Back at the Cohen house Kirsten and Sandy were having lunch. "He'll be okay" Sandy reassured her, when he noticed his wife was worrying.

"Ya, I know. I'm actually more worried about Marissa. I know she isn't going on the boat trip, and probably will go to Berkley, but is she going to be okay? What if this is one traumatic experience too many?"

That caught Sandy by surprise, but as always, he had an answer. "She is a strong girl, and all you can do is be there for her, have an open heart and mind and just be her friend, she will need it from an adult that isn't her mom."

"Yeah, I guess you're right."

"Aren't I always?" Sandy joked.

Then Seth walked in the front door and into the kitchen. "Hey. Ryan woke up for a couple minutes! He was in a lot of pain so he'll be under until tomorrow, but looks like he'll be fine! Oh, and him and Marissa are so back together now."

"Oh good," Kirsten said, pulling herself back together "how wonderful!"

"Um well, I'm going to call Summer now." Seth said awkwardly to his parents and walked up the stairs to his room.

"They are getting along well, huh?" Sandy commented.

"Yes, think she's the One for him?" Kirsten pondered.

"Whoa, weird to think about, our little boy all grown up with the girl he'll be with for the rest of his life."

"I think she's it though. The way they are around each other, its right."

"Well, us Cohen men are pretty good at finding the right women, if I do say so myself."

"I can't disagree" Kirsten said, leaning into a kiss.

The doorbell rang.

"They say the key to comedy is timing." Sandy said, exasperated.

"I'll get the door" Kirsten responded. "Oh, hey Summer!"

"Hi Kirsten. So I was planning on taking Cohen out for the afternoon and evening, to get his mind off everything, you know." Summer said quickly.

"Ryan's going to be okay you know sweetie." Kirsten reassured her.

"Ya, ya I know." Summer said, unconvincingly.

"Seth is upstairs in his room." Kirsten said and returned to the kitchen.

Summer walked into Seth's room to find him lying on his bed staring at the ceiling with Captain Oats on his chest.

"Okay Cohen. We're going out. No more sulking, no more staring at the ceiling, and Captain Oats, you need to let me deal with this one for now. What you are doing in here won'tl help anything." Summer announced.

"I feel like I should do a Ryan Atwood and find Volchok and beat the pulp out of him." Seth said.

"Well, we all know how that would end, with you dead." Summer stated bluntly. "And we all feel that way, so just wait for the cops to find him, be glad Ryan is alive, and come on a date with me." Summer stated. As always she was in charge and the reasonable one in the relationship.

"What would I do without you?" Seth asked as he got up.

"Probably get yourself killed, my little Cohen." Summer crooned.

"Okay, let's go then." Seth said and kissed her.

That afternoon they went and saw a chick flick, with a couple good action sequences. Then they went to the diner and had dinner. Summer had successfully distracted him. After eating they took a walk along the beach, all of a sudden Summer noticed Marissa at the lifeguard stand. She was sitting in the shadows, so Summer couldn't see what she was doing. She ran up the stairs and realized that Marissa was sitting with her arms wrapped around her knees and a flask in her hands and she was crying. Summer rushed over to Marissa, grabbed the flask away from her, realizing it was half empty, and sat down. "So talk missy," Summer demanded.

Marissa gave a little smile, but no light came to her eyes. "I don't know, maybe I'm just worried, that he won't get better, or if he does he'll realize it's all my fault and leave me. Maybe I feel bad for him because I drove away his brother so now when he is almost dead in the hospital none of his family is there for him. Maybe I am worried about next year, what if he finds a smart Berkley girl and forgets about me. What if I get drunk too much and he realizes I'm a basket case and not worth it?" Marissa rambled and her best friend in the entire world hugged her tight and didn't let go.

"He will always love you, remember. It's not your fault, any of it and you will be at Berkley with him, remember?"

Sniffling, Marissa consented, "Okay, yeah, I'm just crazy."

"You're not crazy, just in love sweetheart. Oh and a little drunk. Now let's take you home."

Then Seth came over; together they pulled Marissa on her feet and walked back to the car.

"Sorry for ruining your date." Marissa told them.

"Not ruined at all my darling just made it memorable." Seth said as he leaned over and kissed Summer.


The next morning everyone was at Ryan's bedside. They brought a large breakfast, bagels and cream cheese, cereal and coffee, and hung out for hours. Ryan was feeling a lot better, he had his bed propped up and was actively participating in the conversation, or as actively as he ever would be. Marissa was always by his side, holding his hand.

Around noon people cleared out, leaving Summer, Seth and Marissa behind. They talked about school, movies and friends from high school. They had some gross hospital food for lunch, but it was fun to make fun of anyway.

Around 1 an unexpected guest arrived. Taylor Townsend walked into the room. It was awkward for a moment and then Summer spoke up. "Hey Taylor, how are you? I thought you were going to Paris?"

"Oh, well I am, but not until the beginning of August. I came to see Ryan, I heard about the fight. Crazy, huh? Here I have some flowers for you, they are the nicest varieties made by this wonderful Korean woman that lives near…"

"They look great Taylor." Ryan chuckled.

"Oh good, because I didn't know if you were the kind of guy who would be repulsed by having flowers in your room." Taylor went on, talking a mile a minute.

"No really, they are nice." Ryan reassured her.

Uncomfortably, Marissa interjected. "So what are you planning for the beginning of the summer, is your mother doing any events?"

"Oh yes. It's awful. I have to hang around her listening to her boss people around as she pretends that she cares about the causes that we raise money for. Oh, and speaking of which, I have to go help her right now, well, I'll see you guys soon? We need to hang out. Call me Summer?" She kept talking.

"Okay, good luck with your mom." Summer said, amused.

"Whew. She ceases to amaze me." Seth said when she left.

Marissa and Summer then went home to get ready for a day of shopping and tanning.

"Finally some Seth-Ryan time, seems like it's been forever man!" Seth remarked.

"Well, I don't have any girl troubles that I know of, you?" Ryan asked.

"I don't have any, but you might not be seeing the outside scoop on your relationship," Seth said vaguely.

"And that is?" Ryan asked, annoyed.

"Well, Summer and I were walking on the beach last night and we found your girlfriend at the lifeguard stand, crying." Seth pointed out, obviously excited to share his information.

"Why?" Ryan wondered aloud.

"I don't know. Did you do something?" Seth assumed.

"Besides almost get killed by her ex-boyfriend, no, not that I know of." Ryan pondered.

"Well, I guess all you can do is just tell her how you feel, girls always like that." Seth pointed out.

"Yeah, I guess, crying though? I really don't get women." Ryan surrendered.

"Me neither." Seth agreed. "So, I think I have better bring you some more comic books buddy, you're getting low."

"I think I'm good, but there is a TV in here." Ryan implied.

"Right, I'll bring movies next time. Don't let the girls know or else you'll be watching The Valley all day. Hey, when are you getting out of here anyway?"

"Seth, I've only been here a day. Anyway, I don't know. They haven't decided yet."

"Well, your face is looking a little better anyway. You'll be pretty bruised for a while though."

"Yeah well, beggars can't be choosers. At least I'm living right?"

"Yup. Hey, we can spend the summer lounging around in the pool so you can heal."

"I don't think I'll be able to go in the pool for a while. I still have stitches in for a couple weeks after I'm home."

"Well you can watch your girlfriend hang out in the pool." Seth consoled, jokingly. "Hey, I want to see those stitches."

"Not unless you see the doctor taking the massive layers of bandages off because I am not doing it. Okay, enough talking, lets read some comic books."

Seth tossed Ryan a comic book and they fell into a comfortable silence. Soon Ryan was asleep, so Seth wrote a note and slipped out of the room quietly.


Around 8 o'clock Marissa came by with a cheeseburger and chili fries and a bunch of games to play. They had a wonderful meal together. Afterwards they watched a movie that she had rented, wanting him to be happy, it was an action movie with hardly any plot. It didn't really matter to either of them though, because they were either looking at each other, snacking on chili fries or kissing. After the movie Marissa pulled out a surprise.

"Shoots and Ladders?" Ryan looked at her funny.

"Come on, it's a great game. I used to play it when I was little with my dad, then with my sister when she was old enough, but against her I'd cheat."

"Never heard of it." Ryan said.

"What games did you play as a kid?"

"Besides 'Who can hide from Mom and boyfriend longest?' We played hot wheels when Mom was drunk or high in the front room. When I was a little older Trey and Mom taught me how to play poker and 21 and to gamble." Ryan responded. An awkward silence followed.

"Are you mad at me?" Marissa asked.

"What?" Ryan asked, confused. "Why would I be mad at you?"

"Because I'm the reason your brother's gone, the reason Volchok almost killed you, basically the reason you are in this hospital." Marissa half muttered.

"Marissa, come here." Ryan said, even though she was sitting only a few feet down the bed. "You are beautiful,"

"That doesn't answe…" she started.

"Shhh. As I was saying, you are beautiful." He kissed her shoulder, "caring," he kissed her neck, "gorgeous," he kissed her cheek.

"That's just another beautiful, you know." Marissa whispered.

"I love you," He kissed her lips. "And none of this is your fault, you're just stuck in the middle of my messed up life." He kissed her again. "And, I have my family here. It's the Cohens, Summer and you. So, no, I am not mad at you at all, you are amazing." He kissed her again. "Now can we play Shoots and ladders?"

"Only if you promise to teach me how to really play poker, the Atwood way." She teased.

"Deal, now let's play."

They then played a round of Shoots and ladders, which ended with Ryan loosing badly. To make it up to him Marissa and Ryan had a long make-out session, which ended with Marissa lying next to him on the bed.

"Now it's poker time." Marissa said and threw a deck of cards over herself to Ryan. When he finished shuffling he looked over to find her fast asleep. He tried to cover her with some blanket to no avail. Luckily a nurse came in soon after, saw the two on the bed and brought a blanket and cleared off the games.

"Its okay honey," She whispered to the worried looking Ryan. "I'll explain to parents if they don't believe you." She consoled.

"Thank you" Ryan practically mouthed.