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24 August 2007 @ 02:49 pm
The Worst Nightmare [The OC; Ryan/Kirsten]  
TITLE: The Worst Nightmare
PAIRING: Ryan/Kirsten
SPOILERS: Early season four
RATING: R for dark imagery


"He's been really broken up since Marissa died."

"You don't think he'd try to... do anything, do you?"

Kirsten made a face at both her husband and her son. "No! Ryan would never do something like that. And why are you asking me, anyway? Shouldn't you be addressing your concerns with Ryan?"

Seth shrugged, rationalizing, "You seem to know him better than any of us."

Which was true, but Kirsten preferred that they didn't go any deeper into that line of thought. "Well, if you guys are worried, you really should talk to him."

"Where is he, anyway?"

Kirsten sighed. It seemed that since Marissa had died, neither of the Cohen men knew how to handle Ryan. As if he'd suddenly fly off the handle and start punching up the house. "I'll go get him, he's probably still sleeping."

She went to the poolhouse on autopilot, having visited there many times since the accident. Ryan was fine; sullen and fairly quiet, but that was nothing out of the ordinary. Knocking discreetly, she called out, "Ryan?" but there was no answer.

So she swung open the door... and screamed.

Dangling from the ceiling fan, lifeless, was the one she held closest to her heart -- Ryan. Tears sprung from her eyes as her heart thudded in her ears; she ran over to him and looked up into his face. "Ryan?" she called meekly, touching his chest. Her hand jerked back immediately. He was cold.

That was when her head started spinning. She fell down on his bed and started gasping for air. She was hyperventilating; she couldn't breathe... she couldn't see through the stream of tears -- she couldn't hear anything above the sound of her own heart.

"Ryan!" she wailed, and hugged her knees to her chest. "Ryan.... no... no..."


"NO!" Kirsten sat straight up in bed, clutching her chest, over her rapidly-thudding heart.

"Kirs?" Sandy's sleep-addled voice sounded next to her, and the mattress shifted as he propped himself up. "You okay?"

Kirsten panted, tried to get her heartbeat and her breathing under control... tried to hold back the tears fastly coming to her. "I'm fine, yeah." She patted his arm. "Go back to sleep."

Sandy didn't need anymore convincing. He fell back against the pillows and was snoring within moments. Kirsten watched him momentarily, still clutching her heart, before her gaze went to the glass French doors. She looked past the pool, straight at the poolhouse, which was dark; and the blinds were drawn.

Without thought, Kirsten flung off the covers and headed for the door, opening it quietly so as not to wake Sandy again before she slipped outside and shut it softly behind her. Then she skirted around the pool, moving quickly for the poolhouse. She raised her fist to knock and then promptly had a flashback of her dream -- nightmare. Panic seized her at the thought of what she might find inside, and she flung open the door, turning on the light.

Immediately Ryan cried out, squinting as he laid on his stomach. "Ah! Seth! Jesus, will you turn that off? I'm trying to sle--"

"It's me," Kirsten interrupted his rant softly, stepping inside.

Ryan opened his eyes. "Kirsten?" He blinked swiftly, trying to adjust to the sudden brightness, and pushed himself off the bed. "What are you doing?" When he laid eyes on her, his voice softened with concern. "You've been crying. Are you okay?"

Kirsten touched her cheek (which was now wet with tears) and drew in a breath, taking in the sight of him -- alive, animated, right in front of her. She was so overjoyed she rushed over and threw her arms around his neck.

She felt the tension in his body, felt his hands hovering just inches away from her as he probably wondered just what the hell was going on. Then, he tentatively patted her waist. "What's going on?"

Kirsten closed her eyes, more tears squeezing out as she thanked God he was okay, and she shook her head. "Please just hold me for a minute."

Ryan's arms went tight around her without hesitation and he held her tight, turning his face into her hair and breathing in slowly. The longer they stayed fused together, the easier it was for her to breathe. Her heart rate slowed to its normal pace, and the tears dried on her face. She breathed in the scent of him -- the unique Ryan scent she'd been accustomed to for four years, and reveled in how warm he was against her.

That was when she remembered what she was wearing -- just her long silk nightgown. And what Ryan was wearing registered with her seconds later -- sweatpants and no shirt. Still, she hugged him a little tighter, a new surge going through her.

Ryan's arms tightened around her accordingly, still trying to give her the comfort she no longer needed. When he dropped a chaste kiss to the hollow of her shoulder, a shiver went through her and they both froze. Ryan, his head still bent toward her shoulder, must have realized what he had done. His arms loosened just slightly around her and Kirsten pulled back, sliding her hands to his biceps as they met each other's eyes.

His gaze drifted toward her lips as he asked, "Are you okay now?"

Kirsten nodded and swallowed hard at the look in his eyes. "Yeah. I'm fine."

Ryan released her, and Kirsten knew she shouldn't have been disappointed about that... yet she was. "Wanna tell me what that was about?"

"I had a nightmare. You were still upset about Marissa. You were so upset that you... you..." She didn't even want to finish for fear she'd burst into tears again.

But Ryan, as always, read her thoughts. He pulled her close again and she felt him shaking his head against her, voice soft as he assured her, "I would never do anything like that, Kirsten. I hope you know that."

She closed her eyes and squeezed him tight around the neck for a moment. "Mm-hmm."

His hand rubbed up her back, up the silk, and Kirsten was torn between feeling comforted and feeling aroused. "I'd never want to put you through that."

"Good, because... that was bad. Just... the sight of you there..."

"What happened, in the dream?" Ryan pulled back again and stroked her hair comfortingly... moved it off her shoulders before stroking them gently.

Kirsten shivered again unconsciously. "I just... really don't want to relive it, if that's okay."

He nodded in understanding. He understood her so damn well. She was positive she'd never get over her amazement at that. "Sure, okay."

Kirsten finally made herself step away from him, her hands sliding down his arms. He grasped her hands gently before she pulled completely away. "Sorry to wake you up."

Ryan shook his head. "No need to apologize. I'm just glad you're okay."

Kirsten chuckled. "I'm glad you're okay."

"I'm fine," he smiled. "If you need me again, you know where I am." He kissed her cheek.

Kirsten closed her eyes as his lips lingered, unfortunately reading way too much into that statement. He had no idea how much she needed him day to day, to simply survive. That dream was a jarring look at a life without him -- something she never wanted to experience. She was far too attached to him. "I know," she murmured, and opened her eyes again when he pulled away.

They searched each other's eyes, back and forth, blue to blue, and Kirsten couldn't help but wonder if he knew how much she needed him -- if he needed her back. Then his gaze drifted to her lips and Kirsten had her answer.

"Um..." Still, she forced herself to pull away, as much as she wanted to fall into his arms, against his lips and never let go. She backed up a few steps and folded her arms across her chest, shielding the effect he was having on her. "I guess I should probably try to sleep again."

Ryan nodded slowly, mutely, and his eyelids were heavy, the color of his eyes a dusky blue. Oh God, bedroom eyes, Kirsten realized with a jolt. She had to leave before she did something stupid -- fantastic, and most definitely satisfying... but stupid. "Sorry again for waking you," she whispered, breathless from the look in his eyes.

Ryan just shook his head, dismissed the apology, and waved goodnight to her, watching her leave until she closed the poolhouse door.

Kirsten had a hard time sleeping for the rest of that night... but for completely different reasons now.


The next morning, Kirsten was in a fog from lack of sleep the night before. Sandy had asked about her nightmare but she brushed it off, lying that she didn't really remember what it was now.

"Okay, well," Sandy kissed her cheek, "We'll see you on Monday."

That woke her up a little. "Monday? What? Where are you going?"

Sandy stared at her as if she might have been losing her mind. "Florida, to visit my mother. Seth and I planned to go a few months ago. You don't remember?"

"Yeah, I remember. Sorry. I'm just a little tired."

Sandy frowned. "You sure you're okay, honey?"

Kirsten nodded, throwing a glance toward the sliding glass door as Ryan came in. "Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks."

Ryan met her eyes momentarily, exhanged with her a few silent words, and then went to the fridge for some juice. "Have fun in Florida," he told Sandy, and Seth, who had just reappeared in the doorway with their suitcases.

"I am returning to my people," Seth quipped. "Can't wait to get my shuffleboard on."

Kirsten rolled her eyes and let Sandy kiss her cheek. Seth quickly hugged her goodbye, and then the Cohen men were out the door and on their way to the airport. She and Ryan were left alone.

Kirsten drew in a breath and pondered what she could say in regards to the night before. Luckily, before she had to make a sound, the doorbell rang -- Julie had arrived to go over the new budget for their dating service. Ryan, as a result, made himself scarce.

"So! I think I re-worked a few things so we could still afford the fresh flower arrangements every week."

Kirsten sighed, half-unprepared for spending the afternoon with Julie, and half-needing to bear her soul... about everything... to the one person in Newport she could still call a friend. "Julie, I'm sorry, I'm really tired today. I don't know that I'll be able to focus on this right now."

Julie set down the three-ring binders she had toted with her. "Kirsten? Are you okay?"

Kirsten glanced over her shoulder, toward the poolhouse, where she could see Ryan boxing. "Um... I don't know." She looked back at her friend, who was regarding her curiously. "I had a really weird -- horrible, actually -- dream lastnight."

"Okay, well... what was it about?"

Kirsten proceeded to fill Julie in on all the gruesome details of her dream, including what happened when she had woken up and gone to see Ryan. Julie nodded thoughtfully, listening throughout the entire story. When it finally came to an end, she paused for a beat before asking, "Kirsten, can I just come right out and tell you what I think this means?"

She expected no less from her. "Of course."

Julie sighed and tilted her head, as if delivering bad news. "You've got it bad for Ryan."

"What?" That, she wasn't expecting. It made her heart jump into her throat. Not to mention.... were her hands shaking?

Julie leaned forward in her chair at the table, leaning her forearms on her thighs. "Kirsten, I noticed that pretty much the first time I so much as saw you two in the same room together. You can't tell me this is coming as a shock to you."

Kirsten just cut her eyes to the side. "Not... exactly, but... I didn't expect it coming from you." She gestured to her.

Julie raised her eyebrows. "Why? Because I have no idea what it's like to fall for someone half your age?"

"Because you're...." Kirsten tilted her head, hoping Julie would read her well enough to get the point.

Apparently, she did. She nodded. "I know. But... Ryan and Marissa didn't work. You know that, I know that. I mean, it's good to have differences in personality in a relationship, but... they were too different, y'know?"

Kirsten nodded. "I just... didn't want to bring it up."

Julie nodded her understanding. "I miss her, Kiks. So much. I've never missed anybody this much. But... I can talk about her now without completely breaking down."


"But anyway... you and Ryan." She raised her eyebrows slightly. "You do have a thing for him... don't you?"

Kirsten drew in her breath slowly and sighed it out, nodding and closing her eyes. "I'm a horrible person, aren't I?"

"Not at all. I mean... you guys have chemistry, you can't help that. Plus... the way he looks at you sometimes, Kirsten..." Julie placed a hand over her heart for emphasis. "I mean, Jesus. No woman could resist that."

Kirsten furrowed her brows, genuinely puzzled. "How does he look at me?"

Julie's eyebrows flew up. "You haven't noticed? Wow. Okay, well... he looks at you, like, sometimes you're just the center of his entire universe." She tilted her head. "Other times, I've seen him checking you out... like he probably wouldn't mind tearing your clothes off and taking you up against a wall somewhere..."

Kirsten blushed at the imagery. "Okay, I think I got it."

"And as far as the dream goes... I'm not huge on dream interpretation -- that was Marissa that liked all of that stuff, but... if I had to guess, I would think it means that you're afraid of losing Ryan before he knows how you feel."

"But he's part of the family."

Julie sighed exasperatedly now, rolling her eyes. "Kirsten, wake up." She started counting off on her fingers, holding them up one by one as she listed the reasons Kirsten should make her feelings known. "You're not related to each other -- not even close. He's insanely hot. And, he worships the ground you walk on." She put her hand down and shrugged. "What is there to lose?"

"Him!" Kirsten chuckled, a bit nervously now as she saw Ryan coming out of the poolhouse.

"Hmm." Julie pondered this. "Maybe that's what the dream was about."

Kirsten dropped her voice to a whisper as the patio door started to slide open. "Plus, I'm married!"

Julie just shrugged, and greeted Ryan brightly as he came inside.

Kirsten exchanged a look with him and then looked at her friend. Sometimes, Julie was the best person to talk to about situations like this.

Then again, sometimes she was the worst.


{x-posted to rystenlove}
thekiller00thekiller00 on August 24th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
Interesting start !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am curious to see what will happen next !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What happened to your other Ryan and Kirsten fics like The Dream Weavers and The Sleepless ???
a.regalish on August 24th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Interesting start !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yay, thanks! Glad you like it so far!

As for the others... LOL, I have NO idea what happened to those, hahahaha. The idea train seems to have de-railed. I'm hoping to at least get inspiration back on The Sleepless at some point, because that seems to be everyone's fave on ff.net and stuff.

thekiller00thekiller00 on August 24th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Interesting start !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you want. I could come up with some ideas for them. Maybe that will help.
a.regalish on August 24th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Interesting start !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's okay, but thank you for the offer. I have plenty of stuff planned out. It's just a matter of getting from A to B to C :)
login_failedlogin_failed on August 25th, 2007 12:42 am (UTC)
In all of the fiction I've read(not just O.C.), I've found that dream sequences almost eclipse AU stories. They offer a chance to delve into the innermost parts of a character's psyche. And you took an interesting, enthralling route into Kirsten's psyche. She subconsciously realizes that Sandy and Seth do not know Ryan as well as she does, as well as her fear of losing him.
You captured early season 4 Sandy really well, as he shows only the briefest of concerns about Kirsten.(When your wife wakes up screaming, you don't immediately fall back asleep.)You also captured the sisterly bond between Julie and Kirsten. When Julie isn't playing to Newport Society, she really is smart. This provides what Kirsten needs, an objective standpoint. I easily can see Julie telling Kirsten to go get Ryan or lose him to some other woman, no matter how subtly she may imply it.
Thanks for feeding my ever-growing Rysten addiction.
a.: MM; with the sun in your eyesregalish on August 27th, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

I agree; dream sequences are great. It's especially fun to write them, because you can get melodramatic without it necessarily being melodrama -- it's just the human psyche :D

And I will always love writing Julie and Kirsten; their best-friendship is quite bewildering, but so much fun.

Glad I could feed your Rysten addiction ;D

Part two will be finished soon!
pipetgirl2pipetgirl2 on August 25th, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC)
You write the Julie-Kristen friendship like no one else. Julie just kind of puts everything in perspective. Every woman needs a friend like that.

I loved this line..
"You haven't noticed? Wow. Okay, well... he looks at you, like, sometimes you're just the center of his entire universe."
...wow, just wow!

Sandy going back to sleep after Kristen's nightmare is so in character for early season 4 Sandy. Kristen definitely deserves someone better...possibly Ryan?? :)
a.: R/K; i'll never let this love fallregalish on August 27th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you! Julie and Kirsten have such a fun friendship; it makes it quite easy to write.

And it's my personal opinion that Julie sees every bit of what's between Ryan and Kirsten; and especially with the Luke thing, she'd probably be a huuuuge Rysten shipper ;)

Part two will be up soon!
(Anonymous) on September 20th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
it's me again ella!
awesome fic..
the nightmare really scared me..i just cant bear to see ryan die and kirsten crying..so sad!
enywayz..luv the kiki/juju conversation!they're like best friends 4eva!
a.: R/K; you are the sweetest thingregalish on September 22nd, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
Re: WOW!
Hi again! Sorry to scare ya with the nightmare, hehe, but I'm glad you like the fic so far!

I love writing the friendship between Julie and Kirsten. It's so baffling, and yet it works perfectly, lol!
(Anonymous) on September 22nd, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
Re: WOW!
hey its me again!

u know..people who write fics should actually be paid cuz like they write awesome stories and stuff..they should start like a fanfic company cuz it is awesome!
are u a writer?u r so talented!!^^