The Outsiders Fan Fiction ❯ Three A.M. ❯ Three A.M. ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

(Summary: It’s three a.m. and you don’t know where else to go. Johnny and Dally angst.)

(Author’s Note: I wrote this out on notebook paper a couple months ago and just found it again. Cleaned it up and decided to post it. I don‘t own any of the
Outsiders enterprise. This is a fan based work.)

Your face is stinging like it’s on fire. You never get used to it. It doesn’t matter how many times he’s hit you. Your arm is aching horribly and you wonder vaguely if your old man might’ve dislocated your shoulder while jerking you around. Your feet sluggishly, painfully carry you up the creaking steps that reek of alcohol, among other putrid smells.

You hate this place. You always have.

You’ve been here a few times, never on particularly good circumstances. You never enjoyed it. It always smells like beer, a smell that burns your nose, and Hank Williams music is always wafting through the air, a drunk, lonesome tenor of a voice that grates on your last nerve. Country music always drives you crazy. It’s way too sad. If only Buck would play some Elvis once in awhile. Still, you’d rather be here than at home, especially at the moment. You enter a hallway and head straight towards his room. You know exactly where it is now. You could find it in complete darkness.

The door opens with ease, almost as if he’s been expecting you. Hell, maybe he was. You ease in and shut it slowly behind you. The only light in the room is the moon outside the window, a dull pale glow about the place. You can smell mildew and can catch a glimpse of the peeling wallpaper, but there is utterly no noise. It’s around three a.m. so you expected the room to be quiet. It doesn’t shock you, though it has always messed with your head.

Dallas makes no noise when he sleeps, so you can never tell if he’s snoozing or awake staring at you, reading your soul - his eyes are too deep set to see the whites of them in the dark. Tonight you catch yourself hoping to God that he’s awake because you’re trembling now and the real pain is settling in. You don’t know what to tell him as you run your fingers over the bruises on your neck.

Your father tried to kill you tonight. You find it a very disturbing reality, made only worse by how easy it is to admit.

There’s movement and you jolt. You can’t help yourself. Dallas raises up slowly, the moonlight catching his blonde locks in an eerie glow. His face is full of shadows but you catch a glimpse of concern behind a chiseled mask. You can see a scar on his collarbone. You never really knew where he got it, but it makes you feel connected to him somehow.

“Johnnycake?” His voice is heavy with sleep. “That you?”

“Yeah…” Your voice is shakier than you remember - hoarser too.

He slides out of bed and yanks the lamp’s chain, illuminating the area with an off-gold, hotel-room glow. His eyes widen very slightly at the sight of you. Not many besides you would have noticed it. You must look worse than you thought. You question your decision to come here instead of trudging to the Curtis’s house, but that passes quickly. There would be far too many questions there for your liking.

“Glory,” Dallas says quietly to himself, approaching. His shocked tone scares the hell out of you. “Your old man do this to you?”

You nod. You can’t find words.

“Bastard!” The word hisses through his sharp looking teeth as he looks you over. You jump. He calms down, looking a little guilty for scaring you. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”

He gestures for you to follow him into the fluorescent-lit bathroom with mismatched curtains and stained wallpaper. You glance at the mirror and understand Dallas’s previous reaction. You’re pretty banged up, far more than usual. You’re unsure where some of your bruises end and you’ve got a large gash on your cheek and a busted lip. The bruises on your neck stick in your mind, large and violet-black.

Dallas jerks your head softly to look at him - he’s never been very gentle, but he takes care to be a little softer with you. He grabs a washcloth off the small wooden shelf, nailed to the wall and places it under the wink faucet. Then he takes it , squeezes it out, and places it against your face, wiping away dried blood as gingerly as he can. You flinch every once in awhile - it stings a little. He cleans your cheeks and up under your chin, but pauses at your neck, noticing for the first time. Your eyes begin to burn and you attempt to swallow a lump rapidly forming in your throat. He knows, you tell yourself. For some reason, you’re ashamed.

“Mother fuck-” he growls, eyes furious and voice straining. He doesn’t say that often in your presence.

Your eyes are getting heavy now and you’re choking on that lump that you couldn’t swallow. You quickly try to brush away straying tears, but they’re steadily streaming against your control. You sniff, and cough on a sob. Then there’s another sob. And another. You’re shaking so hard now that it’s too hard to stand and you fall forward into his chest. The dam breaks. You let go. It doesn’t matter. He won’t tell, and it hurts too much to be embarrassed. You collapse into a fit of sobbing.

Dallas doesn’t react. Whether he’s in shock or it’s just the way he is, you’re glad he doesn’t. He is silent for a few minutes then reaches up and grips the back of your skull, the other across your back, holding you close. You wish so much to be like him - so strong and tough… tuff…. But here you are, crying like a baby. You hate yourself for it, and it only hurts worse. You clutch to him like you’re falling from the planet, and he actually wraps you in his arms.

You’re completely stunned, but quickly overwhelmed again. Words begin pouring from your lips.

“H-he tried to kill me! He strangled me! I-I had to fight him off this time. C-c-cracked a lamp against h-his head. I’ll p-pay for that, later. I know I will. I ran away. I-I came here. I can’t go home! I’d rather die!”

Dallas yanks you back, gripping your shoulders to an almost bruising point. Your arm screams in protest and you wince, but Dallas’s eyes are fiery and infuriated… yet scared…

“Don’t start talking like that! You know we couldn’t make it without you, Johnnycake. You’ve got us.” His voice cracks ever-so-slightly.

You start to calm down a little bit, but you can’t stop the tears. Trembling, you finally speak your thoughts.

“I… I wish… I was like you, Dally. I wish I didn’t cry at all… like you. You never cry.”

“Yeah… I know…” he says softly.

At that moment, you know he’s lying to you.

But you refuse to watch.