Author: Kelsey

Rating: PG-13 (for now…)

Summary: Ryan succeeds where Seth has failed.

A/N: I don't think Seth comes off too well in the first few chapters. I love Seth, I ADORE Adam Brody, but for this particular bit of story, Seth is mostly just in the way. I am utterly destroyed that Anna has left The OC. In a perfect world *this* is what would have happened…

It was a typical weekday morning in the Cohen household. As usual Ryan came into the main house feeling slightly desperate for coffee. As he entered Seth began to babble. Ryan replied and within seconds the two were into their typical witty banter, even if Ryan was feeling slightly more confused than ususal.

"Anna?" Ryan asked, puzzled.

"Yeah she told me she's leaving. She's going back to Pittsburgh," Seth explained sadly.

"Anna's going back to Pittsburg?" All of the stress about Teressa's staying in Newport had vanished from Ryan's mind. Seth said something that Ryan didn't catch. Anna was leaving and she hadn't even bothered to tell him. "That sucks."

Normally Ryan enjoyed Seth's constant chatter, but right now his mind was whirling. Seth mumbled something about causing a girl to leave the state.

"You really think it's 'cause of you?" Ryan snapped in annoyance. Seth seemed to interpret it as a probing question instead, and replied. Ryan covered for himself, making an insightful opinion.

Anna was leaving. She hadn't told him. To top it all of Seth thought Anna was leaving because of him. And then there was the Teresa problem…Ryan sighed. He just had to concentrate on getting through the day.

Sure, fighting with Eddie over a girl Ryan didn't want had been a pain. Snapping at Marissa, who was still in love with him, hadn't helped. Anna ignoring him had stung, but Ryan had made it through the school day, and then found himself at Teresa's.

"I don't know what to do about us…" Ryan launched into a soliloquy without even knowing what he said. He was thinking about Anna, and his intention to get rid of Teresa, but Ryan just kept talking and talking and Theresa seemed to like what he was saying because before Ryan realized what was going on he was on Theresa's bed making out with her.

"Why are we doing this?" He wondered aloud.

"It's not like we haven't before," wasn't an entirely satisfactory reply. Ryan heard Death Cab Cutie playing in his mind and thought of Anna as he fucked Theresa.

Ryan knew that Seth cared about him, and that was why he was full of questions about Theresa and Eddie, but all Ryan really wanted to hear about was Anna. Specifically, he wanted to hear that she had totally changed her mind andwas staying in Newport. Thus, he interrupted Seth with a question about Anna.

"She gave me a list of reasons why she's leaving," Seth explained.

"You didn't make the cut did you?" Ryan tried not to be smug. Thinking of reasons he could give to Anna to stay, Ryan tuned out the next bit of Seth's ramble. He caught the end of it, and advised, hypocritically, "Just tell her."

Ryan saw Anna out of the corner of his eye and tried to become fascinated overhearing a conversation about plastic surgery. If Anna didn't want to stay, and she obviously didn't, Ryan wouldn't beg.

Anna approached and Ryan awkwardly introduced her to Teresa. Ryan pretended not to notice Anna's raised brow, or the tears in her eyes.

"You came to say goodbye to Seth?" Ryan hadn't meant for the question to come out cruelly but it had and now he and Anna didn't have much to say to each other. He'd done everything short of sky-writing or pleading with her to stay. Some how the non-verbal communication between the two of them had gotten lost. Anna said something about Seth that Ryan half-ignored, and then casually,

"See you Ryan." See you Ryan, as if he was only her best friend's brother and not… what he knew he really was to her.

"Thanks for teaching me how to waltz," Ryan said more with the words than he had really meant to, and Anna understood every last bit of the sub-text.

"Have the best life, you deserve it," Anna had said affectionately, but she was still telling him to have a nice life. She was still walking out that door.

Anna leaving ruined the whole night, in so many ways. Ryan still didn't know why he fought Eddie for a girl he wasn't all that interested in, and now he sat on a couch nursing a shiner.

"I need you to drive me to the airport. I gotta stop Anna from leaving." Seth interrupted Ryan and Teresa.

"You can't drive yourself?" Ryan didn't want to watch Seth run after the girl that Ryan loved but he couldn't let Seth go alone.

Seth lept from the car before Ryan had fully parked. Ryan sat in the car for a few moments, replaying memories of Anna. If all his non-verbal signals had failed there was only one thing left. Ryan slammed his fist into the steering wheel before rushing into the airport. It wasn't hard to spot Seth leaning against a window, devastated, having failed to get Anna to stay.

Seth called out to Anna, and when she turned she spotted Ryan…