A Twisted Vacation

Ponyboy and Soda decide to convince Darry to take them to a hotel in Kansas for winter break. A vacation away from such a dangerous place like Tulsa and with your best friends sound tuff, right? However, some escaped mental patients just so happen to be on the lose. They just so happen to want revenge!

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1. A Vacation?

A/N: Yes, I'm writing yet another "The Outsiders" fanfic, but I'm such a huge fan of S.E. Hinton's work. I do not own any of "The Outsiders" characters or any piece from "The Outsiders" story in general! All rights go to S.E. Hinton! I only own the characters that I make up!

This story if for me to write and work whenever I come across writer's block or anything in "All Bruises and Scars Sooner Return," so if I don't update a whole lot on this or "All Bruises and Scars Sooner Return," don't worry, I'm working hard on the other story. Since I've been working a lot on "All Bruises and Scars Last Sooner Return," I've decided to start working on a mysterious and suspenseful "The Outsiders" fanfic.

Summary #2: The gang thought that it would be interesting to kick out of Tulsa for awhile and head to this lodge during winter break. A vacation away from a place where there is tons of rumbles, shootings, robberies, murders, and stealing sounds great, right? Well, not for the Curtis' and their gang of pals, the greasers. What happens when the gang finds out about a kidnapper that's on the loose around the lodge? And what about when the roads become too icy to get back home before anything dangerous possibly happens?

Enjoy! The more reviews I get, the faster I'll attempt updating! Hint, hint there! Enjoy chapter one! :D :D :D :D

Darry's POV

Bills, bills, bills...more bills here, more bills there...all over the kitchen table, I was busy checking over all of the bills and making sure that my kid brothers and I had enough money to pay them off yet again. Luckily, we always did, but that never stopped my stress from rising. Did these people have anything else better to do than sending others tons of bills to pay off by different dates?

I pinched the bridge of my nose and let out a heavy sigh to myself. I felt as if I was getting ready to just slam my head down onto the table and allow the bills to burry me from my extreme headache. All I ever seem to do is go to work and roof houses ever since my folks died in a auto-wreck. That was my good-bye ticket to college, and an early hello to what seemed like parenthood to my two kid brothers, sixteen-almost-seventeen-year-old Soda, and fourteen-year-old Ponyboy. I had to make sure that they stayed in line nearly every day, especially Soda since Pony usually has his eyes glued on a picture or his nose stuck in a book.

Soda got drunk on just plain living...well, that's how Ponyboy described him in the theme that he wrote in order to pass his advanced writing class. I couldn't disagree with him though. Sodapop did get arrested this one time with our good pal Two-Bit since they were busy cheering loudly and doing acrobatics all up and down the streets of Tulsa. They woke so many people up and got filed so many complaints that I thought when the fuzz called that it would be about our toughest friend, Dallas Winston.

A lot has happened to me and my kid brothers ever since our parents died. For example, social services always swung by once every month to talk about Soda's job down at the DX, Ponyboy's grades and new job that he fetched down at the bowling alley, my job and how I paid the bills, and whatever else they wanted to ask us about. Usually they always questioned Pony about how he felt about staying with me since I accidentally allowed my temper to snap and I smacked him clear across his face this one dreadful night. I wish that they wouldn't bring up such a terrible memory, because not only did it hurt me and my brothers, but it also hurt the rest of the gang from the many memories that followed what all happened after that.

Ponyboy was almost drowned in the fountain at the park by some drunk Socs, but his greatest friend out of the whole gang, Johnny Cade saved him by committing murder for self-defensive on the head Soc, Bob Sheldon. After that, things all went from bad to worse. Ponyboy and Johnny ended up running away to this old abandoned church, but when it caught on fire and Johnny got stuck inside, his tan skin became horribly burnt and his back seemed smashed. We all thought that Johnny was dead after Pony came home late that night after the rumble, but he wasn't. It was a miracle that he survived and he healed up completely, as if he was never harmed. His burns were completely gone and his back was as good as new.

As for our pal Dallas, or Dally...even the roughest hood in all of Tulsa had a breaking point. He loved Johnny like a little brother, and after he thought that Johnny was dead, he attempted suicide by committing a robbery and running away from the fuzz with an unloaded heater. Dallas didn't die though...Pony tackled him down to the ground, and the rest of the gang, including myself, surrounded them and called for the cops to not shoot because Dally was just a seventeen-year-old kid that was going through a hard time in his head. That didn't stop the police from hauling Dally in though.

Our pals lived, and after winter came back around, things were slowly beginning to go back to normal.

Ponyboy was still passing with all A's and Soda was still working successfully down at the DX with his best friend since grade school, seventeen-year-old Steve Randle, and the first female greaser in all of Tulsa, fourteen-year-old Kitten Andrews.

As for Johnny, he was slowly beginning to improve in school, and he was back to taking care of his own little siblings, twelve-year-old Cassidy and seven-month-old Jocelyn. If anybody thought that Dally was the one who took Johnny's "death" the hardest, they'd be wrong. Cassidy wouldn't stop blubbering for hours, and whenever Jocelyn saw somebody cry, she couldn't help herself to cry too.

Eighteen-year-old Two-Bit Mathews, the wisecracker of our reckless pack, was back to none other than cracking many jokes by the minute and sometimes even bothering us with ridiculous, childish pranks.

Everything was improving, but I wish that I could have just one day without worrying about if anybody in the gang is safe or not, or a day where I wouldn't have to pick up a bill.

"Hey, Darry," Soda came strolling into the kitchen with that happy-go-lucky grin of his plastered widely across his face. According to Ponyboy, he was movie-star material, and that honestly had me cracking up on the inside. Soda looked just like our mother with his golden blonde hair and soft brown eyes that were always dazzling with everlasting life.

"Hey, Pepsi-Cola," I heavily sighed again as I ran my hands through my hair. Our father always called him that when he and our mom was still around.

I didn't need to make eye-contact with Soda to know that he had just cocked an eyebrow, a trick that he had picked up from Two-Bit.

"Are the bills givin' you a hard time again?" Pepsi questioned me, and I only nodded my head as I kept my eyes on the piles of bills that I already went through. I heard the sound of the fridge opening up, followed by the sound of glass gently tapping against the door before it closed again. Knowing Soda by heart, he had got himself a Coke.

"Darry, why don't you take a break from the bills? There's something that Ponyboy and I actually want to talk to you about." shared Soda, the tone of his voice hopeful. I knew that voice...usually Sodapop pulled that voice whenever he wanted me to cave into something he or Ponyboy wanted. They've attempted to talk me into getting a dog, allowing them to get their own motorcycles, and even Soda tried getting me to allow him to teach Pony how to flirt with a girl. Of course, I denied all of them.

"Soda, I already told you and Pony that I'm not getting either of you motorcycles or a dog." I firmly stated with a roll of my eyes.

"Who said that that's what we wanted to talk to you 'bout?" The sound of Soda's voice was still full of hope.

Confusedly, I raised an eyebrow and began to wonder what in the world could either of my kid brothers want this time.

The Mickey Mouse theme song was singing away from the TV in the living room, no other from Two-Bit, of course.

"Two-Bit, if you don't turn that pile of bull crap down right now, I will punch you in your eye!" Dally's voice bellowed with a drop-dead warning tone, and just after a couple of seconds, the TV was turned down.

"But seriously, Darry," Soda's voice was suddenly hurt. "Why can't we get a dog or just one motorcycle?"

I finally decided to take my eyes off of the bills and swirl around in my chair. When my eyes met Soda's, I noticed that he was giving me that puppy dog frown on his, but no matter how many times he flashed me that look, I wasn't going to cave.

I gave him a stern expression in return. "Because dogs are a whole lot of responsibility and they cost a bunch of money. As for the motorcycles, you've been to enough drag races to know how dangerous your own sets of wheels can be if you're not using them properly."

Soda crossed his free arm over his stomach and shook his head, but he didn't bother to say anything else about the motorcycles or a dog.

"Now what do you and Ponyboy want to talk to me about this time?" I dared myself to ask in order to change the topic and just get this new talk over with.

Without any hesitating, Sodapop's puppy dog pout instantly washed away from his face, and his movie-star handsome grin spread widely for me to see. Just knowing he attempted fooling me with his phony puppy dog act that time made me roll my eyes, but it's not like Soda minded. He knew what I was like whenever I caught somebody trying to pull something over on me.

I sat still in my chair and waited, still wondering what my kid brothers would ask me for this time as Soda walked over to the arch doorway and poked his head into the living room. Ponyboy was apparently sitting on the couch with Kitten and Johnny, reading yet another book as he successfully tuned out everything else that was going on around him.

I think Steve was flipping through a cars and engines magazine, and Dally was kicking back in the recliner, making sure that Two-Bit wasn't making eyes at his redhead sister, sixteen-year-old Valerie. Nobody ever called her by her real name though; she threatened everybody who knew her real name that if they dared to call her it, they would be picking up all of their teeth from the floor. Instead, everyone called her Vinny.

"All right, Darry..." Soda took in a deep breath and released it happily after Ponyboy finally came trotting into the kitchen. A big grin was detailed all over his face too, so I could tell that I was going to have to go through hearing about something else that they wanted.

"Darry, you know how much we love you, right?" Pony asked me, and in return, I raised my eyebrows at him.

I then hesitated, keeping quiet as I rolled my eyes back and forth from him to Soda. I kept that up for maybe five silent seconds before I opened my mouth.

"...This outta be good. What do you two kiddies want this time?"

Ponyboy folded his hands and exchanged his hopeful smile with Soda's just as joyful grin. Their different colored eyes were sparkling, and they both glanced back at me at the same time. At first, I was greeted with silence from the two of them, but I wasn't going to say anything else until they told me what it was that they wanted.

I tapped my fingers over and over again, listening to them gently make their soft thuds against the back of my chair as I continued to wait for either of my little brothers to speak up.

"Darry, can you look outside for us?" Soda suddenly asked, which left me confusedly raising an eyebrow. I turned my head over towards the window, only so I could be greeted with the sight of the glass covered with freezing frost, and I could some more snowflakes beginning to gently dance down from the light gray sky all over again. The ground was completely covered in patches of white, and not one bit of grass or any sidewalks were showing. All I could see of the roads were the tracks from different cars and neighborhood pets making their ways around Tulsa.

"Okay...I see that it's winter outside...so what?" I simply shrugged my shoulders as I turned my attention back over to Ponyboy and Sodapop.

Ponyboy crossed his arms over his chest. "Well, it's obvious that you're no longer roofing houses with this freezing temperature and snowy weather..."

"And my boss decided to give Kitten, Steve, and I the rest of winter break off with pay since we're apparently the best workers he's ever had..." added Soda, the hopefulness in his voice only growing more with each word he spoke.

I guess my kid brothers thought that I understood what they wanted by the time they had finished there, but I honestly knew squat towards why they just told me about how I wasn't working and neither was Soda.

Again, I shrugged. "So? I already told you that we ain't getting any pets or motorcycles, so what else could either of you possibly want?"

"It's winter break, Darry," Soda stated, as if I didn't know that. "Ever since school ended two hours or so ago, winter break has begun and nobody in the gang has any plans."

Soda had a point there. No matter how much anyone from the gang attempted going anywhere, every place was basically closed up due to the weather. The movies and the Dingo were shut down, Buck decided to cancel his upcoming party, the park was practically berried...you name it and there is a problem with it. Besides, it was too cold to even step a foot out the door before you would probably get frozen into a block of ice.

"Well, I'm afraid that we can't control the weather. Every place 'round here is shut down or berried out there in the freezing snow." I pointed out.

Soda took a drink from his glass bottle of Coke and nodded his head before swallowing. Another smile then swiped across his face, which had me feeling like I was just about to holler out for the whole neighborhood to hear: "What in the world do you two want from me?" Though, I was able to keep my voice to myself.

"Right," Ponyboy suddenly stated. "Every place around here..."

There was this feeling inside of me that was telling me that I should've known exactly what my kid brothers wanted right then and there, but I was honestly only growing more confused by the minute. They didn't want the darn motorcycles or a dog, and Soda definitely wasn't trying to get my permission for him to help Ponyboy understand how to flirt with a girl...what else could two teenagers like my little brothers want?

I rested my eyes shut for a moment and felt my headache only striking the sides of my head harder and harder. I then pinched the bridge of my nose and took in a deep, soft breath, holding it in for a couple of seconds before I reopened my eyes and fixed my attention back on Pony and Soda, who were still grinning like there was no tomorrow.

"...Did you guys break something or do something that you're trying to hide from me because you know I won't approve off it?" I curiously raised my eyebrows and gave both of my brothers my drop-dead serious facial expression.

"No," Ponyboy answered me with complete honesty, and Soda shook his head.

I bit down on my bottom lip and attempted one final time to think hard about what they could possibly want so badly if they never told me it yet. However, I had no idea. They never tried going this long without telling me what they wanted when they asked if we could get a dog or if I could get them motorcycles.

"Look, guys," I heavily sighed with a single roll of my eyes. I was clearly getting annoyed, and Sodapop and Ponyboy knew that. "I'd appreciate it if you just told me what you two are hoping for because I just finished cleaning the whole house, making lunch, and now I'm trying to wrap up these bills. If you didn't notice by now, I'm exhausted, so please just tell me what you guys want this time."

Soda and Pony finally exchanged their smiles one final time before they gazed back at me.

Soda placed his free hand on his hip and said happily: "Kansas, Darry,"

My eyes went wide, but not with shock or anything like that. I was just plain confused all over again. What did he mean by Kanas? Him and Pony...wanted Kansas?

"Kanas?" I coughed a little, and my kid brothers eagerly nodded their heads, obviously hoping to death for me to approve what they wanted this time.

"Yeah, Darry! Ponyboy and I were hoping that you would take us and the rest of the gang away to Kansas for a vacation! There's this really tuff lodge down there that Ponyboy heard about in school, and I think that going there for winter break would be the best thing ever!" Soda was actually leaping up and down and clapping his hands, as if he was a little kid on a sugar high. That's Pepsi-Cola for you though. You never live a single moment of your life with boredom.

"Just imagine it, Darry," Ponyboy spoke up before I could say what was on my mind. "Instead of being all cooped up here in the house for the whole winter break, would you rather have fun at a lodge? You know, new people, snow activities, and we can have plenty of more fun than here in Tulsa where there are shootings, robberies, rumbles, and all of that drama!"

I thought that my eyes were wide before from confusion, but now I knew that I was proven wrong. My eyes were like two marbles, huge and glassy like, and my mouth had fell open to form a sort of small 'O' shape after hearing Ponyboy and Soda finally confess to me why they were so excited.

"Oh lord...um..." I finally said after I was able to find my voice. "Ponyboy, Soda...I don't think it's such a good idea for us to go on vacation."

Just like I was afraid of, the excited smiles instantly vanished from my kid brother's faces. Again, Soda pulled the puppy dog pout, while Ponyboy crossed his arms over his chest and gazed down at the floor, disappointed.

"Why not, Darry?" Sodapop demanded to know in a completely whiny, childish like voice. "I mean, we haven't went on any kind of vacation ever since our parents took us to Disneyland when we were just little kids. This winter break is a great opportunity to get away from Tulsa with the gang and leave behind all of this chilly boredom."

I narrowed my eyes a little and motioned to the bills that I already paid off, but there were "some" remaining in front of me.

"Vacations cost money, you two. Kansas is no less than an eleven hour ride. Imagine how much our gas bill will go up when dealing with heading all the way there and back. And how 'bout if we, including the gang, have to rent any kind of winter supplies there? Our meals? All of our rooms? This will all cost too much!" I declared.

Pony refused to make any sort of eye-contact with me. Sometimes I felt like he was too stubborn for his own good, but then again...pretty much everyone in our gang is too stubborn for their own good from time to time.

"I told you he wouldn't allow us to go on any kind of vacation, Soda." Pony stubbornly mumbled, as if I wasn't even there. He had to stop spending so much time around Dally.

To be honest, hearing my baby brother say that hit me right in the heart. I might've not showed it on the outside, but I was feeling very terrible on the outside. I mean, it would be nice to get out of Tulsa with the gang and celebrate our winter break elsewhere for a change. We actually never went on any kind of vacation before with the gang, and I must admit that that would be something that I'd like to go through to see how it would all turn out. However, I was just stressed out over all of the bills and I didn't know if we would have enough money leftover to go on such a vacation.

"Ponyboy, I'm not trying to be mean, but you know how much the three of us work and how hard it is to pay off all of the bills, plus the grocery shopping." I explained in the calmest voice that anybody could ever pull off, but I was talking when hiding my sorrow behind the mask completely. I didn't want my kid brother to be mad at me; I didn't want either of them to be upset.

"But, Darry, we've been working very hard and there is absolutely nothing for us to do here except watch Mickey Mouse until the weather sooner or later knocks out the electricity." Soda wouldn't stop using the puppy dog face on me, but I wasn't slipping my first answer away just yet.

"Look, I just don't think we'll have enough money to spare. The gas bill, the water pill, the electric bill...we got a lot piling up on us and if we take a vacation to Kansas, our bills will only be higher next month." I stated.

Soda's puppy dog face then turned into a complete frown, and he sighed. "We know, but when was the last time we ever got to just settle down with the gang? You know, having actual fun together instead of getting into trouble with the fuzz or having a rumble be called out from 'em Socs? We never had one single time away from Tulsa without our parents, and we just so happened to never have a vacation with the gang."

My frown began to tug at the edges of my lips, but before I could say what I thought I wanted to say, Ponyboy glanced back up from the floor and stared at me with a mixture of plead and complete seriousness swimming in his grayish-greenish eyes.

"School just got out today and our jobs are off until winter break comes to an end. If we go on this vacation, I'll work overtime at the bowling alley and pick up extra shifts if I have to. I'll bring home more money along with Soda's job at the DX so we won't have to ever worry about running out of money again." I honestly thought that Pony was bluffing, only saying that stuff so I would allow this vacation to happen, but when we would get back, he wouldn't keep his promise. Nevertheless, I was wrong. The tone of Ponyboy's voice gave it away that he meant every single word that he said.

Eagerly, Soda nodded his head. "Yeah, yeah, Darry! I'll take more shifts with Steve and Kitten down at the DX, too! Heck, I'll even take over their shifts if it means I can bring home more money to help with the bills and groceries! We just want us and the rest of the gang to have the most memorable winter break, and what's a better way of doin' that by going on a vacation?"

I rolled my eyes all around, hesitation as I stared anywhere but at either of my kid brothers. If this chat was about them wanting the motorcycles or a dog again, I would've slammed my foot down once and for all, telling them no and that was that. However, this talk wasn't like that. This was something that they desperately wanted more than anything, and all so we can spend actual time together without worrying over any of the usual troubles in Tulsa. No robberies, no fights, no vandalism, no murders...no nothing like that. As for Dally possibly getting arrested, I'm afraid that the gang would have to deal with that no matter where we went; though, as for everything else...

"Darry, can you just forget about work and the money to pay for everything for just this winter break? Please?" To my surprise, Ponyboy pulled his own puppy dog face, and I found his harder to escape than Soda's.

I bit down on my bottom lip and nibbled on it for a moment, taking a moment to think everything through and scatter certain thoughts elsewhere. The gang was already like our family, but we parted our ways usually every night. Going on a vacation together and staying at some lodge would only have us seem like we were going to become an actual family. That is, until we arrive back home in Tulsa at the end of winter break. As much as we all argued from time to time, and we got very annoyed with each other sometimes, I guess we would become a family...God, help us all.

"Hm..." I softly hummed to myself before I finally gazed back at my little brothers. Again, I gave them my serious facial expression. "Do you two promise to keep your word and work harder at your jobs by taking extra shifts and whatnot if we go on this vacation?"

Pony's puppy dog face instantly vanished and his eyes went wide. As for Soda, his mouth slimly dropped open, but the two of them eagerly nodded their heads.

I took a few extra moments to study how my kid brothers looked. They were both dressed in plain hoodies and worn out jeans, along with dirty pairs of tennis shoes, and their hair was drenched completely in hair grease. Yep, they were definitely my baby brothers.

I kept a straight face and left my eyes glued on the eager Ponyboy and Sodapop as I took in another deep, but quiet breath.

"All right..." I spoke as I released the breath.

Soda's jaw seemed to thrillingly drop down to the floor in practically the widest smile I've ever seen him flash.

Ponyboy, on the other hand, looked like he was about to break down into tears of absolute joy and excitement towards my approval.

"All right?" Soda asked with complete cheer in his voice. I could tell that neither he or Pony expected me to finally cave and allow them to get something big like this.

"Yes, all right," I nodded my head. "But if we're goin' to Kansas, we better get ready to go right now. I want you two to go upstairs and get all packed up. In the meantime, I'll tell the gang the news because if we leave by tonight, we should be able to arrive in Kansas by noon tomorrow."

Before I saw it coming, I was attacked in a giant bear hug, feeling the daylights being squeezed out of me by my kid brothers as their smiles hid in my shirt, and their muffled voices kept repeating, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

"Okay, okay," I couldn't help myself to crack a grin and chuckle at their thrilled behavior. "Now go upstairs and get packed up. We're leavin' tonight."

Without a single moment of pausing after my soft order, Ponyboy and Soda nodded their heads and bashed up the stairs like they saw a ghost coming after them. Just thinking about how thrilled they were had my smile growing more. I must admit that I was pretty excited myself, but I still had to pay off the rest of the bills before we could leave.

"Hey, Superman," Two-Bit addressed me as I casually entered the living room with my grin slightly remaining on my face. Atleast the house was still in a perfect condition, so we could leave it and come back to it all organized and clean by the end of winter break.

I locked my eyes on the wisecracker. "What?"

He took a sip of "his" bottle of beer that he had swiped from the fridge. Then he wiped his lips with his Mickey Mouse T-shirt's sleeve before he asked me what he wanted to ask me. "What did Soda and Ponyboy want from you?"

After hearing that question come out of Two-Bit's mouth, I actually couldn't help myself to allow my smile to spread some more.

Cassidy grinned, snuggling by Johnny's side on the couch with Jocelyn busy sucking her thumb on his lap.

"Darry, you sure look happy 'bout something!" giggled the middle Cade.

Steve tossed the magazine that he was flipping through down onto the coffee table. He then raised an eyebrow and asked me: "What's got you so smiley, Brawn No Brain?"

When I heard that negative nickname pass through Steve's lips, my smile didn't wait to pull back, revealing my teeth that were now starting to clench. My eyes narrowed and swarmed with warning, and I glared at Steve. I swear, if he wasn't Soda's best pal since grade school, or if I wasn't glad about actually agreeing to go on the vacation right then, I would've shattered Steve's jaw for real this time.

"I actually have some news that I'm sure you're all going to love. Some more than others, I'm sure." I shared.

Johnny, Cassidy, and Kitten already seemed interested, giving me small grins with delight sparkling in their eyes.

"Really?" Johnny asked me, and I nodded.

"Well, what's the news, Darry?" questioned Kitten as she tucked her ginger-colored bangs back behind her ear.

I opened my mouth to start speaking about the vacation, but I was cut off when a loud squeak from Mickey Mouse came from the TV, followed by the loud music that he went ahead and danced to.

"Two-Bit, turn the TV off," I rolled my eyes, clearly annoyed by the singing and dancing mouse.

Two-Bit held the remote in the hand that wasn't busy holding "his" half drank bottle of beer. After I told him to turn off the TV, his eyes went wide.

"But it's Mickey!" He objected, which had me running my hands through my hair, as if that was my way of saying: "Are you freaking kidding me?"

I couldn't believe how childish he was. He was seventeen and he still watched Mickey Mouse. I'd rather have him watch a beating on the news like Dally if that's all that took for me not having to listen to the dancing and singing mouse nearly 24/7.

"Mathews, turn off the damn TV before I punch your lights out!" hissed Dally from where he was still kicking back in the recliner with a newly lit cigarette being held inbetween his right hand's middle and pointer fingers.

"Okay, okay! Keep your jeans on, Dally!" Two-Bit rolled his eyes and finally turned the TV off.

"All right," I let out a sigh, knowing that everyone's eyes were now back on me. "As I was saying, I have some great news. Thanks to Ponyboy and Soda, we're no longer going to have to stay packed up here for this winter break."

Confusedly, Vinny raised an eyebrow. "Um," She interrupted me before I could go on. "What are you talkin' about, Darry? The temperature seems to just be dropping by the minute, and thanks to the snow, every place is either shut down or berried."

"I was getting to that, Vinny," I informed her, and she just shrugged in return. She's certainly Dally's little sister. "As I was saying, I have decided that we are all goin' to go ahead and take a trip to Kansas so we can spend the winter break together and do a whole lot more than just being cramped up in this house all day. Ponyboy and Soda just begged me for a vacation, so here it is."

Steve raised his eyebrows. "We're going to Kansas?"

I nodded. "Yeah, and we're going to stay in this lodge that Pony said he heard 'bout in school."

"Oh, yeah," Johnny spoke up with his usual quiet tone. "I think I know the lodge that Ponyboy was speakin' about. If I'm not mistaking, it's known as The County Lodge, and people say that it's definitely supposed to bring memorable vacations."

Excitedly, Cassidy clapped her hands, and just seeing her do that had Jocelyn adorably giggling and clapping her little hands along.

"Sounds like a good plan to me. I'm up for Kansas this winter break." Kitten flashed her pretty grin, but nobody should be fooled by her. She has one hell of a feisty side if you tick her off.

I turned my attention over to Dally, who looked as if he didn't even hear me talk about the vacation.

"What do you say 'bout this, Dally? Are you and Vinny coming?" I shrugged. Dally opened his mouth to reply, but before he could get a word out, Vinny beat him to it.

"I'm comin' whether he's coming or not," She assured me with a drop-dead serious tone as she pointed a thumb over in Dally's direction.

"I'm coming!" Dally hissed at her. The two of them never really got along no matter what. The only times they really helped each other out was during rumbles.

I looked and watched Dallas as he took in a deep drag of his cigarette, most likely so he could remain calm. He held in the smoke for a couple of seconds before blowing it out into a perfect smoke ring.

"It's not like I have any choices anyway. Buck's party is canceled, the Dingo is shut down, the Shepard's went God knows where...sounds like I'm goin' to Kansas with you all."

"And since Soda's going, I guess I'll come, too." Steve sighed. Honestly, I would've made him come one way or the other if Soda wasn't coming. I would've tossed him into the trunk if that's what it took to get him to come with the rest of us to Kansas.

"What about you, Two-Bit?" I questioned.

Instantly, he flashed that wide and goofy smile of his. "Sure, I'm in for a road trip! Besides, my mom and Karen decided to go visit my grandparents and I have nothin' else planned to do."

"So everyone is coming then?" I asked, and just like I suspected, everyone nodded their heads. "Good. Now Ponyboy and Soda are already packing up, so I suggest you all get back to your homes and get your stuff ready yourselves because we're leaving to Kansas tonight."

"Tonight? Why are we going tonight?" questioned Steve.

"Because Kansas is atleast an eleven hour ride and if we start driving by tonight, we should arrive there by noon tomorrow." I answered.

Cassidy coughed a little. "When will we be coming back here?"

"Very early in the morning on the last day of winter break, so we're going to be gone for awhile. Now you all better hurry up, all right? We're leaving tonight." I announced for the final time before everyone swiped their boots back on and zipped up their jackets and headed out the front door with an echoing BANG showering throughout the household after they left.

As I headed upstairs to get packed up myself, I started to think about what Johnny said about the lodge. The County Lodge...why did that sound so familiar? I heavily thought about that for maybe ten minutes, but I decided to shrug it off as I folded my clothes and whatever else I needed in my suitcase.

Johnny said that The County Lodge was supposed to bring memorable vacations. However, I didn't know it then, but now I knew that this vacation would certainly be one that none of us would ever forget...and not in the good way. I thought that this vacation was actually going to turn out to be one heck of a blast. Man, I couldn't have been more wrong about anything before in my entire life...this wasn't going to be just any ordinary vacation.

 

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