Beta: None. Melly is snowed under.
Disclaimer: I don't own The OC, Ryan or Benjamin McKenzie.
Story: All in the title really. Set post finale.
Notes: As requested Hero! In peril Ryan! Yeay!
Ryan screwed his eyes up against the sun and lent his head back against the glass.
"How long have they been gone now?" Seth asked.
"Two minutes since you last asked." Ryan replied without looking at him.
"Are you sure 'cause it seems longer."
"I'm sure. Although you're right… it does seem longer with you asking the time every other second." Ryan added under his breath but Seth was now peering through the window like a kid staring into a candy shop, his hands cupped around his face and not paying any attention.
"They said they wouldn't be long." Seth whined.
"It's been less than ten minutes Seth…hardly an eternity." Ryan watched a woman as she tried to cram a dozen bags of shopping into the trunk of a Mercedes whilst yelling her husband or boyfriend who stood by and fiddled with his cell phone. He could relate, the heat was making him feel cranky and it was all he could do not to yell at Seth to grow up.
"But ten minutes when I'm hungry is a lifetime. Lunch they said… running errands was not mentioned at any point. Standing outside the bank for hours was not part of the contract Ryan."
Ryan watched as the car speed off, music blazing but the woman could still be heard screeching at the top of her voice. He wished he'd stayed at home but that was not an option, the look in Sandy's eye had told him so when he'd started to open his mouth to bail on the so called family fun day. Since the …accident they had not let him alone for longer than an hour it seemed. Not that he wasn't grateful for the support they had given him since the…accident but he resented the implication that he somehow now couldn't be trusted on his own, when he'd tried to voice his thoughts on the matter Sandy and Kirsten had given him 'the look' and Ryan had slunk off back to the temporary safety of his room.
"I'm going in." Seth blurted out dragging him from his thoughts.
"Seth, they're in the bank probably doing private bank stuff. Leave them be."
"They're just stood in line…a very long line I might add." Seth peered back through the window. "Air con, they will have air con…bake out here if you want but I'm going in."
Seth made for the door and opened. "You coming?"
Ryan continued to stare in front of him until he heard the door shut. The first week after…Seth had been great but now four weeks later he seemed to think everything was back to normal.
No one even mentioned her anymore. It was like she had been completely wiped out of Newport history. Ryan couldn't make them see that he wanted to remember, he wanted to talk about her but whenever he mentioned her name they all got 'the look' again, even Summer. He supposed that because he was usually never forthcoming about opening up in the past they viewed it as a product of his fragile mental state. Maybe it was just how they did things in Newport but in Chino where there had been a large Latino community, you celebrated the lives of the dead, you did not sweep them under the carpet like a dirty secret. The only person who seemed to understand this was Kaitlin and he'd been told gently but firmly by Julie to give her space to grieve with her family. In other words 'please get the fuck away from my remaining daughter'.
Ryan watched as a battered Camero pulled up over the street into the recently vacated parking spot and sat with the engine running whilst they talked. They seemed to be arguing amongst themselves, maybe it was something about that spot or maybe it was the fact it was more than a hundred in the shade today and it wasn't even noon yet. Fuck it was hot. Ryan wiped his brow and turned to look in the window of the bank. It did look cool in there and his tee was beginning to stick to every contour of his chest. He gave in and opened the door.
Ryan stood near one of the tables that lined the walls and took a deep breath of the cooled filtered air. Bliss. A security guard looked bored as he stared off into space, probably wishing he were anywhere else than here. Ryan could relate to that also.
Ryan glanced over at the huge line that Seth had whined about, it was in fact very modest. Sandy and Kirsten were third from the front behind an elderly woman with powder blue hair wearing a pink velour leisure suit, a dour looking man who chewed his cuticles and looked like his job, wife and kids had sucked the soul clear outta him and a businessman in a dark pinstripe suit that must be hell in this weather. Behind Kirsten and Sandy stood Seth who was talking animatedly as usual, a woman who had the skin the color of hot mocha, a rather sexy looking lady who lunched and a heavily tanned guy wearing an obnoxiously loud Hawaiian shirt and shorts. It was certainly an eclectic subsection of Newport society.
Sandy noticed him and waved him over. Ryan chose to pretend that he hadn't seen instead he watched a harassed looking middle aged woman to the left of him wrestle with the contents her purse. She piled up used tissues, make up and torn envelopes onto the table in front of her, she eventually pulled out her wallet almost triumphantly. Ryan winced as coins scattered across the floor from the open zip. The woman ended up juggling with her bag as she strived to catch everything at once. She failed and the bag ended up on the floor with the coins, depositing the rest of its contents. She stood and looked like she was going to cry. Ryan felt sorry for her as all eyes turned her way including the Cohens'; he rushed over and started to help her pick up the detritus of her bag. She thanked him profusely like he was laying his cloak over a muddy puddle or had just slain a dragon for her. All he was doing was picking up coins and…tampons. Ryan flushed and thrust the offended items into her hands. What was it with him and picking up feminine hygiene products? She took them from his hands without being the remotest bit embarrassed and continued to gush about how kind he was. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Seth laughing at him, as was Sandy as they had obviously seen him wave the long white wand around in his hand. Great, they wouldn't let that drop for the rest of the afternoon. He was so busy blushing and concentrating on picking up the non-embarrassing items that he didn't notice the door open. He stood up as he handed the woman the last of her belongings. What made him look around was the loud booming voice that issued its orders.
"This is a robbery…No one trips any alarms or I will shoot you. No one moves or I will shoot you."
Two men were stood with scarves around the bottom halves of their faces but it was the guns they were waving around that really got Ryan's attention.
They split up like wolves separating a flock of sheep. They removed the guard's gun first then one made his way over to the cashiers and started ordering them to empty the drawers.
"No dye packs or alarms people. Leave the last bill in the till."
The second stayed in the centre of the room and shouted.
"Everyone put your hands behind your heads and get down on the floor."
When nobody moved he started yelling in earnest at them but still they stood rooted to the spot not quite realizing what was happening. It was unreal. No matter how many times Ryan had seen this same scene on TV shows, nothing prepared you for it in real life.
Ryan watched it unfold.
The guy in the Hawaiian shirt was the first to come to his senses and lowered himself to the ground, as did the businessman. Sandy was pulling Kirsten and Seth down to the floor next to him. Ryan caught his eye and Sandy motioned for him to get down too. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. It sounded like a cliché but it was.
The lady in the line behind Sandy and Kirsten made no attempt to move, shock…Ryan had seen it before, she started to silently cry and tremble. The man walked over to her and shoved the gun into her face, her cries increased but he paid no attention and pushed her roughly to the floor. Everyone else got the message and quickly lay down on his or her stomachs.
Ryan moved closer to the woman next to him, she stood like a statue hugging her bag to her chest. Ryan gently reached out and held onto her arm to try and pull her down before they attracted the attention of the guy on their side of the counter who was still focussing on the crying woman on the floor.
"Get down." He urged, whispering at her but she looked dumbly at him. "Please…we've got to get on the floor."
Ryan could feel Sandy's eyes on him pleading with him just to look after himself and leave this woman to whatever the fates had in store for her but that was something Ryan knew that Sandy himself would not do.
"Please." He urged again and tugged at her arm. His heart was pumping as he tried to keep his eye on both the guys with the guns. One was stuffing notes into a bag and had his back to them but the other was …turning their way.
"I told you to… get… the… fuck… down!" Each word was punctuated with a step closer.
Ohh shit. The guy was in front of them and he looked pissed. The gun came up slowly as he moved it with slow deliberation onto the bag lady.
"On the floor…now."
Ryan tugged the woman's arm hard, hoping that now she would buy a clue that they both needed to get down ASAP but she was too far-gone with fear and she started to wail clearly panicked, a high-pitched cacophony of sound that made Ryan jump.
"Please don't kill me…don't kill me…god…god…please I have children…oh god…please…please." She kept repeating herself, over and over. The guy's repeated shouting to 'get down on the fucking floor' just made her worse. She dropped her bag and all the contents flew out again, clattering around the floor of the bank.
"Don't make me shoot you, lady." The guy said. Ryan could see excitement and determination in his eyes. He was getting twitchy that his simple instructions were not being followed and that was not good.
"Leave her alone you asshole… look at her, she's scared, she's not going to do anything." It came out of Ryan's mouth before he could think through his actions. The guy got a steely look in his eyes and the gun came up level with Ryan's head. Ryan stared down the barrel. He didn't need to look over at the Cohen's to know that they were probably shitting themselves. Hell, he could hear Sandy's voice in his brain telling him that his quick temper was going to get him in serious trouble one of these days. Well, it seemed like that day might just have come.
"What did you call me?" The guys voice was cold. The sound of the hammer being pulled back echoed in the near silence of the bank. Ryan knew he'd made a mistake, a big one. He was just about to apologise, not because he really wanted to but because he thought it might be a very prudent thing to do right now.
"Stop fucking around and help me…quick." The guy by the cashiers shouted over.
Ryan didn't take his eyes off the gun so it shouldn't have come as a shock when as fast as lightning it crashed into the side of his head. The floor came up quickly to meet him as he fell to his knees, his left ear ringing and his skull complaining bitterly. He rested his forehead against the cold marble and waited for the room to stop spinning. The only good thing to come out of his actions were that the lady next to him had stopped screaming and quickly laying down on her front next to him.
Finally satisfied the guy moved away from them and joined his partner.
Ryan raised his head slightly and saw that Seth and Kirsten were looking his way; both were looking equally scared and horrified, Sandy's look he couldn't read, he thought maybe he saw disappointment. All he knew was that he was now wishing that he'd just stood over with them when he'd had the chance. The thirteen or so feet that separated them seemed like a chasm.
He felt a tentative hand touch his arm. Ryan turned his head and saw the worried face of the woman. He gave her a weak smile to let her know it was going to be okay.
They'd take the damn money and this would be all over. Ryan lowered his head back down to the floor and waited.
In a perfect world this would be put down as a five-minute adventure, a topic to talk about at dinner parties. Everyone would give relieved sighs in a moment when the bad guys left, they'd give a statement to the police after it was over and they would all go back to their respective lives. The bank would claim off their insurance. Maybe the police would catch them, maybe they wouldn't. Ryan didn't care. What he did care about was getting off the floor as quickly as possible.
Several sirens came to a screeching halt outside.
This was not a perfect world.