Disclaimer: Dude, if I owned T70s, I'd so totally be seducting Danny Masterson right now.

Really.

Summary: This is so spoilerish for tonights episode! I saw it last night and I had to write. Trust me, the facial expressions and the acting will totally get to you.

Authors Note: Please be kind and, uh, don't flame.

Enjoy.

******

Not Supposed to Be...

*******

Sometimes, he'd look at her and wonder. He'd wonder how he ever let something like this go so far. It wasn't supposed to turn into a relationship. It was supposed to be a fling. Just a fling -- and then somehow, someway, it became more.

Relationship.

Re. lation. ship.

No matter how many times he'd tested out the word, it still sounded foreign. It felt heavy on his tongue.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. It started out as nothing and it was supposed to end as nothing. It was just something born out of boredom. Just something to pass the time with. Then suddenly it became natural, a habit.

Hyde could understand his friends' shock when they heard the news of how he spent his summer -- who he spent his summer with. He couldn't even guster up enough nerve to act surprised, act offended, when they put him down... when they put them down.

But he had waved it off, thinking that it wasn't a big deal because it would be over soon. Both of them would end up getting bored and that would be the end of it; she'd go back to being with Kelso and he'd go back to driving around town, cruising for new chicks.

Days passed, and then weeks, and they were still going at it. It wasn't like he minded or anything, it was just ... unusual.

She wasn't even his type. He liked girls who were strong, moderately independent; girls who didn't compare shopping malls to a sanctuary.

Sure, Jackie was cute, but she didn't possess any of the other traits. She was a unicorn - loving, David Cassidy drooling, rainbow wearing chick. And she was far from independent or strong. She could cry at the drop of the hat. Hell, she'd cry if he mentioned that a piece of her hair was out of place.

And he hated it when she cried. If it'd been anyone else, he could shut them up with a harsh burn, but not Jackie. Never Jackie. Sometimes, she could be so naive, that she wouldn't even notice if he was putting her down. Other times, she'd look at him, her big amber eyes moistening with tears and he'd instantly regret it.

He hated seeing her cry. Anyone else and that'd be okay, but he hated seeing Jackie Burkhardt cry. He liked to think it was because when she did cry, her voice would get more shrill than before and she'd throw herself at him, and man, he hated being touched. But he knew that when that pout came, the waterworks would follow and he just couldn't take it.

So instead of being mean or harsh, he'd handle her gently. He'd still tell her to shut up, but his voice would seem softer and the tone was more of a chide than rude.

There were times when he felt like going out and finding someone else, but he was restless. He knew he would of ended up bored again and he just didn't feel like dealing with something like that. So he settled for being with Jackie for awhile.

And settled he did 'cause soon enough, they had started dating. Somehow, someway, the little bit of 'nothing' had turned into a little bit of something. He started to get used to her being around more often; or to be more specific, right there on his lap. It didn't feel unusual or odd to him in any way, it just became another habit that they couldn't break.

******

He didn't know when or how, but Jackie started to make little changes. Sometimes, it seemed, she didn't seem as shallow as she had been before; she didn't seem so naive. When she was like that, he'd always referred to her as 'Kelso's Jackie'.

Kelso's Jackie seemed to disappear along with the summer days and slowly, she started to become his Jackie.

Sure, his Jackie still loved stuffed animals and all things rainbow, but she also became more aware of other things -- grown up things. His Jackie seemed more attentive of the real world and all who lived in it. Sometimes, not all the time, she didn't seem as shallow.

He liked to think that he had an effect on her. He liked the thought of being the one who had an impact on someone, rather then someone trying desperately to have one on him. For once in his life, he wasn't quite so bored; just content.

******

Then the day it happened. The day His Jackie turned back into Kelso's Jackie. He knew he shouldn't of bothered with her. He knew he should've ended it when he had the chance, but he didn't. He wanted to lash out at everything within arms reach. He just wanted the feeling of uneasiness to leave the pit of his stomach. He'd only had this feeling twice before; The day when Edna walked out on him and the day Donna Pinciotti rejected him.

Those were days he did not want to relive again.

He refused to.

He found himself pacing around the room, Jackie's cry echoing in his own head.

'Get off my boyfriend!'

What the hell?

Did she --

But that's not me --

What the hell?

He knew it was a bad idea to get involved with her. He knew it. It was nothing but trouble from the start. Everyone knew it wouldn't of worked out. Hell, even Fez, despite the obvious burn, pointed it out.

It's an old story. Orphan boy falls for rich girl. Doofus shows up with whore. Rich girl goes back to Doofus. Fez consoles whore, sexually. Orphan boy ends up alone, slowly going blind from self-abuse.

... Rich girl goes back to Doofus ...

... Orphan boy ends up alone...

Alone.

Always alone.

******

So aside from trying to kill Kelso for being a smug bastard, he decided that he had to end it with Jackie before she laughed in his face. He had to end it to protect himself from getting hurt any further.

So when he saw Jackie enter the basement, he took on the art of Zen -- something only he had mastered so well.

Jackie, ever the naive one, tried to tell him to let it go; that what she said meant absolutely nothing.

Lies. They're always lies.

... Rich girl goes back to Doofus ...

...Orphan boy ends up alone...

He decided to speak without thinking. He decided to let his mouth take charge and do the talking. His tone became more harsh, he let the Zen kick in as he spit out the words.

"... Don't worry. I'm over it."

He was positive he saw her eyelids flutter with relief but his mouth just wouldn't stop.

"...In fact, I'm over you."

He was almost sure that he saw confusion wash over her face after he said the words. He didn't care, though.

"Steven, what are you saying?" Jackie asked him, her voice breaking just a little. It was enough to send him to the edge. He was actually happy that he decided to wear his sunglasses that day, because he knew that his eyes would try to betray him.

He faintly heard Fez's voice over the ringing in his ears.

"He said he's breakingupwithyou,don'tyoueverlisten?..." Fez said, his voice rushed.

Jackie kept her eyes fixed on him. "Steven?"

He clenched his jaw for a moment as she blinked back tears. Her face contorted with confusion and pain. He'd seen it before. When she was Kelso's Jackie.

.. Rich girl goes back to Doofus ...

...Orphan boy ends up alone...

She'd always been Kelso's Jackie.

Always.

No amount of kissing or holding her would change that.

So he decided to retrieve his backbone and stand up tall. He was a man, afterall; or maybe he was a coward. It was a very thin line just then. He stood there with his arms crossed across his chest, hiding behind his sunglasses. He couldn't look directly at her because she was ready to cry, and he just couldn't take seeing her cry.

So he shrugged as if to say 'You heard Fez, we're over.'

She blinked in disbelief and inhaled a sharp breath.

Suddenly, she was gone.

******

Eric coaxed Hyde to join them in one of their infamous 'bonding' sessions. He really hadn't wanted to, but he figured that if he couldn't drown his sorrows by drinking one of Red's beers, then the least he could do was mellow the hell out.

It had become a bragging brigade. Eric had seemed thrilled that his grandmother loathed Donna and Fez was just happy as usual. So Hyde figured it was best to push all his feelings of depression aside and smiled... grinned, even.

"Well I'm done with Jackie and I feel like a guy who had a 95 pound mole removed. A 95 pound Donny Osmond lovin', shoe shoppin', ice-capade attending, mole."

But he just couldn't put any feeling into it. It sounded more like a well rehearsed speech then something spoken out of relief.

Kelso cut in, once again babbling about his 'good looks' and 'hotness' and Hyde repressed the urge to just kick his ass. He wanted to beat him to a bloody pulp and show him what pain felt like. He never felt envy for anyone. It just wasn't him, but he wanted to smack Kelso upside the head and yell at him. Kelso was an idiot, but he was a lucky one. He wasn't destined to be alone, despite his low IQ. There would always be someone waiting right there for him; whether it was his own family or some random girl that he'd meet a year from now.

Even Jackie.

Hyde knew that even Jackie would always be right there for Kelso.

******

Eric decided to go and console Donna and think of better ways they could go make his grandmother like her, Fez decided that he hadn't stalked Nina enough within the 24 hour period of the day and Kelso decided to give it another shot to get Annette to sleep with him.

Hyde decided to remain in the basement and watch TV.

The Price is Right was on, of course.

He decided right then and there that Bob Barker was the devil and that The Price is Right was a tool used by the government.

Jackie walked in a few minutes later and she immediately started babbling about having to talk to him.

Hyde moved away from her, he had to. He wanted to remain angry, he wanted to hold onto her mistake a little longer to justify his emotions.

She looked him in the eye and her voice flowed calmly, as if she'd been thinking about what to say all day. He tried his hardest to drown her out, though.
"...Once I had my dad buy me this pet rat because my cousin had one. But then, the rat got so disgusting, I made my kitty cat hunt it."

He looked at her and shrugged. "I don't know what the hell you're talking about. Who's the rat? Am I the rat? --"

"No. No, Steven." Jackie said quickly, reassuring him, "Look, I spoke to Annette. She made me realize -- okay, maybe I do have some leftover feelings for Michael, and then she said that if I really wanted him, I'd have to fight for him. But Steven, I know in my heart that the only person I want to fight for is you."

He could almost see a glimpse of his Jackie in there, but he refused to acknowledge it. He didn't want to.

"Really? Oh boy!" The sarcasm was peaking through his voice as he got up and walked away from her. He turned angry just then, trying to hold onto the one thing he had left. "You like Kelso, but you like me a little bit more? What a bunch of crap! You know I think, Jackie? I think the only reason you were with me in the first place was to get back at Kelso."

It was an easier out. Something logical. It was the only excuse he had left.

Jackie rose just then and looked at him, a look of pain flashed across her face, "Steven, how can you say that?! Okay, fine, you know what? Maybe I do have feelings for Michael, but what am I supposed to do? He was my first boyfriend! And you know what? You're going to have to learn to deal with it! And if you can't and you're going to have to break up with me because of that, I can't stop you! I think it's a real waste, because I love you!"

She spoke with such passion, such anger, that Hyde tried to tune her out. He couldn't, though, because it was all in her eyes. Her heart was in her eyes. With his arms folded across his chest, he looked at her, and hoped that no sign of emotion shone through his very own eyes.

"...because I love you!" The words seemed so desperate at first.

He clenched his jaw and ignored the words echoing in his head.

"I love you!" And then they seemed so matter of fact.

You.

Not Michael.

Not Kelso.

You.

'Don't fall for it, man' a scant voice prattled, 'she's trying to trap you!'

He looked at her then, and she looked at him, no fear in her eyes, just fortitude.

"I'm not saying it back!" He argued. Why should he even care? He didn't need to be with her! She wasn't even his type. He bet that if he were with Donna, or Chrissy for that matter, that nothing like this would've happened. They were stronger then her. They knew how to take control of a situation.

But Jackie's expression didn't change. She didn't do the Jackie thing and cry or flinch. She just looked at him, and Hyde could see the determination in her eyes, "I don't care." She bit out.

And she hadn't cared. He could see the perseverance in her eyes as she jutted out her chin stubbornly. That wasn't Kelso's Jackie. Hell, that wasn't his Jackie. It was just... Jackie.

He broke then. Feeling his facade letting down as he muttered a 'dammit' and broke away from her. He lost the battle, became weak. He ran his hands through his curly hair and contemplated for a moment.

There's no future for us.

She's not even my type.

But, had he not seen Jackie in a way that he'd never seen before? So small and yet, so stubborn? So... independent?

He turned back around and looked at her. For once, he actually looked at her. He looked at her face and looked into her eyes.

Could he learn to love her the way she needed to be loved?

Did he already love her?

'I love --'

No.

Not yet.

Not like this.

The timing needed to be right. A perfect moment when he could really show her.

He inhaled a deep breath and swallowed the lump in his throat. "So, are we gonna go to this dance or what?"

And he saw Jackie -- his Jackie -- again. Relief gleamed on her face as she guardedly started taking steps forward. "Oh, Steven!" She said, a small crooked smile plastered on her face.

Her small, delicate hands cupped Hyde's face was she kissed him softly but amorously on the lips. He hesitated for a moment, trying to get used to the feeling of consolation. It didn't take long for him to wrap his arms around her and kiss her back.

He pulled her into a hug, as if he could meld them as one. He didn't want to let her go.

Ever.

He loved her.

He loved her.

But how, out of every girl he'd ever known, did he fall in love with Jackie Burkhardt. The epitome of everything he'd been against before?

He imagined that the person he'd end up, if he ended up with someone, would be more like him.

He was wrong.

What they had over the summer was never a 'nothing'

It was never 'just a fling.'

'Cause Hyde didn't get to choose who he fell in love with, he just fell for the girl who was supposed to mean nothing...

Somewhere, during those months of nothingness and 'whatever', he fell. He fell and he ended up with someone in front of him who was so wrong for him, but so incredibly right.