“I’m going to the prom. I’m taking Pam Macey.”
At the sound of Kelso’s words Jackie’s stomach dropped. When she broke up with Kelso she didn’t think about prom. It’s the most important day of her life and she just forgot about it because of a stupid pregnancy scare. She shouldn’t have let Donna talk her into focusing in her future dreams. Her dream right now was to go to prom. As she looked up at Michael’s stupid face she realized she wouldn’t let him ruin prom for her.
“Oh…well I have a date too,” Jackie said.
“Who is it? What’s his name?” Kelso practically screamed.
“His name…is not important,” Jackie said not able to think of a name. “What’s important is he’s better than you in every conceivable way.”
“Well, Damn Jackie that could be anyone,” Kelso actually screamed this time. Jackie placed a strategic smirk and looked Kelso in the eye until he left. As soon as he was out the door of the Pinciotti’s kitchen, Jackie’s smirk feel and she let her head fall into her hands.
She promised herself she would stop crying over Kelso, so she held back her tears. After a second of silence, she picked up her head and headed to the living room. She didn’t see Donna anywhere and when she went upstairs to her bedroom and she couldn’t find her, Jackie figured she was in Eric’s basement. She never understood why Donna chose to spend so much of her time there. Jackie would go to the basement to be with Kelso, but Eric wasn’t worth spending time in that dump.
When Jackie made it to the basement she opened the side door slowly. She was afraid Kelso would be there and she didn’t want to run into him again.
She had just popped her head in when she heard Hyde’s voice ring out.
“If you’re looking for Kelso he’s not here,” Hyde said abrasive as always. “Fez and him went to see a movie.”
Seeing that the coast was clear Jackie walked into the room. She hesitated, but then went and sat next to Hyde on the coach.
“I’m not looking for Michael,” Jackie said flopping down in a very unladylike manner. “I’m looking for Donna.”
“Maybe you haven’t noticed, but she’s also not here,” Hyde said indicating around the empty room. Jackie’s entrance had his interest peaked. She very rarely entered the basement without Kelso or Donna.
“If Michael’s not going to be back for a while, do you mind if I wait here until Donna comes around?” Jackie asked. She knew that she didn’t need permission from him, but he always intimidated her slightly. It was fine when they were in a group and she could be her confident, bossy self, but when it was just the two of them something felt different –tense, but not necessarily in a bad way just like they both weren’t saying everything they wanted.
“It’s a free country,” Hyde said. He wasn’t going to stop her, but he certainly wasn’t excited about listening to her yap about Kelso. All he could hope for was that Donna would come around to listen soon.
Plus, Jackie had a way of making him feel on edge. He thought it might have something to do with the fact that she could dish out insults almost as well as he could. It made her a worthy adversary and a little exciting to be around not like he would admit that to anyone.
They both sat in silence. Hyde was focusing on his television show, but Jackie was deep in thought about the prom. She was running through a list of boys that would be acceptable to take her. When she realized that all of the senior boys were out she let out a sigh. When she realized that all the juniors were taken she let out another slightly louder. Then she thought about staying home alone on prom night and let out a third sigh.
“Jackie if I asked you what’s wrong will you stop doing that?” Hyde asked in annoyance. He instantly knew he regretted his question after hearing her next three words.
“It’s the prom,” Jackie said. She was hesitant to tell Hyde for fear of him making fun of her, but he had asked. And she really needed to get this off her chest. “Stupid Michael is taking stupid Pam Macey and I don’t have a date, but I told him I did and I feel like a complete loser.”
Hyde let out a hearty laugh. When he looked to Jackie to laugh with her he quickly noticed she wasn’t laughing. In fact, her sad expression had turned into a royally pissed off one.
“…No you’re not,” Hyde said letting his smile fall. Of course it was a lie, he did think she was a loser not because she didn’t have a date, but because she cared so much about the stupid prom.
“It’s just thought…look…I thought he was going to ask me,” Jackie said. “And now everyone who’s anyone is already going.”
“That is so true,” Hyde said sarcastically letting the television start to draw his attention again in hopes of getting out of the conversation.
“How would you know you’re not even going?” Jackie said letting the anger into her tone. After looking at Hyde’s unfazed face for a moment, Jackie realized something. He wasn’t going. She let out a loud gasp with the realization. “Wait you’re not even going. Oh! Oh! And I bet you clean up real good.”
Jackie grabbed his arm slightly with her admission, but quickly pulled her hand away. She knew Hyde was attractive it was hard to ignore, but she had never thought of him as anything other than Michael’s friend. Now, she was imagining him in a suit holding her hand as they walked into prom. He was a little scruffy, but the cheerleaders would all be jealous. They all had a thing for him because they wanted to get with the bad boy. She could picture all of their heads turning and their eyes bright with jealousy. It would be perfect!
“Well I do, but I won’t,” Hyde said briefly looking at her. “See that’s a big part of who I am.”
“Look, Hyde, I know we’ve had our differences but –, ” Jackie said before she was interrupted.
“Jackie we’ve had nothing but differences, in fact don’t we kinda hate each other,” Hyde said hoping she would drop it. He didn’t do proms and he especially didn’t do them with cheerleaders.
“Yes, but this is the prom,” Jackie said and before she could even finish her sentence she was crying. She knew she was exaggerating when she let her head fall into Hyde’s crossed arms, but she didn’t care. It was the prom it was too important for her to miss.
Hyde looked down at her dismayed. How did she go from being perfectly fine to crying in his arms within seconds? He hated when girls cried. If he wanted a girl crying on him he would have a girlfriend. Jackie’s tiny body shook as he remained stoic and repeatedly asked her to stop. Finally, he realized he only had one out.
“Look do you want to go to the prom?” Hyde asked. He was immediately mad at himself for falling for her game. She lifted her head and accepted. Her eyes and nose were red, but the tears immediately stopped. Hyde finally figured out how this girl got men to fall over themselves for her.
Jackie let out a sigh and let her head rest on his shoulder. Hyde put his arm on the arm rest and rested his own head against his hand. At this angle he was further away from her, but he could also see her face. She had a tiny smile that he realized he hadn’t seen on her since before her pregnancy scare. Kelso really did a number on Jackie. He hated to admit it but she could do better than Kelso. She was smart, pretty and manipulative as hell. Sure she had her flaws like her big mouth, but still she didn’t deserve to be repeatedly cheated on and treated like crap. He would never tell Kelso, but the smile he wore when she ended things with him wasn’t just because of the wicked burn, but also because he was happy to see her stand up for herself. Now he just needed to figure out how to get her to stand up and get out of the basement.
When Jackie went to pick up Hyde she was surprised to see that he actually wore an undershirt that matched her dress like she asked him too. She was also pleasantly surprised by the corsage that he handed her. She had been right he did clean up well. They looked like the perfect couple when she handed him her dad’s keys she was more than happy to slide into the passenger side and watch the scenery pass on their twenty minute drive to their school.
Hyde on the other hand, couldn’t stop looking over at Jackie. He wasn’t lying when he told her she looked beautiful. She looked nice every day, but she looked older tonight and like she wasn’t trying to impress anyone but herself. He of course knew this wasn’t true because the whole reason she was going and that he needed to go with her was so that she could impress people at school, but something about her confidence was just different.
He wanted to punch himself for how much of a sucker he was being tonight. Between the purple shirt, flower and caring about her father’s car he was turning into Forman. He didn’t even mind it when she kissed him on the cheek in front of his house. At least he had had the self-control to tell her not to, but he hadn’t pull away like he should have.
Realizing the ride was too silent he turned on the music. The station was set to some girly crap so he fiddled with the radio until he heard Cherry Bomb by the Runaways. The next time he looked over at Jackie he noticed she was bombing her head slightly and he smirked. Maybe she did have some potential.
When they pulled up to the school they both started heading towards the gym without saying anything. His eyes were drawn to her hands as she fiddled with her fingerless gloves. Her hands looked so tiny in them. He knew she was nervous because Kelso would be inside with Pam Macey. He wasn’t going to hold her hand, but he did move his hand to the small of her back and started leading her to the gym rather than just silently walking next to her.
“There’s no reason to be nervous,” Hyde said.
Jackie looked up at him. She was touched he had even noticed let alone said anything.
“Michael’s going to be with Pam and everyone is going to know that we’re not together and that he’s moved on,” Jackie said. In a quitter voice she continued, “I don’t want to be compared to Pam.”
Hyde frowned at her once again mentally cursing Kelso.
“There’s no comparison,” Hyde said. When he saw her look of confusion he sighed. He really didn’t want to feed her compliments the way every boy trying to get in her pants did. “I just meant that…Pam she’s easy but there’s not a lot there besides that…You’re…just you’re…different…”
It wasn’t the most beautifully said thing, but Jackie was still touched. She knew he didn’t often give out compliments, so it meant a lot when he did.
“It’s a good thing you warned me not to kiss your check again,” Jackie said smiling up at Hyde.
“Whatever,” Hyde said rolling his eyes as they walked into the prom.
They posed together for the classic prom photo. Jackie was touched that Hyde took the photo with her and he even let her fuss over his tie. He didn’t look entirely happy in the photo, but she didn’t care she still loved it. He even had some fun and took a photo with Fez. She didn’t say anything, but she was pretty sure he did it to make Fez feel better about not having a date.
The more time Jackie spent with Hyde and away from Kelso the more she realized he was actually a very sweet guy under the scruff and attitude.
Everything about the night was going perfectly for Jackie. Hyde danced with her and insulted Pam Macey. Based on the easy conversation and small smiles she suspected that Hyde was having a pretty good time too. When she asked for them to stop dancing and he offered to go get them punch, she knew she had made the right choice asking Hyde to the prom. He was the perfect date.
Hyde went to the punch bowl and was confronted by Kelso. His idiot friend looked pissed and Hyde knew why.
“Hey Hyde, you brought Jackie to the prom you’re supposed to be my friend and you dogged me!” Kelso yelled.
“Hey she cried man,” Hyde said angry at Kelso for causing this problem in the first place.
“Well is she having a good time,” Kelso asked now sad. “Because she looked real pretty.”
“Okay look you big baby. She wants to be with you and you want to be with her, so why don’t you stop whining about it and just go be with her because the whole thing sickens me.”
Hyde was pissed. He knew Jackie was miserable, but getting back together with Kelso was only going to cause her more pain in the end. Still, it wasn’t his job to tell her what to do. He wasn’t going to stop them from being together that’s for sure.
“But what am I going to do about Pam,” Kelso said.
“Don’t worry about it I’ll take care of Pam,” Hyde said. He might as well get some pleasure from tonight. “Just go, man.”
Kelso smiled wide and literally skipped over to Jackie. Jackie looked up at him surprised to see Kelso and not Hyde standing in front of her. She had seen Hyde and Kelso talking by the punch bowl but she hadn’t thought much off it. She looked back over at the punch bowl and saw Hyde standing there watching them. He gave her a small nod, but didn’t move.
“I miss you,” Kelso said.
“I miss you too,” Jackie responded and she truly meant it. For as much fun as she was having with Hyde her breakup was still fresh and she thought she had loved Kelso. That wasn’t easy to give up.
“Do you want to dance?” Kelso asked with his hand out.
Jackie looked up at him and then towards his out stretched hand. She let her eyes go behind him to see Hyde still standing there watching her and Kelso talk. She knew Hyde wouldn’t care if she danced with Michael, but she had come with Hyde and they were having a fun time. That’s when she realized Michael always did this to her. He came crawling back when he saw that she could be fine without him.
“No,” Jackie said firmly. “I don’t think that’s a good idea we’re broken up. Plus, I came here with Hyde.”
“What!?” Kelso asked.
“I don’t want to dance with you Michael,” Jackie said.
“Damn Jackie!” Kelso yelled. “Fine, I have Pam anyway.”
Kelso stormed off and grabbed Pam’s hand. They went out unto the dance floor and started to sway together closer than they had been all night.
Watching the interaction unfold. Hyde made his way slowly over to Jackie. He was surprised but happy to see her reject Kelso. It sucked that he was missing out on a night with Pam Macey and he didn’t want to see his friend get hurt, but it was a good move for Jackie. And for some reason that made him happy.
Hyde silently handed Jackie a cup of punch. She quickly drank it and stood up.
“Do you want to get out of here?” Jackie asked.
“Sure,” Hyde said. After a second of thought he continued, “I have any idea.”
With that, Hyde finally gave in to temptation and grabbed her hand. They walked out of the Point Place High School gym hand in hand without giving a second thought to the people staring at them as they left.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
“Where are you taking me?” Jackie asked as she got into the car with Hyde.
“You’re having a rough time right?” Hyde asked knowing Jackie’s answer.
“Yeah I guess,” Jackie said thinking about Michael.
“Well, we’re going to the place that makes me feel better,” Hyde said surprised by himself that he was willing to take her to his favorite place.
“I just assumed that was the Forman’s basement,” Jackie said laughing. “Specifically, in a circle smoking up with the guys.”
Hyde laughed. He did love the Forman’s basement and he was his happiest with a stash, but it’s not where he went when he wanted to get away.
“Well we’re not going to the Forman’s and unfortunately I didn’t bring anything with me to prom.”
“Another time on the circle then,” Jackie said with a laugh. She still didn’t know where they were headed, but she was okay with the mystery of it.
“Seriously, cheerleader?” Hyde said looking at her out of the corner of his eyes.
“Seriously, burnout,” Jackie said with a joking smile.
Hyde laughed and then let the silence sit between them. Until, Jackie broke it a few minutes later begging to know where they were headed.
“The water tower,” Hyde said finally relenting.
“Why are we going to the water tower?” Jackie asked surprised by the answer. What were they going to do there?
“We’re going to climb up to the top,” Hyde said. “There’s a terrific view of Point Place.”
“Are we allowed to do that?” Jackie asked.
“It might be slightly illegal,” Hyde said.
Hyde gave Jackie a quick glance to see how she would react. She had been dating Kelso for a while, so he knew that she knew they would occasionally get into some trouble. Hell, in the past few months she had been a part of some of that trouble, but that had always been at Kelso’s request. Jackie wasn’t letting anything show in her face and Hyde was beinging to get nervous.
“Have you done it before?” Jackie asked.
Hyde had to stop himself from making a smart ass comment back. About it depended on what “it” she meant.
“Yes and I do it often,” Hyde said.
“Have you ever gotten caught?” Jackie continued her questioning.
“Is it safe?”
“I wouldn’t take you somewhere that wasn’t?” Hyde said completely sincere.
Jackie blushed and looked away. Something about the way Hyde said it she knew he meant that he would never take her somewhere unsafe. Kelso had never given her that same promise.
“Okay,” Jackie said.
“That’s cool,” Hyde responded.
They continued the rest of the ride in silence. When they pulled up to the water tower they both got out of the care and started heading towards the stairs.
“You really come here all the time?” Jackie asked. She looked up to the top of the water tower where there was a small landing, “It seems really high.”
“I’ve been higher,” Hyde said.
Jackie laughed immediately picking up on his joke.
“Okay, you go first and I’ll follow right behind,” Hyde said. “You’ll be fine, but if you feel like you’re going to fall I’ll be right there.”
Jackie gave the water tower another look and then gave Hyde a once over. She nodded and grabbed the first rung of the latter.
“If you look up my skirt you’re dead,” Jackie said and then started climbing.
“I wouldn’t think of it, doll,” Hyde said with a laugh. He of course had thought about it and still figured it might just be unavoidable.
Jackie immediately picked up on the nickname that Hyde had called her, but since he didn’t say anything about it she also decided to ignore it. Instead, of thinking about the flutter in her stomach she started climbing the rungs of the ladder.
Jackie and Hyde climbed to the top of the water tower without a problem. When they were both at the top of the ladder, Jackie hit Hyde in the arm with more force that he thought she could.
“What was that for?” Hyde asked.
“For looking up my dress,” Jackie said.
Hyde didn’t deny it. The mental image of her pink panties was worth the punch.
“Come on let’s sit,” Hyde said.
They both took a seat on the edge of the landing letting their legs dangle off the side. They sat in a comfortable silence for about fifteen minutes.
“Why did you turn Michael down?” Hyde asked. “You’re clearly not over him.”
“Maybe. I think it might just take some time,” Jackie said. “But I didn’t, and still don’t, want him back. He cheated on me and he would have kept cheating on me. I deserve better.”
Hyde nodded happy she could see that. He didn’t want Kelso to get hurt, but she was right she did deserve better. They returned to their silence.
“Thank you for coming with me tonight, Steven” Jackie said.
Hyde immediately noticed the use of his first name. Usually, the sound of it made his ears bleed. The only exception was Mr. and Mrs. Forman, but never one of his friends and certainly not a girl. He thought about correcting her, but he didn’t mind the sound of his name off her lips. He actually kind of liked the way she looked him directly in the eye when she said it. Not a lot of people had the guts to look him in the eyes or say his name, and certainly not both at the same time. And here was little Jackie in her purple dress doing both without even a hint of shame or fear.
“Well, like you said,” Hyde said finally deciding to ignore the name slip. “I clean up nice. There was no reason to waste this.”
Hyde indicated to himself. She laughed at his antics, but she silently agreed with his assessment of his appearance. He did look handsome tonight. Almost more handsome than Kelso and definitely more manly.
Jackie pulled her shawl tighter around herself. She was starting to feel the cold. Hyde looked over and noticed that she was cold. All she had was her dress and a thin shawl around her shoulders.
“Do you want my coat?” Hyde asked not really sure if that was the right move. He didn’t often take care of girls, but Jackie looked so tiny he couldn’t just let her shiver.
Jackie looked at him surprised. She felt butterflies in her stomach at his question.
“Yes, but then you’ll be cold,” Jackie said. “I have a better idea.”
Before Hyde could say anything, Jackie scooted herself closer to him. Her body was pressed against his arm and then she pulled his arm around her shoulders.
“Okay,” he said resigned to the fact that she was going to get her way on this one. At least she was no longer cold.
Jackie smiled at him happy she got her way without a fight from Hyde. The heat from his body felt good and comforting.
They were both content in the silence. Each was looking at the stars to avoid the sexual tension from the proximity of their bodies.
“Steven,” Jackie said quietly looking up at him.
“Yeah,” Hyde said once again ignoring the name slip. He was trying hard to stop his eyes from darting down to her lips. She had just broken up with Kelso and she was Point Place’s princess. He should not have been attracted to her, but here they were sitting on the water tower just inches from each other.
“It’s really pretty up here,” Jackie said biting her lip.
“Whatever,” Hyde said focusing now exclusively on her lips.
He leaned in, but she was the one that grabbed his head and pulled it down to her own. The kiss started slow, but within seconds Hyde tilted his head and put a hand on her waist pulling her closer and deepening the kiss.
Hyde couldn’t believe how soft Jackie’s lips were. It seemed imposable for someone who spoke so often and in such an annoying way to have such sweet and soft lips. And when his tongue found her’s, he realized it wasn’t just her lips that were sweet.
Jackie couldn’t believe how passionate the kiss was. She had only ever kissed Michael and a few other boys, but none of them were this good. With Kelso, everything was rushed. Hyde took his time tasting her tongue and actually enjoying the kiss.
Jackie let out a sound of disappointment when she felt herself being pushed away. Hyde had not only pulled away, but literally pushed her a good foot away from him.
“Hey,” Jackie said moving to get closer again.
Hyde had never had such a hot kiss before. Even her little sound of surprise when he pulled away was getting him hot. He needed to bring out his most Zen tactics if he was going to get out of this without doing something he would regret.
“Whatever,” Hyde said wishing desperately that he had his sunglasses so she couldn’t see his eyes trying so hard to avoid her lips.
“No,” Jackie whined even pouting her lips. “I want to go back to the kissing.”
“Whatever,” Hyde said not moving.
Jackie leaned in again. Hyde quickly realized Zen was not going to get him out of this.
“No, Jackie,” Hyde said moving himself even further away.
“You don’t want to kiss me?” She asked and her eyes got big with sadness.
“No,” Hyde practically groaned. “Believe me that’s not the problem.”
“Then what’s the problem?” she asked confused.
The way she stuck out her bottom lip in a tiny pout was too much for him. He needed to get them both off the water tower and away from each other.
“You just broke up with Kelso,” Hyde said cursing himself for turning her down even as he was doing it.
Jackie’s eyes feel. She had never felt so rejected. She had thought that Hyde had also felt something tonight, but he clearly hadn’t since he was turning her down. Sure Kelso was his friend, but they were over and it’s not like Kelso would care.
Hyde felt like trash for making her look so sad. He really hoped she didn’t cry because he might have just given in to kissing her to make her tears go away. He wanted it badly enough, but he wasn’t going to be her rebound guy.
“I’m not going to be your rebound,” Hyde said.
“I get it,” Jackie said with her head still down. And she did understand that Hyde didn’t want to hook up with her. She wasn’t sure if it was because of Kelso or because he wasn’t attracted to her, but either way she was still crushed. “Maybe we should go home?”
“Whatever,” Hyde said standing up. “I’ll go down first and you can follow.”
They made their way down the ladder and to the car. They were silent as they got in the car. Without saying anything, Hyde got in the driver’s side and Jackie got in the passenger’s side.
“Where do you live?” Hyde asked.
Jackie looked at him confused, but responded with her address. Hyde started driving in that direction.
“What are you doing?” Jackie asked.
“Taking you home,” Hyde said.
“But it’s my dad’s car,” Jackie said. “We need to drop you off first.”
“Whatever,” Hyde said. “I’ll just walk.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Jackie said. “There’s no reason for that. I can just drop you off.”
“What you don’t want your parents and neighbors to see you with a bum like me?” Hyde said in a harsh voice. He needed to get out of her presence as soon as possible and based on the fact that they were on the rich side of town he had a feeling she lived closer. Plus, he didn’t really want her driving home alone. Half their high school would be driving around drunk and who knew what could happen.
Jackie looked surprised. She just didn’t want him to walk all the way home. Point Place was a small town, but they lived on the complete opposite sides of that small town.
“No,” Jackie said. “That’s not it. My parents aren’t even home that’s just a really long walk.”
“Your parents aren’t home?” Hyde said surprised by that information. He was silently cursing himself for not continuing the kiss with her especially since her parents weren’t home. But another, quitter, voice was concerned that she was all by herself in a neighborhood that was most likely to get robbed.
“Yeah…” Jackie said realizing that he might think she was trying to hit on him again. Her ego couldn’t take another rejection. With a shrug she continued, “They do it all the time it’s not a big deal.”
The quitter voice was getting louder and he hated to admit that he was starting to get concerned. Instead, he looked at the road in front of them and said, “That’s cool.”
Jackie just shrugged. She tried not to think of her parents’ appsence that often because it hurt when she thought about it. Instead, she liked to focus on things like cheerleading and school and prom. With these topics occupying her mind, she didn’t have to think about the fact that her mom was somewhere in Europe probably with a man that wasn’t her father and her father was probably with a woman who wasn’t her mother in the most politically viable state.
When Hyde pulled in front of Jackie’s house, he wasn’t surprised by the size. It was massive, but he didn’t expect anything less. The Burkharts were loaded. Both got out of the car and stood in front of the hood.
“Thanks again for coming with me tonight Hyde,” Jackie said. “I know you didn’t want to go, but I actually had a really good time.”
“Yeah I actually kinda did too,” Hyde said. When Jackie started giggling, Hyde looked down at her, “I’ll get you back if you tell anyone.”
“Your secret is safe with me Steven,” Jackie said. Then she looked away and blushed. “Can you promise not to tell anyone my parents are gone?”
Hyde looked down at her in understanding. Her parents hadn’t technically abandoned her like Bud, but they might as well have if they so easily left her alone like this. He wondered how often it happened.
“I won’t tell them any of your shit Jackie,” Hyde said. He understood her need for privacy. It allowed her to control how people saw her. Just like him she put on a mask. Her’s was just made of makeup and school spirit. And his was made of sunglasses and dope. It scared him that he was starting to understand, and even worse relate, to her. “Are you okay here alone?”
Jackie looked up at him and paused. She wasn’t sure if she should tell him the truth. Her honest answer was no. She hardly slept when she was in the house alone and if she did she woke up in the middle of the night freaked out. She hated being alone more than anything, but she wasn’t sure if he’d hear that and run. And for some reason she didn’t want him to run.
“It’s not my first time alone,” Jackie said.
“That didn’t answer my question,” Hyde said. After all he was alone plenty of times when Edna was out or if she was passed out on the couch, it didn’t make it okay.
“I know,” Jackie said. “Honestly, I hate it. Being in this giant house alone, it scares me, but it’s not going to change.”
“Do you want me to stay?” Hyde blurted out before he had even fully comprehended the thought.
“You don’t have to do that…” Jackie said confused and hesitant.
“I don’t mean we’d do anything,” Hyde said hoping she didn’t take his offer the wrong way. “I don’t have anything better to do tonight so I could chill here for a bit till you feel better.”
Jackie hesitated. She wanted to say yes more than anything, but she felt like he was making fun of her. Why else would he offer to stay? He had already turned her down and he clarified it wasn’t sexual? It was possible he was just being sweet again, but why now and why with her.
The longer Jackie paused the more frustrated and embarrassed Hyde became. After a full minute of silence Hyde had finally had enough.
“Whatever,” Hyde said turning to walk away. “That’s the last time-”
“Please stay,” Jackie said grabbing his arm. After her bold move she paused again when he looked her in the eyes. “I mean if you really don’t have anything better to do. We could watch tv or something. My parents have a color tv.”
“That’s cool,” Hyde said.
After letting his hand go Jackie lead Hyde to the front door and for the first time Hyde stepped into the cheerleader’s home.
I'm going to start to take a little more creative license with the plot from this point on meaning it doesn't follow the cannon timeline. You might notice some OCs.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jackie opened the door to her house unsure if the boy behind her would follow her in. When he did she was surprised, but happy. She did wonder if his mom would worry about where he was. As the night progressed, she was feeling less and less uncomfortable around Hyde and she was excited to have the company.
Hyde let out a low whistle, “Nice digs.”
“Thanks,” Jackie said as she lead him into the large living room.
They both took a seat on the couch. Jackie sat close to the edge and Hyde sat in the middle of the couch leaving a comfortable distance between them.
“Do you want something to drink?” Jackie asked.
“Beer?” Hyde asked wondering how trusting her parents were.
“My dad only drinks whisky,” Jackie said. “Other than that we have water, milk and juice.”
“I’m okay,” Hyde said only briefly taking note that her parents apparently left their liquor cabinet open to her. “Is that the color tv?”
“You want to watch?” Hyde asked. “SNL will be on soon.”
“Sure,” Jackie said. She didn’t like SNL, but she thought it would at least give them something to talk about.
“I’m going to go change out of this dress real fast,” Jackie said. “It may look great, but it’s not the most comfortable thing in the world.”
“Whatever,” Hyde said flipping on the tv.
When she made it up the stairs, she immediately started taking out the flowers in her hair and letting the updo down. She then pulled off her dress and changed into her pink flannel pajamas. She wanted to be comfortable and cute, but she also didn’t want to seem suggestive to Hyde. The oversized pajamas were definitely not suggestive, but after staring in the mirror she decided to leave the top three buttons undone just to add a little sexy into the cute.
While she was gone, Hyde took of his jacket, pulled off his tie, untucked his shirt and rolled up the sleeves. He sat back down and waited for her to return.
When Jackie walked back into the living room Hyde was already watching SNL. She took her seat back on the coach. Hyde was a little surprised she had changed into pajamas, but didn’t say anything about it.
“I hate John Belushi,” Jackie said.
“How could you hate John Belushi?” Hyde asked. “He’s hilarious.”
The two feel into a comfortable silence finishing up the episode of SNL. When the show ended Hyde switched the tv channel to a gameshow.
“Jackie,” Hyde asked after a few minutes.
“Hum?” Jackie asked still watching the tv screen.
“Where are you parents?” Hyde asked. Jackie looked at him for a second unsure how to answer. In the car she had already told him more of the truth then she would have usually told anyone. She didn’t see any point in lying now.
“My mom is somewhere in Europe,” Jackie said looking Hyde in the eye. “And my dad is in a politically ‘important’ state. Probably Ohio.”
“How long have they been gone?” Hyde asked.
“My mom’s been gone for almost a month,” Jackie said. “My dad has been gone a week.”
“When are they getting back?” Hyde asked. He wasn’t sure how many of his questions she would answer, but he was going to keep asking until she stopped him.
“I don’t know for my mom,” Jackie said. “I think my dad said he’d be back on Wednesday.”
“You’re able to handle yourself alone and stuff,” Hyde said not really sure if it was a question or a statement.
“Whatever,” Jackie said with a shrug and a sly smile to Hyde.
“Whatever,” Hyde said smiling back.
They went back to watching the tv show in silence. That’s the way they stayed until Jackie started falling asleep. Hyde looked over and saw that she had slumped down so her head was resting on the arm of the couch. It was almost two in the morning and he was surprised she had even stayed up that late. She looked so cute curled up in her oversized pink flannel pajamas. When she wasn’t speaking it was way easier for him to see how attractive she was especially when those cute pajamas were cut very low on her chest. He didn’t want to wake her up, but he figured she should make it up to her room.
Hyde shook her shoulder a little to wake her up. She moaned in her sleep and slowly opened her eyes.
“You’re still here,” she mumbled.
“Yeah,” Hyde said. “You should probably go up to bed.”
“Ummm,” Jackie groaned and rolled over slightly. “Are you leaving?”
“I was actually thinking of crashing on your coach,” Hyde said nervous about how she would respond.
“Okay,” Jackie said rolling back over and closing her eyes again.
“Jackie,” Hyde said. “You should go upstairs.”
“I’m already asleep here,” Jackie said with her eyes still closed.
“Fine, but I don’t want you kicking me all night,” Hyde said as he kicked off his boots and shed his purple button up leaving him in only a wife beater.
“Blankets in the cabinet,” Jackie said pointing to a cabinet on the other side of the room.
“Of course your highness,” Hyde said getting up to grab them both blankets.
“Umm,” Jackie said with a moan and smile. “Princess Jackie.”
Hyde just shook his head and grabbed two blankets. When he made it back to the couch, he threw one over Jackie and then laid down on the opposite side of the coach. He leaned his head against the arm rest and pulled the blanket around himself. The Burkharts had a large couch, but his legs still brushed against hers. She wiggled a bit in her sleep and pushed her legs into his.
“Yeah okay,” Hyde mumbled as he drifted to sleep.
Sunday passed quickly. Jackie had woken up before Hyde and made coffee and breakfast for them both. She was in a better mood than she normally woke up in. She had a feeling that good mood was only partially because she had gotten a full night’s sleep for the first time in over a week and partially because Hyde had actually stayed.
When Hyde wondered into the kitchen he was surprised by the eggs she handed him. She had been sitting at the table quietly doing her homework still in her flannel pajamas.
They stayed that way, Jackie studying and Hyde sipping on coffee until Jackie closed her books. After breakfast, Jackie changed and Hyde put his button up back on.
When Hyde saw the chess board and challenged Jackie to a game they got caught playing the game for over an hour. Jackie won every time, and even though Hyde claimed he let her they both knew the truth.
They didn’t bother touching on heavy issues and they didn’t mention their friends or Kelso. Instead they transitioned from a comfortable silence to unimportant chatter and then back to silence all day.
Neither mentioned the kiss from the night before. Instead, they just stayed a comfortable distance and enjoyed the other’s company.
Jackie found herself leaning in closer to him every time he rambled about one of his conspiracy theories. And Hyde’s eyes kept dropping to her lips, but by the time it was getting dark neither had stepped over the line.
When the sun had completely fallen and it was dark outside. They decided it was time for Hyde to leave. Jackie never worked up the courage to ask Hyde how he was able to stay out for more than 24 hours, but she promised herself she would eventually ask him. Jackie wanted to drive Hyde home, but he insisted on walking.
When she closed the door behind him, she couldn’t keep the smile off her face. She did a little dance and then ran up to her room. When she flopped onto her bed she tried to keep her mind of a certain curly haired, blue eyed boy, but she failed miserably. She had never clicked with someone so much. She didn’t have many friends. Sure, she had the cheerleading squad but they weren’t true friends. And even Donna didn’t know her as well as she thought she did. It was hard for Jackie to open up to people. She didn’t like talking about things that really bothered her so she talked about everything else. But for some reason with Hyde she felt different. He asked her questions no one had ever thought to ask her and he actually listened to what she had to say.
On his walk home, Hyde was suffering a similar problem to Jackie, couldn’t stop smiling. He had to walk about an hour to make it home, but he didn’t mind. He felt ridicules with his frilly, purple shirt blowing in the breeze and his coat sling over his arm and the goofy smile on his face. Very few things in his life made him smile, but Jackie had kept him smiling for the past 24 hours. She was so unapologetically herself. She said what she wanted and didn’t care if anyone thought she was a bitch. She went for what she wanted. But if she didn’t have anything to say she was so happy sitting in the quiet with him and he really liked that. His hour-long walk home went quickly. When he walked up to his house his face fell. Back to reality. The first thing Hyde saw when he walked through the front door was his mom. She was passed out on the couch and the bottle on the ground was enough evidence of what had happened. He picked it up and put it on the kitchen counter. He then picked her up and took her to her room.
“Steve,” Hyde’s mom mumbled, “You’re home early.”
“It’s almost midnight on a Sunday mom,” Hyde said realizing she hadn’t even notice he had been gone for over a day or that he was in the same clothes he left in.
She just groaned and feel back asleep. Hyde set her down and shut the door as he left her room.
The next day at school Jackie got there early to check in with the gang. Only Donna and Eric had arrived and were hanging out by Eric’s vista cruiser. Jackie was toeing a thin line of wanting to see Hyde, but also wanting to avoid Kelso.
“Hey devil,” Eric said when he saw Jackie walk up. “I thought we’d stop seeing you around after you ended things with Kelso.”
“You wish,” Jackie said taking her place next to Donna leaning up against the Vista Cruiser.
Eric looked at Donna and rolled his eyes at Jackie’s presence. Jackie pretended not to notice. They all sat in silence until Kelso came up. He stopped at the sight of Jackie leaning up against the car, but as soon as he saw her he continued on only pumping out his chest just a little more.
“Well, well, well,” Kelso said. “Come to get me back already?”
Kelso walked in front of Jackie and leaned down into her. She immediately pushed back against the car to shoot herself away from him.
“No,” Jackie said. “We’re over. I told you that.”
“Jackie,” Kelso said. “Why else would you be hanging out with my friends if it wasn’t to get me back.”
“They’re my friends too Michael,” Jackie said.
“No we’re not,” Eric said earning him a glare from Jackie.
“I guess I kind of am,” Donna said.
“See?” Jackie said pointing to Donna.
“I don’t buy it for a second,” Kelso said. “You want me.”
“I really don’t,” Jackie said. Hyde still hadn’t shown up yet. Kelso was annoying her and the bell was about to ring anyway. “I’m leaving.”
With that Jackie left walking towards her locker. She didn’t turn around to see Hyde walk up to the group only a few seconds later.
Hyde was surprised to see Jackie walking away from the gang. He hoped she didn’t get back with Kelso. She had seemed pretty secure in her decision over the weekend, but a little part of him still worried she would go back to him.
“Was that Jackie?” Hyde asked when he made it to the group.
“Yep,” Kelso said. “She wants me.”
“Yeah,” Donna said. “That was obvious by her total rejection of you.”
“She said she was coming by to see us because ‘we’re her friends too.’” Eric said still baffled by the idea.
“That’s true,” Hyde said without thinking.
“What?” Eric asked. “She’s the devil.”
“Yeah, but I’ve heard hell’s pretty sweet,” Hyde said laughing trying to play it cool and hoping no one would notice his slip.
“What?” the whole gang said in unison.
Hyde quickly realized his mistake. He continued to try to fix his error, “I mean she’s a bitch and shallow as hell, but…we hung out a bit after prom it wasn’t bad.”
“What?” the gang repeated again.
“This ‘hang out’ means to do it, yes?” asked Fez.
“No!” Kelso exclaimed.
“No,” Hyde said much calmer. “It just means we hung out. It’s not a big deal.”
The whole gang was staring at him. Eric and Kelso with their mouths open. Donna with a look of concern. And Fez with a look of pride still thinking Hyde and Jackie had done it. Hyde lit a cigarette as a way to get out of the conversation.
Luckily, the bell rang and everyone but Hyde started hurrying in. It was normal for Hyde to show up late, so he didn’t mind prioritizing his cigarette over a timely attendance in class. He took another five minutes to finish his smoke and think about the conversation and subject of the conversation. Finally, with a sigh he threw the bud on the ground stomped on it and headed to his first class.
“So Jackie,” asked Claire, the head cheerleader. “You sure did take off early from prom the other night with Hyde.”
Jackie looked over at Claire as they sat on the ground stretching for practice. Claire was the biggest gossip on the team, but she was also a senior and her opinion mattered for staying on the squad. Jackie knew it was a trap. Hyde was fine to be with a few times to get a little adventure, but nothing more for the cheerleaders.
“Yeah, well the gym can only hold my interest for so long even when it’s covered in streamers,” Jackie said.
“What did you do after?” Claire asked gaining the attention of a few other girls who were stretching nearby.
“Nothing,” Jackie said. She didn’t plan on telling anyone about Hyde taking her to the water tower and she certainly wasn’t going to tell people about him sleeping over, especially to the gossipy cheerleaders.
“Sure,” Claire said. “Just be careful with him. I heard he smokes illegal substances.”
Jackie had to restrain herself from rolling her eyes. Everyone knew Hyde smoked pot and she had been around when it happened because of Kelso. The whole gang smoked it wasn’t a big deal, but she wasn’t about to tell the cheerleaders that. They would assume she smoked too and they would definitely have a problem with that.
“I heard he was in jail,” Another girl added.
Jackie actually did roll her eyes this time. Sure he had been in jail for a few hours for a misunderstanding and again the whole gang, with the exception of Donna, was there too. These girls didn’t know the first thing about Hyde. She was starting to realize how well she had gotten to know him this weekend, and it put a small smile on her face
“It just makes him that much more mysterious,” Another girl, Julie, said. “And sexy.”
Jackie’s smile immediately fell.
“Sara,” Julie continued. “You went out with him right? Is he as much of a fox as he seems?”
Jackie looked between Julie and Sara in horror. She hadn’t thought that Hyde had actually gone on dates with these girls. She hadn’t thought Hyde even dated. The idea of him with any of her friends made her queasy.
“Yeah, we went out once,” Sara said. “Nothing serious. You’re right about the mysterious thing though. He said he doesn’t do anything long term, but we hooked up a few times. He’s amazing in bed. Well, not so much a bed as the backseat of my dad’s car.”
All the girls giggled, but Jackie just felt sick. Hyde didn’t even want to kiss her, but he slept with Sara. Jackie knew she was a total slut. She started to wonder how many of the other cheerleaders Hyde had slept with.
“Do you agree Jackie?” Claire asked.
“What?” Jackie asked because she had gotten lost in her thoughts trying to remember every time Hyde had ever talked to a cheerleader. In all her time in the basement, he never mentioned it. She had heard a few of the cheerleaders talking about him and heard rumors, but she had never given it much thought, but know it’s all she could think about.
“Would you recommend Steven Hyde Point Place’s local bad boy?” Claire elaborated her question.
“Ugh, I already told you nothing happened,” Jackie said. “I just ended things with Michael. Ste –Hyde is his friend and he’s my friend too.”
“I get why you were with Michael he’s gorgeous,” Claire said. “But be careful with Hyde he can get you messed up in the wrong crowd. Sleeping with him is one thing, but if you start hanging out with him and picking up his…habits…we might have something to worry about.”
Jackie understood Claire’s underlying threat. She hadn’t meant to mention the fact that they were friends, but it had just slipped out. She had been too focused on her own train of thought to decipher Claire’s hidden agenda in the question. Still, she wasn’t too worried. The only reason she wasn’t on top was because she wasn’t a senior she had nothing to worry about.
Hyde and her were friends. It wasn’t a big deal and none of his “habits” were going to hurt her. And it didn’t matter who he slept with because they were just friends. She just had to keep reminding herself of that last part.
I couldn't remember the SNL character Jackie didn't like, but if anyone knows it or finds it I'll happily update the chapter just message or leave it in a review.
This chapter is a little longer, but be aware it's mostly fluff. The next chapter is going to be a little shorter, but more content heavy. Enjoy!
Jackie took a few days off from going to the basement. By the end of the week, she was starting to miss the ratty coach and bad lighting. Plus, she hadn’t had a real conversation with Donna in over a week, so that Friday almost a full week after prom she decided to stop by the Forman’s.
She was nervous, but she wasn’t sure if it was because of Kelso or Hyde. Jackie didn’t want Kelso hitting on her or thinking that they were going to get back together. And she didn’t know where she stood with Hyde. They were friends now, but was that only when no one else was around or could they be friends in the gang too. She wasn’t sure and the only way to figure it out would be to hang out in the basement.
When Jackie arrived everyone was in their usual seat. She casually walked through the door. She had her head held high and didn’t let her eyes meet anyone’s. She noticed the empty spot on the coach next to Donna, so she went took the seat. Jackie did take note of Kelso’s eyes following her from his spot on the lawn chair. Eric was next to Donna, Fez was up getting a popsicle, and Hyde was in his usual chair.
Hyde’s attention was completely on Jackie. As soon as she had walked through the door he tried to meet her eye. He hadn’t seen her in almost a week since he left her house that past Sunday. He felt like she was mad at him, but he couldn’t imagine why. And even worse he didn’t know why he cared. He didn’t want to think about why he cared.
When Jackie had taken her seat, and she hadn’t said anything for a moment Hyde decided to make the first move.
“Hey,” he said.
Everyone looked over at him, but he was looking directly into Jackie’s eyes. She couldn’t believe he said something. She was giddy and a smile was on her face just from the one brief word.
“Hey,” she said back.
“You haven’t been around in a while,” Hyde continued.
“I was busy with cheer,” Jackie said with a shrug. It wasn’t a complete lie, but it also wasn’t really why she had avoided the basement.
“Wow,” Eric said while making a large motion with his hands. “You’re doing it again.”
Hyde rolled his eyes, but Jackie decided to be a bit more vocal, “What being a decent human being and acknowledging my presence?”
“Yes!” Eric shouted.
This time both Jackie and Hyde rolled their eyes.
“So Jackie,” Kelso said. “Want to go see the new Star Wars movie?”
“No,” Jackie said. She wasn’t looking towards Keslo so she didn’t see his reaction, but she did see Hyde chuckle. “I don’t like space.”
“You’d like it in this movie Jackie,” Kelso said.
“Look Michael,” Jackie said. “It’s not about space. We’re over, so I don’t want to go to the movies with you.”
“Damn Jackie,” Kelso said and ran upstairs.
The gang sat in silence watching the television for a while until someone finally pulled out the monopoly board and they played a game. Kelso never returned downstairs, and the afternoon passed pleasantly. Fez eventually had to leave so he could make it home before his host parents made it back form bible study.
“Well it sure is getting late,” Eric said looking towards his watch.
“It’s 8:30,” Hyde deadpanned.
“Yeah…” Eric said trying to think of an excuse. “But we’ve had a long day. You’re probably going to want to be getting home.”
“What so you and Donna can make out?” Hyde asked.
“Be cool man,” Eric whispered to Hyde, but Donna and Jackie could clearly hear.
“Whatever,” Hyde said getting up.
Jackie hesitated not sure if she should follow or just leave on her own. Before she figured it out, Hyde had made the decision for her.
“Come on Jackie,” Hyde said. “We can chill somewhere else.”
“Sure, sure,” Eric said. “I don’t even care if you’re buddy buddy with Jackie just don’t do it here.”
“Bye Donna,” Jackie said getting up and walking to Hyde who was waiting patiently by the door.
When they made it safely outside they walked up the stairs to the driveway. Without Eric they didn’t have a car or a basement to hang out in. Jackie and Hyde were both unsure about what to do next.
Finally, Jackie broke the silence, “Want to go see Star Wars?”
“I thought you didn’t like space?” Hyde asked with a smirk.
Jackie just shrugged. She didn’t care much about Star Wars either way, but she didn’t want to see any movie with Kelso and she would see anything with Hyde.
“Fine, but you’re buying the popcorn,” Hyde said.
“Thanks for helping me with my home ec project, Mrs. Forman.”
Jackie and Kitty Forman were standing in the Forman’s kitchen. They were both in aprons and had tons of ingredients on the counter in front of them. Jackie hated baking. She could cook if it was to feed herself, but that was it. And even than she survived mostly on scrambled eggs and easy salads. Her mother had never taught her how to cook and when her parents were home they were usually hosting or attending dinner parties and for that they brought in a professional chef.
“Jackie, have you ever made a pie before?” Mrs. Forman asked.
“No I just plan to get by on my looks,” Jackie responded embarrassed to explain why she had never really learned to cook or bake, so playing it off as cockiness.
At that exact moment Hyde walked in. He looked at Jackie and raised an eyebrow. Jackie blushed but raised her head and smirked daring him to say something. Mrs. Forman had her head in the fridge and hadn’t even noticed Hyde walk in.
When Mrs. Forman came up from the fridge holding eggs. She smiled at Hyde, “Good morning, Steven! How are you doing?”
Hyde decided to prolong his visit in the kitchen to see how this ‘Jackie in an apron’ situation played out. He had never seen Jackie cook and he would love the opportunity to make fun of her for it. He had a feeling based on the eggs she had made for him a few weeks ago after prom that she wasn’t too experienced in the kitchen. Hyde took a seat on the high stool at the counter.
“I’m good. Just got a new Rolling Stone,” he said holding up the magazine. “I think I might just sit here and read it as long as you guys don’t mind.”
“Of course not!” Mrs. Forman responded before Jackie could tell him to get lost. She was embarrassed enough having to beg Mrs. Forman for help, she didn’t need Hyde watching her sad attempt at baking too.
What was only supposed to take an hour was quickly turning into an all-day project. Jackie kept messing up. It took four batches just for them to be able to put something into the oven. First, she mixed up the salt and sugar, then she cracked the egg wrong and got almost the whole shell in the batch, then she accidently spilt way too much milk, and then she misread teaspoons and tablespoons. She just couldn’t get it right, but finally on attempt number five with Mrs. Forman’s watchful eye she got it. They put it in the oven. Mrs. Forman told her to take it out in 45 minutes and then she left to do a bit of household cleaning.
Hyde had remained silent through the whole affair. He didn’t make one joke or laugh once. He had wanted too many times, but it was obvious Jackie was frustrated and after the second attempt he actually felt bad for her. And based on how her eyes kept darting to him at the counter, he had a feeling she would have lashed out if he said something.
When Mrs. Forman left the kitchen. Jackie immediately went and took a seat at the table. She had floor all over her and she was exhausted. How did people do this all the time? She hated cooking it took forever and only for other people to enjoy the food. She may not have been a good cook, but she certainly was dedicated to her school work and she wasn’t about to give up on her home ec project, but she knew she would never bake a pie again.
Jackie was all too aware of Hyde sitting at the counter. She usually wouldn’t have minded his presence, but she wished he wasn’t witnessing her fail so horribly.
Uncomfortable with the silence, Jackie finally spoke up, “Why can’t you read that anywhere else?”
“With all the entertainment here why would I leave?” Hyde couldn’t help but give her a little bit of grief for her horrible cooking skills. He got up from his spot on the counter and walked over.
“Like you would do any better? Jackie said.
Hyde just shrugged. He was actually a great cook, but he knew that information in her hands would do more harm than letting her win this battle.
Hyde went back to his magazine and Jackie walked over to her bag and grabbed a Cosmo. They sat in silence reading the magazine at the kitchen table for about thirty minutes. Finally, Jackie laughed. Hyde looked up at the noise. He couldn’t help but smile at what he saw. She looked so happy sitting in the Forman’s kitchen laughing at her magazine covered in flour and wearing an apron. It was such a contrast with what she portrayed at school and in her everyday life. He wondered if anyone else saw her like this.
“What’s so funny?” Hyde asked.
Jackie looked up still smiling, “It’s a write-in piece about most embarrassing beach experiences. This one girl lost her top in the ocean and had to stay in the water for hours before her friends came to find out what was wrong.”
Hyde’s eyes immediately dropped to her chest and his mind went to imagining her in the ocean without her bathing suit top. He shook his head slightly and started laughing along with her. Jackie, for her part, pretended she didn’t notice.
“Guess Cosmo isn’t entirely a waste of time,” Hyde said.
“Nothing I do is,” Jackie said with a hair flip.
Hyde just shook his head and smiled. They were sitting in adjacent chairs at the small table. Close enough that Hyde could see the little bit of flour that was on her check. Instinctually, he reached out and brushed his thumb against the spot. He got the flour off easily, but his hand moved slowly. Tracing his thumb across her check and letting his other fingers press against her jaw and hairline. Even after the flour was gone he rubbed his thumb a few more times.
Jackie looked up at Hyde surprised by the sudden contact. She leaned into his hand and didn’t question it when he moved his hand lower down to her neck his thumb rubbing slowly back and forth the whole way. She knew she didn’t have flour all over her face and neck. He had no reason for doing it. Her mind went to the cheerleaders. She wondered if he had ever touched any of them like this slowly and intimately.
Hyde pulled his hand away, but maintained the eye contact, “You had a bit of flour.”
They stayed silent for a full minute. Neither knowing what to say. Finally, when Jackie was about to say thank you or just reach out and kiss him, she wasn’t sure which, she remembered her pie. She smelled the air and it smelt burnt.
“My pie!” Jackie said jumping up.
She stood unsure of what to do. She walked over to the oven and saw that it was filling with smoke. She opened the oven, but didn’t know what to do next. She didn’t see any oven gloves anywhere.
“How long has it been?” Jackie asked. “Mrs. Forman said 45 minutes!”
At seeing the smoke, Hyde jumped up and helped her look for the oven gloves. They both searched the kitchen frantically until Hyde finally found them. He immediately grabbed the pie and pulled it out. It was burnt to a crisp. At that exact moment, Mrs. Forman walked into the kitchen and shook her head.
“Jackie I think you might need to just go buy a pie,” she said poking the burnt pie with a fork.
“But that’s cheating I’ll fail!” Jackie said. Hyde smirked surprised she cared so much about her grades.
“Fine,” Mrs. Forman said. She started grabbing all the ingredients out from the counter again. “This time I’ll make the filing and the crust,” Mrs. Forman said clearly very frustrated.
“What will I make?” Jackie said furrowing her brow.
“You’ll go make me a drink,” Mrs. Forman said. Jackie was a little upset, but she knew this was the best she was going to do so she nodded and went to get Mrs. Forman’s drink. Hyde just sat back down and continued reading his magazine.
“What are you smiling about?” Mrs. Forman asked Hyde.
“Just excited for some pie,” Hyde said.
Unlike most trips in the Vista Cruiser, when the gang was headed to the amusement park the group was buzzing in their seats. With an actual destination, and an exciting one at that, they were all smiles.
Even Hyde had a small smirk. It had taken Hyde three days turning in cans and searching coach cushions to come up with the change for admissions, but when he looked over at Jackie he knew it was worth it.
Jackie had been vocal in her opposition to the amusement park. The crying children and ugly teenagers were bad enough but she also hated the rides. She didn't say that of course because they would all only make it ten times worse.
Hyde had a feeling she was nervous about the rides based on how she kept pulling her shirt down and averting her eyes whenever it was mentioned. The more time they spent together the better he was getting to know her, and he couldn't help but wonder if it was a skill that she had acquired as well.
Either way one thing they did have in common was their reasons for going to the amusement park. For Jackie, she didn't want to seem like a wimp to any of the gang but especially Hyde. Plus, she figured that with the large group she would get at least a few rides with Hyde. She knew that he wasn’t interested and that the cheerleaders had told her to stay away, but she didn’t care she liked spending time with him. For Hyde, he was just hoping to see her squirm and maybe even squirm a little into him if she was really scared.
"Are we almost there?" Kelso asked from the back.
"Just another 10 minutes," Eric said.
"In the meantime," Donna said turning around to face Kelso. "You need to stay with us Kelso you can't get lost this time."
"I'm not going to get lost," Kelso said folding his arms. Hyde and Fez who were sitting on either side of Kelso looked at each other and smirked knowing that was probably a lie.
From the front passenger seat Jackie rolled her eyes and turned around, "You get lost every time."
"That's true," Kelso said. "But not this time!"
"We better set up a meeting time just in case because we're not spending the whole day looking for you," Donna said.
"Fine," Kelso said.
"Fine," Eric said. "If any of us get lost, Kelso, we'll meet at the giant fountain near the entrance."
The car was silent and everyone waited for Kelso to respond. Jackie made eye contact with Hyde and he smiled.
When they pulled up to the amusement park everyone pulled out of the car. They got in and made a point of pointing out the meeting spot for Kelso.
After they started going on rides starting on a few small thrills, but then Kelso pulled them in front of a roller coaster. It wasn't the biggest in the park but the large drop had them all looking at the wooden frames skeptically.
"Lets go!" Kelso screamed before getting into the line. With a shrug from most members, the gang followed him into line. Jackie hung back so she was the last to enter. Just when she was about to bail. She felt a hand brush against hers. She didn't have to look down to know it was Hyde.
He didn't know why he let the back of his hand brush against hers. He just knew she looked worried and he wanted to help.
The pair started walking just a little slower letting their friends put distance between them.
"You okay?" Hyde asked.
"I think I'm going to skip this one," Jackie said.
"You'll be fine," Hyde said. "It looks scarier than it is."
"I don't know..." Jackie said.
"How about this," Hyde said. "You go on this one and I'll go on anyone you want after?"
"Any ride?" Jackie asked.
"Yeah," Hyde said. He knew he had made a mistake as soon as he saw her eyes light up with mischief.
"Okay!" Jackie said. Their friends had stopped walking ahead of them patiently waiting in line. There were only two groups in front of them so it wasn't going to be a long wait.
"What took you guys so long?" Donna asked.
"Nothin'" Hyde said.
At the exact same time Jackie squealed, "We made an agreement!"
"Jackie," Hyde said begging her to stop.
"For every ride Hyde gets to pick, I get to pick the next one."
"We said one ride!" Hyde said. He had noticed that she used Hyde as opposed to Steven. He wondered if she did it on purpose.
Jack just looked up at him with big eyes. He finally gave up. How bad could her choice of rides be?
"Whatever," Hyde said. Jackie smiled happy to have her way. Plus, the whole interaction had gotten her mind of the scary ride.
When it was their turn, the group naturally paired off leaving Jackie and Hyde to take the last car. They got strapped in and started moving. The ride started with a climb up and then a large drop.
As the roller coaster started going up with the drop off not too far away, Jackie started to get a bit nervous again. She scooted closer to Hyde. He put his arm around her waist and pulled her closer letting his arm be like another seat belt.
"You scared?" He said goading her on.
"No!" Jackie said. They were only a few feet away and would probably drop in a few seconds. Jackie closed her eyes in preparation.
Hyde looked at Jackie with her eyes all scrunched up and her hands white knuckled on the handle bar she looked terrified, so he pulled her a bit closer for good measure.
When they hit the top, Hyde looked out at the view. It was almost like the water tower. He could see everything around them.
When the ride started dropping he felt Jackie's arms loop around his middle and her face burry into his chest. She was screaming and squeezing him almost too tight for comfort.
Hyde threw up the arm that wasn't wrapped around Jackie and laughed. He couldn't believe she actually went on the ride. After the first drop, the ride went pretty fast and with the exception of the speed it was relatively mellow. Still, Jackie clung to him the whole time, but she did stop screaming for which Hyde was grateful.
Jackie kept her head in Hyde’s chest for the whole ride. She considered lifting it but if she had to get on another ride she knew she didn't have it in her. She was regretting that deal they made as soon as the ride started. And she was the one that took it a step further by saying it wasn't just a one-time agreement.
Jackie felt Hyde moving his arm and turn towards her.
"Jackie," Hyde said with a small laugh. "The rides over."
Jackie slowly pulled away but not fast enough. Their their friends had already gotten off the ride and saw them intertwined.
"Scared Jackie?" Eric asked.
"She was terrified, man." Hyde said getting out of the car after Jackie.
"Shut up," Jackie said hitting Hyde lightly in the stomach. "No I wasn't."
They started walking towards another ride but Jackie pulled Hyde away from the group.
"I do believe it's my turn to pick a ride for us," Jackie said.
"What did you have in mind?" Hyde asked.
"Tea cups," Jackie said with a glint in her eyes knowing he would hate it.
"Jackie," Hyde said.
"You said I could pick anything," Jackie said. The tea cups were her favorite because they were so colorful and decorated so pretty with flowers and lights. Plus, she wouldn’t tell Hyde, but she had always thought they were so romantic.
"But that's full of kids and squares," Hyde said. "And they don't even let you spin that fast."
Jackie broke out her pout, "Please."
"Fine," Hyde grumbled knowing he wasn't going to get out of it.
"Thank you!" Jackie said.
The group had finally noticed that they had fallen behind again. Hyde called up to them.
"We’re going to check out a few rides back there," he said indicating to the way they had come from. Hyde got a few raised eyebrows but thankfully no one said anything.
Jackie led them happily to the tea cups and Hyde followed mopping behind.
On the ride, he tried his hardest to make it go just a little bit faster and spin, but there was no way to make it more fun. Jackie giggled through the whole thing, which did make it a bit more entertaining for Hyde.
By the end of the day they had gone on 6 thrill rides and 6 tea cup rides. When they realized it was getting dark and they had no idea where their friends were they headed for the fountain near the entrance.
When they came up their friends were already waiting. They all looked annoyed except for Kelso who looked happy to see them showing up.
"There you guys are," Donna said. "We've been waiting an hour. The parks about to close."
"Yeah you seriously weren't the people we were worried about getting lost," Eric said.
"Ha!" Kelso exclaimed. "It wasn't me."
Hyde and Jackie just rolled their eyes. Hyde shrugged and they all walked out of the amusement park.
The first time Kelso brought Laurie into the basement everyone was surprised. Jackie tried not to let it show, but she was also a little hurt.
Hyde noticed immediately and was torn between concern and jealousy.
Everyone was silent as Kelso sat down on the freezer and Laurie pushed herself in-between his legs. Laurie made eye contact with Jackie and smirked. The younger girl blew out a loud breath and looked away. As soon as the noise left Jackie’s mouth Laurie pounced.
“When did you start letting the babies hang out with you?” Laurie asked Kelso indicating towards Jackie.
“And when did you start hanging out with a tramp?” Jackie retorted flipping her hair.
“When he decided he wanted actual sex,” Laurie retorted.
Jackie just made a loud noise of offense, but then feel silent unsure about what to say. Laurie played on a real insecurity she had about herself and her relationship with Kelso. It was no secret that Kelso cheated on her many times repeatedly. She always wondered if it was because she was unable to keep him interested sexually.
“Slut,” Jackie finally said in response.
“Takes one to know one,” Laurie said. Jackie had to force herself not to recoil from that remark. She hated that she had given her virginity to Kelso only for them to break up a few months later. She did it because she thought it would make him stay. She thought it would make him stop cheating instead she almost got pregnant and still lost him. Laurie was hitting every insecurity she liked to keep buried deep down.
Hyde was watching the insults fly between the two woman. He immediately saw Jackie hesitate when Laurie indirectly called her a slut. It was obvious, and not only to him, Laurie was winning this match.
“Laurie,” Hyde said deciding to step in. “You’re a whore we all know it. Now don’t you have something better to do than hang out with your little brother’s friends.”
“You’re right, bum,” Laurie said turning around, but before she left she turned to Kelso and kissed him deeply. When she came up from the kiss she looked directly at Jackie and wiped her lips. “Bye children.”
With that Laurie took her exit. After a second of silence, Eric looked at Kelso and burst out, “Dude, that’s my sister!”
“She’s hot right?” Kelso said wearing a stupid grin.
“She’s a bitch,” Hyde said looking at Jackie. Jackie gave him a small smile showing him she appreciated the gesture.
“Yeah, but a hot bitch,” Kelso said getting off the couch and taking the empty seat next to Jackie on the couch. “But hey Jackie it’s not serious with her so whenever you want to get back together she’s gone.”
“Seriously, man?” Hyde said without even thinking. How could Kelso think that little of Jackie? He couldn’t believe what a dumbass Kelso was being. Jackie deserved so much better than being Kelso’s backup plan.
“Yeah, of course,” Kelso said completely missing Hyde’s point. “I’ll always wait for you Jackie.”
“It’s not waiting for me if you’re sleeping with someone else in the meantime, moron,” Jackie said. “I don’t care anyway sleep with as many sluts as you want. I’m leaving.”
Jackie got up quickly and left. She was about to burst into tears and she needed to get out of the room before anyone else noticed. Everyone watched her leave, but didn’t say anything. Hyde leaned over and punched Kelso in the arm.
“Ow!” Kelso exclaimed, “What was that for?”
“You were an ass to Jackie, man,” Hyde said.
“I told her I’d take her back!” Kelso said.
“Yeah after rubbing Laurie in her face,” Hyde said.
Kelso frowned trying to understand how that mattered. Hyde was getting more frustrated the longer this conversation lasted. He was torn between staying and following Jackie. He didn’t want his friends judging him for following her, but finally he decided he didn’t care.
“I’m going to take off,” Hyde said walking out before anyone could question where he was going.
Hyde didn’t have to go far to find Jackie. She was leaning against the wall at the top of the stairs leading outside the basement. She was clearly sobbing. Hyde was torn between going and grabbing her and going back inside to pummel Kelso. He knew he would regret both immediately. He decided to meet in the middle. He walked up to Jackie and gently put his hand on her shoulder.
Jackie jumped surprised by the warm hand on her shoulder. When she turned and saw it was Hyde she felt just a little better. She threw her arms around his neck and pulled their bodies close together.
Hyde was surprised by the contact, but didn’t pull away. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings plus if it made her feel better than he didn’t see the harm.
“Kelso is an idiot and Laurie is a whore,” Hyde said. Unfortunately, his words had the opposite effect and Jackie just started crying harder. Hyde just patted her back.
Jackie didn’t notice, but Hyde kept darting his eyes to the basement door that was just at the bottom of the stairs they were standing on. He really didn’t want someone to open the door and see their intimate position.
“Jackie,” Hyde said. He pulled her away from his body slightly and she looked up at him. Her eyes were bloodshot and her face was wet from tears. His heart broke slightly at the image. He had to shake that thought out of his head and remind himself he didn’t have a heart. Hyde nodded towards the door, “Let’s go somewhere else.”
Jackie just nodded and took Hyde’s hand. Hyde looked down at their interlaced fingers, but again didn’t say anything.
Jackie was afraid to look down afraid that he would reject her. She wasn’t consciously reaching out to him. It was just a reaction to having him near and her being sad. Hyde didn’t say where they were going he just started walking. She followed silently.
Hyde’s eyes kept darting down to their locked hands. She didn’t seem like she was going to pull away and he didn’t feel the need. He was walking slightly ahead of her, so it was more that he was pulling her along rather than them just holding hands for the sake of holding hands. At least that’s how he justified it to himself.
They walked the whole way in complete silence with the only sound being the passing cars and Jackie’s sniffles. When Hyde stopped pulling Jackie along they were standing in front of the water tower.
Without saying anything they walked over to the ladder and Jackie started climbing. She was grateful that she had worn pants that day as she felt Hyde’s presence behind her.
When they made it to the top, they both took their seats in the same place they sat on prom night. After only a moment’s hesitation, Hyde put his arm around Jackie and pulled her towards him. She had stopped crying, but she was occasionally still sniffling and breathing irregularly.
“It’s not that I want him back,” Jackie said.
“It’s okay if you do,” Hyde lied.
“No, Steven,” Jackie looked up at him and hoped more than anything that he believed her. “I don’t want him back. That’s not why I’m upset.”
“Then why are you?” Hyde was trying so hard to be understanding, but a little bit of anger slipped into his question.
Jackie was taken aback by his tone. He sounded upset, but he was the one that followed her and suggested they talk. She couldn’t understand the dramatic switch.
“Seeing Laurie with him,” Jackie started. As she talked a few tears slipped down her face. Hyde’s eyes immediately softened and he felt guilty for making her cry again. “And the things she said. It’s everything I hate about myself. For how I allowed Michael to treat me for how I treated myself when I was with him. I slept with him because I was afraid he’d leave me and he still did –repeatedly to cheat with other girls. He was going to keep doing that forever, so I ended it, and I don’t regret that. Just seeing what was happening behind my back, maybe not with Laurie, but with other girls, right there in front of me it was too much.”
Hyde was silent. He had known Kelso and Jackie had done it, but he had never considered why. It was obvious for Kelso, but he’d never even thought of Jackie’s reasoning’s. He had just assumed she’d wanted to. Hyde wanted so badly to march back to Forman’s basement and hit Kelso so hard that he would have a bruise for weeks, but instead he sat silently holding Jackie and tried to process what she’d just said.
Jackie wasn’t sure how to interpreted Hyde’s silence. Her first thought was that he was offended on behalf of Kelso. After all he was one of Hyde’s best friends.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Jackie continued. “I don’t think Michael was malicious. I know he never set out to hurt me, but I loved him and he was too ignorant to see how his actions impacted me. The whole relationship was changing me in ways that I didn’t like. I don’t hate Michael. I hate myself for how I acted with him.”
“Jackie you love yourself,” Hyde said not sure what else to say.
“Well, maybe you’re right,” Jackie said with a small laugh. “But I love that I’m beautiful and rich and that everyone wants to be me. There are other parts about me that I just don’t talk about and that maybe I don’t love as much. If you tell anyone any of this, I’ll kick you in the shins.”
“I think we’re at the point where we can stop threatening each other and just agree that our conversations stay between us,” Hyde said with a smile.
“Agreed,” Jackie said.
They feel into another silence. Hyde started moving his thumb in circular motions on her arm and Jackie leaned further into him. Both responded to each other almost as if it was instinct. They could have sat there in silence for hours, but there was one thing that kept nagging at Hyde.
He couldn’t stop thinking about how she hated parts of herself. He couldn’t wrap his head around it. She was so confident and vocal about her self-appreciation. And the more time he spent with her the more he understood why and agreed that she had a lot going for her. But here she was tearing herself apart because she let Kelso, of all people, manipulate her into changing. Hyde more than anyone knew what self-loathing felt like, and she didn’t deserve to feel it.
“For what it’s worth,” Hyde said. “You’re not a slut and Laurie has nothing on you. Kelso is just an idoit.”
Jackie just laughed. Hyde looked down at her and smiled. He wasn’t wearing his sunglasses and Jackie could look directly into his eyes, which was a treat she didn’t often get to experience. Her small giggles stopped and his smile fell. Both started breathing just a bit heavier and Jackie seemed to be getting closer and closer with each breath.
“I think you’re amazing for seeing what was happening and ending it,” Hyde’s comment seemed to come from nowhere. The deep words only had Jackie moving closer, but Hyde used his words as an excuse to pull away. He still had his arm flung over her shoulders, but he angled his body so they were both facing out looking over Point Place instead of each other.
Jackie sighed sad that the moment ended without a kiss, but not entirely surprised. She knew Hyde wasn’t interested because of the last time they were on the water tower. He was just a good friend. She leaned her head against his shoulder and cuddled up closer. Happy to just have a person to hold onto.
Hyde didn’t look down at her when she got closer. He just let her cuddle up with him. She was the only girl who had ever gotten this close with all their clothes on. It felt nice having someone hold onto him as if it was the only thing holding them up. He knew he was getting in dangerous territory with Jackie. He couldn’t even be around her without them brushing hands, or making eye contact, or cuddled up. He knew he should leave her alone. She needed a good guy who had his life together and could love her and take care of her the way she wanted. He would never be that guy, but still he never pulled away when their hands did touch or her eyes met his or when she pulled herself into his embrace.
“Mr. Forman can I ask you a question?” Jackie asked as she pulled herself out from under the hood of the Toyota.
“Did you fix the U-joint?” Mr. Forman asked.
“Yep,” Jackie said smiling proudly. Mr. Forman gave her a proud smile too.
“Then go ahead.”
“Well,” Jackie started, but she wasn’t sure how to ask Mr. Forman this very awkward question. “Do guys every just want to be your friend?”
“Jackie talk to someone else about this problem,” Mr. Forman said. He turned back to the open hood of the car in front of them.
Jackie looked down and started picking at the grease under her fingers. She knew she’d have to repaint her nails. She didn’t tell anyone that she worked on cars with Mr. Forman. She was a cheerleader that’s not what cheerleaders did. The only people who even knew were her, Mr. and Mrs. Forman, and Hyde and he only knew because he had walked in on them working the first time.
“I don’t have anyone else to talk to about this,” Jackie whined. “I don’t have any guy friends that don’t want to…be more than friends. And my dad is always working. And who’s left? Donna? The cheerleaders? They just wouldn’t understand.”
Jackie was almost in tear by the end. Mr. Forman came up from the car and took a step back to avoid her, but his eyes did soften.
“This isn’t about the stupid one is it?” Mr. Forman grumbled.
“The foreign one?” Mr. Forman asked.
“No,” Jackie said knowing that that left only two boys. They both knew Eric was obsessed with Donna, so that left only Hyde.
“Did he do something?” Mr. Forman asked really hoping Hyde didn’t do anything dumb.
“No he’s actually been really nice to me lately,” Jackie said. She wasn’t sure how to talk about what was happening between her and Hyde. “We’ve been hanging out a lot and it’s been great, but he always pulls away.”
Mr. Forman rubbed the back of his neck. He really didn’t want to be talking about this. “Jackie, I’ve known Steven a long time. He doesn’t ‘hang out’ with many people. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.”
“Does that mean you think he likes me?” Jackie asked excited.
“I’m not a girl on the school grounds,” Mr. Forman said turning back to the engine.
“You think he likes me!” Jackie said jumping up and down excited. She would have hugged Mr. Forman, but she knew he didn’t like that and he had told her not to many times.
“Change the tire Jackie,” Mr. Forman said without looking up.
I just want to make it clear that I don't approve of slut shaming. I only wrote it so heavily to be in character.
When Laurie and Kelso walked into the room, Hyde and Jackie were playing cheese. Jackie immediately tensed and her whole body seemed to turn aggressive.
Kelso had his arm slung around her and they were both dripping water from their clothes and hair.
“Next time we go swimming make sure to bring the towels,” Laurie said pulling her wet shirt away from her body clearly showing she wasn’t wearing a bathing suit or bra.
Jackie was staring open mouthed at both of them. Laurie was practically naked in her see through shirt and Kelso was grinning like an idiot. Hyde looked at them both as well, but turned around quickly without saying anything.
When Laurie noticed Jackie’s look she immediately pounced, “What’s the matter Jackie never seen what a real woman’s body looks like?”
“Is that what they’re calling sluts these days?” Jackie asked with a fake innocent look on her face.
“Nope that would be children sleeping around to pretend they’re all grown up,” Laurie said with a mean smirk. “Kinda like you.”
When Jackie paused momentarily caught off guard by Laurie’s remark. Hyde decided to jump in, “And that boyfriend of yours Laurie.”
“Burn,” Jackie said.
“Yeah that was a pretty good burn,” Kelso said laughing at his own expense.
Hyde just shrugged. Laurie took Kelso’s hand and they exited the basement up the stairs.
“You shouldn’t let her get to you like that,” Hyde said a little angry. They’d gone over this, he knew that Jackie wasn’t exactly jealous of Laurie, but it still bothered him that she cared at all.
“Well, what am I supposed to do?” Jackie asked. “I can’t help it.”
“If you really wanted to get to her you would be Zen.”
“You can’t just make up words Steven,” Jackie said throwing her arms up and slumping back unto the coach.
“I didn’t just make it up, Jackie,” Hyde said smiling at her frustration.
Jackie just raised her eyebrows at him waiting for an explanation.
“You know…Zen,” Hyde said indicating towards himself. When she just lifted her eyebrows looking annoyed, he continued, “At peace, aloof, basically me.”
“Will you teach me?” Jackie asked batting her eyes and leaning towards Hyde.
“I don’t know Jackie,” Hyde said. He honestly wasn’t sure if she would be able to get it, but then again Jackie was capable of more than he expected and it would be nice to see her not give a shit about Laurie and Kelso.
“Please Steven,” Jackie said pouting her lips and taking his hand.
“Fine,” Hyde said rolling his eyes. He slyly pulled his hand away and put it on his knees.
Since he had agreed to help, Jackie pretended not to notice him pull away from her. She was still thinking about what Mr. Forman had said about Hyde. Hyde didn’t hang out with people, or so Mr. Forman said, but here he was doing hanging out with her again. She rationalized that she had to be important to him – even if he did pull away.
“So when do we start?” Jackie asked.
“Right now,” Hyde said picking up his boots from the floor. He was about to polish them, but he figured he might as well make it go a little faster since Jackie was there to help. “Polish this boot.”
Jackie took the boot, but looked at it skeptically, “You’re serious?”
“This is the way to get Zen, doll,” Hyde said. He wasn’t sure why he had called her doll, but every time she looked at him with her big mismatched eyes she just looked too perfect to be real.
Jackie smiled at the nickname and silently took the boot. They both started polishing their respective shoe.
Jackie was sitting on the washing machine with Hyde in front of her drilling her on Zen techniques when Jackie realized Hyde had really sexy hands. He had one arm folded across his chest with his hand was grasping the other arm. The hand attached to that arm was stroking his chin in thought. It made her wonder what he would look like with a beard. He would occasionally make a motion when he was trying to illustrate a point. Every time Jackie’s eyes followed the movements religiously.
“Say it again,” Hyde said moving his hand around in a circular motion.
“What-ever,” Jackie said biting her lip. She imagined him saying the exact phrase, but in a very different scenario. In her head, he was a lot closer to her and his sexy hand were in her hair. He was asking her to tell him to kiss her again. When she finally said it, his lip crashed down on hers.
“Again,” Hyde said.
“Whatever,” Jackie said breathlessly. Hyde gave her an odd look.
He was just having her sit in front of him and he was all she could look at. Her eyes kept going back to his hands. She had never realized how much he talked with his hands. When he moved them around so much it was impossible not to look. And when she looked she immediately went back into another fantasy. This time he was placing his hands on her legs. He would start by taking a step closer and then placing his hands on her knees. He would move them up and down her thighs until her skirt rode up enough that she could feel his calloused hands on the inside of her knee. She shivered imagining the cold from the ring he always wore on his pinky.
“Jackie,” Hyde said snapping in front of her face. “Your face is all red. Are you okay?”
Jackie shook her head to clear it of the thoughts she was having about the boy in front of her. She tried to slow her breathing down grateful he hadn’t noticed.
“Yeah, yeah of course,” Jackie said trying to bring herself back to the moment.
“Are you sure?” Hyde asked getting concerned and taking a small step closer. Jackie’s brain immediately went into overdrive at the small movement.
“Whatever,” Jackie said on instinct alone.
“Hey that was pretty good!” Hyde said.
“If you say so,” Jackie said. “I still don’t understand what this is supposed to teach me.”
“Here,” Hyde said indicating for Jackie to get off the washing machine. “Let me show you.”
“Okay,” Jackie said happy to be moving away from her spot and their position.
“Pretend you’re Laurie and insult me,” Hyde said.
“Hey Steven, you’re stupid!” Jackie said moving her whole body to say the insult and then ending with a sweet smile and small nod.
Hyde hesitated. He immediately regretted changing spots with her. From this angle all he could do was look down at her. For some reason the position had him focusing completely on her. He couldn’t help when he became distracted by how cute she just was. Normally he would have wanted to punch himself for the thought, but he was too busy trying to hold back a laugh at her ridicules insult. She got so excited by the strangest things and she showed her excitement so easily. He wondered what he would have to do to get her that excited.
Hyde began to wonder which one of them needed to channel their Zen more because he was quickly losing his. Using the accidental long pause to his advantage he pulled himself back together, “Whatever,”
“Wow that was great,” Jackie said excited again. “You even dragged it out, so I was left waiting for it.”
“I told you,” Hyde said gulping at her choice of words and trying not to think about how they could be applied to a very different situation. He shook his head returning to the lesson. “Another part of this is ambiguity. Say it with me.”
“Ambiguity,” they both said together.
“Now invite me to do something,” Hyde instructed.
“Do you want to go to the movies with me?” Jackie asked as if she was really asking.
“That’s cool,” Hyde said with a slow nod.
Jackie’s smile fell and her eyes went down in confusion. When not momentarily distracted, Hyde was actually getting really into the lesson. He hadn’t realized he had so much to teach another person and Jackie seemed so interested.
“See?” Hyde said. “You don’t know if I mean, ‘that’s cool sure I’ll go’ or ‘that’s cool no thanks.’”
“And that’s cool?” Jackie asked trying to understand.
“Whatever,” Hyde said.
Jackie gasped, “Oh my god! I’m so sorry I got impatient.”
Hyde wanted to smile, but maintained his Zen. She was so cute standing in front of him jumping around the room with her excitement. He wondered what it would be like if she jumped right over to him. He imagined her putting her arms around his neck and pulling him down towards her. At first she would be forceful the way she was with everything else, but then she would pause when their lips were only a breath away and she would say something completely ridiculous that would have him laughing. Then he would kiss her just to get her to stop talking.
“That’s cool,” Hyde said pulling himself from his fantasy.
When Donna came in Hyde was grateful for the distraction and Jackie was excited for the test subject. Jackie proved how good of a student she is by confusing Donna. After Jackie practiced her Zen, Donna and Jackie went to go see the movie Donna had come in to ask about. Hyde stayed behind. As soon as the door closed Hyde pulled out his stash and got lost in his thoughts about Jackie jumping around.
Hyde, Jackie, Donna, and Fez were hanging out in the basement when Laurie came down the stairs. Jackie and Hyde were both readying magazines pretending to be busier than they really were, which was another one of Hyde’s Zen tactics. When Jackie heard the footsteps, her whole body tensed, but she forced herself to take a deep breath.
“Oh you again,” Laurie said. “What happened did they let kindergarten out early today?”
“Whatever,” Jackie said channeling her Zen.
“Jackie, don’t you have a lame comeback saved for just this very occasion.”
“That’s cool,” Jackie responded.
Hyde looked over proud of how well she was doing. He wasn’t expecting her to be this successful. He knew she was a good student, but she was also extremely short tempered.
“Oh so now you’re little miss cool, huh?” Laurie asked trying to taunt Jackie.
“Whatever,” Jackie said not even looking up from her magazine.
“Well if you are really as cool as you think you are, you would have been able to hold on to your one true love, but you couldn’t could you, loser?” Laurie said and then turned away, “Oh well.”
Hyde knew that if anything was going to break Jackie this was it. The comment hit the bullseye on all of her insecurities. He watched her closely as she put her magazine down and her face turned into total rage. He wasn’t sure what she was going to do when she got up and stepped on the coach.
Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion until Jackie’s tiny body collided with Laurie’s. Hyde, Donna, and Fez all came around the coach and watched the fight play out. Both were throwing punches, but Jackie clearly had the upper hand.
Hyde debated breaking it up, but Donna stepped in before he could do anything. When she came back with a bitten arm he was a lot more hesitant to do anything. Plus, Jackie didn’t even have a scratch on her. Laurie on the other hand was clearly going to be bruised tomorrow.
Finally, when Jackie landed an especially hard hit to Laurie’s eye Laurie pushed her off her and ran up the stairs clutching her eye.
“Bitch!” Jackie yelled after her. She flipped her hair back and tried to bring her breathing back to normal.
“You kicked her ass, man,” Hyde said completely in awe of her. He was so impressed he wasn’t even mad about her reaction to Laurie the way he usually would have been.
“Yeah whatever,” Jackie said and hugged Donna. “I think that’s all I really needed to do. I actually feel a lot better.”
“Oh my gosh I am so turned on,” Fez said.
“Same, man,” Hyde said.
Jackie’s head shot up quickly to look at Hyde. They were both surprised he had said it. It wasn’t the first time Hyde had thought something along those lines, but it was the first time he said it out loud.
Jackie couldn’t stop the grin from spreading across her face. She couldn’t believe Hyde had just admitted she turned him on. He did find her attractive! Mr. Forman was definitely right.
Before either of them could say anything Eric came rushing down the stairs.
“Jackie my sister said you beat her up!” he said.
“Yeah I did,” Jackie said sounding smug and walking over to take a seat on the coach. She wasn’t sure if she was happier about beating up Laurie or Hyde’s attraction to her.
“You’re my hero,” Eric said sitting next to her.
“Yeah, but I guess it wasn’t very Zen,” Jackie said.
“Where Zen ends ass kicking begins,” Hyde said smiling at her.
They were both uncomfortable from Hyde’s comment, but when Eric flipped on the tv and the rest of the afternoon passed with the gangs’ usual antics.
“Hey, Jackie,” Claire said walking up with Julie and Sara flanking her on both sides. Like Jackie, the cheerleaders were wearing their cheerleading outfit. They had bags slung over their shoulder and their arms folded over their chest.
Jackie turned around from the conversation she was having with Donna. She has hanging out with the gang before she left for the football game and they left for their usual basement circle and hangout.
“Hey guys,” Jackie said hesitant that they sought her out especially when she was with the gang.
“Hi ladies,” Kelso said pushing himself off the Vista Cruiser that he had been leaning on.
“Hi Kelso,” Sara said flipping her hair.
“You look pretty good in that uniform, Sara,” Kelso said.
Sara smiled and Jackie rolled her eyes.
“Hi Hyde,” Julie said biting her lip and looking nervous.
Jackie narrowed her eyes, but she was satisfied when Hyde just nodded and Jackie let a small smile unto her face. Then she noticed Claire watching her and she dropped the smile.
“What are you guys doing here?” Jackie asked.
“We’re going to go stretch before the game,” Julie said looking at Hyde.
“Thought you might want to join,” Claire said.
“Of course!” Jackie said. “I was just killing time before the game anyway.”
“Are you all going to the game?” Claire asked with a smug smile already knowing their answer.
They all looked at her blankly. None of them had ever even thought about going to a Point Place Football game. Well none of them except one, and it wasn’t for the football.
“Could be kind of fun,” Kelso said still looking at Sara.
“Your school spirit really compelling you?” Donna asked sarcastically.
“Yeah,” Kelso said. “Come one man it could be fun.”
“No it couldn’t be,” Eric said.
“I don’t know American football seems to be a big part of the American high school experience,” Fez pointed out.
“What else would we do with this Friday night?” Kelso rightfully pointed out.
Jackie and the rest of the cheerleaders watched the scene unfold. Jackie snuck a brief look at Hyde he hadn’t added to the conversation at all and he seemed totally unfazed behind his sunglasses. Jackie wasn’t sure if she even wanted them all to go. It would be nice for them to see her cheer to see how amazing she was, but she knew Claire was already suspicious of her friendship with the gang especially Hyde. She purposefully avoided them for most of school choosing rather to hang out with the gang in Eric’s dingy basement.
“I guess you’re right,” Donna said then hesitantly added. “It could be fun.”
“Okay, well if you want to go,” Eric said immediately jumping on board when Donna showed an interest.
“Yeah!” Kelso said.
“My first American football game how exciting,” Fez said happily.
Jackie had noticed Hyde had stayed silent. They hung out, but she still knew that if Hyde were to ever go to a football game he would have to be dragged there.
“What about you Hyde?” Julie asked batting her eyes up at him.
Hyde could feel everyone’s eyes on him. Jackie and Claire seemed especially interested in his response. He had no interest in going to the football game. Normally, he would have immediately dismissed the idea, but his only plans were to hang with his friends and they were all going to the game now. Plus, it would be really good ammunition to use against Jackie later to see her cheering for their moronic football team. He also wouldn’t mind seeing her dance around in the cheer uniform. He could already barely keep his eyes off her just with her skipping around in it all day for classes.
“No,” Hyde said. In the end, his pride got the best of him. He wasn’t going to be caught dead at a football game.
Jackie knew she shouldn’t be, but she was a bit disappointed by Hyde’s answer. With Mr. Forman’s comment and Hyde’s slip up from a few days prior on her mind, Jackie was convinced that Hyde had more than friendly feelings for her. She just needed to get him to admit it. She took solace only in the fact that his direct rejection had been to Julie not her, but she still would have liked to have him at the game to see her cheer. She had to tell herself this was for the best or else Claire would think something was going on even more than she already did.
Hyde had noticed Jackie’s face fall at his answer. She was silent, but he couldn’t ignore the pout on her lips. He wondered if she even knew she was doing it.
“Come on, man,” Eric said.
Hyde glared at him, but then out of the corner of his eye he saw Jackie perk up a bit. Her eyes got big and her pout deepened. They locked eyes and without fully thinking he was agreeing to go.
What Hyde didn’t notice, but it didn’t escape Jackie’s notice, was Claire looking between them. She finally let her glare settle on Jackie.
“Let’s go,” Claire said.
Jackie knew she should try to hid the smile, but she couldn’t be bothered. She was so excited Hyde was going to watch her cheer. She could deal with the cheerleaders later.
“See you at the game later,” Jackie said to the group but made eye contact and smiled at Hyde.
Hyde watched Jackie’s back as she retreated with the other cheerleaders. He couldn’t believe he had agreed to go to a football game. He knew it was because of Jackie. He had been noticing that more and more she was getting under his skin. She got him to do things he would have beat other guys up for doing just a few weeks ago.
When the cheerleaders finally turned towards the football field and out of vision, Hyde refocused his attention on his friends around him.
The stadium was packed Hyde couldn’t believe the turnout. It seemed like everyone in Point Place was crammed into the school’s tiny stadium. The game was going to start in about ten minutes and people were still filtering in. Hyde walked along with his friends up the stairs looking for seats. He already regretted agreeing to go to the football game. It was just a bunch of squares there to drool and fawn over the cheerleaders and football players.
At the thought Hyde’s eyes drifted out to the field. The players weren’t out yet but the cheerleaders were doing some warmups and arranging themselves in a dirt area in front of the field. Jackie was stretching out her arms with another girl. They seemed to be talking because Jackie was smiling and she let out a laugh. Hyde was too far away to hear it, but he could tell by the way she threw her head back.
“I’m tired of this,” Hyde said getting annoyed of wandering around and looking for seats. He stomped over to a group of nerdy looking freshman. “Move.”
“B-b-but we’re sitting here,” one of the boys said looking nervous.
“Move,” Hyde growled. “Or I will move you.”
The guys clamored away and all the people sitting nearby scooted away. Hyde felt a little guilty scaring the underclassman, but he was already on edge being at the game, so he dismissed the thought. The rest of the gang filled the empty seats trying to hold make their laughs.
“How long is this stupid thing going to take?” Hyde asked.
“Probably an hour or two,” Eric said.
“Why did you come if you’re so grumpy about it?” Fez asked.
Hyde’s eyes flicked to Jackie. He was grateful for the sunglasses that covered up the mistake. With a shrug he said, “Nothin’ else to do.”
“Sure,” Donna said with a sly smile. “It had nothing to do with the way Jackie was pouting when you rejected the first time.”
Hyde glared at her, but realizing she couldn’t see it behind the glasses he said, “Since when have I carried what she thinks?”
Hyde was asking himself the same question. He shouldn’t have come to the game. She shouldn’t have been able to persuade him to and especially not by just pouting, but there he was sitting on a cold bench waiting for a high school football game to start.
“Seems like you’ve been caring a lot more lately, Hyde,” Kelso grumbled.
“Whatever,” Hyde said folding his arms across his chest.
“You might as well stop wasting your time,” Kelso continued. “She’s going to come running back to me any minute.”
Hyde acted on instinct punching Kelso in the arm. Kelso let out a complaint and Hyde kept his face neutral. By this point, Hyde knew Jackie was not going to go running back to Kelso, but it couldn’t hurt to physically remind Kelso of that fact.
Hyde was stopped from responding by movement below the stands. The cheerleaders were gathering on the right side of the field. A few of them were pulling out a banner. Jackie was standing and talking to another girl. Jackie was laughing and looked happy. Hyde realized he had never seen her like that. She looked so different from the girl that hung out with him in the basement. She looked like the girl that was homecoming queen. This was the perfect person everyone saw. This was the girl that gave Jackie her confidence and attitude, but not her witty come backs or the vulnerability that caused him to stay on prom night.
Jackie was the girl who would be voted most likely to succeed and he was the type that would be voted most likely to end up in prison, but looking at Jackie he wondered if either was true. He couldn’t see how both could be true at the same time. They got along too well for both fates to unfold. The college bound cheerleader didn’t get along with the pothead burnout, but they did. They were friends, there was no point in denying it and, even though he would never admit it to anyone, he had never cared about anyone as much as her. He really hoped her superlative was true, but he couldn’t figure out what that meant for him.
Hyde’s mind was distracted when the girl next to Jackie bent down and Jackie jumped unto her shoulders. The other girl’s hands went to Jackie’s thighs that were locked around her neck. Another girl handed Jackie the banner. The banner was stretched from Jackie to another cheerleader who held the other end while on another pair of shoulders.
“I didn’t know football would have so much lady on lady action,” Fez said gleefully.
“It’s not sexual,” Donna said rolling her eyes. “It would be no different than if she was on any of our shoulders.”
Hyde’s fingers twitched at Donna’s comment. He wondered how soft her thighs would be remembering the kiss from over two months earlier.
“Donna, if Jackie’s womanhood was that close to my face it would be sexual,” Fez said seriously.
“Ew,” Eric said. “It’s Jackie and don’t say womanhood it’s creepy.”
“Why is that creepy?” Donna asked Eric.
Sensing a dangerous conversation, everyone but Eric backed off. As Eric responded to Donna, Hyde watched the football players run through the banner and start taking their spots. The cheerleaders did the same.
Jackie’s eyes kept flicking up to the curly haired boy sulking on the bleachers. She kept her shoulders back and her megawatt simile on, but she was so self-conscious. Hyde had his glasses on, but she could tell by the direction of his head that he was staring at her through the whole game. He had clearly only come to the game for her and the thought put a smile on her face.
Over the past two months they had gotten a lot closer even if he wouldn’t admit it out loud. Still, whenever they hung out it was with the gang or in private. While they weren’t hanging out at the game, he went out of his way to be somewhere he hated for her.
Jackie had to pull her eyes away from Hyde as the team started leaving the field for halftime. She moved into formation with the rest of the cheerleaders to get ready for their short routine they performed during the break. Claire, as the head cheerleader and captain had been pushing them to do more than the traditional dance moves and to start practicing some of the stunts that the college cheer teams were doing. Because Jackie was one of the smallest and most flexible girls on the team she was the one they chose to lift up at the end. At first it scared her, but after a bit of practice she started to love the thrill of it and she got to be center of attention, which she always enjoyed.
As music started from the speakers Jackie felt her body move in the familiar beat. She ignored the fans on the bleachers and focused on her moves. As the music started coming to the crescendo. Jackie took her spot in the back. On her mark she took a large jump pushing her legs out and she felt the familiar hands of Sara and Krista, another cheerleader, grabbing her calves. She had a second to let her body relax into the splits and then they were moving her up and the rest of the cheerleaders were taking their final pose. The music stopped and they all held their position as the crowd cheered.
Jackie’s eye finally went up to where she knew the gang was sitting. Donna and Fez were cheering loudly, Eric looked bored, and Hyde and Kelso looked shocked. Jackie looked towards Hyde trying to make eye contact behind his dark glasses and winked. When Hyde’s mouth opened slightly in response she knew he had seen it.
Jackie’s smile was bigger when she came down from the move then when she was holding the pose. That exact moment was why she had wanted to gang to come to the game. For them to see her as someone who was impressive and capable of doing something, even if it was only dancing.
The football team was about to come out again, so she followed the rest of the cheerleaders to get some water and set back up. She kept her eyes off
By the time the football game finished Hyde’s fingers were itching for a cigarette. The gang shuffled out of the stadium with all of the other fans, but when everyone started heading towards the Cruiser, Hyde waved them on.
“I’m going to stay for a smoke,” he said. “I can just catch a ride with Jackie.”
Eric rolled his eyes, but everyone else just nodded. They had given up trying to deny Hyde and Jackie’s weird friendship.
Hyde was on his third cigarettes when the cheerleaders started shuffling out. By that time the parking lot was deserted, so it was easy for Jackie to spot Hyde leaning against a fence across from her.
“I’ll see you guys later,” Jackie said turning towards her fellow cheerleaders.
“Have fun with the hottie,” Julie said winking. “So jealous.”
Claire just glared and looked like she was about to say something, but before she could Jackie walked away. As she walked across the parking lot Jackie tried not to let the stares of the cheerleaders bother her.
When Hyde noticed Jackie was walking towards him, he gave her a small smile behind his cigarette. She smiled back, but it didn’t ease the tension rolling off her body.
“You came to the game and waited for me,” Jackie said with a smile.
Hyde just shrugged and put out his cigarette. He couldn’t exactly deny either point. “Figured we could go get food or something. I bet you have to be hungry after all that jumping around.”
“That sounds great,” Jackie said.
Hyde noticed Jackie pulling down her shirt and fidgeting with her hands. He couldn’t guess why she would be nervous around him anymore and her performance was over.
“You doing okay?” Hyde asked reaching towards her hand and taking it into his so she’d stop pulling the hem of her cheer uniform.
“Yeah…” Jackie said looking down at their hands. After a second of hesitation she continued, “I just know they’re all staring at us.”
At Jackie’s words Hyde looked up and around the almost empty parking lot. She was right every single cheerleader had their eyes locked on Hyde and Jackie. Even a few football players were coming out and stopping their departure to watch. Hyde hadn’t even noticed them, but he knew Jackie couldn’t ignore their presence.
“So, who cares what a bunch of preps think?” Hyde said hoping she’d drop her concern for popularity just this once.
“I do, Steven,” Jackie said. “I’m a cheerleader and I’m one of them.”
Hyde pulled his hand away like she’d burned him. Jackie’s eyes went back to their hands. She immediately knew she said the wrong thing. She was a cheerleader and in the popular crowd, but not with him. In his eyes, she was just one of the gang and the gang didn’t care about what outsiders thought.
“Well if their opinion matters so much then go back,” Hyde said anger and sarcasm dripping into his tone. “I was waiting because I thought it would make you happy, but if it just gets in the way of being next year’s homecoming queen be my guest and go back to them. Just tell the squares you turned me down.”
Hyde was sulking by the end of his rant, but Jackie had a tiny smile.
“You care about making me happy,” Jackie said.
“Yes you do. You just said it,” Jackie sashayed her body closer to Hyde.
“No I didn’t,” Hyde said.
“Yes you did,” Jackie said forcefully. “And for the record, I will be next year’s homecoming queen whether I hang out with you or not. Their opinion matters to my reputation and my standing, but past that I don’t really care what they think and I’ll…persuade them to see it my way.”
“Whatever,” Hyde said.
“Want to get a burger?” Jackie said.
“Isn’t that where all of them are going?” Hyde said moving his head slightly towards the cliché still watching from the other side of the parking lot.
“Who cares what they think now?” Jackie teased, but in reality she didn’t want to be around them any more either.
“Just because I don’t care what they think doesn’t mean I want to be around them,” Hyde said rolling his eyes behind his glasses.
“Well we could go back to my place,” Jackie said. “We can make food and watch some tv.”
Jackie pulled the keys out of her cheer bag and handed them over. Luckily, Hyde had perched himself on a fence near where Jackie had parked the Lincoln when she first got to school that morning, so it was a short walk to the car.
As the two got in, Hyde marveled over the fact that he was just leaving school at almost 10 pm on a Friday. And he was leaving with a cheerleader to take her home for completely innocent reasons.
They were silent as they got in the car. Hyde started it up and pretended not to notice Jackie looking at the cheerleaders out of the corner of her eye as they left. He did have to hand it to her that she always kept her head up even when she was uncomfortable. When they were on the main street Hyde changed the radio to a station he liked and the two fell into silence with the sounds of The Rolling Stones to sooth them. Neither spoke until they got closer to Jackie’s house.
“Are your parents home?” Hyde asked already knowing the answer.
“No,” Jackie said.
“How long have they been gone this time?”
“Just a few days,” Jackie said with her eyes down.
Hyde nodded, but dropped the subject knowing she wouldn’t want to talk about it. To his surprise she had a follow up question.
“What about your parents?” Jackie asked the question that had been on her mind since the first night Hyde had come over. He hadn’t been to her house since the first time and to her knowledge he hadn’t stayed out all night, but Jackie did notice that he spent a lot of time in the Forman’s basement.
“Dad ran off years ago and mom is around most of the time,” Hyde said slightly thrown by the question and focusing intently on the road to avoid looking at Jackie.
Jackie nodded, but didn’t say anything more. She had a feeling ‘most of the time’ wasn’t very often.
Hyde pulled up to Jackie’s house and they both got out. Jackie found her key and let them in. The house was completely dark, so they had to turn on lights as they went. Hyde stillw asn’t familiar with the layout of her house, so Jackie led them into the kitchen.
“I don’t have much,” Jackie said opening the refrigerator.
“Let me take a look,” Hyde said.
Jackie moved out of the way and Hyde took her place in front of the refrigerator. He was met with a fridge full of food. He couldn’t believe Jackie didn’t think this was much. His kitchen was lucky to have more than beer in it.
“Jackie, this is full of food,” Hyde said.
“But none of it will make anything,” Jackie whined pushing herself to sit up on the counter.
“Where’s your pantry?” Hyde asked already thinking of a meal based on what he’d seen in the fridge.
Jackie pointed to the pantry and stared in disbelief. She had no idea Hyde knew how to cook. He was so scruffy and didn’t care about anything.
Hyde grabbed some dry pasta, butter, vegetables, and cheese from the fridge. He set everything down and then started looking through cupboards until he came out with a pot. He filled it with water and turned the burner on high. He then pulled out a cutting board and knife and started cutting vegetable.
“How hungry are you?” Hyde asked.
“Starving,” Jackie responded while staring at Hyde in disbelief.
“All that cheer really wears on you huh?” Hyde said with a joking smirk.
Jackie was stopped from having a witty comeback by her complete shock at Hyde cooking in her kitchen. She was still perched on the countertop. He had moved around her as he pulled out ingredients and supplies, but now he stood next to her and was chopping happily.
“You know how to cook?” Jackie asked.
Hyde looked up at her with a shy smile. It was the first time Jackie had ever seen that on Hyde’s face. He looked almost embarrassed.
“Yeah,” Hyde started slowly. “My mom is the school lunch lady so when I was a kid she would take me to work with her and then when I got older I used to watch Mrs. Forman cook sometimes I would help if no one else was around.”
“That’s really cool,” Jackie said.
“No it’s not,”
“Steven, yes it is,” Jackie said. “It’s a skill that will help you in life. You could get a job in a restaurant or even just use it to help yourself survive a little better. It’s cool.”
“A restaurant isn’t a bad idea,” Hyde said and then giving in to an impulse. He lifted up a piece of tomato he had just chopped for her to take.
Jackie was smiling at her new knowledge of Hyde’s skill and her smile only widened when he lifted up food for her to eat. She was starving from the game, but also there was something incredible sweet about Hyde feeding her not only with the meal but in the prep too. He probably meant for her to take the tomato in her hand, but instead she moved her mouth closer to his hand and took it right from his finger.
Hyde shuddered as he felt Jackie’s lips on him and her tongue even brushed the tip of his pointer finger. It took every muscle in his being to hold back from grabbing her. He tried to remind himself of her out cheering and worrying about what the preps thought. She deserved to live in that high school fairytale and the paradise it brings. She deserved better than him. They could stay friends, but he wasn’t going to cross that line. She just deserved better.
Jackie wanted so badly for Hyde to kiss her, so when he pulled away she wasn’t going to let him get away that easy. Jackie grabbed Hyde’s wrist before he picked up the knife again. She pulled him closer to her and leaned down to kiss him, but Hyde pulled away at the last second.
“Steven,” Jackie whined.
“It’s not a good idea Jackie,” Hyde said picking up the knife and started chopping again refusing to look at her.
“Why not?” Jackie said.
Hyde thought about it. He wasn’t going to tell her that she deserved better she would just deny it, but he also didn’t want to lose her from his life.
“We’re friends dude why can’t you just live with that?” Hyde finally decided on.
Jackie was surprised, but not entirely convinced that Hyde wanted what he was saying. He wouldn’t look up from his cutting and there wasn’t the usual life behind his words. Jackie was determined to make him think more of her even if she had to go along with this for a little longer.
“Fine,” Jackie said throwing her hands up. “Friends.”
Hyde went back to his cooking and Jackie silently swung her legs from her spot on the counter. Hyde had learned his lesson and didn’t feed her any more pre-meal snacks.
When Jackie noticed that the ingredients had started looking like actual food she also realized she was still in her cheer clothes.
“I’m going to run up and change,” Jackie said. “I’m not supposed to eat in this.”
Hyde looked her up and down and shrugged. While Jackie was gone Hyde finished their pasta and put two large helpings unto plates and set them on the table. He then went to the fridge and found two cans of pop and pulled out utensils from a cupboard. After it was all on the table he hesitated trying to decide if he should wait or just start eating.
Hyde was saved from the decision by Jackie bounding down the stairs. She was wearing the same pajamas she had worn last time he was over. He wondered if that’s what she slept in every night.
“It looks delicious!” Jackie said as she sat down.
“Eat up,” Hyde said taking his spot and digging in to the food.
After a few minutes of them eating Jackie finally broke the silence, “What did you think of the game?”
“I can’t believe you go to one every week,” Hyde said.
“You didn’t like it?” Jackie asked.
“No part of it?”
“What’s to like about a bunch of sheep for the man giving in to the most cliché American high school pastime?”
“What about halftime?” Jackie finally asked.
Hyde hesitated in his answer. He had hated the game, but he had enjoyed halftime. She was the whole reason he went to the football game to being with and she had more than exceeded his expectations.
“Jackie, are you trying to get me to admit that I liked watching you cheer?”
“Well did you?”
“It wasn’t bad,” Hyde compromised.
“Which means you liked it,” Jackie said with a large smile.
“Eat your pasta,” Hyde said trying to steer the conversation away knowing he had already lost.
After dinner the pair moved to the living room. They switched between talking and silence filling the time with nothing, but the other’s company and mindless television. Jackie eventually began to drift off and Hyde silently got up and pulled out blankets for both of them. Jackie cuddled herself into the blanket and Hyde laid back letting their legs tangle together on the coach as he fell asleep.
Jackie walked into school on Monday with Hyde’s voice in her head. After he slept over on Friday, he stayed through Sunday. They didn’t do much except talk and play chess. He watched her do homework and she watched him read a book that was sitting on her father’s bookshelf.
Jackie didn’t ask about his mom again. She figured he would tell her eventually. They also didn’t talk about the cheerleaders and popular kids again. It made both of them uncomfortable to acknowledge the stark social barrier between the two of them, and Jackie knew they were both experts at avoiding their feelings making it easy to push aside the conversation. Regardless of her actions over the weekend, that specific conversation about the cheerleaders and popular kids was exactly what was on Jackie’s mind as she walked through the front doors and towards where most of the cheerleader’s had their lockers.
“Hey guys,” Jackie said walking up to the cheerleaders who were talking near their lockers.
“Hi Jackie,” Claire said. “Did you have a good weekend?”
Jackie hesitated. Hyde’s voice rose up again in her head. He would want her to walk away from the conversation immediately. Her instincts were to lie about her weekend. After another second, she decided to meet in the middle.
“Yeah I did actually!” Jackie said infusing her voice with the pep she usually left for cheering. “I hung out with Steven all weekend.”
“Steven?” Claire asked raising her eyebrows. Jackie instantly noticed her mistake. She had called Hyde Steven. No one outside of the Forman’s used his first name and she had just said it in the middle of school. Jackie’s response had gained a few other girls’ attention, including Julie and Sara both of which Jackie knew had a current or previous interest in Hyde.
“Oh sorry I mean Hyde,” Jackie said not sorry in the slightest.
“Jackie,” Claire said. “I thought we talked about this. He’s bad news. You shouldn’t be seen with someone like that it’s bad for the cheer squad to have the reputation as someone who would be with a burnout. You have our reputation to think about”
Jackie was furious. She didn’t give a damn about Claire’s reputation and she certainly wasn’t going to change her life for it. Instead of giving in to her anger, Jackie said through clenched teeth, “I do seem to remember you saying something like that, but I’m not going to stop hanging out with Steven.”
“Well then we might have to seriously consider your spot on the squad,” Claire said.
A few of the cheerleaders gasped behind them. Jackie didn’t look over at the stunned cheerleaders, instead she stared directly into Claire’s eyes. After a large breath and a moment to compose herself, she raised a well-manicured eyebrow.
“Are you sure you want to make that threat?”
“It’s not a threat Jackie,” Claire said. The other cheerleaders were now looking at each other in concern.
“Claire, maybe you should think about this,” Krista said.
“Yeah Claire, like half of us have slept with Hyde it’s not a big deal if he and Jackie are hanging,” Sara said.
Jackie was torn between wanting to hug them and throttle Sara. Instead, she kept her eyes locked on Claire’s.
“This is different,” Claire said.
“Why?” Jackie said. “Because it’s not about Steven, so it must be me. Is it because I’m the only one who can do the split lift? Or the fact that I’m the only sophomore on the varsity team and there for the future of cheer at Point Place High School? Or that my GPA is about half the reason we’re not on academic probation? Or just the fact that Steven hanging out with me makes me different? Just tell me where your problem lies and I can tell you exactly how to get over it because nothing’s going to change on my end.” Jackie finally looked away from Claire’s surprised face. “If any of you have a problem with my cheering or commitment to this team then please let me know and I will work my ass off to fix it.” Jackie took a second to pause and then looked directly at Claire, “If you have a problem with my personal life you can lose me from the squad or keep your thoughts to yourself.”
Claire looked furious. Jackie had called her bluff. The squad really wouldn’t be as good without her and the only thing Claire loved more than her popularity was the squad.
“If you want to ruin your life with ‘Steven’ then be my guest,” Claire said through gritted teeth and using air quote’s when she said Hyde’s name. “You better be at practice on time every day, I want to see you smiling at every game, and you better figure out how to land your front handspring.”
Jackie just nodded, “I have to go to first period.”
Jackie walked away with her head held high. She noticed people in the hallway had been watching the cheerleader drama unfolding in front of them. Jackie knew the drama would be around the school by lunch. She refused to look at anyone, but she kept her head high and a small smile on her lips as she walked into first period determined to look like the winner she knew she was.
When Jackie walked into the lunch room all eyes turned to her. She went to the lunch line trying not to think about the attention. Usually she loved attention, but not this kind. Claire had backed down, but news of their confrontation this morning had spread like wildfire. There were rumors flying anywhere from her trying to take over the cheer squad to a secret love baby between her and Hyde. Most people just thought she was sleeping with Hyde and Claire was jealous. It seemed like no one was discussing the simple truth that she was friends with Hyde and Claire had tried to use it as an excuse to get her off the team.
Hyde was eating with the gang when suddenly everyone he was talking to got distracted. They had all turned their head towards the entrance and stopped the argument about who would win in a fight Jeannie vs. Samantha. Hyde just looked at everyone in confusion.
“Gez everyone is staring at her,” Donna said with pity in her eyes.
“Yeah no one looked at her like that when I was sleeping with her,” Kelso said.
With that comment Hyde turned around. Kelso slept with a lot of girls, but Hyde had a sinking feeling he knew the girl Kelso was talking about. Hyde saw Jackie walk into the cafeteria looking confident, but subtly tugging on the sleeve of her sweater. She walked over to the lunch line without looking around the room. The cheerleaders were all staring except for one girl that he kind of recognized from last Friday. They were all talking to themselves and then looking at Jackie and it seemed like they were then pointing their stares at him.
“Why’s everyone looking at Jackie?” Hyde said.
“You haven’t heard?” Eric asked.
“Heard what?” Hyde said already annoyed by the small amount of delight he saw in Eric’s eyes. “I skipped first, second and third so I haven’t been here long.”
“I think you lose some of the education when you only show up for lunch, my criminal friend,” Fez said.
“That’s only half the reason to come to school,” Hyde said with a shrug.
“Well is Jackie the other half,” Eric asked. “Because that’s what the whole school seems to think is your motivation.”
“What?” Hyde asked honestly not following.
“Jackie had some crazy argument about you with the cheerleaders this morning,” Donna said. “It’s girls like that that are holding feminism back.”
Hyde held back an eye roll, “Why the hell was I involved? Is Jackie okay?”
“I’m asking the same thing,” Kelso said pouting and crossing his arms. “I was with her for a year and she never fought over me.”
Hyde punched him in the arm.
“Ow! Man, what was that for?” Kelso asked.
“For only giving a shit about the first question.” Hyde said and then as an afterthought added, “And Jackie and I aren’t together.”
“Then why do you care if she’s okay?” Eric asked.
“Because I’m her friend,” Hyde said. “Like you guys are, remember.”
Donna looked guilty, but everyone else just stared at him silently. Hyde sighed and stood up. He walked towards Jackie trying to ignore the eyes on him and the whispered conversation that broke out across the cafeteria.
He hoped like hell his mom wasn’t working the lunch line today. He usually packed a lunch or went without lunch to avoid seeing his mom at school. It wasn’t that he was embarrassed his mom worked there, he just preferred to spend as little time with her as possible. But today he decided to make an exception to his rule for Jackie.
“Hey,” Hyde said walking up to Jackie.
She had been so deep in thought and ignoring her surroundings that his voice surprised her. She looked up at him half happy to see him and half worried by his presence. Still, she gave him a genuine smile when he smiled down at her.
“You wanna ditch?”
Jackie started laughing. She knew he didn’t mean it as a joke, but of all the things he could say this was so uniquely Hyde. She wanted nothing more than to get out of the cafeteria, but she knew she couldn’t.
“More than anything,” Jackie said and saw a very surprised look pass over Hyde’s face. “But I can’t. If I leave now they win.”
“Life’s not a competition,” Hyde said.
“It is for the winners,” Jackie said flipping her hair with a cocky smile.
They moved forward in line and Jackie looked away from Hyde, “So what rumors have you heard?”
“The rumor mill hasn’t caught up to me yet,” Hyde said.
“Seriously?” Jackie asked. “How is that even possible.”
“I don’t subscribe to your mainstream high school tactics of intimidation,” Hyde said, but when Jackie gave him a stern look he continued. “And I might have skipped a few classes this morning.”
“How many is a few?” Jackie said keeping her face stern.
“We’ve only had four,” Jackie said surprised.
“Hence why I haven’t heard any rumors,” Hyde said with a shrug. Jackie just shook her head.
“Claire confronted me in the hallway this morning…about you.”
“What’s her problem with me and what does that have to do with you?” Hyde angrily asked.
“Shhhh! The last thing I need is more rumors spreading because of your big mouth, “Jackie looked at the people around them in line and then continued. “She thinks we’re dating and that me being with a burnout will damage the cheerleader reputation.”
“Oh,” Hyde said completely surprised. They had just talked about this a few days ago and it was already becoming a problem. He knew he shouldn’t have gotten involved with Jackie, even as friends. It was already hurting her life. Instead of voicing these thoughts, he just said dumbly, “We’re not even dating.”
“Yeah I know,” Jackie said. “It doesn’t matter because they think we are. I put her in her place and it’s fine. I just have to work a little harder at cheer for a while and wait out this rumor bullshit.”
“Why does anyone in this school give a shit about all that?” Hyde said looking around. All of the eyes on him were freaking him out. He didn’t know how Jackie was being so calm especially if it had been happening all day. “What rumors would people get from that?”
“All kinds of ridiculous things.” Jackie said brushing him off and moving forward.
“Like what?” Hyde said picking up on her discomfort.
“Like I stole you away from Claire or like sleeping with you is a cheerleader ritual and I’m the only one who hasn’t and I’m refusing or that I’m pregnant with your baby,” Jackie said looking down and pulling her sweater sleeve something she hadn’t done since he came up to her. “Stupid stuff.”
“They should mind their damn business,” Hyde said a little louder hoping those around him would hear.
“Would you shut up.” Jackie demanded. “You’ll only make it worse. We’ll just ride it out. They’ll get over it soon.”
“Whatever,” Hyde said then he looked away in guilt. “Are you okay with this? I can leave. We can hang out in the Forman’s basement and leave it at that.”
“No!” Jackie said quickly. “I’m fine. Like you’ve said, it’s just stupid high school stuff anyway. I don’t want to stop being your friend, Steven.”
Hyde let out a relieved breath at her answer. He was willing to walk away, but damn he didn’t want to, “Just let me know if I can do anything okay?”
“Okay,” Jackie said with a smile.
They moved up in line a bit more and Jackie picked up an apple from the school’s sad selection. He didn’t pick anything up, but he did spot Edna working soup line.
“You’re not getting anything?” Jackie asked.
“Nah, not hungry,” Hyde said distracted still looking at his mom. She hadn’t noticed him, which wasn’t surprising. She usually ignored him at school and he had never willingly put himself in front of her. He wasn’t sure how she would react, but he knew he didn’t want Jackie meeting her.
Hyde’s nightmare started to unfold when Jackie unknowingly walked up to the soup station. She looked at Edna totally ignorant to the revelation she was about to undergo.
“One scoop please,” Jackie said.
Edna looked up. She looked over at Hyde surprised and then looked between him and Jackie. She started laughing, which was more of a wheeze from the years of smoking.
“Anything for you, son?” Edna asked.
“Nah,” Hyde said hoping she’d leave it at that.
“Heard this is your new baby mama,” Edna said. “Weren’t you going to introduce me to the mother of my future grandchild.”
Edna started wheezing harder from her own joke. Jackie just looked confused. Hyde had no idea what to do. This day was already bad enough for her the last thing he wanted was to add another reason for Jackie to never talk to him again.
To all of their surprise, it was Jackie that responded first, “I’m not pregnant.”
“Ma, this is my friend Jackie,” Hyde finally said knowing the introduction couldn’t be avoided. “Jackie this is my mom Edna.”
Jackie was even more confused. She just kept looking between Hyde and Edna. She couldn’t believe she never knew Hyde’s mom was the lunch lady. And not just any lunch lady, but Liquor Edna. It was the school’s worst kept secret that she was a horrible alcoholic and constantly drunk when dishing out the food.
“It’s nice to meet you,” Jackie said falling back on her manors that had been drilled into her for years.
“Yeah we’ll have to have you over for dinner sometime,” Edna said laughing at the two of them.
“Yeah I’d like that,” Jackie said with a smile that just made Edna continue laughing.
“We don’t want to hold up your line anymore,” Hyde said looking down at the soup cup Edna was holding.
Edna filled up the bowl and handed it over, “It was great meeting you…Jen?”
“Jackie,” she corrected as they walked away. They walked over to the cash register line.
“Why didn’t you tell me your mom is the lunch lady?” Jackie asked.
“It never came up,” Hyde said. Then he noticed the line had moved, so he moved her along hoping she would drop the subject.
Jackie paid for her lunch and they started walking back to the table. She wanted to ask more about Edna, but she knew he wasn’t going to share at school. She’d be lucky if he shared at all.
She looked over to the cheerleaders and debated going to sit with them. She just didn’t have the strength to go over there after this morning. Plus, after Hyde had just stood in line with here there would be a whole new round of tension. She looked over towards the gang and realized it was a much better alternative. She very rarely ate lunch with them and hadn’t since she broke up with Kelso, but their easy conversation and acceptance was exactly what she needed that day.
“You coming?” Hyde asked. He had taken two steps towards the regular table the gang ate at near the back of the crowded cafeteria.
“Yeah,” Jackie said and took a step towards Hyde following him towards their table.
They sat down next to each other. Both could tell everyone in the cafeteria was looking at them. When nothing happened after a few minutes of them sitting, conversations at the other tables eventually started up again and less eyes were on Jackie and Hyde.
“So heard any good gossip today?” Eric asked. Hyde was going to punch him in the arm but Donna beat him to it.
“Well I did hear something about a scrawny virgin thinking he was funny,” Jackie said.
“Hey! I know I’m funny,” Eric said.
“No you’re not,” Hyde said. “Let’s drop it okay.”
“If cheerleaders were fighting over me I would want us to talk about it forever,” Fez said helpfully.
“We weren’t fighting over him, Fez,” Jackie said.
“That is not what most of the school thinks,” Fez said.
“I said drop it,” Hyde threatened.
“Fine if that is what you wish, my friend,” Fez said.
“So Jeannie would definitely win in a fight,” Eric said.
“Nooooo,” Kelso said. “Samantha would it wouldn’t even be a contest.”
The conversation continued as if Hyde had never left. Everyone was engrossed in the argument, even Jackie, so when Hyde reached below the table and grabbed her hand no one saw it. Jackie looked over at him and smiled then she gave his hand a small squeeze. She would never admit it to anyone, but she was barley holding it together. She knew that she would be crying into her pillow tonight. His hand holding hers told her that she wasn’t alone. Even if he didn’t care what people thought like she did, he was still there for her. He understood why it mattered to her and he wasn’t going to leave her alone with it.
When the bell rang and the Jeannie vs. Samantha argument came to an end, Jackie stood up with everyone else. When she got up Hyde dropped her hand, but before she could walk away he touched her arm softly.
“Do you want me to walk you home today?” Hyde asked.
“Yeah,” Jackie said smiling up at him. “Meet me by the exit after the final bell.”
Hyde nodded and they both headed to their next class. Jackie left the cafeteria with just as many eyes on her as when she walked in, but her smile and confidence were a little less fake.
I just wanted to point out that when I originally planned to bring Jackie's cheer into this story I was imagining 2017 badass stunts and tumbling and then I remembered that cheer in the 1970's was a lot less intense. So if that all seems a little weird I am very sorry. It is not a huge point in the plot except that Jackie is a very good cheerleader
Hyde walked Jackie home every day for the next two weeks. And inevitably, every night of that week after walking Jackie home Hyde would stay over for dinner and then he would crash on the coach. He hadn’t been home in a week, but Edna never called or asked him any questions at school. He had stopped by his house a few times when Jackie had cheer practice to grab a few changes of clothes, but he never saw Edna. He was starting to notice she had been around less and less lately, but so had he so he didn’t think much of it.
Every morning Hyde would walk Jackie to school and they would split up to their usual groups or sometimes Jackie would go to the gang with him. Jackie pushed them to get to school early and even though she didn’t say it out loud they both knew it was, so people wouldn’t see them arriving together. Hyde had never been so punctual.
Even though they were now spending more time together than ever before, the rumors at school had calmed down, but the tension hadn’t faded between the cheerleaders. It seemed like Claire wasn’t going to back down, but Jackie wasn’t either.
It was at cheer practice that the tension finally hit a breaking point. Claire was trying to teach everyone a new dance combination and Jackie was supposed to be one of the three girls that ended the routine with a front hand spring, but she couldn’t land it. She went into the hand stand, but instead of flipping her body over and back unto her feet, she would flip over and fall on her unstable landing or worse not even push off and just fall out of the handstand. On her fifth take Jackie found herself once again on a very bruised butt.
“Jackie, you need to land that front hand spring,” Claire yelled from her spot in front of the team. She was watching the routine to make sure they had it before she added herself in.
“I know,” Jackie said getting up from the ground. “I’m working on it.”
“Well work harder,” Claire said then with an evil smirk added. “Or you’re out of the sequence.”
“I’ll get it.”
“By next Friday,” Claire said.
“That only gives me a week,” Jackie started to argue.
“Well we have a game that Saturday,” Clair said then with a smile added, “but if you don’t think you can get it we can just take it out now.”
“No. I’ll get it,” Jackie said through gritted teeth.
“We’ll see,” Claire said smiling.
After practice Jackie wanted to immediately go home and practice, but she knew Hyde would be waiting for her in the basement, so she begrudgingly headed towards the Forman’s. She knew Claire was pushing this move so badly just to split up her and Hyde. Jackie was determined not to let Claire win and to keep Hyde. She felt like they were finally making progress and maybe even moving out of this stupid friendship into something further.
Jackie stormed into the basement angrier than she had been leaving practice. Hyde was sitting in his usual chair laughing with Fez as Kelso tried to see how many malt balls he could put in his mouth.
“You are never going to believe what Claire did today,” Jackie said as she entered not paying attention to Michael or Fez and instead taking a seat on the coach closest to Hyde’s chair.
“One second Jackie,” Fez said. “We are trying to see how many malt balls Kelso can put in his mouth. He is currently at 42.”
“I bet he couldn’t do 50. Keep counting Fez,” Hyde said and then turned his attention to Jackie. “What did the popular witch do now?”
“She gave me until Friday to land a front handspring or I lose the sequence in the routine,” Jackie whined and pouted out her lip.
“I don’t really know what that means,” Hyde said getting distracted as Fez yelled out 50. “Damn.”
“I oul uh I cou ugh eg,” Kelso bumbled and then spit out some malt balls. “I told you I could do it! Burn!”
“Double or nothing you can’t do a hundred,” Hyde said back with a smirk knowing his friend would take the bait.
“You’re on!” Kelso said and started to put malt balls into his mouth again.
“Oh my stupid friend,” Fez said before he started counting again.
“There’s no way he gets that he could barely do 50,” Hyde whispered to Jackie.
“Steeeven,” Jackie pouted.
“Oh right,” Hyde said trying to refocus on her cheer thing. “So you need to do this springy thing and then you’re solid. That doesn’t seem that hard.”
“Not that hard! Steven I have to run into a hand stand and then flip my body into the air into basically a backbend and then stand up. It’s really hard!”
Hyde just looked at her blankly. That did sound hard, but what was he supposed to do about it. He didn’t know how to do this cheer move what help was he supposed to be.
“I don’t see why you care about learning this move. They’ll just take it out for you. It’s not like they’ll kick you off the team for it.”
“Yeah Steven they might just ‘take the move out,’ but even if they do I’ve been trying to learn this for a while because I like to improve myself. Something maybe you should try every once and awhile.”
“Whatever, man,” Hyde said making Jackie scoff. After a few seconds of tense silence, Jackie stood up. Hyde looked over at her surprised. “Where are you going?”
“To practice the front hand spring! I only have a week,” Jackie said.
“Alone?” Hyde asked he knew her parents weren’t home yet and he doubted any of the cheer girls were going to help.
“That sounds dangerous to practice alone,” Hyde said standing. “I’ll go with you.”
Jackie’s anger softened slightly at his thoughtfulness, but she still glared up at him when she agreed and started heading towards the door. He followed stopping only briefly to tell Fez to keep counting and to remind Kelso that he’d be back to collect.
Hyde watched Jackie practice for over an hour. She landed the move a few times on unstable legs, but she fell much more often. She felt her muscles ache, but she was unwilling to stop until she landed it one more time.
“Jackie, why don’t you give it a break you look exhausted?” Hyde asked looking at her from behind his glasses. He had been watching her closely for the past hour. She looked pretty hot in her short shorts and tight t-shirt, but she also looked like she might fall over any second and she was still flipping her body around.
“I want to get it one more time before I stop,” Jackie said before running into the move again.
Hyde watched closely as Jackie ran and jumped into a handstand and then her tilted over, but her feet were too far out and didn’t hit the ground so she fell hard unto the grass below her. Hyde flinched in response. She must have fallen a couple dozen times just in the past hour. He knew she was feeling it.
“Why don’t you slow it down?” Hyde asked.
“I can’t slow it down I need to momentum,” Jackie said annoyed, but not getting up from her spot on the grass and instead looking at him.
“Yeah, but what if you just practiced the body flip part without the jumping,” Hyde said while trying to motion it out with his hands. “That’s the part you’re messing up on.”
“I know that,” Jackie snapped. She took a breath to calm herself before continuing. “That’s how I started. I’ve practiced that.”
“It couldn’t hurt to try again,” Hyde said with a shrug.
Jackie got up and got into position. Before any move she pulled her shoulders back and took a deep breath. She lifted her arms and went into a perfect hand stand. She then allowed gravity to pull her down and she landed with her feet below her into a backbend. The front limber was something she had picked up easily and without much work. She wished the hand spring was just as easy. Jackie repeated it a few more times before turning to Hyde.
“What do you think?”
“You must be so flexible,” Hyde said looking at her with wonder.
“Not what I meant,” Jackie said putting her hands on her hips, but with a smile she let him have this one, “But yes I am, but how was the move?”
“Amazing,” Hyde said. “Try it with the jump now.”
Jackie went and took her spot. Shoulders back and a deep breath and she was off. This time she tried to focus on how her body had just felt in the front limber. When her body was flipping back she made an effort to pull her legs further back. She felt her feet hit the ground and she pulled herself straight. She was wobbly and her knees were bent, but she had landed it and for the first time that night she didn’t immediately fall after landing it.
After holding the pose for a moment and another deep breath, Jackie started jumping up and down cheering. Jackie felt arms around her lifting and spinning her around. Instinctively she put her arms around Hyde’s neck. They were both laughing by the time he put her down.
“I did it!” Jackie shouted with her arms still around Hyde and his still on her hips.
“Yeah you did,” Hyde said with a smile.
Jackie looked into his glasses trying to see his eyes. Everything about their position screamed a none platonic relationship, but she knew he would deny it if she asked. Still, she couldn’t resist the urge to toe the line.
“Do I get a prize?” Jackie said looking up at him with a flirtatious gleam in her eye and soft smile on her lips.
“What do you want?” Steven said allowing himself to give into her flirting.
“Hmm,” Jackie said pushing her body closer to his. “Something shiny.”
Hyde thought for a second and then got an idea, “I can do that. Can we take your dad’s Lincoln?”
“Yeah,” Jackie said slightly surprised. They had never talked about it, but she knew he wasn’t the gift giving kind of guy, especially something shiny. She was hoping for jewelry, but she had a feeling based on the gleam in Hyde’s eyes it was going to be something far less expensive and much more unexpected. “Just let me change and we can go!”
With the excitement of a prize, Jackie forgot her opportunity for flirting. She pulled away from Hyde and ran upstairs. Hyde walked into the house after her and pulled out the Lincoln keys from the drawer he knew the Burkharts kept them. He took a seat at the table and waited for Jackie to return.
When Jackie came down the stairs, she was wearing high waisted jeans with a button up top died right below her breasts. Her hair and makeup looked fresh. Hyde tried not to stare, but after failing for her entire descent down the stairs he figured it would be better to get out of the house and to a public area sooner rather than later.
Ever since, Jackie faced her social circle just to stay his friend he couldn’t stop looking at her. Since prom, he had been fascinated by Jackie, but now he was captivated. Hyde had only two things holding him back from being with her. One was that she just deserved someone better and the second that she would always care about appearances and popularity more than anything else, but he was wrong about the second part. She had picked him above her popularity.
“Let’s go,” Hyde said.
They excited the Burkhart mansion and by now they had a familiar routine when it came to the Lincoln. Hyde went to the driver side and Jackie went to the passenger. Hyde moved the radio until he heard a song he was happy with. When he was done with that Jackie bothered him about putting on a seatbelt. Hyde protested for a few minutes before finally giving in and buckling the seatbelt at the next stop sign.
By the time they were done with this ritual they were almost at the Hub. When they pulled up Jackie scrunched up her nose, but sat silently. They walked in and Hyde ordered two burgers. Jackie offered to pay because she usually paid when they did something together, but Hyde already had his wallet out. They took a seat and Jackie still didn’t know what was going on. She tried to ask why they stopped here, but Hyde waved her off. Before long their number was called and Hyde went up to get their order.
“A shiny prize for you, doll,” Hyde said handing Jackie her burger.
Jackie looked down at the shiny foil the burger was wrapped in and started laughing. She should have been pissed, but the prize was so surprising she couldn’t be mad in that moment.
“This’ll do,” Jackie said taking her burger. “For now.”
Hyde pulled up to the Burkhart mansion and parked the car like he normally did. They walked up to the front door, but Jackie hesitated before opening the door.
“Steven, my dad’s coming home tomorrow,” Jackie said.
“Oh,” Hyde said surprised. He had planned to stay over, but he assumed that wouldn’t be cool anymore. “I guess I’ll just go then.”
“No,” Jackie said grabbing his hand. “I mean yes you probably shouldn’t stay, but don’t just go. You can stay for a bit.”
“Jackie, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Hyde said pulling his hand away. He knew that if he went inside he would be convinced to stay all night and then he would either be caught by her dad or sneaking out in the morning. Neither appealed to him. “Don’t practice that jump alone.”
“I’m not going to practice anymore tonight,” Jackie said.
“What about tomorrow?” Hyde asked.
“Yes, I’m going to be practicing tomorrow,” Jackie said.
“Why don’t you come over to the Forman’s to practice?” Hyde asked.
“Sure,” Jackie said. “Will you help me again?”
“I wasn’t that much help, but sure,” Hyde said with a shrug.
“You were,” Jackie said with a smile.
“Whatever,” Hyde said. “I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Yeah,” Jackie said as she turned towards her door and unlocked it. “I’m going to miss you tonight.”
“Yeah me too,” Hyde said.
Ignoring the giant smile that spread across Jackie’s face, Hyde turned and started his long walk home.
Jackie walked into the Forman’s house through the kitchen’s sliding glass door. She was immediately hit by the smell of a fresh breakfast. The whole family, minus Laurie and plus Hyde, was sitting around the table eating eggs, potatoes, and bacon. It looked like the perfect family setting if you ignored Hyde’s scruff, Eric’s twitching, or Red’s scowl.
Jackie was surprised to see Hyde at the Forman’s so early. It was only 9 in the morning. After weeks of him crashing on her coach, she knew he liked to wake up much later.
“Jackie, what are you doing here so early?” Mrs. Forman asked. Then she got up and rushed to the kitchen, “Sit down and I’ll make you a plate.”
“It’s good to see a few of you kids getting up before the day is lost,” Red said. He looked over at Eric and Hyde and added, “Willingly anyway.”
“I didn’t sleep that well,” Jackie said with a shrug. Hyde’s head immediately shot up to look at her. They both knew it was because she was in the house alone. Jackie decided to change the topic. She directed her next comment towards the kitchen, “I’m not going to eat Mrs. Forman. I have to practice.”
Mrs. Forman didn’t respond, but she also didn’t return to her plate of food. Jackie sighed and took a seat in the chair that she assumed was for Laurie. Then she gave Hyde a once over. He was wearing new clothes, but she knew he had a few shirts shoved in his backpack. “Did you sleep here?”
“I crashed on the basement coach,” Hyde said not meeting her eyes.
Jackie was confused. Why hadn’t he gone home? She was done waiting for him to give her a few clues at a time. She had let him into her life long ago and it was time he did the same. Jackie wanted answers and she was going to get them, but she did have the consideration to wait until they weren’t sitting with the whole Forman family.
“Yes, Steven stayed I wish I had a bed, but with Laurie back the inn’s all full!” Mrs. Forman said still from the kitchen. “Now Jackie, I’m just going to make you a small plate.”
Jackie’s head shot towards the kitchen. She was still stuck on Steven, but she was also a little surprised by Mrs. Forman’s forwardness.
“It’ll be easier just to agree,” Hyde whispered to Jackie.
Mrs. Forman placed a rather sizable plate of food in front of Jackie. Jackie smiled and thanked her. Jackie sat quietly and listened to Red and Eric banter about the Vista Cruiser’s upkeep. When she got half way done with the plate of food she was starting to slow down. She didn’t want to offend Mrs. Forman or invoke Red’s wrath at not finishing food, but she didn’t know how she was going to finish it all.
Jackie shot Hyde a desperate look and indicated down towards her still half full plate. Hyde smirked and pulled a few pieces of bacon off the plate. Everyone at the table was too busy listening to Eric to notice. They went on with Jackie slowly taking a few bites and Hyde stealing giant mouthfuls until her plate was done. Either no one noticed or no one wanted to say anything, but either way Jackie and Hyde had large smiles when they were able to finish the plate without offending Mrs. Forman or pissing off Red.
“Now Jackie I knew you were hungry,” Mrs. Forman said when she noticed Jackie’s plate was empty. “Do you want another plate?”
“No!” Jackie and Hyde both said at the same time.
Even though they both spoke, everyone looked towards Hyde wondering why he answered question for Jackie.
“She just looks really full…” Hyde said.
“I am!” Jackie jumped in. “And plus I have to practice.”
“Yeah we should go do that,” Hyde said getting up. “Thanks Mrs. Forman.”
“Why are you practicing?” Red asked glaring at Hyde.
“I’m not. I’m overseeing for safety,” Hyde said.
“Sure,” said Red sounding like he didn’t believe Hyde.
“Thanks for breakfast, Mrs. Forman!” Jackie said grabbing Hyde’s hand and walking out the door.
The pair walked towards the backyard. Jackie took a seat in the middle of the yard on the grass.
“What are you doing?” Hyde asked still standing above her.
“I need to digest,” Jackie said. “I’ve never been feed so much in my life.”
“Why do you think I’m over at the Forman’s all the time?” Hyde joked sitting next to her on the grass.
“Eric’s amazing company?” Jackie laughed.
“Sure,” Hyde said smirking. “But after Mrs. Forman’s cooking.”
“Why did you stay here last night?” Jackie asked abruptly.
“Shorter walk than all the way home,” Hyde said shrugging.
“Your mom doesn’t mind you’ve been gone awhile?”
“Nah,” Hyde said with another shrug. “I’ve stopped by a few times for a change of clothes and stuff. I haven’t seen her. She hasn’t even noticed.”
Hyde spoke with ease, but Jackie could tell he was bothered. His shoulders were tense and almost looked like they never returned from one of his many shrugs. His hands were starting to get twitchy, but for once Jackie didn’t back off.
“Does that happen often?”
“Her not noticing you,” Jackie said. When he was silent for a moment, she moved closer to him and rested her head on his shoulder and rubbed his arm trying to provide some physical comfort.
“Yeah I guess,” Hyde said. “She’s not around a lot, so it doesn’t matter either way. She takes off for weeks at a time, but she always comes back.”
“Is she gone now?”
“Nah, she’s been at school.”
“Let me know if you ever need a place to stay, okay?” Jackie pulled her head of his shoulder to look him in the blue eyes she knew sat behind the sunglasses he was wearing.
“Your dad would kill me if he knew I was sleeping over,” Hyde said giving Jackie a sad smile.
“We’ll sneak you in,” Jackie said placing her head back on his shoulder.
“Okay,” Hyde said deciding not to argue with her. He would never threaten her already fragile relationship with her father just so he wouldn’t have to return to his shitty home.
They were silent for a few minutes. After a while, Jackie pointed out a cloud that looked like a dog. Soon they were both laying on the grass looking at the clouds. The sound of their laughter was loud enough to reach the inside of the house, but both of them were far past caring what others thought.
Eventually, Jackie made them get up so she could practice. She took the move a lot slower working her way up to the full jump. She was much more successful and she was landing the jump over half the time. She was still a bit unsteady in her landings, but she was getting much better. Hyde sat watching and occasionally giving advice.
After about an hour, and after Jackie had landed especially hard on one jump, Hyde suggested they take a break. She finally complied after he promised to practice later in the day. Jackie was excited as they headed down the stone steps into the basement. And as they entered, Jackie was still talking about the progress she had made in just two days.
“There you guys are,” Kelso said interrupting Jackie as soon as they walked through the door. “We’ve been waiting for forever.”
“Waiting for what?” Hyde said taking his normal seat.
“We’re bored,” Donna said.
“And?” Hyde asked, but he was already pretty sure where this was going.
“Want to have a circle?” Eric asked.
Hyde started to chuckle. The gang loved to smoke up, but none of them had figured out how to score weed. He needed to introduce Donna to his dealer, so they wouldn’t always be waiting around for him.
Hyde’s eyes flicked over to Jackie. She had never smoked with them and she usually found a convenient exit whenever they did have a circle. Because of this, Hyde had tried to cut back on the pot or at least only pull it out when she wasn’t around or about to leave. She had told him it doesn’t bother her, but they had never delved much deeper into the issue.
Jackie noticed him looking at her and gave him a small smile. With that Hyde looked around at the gang and said, “Yeah sure.”
Everyone pulled their chairs around the circle and Hyde pulled out his brown paper bag. Jackie was sitting on the couch and didn’t move when Hyde started rolling a joint. He tried not to be obvious about his staring at her as he pulled out a lighter and took a puff. Jackie was sitting just to the left of him, so in normal circle protocol he offered her the joint. Jackie took it silently, but then she just stared at it.
Hyde angled his body away from the group and whispered, “You don’t have to.”
“I know,” Jackie said. After a deep breath, she moved the joint up to her mouth and took a drag.
Jackie almost immediately started coughing. Hyde silently got up and grabbed her a popsicle from the freezer. Water would have been better, but he couldn’t go upstairs smelling like weed.
“Here this will help,” Hyde said handing the now opened popsicle to a still coughing Jackie. She had handed the joint over already so she took the popsicle in both hands and immediately started sucking on it.
By the time the joint made it around the circle again Jackie had stopped coughing. She looked even more skeptical this time, but she took a much smaller hit. The subsided coughing fit immediately started up again. Everyone started laughing but Hyde. He rubbed her back comfortingly. By the time the joint made it around again they were all feeling the effects and laughing hysterically about their own weed induced thoughts.
Jackie’s popsicle was half eaten and melting quickly. The sugary mess was all over her hands and a bit on her face. She kept trying to lick it up, but between all of her laughter she was failing horribly and just making a bigger mess. Hyde couldn’t stop laughing at her actions. He would occasionally try to help her by rubbing his thumb against her check and or taking a lick of her popsicle. His efforts only drove both of them into worse fits of laughter. The rest of the gang didn’t find it as amusing and they were all quickly distracted by their own rabbit holes.
Long after their high wore off and all the popsicle was washed off, Jackie and Hyde were still sitting in the basement next to each other. Hyde had moved next to the coach and had his arm slung around her shoulder. The rest of the gang was still scattered around. Everyone was listening to some story Kelso was telling about a BB gun, but Jackie couldn’t focus on Kelso. Her mind going back to Hyde.
It wasn’t unusual for her to think about him. She often lived in fantasies about them, and while those ranged from pleasant to steamy, they were never something that could happen in reality. Those fantasies weren’t what she was thinking about, instead, Jackie was running through the conversation she had had with Mr. Forman months ago. Back then she had thought Hyde was only a few flirty looks and simple touches away from being hers. And in a way he was hers, but not completely. She wanted more than the platonic relationship they currently had. She wanted a real relationship with Hyde. Maybe Mr. Forman had been wrong? Or maybe Hyde didn’t think she was anything special.
Jackie shook the thought away. If that was true than he would treat her like Donna, which he didn’t do. No Hyde had feelings for her, she was sure. She just needed more time and to step up her game.
“Jackie,” Hyde said bringing Jackie out of her thoughts.
Jackie looked up at him curiously. He was looking at her odd because he had been saying her name a few times.
“Are you okay?” Hyde asked.
“Yeah,” Jackie said trying to think of an excuse. “Just thinking about cheer. Let’s go practice.”
Jackie jumped up. The abrupt move caused Kelso to pause in his story and for the gang to look at her.
“I’m going to go practice some more,” Jackie said to the group. “Steven?”
Hyde went grumbling, but he followed her out the door to the backyard. He might have complained, but he was more than happy to watch her for the next half an hour. It was especially easier since she was starting to get better. He was confident she would have the move down by Friday.
While he watched her flip around for the second time, he was lost in his own thoughts. He wanted so desperately to keep Jackie around. She was the first person to ever ask him about his family. She seemed to genuinely care and he actually felt better talking to her about his mom. It didn’t solve any of his problems, but he felt less alone and that was more addictive than any drug.
As he watched her land another successful jump, he was struck by an image of her talking to one of the boneheaded football players. He saw it all the time in the hallways at school, and every time his blood boiled. Just because they threw a ball around they had more going for them and then he did. It was bullshit. A system designed against people like him. He wanted so desperately to be able to stay in their weird bubble of acceptance, but he knew that eventually life would pop it. The thought almost sent him into a panic.
Hyde thought to what she had said the other day when she had originally talked about learning the handspring. She had wanted it to prove Claire wrong, but also to just better herself. He had scoffed at her, but here she was only a few more practices away from getting it. Maybe if he started slow he could do the same. Not with cheerleading of course, but with life. She was always improving. Maybe it was time for him to improve too.
“Hey Jackie, I can’t hang out tomorrow,” Hyde said when Jackie came out of another successful front handspring.
“Oh okay,” Jackie said surprised. She had assumed they would do something together just because they had for the past week, but she tried to hide her disappointment. “I have practice anyway.”
Hyde nodded still formulating his plan. It was time he became a little worthier of Jackie’s time. It still wouldn’t be enough, but it was a start. A self-improvement.
“You got a job?” Eric said.
“Yeah and like I said I need to get to work,” Hyde said pushing off from the car. “So I’m going to go.”
Hyde had planned his work schedule around Jackie’s cheer practice, which meant it usually fell after school. It wasn’t that he was avoiding telling her, but just putting it off until later.
“How long have you been working there?” Eric asked.
“Not long a couple of weeks.”
“And you’re following through on your responsibilities?”
“Figured it was time,” Hyde mumbled while walking away.
Hyde walked to the photo hut and opened the door with the key Leo had provided him when he walked into the hut for the first time on a Sunday almost a month ago. Hyde was a little surprised when the old hippie offered him a job right on the spot. Leo had said that he seemed trustworthy and like Leo’s ‘type of person.’
Hyde figured out what Leo meant his second day when Hyde walked into the photo hut to the familiar scent of pot and a thick cloud of smoke. When Leo offered him a hit off his joint, Hyde knew he had found the right job.
Leo was like the father or brother or just really good dealer that he had never had. The dude had only known Hyde a few days and he already seemed to give a shit, which is more than he could say about anyone who shared his blood. Leo had his paranoid moments, but Hyde could easily talk his way around those.
On this day, as Hyde settled into his seat, he wasn’t surprised the hut was empty. As far as Hyde could tell, Leo didn’t seem to have any kind of regular hours for managing the hut. Hyde pulled out a worn book and waited for customers to come. He watched the clock closely and right when it hit 5:45 he packed up his things and left locking the door before walking towards the Forman’s.
While walking, Hyde thought about why he hadn’t told Jackie about the job. He knew Jackie well enough to know she’d make a big deal about it. She would think he was turning his whole life around just because he smoked up with an old hippie and got paid for it. He would tell her eventually, but not yet.
For this reason, he had to make sure to make it back to the Forman’s before Jackie arrived from her cheer practice. They had organically developed a schedule, which made it much easier to predict her behavior.
Hyde walked into an empty basement. He briefly wondered where everyone was, but instead of investigating he took his usual seat and pulled out the same book. Less than ten minutes later Jackie walked through the door.
Jackie was in a good mood from cheer. Ever since she rose to the front hand spring challenge, practices had been getting a lot easier and therefor more fun. Jackie flopped down on the couch. She was tired, but excited from the especially great practice.
Hyde looked over at a very happy Jackie and smiled. He couldn’t think of anything more addictive than Jackie’s happiness. Whenever she was smiling or excited he found himself feeling the same way almost immediately. He tried to play it down and it usually worked, but when it was just the two of them he couldn’t be bothered trying to hide.
“Good practice,” Hyde state more than questioned. He got up and moving to sit next to her on the coach.
“It was the best!” Jackie said grabbing unto his arm. She was sitting on her knees jumping up and down swinging his arm as she went. “I did so well even Claire complimented me.”
“I didn’t think she was even capable of that.”
“Haven’t you learned by now,” I make the impossible happen. Jackie said with a smile.
Hyde rolled his eyes, but he silently agreed with her. She certainly made a few impossible changes in himself. He was noticing them more and more. The new job was the biggest, but it was more than that. He smiled more, smoked less and was in school almost as much as every other student. It was hard to ignore that the timing of these changes, and they matched up very well with the timing of her bulldozing into his life.
And for her part, he noticed changes in Jackie too. She showed her intelligence more, she was more humble and she was even shopping less. He supposed it wasn’t so much changes in either of them, but more of a spotlight on who they were when the right opportunity presented itself. With this thought in his head, Hyde moved before he fully thought throw his actions.
Jackie was still shaking his arm excitedly when he moved his hands to her shoulders. He stilled her body, but when she felt his arms she froze anyway. Something about his hands on her shoulders and the proximity and his eye contact was drawing her in. Hyde was breathing heavily, but Jackie was too.
They were both inching closer to each other on the couch. Jackie’s eyes closed and Hyde was staring at her lips. He hadn’t intended for this to happen, but it was and he couldn’t pull away. Jackie for her part willed Hyde to move just a little bit closer and to finish the kiss. She had fantasized about this moment so many times. She had rubbed up against him and flirted her heart out and he would always respond, or even instigate, but he would never take the next step. He would never kiss her and the few times she tried he pulled back, but not this time. This time he was the one pushing forward.
One of Hyde’s hands moved down her arm and he was pulling her closer. Jackie could feel his breath on her lips and her mouth parted slightly in response.
“Someone took my candy!” Fez yelled.
Hyde and Jackie flung apart. Hyde tried looking anywhere but at her or their friends who had just barged down the stairs. Jackie couldn’t look at anything or anyone but Hyde. Their friends didn’t even notice.
They all took their spots except Fez who was pacing and motioning about someone stealing his candy. Everyone but Jackie watched Fez.
“No one took your candy Fez,” Donna said. “Remember you ate it.”
“I did not! The last time I had my milk duds was…” Fez paused thinking. “Okay I might have eaten my candy.”
Everyone rolled their eyes. Jackie had finally pulled her attention away from Hyde. Fez flopped down on the coach next to her and she patted his back sympathetically.
“So there’s this new club that opened in Kenosha,” Donna said.
“Like a dance club?” Jackie asked attention immediately peaked.
“Yeah stuff like that,” Donna said with a shrug trying to underplay the club. “I thought it might be fun.”
“We could go tonight!” Jackie clapped her hands as she spoke.
“Tonight?” Donna said surprised. “I was thinking next week…or another time.”
“Why wait?” Jackie asked. “Plus, I have a game next week. If we start getting ready now we’ll have plenty of time to make it to Kenosha.”
“Who even said we’re going?” Hyde spoke up.
Jackie sent him a glare. Hyde had put his glasses back on, but she recognized his smirk and knew he was messing with her.
“We’re going,” Jackie said. “It was Donna’s idea she wants to go. Right Donna?”
There was a long pause while Donna looked conflicted.
“Yeah,” Donna finally decided. “What do you say Eric?”
“I don’t know,” Eric said. “Kenosha is so far and dancing doesn’t sound…great.”
“I think it’ll be fun,” Donna said. “We can dance together.”
“Stick to your guns man,” Hyde muttered.
“Well okay,” Eric said. “Let’s go it’ll be fun.”
“Yay!” Jackie said jumping up as Hyde shook his head. “Come on Donna we need to go get ready. Eric we’ll be back at 8 to leave. Boys, be ready to go and make sure you look presentable.”
Jackie shot Hyde a look before leaving. Hyde was dreading the night club. He had never been to one, but he had a feeling it was a lot of dancing to music that would make his ears bleed. If it wasn’t for Jackie he would have bailed, but she expected him to be there and it was too late to back out now.
“What are you guys going to wear?” Eric asked looking nervous.
“Don’t be such a girl Forman,” Hyde said standing up from his seat to grab a popsicle.
“Yeah no you’re right,” Eric said gesturing wildly. “I’ll just throw on a button up…and a jacket…and slacks.”
Hyde nodded along as Eric slowly described his outfit. Hyde knew Eric was trying to impress Donna, but he seriously needed to get some confidence.
“I am excited for the club,” Fez said. “Lots of hot woman to dance up on Fez, yes?”
“Oh yeah,” Kelso said “It’s going to be flooded with chicks. And club girls they’re wild, man.”
“Do you think Donna’s going to be wild?” Eric asked nervously.
“You’re literally dating her, man. What do you have to be nervous about?” Hyde asked bitterly. The thought bothered him. He definitely didn’t want to see Jackie going wild in a club.
“But we haven’t made it official,” Eric said.
Hyde rolled his eyes, “You’re the only string bean she wants calm down, Forman.”
Eric nodded a few times and then muttered something about going to get ready. Soon after, everyone else dispersed to their respective homes to get ready as well. Hyde was the last person in the basement. When he was sure he would have just enough time for the walk and a quick change he got up and started heading towards his home. After the first night of Jackie’s dad being back, Hyde caved and finally went home. His return fell right in the middle of one of Edna’s benders, so he tried to make himself scarce and except for sleeping he wasn’t really around.
When Hyde opened the door to his house he wasn’t sure what he was going to find. All the lights were turned off. He didn’t bother turning them on, and instead he just let his eyes adjust. When he could finally make out shapes from the darkness, he wasn’t surprised to see Edna passed out on the coach.
Hyde crept to his room and quickly changed into the cleanest pants and shirt combo he had. He then added a vest for that extra presentability he knew Jackie wanted. After adding one of his favorite belts, he quietly opened the door and walked through the living room. Even tip toeing, the creeks in the floor still echoed through the empty house. Edna shifted and slowly opened her eyes.
“What the hell are you doing stalking around?” Edna asked.
“I was just leaving,” Hyde said.
“Of course you are. You coming back?”
“I always do, ma. I’m just going to hang out the Jackie and some friends.”
“Who the hell is Jackie?”
“You met her,” Hyde said not surprised she didn’t remember Jackie even though she was one of the only friends Hyde had ever introduced Edna to. “At school.”
“Sure,” Edna said. She let her head fall back and closed her eyes, but she continued, “Sometimes I wish you wouldn’t come back.”
“I got nowhere else to go,” Hyde said. He had heard her talking like this before, but it still stung.
“How long till you’re 18 again?”
“Just over a year and a half.”
Edna just groaned, “Hand me a bottle of vodka on your way out.”
Hyde walked into the kitchen. He opened the freezer and grabbed the only thing in there. He put the half empty bottle in front of her. The table shook with the force, but he didn’t care. He left and didn’t look back to see her picking up the bottle.
Jackie was pleased to see all four boys leaning up against the Vista Cruiser when she walked up with Donna trailing behind her. Donna was rubbing her arms clearly self-conscious, but Jackie felt alive. She was wearing a short bright dress with high boots. Her hair fell in perfect curls down her back.
As they got closer, Jackie noticed that Hyde was looking down and kicking at the floor. He seemed agitated. She knew he wouldn’t want to go to the club, but she didn’t think he’d care that much. She figured it must have been something else.
“Damn,” Kelso said from afar.
When they finally got in front of the boys, Eric immediately started muttering about how pretty Donna looked. Donna blushed and muttered something back. Hyde was still looking down distracted.
Jackie walked in front of Hyde and pulled at his arms tugging his hands out of his pockets so she could hold them. He jerked when she touched him, but he let her pull his hands into her own.
When Hyde finally noticed her, he gave her a once over and his jaw fell. She looked gorgeous. He had seen her glammed up many times, but she outdid even herself. Jackie looked perfect. Her dress had a conservative neckline, but the shortness flirted at how truly sexy she was. He couldn’t wait to see her dancing around in that dress. She might even be able to drag him unto the dancefloor looking how she did.
“You look beautiful,” Hyde said.
“Thank you,” Jackie said humbler than she usually would have been. Normally, she would have been jumping for joy at the compliment and used it to flirt back, but he was still looking distracted and now that she got a closer look sad. “Are you okay?”
Hyde had to shake his head slightly to clear his thoughts. He wasn’t expecting the question, and he honestly didn’t know the answer. He probably wasn’t okay, but he didn’t know how to express what he was feeling. How did he tell Jackie that his mom had basically just asked him to leave her?
“I don’t know,” Hyde said honestly. He dropped his voice and angled himself and Jackie away from the group who were all talking about their nice clothes.
“Do you want to skip the club?” Jackie asked.
“No,” Hyde said. He was tempted to say yes, but he knew he needed the distraction and a happy Jackie was the perfect distraction.
“I don’t mind,” Jackie said squeezing his hand harder. “We can go another time.”
“I want to go,” Hyde said to which Jackie raised an eyebrow. “Okay, I don’t really want to go, but I want to get my mind off it.”
“Edna,” Hyde said with a shrug.
Jackie just looked at him and nodded. She pulled him into a deep hug and Hyde relaxed into it feeling calm for the first time since entering his house earlier that day. The same tension from earlier that day returned. Without breaking the hug, Jackie looked up into Hyde’s eyes. She was slowly going up on her toes and Hyde wasn’t pulling away.
“Break it up you two,” Eric shouted. “We need to go if we’re going to make it all the way to Kenosha and still have time to boogie.”
Hyde had to contain a groan, but Jackie just gave him a long look and pulled away, “No one wants to see you boogie Eric.”
“We could always leave you Jackie,” Eric snapped back as he got into the Vista Cruiser.
“I’d like to see you try,” Jackie said getting into the back. Hyde followed after her. Jackie was squished between Hyde and Fez, so she used it as an excuse to push a little closer to Hyde.
Hyde smiled down at Jackie as she rested her head on his shoulder. Hyde sighed, “Yeah, I think we’re pretty stuck with her.”
As everyone laughed, Jackie shot her head up looking thoroughly pissed. Hyde just smiled at her and pulled her closer. With his arm around her, she sighed and put her head back to his shoulder and that’s how they stayed until they made it to Kenosha.
Based on how many plot points I introduced and used in this chapter, you can probably tell this story is moving along. Just a heads up, I think I might change the rating of this story to M or E in the next few updates. If I do I'll try to give a warning before I do it. Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts in the comments!
“You two can go in, but those four have to stay out here,”
“No,” Jackie said to the bouncer trying to turn them away.
“What do you mean no?” the bouncer asked looking surprised. “You don’t get a say in this, little girl.”
“Fine, but I want you to know that I won’t be coming back here next week with the rest of my cheer squad. I was planning on bringing all 20 girls if I liked it, but since you won’t even let us in. I guess we’ll be going to one of Kenosha’s other establishments.”
“Twenty girls?” The bouncer asked.
“And not a single ugo,” Jackie said with a delicate shrug. “But don’t worry about it. This place seems tacky anyway.”
“Well, wait a minute. At least check out the inside first,” said the bouncer. Jackie just raised an eyebrow without moving. The bouncer sighed, “And all your friends can help you make up your mind.”
“Great!” Jackie squealed and headed inside. Winking she looked over her shoulder and said, “I’ll see you next week.”
“Are you really coming back here with all the cheerleaders?” Kelso asked as soon as they were in the crowded club.
“Maybe, we’ll see how much fun it is,” Jackie said with a shrug.
The gang pushed their way through the crowd and up to the bar. Since only Kelso was old enough to actually order everyone hung back.
“Kelso, go get us beers,” Hyde said.
“Why do I have to do it?” Kelso whined.
“Because you’re the only one 18, you idiot,” Hyde said.
“Yeah, and if we get kicked out of here this whole trip would’ve been for nothing,” Donna added.
“I don’t think I should,” Kelso whined.
“I can’t believe I’m going to say this,” Eric said. “But I think Kelso’s right. They’re not exactly going to let him order six beers.”
“Ugh this is ridicules I’ve got this,” Jackie said flipping her hair and walking away.
Jackie walked away from the group. She pushed her way up to the crowded bar. It didn’t take long her a young bartender to come up to her.
“What can I get for you, beautiful?” The bartender asked.
“Vodka soda for me and a Budweiser for my man,” Jackie said batting her eyes and putting on a flirty smile.
“You old enough to be drinking this?” said the bartender as he eyed her wearily.
Jackie just laughed, “Yeah, but if you want I could go get my boyfriend. He just checked our coats with my purse and wallet.”
“Nah, don’t bother,” the bartender said handing over her drinks. Then with a wink he added, “That boyfriend sounds like a keeper.”
“You have no idea,” Jackie said taking the drinks and handing over her cash.
Jackie walked back over to the group who were all staring at her. She handed Hyde the beer and sipped from her own.
“Jackie, how did you do that,” Donna said.
“I’m a hot girl. Of course they’re going to serve me,” Jackie said with a shrug.
“Donna, you go do that,” Eric said.
“You just want me to pimp myself out,” Donna said.
“Don’t be so dramatic Donna I paid for the drinks,” Jackie said.
“I don’t know,” Donna said. “Kelso just go do it!”
“No I don’t wanna,” Kelso said pouting.
“Well while you losers decide how to handle this Jackie and I’ll grab a table,” Hyde said. He then nodded his head towards a few empty tables at the other side of the room. The rest of the group agreed and Jackie and Hyde walked away.
Hyde immediately noticed all of the attention Jackie was getting. Plenty of guys were looking, but when one guy made a comment about how hot she was he had had enough. Hyde closed the small distance between them putting his arm over her shoulder and pulling her closer. Jackie looked up at him confused.
“The guys here seem like pricks,” Hyde said as an explanation. They were on the outskirts of the dancefloor and Hyde had to raise his voice so that she could hear him over the music.
“Pricks or not, who am I going to dance with if you’re scaring off all the guys,” Jackie teased.
“You shouldn’t dance with any of the guys here, Jackie,” Hyde grumbled.
“We’ll see,” Jackie said as they took a seat at an open table.
Hyde decided to let the conversation go since he wasn’t about to agree to dance with her and he wasn’t going to be okay with her dancing with anyone else. They sat in a comfortable silence watching the dancers as they waited for their friends. Every once in a while Jackie would point out an outfit she liked or a good dance move she wanted to steal. Hyde nodded along, but didn’t contribute much. Hyde was happy to let Jackie and the atmosphere distract him from the day’s earlier events with his mother.
Jackie was happy to distract Hyde. He was already much happier than he had been in the Forman’s driveway, so Jackie was content to continue on with her strategy.
Before long, they had both finished their drinks. The rest of the gang still hadn’t arrived, so Jackie offered to go get them another round. Jackie made it back and they were half way through their second round before the rest of the gang found their way to the table.
“What took you guys so long?” Hyde asked.
“Donna was too afraid to go up to the bar and Kelso kept getting ignored by the bartender,” Fez said.
“Yeah, but when he finally did notice me I got two beers for myself and one for Fez,” Kelso said happily sipping from his first beer.
“Two beers you say,” Hyde said coyly. Then he downed the rest of his beer and stole Kelso’s second beer. “Thanks man!”
“Hey that’s mine!”
“Mine now,” Hyde said taking a big drink.
Jackie giggled uncontrollably. She was halfway through her second drink and beginning to feel the effects. Hyde still had his arm around her shoulder and she snuggled in closer. Jackie felt bold from the alcohol and she let her arm fall on his leg. She started slowly rubbing up and down from his knee to mid-thigh.
At the feeling of Jackie’s hand, Hyde froze. He was extremely thankful for the table that covered her actions and his lap. They often hugged and held hands, but the physical contact was always friendly and this was definitely more than friendly. The movement was making him realize how long it had been since he hooked up with a girl. Really since prom months ago, he hadn’t even hung out with a girl that wasn’t Jackie. He tried to rationalize that it was this dry spell that was causing him to react to the tiny hand moving slowly on his thigh. It wasn’t Jackie, just the dry spell. But the longer she kept going the higher up her hand went. He could smell her fruity hair and he was pulling her closer. Without his consent, his hands began making shapes on her shoulder.
“I want to dance,” Jackie whispered up to him. Her eyes were glowing with something. He tried to rationalize that it was just her buzz.
“What, doll?” Hyde whispered back.
“Dance with me?” Jackie said louder. She angled her body towards him and leaned in practically crawling into his lap.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Hyde said pushing her away slightly. He was very aware of the bulge in his lap and he didn’t want her aware of it as well.
Jackie’s first thought was to whine and beg, but after a second she got a much better idea. She finished off her drink and shrugged, “Fine. I’ll dance by myself.”
“You’re going to dance by yourself,” Hyde reiterated.
“Yeah,” Jackie said with a shrug and pushed out from her chair. If he didn’t want to dance with her she would just have to show him what he was missing. She was rocking a pretty good buzz, but she was sober enough to stand steady and skip off to the dance floor.
“Where’s Jackie going?” Kelso asked.
“Dancing,” Hyde grumbled.
“By herself?” Donna asked.
Hyde just nodded. His eyes were glued to his doll. She was near the center of the dance floor, but he could still see her from his seat. She had a small smile on her face and her eyes were closed. She looked peaceful the same way she looked when she cheered. Suddenly, Jackie’s eyes opened and they locked with his. Her smile widened and he felt himself smiling back. She did a little twirl that made her dress rise to the very tops of her thighs.
“Jackie looks pretty good out there,” Donna said.
“Yeah she does,” Kelso said in his perverted way. Hyde looked way from Jackie and punched him in the arm, “Ow, man.”
In the split second that Hyde had looked away from Jackie she moved. His eyes darted around the room frantically searching for her. It only took him a second, but when he finally saw her his blood boiled. Some guy had his hands on her hips and was dancing with her. She was still smiling, but it wasn’t her dancing smile it was more like the smile she gave Claire.
“Look at that man Jackie is dancing with,” Fez said.
“Wow he’s hot,” Donna said.
Hyde’s fists clenched. He wanted to walk over and pull the dude’s slimy hands off Jackie, but he had no right to do that. She was free to dance with whoever she wanted even if it was a big mistake. He watched silently while every nerve in his body was telling him to get up and march over to the dancing pair.
The stranger’s hands started to drop from her hips and he was pulling her closer. Jackie’s smile fell and her eyes started searching around the room. She started to push at his shoulders and Hyde had seen enough. Hyde jumped up from his chair and practically ran over to Jackie.
“I suggest you get your hands off her,” Hyde said grabbing one of the stranger’s arms and removing it from Jackie’s ass.
“It’s none of your business, man?” The man said pulling Jackie closer.
“Like hell it is,” Hyde said pushing him.
“Steven!” Jackie said surprised.
“She didn’t look like she had a boyfriend a minute ago when she was dancing up against me.”
“Well she does so stay the fuck away from her,” Hyde said without thinking. He put himself in between the guy and Jackie.
“Whatever, I thought she would be easy. I don’t want any of your high school drama,” the guy said and then walked away.
Hyde watched him until he became completely hidden between the dancers. He felt Jackie’s hand in his and he turned around to face her, “Jackie, Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Jackie said looking shaken. Her mind was reeling with adrenaline from the guy pushing himself on her, and then from Hyde stepping in, and, just to add to the mix, she was also trying to process Hyde saying he was he boyfriend.
“I’m sorry,” Hyde said not really sure what he was apologizing for.
“There’s no reason to be,” Jackie said.
“Do you wanna dance?”
Jackie’s face lit up, which made Hyde smile. He still didn’t want to dance, but he also didn’t want her night to end on such a sour note. Plus, Surrender by Cheap Trick was playing, so he could do worse.
He pulled her further into the dance floor and away from the direction the guy had moved. He grabbed one of her hands and spun her around a few times and let her dance around him as he did a few lame moves. Before long they were both laughing. At his last twirls, she twirled her body back in to his body. Her back was to his chest and neither one of them moved. One of Hyde’s arms was tangled in hers and they were thrown across her stomach. His other arm fell to her waist. Jackie’s second arm didn’t stay as still. She moved it up in its own sexy dance, which landed at the nape of his neck pulling him closer to her.
Hyde groaned into Jackie and she giggled at the noise. They were both swaying against each other. Jackie was leading and Hyde followed the movements of her hips with his own. They kept up their moves until the song faded away.
Hyde would’ve been happy to stay in the same position, but the next song that came on immediately had him freezing. It was ABBA.
“I would love to stay in this position, doll, but I’m not dancing it ABBA,” Hyde said softly into her hair.
“Please,” Jackie said turning around and wrapping her arms around his neck.
“It’s not going to happen,” Hyde said shaking his head. It was the one thing he couldn’t back down from.
“Fine,” Jackie pouted. “Maybe I can get Donna to dance with me, let’s go check!”
Hyde laughed and followed her to their booth. After only a little persuasion, Jackie managed to drag Donna out on the dance floor. They stayed out on the dance floor for long after the ABBA song ended.
Hyde kept a careful eye on them, but every time a guy came up to Jackie had some magic trick to handle it. Hyde couldn’t tell what it was, but Jackie would just said a few words. The guy and her would look over to him and then the guy would walk away. Hyde wondered what she was telling them, but he didn’t really care if it meant they stayed away.
Fez, Kelso and Eric all took their turns out on the dancefloor with the girls, but they always came back sweaty and tired making an excuse to sit down. After about an hour Hyde felt his fingers twitch and figured it was time for a cigarette.
He told his friends he was stepping out and got up to tell Jackie. When he got close enough she pulled him closer and wrapped her arms around him. Her buzz had died down and she hadn’t had another drink, but she was high on her excitement.
“You back to dance with me,” Jackie said as she started to sway her body to the music.
“Not quit. I was going to step out for a cigarette. You going to be okay?” Hyde asked. He knew she didn’t need his protection, but he still wanted to offer it.
“Yeah,” Jackie said her smile falling slightly.
“Jackie I was actually thinking of taking a break,” Donna said still dancing next to Jackie.
“Oh well…then do you mind if I get some fresh air with you, Steven?” Jackie asked.
“Course not,” Hyde said. He pulled her arms and grabbed her hand. He nodded to Donna and started leading them to the door.
After getting their hands stamped, they both took a step outside into the cool air. Jackie hadn’t realized how hot she had been from dancing. The cold night air was a stark contrast for her skin. She immediately shivered and wrapped her arms around herself.
“Sorry I know it’s cold. I won’t be long,” Hyde said pulling out a cigarette and lighting it.
“Take your time,” Jackie said. “It actually feels kind of good. It was really hot dancing in there.”
“Yeah I bet,” Hyde said smirking at her and looking her up and down.
Jackie just raised an eyebrow challenging him. She then thought back to what he had told the guys she had been dancing with, “Speaking of dancing. You told that guys I was dancing with that you’re my boyfriend.”
“Yeah I did.”
“It just happened.”
“Something like that doesn’t just happen.”
“Sometimes it does.”
“Maybe if someone is thinking about being in a relationship with someone.”
“That’s not the only case.”
“Yes it is!”
“No it’s not!”
“Well it’s the only case that makes any sense to me. Steven are you thinking about that?”
“Thinking about what?”
“Being in a relationship with me! Is that why you told that guy you’re my boyfriend because you want to be?”
Hyde was silent.
Hyde stared at Jackie. She had just asked him if he wanted to be her boyfriend. It was a question he had been asking himself for months, but had never vocalized. It was a question that he had avoided at all costs.
And he wanted to keep avoiding it, but here he was standing in front of Jackie being asked directly. He could blow her off, but her question bothered him. She had valid reasons for thinking he wanted to be with her. The most recent of which was still dancing in the club probably terrorizing a new innocent girl. She asked him why he would call himself her boyfriend if he didn’t want to be. The truth was he didn’t know.
He couldn’t come up with a reason. He honestly didn’t know the answer. It felt like there were a million reasons. He knew it would make the dude go away. He didn’t like her with other guys. He cared about her, more than any other girl. The list was never-ending, but none of the reasons seemed like answers to the questions swirling around in his head or the one very specific question Jackie had for him.
Hyde looked down at Jackie and realized that there was one single reason that stood out above the rest. One he had been ignoring for a long time. He wanted to be her boyfriend. And of course she had figured it out before him and asked him point blank. They had both been walking around it for so long, and he was tired of it. He was tired of thinking he wasn’t enough for her. Maybe it was still true, but he was working so hard. And Jackie believed in him –she was always the only one who believed in him.
Hyde took a long drag of his cigarette gathering his thoughts with the action.
Jackie wanted so badly to say something. She wanted to yell at him, to shake him, to grab him and kiss him. She wanted so badly for the boyfriend and girlfriend characters that they had been playing all night, and really for the past few months, to become a reality. But she had put it out there to him so many times and he’d turned away every time. She wouldn’t beg. This was it. His answer here was the answer that she would live with forever.
“Maybe,” Hyde said throwing his cigarette on the ground and stomping it out.
“What does ‘maybe’ mean?” Jackie asked. It wasn’t the answer Jackie was hoping for, but it was better than she expected.
“It means…I don’t know,” Hyde said. He saw her face fall and he quickly continued, “It means…yes, of course I want to have a…a….relationship with you Jackie. We hang out literally all the time and you’re the coolest chick I know, not to mention you’re so hot, but it also means I don’t know how to be in a…relationship with you.”
“I’m the coolest chick you know?” Jackie asked walking closer to Hyde. She had a sultry look in her eyes and her hips swayed more than necessary in her slow approach.
“That’s what you got from all that?” Hyde asked looking at her skeptically.
“Yes,” Jackie said taking the final steps to stand right in front of Hyde. She lifted her arms and wrapped them around his neck. “And do you know why? It’s because that’s the part that told me you want to be with me.”
“Jackie,” Hyde groaned and tried to move away, but her arms locked tight around his neck not letting him go. “I just told you it’s not a good idea.”
“No, you said you don’t know how to be in a relationship. You didn’t say anything about it not being a good idea.”
“It’s the same thing.”
“No it’s not. It is a good idea and it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to be in a relationship. I’ll teach you.”
“I’m not Kelso. I’m not going to fawn all over you and follow you around like a puppy.”
“I wouldn’t be here with you if you were Kelso. I know you well enough to know what I’m getting into. And I want this Steven. Don’t you?”
Jackie had leaned in as close as possible during their conversation. Her whole body was pressed against his. Her lips were ghosting over his and he could practically feel her breath mixing with his. His eyes were on Jackie’s, but her eyes were locked on his lips.
“More than anything,” Hyde said.
With Hyde’s answer, Jackie’s eyes shot up and met his. Her eyes pure surprise and happiness. That look was enough to push Hyde into action. He didn’t think about boyfriend status or relationships, Hyde just moved to close the space between them doing what he had wanted to give in to since prom night months ago.
Hyde’s lips were on Jackie’s and for the first time he didn’t pull away. In fact, he was the one leading the kiss. Jackie recovered from her shock and kissed back ferociously. Her hands moved from Hyde’s neck into his hair.
As Jackie’s hands went up, Hyde’s went down. Both were on her hips in a tight grip pulling her closer. Hyde’s tongue pushed against Jackie’s closed lips and without hesitation she opened them instantly.
Hyde had wanted this for so long he couldn’t believe it was happening. He didn’t know how he ever had the will power to pull away because in that moment he never wanted it to end. Both were quickly getting lost in the kiss. Months of anticipation and yearning had escalated to this moment.
One of Jackie’s hands moved down Hyde’s chest. When it reached the bottom hem of his shirt Jackie let her hand rest on the warm skin underneath the fabric. Jackie was content to rub small circles with her thumb, but when she felt Hyde move his mouth down her jaw Jackie’s fingers dug into his skin trying to pull him closer.
Hyde’s mouth was leaving a hot trail down her neck until he reached her pulse point. Hyde sucked hard on the skin bringing out a throaty moan from Jackie.
At the noise, Jackie and Hyde jumped apart in surprise. They looked toward the people waiting in line to get into the club where the voice had come from. A large group of guys was staring at them and a few were cheering them on.
“Ew,” Jackie said. “What are you nerds looking at.”
“Him giving it to you good,” one of the guys said.
“What did you say,” Hyde said taking a step closer.
“Nothing,” the guy said throwing his hands up. “Nothing, man.”
Hyde stopped approaching, but he continued to glare at the guys in line. Jackie took Hyde’s hand, but he remained still staring at their hecklers. It took everything in her not to point out the boyfriend-like move.
“Let’s go back inside,” Jackie said.
“Whatever,” Hyde said. He paused and looked down to their hands clasped together.
Jackie worried that he would pull away, but instead Hyde interlaced their fingers and started walking towards the entrance to the club.
To Jackie’s surprise, Hyde didn’t start leading them to the table. Instead, he went inside and just looked down at her.
“Will you dance with me?” Jackie asked.
Hyde took a deep breath and said, “Okay.”
Jackie pulled Hyde onto the dancefloor. The music was just a few verses into Lady by Styx. Jackie placed her arms loosely around Hyde’s neck and closed her eyes swaying to the music. She smiled as she felt Hyde’s hands on her hips pulling her closer and swaying along with her. The music was beginning to escalate and Jackie was happy to get lost in the sounds around her and the feel of Hyde’s body pressed against hers.
As another song wrapped up, Jackie lifted on to her tippy toes and kissed Hyde. She had meant for it to be a light peck, but neither one of them was willing to waste a kiss. Jackie leaned into the kiss until she was out of breath.
“Let’s take a break,” Jackie said pulling away from Hyde. “I’m getting tired.”
Hyde nodded and they headed back to the gang still sitting at the table. Eric and Donna were making out and Kelso and Fez were looking at girls around the club.
Hyde pulled up a chair from the next table over and sat down. Hyde looked up at her questioningly. Jackie hesitated for a moment before making up her decision. She sat down in Hyde’s lap wrapping an arm around his neck.
Hyde moved his arms around her waist pulling her closer. No one at their table even looked over at them.
They stayed that way in silence content watching the club goers around them until Forman came up for air and looked at his watch.
“We need to go,” Eric said. “It’s almost midnight. My dad’s going to kill me.”
“Relax, Forman,” Hyde said. “We’ll go now.”
“I don’t want to go,” Fez said. “There are many hot women here who do not mind Fez looking.”
“They’ll be more hot women at home too,” Forman said. “No let’s move.”
“Now I just know that’s a lie,” Fez pouted, but got up from his seat at the table.
Forman stood up and started gesturing towards the door. Jackie rolled her eyes and got off Hyde’s lap. She was about to start walking to the door, but she felt hands on her hips pulling her closer.
Jackie looked behind her and smiled at Hyde. They trailed behind the rest of the group slowly making their way back to the car. By the time they made it outside, there was a considerable distance between them and the rest of the group.
“Are we going to tell them?” Jackie asked.
“Tell them what?” Hyde countered.
“Well…” Jackie started, but then trailed off. She wasn’t sure what to call what they were because they never actually talked about it. “…us.”
Hyde just shrugged.
Jackie took a deep breath and tried not to worry. She knew Hyde was going to have a huge issue with commitment and defining the relationship. This wasn’t a big deal.
“Hurry up,” Forman yelled at them from the car.
Jackie and Hyde picked up their pace heading towards the car. Jackie went in first and Hyde followed. Forman had the car started before Hyde had fully closed the door.
Jackie had slid into the middle seat and placed some distance between her and Hyde, but as soon as the door was closed Hyde put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer to him. Jackie smiled to herself at the gesture, but then she was surprised to feel Hyde’s fingers on her chin angling her head towards him.
Hyde leaned down and kissed Jackie. It wasn’t a soft kiss. Hyde’s tongue was lapping at her lips asking for more. Jackie didn’t hesitate, she opened her mouth and leaned in.
“My eyes!” Eric yelled seeing the pair in the rearview mirror.
“What the hell!?” Donna yelled.
Hyde smiled, but didn’t pull back from the kiss.
“You’re giving me needs,” Fez said.
With that, Jackie pulled away and scrunched up her nose. Hyde looked over at Fez who was sitting on the other side of the bucket seat. Hyde punched him in the arm without hesitating.
“When did you two start doing that?” Donna said.
“It’s new,” Jackie replied with a coy smile.
“What the hell, man!?” Kelso said trying to turn around from the passenger seat. “Jackie’s mine!”
Jackie gasped and was about to yell at Kelso, but Hyde stepped in.
“No she’s not.”
“Well maybe not right now!”
“You fucked that up, man, not me,” Hyde said.
“Well, I’m not a fan of this,” Eric said gesturing between the two of them with one hand and keeping the other on the steering wheel.
“We don’t give a shit, Forman,” Hyde said.
“So this is going to continue to burn our eyes, then?” Eric asked.
“Yeah, so get used to it,” Hyde said leaning back down to kiss Jackie.
Chapter 15: Chapter 15
Thank you to everyone who followed and reviewed this story in the past few months. I am so sorry I disappeared!! I promise I will be finishing this story. A huge reason for my hiatus was because I thought I should end the story after the last chapter (and after this one, I'm sure some of you will think I should have), but I have had a very clear image of the final chapter for so long and I want to see it through. If I fall off the face of the earth again, please review because it actually does motivate me. Anyway, I hope there are people still reading. Enjoy!
Hyde made his way home smiling. The crisp air felt good on his face and the night's quiet was a comfort after the loud club. It had been a long time since he had felt this carefree. Kissing Jackie had felt right. Like he had been holding his breath since their first time hanging out on prom night and he finally exhaled.
As Hyde got closer to the small trailer he shared with his mother, his shoulder began to tense and a feeling of dread settled in his stomach. Hyde and his mother hadn't left on the best of terms. This wasn't an unusual occurrence, but this time had been especially bad. Jackie had been a nice distraction to the realities of his shitty life and he'd actually forgotten the fight until he saw the tiny box they called a home.
Hyde took a deep breath before pushing open the front door. The apartment was dark, but that wasn't too unusual. Edna often stayed out late until after the sun came up or would pass out early on the coach before the sun had even gone down. Hyde had not come home or stumbled his way home plenty of time himself, so it didn't particularly bother him.
He navigated around the familiar dark room with ease. It wasn't until he walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge in search of a beer that Hyde had enough light to notice the large note on the counter.
Edna had never left a note. Even when Hyde was a child she just disappeared and reappeared days later never explaining her whereabouts. For this reason, Hyde picked up the note and read it using the refrigerator as his light source.
The note was simple. She left, run off with some trucker. That's what her note said. Hyde stared at the note for a long time just standing in the kitchen with a beer in his hand. The note didn't say she'd be back, in fact, it said the opposite. That she wasn't coming back. The courtesy of the note actually surprised him, but it also seemed like a nail in the coffin. If she was coming back she wouldn't have left a note. It meant she was gone – gone for good.
Hyde slowly moved from the kitchen to the living room. He felt around for the rarely used light switch and flipped it on.
The room was a mess with empty bottles everywhere, a lamp knocked over and the stains and rips on the couch seemed especially evident in the harsh light. As was the fact that the room was completely empty. No passed out Edna.
Hyde continued on his slow trek through the house. When he made it to Edna's room, he pushed the door open and found it completely empty. Not just of another person but of everything, at least everything a person could hold with their two hands. Most of her clothes were gone along with the knickknacks that Edna kept around.
Hyde didn't continue into the room to investigate further. He stumbled back into the living room and sank down to the couch. He replayed their conversation over and over. It hadn't been pleasant, but it wasn't even an argument. They had had much fiercer screaming matches and she didn't even blink an eye the next day. It was only another year and a half until he was 18 and almost out of high school. She couldn't have kept it together for a bit longer.
Hyde sat like that on the couch rethinking every action and every conversation he and Edna had had in the past sixteen years. He tried to figure out why this time had been the time she left. He couldn't figure it out, but what he did know was it must have been him. His father left, Edna left, everyone left him, so it must be him. He was unlovable, it was the only conclusion that made any sense.
Hyde thought of Jackie. They were nowhere near love, but it was just a matter of time before he fell for her. He would never admit it out loud, but he was halfway there already. What if one day she left too? He couldn't bear thinking about it. He couldn't let that happen.
Jackie woke up on Saturday morning still buzzing from the night before. She couldn't believe she and Hyde had finally kissed. And really kissed too without him pulling away. He had held her and agreed to a relationship. He had even told their friends they were together. She felt like she was dreaming. It was all too perfect.
Jackie looked at the clock and realized it was almost eleven. They had gotten home so late she didn't even think to set her alarm. She jumped out of bed to start getting ready for the day.
After a quick shower, she headed to her vanity. She felt almost ridiculous looking at her reflection and the large smile plastered on her face. She put on a light layer of makeup. She fluffed her hair and decided she couldn't look any prettier. Steven was one lucky guy, she thought and her smile grew.
Next, she moved over to her closet. Logically she knew that it didn't matter what she wore. Hyde had never shown any interest in what she wore before and he wouldn't care either way. He had seen her in her in everything from a prom dress to PJs, but still today she wanted to feel pretty for herself. After at least three different outfit changes, she decided on a beige flowy dress with a floral design. It hung off her shoulders and fell down to about mid-calf.
She checked the clock again realizing that she had been getting ready for over an hour. Jackie literally skipped down the stairs into the kitchen. After a quick look through the fridge, she decided on just an apple for breakfast. As she took her first bite into the apple, her father walked into the room.
"Good morning kitten," he said heading straight for the coffee pot, which was half empty.
"Good morning daddy," she said leaning against the counter.
"What are your plans for the day?" he asked seeming genuinely interested.
This is what she loved about her father. When he was around, he really did care about her and her life. But as soon as she was out of his sight it was as if he just forgot about her. Even when he was home he never went out of his way to be around her. And when he was gone he was entirely checked out of her life. No phone calls, no checking in, he just disappeared for weeks until he returned. And he was always so willing to go and so very rarely sought her out.
Shaking the unpleasant thoughts from her head, she replied with a smile, "I'm going to Eric Forman's house. My friends and I hang out in his basement."
"Why would you want to spend your time in a basement?" he asked and then giving her a weary look he continued, "You're not dating that Kelso boy again, are you?"
"No, daddy," she said rolling her eyes. "But there is a new boy…"
"Oh? Do I know him? What does his father do?"
Jackie hesitated. She had said something because she was excited about Hyde, but now that she brought it up she didn't know what to tell her father. She was afraid he'd be disappointed in her. He probably didn't know who Steven was, but with just a little bit of asking around it wouldn't be hard to figure out Hyde was what her father would refer to as the "ungentlemanly sort." And who was Hyde's father? Hyde barely even had the answer to that one.
"It's still new," Jackie said. "I'll tell you more when it becomes serious."
He seemed like he was going to push her, but lucky for Jackie, her father's phone started ringing from the other room.
"Oh, kitten, I have to take that," he said kissing her on the check and heading out of the room. "As long as it's not Kelso, I'm sure he's fine"
"Bye, daddy," Jackie said.
He didn't acknowledge her goodbye, but it was okay because Jackie was lost in her own thoughts. She should have told her father about Hyde. She wasn't ashamed of Hyde. She had already stood up to the cheerleaders and the whole school was already gossiping about them. She just hadn't thought too much about how her family might respond. She would have to introduce them sometime. The thought of her father judging Hyde broke her heart. Her father had been downright cruel to Kelso, but Kelso didn't even notice. Hyde would notice.
She needed to warn him somehow. She thought about how that conversation might go and realized she didn't even know if Steven wanted to meet her father. There's a chance he doesn't think they're that serious and maybe they aren't. Yet, at least. But maybe they were and she should have just told her father right now.
The more thinking Jackie did the more she realized she had no idea where she stood with Steven. The night before they had agreed to a relationship, but what did that even mean. She knew they were in some form of romantic togetherness, but did that mean dating for real? Were they platonic? She really wanted them to be platonic.
She needed to find Steven and figure out where she stood. She quickly finished her apple and headed for the door.
Jackie was the first to arrive at the Forman's. Lately, it wasn't unusual for her to beat most of the gang to the basement, but it was odd that she beat Steven. She sat on the couch closest to his usual chair. After about ten minutes, she started to feel ridiculous sitting so close to his usual spot. She moved to the folding chair and in even less time she started to question this choice as well. The folding chair seemed so far from his usual spot. She moved back to the couch but this time furthest from the chair. This felt better.
After a few minutes, she then realized she had been in the basement for nearly twenty minutes just thinking about her seating arrangements. Feeling ridiculous she turned on the tv and waited.
And that is where Kelso and Fez found her an hour later.
"Jackie, what are you doing here?"
"Oh, hey guys," Jackie said startled by their entrance. She craned her neck to see if Steven was behind them, but it was just the two boys. "Just watching tv."
"I thought you and Hyde would be somewhere doing it," Fez said suggestively lifting his eyebrows.
"Dude!" Kelso said. "They are NOT doing it."
"I haven't actually seen Steven today…" Jackie said. She was embarrassed, but she was hoping they had seen him and her desire to find him won out over her embarrassment.
"Haven't seen him since last night when he was with you," Kelso said sitting on the couch next to her and throwing his arm over her shoulder. "If you need a shoulder to cry on I'm always here."
"In your dreams," Jackie said getting up and moving to the lawn chair away from Kelso.
"Yes, and mine too please," Fez said sitting next to Kelso on the couch. "But if Hyde was kissing Jackie last night and cannot be found today that means he is avoiding her, yes?"
"That's right, Fez," Kelso said patting his shoulder and mouthing 'shoulder to cry on' to Jackie.
"No!" Jackie said. "It means he's busy today. That's all."
"Then he should appear soon, yes?" Fez asked.
"Yes," Jackie said determinedly. "He'll be here any minute."
Jackie believed what she said until another hour passed and then another. The gang members filtered in and out, but no sign of Hyde. By the time the sun fell, she was furious. She was going to find that curly haired bastard and make sure he knew that you didn't kiss Jackie Burkhart and then avoid her the next day. When she stood up the whole gang minus Hyde looked at her.
"I'm leaving," Jackie said and added under her breath. "And I'm going to find that bastard."
"Good luck," Donna said. After the door was closed she continued, "I don't think Hyde knows what he's gotten himself into."
Chapter 16: Chapter 16
Hyde crushed a beer can on the metal grate he sat on, paused for a moment and then reached for beer number six. Or was it seven? Breathing in the warm summer breeze and feeling the sun hit his skin, Hyde realized his high had worn off. How had he let that happen?
He reached for his lighter as he brought a thin joint to his lips. After a few puffs, the light breeze became less sobering and turned into a soft caress on his skin that he leaned into.
Hyde had been on the water tower since sunrise. He had left once to get another twelve pack, but that had been hours ago. At one point, he had looked down at his watch, but the numbers wouldn’t hold still so he gave up and instead just watched the sun slowly move across the sky.
He thought about his mother and he took another drag
He thought about his house if you could even call it that, and he took another drag.
He thought about Jackie and he smiled then he remembered that she’d probably leave him soon anyway. He took another drag.
He thought about his father, what little he knew about him, and took another drag.
After running through the list of lowlights in his life, Hyde’s mind took him back to thinking about Jackie. But he didn’t want to think about their dead-end relationship instead he thought of last night. Her hair had felt so soft in his hands. She has felt so tiny pressed up against him and under his arm. Even her voice had seemed just a bit sweeter. She had smelled like fresh strawberries and other summer fruits that he couldn’t identify. He remembered it so vividly he could almost smell it from up at the top of the Point Place water tower.
“Hyde, are you up here?”
And now he was hearing her voice. Except, it wasn’t as sweet as it had been last night. It sounded angry. That wasn’t right.
“Jackie, why are you mad?” Hyde said to the voice with his eyes still closed.
“Because you’ve been avoiding me all day,” Jackie’s voice said. “Are you high…and drunk?”
“Jackie you’re here,” Hyde said opening his eyes surprised.
“Yes, well done Steven,” Jackie said standing at the top of the stairs with her hands on her hips.
Hyde let his eyes roam her body. She looked super-hot in a dress that was blowing in the breeze caused from being so high up at the top of the water tower. The only problem was that she was too close to the stairs and she seemed to be moving around nearly spinning. His eyes darted down to the stairs.
“Get away from the stairs,” Hyde said patting the spot next to him. “You’re moving too much it’s dangerous.”
“I’m not moving Steven,” Jackie said annoyed, but still conceded and went to sit next to him. He grabbed another beer opened it and handed it to her. She took it immediately and they fell into a silence that he felt completely comfortable in for a few minutes.
“Is the thought of being with me really so horrible that you needed to get so high and drunk you couldn’t see straight?”
“It’s not being with you,” Hyde said lifting his hand and placing it on her check with not very great accuracy, but a surprising amount of gentleness. Then he abruptly took it away. “It’s losing you.”
“Are you kidding me, Steven?” Jackie said annoyed. “You haven’t even been lucky enough to have me yet.”
“I know, I know, but man it’s not about having you it’s about losing you, you know?” Hyde said slurring slightly. He didn’t give Jackie enough time to answer before continuing. “Everything I love leaves, not that I love you – well not yet at least – but if we stay together I will fall in love with you. I know I will and then you’ll leave. And I’ll be all alone again.”
“You think you’re going to love me one day?” Jackie asked with a smile. She already knew he was going to fall in love with her, but she thought it would take him much longer to realize it let alone admit it.
“Of course I’m going to love with you one day,” Hyde said. “Jackie you’re the most frustrating, annoying girl I know. I can hardly ever get you out of my head as it is. I try to be around you constantly and when I’m not I just want to be hanging with you. What am I going to do in a few months when it’s only gotten worse? And then you leave just like everyone else? Everyone leaves – Bud, Edna. They don’t even say goodbye, man. They just take off when I’m out. Leave the house empty. They just leave me. It’s me there’s something wrong with me.”
This was not the profession of love Jackie had in mind. At first, she was mad about the insults, but then he started talking about his parents and being left. She knew his father had taken off years ago, but Jackie didn’t know Edna had left. She wanted more answers, but her first focus was on getting rid of this ridiculous notion that she was going to abandon him.
“Well, that’s ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with you; there was, is, something wrong with them,” Jackie said, angry at his parents for ever making him think he wasn’t lovable. “You’re not getting rid of me and I’m not getting rid of you. It’s just not going to happen.”
“Yes, it will,” Hyde pushed back shaking his head slowly.
“No, it won’t,” Jackie said scooting closer and leaning her head on Hyde’s shoulder. “How many times did you tell me to leave the basement before we became friends? How many times did I tell you to go away? We don’t listen to anyone and we don’t take no for an answer. You’ve spent over a year trying to get rid of me and I’m still here. I really really like you Steven and I don’t mind that you’re dirty and a burnout. I like that you play chess with me and argue with me. You know that I actually have a brain under my beautiful hair and I know that you have a big heart under your grumbly attitude. I like all of that the good and the bad. Steven, I’m not going anywhere.”
“But you have to there’s something wrong with me,” Hyde said letting his head fall. He was slouched so far down his chin was grazing his chest.
Jackie lifted her own head and pulled Hyde down into an embrace. She held his head against her chest and moved her other arm around him protectively, “There is nothing wrong with you. Steven, what happened?”
“Edna left,” Hyde whispered. “She just backed up and took off. Left a note.”
“Oh Steven,” Jackie said and hugged him tighter. “That’s horrible, but it isn’t your fault. It’s Edna’s. There’s nothing wrong with you.”
“Then why did she leave? Why does everyone leave?”
“I don’t know,” Jackie said honestly. “Some parents just aren’t good at it, but you know what? They don’t deserve you, but I do and I’m keeping you.”
They stayed like that for a long time. Hyde silently allowing Jackie to hold him tight. At one point, Hyde tried to reach for the beer again, but Jackie pushed his hands away and dumped the remainder of the can over the side of the water tower. They stayed on the water tower for so long Hyde fell asleep. Jackie watched the sunset while running her hands through his hair and cursing Edna.
A little while after the sun went down, Jackie shook Hyde awake.
“Mmm, let’s stay here,” Hyde mumbled burrowing into her neck.
She giggled and pushed him away, “No it’s dark and I’m getting cold we should go.”
“I don’t want to go home,” Hyde said kissing her and making her a bit dizzy.
“I’ll go with you.”
“What?” Hyde asked pulling away.
“I’ll go home and sleep with you,” Jackie said and then realized how it sounded. “To hang out and sleep. But just to sleep, I’m not ready for everything else just yet.”
“I didn’t think you meant anything else, doll. We can wait as long as you want for sex and all that,” he said giving her a quick peck on the lips. “But you don’t want to stay at my house.”
He couldn’t imagine beautiful Jackie in her flowing dress in the same shitty house at the end of the trailer park where Edna used to pass out drunk or allow her trashy friends to do coke on the table or where some of her ex’s used to slap them around.
“I want to stay with you,” Jackie said as if it was obvious.
“We’ll go to your place then.”
“We can’t my dad’s home, so you can’t sleep on the couch. And he’ll never like you if the first time he meets you is sneaking into my bedroom.”
“Jackie my place is dirty and you’re going to be uncomfortable.”
“I’ll be fine.”
“Steven, I’m not leaving you tonight. We can’t go to my place and I’m not staying on this water tower, so you don’t have a choice,” Jackie said standing up. “Let’s go. We can stop for something shiny on the way. I’m starving.”
Hyde was stunned into silence and too drunk to think of a good argument against her. Instead, he watched as she stood up and put her arm out towards him. He took her outstretched hand to bring himself up. He silently followed her down the ladder and towards her car. He started heading towards the driver’s side while thinking of an excuse for why his place was such a mess and why he lived in a shithole when he was interrupted.
“Absolutely not,” Jackie said placing her hand on his arm. “You’re not driving.”
“Jackie, I’m fine,” Hyde said rolling his eyes. He knew she was probably right, but he didn’t want to admit it.
“Well I’m precious cargo and I’m not risking it,” Jackie said flipping her hair. “Other side, Steven.”
“Whatever,” Hyde said walking to the passenger side and getting in the car.
Hyde fiddled with the radio as Jackie drove them to get burgers. Jackie pulled into a parking spot in front of the Hub and turned off the car. Hyde moved to get out but she stopped him.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll grab it,” she said.
“Jackie, I don’t need you taking care of me.”
“Steven, you hid on the water tower all day to avoid people. I know you don’t want to be surrounded by a bunch of mindless teens right now,” Jackie said giving him a stern look. “You might not need me to take care of you, but let me.”
“Okay,” Hyde said giving up.
“Good!” Jackie said and then leaned over giving him a peck on the lips. She jumped out of the car and skipped inside.
Hyde was astounded by her. He didn’t know how she took the fight out of him almost instantaneously, and he wasn’t even upset about it. Then with the sweet kiss. They had kissed the night before of course, but this was different. It was familiar in a way that felt right even if it was still surprising.
Hyde watched the door closely waiting for Jackie to return. She had been right of course. Even just looking at the kids hanging around the Hub without a care in the world made his blood boil. If he had gone inside, someone would have been walking out with a black eye or a broken limb.
Less than fifteen minutes later he saw a group of girls, he thought he recognized from the cheerleading squad, walk out of the Hub. Jackie was right at the center. She was smiling and chatting, but when he looked closer he noticed that her smile was the same cheerleading smile she used on the field. The one that didn’t reach her eyes. He wondered how she did it. While he wanted to push away from these people she seemed to take comfort in hiding in their ranks. As soon as the group said goodbye, Jackie turned around with a wave. Her smile dropped and she rolled her eyes. Hyde smiled to himself, he knew she couldn’t see him and that eye roll had been caused by pure exasperation.
“I got a bunch of food! I figured you hadn’t had anything, but beer all day,” Jackie said opening the car door with a genuine smile. “Feel free to start in on the fries in the car, but only if you promise to share. I’m starving”
“Have you eaten today?” Hyde asked knowing that she very rarely wanted to eat junk food and even more rarely expressed her hunger. She had been right on the mark about his meals and he was already reaching into the bag feeling overwhelmed with hunger.
“I had an apple this morning,” Jackie said.
“That’s not enough,” Hyde said handing her a burger. He noticed that there were at least four in the bag. “Here take a few bites before we take off.”
“Whatever,” Jackie said with an eye roll but took a bite. “You know it’s not even my fault, someone kept me running around all day searching for them.”
“That’s okay just don’t do it again,” Jackie said giving him a nod.
She handed the burger back and started the car. As she pulled out of the Hub she looked over at Hyde and gave a soft smile that he might have read as pity on anyone else’s face but on her, it seemed to him like she understood. At that moment that was all he needed and he smiled back.
Notice that the rating of this story has changed. It heats up in this chapter and it'll continue moving forward.
Jackie had only been to Hyde’s house once. It was the night of prom over six months ago, and she had never been inside. When walked in for the first time, she was actually surprised by how big it was on the inside or maybe it was just that it was so empty.
“This is home,” Hyde said leading her inside. He saw the two chairs holding up the tv, empty vodka bottles scattered across the floor, and chipped paint falling off the walls in a new light with Jackie in the room.
“It’s…nice,” Jackie said not knowing what else to say.
“It’s not but thanks for lying.”
“Well, maybe there are a few improvements I’d make…”
“I’m sure it involves pink and frill,” Hyde said laughing. They stood awkwardly in the living room. He was clutching the bag of food tightly in his fist as he watched her look around the room.
“Definitely could use some frill and maybe a good cleaning, but at least you can tell someone lives here,” Jackie said finally stopping her scan of the room. She shrugged and went to sit on the couch.
“Wait,” Hyde said. He pictured Edna passed out on the couch or even worse he imagined the gross guys she kept around sitting on it as they pulled Edna into their laps and lifted up her skirt. He always sat in the chair while he was here because he didn’t even want to think about what nasty things occurred on the couch that he didn’t even know about. “Don’t sit there.”
“Why?” Jackie said eyeing the couch.
“It’s just really dirty,” Hyde said.
Jackie rolled her eyes, “Hyde I’m not afraid of a little dirt.”
“Yes you are and I don’t even sit on that couch, doll.”
“Maybe not then,” Jackie said. She put her hands on her hips and in an annoyed voice she asked, “Well, where am I supposed to sit, Steven?”
“Come on, my room’s pretty clean…comparatively,” Hyde lead Jackie to a door just behind the couch.
Jackie followed silently. Hyde’s room wasn’t what she expected. It was much cleaner than the rest of the house. But I guess it was easy since he didn’t have too many possessions. Jackie was surprised that the walls were empty, she had expected band posters to be lining the walls but instead, it was just chipping off-white paint. In fact, there were only a few indicators that Hyde lived in the room. A dresser that stood next to a half-empty closet held a few bottles of hair gel, a stereo, and his belt buckles. Then a nightstand was placed next to his tiny bed and it had a book that looked about half read placed on top.
“It’s so empty,” Jackie said.
“It’s just for sleeping anyway,” Hyde said setting the bag of food down on the nightstand. “Stay here I’ll be right back.
As Jackie took a seat on the bed, Hyde went out into the living room. He grabbed the tv off the chairs and placed it on the ground. He brought both chairs into the room and set them next to each other before Jackie could ask what he was doing he bolted out of the room. He picked up the tv with a grunt and brought it into the room.
“What are you doing?” Jackie asked. “You can’t bring that in here.”
“Why not?” Hyde said carefully setting it on the two chairs. “No one’s going to miss it out there.”
Before Jackie could respond Hyde left again. He walked into Edna’s room and pulled the pillows off her bed. He stopped by a tiny closet that had a few extra towels and linens. He reached around until he found a few clean pillowcases. He put the new pillowcases on Edna’s pillow and discarded the old case in her room. He then walked into the kitchen and pulled out some lunch trays Edna had nicked from the school cafeteria. They used them as plates, but he figured Jackie didn’t have to know that and it would be better to eat the burgers off of anyway.
“Do you want a glass of water or anything?” Hyde called from the kitchen.
“No, I’m good,” Jackie screamed back.
Hyde put the trays under one arm and the pillows under the other. Then he walked into the living room and grabbed a standing lamp that actually worked. Then we went back into the room to find Jackie sitting cross-legged on the bed holding the book he had been reading open in her hands. She had kicked her shoes off and moved to sit at the center of the tiny bed. Her head was down pulled close to the book struggling to read it in the dark room. Hyde stopped for a moment in the doorway with all of the shit he had gathered clutched in his arms. She looked so comfortable sitting in his dark barren room. He had followed her off the water tower and brought her back here half on instinct and half because he was still shaking off his crossfaded state, but at that moment, he was completely sober and for the first time he actually believed what she told him. She wasn’t going anywhere and he knew he was never going to walk away from her. Maybe they were stuck with each he thought with a smile.
“You go to the library?” Jackie said not looking up from the book. He was surprised she had noticed him enter, but instead of commenting on it he fully entered to room and answered her question.
“Yes and often. It’s lame, but you can’t beat the price,” Hyde said dropping off the trays and pillows on the bed. “Don’t tell it’ll ruin my rep.”
“I’ve never seen you there,” Jackie said.
“I go early usually before heading to Forman’s,” Hyde said. He put the standing lamp down on the ground next to the nightstand and plugged it in. “Here this should help.”
“That’s okay I’d much rather eat,” Jackie said. “Plus, your books always seem so boring there’s never any girls in them or romance.”
“Well your books have too much romance,” Hyde said.
“No, such thing and you should keep that in mind,” Jackie said with a wink.
Hyde laughed and handed Jackie the trays, “Eat your burger, doll.”
Jackie pouted but she took the trays anyway. Jackie put both trays in front of her and started loading them up. On one tray she put one burger and on the other but put two. Each tray was loaded with fries. As Jackie prepared their food, Hyde plugged in the TV and fiddled with it until he found I Dream of Jeannie.
“Does this work?” Hyde asked.
“Sure,” Jackie said and scooted over on the bed patting the spot next to her. She had arranged the pillows behind them to provide a backrest. Hyde smiled at her thoughtfulness and he moved to sit next to her.
Hyde and Jackie ate their meal in silence only occasionally laughing at the show. After Hyde finished his first burger, he moved his arm around Jackie and she cuddled into his side as they finished off their food. It felt comfortable and familiar.
For the first time since coming home to find Edna gone the night before, Hyde felt a bit relieved. Jackie accomplished what pot and alcohol couldn’t, she took his mind off his shitty life. He didn’t forget of course, but she was a bright light in the sorrow he had felt just hours before.
When they both finished their food, Hyde moved the trays off the bed and took them to the kitchen. He didn’t want to move away from Jackie, but he was afraid if he left them on the ground a rat would try to come and lick the tray and that was the last thing he wanted Jackie to see.
When Hyde returned back to his spot, Jackie curled back into his side immediately. He moved his arm up and down her side. She murmured a sound of pleasure and moved even closer. Her head was sitting comfortably on his shoulder and her hair smelled so good. He leaned down and put his nose into it. Realizing what he was doing he pulled away, but he put a small kiss to the top of her head before pulling away completely. She looked up at the action.
Her face was so close to his. He thought back to just last night when he had basically told her he wanted to be in a relationship with her. It seemed like so much had changed in that time, but he knew that his feelings hadn’t changed. If anything, they had just cemented themselves into his chest even worse than before.
Hyde leaned down and kissed Jackie before he got too caught up in his own head. Jackie let out a sigh in his mouth and returned the kiss with enthusiasm. She moved her arms up. One went to the back of his neck and lightly fisted around the edge of his hair pulling him closer. The other lightly rest on his arm. Hyde’s own hands moved up and down her sides from her hips to the bottom of her breasts.
Jackie made a noise of satisfaction and then shifted onto her knees. Before Hyde could react, she swung one leg over his and lowered herself down onto his lap. Hyde broke the kiss and let his head fall into her neck letting out a groan. She was beginning to breath heavy letting out tiny gasps when he began to kiss her neck. When he sucked on one spot where her shoulder met her neck her small gasp turned into a deep moan and her hand in his hair tightened.
Jackie’s hips had begun to move on their own accord. She had never felt so hot and ready. This was nothing like being with Kelso, nothing was sloppy or rushed. Hyde seemed content kissing up and down her neck. With his hands slowly moving up her legs and taking her dress with them but not going past her mid-thigh. She could feel that he was just as turned on as she was.
Jackie reached down and took his shirt off. Hyde made a noise when she pushed him away from her body to accomplish the task, but she didn’t care. She wanted to feel more of him. When his shirt was discarded on the floor she went back for his lips.
Hyde was getting lost in her kiss. The feel of her hands on his chest and her hips moving up and down on his lap wasn’t helping. Everything was too replicative of what they could be doing if they didn’t have any clothes on. He wanted her desperately. He wanted to rip her dress off and flip them over moving her thighs around his hips and enter her slowly. He wanted to have all night with her and the morning. But he also wanted to have all that with a clear head. He didn’t want to be desperately chasing the feeling of forgetting Edna and his shitty life. It felt like he was taking advantage of her.
“Doll,” Hyde said stilling her hips with his hands. “Doll stop.”
“What? Why?” Jackie said pulling away from his mouth only to start kissing her way down his face and neck.
“We shouldn’t do this tonight,” Hyde said closing his eyes at the feel of her mouth now on his chest. “Jackie, please it’s not fair to you.”
“I’m perfectly happy continuing.”
“I know. I can tell, but…” He didn’t know how to explain what was going on in his head. “I’ve just spent all night trying to forget Edna and Bud and everything bad in my life. I don’t want to use you to forget.”
“But I’m happy to help,” Jackie said and then started moving her hips again. “And you want to.”
“I know, I know,” Hyde murmured stilling her hips again. “I want you so bad, doll. But we’re going to have sex eventually. And then many times again– I promise. But I don’t want it tainted with this. It should just be about us especially the first time.”
Jackie finally stopped moving. Still sitting on his lap, she moved her hand to his face placing it softly on his cheek. She was touched by the sincerity of his words and she was aware he had a lot going on, so she was willing to wait, “Okay, if that’s what you want.”
“I just think it’ll be better this way,” Hyde said. “Thank you.”
“I’ve never had a guy not want to have sex,” Jackie said moving off his lap and back to cuddling into his side.
“Believe me I want to, I always want to, but we just shouldn’t tonight.”
Hyde put his arm around her and tried to ignore the hard on he was still sporting. He tried to focus on the show that was still playing, but he kept getting distracted by Jackie. The smell of her hair or the soft feel of her hand which was resting on his still naked stomach. Finally, he stood up from the bed. Jackie looked up confused by his actions.
“I think I’m going to go take a shower,” Hyde said.
“Okay,” Jackie said. “Before you go, do you have anything for me to sleep in?”
“Oh sure,” Hyde said. “Help yourself to anything in the drawers.”
“Thanks,” Jackie said looking down at her dress which was ruffled from their earlier activities.
“No worries,” Hyde said. “Just knock on the bathroom door if you need anything, okay? I won’t take long.”
Hyde left after Jackie made a noise of confirmation. As soon as the door closed, Jackie walked over to the dresser. The top drawer was filled with boxers and socks. The next attempt surprised her. The second drawer was filled entirely with records. He had an impressive collection, but it was odd that he kept them all hidden away. She made a mental note to ask him about it later. The third drawer she found filled with shirts. She pulled out the top one and held it up to her body. It would be large on her, but it would work for sleeping. She wished she could look a little cuter, but it’d have to do. She continued searching the dresser until she found a pair of Point Place High School gym shorts that looked brand new. She laughed at the image of Hyde in shorts and assumed they had never been worn.
Jackie shed her dress and put the gym shorts and t-shirt on. She had been right the shirt fell down to just below her butt and the gym shorts to about mid-thigh. She wished Hyde had a mirror so she could see what she looked like, but she assumed the only one was in the bathroom he was currently occupying. Giving up Jackie got back into the bed and picked the book back up. It was Malcolm X’s biography. She wasn’t particularly interested, but with nothing else to do but wait, she figured she might as well read it.
She made it about ten pages before she started to fall asleep.
Hyde was cursing himself as he stepped out of the shower. He was in such a rush to get out of the room, and away from Jackie and her tempting skin, that he had forgotten to bring clothes. He dried himself off and then wrapped the towel around his waist. He didn’t have any choice, but to go back into the room. He walked slowly to his bedroom door and took a big sigh before entering.
He had planned to apologize and quickly make his way over to the dresser, but when he looked over at the bed he was surprised to see Jackie asleep. She had Malcolm X’s biography open to just a few pages in the beginning, which he knew was not where he had been, which meant she must have been reading it. She was under the blanket, but he could see she had picked out his favorite Zeppelin shirt to sleep in. The image brought a smile to his face. Anyone else and he would have been pissed if they had taken his Zeppelin shirt, but she looked so good in it he hardly cared. Plus, he figured she didn’t even know the band's classic logo. It was probably just the first thing she saw. Hyde tiptoed over to the dresser and pulled out his sweatpants and a wife beater that he usually slept in. He walked back out to the bathroom and changed.
When he went back into the bedroom Jackie had shifted and had her arm hanging off the bed. She had kicked the blanket nearly off of her. Hyde was glad to see that she was wearing pants fearing that she wouldn’t find anything. He didn’t even know he still had his unused gym shorts, but never had he been so grateful for Point Place High gym.
He walked over to the bed and pulled the blanket over her again. Jackie moved and blinked up at him.
“Go back to bed,” Hyde whispered. “I’m just putting the blanket over you and turning off the light and I’ll be out of here.”
“What? No, there’s plenty of room,” Jackie said moving over to make room on the bed.
“It’s fine there’s a comfy chair in the living room,” Hyde said.
“Don’t be ridiculous. Turn off the light and get into the bed.”
With no room to argue Hyde agreed and did as he was told. As he brought his arms around her and closed his eyes, he took a deep breath and drifted off to sleep feeling, for the first time, comfortable in his own bed.
Chapter 18: Chapter 18
The next day Jackie woke up before Hyde. After studying his face for nearly twenty minutes, she began to get boarded. Not knowing what to do in his abandoned house, she decided to open the discarded book she had briefly inspected the night before.
She slowly pulled herself up to a sitting position afraid of disturbing Hyde. By the time she was sitting completely up, he still had an arm thrown across her legs but he hadn't woken up from her movements. The light coming in from the dirty window was enough for Jackie to read without too much difficulty and she quickly got engrossed in the book. She made it a quarter of the way through before she felt Hyde shift next to her.
"Morning," Hyde mumbled snuggling in closer to her side.
"Good morning," Jackie said as she let one of her hands fall down and run through his hair.
"How long have you been up?" Hyde asked eyeing the book in her hand.
"Maybe an hour or two," Jackie said putting the book back on the nightstand careful not to lose either of their places.
"You could've woken me up. Are you hungry?"
"No, I'm not hungry. Plus, you seemed like you needed the sleep."
"You're right," Hyde said pulling Jackie back down to a laying position on the bed. Jackie willingly allowed the change of position. "Thank you for yesterday."
"Come to me next time," Jackie said putting her hand on his face. "I don't want to have to chase you to the water tower."
"Okay," Hyde said.
He leaned in and gave her a small peck on the lips. He had planned to pull away and get them breakfast, but as soon as their lips touched he forgot his plans. He deepened the kiss pushing his tongue past Jackie's lips.
Hyde rolled on top of Jackie. One of his hands braced his body over her and the other was moving in small circles on her ribs under the Zeppelin shirt. Meanwhile, hers were lightly scratching up and down his back also under his shirt. Hyde had one leg between hers and tried his hardest to keep some distance between them.
The kiss was a lazy morning kiss, deep and slow. Hyde didn't feel any need to rush. He pushed the hand on her ribs up to touch the underside of her breast. Jackie wasn't wearing a bra under the Zeppelin shirt, which gave him easy access.
"Is this okay?" Hyde asked breaking the kiss.
"Yes," Jackie said and arched up into this hand.
Hyde allowed himself to explore her right breast under the shirt. He rubbed slow circles around her areola before adding pressure directly to her nipple. Jackie moaned into Hyde's mouth and Hyde broke the kiss to hear her. He moved his mouth down to her neck to kiss her there.
"Does this feel good?"
"Yes," Jackie said between moans.
"I love the way you sound, babe."
Jackie let out a small gasp in reply as Hyde tweaked her nipple again while sucking hard on her neck. Hyde moved over to the other breast and repeated the same pattern. He moved his hand down to her stomach and back up. He was about to start the process from the beginning when he heard a stomach grumble. He stilled his hand.
"Oh my god," Jackie said throwing her hands over her face.
"I knew you were hungry," Hyde said looking up at Jackie with a smirk.
"No, I'm not," Jackie said but her stomach let out another grumble. She dropped her hands and glared down and her stomach as if it betrayed her.
"It's okay Jackie. People get hungry and their stomach growls it's nothing to be embarrassed about," Hyde gave her a quick peck on the lips and then leaned down and kissed her stomach before pulling the shirt that had ridden up down to cover her up completely.
"It's embarrassing, Steven," Jackie whined.
"It's fine," Hyde said sitting up. "We should get out of here anyway it's depressing. We'll stop for something on the way to the Formans'."
"We can't go to the Formans'," Jackie said standing up and going to her pile of clothes.
"Why not?" Hyde said heading over to the dresser to pick out his own outfit for the day.
"Steven, I only have the one dress and this," Jackie said motioning down at her body still covered in the Zeppelin shirt and gym shorts. "They'll know I slept over here."
"So?" Hyde said, but he also didn't like the idea of his friends but especially Kelso and Fez knowing about their sex life. Especially since, at the moment, it was still somewhat nonexistent.
"It's embarrassing Steve," Jackie said. "Plus, I don't have any makeup and haven't showered and I can't even properly do my hair here."
"Fine," Hyde said. "I guess you have a point. At least about the sleeping over thing. Why don't you use the bathroom and do whatever you need? Feel free to shower. There are towels in the closet next to the shower that are clean. Then we can swing by your place before heading over to the Forman's does that work?"
"That sounds great!" Jackie said giving him a small peck before heading out of the room.
After a quick stop at a local diner for breakfast, Hyde parked the Lincoln in front of Jackie's house just like always, but unlike always she didn't immediately get out of the car.
"There's something I probably should have told you before," Jackie said.
"My dad's home," Jackie said.
"Oh, should I stay in the care?" Hyde said then he started to really think about the fact that her father was home and she was coming home in the same clothes with a burnout after being out all night. "On second thought, is he going to be pissed? Do you want me to come in with you?"
"Wait here," Jackie said. "It's not that I'm trying to hide you from him. I just think that this might not be the best meeting."
"I get it, man," Hyde said. "You do your thing."
"Thank you, Steven," she leaned over and gave him a quick kiss. She hopped out of the car. "I'll be quick!"
Jackie walked into her house quietly and immediately headed upstairs. She had showered at Hyde's so she just quickly freshened up her makeup and fixed her hair. She changed out of her dress and put on a much more laid back t-shirt and jeans. She gave herself a quick once-over to make sure she looked good. After adding a dark shade of red lipstick to match her shirt, she nodded at her reflection. She looked adorable but slightly more badass than usual. The perfect combination for Steven Hyde's girlfriend, Jackie thought to herself.
She went to her bed and pulled out a pink duffle bag. She quickly threw in a few t-shirts, two dresses, a skirt and shirt combo, all seven of her cutest pairs of panties and a cute black bra. She grabbed her flannel pajamas, but after remembering how much she liked sleeping in Hyde's shirt she put them back into her drawer. She grabbed her makeup and threw it in. Next, was a quick stop in the bathroom for her toothbrush and face wash. After going over everything, she picked up her bag turned off the light and headed out.
She went to the kitchen and found an ice chest in the back of the pantry. She added a bag of ice and then rummaged through her fridge for food to take. After grabbing enough to hold them over for a few days, Jackie walked out the door feeling satisfied. She set the cooler and her bag down before heading into her father's office.
"Daddy," Jackie said knocking on the door softly.
"In here, kitten," her father replied.
"Good morning," Jackie said. She approached slowly not sure if he'd be mad she didn't come home last night. "I just wanted to apologize for not calling last night I stayed at Donna's she's going through a lot right now. And I was wondering if I could stay the whole week."
"You weren't here last night?" her father replied not looking up from his work.
"No…I stayed with Donna…" Jackie replied shocked her father hadn't even noticed she'd stayed out all night.
"I suppose that's fine if you want to have a slumber party with your friend."
"Thank you, daddy," Jackie said now getting annoyed he still hadn't looked up at her. Realizing he wasn't going to say anything else she turned around to head out.
"Oh, kitten, I nearly forgot."
Jackie turned around excited for whatever else her father might add. He was finally looking up at her pulling himself away from his work.
"I will be leaving on another business trip next week," her father said. "It'll be a long one most likely two weeks. I'll call when I have more information. Your mother is still off god knows where, so it'll just be you and the housekeeper."
"Oh…I thought since you had just gotten back you might be around for a while," Jackie said.
"I can't it's a busy time and I have meetings to take," her father replied looking down again.
"Well, bye daddy," Jackie said holding back tears. "Have a nice trip and I'll see you in a few weeks."
"Bye kitten," her father replied. "Close the door on your way out."
"Jackie are you sure you're okay? We don't have to go in there," Hyde asked from the top of the stairs.
"Yes," Jackie said rolling her eyes. "Daddy was being his typical self it got to me for a minute but it's fine."
"Jackie, you were crying in the car," Hyde said.
"Were crying. Past tense it's really okay, Steven. I'm okay," Jackie said. "I'm beginning to think you're the one avoiding going down there."
"I'm not," Hyde said but didn't move. His eyes darted towards the Formans' house, but with his glasses on Jackie couldn't see the tell.
"I'm not," Hyde said more adamantly. "But let's not tell them about what happened with my mom."
"The Formans might be able to help…" Jackie said but trailed off knowing she wouldn't want her dirty laundry aired either, no matter how helpful it might be.
"I don't need help," Hyde said. "I'm fine. Everything is fine."
"Look doll," Hyde said putting his large hand on the side of her neck with his thumb rubbing her cheek in a way that was quickly becoming familiar. "I have this under control. I can take care of myself."
Jackie understood where Hyde was coming from. She sort of knew what it was like to be abandoned and needing to care for yourself. The thought of asking for help was as horrifying to her as it was to him, so she decided to let it go for now.
"Okay," Jackie said with a sigh. "But if it's ever not okay you have to let me know. Promise?"
"Promise," Hyde said.
He leaned in for a kiss sealing the promise. What she expected to be a quick kiss quickly turned heated and when he pulled back they were both out of breath.
"Ready to go in?" she asked when she got her breathing under control.
"Yeah," Hyde said grabbing her hand and heading down the stairs.
Hyde and Jackie walked into the basement hand in hand. They were met by the faces of their four other friends. No one spoke and Jackie and Hyde remained standing for a moment at the door.
Jackie evaluated her options. The last thing her friends saw was her angrily leaving to look for Hyde. They didn't know that they were in fact together or that Hyde's absence had nothing to do with her. But before she could even think of an explanation she needed to figure out where to sit.
The basement was nearly full with only Hyde's chair and the freezer open. Jackie could probably force Forman off the couch but it'd just cause more of a scene. Before Jackie could make a decision, Hyde tugged on her arm to follow him. Without saying a word, he walked over to his chair and took a seat. For a moment she remained standing and then decided to go for it and took a seat in his lap.
Hyde's arms wrapped around her waist and brought her in closer. At the action, Jackie brought her hand down to rest comfortably on his thigh.
"New episode of Charlie's Angels?" Hyde asked.
"Yeah, the Angels are back at it fighting crime. But we all do have one question...WHAT IS GOING ON WITH YOU TWO?" Eric said. "You're together you're not together just decide already."
Hyde and Jackie gave him a seething look, but neither responded.
"So I guess you worked it all out then?" Donna asked.
"There was nothing to work out, Donna," Jackie said. "You were all there Friday night. We were together then and we're together now."
Hyde said nothing. He was just a stoic figure behind her and she knew his sunglasses made it impossible for the others to read his thoughts, but as she spoke his hands pushed lightly into her stomach in support.
"That's great," Donna said not sounding like it was great at all. "I'm happy for you two."
"Thanks!" Jackie said but no one else in the room seemed to be responding well to the news. One person in particular.
"You all need to either be okay with this or figure out how to get there soon," Hyde said.
"I was really hoping Friday night was more of a one-time thing but I guess if Donnas fine with it I can learn to live," Forman spoke first.
"If you two want to suck face for a while fine. It's not going to last," Kelsi said. "We all know Jackie will come back to me."
Hyde had to pull Jackie back into his lap because she attempted to throttle Kelso at his words.
"We broke up months ago," Jackie said. "We're over and I'm not looking back. I'm sorry if this makes you uncomfortable Michael, but Steven and I are together. And even if we did break up, which isn't going to happen, I'm never getting back together with you. We are over."
"Ah!" Kelso exclaimed. "Damn Jackie I was just kidding. Do what you want."
"I don't need your permission and I don't appreciate the joke."
"Fine! I'm okay with it." Kelso said. And then he crossed his arms and pouted clearly wanting to say more but not wanting to continue to get yelled at.
"I, for one, am very excited you two are dating. Please, will you let me watch as you two make out as Donna and Eric do?" Fez said.
"We don't let you do that," Donna said
"Fez!" Eric exclaimed. "What the hell, man?"
"Oh no," Fez said quietly.
"You're going to stop doing that or else you're not going to know up from down when I get my hands on you," Donna said.
"Fez, if you ever watch us do anything private, not only will I not save you from Donna, but I'll also help her kick your ass," Hyde practically growled.
Jackie leaned back and gave Hyde a peck on the cheek. For so long Jackie had fantasied about this exact situation. Her and Hyde surrounded by their friends with her in his lap and with each of them offering familiar and comforting touches. They each had a lot to work out with their families but at that exact moment, she was content to just sit in the basement with her friends.
Chapter 19: Chapter 19
“Steven, wake up,” Jackie said. She was lying on her stomach poking him lightly in the arm.
“Not yet it’s too early,” Hyde said throwing his arm awkwardly across her back in an attempt to pull her closer and back to bed. When his arm touched her back he realized she wasn’t in his Zeppelin shirt but instead a denim jumpsuit. “You’re dressed.”
“We have school today,” Jackie said in a very matter-of-fact voice.
“You go,” Hyde said. “I’m going to play hooky.”
“That’s not going to happen, mister,” Jackie said getting out of bed and pulling on his arm to get him out of bed too. “If I have to go then you do too.”
“Jackie,” Hyde groaned. He tried to resist, but seeing as how she wasn’t letting go of his arm and literally pulling him off the bed he didn’t have much of a choice but to get up.
“There we go!” Jackie said clapping her hands when he was finally standing up in front of her. “Get dressed we’re leaving in ten minutes.”
Jackie leaned up and gave him a peck on the lips before going to the bathroom to make sure her hair and makeup still looked flawless. Ten minutes later Hyde was now the one attempting to pull her out the door to make it to school on time.
“Jackie you look fine,” Hyde said as she changed her hairstyle once again. “If we don’t leave you’ll be late.”
“Fine?” Jackie asked with a glare. “Just fine? I knew it! I don’t have my hair curlers and it looks all flat.”
“Your hair doesn’t look flat,” Hyde said looking her over and trying to see what flaws she seemed to be focusing on. He didn’t see any. “You look perfect.”
“Ahhh thanks, baby,” Jackie said finally moving away from the mirror to give him a kiss. He took the opportunity to take her hand and move her towards the door.
Jackie stopped off in the kitchen and grabbed an apple for herself and a banana for him. She handed it off and they both began to chomp away at their breakfast as they made their way to the car.
“Don’t call me ‘baby,’” Hyde said scrunching up his nose. “It makes me sound like a child or seriously whipped.”
“I like it,” Jackie said.
“Anything else, Jackie,” Hyde said.
“Anything?” Jackie asked with a wicked glint in her eye.
Hyde immediately realized his mistake. He groaned as he opened the Lincoln’s door. Jackie, on the other hand, was grinning from ear to ear as she slid into the passenger side door.
“You said anything, puddin’ pop,” Jackie said.
“Puddin’ pop?” Hyde asked. He crinkled his nose and started up the car driving them to school. “I’m not food. Pick something else.”
“No, you said anything and that’s what I pick,” Jackie said. She slid over the bench seat to kiss his check. “My puddin’ pop.”
“You’re just making it worse,” Hyde said groaning again.
“It’ll grow on you, I promise,” Jackie said. She was confident he would eventually love the nickname as much as she loved his nickname for her. In all the time he had been calling her doll, he still didn’t seem to realize he was doing it and she was happy to leave it that way.
“Don’t hold your breath,” Hyde muttered. “Just don’t use it in public.”
“Sure thing, puddin’ pop,” Jackie said and since they were at a stop sign she leaned over and kissed him fully on the mouth. She decided that whenever she used the nickname she would try to kiss him immediately after or before. Eventually, he’d associate it with good things.
Hyde responded to the kiss allowing his tongue to slide into hers. He even took one hand off the wheel to move it to her neck and stroke his thumb on her jawline. He loved kissing Jackie and he especially loved that it was now a normal part of his life. If she kept kissing him and promised not to use the name in public, he didn’t see any harm in letting her have her way.
Both teens jumped at the sound of a car horn honking behind them. Jackie laughed and put some distance between her and Hyde. He quickly refocused on the road and set them back in motion towards school.
Jackie looked behind her to glare at the car that had rudely interrupted them. She was met with the shocked face of Tommy Lane, none other than the quarterback of the Point Place Vikings and more importantly the boyfriend of Krista on the cheer squad. After a second’s hesitation, Jackie lifted her arm and gave him a little wave. He waved back still looking a little shaken.
“The whole school is going to know about us by lunch,” Jackie said to Hyde.
“Why do you say that?” Hyde asked moving his right arm to lie over her shoulders.
“Tommy Lane is behind us,” Jackie whined. “He’s dating Krista and he’ll definitely tell her what he just saw and as soon as she knows the whole cheer squad will know and then the school. It won’t take long.”
“Whatever,” Hyde said with his eyes glued to the street. He was trying hard not to care that she was embarrassed by their relationship. He knew this would be an issue, but he was surprised it had come up so fast before they had even made it unto school grounds.
“God, doesn’t it seem like all of the rumors about us dating or sleeping together or having a love child just died down? Who knows what they’ll say now? It’s all the cheerleaders are going to want to talk about today! They’re going to want every detail of how we got together and when we got together. And you know there’s no way they believe me when I tell them we didn’t start dating till this weekend. They’re going to assume we’re doing it and they definitely won’t believe me when I tell them we’re not. They’re going to want every detail, especially—”
“Jackie, don’t talk about our sex life with the cheerleaders,” Hyde said finally jumping in.
“What sex life?” Jackie said throwing her hands up. “If anything I’m the one that’ll be taking notes between Sara and Kat and half of the team that you’ve slept with.”
“Uhh sorry about that…” Hyde mumbled, but Jackie didn’t seem to hear him she was still rambling about the situation she was walking into.
“And Claire is going to just get worse with her nasty attacks. I don’t understand why she has such an issue with us dating. She’s just jealous of me, I just know it. She’s using it as an excuse. She’s going to start in again with her ‘Burnouts are for hookups, not relationships’ nonsense.”
“If it’s that big of a deal just tell them all we’re just fucking, but without any details,” Hyde said trying not to wince at Jackie’s words. He knew that she was out of his league. He was a poor orphan and nearly flunking out of school. He didn’t need her rubbing it in.
“Absolutely not!” Jackie exclaimed. “Steven you agreed to be in a relationship with me. We’re not keeping it private. I know you like to stay under the radar, but that’s just too bad. You’re dating Point Place royalty it’s just a part of the deal.”
“Whatever,” Hyde said pulling his Zen out to hide how relieved he was that she didn’t want to keep them contained to the basement and their houses.
“Plus, if the cheer squad doesn’t know you’re my puddin’ pop they’ll all be throwing themselves at you. They always want what I have,” Jackie said with a hair flip.
Hyde didn’t know how to respond to that so he remained silent and let her continue rambling until they pulled up to the school parking lot. When he turned the car off she finally stopped. She put her hand on his arm to stop him.
“Are you going to be okay today?” Jackie asked.
“With the rumors? You know I don’t give a shit.”
“No, I mean, because Edna won’t be there,” Jackie said slowly. “I know you don’t usually interact with her at school, but she was the lunch lady and, well, she’s not anymore…”
Jackie’s concern brought a tiny smile to Hyde’s face. He was still mad as hell at Edna, but he was beginning to adjust to his new normal. He didn’t have much of a choice. He hadn’t even considered the fact that she wouldn’t be at school. Eric, Fez, and Jackie were the only people that even knew Edna worked as the lunch lady. He highly doubted the first two would notice that she was missing and he knew Jackie wasn’t going to say anything. And because he never interacted with Edna at school, Steven hadn’t even thought about her absence from the lunch line.
“I’ll be fine.”
“Okay well let me know if you’re not,” Jackie said getting out of the car. Hyde followed suit and they met at the front of the car and then headed towards the school’s doors. Hyde slung his arm around her shoulders and she leaned into him. They were getting stares from all around the parking lot and a few of the louder whispers were already reaching them.
“Same for you,” Hyde said. “If all the rumors and stuff becomes too much, you can tell me.”
“That’s sweet,” Jackie said and then looking around she boldly reached up and pecked him on the lips.
“I’m not sweet,” he mumbled.
“Okay sure, puddin’ pop.”
Jackie and Hyde had fallen into a good routine. For the past four days, they’d wake up and head to school. They’d eat lunch with the gang or make out in the car. Then after school, Hyde headed to work while Jackie was at cheer practice and he’d swing by and pick her up. She still hadn’t realized that while she was at practice, he had spent the past four hours working at the photo hut as opposed to smoking up somewhere waiting for her.
Once together again, they’d head over to the basement and then back to his place. They spent the rest of the night with Jackie engrossed in her textbooks and Hyde in a book. The sounds of Zeppelin or the Stones played in the background as they both stole glances at each other. They’d continue on like that working until one of them finally made a move. Their books would fall to the side and they ended up making out on his bed until one of them, almost always him, pulled away. He’d run off to take a cold shower and she’d wrap up whatever assignment she’d been working on before she got distracted.
Hyde began to enjoy the steady rhythm of his life. Edna abandoning him had been a blow, but having Jackie around made it all seem okay. He might not have parents, but at least he wasn’t alone.
The issue came with actually functioning without his mom around. Edna wasn’t good for much, but she did pay the bills often enough that they were never evicted. But now the rent was due soon and she was gone. He figured he could pawn some stuff to pay this month’s rent, but he’d have to start working more to pay the next month. He knew he’d have to tell Jackie. After all, she’d notice when the tv disappeared, but it could wait. After all, it would just worry her and he didn’t see a reason to do that. In the meantime, they could keep going like they were. He could take care of this. He had it under control, at least that’s what Hyde kept repeating to himself.
When Friday came along Hyde knew that he didn’t have much longer to indulge in the comfortable routine he and Jackie had developed, so when Jackie pulled him into the car at lunch he finally worked up the courage to tell her that some of his stuff was going to go missing from his house.
“Jackie I need—”
“I think we should—”
Hyde was thrown. Usually, when she urgently pulled him into the Lincoln her lips were on his before he could begin speaking, but today she was firmly seated on her side of the bench seat and starting a conversation. Wanting to delay the inevitable he indicated for her to go first.
“I think we should start staying at my place,” Jackie said. “My dad’s going out of town again starting tonight. He’ll be gone for at least a couple weeks.”
Hyde stared at Jackie. He knew that her dad was leaving again, but he hadn’t thought about moving over to her place. But now that she brought it up it was a perfect solution. He could put off telling her about pawning the stuff and if they were gone long enough maybe he could even skip some of the bills. It didn’t matter if they turned off the power if he and Jackie are hiding away in her mansion.
“It’s not that I don’t like your place, but mine has food and more warm water. And all of my clothes and makeup. It’s been almost impossible to continue looking this good out of a suitcase,” Jackie said misinterpreting his silence as offence. “So, what do you think?”
“It sounds great,” Hyde said. “Let’s go tonight.”
Jackie’s nervous smile stretched into a happy grin. She threw her arms around him and leaned in for a kiss.
Chapter 20: Chapter 20
The next two chapters are basically all fluff and smut, so sorry if you're desperate to learn more about the plot you'll just have to wait a bit! Some of this has been written since the beginning of the story and I just didn't have the heart to cut it. If you don't want to read anything M, stop after the first break.
Jackie felt Hyde’s hand on her back. She felt him move it under her shirt and slowly rub up and down. Jackie wanted so badly for him to just keep going up and take her shirt off.
Jackie and Hyde had been sitting in front of the school for ten minutes. They managed to make it to the school parking lot early, but not actually into the school. Instead, they were passionately making out in Jackie’s dad’s Lincoln.
In the past two weeks, Jackie and Hyde had been inseparable, and only partially because they were living together. Even in the basement or at lunch she was always comfortably seated in his lap but they hadn’t taken it any further than heated make out sessions. Jackie had tried hard too, but Hyde always pulled back saying they should wait, which was exactly what Jackie felt him do in the back of the Lincoln.
“Jackie, we need to get to class,” Hyde said breathing heavily.
“Nooo,” Jackie whined. “just a little longer.”
Jackie leaned forward pulling Hyde in for another kiss. Hyde gave in to it. But it wasn't long before he was quickly pulling back from her again. This time he put his hands on her shoulders and gently pushed her against the window and then scooted himself as far away as possible.
“Hyde, please,” Jackie begged pushing out her bottom lip in a pout.
“Don’t do that, Jackie,” Hyde said trying to hold strong against her pout.
“Please,” Jackie tried again.
“We have to go to class.”
“We could just drive away. Spend the day together. You ditch all the time, why won’t you ever do it to spend time with me?” Jackie asked.
“We literally spend all of our time together. And plus, I ditch but you don’t,” Hyde said. “And you’re not starting because of me. I’ll see you at lunch.”
“I can miss class just this once,” Jackie said.
“No, if we start this now it’ll just keep happening,” Hyde reached out and grabbed her hand trying to keep a safe distance. “You study on Saturdays Jackie, you have a perfect GPA, and you want to go to college. I’m not letting you lose that just because I’m around.”
“Pleeeease,” Jackie wasn’t giving up.
“No, plus you have practice and I have work—” Hyde cut himself off. He still hadn’t told her about his photo hut job. He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t told her, but he wasn’t sure how she’d react and he didn’t want her to make a big deal out of it.
“Work?” Jackie asked.
“Yeah, I got a job,” Hyde started.
“Is this because of Edna? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“It’s not a big deal, man,” Hyde said.
“When did you get it? Where do you work?
“I started at the photo hut a little over a month ago,” Hyde shrugged.
“That’s before Edna left,” Jackie said confused.
“Yeah well, I didn’t get it because of Edna. Sure it’s been helpful with her gone, but she’s not the reason I got the job.”
“Why did you get it, then?” Jackie asked.
“I figured it was time,” Hyde said, but when Jackie didn’t say anything he continued. “I don’t know, man. I was seeing you work so hard at everything and I knew I could work a little harder too. Like you with your cheer. You don’t do it for Claire or anyone else you do it to improve yourself and you had said that I should improve myself too. The job, well, it does that. I don’t know it’s not a big deal.”
Jackie was silent for a second as if thinking about what he said.
“That was weeks ago before we started dating,” Jackie said remembering the afternoon they had spent practicing her tumbling. “Did you get a job because of me?”
“Well you just said you are trying to improve yourself because I told you to,” Jackie said starting to smile like a cashier cat.
Hyde was silent and just glared at her.
“Well, I am very proud of you,” Jackie said scooting closer again on the seat.
“I didn’t do it for you,” Hyde grumbled. “And plus, like I said it helps with Edna gone to have the income.”
“Okay,” Jackie said as she leaned in to kiss him.
Hyde kissed back and was quickly forgetting about his push to get them to school. That is until he heard the bell ring.
“Come on Jackie,” Hyde said pulling away from the kiss. “I’m serious we’re already going to be late.”
“Fine, but only because you’re really cute when you’re being all responsible,” Jackie said smiling and trying to reign in the affection in her voice.
“I’m not cute,” Hyde groaned as he opened his car door. Jackie was still smiling to herself when he came around and opened the door for her.
“Come on, doll, let’s get you to class,” Hyde said holding his hand out for her.
“Okay, fine, but you owe me some time at lunch,” Jackie said walking towards the school’s doors with Hyde’s hand still in hers.
“I think I can clear my schedule, but what will we do with all that time?” Hyde said sarcastically moving their intertwined hands up to sling over her shoulder.
Jackie leaned back into him and said, “We’ll think of something. Maybe a quick trip to the Lincoln?”
“And what would we do there?”
“I can think of what I want to do, but why don’t you think about a few ideas during the day. Try to be creative.”
Jackie winked up at Hyde.
Jackie sat happily in her new designated basement spot, on Hyde’s lap, as she listened to the radio playing in the background and Eric’s complaining about Red. She was trying her best to focus, she really was, but the feel of Hyde’s hand under her shirt kept distracting her.
His palm was pressed firmly into her waist. He wasn’t moving anything except the tips of his fingers which he was moving up and down in a repetitive movement. It seemed more of a habit than an effort to turn her on, but regardless of his intent, the effect was the same. She tried again to focus back in on what Eric was saying.
“He said he’d put his foot so far up my ass I wouldn’t be able to see straight,” Eric complained.
“That’s what happens when you skip out on curfew to make out with Donna,” Hyde said laughing and continuing the distracting rhythm of his fingers.
How he could even have a conversation while he did that with his fingers Jackie didn’t know because she couldn’t even think of anything else.
“I’d let Red put his foot in my ass to make out with Donna,” Fez said.
“I’d put my foot in your ass if you tried,” Donna said.
“It’d be worth it,” Fez said.
“Don’t,” Eric said deadpan.
“Yeah, man, Donna could kick your ass,” Kelso jumped in on the conversation.
Jackie zoned out the banter. The radio had changed songs and Hyde added a second hand to her waist and started moving his whole palm with the song. With the slow wail of the guitar Hyde’s hands started moving up and down her side. She gave into the slow and steady rhythm and leaned back against him. He kissed the back of her neck lightly as Ronnie Van Zant’s voice slowly started singing.
Ain't no need to worry
There ain't no use to cry
'Cause I'll be comin' home soon
To keep you satisfied
Jackie didn’t know the song, but the downbeat was steady and her hips slowly started moving to the rhythm. It was a subtle movement, Hyde immediately noticed the movement. His forehead fell to her shoulder and she could feel his breath speed up.
Jackie brought her hand down to Hyde’s thigh and moved it and slowly stocking it in time with the music. Her other gripped the bottom of the chair tightly. His mouth was back on her neck. And this time instead of a quick kiss he was kissing her open mouthed and slow. With each kiss, he’d swipe his tongue over her.
I'm tryin' to tell you I love you
In each and every way
I'm tryin' to tell you I need you
Much more than a piece of lay
Hyde’s hand was now on her stomach and rubbing slow circles. His mouth started to change its pace. Occasionally, he was would graze his teeth over the soft skin on her neck or suck it into his mouth. She knew she’d have a mark there tomorrow, but all she wanted to do in response was mark him in the same way.
Oh, baby, I love you
Baby, baby I need you
When the singing stopped. Jackie was quickly pulled out of her daze by the feel of Hyde standing up behind her. He pushed her up practically holding her as her feet touched the ground. She let out a sound of surprise, but he didn’t seem to notice. The song was still winding down, as he grabbed her hand and started heading towards the door.
“We’re getting out of here,” Hyde said.
Jackie wasn’t sure if he was telling her or their friends, but she was happy to comply.
“Thank god my eyes were burning from whatever it was you two were doing on that chair,” Eric yelled.
“Noooo do it on the chair,” Fez whined.
Jackie blushed crimson. They must have been much more into it then she thought if their friends had noticed their actions during the song. She was going to reply, but Hyde already had her by the door and he seemed happy to ignore their nosey friends.
He pulled them outside and closed the door, but instead of pulling them up the cement stairs he turned around and quickly brought his lips down to hers in a heated kiss.
She responded immediately with just as much enthusiasm. She brought her arms around his neck and pulled him down. He had his hands under her thighs and lifted her up. He braced her on the door behind them and pushed his body into hers. She could feel that he was just as turned on as she was and she desperately wanted to have him in a bed naked – immediately.
“Steven,” Jackie said. “Let’s go back to my place. Right now.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Hyde said. He kissed her deeply once more and then brought her body back down to the ground. The couple grasped hands and then quickly made their way up the stairs.
As soon as Jackie opened her bedroom door, Hyde had her lifted off the ground. She eagerly wrapped her legs around his waist as he carried her to the bed. He lowered her onto the mattress and quickly covered her body with his.
He didn’t wait long before pulling her shirt up her stomach. She was eager to have it off and to feel his chest on hers so she sat up to help him. Once her shirt was off, she started pulling at his. Hyde let her push it off him as he reached behind for her bra and, within seconds of her pulling his shirt off, her bra fell to the ground onto their quickly forming pile of clothes.
Hyde’s mouth went back to Jackie’s and he lowered her back to the bed. He let his hands explore her chest. Rubbing slow and deliberate circles. He squeezed firmly before moving his attention to her nipple. She was moaning by the time his hands switched breasts and his mouth went down to replace the abandoned one. The action kicked her moaning up a notch.
Jackie’s nails scratched into his back encouraging him on. She let one hand leave and reached down to being undoing his belt buckle. It took her a few tries but she got it and pulled the belt off allowing his jeans to hang loose on his hips. She quickly moved to the button and zipper of his pants and started pushing them down his hips. When they got low enough Hyde helped her kicking them off.
The change in barriers between them brought his attention away from her chest and he seemed to freeze over her. Jackie saw the hesitation in his eyes and quickly brought him down for a kiss. He responded immediately.
She wrapped her legs around his waist pulling him down between her legs. She still had her jeans on, but with just his boxers it was obvious he wanted her.
“Please Steven,” Jackie moaned. “Let’s not stop this time.”
“Are you sure?” Hyde asked looking into her eyes.
“Positive,” Jackie said with a grin and pulled him back down to her mouth. She kissed from his mouth down to his neck intend on leaving a mark the same was he had on her earlier.
“Good because…What more can I say? Ooh, baby, I need you,” Hyde said laughing.
“What happened to no baby?” Jackie said looking up distracted from her task.
“It’s a line in the song, doll,” Hyde said laughing and pecking her on the nose. “Playing in the basement.”
“Ohhh mmm that was a very good song,” Jackie said. She gave Hyde a sexy smirk and then returned to his neck.
With one arm still bracing himself above her, Hyde ran his fingers through her hair and breathed in deeply. Everything felt perfect. He wanted to take in every detail to never forget how perfect this moment was with Jackie.
As his hand reached the end of her hair he let it travel down her arm to her soft stomach. It went even further and stopped at her jean-clad hip. He moved his hand from her left side to the center. Jackie pushed her tongue down onto his neck especially hard when he flicked the button open and dragged the zipper down. He pushed her jeans down but with her legs locked around his back, he couldn’t go much further than her hips. He let his hand slide under her jeans and panties touching her smooth skin. She moaned deeply pulling away from his neck to throw her head back and gasp. Her legs broke apart and fell back to the bed. He didn’t even have to ask before she was lifting her butt off the bed and pushing her jeans and panties down her legs.
“Jackie,” Hyde said about to make sure Jackie was positive she was ready for this. He knew she’d been pressured into having sex before and he didn’t want her to feel that with him.
“There’s a condom in the nightstand,” Jackie said as she kicked her pants and panties off.
“In a second,” Hyde said. He put both hands on her hips to still any further motion and slowed down their movements. He leaned down and kissed her deeply. If it wasn’t for their state of undress it would have just been an innocent kiss. “Are you sure you’re ready for this? Sex isn’t everything here and we can wait.”
“I’m sure,” Jackie said reaching her hand up and lightly placing it on his cheek. The thought and care that his eyes showed was more than she had ever seen from Kelso in the year and a half they dated. She was sure she wanted to have sex with Hyde before they had even gotten together, but now she was beginning to think she’d never want to have sex with anyone but Hyde. “I want to be with you, Steven Hyde.”
“I want to be with you too Jackie Burkhart,” Hyde said. He leaned down and kissed her sweetly one more time before deepening the kiss.
He reached his hand down and lightly pushed her legs apart. He slowly slid his fingers from her thigh to her center. If her earlier actions hadn’t given her away, the wetness between her legs did immediately. He found her clit rubbing slow circles and by the time he inserted one finger in her she was bucking on the bed. He pumped into her a few times before adding a second finger.
“Steven,” Jackie moaned. “Oh my god. Yes, Steven.”
Hyde wanted to make her cum on his hands, but he wanted for them to cum together even more. He pulled away much to her disappointment and rolled off her. She groaned and tried to sit up, but with a reassuring noise, he indicated for her to lay back down. He leaned over to rifle through her bedside table until he found a condom. As soon as Jackie saw what he was doing her tone quickly shifted back to happy.
He went back to position himself between her knees above her. With slightly more space between them, he slowly started to push down his boxers. He looked down at Jackie to see her eyes diligently following his movements. Her tongue darted out and licked her lips involuntarily and he could no longer go slow. He pushed his boxers off the rest of the way and kicked them to the ground.
Jackie let out a small gasp when she saw the full size of him but she didn’t say anything. She hadn’t been with anyone but Kelso and he hadn’t been all that well-endowed. And even then they hadn’t slept together in months. She couldn’t peel her eyes away as Hyde rolled the condom down his dick.
When he was done she finally looked up at him. She gave him a small smile and he came closer bringing his body down on top of hers. He parted her legs and held himself at her entrance.
“You ready?” Hyde asked.
“Yes,” Jackie said.
Her next sound was a gasp as he entered her. She was grateful he went slowly because her months of abstinence made the feeling of him slowing entering her unfamiliar. By the time he was completely seethed in her, the pleasure had completely overpowered any feeling of being uncomfortable. She brought her legs up higher against his back for more leverage and, with one hand grasped in his hair and the other on his bicep, she encouraged him to move.
Hyde began thrusting into Jackie in slow deep movements. He didn’t want to go too hard on her since she seemed so small wrapped around him but she kept encouraging him to go faster and he was happy to comply. The way her walls were gripping him had practically made him cum immediately. He was incredibly grateful he had built her up before he entered her because he knew he wasn’t going to last long.
“Steven faster,” Jackie said and he immediately followed her request. “Oh god yes!”
She threw her head back and Hyde brought his mouth down to leave sloppy wet kisses along her collarbone. Hyde’s faster pace was bringing him even closer and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could make it.
“Jackie, fuck Jackie,” Hyde groaned into her skin.
He reached down in between their moving bodies and found her clit again. After a few flicks with his finger in time with his strokes, she was practically screaming and her nails were so far into his arm he thought she might leave a mark. Hyde’s hips moved even faster and slammed into her. She let out one more call of his name before he felt her walls tighten around him. The sensation quickly brought Hyde right over the edge with her.
Jackie’s body went slack first. Hyde’s quickly followed hers and he fell down onto her. After a moment, he rolled off and quickly discarded the condom in a nearby wastebasket. He moved back fully on to the bed. He leaned back next to Jackie and pulled her into his side. She cuddled up next to him laying her head down on his chest.
Hyde had assumed Jackie would want to talk after sex, but she remained quiet. The only sound was their deep breathing, which slowed until Jackie’s became the steady rhythm that indicated she was asleep. Hyde let his fingers run through her hair one more time before letting his hand fall to her hip and pulling her body even closer. He had never had sex like that before. It felt so much more powerful than a quick lay and for once in his life, he didn’t mind the girl clinging to him afterward. In fact, he kind of liked it.
Chapter 21: Chapter 21
This is all fluff and smut. I couldn't resist! There's real plot in the next chapter I promise.
Hyde hated Point Place football games. The only reason he stayed was because he could see Jackie looking for their group. Ever since the first game he’d been guilted into attendance, he’d been present at every game Jackie was cheering. He didn’t necessarily want to be surrounded by the nerds into school spirit, but he wanted to support Jackie. At every game, she scanned the crowd and as soon as she saw them she’d perk up and sometimes even wave her pom poms in their direction. She clearly liked having the gang at the games and the gang was easy enough to drag along. Fez and Kelso liked watching the cheerleaders so they were always willing to come. He could guilt Donna into being a better friend to Jackie and Eric did anything Donna asked. Hyde knew it was maybe unnecessary to be at every game, but no one else was there to support her. And watching her perk up at the small group cheering her on was enough to keep bringing him back. Hyde listened to his friends’ chatter and kept his peripherals focused on Jackie.
Jackie looked up at the crowd. She was looking for a familiar head of curly locks, but it was actually bright red that caught her eye. Donna was climbing up the bleachers with a soda and pretzel in her hand. Jackie’s eyes followed her up the stairs until she saw Eric. Next to him was Hyde. He was slumped back in his chair with his glasses on talking to Fez. Fez seemed to be having an animated conversation even without Hyde seeming particularly attentive.
Jackie smiled to herself at her friends’ presence. After their first football game, it had become a common occurrence for them to come to games. Fez, Kelso, Donna, and Eric would get into it and even participate in the cheers and taunts to the other team, but Hyde always stayed sitting slumped down with his glasses.
When Donna reached the group, Jackie lifted her pom poms and waved at the group. Fez started waving back wildly making the group laugh. Hyde shifted his body to be fully facing her, which brought a smile to her lips. Jackie blew him an air kiss for the attention. The group obviously noticed the action. Jackie couldn’t hear what they were saying, but she could tell their conversation turned much more animated. She thought she saw Hyde blush and she definitely saw him punch Eric in the arm. He then turned back to her and nodded. It was hardly a declaration of love but she still appreciated the gesture.
“You guys are soooo cute,” Julie gushed from Jackie’s side. “I am so jealous, you lucky bitch getting to him first.”
“She was hardly first,” said Krista with a laugh. “Right, Sara?”
“Well, that was different we weren’t dating or anything like what Jackie’s doing,” Sara said in a slightly judgey voice.
“Yeah, Sara has more class than that,” Claire said staring daggers at Jackie.
“Oh yeah screwing Hyde is much classier than dating him,” Krista said sarcastically and then she added nicely. “I think you and Hyde are adorable, Jackie.”
“They won’t be as adorable when she’s pregnant and he turns into a drug addict, after all, he’s halfway there,” Claire said.
“Even pregnant I would be adorable,” Jackie said with a hair flip. “Plus, unless I’m pregnant I don’t see you finding a better girl to fill my position, so I would suggest you learn to live with it. Regardless of who I’m dating.”
“I don’t care who you date,” Claire said lifting her chin.
“Sure that’s why you’ve repeatedly told me not to date Steven,” Jackie said. “And continue to talk about it.”
“I was looking out for your best interest people talk, Jackie.”
“Wow, you’re a real saint, Claire,” Krista said. “Let’s just drop it.”
“Fine, I don’t care anyway,” Claire said. “Jackie, would you smile this is a football game, not a funeral.”
Jackie gave Claire a big fake smile until she turned around. As soon as Claire was facing the other direction Jackie let her smile drop and she rolled her eyes. Krista put her hand over her mouth to cover her laugh.
“She’s the worst,” Krista whispered to Jackie once Claire was out of earshot. “I don’t know why you haven’t quit. She’s so mean to you.”
“I can’t quit. I love to cheer and I’m not going to let Claire bully me out of it,” Jackie said. “Plus, the good colleges like seeing activities. Besides cheer, Point Place only has swim and track for girls and I can’t join either of those. The chlorine would ruin my hair and all the running would make me too muscly. So I’m stuck here.”
“Well, she’ll be gone next year,” Krista said. “Good for you sticking with it for college.”
Jackie was going to respond, but she was interrupted by Claire yelling at them to get in position for the football players who were coming out to the field. Krista rolled her eyes and both girls moved into position.
In the few weeks since she and Hyde started dating, the cheerleaders loved to argue over her relationship. Claire especially loved to make snide remarks to her. It was nice to have an ally in Krista.
Jackie tried to push Claire out of her thoughts as she got into cheering for the football players. Looking up to her friends on the bleachers helped remind her that there was more to high school than cheer, and that thought brought some actual happiness into her cheers.
After the game ended and she packed up her stuff, Jackie wondered out to the parking lot to find Hyde waiting for her with his shades hanging from the collar of his shirt, smoking a cigarette and leaning against the Lincoln – right where he always waited for her. She walked up to him, dropped her bag and put her arms around him. He leaned in and kissed her deeply.
“Did you enjoy the game?” Jackie asked. Hyde didn’t even answer he just raised an eyebrow making Jackie laugh. “Why do you come if you don’t like watching?”
“Oh I like watching just not the game,” Hyde said leaning down to kiss her again.
“Is that so?” Jackie said. “Maybe you’ll get a private show?”
“I like the idea of that,” Hyde said pulling her closer to himself.
“Let’s got out of her,” Jackie said.
“You don’t have to tell me twice,” Hyde said pulling away to get into the car. When she got in and closed the door he looked at her closely. “You did great tonight.”
“You don’t have to butter me up, Steven. You’ll get your show,” Jackie said laughing.
“I’m not trying to butter you up,” Hyde said putting his shades back on even though it was dark out. “You did great tonight. You’re great…at cheer.”
“Thank you,” Jackie said. “And thank you for coming tonight and to the other games too. It’s nice.”
“As long as you don’t make me wear green and white. I’ll always be there, doll.”
“The loud girl is here, man,” Leo said walking into the photo booth with Jackie trailing in behind him. She had her book bag slung over her shoulder and she was in the same outfit she wore to school.
“What are you doing here?” Hyde asked. “Don’t you have practice.”
“Claire canceled it,” Jackie said.
“That seems out of character.”
“She was wearing the same dress as another girl at school so she went home early.”
“And there it is,” Hyde said.
Jackie smiled at him, but she was still lingering by the door. Leo had already made it to the other side of the photo booth and was rummaging through a cabinet.
Hyde noticed Jackie hesitating, so he reached an arm out and nodded her forward. She walked up to him smiling.
“Hey, come here,” Hyde said pulling her between his knees on the bar stool he was sitting on. He put his hand on her cheek and pulled her in for a kiss. Jackie slung her arms around Hyde’s neck and brought herself closer.
“I could get used to that welcome,” Jackie said.
Hyde kissed her deeply. When he pulled away, he whispered, “I don’t think I will ever get used to it.”
“That is so romantic,” Jackie gasped.
Hyde groaned and let his head fall to her shoulder. He mumbled into her skin, “No, it’s not, Jackie.”
“Whatever you say, Steven,” Jackie said threading her hands through his hair.
“Don’t tell anyone.”
“We’ve passed that stage a long time ago.”
“Man, you want a hit,” Leo said breaking up the couple. He had his hand outstretched offering a joint.
Hyde looked down at Jackie. She shrugged, which Hyde took as approval. He reached out and took the joint reaching around Jackie. He took a hit and blew the smoke away from her. He offered her the joint and rubbed her back when she started her coaching fit a few seconds later.
They rotated back to Leo and continued their mini circle until the joint was burnt down to a tiny bud. By the time they were done, the whole photo hut was filled with smoke and the fresh scent of weed.
In the haze, the small group moved to the floor. Hyde’s back was against the shelves and shelves of photos. Jackie was sitting sideways on his lap with her legs thrown across his lap. She had both arms wrapped around his neck and was looking between him and Leo with heavy eyelids. She was trying to follow the conversation about some space conspiracy theory, but she wasn’t interested enough and kept getting distracted. She’d see a wisp of smoke and get lost staring at it and then she’d look back to Hyde and kiss him lightly and then remember that he was talking and try to focus on the conversation and the cycle would repeat itself.
Leo finally stood up and left the photo hut. Jackie had zoned out so she wasn’t sure if he said goodbye, but his disappearance seemed sudden to her hazy mind.
“Where did Leo go?”
“He left, man,” Hyde said laughing. “You were staring at him the whole time.”
“No, I wasn’t!” Jackie said hitting his chest lightly. “I was staring at you.
“Oh yeah,” Hyde said pulling her closer and bringing his lips closer to hers, but not quite kissing her. “Why’s that?”
“Because I think you’re handsome,” Jackie said.
“Yeah,” Jackie said leaning in and kissing him.
Hyde wasn’t sure if it was the weed or just Jackie, but kissing her felt better than anything. She was sweet and soft, but also instant fire. Ever kiss with her seemed to be the hottest of his life. He was addicted to it already and they hadn’t even been dating a month.
Jackie shifted her weight and moved to straddle him. Hyde put his hands on her hips and brought her down to feel the pressure of her grinding hips against his. He moved his lips from kissing her to licking down her neck. She smelled like weed, but she tasted sweet and he imagined it was like the strawberries she always smelled like. He was sucking on her neck and getting lost in her moans. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. The move of her hips, the sound of her saying his name, the motion of his tongue.
In the same slow motion, he brought his hands up under her shirt. When they reached her bra he didn’t stop and instead lifted it above her chest.
“Yes, Puddin’ Pop! You feel so good,” Jackie said in between gasps, “My whole body is tingling.”
Hyde laughed knowing that the tingling probably had more to do with the weed she’d smoked than his skills massaging her breasts and sucking on her neck.
Still, he didn’t see a reason to correct her. And the thought left him completely when she reached down and started to undo his belt. Time was still moving slow and Jackie’s hands were clumsy in her rush. She finally unclasped the top button and started undoing his zipper.
“Fuck,” Hyde said jumping at the sound of the car horn.
“What the hell is that?” Jackie asked.
“My job,” Hyde said with a loopy smile and tapping her leg indicating for her to stand. Jackie groaned but got up. With his belt still open, Hyde got up and gave the impatient driver his photos.
When he turned around Jackie was sitting in her same spot, but now she was on her knees. He walked back over to her, but when he went to sit back down she put her hands on his hips. She finished undoing his zipper and lowered his pants and boxers down his hips enough to pull out his dick. She wrapped her hand around him moving from the base to the tip. She repeated the action over and over all the while her head was slowly lowering. While making eye contact, she brought her mouth over the tip of his cock before slowly lowering until she had him almost completely in her mouth.
“Jackie,” Hyde moaned trying to find reason in his hazy brain. “You don’t have to do that.”
Jackie looked up at him and swirled her tongue around his shaft before pulling her mouth completely off him.
“I’m returning the favor,” Jackie said and then with a wink she added. “I enjoyed myself last night.
“You don’t ever have to return the favor,” he said cupping her face and stroking her cheek. He wanted so badly for her mouth to be back on him. He’d gone down on her a couple of times, but this was something they’d never done before.
“I want to,” Jackie said. She went back to his dick and gave it a big lick again. “It’s not like I’ve never given a guy a blow job.”
Hyde let out a groan trying not to think about the fact that she had probably learned how to give a blow job on Kelso. He was dangerously close to taking his hand off her face and letting her continue but he had one more hang up to cover first.
“Someone could come by the drive-through window,” Hyde said.
“Well then we better hurry and you should let me get started,” Jackie said.
Hyde heard her but kept his hand on her face rubbing slow circles on her check. Finally, Jackie got impatient and moved his hand away.
“Let me do this for you Puddin’ Pop,” Jackie said.
And then without waiting for a response she leaned down and engulfed his dick completely. She couldn’t take him completely, but she put her hand at the base of his dick to make up for a hit. She hollowed out her checks before pulling back slightly and then going back down. She repeated the action a few times before pulling her mouth completely off him only to lick from the base to the tip and repeating the process from the beginning.
Hyde had given up the moment her mouth hit him again. He let his hand tangle into her hair as his other gripped the counter keeping him steady. He was groaning and trying desperately not to thrust into her mouth.
“Fuck Jackie that feels so goddamn good,” Hyde said.
He could feel her smile and she sped up with enthusiasm. Hyde had no idea how long she’d been on her knees in front of him, but it didn’t feel like long enough when he felt himself getting close.
“Jackie, I’m going to cum,” he said pulling on her hair slightly.
Instead of pulling off like he expected her to, she continued her bobbing up and down. She sucked her lips tighter and created a padding with her tongue so his dick could slide pleasantly against it as it went in and out of her mouth.
Hyde looked down to see her looking up at him and that knocked him right over the edge. He let go finally thrusting a couple times into her mouth. He closed his eyes, but he felt her stay where she was until he stopped moving and his body went slack.
He looked down again just in time to see her swallow. The sight was too much for him and he let out a curse. Jackie giggled while she pulled his boxers and pants back up.
“I’ve never done that before,” Jackie said standing up.
“What?” Hyde said. “No way you’ve never done that before. You said…”
“No, I’ve obviously done that before,” Jackie said flipping her hair. Then with a blush, she said more quietly. “I’ve never swallowed before. It always seemed gross.”
“Damn Jackie. You didn’t have to if you didn’t want to,” Hyde said feeling guilty for finishing in her mouth.
“No I wanted to this time,” Jackie said. Then turning a bright red shade, she continued, “You looked really hot and I just got into it.”
“Fuck,” Hyde said before leaning in to kiss her. “Feel free to do it any time you get into it again.” “Yeah, you’d like that wouldn’t you?” Jackie said in a teasing voice.
Chapter 22: Chapter 22
"It's your move," Jackie said.
"I know it's my move," Hyde said.
"Well then why aren't you making it," Jackie said.
"How long does that take?" Jackie whined. "It's been forever."
"It hasn't been forever and it would take a lot less time if you weren't distracting me."
"I've let you sit here in silence for ten minutes!"
"Jackie, I wasn't talking about your voice," Hyde said looking up at her. "You're literally not wearing pants."
"If that's distracting that's hardly my fault," Jackie said. "You're not wearing a shirt and I can still make my turn in a timely manner."
"But you're not going to win," Hyde said.
"I beg to differ," Jackie said pushing her shoulders back and lifting her head in a challenge.
"You –" Hyde started before he was interrupted by a phone ringing.
"I'm going to get that," Jackie said getting up. "And when I get back you better have taken your turn."
"You can't rush me, woman!" Hyde said. He spent a minute thinking through his move and then another waiting for her to come back to tease her before making the move.
"Steven," Jackie said.
"I'm almost there just another minute," Steve said as he looked down at the cheese board pretending to be thinking through his next move.
"That's fine," Jackie said.
Hyde looked up at her response. That was the last thing he had expected her to say. Since leaving the room and coming back, she had seemed to go through a sudden mode shift. Her eyes were downcast and she was biting her lower lip.
"Is everything okay?" Hyde asked.
"Sort of," Jackie said. She stood up from her spot and went to sit on Hyde lap. He welcomed her happily wrapping his arms around her waist. "It was my dad."
"Okay, that's good him checking in, right?"
"He wasn't checking in, Puddin' pop," Jackie said kissing him lightly. "He's coming back."
"That's cool," Hyde was stunned. Her dad coming home was a reality he had been ignoring. He knew that he would return eventually and he was happy for Jackie but Jackie's dad returning meant that Hyde would have to leave. Hyde still hadn't told Jackie that he had pawned his tv and some of Edna's stuff to pay rent. He had also let the power get turned off, which was fine for him he could do candles and it's not like he cooked anyway, but when Jackie came over she would definitely notice. His mind was going crazy with all the issues that came with returning to his empty house.
"He wants us to have dinner tomorrow night," Jackie said.
"That's great," Hyde said pulling himself out of his own worries to feel happy for her. "Maybe he's just been busy with work lately and he'll start being around more."
"But what about us, Steven?"
"What do you mean?"
"If my father is around he's not going to let us play cheese half dressed in the living room or sleep together in my bedroom every night or, especially, not have sex on the table like yesterday morning," Jackie said worrying her lower lip.
Jackie was truly concerned and Hyde couldn't help himself, he laughed.
"Jackie, we can survive without sex all over your house. Him coming back and being around for you is a good thing," Hyde said pushing his own feelings aside. "Sure, it's going to suck for a while but we'll figure it out."
"Maybe you're right," Jackie said finally perking up a bit. "It will be nice to have my daddy back. And plus, I can come stay over still. I'll just tell him I'm staying with Donna."
"Oh, you'll still come over?" Hyde asked.
He was genuinely conflicted. He wanted so badly to keep sleeping next to her every night, and not just for the sex. She was comforting to fall asleep to and wake up next to. Having her next to him made him feel stable, and he was treading going back to the uncertainty his life held before she had such a constant place in it. But he also didn't want to drag her down into his mess. He had been pretending for the past couple of weeks and his reality was laying ahead – an orphan burnout with nothing to his name. He wasn't going to walk away from her, he didn't have the willpower, but he was certainly going to try his best to shield her from his shitty life. Having her stay in his empty house without any power wouldn't help with that plan.
"Of course," Jackie said like it was obvious. "Steven, I love being with you."
Steve was stunned into silence. In his core, he felt the same way, but he never expected to hear her articulate the exact same feeling to him.
"You don't have to say it too," Jackie said. "Or even feel it, but that's what I feel and I can't stop it and I won't take it back."
"That's cool," Hyde said with a tiny smile. Then he lightly pulled her down for a kiss. He knew she'd read into the soft press of his lips and for once he was okay with that.
"So I'll have dinner with my dad tomorrow and I should probably stay here for the night. The next night I'll say I'm staying over at Donna's and I'll come over to yours," Jackie said after she broke the kiss.
"Okay, okay," Hyde said. He wanted to push back but after her admission, he felt too guilty to deny her.
"Now, make your move," Jackie said getting off his lap and taking her spot on the other side of the chess set across from him.
Dinner was awkward. For Jackie, that was the only word that came to mind to describe the tense meal with her father. Her mother's absence was tangible, but even if she had been there it had been so long since she had sat down with either of her parents that she had nothing to say and neither did her father.
"How's it going with that boy?" her father asked finally breaking the silence.
"It's going really well!" Jackie said.
"Has that doofus started to use his brain yet?"
Jackie looked at her father confused. Hyde was hardly a doofus and her father hadn't even met him yet. She couldn't understand why he was being so rude and then she realized that he wasn't referring to Hyde.
"Are you talking about Michael?"
"Yes, of course, the Kelso boy. Isn't that who you're dating?"
"No," Jackie said still confused. She was sure she had told her father that they had broken up. "We broke up…months ago."
"Oh that's good he was too stupid to provide for my princess. Well, who are you dating then?"
"Yes," she said. Her father's face was unreadable leaving Jackie very concerned.
"I don't recognize the name," he said grabbing his chin in thought.
"He goes to school with me," she said quickly filling in the blanks. "He's a year older than me and he's very smart, daddy."
"That's good," he said nodding excepting that as enough. "No more doofus boys."
"I'm done with the doofuses, I promise," she said.
They fell into silence again. Jackie finally asked a general question about his work and listened to him rattle on until they were done eating. When they were done, Jackie let out a sigh of relief and headed upstairs to start packing for her night with Hyde. The thought brought a smile to her face. After she was sure she had everything she needed she headed downstairs to tell her dad about her sleepover with Donna.
"Daddy I'm going to go stay over at Donnas," Jackie said walking by her father's study where he as working.
"Wait a minute young lady," he called after her.
"I just got back, kitten. I don't want you running out."
"I already told her I was coming," Jackie said.
"Well, then you better call her and tell her you aren't coming."
"But I want to go," Jackie said beginning to get angry. He hadn't even looked up from his paperwork and he was telling her she had to stay.
"That's just too bad," her father said finally looking up. "It's important that we appear as a cohesive and stable family right now. Having you running out every night will ruin that."
"Me?" Jackie asked. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. If anyone was running out on this family, it was her father and mother. She didn't even know where her mother was at the moment and he just got back from weeks away.
"Yes, what will the neighbors think with you gone every time your parents are home? What if someone were to ask them questions about us?"
"I don't know but maybe first we should ask them what they think about my parents leaving me home alone for weeks at a time?"
"That's not fair," her father said now getting angry. "Your mother and I are adults with work and responsibilities."
"I am your responsibility!"
"Yes, you are," her father stood up from the desk. "Which is why I get to decide that you aren't going anywhere. Go upstairs, unpack your bag and call your little friend to tell her you're not going anywhere."
"You don't get to say no, young lady! If you don't get upstairs in the next minute I'm cutting you off."
"You're losing time."
At a loss for what to do Jackie let out a screech and ran upstairs. She could already feel the tears streaming down her face and she was mad at herself for behaving like a child, but the whole situation was so unfair. Her parents were constantly gone and they were worried about her ruining their reputation. She was shaking with anger at her father. He cared more about appearing as if he cared about his family than actually carrying about them.
Jackie lay on her bed crying into her pillows until the sun had gone down and dusk had completely faded. She was still breathing a bit unsteady but she knew that Hyde would begin to worry about her absence and the last thing they needed was for him to come over. As much as she would love to see him, Hyde's sudden appearance on her doorstep probably wouldn't help the situation and the last thing they needed was her father trying to pull them apart.
With shaky hands, Jackie picked up the phone and started dialing Hyde's number. She was prepared to pull herself together and act as if everything was fine, what she was not prepared for was for him not to answer. She tried again three more times before giving up and just hoping that she could explain herself when she saw him the next day.
Hyde was beginning to worry. Jackie said she would be over right after dinner. Even if she and her father ate late, that would have been hours ago and she still hadn't arrived. Any number of things could have happened between her house and his.
He couldn't even call because he had let the power get turned off. He was cursing himself for such a stupid decision. Jackie could be hurt and he'd have no way of knowing it.
He considered just going over there but it would take him nearly an hour to get to her house and he was worried about what could happen in that hour. After going over his options he decided to walk to the payphone just a quarter of a mile down the road. He grabbed his keys and a coat and headed out. As soon as he was out the door, he was practically running to the payphone.
When he reached the phone he threw in some spare change and dialed Jackie's number. He was relieved but slightly surprised to hear an older man's voice answer the phone.
"Hello, Jack Burkhart speaking."
"Hello Mr. Burkhart," Hyde said. He hadn't considered her father answering the phone and he quickly thought of an excuse for the late call. "Is Jackie home?"
"She is," he said without elaborating.
"May I speak with her?" Hyde asked trying to make his voice sound a little more nasally and young. He tried to channel Eric.
"No, young man, you may not. It's late on a school night. What are you thinking?"
"I'm sorry to call so late," Hyde said trying to sound nervous. "It's just I'm working on a history project with Jackie. We're partners and our project is due tomorrow, but Jackie has some of the notes that I need to finish my section. I didn't realize it until now and like I said it's due tomorrow."
"You should not be procrastinating on a group project, young man," Jackie's father lectured.
"Yes, sir, I know," Hyde said sounding apologetic.
"Since it's for school I'll allow it," Jackie's father finally said. "But don't let it happen again."
"Yes, sir, thank you," Hyde said happy his little lie had worked.
Hyde heard shuffling over the phone and then he heard Jackie's voice questioning who he was.
"Jackie, it's me," Hyde said.
"Steven?" Jackie said. "My dad said you were calling about a history paper?"
"That was an excuse. I wasn't sure if he'd let me talk to you if he knew that I was your…your…"
"Boyfriend," Jackie finished for him. "You're probably right, he's acting odd. It's like he's spooked. He wouldn't even let me leave the house. He kept talking about the neighbors and said we had to keep up appearances of a happy family. I tried to call."
"Yeah sorry my phone, uh, broke," Hyde said.
"It, uh, well it got knocked down and just broke. I don't know, man," Hyde said, nervous about the lie. "It's plastic. Plastic breaks. Phones break!"
"Okay, I was just wondering," Jackie said a little surprised by his outburst. "Anyway, my dad said that I have to stay here, so I don't think I'll be able to come over any time soon. And with him here you probably shouldn't stay the night either. I'm sorry."
Hyde had to hold back a relieved sigh and he immediately felt guilty for it. She seemed genuinely torn apart that they'd be separated and she blamed herself. He'd miss her too, of course, but he also thought of his crummy house and was pleased she wouldn't be staying in it again. Plus, this way he wouldn't have to tell her about the bills piling up.
"Don't blame yourself. It's not your fault," Hyde finally said. "We'll still see each other all the time. At school, the Forman's, and you can stop by the Photo Hut whenever you want."
"I guess that's true," Jackie said. "But it won't be the same."
"No, it won't be the same."
The two stayed on the line for a few silent minutes before Jackie broke the silence.
"Puddin' Pop," Jackie said deciding to break her nickname-for-a-kiss rule just this once. "I should go."
"Yeah, no reason to get your dad mad. I'll wait outside school for you tomorrow."
"Sounds good, I'll see you then."
When Jackie hung up, Hyde continued to hold on to the receiver for another minute. Taking a deep breath, he finally hung up the phone and moved away from the payphone.
Hyde took the walk back to his house slow. He was relieved he didn't have to explain everything to Jackie, but damn did he wish he would walk through his door and see her sitting on his bed in his Zeppelin shirt listening to one of his records or read one of his books. She had blocked out so much of what had happened in the past month, but now she was gone. Well, not gone, but further away.
In the rational part of his brain, he knew it would probably be better for them to have a bit of space. They went from friends to practically living together in the span of a few days. He didn't want to rush into anything with her and, even as his body craved her closeness, overthinking how serious they were made him feel antsy.
Hyde opened his front door and walked into the dark house. The moon provided enough light for him to see the nearly empty room. He had sold almost everything in the living room and somehow the emptiness was even more depressing than the ugly old furniture that used to be in its place.
Hyde walked into his room. He grabbed the two chairs that once held the tv and moved them into the living room just to have some furniture in the main room. He walked back into his room and flopped onto his bed, picked up his book and went to turn on the light. In a second, he let his hand fall as he realized halfway to the lamp that it wouldn't work with the power turned off. Not having anything else to do, he decided he'd just go to sleep.
He closed his eyes and tried to drift off, but he couldn't. Every noise in and around the old house seemed to be turned up to a hundred. Even the silence was deafening but focusing on the noise was worse. Hearing his neighbor's TV and the occasional laugh from the couple watching it or the crying baby and the mother cooing it from the house across the street, those noises were driving him crazy. He had never noticed the life around him. All of these people going about their lives with their families – laughing and living together. Meanwhile, he was here all alone and he felt suffocated by it. All alone. He had more space then he could have ever wanted, but it was too much. No one would notice if he left the house or died in the room. He was all alone. The power was out, the furniture was gone and soon his money would run out. He was all alone with all of these problems and all of a sudden it was all too much.
Chapter 23: Chapter 23
A/N: Sorry this took so long. I basically rewrote this whole chapter because I didn't like my first draft. Enjoy!
“Do you want to play a game of pick up?” Kelso asked.
“No I’m good,” Hyde said.
He was perfectly happy sitting in front of the Forman’s house with Jackie on his lap. It had been almost two months since her father returned. He was still around providing a wedge from Jackie and Hyde going back to their comfortable routine. Jackie’s father seemed to be more paranoid than Hyde on a bad trip and wouldn’t let anyone anywhere near the house. Hyde had been working more hours to try to pay rent and the rest of his time was spent just trying to hang out with Jackie. He was exhausted constantly from stress and work, and they were rarely alone.
Jackie was in the middle of an animated conversation with Donna about changing her wardrobe. She wasn’t paying him the slightest attention but he couldn’t take his eyes off her. He did try to zone out their conversation though. She was excited about whatever it was she was describing. Looking up at Donna with glee and occasionally bouncing up and down. Hyde watched Jackie’s hair sway from all her movement. His hand, which was placed casually on her leg, moved along with her and hadn’t been still once since she started talking
“Come on man we’re odd numbers,” Eric whined. “We need you to play.”
“I’m not in the mood,” Hyde said blowing Kelso and Eric off.
“How about you big red?” Kelso asked looking towards Donna.
“Sure!” Donna said. “Anything to get me out of this conversation.”
“Oh no you don’t,” Jackie said grabbing Donna and pushing her back into her seat. “Mi-chael, we’re in the middle of a conversation it’s rude to interrupt.”
“Come one, Jackie. Please let Donna play we need another person,” Fez whined.
“No,” Jackie said crossing her arms. “Steven, you go play with them.”
“Jackie,” Hyde let out. Then trying to tell himself that her name didn’t sound like a whine coming out of his lips, he wrapped his arms around her and brought her back into his body for good measure.
“Please,” Jackie whined. “I really want to talk to Donna about something.”
“Fine,” Hyde said grumbling as he stood up to the sound of the boys making whipping noises. “Shut up!”
As soon as Hyde was out of earshot, Jackie turned to Donna with glee, “Good, now that he’s gone I need to talk to you about something.”
“What? Did you finally realize you and Hyde have nothing in common” Donna said sarcastically.
“No,” Jackie said with a glare. “In fact, we have plenty in common. It’s actually our sex life that I’m worried about.”
“Ewww,” Donna said putting her hands over her ears. “Jackie I don’t want to know about you and Hyde doing it.”
“Stop being a baby, Donna, and listen,” Jackie said pulling Donna’s arms down.
“Fine, but no details,” Donna said. Still looking unhappy she asked, “What’s the problem?”
“Ever since my dad came back we haven’t really connected,” Jackie whispered.
“Connected? What do you mean?”
“You know connected,” Jackie said looking at Donna like she was stupid.
“Like you haven’t done it?”
“No, we have but it’s always rushed and secret,” Jackie said.
“That doesn’t sound that bad,” Donna said thinking about her own relationship with Eric.
“Unlike Eric, Steven likes to take his time and I like to express my appreciation – loudly.”
“Ewwwwww,” Donna said. “Nope I’m done, you said no details. Jackie, I don’t want to hear about that.”
“No, you said no details. I didn’t agree to anything and it’s just too bad,” Jackie said. “Because I need to talk about this. So what should I do?”
“I don’t think I fully understand the problem,” Donna said. “You’re mad you’re having quickies instead of what like a full night together?”
“Yes,” Jackie said nodding. “Don’t get me wrong quickies can be fun and excited. This one time during lunch –”
Donna threw her hand up to cover Jackie’s mouth. Looking serious she said, “If you finish that sentence I’m getting up and leaving.”
“Get your hand off me you giant,” Jackie said removing Donna’s hand. “Like I said, quickies can be fun, but I miss him. I feel like every time we’re together he’s a little desperate, you know? I just want him to hold me and look into my eyes. I need romance, Donna.”
“And you’re trying to get it from Hyde?”
“For the record, Hyde was usually very romantic and especially when we made love,” Jackie said with a faraway look in her eyes. “But we just haven’t had time to truly make love.”
Donna fell silent for a moment and Jackie let it hang between them while she got lost in her own thoughts. Hyde had seemed a little off since her father had returned. Distant but oddly desperate to be with her at the same time. At first, she thought he was mad at her but he was always by her side and she was still the only person who could make him smile but it just seemed like that job was getting harder every day.
“I think you just need to deal with it,” Donna said interrupting Jackie’s thoughts. When Jackie opened her mouth to speak, Donna continued, “All teenagers have parents around to interrupt their sex lives. Welcome to normal.”
“That is the least helpful advice ever, Donna,” Jackie whined.
“Let me finish, normal means sneaking out and figuring out how to go around the parentals. If you really think you and Hyde need time together, then figure out how to get it. Why don’t you just sneak out and go over there one night? I doubt Edna would care or pay any attention.”
Jackie knew Edna certainly didn’t care and wouldn’t be a problem, but sneak out. She’d never done that before. She’d never had the need. Until recently, her parents didn’t care one way or another what Jackie did, but now her father barely let her leave the house and when she did he asked her a million questions when she got back. Who she was with, who did she talk to, did anyone unusual talk to her, was she followed? It was like he thought they were being watched.
“Donna, you’re a genius!” Jackie exclaimed. “Sneaking out I’d never considered it.”
“You never considered sneaking out?” Donna asked in disbelief. “You sure you can Hyde have things in common?”
“Yes, you lumberjack. And soon we’ll be back to as in love as ever!”
Donna let out a laugh, “Sure, Hyde in love.”
“He won’t admit it yet, but he is,” Jackie said smugly. “Don’t say anything, okay?”
“About Hyde being in love with you? No one would believe me if I did.”
“Not about that,” Jackie said looking over affectionately at the boys playing basketball. “About me sneaking out. I want to surprise Steven.”
“Honestly Jackie, I’m going to try to pretend this whole conversation never happened.”
Jackie stood in front of Hyde’s house nervously. When she had decided to surprise him it felt like a great idea, but now standing in front of his door, she wasn’t so sure. They had talked earlier that night and he had said he was just hanging out at his house all night, but none of the lights were on and it didn’t even look like he was home. If he was out, she’d be stuck on his porch waiting for who knows how long until he came back.
Her thoughts started to spiral with worry. Where was he? Why had he lied? And if he wasn’t with her who was he with? She tried to rationalize that maybe he had picked up an extra shift at the photo hut and just forgot to tell her. Soon, he’d come walking up the porch steps smelling like weed and happy to see her.
Just to be sure, Jackie gave the door a knock. She didn’t even bother waiting for a response before turning away from the door and sitting down on the top step to wait.
A few seconds later, Jackie jumped to the sound of her name and the door opening. She looked up to see Hyde staring down at her confused.
“Oh, you scared me!” Jackie said.
“You knocked,” Hyde said. “What did you expect to happen?”
“I didn’t think you were home,” Jackie indicated towards the house. “All the lights are off.”
“Well, I am,” Hyde said and then after an awkward pause continued. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m surprising you,” Jackie said getting up. She went to pick up her bag but he stepped out of the door and picked it up for her. “I snuck out, so we could spend time together. I usually don’t see him again until dinner so I can be gone all night.”
Jackie finished her sentence with a flirty look and cozying up close to Hyde. He looked down at her with a look she couldn’t distinguish, but it certainly wasn’t happiness.
“You didn’t have to do that.”
“I’ve missed you,” Jackie said placing her hand on his cheek.
“You see me every day,” Hyde said turning his face away.
“Yes, but we haven’t connected,” Jackie told him confused about his cold demeanor. He had been distant lately, but when it was just the two of them he was always so desperate to be with her and in her. But, now, she was standing here offering a whole night together, sex but also talking and sleeping like they used to, and he didn’t seem interested.
“What do you mean?”
“Connected, Puddin Pop,” Jackie said suggestively trying to push away the hurt.
“Oh, but Jackie we connected the other day,” Hyde said looking confused and guarded at the same time.
“I mean emotionally, Steven,” Jackie said. “Aren’t you happy to see me?”
“Yeah, it’s just I didn’t expect you to come by,” Hyde said rubbing the back of his neck.
“That’s the whole point of a surprise,” Jackie said her hurt quickly turning to anger. “Why are we having this conversation out here?”
Jackie took a step towards the house, but Hyde stepped in front of her. She looked up at him confused. She was surprised to see his face plastered with a look of total panic. He clearly didn’t want her to go inside, but why. She thought back to her earlier concerns and they all came rushing back. Maybe he had told the truth and he was home all night, but just not alone. They had been together now for almost four months and she knew he had never stayed in a relationship that long. Maybe he was getting bored of her. It would explain why he’d been acting funny the past couple of weeks.
“Why don’t you want me to go inside?”
“It’s just not a good time,” Hyde said not meeting her eyes.
“Do you have someone in there?” Jackie said looking directly at him Hyde. She could already feel the tears start to well up on her cheeks. “If you’re cheating on me, Steven, tell me now.”
“What? No, no of course not,” Hyde said dropping her bag and reaching out to pull her into a hug. She pushed him away and put space between them. “Jackie I’m not cheating on you.”
“Then why don’t you want me to go inside?”
“Because it’s not a good time!” Hyde said louder than he usually ever spoke.
“Because you’re cheating on me!”
“You seriously think I have another girl in there?”
“Jackie, I don’t. I wouldn’t do that to you.”
“I don’t believe you,” Jackie said no longer crying and now just incredibly angry. “I’m not putting myself through this again, Steven. I know Michael cheated on me and I’m not going through it again. Not with you!”
“Jackie, I’m not cheating on you,” Hyde said. When she started to turn away he reached down and grabbed her hand. “Jackie no, Jackie I wouldn’t.”
She didn’t look at him and he was afraid she would rip her hand away any minute.
“Fine, you want in so bad,” Hyde said picking up her bag and going to the door opening it up for her. “Go in and see for yourself.”
Jackie was stunned but she slowly walked through the door. There was no one else in the room. In fact, there was nothing in the room. It was completely empty. Even in the dark, she could see that all of the furniture was gone. Jackie looked around and then turned her nose up. After everything that happened tonight, she was going to be sure. She wandered in the kitchen to find it just as empty of furniture and people, Edna’s room and the bathroom were the same. Finally, she made it to Hyde’s door. She took a deep breath before opening the door. What she saw shocked her. The room wasn’t as empty as the other rooms, but it looked nothing like it had just a couple months ago. The tv was gone, the bedside table and dresser were gone. Even the bed was gone. The only things left were a box full of records that looked like a smaller stack then had previously occupied the dresser, a library book sitting on the floor and a sleeping bag. There wasn’t even a pillow. Jackie turned around and slowly went back into the living room completely confused.
“I told you there isn’t, and never was, another girl here,” Hyde said. “Jackie, I’m not Kelso I’m not going to cheat on you.”
“I’m not going to apologize, Steven,” Jackie said turning her nose up a little embarrassed. “You were being secretive. What happened to all your stuff? Were you robbed?”
“No, I wasn’t robbed,” Hyde said but didn’t elaborate.
“Then what happened?”
“I sold it,” Hyde said. He wished he had some furniture to take a seat or power to turn on the lights so he could put his shades on.
“You sold it, even your bed? Why?” Jackie asked trying to understand.
“It’s whatever, man. I didn’t need it.”
“You didn’t need a bed?” Jackie said squinting towards him. “This is ridiculous why are we standing here in the dark having this conversation.”
Jackie headed over to the light switch to flip it on.
“No,” Hyde said trying to stop her but it was too late.
Jackie flipped the switch only for the room to stay in the dark. She flipped it a couple times and then squinted up towards the light bulb. Realization settled in on her. All the lights were out, he had sold everything, and he was picking up a crazy amount of shifts at work lately. He was struggling with money. And not just in the way that he always had but really struggling to survive. Without saying anything she headed back into the kitchen. She ignored his calls for her to stop. The fridge was gone, so she started to open cabinets. They were all empty except one that had some saltine crackers. Hyde hadn’t followed her into the kitchen, so she returned to the living room to confront him.
“You don’t have any power, furniture or food,” Jackie told him as if he hadn’t realized his house was completely empty.
“I have food,” Hyde said rubbing the back of his neck again.
“Saltines aren’t food, Steven,” Jackie said. She looked him over and realized that he was skinnier than he was a couple months ago. How had she not noticed?
“How long has it been like this?”
“Like what? Everything is fine Jackie.”
“No, it’s clearly not.”
“No don’t do that, Steven,” Jackie said reaching for his face. “You can’t push me out anymore. How long has it been like this?”
Hyde took a deep breath and begrudgingly made eye contact with her, “A while, basically since Edna left.”
“Months, you’ve been living like this for months,” Jackie said.
“It’s cool, Jackie. I got it under control.”
“No you don’t,” Jackie said. She knew he would keep up like this until he was living on the streets or died of starvation. But she wasn’t going to let that happen to him “Hyde, you can’t go on like this. I think you should tell the Formans. Maybe they can help.”
“No I don’t need help,” Hyde said. “Jackie I’m fine.”
“No, you’re not,”
“Whatever, just because I’m not living up to your high standards doesn’t mean I’m not doing okay.”
“High standards! Steven, you don’t have a bed!” Jackie yelled.
“Look, princess, I don’t need you judging me,” Hyde said turning away from her.
“Don’t do this, Steven. Don’t push me away. You know I’m not judging you. I’m trying to help.”
“I don’t need your help,” Hyde said. “I think you should leave.”
“You don’t mean that,” Jackie said more annoyed than hurt by his words.
“Yes, I do,” Steven said walking towards his room and away from her.
“I love you, Steven,” Jackie said through her anger. He stopped with his hand on his bedroom doorknob. She knew she had his attention, “Just remember that when you finally get over your stupid ego!”
With that Jackie stormed out. She knew he was pig-headed but this was a new level. He was clearly struggling and instead of letting her in to help he was pushing her away. She wasn’t going to stand for it. She knew what to do and she was going to help him whether he liked it or not.
Jackie ran across the Forman’s front lawn and straight to the front door. She ignored the late hour and started knocking loudly. It only took a couple minutes for Red Forman to open the door looking positively furious in his flannel pajamas and robe. It took another moment for him to look down and realize the disturbance was Jackie.
“Jackie?" Mr. Forman asked. “What the hell are you doing here? It’s nearly midnight.”
“I know, Mr. Forman,” Jackie said. She looked down finally feeling a bit embarrassed now that her anger with Hyde had faded away. She saw Mrs. Forman and Eric coming down the stairs. Eric had a bed sheet wrapped around himself and Mrs. Formans was still pulling her robe shut over her nightgown. “I’m sorry to come by so late, but it’s an emergency.”
“An emergency!” Mrs. Forman exclaimed. “Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine,” Jackie said overcome by the unfamiliar feeling of awkwardness. She was still standing in their doorway and was beginning to wonder if she would be turned away. She hadn’t considered the option that the Forman’s wouldn’t help her with Hyde. The Forman’s had always been nice to her of course. Mr. Forman, in particular, seemed to think she was competent and from him, that was high praise but now, standing in front of them, she realized they didn’t owe her anything she might not even be welcome inside. She knew her parents certainly wouldn’t do the same for another kid.
“Then why are you here?” Mr. Forman asked. “At my house.”
“It’s not me,” Jackie said. “It’s Steven.”
“Damn,” Mr. Forman said, but he opened the door further and let her in. Jackie let out a sigh of relief, let her fears fade away and stepped inside.
“I’ll put on some coffee,” Mrs. Forman said rushing towards the kitchen. “Are you hungry, dear?”
“No thank you, Mrs. Forman. I’m okay,” Jackie said following the two Forman men into the living room. She took a seat next to Eric on the coach.
“Eric, why aren’t you wearing any clothes?” Jackie said giving him a look of disgust. Mr. Forman let out a small laugh.
“This is my home, Jackie,” Eric said glaring at her.
“No, it’s my home,” Mr. Forman said.
They sat in silence as they waited for Mrs. Forman to come back into the room with coffee. It was an uncomfortable amount of silence, but she seemed to be the only one who noticed so she stayed quiet. When Mrs. Forman finally reentered the living room, everyone turned to Jackie expectantly and, for the first time, she wondered if she was doing the right thing.
She thought about how angry she would be if the roles were reversed and Hyde had gone to the Formans behind her back. Her pride would be hurt, but she also knew that he would only do it in the most desperate situation and it would be for her own good. And that was exactly the current situation he was in. If he was going to shut her out, she didn’t have a choice.
Jackie took a deep breath and then started.
She told them the whole story from Edna leaving the night they went to the disco to finding Hyde living alone tonight. To Mrs. Forman’s horror, Jackie told them about how Hyde didn’t have any food. She told them how Hyde was taking on extra shifts at work to Eric’s surprise. And, even though Mr. Forman’s looks of disapproval, she even told them that she and Hyde were living together for a couple weeks. When she was finally done the Formans were speechless. It was Eric who finally broke the silence.
“We have to help him,” Eric said looking towards his parents. “We can’t just leave him living like that.”
“I agree,” Mrs. Forman said. “Red, we have to do something.”
“Kitty, I want to help the boy, but we can’t afford to bring him in,” Mr. Forman said.
Jackie remained quiet letting the family work out the dilemma. She watched them trade problems and solutions for nearly twenty minutes all the while sitting silently only jumping in when asked a direct question about Hyde. Finally, it was Mrs. Forman’s determination that won out.
“First thing tomorrow, we’re going over there and we’re going to check on him,” Mrs. Forman said.
“Fine, but I’m not agreeing to anything more than that.”
“We’re just going to see,” Mrs. Forman said nodding, but she had a small smile on her face knowing she had one.
Jackie was hoping for more but at least now she wasn’t alone with the knowledge of Hyde’s struggles and his stubborn attitude when it came to receiving help. He had a whole army of people who cared about him. She now had allies and together they were going to help Hyde whether he liked it or not.
Hyde couldn’t sleep. All night he tossed and turned replaying the conversation with Jackie over and over in his head. He knew he had been a jerk pushing her away, but in the moment he couldn’t help it. She was getting too close. She was seeing all of the problems that inhabited his life and came along with being in a relationship with him. So, he pushed her away – now he felt like hell.
Logically, he knew she was right. He needed help. He had pawned everything and was working as much as possible while still staying in school. They had turned off the power and water. He was now showering at school. His only meal was saltines and whatever he got at the Formans or off his friends at school or the Hub. Just the other day he had received an eviction notice. His only options were to drop out and pick up a second job or to become homeless. There goes his home or his future, what little of either there was anyway. It was pathetic.
He should have accepted Jackie’s help, but she wanted somebody who was rich and could provide for her. He couldn’t even get by without needing her to provide for him.
He watched the sun come up from his sleeping back on the floor and then continued to lay there just watching the blue sky. Finally, when his stomach started to growl he debated getting up for some crackers. He only had a few left and he knew he should save them for an emergency. His other option was the Formans, but he didn’t want to go to the Formans for fear of seeing Jackie. If he waited too long before making a decision, he’d eventually start feeling light-headed. While debating his options, he heard a knock at the door. It was either his landlord or Jackie, but either way he didn’t want to face whoever was on the other side of his front door. He ignored the knocking but it didn’t stop, it just got more insistent. Finally, he groaned and rolled out of his sleeping bag.
When he opened the door he was surprised to see the whole Forman family with Jackie standing by their side.
“What are you doing here?” Hyde asked too surprised to try to push the door closed to hide the empty living room.
“Jackie stopped by late last night,” Mr. Forman said. “She said we should come by to see how you’re doing.”
“Did she now?” Hyde asked looking down at her annoyed. Jackie pushed her chin up and raised an eyebrow in challenge. Even though his cloud of anger, he respected the hell out of her for not backing down. “That’s not necessary. You didn’t have to go to the trouble.”
“Nonsense, no trouble at all. We were in the neighborhood,” Mrs. Forman said even though everyone knew she was lying.
“Let us in, Steven,” Mr. Forman said sternly.
After another second, Hyde stepped back from the door and let them in. He knew he couldn’t say no to Mr. Forman for long and he wasn’t going to hurt Mrs. Forman by refusing them. The Formans and Jackie came in single file. Everyone but Jackie looked around the empty room.
“It’s nice,” Eric said. “I’ve never been here before.”
“Where is all your stuff?” Mr. Forman asked looking at Hyde.
Hyde just shrugged. Mrs. Forman looked around frantically. She started heading into other rooms. First the kitchen, where she could be heard opening up the cupboards and letting out a gasp. She came back into the living room and tried a few light switches and then shook her head in concern. Then she headed to the bathroom where she could be heard turning on the faucet and mumbling. She came back into the living room gave them a look of concern and then entered Hyde’s bedroom and was silent. With every second that passed, Hyde felt his willpower fading.
“Red, come in here a minute,” Mrs. Forman said poking her head out from Hyde’s room. “I need to speak with you.”
Mr. Forman mumbled a curse as he headed into the bedroom. The kids stood awkwardly in the center of the living room saying nothing. Eric’s eyes were jumping around trying to find something to look at besides Hyde. Hyde glared down at his shoes feeling ashamed. And Jackie looked at Hyde beginning him to look at her.
“There’s no food or water, Red!” Mrs. Forman could be heard yelling through the thin walls.
“Kitty!” Mr. Forman responded.
“No, Red, we are not leaving him here like this. He doesn’t even have a bed! A bed, Red!”
The yelling stopped and was replaced by quiet mumbles that the kids couldn’t make out. A few minutes later the door swung open. Mrs. Forman came out smiling and looking victorious. A second later Mr. Forman came out looking livid.
“Damn it, Steven, grab your stuff and head to the fucking car,” he said not waiting for a reply already half out the door. “You’re coming with us, damn it.”
“Yes, sir,” Hyde said jumping at his words. He was scared of Mr. Forman but he was also a little relieved that he wasn’t being given a choice. He would have put up a fight if he had been, but instead, he was going with the Formans and that was that.
Hyde went into his room and started to roll up his sleeping bag. Jackie started folding his clothes that sat in a pile on the floor and putting them into a duffle bag. Eric grabbed his records, mumbled something about taking them to the car and took off leaving just Jackie and Hyde in the room.
“Thank you,” Hyde said as soon as Eric was out of the room.
Jackie looked over at him surprised. Hyde was uncomfortable with the eye contact and wished he had his shades on. He wasn’t sure he could handle much more today, so Hyde was deeply relieved when Jackie simply nodded and finished folding his clothes. When she was done he put his sleeping bag under his arm and grabbed the duffle bag from her slinging it over his shoulder. They headed out to the living room together and he froze.
It felt weird leaving his house. He never considered it much of a home but with Edna gone, it was the only thing left from his childhood. He felt Jackie’s hand move to grab his. Looking down at her, he realized that wasn’t entirely true. He had the Formans and he had Donna, and even when he didn’t realize it, they had known him since he was a kid and they cared for him like family. And most importantly, now he had Jackie too. He squeezed her hand and then headed for the door.
The Formans were sitting in the car. Eric was complaining about sleeping arrangements and Mr. Forman was telling him to shut up. When he opened the door and got in with Jackie, Mrs. Forman asked what he wanted for dinner and he couldn’t think off a single meal he liked. Eric and Mr. Forman started bickering about what they wanted for dinner, while Mrs. Forman started raddling off options. Through the chatter, they took off away from his house and towards his new home.
Hyde looked down at Jackie and realized something. This was her doing. Of course, the Formans were a big part of it, but the comfort of it all and the feeling of reassurance in the future. That was all Jackie. Hyde put his arm around her pulling her closer and leaning down.
“I love you too,” Hyde whispered to Jackie so no one else could hear. She looked up at him with big eyes but didn’t say anything. “Even though my stupid ego, I love you.”
After a moment of silence from Jackie that made him uneasy, Hyde was relieved to see a huge smile break out across her face and even to hear her high pitched squeal. As Jackie threw her arms around Hyde, Mr. Forman yelled at her to be quiet. Jackie didn’t say anything, but she kissed Hyde fully on the lips.
“And that’s another thing, there will be none of that under my roof, son,” Mr. Forman said shaking his head.
At Mr. Forman’s warning, Hyde lightly pushed Jackie away. He left his arm around her and was content with her nuzzling into his side.
“Yes, sir,” Hyde said sternly, but all the while he was trying not to smile at the fact that Mr. Forman had just called him son.
The end is in sight. I'm pretty sure I only have one chapter and an epilogue left. Usually, I write a chapter ahead but I haven't finished the next one yet so we'll see!
Chapter 25: Chapter 25
This is the last chapter of the main storyline! There will be an epilogue but this is basically it. If you have any questions, concerns, or requests, please let me know in the reviews and I might include it. I have the epilogue pretty mapped out but I'm towing with the idea of doing a sequel. I think you can probably figure out what that would focus on. I'm still on the fence and it wouldn't be completed or even started any time soon, but still, someone's opinion might sway me. Anyway, enjoy!
“Please let me redecorate,” Jackie said looking around the small and dirty room.
“No, Jackie,” Hyde said sitting on the bed and trying to pull her down next to him. Now that he had found his own room at the Formans he was hoping to make the most out of it. They had been making out on Forman’s bed for the past few weeks and, even though it was a wicked burn, he was happy to finally have his own bed.
“Pleeeease,” Jackie said turning towards him with a pout.
“No, you’re going to make it all girly and crap.”
“I promise I won’t make huge changes just a few little things,” Jackie said pushing him back against the wall and sitting down on his lap straddling him. “You’ll barely notice.”
“I don’t know Jackie,” Hyde said hesitant but losing his willpower as she started to kiss his neck.
“Please, Puddin’ Pop,” Jackie said moving her hips and pushing herself down hard on him.
“Okay, a few changes, but nothing too extreme and no pink,” Hyde said through a grown.
“Yay,” Jackie said clapping her hands in victory. She pulled away from him slightly as Hyde became the one trying to seduce her slowly kissing her neck. “I can’t wait. It’s going to look amazing.”
“Not too much, Jackie,” Hyde said but she just nodded and continued to look around the room. He decided he needed to get her head in the game again. He held her close and flipped them over so she was underneath him and he was leaning down from above her. She let out a laugh looking up at him and pulled him down for a kiss. The redecoration quickly leaving both their minds as the kiss turned deeper.
Hyde’s shirt was off and his hand was under Jackie’s skirt when his door burst open. Eric had his hand thrown over his eyes as he came into the room.
“Whatever you two were doing,” Eric said stumbling over clothes on the floor. “Stop it now.”
“Get out,” Jackie said still under Hyde and looking like she wanted to murder Eric.
“I can’t. Family dinner, now,” Eric said. “Red wants you upstairs.”
“You should go,” Jackie said looking up at Hyde and pointedly ignoring Eric.
“My mom said there’s plenty if you want to stay and she’d love to have you,” Eric said. When Jackie and Hyde both gave him an odd look, he added, “Her words not mine.”
“Eric you look ridiculous with your hand thrown over your face,” Jackie said. “I guess since Mrs. Forman already went to all the trouble...”
“Great,” Eric said. “So fix whatever state of undress you two are in and get upstairs. My mom’s almost finished setting the table.”
As soon as Eric stumbled his way out of the room, Hyde rolled off Jackie. He started searching for his shirt as she straightened out her own clothes. After a quick look in the mirror, they both headed upstairs. Everyone was already in the dining room and sitting around the table waiting for them.
“Sorry, we’re late,” Hyde said sitting down.
“Too busy making little bastard babies,” Laurie taunted as she scooped green beans onto her plate.
“Whatever,” Jackie said rolling her eyes. “Mrs. Forman, can you pass the gravy?”
“Sure honey!” Mrs. Forman said happily ignoring Laurie’s rude comment.
“You did have the door open, right Steven?” Mr. Forman asked.
“Of course, sir,” Hyde said nodding.
“No you didn’t,” Eric said with a chuckle, which quickly turned into a grunt as Jackie kicked him under the table. “I mean no you didn’t just…pass the gravy.”
“Nice save, Eric,” Laurie said.
“Door open, Steven,” Mr. Forman said. “I don’t want you two doing anything inappropriate under my roof.”
“Yeah we’re a good household here,” Laurie said.
“Laurie, you’re only good at one thing and it’s certainly not very appropriate,” Hyde said. Red gave him a harsh look. “It won’t happen again, Red.”
“Good,” Red said with a nod.
The table fell into a comfortable silence with just the noise of utensils hitting plates. Hyde reached under the table and let his hand rest on Jackie’s thigh. At the contact, she shifted her chair closer to him. Jackie was happy to be a part of the nice family moment.
“Dad, can I borrow 20 bucks?” Eric asked breaking the silence.
“Why do you need 20 dollars?” Red asked.
“Prom’s this Friday and I was going to get Donna a corsage,” Eric said not looking up from his food.
The bite Hyde was about to take stilled halfway to his mouth. His body tensed and he slowly turned towards Jackie. She kept eating at the same pace but her head was slightly lower than it had been a moment before.
“The prom is this Friday?” Hyde asked looking to Jackie for an answer, but it was Eric who confirmation.
Hyde had had no idea. He saw a few signs around school but he kept forgetting to ask Jackie about it. And he thought he had plenty of time. She hadn’t said anything so he assumed it was far off.
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Hyde asked Jackie.
Jackie just shrugged. Her eyes were downcast and he knew she wasn’t going to budge in front of the Forman’s. As soon as the meal was done, Hyde, Jackie, and Eric headed towards the basement. The voices of their friends could be heard before they even reached the stairs. Hyde held on to Jackie’s hand the whole way. When they made it to the bottom step he pulled her towards his room ignoring her look of confusion.
“We’ll be in my room,” Hyde said closing the door.
Their exit was accompanied by oohs and ahs and Fez making kissing noises. Hyde’s mood was too dark to address any of them. He couldn’t understand why Jackie hadn’t mentioned the prom. She had been so eager the year before and now she didn’t even mention it. It was uncharacteristic and it worried him.
“Why don’t you want to go to the prom?” Hyde asked as soon as the door was closed.
Jackie went to the bed and sat down looking up at him. Hyde remained standing in front of her.
“Who said I don’t want to go to the prom?”
“Do you want to go?” Hyde asked confused by her answer. “You haven’t mentioned it.”
“I was going to tell you to ask me but the date was set right when you moved in with the Formans and then it just seemed less important. The last thing you wanted was for me to force the prom on you again like last year.”
“But you want to go?”
“Of course I want to go.”
“Then we’ll go.”
“But you don’t want to go,” Jackie argued back.
“I never said I didn’t want to go,” Hyde said.
“You want to go to the prom?” Jackie asked doubtfully.
“Well, no,” Hyde said scratching the back of his head unsure of how he had gotten himself into this position. “But you want to go and I’ll go if that’s what you want.”
“Really!” Jackie exclaimed looking up excited.
Hyde looked down at her and smiled. The last thing he wanted to do was go to a stupid high school dance but he didn’t want her giving up things that made her happy. Especially since she’d been there for him so much over the past few weeks getting settled with the Formans.
“Jackie Burkhart,” Hyde said leaning down and putting a hand on her face. “Will you go to prom with me?”
“Oh Puddin Pop!” Jackie said before leaning up to kiss him.
She pulled him down on the bed with her and kissed him deeply. After a few minutes of enjoying the kiss, he pulled away.
“Does that mean yes?” Hyde said joking.
“Of course it means yes!” Jackie said and then leaned in for another kiss.
“You look sharp, son,” Mr. Forma said.
“Thanks, dad,” Eric said making a pose.
“Eric, I was talking to Steven,” Mr. Forman said glaring at his son. “I told you not to wear all white. Unless you’re a sailor it’s just not something you do.”
“Donna likes it,” Eric said smoothing his coat down with his hands.
“Of course she does,” Hyde said rolling his eyes. Then with a sheepish smile, he looked towards Mr. Forman and thanked him.
“I’m going to go get Donna and then we can take off,” Eric said to Hyde. “We’ll swing by and pick up Fez, then Kelso, and then the she-devil before we head to the dance.”
“Sounds good. Jackie said she’ll be ready by 8, which means she’ll probably be ready by 8:20, so we have plenty of time.”
“Actually,” Mr. Forman said. “I thought you might want to take your own car Hyde.”
“I don’t have a car,” Hyde said confused.
“No, but Kitty and I are planning on staying in for the night so the Toyota is free if you’re interested.”
“Really?” Hyde asked in disbelief. “You don’t mind?”
“Kitty thought it would be nice for you to pick Jackie up and drop her off like a good old fashion date,” Mr. Forman said. “Don’t think too much about it. It was Kitty’s idea.”
“Thanks, Red,” Steven said. “That’d be great.”
Hyde couldn’t believe what Mr. Forman was offering. Jackie would have been fine getting picked up with the gang, but this was so much better. He had never picked Jackie up and taken her out. They’d been dating for months and this would be the first time he wouldn’t have to rely on her dad’s car or Forman for a ride. He felt a small ping of pride at the thought and he pledged that as soon as he got a car he would take her out properly. They’d go to a nice restaurant and maybe he’d even get her flowers.
She had him so whipped and, as mad as he was about it, he wouldn’t change it for anything. The only saving grace was that he had enough self-control and Zen to keep it to himself or only occasionally letting it out around Jackie.
After a few more goodbyes and pictures for Mrs. Forman, Hyde got in the Toyota and started driving towards Jackie’s house. He was going to be early but he didn’t care if he needed to watch her get ready for half an hour. Hyde still felt uncomfortable in the rich neighborhood but the streets were now familiar. As he pulled up in Jackie’s driveway he noted that her father’s car was parked out front. He shouldn’t have been surprised her father had continued to be a thorn in their side and seemed to always be present.
Hyde parked, looked at himself in the reflection of the mirror and walked up the stairs. When he knocked he expected a housekeeper to answer or maybe a long delay until Jackie poked her head out half ready and urging him to quickly come inside. Instead, when the door opened Hyde came face-to-face with Mr. Burkhart.
“Who are you?” Mr. Burkhart asked abruptly. “What are you doing here?”
“Hi, sir,” Hyde started. “I’m Hyde. Jackie’s…ugh boyfriend. We’re going to the prom.”
Hyde motioned to his suit as if that was evidence of his intentions. Mr. Burkhart glared at him from behind the door. After a moment of slowly looking him up and down, Mr. Burkhart finally seemed to approve and let him in.
“Get in. Quickly now,” Mr. Burkhart said. “Jackie is upstairs.”
“You’re okay with me going up there?” Hyde asked confused.
“Sure, I have some work to do. I’ll be in my office,” Mr. Burkhart said walking away.
Hyde was beyond confused. Mr. Burkhart had basically kept Jackie locked away but now he was fine with Hyde just wandering into her bedroom. He decided not to overthink it. Instead, he took the stairs two at a time and lightly knocked on Jackie’s door. He could hear her girly music blaring and after a moment he realized she probably couldn’t hear him, so he slowly opened the door.
She was sitting in front of the mirror applying makeup to her already made up face. As soon Hyde saw her he lost all coherent thoughts and the breath left his lungs. She was beautiful. She was always beautiful of course, but today she was perfect. Her prom dress was white with jewels on the front and on the straps that went around her neck. Her hair was down with one side pushed back and she had on some kind of glossy lip gloss that made her lips look irresistible.
“Hey,” Hyde said finally after realizing that he couldn’t just stand in the doorway for much longer without looking like a total creep.
Jackie turned around looking surprised, “You’re early.”
“Yeah, Red gave me his car,” Hyde said coming into the room and taking a seat on the bed. “It’s just us for the night.”
“Really? That’s perfect!” Jackie said excitedly clapping her hands and turning around to face him. When she met Hyde’s eyes she paused and hesitantly asked, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“You just look really beautiful,” Hyde said in a low voice.
“How beautiful?” Jackie said with a coy smile. She stood up and slowly walked up to Hyde.
“You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” Hyde said in complete earnest.
He felt her pushing him back further on the bed and then settling into his lap straddling him. One of her hands into to the side of his check and the other rested on his shoulder. His own hands found their spot on her hips pulling her closer. Hyde leaned down to kiss her fully. Jackie responded with a moan and he quickly deepened the kiss pushing his tongue into her mouth.
Jackie’s hands moved under Hyde’s jacket slowly pushing it off his body. Hyde had her dress bunched up so that his hands could make direct contact with her thighs. She started grinding down on him and unbuttoning his shirt.
“Jackie, the prom,” Hyde said pulling away from her. “And your dad is downstairs.”
“He is?” Jackie said pulling away fully from his mouth.
“Yeah, he let me in,” Hyde said looking at her confused face. “You didn’t know he was down there?”
“No, I guess I should have assumed he doesn’t leave the house too much anymore, but he didn’t say anything to me.”
Hyde lightly touched her cheek and pushed some of the hair out of her face. He didn’t know what to say. Her parents were as bad as his, but unlike Jackie Hyde had no idea how to comfort an abandoned teen.
“Let’s get out of here,” Hyde finally said. “You’ll feel better when you can judge all the other girls’ dresses.”
“Yes, I will,” Jackie said lifting her chin.
She stood up and went to the mirror to fix her makeup and hair. Hyde let out a groan and fell back on the bed. She was going to take forever. He looked over to Jackie in her nice white dress. He thought of her wearing a white dress similar but instead of walking into prom she’d be walking down an aisle towards him. He smiled at the idea and then a second later realized what he had been thinking about and shook his head. Marriage? That was seriously far off if it was ever even a possibility, to begin with.
“I’m ready to go,” Jackie said standing up from her vanity.
“Good,” Hyde said jumping slightly at her voice. “Good, yep that’s cool. Let’s go.”
Jackie gave him a weird look but didn’t say anything. She grabbed his hand and started walking down the stairs. She stopped them at the bottom in front of two intimidating doors that Hyde knew led to her father’s study. After a second’s hesitation, she pushed them open.
“Daddy?” Jackie said timidly.
“Yes,” Mr. Burkhart said from behind his desk.
“I’m headed out to the prom,” Jackie said taking a step towards him. “With Steven, my boyfriend. I told you about him, remember?”
“Sure, sure,” Mr. Burkhart said.
“Nice to meet you…again,” Hyde said sticking out his hand for her father to shake.
“Again?” he said looking down at Hyde’s hand but not moving to take it.
“We meet at the door,” Hyde said. “You let me in.”
“Right,” Mr. Burkhart said finally shaking Hyde’s hand. “I didn’t realize you were my kitten’s boyfriend. I suppose it’s fine as long as you aren’t a Kelso boy.”
“Yes, you said that,” Jackie said darkly.
“Not a Kelso,” Hyde said feeling awkward and ignoring the fact that he had already introduced himself as Jackie’s boyfriend at the door. “We should probably be going.”
“Before you go,” Mr. Burkhart said stopping them. His voice seemed to lower and he looked at Jackie with an odd expression. “Steven, was it? You take good care of her.”
“Of course, sir,” Hyde said slightly confused by the serious tone Mr. Burkhart had shifted to. “Always,” Hyde answered firmly.
“Good,” Mr. Burkhart said. “Have fun at the homecoming.”
“It’s the prom, daddy,” Jackie said.
“Right, have fun at the prom,” Mr. Burkhart said with a dismissive motion of his hand.
Jackie and Hyde left silently. They went to the car and Hyde went around and opened the car door for her. After she slid in he closed the door and went around to the other side. He felt and looked slightly awkward performing the chivalrous acts, but after the awkward interaction with her father, he thought Jackie deserved the extra effort.
“Your father is kind of an ass,” Hyde said after he closed his own door. “But we should take his advice. Let’s have fun tonight.”
“You’re right,” Jackie said with her forced smile. “Let’s have fun.”
“One more thing before we go,” Hyde said twisting his body around to reach in the back seat. He heard her shriek as the corsage came into view. It was a red rose and perfectly matched the tie he had on. Hyde carefully opened the clear box and pulled the delicate flower out. Jackie flung her wrist out and Hyde put it on. Jackie admired it lovingly.
“I love it, Steven,” Jackie said finally looking up from the flower. “Thank you!’
She leaned over and gave him a sweet kiss. Her smile was no longer the fake cheerleader smile and instead the heartfelt and uninhibited grin that meant she was truly happy.
“Let’s go to prom,” Jackie said.
“All right,” Hyde said with a small smile resigning to his fate. He started the car and headed towards his second prom with Jackie Burkhart.
“Congratulations,” cheered the small group.
The gang sat scattered around the Forman’s living room. Krista, from Jackie’s high school cheerleading team, was also perched slightly uncomfortably on the couch between Fez and Bob. Just a moment before the group let out the exclamation, Kitty had entered the room with a cake. She was now on her way to bringing it in front of Jackie.
The cake had “Congrats Grad!” and a graduation cap on the top of it. Jackie beamed down at the cake before blowing out the candle. When she had asked all of her friends to get together for a goodbye party, she hadn’t expected a graduation party to be included in the festivities.
Jackie looked over at Hyde. He was looking directly at her and winked when their eyes met. She figured he was behind this. They had celebrated her graduation together, but all the way in Providence, it had just been the two of them. She had college friends, of course, but they had all been celebrating with their own families.
“Thank you so much!” Jackie said after blowing out her candle. She placed her hand on Hyde’s thigh comfortably. “I really did mean for this just to be a goodbye party for us.”
“Nonsense, it’s not every day one of our kids' graduates from an Ivy League school,” Mrs. Forman said.
“Technically, she graduated a week ago,” Hyde said with a smirk. Mrs. Forman made an annoyed noise and Jackie hit him on the leg.
“I still don’t understand how that’s possible,” Eric said. “You dated Kelso.”
“She also stopped dating him,” Mr. Forman said glaring at Eric. “I always knew you were the smart one, Jackie. Congratulations.”
Jackie blushed and looked down. She had also always known she was the smart one. Donna spoke a big game but Jackie was the one doing homework on the weekends and pilling on the extracurricular activities. She was happy the gang was finally acknowledging her as something more than an annoyance.
“I’m still so sad you’re leaving for Chicago right away!” Krista exclaimed. “You just got back from Brown.”
“I know but my job starts next week and we want to get settled into the apartment before it gets too hectic.”
“Oh, it’s so exciting! You’ll be telling us our news!” Mrs. Forman said.
“She is the youngest anchor in the region,” Hyde bragged.
“I still can’t believe you’re going to be on tv before me,” Kelso said.
“You have to understand the news to report it,” Donna said.
“Burn!” Fez yelled.
“Michael, we’ve always known I have a face was made for tv,” Jackie said flipping her hair.
“You’re going to be great, Jackie,” Donna said. Since Jackie and Hyde returned a week ago she had been oddly quiet towards Jackie. They had left as close friends but the four years away had put distance and a strain on their relationship. Donne looked towards Hyde with whom she seemed to be more comfortable. “And what will you be doing? Being a good house husband?”
“I’ll figure it out,” Hyde said with a shrug. “I have a few buddies from the restaurant in Providence who know some people in Chicago.”
Everyone but the Formans chuckled. Jackie looked over at Hyde. She knew he was uncomfortable with people knowing that she would be supporting him. She didn’t mind since he had paid all of the bills for the past few years while she focused on school. They had discussed him possibly going back to school but she knew he wouldn’t want everyone to know about that yet. But she also didn’t want them making fun of him for his employment or lack of employment that is. Before she could stop herself, she felt her anger bubbling up.
“Hyde’s been doing all the work these past four years,” Jackie said annoyed. “He deserves a little time to figure out what he wants to do now.”
Hyde remained silent but he squeezed her arm lightly. He still didn’t like talking about his future. She still didn’t understand how after all these years he didn’t see his own potential.
“Yes, he does,” Mr. Forman said with a nod.
“Anyway, should we cut this cake?” Jackie asked.
“Yes,” Mrs. Forman said. She scampered off to the kitchen with the cake to start cutting it up. Donna muttered something about helping and wandered into the kitchen to help. Jackie felt a little guilty for jumping down Donna’s throat again.
“Yay cake!” Fez said. When he noticed he had everyone’s attention he gave a guilty smile and then added, “When do you leave?”
“We’re taking off first thing in the morning. The Comino is already packed,” Hyde said.
“Why are you leaving so early it won’t take that long to drive up there?” Eric asked ignoring the glare both Hyde and Mr. Forman gave him.
The room was silent for a moment before Jackie said, “We’re going to stop by the state prison to visit my dad.”
“Oh,” Eric said.
“That’ll be awk-ward,” Kelso said. “You haven’t seen him in years.”
“It’s time,” Jackie said. “I got a letter from him last month and some circumstances have changed.”
“Ohh what circumstances?” Fez asked.
“Here’s the cake,” Mrs. Forman said at the same time.
She entered with multiple plates each full with a large slice of cake. Donna was trailing behind with even more. Jackie used their entrance as an excuse to ignore Fez’s question. When her dad left, she had been forced to open that part of her life to her friends but she wasn’t ready to have her family drama shared so publically again.
“Yay cake,” Jackie exclaimed. “It’s a good thing we’re moving a few hours away or else you’d have me becoming a fatty, Mrs. Forman.”
“I’m sending you up with some cookies,” Mrs. Forman replied. “And you have to come back for dinners every once in a while. Chicago isn’t close but it’s much closer than Rhode Island.”
“Yes, Mrs. Forman,” Jackie and Hyde said in unison.
The group fell into idle chatter about Jackie’s graduation and new job. Slowly people started leaving until it was just Mr. and Mrs. Forman sitting in the living room with Jackie and Hyde.
Mrs. Forman was yawning and Mr. Forman was nodding off in his chair. It wasn’t much longer before Mrs. Forman finally gave in and let them head up to bed leaving Jackie and Hyde alone.
“We should probably go to bed too,” Jackie said. “We have an early morning tomorrow.”
“Let’s do one more thing before we do,” Hyde said.
“Steeeeeven,” Jackie complained.
“Just one quick thing,” Hyde said. “I want to take you somewhere.”
“Take me somewhere?” Jackie asked. “It’s almost midnight in Point Place where could you possibly want to take me?”
“It’s a surprise,” Hyde said.
Jackie fell right into his trap. Not a moment after the words left his mouth, Jackie was squealing excitedly about the prospect of a surprise.
“A surprise!” Jackie exclaimed. “What kind of surprise? Like a present?”
“Of sorts,” Hyde replied. He stood up and held his hand out to her. “I promise you’ll get something shiny and I’m pretty confident that you’ll like it.”
Jackie smiled as she took Hyde’s hand and stood with him. They made their way out to the Camino with Jackie pushing Hyde to tell her where they were headed. Hyde refused to respond but the answer was obvious when they started heading towards the edge of town.
“The water tower?” Jackie questioned. “Why are we going there?”
“You’ll just have to wait and see,” Hyde said smiling.
“Steven, you know that I hate waiting,” Jackie said pouting. “And plus, you should have warned me. I would have changed into pants.”
“I don’t mind,” Hyde said smiling while looking down at her skirt.
“That’s just because you want to look up my skirt, you perv,” Jackie replied.
They fell into a comfortable silence with the familiar sound of the radio humming in the background. Jackie would occasionally give Hyde a pointed look that he would ignore. Jackie continued with the same tactic as they parked and headed up the water tower ladder. Jackie reveled in the familiar feeling of the metal grate under her as she took her seat. They had come up here often enough in high school, but since graduating they hadn’t been up once. She smiled looking over at Hyde. They had come here on what she considered their first date, after all, they had their first kiss on this water tower.
They stayed sitting pressed up against each other staring out at Point Place for a while. Hyde had his arm around her and she was nestled into his side. Jackie smiled and took in the moment. It was a nice pause between college and her upcoming job. Sitting on the water tower it was easy for her to remember them years ago before life had fully hit them before they had fallen in love. Those two people still had so much to look forward to, Jackie thought fondly, looking back at the more than half a decade she spent with Hyde.
“I love you,” Hyde said.
It was rare for Hyde to openly state his feelings. She knew how he felt, but getting him to tell her was usually like pulling teeth. She looked over and realized that while she had been looking at the skyline he had been looking at her.
“I love you, too,” Jackie said kissing him softly on the lips.
“Jackie,” Hyde said. He took her hands and shifted his body so he was facing her. “You mean so much to me – more than you’ll ever know and more than I’ll ever be able to repay you for. Ever since you badgered me into going to prom with you, I haven’t been able to get you out of my head. That night, we came up to this water tower and I realized that you were so much more than what people saw. I know, at times, it’s taken me a while to catch up to you and tell you how I feel, but you’re my family, my inspiration and my love. Jackie, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
Hyde reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring box. He pressed it into Jackie’s hand and looked deeply into her eyes. With his shades off, his insecurity was obvious. Jackie was on the brink of tears. She had made plenty of comments to him about marriage but she never thought he’d propose without being pushed into a corner. Jackie slowly opened the box and gasped. The ring was beautiful and exactly what she wanted. It had a silver band with a sizable diamond at the center that was encircled by tinier diamonds. Her mouth fell open.
“Jackie?” Hyde asked. “Are you going to respond?” Hyde asked when she didn’t say anything.
Jackie looked up at him shocked. She was crying and had tears streaming down her face.
“Yes!!” Jackie said. “Of course I’ll marry you, Steven.”
Jackie pulled the ring out of the box and put it on her left ring finger before carefully putting the box to the side. Then she threw her arms around Hyde and pulled him down for a deep kiss. Hyde let out a relieved breath when they broke apart. Jackie went right back to pull him in for another kiss.
“Do you still have those blankets in the back of the Camino?” Jackie asked against Hyde’s mouth.
“Yeah, why?” Hyde asked confused.
Jackie gave him a suggestive look. Hyde responded by immediately pulling her towards the ladder and down the water tower. As soon as they were at the car, Hyde had the blanket laid out in the back of the Camino. Jackie crawled into the flatbed first. When Hyde came in after her, she tugged at his shirt to pull him down on top of her.
Hyde was kissing Jackie deeply but moving way to slow for her. She pushed his t-shirt above his head breaking the kiss to get it off him and immediately went for his belt.
“Someone’s in a rush,” Hyde said.
“I really want to make love to my fiancé,” Jackie said undoing his zipper and starting to push his pants down his waist. “And touch him and feel my fiancé inside me. Mmmm fiancé.”
Hyde chuckled and pushed her shirt up and over her head. As soon as it was removed, Jackie was back to kissing him. Hyde was reaching for her panties and pulling her skirt up as he went. With both her barriers removed, Jackie pushed his boxers down and out of the way.
Still partially dressed, Hyde knelt between her spread legs and aligned himself with her entrance. He slowly pushed in making Jackie gasp. Since they had been staying with the Forman’s they hadn’t had sex in a week and even before the engagement she had been craving him desperately. Jackie pushed her nails into his back urging him on. She moaned as he picked up the pace. Before long, she was getting close but she wanted it to last a bit longer.
“Flip over,” Jackie said breathlessly and lightly tapping on his chest. “I want to be on top.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Hyde said holding her tight and flipping them so she could ride him.
Jackie pushed her knees into the flatbed of the truck and ground her hips down in slow circles. She planted her hands on Hyde’s chest and gasped. She had her eyes closed but she felt his hands traveling up her sides. She opened her eyes when she felt him urging her to lean over him. When she did, he put his hands on her face and kissed her deeply.
“I can’t wait for you to be my wife,” Hyde said pulling away.
Jackie came at the words. They had used dirty talk plenty of times, but nothing had ever worked so well. She felt love, pleasure and excitement bubble up in her all at once. She moaned his name loudly and a second later she felt him coming.
She collapsed down on top of him and he lightly lifted her off of him and placed her by his side. He reached for a nearby blanket and threw it over them.
Jackie laid in Hyde’s arms looking down at her ring. She held her left hand close to her face as if to memorize every detail of the beautiful piece of jewelry on her hand.
“It’s so pretty,” Jackie said. “How did you find such a pretty ring?”
“Jackie, every time someone you know gets engaged you describe in incredible detail the exact ring you want,” Hyde said rolling his eyes.
“I do not,” Jackie said hitting him lightly on the chest.
“How else would I know what a princess cut is?” Hyde asked rolling his eyes. “The first time you said it, I thought you wanted a tiara. The sales lady laughed at me.
“I would also like a tiara,” Jackie said and then smiled. “I can wear it to the wedding.”
Hyde groaned, “You’re going to make me wear something ridiculous too aren’t you.”
“Yes,” Jackie said. “What are your thoughts to entering on horseback?”
“No,” Hyde said.
“Pleeease,” Jackie said pushing out her lower lip and pouting.
“No,” Hyde said firmly.
Jackie rolled her eyes, “Just wait, I’ll wear you down. I have plenty of time before a wedding. I’m thinking mid-spring.”
Hyde rolled his eyes as Jackie started chatting about color schemes and who to invite. Jackie didn’t stop until her stomach growled.
“Can we go get burgers?” Jackie asked. “When you said we were going to get something shiny, I thought you meant burgers. Now I’m starving.”
“If that’s all you wanted I can take the diamond ring back and just roll some tin foil up into a ring,” Hyde said laughing.
“Don’t you dare,” Jackie said clutching her left hand to her chest. “I’m wearing this for the rest of my life.”
“Promise?” Hyde asked with a grin.
Jackie responded with a similar smile, “I promise.”
I'm so sad this story is over! There's a lot I would have changed but this is the first long-form story I've completed, so I'm happy with it either way. I hope you enjoyed!