This was dangerous. Granted, it was a different kind than what they were used to, but it was risky none the less. Daryl frowned, a grimace spreading across his features as he stepped forward. The slick surface was smooth and untouched. There wasn’t a stain on it. When he heard no rumbling or felt no give in the ice, he dared himself to venture further.
He clutched his crossbow in his hands tightly and fixed his jaw firmly, holding onto the contraption for dear life. Daryl wasn’t an ice person. In fact, there was almost nothing he hated more than the cold. Rick however, had no issues with putting aside his discomfort and decided it would be interesting to take the kids on an adventure in a winter wonderland, having found skates while they raided an ice rink about two months back. The ice in the building had long been melted, making the rink more of a pool than anything, but that didn’t stop officer friendly from smiling like an idiot when he picked up four pairs of skates.
It didn’t escape Daryl’s notice that one of the pairs were his own shoe size.
He had explained to Rick that he wasn’t comfortable with this, that it was a bad idea to play on a lake with bladed shoes during an apocalypse, but the man had somehow convinced him to go along with his shenanigans.
The walkers weren’t really an issue anymore, most of them having finally rotted beyond reanimated repair. Too many years of hot sun and cold winters.
The group had been forced to move further up north where they had found a nice observatory to call home sweet home. With thick walls, and a wide open hill with the woods behind gave them plenty of space to build a fortress that provided them with security and a good supply of critters to munch on.
But that wasn’t the point. There were still dangers. What if they needed to make a quick escape? What is the ice fell through? Or his biggest worry, what if they see him fall?
Daryl had kept secret the fact that he had never learned to skate. Hell, he barely knew how to swim. Sure he’d been tossed in the river once or twice by Merle and his piss drunk friends before, but he would sink like a rock until someone was forced to come to his aid. Back to the point, nobody had ever given the time, money, or patience to teach him how to do such a pointless thing like skate.
Rick however, seemed to be an expert. So did Beth by the looks of it, taking to the ice as naturally as a bird to flying, her blond hair flowing in the wind. She did a quick lap around the frozen rink and Daryl cursed himself. He forced himself to not think about how wobbly his ankles were becoming or how unnatural it felt to glide instead of taking careful steps.
Rick was in the middle of the lake, holding Judith up by her hands as he tried to help her balance on the ice. She didn’t have any skates of her own, seeing as how it was probably unwise to allow three year old’s to skate in a public place. The small child was shaking as hard as Daryl was trying not to, but a silly grin still adjourned her face. Rick wasn’t holding back his smile, his face practically splitting in two.
Deciding it was safer to stay put, he watched contently. Rick had needed this, needed to feel good again. Daryl had tried to do everything he could to lift the ex-cop’s spirits, but he knew he would have to venture out of his comfort zone sooner or later. Apparently that lack of comfort landed him straight in the middle of a frozen lake.
Carl stumbled past, no where near as graceful as Beth or even Rick had been as he chased the young woman around. His skate got caught and he tumbled forward, gloved hands flinging out to catch himself. Daryl took a step forward, worried. Rick glanced up and waited a moment before laughing heartily and refocused on his daughter.
"Don’t worry, Jude," he assured, "I promise I’ll teach you to skate better than your klutz of a brother." Carl stuck his tongue out at his father before forcing himself back up on unsteady legs. Daryl was still on edge. Would Carl’s impact make the lake weaker?
Rick seemed to sense his anxiousness and picked the little girl up easily and made his way over, as if he had never forgotten how to work his feet on the ice again after so long of running and dodging the dead. “Tha’s weird,” Daryl commented. “I figured he got his clumsiness from you.”
Rick laughed and bounced Judith on his hip, taking a look around their surroundings. “Yeah, Lori was much more graceful than me, that’s for sure.”
Daryl nodded. He had seen how the woman had been firm on her toes, whereas Rick would bounce off of walls or hit his shoulders on door frames on a constant. “‘M surprised ya even know how’ta walk.”
Rick scoffed at his teasing. “If the dead can do it, so can I.”
"Well you ain’ doin’ it very well."
Rick lowered his eyes down to the crossbow Daryl still had secured in his hands. He griped it tighter, eyes darting behind the man, staring out into the tree’s trying to pass his discomfort off as him searching for danger. Rick didn’t seem to be falling for it. A wicked smirk crossed his lips.
"You afraid the ice is gonna take a chunk out of you, or is that just for show?"
Daryl scoffed and readjusted it. “I’ll take’a chunk outta you if ya don’ shut it.”
Rick waggled his eyebrows and his smirk grew wider. “Take as much as you like, but lets at least wait until we get some privacy.” Daryl sputtered and Rick sprinted off cackling before the hick could form any sort of retaliation.
"Lil’ shit," he muttered, shaking his head with a small smile of his own. When Rick halted his escape back into the center of the small lake, he let the little girl down and Daryl’s heart swelled with pride as she stood on her own, waddling as quick as she could. It reminded him of a penguin, walking all awkwardly. Then again, he was waddling more than skating himself, but he had too much pride to admit that to himself.
Rick grinned as Daryl attempted to make his way towards him. Rick did a side step sort of move and met him half way, making a neat circle around Daryl. When the red neck turned to watch him, his footing gave and he almost fell.
Almost as in did.
He lay face first, planted in the ice; heart racing.
Oh god. Oh god he did it, he broke the ice. They were all going to fall through and die and drown and oh god.
His mind was racing, and he clutched the surface with all his might, his crossbow skidded to a halt a good four feet away. Rick let out a curse and surged forward, kneeling when he reached the sprawled out man. “You oka-“
"Get away!" Daryl cried out, eyes wide. "The ice is gonna break, move!"
Rick blinked. Giving a quick look around, he surveyed the frozen sheet of water and gave a confused look. “Its fine-“
"Move, Jesus Christ! Get Lil’ Asskicker and go!" Daryl sounded so worried over absolutely nothing, Rick couldn’t help but laugh. Sure he felt like a jerk, but Daryl was face first on an ice rink, trying to play hero.
Carl made his way over with Beth and they came to a skidding stop, the scraped up ice spraying Daryl in his panicked face.
"Omifuckin’ god, STOP! YOU’RE MAKING IT THINNER!" Daryl howled in dismay and the others just laughed. "Why’re ya’ll just standin’ here, move! You’re gonna break the ice!"
"The ice isn’t goin’ no where, Daryl. There’s a least a foot or two of solid water covering this lake. We’re fine."
They were fine?
Were they? Daryl looked around. They were all standing, smiling down at him and he felt his face flush. He’d made a fool of himself, made a scene for shit’s sake! Judith had finally made her way over and collapsed on Daryl’s outstretched back and giggled. Daryl mumbled something on the lines of her being a penguin before hiding his burning face against the cool ice.
Rick chuckled. “Guess you’re not gonna figure skate with me after all, huh?”
Daryl cursed at him and Rick could only laugh. Their little family date may not have gone the way he planned, but Daryl had still managed to cheer Rick up. And that was more than worth the humiliation in any account.
((I hope you like it sweetie! Thanks for the cute idea, I had a lot of fun writing it for you!))
EEEEEEEEE~~!!!! Omg that was so cute I loved it. Thank you. (My personal blog) I love that its set years on the turn when zombies are less of a big deal for them. XD BUT OMG Daryl freaking out was the best. And that lil penguin~<3 Thank you!