Title: Fascinations

Author: RangerGirl PG-13

Summary: Revelations over breakfast. Early season 1, Seth/Ryan slash.

Disclaimer: Not mine. They just have a lot more fun with me.

Fascinations

It wasn't as if he'd been planning on it. He didn't come over to the kitchen for breakfast that morning with premeditated intent. But he'd seen it there on the counter, two hot slices growing colder by the minute, and anything that's edible and left unattended in the kitchen is fair game as far as Ryan's concerned.

Seth doesn't seem to agree.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Ryan. Man, tell me I did not just see you do that."

Ryan tries to respond "What?", but his mouth is full and it comes out sounding more like "Mmmph?".

"Okay, yeah, see now, when I turned away I had two slices of hot, toasty goodness waiting for me on that plate. My back's turned for like three seconds, and when I look back I see you, and a full mouth, and a really, really empty plate. Care to shed some light on that, big guy?"

Ryan swallows down his mouthful and blinks innocently. Hey, he was hungry. Seth sighs, shooting him a withering glance.

"Dude, just because you stole cars doesn't mean you get to steal my toast, okay?"

Coming from anybody else, it would have pissed him off. It would be just another indication that he was never going to fit in here, in this glossy, gloriously self-absorbed bubble of a town; a sign that no matter how he tried, he would always be the car-stealing, house-burning boy from Chino.

Coming from Seth, it was kind of adorable.

He doesn't know why, and he certainly doesn't know since when he uses the word "adorable", but he's long past trying to make sense of his feelings where Seth is concerned. Maybe in this case it's because he knows there's no malice behind the words. Seth's not using the car stealing thing against him. He's not trying to belittle Ryan or judge him or label him as trouble. He just wants his toast back.

Or maybe it's just the fact that he's so damn cute when he's annoyed. Right now, he's rolling his eyes and sighing theatrically as he peers into the refrigerator.

"Now, see, there's no sliced left so I'm gonna have to eat the last bagel, and then my dad is going to come down and be faced with a bagel-less kitchen, and that is just not a scenario I want to be anywhere near, okay, because it's terrifying. I'm serious, it's like the Hulk on steroids. So now, Ryan, now not only have you violated my bakery products; you've created a monster."

Ryan's amazed every day by the innocence he finds in Seth. It's all the more incredible to him now, as he's swiftly coming to realise that Newport just isn't that far from Chino. He can't stop a smirk creeping onto his lips at the thought of how the locals would respond to that statement, but it's true. There's still drink and drugs and sex and fistfights, it's just better hidden here, all coated in gloss and glamour and secrets.

Seth is the exception. He doesn't belong here any more than Ryan does, and Ryan loves him for it.

"Dude, are you even listening? I'm feeling violated here."

That's another thing about Seth. He's utterly oblivious. He has no clue whatsoever that his use of the word "violated" has sent a thousand delicious images spiraling through Ryan's mind. It's a good thing he's so clueless, because Ryan, despite his best efforts, is not subtle. He's lost count of the number of times he's caught himself out mid-conversation, losing track of what's being said because he's so distracted by Seth. He's found himself staring at him for minutes on end, utterly absorbed, watching the way his hands move as he talks, how the light catches his curls, how his eyes light up as he gets animated, and in those moments Ryan can't think of anything besides how he longs to touch him.

He's even given up on feigning interest in Marissa now. She's the perfect embodiment of Newport itself; a captivating, flawless, paper-thin fa├žade hiding the crumbling mess beneath.

Seth's still talking, and he knows dimly that some kind of response on his part might be required soon, but he's doing it again. He's watching Seth's lips moving, forming words that he doesn't hear, lost as he is in his imaginings of how that mouth would feel against his own.

He doesn't even realise he's moving until Seth is right in front of him, regarding him with an expression of abject confusion. His body seems to move of its own accord as he reaches out to touch Seth's face, noticing for the first time the specks of green in his eyes. He feels he could get lost in those eyes if he allowed himself, and maybe he already is.

He leans in so close he can feel Seth's breath on his cheek, and a part of him is waiting for Seth to pull away or ask him what he thinks he's doing. In truth, right now he's not sure he's thinking at all. He's beyond rational thought as he closes those final millimeters between them and presses his lips against Seth's.

When he feels Seth kissing him back something explodes within him, as though his every wildest dream and fantasy is coming together for realization in this moment. Seth is rougher than he had imagined, his kiss filled with a passion that sends a warm shudder through Ryan. He's weak all of a sudden, and he clutches at Seth for support, an involuntary moan escaping him at the feeling of Seth's body pressed up against his own. His hands are in Seth's hair, and Seth is writhing against him and running his hands over Ryan's back, his shoulders, the nape of his neck, and now Ryan's head is spinning and it's as though he's drowning in sensation, and all he can do is pull Seth closer and kiss him harder and pray that his legs continue to hold his weight.

The fact that they're pressed against the counter in the Cohen kitchen, on full view to anybody who might happen to walk in escapes them both for that single, glorious, irrational moment.

The next moment logic returns all too abruptly, and they break apart, and after what can only be seconds they hear Kirsten's footsteps approaching.

They are blessed by the fact that she's running late that morning. She's too rushed to notice that Seth's hair is a little too disheveled, that Ryan's shirt is slightly askew, that they're both breathing too heavily. She doesn't notice that Ryan is steadily avoiding Seth's eyes, or that Seth is looking at Ryan the way he used to look at Summer.

It doesn't take long for Seth to mumble something about taking a shower and shuffle upstairs. Kirsten doesn't notice the grin that plays on the corner of Ryan's lips as he follows.