Author's Note: This story takes place during the episode 'The Aftermath'. This story will have references to my stories 'Thanksgiving' and 'The Infamous Egg', so you might want to read those first. Written September 2005
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, and I am not making any money from these stories.
Warning: Non consensual disciplinary spanking of teens by a parental figure.

. . .
. . .
The Not so Great Escape

Sandy opened the door to face the police officer. The officer said, "We have a warrant for Ryan Atwood's arrest."

Sandy said, "You're too late."

Sandy let the police in, and they searched the house from top to bottom. Sandy shook his head trying to figure out where the kids could have gone, and wondering why he had left them alone in the first place. Especially since both boys had a history of running. Once the police were gone, Sandy called both of their cell phones, along with Summer and Marissa's phone numbers. None of them answered.

The police put out an APB for Sandy's SUV which the kids had taken. They got a lucky break when a cop saw the SUV driving towards the docks. Within minutes the police had surrounded the escape boat, and Ryan was in custody. Ryan was taken away while his friends were questioned.

Seth, Summer, and Marissa all denied any knowledge of Ryan's upcoming arrest, and said they were just planning an overnight stay in Catalina. The police called all of their parents and kept them at the dock for questioning. Sandy soon arrived at the dock along with Summer's father, and Jimmy and Julie Cooper. Sandy stood back and watched while Summer and Marissa both told their parents they had no idea why they were being held. Then he watched while Julie intimidated the police and made them apologize to her for any inconvenience. Soon Marissa and Summer were on their way home with their parents.

Once everyone else was gone, Sandy went up to one of the police officers and asked if he could take Seth home. The policeman had already had an earful from Julie, and just nodded. Seth, who had remained strangely quite through the whole thing, just kept biting at his nails and followed Sandy to his car.

Once they were in the car and on their way home Sandy said, "What happened?"

"Ryan thought maybe it would be best to take off for a while. I told him not to, but…. Well you know Ryan when he gets an idea in his head. And Marissa suggested we go with him….. It sounded like a good idea at the time."

Sandy shook his head. "This was the worst thing Ryan could have done. He's just dug himself a deeper hole to fall in. Only guilty people run. You should have tried harder to talk him out of it, and if you couldn't talk him out of it, you should have called me."

"But then he'd be mad at me."

Sandy gripped the steering wheel harder. He said, "If the tables were turned, and you were doing something that Ryan thought was a bad idea, do you think he would just stand by and let you do it because he was worried you wouldn't like him if he stopped you?"

Seth thought about it for a few minutes and then said quietly, "No."

"Didn't we have this same talk the night Trey got shot? What did I tell you to do the next time you were worried Ryan was running off to do something dangerous or misguided?"

"You said to call you, but…."

"That's right. I did tell you to call me, but instead of calling me you ran off to help him run away, and then to top it off you wouldn't even answer your cell phone when I tried calling you!"

"I don't want Ryan to go to jail Dad. He didn't do it, and no one is going to believe his word over Trey's."

Sandy pulled up to their house and said, "That's where you're wrong Seth. Why do you and Ryan seem to think a judge or jury would buy Trey's story over Ryan's? Of the two of them Ryan is much more credible."

Seth and Sandy both got out of the car. Sandy walked Seth to the door and said, "Give me your cell phone."

Seth got it out of his pocket and handed it to Sandy. Sandy said, "You're grounded for a week, and I'll give this back to you when it's over."

Seth rolled his eyes and said, "You're taking away my phone because I didn't call you Dad? Don't you think you have that backwards somehow?"

As Seth was talking Sandy had opened the front door. "Get in the house Seth."

As Seth walked past Sandy, Sandy gave him a hard swat. Seth quickly turned around and said, "Hey!"

Sandy said, "Stay here this time. I'm going to go talk to Ryan, and make sure he's okay."

Seth was clearly worried. He remembered what had happened after the egg incident, and hoped Sandy was done. Sandy put a hand on the side of Seth's face and said, "It could take hours. Eat some dinner and go to bed."

Seth nodded absently. Sandy turned and went back to his car.

An hour later Sandy was sitting in an interrogation room waiting for Ryan. Ryan showed up looking guilty. Sandy said, "I see the jumpsuit still fits."

Ryan could tell Sandy was less then pleased and said nothing. He sat down and waited. Sandy said, "I don't know what you were thinking kid, but running was the worst move you could have made! Now people will assume you're guilty."

Ryan got irritated at that and said through clenched teeth, "Like that's not what they were already thinking. Have you seen the way all these people are looking at me? The jury already made their decision, and I'm guilty as charged."

"You're talking about this like it's already over. Like we don't have a chance."

"We don't! Not unless Trey changes his story, and I don't see that happening any time soon."

Sandy understood how much that betrayal had hurt Ryan. He said quietly, "No, that's not our only chance Ryan. We have a good case, with your word, and Marissa's word against Trey's. If it goes to court, we have a good shot at winning. Now have you said anything to any of the police or detectives since you were brought in?"

"I'm not stupid."

"I see, and stealing Jimmy's boat to escape the police was a smart thing to do."

Ryan got a little red and looked down. He said, "The rest of them would have brought the boat back. We were just b…."

"Let me guess. Borrowing it?"


"I'll be back in the morning and hopefully we can have you out on bail by tomorrow night. Don't talk to anyone."

Sandy got up and so did Ryan. Sandy took a few steps towards the door, but then turned back and gave Ryan a tight hug. He said, "I'll do my best to get you out of here Ryan. You have to try and believe that."

Ryan hugged Sandy back for a second, and then followed the officer back to his cell.

The next day Sandy went to work and reminded Seth he was grounded and needed to stay home for the day. Seth nodded and said, "Will you call me if you get any news about Ryan?"

"I hope to have Ryan home tonight, but no guarantees. I'll call you and let you know what's going on."

"Okay. Thanks."

A couple of hours later Summer called Seth's cell phone, but it kept going to voice mail. So she called his home phone. Seth answered. "Hello."

"You are never going to believe the plan Coop came up with."

"Does it involve baking cakes with files in them?"

She said with no humor, "Ha, ha Cohen. Be serious for a minute. Do you remember when I used to be a candy striper at the hospital?"

"Oh yeah. You were so cute in your little outfit."

Summer smiled in spite of herself. She said, "Well, Marissa and I are thinking about putting them on for the day, and having a little visit with the poor people in the ICU."

"You guys are gonna try and talk to Trey?"

"It's a great idea isn't it?!"

Seth thought about it for a minute and said, "I guess it couldn't hurt."

"It's a brilliant idea, you're just pouting because you didn't come up with it."

"I don't pout."

"Oh please Cohen. Are you gonna come pick us up, or are we doing this solo."

"I can't I'm grounded."

The line was quiet for a few seconds. Then Summer said, "Because of last night?"

"Because I didn't call my dad and let him know Ryan was going to try and run."

"How long?"

"A week."

Summer was quiet for a few seconds again and then said, "So did you want to come with us or not?"

"I'll be there in ten minutes."

At the hospital Marissa ended up talking to Trey alone. Trey agreed to tell the truth about what had happened, and Marissa found out that her mother was the one who had gotten Trey to lie in the first place. Seth and Summer were waiting for Marissa when she came out of the ICU unit. She said, "It's done. Let's go."

They started walking and Seth said, "Did it work?"

Marissa nodded. Summer said, "Well that's great Coop. So why don't you look happy?"

Marissa said, "Who do you think told him to lie in the first place. I'll give you three guesses."

Summer felt bad as usual for Marissa and put an arm around her shoulders. She said, "Oh Coop, I'm sorry. Just think, one more year, and then you'll never have to talk to her again."

Marissa nodded.

Seth dropped both girls off, and then went home himself hoping that Sandy hadn't called while he was out. He checked the machine and saw there were no new messages, and breathed a sigh of relief.

At 5pm Sandy got a call letting him know Trey had changed his statement, and that Ryan was going to be released. At 6pm Sandy was picking him up. Ryan gave Sandy a big grin, happy to be free, and said, "Hey."

Sandy smiled back happy Ryan was free too, and said, "Hey kid. Good to see you on the other side."

Ryan lost his smile and said, "There's something I need to do."

Sandy already knew what it would be. He nodded and said, "Let's go."

They got to the hospital in record time, only to find Trey gone. Sandy asked the nurses, and found that Trey had not been released, and they were worried that his wound would get infected or open back up if he wasn't found.

Ryan said to Sandy, "The bus station."

Sandy nodded and they drove over there. Ryan saw a bus about to take off, and ran to the side of it. He could see his brother in the window, and he just stood there looking at him. A few seconds later Trey turned and looked out the window to see Ryan looking back. Trey gave Ryan a slight smile. Ryan held his hand up in a gesture of goodbye, and Trey did the same.

The bus took off and Ryan stood there alone in the parking lot feeling abandoned again. The same way he'd felt years ago when Trey ran away. The same way he felt two years ago when his mother took off and left him without a word while he was in jail. Then he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he knew Sandy was quietly standing next to him trying to make him feel less alone. Ryan knew that the Cohens weren't his biological family, but they were the closest thing he had, and he was desperate not to feel so alone. He leaned into Sandy and took comfort in the hug Sandy gave him.

A minute or two later, Sandy said, "Let's go home."

Ryan nodded and stood up straight. When they got in the car and started towards home Sandy said, "We need to talk about your running away."

Ryan was pretty sure he knew what form of talking Sandy had in mind, and found that his melancholy mood quickly changed to nervous apprehension. He stared out the window and wished he hadn't tried to run.

Sandy thought about what had happened over the summer. It had been a hard summer for him with Kirsten gone. The night Trey had been shot seemed to set the mood of the whole summer. As soon as he arrived at the hospital that night, Ryan had passed out. As soon as Ryan was checked out and diagnosed with a slight concussion, Sandy had pulled Seth aside and gotten the whole story. Then he had sat in the hospital for hours with Ryan and Seth until Trey came out of surgery. He still wasn't sure if he should have come down harder on both Seth and Ryan for what they had both done. But with Trey injured and close to death, Sandy didn't have the heart to ground Seth for not calling him, or to spank Ryan for running off half cocked to beat up his brother. So instead he had talked to Seth, grounded Ryan for a week, and tossed out all the violent video games that were in the house.

Now Sandy wondered if he should have done more. But the more he thought about it, the more he was sure he couldn't have, even if he should have. But this time was different. Trey was alive, and had even done the right thing for once by telling the police the truth. And Ryan had shown a complete lack of trust in Sandy yet again by running when he did. They had gone over trust more then once.

When they arrived home, both of them got out of the car silently. Seth had the door open before they even got to it, and had a big smile as he went to Ryan and gave him a quick hug. Seth said, "Good to have you home."

"Good to be home."

They all walked into the house and Seth said, "Are you guys hungry? I just ordered some pizza."

Ryan shook his head. "I'll pass. I'm kind of tired. I think I'll just go to bed."

Seth gave him a look, "Dude, it's like 7:00."

Sandy said, "Ryan and I are going to go talk in the pool house for a few minutes. You stay here and wait for the pizza."

Seth said, "Talk about what? Why do you have to…."

As Seth was talking he looked back and forth between Ryan and Sandy, and then when understanding dawned on him he said, "….Oh, you mean….."

There was an awkward silence, and then red faced, Ryan turned and went to the pool house. Once Ryan was gone Seth said, "Dad?"


"Are you going to…. I mean do you have to….. Are you sure that's the best thing to do?"

"Trying to run away was a big mistake Seth. One he can't make again."

"But I went with him too and you didn't…. I mean…. never mind."

Sandy said, "Was it your idea to go?"


"Were you the one they were planning to arrest?"


"That's why."

"But you know that everyone already thought he was guilty. Even you asked him if he'd been honest with you in the first place."

"Doesn't matter."

"Of course it matters!"

Sandy sighed and said, "Just stay in the house Seth."

Sandy walked out, and Seth sat down on one of the kitchen barstools. Seth felt bad for Ryan and wished he had tried harder to talk him out of the idea in the first place.

Sandy walked out to the pool house and wondered if maybe Seth was right. Maybe he shouldn't. But Sandy also knew what would have happened if Trey hadn't changed his mind. Ryan's case would have been much harder to win, simply because he had tried to escape arrest. Sandy took a deep breath and knocked on the pool house door.

Ryan had pulled the blinds down as soon as he had arrived, not wanting anyone to see what was most likely going to happen. Ryan was nervously sitting on the edge of his bed waiting, and even though he was expecting it, he jumped slightly at the knock. He said, "Come in."

Sandy came in and shut the door behind him. He walked over and sat beside Ryan on the bed. He said, "I understand why you ran Ryan, and I know that many people would have assumed you were guilty even before a trial. But being afraid of what might happen isn't a good enough reason to do something damaging to your case. And before you ran, we had a good chance of winning the case even if Trey stuck to his story."

Ryan nodded. Sandy put his arm around Ryan's shoulders and said, "I really don't want to, but I think I should spank you for trying to run away."

Ryan just nodded again, accepting that it was inevitable now. Sandy used the arm that was around Ryan's shoulders to pull him over his lap, and Ryan didn't fight him. Once Ryan's upper half was resting on the bed, and his lower half was hanging off Sandy's lap, Sandy started spanking the jeans covered butt in front of him. Once he got to twenty Ryan was squirming, and once he got to thirty Ryan was grunting and squirming. Sandy paused and said, "I'm your legal guardian, and you have to trust me to make the right choices for you. You've been living with us for the past two years, and like it or not, you're part of this family forever now. So when you have a problem, or when you're afraid of something, you come to me and talk to me about it. Running away from your problems will only make things worse."

"Trey ran away."

"Yes he did, and it will probably make things worse for him. If you ever get injured and try to leave the hospital before you're released, you better believe I'm going to hunt you down and take you back."

Ryan felt his eyes start to fill. Sandy said, "Trey may have left Ryan, but you're not alone. We're your family now, and we all love you. So no more running."

Sandy gave Ryan ten more swats, and Ryan cried quietly through them. Sandy stopped and helped Ryan to sit on the bed next to him. He pulled Ryan into a hug and waited for him to stop crying. It took a long time for Ryan to stop, but Sandy knew that had more to do with Trey, and Ryan's recent stay in jail, then it had to do with any pain from the spanking. Once Ryan let go and pushed away, Sandy let him go. He said, "Maybe in a few minutes, you should come have pizza with us. Seth was really worried about you."

Ryan wiped at his face and nodded. Since Seth already knew what was going on, there wasn't really a reason not to go in, and Ryan hadn't had any decent food all day.

Seth sat thinking until the doorbell rang. He went and signed for the pizza, and took it into the kitchen. He mechanically got out some plates and put a slice on one for himself. He sat at the kitchen bar again and just stared at his pizza for a few seconds. Then Sandy came back into the kitchen. Seth looked up worried but didn't say anything. Sandy loosened his tie and said, "The pizza smells good. I'm gonna go change, and call your mother. I'll be back in a few minutes to have some with you."

Seth nodded and then took a bite of his pizza. Ten minutes later Ryan came into the kitchen. Ryan took a quick look at Seth and then looked over at the pizza. Seth said, "Hey. How are you?"

Ryan gave Seth a glare, and Seth said, "Right…. Sorry.… I got sausage and mushrooms…. If you're hungry…"

Ryan went over and put some pizza on a plate for himself, and stood on the other side of the counter across from Seth. One minute later Seth couldn't take the quiet anymore and said, "You wanna know why Trey changed his mind?"

Ryan looked up at Seth with surprise. Seth gave him a smile and said, "That's right, yet another brilliant plan was hatched and carried out by Little Miss Vixen, The Ironist, and….."

"Seth." Ryan said with impatience.

Seth sighed at his fun being stopped. "It was Marissa's idea. We all went to the hospital, and both Summer and Marissa were wearing these really great candy stripper outfits, you should get Marissa to show you hers sometime by the way, and we got Marissa in to see Trey."

Ryan looked like he might cry again. He said, "She did it? She got him to tell the truth?"

"With a little help from her friends."

Sandy's voice came from behind Seth as he said, "We went to the hospital?"

Seth gave Ryan a panicked look but recovered quickly. He gave a nervous little laugh as he turned to his dad and said, "Did I say that? I mean they went to the hospital. Marissa and Summer did that is. Not me, because I'm grounded."

Sandy wasn't buying it. He said in his best 'no nonsense' dad voice, "Seth Ezekiel, don't you lie to me."

Seth slumped a little and pleaded his case, "But it was for a good cause Dad. And it got Ryan out of trouble, and saved you a bunch of work I might add, so I think maybe we should overlook this teeny tiny little infraction of the rules."

Sandy glared at Seth and said, "Come here."

Sandy crooked a finger at Seth and beckoned him forward. Seth stood up and started baking away with his hands up in surrender. He said, "Now Dad, let's not be hasty here. I think if you would just listen to what I have to say…."

Sandy reached Seth in four big steps, grabbed his upper arm, and bent him over. Sandy balanced Seth against his hip, wrapped his left arm around Seth's back and waist to hold him in place, and started swatting. Seth started complaining loudly, "OW! Dad! Ow! I don't… Ow… think this is… OW…. necessary! I was… Mff…. Trying to help! OW, Damn it! Okay, okay! You win! Ahh! I'm sorry! Ow! It won't happen again! Ow! Crap! OW!"

After ten hard swats Sandy let Seth up. He figured Seth really did help, and he was so relieved to have Ryan back home, that he just didn't want to have to be the bad guy any more that night. Sandy pointed a finger in Seth's flushed face and said, "That was a warning. If you leave the house while you're grounded again to go on one of your escapades, I'll give you the real thing."

Seth put both hands back and rubbed at his butt as he said, "I got it. I swear."

Sandy gave Seth a quick hug and said, "You know I love you right?"

"Yeah I know, but I don't think this was the best way to show it."

Sandy let go and smiled at Seth fondly. He went to get himself some pizza while he said, "Kirsten says hi to both of you. I think she'll be ready to come home before the month is up."

Seth said, "Smooth changing the subject there Dad."

Then Seth looked over at Ryan who obviously felt bad for him. Seth said, "You couldn't shake your head a little or say something like 'Hi Sandy' to let me know he was there?"

Ryan shrugged, "Sorry man, I didn't know you were grounded."

Seth shook his head and grumbled as he went back to sit down and finish his pizza, "I think this new Sandy Cohen you've created is mean."

Ryan looked over at Sandy who looked a little hurt and then looked back at Seth and shook his head. "I think he's pretty great."

Seth looked confused, "He did just spank you didn't he?"

Ryan nodded slowly and said, "Yeah."

"But you don't think he's mean?"

Ryan shook his head and looked down at his plate. "Sorry Seth I just don't think so. You know this one time when I was younger Trey ran away for a whole week. He was fighting with Mom and then stormed out. Mom got drunk and didn't even go out looking for him, and when he came home five days later do you know what she said?"

Seth shook his head no. Ryan said, "She said, 'I see you came crawling home with your tail between your legs. Did you at least bring home some money with your sorry ass?' He was thirteen. That's mean."

Seth didn't know what to say and just looked at his plate as he said, "Sorry."

Ryan shook his head embarrassed that he had brought it up. "No I'm sorry. I shouldn't bring that stuff up."

Ryan looked over at Sandy and said, "If it's alright with you I'd like to go see Marissa for a little while."

Sandy put an arm around Ryan's shoulders and said, "Sure. Just be home by ten."

Ryan nodded and walked out. Seth looked at Sandy and said, "Sometimes I forget what his life was like. Then I feel so bad for him when he talks about it, and I don't know what to say."

Sandy said, "You don't have to say anything. Just let him know you're there to listen."

Seth nodded. A few seconds later he said, "Hey, how come you let him go see Marissa?"

"Why wouldn't I?"

"Because he's grounded."

Sandy shook his head. "No he's not."

"What?! Just me? That's so not fair."

"I could spank you too if you'd rather."

Seth shook his head. "No thanks. On second thought being grounded is just fine with me."

Email Author
(Feedback makes me happy.)

Return to The O.C. Stories