A/N: Disclaimer I do not own the O.C., any recognizable characters belong to Josh Schwartz and FOX, not me. The only characters I own are Quentin and Jack. Trigger Warning: Miscarriage.
Introduction Rules and Form
2 Months Ago
It was a normal day like any other, but it wasn't any other day. I just didn't know it yet. Seth had some time off from his job at the shop, so we could finally start decorating the nursery.
Ryan and Taylor had come by to help. Kirsten and Sophie were clothes shopping, since Sophie started her freshman year of high school soon. It was a big deal or all involved. Ah, high school. It has a way of becoming priority number one.
"Are you sure you need all of this now?" Ryan was looking at the boxes with a look that was a cross between the reaction to a root canal, and plain confusion.
There were a lot, that was undeniable. A high chair, a crib, stroller, play tents, a building block set, not to mention the boxes and boxes of baby clothes and books from the Cohens themselves. Kaitlin Cooper and Taylor Townsend were a force to be reckoned with where baby showers were concerned.
"Oh Ryan, if we wait we lose valuable manpower…" I glare and cross my arms as Seth put a hand around Ryan in an awkward sort of bro hug. The only conclusion I could reach was that that sort of interaction still didn't fit them even after all of these years. Ryan shifted, sidestepping the attempt with a well meaning half smile and raised eyebrows as he surveyed both of us.
"Seth," I glare at my husband.
"What? Oh! Oh, um...I meant woman power um…" He began stammering. "Sorry, I didn't…"
"If you think that I'm going to be sitting on the couch when I can still move around, you've got another thing coming Seth Cohen." I bend down and grab a box of books maneuvering the load to a semi comfortable position.
"Wh...what, what are you doing?" I can almost hear the breaking of the sound barrier as Seth reaches for the box, which I manage, quite skillfully mind, to keep out of his reach.
"I've got cheese and crackers and hummus, should make the lifting and loading…" I hear Taylor enter the room and the clatter as the plate hits the coffee table. "Ryan, why are you, what…?"
I don't hear Ryan give an answer and I can only assume that he kind of shrugged, still locked in my struggle with Seth.
"No, no, no." I feel the load lighten as the box is suddenly out of my reach. "Absolutely positively not." I look behind to see that Taylor now has the box of books. It is a sight, considering how petite she is. It doesn't even dawn on me that our struggles would be the same.
"I'm not bedridden yet." I sigh.
"You are the mother to be. Ergo, your relegated to delegating. It's early yet, you can't take any chances." Taylor says.
"Relegated to delegating?" I turn around as Ryan speaks. "That's a little um…"
"As much as I don't want my wife to get hurt," Seth says. "I also kinda want to avoid a hormone fueled rage blackout so, I don't know if I agree…with your... direct approach Taylor." Seth's voice goes up an octave on the latter half of the phrase as he rubs the back of his neck.
"Oh sweetie, you've never been pregnant." Taylor taps Seth on the shoulder as Ryan gives another shrug.
"Don't push it dude. This is the easiest it gets, you've got almost six more months."
"I wouldn't think so. It's not biologically..." Seth is perplexed, but he simply shakes his head and takes the box that we're battling over. Ryan smirks and follows with a box of his own.
Ryan wasn't exaggerating. Taylor and Ryan had had this same experience four years earlier, and Taylor when pregnant turns up about six decibels. They have a little girl who just turned five.
"How goes the battle for kindergarten?" I turn my attention toward going through the boxes of clothing.
"Well…" Taylor sits on the couch beside me. "It's a toss up. Depends on the day really. I don't know who's more nervous, me Ryan or her."
"It'll be fine. I think." I smile. "I'm more worried for Kirsten and Sophie actually. Kindergarten is paradise. You get to take naps."
"I'm not sure she shares Aunty Summer's optimism."
"Well, she'll learn fast once playtime starts! Don't worry." I hold up a onesie with a lion on the front. "Aww."
Taylor scoffs. "Who's worried?"
I laugh. "Try to relax."
"I will if you will."
We got everything loaded into the new nursery. But I begin to think that Taylor was right about the lifting. Once we're finished, I can barely stand straight.
"Summer…" Seth catches me as I nearly collapse against the wall, my stomach is cramping. "Are you okay? What's wrong? Talk to me."
I almost feel blood...but it can't be, can it? "Something's... not right." I feel my breathing get shallower as I cringe against a sudden spasm of pain.
"Summer, oh god!" Taylor crouches on my other side, unpacking forgotten. She begins shouting. "Ryan, call Kirsten and Sandy...a...and an ambulance!" Her eyes are focused on one particular spot, and I can't follow where she's looking, except I can feel it and I can guess.
"I am so incredibly sorry." I jolt awake to the same old song, the same tight feeling, the same cries that disappear as soon as the lights are on and my consciousness clears and I'm awake fully now, even as the bleak 7:00 is written in red on the display.
The cold floor doesn't even phase me as I turn and drop my feet down, making my way to the closet to grab a robe. Seth stirs only briefly, and I don't have the heart to wake him even though he'll probably be upset when he finds out I didn't. He's dealt with it enough. A cup of tea should help. I only hope I don't wake anyone else in the house.
I go downstairs to the kitchen to see that I'm not the only one up. Kirsten has her own cup of tea, and the kettle is still on the stove.
"Hi…" I walk over, cringing at the brokenness in my greeting.
"Hi Sweetheart." Kirsten looks up. "How are you doing?"
I'm not sure how to answer. We moved in here two months ago. Taylor, Ryan, Seth and I are supposed to go back to the house to go through the last of the things this evening. But I honestly, I don't know how we'll do it. I don't know how I'll do it.
"I don't know."
"Do you want some?" Kirsten moves to the kettle. "Vanilla and chamomile."
I nod sitting in the seat across from hers as I watch her pour the liquid. "It's going to be so...well I don't know if I'll be able to make the trip, but to be honest, no offense, I do want to get out of here. We've been here long enough." Kirsten hands me the mug as I speak. I can barely track what I'm saying. "But what are we going to do? I mean once we're done, it's…" Over, final, packed away. Everything seems so much like an ending. "It wasn't supposed to be like this!" My shoulders shake.
"Oh honey," Kirsten moves over and she's hugging me, shushing softly. Her eyes are moist as well.
"You know what…?" I sit up wiping my eyes. "It's going to be fine. I mean it has to be done eventually right? We can't stay in your guest room forever."
"Ridiculous." Both Kirsten and I look up as Sandy has entered the kitchen. "That's what a guest room is for. If it's empty than what good is it?" I blink. Something about what Sandy's saying, it makes sense. I think I know what we can do.
"Sandy, Kirsten, can you help me with something?"
"Of course." Kirsten says.
"What do you need?"
"Hey," I enter the kitchen to see Summer on my mom's laptop. Her eyes have dark circles underneath. I go up behind her and kiss her on the cheek. "You slept?"
"A full seven hours." Summer says.
"Last night?" I pull out the kitchen chair and put a hand over hers. "All last night right?"
Summer sighs. "Cohen, I'm not a child. I slept."
"That's not the question I was…" Summer turns to face me and I trail off. "Okay, fine I get it." My eyes drift over to the screen and I notice the web page. "California foster care license?"
Summer smiles slightly. It's a welcome sight. "It could be a good idea."
"You want to foster?" I look at her. "You're sure?"
"There's more than one way to have a family Seth, maybe...maybe we can put what happened with…" She sighs. "Maybe this is ours."
I nod. "You make a good argument."
"Let's give it a shot."
Summer grins. "Really?" She hugs me.
I'm still wondering if we can do it, but maybe it'll work out. "I'll ask Dad about how to get a license. But first, I told Sophie I'd take her to the mall again, because it's an emergency."
"I'll come with. I need to get out of the house."
"About time." I'm waiting on the porch as Seth and Summer finally come out of the house. I know they're having a hard time, but Mom told me to act normal. Ribbing my brother, well that's normal.
"What's it been, like five minutes since you asked me?" Seth checks the time on his phone. "You're crazy if you think this warrants an 'about time.'
"You said you'd take me right now, that was five minutes ago. So your argument is flawed."
"I think she's got you beat Seth." Summer laughs.
We get to the mall twenty minutes later, and I find a spot in the food court.
"So let me get this straight…?" Seth says. "You brought us to the mall, and your big emergency was sitting in the food court, doing what exactly?"
"Shh…" I wave him off as my eyes lock on the group of kids at the table in front of us.
"I think she's studying." Summer says. "They go to the high school."
I turn around glaring.
"I'm not wrong am I?"
"Oh my god! They're going to hear you" I groan. "I thought you guys would be less embarrassing than mom and dad." I stand from the table and leave.
I don't slow down, and I almost fall over as someone bumps me. "Hey!"
It's a boy maybe two years younger than me. He has dark hair and eyes and I see a phone in his hand. He's putting it in his pocket. My phone. The kid stole my phone. "Hey! I'm talking to you." I break into a run after him, but there's still no reply or even an acknowledgement. I'm jostled and find myself carried by a wave of shoppers into an electronics store. When I finally make my way out he's gone.
I lose him in the crowd. Oh hell, Mom and Dad are going to murder me.
That was easy. Once I round the corner, I pull the phone out of my pocket. It's a newer model, clearly whoever this girl is she can afford it. Maybe that means I can actually make something good.
I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn around and see Quentin. He looks pissed. He's pointing to his ear, and signing rapidly. "Where are your hearing aids?"
I sigh pulling them out of my pocket and putting them in his hand. "I hate them. Makes me a freak. Not wearing them."
He hands them back to me. "No way around it Jack. Let's go. Your foster parents are worried sick."
Sure they are. They never care. I heave another sigh as I walk in the direction of the bathroom. I can always take them back off when Quentin leaves. He's the only one I need to listen to.
A/N: Hi guys, so I decided to try something a little different. This is going to be a SYOC fic. So basically Summer and Seth decided to foster after dealing with the loss of their baby. There are other storylines involving the other characters too including Ryan, Taylor Sandy, Kirsten and Sophie Rose. This is going to kind of be a take on the show as we know it, a possible season but set in Berkeley. it'll be rotating cast and submissions will be needed on a rolling basis for different "guest roles", but there will be a core main cast made up of these character types below, and it being the foster system which is unpredictable. Everyone will have storylines and cross paths with the Cohens in different ways. And in case you're interested, Sophie Rose is portrayed by Sasha Pieterse Jack is portrayed by Riley B Smith and Quentin is portrayed by Oscar Isaac.
Characters I need.
Taylor and Ryan's daughter who is starting kindergarten, age 5.
A kindergarten teacher (Either gender)
Kindergarten students (3 to start)
Jack's foster family. (If interested PM me and I can tell you a bit more about Jack and his circumstances)
High school kids (3 or 4 to start, both genders, one should be a boy Sophie Rose has a crush on)
Foster kids (No younger than 5 no older than seventeen)
Two runaway kids ( One younger one older, No older than seventeen, no younger than 5, can be related, friends etc... both genders)
Students in Sandy's class (3 to start)
CLA ( For the Polyvore)
Sexuality (Closeted or No?)
History (What happened up to this point)
Disability/Condition (If any)
Family (name, age, occupation/grade, CLA, relationship with)
Grade (if in school)
Occupation (If working)
Relationship with Sandy
Relationship with Kirsten
Relationship with Seth
Relationship with Ryan
Relationship with Sophie Rose
Relationship with Summer
Relationship with Taylor
Relationship with Jack
I'm posting the form on my profile. It will be on the top under the heading with this story's title. PM me with who you're interested in submitting. You can submit up to three characters (The foster family being the exception, for them you can submit up to four as members of that family or you can collaborate.) Foster kids can also double as high school students if you'd like. The deadline for submissions is February 22nd. Looking forward to receiving your characters.