eyeus: (Rickyl)
Title: Love, Essentially
Fandom: The Walking Dead (TV)
Pairing: Rick / Daryl
Rating: NC-17
Words: 2130 (63500 total)
Summary: To me, you are perfect.

Rick’s confession, made with snow-damp cue cards and every ounce of his devotion, had been perfection itself—except his perfect love belonged to someone else.

But spring’s in full swing now, and it’s the time for new beginnings. The first blooms of new loves. It’s the season for change itself.

Little does Rick know how much his life will change.

A/N: A Love, Actually fusion fic. Inspired mainly by this gifset here, and this scene from the Love, Actually movie.


It only takes Daryl’s encouragement and invitation for Rick to spring into action, and suddenly his kisses are fierce and hot and everywhere at once, like he can’t decide which part of Daryl he wants to worship first. Like Daryl’s the last breath of air in a forest fire gone wild, and Rick needs him, needs to take in every part of him, to stay alive.

“Wait,” Daryl says suddenly, his palm pressed against Rick’s chest, in a clear order of down, boy, and laughs. It’s an unrestrained sound, bright despite the gravel, and Rick can only watch, can only try to memorize the way Daryl looks like this, so genuinely happy. “Not here, Rick,” Daryl says, finally. “People gotta sit on this couch.”

And Rick’s answering laugh echoes as he holds back the just people like us and instead stands up and takes Daryl’s hand. Leads him down the hallway, and into the bedroom, where Daryl’s one indulgence in the cramped room is the queen-sized bed.

The movie forgotten by now, Rick walks Daryl backward into the bed, until he’s pressed Daryl into it, the two of them rolling against blue camo sheets Daryl had picked out from the local department store. But then Daryl’s grinning and pulling Rick flush against him, his mouth hot against Rick’s, his hands slipping just as greedily down the waistband of Rick’s jeans. Cupping handfuls of Rick’s ass and pulling Rick against himself, the grind of their cocks through fabric a friction too good to resist.

“Daryl,” Rick groans. It’s not enough skin or warmth or Daryl, and suddenly Rick’s wishing all the layers between them were gone, and he sets about accomplishing just that. Slides fingers into the hem of Daryl’s shirt and upends it over his head in one go.

He’s just about to undo Daryl’s belt, but Rick’s will is weak, and the sight of Daryl’s nipples, sitting pink and flush against pale skin, is enough to have Rick leaning in to take one into his mouth. To capture the other in his fingers, kneading and twisting, until Daryl’s moaning beneath him, a mess of gasps and nonsense words that have Rick redoubling his efforts, because this is the sound of Daryl undone.

This is the sound of Daryl, his Daryl, in the throes of pleasure, and he’d give anything to hear this sound forever, if only it means Daryl’s happy too.

It’s only when there’s a hardness pressing against Rick’s belly, insistent, that he remembers there are other things that need attention too, and he’s undoing Daryl’s belt, leather through the loop and out the clasp, when Daryl lays a hand to his shoulder, stilling him.

“Rick,” Daryl says, quiet. His voice is a little breathless and his hair adorably pillow-tousled, but he’s showing a degree of restraint that Rick’s finding impossible to muster himself. “Just…just thinkin’ we should take this slow instead.” He catches the look of confusion in Rick’s eyes before his own gaze slides away. “Unless you were just lookin’ for a quick—”

No,” Rick breathes out all at once. He wasn’t looking for quick, or release, or an awkward bout of fumbling before saying goodbye, and his heart aches at the thought of Daryl thinking that might happen.

But he can’t imagine why Daryl, whose hands on him had been just as greedy and wanting and hungry, would want to stop, to slow things down, before he remembers they’ve never done this before. Never come this far, despite all the time they’ve spent together. This is new territory, Rick thinks, and Daryl’s right in that they should take the time to map out the land. To study the terrain of each other’s bodies, in touch, and taste, and sound.

“You’re right,” says Rick, exhaling softly, as he leaves the buckle of Daryl’s belt behind. Pushes his way back up to meet Daryl’s mouth, inverting his own shirt over his head as he goes, letting warm skin meet, slow, until they’re belly to belly. Chest to chest. Mouths brought together in a softer, sweeter kiss.

They’ll have time for hunger and need and fire-hot desire, but now is the time for unhurried exploration. Measured, careful touches, along the skin of Daryl’s neck, soft, smooth. The broadness of his shoulders, tapering into the corded muscle of his arms.

Daryl runs feather-light fingers along Rick’s back in turn, letting them circle each knob of his spine, gentle. Skitters them down along Rick’s sides, skimming over love handles that Rick hasn’t quite lost from his days of coffee and donut subsistence, before slipping them below the waistband of Rick’s jeans. Shifting the fabric downward to caress the curve of his buttocks. His thighs.

So that’s the game we’re playin’, Rick says through the arch of a brow. Watches as a small, devious grin grows wider on Daryl’s lips. Slowly, but surely?

Uh huh¸ Daryl nods.

Two can play at that game, Rick decides, and he shifts his way southward again, this time taking the scenic route. Giving due care to Daryl as he deserves, through the worship of his body, each prayer a press of lips against skin, deliberate, reverent, warm. Marking a path along the line of his jaw. The smooth column of his neck, brushing away hair where its curled in at the edges. Down the centre of his chest and over his navel, before following the smattering of hair south into the line of his jeans.

He lets his gaze meet Daryl’s for just the briefest moment, sees permission in the small dip of his chin. Makes sure to take care in unbuckling Daryl’s belt and undoing the zipper of his jeans. Daryl lifts his hips, the motion instinctual as Rick tugs them down, lifts them up and off, before letting his hands roam the rasp of hair on Daryl’s thighs again. Wrap around his hips, like manacles, to pin him to the bed for what’s to come next.

“Rick?” Daryl asks, his voice soft, a little hazy with pleasure. It doesn’t stay that way for long, when Rick leans in, nosing at the warmth and smell, of sweetness and musk, and mouths at the fabric of Daryl’s boxers, taking care to lick right where the spot of wet is forming. “Rick,” he gasps. “You don’t gotta—”

Rick shakes his head from where he’s positioned. This is more about wanting to than having to. He wants this. Wants to show Daryl he’s ready, for whatever it takes to be with him. And he wants to give Daryl pleasure, make him feel good, to show Daryl how much Rick wants him.

And when Daryl sighs a have it your way, Rick bridges the distance between Daryl’s reservations and his own eager want, lets the great divide slip away from between, as he shifts the fabric out and away. Presses a kiss to the tip of Daryl’s cock, half-hard between his legs, licking away the pearl of nectar that’s welled out, closing his eyes as he savours the sweet tang of it, exotic and new. Before long, he’s closed his lips over it, gentle, careful to keep away teeth as he sucks and licks, letting his hand stroke what he can’t fit in his mouth. Keeps his other hand busy with rolling Daryl’s balls between his fingers, pressing into the seam, thumb kneading gentle circular motions as Daryl moans and writhes and twitches beneath him.

His technique is still clumsy and inexperienced, but he’s trying his best to emulate the adult videos he’s seen online, and by the sound of Daryl’s gasps, he can’t be doing too badly.

“Rick,” Daryl cries, and it’s a near sob as Rick touches his tongue to the slit again, licking around, licking at, and finally flicking his tongue for a gentle press in. “I’m gettin’ close, I—ah—”

But Rick only hums around him, contemplative, hands anchoring Daryl to the bed, as he arches into Rick’s grasp.

Rick,” Daryl breathes, his last warning, but this time it’s quiet, and full of warmth, because they both know what’s going to happen. What Rick’s decided on.

Come on, then, Rick dares, never letting his gaze stray from Daryl’s. Lets his ice-blues meet Daryl’s, an invitation and challenge the same. Come for me, come inside

Daryl moans something that sounds vaguely like fuck as he bucks into Rick’s grip. Like fuck and Rick and god as he spills into Rick’s mouth.

It’s salt and tang and heat, and Rick swallows every drop of it, revelling in the taste of Daryl. The sound of his cries as his hips jerk and twitch. The clutch of his hands against the sheets, shaking, trembling, like he isn’t just coming, but experiencing something transcendental and freeing, the very pinnacle of bliss itself.

“That was…” Daryl gasps between breaths, before settling on, “That was.”

And Rick breathes out in relief, because that means he hadn’t been all that bad. That the time he’d spent experimentally searching up gay porn for what he’d like to do Daryl, or what he’d like to have done to himself, hadn’t been a complete waste. But then Daryl’s drawing him up, licking Rick’s tongue as he chases the taste of himself into Rick’s mouth, banishing all those errant thoughts. Rick’s of a mind to say no and wait—he hasn’t even rinsed his mouth yet—but if Daryl’s not complaining, then there’s no place for Rick to, and Daryl looks entirely too satisfied for Rick to say no to anything, anyway.

“Good?” Rick asks aloud.

“Mmhmm,” Daryl hums into Rick’s mouth. The traces of come melt away with each kiss, each velvet-soft lick, until all he tastes is the sweetness of Daryl’s tongue, of apple and nutmeg from the cider they’d shared only hours ago.

Rick thinks he could live with this, just kisses flavoured with mulled cider and Daryl and love, before Daryl’s frowning, the endearing little furrow appearing between his brows again.

“What’s wrong?” Rick asks. He kisses the furrow, like he can somehow smooth it away if he tries hard enough. “Did I do somethin’—”

“No,” Daryl says. “It’s just, I wanna—I oughta—” And despite his boneless sprawl beneath Rick, he manages a feeble wave in the direction of Rick’s cock, straining hard against jeans, a very obvious tent of how dare you neglect me.

“It’s all right,” Rick soothes. “There’s no rush.”

And there isn’t, because he’s finding this gentle exploration of the way their bodies fit together, of how they move together, their motions different but just as instinctual in the bedroom as it is in every other setting, incredibly satisfying. Like the appreciation of a fine, aged wine, as opposed to the fleeting satisfaction of beer.

Before Daryl can argue that it’s not fair, that they should both have their chance at pleasure, Rick rolls off him and shuffles his way in behind Daryl—jeans still a barrier between them, because he can’t trust himself if he kicks them off—until his chest is hot against Daryl’s back. Draws the sheets over them, careful.

“Been a long day,” Rick says, feeling a familiar bone-tiredness creeping into his mind, his body, until every part of him just aches to fall asleep. “And this can wait.” He can hear Daryl draw a breath, to protest, but he presses his face into Daryl’s hair, laying a kiss to the wisps curled around his ear. “Tonight…tonight’s all about you,” he whispers.

Daryl turns enough in Rick’s arms to face him, his brows raised, in a silent question of Tonight? That mean you’ll still be here in the morning?

“Yeah,” Rick assures, with a decisive little kiss to Daryl’s nose. “I’ll still be here.” He pauses. Then softer, lower, “And every morning after. If you’ll let me.” He slips an arm around Daryl’s waist and pulls them flush against each other, this time all the more wonderful for Daryl being warm and pliant and responsive against him, the unspoken question asked in Rick’s embrace: If you’ll have me.

Daryl responds by pressing back against Rick, snuggling further into him with a soft, shivering sigh. “Yeah,” he says, and Rick catches the grin on Daryl’s face before he turns away again, wide and bright and genuine. Rick’s hand is pillowed beneath his neck, and Daryl reaches up to tangle their fingers together, warm. “Don’t even have to ask.”

And maybe they haven’t finished off the night with a dramatic reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas to celebrate the Eve, but as Rick settles against Daryl, cozy and safe beneath the covers, he’s only too glad to have Daryl in his arms now.

To know that he adores Daryl, cherishes him, but most importantly, is cherished by him in return.

(tbc - Chapter 15)

End Notes
Just a short chapter this week, sorry! But the upcoming one is a hefty one, followed by a meaty epilogue! Thank you all again for following this fic so far! And a very merry Christmas, if you celebrate it! :D
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