One Moment

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Chapter 7: Making Plans

The next day, things started going wild; and I had the feeling like I was back in New York. It was a great adrenaline rush, until I remembered everything about New York and it suddenly because a weird déjà vu nightmare kinda thing.
"Word has it that y'all want a fight." Tim said as he leaned back against the counter in Buck's kitchen. I was sitting on the countertop, and Dally was leaning back on it on the other side of me.
We'd snagged one of the Soc club leaders out of the school parking lot first thing in the morning; I'd complained, but remembered this was no time to be sleeping in. This was turning into a full out war.
The kid sneered, trying to look tough in an environment that only made him look like a weak little rich man's son.
"Revenge is more like it." He said. "Y'all's kind killed Bob, there isn't a signal kid in school who's gonna let you get away with this." I snorted and inspected my finger nails like they were far more interesting than this conversation.
"I can name off plenty of people who don't give a damn about who this kid was and what y'all want to do about him being dead." I said as I looked up at him with cold hatred reflecting into my eyes. "We don't care about you or anyone else on your side of town, we just want you off ours." The guy seemed slightly shocked that Dally and Tim weren't stopping me and telling him what we wanted themselves. But when they kept leaning back like everything was normal, he puffed up his chest.
"What do you want for terms then?" He snapped, and I nudged Dally on the shoulder, going back to my fingernails. It's been a long time since I had to play the part of the self absorbed, but independent girl. I missed it and was enjoying the way it seemed to make the guy squirm a little that he was taking orders and rules from some greaser girl.
"We want you out." Dally pronounced every word deliberately, making it clear what we wanted. I could see he was thinking back to New York too, all the old times that had made us who we were now. "Deal is, your side wins the fight, nothing changes, things go on like they always have. But if we win, you're all to stay off our turf, for good." The boy looked ever so slightly apprehensive about answered to the deal and agreeing with it. But it was soon gone, replaced by an attempt at a lack of interest.
"Let's meet at Rusty's after school today. You bring some of your guys, I'll bring some of mine and we can have a full talk about this." The three of us looked at each other, and Tim gave a slight nod.
"Fine." Dally said. "But not Rusty's. Meet at the Dingo; 4:00 sharp. Got it?" The heat in Dally's eyes left no room for argument, only a fool would try, and the guy nodded.
"Great." I said and hopped off the counter. "Tim will take ya back to school." The guy sneered in disgust. "Or you can walk, don't matter to us, just as long as you're at that meeting." I walked out of the room, making my way up to the bedroom to grab my jacket. Dally came up amoment later after the door slammed shut, and I heard the sound of Tim's old car starting up.
"You getting flashbacks from this?" I asked as we walked back down the stairs. Dally grinned; the grin of a kid high on adrenaline, but who hasn't hit the top of it yet.
"Hell yea." He said, and I laughed as we took Buck's car for a quick ride out to Jay's; just for something different.

Later that day, we walked into the Dingo to find Tim with a group of his boys. Darry, Soda, Steve, and Two-Bit followed behind Dally and I as we walked inside the building. The day was getting cold, and my sweater wasn't cutting it for keeping me warm anymore.
"Where are the rest of them?" Dally asked as we walked in and sat down on the edge of booth seat. Tim was leaning back against a table.
"They ain't showed up yet." He said. "You'd think they're preppy parents would teach them to be on time." I nodded and looked out the window. I watched as 3 shiny mustangs rolled into the gravel yard outside the Dingo.
"Let the fun begin." Dally said, his smile showing his teeth. I shook my head, but I knew my smile match his.
The group of Socs walked in and the first thing they did was look around in disgust, I just rolled my eyes and sat at the booth while most of the other guys stood around the table that Tim had been leaning against. When they started to raise their voices, I walked over and moved my way through the Greasers to stand beside Dally who was standing beside Tim, who was leaning against the table face to face with the Soc from earlier. It appeared that he had a tougher attitude now that he had his boys behind him.
"What's one of your girls doing here?" A kid standing beside the other one said as he too leaned in against the table. I glared at him, and leaned one hand down on the table, the other resting on my hip.
"I'm here because your girls are too weak to handle this kind of talk." He glared back and sneered, I just grinned and stood up to go over to the counter to get a drink and sit down.
"This shouldn't take this long." I grumbled to Steven - Tim's right hand guy - as we sat on the stools that surrounded the countertop, 2 hours later. "These Socs are just being difficult." Steven nodded and sloshed his drink around the cup.
"Winston seems happy about it though." He looked at me. "So do you." I smirked and looked around. Everyone - Soc and Greaser. - had shuffled off to talk in small groups, unless they had a direct connection to the main conversation.
"Yea, brings back some good memories." I said, just as Tim and Dally shook hands with two of the Socs. "Finally. I'm ready to get out of here." I slid off the stool and walked over to Dally, just as the Socs walked out the door.
"Sooo..." I asked as I came up beside Dally. "Final plans?" He looked at me, and I saw that New York gleam in his eyes.
"We'll talk later." He said. "Come on, time to get food. We're going to Darry's." I nodded and found myself being dragged out the door. Darry had been listening and interjecting his opinions into the decision. His opinion stood strong among the rest of them, since he was still know for being one of the best football players on the high school team, that was the one thing Greasers and Socs agreed on.
"You go with the rest of the guys." Dally said to me as he paused outside the Dingo. "Darry and I are gonna talk with Tim for a minute."
"I can wait." I said, and received a kick to the ankle; not hard enough to leave any lasting damage, but enough for me to know that I was wasn't allowed to stay. "I actually should go and help cook, you know Soda, he'll tie dye the food unless he's supervised." Dally gave me a look and I turned to follow Steve, Soda, and Two-Bit down the street towards the house.
"Man, I'm hungry." Soda said as we walked down the street. I nodded, my hands stuffed into my jacket pockets against the on coming cold. The days were starting to get colder, and with the sun setting, it was going to get chilly fast.
"I gotta run to the house for a minute, I'll meet you guys at your place, Soda." Two-Bit took off across the street to the other sidewalk before turning the corner to his house.
"What do y'all want for supper anyway?" I asked as we finally arrived. "Make it something easy, please." Steve walked to the fridge and grabbed the cake, but I pulled it out of his hands and shoved him away.
"I think there's some hamburger in here." Soda poked his head into the fridge and pulled out a package. "How about some spaghetti and hamburger?" I nodded and pulled out a pot and a frying pan, as well as some spaghetti that was in a jar in the cupboard.
Just as the water was boiling and I was starting to fry the hamburger, the door opened and a wave of sudden noise came from the living room. I turned to see Two-Bit sitting down on the couch, a bloody lip and a bruise forming on his cheek.
"What happened?" I asked as I put the pasta in the pot and stirred around the meat.
"He got jumped." Dally said as he came into the kitchen, he also had a busted lip and I frowned when he tried to lean in for a kiss.
"Clean that up." I said as I wiped my thumb across the blood dripping down his chin. "Really, Dally. That's crazy. Why'd they jump you? Can't hey wait for the rumble?" Two-Bit just shrugged and held a tissue to his lip. I shook my head and went back to cooking supper.
"We're meeting with Tim and his gang in the lot in an hour." Darry said as he came into the kitchen and started to help me with the food. I nodded and stirred the pasta.
"This should be done in a little bit." I said, and the rest of the boys dropped down into chairs to watch TV before they ate.

Later that night, I found myself sitting on top of an old rusty car in the vacant lot; a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Dally was leaning against the car beside me, his hand resting on my knee. It was a possession thing, I knew that because he did it all the time; but that was normally when there were new boys around, not normally with Shepard's gang though. Dally was about as easy to understand as a cat when it looked up at you and cried.
"So we'll meet around seven o'clock here the night after tomorrow." Tim said as he ground out his cigarette in the ground and tipped back his beer. "No weapons." He added and looked directly at Dally, who smirked and tipped back his own drink.
"These fights are for babies." He said. "Man, if we were in New York, it wouldn't be a real fight without some kind of weapon." He looked at me. "I'm sure you can remember all those fights." I rolled my eyes and handed the cigarette to him. He took a drag off it before grounding it out.
"Don't need to remind me." I said. "I'm working on forgetting." He chuckled and I was wondering what was on his mind; he was too cheery, and it was sort of scary.
I looked up at the sound of a car passing, and watched as headlights came at us.
"Who's that?" Soda asked. I was about to shrug, but then I recognized the car, and the girl sitting behind the wheel.
"Cherry Valance?" I asked and looked at Dally. His eyes were now glued on Cherry, making me roll my eyes and want to pound his head against the car he was leaning against.
"What's a Soc doing here?" One of Tim's boys asked. "Ain't she the dead kid's girl." There was a rumble of recognition among the boys, and I felt the tension rise quickly.
"Let's jump'er." Another one said. I hopped off the car to stand beside Dally.
"I see no issues with that." I pulled out my switchblade from my back pocket.
"Come on, guys." Two-Bit said. "Lets see what she wants before we all start jumping at her." I rolled my eyes and clicked my blade closed, as Cherry seemed to debate whether to get out of the car or not. In the end she did, and she walked over.
"Little car from home, aren't you Valance?" I sneered, and she just glared back. She clearly didn't know who was in charge, or who she was supposed to speak to directly, so she turned to Two-Bit who'd stepped away from the car where he'd been leaning against the rusting door.
"I want to help you." She said, and we were all left in a stunned silence. "I heard that if you guys win, we have to stay away from your side of town. If that put a stop to the fighting, I want you to win."
"What a rebel." I said. "Cheering for the other team. Goodness, Valance. Have you no pride for your people?" Her face started to turn as red as her hair.
"Just because you loving fights, and killings and getting dragged through the dirt, doesn't mean we all do." I lunged at her, only to be caught by Soda and Two-Bit.
"You're the ones who drag us through the dirt!" I snapped. "Fighting is just one way to prove that all of you are a bunch of sissy's walking around fancy clothes! None of you can fight to save your lives!" Soda and Two-Bit pushed me back, and with a final snap of my teeth, I turned away. I wanted to punch something as hard as I could, but I wasn't going to let her see just how angry she was making me feel.
I heard Two-Bit talking to her about getting more information from the Socs, and making runs of the rules to them. She agreed, and amoment later I heard the door to her car slam shut.
"Lets get out of here, Dal-" I had been facing away from the whole scene, but when I turned to talk to Dally, I found him leaning against the driver's door of Cherry's car. That broke my last nerve, and I gave the old junk car a swift kick before stocking off in the direction of Buck's. I heard the boys calling out, but I didn't turn around. For one, I wanted to see Sylvia; I wanted to knock something out.
I stormed through the crowd of people that filled the bottom level of the house, elbowing at the people who reached out at me. I eventually made it up the crowded stairs to the bedroom and slammed the door hard before pulling my jacket and sweater off.
I searched around and found my pajama pants and and tank top. I slipped into them, and was just brushing out my hair when Dallas walked through the door.
"You seem a bit snappy." He said, and I took an elastic sitting on the dresser and shot it off my fingers.
"You mean like that?!" I seethed and went back to my hair. "Fu-! Dallas! Why do you-? Urgh! Just - don't speak to me! No! Get away!" He'd moved a few steps closer and was now blocking me in between himself and the dresser.
"You know you're pretty hot when you're angry." He said as he looked at me through the mirror. I glared and shoved my elbow into his chest. He backed away, rubbing where I'd hit. "Damn, Mia. What's wrong with you? It ain't like I don't flirt with almost every girl I see walk down the street." I gave him the finger before crawling into the bed and dropping down close to the wall, my arms crossed. "You're impossible." He muttered, loud enough for me to hear, but seemingly trying to keep it to himself. I shot back up in the bed and turned to glare at him.
"You want impossible?! How about this! Ponyboy and Johnny are stuck in some old church because of the boyfriend of that girl you're flirting with! Are you that self absorbed, Dallas! Are you not paying attention?! If the cops catch them, they can be sent to jail for manslaughter! Because of her boyfriend! You want impossible?! Look in the mirror once and a while! You're the impossible one." I dropped back down in bed, and rolled to face the wall. I felt a tear crawl down my cheek and wiped it away harshly. I didn't normally burst out like that, but my brain was fried, and it couldn't take much more.
A moment later, the bedroom light snapped off, and the bed dipped down. I felt Dally's fingers pull through my hair. I swatted him away, only to have his arm wrap around my waist and pull me closer.
"You know what's really impossible?" He whispered, and I could make out the rough shape of his head on the wall, formed from his shadow due to the light outside on the street. "That you put up with all of this." The words were so soft, so... Different, to be coming from Dally that I didn't stop him from kissing the side of my face, while his hand that had pulled me closer clutched around one of my own. "I got some news that you might like to hear." I didn't move, anger still sat in my chest, but when was Dallas Winston ever as sweet as this? I had yet to see it until now. "What's her face said that most of the cops have gone to Texas to search for the boys, meaning tomorrow will be a perfect day to head up to see them." I rolled over to face him with wide eyes before I even considered that it would look like I wasn't angry anymore.
"Really?" I asked, though I controlled the tone of my voice, making up for my quick reaction. Dally nodded and leaned over to kiss me.
"Yea. I figured you'd be please." He smirked, and I rolled my eyes.
"I'm still angry." I muttered as he kissed my again. He pulled away, and though his eyes shone with a spark that I hadn't seen in a long time, their usual glow of hatred and anger burned deep. I wondered if it was possible for it to ever go away.
"Whatever." He said as he dropped down to the bed. I curled myself up at his side; even though I was angry, I was cold. "Just get some sleep. We gotta be up in the morning." I groaned.
"You're not helping yourself to get back on my good side." I heard him chuckled before he went quiet, and I found myself clutching at his hand, the connection being the only thing left of that one, sweet moment that made me remember why I went through all of the stuff that our lifestyle put us through.

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