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29 April 2007 @ 09:11 pm
The Time Kirsten Heard Ryan Say, "I'll Tell Sandy" [The OC; Ryan/Kirsten]  
TITLE: The Time Kirsten Heard Ryan Say, "I'll Tell Sandy"
PAIRING: Ryan/Kirsten
SPOILERS: My own fic, "Five Times Ryan Heard Kirsten Say, 'Don't Tell Sandy'"


Kirsten emerged from the manor, smiling at the sight of her daughter toddling up the driveway toward her. "Hi, Sweetheart," she cooed, bending down with outstretched arms just in time to catch the tumbling little girl.

With a laugh, she scooped her up and loudly kissed her rosy cheek, ruffling her feathery blonde hair. "Did you have fun at the park?"

"Oh she's a regular gymnast," came the familiar baritone down the driveway.

Kirsten smiled warmly and spoke a name she hadn't spoken in weeks. "Sandy."

Sandy's smile in return was warm, but strained... a flash of pain in his eyes when they met hers. Kirsten's smile faded slightly and she cast her eyes to the steps in front of her for a moment.

A year had gone by and it wasn't any less painful to see each other. A year ago was when she'd finally told him the truth -- about everything. About sneaking cigarettes on the driveway with Ryan, about accidentally (and then, later, not-so-accidentally) kissing Ryan, sleeping with Ryan... having a child with Ryan.

Sandy, for the most part, reacted as she expected he would. He was shocked, hurt, betrayed. The part that surprised Kirsten was the look in Sandy's eyes, like a part of him had seen it coming.

"I saw it," he'd said as Kirsten was packing her things in the Berkeley house one year before.

"Saw what?" Kirsten was exhausted; exhausted from the yelling, from spilling her four-year-old secrets, exhausted from dealing with all this and simultaneously trying to care for a six-month-old.

"I saw the sparks," Sandy sounded just as exhausted, and he plopped down heavily on the bed, bouncing Kirsten's suitcases slightly. "I saw it when I introduced you, I saw it when you almost crashed into each other... I saw it every time you guys hugged or so much as looked at each other. I just figured if I ignored it, it would go away."

"I don't... I don't know what else to say, Sandy." She folded her clothes carefully, packed them in the suitcase slowly. Part of her wanted to draw this out. Part of her didn't want to leave Sandy behind. "You know that I regret how things happened. If I apologize any more, it will no longer sound genuine. And I am genuinely sorry."

"I know."

"And it's not Ryan's fault, it's mine. I was -- am -- the adult; I should've put a stop to it, but..."

"But you didn't want to."

She closed her eyes. "Sandy... let's not do this again."

"Fine. Where will you be staying?"

"I'm looking into getting a beachside house, back in Newport."

"And Ryan?"

She had turned over her shoulder, regarded him carefully. She knew what he was asking -- would Ryan be moving in? "I... don't know what his plans are right now."

"Oh. I spoke with Seth... he's staying in Rhode Island for Thanksgiving and Chrismukkah."

Kirsten nodded, though she had gotten a little choked up. "Okay."

"He says things are too weird right now. Says he needs time to process everything. And I still don't think he's speaking to Ryan."


She'd gathered her things after that, and had taken baby Sophie to a hotel with her. Divorce proceedings started shortly thereafter, both her and Sandy knowing that there was no going back after what happened, no matter how much they had loved (and still loved) each other.

"Thank you for taking her to the park." Kirsten gestured to herself -- the casual jeans she was wearing were splattered with paint, and her hair was pulled back into a low ponytail. "The study and the poolhouse and the nursery had to be painted, so..." She trailed off.

"Mm-hmm." Sandy nodded and looked past her -- the manor where all of them had once lived was very close to being completely finished. Kirsten had started a rebuild shortly after the divorce, rather than buying the beachside property she had mentioned. "It looks great, Kirs."

"Thank you. I'd invite you in, but... there's stuff all over."

He nodded again and held up a hand as if to halt any further explanation. "That's fine. Just wanted to spend some time with the ray of sunshine," he smiled.

Kirsten smiled back and looked down at her daughter, who was once again toddling happily around the driveway. "She enjoys spending time with you."

"Yeah. Maybe next time you could drop her off instead of the nanny."

The words sounded harsh, but when Kirsten looked up, she was met with one of those Sandy Cohen smirks. She was powerless to do anything but smile back. "Look, I'm sorry about that. Things have been busy, and--"

"It would be weird, I know. But... Kirsten, it's been a year. Hell, if Ryan dropped her off I wouldn't even mind." He shook his head. "I'm done being angry with the two of you. That didn't solve anything. It sure as hell didn't make anything any better."

"I know, but--"

"Look. You and I stopped working together, and this void opened up. Ryan was able to fill that for you, I get it. I don't necessarily agree with how things happened and I never will--"

"I know, and--"

He interrupted one more time. "But it happened, it's over and done with. The healthiest thing for us is to accept it and move on... no more anger, no more weirdness."

Sophie seemed to gurgle her agreement, and Kirsten chuckled. "How do you make it sound so easy?"

Sandy shrugged. "I'm a Cohen. We're easy-going by nature."

She chuckled again and shook her head. "Sometimes."

Their attention diverted when Sophie started squealing and running, and Kirsten's heart leapt when she saw her who daughter was running to -- she was heading straight for Ryan's outstretched arms, who had just come around from the backyard. "Whoa!" Ryan grunted with the force Sophie lunged at him and he scooped her up, kissing her cheek and ruffling her hair just like Kirsten had. "Hey, Junior!"

Not noticing much else but his daughter, Ryan directed a comment to the other blonde still standing on the steps. "Hey Kirsten, I finished painting the nursery but we've gotta leave the fan on for awhile so it can air out. And we'll probably wanna wait a few days anyway before we set her up to sleep in there--" He looked up then and noticed the other presence. "Sandy."

Sandy nodded in acknowledgement and smiled faintly. "Hey. How ya doin', kid?"

"I'm, uh..." Ryan threw a surreptitious glance toward Kirsten before looking back at Sandy. "I'm okay. How are you?"

"Good," Sandy nodded once more, and nodded toward Sophie. "She's a bundle of energy."

"Yeah," Ryan exhaled an almost nervous chuckle. "Yeah she is."

An awkward silence ensued, one in which Sandy looked at Ryan, Ryan looked at Kirsten, and Kirsten looked at Sandy -- a perfect triangle of glances. Finally, Ryan spoke. "Look, Sandy--"

Sandy held up his hand, again to halt an explanation or apology. "It's been a year. Like I told Kirsten, now's the time to accept what's happened and just move on. I'm not angry anymore... I won't punch ya."

Ryan's brows flicked upward. "You should."

"Well that may have been true a year ago, but... not anymore. Everything happens for a reason. This happened for a reason. Let's all get along, and move on, shall we?"

Ryan eyed Sandy curiously for a moment, and Kirsten thought he may have been silently wondering where Sandy was hiding a gun... before he slowly nodded. "Yeah. Okay." He kissed Sophie's cheek gently and set her down, twitching a smile when she toddled over to her mother. "So, uh... how's Seth? Summer?"

"They're both doin' great. Seth's enjoying RISD and Summer's still with that environmental group, off saving the world."

"Sounds like a future Cohen," Kirsten remarked, sharing a smile with Sandy.

"Yeah. How about you two? Re-doing the house?"

"We had to do a complete renovation, so Ryan designed a whole new layout for the house. The master bedroom's where the kitchen and dining room used to be, and the kitchen's where the master bedroom used to be... it's going to look amazing."

Ryan shrugged. "It's really not that big of a deal. I just took a look at the old floor plans Caleb did originally and figured out how to maximize the space--"

"It was brilliant," Kirsten jumped in, beaming at him.

Sandy smiled and ducked his head at the sight, slipping his hands into his pockets. "Sounds like it'll be great," he commented.

"Kirsten, I'm gonna take her inside," Ryan filled yet another awkward pause by picking up Sophie and carrying her toward the house. "See if she can sleep for a bit before dinner."

She smiled, "Okay," and turned to watch them head inside briefly before turning back to Sandy. She exhaled, "So..."

Sandy nodded toward the door Ryan had just gone through. "He's treatin' you well, isn't he?"


"I've gotta know, Kirsten. I still love ya, I gotta know he's being good to you."

"He is."

"And Sophie?"

Kirsten chuckled at the thought. "He's great with her. He's gentle, but he can still rough-house with her. It's... it's actually pretty fun to watch."

Sandy chuckled slightly. "I'll bet."

Just then, a call from inside the house beckoned her attention: "Hey Kirsten?"


"Weird question, but... do you know how to get a rubber duck out of a VCR?"

Kirsten exhaled a shocked laugh, and looked to Sandy, apologetic though her eyes danced with amusement. "Duty calls."

"I should get goin' anyway, but... it was good to see you, Kirsten," Sandy smiled.

"You too."

Tentatively, they hugged goodbye, and Kirsten spontaneously pecked his cheek as they pulled away. "Take care of yourself. Send Seth my love."

"I will."

Kirsten watched him head down the driveway until he had reached his car, got in, and drove off.


Then, she chuckled and turned to head inside. "Coming!" she called back, sing-song.


"So... is it just me, or was that really weird today?" Ryan asked, shutting the glass doors to the new master bedroom and pulling the blinds.

"Hmm?" Kirsten emerged from the bathroom brushing her newly-dried hair and set her brush on the dresser. "What?"

"Sandy." Ryan peered back over his shoulder and smiled briefly at Sophie, asleep in her crib against the wall. He then pulled the covers back on the bed and climbed in.

Kirsten smiled and climbed in beside him, sidling up to him. "Yeah, that was kinda weird."

"I mean, I know he said it's been a year and we should move on, but... it's still weird, right?"

"Yes. Very."

They laid down simultaneously and Ryan asked her, "You want big spoon or little spoon tonight?"

She laughed, rolling her eyes at his bedtime antics, but replied nonetheless, "Little spoon."

"You got it." With that, they turned on their sides and Ryan curled around her, pulling her back against his chest and throwing one leg over both of hers. He kissed her neck. "You know... it almost sounded like he was okay with it."

Kirsten closed her eyes and snuggled back into him. "I don't know that he'll ever be okay with it. He seems like he's accepted it, though."

"Good." He kissed the back of her neck.

Kirsten, intrigued with his comment, turned on her other side to face him. "Good? Why do you say that?"

"Well, because..." His eyes, those bluer-than-blue eyes their daughter inherited, were tracing her face... his fingers soon followed. "Because I love you, and you love me, and I want to try to move towards not feeling guilty about that."

She smiled, blinking slowly as his fingertips ran down her eyelids. "Me too."

"And I'd like us to be able to be more open about our--" His brows suddenly furrowed as his fingers linked through hers, and he sat up. "Where are--"

"Oh!" Kirsten, as always, was tuned in to his thoughts and rose from bed, heading into the bathroom. Seconds later she emerged with a smile and climbed back into bed, slipping something into his palm. "I completely forget about that when we're painting."

"Me too," he chuckled, "I still haven't gotten used to it. I always worry I'm going to lose it somewhere."

"Well who knew fatherhood would turn you into such a worrywart, Mr. Atwood?" Kirsten grinned brightly while Ryan glared at her facetiously.

He leaned in for a kiss and murmured, "And you just love to tease me, don't you Mrs. Atwood?" while slipping the diamond ring back on her ring finger.

"I do." She smirked against his lips and wiggled the slim gold band back onto his ring finger before she pulled away, patting his cheek teasingly. "I really do."

Ryan chuckled, his eyes tracing Kirsten's classic features while he twisted the ring round and round on her finger. His eyes finally drifted down to it and he held up her hand, meeting her gaze once more. "See this? This is why it's good to move toward acceptance with Sandy. So that soon we can come clean about this -- spill the final secret."

"And you don't think that'll make things really weird again?"

"Maybe for a little while, but... the worst stuff is behind us. We came clean about the affair and about Sophie a year ago."

"And the secret wedding?"

He smiled and brought Kirsten with him as he laid back, her head finding a natural place against his chest. He placed his hand on the arm that draped over his stomach and kissed her forehead, wrapping his other arm around her waist. Kirsten closed her eyes and listened to the sounds of Ryan's heartbeat and their daughter's soft snores.

Just before she drifted off to sleep, she heard him whisper, "I'll tell Sandy the next time I see him."


{x-posted to rystenlove}
Jessica28andoccrazy on April 30th, 2007 02:42 am (UTC)
I"m speechless
OMG, I'm literally wiping tears away right now....I thought this was so beautiful!! And oh so heartbreaking!! My heart was hurting for Sandy as he was forced to look in on his life from the outside. I also liked the way this sequel brought into light the consequence for everyone. Sophie was the product of their love, but I like the way you didn't shy away from what that meant for everyone else.

I LOVED the fact that they live in the old Cohen house again. I always loved that house, and it was nice for it to be resurrected. I really enjoyed this, and I think it is a fitting ending to "Five Times." Honestly, I would change a thing. That's my opinion. It was more that great...exceptional even!!

a.: R/K; it's good to be in love;regalish on April 30th, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)
Re: I"m speechless
Thank you so so so so so so so so much! I was so nervous about this. I'M in love with the idea of Ryan & Kirsten happily married with a baby, but... that's just because I'm an insane Rysten-shipper, hehe! I didn't know if it would go over well for everyone else.

And I'll admit, I was being decidedly nice to Sandy, and had to include some nice Kandy angst. I'm just not much of a Sandy fan. I don't think he always appreciated Kirsten as much as he should have, whereas it's always been evident when Ryan so much as looks at Kirsten that he appreciates/worships/loves her all the time.

And I HAD to resurrect the Cohen house! It's such a beautiful piece of fictional architecture! I did make sure to change things around, though. I think if Ryan and Kirsten had just rebuilt it as it was, and slept in the master bedroom together and kept absolutely everything the same, it would've been too weird for them. *shrugs* That's just my interpretation though.

So, to sum up (Hahaha, I'm such a rambler! For shame! *slaps own wrist*)... thanks SO much for reading this and letting me know it'll be a-okay. I shall post it to ff.net as it is, then :D
Jessica28andoccrazy on April 30th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Re: I"m speechless
Yeah, I have thought so many times that Kirsten seemed so lonely most of the time. Although I have to admit, I believe that Kandy is one of the all-time great TV romances *dodges punches from Caroline*, their relationship was so flawed. Why else would she be driven to Carter, and inclined to give Ryan fire gazes over the kitchen table? I think that Rysten is the definition of chemistry. You have completely convinced me of the attraction, and it's fun to go back and watch all of those season 1 scenes now that I have a different perspective on them.

I thought it was really great....and btw what eppy was it when Kirsten kissed Ryan on the cheek...I don't even remember that happen! So freakin' hot!!
a.: R/K; i'm hooked on you;regalish on April 30th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
Re: I"m speechless
Haha, I won't punch ya. Everyone's got their own ship loves. For me, nothing tops Rysten. The connection is almost indescribable in its intensity/depth. It just makes me all mushy/gushy/fangirly inside :D

Their relationship was very flawed, I agree. And I often wonder how they managed to stay together like they did, because (as I often describe it in fics), they were always on a loop -- things would be good for a little while, and then an obstacle would crop up. And then things would be kinda good again, and then everything would go south.

I loved the bad Kandy times, though, because (obviously) that meant boat-loads more Rysten screentime. I often found it interesting that the Ryan/Kirsten scenes would go way up when there was trouble in paradise for Kirsten & Sandy (minus the Carter era). Kirsten always spent lots more time with Ryan when things were rocky in her marriage and I loved that. Heck, in season 3 when things were bad, she offered to fly out of state with Ryan, hehehe. Oh, Rysten ♥♥♥

P.S. The ep where Kirsten kisses Ryan is "The Way We Were." I LOVE how he closes his eyes and turns his face in toward her... HOT. Darn Seth for being right there! Heee.
thekiller00thekiller00 on April 30th, 2007 03:26 am (UTC)
WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I realaly really can't wait to see where this goes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POST AGAIN ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a.: R/K; don't stop let's get closer;regalish on April 30th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)
Re: WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, that's actually the end, but I'm glad you liked it!! Hehehe.

Wasn't sure how the idea of them married would go over, but... apparently you guys aren't all that opposed to it :D

I shall post it to ff.net as-is, then! Thanks much for reading/reviewing!
thekiller00thekiller00 on May 1st, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
Re: WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really hope that you decide to continue this in the future !!!!! Maybe another five things series, but about momment Ryan, Kirsten and their daughter spent as a family, like when they tell everyone they are married or when their daughter learns about her parents past or maybe Ryan and Kirsten have another child together !!!!!!
a.: R/K; i wanna hold you high;regalish on May 3rd, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
Re: WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I shall definitely think about doing another 'five things' series, because that was fun.

I've got tons of Rysten ideas, hahaha. I may be going cross-eyed soon from all the ideas :D :D :D