Title: Chances Are
Rating: PG (I likes my strong language)
Warnings: If you like Mischa Barton ... you might want to skip ;)
Summary/Notes: I don't own "You and Me" by Lifehouse, they do. Josh Schwartz owns the characters. I own my sick little fantasies. *Grins* I keep writing letters to Santa but so far I still don't have ownership of Ben or Adam.
It had been about a week since Johnny's unfortunate demise.
Everyone seemed to be picking up their normal routines, save for one person, Marissa Cooper. Ryan noticed a shift in Marissa's mood and tried desperately to communicate with her, but it was as though she'd shut out the entire world. She would show up to school late wearing long-sleeved shirts to hide her slashed arms. She began to accumulate dark circles under her eyes and began to have a "deathlike" presence about her. Finally, Ryan decided it was getting to be too much and thought he would confront her.
"What the hell's going on with you?" He grabbed her by the arms and shoved her against the wall one day, knowing it was the only way he could make her listen.
"Nothing. Just - leave me alone."
"No. You're going to tell me what's wrong with you."
"Ryan, let me go."
"Dammit, Marissa - you're killing yourself. And what's this?" He rolled up one of her sleeves and noticed the scratches on her arm.
"A whole lot of nothing -"
"Stop worrying about me. I'm fine."
He looked at her, thinking for a moment.
"This is because of Johnny, isn't it? You were so in love with him it made you crazy -"
"Shut up .."
"You never loved me, you were just a conniving little bitch."
She glared at him and slapped him across the face as the bell rang and she headed to lunch. He touched his lip and examined his fingers to make sure he wasn't bleeding then punched the locker roughly and headed off in the opposite direction.
That night, Ryan hid in the pool house, not wanting to talk to Seth for fear of taking his anger out on him. He curled up on his bed and read through some of his copy of Red Dragon. He was completely engrossed in the book when Seth knocked on the door.
"Ryan, dude - we have to talk ..."
Ryan sighed and put a bookmark into the book and closed it, setting it off to the side.
"I don't feel like talking right now, Seth. Come back later." He turned off his lamp and covered himself up, then Seth said the three magic words ...
"It's about Marissa -"
Ryan sighed and got up out of bed and walked to the door.
"What about her?"
"Taylor just called and said one of her friends saw Marissa's car at the cliffs - where Johnny died."
"Dude, you don't think she'd do something stupid -"
"It'd be her own fault if she did. She's been acting crazy lately."
"Okay, sensing a lot of hostility, but uh, this is a human being we're talking about here, okay - not a ...not a pet, you can hide the body of a pet ... you can move on and get another, you can't really cover up the death of a fellow student."
Ryan sighed and leaned on the door frame. Seth wasn't about to let this go.
"Fine, I'll get my jacket. I'll meet you at the front of the house."
Seth nodded, and headed off to get the car.
Ryan called Marissa's cell repeatedly on the way to the cliffs, no reply. He sighed and threw it against the dashboard.
"Wow, okay - calm down ...take your anger out on something other than my mom's vehicle, 'kay, thanks?" Seth said, gripping the steering wheel firmly.
Ryan covered his face with his hands and rubbed his eyes roughly.
"She's just being ridiculous..."
"No, she's just being Marissa."
Marissa stood on the edge of the cliff with a bottle of vodka in her hand.
She watched as the waves swept in and out away from the rocks and looked out over the horizon as a gentle breeze tossed her hair slightly.
"I never got the chance to say good-bye ..." she spoke softly, looking out over the horizon. "I'm so sorry for all the pain I've caused you and .." She choked back her tears, but they began to stream down her face, "I'm so sorry -" She bit her lip and jumped slightly as her cell phone rang again. She looked down at it as she pulled it out of her pocket.
Her ID read "Ryan's Cell" as she stared at the blue light for a moment.
"I'm sorry, Ryan ... I'm sorry I couldn't be the girlfriend you always wanted me to be. I'm sorry I was never there for you ... I'm sorry for being so miserable - you deserve so much better ...and, and now I'm giving you the chance to find your calling -" With that, she threw her cell phone behind her and took one last, long drink of her vodka.
"Good-bye .." She whispered and leapt off of the cliff as the waves rolled back in.
Ryan jumped out of the car before Seth hit the breaks and rushed over to the edge of the cliff as Seth turned off the car. He called Marissa's cell once more and heard it chirping somewhere amongst the rocks. He went over and dug it out of the crevice it had landed in and picked it up. He fought back tears as he saw his name on the ID screen.
"She's really gone." He closed his eyes as he flipped Marissa's cell closed.
"Dude, I'm ...I'm sorry -" Seth walked up behind him.
"No, it's - it's all right. I'm not really as upset as I thought I would be ...though, I do have a hollow feeling now ..." He walked over to the edge of the cliff and stood, staring at the horizon. "I feel like I really don't have anything left to live for ..."
"Dude, before you start getting all crazy ..." Seth walked over and stood behind him.
"I'm sorry, Seth -"
"You have everything in the world to live for!"
"Name one thing." Ryan looked at him, frustrated.
Seth paused and bit down firmly on his lower lip.
"You have me."
Ryan looked at him sideways for a moment before looking out at the waves once more.
"You've ...always had me. But, I guess you never really cared so ..." Seth shrugged and shoved his hands into his jeans pockets and headed off toward the car with his head down.
He looked up when he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned quickly to meet Ryan's gaze.
"I know I've always had you ... and I thank you for it." He touched the side of Seth's face and he jumped slightly at the sudden coldness of Ryan's palm.
"Hey man, no problem."
Ryan smiled and pulled Seth into a deep, warm kiss. Seth flailed for a moment, but a feeling quickly came over him. It was a feeling of belonging - he finally knew where he was supposed to be.
He slowly placed a hand on the back of Ryan's head and deepened the kiss as Ryan draped his arms around Seth's waist, pulling him firmly against his body.
"What about Summer?" Ryan whispered, leaning his forehead against Seth's after pulling back slightly to catch his breath.
"She doesn't have to know." Seth replied, bringing his head up to kiss Ryan once more.
As they stood together in the darkness, they failed to notice a car driving away, headlights off.
Summer sighed to herself as she wiped a tear from her left eye, her other hand was gripping the wheel tightly. She knew that she could never come between Seth and Ryan, hell, she'd sensed their longing for each other for a while now. She smiled to herself and turned on the radio as she pulled back onto the highway and began to sing along with "You and Me" by Lifehouse as everything finally came together, as it should be.