Summary: A Ryan-centric story set somewhere in mid-season one (post Oliver). Ryan deals with the death of his mother in the only way he knows how. Slight AU.

A/N: I just wanted to write a very angsty story that had a lot of PDP. Expect a lot of heartfelt Ryan/Sandy moments.
I am very slow to update, so be warned before starting this story. I do promise to finish it though.
I don't have a beta, so all mistakes are mine.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

"These eggs almost taste like mom made them." Seth grabbed at his throat and added a few gagging noises for effect. "Quick, Ryan, pass the juice."

Ryan laughed and didn't even bother to put down his fork as he passed the jug across the table to Seth. Though it wasn't even 7:30 yet, the whole family was together for a rare, early morning, shared breakfast. It wasn't planned, but when the Cohens plus one had found themselves all scrounging for breakfast at the same time, Kirsten had suggested they eat as a family. She promised not to cook.

They were just falling into their familiar rhythm of eating and quick paced bantering, when the phone rang. Ryan didn't look up from his breakfast. No one he knew would call so early on a Saturday. Kirsten jumped to answer it.

"Hello?" Ryan felt her eyes on him. "Yes, I'll accept the charges."

Ryan dropped his fork and felt his stomach lurch in anticipation. The only collect calls that ever came into this house were from his family.

Kirsten held her hand over the receiver and motioned to Ryan as his suspicions were confirmed. "It's your brother."

He rose, without saying a word, and took the cordless phone from her hands. It struck him that the whole family had stopped eating and were staring at him now. He ducked his head, and went out to the patio where they couldn't eavesdrop on his conversation.


"Hey, Ry. How are you?"

"Why are you calling me?"

"It's about mom. I thought you should know. I wasn't sure if anyone would tell you."

"What about her?"

"She's dead Ry. Committed suicide. They found her body a few days ago." There was silence on the other end of the line. "She was buried yesterday. No ceremony or anything."

Ryan nodded, unaware that his brother couldn't see it.

"You're free now Ry. She can't mess up your life anymore..."

Ryan stepped back inside less than five minutes after he had left. The room was quieter now. He knew they were all trying to read him. Trying to figure out why his brother had called him for only the second time since he had moved in with them.

"Everything okay?" Sandy asked, trying to gauge his son's emotions.

Ryan nodded, not wanted to share the news just yet. "Yeah. I think I'm gonna go visit Trey, if that's alright. He seems lonely." He shrugged. "I haven't seen him since Thanksgiving."

Kirsten nodded, and swallowed her last bite of bacon. "Of course honey. Do you want us to go with you?"

He shook his head. "No, that's okay. I won't be gone long." He could feel Seth staring at him, but he refused to make eye contact.

Sandy stood up and handed Ryan the keys to the car. "Are you sure everything's okay?"

"Yah, fine. Like I said, I won't be gone long." He took the keys and started out the door. "Thanks."

Seth stood up quickly and threw his napkin down on the table. "I'm just gonna go see if he wants some company." He glanced at his parents. "Or something." Seth sprinted out of the house and caught up with Ryan in the driveway. "Hey, man, you sure everything's okay?"

"Yah, I just need to take care of some things."

Seth nodded, staring at Ryan disbelievingly. "Take care of things like visit your brother in jail or take care of things like deliver a stolen car and get the crap kicked out of you?"

"It's nothing Seth. It's not a big deal."

"Are you sure you don't want some company?" Seth squinted, blocking out the harsh early morning sun. "I probably can't help much in the ass kicking arena, but I do have the new Legion comic."

Ryan shook his head and climbed into the car. "I can't read and drive Seth." He hesitated and looked back down at Seth, staring at him from the porch. "Thanks, but I'll be back before lunch."

Seth just nodded and waved good-bye. He hoped Ryan knew what he was doing.