Categories > Books > Outsiders > Red Hot Moon

Chapter 14

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: 2007-04-04 - Updated: 2007-04-05 - 3732 words

Soda and Steve approached the taped off tarmac with caution; it had been almost a full week since the shooting and they were getting a little anxious with nothing else to do. Steve at least had school to go to, but Soda had been spending way too much time at home - which gave him way too much energy and no way to burn it. On top of that, Soda was in charge of paying for the groceries in the house, and he was just a little bit worried that he and Darry were going to come up short that month with him not working. Times were tough.

The soc, George Addams, who had been apprehended for David's murder was being charged in the first degree. The trial wasn't set to take place for at least another two months, but it was pretty much a slam dunk case. Of course, the greasers had their doubts that the high-class soc boy would even get much of a punishment considering he was a straight-A student and an athlete - and that just made tensions between the two social classes thicker.

Soda could easily tell that the events of the past week were really getting to Steve, as he had been a lot more moody and withdrawn. It wasn't so much who the killing happened to, but more that it was just another traumatic event piling on top of the ones that they'd already experienced. Since he was sixteen years old, it seemed as though Soda and his entire gang of friends had been dealing with bad news, after bad news, after bad news. There was only so much one person could take.

He was forever thankful though that his friends were strong enough to pull through.

Darry had been stricter than ever, however. They all knew that it was just a matter of time before they received another long visit from their social worker. The crime had been committed at Soda's place of employment, where he was present at the time, and since it was the second murder scene involvement by a Curtis in the last year and a half, the visit was definitely imminent. Soda knew that he no longer had much to worry about because of the fact that he was now over the age of eighteen, but they still had that lingering fear that it could affect Ponyboy in some way or another. Lord knew that was the last thing that they needed.

It also didn't help much that gang activity and turf wars were popping up at an all-time high around the city. Greasers wouldn't dare step outside their doors without carrying at least a blade, and socs were always cruising in groups of at least three. Everyone was looking over their shoulders at all times, paranoid about who was going to make the next move. Places like Jay's and the Nightly Double - which were both soc and greaser hang-outs - had a constant police presence to prevent any further activity from happening.

Tulsa was a war zone.

Unfortunately for the boys, their beloved DX gas station was at the heart of it all. It had been closed down indefinitely; while some people took the opportunity to leave little gifts in honor of the life lost, and small candle vigils, others took the opportunity to vandalize the place in the middle of the night. There were a lot of true colors shining that week, and it made most people very uneasy.

From their spots on the street outside of the tape, Soda could see movement inside of the shop. He took a cautious glance around before ushering Steve to duck under the tape, and the two boys approached the building quickly.

"Russ!" Soda called to his boss. "Is that you, man?"

The older man poked his head out of the garage door and gave the two boys a tired smile. "Hey there, guys. How y'all doin'?"

Steve shrugged. "We're dealing."

"We haven't heard from you all week; we just wanted to see if there was anything that we could do to help you..." Soda quickly asked, as politely as possible.

Russ put down the tools that he had in his hand and exited the garage area. "I don't think that there's anythin' that I can let you guys do. The police have been blocking off every square inch of the shop for evidence, and basically tearin' the place apart."

"Mr. Langley's Studebaker's still in there," Steve pointed out. "Isn't he allowed to have it back?"

Russ shrugged his shoulders indifferently. "It's not my call, boys. The fuzz have been up in here runnin' the show, and I don't get a say in shit all." He rubbed a hand over his head and let out a tired sigh. "Mr. Langley hasn't driven that thing in ages anyways. Sometimes I think he's just tryin' to give ya something to do to keep your nose outta trouble, Randle."

Steve let out a small snort of laughter. "Either way, I'm sure he's not too happy about that."

"He'll get it back soon enough. And then I have to decide what in the blue hell I'm gonna do with this place." Russ seemed so lost and upset, and Soda didn't exactly like the man's tone of voice.

"What do you mean by that?" He asked. "You're just gonna open up again, aren't you?"

Russ shrugged. "I don't know, boys. There's a lot of damage, and I really don't know if I can bother opening back up after someone died here. I just don't want anyone else gettin' hurt." He bit his hip and folded his arms over his chest. "I don't know what kinda business we'd still draw after all of this anyhow."

Steve frowned. "What do you mean? We've got the best service in town!"

"You can't close!" Soda agreed. "A lot of people rely on this place, us included!"

Russ looked to be beginning to lose his patience. "You don't think I know that? This place pays my bills! But after I'm done paying for all this damage and lost business, I'm gonna be deep in the whole anyways!"

Steve shot Soda an irritated look and popped a cigarette into his mouth. Soda turned to Russ once more. "Me and Steve'll help you! We'll work for free to get this place goin' again! Then it'll be good, just like old times."

Russ shook his head sadly. "It's just not that easy, Sodapop. I ain't doubtin' that you and Stevie don't have talent and all, but it's more than that. You need to be stable and secure to run a business...hell it costs me an arm and a leg just to pay you boys every month!"

Soda's demeanor slumped. "I count on this cheque though, Rusty."

"Damnit!" Steve cursed. "What the fuck'll we do?"

Russ put his hand on Soda's shoulder comfortingly. "I'm really sorry, fellas. It's not a definite word yet, but I just want you boys to be prepared. You'll have no problems findin' another place."

"We don't wanna work somewhere else, Rusty," Steve protested. "It just ain't right!"

Russ nodded understandingly. "I know that, believe you me. I'm the last person who wants to lose this place...or you boys; I've had it for almost fourteen years now! But I have to take priority, fellas, I'm sorry."

Soda bit his lip and looked at his friend sadly. "Well if there's anything that we can do to help'll call us, right?"

Russ gave him an appreciative smile. "You boys will be the first on my list." With that last word Russ gave them a small wave and turned and disappeared back inside the garage. Soda felt like crap.

Steve turned and began walking out of the parking lot. "I cannot believe this shit!" He kicked at the ground angrily. "What the fuck are we supposed to do now? Huh? Can't walk the streets without getting' jumped, we're outta our jobs, and I'm done school in less than a month." He picked up a rock and tossed it out into the street. "There ain't no way in hell I'll be spendin' all my time at home with my old man, no siree."

Soda jogged to catch up with him. "Steve, man, I'm sure Rusty'll pull through! He always does..."

"Ain't no one ever been shot up in that place though, Sodapop! You heard ' know just as well as I do that he's done for; he's just tryin' to be nice about it!"

Soda bit his lip and jammed his hands into his pockets as the two boys ducked under the police tape and walked out into the streets. "We gotta do what we can...there ain't no sense in lookin' on the bad side of things, Stevie."

Steve stopped and glared at Soda, for the first time in a seemingly long while, he actually looked to be angry at him. "See, that's where you and me are different, man. You can keep thinking all this is smiles and fuckin' rainbows, but it ain't! Some kid is dead and the place is closing' down! There ain't nothin' good about it!" He jammed his finger into Soda's chest and growled. "And you got fuckin' bills to pay, so I don't see how the fuck you're so optimistic about this!"

Soda frowned. "Steve, I don't want to fight you. I know damn well what this means, but I don't wanna be losin' my head! You gotta take it easy."

Steve sighed and scratched the back of his head. "I'm sorry, man. This whole thing is just getting' to me is all."

Soda nodded understandingly. "I know man. It's tough, but we've made it through worse."

"It doesn't help when things just keep pilin' on top." Steve pointed out.

"I know," Soda conceded. "But there ain't no sense in turnin' on each other, now is there?"

Steve nodded solemnly and sighed. "Yeah I'm sorry, buddy."

"It's no problem, Stevie," Soda smiled in attempt to cheer him up. "What do ya say we go over to Buck's and cool down?"

"You said the magic words, buddy."


Christine sat on the chair in front of their living room window. It was starting to get late, and the sun was just beginning to set over the Tulsa streets. From the window, Tulsa looked like a quiet and safe place to settle down with a family and spend time with the loved ones.

But she knew better than that.

Ever since her family - which consisted of her father and brother - moved there from Oklahoma City, things had just gone down hill. She was having never ending problems with her on again, off again boyfriend, her brother had been getting jumped, and a long time friend of hers had been killed.

Life was just peachy.

Things with Ray had just been getting worse since David had died. He was now spending a lot of time with a character that went by the name of Tim Shepard; they were planning some sort of crazy rumble to fight all of the socs that had been responsible for David's death. It was hard for her to imagine exactly what Ray was going through because he seemed so borderline about it. Sometimes he would completely ignore that the events even happened in the first place, as if it were unspeakable. Then other times he only regarded it with violence. His behavior scared her and she knew for a fact that it wasn't a healthy way of dealing with it.

He wasn't always the greatest person - and she would be the first person to admit that - and he also had weird ways of showing people that he cared, but he was good friends with David and they had been for a long time. He definitely wasn't saying anything to her about his feelings, as if he would. The only emotion that he had been showing to her was his anger, and she didn't like that one bit.

When she first met him, he was definitely a lot different. It was the bad-boy edge, and the charismatic attitude that drew her to him in the first place. No matter what kind of situation they were in, he was always able to keep her on her toes and show her an exciting time. They had spent a lot of time together back then - which was almost two years ago - almost as if they were attached at the hip.

He had come from a broken home. His father - when he was alive - was a Korean War vet who had a nasty drinking problem, and would often take his anger out on his son. Ray was only twelve years old when his father died. Christine had never gotten the chance to meet the man, but Ray had told her stories. She did, however, get the opportunity to meet his mother, and she wasn't exactly the nicest woman. To this day, she still wasn't entirely sure what Mrs. Cutler did to keep the food in their mouths and roof over their heads, but she did have her ideas. It was when Ray was seventeen that she threw him out of the house for good, and she moved on with a new boyfriend.

Christine attributed a lot of Ray's anger issues and problems that he had to his past. She knew it wasn't a great excuse for the way that he acted sometimes, but it was definitely an underlying factor. It didn't help that he was kicked out of school, got into several fights on a weekly basis, and lost his childhood best friend to a car accident that the boys had gotten into when they were drinking one night.

Since that night, about ten months ago, he hadn't really been the same. He no longer told her stories, or kept her on her feet, instead, he scared her. There were a few occasions that their arguing had led to physicality, but she tried her hardest not to hold it against him. There were other times that she had seen him fight her own brother for silly reasons. He had complete control over the activities of their group, so there was never much of a peep about it when someone didn't agree with him. She always did what she was told to prevent a fight, or to prevent him from just flying off the handle. A lot of the times however, it took its toll on her; he kept a tight leash on her which prevented her from making many friends. She figured that he didn't trust her judgment in people, or something. Worst of all, she never really got the opportunity to really express her feelings to him without starting some sort of fight, or making him mad; he always had so much crap on his plate, that he hated having to deal with other people's problems too.

It seemed like he had just turned to ice on her one day and that was it.

So she had been stuck in her house, deep in her thoughts, grieving the loss of her friend. Petey had been going to school to keep his mind off of things - he was better off when he was distracted - but Christine just couldn't find the heart to go. Robert had also been reclusive; he wasn't dealing with his brother's death well at all, and she didn't blame him either. The only thing that was keeping him company - since his only leftover roommate was Ray, and he hadn't been around - was a bottle of bourbon and whatever trashy drug he could find off the streets. So basically Petey was off distracting himself, Robert shut himself in, and Ray was looking for revenge. No one was really around, and it was starting to eat her up inside.

She turned her head at the sound of the door opening and frowned at her younger brother. "Where have you been?"

He shrugged and slumped down on the chair across from her. "Around."

"You shouldn't be out by yourself, you know," She pointed out in a worried tone. "Things been rough out there..."

He rolled his eyes good naturedly. "It's nothin' I can't handle."

"Peter," She folded her arms. "I don't want to get into this."

"So don't," He shot back, "I was out with a friend, so you don't need to worry, okay?"

She nodded. "That Ponyboy?"

"Yeah, he's a pretty good guy, you know," Petey trailed off. "He was tellin' me 'bout some friend he had that was wanted for a murder wrap out here, and he ended up dyin' saving some kids from a burnin' church! It was pretty wild..."

Christine smiled. "I bet it makes it easy to talk to him then; I'm sure he understands what you're goin' through."

Petey slumped in his seat and frowned. "I ain't been talkin' about David. It's just interesting listening to some people talk; it keeps my mind off a things."

"It's okay to talk about it, you know. I don't want y'all bottling things up inside." She was worried about him.

He only rolled his eyes at her though. "I'll talk when I'm ready, okay? Some people ain't like you and need to talk about emotional stuff all the time. It just makes me feel worse."

She frowned. "I didn't mean it that way, okay? I just been over checkin' up on Robert and he ain't doin' so good, you know! He ain't talking to no one, and he's messing himself right up. I just don't want the same thing happening to you, okay?" She folded her arms and leaned back on the couch.

"Look, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, okay?" He ran a hand through his light blonde hair and sighed. "I just miss David."

She nodded. "I know you do, and so do I."

"I wanna fight in the rumble," He announced, much to her dismay. "I decided that if them punks think they can just kill some innocent kid, I gotta go there and win...for him."

"I don't know if that's such a good idea," She started, which earned a glare from him. "A lot of those boys have blades and heaters and such, I don't want you to get hurt!"

He glared at her. "I'm more than capable of fightin' for myself, you know. Ray and Robbie'll be there, so will the Shepard gang, and the Curtis boys too!"

She pursed her lips together. "They came after you in the hallway and you couldn't fend them off, Pete! I'm not tryin' to call ya a wimp or anything, but they're all a lot tougher than most of the boys out in Oklahoma City!"

"You think I don't know that, Christine? I been dealin' with all sorts of crazy lunatics at school all week! Hell, I was fightin' in the big riot in the parkin' lot on Monday, and I did fine!" He started to whine by that point.

"And what if Ray and them Shepard boys can't back you up?" She argued. "What are ya goin' to do if some boy twice your size pulls out a chain, or a pipe, or something on you, and you don't have anyone to help?"

He rolled his eyes. "You worry too much."

"Well I ain't gonna be there to help you," She muttered.

His eyes nearly bulged out of his head. "What do you mean? You have to go!"

She rolled her eyes. "To hell I do! What am I gonna do?"

"Sit on the side and watch!" He stated like it was the most obvious thing in the whole world. "David was your friend, and you have to go for him! Besides, Ray'll be there, and so will Robbie and will your buddy Soda."

She sighed angrily. "And what the hell does that prove besides that you're all crazy?"

"That we need your support!" He argued. "It's a big thing!"

"And so is your ego," She deadpanned. "I just have a bad feelin' about all this."

He stood from his spot and came to sit next to her, throwing his arm over her shoulder comfortingly in the process. "I ain't gonna let nothin' happen to you...or me for that matter. If we don't go and fight for Davey, then that'll just show everyone that we don't take care of our boys, and there ain't no way in hell that I'm gonna let that happen."

She still wasn't convinced. "That ain't good enough."

He shrugged. "Even if I did listen to ya I would still have Ray ringin' my neck if I didn't go, and you know that."

"Right..." She muttered as she stood from her seat. "Never an option, right?"

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"You know what I mean," She replied bitterly as she strolled towards the door. "Don't play dumb."

"Whatever, I'm gonna go to bed now, okay?" He also stood from the couch.

"Okay, I'll be back in a little while," She trailed off.

He gave her a suspicious look. "You just gave me hell for bein' out alone, and now you're gonna go?"

"I'm just going out in the yard; I ain't even gonna leave the block, ya dig?" She laughed at him.

He just shrugged at her. "Whatever you want. I'll see ya later then." Without another word, he turned around and trudged up the stairs. She wasn't entirely sure what to think about him and his fighting attitude lately, but she knew damn well that he was right in saying that he didn't have much of a choice...but that didn't mean that she had to like it. Where violence, her boyfriend, the socs, and the Curtis's were involved, that always seemed to lead to trouble lately. She was really worried that someone was going to get truly hurt - again - and she was scared to see it happen.

Petey was even more right however when he said that they couldn't act like they didn't care because they did more than anything. They were caught between a rock and a hard place, and more than anything she just wished they had never even came to Tulsa, Oklahoma in the first place. If there was one good thing that came out of it, she sure as hell wanted to know what that was...

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