Fandom: The OC
Pairing: Summer & Kirsten gen
Word Count: 621
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and I'm making no money off of this.
A/N: Set after "The Ties That Bind" (1.24), for 15minuteficlets' word 78 (Deserted).
Summer comes over to the Cohens' house as soon as they call her. Apparently, her so-called boyfriend took off, leaving her only a note to remember him by. Wonderful.
When she gets there, the door is open.
“Hello? Mrs. Cohen? Mr. Cohen?”
A disembodied voice that sounds vaguely like it was coming from the kitchen calls out, “In here, Summer.”
Summer walks into the kitchen, and, sure enough, there's Mrs. Cohen with a letter in her left hand and a tissue in her right. It's obvious she's been crying for a while, and Summer's heart goes out to her. It's bad enough that she's had to lose one son, but to lose two? Summer doesn't think she could stand that. Never mind that she doesn't have a son - she might, someday, and she hopes she never has to go through something like this. Maybe she'll never have children.
Mrs. Cohen is clearly attempting to look presentable, and though Summer appreciates the effort, it's really not necessary.
“Mrs. Cohen, you really don't have to do this just for me. If you want to just give me the letter, I'll go.”
“Summer, please, call me Kirsten. And you don't have to go - if you want to stay and talk about it, that's fine too. I know you must be hurting.”
“Okay… Kirsten,” Summer manages, sitting at the little island. She realizes that this offer isn't about her, it's about Seth's mom. She needs someone to talk to, and Summer's there. “Can I see the note, though?”
“Of course.” Mrs. Cohen - Kirsten - passes the note to her silently. Summer takes it out and skims it quickly.
“Oh my god.” It sounds like one word, classic Summer. “I cannot believe him. This is such a Cohen thing to do, too.”
“Excuse me?” Kirsten is clearly surprised at Summer's words.
“Oh, sorry, just, I can't believe this. I mean, I knew he was unhappy, but…” She lets the note fall onto the table, and Kirsten picks it up.
I can't stay here. Please, don't try to understand or make me come home. I'll come back when I'm ready.
I'll miss you, but I don't want you to wait around, especially if I don't decide to come home.
“That's it?” Kirsten looks up at Summer, puzzled.
“Yeah. What's yours say?”
“Well, basically the same thing, but I thought he'd write more to you, since he's not angry at you.”
“He's mad at you? Why?”
“He thinks we let Ryan go too easily. We should have put up more of a fight, or something.”
“That's stupid,” Summer says. “Like anyone could make Ryan do anything he doesn't, like, want to do?”
“I know. But Seth doesn't see it that way.”
“Well,” Summer says, “At least we're all in this together. Right?”
Kirsten smiles weakly up at her. “Right.”
Summer doesn't know what else to say. Being here while Seth is gone feels odd, but it's nice to talk to Kirsten. She's never really spent time with Seth's parents, at least not without Seth there to make jokes and break the ice. This moment is more intense, but also more personal. The old Summer would have run at that idea, but the person she is now wants to be here, yearns to know what Kirsten is thinking and feeling at this moment. Summer figures she'll probably spend a lot of time here this summer; it's not like she has anyone else to hang out with. Anyone she wants to see, anyway. Anyone who knows Seth the way she knows Seth.
Seth's departure still doesn't feel quite real, but Summer knows it will take time. And, unfortunately, she's got plenty of that.