I know. I know, I know, I know.

Stop looking at me like that.

I know it took a long time. I have my reasons.

So I decided this is going in a totally different direction, more light hearted possibly. I apologize it you hate it. I'm working on updating The Babysitters but my flash drive literally broke in half and I lost my last chapter which was almost done. I'm trying to convince myself that I really do want to rewrite it, but myself isn't buying it. I'll get on it.

"Now," Darry said as Steve sat down, "I think you two owe us an explanation."

Over his dead body. Steve understood why they'd want an explanation, he really did, but this was between him and Ponyboy.

Ponyboy squirmed under the attention; he was unused to the stares. He didn't want to explain any more than Steve wanted too. Aside from that he didn't even know how to explain. There was never any fight that started the feud, no specific clashes besides the one from the other night, the fact was that the two greasers just didn't dig each other.

When neither responded Dally snapped, "Well?"

"Don't know what you're talking about." Steve muttered. Pony rubbed a hand over his face. That was what Steve was going with? Really?

Soda seemed in equal disbelief, not even Two-Bit was going to fall for that one, "You can't—," Darry started but was interrupted by a loud banging sound as the back door to the Curtis residence flew open and Curly Shepard came barreling in.

"Curtis!" He yelled.

"What?" asked Pony, Soda and Darry in unison.

When Curly entered the kitchen he was breathing heavily and dripping in sweat. His cheek was bruised and his nose was bloody, probably broken.

"River King—Tim—we need…help—I—,"

Dally frowned, "Spit it out kid!"

Curly grabbed the water in front of Pony and downed it, the liquid seemed to loosen his tongue and he spoke quickly, "River Kings in the park, way onto your territory! We need help fightin' half our guys are gone!"

Dally didn't need to hear anymore, he was on his way, Johnny hot on his heels. Two-Bit of course followed, Darry swore, "Godammit! I didn't want to get involved!" but inevitably if Tim needed help they would be there because Tim was Dally's buddy and they stuck by Dally.

"Pony and Steve stay here, you can't fight!" Soda and Darry were out the door, leaving Pony and Steve on their own.

Pony turned to glared at Steve accusingly, "Don't know what they're talking about? Really?" he snapped.

Steve glared, "I didn't see you come up with anything better!"

"That's because saying nothing was better than denying everything!" Pony hissed.

Both of them bickered as they clambered up, ignoring their orders from Darry to stay put. There was no way they would miss this.

Steve held his shoulder; neither could run so they made their way slowly to the park.

"I hope there aren't any kids at the park." Pony muttered.

Steve barked an unexpected laugh, "So, what are we supposed to do about the boys?"

"You mean what should we tell them?" Pony asked; his brow furrowed as he thought. He noticed this was the first time (aside from rumbles) that he and Steve were on the same team. It felt odd.

"I'm not tellin' them the truth," Pony said. He didn't want to hurt them anymore than they already had, especially Soda, and he certainly didn't want to explain what he and Steve had said to each other that made them beat each other so bad. What they needed was another reason for fighting.

"Duh," Steve muttered as they came in sight of the park. The fight seemed to be close to ending, the River Kings close to running. They were way off their territory and several other small neighborhood gangs had arrived to join Shepard.

Pony laughed as he watched Dally beat a River King, "Dally looks like he's havin' the time of his life," he said.

Steve laughed, surprised at Pony's humor. He guessed they'd never talked without insultin' each other.

Steve frowned as suddenly a crazy idea took hold, an insane, out if this world excuse, that just might work, if they play it right, "A girl!" he said suddenly.

"Huh?" Pony looked around; afraid Steve had spotted a helpless girl on the makeshift battlefield.

"No you dummy! A girl! We tell them we were fighting over a girl!" Steve said excitedly, "They'll forget all about it if they think we have a reason!" That was exactly what Ponyboy had thought earlier, but this? The gang would never buy this.

Ponyboy frowned, "Are you stupid? That would never work," he protested even as the idea took hold in his mind. A girl. They'd been fighting over a girl. Steve happens to throw a punch, Pony retaliates, and the fight ends they forget about the girl. End of story. The gang gets over it; they go back to hating each other in secret. The plan was insane and oddly the last part didn't sit well with Pony. Go back to hating Steve. Did 'going back' mean he didn't hate Steve now? He shook off his thoughts, now was not the time.

"They'd never buy it." Pony argued.

Steve shook his head, "You're thinking too logically," he said tapping Pony's forehead, "They don't need an explanation, they need a reason. A reason that they can hear, understand and avoid conflict with. They can go back to how they normally are. All they want is a reason!"

Pony frowned, digesting this impossible, improbable excuse. An excuse that just might work, one that they could just maybe pull off.

Ponyboy spoke cautiously, "So we go back and they interrogate us and we tell them it was a girl? Just like that?"

"Just like that. They'll be pissed it came to blows, but they'll lose interest."

Pony frowned looking for the problem until he found it, "Steve, you're dating Evie. They'll see right through it."

It was Steve's turn to frown, "Okay. Okay, okay, okay. Umm, yeah, that's why we were fighting!"

Pony looked at him, "We were fighting over Evie?" That would never work. Soda would see right through that in a heartbeat.

"No, you idiot," Steve said, "We were fighting because we both like her—this girl—but, um, you think I shouldn't get her because I'm dating Evie and I think you shouldn't get her because she'd too old. Work for you?"

Not really, Ponyboy would get it from Darry for fighting and the guys would tease him endlessly but it was better than the alternative of explaining why they disliked each other which would only lead to long, drawn out discussions that included, Pony shuddered, feelings.

If they could make this work it would save both of them a whole lotta' trouble.

So I decided to take this in a whole 'nother direction. I had no idea where it was going before but I knew I didn't like it. I'm sorry if this seemed confusing, I wasn't sure if I could only understand it 'cause I'm the author or what.

If you don't like it, then I'm really sorry. I'm hoping to build a relationship based on necessity for Pony and Steve. This will not ever be a romance. Yeahthat'sitbye.