A/N: Wow...hi. It's been awhile. I've been writing a Harry Potter story lately, and I've gotten a bit out of The Outsiders loop. You should know though, that if I've reviewed your story before, but haven't lately, I've probably still been reading it. I haven't even been in town the past two weeks, and everything has been crazy, so please forgive my neglect.

Disclaimer: I do not own The Outsiders or any of S.E. Hinton's plots, characters, or ideas, and am making no monetary profit from this. I do not own 'Waiting for a Girl Like You' or any of Foreigner's lyrics or music. (However, I do own 5 copies of The Outsiders and the Foreigner 4 album.)

I'd Been Waiting

"Soda?" Pony asked in the dark.

I sighed. "Yeah?"

"Whatever happened with Sandy? I thought…"

I rolled over to look at him. "Yeah, I thought so too."

I had been wondering when we were going to have to have this talk. It made sense that it would be tonight. I knew that he'd meant to talk about it earlier, but that he'd gotten caught up writing that paper for his English class. But he'd finished that today, so here we were.

I knew that he was waiting for me to say more, but I wasn't sure I could. It was still raw, and it still hurt. Man, it hurt something awful.

"You don't have to tell me." Pony's voice was hesitant. "I mean, it's okay. I understand."

I gave him a small smile. "It's just that it's a long story, and Darry would kill me if I kept you up while you're supposed to be sleeping. You really scared us, you know."

Pony met my eyes. "I know. But that was weeks ago. I'm not sick anymore—Darry's just paranoid."

"Still. Are you sure you want to do this now?" I asked, trying to buy some more time.

Pony nodded. I sighed again.

"Okay." I knew what I had to say, and I knew that I had to start at the beginning. "It was after Mom and Dad, and after I got the job at the DX. I felt like everything was going so fast, ya know, and…well, you probably don't get it yet, but the right girl can just make everything better. It's nice. And so I was lookin' for a girl that could do that, because I needed something good.

So long, I've been looking too hard, I've been waiting too long

Sometimes I don't know what I will find, I only know it's a matter of time

When you love someone, when you love someone

"Man, I can still see it, the way she looked the first time I saw her. She was so…perfect. I thought she was a Soc at first, because she was so different from all the others. She bought a pack of cinnamon gum from the DX, and she smiled at me. I knew that if I could convince her to go out with me that it would be what I was looking for.

It feels so right, so warm, and true

I need to know if you feel it too

"After awhile, I got up the guts to ask her out. I was so nervous. I just knew that she would say no.

Maybe I'm wrong, won't you tell me if I'm coming on too strong

This heart of mine has been hurt before, this time I wanna be sure

"But she said yes. And it was just what I thought it would be. She was everything.

I've been waiting for a girl like you to come into my life

I've been waiting for a girl like you, your loving will survive

"I could forget about everything that was happening. You know that numb feeling that you had right after everything changed? How nothing seemed right? How nothing anybody did was right because they weren't Mom and Dad?"

Pony nodded.

"Well, she took that feeling away. When I was with her, I could forget."

I've been waiting for someone new to make me feel alive

Yeah, waiting for a girl like you to come into my life

"So…what happened?"

I glanced at him, then rolled onto my back to stare at the ceiling. "We got serious. And when you get serious, the way that we did, sometimes it doesn't feel right. But…it was perfect with her."

You're so good, when we make love it's understood

It's more than a touch or a word can say

Only in dreams could it be this way

When you love someone, yeah, really love someone

"Um…why was it…better, um, with her?"

Poor Pony. He didn't know yet. I knew that I had to tell him, because no one else would now.

"Because we loved each other. Well, I loved her. I'm really not sure if she loved me anymore. But Pony, when you…are serious with a girl, make sure that you love her first. Okay, promise me that. Because it's a huge decision, and it's not something you do just to goof around. It's not just another fun thing to do. Do you understand?"

I knew Pony was red by this point, but I didn't look at him.

"Yeah," he said, and I decided then and there not to worry about it again.

I was reliving our first time in my mind. I just wanted to hold her again. "Sometimes…I can still feel her. Not in the same way as with Mom and Dad, but…"

Now I know it's right, from the moment I wake up till deep in the night

There's nowhere in Earth I'd rather be, than holding you tenderly

"And I'm not sure what happened after that. Somewhere along the line, it stopped being perfect for her. I guess."

"You didn't know?"

Damn it. Damn my tear ducts. I swallowed, hard. "No. I was still in that great place. I was so in love with her. She was just what I had prayed for. I remember thanking God every time I was with her that she would even look at me.

I've been waiting for a girl like you to come into my life

I've been waiting for a girl like you, your loving will survive

"Every single time I saw her, it was just like that first time."

I've been waiting for someone new to make me feel alive

Yeah, waiting for a girl like you to come into my life

"You remember that night, god, it feels like it was years ago, but that night when I told you that I wanted to marry her?"

"Yeah, I remember. You told me not to tell Darry."

I turned over to look at him again, and gave him a sad grin. "Right. Well, I was serious. I wanted to marry her. I even have a jar, under the bed, with money in it that I was saving to buy a ring for her. I felt guilty about it at first, because I could have given it to Darry, but I knew that she was the one for me."

I've been waiting, waiting for you, ooh, I've been waiting

I've been waiting

(I've been waiting for a girl like you, I've been waiting)

Won't you come into my life?

I took a deep breath. "But. I wasn't the one for her. I messed up, somewhere, and she went to someone else without telling me."

Damn it. I was crying again. I quickly wiped away my tears. "She slept with him, and he got her pregnant. Her parents found out, and her mom had to send her away to keep her dad from beating her up. So she went to Florida to live with her grandmother. But Pony, I didn't care. I still loved her so damn much that all I wanted was to have her back. It was my fault, you know. If I had only been what she needed…then she could've stayed with me. We could've raised the baby together. It could've been perfect. Damn it," I said in a hard voice.

Pony didn't say anything for a few minutes, and neither did I.

"Soda?" he finally said.

"What, kid?" I knew that I sounded as tired as I felt.

"I know that it doesn't mean anything, coming from me, but…it wasn't you fault that she cheated on you. Things just happen…like Mom and Dad, and Joh—I mean Dally. You eventually just have to accept that you couldn't have done anything."

I looked at him closely for the first time that night. I'd thought that he was dealing with everything really well. I knew that that paper had helped him work through some stuff, but apparently not all of it. "It does mean something, coming from you. And I think that somewhere, I know that it wasn't my fault. I just…well, you understand. Because it's the same with Johnny for you."

Pony looked away. "I got out first."

I was too tired to try to figure out what that meant. "What?"

"Of the church. When it was on fire. I got out first. If I hadn't…"

"Then we would have all fallen apart," I said firmly.

"Well, anyway. I'm tired," he said quickly.

I wrapped an arm around my little brother, and thanked God that he was still here, because I needed him. "We'll get through it all."

A/N: Okay. So this really isn't my usual style. I don't like writing love stories, and so this is probably the closest to one you'll ever get from me. But anyway, this was for the WSOTT Random Summer Rumble, and the challenge was to write a story and incorporate a song that reminded you of The Outsiders or something like that, and this song always made me think of Soda and Sandy, so I used it.

Does anyone know why it won't let you include brackets in your text? I like to make smiley faces with a colon and a bracket, and it always erases the bracket. Even in my profile it erases the brackets. But it keeps parantheses. Any idea why?