Disclaimer: I don't own The Outsiders or any the characters. I wish I did. Then I wouldn't have to write out these disclaimers but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Things are kinda crazy around here, I'm finally done with summer school but now there is this wedding thing I'm in in a few weeks, so who knows when the next chapter will be out, sorry.

Warning: The usual- slash, a little angst, a hurt Dally, language…

Dally watched as Tim played with the ring he'd just given him. Thank God he'd been happy about it and hadn't laughed too hard. That would have just been too embarrassing. He tried to sit up a little more and regretted it. Dally squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block the pain. He was going to KILL Curly.

"You okay?" Tim asked.

"Yeah." Dally forced his voice to stay steady. "Darry should bring back those pain killers soon, I hope."

Tim nodded. He couldn't think of anything to say. It was just as well though because Ponyboy and Johnny walked in then.

"Hey Dally," Ponyboy said. "How you doing? Oh, hi Tim." He was a little startled to see Tim this far off his turf. Especially since just last night he'd been fighting with Dally.

Johnny grinned silently at Dally.

"Hey Pony, hey Johnnycakes." Dally forced himself to look relaxed and not like he was in agony.

"I should get going," Tim said. He really wanted to stay.

"You can stay," Dally offered.

"Is that my shirt?" Tim asked, noticing something balled up on the floor.

"I thought maybe you'd want it back," Dally said.

Tim looked at the bloodstained shirt and laughed. Sometimes he wondered about Dally.

"You got a garbage I can throw this in?" Tim asked Ponyboy. Pony nodded and pointed to the kitchen.

"We were going to head over to the shopping center, maybe get a coke or something," Ponyboy said. "Tell Darry and Soda I'll be back soon, okay?"

"Yeah sure," Dally replied.

Johnny and Ponyboy headed out the door.

"You saved my bloody tee-shirt because you thought I might want it back?" Tim asked.

Dally shrugged.

Tim grabbed Dally's hand. It had been way too long since he'd been able to touch him.

"Did you miss me while you were in jail?" Tim asked.

Dally shrugged. He hated jail, he really did. "Maybe."

"I missed you." Tim said.

Dally smiled a little. Tim was trying pretty hard to get on his good side, wasn't he?

Tim stared at his boyfriend. Sometimes he was amazed that someone like Dally would like him. Maybe Dally wasn't conventionally beautiful, but with his wheat blond hair and elfish features, Tim thought he looked incredible.

Dally had let the blanket slip off him again and Tim looked at his chest and stomach. Dally's ribs were black and blue and probably cracked. Tim felt a little bit guilty about that. The ribs were his doing. The gash in Dally's side had been sown up pretty well, but Tim imagined it still hurt. It certainly looked painful. There was still some dried blood smeared across Dally's stomach.

"Want me to get a wash cloth or something and clean that up?" Tim offered.

"Sure." Dally felt gross. What he really wanted to do was jump in the shower or take a nice long bath. He didn't think he was ready to be getting up yet though.

Tim wandered around until he found the Curtis's bathroom. It was a small house so he didn't have to look too hard. He found a washcloth in the closet and ran it under some warm water. He then rang it out and walked back over to the couch.

Tim knelt down next to Dally and gently began wiping the washcloth along his stomach, being careful to avoid the stitches. Dally bit back a sigh. Tim grinned when he saw Dally was enjoying it. He brushed his hand along Dally's forehead and pushed all the blond hair away from his crystal clear blue eyes.

"What about any lower, need to get cleaned up down there?" Tim asked.

Dally laughed. Tim's attempt at a seductive whisper always cracked him up.

Unfortunately Darry chose that moment to come home from work, ruining any chance that it would go anywhere.

He nodded politely at Tim. If he was surprised to see the leader of the Shepard Gang in his house he didn't show it. He handed Dally a bottle of pills.

"Only take one," Darry warned. "I'll get you some water."

Dally breathed a sign of relief. Right now he wanted painkillers more than he wanted sex with Tim.

Dally didn't even wait for Darry to get back from the kitchen with the water. He swallowed two of them dry. He did take one more though when Darry brought him the glass of water.

"Did Ponyboy come home?" Darry asked.

"Yeah, he went out with Johnny though, said they'd be back soon."

Darry sighed. Dally wondered if he was mad or jealous. Maybe both.

"Tim, can we talk in the kitchen for a minute?" Darry asked.

Tim shrugged and the two older boys walked out of the living room, leaving Dally alone.

"I don't know what goes on with you and Dally, but I have an idea," Darry started without preamble. "I don't really care and it's none of my business. If you hurt him though…"

"I wouldn't" Tim said immediately. "Not intentionally" he added.

"I don't know exactly how he got stabbed, but the story you and Curly are telling doesn't quite work."

"Curly isn't known for reliable story telling. I know he has a different version of the story each time, that don't mean nothing though." Tim was starting to get nervous.

"This isn't about Curly's penchant for what did Ponyboy call them? Factual inexactitudes, it's the whole thing. I'm not accusing you of anything I'm just saying if anything happens…. Savy?"

Tim nodded. "I dig."

"Well I have to make dinner…" Darry said.

Tim took that to mean he was dismissed and walked back into the living room. He didn't like Darrel Curtis but he was smart and he was a good fighter. He also cared about Dally. For those things Tim respected him. He didn't have to like him though.

"Wha'd Darry want?" Dally asked, a slight slur in his voice.

"Nothin, it ain't important. Go sleep or something."

Tim wondered if Darry would say anything, either about his suspicion that Tim had knifed Dally or about his suspicion that they were together. Tim didn't think he would. He hoped he wouldn't.

Tim sat on the floor next to the couch for about half an hour. Dally stared off into space. Tim guessed the pain medicine was kicking in.

"I'm gonna head out, 'kay kid?" Tim asked.

Dally's blue eyes were clouded and unfocused. "Stay?" he asked. His voice was so quite Tim could barely make it out. He couldn't believe it, Dallas Winston begging him not to go?

"Yeah, sure. You okay?"

"I think… this is why I don't do no heavy drugs… like my dad does... I dunno how he can stand it… nothin in focus and shit… like I'm really drunk but I ain't never been that drunk…"

"Maybe you shouldn't have taken three of them," Tim commented. He felt kind of bad for the blond. He hoped he was okay.

Dally squeezed his eyes shut trying to ignore the dizziness and nausea. He wished he was dead. Tim was stroking his hair and whispering things in his ear. Dally didn't really know what Tim was saying. He wasn't even sure it was English. It sounded nice though.

Dally finally drifted off to sleep and Tim slipped quietly out the front door. Darry stood in the doorway to the kitchen and watched the whole thing.