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Private Sometimes even a picnic's no picnic

Lydia

The Walking Dead
Posts
89
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Human
July 4th, y109
@Beth Greene
@Daryl Dixon
@Paul Rovia
@The Governor

The picnic was Lydia's idea. Sort of. She remembered how she felt when Henry died and that Beth must be feeling something similar with Peter gone. If Beth was like her, she might need a reminder to eat in the hard times and she needed company, even if she didn't realize it.

Lydia suggested getting lots of the foods that Beth had introduced her to and eating them somewhere that the dogs would have room to run around. She had let everyone else work out the details and learned that her idea was called a picnic. There was a word for everything. July 4th was some special date for picnics too, though she hadn't bothered to ask why. Just getting together was good enough for her.

Lydia walked with the group, carrying one of the lighter baskets and a blanket for sitting. Cascade bay was different than any other place she'd seen before and she looked over at the coast occasionally, expecting some of the tinier islands to float away.

Dog and Bailey were close by, both looking happy to be outside. She figured they'd by happy anywhere they could chase a ball or a stick around. People had to be smarter. In this world, there were borders too. Couldn't set up a picnic in someone's backyard or where they docked their boats.

Lydia reached an area that looked like it was for anyone to use. It was clean, with a good view of the coast and plenty of open space. She stopped and looked to the rest of their group. "Is this a good spot?"
 

Beth Greene

The Walking Dead
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517
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Female
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Beth was lightly swinging the picnic basket in her hand, her eyes downcast as she walked along with the others, half-listening to their conversations but not really saying much, and feeling strangely alone amongst the big crowd that had formed to celebrate 4th July.

She was trying, she really was. This wasn't her first time losing someone in Pandora. But losing Pete had been harder than she'd expected. It had hit her like a ton of bricks, and Beth was finding it extremely difficult to bounce back from this one. She felt hollow inside, as though her body had forgotten how it felt to be happy.

Her family were doing their best, though. As always, they were rallying together and carrying Beth through her darkest times. She'd managed to agree to a picnic, even though the thought of going back to Cascade Bay had made her feel slightly sick. But, what was she going to do? Just never go to the beach again? Sure, it'd been their first date and their last date but there was a reason for that. It was beautiful, and with weather like this, it was hard to pass up. Besides, it'd be good for Bailey; give her some fresh air and allow her to see Dog again.

She felt Bailey brush beside her leg and the corners of Beth's lips tilted up slightly. She seemed to sense Beth's pain, and had rarely left her side since Peter's disappearance. She looked up at the sound of Lydia's voice but said nothing, allowing the others to decide. Beth just couldn't muster the energy to reply, and would go wherever they told her.
 

Daryl Dixon

The Walking Dead
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Daryl hated this world sometimes, hated the way it took people, ripped ‘em away and there wasn’t nothing they could do about it. He supposed it was the same way back home, just a little more permanent there. At least here, maybe Aaron could show up again. Or Beth’s friend, that Peter kid.​
But they weren’t here now and it fucking sucked.​
So….they were goin’ on a picnic.​
He wasn’t sure exactly how that was supposed to help, but Lydia seemed into the idea and Beth had agreed to go and Daryl was goin’ because - well, he’d feel wrong just sittin’ at home when everyone else was out.​
He wasn’t exactly thrilled with the choice of location - spendin’ time on the beach seemed dumb if there wasn’t no boats to mess with but he wasn’t gonna complain, even if the black shirt he was wearin’ was hot as hell in the summer heat.​
He frowned as Beth failed to respond to Lydia’s question - a furrow between his brow as he chewed on his lip and looked between the two. “Yeah, looks good,” he said, shooting a look at Paul, not sure exactly how to navigate this.​
 

Paul Rovia

The Walking Dead
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221
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31
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Taken by Daryl Dixon
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Paul followed along, inhaling the smell of the ocean and wet sand. Salt water and fresh air? Not a horrible way to spend and afternoon. Though he wasn't familiar with one person who was going to be there? Why not meet the people from the same world he was in? Only they've experienced what that was like. Something common to start them off right away with one another.

Beth was sweet. He liked her. Already on a good note, he figured.

Whether it be ties between bad or good? It was unique to them. That they left that world of the dead and building hope for a future in spite of everything else and came into something wild, insane in it's possibility and..as light sea green eyes scanned the horizon? Beautiful in and of it's own.

He listened to Daryl and Lydia with half his attention. Hair pulled up into a loose bun, he tilted his chin up to let the breeze touch along his neck. Hands stuffed in his pockets, he let the heat of the sun sink into his face and was trusting enough of Daryl to close his eyes and walk blind for a few steps. Then, like he could feel the glance his way, they swung open and he met Daryl's gaze.

The hitch of his shoulders said he didn't mind wherever they went. "Sure. Looks good.."
 

Lydia

The Walking Dead
Posts
89
Species
Human
Lydia nodded and set down the blanket. She took her time in spreading it out and placing the picnic basket on top. It wasn't like she was missing out on a a lot of talking. The group was as quiet as she had been when she visited the pike border to say goodbye to Henry. Beth didn't even get that much. No grave or spot Peter died. He was just gone. And any one of the group could be next, leaving everyone else behind.

Lydia watched a few strangers walking along the coast, feeding birdseed to seagulls. She kept watching, waiting for them to kill the gulls and take them home for dinner, or to sell in a shop. It was a mystery to her when they kept on walking. One more part of this world that didn't make sense. Like people disappearing. If her thoughts kept going back to that, it had to be worse for Beth. This day was supposed to help.

Lydia looked at Beth again, wondering what she could do to help make her feel better. Beth looked less sad with Bailey around. That had to be a start.

Lydia walked closer to Beth. "We have a frisbee and a couple of balls if you wanna play fetch with Bailey. Me and Dog could play too. Or we could eat first." She offered, trying to get Beth to make the choice, so she'd focus on here and now, and not on her loss.
 

Beth Greene

The Walking Dead
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517
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Beth averted her eyes. She knew Paul already of course, but she had to remind herself that he didn't remember her. It had been a different Jesus who'd been in Pandora all those years ago, though Beth knew they'd still get along great. He was exactly the same as she remembered, and had she been in a better mood, she might've asked about his hair, which she slightly envied (it was in excellent condition), and teased Daryl playfully about his choice of shirt.

But she couldn't do it. Her heart just wasn't in it. So instead she waited for Lydia to set down the blanket and immediately flung herself down, placing the basket she'd been carrying in the middle of their group. She leaned back on her hand and looked out toward the horizon. She breathed in the saltly, sea air and found her eyes landing on a couple holding hands near the shore. Something inside began to hurt and she quickly looked away, brushing a few strands of blonde hair away from her face.

There were a few strangers feeding the seagulls which Lydia seemed to have noticed too. Beth felt bad for not engaging more, knowing that Lydia had organised this for her. But everytime she tried to open her mouth, nothing would come out. It was like there was a rock stuck in her throat, and she had no idea how to dislodge it. So instead she said nothing and glanced to her left. Lydia was looking right at her. Beth gave her a tiny smile.

"You go," she said at last. Her voice sounded different, hollow. "I'll watch and set up the food." It was the least she could do, and besides, it would keep her busy. She scratched Bailey behind the ear and gave her a little nudge. "Go on, girl. Go have some fun," Beth told her quietly.
 
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Daryl Dixon

The Walking Dead
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It was a nice enough spot for a picnic - not that Daryl’d ever had one. Wasn’t really his style, and it definitely hadn’t been Merle’s - but it wasn’t a bad way to spend their time. Anything to get Beth smilin’ again, though it didn’t seem to be working too well. He remembered how she’d been after they’d lost her friend at the prison, wasn’t sure if this was better or worse.​
He frowned, watching Lydia interact with Beth, appreciating that she was trying.​
It didn’t seem t’be working though, Beth was all but despondent, sitting on the blanket. It made Daryl feel twitchy - he wasn’t sure how t’help though. This wasn’t a problem he could fix by beatin’ someone else, or by bringing back game from the woods.​
He was all but useless.​
Dog had heard talk about the frisbee and was prancing around in the sand - honestly, Daryl didn’t know where the canine got the energy, but he always seemed ready to go.​
“Why don’t y’go with Lydia,” Daryl said to Beth, trying to toe the line between insistent and suggesting, not sure where exactly the right place to step was. He stepped around Paul, a hand brushing over his waist on instinct, as he neared the blanket. “Her arm ‘s liable to fall off, tryin’ to keep up with both them dogs,” he said. “Me ‘n Paul can deal with the food, right Paul?”
 

Paul Rovia

The Walking Dead
Posts
221
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31
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Taken by Daryl Dixon
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Observant as always, he watched the two women giving Beth a slight head tilt before bouncing his attention back to Daryl. A brow quirked up immediately and he nodded. "Yeah. Go enjoy yourself. I don't mind helping this guy out. Those dogs take two babysitters.." Lydia could use more friends than only him and Daryl. It was nice to see her happy. See her trying to learn how to be. The road was long but he had faith in her that she was going to stick to the efforts trying.

He sat the bags down he was carrying along and grabbed a blanket out, reaching up to tuck a strand of hair that'd fallen out of the bun back behind his ear. A few steps around it to situate the thing on the ground and they'd have a place to sit. And he promptly did. Slender fingers plucked at the laces on his boots. He'd been itching to get them off soon as they hit the ground. How long had it been since he had a chance to dig his toes into sand?

Far too long..

Before the world went the way it was back home? Trips to the beach were something he indulged in frequently. Whether it be to a sidewalk concert. Or just to get out and enjoy the air and the scenery? Didn't really need an excuse to disappear off to Virginia Beach or near there. Where there were no other people other than himself. Walk far enough and you'll find a place to set up camp for a day or two. Just to disappear. Something he took for granted. Cause when the dead came back? Vacations weren't really a thing anymore. Making it day to day took over.

Breathing in deep, his boots and socks (stuffed inside them) were tossed off to the ground and---he smiled, shifting his attention up to Daryl with squinted eyes. "You have no idea how much I've been looking forward to this."
 

Lydia

The Walking Dead
Posts
89
Species
Human
Lydia watched Beth carefully, hoping Daryl and Paul's encouragement would get her moving. "They got a point." She reached into the basket with the dog toys and pulled out a frisbee. The sight of it made Dog even more excited.

"We can work up a good appetite. " Lydia was getting better at eating food without waiting to like she was starving. Still, she liked to feel like she earned her food on some level.

Dog was getting better at picking up on Lydia's cues all the time. He must have seen how she was still looking at Beth, while holding the frisbee. He gently nudged Beth with his nose and gave a few happy barks. Such a good boy, Lydia thought. She knew he'd get some treats when it was time to eat. He followed Lydia as she took a few steps away.

"C'mon, Beth." Lydia called out, keeping her eyes on all members of the group. She had more reasons for picking the beach than its closeness to Beth's home. There were no trees for anyone to pop out from. Daryl and Paul could see them just fine and vice versa. They were safe. It was okay to have a little fun.

Lydia sent the frisbee sailing through the air with a quick toss and Dog caught it. Beth and Bailey would have to want to join them, wouldn't they? It was a better distraction than doing nothing.
 

Beth Greene

The Walking Dead
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Beth stared at the three of them. They were trying, she knew that, but it didn't stop her feeling slightly nettled. Their persistence was aggravating. If she wanted to sit and stew in her own misery, why couldn't she? Maybe she needed to wallow, just for a bit. This wasn't a life or death situation, there was no walkers hiding behind the corner, no dangerous repercussions to her giving up like back home. Life in Pandora was very different. It allowed her a chance to grieve.

Very begrudgingly, Beth pulled herself to her feet. Bailey, noticing the sudden movement, did the same and looked up expectantly. "C'mon, girl," she sighed. She made her way over to Lydia, who wasn't far at all. Paul and Daryl were still within earshot, but the dogs hopefully wouldn't trample the food from here, nor would the frisbee hit one of the boys on the head.

Beth watched Dog catch the frisbee in his mouth. She smiled at him. "Think you can do that, girl?" She asked Bailey. Bailey wagged her tail and trotted over to Dog, interested in the new game. Dog, noticing the new arrivals, saw Beth and padded over with the frisbee, dropping it at her feet. Bailey followed suit, the two dogs waiting patiently for Beth to throw it. Beth picked it up and waved over at Lydia.

"Ready?" She called out to her. Beth hadn't thrown a frisbee in a long time. Hopefully she didn't screw it up. Twisting her arm 90 degrees, she threw the frisbee in the direction of Lydia. It swerved off course slightly, making Beth giggle in spite of herself. "Sorry!" She called out again, watching the dogs flail after it.
 

Daryl Dixon

The Walking Dead
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He wasn't sure Beth was gonna go for it - half-sure she might make some excuse to stay on that blanket for the entire picnic. Was rare to ever see her so low and Daryl didn't like it, didn't like how helpless it made him feel - cos there wasn't nothin' he could do about it. He'd protect his family til his dyin' breath, but there wasn't nothin' he could do to bring the people they'd lost back. Was a hard pill to swallow, and he didn't like bein' reminded of it.

Their insistence seemed to pay off though, finally headin' out with Lydia and the dogs to play some frisbee nearby. Something eased inside him, just a little - though he knew it wasn't gonna be that easy. He knew what it felt like, losin' people he cared about - anyone from their world knew it by now, knew that it faded with time but it didn't stop the ache. Hell, sometimes he thought about Rick, out of the blue, and the grief was near bout as painful as it'd been when he could still feel the heat of the explosion.

But life went on.

He turned, watchin' Paul take off his boots, and let out a snort, half his attention on the scout and the other half listenin' out for the girls, though they weren't that far away. Still in sight, and in earshot.

"You look like y'need one of them drinks with an unbrella or somethin'," he said, heading over to drop down next to him, boots getting a bit of sand on the blanket that he paid no mind to.
 

Paul Rovia

The Walking Dead
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221
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31
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Taken by Daryl Dixon
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Laughter rang from him easy as pie. Daryl's comment of him looking like he needed some sort of tiki drink nudged it all the way free. A roll of his eyes later, he nudged the tracker with his shoulder. "Only if you're bringing it in a speedo. Isn't that part of the deal?" The grin that twisted onto his mouth was nothing short of devilish intent. Mischief sparked inside his gaze.

Hey. Daryl brought that on himself.

Smirking, he tossed a glance towards where the two ladies wandered off to. So strange to sit on a beach. Or, hell, make the trek to the beach without having to fight your way there. Or stay vigilant against whatever hell might be between you and where you wanted to go. He was settling in. Getting used to it. Almost to the point where he stopped thinking about things he used to have to. Or prepping for a mere trip to get groceries like he did at first. Out of habit. Muscle memory and all that.

This? This was beyond..nice. This was something he once gave up on having and adapted to finding peace and happiness in other sorts of ways. In people he helped provide for. Or save from the world that was doing it's best to end them. He found new hopes, new dreams. That felt so out of touch with what he was letting wash back in to replace them. The man sitting beside him was a huge help in that. And, now, they were building friendships (or rather he was) with others who had been there. But were plucked out. Saved? If you want to use a word to describe it. His thoughts couldn't trail to Aaron. Of what losing him verified.

Instead, he focused on the here and now. That's what this trip was for. Yes?

"I can picture it now..," his gaze rose towards Daryl, "You'd be a great cabana boy."
 

Lydia

The Walking Dead
Posts
89
Species
Human
Lydia joined in the giggling. She was glad to see the change in Beth's mood. For a second, Beth was acting like they were gonna shoot arrows at her, instead of throwing frisbees. "That's okay. They like running for it." It almost looked like Dog slowed down, letting Bailey get it. Did dogs do that? Maybe the special ones did.

"Here, girl. Bring it to me." Lydia called out, waving when Bailey nearly ran past her. Bailey brought the frisbee and Lydia picked it up. She had been using it with Dog for since the start of summer. She told Daryl it was good practice, teaching Dog to be gentle when getting stuff. So he wouldn't be breaking arrows when he was bringing them back to him. It was really just for fun. She figured Daryl knew that too. A part of her, that tiny little part that still feared her mother, warned that having fun made her weak. Having other reasons, like training Dog or cheering up Beth, made it easier to have fun.

"Get ready." Lydia encouraged and Dog instantly backed up to catch a far throw. When Bailey backed up too, Lydia sent the frisbee flying again. It was a perfect throw, about to land directly in Beth's hands, when Dog jumped in the air and caught it. Special dogs could be show-offs too and Lydia chuckled. "Good job, bring it to Beth." She instructed and then looked to Beth to see how she was doing.
 

The Governor

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You kill or you die.
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Penny dashed across the beach, kicking up little clouds of sand with her pink sandal clad feet. The grin that stretched wide her petite features made her cheek ache, but in a good way! She had to hurry. Daddy would finish up counting and then he would come and find her again. He was the best at hide-and-seek!

She put on a burst of speed, which took her over a sand dune, among trees and into a small group’s private picnic. Horrified that she had intruded, Penny froze in place like a bunny that'd darted into a kennel. She hugged her penguin plushie tight to her chest.

What if the people got mad and yelled mean things at her? She would cry, then daddy would find out and get mad, too. He’d do worse than yell back at the people. Much worse.

She peeped over the black peaked head of her penguin at the group. The messier of the men looked the type to shout and wave his fists, but the other one with the hair bun and pretty, pretty eyes had a gentleness about him. Were the ladies their dates? They were beautiful and so adult! Penny thought she might’ve recognized the one with the darker hair, but wasn’t certain…

Her attention drifted to the dogs last. She thought of the nice ranch where she lived with daddy, as well as the amazing people who could take the shapes of animals.

Penny’s curiosity grew so much that she couldn’t help but blurt: “Are those people-dogs?”
 
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