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28 March 2010 @ 12:28 am
Don't Matter If I Bleed (The OC/Southland, Brothers!Verse)  
Title: Don't Matter If I Bleed
Fandoms: The OC/Southland (Focus on Ryan, Ben, and Cooper with some of the others)
Rating: R
Warnings: Violence, mentions of Child Abuse, Language
Summary: Frank Atwood is a dangerous man, and the officers of LA's Southland are about to find out just how dangerous.
Notes: Part of the universe from these three little ficlets I originally posted as part of my 'Lyrically Tragic' series of ficlets. In this universe, Ben Sherman had a little brother, Ryan, who was kidnapped at 4 years old by the men who beat their mom and Ben, one of them being Frank Atwood. 16 years later, Ben manages to find Ryan again.

When the chapter hit 8 pages, I figured it was time to go ahead and post it... If anything strikes you as totally out of character, let me know, that's the only way I'll improve my voices for them...

Don't Matter If I Bleed

As he finished pulling on his shirt, Ben's phone rang and he grabbed it, smiling when he saw the name.

"Girlfriend?" Cooper asked with a smirk.

"Brother," Ben corrected. "Hey, Ry, what's up?"

"You know how to drive a stick?" Ryan asked, his voice slightly slurred.

"Yeah, why?"

"I'm at my place, I... I need a ride to the hospital, my jeep would work better for that."

"Hospital? Why do you need to go the hospital?" Ben asked, glancing over as Cooper came up beside him.

"I'm... hurt... My jeep's in the lot, your bike would be safe there."

"I'm on my way," Ben said. "Just... I'm on my way."

"I'm waiting," Ryan said, sounding tired as well as slurring.

Ben hung up and quickly grabbed the rest of this stuff.

"What's going on?" Cooper asked.

"Ryan says he's 'hurt' and needs a ride to the hospital," Ben replied. "He's slurring and sounds really tired..."

"He can't call an ambulance?" Cooper asked.

"He refuses to take any money from me, and our parents... they don't know yet," Ben said as they headed out of the building. "Ambulances cost money he doesn't have." As he veered off toward his bike, Cooper grabbed his arm and pulled him in the opposite direction.

"Get in, I'll drive you both," Cooper said as they got to his car, knowing he'd regret not heading home and leaving Ben to deal with his own family, but getting a bad feeling about the situation.


When they got to the building and pulled up beside Ryan's jeep, Ben was out before the car was even fully stopped, running up the stairs to Ryan's apartment, only to freeze when he saw the door hanging half off it's hinges and the destruction inside. "Ryan?" he called, slowly stepping inside.

"Kitchen," came the slurred response.

By the time Ben reached the kitchen, Cooper was at the door, swearing under his breath and eyeing the room.

"Shit," Ben said as he saw Ryan, sitting on the floor with an ice pack wrapped in a dishtowel pressed to his face and blood all over his white shirt. "What happened?"

"I just... I thought locking the door was enough," Ryan said.

"Fuck," Cooper said from the doorway, seeing the way Ryan flinched and being affected more than he wanted to be, since the kid looked so much like he remembered himself looking after beatings as a kid.

"That's Cooper, my partner," Ben explained, reaching out a hand to touch Ryan's shoulder and grimacing as he felt the sticky blood soaking the shirt. "What happened?" he repeated.

"Frank," Ryan said. "He found out I filed a report against him, for the kidnapping. He was pissed. I should have known a stupid lock and a chain wouldn't fucking keep him out, but..."

"Take you brother to the ER," Cooper said. "I'll see about getting the door back on it's hinges so he doesn't get robbed, too."

"You don't..." Ben began.

"Hey, he gets robbed by some other asshole, it's another report for someone to have to write," Cooper said. "Besides, if you're pressing charges for this, someone's gotta document the damage to the door and the rest of the apartment, too," he added to Ryan as he crouched down, glad to see that the kid was alert as he got a look at his good eye.

"Damn straight I'm pressing charges. Rather have him stay pissed at me then lose it at Kaitlin."

"Who's Kaitlin?" Ben asked, helping Ryan to his feet.

"Frank's fiancée’s daughter," Ryan said. "She's... she's like a sister to me. I used to date her older sister, so she damn near could have ended up being my sister-in-law if Marissa hadn't gotten herself killed."

Cooper paused, hoping it was a coincidence but knowing it probably wasn't. "Like I said, it needs to be documented. I'll call it in, get them to send someone over with a camera. We'll get pictures, then we'll get the door back up. Take your keys."

"They should be in my jacket pocket," Ryan said.

Ben checked the jacket, finding the keys attached to a 'The Harbor School' keychain. "Let's go."


Ben was surprised when Lydia and her new partner arrived to take Ryan's statement. "I thought you guys were same shift as me and Cooper," he said before they entered the room.

"We were finishing up reports when the call came, figured it's family, your shift should cover it."

"Thanks," Ben said, glancing over his shoulder to where Ryan lay in the bed, covered in stitches and bandages with one hand secured in a brace. "I want that asshole to pay."

"He will," Lydia promised before heading into the room. "Ryan? I'm Detective Adams and this is Detective Suarez. We're here to take your statement."

"You know the guy who did this is the same one who'd kidnapped him when he was four, right?" Ben said. "His jaw is messed up, he shouldn't have to repeat things he doesn't have to."

"We know," Lydia assured him. "We just need to know what exactly happened tonight. Start with when you first saw him."

"I was getting home from a study group, I don't... I don't know what time, exactly, I can't... but I can give you Sherry's number, she'll know what time I left, and I went straight home, so add like fifteen minutes..."


"I was unlocking my door, and, he yelled, so I turned. I told him to leave me alone, and he started coming at me."

"Did he attack you outside?"

"No, I got in, and I slammed the door, locked it, put on the chain... I was trying to get to my cell... the battery was dead this morning, so I left it charging in my room when I left for class. Frank... he started pounding on the door, and then... I don't know, I guess he broke it down, because I turned and it was hanging open, and he was so... so pissed... He said.... he said I was trying to destroy him, and... that he should have dumped me in the park, like they'd planned..."

"The park?" Suarez asked.

"Right after they took me, when I was little, the plan was that they were gonna dump me in a shallow grave in a park... it's in the statement I made about that..."

"Okay," Lydia said, seeing how Ben's jaw was clenched and his knuckles white. "What happened next?"

"I... I froze, I... He was coming at me, and... I was six and about to be thrown across the room again, and I froze. I don't... I don't know, I blacked out at some point..."

"I hate asking this, but are you sure it was him that did... this?" Lydia asked.

"I was conscious that long, I'm sure," Ryan said, lifting his injured hand. "Frank knows I'm right handed, he knows that I need my hand to draw, for school, for fun... I need my fucking hand, and he smashed it. It was Frank."

"Was he still there when you woke up?"

"Yeah," Ryan said. "But I... I didn't move, I stayed down, I stayed quiet, stayed still... it always used to work. He... he was tossing my stuff around, smashing everything he could, tearing everything he could... when he finally left, I got up, I got my cell, and I called Ben to ask him to bring me to the clinic on Fremont, he insisted on bringing me here instead."

"Why not call an ambulance?" Suarez asked.

"I can't afford the ambulance charge," Ryan said. "I can't afford the hospital bills either, hence the Fremont Clinic."

"I'll cover the hospital bill," Ben said firmly.

"Okay, thank you," Lydia said. "We'll put an APB out on him, try to get him locked up again, this time hopefully until trial."

"Fucking Julie'll bail him out," Ryan said.


"Julie Cooper-Nichols," Ryan said. "Frank's fiancée. She lives in Newport Beach, she's in the book."

"We'll find him," Lydia promised. "In the meantime, to be safe, you might wanna find somewhere else to stay."

"He's staying with me," Ben said.

"I am?" Ryan asked.

"Yes," Ben replied in a tone that pretty much left no room for argument.


"Fuck, Ben, big enough place for just you?" Ryan said as his brother pulled the jeep up into the driveway.

"I bought the place last year when prices were pretty much hitting bottom," Ben said. "Figured that when prices go back up, I can sell this place and have a decent back up if I get hurt on the job."

"Like you need to," Ryan said. "I do remember the size of our old house."

"Mom still lives there," Ben admitted. "I never knew whether I wanted to stay so you could find us, or wanted to move so I wouldn't have to remember that night."

"I always remembered," Ryan said. "I remember them beating on the door and you grabbing my hand and making me hide in the closet. I remember you and mom both screaming."

"Did he do this a lot?" Ben asked, gesturing at the bruises and the brace.

Ryan shrugged, then winced. "A couple times a year," he said.

"You said... you said he threw you..."

"Wrapped his hand around my throat, picked me up, and threw me," Ryan said. "My... their son, Trey... he took care of me a lot. Kinda reminded me of you, except, you know, I doubt you would have taken me to a party just for the laughs of seeing me drunk or stoned."

Ben couldn't help the short burst of laughter. "Probably not," he agreed.

"And I really doubt you would have gotten one of your friends to help me lose my virginity when I was 13," Ryan added, making sure he was looking at Ben for this reaction.

"Oh God..." Ben said, torn between laughing and being horrified.

"Yeah. But we patched each other up. I probably survived as long as I did because of Trey."

"If you wanna call him your brother, it's fine. Sounds like he was a good one."

"You would have been better at it."

"Maybe," Ben said. "Come on, let's get you inside. Think you can eat something?"

"Doubt it," Ryan said. "Wanna sleep, but..."

"The doctor said you can sleep, but I have to wake you up every couple hours," Ben said.


In the morning, Ben woke to the sound of someone knocking on his door, and he jumped up, rubbing a hand over his face, and hurried over to answer it before it woke Ryan, who had only been asleep for about an hour this time. He yanked open the door to see Cooper standing there. "Huh?" he said, shaking his head a moment later to clear it. "What's up?" he asked.

"How's the kid?" Cooper asked.

"Asleep," Ben said, stepping aside to wave Cooper in.

"Should he be..."

"I checked like an hour ago, he was fine, alert enough to call me an asshole then answer the questions," Ben said, smiling humorlessly. "Looks worse than he did last night, though."

Cooper nodded. "Bruises coming up, it'll keep getting worse for a while."

"Yeah, figured," Ben said. "What are you doing here?"

"I got the landlord to let me put a padlock on the outside to keep the door locked, since that asshole busted the knob, wanted to drop off the key," Cooper said, offering it. "And I grabbed some non-bloody clothes from the kid's room, and the book from his nightstand, 'case he stayed longer."

"Thanks," Ben said, taking the bag with the other stuff. "Do you know if...?"

"They haven't found him yet," Cooper said. "But they've got cops all over the state looking, they know this is family that asshole knocked around, so... we'll see if he survives long enough to go to trial."

Ben nodded. "Good."

"I called us both in for the day, everyone already knows about your brother, no one expected you in, and I got something to take care of..."

"What?" Ben asked.

Cooper shook his head. "The names the kid mentioned last night, Kaitlin and Marissa?"


"I have a cousin named Jimmy. He used to live in Newport Beach with his wife and their two girls, Marissa and Kaitlin. Marissa died a couple years ago, drug overdose. I talk to Kaitlin sometimes, she told me that her mother's dating a real asshole who has one hell of a temper. Called her this morning, found out the asshole's name."

"Frank Atwood," Ben guessed.

"Yep," Cooper said. "I'm gonna drive down there and get Kaitlin, bring her back here. Tell that bitch Julie that she gets her daughter back when she stops putting her in danger for the sake of that asshole." He shrugged. "Not exactly legal, but hell, Kait's gonna be 18 pretty soon, she can get away from the bitch is she wants."

"Ryan'll be happy to hear that," Ben said. "He's mentioned Kaitlin a few times. Said she's like a sister, that if Atwood touches her he'd kill the guy. Thing is, I'm pretty sure he means it."

"He'd have to stand in line," Cooper said. "Or maybe I'd let the kid go first, then cover for him."

They both turned as they heard the bedroom door open and Ryan appeared, his face and right arm a mass of bruises and his right hand held against his chest. "Painkillers?" he asked.

"Counter," Ben replied, watching Ryan head into the kitchen. "He's... Atwood better hope someone else finds him first."

"Hell yeah," Cooper agreed.

As Ryan shuffled back out of the kitchen, a bottle of water in his good hand, he actually acknowledged Cooper's presence. "Office Cooper," he said, the words coming out slurred and muffled.

"Turns out, I know you're friend Kaitlin," Cooper said. "Her father's my cousin."

"Seriously? You're related to Jimmy Cooper?"

"Yup, hard to believe huh?" Cooper said, offering a grin. "His side of the family doesn't much like mine, but... me and Kaitlin talk sometimes. I'm driving down there to get her, make sure that asshole doesn't lay a finger on her."

"Good," Ryan said. "Because Julie sure as hell won't protect her."

To Be Continued...
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Third Watch
Prunae: Meganprunae on March 28th, 2010 08:53 am (UTC)
I loved it!!! The dynamics between Ben and Ryan are great! But I'm wondering where the Cohens are?
I haven't seen Southland yet, but now I feel like watching the whole series... I'm looking forward to the next chapter!
jujuberry136jujuberry136 on March 28th, 2010 11:19 am (UTC)
Oh this was fantastic! Can't believe I didn't think of the Officer Cooper/Marissa Cooper connection. AWESOME.

Thanks so much for posting! I really can't wait to see what happens next!
alluxera: Ben&Johnalluxera on March 28th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this new 'verse, I enjoyed reading the story very much.
KLlving_darkness on March 28th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Oh hot damn this is awesome. And like hot angry Ben coupled with hot angry hurting Ryan is just amazingly hot and awesome and more please?

I love how the whole force is there to help, that Ryan is "family" and all. Speaking of family, though, where are the Cohen's? Do they even know about Ben?

But this was awesomly awesome; I can't wait for Kaitlyn and Ryan to be together and have that awesomly cute relationship.
finleefinlee on March 28th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
Really awesome. I was definitely in need of some OC fic. And throw in Sherman and Cooper - even better!
teachertamteachertam on March 29th, 2010 12:06 am (UTC)
This is awesome! What a great crossover. :)

And I'm KICKING myself for not noticing that Ben's partner's name is COOPER!!!!! So cool.

Thanks for this.

I can't wait to read more.
garnigalgarnigal on March 29th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
Really, really liked it. Nice tight writing, great dialogue and lots of action. I could totally see Ryan and Ben.
60schic: *hearts* Coopman60schic on March 29th, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
Excellent. I had thought of the Cooper coincidence but was never inspired to follow up, as you have.

One note: "You know how to drive an automatic?" - you really mean a standard, a manual, or more likely a stick. Anyone can drive an automatic.
Maramissmara on March 29th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
oops... Teach me to post while tired... lol... I'll edit and fix...
bsbfan2009: kaitlin ryanbsbfan2009 on April 14th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
great story can't wait for an update
ocmissocmiss on April 15th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
That was awesome, I just love the brother verse.
I loved the Ben character and the way he wants to protect Ryan !!
(Anonymous) on May 23rd, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
I really like the idea for this fic. I am curious to see which direction you take it.