I haven’t even seen the movie. And while I loved, and still love, the book I’ve had no reason to think of it for years (oh, by the way? It was published when Hinton was 17. Jesus.). I did love it, though. It made me learn Nothing Gold Can Stay by heart, the first time I’d ever memorized a poem. I must have been nine or ten when I read it for the first time, and there were so many things I didn’t understand and the characters seemed so ancient and mature. Heh. Babies.
But oh my god, just out of nowhere, I ship Darrel and Cherry Valance so much. It would be so perfect. Cherry still hangs out with the Greasers sometimes, especially with Ponyboy, and since Ponyboy doesn’t feel much like going out now (not that Darrel would let him), they end up at the Curtis’s more often than not. Cherry is still charmed by Sodapop, because who isn’t, and he’s so easy to be around. Somehow, she even strikes up a tentative friendship with Darrel, mostly by proximity, but nothing more, because she’s still so hung up on Dally and because he still remembers what hanging out with her Socs pals did to them.
As Cherry gets to know the Greasers more and more, though, she realizes that while in some ways they’re the opposite, it’s Dally and Darrel that are the most alike, so tightly wound up and furious with the world. But it’s their differences that make her see Darrel in a new light. While Dally didn’t care about anything, Darrel cares too much. He’s harsh and strict and it’s such a strange combination of her own family and what attracted her to the Greasers.
Darrel begins to realize he’s misjudged Cherry as well but everyone knows she’s still pining after Dally and even as they grow closer, the situation’s not helped when she accidentally calls him “Dally”.