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10 June 2010 @ 10:47 pm
The Follow Through (Chapter One) - Sequel to 'The Unexpected'  
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the The OC characters.

Notes: To fully understand this fic, you should read The Unexpected first. I think most of it is self explainitory, after a fashion. Most of it was written back when Season 2/early Season 3 was first airing, so it doesn't mesh with the canon timeline in the slightest beyond season one, and even that is AU (The Theresa-Baby mess didn't happen).

Like I said when I asked if anyone was interest, it has some problems in terms of things moving along way to fast and unrealistically, but... it still love this universe and it's wacky-nonsense... lol...

And believe me when I say, this fic IS Ryan/Summer, they just aren't together as it starts...

Chapter One

Ryan Cohen led a life that some would call perfect.

He had a brother who was his best friend, Seth, who he talked to on the phone at least once a week. A brother who would always end their conversations with a joke about their mom's cooking. He had a good friend on campus, Marissa, who he laughed and joked with. A friend who just happened to be in love with his brother and who was always trying to set him up on dates with her pretty friends. He had his loving parents, Sandy and Kirsten Cohen, who were always sending him money to make sure he had everything he needed, even though he could easily go home and ask if he did. He had a job at The Newport Group, the company his Grandfather, Caleb, owned all set up for after college. And he was already well respected by most of the employees for his intern work.

No one thought of the things that weren't so perfect.

The first 15 years of his life were spent in Chino with nothing except a mother who spent her time getting wasted and letting her boyfriends hit him. He'd been molested for 3 years by a friend of his mother's, and had slept with dozens of girls to try and forget. Sure, he'd been adopted into a great family, but before that his life was hell. His first girlfriend in Newport had treated him like crap, and almost killed herself with alchohol and drugs twice. And now he saw her everyday, his 'great' on-campus friend who just happened to be dating his brother, and he couldn't help remembering their failed romance whenever he did. His second real relationship had been happier, despite a few moments of drama, but that had come to a sudden end the night of graduation when she broke up with him and left him behind to go to NYU.

And now, the one person in his life he'd always been sure of, always trusted, was standing in front of him, accusing him of the worst thing he could.

"How could you?!" Seth yelled, his gaze constantly changing between Ryan and Marissa, accusing them both equally.

"Seth, this isn't what it looks like!" Marissa pleaded, desperately looking for her shirt from the night before to pull on over her silk camisole.

"My girlfriend and my brother are in his dorm room, she's topless, he's naked except for a towel, and they're in eachother's arms," Seth said. "I think it's pretty damn obvious that it's exactly what it looks like! I should have known better than to believe this wouldn't happen. Marissa who knows nothing about monogamy and Ryan who's slept with any woman who'd spread her legs since he was 12!"

Marissa gaped at Seth, horrified by his words. Her gaze slid over to Ryan for his reaction but all she saw was the stony look he used to use so much but hadn't in recent years. "Seth, please, just wait and let us explain! Ryan was just..."

"Getting ready to screw you? Probably screw you again, right?"

"Fuck you," Ryan muttered. "You have no idea what's going on, Seth!"

"I know the punk my dad brought home is just that! A punk from Chino who'll never be anything more!"

Ryan looked like he'd been slapped, and without saying a word he turned and he walked into the bathroom, slamming the door shut.

"Seth!" Marissa said, angry. "How could you say that to him?"

"He's fucking my girlfriend behind my back!" Seth yelled.

Ryan walked out of the bathroom again after a few moments, now dressed and looking pissed, though the hurt was still clear if you knew him. He didn't say a word to either of them as he shoved some things into a backpack.

"Ryan?" Marissa asked. "What are you doing?"

"Leaving," Ryan replied, his tone clipped.


"Good riddance," Seth said.

"Fuck you!" Ryan yelled, turning around to stare at his brother. "Go to hell, you spoiled little Nepwort brat!" he continued angrily. "You don't know jack shit about anything! If you knew me half as well as you think you do, you'd know the one thing I would never do is sleep with my brother's girlfriend."

"We're not brothers," Seth replied, just as angry. "You're just the stray my dad brought home, and then he and mom took pity on you so they adopted you."

The slapped look returned to Ryan's face as the blood drained from it. He froze for a moment, then yanked his wallet out and carefully, delibrately removed every credit card, dropping them on the bed. Then he dropped his checkbook and cellphone beside them. "Fine, who the hell needs you and your family," he said before grabbing his backpack and walking out.

"Oh my God," Marissa said. "What the hell is wrong with you?" she demanded from Seth. "I was almost raped last night and Ryan let me stay here so I would feel safer!" she said. "I woke up while he was in the shower and he heard me crying and came out to check on me and was comforting me, you asshole!" She grabbed her purse and jacket before running out of the room, desperate to catch Ryan. She found him right outside, looking a little lost. "Ry?"

"Leave me alone," he growled.

"Please, just wait a second," Marissa insisted, moving to stand in front of him. "Seth's just being stupid, you know..."

"Get out of my way, Marissa," Ryan said quietly.

"Do you even have any money?"

"5 bucks," Ryan reluctantly admitted.

Marissa pressed a small collection of folded bills into his hand. "Take it."


"Just take it, Ryan," Marissa insisted. "So I know you have it."

Ryan nodded slowly, seeing the worry on her face. "Thanks," he mumbled.

"Are you going home?" Marissa asked.

Ryan hesitated, then slowly nodded. "Yeah, I am," he finally said. He lightly touched her arm in a silent goodbye, then walked past her. He knew she meant 'home' as in Newport, but he meant 'home' as in Chino. Seth was right, he was never really his brother or Sandy and Kirsten's son, he was just someone they pitied. Ryan knew that once, years ago, but he let Sandy and Kirsten convince him otherwise, he'd believed the smile son their faces when he called them 'Mom' and 'Dad'.

But if Seth didn't consider him a brother, didn't trust him and love him as a brother, then there was no way Sandy and Kirsten loved him as a son. It just wasn't a possibility.


Seth drove straight to his parents' house, wanting to find Ryan and apologize. After he'd snapped out of his daze and gone after Marissa and Ryan, he'd found Marissa sitting on the stairs outside, and asked her what happened. She had told him the whole story, that a drunk frat boy had attacked her the night before at a party, but Campus police had arrived to break the party up and stopped it. That she hadn't wanted to bother her father during one of Hailey's rare visits home from Japan, that her mother was in Paris again, and that she'd called Ryan to ask him to pick her up from the security office and take her back to her dorm.

But she had been scared of being alone and Ryan had offered her his bed, sleeping on the floor and keeping watch all night, just so she'd feel safe. How she'd been scared when she woke up and he wasn't there, and he'd come running out of the bathroom in just the towel when he heard her crying and had wrapped his arms around her, swearing he wouldn't let anyone hurt her and reminding her that Seth would be home that weekend and everything would be okay.

So now Seth's guilty was tearing him up. He hadn't meant any of what he'd said, he loved Ryan, so did Sandy and Kirsten, they were a family. But he'd let his anger take over and he'd said the one thing he knew would hurt Ryan the most. The one thing he knew was Ryan's weakness: his sense of self worth and his place in the Cohen family.

Seth pulled to a rushed stop in the Cohen driveway and jumped out, barging into the house and heading towards the sounds of his parents voices. "Where's Ryan?" he asked.

"At school," Sandy replied. "What's..."

"You mean he's not here?" Seth demanded, worried. "Shit!"

"Watch your language!" Kirsten admonished.

"Mom, I screwed up, and Ryan's pissed and he told Marissa he was going home! He left before me he should have long since gotten here unless something happened!"

"What do you mean you screwed up, what happened?" Sandy asked.

"Tell them, Seth," Marissa said as she walked in, her face showing her anger. "Tell them what you said to Ryan, tell them how you made sure you said the one thing that would tear him up inside."

"I didn't mean..." Seth started.

"You still said it!" Marissa replied, furious. "You screamed it in his face, Seth!"

"What?" Sandy asked.

"That none of you really love Ryan, and that he's... he's a male slut or something because he's slept with more than 2 girls in his life. Not to mention throwing in his face something he told us all in confidence!" Marissa yelled.

"What is going on?" Kirsten demanded.

"What's going on is Seth is an idiot," Marissa said. "I was almost raped last night and Ryan let me stay with him so I'd know I was safe. And then Seth saw him comforting me after I freaked out this morning and he started accusing us of sleeping together. And then he said those horrible things... God, Seth! Don't you realize there is nothing you could have said that would have hurt him worse?!"

"I'm sorry," Seth whispered.

"Tell him that," Marissa said. "If he ever comes back."


Ryan trudged down the sidewalk, ignoring the rain that was swiftly soaking him. He had never wanted to return to Chino, but here he was, walking down the familiar street to the familiar house, hoping for a roof over his head for at least a night. He stopped when he reached the gate, and took a deep breath before walking up the front walk and knocking on the door. He heard a little girl's voice inside, and shivered in the chill, not sure what he would say when the door opened. Or rather, what to say if it opened and if she didn't slam it in his face, considering that's what she did last time he'd turned up at her door unexpectedly, 2 years ago.

Finally the door opened, revealing the girl he'd come to see. "What the hell are you doing here?" she demanded, frowning.

"Nice to see you, too, Theresa," Ryan mumbled.

Theresa sighed. "Get in here before you catch pnuemonia and die," she said, grabbing his arm and pulling him inside. "What are you doing here, Ry?"

"I don't have anywhere else to go," Ryan whispered.

Theresa frowned. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"I screwed everything up, Theresa, like I do everything good in my life..."

To Be Continued...
(Anonymous) on June 11th, 2010 05:51 am (UTC)
Intense start. I wasn't expecting Ryan and Summer not to be together, but that just makes things more interesting. I am curious to see what her reaction would be when she learns what Seth said to Ryan thought.

As for him going to Theresa, I hope someone realizes that he went back to Chino before its to late for Seth to fix what he did.
60schic60schic on June 11th, 2010 05:55 am (UTC)
And just like that, the ping of OC angst gets my blood pumping, just like in the old days.

Outside of a few misguided comments during the Oliver days, Canon Seth never would have said such things, but oh how we loved to have Seth turn into an asshole in fanfic, and what he said would so have twisted a knife in Ryan's heart.

Keep writing, Missmara; Fanfic Ryan returns!
finleefinlee on June 11th, 2010 12:05 pm (UTC)
Awesome and so sad. Reminds me of why I love Ryan OC fics! Thanks for posting. I miss reading good stuff!
fifimom on June 11th, 2010 12:37 pm (UTC)
Yay! I can't read this now but I really look forward to reading later tonight.