A/N: This is the long awaited sequel to the Curtis sister fic. Babygirl. If you haven't read it, I would recommend you do to avoid confusion. It's basically about how the young sister of the Curtis brothers is taken away to live with a foster family on the South side and her life there. At the end, she finally succeeds in returning to her brothers with some help. It's different so take a look, or read from here. Thanks for reading!
Chapter 1: The Quiet One
Once I returned to north side, Johnny lived for five more years. He died in his sleep in the recovery wing of Tulsa hospital on an early autumn morning. The doctors had said from the beginning that he would never really recover, but no one could blame us for dreaming. Dally was really hopeful though, if one can use such a word to describe Dallas Winston. On good days, we would all talk about how the doctors were wrong, how good Johnny was doing now, and what we would all do together once he got better. When he wasn't doing better, nobody spoke about it at all. The last week he was alive, everyone seemed particularly quiet. I suppose he could only hang on for so long. He just sort of lingered around that long for us 'cause I think he knew we needed him. Somehow he sorta sensed what would happen to us if he left. Shortly after that, Dally skipped town. None of us heard from him again. Two-Bit stayed the same old Two-Bit and Darry same old Darry, but Ponyboy was never the same.
I changed too, but it didn't happen suddenly like with Johnny's death or even with me coming back over to the North side. It kinda snuck up on me, like change sometimes will. It was so quiet and little at first, like a mouse, so that no one noticed it, but after a while people couldn't help but notice. I got older and I got tough.
Before Dallas Winston left town he came and found me and told me he was going.; so, for the first time in my life, I left school early and walked to the bus stop with him. Sitting on the bench there and waiting for his ride, he pulled out his switchblade and handed it over to me. I did not dare believe my eyes at the time. His own eyes, still bloodshot, looked me over. When I asked him if he was sure he wanted to give it to me, he nodded yes and stood to go. He hadn't spoke since the night Johnny died and I remember just wanting- for the first time actually wanting- Dally to open his mouth. I don't know what possessed me, but I nearly got on that bus with him. Looking back one last time, he said one thing to me: "Take care of yourself kid."
"I will." I promised him, and I made damn sure I did.
That's why when Curly Shepard tried to start something with me when he was drunk one night, I slammed a beer bottle up against his head so hard he had to go to the hospital to get out all of the glass.
That night, like many before, I stayed at the Mathews'. From there, Emily and I could get to work easily, a dinner downtown where we waited tables after school. In summer I worked at the stables where I used to ride. It killed me to be around those horses- around Mickey Mouse-and never be able to step one foot off the ground to mount one, but being close was better than nothing I supposed. The work itself was hard, but I liked it. I liked to feel my muscles ache. It made me feel stronger.
In spite of all my work, I still made it to school every day. My grades weren't as good as Ponyboy's, but Darry wanted me to finish and so I went. If I was tired, I went; If I was sick, I went; rain or shine, birthday or no, I went.
Sure, there were times when I wondered what life would have been like if Johnny had lived, or even sometimes if mom and dad had lived though it seemed so long ago it was hard to imagine. Other times I considered how different things would have been had I stayed on the south side with John and Milly, or what if I had left with Dally on the spur of the moment? Mostly though I wondered how things would turn out for everybody if I were different, so I became something else.
Self-sufficient orphan, carrier of Dallas Winston's switchblade, friend to notorious kid murder Johnny Cade, three older brothers at home, better with cars than most guys, girl responsible for the scar on curly Shepard's eyebrow: that's how I became known around town. No one tried anything. No one dared. No one, other than my brothers and Emily, called me Baby anymore. They all just called me Kid, and that's how I liked it.
A burning orange ball, poised above the church steeple, dared me to look at it's fire directly. I took the dare and gave it a good gaze, shocked by the salmon of its color, before looking away to see black spots dancing in my vision. I liked the autumn sun best. It warmed the skin that the cold wind whipped instead of smothering us in light and heat like the summer sun. Around me, an array of colored leaves stirred in the breeze and swirled just above the road. A car passed slowly, stirring them up into chaos and crunching some under it's black wheels. Just behind it, two more cars sped by, each passengers' yelling and jeering at the each other. I recognized the ruckus as the kind only teenage boys are capable of. I moved further on the side walk and smiled. Soc chasing Greaser, Greaser chasing Soc. Beside me, Emily turned full circle, walking backwards to watch the boys.
Up ahead, I spied a familiar shape trotting lazily up the road from the same direction we were headed. Ponyboy was a track star with a three point six g.p.a. If he studied half as much as he ran, he would have a perfect four points. He liked running though. He said that when he ran, he thought of nothing else.
Pony slowed and jogged in place when he saw me. "You headed home tonight?" he asked.
"Yeah." That was my trademark answer. It annoyed the hell out of Darry, but after all what did I have to say? Nothing really. I was the quiet one, the one who spoke only if I had something important to say, and that made people listen. It was safer too, cause if you kept your mouth shut there was less of a chance of getting yourself in trouble. It bothered some people, namely Darry, who said they never knew what I was thinking, but I thought that was the smart way to be. Johnny had once called me mysterious. I liked that. Johnny would know all about mysterious, I'd said. Still, that's about the nicest way anybody ever described me, so I tried to live up to it. Then again, I didn't consider the type of compliments greaser boys tossed out on a Saturday night at the Dingo compliments in the same way Emily did.
"Where were you last night?" Pony asked. Man he sure had gotten more like Darry and Soda, bugging me. About my every move Emily, tugging on a cigarette, answered coolly for me, more than aware of my displeasure for such useless conversation.
As different as we were, Emily and I respected each other's differences and trusted each other over everyone else. We stuck together because on this side of town, everybody has to stick with somebody. She put up the show, and I backed it up, when I had to. Between her loud mouth and my real temper, her amazing knack for lying and my sparkling reputation, we could be real wicked masterminds.
"With me. Got drunk of my ass, and Babe hung around to make sure I didn't die of alcohol poisoning." She laughed. Pony didn't.
"You weren't drinking, were you Baby?"
"Of course she wasn't!" Emily defended me, obviously mad he had asked in the first place. "She was at my house, wasn't she? Covering for me."
"Yeah, okay." Pony backed off, clearly not happy with Emily's attitude. "See you tonight." He said to me and ran on. I nodded.
"Where we headed Boss?" she asked me, stubbing out her cigarette.
"Got cash on you?" I asked.
"A little." She blew smoke ahead of us as we went on.
"You planning to spend some to drink tonight?" I asked, not afraid to come out and say it with her as she as an honest an up front person about it, like her goofy brother.
"Now you know me better than to think I'd pay for my own drinks." She smiled the way she did around the boys who bought said drinks.
I turned and headed towards the Dingo. "Good, let's eat." She responded, able to tell my intention without me having to say it. "I'm starved." she declared.
Last night though, I recalled looking sideways at her as we headed towards food, she had not looked so tuff. Last night had been Friday and all the boys were at my place so I went to hers. Staying there, I could cover for her in case her mom called home and asked where she was and get my homework done with the quiet. Meanwhile, she was at a party at Buck's. I didn't go. I knew better. She came in bawling. After a while, I managed to get out of her what had happened. Curly Shepard had been two-timing her again. Bastard.
"Oh Em, why do you always pick the roughest hoods?" I had asked her, handing over a chocolate bar.
"I don't know," she had sighed, depressed. No one saw Emily like that, except me and it was my job to get her back to normal for Saturday. I did. Once Saturday came, I wished I hadn't. If we only knew what was in store for us, we might never have headed to Dingo to begin with that night.
A/N: Well, what did you think of the introduction chapter? Let me know, review! For those of you who are wondering, Emily is Two-Bit's little sister who is Baby's age. Thanks for reading.