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Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with the OC.

As Sandy closed the door of the pool house bathroom behind him, Ryan swayed dangerously and grabbed desperately at his foster father's elbow. Sandy responded immediately by applying a soft, but strong and reassuring grip beneath each of Ryan's shoulders. Ryan looked up thankfully at Sandy as he allowed himself to be sat down on the side of the bathtub.

Sandy started to peel off Ryan's dirty vest. Ryan just sat solidly still, his eyes flashing nervously around the room.

"You alright there kiddo?"

Ryan's feverishly darting eyes stopped for a moment on Sandy. Sandy was undressing him. But Sandy would never do anything bad to him, right? Ryan knew in his heart that Sandy wouldn't, but he found it hard to trust anyone, even Sandy, at the best of times, let alone when he was feeling so vulnerable. Ryan nodded in response.

"I'm gonna go get you a new vest and sweats, OK? Don't worry buddy, your safe here with us, and if you promise to let us look after you, I'll promise to make sure Kirsten backs off on the mothering, got it?"

Ryan nodded again as Sandy ruffled his hair affectionately.

"You take off those sweats for me and have a wash if you can manage, alright?"

As Sandy entered the main part of the pool house again he peeled off his dirty shirt. Poor kid, it couldn't be easy being ill in a place that was still slightly alien.

"Yo, dad, mum said to give you this," Seth chucked him a fresh shirt, "she's gone to get changed and get the guest room ready for Ryan, then she's gonna be in full cleaning mode in here, how is Ryan? By the way."

"Fine. Well, not, but he'll survive. Hey Seth, you couldn't do me and your mother a massive favour and go pick up a new thermometer from the chemist could you?" Sandy replied to his son as he fastened his new shirt and retrieved a fresh outfit for Ryan.

"It's done dado," Seth disappeared through the door, leaving his father to wonder where on earth he picked up the phrase 'dado'.

Sandy returned to the bathroom to see a drawn Ryan kneeling in his boxers near the toilet.

"Hey there kid, don't worry, we'll get you sorted out." Sandy rubbed reassuring circles over Ryan's back as he emptied his guts into the toilet bowl.

"Think you're finished there?"

Ryan nodded.

"Okay then, well I've got some fresh clothes for you, why don't we get you cleaned up and dressed, then we can go through to the main house, Kirsten has made up a nice comfy bed for you in the guest room near our room so we can look out for you whilst your feeling rough, alright?"

"OK," Ryan mumbled weakly allowing Sandy to help him up. He started to wash his teeth and face. Sandy hovered behind him in case he fell. When Ryan had finished, Sandy lifted the fresh vest up for him.

"Need a hand with this kid?"

Ryan just nodded sadly and feebly as Sandy first pulled on his vest then helped him into his sweats.

"Lets get you settled in the guest room, then you can have some ginger ale to help your stomach, and your gonna have to try and eat something to, alright?"

Ryan grimaced at the thought of eating, and allowed himself to be lead through to the main house.

Soon after Ryan was settled into his temporary bedroom, with a large basin placed near his bed, Seth returned with the thermometer and Kirsten scuttled up to take poor Ryan's temperature.

"Hey, sweetie, have you been sick again? Sandy's making you some toast ok?"

Ryan just groaned barely awake. The moment Kirsten's hand lovingly smoothed the hair from his forehead, however, he gasped feverishly and shrank away from her, terrified.

"Oh, it's alright Ryan, it's me, Kirsten, you're safe here." Kirsten gently moved her hand away and Ryan allowed himself to be soothed by her voice.

"I'm just going to stick this thermometer in your mouth, alright, do you think you can lift up your tongue for me?"

Ryan obeyed, as his lips closed around the thermometer, his sleepy eyes looked up at Kirsten. "Thank you" they said to her. Seth was right, Ryan really could purvey everything with a look.

After a few minutes of rubbing reassuring circles on Ryan's back, the thermometer beeped and Kirsten removed it from his mouth.

"102.1, oh baby, that's high, you must feel really yuck."

Ryan looked at her sadly "yeah I do" his eyes told her.

"Oh, honey." She soothed.

Next part coming soon- it will have the bits you suggested SVOClova, and this chapter is dedicated to you.

Please read and Review people! xxx he he!