Author's Note: Wow, I actually wrote a new chapter for this. I don't know where it came from. I stopped because, honestly, this was as far as I planned the story. I didn't know what to do now. But then today I was just looking it over again for kicks and suddenly got a few ideas in my head. I'm going to see where this goes, but at least you got a nCew chapter out of this, for anyone who is still reading this.

Disclaimer: Don't only anything, sadly. Though don't take my original characters without permission. I know street fighting!

Chapter Thirteen: Found and Lost Again

"Next time we get the car." Two-bit groaned as he flopped onto the couch.

I had to agree with him. I thought my legs were going to fall off. I had never walked that far. Probably lost a couple of pounds. I leaned back in Darry's chair and rubbed my hand over my face. Miles suddenly seemed a greater distance when you had to walk it, not drive it. Especially when half the way you have to keep out of sight, so you no one can spot the greasers in soc territory.

"Do you think Darry and Soda found anything?" Two-bit asked the question both of us were wondering, his tired voice holding a note of hopefulness.

"I really don't have a damn clue." I admitted. I actually had a long list of things I hoped they didn't find. The first one was a body. I don't think my best friend could handle something like that without cracking. Actually, I knew Soda couldn't handle something like that without snaping. I wasn't sure if Darry could handle it either. "We're not going to know until they either come home or call us. But that could not be for several…"

My voice faded away as the phone suddenly rang.

Me and Two-bit starred at it for three rings before Two-bit finally answered it.

"Hello?" He listened for several minutes, frowning. "Slow down, Darry. You're voice is higher then Mickey Mouse's. Now what the hell are you going on about?"

More silence on our end. I could make out a buzzing noise coming from the phone, which I guess was Darry yelling a few choice words at Two-bit.

"Wow Darry, even I didn't know that last word. I didn't know you could swear that well." Two-bit laughed. His face froze, and then sank into shock. "You what…Really?...Shit, I mean…Is he okay?..."

I sat up, slowly piecing everything together.

"I'm going to kill those Socs." Two-Bit growled. "Damn, this isn't good…yeah, I get what your saying…of course we can, my cars still out front…I think I know where that is…Yeah, we'll be there as soon as we can..."

He listened for another moment and then hung up. "What was that about?" I asked quickly, my heart threatening to crack my ribs, it was beating so hard.

"Darry and Soda." Two-bit said as he jumped up from the couch. I followed him out the door and to his truck, still parked out front. He started up the engine as soon as we were both in and tore off down the road.

"Did they find Ponyboy?" I murmured. Dear god, don't let him be dead. I know he's a pain, and always tagging along when Soda and me when were trying to have fun and pick up a few girls. But he's Soda's kid brother, one of the gang. We can't lose another one, not again. I would miss the little annoyance and it would leave Darry and Soda a mess.

"Yeah." Two-Bit murmured. He didn't sound happy about it, and I swallowed hard, preparing for the worse.

"Is he…?"

"He's not dead." Two-bit snapped. "But he is sure as hell not alright. He's screwed up in the head because of the damn bottle the Soc threw at him. Apparently he lost his memory, and when he saw Darry and Soda…"

He trailed off. I knew this wasn't good. My imagination tried to come up with an idea of what had gone on at the reunion of those three, but I didn't like the pictures it painted. They made me shudder in my seat and grab the door so hard until my fingers turned white.

"He just kind of left; mentally, I mean." Two-bit finally murmured. "The lights are on, but no one's home. They haven't been able to get a answer from him for a while, no matter what they try. And by the sounds of it those two have tried anything to get him to talk." He paused, and then added. "Its scaring the shit out of Darry and Soda."

I bet. Darry was already tearing himself up over this whole situation. If Pony didn't get better, and Darry blamed himself…I didn't want to think on what would happen.

Silence fell. I couldn't sit still and kept shifting my seat. As we left the city behind a thought came to me and I asked. "Where has he been all this time?"

"Apparently he has been staying on this farm with these two guys in the middle of nowhere." Two-bit informed me as we passed the place we had parted with the Curtis brothers. "They found him on their front porch, passed out in their rocking chair. That's all I really know about them."

I didn't know what to make of that. At least it was better then Pony being by himself for the last few days. Of course, I couldn't picture anyone-except maybe the Curtis family-who would do something like that. Not everyone in this grim world was that nice. Still, hadn't even met the guys and I was already thinking of them as saints or angels or some other of that crap.

It took me a moment to realize the handful of buildings we reached was a town. I also think the small crowd that was waiting for us was probably the entire male population, plus one female.

"You with the Curtis boys." A very, ver scary looking woman with one big shotgun in her hand demanded as soon as we pulled up to the Socs stolen car.

"Yeah." Two-bit said quickly as he eyed the weapon. We both raised our hands like we were facing the cops. I had no doubt in my mind that this woman wouldn't think twice about putting a couple of unnatural holes in us. "No need to shoot. We come in peace, and would like to leave in one piece."

"This is for whoever these Socs are if they show up." The woman explained as she gestured with the gun. She pointed of toward a barn and a lone house a bit away from the rest of the place. "Your friends are there. They should be waiting for you."

"I don't think the Socs will show up." I called as we ran. "They have enough to deal with back at home. But if they do, they're going to be the stuck up, stick-in-ass, poorly dressed, rich trash!"

The woman shrugged and called out a thanks for the description, but they seemed ready to keep their watch.

We reached the farm in record time, but were gasping for air as we ran up to the porch. My chest tightened at the sight of Soda, slumped in a old, creaky rocking chair. His elbows were resting on his knees and his face was buried in his hands. He looked like a complete and total wreck.

"Are you okay?" I asked quickly as I ran up to him. Two-bit ran inside.

For a minute he didn't answer me, and then he mumbled something into his hands that I couldn't understand.


"He didn't even recognize me." His voice cracked horribly as he lifted his face a few inches from his hand. "He looked at me like I was some stranger. Like he was afraid of me."

Ow, that must have hurt. I knew how close the brother's were, and that probably just killed Soda.

But he was still talking and I knelt down next to chair as he went on. "And when I told him who I was his face got all blank and his eyes glazed over. He just stood there, not talking or nothing. We took him into the house, but he won't talk or speak to any of us. He's just sitting their, staring off into space."

Suddenly Soda was off of the chair and had punched the wall, hard (that must have hurt). His face was livid. "You should see his head! When I get a hold of that Soc I am going to kill him. he's all smashed up and as skinny as a twig and so pale he's turning green! He's sick and scared and helpless and I can't do anything…"

He fell to his knees and I caught him before he hit the floor. We sat their against the wall. I thought Soda was going to cry again. I usually don't like people crying all the time, but like hell I was going to blame him for breaking down in shitty situations like this.

But he didn't. He breathed in and out real deeply for a long time. It seemed he was only concentrating on that. Finally, it seemed he had calmed down some, and just starred off into space.

I just sat next to him, not sure what to do. I got a vibe from Soda that he really didn't want to talk for a while, so I just sat their and we didn't talk together.

The door opened after a while, and some strange guy about Pony's age stuck his head out. He looked really worried as he looked all around the yard and then at the porch before turning to us.

"Um, have you guys seen Pony?"

I blinked once before leaping to my feet and yelling. "You've lost him."

The kid jumped back several feet, putting distance between us. It was probably a good idea at the moment, because I had this deep, primal need to kill something. "Not lost him, just misplaced him." He answered quickly, voice rising slightly in panic. "For some strange reason he asked for Darry's wallet and then went to his room. We think he climbed out the window."

I looked toward Soda, who had lost all of the calmness he had been trying to get back and was shaking like a leaf where he knelt.

Aw shit.