Author's Notes: I'm ashamed to admit it, but going to a boarding school and living on dorm with 60 Adam Brody and Benjamin McKenzie-obsessed girls does strange things to a girl's mind.

And I, despite my inhuman strength, have become an O.C. addict. Who needs hookers when you have O.C. whores?

Anyhoo, I wrote this because I both love and loathe Theresa the way I love and loathe Marissa.

But mostly loathe her.

And yet still, I know she belongs with Ryan.


Anyway . . . enjoy!

Nothing But Time

The phone rings during dinner. They sit quietly, staring at their food, both not knowing if the other is going to answer, or if it's supposed to be left on the hook. He glances up finally, his eyes questioning, and Theresa shrugs. Not answering the phone during dinner has always been Theresa's pet peeve, but she recently she's let him get by with a lot, and he's grateful – the selfish, petulant side of him thinks that its no less that he deserves, giving up a better life so that she could – the baby could . . .

"You can answer it," she tells him tiredly, not looking up from her T.V. dinner. "I mean, if you want." He forces a smile, but doesn't stand to answer it. They let it ring for another minute before Theresa comments, "It must be important if they're going to stay on the line for so long."

He shrugs. "Or they've got nothing but time," he comments glibly, yet his words are a double-edged sword: they don't have to work and provide for a family that they never wanted in the first place.

"Just answer the damn phone, Ryan," she snaps, dropping her fork onto her plate. He blinks, looking up at her, but she doesn't meet his eyes. "It might be Mr. Cohen or . . . I don't know, anyone else and – just – answer the damn phone."

By 'anyone else' they both know she means 'Marissa'. I left that life behind, he tries to tell himself, but no – I left this life behind. He can't keep his eyes from wandering down to Theresa's growing stomach, and he something that feels dangerously like love for the growing kid buds in his stomach. She inhales sharply, as though trying to keep herself from crying, and she stands abruptly, turning her back on him. He remains sitting at the table, his eyes fastened on the wood in a desperate attempt to distract himself from whatever news he's missing.

The phone continues to ring.