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14 May 2007 @ 09:13 pm
The Break [The OC; Ryan/Kirsten]  
TITLE: The Break
PAIRING: Ryan/Kirsten
SPOILERS: Through "The College Try"
RATING: PG (for now *snick*)


When Ryan returned home, it was to find Seth deep in conversation at the dinner table with Anna, both of them plotting how to get him back with Summer. He could see in his friend's brown eyes that he wanted to know what was going on, but luckily Anna kept him too busy to do so. Ryan was able to retreat to the solitude of the poolhouse, where he laid in bed until the sky had turned dark and the crickets began their late-night song.

He looked over at the clock for what felt like the millionth time, only to discover that just three minutes had passed since his last clock-check. He sighed and pressed his head back into the pillows, forcing his eyes closed. It was well past one o'clock in the morning. Sandy had returned home just a few hours earlier and gone immediately to bed, from what Ryan could tell.

Guilt still plagued him from time to time over not being able to reveal to Sandy where his estranged wife was. But Kirsten's trust meant everything to him -- it always had. There was no way he'd betray her. He continually convinced himself that if Sandy was desperate to find her, he would find her.

Ryan sighed again and looked out the glass doors beyond the foot of his bed, remembering what it had been like to have Kirsten sleeping in his arms. His right side still tingled slightly when he thought of it. If given a choice, he never would have left. He would have stayed, laid back on the bed and requested that she join him -- nothing sexual about it. He just adored holding her.

He was about to release yet another weary sigh when he heard his phone vibrating on the nightstand. He furrowed his brows and grabbed for it, squinting at the screen as he wondered who would be calling him so late. His heart skipped a beat when he saw the name, and he punched the 'talk' button without hesitation. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine. Wide awake, but fine." Kirsten's alto caressed his ear and immediately set him at ease.


"You were having trouble sleeping as well, I take it?"

Ryan smiled and sat up, draping his arms over his bent knees. "Yeah. Just a little."

"I hate to even ask this, Ryan, because I'm sure you'd rather stay there and try to sleep, but--"

He was on his feet before she could finish. "I'll be right over."


Kirsten was on the balcony waiting for him when he arrived, with a white sweater pulled tightly around her lithe form. Ryan bounded as quietly as he could up the stairs to meet her. "What are you doing out here?"

She shrugged and emitted a smile almost sheepish in nature. "Nothing else to do."

"Well aren't you cold?"

"Yeah, but I like it out here. Fresh air does a body good."

"Well here..." He began to take off his leather jacket.

Kirsten shook her head vehemently. "No, no, no." She chuckled at the dejected look on his face. "Ryan, honey, I've always adored how chivalrous you are, but I will not have you freeze out here on my account."

An idea of how to warm her up came to him, but he quickly got rid of it, shaking his head slightly to do so. No way in hell, he told himself.



"What were you shaking your head about?"

"Oh, uh..." He shook his head again. "Nothing."

Kirsten quirked a half-smile and beckoned him closer with a tilt of her head. "Come over here."

His brows twitched upward in question but he obeyed nonetheless, stepping over to her. He smiled when she immediately walked into his arms, wrapping her own tightly around his waist before snaking them up his back to clasp his shoulders. He felt her trembling and chuckled slightly. "Kirsten, if you're cold, why don't we head inside?"

"I'm enjoying the fresh air."

Ryan chuckled once more, not understanding her logic, but not wanting to let go of her either. "Okay..."

She snuggled closer and Ryan was more than happy to hold her tighter, rubbing up and down on her back to help her generate some warmth.

"Why couldn't you sleep?" she asked, after several moments had passed.

"Why couldn't *you*?" he echoed.

He felt her smile against his chest. "I asked you first."

Ryan grinned. "That's mature."

She pulled back slightly and gave him a facetious glare. "Are you going to tell me or not?"

"Alright, alright. I couldn't sleep because... I had a lot of stuff on my mind."

"Ah." Kirsten leaned against him again. "Anything or anybody in particular?"



"I was thinking about you." A weight lifted off his shoulders at the revelation, but he was quick to make sure she didn't read too much into it. "About what's going to happen with you, and... everything."

"And by everything, you mean Seth and Sandy?"

He nodded against her hair. "Yeah."

"I've decided to talk to them tomorrow," she revealed. "That's why I couldn't sleep. I've been thinking about what I'm going to say to them."

"Why don't we go inside now, Kirsten." He rubbed her still-trembling arms. "You feel like you've had just about enough of this fresh air."

She chuckled. "You may be right."

Once inside, Ryan took off his jacket and tossed it on the armchair in the corner, and Kirsten took off her thick sweater and laid it on the couch. This time it was Ryan who went to the bed first, sitting down and kicking his shoes off. He didn't beckon her over... merely laid back and stared up at the ceiling, knowing she would follow. Sure enough, the mattress dipped to his right side and she sidled up next to him, her head hitting the mattress just inches away from his own.

He rolled on his side to face her. "So what are you going to say to them tomorrow?"

Kirsten remained on her back, but turned her head toward him as she shook it slowly. "I still don't know. I have some idea of what I might say to Sandy, but... I have no idea how to explain all this to Seth."

"Just tell him the truth. I'm sure he'll understand."

"Well, the last time he got the truth, he didn't handle it so well."

Ryan nodded knowingly. She was referring, of course, to Seth's reaction to her alcoholism, and her intervention. "He came around in the end, though," he told her. "He may not be thrilled about what you're going to tell him, but he'll always want what's best for you."

He watched her smile spread slowly in the near-dark, and he smiled back when he heard her voice. "Have I mentioned how glad I am that you're here? You always make me feel better."


"Now if I could just get some sleep so I'm coherent tomorrow."

"I, uh... might be able to help with that too."

"Yeah?" Kirsten arched one eyebrow.

Ryan nodded slowly, searching her eyes as best he could in the darkness. "Yeah... but you may not be okay with it. I mean, you might be but I don't know--"

"Try me."

He watched her eyes glitter in the diminished moonlight and wondered what she was thinking... what she was feeling. "Okay..."

While holding her gaze the entire time, Ryan slowly reached out and drew her close, snaking his right arm under her slim form and wrapping it around her waist. He let out his breath in relief when her head found his chest of its own accord, and her arm draped across his stomach. He placed a hand on her arm and leaned his head on hers, closing his eyes. "Think you can sleep now?" he asked, unable to keep his tone from bordering on flirting.

It was just as well. Kirsten's voice came out the same way, he was thrilled to notice. "Definitely."

Just before Ryan drifted off to sleep, he made a mental note to test the waters between them another day.


{x-posted to rystenlove}
(Deleted comment)
a.: R; he's as damned as he seems;regalish on May 16th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
Awww, thanks so much! Glad you're still enjoyin' it :D

I'm hoping inspiration will strike tonight so I can do chapter 11, so I can then in turn post chapter 5 and (maybe?) 6!
Jessica28andoccrazy on May 16th, 2007 05:14 am (UTC)
Love it!
Of course you already know that I FREAKIN LOVE IT, but I had to tell you again. I think it's genius, and I can't wait for the hotness that is bound to come!!!
a.: R; i wake up it's a bad dream;regalish on May 16th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Love it!
HEE! Thanks so much, babe! That means so much coming from you :D

And OH YEAH the hotness is on its way, um... soon? *tries to remember*

Yeah, pretty soon! Hehehe!