Conversations of Chemistry

Disclaimer: Josh Schwartz and co. own everything; I'm merely borrowing these characters for the sake of my own amusement. Please don't sue me; I'm just a broke college student!

Author's note: Don't worry, I haven't given up on Reading Between The Lines. I plan to finish it over the show's hiatus. I'm just so enthralled over S3 Ryan/Marissa that I had to take a break and focus on that for a bit. This story is largely fluff, with just a little bit of angst tossed in for good measure. Fluffy with RM is generally somewhat less realistic than angst, so as always I apologize for any out of character behavior. Also, I am really not used to writing for Seth and Summer as characters. I find Seth to be borderline impossible to write fanfiction for (it's out of respect for Seth, trust me), so I apologize in advance if I got him all wrong. I have to say, before S3 even I would have thought Ryan being this whipped was a little crazy, but let's face it: he's GONE for the girl this season. For this first chapter, know that I am in NO WAY suggesting sex is a fix-it for attempted rape. It's not. At all. It takes time, therapy, understanding...a whole lot of things. However, I think it IS good to eventually be reminded that sex is not inherently a bad thing, and I think Ryan was able to do that for Marissa. The rating is probably paranoid as I can't write smut to save my life (I love to read it but any time I try to write it I just bust out laughing), but I like to be on the safe side. Sex talk/alluding to sex is fairly tame, but it IS there.

Summary: Marissa and Ryan talk with Summer and Seth respectively about their first time making love, eventually talking about it themselves which leads to more than just talking!

Marissa exited her mother's room, rubbing her forehead tiredly. Her mother had finally fallen asleep; she'd tried to insist to Marissa that she would be okay, but Marissa was worried about her. She'd never seen her mother quite so alone, vulnerable, and heartbroken.

She wandered down to the living room and her exhausted frown faded into a smile when she spotted Summer asleep on the couch. Sometimes it struck her just how lucky she was to have such a loyal friend. "Sum," she said gently, walking over to shake her shoulder. "Sum, wake up."

Summer sleepily stirred. "Cohen, if you talk about your detention one more time…" she muttered, then her eyes fluttered open and she took in her surroundings. "Oh. I must have fallen asleep," she yawned.

"You didn't have to stay here," Marissa said, playfully ruffling her hair as she sat down next to her. "Although I'm glad you did."

"Where else am I gonna be?" Summer protested, leaning in to enfold Marissa in a hug. "Sweetie, I'm so sorry about your dad."

"Me, too," Marissa sighed, gratefully accepting the hug and resting her head on Summer's shoulder. "I'm not really angry at him, except for hurting my mom the way he did. I guess he's just…not cut out for all this. I think I was expecting it on some level," she admitted. "I don't think I ever totally trusted him after the last time. I was surprised at how I WASN'T surprised, you know? It was almost like I was waiting for it without realizing it."

"As long as you're okay," Summer said skeptically. "I am available for endless chocolate binges and chick flick marathons if need be."

Marissa laughed. "I may take you up on that, but I AM okay. I promise. I still have my mom, I've got you, and Ryan's been incredible." There was a length pause and she frowned in confusion at Summer's conspicuous silence. "Sum?" she asked, lifting her head. "What's up?"

Summer bit her lip. "Okay, so I told myself I wasn't going to bug you about this because of your dad, but I'm dying here, Coop!"

"Dying about what?" Marissa asked blankly.

Summer flushed a little. "Well…so Cohen and I were taking down the hut this morning and gathering all the stuff up…" she leaned down and reached into her bag- pulling out an empty condom wrapper.

Marissa groaned. "Oh my God," she muttered, burying her suddenly flushed face in her hands and climbing off the couch.

Oh no, you can NOT leave me hanging like that!" Summer insisted, scurrying up after her. "This door has been opened. I need details! I heard the word incredible."

"Summer!" Marissa protested. "Come on, give me a break."

"Coop! This is, like, epic! You two have two years of sexual tension leading up to this," Summer pointed out and Marissa groaned again. "You can't just not tell me!"

Even as she blushed, Marissa's mind flashed back to the night before. The feel of Ryan's skin against her hands as she'd taken off his tank top…the look in his eyes as he'd laid her down on the bed…the touch of his hand as he'd run it up her thigh…their lips and tongues meeting in a way that was finally unrestrained after two years of holding back so "they wouldn't go too far"…the way he'd felt inside of her. Her face got warm for an entirely different reason from just the memory of it; it was as if last night had made her somehow a different person.

"Don't EVEN think I can't read that expression on your face right now!" Summer squealed. "It was hot, wasn't it? Tell me how hot it was."

"Summer…" heaving an exasperated, embarrassed sigh, Marissa knew she wasn't getting out of this conversation. She allowed herself a small smile before she turned to face Summer; no reason she couldn't have fun with this as well. "I'm sorry we left that there," she said nonchalantly, breezing past Summer into the kitchen. "I thought we got them all."

"Oh, who CARES if you left-" Summer stopped dead. "ALL of them?" she repeated dumbly, then flew into the kitchen after her. Marissa stifled a giggle as she pulled a bottle of water out of the refrigerator. "Marissa! Hello? You can't leave it at that!"

"It was good enough to go back more than once, isn't that enough for you?" Marissa teased.

"Hell no!" Summer said adamantly. "If it was good enough to do more than once in one night, we haven't even gotten started yet." She grabbed Marissa's hand and dragged her over to the table. "We're talking details, Coop. How many times? How hot was it? How many times did he make you…"

"SUMMER!" Marissa protested in horror, her amusement fading back into embarrassment.

"Come on," Summer cajoled. "I've been waiting for this forever. You and I don't have secrets."

"Apparently, we don't have boundaries, either," Marissa muttered, closing her eyes and shaking her head at the ceiling.

Summer sighed. "Okay," she relented. "We won't get quite so detailed- yet." Marissa shot her a warning glare and she held up her hands defensively. "Fine, fine!" Her teasing manner faded. "So seriously, Coop. This is a big deal. Were you…like scared or anything? Did it live up to what you imagined? It seems like you and Ryan are closer instead of further apart."

Marissa's face softened into a gentle smile; Summer wondered if she was aware how obvious it was that she was head over heels in love, if she knew how much better and more beautiful she looked when Ryan made her smile like that. "It definitely isn't something that could ever make us further apart," she giggled a little. "It was….it was incredible. I guess I was a little scared at first," she admitted. "I thought I was leaving and there's been so much between us, not the least of all Trey. Plus he has more experience than I do; I don't think I was worried about him so much as me. It all faded away as soon as…" she blushed a little "…got into it, though." She smiled happily again, hugging herself. "It's so different when it's someone you love. It's such a totally different experience."

"What about Trey?" Summer asked hesitantly, unsure if she should bring that up but worried for her friend nonetheless. "Was that ever a…"

Marissa frowned, looking faintly bemused. "It actually wasn't at all. I was worried all summer that it would be, you know? That we'd reach a certain point and I'd freak out. I'd make him feel bad, I'd be scared myself, and we'd be ten steps back. I think he was afraid of the same thing; we'd reach a certain point in kissing and just stop. I think I got some closure with Trey when he woke up, though. I saw him in that hospital bed and he wasn't a monster so much as a broken kid. I don't know if I'll ever forgive him or totally get past what he did to me, but it doesn't…swallow me the way it used to."

"Oh sweetie." Summer reached out to touch her hand. "I'm glad. You deserve better than to be eaten up by that."

Marissa smiled gratefully at her. "You know….I actually think this helped? It sounds so weird, I know. I just…I think I needed to remember this is something that's supposed to be good."

"No, that makes sense," Summer nodded. "I think it's good you guys waited awhile; you needed to get past the trauma. But I also think it's good you had an experience that made you remember it can be good instead of scary."

Marissa giggled and blushed. "I didn't even know how good it could be," she admitted, surprising even herself at how she couldn't keep this in."

"NOW we're talking," Summer said in approval. "God, Coop. You two on the beach will all that sexual tension between you…that is SO hot! I knew when you weren't like this with Luke, it couldn't have been all that. I knew you WERE going to be like this with Ryan."

"It's not just that it was hot- I mean, it WAS hot." Both girls dissolved into giggles and it took Marissa a minute to compose herself. "It was just…more than that. I said it before, it was SO different than anything else I've done. It meant so much more; I really do think it brought us closer. I don't even think I understood about that; if there's one thing that isn't completely horrible about what my dad did, it's that I don't have to leave. Not that I'm glad," Marissa explained hastily. "I just…I really would have had a harder time than I even imagined leaving Ryan."

"It makes sense that it would be different," Summer pointed out gently. "You're in love with him. That always makes things different. Did you two talk about this?'

Marissa shrugged. "We didn't really have a chance, I guess. My dad woke us up by calling me this morning to…you know." She shrugged painfully.

"Buzzkill, huh?" Summer said sympathetically, in that unique way that was only hers to profoundly understate something and make it endearing nonetheless. "What are you waiting for? I can stay here just in case your mom like has a meltdown or something. You do have HBO On Demand, after all," she said lightly.

"Are you sure?" Marissa asked gratefully, getting up from the table. "I really appreciate that."

"Go! Shoo! Get thee to your boyfriend," Summer said, waving her hands. "Can I just ask you, though…how big?"

"SUMMER!" Marissa exploded.

"Marissa!" Summer whined. "You know you'd be curious if you were in my shoes. You gotta give me something to work with here!"

Marissa rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Use your imagination." A small grin tugged at her lips. "You tend to have high expectations; you just might be right." With that, she turned and left the kitchen, heading for the door. The last thing she heard was Summer's "I KNEW it!"