Thanks to everyone who reviewed my last story. It was much appreciated and got me writing this cheesy quicky as I'm trying to work on something a little longer.

Short story that would take place after season 2's The Rainy Day Women.

Disclaimer: I don't own any part of the O.C. No characters, shows, episodes, etc, etc.

A Better Summer

"So, what did you do?"

Seth blinked a few times as though that would help him find the answer to her question. Actually, first he needed to understand what her question was. He looked down and let his lips brush against Summer's hair. "What do you mean?"

"What did you do this summer?"


And then there was silence again. There had been nothing but silence since they had finished reacquainting one another with their bodies. Silence since the culmination of the slow, tender sex that seemed to have nothing of the old Seth and Summer in it except their bodies and the fact that they loved each other just as much as they always had.



"I asked you a question."

He shrugged. "God, I don't know. What did I do this summer? Nothing. I didn't do anything. I sailed away and freaked out before I was really gone, so I found someone I knew and I went to them."

He felt her exhale a heavy, warm breath against his chest. Maybe that was it. His eyes slowly drifted shut.

"Why didn't you come home to me?" Summer asked softly, shifting so she could lift her head and look him in the eyes. She felt Seth's arms tightened around her when she moved and bit back a smile from her lips because as much as she loved that he didn't want her to move even an inch away from him, the fact that he had run miles away from her wouldn't leave the back of her mind.

"I don't know."

"Cohen," she sighed.

Seth blinked back a roll of the eyes. Pissing her off less than an hour after getting back together wasn't his goal, and he could definitely hear from the tone in Summer's voice that that was exactly what he was doing. He took a deep breath and looked away from her. "I was scared, all right?"

"Of what?"

"I was scared that I would find what I found when I did finally come back. I was scared you'd hate me and be with someone else and everything would just go back to the way it was before Ryan came here."

"I wouldn't—"

Seth's voice softened as his eyes looked away from hers. "You did."

"If you had come back right away…"

"You would have kicked my ass, and then maybe forgotten about me."

Summer looked down at his chest for a moment, knowing how close he was to being right. "I would have hurt you, probably as badly as I could have. But I could never forget about you, Cohen."

"I thought Ryan and I were brothers," Seth shrugged as he gently moved Summer's head so she could lay it down against his chest once more. "Then he just left. I never had friends, just family. So, I figured if my brother could leave me, there was no reason why you and Marissa couldn't abandon me just as quickly. I didn't think I could stand to see you with someone else after knowing how amazing you really are. I didn't want to give you the chance to show me."
Summer took a few deep breaths as she lay against him, listening to his heart beat beneath her. "Oh," she finally whispered.

There were other things she could have said. Things about how she would never leave him and how she would have made sure everything was fine and how she would have stuck by him; but she couldn't say them. She couldn't be sure that all those things were true. It had taken her months before she'd understood that loving Cohen was more important than having everyone at school adore her, and when their close band of friends shrunk from four to three—a very uncertain three with Marissa teetering over the edge of sanity once Ryan left her—there was no guarantee that Summer would have been able to resist the easy popularity that once made her feel whole, even if that would have meant tearing out the piece of her heart where Cohen resided.

"What about you?"

"Huh?" Summer asked at the sound of Seth's voice.

"What did you do this summer?"

"I cried." Summer shrugged against him. "Then I cried some more. I pretended I wasn't crying anymore. I tried to walk the line between having fun with people I didn't like anymore and becoming Marissa with her ten a.m. cocktails. I let Zach convince me that I was having fun."

Seth stiffened under her for a moment at the sound of the name. He cleared his voice before trying to talk again. "How did you guys even meet?"

Summer chuckled and snuggled her head against Seth's chest, trying to hide from him there. "We met at a comic book store."


"Shut up."

"What were you doing at a comic book store?" Seth asked with a loud laugh.

"I was missing you, okay? I was missing you, and I went in the store because I thought it would make me feel closer to you."

"And Zach?"

"And Zach was looking at one of those Legion comics you like. He was, like, the only guy there who wasn't just looking at Batman or Superguy or whatever, and he asked me if I was picking something up for my boyfriend because I didn't look like the typical comic book girl, and I don't know… we just started talking after that."

"Wow. I've heard stories about guys picking up girls at a comic book store, but I didn't think it would ever actually happen. It's like a threesome or something. You read about it in Playboy, but you don't think it ever really happens to anyone."

"That's… I'm sorry I started this conversation," Summer sighed again, shaking her head.

"So, summer sucked for the both of us."

"Well, I mean, after a while Zach became a pretty good distraction, and I did go to some killer parties…"

"I'm going to pretend you didn't say that," Seth told her as he shifted them so they could face each other. "Summer sucked for both of us. And we should—"


They froze.

Summer hadn't even considered the fact that someone other than Seth could have been in the house when she'd made her grand entrance. When she had finally freed him from his rooftop predicament, she'd followed as he led her to his bedroom, not able to form enough of a thought to wonder if they would get caught. That had been an hour ago, however, and they should have guessed that someone would be back soon enough. This wasn't the Roberts home after all.


"Yeah?" Seth called. His eyes shifted quickly in worry and his hand moved up so he could place a finger against Summer's lips as though she was about to answer Sandy's call.

"What happened to the TV?"

"Signal's out."

"Why is there a rope hanging from the roof?"

Seth rolled his eyes at the sound of his mother's voice joining his father's. "I tried to fix it."

"From the roof? Are you okay?" Kirsten's voice grew frantic at the thought, and Seth and Summer winced as they heard the doorknob jiggle. "Why's your door lock?"

"I'm fine. I just got really wet, and so I rushed in here and stripped off my clothes to get warm faster. I'm naked."

Summer couldn't help but smirk happily as she looked down at Seth's body.

"Oh," Kirsten answered. "Well, we've got some food. Come down and eat."

"All right."

Seth and Summer listened carefully as Kirsten moved away from the door and down the hall.

"Don't be too long, Seth," Sandy called through the door.

"Okay, dad."

"Summer's welcomed to join us as well. She seems to have left her shirt in the living room though, if she's looking for it."

"Thanks, Sandy," Summer managed to answer before burying her head against Seth.

"All right. We'll see you kids down there." Then Sandy too could be heard walking away.

They lay quietly for a moment. Summer couldn't remember the last time she had been so embarrassed, while Seth was thanking his lucky stars that his father hadn't taken the time to congratulate him on his conquest or mention Summer's presence while his mother was still outside the door.

"As I was saying, since last summer sucked, maybe we should go away together this summer."

"Maybe now?" Summer asked hopefully, moving away to look up at Seth with wide eyes.

Seth nodded silently. "I do have the Gimmie Sex back."

"I don't know what that means, but I'm going to trust you that I shouldn't be insulted because I'm not ready to fight with you again, yet."

Seth smiled before slowly moving in for a kiss to seal the deal.

"Seth! Summer!"

"Yeah, we're coming."

Seth rolled his eyes exaggeratedly at Summer before moving off the bed. Summer watched him for a moment, smiling as he moved around the room to find her a shirt and get himself dressed.

It would definitely be a better summer. It would be a better everything else as well now that they were back together.