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FIC: A Willing Sacrifice Part 7

FIC: A Willing Sacrifice
Author: Nightrider
Fandom: The OC
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything related to the OC. How sad for me!
Summary: Seth begins to doubt his friendship with Ryan.

A/N: This was written for Brandy’s 15 minute challenge. I was supposed to use a sentence prompt, but it didn’t fit with the story I wrote. It’s rather odd because the quote gave me the idea for the story, but later didn’t fit. Go figure…

This is not betaed. I make a ton of mistakes and they are all my own. Feel free to point them out, and I'll gladly fix them.

“How the hell could this happen?” one officer growled. “There were two guards at his door.”

“People don’t just disappear, James. He’ll turn up. We’ve got uniforms posted at every exit. He’s not going to get away.” Ryan resisted the urge to laugh. They didn’t know Trey that well. He and his brother had years of practice of doing just that – disappearing. If you spend years being invisible, it becomes like second nature.

“When Riley gets here, heads are gonna roll,” James muttered as he ran his hand over his face. When he turned, he noticed a teenager standing against the wall staring at the ground. There was something vaguely familiar about the young man, but he didn’t give it much thought. Years on the force taught him attention to detail, and the fading bruise on the kid’s cheek was the first thing he noticed. He chalked it up to a water polo accident.

For safety reasons, they needed to clear the floor as quickly as possible. The last thing they needed was one of the Newport elite’ child getting hurt. It going to be a big enough media feeding frenzy without adding insult to injury.

“Hey kid, is there anything you need?” James asked as he stepped towards Ryan. “We need to clear this floor. Are you trying to visit someone?”

Ryan kept studying the white sterile tile. He hated hospital tile. “Yeah, but I think he’s been discharged.”

“Well, I’m glad he’s okay,” James said.

Trey was many things, but he certainly wasn’t okay. He hadn’t been okay for a long time.

“Are you okay?” James asked after he shared a private look with the other officer. “You look a little shell-shocked.”

“I’m fine,” Ryan replied automatically as he pushed himself off the wall and pressed the button for the elevator. “I appreciate all your help.” He stepped onto the elevator, his eyes still studying the ground as the door closed on two confused officers.

“There was something about that kid,” James mused thoughtfully.

“He did look familiar, didn’t he?” They paused, each trying to place the young man and both falling short. “Oh well, we’ve got work to do.”


Ryan leaned against the side of the SUV, his eyes now studying the cracks in the concrete. The idea of Trey running around Newport did nothing to steady his frayed nerves. The Cohens’ didn’t keep a low profile by any means so if Trey wanted to find them, it wouldn’t be difficult. Trey had told him more than once that paybacks were a bitch. Just how much more were the Cohens’ going to have to suffer because of him? Destruction and violence seemed to follow him everywhere he went. If something happened to them, he’d never forgive himself. What Seth had to go through was bad enough.

He knew Trey would want to get out of town as quickly as possible. He also knew Trey had a score to settle. In the short amount of time that Ryan had spent with Trey after he got out of prison, it was obvious how much his stint on the inside had hardened him, changed him. Ryan thought he was helping. He thought by helping Trey get an apartment, driving him to job interviews, giving him all the money he had saved while working during the summer – he thought that would have helped, but it wasn’t enough. It was never enough.

He should have known things were going downhill when Trey asked him about scoring an eight ball. The sad part was Ryan knew where to get the drugs. Hell, it was easier getting drugs in Newport than in had been in Chino. They were better quality too. He just opted not to tell Trey that. He tactfully reminded his brother of his probation appointment and the random drug screens. Trey had scowled in his general direction, but left it at that. Ryan had allowed himself to cling to the hope that things would be okay. He would keep Trey away from the Cohens’, and maybe – just maybe – Trey would be able to build a life for himself that he could be proud of, or at least tolerate.

Now, once again, Ryan felt like he failed. His body ached with exhaustion and repressed pain as he unlocked the car door. He figured Sandy and Kirsten would both be at work now. He knew Seth was at the mall with the girls. That bought him a couple of hours.

He knew what he had to do.

He’d find Trey before he had a chance to find him or anyone he cared about.


“What do you mean Trey’s gone?” Sandy yelled as he slammed the law book he’d been reading closed. “Is this standard practice for your department or did your officers escort him to the door personally and wish him the best?”

“Mr. Cohen, I appreciate your concern and understand why you’re angry, but we’ve got to find him,” Detective Riley explained. He didn’t blame Sandy considering he’d just spent the last fifteen minutes ripping into every police officer within a ten mile radius.

“Of course you’ve got to find him!” Sandy raged. “My entire family could be in danger!”

“I’ll send a squad car over to your house just to make sure,” Riley offered. “Do you have any idea where Trey would go? I know you spoke with him several times while he was in prison.”

“I’ve got no clue,” Sandy stated as he sighed and allowed the implications of this newfound information to wash over him. “I assume Trey’s got friends in Chino.”

“What about Ryan?”

“He went to meet Seth at the mall,” Sandy explained. He was increasingly appreciative of small miracles. The last thing he wanted to think about was Ryan at home alone. “I’ll call and see if he has any idea where Trey might go. I’ll call you if he’s got any ideas.”

“I’ll keep you informed as well,” Riley promised as he closed his cell phone without saying goodbye. The detective almost asked to talk to Ryan himself, but he didn’t want to scare the young man anymore than necessary. He’s already been through so much and now that Trey was gone, who knows what could happen? He knew they had to get Trey back into custody before any happened. He figured Ryan deserved than much peace.


Sandy tried Ryan’s phone, but it went immediately to voicemail. He scrolled through his contacts and opted to call Seth. The phone rang twice before he heard Seth’s chipper voice.

“What’s up, dad?” Seth asked loudly over the background noise.

“Is Ryan there? I need to talk to him,” Sandy stated as he tried to keep his voice even.

“He wasn’t feeling good this morning. Try the house. You know he never leaves the pool house anymore,” Seth complained. Sandy felt like someone just dumped a bucket of freezing water over his head. He had seen Ryan leave the house this afternoon. Where the hell did he go?

“I want you to come to my office,” Sandy demanded suddenly.

“What? Why? I’m at the mall with Summer –“

“That’s fine. Bring them too.”

“Dad, you’re not making any sense. We’re riding with Marissa.”

“Seth, it wasn’t a request. Have Marissa bring you to my office right now.”

“Is something wrong with Ryan? Dad, if something’s wrong –“

“Now Seth.”

“Fine. Whatever.”

The call was disconnected and Sandy stared at the phone for several seconds before trying the house phone. When no one answered, he tried Ryan’s cell again. He left another message before dialing Detective Riley. While they were at it, they could look for Ryan too.

“Detective Riley.”

“It’s Sandy Cohen.”

“Did you talk to Ryan?”

“No, he’s not answering his phone. I’m afraid he didn’t go the mall with his friends.”

“Yeah, I figured that. I just got done talking with some of the officers that were searching the hospital. It sounds like Ryan turned up here.”

Sandy pressed the phone roughly to his ear. “He what?”

“That or a kid that looks just like him with healing bruises on his face,” Riley clarified.

“So he knows Trey is gone,” Sandy said with a sigh. He had hoped he’d be the one to break the news to Ryan, to explain what happened in the relative safety of their home.

“And now we have a new problem,” Riley continued. “Where would Ryan go?”

“Well, I’d like to think he’d come to me.”

“Since that obviously didn’t happen –“

“Are you insinuating something, Detective? If you’ve got something to say to me, just say it,” Sandy growled. His knuckles were white as he grasped the phone against his ear.

“I don’t have time for this,” Riley snapped. “I’ll have my guys keep a lookout for Ryan. If you hear anything, let me know.”

Despite his anger, Sandy knew they could have ended up with a Detective that didn’t give a shit. “Thanks Detective. I’ll be in touch.”


The bus station. Since Trey had never flown before, Ryan figured it was the logical place he would go if he wanted to get out of town fast. The door to the bus pulled shut as Ryan jogged across the platform. There area was deserted as Ryan looked into the windows of the bus. His eyes rested on a crumpled jean jacket pressed against the window and a dark head facing away from him.

In that moment, time seemed to stop. Trey was leaving. It was a small gesture, but Ryan knew the deeper implications. Trey, someone who was never good at lettings things go, was walking away. Yes, Ryan knew he could get past this too. So many things had happened, things that he’ll never forget, but he’ll be able to –

He felt the cold hand on his neck. The eerie flash of steel underneath the street light - the terrible stabbing pain in his back. His mouth opened in a silent scream – a scream that fell on deaf ears.

“Thought I’d leave without saying goodbye, little bro?”



Mar. 14th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)
See? I even cruised LJ before heading over to THE email...

You have been very productive already with churning this out so quickly. I do have to ask how much you meant to scare us. Please, no "death" ears. "Deaf" ones are bad enough. Say it isn't so!

Trey figuratively and literally appears to stab Ryan in the back, and at the infamous Greyhound station where no good can happen? Nice twist on canon. Your Trey wreck is indeed a train wreck, and an interesting study in sociopathy at work. Talk about issues...

Sandy is getting plenty of phone calls, so let's hope at least one of them is a real wake up call. That gulf really needs a bridge. He might not want to make any admissions to someone outside the family, but he needs to start being honest with himself- if there's still time.

Newport's finest are living up to their reputation, but good for Det. Riley for having a brain and speaking freely. Ryan is so in character as the kid trying to protect whoever he can and futilely prevent what seems chaotically inevitable. Per his conditioning, Trey isn't Trey's responsibility, law enforcement's, the hospital's, or any combination. Trey is Ryan's burden and there's no one Ryan trusts enough to consider for help. That's not his reality and no one has done the work to convince him otherwise.

What he didn't realize with his own lack of self-worth blinders on was that he'd be more of a target to Trey than the Cohens. The Cohens would only have appeal in as much as hurting them would hurt Ryan, but hurting Ryan directly would be far more appealing. Just as in canon, although it was never explored at all there, one has to wonder what being completely expendable to family would do to a person. Whatever a misinformed Ryan once wanted to believe, his life is meaningless Trey at this point.

Now, you can't just leave us there!
Mar. 14th, 2008 01:32 am (UTC)
OMG! Thanks for catching that! *facepalm* That's what I get for spending the afternoon glued to my computer. LOL Seriously, thanks for pointing out that screw up. All fixed now.

Yes, the bus station. You knew I had to go there!

I do love my sweet Detective Riley. He's been a valuable original character in this story. Hell, someone has to have some brains!

I thought about Ryan calling the police or calling Sandy, but with everything that's happened, he's obviously not thinking clearly. Per canon, he always opted to deal with things on his own. With the situation at hand when he feels the need to protest those he cares about, he's definitely going to try to deal with things personally. Furthermore, he's hurting, exhausted, and barely hanging on.

Yeah, it's a terrible cliffhanger. Sorry about that! :D

And thanks for the thoughtful, kind review. You know I love hearing your thoughts!
Mar. 14th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
You said we could point out slight errors, right? Now just my lame comment will look... more lame? Life goes on! As long as you're okay with it. I hate to think of cold, blue, dead ears. Okay, you're referring to anyone nearby, but still.

Trey wreck is a bus- or train station kind of guy. That's why I fly.

Detective Riley and Ryan can have the brains. It must be the similar names.

I'm glad you kept Ryan so in character. This is someone who has had to not "brood," but figure out a way to solve his own problems- without fail. He's never had a responsible adult he could depend on for guidance or support. He's certainly never had someone who would be his unconditional advocate and who always put him first. We saw the evidence repeatedly throughout canon, right up until the very end. Even after the earthquake, when he was obviously seriously compromised, he didn't feel he could "bother" the person he was closest to or trusted more than anyone else. Even then, he didn't call Sandy. I'm still not sure if he called Seth hoping that he wouldn't ask questions and would follow directions, so that changed the dynamic, or if it was a contrivance by the writers to have Seth finally do something for Ryan- and to work in the blood brothers aspect. Hmmm...

Anyway, it's always been clear that Ryan believes anything related to him is his issue and responsibility solely. Anything Atwood-related falls under that heading. History has shown that he's always been left playing clean up for Trey. He definitely doesn't want to taint the Cohens or disrupt their priveleged lives further. As you say, he's also in pain, physically and emotionally drained, and operating on instinct.

Get off the cliff. I know where you are!

And I know how you just enjoy my semi-lucid thoughts. I am off to email- very soon.
Mar. 14th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
Very,very evil.:( and to think one of the nicest Ryan/Sandy moments(S3)was at that very bus station!

It's sacrilege!
nightrider is one "Mean" lady. *shakes head*LOL
Mar. 14th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
It was a great moment, wasn't it? I'll give you another nice moment, I promise. At least I hope I wish...

I'm not mean! I promise I'm not! I'm actually quite nice. :D
Mar. 14th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
I know you're not Mean:D

It's only selfless and considerate people (like you)that would write great fic for the enjoyment of others.:D. Update soon purrlease?!."bows in supplication* I do grovelling good as well. LOL

Seriously it's a great piece of fic and I can't wait for more.It's leaving great scope for "parenting skillz". Hugs.:)