This is I guess technically considered a crossover, though I don't think of it that way really. But I am using two characters from Grey's Anatomy and putting them in the OC, even if they were only on for two episodes. So I don't own Grey's Anatomy or the OC, I just own this brilliant idea that came to me while I was in the shower, however odd that may be.
The characters from Grey's Anatomy are from the episode "Freedom" Parts 1 & 2, aka season 4 Episodes 16 & 17. Just in case you were wondering.
Oh, and I realize that mathematically the timing and setting doesn't equal out right for the two different storylines, but I just don't care. So pretend with me.
It was a beautiful day in Newport, California, the typical rays of sunshine gleaming down on the surface of the earth as if God himself was smiling, and clouds were few and far between. But no amount of sun could instigate a smile on one blonde man facing the worst possible view of his life. He stared ahead without any sign of emotion on his face, focusing on the scene in front of him.
"It's nice to see someone that actually looks miserable here."
Ryan's head snapped up to find a woman that looked no older than himself standing beside him. She had dark skin, eyes the color of chocolate, and smooth black hair that fell in ringlets just past her shoulders. She was dressed down in sweatpants and a grey hoodie, and she looked about as happy as he was. Dark circles were under her eyes, giving off the illusion that she hadn't gotten a proper night's rest in quite some time and her face was bare of any make-up.
"I'm sorry, what?" He finally found the ability to speak.
The girl shrugged. "It just seems like all the people here are too damn happy and it was getting on my nerves. It's nice to see someone that seems to be in the right state of mind." When he said nothing, she continued. "I'm Beth."
Beth glanced at the stone and then back to him. "I'm sorry for your loss." She said finally.
He nodded once. "You too."
"Do you… mind if I ask…?" she let her question drift off, unsure of whether or not she was being too forward.
"My gir- uh, my um…" he sighed, unsure of how to phrase it. "Just someone I used to know."
Beth nodded. "Yeah. I get that."
Ryan scratched behind his head awkwardly. "You?"
She smiled sadly. Not wanting to be any more of a bother, she simply said, "It's a long story."
"I've got time." He had no clue why he said it, but for some reason he felt a sort of pull towards this girl. Lately everything had been so fucked up in his life he had no clue what the hell was happening anymore, so he just went with his gut.
"You sure? I don't want to interrupt your visit-"
"No, it's fine." He glanced over at a nearby stone bench and shrugged. "Do you want to…?"
"Sure." They each took a seat on the cold seat and went quiet while Ryan waited patiently for the girl to tell her tale.
"I sixteen years old when I was diagnosed with cancer." She began. "There's a lot of medical talk that I won't bore you with, but I had a tumor on my brain. We tried everything and none of it worked. So my parent's finally took me to the Mayo Clinic to see if they could do anything because we were running out of options….and that's when I met Jeremy." Her mouth instantly turned into a dreamy smile. "We met in our support group, he suffered from grand mal seizures due to a tumor in his brain, and we went through everything together: chemo, radiation, all that junk. And I don't know how it happened but somewhere in the middle of all of it we fell in love." She sighed. "But then we got split up again, we kept in contact through phone and email and all that, but it's not the same, you know?
"Anyway, about a year later he sent me an email telling me about this Clinical Trial they were doing in Seattle, where they inject a live virus into the tumor to try and shrink it. I told my parent's I found it on my own but once Jeremy showed up at the hospital and they found out his surgery was scheduled a few hours before mine, it was kind of obvious." Beth's voice began to break, but she kept talking, her tone getting softer as she went on. "He didn't have anyone left except me. And my parents… they never approved. They didn't want their daughter to be with someone that could die at the drop of a hat; they worried that if he died I would want to die too. But we hadn't… done it yet, and we wanted to make sure that we would have the chance." She laughed lightly. "So these doctors, these big important doctors, lied to my parents about where I was and snuck me into his room and guarded the door so we could…you know."
"Your doctors pimped you out?" Ryan smiled. "That's actually kind of cool."
Beth let out a big breath. "It was magical. I know it sounds weird and awkward, but I swear to God Ryan, it was the best moment of my life. Anyway, we were the only two left from our support group at Mayo and when they came in after to take him down it was the hardest thing in the world to let him go." A small sob escaped her lips. "When I asked him what would happen if either of us died, he told me it wouldn't happen. He said he wasn't done loving me. He told me we weren't done and he left me Ryan." She was full on crying now but Ryan could tell that she didn't want to be comforted, which was kind of a relief for him. He wasn't good with stuff like that, especially not with people he'd just met.
"But I went through the surgery anyway. My parents were against it because nobody had lived through the surgery yet. They said it was the grief talking. But if I didn't have the surgery I knew I would die too, so why not, you know?" she bit her lip in an attempt to stop the tears that were flowing down her face. "And what do you know? Here I am. They got me in all kinds of medical journals and stuff and the doctors are famous because I survived. The tumor's gone and so is the love of my life." Beth shook her head as if trying to clear her emotions away and looked up at Ryan. "Okay, your turn."
"I'm not the best at telling stories." He said lamely.
Beth let out a chuckle. "Don't worry, I ask a lot of questions."
Ryan sighed. "I grew up in Chino and didn't have the best childhood. But when I was sixteen I got into some trouble and the Cohen's adopted me. My biological family was screwed up. Long story short, I met Marissa the first night I came to Newport and we had a connection."
"Sounds like fate."
He shrugged. "She had a boyfriend at first and then I screwed up but we ended up figuring it out. We broke up quite a bit but we always got back together. Then that summer I screwed up pretty badly and left for a few months but came back right before junior year started. We dated other people but in the end we got back up together like we always did." Ryan's face remained emotionless as he spoke, his tone flat. "After that a lot of bad stuff happened but we managed to hang on, but we broke up a few months before graduation."
Beth frowned sadly, knowing the next part couldn't be good.
"Eventually we were friends again and she got an offer from her dad to work on a ship for a year in Greece. When I took her to the airport to see her off we got run off the road by an ex-boyfriend and crashed. Car went up in flames, I pulled her out but by then it was already too late. So I just sat there, holding her……"
The dark headed girl let out a small gasp. "You were with her when-"
"Yeah." He said simply.
"Do you still love her?"
It was the first time since the accident that someone was really trying to talk to him. Sure, Seth had pestered him with questions and Sandy had tried to help out, but with Beth he didn't feel like he was taking a test or having answers demanded of him; she was simply curious of his story and possibly trying to help him while figuring out how to help herself. Still, it was one of the biggest questions he hated to think about, because when you got right down to it the answer was obvious.
"I never stopped."
Beth nodded. "Life sucks doesn't it?"
"I mean, people are always talkin' about how God is gonna take care of us and keep us safe, how we need to have faith and believe in him." She shook her head. "I prayed Ryan. I prayed and I had faith and did every damn thing that God supposedly wants us to do. And he still took Jeremy away from me. Why should I believe that there's someone up there to take care of us when he took away the only thing that matters to me?"
Ryan shrugged. "I don't know. I've never really got into the whole religion thing. Seems too complicated and uncertain."
They were both silent for a minute before he spoke again.
"Can I ask you a question?"
She nodded. "Shoot."
"Does it ever get easier?" People had told him all kinds of things in the past few months, but at the moment it seemed like Beth would give him an honest answer; she was going through the same thing and he knew that even if the answer wasn't good, she wouldn't lie to him.
Beth took a few minutes before answering. "Do you want the truth?"
Ryan nodded once.
She swallowed thickly. "No. It doesn't. People tell you that it will, that eventually you'll learn to accept it and live with it and move on. That one day you won't feel as bad. But the honest to God truth is that doesn't. It never gets easier, you won't learn to accept it, and you'll never move on. That stabbing pain that you wake up with every morning in your chest where your heart's supposed to be? It never dulls. That feeling of wondering, literally, how in the hell it's possible to still be alive- it will always be there. It doesn't ever go away." She glanced down at her shoes. "Can I tell you a secret Ryan?"
The blonde boy looked at her. "Go ahead."
Beth shook her head, looking anywhere but directly at him, obviously ashamed. "This is gonna sound bad. Really bad."
"I can handle bad."
"Okay." She took a deep breath before quietly admitting her hidden truth. "Every day for the past four years, I've wished for the tumor to come back. Because maybe if it came back, then I could die too. And then I would be able to see Jeremy again. As awful as it is to say, it's the truth." She shook her head tearfully. "I would give anything in the world for the cancer to be back if it meant that he could be here with me again. And my parents are so worried about me doing something stupid, it's taken me all this time to get them to let me come here by myself. …Have you ever… you know…?"
Ryan looked down at his shoes. "I don't know."
"I think you do." She refused to let him back out so easily. "Tell me."
"Yeah." His voice came as a whisper now, clearly not proud of what he was about to admit. "Sometimes I think about it. I try to imagine if the accident had been different, if I could have done something else. If I had gone for help or if her mom had taken her to the airport…"
"If I had gone first in the surgery, if the doctors had gotten the combination of drugs right just a few hours earlier…" Beth nodded understandingly. "That's one of the worst parts, I think- wondering if you could have done something to stop it. It seems simple now, but in that moment you're so caught up in everything… All that rationality and reason is gone."
They were both quiet for a few minutes, thinking about what they had just shared. Finally, Beth spoke again, voicing something she had been wondering since she had first seen the same misery that she held reflected in his eyes, from the moment the two of them had first exchanged words.
"Did you come here for the same reason I did?"
He sighed. "I don't know why you came here."
Beth finally met his eyes, knowing the only way to find out his answer. "Empty your pockets."
Ryan said nothing.
"Ryan, empty your pockets."
He took a moment to consider it. He knew perfectly well what she was asking. It took no time at all to decide if he could trust her, he knew he could. The real obstacle was if he could trust himself. He let out a sigh before reaching into his jacket pocket and removing the cold metal object from his possession. He looked up at Beth, clearly apprehensive of her reaction. What she did next shocked him. Digging into her shoulder bag she pulled out a small black gun and sat it down next to his, looking just as guilty.
"I'm just so tired of missing him." She admitted tearfully. "I hate waking up in the mornings to face another day without him but I dread going to sleep because it means I have to dream about it. And I am so tired of being miserable every day."
"It's not even like life anymore." Ryan said gravely. "You're just going through the motions and putting on something so people will leave you alone."
"All the stuff that's supposed to make life good just doesn't seem worth it anymore." Beth shrugged and they both went quiet for a few minutes as they concentrated on their thoughts. Finally she let out a breath and turned to him. "Do you believe in soul mates Ryan?"
His answer took a minute, but he finally gave her his honest opinion. "I don't believe in much." He said truthfully. "But I do believe in love. It's one of the things Marissa and the Cohen's helped me realize. Sometimes things are hell but there are good people in the world. So yeah, I guess I do believe in soul mates." He paused. "Did you write a letter?"
Beth nodded and pulled an envelope out of her bag. "It says how sorry I am and how much I love them." She said tearfully. "That it's not their fault and that nothing could have changed it." She took a deep breath. "You?"
"Yeah." Ryan pulled a smaller, more crinkled letter out of his back pocket and tossed it down next to hers. "Mine's basically the same. That I owe everything to them and that they gave me the best years of my life, but I just can't handle it anymore."
"Do you think we should do it?"
Ryan shook his head miserably. "I think that depends on if we're ready to stop fighting." They glanced at each other and locked eyes for a minute before Beth collapsed against him while they both sobbed onto each other's shoulder. Finally they broke apart, standing and taking a deep breath.
"I don't want to look at you while I do this." Beth said quietly. "But I don't think I can do it alone."
Ryan nodded and grabbed her hand. "Then we'll do it together."
They turned their backs to each other and faced the opposite direction, her right hand locked firmly in his left with their heavy metal machines held in the other.
"You ready?" her voice came out as a whisper and Ryan had to force himself to let out a noise of confirmation.
"One," Beth closed her eyes tight.
"Two," He raised his right hand.
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