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26 April 2010 @ 06:02 pm
Fic: Fear Of Touch (The OC, Ryan Centric)  
Written from a prompt by aelijah85 on oc_plotbunnies. It's very much open ended, mostly because I don't know where it would go from here. But I will most likely write more in the universe at some point.

Warning for mention of sexual abuse, but nothing explicit.

Fear Of Touch

Ryan stared blankly at Sandy's hand for a moment before taking a step back. "I gotta go," he said, tilting his head towards his pissed off mother. "Thanks for your help, Mr. Cohen."

"If you need anything," Sandy began, offering Ryan his card. He frowned when Ryan hesitated. "I just want to help."

Ryan gingerly reached out, taking the card between thumb and forefinger, and slid it into his pocket. "Thanks," he repeated.

"In the car, Ryan!" Dawn yelled.

Ryan shrugged and got in the car, sitting pressed against the door, as far from his mother as possible. He offered Sandy a brief nod as the car pulled away, leaving the man to wonder what exactly he was missing.


When they got home, Ryan ignored Dawn's continued ranting and AJ's jabs and headed back to his room, wedging a chair under the door before sitting down on his bed, pushed as far into the corner as possible and eyes squeezed shut against the yelling. He knew that AJ would probably be beating on the door soon, ordering him to get his ass out of the room, maybe telling him to make them dinner or maybe just to mess with Ryan by waiting until he was in the hall then pinning him to the wall, well aware of how the second they touched, Ryan would feel like every nerve was on fire.

"Get your ass out here!" AJ yelled, banging his fist on the door. "You don't want me coming in there!"

Ryan could almost feel his skin burning at the thought, and was on his feet in an instant, moving the chair and opening the door to face AJ, who smirked. "What?" Ryan asked between gritted teeth.

"Your mom wants to talk to you," AJ said, his grin almost feral as he took half a step backwards. It left enough room for Ryan to squeeze by, but not enough for him to feel comfortable doing so.

"AJ... come on..." Ryan pleaded, disgusted with himself but at the same time hoping that, for once, the man would have a shred of decency.

"There's plenty of room," AJ said. "Unless you want me to come in..." he added, gesturing towards the bedroom as he eyed Ryan carefully.

Ryan took a deep breath and pressed his back to the doorframe and wall so he could slide by, eyes locked on AJ. Of course, the man waited until Ryan was past him and had turned his back before he grabbed Ryan by the back of the neck, causing the teenager to scream and yank away.

"Fuck, knock it off!" Dawn yelled from the living room as she came into view.

For a moment, Ryan hoped that she was talking to AJ, but no, her glare was directed at Ryan as he hunched his shoulders and edged around the room to put distance between himself and AJ. "Ma?" he asked.

"I want you out."

"What?" Ryan asked.

"You heard her," AJ said.

"Ma, you don't..." Ryan began.

"You'e useless, won't even work to bring in money..."

"I pay half the bills!" Ryan snapped. "You're the one who won't work!"

"You could pull in enough we wouldn't have to!" AJ replied, giving Ryan another once over. "But no, you're a fucking freak who won't even let a hot piece of ass like that slut next door..."

"Don't call her that," Ryan said.

"Just get out, Ry, I can't keep doing this..." Dawn said.

"Who's gonna pay the bills then, Ma?" Ryan asked. "Huh? Because AJ's unemployed, you got fired last week, I'm the only one with a paycheck coming in!"

"Start making more and we'll think about it," AJ said.

"Fuck you."

"Nah, those screams hurt my ears," AJ replied.

"Ma," Ryan tried again.

"Get your stuff and go," Dawn said, turning away.

"Where am I suppose to go?"

"I don't care, as long as it's not here."

Ryan looked at her back for a long moment. "Please, Ma. I know I'm fucked up, I just... please...I try, you know I try..."

"My own fucking kid won't let me hug him!" Dawn snapped.

"I'm sorry, I try..."

"Pack your stuff and get going," Dawn repeated, sniffling slightly.


"You heard her!" AJ yelled, reaching out to grab Ryan's arm.

"Leave him alone," Dawn said. "Come help me..."

Ryan waited until AJ was sliding the needle into Dawn's arm beffore he went back to his room, grabbing everything he could fit in his backpack. He hesitated, then closed the door, locking the knob and wedging the chair under the knob again, before climbing out the window. It wasn't much, but it would piss AJ off and there's no way the asshole could fit through the window. He'd have to pay one of the neighborhood kids to go in and open the door if he wanted into the room.

As he headed down the alley behind the house, he slid his hands into his jacket pocket, his fingers grazing the card that lawyer had given him. When he pulled it out to look at it, the man's name 'Sandy Cohen' was printed on the front, and on the back was a hastily scribbled cellphone number and a message. 'Call if you need help.' Ryan stared at the card for a long moment, then hitched his backpack up higher on his shoulder and began to move faster as he heard AJ starting to yell obscenities behind him.


Sandy was halfway back to Newport when he got Ryan's call, but once the kid explained that he'd been kicked out and had nowhere to go, Sandy made a U-Turn and headed back to Chino. He wasn't surprised to find Ryan sitting precisely where he'd said he'd be, sitting on a short stone wall. As Sandy pulled to a stop nearby, he rolled down the window. "You could do worse," he said, trying for humor, but getting a blank look instead.

He waited while Ryan went around to get into the car, noticing that, like in his mother's car just a few hours earlier, Ryan pressed his body against the door, as far as he could get from Sandy. "You can stay with my family tonight," Sandy began. "We'll go to social services in the..."

"I can't do foster care again."

Sandy glanced over at Ryan's firm statement. "Kid, there's..."

"I've done it, it was worse that living with my mom," Ryan said. "Last time... they thought all I needed was a hug."

"I don't understand what..."

"When people touch me, it feels like my skin is burning," Ryan whispered. "It hurts, and... I can't do foster care with more people who think touching me will make me 'get over it'."


"If that's your plan then let me out here."

"Ryan, it's okay, we'll figure out a better option."


The End... For Now

The burning sensation when touched is something specifically mentioned on the wiki page for Haptephobia (Fear Of Being Touched).
indigorayneindigorayne on April 27th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
Cool, this is an interesting idea.
jujuberry136jujuberry136 on April 27th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
Never seen this before- really cool idea!
fifimom on April 27th, 2010 03:46 am (UTC)
Interesting. I hope you go further with this.
alluxera: Ryan1alluxera on April 27th, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
Very promising, I like it.
Delightaelijah85 on April 28th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
I don't have my computer right now so I just saw that you posted this.
I loved what you did with it I am looking forward to seeing what you might add to the verse.

Thanks *hugs*
Amyparisamy on May 3rd, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
I really like this idea. I hope you continue.
dogsbody01 on May 19th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
Love to know, the story of why and what happened exactly.