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02 December 2012 @ 02:44 pm
24 Gifts Of 2012 - Day Two - Arrow  
Now this one I may write more of at some point... lol


Arrow

Brooke Davis stepped off the elevator, and imediately realized the entire office was watching the TV. "What's going on?" she asked. "Have you never heard of working?"

"Brooke..." Millie began. "Something happened."

Brooke had a moment of panic, thinking it was something horrible, like another mass shooting in a residential neighborhood, or a terrorist attack. But when she got to where she could see the TV, they were playing Video of herself and Ryan stumbling out of a club, more than a little drunk, and into a throng of reporters, Ryan immediately moving to shield her from them as much as possible. The footage was over five years old, and Brooke felt like she'd been punched in the gut, expecting to hear that a body had been found, instead she had to sit down as the reporter repeated the headline of the moment.

"For those just tuning in, missing billionaire heir Ryan Cooper has been found alive on an island in the South China Sea and is expected back in Starling City this afternoon."

Brooke stared for a moment then ran to her office, fumbling to get the blind down before sinking down into her chair. "Ryan..." she whispered.

~~~

After so long on the island, the city was too loud for Ryan's tastes, particularly with all the media milling around outside the Mansion, yelling out questions about what happened to the others, and how did he survive. When the doors closed behind him, cutting off the noise, Ryan closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, well aware of how his Mom and Grandfather were watching him, waiting for something, though he wasn't sure what. He wasn't sure of much of anything right now, hadn't been sure of it since the storm, since his father had made his confessions in the life raft and then had...

A noise drew Ryan's attention and his eyes flew open, focusing on the top of the steps, or rather on the young woman standing at the top of them, all long limbs and shining eyes. "Kait," he whispered, realizing that it was his sister, his baby sister, all grown up.

Kaitlin nearly flew down the stairs and into his waiting arms, and as Ryan picked her up off the ground in a tight hug, he finally felt sure of something.

He was home.

~~~

"Was it horrible?" Kaitlin asked as she sat on Ryan's bed, watching him absently wander his old room like he was seeing it for the first time. "That's a stupid question, I mean, Dad..."

"He died the night the boat went down," Ryan said quietly. "They all did."

"You mean... you were all alone? For five years?"

"Yeah," Ryan admitted. "It was... quiet. I mean, the animals made noise, especially at night, but... it was so quiet. Not like here, with all the traffic and the yelling..." He turned, a half smile playing on his lips. "You talking nonstop," he added.

"Oh haha," Kaitlin replied with a grin. "You know you missed me."

"Most of all," Ryan told her honestly. "I missed seeing you grow up."

"You're home now, that's what matters," Kaitlin said.

"Yeah," Ryan agreed, turning back to stare out into the city. "I'm home now."

~~~

When Ryan went downstairs for dinner, he was expecting something quiet, like his mom had promised, but instead found a room full of people, all talking loudly, then going silent as they spotted him where he had paused on the staircase, sensory overload washing over him. Then Kaitlin was there, grabbing his hand and tugging him towards one of the parlors, and Ryan breathed a sigh of relief when inside he found only Chuck, his closest friend since they were children. "I never thought I'd be so happy to see you, Chuck," Ryan said.

"I never thought I'd be this happy to have competition for female attentions," Chuck replied with a smirk.

Kaitlin rolled her eyes. "I'll go see if I can convince Grandfather to thin out the herd," she said, stretching to place a kiss on Ryan's cheek before hurrying back out, the doors shutting firmly behind her.

Chuck sat down on one of the couches, leaning back and resting his arms along the back of it. "She missed you."

"I missed her," Ryan replied as he walked to the window and opened the curtain to see the reporters and cameras still milling around. "I didn't miss them," he added.

Chuck nodded, leaning forward now. "I'm not suppose to tell you this, they think it would be better to let you settle in first, but... I know you, you'll figure it out immediately, and then it'll stress you out..."

"Your dad and my mom," Ryan guessed. "I saw them in the foyer when I was coming downstairs."

"They got married a few months ago," Chuck revealed. "He's an ass, started pursueing her six months after... after. She didn't cave at all until last year, and then... it moved fast."

"He's not touching Kait's trust fund, is he?"

"No, he has no access to it at all, neither does Kirsten," Chuck said. "Caleb took control of both hers and yours after... after. Kirsten was in no shape to handle it, and yours was transferred to Kaitlin's when the authorities said you were most likely dead. And recently... Caleb, Kaitlin and I talked, and I hold the purse strings for the trust, because they both trusted that I would take good care of it. Apparently I can't be trusted in most things, but taking care of my best friend's sister is something I am suited for."

"I know I'd trust you to do it," Ryan agreed.

"Now that you're alive again, I'm sure we'll split the fund back into two, and you'll have full access to yours..."

"I don't need it."

"Ry..."

"Chuck, I lived five years without the latest clothes, phone, computer, whatever," Ryan reminded him. "It's just not important to me anymore. All I need is a roof over my head and at least one decent meal a day and I'll survive just fine."

"Now I'm worried," Chuck said, trying to mask his concern with an overly jovial grin. "I was hoping we'd go clubbing in a few days."

Ryan shrugged. "I just..." He paused, turnign to face Chuck again. "Nothing feels right anymore. I don't... I don't feel like the guy I was."

"Of course not, you went through hell, you've changed," Chuck said. "But that's over now, you're home, with satin sheets and three excellent meals a day plus as many snacks as you want any time of day or night, and partying at clubs, and girls..."

"I didn't see Brooke out there," Ryan said suddenly, dreading the answer.

Chuck flinched slightly. "I'm sorry, Ryan. She... she's been seeing someone for a while now."

"Not like I really expected her to go into eternal mourning," Ryan admitted, though it stung.

The door opened and Kaitlin stuck her head in. "We narrowed down the crowd, just the three of us, Mom, Grandfather, and Bart."

"I can live with that," Ryan said.

~~~

Rosa had made Ryan's favorites, and even though Bart had grimaced at the food, everyone ate without complaint. Ryan had to fight the urge to pocket some of it for later, forcing himself to remember that there would be no running out of food here, that if they didn't have something he wanted he could just go to a store and get it. He was almost done with his plate when he noticed almost everyone was staring and realized they had barely begun to eat. "Sorry," he whispered, setting down his utensils.

"Hey, after five years of fish and rodents, I would inhale Rosa's food, too," Kaitlin said, nudging Ryan with her elbow.

Ryan smiled and nudged her back. "I only ate rodents the first few weeks, then I got the hang of the hunting thing. And you would be surprised how good fire roasted fish is."

"Do we have to discuss rodents over dinner?" Bart asked.

"Okay, let's discuss you marrying my mom," Ryan countered.

"I didn't tell him," Kaitlin said quickly.

"I figured it out on my own," Ryan said firmly, covering for Chuck. "I may have been away for a long time, but I'm not blind and I'm not stupid."

"No one said you were," Kirsten said quickly.

"Did you even wait until they declared us dead before you started pursuing her?" Ryan asked Bart, his tone flat, cold.

"That's not fair, Ryan, I was here for your mother and sister in their time of grief..."

"And here for their pocket book, I'm sure," Ryan said.

"Ryan!" Kirsten scolded.

"I hope he doesn't hold the strings for Kaitlin's trust, because I assume mine was added to hers, and I don't trust him with it," Ryan continued, pretending Chuck hadn't answered that question already.

"Charles is the trustee," Caleb said, nodding to Chuck.

"Good."

"You think he can do better with it than I could?" Bart asked, his anger barely surpressed.

Ryan leaned forward. "I think he knows that even if I was dead, I would have come back and made his life hell if he did anything to hurt my sister's future. And now that I'm back? I know that he knows just how much I would hurt him if he did anything to hurt her future."

"Ryan, there's no reason to be so hostile," Kirsten said.

"I'm just betting he's the one who invited all those people here tonight, even though I said I wanted quiet," Ryan said. "I can't... it's too.... I've been alone for five years, all those people... it's like... it's too much. I told you this, I heard you telling Grandpa this, and I'm betting he told Bart, who ignored it because it's a great PR thing, celebrating the return from the dead of his stepson."

"Ryan," Caleb began carefully. "I could have argued harder about letting them come..."

"But when Kait told you they needed to go, you made it happen, and I'm betting he argued." There was silence after the statement and Ryan nodded before getting up. "I'll be in my room," he said, pausing to squeeze Kaitlin's shoulder before leaving.

~~~

The dream had been the same since the first night he fell asleep on the island. The people from the boat wandering up onto the beach, blaming him for their deaths, saying that he should have died instead, screaming his name.

Even when he woke, he was still trapped in the dream for a few seconds and lashed out, swinging his legs around to take down the man standing over him, arm going to press on the man's throat.

"Ryan!"

He blinked and realized it wasn't a man he had pinned down, it was his mother, and he hurriedly moved away, shaking in horror at what he had just done. "I..."

"It's alright," Kirsten whispered, reaching a hand towards him even as he scambled further away. "Ryan, honey, it's okay, you're home, you're safe."

"It's not okay," Ryan whispered, eyes darting from Kirsten to Bart and back again, then falling on the doorway, where Kaitlin stood, her face pale and arms wrapped around her middle as she bit her lip. "It will never be okay."

~~~

"So, you totally melted down last night," Kaitlin said as she walked into Ryan's room as he was getting dressed.

"Ever heard of knocking?" Ryan snapped, yanking on his shirt before turning. As soon as he saw the devastation on her face, his anger deflated. "Kait..."

"Mom said... she said there were scars, but..." Kaitlin began, crossing the room and hesitantly reaching out to pull the shirt from Ryan's hands and open it up to see the marks that crisscrossed his chest. "Ry..."

"I'm fine, Kaitlin," he said, reaching up to cover her hands with his own. "It's all in the past."

"What... what happened out there?" Kaitlin asked, hesitantly touching the long scar that stretched from just below his belly button around his side.

"Boars don't like being hunted," Ryan said, shrugging and stepping away to button up the shirt.

"I..."

"I'm okay, Kaity, I'm home, and it's all okay."

"Last night was a sign of 'okay'?" Kaitlin asked.

"Last night was... stress, and nothing making sense anymore, and the noise, and... I'm so sorry you had to see that."

"I just wish Bart was the one you'd hit," Kaitlin said, smiling. "And I know that you would never hurt me," she added.

"Never," Ryan agreed, pulling his sister into a hug. "You're my baby sister, and I will always keep you safe."

"I know," Kaitlin said, holding on as tight as she had in the foyer the day before. After a moment she pulled back and straightened his collar. "Royal blue," she said. "Brooke's favorite color on you."

Ryan nodded. "Yeah. I know she's moved on, but... I think I need to see her, talk to her. Tell her... tell her that... that I missed her."

"That is not what you want to tell her," Kaitlin said, smirking.

"If you're so smart..." Ryan countered, laughing.

"You want to tell her that you thought about her all the time, and you want to tell her all about your 'me Tarzan, you Jane' fantasies you had," Kaitlin said, smiling as Ryan laughed. "You want to tell her that you still love her and always will, but you won't tell her any of that because you don't want to disrupt her life anymore than your return will anyway."

Ryan shook his head. "You always were too damn smart," he said.

"It's a gift."

"To you, maybe. To the rest of us, it's a curse," Ryan teased before kissing the top of her head and stepping back again. "How do I look?"

"Like you're gonna get her back."

"I'm not..." Ryan began.

"Because no matter what you wear, she's gonna take one look at you and run right into your arms, because she will always love you just as much as you love her."

~~~

When the elevator doors opened, the offices were bustling, but seconds after he stepped out things got very quiet and he pasted on his most charming smile. "I'm looking for..."

Before he could finish the sentence Brooke was flying towards him, much like Kaitlin had less than twenty four hours earlier, and he caught her much the same way, though his embrace was different and he turned his face into her hair, inhaling the distant but so familiar smell of her shampoo. "You're gonna make me think you missed me, Brooke," he whispered.

"Not in the slightest," Brooke replied, but he could hear the break in her voice. "I can't believe it."

"I missed you, gorgeous," Ryan replied. "So much more than you can ever believe."

"I know how much I missed you," Brooke replied, threading her fingers through the hair at the nape of his neck. "When I saw the footage on TV, I thought they'd... I thought theyd found your body... I was so... and then they said you were alive and coming home..." She pulled back, seeming yo notice everyone staring. "Let's go in my office," she said, holding on to his arm as though her life, or maybe his, depended on it.

Once the door was closed, Ryan let himself relax slightly. "I... I know you're seeing someone," he said. "I just... I needed to see you, I needed you to know that I missed you."

"If I... I didn't just..."

"Hey, I know," Ryan said, taking her hands in his as they sat down on the couch. "Chuck filled me in, said that you didn't start dating again until last year, which... while i'm glad you didn't go into eternal mourning, because that would be pathetic, which you have never been, I'm glad you didn't forget me after a week."

"I never forgot you," Brooke replied. "How could I? You were my first love, and you made me feel special when my parents were ignoring me, and you supported me when I was trying to get this business started... you were my first investor."

Ryan chuckled. "Yeah, it looks like I made a good choice there, huh?" he said. "Seems to me this is a lot bigger and fancier operation than it was five years ago."

"My clothes are on major runaways and selling in all the major stores, and all the magizines are talking about me," Brooke said. "But I'm betting that will stop for a while, since some heir to a billion dollar fortune just returned from the dead."

"The nerve of some people," Ryan replied, laughing slightly.

Brooke pulled her legs up, tucking them under herself on the couch, and reached to take his hand in hers. "I kept dreaming about this, Ryan. That one day you'd walk through the door and smile and everythign would be right in the world again. Because nothing was right without you." She hesitated, tears gathering in her eyes again. "What do you think we'd be like if... if it hadn't happened?"

"Brooke..." Ryan began, pretty sure he shouldn't answer that question, not when she had a new boyfriend, not when he'd just be complicating her life if he told her about the ring he had bought for her in China, the one he'd planned to give to her as soon as they'd had a moment alone after he returned. Before he could think of something to say, the office door opened, and brook yanked her hand away, a look of guilt on her face as she stood to greet the man who;d entered with a kiss.

"Lucas, this is Ryan Cooper. Ryan, this is Lucas Scott, my...."

"New boyfriend," Ryan said, nodding. "I should go. Chuck's waiting downstairs. He wanted to show me some club he opened."

"The Victrola," Brooke said. "It's a burlesque club."

"Chuck? Opening a place for watching skimpily clad women?" Ryan said. "I'm shocked, stunned, horrified... insert another dozen synonyms that I' can't think of at the moment."

Brooke laughed. "Yeah, it's so not like him."

"Chuck Bass is a jackass, I don't know why you put up with him, Brooke," Lucas said. "You could do so much better."

Ryan bristled, considering lashing out with a fist then blaming it on the PTSD he had heard a doctor tell his mom he had, but restrained himself, taking comfort from Brooke's flash of annoyance at the other man's words. "You don't have to know or understand it, just accept it," Ryan finally said before turning to Brooke. "It was nice seeing you again, Brooke. I... I'll see you around, okay?"

"Yeah, around," Brooke agreed.

The End
 
 
 
crossover_fancrossover_fan on December 3rd, 2012 04:31 am (UTC)
Just what I have been hoping you would write and it is amazing! I really like how Ryan handle the family dinner and what happened when he first saw Brooke again. Plus you always write Kaitlyn and Ryan together as brother and sister really well.
finleefinlee on December 3rd, 2012 12:17 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this one. Thanks!
ihearttwojacksihearttwojacks on December 3rd, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
That was great! I have watched zero Arrow, but you laid out the plot really well. I hope you continue this (and In made need to start watching the show)!