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…
“Ryan, you up yet?” Seth asked as he threw open the door to the pool house and ambled inside. The mass huddled underneath the blankets was a clear indication that Seth’s query was not awake. He reached out to touch Ryan’s shoulder, but memories flooded his mind of being thwacked with pillows and fists alike so he opted for another approach. “You can’t sleep the day away. We’ve got women to woo, jocks to punch… Well, you’ve got jocks to punch.” He moved around the room opening window blinds as he went. “Ryan, are you listening to me? Ryan?”
“What do you want, Seth?” The voice that emerged from underneath the pillows sounded perfectly alert and rather annoyed. Seth definitely wasn’t fond of Ryan’s new habit of staying in bed until well into the afternoon. It was seriously cutting into the infamous and much needed Seth/Ryan time.
“Didn’t you hear me? We’ve got women to – “
“I heard you, Seth. People on the east coast probably heard you,” Ryan interjected. He made no effort to push aside the blankets.
“So why aren’t you getting up? The girls will be here soon. You know how much Summer enjoys waiting.”
“I don’t feel like going anywhere.”
“That’s what you said yesterday,” Seth replied as he crossed his arms over his chest. Even though Ryan couldn’t see him, Seth hoped his death glare was seeping through the quilt. “Come on, you can’t hide out here. It’s not healthy. You’re going to become one of those creepy hermit guys like they have on the Discovery channel.”
“Go without me,” Ryan encouraged. “You’ll have more fun anyway.”
“What’s been up with you lately?” Seth asked. “Are you still upset about that shit that happened at the gas station? That was almost two weeks ago.”
Ryan apparently missed out on the grieving time schedule that was allowed for such events. He knew Seth didn’t mean anything by it. Hell, Seth rarely did. He was just one of those people that walked around with his foot permanently implanted in his mouth. Still, Ryan was extremely pleased that Seth appeared to be on his way to getting past what happened. Ryan made a special point to stick close to Seth until Seth bluntly pointed out that he didn’t need a babysitter.
“I’m not feeling good,” Ryan stated and an unsubtle coughing fit soon followed.
“You’re sick? Why didn’t you say something? You might have infected me!” Seth yelped as he backed up to the door. “You want me to get mom for you? I think she’s still home.”
“No,” Ryan said in a rush. “No, don’t bother her. I’ll be fine.” Kirsten had decided to work from home after everything happened so she could be close in case one of the boys needed something. The last thing Ryan wanted to do was bother her when she was trying to get something important done. He knew how vital her work was to her. She’d worked hard for her career, and Ryan would be damned if he was going to keep her from getting her job done.
“I’ll tell the girls you’re sick and keep them away. I can’t have you infecting all of us and possibly ruining what’s left of the summer.” He was going for humor, but Ryan saw only truth in his flippant remark. This was the second summer he’d managed to botch up which was quite an impressive record considering it was only his second summer in Newport.
“Tell Marissa I’ll call her.”
“Will do. See you later, Ryan.” The sound of the pool house door closing echoed across the room, and Ryan pushed the pillow off his face. Seth hadn’t bothered to close the blinds so warm light filtered across the bed. Despite the near constant ache in his muscles, the sunlight felt good and seemed to lift his spirits.
He found himself wondering if he should have agreed to go to the mall with Seth and the girls. It was becoming pretty obvious that he’d been avoiding them. If anything, they’d been good friends to him, better friends that he’d ever had before. They deserved more than his inconsistencies and depressing mood. One trip to the mall wouldn’t kill him. Yes, he could do that much for his friends and who knows? Maybe he’d have a good time too.
He reached over to grab the phone off the nightstand. He’d heard the telltale signs of a mustang drive away a couple of minutes ago which means they’d already left. He was sure Kirsten would let him borrow a car. They’d been encouraging him to leave the house lately. Apparently it wasn’t normal for a teenage boy to stay holed up in a pool house for five days. In Chino, he doubted absence would have been noticed. In fact, he’d been gone for well over three weeks and Dawn didn’t say a word when he came home except to ask if he managed to make some money while he was gone. Trey hadn’t been impressed with his antics, demanding to know where he’d been and promising to beat his head in should he ever disappear like that again without so much as a word or a note.
Trey. Times had changed. God, how they’d changed.
He pressed the phone to his ear to before dialing the Seth’s cell phone, but the sound of Sandy’s concerned voice caused him to freeze.
“I appreciate the call, Detective Riley. I’ll be sure to let Ryan know,” Sandy stated. Obviously Ryan’s intrusion hadn’t been noticed, and he couldn’t bring himself to hang up the phone.
“I figured he might want to know because Trey is going to be discharged into our custody tomorrow,” Detective Riley explained.
“Good riddance,” Sandy muttered.
“Well, I just wanted to pass the information along.”
“Yeah, thanks for calling.”
“Sure, and tell Ryan I said hello.”
The sounds of both phone hanging up echoed through the receiver and Ryan found soon found himself listening to incessant beeping of a dead phone line. He replaced the phone quietly, his brain now awash with questions and fears.
There was an endless stream of questions filtering through his mind as he showered. Trey was awake which obviously meant he’d recovered especially if he was going to be discharged tomorrow. Being discharged tomorrow meant he was immediately going to jail where he was going to be formally charged. He’d sit in jail and await trial. The trial would be short because of the video footage, and Ryan’s testimony would be required. He’d have to testify against his own fucking brother. Then Trey would go to back to prison for god only knows how long.
Ryan found himself wondering how long it would be before he saw his brother outside of a metal cage. Trey used to be the most important person in his life, but times have changed. Ryan had to change. The most important question, was he a better person because of it or just a traitor? Was he just a conman trying to make a cookie cutter life work?
He dressed quickly, his jeans hanging low on his hips and his shirt swallowing his torso. Pausing to glance in the mirror, he was pleased to see the bruises had nearly faded. You’d have to be paying close attention to notice the small discoloration on his cheek.
He found Sandy milling around the kitchen. “Hey,” Ryan said and raised a concerned eyebrow when Sandy started.
“Hey kid,” Sandy returned with a smile. “You surprised me.”
“Sorry.” They stared at each other for several seconds. Ryan was expecting for Sandy to launch into the debate listing all the reasons why he should go visit his brother. Sandy didn’t say a word and seemed content to study his coffee.
“So I was wondering if I could borrow the car,” Ryan began as he came to the realization that Sandy wasn’t going to tell him that Trey was awake. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that. Sure, he didn’t want to see him, but he thought he had a right to know Trey was awake and was going to be alright.
“Why?” Sandy asked, his voice becoming concerned.
“Seth and the girls went to the mall. I figured I’d catch up with them,” Ryan explained. “If that’s okay with you.” A lazy smile appeared on Sandy’s face and he tossed him the car keys that were lying on the counter.
“Sure thing, kid. I think that’s a great idea.”
He wasn’t sure how he ended up at the hospital. He didn’t remember driving there or parking the car in the garage. He didn’t remember walking to the reception desk or asking for Trey’s room. He wasn’t sure who pressed the button in the elevator to take him to the sixth floor where Trey’s room was.
He did, however, remember the nine police officers barking orders and demanding that the hospital be locked down because a potentially dangerous criminal had escaped.