Daryl returned that night with a string of squirrels.
Wanderer: HIS HUNTING TRIPS CAN TAKE DAYS! HE IS NOT JUST AFTER SQUIRRELS!
KNOW YOUR GODDAMN FANDOM: 8
After skinning them with Merle, he handed the line off to Lori who began stewing them
Wanderer: Like Lori just knew how to stew them right. All southern housewives know their squirrel stew recipes. True story.
, hardly expending a thanks to him.
Wanderer: Why would she? The Dixons keep their space from everyone, and just help provide food.
By the time night fell, Glenn was back. He explained that he had gone into Atlanta for supplies. I punched him hard in the chest for leaving without at least telling me,
Wanderer: Durr, you’re so cool, bro. Punchin’ him in the chest.
Eric: Never speak like that again.
but then hugged him, happy that he had come back alive and well.
The kids had enjoyed playing with Donkey all day and laughed when they learned his name.
Wanderer: (The Kids Who Don’t Deserve Names Because Sue Doesn’t Want Them): Haha, this girl is so stupid!
We sat around a fire that night, eating squirrel off ceramic plates.
Wanderer: Cer… Ceramic? IN THE APOCALYPSE?!
Eric: How is this detail even relevant?
Everyone laughed and swapped stories as the firelight washed over us in an yellow-orange glow, warming our skin and making us a little more comfortable out here in the wilderness. Everyone except Daryl and Merle who sat on their own by their tent.
Wanderer: At least she got this part right.
I frowned as I peeked at them in my peripheral,
Wanderer: I tried this. I seriously tried to “peek” at something that’s in my peripheral vision. It can’t be done. It’s peripheral.
Eric: I still can’t believe you’re trying to apply logic.
Wanderer: It’s keeping me a little sane. Just a little.
but my attention was called back to the current conversation when Lori said, "What about you, Kaiya? What's up with you and Glenn?"
Wanderer: (Glenn): Guys, she latched on and won’t let go! Help me!
My eyes widened momentarily as I realized that even with the end of the world,
Eric: Didn’t she realize this in the chapter before last when Shane got all up in their business about sharing a tent?
Wanderer: That would require paying attention to her own canon.
people still suspected more than friendship between me and my Korean BFF.
Eric: … BFF?
Wanderer: “Best Friend Forever”
Eric: That doesn’t even make sense.
Wanderer: But if she just said BF it could be misconstrued as “BoyFriend” or some bullshit. I don’t know!
I looked to Glenn, but he shook his head and held his hands up, saying "You got this one" without actually using words.
Wanderer: Yeah, you got this one, you stupid suethor.
I turned back to Lori and said, "We're just friends."
Everyone gave an understanding nod and made "ahh" noises, but I could tell
Wanderer: Because you’re an amazing psychologist, tru fax.
Eric: *pinching the bridge of his nose*
Wanderer: Just wait, it gets worse.
they thought it was that kind of situation where you say your just friends
Eric: Your just friends’ what?
GRAMMAR NAZI: 16
but you're in denial because you actually secretly wish you were more than just friends. Yeah. This isn't one of those situations.
Wanderer: Because Glenn’s too young for you. By a decade.
"No, seriously," I argued. "Glenn has been my best friend since I was born.
Eric: Forgive me if I’m wrong, but how is a 4-year-old best friends with a newborn?
Wanderer: I would like to know this, too. But whatever.
Our dads were good friends from college and we had to become friends when our dad's were constantly hanging out."
Wanderer: Um, no you didn’t. You could’ve ignored each other. Haven’t you seen The Swan Princess?
Eric: I’m sorry, the what?
Wanderer: It… just forget it.
Everyone now understood and gave surprised looks to us.
Wanderer: How is this any more convincing than “We’re just friends”? Lifetime friends can become more! GOD YOU ARE SO STUPID.
LOGIC FAIL: 12
When I was done eating, I decided it was time for bed.
Wanderer: D’aww, it’s the ickle teenager’s dweam come twue!
Eric: Look who is all independent and can set her own bedtime.
OLD ENOUGH FOR A REAL MAN: 4
I put my plate in a plastic bin and walked over to the tent, trying to ignore the weird looks Daryl and Merle were giving me.
Wanderer: (Daryl): The bitch’s bedtime already?
Eric: (Merle): Shit, knew she was a baby… but it’s fucking 7!
Wanderer: (Daryl): At least she’ll leave us alone for a while…
This day almost a week after the walker infestation was kind of weird.
Wanderer: Oh shit, was that a time jump? But you completely figured out line-breaks. Ouch…
I wasn't given any instructions for chores and ended up wandering around camp aimlessly, bored out of my mind.
Wanderer: Bitch there is a ton of shit you could be doing. Hell, be a good person and volunteer!
Eric: But then she’d miss out on Daryl.
"Hey, shrimp," Daryl greeted, walking past me to his truck and ruffling my hair on his way.
Wanderer: Daryl? Being affectionate? WHAT THE HELL?! He shies away from affection!
BUTCHER CHARACTERIZATION FOR THINE OWN INTEREST: 8
"Hey!" I pouted, crossing my arms childishly.
Wanderer: See! See! She’s admitting how childish she is!
Eric: If she really wanted to appear like she’s an adult, and old enough for Daryl, she’d try to appear mature.
Wanderer: No, but see? She’s so cool she doesn’t have to act older than her age to get the guy!
I ARE SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE: 22
He chuckled at me.
Wanderer: DARYL DOESN’T FUCKING CHUCKLE! HE’S DONE IT ONCE IN THE WHOLE SHOW, AND THAT’S WHEN ANDREA LAUGHED AT HIS ITCHY ASS! HE BARELY EVEN SMILES! GODDAMN
KNOW YOUR GODDAMN FANDOM: 9
BUTCHER CHARACTERIZATION FOR THINE OWN INTEREST: 9
I had nothing else to do, so I followed Daryl over to his truck.
Wanderer: (Daryl): Ah, fuck. Now it’s following me. Get it off!
He opened the tailgate on the bed of his truck and I hopped up,
Wanderer: (Daryl): Bitch, get the fuck off my truck!
sitting on it and swinging my short legs
Eric: Yes, we get it, you’re short. We know.
Wanderer: Shit, she’s not that short! And if her legs are stumpy, she looks fucking weird!
Eric: *studies Wanderer* You’re rather proportional, then?
Wanderer: … no, I have a short waist *huffs*
in the small open space between the tailgate and the pavement. I hate being so short.
"Need sumthin'?" Daryl asked, not looking up from the black bag he had in his hands.
Wanderer: The fuck? He wouldn’t care!
Eric: She has to make him care. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a story.
Wanderer: Why are you defending the Suethor?!
Eric: *appalled* I… I don’t know. I need a break. *leaves*
Wander: Wait! … Ah, fuck.
"I'm so bored!" I groaned.
Wanderer: Wow, whiny and dull. I called it the first chapter.
"Why don't ya go play with yer little buddy, eh?" He smirked.
Wanderer: The real Daryl would just grunt and ignore her!
"I'm 16 not 5," I sulked.
Wanderer: SO FUCKING ACT LIKE YOU’RE 16 INSTEAD OF 5.
"Debatable," he said, gesturing to my pouty expression.
Wanderer: *sniff* Oh, Daryl, I missed you so…
"Damn you, Daryl Dixon," I muttered, leaning back to lay on the bed of his truck. "So… Whatcha doin'?" I asked, purposefully trying to be annoying.
Wanderer: God, you’ve been succeeding. But I don’t think you were doing it on purpose then.
Maybe today would be fun and I could annoy the fuck out of Daryl. That sounded nice.
Wanderer: Yeah. That definitely turns a man on, when an obnoxious teenager acts even more bratty to annoy the hell out of him. *sighs* I wish Eric would come back.
He sighed and replied in the same tone of voice, "Standing."
I snorted. "I meant with the bag, dumbass."
Wanderer: Oh, yes, insult him. That’s really endearing.
Wanderer: HE WOULDN’T FIND THIS FUNNY! HE WOULDN’T BE TALKING TO HER!
BUTCHER CHARACTERIZATION FOR THINE OWN INTEREST: 10
again. "You know, fer a 16 year old, ya sure do gotta potty mouth."
Wanderer: HE HEARD AND EXPERIENCED WORSE AT HOME WITH HIS DAD AND MERLE.
KNOW YOUR GODDAMN FANDOM: 10
BUTCHER CHARACTERIZATION FOR THINE OWN INTEREST: 11
I ARE SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE: 23
I shrugged. "What are ya gonna do?" I sighed.
Wanderer: (Daryl): Ignore you, bitch.
It was meant to be a rhetorical question, but apparently Daryl's solution to teenage foul-mouthed-ness was to grab the closest one to him around the ankle and pull her off the bed off his truck and
Wanderer: —dump her unceremoniously on the ground—
proceed sling her over his shoulder.
Wanderer: *convulsing with rage*
BUTCHER CHARACTERIZATION FOR THINE OWN INTEREST: 12
"Hey! What are you doing?"
Wanderer: Good question, Daryl, what the fuck are you doing? Are you going to dump her in the lake? PLEASE OH PLEASE!
I squealed, my torso hanging over the back of Daryl's shoulder. I tried to ignore the fact that his ass was in my face.
Wanderer: I wouldn’t—but I’m allowed. I’m older than you! And apparently way more immature because I check out guys all the time!
He just laughed.
Wanderer: WHY IS HE LAUGHING?! Oh, did he get some of Merle’s drugs?
I started beating on his back with my fists, trying not to throw up as I was being held upside down.
Wanderer: Uh, ew. How does holding her upside-down make her sick to her stomach, but dead things walking about don’t?
"Put me down ya big dumb hillbilly!"
Wanderer: Again with insulting him. THIS IS NOT MIDDLE SCHOOL. INSULTING IS NOT SEXY.
OLD ENOUGH FOR A REAL MAN: 5 (* because she’s obviously not acting like this)
Once again, he only laughed.
Wanderer: I quit. He’s on drugs.
I noticed a few people watching worriedly, but Merle, Glenn, and Amy watched with amusement.
Wanderer: (Merle): Pussy…
No one stepped forward to stop Daryl from carrying me down to the water. Glenn and Amy followed after us, though, intrigued by Daryl's obvious good mood and my equally obvious lack of up-rightedness.
Wanderer: So her being upside down is the same… definite thing as his good mood? The hell does that even fucking mean?
LOGIC FAIL: 14
I couldn't see in front of us, but when I saw the boards of the dock under us disappearing,
Wanderer: There wasn’t a dock! They put the boat in the lake, jumped in, and pushed off!
I started getting a little freaked out. "Daryl? What are you gonna do?"
Wanderer: Gee, you were pissing him off, he’s walked down to the lake… I have no idea. Probably just look at all the pretty water and leave. That makes the most sense!
"Hold yer breath." Then he tossed me into the water.
It was odd flying backwards into the water.
Wanderer: I’m not sure how that works. Did he just grab you by the hips and bodily shove you up, off, and away, all at the same time? ‘Cause damn, that’s talented.
I wasn't sure if it was because I was so light or Daryl was so strong or maybe a combination of the two that made me go so far.
Wanderer: COMMAS ARE IMPORTANT. THEY EXIST FOR A REASON.
GRAMMAR NAZI: 17
I screamed the whole way out,
Wanderer: *hopeful* She’s gonna drown?
but just before I hit the surface of the water, I sucked in a breath of air and held it.
Wanderer: Damn. That sucks.
Under the water, I could hear Glenn and Amy laughing.
Wanderer: Eh, I guess this is mildly plausible. The quarry would echo… not that I think the suethor thought of this.
I swam forward, still underwater, till I felt the support poles of the dock, then I resurfaced.
Wanderer: NO. FUCKING. DOCK.
Thankfully Daryl was turned away from the water and he was on the edge of the dock, because otherwise what I did would not have worked at
all. I reached up and grabbed the back of his shirt, pulling him down into the water.
Wanderer: WHAT THE FLYING FUCK?! The poles are under the dock! That means you’re under the dock! YOU COULDN’T GRAB THE BACK OF HIS SHIRT! DARYL IS A GOOD FOOT ABOVE YOU, STANDING UP! THIS MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA— *flies off in a rage*
LOGIC FAIL: 15
I ARE SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE: 24
"Shit!" he yelled, falling backward into the water in a flurry of flailing arms and sweaty redneck.
Eric: *lounging in his chair like he never left* Wanderer is off seeking some kind of therapy. I’m filling in until she can come back. In that case, what exactly is “a flurry of flailing arms and sweaty redneck”? I’m imagining snow, mixed with amputated arms, and sweaty, dismembered rednecks flying through the air. It… hmm… *ponders this, fangs clicking out into view*
He hit the water on his back and stayed under for longer than I thought was healthy.
Eric: Please, is she going to panic? Really? He’s obviously playing a prank on her.
"Daryl?" I asked quietly. I heard Amy and Glenn move forward behind me, trying to get a closer look.
Small bubbles came up from where Daryl had sunk down. Oh God. Did I just drown Daryl Dixon?
Eric: Wanderer would hope so, in order to save the character from this horrible fate. However, if the other chapters are any indication, I think not.
I felt hands on my stomach and yelped, kicking out.
Eric: I… am disturbed. Her stomach yelped and kicked out? This makes no sense at all, even for this idiotic child.
GRAMMAR NAZI: 18
But I didn't hit anything. Whatever it was that had me was behind me.
Eric: I believe Wanderer would say, “No shit, Sherlock,” in this case.
The hands lifted me, holding me up above the water, my knees still in the water.
Eric: If your legs are still in the water, then you’re hardly above it. So Daryl has just picked you up.
LOGIC FAIL: 16
I turned my head and looked down to see Daryl holding me above his head. "Yer pretty small, ya know that?"
Eric: *growls* We understand. The Sue is fucking short. We don’t need to be reminded multiple times every gods-forsaken chapter!
I kicked him in the shoulder
Eric: Your legs are still in the water up to your knees. How exactly did you just kick him in the shoulder? I highly doubt he’s holding you that high over his head.
LOGIC FAIL: 17
I ARE SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE: 24
and tried not to pay too much attention to the way his muscles bulged under the effort of holding me up.
Eric: Your meager attempt at not enjoying his masculine body is depressing. Clearly you noticed. And if you’re that light, his muscles probably wouldn’t be straining all that much.
He let go and I plunged back into the water feet first.
Eric: *nods his approval at the letting go*
I looked up at Glenn and Amy who were trying to hide their amused grins. I grabbed onto the edge of the dock and struggled to lift myself up. Damn stumpy legs.
Eric: *inhumanly still with rage*
But Daryl pushed the bottom of my feet, lifting me onto the dock.
Eric: This just proves Wanderer’s point about the dock being too high up for her to have grabbed the back of his shirt to yank him in.
"Thanks," I said as he lifted himself up.
Amy and Glenn walked back toward camp, laughing because apparently my facial expressions while flying backwards through the air are hilarious.
Eric: It took a second or two. I highly doubt she went through that many facial expressions.
I rolled my eyes and leaned back, deciding to let the sun dry me. Daryl did the same beside me.h
"So what's with the dog?" Daryl asked after a few minutes of silence.
Eric: I’m surprised no one has made obvious jokes about Glenn and dog-eating…
I watched the clouds as I spoke. "His name is Donkey."
Daryl snorted. "Who in the hell's idea was it to name a dog Donkey?"
I looked over at him, quirking a brow. "Mine."
He laughed, but I didn't mind; I knew it was strange.
Eric: Of course. And you’re just that much more unique and mature.
I ARE SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE: 25
"I was only 4, so I decided to name him Donkey because he isn't a Donkey."
Daryl obviously thought this didn't make any sense at all and discussion stopped for a few more minutes. "So ya had that dog since ya was 4?
That'd make him, what, 12 human years?"
Eric: Ah, bet she goes through horrible separation and bereavement when it dies. I’m pretty sure large dog breeds don’t generally live very long. It’s amazing this one is still alive.
Wanderer: The average lifespan for a German Shepherd is almost 10 years. Therefore, this one is unique and special, just like his owner. And probably going to die soon.
Eric: *almost, almost jumps* When did you get back?
Wanderer: *doesn’t answer and just sits on Eric’s lap*
Eric: Um, hello…
Wanderer: You’re my eye-candy. Deal with it.
Eric: *small sigh, but shifts to get comfortable*
I nodded, smiling. "Donkey's been with me through just about everything. He sat by my bed the entire time I was sick with the flu when I was 10. He stayed with me all night when I cried when my boyfriend broke up with me.
Wanderer: Wait! I thought she didn’t check guys out. So how’d she manage to get a boyfriend when all the guys who like her at school are creeps?
Eric: Maybe her boyfriend was in college?
He was even there for me when my grandfather succumbed to cancer a few years ago."
I was shocked at the impromptu life story speech, but it felt almost nice to be telling this to Daryl.
Wanderer: He wouldn’t care.
"Sounds like an important dog," he said.
Wanderer: (Daryl): Gonna be a shame when I have to kill it.
I nodded. "He's the only constant thing in my life anymore besides Glenn, you know?
Wanderer: BECAUSE YOU AND GLENN STABBED YOUR UNDEAD PARENTS!
Both have been there for me my whole life and both are still alive and with me now. I think I'm pretty lucky to have that. I'm not sure why I'm opening up to you like this after you just chucked me into the water… crazy bastard..." I smiled over at him.
Wanderer: Is this supposed to be some sort of adorable, touching scene? Because it’s stupid and out of character. And random.
Eric: Mostly stupid. And I still don’t care about the character.
He grinned and looked over at me. "Yeah, well don't be expectin' no apology or nothin'."
Wanderer: Take out the grinning, the fact he’s still around her, and this kind of response would be almost in character.
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah right. Like I ever thought you of all people would apologize for anything."
He nodded. "Glad we're on the same page."
We laid out on the dock for about an hour letting the sun dry us before we were anything that wasn't sopping wet. I was about ready to pass out, my eyes shut and the sun warm on my skin when Merle's voice interrupted the peaceful air around us.
"Hey, Darlina! Git yer ass up here and quit flirtin' with the rug rat!"
Wanderer: *big starry eyes* Merle! I never thought I would say this, ever, but I love you!
Eric: You’re strange
Wanderer: He’s actually in character! I love it!
I looked up to see Daryl blushing and scowling at Merle who was standing on the other end of the dock.
Wanderer: HE WOULDN’T BLUSH! AND HE SCOWLS CONSTANTLY!
Eric: Remember what you said about Merle being in character?
BUTCHER CHARACTERIZATION FOR THINE OWN INTEREST: 13
"Ya best shut th' hell up!"
Wanderer: Wow, creative. That came straight out of Chupacabra, when he’s yelling at the Merle’s apparition. God, we even have plagiarism here? Fuck. My. Life.
Daryl growled menacingly. It was strange to say the least. Daryl was so quiet. The only thing that would've even slightly tipped me off to Daryl's temper was the angry glint in his eyes he sometimes got when anyone talked down to him.
Eric: *pets Wanderer*
Wanderer: *breathing exercises*
I ARE SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE: 26 (because only SHE notices the hint at Daryl’s temper)
Merle mock trembled. "Oh yes ma'am!"
Wanderer: *giggles* Oh, Merle~
Daryl scrambled up and ran up the dock, chasing after his brother who ran like the wind up and down the shore of the water. It was like Tom and Jerry.
Wanderer: You… you just ruined… NO! They do not play fight! And if they do, NEVER in front of people! It would ruin both of their reputations. And Merle’s too fucking old to play-fight anymore. And Daryl just wouldn’t chase after him like that.
I rolled over onto my belly and watched the two, entertained as hell.
OLD ENOUGH FOR A REAL MAN: 6
Wanderer: Magnanimous is too good a word for her. We’ll go with smug.
Today really had turned out pretty good, despite my original thoughts about today.
Wanderer: Redundant sentence is redundant…
GRAMMAR NAZI: 19
I laughed as I watched Merle stumble and Daryl jump onto his back, weighing him down.
Wanderer: I … I have no words…
BUTCHER CHARACTERIZATION FOR THINE OWN INTEREST: 14
Today was a great day.
BUTCHER CHARACTERIZATION FOR THINE OWN INTEREST: 14
GRAMMAR NAZI: 19
I ARE SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE: 25
KNOW YOUR GODDAMN FANDOM: 10
LOGIC FAIL: 17
OLD ENOUGH FOR A REAL MAN: 6
Chapters Remaining: 54