Just In
for I'm Not Sick

6/23/2017 c3 12Aqua Mage
Nice start, looking forward to more.
6/22/2017 c3 Guest
Ryan keeps facing firsts and hurdles. It's like he's being blindsided repeatedly because everything is new and different and how to predict and prepare or even keep track of it all? The best he can hope for is to keep his eyes and ears open, head down, and find his way through the maze. He might not be utterly on his own like he's always been, but he's not much better off. It's pretty close to impossible to anticipate every situation that might arise with all of the variables.

Most also tend to emphasize all he's supposedly gained and not that he's lost everything and everyone he's known, so he's starting from scratch. Also, he's walking on eggshells and is actually on temporary status, which puts pressure on top of pressure. Putting that all in the context of being sick, something serious, not too much or something unknown or that could be escalating adds all kinds of stress. It also makes him vulnerable in new ways. The one advantage of that is that it means it creates the opportunity for the Cohens, or Sandy I should say, to fill the huge vacuum Ryan's always had in his life. Relying on Sandy at first that day when Ryan was so desperate and homeless and beaten cemented a solid bond. This would only grow it more and let them learn about one another. It would also force the Cohens to make decisions about learning about Ryan. They can't afford not to know the most essential things starting with his health history and how to act in his best interest. It's the main responsibility as a guardian. Seeing that play out and for Ryan to mean something to Sandy and have that conveyed is something I've always wanted explored as much as possible. It's all about the journey and giving Ryan the right kind of support for once. If he matters and has some value to someone else, it's a big step in the right direction to offset all of the damage done to him. Obviously, the Atwoods and Dawn's BFs didn't care if he lived or died.

Thanks for this!
6/22/2017 c3 Guest
Poor Ryan. Any way you slice it, he's struggling upstream against a strong current and missing a paddle. Being sick, and who's to say how sick, isn't easy under the best and most familiar circumstances. Being in a new and strange place with new people and new challenges around every corner after having his world fall instantly apart is very traumatic. Coming from a painful, solitary, background where he was abused for being the available child who could be targeted and hurt the easiest is a constant battle. Put any together is awful. Combine all and you get what Ryan's facing with all of the unknowns.

I hope that Sandy doesn't let him down because he's made spoken and unspoken promises by bringing him to Newport and going against the rules and against the community and his wife. I hope he has the same kind of bond with Ryan that lets him keep on finding the right balance. Tentatively showing Ryan that he's worth caring about and worrying about and that there might be reasons to worry and be concerned and act accordingly are important. Smothering him just because Seth has been smothered isn't the way to go at all. Sandy should be smart enough to know that and know the difference. Obviously, Ryan has never been waited on and spoiled and comforted by going overboard. There's what's needed at the time and also what's important to build a foundation.

Thanks for the chapters!
6/21/2017 c3 RW1987
Was there a different version of the OC that some of
these people watched? Or have they read too much "evil Kirsten" fanfic and are confusing that with the actual show? Kirsten was emotionally distant from Ryan for maybe three episodes. For the most part, she treated Ryan and Seth pretty close to the same. The OC was a drama about teen angst. Fluffy parental moments just didn't happen. People act like Kirsten doted over Seth all the time and ignored Ryan, and that's not anywhere close to true.

As I've already said, I love this story and can't wait for more!
6/21/2017 c3 Guest
I always pegged Ryan as someone who had to live minute to minute because that was what he'd had to do. I didn't think that changed in Newport, and definitely not the first couple of years. He knew he was under a microscope, didn't have a list to go by, and he'd already lived through losing everything in a heartbeat. Of course it could all happen over and over no matter how hard he tried. Plus every day was one unknown after another. Was being sick allowed? What did that mean? He only knew what it meant before for him and that never changed. Being sick or hurt went against not making waves or disrupting the Cohens' lives. Maybe they'd regret letting him stay. Okay, maybe not Sandy, who had brought him home when Ryan had never dreamed of it. He knew that Sandy went out on a limb especially with Kirsten and didn't want him to pay for that. And with Kirsten so reluctant and then obviously not warm to him, something that really never changed and made me profoundly sad for Ryan because of all of the pain it had to cause him, Ryan's thought process had to be that any time he required the least bit of effort, it was another strike against him.

I like having Ryan's perspective because he is so perceptive even if he's compromised, which means he's not functioning at top speed and that clouds things for him. However, when any kid is vulnerable, it's an opportunity to gain insights not so much by having someone take advantage of him but because some defenses have to be down and some information that he might not want to reveal escapes. Possibly it means it motivates Sandy to learn more with some urgency.

I like getting Sandy's perspective to provide more of the full picture to go with Ryan's and because it's the balance of the interaction. Theirs is the pivotal connection at the center of it all and Ryan clearly is willing to let himself rely on Sandy if he will try to trust anyone. He's proven that from their meeting and calling him out of the blue.

I don't know what to expect out of the Kirsten POV you mention coming some time. If Kirsten is true to character from the show, then she's emotionally and physically distant from Ryan and wary and watchful, all things that Ryan picks up on and uses to respect her boundaries and not upset her. It was hard to watch how stilted and stiff she was with him about 99% of the time. I can only guess how he'd feel if he thought she was obligated to do anything for him because Sandy pressured her to and that he wouldn't believe she chose to. He'd feel guilty and only worse and that could make things more awkward and challenging. I'd say that's the outcome when significant mistakes are made at the start and then not addressed with the path of least resistance. Another kind of Kirsten would have been so much better for Ryan's sake, but not sincere.

I'm looking forward to Ryan and Sandy bonding and what Sandy does to make Ryan more comfortable and learn about him. I'm glad that Sandy is also concerned about what could happen if Ryan has something more serious going on and is worried about saying too much or maybe he's been trained to downplay everything because he's never had a choice and hasn't mattered.

Thanks for lots to think about and plenty to explore. It's one of the best ways to set it up.
6/21/2017 c3 RaydorRules
I'm a Kirsten/Ryan junkie, myself, but I'll keep reading either way. Like some of the others, I don't get where people's characterizations of Kirsten are coming from. She would likely let Sandy take the lead at first, but would want to care for him herself, too.

Really liking this story. Everyone seems pretty true to character. Kirsten showing concern for Ryan, but wanting Sandy to step in was spot-on. Again, not because she doesn't care, but just because this is uncharted territory with Ryan, and she and Ryan will both be more comfortable if Sandy makes the first move. I imagine she would want to offer comfort herself once she and Ryan are both more comfortable with the idea of it, and eventually edge Sandy out, haha. Although it never happened on-screen, Ryan had to have gotten sick at some point. As comfortable as Ryan was with Sandy, and as great as dads are, kids, even as teenagers, usually want their moms when they're sick. I could see Kirsten taking care of him and that helping them grow closer.

Can't wait to read more!
6/21/2017 c3 Guest
I was sad to be at the end. Please write more. You are a great writer. Maybe he doesn't get better and they take him to the hospital.
6/21/2017 c3 Guest
Thanks for keeping it coming. There are a few things that seem to be central so far. I'd say something would have to be really obvious for Seth to notice in more than a passing way, or Ryan would have to be failing to do "his job" of giving Seth undivided attention. Both are true here with Ryan not at school and Seth needing him and Ryan not able to be Seth's audience about himself and Summer or whatever. Call me jaded, but my views on Seth are to call it like I see it and he's concerned about himself and what he wants. The idea that he didn't want to lose Ryan's trust sounds a little odd and too mature coming from him. I'm not sure that he has it or has earned it or is capable. Ryan certainly has his. Seth is probably more concerned about rocking the boat and alienating Ryan so the one real friendship Seth has on his terms might not be as perfect, although Ryan would never let his actual feelings show and wouldn't believe he could have the right to anything less. He owes the Cohens and the price for not doing everything possible that they may want would be too high.

I know that scientists always say that the logical part of the brain, especially in boys, isn't fully developed until the early 20s and in most families, kids haven't had to navigate adult situations at a young age. For Ryan, though, he's had to fast track. Maybe because he's so intelligent that has helped to a degree. He's clearly had to have role reversal with the so-called adults and older people he's been forced to be around and live with. He's developed the emotional tools to address many adult circumstances out of necessity. I think that's something that only Sandy would have the experience to understand out of the Cohens, with Kirsten much too sheltered, almost as much as Seth. What doesn't seem rational with Ryan's reactions and default behavior is very realistic for him.

Something else that seems important is that no one in his background has gone from not caring about him, neglecting him, hurting and abusing him to then caring about him. Things have only gone from bad to worse unless it was for show, like Dawn in front of the school nurse or maybe the police or Social Services, or Ryan was being manipulated and then hurt for extra measure. It would be really confusing for him and be a throwback to that and those games if Kirsten, who was resistant to him and made it clear, gave in, but has kept her distance and set boundaries with cues for Ryan, changed on a dime. A sick Ryan would be off balance anyway, but he'd also have to wonder why and have his guard up. He knew she had the keys to have him out and in a violent and unsafe place. He couldn't afford to do anything wrong or require more than the minimum from her. That's her call to make over time and reinforce to alter the very tense first days, weeks and so on that became the norm.

You also raise a good point about the severity of a situation. Ryan's never been able to trust or rely on anyone and that cuts deep. He's survived this far and through some very threatening and dangerous years by figuring out how to protect himself and lay low as often as possible. Attention has meant nothing good in his world. Sandy has had at least some contact in his career to have more of an understanding, but he has to wear his off duty hat and be extra sensitive and gentle and attuned now because the stakes are too high. He made a few mistakes at the beginning, but Ryan somehow kept trusting him, maybe because he had nobody else and Sandy was the first and only one who'd tried.

That got long, so thanks for your patience. I'm all about Ryan as a really engaging character and his relationship and bond with Sandy has always been the top draw, so I hope this is a way to explore that as well as to learn about Ryan, something the show failed on too often. Just having medical background opens the door for information and also the dynamics related to it for Ryan before Newport and how that impacts things currently and going forward.

Thanks for writing and posting more.
6/20/2017 c3 CommanderBAMF
Thank you so much for writing this! I absolutely love this story. Personally, I love to see Kirsten being motherly toward Ryan, but, if that's not what you like to write about, then I won't complain about it if you don't take that route. Generally, I have the "your story, your decisions, I can take it or leave it because it's impossible to please everyone" type of attitude, but I only stated my personal preference because you asked for it :).

Anyone who thinks Kirsten didn't care about Ryan clearly doesn't remember the last episode of the first season where Kirsten ugly-cried in the pool house after he left. People love to bring up the christmakuh episode of the fourth season as "proof" that she's a hateful bitch toward Ryan, but that episode was definitely an exception to the rule. It was writers' error, in my opinion. Just about any other episode of the entire series could have contradicted the uncharacteristic way Kirsten acted while Ryan and Taylor were in the hospital.

I really love this story, please update soon!
6/20/2017 c3 Guest
Thanks for the Ryan and Sandy perspectives and interaction. Like I just commented with the previous question, this is what has always been the most striking and genuine for me. Sandy is the one who had the immediate connection with Ryan for a variety of reasons and Ryan was willing to trust Sandy and essentially follow him blindly when he had nowhere to go and no one to turn to. He'd spent just minutes with Sandy and Sandy only minutes with Ryan, but that didn't matter. They can be honest with each other and Ryan wouldn't shy away from Sandy or his touch or feel as guilty with him. If Ryan's picking up on the awkward vibes from Kirsten and her uncertainty that only adds to his own so he doesn't jeopardize an already iffy situation under more normal conditions, being alone with her when he's sick and not knowing what to expect from her would make him feel so much more uncomfortable and second guess everything he might say or do.

I like the flashback. I can see Dawn always making everything about her and seeing things in how she believes she's being put upon. As if Ryan ever sought attention when he was better off out of the way and out of reach and harm's way. His idea of being sick would be hiding in the nurse's office at school if he could, not facing an angry Dawn and her BF who never wanted him around.

I'm curious to see where you go. I hope you don't try to recreate Kirsten into who and what she wasn't on the show when she clearly wasn't Ryan's mother, but Sandy's wife and Sandy was Ryan's guardian and became his dad gradually. I never got a maternal feeling at all from her about Ryan and for her to be so suddenly different instead of just not resisting Sandy and allowing Ryan to stay would be hard to envision. I don't mean that she would let Ryan be sick and not do errands or offer to help, but I would feel for Ryan to have to be dependent on her or anyone who hadn't wanted him and who he was so unsure of. He reads people well and he's read her well so far whether she realizes it or not. I always hoped for more from her, but never saw it on the show even when Ryan was injured and in the hospital. In this case, I hope she doesn't make Ryan feel worse by inconveniencing her and that there are chances to strengthen the bond between Ryan and Sandy while Kirsten might see that she has some decisions to make about her actions and words and Ryan's perceptions.

Thanks again! I'm glad that you've enjoying writing.
6/20/2017 c2 Guest
And i see there's another chapter too!

I can't imagine what it would be like to be sick in maybe a relative's house that I didn't know, or didn't know well. Being sick or hurt at a stranger's house would be really daunting. For Ryan, coming from what he knew that had always been his world to deal with however he could manage, being with strangers and in a new situation not knowing how they'd react would be very hard. He wouldn't be thinking as clearly. Also, he knew that Kirsten was opposed to having him there and it was extreme circumstances that really put her on the spot. He had to feel like he was always under scrutiny and on probation in her house, and she pretty much declared it was her house more than Sandy's. How could Ryan know what would be a deal breaker and have him kicked to the curb or be too much? Would it be not doing the dishes and cleaning up after himself and everyone? Not being the best friend and protector to Seth 24/7? Would getting sick or hurt not be part of the deal and too inconvenient? It's not out of the question for kids with lots of reasons to doubt and not have a secure place. Nothing guaranteed him a home before.

I hope that there's some good Sandy and Ryan. They've always been the most special and compelling relationship with the most unique bond.

Thanks and on to the next one.
6/20/2017 c3 19Robin0203
Aw this is so cute
6/20/2017 c2 Guest
Awesome. Please write more. I love new OC stories!
6/20/2017 c2 Guest
Looking forward to much more!
6/20/2017 c2 RW1987
I agree with the most recent review, both in that I love a sick Ryan and that some people seem to be off-base toward Kirsten's characterization. True, she never really acted overly motherly toward Ryan, but she didn't really toward Seth, either. The show itself just didn't give much opportunity for us to decide how motherly she really was. But, she really seemed to care about Ryan several episodes into the first season, and she didn't act much different toward him than toward Seth.

That being said, write what you want to write. If you want Sandy to be the main caretaker, then write it that way. But, don't change how you want to write it for fear of what others will say. If you want to write Kirsten as motherly (I'm not asking you to write one way or the other), then do it. I, along with many others, will find it believable and in keeping with her characterization on the show. While some "guest" reviewers are honestly people who haven't taken the time to create an account, some of them are actually people who signed out of their account before commenting so they could hide behind the anonymity of a guest review (8/10 critical guest reviews are most likely not actually guests).

I'm loving this story and can't wait for an update!
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