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08 August 2007 @ 09:20 pm
The Span of a Week [The OC; Ryan/Kirsten]  
TITLE: The Span of a Week
PART 5/5: The Breaking Point
PAIRING: Ryan/Kirsten
SPOILERS: Season three
RATING: mild R


05. Ryan returned from his late-night jogging stint in a particularly bad mood. He had run into Volchok, and consequently, Marissa... who was behaving less and less like herself every day. He suspected she might be using drugs. The whole way home he had told himself not to get involved... Marissa wasn't his problem to deal with anymore. Hopefully Julie would do some actual parenting and get her daughter back on track.

Not to mention the whole thing that had happened between himself and Kirsten the night before was still laying heavily on his mind. They had almost kissed -- had been a hair's breadth from finally touching lip-to-lip -- and Julie had interrupted. The strange thing was, Ryan hadn't been as floored by Julie catching them as he'd been that Kirsten had actually consented to -- hell, wanted -- a kiss.

Today marked the end of his first week of being eighteen, and in those seven short days his life had been turned upside down. Would there be any end to the madness?

He luckily caught a break from his thoughts as he jogged up the driveway of the Cohen manor just in time to see Seth rushing out, backpack slung over his shoulder, looking panicked as he made a beeline for the Range Rover. "Seth!"

Seth widened his eyes and unlocked the Range Rover. "Dude."

"What's going on? What's wrong?"

"I have got to get out of here. Seriously. If you've got somewhere else you can hang out tonight, now would be the time to get away."

"What?" Ryan furrowed his brows and wiped the sweat off his face with the hem of his beater. "What are you talking about?"

Seth pointed behind him at the house. "It is like def-con five in there. I can't deal, I'm staying over at Summer's."

He jumped into the car and started it quickly, yelling out the window to Ryan as he pulled out, "You'll stay away if you know what's good for you!"

Ryan watched him drive away, brows still furrowed as his mind tried to decode Seth's warning. Most of what Seth said -- at warp-speed -- required a little extra processing time.

Then he heard the shouting.

"God, it's like I don't even know you anymore! Who are you?!"

"I'm still me, Kirsten, for God sakes! Will you stop being so melodramatic?"

"Don't you dare say that to me! I am not being melodramatic here, Sandy! You've turned into my father! I don't want to be married to my father!"

"Well this hospital needs to be built, so I'm handling things the best way I know how! This is who I am now!"

"Well that sure as hell isn't the man that I married! The man I married would never let himself turn into this corporate, capitalist.... asshole!"

"You vowed to stick this through, Kirsten! We both did. For better or worse."

"No. This is worse than 'worse,' Sandy. This is terrible. Awful. This is unbearable. I can't... I don't... I don't even want to be around you anymore!"

Ryan stepped slowly toward the kitchen, toward the source of all the yelling, but kept his footsteps light. He felt guilty for eavesdropping, but... there was no way out now. They'd know he was there, listening, if he tried to head for the poolhouse. Maybe he could sneak back out the front door and run around back.

"So what the hell are you saying, Kirsten? That this is over?!"

"I don't know what I'm saying, Sandy. I just know that you are not the man I fell in love with anymore. I don't like this man that you've become right now!"

Ryan heard the distinct sound of a bottle being removed from a cupboard and he panicked. Especially when he heard what Sandy said next.

"So that's your answer, is it? You're just gonna crawl back into your precious bottles of vodka."

Ryan's eyes widened, and he wanted to sprint for the kitchen and tear the bottle out of her hands.

Apparently he didn't need to. The next thing he heard was a scream, ripping through Kirsten's lips, followed by the sound of breaking glass. Then she yelled coarsely, "Get out, Sandy! Just get your things and get the hell out!"


Ryan heard the footsteps but he was too far into the house to run out the door now. He just stood frozen in place as Sandy stomped out of the kitchen, wiping at streaks of vodka that had gotten on his suit. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Ryan there, and a stern glare was fixed on his face.

"You got something to say to me, kid?"

Yeah, Ryan had plenty to say to Sandy Cohen. He wanted to tell him he regretted ever having looked up to him as a role model. He wanted to tell him that the moment he chose the hospital over Kirsten, he made the biggest mistake of his life. But that would start a whole new fight. And Ryan was too concerned about Kirsten and the breaking glass at the moment. So he shook his head. "Nope," and brushed quickly past Sandy.

Ryan stopped himself in the doorway of the kitchen, panning his eyes around to assess the situation. There was broken glass on the counter near the stove, and scattered about the floor. And Kirsten was by the sink, on the floor with her back against the cabinets, crying and staring at one of her palms.

The issue of glass on the floor became moot as Ryan rushed over to her. He heard the glass crunching beneath his shoes but didn't care -- it could be cleaned up later. Kirsten was his utmost concern right now. "Kirsten?"

The sound of Sandy stomping back from the master bedroom diverted his attention for only a second, and he and the eldest Cohen exchanged a potent look before Sandy turned with his bag and left, slamming the door behind him. With a blink, Ryan's full attention was back on Kirsten.

Kirsten was sobbing so hard that she was completely silent. Her face was contorted, barely recognizable, as she stared at her palm and cried. Ryan crouched down by her and followed her gaze. There was a deep gash on the palm of her hand and blood was trickling down, following the crevices in her palm. His eyes widened at the sight and he grabbed her gently by the wrist. "God, Kirsten..."

She jumped, startled, as if she hadn't heard his approach or felt him near her. Then, when she laid her eyes on him, she just barely choked out his name -- "Ryan!" -- and then she almost collapsed into him, her face burrowing into his neck. Ryan instinctively slipped his arm around her back and the other under her knees, holding her against him for only a moment before scooping her up. He practically rushed with her into the poolhouse, where he knew he had some gauze from the last time he'd had to bandage his knuckles.

He knelt gently at the foot of his bed and set her down, jerking back down to her when he tried to stand up and found that she'd clung to him. She grabbed his shirt, balled it in her fist as she hiccupped her sobs. Ryan felt the blood soaking through his shirt and he rubbed her back gently, pressing kisses to her forehead as he murmured, "I'm right here. I'm here, okay?" Gently, as if speaking to a child, he told her, "I need you to let go of me for just a minute, okay? I need to bandage your hand, Kirsten."

She nodded against him, snuffling against his shoulder, and reluctantly let him go. Ryan looked down at the deep red pattern now staining the front of his tee shirt and ran into the bathroom. He grabbed a bowl and filled it with warm water, dropping a washcloth into it as he grabbed the gauze with his free hand. Then, he returned to Kirsten and sat beside her. She was back to just staring silently at her palm.

"Here," he said softly, beckoning her attention. He took her left wrist gently and held her hand palm-up over the bowl. He grabbed the washcloth and squeezed the excess water out of it over her palm, rinsing out any tiny pieces of glass that may have gotten into the cut. After doing this several times, the water in the bowl had turned sickly pink. Ryan's heart lurched as he thought of what could've happened had she not chucked the bottle at Sandy. If she'd actually taken a drink.

Kirsten finally spoke, her voice dark. For a moment, Ryan wondered if she could read his thoughts. "I wasn't going to drink it."

He closed his eyes, relief sweeping over him. "Good."

She chuckled a little -- the sound was slightly hoarse, slightly high-pitched and shaky. It sounded almost like a laugh of insanity. "I wanted to chuck it at his head." She sniffled and wiped her nose with her free hand, intently watching him tend to her cut. "I've never felt like that before, Ryan. It was so... primal. So dark. I wanted to make him hurt for everything he's put me through over the past couple years."

Ryan nodded. "I understand." And he did, completely. It was how he felt when he found out Trey had attacked Marissa... not to mention it was how he felt about Sandy from time to time.

"I know you do," she murmured.

Ryan, his head still tilted downward focusing on her cut, lifted his eyes to Kirsten's. They searched each other for a long moment before Ryan had to tear his eyes away. He blew on her cut a few times, gently pressing the skin around it to find that it was still bleeding. He reached for the gauze. "Let me just wrap this and then you should be okay."

Kirsten nodded and continued to watch him. After another few moments of silence passed, she spoke again. "We scared Seth."

Ryan nodded. "He's staying over at Summer's. He'll be fine."

"I just feel bad. I don't want to hurt him."

"You can't stay in a broken relationship just to protect Seth, Kirsten," he told her gently. "You know that."

"I do, I do."

Silence fell yet again as Ryan diligently wrapped her hand in gauze and Kirsten watched him. "Thank you, Ryan," she said softly after a moment.

"No thanks necessary. I'm just glad that you're..." He shook his head at himself. "Well, you know."

"Yeah," she smiled.

When he had finished and looked up at her, there were tears in her eyes once again... but not tears of sadness. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders, tightly. "I'm so glad you're here." Her voice shook, and soon she was crying softly into his shoulder. "I love you so much."

"I love you too," he returned without hesitation. Barely audible, he added, "More than you'll ever know."

The crying ceased, and he felt Kirsten's hands sliding slowly across his shoulders as she pulled back equally slow. He feared meeting her eyes just because he knew what would happen if he did. He had to maintain that distance while she was still vulnerable. So his eyes watched his hands, wiping the tears from her face, though he knew her eyes were on him.

When she leaned in and pecked his lips lightly, he'd been surprised. He was even more surprised when she did it again, lingering for a mere second and then pulling back. His eyes were poweless to stop from meeting hers then. And in them he saw crystal-clear sobriety. Not an ounce of vulnerability, or sadness. In her eyes he could see an instant replay of the past week -- the lingering stares, the potent looks, the electric touches, and the almost-kiss. He held her face in his hands and saw everything he ever wanted to see since this earthly angel came into his life. So he leaned in captured her lips in a fiery kiss.

They instantly clung to each other, as if something missing had finally been found. His hands were in her hair and hers were on his biceps, curling around them and gripping them for dear life as the kiss took on an intensity neither one of them had ever known. The kiss was hungry, filled with longing... the past week and the past few years had finally come to a head, and here they were. There was no timid greeting of tongues, no tentative pecks. Ryan's tongue swept across Kirsten's lips in a quick request and he was immediately granted entry; his lips slanted over hers and he pulled her in tight.

Kirsten's hands slid up his back, up to his shoulders, where her hands clamped down and held him tight in return. Into his mouth, without breaking from him, she murmured desperately, "Please don't ever stop kissing me."

Ryan just nodded against her and deepened the kiss all over again, pulling her flush against him. His hands slid across the small of her back and gripped her waist, his thumbs just barely stroking the exposed skin between where her shirt ended and her pants began. Kirsten gasped into his mouth and kissed him harder, arching into him when she felt his fingers slide to the buttons on her shirt. Her own fingers wandered down his chest, down his toned stomach to the hem of his beater. As he unbuttoned her shirt, she slid the beater up his stomach, grazing her fingers over the toned muscle, until it was bunched just under his arms.

Then, Ryan smirked against her lips and murmured into her mouth, "You realize I'd have to stop kissing you in order for you to take that off me?"

"Well, then forget it," she murmured back, deepening the kiss again.

Her shirt fell away with Ryan's gentle touch and she raked her fingernails down his abdomen. Her hands rested against his belt buckle and Ryan leaned her back onto the bed. It took a bit of restraint, on his part, not to tear his lips from hers. They were anxious to explore other parts of this beautiful woman.

They only removed the clothing that could be removed without breaking the kiss. Even when their bodies finally joined for the very first time, their lips didn't break -- though they cried out into each other's mouths. Only when they had reached the peak, fallen over it together, did the kiss break.

Ryan breathed his love for Kirsten against her lips and wrapped her tight in his arms as they collapsed against the mattress together.

"I was right," she murmured, resting against him.


"When I said that in a few days everything was going to change."

He smiled against her hair. "Yeah."

In the span of a week, his entire life changed. He'd grown closer than ever before to the woman he adored; and though he knew a rough road lay ahead, they'd both make it as long as they had each other.


{x-posted to rystenlove}
thekiller00thekiller00 on August 9th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)
That was a great ending !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I like how you ended it with Ryan being there for Kirsten when she needed him !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a.: R/K; and i'll look after you;regalish on August 13th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
Re: That was a great ending !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much!!!!! :D
login_failed: Rysten 3login_failed on August 9th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
Wow. The long wait was most definitely worth it. That was awesome. The Beatles were right; all you need is love. Sandy and Kirsten? No more love there. Ryan and Kirsten? True love!
a.: R/K; i need you like waterregalish on August 13th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC)
Awwww, thank you so much! And thanks for being patient, lol. That darn muse sure can be a flighty little thing!

I agree -- Ryan & Kirsten = TRUE LOVE. :D
pipetgirl2pipetgirl2 on August 26th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
Wow! Another beautiful story. You left me speechless.
a.regalish on August 28th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
Wow! Thank you so much, Julie! I love writing these five things fics soooo much (especially when it's Rysten), so I'm happy to hear you liked it!