The Socs where punching me in the stomach and the jaw. I could still feel the strong arms around me keeping me pinned down so that they could beat me up. I tried to yell for help but nothing came out. I looked into the face of Charles' brother and saw the horrifying grin of a man who was prepared to kill. I tried to fight back but they were too strong. When I could feel myself losing consciousness, I bolted out of my bed and looked around for the Socs. They were no where to be found, that was when I realized that they were just a dream. I sat up for couple of minutes trying to collect my thoughts and surroundings. I was in my room; I must have been sleeping all day because it was almost pitch black outside. I could hear the gang talking amongst themselves. I slowly got off of my bed, attempting not to make a sound to get the gangs attention. I walked over to the door and slightly opened it. I could hear them talking much better and trying to listen in.
"So is there going to be a rumble," Steve asked. "I think he should pound those Socs in but good. They need to learn what happens when you take on of us."
"Yeah, I'm ready for a good rumble myself," Dally said. Dally was never one for happiness but I could sure hear it in his voice when he talked about beating up Socs.
I tried to quietly walk back to my room but I hit the one lose broad.
"You awake Pony," Soda asked.
I did the same stupid thing people do when they are caught; they freeze and hope that just because they aren't moving, no one will see them. Yep stupid. Sodapop was at the bottom of the stairs staring at me. I turned around to face him.
"Did you hear what we were talking about Pony?"
I nodded. I turned right back around and ignored Soda calling after me. I could hear someone following me. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I shut the door but we didn't have a lock on it. I hoped that the other person would get the message that I wanted to be left alone. He didn't. I heard the door open; I was under the covers up to my head.
"Pony, are you okay," I heard Johnny ask.
"I just tired Johnny."
"Ponyboy I don't want a rumble any more than you, but Dally, Steve, and Two-Bit are already set on having a rumble, they want to get back at the Socs who kidnapped you."
"It won't do any good, Johnny. We win, nothing will change. We lose, it will only get worse. I don't want any of you getting hurt over me. I'm not worth it."
"That's not true. I don't think fighting will do any good either, but Pony, you are worth it. You're family to all of us. If you weren't then the guys wouldn't be planning on a rumble if you weren't worth it."
"I don't want there to be a rumble. I don't like it."
I guess Johnny figured that it was going to do any good talking to me because I could feel him getting off the bed and leaving. I don't know when but sometime I fell back asleep. I heard Soda coming to bed but he didn't say anything to me. I felt Darry shaking me awake.
"Come on Pony, wake up."
"What is it Darry?"
"How do you feel?"
"Good, I guess."
"Good, the school's open again and it's Monday!"
"You know Darry; I think I might have been wrong I'm starting to …"
"Don't even bother. You're going, too late."
I got ready for school. I heard the gang talking quietly in the kitchen. I snuck out to hear what they were talking about.
"Dally is there still going to be a rumble," Johnny asked.
"Not sure. Tim is in jail along with most of the Barley gang. There aren't too many of us to even have a rumble, although I think we should still have the rumble. We got to show those Socs what happens when you mess with one of us."
"I don't think that's a good idea, Dal. Pony is really upset about the rumble. I think you should call it off, besides it was only two guys," Johnny said.
"Are you standing up for them?"
"Of course not but Dally there's no use in fighting them when it was only between Pony and one other Soc."
"So what do you want us to do, just wait until they beat the rest of us up. Do you want another one of us to get kidnapped?"
The rest of the gang had been staying out of the conversation between Johnny and Dally until now. Two-Bit spoke up.
"He doesn't want that, but he's got a point Dally."
"If you guys ain't going to do something about them, I will."
Johnny tried to stop Dally but Two-Bit stopped him.
"Let him cool down, Johnny."
"We can't have a rumble; Pony was way too upset about it. He doesn't think he's worth us fighting."
"Of course he is, he's family too."
"Good luck telling him that, he wouldn't listen to me."
At that point I left. I didn't want to hear anymore and if I was late for school Darry would kill me. I went back up stairs and changed into some decent clothes. I grabbed my books and headed out the door without being noticed. I made it about half way to school when I heard a car coming up behind me. i froze, hoping it wasn't a soc. I stopped and waited to see if the car would keep going. It didn't.
"Ponyboy, come on, I'll give you a ride."
More surprising it was Steve, I jumped in his truck and we headed to school. I guess he would be going to school today.
"You know, one of us could take you to school, after all me and Two-Bit are heading that way."
"He went to go check on Dally, I offered to pick you up."
"Why, I thought I was a brat, pain in your ass kid, who always got in the way?"
Steve stopped the car and turned the engine off.
"Look, Pone. Sure of course I think you get in the way. I'm seventeen and your fourteen. We too different, but your like a kid brother to me too. I never want you to get hurt. We're all willing to pound those Socs in good for what they did to you."
"No, there's too much already. You guys don't have to get hurt over me, I'm not worth it..."
"Stop, you're one of us. We're a family and no matter what you think, you're part of that family too. We fight for each other."
"Still I don't like it."
"Look, kid. We'll all talk when you get home, okay?"
Steve started up the car again. The rest of the trip was quite. Steve parked the car and we headed inside. The two Socs who head kidnapped me weren't there and none of the other Socs gave us trouble about it. Sure the usually trouble but nothing more. I walked to my Spanish class and went on with my day as normal, thinking about how I'm going to convince the gang not to fight with the Socs. Darry, Soda, and Johnny would be the easiest. If they knew how much I didn't want them to fight they wouldn't. Two-Bit and Steve would be a little more difficult, but after awhile they would give up. The hardest would be Dally. He liked fighting too much.
After school instead of getting a ride home, I walked to the lot to think. I sat with my back against the water fountain.
With Two-Bit and Steve.
"I'm going to kill that kid."
"Here I thought you said you wanted to drive him to school to have a heart to heart with him."
"No I said I wanted to talk with him. No heart to heart."
"No, god forbid you show your heart to anyone. What did he say to you? Any idea why he would take off without telling us?"
"No, he was just upset because we wanted to fight those Socs."
"Maybe that's why. We're not going to fight the Socs if we're looking for him."
"Wow, you actually used that thing on top of your shoulders."
Two-Bit glared at Steve. Two-Bit walked back into the school see if he could find Ponyboy there. Steve stayed outside waiting for both of them. He was getting annoyed. Ponyboy always knew how to push his buttons. Two-Bit came out 20 minutes later without the kid.
"No luck, huh?"
"No. I'm worried?"
"Wow, now serious Two-Bit."
"I can be serious, especially when I worried about someone I care about."
"What are we going to do? Tell Darry that his little brother is missing?"
"Oh, there is no way I'm doing that. Come on, let head to the Curtis' house and see if Ponyboy went straight home without us."
Steve and Two-Bit headed home. They got there before Darry and Soda. Johnny and Dally were there.
"What took you guys so long getting home? I thought you hated that place, didn't think you stay there any longer than you had to. Or were there blondes left there for Two-Bit to take his pick at?"
"No, we kind of lost Ponyboy. He isn't here, is he?"
"No, nice going. I don't think I'm going to stay here when you tell that to Darry. You're dead."
"Johnny, any idea on where Ponyboy would be?"
Two-Bit and Steve went into the kitchen and grabbed some chocolate cake. As soon as they walked into the kitchen, Johnny got up and left. When they walked backed into the living room, Johnny was gone.
"Where did Johnnycakes run off to?"
"I don't know as soon as you left, he ran out the door."
"Where was he going to?"
"How the hell should I know?"
"Did you think to ask him as he was leaving," Steve asked raising his voice.
"No," Dally said emotionless.
Two-Bit and Steve sighed. As that moment Darry and Soda walked in.
"Hey guys, what's up?"
I ran over to the lot to see if Ponyboy was there. It was empty obviously. There was no one around. People rarely came around anymore. So many teenagers would spend their days fighting each other so parents stop bringing their kids. I walked around the whole lot looking for Ponyboy. No luck.
"Come on, Pone, I know your around here somewhere."
"Go away Johnny."
Finally I walked over to where I heard his voice and found Pony sitting on the ground with his knees to his chest. He wasn't looking at me, but staring at the ground. I slowly walked toward him trying not to scare him away. He didn't even seem to notice me. I sat down next to him and waited for him to talk.
"I'm not going back home, Johnny. I told you I don't want you guys fighting because of me. I don't want anyone getting hurt because of me. Please don't make me, Johnny."
"I wouldn't Pone, but the gang is worried about you and when Darry and Soda get home their going to be worried too. We just want to make sure that those Socs know that if they mess with one of us, their will be consequences. Look, I know Dally will listen to me. Come home and I'll try to talk to him."
Pony stared off into space for awhile before he turned to me and gave me a little smile.
"You lost my brother!"
"We didn't lose him. He didn't meet us outside the school like he was suppose to," Two-Bit said remaining calm.
"Darry just calm down. Lets go looking for him," Soda said.
Dallas was looking out the window. It had catch his interest more than the conversation that was taking place inside. No one was paying any attention to him until he spoke up.
"You don't have to go looking for him."
"Of course we do, Dallas," Darry shouting getting angrier.
"Nope because here comes Johnny with him."
Darry headed for the door, but Soda stopped him. He was pushing his brother back any from the kids.
"I think I should talk to him. You know see if I can figure out what is wrong."
Soda headed out the door before Johnny and Ponyboy came inside.
"Hey, Johnnycakes, why don't you head inside so I can talk to my little brother?"
Johnny didn't say anything but nodded his head and walked inside. Ponyboy sat on the one chair that was on their porch without saying a word to his brother. Soda sat down on the ground in front of him. He put his hands on Pony's knees and waited.
"Pone, what's wrong?"
"I don't like it."
"What? Talk to me."
Pony stood up and walked to the other side of the porch and sat down. He brought his knees up to his chest again. Soda knew that this was his way of shutting people out. His armor. He didn't want anyone near his when he did this, but Soda was too desperate to care at this point. He got up and sat down right next to his baby brother.
"I don't like the fighting. I don't want you guys to fight because of me, I'm not worth it."
"Stop Pone. You are worth it. Darry and I are going to do anything to protect you. Anything. Pone, the whole gang just wants to keep you safe. We love you."
"But I wouldn't be able to live with myself if something happened to you guys. Please don't fight."
"I'll try talking to them."
Soda walked back into the living room. Everyone watched him as he entered. Darry stood up and waited for Soda to talk. Soda was looking down at the ground when he entered and at first would only look at Darry.
"He doesn't want us to fight."
"So what does he want us to do, let the Socs get away with this? Why don't we just let them get away with everything they do to us," Dally practically yelled.
"Dally, it was only those two guys. We already took care of them."
"We haven't seen them at school yet," Two-Bit spoke up.
"So, what we're not going to fight them," Steve asked.
Dally turned to Johnny. Johnny just stared at him, then shook his head. Dally sighed and left the house.
He walked past Ponyboy, who didn't notice he was standing there until Dally spoke to him.
"We're not going to fight them, but if they do anything else, I can't guarantee I'll just stand back."
Pony didn't say anything but watched Dally walk away until Darry came outside. Darry took Soda's spot next to Pony.
"Ponyboy, I'm still mad at you for leaving without telling Steve or Two-Bit. Don't you think that they were going to be worried about you and when Soda and I came home and they told us that they didn't have any idea where you were? Pony after what happened last week, how could you?"
"I'm sorry, Darry," Pony yelled, standing up. He walked away from his brother to the other side of the porch.
"I needed to get away to think. I didn't want you guys fight over me. I'm sick of the fighting."
"I know, I am too Pony, but I'll do whatever I have to do to keep you and Soda safe. There's not going to be a fight."
Soda came out and joined them.
"Ponyboy, next time talk to one of us, instead of running like that. Promise me."
"I promise Soda.
I'm sorry if that was a crappy end to the story. I hope you guys enjoyed my fanfic. Thank for reading it and reviewing it. I don't own The outsiders. Sorry this was so late. Thank you to all of your who were patient enough to stay with my story.