Last chapter! Seriously, no idea where this came from, especially since it's almost July, but whatever. Hope this isn't too bad!
"Holy shit…" Dally muttered, looking around the living room.
"Did we walk into the wrong house or something?" Steve asked. Pony noticed how he studied the table like there was a test.
"W-what… how- wow!" Soda was tripping over his words. His eyes were exploring everything, his face lighting up more and more as the seconds went by.
Darry was surprised, too. No, he was impressed. Very impressed. Too impressed…
"How the hell did you get all of this?" He asked, gesturing to the presents. He hated to be strict at a time like this, but there was no way that Pony and Johnny could've bought all of this. Right?
"We found cleaning stuff in the shed and stuff," Pony explained. "And we paid for all of the food and most of the presents."
"Most?" Darry raised his eyebrows, although he couldn't keep the smile off of his face.
The fourteen and sixteen-year-old turned red. "We only stole a couple of these things, Dar. And to be fair, it wasn't even us that stole them."
Just like Pony thought, Dally was nodding his approval, Two-Bit was trying not to pass out from laughing, and Tim and Curly both had smirks on their faces.
"So that's why Buck had that party!" Soda yelled in realization. "I was going home from the DX a couple days ago and I saw Tim talking to him about something."
Pony gave Tim a look, which the nineteen-year-old returned with an even bigger smirk.
"All of that aside…" Darry trailed off for a moment. "You guys have really outdone yourselves."
"Yeah, it took a while, but I guess it was worth it." Pony smiled and flung an arm around Johnny's shoulders. The latter grinned and nodded.
"So," Johnny said. Everyone looked at him. "Anyone want to open some presents?"
The whole gang cheered and laughed. As they were all busy exchanging gifts and cards, Pony, Johnny, and Curly were sitting on the couch. Tim was leaning against the wall, watching the gang with amusement. Dally was next to him, smoking a cigarette.
"Oh, before I forget," Curly began, reaching into his jacket pocket. He pulled out two long packages, wrapped in newspaper. "Here."
Pony and Johnny both unwrapped them, and were in awe. They were both switchblades, each nine inches long. Pony's handle was black and Johnny's was grey.
"Wow…" Pony breathed. Johnny was speechless, he had been wanting a new blade since his old one broke. Of course, he wasn't ever going to use it considering what had happened last time, but it always helped a bluff. "Thanks, Curly!"
The fourteen-year-old stood up and got a bag. He held it out to his fifteen-year-old friend.
Curly took it and dug inside, pulling out a new leather jacket. It was black and shiny. His eyes went wide.
"Whoa, a leather jacket? How'd you know I needed a new one?"
Pony laughed. "The number of times I'd catch you picking at it at school or cussing at it because it was too worn out."
Curly flashed him a toothy grin. "Thanks, Curtis."
That morning went along very smoothly. Pony gave Darry, Tim, and Two-Bit their presents. They all had positive responses, even Tim.
"Jesus Christ, kid. Are you some kind of mind reader, or something?"
Pony only smiled.
He stood up and went to his closet to retrieve Johnny's gift.
"Hey, Johnnycake," Pony called his buddy over. They both sat down.
"This is for you." He handed Johnny a bag. Johnny looked at him quizzically before looking inside of it.
"Oh my god!" He nearly squeaked. He pulled out the item from the package. His eyes went even wider. "A guitar?"
"Yeah. Remember when I promised to teach you how to play? Well, now I can!"
"Golly," Johnny trailed off. He was honestly speechless at this. "Thank you so much, Pony."
"Aw, it's no problem at all, Johnnycake." Pony grinned. He helped him up and pulled him into a hug.
"Oh, and this is for you…"
Pony gasped. "A book of Robert Frost poems? Thanks, Johnny! I've always wanted this!"
Johnny's cheeks flushed, but he grinned.
When the clock read eight-fifty, Pony snuck outside, waiting for Marcia to show up. Next up on Pony's agenda would be Soda and Steve.
"Thanks, Marcia!" Pony made sure to say when she showed up with the horse and the car. "You have no idea how much this means to me."
"Not a problem, Ponyboy," Marcia said. Smiling, she turned around and left.
The teenager ran back inside the house and called over his brother and Steve. They both came outside, Steve a little more grudgingly than Soda, and Pony told them to wait a bit. He led Mickey Mouse to the other side of the house and tied him to a tree so that he wouldn't run away. The car was already in a good position, which was good, since Pony couldn't drive yet.
"Okay!" Pony shouted cheerfully, running back to where the duo was standing. "Soda, you go to the left, and Steve, you go to the right."
Both of them obeyed, and both were met with quite a sight. Pony went to his brother first, who was petting Mickey Mouse's mane and sobbing happy tears.
"But… how?" Soda questioned.
"Don't worry about it," Pony said softly, hugging his brother.
"Thanks, Pone. You're one good brother."
Grinning, Pony went around to the other side of the house to where Steve was. He was still gaping at the car.
"How did you even…" Steve couldn't say much more.
"Let's just say I have connections," Pony replied slyly. He lifted an eyebrow up in amusement. He was about to go back inside when Steve's voice stopped him.
Pony turned around. "Yeah?"
"Uhh…" Steve looked down at his shoes then back up at the teen. "Thanks for the car, kid. Maybe I'll take you along for a drive soon."
The fourteen-year-old smiled for the millionth time that day. "Sounds good." And he went back inside to avoid the cold.
Half an hour later, Pony finally gathered the courage to go over to Dally. He knew that Dally wouldn't hurt him with Darry around, but that didn't stop him from being scared of the eighteen-year-old.
"Hey, Dal," Pony said, his voice coming out smaller than he thought it would.
"Hey, kid," Dally responded coolly, taking a drag on his cigarette. "By the way, nice job on the house."
"Thanks!" Pony grinned. A compliment from Dallas Winston was worth any present any day. "I was just wondering… uhh- I have something to give you, but it's in my room."
Dally didn't respond for a moment. "So… go get it?"
Pony shook his head. "No, I just… I can't give it to you when we're around the gang."
The towheaded greaser shrugged. "Whatever you say."
The two of them walked over to Pony's old bedroom. Dally looked around, he hadn't been in here in a while. Not since the Curtis parents had died.
Pony brought out a small bag from the closet. (Seriously, the closet was the magical place.)
Dally sat down on the bed and looked in the bag. He reached in wide eyes and pulled out the switchblade.
"What- how? How'd you know?" He asked, truly confused. He studied it. The handle was black with bone. He flicked out the blade. It was really shiny.
"I saw you looking at it a couple weeks ago," Pony admitted. "And then you said something like 'man, this is one tuff blade'."
Dally smirked. "You notice too much."
Pony smiled, and gestured to the bag again. "One last thing."
Dally reached in, and pulled out a frame. With a photo in it. The photo was taken on Christmas four years ago. It had the whole gang with Mr. and Mrs. Curtis in it in the living room.
A thirteen-year-old Soda was sitting on the back of the couch. Mrs. Curtis was behind him with a hand on his shoulder to keep him from falling. Mr. Curtis was on the other side of him with a sixteen-year-old Darry standing next to him. On the floor was a fourteen-year-old Two-Bit and a thirteen-year-old Steve. Then, on the couch itself, was a twelve-year-old Johnny and a fourteen-year-old Dally. A small ten-year-old Pony was squished in between them. All of the people in the picture had huge smiles on their faces, even Dally.
There were two more frames, and Dally looked at them, longing in his eyes.
One had the gang playing football outside in the snow. Everyone seemed to be laughing hysterically. Darry had the football (no surprise there). The other didn't seem to be from that Christmas. Dally soon recognized it as Ponyboy's eighth birthday. (There was a sign that said so in the background.) It only had him and Pony in it, but Dally had Pony in a weird sideways hug and the kid was smiling so hugely it looked like it hurt. But Dally saw that he looked happy too. Truly happy. His icy blue eyes had melted a bit in the photo.
"Dal? You in there?" Pony was asking. Dally blinked twice and looked up.
"You were really out of it," the fourteen-year-old said softly. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Dally assured him. He looked down at the three pictures again, wishing that the Curtis parents hadn't been taken from them. "Thanks for these, kid."
"No problem." Pony shrugged his small shoulders. "These used to be mine, but we already have pictures up in the living room anyways. Besides, I thought you might like a reminder of my parents."
Dally smiled, and for once, it wasn't grim or bitter. "Thanks, Pone. It really means a lot to me. In fact, I feel better than I used to."
Pony grinned sweetly at him. "I'm glad. You deserve to be happy, and you know it."
Then the younger teen left, leaving Dally completely flabbergasted in the room, still sitting on the bed and holding the picture frames like they were a lifeline.
It was around eight at night. Tim and Curly Shepard had left after dinner. They were both amused with the food. Actually, all of the gang (besides Soda) had been glad of the normal colors. Finally, it didn't look poisonous.
Two-Bit was watching TV while Soda and Steve were playing poker. Darry was reading a book and Dally was just staring at the rest of them.
Soda and Darry had given their baby brother his present earlier. It had been Mr. Curtis' ring, the one with the gold and the stone in the middle. The stone reminded them of Pony's eyes. He had nearly cried with happiness at the sight of it.
Meanwhile, Pony and Johnny were back in Pony's old bedroom. They retrieved a small box from the closet (seriously, magical place) and went back to the living room.
"There's one last thing we have to do," Pony said timidly. Despite his quiet tone, everyone looked up, even Two-Bit.
"What's that box?" Soda piped up. Pony opened it slowly.
"When me and Johnny were wrapping presents, we found this in the closet," he explained softly. "Apparently, Mom and Dad went and got us each an ornament that resembled us in some way. They must've planned to give them to us this Christmas, but…"
Johnny had his arm around his friend's shoulders in a second. Pony took a deep breath, smiled, and passed out different bundles to each of them, saving his and Johnny's for last.
All of the gang members unwrapped the bundles, revealing each of the special ornaments.
They all smiled sadly, remembering Mr. and Mrs. Curtis, the two that, for most of them, had been the parents that they never had.
"Well, we don't have a tree, but should we hang these up? On that coat rack?" Soda asked. Everyone nodded vigorously, so they all stood up and around the stand. Soon, all of the shiny ornaments were hanging on it.
"What do you think, Pone?" Darry questioned his baby brother, coming up behind him and wrapping his arms around the youngest.
Pony looked at the tree thoughtfully as the rest of the gang waited for his response. Then, a small smile grew on his face. He almost laughed at how the gang was standing around a coat stand, pretending it was a tree, but caught himself just in time.
"I think the first Christmas without Mom and Dad went along just fine."
"Hey, anyone up for a game?"
"No… Two-Bit, you always have the worst game ideas."
"Hear me out, Pone."
"Uh oh. Everyone run, Two-Bit's getting ready for a speech!"
"Shut it, Dal. As I was saying, I think we should start a new tradition of playing Truth or Dare every Christmas!"
"I like it!"
"Of course you do, Soda, you like everything. I personally think it's stupid."
"Oh, really, Steve? Are you just scared that you're gonna get a dare that you won't want to do?"
"Shut your trap, Two-Bit. Fine, I'll play."
"Good then. Superman, you ain't going anywhere!"
"Two-Bit, I'm tired."
"Nope! This is going to be a family tradition and you are a part of this family!"
"Alright, alright! Fine, I'll play, just get off of me!"
"Okay, I'll go first. Dally, truth or dare?"
"I dare you to run outside in only your underwear and yell that you're marrying Sylvia."
Cue the laughter and Dally's death glare.
"Aww, are you scared?"
"Shut it, Two-Bit."
And so, Dally fulfilled his dare, which emitted snorts of laughter and expressions of pure shock from the rest of the gang.
Legend has it, they could never look at Dallas Winston the same again.
Ponyboy still had the photos in new frames. The old memories would never be forgotten, but the new memories made them even more special.
Let's just hope that Dally never finds out about those pictures.
A/N: And we are done! I hope that ending didn't sound weird... that's not how I meant it but okay! I also hope this wasn't too random or whatever. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this. I might be going offline (in terms of posting) for a bit, I'm not sure.
But in the meantime, stay gold!