The school year was winding down and Darry's final football game of the year was today and Linda knew she and the boys were running late. Ever since she recovered from the car accident Linda began working overtime at her job and it was beginning to take its toll on her. She was running around the house trying to get ready while Sodapop and Ponyboy waited by the door.

"Mom, we're gonna be late," Soda said.

"I know Soda. Why don't you and Ponyboy go wait in the car, I'll be out in a few seconds." Linda responded.

They walked out the door just as Linda found her keys. She took her coat out of the hall closet just as the front door then opened again and she turned, nearly running into someone.

"Oh, Dally." She sighed when she realized it was him.

"Were you off to so fast?" Dally grinned.

"We're going to Darry's football game. Want to come with us?"

"No thanks."

"Was there something you wanted?"

"No, I just wanted to give you this." Dally then took an envelope out of his jacket's pocket and handed it to her. Linda took it from him and opened it up. Looking inside, her eyes widened in shock as she saw a stack of twenty dollar bills. She looked up at him in surprise.

"Don't worry, I didn't steal it." Dally smirked, as if reading her mind.

"What is this?" Linda asked.

"I know you've been worrying about money because of Mr. Curtis's condition…so I figured I owed you some rent money from all the times you let me stay over."

"Dally…I can't accept this."

"Yes you can."

Linda smiled at him before leaning up and giving Dally a kiss on the cheek.

"Thank you."

Dally had to stop himself from smiling like an idiot.

"Don't mention it."

As the Curtis's left the house, Will Rogers high school's field was packed with students and other people in the bleachers, rooting for their teams.

"Come on people, put your helmets on!" Coach Johnson for Rogers team yelled. Everyone on the team obeyed and ran out onto the field in their blue and gold football uniforms as the crowd roared and cheered as they ran. Then the opposing team, East Central High School ran out to their position on the field, dressed in their red, black, and white uniforms.

It was going to be a tough game, but at least they would have the home field advantage, Darry thought as he lined up with his team.

The referee appeared and flipped the coin. Will Rogers won the coin toss, so their team would be receiving. The team captain, John Bordan got ready to catch. The kicker on the opposing team ran and kicked the ball all the way down the field to John. He caught it and ran down the field, being able to dodge several players before finally being tackled. He ran twenty two yards.

The two teams got ready.

"Ready, set, hike!" John yelled.

The ball was hiked expertly and Darry caught it as the two teams collided. They were able to block East Central's team long enough to let Darry around with the ball. He was running, as fast as he possibly could as he heard the sound of pounding footsteps behind him. Finally, he made it to the end zone and scored a touchdown for his team.

The crowd went wild as several players on Will Rogers gave Darry playful headbutts on his helmet as it was now time for them to kick to the other team.

While they got ready to kick, Linda, Sodapop, and Ponyboy squeezed through the crowd going up the stairs and finally found seats that got a good visual of the field. As they sat down, Linda couldn't help but smile. Her husband and boys had always loved football, especially Darry, and she was proud to be here today, watching him at his very last football game in high school. She just wished her husband could be here to see it too.

"Crush em' Darry!" Soda yelled over the cheers of the crowd.

The two teams didn't waste anytime in continuing the game with one perfectly executed play after another. Both teams were able to score touchdowns and soon the third quarter of the football game was only a few short minutes of being over with the score nine to nine. Will Rogers currently had the ball and after a huddle, the team got into their positions.

"Ready, ready, ready, set, set, set, hike!" John roared.

He tossed the ball to Darry and when another player tried to tackle him, he spun and the player went right past him and crashed to the ground. Darry passed the ball to Bobby Richardson who ran eleven yards before he was tackled around the legs. Before he was taken to the ground, he passed the ball back to Darry who caught it and rocketed down to the end zone, putting his team in the lead.

The buzzer sounded and Darry relaxed, thinking the play was over. He didn't notice the linebacker still moving towards him.

Linda's eyes widened as it happened like it was in slow motion. The linebacker from the other team slammed solidly into Darry, like an eighteen-wheeler hitting a station wagon. Darry's helmet flew off at the force and he crashed to the ground with the other guy on top of him.

After the linebacker got off him, by sheer willpower Darry was able to force himself back up and tackled the linebacker to the ground and grabbed the facemask of the player's helmet, jerking it forward just to slam it against the ground. After that, he began slamming his fist into his chest. The referees were blowing their whistles and flags were flying, but Darry didn't pay any attention to them and continued wailing on the player underneath him.

Finally a couple of players from Will Rogers were able to drag Darry off and prevent him from doing any further damage.

Now, the crowd's earlier excitement had faded as they sat in a hushed manner. Linda was able to make her way down to the field as Darry came towards her.

"Are you alright?" She asked.

"Come on, let's go."

"Don't you want to finish playing?"

"No, come on," he growled.

To say the ride home was uncomfortable would be an understatement. Sodapop and Ponyboy were both quiet in the backseat, and Darry refused to say a word. His mind was still on that idiot's cheap shot, and how it could have put him in a hospital bed right next to his dad. The last thing his family needed was another person hurt.

"You played wonderfully today," Linda finally said to him.

"Yeah, thanks," Darry muttered as his mom pulled the car into the driveway. He didn't care about the football game right now, he just wanted a nice nap.

Darry went upstairs and right to his room, closing the door behind him. He kicked off his shoes and plopped down on the bed, rolling over and shutting his eyes. Luckily, the game had tired him out and it didn't take long until he was fast asleep.

Darry jolted up in bed, letting out a scream before covering his mouth with his hand. He didn't want to wake up his mom and dad. The four year old sniffed and wiped his nose on the back of his hand.

He slipped off his bed and quietly opened his door, walking down the stairs. He was about to walk past the living room when a voice startled him.

"What are you doing up?"

Darry jumped when he heard the voice and saw his dad sitting on his recliner. He wondered why he was just sitting their in the dark but didn't ask. Darryl Sr. got up and walked over to his son.

"Can't sleep?" He asked in his quiet and pleasant tone.

The little boy shook his head. He couldn't lie to his dad. Every time he tried, he seemed to see right through it. Darry asked his mom once why that was, and she told Darry that he acted exactly like how his father acted.

"Want something to drink?"

The little boy nodded and his dad walked with him to the kitchen, moved over to the refrigerator, taking out a carton of milk. Pouring two glasses, he set them on the table as Darry climbed into the chair with his booster seat in it.

A long silence passed between them as Darry gulped down his milk. Finally he set the glass down and looked over at his dad, fidgeting slightly. After a bit, he finally managed a timid voice.


"Yes, junior?"

"Are you going to die?"

Darryl Sr. looked at his son strangely.

"I am going to die?"

His son nodded.

"Why do you ask that?"

"I…I had a nightmare," Darry said.

"Oh, hey, come here," his dad responded while pulling his son off the chair and into his arms, hugging him tightly. "Someday I will junior, but not for a long time. You don't have to worry about that."

"How do you know?" Darry asked while hugging him tighter. He didn't want to lose his dad.

Darryl looked down at the floor for a moment. He wasn't sure what to say next. He finally said;

"I just do."


Darry groaned when he heard someone shout his name and quickly recognized it was Ponyboy.

"Pony, tell mom I'm not hungry," he said while burying his head under his pillow. Pony then started shaking him rapidly.

"Darry come on, the hospital called! They said dad's awake!"

Darry quickly shot out of bed after he heard his brother say that. He stood looking at Ponyboy with his mouth wide open.

"Are you serious?" He finally managed to ask.

"Yes! Come on!"

Darry bolted down the stairs with Pony, tripping several times. The ran out the door with Soda and their mom and to the car.

Back at the hospital, Darryl Sr. was staring up at the ceiling, still feeling woozy when the door opened and in came his family. Linda practically ran over to Darryl and gave him a hug but still mindful of the injuries from the crash.

"Oh sweetie, I'm so happy you're awake." Linda smiled when she pulled away, tears in her eyes.

"What happen to me? I don't remember much."

"You were in a car accident. A car ran a red light and crashed into the right side of our car. You suffered some head injuries and your left arm is broken. For the last three weeks you have been in a coma." She paused letting the information sink in.

After they kissed, Ponyboy and Sodapop came up to hug their dad as Darry stood back, watching the scene before him with a smile. He had been so worried about everything over the past few weeks. Now he could see that it was going to be okay.

"Hi Dad," Darry finally said as his brothers left their dad's side.

"Hey, junior." He smiled, using his old nickname for Darry.

He walked closed and put his hand on his dad's shoulder.

"I guess I never told you…but I love you dad. I love you so much." He said as tears came to his eyes.

Darryl Sr. smiled up at him.

"I love you too."

"You're the best man I know."

One week later, Darry sat wearing the gown, cap, and clothes under the gown that made this day hot. It had finally arrived though, the day he had been waiting for.

He couldn't help but fidget, he was used to doing something, anything, and now all he was doing was sitting and waiting. Darry knew his family was here, just as nervous and excited as he was. His father had to be in a wheelchair, but he was here.

"When I call your name, please step forward to receive your diploma." Said the principal.

Finally, they called the rows up, and Darry waited, knowing he was one of the first up since his last name was so close up on the alphabetical list. Finally, his row was called and Darry walked toward the stage, strangely calm on the outside, on the inside was a different story. His stomach felt like it was doing flip flops.

He heard, "Darrell Curtis." He crossed the stage, waving at his family before he exited, diploma in hand.

Darryl Sr., Linda, Sodapop, and Ponyboy all sat with smiles on their faces and clapped as Darry walked off the stage.

They kept watching as row after row was called until they heard the name;

"Keith Mathews."

Karen who was sitting with her mom smiled as her brother walked on the stage. Both of them watching Two-Bit graduate, they couldn't believe that he had done it, Two-Bit couldn't believe it either.

Ponyboy smiled as he watched his buddy walk off the stage with his diploma.

He knew this year had been a long, wild ride, with good times and bad times. But he knew as long as they were together everything would be okay. His brothers, Two-Bit, Karen, Steve, Dally, Johnny; they were all one big family. And families could get through anything.

The End.

Authors note-Thanks for reading, I might write a sequel, but if I do it won't be for a few months. This is my eighth Outsiders story and I'm a little burned out to be honest, and also low on ideas, so I'm taking a break.

Special thanks to;

A. Gray 2008, Aeris5256, Alixer Of Life, Annanova, bigguy2003, BlindedxxFalcon, bornforhorses, BroadwayBabexx4, canadaa. bby , DallysGirl4ever, DetacheAngel777, DJDanger1, Donatello8696, Dylan'sSis101, EslipsedWolf, EternalBookworm823, footprints93, Gamemaster77, goldengreaser, Harrypotterfanaticgirl, Hollster09, iDreamWords, ilicsm, kcllxoxo, kisabestfriendforever, Lana1996, lbmontana, likealovestoryxx, madamadadanechibisuke, Maddie-Cakes, mentos93, Midnight Lullabye, MihealandMail4ever, Mkitkat, ms. nick jonas, MusicismyLife76, NegativeFan666, peace. luv. zebra, PonyboySlashLover, Remy's little gurl, RK13, Secret Storywriter, Simba11, SpencerCollins, sodapopwinchester, swimgurl159, theultimateoutsider, Writer4Lifef, x0allisongt0x, and xXShadowThornXx.