Summary: Steve Randle's certain that he's found a lost Ponyboy - missing and presumed dead for the past twenty years - in the form of Agent Timothy McGee.
Rated: FR13
Categories: General, Crossovers, General > Family, Crossovers > Other Fandom
Genre: Angst, Character Study, Drama
Warnings: Disturbing Imagery
Challenges: None
Series: None
Story Notes
I wrote this awhile back, and thought I would give this a go, posting it here as I've been a member of this site for awhile, but haven't yet posted anything.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
“Steve,” Sodapop Curtis’ voice had an uncharacteristic edge to it as he cast his friend of over four decades an incredulous look, “you must’ve been mistaken.”

“No, I’m telling you, it was the kid,” Steve’s voice was pleading, and he couldn’t hold back a huge grin, even if his best friend was skeptical.

“It ain’t him.” Soda turned away from his friend. “It can’t be. What’s it been? Twenty years? He’s dead.

We…buried him.” His eyes filled with tears as he remembered the night Tim Shepard told them that Curly was dead – beaten and gutted like an animal – and Ponyboy was missing.

The police had recovered a blood-soaked shoe and a tattered, blood-spattered notebook. They hadn’t been very hopeful, had encouraged Darry and him to get on with their lives without their kid brother. And, over time, they had.

“You buried a notebook and a shoe,” Steve reminded him grimly. “They never found no body. Barely looked for one…” he muttered.

It still goaded him that the police hadn’t searched all that long for the lost Curtis brother, had presumed him dead and had called it quits after two short months. It had nearly torn the gang apart when he’d disappeared.

They’d lost Johnny, Dally and then Ponyboy; all one right after the other.

“What makes you so certain that it’s Ponyboy, after all these years?” Soda asked resignedly.

It was clear to him that Steve believed what he was saying, though he couldn’t imagine that his younger brother had been alive for all these years and not bothered to contact them. If it was true, the kid was downright cold-hearted and Soda couldn’t imagine Pony being that way, no matter what might have happened to him over the years. His brother had been one of the kindest people he’d known.

“I’m telling you, the NCIS agent who questioned me in DC, Timothy McGee, is Ponyboy.”

“He recognize you?” Soda questioned.

“Nah, I don’t think so.” Steve shook his head, running his fingers through his short-cropped hair.

“Then how can you be so sure?”

“It was his eyes,” Steve said softly, “I recognized his eyes. Don’t think I’m ever gonna forget ‘em really.”

There were nights when he woke in a sweat, seeing Ponyboy’s gray-green eyes imploring him to find him and return him to his brothers. If only he’d picked him up that night when he’d called, rather than scolding him for not thinking of a way to get home before he’d gone out. Soda hadn’t blamed him for Ponyboy’s disappearance or Shepard for Curly’s death, but there wasn’t a day that went by where Steve didn’t blame himself.

“His eyes?” Soda asked dubiously. He’d made the trip all the way out to DC because Steve thought some government agent had the same eyes as his dead kid brother?

“Yeah,” Steve was on the defensive, and starting to doubt himself.

He looked around anxiously, willing the agent who’d agreed to meet him to show up a few minutes early to ease the tension between himself and Soda. What if he was wrong though?

Before he could grab Soda’s arm and propel the both of them out of the coffee shop, the agent in question walked in, and Steve felt the air around them shift as Soda drew in an audible breath and grasped the table in a failed attempt to keep his hands from shaking. All misgivings flew out the window as they watched the young NCIS agent approach. He may be twenty years older, and a whole heck of a lot taller, but he still carried himself with the same almost self-conscious gait.

“Ponyboy,” Soda whispered, eyes tearing up as the other man reached the table and stood awkwardly before them.

“Agent McGee, thank you for meeting with me and my friend,” Steve said smoothly, belying the nervous tides of emotion that swirled around in his stomach. He wiped sweaty palms on his slacks before sticking out his hand to shake McGee’s.

“Um, no problem,” Tim cleared his throat, taking in the appearance of Master Gunnery Sergeant Randle’s friend. The man looked as though he’d seen a ghost and like he was about to pass out. “You okay?” he asked, concern evident in his voice.

“Yeah,” Soda said shakily, a watery grin spreading across his features, “sorry.” He swiped at his eyes and coughed, trying to mask his emotions.

“Master Gunnery Sergeant Randle, you mentioned something about a cold case from twenty years ago,” Tim prodded, taking his eyes off the obviously distraught man sitting across from him to regard the Marine he’d questioned a couple of days ago.

“It’s Steve, and this here is Sodapop,” Steve’s mouth felt dry. What was he supposed to say now?

“How old are you?” Soda blurted out and Tim swiveled his head, blinking at the other man. What an unusual name, Sodapop, Tim thought, must’ve had an unusual father.

“Uh…thirty four…” he supplied a little uncertainly. Maybe he should’ve invited Tony or Ziva along. But, he hadn’t wanted to bother them until he knew for certain whether or not it was a case that NCIS would even be interested in pursuing.

Sodapop couldn’t stop staring at the man sitting across from him. It was him, it was Ponyboy. He’d been lost to them all these years, but somehow Steve, of all people, had found him. Steve, who complained about what a tag-along and baby his kid brother was, had finally brought Ponyboy back to him.

But, looking into his younger brother’s pale green eyes, he saw the puzzlement and lack of recognition. Twenty years was a long time. His baby brother had become a man, and from what he could see, he’d become a good man.

“Steve,” Sodapop addressed his friend, even as he kept his eyes glued to Ponyboy, as though, if he turned away, even for a second, the other man would disappear, “maybe we should just forget about it.”

It was enough to know that he was alive.

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