Thanks for reading and enjoy! :)

Because some people are asking why, in the Outsiders fandom, I write about rape a lot...

Oh yikes. I was gone for a week and everyone's calling me a perv. Back in that time period unfortunately, rape happened (according to what I've researched) a lot.

Also, I'm not having fun writing it at all- literally, as I type, my stomach is curdling. I write about that because I want to open people's eyes I about it, I guess. For example, I'm writing another fanfic in which the main character is a drug addict. This definitely doesn't mean I think everyone should do drugs. In fact, I've never done drugs in my life, and I think it's horrible people would get addicted to them. I think rape is unspeakably terrible. I often write about things that trouble me or I am against a lot.

I hope that clears it up, sorry if you thought I was some pervert, I feel awful thinking that people are wondering that.


"Yesterday was the tornado warning, today is like the morning after
Your world is torn in half-
You wake and let's wait to start the morning process
Rebuilding and you're still a work in progress..."

-from "Beautiful Pain" by Eminem

He woke at sunrise, but it wasn't the sun that woke him. It was the sound of a train making its way down the tracks. Dally groggily rolled over, and saw the train. "Jesus Christ!" he yelped, getting to his feet. Fortunately, it wasn't near him. Dally let out a sigh of relief, and started in the general direction of downtown. He wanted to take his mind off of what happened.

Shit, what had happened...

Dally wiped the remains of tears off his face as he walked. If anyone saw that he'd been crying, he'd never hear the end of it. He rubbed his eyes. Goddamn, what had he done last night? There was blood on his coat. And it wasn't his, either. Dally muttered profanities under his breath and knocked on the door of the Shepard house.

A very pissed Tim Shepard answered the door. "You better have a good reason for bein' here," Tim said angrily. "My mom just caught my dad cheating."

"We can talk out here," Dally said, hearing the shouting from the house. Tim rolled his eyes and plodded down the steps.

"Fine, Winston. What do you want?" Tim asked.

"Ta join ya'll," said Dally, holding his gaze. The other boy's eyes widened. Join them? Sure, Tim had proposed that idea a lot, because Dallas was so tough, but Dally always declined fiercely.

"I have a feelin' there a long story with this," Tim said, seeing the dejected, frustrated look in his friend's eyes. "Let's sit down here." Dally collapsed on the porch steps and fought the temptation to bury his head in his arms and scream. "Okay, Dal. Tell me what happened, 'cause I know you didn't run out of Buck's carrying a little boy for nothing."

"He ain't just any little boy, asshole," Dally snapped. "He's my friend. Johnny Cade. It was his birthday last night." Dally glared at the overcast sky and lit a cigarette. "An' there was a Soc at the damn party."

"How didn't any of us see that Soc?" Tim said. He absentmindedly took a switchblade out of his pocket and started polishing it on the leg of his jeans.

"They was lurkin' in the bathroom, just waitin' for some stupid greaser boy to wander in," Dally said, his fists clenched tight around his kneecaps. "An' Johnnycake went in. He was screamin', but I didn't think nothin' of it. Then I heard him yell my name, an' I walked in on him gettin' ass-raped. Ya happy now, Shepard?" Dally's temper rose, just thinking about it.

"We're gonna get them back, Dal," said Tim firmly. Dallas stared off into the distance, and a worried look was on Tim's face. "Hey, bud?" he asked. Dally startled for a second. Tim rarely called him anything but Dal, Dally, Dallas, or Winston.

"Yeah?" he asked, taking a drag on his weed.

"Did that ever happen to you in the cooler?" Tim asked. "Getting... you know, raped." Dally's stomach flipped and he swallowed hard.

"No," he lied coldly. "How 'bout ya?"

"It did," Tim said. "And you better admit that it did to you too, Dallas." Dally stomped out his cancer stick with such ferocity that Tim had to stop him from breaking the porch.

"I don't like thinkin' 'bout it," Dally muttered. "It wasn't real pleasant, Shepard."

"You gotta think about it, though," Tim said. "It doesn't go away if you don't think about it."

"Wow, ya sounded like ya got brains for a second," Dally said. "I know that. But, Shepard, goddammit, I hate it. I just hate it all. I need to be the tough one, out of everyone. An' that's why I wanna join ya'll." He felt a bloody scab on his lip from where he bit it last night.

Tim forced Dallas to look at him by turning the younger boy's body toward him. "Winston, you have a gang already."

"So?" Dally shot.

"So, you'd be a traitor to them," Tim informed him. "And what if we fight each other?" Outwardly, he was protesting, but inside, he was jumping for joy. A good fighter, a real tuff hood with great street smarts like Dally would always be accepted into 'Tim Shepard and Company'.

"Ya know ya want me in ya gang," Dally said slyly. Tim let out a huff of breath.

"Fine, Winston," he said. "You're in. But remember who's leader, you hear me?"

"I hear ya," said Dally, grinning ear-to-ear. "Do I gotta do initiation?"

"I know you, you'll pass it in a blink anyway," said Tim. "Meet with us at the railroad tracks, eight o'clock tonight." Dally nodded lazily.

Thank the fuckin' Lord, Dally thought, relieved. If I'm in two gangs, I'll get a better rep, and I'll be able to scare those damn Socs away from Johnny!

"Thanks, Shepard," he said, trying not to sound excited. "See ya there." Tim nodded, and watched as Dally ran off.

The lady at the cash register was looking at Dally suspiciously as he looked through the cigarettes nonchalantly. When Dally saw her looking, he said, "I know, ya can't keep ya eyes off me, can ya?" He winked at her, and she recoiled at his steely ice blue gaze.

"It you don't buy anything, I'll call the manager and tell him you're loitering," said the woman, her fragile voice quivering in fear of the greaser boy. She tried to keep her cool. "And he'll call the police."

"Ya do that, ya nose gets smashed flat," Dally said with an almost casual malice. He continued to to thumb through the merchandise, and when the lady was tending to another customer, he swiped a pack and put it in his pocket. It was a good thing he did that then, too, because three cops walked into the store. The hood tensed up and tried to act like he wasn't there.

"Excuse me, miss. We were wondering if you had seen a boy with light blond hair, fairly tall," said one of the officers. Dally smirked and, silent as a flake of snow dropping to the ground, walked right behind the police officers.

"Ya lookin' for me?" he said softly, a grin creeping across his face. The policemen jumped, startled, and Dally laughed. "What ya lookin' for me for?"

"It's by request of..." said one of the policemen, pausing to look at a slip of paper. "Darrel Curtis and Johnny Cade." Dally stopped chuckling as he heard his friends' names. "They gave us your description, because you ran out of Darrel's house, and he got worried you would do something stupid. According to him."

Dally nodded absently, biting his lower lip. "So, ya gonna make me go back?" he said.

"They need to know you're all right," said one policeman. "Just show them that, and you're free to go." Dally let out a sigh and lit a stolen cigarette. The policemen all looked over his head and cracked up.

"What?" Dally snapped at them.

"Look above you, Winston," said one of the policeman, laughing. Dallas turned around and looked at the wall above his head. All he saw was a white sign with something on it.

"What?" Dally repeated.

"Can't you read?" a policeman said incredulously. "'No smoking', it says." The look in Dally's eyes was beyond angry- it was like the fires of Hell.

"Actually, I can't," he said, glaring daggers at the officer. "Never been ta school." He dropped his cigarette to the floor and stamped it out right there. "Fine. Take me ta the damn house." He glared one more time at the cops and stalked out of the store.

The fuzz ran after him, thinking he was going to run off. To their surprise, they found Dally sitting on the roof of their car.

"Lookin' for me?" he said, raising an eyebrow. There was a collective sigh from the policemen, and Dallas hopped off the roof. He waited impatiently as the cops unlocked their car. Dally sat in the backseat, where the people getting arrested usually sat. He found his name carved into the side of the door. He'd been in this car before, and he hadn't been searched well. Whenever he could, he defaced police cars with his switchblades.

The car drove slowly down the road, its windows rolled up as protection against the cold December air. Dally restlessly fidgeted, absentmindedly fingering the fabric of his leather jacket. It was crusted with the remnants of Johnny's tears. He felt very cold all of a sudden, and shivered. There was a funny feeling in the pit of his stomach. Would Johnny hate him for running off like that? How would the gang react when they figured out about him joining the Shepards?

"This the place, Winston?" asked the cop that was driving. Dally looked up quickly and saw the Curtis house. He almost told them it wasn't, but he remembered what Tim Shepard had told him: "You gotta think about it. It doesn't go away if you don't think about it." If he didn't see his friends now, the whole situation wouldn't magically disappear.

"Sure is," he said. He opened the door and, taking his time, walked toward the steps to the house's porch. He kicked the rusted chain-link fence, forcing open the gate. He walked up the wooden, red-painted steps. The paint was peeling off in flakes from the years of being walked on. Dally remembered it being much more nice-looking when he first came to Tulsa...

"Knock! We don't have all day," said the voice of a police officer behind Dally. The boy scowled and opened the door without knocking. Inside, there was everyone but Ponyboy and Johnny, talking quietly, some on the couch and chairs, some on the floor.

"But it must've been the Socs! Nothing scares Johnny like that but them!" said Steve insistently. The gang didn't even hear that Dally had entered, so he just leaned against the wall and lit a cigarette. He took a few puffs on it, listening in on his friends' conversation.

"But nothing," Darry said. "If we rumble with them, there's a chance that we'll lose. A good chance. They've gotten better at fighting." That made everyone shut up, and they glared at the oldest Curtis boy.

Dally chose that time to say, "Long as I'm in the rumble, we ain't losing 'less I die." Everyone jumped, focusing on Dally. Sodapop got up and walked over to Dally. Dallas relaxed against the wall, not expecting what came next- a closed fist smashed into his stomach.

The towheaded hood doubled over, surprised, and dropped his lit cigarette on the floor. He stomped it out and straightened up, holding Soda back from punching him again.

"What the hell was that for, Curtis?" snarled Dally.

"Running off! None of us have a clue what happened, Dal!" Soda retorted. "Johnny can't stop crying to tell us, and we barely could understand what you were saying! You fucking sounded like you were crying, and you never cry!" Shit, they'd heard him. Dally let Soda go and stared at him angrily.

"I was at Buck's place, with the kid," he said evenly.

"Goddammit, Dallas!" Darry said, walking over to him. "We told you a million times over never to bring anyone there!"

"I ain't in the mood ta get a lecture, Darrel Curtis." Dally's voice was as cold as a winter night. "Anyway, I let Johnny walk off, an' for a bit, I heard some screamin'. I didn't really pay it much mind-" -Darry sighed exasperatedly at that- "- but then I heard the person screamin' say my name. So I ran into the bathroom and Johnny-"

Dally's keeping-his-cool facade melted away as he sprinted over to the sink and gagged. He couldn't stand to talk about what had happened. It just seemed unreal. No, not unreal, too real. His hands gripped the metal sides of the sink as he dry-heaved. When he thought he could talk okay again, he straightened up.

"Are you okay?" asked Two-Bit, sounding concerned as he walked up next to his friend. "Dal?"

"I ain't okay," Dally said miserably. "Johnny was- he- dammit, can't ya even say it, Winston?" Dally said, the last part to himself, but aloud. He turned around to face the rest of the gang. "There was a Soc in the bathroom, an' Johnny was gettin'... he was gettin' raped." Dally felt as sick with guilt as if he had been the one to rape his best friend.

A strangled sound came out of someone's throat. Dally didn't know who. He didn't want to look up.

"That explains some stuff," said Darry quietly. Before Dally knew it, his face was being smothered in cotton.

"Shit- Dar- get off-" he said as Darry hugged him.

"You know, you can cry if you want to," Darry said. Dally grimaced. Darry probably forgot who he was.

"I'm Dallas Winston," he said. His eyes itched. He didn't know the feeling. Maybe he had pinkeye. "I don't cry. And I ain't Ponyboy, so-"

"You did have to see that Soc... doing that to Johnnycake," said Steve's voice. Dally couldn't see him, with his face smashed against Darry's chest. "I think you need a bit of babying, Dal." Dallas ground his teeth. What was that feeling, anyway? It was dimly familiar, like he had experienced it before. But that couldn't be true. His eyes were watering up. Suddenly, Dally knew what he was doing. Shit!

"Oh God, Dal," said Darry. "It was bad, wasn't it?" Dally nodded, his face rubbing up against Darry's warm figure. He didn't trust his voice. He wouldn't know himself, but when someone was crying, their voice usually showed it. "That's it, Dal. It's normal to cry."

"I ain't cryin'!" Dally said fiercely. "Now let me fuckin' go!" But tears were staining Darry's shirt. "My eyes are just waterin' or somethin'. Maybe I got somethin' in 'em." He didn't want to cry. He felt like some little kid. He hadn't cried since he was a baby and couldn't control it. Or maybe he had- yeah, he had, last night. When Darry didn't let him go, anger took over Dally's feelings. He shoved Darry away.

"I don't need ya!" he spat, tears running down his face. "It ain't like this is all new ta me! Go talk ta Johnny, he'll appreciate it a helluva lot more!" He grabbed a towel and swiped at his face with it roughly. He threw it down and looked like he wanted to punch something.

He couldn't figure out what to do, so he walked down the hall, into Darry's room, where Johnny was sleeping. He collapsed on the bed next to the kid, and put his heavy head in his hands.