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07 March 2011 @ 05:52 pm
Fic: Breathe (The Rewrite) - Chapter Three  
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: Sorry for the long gap on this one, I kept fiddling with the chapter... lol

Breath - Chapter Three

Kirsten and Sandy looked up from perusing the take out menus as Summer walked in. "Is everything okay?" Sandy asked, worried.

"He's awake," Summer said. "When I told him about Seth thinking he'd killed me, Ryan told me to come in and prove to Cohen that I'm still alive."

"Seth's upstairs," Kirsten said.

Summer nodded and started out of the kitchen, then turned back. "He didn't say it, you know him, but... he's still really sore, so if you were wanting a family meal..."

"We'll join him in the pool house," Kirsten agreed, nodding. "I'm not about to make him walk in here. And Summer, you're welcome to stay."

"Thanks, I'd like that," Summer said. "Just order me whatever, I'm starving."

Kirsten smiled at the girl, then looked over at Sandy. "I'm gonna go ask Ryan what he'd like."

"You think he'll actually eat?" Sandy asked.

"I don't know, but we can hope," Kirsten said before turning and heading out across the patio. "Hey, sleep well?" she asked as she entered the pool house and found Ryan sitting up and looking rested, but pale.

"Yeah," Ryan replied. "Summer said something about dinner?"

"We're ordering sandwiches from the deli down on Harden," Kirsten asked. "Any preference?"

"A club or something?" Ryan said. "I'm not that hungry, but... a club will still be good cold."

"If we get you a club, and cut it in fourths, do you think you could eat at least one fourth?" Kirsten asked.

"Yeah," Ryan said, nodding. "I can try."

"Okay, that's all I ask," Kirsten said. "We're all going to come out here so we can eat together, okay? I don't want you having to move too much just yet."

"Okay," Ryan agreed. He watched as she got up, then called out as she reached the door. "Kirsten?"

"Yeah, honey?" Kirsten replied, turning back.

"I'm trying. I know I'm snapping, but... I'm..."

"I know," Kirsten said, returning to his side and sitting on the edge of the bed. "Ryan... we love you, and no matter how much you snap at us, how much you pretend to be asleep when you really aren't, we're not going away. We're here for the long haul, honey."

"I can't sleep," Ryan admitted. "I keep having nightmares every time I try... today was the first time I've slept more than an hour at a time."

"Because Summer was with you?" Kirsten said. "And you know she'd stab any intruders with forks?" she added, smiling as Ryan laughed slightly, the color returning to his face.

"Yeah," he said, though it was hesitant.

"Ryan, if you want someone with you so you can sleep, all you have to do is ask."

"I don't want anyone to sit with me," Ryan said. "I just..."

"If you need us to," Kirsten corrected herself, lifting a hand to brush his hair back off his forehead. "That's what parents do, honey, we keep the monsters away so you can sleep. Okay?"

"Okay," Ryan said. "I... I haven't even..."



"Oh, no honey, don't worry," Kirsten said quickly. "You already took your finals, and Dr. Kim is well aware of your injuries. If you're up to it, you can walk across the stage at graduation, if not you'll still get your diploma. You don't need to worry about school."

"Oh," Ryan said.

"The only thing you need to focus on is resting."


"I'm gonna go order the food," Kirsten said, giving his hand a squeeze. "I invited Summer to join us for dinner, so I think maybe I'll get Sandy and Seth to flex some muscles and bring in another chair or two."

"Seth? Muscles?" Ryan said, knowing it was a lame joke but he hoped that it would reassure Kirsten, and sure enough she laughed as she got up and headed back inside. Ryan sighed, shifting to get up so he could go to the bathroom and splash some cold water on his face, try to prep himself for a dinner that he knew would be awkward, since he knew that Summer had figured out, and he was pretty certain that Kirsten at least was close to it. Something about how she didn't seem to question his snapping and the constant tension, how she had promised that they were there for the long haul, as long as he needed them, how she had understood about needing someone to keep the monsters away while he slept. He took a deep, shaky breath, wishing he could pretend it hadn't happened for just a few minutes and knowing he couldn't.

"Ryan?" Sandy asked.

Ryan slowly lifted his gaze see Sandy in the doorway with the couch cushions in his arms. "What are you doing?" he asked, unable to help a short burst of laughter.

"It's hard to eat in a chair with no table," Sandy said. "Easier to just sit on the floor."

"So you decided to drag the couch cushions out here?"

"It's this or listen to Seth complain about the floor being so hard," Sandy said as he set the cushions down, then pulled the ones off the chairs, too, arranging them all in a semi-circle around one side of the bed. "Because you know he will."

"Yeah, he will," Ryan agreed.

"If... if you get tired, just let us know," Sandy said, hesitating before sitting down on a cushion. "I..."

"I don't wanna talk about it," Ryan said.

"I think you need to," Sandy said, his tone so gentle, so careful, that Ryan felt a sudden urge to hit him.

"I don't," Ryan repeated, pushing himself up off the bed, and feeling a rush of dizziness hit him.

"Ryan," Sandy began, getting up to steady his son.

"Don't touch me," Ryan snapped, yanking away and almost falling back onto the bed.

"Ryan, I'm worried..."

"You really think this is a good topic, Sandy?" Ryan demanded. "Seriously, you think chatting about it over sandwiches is a good evening?"

"I just think you should talk to someone..."

"And tell them what?!" Ryan snapped. "That he bashed me over the head and pinned me to the floor, and raped me?!"

Sandy froze, one hand still stretched out to steady Ryan. He'd suspected it, he'd been almost certain of it, but to actually hear his son, his child, say it out loud was... almost too much. "Ryan..." he whispered.

"I should have been able to fight back," Ryan said, his voice cracking. "I should have... I could have fought more..."

"You had a concussion, he broke your ribs..."

"I could have fought..."

"I know you did, but you were hurt, he made sure you couldn't fight enough."


"Ryan, please, you have to let us help you."

"Help me?" Ryan asked. "How, Sandy? You can't fix this. You can't..."

"I can try."

"I just wanna forget it happened."

"I know, kid," Sandy said, slowly stepping forward, one arm out stretched, and feeling the weight lift, just slightly, as Ryan not only let him get close, but actually stepped into Sandy's embrace. "I know," he repeated, wrapping his arms around his son. "If I could just snap my fingers and fix this..."

"I'm sorry," Ryan whispered.

"You've got nothing to be sorry for," Sandy said. "I just need you to keep talking to us, even if it's not about this. Tell us all the trouble Seth's gotten into that we don't know about if that's what you want..." He smiled as he heard a soft laugh from Ryan. "I just need you to keep talking to us," he repeated.

"Okay," Ryan said, pulling back slightly. "I... you knew, didn't you?"

"We suspected," Sandy admitted, urging Ryan to sit back down on the bed then sitting beside him. "We didn't know, but... we were pretty sure."

"Kirsten too?"

"Yeah," Sandy said. "Seth's clueless as far as we know."

"He usually is," Ryan said. "I... I sorta told Summer... I didn't... she guessed, from what I said and what I didn't say, and... I confirmed it. She said you guys were worried I'd hurt myself..."

"We have been," Sandy admitted. "You weren't talking to us, and we didn't know how bad it was physically because your doctor wouldn't tell us, just kept citing confidentiality..."

"Summer made me promise that if I ever thought of doing something stupid, I'd call her first."

"Good," Sandy said. "You can call us, too."

"I know." Ryan sighed, looking down at his hands. "Dr. Julian did STD tests, the first set was clean," he said. "I'll need to get retested in a few weeks."

"Good, that you were tested and so far so good."

"She... she said they did a full exam once they realized, so I got... I got the treatment I needed for all of it."


"I wish I could just forget it happened," Ryan admitted. "Just... pretend I never... pretend I never got involved..."

"Involved?" Sandy asked, hesitant. The last thing he wanted was to push Ryan into retreating back into silence, but if he could get a name, he could do something.

Ryan glanced over at Sandy, then back down at the floor. "That guy Marissa took to prom," he finally said. "He stole the money for the after party, and I went to get it back. He... I tried to walk away, Sandy. I didn't wanna be that guy that fights anymore..."

"He's the one that..." Sandy trailed off, unable to bring himself to say it.

"Yeah," Ryan said.

"We have to tell the police, Ryan," Sandy said gently. "Let them arrest him, lock him up."

"I can't talk about this... if I tell the cops, it means a trial. It means I have to get up on the stand and tell people about... I can't, Sandy."

"We can figure that out, but we can't let him wander around out there after what he did. What happens if the next person isn't as strong as you? What if they can't take it, what if they don't have enough people who love them?"

"I can't," Ryan whispered.

"Do... do you know if they did a rape kit?" Sandy asked, forcing the words out.

"Yeah, Dr. Julian said they did, but there... there won't be any evidence. I showered, I stayed under the water for... an hour? I don't know, it seemed like forever... I washed everything off."

"Maybe not everything," Sandy said. "There might have been something left."

"How'd you know?" Ryan asked, and Sandy could see it was an attempt to divert the conversation from the topic of proof and testifying.

"The doctor told us about everything else, but when we asked why you needed antiobiotics, she clammed up, started citing confidentiality," Sandy said. "We figured that meant you didn't want us knowing why you needed them. And you... we've known you three years Ryan, we've seen you trying to cover for Seth, and we can tell when you're lying to us. We knew you remembered more than you were telling anyone."

"It's not like it's a dinner topic," Ryan said with a snort. "No matter what you seem to think."

"It didn't... we didn't want to think about it, so we ran through every other possibility," Sandy continued, ignoring the jab. "For a while, we tried to convince ourselves that we were over reacting. But... the day after you talked to Detective Overman at the hospital, we came home and found Rosa sitting here in tears."

"Why?" Ryan asked.

"She found your clothes on the bathroom floor," Sandy explained. "Saw the blood on your pants, figured it out." He sighed, shrugging. "After that, it all... it made sense. The way you flinched away from Seth and me, but not Kirsten... the... you had a nightmare that last night in the hospital, probably because they didn't give you anything to help you sleep that night. You kept... you kept begging someone to stop and not to... not to do 'this'... It was hard to convince ourselves of anything else after we heard that."

Ryan took a deep breath. "I'm sorry I lied," he said.

"No, kid, it's... I don't blame you for wanting to forget. But you can't, and you know you can't. Do you really think he'll never do something like this again? Do you... do you really..."

"The nightmares are usually that he comes back," Ryan admitted, looking down at his hands again. "I'll talk to the detective tomorrow, tell him everything. Am I... am I gonna be in trouble for lying?"

"No, Ryan, you're not," Sandy promised. "Detective Overman knows about our suspicions, and he assured me that no one will hold it against you. It'll be okay."

"No offense, but I don't think I believe you," Ryan said.

"Yeah, well, believe that Kirsten will take over the world if she has to in order to make it okay for you," Sandy said, looking up at his wife stepped onto the back patio with a bag of food, Seth and Summer following with plates and utensils. "Let's put this aside for the night, okay? We'll forget about it for tonight, and tomorrow we'll start facing it."

"Okay," Ryan agreed.

To Be Continued...

steve_ski: RyanBruisesteve_ski on March 8th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
Nice update.... Like how Sandy manages to get him to admit it without pushing too hard.
jujuberry136jujuberry136 on March 8th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
I love seeing supportive!Sandy and Kristen, and the thought of Summer stabbing people with forks was a great moment of levity.

Thanks for sharing!
alluxeraalluxera on March 8th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
Great update! Thank you for continuing this story. I'm glad Sandy and Kirsten know the truth.
francy_90 on January 30th, 2012 12:09 pm (UTC)
I just found this story and I really like it! Hopefully you haven't given up on it because it's really good and very well written! Please, update!
Maramissmara on January 30th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
I haven't given up on it, I've just been in a little bit of a writing slump over the last year... I'm slowly getting back into the swing of it, though, so maybe sometime relatively soon...

Edited to add: And thanks for the compliment! lol... I liked my original version of this fic, but I like this version so much more, there's so much more potential in my opinion...

Edited at 2012-01-30 09:21 pm (UTC)
francy_90 on January 30th, 2012 11:00 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy to hear that! I like both versions, but I prefer this one too!... I'm really looking forward to your next chapter!