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09 November 2009 @ 09:34 pm
Good Enough - Part Five  
I passed my NaNo minimum quota of words, and got my ass in gear to get this chapter done... some Ryan/Walker Sibling bonding, some Ryan/Nora bonding... He kind of has a meltdown in this one... but I like how it turned out. Still hoping my Walker voices remain true to character.


Good Enough - Part Five

"You want to talk about..." Kevin began once they were on the road.

"No," Ryan said, his voice flat.

"Ryan, is what he said..." Sarah said from 6the behind the wheel.

"I really don't wanna talk about it. Any of it," Ryan said.

"But..."

"Drop it, guys," Justin said from his seat beside Ryan in the back.

"Thanks," Ryan told him.

"Oh that's gonna maybe last the car ride, or if you're really lucky until tomorrow morning," Justin said. "Then they're gonna start again and nothing will make them stop."

"And then I can go get a hotel room because I'm not going to talk about it," Ryan replied, making sure he said it loud enough the older two could hear him.

"The more I know about Frank Atwood, the more I can help Kaitlin," Kevin said.

"I'll call my old social worker, get her to release a copy of my social services file to you," Ryan said. "It documents everything. And you should petition the Fresno Courts for the file concerning his arrest and conviction 11 years ago, it's public record, so there shouldn't be a problem there. And call Dawn Atwood in Albuquerque, ask her about how I fractured my skull when I was 4, but don't let her get away with saying I climbed a tree to copy Trey, that's just the bullshit story she told the cops and the doctors in the ER after the neighbor who was babysitting called an ambulance when I fell asleep and she couldn't wake me up."

After that, the car was silent for the rest of the ride, and when they got to the house, Kevin groaned because everyone seemed to be there. "We didn't do this," he said quickly, glancing back at Ryan.

"You guys run interference," Justin said as they climbed out. "I'll get Ryan safely hidden upstairs."

"I'm not on the run from people, guys," Ryan said with a sigh as they all got out of the car. "And I think, from what I've seen so far, it wouldn't have remained a secret that I was here for long."

"Are you saying we have big mouths?" Kevin asked.

"I'm saying you guys have serious boundary issues," Ryan replied.

"Ah, you'll learn to love us for it," Sarah said.

"Or at least learn to live with it," Justin said, patting Ryan's shoulder. "We don't butt in for the hell of it, you know."

"Hey, after 19 years of being ignored and/or lost in the shuffle of everyone else's drama, it's not entirely bad to be noticed," Ryan said.

"I think you'll regret saying that," Sarah said as they headed inside.

"There you..." Nora began, stopping when she saw that Ryan was with them. "What's wrong?" she asked instead, hurrying over.

"Long story," Sarah said.

"Mom, it's okay if Ryan crashes here tonight, right?" Justin asked, trying to convey to her how much she needed to say it was.

"I keep telling them I can get a motel..." Ryan began, rubbing a hand over his face.

"Nonsense! We have plenty of room," Nora said, hurrying to take over for her kids and lead Ryan upstairs. "Just get some sleep, and in the morning whatever is wrong won't seem so bad," she said.

"Somehow, I doubt that," Ryan said. "But... thanks."

"You're part of this family," Nora said firmly. "As crazy as we are, we take care of our family."

"Thanks," Ryan repeated.

"And if you need or want to talk about it..."

"Short version?" Ryan said. "Frank Atwood is the scum of the earth, he's hitting a 16 year-old girl I love like a sister, and he had my arrested for trespassing when I went to help her back some stuff so she could get out of that house. Kevin, Sarah, and Justin can fill you in on the rest," he concluded.

"Did he hit you?" Nora asked.

"Not tonight," Ryan replied.

"But other times."

"Yeah," Ryan said with a sigh. "I know what it's like growing up in a house with him, and with men like him, and I am not going to let Kaitlin live in fear in her own home. I can't do it, Nora. I can't just walk away when she needs my help. She's... she's family, no matter what."

"Okay, well, I'm sure Kevin can help her," Nora said.

"He's gonna drive me back to Newport tomorrow, and meet with Kaitlin to talk to her about her options," Ryan said. "He offered before I even asked."

"Because if it's important to you, it's important to him, to all of us," Nora said.

"I really don't get you, Nora," Ryan admitted, sitting down on the edge of the bed.

"Oh? What's not to get?" Nora asked.

"You have every reason in the world to hate me..."

"No I don't!"

"I'm the product of your husband cheating on you with an alcoholic junkie."

"And that is not your fault," Nora said as she sat down beside him. "I can be furious at him still, and I can hate your mother for having an affair with him, but I could never hate an innocent child, and that's what you were. You didn't ask to be born, you didn't force them to have an affair, and I could never hate you for something that wasn't your fault."

"He used to come by sometimes," Ryan said. "A couple times a year, William would come by wherever we were living. I didn't know who he was, or why he was so nice to us, or why Ma cared what he thought about the house, and how we looked... we always knew he was coming because she'd clean up, and she'd do a big load of laundry, and buy us some new clothes if our old ones were looking worn, and there'd be plenty of food and very little booze in the house."

"Did Trey know?" Nora asked, gently stroking his hair.

"I don't know how much he knew back then," Ryan said, shrugging. "Things are... complicated between us. We got in this huge fight a few years ago, and... it's complicated. I talked to him not too long ago, about all of this, and I know he found out at some point, but... it's weird talking to him, and I can't deal with seeing him yet."

"You're not alone, honey," Nora said. "You have two whole families that love you more than anything, and we are all here for you."

"Thanks," Ryan said.

"Stay tonight, and if you need to stay again tomorrow, or the next, or as long as you need to, you're more than welcome," Nora added. 'Okay?"

"Okay," Ryan agreed, offering her a small smile.

Nora returned the smile and gave him a kiss on the forehead before leaving the room and heading back downstairs, where all the kids were gathered in the kitchen. "He's fine," she said.

"I really don't think he is," Sarah said. "Mom, you didn't..."

"He told me about getting hit when he was little," Nora interrupted. "And he told me what happened tonight, and Kevin, you do whatever you have to to help that girl."

"I already planned on it," Kevin said. "Ryan said he was going to try and get her a job where he works, but I'm gonna talk to Scotty tonight, see if there's any openings at the restaurant, it's further away from Atwood, which is definitely a plus in my book."

"You should see if there's two openings and try to get Ryan to take a job here, too," Kitty said. "How dare Sandy Cohen embarrass him like that?"

"Like what?" Nora asked.

"As we were leaving the police station, he showed up," Sarah said. "And proceeded to treat Ryan like a child who couldn't run his own life at all, and... and said that apparently Ryan went a little off the rails at some point and lived in the backroom of a bar and did cage fighting."

"He what?!" Nora said.

"We don't know details of why," Sarah said quickly.

"But I'm gonna guess it has something to do with the reason he decided to defer college. And maybe the girl who died..."

"What girl?" Kitty asked.

"Again, scarce details," Sarah said. "He said something about Marissa Cooper, princess of Newport Beach, dying by the side of the road after they got in an accident."

"Wait," Kevin said. "Crap."

"What?" Nora asked.

"Cooper is Kaitlin's last name," Justin said, figuring it out at the same time. "Her older sister was Ryan's high school sweetheart. And Marissa Cooper died after she and Ryan got in a car accident."

"That explains a whole hell of a lot," Tommy said.

"So, what do we do?" Kitty asked. "How do we help him?"

"Well, I'm gonna help Kaitlin get emancipated," Kevin said. "That's one less thing to worry him."

"He knows he can stay here as long as he wants and any other time he needs to," Nora said. "And I will repeat that as many times as I have to in order to make him believe it."

"I'll make sure he has all over our numbers, in case he needs us," Justin said.

"We all make sure he knows we'll be there when he calls," Tommy agreed. "Same as we would for each other, because he's our baby brother."

~~~

When Ryan woke up, he was momentarily confused about where he was, then he remembered the previous day and groaned as he rolled over and pulled the covers up over his head.

"Yeah, all the discomfort of last night's confessions without the fun of getting drunk," Justin said from the doorway.

Ryan sat up, looking over at him. "How much does everyone know?" he asked.

"Everything you told us or mom last night," Justin said.

"Crap."

"Hey, trust me, we're all in your corner, little brother."

"You just like not being the youngest anymore," Ryan said.

"Maybe," Justin said. "And you like changing the subject."

"Damn straight," Ryan said.

"How are you doing today? Any less..."

"I'm not gonna move back into the backroom of a bar and go back to cage fighting," Ryan interrupted. "That was... circumstances."

"Dead girlfriend circumstances?" Justin asked.

"You guys should be detectives," Ryan said. "But Marissa wasn't my girlfriend when she died. We were off and on for three years, and we had ended up off, but trying to be friends. We'd finally managed the whole 'friends' thing after so many break ups and... and that's when she dies. So yeah, I kinda lost it for a while, went all self destructive."

"Hey, I'm not one to judge," Justin said. "I'm a drug addict," he admitted. "I haven't taken anything in a long time, but... for a while it was bad. I overdosed and almost died, I went to rehab... and let me tell you, Walkers visiting Rehab on family day? A very bad thing."

Ryan couldn't help laughing slightly.

"Trust me, you're not that big a fuck up, not when you look at all of us," Justin said. "My girlfriend? We used to think she was dad love child. And Kevin once dated the brother of Kitty's husband."

"And I thought dating my foster mom's stepsister and her half sister at various times was weird," Ryan replied.

"See? We out weird you," Justin said. "And we're on your side."

"You say it like that, and I'm not sure it's a good thing," Ryan said, though he offered a smile to show it was a joke.

"That's the spirit," Justin said. "What's your usual morning routine?"

"Run," Ryan admitted.

"I'll loan you some sweats, we'll go," Justin said.

"Thanks," Ryan replied.

To Be Continued...


And now I'm off to work on the next part of 'Beautiful World'... because the awesome hotness of Chuck/Ryan cannot be denied... lol
 
 
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60schic60schic on November 10th, 2009 04:55 am (UTC)
While I think I'd prefer to be homeless than bunk with the Walkers, I am enjoying this story ("I'm saying you guys have serious boundary issues," - ya think?!!)
jujuberry136jujuberry136 on November 10th, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
So weird that someone has actually out-weirded Ryan's Newport life. O_o

Thanks for the update!
garnigalgarnigal on November 10th, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC)
I so adore this crossover. The sheer overwhelmingness of the Walkers and Ryan's subtlety really seem to complement each other, which is what Ryan has always been missing. The Cohen's were overwhelming, but they encouraged Ryan to be more like them, rather than letting him find his own place in their lives.
Maramissmara on November 10th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
Exactly... the Cohens expected Ryan to conform. The Walkers want Ryan to open up, but they aren't gonna try to force him to change who he is. They want to know who he is now, they like who he is now, so it's kind of a different kind of overwhelming... in their case is ore overwhleming love/affection/attention, instead of the Cohens who offered overwhelming pressure...

Okay, I'm done... lol
dogsbody01 on November 21st, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
I3> Nora and her kids.Especially Nora,for letting Ryan know, that she doesn't hate him;because of William and Dawn.However,I would love to see,just what Nora(plus Kitty and Sarah),would be capable of doing to not only Dawn,but Kirsten and Julie, as well.If she were ever in the same room, as the three of them.Plus,I like the bonding between Justin and Ryan.Please keep up the good work.
KL: chuck and blairlving_darkness on August 26th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
I MISS THIS STORY SO MUCH.
I just went and re-read it all. I WANT MOAAAR.

But, srsly, I love all of your crossovers. They're all so good!