Categories > Books > Outsiders > Red Hot Moon

Chapter 9

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 - 3110 words

Chapter 9

Darry walked into his house with two bags of groceries in his arms and a set of keys dangling from his fingers. He pushed his shoes off with his feet and closed the door behind him.

"Ponyboy, Sodapop! You guys home?" The house was unusually quiet for it being six o'clock in the evening. Even if his younger brothers weren't home, somebody usually was. That day must have been a rare exception.

He made his way towards the kitchen and set the bags down. On the counter, he found a hand written note on a piece of paper towel. He smirked at the choice of paper, and began to read:


I was real bored so I went to the Dingo with Curly. Sodapop took an extra shift this afternoon, so he will be late for dinner. I will be home before seven o'clock.


Darry frowned; he hated when Ponyboy hung out with Curly Shepard, and the kid knew it. It wasn't that he wished death on the boy or anything, but he was just a very bad influence on Ponyboy. There had been close calls with even the police when the two boys had hung out in the past. Curly was reckless and was almost as dangerous as his older brother, Tim.

Darry might have been a bit out of it in terms of the Tulsa social scene in the last two years or so, but that didn't mean he was a dummy. He knew exactly what kind of things went on at the Dingo, and a place like that and Curly Shepard did not mesh well.

There were a lot of fights that went on there; he knew of at least eight instances where someone had been stabbed within the last few years alone. Car break-ins were frequent, as well as muggings. Above all else, soc and greaser conflicts were top concern. Darry didn't need to worry about himself; he could handle himself in a fight with any of the bigger socs that they threw at him.

Sodapop was another story. Soda was a good fighter; in fact, he had been undefeated in a fight up until the previous week. He had never been jumped or put into a situation where he couldn't reverse it. He had, on more than one occasion, taken on more than one at a time. Sodapop had enough adrenaline and energy in his body to let it out on someone if he needed to defend himself.

The only problem with Sodapop - which had only stemmed after the deaths of their two friends last year - was that his head was slipping. He wasn't quite the same as he once was. If anything, Darry would have put money on it that it would have been the death of their parents that put an end to happy go lucky Soda.

But it seems that it was just the beginning. When their parents had died, Soda took it the hardest. He cried and cried and made a big mess of himself. It wasn't until Ponyboy had started having his nightmares that Sodapop had smartened up just a bit. The two younger boys had a bond stronger than Darry had with either of them, so it was only natural that the two of them began to share a room in order to get over the event.

And then he dropped out of school. Darry could - in ways - understand where he was coming from. True, Ponyboy had a much better chance at getting into a good school than Sodapop did; however, Soda didn't put in all of his effort. Darry believed - religiously- that if Soda had only tried a bit harder then he would have been able to pull off school. At the same time though, Darry was working two jobs and it still wasn't cutting it. He made enough for house payments, utilities, and the truck. He still couldn't afford food everyday and clothing. It wasn't very hard for Soda to convince him that by working full time he was doing him a favor. He was angry that he had given up, but he did need help with the funds. It did take awhile for Darry to get used to it.

After awhile, things had started to go back to normal. The only instance that Soda had acted out was the time he got jailed for flipping around downtown. It wasn't until Pony had gone missing, he broke up with Sandy, and Dally and Johnny died that he really began acting different. Darry hated to say it, but neither he nor Pony really stopped to think about Soda's feelings at that time.

A night at the dinner table had proved that he really wasn't okay.

Darry and Ponyboy had started arguing that night about something or other - he recalled it being school - and Soda had finally snapped. He had never really laid it into Darry or Ponyboy until that night. Of course, they had made up and put the fighting behind them, but Darry couldn't help but feel that Soda still had a lot bothering him.

The deaths of Dally and Johnny were still very hard on the boys. He knew in Soda's case, that he felt that he had sat back and watched it all happen without doing a single thing. It wasn't Sodapop's fault by a long shot, but the middle brother still felt so helpless and desperate when the boys had first gone missing. Then one came back with next to no chance for survival and the other one practically committed suicide. It was very hard for someone like Soda to accept; he always tried to look on the bright side of things and stay positive, but how could he do that after three young boys end up dead?

Sandy was a whole other story. Soda loved her. Darry sat back and watched as their relationship deteriorated in front of his eyes. Ponyboy had gone missing, and Soda cared about nothing else. Sandy, their dates, and any plans the two had were pushed off to the side. It was obvious that Sandy must have cheated before it ever happened - or else she couldn't have known of the pregnancy - but Darry had a funny feeling that the lack of attention on her is what sprung the whole announcement up. Soda tried to look no further and stay with her anyways, but it was to no avail. His heart had been broken for the first time and he had done nothing wrong.

Since that time, he hadn't been the same. The blonde boy had no problems placing bets with other boys, and participated in many drag races. His early ladies man persona had left and was replaced with a bitter womanizer. Surely Soda never abused any girl, only what they had no problem offering him. For someone who was raised in a catholic household, Sodapop sure flung his sexuality around carelessly. Darry knew that what he did in his own time was his own business, but he couldn't help but worry about his brother. Casual sex was unsafe and held a lot of risks. Soda had went from the broken hearted to the heart breaker.

Ponyboy was another matter entirely.

It took a great deal of therapy and patience to deal with Ponyboy after Johnny and Dally had died. He was bitter, resentful, guilty, alone, angry, confused, and most of all, he was heartbroken. The two boys had been the ones that Pony had come to rely on; the two in the group that seemed to give him more of a chance. Pony was a lot closer to those two than he was anyone else in the gang. When he lost them, it almost seemed as if he had lost himself. Darry often times lost his temper with him afterwards; he didn't want to get mad at him, but Pony was in such a state of mind and attitude that Darry had no choice but to.

The younger boy had managed to get his head in gear enough to get his marks back up. To this day, Darry still had no idea what he wrote to his teacher in his report. Pony had never once let him proof read it or check it over, he only handed him the mark report. Whenever Darry had tried to ask him about it, he said it was personal and that he wanted to keep it to himself. Sodapop had later told him that the report had to do with the Bob/Johnny/Windrexville ordeal, and that was all he knew. After hearing that piece of information, Darry did let off. He wasn't sure why, but the thought of reading over Pony's thoughts on the murder wrap made him sick. He didn't think he would be able to handle reading it or knowing how his little brother felt at the time. He wasn't sure if it had to do with the fact that it would scare him, or it would make him think differently about Ponyboy. From that point on, he didn't want to talk about the report either.

After the school issue had been resolved, Pony's nightmares continued once more. They scared the day lights out of Darry because he just didn't quite know what to do when they happened. Soda always seemed to get him under control no problem. Darry knew that the night terrors were caused by the deaths. The same dreams had occurred after their parents had died.

Ponyboy hadn't really acted out since. He did have a few weird bursts where he would act questionably, but never recklessly. All those years that Darry had accused him of not having a head on his shoulders flew out the window at this time. Pony did have the head on his shoulders; he just acted differently than Darry himself did. After a year, Darry finally accepted that. Pony felt things differently, as Soda had put it, and he was right.

The only thing that really had Darry worried was Pony's mental state. He didn't think that he would hurt himself like Dally did. He didn't think that he would get into any trouble either. The only thing that worried Darry about the younger boy was his thoughts and feelings. He seemed to have been depressed quite a bit at times, and Darry didn't want the little guy to feel so alone. He wanted to be there for his brother and help him move on with his life; he hated that he felt so hurt all the time.

Thankfully Two-Bit and Steve were around at this time as well. Even though they were dealing with it all themselves, they did help the boys get over it as well by dealing together. Darry felt as if the two friends had really helped distract Soda and Pony from what went on. It also gave Darry a chance to figure out his own feelings.

He loved his brothers to death, but it almost seemed as though he never got a chance to think about himself. He didn't cry when their parents died, and he never cried when Dallas and Johnny died either. The only thing that ever mattered to him anymore was the well being of his two little brothers. It hurt him more than anything else in the world when his parents died, but he didn't have much time to dwell on it. He felt like he lost a piece of himself when Johnny and Dallas died, but he had to worry about Ponyboy. It scared him more than anything else when he had thought they lost Pony, but after only a couple of hours to get himself pulled together, he once again had to tend to his brothers.

There were days that Darry wondered how things would have went if he had decided to go to college; if he would have gotten a loan. He wondered what would have happened to his brothers if he had given them up to social services. He would have had his life back and would have been making the money he had originally set on. He wouldn't be living in the east end of Tulsa worrying about gang wars and murders.

He would probably be one of them if it came down to it all.

But when reality stuck its face out, Darry knew where his responsibilities lied. He knew that no hope or dream would have ever been worth abandoning the two boys who needed him most. He may have worried, hardened, and stressed, but his love for them was stronger than any other emotion that he felt. He would have never been able to forgive himself if he had done that.

He sighed quietly and began to unpack the groceries. He hated being alone in the house; he always got over analyzing things. He grabbed a large stock of celery and placed it into the fridge, pulling out a package of chicken while he was in there. He figured that he may as well get supper started so that the boys had food when they arrived home. He put the chicken on the counter, and bent down to one of the lower cupboards to retrieve a cooking pan.

He almost knocked his own head off with the countertop when he heard the door burst open. He brought a hand up to rub the painful spot and looked over his shoulder. Two-Bit gave him a mocking smirk and he waved. "Hey Superman."

"Do you have to do that?" Two-Bit could be so tactless sometimes.

He pretended to give it some thought before shaking his head. "Yes." Darry rolled his eyes and proceeded to place the chicken thighs onto the baking sheet. He leaned over the stove and set the pre-heat. Two-Bit, obviously not enjoying the lack of attention sat himself on the counter and clapped his hands together. "So, what are we having?"

Darry's eyebrows rose as he regarded him. "Did you get an invitation in the mail to come bug me?"

Two-Bit cocked an eyebrow and grinned. "Getting' snappy, huh Dar? You're soundin' like me more an' more everyday!"

Darry snorted. "Well then, I should go run out and get myself a lobotomy before it gets too serious."

Two-Bit rolled his eyes and pulled a cigarette out of his jacket pocket. "You're a regular standup comedian, ain't ya?" He rolled his eyes once more and shook out the lit match.

Darry's eyebrows rose up once more at Two-Bit's demeanor. "What's wrong with you, buddy?"

"Fuckin' Shepard," Two-Bit replied bitterly. At the name, Darry's stomach tightened, worried that he had gotten into some trouble with Ponyboy.

"What did he do?" He asked slowly.

Two-Bit took a long drag off of his smoke and turned to look Darry in the eye. "Caught the little bastard foolin' around in my car at school!" he bit his lip and looked to be angering at the situation. "With my little sister! She was actually foolin' around with him!"

Darry snorted and went back to his cooking; he figured Two-Bit was in for a long ride with that kid. "So what did ya do?"

"I yanked his stupid ass outta there! Then I gave the broad some lip!" Two-Bit's hands clenched at the memory. It had been quite awhile since Darry had actually seen him that angry, and he knew damn well that it would do Two-Bit no favors to kick Curl's ass either.

"He didn't back off, did he?" Darry asked curiously.

"Nah," He kicked the back of his sneaker against the cupboard door and stubbed off his cigarette in the sink. "They took off from school together. She was all pissy with me."

Darry snorted. "Don't worry, she'll get over it. They always do."

Two-Bit snorted at Darry's response. "You act as those you have bratty siblings to put up with all the time." Darry didn't reply to that, only stood blinking at Two-Bit's apparent stupidity. After a few moments of silence, Two-Bit began to laugh. "You serious, Darry?"

Darry stared at him. "Yes."

"You think your kid brothers are that bratty, that they would do something that dumb?!"

Darry sighed. "Do you realize who you are talking about here? I love my kid brothers to death but to deny their insanity would be a little stupid, don't ya think Two-Bit?"

Two-Bit only shrugged. "Just be thankful they aren't banging Curly Shepard."

Darry's eyebrows raised in horror at the thought. "I'll thank the lord everyday if I have to!"

It was Two-Bit's turn to sit and stare, and for some reason, it looked to Darry as if he was actually giving some thought to something. He turned away from him and placed the pan into the oven, and leaned on the counter to look at him once more. When Two-Bit seemed to gain his composure, he burst out into a fit of laughs. "That would be the most disturbing thing I ever said!"

Darry nodded. "Which says a lot."

Two-Bit laughed even harder. "Could you imagine, Ponyboy coming home and saying..."

Darry held up a hand. "If you ever, ever finish that sentence you won't have any teeth left."

Two-Bit howled even harder and fell off the counter, and stumbled his way towards the Curtis' couch. Darry just stood in the kitchen in awe, wondering where the hell that boy's sanity had gone. He shook his head, and made his way towards the bathroom.

He was ready to close the door for a shower when he heard the door bang open again. He stopped what he was doing so he could hear who was in the house.

"Where the fuck is Darry?" A voice shouted. It sounded frantic.

It was Ponyboy.

He heard Two-Bit reply. "He's bouncin' around somewhere kid, what's your problem? You look like you saw a ghost!"

"Where the fuck is my brother, you idiot!" Darry's heart beat sped up at the urgency in his voice. He pulled his shirt back on and quickly made his way towards his youngest brother.

"What in the hell is wrong with you, boy?" Darry asked with a concerned voice.

"We have to go get Soda!" He blubbered.

"What's wrong with Soda?" Two-Bit beat Darry to the punch.

Ponyboy breathed heavily. "Something happened at the DX...there are cops everywhere and there is caution tape up."

Darry felt his breath hitch and his heart stop.

"What?" Two-Bit asked him to repeat. But Darry wouldn't give him a chance to. He grabbed both boys by the shoulders and roughly pushed them towards the door.

If anything happened to that boy someone would have hell to pay.

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