Title: Kryptonite

Summary: Darry feels like he's going crazy and wonders if he will still be called Superman by his 'Lois Lane'. Songfic to Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down.

(um, this was originally going to be slightly different, like with Pony instead of Steve, but I altered it in my mind because Pony seems like a better Kryptonite.)

VHVHVHVHVHVH

"They're thinking about putting me and Soda in a boys' home? No way! They ain't putting me in no boys' home!" I heard Pony exclaim as I came down the hall dressed and ready for the day.

I heard Steve's laugh and felt my heart skip a beat. "Don't worry, Ponyboy, they don't do that to heroes. Hey, where is Soda and Super-Dope anyhow?"

I came up behind him and wrapped my arms around him and spun him around a bit before dropping him and messing up his curls. Soda opened the bathroom door.

"Hey, Darry, you seen my DX shirt?" He asked, still wrapping the towel around his waist.

"In my closet, I ironed." I answered, Steve glanced at me and smiled, because he knew the reason I had to iron. After all it was slightly his fault, but if you really think about it, mostly it was mine.

VHVHVHVHVHVH

"...Look, I didn't mean too." Pony yelled.

I glared, "'I didn't mean too', 'I forgot', that's all I ever hear from you."

"Come on, Darry..." Soda said trying to calm me down.

I whirled to face him. He looked a little scared but more aloof like always. "YOU SHUT UP! I'M SICK AND TIRED OF HEARING YOU STICK UP FOR HIM! YOU HEAR ME?"

I saw Pony jump at me out of the corner of my eye. "Don't you yell at him!"

The next thing I heard was the distinct smack of skin hitting skin. Pony was looking at me holding his cheek. I saw my hand raised and turning red. "Pony, I didn't mean to."

Pony gazed at me a moment longer and I saw a thought solidify in his eyes, then he turned and ran out the door. I called after him desperately but he was already gone.

I turned back to Soda, guilt already layering my mind and actions. He gazed at me.

"Did you just hit him?" He asked softly. I was trying to piece it together in my mind. I slowly nodded.

"Shit! Soda, I just hit him! Soda, what if he never comes back! Oh, why did I do that?" I mumbled, Soda led me back into the living room and pushed me towards the chair I had been occupying before Pony came home.

"Darry, we will wait up for him until he comes back." Soda said with a quiet determination like there was no doubt that Pony would come back.

"Soda, I'll wait up for him, it's my fault anyhow. You work early in the morning so you go get some sleep." I tried not to be to harsh but judging from the look Soda gave me it came out harsh. "Please." I added in hope to alleviate the harshness.

He nodded and patted my shoulder before standing and stretching and going to his room. I heard the springs of the bed shift and then I heard soft snoring through the walls.

I put my face in my hands, and groaned internally. I heard footsteps on the porch and quick jumped up and was at the door in a heartbeat. I opened the door expecting Pony.

"Pony! I... Steve?" I was surprised. He was black and blue worse than Johnny ever had been. He didn't look to steady on his feet either.

"Hey Superman, can I crash here tonight?" He said quietly, he started swaying forward. I caught his arm and wrapped my arm around his waist.

"You work tomorrow?" I asked quietly as I led Steve to my room.

"No," came the muttered reply.

I sent a silent thanks to whomever controlled the fates of my friends and a silent prayer to those that controlled the fates of my brothers.

I helped Steve lay down. I figure my bed was as good as any because I would be up until Pony got home.

"Thanks Superman." Steve whispered before closing his eyes and drifting to sleep. I felt the irony, just as things got to rock bottom between my brothers and I, I finally get Steve in my bed.

I walked back to the living room and sat down. I waited for Pony to come home. The house was quiet, in the distance I heard a train. I checked the time, quarter after three, Pony had been gone for over an hour.

VHVHVHVHVHVHVH

I was still awake when it was time for Soda to get ready for work.

I got up and went to wake him up. I got him out the door and took the opportunity to get Steve up. I went into my room and almost groaned in excitement. He was sprawled on the bed and jumped awake as I stepped in the door.

"Morning Superman." He muttered before rolling over. Then he rolled back over. "Why am I in your bed?"

I moved toward the dresser to grab some clothes, and to hide a certain problem I had acquired since walking in. "You came in shortly after two this morning. You needed a place to lay over, and I was waiting up for Pony and didn't want to keep you up too."

I turned back to him. He frowned slightly, almost imperceptible, but nodded. "Do you mind if I go back to sleep a little longer?"

"Do you work today?" I responded, he had said he didn't earlier but I just wanted to double check. He shook his head. "Then go ahead."

He rolled over and I left the room. I headed to the bathroom and got in the shower. I let the water run over me for a moment before thoughts of Steve being in my bed sent my hand to my cock. I gently rubbed it, trying to avoid picturing it as Steve's hand, but that was all I could think of it as. I leaned against the shower wall and imagined Steve tugging and pulling me, gradually my pace quickened and I felt myself approaching climax.

I heard a knock at the door before it opened, I immediately released my grip. "Darry, I'm just going to pee." I heard Steve's voice through the curtain. It sent a jolt to my stomach reminding me that I had a problem I absolutely needed to take care of.

"Okay, what ever." I managed to get out, without sounding like there was anything wrong.

"So I know Soda had to work, but where's Pony?" He asked.

My problem deflated immediately. The warmth that was pooling in my belly for climax dissipated. I dropped to the floor of the shower and sat with my knees pulled up to my chest. "Steve, I hit Ponyboy. I don't even recall carrying out the motion, all I know is one moment I was yelling at Soda, then Pony yelled at me and then I was facing Pony with my hand raised and he had a hand to his cheek where I hit him. Then he ran. He ran away and I don't know if he'll ever come back. Oh glory, Steve, I think I'm going crazy." My voice broke multiple times, then I let out a slight laugh. "If I go crazy, will you still call me Superman?"

I let the water run over me as I sat. I listened for Steve's reply but didn't hear it. I put my head down on my knees. I heard the water shut off. I felt Steve's hands on my shoulder's. I slowly looked up.

He smiled at me through his black eyes. "You might be a little crazy, but hey, we all are. A little crazy is good for you." He leaned forward and brushed his lips against mine. I resisted the urge to pull him against me roughly, but only just barely. "And yes, I will still call you Superman. You show immense strength all the time, it's okay if you show your weakness once in a while."

I smiled at him, "Thanks Steve." I paused and smirked, "Or should I say Lois Lane."

He blushed at bit and shrugged, "I'm okay with that." He leaned forward again and this time I did pull him to me. Well as to me as possible while I was seated in the tub and trying to not further injure him. He met my lips before pushing away. "I'll make you some breakfast, get dressed."

He left the bathroom pulling the door shut behind him. I heard him making noise in the kitchen and pulled myself up I dried off and got dressed. I heard the front door open and heard voices. I quickly left the bathroom, hoping Pony had finally come home.

I stepped into the kitchen. Dallas was facing Steve as Steve made eggs. "... I ain't going to be the one to tell Darry. I don't want my head beat in."

Steve turned and flipped the eggs on a plate then faced Dally. "So, you want somebody else to get their head beat in?"

"Well, yeah. Better anybody else than me. Besides I figured if you told him, he would less likely beat your head in because Soda will protect you." Dally said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. I ignored Steve's smirk.

"And why are people getting their heads beat in?" I asked tiredly. Pony was going to send me to the loony bin yet if he didn't come home soon. I couldn't even begin to think about what could have happened to him.

"Ask Steve." Dally said before turning and leaving. I heard the door slam and shuddered against the offensive noise.

I faced Steve and gave him an expectant look. He sighed. "Sit, please." I complied, "Dally knows that Pony is missing. He wouldn't say how he knew just that he knew. Johnny's missing as well."

I wanted to scream and flail and act like a child who couldn't get the answers they wanted. Mostly I wanted my parents alive, so Pony and I would still be brothers and not just two people who don't get each other anymore. It tore me up inside that Pony was gone because of me. And now Johnny was too.

"That's just fantastic." I growled.

"We'll get them back," Steve said, he came over, stepping behind me and started massaging my shoulders. He didn't go easy like Soda did, he went for the knots right away.

I groaned, "Oh glory, Steve." I leaned back in the chair. Steve continued massaging my shoulders. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the feel of his hands. He started getting some of the knots in front.

"Hiya! Anybody home!" Two-Bits voice called out. Steve pulled his hands back a bit, I realized if they had traveled an inch or two farther they would have been level with my nipples.

"In here, Two-Bit. Just giving Superman a shoulder rub." Steve yelled back. Two-Bit sauntered in and grabbed a beer out of the fridge.

"You pull something, Dar?" Two-Bit asked amicably.

"Nah, just stiff. I was in my chair all night waiting for Pony to come home." I muttered, letting my eyes close.

"Oh, so where is Pony?" Two-Bit asked. I felt myself tearing up again.

"I hit him... And... And he ran away." I managed.

"Calm down, Superman. You tensing up like that is gonna mess up your massage." Steve said.

"Yeah, Darry. Chill. Here have a beer." Two-Bit said, I grimaced. Two-Bit laughed, "Guess not."

I opened my eyes and glared at him. "You think?"

He laughed and moved behind Steve slapping him on the back. That sent Steve bumping into my back. I felt him poke me in the back. "Jerk!" Steve grumbled.

Two-Bit laughed again and moved into the living room, soon we heard the familiar sounds of Mickey Mouse. I mumbled to Steve, "So, was that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me."

I felt him lean down and felt his breath on my ear. "I've been this happy all morning. Why? You want to help me with it?"

"I would love too." I muttered. "But not with Two-Bit in the house."

"Maybe later." He whispered. He pushed away and I groaned a bit as he pulled his hands away. "Here I made muffins as well."

He set the pan on the table.

VHVHVHVHVHVHVH

Steve stayed at the house for the rest of the day, as did Two-Bit. I had Steve let me examine him then had him ice some of the worse looking spots.

VHVHVHVHVHVHVHVH

I didn't sleep. I couldn't. I left the living room for work or to use the restroom, and if I heard the front door open I would rush into the living room hoping it was Ponyboy. That was the second day he was gone. It was the evening now.

I sat on the couch in the living room. I was listening to Soda rag on Steve while Two-Bit and Dally were arguing about something.

Suddenly I heard something. Faintly, I heard Ponyboy's voice, as if he was citing something or reading something out loud. His voice became clearer and more distinct. He was talking about southern gentlemen or something.

"Do you guys hear that?" I questioned, only receiving blank stares in response.

"It's only the wind, Dar. Maybe you should get some sleep." Soda said quietly, almost cautiously. "We should all be getting some sleep."

I nodded. Dally and Two-Bit laughed and called us party poopers causing Steve to laugh as well. Soda nodded and said good-bye to the three boys before going to his room. Dally and Two-Bit left. I put my head in my hands and went back to thinking and listening for Pony's voice again.

"Hey, Superman. Wanna talk about it?" Steve asked.

I jumped, I had thought he left. "I'm going crazy. I just heard Ponyboy's voice as if he were reading something out loud."

Steve put his hand on my shoulder. "You miss him. You aren't going crazy, you're just wishing he was here reading something out loud. Your mind is filling in the absence of Pony."

I heard it again, he was talking about being gallant. "I wish that was all it was."

"He will come back, Darry." Steve said reassuringly.

I felt my throat close up a bit. "Steve, what if he doesn't? What if we lost him for forever..." I bit my lip and continued even quieter, "Like our parents?"

I was struggling to not cry. I felt Steve sit next to me and put his arms around my shoulders. He pulled my head to his shoulder and said softly. "Superman, you didn't lose him and he will come back. He's like your Kryptonite, your one weakness. He makes you go crazy and drives you insane, but he also keeps you strong and helps you survive. You don't even see how much the kid looks up to you, he wants to be strong and do what's right by you. He won't stay away for long because he will want to know he's doing right by you."

I smiled a little and pulled away. "Yea, I guess you're right, Steve." I kissed his lips softly. "You stayin' here tonight?"

"Might as well, see you in the mornin'." I nodded and went to bed.

VHVHVHVHVHVHVH

In the days that followed, the pattern was the same: little sleep, work, eat a little, wait for Pony to come home. It was interspersed with Pony's voice reading from something, a book I decided after hearing him on the fourth day he was gone.

Steve came over that day while Soda was out with Two-Bit and would be gone for hours. I was working on folding the laundry in my bedroom so it was all tossed on my bed. Steve came up behind me and tackled me on to the bed with the element of surprise as his weapon. Once he had me down he started tickling me.

"Steve, lemme up. Come on, Steve, you're messing up the laundry." I complained a little.

"Superman, you talk to much." Steve said before kissing me, I grabbed his wrists and kissed him back deeply.

We kissed for what seemed like hours, until we both needed air and then we continued kissing.

He pulled away and moved for my neck.

VHVHVHVHVHVHVH

We made out intensely for a few hours after which he helped me with the laundry before Soda and Two-Bit came back. We had to iron most of the clothes, but at least we didn't have to rewash them.

Two-Bit and Soda came back shortly after Steve and I had finished the laundry and settled in the living room looking for something to watch on TV to get my mind off of Ponyboy. Two-Bit and Steve left to get Evie and Kathy and go out, Soda opted to stay with me.

I got up to go to the bathroom and as I was coming back and passing the phone it rang.

I picked it up. "Hello?"

"Hello, is this the Curtis residence?" A woman with an annoying nasally voice was on the other end.

"Yeah."

"This is Nancy calling from the Tulsa Medical Center emergency room. May I speak with the parents or legal guardian of Ponyboy Curtis please." I froze, the ER, Pony was in the ER.

"This is he." I said shakily. What if we had lost him, what if he was gone like mom and dad?

"Ponyboy Curtis was ambulanced in to town along with two others, he is being looked over currently and will only be released from the hospital into the care of a responsible guardian." I gritted my teeth.

"Can I come get him?" I asked.

"Yes. That is why I'm calling, the hospital..." I heard no more, and hung up the phone.

"Soda! Come on, we are going to get our brother back." I yelled heading towards the door.

I heard the clink of keys as Soda stepped up behind me. He passed them to me before I went around the truck and got in. He didn't say a word as I drove to the hospital, I think he knew I was trying to keep calm.

As we got to the hospital, I broke the silence. "I'm not sure if they'll actually let us see him. We'll have to go to the emergency room part of the hospital."

I saw him nod. As we got out of the truck, he led the way into the hospital. I was suddenly struck by the thought what if he hates me? What if he won't come home because of me? We rounded a corner and suddenly Soda gasped.

"Ponyboy."

He was sitting next to a heavier set man talking to him. He looked up when Soda said his name then he got up and ran over enveloping Soda in a hug. His skin was dirty and dark, his hair was blonde and he looked like he had grown up in the short time he was gone.

I had lost him. I mumbled his name to try and get him to come back. He looked up from Soda's arms.

Suddenly, he was in my arms, taking the words out of my mouth as he apologized because he didn't mean it and he hoped I could forgive him. I told him it was okay, and held him tight. Soon, there was press there asking questions and bothering us and such. We answered the questions as best we could and they snapped pictures and continued on til they had enough information to put a decent enough story together.

VHVHVHVHVHVHVHVH

After a while, we finally were able to go home. Soda tried waking Pony up, but couldn't so I just carried him inside. It scared me how light he actually was.

VHVHVHVHVHVHVHVH

"Hey Darry, you seen my DX shirt?" Soda asked, still wrapping the towel around his waist.

"In my closet, I ironed." I answered, Steve glanced at me and smiled, because he knew the reason I had to iron. After all it was slightly his fault, but if you really think about it, mostly it was mine.

(Well, that's different... I swear I had a path I was following for this story and it deviated... But I kinda like this better, maybe. Anyway, enjoy, stay cool by both definitions and review please. -Luvs Cassy.)