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for Down A Rabbit Hole We Go

5/4 c16 Guest
I sure hope that Caleb isn't losing sight of his promises and responsibilities already. It's only been a couple of days and Ryan is just recovering from his freshest physical injuries and has years to go to sort out all of the emotional trauma. The poor kid has to be going through the motions and he's in the spotlight at the same time while he's hurting so much and so lost.

I'm glad that Sandy and Haley seem to understand that he's really vulnerable and alone.

Thanks for the new chapter and I hope there's more to come exploring all of the most crucial components. Clearly, Kirsten has an ax to grind with her father and she's letting Ryan be collateral damage just like people have all of his life. Some things never change.
5/3 c16 Guest
Caleb is predictably easily distracted and ready to circulate, maybe because he's always the most powerful person in the room and no one will cross him? That leaves Ryan on his own, but good for Sandy and Haley. I hope to see more of them and their relationships with Ryan. I'm really, really, really relieved that there hasn't been any sign of the Cohens' nextdoor neighbor. I hope that she stays out of this and the much more important story about Ryan's journey with all of the compelling aspects is center stage. Just the vibe from Kirsten is almost a story in itself with the dynamic with her father, how Sandy fits in the middle of it, and Ryan's role with all of them as he tries to be the different person that each one will tolerate.

Thanks for writing and posting.
4/30 c16 Guest
It might be a short chapter, but I don't have time to enjoy it without just rushing through.

Thanks for now. It's my reward for later tonight.
4/29 c16 Guest
This makes me hungry for more of Ryan, Sandy and Haley interacting. Using some key moments from the show work, also raising plenty of questions about when and how often Caleb was with Ryan's mother for all of the inquiring minds with lots to gossip about. None of them would dare confront Caleb. He has too much power.

I can see Caleb leaving Ryan too soon after arriving, although I don't know how comfortable Ryan would have been in any scenario. Someone like Sandy is much better equipped to run interference with anyone prying and Haley has her own way of taking care of things because she's never had to conform or cared about Newport. She hasn't had to. Someone like Seth would only be using Ryan, sadly. He's too self-absorbed plus too sheltered and immature to know what to do anyway. The important relationships are with Ryan and adults.

He's going to be an emotional wreck for a long time, and that has to be addressed. He's still injured, and some of that has to be visible. I hated how the TV show ignored that over and over.

I'm very, very relieved that there's no Cooper introduction and I'm pleading to keep it that way.

Thanks for writing.
4/27 c16 Guest
I'm sorry that I didn't check sooner and missed the day of posting.

Muses can be fickle and there's lots in between the lines, so I'm glad that you went with shorter instead of a long wait. There's also plenty to build on, using a few excerpts from the pilot episode to expand on with the new direction of the story.

Obviously, like the show, Ryan's trying to please Sandy by saying that his son is "cool," when he's anything but. Sandy is very fatherly and friendly with the way he is with Ryan and Kirsten is distant and chilly, still blaming Ryan for being born and around and angry at Caleb.

With all of the rumors, who knows what the Newpsies are saying and spreading and their intent. Of course nothing could be what Ryan might have hoped of when he was so desperate and dreamed of an escape and maybe being wanted for once.

I'm glad that Haley is there and hope that she keeps on doing the best that she can for Ryan. He might have Summer when she isn't being a social butterfly if she chooses, and Sandy seems to be willing, but Caleb would likely be drawn into his normal role and forget what he should be doing.

Thanks for adding this. Looking forward to more of Ryan, Haley, Caleb and some Sandy time too.
4/25 c16 10matthewsbj
I see what you did there! Using some of the lines from the show here! Nice touch! lol

I'm sorry for not reviewing all of the chapters; I need to get better at that. But, I am enjoying the story and look forward to each installment.
4/12 c15 Guest
Update soon please! Can’t wait to see what happens next
4/10 c15 Guest
I'm definitely ready and waiting to learn more about Ryan and Caleb, using the looking back to put it all in context. Caleb should be drowning in guilt, and he's only just beginning to see what he didn't want to. He has to find a way to help Ryan trust, and that's something he never could do or afford- or else. I just hope that he's aware of the damage done and how much Ryan is hurting and what he needs.
4/4 c15 Guest
Since it's a holiday, this made me think about this story in the event of Ryan ever spending certain days around Easter with Caleb, when it was okay for Caleb, of course. Always, I'd think of what Caleb thought he was doing and what Ryan was really dealing with the whole time, year after year when Caleb thought that "renting" toys and things would make him a sort of father in secret, randomly. That's almost taunting a child and very confusing.

I hope that Caleb isn't losing sight of how hurt Ryan is emotionally and the support he needs. Like his injuries, none of this will just vanish because it's convenient or because Ryan had enough food, no one threatening or torturing him, and so on. He's just been dumped by the woman and people who never wanted him and made him pay constantly and he's with the person who was only willing to essentially play games and who Ryan couldn't count on for time, honesty and trust. The way Ryan was willing to head to the unknown in Austin with anything that could happen along the way or there, says it all. He'd reached his limit. Caleb can't know the half of it and what to unpack. More games or pretending will be a disaster.

I don't know what to make of the aside re: Trey, so I'm just choosing to leave him out of it for my purposes. He's not important to me at all, sort of like a certain Cooper girl. Far better that way.

Thanks for the update and for a little bit of honesty and insight from Caleb. Tip of the iceberg with the system and Ryan as he starts to get the idea more of how deep the hurt goes and why?
3/22 c15 Guest
When it comes to your AN pretty late in the game, i don't see how it can change my perception at this stage based on the show and what wasn't different from the outset, not that it needed to be because I'm not reading anything about Trey and he doesn't need to exist, just like a certain so-called friend of Summer's who I'd prefer wasn't a character. Then again, I watched the show in spite of her and tried to mute or FF when she was on. I'm about Ryan and his struggles and his story with Caleb in this unique take.

I'm glad to see something more tangible from Caleb. A child's early years, usually the first 5, are the most crucial for a foundation and Ryan was robbed of that suffering irreparable damage then that just spiraled. He should be very traumatized emotionally and psychologically from everything that he was exposed to over time, and especially what has come to a head in the last days. A night or so at Caleb's doesn't change that. It's still fresh and hasn't been dealt with at all. None of it has, only made worse by the new stress of Caleb's family and what uncovers and is directed at Ryan with the events and memories that he had no part in. Then there's the physical aspect with his most recent injuries that need attention even if he pretends otherwise. Ignoring both are mistakes that the TV show made all of the time in the most frustrating ways. Going to Caleb's Anaheim house might be a detour to distract, but it doesn't change what Ryan needs. Putting on an act for Seth isn't doing him any good and I hope that the adults can learn to see what's real and do the right thing for him for once.

It's almost cruel that Ryan has to be reminded that Caleb bought things for him to use occasionally, but they were never his. They might have been rented or borrowed for Ryan's part-time life. Just going there has to be a reminder that Caleb was ashamed on some level or wasn't willing to commit to Ryan openly because Ryan didn't matter or matter enough. Ryan certainly didn't matter except for a check to the Atwoods and was something to be ashamed of and abused or thrown away to them.

I'm always hoping for flashbacks and any of the insights that come with them, so I'm glad that you started to go down that road with Haley and Caleb regarding Ryan. That's one of the most emotional and most investing parts to make me coming back for more.

Good to see a new post and with some personal time with Ryan and Caleb directly and indirectly.
3/18 c15 Guest
I wish that I could read this now and mull it over. I just saw Caleb's name with Ryan's, so it looks like my kind of chapter with their relationship at the center.

Looking forward to reading later when I really have a few minutes to myself.

Thanks in advance!
3/18 c14 16sssms
Actually, I looked back and the muse has established Trey as being around 4 years old when Ryan was born in this fic (in the chapter where Caleb tells Kirsten about Ryan). Thinking back to show cannon, I believe that Trey turned 21 in late Season 2 when Ryan would have been around 16.
3/17 c15 sssms
I'm not sure if the last three reviews came from one guest or three, but I'm thinking one. I'll make a few points in response to the reviews:
1. In this story we know Ryan is 15 (close to 16) and Trey is over 18- that put's Trey's age at least 2.5 to three years older than Ryan in this story (and honestly, I don't think the show established him as 6.6 years older, but maybe I missed something on the show). And where jealousy involved a 10 or 12 year old Trey could be jealous of Ryan going to Disneyland, even if he had no real interest in Disneyland himself.
2. Even on the show, I don't see the always abusive Trey, Dawn, or Frank for that matter. There was abuse and neglect, but I think even in show cannon they all loved Ryan and he loved them. Ryan and Trey's relationship definitely deteriorated after Trey used Ryan at Thanksgiving and a drunk, drug using, post jail Trey was definitely more jaded towards Ryan and jealous to some extent of his set up with the Cohens.
3. They muse will write what it sees fit to write. There are fanfics out there spanning all sorts of relationships between Dawn, Trey, Frank, and Ryan - some more abusive than others. Those relationships are still evolving in this story as the story is. It is yet to be determined how much of which characters we will see, what those characters are like and how they affected Ryan's psyche.

I'm not in the habit of arguing with reviewers. I'm sorry if the way the fic is developing is not all to your liking, but it is what it is and will go where the muse takes it.
3/16 c15 Guest
I'm always looking forward to more of Ryan's journey. He always had to feel isolated and alone and scared to death that he'd be even more alone when the Atwoods got rid of him. That could have meant actually killing him, by accident or intent and lying to Caleb (if they thought he really cared about Ryan at all), or lying about moving and still extorting him. I did wonder why they weren't more greedy and didn't blackmail him to ruin his marriage and reputation, unless I missed something. Or they figured that since they thought Ryan was a mistake and burden, Caleb did too and was doing what he had to, but drew the line at that.

Contact with someone in the system would have to be traumatic, scary and full of hundreds of flashbacks for Ryan. He's had that hanging over his head forever and lived through it. It's just like the threats of violence and then the delivery. It goes with being as invisible and silent as possible, not just patient, tolerant and agreeable. He can't make what anyone would call a mistake or be more of a burden.

The picture and Haley's reaction about what a sweet little boy he was is deceiving, not because he wasn't cute and sweet, but because the picture is so far from the truth for how he was feeling and all of the dread.

From your note, Trey is basically unrecognizable to me. I can see Caleb in the role in this story far easier than I can see such a drastically different Trey. Caleb is still who he is at the core as a person and a businessman, but I can see him wanting the son that he never had in the show and making the decisions that he did that caused so much damage to Ryan because of his priorities and his character. He still has the redeeming qualities in spite of it if he chooses to apply them.

Hoping for more of Ryan and Caleb and Haley as she provides a way to focus on the bigger picture and the details. I was prepared for a nightmare or several, not the way it was written, but then I'm sure nightmares are coming and either Ryan was very quiet, Caleb was a heavy sleeper or put them off as something else since he has been so selectively blind, etc. In my view, Ryan wasn't missing Dawn, who never gave him any positive attention, although the unknown would be scary for any child. The unknown for an abused child told he was the cause of all problems and was going to go somewhere more terrible, if possible, and be left and hurt would be another kind of terror.
3/16 c15 Guest
There's a long list of why my heart breaks for Ryan. One that stands out here is that he's always had to live in fear. He's always had to juggle too many people, too many possibilities of doing, saying slightly the wrong thing and facing awful consequences. He'd be on eggshells 24/7. That's extreme stress and exhausting for a child, forget an adult. Then there's the very confusing living arrangement and "family" situation where he doesn't belong and isn't wanted anywhere. He floats between and would have known that the Atwoods meant threats about what would happen to him. Caleb showed up occasionally. Ryan was smart enough to see what the Atwoods and Dawn's boyfriends did and how wrong all of it was. He always behaved and never did anything to anger anyone, but they were angry and hurt him regardless. Lose and lose for him. He would live trying to survive and trying desperately to be perfect, hoping that he'd be tolerated and not thrown away and not hurt. That has to be a central part of who he is and will be. Terrified to say or do the slightest thing wrong to be tossed out like trash after being punished in the ways he had to suffer. Manipulation and physical abuse take a huge toll. Of course he's learned who to be afraid of and not to trust, if he could trust anyone, and why. He might be trying to put his best act on when he can now, but the real Ryan is the one who's worried, not pretending.

Looking forward to more insights about Ryan and Caleb through the years.
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