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20 January 2009 @ 04:12 pm
New Fic: Controlling Cohens  
So... I was working on the next part of 'Good Enough' (The OC/Brothers & Sisters crossover), and my mind kinda clicked to how in B&S there's this kinda running thing about how the siblings keep getting sucked back into living with mom, like most recently Justin had moved back home and in a recent ep the other sibligns were giving him a hard time about it, but then it clicked to how the Cohens had both Ryan and Seth living at home in Season 4 and how they fought so hard to get Ryan to come home, and while obviously it was because he needed the emotional support of being there, it kinda... well... Read the subject line and you might be able to guess... lol

Please don't ask how the crossovers happened, I didn't plan it until I was writing and suddenly there they were... lol

Obviously I don't think this is even remotely the true motives of the Cohens, but... the idea struck and I kinda liked it... so... I think this one will be tentively titled, for the sake of reference until/if I come up with a title (and I probably will come up with something better, I'm jsut tired right now so... nothing comes to mind):



Ryan didn't talk about his family, no matter how much his roommate and classmates asked. The most anyone ever got out of him was that he didn't really talk to them anymore, and that he had his reasons for that, but he'd never explain why, or even when, he'd cut off contact. After a while, they stopped asking, and just tried to ignore how paranoid he could be if he saw someone looking his way for longer than a few seconds.

There was one time, about a month after school started, that Ryan made a call from the payphone in the dorms, his half of it hushed as he asked quietly about someone named Seth, and whether anything had changed since he'd left, but he'd just looked sadder than before as he'd said goodbye and hung up.

Ryan didn't have a cellphone, and his e-mail address didn't really seem to fit him, too introspective for someone who refused to reveal much of anything about himself unless it had to do with class. And in class he was quiet, listening intently and never really speaking up or asking questions.

Or at least that's what they thought.

It was Zoe who witnessed Ryan finally snap, yelling at a professor for making a freshman girl cry and telling him he was a self righteous bastard.

"I'm telling you, the entire class went silent," Zoe reported to the others over lunch, all of their gazes locked on the doors, waiting for Ryan to arrive for lunch. "Even Professor McKay was stunned, he kept opening and closing his mouth like a fish or something."

"What'd he do?" Clara asked, awed. "I mean seriously, everyone in the Sciences is scared of McKay! What did he do?"

"He dismissed class early and told Ryan to meet him in his office," Zoe said.

"And that was the last anyone ever saw of Ryan Atwood," Jamie said with a dramatic sigh.

"Atwood's a dead man," Zoe agreed, nodding. "But he died doing good," she added. "So I suggest we toast his memory tonight."

"You're not old enough to drink."

They all looked up, surprised, as Ryan dropped into the chair beside Zoe, looking a little worse for wear, but nowhere near as bad as they'd expected.

"How long before the deadly toxin McKay injected kills you?" Zoe asked, taking a sip of her coffee. "God, this stuff sucks," she added with a sigh. "I'd kill for a Vinspresso."

"He's not as bad as you guys make him out to be," Ryan said with a sigh. "He basically told me that he was trying to get her to either stop being a meek little girl and be the brilliant woman her test scores say she is, or give up and stop wasting his time by dropping the class. Then he told me that if I ever pull that in his class again, he'll show me exactly why he has the reputation he does."

"How much will it cost me to get you to do it again?" Zoe joked.

"There's not enough money in the world," Ryan said, reaching over and snagging her coffee.

"Hey!" Zoe protested.

"You said it sucks, so I'm saving you from having to choke it down," Ryan mocked. "Besides, I have a high tolerance for bad food and worse coffee. This stuff has nothing on Hospital coffee, truck stop coffee, and 24 hour diner coffee at 4 in the morning," he said.

"Spend a lot of time in those places?" Jamie asked.

"What can I say? I like bad coffee," Ryan replied, taking a sip, then grimacing. "Zo, what the hell did you do to this?"

"It's Rasperry Triple Chocolate Mocha Deluxe," Zoe said, snagging it back. "The flavor makes it almost tolerable!"

"I don't wanna be around when you come off that sugar high, Zoe," Ryan said, getting up again. "I've got Mechanical Engineering with Hansen in 5, see you guys later."

~~~

Ryan was in the middle of one of McKay's classes on Practical Ethics (more popularly known as the 'When is it okay to kick peoples asses and when is it better to play nice' Class), specifically in the middle of arguing with a kid who believe anyone not 'American' was untrustworthy about whether or not it was okay to kill a guard to save hostages (Chris said no because the guard was just following orders, Ryan said that it was okay in some specific circumstances, not that anyone should make a habit of killing people), when the door at the back of the classroom opened.

"This is a closed class, no auditing," McKay barked.

"We're hear to see one of your students," came the reply, and Ryan tensed up immediately, snapping the pencil in his hand in half.

"Ry?" Zoe asked, putting a hand on his forearm and feeling how he was shaking. "Ryan?"

Ryan didn't respond to her, just turned and looked up at the door, at Sandy and Kirsten standing there with Seth a little behind them. "I have nothing to say to any of you," he said, his voice trembling on the first word, but almost growling out the last.

"Ryan, come otuside, now," Kirsten said.

"No," Ryan replied.

"Do you really want to cause a scene in front of your classmates?" Sandy asked.

"You clearly did or you wouldn't be here," Ryan repleid, standing up and placing more space between him and then. "Wasn't the fact that I took off in the middle of the night with all my stuff and never got in touch a big enough clue that I wanted nothing to do with any of you or your fucked up little control games?"

"Now, Ryan," Kirsten ordered.

"Get out of my classroom," McKay barked. "I won't tolerate any of my students being harassed."

"We're his parents!" Kirsten snapped.

"No, you're not," Ryan snapped right back. "You gave up the right to ever call yourselves that when you turned out to be more fucked up and self serving that Dawn Atwood ever was! I told you I wasn't going to Berkeley and you fucking locked me in the poolhouse until I told you I'd 'reconsidered' just so you'd let me out!"

"Out, now," McKay said, his voice turning low and dangerous as he regarded the Cohens.

"This isn't any of your..."

"My students and my classroom are my business. If you disrupt my class, if your disrupt the life of one of my few students who actually has a good chance of passing, then you are becoming not only their problem, but my problem," McKay said, slowly walking towards them. "And you don't want to know how I tend to handle my problems."

"Let's go," Sandy said, taking Kirsten's arm. "We'll finish our conversation later, Ryan," he added.

As soon as the door was closed, McKay moved back to the front of the class and looked around the stunned faces of his class. "Where were we?" he asked.

"Aren't you going to say something about what just happened?" Chris asked, staring at Ryan.

"They like getting their way," Ryan said, his voice flat. "I didn't do what they wanted, so I got put on their shit list."

"It's gotta be more than that!" Chris protested.

"It's none of your fucking business," Ryan snapped.

"Ethics!" McKay bellowed. "Is it okay to kill a man guarding a group of hostages in order to save them. Ryan, you were in the middle of explaining your point of view."

Ryan nodded gratefully, moving back to his seat, relieved when Zoe just touched his arm reassuringly instead of pushing. "Yes, the guard was probably ordered to watch the hostages and could have faced serious consequences if he didn't. Yes, he may even have been forced to join the military or whatever other group he's working for under threat of serious consequences. But he still has free will and he still chose to follow the orders. I mean, I wouldn't just go in shooting, I'd try to get some intel on whether this guard might be willing to look the other way, or if I could knock him out but not kill him I'd rather do that, but if it's a group of innocent people, I couldn't leave them there to possibly die horrible deaths when I could end it quickly by killing a single guard."

"Anyone else have thoughts on this topic?" McKay asked, looking around.

~~~

"I was 15," Ryan said later, after most of the class had emptied out, leaving him, Zoe, and McKay behind. "My dad and brother were in jail, my mother had kicked me out, and I had nowhere to go. Sandy was my public defender thanks to my brother getting me in trouble, and... and I was scared. I didn't wanna be homeless, so I called him, and they took me in. It was great."

"What changed?" Zoe asked.

"At first, I thought Seth didn't have friends because... well... he's a total idiot sometimes. But then... I started noticing the little things. There was this girl he liked, Summer, but she... Kirsten didn't like her, so when she found out, she started taking every chance she had to point out every flaw in Summer, from looks to personality, everything she could possibly find and some that I don't think we're even real things. And Seth started to hate Summer, too. It was weird, but... I didn't really get it, you know? I thought Kirsten was just looking out for him."

"But then you started to realize it was something else," McKay said, not a question but a statement.

"I liked this girl, Marissa," Ryan said. "And she claimed to like me, but she kept completely stomping all over my heart. And every time Kirsten would push me to get back together with her, even though Marissa's mom hated me. I didn't figure it out until later, when I heard them talking and found out that Kirsten wanted me to date Marissa because Marissa would want to stay in the whole Newport Bubble and if I was with her, I'd stay, too. I wasn't allowed to leave that bubble except for Berkeley, since they were moving there, too."

"They wanted to keep you close?" Zoe said. "It sounds creepy and a little controlling, but... not 'make Ryan show emotion' level stuff."

"When I told them about the other schools I got into," Ryan began. "I barely got out MIT before Kirsten forbade me from going anywhere but Berkeley. And Sandy tried to go the 'reasonable' tract, telling me that Berkeley would be the best possible college experience for me, and Seth butted in about how he and I could share a dorm and watch eachothers backs and... and I told them I wasn't going to Berkeley, it didn't have the kind of science program I was interested in."

"What happened?" McKay asked, his voice almost gentle, like he was trying not to spook a wild animal, and under different circumstances, Ryan would have laughed.

"Kirsten started yelling that no, I was going to Berkeley and that was final. And that my only choice was to live with them at their new house there or share an apartment with Seth, and I kept saying that I wasn't going to Berkeley, because I think that's when I started to figure out that if I didn't get the hell away from them then, I never would. So, I left the table and went to the poolhouse... I'd been living there since I moved in, it was my room... well, Sandy came out and he told me to reconsider, that Berkeley was the best school for me, and all that kinda bullshit. And I just kept saying no. So he said I could come out when I was 'thinking more clearly', and he locked the doors. He locked me in for the whole weekend, they even called me in sick to school, and I started freaking out, so I told them I'd thought about it, that I wanted to go to Berkeley after all, and they made me throw out all the acceptance letters except for Berkeley. But I'd already hidden two of the letters, NYU and Braxton, so they didn't know about them."

"And you just... left?"

"No," Ryan said. "I planned."


Three Years Earlier

"I need your help," Ryan said as he sat on a desk across from Summer, seeing the horror on her face after he'd finished telling her about what had been going on for the last 3 years, and how it had progressively gotten worse.

"What's in your savings?" Summer asked, grabbing a notebook and starting to make a list.

"A couple thousand from working," Ryan replied. "Maybe $5,000?"

"Okay... I know you've got a lot of pride, Chino, but... will you let me give you some money?"

"Summer..."

"My dad's gardener is selling his truck, let me buy it for you," Summer said. "Use your money to get yourself to the other side of the country to one of those other schools, get yourself set up there with a life. All you gotta do in return is call or e-mail every so often so I know you're okay. I'll even set up an E-mail account for you."

"Why?" Ryan asked quietly. "I mean, seriously? After the stuff Seth started saying about you..."

"Because you came to me," Summer replied, reaching out to take his hand. "You've gotta be desperate to ask for help, Chino, so there is no way I'm turning you down."

"Thank you," Ryan replied.


"She got me the truck, and she broke her promise once, she told her dad what was going on when he found out aboutt he truck, but when I told him the whole story, he promised not to tell them anything, and he said he'd be a personal reference if I needed one for a job or an apartment, and made me promise that if I needed anything, I would call and ask," Ryan said. "He said that Sandy and Kirsten were suppose to be my parents, but since they couldn't seem to do that, he would. Only Summer and her dad knew where I was until last year."

"What happened last year?" Zoe asked, clasping Ryan's hand in her own.

"I called Summer and left a message on her machine telling her to call me back," Ryan said. "Her stepsister was visiting her, though, and she heard it."

"Could the stepsister have..."

"No," Ryan said firmly. "Kaitlin wouldn't do that, not after... I told her everything, and she swore she wouldn't tell anyone anything. She said she'd been wondering because the Cohens hadn't been worried about where I'd gone, they'd completely freaked. They'd started saying I'd lied to them, and accusing me of stealing from them, but they wouldn't call the cops. Even Kaitlin's mom, who'd been best friends with Kirsten, stopped hanging aorund them because they were getting so irrational. And then Seth went to Newport College instead of Berkeley because they couldn't find a house in Berkeley before classes started. So Kaitlin knew they were messed up, and she promised."

"I don't think I've ever heard you say so much at one time," Zoe said lightly, combing her fingers through his hair in a calming gesture.

"Will they give up and go away?" McKay asked.

"Maybe," Ryan said. "But I doubt it. Kirsten actually said I 'belonged' to them a couple times between the Berkeley fight and when I took off. Like I was a piece of property."

McKay nodded, frowning. "I'm giving you my cell number," he finally said. "If they keep showing up, call me."

"No offense, ebcause you were totally awesome during class," Zoe said. "But what exactly can you do about it if they do?"

"I may not be able to do much, but I have many friends who are ex and current military," McKay said, holding out the peice of paper with the number. "The world needs more brilliant minds, and I won't let those idiots destroy one before it gets a chance to fully develop."

"Don't worry, we won't let it get out that you're human," Zoe said with a smirk.

"Good, or I'd have to prove otherwise by destroying you entirely," McKay sneered, though beneath it there was a twinkle of amusement in his eyes.

"Thanks," Ryan said quietly, getting up.

"Make him call if there's problems," McKay told Zoe.

"Sure," Zoe agreed, wrapping her arm around Ryan's waist.

To Be Continued...

So yes... crack-tastic AU weirdness...

But seriously, if you take stuff from the show and listed it without lengthy explaination, it COULD be taken as signs of controlling/abusive behavior.... obviously I added some stuff (Like Kirsten not liking Summer and insulting to the point that Seth began to hate her, too), but...

Ryan having a job during the summer (They'd know exactly where he was during thsoe times, wouldn't they?)
Not letting the boys have a car (So they have to ask permission to go anywhere that required a vehicle)
Pushing Ryan to Marissa constantly (So he wouldn't be able to breka free of Newport)

Kirsten's anger that the boys were gone during the Summer Of Chino & Portland and her insistance that Sandy bring them home (She'd lost control, and by making Sandy do the dirty work, she got to be the sympathetic one)
Kirsten lashing out at the intervention (It was just as much about Ryan defying her by continuing to date Lindsay after she'd expressed her duispleasure about it as it was about anything else)
Staying away after leaving Rehab (So they'd be grateful when she came home)
Ryan's internship at Newport Group (Again, they'd know where he was)

Yeah, that's a small list, and focuses maiunly on Kirsten being controlling, but you get the idea... lol... like I said, I obviously don't really see them as being controlling on the show, but... the idea sparked and was too good to ignore. Plus, Ryan angst is always good, as is seeing him rely on others.

I don't know why, but I have this mild obsession with the idea of Dr. Neil Roberts being on Ryan's side when things go sideways. He is in 'Never Again', and he is here. And I think Neil, Summer, and Kaitlin are defintiely a trio to have in Ryan's corner.

Zoe is Zoe Carter from Eureka
McKay is Dr. Rodney McKay from Stargate: Atlantis (And he references Sheppard, Lorne, Ronon, ect. when he mentions friends who are/were military).
Jamie is loosely modeled on an original character of mine from an original webseries (Jamie Bowen of 'Heaven Falls'... although that JB will most likely go into medicine, not physics)
Clara is loosely modeled after antoher OC of mine, this time from a webseries that amy never see the light of day (Clara Thomasino from 'Hood Point', though that CT will most likely go into activism).

Oh! Zoe's coffee flavor? Totally made up, but that's what happens when I spend all day listening to people order their lattes from us as though we're Starbucks. We don't have 'Tall', 'Vente', and 'Grande' as sizes. We are simple folk who have 'Small', 'Medium', and 'Large'. Where on out sign does it say 'Starbucks'? And do not look at us like we're idiots when we say "What is that in non-Starbucks speak?" with cheerful smiles. It's not our fault that you think an orange sign with a winged hammer (the coffee is Hammer brand, and the cups are biodegradable... so... yeah... that's the logo) is the same thing as the Starbucks symbol. We. Are. Not. Starbucks. So I'm mildly annoyed at coffee ordering people right now, and felt like mocking slightly... why get coffee if you're gonna load it with so damn much flavor you can't taste the COFFEE? Seriously, can someone explain this to me? There are other sources of caffeine that aren't coffee! And i think it defeats the purpose of getting decaf because 'caffeine isn't good for you' if you then get it with an extra shot of Chocolate sauce (not flavored syrup, actually chocolate sauce, like the kind you put on Ice Cream) which, guess what? Has CAFFEINE in it!

Ahem... rant over... lol... sorry...
 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Burning Bridges - Chris Pureka
 
 
 
brucasnaleyfan1brucasnaleyfan1 on January 20th, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
Oh I really liked this, and I liked the idea too and when you mention all that stuff it could totally be looked at as controlling/abusive behavior

Can't wait for the next part of Good Enough
Maramissmara on January 20th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear you liked it!

I'll probably edit and post the next part of Good Enough when I get home today... It may be in a draft file of Hotmail (where I wrote this one... lol) but I can't remember and I've got like 5 minutes before I have to go catch my ride, so... no time right now... lol...
jujuberry136jujuberry136 on January 21st, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
I like the idea and the execution a lot! Obviously in canon the Cohens are like this, but that's what AUs are for!

I LOVED the inclusion of McKay. You always have such awesome McKay and Ryan interaction...*grins*

Thanks for sharing. I hope this story continues to interest you- I'd love to read more in this 'verse.
Maramissmara on January 21st, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
I don't know why McKay and Ryan are a duo I'm drawn to... they have nothing in common (Ryan would NEVER go off on rants about how everyone around him are idiots, even if they really were!) except for being smart, but... somehow I just see them as mostly getting along. Ryan would be one person, besides the members of AR-1, who wouldn't be afraid to tell McKay to stop being an ass and just shut up... lol... Ryan would actually stand up to McKay, which McKay would of course completely respect him for, even as he verbally tore Ryan a new one for doing it... lol

I think it will continue to interest me... It's a fun universe to play in... with Evil Cohens who don't have remorse (even in Never Again, Sandy regrets everything! But not here! They think they are right and Ryan is wrong, and that's all there is to it!)... and Ryan with his circle of friends who (mostly) don't know his story, but are still his friends because they like who he is... and McKay to stand up and give a verbal beatdown in Ryan's defense... and this universe makes me grin!
ocmissocmiss on January 21st, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
I must say that this was a really twisted crack fic lols !!
But it is really believable and makes sense in a way...

PS: can't wait for Good Enough too !!
Maramissmara on January 21st, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
Thanks! Once the idea came to me, I was going for really twisted and cracky! lol
nullsysnullsys on January 21st, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
Wow, I have to admit that it was a little shocking, but ok otherwise - Ryan angst is always great :)
60schic60schic on January 21st, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
Holy Crap! That was quite intense. I agree w/ the others that the seeds of this are in canon and this is plausible when viewed that way. I realy really hope that you will continue this---I'd like to see what the Cohen's next move is, and how Ryan handles it.
Maramissmara on January 21st, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
I plan on continuing it... there's a lot to explore in this universe... The Psycho!Cohens are not easily detered from getting Ryan back in the fold... but Ryan's 'family' (aka his friends and also McKay) is just as determiend to keep him... it's an irony thing, both sides consider Ryan to be 'theirs', but in the case of the Psycho!Cohens it's as property, while for Zoe/Clara/Jamie/McKay it's because they want him to be happy and safe and he won't be with the Psycho!Cohens...
fifimom on January 21st, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
I love it and I hope you do more with this. Thanks for sharing.
finleefinlee on January 21st, 2009 02:27 am (UTC)
Wow those Cohen's are nuts! Poor Ryan! I have to say, I've always had issues with Sandy. I can totally see him trying to control poor Ryan (I even attempted a story about that but lost it when my computer unexpectedly died).
Maramissmara on January 21st, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
The Psycho!Cohens are fun to write! Manipulative, harsh, demanding, controlling, terrifying... I love Sandy, honestly I do, but he had his true asshat moments and for some reason I keep wanting to write him as a villian... lol
dogsbody01 on January 30th, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)
What a damn good and delightfully twisted fic.You really did a good job,with the darkiside of the Cohen family.I look forward, to the next chapter.