Ok, I updated, I updated:) AngelTwilly thanks for pushing me to do so. And Die an Outsider - you are amazing as always:) How did your exams go?

Here we go enjoy and leave me some reviews:)

I put the guitar aside, and said in a serious voice, "see don't freak out now, but Johnny is alive." She looked like she didn't know how to react. She wasn't sure if she should laugh at me, be scared or call the ambulance.

"C'mon Mare, we've been through this before. Just hear me out."

"Ok." She said seriously, and sitting back down. I was confident I could tell her about Johnny. Should've done it long time ago. I trusted her. Her knowing can't hurt Johnny in any way, and I know for sure she won't tell anyone.

"Remember that day when I ran out on you at the diner?" I stated, and she nodded uncomfortably, not sure where I was going with this. So I told her the whole story - everything. How I accidentally met Johnny at the diner that night, and how he lived at the cemetery and didn't want to come back, and how he lived at Carol's, and how Darry found out, and then how Johnny and I told the gang.

When I finished, she was in quite a shock. "So he's really alive?" She whispered, covering her lips with her palm in amazement.

"Yeah," I whispered back, and I don't know why I was whispering.

"This is unbelievable," she whispered again. She was clearly shaken up by this news.

Then she grabbed my hand, and said, "I swear, I won't tell anyone, Ponyboy. You don't got to worry about that, you dig?"

"I know," I said smiling, "now would you release my hand please? You are squeezing it a bit too hard.

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said smiling embarrassingly, and releasing my hand.

Just then Matt stuck his head into the room. "Who you got in here Mare?" We must've not heard how he walked in. We were too involved in our conversation.

"Oh, its you." He said turning to me, and his eyes immediately went to the guitar. I felt like a kid who stole someone else's toy.

"You're learning to play or what?" He asked slyly, sitting down on the couch between me and Mare. I was glad he wasn't giving me a run around about his guitar, but I wasn't so glad that I was not sitting next to Mare anymore.

"So show me what you got." Matt teased, literally placing the guitar into my hands.

"Oh, this is getting interesting." Mare said playfully, getting up from the couch, and sitting across from us.

So I started doing a different song. Doing that "oh baby I love your way" one would be just plain weird in front of Matt.

"All right for starters." He admitted. "You got a few chords wrong though. Here, let me show you." He took the guitar.

"Here, on the 2nd verse its got to be Dm, not D, and at the end its not Fm, its also Dm." He showed the cord to me.

"And then you got to do your transitions from chord to chord much smoother. Like this." He started playing the same song.

He was right. It did sound smooth and not chopped up like mine. His fingers were sliding across the frets nicely and with such an ease. And he wasn't even looking at the frets as he was doing it. Maybe just a quick glance here and there. I envied him for being able to play so well. He must've caught the look in my, eyes 'cause he chuckled, and said, giving the guitar back to me "Don't worry kid. You'll get it . I've been playing forever, ya know."

He got up, preparing to leave, and then noticed my earring. "Mare did that?" He smirked, pointing at it. I nodded. He only laughed, shook his head, not saying anything, and then left the room.

"Mare," I said as I was leaving, "hey, do you think Matt would want to work with Darry on his projects? He got promoted, and he needs people for his projects."

"You mean as a carpenter?" she said amazed, "he'd be a fool not to. You really mean that Pony?"

Yeah, I nodded. I didn't want to tell her that Darry didn't really think that Matt was a good candidate for this job, but I was determined to talk him into giving Matt a chance.

"I'll talk to him – you don't know how much it would mean to me, if my brother finally starts putting his life together. He's good with his hands, and he can learn really fast" She added. "You really meant that Pony?" She said again.

"Yeah," I nodded uncomfortably.

"I'll talk to him right now, and I'll drag him over there myself if I have to."

"I'll call you tonight." I said, giving her a kiss.

"Ok." she smiled.

I got home around 8. Soda was home. When he saw the earring, he started laughing hysterically.

"Darry, you gotta come over here," he yelled, pointing at the earring.

"What's all this noise about?" Darry asked walking into the room. Then he followed with his eyes in the direction that Soda was pointing, which was at my earring, of course.

For a second he had kind of confused look on his face. Then he asked blankly, "where did you get it done?"

"Mare did it." I said tuffly. I was kind of proud of the fact that Maryanne did it for me.

He rolled his eyes – "Was the needle sterilized?" he asked then.

It was my turn to roll my eyes. Out of all the things that he could've asked, this is what he was asking.

"Don't roll your eyes at me." He said dryly, "you can get a major infection if it's not sterilized. Did you know that? Huh?"

"Yeah," I said, "I knew that. I'm not in 3rd grade. And yes it was sterilized."

At that time the door opened, and Steve and Two-Bit walked in.

"Hey," they nodded, and then Two-Bit's gaze went immediately to the earring.

"Shoot kid, I didn't know you were into stuff like that." Two-Bit said, clearly surprised. "Stuff like what?" I asked.

"You know, piercings and stuff like that. Is that the only place you got it on?"

Darry smacked him across the back of his head, hard for saying that. And Steve was laughing outloud.

"What are you laughing at?" Two-Bit whined.

"You are disgusting, Two-Bit," I merely offered. "Maryanne knows how to do this, and she did it for me. That's all. And yes this is THE ONLY place."

"Aw, that's too bad," he replied with mocked sorrow in his voice, "'specially if Maryanne was the one making the piercing." At this point Darry shot him a look that said – 'If you don't shut up right this second, you can consider yourself dead.'

"It does look nice," Two-Bit then offered. "Can she do one for me?"

I expected him to say something disgusting again, like how he wanted Mare to get him a piercing on some other parts of his body or something. So, I was prepared to smack him myself this time. But to my surprise, all he said was, "C'mon, you know I'm only teasing. I do want one in my ear though. So, if it's not too much trouble maybe she could do it for me, huh?" He was totally serious.

"Sure," I shrugged. "I'll talk to her and let you know."

"Thanks kid."

"Maybe I should get me one too," Soda piped in, and Darry rolled his eyes.

"It does look kind of tuff." Steve admitted, sizing me up.

That made me feel real good. Even Steve admitted that it looked tuff. The cocky and rough Steve Randlle was admitting that I looked tuff.

When I visited Johnny the next time, he opened the door, while sipping Pepsi out of the bottle. After just one brief glance at me, he choked on it, and almost tripped too. He had to hold on to the mirror stand. Otherwise he would've been on the floor in one second.

He was pointing at the earring, and shaking his head as in disbelief, not knowing what to say.

"C'mon man, Maryanne did it for me the other day," I said, feeling my cheeks redden. "It's not a big deal."

"I'm sure it's not a big deal." Johnny teased, chuckling. "Oh, I wish Carol was here to see this."

"Oh please, give me a break," I rolled my eyes.

"Can't wait to tell her though," he teased again.

"Urgh," I sighed, rolling my eyes, and smiling at Johnny's reaction at the same time, as I was following him into the living room.