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23 July 2007 @ 10:19 pm
Never In Doubt [The OC; Ryan/Kirsten]  
TITLE: Never In Doubt
PAIRING: Ryan/Kirsten
SPOILERS: Alt-end season three
SONG: Loosely inspired by David Gray's 2nd version of "Babylon" (found here for download).


It had happened. The one thing Ryan never thought would happen had happened. The once rock-solid marriage of Sandy and Kirsten Cohen was no more. Kirsten had had her fill of this new version of Sandy -- a version so similar to who her father had been that it had made her sick. Kirsten had given Sandy an ultimatum -- change or it's over -- and he told her he couldn't change. Kirsten had packed her things shortly thereafter and purchased a plane ticket to Phoenix.

Ryan and Seth had been there to witness the fallout, to see the stone set on Sandy's face and to see the tears in Kirsten's eyes. A family shall fall if divided it be -- Seth sided with Sandy, that he shouldn't have to change. And Ryan would always and forever side with Kirsten. For the past year he'd thought more and more that she deserved so much better.

Then Kirsten had sat in the poolhouse, crying draped over Ryan's shoulder apologizing profusely, despite Ryan's insistence that she had nothing to apologize for. He told her that he knew why she needed to leave, however he didn't know that he could stay there without her. He'd said it lightly, jokingly... but he had never been more serious. Without Kirsten, Newport held no appeal for him. Without Kirsten it was just another city filled with the wealthy and vapid. He didn't need that.

Sandy and Seth sure as hell were no reason to stay. He barely knew either of them anymore. Sandy had become a far cry from the great man he used to be, and Seth was more selfish than ever, refusing to look beyond himself or Summer Roberts. Kirsten had been his one vantagepoint, and now she was leaving. Without her, without his touchstone, he had no reason to stay.

She had said something, snuffling against his shoulder, about how she always wanted to have a Julia-Roberts-movie happy ending to her life; that she'd been searching forever for that happy ending. She said that for a time she thought she'd found it with Sandy. But then one problem after another would continually crop up. It was no longer worth it, in her eyes. Her ending with Sandy would not be a happy one. She said she'd known that for years.

She made mention that, even now when their relationship was crumbling, she still wished Sandy would become that leading man from the Julia Roberts movies -- the kind that would chase a girl through the airport and plead with her to stay. She had chuckled mirthlessly then, and absently tried wiping the wet tear marks off Ryan's tee shirt, as she admitted she knew she would never get that. She said that Sandy was no leading man and she was no Julia Roberts.

And Ryan had cupped her face, wiped away her tears, and told her that she was right. She was no Julia Roberts. Julia Roberts hadn't had to deal with a cold, overbearing father all her life. Julia Roberts never battled alcoholism and overcome it. Julia Roberts hadn't had to deal with any of the trials Kirsten had had to put up with, so in Ryan's mind as he told her... she was better than Julia Roberts.

Kirsten had given him one of those smiles -- one of those bright, stunning and true Kirsten smiles -- and thanked him, told him he was sweet. Then, she kissed his cheek and Ryan closed his eyes, heart in his throat. This woman, that he'd been in love with practically since he first laid eyes on her, was walking out of his life for good. He kissed her cheek in return and when they pulled away, their lips grazed in a chaste kiss.

Ryan felt the tension whip through her body, a tension that snapped through him as well. Their eyes met and a million unanswered questions were suddenly thrust into the air between them. A million prolonged stares and subtext-filled statements, innocent flirtations, were suddenly dangling between them and Ryan was unsure of himself for the first time. He had no trouble with his confidence when it came to other women -- Marissa, Sadie, Theresa, Lindsay -- but when it came to Kirsten, he had no idea what to do. What he felt for her was stronger than anything he'd ever experienced before. It was love, lust, a soul-deep, bone-deep connection. It was friendship and loyalty and understanding and something so complex he didn't think he'd ever be able to properly explain it.

It was also so simple. He loved her. He knew she loved him. And now she was on her way out of his life. "Kirsten..." His hand floated to the back of her neck of its own volition, and he watched the surprise light her eyes before they drifted to his lips.

He wanted to tell her how he felt, he wanted to tell her that he needed her. But that was when Seth interrupted to tell Kirsten, distantly, that her cab had arrived to take her to the airport. They had jumped apart from each other the moment they'd heard Seth's voice, but it was too late. He'd seen them standing close together, very nearly kissing -- and the shock written all over his face was evidence of that.

Kirsten awkwardly excused herself and grabbed her duffel bag, flicking her hair over her shoulder and exchanging a potent look with Ryan before heading out the door. Seth just barely hugged her goodbye... he may as well have just waved... and then she was gone. Then Seth's shocked gaze was on him and everything went south from there.

Seth had demanded to know what the hell was going on between Ryan and Kirsten, just as Sandy appeared in the doorway to the poolhouse. Ryan knew he shouldn't have to explain himself to either of them, that the damage they had done had warranted his silence, but... he couldn't help himself. Everything came spilling out. He railed on Seth for being so selfish -- accusing him of having his head so far up his ass that he didn't even realize his mother had had a drinking problem until just a day before the intervention. He yelled at Sandy, demanded to know why he refused to change for Kirsten. He had blurted out that Kirsten deserved better than either of them, and then he started gathering his things.

Sandy had been angry, demanding that he take back what he'd said, but Ryan refused. He told them both that he'd fought all of these feelings since the beginning and now he had no reason to anymore. He just barely held himself back from confessing that he was in love with Kirsten, but he was positive Sandy and Seth had already figured it out. He said goodbye to both Cohen men for the last time -- he was more than ready to cut his ties to the two that had hurt Kirsten the most -- and then he took off for the airport.

On the way, he stared out the window of the cab and thought about nothing but Kirsten. Situations ran through his head of how he would find her, what he would say to her when he did. He didn't even allow himself to think that he wouldn't catch her in time. He would. He had to.

Once he'd arrived at the airport, Ryan threw way too much money at the cab driver and jumped out with his duffel bag slung over his shoulder. It banged him in the hip as he jogged inside and looked at the flight monitors. Kirsten's flight to Phoenix wouldn't take off for another hour, so then he tore off for security. He decided he'd check there first and if he couldn't find her, he'd have to purchase a ticket.

The first two security gates were of no use to him -- Kirsten was nowhere to be found. He tore off for the third, just yards down, and hoped that the third time would be the charm, rather than the third strike. Sure enough, Kirsten was making her way through the ropes, waiting to go through security at the third gate. He shouted her name, but it was drowned out by a flight announcement. Ryan frowned and tried again. "Kirsten!"

With a toss of her flaxen locks, she met his eyes, her own widening in shock. "Ryan?"

He moved quickly toward her and she pushed her way back through the crowd of passengers waiting to go through security. Several gave her dirty looks but she paid no attention, her eyes locked on his. He'd never been more sure than he was in that moment that he couldn't live without her. That he had to do anything and everything to stop her from jetting out of his life. When she was just feet away, he grabbed her hands and gently pulled her to him. Worry creased her brow and he wanted to smooth the wrinkle away.

"Ryan, what's wrong?"

Ryan stared at her; he thought up a million logical reasons why she couldn't leave, a million unrevealing reasons why, if she did leave, he would need to go with her. To look out for her, to protect her, to help her... and nothing sounded right in his head in that span of a few seconds. So he finally just blurted out what was on the tip of his tongue urgently. "Don't go."

Her eyebrows went up. "What?"

"Don't go." His heart was pounding in his ears and he had to force himself to ease his grip on her hands for fear he would crush them. He was breathless from jogging halfway across the terminal and was desperate to keep this lovely woman, the other half of his soul, with him. Without thought, his top-most reason for her to stay came tumbling out without his conscious consent. "Kirsten, I'm in love with you."

Her eyebrows climbed even higher and she opened her mouth to question him again, but Ryan shook his head.

"Look, I'm sorry. I should've said something sooner, but stuff with Sandy and Seth was always in the way, and it seemed so inappropriate, but... now that you've leaving you've gotta know how much you mean to me, Kirsten. I love you. I want to be there for you and look out for you, I want to be wherever you need me. If you leave, I don't know what I'm going to do without you. I need you, Kirsten." He searched her eyes and delivered his line without even thinking of its meaning for her. "Please stay."

The corners of her lips twitched in a sad smile, and when her eyes filled with tears Ryan panicked. Had he said something wrong? But then her arms were tight around his neck and their cheeks were pressed tight together as she hugged him. He sensed her eyes were closed as she whispered. "You asked me to stay."

He smiled and snaked his arms tight around her waist. "Yeah. I did." Without even realizing it, he'd given her that Julia-Roberts-movie ending she'd wanted.

When they pulled away, Ryan immediately cupped her face with one hand and wiped away her tears while she just stared at him. He lifted his eyes to hers and again there was that snap of tension in each of them. The unanswered questions were back, and Ryan was tired of leaving them unanswered.

So he laid his final card on the table and leaned in, capturing her lips with force. Here was the moment of truth. If Kirsten felt the same and had all these years, she wouldn't push him away. She'd stay. To his surprise, her knees buckled -- he actually buckled her knees; his heart soared at the thought -- and he felt Kirsten brace herself with her hands on his waist as she kissed back. Ryan wrapped one arm around her waist to steady her and her hands slid up his chest, cupping his face as the kiss deepened. Every charged stare, every subtext-filled statement, every flirtation... every unanswered question now had an answer.

When oxygen started to become an issue, Ryan gently, albeit reluctantly, broke from her lips. Their foreheads met by pure magnetism and both tried to catch their breath. Kirsten breathed against his lips, "I can't stay here, Ryan, I'm sorry."

His heart fell. "Oh." He nodded, and started to pull away. "Okay, I see."

Before he could get more than a couple inches away, however, Kirsten had grabbed his face and pulled him in for another breath-stealing kiss. Their lips captured each other over and over in an endless cycle, sometimes softening and other times searing together aggressively. Minutes (maybe hours) later, they pulled away again, foreheads together, and met each other's eyes. "Come with me," Kirsten begged.

"What? Where?"

"Wherever. Just come with me."

He pulled back and searched her eyes. "Phoenix?"

She shook her head and let her boarding pass flutter to the ground. "We don't have to go to Phoenix. We'll go wherever we want. We'll get away from all of this."

"What are you going to do about Sandy? Seth?" Ryan wanted more than anything to just flit off with Kirsten, but... there would always be consequences, no matter what.

"They both made their decisions," she told him, strongly. Ryan thought to himself he'd never heard such conviction in her tone as she met his eyes. "Let's make ours."

Ryan searched her eyes a moment longer, seeing everything there he always thought he'd seen... everything he always wanted to see. Then, he nodded, and kissed Kirsten again. "Okay."

So together, they purchased new plane tickets and made their way through security, and an hour later they were seated side-by-side on a 747, Kirsten by the window.

As they started to taxi down the runway, she turned to him with a coy smile and squeezed his hand, lacing their fingers together as she said, "I think we'll like New York."

Ryan grinned.


{x-posted to rystenlove}
thekiller00thekiller00 on July 24th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC)
That was a great post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope you continue you this fic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a.: R/K; you know you are so good for me;regalish on July 24th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Re: That was a great post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks so much! This is just a oneshot fic, but I'm SO glad you liked it! :D
thekiller00thekiller00 on July 24th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC)
Re: That was a great post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think you should do a couple sequel one shots for it !!!!!!!! You could have one of Ryan going to college in New York and Living with Kirsten while she works. Then you could do one where Ryan and Kirsten are sitting down for dinner after Ryan got home from work and someone could knock on the door. Ryan could open it, thinking its a friend of his and Kirsten's, but he instead find Seth and Sandy, Summer could be with them to, but its up to you. Ryan could be in shock and not say anything, then either Sandy or Seth could punch him, knocking him back into a table and breaking something, cauing Kirsten to come out of the kitchen and they see she is quite a few months pregnant, then she asks how they found them and they say that they saw there picture in a magazine and hired someone to find them when they read that the magazine said they were married !!!!!!!!!!
a.: R/K; you're the drugregalish on July 24th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
Re: That was a great post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Heeee! I love your enthusiasm. And while those are all good ideas, I had planned on leaving this as a oneshot. It's totally up to your imagination to paint the rest of that picture :)

Next up? I've got another 'Five Things' fic I'm working on :D
thekiller00thekiller00 on July 24th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
Re: That was a great post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope that is the sequel for the don't tell Sandy ones. Where Ryan and Kirsten have a daughter together and moved into the newport house and are waiting to tell everyone they are married !!!!!!!!!!!!
a.: R/K; how much longer must we wait;regalish on July 24th, 2007 05:15 am (UTC)
Re: That was a great post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nope, I've long since moved on from that one. Time for new stuff :)
(Deleted comment)
a.: R/K; love burns brighter than sunshine;regalish on July 25th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC)
Heeee! Thank you so much! You're so sweet, hehe!

I HAD to do the overly-sappy fluffy ending. It's RYSTEN for crying out loud. *giggle* I always go one of two ways with them -- smutty smutty or fluffy fluffy.

Or smutty fluffy. So, I guess three ways. Haha.

login_failedlogin_failed on July 24th, 2007 01:00 pm (UTC)
Oh so awesome.
I am such a sucker for these Rysten fics. I always hoped that a situation like this could turn up. Those Cohen men, they really lost a good thing. Kirsten is far too precious to lose, and they just stood back and let her slip away. One-shots like these, they always allow for the reader to imagine what comes next. And its all Rysten, no Sandy and no Seth. That was totally in character that Ryan is the leading man. (Especially in Kirsten's mind.)
To his surprise, her knees buckled -- he actually buckled her knees Some might say that the onset of a new romance cause this. No, this was a perfect display of true love.
Many thanks!
a.: R/K; you know you are so good for me;regalish on July 25th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC)
Re: Oh so awesome.
Many thanks to YOU! You're so sweet! :D

I kinda thought maybe I'd be toeing the line with the fluffiness in this one, but... guh. It's Rysten. I'm powerless to stop the fluff. And I really enjoy leaving the "real" ending up to the reader's imagination. I considered maybe doing a little epilogue with them in New York, but ultimately decided no. You guys get to be the judge as far as what happens in NYC :D

And I've always wanted to write a Rysten kiss where Kirsten's knees buckle with the force of the TRUE LOVE. Hehehehe.

Thanks again!

More Rysten to come! (Soon, actually -- I'm posting the first part of a five-part "Five Things" fic!) :)