Title: Plan On Me
Genre: Humor, Drama
Rating: R (language, sexual themes)
Pairing: Ryan/Kendall, minor others (like David/Greenlee and Maggie/Lena)

Timeline: Everything from March '04 never happened— so none of the other shit happened, either. Just enjoy it:-)

Notes: This is going to be on the shorter side but I wanted to do it, and, well, here it is - a bit of a romantic-comedy, a bit of drama, taken best if ya'll can suspend your disbelief, ;-)

Teaser: Ryan's plans to give Kendall a perfect Christmas go horribly, terribly wrong…

-

I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

- Bing Crosby, 'I'll be Home for Christmas'

-

One

-

Six months after Ryan Lavery got back together with Kendall Hart, he bought another ring.

The latest in a long string of engagement rings, it was a simple little thing, a single diamond set in pale gold.

After buying it, he tucked it away with a solemn promise that nothing would go wrong this time— there was only so much chaos two people could create for each other, he decided, and tried to think up a good way to give her the ring.

It was here that he found himself at a crossroads.

Compared to some of the chaos they had gone through over the last several years, nothing he could think of seemed to really fit a proposal to Kendall— the old ring in the wine trick was a joke, and he couldn't come up with any speech that was moving enough to fit what he was convinced would be their final and permanent proposal.

A year after they got back together, he still carried the ring around everywhere, waiting for the perfect inspiration.

Myrtle Fargate always insisted that things happened for a reason.

Before this Christmas was over, Ryan became a believer in Myrtle's advice.

-

"How did things go so wrong?"

Lena Kundera let out a snort that was in no way ladylike and dropped her head forward against the bars.

It occurred to Ryan that he had never seen quite such a truly pitiful sight as the lovely Polish woman standing there, staring longingly at the door far down the hall where the police officer had disappeared a good hour or so before.

Lena seemed to be convinced that, if she stared hard enough, she could draw him back with the power of her mind.

Their cell, cold cement and colder steel, was uncomfortable enough to make Ryan want to echo Lena's movements.

His foot hurt too much, though—not surprising, considering that a forty pound hunk of dirty cement had dropped onto it. His shoe had saved him from any permanent damage but it still hurt like hell and he kept it propped up on his cot as he watched Lena with the same pity he felt so sincerely for himself.

"Maybe we should go to bed?" he suggested, but Lena just twisted her head against the bars and glanced at him darkly.

Ryan shut his mouth with a grimace, flicking a glance down at his sore foot, squished but still usable.

It was past midnight, he was sure of it, and he wanted to get up early to make their phone call, the phone call that the chubby cop had refused to give them, citing that it was too late. It was a load of bull, Ryan knew, but he was too tired and too sore to argue about it.

"If we sleep now, we can get up early and make our phone call…"

Lena smoothly gave him the finger without looking away from her attempt to use her psychic powers.

They'd had a long two days, so Ryan didn't say anything back, shut his mouth and gave up as he laid back and tried to make himself as comfortable as possible (read: not comfortable at all) on the hard cot that was his bed. It had been bad enough when someone had stolen their identification and luggage, but to get arrested on such a ridiculous charge?

Maybe somebody had cursed them?

"The bed's not that bad," he offered cautiously, not surprised at all when Lena didn't respond at all, now gripping the bars with white-knuckled hands and staring hard through them at the same time, an eyelid beginning to twitch in her focus.

Clearly, Maggie's secret geeky tendencies had begun to rub off on the sophisticated woman.

"Wake me up when it's time for us to make our phone call," he told her tiredly, and didn't wait for her to respond before he closed his eyes. They'd call Kendall and things would be fine and they'd get back to Pine Valley with a good three days left to prepare for Christmas.

Things would be better when he woke up— nothing could get any worse.