Disclaimer: I do not own The Outsiders.

I thought that we would have stayed up all night talking since we wouldn't be able to do that for awhile, but we didn't. We didn't say anything. Soda just lied down beside me on his back. I looked over at him, and saw that he was looking at me. I felt unwanted tears well up in my eyes. Don't cry. Not now. Don't make it worse. I commanded of myself. I could hardly breathe because the lump in my throat was so huge. Soda held my gaze and bit his lip. He extended his arm, and I scooted over close to him. He wrapped his arm around me, and I couldn't take it anymore. With a dry sob, the tears began. Soda didn't do anything except put his chin on top of my head, and pull me closer to him. He was leaving in the morning for who knows how long. I was wishing from the very core of my being that Vietnam would disappear from the face of the earth so that I wouldn't lose my brother.

Soda held me for a long time, and I finally stopped crying. I started to feel embarrassed, but he looked down at me and smiled slightly, and I knew that he didn't mind. He gently kissed the top of my head, and closed his eyes. He fell asleep pretty quick, but I didn't. I could hear Darry pacing through the house. He stopped in front of our room a few times. He would stand just outside the door, and listen to see if he could hear anything. He almost walked in a couple of times, but then always changed his mind. I began to count the number of footsteps he was taking because the night was so quiet, and I needed something to distract myself. One…two...three…four…five…six…seven…eight…..nine……..ten……….

I woke suddenly with a start. Soda was gone. I frantically jumped out of bed, thinking he had actually left without saying goodbye. I was relieved when I found him in the living room, sitting next to Darry. I stepped further into the room, and looked at my brother. His eyes were still.

We didn't eat breakfast because none of were hungry. We just sat there on the couch until it was time to go. There wasn't anyone else to meet up with so they could say goodbye—they had all already left. Steve had been shipped off about a month ago, and Two Bit had already been there for five months. We had had a scare when Darry got a draft letter in the mail, but he, along with a few social workers, had managed to fight it. We had all known it was just a matter of time before Soda had to leave; we just hadn't given up hope until now.

I noticed Darry look up at the clock and then back to Soda several times before I met his eyes. He glanced at the clock, and looked at me. Soda's train left in half an hour; we had to go. I waited for Darry to say something, but he didn't. I realized that he couldn't. So I got up, and Darry followed, and so did Soda. My heart hurt.

We all piled into Darry's truck, and he started the engine. No one said anything. To be honest, I was trying to not to bawl. I knew that I would at the train station—there would be no helping it, but I should be able to control it for now.

Darry's jaw was set, and he was trying not to look so helpless. I knew that he hated feeling helpless, but it happened sometimes.

We pulled up to the station, but no one got out. When we noticed people start to hurry to get their things together, we knew that the train would arrive soon. Soda took a deep breath, and forced himself to open the door. Darry and I followed suit, and Darry got Soda's bag out of the back.

Darry came back around to where Soda and I were standing. He opened his mouth to say something, but the scream of the train pulling up stopped him. We silently watched people unload, and as soon as they were all out, the conductor began to call for passengers. Apparently they were on a tight schedule.

Soda turned around sadly and looked at us. I watched tears finally well up in his eyes as he moved closer to Darry.

"I…" Darry sighed. "Take care of yourself, Pepsi Cola."

Soda fell into Darry's arms, and embraced him fiercely.

"I love you," I heard Darry murmur.

"Love you too, Dar. I'll be okay." Soda said.

They pulled apart, and Soda said, "Thank you."

He walked over to me. I was crying openly by now, but so was he.

"Ponyboy." He wrapped his arms around me, and slowly rocked me.

For a moment, I couldn't feel anything but sadness. But I saw people over Soda's shoulder that were all alone. And I knew I wasn't. I took a breath, and pulled away from Soda. He held me by the shoulders at arm's length. He grinned a little bit.

"I love you Pony. Don't ever forget that, okay? Even when I'm away, and things are gettin' rough and you feel like you're all by yourself—remember that. Okay?"

I nodded. "I love you too. Come back, okay?" I had calmed down a little bit, but tears were still coming.

He looked me in the eye. "I will. I promise. Just you wait; I'll be back before you know it." He tried to smile at me, but it wasn't completely accomplished.

Soda sighed, and looked over at Darry, then back at me. He grabbed hold of my arm and pulled me over towards Darry until I was standing right next to him. Soda stepped back a bit and looked at us.

"There," He said softly. "You'll be just fine." He said this more to himself than to either of us. He looked up suddenly, as if he had just remembered something. He looked at me with as much sternness as he could. "Ponyboy, I want you to do what Darry tells you to, okay? I know that you guys can get along. And be careful, please. I don't want any letters about how you had to go to the hospital because you did something stupid. Savvy?"

"I'll be careful," I promised.

He nodded, and moved on to Darry. "Don't yell a lot, okay? Really. Talking works just fine." He gave a small smile. "And you be careful too. You don't need to be out there carrying more than one bundle of roofing and pulling muscles because I'm not going to be able to give you massage. Got it?"

"Yeah, little buddy." Darry said, his eyes pleading again. "Be careful," he added forcefully.

Soda looked over his shoulder at everybody getting on to the train. "I guess I got to go." He bit his lip. "Bye." He walked off a few steps, but then turned around again and hugged both of us quickly. He winked, and turned around again, managing to get onto the train this time.

Tears kept rolling down my cheeks, and Darry put an arm around me.

"Do you want to watch the train leave?" He asked me quietly. I shook my head no, and he guided me back to the truck.

A/N: I know, it's sad. Sorry. But I was just in the mood to write something sad. This might just be a oneshot, or if people like it, I might add more after I finish my current story Lies. Or maybe before then, if I get writer's block in that one. Anyway, review if you have something to say!