"Hey, I'm home!" I shouted slamming the door in the process. I heard a yell in response as I flung my shoes at the closet. Then Ponyboy came running around the corner, "Sodapop!" He yelled hugging me.

"Hey kid!" I murmured wrapping my arms around him. He pulled back. "How was work?" He asked as if he asked this every day. I cocked my head to the side, he usually wasn't this happy. "Fine, but a costumer really got on my nerves. Considering he was a Soc." I answered bitterly. It looked like that was the answer he wanted because he just smiled and pulled away going into the kitchen.

"Did you make dinner already?" I asked walking in after him. He was drinking a glass of water, "Yeah, I put yours and Darry's in the fridge." He answered. "Thanks." I smiled at him and then went to the fridge and pulled out cold chicken and potatoes.

Ponyboy's POV

Good he hasn't noticed, I thought as I padded out of the kitchen and into the bathroom. I looked in the mirror again as I put my hand to my forehead. Still warm. I noticed. I sighed; it had started around lunch time. Two-bit and Steve had come to pick me up, and as soon as I got into the car, I started to feel light headed and my vision started to blur. I don't know what happed after that. When I woke up Two-bit and Steve were looking down at me with frightened expressions both plastered on their faces. When Two-bit said he was going to call Darry. I panicked and begged him and Steve not to tell Darry or Soda, I told them it was just the heat.

I didn't want Darry to know because he had an important day at work, mainly him and his coworker's where presenting the house they had been working on to the lady who was going to buy it. Plus I didn't want him and Soda to worry; they had enough to worry about…

A shower will help I decided. I turned on the shower and undressed. I stepped in and just let the shower run. I just stood under it. But I had to wash my hair so I did it anyway.

After about thirty minutes I got out and wrapped a towel around my waist. When I emerged from the bathroom, I saw Soda eating dinner at the table, looking bored.

I smiled and then went into our room. I put on a fresh white t-shirt and fished around in a pile of clothes for my track pants. I came out of the room a few minutes later, and as I was walking down the hall, another wave of dizziness hit me. I stopped and leaned heavily against the wall. I sighed again and put my hand to my forehead, it was warmer.

Great….just great. I tried to look normal as I walked out into the living room, of course Soda would be to busy eating to notice. I slumped onto the couch, as some random commercial came on, I leaned my head back against the couch trying to will the waves of dizziness away.

I heard Soda say something but it sounded far away. Don't black out I told myself, don't black out, and in the back of my head I heard a tiny voice say; too late.

Sodapop's POV

I was just sitting down to eat dinner when I heard the shower turn off. I was mad at our microwave, it took to long to heat up food, and when you took it out it was still cold. So I stared at the stove bored out of my mind as I finished off my potatoes.

I heard Ponyboy come into the living room and sit down, but I didn't really acknowledge it. When I finished my dinner I put the plate in the sink and walked over to the living room "Hey, Ponyboy - I stopped in the doorway. He was slumped on the couch, head leaning back, and his eyes closed. I chuckled; he must be tired. I fell onto the couch next to him, causing the couch to move.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw something fall over to the side. I looked over.

"Ponyboy!" I screamed sitting up and bringing him into my arms. I went into full out panic mode when I felt that he was limp, I quickly brought my hand to his forehead.

It was burning up. "Oh god!" I yelled jumping up with Pony in my arms and ran to the bathroom. I set him gently on the floor, and then turned the sink onto full blast. I frantically looked around the bathroom for a wash cloth, when I heard the front door slam.

"Hey I'm-'' "Darry come here!"I yelled cutting him off. I heard him walk over to the bathroom as I knocked some things down in the process of looking for the washcloth. "Hey Soda- Oh my god!" He shouted when he saw Pony.

"Feel his forehead!" I commanded when he kneeled down beside him. I finally found the wash cloth and threw it in the cold water in the sink. "Jesus, Soda he's burning up!" He yelled starting to take off Pony's shirt. "I know that already!" I snapped, kneeling down beside him and running the wet cloth down Pony's sweaty neck, trying to cool him off.

"Look for more, and bring me a bucket." I commanded, noticing fear in my voice. Darry put a hand on my shoulder. "It's going to be okay, little buddy. Don't you worry." He said trying to comfort me. I sighed and tried to calm down, when he left. "How did this happen anyway?" Darry yelled from somewhere in the house. "I don't know. When I came home from work he seemed fine." Then something dawned on me. "That little brat…" I muttered under my breath. He hid it! From me, his own brother!

I couldn't believe it and I couldn't say I wasn't a little hurt, but my main focus right now was bringing down his temperature. "He took a shower when I was eating, and I heard him come sit down in the living room." Darry came in with the bucket I asked for and three more washcloths. "And when I came in he looked like he was asleep, so I sat on the couch next to him. I wasn't really watching him, but out of the corner of my eye I saw him fall over, and here we are now." I explained as Darry filled up the bucket, and I dipped another washcloth in.

I draped it across Pony's chest, and ran the other one down his neck again. Darry knelt down next to me for the third time that night, and first put his hand on my forehead and then his other on Pony's. "He's getting worse Soda." He whispered fearfully.

I looked at my brother, really acknowledging the situation, and then realized that I was afraid too. "Let's get him to bed." I said trying to stay calm. I gently slipped my hands under Ponyboy's body and slowly lifted him up. He was heavier than I expected and I almost dropped him. "Careful Soda!" Darry yelled rushing to my side. "I got him, don't worry." I murmured hoisting him up again. Darry hesitated but then went to hold the door open as I carefully maneuvered Ponyboy through.

When we got to the room Ponyboy and I shared, I laid him on the bed as if he were made of glass. He moaned, starting to toss and turn.

"Can you bring the bucket in?" I asked Darry who was on the other side of the bed looking uncomfortable. He nodded and walked out the room. I sighed. "Oh, Ponyboy what are we going to do with you…." I whispered wiping down his forehead again. He moaned again, but this time he turned toward me. "S-soda…." He asked weakly, his eyes opening the slightest fraction. I was so overjoyed I could have wet my pants at that moment. "Yes Pony, I'm here." I whispered brushing his wet hair out of his eyes. "Darry come quick, he's awake!" I shouted.

Ponyboy's POV

All I knew was that I was unbearably warm and it was bothering me. So at that particular moment my brain decided it was time to wake up. But boy was it a shock for me to see Soda's scared, bewildered face staring down at me. I opened my mouth once but no words came out, and when I tried again it worked. "S-soda…."I asked.

My voice sounded hoarse and weak. He brushed some hair out my face lovingly. He said something like 'Yes, I'm here' or something, but I was too confused to figure it out. Everything was hazy and swirling, and then he started shouting about something.

I winced; it sounded amplified and was almost unbearable to listen too. I could feel myself slipping back into unconscious, I really tried to stay awake, but I was too weak, and slipped back down into the dark again.

Sodapop's POV

I heard Darry's footsteps running toward the bedroom, and I yelled encouraging him again to hurry. However when I looked back down my heart shattered. Ponyboy had fallen unconscious again. I quickly slipped my hand under his forehead again, and was discouraged to find it still hot.

Darry came running around the corner, looking overjoyed. But he stopped when he saw my face. "He fell unconscious again." I whispered, feeling tears well up in my eyes. I angrily wiped them away with the back of my hand. I slipped my hand into Pony's limp, unresponsive one and got some comfort knowing he still had a pulse. Darry came over to me and sat on the bed behind me. I sniffled. "It's not fair!" I murmured tightening my hold on Pony's hand. Darry put a hand on my shoulder, trying to comfort me, and I lost it.

I practically threw myself on him, wrapping my arms around his torso as I sobbed into his chest. He returned the hug immediately crushing my too him so hard it was hard to breathe. I clutched his shirt balling it in my fingers-"It's not fair!" I sobbed.

He stroked my hair just like mom used to do-"I know little buddy, I know." He whispered. I could feel him shaking underneath me. He let me sob into him, as much as I needed to, but then pushed me gently back when the phone rang. I sniffled, wiping my eyes, when all of a sudden Ponyboy shuddered tossing around again. I put the wash cloth back on his forehead, and bent down and put my hand into the bucket that Darry had brought in.

I pulled out another washcloth and wiped it gently down Pony's arms and chest. He whimpered, shying away from the cold touch. I chuckled lightly and kept wiping him down. "No….Johnny don't go…."he whispered. I froze. We rarely ever talked about Johnny and Dally, just because it upset him that much, and he was still recovering.

Pony moaned again and started to shake. I snapped back into reality and tucked the sheet closer around his shaking form. I frown, very worried for my little brother. He was still shaking when I heard Darry hang up the phone and walk over to the room. "Who was it?" I asked not looking up from Pony when he came into the room.

"Just some damn salesman- he sighed- don't they know that I don't want girly shampoo?" He huffed looking frustrated. That made me smile, as I tried to picture Darry using girly shampoo. "How is he?" he asked sitting on the other side of Ponyboy, and brought his hand up to Pony's forehead.

"Not good." I answered wringing out another washcloth from the bucket. Darry frowned, and then he got up and walked over to the window.

I was about to ask what he was doing; when he threw the window open. Now mind you, it doesn't get very cold in Tulsa, but tonight was an exception; it was freezing! "Too bring his fever down." He answered when he saw my glare. I sighed and handed a washcloth to him so he could get Pony's stomach. We sat like that for god knows how long, wiping him down and whenever we could trying to wake him up. But he wouldn't stir, only toss around and ask for Darry and me.

Around 10:00 Darry started to dose off, and I let him, so I could be alone with my thoughts. I stared down at Ponyboy's face; the moonlight cast a gleam over him, making him look almost transparent. I ran my eyes over the sweat coating him. It almost made me want to cry again, seeing my little brother so sick.

Suddenly I heard a bang outside, and I froze my head snapping up to look at the half closed door of our room. Darry awoke with a start, looking over at me once and then getting up from his spot next to Pony. I nodded at him as he grabbed my old baseball bat and started toward the door. I gripped Pony's hand tightly and he moaned. I leaned down and whispered quietly to him to keep him silent. Darry slowly pulled open the door and very cautiously poked his head out, and then I heard it. Loud and cheerful.

"HELLLO CURTTISS BROTHERS!" and I groaned hanging my head. I knew who it was…..