Title: Weekend at the House on Haunted Hill
Summary: Sandy and Kirsten don't trust Ryan and Seth alone in the house when they go away for a weekend.
Here's her request:
PAIRING/CHARACTERS: Ryan, Seth, Julie, Caleb, and whoever else you want to add. As for pairings, um, non-slash, and preferably not Ryan/Marissa. Anything else goes.
PREFERRED LENGTH: how long do you want the story to be? At least a decent-sized one-shot (1,000+ words).
SCENARIO and PLOT: Kirsten and Sandy are going away for the weekend, but the boys have gotten into some sort of trouble recently, and they don't want to leave them home alone so they send Seth and Ryan to stay with Julie and Caleb.
RATING: G - R
SMUT: Not necessary, although if you want to add some DHR I won't complain a bit!
SPECIFICS: I'd like to see the boys trying to sneak out of the house, to meet their girlfriends or go to some party, anything that will result in them getting caught and trying to explain their way out of trouble. Caleb doesn't hate Ryan as much as in the past several episodes, and his giving the boys a talk about girls and sex is optional, but would be wonderful if you're so inclined.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of it, but starting to think if I did, I might do a better job.
And thanks to chazper for acting as beta.
They were sitting in Seth’s room; music was playing softly on the stereo. He wasn’t sure what band it was; Modest Mouth, Death Cab, Bright Eyes, one of those. He wasn’t sure and he didn’t really care. Seth was galloping Captain Oats across the bed and talking a mile a minute.
“So this weekend it’s just you and me, man. Mom and Dad are going out of town. Mom has some sort of business meeting.”
Ryan shrugged. “Okay.” He had been there when Sandy and Kirsten had announced their plans.
“Don’t you get it?” Seth’s eyes were wide; his dimples exploding off of his face. “When the cat’s away the mice will play. It’s the perfect opportunity to throw a party.”
“Like the one your aunt threw New Years?”
Seth shook his head from side to side. “The guest list will be select. It won’t get out of hand. And we won’t be locked in the pool house.”
“Seth, we were just grounded last weekend, do you think it’s a good idea to get your parents angry so soon? We had to endure a six-hour Stallone marathon. I don’t think I could handle much more.”
“They’ll never know. That’s the beauty of it.”
Ryan rolled his eyes. “You always say that. You said that when we snuck off to Tijuana. You said that last night when you convinced me to stay at the party passed our curfew. They always catch us.”
“They didn’t figure out how the car got trashed at that house party in Long Beach. Mom still thinks it was at the Imax.”
“She never believed us, she was just never sure of the truth. And you know they’ll figure out that there was a party here. They’re onto us.”
Kirsten stood outside Seth’s room, her arms crossed. Her cheeks were burning as she overheard her sons planning a while she and Sandy were out of town. Obviously, grounding them wasn’t enough. At the same time, she bit her lip, trying to cover her amusement; she finally knew the truth behind her trashed Range Rover. She felt like pumping her hands in the air, triumphant with her nugget of knowledge. And the boys would not get away with throwing a party while she and Sandy were gone.
“We’re not going,” she told her husband five minutes later. She was sitting at her vanity table, looking at Sandy through the mirror, running a brush through her golden locks. Sandy was sitting on the bench at the edge of their bed, changing his shoes.
“Honey, I don’t mind staying home. Really, I don’t. But tell it to your dad. I thought this was a really important business meeting.”
She sighed. “It is. But he’ll have to understand. The boys come first.”
Sandy arched his brows.
He threw up his hands as if in surrender. “Honey, if you’re dad agrees, I’m okay with that, we’ll find a way to spend time with each other. Worse comes to worst, I’ll stay behind and you’ll go yourself.”
“Oh no.” She shook her head vehemently, her hair flying from side to side. A couple of strands stuck to her lips. She pulled them away. “If I’m going you’re going. I am not going to shmooze these old geezers on my own. Dad will just have to understand.”
Sandy walked up behind his wife and put his large hands on her shoulders and started to knead. “You are so tense, honey. You need to calm down.”
“How can I? They’re staying out all night, locked in the mall. Sneaking out to be with girls. They’re coming home late from parties. And I know they’re drinking. Maybe they’re not getting drunk, but they’re drinking. And I finally found out what happened to the Range Rover.”
Sandy furrowed his brows. “The car is fine. What happened to it?”
“It wasn’t the Imax. They took it to a party in Long Beach.”
Sandy burst out in raucous laughter. He was laughing so hard, he had to hold his belly. “Honey that was two summers ago.”
She nodded. “At least that summer Ryan was nervous we might not let him stay. Any trouble he got into, he was being led by the nose by Seth. Now he knows he’s here for good and they have each other. Those two together are incorrigible.”
He kissed the tip of her nose. “You’re incorrigible. But if you want to stay behind, and skip the business trip, I’m okay with it.” He left the room, trying to wipe the smirk from his face before he went to ream out the boys.
Kirsten straightened her jacket and took a deep breath before knocking on her father’s office. Her stomach was fluttering, as if she were eighteen again, about to share the news that she and Jimmy had broken up and she had met someone in college. In her head, Kirsten chastised herself, reminded herself that she was a grown woman with two teenage sons and that she was her father’s right hand in business. She could face him.
She picked up her hand and rapped loudly on his door. Caleb looked up from his desk and smiled when he saw his daughter. “Kiki, come in.” She still wished he would stop calling her that.
“Good morning, Dad.” She kissed him lightly on his cheek, feeling the scratchy stubble under her lips. “How are you feeling this morning?”
It wasn’t long since her father’s heart attack and he was only at work part time as per doctor’s orders. That was why she had been selected to go on this very important business trip. So Kirsten dealt with her father as if he were glass. She tried to keep his stress level low, by not foisting any huge surprises on him or getting him riled up about anything. She knew she was about to upset him.
“Are you taking your medicine?” she asked.
Caleb looked up from his sheaf of papers and put down his pen. “What do you need, Kiki?”
She decided it was a parent’s instinct. When the boys, well at least Seth, came to her asking how her day was and how she was feeling she knew that they wanted something from her.
“I need to talk to you about the trip to San Francisco. Sandy and I can’t make it.”
“Why the hell not?” Caleb exploded.
“Dad, calm down. I’ll explain. It’s the boys. They just need us now. Things have been so tense these few weeks between Sandy and me and they’re acting out. We need to be here for them. Frankly, I don’t trust them on their own.”
Caleb was breathing heavily. “Kirsten, I need you on this deal. My doctor won’t okay the trip to San Francisco or I’d do it myself.”
“So let Julie go for you.”
He raised his brows.
Kirsten sank into the chair across from his father’s desk. “Okay. Okay. I know this is important, but what should I do about the boys. I overheard them last night planning a party while we’re away. The other night they came home at three a.m. Sandy and I were worried out of our minds.” She didn’t tell him about the night they nearly spent on the mall; when Ryan had risked his probation for a stupid teenage prank.
“Didn’t you try to reach them on their phones?”
“Conveniently turned off.” She put an arm on the edge of Caleb’s desk. “Seth keeps dragging Ryan to these parties. God knows what goes on at them. Every chance he gets, Seth sneaks out of the house. At least when Sandy and I tell Ryan he’s grounded he stays grounded. Seth,” she shook her head, “Seth is impossible.”
“Kirsten, I understand your concern for the boys. I really do. And I haven’t forgotten Seth’s little stunt back in January when he stole my car.”
Kirsten bit her lip, hoping her father wouldn’t start blaming Ryan again.
“Don’t worry. I don’t blame Ryan anymore, though you know that’s where he got the idea that to be a bad boy you steal cars. But Seth’s been making his own decisions. I know that now.” Her father folded his hands in front of him. “What if they stay with me for the weekend? Julie and I will make sure they won’t get into any mischief.”
“I don’t know.” She thought back to her anniversary weekend. Seth was sneaking out to be with Alex. Ryan was sneaking around making out with her new sister. Sandy had threatened that if they couldn’t behave, they send them to Caleb’s. It wasn’t a good idea. But the Culver project was important to restoring the Newport Group to its former glory. It would do more to restore the image of the company than Julie’s Newport Living project. “I’ll discuss it with Sandy. No promises. My family comes first.”
“They’ll be fine at my house. I didn’t do too bad a job with my two girls.”
Kirsten arched a brow, but bit back a retort.
“What do you think, Sandy?” She was back at her desk, her office door closed. She had asked her receptionist to please hold all her calls for the next twenty minutes. “This meeting is very important to my dad. I need to do this for him. Should we send the boys to him and Julie?”
The thought sent a wave of nausea through her. She tasted the bitter taste of bile in her throat. Could she do that to her boys?
“You know,” Sandy was slowly saying on the other end of the line. “Maybe this will teach them a good lesson. We warned the boys months ago that if they didn’t behave this might happen. They keep acting out.”
“That’s not fair. It’s been a tough few months for them. Everyone’s been walking around the house on eggshells. We can’t blame them.”
“You’re making excuses for them now?” But she heard the smirk in his voice on the other end of the phone.
Kirsten sighed. “You’re right. This will teach them a lesson. I’ll tell my father and Julie that they can expect some houseguests and we can tell the boys tonight at dinner.”
It was like a bomb had been dropped in the Cohen kitchen. Ryan was stirring a steaming pot of tomato sauce. The scent of oregano and garlic wafted through the room. Seth was chopping vegetables for the salad. Both were trying to make amends for their late night out. They were also trying to build the parents trust again, prove that they could be responsible. It had been Seth’s idea. Ryan had reminded him that the pancakes hadn’t worked either. Seth insisted this would be more subtle.
Kirsten walked in to the room, inhaling deeply. “Smells good in here.” Sandy followed her, and put his briefcase on the counter near the kitchen door.
“Dinner will be ready in around twenty minutes.” Ryan cracked a handful of spaghetti into a pot of boiling water. He grabbed another bunch, snapped them in half and threw it into the pot.
“Thanks honey. That was sweet of you to prepare supper.”
“We need to talk about this weekend boys.”
Ryan and Seth exchanged glances. Sandy had yelled at them the night before about how in no uncertain terms was there to be a party while they were gone. But while sitting in the student lounge Seth had convinced Ryan that this was their perfect cover.
“They’d never suspect we’d actually try it,” he had said.
“Your mom tried getting out of this business trip, but Caleb really needs her and she needs me. But we don’t trust you in the house alone.”
“You can trust us.” Seth looked up from the cutting board. “Really.”
Sandy sighed. “Nice try. I don’t buy it. That’s why you’re staying at your Grandfather’s house while we’re in San Francisco.”
Ryan had been reaching up in the cabinet above the stove to take down the glasses for dinner. When he heard Sandy’s proclamation his hand slipped and the glass fell directly into the pot of tomato sauce. Red splattered onto the splashboard, and all over the counter as well as his shirt. Stray bits of onion and meat landed in his hair. Sauce hung off the end of his lashes.
“Shit.” He looked up horrified. “Sorry.”
Kirsten jumped up from her chair and ran around the counter. She grabbed a towel and wiped the sauce off of Ryan’s face. She bit the inside of her cheek to suppress a giggle.
“Honey, the news isn’t that terrible. It’s only for a weekend. And my father promises to be on his best behavior. He won’t insult you. I promise.”
Ryan took the towel from Kirsten and rubbed his shirt, only making the red seep deeper into his shirt. He’d have to take it off and soak it so Rosa wouldn’t have a hard time when doing his laundry.
“I know we’ve screwed up,” Ryan started slowly. “But really, you can trust us. I promise I won’t follow Seth into anymore trouble.”
Kirsten shook her head. She spun the roll of paper towels and ripped off a piece and wet under the faucet before starting to clean the counter and splashboard. “I’m still not over your little mall stunt. At least there you gave us the truth.”
Ryan bowed his head, his chin hanging low on his chest. Kirsten noted that his hair was getting shaggy and he needed a haircut.
“I’m sorry about that. I just needed to get my mind off of Lindsay.”
“That’s great Ryan,” Sandy jumped in. “Get yourself thrown back into Juvie to get your mind off of a girl. That’s really using your brain. You and Seth and the girls would have landed in a world of trouble had you been caught. The two of you just haven’t been using any common sense lately.”
“Dad, it was just a prank. It’s not like we got locked inside on purpose.”
“A stupid one. You cannot stay home alone. End of discussion. Your mother and I can’t be here and so we’re sending you to your grandfather. You don’t like it, too bad. And when you’re there, you’re both still grounded for the weekend. You will not go out. There’s plenty to do there to keep you occupied.”
“Be fair Dad!”
“You can be grounded the week after that too, Seth. I don’t mind.” Sandy glared at him.
Seth held up his hands. “You win.”
“Don’t be a smartass.”
“Sorry,” he mumbled.
“Yeah,” Ryan agreed. “Sorry we made you distrust us so much.” He had turned back to the stove and lowered the flame on the sauce and spaghetti. He did feel bad, but not that bad. Inwardly, he was smiling, glad that Sandy and Kirsten were finally paying attention to them again. Even if it meant they were angry.