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for A Bitter Pill

8/27 c17 Guest
I’m new to fanfic and just wanted to let you know that your story we one I hadn’t realised I was so desperate to hear.
Ryan’s background was incredibly difficult and the show really only hinted at his past...Benjamin Mackenzie played ‘your’ ryan and the shows ryan to perfection. As someone who has experienced difficult times, your story spoke to me and was so positive. Thank you
5/13 c17 Strawberry
This was great! Love finding a story w 17 chapters and all of them well written! Good idea for the story, the show really didn’t go very in depth and the character arcs were great! Thanks! Going to read your sequel now..
11/27/2019 c17 7Alicia Olivia Mirza
Loved this story :)
5/29/2019 c17 Guest
Great story—I would love for you to write another one about Ryan
5/17/2019 c17 Guest
I hope that you had a very special Mother's Day. I meant to read on Sunday, but invariably nothing went according to plan.

The sudden turn in this chapter was a surprise too, but count me in for exploring Ryan's struggles that have only just begun in this latest part of his life in a very different zip code. I know that it's only been a few days, but not much has changed from the precarious and uncertain existence in Chino. He still has everything to lose. Now he also has to figure everything out to be invisible in a new place and hope that's enough, at least to his thinking. He also has to figure out how to earn a way to be wanted when he's always been unwanted and totally expendable.

It's not like Ryan can just get over the last few days, or weeks, or months, or 15 years he's been alive. He can't be expected to just live with it with no consequences just like he can't just know how to live in the Cohens' house or in Newport. With time, patience, support and caring guidance, he might hopefully find ways to deal and live with any countless traumas, events, issues and just hurt. Ideally, those ways would help him live better over time instead of having to keep his head down and do whatever he had to do to plow ahead to get through each day, or less.

I'm always on board to hear from you. I hope that you've already begun. I'm very eager to learn more about Ryan and especially about his dynamic and relationship with Sandy. Luke has a lot to do to eventually redeem himself besides capitalizing on Ryan's generosity and utter lack of value. The way he's been treated pretty much seals that he'd agree to whatever anyone said not only out of forgiveness. I'm not sure how to address that kind of wound that has to date back to when he became aware.

Thanks for this part of the ride, but I hope there's another road ahead too. Please?
4/28/2019 c17 Guest
Honestly not the twist or turn I would have predicted.

Ryan's always had to walk such a challenging path and face things alone. Such a tall order for someone so young.

Having Sandy immediately forming a connection with him and seeing what no one else did or tried to who could have made a difference meant that Ryan had some kind of chance, something that even a less cold, determined, opposed Kirsten wasn't in favor of before that still unaddressed flip that Ryan has to fear questioning or learning about. Of course Newport had no shortage of candidates to make sure Ryan had no chance at all. Luke and his crew had no qualms about ending that in a very hurtful and maybe final way. That's a lot to atone for, regardless of the fact that Ryan is programmed that he and his life are expendable.

Thanks for what you've looked at more closely from the episode in the series with physical, emotional and psychological consequences for Ryan. Like the injuries that miraculously vanished instantly in the unrealistic and disappointing show, the consequences can't just disappear as if nothing has happened. I hope that you'll continue to provide context and build on Ryan's past and current experiences, all with lasting impacts and the pivotal relationship with Sandy to keep him above water. I hope that means that you're ready to write and drawn from a number of threads. You've got plenty of material and, as you say, multiple viable ways to both continue and incorporate more.
4/24/2019 c17 Guest
I'll have 16 chapters to read while I'm waiting for you to begin again. I sure hope so and that it wasn't a tease or thinking out loud to test the waters. I hope that you resume within the same week, or include what has to be a painful, bewildering, overwhelming process for Ryan. He's still in temporary guardianship and nothing close to permanent has been good for him. There are too many variables and he knows the history.

I'm on board and hoping. I'd love to have backstory woven in to highlight Ryan's emotional state and to bolster his relationship with Sandy. If Luke can ultimately redeem himself somehow, not with a minute or so of glossing over something so serious, that's something to consider as a small part, especially if makes Seth's role smaller. ; )

Thanks again.
4/23/2019 c17 Guest
My take seems to be that, as usual, Ryan is the one with all of the consequences. So far, only the immediate medical, meaning physical ones, have been obvious and demanded full attention. There's still lots to play out, just like Ryan's whole life of injuries and the emotional or psychological toll. Luke got off very easy unless he decides to ruin his sweet deal. It's just a little humble pie more than anything and nothing compared to what he inflicted with a variety of outcomes for Ryan, all with long-term impact.

I'm all about more story. Ryan's journey hasn't even begun just like his dynamic with Sandy is just getting a foundation. With any luck, that will continue despite all of the bumps in the road that Ryan will contend with. With any luck, Seth can be otherwise occupied. I might be the minority, but I always felt very sorry for Ryan for how he had to please everyone all the time and that meant he had no say with Seth. I hope that any building to trial and whatever is related comes as quickly as Luke & Co's proceedings or close to it. I know that Ryan has years of learning and adjusting to figure out in such a different world filled with strange actors and topped off with all of the trauma. The earliest time is the most drastic and revealing, and sadly among the most painful. Without that point of reference of how Ryan perceives all of drastic change, extreme loss and everything that is hitting him repeatedly and hard, it's very difficult to have an idea of what comes next in any context. I hope that there's a way to put that all together? You can do it!

Anyway, please and thank you. Time to go back and read your other stories. Going without isn't an option, at least for me.
4/22/2019 c17 Guest
I didn't think this chapter would be it based on the last couple of updates, but I'm very grateful for the story and I hope that you will keep on and without the inevitable questions and holes if there's a leap ahead.

Poor Ryan is very sensitive to others' feelings, very compassionate and very forgiving, things he's never experienced firsthand ironically. What's disturbing is how readily and easily he accepts what is done to him, maybe the exception is with the Atwoods or Dawn's boyfriends, mainly anyone who has always hurt him and worst of all, anyone who he's tried to please and love and who has kept on hurting him at every turn. There's a point where even Ryan can't take Dawn, Trey, the string of boyfriends and whoever was inflicting the most pain and didn't care about the consequences for him.

When it comes to Luke and the others, it is very troubling based on what Sandy and the sheriff saw when Ryan very reluctantly answered questions about what he assumed was completely normal and permissible. He expected nothing but to be attacked or left for dead because that was what he was used to and he was nothing. The AG's office let Luke off easily and the rest is up to him. I truly hope that he has a lot more to do with Ryan. He's the real criminal with intent, premeditated, and the extreme severity. Not much besides luck and timing meant that Ryan didn't likely die that night or wasn't left with injuries that weren't going to have a tremendous impact on him for a very long time. When it comes to more psychological and emotional trauma, it's definitely there. Just because Luke added the most recent and not the other years doesn't let him off the hook.

A way of addressing PTSD, new trauma, all of the stress of being so lost, alone and starting over in the world at 15 and tenuous trust with Sandy is most definitely viable. The group home stands out as one of the times Ryan was removed from the Atwoods, but not the only, It is recent enough to be fresh, but it's also a lens into plenty more. I hope that you're writing. I'm ready to read.

Thank you very much.
4/20/2019 c17 Guest
With your extra right above this, I hope you're saying that it's more TBC than The End. At least I'm really wondering about what Ryan makes of the surroundings he's been dropped into now when he's ready and able to start being more aware and processing them instead of just the shock and pain, physical, emotional and psychological that have him reeling and going through the motions, following whatever cues he can pick up. He lived in a terrible place that was dangerous, often life threatening, but it was all he knew. He was trapped there and at the mercy of all the players who had power and control. He's in a better place that hasn't been much safer and he's still at the mercy of others. He's never had any rights and can't know where he stands now. Can he just open the refrigerator, for example? From his perspective, he might not feel comfortable just taking without being offered, reminded, encouraged. How many months would that take and how much longer without being very self-conscious and overthinking?

He always fades into the background. I don't see that changing, especially when he's too aware of consequences that might not be an attack, but he has to think that he's on borrowed time at best. It's only very temporary in legal standing whatever Sandy has in mind and has filed. That's my way of saying yes please write, and consider not starting some time in the future at a trial, but maybe include that or at least use it as a means of exploring what's so important for the most insights into Ryan, what he's endured and the consequences, and what it's like for him to be struggling with what his Atwood life has done and how poorly equipped he is for something so foreign as life at the Cohens' and in Newport in general. His introduction nearly cost him his life. He's already far too cautious and deliberate and dreading any slip up, that has to be heightened. Intellectually, he knows that no one in the house is looking to beat him, although he has been attacked in Newport, obviously, but the scars of rejection and abandonment are as deep as they get and there's no reason for someone to take him on. In his skewed POV, he would have to figure out how to earn being tolerated this time.

Thanks for all that you've put into this. I hope that you pick up mostly where you left off in chapter 16 to pave the way for an upcoming trial too and plenty of Ryan and Sandy with their very special, enlightening relationship.
4/20/2019 c17 Guest
I won't say it's a bitter pill, but how about bitter sweet? I'm always anticipating each update, so I'll really miss this story. I hope that means that you're on board with addressing some of the most important things that Ryan has to be struggling with and needs very real support and help to begin to sort out when he's able. It's not enough that he's had significant traumas in just days, traumas that should be life changing for anyone of any age. It's also that his whole, too short life has been continuous traumas. About the only thing he knows for sure is that he's never had a say in his life and things have always gone from bad to worse. Now he's caught up in a whole world of uncertainty in a completely overwhelming set of circumstances where's he's at the mercy of whoever would help or hurt him. The most simple and basic things are confusing and unknowns. He has to be terrified that he'll reveal too much and be the burden that he's always been told he is, that everything is his fault, that he destroys everyone and everything. He can't be worth anything. No one has ever wanted him, only blamed him for being born. How to start to reconcile something different all of a sudden even if the stranger is kind and well meaning? It's a serious leap, although Ryan has started to trust Sandy and build a bond, but that has to be very fragile. It's also very risky with so much at stake for Sandy. Ryan has all the pressure in the world on him, worrying that anything at all upsetting could spell the end. Sandy can't let himself fail either. Ryan can really afford to only put trust in one person slowly, so Sandy can't drop the ball if that trust can develop. Maybe then Ryan would be able to go a little further. Their relationship is crucial to Ryan developing anything when it comes to the necessary emotional dynamics that he's never had or understood. It's also the big payoff.

When it comes to Luke, I hope that he's not let off the hook, especially by the guardian who should be Ryan's advocate and protector, the first he's had. Luke should have to prove himself. I'm not convinced he really is taking responsibility for what he was ready and hoping to have kept secret, and that was even if Ryan never recovered completely physically or died. There's no telling what the beating and the psychological wounds have done to add to his scars, but Ryan definitely suffered more damage. That doesn't eliminate possibilities, only means that it has to take time and genuine effort. Having Luke at least admit he messed up his life and that it could get worse is one step, but he's still making it about him, not about what he did to Ryan and what that has meant and could have meant if he had killed Ryan. It's also interesting that he says that being on probation is something that they have in common, like that's an equalizer. However, Luke had all of the options in the world and made decision to find Ryan with the intent to hurt him, not caring or thinking beyond that. Saying that he hadn't meant for Ryan to die doesn't change that. He chose to do what he did, covered and lied. He never came forward. Ryan has a misdemeanor on his record, and that's a stretch. He's not old enough to drive, wasn't the one who stole the vehicle, drove, evaded police, had drugs, weapons, or a lengthy record. He was all out of options that night. He couldn't be at Dawn's and needed a place off the streets. Trey made the choice to put him in harm's way instead of helping him. There's a big difference, whether Luke will recognize that or not.

I can only imagine what Ryan's life has been like, living in fear, always a target, probably praying to be ignored so he wouldn't be abused and hurt more and finally just thrown away like trash. With things so trying before the group home, there has to be all sorts of correlation between some of the worst experiences connected with Stankey and what that will trigger and bring out. It's heartbreaking that Ryan has had to get himself through day by day. He also has to be like a ticking time bomb desperately attempting to hold it together. Anything related to that group home is another of the very painful episodes that Ryan wishes had never happened, but can't change. It can only reveal more and more and overwhelm him in new ways. If you write that, I wouldn't miss it. I think it would really showcase some amazing interactions with Ryan and Sandy too. Ryan would need to test that trust and need the most patience, sensitivity and assistance with no strings attached.

Thanks for all you've written and posted. Please run with the next. I really hope that means not missing the absolutely critical first weeks when Ryan is taking his first steps, not that he won't be struggling weeks later or more. All of the unknowns, just the daily firsts, would be very uncomfortable for him making the transition from such a different environment. Of course he'd be in perfect guest mode for not months, but a year at the least if not longer, but all of the little things would be a lot for him.

Happy Easter, or happy holidays!
4/19/2019 c17 Guest
Thanks for writing, and I guess that should mean to the surprise ending.

Please do write your sequel or other part, or whatever you want to call what you have in mind. With nothing stable, not even how many nights he might be sleeping in the Cohens' house, which sure can't be home to a kid who doesn't know what that is, and so much to unpack from Ryan's emotional overflowing attic, there's countless approaches and trajectories to pursue. Any would have to be backing up while trying to go forward, which would be a real, very painful, excruciating tug of war. You mention one of what has to be countless, terrible skeletons in his closet, not to overuse a certain metaphor. Any one of a number of issues from chronic neglect and abuse, rejection and abandonment, the violent, criminal and substance abuse driven toxic environment he had to survive and/or essentially always being alone in the world wherever that put him with people hurting him are seriously rich material. Considering that Ryan would have to try to crawl to get a leg to stand on to be able to walk, he's got a lot of attempts just to find how to also survive in Newport, if that becomes legally the case as a minor with a guardian and what that means. That should be a full-time job, but he has too much that he already hasn't been able to suppress as effectively or ignore. It will be about priorities and what requires the most immediate and aggressive attention. I think that something like the trial should tap into multiple traumas and issues, flipping switches from other places and times too. Ryan will certainly need Sandy and to increase that trust, bond and communication manifold. If Sandy is investing himself now, he'll really be in deep.

I hope that you find a way and that maybe you've already started.

I've enjoyed all of your stories and hope that you keep on finding that muse. You have an amazing and fascinating character to work with and build on, and you've done great things so far.
4/19/2019 c17 Guest
A new chapter is always a good day. On a Friday, I guess that means it's a good Friday. On Good Friday? Having it be the last chapter takes the wind out of the sails sadly and suddenly. My first reaction was almost like chapter 16 was like one of the TV episodes that was a season finale and this was the next season opener that left out a few months over the summer when some really compelling things must have happened and the writers would always decide to omit. I hope that's not the case here. That means I'm really hoping that you're writing the story you describe briefly in your note and that means that you're definitely aware that Ryan can't possibly be instantly okay. Dawn left only hours ago again and I can't see PTSD vanishing probably ever, only becoming less debilitating years or a decade or more down the road. Nothing's been done to address anything that he's managed to get through and a week is the blink of an eye. What he does know is that Sandy is standing by him, so at least he feels less alone for once. Everything else, starting with guardianship, is up in the air or a very real problem or challenge for him. Uncertainty rules and nothing close to positive has been Ryan's norm. Thinking and considering beyond minute to minute is going to take a lot of work and change reinforced over time.

I can see where your idea would touch on so many aspects of Ryan's life and who he is as a person, however enigmatic. It would open plenty of opportunities to learn about him and explore other very troubling events from his early years and how to link them and connect to the present, which should pave the way to really showcase his bonding with Sandy to navigate more mine fields.

Some kind of eventual, gradual changing relationship with Luke only if Luke really earns it could be in the background in small doses. With any luck, that would mean even less Seth and less of that very lopsided, really one-sided relationship that had Ryan shouldering the load and catering to whims that he never should have. He wasn't treated well, mostly used. Not a model to repeat, at least for me, but I'm only one voice.

I do wish you good holidays, whatever you observe and celebrate. I want to thank you for growing as a writer and posting for so long. I really want you to know that I'm always on the look out for a compelling and realistic Ryan story and you've been on a roll. I do hope that you keep writing and fill in what felt like blanks above with the neat finish here if, or when you continue down the difficult paths to come.
4/18/2019 c17 Guest
I'm sad this story ended! A sequel would be awesome, I would love more about how he's adjusting to the family...
4/17/2019 c17 Guest
Thank you.

I'm already ready. I'm a confessed major Ryanphile of the highest order. Next comes Ryanphile in the context of bonding with Sandy while coming to terms with, well, where to begin and simultaneously dodging hit after hit past and present.
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