A/N: This story's genre is as it is for a reason- if you can't deal with it, I'd suggest you not read… If you can, I'd really appreciate some feedback- this story is going to be quite far from what I usually write! It's going to involve more Outsiders characters as it goes along, promise!

Disclaimer: I don't own The Outsiders.

"Suspected murder weapon. Tests confirm the blood is human, lab is working on the DNA as we speak. We may get lucky and have a match in our system." She made a sweeping gesture with her hands that indicated the blood that was spattered everywhere. "Clearly a fatal amount, if all from the same individual. What do you make of this?"

Working with her was one of the worst things he'd ever had to do, and he'd had to do some pretty bad things. She acted as if she knew it all, but she didn't- if she did, she'd know that her haircut wasn't flattering, and that her red nails didn't look manicured, they looked as if they'd been hit with a hammer. She acted like she was his boss… She acted like a robot.

The way she acted had always bothered him: it was as if she didn't worry about the fact that there was a murder scene in the middle of the city, as if these weren't actual human lives they were dealing with... Of course, over time, he'd become immune to it as well, but he hoped he would never start speaking of murder in such a brisk, professional manner. It was as if she didn't feel, as if she didn't care… And he knew only too well what could happen to people who didn't care.

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He was tired, and didn't need those thoughts running through his mind... They'd just distract him, pull his mind away from the case at hand. It was important he be at his peak- solving murders was no easy task, and he couldn't do it with his mind on something else. In any case, he didn't need to be reminded where he'd came from- he'd tried to erase those times.

"Someone being careless?" he suggested, studying the scene. There was a pool of blood on the old cement, and spattered on the buildings on both sides. It was a rough neighbourhood, but this was one of the most gruesome scenes he'd seen… Except there was no body, nothing but blood, and a weapon. Somehow, the lack of body made it even worse. He'd rather there be a corpse, and know what happened… "Remembered the victims body, forgot the axe?"

That's right, he told himself. Get your head back in the game.

And so he did.


"Got those test results back, Michael," Anderson said from the doorway, tossing a file onto the desk. "It's a bit of a stumper, really."

"What?" Michael asked, looking up. He was annoyed: he didn't like being interrupted. He'd been engrossed in a newspaper article that had ran that day about another missing child. The third that week.

"The tests," Anderson said, gesturing at the file, and Michaels mind began to race. What tests? He hadn't ordered any tests, and he certainly hadn't taken any…

"From the blood. From the murder scene? Earlier last Friday? On Duncan and First?"

Michael closed the newspaper and flipped it over, so the article couldn't distract him. The back told him that there was a reported attack on Cherry street- that was only a few blocks away from his place… He'd have to keep an eye open.

"And what's confusing about it?" He asked. Anderson was pretty dense- there was probably a simple answer to whatever was confusing him.

"Two different sets of DNA. One had two part matches in the system… The other belonged to Dennis Fletcher."

Michael nodded, not seeing the problem. Although he'd never been caught in any serious wrongdoing, it was long past time for Dennis's card to be called. He'd been suspected in more crimes than anyone else, but always managed to weasel his way out through some technicality or due to shoddy police work.

"So the bloods from two people. And…?" He asked, wanting to get back to his newspaper. It was nearing the end of the day, and he didn't want to go home with anything on his mind. He wanted to go home and relax, not ponder the days mysteries.

"Well, it's the part matches that makes it such a doozie… Part of the match is for Molly Hartford. She was arrested in '77 for drug trafficking, died in '78 in prison. Had some disease no one knew about till a couple of months before she died… She was 50 years old, had a pretty long record for such a little lady. All kinds of things…

"The other is a part match from Nester Winston. He's serving life up North for killin' some woman back in the 60's. He said she was gonna kill him, an' he got to her first, but the judges didn't believe it… He's never gonna see the light of day again. Hasn't had a day out of jail since '61..."

Michael yawned pointedly. Andersons habit of getting off track with irrelevant details was annoying on the best of days, but on days like this, when he was running on coffee and willpower, the habit seemed almost murder worthy.

"So Molly and Nester had a kid that turned out just as bad as they did… What's the problem? Track him down and bring him in."

Anderson took a step inside the office, and for the first time, looked a bit uncomfortable with the news he'd brought.

Good, thought Michael, we're finally going to get down to it.

"It's not that easy… They had two kids, James in '45, Dallas in '50... The older is in prison, hasn't seen the light of day in three years now… The other was killed by police in '67."

Michael tensed, uncomfortable. He'd erased that from his past- hadn't mentioned it in years… He thought about it often enough- Dally crumpling under the street lamp… But he'd erased that. He'd officially adopted his middle name and dropped Ponyboy… He'd moved. He'd started fresh. He'd gotten his names erased from all juvenile records… This wasn't supposed to be thrown in his face like this. He'd left it behind him.

But he couldn't ignore what he had heard. Something wasn't right. What Anderson was telling him didn't make sense- a mistake must have been made… Maybe at the lab, or maybe somewhere else, but a mistake had clearly been made.

"That's not right," he said, shaking his head. "Either they had another kid who isn't in the system, or the one in jail somehow got out." His insides were squirming uncomfortably, and he felt light headed.

"Doesn't look like either is likely… Called up the prison already, they said he wasn't out. As for another kid… Doesn't look like that's possible. Had the one, then shipped him off to live with a grandparent… Then a couple of years later, decided to give it another go. Had the other kid, didn't work out either. Couple of years after that, they got into a big fight, they both got arrested… Kid went to live with some relative, or something, there's no real records of whatever went on… But as far as we can tell, they never saw each other after that."

"How do you know this?" Michael asked. He had known Dally himself, and hadn't known any of this… Over the years, he may have forgotten some details, but he was sure that he had never known any of this. How had a cop come up with all this information?

"It's all in the file," he answered, gesturing to where it lay on the desk, untouched.

"And why are you telling me all this?"

"'Cause we're sending our best Detective over to New York to question James, and it's important that he know all he can before he goes… Since it's possibly his blood, you've got to see what he has to say for himself."

This wasn't what he needed- an unplanned trip to New York, to deal with Dally's formerly unknown brother, and see how he may be connected to a murder case with no body here, in Oklahoma City. He hadn't even packed his bags, and he could tell it wasn't going to be a fun trip.