Sorry for the long awaited update! I promise to not take that long ever ever ever again! I don't own The O.C. nor am I making any money off of this… Please review! Thanks bunches.

Staring down at the envelope, he sighed. He picked it up and gingerly opened it. Sure enough, it was the note his mom had given Sandy to give to Ryan. The note must have really gotten to him in order for him to cop such an attitude. Ryan rarely acted like this, especially with Sandy.

Ryan charged into the pool house. He knew he shouldn't have been angry with Sandy. This didn't have anything to do with Sandy. It was about him. He wasn't good enough. For his mom. For anyone. His mom wouldn't even come to his 18th birthday party. Now, he was legally an adult… and had nobody. Except a foster family he just blew up at.

All of his resolve had drained from Ryan. He collapsed on his bed and buried his head in his hands. He didn't even hear the knock on the door. Sandy didn't wait for an answer before walking in.

"What's going on?" Sandy asked, concerned. He was no longer angry with Ryan for his being late. Or his attitude.

"Nothing." Ryan didn't look up. Silent tears ran down his face. Why doesn't anyone want me? His mind raced with questions.

"Does it have to do with this?" Sandy gently lowered himself onto the bed next to Ryan and showed him the envelope.

Ryan glanced over for a split second. "I don't want to talk about it."

As quick as Ryan tried to be, Sandy couldn't help but notice Ryan's tear-stained cheeks. He had never seen the boy cry. There was something seriously wrong that they needed to figure out.

"Ya know, kid, your mom really wanted to come… she just"

"Had something more important to do. I know. I get it." His voice was very monotonous. His distance frightened Sandy a little bit. "She's probably happy now…"

"How do you mean?" Sandy asked.

"I'm 18. I'm not her responsibility anymore. She doesn't have to have anything to do with me anymore." Ryan wiped his eyes discreetly. After gaining composure, he glanced out the window, in the opposite direction of where his foster father was sitting. "Neither do you."

"I told you before… we're family. And no piece of paper changes that. I love you, kid. I'm not gonna abandon you."

Ryan looked at him on the word abandon. Too many people had abandoned him in his life.

"What's wrong with me?" Ryan's voice was barely above a whisper. "What the hell is wrong with me? Why doesn't anyone fucking want me?"

"Ryan." Sandy spoke calmly. "We want you. You are a part of this family."

"I have no family." Ryan sounded so dejected. "Dad's in jail. Mom's a junkie. My brother's God knows where…"

"I could be your dad."


"I said, I could be your dad."

Ryan didn't say anything for a moment. "Huh?"

"Adoption. Me and Kirsten have been talking about it. We want to adopt you."

Ryan was silent, but a million questions ran through his mind. "I…I… I just can't. I can't let you do that."

"Why not?"

"I don't deserve it." Without as much as another word, Ryan left a stunned Sandy in the pool house and took off. Sandy had no idea where Ryan was going. And no idea why Ryan was so opposed to the adoption idea. But one thing Sandy did know, was that he was going to find out.