First Love CarlXReader Jessie’s 1k Writing Challenge

This is my first one-shot ever and I am so excited to be posting it! Hopefully, you guys will enjoy it. This was written for @grimes-slut ‘s writing challenge. Congratulations on hitting 1k, doll, you deserve it!

Prompt: “Song of your choice” Chosen song: ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles

Plot: First loves can happen where ever and whenever. For Carl, his first love happened when he arrived at Alexandria and met a young girl. But not everyone can accept their feelings easily. As Rick watches his son struggle with his feelings and opening up to a stranger. He can’t help but hope that Carl won’t turn away. 

Warnings: None

World Count: 2345

‘Hey Jude, don’t make it bad

Take a sad song and make it better

Remember to let her into your heart

Then you can start to make it better’

Alexandria was becoming their home. Though there were some doubts amongst the group, it was becoming clear that everyone was growing comfortable with the community. Well, everyone except for Carl. Rick had noticed his son’s edge. The way his sharp eyes watched everyone and everything. Rick knew that his boy was waiting for this haven to fall, just like the many before it.

But then Carl met her. (Y/N) was one of the citizens of Alexandria. She was a sweet girl, Rick would even go as far as saying that there was something innocent about her. She seemed unscathed by the harsh world around her. That was rare to come across and Rick believed that her good nature could have a positive effect on Carl. She could bring some optimism to Carl’s life. She could make him see that there was still some good in the world, you just have to look for it. All Carl had to do was let her in.

‘Hey Jude, Don’t be afraid

You were made to go out and get her

The minute you let her under your skin

Then you begin to make it better’

The only problem was it appeared that he wanted nothing to with (Y/N). Carl would go to extra lengths to avoid her. If Rick didn’t know any better, he would’ve believed his son hated the young girl. But with all the times he caught Carl sneaking obvious glances at (Y/N), he knew that wasn’t the case. His boy was simply keeping a distance to ensure that he could never get attached. Carl had lost a lot of people in his life. People that he cared deeply for. Opening himself up again would mean if something happened, when something happened, Carl would only get hurt again.

Rick wanted to intervene. He wanted to sit his son down and talk to him. Tell him that it was okay to open up to her, to go out and get her. But he didn’t. He couldn’t. It was Carl’s job to realize it on his own. So Rick sat back and continued watching. Hoping that his son would take action soon before he missed the chance.

Rick began to notice subtle changes in Carl as the days continued to go by. His son was beginning to acknowledge (Y/N) whenever the two crossed paths. Some days he would give her a faint and brief smile, other days a simple nod of his head in her direction. They were small actions, but actions nonetheless and Rick was so grateful that his son was showing some change. Rick believed that it wouldn’t be long until Carl let down his defense.

As days slowly turned to weeks, Carl had formed a friendship with the young girl. Though Rick had been hoping for it, it still came as a bit of a shock to him when he walked out the front door to see the two teens sitting on the porch steps together. He took a moment to properly introduce himself to the girl and had to fight back the smile that was tugging at the corners of his mouth. Not wanting to make anything awkward for his son, Rick told Carl where he would be and walked off. Words couldn’t even describe how happy he was.

(Y/N) seemed to always be at their house in the days that followed, not that Rick minded. The father would often sit in the kitchen and eavesdrop on the conversations. It was wrong of him, yes. But hearing his son talk like a kid again put a smile on Rick’s face. The way Carl and (Y/N) talked was so natural like they had known each other for years. Rick really believed that things were looking up for his boy. Unfortunately, things couldn’t stay good forever.

‘And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain

Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders

For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool

By making his world a little colder’

There were many differences between Carl and (Y/N), the biggest one being their outlooks on life. (Y/N) and her family had found Alexandria during its starting days so she never saw how dark the world had become. She had been sheltered, living in a community where everyone knew each other and were friendly. She didn’t understand how dangerous people had become outside the walls of her society. So when Carl told (Y/N) about the people he’s killed she didn’t take it well.

She asked Carl how he could have the ability to take someone’s life and when Carl explained to her that he had to she didn’t believe him. (Y/N) argued that there were other ways of defending yourself that didn’t revolve around killing an opponent. Something in Carl snapped after that statement. He told her that in their world it’s either kill or be killed. When (Y/N) tried to argue against it, Carl, in a fit of annoyance, called her naive and stupid and said that if she didn’t change her way of thinking then it won’t be long until she’s killed.

(Y/N) left without a word.

‘Hey Jude, don’t let me down

You have found her, now go and get her

Remember to let her into your heart

Then you can start to make it better’

Rick had been downstairs when this argument took place and noticed (Y/N) leaving the house. He smiled, ready to say goodbye to her but when he noticed the hurt that was evident on her face he stayed quiet. Once she walked out the door Rick waited a moment before going up to see his son. He knocked on the bedroom door and waited for a response. When none came Rick opened the door, wide enough for him to stick his head through, and saw Carl sitting by his window, staring out.

He asked his son why (Y/N) had left so early and why she looked so upset. Carl’s answer was brief and it became clear to Rick that the two had a falling out. He stepped into the room, closing the door behind him and approached his son. Carl’s gaze never left the window and Rick realized that he was staring off into the direction (Y/N) had walked off in.

“Why don’t you tell me what happened.”

Rick listened to his son talk. Took in everything he said. He could see where Carl was coming from. Everyone in Alexandria shared the same views as (Y/N) and Rick was still in the process of trying to change the way they saw things. He, himself, had taken direct approaches to point out the flaw in the thinking of the Alexandrian people but didn’t believe Carl should do the same, especially to (Y/N). He didn’t want to risk Carl messing up a relationship that was just beginning to bloom.

There was a moment of silence between the father and son. Rick took the moment to study his boy for what seemed like the first time in a while. Carl no longer had that sharpness in his eyes that he had grown used to seeing. Instead, it was replaced with raw emotions. Sadness. Fear. Vulnerability. He looked like a little boy again and Rick just wanted to reach out and hold him. But that’s not what Carl wanted. He wanted advice so he could make things right again. So Rick said all he could say.

He told Carl that he and (Y/N) lived two different lives throughout the outbreak. (Y/N) was sheltered and protected, she believed it wrong to kill people because she’d never been put into a situation where killing was the only option of surviving. She didn’t know what it meant to survive. He told Carl that since he has lived through the struggle of having to survive it was in some sense his job to protect her. She would eventually come to realize that Carl was right but until then he’d have to be patient with her.

‘So let it out and let it in, Hey Jude, begin

You’re waiting for someone to perform with

And don’t you know that it’s just you, hey Jude you’ll do

The movement you need is on your shoulder’

After his talk with his father, Carl knew that he had to apologize to (Y/N) but the girl had disappeared inside of her house and refused to see him. He couldn’t force her to talk to him so he decided it would be best to wait. If she wanted to talk to him she would.  He just hoped that it would be soon.

A few days had gone by and Carl had yet to hear from (Y/N). He was beginning to believe that he had lost any chance he had with her. As he sat by his bedroom window thinking about their argument for what seemed like the hundredth time, something outside caught his attention. He came out of his thought and focused on the man that was rushing down the street. He wore tattered clothing and even from a distant Carl could see the grime that covered his face. Something in the man’s hand caught the sun’s reflection, and after staring at it for a moment Carl realized that it was a machete.

Carl had almost forgotten what surviving felt like. The adrenaline that kicks in right when things start happening. The thoughts that race through your head while your heart beats a mile a minute. The strange calmness that manages to wash over you because though the situation may be deadly, you know what you are doing. When Carl watched the man’s machete slice through his neighbor’s body, all of those things came rushing back to him. In a strange way, he was glad to be feeling these sensations again because it felt like him. But then reality kicked in when he remembered (Y/N) was out there defenseless.

He came rushing down the stairs as the screams of innocent people filled the air. As he reached the first landing he spotted Carol who earlier had been working in the kitchen. From the look on her face, it was clear that she too knew what was happening. Carl notified her that he had seen everything from upstairs and that the unknown attackers were coming from all over. He had taken another step down when Carol told him something he didn’t want to her.

“You have to stay here-”

He shook his head, dark hair swaying by his shoulders as his mind once again turned back to (Y/N). The idea of her being out there alone with no way of defending herself terrified him. Like his father had told him, he had to be there for her. To protect her when she needed protecting. And so as he descended the rest of the stairs he told Carol that he couldn’t stay in the house, there was someone who needed his help. Before the older women could protest, Carl was out the door.

He didn’t focus on what was going on around him, he drained out the screams and cries for help. He had a goal, and his goal was to get to (Y/N)’s house. She would be there, he was sure of it. And if she wasn’t then he wouldn’t stop searching until he found her. He just hoped that when he did she would be alright.

There had been times in his life where Carl had been absolutely terrified. But none of those moments could compare to the terror that he felt when he finally reached (Y/N)’s house. Lying face down on the front porch step’s was (Y/N)’s mom. Her clothes and hair soaked in her own blood and the front door of her house kicked open. Carl felt like the wind had been knocked out of him and he almost tripped over his own legs as he stared at the sight in front of him. His throat tightened with each long step he took towards the house and he had begun preparing himself for what awaited him inside.

Carl was prepared for a lot of things, but what he actually saw caught him by surprise. The moment he stepped into the house he saw a still tidy living room, the only thing unusual about the area was the large bloody boot prints that trailed into the kitchen. Carl raised his gun as he slowly inched towards the room. He came to a quiet stop by the doorway and listened to see if anyone was still in there. No noise came from the room and Carl took a step forward.

Unlike the living room, the kitchen was upturned. Cooking ingredients and dishes scattered around the counter. On the floor, behind the island, was a puddle of dark red liquid. Carl’s throat tightened up again and his eyes grew watery. He took hesitant steps towards the blood once again trying to prepare himself for what he was going to see.

The body was completely mutilated, multiple stab wounds on the chest, neck, and face. No one would ever be able to recognize who this person was before they were attacked. And sitting next to the body with her legs pulled up to her chest, her forehead resting on her knees, and her hands covered in blood was (Y/N).

Carl let out a gasp, startling the girl, as he dropped down to his knees sliding in front of her. She was shaking, her eyes red and wide. The moment she looked at him (Y/N) began crying and curled around herself again. Seeing the most vibrant and full of life girl cry was heartbreaking and Carl didn’t know what to do to comfort her.

“You have to be there for her when she needs you.”

His father’s word echoed in his head. Without thought, Carl reached out and embraced (Y/N) in a tight hug. She shifted in his hold before wrapping her own arms around him, her hands hanging on to his shirt desperately, like if she let go he would disappear. They stayed like that until her crying subsided to mere hiccups, and even after they continued to hold one another.

‘Hey Jude, don’t make it bad

Take a sad song and make it better

Remember to let her under your skin

Then you’ll begin to make it better’

“I didn’t want to do it,” (Y/N) finally spoke up. Carl’s eyes shifted to the large body that still laid next to them. He felt (Y/N)’s body once again begin to shake in his hold as the memories replayed in her mind. “I didn’t know what else to do.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect you,” Carl said quietly as his arms tightened around her. “But I promise you, from now on I will always be by your side.”

A/N is it lame that I also used the lyrics in the one shot? Oh well, when I was writing it I had broken the story up using each stanza so I figured it would be good to keep them in the final work. It works in my eyes but who knows. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed it ~