There was only twenty minutes left in the shift as Johnny stood on a step ladder and was washing windows in the DX, a little psyched because the rumble was tonight. He was so caught up thinking about he had been washing the same spot for the past five minutes.
The bell on the door ringing got him out of his daydream state.
"Johnny," said a familiar voice.
Johnny looked over to see Elizabeth standing there.
"Hi," he said. He got off the step ladder and walked behind the counter. "What do you want?"
"I just wanted to say I'm sorry."
"You set me up."
"I said I'm sorry. It was wrong."
"Whatever, do you need anything?" He asked.
"I want to clear things up. I've never wanted anything bad to happen. We went to the lake that day because I was really starting to like you, and I was going to tell you everything-"
"Wait," Johnny interrupted. "You didn't lead me there so the socs could jump me?" He asked, surprised.
"Of course not."
"So that was never the plan?"
"That was the plan, but not at the lake. Me and Brian had broken up the previous day, I told him I didn't want anymore to do with this. He must have followed us."
Johnny sighed and stared at the register.
"So…do you hate me?" Liz asked.
"No, I don't hate you. Listen, there's going to be a rumble tonight."
"Don't do it," Elizabeth pleaded. "Don't go."
"I have to."
"I don't want you to get hurt."
"I'm not the one who's gonna get hurt."
After getting done with his shift, Johnny headed home to prepare for the rumble.
There was nothing new about it, they all met together at the Curtis house and when it was time to get going to they all ran out of the house, hollering and carrying on while doing flips and cartwheels that Darry had taught them.
"Well," Two-Bit said cheerfully, cocking an eyebrow. "I think we are in prime condition for this rumble. Is everyone ready?"
"Yeah," Ponyboy screamed and they continued running to the vacant lot.
They weren't meeting anybody there so they just waited for the socs to cone. Johnny and Ponyboy usually doubled teamed one person during a rumble. Not exactly fair, but that's what the did. However, they would not be able to do that tonight, as it would be seven on seven.
Sodapop, Johnny, and Ponyboy were told to leave if the off chance the fuzz showed up. The socs finally pulled up and started getting out of their mustangs. It was then Johnny saw Liz's ex-boyfriend, Brian.
"You're about to get the worst ass beating of your life rich boys!" Two-Bit shouted as they lined up.
Johnny noticed Brian as he lined up. He was a little taller then him, but then again, just about everyone was a little taller then him.
As usual, Darry was going to start it off. A tall soc stepped forward.
"Ready?" He asked.
"Were the ones who have been waiting for you."
Then it was Darry who made the first move. He hit the soc with an uppercut that sent him straight to the ground and then it all broke out. Each group ran towards each other, throwing wild punches while cursing and shouting at each other.
Brian lunged at Johnny but he dodged him and placed Brian in a headlock and began punching the crap out of his skull.
Dally was on top of his soc in an instant and started slamming his elbow down on his chest.
"Just give it up you son of a bitch!" Dally yelled.
Sodapop blocked a punch from a soc and delivered a gut-busting fist into his stomach, rocking him backwards.
Ponyboy used his speed to his advantage, sticking and moving. The soc threw a punch at him, but Pony jumped back and came forward with a straight shot to the nose.
Two-Bit was kicking his opponent in the ribs while screaming,
"IS THAT ALL YOU GOT BITCH!" Two-Bit yelled. "COME ON YOU SHITTY LITTLE SON OF A-"
"You've been drinking tonight haven't you?" Dally asked while slugging his soc again.
Steve side-stepped away from a soc's punch and kneed him in the stomach, then hammered his back.
Johnny managed to slug Brian in the stomach and a few times in the face.
"Had enough man?" Johnny asked whipping off the sweat on his forehead.
Brian yelled out in anger and came charging at Johnny. Johnny quickly ducked and Ponyboy came running over at the speed of bullet and leaped up, dropkicking Brian right the chest. The force knocked the wind right out of him, and Brian crashed onto the ground.
One of the socs staggered back to his feet and looked on as the rest of them were getting a beat down. Dally grabbed on them and began slamming his head against the ground.
"Come on guys let's split!" He yelled and began running back to the cars.
The socs didn't have to be told again and began to retreat, Brian had to be helped to his feet and back to the mustang.
"Look at those cowards running away!" Two-Bit shouted, picking up rocks and dirt and whatever he could find on the ground and hurled it at the mustangs as they sped away.
Much later that night, Johnny sat at the kitchen table eating cake, unable to sleep.
He didn't didn't know what was wrong. The rumble was over, he wasn't hurt, he and Ponyboy had made up, and he and Elizabeth were made up. Still, something was bugging him.
"Okay what's wrong with you?" Pony asked.
Johnny looked up startled, realizing Ponyboy was sitting in front of him.
"How long have you been here?"
"A few minutes, now spill it before I drop kick you."
"My mom came to visit me when I was in the hospital."
"What?" Pony said, mouth filled with food. "What did she say?"
"She just said she was sorry, and that she misses me."
"Yeah, I bet she misses somebody to yell at."
"I don't know…maybe she's changed."
Ponyboy looked at Johnny like he was crazy.
"What else did she say?"
"She said that I could come back home if I wanted."
"Johnny…" Pony shook his head. "Going back home to your mom is like breaking back in to Alcatraz."
Johnny couldn't help but laugh as he got up and washed his plate, after he was done he walked back to his room.
As he sat down on the bed, Ponyboy stuck his head in the door.
"Hey...you don't really want to go home do you?"
Johnny looked over to the suitcase he brought when he moved in. He was home.
"No, I'm not going anywhere."
"Alright, see you tomorrow." Pony said and shut the door.
Johnny layed down on the bed and pulled the covers over himself, shutting his eyes.
"I have a family," he said in near disbelief as if it weren't real.