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[personal profile] missmara13

Give Me Love - Part Two

In the morning, Ryan found that two of Theresa's friends had stay the night, and they gave him the cold shoulder as he made coffee. Ryan mostly ignored Theresa when she tried to talk to him, and when she finally shuffled off to the bathroom to take a shower, the two friends openly glared at him.

"Don't get involved when you only know her side of it," he told them.

"She's pregnant, asshole," one of them said.

"Yeah, I know," Ryan said. "Trust me, I know." He rinsed out his coffee cup and grabbed his hoodie before heading out. It was a long walk to the diner he'd told Caleb about, but it wasn't as bad in the early morning light as it had been in the dark the night before. When he got there, he ordered a coffee and sat at a booth to nurse the drink until Caleb showed up around 11am.

"Didn't expect you to get here this early," Ryan said.

"I didn't want to risk you thinking I wasn't coming," Caleb said as he slid into the booth, accepting the menu a waitress brought over with the coffee pot to refill Ryan's cup. "Have you ordered food?"

"Just coffee," Ryan said.

"Get another menu for him, please," Caleb said.

"You don't..."

"When did you last eat?"

"Lunch yesterday," Ryan admitted.

"Order something," Caleb instructed. "We'll talk after we eat."

Ryan tried to order a small sandwich, but Caleb insisted they make it the larger version, complete with fries on the side, and once Ryan ahd the food in front of him he was grateful the man had done so, since he found himself starving. When they had both finished, Caleb sat back in his seat.

"What happened last night?"

Ryan sighed, shaking his head, then explained about Theresa never picking him up or calling, and the party he'd finally gotten home to find. "I know I can't just leave, Theresa has no savings at all, spends all of her paycheck on clothes and magazines... but... I want to. I really want to. So I need you to talk me out of it. Tell me how I'll just mess up their lives again. That they're better off without me..."

"I can't," Caleb said.

"What?"

"After I saw you yesterday, I went to see Kirsten. Don't worry, I didn't mention you directly, but I did... I asked her why she was so upset about you. Played it off as wondering why she cared as much about you being gone as she does about Seth." Caleb considered for a moment. "She told me she wasn't happy with your presence at first either. Then at the Cotillion set up you told her you used to want to be an architect. You were interested on an architectural tour of Newport. You'd been interested in the models for developments the Newport Group was working on, curious, asked intelligent questions."

"I like building, I like the idea of designing something that will last longer than I will," Ryan admitted. "Not gonna happen, but I like the idea of it."

"It can happen."

"No, it can't."

"Why not?"

"Because... I have to be here, I have to take care of my daughter..."

"You're sixteen and you have no business playing grown up..."

"Someone has to, and it obviously is not gonna be Theresa," Ryan said.

"Let Kirsten and Sandy be the adults," Caleb said pointedly. "They'll help you get custody. They may need to technically have custody until you're eighteen, but they'll do it willing. Let them."

"You're suppose to talk me out of that!" Ryan said. "Did you not listen to anything I said in the voicemail or today?"

"I think it's best for them, for you, and for your daughter, if you go back to Newport."

Ryan sighed. "I really want to."

"Then why not? From what you've said, I'm going to assume you're paying all the bills while she uses her paycheck for frivolous unneeded things. You work as many hours as you can to support her, and she... does what? Works a few hours then goes home and watches soap operas?"

"Pretty much," Ryan agreed.

"Where was the crib going to go for the baby? Her room or yours?"

"Mine," Ryan said. "All the baby stuff is in my room except the stuff from the baby shower last night."

"So, despite how many hours you're working to pay her way, you were also going to be primary care giver?"

Ryan sighed, but nodded. "Yeah, I guess. I have more patience..."

"You'd have to, putting up with Seth's comic book nonsense," Caleb agreed, smiling slightly when Ryan laughed softly. "Why can't you do the same in Newport? The pool house is large enough for a crib. I'm certain it actually has more room than your room here."

"It does," Ryan agreed.

"You could work part time if you insisted. There's an opening at the Newport Group for an intern in the architects office."

"Are you seriously offering me a job? And aren't most internships unpaid, which does me no good?"

"Yes, and not ours. We pay our interns. It would be an hour or two after school each day, we could arrange it so you could go home and check on the baby in between. You'd have income that you could save up."

"And if I got back together with Marissa you wouldn't be pissed?" Ryan asked.

"It's better than some of her other options."

"Like?"

"She's... involved... with the yard boy and thinks no one knows. I'm not as old and senile as she thinks."

Ryan snorted. "No, you're old, but you're sharp witted and manipulative as hell," he said. "And convincing."

"So?"

"She won't just give me the baby," Ryan said.

"Don't ask. You know this life isn't good for you or that baby. You know that, and so does that girl."

"I already told her if she let Eddie near her or the baby I'd take the baby and she'd never see her again," Ryan admitted. "She was shocked, but promised."

"Do you believe her?"

"No. Theresa's like me, she just wants someone to love her, and if I refuse to, well... Eddie was always the other guy."

"Ryan!"

Ryan looked up to see Marco rushing in. "Marco? What's..."

"You weren't answering your cell and I thought I saw you come in here earlier... Caesar got a call from a hospital trying to reach you. Theresa was admitted, she's in bad shape."

"What?" Ryan said, hurrying to get up.

Caleb stood and tossed three twenties on the table. "I'll drive," he said. "What hospital?"

~~~

When they got to the hospital, they were told Theresa had been taken upstairs for an emergency c-section, the baby in danger, and Caleb had gone with Ryan up to the waiting room there, sitting beside him in the uncomfortable chairs.

"You way over tipped," Ryan finally muttered.

"What?"

"The bill was probably somewhere around $20 or $25," Ryan said. "You left like $60."

"I had other concerns."

"I don't want anything to happen to Tee," Ryan whispered. "I'm mad at her, I don't wanna be with her, I don't want the baby with her... but I don't want anything to happen to her."

"I know."

"Family of Theresa Diaz?" a nurse called.

"I'm her... I'm the baby's..." Ryan said, jumping up.

"You're the baby's father?" the nurse asked.

"Yeah." Ryan said. "Are they okay?"

"If you'll come with me, I'll take you to the doctor."

"I..." Ryan said, glancing at Caleb.

"You're... father? Can come with you."

"Grandfather," Caleb corrected as he stood, putting a hand on Ryan's shoulder.

It wasn't far, but the walk seemed to take forever. Then they were ushered into an office with a doctor and two police officers. "You're Miss Diaz's boyfriend?"

"Yeah... sorta.. we're..." Ryan said. "Is she... what happened? Is the baby okay?"

"The baby's fine, a little girl, in the NICU because she's premature, but... she's strong," the doctor said.

"What happened? Why are the police involved?" Caleb asked.

"Miss Diaz was assaulted," one of the officers said.

"My grandson wasn't there. There's a diner full of people who can verify that, as he was having a late breakfast with me," Caleb said.

"There were witnesses to the assault, they identified the perpetrator already," the officer assured them. "We just need to know if... Ryan is it?"

"Yeah. Ryan Atwood," Ryan said.

"If Ryan knows where to find the man, or why he might have done this."

"Who?"

"An... Eduardo Santiago?"

"Eddie?" Ryan asked. "Where did this happen?"

"At yours and Miss Diaz's home," the officer said.

"Did he break in?"

"The witnesses said she let him in..." the officer said. "What do you know?"

"He was... Theresa was bouncing between him and me for years. He was abusive as hell and she left him, came to where I was living, we... we got back together and she got pregnant, so I came back to help her. A couple weeks later... she asked him to move in with us and help us with money. I didn't... I didn't want him there because he's... he's abusive. He's violent. But I was worried I wasn't providing well enough, so I agreed. Night before last he and I got into it, he slammed my head into a door frame, was gonna do worse, but Tee came home and interrupted. Threatened to tell the cops he'd tried to rape her and I walked in, you know, to scare him into leaving. He got his stuff and left. I... I told Theresa if she ever let him near her or the baby, I'd take the baby and she'd never see her again. Tee promised me. And she let him in?"

"That's what the witnesses told us," the officer said. "They heard your name mentioned several times, and then saw her go to slap him, and he hit her hard enough to knock her to the ground. Then kicked her in the stomach."

"It caused a placental abruption, that's when the placenta separates from the uterus walls" the doctor interrupted when Ryan let out a muted whimper. "Enough to cause bleeding, but she was brought in quickly. They should both be fine."

"She promised me," Ryan said.

"I'll need a copy of that witness statement for my grandson's lawyer, since our family will be seeking full custody of the baby," Caleb said, trying to keep his own anger in check.

"We can do that, Mr..."

"Caleb Nichols."

"If you can give us your lawyer's contact information, we can fax the full report over."

"Thank you," Caleb said. "Now can my grandson see his daughter?"

"Of course," the doctor said after the officers nodded.

~~~

It was a short trip to the NICU, and when they got there, the staff got him into a gown so he could go in and meet his daughter. Caleb was watching through the the windows, and while he wasn't sure which of the three babies currently in the room was Ryan's daughter, the teenager seemed to know on instinct, going to a tiny little girl who was hooked up to an IV and oxygen tubes. The boy looked close to tears as he was urged to sit down next to the incubator, his hands shaking as he followed the instructions to reach in and gently touch the baby's hand, a brilliant smile coming across his face as the baby grasped his finger.

Caleb stepped back and headed for the nurse's station to ask where the closest place he could use his cellphone was. Following her directions to the waiting room, he quickly placed a call to get the ball rolling to get both of the Atwoods home to Newport.

~~~

Ryan was only able to stay with the baby a few minutes, the NICU staff explaining that normally he wouldn't be allowed in at all, since he was under 18, but since he was the father they would make an exception for a few minutes at a time. When he got back to the hallway, he wasn't surprised to find Caleb gone. He was surprised when he went to the waiting room and found Caleb on the phone. Ryan headed for the nearby payphone and called Summer from memory.

"Hello?" she asked, suspicious.

"I'm officially a dad," Ryan said.

"What? Chino?"

"It's a long story, and it's not over, but... I'm a dad... I got to touch her hand and everything. Summer... she's so beautiful."

"Of course she is," Summer said. "Where are you? What hospital?"

"Chino Valley Medical," Ryan said. "I'm gonna talk to the Cohens about bringing her home with me," he added. "Because I never want Theresa to see her ever again."

"What happened?" Summer asked.

"Eddie showed up at the house, and she let him in. I don't know exactly what happened, most of me doesn't want to know, but... he hit her, hard enough that... they said she was bleeding bad... I haven't seen Theresa, and I don't care if I never see her again."

"I'm on my way," Summer said.

"You don't have to..."

"Yeah, I do, because I need to hug you right now, and I need to meet my new niece."

"Lucy."

"What?"

"Her name. It's Lucy."

"Lucy. I like it," Summer said. "I'll see you soon."

"Okay," Ryan said. When he turned around, Caleb was just hanging up his cell. "You stuck around."

"Well, I am a great grandfather now."

"Yeah, that kinda... wasn't expecting that," Ryan admitted.

"This is the one and only time you will hear these words coming from my mouth," Caleb said. "I was wrong about you. The irony that I treated someone who was the grandson I always wanted so horribly. And no child deserves what that... girl... has let happen. And by 'child' I mean both the baby and you."

Ryan nodded. "Who did you call?" he asked.

"Sandy," Caleb said. "He is you lawyer, isn't he?"

"Yeah."

"I think he was surprised that I knew and saw the baby before he did, but..."

"You saw her?" Ryan interrupted. "Is she was beautiful as I think she is, or... am I just biased?"

"She's beautiful," Caleb agreed with a smile. "She'll be even more beautiful at a better hospital. As soon as it's safe to transfer her, we'll get her to HOAG."

Ryan nodded. "Okay."

"So you'll be going home now?" Caleb said.

"Yeah," Ryan agreed. "Yeah, I will."

"Good," Caleb said. "Who did you call?"

"Summer," Ryan said. "She's been a really good friend, and I... she wanted to be Auntie Summer no matter what I decided about staying here or going home. And she didn't push me to abandon my unborn child like Sandy kept doing. Kirsten tried not to, but... everytime she started crying it killed me."

"Well, now she won't have a reason to. If we can get that idiot otherwise known as my other grandson to come home."

To Be Continued

He's going home! Well, once Lucy is either able to leave the hospital or transferred to HOAG's NICU, whichever comes first. Ryan will not be 41 minutes away from his baby girl. Yes, I actually checked the average travel time between Chino and Newport Beach... I also checked, and most NICUs don't allow anyone under 18 to visit, but I though it might be possible, since Ryan may be underage but he's also the father, that an exception would be made for a brief visit.

I made a vid that's very loosely connected to Give Me Love... in the sense of how Lucy came to exist and why there's no sign of her having a mom in the vid... I probably wouldn't do the Vid's storyline for the regular fic 'verse, even if I write a fic taking place during the time frame in question, but I still like it. It illustrates the underlying thing about Ryan and Lucy: Ryan will do whatever it takes to protect her, and she will always love him and never give up on him. My favorite part is the very end... lol

When Lucy is about 8, Ryan is gets falsely imprisoned. Seven years later, Lucy is now 15, and she's fighting to clear her dad's name so she can finally get him back. (There's a full description with the vid)

It's pretty much just the two of them in it, although two other people make brief appearances in the very beginning. The rest of the time it's backs of heads to represent the others... I really like how it turned out, even though there's a couple clips I wanted to use and couldn't find, and it's a little short at under 3 minutes... The vid has a little Lucy played by Brooklyn Rae Silzer, and teenager Lucy played by Maia Mitchell...

What Do You Love?

The vid is only available via link, it's unlisted, so it can't be searched for.

I am kinda tempted to someday write a fic version of the vid, though... because damn it... I wanna write all three major scenes (Lucy finding out her daddy's going to jail, Ryan and Lucy seeing each other 7 years later, and the very last scene)...

Date: 2017-06-01 08:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
LOL, first off, I'm cracking up that you checked what the real life distance/travel time from Chino to Newport was, because I've done the same thing. And second, I'm laughing because you give a mostly fluffy update where Ryan sees his baby girl for the first time, and then in the author note you've already thought of a way to add even more angst to their lives with a seven year separation due to a false conviction. But then, that seems to be your style. ;)

Great update though, and I am glad you didn't drag out Ryan's time away from Newport for too long! It'll be good to have him back there, though it won't be an easy road. I can't wait for Summer's reaction to meeting Lucy, and I hope there won't be too many hurdles to getting custody of her. Theresa as you've written her here seems very aware of being in over her head and looking for an out from this situation so I don't imagine she'll be fighting him too hard.

It's a bit painful to see Ryan refusing to go see Theresa despite her being hurt, because in canon he would have 'sucked it up' and gone to comfort her for her sake, no matter the circumstances....but as hard as it is to see that, that's exactly why it needed to happen, that he needed to stick by his own hurt rather than rush to her side. He didn't refuse out of coldness or callousness, but rather because it hurt him so much that she couldn't stick to her agreement not to see Eddie, especially after what happened the last time they saw him. Course, that doesn't mean he won't feel guilty at some point later on, once the hurt has dulled a little and his usual 'I must comfort all people at all times no matter the cost to myself' convictions resurface, but he put himself first here. He let himself react from a place of hurt rather than a place of obligation, and that's something he's desperately needed to do for a long, long time.

I continue to love seeing this evolution of Caleb, definitely a softer side of him...but at the same time, he's still Caleb and I can easily see him being a bit smug over the fact that he'll always be able to rub it in the Sandman's face that he was there for Lucy's birth and the first family member to see her instead of Sandy. (Caleb's got too much sense to try and rub it in Kirsten's face lol). And it'll definitely help to have Caleb in Ryan's corner when it comes to any possible custody issues.

You know, it struck me when reading this chapter that you've worried about whether or not Ryan should have conflict with the Cohens when it comes time to reveal his sexuality - but I'm thinking there might be a larger issue on the horizon. And that's when it comes time to parent Lucy, and whose responsibility that is. Ryan has been pretty easy going for the most part when it comes to doing what Sandy and Kirsten say and following their advice. Sure, canon had the big upsets like the situation with Oliver and the fights, but for the most part he doesn't object to anything the Cohens ask him to do, expect from him, or try and tell him is 'the right thing to do' or whatever....which, as we've both ranted about, isn't always the right thing for Ryan, just what Sandy and Kirsten THINK is the right thing for him based on their limited knowledge of him, his past and his needs.

But now Ryan isn't just their foster son, he's a father in his own right, responsible for his daughter while still being a teenager living under the Cohens' roof. And there's a LOT of potential conflict to be mined in that, because like you also mentioned in another comment - Ryan won't always stick up for himself, but he never fails to stick up for those he loves or feels responsible for. So it might not be that easy for Sandy, Kirsten and Ryan to reconcile that they're not all going to agree on the best way to raise Lucy...and NO ONE is ever going to convince Ryan that it's anyone's place but his to be the final say in how he raises his daughter.

The Cohens might be Ryan's legal guardians but as often as they treated him like a grown adult rather than a kid, they never got around to acknowledging that he came to them pretty much fully grown, with years of raising himself under his belt...and they never gave him the respect he deserved for that and wrapped their head around when it was time to parent him and when they needed to communicate him like an equal, someone who had been making the kind of decisions they were now trying to make for him, long before they came along. The sad truth is, while they gave Ryan a lot of opportunities he never would have had otherwise, they simply came into his life too late to give him an actual childhood - you can't actually roll back the clock and tell an almost entirely self-sufficient sixteen year old to just...stop being self-sufficient, especially when he can't trust in the stability of his newfound family.

And now that ship has sailed even further, with him being a parent, and the thing is, yeah, he's still underage and they're still his guardians, and he isn't perfect. So if he makes an ordinary teenage mistake that deserves grounding, he's going to be grounded still...but grounding a teenage father doesn't make him any less a teenage father...making a dumb mistake like cutting school one day because he's stressed and overwhelmed, for instance, doesn't mean he's suddenly an unfit father, just that he's still sixteen and made a mistake. BUT I'm not sure that Sandy's going to get that distinction, at least not without someone else opening his eyes to it. My point being, even though Ryan's bisexuality was your initial impetus for this particular fic...I don't know, it might be that it's not ultimately the most central conflict to the narrative you've developed. The conflict from that might actually pale in comparison to the issues that would stem from say, Sandy trying to influence Ryan to parent Lucy in a certain way, confident in his own parenting and his greater age and experience, only to have Ryan stubbornly dig his heels in, because Lucy is HIS daughter, not Sandy's, and just because Ryan won't speak up to point out how Sandy's bullheaded approach to parenting hurts him at times doesn't mean he'll sit back and subject Lucy to the same thing.

It could be a way to ultimately get at a lot of the core disconnects between Ryan and the Cohens, the stuff that kept him from fully becoming part of an actual family. From Sandy's perspective, it would make a certain amount of sense to try and steer Ryan's parenting based on his own views as a parent, because in his mind, how could Ryan possibly know what to do here, having grown up with no adequate parental role models for him to base his parenting on? But that's the entire problem, at the root of all his conflict with Ryan. Because Sandy was good at always acknowledging Ryan's potential, I'll give him that. He never failed to point out all that Ryan COULD be, with the right opportunities. And when Ryan did screw up, Sandy was okay at defending him with the approach 'of course he's gonna make mistakes, look at his life before now, the kind of environment he grew up in, what kind of a kid raised like that isn't going to make mistakes?' But where Sandy failed was he was always so busy focusing on Ryan's potential and how living with the Cohens could steer him away from making the kind of mistake that landed him in juvie....he completely missed the boat on ever focusing on how amazing it was that Ryan is as moral and capable as he is already, in spite of how he grew up. That any mistakes he's made are nothing compared to the other teenage characters who grew up in Newport surrounded by limitless opportunities and supposedly more attentive parents.

What Sandy's never really grasped is yes, Ryan's life pre-Cohens was defined by his parents being shitty and utterly failing in their responsibilities to him, but that didn't mean he didn't know right from wrong, didn't know how to be a good kid (and now, a good parent) just because he didn't have good role models to look up to....that he didn't need a Sandy Cohen in his life to teach him how to be a good father for Lucy, because he already had developed all the character traits he needed to be a good father just from looking at how his parents had been with him....and then doing the complete opposite. He might not know what to do all the time, but he knows what NOT to do, and sometimes, that can be just as informative.

So Ryan and the Cohens butting heads over what's best for Lucy might be a way to finally get the Cohens to recognize that Ryan raised himself and is ultimately the only person truly responsible for the honest, decent, caring man we saw on the show. Might be a way to force Sandy and Kirsten to finally confront the flaws in their own parenting, and recognize that they make their own mistakes, no better or worse than the ones Ryan makes, and if that doesn't make them unfit parents, Ryan's certainly don't invalidate his ability to decide what's best for his own daughter. And if nothing else, it at least makes for some dramatic family fights, lol!

Sorry, my usual tangent, comments get away from me. But you seem to like it when I ramble incessantly about one angle or another, so whatever. LMAO.

Date: 2017-06-02 12:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cailleachbheur.livejournal.com
LOL I know the feeling about replying. I hardly ever use LJ these days so my reply-fu is rusty and out of whack.

Your reasoning on Theresa and Ryan's reaction to all that makes total sense, as do your thoughts on Ryan's parenting. I can completely see the scene you're describing, with Sandy trying to forbid Ryan from taking Lucy with him when he goes off to cool down and I'm already livid at the thought, lol. Because yes, he would totally do that, and b) how dare he. He never stops to think how something like that looks to Ryan, of COURSE it's going to come across to Ryan as he's saying Lucy's not safe with him, that he might hurt her or he's dangerous, and actions speak louder than words with Ryan. Sandy, you dumbass, how do you ever expect Ryan to believe you when you tell him you trust him when you're always doing dumb stuff that makes it abundantly clear you think he needs you to hold his hand at every second to keep from fucking up his life or something? GRRRR.

And I am so completely not surprised at Ryan being fervent in his desire for a No Yelling household to raise his daughter in!

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