Innocent Eyes
Written by: Kashew

Author Note: Well, I'm back with a slash story, that Kristie's told me that I desperately need to write. Please don't read if you disagree with slash, and/or the Ponyboy/Johnny pairing. Now on to the fluffy goodness. X3

Side Note: This story takes place before the book, and all of the events that happened during it. Enjoy! ^^

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School. To some, one of the most boring places on Earth. To most? Well, lets not go there.

"... And it's a proven fact, that the speed of light is approximately as fast as going around Earth, ten times per second. Some places--"

Pony tried to shut off his teacher's voice, as he stared down at his notebook. He was supposed to be taking notes, but wasn't able to concentrate when his thoughts kept straying to a certain black haired, dark-skinned boy. Shaking his head ever so lightly, Ponyboy tried to clear his thoughts and focus mainly on his teacher, who was still droning on and on.

Yawning, he flipped his notebook to a fresh page, and started doodling. A head and ears, a body... a tail? Pony put his pencil down and looked closely at the drawing. It reminded him a bit of Johnny; with those big brown eyes, that give off the impression that he's a lost little puppy who can't find its way through a crowd on it's own. Pony put his head down in his arms, and continued to ponder about his best buddy. His full rosy lips. His soft, timid smile. Pony could imagine being alone with him, in the dark of the night. Kissing him soundly under the moonlight. No, he thought, closing his forest colored eyes tightly, trying to rid his mind of the tempting image. I can't like my best friend--

"Mr. Curtis!"

Pony jumped, and was brought back to reality by his teacher standing beside his desk. Blushing scarlet, Pony sunk down into his seat. He avoided his teacher's hard stare, and stared down at his hands. "U-um... I'm sorry sir."

The teacher scowled, and walked away from Pony's desk and back to the front of the room. Teachers always stood at the front of the room when they wanted attention from students. "If I catch you daydreaming in class again, Mr. Curtis, I will have no choice but to give you a detention."

Nodding numbly, Pony went back to trying to pay attention, but he knew it was no use. Johnny just kept on wandering into his thoughts. Inside, Pony was scared.

...I'm in love with my best friend...
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Pony put his math textbook into his backpack and closed his locker. Leaning against it, the young greaser closed his eyes for a moment, still trying hard not to think about his best friend. He tried to focus on the cute girl who sat next to him in biology; she was always wearing yellow. But Ponyboy found it difficult to think about her when he was constantly thinking about the small, timid sixteen-year-old that he had known for so long. Pony ran his hand through his reddy-brown hair that was slightly greased, and sighed. He stood still for a minute, lost in his thoughts, not realizing that someone was making his way towards him.

Johnny fought the people who were crowding the hallways, to try to reach Ponyboy. They were supposed to go see a movie, Gone with the Wind to be exact, and were going to be late if they didn't hurry up. Johnny spotted his best friend, and hurried up. He lowered his dark-brown eyes to the floor, not wanting to make eye contact with any of the people. Who knows what would happen if he did. Johnny was about 10 feet away from Pony, when he finally lifted up his head.

"Pony! Hey Pony!"

Pony jumped slightly, but gave a small grin when he saw the older boy. Johnny was wearing his usual outfit, that marked him as a greaser; jeans, a black t-shirt and his black hair heavily greased. I wanna just tell him... Pony shook his head to clear his thoughts once again, and diverted his eyes so they were now facing down at the ground, so Johnny wouldn't notice the small blush creeping up on his pale face. "Hi Johnny. You ready to go?"

The older boy nodded, and beckoned for Pony to follow him, as he headed towards the front doors. Johnny seemed to be deep in thought, trying to remember something that he was obviously told earlier. It finally clicked into his mind, and Johnny turned around, walking backwards as he talked with Pony. "Two-Bit told me this mornin' that he could give us a ride over to the drive-in. But we'll have to walk back to your house after. That okay Pon? Your brothers gonna mind?"

"Nope, that's fine; Soda's gone out for the night with Sandy, Steve and Evie, and Darry mentioned to me that he was gonna be workin' late. Where's Two-Bit waitin' for us?" Pony questioned, a slight smile on his face. Johnny looked awful cute when he was deep in thought.

"Oh okay. He said that he'd pick us up at the back of the school. Apparently he was goin' to get some booze for the night, and was wanting to put it in his car, without gettin' caught by the fuzz or the principal. He probably played hooky again." Johnny turned back around, and went out through the front doors. Pony followed him, walking in comfortable silence. What was so great about their friendship was that they didn't need to put everything into words. They just knew what the other was thinking about. Except for the one thing that had been on Pony's mind the whole day...

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"So I'll see y'all tomorrow then?" Two-Bit stopped in front of the drive-in's entrance, letting the two boys out. "I'm probably gonna get ripped tonight, and hunt up a poker game. And I don't think your big brother will want me around the house when I'm drunk, after what happened that time." He grinned in Pony's direction, and Pony returned the grin, closing the car door.

"He'd probably skin ya if you did that." Pony laughed, remembering the last time Two-Bit was completely ripped. He had gone over to the Curtis', and ended up getting into a fight with Dally about the cheating he did in a poker game. It ended with a broken lamp, and a black eye that Two-Bit recieved from Dally. Then in the morning, Two-Bit was sick and ended up puking everywhere. "Anyways, thanks for the ride Two-Bit. We'll see ya tomorrow."

Johnny nodded to what Pony said, and ducked as Two-Bit ruffled his hair. "Glory Two-Bit, you're goin' to ruin my hair!"

Two-Bit just laughed. "Be good kids. Make sure you don't pick up any girls while you're here." And with that, he drove off, leaving the two boys left in the dust. Pony blinked to what Two-Bit said, and quickly shook his head. He didn't possibly know... No. Pony told himself, trying to push that thought deep in his mind. It was just a normal Two-Bit wisecrack...

Johnny watched his buddy deep in thought. He studied the younger boy's face a bit too long. He wanted to pull Pony into his lap, brush his lips over his tender skin, lay next to him under the stars, and whisper loving words to him. He felt himself growing hot as he blushed a dark red. He was supposed to like girls -- not his best friend. Liking someone of the same sex is wrong... isn't it? What would the gang say if they found out... Johnny thought to himself, balling his hands into fists ... What would my parents do? Would they kick me out? He shook his head rapidly, trying to clear his head. That was the last thing he needed to think about. Who cares about his parents? They obviously didn't care about him, so why should Johnny care about them? Sighing, helooked back up and noticed Pony staring at him. Johnny blushed an even deeper scarlet. Even though he was dark skinned, it was quite noticable in the sunlight. It was hard to hide a bright red, even on the darkest of skin.

The fourteen-year old suddenly jumped, and realized he was staring intentively at Johnny. Blushing, Pony hooked his thumbs in his belt loops and slouched, staring at the ground. "S-sorry for starin' at ya Johnnycake. I was just lost in my thoughts, ya dig?"

Johnny nodded, and they both fell back into awkward silence. Finally, Johnny gulped and decided to break the ice. "Well... do you want to go in now Pon? The movie's goin' to start anytime now... and I know that you hate missing the first part of it..."

"Whaa--? Oh yeah, sure, Johnny." Pony said absentmindedly as he followed Johnny into the entrance of the drive-in. They both handed two quarters to the usher, who was standing in a little box-like room, right before the many rows of seats. The two boys made their way to the top of the seats, right in front of the consession. Hopefully they wouldn't be bothered by any Socs' that would be milling around soon. It was still daytime for another four hours at least. The movie wouldn't even last that long.

Finally, the movie started, and Johnny found himself paying more attention to Pony than the actual movie. Pony was quite absorbed into the film, and would be until it was completely finished. He always did that; he liked to feel the characters. Live like them. This gave Johnny enough time to sort out his thoughts and the emotions running through his head.

Johnny whimpered quietly and wrapped his arms around himself. He was confused. Confused about all of these new feelings and thoughts. He turned his head to look at the younger one, his black-eyes taking in every detail of Pony's face. His red-brown hair. His soft grey-green eyes lit by the glow of the movie screen.

He could imagine being all alone in the dark of the night... wrapped in each others arms. Johnny, would be focusing his loving gaze into his best friend's eyes-- his lover's eyes. And Pony would look back up at him in the same loving way.

Shaking his head again, he tried to dispose of his absurd fantasies. No... Johnny thought desperately, pushing his hands into his lap. I can't be in love with him....

But somehow, no matter what Johnny did, he knew deep inside that he had already lost the battle.

He was in love with his best friend.

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After the movie, Ponyboy and Johnny started on the short walk back to the Curtis'. Pony was walking at a fast pace, wanting to make it home before the sunset. Johnny on the other hand, seemed to be lagging behind, his head bowed down. Puzzled, Pony stopped to let Johnny catch up to him. When Johnny fell in step with Pony again, Pony put his arm around Johnny's shoulders. "Johnnycake? Somethin' the matter?"

Johnny blushed, and shook his head. Furrowing his eyebrows, Pony nodded slowly and took his slender arm away from Johnny's shoulder. "Okay buddy. But if something's botherin' you, tell me alright?" Johnny blinked, and then nodded.

"Okay." Johnny smiled at Pony, and Pony returned it, grinning even wider if that was possible.

"I'll race ya!" Pony declared and took a lead down the sidewalk. Laughing, Johnny started running to keep up with his best friend. Pony looked back behind him, and saw Johnny on his heals. Grinning, he pumped his arms faster, feeling as if he was floating on air. They both made it back to the house in record time and stood with their hands on their knees, trying to catch their breaths.

"You really are a great runner Pon!" Johnny said, and sat down on the front porch of the house, putting his head in his hands. "I've never ran against someone like that before!" His cheeks were a bright pink from the running, and Pony found himself staring at Johnny once again. He thought his Johnny looked adorable when his cheeks turned that rare pink shade and his eyes glowed with happiness. Pony couldn't remember seeing Johnny that genuinely happy in a long time.

"You're pretty good too Johnnycake! You should join the track team! I think you'd have a great time doin' that!"

Johnny looked up surprised and then shook his head slowly. "Nahh... I don't think I'd be able to join a team. I'm too shy, and I'm not a good runner at all. I'm nothin' compared to you Ponyboy."

Pony shrugged. "You never know until you try. You might really enjoy it if you give it a chance..." He sat down beside the sixteen-year-old and wiped his face with the top of his shirt. Johnny tried not to imagine some of the things that they might do so he looked away, far out into the distance. The sun was starting to set, and he knew how much Pony liked sunsets.

He tapped Ponyboy on the shoulder, causing him to look up. "Look Pon, the sun's settin'..."

Pony smiled and nodded, leaning against the railing of the stairs. He looked up and kept his eyes fixed on the sunset. Many swirls of colors -- blue, purple and a slight pink hue as well. It was almost like it was telling Pony to do something; to make his move. Distantly, he thought how he wanted to be leaning against his Johnnycake. Nice, warm, cuddly Johnny. A little puppy who'd been kicked one too many times and who got lost in crowds. It was then when he realized that he needed to do it... to finally tell Johnny how he felt.

"Johnny..." Pony knew he was blushing as he looked down at his hands that were tightly clutched together. Johnny looked sideways at the fourteen-year-old, wondered what Pony was thinking. Pony stood up, making his way to sit right in front of Johnny -- knowing that this was the time. Johnny looked at him with puzzled, dark-brown eyes. This is it... Pony told himself as he kneeled on one of the stairs, right in the middle of Johnny's legs. Johnny felt a blush creeping up on his face as Pony leaned really close to Johnny's tanned face. Pony sat there for a moment, closing his eyes and took a deep breath, silently pressing his lips to Johnny's. Johnny's eyes widened for a minute, before he closed them tightly, kissing Pony back softly.

After a few seconds, Pony leaned back, and reopened his eyes to meet Johnny's dark, smoldering ones that were currently studying his face. "Johnny... I'm..."

Johnny shook his head, and smiled softly. He motioned for Pony to come closer, and Pony did what he requested, sitting up close to Johnny. He wrapped his arms around Pony's small frame and pulled him close to his own chest. Pony's eyes widened, just like Johnny's had done a moment before, and he leaned into the hug, his eyes glowing with happiness. "I like you too Pony... I just finally realized it today, when we went to the movie..."

Pony laughed quietly and buried his face into Johnny's chest. Johnny rested his chin on the smaller boy's head, wondering what would be making Pony laugh so much. "What's so funny Pon?"

"I just can't believe that I was so scared of telling you! I thought that you were going to hate me and not want to be my best friend anymore." Pony's voice was slightly muffled, still laughing into Johnny's chest. Johnny smiled softly and lifted up Pony's chin. He kissed him softly once again, wrapping his arms around Pony's waist. Leaning back, Johnny grinned and ruffled Pony's hair.

"I could never hate you Ponyboy. I have and always will be here for you. Through any obstacles we might be pulled through."

And it was that one day, that they were able to feel genuine happiness. Away from the harshness of being a greaser. Away from feeling at the bottom. Bringing back the naive, carefree attitudes that everyone had such a long time ago.

And to think it was all because of their innocent eyes that had finally brought them together.