Hello again! Thank you so much to those of you are STILL reviewing my stories. It's always such a nice surprise to find a new review for an old story. You have really encouraged me to keep going! I'm a little nervous because I never intended to continue this story. I thought the ending worked the way it was. But the story had other ideas. While I was working on "Safety in Numbers", this kind of unfolded all by itself, so I hope I don't totally ruin it. Anyhow, my point is, this is going to be a LONG story. I will update as frequently as I can because, from what I gathered from my last fan fiction, I know that everybody wants frequent updates!

A quick synopsis of this continuation: this falls under several catagories- drama, tragedy, some humor and lots of angst! It is primarily a Dally and Johnny story, but the rest of the gang will have their big parts too. Another thing I wanted to mention is that there will be a lot of song-fic chapters. A good portion of the story line was inspired by song lyrics and quotes. You could practically put together a soundtrack for this by the time it's finished. So anyhow, I hope you enjoy it, and as always, reviews are very much appreciated!

Jazzyumbrella- this isn't exactly new, but here you go! Thanks for the encouragement!

I do not own The Outsiders or "Somebody's Always Saying Goodbye" by Anne Murray

"Railroad station, midnight trains,

Lonely airports in the rain,

And somebody stands there

With tears in their eyes.

It's the same old scene,

Time after time.

That's the trouble with all mankind,

Somebody's always saying goodbye..."

Anne Murray

Johnny woke up as the train slowed to a stop at yet another station. This is going to take forever, he thought.

He was really doing it. He was really leaving. Never again would he feel the sting of his father's beatings. No more would he have to see the apathy in his mother's eyes.

He had hoped the experience would feel liberating, maybe even a little exciting. But it didn't. It didn't change the fact that his father couldn't stand him and that his mother didn't care. There was no way for him to change that. He had to be content to know that he could only change his own reaction to their abuse. This time his reaction was to walk through the door that had been open to him for so long. He'd had a lot of letters from his cousin Matt, more than he'd let on to Dally, inviting him to come and stay in Virginia for a little while. Or forever, if he wanted.

He had burned every one after he'd read them. His father would've made sure he never saw another letter again. Johnny's father didn't get along with the Virginia relatives. Johnny had never understood why. They were kind people, from what he could remember of them. He shook his head at the thought. His father didn't get along with anyone.

Johnny stared out the window. He tried to take in the scenery and let go of the heaviness weighing down on his heart. He missed the gang. He would miss them even more in the days to come, he knew. His nerves had settled slightly in the few hours he'd been on the train. But calming his nerves only made more room for guilt to take over. He hated leaving them, especially Ponyboy. Ponyboy had been so upset when Johnny broke the news to him that he was leaving. Johnny had been afraid he was going to cry. Pony had begged him to stay and Johnny had come very close to changing his mind.

But he didn't. He had left his best friend. Things had gotten that bad. He had walked away knowing that Ponyboy was devastated, the whole gang was upset, and worst of all, and perhaps the most surprising, he would never forget seeing Dally sitting on that bench, his head in his hands, and...

Johnny tried to convince himself that he hadn't seen it, but there was no mistaking it. There had been actual tears in Dally's eyes. Dallas Winston. The guy who nothing touched, who didn't care about anything.

Johnny hadn't felt so sad since the Curtis brothers' parents had been killed. That had definitely been much worse, though, he told himself. But this feels pretty bad... and different. There wasn't anything he could have done about Ponyboy's mom and dad. But this... he did this to Ponyboy, and the gang, and to Dally. For Dally to have broken down like that it must have really hurt him.

Dally's fine, he told himself again. He was just tired. He said he hadn't slept much last night. He'll be fine. Dally's always fine. And I'm going to be fine. And so will Ponyboy.

Johnny stared out the window. He was not convinced.