A.N.) Hope you enjoy this.

Disclaimer: I don't own The Outsiders.

Adjusting to Ponyboy

Chapter 2: He Reached Out

04:00 a.m.

Darry had been right to think the worst of his new baby brother. As soon as the family returned home, they decided to alternate the placement of the crib. It was planned to be in Mr. and Mrs. Curtis's bedroom, but there was so little room. And even though Mrs. Curtis liked things as clean as they could be, the room was still cluttered. And guess where Ponyboy's new sleeping location was? It was Darry and Soda's room.

As expected, Soda didn't mind at all, and Darry did. Soda stood adjacent to Pony's crib. He was using a teddy bear for a ventriloquism act for Pony. The baby wiggled his fingers, as he laid in his crib, to prove Soda was pleasing him. They were having fun. Darry stood near the crib too. His eyes narrowed at the baby. He tried hard to image this… this… thing as a demon. With horns and pitch fork, like he was from a can of Underwood Ham, but his father interrupted his thoughts.

"Alright boys, time to get some sleep. You're mother is already out cold," said Mr. Curtis. Sweet sleep at last! Darry thought, jumping onto his kid bed, fit for one. But of course, Soda had to be different.

"Awwww! Now? I want to pway with Pony some mowe!" Soda protested. His father grinned and shook his head.

"You can play with Pony in the morning, Pepsi-Cola. He needs to sleep and so do you," he said. He walked to his second son and ruffled his hair. A gesture of affection. Soda sighed and got into his bed similar to Darry's. Mr. Curtis gave Darry a hug, and kissed Pony's head. "Good-night," he said, turned off the lights and left. Darry smiled and closed his eyes. He was almost asleep, but was waked by the sound of his kid brother getting out of bed.

He should've known that wouldn't have been the last of Sodapop Curtis, and he knew what Soda was going to do. Soda didn't leave the room. He went back to Pony's crib. Darry still laid in bed, and rolled his eyes. It's just a baby! Let it go, Soda!

"I can't wait tiww you'we a bit biggew. You, Dawwy, and me wiww pway footbaww togethew and pig out on chocowate cake and watch TB togethew," Soda babbled. "But at the same time, I want you to stay a baby. 'Cause if you stay wittle, me, Dawwy, and you can keep playing fowevew." Soda patted Pony's head. "Night Pone," was the last thing Soda said. Afterward, he went back to bed.

When he was sure Soda was asleep, Darry sat up. He looked intrigued. He never knew Soda would make such a big deal about this baby. He got out of his bed and went to Pony's crib. Seems that baby was still awake. Huge grey-green eyes looked at Darry. Darry had to admit he was… cute. But that didn't change a thing!

Ponyboy lifted his balled up hands and reached for Darry. He'd taken quite a liking to him, but that didn't win Darry's affection as it did Soda. No, Darry was a bit more hard-headed. He stared down, not responding at all to Pony, but Pony just kept his arms up.

Darry's shell cracked. He reached over and let Pony's itty-bitty hand grab his finger.

No! No! No! His shell was becoming more than cracked. It was breaking! Shattering! Ruptured!

He shook his head and tore his finger away. Ponyboy panicked, and started reaching for Darry wildly. Hands clamped and opened, desperately trying to grab Darry's finger again. He made little urging noises, saying he going to cry. Darry put Pony's pacifier in Pony's mouth to shut him up.

You're breaking me kid, Darry thought. Tomorrow, I'll try getting rid of ya.

With that done, Darry left Pony, and went back to bed.

A.N.) Please review!