Summary: What if Darry was an abusive drunk, Ponyboy was not a dreamer, but the anti-dreamer, and Soda was…well, still Soda? And what if the Curtis brothers had a sister? A depressed, absent sister who cut herself, and had no one to turn to until she bonded with the hardened Dallas Winston?

Rated T for drug & alcohol references, and language - the rating WILL change as the story progresses.

Darry and Pony are, as of now, OOC. Soda is still himself. I will try my very hardest to capture his personality, but I'm doubtful that I will ever be able to perfect the Sodapop S.E. Hinton made a reality. :] [The same applies for Dally, btw.]

Please enjoy;

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"Dammit, Becca, you gotta spend the night at my house. Forget about them damn brother's of yours for a day and come over," Nancy persuaded.

Nancy Beverly was my wonderful, charming, completely unknowing best friend. As far as she was concerned, there weren't bruises, tinged an ugly yellow, lining my body. She was hardly aware of my brother's, for that matter. She just knew I had some of them.

She didn't know about Pony. Gloomy, absent Ponyboy who you would never know was there if he didn't come to the table for dinner. He sat up in that damn room of his, all day, all night. Sure, he came home with decent grades, which was pretty much what kept Darry from beating the tar out of him, but he wasn't "there." He wasn't the dreamy Ponyboy I knew as a young girl.

Oh man, Darry. Ever since mom and dad died he'd been the worst of all. I missed him, too. He used to be sweet and decent, although a bit too hardened at times. But he used to care. He didn't anymore. He beat me half to death over the slightest offense. Come to think of it, if Soda wasn't around, he'd probably have killed me by now. The only time he occasionally stopped was if Sodapop walked into the room and objected. Of course, that only worked if he wasn't too drunk to be reasoned with.

Soda…. He was the only one who's personality hadn't shifted in response to our parent's deaths. He was still the cheery, life-savoring Soda I'd known and loved throughout my entire childhood. I was glad he was around. I was glad he hadn't changed. If he had…I could only shudder at the thought of how much worse off I'd be.

"Hello, goddamn it, Becca, you listening to me?" Nancy snapped, waving her hand furiously an inch from my face.

To assure her I had kept my ears perked, I wrinkled my nose slightly and nodded.

"Yeah, yeah, Nancy, I was listening to you. But you know I can't come over." I shivered delicately as the rest of my sentence came flowing off my tongue. "Darry'll skin me alive if I don't come home. You know that."

Nancy groaned disappointedly and shook her head, allowing her strawberry blonde hair to come rushing into her eyes.

"You don't do nothing anymore, Becca." She hesitated. "You don't go out, you don't come over. All you're allowed to do is study on weekdays and walk around in the sunlight on weekends. What's Darry's problem?"

If only I could tell…I thought warily.

"Nothing," I said snippily. "He's just overprotective, that's all. Don't complain. If we all got split up I'd probably never see you again," I reminded her.

Nancy nodded her frizzy head, realizing there was truth in my words.

"All right," she agreed, glancing at the sky. The sunset was beginning to vanish from the clouds, so I knew that meant I had to get home. "Just talk to Darry, all right? Try to get yourself a little more freedom. I'll talk to ya'll tomorrow."

I smirked bitterly and stood up as Nancy did. We'd been hanging in the vacant lot during the day. It had become our hang out over the past few months. It used to be Johnny and Pony's spot, the place they claimed "their own", but they hadn't been talking much lately. The only time Johnny came over was if his parent's quarreled, which was often. And even then Pony didn't speak to him much.

"Want me to walk you home?" Nancy offered. "Ya know the Soc's have been jumping us Greaser's much more often."

"Nah," I said, declining politely. "The Soc's don't' jump me much, being a girl and all. There was only that once…" My voice slipped away dreamily. For a split second, I vaguely thought about the time I'd been jumped, about a month ago. The attack had gained me a few bruises and a cut or two, but it was a pretty mild beating.

"You sure?" Nancy insisted.

I nodded again, assuring her, and she gave me a quick half-hug before strolling off.

Almost hoping that I was jumped, I turned and walked in the opposite direction. My house was only down the block, but it still seemed to take a while to get there. The journey was long and bitter, probably because I always dreaded coming home.

Once I got to my house, Soda was sitting on the porch steps, looking anxious.

"Darn you, Rebecca, you're late," he scolded.

I shrugged and peered quickly at the sky.

"Only by a couple minutes or so."

"But you know how our brother is…," Soda reminded me, a nervous smile etched onto his face. "Just get on inside and hope Darry isn't in a sore mood."

-

So was that good? :P

Sorry, the beginning is always boring. Please review, and I'll post the next chapter ASAP, because I'm pretty sure I want to continue this. :]