AN: Well just wanted to say thanks with all the reviews and stuff on my other stories. Just reading it and taking the time to message me with what you thought means a lot and I appreciate it. Okay well, this isn't humour like my other stories, it's more Darry angst about him not going to college. Taken from the quote "...Steve made the mistake of referring to him as 'all brawn and no brain', and Darry almost shattered Steve's jaw." Beta'd by DarryHasAFutureAndI'mInIt.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own 'The Outsiders,' that privilege belongs to S.E. Hinton.



MATERIALISTIC SACRIFICES


Why should I even bother?
Darry sighed to himself, looking at the envelope in his hands. It was addressed to Darrel Curtis – the tiny, neat black letters printed on a crisp white envelope with his high school's insignia. Printed under his name was gold lettering that read, 'Where Are They Now?' He didn't even bother opening the envelope, instead opting to scrunch it up and throw it into the trash can. He missed, and of course at that moment Two-Bit decided to duck his head through the door.

"Good thing you didn't go for basketball. You suck at it!" Two-Bit quipped, entering the room with Johnny, Dally and Ponyboy behind him.

"Good thing I was a footballer then, isn't it," Darry replied. Johnny laid down on the couch with Pony and Dally sitting on the floor.

Darry was just about to pick up the crumpled envelope when Sodapop flew through the door with Steve hot on his heels. Eventually both began to slow down panting with their hands on their knees. "Did I ever tell you how much I hate my old man?" Steve sported a freshly bruised eye and a cut above his right temple.

"What'cha got there, Darry?" Soda snatched the envelope out of his older brother's hand, running to the opposite side of the lounge before he could get caught. "Where are they now? Sounds like the name of a bad TV show," he shrugged and tore it open. "Paul Holden invites you to a high-school reunion-"

Ponyboy blinked. "Paul? Your ex-best friend Paul?"

Darry shrugged. "I guess so, and I am not going, so stop reading, Soda."

"I know that this isn't a big occasion, but I'd like to catch up with you. Surely we haven't changed that much and we can come away from this with more connections to our school than we originally left with," Soda read aloud, ignoring Darry, "I'm sure that you'll dress sharply for this occasion and bring a small fee to help cover the cost of the hall...I'm not that rich." Soda's brow furrowed.

"It's a joke, Sodapop," Two-Bit explained.

Like hell Paul isn't rich. The rest of his life is set out for him on a damned silver platter! Darry thought bitterly. He already knew about this get together after bumping into Paul at the supermarket only a few days ago...

Darry? Is that you? Paul grinned.

Darry hunched his shoulders. "Hey Paul, long time no see. How've you been?"

"I've been great. College is awesome; there are times when I wanna bash my head against the wall though, if you know what I mean." Darry set his jaw in a line, that was the thing, he didn't know what Paul meant because as far as he was concerned, to him, college was a pipe dream. Paul changed the topic, only to a rawer nerve with his former best friend. "You still playing daddy?"

Darry glared. "I'm happy to do it."

Paul let a small smirk play on his lips. "Right right, so I gotta get out of here, but keep an eye on the mail- I'm holding a reunion with our old class. It'll be great, we can compare our lives with the others," Paul said as he walked away from Darry, "Hopefully I'll see you there..."

"Why don't you go, might be fun...?" Soda asked, neatly folding the invitation and putting it back in its rightful place.

"He's gonna have nothing to say," Steve stated dryly. "Darry's always been all brawn and no brain; he's not even in college!" By the time Steve finished his declaration the house was silent. Two-Bit stopped joking with Ponyboy and Dally and now the three of sat there gawking at Steve. Johnny was shaking his head slowly, his eyes the size of saucers. Sodapop was glaring angrily at Steve. "Wh-"

Steve suddenly found himself on the floor in a world of pain. Instinctively his hand cradled his mouth, blood slipping from his fingers and tears of pain brimming in his eyes. "You hightail outta here, unless you want to put the 'all brawn no brains' theory to the test," Darry growled menacingly. Steve backed away from the older man and looked to the rest of the gang.

"Steve, get out," Soda managed to say. Right now he didn't care that Steve was in a bad mood due to his father. It didn't give him any right to use Darry's situation to feel better. Soda's hands were curled into fists as he walked towards Steve and picked him up by the collar of his jacket, throwing him out onto the porch. "You best stay away."

Inside Darry looked to the floor swallowing thickly. "I...I...b-better be off," Johnny stammered, walking briskly to the door.

"Johnny wait up, we'll, uh ... go to a movie!" Dally yelled after the departing boy. He lightly punched Darry's shoulder in goodbye before darting out the door.

Two-Bit and Pony exchanged glances. "I don't think I should stick around," Two-Bit whispered.

"It's okay," Pony replied, watching Two-Bit making his way past his brothers.

"I'll see you guys around." Two-Bit said. Darry patted Two-Bit's back before turning around to face Pony.

Pony continued to look at the ground. Soda came and sat down near him. "I know this probably doesn't mean much," Pony began following Darry's movements as he sat between Soda and himself, "I'm sorry that you had to give up college because of us." He sighed and ran a hand through his hair.

Soda bit his lip. "Yeah, me too," he agreed quietly looking at Darry. The envelope that was still in his hand was quickly torn apart. Darry continued to say nothing staring ahead of him, putting his arms around his two brothers and holding them close to his chest.

I'm not sorry, not by a long shot.


AN: So am I good at the sadness and angst with the Curtis boys, or should I stick to comedic situations? Happy Australia Day! Let me know and leave reviews! Scare4irony.