XXXXXX

Author's note-Just to avoid confusion, this is an AU from the story, different circumstances around the characters. Most things will be kept the same, others will be different. The year for example has been changed to 1969, and the Curtis brothers are only two years apart. Darry(18), Sodapop(soon to be 16), and Ponyboy(14). Johnny also won't be showing up until later chapters.

It was going on 9:40 at night on September 1, 1969. Darryl Curtis Senior sat in his recliner reading in the living room of his house as a small fire was lit in the fire place. He was enjoying the quite.

Quite was rare in the Curtis house. His three sons were all out tonight with friends, enjoying their last night of freedom before they had to go back to school the next day.

His wife Linda Curtis was probably up in their room, sewing. It was an old hobby of hers.

Darryl sat the book down on his chest for a second to look over at the clock. It was almost ten, they should be back home soon.

As soon as he thought that, he looked up to see the front door open and was unsurprised to see his oldest son Darry walk through the door.

Darry was eighteen and would be entering his final year at Will Rogers High School. Darry had taken his education seriously ever since junior high, getting straight A's in every subject. He rarely missed a day of school. If he was sick Linda had to practically beg Darry to stay home from school. That wasn't necessary for the other kids.

No doubt he would be going to college under a scholarship. Darryl was real proud of his son.

"Hey dad," Darry greeted when he walked into the living room. He had spent the night on the town with his best friend Paul Holden and their girlfriends.

"Hey, how's Paul?"

"He's fine. We just want get this last year over with, so we can go to college."

"You figure out which one you want to go to?"

"Not yet."

"Well, that's okay. You've still got plenty of time."

"Yeah, I guess. Good night Dad."

"Good night."

Darry walked upstairs and into the bathroom, turning the shower on.

About ten minutes later, Darryl's youngest son Ponyboy came through the door with his friend Keith "Two-Bit" Matthews. He was nicknamed Two-Bit because he was always wisecracking, always got his two-bit's in.

Almost everyone thought Two-Bit was a goofball, but after the years Darryl got to know him, he knew he was anything but. Two-Bit had a good head on his shoulders.

Ponyboy would be entering ninth grade, his last year in junior high school.

He was coming back from a night at the movies with Two-Bit and Dallas Winston, a friend of Two-Bit's.

"How ya doing Mr. Curtis?" Two-Bit greeted.

"Fine, Two-Bit. How was the movies?"

"Uh, it's was pretty good, but Pony got scared a couple of times."

"I did not!" Pony yelled and jumped on his friend. Darryl shook his head and lifted up his feet as the two boys rolled across the floor, wrestling and cursing at each other.

Meanwhile, at a party at Buck Merrill's place, Sodapop Curtis was standing by a pool table preparing to take a shot. He looked over at the clock and saw it was getting late, he knew his curfew and also knew he shouldn't be here, his parents had always told him to stay away from Buck's place, but Steve insisted he come with him.

Soda searched the place and saw his best friend Steve Randle was sitting by the bar, flirting with an older girl.

"Do you have a husband? A boyfriend?" Steve asked the girl sitting next to him. She smiled in return.

"No."

"Alright, it may just be that I'm drunk or something, but I'm going to leave you my phone number and we can talk more."

"Okay," she said and walked up to him about to give him a kiss on the lips when Steve was grabbed by the back of his shirt and pulled away. Steve spun around to see that an older man his size had grabbed him and had an angry look on his face.

"Stay away from my woman," the man growled.

"What'd you just say?" Steve glared as he approached the man.

"I said, touch her and die asshole."

"Stay out of this Billy," the woman yelled. "It's over between us!"

"Is that a threat?"

"No, it's a promise."

Then in a flash, Steve snatched a bottle of the table and swung, cracking it across Billy's head. The woman screamed and others around the bar jumped back as glass was sent everywhere.

"Now get off your ass and fight man!" Steve spat the words out, his eyes glinting with anger. He was about to pull Billy to his feet when he was punched in the back of the head from behind and fell to the floor.

Soda looked up when he heard all the commotion and saw Steve was getting jumped from behind.

"Hey!" He yelled, throwing away the pool cue and ran over, tackling the guy to the ground and began slugging him as hard as he could. He raised his hand to strike him again but the guy got his leg up and shoved him back. Soda stumbled and lost his balance, hitting the top of his head on the pool table. Steve was grappling with a bloody Billy for a minute before Steve was pulled away from Buck.

"Cut it out! You guys are gonna get me shut down!"

Buck walked over and pulled Soda up too and dragged them both to the front door and tossed them out.

"And stay out! You damn kids are too young to be here anyway! You're gonna end up getting me in worse trouble!"

Steve got up and brusted grass and dirt off himself.

"Well, want to find the next party?" He asked his friend.

"No way! My dad is gonna kill me!" Soda said as he glanced at his watch and knew he was past his curfew.

Back at the house, Ponyboy and Two-Bit were still going at it. They circled each other briefly before Two-Bit decided to take the first shot.

Two-Bit pulled Ponyboy into a half-nelson, as Pony tried turning himself over again, a pain shot through his hip.

"Ouch!" Pony shrieked. Immediately, Two-Bit let go and Pony let out a laugh as he took him by surprise and reversed him so that he had him straddled and pinned to the ground.

"Jeez have you been taking Darry's steroids or something?" Two-Bit asked. Darryl laughed at Two-Bit's comment and looked over at the clock and saw it was past 11:00.

"Okay, Ponyboy it's time for bed. You want to be well rested for your first day of school tomorrow."

"Yeah, Pony. You want me to come up and tuck you in?" Two-Bit asked and laughed as he dodged when Ponyboy took a playful swing at him. He started running towards the door.

"I'll be here in the morning to pick you up!" Two-Bit called up before running out the front door and slamming the screen behind him.

Ponyboy took a deep breath and looked over at his dad.

"I can't believe this is gonna be my last year in junior high."

"I know kiddo, you're growing up so fast." Darryl said and gave his fourteen year old son a pat on the shoulder.

As Pony turned and walked up the stairs, Darryl looked at the clock again and noticed that there was only one left, and he was starting to get behind on his curfew.

But then again, he should have expected it. Sodapop, his second oldest son was entering his first year at high school.

Soda hated school, he thought it was boring and a waste of time. Soda came close to failing his previous year, but when the threat of summer school came at him, he shaped up and with help from his brothers, he passed.

Darryl turned off the light in the living room and walked over to the stairs when the front door opened and Soda walked in. He instantly froze and looked down at the floor, knowing he was late. He gave him a stern look, then stared at the small cut Soda had on his forehead, knowing his son was probably out doing something he wasn't suppose to.

"You're late."

Soda looked down at his watch.

"Only fifteen minutes."

"Still makes me worry, especially around here."

"I know, sorry."

Darryl frowned as Soda stared at the carpet.

"Look…I know you aren't happy about having to go back to school tomorrow. But just think, only three more years and you're done."

"Only three years?"

"Darry did it, you can do it."

Soda still didn't look convinced.

"Plus Steve will be with you the whole time. And you've got a birthday coming up in a few weeks."

"Yippee," Soda responded sarcastically.

"Come here you little punk!" Darryl said and grabbed his son in a headlock and began giving him a noogie.

"Dad! Cut it out!" He yelled trying to pull away from him.

"Okay, go get ready for bed!"

"Hey Sodapop." Ponyboy greeted at the top of the stairs.

"Hey." He said softly. "Ain't it your bed time?"

"I wanted to wait for you." Ponyboy said.

Soda grinned and led his little brother over to the room he shared with him. Ponyboy use to share a room with Darry but when he entered high school, Mom and Dad insisted that Ponyboy share a room with Soda to let Darry have his own space.

Sodapop didn't mind having Ponyboy share a room with him, or when Ponyboy would get in bed with him after a bad dream.

"Where's Darry?" Soda asked as he got in bed.

"He's in the shower." Pony answered, getting into the bed next to his.

Darryl turned off all the nights downstairs and walked into his room and saw his wife already in bed.

"Oh come on, you can't be that tired."

"No, but I have to go in early for work tomorrow." Linda responded.

Linda worked at the hospital and agreed to fill in for somebody who was claiming to be sick on her day off.

"I don't understand why you do these sorts of things. Nobody ever does the same for you at that place."

"I'm nice," Linda responded and smiled at him.

"You're too nice."

Darryl got into bed and kissed her.

"Good night Linda."

"Good night," she responded as he turned off the lights and the two of them closed their eyes, as just another night passed by.