[Desus] Finders, Keepers (2)

Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms: The Walking Dead

Rating: M

Pairing: Desus – Daryl Dixon x Paul “Jesus” Rovia

Genre: fanfiction

Characters: Paul “Jesus” Rovia, Daryl Dixon, Rick Grimes, Carol Peletier, Michonne

Warnings: Probably crack, Smut with plot

Summary: Jesus came to Alexandria to do trade and to see a certain grumpy hunter. However, he didn’t see said hunter; instead, just outside the walls of Alexandria he found a black cat – wait, was that really a cat?!


Chapter 1

 


 

Paul retired to bed that night like every other night, with a bigger-than-normal cat occupying the remaining space of his single bed. He believed he should wake up in the morning like every other morning, with or without that said cat – sometimes ‘Daryl’ slept in, sometimes he didn’t. Certainly he didn’t expect to open his eyes to the sight of an arm draping across his chest, not in the loving ‘hold me, touch me’ way but in the unsexy and discomforting way. He blinked, stared at the arm for a few seconds, then blinked again, and again, and again. Still, the arm remained his reality, not his imagination. The weight felt very real though, making breathing a slightly more difficult task. He tried to rake his sleep-fogged brain for any indication that he had taken someone to his bed last night, and after a long while rummaging through the clutter of his memories, he came to a sad, disappointing conclusion that he hadn’t done that in years. His only bed companion was a four-legged animal that should be taking the space next to him. Alert coursing through him like electric current, Paul whipped his head to the side and saw a sleeping face.

It took all his restraint not to scream because said sleeping face belonged to the one and only Daryl Dixon. The human, grumpy one. As he dared to scan down Daryl’s form, the skin of his face was cooked by the heat of horror and arousal. His heartbeat went from 75 to 150 in a quarter of a minute, nearly giving him a heart attack. On his bed Daryl was curling in a fetal position, his shoulders bare, his arms bare, his entire body bare to Paul’s scrutiny.

Paul pinched his side hard, he just had to, and was barely able to muffle his yelp into the pillow. He needed to ensure this wasn’t a dream because it looked very much like a dream, a wet dream actually, one that left him panting and aching and needy in the middle of the night whether he was in his own tiny trailer or the room Rick had provided him in Alexandria, conveniently just a few strides from the dweller of the unsuspecting culprit of his predicament.

That Daryl was lying naked on his bed was not a dream but the reality, he told himself, feeling the soft warmth of his breath ghosting against his face since they were so close, noses almost touching. He took several quick breaths, trying to calm his overexcited heart. Daryl’s sleeping face helped a great deal too. In his slumber, the man looked breathtakingly peaceful, his perpetual scowl gone, his lines smoothed out and his sharp, slanted eyes hidden behind closed eyelids. His eyelashes weren’t particularly long but their length and curves put the finishing touch to the picture of Daryl’s visage. Paul subconsciously held his breath as he swallowed.

Something black on top of Daryl’s head twitched, catching Paul’s attention. Curious, Paul extended his head to shyly touch it. Silky fur and a familiar softness graced the tips of his fingers. Paul gasped in silence. Was it… an ear? Moreover, not a human ear but a cat ear!

Emboldened by his shock, Paul gave the ear a light tug to test whether it was an ornament (though chance that Daryl would wear any ornaments on his head, let alone cat ears, was a mighty zero) and would come off. It didn’t. Moreover it felt firmly attached to his skull as if a part of him. A part of him! Something in Paul’s brain clicked and thoughts started whirring in his head. Daryl was lying on his bed. The mangorath, which should be in his place, was nowhere in sight (except that Daryl might have crushed him with his weight but it was too absurd Paul didn’t even want to consider it). Daryl had cat ears on his head. Pointy and warm and soft to the touch. Like a certain mangorath’s. Daryl had mangorath ears. Daryl was part mangorath. Daryl was the mangorath!

Paul grimaced as a headache started pounding in his skull. How his brain had come up with such a conclusion and actually convinced him that it made some sense was beyond his comprehension. Morning drowsiness caused funny thoughts. He needed an aspirin or an explanation. Maybe both. Definitely both.

Daryl’s ear twitched again and Paul couldn’t help touching it again, relishing the sensation transmitted from the tips of his fingers to his brain. As he did, he began to think he might have developed cat-ear fetish and it mortified him tremendously; it wasn’t right to think that way about his ally, his friend, especially someone as stoic as Daryl Dixon. But if he didn’t tell, no-one, certainly not Daryl, would know, right? He just had to keep his less proper thoughts to himself and behave normally around the hunter, didn’t he?

Paul’s heart almost stopped when Daryl’s eyes suddenly opened, glacially blue with black slit pupils like a cat’s. During their time of acquaintance, he had observed and learned many things about the hunter, both in his features and manners, but he never knew that Daryl possessed cat eyes and eyes were the very first thing he took notice about Daryl, or any individual he met. The hunter’s eyes were narrow, blue and magnetically drew Paul in every time they locked gaze and most importantly, they were unmistakably human. Now those eyes had changed and they were staring at him unblinkingly. The mangorath often stared at him in the same way, with the same eyes, once again confirming Paul’s crazy theory that Daryl and the feline were one and the same.

Daryl let out a small whimpering sound that was more cat than human.

Paul sat upright as though being electrocuted and rushed to his drawer. He searched frantically for a shirt and a pair of pants that were Daryl’s size. Not once had he looked behind his back to see that Daryl had also sat up, stretched his muscles and was watching Paul piling up a small hill of clothes on the floor with his curious cat eyes.

“What yer doin’?”

“Finding some clothes for you,” Paul replied without thinking. Tch. Wasn’t that obvious? Then, amidst the hassle and embarrassment his brain actually stopped for a moment to think and realization sank in like a boulder. “What?! You can talk?!”

“‘Cuz I can talk,” Daryl retorted, his voice taking a higher pitch than usual. It sounded odd,… younger. “When couldn’t I?”

“I thought… Never mind.”

Coming back to his bed, Paul handed him a navy-blue shirt, a pair of dark jeans and a pair of black boxers. He looked anywhere but Daryl’s toned chest, uncovered and presented to his sight like a tantalizing treat. Daryl eyed the articles with suspicion.

“These haven’t been worn yet,” Paul felt the need to assure him. “A size too big for me.”

With that, he left the clothes on the bed and strode out of the door, giving Daryl his privacy. He closed the door behind his back.

The sky was still a peach-lavender hue. Paul leaned against the side of the trailer in only his cotton white shirt and sweatpants, taking quick, shallow breaths to calm his racing heart and clear his head. He supposed he ought to be thinking because this was the kind of situation that required thinking but he just couldn’t. Occupying his mind was the image of Daryl sporting a pair of cat ears and it kind of effectively blocked all other thoughts. He honestly had no idea what he should say to the Alexandrian hunter when he went back inside the trailer. Ask why he had transformed into an animal? Why he had turned back into human, sans the ears and eyes? What, too straightforward? Should he beat around the bush then?

The door to his trailer creaked open and Paul took that at his cue to come inside. His eyes swept over Daryl, who was sitting with his back against the wall, his knees hunched up to his chest, and he found relief in the sight of the hunter fully clothed. Less distracting if they wanted, actually needed, to have a serious talk about what was going on here. He looked somewhat bashful. Paul’s eyebrows hitched up to see a long, black… tail relaxing on the mattress. There was a pair of scissors on the multi-purpose table by the bed.

Daryl followed his gaze and lowered his head to hide the blush blossoming on his cheeks. “Sorry, can’t keep that in my pants. Cumbersome.”

Paul sat down on the edge of the bed, shaking his head. “It’s OK. You can keep the clothes. They don’t fit me anyway.” He made a vague gesture to the tail, Daryl’s tail. “I think I deserve some sort of explanation here.”

“Figured ya’d figured out on yer own already.”

“No I didn’t. All things seem to point out to me that you are my – what, mangorath pet, which ranks top in my list of most absurd things of this year, and that is something because we’re living in the world where the dead don’t stay dead. How is that even possible, beats me.”

“Not yer pet,” Daryl bleated.

“Well your family kinda sold you to me as such. Sorry I took their offer.”

Daryl made a low growl in his throat. He was displeased, Paul could tell. Clearly that hadn’t been his idea.

“ ‘m a shapeshifter,” said Daryl after a stretched moment. “Means I can change into an animal and back.”

Oh. That was the straightforward answer Paul had wanted but not expected to get from the tight-lipped hunter. Again, from the time he’d gotten acquainted with him, Paul knew Daryl to be the type not to beat around the bush. If he could use five words to express something, he certainly wouldn’t use six. And the explanation he gave made absolutely no sense and perfect sense at the same time. A shapeshifter in a world where the dead moved around? Not too far-fetched at all.

“I understand what a shapeshifter means but not how you can do that and why you haven’t changed back until now.”

“Dunno how,” Daryl replied, shrugging. “Was born that way I guess. ‘s in the blood. Comes at certain times o’ the year. Can’t control it, can’t do nothin’ ‘bout it.”

Paul nodded sympathetically. “Involuntary shapeshifter, I see. It must be real inconvenient.”

“Ya bet,” Daryl snorted.

Paul recalled the time when they had run away from the Sanctuary together. If Daryl could change his form freely, he would have escaped by himself long before Paul jumped off the truck’s roof and landed in Negan’s territory. Paul wondered what good it was being a shapeshifter who was unable to shapeshift at will. So far he only saw drawbacks. But of course he wouldn’t say it aloud in front of Daryl’s face; the man didn’t need someone to tell him it sucked being the way he was.

A bit lost in his musing, Paul let his hand inch closer and closer towards Daryl’s tail, driven by a subconscious desire to stroke it – a habit he had sort of formed during the last week. However, Daryl was one step quicker: his tail curled and retreated behind his back in a flash.

“Sorry,” Paul mumbled, face flushed. “Just a habit is all. Were you aware of everything when you were in that form? Do you remember anything?”

“I remember bits and bobs but not everythin’. Somethin’ the matter?”

A sense of relief and deflation filled Paul up at the same time.

“You don’t remember some of your behaviors… like demanding belly rubs, chasing the squirrels, stealing meat from the kitchen, et cetera?”

A hint of red spread upward Daryl’s neck. He shook his head. “While ‘m in that form, sometimes the animal instincts take over. Nothin’ too embarrassin’?”

“No, never mind,” Paul said, scratching his head. “How long before your… your eyes and ears turn back to normal?”

“Takes some time before ‘m fully human, two days normally, three at most.”

“Your family, do they know about your… special condition?”

“Cut yer euphemism,” Daryl grunted. “Ain’t necessary. Rick an’ Carol found out, then Rick told Michonne.”

Somehow Paul could picture the three of them throwing back their heads and laughing like a scene in George of the Jungle, pulling a prank on their brother like that. His family loved him to bits, there was no doubt, but they also had a really twisted sense of humor.

“Well, in the meantime, you can stay here until you change back,” Paul offered. “I don’t mind having a roomie.”

Daryl’s cat eyes peaked through his long bangs, his eyes perked as of showing Paul had gotten his full attention. “Ya sure ya don’t mind?”

“It’s not like you haven’t stayed here before. Besides, I can’t shoo you out of my trailer looking like this, can I?” Paul laughed in an attempt to mask nervousness spiking in his stomach all of sudden. Get a hold of yourself, Rovia. It was just two or three days; surely you can handle being in such close proximity with him without making a fool out of yourself and trampling your established friendship. Right?

“Thanks.”

“It’s nothing, really,” Paul said, waving his hand. “Now, what do you fancy for breakfast? I sincerely hope it’s not squirrels because I can’t find any this early in the morning.”

“Yer ridiculous,” Daryl grunted, but couldn’t keep a tiny smile from the corner of his lips.

To be continued

I had a mighty need to write cat!Daryl.

 

[Desus] Finders, Keepers (1)

Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms: The Walking Dead

Rating: M

Pairing: Desus – Daryl Dixon x Paul “Jesus” Rovia

Genre: fanfiction

Characters: Paul “Jesus” Rovia, Daryl Dixon, Rick Grimes, Carol Peletier, Michonne

Warnings: Probably crack, Smut with plot

Summary: Jesus came to Alexandria to do trade and to see a certain grumpy hunter. However, he didn’t see said hunter; instead, just outside the walls of Alexandria he found a black cat – wait, was that really a cat?!


 

Paul didn’t miss the unified weird expression Rick, Michonne and Carol were giving him when they came to the gate to greet the Hilltop scout. If he had to put it into words, he’d say it was a crossbreed between surprise and… amusement. Now that puzzled him. Was he humoring them in some way he was unaware? He did a super-quick check in the rearview mirror and found nothing funny in his attire or his face. In fact, he looked extra-fine today: hair combed, beard trimmed, new beanie, boots and trench coat dusted off; he always took care to look neat whenever he went to Alexandria to do trade, almost as if to impress a certain someone here. He looked down his arms again, suddenly recalling the weight in them. Right. The only thing out of the ordinary was the coal-back lump with its long furry tail winding around his arm.

“What?” Paul asked, seeing Michonne leaning towards Rick and whispering into his ears. Rick’s face contorted in an epically failed attempt to contain his laughter and maintain a straight face at the same time.

“Nothing.” It was Rick who answered.

Like hell it’s nothing, Paul thought. But he kept it to himself, waiting for Rick, or Michonne or Carol, to add anything. He was a patient man after all – a much needed virtue for someone who was nicknamed Jesus.

“Where did you find… that?” asked Rick, making vague gestures at the black lump in Paul’s arms.

As though understanding human words, said black lump perked up its pointy ears and then lifted its head, narrow blue eyes zeroing into Rick. The tail that had wrapped around Paul’s forearm unwinded and raised to form a big question mark. When Paul looked down, he was both surprised and intrigued by how expressive the creature was.

“This…” he began, “… well, I spotted it not too far outside the wall and brought it back on a whim. Didn’t know what had gotten into me. Anyone has any idea what sort of animal this is?”

When he first saw this black creature prowling in the bush, Paul was thoroughly dumbfounded because of all his thirty years of living, he had never seen anything like this. Generally it looked like a cat with its round head, triangular ears and lean, graceful limbs. The way it moved resembled a feline too, quickly and soundlessly – padded paws, he guessed. Its size was the odd thing though: bigger than an ordinary cat but smaller than a Labrador. Imagine a cat trying to evolve into a young black panther but failing and you’ll get the picture. Won over by his surging curiosity, Paul slowly approached the creature against his better judgment to just leave it alone. Perhaps it was because he had always had a soft spot for strays that he couldn’t help it when seeing one even though this was technically a wild animal, not a domestic one. It utterly baffled him how this wild cat-thing was so docile – even friendly in a weird sort of way: it didn’t scratch or bite his outstretched hand and it allowed him to tickle under its chin, purring softly as he did. He almost believed it must have been someone’s exotic pet before shit had hit the fan. And its eyes! When he looked into its blue eyes, oddly human for an animal despite the slit pupils, a sense of familiarity washed over him that he couldn’t quite understand. That was what sealed the deal and the next thing he knew, Paul had the creature clasped to his passenger seat by the seatbelt, its tail winding around his forearm, on his way to Alexandria. The animal had a penchant for it, it seemed, and Paul, being the pet lover, didn’t mind it one bit.

“It’s a mangorath,” said Rick.

“I’m sorry a-what?”

“A man-go-rath,” Carol enunciated.

The mangorath, according to Carol, scratched its claws at Paul’s leather sleeves soon as the last syllable left her lips. Sharp, just like a cat’s. Fearing that his favorite trench coat might get a tear, he shushed the creature, earning a complaint from it in the form of a soft growl. With his gloved hand Paul stroked behind its ears in a placating manner. It purred, clearly enjoying the treatment, which encouraged Paul to continue. Although separated by a thick layer of leather, he could tell how soft its ears were. Too absorbed in his indulgence that he didn’t notice the funny look Rick, Michonne and Carol were throwing his way.

“It’s a type of rare half-wild, half-domestic feline,” Carol continued.

“Half-wild, half-domestic?” Paul echoed.

“Means he can live in the wild but he can make for a good pet as well. Ah, that’s a he, by the way.”

It struck him as odd that Carol knew so much about this mangorath creature. Did she use to have one or had she been a zoologist before all this shit?

“How can you tell?”

Carol just shrugged as a means of saying she knew stuff that he didn’t know and he just had to take her words for it, which he did because Paul’s knowledge of this rare species was a big fat zero. In fact, he’d never heard of it until today.

To be fair, his knowledge of the animal world wasn’t extensive either.

“Won’t your arms get tired holding him like that?” Michonne asked.

“Oh no,” Paul replied, “he’s actually a lot lighter than he looks. You wanna try?”

That wasn’t the real reason though. Truth was, he held the mangorath because he was afraid that if he let him down, the feline would run off at once, to wherever he had come from. And Paul, being selfish and hyper-aware of it, did not want that. It wasn’t every day that he happened to come across a rare animal which didn’t try to bite his hand off when he tried to pet it.

The female samurai shook her head. “I’ll pass. Allergic to furs.”

“Right. Anyone in Alexandria interested in keeping a pet?”

Paul’s thought was directed to the Grimes household, specifically to the adolescent Carl Grimes, who was carrying lots of emotional baggage. The troubled youth had been through a lot and perhaps keeping a pet would do him some good.

“Why don’t you keep him? He seems awfully agreeable with you. May even like you.”

For some reason only they knew, Michonne sniggered at her boyfriend’s suggestion. Carol brought a hand to her mouth, obviously trying to cover a grin. OK, this was seriously bugging Paul. There had to be something here that he didn’t know and they had no intention to tell him either, preferring to keep it for themselves. Some private Alexandrian joke?

The mangorath stirred and scratched his arm.

“Oh no,” Paul said, shaking his head ruefully, “I don’t think I can keep a pet. As you know, I live in a tiny trailer, which I’m absent from most of the day.”

It wasn’t the first time Paul had run into a stray on his supply run. His first instinct had always been keeping them, feeding them, giving them a shelter from the sun and the rain and the horde of flesh-gnawing monsters. Yet when he thought about his living condition and routine, about how little time he had for himself, the best he could do was heave a sign and find a household who was interested in, and more importantly, capable of caring for an extra member in their family. And that was what he was trying to do here, in Alexandria, finding a home for this strange creature which he had grown oddly increasingly fond of.

“He’s mostly self-sufficient,” Carol quickly assured. “You don’t even have to feed him or wash him. He doesn’t like washing anyway. He’ll keep the rodents off your trailer…”

“And probably brings you some for dinner,” Michonne added, chuckling. “If you don’t mind dining on squirrels, that is.”

Paul heard the mangorath let out a throaty growl and couldn’t tell whether he agreed or disagreed with the badass samurai. On the other hand, he felt indistinctly like a wavering customer being pressured to purchase a pet he was unsure if he should have by three cunning shop owners. Alone, each was fearsome in their way. Together, they were a force to be reckoned with. He felt himself losing already.

“Finders, keepers,” said the Alexandrian leader. And just like that, the argument ended: the responsibility to care for the mangorath fell into the Hilltop scout’s laps.

After all the unloading and uploading of goods was done, which was in the late afternoon, Paul set to return to Hilltop, finding no reason to dally as a certain hunter had left Alexandria and wasn’t likely to come home for days. Feeling a stone sink in his guts, Paul placed the mangorath in the passenger’s seat, clasped the seatbelt around his body just so the feline wouldn’t jump around in the truck and got them both killed in an accident before settling into the driver’s seat.

Watching the truck leaving the gate with her arms crossing on her chest, Carol turned to Rick. “You sure it’s a good idea because I’m sure I’m not ready to deal with Daryl’s tantrum once he gets back.”

Rick merely shrugged. “You saw it yourself. I’m sure he’ll thank us when he’s back.”

“After he throws a tantrum,” Michonne deadpanned.

“After he throws a tantrum,” Rick echoed, grinning.

“So… How about… Wolverine?”

Water splashing right into his face was what Paul got as a reply from the ill-mannered mangorath.

“Bad cat! Very bad cat!” Paul chided, wiping his face with the back of his sudsed hand. The soap that accidentally got into his nose made him sneeze loudly.

Sitting in a basin in Paul’s tiny bathroom, said bad cat was wagging his long, soaked tail in a lazy manner, no sign of contrite visible on his sharp feline features.

Soon as they arrived at Hilltop, Paul had immediately thought of giving his brand-new animal companion a thorough wash because hell, he was not going to have fleas in his bed. Unfortunately for him, the mangorath was a keen animal with a fierce dislike for washing – as Carol had kindly informed him – and before Paul extended his grip on him, the cat had sprung to his paws and dashed out of the truck. Hence a tag, you’re it game between Jesus and the satanic black cat commenced, bringing laughter and mirthful tears to many a Hilltoper, including Maggie and Enid. In fact, Maggie had laughed so hard that Dr. Carson had to remind her to restrain herself a little so as not to cause any unpleasant effect on her recovery process. By the time he had had his hand on the cuff of the mangorath’s neck (much help from a couple of children), he was bathed in sticky sweats and very much in need of a wash himself.

After he finished washing the stubborn feline first.

This chasing game had Paul become all reminiscent of his first meeting with a certain grumpy hunter. Not the best impression but undoubtedly memorable. Now he could fully sympathize with Daryl’s desire to give him a punch in the face after the scout had pretty much saved his ass from a walker’s bite. Not that he would punch the cat though; Paul was many things but never an abuser.

“But you need a name, right,” Paul tried to reason with his four-legged new buddy. “I can’t just call you ‘mangorath’ all day. How about ‘Magneto’?”

A mighty wave of the black tail once again had Paul wipe his face with his sleeve.

“Right, no comic superheroes then. How about The Lord of the Ring? Legolas maybe?”

Splash.

“Thranduil?”

Splash.

“Harry Potter? Severus Snape? Voldemort?!”

Splash. Splash. SPLASH.

At this point, Paul had come to an understanding that this was the mangorath’s response to his questions. Sweeping his wet hair back crudely, he said, “OK, I got your point. No fictional characters. How about Michael Jackson?”

Splash.

“Right… Norman Reedus?”

There was no water attack but the mangorath had also turned his head away, finding the pastel wall of the bathroom more interesting than his human’s visage. If it wasn’t an “I don’t care” than Paul didn’t know what it was.

“Come on,” Paul pled, rubbing the soft sponge along his spine, “one last try, OK. After that I’ll just call you ‘Mango’ for short.”

The cat turned his head back, looking at Paul with his impossibly blue, round eyes. Good. He seemed to catch his attention.

“How about…” A moment of hesitation. “… Daryl?”

Paul anticipated another strike, but it didn’t come. The mangorath lowered his head and rested it on the edge of the basin’s edge. He purred.

Feeling triumphant, Paul grinned widely. “Daryl it is.”

Living with the mangorath turned out to be simpler than Paul had thought. True to Carol’s words – he had to thank her the next time they met, the feline was mostly self-sufficient and actually required little care. When Paul was on his supply run or scouting mission, ‘Daryl’ went with him, trailing behind him like a faithful shadow if he was on foot or sitting quietly with the seat belt tight around his body if Paul took the truck. While Paul was at Hilltop helping around, ‘Daryl’ explored on his own. The first time he had done it, Paul had nearly freaked out, thinking his animal companion had deserted him and gone off to be a walker’s dinner, but before Paul had officially lost it, he showed up at the trailer’s door, a freshly dead squirrel in his jaw. From then on, whenever ‘Daryl’ disappeared for a few hours, Paul expected to find some dead games presented on the floor of his trailer like some sort of proud trophy.

Not that Paul was going to skin and eat those poor creatures though. He was mostly shit at skinning, as Daryl – the human one, of course – had not-so-kindly pointed out during a night they had had to camp outside Alexandria. So he was content to let his feline buddy savor his catches and cleared the remains – not that there were many – afterwards. On the days that ‘Daryl’ didn’t feel like hunting or was just plain unlucky, Paul shared his portion of food with him, and was fascinatingly surprised to see the predator stoically chow down pasta and salads. Definitely omnivorous, he thought. Another interesting point to note.

Two weeks had passed since he took the mangorath to Hilltop, during which he had done trade with Alexandria thrice. To his utter disappointment, not once had he been able to see the grumpy hunter, who had been “away for hunting” – Rick’s words. Bad timing, perhaps?

“I do miss him you know,” Paul said while drawing little circles behind the cat’s ear. He was sitting on his worn couch in his trailer, enjoy a humid, quiet evening. “The other ‘Daryl’. Maybe we weren’t meant to be and that’s how fate’s telling me. Hah, not that we have much of a chance anyway. The guy’s probably straight. I mean, he fits the type, right?”

Curling on Paul’s laps, ‘Daryl’ purred, his long tail winding around Paul’s forearm as he looked his human in the eyes.

“Sappy, I know.” said Paul, shaking his head ruefully.

To be continued

 

[Rant] The Feast of All Sinners – The Originals 4×13

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Warnings: spoilers (but I guess by this time most viewers have already watched the season finale), inappropriate jokes, careless language, messing up the order of events

  • Let me begin by saying that I’m not OK with the season finale, much less with the fact that it was intended to be the series finale. It’s emotional, yes. It’s heart-wrenching, yes. It concludes the story in some way but still leaves the door open for future possibilities, yes. Putting them aside, there’re several things that I’m not OK with.

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  • I’m not OK with the way things are crammed into a 40-something-min episode while it should have been two-hour long. As a result, it seems rather rushed and even some crucial scenes are cut off (I’m talking about the Marcel-Vincent and Marcel-Josh scenes that are in the stills but ain’t in the episode.)
  • I’m not OK with the way the Hollow is subdued so easily as if she was a mere joke (what? Pixie dust in the face?!). I expected a more epic and an extensive show of her powers combined with Hope’s. Should have been something massive right? But she just… what? Resurrected Dominic (only to be killed some screen time later – Hello Dominic. Goodbye Dominic.), a few light bulbs, sent a few sparks and… that’s it.
  • I’m not OK with way the Hollow’s followers are destroyed so quickly and effortlessly. They’re all witches for God’s sake; they’re not even putting a little fight, all lambs waiting to be baked. Geez.

1

  • I’m not OK with the siblings not having proper farewell to one another (except Klelijah and Freybekah – sort of). Should have given them more screen time since they’re supposed to be separate always and forever.
  • I’m not OK with Klaus having been away from his daughter for five fucking years, only to be with her for a few short weeks before having to stay away from her for another decade.

2

  • I’m not OK with Hope and Klaus not having a proper goodbye. Damn it, if the man’s not going to see his daughter for ten years at least let him hold her and kiss her.
  • I’m not OK with this being the series finale. They cannot start a series with “Family is power” and end it with the family disintegrated. It’s disrespectful to fans who’ve fallen in love with “Always and forever” and stayed with this series even though at times it ripped our hearts in two. They’d better fix it in the next season. How about a grown up Hope find and smash the Hollow piece inside each sibling so the family can be together again.
  • Ten years is a long time. I’m gonna miss Vincent.
  • I’m not OK with the episode spending a significant portion of screen time angsting over Freya’s turning and then not actually doing it. I guess it’s necessary to cement Freya and Keelin’s relationship but can they shorten it a little so there’s more for whichever I’ve mentioned above.
  • I’m not OK with Hayley sending Hope to the Salvatore school. Firstly, as I’ve mentioned in my earlier rants, there’s currently no legitimate witch at that school and we shall not pretend that Alaric and Caroline have sufficient knowledge regarding magic. Secondly, sending Hope there for safety is a marvelous idea because Mystic Falls is the safest place on earth, where just happened to have Hell’s gate, cannibalistic sirens, not to mention the ‘Devil’ himself. And let’s not forget for the span of eight seasons Mystic Falls has been a beacon for supernatural mayhems. Yup, utterly, totally safe.

5

  • I still don’t care about Alaric and Caroline.
  • I’m not OK with Elijah’s forgetting his memories of his family. That’s like erasing the very core of his existence – a way of killing him without killing him. Seriously, do the writers hate Elijah so much not only did they kill him and wipe out his entire sire line now they have to erase his memories?! I’m all for Elijah to be happy and free from burdens and to find peace but imho, true peace has to be realized by the individual themself, like they’ve either vanquished or made peace with their demons and come to terms with their condition, not by magical memory wiping. It’s picking the easy and lazy way, which is a method that shouldn’t be employed by any dignified writers.
  • I’m not OK with how in the end, Klaus’s worst fear is realized. He’s utterly alone, without his family or his soulmate. And this is how the writers intended to end the series. Why must they torment Klaus so? What has he done to invoke their wrath?
  • I’m not OK… actually I’m OK with Haylijah They were doomed the moment Plec made that ‘feminist’ statement. Now that Elijah has pretty much forgotten about Hayley, let’s hope he finds a (or a few) new love interest(s) and maybe create a new sire line.
  • I’m low-key not OK with Marcel nor learning that his adopted daughter has come back to life and nobody bothers to fill him on it. Not even Davina. At least give him a call, will you?

Now, onto the things that I find OK about this season finale:

  • At least the unnecessary love triangle between Rebekah-Marcel-Sofya officially ends. I was low-key hoping for a threesome but am actually glad Marcel chooses to be with Bex.

4

  • Kol and Davina have their happy ending with neither of them getting killed again. Now if Kol’s engaged to Davina, things can get a bit awkward since Bex is with Marcel (engaged, likely?), since y’know, Kol and Bex are siblings while Marcel and Davina are father and adopted daughter. Nope, totally not weird.
  • Elijah’s thriving in his new career as a musician playing in a bar for tips. Although it’s not genuine peace he’s enjoying, seeing him indulging his hobby gives me a smile.

7

  • Looks like I’m contradicting myself here. Can’t help it. I’m contradictory by nature.
  • The sheer amount of Klelijah in this season finale makes my Klelijah heart nearly burst out of my chest. Every line, every gesture between them is beautifully heart-wrenching. It hurts, but in the fantastic way, to see your ship both doomed and propelled by the writers. Doomed in a sense that they’re not allowed to be in the same room again and Elijah’s taken drastic measures so he will not instinctively run to Klaus. Doomed in a sense that he does not even recognize his little brother to whom he’s basically dedicated his whole life. Propelled in a sense that despite Vincent’s warning, it’s Klaus that runs to Elijah just to see if his beloved brother is doing OK. Propelled in a sense that this episode was meant to be the conclusion of the whole series and of all the various relationships in this show, they chose to end it with a beautifully crafted Klelijah Not Klamille, not Klayley or Haylijah or any other romantic ships, it’s this ship that is endgame. It comes a full circle that in the pilot, Elijah came to look for Klaus and in the finale, Klaus finds Elijah. And that smile. My words will not do that smile justice.

Since this is the last rant for this season (don’t know if I’m gonna do a weekly rant for season 5), let’s go over a few plus and minus things:

Plus (+):

  • “I will carry you with me” promise realized
  • Mentions of Cami throughout the season and Klaus’s reaction
  • Hayley’s full wolf form
  • Freya getting a love interest
  • Hope as a little girl who is “7, not stupid”
  • Hope’s interactions with Hayley, Klaus, Marcel, Freya
  • Hope doing magic
  • Davina’s resurrection. Funny that both she and Kol have died and been brought back to life twice.
  • Origin story of the Werewolf curse
  • A decent villain who poses a constant threat to our ‘heroes’ (and manages to kill one of them), whose defeat requires the heroes to brush aside their differences and unite to fight against her
  • KLELIJAH RISES!!!!!

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Minus (-):

  • The season only has 13 episodes.
  • Klaus still not showing his full wolf form. Come on, how long do we have to wait?
  • Freya’s love plot is bordering on Stockholm Syndrome and seems a bit rushed (like they thought it was the last season and had only 13 episodes so they had to speed things up).
  • Lack of interaction between Hope and Elijah as well as between Hope and Rebekah while the former was the first one to fight for her life and the latter took care of her during her eight first months
  • Decent as she may be, the Hollow lacks the charisma to be a great and memorable villain. True to her name, she’s rather ‘hollow’ in terms of personality – or let’s say she has no personality whatsoever. She also has no clear motive aside from wanting more powers (for what purpose?). Moreover, she seems to be a bit overrated by Vincent’s constant warnings that she’ll destroy New Orleans (and the world for that matter) when resurrected but when it does happen, she just goes around wrecking some (minor) havoc like killing a bunch of witches and then dying.
  • The untied plot thread involving Eva and Vincent’s unborn child. It is introduced in third episode as a potentially important plot thread and never mentioned again after that.
  • Unnecessary ties to The Vampire Diaries
  • Elijah’s death and the eradication of his entire sire line
  • Elijah’s magic-induced amnesia. Elena Gilbert anyone?
  • Elijah’s treatment in overall, which is steadily becoming Stefan-esque
  • The end of “Always and Forever”
  • Hope and Hayley moving to Mystic Falls
  • Haylijah We all know what the real reason is.
  • Where’s Aurora? What happened to her? At least give us some conclusion about her fate.

[Desus] (The World Was on Fire) and No One Could Save Me But You (6)

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Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms: The Walking Dead

Rating: K+

Pairing: Desus – Daryl Dixon x Paul “Jesus” Rovia

Genres: fanfiction, alternate universe, vampire AU

Characters: Paul “Jesus” Rovia, Daryl Dixon, Rick Grimes

Summary:

For all the short time Paul had been acquainted with Rick Grimes, he had never heard the tough police officer’s voice break like when he informed Paul, “Daryl was shot.”

Alternate universe. Established relationship.


Chapter 1     Chapter 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4     Chapter 5


 

I never dreamed that I’d love somebody like you

Wicked Game

Daryl closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. The quintessential scent of blood was flooding his nostrils, making his head swim and his heartbeats quicken. It had been relatively calm, his heart, almost dormant in a sense as the paralysis had spread to his entire torso. But soon as Paul had come back – left for about five seconds – with a blood bag, it started thumping against his ribcage like an impatient fist knocking relentlessly on the door. It may be just his imagination but the numbness seemed to recede, if only a little, and he felt a prickling sensation along his spine as well as the tips of his fingers and toes. He started to grasp how essential blood was to a vampire, which he was about to become. The thought twisted a knot in his stomach, from anxiety or anticipation he couldn’t tell.

“I jus’ rip the bag an’ drink?”

“I brought a straw in case you need,” Paul replied, tone coated with light teasing. He sat down beside Daryl and resumed their earlier position.

“Nah.” A beat, and then Daryl asked, “Is that how ya often drink it, with a straw?”

During their time living together, not once had Daryl seen Paul drink. He always took his ‘daily supplements’ – his own words, to make it less awkward for the both of them – when Daryl was not home, taking extra care in clearing away the empty bag as well as the metallic taste in his mouth. Truth be told, Daryl thought he probably wouldn’t be too bothered if Paul was less meticulous in covering up his vampiric traits – surely he wouldn’t pass out if he happened to come across a used blood bag on the kitchen counter – but Paul, being Paul, was adamant. Daryl suspected this was a result of a past incident but he wasn’t one to pry into private affairs unless there was a valid reason. Now that Paul just mentioned a straw, Daryl wondered if that was how he usually did it: slurping the bag’s content like he drank a slurpee.

Paul rounded his eyes comically and then snorted. “No, drinking blood from a blood bag is weird enough, no need to make it weirder, right?”

“Weird as compared to chompin’ a random guy’s neck? Thought vampires prefer that.”

“I’d not like to upset my dentist, thank you,” he said. “But yeah, most prefer the veins to a blood bag. Hot meals beat frozen meals any day. Not to mention there’s the urge inherent to us, our natural inclination to violence. Some are just better at suppressing it than others.”

Daryl looked into Paul’s eyes, illuminated by the dying rays of sunset, and felt fear surging in his heart. “What if I belong to the ‘others’?” He didn’t realized he had sucked in a breath. “What if I start killin’?”

Paul’s gaze was the softest Daryl had seen as it was fixed on him like he was the only thing in the whole world worth seeing. He was transfixed by the subtle yet constant glide along the color spectrum Paul’s irises did. It was a mesmerizing challenge trying to figure out the true color of his eyes, one Daryl enjoyed but would never tell.

“I know it’s hard,” Paul began, “especially for newcomers. When I turned, it was like hell to me. New, perplexing, exhilarating hell. But I was fortunately to not go through it alone and you won’t have to either, I promise…” He took Daryl’s hand in his, giving it a squeeze. “I will be with you for as long as you want to have this old bat by your side… Even when you don’t want me anymore, you know how clingy I am.”

The playful smirk on Paul’s lips after he deliberately stressed the word had the tips of Daryl’s ears aflame with embarrassment. The pressure of Paul’s powerful thighs clamping either side of his waist in a few times they did it on the kitchen counter was too fresh on his mind for him to not react even though he was technically paralyzed from the neck down. Dam Paul and his knacks for innuendo.

“Ya sure ya ain’t proposin’ because that sounds hella like a proposal,” Daryl said, trying to gain some purchase for his embarrassment.

The playful smirk vanished entirely, replaced by a serious expression. The change had Daryl shoot him a quizzical look.

“Yes, Mr. Dixon,” he said, holding his gaze, “this is me proposing to you. Will you do me the honor of becoming my partner for life, or un-life, to be more precise?”

Daryl just stared at him, all the air knocked out of his lungs. It was as if his brain had been short-circuited, and in this moment, he entirely forgot his need to breath. The spontaneity and casual manner in which the proposal came would have led him to doubt whether Paul was merely making a joke but for the way he articulated each word. Paul might be a world-class joker but when he spoke like this, slow and clear, he meant every word coming out of his mouth, even if they were the most absurd of absurdity. The raw earnest blazing in his eyes set Daryl on fire.

This was just like when Paul said the three simple words and changed his life forever for good.

“Daryl?” A fearful note in his key. “Are you alright? Am I too sudden?”

Daryl sucked in a long breath, finally remembering that he needed to breathe. The heat on his face was almost unbearable and he doubted the color would be pretty – he knew he colored easily. Another proof that Paul was dead-serious was that he hadn’t jumped at the opportunity to tease him like he normally would.

“Might as well get on one knee,” Daryl muttered, and didn’t mean a word. He only needed to say something to distract himself from the maelstrom of emotions.

Yet Paul, having super hearing, didn’t miss a syllable. He gently let Daryl lean on the tree and immediately knelt before him.

That was not the end of Daryl’s surprise though, for Paul reached into his pocket and procured a small, velvet box. Daryl’s heart was one step from leaping out of his chest.

Like a scene from a romantic movie, Paul carefully opened the box to reveal a ring with a simple, almost plain design whose main highlight was a round stone. Dyed in the color of the clear night sky, it made a stark contrast to the silver of the ring. Daryl recognized what it was at once.

“A daylight ring?”

“Yes,” Paul confirmed. “Had my witch buddy Tara made them for a while now, you know, just in case.”

“Them?”

Paul beamed, wriggling his hand. On his ring finger was an identical, if slightly smaller, ring. “A pair. Figure it’s time I got a new daylight ring. Would love to have you put it on my finger but you know, the sun. Later, maybe?”

Daryl couldn’t help a smile as he shook his head. It wasn’t that Daryl daydreamed about Paul proposing to him every frigging day but he did entertain the thought once in a while. And when he did, his vision certainly looked nothing like this, with himself propped against the tree and Paul on one knee, a daylight ring in his hand. He imagined it to be normal and casual, the two of them sitting in their frequented bar, two shots of whiskey in front of them and some trashy music blaring at top volume above their head, and somehow the words just rolled off their tongues – did not matter who said them. Nonetheless, when you were in a relationship with an ancient vampire, ‘normal’ was rather off-limits.

“Tell me ya ain’t the first vampire to propose with a daylight ring an’ a blood bag ‘cuz it’s real romantic.”

“I’d love to claim it as my original idea,” Paul laughed, “but no, it was Maggie’s. She and Glenn have been happily married for seven years. Unlike how some movies tend to portray, vampire relationships can be healthy.”

He took Daryl’s hand and pressed it to his cheek, his beard tickling the skin of Daryl’s palm. “That’s what I hope for our future, also what’s been on my mind since I realized I had fallen harder than a teenager for the hottest cop in town. So what do you say, Mr. Dixon?”

Daryl wished he could move, even just his hand, so that he could physically expressed his affection, which was overflowing his heart at the moment. Unlike Paul, who was always able to eloquently put his thoughts into carefully crafted words, verbal expressions were never his strong front; he could never find the right words – and the courage to say them for that matter – at the right moment, right now for example. At the start of their relationship, he had been very certain that his tight-lipped tendency would bore the man as it had done his few previous partners, and eventually Paul would leave him for good. Contrary to his belief, Paul hadn’t once voiced his displeasure with Daryl’s stunted verbal capacity, nor had he left him, and this was the one time when Detective Dixon was actually glad that he had been proven wrong.

“A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will suffice, you know,” Paul urged. “I’m still kneeling here.” He lowered his voice to whisper. “Please, please say ‘yes’.”

“Jus’ wonderin’ if ya got the right size ‘s all. Should be awkward as shit if it didn’t fit.”

Paul’s eyes lit up like the first creak of the sun after hour-long rain. “Only one way to find out, right?”

And with that he slipped the ring smoothly on Daryl’s finger. The lapis lazuli stone twinkled. He wondered what question Rick and Carol would pulverize him with once they saw the ring, knowing Daryl Dixon was never a man of accessory.

Paul cupped Daryl’s face and kissed him, slow and long. No tongues, just lips touching lips in the chastest manner possible without losing the intimacy.

“Next is to consummate our engagement,” Paul spoke against his lips.

He had braced himself against the taste of blood.

Even though the undead side of him had desperately craved for it, the human side, or what was left of it, was appalled by the thought that soon he would have blood in his mouth, down his throat. Human blood, which had been drawn from the veins of living human beings. It could be the young man he had passed on the street, the freckled cashier at the supermarket where he brought his groceries, or the young blond waitress (Beth?) at Carol’s diner who always served him with a smile. Knowing that the blood had been donated to the blood bank and no killing had been involved didn’t provide much help in easing his nausea. Daryl swallowed dryly a few times, trying to quench it but still feel it clawing at the inside of his throat.

“It’s gonna be OK, I promise,” Paul assured him, probably sensing his tension. He tore open the bag and carefully lifted it to Daryl’s lips. Daryl squeezed his eyes shut…

… and immediately fluttered them open when the blood filled his mouth. His earlier doubts vanished at once, his nauseous feeling washed away like footprints by the waves and the only thing that mattered on his mind was the taste on his tongue. Blood tasted like blood, metallic and thick, whether it was in a plastic bag or oozing from a nick on his finger; his peculiar undead biology didn’t give it a different flavor. He had thought he’d be repulsed by it but he wasn’t; rather, he was experiencing a sensation not unlike arousal, only it had absolutely nothing to do with sex. Shutting his eyes, he swallowed and swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing frantically. He vaguely heard Paul saying something but was unable to catch his words; the rushing of blood in his ears was thundering, drowning every other sound. There was fireworks exploding behind his eyelids and electricity sizzling beneath his skin, rapidly charging him, altering him, making him feel more alive than he ever had. Goosebumps raised on his arms, and his hairs stood on ends. Fueled with the virulent energy from the blood, his dead limbs came alive and before Daryl was aware, his arms had stretched out and wrapped around the only body available around here. The thundering of blood in his ears faded into two types of heartbeats: one erratic and arrhythmic, the other steady and calm. He focused on the calm one, trying to will his frantic heart to sync with it. Success came easier than he thought.

When the last drop blood had been infused with his system, Daryl snapped his eyes open. He was pretty sure the scenery hadn’t changed in a few minutes; rather, the one who had undergone a thorough transformation was him, for now he was seeing with the eyes of newborn baby who saw the world for the first time and was completely enthralled by the sheer beauty of every simple thing he had sorely missed before this moment. And Paul, when his eyes found him, was beautiful beyond any vocabulary he could racked his muddled brain for description, perfection etched in the curve of his plush lips, the small dip of his nose bridge, the ever-shifting blue of his eyes. How such an exquisite creature had fallen in love with him despite all his grievous flaws was an enigma Daryl could never understand. A single tear rolled his cheek, mingled with the blood on the corner of his lips.

“Daryl… Are you alright?” Paul’s voice was laced with genuine concern for the pained expression on Daryl’s face.

That was the last straw; the dam holding off Daryl’s emotions broke. He cupped Paul’s face and wasted no millisecond in pulling the man into a kiss. It was more of a crushing of lips than an actual kiss, all bare instincts and force and no techniques. He devoured Paul’s lips like his life depended on it, like this was the last time he was allowed to love Paul the way he desired before being flung into a barren, loveless land where he was all alone for eternity. His hands hiked up Paul’s damp shirt and roamed over the smooth, cool skin of his back, which was quickly covered in goosebumps. Paul’s hands blindly tangled in Daryl’s dark hair, scratching his scalp with his filed nails while he tried competitively to match Daryl’s burning passion with his own.

Despite the rawness, the blood, the messiness, it was perfect.

Neither knew how much time had passed when they pulled apart at last. The whites in Paul’s eyes had turned solid red, contrasting with his blazing blue irises in an alluringly freakish wonder. Dark veins surfaced around his eyes, slithering beneath his skin like having a life of their own. From his parted lips, his fangs gleamed. Daryl’s heart skipped a beat in consternation. This was the vampire Paul, the side well-hidden under layers and layers of carefree attitude, sweet words and bright smiles, the side which he had had no intention to let Daryl see lest it frightened and disgusted him. Until today. Without any warning, he laid bare the proof of his inhumanity to his lover. Daryl wouldn’t lie and say he was unaffected but his apprehension was transient as a heartbeat. In the mirrors that were Paul’s eyes he saw himself – same blood-red eyes, dark veins and fangs – and understood. Showing Daryl his bestial features was meant to be construed as neither intimidation nor menace; rather, its meaning was perspicuous in the gentleness of his eyes despite his look: an acknowledgment of their similar nature, that from now on they were equals sharing not only the same roof but also the same essence in their veins.

“How do you feel?” Paul asked once his face had returned to normal.

A multitude of words raced through his mind and he only caught one. “Thrilled,” he replied tersely.

“Thrilled?” Paul echoed.

Daryl looked into Paul’s eyes and nodded.

Thrilled at the privilege of being given the chance to witness how the flux of time was and would be constantly and eternally shaping what human called the reality. The endless possibilities. Thrilled at knowing the best part of it was that he wouldn’t have to go through time alone. They would have each other for as long as possible or as they could tolerate. Daryl was not such a wide-eyed romanticist that he would naively believe in an everlasting love, yet he was not too cynical to think that their relationship would reach a definite end too soon. Planning ahead of the future wasn’t his specialty because Daryl Dixon was a man of present. For now he would cherish having these brilliant eyes looking at him, and him alone, with all the affection their owner’s big heart could muster.

He said none of those but had a feeling Paul understood, having trained himself to be fluent in Daryl’s language of silence.

Paul’s lips were red and smeared with blood from their kiss. It was a temptation Daryl found himself unable to resist and so he gave in, titling his head and cleaning the blood with a swipe of his tongue.

It was sweet. Not honey-sweet but blood-sweet. That meant he was starting to get the hang of it.

Taken by surprise, Paul let out a soft gasp. After that he sought to meet Daryl’s with his own tongue but the detective was quicker by a millisecond.

“I’m hungry,” Daryl said as if it was the most usual thing in the world. He wasn’t hungry for food and he had a feeling Paul got it.

“Sorry, that was the only blood bag I brought.”

“Guess I can bear it till we get home.”

His first challenge as a bloodsucker, right. He wished he could spot the squirrel from earlier.

He was about to stand up – his legs felt solid again, strong even – when Paul reached out and pulled his wrist, telling him without word to not leave this spot yet. His eyebrows arched slightly in question.

Paul’s smile was leaning towards the mischievous side. He tilted his head, undid a few top buttons of his shirt and bared his neck. The last sun rays fell onto his pale skin, adding a golden glow to it.

Daryl didn’t miss the implication in this act. “Ya sure? ‘cuz I’m not sure I can control myself.”

He knew he couldn’t. Earlier, he had only stopped drinking simply because he had drained the bag.

“Absolutely,” Paul replied, his smile widening. “Vampire trivia number one: A vampire cannot drain another vampire to death. Worst case scenario is you have to carry my immobile ass back home. Vampire trivia number two: Blood sharing between vampires is very… intimate.”

“Intimate how?”

“Erm… like naked spooning.”

Daryl felt a tinge of jealousy. Fully aware that it was unreasonable to be jealous of Paul’s past so he tried to keep it from his tone. He wasn’t sure if he succeeded.

“Ya done it before?”

“Last time was roughly three hundred and sixty years ago,” Paul said defensively – he must have sensed something from his lover. “Hadn’t wanted to share my blood with anyone until you. Come on, I insist.”

Daryl stared at the blue vein barely visible under Paul’s pale, thin skin and gulped. He could hear the blood inside and it was practically beckoning him in a language that his new fangs were fluent. As he ran his tongue along his teeth, he found the pointy ends ready to pierce the delectable skin and sink into the veins. With one quick glance at Paul’s face, searching for any tiny signs of disapproval and finding none, he lowered his head.

Daryl inhaled deeply, allowing his mind to swim in Paul’s natural scent of sandalwood mixed with rains. He surprised the older vampire with a long, deliberate drag of his tongue along silky skin. He grazed the tender flesh just below his ear – not quite biting yet – and began to suck with the least amount of pressure. This was one of Paul’s erogenous zones, which he had committed to mind.

It appeared he had struck the right nerve because his enhanced hearing was soon filled with Paul’s audible moans. A mix of pride and affection was swelling fast in his heart. God, he loved this man so much there was no turning back now.

“Tease,” Paul breathed.

Daryl couldn’t help a smug grin before biting down for real this time.

Paul was right.

This was euphoric and intimate and the only thing that stopped them from trying outdoor sex was Daryl’s own stubborn conservativeness.

That and the guilt of draining Paul to the point of paralysis.

Despite his state, Paul teased and laughed at him all the way home while Daryl stoically endured.

He did retaliate, however, when Paul was full with blood and naked and shamelessly stretched out on their bed like a satiated cat.

And much later, he got to slip the daylight ring onto Paul’s finger.

End

That’s the end; hope you enjoy it. Thank you so much for all your kudos and comments and patience; they gave me the courage to finish it.

That’s the end; hope you enjoy it. Thank you so much for all your kudos and comments and patience; they gave me the courage to finish it.

I did say in one of my comments that I imagined Paul, as well as Maggie and his little circle of friends, to be a friendly neighborhood vampire – the kind of vampires that don’t hunt and kill, drink mostly from blood bags and try to fit in with humans – and I kept it in mind as I was writing. Daryl didn’t want to become a vampire but he didn’t abhor the idea either mainly because he hadn’t met any other vampires and thus hadn’t witnessed any atrocities that may be committed by ‘normal’ vampires.

 

[Desus] Gossip

Part III of When There Were Me & You

*Roommate AU: Detective Daryl & art student Paul

*Sequel to MOTORCYCLE

“So, tell me again,” Tara drawled, putting the cap on her marker once she had finished the Pride flag on her best friend’s cast, “how in the world did our little ninja fall off the stairs and break his leg?”

Paul let out a groan, rubbing a hand over his face. Tara seemed to take immense pleasure in making him recite the reason he had had his leg broken; he was one hundred percent certain by tomorrow all of his class and probably half the campus would have known of his embarrassing accident. Talk about the power of gossip. He wouldn’t live it down for months to come.

“It was bad luck, Tara, sheer bad luck,” Paul bleated. “Remember when we went to a Tarot parlor and the–”

“Tarot reader.”

“Tarot reader warned me of an imminent accident?”

“Yeah, you kind of laughed about it ‘cuz you didn’t believe it. You only came because I dragged you with me and you were pretty tipsy.”

“Guess I’m a believer now,” Paul said, clapping his hands in a mock prayer. “I got up late and was rushing down the stairs when I stepped on something I’d left there and forgotten to clean up – and tripped. Next thing I knew, my leg pained so much that I couldn’t move an inch. From what I’d gained from the first-aid sessions, I figured I might have broken my leg.”

“You were binge-watching that zombie show the night before, weren’t you? What’s so good about that series that everyone’s crazy about it anyway?”

“It’s good and I’ve tried to engage you in watching it with me a few times. Besides, I put half the blame on my alarm clock. Damned thing was broken and didn’t go off.”

Tara reached for the apple and the knife on the table and began peeling its skin with deftness. She got rid of the seeds and quartered the apple before handling Paul a piece, which he took with a “thanks”.

“I’m still pissed off, y’know,” Tara said with a mouthful of apple, making funny crunchy noises, “that you didn’t phone your best friend first when you got the accident. I’d have rushed to your apartment.”

“Sorry, Tara, I was in panic. I was really lucky I got my phone in my pocket and didn’t crush it when I fell. I dialed the top number of my emergency list and–”

“Your roommate called the ambulance and raced home,” Tara finished for him. “I’m shocked you put your roommate’s number first in your list and not mine.”

“He insisted. Said roommates should look out for each other.”

Tara raised a perfectly plucked eyebrow. “Wow! My ex roomie couldn’t have cared less if I’d died and started decomposing in my room so long as I didn’t get in her way.”

Paul wrinkled his nose. “Good thing you moved out.”

“Yeah,” Tara agreed. “Did the doctor say when you will be released?”

“He said I could go home now that I was checked and no other injuries were found. As a matter of fact my roommate is checking me out as we speak.”

“Can’t say I’m not jealous that you have such a nice roommate. Any indication on his sexuality?”

Tara finished the question with a wink.

“Well…” Paul hesitated, lowering his head to hide a hint of a smile threatening to spread across his lips. “Probably not straight, from what I’ve gathered.”

A sudden clap on his shoulder would have made him jump if his leg wasn’t broken already. Tara sounded as though she had just come across an epic epiphany. “I say you go for this heaven-sent dude. Your ‘hot cop’ is definitely hot but last time you said he was straight as a flagpole. Believe me, my friend, pursuing a straight person only ensues heartbreak. Been there, done that.”

Paul was just about to open his mouth when Tara continued, “Tell me, what does he look like? I know looks ain’t important in a relationship but it’s a plus if he happens to be hot right?”

“About that–”

Paul was cut short by the door to his room being opened. Daryl stepped in, pushing a wheelchair in front of him. His black leather jacket slung over his shoulder, he was only wearing his navy blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up his elbows.

“Yer good to go,” he informed, moving toward Paul’s bed. His narrow eyes landed on Tara. “Sorry, ya must be…”

“This is my best friend, Tara Chambler. Tara, this is Daryl Dixon, my roommate…”

He deliberately stressed “roommate” as a reminder. “He’s a detective.”

Tara stared at the cop with rounded eyes for several seconds as shocking realization began to dawn on her. Daryl looked a little confused under her direct stare. “Oh right,” she spoke at last, sounding timid by her rather rude behavior, “Nice to meet you, Detective Dixon.”

She held out her right hand.

“Just Daryl’s fine,” replied Daryl, shaking her hand. “Nice to meet ya.” He turned to Paul and started gathering a few things in the cabinet by his roommate’s bed, which weren’t many, and put them into a small satchel. “Ready to go?”

“Yeah. Can’t wait to get out of the hospital.”

Daryl nodded in silence. Once again Tara watched in awe as he bent down and scooped Paul in his arms as if the young man was a little boy. His muscles flexed under the dark fabric of his shirt and darn, Tara had to admit, she was being momentarily straight.

Carefully, he put Paul on the wheelchair and wheeled him out of the door. Tara followed the two of them to the parking lot.

Once Daryl was done settling Paul on the passenger’s seat, Tara turned to Daryl and said, “Well, I guess I must go now. Thank you so much for taking care of my best friend, Daryl. It’s a pleasure meeting you.”

“It’s no problem,” Daryl said, a bit awkward. Tara took that he was the strong, silent type who could be occasionally socially inept. She also knew that her best friend was a sucker for this type.

Suppressing a chuckle, she gave Paul a meaningful look as she waved her hand. “Get better soon, Jesus. Our class surely misses your ninja tricks.”

Not five minutes after they left the hospital in Daryl’s car, Paul’s phone buzzed. He giggled, knowing without glancing at the screen that it could only be Tara.

“THE HELL JESUS? U NEVER TOLD ME UR HOT COP N UR ROOMIE WERE ONE N THE SAME?” Her text, written all in capitals, read.

“Pretty sure ‘hell’ and ‘Jesus’ shouldnt be in the same sentence,” Paul texted back. His giggles got Daryl’s attention, who gave him a questioning look. “Just Tara’s text,” Paul explained.

He got Tara’s reply five seconds later.

“IM RECONSIDERING OUR FRIENDSHIP”

“Dont be. Never said they werent one person either. Wanna give u a surprise”

“U BETTER EXPLAIN NEXT TIME WE MEET!!!”

“Rite rite. But until then plz tell none of our friends”

“FINE”

“Thk u. luv u”

He put a smiley emoticon at the end of the text before sending. Then he put his phone in his pocket.

“Yer friend Tara seemed surprised to see me,” said Daryl once he saw Paul putting away his phone.

“Because you’re hot?”

“Didn’t look like that.”

Paul chuckled. “She just texted me. She didn’t know my crush and my roommate were the same person.”

“Ya didn’t tell her?”

The question came out more like a statement.

Paul shook his head, smiling. “I love Tara, she’s my BFF but she’s tightly weaved into the gossip web at our college. Guess that’s part of being in the department of journalism.”

“Ya don’t want yer friends to know about… us?”

His voice lowered at the last word. Knowing his boyfriend, Paul immediately picked up the sign. “No, it’s not that I’m embarrassed or anything,” he assured. “Quite the opposite actually.” He didn’t realized his own voice went lower as well. “It just… I want to be certain this… thing between us is real, you know, before I tell my friends.”

Daryl frowned. “It’s real.”

Then Paul’s hand was gently squeezed by a larger, callous hand. Daryl’s sharp eyes spoke of earnest when they were fixed on his face. Paul’s chest swelled with emotions and he would definitely kiss him senseless if Daryl wasn’t driving right now. He longed for the moment they got back to their shared apartment just so that he could be affirmed that this thing between them was very much real and happening.

Looking down at his cast, Paul groaned internally. His leg would get in the way and they would have to find a way to get around it.

“What will we have for dinner?” asked Paul, changing the subject.

“We can get pizzas an’ drinks at Glenn’s an’ we can eat while watching that zombie show yer so crazy about in the evening.”

Paul’s eyes lit up at his words like the sky in the fourth of July. He beamed brightly at Daryl, who responded with a tiny smile.

“I can ask for nothing more.”

End

 

[Desus] (The World Was on Fire) and No One Could Save Me But You (5)

Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms: The Walking Dead

Rating: K+

Pairing: Desus – Daryl Dixon x Paul “Jesus” Rovia

Genres: fanfiction, alternate universe, vampire AU

Characters: Paul “Jesus” Rovia, Daryl Dixon, Rick Grimes

Summary:

For all the short time Paul had been acquainted with Rick Grimes, he had never heard the tough police officer’s voice break like when he informed Paul, “Daryl was shot.”

Alternate universe. Established relationship.


Chapter 1     Chapter 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4


 

… And No One Could Save Me But You

Wicked Game

The rain had toned down to a drizzle.

Daryl had cut down his speed to no longer be at break-neck level, just barely within the speed limit. The impulse to indulge in reckless speed had died with the rain and now it was merely a scratch at his guts.

Something on the side caught his sight, and the brain part that was responsible for his curiosity deemed it worth a stop for closer inspection. He supposed he wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere and could spare a minute or two.

It was the decomposing carcass of some pretty large animal, probably a buck, that he saw in the grass. Daryl got off his motorcycle and squatted in front of it. It was easy to tell the creature been dead for some time by the bones with brown chunks of flesh clinging to them. The eyeballs were gone, leaving vacant sockets from which streams of red ants poured out. It was a disturbing sight from which most humans should avert their eyes as they hurried past and yet somehow Daryl had been inexplicably drawn in. A part of him, a feeble, normal and human part, was weirded out and wanted to just get on his bike and ride away while another, stronger, more pressing part had his eyes fixed on the gouged out sockets as if there was an enigmatic pull from within the twin voids. His hand was halfway reaching out when he had to stop himself from actually touching it.

It was death, Daryl rationalized, which had prompted this bizarre fixation. Death was the one thing that he and this creature had in common. All living things had to die – that he had learned from a young age with his dearly departed mom, and the scene his eyes so drank in was the inevitable end of every human. It was his mom’s end when Daryl was but a snotty five-year-old and twenty-two years later, his old man’s. It was Merle’s end eight years ago and it would soon be his. Except it could not be his. While the concept of immortality was unnatural according to nature, it was also ironically nature that had permitted its occurrence. Paul had expired his lifespan for a couple centuries and his could be not be a unique existence – many times Daryl had pondered about all the vampires out there, cloaking themselves under civilian guise and blending in amongst their designated preys. Now the same existence was offered to Daryl. Had he ever thought about it or wanted it during the late nights he went to bed and woke up in the morning with a vampire snuggling to his side? Would he want it now that it was his only option to continue that mundane domestic routine, one that he would give the world for? Daryl couldn’t answer it, not yet. But he was beginning to consider it, whether he truly desired immortality. Weird as it may sound, the mortal fear of death inflicted upon him by studying this macabre scene did spark a light in his fog-shrouded mind. The light grew in intensity until it pierced through the confusion and uncertainty plaguing him since his body sprang from the bed. A final, concrete decision wasn’t within his grasp yet but he had seen a vague outline of it. Although there was a haunting dreadfulness in the notion of walking the earth till the end of time, he couldn’t deny a forbidden sense of thrill lacing with it.

When the rain had stopped he couldn’t tell, lost in his own mental world. Daryl stood up and made to his motorcycle. Not too keen on wearing a stuffy helmet with his dripping hair, he decided to forgo it.

The scenery was laminated in gold and silver when Daryl entered the woods – gold from the radiant sunlight after a heavy rain and silver from the myriad droplets of water clinging to the tree branches and leaves. He had switched off the engine and was walking his motorcycle so as not to wreck the perfect serenity of nature and scare off the little creatures making this place home. He took a moment to close his eyes, take a deep breath to enjoy the clear, cool air spiced with the soothing scent of damp wood before parking his vehicle a few feet from a particular tree. Under its canopy he spotted a figure that couldn’t be more familiar to him. He was leaning casually against the trunk, his hair wet and crudely swept back. His thin white shirt appeared transparent and sticking to his skin. In his hands was a small brown squirrel which his fingers were petting now and then. Signing softly, Daryl thought he should be surprised to find Paul here but in fact, he wasn’t in the least. Being a sneaky prick was one of Paul’s less endearing vice Daryl had learned to tolerate.

“Ain’t ya gonna eat it? Why bother playin’ with yer food?”

Paul’s huge eyes left the critter and traveled to Daryl, and the detective could feel his gaze lingering on the strands of dark hair cupping the sides of his face. Huffing, Paul laid the squirrel on the ground. It immediately ran off and disappeared in a blink.

“Detective Dixon,” said Paul, “please don’t jump right to the conclusion that I bore any ill will toward that poor animal when you’re having no evidence.”

“First time I met ya, ya were chompin’ a squirrel,” Daryl snorted, “an’ havin’ a couple more layin’ dead at yer feet.”

“Good Lord, you caught me at a bad time once and I’m never going to live it down. Firstly, that wasn’t our first meeting. We first met when I moved into the derelict house opposite from yours.”

“A brief glance–”

“But still counts. Secondly, I hadn’t made my contact with the local blood bank yet and was on the brink of starvation. You don’t like me when I’m starving.”

“I thought ya a weirdo. Turns out it ain’t too far from the truth.”

“So I’ve been told,” Paul replied with a small smile. He crossed the distance and stood close to Daryl. “You didn’t break up with me because of my quirks, crazy as they are.”

“I’ve met worse,” Daryl said, his hand itching to tug a loose strands of hair behind Paul’s ears. So he did, earning a wider smile from the shorter man. “Ya followed me here, didn’t ya?”

To his surprise, Paul declined, “No, believe me I did want to, but I didn’t. I just didn’t feel like showing up at my class so I called in sick. Having plenty of sick leave can come in handy. I thought a lot, you know, about us, about our life together all these years, about our future, if we have one. And I had a feeling that you would come here, seeing how this place has claimed a special spot in your heart. Now here we are. Must be destiny.”

Paul punctuated his speech with a nervous chuckle.

“I thought a lot too, ‘bout–”

Out of sudden, Daryl felt as if his legs had vaporized right under him. He would collapse face first into the thick carpet of decayed leaves on the ground if Paul weren’t extra-quick to catch him. His ample strength made up for his smaller stature and he supported Daryl’s most of weight with ease. Gently and slowly, he helped Daryl sit down under the tree. All the carefreeness had drained from his handsome countenance; now he was wearing the same pained expression Daryl had seen earlier in the morning. It caused an ache in Daryl’s side and erased his concern about his own condition, even just temporarily.

“What’s happenin’ to me? Why can’t I feel my legs?”

“It’s beginning,” Paul explained. “The paralysis that signals your time is running out and continues until you’re…”

“I’m dyin’, got it. Shoulda known I’m runnin’ on borrowed time. First it’s my leg, then my arms an’ torso and finally my head, righ’. Fuckin’ sadistic, I’d say.”

“Yeah, I suppose,” Paul replied. “Have heard about it but never been through it myself, though.”

“How long did it take ya to make yer decision?”

Since they were sitting shoulder to shoulder, with Daryl leaning against Paul’s chest, he felt a puff of air on his cheek from Paul’s laughter. It wasn’t the full, hearty laughter Daryl had gotten used to hear; it was soft and deprived most of humor. “I practically leapt at the chance to be turned, so you can guess it took me no time at all. I was a vampire before I had even registered the weight of my own death.” Taking a short pause, he continued, “I had been severely sick for a while and my family ended up taking me to the House of Death, where they expected me to spend the rest of my remaining days. Fewer mouths to feed. Looking back, I couldn’t blame them; I expected to die there as well. Then my sire came to me with an offer in exchange for my indentured service. I guess I just didn’t want to die.”

His voice quieted at the last sentence, and there was a slight tremble in it.

“Ya never said anythin’ about this until t’day.”

“It’s no rainbows and unicorns so I’d rather not tell it at a drinking party.”

“Ya ever regretted it? Becomin’ a vampire.”

Paul brushed his dampened fringe out of Daryl’s forehead. “It’s had its ups and downs and there were some dark periods when all I wanted was to lie desiccated in the coffin like a dead man that I was. But, to be honest, I’ve never regretted. It’s a wonder beyond measure to see the world change little by little until it’s no longer the one you were born in, and to see yourself change with it in order to adapt. Given the chance a second time and I would have made the same choice again.”

Silence stretched between them after Paul finished. Daryl seemed to be in contemplation of what he’d said so Paul didn’t feel the urge to break the silence. Instead, he laced his fingers with his lover’s.

Daryl’s fingers only twitched but gave no otherwise response. Paul’s heart sank like a stone thrown into a cold, bottomless lake.

“Take my left hand,” Daryl said. “Ain’t numb as shit yet.”

Paul took his hand, the one that could feel, and brought it to his lips. He kissed every knuckle, mumbling, “I’m sorry.”

“Because you compelled Rick to forget what he saw?”

“Yes, Rick, the doctor, the nurses. I’m sorry I broke my vow.”

Daryl felt Paul’s hand gently squeezing his.

“On the way here, I thought a lot, ‘bout many things,” he said, picking up from earlier. “I thought ‘bout whether ya’d undo Rick’s compulsion, how he, Carol an’ a handful of people I know would react.”

“The compulsion would instantly wear off with a vampire’s end,” Paul said. Although his tone was light and maintaining its casualness that was very Paul-like, Daryl’s lungs felt chilled as he took in a cold breath.

“But ya won’t…”

“Nothing lasts forever, Daryl, even vampires. Sometimes the end comes sooner than we expect.”

“Where would vampires go?”

“Frankly I don’t know. No one has ever told me and I don’t know who to ask. Well, certainly not my late sire, God bless his soul, if he had one. Where do you think humans would go? I know you aren’t the most religious man I’ve met but ever given it a thought?”

Daryl shook his head. Paul shifted to give him a little more comfort even though Daryl’s torso was heavy like lead and just as numb. It took no Einstein to figure at this rate, he’d soon be completely paralyzed.

“I spotted some carcass on the road. Probably a buck an’ dead for some time. I was magnetized to it – death attracts death, I guess. As I looked, I remembered my mom an’ Merle, even the sick bastard I called my dad, how they all looked like this beneath the earth, an’ how I’d look like that too. I thought ‘Well, death sucks’.”

Daryl had always a man of few words and more actions; this was by far his longest speech. Thus Paul patiently waited for him to perhaps regain his breath and gather his thoughts.

“I ain’t hopin’ we’d be united in some sunlit heaven or shit. Ain’t no teenager. Maybe I’d end up in that dark limbo again, all by myself, an’ that’s fuckin’ scary. But what’s even scarier is that I know I won’t never see ya again, won’t never wake up to yer shit-eatin’ grin again, won’t never feel yer touch or yer warmth again. That hurts so much, ya know.”

“I know,” Paul whispered, his breath fanning Daryl’s cheek. “I know.”

“I don’t wanna die. There’s a chance I’ll regret it one day but right now I don’t wanna die an’ leave ya.”

A drop of water fell onto the skin below Daryl’s eyes, too hot to be the rainwater dangling on the leaves.

“So you’ve decided…” Paul croaked.

“Ya don’t mind haulin’ my immobile ass back to the house, right, ‘cuz I don’t suppose ya brought a blood bag along.”

When Daryl craned his neck and looked up, he saw Paul frantically wiping his eyes. A smile had formed on his lips, wide enough to show his white teeth. This was the first true smile Daryl had gotten from him today, same as the one which had caused his heart to skip a beat when he stared a little too long at the ponytailed young man carrying his stuff into the derelict house across from his. While his torso was still numb, the heaviness on his chest had been lifted.

“On the contrary, I always come prepared” was Paul’s reply.

To be continued

Finished it for a while but I was busy writing another Desus fic so I delayed editing and posting it. Immense apologies to you who have been waiting for an update. Next chapter is the last.