And I'm presenting... the very last chapter. It was fun, guys. It was. :( But, this is my very first completed fic that isn't a oneshot! That's good, at least.
I really enjoyed writing this. I hope you all enjoyed reading it just as much.
As this is the last chapter, there is two quotes. I think it's only fitting that I start the fic with the start of a song and end with the end...
If you liked this fic, check out my other Outsiders fics! :)
And, since I've forgotten, I don't own The Outsiders, "Nothing Gold Can Stay", or "Fire and Ice". The first is by S.E. Hinton, and the second and third are by Robert Frost.
Also, thank you to anyone that has reviewed, faved, or followed. You guys are great, your reviews make me so happy. :)
"You can box it in
Bury it in the ground
You can close it off and turn it away
Try to keep it down, six feet in the ground
But love don't die..."
-from "Love Don't Die" by The Fray
"...When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It's where my demons hide
It's where my demons hide
Don't get too close
It's dark inside
It's where my demons hide
It's where my demons hide."
-from "Demons" by Imagine Dragons
The funeral was on a cloudy, chilly day that matched Dallas's personality. Rain-filled gray clouds drifted slowly above Tulsa. Everyone was freezing in their suits and dresses.
At Dally's wishes, he was buried clutching his heater. His body was lying on top of Johnny's jean jacket. The coffin he lay in was open. His white-blond hair was combed down, but even in death, it stuck up. His face was angry, and he looked like at any second, he might jump out of the coffin and start shooting people with the heater he held. He wore street clothes: his leather jacket, sneakers, jeans, and a T-shirt. He looked so normal it was scary.
"Hello," said a girl's voice. "My name is Cherry Valance, and a while ago, Dallas Winston raped me." Cherry had her red hair loose, just like Dally used to like. She was wearing a knee-length black dress. Dally would've gotten so turned on by her, Steve thought sadly. "This grave right next to the one Dallas will be buried in is Johnny Cade's grave. That was his best friend, and the reason he raped me. Johnny had just died, and he was practically going crazy because of it. He found me on the streets and took his anger out on me." Cherry paced in front of Dally's grave, head held high like the Soc she was. But she was sure showing emotion.
"Dallas was allowed to live for the time being, and he started getting more and more depressed," Cherry said. "I can't say that's not the fault of my friends. There were some awful things done to him, right on this ground where I'm standing." And she stood right on the spot where Dally had been raped. It hadn't even gotten cleaned. That, all the hoods and JDs there admired. A Soc literally just stepped into a sludge-pit of residue from Dally's rape. And not by accident, on purpose. That was different.
"My friends, well, one of them, raped him right here. They told him not to tell anyone that would tell the police, or he was dead. He agreed," Cherry said. "For a bit, we were in the same boat. I was still torn up about him raping me. He was torn up about getting raped, too. But I was angry. His rape just made him even sadder."
A haunting image of Dally crying in the Curtis family living room after he explained the rape to his friends floated into Darry's mind.
"I don't know much about how his life was until the rumble between us Socials and the greasers. I just know he was very sad," Cherry told the crowd. Her speech wasn't supposed to be a tearjerker, or a remembrance speech. It was stating facts. "I was driving past Quinten Park the night of the rumble, to see how the fight was going, and I saw him go down." Cherry licked her wind-chapped lips. "If he was alive now, I'd just want to tell him that I forgive him. It was his fault, but he was beating himself up about that. I really do miss him."
With that, Cherry walked back into the crowd, accompanied by polite applause.
It had been debated heatedly in the gang about who would say the remembrance speech. There had been a few arm-wrestles, a few serious discussions, and a few screaming matches. No one could decide who was closest to Dally. Was it Ponyboy, because they both knew what 'stay gold' meant? Was it Darry, because they had gotten closer when they had to share a bedroom? Was it Two-Bit, because they were closest in age? Was it Sodapop, because he was just so nice to everyone? Was it Steve, because, according to him, he once caught Dally getting a hard-on for Cherry?
It was to the displeasure of all the greasers that they'd share the funeral speech. It was very unorthodox, and not pre-written. But Darry said it was the best compromise. They'd go in age order, youngest to oldest.
The five greasers walked up next to Dallas's maple-wood coffin. Ponyboy timidly cleared his throat. Next to him, Soda put an arm around his shoulder for moral support.
"Hi," Ponyboy said shyly, eyes lowered, looking at Dally. "I'm Ponyboy Curtis, and I'm one of Dallas's friends. I'm going to be reading aloud a poem. It was written by Robert Frost. He also wrote "Nothing Gold Can Stay", which is a poem that I read to Dally once." Ponyboy pulled a sheet of paper out of his suit pocket and began to read:
"'Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate to say that for destruction, ice is also great, and would suffice'." Ponyboy finally gained the courage to look up.
"Dallas's world ended in both ice and fire," he said quietly.
Sodapop ruffled the youngest greaser's hair. "I'm Sodapop Curtis. Again, one of Dal's good friends. I'm here to say, he wasn't all shootings and swearing." Soda tried for a smile, but the corners of his mouth twitched like he might cry. "He was a really good friend, though I bet none of you knew that." He pointed at the reporters. "He was rowdy, and he loved breaking the law. But he was loyal, and he was like a big brother to Johnny. That was a side you didn't see a lot. He could be a great person."
If Dally knew that I was saying that, Soda thought, he'd hit me over the head and tell me never to call him nice again. He tried not to let the tears gathering in his eyes overflow.
"My name's Steve Randle," said Steve. It was obvious he was crying from the way his voice was strained. "I ain't here to tell you Dally was a saint, or that he was a devil. I'm here to say... he was a human. I know some of you out there are thinking of him as a rapist and a murderer, but he really was a lot more than that.
He had some serious problems with his temper. He got drunk a lot. He was in a gang- remember the Heaters, in New York? They disbanded a few months ago, last I heard, but he used to lead them. He did have feelings, though, and I bet he'd get real angry, if he was alive and saw all those articles in the paper saying he's trash." Steve wiped his eyes. One of his tears dripped onto Dallas's pale face and rolled into his hair.
"I have to warn you, I wrote this when I was real crocked, so it might be-" Two-Bit started, but Darry elbowed him. Two-Bit smiled slightly, and took a piece of crumpled paper out of his pocket. He smoothed it out and squinted at it, trying to make out words in the mess of chicken scratch. "Oh, yeah. My name's Kieth Matthews. Everyone calls me Two-Bit, though. And I'm gonna tell you all a story about Dal." Two-Bit paused. He looked down at his paper.
"Okay, this was a year or so ago. Dal already served time for this, so it won't get him in-" Two-Bit realized he was talking about Dally like he was still alive, and he gritted his teeth. "And, uh, he's gone, so he ain't gonna get in the cooler." His hands shook. "Well, me and him were at a party. And we were kinda drunk. We were walkin' around, looking for some hot broads. Me and him both got some, and we were getting ready to leave. Then we saw this one broad. She was getting shoved up against a wall, and she was screaming and crying. There was this real muscular guy raping her.
I figured Dal wouldn't lift an eyebrow, 'cause he's had a few rape charges. But he looked over at me and I swear to God, he looked like he was going to puke. He told me, 'I'm gonna go get that sonofabitch off that broad'. And he walks right up to the guy and punches him in the face. They get in a huge fight, you know, and I'm hustlin' the girl out of the building. Me and him were just punching the hell out of that guy.
We ran off and went to my house to clean up. Dallas was bleeding so bad out of his arm that I thought he was going to die right there and then. I asked him why he was so mad about that girl getting raped. He said, 'It was 'cause I realized that musta been how I looked when I was rapin' broads in NY'. He was actually really torn up about it. Both of us got arrested and put in the cooler for awhile, on assault charges. He said he didn't care, that he deserved it.
I remembered this story at Johnny's funeral, when Dal was telling a story about Johnny. After a bit of seein' him depressed, I knew that I'd be telling it at his funeral soon," Two-Bit finished.
Finally, it was Darry's turn. He had just stood there numbly, tears sliding down his face as he heard his gang's speeches. He startled when Two-Bit said, "Dar, it's your turn." He stood up straighter and coughed, trying to take the lump out of his throat.
"My name's Darrel Curtis. I have to admit, I didn't know Dallas as well as the rest of the gang. That is, until he moved in with us for a bit, and had to share a room with me," Darry said. He was trying to stay calm and composed, but he just looked sad and somber. "All he wanted to do was get delivered to the chair, when he first moved in. He hated human company. Since we're a lower class family, me and him had to sleep in the same bed.
He would get onto the bed, right on the edge, because he didn't want to touch me. I don't know if he was afraid, or angry, or sad. But he just didn't want to be near me. He even fell off the bed a couple of times," Darry said. He remembered Dallas falling off the edge of the bed and swearing, and smiled through his tears. "My point is, he didn't like people. Except us -even us, he didn't like sometimes- and Johnny. Especially Johnny.
I'd see them walking down the sidewalk together to our house a lot. Dally'd be smoking, like he always was, and talking to Johnny about jumping someone in New York or something. Johnny'd be staring up at him, wide-eyed. He really admired Dal a lot, and even though he couldn't imagine jumping someone himself, Dallas was his hero. He wanted to be just like him. And every time I saw him and Johnny, I knew that if anything ever happened to Johnny, he'd fall apart.
And he sure did fall apart. But I think I can speak for all of us-" -Darry motioned at the rest of his gang- "-when I say that we aren't going to remember him like that. We'll remember him playing football in the vacant lot with us, trying to pick up broads at the drive-ins, bragging to Johnny about his old gang. He was so strong, he'd built up his walls high up to heaven. Johnny was his chink in the armor, and when he died, Dally's walls went down."
Ponyboy was sobbing, and Soda was clutching onto him, his face contorted in an effort to hide his tears. Dally's dead faced glared up at the sky eternally.
"We miss you, Dally," whispered Pony through his tears. No one else knew what to say, so the five greasers walked back into the masses and watched as their friend was lowered into the ground.
"What is hell like, Soda?" asked Ponyboy as he scribbled in his battered blue notebook. It was a typical day in the Curtis house- the gang was sprawled out in the living room, watching TV.
"Hell?" asked Soda. "God, I don't know. Lots of fire. Screaming. Why, are you planning on figuring out?" It was meant to be a joke, but Soda's tone was too worried. Ponyboy had been spending a lot of time alone in his and Soda's room, writing. He didn't want his little brother to end up like Dally...
"I'm writing a theme, for class," Ponyboy said. "It's about everything that's happened to us- from when I got jumped by the movie house to now. I'm having some trouble writing about Dal."
The rest of the greasers could ignore him no longer. Ponyboy was subject to the piercing stares of Soda, Two-Bit, Darry, and Steve.
"Do you think Dallas went to hell?" asked Ponyboy. "That's what's confusing me." A red-eyed Darry got up from his spot on the floor and stalked angrily toward Ponyboy.
"Ponyboy Michael Curtis," Darry said furiously, crouching down to his brother's height. "Don't you ever say that again." Poor Ponyboy looked like he was going to cry; he hated being shouted at.
"I'm sorry," Pony said, shrinking into the couch. "I was just wondering."
"Funny," Two-Bit said, just as angry as Darrel. "I was just wondering how you'd looked with your head caved in." Ponyboy turned pale and left the room.
"Two-Bit, you didn't need to say that," Soda said. "The kid's still a bit religious. He was taught in church that suicides went to Hell, and so did murderers and rapists. It's only natural for him to think that Dally went to hell."
That night, Darry found Pony's notebook and flipped to the last page. He called the rest of the gang into the room and they all read it...
Surely Johnnycake was in heaven. Heaven would be all white-colored, like the inside of a pleasant summertime cloud. Everything would shine and sparkle, and it'd all be made of pure gold. I think he'd really like heaven, but he'd miss Dallas.
Dally would be too bad for heaven. He'd go to hell for sure. It's not that he wasn't a good person, but he did too many terrible things to deserve heaven. Hell would be all on fire, like the inside of that old church when me and Johnny were rescuing those kids. Dally'd be chained up in the inside of a fiery jail cell, and he'd be screaming and yelling for his Johnnycake.
But he wouldn't be alone. Hell would be full of people like him. Legions of boys who nearly went down under streetlights. A plethora of suicides, thousands of gang leaders. An infinite amount of boys who'd lost everything they loved. So many people screaming for their loved ones in heaven. A million greasers who went down shooting, and, like Tim Shepard would say, 'calling the shots'.
Hellfire would melt Dally's ice, and all that there would be left was his heart of gold.
Now that it's all over, I have a few questions for you all.
* What was your favorite chapter?
* What was your favorite flashback?
Thanks for reading. Expect more Outsiders stuff from me! :)