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27 July 2007 @ 07:37 pm
The Span of a Week [The OC; Ryan/Kirsten]  
TITLE: The Span of a Week
PART 3/5: The Dust Bunnies
PAIRING: Ryan/Kirsten
SPOILERS: Season three
RATING: PG this chapter


03. Two days later and the incident by the pool was nearly forgotten about. Kirsten spent most of the next day in her room, barely able to move. But today, she was moving around easily -- she had an extra burst of energy, it seemed -- and the redness on her back had turned to a lovely tan.

In the afternoon, Ryan entered the kitchen to find quite the unusual sight indeed -- Kirsten, who was clad in jeans and a simple white tanktop, was standing on the countertop near the stove sweeping a Swiffer duster across the top of the cabinets. He had to chuckle at the sight. "Kirsten?"

He must have startled her, because he saw her teeter precariously for a moment, and immediately he ran over to brace her legs. She smiled down at him. "Ryan."

All the awkwardness of the day before yesterday was gone -- especially with that brilliant smile shining down at him. He smirked at the couple of errant dust bunnies that had stuck in her hair. "What are you doing?" he chuckled, arms still wrapped around her calves to brace her.

She laughed right back. "Would you believe me if I said I was potting geraniums?"

This was what he loved most about Kirsten -- her ease around him, despite all the tension. He could banter with her like no one else. And Kirsten had just enough innocence and naivete in those angelic features to make a flirt seem harmless. "Why are you dusting up there? Isn't Rosa supposed to do that?"

"Well, yes," she sighed, "But... I think she's been forgetting -- if the dust bunnies are any indication. Plus, I'm getting kind of restless, so I figured I'd give her some time off anyway." She brushed her fingers lightly through his hair and Ryan read the meaning behind it instantly, releasing her legs so she could move freely.

She started to dust again and Ryan just watched her, admiring the bronze on her shoulders. "Your burn looks like it's gone now," he told her after a moment of comfortable silence passed.

"Yeah," she smiled and swept the duster across the top of the cabinets. "That aloe really helped. Although I'm a little scared about peeling now..."

"I'm sure you'll be fine." He smiled adoringly up at her, just enjoying being able to admire this beautiful creature he'd loved for three years, without anyone noticing.

She turned briefly over her shoulder and Ryan schooled his features as quickly as he could. Too late. Kirsten gave him a tiny smile and glanced down almost bashfully a moment before meeting his eyes again. "I've been meaning to thank you for helping me out the other day."

Ryan made a face and shook his head. "No need to thank me, really. It's what I'm here for, Kirsten."

"I sure wish other people shared that quality."

He couldn't help but raise one eyebrow at that, watching her carefully as she turned her focus back to dusting. "And by other people, you mean Sandy?"

"I don't understand him anymore, Ryan," she sighed quietly. "He used to care about my feelings and my well-being. He used to put our family as a top priority. But lately everything has been all about the hospital... he's become closed-off. He's deceitful, almost... shady. He's a stranger. And Seth, Seth's never around anymore. And when he is, he's shut in his room. I feel like everyone's just slipping away, and it... it frustrates me."

"I'm still here," he told her softly, stepping closer to where she stood on the counter. "I'm always here, Kirsten."

His soft voice got her attention, as it most often did, and she looked down at him. It appeared that his soft declaration took a few moments to sink in, but when it did, she smiled warmly and ran her fingers through his hair again. "I know you are. I don't know what I'd do without you, Ryan."

"And... I'm sure Sandy will snap out of this soon."

Kirsten gave a slow blink and smiled again. "I hope he does."

"I hope he does, too. He'll lose something amazing if he doesn't."

There was shock on her face for just a moment -- surprise at his boldness. Then, with another blink, it had faded into a smile. "You're a sweet man, Ryan."

He twitched a slight smile in return. "I'm just telling the truth."

They held gaze for an extended moment, searching each other's eyes. Then, finally, Kirsten smiled. "I think I've done enough dusting for today. I'm ready to get down."

Without prompting, Ryan reached up and placed his hands on her waist while she braced her hands on his shoulders, and he helped her jump down. She cried out just a little when she jumped, not expecting to fall as far as she did, and giggled when she landed clumsily on her feet. Ryan laughed with her and helped her to regain her footing, his hands bracing her waist tightly.

She squeezed his shoulders and murmured a "Thank you," before she looked up and caught his eyes. The tension from two days ago was back with a vengeance. And now they were closer than they'd been out by the pool.

He saw Kirsten's eyes continually drifting between his eyes and his lips, and his hands on her waist pulled her just a little closer. He tore his eyes from hers in an attempt to regain some semblance of sanity -- having Kirsten so near always took away his senses -- and he concentrated on one of the dust bunnies in her hair.

Unconsciously, one hand left her waist to pull the dust bunny out of her hair, and he smiled slightly before he showed it to her. She closed her eyes and laughed briefly. "Oh, that must have looked lovely."

Ryan exhaled a smile. "It was pretty cute, actually."

Their eyes caught again and Ryan almost regretted his statement before he saw the look in her eyes. She stepped a little closer and her gaze went to his lips again. She murmured his name, softly, and he almost crumpled to the floor at the sound. "Ryan..."

"Hey Mom!" Seth's loud voice coming from the front door startled them both apart, and Kirsten spun away from Ryan, fingers against her lips.

Seth continued, still out of eyeshot. "Mom, Summer's here and we wanna order Thai! Sound good?"

"Uh, that's fine, Sweetie," she called back, and exchanged a look with Ryan. Softer, she told Ryan, "I'm, uh... going to get the rest of the dust bunnies out of my hair."

Ryan just nodded silently and watched her make haste for the master bedroom. When she was out of sight, he let out a sigh and just barely managed not to glare death at Seth and Summer when they came into the kitchen.

TBC IN PART 4/5: The Dylan Song

{x-posted to rystenlove}
thekiller00thekiller00 on July 28th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Damn Seth and Summer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were so close !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see what happens next !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a.: R/K; others strayregalish on July 28th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
Re: WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hehehe, thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it. I'm posting part four tonight; just because you guys were so awesome for waiting an extra night for part three! :D :D :D
login_failed: Rysten 3login_failed on July 28th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
Dammit, Seth! Can we just tie him up somewhere dark?
This story is just oozing with the UST, which I hope soon will become RST :)(hee. RST can be shorthand for Rysten!)
The housewife thing, well I agree with season 1 Sandy that is incredibly hot.
He'll lose something amazing if he doesn't. Damn straight. If I was Sandy, there would be not one thing in this universe that would be better than Kirsten. And that was such a Ryan statement.
In honor of the statement I quoted, I shall use the Kirsten-in-closet icon.
And for your next one, Bob Dylan is one of my absolute favorite singers.
a.: R/K; i wanna give you something betterregalish on July 28th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
Tie him up someplace dark! HAHAHA. Yes. Let's. ;D

SO glad you're loving the UST, because it's always SO fun to write (as much as I love the RST -- RYSTEN, hehe!)

And yeah, housewifey Kirsten is pretty darned cute. The image of her with dust bunnies caught in her hair came to me and it was so cute I couldn't pass it up ;D

YAY you like Bob Dylan -- the song I've got in the next chapter is really the only song I'm a big fan of (haven't heard a TON of his stuff, but... anyway); and it's a big Ryan-to-Kirsten song, imho.

I'm posting part four tonight because you guys were so awesome and patient with part 3! :D