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04 December 2010 @ 08:08 pm
Fic: Breathe (The Rewrite) - Chapter Two  
Title: Breath
Author: Mara (missmara)
Fandom: The OC
Rating: Hard R.
Warnings: M/M Rape (Non-graphic), violence, suicidal thoughts, really harsh language.
Summary: This wasn't suppose to happen to guys like him, guys who everyone saw as tough. He should have been able to fight Volchak off, to get away. He should have gotten a beating, but not... not that.
Notes: I like this chapter. I'll repeat now my note from the end of last chapter: This will NOT have any Ryan/Summer romance. They are friends, and become better friends, but they will never be more than friends in this fic.


Breath - Chapter Two

"I'm not stupid, Chino," Summer said a few days later, when she came to see Ryan at home and found him pretending to sleep. "I know you're awake," she continued, moving to stand in front of him with her hands on her hips.

"If you're so smart, why can't you tell that I wanna be left alone?" Ryan muttered, yanking the covers up over his head.

"I also know you're not telling us, any of us, the whole truth, and I am seriously getting worried, Ryan," Summer said as she sat down and moved the covers enough to find his hand and grip it tightly in her own. When he pushed the covers back down again and gave her hand a squeeze, she offered him a sad smile. "Please, just talk to me."

"I really don't want to talk to anyone," Ryan replied.

"Yeah, I got that from Seth's stories about you snarling at him to leave you alone, and overhearing Sandy and Kirsten whispering about how you're stonewalling them with that bullshit about not remembering anything."

"Summer..."

"Please, just talk to me, Chino," Summer said. "I'm really worried that we're losing you."

"What is that suppose to mean?" Ryan asked, eyes narrowing.

"You won't talk to us, you won't go in and eat dinner with the Cohens, who aren't even sure you're eating at all, you're yelling at Cohen, you won't take Marissa's calls..."

"It's her fault! He never would have..." Ryan cut himself off as he realized what he'd been about to say. "Please, Summer..."

"He? He who?" Summer said. "The guy that beat you up? So you do know who it was, and it's someone Marissa knows?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Ryan said, looking away and trying to pull his hand free of hers only to have her hold on tighter.

"Please, I won't tell anyone what you say, I just... I'm scared of what will happen if you don't tell someone."

"The doctor who treated me knows everything, and she made sure it was taken care of," Ryan said. "I just want to forget it happened."

Summer looked at him for a long moment, then looked down at his hands, both the one she held tightly in her own and the one that had a white knuckle grip on the rumpled covers. "It wasn't just a beating," she finally said. "I'm right about that, aren't I?"

"Sum..."

"I don't need or want details, I don't even need to know who, though I want to know so I can hurt them, but... please, just tell me, I swear it stays between us."

"Yes, okay?" Ryan said. "He threw a bottle at my head, and I... I was going to walk away I didn't want to be that guy who got in fights anymore, you know?"

"Yeah," Summer whispered.

"But he threw the bottle, and it was like my Ma's boyfriends all over again. They used to throw stuff at me and Trey's heads all the time, and I just... I snapped. I turned around, and I went after him... and he... he hit me with this big ashtray or something... I couldn't... I couldn't focus, Summer... I couldn't make myself fight hard enough."

"It's not your fault," Summer said, releasing his hand to lift hers to his face, cradling it. "It's not, Chino. You had a concussion, and internal bleeding..."

"When he was... when he was done, he started in with the beating again... I'm not even sure when he stopped, just that suddenly he had and he was sitting there smoking like... like he hadn't just done that."

"It's not your fault," Summer repeated. "Chino, you have to..."

"I can't..." Ryan interrupted. "Please, Summer, you promised me."

"I won't tell anyone," Summer said. "But you have to keep talking to me, okay? Just in case... if you ever think you're going to do something really stupid that can't be taken back, you call me first."

"Okay," Ryan said.

"Promise me," Summer said firmly.

"I promise."

"You... you got tested, right?"

Ryan nodded. "Dr. Julian told me before I was released that the first tests came back clean, but... I'll need to get retested."

"If you need me to go with you..."

"You'll be at Brown, remember? I'll be at Berkeley."

"I'll fly in then," Summer said. "I'm here for you, Chino. You gotta believe that."

"I can't sleep, I can barely choke down food..." Ryan said. "I'm not suppose to... This isn't suppose to happen to guys like me, I'm suppose to be able to fight back. I'm suppose to be tough..."

"He took a cheap shot, and he's gonna pay, one way or another."

"I just... I wanna forget."

"We don't have to talk about it," Summer said. "If you need to talk, I'll listen, but... you don't have to."

"Thanks. And... be careful?"

"I will," Summer whispered. "Do I need to ask my dad to change our locks?" she asked after a moment.

"You probably should."

"Okay, I will," Summer said, squeezing his hand again. "Do you want me to...?" she asked, gesturing towards the door.

"Can you stay a while?" Ryan asked. "I think I might sleep better if someone I trusted was here."

"Sure," Summer said, shifting so she could sit on the floor and still hold his hand. "I'm not going anywhere."

"Thanks."

~~~

"Summer went out to check on him two hours ago and hasn't returned," Seth said as Sandy and Kirsten arrived home. "I'm starting to think he's killed her."

"Seth," Kirsten scolded, setting down her purse then heading out to the pool house. She opened the door and started to say something only to see Summer frantically gesture with one hand for her to stay silent. As Kirsten slipped through the door, she saw that Ryan was asleep, his face relaxed and peaceful for the first time in days. She knelt down beside Summer, putting an arm around the girl's shoulders and leaning in close. "I don't know how you did it, but thank you," she whispered.

Summer smiled, her voice just as soft as she replied. "He was just so exhausted. I don't wanna wake him up by leaving."

"I'll explain to Seth, tell him that no, Ryan hasn't killed you," Kirsten promised. "Do you think you can go two for two and get him to eat?"

"I can try, but..."

"In a while," Kirsten agreed. She placed a kiss on Summer's forehead, then stood and grabbed a pillow from one of the chairs to tuck between Summer and the nightstand so she could lean back and be a bit more comfortable. "I'll let you know when we're about to order the food."

"Okay," Summer agreed.

Kirsten headed back inside, and rolled her eyes at the raised eyebrows from Sandy and the frown from Seth. "She's still alive," Kirsten told them, smiling as Sandy chuckled. "And she got Ryan to actually sleep, not just pretend to," she added.

"That girl's a keeper," Sandy told Seth, who nodded seriously.

"I don't know how she did it, but... he actually looked peaceful," Kirsten said, leaning against the counter. "I don't even care how she did it, just that she did."

"I'm gonna go... do something..." Seth said, knowing his parents weren't going to say anything important with him standing there, and knowing he could eavesdrop from the hall. Sure enough, as soon as he went up the first couple steps, he heard them talking and tiptoed back to listen.

"I just don't know what else to do," Sandy said, and Seth figured that this must be a continuation of a conversation he hadn't overheard. "He's in pain, he's not sleeping, he's not eating..."

"He's also legally an adult," Kirsten said.

"That's why it's called involuntary," Sandy said, though he seemed to hate saying the words. "We can get him held for evaluation, and maybe that'll be enough."

"He will never forgive us," Kirsten replied. "I will never forgive us. He hasn't done anything wrong and you want to punish him."

"I want to help him!" Sandy protested.

"Locking him up won't help him," Kirsten said firmly. "I have let you make a lot of the decisions about how we handled things related to Ryan, but not this one Sandy. Someone hurt him, and you want to lock him up, and that is not happening on my watch."

"Kirsten, I'm just worried about Ryan, you know that."

"I know," Kirsten agreed. "But putting him in a hospital is the wrong choice. All it is going to do is drive him away from us, and probably to Dawn. Do you really think that She is equipped to give him the support he needs right now? Do you think he'll be okay in the same house as Dawn's string of random men?"

Seth's frown deepened, realizing that he had somehow missed something big along the way. Ryan had been beaten up plenty of times, but he'd never seemed to have a problem being around people he didn't know. That was something Seth had always envied about Ryan: his ability to find a way to belong wherever he was. Officially Ryan might be an outsider in Newport, but the outpouring of concern and support that had come in since word had gotten out about Ryan's hospitalization was proof that people in Newport knew and liked him, even if they would never admit it.

"I'm not sure he'll be okay staying here," Sandy replied, almost too quietly for Seth to hear.

"Sandy..."

"We both know he wasn't just beaten, not with how he's reacting to this," Sandy continued, his voice still soft. "But if he can't admit it... we can't even find out if the doctor... if she checked for other damage."

"And sending him away, to some place where he will be locked in, is not going to fix him," Kirsten insisted. "It's going to make him think we blame him."

"He can't keep going like this," Sandy said, his voice cracking. "Neither can we."

"What is that suppose to mean?"

"You've called your sponsor at least once a day since that morning."

"Because I'm not taking any chances. Yes, this is stressful, and yes I want to drink, but I'm not going to because my family needs me. Because one of my sons is laying in bed out there, beaten after being... after..."

"We can't even say it."

"I want to know who did this so I can kill them," Kirsten admitted.

"Stand in line," Sandy told her.

"No Sandy, you wait in line," Kirsten said, her voice sounding ready to snap. "That monster hurt one of my boys, and if one of us gets to make him regret it? It's going to be me."

Seth flinched as he heard a drawer being yanked open and rifled through.

"We should stick to simple food. How about sandwiches?"

"Kirsten..."

"Right now, we need to get food," Kirsten replied tensely. "Because I am not discussing sending one of my sons away. It's not happening, Sandy."

"Okay," Sandy replied, sounding exhausted and, for the first time that Seth could remember, old.

Seth crept up to his room, unsure what to make out of what he had overheard, and not wanting to believe the only conclusion he could come to based on what he'd heard.

To Be Continued...

Part Three is actually almost totally done, but I wanna get Part Four at least half finished before I post it... probably in a couple days, though.
 
 
 
chrisearchrisear on December 5th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
great update... not sure if I can believe that sandy and kirsten just know or suspect without a bit more background information...but I love it
ihearttwojacksihearttwojacks on December 5th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
This story is really good. I can see how Kirsten and Sandy would suspect something worse had happened to Ryan, because he has been beaten before and never reacted like this. The jump to suspecting rape isn't to hard when he doesn't want anyone to touch him or be near him and he won't admit anything happened.
indigorayne: runningindigorayne on December 5th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
Great update, can't wait to see what happens next.