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You and I (Fic: The OC, R/M, Oneshot)

Title: You and I
Fandom(s): The OC
Pairing: Ryan/Marissa
Word Count: 2,246
Rating: K
Warnings: None!
Disclaimer: I don't own them! I just borrow them. I also don't own the lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson in the epigraph; all credit goes to her.
Summary: AU; future fic. Ryan has a plan: to build a home for him and Marissa. But building a home isn't always about the framework and blueprints--there's some other things you might need, like a family. And on that front, Marissa's got an unexpected surprise.
Notes: AU, clearly. This is an expansion of a ficlet I wrote for the three-sentence AU meme on Tumblr; the original prompt was Ryan/Marissa - They went to college together and are now engaged. Marissa wants to buy a house, but Ryan wants to build her one.

This is for the Written in the Stars challenge at [info]5_prompts (J12. Barrel forward with home improvement projects.) and for my claim at [info]lover100 (Table B, Prompt #10 - home).

“Let’s get rich and build a house on a mountain
Making everybody look like ants from way up there
You and I, you and I…”
- Ingrid Michaelson
 
I.


As they walked down the driveway of yet another prospective house and to their car, Marissa sighed in defeat and said, “If we keep looking for a house with a big enough office for you and a big enough closet for me, I don’t think we’re ever going to find one.”

“Unless we make your closet my office, no.” He paused, wondering whether or not it was the right time to jump. “There’s an option we’re not taking here.”

“And that is?”

He backed her gently against the hood of the car, leaning in to kiss her and whispering. “You were there at Berkeley; you watched me draw all those plans. What did you think they were for?”

“You always told me they were projects.”

“Some of them were. Most of them weren’t. Most of them were plans, for us.”

“Most of them had a lot of rooms, Ryan.”

“So maybe we should plan on having a lot of kids.”

“You really wanna build a house? You want to commit to that?” she said around a kiss.

“Well, I’m already committing to you; I’m pretty sure this is part of the deal, Cooper.”

“You won’t be able to call me that for much longer.” She pecked his cheek gently, then reached in his jeans pocket for the car keys. “Think we can make it to Home Depot before rush hour?”


II.


The wood had just been delivered for their backyard deck when Marissa came out to Ryan, her hands wedged tightly in her jeans pockets. He was laying the wood out on the framework as she walked around the house and into the backyard.

“Hey, Ryan?” she asked, biting her lip and watching him—for the past two months, he’d been so intent on the building. She loved watching him at work; most days, whenever she got off work for lunch and could spare the time, she came by to watch him with the builders. “Can we talk?”

“Sure.” He leaned over to give her a quick kiss, before pulling back and gesturing to the framework for the deck. Not all of the boards had been laid down yet, but he was so eager she couldn’t help a smile, even with her nerves. “What do you think?”

“I think it looks great.” She said that sincerely, before she reached out to grab his hand. “I, um… think there’s something that’s not going according to plan.”

“With the builders? I know things have been going a little slower than they should have, but with work, it’s been hard to arrange—”

“No. With us.” She swallowed hard, digging the hand not holding his deeper into her pocket. “Remember how you used to draw lots of rooms because we were going to have lots of kids?”At his nod, she exhaled a shaky breath and said—barely—“What would you say if I told you we’ve got about seven months before we need one of those rooms?”

At first, the look of shock on Ryan’s face was unadulterated, although really, when she thought about it, it wasn’t that hard to believe. He’d told her two months ago that he’d wanted to build her a house; what else had they done that night besides throw down the bags from Home Depot, close the curtains, and make love on the floor of the Cohens’ pool house? She’d had her suspicions last month, but she’d chalked the missed period and occasional nausea up to the stresses of working and getting the house built. That had changed yesterday, when she’d gotten a call from her doctor—she’d gone for a regular checkup a few days before—about some ‘abnormalities’ in her urine test. Another few tests and here she was.

She was having visions of Ryan picking up a two-by-four and running rampant when his expression shifted again and he took her shoulders in his hands, looking at her levelly and stroking his thumb against her upper arm. “You’re pregnant?”

She nodded, looking away as she tried so hard not to cry. “I—I know it’s so early and we meant to—to be more stable and to have the house finished so that we’re not living with the Cohens anymore and God, Ryan, I’m so—”

“Don’t you dare say you’re sorry, Cooper.”

He wasn’t angry. That made her meet his gaze again. “You’re not…?”

“Of course not. We can’t plan for everything like we planned for the house, Marissa.” He kissed her gently, squeezing her shoulders and then touching his forehead to hers once he broke the kiss. “Besides… this is the only surprise we’ve ever gotten I actually like.”

“So you’re happy?” She couldn’t help the hope—and the tears—in her voice.

“Very,” he confirmed gently, pulling her close to him. “Nervous, too, but… we’ve got help if we need it, and believe me, I know how to stretch the money we have if we need it. You don’t have to cry, Marissa.”

“Can I say I’m sorry now?” she laughed, almost hiccupping on the tears as she wiped them away, and he laughed. “I’m just so… relieved. So happy.”

“I know.” He brushed a tear away with his thumb, still so gentle, then pointed to a spot on the grass. “You sit over there. Normally I’d let you help, but I need to finish laying out the wood for the deck and you aren’t going to lift a thing for seven more months.”

“You’re starting with that already?” she asked, even as she did what he said and took a seat on the grass, taking a purely selfish enjoyment in observing his arms—well-muscled and strong—as he lifted and placed the wood.

“Get used to it now, is all I’m going to say.”

She smiled softly, taking in the sight of him and the groundwork for their house, then hesitantly resting her hand on her stomach. “I’m starting to,” she murmured, content.

III.


“Never thought you’d be walking down the aisle knocked up,” Summer said casually as she circled her friend and helped her make a few last-minute adjustments to the placement of her veil. “It’s so…”

“Trashy?” Marissa supplied, with a warning glare.

“Maybe,” Summer said—unhelpfully, in Marissa’s opinion. “But you make it look good, Coop.”

“You think so?” Marissa asked hopefully, checking her reflection in the vestibule’s mirror again—she had to admit to a certain kind of jitters. Her nerves were making her heart beat faster, and the change in her heartbeat was exciting the baby. The few breaths she took didn’t seem to help much, and she sighed, checking the clock impatiently—ten more minutes. She could have sworn it had said that five minutes ago, time was moving so slowly.

“Of course. Atwood’s gonna love it. Although he’ll probably like taking the dress off you at the end of the day more.”

“Sum, you’re dreaming if you think anything’s happening when I look like this,” Marissa told her best friend, making a vague gesture that encompassed her whole body, bump and all. “Sex has been off the table for a few weeks now.”

“Oh, come on, you know you can figure out a way—”

“I am not hearing the conversation I know I’m walking in on,” Jimmy announced slightly louder than necessary as he found his way into the vestibule, eyes closed—somehow, Marissa had kept true to her desire for no one but Summer and her mother to see the dress before the day of.

“Sorry,” Summer smirked at her friend’s father, kissing his cheek—her heels made her just about able to reach—and then departing to give Marissa time alone with her father.

Jimmy opened his eyes as he heard the door close behind her, and he took in the sight of his daughter with enough wonderment in his eyes that Marissa felt herself welling up—her wedding day was already emotional enough, but the hormones were making it even worse. “Don’t say it,” she warned, pointing an accusing finger at her father, but Jimmy ignored it and said gently, “You look beautiful, kiddo.”
 
“And you look like the guy who’s ruining my makeup.” She stepped closer, closing her eyes to stop the tears as she gave her dad as much of a hug as was possible. “Thanks for coming, Daddy.”
 
“Wouldn’t have missed it for the world, sweetheart. How’re you feeling?”
 
“Nervous. Baby, too. But handling it. Sort of. Have you seen Ryan?” she asked, knowing he’d gotten ready with him, Sandy, and Seth.
 
“Just a few minutes ago, yeah.”
 
“He’s holding up?”
 
“He’s worrying about as much as you think he is,” Jimmy said, laughing. “Nervous this is going to be too much on you and the baby. But he’s excited.”
 
Marissa rolled her eyes a little—of course he was freaking out. She found it sweet, but he was going to stroke out if he kept worrying the way he did about her and the baby. “We’d had everything planned for five months later anyway when we found out; it didn’t make sense to change the plans, even with how worried he was. We just had to make a few things… bigger, was all that changed,” she said, motioning to the dress.
 
She’d been a bit embarrassed, shopping in the maternity section of the bridal stores, but most of the clerks at the store she’d finally picked had found the story sweet—young love, house-building with a baby on the way, engaged right out of college… she’d found the fairy tale so early. They’d been so willing to help her find the perfect dress, helping her figure out alterations until nearly the day of to accommodate the changes in her figure. Marissa had definitely never pictured being seven months pregnant on her wedding day, but she found she didn’t quite mind it—she’d found the perfect guy to be with, the perfect dress, the most supportive family to marry into. No matter how unexpected the pregnancy had been, the baby would be met with a whole lot of love.
 
The clock struck twelve, and she heard the bustle even from the vestibule—the musicians and guests getting seated. They were having an interfaith ceremony at a local reception hall, to pay tribute to the Cohens’ respective religions, and she had to admit it had been nice not to worry about having to book a church—planning for parties at reception halls was more her area, had been ever since she’d started to run the fashion show.
 
“Ready, kiddo?” Jimmy asked as the music started and she saw through the windows everyone starting down the aisle—Seth and Summer, Sandy and Kirsten, Julie and Kaitlin. Marissa nodded, and out they went.
 
She barely heard the beginning of the ceremony. She was too focused on Ryan, on the awe in his eyes as he watched her come down the aisle, on the love she saw there as she stepped up beside him on the makeshift altar. It wasn’t the most conventional of ceremonies—she had to worry about tripping and falling as she walked down the aisle for an entirely different reason; her feet being swollen and her doctor’s advice had given her the impetus to wear sneakers rather than heels, but her center of gravity was entirely different these days—but she realized quickly that she didn’t want it any other way.
 
“Marissa? Can you repeat after me, please?” the Justice of the Peace asked as he came to the vows. “I, Marissa Cooper…”
 
“I, Marissa Cooper…”
 
“Promise to love and respect you… to stand by you and be faithful to you… to be open and honest with you… and to help you build our dreams, together and separately. I promise this with all of my heart… for the good times and the bad times… ‘til death do us part.”
 
She repeated each one as best she could, given that she’d started crying sometime around the part about building their dreams—because wasn’t that what had given her all of this? Her dream, for so long, had been getting engaged to Ryan; his had been building them a house; theirs had been having a baby. She was starting to realize that she didn’t even need him to build them a home—she’d already found hers, really.
 
She saw herself place the ring on his finger through a mist of happy tears, saw his smile and faint chuckle as she tried to at least spare some of her makeup.
 
“Now, Ryan…”
 
Ryan repeated the vows just the same as she had, though when the time came, the ring Seth handed him was on a chain that he gently hooked around her neck—they’d decided to fit the ring after the baby was born, to avoid having to remove it or resize it. She brushed her nose against his as he stood close, and when the Justice told them they could kiss, it was a relief.
 
Before they stepped down, Ryan broke the glass, one of the only religious customs they’d conceded to, as an honor to Sandy’s heritage. Marissa had finally gotten herself back under control, and as they turned to face the crowd, she wrapped her arm around Ryan’s waist just as he pulled her close to him the same way.
 
“I love you,” she whispered softly, just before the crowds came on, and she grinned softly when he whispered back a “thank you.”

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