We're still going with the idea that Seth, Ryan, Marissa, and Summer have graduated, since I refuse to buy into the whole two-junior-years if I don't have to. This is a semi-continuation of the "Phone Calls."Thanks, and reviews are welcome.
"Yeah, I know! And then, she was just like, 'No, Cohen, I need to go home; I'm out of clean clothes, and I can't just keep putting these through the laundry because, ew!' So I offered the perfectly reasonable and logical suggestion that she just, you know, stop wearing clothes altogether, I mean, it would make my job easier. I was never good at the undressing-her part of sex, you know, Ryan, never." Ryan shook his head, but Seth was on a roll.
"So…that's where Summer is tonight. She's at her house, sleeping in her bed, using her shower…naked…" As Seth closed his eyes, clearly beginning to rhapsodize, Ryan spotted a female figure walk through the door. It was somewhat of a different figure from the last time she walked through that door, but there was no mistaking her.
"Kirsten! You're home early," said Ryan, interrupting Seth's fantasy. Her face fell.
"I took a cab. I was hoping to surprise you," she pouted good-naturedly. "I was going to change into a bathing suit and arrange to be climbing out of the pool when the three of you were outside. It's Saturday night, anyway—why aren't you two with your girlfriends?"
"Yeah, Mom, we missed you, too," said Seth sarcastically. Ryan shot him a look. At the glare of Ryan's blue eyes, Seth's face contorted with horror.
"Oh my God, I can't believe I just said that. I am the worst son ever; I just…I love you, Mommy!" He ran over to Kirsten and threw his arms around her with such force that she almost fell, not that he wouldn't have caught her. "I missed you so, so much! How are you? Are you better? Do you want to sit down? Can I take your stuff to your room for you?" Kirsten laughed.
"It's okay, Seth. I missed you, too, like crazy!" She hugged him tighter.
"And Ryan!" Freeing herself from Seth's nearly-strangling grip, Kirsten walked over and gave Ryan a hug. His arms wrapped around her and she smiled as she whispered, "I'm sorry…for what I said? At the intervention?"
"Don't mention it," he told her. "It's not important. I'm cool."
"You're wonderful. I love you."
"Love you too." As they parted, Ryan surveyed the Kirsten Cohen who stood in the foyer of the Cohen mansion. She had gained back some of the weight she'd lost recently, and her face was no longer tired and gaunt. Her blonde hair had been cut differently, too, but Ryan didn't know enough about hair to understand more than that it looked nice. He took her suitcase and turned to go to the stairs.
"Leave it," she said, touching him lightly on the arm. He turned.
"That can wait. I've missed you two. Sit. Let's talk."
"Okay…I just thought that…you know, you went to all that trouble to have a surprise, well, there's still one of your three guys left. He's coming home in half an hour, though, so…" Kirsten smiled mischievously.
"Sounds like a plan. Okay. Let's take these upstairs, then. Seth?" she queried, remembering his offer from before. He reached for a duffel and made a big to-do about barely being able to lift it.
"I think that you and Ryan should do this part. Seth Cohen and manual labor do not mix. I'll get my Mom-time later." Kirsten smiled and kissed him affectionately on the cheek. As she and Ryan brought bags up the stairs, Seth smiled. He was perfectly capable of heavy-lifting, easily more so than his tiny mother, but he figured that Mom and Ryan needed some time to talk.
"So, Ryan, what have you been up to?" asked Kirsten, slightly breathless, as she put down her bag to open the bedroom door. Ryan took both and followed her into the room.
"Getting ready for college, mostly," he said. "I mean, USC's not far or anything, but it'll be different, and…I have to pack some stuff, you know?" She nodded. "It's going to be weird," he continued. "Not knowing anyone, not even Seth?"
"I always figured that you and Seth would go to the same college," said Kirsten with a smile.
"Yeah, well, no offense or anything, but Berkeley isn't really my thing. Seth really wanted to go, though, so I kind of…let him think that I was going to go, too. He'll be better off."
"So will you. But hey, who says you have to be alone? Aren't Marissa and Summer going to USC?"
"Summer's not. She's headed for the University of Maryland." Kirsten gasped.
"Yeah, it's going to last, maybe a semester. She'll transfer or Seth'll transfer or they'll both flunk out. Those two don't do well apart. Marissa…she'll probably end up at USC, but there's still a question of her therapy and stuff. She's considering trying a different city, even a different state, fresh start and all." They started back down the stairs. Suddenly, Ryan looked at Kirsten.
"I'm really glad you're home," he said. She smiled.
"Let me get the last bags. You do that bathing suit thing you wanted."
Kirsten fished through her drawers and found a white bikini. Hesitant about the weight she'd gained—even though she knew perfectly well that she'd gotten too thin—she was nervous about putting it on, but it actually looked better than she'd remembered. Ryan came to the door again and knocked. She quickly opened it for him, and raised her eyebrows in question.
"It looks good," he told her evenly. "Sandy's going to be thrilled. You realize, of course, that Seth and I will be watching his reaction from the pool house."
"Ah, yes," said Kirsten, the wicked grin from before returning to her face. She rummaged through her purse, coming up with three twenty dollar bills, which she handed to Ryan. "Can you and Seth…be out of the house tonight? Say, until midnight or so? I'd never ask him; I don't want him to freak out," she laughed. "But, um…?"
"Sure. I'll keep him out as long as you like. Um…what if I call home when we're done, and if you're…done…pick up. If you don't, well, I guess it'll probably be better for Seth's well-being if we stay out a little longer." He stopped as he realized that she was blushing.
Sandy walked through the doors of his home feeling lonely. The Mercedes-Benz ML500 he'd bought to replace Kirsten's totaled Range Rover was missing, which meant that the boys were out, which meant that he was alone. Sure enough, a note magnetized to the fridge read, Dad, Ryan and I decided to hang out for dinner and maybe a movie or pool or something. Summer might end up joining us. Back before midnight or we'll call. Love, Seth. Well, at least they left a note. Sandy opened the fridge and took out a canned iced tea. Better get used to no more beer before Kirsten got back. He sighed. She'd told him that she'd be another week; he didn't know how he'd make it through a whole seven more days.
He popped the top and meandered outside. The night was young and beautiful, and Sandy took a moment to marvel at how picturesque his home really was. He sat at the table and began to sip his iced tea.
He didn't know why he turned at the sound of rippling water; after all, he was sitting poolside, but he did. The vision floored him. It was Kirsten, all tanned and filled out again, her blonde hair wet and pressed against her skin, the tiny string bikini nearly see-through in its wetness.
"Hi," she said softly. It was Kirsten; there was no mistaking her voice. Sandy put down the can and slowly walked over to her. He was still wearing his suit from the office, but that didn't matter as her arms came around him and her body pressed against him and her lips met his…they could afford a dry-cleaner, after all.
"I missed you," Kirsten said, her voice slightly throatier than normal.
"I missed you," he murmured into her ear, his warm breath sending shivers down her body.
"So, Ryan, why did we have to leave? I mean, Mom just got home. I kind of wanted to hang out with her. Let's go home soon, okay?" Ryan looked bemusedly at his brother-friend. Was he deliberately being blind or truly oblivious? When "the look" didn't work, Ryan tried a different approach.
"So your Mom looks really pretty, doesn't she?"
"Oh, yeah, man. She's not so skinny anymore, you know, she looks like a woman again and not a skeleton, and don't get me started on her eyes! Mom has really pretty blue eyes, and they're pretty again! Actually, come to that, Dad has pretty blue eyes, too. I don't understand why I don't have pretty blue eyes, since, I mean, they're my parents. Ryan, you have pretty blue eyes; is it all I've imagined it is?" Ryan rolled his eyes.
"And…it's been, what, six weeks since your mom and dad saw each other?"
"Yeah, I don't think they've ever been apart this long since they've been married," mused Seth. "Still, I don't see what you're getting at."
"Seth. If it were Summer?" Seth got it. Disgust registered on his features.
"Oh, man, no, Ryan, no, my parents don't have sex."
"Explain yourself then."
"That was a long time ago, man, when they were y-young, a-and drunk, and, oh God Ryan, no, no, no…"
"Sorry to break it to you."
"Ryan," said Seth, trying desperately to steady his voice, "we are not going home tonight until, like noon, when we are sure that it is over."