Author: Kaija West
Summary: Seth and Ryan carve pumpkins, etc.
Notes: Written very fast and on the fly cause I wanted a Halloween story but didn't do one until today. Not beta'd since there wasn't time - please forgive errors. Now I must go carve my own pumpkin.
Cross posted to theoc_slash
Ryan and Seth sat on the kitchen floor, which was about half covered in newspaper. Each had an enormous pumpkin to carve. Ryan had bypassed the black marker and grabbed the first knife he could find, a serrated steak knife.
"What are you doing?" Seth asked looking at Ryan like he just shown up to a fancy charity event in his underwear.
"Uh, carving a pumpkin," Ryan said, not sure what Seth meant. Pumpkin carving really didn't seem like something that would be done any differently in Newport. "What, is this one of those things you do differently in Newport? Am I using the wrong knife for this course," Ryan finished half joking.
"As a matter of fact you are but we'll get to that," Seth said quickly. "Ryan, you can't just pick up any old knife and start hacking away. That's just not how it's done."
"So it is a Newport thing?"
"No, it's a Cohen thing. Look, we have had the best pumpkins on the street every year. I've won the pumpkin carving contest our street had for the last six years. It's one of the few positive titles ever bestowed upon me. I so don't want to lose that."
"What ‘Master Pumpkin Carver'?" Ryan said with a smirk. He found it funny that Seth was so proud of the recognition he got over something as trivial as pumpkin carving. Then he thought it was kind of sad that it was probably one of the few things the people around him had ever acknowledged that was positive about him. There was so much more to Seth than they knew. Ryan thought Seth should be known for a lot of other things like how smart and funny and accepting and what a great friend he was. People shouldn't know him as the outcast kid who was good at one obscure skill.
"Yes! Now look, take this marker," Seth said as he passed Ryan the pen. "Draw out the pattern before you cut. If you don't it'll be all lopsided."
Ryan let out a short sigh and drew two triangles for eyes and a big jagged mouth. It was already lopsided. Seth, stopped his detailed drawing to see what Ryan had done.
"That's it?" he asked.
"Oh, no wait," Ryan said as he picked up the pen again to add something.
"Oh, good cause for a second there I thought you were serious and that you were just going to leave it like tha-" Seth stopped talking when he noticed that Ryan had only added a square for a nose before setting down the pen, finished.
"Oooookay," Seth said. "You know Ryan, for someone who wanted to be an architect I'm kinda surprised at the definite lack of planning going on here."
"Seth it's a pumpkin, not a work of art."
"Wrong again my man. Pumpkin carving can be like a sort of zen exercise, like bonzai trees."
Ryan gave Seth a look before shaking his head and grabbing the knife he'd pulled out of a drawer earlier.
"Ah ah!" Seth stopped him from making the first cut by scolding Ryan like he was a puppy about to pee on the carpet. "Where did you find that old piece of junk?"
"In there," Ryan said pointing to a low drawer where the Cohen's kept an assortment of junk. Ryan had actually laughed out loud the first time he'd looked in the drawer, amazed that absolutely everybody had a drawer for old junk, even the Cohens with their otherwise immaculate house. Well, immaculate except for Seth's room anyway.
"You can't just use an old dull knife Ryan," Seth explained slowly as though explaining it to a little kid.
"Well why not?" Ryan asked with a sigh. Seth's pumpkin carving nazi attitude had ceased to be amusing to him and he really just wanted to get this finished sometime before it got dark out.
"Because Ryan, that knife won't cut well. If you use it it'll look bad and I'll make you put your pumpkin on the other side of the porch, away from mine. Here use one of these," Seth said motioning towards the full set of knives laid out beside him.
Ryan stifled down the growl he wanted to let out and randomly grabbed a knife.
"Good choice. Not my favourite to start cutting with but not bad either," Seth said.
"You have a favourite knife for this?" Ryan asked in disbelief.
"Yeah, of course. You didn't?"
"Um, no not really. I just sort of used whatever was around," Ryan explained as he lined up his first cut. Most of the knives at his mom's house had been the ones they gave you free with a fill up at a local gas bar.
"Ah, I see," Seth said. He was getting it now. If Ryan had never used really good knives then he'd have no idea how much easier carving could be, and he'd never have ended up with a really great looking pumpkin. "Well these are Henkles and while I'm the first to admit they were never intended to used as pumpkin carving they do work really well. They only thing is they're really-"
"Ouch!!!" Ryan yelped.
"...sharp," Seth finished. He looked over to see that Ryan had cut himself and was bleeding all over the pumpkin. "Oh, man. I'm sorry, I-I should have warned you. How bad is it?" he asked worriedly.
"Not that bad," Ryan said automatically. He was holding the cut tightly, trying to stop the blood from dripping all over. He had slipped with the knife and caught himself between his thumb and first finger on his right hand. He didn't think the cut was deep enough to need stiches but would have to get a better look at it to be sure.
Ryan got up and went to the sink, running his stinging hand under the faucet, watching the blood swirl down the drain.
"I'm so sorry, Ryan. Are you okay?" Seth asked. He was standing behind Ryan, holding the first aid kit he'd grabbed out of a cabinet.
Finally deciding he'd done the most he could with rinsing it Ryan grabbed some paper towels to staunch the flow and returned to his spot on the floor. He could have bandaged his hand at the counter but he figured it was better if he didn't get blood on there.
Turning to Seth who was crouched beside him looking a little panicked Ryan said, "Hey it's just a cut. It's no big deal. Why don't you dig some bandages out of there," he said motioning towards the kit.
"Oh, right yeah," Seth said pawing through the contents. "Why don't you let me cover it for you? I mean, it's your right hand and all."
Ryan almost automatically snatched back his hand when Seth took it. He felt a bit uncomfortable with someone else touching his injured hand. But this was Seth and if there was one person he trusted to not hurt him Seth would be the one.
Seth let out several very Summer-esque "Eww!"s as he disinfected the cut. It wasn't too deep but it was a couple inches long and would probably take awhile to heal because of it's location.
"Okay all done," Seth announced. He then impulsively raised Ryan's wounded hand and gave it kiss to make it better.
"What was that for?" Ryan asked. He thought that was a pretty strange thing for Seth to do. It wasn't like they'd never kissed or messed around before, far from it, but never right out of the blue like that.
"So it'll heal faster," Seth said as though that was a perfectly reasonable explanation. "My mom always does that- I mean, did that when I was little and I got hurt."
"Oh," Ryan said. His mom had never done that. She had shown him how to put on his own bandages when he was seven and that had been it.
Seth was still holding Ryan's hand in his own when he heard the change in his friend's voice. He knew that Ryan didn't really like talking about his childhood but usually Seth could figure out when his thoughts had returned there. He noticed a small scar on the top of Ryan's wrist and gave it a kiss too.
"Now what was that for? I didn't just cut myself there," Ryan said.
"No, but I bet that one never got a kiss to make it better, did it?"
"Heh, no, it certainly didn't," he said, remembering how he'd got that scar.
"Ryan you got a little blood on your shirt. Maybe you should take it off," Seth suggested.
Ryan yanked off the wife beater and tossed it aside. He leaned his back against the island and stretched out his legs.
Seth had always looked at Ryan's body but he'd never noticed all the small scars. He was pretty sure some of them looked like cigarette burns. He wondered how he'd never noticed the faint circular marks that dotted Ryan's right arm or the thin lines of scar tissue on his left shoulder and chest where it looked like he'd probably had stitches at some point. None of the marks were all that prominent but once Seth started looking for them he was surprised how numerous they were. And he'd bet his comic book collection that Dawn had never kissed any of them better. If anything she'd probably caused some of them, or at least failed to prevent them.
Seth leaned close and lightly pressed his lips to one of the thin lines on Ryan's shoulder. He softly kissed along it's length until he moved onto the next one beside it.
"Seth," Ryan began, his voice deep with a mixture of desire and regret. "I think it's a little late for that. They healed a long time ago."
Seth pulled back, his hands on Ryan's shoulders, looking him right in the face. "I know, but I want to make them better."
"Well you can't make them better. You can't change me. They'll still be there when you're done. You can't change me," Ryan said darkly, anger and sadness clear in his tone.
"I'm not trying to change you, Ryan. You're perfect the way you are, scars and all. I just thought maybe you should have something you missed out on. I know they've healed but maybe this will make it a little better," Seth said wondering if maybe he shouldn't have just bandaged Ryan's hand and left well enough alone.
Ryan heard Seth's calm tone. It amazed him that Seth wasn't the least bit defensive of his actions, even when Ryan nearly snapped at him for just trying to help. He realized that Seth was just doing his best to make him feel better, and even if it did remind him of things he'd rather leave buried and forgotten, it was still more than most people had ever done for him.
He reached forward, wrapping a hand behind Seth's neck and pulled him in for a brief kiss.
"You can't erase them but hey, maybe you're right, maybe you can make them feel better, make me feel better," he said quietly.
Seth kissed him again, deeper, more insistent this time. He worked his way down Ryan's jaw, kissing and licking at his neck until Ryan was squirming just a bit before he continued down past his collar bones and returned to the shoulder he'd been kissing earlier. The kisses now were not just the soft, healing ones like before but now were a mix of licking, sucking and nuzzling. Still, before Seth's mouth left each area he ended with a light, barely there kiss.
When he'd reached halfway down Ryan's chest the angle had become somewhat awkward. Seth had gently maneuvered them sideways so that Ryan was laying on his back on the floor with Seth draped over him, slowly working his way down Ryan's stomach. When he reached for Ryan's jeans and undid the button and zipper Ryan raised his head.
"Seth," his voice tinged with lust, "You know there's no scars down there."
"Mmm Hmm," Seth replied as he worked Ryan's pants and boxers out of the way. "I wasn't going to let that stop me."
"Good," Ryan purred and Seth started stroking the skin over his hips. When Seth's warm tongue followed the patterns set by his hands Ryan let out a soft groan.
"You know, you're not going to have time to carve your pumpkin now," Ryan said. He felt like he'd explode all over Mrs. Cohen's nice, clean kitchen if Seth stopped. All the newspaper they'd set down wouldn't be enough to coved that mess. But Ryan knew they could finish this later in the pool house if Seth was really concerned about winning best pumpkin. It might feel like he was going to die if he had to wait but Ryan was willing to wait if he had to.
"That's okay. We'll put yours out. It's pretty scarey looking," Seth said pointing towards the uncarved pumpkin with blood dripped all over it.
Ryan craned his neck around to look that the pumpkin behind him. Seth was right. With the real blood half dried on the surface and the black drawn-on face smeared it did look pretty scarey.
Turning back to face Seth he laughed lightly.
"Besides," Seth said, looking at Ryan happy face, "There's something else I'd rather light up tonight."