liptonrm_fic: (spn roadgoeseveron-bayouskye)
[personal profile] liptonrm_fic
Title: Your Shadow Weighs a Ton
Fandom: Supernatural/The O.C.
Rating: General
Disclaimer: No money made, jsyk.
Author's Note: Timestamp to On The Run Driving In the Sun
Summary: Sandy finds out that sometimes, if you're lucky, you get some closure.


Sandy Cohen closed his briefcase with a snap. He stepped back from the solid wood table, trading places with the lawyer waiting behind him, the next one up in the docket dance. He herded his client and said client’s mother ahead of him and out through the courtroom’s heavy metal doors. Another case closed, another good kid saved from the lifelong stigma of California’s justice system.

He hadn’t been able to save all of his kids, but he’d saved enough to make all of the heartbreak worth it.

Ms. Nola Kennedy, a steamroller of a woman, grabbed her son Justin by the arm and pulled him down the hall. Sandy chuckled at the way Justin squawked, his face creased in indignation.

“Don’t give me that look,” his mother declared in a hiss loud enough to carry. “I told you not to get mixed up with those kids.” She tugged on his arm, hard. “I told you.” She pulled him to a stop in front the elevator. “Now thank Mr. Cohen for saving your sorry behind and then I’m taking you home.” She spun her son around and then crossed her arms across her chest, eyes on Justin, expression stern.

“Thank you, Mr. Cohen.” Justin shrugged under the weight of his mother’s gaze.

Sandy smiled, all white teeth and crinkled eyes, what Seth once called the ‘1000 Watt Sandy Cohen Special.’ He clapped the kid on the shoulder. “It was my pleasure. Now you mind your mother and stay out of trouble. I don’t want to see you back here again.”

Justin nodded, mouth set in a determined line. “Yes, sir.”

“You certainly will mind me.” Ms. Nola stuck her hand out and grabbed Sandy’s hand in a strong shake. “Thank you for everything you’ve done, Mr. Cohen.”

“Please, call me Sandy. And you’re very welcome.”

Sandy stepped out into the bright L.A. sun, his smile still big and bright. It was a beautiful afternoon, even under the smoggy haze that never quite lifted. He was having serious thoughts about ditching work for the rest of the afternoon so that he could pick up his board and go for a dip. Some lawyers swore by golf or racquetball, but this New York City boy didn’t know how he’d handle the job if he couldn’t surf.

A shouted, “Mr. Cohen,” brought him away from the ocean and back to the steel and concrete of downtown L.A. Sandy turned and saw a tall young man running down the courthouse steps after him. The kid’s longish brown hair flopped with every stride and by the size of his feet Sandy could tell that this kid was only going to get bigger. He looked like one of the summer interns that the big time law firms pulled in from Stanford and Berkeley, dressed in that same old business casual uniform. He had an eager look on his face, like he still believed that he could save the world.

“I--” the kid stammered when he caught up. He ran a nervous hand through his hair and Sandy peered at his face. There was something that plucked at his memory, though he couldn’t say quite what. “I just wanted to say thanks. And to let you know that we’re okay.” He grabbed Sandy’s hand and gave it a solid shake. “I’ve never forgotten how you tried to help us.”

A lump formed in Sandy’s throat. Usually he was the one who had a sentence for every situation but he didn’t know what to say. The kid smiled, a flash of white teeth and real happiness, nodded and turned away. He loped back to the courthouse steps and the blonde who was waiting there for him.

Sandy felt something stiff in his hand. He looked and saw one of his old business cards, dusty and used with worn edges. It looked like it had been carried around for years, transferred from one wallet to the next. He turned it over and saw, underneath the faded scrawl of his home number, “Thanks – SW,” written in a strong, clear hand.

“Hey,” Sandy called, looking up, trying to call that kid back over. But he wasn’t there, he wasn’t anywhere. Suddenly he could see it, that wide-eyed boy in a rundown motel room, all alone with his brother stuck in juvie. He still had the note they'd left him, tucked away in that file that held the things he couldn’t get rid of, evidence of other kids he’d lost.

He always worried about the ones who slipped away, the kids that he’d failed. Those two had stuck with Sandy longer than most; there had been something about them that pulled on all of his fatherly instincts. He’d looked for them for months after their disappearance, hoping beyond hope that he’d be able to do some good.

He carefully tucked the card into his shirt pocket. He blinked his eyes and felt something loosen in his chest. He turned back along his way towards home. Maybe he’d made a difference after all.
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