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27 August 2007 @ 07:17 am
The Bowling Alley Hero [The OC; Ryan/Kirsten]  
TITLE: The Bowling Alley Hero
FANDOM: The OC
PAIRING: Ryan/Kirsten
SPOILERS: Late season three
RATING: PG
SUMMARY:


*****

"Oh! Oh, what's that, pins?" Seth Cohen cupped a hand around his ear and leaned his upper body toward his lane. "You bow to the master?" He nodded in approval. "Yeah, that's right."

Sandy Cohen chuckled while, behind both their backs, Ryan Atwood and Kirsten Cohen exchanged an only slightly-amused look. Both of them stood leaning against the backs of the bowling alley's hard plastic chairs, both with their legs crossed at the ankle and arms folded across their chests; perfect mirror images of each other.

"You two wish you were as awesome as Dad and me," Seth taunted, "and why aren't you playing?"

Kirsten and Ryan blinked slowly in unison as Ryan responded in his trademark monotone, "Lane etiquette. You reminded us an hour ago that adjacent lanes can't have people bowling at the same time."

"Well you guys can go now."

Sandy glanced back his son, looking crestfallen as he held his bowling ball up, poised to throw it down the lane. "But I was gonna go."

Kirsten rolled her eyes and smirked, grasping Ryan's wrist. "How about you guys bowl a couple frames and Ryan and I will go order a pizza for all of us?"

Seth gave them a thumbs up and Sandy was busy taking his turn, so Ryan and Kirsten looked to each other, shrugged, and headed for the bar. They chuckled at the other two while they walked slowly side-by-side, shoulders knocking together every few seconds. "The next time they suggest a fun night out what are we going to say?" Kirsten prompted.

"If it's bowling, we're busy," Ryan chimed in, grinning.

Kirsten laughed. "They get a little into the game. I almost forgot about that. This is why we never really go bowling."

"Well," Ryan shrugged, "at least we've got each other."

They met each other's eyes and smiled slowly, a million words exchanged in just a glance. When they arrived at the bar, Kirsten placed the order for a large pizza, half extra cheese and half pepperoni. As the bartender put the order in, Kirsten leaned an elbow on the bar and turned to face Ryan. He mirrored her. "I find it hard to believe you didn't have plans tonight," she told him.

One eyebrow made a slow arch. "Why?"

"Well, because I'm sure... a young eligible man like you would have a few different options for dates. What about Sadie?"

Ryan shrugged and turned his eyes to the different bottles of liquor behind the bar, thinking fleetingly how happy he was that Kirsten didn't rely on such hazardous beverages anymore. Then, he responded, "Sadie and I just... didn't really click, I guess."

Kirsten nodded and shrugged facially, a barely-audible, "Hmm," escaping her lips.

"What about you?" Ryan queried.

Kirsten raised her eyebrows, then smiled. "Well, I would date, but it might hurt Sandy's feelings, and--"

"Not that," Ryan chuckled. "You could've always come up with an excuse."

"I suppose, but... it's been so long since we've all done something together. Normally it's Sandy and Seth that talk more often, and you and I have been seeing a lot of each other lately... it's been two and two for some time."

"Yeah," he nodded, and met her eyes with a smirk. "Good thing we avoided that tonight, huh?"

Kirsten smirked back and rolled her eyes, reaching out to playfully swat him. "You know what I mean."

"Yeah, I do. Always." He patted her shoulder and glanced around the bowling alley, briefly watching some of the other patrons getting strikes and gutter balls before his eyes settled on a table of smarmy-looking (probably alcoholic) middle-aged men. They were all staring at Kirsten as if she were a Playboy centerfold. "You've got some admirers," he told her.

Kirsten met his eyes, questioning, before she followed his gaze, groaning softly in disgust. "Great."

Ryan chuckled. "Relax. They see us talking. Maybe they think we're together or something."

"Like dating?" Her eyebrows raised. "I highly doubt it."

"Why?"

She smiled. "Maybe because we're standing three feet apart from each other."

"Okay, well... would you like me to ward them off for you?"

"As long as it doesn't involve you raising your fists, then sure," she smiled.

Ryan quirked an eyebrow. "Trust me?"

Without hesitation she replied, "Of course."

Ryan nodded and held her gaze, "Okay then," as he reached out and curved his hand around her waist, slipping it around to the small of her back.

Kirsten sucked in her breath and searched his eyes; what she saw in them allowed her to relax into him, leaning against him. Both tried to ignore the chemistry leaping and sparking between them in the meantime.

"I think it's working," he said softly, never breaking gaze.

Kirsten just nodded and watched his lips. Ryan swallowed hard at the sight, finally releasing her. They stared at each other with clouded eyes for what felt like hours, trying to discern what they were feeling. Before either of them could come to much of a conclusion, however, the bartender came over to tell them it would be another twenty minutes for their pizza. So Kirsten and Ryan returned to their game, and to Seth and Sandy, an awkward and charged silence laying heavily between them.


*****

"Whaddya guys say? Another couple games? If we do two more, then the next five are free!" Sandy exclaimed, nodding as if that alone would convince them.

Kirsten and Ryan exchanged another look.

"Where's our pizza?" Seth wondered, hands in his pockets as he looked around.

Kirsten raised her eyebrows. "Oh! Y'know what? It's probably ready. I'll go get it."

Sandy and Ryan both watched her go before Sandy went back to the game, restarting the electronic scorekeeper with Seth's help. Ryan's eyes followed Kirsten into the bar; he noted the table of middle-aged guys watched her the entire time, too. When two of them got up and started to head into the bar, something inside his stomach turned; he had an instinct to go to her, even though she was a fully-capable adult. His phone vibrated in his pocket, and he pulled it up to see a new text message from Kirsten, which read simply, 'I trust you.'

That was all the permission Ryan needed. He excused himself from Sandy and Seth before making haste for the bar, barely able to see Kirsten from the other side of the bowling alley. He made a beeline for her and met her eyes, determination in his own as he bypassed the two men heading for her and got to her first. He was almost breathless from how fast he had moved.

"Hey," he greeted smoothly and walked right up to her, sweeping his hand under her hair.

Kirsten barely had time to respond with a quiet, "Hi," before he pulled her in for a kiss.

It was just supposed to be a peck, was all that Ryan could think. Just one little peck. But he hadn't counted on the sharp intake of breath from Kirsten, or the way that her lips had clung to his. He hadn't counted on that three-years-worth of chemistry slapping him in the face as he cupped her jaw and as she laid her hands over his wrists.

When he pulled away, his fogged brain just barely registered the fact that the middle-aged guys were no longer anywhere in sight; also, that the bartender was trying to get their attention.

"Hey. This isn't a hotel, this is a bowling alley." He slapped a cardboard pizza box down on the bar. "There's your pizza."

Kirsten, blushing furiously from the inadvertently-romantic kiss, averted her eyes from Ryan's and paid for the pizza; then, she brushed past him and just barely whispered, "C'mon," before heading back to Sandy and Seth.

The rest of the night had been somewhat awkward for them. Luckily, Sandy and Seth were too consumed with their ongoing who-was-a-better-bowler debate to notice. Kirsten and Ryan both tried desperately to keep it casual; but the tension and their natural gravitation kept working against them, kept working to wear them both down.

When Ryan would roll his ball down the alley and back up a little too quickly, Kirsten's hand on his back would catch him and cause him to stand up straight -- mostly from the bolt of raw energy that struck him each time like a lightning bolt. And when Kirsten would bowl a strike, every time she would excitedly jump around and eventually jump into Ryan's arms for a triumphant hug -- a hug that quickly turned greatly (but subtly) awkward.

By one o'clock in the morning, when the bowling alley closed, the four of them had played ten games. Sandy and Seth held the higher scores for all ten, which kept them bragging all the way home. Ryan went straight to the pool house after saying a terse goodnight to Sandy, Seth, and Kirsten, and he flopped down heavily on his bed, burying his face in the pillow. Moments later, he heard the distinct sounds of the pool house doors being closed, so he called out a muffled, "Goodnight."

The doors opened again. "Ryan, I didn't know if you were still awake." It was Kirsten.

Ryan slowly sat up and ran his hands through his short-cropped hair. "Yeah. I am."

"Oh." Kirsten just stood in the doorway hesitantly, as if she was unsure about going inside. Then, when Ryan smiled at her, she smiled back and came in, closing the door softly behind her.

"I should thank you for your acts of heroism at the bowling alley. You saved me from some unbearable pick-up lines."

"Sure," he replied without thought, "my pleasure." He clamped his lips shut then and felt his face grow warm. "I mean..."

Kirsten giggled and drew his gaze back up to hers. "I know what you mean. Funny thing about that kiss, though..." She folded her hands behind her back and sauntered toward him slowly, a wry smile playing about her lips.

Ryan was helpless to resist asking, "What?"

"You didn't have to do that." She pinned him with her gaze.

He hung his head. "Yeah, I know."

Her tone was lilting... playful as she added, "It almost seemed as if you... wanted to kiss me."

Ryan looked up at her again, searched her eyes and saw a mischievous glint, almost challenging in nature. Ryan Atwood was never one to back down from a challenge. Especially when his challenger was someone as devastatingly sexy-but-angelic as Kirsten Cohen. "Huh. Imagine that." His tone matched hers, as did his gait as he came toward her slowly, his hands also behind his back. "Another funny thing about that kiss..."

"Yeah?" Her smile would be his undoing someday, he was sure of it.

"You didn't have to kiss me back."

She, too, ducked her head, and tucked some of her long blonde hair behind her ear. "Yeah, I know."

"It was almost as if--"

"I wanted to kiss you?" she finished with a quirk of her eyebrow.

Ryan nodded, and to his surprise, Kirsten didn't beat around the bush.

"I did."

His eyes widened. "I'm sorry?"

"C'mon, Ryan," she sighed, coming just a little bit closer. "We both would be kidding ourselves--" she tilted her head and amended, "lying to ourselves, actually -- if we said there was nothing between us. There's always been something." Her brows knit together in confusion a moment. "Trouble is, I don't think either of us really know what that something is." Her eyes drifted toward his lips, and Ryan drifted the remaining few inches to her.

The look in her eyes was seducing him; he couldn't help himself from reaching out and placing one hand on the curve of her waist. Her arms stayed at her sides but she watched him carefully. His other hand reached up to her face, fingertips stroking down her cheek; his heart leapt into his throat when he heard her shaky intake of breath. "I'm sure there's a way we could find out," he murmured.

Kirsten nodded, her eyes focused on his lips, growing ever-closer. "Yeah, there is." She bit her lower lip softly and tried not to whimper when Ryan's thumb stroked across it, releasing it. She met his eyes, her voice barely a whisper. "Kiss me again."

Without further pretense, their heads tilted and Ryan's lips covered hers... slowly, softly. Their mouths dusted in a brief kiss and then they pulled back... searched each other's eyes. Then it happened again -- another slow, barely-there kiss, just enough to tantalize the senses. When they pulled back and searched each other's eyes a second time, there were soft smiles playing on their lips. They tilted their heads in the opposite direction and kissed again, lingering this time. The third time they pulled back, and tilted their heads back the other direction, Ryan cupped Kirsten's face and brought her in, kissing her firmly.

Kirsten's hands found his shoulders as their lips parted and came together, over and over in a slow but dizzying cycle. Without thinking, they moved around the room, stuck together at the lips, and eventually ended up against the wall. The kiss hardened, became more intense. Their lips started to bruise each other as they both fought for control of this uncontrollable kiss.

Ryan's hands squeezed her waist and slid around to the small of her back, and beyond. When Kirsten gasped into his mouth, bucking against him, the kiss broke and they were panting heavily.

Ryan took a couple steps back and held up his hands in supplication. "I'm sorry. That was inappropriate."

Kirsten was busy touching her tingling lips. "Yes, it was."

When Ryan's brows twitched upward, Kirsten smirked and reached for him, grabbing his hands and pulling them around her waist, sliding them down past the small of her back again. Then Ryan's smiling lips fell upon hers and they were kissing once more.

They started moving around the room again, blinded by their kiss, and somehow wound up horizontal on Ryan's bed, his body blanketing hers. His tongue flirted with her lips and Kirsten parted them instinctively, letting him in. Ryan's hand gripped her waist gently, his thumb skirting under the hem of her tee shirt, and her soft moan against his lips broke the kiss.

He stared into her eyes as he tilted his head the other way, smiling when Kirsten mirrored him. His lips stroked hers softly, tenderly, as he marveled that somehow... this didn't feel wrong. It wasn't awkward, nor was it weird in any way. When their lips touched, the rest of the world seemed to fade around them, as if this was the one thing that made sense.

It didn't stop reality from fading back in every once in awhile, though. "Won't Sandy wonder where you are?" he asked, kissing her cheek gently and feeling her smile and squeeze his shoulders.

"He'll probably think we're just chatting in here. Like our usual late-night conversations before bed."

"Oh. Right." He kissed her lips sweetly. "Well and I guess technically... we are having a conversation, aren't we?"

Kirsten's eyes seemed to glitter as she nodded, smirking slightly. "Uh-huh. I mean... our lips are moving."

He exhaled his chuckle, "Right," and leaned down to kiss her passionately again.

For what felt like hours, they kissed; the kisses would sometimes slow to soft and tender, and then would intensify to deep and aggressive. Finally, Kirsten had to force herself to pull away, and she sat up. Ryan's lips followed her, unwilling to release hers, and she smiled against them. "I really need to go, now. It's almost three o'clock in the morning."

"Okay." But he didn't stop kissing her.

Even when she stood up, he followed her, their lips still fused together. It wasn't until she reached the door that she gently shoved him completely away. "Goodnight," she whispered, feeling a little like Juliet bidding goodnight to Romeo during the balcony scene.

Ryan smiled and pressed another gentle kiss to her lips. "Goodnight."

Kirsten looked into his eyes and saw the uncertainty there, the confusion, so she held his gaze and promised him, "There will be plenty more conversations tomorrow."

He grinned at that, and almost seemed to exhale in relief. "Okay."

"Goodnight," she murmured again, and kissed him one last time.

Ryan said nothing but she felt his eyes on her all the way across the pool to the master bedroom, where she slipped inside to find Sandy already sound asleep.

Then, for the first time in what felt like years, both Ryan Atwood and Kirsten Cohen went to sleep with smiles on both their faces.



FIN




{x-posted to rystenlove}
 
 
 
login_failedlogin_failed on August 27th, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Sugary sweet fluff. I never get tired of Rysten. Since this is set in season 3, I have no problem saying that Ryan seems to be involved now with a woman that will not mess with his heart. Kirsten, though, still has to deal with that Sanford Cohen who has no ethics. The plot line kept the Cohen men true to form as nothing more than overgrown little boys. Also, I liked the imagery about Kirsten's smile. A true Kirsten smile is one of the wonders of the world!
The hero!Ryan bit was funny, even if it was only to keep the grungy bowling hall trash away.
Then, for the first time in what felt like years, both Ryan Atwood and Kirsten Cohen went to sleep with smiles on both their faces.
This line was perfect. She knows that Ryan doesn't take her for granted, and Ryan knows that he can be himself around her.
This was good enough to keep my mind off of that two-parter you're still working on :)
a.: R/K; and if i open my heart to you;regalish on August 30th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm so glad you liked the fluff. I'm way too addicted to it, hehehe. And the Cohen men really are overgrown little boys, lol!

I so wanted to do a hero!Ryan bit kind of like what he did for Taylor; only since it's Kirsten it'd be about a million times better. That, and I was listening to that song from Grease 2 that they sing at the bowling alley, LOL. And thus, the bowling-ally-Ryan-being-a-hero fic was born, hahaha.
thekiller00thekiller00 on August 27th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
That was a great one shot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a.: K; you're a sweet little mysteryregalish on August 30th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! :)
(Deleted comment)
a.: K; she's got me love stoned;regalish on August 30th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
Hey, no worries! I totally understand hectic. Glad you've been enjoying them.

The Romeo & Juliet metaphor really does fit them; I never even considered it until I wrote that line. Except Rysten's ending is slightly less tragic, LOL.
pipetgirl2pipetgirl2 on August 27th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
Hero!Ryan to the rescue. I enjoyed this one shot very much. Thanks for sharing.
a.: R/K; does anybody know how it feelsregalish on August 30th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
Gotta love it when Ryan plays hero :D I kept wishing he'd play hero with Kirsten in the way he did for Taylor. *sigh* But alas... we must write fiction to make it happen.

Hehehe. Glad you enjoyed it!
tasha sveta: 30 Rock - Booyah!bitingbedbugz on August 28th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
D= sorry for posting in one of your other fics. I know you're working on this fiction, but I know a lot people are waiting on your 30 Rock fic. -puppy eyes-
a.: J/L; why fight it nowregalish on August 28th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
I know, and I apologize for that. Unfortunately, I won't write unless I have inspiration to do so. That's how badfics happen, LOL, and I refuse to churn out one of those literary pieces of garbage.

Hopefully the new season will bring back inspiration!
tasha svetabitingbedbugz on August 28th, 2007 03:19 am (UTC)
Ah, okay, I understand. Muse is mucho important.
(Anonymous) on September 21st, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
WOW!
hey its me ella!
luv this fic..have u written like a second part of this cuz this is really good!
i luv how ryan's very protective with kirsten and that he had the confidence to kiss her!
awesomeness..
a.: K; i never know if to laughregalish on September 22nd, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
Re: WOW!
Hi again Ella! Glad you liked this one -- it's just a oneshot; I just had that whole bowling alley/Ryan kissing her inadvertently thing in mind one day at work, hehehe.

I've always loved how protective Ryan is over Kirsten, too. We got to see it early on in the third episode of the series -- even after she tossed him out and he landed in juvy, he defended her honor when that inmate was hitting on her, and even got beat up for doing so. Just another reason in my mind, Rysten = true love ;D