TomKat Johnes(A The Outsiders Love Story: Chapter 25)

Well, Friday night rolled around and I got off work. I stopped at home, showered, and put on clean jeans and a navy wife beater.

I brushed my hair and left it down, I said bye to my brothers and was on my way. I arrived at the Dingo at six thirty to find Curly standing out front waiting patently for me.

“Hey, Curly.” I smiled and walked up to him.

“Hey, Kat.” He said, cheeks turning lightly red, “You look good.”

“Thanks.” I said, “You don’t look too shabby yourself.”

He blushed a little more.

“Wanna go in?” He asked as if he’d been doing something wrong.

“Sure.” I said realizing how nerves he really was.

He opened the door for me, and I smiled. We got a booth and he got up to order what we both wanted.

I rested my left elbow on the table and leaned on my hand. He was such a sweet guy, I knew that just from his posture so far. He wanted to succeed where his brother had failed. And I hated myself for knowing I’d have to tell him something later, I could never date a guy my age. I’d eat him alive. I’ve tried it and they could never keep up.

He came back and it was a little awkward as we ate, but all silence was broken when Two-bit and Sally came sliding in to the booth yelling that they weren’t expecting to find us here.

“You were there when I asked her out.” Curly mumbled.

Two-bit laughed, “You two look like you’re having so much fun.”

“We were.” I told him, “Until you two had to come in. Couldn’t you see we were deep in conversation?”

He laughed again, “If that was deep I’d hate to see shallow.”

“That’ll be your grave if you don’t leave right now.” I hissed.

“Oh, come on Kat.” Sally said nudging me, “This is the perfect way to lighten the tension of a first date, double up.”

“I rather like that tension.” I nearly hissed.

Two-bit and Sally burst out laughing. There was no way they would ever see me liking the tension and the silence.

“You’re brother still wants me back, doesn’t he?” I asked cutting through their laughter.

He nodded, “Beat me up last night after you excepted.” He told me, “He keep’s saying that you’ll come around, and once you had a taste of him you’ll want more, and all that.”

I smiled and rolled my eyes, “I think you should have been the older brother and not Tim.” I told him.

He looked confused.

“You’re more mature than he is.” I explained.

“A Shepard? Mature?” Two-bit laughed again, “This is the best!”

“Why?” I asked cheekily, “Because you’re learning words you’ve never known before?” And clicked my tongue to the roof of my mouth.

He stopped and glared at me, hard.

I grinned looking back at him.

“Let’s just go, Two-bit.” Sally said trying to stop a fight.

“You think I’m an idiot, don’t you?” He demanded.

I shook my head, “I know you’re not an idiot, Two-bit. But you can be so stupid at times, it’s not funny.”

And with that I grabbed Curly and we left leaving them behind.

“Sorry.” I mumbled as we walked, “I know he came because everyone knew I’d never snapped at him like that.”

He shrugged, “I had a feeling something like this would happen.” He said.

“Yeah, well I can still apologise.” I defended.

He nodded, “I knew this’d never make it past the first date.” He sighed.

“They almost never do.” I admitted.

“How come?” He asked.

I shrugged, “I’ll give anyone a chance, Curly, but a lot of the guys just aren’t right for me, or they’ve cheated on a million other girls before me and I don’t wanna be in that position, or,” I stopped and bit my lip.

“Or?” Curly asked.

“You have to promise you aren’t going to think of me as a shallow, greasy girl like every other girl in this neighborhood.” I warned.

“I promise.” He said.

I smiled and looked away, “The guy’s to young.”

“Too young?” He asked confused.

I nodded, “I can never date a guy my age or younger.”

“Why?”

I shrugged, “I’ve tried it on numerous counts, honest.” I said, “My brother’s have always said I need a guy my age. I’ve dated a few, meaning I’ve let them past the first date for their sake, but it just never felt right.”

“Like how?” He asked as we stopped next to the fountain and he lit up a weed and offered it to me, I politely refused.

“You know that old sayin’ you’ll be attracted to people like your parents?” I asked.

“God, I hope that ain’t true.” He said.

I shrugged, “I guess I am like my ma, ’cause I can never see myself with anyone my age. He has to be older like my daddy was.”

“How much older was he?” He asked as he blew smoke in my face.

“Seven years.” I said.

He almost choked on the smoke.

“You’re kidding.”

I shook my head, “And she was seventeen when they were married.” I told him.

“Wow!” He sat there a minute taking it in.

“I know it’s shallow, Curly.” I said, “You really are a nice guy, and to be perfectly honest it’s not even the age, but I think you’re better off with another girl.”

He stopped me, “Please don’t hit me, but I’ve always had this hunch.”

“What hunch?” I asked.

He smiled, “When I first met you, way back when, do you remember?”

I looked at him and he looked away sheepishly.

“Yeah.” I said.

Me, Steve, Soda, and Two-bit were playing one of our games on the play ground. Tim Shepard and his play ground annoyances(We called them that at the time) came up to us.

“What’s up losers?” He sneered.

“What do you want?” Steve hissed, seven years old, he had a hot temper.

“I wanna introduce my princess to her soon to be brother-in-law.” He said.

“I never knew you and Soda were engaged.” I said in my five-year-old voice.

He pushed me down off the monkey bars and I landed hard. 

“Kitty! Are you okay?” Two-bit called down to me.

I sat up quickly and nodded, I was fine.

“Alley Kat,” Tim said, I begrudgingly gave him my attention, “This is my baby brother, Curly.”

He moved to show a little boy, still larger then I was, looking about five, the same blond hair Tim had but it was kinds curly, he had the same dark eyes as his brother did, he was chubby and I knew he’d be a thorn in my side one of these days.

He made a face at me, then stuck his tong out and ran, his brother and his friends casing after him.

“Why did you run that day?” I asked him.

He looked away shyly, “Cause I never saw a girl as pretty as you.” He said.

I smiled and held back rolling my eyes, I’d gotten that compliment so many times I always assumed that they were being nice, or drunk, or they just wanted to get some. But I realized something as Curly said that, I was pretty. I’ve heard it my entire life and never believed a word of it. But I am, I was just never told so sincerely by the one I want as anything more then a joke.

“What’s this hunch of yours?” I asked.

He looked me dead on the eye and said, “From that day and the way that you acted with Randle, Matthews, and the middle Curtis I had this feeling you’d end up with one of them some day, I said don’t hit me.”

I had never any intention of hitting him, but was wondering if my feeling had been that obvious. No, he said it himself, one of them he never specified. Besides when I was that age I still though boys were icky. They are.

“Think so?” I asked him.

He nodded, “Even if non of them realize it,” He said, “One of them’d be the best choice for you in the long run.”

I shrugged, “Thank you, Curly.”

“For what?” He asked.

“For showing me something I hadn’t realized before.” I said and hugged him.

“No problem.” He said hugging back, “Just promise me something.”

“Sure.” I said pulling out of the hug.

“Make Tim get over you.” He almost hissed, “I’m tired of hearing him talk about you all the time.”

I had to laugh, it was almost stalker-ish the way he kept this up. It amused me.

“I’ll talk to you later, Curly.” I told him and stood up.

“See ya’ ’round Kat.” He said and we both walked out separate ways. He went to his place, and I wandered home. I debated going to the Curtis, but I figured that Two-bit and Sally were there telling everyone about what we did. Instead I went home and layed awake for a few hours wondering about what he said about me, Soda, Steve, and Two-bit, before finally drifting off to sleep.

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TomKat Johnes(A The Outsiders Love Story: Chapter 24)

“So what are we gonna do?” Two-bit asked as we walked around for a little while.

“Kat?” They all asked.

“We all turn to me when we’re board and looking for something to do.” I said sarcastically.

“Of course, you’re the one who knows how to have the most fun out of all of us.” Soda told me.

I playfully punched him in the arm and he punched back.

I thought for a second. We can’t really get Soda, Pony, or the girls in trouble. Not a whole lot of money in any of our pockets. I stopped and put my hands on my hips to get a better idea.

“What you thinking?” Dally asked.

“What we’re gonna do tonight.” I said, “And right now I’m thinkin’ we head back to the Curtis house, marathon Mickey Mouse, and have wrestling matches.”

They all agreed, even the girls. So we headed back, and on the way we ran into the Shepards’.

“What’s up guys?” I asked them as the guys pulled their girls behind them.

“Not much Alley Kat.” Tim grinned, “You found yourself a new man after what’s-his-face?”

I shook my head, “Figured I’d take a break from datin’ for a while is all. Maybe become a little more girly, you know.”

He half laughed.

“Guess, you’re outta luck there, Curly.” Tim said to his brother, who then glared at him.

Tim never liked it when I went out with guys after he and I broke up. I guess he thought I was still his and he was just waitin’ for me to come to my senses. I broke up with the guy almost two years ago. And I though with me acting the way I do to him he’d get the hint. But I guess that boy’s head it real thick.

“If Curly asked me out himself, I’d think about it.” I told them, twisting my torso back and forth with my hands clasped behind my back in a very feminine mannor, “Same time, Curly needs to understand most of the guys who ask me out don’t make it past the first date. And I never kiss.”

“I can live with that.” He said.

“You’re still missing something.” I told him.

I could feel the guys behind me trying not to burst out laughing at the kid and me.

“Umm, Kat.” He started nervously, “Do you, maybe, wanna hang out at the Dingo Friday? With me, I mean.”

I thought for a second. I knew it was eating at him.

“I’ll meet you out front say, six thirty?” I said.

“Sounds great.” He grinned.

“I look forward to it.” I said, “Later guys.”

“Bye.” They said.

I could hear Tim curse Curly out as we walked away.

“You’re going for another Shepard?” Steve hissed when we were far enough away.

“You know how I work, Stevie.” I told him, “I give any guy who asks me out a chance. And you know me so well, you should also know that I’ll go out with him Friday and that’s it.”

“Really?” Sally asked me, “He seems like your type.”

I rolled my eyes, “His brother seemed like it too. And here I am, single and ready to mingle.”

The girls giggled.

“Think you’ll ever find a real good guy, Kat?” Christine asked me, “One who’ll love you no matter what, accept you just the way you are, shares what you like, and will always wanna be around you?”

I shrugged, “I don’t know, Krissy.” I admitted, “But I know you have a guy like that.”

She grinned and turned red as Pony pulled her in closer to him. They were cute together.

“C’mon, Kat.” Evie said, “You have to find someone like that eventually, someone’s gonna find out exactly how amazing you are.”

“Aww,” I brought her into a side hug, “Thanks, Eve. But I don’t know, no offence to you guys, but all the guys around here seem to like nothin’ more than how much a girl’s got in her bra.”

“Not true.” Two-bit came in, “Some of us like butts, some of us like legs, some of us go for the hair colour, or general size of the girl. Not just boobs.”

“Okay, non of the above I have.” I laughed.

“Oh, come on, you aren’t bad looking.” He told me. My heart started to hurt.

“Don’t you have a girlfriend?” I teased.

“Sally knows nothin’s gonna happen between us.” He said.

If only you knew what I knew you felt. Maybe things’d be different. I thought.

So, we wrestled and watched Mickey Mouse most of the night. Darry won the wrestling championship, it was no surprise.

I just kept wondering what would happen if I told Two-bit I knew he loved me, and I felt the same way. But I couldn’t do that, I didn’t want to wreck anything we had. And what about Sally? She was practically in love him right now. I couldn’t do that, not if my life depends on it. It’s against my greaser girl code.

TomKat Johnes(A The Outsiders Love Story: Chapter 23 Part B)

Two-bit’s pov.

Aww man. Kat’s probably gonna be grounded for a month now. One month without Kat.

That’s worse than the death sentence.

Oh God, what if they send her to grand parents? I couldn’t live.

“Two-bit you seem to be thinkin’ awful hard.” Soda said bringing me out of my thoughts, “And for you that’s scary.”

I shrugged and I bit into my burger. We all decided to go out with our girls.

“C’mon Two-bit tell us what’s up.” Steve said.

“I’m just wonderin’ ’bout Kat right now.” I said and swallowed, “What if she gets in trouble with her brother ’cause of us? Or what if she’s send down to her grandparents? What then? We all know how much she hates them, and I can’t help but wonder if she is sent away, how are we gonna apologise for that? How are we gonna tell her we’re sorry for stickin’ out noses in business it don’t belong?”

“You got a good point there.” Soda backed me up, “How many times did Kat press us to tell her who we liked? And you can’t say shit ’bout you Steve, she practically handed you Evie.”

“She did not.” Evie argued.

I had to laugh. I remembered that day so well.

“Come on Stevie!” Kat whined as we walked around town looking for something to do. This was a couple years back so I was about 16, Soda and Steve were roughly 15, leaving Kat at the end as 14.

“Why do’you wanna know so much?” He hissed to her.

She crossed her arms and held her ground as she stopped us all dead in our tracks by standing right in front of us, ” ‘Cause if you don’t I’m gonna tell the entire school tomorrow, Steve Randle is queer for Curly Shepard.”

Steve was fuming as Soda and I were trying not to burst out laughing.

“Now you gonna tell me, or you want that goin’ around?” She asked knowing she’d won.

Steve sighed and ran a hand through his greased hair mumbling curses under his breath.

“All of ya’ll have to promise you ain’t gonna tell a soul.” He hissed, we all nodded, “I kinda, maybe, sorta, like Evie.”

“Dalton?” Kat asked.

He nodded redder than a tomato. An evil grin spread across Kat’s face, one that we’ve all learned either to love of be terrified of. Right now, Soda I should of loved it, and Steve should be terrified.

“You promised.” He hissed.

“I had my fingers crossed.” She said and took off down the street, Steve bolting after her

Soda and I ran after them to make sure they didn’t kill one another. Kat was the best runner out of all of us though, so before we knew it the three of us were walking, very fast, after her. Of course she was nice, and not stupid so she slowed down for us. But Steve soon bolted after her again when we coming up on the field where the cheerleaders practiced on Saturdays. 

We watched her run down to them, an d throw her arms around Evie in a hug like stance and said something before looking over at Steve catching up, she looked up at her for a good second before she was gone again. Steve chasing after her. We were laughing as we followed.

“Sorry ’bout this ladies.” Soda apologised as we ran by, I just whistled.

Soda and I laughed together obviously remembering it.

“Good times.” Soda laughed.

“Exactly what did she say to you that day anyway?” I asked Evie.

She shrugged, “Just that Steve Randle wanted to take me out to the movies this weekend but he was too busy and nervous to ask me out right now. But if I hinted that I liked him, he might man up to ask me. Then she grinned and was gone faster than a bullet, and then Steve zoomed after her.” She giggled.

Steve just looked at her.

“What?” She asked.

“That’s seriously it?” He asked.

She nodded, “And to be honest, I was waiting for you to ask me out a while before that too.”

“So you could have had her a while longer.” Christine laughed.

Pony, Tootsie, Dally, Sally, me, Lilly, and Soda had to join in. Johnny cracked a grin.

“And then we owe all this to that little girl.” Soda said motioning to all of us.

We all had top nod.

“You know what I think we should do?” Pony said.

“What’s that Pony?” Soda asked.

“We go over to Kat’s and tell her we’re sorry while we still can, and tell her that if she really likes this guy and don’t wanna tell us than she don’t have to, but we want what’s best for her.” He said.

“That’s mature of you Ponyboy.” Christine said dreamily looking up at him.

He smiled down at her, and I made a choking sound. They looked annoyed, but stopped.

“Remember Ponyboy,” I told him, “You might be dating her, but that’s still my baby sis.”

“C’mon.” Steve said gettin’ up, “Let’s go talk to that girl.”

We all agreed and left. We had to talk to that girl, now.

And as much as it was killing me not to know who it was she liked, I knew it was probably best not to press her for it. Or at least that’s what I told myself when we entered an empty house of the Constantine/Johnes.

“Anyone home!” We called out.

This was weird. I thought. There is always someone home. We heard noises that sounded like they were coming from the back yard. We went through to the kitchen to the back door. Dally opened it and threw open the screen door.

We filed out one after another, I was the last one out.

“No fair!” Kat yelled.

One of the twins had her eating the grass. I guess they were wrestling.

“Sorry, Kitten.” He said gettin’ off her.”

“So this is how rule breakers are punished.” Soda said out loud, they looked over at us, “I want in.”

“Bring it Curtis!” Kat yelled jumping up as Soda ran to tackle her.

“Which one?” He asked.

“Pepsi!” She yelled and tackled him to the ground and pin in such a way I was sure he was trying not to cry.

“You win.” He groaned.

She let him go and he rolled over to breath.

“So what brings you guys over here?” Junior asked us.

“We wanted to apologise to Kat.” I said.

She shook her head, and I stopped, “I know why you guys pressed me like you did.” She said, “And I know you wanna make sure I get a good guy, and I assure you, he is. But there are somethings that a girl needs to figure out on her own, without the help of friends or family.”

“Then where do we come in?” Evie asked crossing her arms.

She grinned, “When I realize I made a mistake, family and true friends will be there for me to tell me it was worth it, because now I know better. For instance, I think we all know not to trust a man that’s about five or so years older than you who comes into a gas station and asks for directions, and then asks you out because he’s probably up to no good.

“I hear that.” Lilly giggled.

“We all make mistakes guys, let’s accept them and move on.” She said.

“How, are you the youngest?” Buddy asked her.

She shrugged, “Mama and Daddy decided to have five amazing sons to be the guides of their baby girl, first because they knew they wouldn’t be around.” She grinned.

“Let’s go raise a little hell.” Steve told her.

She and Soda got up together and she hugged each of her brothers good-bye. And we were out of the house walking down the street like old times. Like things should be.