Categories > Books > Outsiders > Red Hot Moon

Chapter 6

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: 2007-01-28 - Updated: 2007-01-28 - 3737 words

Chapter 6

Sodapop stepped out of the shower carefully and wrapped a short towel around his waist. It was Saturday morning around 9:00 am, and he had to go to work.

After their football game the previous day, the boys had set out to the Nightly Double for some fun. It was packed as usual - for a Friday night - and they ended up bumping into friends, and bumping heads with some socs. Thankfully, there were no fights; just some lame name calling and bottle throwing. They had been out a little late, and Soda was starting to regret it now.

He looked at his face in the mirror; the only indication that he had missed any sleep the previous night was a set of bloodshot eyes. Thankfully (for his sake), his face was not saggy, nor baggy. He always had to go to work looking good because if he didn't, it always cursed him to a bad day.

He quickly ran his toothbrush over his teeth with his right hand, and pulled a comb through his hair with his left. He could hear the rustle and bustle from his older brother and - what sounded like - Steve from the living room. Predictably, they would be knocking down the door claiming they were going to be late. Soda knew that they still had at least five minutes, which was plenty of time to get to work. He figured they panicked way too much.

"Soda, will you hurry your ass up in there?" He heard Darry yell through the door. He also made it a point to knock loudly on the door three times.

Soda rolled his eyes. "Yeah I'll be out in a minute, Dar." He pulled on a pair of clean underwear and threw the door open. In his living room, sat his two brothers and Steve; sitting next to his younger brother was some other young kid he hadn't met before. He cocked an eyebrow. "When did the party start?"

Darry rolled his eyes and threw his uniform shirt at him. "Will you just get dressed, you're gonna be late, kiddo."

A smirk played across Soda's face. "We have plenty of time, Dar..."

A distinct scoff was heard from the other side of the room, more notably from one Steve Randle. "We were supposed to be at work two minutes ago."

Darry's features hardened and he pointed strictly to the front door of the Curtis home. "Get your lazy butt in that truck right now."

Soda laughed. "I have no pants on."

Darry raised his eyebrows indifferently. "I'll throw you out there naked if I have to; you need to get to work!"

Ponyboy and Steve snickered behind him as he made his way - quickly - to his bedroom. Of course, his room was messy - as always - and finding his pants was going to prove to be a difficult task. No one ever said he or Ponyboy were clean and organized people.

He tipped over mountains of clothes piles, even going as far as falling on the floor after his foot was caught in a larger pile than he had initially noticed. He pulled himself from the floor - on his hands and knees - and whipped open a dresser drawer. When said drawer was noticed to be empty, he left it open and crawled his way towards the closet.

"Sodapop Patrick Curtis!" Darry hollered.

Soda bit his lip and frantically pushed over more clothes piles. "Yeah?"

"Let's go!" came three simultaneous voices.

Soda bit back a laugh. "Just a minute!" He could have lost it laughing at the volume of moans coming from outside his bedroom door. Luckily for him, there were already two other attendants at the gas bar who opened that morning. Sure, they were going to be royally pissed at him for arriving late, but he figured they would forgive him in due time.

He tossed up his blankets from the floor and almost cheered when he found his work jeans under his bed. How they got there? He wasn't too sure. All he knew was that he needed to get his ass out to that truck before Darry smacked him into next week.

He fell out of the doorway pulling up his pants. Darry stood at the end of the hall with his arms crossed over his chest, looking pretty angry. Soda stood in front of him with his back straight, arms crossed, face stern, and pants falling off. "Get in the truck, Darrel."

Darry snorted and smacked him in the back of the head. "Get movin', goofball!" Soda only grinned and obliged. He was half way out the door when his two brothers screamed at him once more.

"Sodapop! You need your shoes!"

He rolled his eyes and made his way back into the house.

... ... ...

Soda slammed the truck door shut and waved Darry off. Steve pointed past his shoulder towards the station. Soda followed his line of sight and noticed two other greasers standing there looking mighty pissed off.

Soda smiled at them charmingly. "Hey Tommy! was business this mornin'?"

The two other DX attendants glared at him. Tommy folded him arms. "You're late!"

Soda looked at Steve, who gave him an incredulous look that he could only read as 'you're on your own'. "Well..." he scratched the back of his head thinking of a good excuse. "Had to help the old lady across the street get her car know, doin' my work from home?"

Steve snorted and covered his mouth to hide his laughter. The other two employees just glared at him even harder. All Soda could do was shrug and grin. Jimmy threw a rag at him. "We're headin' on home now. You boys have a good day."

Soda nodded at them and just shoved the used rag into his back pocket. He looked at Steve with a goofy grin. "I wonder what's on the agenda for today, buddy."

Steve shrugged. "I know that I have to finish up those two soc cars before I do anything. So I'm gonna be in the garage if you need me."

Soda nodded and began to walk off to the pumps. "Sure thing, buddy."

Steve stopped and watched him. "You mind letting me know if Evie stops by?"

Soda resisted a frown and nodded his head. "Yeah sure thing."

Steve headed off to the garage to go clock them in, and to get working on his cars. Soda, like usual, was going to be working the pumps and taking all the customer service. They both knew that it was his strong point, but there were just some days he would rather be under a car - even if it was some snobby soc's. He made his way into the gas station.

"You're late, kid," Russ scolded him disapprovingly.

Soda cocked an eyebrow. "Yeah, but I'm here, ain't I?"

Russ rolled his eyes. "You just get your cap on and get out there. I'm workin' the till today."

Soda nodded. "You mad at me, Rusty?"

The older man glared at him. "I will sure as hell be if you call me that darn name again."

Soda grinned. "Sorry, boss. Sir. Mister."

Russ grabbed a squeegee and tossed it at him. "Get out there!"

Soda gave him a mock salute and sauntered out the door. The place was dead so far that morning; most of Tulsa's north side residents made it a weekend habit to sleep in. Soda didn't blame them. Most of the adults spent their nights out on their porches drinking and hollering, while the kids would go out to Jay's, the dingo, or the Nightly Double. Around their side of town no one really stayed inside - unless of course it was late on a school night.

But it was Saturday morning. Most of the folks were out at the market, or playing at the park, or they were sleeping in. It was also spring time, which meant that a lot of people were cleaning up their lawns, and doing their own business around the house. The only cars they had been getting in were those that had been damaged by too much racing, or by vandalism. They weren't even sure how many slashed tires and keyed up bodies they had been repairing lately, but it was a lot - and that also came along with some very angry and uptight customers.

Soda parked himself on a plastic lawn chair that was stationed outside the door of the bar. He could hear Steve clanging around in the garage a few feet away, and was almost tempted to go bug him...that was of course until he saw Evie sauntering up the drive way.

"Good mornin' Curtis," she nodded.

He forced a smile. "Mornin' Evie. Nice day, huh?"

She shrugged, her blonde hair bouncing against her shoulders. "Yeah it's alright. It'd be a lot better if I weren't so hung over."

He let out a short chuckle. "I don't know why you bother drinkin' that stuff. It always gets you sick."

She rolled her eyes and gave him an incredulous look. "I don't know how you don't, Sodapop. If I didn't have booze to get drunk around this town, then I don't know where I would find my fun!"

Soda snorted and thumbed over his shoulder. "Steve is over in the garage if you're looking for him."

She nodded distantly and folded her arms over her chest. "I talked to Sandy yesterday."

Soda's eyes shot to the ground and he kicked at the dirt. "Oh yeah? What did she have to say?"

Evie shrugged, obviously oblivious to Soda's discomfort on the topic. "Well she said that the rug rat was doin' good, you know. The kid is like almost six months old now! Can you believe it?"

Soda scratched his head and nodded forcibly. "That sure is somethin' else."

"Yeah, she said that she ain't getting' any child support from the dad." She shook her head humorlessly. "If that girl had half a brain she should of just stayed with you, and that poor kid would have a good father."

Soda swallowed the hardening lump in his throat. "Yeah know how things work out."

Evie nodded somberly. "I know. Sorry, Soda."

He shrugged her off, a tad bit forcibly. "Don't worry about it. We're past that now."

Her eyebrows rose at that. "Well...just so you know, she said hi."

Soda nodded and said nothing to that. Evie patted his arm and made her way over to the garage. He watched her retreating form, and the smile that grew across Steve's face. They wrapped their arms around one another and began to chat animatedly. He was glad that his friend was happy, and that he still had his lover around. She was something else, that was for sure, but she and Steve went well together.

Soda liked her just fine. Sometimes though, he really had to tolerate her. Him and Sandy had hooked the two of them up, so when they first met each other it was always Soda and Sandy, and Steve and Evie; the four of them. Then Sandy went out and two timed him, leaving him behind in the cold. Now it was Steve and Evie, and them dragging around third wheel Soda. He tried to steer clear of their dates as much as possible, not liking having to sit there while they coddled up to each other. She had tried bringing along a friend or two in the past - an attempt to hook him up. But he didn't like them. They were part of the same group that Sylvia was in, and the same group Sandy had been part of. Why would he want another loud mouthed Tulsa greaser girl who was only planning on using him? Sure flirting was fun, but dating? He wanted to steer a bit clear of that path, especially when it came down to Evie's friends.

He didn't really know how to feel about his previous conversation with her. Sure he missed Sandy and wanted her to be okay, but at the same time, he wasn't sure if he wanted Sandy saying hi, and finding out that she should have just stayed with him so that she could get some money. That made him feel just spectacular. He had proposed to her - even though the baby wasn't his - because he loved her that much. She said no then, saying it wasn't fair and that she had to go. Now she was regretting it because she wasn't getting cash - that was rich. Then she had the audacity to say hi.

He figured that Evie was just trying to be nice and make some conversation. He didn't exactly like the topic of the conversation, but all too often Evie was too slow to notice things like other people's feelings. She was too much like Steve that way. He thought that was probably why they were so good together; they just didn't screw around with each other's emotions because neither had any. He loved his best friend to death and all, but sometimes he was so emotionless that he could have sworn he was a robot. Steve didn't like to go deep with people - and neither did Evie.

Feelings were important to Sodapop, though. They were what made him who he was. He liked to be nice, and sympathize with people. Of course, he had no problem getting in touch with his angry side, but the more in touch with his feelings he was, the more he was able to express them, and have fun. He liked to be happy go lucky, and he liked to look on the bright side of things, it helped keep a smile on his face - especially since he had seen just as much bad in the world as the rest of the gang had; it helped him make it through the days.

He watched as a car pulled up the drive way; his work day had officially begun.

... ... ...

At 10:30, Soda sat down in the hard plastic chair again. They had experienced a small, but still steady, morning rush that had him standing for the better part of the last hour. The town was beginning to come to life, yet it was still the north side; sometimes 10:30 am was still considered early on a Saturday morning.

Evie was still sitting in the garage keeping Steve company. Russ had yet to come out a check up on them, so he had heard occasional giggles and murmuring coming from the other part of the station. He wondered just how much work Steve was getting done down in there.

He sighed slightly as another car pulled up - at a rather fast speed - to the pumps. It was a blue Chevy, pretty old and beat up looking. There was one person in the car; and when it shut off she didn't look like she was heading anywhere fast. Soda peeled himself off of his chair and made his way over to the car, adjusting his hat and twirling his squeegee on the way.

He approached the driver side window and bent over. "How are ya doin' today?"

She had her forehead pressed down over her hands, which were perched on the top of her steering wheel. He could tell she was a greaser right off the bat. Her long, dark hair lay flat, and she wore a small leather jacket around her waist. She also had a skirt on - a short one at that - which gave her away.

She peeled her head up and sighed. "Can you fill it up, please?"

Soda cocked an eyebrow at the girl. "You want a wash too, while you're at it?" When she stared at him confused, he continued. "Your car is awfully filthy."

She shook her hair out of her face, and that was when he noticed she had been crying. " whatever you have to do."

He nodded his head and made his way back towards the end of the car and began to fill up the tank. He had seen the girl before; she hung around that new guy - the big asshole who had stole gas from him. The same asshole that also saved their asses from the socs. He definitely remembered her, although the last few times that they met, she had been a lot more hard and on guard. Now she just looked like someone had run over her dog. He didn't know the other gang as well as Steve, Two-Bit and Ponyboy did. Although he had heard bad things, there was one kid in the group that apparently wasn't all that bad, and he had also heard that the girl was okay in Evie's books.

The pump clicked and he hung it back up on the bar. He made his way back up to the girl's window where she was staring off down the street ahead of her. "You're not gonna take off without payin' again, are ya?"

She jumped a bit at the sound of his voice, and tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear. "No...I've got cash." She slowly turned towards the center of the car where her purse laid between the two front seats. Her hands were shaky and she seemed to be taking awhile to figure out what she was looking for.

Soda pursed his lips together. "Are you okay?"

She jumped again and dropped her change on the floor of the car. "Huh?"

Sodapop furrowed his eyebrows and reached for the door handle. "Here...let me help you."

"No!" She burst. He jumped back a bit and held his hands up. She took a deep breath and pushed her hair back. "I'm's just...fuck..." She began reaching around the floor, frantically trying to pick up the change. "Ray's gonna kill me..."

Soda swallowed. "Are you sure you're okay? I mean, y'all look kinda upset."

She stared up at him momentarily, as if she were trying to read his eyes. Hers on the other hand, were red and puffy. The side of her lip seemed a bit swollen, and she was still a little shaky. Soda figured her old man must have been a drunk. She sighed deeply again and reached down to her feet. "I'm fine...I'll be..." She reached her head back up and dropped the change in his hand. "I'll be fine." Her eyes darted back to the road.

Soda stood up straight and looked up and down the street. "There isn't anyone watchin' ya you know."

Her mouth dropped open and she just as quickly shut it again. "I's just..." She frowned angrily. "Forget it okay. Just wash the car."

Soda just shrugged his shoulders and smiled at her. "Whatever you say, doll."

Her eyes flashed indifferently, and she just ducked her head and crossed her arms. He pulled out his squeegee and hose and began to water down the hood and front windshield. He gave her the once over again and smiled. "So what's your story?"

She furrowed her eyebrows. "What do ya mean?"

Soda shrugged and began to scrub the front windshield. "Where ya from?"

"Oklahoma City," she muttered, a lot quieter than he had expected.

He smirked. "Why in the holy hell did ya come to Tulsa for?"

The corners of her mouth twitched upwards. "I didn't. My dad brought me and my younger brother here."

Soda cocked an eyebrow at her. "And you decided to stash the gorilla brothers in your suitcase?"

She let out a small snort of laughter, but then quickly recovered. "Who you callin' a gorilla?"

He pulled the rag out from his back pocket and began to go over the hood. "Your boys."

She looked away and swallowed; Soda could have sworn she was hiding a frown. "They came along with us. They was part of our gang and didn't wanna separate, so they followed."

Soda nodded understandingly. "You all live together?"

She shook her head quickly. "Oh no, no. I live with my dad three blocks east from here...Ray and the Young brothers live just up the street there."

Soda nodded again and moved his rag down to her door and began to polish there. She seemed to keep her eye on his every move, almost as though to make sure he didn't get too close to her. He watched her eyes. "Is that where y'all just came from?"

Her eyes quickly shot down to her lap. "Um, no. I..."

Soda smiled at her. "Don't worry about it, doll face."

She rested her head in her hand and finally smiled at him. "Thanks."

He nodded. "But you know, it ain't good to be hangin' around hoods who ain't afraid to give ya trouble."

She looked at him curiously. "Those boys aren't all that and Ray, we've been goin' steady for awhile now. He's a good guy."

His eyes trailed back to her puffy cheeks. "Yeah, I'm sure he is."

She pursed her lips together in a thin line. "Look, I really gotta get goin' before the boys wonder where I am. Did you need anymore money...?" she watched him expectantly.

"Sodapop," he offered her his hand.

She smiled at his name - just as he thought she would - and took his hand quickly. "Sodapop. That's a pretty original name."

He shrugged. "Well, my folks were pretty original people." He raked a hand through his greased up hair and grinned. "...and no, I don't need no more money. You're free to go..."

"Christine," she offered that time.

He grinned and nodded his head. "You're free to go, Christine."

She shot him a smile. "Thanks a lot...I guess I'll be seeing you around." She tucked her hair behind her ear as she started the car up. "You can also tell your buddies thanks again for helpin' out my kid brother yesterday."

Soda nodded. "Will do. You take care of yourself, ya hear?" She nodded and sped off out of the parking lot. He watched her leave and wondered about the girl momentarily. After a few seconds he placed his rag back in his pocket and turned back towards the station.

"Who was that?" Steve asked, walking towards him with Evie at his side.

Soda looked back towards the road. "Christine."

Evie nodded. "She's digs alright you know."

Soda nodded in return and smiled. "Yeah, she digs alright."

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