Summary: In a world whereCarl was the victim of Negan’s killings, reader recalls her relationship with Carl throughout the years with a series of flashbacks, leading up to her current day predicament.
Warnings: Swearing, fluff, implied smut, death
In honor of TWD new episode premiering in an hour!!
Flashbacks are in italics.
It was Carl’s eyes that attracted you first.
You two had met a long time ago, back at the farm. You were sitting inside your house, playing with your sister Beth when his dad carried him in. You remember the first time you had seen him for real was after your dad, Hershel, had performed surgery on him and everyone was sure he was going to be ok. You were so excited to have another person there around your age. When you looked at him, you thought he was so cute. His eyes were the most beautiful blue you’d ever seen. Of course, you never told him that.
“Daddy, who is that little boy?” You remember asking your dad after he finished the operation. “Is he going to be ok? Who are all these people?”
“His name is Carl. He was shot on accident, but he will live. He might like to meet you after all of this dies down. I don’t think their group had another little kid in it.”
“Boys are gross.” You had crinkled your nose.
A few days later, you happened to be walking into the kitchen when you caught a glimpse of him. He was still in pain from getting shot but he was doing better.
“I’m Carl.” He had told you. He had eyes just like his fathers did, only his were prettier. Freckles were covering his face, and he was wearing a sheriff hat.
The two of you were just little kids back then, and an instant friendship hit off. The two of you were inseparable, doing everything and anything together. You were there for the death of his mom, being the only one to comfort him since Rick had gone off the deep end.
You watched as Rick started crying once Maggie and Carl told him the news. The baby was born, but Lori died. You couldn’t help but shed a few tears yourself hearing of her death. She was such a nice woman to you and had always treated you like a daughter of her own.
Rick left, and by doing that he had left Carl completely by himself.
“Carl?” I had gone up to him in his cell one day.
“What do you want,” He had asked you dryly, as if he hadn’t spoken in days.
“I want absolutely nothing from you.” You had sat down next to him. He had looked up at you with tears in his eyes, but nothing ever fell. You pulled him into a hug, and the two of you stayed like that for hours, embracing each other.
The two of you had kept it strictly friendly until you arrived in Alexandria. Between being separated for months, to Terminus, there had been too many bad events after the governor blew up the prison for the two of you to explore anything different. But as soon as you got to Alexandria, and things calmed down, everything changed. When Carl saw you all dressed up at the welcoming party, he couldn’t deny his feelings for you any longer.
You pulled the dress over your head, looking at yourself in the mirror. You looked nice. Someone had lent you a dress to wear, which felt odd wearing since you hadn’t worn a dress since you were twelve. The fabric was comfortable but still beautiful, and it felt like a luxury. You had on makeup for the first time in your life, and your hair was down for what felt like the first time in ages. You always kept it up in a ponytail.
“You look beautiful, Y/N.” Maggie had told you. “You’re going to be the star of the show.”
“Doubtful.” You had laughed. “I’m still not sure how I feel about being here.”
“I wish Beth and Dad were here.” You had said quietly.
The party was awkward for you at first. Everyone seemed to know each other very well already, and you being a shy, quiet person did not help your socialization skills. Carl had seen you by yourself in the corner when he came up to you, linking his arm with yours. He looked really nice, and you couldn’t deny it. He was an attractive guy.
“Don’t be a loner,” He had said. “I met some people here around our age. You should give them a chance.”
“I’m never a loner, Grimes.” You smiled at him. He loved your smile, it made his heart weak every time he saw it.
“You look really good.” He gulped, sounding nervous.
“You don’t look too bad yourself. We clean up nice.”
He introduced you to everyone, and they all seemed nice enough. But you weren’t interested in spending time with any of them, not really. You just wanted to be with your best friend.
At some point during the night, you pulled him away to get away from the stuffiness of the room.
“Too many people,” You had said after the two of you got outside. You were walking around the streets, something that you hadn’t got to do for a long time with a sense of safety.
The two of you were holding hands as you walked, something that you always did. Both of you always said it was just a friendly thing, to other people and each other, but the both of you had felt inside that it was more.
“This is nice. I kinda like it here.” You told him. “I’m not exactly comfortable with it yet, but for now, I decided I’m going to enjoy it.”
“Y/N, I like you.” He had blurted in response, something completely off topic, but you hadn’t cared.
“What?” You wanted to hear him say it again.
“I like you.” He said it more quietly that time. You looked into his eyes, bringing your faces together.
“Well it’s a good thing I like you, too, Grimes.” You whispered, and brought him into a kiss.
Things had gone well for a long time. The two of you were officially together, at least as together as you could be during the state of the world. The only problem had occurred when Ron decided that he liked you, too. It was a big deal- Carl was very protective boyfriend, and seeing Ron try to break you too up did not go down well.
“I’m going to kill him.” Carl growled, pacing back and forth inside of your room.
You had just told him about how Ron had come up to you earlier during the day and attempted to make a move on you. At first, he was just telling you how beautiful you were. This wasn’t a big deal to you- it was just a compliment, nothing to make a big deal about. But then he mentioned something about how Carl couldn’t make you happy like he could. And then he tried to kiss you. He almost got close to touching your lips before you realized what was going on and you kneed him in his weak spot.
You had debated whether or not to tell Carl. You knew that there was a lot of friction between the two of them, and this would just make it worse. But you also knew that if someone had made a move on him like that, you would want to know.
“I already put him in his place, please don’t.” You had begged.
“Too fucking bad. He doesn’t get to touch my girl.”
You watched him as he stomped out the door. You were going to follow him out the door, but decided that you would rather not see Carl beat someone up.
Turns out, you didn’t get that choice, because Ron happened to be walking by your house when Carl got outside. You could see it all from your window.
Carl didn’t even say anything as he went up to Ron and punched him in the face. You gasped as Ron stumbled slightly, but before he could hit back, Carl clocked him again.
This went on for what felt like forever, although you’re sure it was only a few seconds, before Rick came and broke it up. You thought he was going to yell at Carl, but surprisingly, he just gave Ron a stern look and told him to go home.
When Carl came back into your house, he had started kissing you with more hunger than you had experienced from him before. Sure, you’ve made out before, but it was usually quite innocent as the both of you were very inexperienced.
“You are mine.” He had told you, picking you up and setting you on the bed.
“I’m yours, Carl. Only yours.” You moaned as he started kissing your neck.
Things picked up after that. Ron never messed with the two of you again. The two of you were undoubtedly in love with each other- everyone could see it. Besides the sneaking around to have sex, the two of you were well accepted by the group and no one protested like you two had thought they might- especially Maggie. Being her only living relative left, she was quite protective of you.
“So, we need to talk.” Maggie had come up to you one day while you were washing clothes.
“Okay.” You set down the shirt to give her your full attention.
“You and Carl are getting serious, right?”
“I guess, yeah.” You had shrugged.
“I’ve heard some… Rumors about the two of you guys. I just wanted to make sure you’re being safe.” Maggie looked uncomfortable. She loved you with all her heart, but she also knew that she couldn’t stop you from doing anything.
“Where exactly are you hearing this from?” You had questioned her, starting to panic. You thought that the two of you were being sneaky and no one had known that you took your relationship a step further.
“Daryl might have seen you two hooking up while he was on night watch. And I might have heard you guys before when you thought you were alone.”
“Oh my god.” You had blushed, embarrassed.
“We didn’t want to make you guys feel embarrassed. We just all want you to be safe, Rick included.”
“Rick knows?!” You had basically yelled. You wanted to die right then and there.
“He might have also heard you guys a few times when you thought you were alone.” Maggie looked like she was going to start laughing at any moment.
“Please kill me. I can never face anybody again.” You had groaned.
Besides the relentless teasing you experienced after that, you two were happy as you could possibly be. You two would be with each other at every given moment of the day, except for at nights when you were forced to go home. But half the time you would just sneak out to see each other, anyways.
When Alexandria came under attack, you thought you were going to die. Carl was the one who kept you calm and collected as you walked through the walkers. He kept squeezing your hand in reassurance the entire time. But then the plan went to shit when Sam started freaking out. Sam got bit, which made Jessie get bit. Which lead to Carl getting shot in the eye.
For a while after that, Carl refused to talk to you. He wouldn’t let you see him, no matter how much you told him that his eye being gone would not change your opinion of him.
“Don’t come in here.” He had warned you from his room, you standing in the hallway.
“Carl, you can’t avoid me forever.” You sighed, leaning against the doorway.
“I’m ugly. You’re not going to want me anymore. I’m hideous.” He sounded choked up.
You had enough. You walked into his room, and touched his shoulder, him still standing with his back to you.
“Let me see.” You whispered. Carl turned around slowly, showing you a bandage wrapped around his face, his eye socket covered.
When you didn’t say anything, he turned around quickly and pushed you away.
“Get out of here.” He whispered, tears forming in his eye.
“Carl,” you turned him around. “You’re the most handsome man I have ever seen in my life, regardless if you are missing an eye or not. I still want you. You are not, and never will be, ugly.” You poured you heart out to him.
“Thank you, Y/N.” He smiled. You pulled him into a kiss, making sure to be gentle as you didn’t know his pain level.
“I love you.” You finally said. You had been wanting to say that for a long time, but were waiting until the right moment.
“I love you, too.”
Things were finally going smoothly after that. The walls of Alexandria were rebuilt, Carl’s eye socket healed (he looked the governor, but you would never tell him that- he was already insecure), and your group was doing well after everything that had happened.
Carl was coming to terms with the fact that he lost his eye, but it was still hard for him. He acted like he didn’t care, like he was this big, strong man, but you knew better. He was insecure. But things were getting better.
That was until you met Negan.
You can remember that night like it was yesterday, all the events of what happened. They’re fresh in your memory, leaving you with nightmares every night of what happened.
You were all forced to sit on your knees in a line as you met the leader of the Saviors.
You were scared, although you wouldn’t admit it. You kept glancing down over to Carl, waiting in anticipation for the man to show up. You knew something bad was going to happen. Rick had killed a bunch of his men, and now he has your entire group in his lineup- it wouldn’t end nicely.
The era of power surrounding him was like none you had ever experienced before. He was immediately directed towards Rick.
The way he spoke to him, it was so condescending and power filled. It terrified you.
Then he started taunting everyone as he chose who he was going to kill. He turned a child’s game song into something entirely different, very sadistic.
It landed on Abraham.
Nobody dared to say anything. Especially not you, once you heard Negan’s threat to cut out Carl’s other eye. You cried, the tears blinding your vision, but you could still hear the whack of his bat bashing in Abraham’s skull.
You thought it was over. He said one person.
But then he dragged Carl out.
And started bashing in his head.
You couldn’t control yourself this time. You started screaming and reaching out for him, but one of Negan’s men stopped you. You sobbed and screamed as Carl’s head eventually turned into nothing, just smashed brain and blood.
Negan was laughing at this, at all of this. You tried your hardest to escape from their grips, but you couldn’t.
“You, what’s your name?” Negan came up to you.
“Y/N.” You spat. The group watched you, looks of terror filling their faces. Maggie started crying, thinking she was going to lose you.
“I thought I said not to fucking get up, what the fuck happened to that?”
“You just-“ You couldn’t even finish your sentence, you were crying too hard.
“Oh, were the two of you together? My apologies.” He laughs. “Not.”
“If you weren’t so fucking disrespectful and you knew how to listen, I’d make you one of my wives. Goddamn shame.” Negan continued.
You thought he was going to kill you, but instead, he just moved on to keep talking to the group. Taunting them, tearing them down.
You still missed him to this day. He was the love of your life, and he would always be in your mind. You would never forget about him.
“What’s up, Y/N? You look like you’re about to cry like a little baby.” Negan showed up. He snapped you out of your thoughts, your memories of what you and Carl were.
“I’m good.” You smile weakly, hoping to fool him. You don’t show weakness around him. You can’t, not if you don’t want to be punished.
“Great, ‘cause I need my good girl right now.” He snakes his arm around your waist, pulling you closer to him.
That night, he didn’t let you free. He took you in as prisoner, but his lust for you outgrew his anger. He was never going to let you leave, he let you know that every single day. He refused to make you one of his wives, and although he still claims that he doesn’t fuck anyone outside of them, he makes some pretty bold moves on you.
The only thing that gets you through the day is reminiscing about Carl, remembering the good times you had with him.
You tell yourself every day that you will get out of here. You will go home, you will see your sister again. But the longer you’re there, the longer you give up hope that you’re ever get to leave. You’re watched every moment of the day, whether it’s by Negan’s minions or by Negan himself.
Negan takes you to the bedroom, but doesn’t stay in there with you. He just slaps your ass and walks away, locking the door behind him. You walk over to the desk, grabbing a pen and writing out a couple simple sentences, letting a tear fall onto the page as you slammed the journal shut afterward. The person it was directe to wasn’t ever going to see it, and Negan would kill you if he saw it, but it gave you hope. Hope that everything would be ok.
Lolly is the most precious little bird on the planet and I just want to protect her so much.
Kudos to Orange is the New Black for portraying Schizophrenia so realistically. Lolly is a brave, beautiful genius and this disease took everything away from her. And the worst part is, no one tries to help her. Which is devastating, but such a sad reality for underprivileged people living with Schizophrenia.
Also, Christina Brucato, who played young Lolly, deserves all the awards. As well as Lori Petty. As well as this entire fucking storyline. OITNB really irritates me at times but they blew it out of the park in this episode (”It Sounded Better In My Head”).
Mental illness isn’t funny. It’s not something you include in your shows to get a good laugh. It’s realistic and it’s devastating for the people who can’t get any help. And for their families as well. And it’s real and it’s brutal: a lot of people with a mental illness end up in prison because our society sees them as violent.
I’m SO glad Orange called out this bullshit.
But most of all, I love the fact that Lolly is still an actual character OUTSIDE her Schizophrenia. She has a voice and despite her psychotic moments, she’s an actual loving, smart, caring, beautiful, innocent human being who cares about other people, who cares about the planet, and wants to protect everyone.
So a lot of people may not identify with her, but I do and I’m gonna say it.