Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed/favorited/subscribed to this story. Thanks to Mel, too, who is a kick ass beta reader.

DING DING DING, we have a winner! Atmosphere 03 guessed the little cameo last chapter. Mel and I were, in fact, fighting over the shampoo in Two-Bit's little story. Don't ask, but it relates very deeply to our life story.

This fic/chapter is being post as part of "Good Fic Day," an effort to raise the quality of writing here. We hope to encourage more writers to improve the quality of their own fan fiction - spell check, grammar check, keep the gang in character, outline, plot and don't use Mary Sue's. Good fan fiction requires effort, and we would like to encourage other writers to rise to the challenge of producing better fan fiction, not only for our readers, but for S.E. Hinton, who created the wonderful book we are trying to honour.

S.E. Hinton owns The Outsiders but is kind enough to let me mess around with it a bit.

Ponyboy shoved his hands into his pockets, sucked in a breath, and knocked on the door. As he waited for it to open, he genuinely considered making a run for it. Still, he'd asked her out, and that hadn't been easy either. In fact, it had been nothing short of traumatizing. That had to be the hardest part of the whole dating thing...He hoped.

He jumped as the door swung open to reveal a girl, probably a year or two older than Sodapop. Ponyboy figured that she had to be Patricia's sister, as their hair both came down in almost identical auburn waves. He tried to give her a weak smile, a grunt, or some sort of recognition, but he was more preoccupied by the way she was looking him up and down with her brow furled. Finally, her eyes widened slightly and she said, "Hi. Sorry, I'm just…I think I recognize you from somewhere."

Ponyboy felt his stomach drop. She'd seen him in the paper. That had to be it. She was going to ask him about Johnny or Dal…Maybe she would even slam the door in his face. What kind of a person would let their little sister go out with someone who had been involved with a recent murder rap? He felt his hands beginning to sweat and he looked away, his heart pounding in his ears.

"What's your name?"

He contemplated telling her; it would only confirm what the girl had to already know. As she continued to stare at him, he hesitantly answered, "Ponyboy." He cleared his throat as her expression didn't change. Wincing inwardly, he finished, "Curtis."

Her eyebrows shot up and she began to say something before an irritated voice from behind her interrupted. "Jan? I said I was gonna get it."

Patricia's sister, Jan apparently, spun around. Though her voice was muffled because she was facing the opposite direction, he still caught her response. "You're goin' out with a Curtis?"

The only response he heard was Patricia telling her sister to go away. Jan turned back to face him and with a "nice meeting you", she disappeared back into the house.

Patricia emerged, calling out a general goodbye to whoever was inside. She snapped the door shut behind her, beaming. "Hey. Sorry, I tried to spare you. Janet's a real pain sometimes. And I always thought that the little siblings were supposed to be the bothersome ones. Right?"

Ponyboy blinked. "You're sister's, uh, okay. She seems real nice."

Patricia rolled her eyes. "Sure. I know you must've heard her though." She took a breath, blushing. "About the whole…Curtis thing. She's probably just asking 'cause she's got a thing for your big brother. He's a couple of years older than her though, right? He's twenty?"

He sputtered in surprise, "Darry?"

"Yep, that's the one. When she was a freshman I heard her talkin' to her friends at this sleepover. She just kept going on and on about how cute this one football player named Curtis was." She finally paused for a second to take in a breath before continuing on. "I think she's still got a soft spot for him."

Ponyboy nodded, at a loss for words. When he'd first asked her out, Patricia had told him that it was only her second "real" date, yet she somehow managed to be perfectly calm. Well, she was talking a mile-a-minute, but there were no other obvious giveaways. He only wished that he could say the same for himself. He was just waiting for her to turn to look at him, see the way he was sweating, and permanently dub him as a loser.

"You know, I think she's got a thing for green eyes. Guess it must run in the family, rig—?" Patricia suddenly broke off, her brown eyes going wide. He turned to see what was so horrifying but saw nothing out of the norm. He turned his head slightly to look at her curiously. She was watching him meekly out of the corner of her eye, her face bright pink. As she stuttered something incoherent, Ponyboy connected the dots. Guess it must run in the family…

He supposed his eyes weren't so bad after all.

Patricia looked absolutely miserable as she continued to mumble. A look of relief crossed her face as Ponyboy interrupted, "So…you wanna get going?" In response, she just bit her lip, nodding.

They made their way towards the theater silently, and Ponyboy couldn't have been happier as the movie theater came into view. He didn't have any problem with Patricia; he just hadn't taken awkwardness into account when he'd thought through the many things that could go wrong. He really should've.

Next to him, Patricia exhaled in a gust, scrunching up her nose as she made a face. "Look, I'm not so...I'm pretty awful at this, right?"


She grimaced again. "Never mind. I…What movie are we seeing?"

Ponyboy knew that he must have looked just as confused as he felt. "Didn't you want to see that Richard Burton one?"

She blinked a few times, remembering. "Oh. We already talked about this at school, didn't we?"

He couldn't help but laugh. "Yeah."

Patricia looked at him for a minute, before cracking a grin. "Just…ignore me, okay? Please."

The remainder of the walk seemed short. He decided that he liked Patricia; she laughed easily and she certainly didn't beat around the bush. He found that almost every time that he guessed what her response would be ahead of time, she said the opposite. Along the way he managed to learn that, in Patricia's words, an interest in gossip ––Hollywood's in particular—was her downfall, she used to despise her freckles because they made it "look like sand was stuck to her face", and she wanted to get a dog for the sole reason that she could name it Lassie after the movie dog.

Before long, with popcorn and two cokes in hand, they entered the actual theater. Darry had been right, they were late; the movie had already started. Ponyboy automatically headed towards the back row of seats but he stopped as he saw Patricia squinting at the screen. Sensing his gaze, she turned to look at him and smirked. "Forgot my glasses at home…I don't like 'em much anyway though," she muttered as an afterthought, shrugging. Still, he led her closer to the screen until she finally stopped squinting.

Almost the second that they took their seats, something hit him in the back of the head. Ponyboy moved his hand towards the back of his collar and frowned as he realized that he'd just been pelted with a handful of popcorn. Rolling his eyes as he heard snickering coming from behind him, he spun around and audibly gasped.

He stared at Two-Bit and Steve and was still unable to believe that they were sitting directly behind him. Two-Bit waved enthusiastically while Steve simply sneered. Ponyboy didn't return either gesture and Two-Bit cocked an eyebrow suggestively and leaned forward. "So…what were you two doin' that made you forget about the movie 'til now?"

Ponyboy made a face and whispered for him to shut up, promptly earning himself a face full of popcorn.


Next to him, Ponyboy felt Patricia jump and her hand moved to the back of her head. Behind him, he heard Steve hiss, "You dumbass. You're not s'posed to hit her."

"I was aimin' for the kid's big head—don't know how I missed."

Steve snorted. "You drunk?" He swore as that incited a good-natured slap upside the head from Two-Bit.

"Pipe down over there," someone nearby commanded as a small scuffle between them broke out.

Patricia, who had been watching the exchange cautiously over her shoulder, turned to Ponyboy. "Do you know those guys?"

"…Yeah," Ponyboy began with a sigh. "They're—"

Two-Bit leaned forward so that his head was between theirs, shushing him. "Don't you know you ain't supposed to talk durin' a movie?"

"Don't you got somewhere else to be?" Ponyboy hinted, rolling his eyes.

Two-Bit cheerily shook his head. "Nope…'sides, your lady friend over here seems to like havin' me around."

Ponyboy looked past Two-Bit to see that Patricia was stifling a giggle, looking straight ahead at the movie. Clearly, she'd been listening. He felt his face get hot as he shrugged Two-Bit off.

Under his breath, he apologized to Patricia, wanting nothing more than to dump his half-empty bucket of popcorn over both of his friends' heads. Catching the expression on Ponyboy's face, Two-Bit casually leaned back, grinning and flicking another piece of popcorn at the back of his head for good measure.

"That's Mathews, right?" Patricia asked, a smile playing on her lips.

Ponyboy looked at her in surprise as Two-Bit's smug voice spoke up behind them. "See, I told you, Stevie. I'm just as famous with the broads as Sodapop is."

He didn't hear Steve's response as, laughing, Patricia leaned in towards his ear and whispered, "I just saw him gettin' dragged to the principal's office a couple of days ago because they thought he was the one that went and covered Mr. Lawson's room with toilet paper. He was whistling all cheerful as he walked along so the teacher escortin' him said, 'Put a sock in it, Mathews.' That's the first time I'd heard of him."

Chortling, Ponyboy commented, "Sounds like Two-Bit,"

"Will you kids knock it off down there?" The same person from before growled.

Two-Bit glanced around, searching for the source of the voice. He turned back to Steve, saying, "Well gee, ain't people so rude? Talkin' during a movie when there's people like us who came to appreciate the wonderful work of Ms. Audrey Hepburn."

Ponyboy fought back a smile as he saw Patricia wince; she'd already made it clear that she had a great respect for all things Hollywood, including the actors and actresses. She bit her lip, contemplating, before looking back at Two-Bit. "It's Elizabeth Taylor," she corrected.

Two-Bit looked up at the screen, frowning. "Oh."


Ponyboy felt his face turning red and, more than anything, he just wanted the movie to be over. He knew what was coming.

"Come on and kiss me, Kate," Richard Burton's character said, holding his girl close. Ponyboy chanced a glance at Patricia out of the corner of his eye and saw that she was staring up at him, too. Not so subtly, one of his friends gave the back of his chair a light kick. He spun around and shot both of his friends a dirty look, hearing Patricia giggling uncomfortably next to him.

"You know, Steve, I don't see nothing funny. You see somethin'?" Two-Bit asked mock seriously.

Steve looked down at Ponyboy, smirking. "Yeah, kid looks like a tomato."

Hastily, Ponyboy turned away and was thrilled to see that he'd completely missed the last scene of the movie. The credits were already rolling across the screen.

He jumped up from his seat, holding a hand out to Patricia. His goal was to get out of the movie theater before Two-Bit or Steve had the chance to catch up and give either or them any more grief. Already, he knew that he wouldn't be able to avoid it forever—he'd probably get an earful the second that he walked through his own front door—but if he could at least spare Patricia, it'd be well worth the effort.

She took his hand and, as he led her through the theater, he could hear Two-Bit and Steve's laughter from not far behind.

They stepped outside and began to make their way back towards Patricia's house. "That was…different," Patricia commented off-handedly. He looked over at her and saw that she was beaming.

"I didn't think they wer—"

Ponyboy broke off as Patricia abruptly stopped and leaned over, giving him a quick peck on the cheek. She stepped back with a sheepish expression on her face as he gaped at her.

Taking his silence the wrong way, she looked away, stammering. "I…Sorry, I really didn't…I told you…I said I was awful at this."

He opened his mouth to respond, but before he had the chance, Two-Bit's voice rang out behind them. "Bet you're a lot better than that pillow he's been practicin' on every night."

A/N So concludes this little story. I hope you enjoyed ^_^ If you've got a second, please review. Patricia's my first real OFC, so I'd love to hear feedback and your opinions on her.