with raised eyebrows.

“Are you fucking with me right now?” I scoff.

“Not yet.” He winks.

~~~~~~

Beth’s P.O.V

“Sweetheart, can you take this down to Daryl please?” Dad passes me a cup of water and some antibiotics.

“Sure Pop.” I smile sweetly and take the objects from his hands. I travel down the stairs towards Daryl’s cell when I here a slight whimpering, causing me to stop in my tracks. I clear my throat and what follows is a series of whispers and curses. I continue and when I reach my destination, the scene that’s laid out before me makes me feel both delighted and extremely awkward. Daryl has just resurfaced from underneath his sheets and clearly has no shirt on, and Y/N has the sheets pulled up to her mouth, blushing like there’s no tomorrow.

“Subtle guys.” I sigh. I set Daryl’s water and pills down on a table next to his cell door and turn to leave, but turn around last minute.

“Hey Daryl? The next time you go down on your girlfriend, can you go to a different cell block or at least give us warning so we can? We’re literally upstairs. Y'all are gross.” I giggle.

Y/N buries her head in the crook of Daryl’s neck in embarrassment, resulting in my going all fuzzy on the inside because they’re so damn cute.

Your P.O.V

Beth finally walks away and I let out a little squeal of bashfulness.

“Well, that could’ve gone better.” Daryl sighs.

“No fucking shit.” I laugh.

We sit in the awkward atmosphere for a while before I turn on my side and let out a small chuckle.

“Maybe later. We can go to cell block A and they won’t suspect a damn thing.” I suggest.

“I like the way you think, baby girl.” He winks and we high-five.

Daryl turns and faces away from me, allowing me to wrap my arms around his sculpted torso, but I’m distracted by wounds and scars on his back. These aren’t recent, either. These are permanent. Long cuts crossed over, spread over his shoulders, spine and tattoo. I have to cover my mouth to stop me audibly gasping at the clear mistreatment. I gently run my fingers across the scars, causing Daryl to flinch slightly.

“What are you doing?” Daryl snaps.

“Daryl… what are these?” I ask in an airy, barely-there voice due to shock.

“It’s none of your damn… ugh. Fine,” He turns to face me once again.

“My Dad… he wasn’t a nice guy. Used to beat the crap out of Merle. When Merle left, Dad had to fine something else to take whatever had pissed him off that day out on. I was just the closest thing I guess.” Daryl confesses.

My heart shatters knowing that at some point, somebody hurt this precious, pure man.

“I… I don’t know what to say.” I whisper.

Daryl shakes his head and let’s out a deep breath.

“You don’t have to say anything. Not your fault. What’s happened’s happened, it’s all in the past.” He shrugs.

I snake my arms around his shoulders and lovingly press my lips to his and in response, he clutches my waist and pulls my body closer to his, once again closing any form of space separating us. He lays on his back and pulls me on top of him as we make out, but as I sit up to take off my shirt, I hit my head on the top bunk, sending Daryl into fits of laughter.

“Smooth.” He chuckles.

“God, what is it with this cell block!? It’s a fucking concrete cock block!” I exclaim, much to Daryl’s amusement.

“I’m a mess.” I complain, covering my reddening face with both of my hands.

Daryl takes my wrists and sets them down by my thighs, gazing up at me with pure, unadulterated devotion.

“You’re my mess.”