Here we are again. Another re-post of a ficlet I've written some time ago for comment_fic
Title: Moments of grace
Fandom: The Walking Dead
Characters: Dary Dixon, Carol Peletier
Prompt: Any, Any, Not Made for This World
Word Count: 460 words
Disclaimer: as ever, the series is not mine, of course
He had insisted on burying her body all alone; he just couldn't bear it to see the grief and the pity in their eyes. Everyone had liked Beth, who could not, but he had loved her with all his heart, preposterous to every reason.
Now she was gone and the loneliness was harder to endure than ever before. When he noticed footsteps coming closer, he didn't even need to turn around, to know that it was Carol.
"Come back to the camp," she said in her always soft voice.
"I've set aside some soup for you."
"I'm not hungry."
She loved to call him like that, so he had never protested. Though this nickname was absolutely ridiculous.
"Beth would have hated it to see you in this state."
"Beth has hated it to see anyone in this state," Daryl murmured.
"She wasn't made for it to live in a world like this. Much too small, too fragile, too good. She was an angel, forced to live in hell."
Frantically he banged his fist against the tree beside him, not taking any notice of the pain and the blood running down his fingers.
"It's not fair! She was way too young to die."
Carol thought about Sophia, about Lizzy, Mika, and a lot of others, all of them much too young. No, it wasn't fair; nothing what was going on in this world was fair. She closed her eyes for a moment, fighting the pictures in her mind.
"Maybe she is in a better place now," she finally said.
Daryl narrowed his eyes, stared at her almost threateningly.
"A better place? Are you serious?"
"I've lost every hope after Sophia's death," Carol admitted.
"I didn't care about anything anymore; was just an empty shell without any sympathy. It was Beth who finally was able to reach out to me; despite everything going on around she has never stopped to believe in our future."
She paused for a moment before continuing.
"I don't want to go back into the darkness again, full of hate and loneliness. I want to look forward because this is what Beth would want us to do.
It's most difficult in the evening when the camp finally comes to ease. When I close my eyes all the memories come back; I can see them dying again ... and again ... and again.
It helps to think about anything else; something positive that came out of all this horror. A place where they all can come together now; a good place, full of peace and happiness."
He noticed Daryl's still skeptical eyes resting on her and she smiled slightly.
"No, I actually don't believe in it. But it's a gracious dream which helps me through every night."