A/N: Alright so technically, only 1 and a half people asked for more but I couldn't resist. I'm horrible at updating and everything but I'm really gonna try here. Plus, I'm, like, super excited about this story! I'm hoping to go all the way to the end of senior year.

P.S. Don't expect Ryan and Marissa to reunite. Sorry, but I just can't see it happening this season.

P.P.S. I'm probably not going to be following a lot of the stuff going on with the other characters, like everything with Caleb and Kirsten possibly getting arrested. That stuff would be too overwhelming for me to try and write so this story is majorly based on Seth and Summer and them trying to decide what they are to each other. I will however do my best to add the four new characters (Zach, obviously, is already in there, Lindsay, Alex, and D.J. this link ?album42&pos12 should lead to them!) The only challenge I'm facing is the fact that it's really hard to write characters that you don't know. None of us are really sure how they act or what kind of person they are but I'm doing my best!

P.P.P.S. The story I just posted (Falling Down the Rabbit Hole) is gonna be put on hold for a while because I really wanna concentrate on this one. It didn't really get a lot of reviews anyway so I don't think anyone should be too disappointed.

I changed Braden's name to Zach because that is what it will be in the show.

"Hello?" A groggy Summer picked up her cell phone that was quietly buzzing in the palm of her hand. Since the day Seth left, she had grown accustomed to sleeping with her cell on vibrate in her hand. She had been waiting for him to call, though she wasn't even sure she would talk to him if he did. Of course he didn't call when he was gone. Now he called. All the frickin' time. Yet she still slept with her phone in hand. Old habits die hard, I guess.

"Hi." Seth's voice was wide-awake on the other end of the phone.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"Right now talking to you."

"Obviously."

"I can't sleep." Summer swore that half the time he talked just to talk.

"Yes, well I can. Goodnight."

"Summer, wait!"

"Cohen, it's 2:30 in the effing morning. We have school tomorrow. If you can't sleep then drink some warm milk or read a comic book or whatever. But I'm not gonna sit here and talk to you just so can fall asleep."

"Okay, but I just wanted you to know that I was thinking about you." Seth's voice was so sincere that she couldn't help but get a little giddy.

"I know." She was smiling and he could tell but she didn't really care.

"Goodnight."

"Goodnight." Summer shut her phone and left it in her palm as she snuggled back under the covers.

This wasn't the first time Seth had called her in the middle of the night to tell her something completely random and pointless yet oh-so-sweet at the same time. Since that night on the pier, they had an understanding. They cared for each other still, though she had a much harder time admitting it. He was doing everything he could to win her back and although she was still pissed as hell, she couldn't shut him out.

They were friends now, sort of. It took a good few months for them to get to this point but they were here. They talked a lot; actually he did a lot of the talking, but she listened. And their conversations had only turned angry a few times. Then they would end up in a heated screaming match until one or the other stalked off. Then one of them would call up the other one and apologize. Consequently, Summer usually ended up stalking off and Seth usually ended up apologizing. It worked though.

They had the same lunch period, 6A, so they ate together everyday. She didn't mind this arrangement. The only person who ever seemed to have a problem with it was Zach. He thought it was weird that Summer was hanging out with her ex-boyfriend but she was quick to explain that they were just friends now.

And she really did like Zach. He was a nice kid, captain of the water polo team, son of a congressman, someone her father would approve of. But she still felt for Seth. She wouldn't say it out loud, obviously. If she admitted it, it would just give him everything he needed to make her knees go numb and watch her fall into his arms. And that's why she still got a little giddy when he said those pointless, sweet things.


"Hey." Summer picked up her phone as she pulled her skirt up onto her hips.

"Good morning, beautiful." Summer blushed naturally. "What are you up to?"

"I'm getting dressed. You?"

"On my way down the stairs to eat breakfast." It never ceased to amaze Summer how random a spot Seth could pick to call her from. She was honestly surprised that he hadn't yet called her while he was taking a pee.

"Hang on." Summer pulled the phone away from her ear long enough to pull on her polo. "Alright. Are you gonna be home after school today? Ryan and Lindsay are supposed help me out with some of that stuff in physics. I'm totally not getting any of it."

"No, I won't be here. I gotta work."

Summer snickered. "I still cannot believe you got a job, not to mention you're cleaning toilets. I mean ew."

"Hey, it pays. And since I'm grounded till the end of never if I have a job at the Bait Shop my parents can't not let me go."

"Right. I have to blow dry my hair. I'll see you at school, 'kay?"

"'Kay." Summer snapped her phone shut and smiled in spite of herself.

There wasn't anything she wouldn't give for things to go back to the way they were before the boys left. Even now, she wanted to take Seth back but she just couldn't let go of what he did. Healing takes time, right?


"Hey Coop. Hey Linds."

"Oh, hey Sum, what's up?" Lindsay and Marissa turned to face her.

"Not much," Summer answered.

Lindsay was new this year. She was pretty in a quirky way. She had long red hair and comforting eyes. She was somewhat of an outsider, someone Summer never would have associated with last year, but this year was so mixed up, all these feelings and friendships and Summer found herself caring less and less how other people viewed her.

In the beginning, she had reverted back to her old self, being bitchy and vain. She tried to become the person she had been last year, but of course Cohen had screwed everything up. As soon as he came back into the picture, she had changed yet again. She wanted to be the person she had been when she was with him but she couldn't even be that. Who she was now though, still dating the captain of the water polo team but friends with "that emo geek", suited her.

"So we're going to Ryan's after school, right? Study sesh?" Lindsay looked at Summer.

"Yeah, I'm totally confused." Summer noted the way Marissa's face softened a little at the mention of Ryan's name. They had talked about some stuff since he got back but there was still more that needed to be said. They weren't together and it didn't look like they would be any time soon. Besides, Marissa was having a little fling with the pool boy. She still loved Ryan though, but somehow it was different then it was between her and Seth. Marissa and Ryan are always gonna love each other, but it's a love you can ignore. Marissa could go off and marry some other guy and still love Ryan but it wouldn't interfere.

With Seth, she felt an almost nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach. Like it wasn't gonna go away no matter how many other people she dated. She just needed time. Time to forgive him, and time to let him back in again. Completely.

"Marissa you're welcome to come, too." Lindsay made sure to include Marissa; she knew that she and Ryan had had something special and assumed it would be painful for her to be left out. Although Summer had her suspicions that Ryan and Lindsay had a little something else goin' on.

"Yeah, if I have time I'll drop by." Marissa smiled as the bell rang. The three girls left in different directions for their classes.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

"Hey." Summer caught up with Zach in the hallway.

"Oh, hey," he said as he planted a kiss on her temple. "What are you doing this Friday?"

"Friday…not sure. Why?" They reached the door to the health classroom and headed inside.

"I was hoping we could hang out." Zach took a seat in the back corner as Summer sat down in the seat across from him. "Since you were with what's-his-face last weekend."

"His name is Seth and yeah, of course we can hang out," Summer answered right as the teacher walked in. Flashing the light's he got the class's attention.

"Settle down, settle down. Everyone, take your seats."

As the class shuffled around getting situated Zach leaned across the isle and whispered to Summer, "This is such a blow-off class."

"Tell me about it. I think they put it in the schedule just to take up time."

"Alright, we'll start with the question box," the teacher said as he removed a box from a table by the door. Pulling out a small piece of paper he read it over and frowned. "Um, the question is 'can you get syphilis from a chicken?'" The teacher cleared his throat and tugged at his tie before speaking again. "I don't know if this is a joke or not but this box is here for you guys to ask serious questions. I don't want you kids to just throw in questions to be funny." He cleared his throat one more time before adding, "And no, you cannot get syphilis from a chicken."

The class giggled as he walked over to the TV and popped in the movie. Zach and Summer spent the whole class passing notes about nothing in particular.

That was another Summer had noticed about Zach. When she was with Seth, there were never any awkward silences. He almost always had something to say and when he didn't, yeah there was silence but it wasn't awkward. With Zach she was constantly worried about saying something stupid and making sure she looked nice. They never just hung out in his bedroom, either. They were always doing something. She missed just being comfortable, nothing more and nothing less.

The bell rang dismissing them from health and the rest of the morning moved slowly. Summer was relieved when she finally made it to lunch, entering what she called "Seth time". From lunch on he was in all of her classes, making it easier for her to relax.

"I can't believe they stopped serving chocolate cake."

"Cohen, that cake was made with goat milk." Seth and Summer set their trays down on the table.

"Yeah, but it was really good. You couldn't even taste the goat milk."

"Gross." Seth smiled at her and she couldn't help but smile back. "Where's Ryan?"

Ryan also had lunch 6A and normally ate with them but for some reason, today he was absent.

"I don't know," Seth answered.

"I just saw him last period." A few minutes passed as they ate their lunch in a comfortable silence.

"Well, speak of the devil," Seth said, as Ryan appeared, tray in hand. "Where were you?"

"I had to get my locker com changed."

"Why," Summer asked.

"Someone kept opening it," he explained.

"Oh. That sucks."

"Not really."

"Yeah. So you and Linds are still gonna help me study after school today, right?"

"Yeah, it's really simple, you just have to get the basics." Ryan said.

"Well right now, I don't get any of it and after today's class I get less."

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

The rest of the day moved quicker and the last bell finally rang dismissing them from TV production. "How late are you working?" Summer asked Seth as they made their way to his locker.

"I should be home around nine."

"Seriously?"

"Yeah," Seth said as they finally reached his locker.

"Dude, that sucks."

"Did you just say dude?"

"Maybe." Seth looked questioningly at Summer. "God, ew anyone?"

"Okay it slipped," Seth tried to defend.

"Mmhmm," Summer said.

"Maybe if I didn't hang out with you so much."

"Right. I'll see you tomorrow." Summer headed off to her own locker.

"Later," Seth said to her retreating back.


Summer fidgeted in her seat at the Cohen's kitchen table. The air vent was blowing on her feet and she was having a hard time concentrating.

"Summer?" It was Ryan's voice that pulled her back to reality.

"What?" She looked up quickly and Ryan and Lindsay were staring at her expectantly.

"Do you know the answer?" Lindsay asked.

"Oh, right. Velocity vectors?" Summer took a guess.

"Exactly."

"Wait it's right?"

"Yeah," said Lindsay.

"Summer, you know the material. You just need to be more confident in your answers," Ryan told her.

"Right, more confident."

Just then Marissa breezed through the kitchen, taking a seat next to Ryan. "Hey guys. How's the studying going?"

Ryan gave her a bit of a puzzled look.

"Kirsten let me in," she said in lieu of explanation.

"So what's up?" Summer started up a conversation.

"Oh, nothing. I was down at John Robert's and thought I'd stop over here on my way back."

"Ooo, did you get your nails done?" Summer leaned over the table. "Lemme see them."

Marissa held out her hand for Summer to admire. "Red. That's hot, Coop."

"Yeah, I was bored so I figured why not."

"Don't forget, this Sunday we're going to L.A."

"Oh yeah, spa day." Marissa thought for a minute and then said, "Linds, you can come too."

"I don't know. That's not really my thing."

"Come on, it would be so much fun." Summer tried to persuade her. "The first Sunday of every month me and Coop go down to L.A. and get the full spa treatment. Manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, everything. It feels amazingly good and you'd love it. If you don't, you never have to come again. Okay?"

"I guess so."

"So it's settled. We'll pick you up around eight."

"Hey guys," Ryan interrupted. "Can we get back to the velocity vectors?"

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

An hour later Summer was ready to pack up her stuff and head home. "Thanks so much for helping me, you guys."

"No problem," Lindsay said as she put her things in her book bag.

"Do you wanna stay for dinner?" Ryan asked Lindsay.

"Um yeah, just let me call my mom." Lindsay left the room to use the phone and Ryan turned to Summer.

"You're welcome to stay too but Seth won't be home till about nine."

"Why would you think his presence verses his absence would influence my decision on whether or not I wanted to eat here?"

"Because he's the only reason you do eat here."

"What makes you say that?"

Ryan ignored Summer's last question and said, "Doesn't it piss your boyfriend off that you spend so much time with Seth?"

"No, as a matter of fact, Zach is fine with it." Summer was lying through her teeth and they both knew it.

"Why are you dating that prick anyway?" Ryan asked.

"Why are you having this discussion with me?" Summer countered.

"Forget it. Just quit jerking Seth around. He's not a dog, you know."

She and Ryan had become fairly good friends, the only thing they ever fought about being Seth. Ryan said that Seth was hoping for too much and she was just going to let him down when they never got back together and Summer would yell back that it wasn't her fault he left.

"Well excuse me, but I can't help it if he's still in love with me."

"Yeah and up until last June, you were still in love with him too."

"I never—"

"No. You know what? I'm done. We're done talking about this."

"Fine."

"Fine."

Summer slung her bag over her shoulder and stormed past Lindsay on her way out. The difference between fighting with Ryan and fighting with Seth was that when she and Ryan fought, no one called the other up to apologize. Unless something truly horrific was said, they just pretended it didn't happen. And the one thing she always liked about Ryan was that he was completely honest with her. Whether they were fighting or not, he was always honest. He told her when she acted like a bitch and she appreciated it. Maybe not at the time, but in the long run.

She was about to turn around and remind Ryan to have Seth call her cell when he got home but she realized that that would just be wrong considering the argument she just finished with Ryan not ten seconds ago. Instead, she left without another word knowing full well Seth would call whether Ryan told him to or not.


"Hello?"

"Hello, sunshine." Ever since she and Seth had started hanging out again he had adopted all of these pet names for her like sunshine and gorgeous. He said them in the most sarcastic of tones somehow managing to sound completely genuine at the same time.

"How was work?" Summer asked.

"Same old, same old."

"Fun. What are you doing now?"

"Well, Captain Oats and I were just having a discussion on the current world affairs."

"That sounds entertaining."

"I'm sure Captains Oats would agree." Seth paused for a minute before asking, "What are you doing Friday?"

"Friday's not good," Summer answered.

"Saturday?"

"Saturday is better."

"Lunch?" Seth asked.

"Lunch."

"So I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Yeah, bye."

"Bye." Summer pulled her phone away from her ear and shut it. Honestly, she always felt a little sneaky after talking to Seth. At times she felt like she was having an affair; cheating on poor, innocent Zach with a more innocent Seth. She wasn't sure why she felt this way though the fact that she still had very strong feelings for Seth could be a clue. And even though everything was completely screwed up then, she still wished she could go back to that night when it was just the two of them on the pier and they were kissing and nothing else mattered.

She had every intention of kissing Seth again; under better circumstances, of course. She just needed time.


Whew (wipes sweat off brow). I think that was probably the longest chapter I ever wrote. Now I know it's not much for action but my first chapters tend to be more of intros. It will get better later. I see some sex, break-ups, fights (physical and verbal), and changing relationships in the very near future! Leave a review!