Don’t Go | John Marston Fic
A prequel to my last story Just Ask. Sorry you’ll have to wait a bit longer for more context! But I have more of this series in the works. :)
I can’t get away from thoughts of this AU lately. I’ve decided to make this a small series. John’s inner monologue of all his failures (set in my Modern AU) and interactions with his friends and family/their reactions to his situation.
trigger warning: implied/referenced suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, mental health issues.
Characters: John Marston, Karmen Davis/Karmen Cassady (My OC)
Setting: My Modern AU
Summery: John has been wallowing for a few days. Karmen leaves him alone for a while a fears she’d made a mistake when she returns. (She hasn’t)
“John?” Karmen called as she slammed the front door behind
her. Shrugging off her coat and letting it fall to the floor as she headed down
“John?” She called again, holding on to the doorframe of her
guest room as she whirled around the corner to look inside.
The bed was neatly made and she felt her breath catch in her
throat as her heart-rate began to rise.
She’d only intended to be gone for a few minutes but she’d
been held up at the corner store. Her blood had suddenly ran cold as she’d
tapped her card to the Eftpos machine and a sense of dread swirled in her
stomach as she realised she may have made a terrible mistake.
“John?” She shouted, more frantically this time as she moved
on down the hallway, slamming open doors and glancing inside before moving on
to the next.
She felt tears well in her eyes as she opened the bathroom door,
wiping at them erratically as she realised he wasn’t in there either. She stood
for a second, trying to calm her breathing as she thought. Turning on her heel
and sprinting towards the back door. She skidded to a stop when she finally
caught sight of him. Taking a deep breath and exhaling a sigh of relief as she looked
over his gaunt figure leaning his forearms against the railing of her balcony and
staring out towards the setting sun.
“Fucking hell.” She whispered under her breath. Taking a
moment to steady herself. She used her shirt to scrub the tears from her eyes. Holding
her hands over her face for a moment and just breathing as she prepared to walk
outside. “Thank God.” She whispered, pulling her shirt back down and walking
towards the door. She took one last quick, deep breath before opening it and
making her way outside.
He didn’t acknowledge her as she approached, and she was silently
thankful. It gave the redness around her eyes a moment to dissipate as she unconsciously
copied his stance and leaned herself against the railing.
She bowed her head, closing her eyes for a moment before looking
back up pursing her lips.
John’s eyes darted towards her and then back to the sunset. He
was glad she was back. He’d declined when she’d asked if he wanted to join her
and he had regretted it instantly. Not wanting to be a burden he had tried to give
her some space. But being alone even for a few minutes had given his mind time
Karmen looked to him, watching as he thought and wondering
if she should speak.
“You okay?” She finally asked, turning to face him fully.
She already knew the answer. But it felt wrong to not check in every now and
John was silent for a long moment. Swallowing audibly before
licking his lips and sighing deeply.
“Yeah.” He answered after a pause, eyes staring blankly ahead.
“I’m fine.” He said, hand coming up to scratch at his chin before falling back
to it’s place on the railing.
She smiled sadly, knowing he couldn’t see her. Her hand
coming up to rest on his bicep. He flinched at her touch and she pulled her
hand back quickly. He turned to look at her quickly, sliding his arms along the
banister as he took a small step closer before turning back to stare at the
horizon once more.
She took the invitation, stepping towards him and snaking an
arm around his waist. Her thumb rubbing gently against his hip as he seemed to
relax into her touch.
They stood like that for a moment. Karmen looking up at him,
her face only inches from his as she took in the way his eyes shone in the
He wasn’t okay.
She pulled away slowly, ending the hug and causing him to
turn to her. He opened his mouth to speak but closed it once more when he
caught her fishing around in her bag. She pulled out a pack of smoke and a
“Want one?” She asked as he looked between her and the
packet. He furrowed his brows at the question, narrowing his eyes at her.
“Thought you said they’d kill me.” He said frankly, eyeing
“Lots of things will kill you John.” She said softly as she
brought a cigarette to her mouth and offered him the packet. “Just take one.”
She mumbled around the smoke in her mouth.
She’d only bought them for him. Although she’d never admit
that after all the years she’d spend campaigning against him quitting.
John did as instructed, sliding one from the pack and placing
it between his lips. He watched silently as she lit her own. He leaned forward
to make it easier for her to reach his.
The paper ignited and he breathed in deeply, pulling it away
from his mouth in a hurry as he coughed out the breath he’d just inhaled.
“Jesus.” He rasped, gaining control of his breathing and
taking another drag. They were stronger than he was used to. But the rush of nicotine
calmed his nerves almost instantly. He hadn’t realised just how agitated he had
Karmen inhaled deeply, holding the smoke between two fingers
as she turned to rest on the balcony once more.
“It’ll get better.” She said quietly, smoke billowing from
her lips as she spoke.
“They’re strong.” John replied, following her lead and
resting his forearms on the banister once more.
“Not what I meant.” She said seriously, looking to him sadly
and studying the numbness of his expression.
“I know.” He replied simply, swallowing down everything he wanted
to say and gritting his teeth to keep it all inside. “When?” He asked hoarsely.
Already knowing the answer.
“In time.” She answered with a shrug before turning towards
him, her hip resting heavily against the railing. “You know you’re welcome here,
yeah?” She asked earnestly. She watched him nod. Unconsciously nodding along
herself before speaking again. “For as long as it takes.” She assured.
“What if it takes a long-ass time?” He asked almost
immediately, facing her quickly as he felt his hands begin to tremble. He
twirled the cigarette in his fingers for something to do. Anything to keep them
“There’s no time limit on our friendship John.” She said after
a moment’s contemplation. “So don’t you go making other plans if being here’s
what you really want. Don’t think of yourself as a burden.”
He scoffed at her words, rolling his eyes and turning back
to the sunset.
“Easy to say.” He muttered, taking another drag and holding the
smoke in his lungs for as long as he could stand it.
“It’s easy to say because you’re not a bloody burden.” Karmen
said firmly. “Don’t go thinking you are, I won’t stand for it.” She said a
little more aggressively than she’d meant to. Her emotions getting the best of
her as she tried to push ideas of John having ‘other plans’ from her head.
She looked away from him, concentrating hard on ignoring the
way her eyes stung.
“You always yell at your friends that are in distress?” John
asked sarcastically, a small smile quirking the corner of his lips.
“I ain’t yelling.” Karmen said defensively, quickly wiping
her eyes while she knew he wasn’t looking. “But test me Marston, I dare you.” She
replied, mirth in her tone. John chuckled lightly in reply, turning to face her
once more. He smiled, looking happy for a moment before catching sight of her
face. The burning behind his own eyes becoming too much. His face falling as he
snuffed out his cigarette on the banister and wrapped his arms tightly around
He rested his head on her shoulder, tears blurring his
vision as she ground her own smoke against the railing and wrapped her arms
around him just as tight.
“I’m sorry.” He croaked, not entirely sure what he was
apologising for. Being a burden, showing his weakness, failing his family. All
valid reasons but none of them seemed quite right.
“Don’t be.” She whispered, stoking one of her hands up and
down his back. He’d scared the crap out of her when she’d come back to find him
wallowing in a different place than he had been earlier. But she refused to let
him know that. Refused to let him see how his sadness affected her.
It wasn’t about her. None of it was. He needed her to be
strong and strong is what she resolved to be.
She closed her eyes, unconsciously swaying slightly as she
held him for a long as he needed it. Alternating between stroking lightly petting
his back before he finally pulled away. Wiping at his eyes with one hand before
crossing his arms over his chest in a way she’d seen him do too many times in
her life. The way that told her he was feeling particularly vulnerable.
“Come on.” She instructed, holding out her hand and
gesturing back towards the house. “Let’s watch a movie or something. Take your
mind off everything.”
He took her hand readily, squeezing it a little too tightly
and letting himself be pulled back inside.
If you liked this please let me know what you thought! Would you want to read more of this? Who would you like to see John interact with? Do you want more backstory?