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hope he's got the sense to run

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The weirdest thing about Hyde's little fling with Jackie Burkhart is that it isn't that weird. Sure, his friends are all freaking the hell out, calling it "unnatural" and an "abomination" (that part was just a bonus). For Hyde, though, it feels... okay. Cool, even. Whatever.

(It feels great, but he'd sooner listen to Forman and Donna having sex than admit it, even in his own head.)

The world must have flipped on its axis, because two years ago he was right there with Forman, warning Kelso not to sign any legally binding contracts lest he unwittingly sell his soul to the devil. But at some point, Jackie the She-Beast, Shrill-Voiced Queen of Hades and Ultimate Ruiner of All Good Things had just become... Jackie. The girl who talked too loud and laughed too much and loved people too fast. And no matter how hard he tries, he can't go back to the way it was. He can't un-see her. 

She's still annoying as hell and he hasn't made it through a conversation longer than two minutes without feeling physical pain, but there's this sound she makes when he kisses her, and this thing she does with her nails on his scalp that makes him forget everything else. And that's it. It's just the lust clouding his judgement. She's hot, and he's a man, and there's only so much he can do, okay? 

Except it's not okay, because she's got this crazy effect on him, to the point where sometimes he can't even be in the same room without needing to touch her. Not even make out or feel her up, but just... touch her. On her wrist. The back of her neck. Brushing his knee against hers. And he doesn't do that, so it's gotta be her infecting him with her temporary insanity. 

The thing that really freaks him out is that they might not even be all that different. Sure, her belief system is the polar opposite of his, but she holds to it just as passionately and stubbornly as he does. Their friends don't get it because they don't care about anything like that. But the lack of an appreciative audience doesn't stop Jackie from lecturing on the importance of a good skincare routine any more than it stops Hyde from ranting about hidden government agendas. What's more, she's the only person who really listens to him (even though every single response she brings to the table is ridiculous and he doesn't know how he'll keep his cool if she calls the anti-establishment movement a "bunch of dirty hippies who need a job" again). When she compares the federal government to the Point Place High cheerleading squad he knows that, in her own demented, shallow way, she gets it.

And maybe he kind of grudgingly admires that she doesn't back down, no matter how absurd her views are, but he'll be damned if he's telling her. 

 

 

-

 

 

Forman tries to compare them to those people from Star Wars, because of course, it's Forman. He sits down with Hyde and lays it out with a level of earnesty that's almost touching enough to stop Hyde from making fun of him (almost).

"It's just wrong, man. It would be like... look, so let's say Jackie is Leia, okay? She's the princess, and she's all sexy and scary and whatever. And you, you're Han Solo. You're a badass, scruffy-looking smuggler pilot! And maybe you think there's something between you because she's using her secret Jedi mind tricks to overcome your weak-willed brain, but it's not real. Leia's going to end up with Luke, and you'll get, like, a hot blue alien with six boobs."

"I could dig that," Hyde admits. 

"Yeah, see? You'll get someone way cooler. But this thing with Jackie...." Forman picks up the action figures he's been using to make his point. "The smuggler and the princess just don't end up together. And if Han ever tried to make a move on Leia, Luke would probably punch him and then they'd lose their best pilot and they might not ever blow up the Death Star!" He looks at Hyde seriously. "Do you get what I'm saying?"

Hyde frogs him and tells him to mind his own damn business and he and Jackie aren't a thing. He doesn't say that he's seen the movie once or twice himself, and he thinks the smuggler and the princess might make it work if they gave it a shot. 

 

 

-

 

 

Later, when Kelso finds out, Forman is giving Hyde this look and he knows he's supposed to tell Kelso that it's nothing and break it off with Jackie and let her run back into the arms of his dillhole of a best friend. That's how this summer was supposed to go. He was her rebound, to give her some leverage on Kelso or help her save face or something. Now the summer's over and Kelso's here and it's supposed to be done. 

Except he doesn't tell Kelso that. He tells Kelso he's sorry, and he tells Forman he thinks he and Jackie might be together for a little while, and it's stupid because he's been down this road before. He gave her his jacket and kissed her like he's never kissed a girl before and she felt nothing and it didn't matter what he felt because she went back to Kelso and he knows that's how it's going to end this time, too. If he was smart, he'd shuttle her back off to that moron and find some other cheerleader to keep busy with.

But. When he drives her home that night, with her shoulders bare and the windows rolled down─when she gives him that glowy-eyed summer smile and threads her fingers through his─when she kisses him goodnight so long he almost asks if her parents are home─it feels like too much to just give up. And whatever magic she worked on him must have been something because man, he doesn't know how much longer he's going to be able to hold out on this whole "not your boyfriend" thing. The thought is scary as hell, but it's his own damn fault because this is Jackie Burkhart, who somehow convinced him to take her to the frickin' prom and wear a suit and buy her a corsage, and at the end of the day he's no better than all the gullible idiots she's got wrapped around her finger because he just let it happen.

So yeah, it's not weird.