Categories > Books > Outsiders > Red Hot Moon

Chapter 11

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 - 3132 words

Chapter 11
... ... ...

Soda sat on the stool behind the cash register bored out of his skull. He hated when he got stuck behind the till doing Russ' job; he had no idea how the older man could even stand it. But, he knew that Russ had an important appointment with his wife, so Soda took the extra hours. However, he would much rather be pumping gas or sitting in the garage and hanging out with Steve.

But, he got the responsibility of taking over as manager for the night.

He sighed and brushed a hand over the side of his hair. It was hot outside and the air in the shop was stale. After only sitting indoors for the better part of twenty minutes, he had a layer of sweat covering his face. He unbuttoned the top four buttons of his uniform and leaned back to rest his head against the back wall. It was only a few moments later that he heard the bell on the door jingle.

He looked up and grinned.

Christine entered the shop with a cautious look on her face; following her in was her younger brother, Pete. They both hadn't noticed Soda's presence, and seemed to know exactly what they were looking for. Soda watched their movements like a hawk, and didn't say anything until he noticed the younger boy try and pocket a blade.

"You know, that is against the law," Soda announced in a sing song voice.

Both teens jumped a few inches in the air at the sound of his voice. Sodapop burst out laughing when the younger boy instantly threw the knife back down on the shelf. He bounced up and down on his stool until he was able to compose himself. He pretended to wipe a tear from his eye. "Damn you kids are too funny!"

Petey's look of fright instantly turned to a glare. "You didn't need to scare the day lights outta me, Curtis!"

Sodapop gave him a friendly grin. "Well, with lifting abilities like that you deserved it! Man, where did you learn how to steal?"

A slight blush rose up to the boys cheeks and he glared once more. "Shut your trap." The lack of intimidation on the boy's face was enough to send Soda into a fit of laughter once more. It wasn't that Soda wanted to make the kid mad, but the fact that he just tried to act tough - when he clearly wasn't - was funny to Soda.

"You get a kick outta makin' little kids angry?" A feminine voice asked.

Soda perked an eyebrow at her. "Oh come on, you gotta admit that was just too good of an opportunity to pass up! I gotta good laugh; did you get a good laugh?"

She rolled her eyes at him and grabbed a bag of chips off of the shelf. "It was lame, I admit, but I see no need to embarrass him anymore." She approached the counter with a grin and placed her purchases in front of him. He put one elbow on the counter and leaned forward.

"So where's the ape man? I'm surprised he didn't follow you in here."

She rolled her eyes and began to dig through her purse. "We usually come here in the evening," She regarded him for a moment. "And you usually aren't here."

He shrugged. "I work full time."

"He doesn't know you're here." Petey spoke up from a small magazine rack. Christine glared at him and gave Soda an apologetic smile. She stuck her hand out and dumped her change into his hand.

"So is he outside?" He gave her another winning grin and she blushed.

"Yeah he is. He was going to talk to that friend of yours...Evie's man." Soda nodded and tried to get a look at the garage. She cleared her throat and glared at him. "We didn't come here to fight..."


Soda immediately dropped to the ground. When he heard the screaming from outside, he immediately crawled around the counter. Petey was desperately trying to see out the tiny window and into the garage. When he looked to his left, Christine was sitting on the ground against the counter with her hands over her head. Soda quickly crawled towards her and pulled her hands down.

"Are you okay?" She stared at him shakily for a few seconds before she nodded. She was breathing heavily and trying to compose herself.

"Wa-was that a gun?" She stammered.

He let go of her hands and slowly stood up and walked towards the window. From there, he saw a large group of socs cram into a mustang and speed out of the lot. He swallowed hard and looked back at her scared face. "I think so."

"Who has it?"

Soda walked towards her and offered her hand up. She accepted it and pulled herself to her feet, dusting her jeans off in the process. Soda bit his lip. "I think it was them socs out there...they're gone now though."

She shakily brought a hand up to her face to tuck her hair behind her ear as her eyes filled up with tears. "What if someone is hurt?"

Petey quickly took off out the door and ran towards the garage. Soda turned back to her and put an arm around her shoulder. "I can take you out there if you want..."

"No!" She blurted. Soda's eyes widened. She gave him an apologetic look and folded her arms. "I can't go out there with you while he's here..."

Soda rolled his eyes. "Look, if that's the way ya wanna play it, fine by me. But I'm gonna go out there right now and make sure my buddy is okay, savvy?" She nodded and he smiled at her. "Good." He turned on his heel quickly and was about to rush out the door when she grabbed his arm.


He stopped and stared at her. "Yeah?"

She stood awkwardly and didn't meet his gaze. "I'm sorry."

He nodded his head. "It's alright."

"I'll come with you." She seemed genuinely frightened. He nodded his head and led the way out the door, where he was met with the sound of sirens in the distance and some more shouting coming from the garage. Soda picked up his pace at the thought of Steve lying on the ground hurt.

When he reached the garage, he was met with a disturbing sight.

Ray approached the two instantly and immediately went to Christine. Soda paid no heed and knelt next to Steve. "Is he okay?"

Steve looked at him with a worried expression on his face. "I don't know, man! These guys are fuckin' freakin' out, and this guy might be dead!" He had his hands tightly covering the wounds, and there was blood up to his elbows.

Soda didn't even know the boy's name. He knew that he was one of Ray's brutes, he went by Young. There was another boy in their group that looked just like them, and Soda always got the impression that they were brothers. That boy was cradling the fallen boy's head in his lap while he cried. He was completely hysterical, and Soda understood him completely at that moment. If it were one of his brothers he would be the same way.

He looked around the room and noticed Petey, pale as hell against the Studebaker. Soda immediately approached him and slung an arm over his shoulder, pulling him out of the garage. He was so shaken that he didn't even seem to notice that Soda had moved him. "Are you alright, kid?"

Petey said nothing. He only jerked away from Sodapop and lurched forward to vomit. Soda turned around to give him some privacy. He noticed Christine crying by the garage door, and Ray telling her to keep it down. It made Soda's blood boil that there was a kid in there dying - supposedly their friend - and he was busy telling her to shut the hell up.

He turned back to Petey as the boy wiped his mouth and took a seat beside the store. Sodapop approached him and sat beside him. "You okay?"

"Why did that happen to him? He - he shouldn't be dead like that!" The boy was viciously wiping at his eyes, so that -presumably - Soda wouldn't see him crying. Soda only shook his head at the kid.

"I don't know. I can tell ya from experience that these things happen right when they shouldn't."

The boy choked and finally let the tears fall. "He wasn't bad! He wasn't like Ray! He got caught up in the wrong crowd just like his brother! Just like Christine, and me. He didn't deserve to die!"

Soda sighed. "We don't know he's dead."

Petey wiped at his eyes. "Did you see all that blood? There isn't supposed to be that much blood in a person! It was everywhere!"

Sodapop went back to a time when he thought the same thing. There must have been seven or eight bullets that had ripped through Dally's body when he got shot. He remembered that he didn't deserve to die young, and that everything was all wrong. He remembered thinking about the way the blood almost looked black under the moonlight. It took him weeks to get that image out of his mind.

He looked up again when he heard gravel crunching. Steve was approaching him as the police and an ambulance pulled up into the lot. Steve looked up at Soda. "I don't think he made it, buddy."

Soda nodded and watched as the younger boy next to him got up in a huff and stormed away from them. Steve lit a cigarette and quickly offered Soda one, who gratefully accepted. Steve's hands were stained a disgusting red color, and he seemed to have some on his face. Soda wanted to grab him and throw him under a hose to get it off of him. But Steve didn't seem to pay much attention to it. His hands were shaking and his breathing was off.

"I thought for sure that was coming my way." He murmured.

Soda gave him a quick look. "What?!"

Steve wasn't even looking at him; he was only staring off into the distance. He seemed very disturbed. "The other grease...the dead boy's brother..." He swallowed hard and took a long drag from his cigarette. "He pushed me to the ground when the bullet hit. I didn't even remember him doing it, it all happened so fast. I thought for sure that I got shot, buddy."

Soda slung an arm around Steve's shoulder. "I was scared ya did too."

"That guy...he was so messed up over it. I sat there and watched him scream and cry...all I could think of was Dally." Soda smoked his cigarette slowly. That was all he could think of too. Every time he saw a gun these days it brought back all sorts of old demons. He looked back at Steve who was staring at the cops. "I wonder if they'll even get busted for it."

Soda watched him for a moment. His face seemed contorted with a mixture of pain and anger. "What happened, Steve?"

"The socs. They wanted their fuckin' car fixed. I told them I would do it, and then that moron showed up and started shit. Man, that boy didn't even do anythin' to those socs. He didn't say a word." He stubbed out his cigarette and quickly reached for another one. "Ray ran his mouth and the soc pulled a heater on him. Ray ran at him and hit the gun out of the way...somehow that poor kid got it all."

Soda watched as the cops began taping up the perimeter of the building. A few of them were trying to pull out the brother so that they could secure the body, while a few others were trying to talk to Ray and his gang. Ray, being the total fuck up that he was, gave the police enough trouble that they threw him into a cruiser. Christine and Petey just cried.

Soda looked back at Steve as he nudged him with his elbow. He motioned towards an oncoming police officer.

"Good afternoon boys." The officer said. Sodapop immediately recognized him as the jerk who hauled him and Two-Bit in the previous year for 'disturbing the peace'. Sodapop folded his arms over his chest and nodded in return.

"You boys work here?" He pulled out a notepad and began scribbling.

Soda looked at Steve, who in turn rolled his eyes angrily. "No, we wear these uniforms for the hell of it!"

The officer glared at the boys as Sodapop snorted at Steve's response. No one ever said Steve thought before he spoke. The policeman tapped his pen against his notepad impatiently. "I have some questions for you boys, so you best be willin' to help before I have to haul y'all in."

"What's your name?" He was directing his questions at Soda first.

"Sodapop Patrick Curtis, sir." Soda stubbed out his cigarette and stared at the officer.

"How old are you?"


He proceeded to ask Soda some questions about his address, his phone number, his guardians, whether or not he had a criminal record, and other personal things. Sodapop knew it was routine, but he would rather do without the questioning so soon after watching a body bleed to death.

"Where were you when the shots fired?"

Soda sighed. "I was inside the shop. There were two customers in there and I was ringin' through their stuff. I only heard the shots, hit the floor, and went outside to investigate. That's all I know."

The policeman nodded and motioned for him to go. He then proceeded to talk to Steve. Soda looked back at the scene of the crime and watched as the paramedics brought the covered body into the ambulance. With Ray taken away, and another set of paramedics dealing with the victim's brother, only Petey and Christine remained alone. Soda decided to approach the two.

Petey seemed to have finished crying. He only stood with his hands jammed into his pockets staring off into space. Christine seemed to be composing herself as well; she gently wiped her face down with a tissue.

"Are you guys alright?" Soda asked. He knew that is was a stupid question; he cursed everyone who ever asked him the same one in that sort of situation, but ironically enough, it was the only thing he could think of to say.

Petey said nothing. He only shrugged his shoulders and turned away. Christine shook her head. "I can't believe that just happened."

Soda nodded. "I'm sorry about your friend."

At the mention of it she began to tear up again. She wasn't sobbing, only silently letting tears fall down her face. She looked at her scrunched up tissue and threw it down on the ground in disgust. She tried - with difficulty - to wipe the moisture off of her face with her already moist hands. Soda watched her; she looked so sad and scared. It was the same face he had seen on so many of his friends and brothers too many times in the past.

He hesitantly reached his hand out and wiped a tear off her face with his thumb. At his touch, she flinched, but made no move to leave. As soon as she met his gaze, she broke down entirely and cried. No really knowing quite what to do, he pulled her towards him and just hugged her. He knew that they didn't know each other very well yet, but that sometimes people just couldn't control their emotions in those situations.

They stood like that for a few moments before she finally pulled away. She looked up at him and she frowned. "I'm sorry for that."

He shrugged. "It's okay. I know how you feel."

She snorted. "How could you."

He shrugged. "I lost both my parents, my little brother's best friend, and I watched a good friend of my own pass away too..." He scratched the back of his head uncomfortably and watched her.

She nodded. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound so..."

Soda shook it off. "It's alright, don't worry about it. You should just go home. Take your brother."

She nodded and looked towards her brother, who was seated on the ground with his knees drawn towards his chest. She grabbed him by the arm and pulled him up, and the two of them walked towards the blue Chevy. Soda followed them and stood in front of the car door. Christine rolled down her window and tucked a stray piece of hair behind her ear. "I'll see you around, Sodapop."

He nodded. "You know, you could always come around if you need someone to talk to."

She gave him a sad smile. "I wish I could..."

He snorted. "What's stopping you?"

She looked down to her lap. "You know what..."

He frowned, almost angrily. "He isn't an excuse! I'm not asking for a date here! I'm just telling you if you need a friend..."

She nodded. "Okay, fair enough." She finally met his gaze again. "Look, I'm really sorry for everything..."

He shook his head. "No more apologizing." He watched her as she finally gave him a small grin. He stood back another foot as she started up the car.

"Okay, well can I at least say thank-you?" She asked quietly.

He nodded. "I can deal with that." She smiled at him and drove off out of the parking lot. Soda followed the car with his eyes and sighed; that girl really was something else. He shook his head and began to walk towards Steve as the police officer finally let him go. The other boy looked mighty annoyed, which wasn't always a strange thing for Steve, but given the circumstances Soda laid off.

"Sodapop!" He heard a frantic voice call his name. He turned around and noticed Darry, Ponyboy, and Two-Bit all standing behind the caution tape. He let out a relieved breath, and he and Steve broke out in a run to go meet them. Soda dove into Darry and hugged him.

"God, I was scared shitless!" Darry muttered. "I'm so glad you're okay, little buddy."

Soda nodded. "We'll be fine. Just a little scared, but we're okay, fellas." He pulled Ponyboy into a tight hug afterwards and grinned at his little brother. Pony looked almost pale with fright before Soda grabbed him.

"Glory boys, what the hell happened?" Two-Bit finally broke the ice and asked.

Soda looked at Steve, who just shrugged at Two-Bit. "I don't know all the details...all I know is that I think another war has just started."

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