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25 May 2011 @ 03:52 pm
Mercy - Chapter Two (The OC/Southland)  
Title: Mercy
Fandoms: The OC/Southland
Rating: R
Warnings: Mentions of past violence, rape, and language.
Summary: Family is what you make. (Sequel to Three Years)
Notes: AU for both shows, most prominently that Ryan didn't move in with the Cohens, and Ben Sherman doesn't exist. This chapter is short, but every time I tried to add more it just seemed like I was forcing it... But hey, a short chapter is still a chapter, right?




For the next week, whenever John wasn't working or sleeping, he was at the hospital. That was how he happened to arrive in time to overhear the argument between Ms. Sanchez, Ryan's social worker, and Dr. Hardy.

"I'm just asking for a few days, doctor," Ms. Sanchez said. "It can't hurt to keep him here for a few more days."

"There's no reason to keep him," Dr. Hardy replied.

"There will be if I have to put him in a locked facility. He will be right back at this hospital with slit wrists or an overdose. Ryan can't handle being locked up somewhere!"

"What the hell are you talking about?" John demanded. "You can't lock him up again."

"That's what I'm trying to avoid, Officer Cooper," Ms. Sanchez said. "But while we're waiting for them to look through the cases and get to Ryan's, he's still technically considered a juvenile offender, and most foster families and group homes simply will not take juvenile offenders. If I can get a few more days, I can find a placement that isn't a locked facility..."

"My superiors won't allow it," Dr. Hardy said. "Trust me, I'm on your side in this, Ryan seems like a good kid, and I have my concerns about his mental health if he's put in a locked facility, but the hospital board is insisting that he needs to be discharged."

"All I'm asking for is a few days," Ms. Sanchez repeated.

"I'm sorry, but it's not up to me, the most I can give you is one more night," Dr. Hardy concluded before heading off to check on his next patient.

"I have an extra bedroom," John said, not even realizing what he was saying until it was out of his mouth. "If it'll keep him from getting locked up again, I have a spare bedroom at my place."

Ms. Sanchez shook her head. "It's a kind offer, Officer Cooper, but taking on a teenager with Ryan's problems, even for a few days..."

"Look, that kid has been through hell, and I promised him that I would do everything I could to keep him from going back to Juvie," John said. "I have a spare room. I'm pretty sure he trusts me enough to be able to handle it. Do you think I'm worse than juvie?"

"Honestly? I think you may be gunning for sainthood," Ms. Sanchez said. "Let me talk to Ryan, see how he feels about it. Although I think he'll agree if only to avoid juvie. If he does agree, I need to go by your house and make sure it's an appropriate environment, but I'll give you enough warning to get rid of anything I probably shouldn't see," she said with a smile.

"I don't know what you're talking about," John replied, flashing his own smile as he tried to remember if there was anything.

~~~

Ryan frowned as Ms. Sanchez returned. "Everything okay?" he asked.

"We may have a temporary placement for you, but only if you're okay with it," Ms. Sanchez said.

"Okay..."

"Officer Cooper has offered to take guardianship until we can find another placement."

"He has."

"Yes," Ms. Sanchez said. "He has a spare bedroom, and he's willing. If it's alright with you."

Ryan hesitated, not sure how to answer at first, then he slowly nodded, surprising himself. "Yeah, it's okay," he said.

"Are you sure? Because I can look for somewhere else..."

"I trust him," Ryan said. "That's... I don't trust anyone, but I trust him."

"You'd feel safe?"

"Yeah."

"Okay, then I'll see about getting everything cleared for it," Ms. Sanchez said, her relief clear. "Officer Cooper's in the hall, so I'll send him in after I tell him, okay?"

"Okay," Ryan said, nodding. He watched Ms. Sanchez leave and heard them talking briefly in the hall before John entered, offering a smile.

"No wild parties," was the first thing John said, and Ryan couldn't help laughing, even though it left him holding his sore ribs.

"Damn, I was planning on doing a keg stand," Ryan replied with a smirk.

"Yeah, then they'd have a reason to keep you in the hospital," John said. "You're sure you're okay with this?"

"Alternative is Juvie, right?" Ryan said. "Anything is better than that, and... And hey, you haven't done anything to make me not trust you, so... you've got points on a lot of people. Including my own parents."

John nodded, sitting down in his usual chair. "You're gonna stay here one more night, so I can make there's clean sheets for the bed, and at least sort of healthy food in the fridge."

"Thanks, Officer Cooper."

"Call me John."

"John," Ryan repeated.

"And breakfast cereal preferences?" John asked.

"If it's not soggy oatmeal and fake eggs with watered down orange juice or milk to wash it down? I'm happy," Ryan replied. "Add in recognizable as food and I'll be thrilled."

"I'm a fan of knowing at a glance what I'm eating, too, so don't worry about that," John said.

"Thanks," Ryan said again. "I didn't really expect you to go this far to keep me out of Juvie."

"I make a promise, I keep it," John said. "And I promised you that I wouldn't let you get locked up again."

"I'm not really used to people keeping their promises," Ryan pointed out.

"Well, when it comes to me, get used to it."

"I'll try."

"All I ask," John said.

To Be Continued

Short, but it moves things along a bit, right? So that's good?

 
 
 
alluxera: Ryan1alluxera on May 27th, 2011 03:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's good. I really like this universe and I'm looking forward to guardian John.
Thank you for updating.
60schic: Coopman260schic on May 28th, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)
Yes, very good !

Edited at 2011-05-28 01:26 am (UTC)
ihearttwojacksihearttwojacks on June 4th, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
Yay John! Have fun on your vacation!