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04 August 2007 @ 12:29 am
The Break [The OC; Ryan/Kirsten]  
TITLE: The Break
PAIRING: Ryan/Kirsten
SPOILERS: Through "The College Try"


Two weeks passed since the announcement of Sandy and Kirsten's trial separation, and in those two weeks Kirsten and Ryan began their systematic move into a two-bedroom condo in the numbered streets. The condo reminded Ryan somewhat of the one Jimmy and Marissa had once lived in.

"Alright, that's the last of it," Ryan grunted as he dropped a cardboard box in the entryway.

Kirsten smiled at him from the small dining area, busy unpacking a box. "So all the heavy lifting is done?"


She walked to the entryway to meet him, helping him bring the box into the living room. She gave him a wink as he took over setting it down. "I knew I wanted you around for a reason."

He chuckled and glanced down at his sweat-dampened white tee shirt, reaching for the towel she handed him. "Thanks."

A moment of silence passed briefly in which Ryan tried to blot off some of the sweat, and Kirsten watched him as discretely as she could. "So, have you talked to Seth?" she asked.

Ryan finished toweling off his tee shirt and tossed the towel aside. "No, not really. He was playing video games when I grabbed the last of our stuff from the house, and he said goodbye, but... that was about it."

Kirsten sighed. "He's still mad."

"Give him time. You know he'll come around."

"But what if this time he doesn't?" She met his eyes worriedly. "What if this is too big for him to get over? What if he stays mad at us forever?"

He raised his eyebrows. "What if you're overreacting just a little?"

Kirsten closed her eyes, then covered them with her hand. "You're right. I'm sorry. This is all just kind of--"

"I know," he nodded, and wanted to reach out to pull her close. He refrained. "It's understandable." He nodded toward the television that was already set up in the corner of the living room. "How about, after doing a little more unpacking, we watch some TV? It'll take your mind off things."

Kirsten smiled. "Sounds great."


They spent two more hours unpacking their things, and were able to get half of the boxes emptied. Ryan called in their dinner order then, and they adjourned to the living room together.

"Did you do delivery or carry-out?" Kirsten asked, taking a seat on one end of the couch.

Ryan eyed where she was sitting and briefly wondered just how close he should sit. He finally resolved to sit on the opposite end of the couch from her -- it was safer that way. "Uh, delivery. Should be here in twenty minutes, they said."

"Excellent. No driving." She flicked on the TV and began channel surfing, finally settling on the classic movie channel. She gasped when she recognized the movie playing. "Oh, I love this movie!"

Ryan followed her gaze and couldn't help the smile. "'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington?' It's one of my favorites, too."

She looked to him in surprise. "You've seen this movie?"

He chuckled. "Yeah, several times. Why, is that weird?"

She shrugged, a sheepish smile playing across her lips. "Well, I just figured you had the same taste in movies as Seth. The martial arts, gun-fights, car-chases... that kind of stuff."

"Well, those movies are fun," he replied, "but I like a lot of the older films. Jimmy Stewart's pretty good."

A slow-moving bright smile lit up her face, and for a moment they just stared at each other. Finally, Ryan chuckled. "What?"

"Nothing." She was still smiling brightly as she propped herself up on her side, stretching her legs out beside her and depositing her feet in his lap. "You're just a constant amazement, Ryan Atwood."

He grinned.

When their Chinese food arrived, they took the cartons and chopsticks with them into the living room and began to eat while letting the movie play in the background. Ryan grabbed some steamed snow peas with his chopsticks and brought them to his lips as he asked, "So how's your new mattress?"

Kirsten nodded. "It's nice," she replied, though her tone wasn't all that convincing.

He frowned. "Are you sleeping well?"

"Uh, not... particularly, no." She kept her eyes on her carton of chicken fried rice, stabbing at some of the chicken with her chopsticks. "I haven't slept well since--" She stopped abruptly and shook her head, stuffing some rice in her mouth as a preventative measure.

Ryan watched this with a furrowed brow. "Since... when?"

"Y'know what? It's not important. What other Jimmy Stewart movies do you like?"

"Kirsten, when was the last time you slept well?"

She sighed and stood up. "Y'know, I think I'm finished." Starting to walk past him, she held out the carton. "Do you want any of this rice? Or should I throw it out?"

"Kirsten." He grasped her wrist before she could walk past him, and turned pleading eyes up to her. "Why won't you tell me?"

Kirsten sighed again, pushing errant strands of gold behind her ear. "Because it's inappropriate. Just... nevermind."

"Okay..." He let her go and watched her retreat into the kitchen, depositing the carton in the trash before standing at the counter and staring at the Formica surface. He knew she wanted to say something... and had an inkling as to what it was... but he knew he had to find another way of getting the information out of her. "Want to know the last time *I* slept well?"

"Sure." But she never lifted her eyes from the counter.

"Last time I slept well was when I was with you."

This gained her attention. Kirsten slowly lifted her eyes from the counter and met his, her shoulders sagging only slightly in defeat as she admitted in a low voice, "Me too."

Ryan nodded, then beckoned her back over with a gentle smile. "So, how about we finish watching this movie?"

"Okay." Awkwardness over, she came back into the living room and stretched out on the opposite end of the couch from him, placing her feet in his lap once again.

He smiled over at her and rubbed her feet gently.


"That was an excellent double-header... 'Mr. Smith' and 'Harvey.' Maybe next time we watch movies, we could rent 'Vertigo' or something. Whaddya say, Kirsten?" Ryan kept his eyes on the TV and reached for the remote, flipping through the channels again. When he realized he didn't get a response, he tried again, and squeezed her feet lightly. "Kirsten?"

He turned to find her asleep on her side with her hands templed beneath her cheek, her chest rising and falling steadily. He smiled and glanced at the clock. It wasn't even a quarter past ten and she was out. He sighed, wishing he'd known she hadn't been sleeping well... wishing he'd known the last time she'd gotten a full night's sleep was with him... wishing he knew so many things she wasn't telling him.

Ryan gently grasped her feet and moved them off his lap, holding them as he stood up before placing them against the couch cushion. "Hey, Kirsten..." he whispered, bending down beside her.

When she again didn't respond, Ryan smiled and carefully slid one arm under her knees and the other across her back, scooping her into his arms. She made only a slight noise in her sleep, not waking though she curled around him, arms going around his shoulders while she buried her face in his neck.

He slowly climbed the stairs, not having carried anyone since Tijuana. He managed to get Kirsten into her room without tripping or bumping into anything, and he slowly bent to lay her on her bed. In the process, he bumped his knee into the side of the bed and bent over rather quickly, his eyes widening as he and Kirsten both landed on the bed. He hovered over her precariously with half of his body, lips scant inches from hers as he prayed she wouldn't wake up.

She didn't, but frowned in her sleep and made a noise at the back of her throat, turning her face toward him. Now their mouths were even closer, and Ryan closed his eyes, savoring her breath hitting his lips. What would it hurt if he leaned in, just a little, and gave her a kiss? Would she wake up? Would she even feel it?

Kirsten let loose a dreamy sigh and Ryan held in the groan that wanted to escape. What he wouldn't give to kiss her. But he couldn't. He refused to take advantage of this woman he so adored. So he opened his eyes and, reluctantly, began to pull back, sliding his arms out from beneath her and letting her settle against the mattress.

Just as he pulled fully away, her eyes began to flutter, opening just a crack. He straightened up and she grasped his left hand. "Where are you going?" she demanded sleepily.

"To my room, to get some sleep."

She shook her head adamantly, her eyes still not completely open. "No you're not."

He raised his eyebrows. Was she even lucid? "I'm not?"

Kirsten tugged on his arm, surprisingly strong, and pulled him into the bed with her as she turned on her side, effectively curling his arm around her. "You're staying here. We'll both sleep better."

But Ryan remained rigid on his side, his arm still around her. "Are you sure?"

She nodded and nestled against her pillow, closing her eyes. "Mm-hmm."

"Okay..." He let himself relax, then, and scoot closer to her, his body spooning against hers.

Kirsten leaned against him, her back against his chest. She grasped his hand a little tighter and brought his arm more firmly around her, sliding his hand up toward her face. She placed it against the pillow and leaned her cheek on it, sighing when she'd found her comfortable spot. "Goodnight," she murmured, and was dozing again within seconds.

Ryan stayed awake, staring at the back of her head and contemplating the repercussions of once again sharing a bed with her. "Goodnight," he whispered, moments later.

Answers would have to wait until morning.


{x-posted to rystenlove}
thekiller00thekiller00 on August 4th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC)
That was a great post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Interesting way to begin living in ' their ' new condo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see what happens next !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a.: R/K; hard to ignore and undeniable too;regalish on August 8th, 2007 03:03 am (UTC)
Re: That was a great post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hehehehe, thanks so much! More soon. Tonight maybe, LOL.
login_failed: Rystenlogin_failed on August 4th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
That was sweet. Loved that they can't sleep without each other. It's like the pieces finally fit together and it isn't worth dividing them. Glad to see that Sandy/Seth are out of the way, for now.
Also glad to see that you got your muse back. Was kinda on the look out for a Snickers fic, seeing as how you reminded me of that lovely pairing. But alas, I'm rambling. Good to see ya again!
a.: R/K; i won't blow your cover;regalish on August 8th, 2007 03:06 am (UTC)
Hehe, thanks so much! Glad to be back! I'm getting tons of inspiration for new Rysten angst, btw. Been listening to some very inspirational Carrie Underwood songs, LOL. But anyway...

Glad you're enjoying this! And what a lovely observation of them; the pieces finally fitting and them not wanting to separate. That put such a huge smile on my face because I never really thought of that when I was writing. I love getting your interpretation on all of this stuff. And Sandy/Seth are out of the way for now, yes. Hehehe. More of this will probably be posted tonight!

The Snickers fic is up, btw! It's angstier than the one I first started writing when I made my Snicker post on LJ, hehehe, but hopefully that fluffy one will be on its way as well.

Thanks, as always, again!