Summary: Trust, a tricky thing. Very tricky for Jackie and Hyde. But they come around, eventually. Two-shot "what if" story! Set during 5x22.

Disclaimer: I just play with these characters who are not mine. Most of the dialogue is from the episode. I changed a few things though :)

Author's Note: Here's another story that's been sitting on my computer for ages! I wanted to explore Jackie and Hyde's inability to trust each other and what might have happened if they'd addressed it head-on.


"…No, no, no. You don't need to be hanging out with Kelso alone."

"Why not?"

"Because I don't trust him."

Jackie paused, knowing she should have expected that. "Yeah, but don't you trust me?"

"No!"

Jackie stared back at him, the man she just knew who was the love of her life. The man that didn't trust her because of her stupidity and his own insecurities with getting close to people.

Things had been so much easier with Kelso…but she didn't want easier. She didn't want dumb, pretty, or selfish. She wanted someone strong and caring with a sour demeanor and curly hair.

"Haven't you been paying attention? I don't trust anything. I don't trust the government. I don't trust the newspapers. I'm not even sure that what time we think it is right now is really what time it is." Hyde paused. "But mostly I don't trust you and Kelso alone together."

Jackie sighed. "All right. You know what? I guess I deserved that. What I said at Eric's grandfather's funeral was horrible and stupid and thoughtless. But I thought we moved past that."

"How am I supposed to move past it when you're getting all buddy-buddy with Kelso at The Hub?"

Jackie paused and mulled over her decision before standing abruptly and turning to plop herself on Steven's lap. He wouldn't be able to go anywhere without throwing her off, and she knew he wasn't likely to do that. Her strong, caring, curly-haired guy had the heart of a wounded teddy bear.

"Okay. Steven, you're going to listen to me and you're going to listen me really, really good. You do that and maybe I'll do something for you that you've seemed to like very, very much in the past."

Hyde's right eyebrow rose a fraction of an inch in interest. Good, she had his undivided attention.

"I am in love with you, not Michael."

"Yeah, now."

She shrugged. "You're right, but my birthday and you," she said, curling her fingers in the hair at the back of his head, "made me realize a few things. Things I kinda shoulda seen from the beginning."

"What's that?" He got comfortable on the couch underneath her and placed his hands on her hips, bringing her closer to him. God, she loved this man.

"That he's good, with a good heart, who loved me as much as he could, but that it turned out to never be enough."

Hyde scowled.

"And that you," again, she let her fingernails scratch the back of his head in the way she knew he loved, "you were all I ever needed. I'm honestly not even sure what I felt for him comes close to how I feel about you."

"Jackie, I…"

Jackie shook her head and kissed him briefly. "Let me say this. Sometimes I don't like the thought that I may never hear from you how much you love me, because I know you do, Steven Hyde. But this…" She grabbed his hand that was holding her hip and kissed his palm. "I feel it. I feel it in everything you do. I feel it in how you look at me, how you say my name, how you keep me close to you. Michael said it to me a hundred times a day, but it never made me feel the way you do with just one touch."

Hyde's eyes dropped at hearing that, but that wasn't good enough for Jackie. She wanted him to know what she was telling him.

"I love you, Steven. You. What I thought I felt for Michael isn't even a thought anymore."

"Come here," Hyde said softly, placing his hand on the nape of her neck and pulling her towards him.

No words, but she felt it, everything he couldn't say.


Author's Note: Part 2 up soon! What'd ya think?