Sodapop and Darry stopped running when they reached the room they were told Ponyboy was in and walked up to the doctor, trying to get their breaths back.
"Is this Ponyboy Curtis's room?" Darry asked.
"Yes, I was just about to tell his guardians-" The doctor began but Sodapop interrupted him.
"We're his brothers!" Soda yelled.
The doctor looked at the Valance family and Daniel sighed.
"It's a long story."
"Forget it! Tell us how Ponyboy is, or I'm gonna beat your head in!" Soda looked like he was on the verge of hysterics too.
"Soda, relax." Darry ordered, not wanting his other brother to do something that got him in trouble as well.
"Ponyboy was shot in his upper right shoulder. We were able to get the bullet out. He's lost a lot of blood, but he will be fine."
The Curtis brothers and the Valance family breathed a sigh of relief.
"He is asleep right now, but you can go in to see him."
When the doctor walked away, Soda and Darry quietly entered the room but Cherry turned away and began walking down the hall.
"Sherry, where are you going? Don't you want to see Ponyboy?" Her mother called after her. Cherry stopped and rubbed her forehead.
"I just want to go home, I can't deal with this right now."
"Alright, we'll go," Mrs. Valance said gently.
The three of them left the hospital and got into the car. They were silent on the way back home, Mr. Valance didn't say anything more about Ponyboy, and Cherry was glad. This whole night was like a bad dream and she couldn't take much more. Cherry took an aspirin for her headache and got into bed.
The next morning, Cherry sat at the table in the kitchen reading through the newspaper. It talked all about the shooting last night and how Bob was arrested for shooting Ponyboy. Interesting enough, it also said that David had been arrested too for a hit and run.
Cherry hoped they both got put away for a long time.
She saw the time and knew she was going to be late for school, but she didn't care. She decided she wasn't going to go today, she just couldn't concentrate on it today. Cherry got up and walked out of the house, deciding to go see Ponyboy at the hospital when she suddenly heard somebody call her name.
She stopped walking as a sting ray pulled over and saw her best friend Marcia, and Alice get out and come over towards her.
"Hey," Alice began. "We read about what happened to Ponyboy last night. Is he okay?"
Cherry glared at Alice.
"What do you care? I thought Ponyboy was just a hood?"
Alice looked guilty as she stared at the ground.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean it," she began. "I guess I was a little shocked because Bob seemed so perfect."
"Yeah, turns out he was a maniac. I can't believe he shot Ponyboy," Marcia said.
"The doctor said he's going to be fine."
"That's good," Marcia responded. "So, I guess your car is still banged up. Do you want a ride to school?"
Cherry shook her head.
"I not going today. I'm going to see Ponyboy."
"Alright, see you later."
Marcia and Alice walked back to the car and took off as Cherry continued her way to the hospital. When she got their, she walked into Ponyboy's room and saw that he was still asleep. Cherry walked over and lightly ran her hand across Pony's arm before sitting down on the chair right next to her bed.
After about twenty minutes of being there, Cherry was reading a magazine when a groan coming from next to her caused Cherry to jump.
Ponyboy slowly opened his eyes to see who called his name. He looked up to see Cherry standing over him.
"Pony!" She yelled and threw herself at him, hugging him lightly. "Thank goodness you're okay!"
He made a noise and Cherry pulled away from him.
"Sorry, did I hurt you?"
Ponyboy shook his head and sat up slightly, looking at her and asked, "What exactly happened?"
"Bob...he shot you last night. The cops came and arrested him, than they took you to the hospital. You've been asleep ever since."
Ponyboy was quiet after that, the previous night's events starting to come back to him. Cherry suddenly spoke up again.
"I told my parents about us."
Ponyboy looked at Cherry in surprise.
"How'd they take it?"
"Well…my mom doesn't seem to mind, but my dad isn't happy with it," Cherry admitted. "But even if he does, he's just gonna have to deal with it. Because I love you."
"I love you too."
They just stared into each other's eyes after that, neither one saying a word until they heard a knock on the door. Ponyboy looked over and smiled brightly when he saw it was Sodapop.
"Pony, how you doin' kid?" Soda asked nearly crying. He walked over and hugged his brother tightly.
"I'm fine. How are you Soda?" Ponyboy asked in the same tone.
"I'm okay, I was just on my way to work and I wanted to check up on you."
"Thanks, but I'm okay Soda."
"The hearing is tomorrow. Are you ready for it?"
"Yeah...I hope that Darry gets back custody. I want us to be a family again."
"So do I Ponyboy...so do I." Soda replied.
Then, for the first time, Soda realized that Cherry was in the room too.
"Oh, hello." He greeted. "I'm Sodapop Curtis," he said as he stuck his hand out.
"I'm Cherry Valance," she responded while shaking his hand and smiling. The two of them really did look alike. It was uncanny.
"So, are you his girlfriend?" He grinned while looking at his brother, who started to blush.
"Yes, I am."
"Good job, Pony," he said, lightly hitting his brother's shoulder. Ponyboy tried to hit him but Soda was to fast and moved out of the way and out the room.
The next day, late in the afternoon, Ponyboy left the hospital and atteneded the custody hearing. The gang had all testified that Darry was a good guardian for Ponyboy.
Other witnesses who had seen the fight at the Dingo testified that the socs were the ones who started it.
After about an hour the judge said the words the Curtis brothers had been dying to hear for the past few weeks.
"Custody granted," the judge said while smiling.
"Did ya hear that!" Darry yelled hugging Soda sitting next to him, and then hugged Ponyboy on his other side.
This meant a whole new beginning. They were going to be back together again.
"Congratulations on getting back custody Darry," Mrs. Rhodes said as she came over. "Now you stay out of trouble," she said while looking at Ponyboy. "You got a lucky break here, I don't know if it will happen again."
After she said that, Mrs. Rhodes walked out of the court room and Darry turned to his brothers.
"Now why don't we go home?" Darry asked.
"All of us." Ponyboy finished.
"Yeah, let's throw a party," Soda laughed as he followed Darry out of the court room, but Ponyboy stayed behind with Cherry who had also attended.
They smiled at each other, saying nothing. But they didn't have to, they knew what each other was thinking. They were together, it was going to be hard, but maybe their relationship could set an example for everyone else. Maybe the whole issue between greasers and socs could be solved without the use of fists.
Ponyboy and Cherry exited the court room hand in hand, just as the sun was starting to set.