Author: jambled PM
RyanKirsten conversation... Just a touching moment I thought needed to be had. Dealing with Theresa losing the baby, Kirsten's abortion. Possibly oneshot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Ryan A. & Kirsten C. - Words: 2,330 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-19-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2625857
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Obviously this is post S1 finale, set somewhere in S2 before that finale. I get vague on details like that- will leave it up to you to decide where you want it to be. Then let me know, so we're all in on it! More notes at the end, after you've read. As always, R&R and I'll love you.
Legal shtuff - Not mine never will be, no infringement intended.
The phone rang in the Cohen household. Sandy was watching a movie in the den, Kirsten, supposedly also watching, asleep beside him. Ryan was in the poolhouse, catching up on reading for lit class. Seth came running down from his room and was the first to reach it.
"Hello… I thought we were… You're where? What? Okay, I can come get you… I'm supposed to be, but… Hey, I can be stealth… Okay, okay. I'm getting in the car now. See you soon." Seth hung up, and turned around to see Sandy behind him.
"Grounded means you don't answer the phone, especially if the phone call is for you. And there's no way you're getting in the car." Sandy's eyebrows hung, motionless, over ominous eyes. Kirsten appeared, sleep ruffled and relaxed in the doorway.
"But it was Summer. Her Stepmom left her in Palm Springs, she needs someone to go pick her up. They were meant to be at a spa, or wax, or exfoliation or whatever you women do there," Seth directed this at Kirsten before turning back to Sandy, "but then something happened, I'm not quite sure whether it would fall under the category of drug-induced amnesia but…" Sandy's eyes narrowed. Kirsten poured herself some coffee, leant against the counter to enjoy Seth's discomfort. Ryan appeared, poured his own cup of coffee and stood next to Kirsten. Seth's eyes fluttered to them, desperate for anything that would get the keys in his hand with Sandy's blessing.
"Anyway, I have to go pick her up. I promised her I would." Seth nodded, as if this would make his point moot.
"They have buses in Palm Springs, Seth. She doesn't need you as her white knight to go rushing in to save her."
"Actually, Dad, I think that's exactly what she wants. And as long as Summer needs me, I'm going to be there for her. You wouldn't want to be known as the evil ogre that tries to deny our love and keep us apart, do you? Besides, I don't know if you've actually taken any notice of Summer, but she's not really a bus person. I mean, even a taxi is pushing the limits for her." Sandy's expression changed from glowering to deliberation. Seth gave him a promising smile, looked over at Kirsten, shared one with her.
"Sandy, why don't you just let him go. I mean, it sounds like Summer needs him there." Sandy turned around to Kirsten, she nodded at him, raised an eyebrow. He was powerless before the eyebrow raise.
"Fine, but you're not going alone."
"Awesome, Ryan, road trip to Palm Springs?" Seth almost got to the keys before Sandy grabbed them.
"I mean me. If you're going to be leaving this house, it's going to be under duress." Sandy chuckled as Seth started to protest. "I'm sorry, but you can't get out of being grounded that easy. I'm driving. I'm also choosing the tunes." At Sandy's last few words, Seth groaned.
"No. I refuse to listen to corny broadway music the whole way there. And there's no way it's playing on the way home. I will not have my girlfriend subjected to the quirks of my family- at least not before she's been my girlfriend for a little bit longer. I mean, the fact that we're going to be sharing air space for a few hours today is punishment enough…"
"Bye, honey." Sandy gave Kirsten a kiss before he left, preceding a trailing Seth who was still protesting all the way out.
"So, what are your plans for the afternoon?" Kirsten asked, refilling her coffee mug. Ryan shrugged.
"Hm. I'm going to sort through some photos, get them put in albums like I've always intended to. Want to help? You could see pictures of Seth as a child- always amusing." Ryan gave Kirsten a sideways glance, and she laughed.
"Well, he was a cute kid with an active imagination. You'll see." She put her mug on the table, and Ryan followed her lead, pulled out a chair and sat down. Kirsten returned moments later with a box of photographs, which she placed on the table with a flourish before sitting down next to Ryan. She took the lid off and handed Ryan a handful of photos.
"So, I want anything that looks like Seth is under 10 in one pile, and over 10 in another." Ryan nodded, looked at the first photo. Seth as a young superman, arms proudly raised in a muscleman stance. Seth on Halloween, dressed as an x-man. Seth in full school uniform, gapped teeth revealed in a cheesy grin. Ryan didn't recognize the uniform as anything he'd seen around Newport.
"What school is this?" Ryan asked. Kirsten looked over at the photograph he held.
"Oh, the state school in Berkeley. We lived there until Seth was 5. We had to move back here because my Mom got sick, and we just kind of ended up staying I guess. You'd have loved the house in Berkeley. It wasn't this big, and it didn't really have a view, but the man who built it was a fanatic of old churches, so it was filled with stained glass windows and had a massive arched ceiling. Seth found a hiding place once, under one of the stairs. It opened up to the back part of the room with the central heater in it. He disappeared one day, right before he was meant to go to school. Sandy and I almost had a heart attack looking for him. We finally found him, asleep. He got in so much trouble from Sandy, but he was just so adorable we couldn't stay mad for too long." Kirsten smiled at the memory, looking distant for a moment, before going back to sorting back the photos she held. A few minutes passed in silence, before Kirsten laughed. Ryan looked over.
"This was when Seth was seven. Marissa had just moved in next door, and they were 'baking' something- or trying to." Kirsten handed him a picture of Seth and Marissa, faces covered in flour, milk spilt across the counter. They looked cheerfully impish, and Ryan smiled at seeing a young Marissa, her eyes already huge and innocent looking. He put it in the 'ten and under' pile and resumed looking. Most images had just Seth, looking alone, or Seth and Sandy. Kirsten, it seemed, was always the photographer. Ryan found the first photo that was sans Seth. It was a young Kirsten and Sandy, looking at each other, obviously unposed. The sunlight caught Kirsten's hair, shafting through the waves that fell over her shoulders. She had longer hair then, almost down to her waist.
"And photos without Seth?" Ryan asked, handing her the photo. He saw Kirsten's eyes light up when she looked at it, the corners of her mouth wistfully turning up as she remembered.
"A new pile. That's probably the only one you're going to find without Seth in it though. He was never really camera shy." She laughed again and handed Ryan another photo; Seth in full tourist attire, complete with binoculars and camera around his neck, Hawaiian shirt only half-tucked, socked feet thrust into sandals.
"We went on a trip to Vegas when Seth was nine. He was adamant that he was going to look like a corny tourist."
"Guess he pulled it off." Ryan commented, before placing it in the pile. There was another few minutes of amiable sorting before Ryan found another photo. Seth was older- at least eleven, and he was standing on what must have been the precursor to the Summer Breeze.
"Seth's first sailing boat?" Ryan asked, letting Kirsten see.
"Yeah. For his twelfth birthday. He was so upset when he couldn't take it out straight away. We wouldn't let him go out alone, and Sandy had court that day." At Ryan's look, Kirsten continued elaborating.
"I'm not good with water that has fish in it. And, knowing Seth, there was a good chance we'd tip in. He had to wait a week before he got to take it out, poor kid." Kirsten shook her head.
"Um, Kirsten," Ryan began timidly.
"Hmm." Kirsten looked at the photo a few seconds longer before placing it in the right pile.
"Why didn't you and Sandy have any more kids?" Ryan left it a second, saw Kirsten's face change, surprise, pain. He rushed in, trying to fix what he'd said.
"I mean, you're both such great parents, and it just seems strange that you wouldn't have any more kids. Not that Seth isn't enough, because he is, can be more than enough at times…" Kirsten put a hand on his arm.
"It's okay, Ryan. Seth's birth was… It was difficult." Kirsten looked into the distance, remembering a distant memory once again, this time with less laughter in her face, more sadness.
"And I'd had an… Well, before I met Sandy, I'd…" Kirsten took a deep breath. Ryan looked at the table, hands empty of happy memories.
"I talked to Theresa." Ryan said softly, almost mumbling. Kirsten looked at him, surprised at first before she slowly nodded.
"I thought she might have told you."
"I haven't told anyone." Ryan's eyes shot to Kirsten's, wanting to see her expression, see if she trusted him.
"I know." Kirsten's hands captured Ryan's, stopped him flexing his fingers, alternatively balling his hands into fists.
"It's ok, I trust you, Ryan. Sandy doesn't know... I just can't find the words… And it's been so long now anyway."
"Did the father?" Ryan asked. Kirsten fell silent beside him, withdrew her hands.
"No, he didn't. Doesn't." She shuffled through some photographs, not really looking at them.
"I was young. Stupid, mostly. I went to a clinic that didn't have the best standards and… Something they did there made it impossible for me to have any more children after Seth. We're lucky we've got him." Ryan nodded, kept his eyes downcast.
"I'm sorry, Ryan. You don't need to know all of that. It's just… When Theresa got pregnant, it was like looking at myself again. I just wanted her to have more options than I did."
"No, you were great, talking to her. I couldn't… Didn't know what to say. She said you really helped her." Kirsten nodded.
"I think just that you were there. She knew you were in it for the long run, for whatever she needed. Having someone solid like that probably made it easier for her."
"And you didn't have anyone…?" Ryan looked up at Kirsten, saw she had picked up the picture of her and Sandy again, was absentmindedly turning it in her hands.
"No," she said simply.
"I'm sorry," Ryan offered. Kirsten shook her head, took one of his hands again.
"Ryan, you need to stop feeling like everything is your fault. This was something that happened over twenty years ago, that was nothing to do with you. You weren't even born then. You're a wonderful brother to Seth, a son to Sandy and I. I just… If you ever need to talk to me, about Theresa… Losing the baby. Please don't feel like I won't understand because, believe me, I will." Kirsten used her free hand to wipe her eye, let Ryan's hand go, got up to get the tissues.
"Damnit. Sorry, all I seem to do around you is get teary." She smiled, offered Ryan the tissue box. He was embarrassed to see he'd let a tear escape.
"It's okay, you know," Kirsten said, running a hand through his hair, "to let your defences down sometime." It was her unspoken words that made Ryan turn to her, let his tears stain her shirt. The unspoken words he knew he could never count on his mother to say, or, as Kirsten had, not say. The ones he couldn't be sure were truthful coming from Marissa. The words he didn't want Theresa to say.
"I'm here. And I'm not going anywhere."
Okay, the Palm Springs thing? I don't know… I needed Sandy and Seth out of the house. And the 'sorting photos' thing gives us a glimpse of Seth as a child. I just wanted there to be a 'moment' between Ryan and Kirsten. There never seems to be much happening between them (mind out of the gutter, you slash fans! I'm talking a platonic, non adulterous moment mmkay!) and she was so upset when he left. Besides, if anyone's noticed, I'm just stuck on this abortion scenario. Was planning on this as a one-shot, but have possibly set myself up for some serious S/K talk for when Kirsten tells Sandy about the big A. Hmm… Let me know if you want more. Thanks guys, hope you enjoyed!
&… Now that you've R'd… You can R. Just down there., Click it…
(Am still looking for a beta reader, and to offer my services as one. Email