The Outsiders Chapter 6
Pony thinks to himself, "So Cherry Valance, the cheerleader, Bob's girl, the Soc, was trying to help us. No, it wasn't Cherry the Soc who was helping us, it was Cherry the dreamer who watched sunsets and couldn't stand fights." Chapter 6, pg. 86 Pony wonders what Dally thinks about Cherry helping them, but Dally seems to have forgotten about it instantly.
The three boys continue their lunch, then Johnny announces that he and Pony are going to turn themselves in. This is news to Ponyboy, but he doesn't disagree. He wants to go home too. Johnny reasons that the murder was self-defense, so he might not be punished too severely. At first Dally is angry, then he starts pleading with Johnny. He has been in prison, and he knows how terrible it can be. He says he knows he has become a hard, unhappy person, and he doesn't want that to happen to Johnny. Ponyboy listens to this, amazed. He never knew Dally thought that way.
Before Dally can say any more, the boys see that the church is on fire. Ponyboy immediately thinks that he or Johnny must have started the fire with a lit cigarette. At first, everyone just stands watching the building burn, but then someone realizes that children are inside the church! Without thinking, Ponyboy and Johnny run toward the fire. Inside the church, Pony notices that Johnny doesn't seem like the shy, scared boy he usually is. "That was the only time I can think of when I saw him without that defeated, suspicious look in his eyes." Chapter 6, pg. 92 He orders the children around, taking charge of the situation. Everything is confused, and Ponyboy gets a few kids out before he leaps out the window himself, burning wood falling all around him. He hears Johnny scream inside the church. Then Dally hits him across the back and he passes out. When he wakes up, he's in an ambulance. A man tells him that Dally is all right, but Johnny has a broken back and was burned badly. Ponyboy passed out because Dally hit him to put out the flames on his back. The whole town thinks the boys are heroes. Pony begins to laugh at that idea.
In the waiting room of the hospital, Pony sees that Dally is all right, but Johnny is severely hurt. Darry and Soda come wait with him to hear more about the other two boys, and he is very happy to see them. When he sees Darry's face, he knows that Darry does love him after all--he is just overprotective, because he wants Pony to be successful. He bosses him around because he cares about him. Pony realizes, "I had taken the long way around, but I was finally home. To stay." Chapter 6, pg. 99