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04 April 2011 @ 03:50 pm
Mercy - Chapter One (The OC/Southland)  
Locked for now... will unlock in a few days...

Title: Mercy
Fandoms: The OC/Southland
Characters: Ryan Atwood, John Cooper, others
Rating: R
Warnings: Mentions of past violence, rape, and language.
Summary: When John offered to help, he didn't expect to end up with a teenager. Sequel to Three Years.
Notes: Wow... I seriously didn't expect the kind of reaction I got when I posted a question about whether everyone would want to see this. I thought one or two people would express an interest, but I definitely didn't expect any excited capslock YESs... lol... AU for both shows, most prominently that Ryan didn't move in with the Cohens, and Ben Sherman doesn't exist.

Also... I like this is as, and while I haven't had the chance to rewatch eps/scenes with Laurie to make sure she's in character, I don't think we've had much characterization besides "Still cares about John even though he's an ass"... so I'm gonna stop worrying and post this. Hopefully you guys will like it.

John Cooper absently flipped through a magazine as he sat in the kid's hospital room, not really seeing anything in it as he waited for the kid to wake up. Fucking idiots in the Prosecutor's office, not keeping the person who'd blown the whole thing wide open safe from retaliation. They knew from the kid's statement that some of the guards had been involved in the abuse, but they hadn't bothered to round up Ackerman's henchmen before sending the kid back to his cell and one of the bastards had gotten to him, beating him unconscious and necessitating a hospital stay.

He paused in his movements as he heard a noise from the bed and lifted his head. "Ryan?" he asked, sitting up straight as the kid turned his head towards him. "Hey, sleeping beauty wakes," John joked, grinning when the kid let out a short chuckle. "How you feelin'?"

"Like I got my ass kicked," Ryan admitted, coughing slightly.

John pushed himself up out of the chair and poured a glass of water for Ryan, sticking a straw in it and holding it close enough for Ryan to get a sip. "Ackerman's locked up. Word spread quick at Bennington that he'd gone after kids, so he's in solitary to ensure he doesn't get killed before they've even finalized all the charges."

"Too bad," Ryan muttered.

John nodded. "I'm with you on that one, kid."

"What are you doing here?"

"What, you thought I'd get that letter, hand it over to somebody and forget about it?" John asked. "Screw that. I'm in this until you're safe."

"Why?" Ryan asked, his voice quiet and just a little suspicious.

"Because you said I was the only person who even pretended to give a damn, and after what you've been through, and what you risked to get help? You deserve to have at least one person hanging around that at least pretends to give a damn," John replied. "So, you're stuck with me until everything is cleared up and I'm sure you're okay."

"Best case scenario? My mother ditches her scum of the earth husband and comes back to town to get me, and her next boyfriend only hits me, doesn't try to pimp me out to their dealer," Ryan said bluntly. "Worst case? Back to Juvie and another Ackerman. Either way, I won't be 'okay', but I'll survive. I always do, and I don't need some cop who feels bad for arresting me trying to 'help' me."

"Hey, first of all, I don't feel bad for shit," John said. "You may have had no clue you were doing it, but you were committing a crime. That arrest was justified and you know it, so I've got jack shit to feel bad about. But I do think you've gotta be the unluckiest person I have ever met. I mean to get a shitty PD, and then a judge who played golf with a fucking pervert like Ackerman, and to be Ackerman's type? I think you didn't deserve this last year of hell, and I wanna make sure they've fully removed their heads from their asses now and do what's fucking right."


John looked up, having the grace to look embarrassed as he saw the look on his ex-wife's face as she came in. "Hey, Laurie..."

"Seriously, you're yelling at a kid with broken ribs and a skull fracture?" Laurie replied. "Really, John?"

"He's being a little jerk," John muttered.

Laurie rolled her eyes and moved so she could check Ryan's vitals and note them on his chart. "You're best bet is to ignore John at pretty much all times. He's got a big mouth and doesn't know when to keep it shut," she told Ryan, smiling when a short chuckle slipped past Ryan's lips.

"She's my ex-wife, so take anything she says about me with a grain of salt," John told Ryan, seeing the amusement on the boys face and grinning. "She just hates me."

"Gee, I wonder why," Ryan said.

"It's a real mystery," Laurie agreed with a smile as she finished making the notes. "Any pain? I can get the doctor to adjust your meds if you need us to."

"I'm fine," Ryan said.

John could see the doubt in Laurie's eyes, and he had his own doubts, but he had a feeling the kid would stick to the story. "He hasn't been acting like he was in pain," John offered. "Some coughing when he first woke up, but..."

"You have some water?" Laura asked as she made sure the pitcher by the bed was full. "If you need anything, the call button is right here," she continued, placing it where Ryan could reach. "Or just make John get up off his ass and get someone," she added before leaving.

"I meant what I said," John continued, calmer than he had been before Laurie walked in, but his tone still firm. "You never should have been in Harrison, and I don't like the fact that the system that I work for is so fucking corrupt that people think they can get away with that bullshit. So I'm gonna make sure that anything that can be done to fix this is done."

"You don't need to be here to do that," Ryan said.

"Hey, you're the one who asked me for help," John said. "Now you're stuck with me."

"I didn't have anyone else to ask."

"Lucky for you I don't say things I don't mean," John said. "Look, I'm not going anywhere. Not while you're still in a kind of twisted limbo between being in juvie and being out, being in foster care and not."

"I could still go back?" Ryan asked, his voice cracking.

"Not if I have anything to say about it," John promised. "They're going over all the cases since Ackerman became warden, and any judge with sense will say you've more than served your time, and at worst give you probation until you hit 18. That's not too bad, right?"

"And what if the judge doesn't have sense?" Ryan asked.

"I'm not gonna let them lock you up again," John repeated. "I'll fight with everything I've got to keep that from happening."

"But... why? Why do you... why do you care?"

"Because, you and me? We got some stuff in common. Your father's locked up for murder, right? And he had previous arrests for rape?"


"My father's locked up for raping and murdering a 16 year-old girl. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he tortured her. My father was a mean son of a bitch, and from what I've heard, so's yours."

"Your point?"

"I'm the guy that proves the kids of violent assholes can turn out not to be violent assholes themselves. It'd be nice to have someone else out there proving it."

Ryan snorted. "Yeah, sure."

"You know, one of the guards at Harrison, the one who stopped those sick fucks from killing you, he told me about how you taught your roommate to read, and how you actually got into conversations with guards about the classics. He told me that he had never met a juvenile offender who could quote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle without hesitation, and without making any mistakes. He said you stopped a couple geniuses from mixing ammonia and bleach together."

"It makes a toxic gas, and I didn't wanna die of suffocation," Ryan said.

"The point is, you seem like a smart kid. And you deserve a chance to use your head," John said.

"I have no family, a criminal record, and I haven't had anything even remotely resembling school in a year. I'm not gonna do anything more intellectual than fixing car engines, and that's if I'm allowed near a garage. So forgive me for not being optimistic about my future."

For a moment John was quiet, then he leaned back in his chair, mildly disgusted. "You are depressing as hell." He was surprised when Ryan laughed, but grinned along with the kid. "I know you have no reason to trust me, but like I said, when I say something? I mean it. And I said I would help you."

"My brother would kick my ass for trusting a cop," Ryan muttered.

"How about you wait to tell him until you're out of the hospital?" John suggested.

"He's locked up for another six months or so, Grand Theft Auto, so it might be better to tell him when he can't kick my ass."

"You've got a hell of a screwed up family, kid," John said.

"You don't know the half of it," Ryan agreed. "Thanks."

"You're welcome."

To Be Continued...

Yeah, I altered what exactly Frank's in jail for... I though it would add an extra layer of why John wants to help Ryan. There will be a couple other AU elements popping up as things go by, but I think it'll go in directions you guys should like.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Found My Place - Augustana
teachertamteachertam on April 4th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
*big sloppy kiss*

You? Are awesome.

This is just...it's...wonderful. I love it.

Thank you so much for writing this.

It's so awesome.

You're awesome.

I loved how Ryan was still *Ryan*, confident and cynical and slightly distrustful, while at the same time still showing his vulnerability in that woobie way that just makes you want to hug him. I loved how John was honest with Ryan about his own father, how he still doesn't feel guilty for the arrest (since it was justified), and how he's offended that the system was corrupt enough to do this to Ryan.

It's just awesome.

I can't wait for more!
Maramissmara on April 8th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC)
YAY! I am working on the second chapter, it's just taking a little while since I wanna get it at least close to perfect... lol
jujuberry136jujuberry136 on April 4th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
Very interesting start! I like the relationship you've started to form between Ryan and John. Feels very true to them both.
alluxera: Ryan1alluxera on April 5th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
I like it very much. And I think your Laurie is very in character, so is John. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.
60schic: *hearts* Coopman60schic on April 8th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
First off - I've watched every ep of all 3 seasons more than once, and your Laurie is most definitely in character.

I don't usually read crossovers, but I have found myself out of my comfort zone more than once lately. This? Is really good.

Pleeze to be continuing verry sooon.
Maramissmara on April 8th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
yay... Laurie was the one thing I was really worried about... I'm working on the second chapter now.