Charmed and Beautiful

Summary: Ryan and Seth Atwood drive. (Not slash – Seth is Ryan's son.) Standalone.

Note: Takes place seventeen years after 1x27 –The Ties that Bind. This was part of a longer fic, but I liked this (it was the beginning), so I decided to post. The title doesn't make much sense, but I like it. Onto the one-shot.

Seth Atwood

My father looks under his dirt stained fingernails for a few minutes, picking at the dirt with his other fingernails. I'm driving us, and he just rides in the passenger seat. Dad's legs ache a lot, considering he is on them twenty four/seven.

" I used to live in Orange County…" He begins.

" I know the story." I turn a corner. Dad always tells this story after a hard day at work. He wishes he still lived there. In Orange County, with his fancy Range Rover, and his friends, and the Cohen's, not here in Chino, with a small house on the outskirts. Dad is only thirty-four but he acts older sometimes. Like he is losing his mind older.

" I had everything, Seth. I had Seth, not you, but the first Seth, Seth Cohen, and Marissa, and Kirsten and Sandy and Summer and even Caleb."

"I know Dad."

" Take a left up here." Dad instructs.

" What?"

" Just take a left."

I agree to, and I take the left. We quickly speed out of Chino and onto the highway. We just ride, Dad trying to find the Advil in my glove compartment. Finally, after looking for the 4th time, he groans. " Goddamn it, Seth. Where's your Advil?"

" Fuck, Dad, I don't know. Maybe someone took it."

He continues ruffling around in my glove compartment, bypassing the condoms that I keep in there. Dad seems to ignore them, and I sigh in relief. It's not like Dad doesn't know that I am…active, but we're not exactly open about the subject.

Quietly, we slip into Newport Beach. I've never been here, even though my father's family is here. I've never met Mister and Mrs. Cohen, or Seth, my namesake, or Marissa, Dad's old girlfriend. I've never met Summer, Seth's old girlfriend, or Luke, Dad's old friend. I feel left out sometimes, like I'm not good enough for the Newporters. Dad is ashamed of me sometimes and I can tell. He loves me, but he wishes he had a different life - one without me, and one with Marissa.

I always wondered what Dad saw in her, and then I saw a picture. She is gorgeous, with long brownish colored hair, soft features, just Newport perfect, but what I've heard about her isn't Newport perfect. She had or still has (who knows, Dad doesn't know) a shit load of problems.

" Let's go see the Cohen's."

" Dad, you're not exactly dressed up." I argue. I'm dressed nice, in a clean white wife-beater, blue jeans with a big hole in the knee, with a brown striped shirt over the wife-beater, open, revealing my nice abs that are unfortunately covered by the wife-beater.

I have my mother's brothers face, only trimmer, and my mother's dark hair. I have that I'm-so-awesome-I-can-kick-your-ass look that every man on my mother's side holds. I don't look like Dad a bit, but I'm like him on the inside. Tough.

" Seth, do you want to stop at Wal-Mart and buy me some new clothes? Because I just happen to love their line of velour track suits."

" Dad…" I say back. ' Cut the crap."

" Then I'm okay." He nods. " Take a right."

And I do think my dad is okay. Even though he wishes he had a different life, I think he's okay. Even though I know this isn't the life he wanted, I just shrug and accept it, because what else can you do?

So I take a right and maybe it will lead me somewhere else.

Who really knows?