Fandom: The OC
Word Count: 871
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and I'm making no money off of this.
A/N: This seemed like a good idea at the time but turned out not to be. It came to me in a drunken-like insomnia-induced stupor. Basically me trying to set the events in the season finale right. I changed the ending a bit. I'm planning on redoing this after I get some sleep. As in, making it non-crap. But please read anyway. Constructive criticism is appreciated, even though I know how bad it is. Y'know, who knows? Maybe it's not as bad as I think it is. Unbetaed, obviously.
Ryan gets into the car stinging from Seth’s detachment. After everything they’ve been through together, this whole year, how can he turn away like that? His head pounds with the pain of goodbyes. Sure, Chino is only an hour away, but in reality it’s worlds away and he knows none of them will come visit. Well, Sandy might, and that’s a comforting thought, but it’s not very reassuring. He wants Seth to be there. And Kirsten. Marissa, of all of them, is the least likely to come visit him, and that’s a good thing, somehow. He wouldn’t know what to say to her, anyway. Wouldn’t want to see her, and the thought surprises him. Almost as much as the realization that he’s obsessing over Seth.
This train of thought makes Ryan’s head pound even more, and his thoughts ramble on like Seth in rare form. An unconscious smile spreads across his face just thinking of Seth. Seth, his beautiful foster brother, his best friend, the love of his –
“Ryan?” Theresa interrupts, and he’s grateful. These thoughts are stunning him and he’s just as glad to be outside of his head for a while.
“Are you okay?”
Am I? he thinks, and this sets off another rambling train in his brain, stemming off from We’re too young to be parents!, until Theresa pulls over and parks.
“Ryan?” There is genuine concern in her voice. “What’s wrong?”
“What? Nothing… nothing’s wrong. Why are we stopped?”
“Because I was worried about you. What’s going on?”
“Nothing,” he tells her. “Sorry. I was just thinking about Seth.”
“Okay.” She looks at him like he just stepped off of Mars.
“I was,” he insists.
She squints at him. “Ryan, is there anything going on between you two?”
“W-what do you mean?” he sputters.
“Cut the bullshit. You know perfectly well what I mean.”
“Not yet,” he admits. “But there might have been.”
Now it’s her turn to ask, “What do you mean?”
“Well… I’ve been having these thoughts lately…” he trails off.
“And…?” She prompts.
“Theresa… God, this is hard to say – I think I might be in love with him.”
She turns the car around.
“What are you doing?”
“You have to tell him.”
“No! I can’t! Besides, then he might ask me to stay, and I don’t know if I could say no to him.”
She looks at him. “So don’t.” The words are so soft he’s not sure he really heard them.
“What are you saying?”
“Go, Ryan. I don’t want to make you come back with me, against your will. Not having the abortion was a mistake, anyway. I don’t know what I was thinking. We’re too young to be parents.”
He looks at her gratefully. “Thank you.”
They don’t talk the rest of the car ride.
He goes back to the big house, a welcome sight, and hugs Theresa before getting out of the car. “Call me,” she says, and he promises to. She also asks him to apologize to everyone for all the trouble she’s caused. He plans to, but not until after he finds Seth. They’ve got a lot of talking to do.
Seth is still in his bedroom with his iPod, but now he’s writing. A letter, it looks like. Ryan knocks in the doorway. “Seth?”
His curly-haired love looks up. “Ryan? What are you doing here? I thought –”
“I know,” Ryan says, sitting on the bed, “but I had to come back.”
Seth looks concerned. “Why? Did something happen to Theresa? Or the baby? Or you? Or-”
“Seth. Nothing happened. Except that we realized we’d each made bad decisions.”
Seth nods. “Oh.”
“That’s why I came back. I couldn’t go live with her and raise a baby. It felt like a lie. I couldn’t do that to any of us,” he says slowly, taking a deep breath. “Not when I’m in love with you.”
Seth’s sharp intake of breath is audible. “God, Ryan, you could have told me before I planned a trip to Tahiti and wrote notes to my parents and Summer – ”
Now Ryan looks amused. “Oh, Seth.”
Finally the boys look each other in the eyes for the first time since Ryan came back. Neither speaks.
When Seth breaks the silence, his voice is soft and husky. “Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted to tell you I love you?” Ryan’s heart turns over. This moment is everything he’d hoped it would be and more. And then they are moving in to each other, lips touching and sparking feelings Ryan’s never felt before, even though he’s been with so many girls, and he knows this is where he’s supposed to be, who he’s supposed to be with, and nothing’s ever felt so right.
And as soon as the moment begins, it’s over, and Seth is gazing up at him in pure adoration, an expression Ryan can only believe is mirrored in his own eyes.
“We should tell Mom and Dad you’re here. I mean… you are here… to stay, right? You’re not going to go back to Theresa all of a sudden, are you?”
The panic in Seth’s voice makes Ryan smile. “No, I’m not. I’m home now. To stay.”