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21 June 2010 @ 09:50 pm
The Follow Through (Chapter Nine) - Sequel To 'The Unexpected'  
This one's... kinda hokey... but it sets up the next chapter well...


Chapter Nine

She was right. The next morning the Cohens began fending off phone calls from pretty much everyone they ever knew, and even Ryan's cellphone, a number he kept extremely private, was ringing off the hook once Kirsten decided to let the answering machine get take messages so they could screen them later. By lunch, Ryan was ready to throw his phone in the pool as it rang yet again. Instead, he snapped it open. "Look, the rumor's true. Tell people you heard it from me yourself, and stop calling!"

"Ryan!" came the reply.

Ryan flinched. "Hey, Theresa," he muttered, embarrassed.

"What rumors? Are you okay?" Theresa continued.

"I'm fine," Ryan said. "I asked Summer to marry me last night, and it got out at the Graduation party, and the phone has been ringing off the hook all morning with people wanting to know if it's true."

"Who?" Summer mouthed as she walked out of the house with Kirsten.

Ryan covered the receiver to answer. "Theresa."

"Tell her hi," Summer said.

"Summer says hi."

"Ryan, when were you going to tell me?" Theresa replied, irritated.

"I was going to call once I got a few minutes without my phone ringing," Ryan promised. "But what's up? You called me."

Theresa sighed. "I got a call from Trey," she finally said.

"Yeah? How is he?"

"Good, pretty good. You know he got locked up again two and a half years ago for robbing a convenience store, right?"

"He did what?!" Ryan yelled, jumping up. "When was this? Why didn't you tell me?"

"It was right after you showed up at my place drunk, Ry. I didn't want to call you and say your brother was in lock up again."

"Damn it," Ryan muttered. "Why didn't he call me?"

"You know how much he hated letting you down, Ryan. He didn't want to do that to you again."

"How much time did he get?" Ryan asked, catching everyone's attention.

"2 years for the robbery, plus 6 months for the drugs on him."

"He didn't hurt anyone, did he? Or... worse?"

"No, no one was hurt or killed, that's why he got so light a sentence."

"That means he's getting out though, right? Soon?"

"Tomorrow. I offered to let him stay with me and Gaby as long as he stays clean, and he promised."

"And you're telling me this so I won't be surprised if I see him at your place?"

"No, I'm telling you this because I think you should pick him up at the prison and bring him here. Spend some time with him, catch him up on your life."

"Theresa, the last time I spoke to him he told me never to come see him again, never to call him, never to write him."

Marissa's eyes widened as she realized who he was talking about. "Trey," she whispered to Kristen and Summer, who were concerned.

"You're his brother, Ryan. I get that you want nothing to do with your father and mother, they don't deserve you. But Trey loves you, he's screwed up royally, but he's never meant to hurt you."

"He took me with him to steal a car, Theresa. And then he had me pick up and deliver another stolen car for him after he got locked up. Almost got me killed! Or have you forgotten?"

"No, I haven't forgotten! That's how I found out what the hell had happened to you!"

"Then how can you expect me to jump on the hurray for Trey, he's out of jail again bandwagon? I'm not, Theresa, you do it. You can tell him how I'm doing, you can tell him I'm getting married, and you can tell me that if he writes a letter I might answer," Ryan said before hanging up and slamming the phone against the table.

"Chino?" Summer asked.

"Trey only served 2 years for the stealing the car when I was with him, and he got out on time. Then, 2 and a half years ago, he robbed a convenience store and had more drugs on him, so he went back in. Now he's being released again, and he's going to stay at Theresa's. But she thinks I should pick him up from prison and drive him there so he and I can catch up. That cover it?" Ryan said, then he let out an angry breath and ran a hand through his hair. "Every time I hear the words Trey and car uttered in the same conversation..."

"Yeah, but... he's your brother," Seth said.

"He got me tossed in jail. Could have gotten me killed," Ryan repeated.

"And Dad got you out of jail and brought you home and the rest is history," Seth said. "And didn't someone here drive you to spend a week getting drunk off your ass?"

"A couple somebodies have," Ryan admitted with a sigh, sitting down again.

"A couple?" Seth asked, confused.

"Doesn't matter," Ryan said.

"I think the other one is me, when I broke up with him after High school graduation," Summer said.

"Yeah," Ryan admitted reluctantly. "But the thing is, those things are in the past..."

"So's the Trey stuff," Seth said. "Come on, this is me, the guy who hates sharing anything, and even I think you should talk to him."

Ryan couldn't help cracking a smile at Seth's comment, but he still shook his head. "Me and Trey... we're complicated..."

"Bro, you and me traded girlfriends," Seth pointed out. "How much more complicated can you and Trey's relationship get?"

Ryan sighed. "You don't get it. Trey was both my tormentor and my protector. He'd beat the crap out of me if I annoyed him, but if any of Dawn's boyfriends laid a finger on me when he was around? Trey got in the way and took the hits for me. He got me in trouble, but it was out of an effort to make sure I had enough to eat. It's just... complicated."

"But he's your brother," Seth said, not understanding.

"Seth..."

"Okay, guys, enough," Kirsten said, not liking the look on Ryan's face. "Today is for celebrating the fact that Summer is officially going to be part of this family."

Ryan's face immediately lit up as Summer walked over to him, and he wrapped his arms around her middle. "Took long enough," he teased.

"If you're going to pick on me, I'm going to start mentioning the old similarities again..."

"And I'll mention other old similarities," Ryan countered, smiling. "I definitely think most of them still apply."

"Do I even want to know?" Caleb asked as he and Julie arrived.

"No, Grandpa, you don't," Ryan said, trying not to laugh, but failing as everyone who knew the old joke between he and Summer started laughing.

"What's so funny?" Julie asked, which only made Summer laugh harder.

"Just an old joke," Ryan choked out.

"But still a funny one," Seth pointed out.

"Oh God," Marissa said through her laughter. "Remember the day on the pier when you guys told me about that one?"

"And Chino was clamping a hand on my mouth to stop me!" Summer replied.

"Like you weren't trying to shut me up when I started!" Ryan countered.

"You know what I will always remember?" Seth asked. "When we told Marissa about the adoption."

"And Ryan actually said a whole long sentence!" Summer said.

"Well he had to start sooner or later," Marissa said. "Between you two he'd never get a word in edgewise if all he ever said was a single word!"

"And then we decided he needed a crash course in spending money like a Newport kid," Seth concluded. "He never quite got that lesson down, though..."

"We can't all be like you, Seth, and buy anything and everything you want the second you decide you want it."

"What about when we were moving Sum into the pool house?" Marissa asked. "And Seth was suppose to be helping Ryan make the bed..."

"But he kept sitting down right in my way," Ryan finished.

"And I put my foot in my mouth by asking if Sum still had access to all her dad's money," Marissa added.

"And then she started in on how me and Seth needed wardrobe makeovers," Ryan said.

"You still do!" Summer protested.

"Hey," Ryan said, shaking a finger at her, though the effect was ruined by his continued laughter. "What is wrong with what I wear? In case you haven't noticed, I dress a lot more... upscale than I used to!"

"But it's so boring!" Summer said. "White and pale blue button down shirts? Black or navy blue ties?"

"I have a red tie!" Ryan protested, only making everyone laugh harder.

"But overall, you are very GQ now, compared to... Bad Boy Weekly like you were then."

"Bad Boy Weekly?" Marissa asked. "And where can I get a subscription to that, Sum? Seth could use some pointers for next time he tries to be a bad ass."

"Hey!" Seth protested.

"No, no," Ryan said. "You guys know THE moment that defines the four of us?"

"What?" Seth asked.

"This one," Ryan said. "Sitting here, laughing, remembering. This is what we do best, have fun together."

"Very deep, Chino," Summer agreed.

"Alright, but what about other defining moments?" Seth said. "The Cohen Brothers defining moment?"

"That's easy," Ryan said. "The first time we met. I walk in the door, we exchange 'heys' in greeting, we play video games, you put your foot in your mouth."

"Works for me," Seth agreed. "Definitive Ryan and Summer moment?"

"That's a tough one," Summer said.

"I see three possibilities," Ryan said. "The night Summer moved into the pool house, because that was the night we first, albeit it jokingly, discussed me building our dream house."

"Good one," Summer agreed.

"Then, when we got back together last fall," Ryan said. "Specifically Summer kneeling next to me as I threw up at Theresa's because I was hung over. No regard for the risk of getting covered in puke."

"You were worth it," Summer said. "What's the third?"

"You can't guess?" Ryan asked. "It was really a VERY short time ago..."

"Last night, when you proposed?" Summer asked.

Ryan nodded, smiling. "Me tossing you into the ocean?"

"Me finding the ring box in your jacket pocket?" Summer countered.

"Okay, okay," Marissa said. "Definetive Summer and Marissa moment is kinda hard..."

"Because we have so many," Summer said. "Ummm... oh, us discussing the pros and cons of Luke and the pros and cons of Chino during the early days of Ryan."

"Very good," Marissa said. "Definitive Seth and Marissa?" she directed towards her boyfriend.

"Uh... gotta be... at the Lighthouse opening. When you and me were talking."

"Works for me," Marissa said.

"Okay, definitive Seth and Summer moment," Summer said.

"The Cottillion," Seth said, nodding. "Definitely. I should have known then, I just couldn't tame your wild ways..."

Everyone laughed again. "Okay," Marissa finally said. "Ryan and Marissa moment."

"I could say OUR first meeting," Ryan said.

"Who are you?" Marissa asked, remembering.

"Whoever you want me to be," Ryan replied, mocking himself.

"You didn't!" Summer asked.

"I did," Ryan said.

"How about... that first Thanksgiving when I went with you to Chino?"

"And then we came back and you proceeded to forever humuliate me by telling Seth what you found out from Theresa and her mom..."

"What?" Summer asked.

"In school there, Ryan..." Marissa began, only to have Ryan leap across the space to cover her mouth with his hand.

"Don't you dare!" he said, laughing.

"Ryan did musicals!" Seth crowed before moving behind Kirsten for protection.

"MUSICALS?!" Summer said, doubling over with laughter.

"That's it, Seth, you're a dead man," Ryan threatened.

"Yeah, yeah, you're all talk," Seth mocked, sticking his head out from behind Kirsten then ducking back again as he saw the irritated look on Ryan's face.

"Musicals?" Kirsten asked.

"He played Snoopy in 'You're A Good Man Charlie Brown'," Marissa said, laughing as Ryan groaned and flopped down in a pool chair again.

"You guys are mean," he muttered, though a slight grin could be seen.

"Are there pictures?" Kirsten asked.

"Mom!" Ryan protested.

"What? I wanna see!"

"Theresa has the only pictures," Ryan said with a smirk. "And I doubt she'll part with them."

"We'll see," Kirsten said.

To Be Continued...
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on June 22nd, 2010 05:45 am (UTC)
Classic OC never goes out of style. I always like reading a chapter in a fic where the four of them sit around by themselves or with other people and talk about the good times in their live.