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fanfic100: Coffee Break

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Aug. 14th, 2006 | 03:13 am
posted by: aikochan in withextrahappy

Title: Coffee Break
Fandom: The Outsiders
Characters: Sodapop, Cherry
Prompt: Winter
Word Count: 779
Rating: G
Summary: There is so much and so little to be said.
Author's Notes: Because I promised suzanami I would write this pairing.

Today the cold seems to seep in under the door and fill the station. Soda rubs his hands together as he waits for his coffee. It's still warmer in here than outside, though, and there's not enough movement in pumping gas for it to chase away the chill that soaks into your bones. And with Steve home sick, Soda's running double-duty. They could have asked Charlie to come in and cover for him, but Soda doesn't mind the work. It keeps his mind busy.

Considering how much trouble he had concentrating in school, his mind sure seems to be able to hold a lot.

The bell over the door tinkles just as he's picking up the mug of coffee. It feels so good against his stiff fingers and he just wants to melt into the wall and drink down the cup. But he promised Thomas he'd watch the counter for a few minutes, so he slides into place with one last deep whiff of stomach-warming coffee smell.

Across the room, the girl leafs through some magazines, then skips over them and picks up a newspaper. She's taking her time, so Soda takes a deep drink of coffee. Immediately his body feels stronger.

And he knows it's not just the cold. Things are better these days, but all the ache is still there. When Ponyboy moves through the house, he leaves dark streaks in his wake. Just because they're fading doesn't mean they aren't there. Just because a wound is healing doesn't mean it stops hurting. Soda is learning to find solace in small things, in moments, in cups of coffee.

She comes up to the counter with her newspaper and a pack of chewing gum. They really don't look at one another as he rings up her purchases and she says she needs gas, too. He gives her the change and says, "Come on outside," and he holds the door for her. The cold wind is an icy slap, but he squares his shoulders and fills the tank of her car. "Why are you driving such a sharp little car in weather like this?" he asks, looking over his shoulder at her.

For the first time he really sees her, and he remembers this heartache-pretty red-head with the Sting Ray.

In a moment he knows she recognizes him and has all along. Of course; every girl who's ever been to this DX knows him. But it goes deeper than that, and he finds that he can't flash the movie-star grin like he usually does. She's looking up at him carefully, trying to keep her distance. The air between them could crack in two.

"Thanks," she blurts. "For the gasoline." Her cheeks are rosy from the cold, but they flush with warmth and she ducks her head.

He finds he can't stop himself: "You could've done better by him."

The pain in her eyes stings when she looks at him, but he's not backing down. "Ponyboy," he says, his voice low.

White hands clutch her coat more tightly around her slender body. "You know how it goes," she replies.

She's so matter-of-fact, so straightforward, it almost makes him sick. "Yeah, I know how it goes." He turns away to shove the gas pump back into its cradle. "And I know you owe him at least a hello."

He walks past her toward the glowing lights and his cup of coffee; but she reaches after him and catches the back of his jacket in her hand. "Soda." Her fingers tighten, pulling the fabric at the small of his back until he stops and turns enough to cast her a sidelong glance. It startles him, how sad her eyes are. "I would take it all back if I could," she says, the words spilling out; and she clenches his jacket with something like desperation.

How rosy her cheeks and nose are, how wide her eyes. Something tightens in his throat. "Come inside and have some coffee," he says.

Even though his voice comes out that velvety-smooth quality that makes girls melt, she shakes her head. "Please," he says, but she lets go of his jacket and steps away.

"I should go." And she's slamming shut the car door before he can part his lips for a reply.

The red Corvette speeds away down the road. He watches it vanish around the corner before turning, entering the station, finding his coffee lukewarm and Thomas back at the counter to dismiss him to his regular duties. He drains the coffee cup, and it leaves him feeling more hollow than before.

For the rest of the afternoon, Soda gets jittery with every car that pulls in, hoping for a split second that it might be that Sting Ray. But she doesn't come back.

All characters are the property of S.E. Hinton.

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Comments {2}

❝ M A U R E E N ❞

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from: suzanami
date: Aug. 14th, 2006 07:18 am (UTC)

i wanted her to go have coffee with him. you know, say she can't and then do it anyway. *sigh* next one, maybe.
*curls up around fic*

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Rebecca of Green Gables

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from: aikochan
date: Aug. 14th, 2006 07:24 am (UTC)

Sometimes denying that which we most want to happen makes it better. Plus, it vamps the angst, and hey, it's three-thirty in the morn.

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