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[personal profile] missmara13
A few days ago, I posted a fic called Lay Bare Your Heart, which was an AU of the 1st season episode 'The Strip' (You know, the one where Seth accidentally hired like four hookers?). This is the sequel to it, which will be much longer.

I want to warn for sexual assault in this part (and references to it in later parts) as well as the fact that it briefly mentions that the first time Ryan had sex with Eddie, Ryan was 12 and Eddie was 16, and while Ryan doesn't consider it rape, it was traumatic and he did say stop which Eddie ignored. So to be clear: both that previous encounter, and the events near the end of this prologue are both rape/sexual assault, whether Ryan acknowledges the earlier encounter as such or not.



Give Me Love - Prologue

Ryan had known, when he went back to Chino with Theresa, that Eddie would show up eventually, and he was glad that at least Theresa was at her own part time job when he finally did.

"She's not here, and even if she was, she's not going back to you," Ryan said, blocking the doorway so Eddie couldn't get in.

"Who says I'm here to see her?" Eddie replied, flashing a smile that, just a year ago, probably would have charmed Ryan in an instant, but as it stood had no effect except to annoy him.

"Not interested," Ryan replied, stepping back so he could close the door, only to have Eddie shove his way through the opening first. "Eddie, get out," he said.

"Come on, Ry," he weaseled, closing the distance between them to corner Ryan against the wall. "We used to have fun..."

"You mean when you kept fucking Theresa behind my back?"

"You fucked her behind mine," Eddie replied.

"Only when neither of us was seeing you," Ryan snapped. "I didn't bail on you to go to her, and leave you with a bunch of creepy stoned guys."

"Come on, they were harmless!" Eddie said.

"Didn't feel that way when one of them cornered me in the bathroom, and 'Turo had to bust some heads to get them to back off me," Ryan replied. "I'm not doing this again, Eddie. I'm only here for Theresa and the baby. My baby."

"She wouldn't mind..." Eddie began, one hand tangling in Ryan's hair while the other gripped his hip. "And an extra paycheck couldn't hurt, right?"

"Are you seriously saying I sleep with you and you'll help us out financially?" Ryan asked. "Like I'm some fucking whore?"

"You sure moan like one in bed," Eddie said with a grin, leaning in for a kiss.

Ryan brought his knee up to slam into Eddie's groin and shoved the groaning man away. "Get the fuck out, asshole," he said. "I don't need you, I can take care of Theresa and the baby, we don't need you." Eddie looked up, and Ryan had only a moment to realize how pissed the other man was before he was slammed to the ground, a fist slamming into his cheek.

"Yeah?" Eddie said as he leaned over to whisper in Ryan's ear. "Then why did she beg me to come make nice with you?" he asked. "She said you were working so hard and not making enough money, and you needed me, for money and in your bed..."

"Go to hell," Ryan snarled, not wanting to believe Theresa would go behind his back like that, and wondering when she found out about him and Eddie.

~~~

"Ryan?"

He didn't look up from the couch when Theresa said his name, he just sighed. "Did you talk to Eddie? Tell him you'd be out today?"

"What?" Theresa asked.

Ryan had always known when Theresa was lying to him, and he finally looked up at her, seeing her flinch as she saw the bruises on his face and throat. "Tell me the truth, Theresa. Did you tell him to come 'make nice' because we need more money? Did you really try to offer me up on a platter to him? He gets to fuck me, you get to have more money?"

"I..."

"The truth," Ryan repeated.

"You always loved him... you might not have told me, but I knew it..."

"Like you give a fuck about who I love," Ryan snapped. "You sure didn't care all the times you fucked him behind my back."

"He was still yours!" Theresa protested. "I could have slept with a dozen guys and he wouldn't have cared, but if I slept with you? He got so jealous, because he wanted to be the one with you! And do you even know how many times he said your name when he was fucking me?"

Ryan shook his head, though at least now he knew that she really did know the whole time. "Yeah? Cause he said a hell of a lot of names when he fucked me." He shook his head and stood up, moving stiffly. "If it wasn't for that baby, I would be gone already. But I'm not leaving my kid, god knows you'd fuck them up, and who knows what Eddie would do to them. So I don't have much of a choice but to stay, do I?"

"Ryan?"

The front door opened and Eddie came in carrying a bag of take out. "Hey, I got dinner for us," he said with a smile. "My stuffs in the car, as long as no one's changed their mind?"

Theresa looked back to Ryan who refused to meet her gaze. "No, we haven't," she said.

"I've got work early, I'm going to bed," Ryan said, walking away.

~~~

Ryan wasn't surprised when, a couple hours later, it was Eddie that climbed into bed with him. He pretended to be asleep as Eddie touched him, knowing the other man preferred his partners conscious. Eventually, Ryan knew he'd pretty much have to give in, both because the really did need more money and Eddie would leave if Ryan didn't sleep with him, but also because as much as he didn't want to, Ryan still had feelings for Eddie, he always would.

"You're not fooling me, I know you're awake," Eddie whispered into Ryan's ear. "And I know you missed me."

Ryan sighed and pulled away enough to roll over onto his back so he could look at Eddie. "I missed the kinda guy you pretended to be right after you figured out my crush but before you fucked me the first time," he said bluntly. "You know, when you pretending to be human?"

Eddie rolled his eyes. "Ryan..."

"I don't like being treated like a fucking whore by two of the people who mean the most to me in the world," Ryan said.

"We're not..." Eddie began.

"So if I refuse to have sex with you, you'll still help out financially?" Ryan asked. "Because I'd be all for that kinda arrangement."

"You really think you could hold out?" Eddie asked, amused.

Ryan tried to hold back his grin, but finally let it go. "Wanna find out?" he asked.

"I like challenges," Eddie said. "And no matter what you think, I do... I care about you. It was always you more than Theresa."

"Then why the hell did you keep fucking her behind my back?" Ryan asked.

"She was there," Eddie said. "I only went to her when you bailed on me."

"Forgive me for not wanting you to fuck me over a chair when I'd just been beaten with a belt," Ryan snapped.

"I could been gentle," Eddie protested, and even in the low light coming through the blind covered window, his face showed a little hurt that Ryan thought he'd be rough with him.

"But you still would have wanted to fuck," Ryan pointed out. "And I was in a lot of pain, so... no, I didn't wanna go get fucked and then told to 'go home before Trey starts looking'. I just wanted to sleep it off. Actually I just wanted someone to tell me I didn't deserve it and just let me sleep so I wouldn't hurt, and I knew that person wouldn't be you. Why do you think I took a chance on some lawyer I just met instead of calling Theresa when Dawn kicked me out? Because I'd be right back to being your little fuck toy in no time."

"You're more than that," Eddie insisted.

"Yeah," Ryan said, getting up. "I am. It took a long time to realize that, but... I am better than that. And you know what, I'll figure out a way to take care of Theresa and the baby, but I am not whoring myself out to you in order to do it." With that he grabbed his cellphone from the nightstand, walked out of the room, and out onto the back patio. He thought about calling Sandy and Kirsten and telling them everything, including how Theresa manipulated him and how he was scared of what would happen to the baby if he left, but he couldn't bring himself to lay out all his cards to them, so he called the one person who knew most of it anyway.

"Chino?" comes Summer's sleepy voice over the line.

"Hey, Roberts," Ryan replied, letting out the breath he'd been holding, scared she'd either not answer or she'd start out by yelling at him for calling in the middle of the night.

"Are you okay?" Summer asked. "Because my gas tank is full, I can come get you."

Ryan smiled slightly. "You have no idea how much I want to take you up on that right now," he admitted. "Theresa... she set me up, invited Eddie over when she'd be gone so he could 'make nice' with me, which means get me to sleep with him, and in exchange he'd help us out financially."

"That bitch!" Summer said. "Please tell me you kicked him out on his ass," she added after a moment.

"We need more money," Ryan admitted.

"Ryan..." Summer said, her tone more sad than disappointed.

"I didn't sleep with him. I... we got in a fight, and then he made some promises, and I... I caved, I agreed because I am so scared I won't be able to take care of Theresa and the baby... but then Eddie came in my room a while ago, and I... I couldn't do it. I called him out on his shit, and how him and me was always about him and what he wanted, not what I needed, and he just didn't get it, so I told him I'm better than being his whore, and I walked out of the room."

"Good for you."

"But if I don't... I don't know how I'm gonna make enough money to support them."

"You'll figure it out," Summer insisted. "Or you'll cave and ask the Cohens for help, you know they'd give it."

"I know, but..."

"They love you, and they miss you so much."

"I miss them, too," Ryan admitted. "If it wasn't for the baby, I'd go home to Newport, but... I can't leave her... Theresa and Eddie'll fuck her up, and I just..."

"Her? It's a girl?" Summer asked.

"Yeah," Ryan said, unable to help smiling. "I'm gonna have a little girl."

"Oh, Chino, that's so awesome," Summer said. "I get to be Auntie Summer and spoiler her, right?"

"Like I could stop you," Ryan said. "I miss you, too, you know."

"I know," Summer said. "I miss you, too. I mean, it's kinda great that Cohen sailed away like a little bitch and stayed away, but... Coop is drunk most of the time, and you're the only person I want to hang out with."

"What about that Zach guy you mentioned?"

"He's a sweet guy, but... he's no Ryan Atwood."

"If it wasn't for the baby, I'd be asking you to come get me. I'd be begging you to."

"And I would already be halfway there," Summer promised. "Ry... maybe after... if your so sure your daughter won't be safe around them, after she's born... talk to Sandy, get custody, come home. The people who love you will help you."

"I'll think about it," Ryan said.

"That's all I ask," Summer said. "Well, that and I get to meet your daughter when she's born, regardless of whatever else you decide in the interim."

"Word of the day calendar?" Ryan teased.

"Word of the day online," Summer admitted, giggling slightly. "I'm trying to expand my horizons. I was bored and took my PSATs and I did pretty good, so... I thought maybe I should try out the whole 'not being a brain dead princess' thing."

"Good, because brain dead princess is definitely not the Summer Roberts I know," Ryan said. "I should go, let you get back to sleep."

"I'm always gonna pick up, Chino. You call, I answer."

"Good to know."

~~~

Eddie stayed at the house with them, even though Ryan locked his door to keep both Eddie and Theresa out, and after a week there would be an angry kick at it from Eddie each night, and a week after that Eddie would yell at him to unlock it and let him in, but Ryan just ignored him, reading over the GED prep information Summer had sent him. She'd included a note that they'd all rather he actually finish school, but if that wasn't going to happen, he should at least get his GED, it'd make it easier to get further in life in general.

After a while of that, Eddie started trying to corner Ryan during the day, pressing him against a wall and trying to kiss him until Ryan hit his limit and hit him in the groin again before making his escape to behind locked doors. A couple weeks of that had Eddie trying another tactic: being nice. He'd pick up take-out he knew Ryan liked, or he'd buy Ryan a pack of his favorite brand of cigarettes, once he even put on a Journey CD when Ryan was cooking dinner and didn't even mock the band like he usually did. And while it made things less hostile in general, Ryan stuck to his convictions and continued to lock his door at night.

Things came to a head when, after a long day at work, Ryan forgot to lock the door before getting in the shower and came back to find Eddie waiting for him on the bed. "Get out," Ryan said, glad he'd taken his clothes into the bathroom with him so he was at least dressed.

"Come on, I've been trying," Eddie argued. "I've been being nice!"

"Yeah, and I don't hate you, I just know you're an ass, and I know you're only doing it because you want in my pants, and that's not happening, Eddie."

"But I've been helping out, and..."

"And I told you I'm not going to be your fuck toy!" Ryan snapped. "Now get off my bed and out of my room!"

"Not until you stop being a frigid little bitch!" Eddie replied, getting up.

"Go to hell," Ryan said. "I'm not sleeping with you."

"Yes, you are."

"No, I'm not, and I swear to god if you try to make me? You will regret it."

"Oh yeah, what are you gonna do about it?" Eddie asked just before lashing out and slamming Ryan's head against the door frame, dazing the younger man for a moment, and by the time his head cleared Eddie was on top of him, holding him down. "I can have you anytime I want."

"Get off of me," Ryan said, trying to push him away, and when that failed trying to get leverage for a kick, but Eddie swiftly flipped him over and pinned him face down on the floor with one of his legs right behind Ryan's knees, leaving him effectively trapped, and that's not a position he wanted to be in.

"Not so tough when you can't hit below the belt, are you?" Eddie mocked.

"Get off of me," Ryan repeated, eyes squeezed shut as panic crept in, a response to Eddie kissing the back of his neck like they were still lovers.

"Shh..." Eddie began, one hand moving to tug at Ryan's sweatpants. "I'm not gonna hurt you."

And that was too damn close to the first time they'd had sex, when Ryan was twelve to Eddie's sixteen, and he had gotten scared when it came time to actually have sex. He'd wanted it then, or at least he had in theory, but it had hurt and Eddie hadn't stopped when he'd asked him, begged him, to. Before Newport, when Ryan had desperately wanted Eddie to love him back, he'd rationalized that it had just been nerves, that Eddie had been right to keep going because it had felt better after awhile. But after a year of actually getting some hard earned self respect, Ryan knew without a doubt that he didn't want this. "Please stop," he asked. "Please, Eddie, don't do this. I will never forgive you, and things will never be like they were. But if you stop, you can prove... you'll prove you're not a bad guy, you'll still have a chance to fix things, just... please..."

"Ryan? Eddie?" came from down the hallway.

Ryan opened his eyes again to see Theresa standing at the edge of the living room, a shocked look on her face as she looked at them. "Tee..." Ryan began, unable to help the relief in his tone. If Theresa was in the house, Eddie would back off, he wouldn't do this with Theresa there to hear it.

"Eddie, what are you doing?"

"I... nothing, we were just... talking..." Eddie began, though it was such an obvious lie that no one would have fallen for it, especially not the girl who knew the two of them better than anyone else in the world.

"Get off of him, right now," Theresa said, one hand on her stomach and the other clutching the door frame. "And get out of my house."

"Theresa..." Eddie tried, but she shook her head.

"Get off of him, Eddie, or I swear to God..."

"What?" Eddie snapped. "You didn't give a shit when I was banging in his door demanding he let me fuck him, why should I believe you care now?"

"Let him go, or I'm calling the police and telling them how you tried to rape me, but thank God Ryan got home before you could do much than scare me," Theresa said, making her voice go trembling and ending in a choked sob, all while glaring coldly at him.

"Theresa..." Eddie began again, though he did get up off of Ryan.

For his part, Ryan took several deep breaths before slowly, cautiously getting to his feet, vaguely aware of the blood trickling down his face from a cut over his right eyebrow. Once upright, Ryan took a swing, slamming Eddie into the same door frame he himself had hit just minutes earlier. "Get your shit and get the fuck out before I kill you," he said.

There was near silence in the house as Eddie stumbled into the living room, where his stuff was in the corner, apparently waiting for Ryan to give in and let him move into the bedroom, and it remained quiet until Ryan had closed and locked the door behind Eddie. Then, Ryan turned and sank to the floor, his back against the door and his head in his hands as his whole body trembled.

"Ryan, I..."

"That is why I was so pissed that you did this, Theresa," he said, not looking at her. "Because when he doesn't get his way with me, he pulls that shit. And if you hadn't walked in, we both know what he would have done."

"I didn't... I mean, he got mad, and he hit, but..."

"You can't let him in our lives, Theresa. He can't be near our daughter, because sooner or later, he will hurt her," Ryan said, finally looking up at her. "And I... I'll kill him. And I swear to god, if you let him near you or the baby? I will take our daughter and I will get custody, and you will never see her again."

"Ryan!"

"I won't let anyone hurt my daughter, Theresa. Not even you. And I don't want to take her from you, but I will if it's the only way to keep her safe from him. Because Eddie... he doesn't listen to 'no' or 'stop' or 'don't', he just keeps going."

Theresa nodded and slowly sank down to sit on the floor beside him, her head resting on his shoulder. "I'm so sorry, Ryan."

"Just promise me..."

"Never. Eddie will never get near her."

"Okay."

To Be Continued...


Okay. Yeah. This starts the road to Ryan being back where he belongs: in Newport with the Cohens. I really don't see Theresa as horrible in this. Yeah, she was selfish, but since she thought Eddie loved Ryan (remember, he'd call Ryan's name when he was with her) she didn't think he'd hurt Ryan, and she thought Ryan would be happier if Eddie was there with them. She thought it was a way to be able to have more, win for everybody. She genuinely didn't realize that Eddie was as abusive to Ryan as he was to her (worse, even, since Ryan was so young the first time and Eddie took advantage of that). Remember, at best she was 17 or 18 when she got pregnant. She was a kid, too. And she always struck me as actually being less mature than Ryan, probably because she had more people she could rely on than he ever did.

Date: 2017-05-28 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
Ouch, angsty as hell in just the prologue. I can already tell this one is going to hurt. Thank god for having Summer to lean on for emotional support, and for Theresa for opening her eyes and seeing just what exactly she'd let into her home. Like I've mentioned before I think, I agree that most of Theresa's 'crimes' against Ryan were just a symptom of her being a scared girl in way over her head, and what you wrote about her always striking you as more immature as Ryan because she had more people she could rely on.....that really rings true to me.

I think you hit the nail on the head there, and that much of Theresa and Ryan's miscommunication and misunderstandings arose from the fact that they grew up right next to each other, that Theresa SAW everything Ryan went through as a kid....and thus in her mind, she thought that meant she UNDERSTOOD everything he went through. But we all know seeing something isn't the same thing as living it, and I think that was always clear from how Theresa was less than understanding of why Ryan had left Chino. It would have been different if her dialogue was all about her being worried she hadn't heard from Ryan in months and she didn't know what had happened to him, but whenever she made comments like 'but you were the one that left' I would wince because like....she didn't get it. She knew Ryan's past, but she hadn't lived it, because despite bearing witness she'd never quite internalized on an emotional level that for Ryan, staying just wasn't an option. Because she DID have people Ryan didn't have. Her mom loved her in a way Dawn never did Ryan, her brother was able to stay out of jail when Trey wasn't...she might not have had as much of a support system as some Newport characters, but she still had more than Ryan did, and so despite sharing a zip code and certain issues with Ryan, like growing up poor, she still lacked perspective when it came to seeing what it was truly like for Ryan to grow up with no one reliable to turn to, and an endless string of people in his life who hurt him and let him down. It's a matter of degrees....Theresa's childhood was no picnic, but that didn't put her and Ryan on quite the same page. Similarly, as she discovered here, both of them loving and being 'loved' by Eddie did not mean that her experiences with Eddie were the same as Ryan's.

Good for her for finally standing up to Ryan, even if it was later than it should have been. Which makes it both a blessing and a curse, because that moment when Theresa determinedly threw Eddie out of the house, that's the kind of moment that Ryan seizes on and 'settles for' - because he's so used to begging for emotional scraps from people, he sees a moment like that and thinks that's as good as it gets, similar to moments when the Cohens offered him what was the bare minimum but he thought it was the most amazing expression of kindness he'd ever seen. Rather than these things being what Ryan should be able to take for granted. I really REALLY hope that Theresa can stick to her newfound conviction in this part here, for Ryan and for their daughter's sake (though I have a suspicion it won't be that easy).

Date: 2017-05-28 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
Makes total sense, and I think you conveyed it well. Ryan having a stronger foundation with which to resist Eddie because of his time in Newport, but still succumbing to Eddie's attention at least in part, because how could he not? He was only in Newport for a year. That's not nearly long enough to rewrite fifteen years of hard-wired insecurities and desperate need to be wanted, especially when he's in a place he doesn't really want to be in, with someone he doesn't really want to be with.

And given that I love the three friendships you mention from GA (Alex and Meredith are both kinda the Ryan of that show for me, and the two of them and their friendship are pretty much the only reason I still watch it) I can totally see Summer being Ryan's person, in the way that you write her, and it makes it all the more heart breaking that Ryan never came close to having an actual person in canon. Seth was supposed to be it, at least you can tell the writers intended it to come across that way, but he was so far from being that in reality, it's not even funny.

Date: 2017-05-29 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
LOL no worries, preaching to the choir. And you just listed some of my biggest pet peeves from the show. I HATED that Ryan's feelings after the 'miscarriage' were never explored, because there was no way he was okay with it, and they all should have known that. Yeah, part of him might have been relieved, but for him to even admit that at all, its textbook Ryan that he'd only have done so to keep people from digging further to the part of him that wasn't. He cares so damn much about family, that for him to go live with Theresa to raise this baby...there's no way losing the child before he ever had a chance to know him wouldn't have devastated him. Even if Danny wasn't really his (and I will insist until my deathbed that a season 5 would have had Theresa return for a plotline and reveal that she'd lied about his paternity because she was afraid of losing Danny to Ryan and the Cohens) but even if Theresa was telling the truth about that, there still should have been a confrontation about how the hell Ryan must have felt to learn that he spent two years grieving for a dead baby that never actually died. And then Kristen and what she said at the intervention, and that never being brought up again (even though they had Seth go to AA with her in S3 and listen to her talk about how she got sober for her son, with nothing about what she owed the kid she took in and promised to be better for him than his own alcoholic mother. They were all willing to use Ryan's status as the son of a drunk to get Kirsten to go to rehab, but acknowledge that when it came time to make amends? Nah). Not to mention Kirsten being besties with Julie all of S3, after what she did in the premiere to Ryan...

And god yes to everything about Johnny, who was front and center to everything I hated about Season 3. Not just Seth and Marissa and everyone acting like he was so fucking cold and callous as to be GLAD Johnny was dead instead of...traumatized a kid had died in front of him and feeling like he should have saved him. I hated Johnny more than the Oliver fiasco because he was such an obvious Bizarro!Ryan, but the way everyone else just fell in line with it...like, I never actually hated Marissa before S3. Some things she did in earlier seasons bugged the crap out of me (like her selfishness in the first Chrismakkuh), but I never hated her until she spent an entire half season pushing Ryan away and slapping him in the face with 'you don't talk to me/can't understand what I'm going through like Johnny can'....umm. Ryan can't understand? He didn't suffer any fallout from the S2 events?

And add to that how much Johnny liked to pretend he had it so much harder than Ryan like, no dude, you have a mom who loves you, maybe stop bitching at the foster kid who only goes to private school cuz his mom dumped him like trash, and oh yeah, it wasn't his fault your knee got busted, he was totally entitled to get frustrated and walk away from you and Marissa, its not his responsibility that you decided to run out into the road after him and got hit by a car. And despite all that Ryan still put his pride aside to do the Bar Mitzvah to raise money for him, nobody ONCE acknowledging what a big deal it was to do all that (Sandy even EXPECTING IT, without ever even asking Ryan why he was uncomfortable with it, just told him sometimes you have to be a man and step up and do the right thing, as though Ryan doesn't ALWAYS do that, always at his own expense)...but nah, on top of all that, Johnny has to throw it all in his face and go and try and commit armed robbery...something Ryan, for all that people called him dangerous and said he scared them at times, would never ever contemplate.

Sorry, I've gone full tangent now too, but this is the heart of my biggest complaint with the show - everyone's hypocrisy when it came to Ryan. Throughout the entire season, they all made jokes about him being a criminal and a thug, jokes about juvie, they all heaped impossible expectations on him and freaked out the second he stepped so much as a toe out of line, as though he didn't actually know right from wrong and was danger of heading down a life of crime and depravity if they weren't around to constantly keep him on the straight and narrow. And meanwhile, Jimmy Cooper stole four million dollars just because he could, and Kirsten got past that in like, an episode. None of the other men on the show ever got so much as a slap on the wrist for all the fist fights they got in, but every time Ryan threw a punch in defense of someone, he was dangerous and scarily violent. In the fourth season people were STILL making jokes about Ryan burning down the model home when it was really Luke's fault, but Seth got high and set the Newport Group on fire and its never mentioned again. Kirsten had a DUI, Hailey locked two kids in the poolhouse and then threw a rager with drugs and booze (that could have had SERIOUS consequences on Ryan, given his probation), Julie broke the law every other episode and nobody really cared much about what Caleb had done other than how it impacted his will. And Sandy, who spent half his interactions with Ryan being self-righteous and lecturing him on ethics and responsibility, crossed more lines in S3 than just about any other character in the history of the show...and then in the season finale just decided oh whoops, all of that was a mistake, I'm gonna do better now, and that was that, not even the slightest consequence aside from that. Because in all four seasons, consequences really only existed for Ryan. He was held under a microscope and lectured and judged for every little thing he did, while everyone around him did whatever they want and it was just understood they had the money and power to get out of it all, scott free. None of them were ever expected to put thought into the potential consequences of their actions because they took it for granted there wouldn't BE any ones they couldn't handle...but every single one of them took it equally for granted that it was totally their place to heap their own warped interpretation of right and wrong on Ryan and hold him to it, no matter what the harm to Ryan's self image as they all basically told him over and over to do what they say and not what they do, and be a law abiding robot who was just supposed to suck it up when people walked all over him, rather than defend himself, which could be viewed as him being 'confrontational and combative'.

LOL whoops, definitely went off on a tangent myself. Sigh. I love the Cohens for what they had the potential to be, but sometimes I really hate them for what they actually were so often in canon.

Date: 2017-05-29 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
I do try and be fair about characters I dislike, like Marissa, because on the one hand, I'm aware that its really the WRITING around certain characters I despise. It's not like the characters themselves have any agency. There were a lot of times I did like Marissa too! Truthfully, there were really only two times I actively hated her, and that was the scenes you mentioned, with the open container in the car (or more accurately how that didn't really alter her behavior later showing she didn't learn anything from it despite how it jeopardized Ryan), and then when it came to how she treated Ryan once Johnny came on the scene. I know that she went through something extremely traumatic with Trey. It's not reasonable to expect her to have handled it in a 'good' way. It's just....Ryan is the character I identify with most on the show, the one I'm there to watch, and there's only so many times you can watch him suffer as a direct result of certain characters' choices and not be like...ugh, I hate that character. LMAO.

But I try to approach characters like Marissa and the Cohens as a blank slate in every fanfic because the potential for them to be good characters and good for Ryan is always there, just like it shown through at various moments on the show. It's just, the potential for them NOT to be good for him is there too. And yeah, I've read and enjoyed all those stories of yours with less than favorable takes on the Cohens (lol I came to the fandom and show way late, and spent so many weeks tracking down every Ryan fic I could to read them voraciously, and it's like cruel and unusual punishment to see all these praising references to amazing fics by authors who have since deleted their LJs and I can't find some of the 'big' OC fics anywhere SIGH) - anyway, I do really enjoy reads where the Cohens are less than awesome, because I find them kinda cathartic in a way? It's the whole thing where we since the show never actually acknowledged any of the flaws we're talking about here, its nice to sometimes see something where the Cohens aren't just being praised for their charity in regards to Ryan.

(I honestly do think that the Cohens had nothing but the best intentions when taking Ryan in, its just...they never got around to altering their preconceptions of what that actually meant, what Ryan needed from them, what they needed to provide him with. They meant well, but I don't think they ever put the thought into what exactly it goes into providing a stable home for a kid who's almost fully grown and has never known stability, and they never put in the work to try and LEARN what he needed. All throughout season one, Sandy kept...not threatening Ryan, because he didn't mean it as a threat, but warning him about how Ryan was risking probation and being taken away constantly, because of all these situations Ryan found himself in, and it just made me want to scream cuz the ONE thing Ryan was supposed to have at the Cohens was a chance at a more stable home life, and how can a kid ever feel stable when every episode/week you're reminding him that all this can disappear in an instant, if he just makes one wrong move? How can he ever feel safe?)

And for the record, I do agree with you on Kirsten not knowing what Julie did, I meant my comment more in regards to the writers not following through on what that had to look like to Ryan, just like they never gave her a scene to apologize to Ryan for the intervention or the effect her drinking had on him. I'm sure that Sandy just never told her what Julie did and Ryan didn't want to hurt her by telling her, but there still should have been an acknowledgment from SOMEONE on the show that it had to hurt like hell for him to see Kirsten being so friendly with Julie, as though she were more important than he was.

And I'm honored to know that my words have had such an impact! I think that its an interesting angle to ponder, what the Cohens' view of Ryan being bi would be and what Ryan's perception or concerns of it would be. I think ultimately it depends on what you want from the fic and its outcome. Do you want Ryan to eventually settle in again with the Cohens and have them be the family to him and his daughter that they deserve? Do you want Ryan to ultimately decide he's better off without them and insist on making his own way, with Summer and her father's help? Or do you want somewhere in between, with Ryan accepting their help and making a place for them in his and his daughter's life, but also accepting that its never quite going to be the family relationship he craved from them and keep some distance between them?

If you do want Ryan to ultimately have a strong family relationship with the Cohens, then I do think they need to fall firmly in the supportive camp when he eventually comes out to them - in large part because they were so good about accepting Carson. At this point in the timeline, the Cohens have already made a number of big mistakes when it comes to Ryan, such as the Oliver situation. If Ryan is forced to confront their double standards in such an intensely intimate conflict, forced to wonder why it is they can be okay with Carson but treat him differently upon learning the truth about him, then that might well be the straw that breaks the camel's back, the one thing too far, as he's forced to question WHY they can always find reasons to hold him to different standards. Even if they came around and tried to make it up to him later, I do think that would damage his trust for good and ensure there would always be reservations when it comes to them.

Because too, part of the reason I'm obsessed with Ryan as a father fics is because Ryan knows how to love unconditionally. It's all he knows how to do. With Dawn, with Trey, with the Cohens, Marissa, etc....there is nothing anyone ever does to him that makes him shut them out completely, nothing that ever makes him give up on someone he's given his heart to. He doesn't know how to turn his back on people. I've read too many fanfics where Theresa justifies sending him back to Newport and out of the baby's life because she was afraid he'd grow to resent her and the baby if he stayed where he was miserable, and they just ring false. Because Ryan might brood, might be miserable, but he would never resent an innocent child for something that wasn't their fault...because he's spent too much of his life being the child resented. And that's the dot he still needs to connect in his mind, the one that can do SO MUCH for his self esteem. Having a child and feeling that unconditional love a parent is SUPPOSED to have for their child....and then realizing that at one point, he was that child, that his parents, his guardians, they were all supposed to feel that unconditional love for him...and finally realizing the fact that they didn't says more about them than it ever did about him.

My point with this is once his baby is born, I think Ryan's thinking on a lot of things is going to start to change, probably subtly, but still change all the same. And being a father is most likely the thing that'll finally give him the strength and perspective to once and for all say screw you to people who aren't able to return his unconditional love, because he's not going to want them in his child's life anymore than he wants them in his. So if the Cohens aren't able to be fully supportive by the time his kid is born, if they react badly to him being bi, if there's a hint of them worrying about him being predatory or untrustworthy around Seth because of his sexuality...I think they really would lose him for good then.

That said (just to cover all your bases lol), even going the supportive Cohens route with his coming out, that doesn't mean there's not plenty of reason for Ryan to keep it a secret for awhile or to be concerned about their reaction. For instance, if they ever ask why he didn't tell them sooner, you could use that chance to explore their history of double standards when it comes to reacting differently to Ryan than they do other people, and have it pointed out he had reason to suspect that just because they were okay with Carson, that wasn't a guarantee when it came to him. Or it could be as simple as looking at the jokes Seth made when Carson came out, how gleeful he was. Not everything with Ryan has to be a deep dark secret, and we've talked before about how neither of us feels his sexuality is something he'd be ashamed of...maybe its just that Ryan IS comfortable with who he is, and didnt need that affirmed or validated, and he just didn't want to deal with Seth's jokes or having to defend himself to strangers' gossip.

Or it could just be the stability thing. His life has gone through so many upheavals lately, he could just be thinking...he doesn't need another one right now. It might not even matter whether he thinks the Cohens would be supportive or not, he knows he'll survive and get by either way, its just...coming out IS an upheaval, it changes things, and he's got a baby on the way, his life is so chaotic...it just wasn't the right time. Maybe he figured, I'll do it after I'm eighteen, less drama that way, he's got a more stable position to handle any repercussions that unfold.

I mean, just speaking in terms of my own coming out - some people reacted badly, some people reacted great. But even with the ones who reacted great....it didn't matter how much I believed that they'd be okay with it. You never KNOW, not for sure, and as long as there's the slightest chance that people won't take it well, no matter how rational or not that fear is....that one possibility where everything goes badly, that's the one you fixate on, because there are no takebacks when it comes to coming out. Once it's out there, you don't get a do over, its forever, so if you aren't SURE you're ready to handle whatever fallout comes, you don't risk it yet. Because its always a risk, no matter how confident you are that the person you're telling loves you unconditionally. And Ryan...his self esteem issues....yeah, he's going to fixate on the possibility it all blows up in his face, IMO. Again, not because he's ashamed of being bi or that he thinks there's something wrong with him because of it....but because its his life we're talking about, and in his experience, anything that can go wrong WILL go wrong. Its not about the Cohens at all, its about him having a deep rooted fear that somehow, in some way, his coming out will unleash consequences he'll never see coming. Everything will change, and except for this one time when he called his lawyer after his mom kicked him out, fifteen years worth of life experiences have Ryan convinced change is never good.

I'm not sure if that helps make a decision for you one way or another, but some food for thought, hopefully, enough to give you some new angles to ponder!

Date: 2017-05-29 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
No worries, I'm the same way about feedback and interactive writing, so glad I could help! I look forward to seeing where this goes!

(And lol I'm with you on the broken condom theory. Nothing else makes sense to me).

Date: 2017-05-29 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
Oh btw, quick question, given that I know you've watched most SG-1 and SGA - did you ever watch Stargate Universe too?

Date: 2017-05-29 04:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
Same here! It'll never be my favorite of the Stargate shows, but it definitely had its moments. The reason I asked was because I saw the character of Lt. Matt Scott as being very similar to Ryan, even having a similar backstory. Very easy to picture an AU where Ryan rarely goes back to Newport after graduating high school and joins the Air Force and eventually the SGC....only to wind up on the Destiny and eventually discover, the way Lt. Scott did, that Theresa didn't miscarry after all and he's got a son back on Earth named Danny.

Date: 2017-05-29 05:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
OMG YOU MADE IT BETTER. I never thought about that aspect of the body switching but it totally makes sense and Daniel would be the perfect person for it! And then maybe Ryan interacting with the Cohens in Daniel's body as he checks in on them too....

LOL sorry, I hear you on the 'ugh not another idea' thing, I have the same curse. Trying to focus on just the one OC/4400 fic for now and then I have the Ryan as a long lost kidnapped Ward twin for back up, but I recently had an idea for 'what if John Sheppard had a one night stand with Dawn when he was in college and never knew she got pregnant and Ryan inherited the ATA gene and The Trust somehow find out about him when trying to dig up dirt in Sheppard's history in order to manipulate or blackmail him...

Too many ideas, not enough hours in the day!

Date: 2017-05-29 05:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
That could totally work! And yeah, kinda an in person conversation, lol. Plus the angst of only being able to get to know his kid via having him think you were someone else...I could totally see Danny having a 'wait your name is Daniel too? that's my name!' moment.

And don't tempt me! Okay tempt me. It'll probably get written. Hopefully. I can see it pretty clearly. My thought was that it would be set in Atlantis Season Two, after they've renewed contact with Earth and Sheppard is newly installed as the military head of Atlantis, so The Trust is looking for something to hold over him and finds out about Ryan - and it would be set in Season One for The OC, as they mess with his placement with the Cohens and pull strings to get him into a house with agents of theirs for his foster parents. Drama ensues.

Date: 2017-05-29 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
Haha no problem, some ideas are made to be run away with! But yeah, that's pretty much exactly everything I was thinking. (And I love that you already picked up on the math genius connection, because that was one of the first things that occurred to me, both father and son having that angle of being assumed to be dumb jocks but being secret math and science geniuses).

Date: 2017-05-29 12:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
LOL! I was actually thinking of going the other way with that last part. I know with most AUs where Ryan's father turns out to be someone other than Frank, its usually played off as his real dad slept with Dawn when she was hooking or something like that - but that doesn't really fit Sheppard for me. Especially given that he would only be college age when Ryan was conceived....yeah, I headcanon that John was a self destructive mess rebelling against his father in college, but I still don't think he would have slept with Dawn back then if she were a total mess.

PLUS! We learned in the Gamble that Ryan learned how to count cards from Dawn. She even said 'good thing he got my brains'...and counting cards isn't an easy thing to do by any means. So I'm kinda positing an AU where before Ryan was born, Dawn wasn't a total mess, just....on the edge. Like Sheppard was. They both bonded over that, could've gone either way. Maybe Dawn was stressed from being with Frank and having a kid at home already, but was still trying to make something of herself with night classes. And Sheppard wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life beyond piss off his dad so yeah he was in the Air Force but he was taking night classes in math or physics, things he enjoyed and might want to do something with but he wasn't sure, so he was just kinda...dabbling, on the side, away from the prying eyes of friends and colleagues, like an escape. And things happened, but they didn't really run in the same circles so neither followed up and they went their separate ways, Dawn back to Frank, John back to his planes.

But I'm thinking in this one, Ryan got his brains from both his parents, its just one of them managed to get their shit together (well, mostly) and the other fell in the opposite direction. So it would probably be a huge shock to John when he found out what had become of Dawn because yeah, they'd both been kinda a mess when he knew her, he just hadn't expected....this. And now he's kicking himself because in hindsight she was headed down this road even then, he knew it because he'd been headed down a similar one, he just hadn't ever checked up because....well, they had never really been a thing, not really, and he'd never cared enough to think it was his problem, his place to check what'd become of her. Enter the Guilt because if he'd ever bothered, even just once, he might have known about Ryan, might have changed everything.

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