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Tag to Season 1 Episode 25

"I am never throwing another party again Kirsten groaned putting her head back"

"Oh honey don't tease" Sandy smiled

"Nothing good happens at our parties; have you noticed that" she replies taking a sip of her coffee

Sandy nodded looking over "yeah the gruesome twosome, never tighter"

"Jimmy and Hailey are officially a couple" she carried on the list grimacing at the idea of them being together

Sandy looked back at his phone "and Ryan's probably on his way back to juvie right about now." he sighed

"well if he is, I know just the lawyer to get him out"

Before Sandy could respond Seth came running down the stairs

"Hi guys" he ran to the door "bye guys"

"what's that about" Kirsten asked

"who knows anymore" Sandy sighed

"honey he'll be okay" Kirsten said seeing how upset Sandy looked

Seth ran out the house and was about to jump on his skateboard before Marissa stood in front of him her hands on her hips "where is he?"

"I- erm – I don't know. Why would I know?" Seth stammered

Marissa narrowed her eyes "where is he Seth. I know you know"

Seth groaned and dramatically rolled his eyes "he's with Theresa"

Marissa took a step back her eyes instantly watering

"No, no. Not like that" Seth said quickly realising how that sounded. He smacked his head lightly "Ryan's gonna kill me. Come on I'll call a cab you can come along"

"Why won't you tell me what happened" she asked as they pulled up at the Mermaid Motel

"I did tell you" Seth said shutting the door

"All you said was Theresa called you and told you to come over"

"Yeah that's all I know"

Marissa sighed before knocking on the door. The door opened slightly to expose Theresa with puffy red eyes "oh" she said seeing Marissa at the door.

"I brought reinforcements" Seth nodded "what's up?"

Theresa opened the door fully to expose the trashed room. In the middle of the destruction Marissa and Seth saw Ryan sitting on the floor leaning on the bed with his legs straight out in front of him and his head slightly bowed.

"Oh my god is he okay?" Marissa shrieked running past Theresa and dropping down to him.

Ryan opened his eyes and saw Marissa "I'm sorry" he whispered his eyes glazed

"It's okay. It's okay" she said. His face was already coloured with bruises and dried blood covered the right side of his face from a cut above his eyebrow.

"Why didn't you call an ambulance or take him to the hospital" Marissa asked her anger focused on Theresa

"He wouldn't let me. Said I should call Seth" Theresa defended

"Seth?" Ryan called hearing the name.

"Yeah I'm here buddy" he said sitting down on the other side of Ryan. He looked at Ryan's face taking in the injuries "dude what the hell"

"I know. I know but I'm okay. No hospitals"

"Dude. This" he said gesturing Ryan's face "is so the opposite of okay."

"You should see the other guy" he replied trying to lighten the mood.

"Theresa do you have a towel I can use to clean up his face a little?" Marissa asked her voice still sharp.

"Watch your tone Marissa. I didn't ask for this" Theresa snapped

Marissa laughed "yeah you just accidentally called Sandy and told Ryan about Eddie"

"Guys I'm all for catfights. But this is so not the time okay. Just go do something useful."

They nodded shooting daggers at each other.

"Thanks." Ryan croaked "Did you tell Sandy?" Ryan asked looking at Seth

"No man. But they're pretty worried. Why don't you come home"

"I just need to clean up. So they don't take me to a hospital. And then we can go" he said sitting up slightly.

"Okay let me help you" Seth said grabbing his arm. Ryan accepted the help, he put some weight on Seth and leant on the bed and pulled himself up. He was almost completely standing when a sharp pain shot through his ribs and then his head. He groaned reflexively grabbing onto Seth's shirt. He held onto it like it was a lifeline "Ry? What happened" Hearing this the girls ran back from the bathroom.

"Ahh" Ryan groaned again bringing his other hand to his head.

"Ryan you're scaring me" Theresa cried she was about to take a step forward to help him when Marissa ran and put her hand on his face "Ryan look at me please" Ryan's eyes flickered and he struggled to keep them open as the dots that invaded his vision were now taking over completely.

"What happened?" Seth asked worried.

Ryan breathed for a second focusing on Marissa to help "I'm kay" he whispered through gritted teeth.

"Yeah tell that to the teeth you're gonna break if you clench your jaw any harder." Seth replied sarcastically.

Ryan turned to Seth finally letting go of his now crinkled shirt and saw worry etched in his face "I just moved wrong. My ribs. And the concussion." He hoped it filled them in enough.

"Ryan this could be serious. Please let us take you to a hospital" Marissa pleaded as she took the other side of Ryan

"Yeah maybe something's really wrong" Seth added. Ryan shook his head slightly

"I've had worse. Trust me it's not that serious" Seth and Marissa exchanged a look of hurt and curiosity at his words. They ignored it making their way to the bathroom and sitting him down on the closed toilet.

Seth hesitated on letting go of Ryan but he nodded to reassure Seth was fine "can you check on Theresa" he asked Seth.

"Yeah. Sure. All this is making woozy anyways" he admitted running out.

"I'm sorry Marissa. For all of this"

"What happened?" Marissa asked as she took the wet towel to Ryan's face and began wiping the dried blood away.

Ryan hissed but didn't move and let her clean the wounds. "Eddie was here when I showed up. But you need understand why I can't let her go back to him"

"I understand Ryan" she sighed. She didn't really. A part of her couldn't help but feel jealous, Theresa knew a side of Ryan she'd never know. They had a connection she couldn't beat. All she understood was Ryan's need to protect the people he cared about, which meant doing everything to stop Theresa going back to Eddie. Even if that meant losing their relationship.

"My erm… my dad, I don't really remember him I was pretty young when he got arrested. But Trey used to tell me stories of how he was. Let's just say I'm glad I don't remember" Ryan sighed "my mum she has a type though. And it was violent creepy drug addicted criminals who beat on her and her kids. But she carried on seeing them. Because she was dependant on them, not just for money but for her addictions and company. She didn't care that our social services file kept getting thicker"

Marissa had never heard Ryan speak so much let alone something so personal "I'm sorry" she whispered.

She nodded letting Ryan carry on. "You know what hurt more than the beatings, when she would blame me for them. That I shoulda kept my mouth shut. Or when she'd defend them. It ruined our lives. I mean if it wasn't for the Cohens I'd have ended up like Trey. Maybe worse off" he sighed and shook his head "I know not everyone's my mum. But not all kids get a Sandy Cohen. I can't stand here knowing what Theresa is getting herself into and do nothing. I won't be able to live with myself. She knows it's not the last time and what happens when she's pregnant and he's drunk. I just can't do it. I'm sorry"

"Hey, hey, it's okay Ryan. I mean I understand now. You just you need to stop thinking you can do it yourself. You have people now. We're here for you" Marissa said reassuringly.

He leaned forward and kissed her lightly "thank you" he never thought Marissa would be so understanding especially considering the rough year they've had.

"Hey Theresa" Seth smiled shutting the bathroom door behind him

Theresa was trying to clean up "is he okay?" she asked

"Please Ryan. That's nothing. He's indestructible" Seth answered. She kept staring at him and he nodded "he's okay Theresa. He's worried about you actually"

Theresa sighed and sat down "that's how this all started. I shouldn't have dragged him into this"

"it's not your fault Theresa. None of it is. It's Eddie's fault." Seth assured. He looked around at the mess He was trying to keep all his comedy bottled up seeing how distraught she was. 'summon your inner Sandy Cohen' he told himself "Why don't I help you pack and you can tell me what happened" Seth offered.

"pack?" she asked confused

"well you can't stay here. You're coming to ours for a while. I'm sure my parents want to speak to you too"

There was a loud knock on the door that caused Theresa to jump. What if it's Eddie again? She thought "hey it's okay" Seth said knowing they were thinking the same thing.

Seth stood up and barely just opened the door "dad?" he said opening the door wider.

"Seth what the hell-" he cut himself off taking in the room "where's Ryan?" Sandy asked putting together what happened quicker than they had.

"He's in the bathroom. Marissa's helping him clean himself up" Sandy was about to walk over and bust the door down to see if his son was okay but Seth put a hand on his chest to stop him "dad not now. Just let him clean up and we were gonna come home after anyways"

"Why wouldn't you tell me? I've been worried sick" sandy asked slightly betrayed

"I didn't really know what was happening until I got here" Seth defended

"What did happen?" Sandy asked looking around the room again.

Seth looked towards Theresa who was just about to start the story.

She nodded "Eddie came over. Drunk. And he was telling me to go back to him, he was saying all the right things, but I could tell he didn't mean them. I'm not stupid, I know it won't be the last time. But I don't have a choice" she said defending herself. Sandy nodded for her to carry on "and then Ryan came by, before I could tell him Eddie was in the bathroom he started saying how I shouldn't go back to him. How he'd help me find another way. And Eddie heard him and Ryan tried to talk to him but he grabbed my wrist" Theresa instinctively grabbed the wrist that Eddie had bruised with his tight hold "and you know Ryan. Always the hero" She smiled letting the tear roll down her cheek. 'How did she get here?' She asked herself 'everything was so messy now. How could she come back from this?'

Seth broke her thoughts "so where's Eddie now?"

"He was pretty messed up, he's-"

The bathroom door opened "hopefully back in chino if he knows what's good for him" Ryan threatened from the doorway.

"Jesus kid. We gotta get you checked out" Sandy said walking over to him

"I'm okay Sandy I promise. Just wanna sleep it off"

Sandy hesitated but nodded "Come on let's get out of here" Sandy called.

Theresa faltered eyeing Seth and Ryan, but Sandy knew instantly "you too Theresa. Come on" he added. Seth helped Theresa grab her stuff while Marissa walked Ryan out and sat him in the car.

Ryan had fallen asleep as soon as they began driving. Which saved him Seth's constant babbling, Sandy's constant questions and Marissa and Theresa's awkwardness.

Once they reached home Sandy walked to the other side and opened the door. He unbuckled Ryan's seatbelt for him and gently woke him up "We're home kid"

Ryan's eyes took a moment to focus and realise what was happening "I kinda like the car" he whispered trying to go back to sleep.

"No you don't kid. Come on. A comfy bed awaits" Sandy said grabbing his hand.

Ryan groaned but got out. He swayed slightly but Sandy kept him steady "I got you" he whispered closing the car door behind them. Marissa kept the front door open for them.

"Oh My God! Ryan!" Kirsten shouted seeing Ryan walk in injured "we need to get you checked out" she said immediately.

Ryan wanted to laugh at how all of their first thoughts were the hospital. The way he grew up the hospital was only for when you were close enough to death that you could see the light "I'm okay really"

Behind them Seth walked in with bags in his hand an awkward Theresa following. Kirsten smiled at her "you can stay as long as you need honey"

"Thank you" she said wholeheartedly.

"I'll help you settle into the pool house. Ryan I'll come check on you in the guest room. If I decide you need a doctor. You. Are. Going" she ordered walking away with Theresa.

"The Kirsten has spoken" Seth said

"Thanks for doing this" Ryan said at Sandy

"Kirsten and I would do anything for you kid. You know that" Sandy assured. As hard as it was to believe for Ryan Kirsten and Sandy clearly cared for him more than he ever expected.

Ryan refused their help up the stairs but Marissa, Seth and Sandy all hovered close behind him in case. By the time he made it up his ribs were on fire. He walked into the guest room next to Seth's bedroom and sat down with a grunt "okay I'll come check on you later" Sandy said as he turned to leave, but then turned back around "I'm not happy you got into a fight. But I'm proud of you for not going to Chino. This is progress" Ryan nodded

"Just taking my lawyers advice" he smiled.

Ryan pulled out keys form his jeans and handed them to Marissa "sorry" he whispered.

She sat down beside him "it's okay I understand now" she said again

"No as in sorry because we left your car at the motel" he smiled.

She rolled her eyes and laughed "I have to go. But I'll be back in the morning to check on you okay" She kissed his forehead lightly avoiding his injuries as much as she could "love you" she whispered in his ear "love you too" he whispered back.

She stood up "Seth call me with any updates okay"

"Yes ma'am" Seth saluted. She smiled awkwardly before leaving.

Marissa walked out and ran into Kirsten on her way up "thank you for taking care of him" she smiled

Marissa nodded awkwardly "how's Theresa?"

"She's okay. Just settling in. He loves you, you know"

"I… I know. And I love him too"

"Then make room for her" she interrupted "he's not going anywhere" she finished.

Marissa smiled and walked away.

"Ryan I brought you some clothes for now and I'll have Rosa move more of your stuff here while Theresa's staying" Kirsten said putting the bag down and removing all supplies she gathered

"Ahh the hovering begins" Seth smiled

Kirsten ignored his comment and carried on "I brought you Tylenol I suspect you have quite the headache" Ryan smiled and nodded

"Do we need wrap your ribs?" she asked pulling out the first aid kit

"No er I think it'll just make it worse" He said speaking from experience.

She nodded. It hurt her that he knew so much about being injured but she had to get used to the idea that he had a rough past "okay why don't you rest and please call us if you need anything"

Ryan nodded again and watched her leave. He grabbed the sweats and wife beater on the bed and stood up and swayed. Seth was beside him in an instant "sorry stood up too fast" Ryan flushed.

Seth followed him to the bathroom "you gonna come in too?" Ryan smiled

"Well if you need help then yes. But I'm hoping you can pee yourself" Ryan smiled

"I'll be okay" Seth nodded and sat down on the bed.

After ten minutes Seth couldn't take it anymore. He unpacked all of Ryan's stuff and he still wasn't out yet. Letting his overthinking get to him he knocked on the door worried "Ryan. You okay?"

Ryan opened the door "dude what have you been doing for the last ten minutes" Seth asked seeing Ryan come out in the same clothes

"I erm I can't get my shirt off. My ribs are killing me" he admitted embarrassed

"oh erm okay let me help you."

"no its okay. I'll just-"

"not change for a few days. Don't be stupid dude. Just let me help you" Ryan shrugged and took a step back into the bathroom and Seth followed surprised he'd actually agree. Seth gently pulled Ryan's t-shirt off and stared eyes wide at the bruises that covered his torso "Ryan that's so messed up"

"It's not as bad as it looks. Eddie just got in a few good kicks. They're not broken" he assured

"But you so kicked his ass right"

"oh yeah" Ryan nodded smiling remembering Tony having to pull Ryan off Eddie

"Awesome" Seth smiled and turned to leave but then stopped "you don't need help with your pants right. Because our relationship hasn't reached that yet"

Ryan snorted "I can still beat you up you know"

"I don't doubt it" Seth shuddered shutting the door.

Ryan walked back out "thanks for today man" he said making his way back to the bed

"Anytime man. Got your back remember" He smiled handing him the Tylenol.

Ryan swallowed them and then laid back on the pillows wincing but then relaxing into his position.

"so…" Seth started sitting down on the end of the bed

"Sorry for ditching you at the shower" Ryan started

Seth shrugged "Guess you had your reasons. It was pretty uneventful"

Ryan could tell something was off when Seth had no details to add "Summer?" he asked

"I think we broke up" Seth said after a minute

"her dad?"

"Yeah. Of all the love triangles to sink us, it's the least sexiest."

Ryan smiled "I'm sorry man."

"eh it's okay. I'm gonna get her back" he said confidently

"Yeah? Anything I can do to help" he offered

Seth bobbed his head like a kid "I've got a plan"

"Does it include a coffee cart?"

"no but. Something even better…" Seth talked until Ryan was unresponsive and as he left he promised to repeat the whole plan over when Ryan woke up.