The Least Among Us
The original idea came from Dog. It is his headcanon. I just took and ran with it.
The Least Among Us
All those endless nights and exhausting days were starting to get to the man who made loneliness his constant companion. Daryl Dixon had lost so damn much since the world went to hell. He couldn’t give a tinker’s dam that he lost his father. Will Dixon was a piece of sh*t that deserved to die. Daryl’s mother had been a sad woman that was constantly drowning herself with bottles of Jack and enough smoke to choke out a gorilla. Sometimes when Daryl saw a building on fire, he wondered if his mother suffered much before she died.
Then there was Merle. The big piece of s’hit that was his brother was the only one that had cared enough about him to really matter. Merle was still there only when it suited him or Daryl could help him rob somebody. There were going to rob the group that came out of Atlanta, but instead Daryl joined them. It took a while, but Daryl formed a bond with the cop in the group. Rick Grimes became more than just a friend. Rick was more of a brother to him than Merle was.
They were all gone now. It had been six months since Rick had made his last stand. The fireball at the bridge had broken Daryl’s heart into a million pieces. Seeing Rick’s dream of the united communities go up like that had driven Daryl into solitude. It was only him and his bike all along the river bank. He was going to find Rick’s body or at least a damn walker with his face or die trying.
One night, he found an old farm house. He rolled the bike to the back of the farmhouse leaving it covered with some underbrush. With his crossbow at the ready, he went forward toward the sounds of walkers. They were eating something. This made his stomach turn every damn time.
Daryl rounded the corner to see the small group of walkers eating a Momma dog and several of her pups. The image was too horrifying to even process for the tracker. The damn nightmares never ended. Just for once there had to be a happy ending somewhere. He started firing arrows one after another until every last one of those monsters fell. Daryl walked up to the litter with tears filling his eyes. Blurry hues mourned the loss of such innocence in this world of pure hell. He knelt on one knee trying to look through the bloody mess to see if maybe… Just possibly… The man’s countenance began to illuminate. “Hey there little guy!” His voice was silent even among the simpering whines of the pup that was probably no more than hours old. His mother and his entire litter was gone. “We’re two of a kind aren’t we bud?” Daryl carefully put the pup in his vest pocket. He was close to Hilltop. He was going to take the puppy there.
The light in Enid’s eyes when she and Maggie saw the pup was enough to raise Daryl’s spirits even more. “So he’s clear?” He asked of the ladies. Daryl was already forming a bond with the pup. He started stroking the small head with his thumb gently as Enid looked him over.
“He’s a little scrapper Daryl. He’s clear though. He was the runt. That’s why the walkers didn’t get to him. The others kept him safe.” Enid grinned slightly at the innocent pup that had actually brought a glimmer of light back in Daryl’s eyes again.
“I’m keepin’ him.” Daryl watched the little canine who didn’t even have his eyes opened yet. He kept stroking him soothingly with his right thumb across the head and the bridge of his snout.
Maggie looked at her old friend with concern. She knew that it had taken a lot out of Daryl when Rick died on that bridge. “Daryl, he’s really tiny. It’s gonna take a lot to get him to a size where he’ll make it. You sure you want to do that? I mean he might not make it.”
Daryl shook his head virulently. “He’s gonna make it Maggie. He needs me.” He thought to himself. And I need him. He would handfeed the pup if he needed to, because nothing else was going to do die, not now or ever. When they gave up fighting, then the world was truly lost. One little corner of the world needed to be saved. Daryl was going to do it. He needed this little thing and it needed him. “That’s a good Dog hm…” Daryl’s voice was soothing and calm.
“Daryl, you can’t call him Dog!” Maggie teased. Enid was already getting together some milk to help Daryl foster this pup. “You gotta give him a name.” Maybe Maggie even thought this was a small glimmer of hope in her own way. It certainly brought back some of her old friend that she thought was gone.
“Of course I’ll call him Dog. That’s what he is, ain’t it?” Daryl Dixon actually smiled. The thought struck him finally that there may be there was some hope in this world left after all.
“The more a thing is perfect, the more it feels pleasure and pain.”