Chapter 4: Getting Out
It was closing on midnight before I found Dally brawling with Tim Shepard in an empty parking lot behind an abandoned diner.
"Is it even remotely possible for the two of you to see each other without it ending in a fight." I asked as I leaned back against the building.
"You know he slashed my tires?" Tim asked as he stood bent over, one hand on his knee while he wiped at the blood running down from his lip. I shrugged and lit a cigarette.
"Doesn't ring any bells." I said, though in truth I knew about the tires. It'd been my idea cause Tim went and told a couple dozen people that I fought like a girl, you know, girls that can fight to save their lives. I would have done it myself, but when I made my way over with my switchblade in hand, I found the tires already sitting on the ground.
"So you guys done for the night? Or am I gonna have to sit around waiting?" Dally grimaced as he straightened up.
"Naw, we're done." He said. "I'll see ya around Shepard." Tim nodded as he headed in the direction of his house.
"Later Winston. Baker."
"Shepard." I turned to Dally who was hunched over in the middle of the parking lot. "I think we can easily say that karma has knocked you out, again." I walked over to where he was now sitting down on the ground, rubbing at his rib cage.
"What are you talkin' about?" He asked. I sighed and got down on the balls of my feet in front of him.
"You know exactly what I'm talkin about." I said. "Cherry Valence? Of all people Dally! You know her and I got bad history. I hate to tell ya, but I'm glad she threw that coke into your face." Dally sneered but didn't retaliate and I smirked as I moved to get his arm around my shoulders before I wrapped an arm around his waist.
"OK, let's got you back to Buck's so I can do some damage control." I said as I shifted y weight so that I was able to support Dally's. I grimaced as pulled the two of us up to stand. "Listen Dal, I know I'm being generous here by helping you out of this predicament, but your not completely helpless. I'll drop you." I said when he didn't make a move to walk on his own. He groaned and made a big deal out of getting back on his feet. I rolled my eyes and shook my head.
"You're such a big baby." I said, and would have punched him in the side, but figured I wouldn't cause him anymore pain.
"Am not." He grumbled as we made our way back down the street towards Buck's. "How'd you even find out where we were?" I shrugged.
"People heard about Tim looking for you, and a few people saw the two of you have your first little confrontation before you left. I figured there were only so many places the two of you would go to fight it out over slashed tires." Dally smirked as we turned the corner to Buck's. We could already hear the music blasting from inside. Dally grumbled as we walked up the stairs and into the house. The smell of pent up beer, sweat, and smoke burned my nose for a second before I got use to it again.
A few guys reached out for my arm, but I smacked them away, watched as Dally pushed a few girls off himself as we got to the stairs and made our way up to the bedroom.
"The party crowd gets worse every night." I said as I pulled out the first aid kit that I kept in the closet. Dally sat down on the bed, grimacing as he relaxed his muscles. "It looks like you're gonna have a bit of a black eye and a split lip, but nothing you can't handle." Dally smirked as I gently wiped away the dried blood on his lip. Then I set the kit aside. "You need to take that shirt off so I can check your ribs, clearly you've cracked some." Dally slowly raised his arms up over his head and I pulled the shirt off. Pressing my fingers into his side until he grimaced I was able to figure out how many ribs were cracked.
"Three or four ribs, you're gonna be sore for awhile." I said as I took the kit back to the closet and turned to see Dally slowly lying down. I had to smirk at his pain, it was self induced and he wasn't getting any pity out of me.
"I think it's time for sleep." I said as I walked to the dresser and changed tops. I turned to the bed to see Dally lying there starring at the ceiling. "What is up with you?"
"I can here Hank Williams comin from downstairs." He grumbled and I stopped for a second to hear the country music blaring from the room that Buck used as a bar.
"Just ignore it." I said as I dropped down on the bed beside him. "Maybe it'll just go away." I heard Dally snort in disbelief.
"Not a chance." He said before I drifted off.
"Dallas! Get up!" I jolted awake when I heard Buck's voice come through the door.
"Naw, man." I heard Dallas groan beside me. "Get outta here." I slowly opened my eyes as the door opened and Buck stood in the doorway, swaying on his feet, clearly drunk.
"Ever heard of privacy?" I asked as I rolled onto my stomach and buried my face in the pillow. "Go away! What time is it anyway?" I looked over at the clock on the night table and the red numbers slowly formed the time 2:25 am. "What is this?! Boot camp?!" I dropped my head back down into the pillow with a groan.
"It ain't for me, you got guests." Buck said. "Some kids are at the door for you, Johnny and Pony something."
"What?!" I shot up so fast in the bed that when I went to roll over I fell out of the bed and landed heavily on the floor. "Ouch." I said as I untangled my legs from the blanket.
"What do they want?" Dally asked as he got out of the bed and headed for the door. I got up and followed him down the stairs.
"I don't know, they just came asking for you." Buck said as he nearly sent himself and Dally tumbling down the stairs. I flinched as Dally stumbled the final step down and placed a hand on his side for a second.
"Great, thanks Buck." I said as Dally and I made our way to the door.
Dally opened it wide enough for the two of us to stand there looking at the boys. They looked so small standing out in the dark night; small and scared.
"OK, kids, whatta ya need me for?" Johnny immediately started ramble on this story about killing some Soc at the park when a group of them jumped the two of them in the park. At one point I registered Dally saying 'Good for you' when Johnny mentioned knifing the Soc. Personally, I grimaced.
"We figured you guys could get us out if anyone could. I'm sorry we got you away from the party."
"Oh, shoot, kid." Dally said as he scratched at the back of his head. "We were up in the bedroom." I nodded and looked at Ponyboy, noticing his ears getting bright red.
"Glory, but your ears can get red, Ponyboy." dally said and it took me a split second longer to figure out what was probably going through his head.
"No, no, no, no." I said with a laugh. "Nothing like that." Dally gave him a confused look before he clued in. He smirked in amusement and shook his head.
"It wasn't anything like that, kid. We were asleep, or tryin to be, with all this racket. Hank Williams-" I shook m head as Dally added a few extra words onto the end of his sentence. "Me and Shepard had a run- in and I cracked some ribs. I just needed a place to lay over " I watched as he subconsciously rubbed a hand over his side with the cracked ribs. "Ol' Tim sure can pack a punch. He won't be able to see outa one eye for a week." He looked at them and then sighed, running a hand back through his hair. "Well, wait a sec and I'll see what I can do about this mess." I was looking over the boys for any sign of injuries as Dally walked away, and that was when I took a good look at Ponyboy.
"Ponyboy are you wet?" I asked as I looked at him closer.
"Y-y-yes-s." He stuttered out, and I turned to see that Dally had stopped and turned back around.
"Glory hallelujah!" He said and grabbed hold of him while I motioned for Johnny to get inside too. "You'll die of pneumonia 'fore the cops ever get you." I watched as Dally half-dragged Ponyboy up the stairs, cursing at him as I pushed Johnny up the stairs in front of me. I cast a glance over my shoulder to make sure no one was watching as the four of us made our way up the stairs.
"Get that sweat shirt off." Dally said as he pulled a towel out of the closet and tossed it at Ponboy. "Dry off and wait here. At least Johnny's got his jeans jacket. You ought to know better than to run away in just a sweat shirt, and a wet one at that. Don't you ever use your head?" I shook my head, thinking he was one to talk, but kept my mouth shut as he walked out o the room. "Mia." I stepped out of the room when Dally called my name. "Go find him a better shirt, anything that isn't wet." I nodded and walked back into the room and started searching around. I was still searching when Dally came back into the room. I heard the door click closed and Dally's footsteps moving acros the floorboards.
"Here," I turned to see him hand Johnny a gun. "The gun's loaded. For Pete's sake, Johnny, don't point the thing at me." He handed Ponyboy a roll of bills. "Here's fifty bucks. That's all I could get out of Merril tonight. He's blowin his loot from the last race." I rolled my eyes and shook my head. Buck was famous for rigging races, and yet had never been caught. He'd tried to get Dally into it, but riding was the one thing Dally did honestly. He loved riding, and so did I. The money we got from our races mostly got spent, but some of it I had put away in case we needed the cash.
"Pony, do Darry and Soda know about this?" I asked as I made a final effort to find a shirt in the room. I watched him shake his head before I left. I walked into Buck's room and grabbed the first clean looking shirt I could find.
"- and get my head busted." I caught Dally saying as I walked into the room.
"Then don't tell him," Ponyboy said, and I could see the anger burning in his eyes, thinking something was clearly wrong with the picture in front of me.
"Here," I handed over the shirt to Ponyboy. "It's Buck's- you an' him ain't exactly the same size, but it's dry." Dally picked his worn leather jacket with the sheep's wool lining and handed it over to him as well.
"It'll get cold where you're going," He said. "But you can't risk being loaded down with blankets." I sat on the edge of the bed while Dally pulled the boys closer. "Hop the three- fifteen freight to Windrixville," Dally instructed them." "There's an old abandoned church on top of Jay Mountain. There's a pump in back so don't worry about water. Buy a week's supply of food as soon as you get there- this morning, before the story gets out, and then don't so much as stick your noses out the door. We'll be up there as soon as we think it's clear." He'd started smoking a cigarette and passed it over to me, an almost invisible smirk on his face. "Man, I thought New York was the only place we could get mixed up in a murder rap." I let out a sigh as I passed the cigarette back to Dally. I had to agree with him; this wasn't what I'd been looking for when we left the city.
With a sigh I stood up.
"You guys better be getting out of here." I said as I walked to the door. "Someone's bound to find the body soon enough, don't want to be in town when they find it." The boys walked out the door, followed by Dally and then me. Dally shut off the light onthe porch as we stepped out on the deck.
"Git goin'!" He said, and I watched as he messed up johnys hair. "Take care, kid." He said and Johnny nodded before turning to me. I gave him a soft smile before nodding into the darkness.
"It's OK, we'll take care of it." I said and gave them both a nudge off the step to get them going.
"Sure, guys, thanks." I stood there watching as they ran off into the darkness until they disappeared from view.
Dally and I stood there, starring at the place where they'd disappeared. A feeling of dread rocked me to the core and I was left shaking.
"Dally," I turned to look at him. "Can we really take care of this?" Daly sighed, and I knew he heard the tremble in my voice when he wrapped me in his arms and pulled me close. He must have been freaking on the inside too if he wanted some form of contact; there'd only been a few times when we'd both been scared enough to not turn the fright into adrenaline for a fight.
"I don't know, Mia." He said after a moment and we'd separated. I wrapped my arms around myself as we walked back up the stairs and into the bedroom. "I really don't know."