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13 August 2007 @ 09:15 pm
The Second Time Around [The OC; Ryan/Kirsten]  
TITLE: The Second Time Around
PAIRING: Ryan/Kirsten
SPOILERS: None; this is an AU fic.


"Thank you for stopping by again," Kirsten smiled at Ryan, bringing two mugs of coffee out onto the patio, where they had set up the scale model. "I'm sorry about yesterday, that was--"

"It's alright," he assured her, taking the mug she extended to him with a grateful smile. "No apologies or explanations necessary." Taking a sip, he next asked her, "So did you guys work stuff out?"

"Uh..." Kirsten glanced over her shoulder, into the house where Sandy was working on some files in front of the TV. "I guess so."

"You don't sound too sure about that."

"Well... he apologized, and we hugged, and that was about it. We didn't really talk about things. We just..." She sighed and sat down next to him at the table. "Lately, we haven't really been talking about what went wrong. We just... hug and move on."

Ryan didn't say much of anything in response -- just sipped at his coffee quietly and nodded thoughtfully. Kirsten found herself craving his opinion, his advice. So she grimaced. "Is that bad?"

He just smiled enigmatically and told her, "Kirsten, I'm by no means a marriage counselor. All I'm going to say is, no good comes from bottling up your feelings."

She nodded slowly. "You're right. You're right, we should talk."

"But... for now?" he grinned.

This made her laugh. His smile was so boyish, and his eyes sparkled in the most lovely way. "For now, we've got a model to work on."


Two weeks later and things were good again between her and Sandy. Or rather, better than they had been. They weren't necessarily good yet. Sandy was still spending a lot of time at the office -- with Rachel -- and Kirsten was drowning her sorrows by throwing herself into her work... with Ryan.

"So I hear the viewings of that model home are going well," Ryan commented on his way into his office, holding two cups of coffee knowing she would already be there.

Kirsten smiled at him from his drafting table, setting down her pencil. "Yeah, really well. Even without those Moroccan shower rings. My dad's confident we've got a few prospective buyers already."

His smile was bright as he congratulated her, handing her a mug of coffee. "So are you going to that party at the Yacht Club?"

Kirsten furrowed her brows, erasing a few marks she'd made in error on the new model home sketches. "What party?"

"Your dad didn't tell you? Him and Julie are throwing some big party for all your success."

Her eyes widened. "For me? The party's for me?"

Ryan chuckled. "Well... I don't know about that. It sounds more like it's a party celebrating Caleb."

Kirsten laughed in response. "Of course. I guess I should expect no different."

Ryan smiled and stood beside her, draped his arm over the back of her chair as he examined the sketch. Softly, never removing his eyes from the paper, he told her, "If it was up to me, the party would be in your honor."

Kirsten kept herself from meeting his eyes, but smiled bashfully to herself. "Thank you."

"Okay, now let's see what you've done here. Where did that wall go?" He grabbed the pencil from her hand and started to sketch a wall back in.

She snatched it back. "I decided if we left that wall down, the living room would be more spacious, and we might actually be able to do vaulted ceilings."

Ryan grabbed the pencil away from her again and chuckled. "I thought we agreed on no vaulted ceilings."

"But I love them!"

His laugh was infectious. "Kirsten..."

She couldn't help but laugh back. "What? I want the vaulted ceilings."

"But we said we weren't going to."

"Well I changed my mind!" She erased the wall he'd restarted, grinning devilishly.

"Kirsten, come on!" He laughed, trying to grab for the pencil, but Kirsten jerked it out of his reach too quickly. "Come on, are we gonna settle this like adults or fight like kids?"

"Fighting like kids is much more fun." She hid the pencil behind her back.

Ryan reached around her, his hands skimming her waist, and she leaned back against the drafting table, trying to press her body to it so he wouldn't grab it away. When Ryan reached under her, though, his body pressed flush against hers and she gasped. Both of them froze.

Their faces were inches away, blue staring into lighter blue, their breath puffing against each other's lips. Ryan's hands were on the small of her back, both of their hands grasping the pencil. Once again, they could read each other's thoughts. Just one more lean and they'd be kissing. Just a little closer and the spark could light a flame. Kirsten wanted him to kiss her so badly.

Over the past few weeks he'd gotten so deep into her head and into her soul that her body now craved him too. Whatever was going on between her and Sandy, whatever the gap was that had come between them... Ryan was filling that gap for her. Over the past few weeks their compatibility made itself more and more evident to her. He understood her in ways that Sandy never could and never would. One glance and he knew what she was thinking, what she was going to say before a word was spoken. He listened to her whereas Sandy just barely gave her the time of day (or was barely home). Ryan made her laugh. Sandy hadn't made her laugh -- genuinely laugh -- for at least a year, if not more.

Kirsten closed her eyes, willing to let Ryan take the lead. Whatever happened, happened. The pull to him was too strong to resist anymore. Matter of fact, it had become almost an addiction. She craved his presence like a smoker would crave nicotine.

She felt his breath against her lips and couldn't stop the soft whimper that bubbled up. His hands slid across her lower back, taking the pencil with him, and rested against her waist. "Kirsten, um..."

Her eyes fluttered open to find his centered on her lips. It took every ounce of strength in her body not to just lean in and capture his lips. She met his eyes then as he murmured, "I think we should get back to work."

Reality hit her like an express train at hearing those words. Work. They worked together; they were colleagues. And she was married. This had to stop. So she nodded. "You're right. Um..." Glancing down at the sketch, she avoided eye contact with him. "Make any changes you want to the sketch, it's fine. We can go over it later."

Then she practically ran out of his office, straight to Julie's. Without even a knock, she strode in and stated, "I need to talk to you," which effectively ended the conversation between Julie and Caleb.

"Kiki?" Her father greeted. "Everything alright?"

Kirsten nodded emphatically and pushed her hair behind her ear. Her face felt extremely warm, and she could still feel the ghost of Ryan's breath on her lips, and his hands on her waist. "Everything's great, Dad. I just need to go over a few things with Julie. In private."

Luckily Julie could read her so well after years of friendship; she nodded her understanding slowly and nudged Caleb's arm. "Cal, we can pick this up later, can't we?"

"Absolutely. I'll see you at lunch, Juju." He kissed her cheek, gathered his things, and left.

Kirsten waited until her father was well down the hallway before she turned back to Julie, shutting the office door.

"Kiks? What's going on?" Genuine concern flickered across Julie's face, and Kirsten was almost stunned by the fact that she hadn't seen sincere emotion on her friend for years. She must have sensed it was serious.

"I'm having a problem. With Ryan."

"Okay... well, I mean, if things aren't working, if he's not doing his share, then your dad's really the one to go t--"

"We almost kissed."

Julie nearly spilled her coffee, eyes wide. "What?"

Kirsten covered her face in shame, "I know, I know!" and plopped down on Julie's suede couch.

"Kirsten, what happened? What is going on with you two?"

"I don't know! I mean... okay, I admit it. Since I met him, there's been kind of a spark. But... since things have been going sour with Sandy, we've been spending more and more time together, and--"

"The spark lit a flame?"

"Just about. Yes."

"Well... okay, aside from the obvious fact that you're married--"

"I know, I'm horrible."

Julie's tone was strong; filled with conviction, almost aggressive. "No. You're not. Kirsten, this is just... this is just something natural that happens." Softer, she pressed, "Maybe, do you think, things just aren't working with Sandy anymore? That maybe the reason you're feeling something for Ryan is because you kind of know in the back of your mind that you and Sandy might be... kind of over?"

"Honestly, Julie? I've been kind of thinking that for a long time. Just... we can't connect anymore, y'know? He's so distant, and because he's distant then I'm distant, and neither one of us really want to... bridge that gap anymore."

Julie nodded, hands templed under her chin and elbows on her chair's armrests; to Kirsten, she looked like a therapist. "Okay... and how about Ryan?"

"Ryan," she sighed. Just the sound of his name, the feel of it tumbling from her lips, sent her heart into palpitations.

Julie giggled. "Okay, Kirsten, I think that pretty much says it all right there. You sound like a schoolgirl."

"Ryan just makes me feel... understood. He makes me feel relaxed; safe, I guess, in a way. I don't have to tell him what I'm thinking because he already knows. And it's exhilirating because I've never really had that before, but... at the same time it drives me nuts, because--"

"Because you're married, so you feel like nothing can happen."

"No, because nothing can happen. Period."


"You're gonna be the little devil on my shoulder now, aren't you?"

Julie tilted her head at her and widened her eyes slightly. "Aren't I always?"

Kirsten smiled.

"But yes. I know that you're married. I was married to Jimmy when something started up with Cal. You can't control your feelings, Kiks."

She shook her head slowly. "Nope," she agreed. "Just your actions."

"Jimmy and I weren't working, weren't connecting anymore. Then Cal came along and it was easy, natural. We understood each other." She tilted her head slightly. "Part of me wishes things would've happened a little bit differently, but I don't think it would've changed the outcome. Jimmy and I still would've gotten divorced. Marissa still would've moved away with him. Cal and I eventually would've gotten together. The sequence of events doesn't necessarily matter if it's meant to happen."

"Ugh, I just... I don't think I could do that to Sandy."

"Because he's been so considerate of your feelings lately?"


Julie threw her hands up in an exaggerated shrug, innocence all over her face. "What? I'm just saying..."

"I know, I know."

The two women were silent for a moment, Kirsten deep in thought while Julie watched her carefully. "So are you coming to our party at the Yacht Club tonight, Kirsten?"

"Did you tell me about this before?"

"Yes! Two days ago, when you and Ryan were bickering about... something about vaulted ceilings?"

"Oh. Okay, well I totally forgot. I don't even know if Sandy's going to be free to go. I think he just took another big case."

Julie's shrug was nonchalant. "So go by yourself." She grinned. "Ryan will be there."

Kirsten rolled her eyes and took that as her cue to leave. "Why do I feel like I'm in junior high all over again?"

She waved goodbye to Julie and went back to her own office, biting her lip softly and smiling to herself. Maybe she really was in junior high again. The thought of going to a party by herself and being able to see Ryan again was giving her butterflies.


{x-posted to rystenlove}
thekiller00thekiller00 on August 14th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
That was a great post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I like how close Ryan and Kirsten got !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see what happens at the party !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a.: R/K; i've been addicted to you;regalish on August 15th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC)
Re: That was a great post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*giggle* Thank you muchly! Hehehe. I do so enjoy writing the tension ;)

The party chapter's up next!
login_failedlogin_failed on August 14th, 2007 01:35 pm (UTC)
Still awesome. Loving how Kirsten seems to be reverting to the giggly high school girl around Ryan. (And damn Caleb for interrupting.)
"Ryan just makes me feel... understood. He makes me feel relaxed; safe, I guess, in a way. I don't have to tell him what I'm thinking because he already knows. And it's exhilirating because I've never really had that before- What better way to sum up their connection? They can connect on levels that not even Sandy can. Sandy may have given her the ring she wears and the son she bore, but he cannot now claim to be on the same wavelength.
I also love the bond between Julie/Kirsten. Julie(Rysten's greatest champion)has been where Kirsten is.
a.: R/K; you are the sweetest thingregalish on August 15th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
Hehehe, thank you so much, as usual, for the wonderful insights! I'm having so much fun turning Kirsten into a high-school-girl-with-a-crush when Ryan's around. Because let's face it -- being around him would pretty much do that to any woman ;D

And I can't resist putting the Julie/Kirsten friendship in there. They are the most bewildering pair of BFF's ever, lol, and that's why I love them.

Next chapter is being posted shortly!
pipetgirl2pipetgirl2 on August 15th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
I hope that you don't mind me commenting here. I had read a few of your stories on fanfiction.net and just found this site by accident(and I am totally addicted-I wish that I had more time to read your other stories tonight but that will have to wait for another night). Anyway, I love how you write Ryan and Kristen. They were always my favorite ship on the the show.

This is a really interesting take on them meeting. I look forward to finding out how their relationsip develops.

Thanks for sharing.
a.: R/K; i've been addicted to you;regalish on August 15th, 2007 05:08 am (UTC)
Hi there, Julie! I'm so glad you found my fic comm! And OMG ANOTHER RYSTEN FAN. Excuse me a moment while I jump around with glee.


Okay, back again. There are not nearly enough people out there that see the amazing potential between these two. Like you, they have always been my favorite pairing as well. Their chemistry is so unique and pretty much just jumps off the screen.

I do hope this means you'll consider joining rystenlove! I don't really post on fanfiction.net anymore just because that site so frequently has problems with one thing or another. It's just easier to keep everything here. Especially since I spend most of my online time on LJ nowadays. :D

The fifth chapter will be posted soon. Thanks so much, again, for commenting!

pipetgirl2pipetgirl2 on August 16th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
Yay! Thanks for the wonderful welcome! I agree that there are not a lot of us out there who appreciate all that is Rysten.