Author's Note: Hey everyone, this is my first published fanfic, so let me know how I'm doing. I welcome all feedback, but I'd especially like to know what you think of my writing style, if I'm staying in character, and if I included enough description. Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: S.E. Hinton created The Outsiders and all of its characters. I'm just writing about them because I love them and it's fun. No infringements intended.

Darry turned around and slapped me so hard that I fell against the door, shooting pain through my back.

"Ponyboy…" he started, but I didn't want to hear it. I tried to get up. All I wanted to do was get out of there, run away. My legs didn't seem to be listening to my brain, though, and all I could do was sit there, unmoving. It was one of the scariest things I had ever experienced, not being able to move like that.

"Pony, I didn't mean to. I'm so sorry Ponyboy," Darry said pleadingly.

I shook my head. He wasn't sorry. Darry never did anything he didn't mean to do. And right now he wanted to hurt me. I started shaking, tears running down my face.

Soda finally broke out of his trance and ran to me.

"Shh baby, it's ok. You're ok," he said, his hand on my arm, trying to calm me.

"I-I can't m-move my legs." I could feel my face contorting. The pain in my back was terrible.

A look of fear struck both my brothers' faces, and Darry started to move toward me.

"D-don't let him touch me," I begged Soda, shaking my head.

Soda was baffled, unsure of how to respond. "He's not gonna hurt you Ponyboy. It was an accident."

"Don't," I said, looking directly at Darry for the first time since it happened. He looked miserable, the closet I'd seen him to crying in years. He was probably afraid that the state would find out about this and take Soda away from him.

"Pony," he said, kneeling down next to me. "Ponyboy listen to me. I didn't mean to hit you. I could never hurt you on purpose. Pone, please try to stop shaking. Pony…" he begged.

Seeing that he wasn't getting through to me, he turned to Soda. "We need to get him to the hospital. Can you go call an ambulance for me?" Darry asked. "Just tell them that he fell," he added quietly.

"Don't leave me Soda," I begged.

Sodapop looked from me to Darry, torn. Darry looked at me sadly, then said, "I'll go call. Don't move him Soda."

Soda watched Darry walk over and pick up the phone before he turned to me. "It's ok Pony, you're gonna be fine. We're gonna get you help now. Shh baby, don't cry, it's gonna be fine. Everything's gonna be fine."

Soda sounded close to tears himself, shaking almost as bad as I was.

Darry hung up the phone and walked back to us. "They're coming," he announced, resuming his position at my side. "Try to stay calm Pony. Help's coming. You're going to be fine, ok? You're going to be fine."

I didn't even look up at him. I didn't want to hear him trying to comfort me. What did he care if I was ok? It would be his fault if I could never walk again. If I could never run track and never play football with the gang. Not that it mattered, even if I was ok, the state'd probably put me and Soda in boys' homes, and we'd never get to see the gang anyway. All I could see was me being stuck in a wheelchair in a boys' home for the rest of my life. And it would all be Darry's fault. I don't think I had ever been so scared or so angry in my entire life.