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04 July 2007 @ 10:19 pm
The Break [The OC; Ryan/Kirsten]  
TITLE: The Break
PAIRING: Ryan/Kirsten
SPOILERS: Through "The College Try"


Seth checked his watch for the third time and took another sip from his bottle of water. "Dude, they've been in there for, like, an hour already."

Ryan took a sip from his own water bottle. "Relax, Seth."

"I mean, I've noticed they've been having problems lately, but..." Seth leaned in close, fear in his eyes as he asked softly, "Do you think they killed each other?"

Ryan sighed and tilted his head, giving his friend what was referred to as the 'Ryan Atwood stare.' "I really doubt it."

Just then, the door to the master bedroom opened down the hall, and Seth's head snapped up as he watched his parents emerge. He breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank God there was no bloodbath." He turned back to Ryan. "I, uh, sometimes faint at the sight of too much blood."

Ryan nodded slowly. "I can imagine."

He then turned his eyes toward Sandy and Kirsten, who were emerging looking slightly serious, but still with an air of lightness. "I agree. I completely agree," he heard Sandy saying.

Kirsten smiled her greeting at Ryan discretely before turning to her son with outstretched arms and wrapping him in a hug. "Hi, Sweetie."

"Mom," Seth hugged her back only briefly before pulling away. "Where have you been?"

Kirsten patted him on the shoulder and exchanged a look with Sandy before addressing her son. "Sweetie, why don't you take a seat."

Seth glanced to each of the room's occupants warily. "This isn't *my* intervention, is it? Because I can stop reading graphic novels any time I want."

Kirsten tilted her head. "Sit down, please."

Seth obliged, with raised eyebrows, and glanced between each of his parents. "What's going on?"

Sandy and Kirsten exchanged another glance, took a breath in unison, and began. They explained everything to their son, summarizing for his benefit, but finally getting everything out in the open. They explained what had happened the summer Ryan and Seth were away, how it affected the rest of their year, and then the inevitable strain brought on by Sandy's control of the Newport Group.

The explanation ended with the revelation that Kirsten would be moving out, and that she and Sandy were going to have a trial separation. And Ryan was surprised to note that Seth handled everything quite well... even for Seth.

"So, you guys... you might split up for good?" he asked.

Sandy and Kirsten exchanged another look before turning back to their son. "We don't know yet," Sandy replied. "We're gonna see how things go."

"I'm going to get my own place in the meantime, and--"

"Mom, you?" Seth chuckled, shocking everyone.

Kirsten furrowed her brows. "Yes."

"Have you ever lived alone before?"

"I lived alone in college."

Seth raised his eyebrows. "Did you... have a roommate?"

"Well, yes..."

"Then you've never lived alone."

Ryan could see the wheels starting to turn in Kirsten's head. A whole new kind of stress was hitting her, and just seeing the wrinkles appearing on her forehead gave him cause to stand up and finally speak. "Uh, actually... she's not going to be alone."

Sandy and Seth turned their attention on him, and he met Kirsten's eyes. She tilted her head again. "Ryan, you don't have to--"

He shook off her interjection. "No, Kirsten, it's okay." He looked to Sandy and Seth. "I've talked about it with Kirsten, and I've decided to go with her, wherever that may be." He shrugged, attempting to inject some light into the obviously serious situation, though jokes weren't his forte. "I mean, someone should be there with a fire extinguisher in case she tries to cook, right?"

Kirsten widened her eyes. "Hey."

This won Ryan a chuckle from Sandy and Seth, though he could tell both were still trying to process what he'd said. After a moment, Seth's face contorted in confusion. "So, wait. If you've already discussed moving out with my mom..."

Ryan closed his eyes. "Yeah."

"You knew about this?" Sandy asked, setting down the coffee cup he'd been holding a little harder than usual.

Ryan did his best not to flinch. "Look, I'm sorry I didn't tell you guys sooner, but--"

"I asked him not to."

Ryan shook his head. "Kirsten--"

"Don't take the blame for something you're not responsible for, Ryan." She turned to her estranged husband and son. "Ryan found me shortly after I left the house, and I made him swear he wouldn't tell you where I was, or that he'd seen me."

Seth frowned. "Why?"

"Because I needed a break, honey. And I know that that's selfish and a little irresponsible, but you have to understand how rough these past few years have been on me. And to be honest, I didn't think you guys would know where to look for me." She met Ryan's eyes.

Sandy broke in, "Then you should've tried harder than the Mermaid Hotel."

"You knew where I was?"

Sandy nodded.

"Dad, you knew? Why didn't you say anything? Or bring her back?"

Sandy raised his eyes to Kirsten's eyes and replied somberly, "Because she didn't wanna come back, and I knew that. Because I was the cause for a lot of her problems these past few years, and I knew I had to let her be."

Seth pushed his stool back and stood up. "So everyone knew what was going on except for me?"

Kirsten took a step toward him. "Sweetie, please understand--"

He held up his hands to stop her and backed away. "Yeah, no, I got it. Thanks." He spun just before he went around the corner and feigned a happy expression. "Have a great time living the single life, Mom." He shot a look at his best friend. "And thank you, Ryan, for, y'know... being honest with me. Hope you won't mind me not helping you move out." He shook his head and spun on his heel, calling, "Have fun," toward Ryan and Kirsten before he went upstairs.

Kirsten sighed and looked to Ryan, whose lips twitched in sympathy while he patted her back briefly, both remembering they were still under Sandy's watchful eye. "Sorry," Ryan whispered.

Kirsten shook her head. "We knew he'd react that way."

Sandy glanced between the two, contemplating, before stepping up to them and addressing Kirsten. "Do you need help? Y'know, with your things?"

She smiled. "Thank you, Sandy. It may still be a few days before I get everything together with the condo."

He nodded. "Okay. Take your time."

Ryan eyed him. "You're not pissed at me?"

Sandy shook his head. "No, kid. Kirsten asked you not to say anything, and you didn't. I respect that." He clapped a hand on Ryan's shoulder. "But I am going to ask one thing of you."

Ryan nodded, knowing that would be the least he could do for Sandy Cohen, after going behind his back... and especially for falling for his wife. "Name it."

Sandy pointed to Kirsten. "Look out for her. Take care of her."

He nodded again and exchanged a discrete look with Kirsten. "That I can do."

"And how about you? Do you need help with your things?"

"Uh..." He met Kirsten's eyes again.

"I mean, are you leaving with her today? Or are you staying with us until things get settled?"

Kirsten twitched a smile. "It's up to you, Ryan. I can get an adjoining room for you at the hotel, or you can stay here."

Ryan weighed his options. With Seth not talking to him and Sandy spending all of his time on the hospital deal, he didn't have much to do around the Cohen household. Of course, if he were to leave with Kirsten and stay with her another night, he knew his restraints would wear thin. He finally sighed and turned apologetic eyes toward Kirsten. "I think I'll stay here awhile longer."

Kirsten's nod was barely visible as she slowly blinked her understanding response. "Okay. I'll... I'll call you when I know something about the--"

He nodded back. "Yeah, okay." He glanced between her and Sandy, and gestured toward the poolhouse with his thumb. "I'll, uh... leave you guys alone."

Ryan made his way toward the poolhouse and tossed a glance at Sandy and Kirsten over his shoulder. They were smiling sadly at each other and then hugging goodbye. Ryan shook his head at the sight and shut himself inside his sanctuary. He took a look around at what had been his home for the last three years and wondered how things would be from here on out.


{x-posted to rystenlove}
(Deleted comment)
a.: R/K; in my arms;regalish on July 5th, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
HEEEE! I FINALLY remembered, LOL. I'm glad you're still enjoying this even though it's been so long.

Oh, Rysten. How I miss thee (even though I'm still having buckets of fun with Jack & Liz! *giggle*).

I will definitely (remember to) post again soon!
login_failed: pic#63600644login_failed on July 5th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
Ok. Now we have Sandy and Seth able to take a back seat and focus on the Rysteny goodness. I like in particular that Sandy can be a man and acknowledge that he wasn't as supportive as he could have been. Not liking Seth so much in this; he shows himself as a typical self-absorbed teenager who is looking out for himself only. I can hardly wait to see what is next.
a.: R/K; i've loved you all along;regalish on July 5th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Excellent.
Thanks so much!

I pretty much *had* to get Sandy & Seth out of the way, hehehe. I always try to do that as quickly as possible so all attention can go to the amazing sexiness of Rysten :D

I do like to acknowledge that Sandy's not completely evil, though -- he just doesn't appreciate Kirsten as much as others do (*cough*Ryan!*cough*). And most times, I love Seth, but he truly can be a brat sometimes, which is what I wanted to portray here.

Chapter seven will be up soon! Thanks again :)