Author's note: I was going to wait until December to start submitting this story, but decided to submit it now instead.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Outsiders.

"Two-Bit, are you going to sleep all day? You have to take me to school." My ten year old sister, Karen said as she shook my shoulder.

"Five more minutes." I mumbled sleepily.

"Two-Bit!" Karen cried. "It's already seven thirty. If you don't get up now, I'll be late."

I groaned and sat up, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. "Why don't you take the bus?" I suggested.

Karen pulled on my arm. "Because I over slept and missed it. Come on Two-Bit, please hurry. If you hurry I can still get to school on time."

"Okay, I'm up." I said. "I'll be dressed in two minutes, okay?"

Karen nodded and left the room, her brownish red pony tail swaying as she walked. As I watched her leave the room, I cursed our father under my breath. I was eight when our father walked out on us and Karen was only a baby. Because of our father leaving us, I was the closest thing to a father that Karen knew. And unfortunately, I'm probably not the best father figure. At least not compared to my friend, Darry who has to take care of his two younger brothers because their parents were killed in a car wreck.

Once I was dressed, I went out into the living room where Karen was pacing impatiently. Unlike me, she doesn't like to be late. If I were running late for school, I'd just skip and do something else. But I guess at ten, you don't think about skipping school.

"Okay, let's go." I said. I led the way to my car and Karen sat in the passenger seat, waiting for me to start the engine. But the engine wouldn't start. "Uh oh."

"What?" Karen asked. "Two-Bit, I have to get to school!"

I sighed. "I know, I know. Okay, back to the house, I have an idea."

Karen got out of the car, grumbling because she was going to be late.

"You won't be late." I told her as I picked up the phone and dialed the only phone number I know from memory. "Hey, Darry? Can you or Soda come over here and take Karen to school? She missed the bus and my car won't start."

I hung up the phone a minute later and looked at Karen who was now sitting on the couch with her arms crossed.

"Darry's going to take you to school, okay? And he's going to drop Soda and Steve off here to look at my car." I said. Then I thought of something. "Did you eat breakfast?"

Karen rolled her eyes at me. "Yes, I had a bowl of Lucky Charms. And it was the last bowl."

"You're not mad at me, are you?" I asked. Then I did my best Mickey Mouse impression. "It's not good to be mad. We should be happy."

Karen laughed just like I knew she would. She always laughs at my jokes and impressions. And it's because of her that I discovered that I like to make people laugh. It all started when she was a baby and laughed for the first time when I made a funny face at her. The wise cracks came later, but I always managed to make someone laugh.

We heard the familar sound of Darry's truck pull up and Karen ran out the door with me following behind.

"Thank you, Darry." Karen said as she climbed in next to him. She waved as Darry backed out of the drive-way and went in the direction of her school.

I turned towards Soda who was standing next to me, shoes in hand. Steve, was already looking under the hood of my car.

"I don't get to see your sister that often." Soda commented. "The two of you look alike."

I found myself grinning with pride. Karen does look like me, although she still has the face of an innocent child. In many ways, she was still innocent and I hoped that she'd stay that way.

"Pony didn't come with?" I asked Soda.

Soda shook his head. "He walked to school today. Speaking of which, shouldn't you be going there,too?"

I nodded and grinned. "Yeah, but remember, I'm eighteen, it's not a big deal if I'm a little late."

Soda looked over at Steve who was playing around with something under the hood. "Find anything?"

Steve loooked up from the hood of my car for the first time since Darry dropped him and Soda off. "I found where Two-Bit keeps all his hair grease."

"Hey, I'm the one who's supposed to make the wise cracks!" I said, but I smiled anyway. It's not every day that Steve makes a wise crack. Soda and I are the usually the only ones who do.

"How old is your sister now?" Soda asked.

"She's ten, why? Are you thinking of fixing her up with Pony?" I asked.

Soda laughed. "No way, she's too young. Besides, Pony isn't interested in girls yet. At least he claims not to be interested in girls."

"Two-Bit, do you have your car keys on you?" Steve asked walking over to Soda and me. I handed the keys to him and he walked back to my car, a few seconds later, the car started and Steve gave me a thumbs up sign. "She's okay now, Two-Bit."

"Thanks a lot Steve. Hey, we should get to school. I hear there's a pep rally today." I said.

Steve groaned. "Only you would get excited about a pep rally. Seeing a bunch of blondes jumping around with pom poms."

"They're not all blond." I said as I turned towards Soda. "Do you need a ride to the DX?"

Soda nodded and followed me to the car, getting into the back seat while Steve slid over in the front seat so I could drive. I drove tothe DX station where Soda works and then went to the school where I signed myself in. Steve unfortunately got a detention for being late. But I knew he'd skip it. Detention is kind of pointless anyway. It's basically just an after school study hall, like we're supposed to learn a lesson from spending an extra hour doing what we've done all day anyway. Pony's the only one who would serve a detention and that's because for him it's easier than facing Darry if he didn't serve it.

"I'll see you and Pony at lunch." I said when Steve and I had to go our seperate ways. He walked slowly down the hall while I walked to my second hour class, whistling the theme to the Andy Griffith show as I wandered down the hall.