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14 June 2010 @ 10:05 pm
The Follow Through (Chapter Five) - Sequel to 'The Unexpected'  
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Chapter Five

Ryan surprised them all by crossing the room in two quick steps and pulling Summer into his arms, holding her as she sobbed against his shoulder and clutched at his shirt. "It's okay," he whispered in her ear, one arm wrapped around her back and the other gently holding her head against his shoulder. "It's okay Summer..."

Sandy gently took Kirsten and Hailey's arms, deciding it would be best for all involved if they left the pair alone. When they reached the doorway, Sandy had to gesture for Seth, Marissa, and Jimmy to go back to the living room. "It's between them," he said once they were out of hearshot of the kitchen. He wanted to go back himself, and try and help them, but he had a feeling that only Ryan and Summer could figure this new mess out.

"What's going on?" Marissa asked, her gaze locked in the direction of the kitchen, where they could all still hear muffled crying.

"They'll explain it if and when they decide to," Kirsten said, agreeing with her husband on the tract they needed to take.

A sob of pure pain echoed from the kitchen, and this time no one could stand to stay away, all of them racing for the kitchen at once. When they arrived, they didn't see anyone at first, but then they rounded the island and saw Ryan and Summer on the floor. Ryan was rocking them both back and forth, trying to soothe the now hysterical Summer, who's crying was becoming more pained every second.

"What on earth is going on here?" Caleb demanded as he entered the kitchen to find the scene.

Ryan looked up, his own tears threatening to spill over. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, then shook his head. He shifted position, whincing as Summer whimpered from the loss of contact, then he slid his arms around Summer's back and under her knees, picking her up and heading for the door, which Sandy hurriedly opened. Everyone watched as Ryan carried Summer to the poolhouse. He disappeared for a moment inside, then they saw him again as he locked the doors then started closing the blinds, his shoulders shaking the entire time.

"What is going on?" Caleb repeated, shaken by the scene he had just witnessed. "I came back as soon as I heard Ryan was missing..."

"Old news, grandpa," Seth murmured. "I wanna know why Summer just had a meltdown."

"It's between them," Sandy repeated.

~~~

Once he had all the blinds closed, Ryan turned back to the bed, where Summer lay curled up on her side, still sobbing. He paused for a moment, then went back to the bed and sat down beside her, not sure how to feel as she immediately wrapped her arms around his waist and clinging to him for dear life. "Sum..."

"I was gonna tell you," she said, looking up. "I went to the doctor, and... and he confirmed it... but when I got back, Anna was here. And she started in on... on everything and I got so mad at her... I should have walked away, I should have just walked away, but I was so mad..."

"You were pregnant?" Ryan asked, still trying to process the information.

"It's all my fault... I killed our baby because I didn't walk away..."

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"I was going to... but then... then Anna..."

"After, Summer, why didn't you tell me after?"

"I didn't want you to hate me..."

"So you told me you didn't love me? That you never did?"

"I lied..."

"Why, Summer? Why couldn't you trust me to love you?"

"I was scared..."

Ryan gently pried Summer's arms from his waist and flinched as she shrunk back, clearly thinking he was angry. Instead, he layed down beside her and pulled her close against his chest again. "I love you, Summer. Nothing could make me stop. Nothing."

"I'm so sorry..."

"Do you love me?" Ryan asked quietly.

"Always," Summer replied. "I love you."

~~~

As the hours passed with Ryan and Summer sequestered in the pool house, everyone else became more and more worried. The pair had seemed so fragile before, on the verge of breaking into a million pieces. And to make matter worse, Sandy, Kirsten, and Hailey still refused to tell anyone what was happening.

Finally, the pool house door opened and Ryan and Summer stepped out, Summer still clinging to Ryan's side but on her own two feet. Seth opened the door for them this time, and they hesitated as they stepped inside, knowing everyone wanted answers but not sure if they were ready to give them. Finally, Summer spoke in a small voice. "Three months before graduation, when I had that fight with Anna... I miscarried Ryan and I's baby. That's why I broke up with him and went to New York, I couldn't tell him what I let happen."

"Oh Sum," Marissa said, going to her best friend's side and hugging her. "Everyone knows Anna started that fight, she tried to hit you first, too, and she pushed you into the pool... it wasn't your fault."

"See? I told you," Ryan said to Summer, stroking her hair.

"Now being stupid and dumping Ryan because of it, that's all on you," Marissa continued, smiling so the words wouldn't seem so harsh.

Summer laughed slightly, and leaned against Ryan for the reassurance that he forgave her. "Stupidest decision ever," she agreed. "That's why I'm going to come back to Newport, transfer to UCLA for the rest of the year."

"We decided to try to... to be together again," Ryan said, kissing the top of Summer's head. "I offered to transfer to NYU, but..."

"I'd rather be near family anyway," Summer concluded.

"That's great, Sum," Marissa said.

"Until you find a place, you're welcome to stay in the poolhouse, Summer," Kirsten said. "You're always welcome to stay here."

"Thanks, Mrs. Cohen," Summer said. "I'd like that."

"You realize that it took some talking to convince UCLA not to kick you out for leaving like you did, don't you, Ryan?" Caleb said, butting in.

"He's exagerating," Marissa siad. "*I* talked to your professors and explained that you were going through some things and needed to get away and think so you could figure some things out, and they all said you were doing so well they were sure you could catch up in no time."

"Well he did worry everyone," Caleb muttered. "Had us all convinced he was laying in a gutter somewhere..."

"Seth was convinced," Marissa corrected. "And maybe you. The rest of us assumed he just needed time to think. Maybe went to Texas like he was going to years ago, before the model home."

"Okay, I've heard of talks of 'the model home' a million times over the years," Hailey said. "What the hell is that about?"

"No one ever told you that I burned down one of the Newport Group's model homes?" Ryan asked, surprised.

"Luke burned it down!" Marissa, Seth, and Summer all protested. "He's the one who decked you and made candles fall over and ignite the place," Marissa added. "All because he was jealous."

"But how did that end up happening?" Hailey asked Ryan. "Why were you and Luke in the model home?"

"I've always wondered that myself," Caleb said.

"I knew I was about to get shipped off to a foster home, and I didn't want that, so I was gonna take off and Seth came up with the idea of me staying in the model home, since the project had been stalled. And then a couple nights later Luke followed Marissa there and decided to beat me up for messing around with his girl."

"Even though nothing happened at all," Marissa said.

"Luke was an idiot back then," Summer said. "He changed though."

"I think suddenly being an outcast like the rest of us helped with that," Seth said.

"I have one more thing I want to know," Caleb said.

"What?" Ryan asked, his tone a mix between annoyance, tiredness, and amusement.

"Where on earth did you go that no one found you?"

"Summer didn't tell you guys?" Ryan asked, glancing down at her.

"I thought it was better if that stayed your 'safe place' to go, where no one knew to find you, at least until you decided to tell someone."

"I was in Chino," Ryan said. "I was staying with my friend Theresa and her daughter, Gaby."

"I should have thought of that," Marissa said. "Theresa was your best friend in Chino, so of course when you and Seth were fighting you'd go to her."

"Who exactly is this Theresa?" Caleb asked.

"She's been my friend since we were 8," Ryan said. "The day Dawn moved me and Trey into that dump in Chino. Trey befriended Arturo, I befriended Theresa. She's been there for me ever since."

"And she has totally the most adorable daughter ever," Summer added. "Chino's the godfather."

"She says that and I think the mob," Seth said, shaking his head.

"More like you just don't think, Cohen," Summer replied. "But Gaby is sooo cute."

"She's smart too," Ryan said, smiling. "She's only in preschool but she's reading books meant for 2nd graders."

"And I'll bet you're sending her said books," Hailey said with a smile.

"A couple," Ryan admitted, sitting down on the couch and pulling Summer down beside him. "I'm really sorry I worried everyone," he added as everyone else found places to sit. "I just..."

"You got stupid and decided running away from home was a good idea?" Summer offered. "Just remember these simple words of wisdom and you'll never have to worry again: Seth Cohen is an idiot."

"Okay, you can stop bashing me anytime now," Seth said. "If she's not threatening to stab me with a fork she's calling me an idiot."

"If the shoe fits," Summer said.

"I have to agree," Marissa said, glaring slightly at her boyfriend.

"Okay, guys, enough," Ryan said, offering Seth a smile.

"I'm really sorry about the fight, bro," Seth said, sitting down on the coffee table.

"It was a stupid arguement, and I'm not gonna let another stupid arguement take something important from me," Ryan said, resting his cheek against Summer's hair as he said that. "But if you ever try and use... that... against me in a fight again, I will deck you," he added warningly.

"Right, got it," Seth agreed.

"Do we want to know?" Kirsten said as she sat down in a chair and looked between her sons.

"It doesn't matter," Ryan said. "We've dealt with it, Kirsten."

She flinched as he called her by name, the same as Sandy had earlier in the day, but didn't say anything. "Just don't disappear on us like that again, honey, you scared us all."

"I won't," Ryan promised. "I just..."

"It was my fault for saying such stupid stuff. I knew better," Seth said.

"And I knew better than to listen to half of it," Ryan countered.

"Which half?" Seth asked.

"Shut up, Cohen," Summer said. "Ryan's home, that's what matters." No sooner had the words left her mouth than her cell rang. She slowly pulled it out and glanced at the unfamiliar number. "Hello?" she said as she answered.

"Summer? It's Theresa. I wanted to make sure you got Ryan back to Newport okay."

"Ryan's fine, Theresa," Summer said. "After I made him listen to his mom crying and telling him how worried she was he agreed to come home."

"Good, now I don't have to hit him," came Theresa's tired reply. "Tell him the old standard stands, he is not to ever show up here drunk, but if he needs me and shows up sober I'll be there for him."

"Sure," Summer agreed.

"And tell him Gaby says she loves him and goodnight."

"Sure," Summer repeated. "Once he's totally sobered up I'll have him call you."

"Thanks," Theresa said before hanging up.

Summer set her phone on the coffee table then turned and gave Ryan a look. "Theresa says the old standard is still in place. You're welcome at her place as long as you show up sober. If you show up dunk, she'll kick you to the curb."

"She likes knowing that I'm getting knock down drunk under supervision," Ryan clarified for everyone else.

"And she says that Gaby says she loves you and goodnight," Summer added.

"I probably scared her," Ryan murmured guiltily. "I was drunk most of my visit."

"You spent a week drunk?" Hailey said. "That's stupid."

"Hailey," Kirsten admonished.

"She's right," Ryan admitted. "But Theresa was making sure I didn't drink so much I got alchohol poisoning, she made sure I didn't choke when I got sick from the hangovers each morning, she... she made sure I wasn't alone when I needed to not be alone."

Summer grimaced, knowing exactly what he meant by that. "We owe Theresa for taking good care of you, Chino," she said. "She could have kicked your ass to the curb like she did last time you went to her."

"I was drunk last time!" Ryan protested. "She didn't want me turning up at her door drunk."

"She didn't want you turning up at her door drunk and for a booty call," Summer corrected, laughing.

"I don't think mom and dad needed that extra bit of info," Seth commented.

"Theresa's his fallback for booty calls," Summer teased.

"Yes, I've slept with Theresa many times over the years, I think everyone gets that by now, Summer," Ryan replied, trying to sound exasperated by it came out sounding more amused.

"I think we'll discuss your coping mechanisms tomorrow, Ryan," Sandy said, giving his son a significant look.

"Whoops, I got you in trouble," Summer said.

Ryan smiled and leaned in close to whisper in her ear. "Not the first time. You do remember 3 seperate pool house incidents? And the time in the hot tub... and..."

"I don't even wanna know why Summer's grinning like that," Seth said, shaking his head.

To Be Continued...
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on June 15th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
I'm glad that Ryan is cheering up and back with Summer.

I was wondering though if Anna is going to make an appearance ?
(Anonymous) on June 15th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to see where you go with this.