Hey! I am trying to update frequently...sorry if I am repeating myself in the story, I don't catch it, as I write in chapter form. Thanks for reading, please please please review! =)

It was late when Sandy and Kirsten finally came home. Ryan had stayed in the house, just to make sure that Seth didn't come out of his sleeping-pill induced stupor and freak out again. He'd mostly just lazed around, channel surfing, toying with Seth's various electronic contraptions, anything he could do to keep from thinking. His mind hurt from having to process all the shocking news that Seth brought his way. He couldn't imagine what Seth and Marissa must be going through right now. Marissa.

Ryan said a quick good-night to the Cohens, explaining that Seth had gone to bed early with a "little headache." He then went outside, but passed the poolhouse, and instead, crept stealthily to Marissa's yard.

He had been sure she would be awake, and he was right. She sat on the edge of the swimming pool, swirling her tanned ankles through the lagoon blue water, staring blankly at her anguished reflection.


Ryan stood partially-concealed by the bushes around the Cooper's pool, his hands jammed in his pockets. Marissa jumped at his words, her jolt making a trickling sound in the water. She snapped her head to the side to see who had spoken to her, and Ryan couldn't tell if she seemed relieved or burdened when she found it to be him. She turned her gaze back to the water. He took this as an impromptu invitation.

"Hey," he said again, seating himself next to her and dipping his own feet into the pool. The water was freezing, and he had the impulse to yank them back out, but somehow, it seemed inappropriate to disturb the unsettling tranquility of the moment.

"How are you?" he continued gently when Marissa didn't respond.
He saw a tear slip down her cheek, making a delicate track in her makeup. She made no effort to swipe it away, and he burned with the urge to do it himself.

"He told you, didn't he," she stated. Her voice was frail, and she sounded much younger than Ryan had ever heard before.

Ryan took a deep breath and sighed.
"Yeah." he said. "And.I don't know what to say."
It was true. "Sorry" and "Congratulations" both seemed inappropriate at this point in time.

"Me either," Marissa said coldly, shrugging her slight shoulders.
Ryan didn't know what he was doing here. Did he come to let Marissa unload on him? Did he honestly think she would? Confide in the kid from Chino? Get real.

"Uh, um," Ryan stammered, searching for something, anything to end the awkward silence.
"I'm sorry about the other day, the poolhouse," Marissa said faintly. "You didn't deserve to find out like that."

"Find out that you and Seth have been sleeping together Dawson and Joey style for the past year?" Ryan scoffed.

He saw tears shimmering in Marissa's eyes, and felt remorseful. What was this girl doing to him? Remorse was not in Ryan Atwood's repertoire.

"I'm sorry, Ryan," she said, playing with her hands.
"What are you sorry for? What you and Seth do is your business, not mine. But just make sure you keep it that way," Ryan said, wishing still that he didn't know anything.

"I think it's over," Marissa said, barely audible.
Ryan thought he'd heard her wrong.
"Between Seth and me," Marissa whispered, staring into the water.
Ryan bit his lip to keep from blurting out something along the lines of "But you're pregnant!"

"Why?" he asked, instead.

Marissa's lip quivered, threatening a sob, but none came.

"Ryan, I'm so messed up," she said, her voice leaving her softly.
"Hey," he offered helpfully. "You can't be more messed up than me. You'll be okay."
Marissa gaped at him, her body going rigid. She stood up, livid, and stalked away from him, then turned to face him again.

"I'll be okay? Ryan, I am not going to be okay!" She began ticking items off on her fingers furiously. "I'm dating one guy, having a baby with another."
Her toned softened slightly.
"And now you."

Ryan's heart caught in his throat, and his body tingled with a sudden rage. Why should he care? What reason did he have for not marching right over to Marissa Cooper and kissing her passionately? He wasn't supposed to give a shit. About anything. Period. He was the bad boy around here, and he didn't want to disappoint anyone. Then again, a bad boy who wanted to piss off the Coopers would have to do little more than seduce their daughter.

Suddenly, he went over to her, and looked into her damp eyes. He suddenly leaned forward and sealed her mouth with his. She pulled away in annoyed surprise.

"Ryan!" she exclaimed, dissolving into tears so that her speech was muddled. "I'm trying to tell you how I feel, how confused I am, and you go and do a lousy thing like that? Just get away from me!"


"No!" she screamed. "I know you want to think you're just this brooding rebel from the wrong side of the tracks, who can just waltz up and take me on without a second thought to your only friend's feelings, but you're changing, Ryan, and you know it, and it scares you to death that you might actually give a damn about someone other than yourself!"

Marissa turned on her heel, her hair whipping against her back, and stalked inside, leaving a trail of wet footprints, and a very aghast boy from Chino.