They had holed up in a house in a small development far off the main road. None of the houses had even been lived in yet. Most were not even finished being built, but there had been one house at the end of the street that must have been set up as the model home, complete with new furnishings. Rick laughed the laughter of an exhausted man who had felt all hope was lost. The little group wouldn’t all be able to have a bed, but that didn’t matter. They were safe and together. So Terminus had been beyond a bust. They were here and alive and that was all that mattered now.
Except for that whole lack of food thing. But that was only a minor issue…
Everyone insisted that Rick take a bed, who in turn insisted that everyone but him have a bed. Carl stalked around the house, still not entirely forgiving his father in his teenage mind for things that had been out of their control. Rick could care less what his teenage son thought of him at that moment because he still had him.
Daryl shuffled around awkwardly, eyeing the woods from the window and the small street in front of the house, completely clear of walkers – for the time being. “Gonna go see if I can get anything,” he mumbled, glancing sideways at Rick while the others settled in.
Rick’s hand came up to the back of his neck, squeezing gently. He had Daryl back. Daryl who was willing to risk his life to save his and his son’s. Daryl who took a savage beating more than once for him and was no doubt still feeling the effects from them. “No, we can go scavenge around. There were a few stores down the road the other way-”
“Nah. This will be safer.”
“Daryl, you’ve sacrificed so much for us, for me. I don’t want you to go. I can’t lose you now. I just got you back,” Rick said softly, stepping closer to the other man.
A slight blush entered the dirty cheeks as the hunter looked away quickly. “I’ll be all right. Always am. Won’t be long.”
Rick nodded, taking his hand away from the back of Daryl’s neck. “All right, but I’ll be waiting for you. You get a bed. I’ll make sure of it.”
Daryl waved him off on his way out the door. “Don’t need one. I’ll take watch.” And with that, the hunter was gone, jogging across the field, crossbow in hand as he entered the woods.
The group busied themselves with getting the house secure in Daryl’s absence. They took some supplies from the other houses, boarding up the windows and every exterior entrance except for two- the front and back doors. Their belongings had become meager, so much different than back at the prison when they had been able to establish a homebase. A real home. Rick sighed as he sat on the couch, Carl sitting across the room as he thumbed through some of the books in the house. Glenn and Maggie were in their room getting ‘reacquainted,’ Rick assumed. The three new people that he wasn’t quite comfortable with yet had set up in a room together; the large redheaded man, Abraham if he remembered correctly with his girlfriend Rosita, claiming he had to protect Eugene, who really he just found annoying.
Rick insisted that Michonne have a room and Carl asked if he could stay with her. Only slightly put off, Rick agreed as long as Michonne approved the teen invading her privacy. Apparently they had plans that involved some sort of reenacting scenes from comic books they had both read. Rick didn’t think that Michonne read the comics she would procure for Carl, but what did he know?
That left one more room. Rick entered the bedroom, looking around at the picture perfect setup. His heart ached for the life he had before the dead started walking. Laying down on the king size mattress, he sighed into its softness. A real bed, with real pillows and real blankets. Things that weren’t used even, what a rare treat this house was. Maybe they could stay here for awhile. He let himself close his eyes and smile into the open space as he inhaled deeply. Clean air too. Surely someone was going to wake him up with the butt of a gun to the forehead or something because this almost seemed like heaven. They could fence this in… He could put a garden out back. It could work.
He heard Daryl come in and the squeals of delight from the other people in the living room. Apparently the hunt had gone well the past few hours. Leaving the room, Rick smiled at the haul of birds and squirrels Daryl had procured out in the woods, a small matching smile on the hunter’s face. His stomach rumbled at the sight of the feast before it was even remotely close to being cookable. “Oh,” Daryl said, walking into the kitchen. “When I was outside I noticed somethin’ else too.” Taking a lighter from his pocket, he flicked the knobs of the stove on and held his lighter over the top, instantly creating a flame. “The house is set up for gas.”
The whole living room went quiet. Rick nearly wanted to cry. He knew he was going to wake up now. There was no way this could all be real. Instead, he followed the other man through the doorway, enveloping him in a hug. “I could kiss you, Daryl.”
Daryl snorted, shoving the other man off. “How about you just help me pluck some feathers so we can get a real meal goin’?”
In just a few short hours, the house was setup for their little family and everyone was gathered in the kitchen as Daryl and Michonne cooked over the gas stovetop. Rick looked around at the members of their little ragtag group. He was thankful for each of them but one little member was still missing. He wasn’t sure if Judith was still alive or what happened to her or any of the other children. He only hoped that they had all made it out safely with some of the Woodbury people and were surviving just as well or better than they were that night.
As darkness descended, everyone retired to their respective rooms, save Rick, Daryl, Carl and Michonne who were still sitting around the living room, enjoying having a full stomach and a safe place to sleep for the first time in a long time. “Why don’t y’all go on,” Daryl murmured. “I got first watch.”
“No you don’t,” Michonne retorted, poking at his chest. “You gave us this great feast and saw the gas stove. You’ve done your duty for the day. Carl and I will take first watch.”
“Fine, but I’m sleepin’ on the couch,” Daryl grunted, his body exhausted anyways.
“Nah, ya ain’t. Come on. You’re in my room. The bed is the size of my first apartment,” Rick said, standing up from his chair, but Daryl didn’t move. Rick turned back to look at him. The man was still sitting on the couch, eyes on the floor. For a moment, Rick thought he had fallen asleep sitting up until he walked over to him, putting a hand on his shoulder. “Come on, Daryl. I don’t bite, snore or kick in my sleep. And I promise to only cuddle you once you’ve fallen asleep.”
Daryl snorted, turning to look over his shoulder at Michonne and Carl who were both trying to look completely uninterested in the two grown men in front of them. If Carl hadn’t of been there, Rick was certain Daryl would have flipped Michonne off. But in the end he did follow Rick into the bedroom. He waited cautiously by the door after closing it behind himself. Setting his crossbow close by, he stripped off his vest and toed off his boots. “Guess I’ll see if the water heater is on gas tomorrow,” he mumbled as Rick stripped down to his boxers in front of him. The bright purples, blues, and muddled yellows stuck out on his skin. “Shit, Rick,” Daryl gasped, reaching out and running a hand over one along his side. “And ya wanted to go down to the store?”
Rick grinned, yanking at the hunter’s clothing. “You’re one to talk there, cowboy,” he whispered as he revealed the cuts, scrapes, and bruises all along Daryl’s chest, back, and arms. “I can’t believe everything they’ve all done to you. You didn’t have to give your life for me and my son.”
Daryl snorted, trying to shimmy out of the embrace only to be pulled farther into it. Rick’s lips pressed against his softly. “I couldn’t stand the thought’a you dyin’ in front of me.”
“And you thought I wanted to see you be beaten to death?” Rick asked, running his fingers through Daryl’s dirty hair. “That almost killed me.”
“Yeah… kinda noticed your reaction.”
Rick’s face softened as he rested his forehead against Daryl’s. He whispered, “I’m so happy to have you back. You have no idea.”
Daryl snorted, running a hand down the front of Rick’s boxer briefs. “I can tell.”
Rick grinned, moving his hands down to unbuckle Daryl’s pants, pushing them down his hips. “It’s been months.”
“Ya want to?” Daryl shifted awkwardly, stepping out of his pants, leaving him open and bare for the caresses that Rick rained over his skin, fingertips brushing over the fine hair on his arms before dancing over to the coarser, sparser patch on his chest.
“Oh yeah. Might not be elegant, might not last long, but I want to lay with you Daryl Dixon.” Rick kissed him again, throwing more passion into it, tasting the chapped skin that he had missed.
Daryl pulled back, wrapping his arms around Rick’s waist. “Don’t want to hurt ya. Dontcha think you should heal a little first?”
Rick snorted, pushing Daryl down on the bed before removing his boxers and crawling over top of him. “I’m healed enough. Like I said, it won’t be elegant and Lord knows I’m gonna shoot like a teenager.”
Daryl pulled the other man down on top of him, kissing him fervently as he ran his hands through the long, wavy strands. He had missed this. Running his hand down Rick’s nude back, he cupped his ass, rotating his hips up as he pulled Rick’s down. Pain blossomed over his ribs as the man lay against him, but he could overlook that, push it down to where all he felt was the movements of the man above him and the kisses lavished upon his skin. His lover still had his body mapped; he knew exactly where to bite, stroke, knead to get Daryl moaning wantonly underneath him. Rick licked a solid line from his neck to his shoulder, proceeding to bite and nip his way back up to his ear, moaning his name.
A sharp thrust had both men pausing their movements, panic coursing through them as the bed squeaked loudly. “Shit,” Daryl breathed, waiting to hear Carl or Michonne come to check on them, but no other noise was heard.
“Can’t even hear them in the living room,” Rick murmured in Daryl’s ear, adjusting his legs a little wider over the other’s hips and rolling down, enjoying the friction between their bodies.
Both men watched as their bodies moved together, cum slick cock next to cum slick cock. With each roll of his hips, Rick’s breath hitched a little, which Daryl was certain was due to his own rib injuries. Hooking a leg over Rick’s, Daryl made the attempt at a flip, but was stopped short by the quicker man on top. “Nuh uh,” he smiled down at him, nipping his bottom lip between his teeth quickly. “I’m driving tonight.”
Daryl snorted, running his hands down Rick’s furry chest, loving the feel of the coarse hair against his skin. Some grey had speckled in it since the last time they had been here like this, but he didn’t mind it. It actually made him happy to think that they had a history. Daryl smiled back up at Rick, “Okay then, Sheriff. Drive.”
Rick grinned cheesily, adjusting himself overtop Daryl into a little bit of a wider stance. “Wish we had some lube.”
Daryl wrapped his legs around Rick’s waist, using his momentum to match his thrusts, grinding himself furiously against the other. “We’ll find some tomorrow,” he grunted. “For now, just fucking move.”
Leaning down on his forearms, Rick captured Daryl’s lips once again, setting off a duel in the other’s man of spit and tongue as their movements became more frantic. Every thrust elicited a grunt, neither man noticing their volume raising as hands roamed nude, dirt-streaked skin. Rick pulled back, glancing down between their bodies before moaning, “So close.”
Daryl grunted, wrapping his arms tighter around Rick’s back, pulling him down against him once again. “Me too. Don’t stop,” he moaned back, moving his hands down the other’s back to grope his ass, pulling his hips against him.
With a stuttered breath, Rick came silently, burying his face in Daryl’s neck to stifle any sound he might make. Continuing to rock against him, Daryl whispered to him softly, stroking his hair as he clung to his back. All it took was for Rick to whisper in his ear, “Cum for me, baby,” and he was over the edge. His back arched slightly off the bed as the heat coiled in his abdomen released in streaks of hot, white cum across his stomach, joining Rick’s.
Rolling over, Rick grabbed his t-shirt from the floor, taking care to wipe off the evidence of their love before burrowing into Daryl’s side. “Yeah, we need to get some lube tomorrow,” the hunter murmured hazily.
Rick snorted. “Does this mean I’ve claimed you?”
Daryl swatted at him in the darkness, “You’re an ass.”
Both men drifted off to sleep, the sound of silence welcome in their new home, however long they could keep it.