Disclaimer: OC, not mine, although I'd like to think I take very good care of it.

Author's Note: Ok, if you are reading Best of Intentions…please do not kill me. I swear on all that is OC holy, I will have an update by the end of the month. I just have had the hardest time working my way out of a slump with that story. Thanks to everyone who has been reviewing Best and sending me e-mails to get my ass in gear. I will never, ever abandon that story, promise. But…I have been cheating on it with this one. (Head hung in shame.)

This is a short story, only eight parts in all. It's done, so one update a day for the next eight days. This is my take on the season two finale. I'm sure it will be completely different from the actual season three premiere. Hope you can go along for the ride.

Thanks to betas Joey, Crashcmb and the many others who read and provided feedback to me. Love you guys.



A Seth POV Concerning the Season Two Finale

Part One



Ryan's voice is so gravely, I contemplate for a split second that maybe he's channeling Harvey Feinstein.

Most people would initiate a phone conversation with hello or at least some sort of simple salutation.

Ryan starts with a threat.

"I'm leaving."

No, cancel that, a promise.

Ryan's not one to fuck around with the whole, I'm gonna' do this…I'm gonna' do that dance of attention, please rush over and stop me and save me from doing something stupid.

"I'm leaving."

Which means he is.

Which means there's gonna' be a problem. 'Cause the last time I saw Ryan, he had an oxygen mask over his mouth, an IV in his hand and a Band of His Brother's bruises around his neck.

He was more or less unconscious in an emergency room, getting a cast wrapped around his right forearm.

It's four in the morning and my dad should be watching Ryan like a hawk, like he promised me he would as he shoved me into Aunt Hailey's arms and out of the hospital trauma doors. But obviously he's not and the very fact that Ryan called me instead of just disappearing from the ER is a miracle. A ticking alarm clock of a miracle. I can feel the precious tic tocks of opportunity slide past me. I can hear Ryan's ragged breathing on the other end of the phone. He won't wait for me forever. I figure I have ten, maybe fifteen more seconds to stall and then Ryan will give up, hang up and God only knows what happens next.

Who can possibly even think rationally under these conditions?

That'll be exactly what I'll tell my Dad when he comes home pissed off and looking for someone to blame once he realizes that Ryan has ditched the hospital. I'll try my best not to whine, although I will anyway.

"What was I supposed to do Dad? You were supposed to be with him. He called the house all crazy and breathing challenged and talking about bouncing from the hospital. I was like a quarterback and all these buff guys were rushing at me and what was I supposed to do Dad? Huh? I panicked and just ran with the ball, ok? Ryan called and I just went and got him."

I want my mom to not be a Newport cliché.

I want Summer to learn how to keep secrets and not tell me things that I, in turn, tell other people.

I want to turn back time and go to an Imax movie instead of sentencing Ryan and his brother to their own amazingly twisted version of Cain and Abel.

"I'll be there in ten minutes," I tell Ryan, mostly 'cause I'm so goddamned grateful that I'm still on his red velvet rope list.

I'm still someone he's willing to talk to, willing to let in.


"Ryan, you're bleeding."

I'm guessing the removal of the IV was a bit of self-surgery.

I try and hand him a pile of fast food napkins that have managed to amass already in the rent-a-car. He doesn't bother to reach for them so I have to lean over and press hard on the top of his hand while trying to stay between the white lines. Who knew that driving with your knees was so easy? I should pull over but Ryan is looking a tad bit too far on the 'de' side of deranged and as much as I'm dreading dealing with my Dad and his imminent anger over my liberating Ryan from the Hoag ER, the thought of explaining how I lost Ryan on the deserted streets of Newport Beach at 4:20 a.m. is enough to keep me speeding until I land in my driveway.

I need Ryan safe and sound in the house. Not that that's much of a guarantee, granted, but then again, I'm batting one thousand compared to what my Dad has managed tonight in terms of Ryansitting.

I can tell he's in a world of pain. He hasn't stopped fidgeting, hasn't stopped roving for a comfortable position since he first sat down in the car. His hair still has blood in it and his bangs, coated red with the stuff, are sticking up stiffly in several different directions. A very inappropriate joke comes to mind concerning Cameron Diaz and sperm masquerading as hair gel and Jesus Christ, I almost let an inane comment loose before I stop myself… and remind myself…that Marissa just didn't blow away Trey tonight. She blew away our fucking throwaway years.

Goodbye meaningless fun.

I try and remember whom I'm currently blaming the most for bursting my tender childhood bubble.

But it's so hard to pick one person, when we all did such a wonderful job contributing.

My Dad brought Trey home and Trey attacked Marissa and Marissa kept all cloak-and-dagger and Summer figured it out and she told me and I told Ryan and Ryan fucking did what he does best and I called Marissa and she saved Ryan, evidently, by killing his brother.


I look over at him.

Wow, what a moment. I should be a director. Ryan and I, we should have a camera in the car right now. This is the stuff that Oscars are made of. This is the kind of thing, the kind of story that you try and tell someone later, but unless they are there, unless they are seeing what you are seeing, and experiencing it, like you are, in real time, in real motion, they won't understand, they won't appreciate what a fantastic train wreck of a ride it was.


Ryan's repeatedly hitting his forehead with the palm of his hand, the one that isn't bleeding, which I suppose is somewhat a step in the right direction.

Only it's not, 'cause it's also the hand with the cast.

"I can't remember. Why can't I remember?"

"It's okay Ryan," I tell him and gently pull his hand away from doing any more damage to his brain than has already been done tonight and I don't even have to ask before I give him the answer he's trying to pound, word by word, out of his skull.

"Trey's dead, Ryan."

The casted arm takes out the passenger window and I wonder, doubting very highly that any of this is covered by rental insurance, which item will have to be replaced first.


To be continued………….