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22 April 2011 @ 09:19 pm
Never Again - Chapter Eleven  
Title: Never Again
Author: Mara
Fandom: The OC/One Tree Hill
Rating: R
Warnings: Some violence (Mostly in flashbacks), language, possibly sex
Summary: "You hit me, even once, and I swear to god it'll be the last time you ever lay a finger on me."
Notes: It's been... a year or so. But here's the new chapter. I'm working on a new banner for this fic, so I didn't include the old one this time.

Never Again: Chapter Eleven

Ryan was talking sports with Nathan when suddenly 'Bad To The Bone' began to play from Ryan's phone. "Really, Brooke?" he asked, looking over at his grinning girlfriend.

"Guess who," she challenged him.

"Come on, way too easy," Ryan replied grabbing the phone and answering without looking at the screen. "What's up, Trey?" he asked.

"Why is it that I had to find out from Paulie that you got shot?" Trey asked. "I barely get back to town, figure I'll get some lunch at the restaurant, since I'm cheap and they give me your discount even if you're not there, and he tells me that he was disappointed in me for not coming back when you got shot."

"You were dealing with the whole move to Phoenix thing, trying to impress Nina's family, I didn't wanna interrupt that," Ryan said.

"You think I wouldn't have dropped everything to get back to LA?" Trey asked.

"I know you would have, hence the not calling," Ryan replied. "I didn't wanna mess things up for you. But I'm guessing something happened anyway?"

"They're a bunch of jackasses," Trey admitted. "Apparently there is no redeeming me, even though I've stayed out of trouble for seven fucking years, and I've held down the same job for six of those years, and I was a member of the fucking neighborhood watch..."

"And yet you can't stop swearing every other word," Ryan said, laughing as Trey grumbled and knowing that if they were face to face he'd be getting flipped off. "Their opinion doesn't matter, only Nina's does."

"She's still in Phoenix."

"I never liked her," Ryan said. "You'll find better."

"Didn't you once tell me she was a keeper?"

"Yeah, before she conned you into moving to Phoenix, and then let her family screw things up," Ryan said. "You deserve better than that."

"You shoulda called me," Trey said, getting back on topic. "Do you know how fucking scared I was when he said you'd been shot? I mean, he was calm as he told me off, so I knew you were alive, but... shit, Ry."

"Trey, I'm okay, I promise," Ryan said. "Brooke's making me rest, I'm not even allowed to cook."

"You're down to one working arm, so I doubt you could," Trey countered. "You're sure you're okay?"

Ryan sighed, holding the phone out to Brooke. "Tell him I'm fine," he said.

Brooke took the phone. "He'll be fine, Trey."

"You shoulda called me," Trey repeated to her. "I... God, Brooke... he's my brother."

"I wanted to call, but you know what your brother is like," Brooke said. "I promise, I'm taking good care of him, Trey."

"I know, you're the only person I trust to take care of him," Trey admitted. "But... I should been there."

"I promise, if he ever does anything that stupid again, I will call you, no matter what he says," Brooke promised.

"Good, thanks," Trey said. "You okay?" he added after a moment. "Ry did tell me about the whole 'he knocked you up' thing, so... you doing okay? The kid?"

"Baby and I are fine," Brooke said, smiling. "Don't you wanna know the new ringtone?" she asked.

Trey laughed. "I'm not sure I do, but... lay it on me."

"Bad To The Bone."

"You are a strange girl, Brooke."

"Part of my charm," Brooke replied. "Here's your brother back," she said, passing the phone back to Ryan.

"Less worried?" Ryan asked.

"Less worried," Trey agreed. "But a little more on the pissed side. You're gonna be a dad, Ry, and you can't do stupid stuff that'll take you away from them. They need you."

"Trust me, I've gotten this particular lecture a couple times now," Ryan said. "I don't intend to go anywhere."

"Yeah, well..." Trey said. "Listen, I'm picking you guys up at the airport, no arguments. I wanna see with my own two eyes as soon as possible that you're okay."

"Deal," Ryan said.

"Have you asked her yet?"


"Don't wuss out, everyone else knows she's gonna say yes," Trey said. "So man up and ask her already."

"You're lucky Brooke's godson is in earshot or you'd get a proper response to that," Ryan replied. "Goodbye, Trey."

"Call me when she says yes," Trey said before ending the call.

"How's Trey?" Nathan asked, having met the other Atwood on a visit to California a few years back.

"Nina's family doesn't like him, and she decided to listen to them," Ryan said, rolling his eyes. "He's stayed out of trouble for six years, and it's still not enough for some people."

"Their loss," Haley piped up. "I mean, I can understand being a little wary, a little cautious, but... Trey's an angel."

"Hey now, no reason to insult him," Brooke said.

"Huh?" Jamie asked.

"You remember meeting my brother last time you guys came out, right?" Ryan asked the little boy.

"Yeah. You kept glaring at him so he'd stop mid sentence," Jamie said. "Even though I already know most of the words he was starting to say."

Right," Ryan replied. "Well, Trey would be incredibly offended to be called an 'angel' or even a 'good guy'. He's a bad boy, and proud of it."

"He's a sweetheart," Haley repeated.

"You are so cruel to poor Trey, calling him a nice guy," Brooke said, laughing.

"I wonder though, what songs did you put for us?" Nathan asked.

"I think right now, the one for you is All Star by Smash Mouth," Ryan told him. "And Haley... last time I got a call from you, it was a remix of 'Kung Fu Fighting'."

"The first time I filled in as a cheerleader, we performed to that," Haley said, laughing. "I was so nervous."

"You were a cheerleader, mama?" Jamie asked.

"I filled in a couple times as a favor to your aunt Brooke," Haley said.

"Your mom was pretty good for a last minute emergency replacement," Brooke said. "I was highly impressed."

"I was shocked by how much of a slave driver you were," Haley countered. "She made us practice all night. I'm talking maybe an hour of sleep," she added to Ryan, who was laughing, his arm around Brooke's shoulders as she leaned against him.

"We won didn't we?" Brooke said.

"Did we ever tell you about the time Brooke decided to rename me?" Haley asked.

"Oh God," Brooke said, hanging her head. "I was hurt and stoned on painkillers," she told Ryan. "I had an excuse!"

"She said she didn't like my name, and decided to rename me Brooke."

"You decided to give her your name?"

"I was stoned on painkillers!" Brooke protested, laughing.

"She also passed out face down on the backseat of her car," Haley added. "We were laughing the whole second half of the drive because of Brooke's pose."

"Who else was in the car?" Ryan asked, realizing when he felt Brooke tense up and saw how Haley looked apologetic. "Peyton."

"Peyton," Brooke confirmed. "Before the whole... thing."

"Oh," Ryan said.

Jamie looked between the adults, then spoke up. "What are you gonna name your baby?" he asked.

"We don't really know yet," Brooke said, flashing a grateful smile at her godson. "But we've got a while to decide. And we will take suggestions. As long as it's not a suggestion to name our kid after your rabbit."

"That's just silly, there's only one being awesome enough to be named Chester, and he's hopping around in the grass over there," Ryan said.

"I think your baby will be pretty awesome," Jamie said.

"Yeah, but not Chester level awesome," Ryan said.

"You have a point," Jamie agreed.

"There you guys are," Keith said as he, Karen, and Lily came out onto the patio.

"Uncle Keith!" Brooke said excitedly, jumping up to practically fling herself at the man.

"Good to see you, too, Brooke," Keith said with a smile as he hugged her, then released her so she could nearly tackle Karen as well.

"I've missed you guys so much," Brooke said.

"We missed you, too, honey," Karen assured her.

Brooke stepped back from the hug, then crouched down. "Hi, Lily, do you remember meeting me a couple years ago?"

"Kinda," Lily replied.

"Aunt Brooke's awesome," Jamie said. "And so's Ryan," he added.

"Thanks for the endorsement, buddy," Ryan said as he got up.

"Uncle Keith, Karen, Lily, this is my boyfriend, Ryan," Brooke said, moving to wrap her arms around Ryan's waist. "Ryan, these are the other amazing, wonderful people in Tree Hill that I love."

"It's really nice to finally meet you both," Ryan said. "Brooke's always spoken very highly of you."

"You are so going into your professional tone," Brooke teased him.

"Would you rather I act like I do around Trey?" Ryan countered.

"No one needs that much swearing," Brooke countered. "His brother's a bad influence," she told Keith and Karen while Jamie and Lily ran off to play with Chester.

"You adore Trey."

"Well, yeah, he recognizes how great I am for putting up with you," Brooke said.

"Yeah, and he says the fact that I put up with you just proves I'm going for Sainthood," Ryan countered.

"I am so gonna find a worse song for him," Brooke said.

"Song?" Karen asked, amused by the back and forth and happy to see Brooke so happy.

"No matter how many times I tell her not to, no matter how many I delete, she keeps changing the ringtones on my phone," Ryan explained. "Right now, it plays 'Bad To The Bone' when my brother calls."

"Brooke," Karen said in a slightly scolding tone.

"It makes it easy for him to know who's calling," Brooke said.

"Yeah, but when I'm in the middle of dealing with irate customers and the Spice Girls start blaring from my pants pocket, it kind undermines my authority," Ryan said.

Nathan burst out laughing. "Seriously?"

"Oh yeah," Ryan said. "And unfortunately it was a couple where the reason the husband was upset, was that he thought one of the waiters had been flirting with his much younger wife."

"That's unprofessional," Karen said.

"Also completely fictional because John's gay, so he doesn't even like women, let alone overly botoxed and half plastic women," Ryan said.

"He does have a massive crush on Ryan, though," Brooke said. "He told me once how jealous he is of me."

"Was that because of me or because you have better fashion sense?" Ryan asked.

"A little of each, I think," Brooke said.

"Well, I have to say that what little worry I had about you, Ryan, is pretty much gone," Karen said. "Brooke has always said good things about you, and so have Haley and Nathan, and Jamie just gushed about you after the last time they visited you two. But..."

"Hey, I'm glad you were still a little worried," Ryan said. "It means you genuinely care about her, and Brooke deserves that."

"You are sickening," Nathan said, shaking his head. "I mean, come on, how sappy can you get."

"I may only have one functional arm, but I can still take you, Nathan," Ryan warned, though it was with a grin.

"What happened?" Karen asked.

"Someone has a hero complex and tackled a guy with a gun," Brooke said.

"It was either tackle him, or let him shoot Maria," Ryan countered. "And once he'd shot the six months pregnant woman, do you really think he wouldn't have then shot me and the clerk?"

"It was still stupid and dangerous," Brooke said.

"Hey, I've gotten read the riot act by you, Paulie, Beth, and Trey," Ryan said. "I think I've got it. No taking risks."

"Well, we love you, and we like you alive and in one piece," Brooke said. "He scared me," she added to Karen.

"I know that feeling," Karen agreed, glancing at Keith.

"Keith scared us all," Brooke said. "People I love need to not get shot. By anyone. Ever."

"I didn't plan on getting shot," Ryan protested. "Or falling right through the glass doors..." he added, shuddering slightly. He'd been pushing that part to the furthest corner of his mind, not wanting to think about the sound of breaking glass and the feel of it cutting into his arms. "Bad enough once in a life time, did not need that one twice." He noticed the confusion on Keith and Karen's faces and carefully tugged up his sleeve to reveal the scars on his right arm. "More of the same on the left, and my right side, and my back," he said. "I fell through patio doors like those when I was sixteen," he said, gesturing at the doors into the kitchen.

"I hate when you do that," Brooke said. "You didn't 'fall', Ryan, he shoved you. He could have killed you."

"My foster father," Ryan explained. "He was drunk."

"Oh my God," Karen said. "You were removed from his custody, right?"

"I lied about it. He swore he wouldn't drink again, and I wanted to believe him, so I told everyone I tripped and fell," Ryan said. "Two weeks later, he's drunk and throwing punches again. Thankfully the father of a friend found out, and he came to the house, he had me pack a bag, and he helped me get emancipated, loaned me money to get by on until I'd been working long enough to have a cushion. And then I paid him back every cent he loaned me." He shrugged, wrapping his good arm around Brooke. "And hey, because of it, I met the best thing to ever happen to me," he added, placing a kiss on her forehead.

"You are such a suck up," Brooke said.

"It was worth it for you," Ryan continued. "And the baby."

"Baby?" Keith asked.

"About four months along," Brooke acknowledged, smiling.

"Oh, Brooke," Karen said, pulling the girl into a hug. "I am so happy for you."

"Congratulations," Keith said, clasping Ryan's good shoulder. "Treat them both right or you'll have a lot of people to answer to."

"I'm not stupid, I'm not gonna screw up everything good in my life," Ryan promised, smiling as he watched Brooke talking to Karen about the baby.

To Be Continued...
One down, three to go. For those who aren't on my FList, I've set a goal of posting new chapters for 3 fics (This one, Beautiful World, and another that is currently Friends only) before the end of May. I'm guessing I'll have them all posted by the first week of May, but... I'm giving myself time just in case something comes up... lol

And I promise, Ryan will actually propose to Brooke soon. Possibly in the next chapter. We'll see.

steve_skisteve_ski on April 23rd, 2011 05:12 am (UTC)
Yeah...glad to see you pick this back up. Really want to see how Seth & Kristen make it up to Ryan
madmedjenna on April 24th, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
Awesome!!! Thanks for updating this, it´s my favorite story (apart from After) that I was wishing you´d still write for!! So are Seth and Kirsten show up again too? And please another Trey appearance love how you make him a great brother not many writers do, so thx again