I appreciate it if you read/reviewed my story. Thank you for all of the wonderful reviews encouraging me to write more. This will be the final chapter. Oh, and thanks to spicygurl for the idea, and asking for an epilogue.
Six months later:
It was summer. The hot, blistering rays of sun beat down on the boys' shirtless backs. The perfect day to play football. Two-Bit, Pony, and Darry were one team; Steve, Soda, and Johnny were another. Dally sat this one out; he really needed a smoke.
"Pony!" Two-Bit shouted, throwing the ball as hard as he could.
Ponyboy's head snapped up, and his long legs raced in the direction of the ball. He caught it just in time. He was almost there, when he was suddenly tackled by Johnny.
Of course, Dallas thought. He was watching the game from under a shady tree. He put out the butt of his cigarette, and leaned back on the tree as he lit another one.
Pony went down, Johnny on top of him. Johnny was suddenly aware that he was on top of Ponyboy, without a shirt on.
Ponyboy grinned up at his love, and they kissed.
"Aw, c'mon, guys!" Steve groaned. "We're in the middle of a game here!"
Dallas rolled his eyes. Of course they would get side-tracked. Again.
But Dally couldn't really complain. He loved Johnny like a little brother, whether he would admit it or not. And deep down inside, past the annoyance that Pony and Johnny's romance brought him, he was…happy for them. Or for Johnny, at least.
Before Ponyboy and Johnny got together, Johnny was quiet. He let other people beat him around, like his mom and dad. He was always so sad, those big brown eyes filled with fear and helplessness.
But then he changed.
Johnny turned into a boy who loved life. Now, there was always a grin on his face. It was rare when you saw him without one. The boy was happier, and he'd actually found someone that would give him the love he deserved.
So, really, Dally couldn't complain.
Two-Bit laughed and came running up to the boys.
"No, really, guys," he said sarcastically, "you just take your time. We'll just wait for ya. Wouldn't wanna interrupt yer little…love fest."
The boys looked up. Two-Bit cackled after seeing the blush on their faces.
"It's alright," Two-Bit said. "We all know how it feels to be—" he said the next part while rapidly blinking his eyes, standing on his tiptoes, and folding his hands together—"in loooove."
Two-Bit laughed and everyone rolled their eyes. He seemed to be the only one that found his jokes funny.
Dallas was chain smoking about his third Kool, still watching the game.
He guessed they all might as well get used to Ponyboy and Johnny being a couple, because they'd probably be a couple for a long, long while.
Johnny stood up, pulling Ponyboy with him.
The game started up again, but the boys just stood there.
"I love you," Ponyboy said quietly.
"I love you too, Ponyboy."
Ponyboy grinned at Johnny.
They continued the game together. Ponyboy on one team, Johnny on the other. The gang may have thought their love was just a phase. Maybe they still thought it. But Johnny and Ponyboy knew differently.
True love isn't a phase. True love lasts forever.