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Title: A Mother’s Touch

Author: veiledndarkness

Pairing: None

Rating: G

Summary: She wants to help him, for her sake and his.

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit made and no harm intended.

Written for the [livejournal.com profile] twd_kinkmeme



X

Carol knows that the boy is hurting. You’d have to be blind not to.

She smiles faintly and moistens the clean rag in the bowl of hot water and wrings it out. Boy…he’s no boy, he’s a man grown, but there’s something terribly fragile and broken about him and her heart aches to see him reject any level of comfort from the people who dare to get close enough.

She sits next to the bed and slowly wipes away some of the dirt on his forehead. She cleans the dirt and blood and Heaven knows what else from his skin and even as he sleeps, she sees the pensive frown on his face and knows he finds no rest in slumber.

With some hesitation, she rinses the rag and begins cleaning his neck, working her way lower and tsk-ing quietly under her breath at the level of grime, of blood that he’s covered in. She wipes the cloth over his shoulder and a long, ropey scar is revealed to her.

She pauses and she blinks away the tears that rise up. She turns her head for a moment and rinses the cloth once more, the water luke-warm now and she feels it then, the feeling of being watched. In all her years of dealing with Ed, she knows that feeling of someone watching her every move and she knows he’s watching her from under his eyelashes.

With a soft exhale, she turns back to face him and she can see the tell tale twitch of his eyelids. He says nothing, he doesn’t move and she lifts an unsteady hand to resume cleaning his upper chest. She hums under her breath, a soft lullaby that she would sing to Sophia to soothe her night terrors years before.

She can feel the tension in his body as she removes the layers of dirt. She pauses at his side, close to his back, when she feels his calloused fingers clamp tightly around her wrist. Startled, she glances at his face and sees his eyes, those haunted eyes that tell her more than he ever will about what it means to be hurt.

They stare at each other for several long minutes and she’s aware she’s holding her breath. His grip falters when she merely gives him a tiny smile, hoping that he’ll see the genuine concern, the affection she has for this man who feels like a wounded child to her, and that she needs this chance to mother him as he clearly hasn’t been cared for in far too long.

She begins to hum anew when he lets go of her wrist and some of the tension bleeds out of his posture and as she finishes cleaning the upper half of his body, she smooths and combs his hair, cleaning the worst of the grit and dirt from the strands as best she can.

He murmurs something that might be a thanks but she isn’t sure. She smiles and brushes a motherly, chaste kiss over his forehead and tells him to try and get some sleep before pulling the thin sheet over him, giving him back his privacy.

Daryl looks at her as she pauses in the doorway and though he doesn’t say a word, she knows what he would have said and it gives her some comfort, something to soothe the ache that Sophia’s absence has left within her.

He’s a good boy, well…a good man, even when he can’t see it.

X

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