So I know a lot of you were waiting for a sequel for Never Look Back but this has been swimming around in my head forever...well actually just the Ryan and Summer part and finally the story line to go with it hit me as soon as I hit the update button on the last chapter of Never Look Back...but let me know what you think of this one...I have a feeling it's going to be a long one...done in three parts...so um I hope you like it.


Dear Summer,

I know you're probably pretty pissed right about now and I don't blame you. But I also think we know each other well enough for me to know you'll, in time, reach an understanding about why I had to leave. I'm not going to ask you to wait for me (even though I am coming back) but I am going to ask you to give us another show when I do get back. Please at least think about it once you've cooled down a little bit. We work well together Summer, I know that's weird since we have nothing in common but you complete me...and I hope you feel the same way. So please, just don't give up on us completely because I think we are worth it. You are going to be in my thoughts from the moment I set sail until I come back...I love you Summer.

Seth


The doorbell echoes through Summer's silent house and startles her half way through the letter she already had memorized, cursing, Summer wipes at her wet cheeks and quickly folds up the letter. When she pulls open her huge front door Summer us shocked to see the soaking mess standing on the step in front of her.

"Chino what the hell are you doing back here?" Even as she speaks Summer can tell that it's more than his soaked body responsible for the miserable look on Ryan's face. "Never mind, come in, the weather out here's pretty shitty."

"Can I get you something to eat or drink?" Summer asks once Ryan is wrapped up in a blanket.

"No," Ryan shakes his head. "I don't even know why I'm here."

"Why you're here in Newport or why you're here in my living room?" Summer inquires.

"In your living room."

Summer's dark eyes study Ryan for a long time before she asks, "well, why don't you start off with why you're not in Chino."

The pained expression that crosses Ryan's face makes Summer feel guilty for even asking. "I guess I own you an explanation."

Summer shakes her head quickly, "no, you don't owe me anything."

Ryan doesn't seem to hear Summer's words of protest, "I proposed to Theresa and she said yes and Eddie found out..."

"Oh God, Ryan," Summer gasps, "is Theresa okay?"

"She-she's fine. But the baby...well it just couldn't...Theresa's body..." Ryan stumbles around struggling to find the right words.

"Oh God Ryan," Summer whispers. "It's okay you don't have to say it."

"They ran a - a test afterwards she - she was ah - mine."

"Oh Ryan," tears are swimming in Summer's eyes. "I'm so sorry."

"I couldn't stand to being at the Cohen's anymore all they do is hover. And I couldn't stand to see Marissa...I didn't have anywhere else..."

"It's fine that you're here." Summer assures, "my dad and the step-monster are out of the country for two weeks so you can stay as long as you need."


Summer stares out across the ocean, she did that a lot, just sitting on her window seat and wondering where out there Seth was and if he was on his way home yet. But the sound of the guest bedroom door opening and shutting draws her out of her thoughts.

"Can't sleep?" Summer asks sticking her head out of her door.

Ryan shakes his head, "you?"

"I'm a complete insomniac," Summer responds. "Are you hungry, do you want me to get you something?"

"What's with you and wanting to feed me?" Ryan asks offering Summer a brief smile.

"My housekeeper keeps my refrigerator stocked with food all the time but most of it's just going to waste."

"Ah, well thanks for the offer, but I was thinking of just going to the beach for awhile." Ryan responds and after a second states, "you're welcome to come with me."

"No it's okay, you probably want to be alone."

"You sure?" Ryan asks, "I don't mind."

The thought of spending the entire evening alone in her house, again, didn't appeal to Summer, "you sure?"

"Positive."


Ryan and Summer had both settled on the beach, just out of reach of the tide, in silence but when they were both seated next to each other Ryan asks, "so Seth just picked up and left?"

Summer doesn't take her eyes off the ocean at Ryan's question. "Yeah he left me and Cohen's each a letter. He's coming back though."

"Of course he is," Ryan agrees, although both know that he isn't sure of that fact. Changing the subject Ryan asks, "how's Marissa?"

"Coop?" Summer asks nervously, "she's grea..." Summer sighs, "no she's not. She's in rehab."

"Drinking?"

"Yeah, she's been there for almost two weeks. Her mom found her passed out stone cold in her bedroom and immediately shipped her off."

"Oh," Ryan, who'd been watching Summer as she spoke, turns his attention back tot he waves.

The repetitious motion of the waves causes both of them to lose track of time while their thoughts keep them silent, but once again Ryan draws Summer out of her thoughts and concerns for Seth. Summer places a light hand on Ryan's shaking shoulders, "I'm so sorry Ryan. Do you want to talk about it?" Even as she says the words Summer knows that Ryan's trademark stoicism will keep him silent.

"It's all my fault," Ryan's voice chills Summer with a mix of pain and rage.

"No, none of this is your fault, you did what you thought was right. No one could blame you for that."

"She was my daughter," Ryan emphasizes the already heartbreaking words.

"I know Ryan, I know." Summer murmurs the soothing words that come to her. Then Ryan does something Summer never would have predicted, he pulls her into a huge hug, holding onto her tightly and sobbing. "Just cry Ryan," Summer whispers the words her mother used to whisper to her when she was kid. The words she wished someone would have whispered to her when her mom and then Seth had left.


The warm sunlight wakes up Summer the next morning and it takes her several seconds for her to realize she'd fallen asleep on the beach. And it's not until she feels a heaviness on her upper legs that she remembers that Ryan had fallen asleep with his head on her lap, like a little kid. Her struggle to sit must've woken Ryan because he quickly moves to a kneeling position, "shit! What time is it?"

Summer yawns and glances at the sky, "still pretty early I think."

"I should go," Ryan states. "Sandy and Kirsten have no idea where I am. They are probably freaking out."

"Yeah," Summer nods. "I'm sure." And, not for the first time, Summer finds herself wishing for parents more like the Cohens.

"About last night," Ryan pulls Summer to her feet. "I'm sorry I lost it like that, but you helped."

Summer smiles, "not a problem Ch-Ryan."


"There you are." Kirsten announces when Ryan walks into the Cohen's house. "We were worried."

"I'm sorry," Ryan apologizes.

"No, no." Sandy responds, it's fine. You're here now, Ryan...if you need to talk."

At Sandy's words Ryan's thoughts immediately turn to the night before on the beach, Summer had let him cry and when he had begun to explain the reasoning behind how it was his fault Theresa had lost the baby Summer had changed right in front of him. All of Ryan's pre-notions of Summer were out the window and now he had no idea to what to think of the Summer Roberts he's never known before.


"You can't blame yourself Ryan."

"How can you say that? If I had..."

"It's not your fault because you weren't the one who beat her up, that was Eddie."

"But if..."

"No," Summer shakes her head. "It's a hard concept to grasp and it took me a long time to realize it too. When I was ten I was a bratty little kid, hard to believe huh? I had an older sister, Paige, and one day coming home from one of Paige's piano recitals, Paige was an amazing pianist, she was killed in a car accident.

"I had no idea."

Summer shrugs, "you know how people are around here, if it's not the newest no one remembers. Anyway, after she died I totally blamed myself...if I hadn't been such a brat and if I hadn't thrown such a fit she wouldn't have been in her favorite spot in the back seat and I would have been in the back seat in my favorite spot and no one would have been sitting in the backseat on the side the other driver hit."

"But how were you supposed to know that you were going to get in a car accident. I knew Eddie was going to be pissed when he found out I'd proposed to Theresa."

"That's just you wanting to explain it away...it's easier to beat yourself up than it is to deal with your pain. Guilt is easier to deal with than the pain of losing someone you love. If you want to point fingers than point away...but you are not the one to blame. Blame that bastard Eddie who really is at fault."


"Ryan?" Sandy and Kirsten are staring expectantly.

Ryan shakes his head, "yeah, sorry, what?"

"We're here if you need us, to talk, listen or whatever." Sandy assures.

"I'm fine," Ryan states. "I think I'm going to get some sleep."

"Sure, sweetie, whatever you need." Kirsten nods, but once he's outside heading to the pool house she asks, "where do you think he was all night?"

"I dunno," Sandy shrugs. "But he seems better than he did last night."

"We should ask him, find out where he's been, he obviously saw someone...but who? His group of friends is small and Seth and Marissa are unreachable...we should ask him when he gets up."

"Calm down Kirsten, he was out all night, I don't think we need to interrogate him he's been through a lot."

"We can't just let him get away with things, he got away with to much last year because we kept saying he's been through so much, or he can take care of himself or..." Kirsten lets out a deep breath in frustration. "We gave him to much free reign, he should be moved into the house and we should monitor his comings and goings more closely. Seth's too when he gets back. We've already had one pregnancy because we weren't being good enough...paying enough attention..."

"Kirsten," Sandy places both of his hands on Kirsten's shoulders, "breathe. He's okay. We have him back, Seth will be coming home soon. He can only stay away from Summer for so long..."