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Fall Right In
Chapter 33 – It’s a Mess, It’s a Start, It’s a Flawed Work of Art


*~*
When she woke later, Beth was alone beneath the blanket. Not quite cold, but not nearly as warm as she was when she fell asleep, and when a gust of wind rattled the windows she pulled the blanket’s edges tighter to keep out the chill. A little pulse of panic fluttered in her chest, a couple of frantic beats before it faded to just a lingering heaviness in the background. Breathe, Beth. Daryl hadn’t gone far; she could hear his blowing breaths and some quiet scraping sounds coming from close by.

But he had gone.

Stop it. It probably meant nothing. It would be well into morning by now and just because she had fallen back asleep didn’t mean he had.

Be rational, Beth. Of course he hadn’t slept.

She rolled over, blinking her eyes open now to meet the stained drop ceiling panels above her, wincing at the pull of the muscles in her shoulders and back, the pressure in her bladder, and the stickiness between her legs, cooled instantly by the chilly air as they fell open. After a brief pause, the scraping sounds continued and Beth listened to them awhile, trying to talk herself out of this silliness before her brain started into one of those downward loops she couldn’t easily escape. It was fine. They were fine and there was no good reason to assume Daryl thought otherwise. He was still here, for Pete’s sake; if he was trying to run from this he’d be somewhere she wasn’t, not hovering close enough that she’d hear him when she woke.

No, if she could hear him he wanted her to. Wanted her to know he was there without having to wonder about it.
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To be continued in chapter 34>>
Title: Fall Right In
Author: Abelina/Abby/Abelinajt
Fandom/Pairing: The Walking Dead - Beth Greene/Daryl Dixon (Bethyl)
Setting: Season 4, Alone-divergence.
Rating: E/NC17
Summary: If Beth hadn’t interrupted him when she did, calling him back with the melody of her voice, he might’ve done something dumb like opening the door for a doomed dog and maybe dooming them both while he was at it. Beth and Daryl escape the funeral home together. An Alone-divergence Bethyl story.
Notes: Chapter title taken from lyrics to Bonfire Heart by James Blunt.  And this chapter I have officially broken 200K words

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Fall Right In
Chapter 32 – You Light the Spark in My Bonfire Heart


*~*

Daryl’s breath on her neck was the first thing Beth noticed when she slipped into consciousness. He was still asleep, going by the way his chest moved against her back, his breathing deep and steady. Every warm exhale trickled down along her spine like the brush of his fingers, and Beth kept as still as she could to keep from waking him. It wasn’t even light out yet, anyway, and the storm was still going strong.

Wind pounded against the sides of the building in great big gusts, pelting the unmoving brick with bullets made of frigid rain. Branches snapped and trunks creaked with ominous persistence, and the windows overhead rattled so hard it was a wonder none of them had tumbled loose to shatter on the concrete floor below. The rain hadn’t quit, either, had barely slowed down in the day and a half since the storm began. It drummed on the roof in an unending rhythm, poured over the high windows, rushed down the brick to spill out from ancient, overloaded gutters in noisy waterfalls. No doubt all that water was making rivers out of streams, out there beyond their temporary harbour, rising high enough to burst over banks, flood the low places, and render everything else a muddy, treacherous mess.

Thank God for this building and its non-leaky roof. If they hadn’t found it when they did, she and Daryl might—no. Good things. She had to think about the good things, not the what-ifs. The building and its roof, that could be the first one of the day. This building was a good thing and she was grateful for its existence. For its shelter. For having a blanket and room with carpet in it, no matter how thin. Those were two more good things, but she had better do this right. Start at the beginning so she didn’t miss any of the steps.

Beth closed her eyes, putting away the dim outline of the dingy brick walls and cold concrete beyond the open office door, and inhaled as deeply as she could. Felt the rush of air in, the expansion of her lungs as they grew to fill her chest. Held the breath in, a slow count of three, just long enough for the faintest burn to creep in at the edges before she let the air back out just as slowly as she breathed in. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe, and remember.


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to be continued in chapter 33 >>
Title: Fall Right In
Author: Abelina/Abby/Abelinajt
Fandom/Pairing: The Walking Dead - Beth Greene/Daryl Dixon (Bethyl)
Setting: Season 4, Alone-divergence.
Rating: E/NC17
Summary: If Beth hadn’t interrupted him when she did, calling him back with the melody of her voice, he might’ve done something dumb like opening the door for a doomed dog and maybe dooming them both while he was at it. Beth and Daryl escape the funeral home together. An Alone-divergence Bethyl story.
Notes: Chapter title taken from lyrics to Title by Artist.

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Fall Right In
Chapter 31 – I’m Lookin’ for Me, You’re Lookin’ for You


*~*

Daryl awoke to a flash of lightning through the small window, illuminating the little space for an instant before throwing everything into almost complete blackness. Just outside the office door, the remnants of their fire glowed faintly orange, but otherwise cast no light at all beyond the coals. He wasn’t certain what woke him, whether it was the rumble of thunder or the lightning itself, or the rain pounding on the roof at least twice as hard as it was when he fell asleep. Nothing felt amiss. His usual internal alarm remained silent, but he kept still and listened all the same.

In front of him, Beth murmured something in her sleep, and—for the moment satisfied that their shelter had not been disturbed—Daryl settled back in with her, pressing his nose into nape of her warm neck to breathe in the scent of her, sweat and smoke and rain. He had missed holding her, falling asleep with her, even if the floor beneath them wasn’t at all forgiving.

Beth mumbled again, and her legs, bare and bent in line with his, stretched out slowly, the backs of her knees pushing into the fronts of his. She so rarely moved in her sleep except for when she dreamed and Daryl held his breath, waiting, hoping that this was just her waking up and not the stirrings of a nightmare. She’d been so certain, before they lay down for the night, that she was going to change the dreams, and after not sleeping more than half an hour at a time for days she fucking deserved a good night’s rest. Daryl pressed his palm a little more firmly into her belly, hoping she would pick the third option and just stay peacefully sleeping.

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to be continued in chapter 32>>
Title: Fall Right In
Author: Abelina/Abby/Abelinajt
Fandom/Pairing: The Walking Dead - Beth Greene/Daryl Dixon (Bethyl)
Setting: Season 4, Alone-divergence.
Rating: E/NC17
Summary: If Beth hadn’t interrupted him when she did, calling him back with the melody of her voice, he might’ve done something dumb like opening the door for a doomed dog and maybe dooming them both while he was at it. Beth and Daryl escape the funeral home together. An Alone-divergence Bethyl story.
Notes: Chapter title taken from lyrics to All I Can Do by Chantal Kreviazuk.

Trigger Warning: This chapter contains a discussion of a past suicide attempt. If you are at all concerned, please see this expanded warning note, or send me a message here on LJ, or an ask or a message on tumblr. Stay safe.
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Fall Right In
Chapter 30 – When the Day is Long and the Night is Coming Down on You
*~*
Daryl slammed the door shut again with a resonant clang while Beth stood guard, covering his back. The big rusted latch groaned in protest when he pulled at it, but with a grunt he got it moving, too, and swung it closed to lock them inside. Beth still had her crossbow up when he turned, her gaze moving across the space at eye level while he cast a glance up and around. High windows all along the building’s long sides meant it wasn’t much darker in than out. Dark, but not too dark to see as they quickly set out to clear the building.

Place was empty, except for the stacks of old pallets piled beneath the low ceiling of the small loft space above. Tucked in behind those, in the corner formed beneath the loft, three doors opened to what probably used to be an office, plus a janitor’s closet and a tiny washroom. Daryl headed there along the wide hallway between the back wall and the loft’s hanging edge. The coverage provided by the stairs and the loft was about as ideal as he could hope for, and they could bed down in the office where the floor had carpet, low pile industrial crap but better than bare concrete. Nodding to himself, Daryl cast a quick glance over the space in the fading light, then shrugged off his canvas bag and crossbow, tied the rabbit up to an eye bolt in the ceiling, and turned to make sure Beth had followed him. Whatever spark of a thought was in his brain got whisked away like leaves in the wind the moment he set his eyes on her.

“Beth,” he said, taking in her pallor, her almost violent shivering. “You gotta get out of that wet shit.”


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To be continued in chapter 31>>
Title: Fall Right In
Author: Abelina/Abby/Abelinajt
Fandom/Pairing: The Walking Dead - Beth Greene/Daryl Dixon (Bethyl)
Setting: Season 4, Alone-divergence.
Rating: E/NC17
Summary: If Beth hadn’t interrupted him when she did, calling him back with the melody of her voice, he might’ve done something dumb like opening the door for a doomed dog and maybe dooming them both while he was at it. Beth and Daryl escape the funeral home together. An Alone-divergence Bethyl story.
Notes: Chapter title taken from lyrics to Losing My Religion by Artist.

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Fall Right In
Chapter 29 – The Lengths that I Will Go To, The Distance in Your Eyes


*~*
Daryl awoke with a jolt, barely registering the kink in his neck or the numbness of his arm, bent for hours beneath him as a makeshift pillow. The forest around him was quiet, still in the throes of night, barely enough light filtering in to make out the shapes of the trees and the brush filling in the spaces between them. Only when he jumped to his feet did he truly notice the arm, now tingling with pins and needles as the blood rushed back in, but he ignored it as he whirled around. Beth. Where was Beth? Before the panic could dig its sharp fingers too deep into his gut, his gaze landed on the woman in question, the blonde of her hair standing out amongst all the dim grey-green.

Beth tipped her head back to look up at him, from where she sat with her back against the trunk of a nearby tree, her crossbow leaned up against her shins in easy reach.

“Shit.” Heart still thudding in his chest, Daryl dragged a hand—the one that wasn’t prickling like mad—across his bleary eyes, and sunk down to sit against the tree next to her. “You coulda woke me.”

Beth shrugged, a half-hearted lift of her shoulders, and let her gaze drift away from his to where her fingers pulled at that tear in the knee of her jeans, wider now after days of abuse. “You looked like you needed it.”


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*~*
to be continued in chapter 30 >>
Title: Fall Right In
Author: Abelina/Abby/Abelinajt
Fandom/Pairing: The Walking Dead - Beth Greene/Daryl Dixon (Bethyl)
Setting: Season 4, Alone-divergence.
Rating: E/NC17
Summary: If Beth hadn’t interrupted him when she did, calling him back with the melody of her voice, he might’ve done something dumb like opening the door for a doomed dog and maybe dooming them both while he was at it. Beth and Daryl escape the funeral home together. An Alone-divergence Bethyl story.
Notes: Chapter title taken from lyrics to Count on Me by Default.

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Fall Right In
Chapter 28 – ‘Cause I Will Carry You ‘Til You Carry On


*~*

In hindsight, he should’ve taken point. The two days Beth spent fighting with her own head should have clued him into the fact that she maybe wasn’t focused enough, wasn’t herself enough to be making the calls. She was so naturally good at this but—but he should have seen it. Should have seen it and talked to her and told her why he was concerned and Beth would’ve agreed. Wasn’t about not trusting her, was about keeping the both of them safe and that was something Beth would understand. Beth and Daryl against the world and all that and sometimes one of them needed to give the other one a shove in the right direction—just like she did with the walkers after he pulled her out of that pit.

The signs were there, but he wasn’t reading them. Not in time to stop her, to ask her to hang back amongst the trees while he checked out the yard instead, spotted the danger before she leapt headfirst into it. Shown her the tire tracks across the wet lawn, the boot-trampled grass amidst the mud, the splatters of it on the bumper of that goddamned truck that drew her in like a magpie to a shiny thing. Then they’d have been long gone from here before anyone knew they were ever there.

In hindsight—which didn’t do them a speck of good now.

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To be continued in chapter 29 >>
Title: Fall Right In
Author: Abelina/Abby/Abelinajt
Fandom/Pairing: The Walking Dead - Beth Greene/Daryl Dixon (Bethyl)
Setting: Season 4, Alone-divergence.
Rating: E/NC17

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Fall Right In
Chapter 27 – Still the Rain Kept Pourin’, Fallin’ on My Ears

*~*

For the rest of the night they sat together in the rain and the wind, listening as the thunder got further and further away, breathing in sync until the sky began to lighten, from thick black to muddy grey to a drab autumnal monochrome that promised no relief.  With no reason to linger in camp, they climbed out from under their tree at the first hints of morning, and without a word resumed their journey through the woods.

The weather matched Beth’s mood, the dreariness in her heart she couldn’t shake outside of that secret space she and Daryl made beneath their tree. Beth tried to put the dream away, let the details go until they were hazy enough that she couldn’t remember exactly how it went. She was good at that usually, had been since the nightmares started. It was bad enough, waking near hysterics without also remembering the specifics of the terrors which left her that way, and there was a reason Daryl never asked her to talk about them.

But she couldn’t get rid of this one, not fully, and her mind kept flashing through a series of disturbing images. Now and then, she couldn’t quite breathe, as if the air around her had grown too thick to pull into her lungs, and she’d taste something foul on her tongue. Then that twist of panic would hit her, like a jolt of lightning to her chest, sharp and sudden and painful enough to make her stumble. A meat hook in her gut giving a hard, twisting tug that turned her stomach and threatened to eject the bit of rabbit she choked down for breakfast. A shiver down the back of her neck like thousands of insects crawling over her with tiny, pinching feet, causing her to shudder and wince and sweep her hands over her skin to make sure they weren’t really there. These vivid dreams had become her new normal but she never knew she was dreaming in the middle of one. Never knew the terror of not being able to wake up, until now, and maybe that’s what made it linger.
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To be continued in chapter 28>>
Part Two of the Ticking Clocks series. Read the first part, Seconds, prior to reading this.

Summary: He’s sure he’s dreaming. Same as it always is, in the hours since she’s been gone. The morning after their reunion on the porch. A follow-up to Seconds. Rated M for mild sexual content.

Spoilers for Season 5+ of the Walking Dead.

Hours
*~*
He’s sure he’s dreaming. Same as it always is, in the hours since she’s been gone. Hours that stretch on into larger blocks of time he can’t even consider. He has been here before, those rare times he’s given in and slept in this bed. She ain’t ever far from his mind but she’s closest at night. Closer, when he relaxes enough to fall into the sort of deep sleep that lets her in. When everything’s quiet in the wee hours of morning before he wakes, before reality crashes in to fill his days with an emptiness that tastes of gunpowder and ashes—that’s when he feels her the most.

Even asleep, he knows the danger in this, in indulging the fantasy because it’s only going to make the truth sting that much more when he wakes. Make it burn that much deeper. But he digs into it anyway, presses his face into the back of her warm neck. Pulls her body closer, feels the steady beat of her heart beneath his palm, and wonders if it would have been like this. If they would have fit like this, two pieces of a puzzle here in the place where reality don’t reach, if they only had the time to find out. She feels so fucking good he can’t bear to open his eyes and face the truth that awaits him.
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Title: Fall Right In
Author: Abelina/Abby/Abelinajt
Fandom/Pairing: The Walking Dead - Beth Greene/Daryl Dixon (Bethyl)
Setting: Season 4, Alone-divergence.
Rating: E/NC17
Summary: If Beth hadn’t interrupted him when she did, calling him back with the melody of her voice, he might’ve done something dumb like opening the door for a doomed dog and maybe dooming them both while he was at it. Beth and Daryl escape the funeral home together. An Alone-divergence Bethyl story.
Notes: Chapter title taken from lyrics to Dance with the Devil by Breaking Benjamin.

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Fall Right In
Chapter 26 – I Won't Last Long in This World so Wrong

*~*
Beth hoped the warmth of Daryl’s body and the comfort of resting her head on his chest might lull her to sleep, but the night wore on and so did she. The Daryl part aside, sitting beneath a tree wasn’t the most comfortable way to try to get some sleep, even with the canvas spread beneath them to keep out some of the ground’s chill. Pretending to sleep under those same conditions wasn’t the easiest task she’d ever undertaken, and though she tried to be subtle about shifting her weight to relieve an ache here or a tingling numbness there, she wasn’t for a minute fooled into thinking Daryl didn’t know. Mostly, he let her pretend, with only the occasional press of his fingers into her side giving him away, and she was grateful for his tendency to do that.

She might be able to get there for real if she could lie down without letting in the chill, but the night wasn’t going to allow that, either, so she opted for warmth over comfort, since she couldn’t have both. Her thoughts refused to stop their endless circling, round and round in her head despite her attempts to lead them away from her worries about Daryl. About pushing him too hard, too soon or just plain doing it wrong.

She kept picturing his face as she slurped at that peach, kept thinking about what that might’ve looked like from his point of view. God, could she have been any more blatant? Here, Daryl, watch me enjoy the juices from this sweet Georgia peach. Want some? Her stomach squirmed now just thinking about it, since he was so obviously dealing with things she didn’t fully understand. What did that make her, teasing him like that? He hadn’t been able to keep his thoughts from showing on his face while she did, though. He wanted to respond, that much was clear, but she was afraid she had made him uncomfortable when that’s not at all what she meant to do.


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To be continued in chapter 27 >>
Title: Fall Right In
Author: Abelina/Abby/Abelinajt
Fandom/Pairing: The Walking Dead - Beth Greene/Daryl Dixon (Bethyl)
Setting: Season 4, Alone-divergence.
Rating: E/NC17
Summary: If Beth hadn’t interrupted him when she did, calling him back with the melody of her voice, he might’ve done something dumb like opening the door for a doomed dog and maybe dooming them both while he was at it. Beth and Daryl escape the funeral home together. An
Notes: Chapter title taken from lyrics to Hopeless Wanderer by Mumford & Sons.

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Fall Right In
Chapter 25 – I Will Share Your Road

*~*
Daryl kissed like a man starved. No finesse, just hunger. Passion so raw and desperate the rest didn’t matter. Something inside her reached for it with eager arms. Pulled it in, wrapped up in it until she couldn’t tell where her own need for it ended and where his began. Nobody had ever kissed her like this, as though his life, his every breath depended on it. He was starved, for her, for them and all that lay between them. For the fire just beginning to blaze now that they’d finally ignited those smouldering embers.

That same fierce longing surged up along her spine, burst out like lightning through every nerve in her body and she shook with the force of it. Daryl shook, too, tremors like waves through his arms, his thighs, every part of him that touched her, and in her mind she pictured a dam across a raging river, its concrete face shot through with cracks, bits of it tumbling loose, just barely holding up under the pressure from within.

Beth never knew a need like this before. Not just the kissing. Not even just for what she felt brushing against her belly whenever he couldn’t stop himself from pressing into her. And he was trying, trying to stop but he couldn’t, not entirely, and oh, she ached for that, too, a delicious wet ache that had her clenching her vaginal walls around nothing, last night's dream still vivid in her memory. A pulse of head burst in her belly as images from the dream became something else altogether.

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to be continued in chapter 26 >>

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