Disclaimer: I do not own The Outsiders

"Wake up! …..Wake up! ...Waaake uuuup!" Two Bit yelled.

I felt the weight of Soda's arm disappear as he rolled over.

"Go away Two Bit," Soda said irritably.

This only made Two Bit leap onto our bed and begin to bounce. I kicked him.

"What do you want? It's like 7 in the morning," I said.

"7 in the morning on Thanksgiving. The parade is on!" Two Bit said, smiling.

"Great. You should go watch it," I told him as Soda groaned.

Two Bit stood up on the bed. He began jumping wildly.

"Two Bit! Stop it," Soda said even though he was laughing. "You're gonna break the bed."

"Well then get your butts outta bed already. They're gonna show Tom soon!"

I sighed and followed Soda out of bed. Two Bit wasn't going to let up until we did.

"So who's Tom?" Soda asked once we were in the living room.

Two Bit looked at him incredulously. "Tom the Turkey."

Soda smirked, "It has a name?"

Two Bit nodded excitedly.

Two Bit was being too much of a morning person for me. I wandered into the kitchen to find Darry cooking eggs. I leaned against the counter and yawned.

"Hey kiddo," Darry said distractedly. He sounded almost exactly like Dad when he said that. Darry was always more laid back during the holidays, and he always reminded me more of Dad when he was like that.

"Why's Two Bit here this early?" I asked him, blocking my father's face from my head.

Darry turned to look at me, and grinned. "He wake you up?"

I nodded.

Darry turned back to the eggs. "He said his TV was broken so he couldn't watch Tom at his house."

"Hmm," I grunted.

The eggs were almost done so I went to get the tomatoes and grape jelly out of the fridge. It was actually pretty full—Darry must have gone grocery shopping yesterday. I pulled out the things I needed and set them on the counter. Behind the tomatoes was a can of jellied cranberry sauce. The kind that looks like it's supposed to be jello but got messed up in the process.

"Darry, no one likes this stuff," I said, holding up the can.

Darry sighed. "I know. But… Johnny did. Remember? I guess I wasn't thinking and just got it out of habit." He said this in a gruff voice that he used to try to hide his emotions.

"Oh," I said and put it back in the fridge.

Darry didn't say anything else as he started dishing the eggs out onto plates. I silently helped him fix them the way everybody likes them. I grabbed mine and Soda's plates and followed Darry into the living room.

"Hey kid, get me a beer, will ya?" Two Bit said to me, taking his plate from Darry.

"Get it yourself," I answered, sitting down on the couch next to Soda.

Two Bit made no effort to get up. He just leaned against the back of the couch and watched the parade some more.

"You know," Soda began, "we wouldn't be good at holding up those balloons, because the whole time we'd be thinking about how cool it would be if they got loose."

Two Bit laughed and nodded in agreement.

After awhile, I got bored with Two Bit's beloved parade. Soda had too, but he and Steve were playing poker now. I went into the kitchen again to find Darry to making a pie. If you want a funny sight, it's a big, muscular greaser making a pumpkin pie. I smirked.

"Nice apron you've got there," I commented.

He raised his eyebrows, trying to look menacing, but the effect just didn't work. "Don't get mouthy."

I rolled my eyes. "You look like Dad on holidays."

He looked up at me, and then carefully away. "Why do you say that?"

I shrugged, "I don't know. You just do. More relaxed or something."

Darry's POV

I glanced around the kitchen. My eyes landed on Pony, and I could hear Soda and Steve and Two Bit in the living room. But that was it. Holidays used to be huge events—Dad made sure of that. We had shrunk so much in the past few years. Our family and friends had basically been cut in half. But as I looked at Pony, I realized that in spite of everything, we were okay.

"Do me a favor?" I asked.

Pony nodded.

"Put all of this," I gestured to the bowl full of pumpkin mixture, "into this," I said pointing to the pie crust.

He gave me a strange look, but started anyway.

I poured myself a cup of coffee and leaned against the counter.

"So what happened to Liza the other night?" I asked him.

Pony shrugged. "I don't know, really. After we got those guys to leave her alone, she just kept saying how she didn't help. I'm not really sure why it was such a big deal to her."

Can I do this? Can I give him advice? "Well…" I started, and Pony looked up at me, surprised. I swallowed, and went on. "From what you've told me about Liza, it sounds like she's had a pretty rough life. Maybe…well, maybe she's lost her trust."

Pony's eyebrows lowered a little, and then he looked back down at what he was doing. He probably thought what I said was stupid. I sighed inwardly and pulled some things out of the fridge.

Pony looked back up at me when I set a large, yellow gourd on the counter.

"What is that?" He asked.

I grinned a little. "You'll see once it's cooked."

He looked like he was about to ask something else, but then changed his mind and wiped his hands off. "I'm done," he said.

"You want to wash these off for me?" I asked.

His head turned toward the living room at the sound of loud, carnival-reminiscent music. He nodded gratefully, and I handed him the squash and some potatoes.

He started washing the vegetables while I preheated the oven.

"You liked Meredith?" He asked me suddenly.

I opened the fridge again so he couldn't see my face. "Yeah." I pulled out the butter and set it on the counter.

"You hadn't liked a girl in a long time," Pony said. I wished he would drop it.


"You can, you know. Date people. It wouldn't kill us," he said, though the tips of his ears were turning red.

I carefully hid my smile, and shrugged. "We'll see."

Pony's POV

A few hours later we sat down to dinner. It was just me, Soda, Darry, and Steve because Two Bit's mom wanted to spend some 'quality family time together'. He'd be back for dessert.

Darry brought out the yellow gourd thing and set it on the table. It was cut in half and there were all these noodle-looking things inside of it.

"What is it?" Soda asked, cocking his head.

Darry gave a little grin. "It's called spaghetti squash."

Soda poked the mass of strings with his fork. "It doesn't smell like spaghetti."

"Maybe because it's not," Steve said.

"Here, just try it," Darry said.

Soda took a bite, and smiled. "Noodles out of a vegetable!"

"They aren't noodles," Steve said.

"Close enough," I said. I tried it, and it wasn't bad. It didn't taste like noodles at all, but I'm not sure how to describe it. Kind of sweet, and almost nutty.

Along with the spaghetti squash we had turkey, potatoes, rolls, and Johnny's cranberry sauce. We all had some of it, even though none of us liked it.

Life...it's weird most of the time. Always changing and surprising you. Nothing ever seems to stay the same. I'm still trying to figure out why.

"Ponyboy, what is this I hear about you making a C on the last Spanish test? I thought you knew that making all A's is your…"

I tuned Darry out. I guess some things stay the same.

A/N: Dun-dun-dun-dun! The End! Okay, so seriously, I'm sorry if the ending was a little…cheesy, for lack of a better word. It didn't come out like I wanted it, but I realized I'd been spending way too much on this and that I should just let you guys judge for yourselves.
And in case you were wondering, yes, spaghetti squash does exist. It's pretty good, actually.

I can't thank you guys enough. Your reviews have given me so much confidence, and have helped me to start writing again. I've actually started writing another book (non fanfiction). But I'll still write fanfics periodically, because it was fun. Anyway, thanks so much for reading!



P. S. Leave reviews! Even if you're a first time reader, let me know what I'm doing right or wrong. Even though I'm done with one doesn't mean I can't use your tips in something else. :