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09 March 2009 @ 08:14 pm
Never Again - Chapter Eight (The OC/OTH, Ryan/Brooke)  
Title: Never Again
Author: Mara
Fandom: The OC/One Tree Hill
Word Count: 1692
Rating: R
Warnings: Some violence (Mostly in flashbacks), language, possibly sex
Summary: "You hit me, even once, and I swear to god it'll be the last time you ever lay a finger on me."
Notes: So... it's been... like 3 and a half months since I last updated... but I've been feeling this fic recently... lol... so more Ryan/Brooke goodness... I went back and edited an earlier chapter to fix a mistake about when Ryan and Brooke met (One chapter said 5 years ago, the other said 6 years ago), since this chapter dives into more Ryan/Brooke: The Early Years. For now, it's not spellchecked because the spellchecker in Hotmail only checks part of the entry and this was too long... lol... I did reread to try to catch any spelling mistakes/typos, but... I'm sure I missed some... will edit with a fixed version later today.

Never Again - Chapter Eight

"You, Ryan Atwood, are special," Brooke said in between kisses as she straddled Ryan's lap where he sat on his futon/bed.

"Yeah?" Ryan replied, a little skeptical.

"Uh-huh," Brooke said.

"Why's that?" Ryan asked, hands on her hips to help her balance.

"I'm not exactly known for patience or chastity," Brooke said. "If I don't think I'm gonna get some, I don't stick with a guy for long. But I'm still here, aren't I?"

Ryan stared at her for a moment, then slowly smiled. "Let me get this straight... You stayed even though I wasn't putting out?" he asked, cracking up even as he said it.

"Hey! Don't mock me!" Brooke protested, pulling back, her lower lip sticking out in a pout. "I just meant... I guess I really like you, since I didn't find someone else to scratch my itch."

"Seriously, you are starting to sound like a guy," Ryan said, laughing. "It's not all that sexy."

Brooke tried to glare, but wound up laughing with him, her hair falling around both their faces as she kissed him again. "Maybe I could spend the night?" she asked softly.


"I like this place better than mine," Brooke replied, her voice still soft. "My parents are in Cabo, anyway, they might be back in time for tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath. I'd much rather be with you than in an empty house."

"You really wanna sleep on a futon?" he asked her seriously. "Because there is no bed in the other room."

"I know, I've snooped," Brooke replied. "You more than make up for the futon." She moved her hand to the fly of his jeans, popping the button before moving to the zipper. "Can I stay?"

"Yeah," Ryan said, his voice thick. "But not because of this," he added, wrapping his hand around hers to pull it away from the zipper. "You don't have to..."

"Trust me, I want to," Brooke said, kissing him again as she tugged her hand free and returning to the zipper. "I really want to."

"Did you pack sweatshirts?" Brooke asked, opening up Ryan's duffel to check. "It's October, and Tree Hill gets chilly..."

"Yes," Ryan said tiredly, lifting his good arm off his face, where it had been blocking the early morning sun that came through their bedroom window. "At least I did last night before you repacked everything in my bag," he added, amused.

"Stop picking on the neurotic pregnant girl," Brooke scolded, but she did stop searching to climb into bed and crawl across the space to kiss him. "How's your shoulder doing?"

"About time for some painkillers," Ryan admitted. "What time is it?"

"7," Brooke replied. "And we need to be at the airport no later than 8:30, so you better get off your incredibly hot ass and get dressed," she added, giving him one last kiss before pushing herself up and returning to her luggage snooping.

"Okay, who was it who made us late to your high school graduation because they couldn't drag their incredibly hot ass out of bed and get dressed?" Ryan joked, getting up and grimacing as his shoulder as jostled.

"It wasn't getting out of bed I had trouble with so much as getting out of your arms," Brooke replied, her eyes soft as she looked over at him.

"Right, first time you stayed the night," Ryan agreed, smiling. "Before you made me buy furniture," he added.

"You needed a bed, that futon was so very not good for our backs."

Ryan snorted. "And all the other crap?"

"How can you entertain friends without chairs and a coffee table? And no TV? Seriously, Ryan, you were pathetic," Brooke teased.

"And you loved me. What does that say about you?"

"That I'm crazy?" Brooke replied. "Now get up, get dressed," she added pointedly.

"But, come on, Brooke, I didn't exactly have friends before you came along," Ryan continued, trying to get dressed one handed, and almost ending up falling flat on his face. when his foot got caught in his jeans.

Brooke rolled her eyes, but jumped up and went to help him, untangling his foot, then pulling the jeans up to zipper and button them. Then, she grabbed one of his white undershirts and helped him get it on over the bandages, followed by a short sleeved button up shirt. As she smoothed the collar, she looked up at him, her figners, moving to comb through the hair at the nape of his neck. "You didn't want to let anyone in," she whispered. "It hurt so much, sometimes, seeing you try to isolate yourself from everyone who just wanted you to let them in."

"You fixed me, Brooke," Ryan said, tilting his head down to kiss her. "You forced your way in and held the door open for everyone else," he added with a smile.

"Stopping killing the metaphor," Brooke teased, returning the kiss before turning to grab Ryan's shoes.

"Boots?" Ryan pleaded.

"Sneakers," Brooke countered. "Only stuff you have some chance of getting on and off by yourself."

"What are you gonna do to our kid when they want to dress themselves?" Ryan asked, even as he sat down to let her help with his shoes.

"As long as they don't have a hole in their shoulder, I'll let them," Brooke replied.

"I'm sorry I scared you," Ryan said. "I swear, I never... I never wanna leave you and our baby alone."

Brooke looked up, smiling sadly. "You wouldn't be my Ryan if you had let Maria get hurt," she said. "I fell in love with that guy with the hero complex. I just wish you could save the day without getting hurt."

"Trust me, so do I," Ryan said.

"I've gotta get dressed," Brooke said, getting to her feet.

"You, I think the airlines frown on almost naked girls boarding the plane. Too distracting," Ryan said.

"At least they'd know I wasn't hiding a weapon," Brooke countered with a smirk as she grabbed her jeans. "So... how soon until we start telling people?" she asked, one hand touching her stomach.

"I sorta... already told Paulie..."

"Paulie and Beth are family, immediate tells, I figured," Brooke said, waving a hand dismissively. "If you hadn't, I would have. I meant, when can I tell Hales and Nate? Because I want baby advice from Hales... she escaped stretchmarks, and I wanna know how."

"As soon as we land if you want," Ryan replied. "They're family, right? Immediate tells."

Brooke smiled. "You know you wanna ask advice on being a dad from Nathan," she teased.

"I already made Paulie promise to write me a cheat sheet, so damn straight," Ryan agreed, rolling his eyes as Brooke laughed. "Paulie and Beth are the only parental figures who have never let me down or turned out to totally suck at the whole 'being there for me' thing. I figure our kid could do worse than me following their example."

"Our kid will be fine if you wing it," Brooke said firmly. "You're not like the Atwoods or the Cohens. Just like I'm not like the Davises. Our baby isn't just another mouth to feed, or a punching bag, or a failed last ditch effort to save a doomed marriage. He or she is loved already and always will be."

"Definitely," Ryan agreed.

"Hey, is Ryan around?"

Paulie looked up, surprised by the perky girl who stood at the bar, a brilliant smile gracing her lips. "He's covering some tables for someone who's out sick," Paulie replied, smiling. "Are you the girl he's been seeing?"

"He's talked about me?" she asked, clearly excited by the prospect.

"We drug it out of him after we noticed how much happier he's seemed," Paulie said. "That boy made the grim reaper look downright cheerful until a few months ago."

She bounced up and down on her heels for a moment, clearly happy. "Yeah, well, glad to be of service," she said. "Does he have a break anytime soon? I don't wanna interrupt or get him in trouble, but I just need like 2 minutes, and then I'll let him get back to work."

"Ryan, someone to see you!" Paulie called as Ryan headed their way, carrying a tray of dirty dishes.

Ryan glanced over and spotted her, his tired and anxious expression immediately melting into a smile. "Brooke, hey," he said.

"Take 5, talk to your girl," Paulie said, taking the tray from him and heading in back. He passed the tray off and hovered near the door to eavesdrop.

"What's up?" Ryan asked, giving Brooke a kiss on the cheek.

Brooke reached into her purse and pulled out an envelope. "Take a look," she said, biting her lip. "I didn't open it, which just about killed me."

Ryan took the envelope, anxiety immediately returning to his face as he stared at the envelope. "I don't think... I don't think I should do this here..."


"What if I failed?" Ryan asked. "What then? What if I have proof he was right, and I'm useless?"

"He was wrong," Brooke said firmly. "And this will help prove that," she added, squeezing his hands. "Open it," she pressed.

Ryan took a deep, shaky, breath and tore open the envelope, pulling out two sheets of paper and reading over the first one, then flipping it to read the second one, hsi expression going blank as he sat down on a stool. "Wow," he said.

"Well?" Brooke asked, looking anxious.

"Just... wow," Ryan replied.

"Ryan!" Brooke protested, snatching the two pages to read them. After a moment, she grinned and threw her arms around Ryan's neck. "I knew you could do it!" she said.

"Everything alright?" Paulie asked as he came back out, pretending that he hadn't overheard everything.

"I... uh... I passed my GED test," Ryan said, taking the pages back.

"He aced it," Brooke corrected. "99th percentile in everything."

"That's great, kid!" Paulie said, patting Ryan on the back. "You did good."

"Thanks," Ryan replied, taking a deep breath and letting it out. "But right now, I gotta get bakc to work," he added, getting up and kissing Brooke's cheek again. "I'll see you later?"

"I'll be over at about 8?" Brooke said.

"Sounds good," Ryan agreed.

As she left, Paulie patted Ryan on the shoulder again. "I like her," he said.

"Oh yeah?" Ryan asked, slightly amused.

"Yeah," Paulie replied. "She makes you happy, and in my book that practically makes the girl a saint."

"Funny," Ryan said, rolling his eyes as he headed back to check on his tables."

To Be Continued...

::sigh:: I love this fic... I need to make a new banner for it, though, something that actually takes some work instead of the quick and easy banner I have right now... Brooke needs to be in the banner! And maybe Paulie and/or Beth (If I can ever pick an actress to play Beth... lol)... or maybe I'll make a couple of different banners and just alternate which one I use... lol...

I'm also working on a soundtrack to this one... but I can't decide between making it spoiler-ish (and therefore it should be held back until after I post all the stuff it spoils), or non-spoilerish (keeping reasons behind songs vague if they are spoilerish and letting people imagine what they are spoilerish for... lol)... although i will say that the song I have as my 'music' for this entry? Is a song that will be on the soundtrack... lol... along with at least one other Gavin Degraw song...
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: In Love With A Girl - Gavin DeGraw
ocmissocmiss on March 10th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
I love this verse, you should definitely update it more often and a new banner would be nice. Which actor is playing Paulie ?
Maramissmara on March 10th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
In my mind, Paulie is played by Joe Mantegna (Will Girardi on Joan Of Arcadia, David Rossi on Criminal Minds)...