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25 July 2009 @ 10:28 pm
Fic: I'm Trying To Be Somebody, I'm Not Trying To Somebody Else  
This is set in the same universe as Say What You Need To Say, which was the one where Ryan had to chose between a famly vacation to France, including a reuniuon with Taylor, or a Summer Program in New York City that could be a big thing for his future career.

When Ryan got home to Berkeley three months later, Kirsten was waiting for him at the airport, but Sandy was nowhere to be seen. "Is he still mad?" Ryan asked quietly after Kirsten had given him a hug and commented on his slightly shaggy hair.

Kirsten sighed. "He's not mad, he never was..."

"So... the Nana hallucinated him calling her from France and spending an hour talking about how he didn't understand what was going through my head?" Ryan asked.

Kirsten linked her arm through Ryan's as they hearded for the luggage carousel. "He just doesn't understand why you suddenly wanted to go to New York instead of Paris."

"It wasn't 'suddenly', Kirsten," Ryan said. "I never really wanted to go to Paris, I wanted to go to New York. But Sandy started in on how I shouldn't put so much pressure on myself, and I shouldn't spend my vacation taking more classes in a strange city where I don't know anyone... I let it get to me." He shrugged, grabbing his duffel as it came around. "But Professor Deacon bought me the ticket to New York and told me that he thought I'd enjoy the program, and he wanted me to do whatever was best for me. And this program was what was best for me."

"Did you enjoy it?"

"Yeah, I did."

"Did you learn lots?"

"A ton," Ryan said, smiling.

"That's what's important," Kirsten said. "Now, did you take pictures?"

Ryan laughed, nodding. "Yeah. There's even some video courtesy of a friend."

"You made some friends?"

"Yeah," Ryan said. "They put us in the dorms at NYU, paired each of us with a regular student, and the guy I was rooming with, Nate, is a New York native, he showed be around, introduced me to his friends. It was pretty cool."

"It's good to know you didn't spend the whole time studying."

"Even if I had, the work was fun," Ryan said. "And the professor for it pulled me aside and told me that when I graduate, I should get in touch about a job."

"Ryan, that's great! I'm so proud of you, honey," Kirsten said. "Sandy will be, too."

"I hope so," Ryan said, nodding.


Sandy didn't want to admit it, but there had been a sort of change in Ryan. A good change. He was more confident in himself, in his interaction with people. He was more open about things, spending hours talking to Kirsten about the class, and about his friends in new York, how'd he'd gone to concerts in Central Park, and hung out at The Cloisters. How he'd spent hours combing used book stores with a guy named Dan, and then arguing about the books with him. How he'd helped build the stage for a charity fashion show, and how he'd once spent a friday night sitting on a roof with a friend, talking about overly dramatic high school experiences and how those moments could turn them into better people.

But he was still upset about Ryan's sudden change of heart at the beginning of the summer, about the sudden abandonment of their family trip to do school work all summer. Except apparently Ryan had spend plenty of time doing other things, and Sandy began to wonder if Ryan had even really gone to the class, he seemed to have had an awful lot of free time for such an in depth course.

His queries were answered by an NYU Professor that called Ryan the consumate profesional when it came to classes, always showing up on time or early, particpating, asking questions if he wasn't clear on something, and going above and beyond on assignments. It turned out that the classes were almost entirely in the morning, so Ryan had his afternoons and evenings, as well as all day on the weekend, to do what he wanted. Sandy felt chastized simply by the glowing praise the professor heaped on Ryan, but that was nothing compared to how he felt a few days later when Ryan slipped into the back of his class near the end of the day, expression dark.

"I'll see everybody tomorrow," Sandy said as the class ended, his eyes staying on Ryan as the students filtered out, even when he answered a few questions. Finally, the class was empty and Ryan came down. "Hey, Kid..." Sandy began.

"You thought... what, exactly? That I bailed on France only to drop out of a program that could make or break my career?" Ryan asked.

"I just wanted to..."

"Professor Mitchell told Professor Deacon about you asking if I ever showed up for class because it sounded like I did 'nothing but party'," Ryan said. "If you'd shown up at the airport you would have heard everything I told Kirsten about my classes. And if you'd bothered to come into the room and sit down, you would have heard me telling her about how much I learned, and how I'm more sure now than I was before that this is what I want to do with my life." Ryan shook his head. "Professor Mitchell also happens to own an Architectural Design Firm, and he offered me a job once I graduate, Sandy. You till think all I did was party and goof off? I worked my ass off, I put everything I had into that class, and I recharged by hanging out with people who don't have expectations for me."

"What is that suppose to mean?" Sand demanded.

"It means that everyone, especially you, and Kirsten, and Seth, expect something from me. You expect me to be a certain person, and to say cetain things, and to always watch Seth's back," Ryan looked away, running a hand through his hair. "I'm not Seth's watcher anymore, I'm not his bodyguard and his pound puppy best friend. And the thing is? I kinda figured out over this past summer that I never should have been."

"You weren't..."

"Really? Because I certainly remember a lot of times when I was told to watch out for Seth, to keep him safe. Did you ever tell him to kep me safe?" Ryan asked. Then sighed. "But I'll bet you told him to keep me from getting in trouble and kicking anyone's ass."


"I love you guys, you're my family, but... I'm not gonna be a doormat who lets everyone else decide what I want. I know what I want, Sandy, and I'm working to get it. And... and I want you to be there to see it when I do, but... I'm not gonna bend to your whim and do what you expect and want. I'm done being that person."

"What happened?" Sandy asked.

"What do you mean?"

"You're like different person."

Ryan sighed. "I spent every night that first week fielding calls from Seth about how he'd screwed up with Summer again, and about how it was my fault because I didn't come with you guys, and I needed to fix it... You know when that stopped, Sandy? My roommate heard my half of the conversation and when I hung up he made me leave the phone and go out with him and his friends. Some guy I'd known a week could tell how fucked up my ralationship with Seth is, when no one else, not even me, could." He rubbed a hand over his eyes. "I'm so tired of being expected to fix everyone else's messes. I just... I decided that I want to be Ryan Atwood, College Student. Not Ryan Atwood, Hero Complex Guy."

"I don't think I've ever heard you say so much at once."

"Do you know how much it hurt to find out that you thought so little of me?" Ryan asked. "That you thought I'd lied about my classes?"


"Your opinion is pretty much more important to me than anyone else's, and you... you don't believe in me."

"Of course I..."

"You sure aren't acting like it," Ryan said. "I've gotta get to class."


"I'll talk to you later, Sandy."

The End

Sandy sure knows how to put his foot in his mouth... or maybe both feet... up to the knees... and someone else's foot tossd in for good measure...

I like the idea of Ryan finding his confidence and being able to stand up for himself and say "No, enough, I'm won't be anyone's doormat or fix-all guy anymore." Even if it breaks his heart to say it to Sandy, the first person who ever had faith in him. Like he said in this one, he loves the Cohens, they're his family, and he wants them there when he makes it, but he's not gonna sacrifice himself to make sure they're happy with his chosen path in life.

I have this random funny image, thanks to my love for the song, of Ryan being drug out to a place that does Kareoke, and then he's pulle dup onto the stage and he and his friends all talk turns singing 'Gives You Hell' by The All-American Rejects... I particularly picture Brooke dragging him up there... and she's singing towards Lucas while Ryan is singing towards... well... most of his ex-girlfriends... lol... maybe he's all reluctant at first, muttering his way through it, but at the chorus he gets into it... lol
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Gives You Hell - All-American Rejects
Kat: Father & Sonkatwoman76 on July 26th, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
I really hope, Sandy stops being a stupid ass and goes back to being a supportive proud dad. These two at odds always hurts my snowglobe-heart.
Love the supportive way of Kirsten here and how Ryan is so open and confident and clearly had a great time and made the right decision for himself.
chrisearchrisear on July 26th, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
great update
finleefinlee on July 26th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
I love that Ryan found himself in New York at the architecture program. Too bad for Sandy that he couldn't figure that out. And Ryan Atwood got to confront Sandy about his stupidy and questioning Ryan's time in NY. Not sure if Ryan, hero complex boy would have.
60schic60schic on July 26th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
Excellent! You showed Ryan with Kirsten, and Ryan with Sandy. I think you know with whom the next section must be! And it's NOT Taylor.
jujuberry136jujuberry136 on July 26th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
I love that the program gave Ryan some time to recharge and let him think about his life and his place in the Cohen family. Love the self-confident!Ryan and while I'm pissed at Sandy for being an idiot, I'm keeping my fingers crossed he'll be able to see what a great experience this was for Ryan :D