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15 December 2011 @ 06:36 pm
24 Gifts 2011 - Day Fifteen - Safety (Never Again Flashback Snippet)  
Takes place in the universe of 'Never Again', on the night Neil Roberts got Ryan away from the Cohens for good.

Ryan only vaguely remembered his last night at the Cohen house, and he can't helping thinking that's probably for the best. He could remember Kirsten and Sandy arguing and Kirsten walking out. Seth saying he was going over to Summer's house and to call once Sandy was 'done'. And Sandy yelling at him again that it was his fault everything was falling apart. After that it was mostly a blur until he was sitting in the guest room at Summer's house as Dr. Roberts wrapped gauze around the hand Ryan had cut cleaning up the broken beer bottle, and told him everything was going to be okay, that he was safe and everything was okay now, and Ryan had the sudden thought the man should have been a pediatrician or working in the ER, something where people who most needed the comfort of a soothing voice would have had it, instead of people who had surgery just to make themselves more plastic and fake.

"Okay, that's taken care of."

Ryan nodded and pulled his hand close, cradling it against his stomach and waiting, for what he wasn't sure.

"I'm not letting you go back to them, Ryan," Dr. Robert's said. "Not after what I saw tonight."

"It's my fault," Ryan said.

"No, it's not."

"Sandy said..."

"Sandy's a weak little man who hit his son to feel better about how much he and his wife were destroying their marriage," Dr. Roberts said. "But we're not going to talk about any of that tonight, okay? Tonight, you're going to lay down and get some sleep, and tomorrow we'll figure out your next move, which will not be going back to that house."

"Okay," Ryan whispered.

Dr. Roberts sat there for another moment, then slowly leaned forward and pulled Ryan into a careful, gentle hug. "It'll be okay, Ryan. I promise, it'll be okay."


Ryan didn't know how much time passed between when Dr. Roberts left and when the door creaked open again, and he feigned sleep until the other side of the bed dipped slightly, then rolled over to find Summer sitting on the edge of the mattress. "Hey," he whispered, sitting up in bed.

"Hey," Summer replied. "I'm so sorry, Chino."

"For what?"

"For not saying something sooner. I knew, I mean... I didn't know but... I knew."

"It's okay."

"No, it's not," Summer said, moving to sit beside him.

"Sandy should be sorry. And Kirsten should be sorry. Maybe Seth should be sorry. But... not you."

"Why not?" Summer asked. "I... if I had told my dad after when you 'fell'..."

"For what it's worth, that was the first time. And tonight was the second."

"Once was too many."

"If that's true, I was about four when being hit too many times happened," Ryan said. "But you said something tonight, when I really needed you to."

Summer nodded, then slowly reached over and grasped Ryan's uninjured hand. "My dad may serve the rich and plastic of Newport, but he's really good at helping people. If anyone can help you be okay, it's him."

Ryan nodded, squeezing her hand and looking away. "Yeah," he said, hoping she couldn't hear the tremor in his voice.

She must have, though, because the next thing Ryan knew his face was pressed into the curve of her neck as he clutched at the fabric of her shirt and cried, his entire body trembling as she stroked his hair and his back, repeating over and over again that it would all be okay.

The End

Ryan got two hugs in one night! lol...
garnigalgarnigal on December 16th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
Oh, this is awesome. I'm not sure I've read anything in this verse before. Time to go search your tags!
60schic60schic on December 16th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
This really touched me.