TITLE: The Months of Mayhem AUTHOR: GoldenGirl DISCLAIMER: I do not own the O.C. Please don't sue me. PAIRING: S/S SPOILERS: None. RATING: PG- 13 SUMMARY: Lots of times, young married couples ending up in problems that can destroy their marriage and Seth and Summer are no different, but something unexpected brings them back together again. AUTHOR'S NOTE: This first chapter may seems a little ambiguous but it's no fun telling it all right at the begging. The threads to this fic will be clearer later on. Hope you like it and check back for another update. With that said, enjoy! ---

Seth looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror of his hotel room and sighed audibly, running a hand through his lightly gelled hair. He was fully dressed now and the time was quickly passing but he was still not ready to go. Not ready to go down one flight of stairs and accompany his wife to dinner. Especially if it was dinner at his parent's house. Especially if they were going to be required to speak to them and each other. But arriving late was only going to make matters worse and so he shut the light and grabbed his room key before heading out the door.

Summer was perched at the corner of her bed, crossing and uncrossing her legs waiting for Seth to get his but over there. To the untrained eye she may have looked patient but, really, who was she kidding? Summer had not been patient a day in her life. The fact that she had made her father travel to Japan on a trip to China when she was 15 to get her a handbag that was not going to distributed in America for another six months was not only a prime example of how spoiled she was but also of the level of her impatience. The fact that she was born three weeks earlier than expected was another testament. Or that she eloped with Cohen instead of waiting it out a few more months for a real wedding. One where she would have hours to think it through and eventually talk herself out of it instead of a ceremony that lasted about three minutes and concluded with Elvis handing them 20 dollars worth of chips.

But that was a long time ago and Summer did not like to dwell on the past. All she could think of now was that 15 minutes had gone by since the time he told her he'd pick her up. 15 minutes she was counting on in order to have some much needed words with her husband. That conversation would have to wait for another time though, since they were late for the dinner being thrown in their honor.

"Finally," she grumbled under her breath as she heard a knock at the door. She stood up and opened it, seeing Seth with his arm outstretched to take hers.

"Summer. You look great," he said, studdying her. Her hair was impeccably straight, parted on the side and hanging slightly above her bust. Her make-up was flawless, as always, giving her face a healthy bronze glow and her eyes a smokey touch that was just the right level of sultry and absolutely elegant. She wore a silk, dark pink blouse unbuttoned for the first few buttons and tucked in to a black pencil skirt that ended right above her knees. Seth admired the way she could put herself together to present herself as a completely respectable young woman when going to see his parents yet manage to look totally sexy in the process. 'You look great' was an understatement if ever there was one

"Whatever Cohen, we're late." She stormed past him and headed for the elevator.

Summer seldom called him 'Cohen' anymore. Partly because she was a Cohen herself now and it mixed her up considerably but also because she used to call him that back when they were in high school. And that was back when she despised Seth Cohen. And so Seth had good reason to frown as he followed her into the elevator.

The drive to his old house had not lifted the melancholy mood that enveloped them both. In fact, they hadn't spoken a word to each other ever since they had entered the rented vehicle.

"I think it's probably best we at least pretend to be cordial with each other when we get there," Seth stated, keeping his eyes on the road in front of him yet carefully watching Summer in his peripheral vision. "Cuz, you know, otherwise they might feel a slight chill when you walk in."

"Don't worry about me. Have I ever disappointed you in front of your parents?"

Seth opened his mouth to answer but was quickly shut down by Summer. "Don't answer that!" she spat.

"Hey now, no need to get angry. We're going to try to be happy tonight, ok? Happy." he turned to her and grinned wider than he had all month. "See my smile? Happy smile. Can you give me a happy smile?"

She sprang her head in his direction and gave him the evil eye instead. A look that made his spine chill with fear and one he was quite used to being the recipient of as her husband. He tried to remember if she had given him the evil eye the night they split up nearly a month ago but all he remembered were tears and lots of screaming. Actually he remembered a lot more than that and analyzed even the smallest of details from the argument that ended their relationship, it's just that he really tried to forget.

But forgetting was hard.

Especially now that Summer sat beside him looking anywhere but into his eyes. He knew her so well that he could see her sadness disguised as catty anger. It made him more depressed than he already was. He slouched against the seat and sighed, unable to scrape th thought of that night from his mind.

He couldn't even recall how their argument had started. Like countless others it was probably about something trivial. If it hadn't deranged off course so harshly it probably could've ended like all the others; dead and buried under the covers after a night of unbelievable make up sex.

But that night was different. They yelled at each other- really yelled at each other and never backed down, not until the sound of the door slamming silenced them both. Summer was prone to yelling- she had thrown tantrums since the moment she opened her mouth- but he never yelled which is why he still couldn't wrap his head around their argument. He said some things that surprised even him and they had definitely surprised Summer. He new that cuz she had cried and answered back by spewing equally hurtful things.

But the things they said about each other weren't merely hurtful, they were hateful. And as much as seth wanted to take those things back and hoped Summer would too, it hadn't happened yet.

And then she said what would eventually end the argument. She said she wanted a divorce. And Seth, lashing out in a bitter rage, happily obliged. And he knew that that surprised Summer because she was stunned silent. It was then that she opened the front door and dashed out. A few minutes later Seth chased after her but she was already out of sight so he decided to drown out his sorrows in a bar. When he came back home a few hours later most of her stuff was gone. Seth hadn't heard from her in nearly a month. Just a few days earlier.

The last thing Summer wanted to do was speak to her soon to be ex-husband, she would have to eventually but even that would be too soon. Unfortunately, she had no choice when she saw her very own mother-in-law in the canned goods aisle in the supermarket. Quite the serendipitous occasion fate brought forth, placing both Mrs. Cohens in a supermarket together as if either of them knew how to cook.

Never the less, Summer played the role of the consummate daughter-in-law to a T and ran to hug Kirsten when she saw her about to execute the same affectionate tackle.

"Summer! I didn't know you were in town!" "Oh, it was all last minute, really," her faux perkiness was in full swing as they embraced. "I'm here to visit my sick grandmother. She's in the hospital."

She knew she was good at lying but she didn't know she was that good.

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. What's the matter?" "Stroke."

Summer instantly felt guilty as she saw the pained expression on Kirsten's face. She hated lying to her since she was really the only mother she'd ever liked. Her real mother abandoned her when she was young, her step mother was always too busy at the bottom of a prescription pill bottle, and Kirsten, her mother-in-law had always been there for her.

Summer remembered the day the day she and Seth came back from Vegas with rings on their fingers and she was actually scared of facing his parents. Her parents would scold her for getting married so damn young and she was sure Seth's would too. And, sure, they were surprised....well, actually, they where in complete and utter shock, but Kirsten took her aside after everything calmed down a bit and welcomed her to the family. And as if Summer couldn't already feel it, Kirsten told her she would love her like her own daughter.

She didn't feel like a very good daughter lying to the only mom she really ever loved, but there was no way she was going to let her know about her separation with Seth. Not till it was official.

"I'm so sorry to hear that," she said, somberly. Summer nodded her head and pulled a few strands of hair that had fallen from her high pony tail behind her ear. "Is Seth with you?" Kirsten went on, instinctively looking down the aisle for her son.

"Seth? No, he's still in New York. You know how he hates to miss school." That wasn't a total lie. Seth had never missed a day of school since his first day there. In fact he was probably being pelted with chalk by his over-zealous students as they spoke. "Really? I'm surprised he wouldn't accompany you for something like this." "Oh, it's no big deal- he's flying over for the weekend." What?! she asked herself. She was almost home free but she had to go on and let her big mouth blab on.

"Great! You two can come over for dinner Saturday night!" "That sounds fantastic!" Along with lying, Summer was also terrific at acting, so why not just utilize all her talents at the same time.

For that reason, and that reason only, Summer had contacted Seth. They both agreed not to tell his parents a thing about their unofficial separation and Seth promptly flew over as soon as school let out for the weekend.

And now they found themselves parked in the Cohen driveway, sitting in the still car waiting for one or the other to get out first.

"Don't look so sad," Seth said, somberly. "You'll only have to spend one last night by my side." Summer shook her head and sighed. "In that case there is something I should tell you." Seth looked at her and let his eyes demand her to continue. "I'm pregnant." Summer opened the car door and stepped out, leaving a stunned Seth frozen in his seat. --- TBC