Okay, so BEAR with me. This is does not start out too great (the hippie wh0re) appears, but it was a challenge, and I twisted it around and made it completely different then the person who challenged me thought it would go. I couldn't do it any other way. Hope you enjoy!

Charlynn

Set in S3 When Sadie comes back from the bus station after her brief consideration to leave. Write the exchanged professions of love as she meets Ryan in the poolhouse that night that turns into a physical expression; continue in the aftermath of their love making as they discuss their future together...

She came back for you; she came back for you.

The thought kept running through Ryan Atwood's mind as he stood there and kissed Sadie, trying to convince himself that this is what he wanted, this was who he wanted, that this was what he should be doing right now, but no matter how many times he told himself that, it didn't work. Forced to close his eyes so that he could get through the kiss, images he had forbidden himself from seeing began to flash through his mind: Marissa standing at the end of the driveway the night they met, Marissa coming to him in the model home, Marissa standing in front of him in her Cotillion dress as he fastened it for her, Marissa shivering in the poolhouse after their first official date, Marissa laying in his arms in that sleazy motel on their way to TJ, Marissa in that ridiculously adorable Candy Striper outfit, Marissa hugging him and kissing his cheek after he defended her choices to Julie Cooper, Marissa kissing him on the Ferris Wheel, Marissa sleeping over for the first time as they had the 'best date ever', Marissa insisting upon going with him to Chino on Thanksgiving, Marissa playfully kissing him at South Coast Plaza as they shopped for Christmas presents, Marissa telling him she loved him for the first time, Marissa's face as he told her he loved her for the first time, Marissa's face as he kissed her by the pier when they got back together, Marissa dancing with him the day he left for Chino, Marissa telling Summer that she missed him everyday, Marissa sitting on the Cohens' kitchen counter confessing the awkwardness of the poolhouse bed without him in it with her, Marissa kissing him in the car as they, once again, reunited, Marissa teasing him mischievously on her bed before he went to Miami, Marissa at prom, Marissa saving his life, Marissa's face as he made love to her the first time, Marissa dancing with him in the poolhouse, Marissa, Marissa, Marissa, Marissa, Marissa! That's all he could see. His body might have been kissing Sadie, undressing her tenderly, lying down with her on his bed, naked, but in his mind, in his heart, he was once again with Marissa. While his body was having emotionless sex with Sadie, his mind and heart were making love to Marissa.

As he felt her orgasm, he himself came close to climax, and with a soft, husky voice, he called out her name.

"Marissa!"

All of a sudden, his eyes flew open and everything stopped….EVERYTHING. Luckily for him, Sadie was too far gone to notice what he had said or that he had quit before he had climaxed, but that didn't mean he hadn't noticed. Rolling off of her, he laid back down in bed, pulling the covers up over his naked body and rubbing his head as he fought off a migraine that was slamming into him quickly.

At least I remembered to use a condom this time when Marissa and I were on a break.

The thought came unbidden, but as soon as he had it, he chastised himself.

No, Atwood, quit this. You broke up with Marissa. This is what you wanted, and it's not a break. You two are done…forever. You're with Sadie now; she came back for you. She wants to be with you and won't leave you behind. She's attractive, she's easy to talk to, you can have fun with her. If you don't quit this soon, you're going to mess this up…like you did with Marissa.

That was the last thought he had before he stopped thinking. Turning his head to look at Sadie, he found her staring up at him, a small smile curving her lips. She reached out to pull the blanket off of his body, but he, on instinct, held it to him tighter.

"I'm cold," he said as an excuse.

Laughing, she moved herself closer to his body, leaning into it and trying to wrap her limbs around his. Begrudgingly, he let her.

She just doesn't fit into your body like…

Again, he stopped his thoughts from haunting him, attempting to focus upon the girl who actually was in his bed at that moment and not the one who had occupied it for so long.

"Are you hungry, thirsty, do you need me to get you anything," Ryan asked as he tried to free himself from Sadie's arms a moment after she had placed herself in them. He just could not sit still. This just felt wrong.

"No, I'm fine," She smiled coyly as she let her fingers play on his chest. "How about we just talk…about us?" Ryan nodded his head unable to say anything and she continued. "I stayed, so now what?"

"What do you mean," Ryan queried, confused.

She giggled. "Ryan, come on, what does this mean for us? Are we officially dating now? Am I your girlfriend," she playfully pushed.

He did not know how to answer that question. He knew what he should say, what she expected him to say, what she deserved for him to say. He had just slept with her. She had stayed for him, but here he was tongue tied and unsure.

"Yeah, I guess," he finally pressed out absently, still pondering the question in his mind.

Again, she giggled, the noise slightly annoying Ryan, but with one final decision, he pushed his doubts aside and forced himself to be happy.

"So, let me think about everything we have to do together," she continued to ramble on completely oblivious as to whether Ryan was listening or not. "I have to figure out where I'm going to stay since my Aunt's house was sold. You have to finish senior year, which means prom and graduation. Oh, I'm so excited. I never went to my own prom, but now we can go to yours together. We'll have so much fun. Then this summer we can just hang out at the beach, enjoying each others company, getting to know one another better, before we go to college. Well, I mean, you go to college, but I'll come with you. I wonder if…."

He zoned out of her incessant babble, panicking slightly at the speed at which she was taking their relationship from casual to serious.

Prom…she wants to go to my senior prom with me? I always assumed I would go with…but we broke up; no, I broke up with her, on the phone. And spending our summer on the beach just like I did last summer with…, again, she's not your girlfriend anymore, Atwood. Sadie is… Did she say that she's going to go to college with me, what as my live-in girlfriend or is she going to enroll herself? Wait, did she just say Marissa's name?

Stopping his thoughts, he refocused his ears upon what Sadie was saying.

"I just can't believe that if it wasn't for Marissa, your ex-girlfriend, I wouldn't be here. I mean, tracking me down at the bus station and asking me to stay here because I make you happy…."

Jumping out of bed and taking one of the sheets with him, Ryan stared down at her dumbly, shock and disbelief written all over his face.

"What did you just say," he demanded violently.

Taken aback but still able to function, Sadie replied without even thinking as if she was now running on autopilot. "I said that Marissa came to the bus station and asked me not to leave because I made you happy."

Without a word, Ryan picked her clothes up off of the floor and tossed them to her before going over to his own baskets of clothing and pulling out clean ones, the ones the had been wearing before suddenly seemed metaphorically too dirty to even consider wearing again.

"Get dressed," he ordered, "and get out. Go back home; I don't want you here. I don't want you."

Tears silently made their way down her plain, simple face, but her voice was strong. "What are you doing Ryan; why are you doing this. I stayed to make this work."

"Yeah, you stayed," he acknowledge, "you stayed because Marissa asked you to. I thought you came back for me, that you realized that you believed in me, but all you did was prove to me that the only person who has ever believed in me, the only person who has never left me is Marissa. She went to you and asked you to stay for me because she thought that's what I wanted. She put my needs ahead of her own, but the only thing I ever needed from her was to be reassured of her belief in me…in us. God, how could I have ever doubted her love for me after everything we went through together? How could I ever break up with her," he asked himself as he rubbed his face frustrated and mad at his own stupidity.

By the time he looked back up, remembering that Sadie was there, she was dressed and the tears had stopped falling. Her eyes were cold, her stare menacing.

"What was this, you sleeping with me, was this just another part of this sick game you and Marissa play with other people, making them think you care for them and then turning back to each other declaring your eternal love. She did it to my cousin and he died; you did it to me, but, trust me, I'll be fine without you! You make me sick, both of you!" With that, she stomped out of the poolhouse, slamming the door as she left.

Ryan did not think he had ever taken a shower that quickly in his life. He had felt filthy after he realized what he had done with Sadie, what he had inadvertently done to Marissa by sleeping with Sadie. Sure, he knew she was with Volchok, but that was purely rebound and he was just using her to get back at him. Stripping the sheets off of his bed and throwing them away, he'd worry about coming up with an explanation for Kirsten later, he quickly made the bed back up with fresh sheets as he pondered what he could do to fix this mess. He knew what he had to do, but that part in him that hated talking fought against the plan that was quickly forming in his mind. Pushing his doubts aside, he picked up his cell phone off of his night stand and hit the first number in his speed dial. Sitting down on the steps, he waited for her to answer. After just a couple of rings, her voice, empty and void of any warmth or happiness filled his ears, melting the tension out of his body instantly and making him smile despite the desperate pain he could hear in her voice. It was obvious that she didn't know who it was.

"Hello," she said with a questioning tone, unable to see the caller ID due to the darkness of the night. She pulled away from the group around the campfire so she could focus on the call, waived off Volchok's hand, the hand that held cocaine, cocaine she was going to snort until her phone had range.

"Marissa."

That voice, she would know that voice instantly. That voice haunted her dreams and her nightmares now. His tone though was different than the last time they had spoken over the phone. If she hadn't of known better, she would have sworn she could hear the love in his voice that he used to give her.

"Ryan," she asked confused, moving away even further and walking along the beach slowly as she continued to talk to him, her mind racing quickly over the various reasons as to why he would be calling her…now of all times after she had sent Sadie to him. No matter how dire the situation was though, she couldn't help but cheer up slightly and Ryan could hear that in her tone.

"Look, I don't want to do this over the phone, but would you meet me, anywhere, I don't care. I just need to see you; we need to talk." Ryan could hear her silence and knew that his last statement had probably made her nervous, made her fear the worst. The words 'we need to talk' had never had positive connotations for them. Wanting to forestall her panic, he kept talking. "Don't worry, it's nothing bad, at least I hope not. I just….like I said, need to see you."

Smiling into the phone, Marissa couldn't help but wonder if this was what she had been secretly hoping for since he had broken up with her, but surely that wasn't what this was about. It didn't matter though. Ryan wanted to see her, he sounded excited about seeing her, and he said it wasn't anything bad.

"Ummm….okay," she said quietly. "How about we meet…" Where she thought, where should we meet? Not the trailer, not after Volchok and I…I don't want to go to the diner; this should probably be in private. The poolhouse has too many memories; the lifeguard stand has too many memories. "at the model home," she spit out without thinking, without hesitation. For some reason, it just felt like the fitting place for whatever was going to happen next in their relationship.

"I'll be there as soon as I can," he said breathlessly. "And Marissa…thanks." With that, he shut his phone and they both sprinted to their cars as their minds swam with disjointed thoughts, painful memories, hopeful questions, unrelenting dreams, nagging worries, and powerful emotions. They both knew that this was it; this was what had been building towards for nearly three years, and depending upon how it went, it could very well determine their entire future.

Luckily for Ryan, Marissa went home to change and clean herself up quickly before she went to meet him. There was no way she was going to do this without looking the best she could. That gave Ryan time to pick up a few supplies: his model home mix that she gave him, masses of white candles, a tent, pillows, and blankets. Everything was going smoothly once he got there. He found a window that was slightly open that he could pry the rest of the way and sneak in, unlocking the front door for Marissa so that she wouldn't have to do the same, and then locating that fateful room which held so many memories for them. He set everything up, making sure the candles were all lit and the tent arranged so that if everything went according to plan, they could at least sit with each other in comfort, maybe she'd even let him hold her while they talked. Finally, as a finishing touch, he set the CD player to repeat only one song, Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah, the very song that was playing the night she came to him wanting to spend the night. However, that is where his luck stopped.

No matter how quickly Marissa told herself to be, she just could not find the right thing to wear, the way to fix her hair until she had a brainstorm. Unfortunately, it took a long time to locate, but as soon as she did, she threw it on, let her hair fall down her back, and ran out to her car to leave. By some miracle, there were no cops in sight to catch her breaking nearly every traffic law and not to mention speed limits as she made her way to Ryan. Smiling to herself when she found that he had unlocked the front door for her, she crept in softly, a reticent, tentative, but enchanting smile on her face as she thought of the possibilities the night could bring. She knew there was only one place in this house that Ryan would ever be, so she made her way there. When she came to the doorway, her voice caught in her throat and it felt as if she couldn't breath; seeing what he had done for her, for them, recreating virtually the entire setting from that night, sent chills up and down her spine. Glancing at him, she couldn't help but notice that he was tensely looking out of the window, so lost in thought, he'd never even heard her approach. Gently, she let her own voice fill the air as it mingled with the chords of the song she felt was the most tragically beautiful thing she'd ever heard.

"This song reminds me of you."

When he looked up at her, his world spun so quickly he thought he might loose consciousness then and there. Somehow, she had managed to find the same outfit she had been wearing the first time they had met here at night to be alone, a sign that this meant as much to her as it did to him.

"I didn't think you would come," he confessed, and he hadn't as the minutes passed by without word or sight of her.

"I don't know why I'm here, but you said you needed to see me." Stopping for a second to recall just exactly what she needed to say, she gazed deeply into his eyes and moved closer as she once again, just like nearly three years earlier, took the risk of being pushed away. "I mean, we're leaving soon….for college. What if I never, we never….maybe I could spend the night, just to hang out."

This time however, his response was different, and they both couldn't help but silently wonder what would have happened if he would have said something different that night all those years ago.

"You can stay, if you stay, if you spend the night, I'll never leave you, not again."

As soon as the words left his lips, the blissful tears that had steadily been building in Marissa's eyes began to course their way down her rosy cheeks. Holding out her hand to Ryan, she pulled them into the tent silently, their fingers curled together and gripping each other so tightly they knew the other feared they would disappear if they let go. Never letting his hand go, she laid down on the bed of pillows and throws he had so carefully arranged, drawing him to settle down on top of her. Without a word, she slipped her long, graceful fingers into his hair as her lips found his in a tender, loving embrace, astonishing and delighting him at the same time. After gently caressing her face as their mouths danced together in passion and love, he pulled away and stared into her eyes as he spoke.

"Marissa, we don't have to…I mean…," but that was all he could say before her finger, softly pressing on his lips and then trailing down his chin, his neck, his chest, his abdomen all the way to his belt, silenced him.

"I know we don't have to, Ryan, you never have pressured me and you never will. This is what I want, what we need. We have the rest of our lives to talk about what went wrong, to make sure that we don't do it again, and we will talk, tomorrow, if you want, or later tonight if we have to, but right now, we have a chance that I never thought we would ever have again. I want you to make love to me here, right now, in this very room, in the model home. I need you to; I need to feel you as close to me as possible."

As soon as she said 'the rest of our lives', implying that she wanted them to be together and that they would be, he knew they would be alright, and, if truth be told, he had needed her this close to him for months. This time, this moment, was exactly what they needed, so without another word said between them, he leaned back down, blanketing her tantalizing, astonishingly exquisite body with his own, protecting her from the rest of the world and anything that could ever hurt her again.

That night, as they made love, it was unlike any other experience they had ever had. They were both nervous, perhaps even more so than their first time together, but they were both absolutely positive that they were where they were supposed to be, that they were with the person who possessed the other half of their soul, that they, together, this night, were starting the rest of their lives as one, and those feelings just heightened their ardor to levels that were nearly impossible to reach.

They took their time, savoring each others body and relishing every part, every nuance of it, discovering things about each other they never had before. Marissa caressed and kissed every scar on his body which had been so bruised and battered during his short life time and it made tears well in her eyes as she promised that, if she could help it, no one would ever do that to him again. He found every freckle on her body, kissed it, and, to Marissa's delight and humor, played connect the dots with what he called her beauty marks, making her giggle in ecstasy the entire time.

Early the next morning as they were curled up in the pillows together so tightly, their arms wrapped around each other and they legs playfully joined together so that there was not a part of their bodies that were not touching, their bodies literally exhausted as they had made love the entire night, that they looked like they were one person. Too exhausted to do anything more, they just softly kissed each other, enjoying the touch and taste of the only person in the world they both truly loved. As the sun came over the horizon to make their sweat tinged bodies glisten, they both fell asleep with ease for the first time in months as the other whispered soothingly into their ear, "I love you."