Greetings and Salutations!

Hey everyone! I am back…not that you probably care…but I had a random idea and just wanted to post this. It is probably totally unrealistic…but who cares! Hehe. I may or may not continue. Let me know what you think!

It can be considered a sequel to my old story "Sugar and Grits". This is a "what-if" fic…a year later…

Disclaimer: I own no characters, S.E. Hinton does.


"I think you're starting to rub off on me," I told Two-Bit who sat beside me on the floor. He had found a Mickey Marathon on TV and had weaseled me into watching it.

"Hey what are summers for kid?" he asked me, stretching out on the floor.

"Uh, maybe a job?" I stamped out my cigarette and began to worry about what Darry would say if he could see me lazing around.

"God no. Relaxation. Simple as that." It was always simple with Two-Bit. He still hadn't worked a day in his life. Just then he knocked his beer over on the carpet.

"Thanks. A lot." I groaned, grabbing for a box of Kleenex.

"And that, is my exit," Two-Bit said jumping up from the floor. "See ya tonight kid."

"Wait, what's tonight?" I mopped at the floor and stared up at him.

"I dunno. Whatever I can talk you into doing." He smiled slyly at me.

I shook my head and laughed as he heaved me up off the floor. Apparently enough time had gone by since last year for Two-Bit to consider it his personal duty to get me into trouble again.

Uh-huh. No thanks.

"Hey it's the first week of summer. Ya gotta have some fun."

"More like trouble if it was up to you." I walked him to the front door.

"Scout's honor. No trouble I promise you. Maybe just a couple of scuffles." He pinched his fingers together. "Minor ones." Despite what he said, I knew Two-Bit watched me like a hawk for the first signs of trouble.

"Get out of here," I said semi-seriously. I still had to clean the house before Darry and Soda came home from work. If I didn't have a job the least I could do was keep the house hospitable.

Two-Bit shot me the peace sign and jumped in his car.

A year had gone by since my little "mishap". I privately called it that so I would not have to keep relieving the memory of my stupid mistake. It wasn't exactly something to be proud of.

I had once made the mistake of referring to my past offense of snorting coke as a "little mishap" to Darry and he nearly went nuts. He didn't speak to me for two days. I was forgiven, but referring to it that lightly was apparently not.

I was half-way finished with the house when the doorbell rang. An unannounced doorbell was never a good thing and I froze; dish soap caked on my hands.

A mail-man stood at the front door holding the mail. Included in it was a large manila envelope. "Here ya go, Curtis." He waved the manila envelope at me. "Sorry, this got delayed for a while. But it's here now."

"Thanks," I said taking it from him. I set the mail on the coffee table and nearly, nearly, turned away from it. However, something compelled me to take the manila envelope and open it. Despite the fact that it was addressed to a "Mr. Sodapop Curtis."

"Dear Mr. Curtis: We are writing to inform you that you have been drafted to serve in the Vietnam war….Please report for duty June 8th…."

June 8th. That was tomorrow. I blinked at the paper and read it through once more. Feeling nauseous, I swayed and sank into the couch. Not Sodapop. I loved him too much.

Foolishly, I thought we would be safe after all the bullshit we had gone through. Guess not.

I swallowed a lump in my throat and crumpled the letter into my pocket. I would not let him go. He had taken care of me too many times. This time it was my turn to cover for him.