Disclaimer: I do not own The Outsiders or the characters. All credit goes to S.E. Hinton.

Hi there! Yes, I am back once again. Is anyone disappointed? Anyways, here's a four-shot on... well, the summary kind of says it all, don't you think? Also, sorry, I suck at coming up with titles. I apologize if any characters are OOC. By the way, this story takes place in December, 1965. Johnny and Dally are alive.

I am new to the world of fanfiction writing! Constructive criticism is welcome!

Contains minor swearing.

—Third POV—

It was pretty safe to say that the first Christmas without the Curtis parents looked like going to be difficult. However, with the added stress on Dally and Johnny, it seemed like it was going to be nearly impossible.

Of course, no one had given the special day a thought back in September. But it had to have been a miracle when Johnny woke up from the coma that he had gone under after just two days. Besides that, he had improved greatly, and by the time Dally got out of the cooler, Johnny was up and running on his own without any trouble. Dally had survived the gunshot wounds. He only received two months in jail for robbing the store, too.

Everyone figured that it was God that was working these things. Or maybe they were just getting a well-deserved break. Finally, it seemed like things would be good after all.

But as December 25th grew closer, the gang realized (especially the Curtis brothers) that this would be the first Christmas without their parents.

Unfortunately, it seemed as if decorating the house was out of the question, as the Curtis parents had been the only ones to do so. But in the light of recent events, Ponyboy and Johnny came to their senses and realized that they needed to take advantage of the good times. After all, they were still greasers, and good luck hardly ever found them.

Neither of them had any experience with decorating or cleaning so they couldn't do anything about that. However, Ponyboy could cook well if he wanted to, and both of them had secret plans for presents.

Two weeks before they made their plan though, Pony and Johnny had asked each of the gang members, but had gotten no helpful responses. Well, they wouldn't know about Dally. They didn't want to ask him in fear of bringing up any memories of New York. They didn't want to upset him right as the holidays were approaching.

However, their plan was simple: get everyone out of the house on Christmas Eve and then they would cook all of the meals and wrap the presents. Maybe even tidy up the house as best as they can if they had extra time.

Technically, they didn't need the whole day, especially since they would cook the food early in the morning on Christmas day. But they somehow managed to get even more time. This was how:

XxXxXxXxXxXxXxX

Four words. Tim and Curly Shepard.

Ponyboy, Johnny, and Curly met in the empty science classroom during lunch (it had been too cold to talk outside and the cafeteria was always a mess for greasers) and discussed their plans.

Pony and Johnny had really only told the Shepards (it was originally going to be a surprise for them too, since they grudgingly agreed to spend Christmas with the Curtis gang) because he and Johnny needed help lifting stuff. Both of them had pooled their money together to buy food and presents but it hadn't been quite enough.

Johnny had some money that he would find on the streets and whatnot, while Pony still had his savings bag for Soda's horse, Mickey Mouse, from when he was ten. They knew it wasn't enough, though, so they told Curly. He and Tim were experts at shoplifting, and could easily get all of the things they needed.

Of course, they hadn't wanted to pressure them too much, so they only gave them a list containing half of the items they needed. As for the other presents, Johnny and Pony would pay for them.

Speaking of presents, a very cool thing happened (December must've been their lucky month). Pony had actually found out that it was Marcia's family that had bought Mickey Mouse. It was given to her, but then she got a new brother, who turned out to be allergic to animal hair/fur, so Marcia decided to give Pony Mickey Mouse back, free of charge. (Pony had practically bowed down to her afterwards, but Marcia had said it was no problem.) Also, she had happened to get a new car, so she gave her other one to the greasers, since they wanted to get Steve a new car for Christmas and Marcia's old car was a Ford Mustang (the one that Steve had wanted) and was clean.

They were pretty tight with Marcia, even though she was a Soc and they were greasers. Sure, they were good acquaintances with Cherry, too, but Marcia was a real friend.

Pony and Johnny kept on saying that they would make it up to her, but they made it clear that it was fine.

Now, they could use their money for all of the food and the half of the presents that they hadn't asked Tim and Curly to steal.

Now they were left with a much more difficult task: making sure everyone else would be out of the house.

Pony and Johnny might've been greasers, but they weren't stupid. They knew that yelling at everyone to leave the house would raise suspicion for sure, so they did the only thing they could think of: asking Buck to distract them. Well, technically, Tim had asked Buck for them. Pony knew that Darry was smart and he most definitely could figure it out if his younger brother had been over at the place that he was banned at. Besides, Buck probably wouldn't have listened to a fourteen and sixteen-year-old.

It wasn't hard for the most part. From what Curly had told Ponyboy, Dally, Two-Bit, Steve, and Soda had agreed immediately. It was Darry that was an issue. Of course, they had been expecting this, but they had just been hoping that it wouldn't have happened. But it was pretty clear that Darry would not spend a day and a night at Buck's without a fight.

On December 22nd, Pony approached his eldest brother. He knew he had to word this carefully, otherwise all hope would be lost.

"Hey, Dar?" Pony asked, his eyes sweet and innocent. Darry looked up from the newspaper.

"What's up, Pone?"

"So, I heard that Buck had been asking you to join the gang in a party."

Darry raised his eyebrows. "How would you have heard about that? Did he ask you?"

"Of course not," Pony said honestly. He had been the one to ask Tim to ask Buck to do this. It wasn't difficult, mind you, especially since he owed Tim a favor (for what exactly was beyond Pony and Johnny's understanding and Tim had told them it was better for them not to know). "I heard from Curly. And before you ask," he hurriedly added as Darry opened his mouth. "He didn't ask me to come along. Actually, he's not going either. Even if he was, I wouldn't have. I know you don't want me near his house, and quite frankly, neither do I."

"Well," Darry sighed. "I'm glad to hear that."

Pony cocked an eyebrow, something that he had been getting better at recently. "You should go with Sodapop and the rest of them to the party."

"I don't think so, Pony," Darry said, shaking his head.

"How come?" Pony pouted. It wasn't real, of course, but he needed to convince Darry to go to this. It was the only way his and Johnny's plan would work. "You work so hard, Darry. It makes me sad to see you like this even though you're only twenty. I want you to have a night out. Besides, this party starts tomorrow at noon and goes on for a while. It'll be refreshing for you. You could get used to Buck now."

Darry bit his lip. "I don't want to leave you alone, Pony."

"Don't worry, Dar," Pony said. He and Johnny had planned this portion of the conversation, too, knowing how protective Darry could get. "Johnny can stay with me here. He's responsible, and me and you both trust him. We won't get into no trouble."

"I'll ask Johnny," Darry said, giving in. Truth be told, a night out did sound very nice. He had been working overtime lately so he could get time off for Christmas. "If he says yes, I'll go to this party."

Pony smiled happily. "Just don't get too drunk. I don't want any of you to have a bad hangover the next day. Although, knowing Two-Bit, it wouldn't make much of a difference from his normal self…"

"True," Darry agreed, laughing. Pony's eyes lit up even more, hearing his eldest brother laugh made him happy. Just then, on cue (he and Johnny had practiced this, and the latter had been watching from the porch), Johnny came strolling in.

"Hi, Johnnycake!" Pony exclaimed. He bounced up to his friend.

"Hey, guys!"

"Hi, Johnny," Darry said. He set his newspaper down. "Johnny, can I ask you for a favor?"

Johnny's eyebrows jumped up, knowing exactly what was coming. "Of course."

"Buck invited me and the gang for a party tomorrow, and we're supposed to come home Christmas morning. Can you stay with Pony and make sure he doesn't get in any trouble?"

The sixteen-year-old grinned. "Sure thing. Buck asked me just a moment ago, but I told him that I was good."

Pony smiled and gave Johnny a wink that only the latter could see.

"Thanks a lot, Johnny," Darry said earnestly. "Well, I'll be in my room. Pony, if you go anywhere, leave a note and make sure to come home before dinner."

"Got it, Dar."

Darry left for his bedroom, and Pony and Johnny exchanged triumphant grins.

"Wanna go to the lot?" Pony questioned.

"Sure."

So, Ponyboy grabbed a piece of paper and wrote out a note to his brother while Johnny grabbed a coat for his friend. It had gotten colder now, dipping down to twenty degrees.

The two friends set off for the lot, planning to discuss the rest of their plan. As they sat on the mattresses, they made some final preparations for this and tied up some loose ends. Starting on Christmas Eve, since Tim had told them that the party started around lunchtime, they would clean the house first, then wrap up all of the presents in the remainder of the time. They estimated, after doing some measurements and calculations, that it would take a maximum of six and a half hours to clean the whole house and another hour to wrap the presents. Then, Pony would set the alarm for three in the morning and he and Johnny would speed over to Johnny's house (his parents always left during the whole month of December) with all of the cooking items and make the meals.

They'd then somehow have to bring the food back. Pony had been worried about this part, wondering if they'd have enough time, but then Curly offered to help. Mostly because he was interested in seeing a Curtis meal without those crazy colors. It was no problem, especially since Pony told Curly that if he messed with anything, he'd get Darry to beat the tar out of him. Curly, knowing exactly what the other guy in a fight with Darry would look like, agreed.

XxXxXxXxXxXxXxX

That was how it was going to go, hopefully. It had taken a few weeks to get this plan, but it was safe to say that Pony and Johnny were proud of themselves. They'd be damned if something went wrong.

A/N: Alrighty. That was the first chapter. Wow, I'm terrible at talking! This is kind of unrealistic, but I'm sorry! I was in a really weird, fluffy mood. Please forgive me!

By the way, I forgot to mention. Any ideas that are similar to any other fanfictions are entirely coincidental. I'm sorry if any ideas are the same, if you want just PM me and I'll either give some sort of credit or change it. (Can you tell I've been cursed with a 'guilty gene'?)