Author Note: Pretty short chapter, just to round everything off. I got the 'flu' bit in from the title, just needed the friendship. :)

Soda's POV

I picked Ponyboy up from track practice on my way home from the DX and we got home to find Steve out soundo on the sofa, with Darry in the kitchen gazing blankly at a pan of bolognese sauce.

"A watched pot never boils," I told him, moving to his side.

He blinked, the faraway look in his eyes vanishing, and he smiled at me.

"It boiled a long time ago, little buddy."

"Whatcha thinking 'bout?"

"Ah, nothing much. You guys ready for food?"

We took to that idea like fish to water and the three of us sat down to dinner, after a brief debate about whether to wake Steve. We chose to let him rest but we only got a few bites into the meal before Two-Bit came breezing through the door, slamming it behind him of course, and found us in the kitchen.

"Hey, guys, room for one more?"

"Like you have to ask, Two-Bit. Pull up a chair."

He did eagerly and I switched my attention to Steve, who had just appeared in the doorway wrapped in a blanket. He scowled at Two-Bit thunderously, except our other friend seemed oblivious as usual.

"Hey, Steve, ya hungry?"

"Nah," he replied, shaking his head. "Feeling kinda queasy."

"Don't hurl on my floor, little buddy," Darry told him in mock-seriousness, pointing a fork at him.

Steve just grinned.

"Get Two-Bit to clear it up. It'd be his fault for waking me."

"Why? Were ya asleep?" Oblivious asked, looking up with a mouthful of spaghetti hanging down his jaw.

Steve rolled his eyes and wandered back into the living room, no doubt to go back to sleep.

"Two-Bit wouldn't know a mop if it whacked him about the face," Ponyboy teased.

Two-Bit faked hurt and folded his arms, pouting.

"Darry!" he whined. "Defend me!"

"Why? He's telling the truth."

Two-Bit kicked him good-naturedly under the table and Darry narrowed his eyes at him. I guess I musta blinked because the next thing I knew, Two-Bit's face was smashed into his own heaped-up plate of bolognese and Darry was calmly eating his pasta, not paying him no mind.

Two-Bit sat up, and me and Pony cracked up at the priceless look on his face. He looked like he really couldn't quite grasp what had happened, despite the sauce running down his cheeks and dripping from his chin.

"'Kay," he muttered, dazedly. "I'll guess I'll go...clean up or something."

He got up and vanished into the bathroom. Me and Pone stared at our 'responsible' older brother until he felt our gaze and looked up. He grinned at us.

"I couldn't resist," he admitted.