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slaymesoftly this is the SECOND part. Read THIS PART FIRST. I keep writing chapters that are too big for LJ.

Fall Right In
Chapter 19 - Just Hanging by a Moment Here with You (part 2/2)

Part 1/2 here
All Chapters Here

*~*

It was somewhere around midday, the sun more or less overhead whenever she could catch a glimpse of it, when Daryl stopped walking behind her. She had taken a couple more steps onward before she realized he wasn’t with her, and when she turned back to see he was leaned up against a tree, staring off into the woods. Without speaking, he lifted his hand from where it lay against his leg, fingers curling in toward his palm. He might not have meant for her to take his hand, but when she did anyway he let his fingers slide between hers and returned the squeeze she gave him before leading her way from the deer trail, heading deeper into the woods.

They emerged from a patch of thick underbrush and tall, skinny trees into a clearing, at the centre of which was a big old oak, some of its limbs bigger around than she was. Its canopy spread out wide, covering the whole of the clearing, causing the trees at the periphery to grow at an angle in an attempt to find the sunlight. Here beneath, the thick leaves which had yet to turn colour bathed everything in a soft green hue.

Daryl’s hand tightened on hers, a little harder than she was used to, and when she looked up at him in question he had his thumb stuck in between his gnawing teeth, eyes fixed on the scene ahead.

Oh. This was that tree.

Beth pressed in closer to Daryl’s side, felt him lean into her and watched his face as his eyes roamed over the scene. All that remained of his ordeal was a length of cracked leather cord, lying there at the base of the tree, and a broken piece of antler trampled into the ground. When he moved, he did so with suddenness, neither warning her nor letting her go, crossing the clearing to dig that scrap of antler out of the dirt.

“That our buck?” she asked, crouching down beside him as he held it his hand under that weird green light.

Daryl’s lip quirked up at one corner and his gaze slid over to her. “What’s left of him, anyway.”

Beth plucked the piece of antler from his fingers, turning it over in her palm. It was the part which grew from the buck’s head, broken off about six inches up from the knobby base, the edges of the break jagged and sharp. Walkers had done this, while Daryl clung to the tenuous safety of the tree above them.

She only had Daryl’s words to form the image of the buck in her head, but even he had gone a little poetic about it in his remembrance. This antler, all that was left of that magnificent buck—that beautiful creature reduced to this sad scrap of useless bone.

It could have been Daryl.

That fist of dread in her gut squeezed and her next breath caught tight and heavy in her chest. It wasn’t until everything became a watery green blur that she realized she was crying, tears welling up and pouring down over her cheeks. Beth tried to wipe them away before Daryl saw, but she should’ve known. There were times she thought they must be magnetic, the two of them, the way Daryl’s gaze followed her, and the green blur became a red one as he swiped his favourite rag through the rivers on her cheeks.

He slipped the antler from her hands and replaced it with the rag, and Beth used it to dry her eyes. The sting of tears lingered as Beth got to her feet and so did the heaviness in her chest, but she needed to let it go, needed to shove it all down so she could focus again. Daryl was counting on her to lead them, and she couldn’t do that if she let her emotions get the better of her.

He was looking at her, of course, when she finally met his eyes again, and something odd shimmered there in the depths of them. Whatever it was had him chewing his thumb with only a little less veracity, lost in his own head for a minute before let out a deep breath and gave his head a small shake. That odd glimmer vanished and he released his thumb, then closed the short distance between them to pull her into a hug.

Beth let her face fall into his chest as his arms wound around her back, and when she breathed out at least half of the weight in her lungs went with it.

“That ain’t me, Beth,” Daryl said, murmuring the words into her hair. “It ain’t either one of us.”

Her next breath, though shaky, pushed the rest of the tightness away, and when she breathed back in, a lungful of leather and sweat and Daryl, the truth of that seeped into her bloodstream, spread out through her body like a sun-warmed river. It didn’t matter that it could’ve been Daryl, because it wasn’t. Because he was here now and so was she and getting bogged down in the what ifs of this, of fixating on all that could happened but didn’t in a world gone to shit, was just as silly and unhealthy as the doubts still plaguing her about shooting Gorman.

Beth smiled into his chest. “I think maybe you gotta keep remindin’ me about that, too.”

He chuckled, his breath puffing into her hair and tickling her scalp beneath, and they stood there for another few minutes before Daryl’s arms loosened and Beth stepped out of them with dry eyes and a pulse of determination beating in her chest.

It was her job to lead them. Daryl was here in front of her, not some broken piece of bone lying forgotten in the dirt. Beth was going to lead them and she was gonna make both of them proud.

Told you. Badass.

“C’mon,” she said, not quite hiding her smile in response to the amusement in his eyes, sparkling there like he knew what she was thinking. “We got a long way to go.”

They retraced their steps back toward the game trail, which Beth had chosen to follow for this leg of their journey. It paralleled the creek well enough and though narrow, the well-trodden path had returned to its former hard-packed dirt after the late summer heat drove away the effects of the storms. Easy to walk on, easy to follow, built-in side paths down to choice places to stop and drink. Daryl hadn’t commented on her choice—that wasn’t his style—but she knew he approved. She wasn’t perfect at this. She wasn’t Daryl and she never would be, but she liked to think she was learning. Maybe even getting good at this.

They made good time, since they weren’t tracking anything, weren’t trying to be as quiet as they would if they were hunting. Daryl pointed out things he remembered from his own travels along this path, where he made camp the first night, the place he first spotted the buck’s tracks, and where the second, lesser used deer trail branched off from the main path and later crossed it. They followed it down to the creek for a drink before continuing on.

“This is as far as I’ve gone,” Daryl said, scuffing the toe of his boot at the place where the paths crossed. “Here on in, trail’s all yours.”

Beth understood what he meant of course. Even though she was leading before, she was following a known path and now she would be leading them into the unknown. But he was wrong.  It wasn’t her trail. It was theirs.

Daryl never made much noise when he walked, and Beth rarely heard him except for when he spoke. But even silent, she knew he was there. Felt his presence behind her in a strangely solid sort of way, despite the lack of sensory detail. Whenever a rush of tingling trailed over her scalp and down her spine, she knew he had his eyes on her, and something about that quickened her pulse and made her belly squirm with butterflies.

She couldn’t help wondering which expression he’d be wearing, when she couldn’t see his face. Maybe that look, the one that sunk right down inside her and made it hard to look away. Or even something even more intense, when she had her back turned and he let his guard down. Something that would shatter her into a million tiny pieces if she saw.

A shiver rolled through her in the wake of that thought, followed by that rush of Daryl’s gaze at her back. Beth kept walking, fighting the urge to turn since this was almost better, leaving her imagination to run a little wild. She felt so good just speculating that it would almost spoil her mood to find out for sure.

The game trail looped away from the creek not long after the crossroads, and while it now headed northward, their eventual direction, Beth chose not to follow it. Since the creek was her landmark, she led them closer to its banks, still in the woods but close enough to keep the sound of the water in hearing range. The underbrush was thin enough here to make breaking their trail not too tough, and Beth practiced looking ahead to plan her path, working at keeping her footsteps as quiet as possible. Daryl made a little more noise behind her than he had on the well packed trail, but not much, though every time she took a particularly noisy step, he did, too.

Daryl never got angry at her noisemaking, didn’t tell her off for the misstep or anything, but every time he reminded her, Beth tried that much harder to focus on being quiet. It took her mind off other things, too, though not as thoroughly as it probably should. Pleasant and highly distracting thoughts about Daryl kept crashing through, quickening her pulse, lighting up like fireworks deep in her belly. It seemed whenever she felt it the most, she felt his eyes on her, too, and everything already simmering inside ramped up a level. One of these times she might float up into the trees with her wobbly knees and her head in the clouds.

Yes, it was safe to say that this was definitely not a crush.

By mid afternoon, both she and Daryl were drenched in sweat from the heat, even in the shade of the trees. Beth took them back toward the creek, keeping their path as close to the water and the slightly cooler funnel of air as possible after wetting their heads to cool down. It wasn’t long after that when Beth caught a glimpse of something man-made peeking through the gaps in the trees up ahead. She lifted her hand up to signal to Daryl she was stopping and slid her crossbow off her shoulder. Daryl came up beside her and she leaned into his arm just enough to feel the solidness of him, while she stood there trying to discern what the thing might be.

“Looks like maybe a bridge?” she said, turning her head until she found the blurry, Daryl-shaped outline in her peripheral vision.

He let out a soft grunt, the yes sort of grunt. “Think so. Wanna check it out?”

“Yeah. I mean, we pretty much have to, right?” He didn’t respond, which usually meant he wanted her to keep going with her train of thought. “We either need to cross whatever kinda road it is to keep followin’ the creek, or maybe this is what we’re lookin’ for to follow north.”

At Daryl’s answering hum, Beth resumed walking, taking slow, careful steps toward the structure ahead. Maybe she was overdoing it on the caution, but that was probably preferable to not being cautious enough. She glanced back once at Daryl, who had his crossbow out, too, and he nodded at her.

Good. Keep going.

It was difficult to push away the pleased flutter in her chest at Daryl’s approval, so she didn’t try, just kept walking with her bottom lip held in her teeth to keep the smile at bay.

It was a bridge, or at least, it used to be. The old wooden structure, a simple back road bridge like many she knew from around home, had collapsed in the centre, rotten old beams splintered and crumbling to sawdust where they lay across the creek bed, some of them submerged fully beneath the water. The worst of it must’ve washed away when the creek swelled up double from both the storms, but not all, and it said something about the state of the world nowadays that neither she nor Daryl had smelled it sooner.

Body parts, caught between broken beams. Torsos, crushed heads. An arm here, a leg there. A whole corpse dangling from the twisted railing, a bit of the metal just poking out through its forehead. Beth watched the flies buzzing around the rotting remains, and felt Daryl’s eyes on her but didn’t turn, considering instead what story the scene in front of her told.

Broken bridge, and parts of broken walkers. Deep water beneath. A long stretch of narrow gravel road running north-south on either side. The herd that passed through these parts a week and a bit ago, the leaders of which had mostly wandered in down the creek bed.
The herd must have moved in along the road, but when they got to the bridge their weight was too much for the derelict structure. It collapsed, sending them tumbling down into the deep water below, crushing some of them and tearing others apart. A few washed away quickly, maybe beaching themselves downstream, getting to their feet like they always managed, to wander along the rocky bank. Perhaps interrupting the end of her laundry day and falling to her new crossbow. The others would’ve piled up, likely used that as a bridge to get to the shore as more and more of them poured like a nightmarish flood from the spout made by the broken bridge.

Whichever ones couldn’t get to the woods washed down the creek. The ones who did resumed their mindless trek through the trees, first bursting into Daryl’s camp and then finding Beth at the cabin. Daryl nodded as she spoke her theory out loud, and the more she said the more it made sense. The more it answered some of her niggling questions about the sudden influx of walkers and the near total lack of them since.

“Huh.”

Beth followed Daryl’s pointing finger, and when her gaze settled on the object in question, she couldn’t contain her snort of laughter. “Walker Creek? Really?”

“Ain’t nothin’ much surprises me anymore,” Daryl said, squinting up at the little sign bearing the creek’s name. He snorted and shook his head, glancing at her wearing a bit of a smirk. “Shit. That’s almost funny.”

“It is funny, now that it’s over,” Beth said, side-stepping until they stood shoulder to shoulder. “Don’t think I woulda thought so at the time.”

Daryl hummed and brushed his knuckles across hers.  Beth resisted the urge to take his hand, even though her fingers itched to twine around his. He put up with that most of the time, but she didn’t want to push her luck.

“Couldn’t’ve been, like, Pussycat Creek or somethin’,” Daryl said, the back of his hand coming to rest against hers. “Think we coulda handled a herd of cats?”

The image of him on the stairs yesterday flashed in her mind, bringing with it the flutter of butterflies dancing deep in her belly. “All your friends, you mean?”

Her voice did that thing where she didn’t mean to sound kind of deep and raspy, but did anyway. Beside her, Daryl chuckled, a rumbly sound not unlike his purr from the day before, and when he swept his gaze down to meet hers it burned right down through to her spine.

He didn’t look away and neither did Beth, her gaze held firm by that one blue eye staring back at her from behind his sweat-dampened fringe. On impulse, Beth reached up to slide her fingers through his hair, holding that oddly heated gaze, sure she must have been throwing something out there herself, the way his pupil darkened. She let her nails scratch at his scalp as she had yesterday, and Daryl didn’t disappoint, groaning lowly while he swivelled to face her. His eyes drifted shut as she did it again, getting both hands involved now and scratching just that little bit harder. He groaned again, rumbling and deep, leaned forward to drop his forehead down to rest on her shoulder.

Beth’s fingers stilled, buried deep in Daryl’s hair. They were standing on the banks of what was literally called Walker Creek, below the ruins of the bridge which sent a massive herd shambling toward them, and this is what they were doing?

Daryl nudged at her collarbone with his nose.  “You don’t gotta stop.”

With the way his voice rumbled, so low she could only hear it because they were standing close enough to share a pair of boots, Beth really didn’t want to. But the sight of the body hanging from the bridge, the buzz of flies and the open stretch of road in front of her brought her crashing back down to reality.

“We should keep moving,” she said, giving him one final scratch before shifting him off her.

She watched as his expression changed from dreamy and unfocused to his normal sharp-eyed self, then nodded toward the overgrown gravel path leading up to the road. “Should we see what it looks like?”

He took a moment before he answered, during which time he slipped into the most non-expression she had ever seen on him. It was only a flash though, vanishing in a blink, replacing itself with the warmth she had grown used to seeing there lately. That easy lightness he carried the past week at the cabin, showing there in the little crinkles at the corners of his eyes and the tiny smile barely lifting his lips.

“You’re the shepherd,” Daryl said, brushing his thumb across her cheek where it felt warm and flushed. “I’m just the sheep.”

A sheep with teeth, Beth thought, her knees gone a bit shaky. A sheep who’s guiding me as much as I’m leading him. She didn’t say the words out loud, though, but she thought maybe Daryl knew that anyway. He followed her up to the road, her big bad sheep who had her back.
The road was, as she had predicted, an overgrown, narrow strip of gravel tunnelling through the thick woods to either side of it.

Daryl hummed, turning a slow circle on the spot to survey the entire three-sixty view. “Whatcha think?”

“Too small. Too remote,” Beth said, still looking ahead to where the road disappeared over hill rising in the distance. “No guarantees it doesn’t just end somewhere up there.”

Daryl grunted softly. “Could lead to a bigger road.”

“Maybe,” she agreed, because of course that was always a possibility. But her head was telling her this wasn’t the right path, and so was her gut. So were the remnants of the herd, almost but not entirely wiped away by the storms.

No. The only thing they were gonna find that way was more destruction.

“We’ll keep going,” Beth said, and once again Daryl nodded, the barest hints of a smile betraying his approval.

He pressed his palm to the small of her back, just briefly as they crossed the road to head back into the woods. Though her shirt was drenched in sweat and his palm pressed cool and wet through the soggy fabric, the contact rippled warmly up along her spine to tingle across her scalp, lingering even after he pulled his hand away.

His eyes stayed on her and the tingling at her neck wriggled right inside until she was all over warm and fluttery. And she shouldn’t, she knew she shouldn’t, especially since her steps got a little noisier. But with Daryl watching her, she couldn’t help swaying her hips a little while she walked. Even though he probably wasn’t looking at her that way. This was Daryl, after all. He never looked at anyone that way.
She wished he would.

They way they’d been, though.  Maybe he never had looked at anyone that way before. Maybe he still wasn’t, but he was doing a lot of things lately she never imagined he would. Lying in bed with her at night, for example, curled up with her like that was a perfectly normal thing to do. The way it started made sense, but falling back into it night after night?

It wasn’t just a matter of comfort, of helping her with her nightmares. Not when he held her like that long before they fell asleep and sometimes even longer after they woke up. Not when he touched her like he did, delicate but deliberate and she could argue that maybe he didn’t know, maybe he had no clue, but Daryl was not an idiot. He had to at least suspect what his touch might stir up inside her whether he meant it to or not, and if that didn’t stop him doing it he must not mind. Right? Must know she didn’t mind.

Maybe he might even like it...

Beth swallowed back a groan of frustration, letting out instead a loud breath through her nose. God, what did this all mean? She could double talk herself for ages and still never know, not really. Not unless Daryl came right out and said something, and that was even more of a stretch than her falling for him in the first place. Sometimes she could read him so well, and others he was a complete mystery to her. She couldn’t really be all alone in this, as she told herself sometimes, like yesterday on the stairs and this morning in bed. Other times she was certain her feelings for him had her reading everything tragically, pathetically wrong.

Because it was absurd, really, to think that Daryl could have feelings for her.

And yet. He was still there. Still watching her. As they came upon another road, the edges of it visible through the trees ahead, Daryl stepped up beside her, brushing her knuckles again with his. Waiting—because when he asked her to lead he meant it—for her to decide their next move.

What if he does? What if he’s fallin’ for me like I’m fallin’ for him?

“Let’s go and see,” she said, not quite able to look at him. Not quite able to breathe.

This road had pavement, potholed and cracking, but a step up from gravel. Its bridge was of sturdier construction, metal and concrete instead of wood, suggesting it saw more traffic. Still, it was hardly a main thoroughfare; wide enough for two cars to pass, but no painted lines marking the divide, and only dirt shoulders now overgrown with grass and weeds.

Beth didn’t have to turn to know Daryl would be looking at her, but she did anyway. He wasn’t wearing any specific expression, just one suggesting an interest in what she had to say, but simply meeting his eyes set her insides alight and she had to force herself to breathe to keep from trembling all over.

“Whatcha think?” he asked, prompting her while her brain struggled to remember how to speak.

The things this man did to her without even meaning to. Beth took one more deep breath, blinked her eyes shut for a moment as she turned back to gaze along the road winding through the trees ahead.

“I like it,” she whispered, voice gone hoarse.

She feared he might ask her to explain why, and she could probably come up with some reasons, maybe even some good ones. But it just felt right, the same way the other road felt wrong, and while Daryl would understand that, he wouldn’t let it slide, either.

He didn’t ask, though. Just nodded and brushed her hand again and followed her down to the creek to fill their water bottles, before slipping back into the trees behind her.

Keeping the road to her left in place of the creek wasn’t a conscious choice at first. They easily could have crossed into the woods on the other side before turning north. But it seemed intuitive, keeping the landmark to the left for the journey away from the cabin, like the creek, so much so she had not considered it until they’d been walking for an hour. Left to leave, right on the way back, if that’s how their journey ended. She would have to remember to ask Daryl about that later, when they stopped for the night.

Afternoon pushed toward evening and the heat had yet to dissipate. They caught some squirrels for supper but wouldn’t eat them until they made camp. Which, since they had achieved their goal of finding a road to follow, would not be a bad next move, especially with the day waning toward night.

“First place we find that looks decent, we should make camp,” Beth said, swinging her leg over the log that was just too high to easily step over.

“Mmm,” came Daryl’s reply from close behind her.

They had been gradually climbing since changing course to follow the road, and now the incline sharpened. The heat made the exertion even worse, but the trade off for climbing through dirt and roots was the protection of the trees from the worst of the sun beating down on them, and they struggled through it, eventually cresting the hill onto a bit of a ridge. The trees here grew thinner, and between their trunks Beth could just make out the change in view from thick woods to some sort of ledge or lookout. She led them to it, breaking out of the trees into a clearing of moss-covered rock and scrubby brush ending in a cliff edge overlooking the land below.

To her left she could see where the road wound its way down the hillside, a more gradual slope than the abrupt ledge before her. Beneath them the road disappeared into the woods again, and though she could maybe see some signs of once populated places in the distance, it seemed they would have another day of thick woods to travel through, at least.

On the horizon, wispy clouds gathered, and towards the west the sun dipped low, making for the tree line and casting a pinky orange glow over the sky and everything below it. Beth set down her pack and crossbow in a smoothed out bowl of rock at the edge of the trees, and stepped toward the ledge just to look. She hadn’t seen a sunset this beautiful in ages.

Beth heard Daryl’s soft sigh from behind her, followed by the muffled thump of his pack joining hers and the more careful placing of his crossbow. She didn’t turn, but all of her was so in tune to Daryl that she knew when he stepped up behind her, even though his feet hadn’t made a sound. He sighed again, so close the breeze of it washed warm over her neck, throwing her pulse into overdrive, curling sparkling tendrils of anticipation into her belly.

He hovered there what felt like ages, breathing on her neck, making hardly a sound while Beth was certain her pounding heart could be heard all the way to Atlanta. If her knees hadn’t lost their ability to move she would have jumped when he set his hand down at her hip. But she couldn’t move, could hardly even breathe. He slid his hand round to pull her back against his chest, and Beth shuddered hard and melted into him.

His palm stayed big and warm on her belly, and just like she did when they lay together in bed, Beth covered it with both of her own. Her fingers shook, and so did his when he lifted his other hand up to curl around the bend of her elbow. They could hear her heart in Nashville by now. Could probably feel it the way it pulsed through her, right down into the rock beneath her feet and into Daryl, too. He breathed shuddery and deep at her back and dragged her lungs right into his rhythm.

Beth wished she could read Daryl’s mind. Wished that the press of his cheek to the side of her head made some sort of telepathic circuit, and then she would know how he felt about all of this. Know if she was just being silly and young and hopeful about something that wasn’t even on his radar. They were close, she and Daryl, and that wasn’t something she could worry away. He trusted her, felt safe enough with her to open up like he never had before, and if that was as far as it went, Beth could live with it. She could, if she knew.

But it felt like more. Felt like he was just as on edge about this as she was, but what if he wasn’t? She wouldn’t risk what they had now just to find out, but at the same time, she feared if she didn’t push him, he would never work up the courage to tell her how he felt.
If he felt the same way, because maybe he didn’t.

Maybe she was too good at this double talk because she could argue equally as well for both ends of that spectrum.

But what if he does?

He was never like this with anyone before. Never touched as freely, spoke as openly, as he did with her. No, she wasn’t privy to all his conversations since the farm, but the way he was on the porch that night, the things he told her then and since, he had never told anyone and that wasn’t remotely in question. And all of that might come down to him trusting her and nothing else, but...

But what if it meant more?

Daryl hadn’t been with anyone that she knew of, not in any of the meanings she could apply to that word. Beth was the sort of girl who knew lots of things by being quiet and observant. He’d forged friendships, with Rick and Carol, Daddy and Glenn and Michonne, all the core group on some level, including her. He found companionship, earned the respect of their group and the others who joined them. But Daryl Dixon never looked at anyone the way he looked at her, and he never disappeared into the showers or the tombs or the obsolete guard tower with anyone but himself, not even when the Woodbury group arrived and brought new faces with it.

He was different with her and that wasn’t just wishful thinking. She tried to overlay the Daryl she remembered with the Daryl behind her, close and warm and holding her tight, and the edges wouldn’t quite match up. If somehow Maggie could see them, here on the ledge right now, or at any random point over the past few weeks, she would call bullshit on Beth’s worries over Daryl’s feelings, Beth knew she would.

When Beth was small, maybe five or six, Mama broke Daddy’s favourite bowl, the one he used every morning for his porridge. It was an accident, of course; the bowl slipped from Mama’s fingers while she was drying it and shattered to the floor in so many tiny pieces. Beth had cried, worried that Daddy would be mad, that he would never forgive Mama for breaking his favourite thing.

But when Daddy got home, and Mama told him, he didn’t get mad. He didn’t even frown. He smiled at Mama and asked if she remembered the day she won him that bowl at the county fair. And of course Mama did, because Mama remembered everything, and she said as much as she turned on the old record player and a song Beth didn’t know started playing. Beth watched from her hiding place beneath the table as Mama and Daddy danced and laughed long into the evening.

Love doesn’t fuss over broken bowls, sweetheart, Mama told her later, when she was tucked up warm in her bed with the music still playing softly downstairs. It only wants you to remember why you loved it in the first place.

I want this.

It hit her like a bolt to the chest, and it was bigger, infinitely bigger than she could get her head wrapped around. Her and Daryl. Beth Greene and Daryl Dixon. She wanted him—wanted them—in every way she could think of. Broken bowls and sweet county fair memories and dancing in the kitchen. Flying down an abandoned highway on the back of a motorcycle and hunting in deep woods and making love under the stars, and oh, Lord, it scared the shit out of her.

Maybe Daryl was just as scared as she was.

Maybe they were just standing here both wanting the same thing, too terrified to reach for it.

How do we do this, Daryl? How do we take that leap?

Daryl murmured her name into the side of her head and Beth leaned into the sound of his voice. God, she wanted this so much she ached, a deep, thrumming burn from her forehead down to her toes. Standing there with him, watching the sun dip down below the trees, she pleaded with the universe to let them figure out how to get there.

Or else she feared they’d stay here forever, standing on the ledge and too afraid to jump.


*~*

I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
And I don't know what I'm diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you

     - Lifehouse

The book that is referenced is of course the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, specifically On the Banks of Plum Creek, since the creek is part of Beth’s linking of the books with the cabin, and subsequent naming of the walkers after Charles and Caroline Ingalls. Jack the dog, for whoever might be more familiar with the sheepdog-type Jack from the television show Little House on the Prairie, was actually a bulldog in the books.


to be continued in chapter 20 part 1 >>

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