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13 June 2010 @ 10:04 pm
The Follow Through (Chapter Four) - Sequel to 'The Unexpected'  
Sorry it's getting out so late... I spent most of today kinda... drifting... mentally. I'm not really feeling my best today... thankfully? I have ALL of next week off work! So I sitll have a full 7 days before I ahve to go back to work... woohoo!

A quick reminded for those who didn't read/haven't recently reread 'The Unexpected': Anna is a megabitch in this universe. She delibrately stole Seth from Summer, and then rubbed Summer's nose in it that she was with Seth, and said horrible things to Summer. I love Anna, but in this universe... she's a bitch.


Chapter Four

When the group gathered in the Cohen kitchen heard the front door open they all sat up a little straighter, and Seth stood. A moment later Summer came in with a stumbling and still crappy looking Ryan leaning on her to stay upright.

"Hey," he muttered, not meeting anyone's gaze.

Kirsten got up and crossed to him, pulling him into a hug. "You scared us," she whispered.

"Sorry."

"It's okay," Kirsten said, soothingly smoothing his hair. "As long as we know you're okay."

"I'm an idiot," Seth repeated, shrugging.

"I'm not gonna argue with you on that one, man," Ryan said, smiling slightly.

"Are we okay?" Seth asked uncertainly.

"Don't know," Ryan replied. "And at this moment I don't particularly care. I just wanna lay down because Summer drives like a maniac and I've got the hangover to kill all hangovers."

"Come on, let's get you up to your old room, okay?" Sandy said, putting an arm around his son's shoulders and guiding him out of the kitchen and towards the stairs. "We'll make sure everyone leaves you alone for a few hours."

"Thanks, Sandy," Ryan mumbled, his gaze still fixed on the floor so he didn't notice the hurt expression on Sandy's face at being called by name instead of being called 'Dad'.

"Anytime, Kid," he said. "Though I gotta say, as your dad, I don't like having a hungover son."

"It's how I cope," Ryan said sitting down heavily. "Ask Summer, I explained it all to her years ago. When I drink, I forget the pain and the memories get all fuzzy. It's a good feeling."

"It's not a good habit," Sandy advised.

"This is the first time I've had anything to drink in 2 years, Sandy, just back off," Ryan snapped, though his annoyance almost immediately disappated. "Can I just get some sleep? I love Summer but I couldn't sleep with her talking at me."

"Sure," Sandy said. "We'll be downstairs if you need us."

Ryan didn't reply, just stretched out and rolled over, turning his back on Sandy, who sighed and left the room, leaving the door open a crack.

~~~~

"Is he okay?" Marissa was demanding of Summer. "What happened? Where was he?"

"He'll be fine once he gets sober, he was upset and got trashed with a friend, and somewhere safe," Summer answered in order. "Kirsten? Could I maybe get some water? I know you probably want me gone, like, now, but I'm totally parched from trying to get Chino to talk to me."

"Of course," Kirsten said. "How about a soda or some juice?"

"Juice would be great," Summer said, following her into the kitchen.

"And I don't want you gone," Kirsten added. "I don't know how you knew where he was, but you did, and you brought him home. That at least temporarily puts you back in our good graces," she said with a smile.

"Definitely does," Sandy said as he re-entered. "Where was he, Summer? He's not talking and I think we should know."

"He was somewhere safe," Summer said. "I... he told me years ago that he always went to this one place, this one person, when things got to tough, he ran to this friend, and they take care of him. He was drinking under the supervision of his sober friend, had a roof over his head and food in his stomach. But I don't think I should tell anyone where because it'll kinda ruin the whole 'safe place' vibe he feels about it. I don't wanna take that from him."

Sandy sighed. "You're sure it was a good place? He wasn't in danger?"

"Only from staying there forever," Summer said, shrugging. "His friend was taking good care of him..."

"Letting him get that drunk is taking care of him?" Kirsten asked.

"When he's being watched to make sure he doesn't over do it, yes," Summer said. "He was alert and stuff on the drive, he was giving me one word answers, but that's better than nothing. It's worse than his best, but..."

"It's better than nothing," Sandy echoed. "Is he really that unsure of us?" He asked Summer. "Ryan kept calling me Sandy."

"He's distancing himself," Summer said. "Another of his stupid coping mechanisms. He started doing it when I was talking to him at... his friend's. He was telling me what Seth said, and he started to call you guys Mom and Dad but he stopped himself and called you by name... he's being stupid. Let him get sober and I'm sure he'll come around. He'll start calling me a heartless bitch, and all will be back to normal."

"He won't call you that."

"Yeah, sure he won't," Summer said. "I should go..."

"Not until you explain what you said to me before you went to get him," Kirsten interrupted.

Summer sighed and glanced over her shoulder to make sure no one was eavesdropping. "Yes, okay? I was pregnant, and I had a miscarriage. When Anna and I got in that fight, and I fell in the pool and my stomach slammed into the side... I hadn't gotten the chance to tell Ry yet, and the baby died. I couldn't look at him without thinking about what I did."

"It wasn't your fault..." Kirsten started.

"I could have walked away from Anna when she started in on her crap again. But no, I stayed, and I insulted her, and we fought, and I fell, and I killed me and Ry's baby."

"Oh, honey," Kirsten said, wlaking voer and embracing the now crying girl. "Why didn't you tell us?"

"The whole 'Summer is not living here so you two can sleep together' speech?" Summer said. "You would have been mad at Ry, and at me..."

"Not mad," Sandy said. "A little disappointed, but..."

"You don't understand. That's worse, Sandy!" Summer said, pulling away from Kirsten's embrace. "You guys were better to me in that one year than my father ever was! And Ry loves you guys so much... the idea of you being disappointed in us..."

"But..."

"And the baby died, so what was the point?" Summer added, shaking her head.

~~~

People had started to drift out of the house and head to their own homes. Jimmy and Hailey stuck around, as did Seth and Marissa, but they stuck to the livingroom, knowing that there was a serious conversation going on in the kitchen.

"She doesn't belong here," Hailey said, slouching in her seat. "Not after how she stomped all over his heart."

"Uh, person who told him he was pitied, not loved, sitting right here," Seth said. "If Summer doesn't belong here, neither do I."

"And let's not even start on how I messed up when it came to him," Marissa added. "Spurning him when he'd been shot, anyone?"

~~~

"We shouldn't even be talking about this," she continued. "Ry can't find out. Ever. It would completely break his heart..."

"It broke his heart when you left," Hailey said angrily as she walked into the kitchen. "I don't think anything else you could say to him could be worse."

"Hailey..." Kirsten started.

"I'd rather not test that theory," Summer said. "I'm going. I did what I came here to do, I found Chino and I brought him home safe and sound. I can go back to New York, and all of you can pretend I never came back..."

"Good," Hailey said.

"Summer, don't go," Kirsten said.

"Ry's not going to want me here once he's sober again," Summer said, close to tears. "And if I'm here, he might accidentally find out what I did, and... he might not really hate me now, but... if he finds out what I did he will..."

"What did you do?" Hailey asked, taken aback by the heartbreaking sight of Summer struggling not to cry.

"I got in a fight with Anna, knowing I was pregnant," Summer said. "There, you drug it out of me. Ryan's baby died because I couldn't stop bitching at Anna. Happy?" she said, turning to leave only to come face to face with the last person she'd ever wanted to hear those words. "Ry?" she whispered.

Ryan was standing there, somehow looking confused and devastated all at once. "What are you talking about, Summer?" he asked. "What baby?"

"The pool, Ryan, when I got in the fight with Anna and I fell... I was going to tell you that day, but Anna was there, and I... I fell..." Summer said, sobbing as she repeated the story for the third time that day. "I killed our baby, and I... I'm so sorry..." She tensed up as he moved closer, but what happened next took her totally by surprise.

To Be Continued...
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on June 14th, 2010 06:48 am (UTC)
Damn cliffhangers ! I hate them but it's a double edged sword in the sense that it makes me want to read more.

I wasn't expecting Ryan to find out about the whole misscarriage thing so fast, but I can see now that you weren't kidding when you said things were going to happen fast.

I like Anna as well. but as for her being a bitch in this universe, its interesting because you don't see her act like that in a lot of fics.
60schic60schic on June 14th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
Am totally loving this. Keep up the good work.
chrisearchrisear on June 14th, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
great update