Categories > Books > Outsiders > Red Hot Moon

Chapter 4

by TWBasketCase 0 reviews

About a year and half after the events of the book, a new gang arrives in Tulsa and stirs things up. The soc/greaser war is at an all time high, and our gang's lives will never be the same.

Category: Outsiders - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama - Warnings: [!!] [V] [X] - Published: 2007-01-27 - Updated: 2007-01-28 - 3174 words

Chapter 4

Steve Randle watched as his best friend's younger brother, Ponyboy, slammed the car door shut and walked stiffly towards the school. Steve hadn't always been very caring or very nice to the younger Curtis, but that still didn't mean he didn't keep his eye on the kid. For a fifteen year old kid Pony had been through a lot; and because he was Sodapop Curtis' younger brother Steve always made sure the kid got around okay...even if he didn't vocalize it.

School was no exception. It was the one place that Soda did not go to. It was the one place Darry had absolutely no recollection of how things went down. Neither brother had any idea just exactly what their Tulsa High School had turned into. They were hassled by soc's every single day; they had Cutler's gang to worry about. There was also that little elephant in the room.

Everyone at the high school had known that Ponyboy was there when Johnny had killed Bob. Everyone knew that they both had run away from the law like fugitives so that they would not have to go to jail, and have Pony's family be split up. They knew that they were friends with the 'scummy hood' - Dallas Winston - who had 'harassed' cheerleader Cherry Valence, and who had gotten into a 'shootout' with the Tulsa P.D. They knew that they were 'animalistic' poor kids who whooped soc's in large fights, kids that carried heaters and knives.

To say the least a lot of the student population at the school - save the other greasers - did not think very highly of their gang. Even if some of the stuff they had done in the past was true, and was wrong and bad, they never knew of the false rumors, or the good things that they did.

Like sticking up for their brothers and their friends.

Like saving a group of kids from a blazing fire in a church and dying for it.

Nope, none of that stuff was important; they were just the scum of the school and there was no going around it. They were murderers and hoods and the other kids were not going to let them forget it no matter how much time had gone by. Steve figured it was them who helped make Pony worse off. The kid had been haunted by witnessing three deaths in front of his face in a span of just a few days. By reminding him about it and tormenting him day in and day out, did not help matters any. If anything it made him worse.

Steve brought a cigarette to his lips and lit it. Pony had gone inside the school and was now out of his sight completely. He eased up a bit knowing he was past the dreaded jumping grounds - being the parking lot - and that more than likely being inside the school he was okay. He exhaled a large puff of smoke and turned to Two-Bit; the older and taller boy had a large grin plastered across his face and watched as three girls walked by them. Of course, they didn't give him much of a look but that wouldn't stop Two-Bit.

"So you actually gonna go to class t'day Stevie?" He twirled his switchblade around his fingers and he too took a drag from a cigarette.

Steve rolled his eyes at the nickname and brought the cigarette to his lips once again. "What gave ya the idea that I wouldn't?"

Two-Bit cocked that notorious eyebrow of his and smirked. "Oh I don't know...maybe the three days that ya missed last week?"

Steve shook his head. "I told ya that it was a perfectly good reason, and 'sides if my old man found out, he would have my hide in an instant."

Two-Bit laughed maniacally. "Ya think ditchin' class to roll around out back with your girl is legit?" He slapped his back and gave him a proud grin. "You're one dirty boy, Randle."

Steve glared at him and walked off, throwing his cigarette butt on the ground. "Fuck off, Mathews."

Two-Bit locked the car door behind him and jogged to keep up. He had no back pack or books with him, just his trusty black leather jacket, his switchblade and that goofy grin of his. Steve wondered why he had liked school so much, but never did the work; he figured it was an excuse for his teachers to flunk him or something. Steve just couldn't grasp why Two-Bit didn't want to leave. He loved school for the excitement. Pony loved it for the academic challenge, and he thought that Darry missed it for the same reason. Pony and Darry were a lot more alike than either of them knew. Sure, Darry may not dig those books or sunsets, but they both loved a challenge and were stubborn as hell. Steve could see Mr. Curtis in both of them.

This left Sodapop as the odd one out. Sodapop left school because he didn't like it. Steve knew Soda always had a hard time keeping up with school academic-wise. Soda was convinced that he was dumb - or some other bull shit like that - but Steve knew that the kid just couldn't sit on his back side for too long without fidgeting and getting distracted. A classroom just wasn't his thing; he needed to be on his feet and talking to people. Which is why Steve thought the gas station was perfect for him.

Steve on the other hand, didn't think either way of school. He didn't like it, but he didn't hate it either. He knew that it was probably something good to have, and since it was free he may as well take advantage of it. He also figured it was an excellent excuse to not be at home with his old man. His dad was a heavy drinker with a hot temper. He liked to call him stupid, worthless, pathetic and other names like that. There were a few occasions where he was actually worse than that and gave him the belt, or a smack; on the rare occasion it was even worse. The abuse was hard on Steve because in a deranged way he kind of looked up to his dad. Most boys do, whether they like the guy or not; no one has more influence on a boy than their dad does. But what hurt Steve the most is when his father slept his drunken state off, he felt bad in the morning. He offered Steve drinks, or whatever money he had in his pocket to make up for his behavior. Although Steve didn't think it helped any, he still took the old man's money to buy smokes, or car parts, or whatever else tickled his fancy at that particular moment in time.

He pulled open the red steel door of the high school and stepped inside. The halls were crowded with all sorts of people; there were mostly socs at the school, but there were some greasers that stalked the halls as well. Most of them were like Steve and Two-Bit; either just there for the hell of it, or because they didn't want to be at home.

There weren't too many people at the school like Ponyboy; all except that one kid who hung around Ray Cutler - of all people. He was a smaller kid with blonde hair and light blue eyes. He wasn't anything tough looking, but everyone knew who he hung around with and for that reason - and that reason alone - tried not to mess with him. It was kind of the same way with Johnny when Dallas was around. When all five of them had come to school together no one had messed with them.

Steve sighed at the memory and turned a corner in the hallway and stopped at his locker. Unlike Two-Bit, Steve did bring his books to class and did what he was asked to while in the room. Although he agreed that what happened in school stayed in school, and that doing homework should be considered a crime. He spun his combination lock around and pulled it open with a distinct 'click'.

It was when he was rummaging through his locker that he felt a small hand grab him from behind. He spun around with a smirk and was met with two bright green eyes. Steve smiled slowly and kissed the girl standing in front of him. "Hey there..."

She smiled back with full red lips and batted her mascara covered eyelashes. "Hey yourself. I was waitin' for you, ya know."

"What about me, Evie?" Two-Bit cut in. "You know I am way better lookin' than this grease monkey!" Two-Bit teased, smacking Steve in the arm.

Evie cocked an eyebrow high enough to make Two-Bit jealous and put her hand on her hip. "So ya think, Mathews. What would I want to wait around for your ass for, huh?"

Steve snorted in laughter at his girlfriend and her colorful language. He and Evie had been together for about two years. It was actually Soda's ex-girlfriend Sandy that had introduced them to one another. Soda would always drag him along on his dates with Sandy, and she would do the same to Evie. After about a month or so of forced double dates it was only natural that the two would officially start seeing each other. He didn't mind her company. She was a little loud and awfully rambunctious but that didn't bother him much. He couldn't really see himself with someone else. Other girls were always too worried about lame, unimportant things, and hated it when he got drunk. He loved drag racing, rodeos, and cars, so it was only natural that he dated someone who did as well. She hardly nagged at him, and actually liked to party alongside him rather than get angry at his drunken antics. She rooted him on when he fought, and actually waited for him when he got hauled into the station. Most of the greaser broads wouldn't wait around, and a lot of them were notorious for two-timing - Sandy included - but Evie wasn't like that. For all of Steve's bitterness and hostility, she seemed to understand him.

Evie had watched him go through a lot, and she was great for always giving him his space. She wasn't always up in his face about things, or wanting to take him away from his gang of buddies. She had her friends, and he had his. She had still kept in touch with Sandy and still hung around with Sylvia - Dally's ex - so at times it would be hard for the two groups to hang out together to say the least. At any rate, Steve and Evie got along well enough to work around those things.

He watched on as Two-Bit bugged her and she threatened him. "Are ya guys ready for class now or what?"

Evie glared at Two-Bit one last time before turning to Steve. "Yeah sure...why not." Steve nodded and Two-Bit motioned for him to lead the way. They turned the corner and instantly Steve spotted Ponyboy. He was standing at his locker with the smaller boy from Cutler's gang, which kind of surprised Steve. The kid didn't seem half bad; it was just his gang that he was worried about. The kid, like Ponyboy, looked as though he couldn't harm a fly.

Two-Bit sauntered up ahead of Steve and Evie and slung an arm around Ponyboy's shoulders. Pony gave him a smile and they both laughed at something Two-Bit had said. Steve couldn't hear what was being said, but he figured if anyone could cheer up the kid when Soda wasn't around it would be Two-Bit; hell, he wasn't given the nickname for nothing.

"Hey Greaser!" Steve's eyes shot from Two-Bit to the group of socs standing behind the smaller kid from Cutler's gang. Steve and Evie sped up their pace and stood next to Ponyboy and his 'friend'.

The smaller kid turned around and glared at the socs but said nothing. Steve wondered vaguely just how the kid would act without his 'boys' around.

"What is there an ape convention goin' on up in here today?" Two-Bit laughed. The socs didn't seem to think it was too funny.

"You stay out of this hood! This is between me and the grease monkey here!" A taller soc yelled back in his face with a pointed index finger. Steve hated when they talked like that; it got his blood boiling with rage.

The smaller greaser looked a bit taken back by the hostility but stood his ground. "What do ya want, huh?"

The soc glared and rolled up the sleeves of his yellow sweater. "I didn't appreciate you and your hood-rat gang keying up my car last night!"

Steve looked at the kid with a grin; hell if it were him the car would have been way worse off than just a few scratches. However, he noticed the kid tense up when the soc mentioned the activities of his gang. Just from the look alone he could tell that the kid wasn't one to lead in the activities, or maybe didn't even like to participate in them at all.

"Did you here me, you little punk? Don't stand there like y'all are stupid or something!" He screamed in the young boy's face. His anger rose instantly at his lack of reply and he grabbed the kid by the collar quickly and threw him roughly against the locker. Evie, knowing exactly what was about to go down, moved the hell out of the way.

Two-Bit quickly went for his switch blade - always a big mistake at school - and Ponyboy grabbed the soc who attacked his 'friend'. However, their defenses were to no avail because the soc population totally outnumbered any sort of greaser stand up. Ponyboy was thrown to the floor quickly and instantly - him being more important to protect than Cutler's boy - Steve grabbed him by the collar and hauled him to his feet. Pony was about to protest when Steve threw him a warning glare. "This ain't your business, kid."

Ponyboy fumed. "But..."

Steve shook his head. "But nothin'! Darry would have my hide if I let ya get your ass beat here."

Steve pushed him aside and stormed into the group himself to assist Two-Bit. He knew that Pony hated it when they treated him like a kid, but Steve wasn't about to take responsibility for him not using his head - again.

He heard the yelps of the younger greaser at the bottom of the body pile pleading with the socs to leave him be. Two-Bit had started throwing some punches and was laughing like a wild child every time he got hit back. It was no time before a gang of teachers had come in and separated them all - but the damage had been done.

An older man in a blue shirt grabbed Steve's arm and pried his fingers from the collar of a soc's sweater. Steve dropped the kid in a heap and delivered a swift kick to his stomach before letting him completely free. The teacher glared at him and held him back as more teachers attempted to control Two-Bit. Steve hated when the teachers got involved because he knew damn well that it was going to be him, Two-Bit, and the kid getting the slack for the fight, and that the damn socs would get off scott free like they always did.

He watched as the socs were pushed out of the way and the smaller girl that he had recognized as Ray's girlfriend made her way towards the younger boy.

"Petey! Holy shit, are you okay?" She quickly knelt in front of him and began checking him over for injuries. Steve watched her as she went from a softened, concerned face to one of extreme rage. She looked up at the socs and stood tall. "What the fuck did y'all do to him?"

The socs just rolled their eyes and muttered under their breath like they could care less. She shook her head angrily. "You stupid bastards! He's just a kid!"

One soc turned around angrily and out of reach of a teacher that was grabbing on to him and grabbed her by the face. Instantly the teacher that had a hold on Steve lunged for him. The boy raged. "Maybe you should stay the fuck on your side of town and this shit wouldn't happen! You can tell your scummy boyfriend that this is a warning to him and the rest of you hoods!" And with that he shoved her towards the ground and was hauled towards the office with the rest of his friends and Two-Bit.

Steve watched as Evie ran towards her and helped her up. "Christine! Are you okay?"

He watched as the dark haired girl shook her head angrily. "Those punks!" She looked down at her fallen friend and helped him up. "Are you okay, Petey?"

Evie had Christine by the elbow as she helped her pick the smaller boy up. Steve looked at the kid. "They didn't hurt ya too bad, did they?"

The kid looked more embarrassed than anything, and Steve couldn't help but feel sorry for him - he had seen the same look on Johnny's face so many times, ages ago. Pete dusted off his pants and shook his head. "I'll be fine..."

"You better be," Christine replied worriedly. "You know what'll happen if Ray finds out about this..."

Pete regarded her sharply. "And he won't find out about this."

Steve snorted. "Well sorry to inform ya kid, but it's gonna be hella hard to hide that bruise on your face."

He rubbed his face gingerly and cursed. "Dammit!"

Christine grabbed him by the arm and gave Evie a smug smile and turned to Steve. "Thanks for helpin' my kid brother, and tell your friend that too."

Steve nodded. "We know how those dopes work; we been dealin' with them for years now."

She nodded but said nothing as she led her brother away from the group and around the corner, out of sight. He looked at Evie but all she could do is shrug. "That's Christine for ya; she don't usually thank people though."

Steve snorted and shrugged. "I could care less. If I see some young hood gettin' pummeled by a group of ape boys ya know for sure that I'll give him a hand."

Evie nodded understandingly and Steve looked back at Ponyboy and pointed a finger at him. "You just stay out of it, ya hear? And I mean it Ponyboy, I don' care what shit goes down, you stay out of it!"

Ponyboy glared. "Go to hell, Randle." But Steve just turned around on his heel and snaked an arm around Evie's waist. He stormed down the hall towards the principal's office to wait around for Two-Bit.

The rest of the school day went by with tensions high.
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