by Jaded (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: What if Jackie and Hyde's summer fling had ended at that, and what if she took Kelso back when he returned home from California? Alternate season 5 story.
Disclaimer: Not mine. That '70s Show belongs to Carsey-Warner and whomever else.
A/N: I've become resolved to the idea that fan fic couple-wise, I will always and only write J/H, because my heart won't let me think otherwise. Damn heart.Chapter One: Pumpkins and Mice
They broke it off officially at half-past noon when Kelso, Eric, and Donna returned home from California.
It was for the best, they both agreed.
A summer fling should be just that. Something relegated to the summer. Something fun, brief, exciting, but something with an expiration date.
They ended it where it began, on the couch in the basement, their legs tangled together, his hands in her hair, her nails digging into his back. Both of them breathing hard. Neither of them coming up for air unless they absolutely had to.
She came over earlier than usual that morning. Jackie usually swung by around ten, just as "The Price Is Right" came on. Today she had come at nine, dressed in a strapless white linen dress that set off her smooth, tan legs. She wore her hair loose around her shoulders and wore the strawberries and cream lip gloss that made her cupid's bow mouth just a shade redder. He could smell it when she walked into his room, and it made his already foggy mind foggier. He wanted to taste her mouth, but she beat him to the punch.
She came into his room while he was still half-asleep, only faintly aware that someone else was there. She daintily lifted her skirt, and then with pure abandon, and with the new found recklessness she had learned over the past summer, proceeded to straddled his hips and lean in for a good morning kiss, her mouth soft and wet against his dry, chapped lips.
Hyde felt her fingers run through his curly hair. Her thumbs stroked his neck and the lobes of his ears while they kissed. Waking up more and more by the second, Hyde fumbled with his own hands, trying to find something to do with them. One came to rest on the curve of her hip, the other on her left shoulder. He pulled her closer, her body pressed flush against his own. He could feel her tiny breasts against his chest, and it made him want to rip off her clothes. He had long ago come to grips with the fact that being with Jackie made him downright crazy, and in more ways that one.
She stopped kissing him then though. She brushed her face against his beard and moved her head so that she could nuzzle against his neck. He heard her sigh softly, and then felt her relax, letting her full weight press down against his body. She was so tiny, so light. He thought she could disappear into him if he held her close enough.
"Good morning," he said, a whisper in her ear. Hyde felt her body shiver and responded by wrapping his arms around her. With one hand he stroked her back, listening to her breathe. So today was their last day, he thought. He closed his eyes again, hoping to sleep some more, not wanting to wake up and face what was coming and was to come.
He smelled warm like sleep, and his body was hot to the touch. Jackie didn't think it was so far-fetched that she could literally melt against him if she wanted. There had been plenty of times before when she had felt this exact way.
Summer now seemed all too brief. Had it really been two months? Three months? It didn't seem like enough time had passed, but it had. It would be all over today, their dirty little secret, and it would remain frozen like that, a beautiful, perfect, hot summer fooling around and fooling everyone.
Jackie felt him shift underneath her.
"Good morning," he said, his voice still raspy with sleep. She felt blood rushing to her head and she felt dizzy. She loved how he could make anything sound sexy, and especially how many of the things he said to her in private over the last few weeks had seemed especially intimate, for her ears only. It made her shiver.
But today that was going to end. Michael was returning, and she had to deal with that. Throwing Steven into the mix would be too much. They'd have to explain, have to make everyone else understand. It was easier to just end it now. After all, Jackie reasoned, it was a fling, and by definition, emotions had not been involved. Sure, mouths, lips, arms, legs—they were all involved—but not feelings. Both of them had made sure of it. The summer had passed and they had found a way to alleviate the boredom. Mission accomplished. But clinging to him, it didn't feel so innocent anymore, and it didn't feel like it was over. But she knew it had to be.
Jackie heard him clear his throat and her line of though ebbed away as she turned and looked into his face, gazing directly into his naked blue eyes. Her breath caught in her throat and her mouth opened just slightly.
She had always thought that Michael was beautiful. She still did. It was hard to deny the fact that he was handsome and desirable, and all that a girl like her could ask for. He showered her with attention, brought her presents when she demanded it of him, and made her feel—for the most part—desirable herself. But he never made her blood run hot like Steven did. He never looked at her the way Steven did with his gorgeous eyes, drinking her in, making her feel naked but unashamed.
Steven didn't show emotion a whole lot. That was a rule of being Zen, but for all his self-control his eyes always told the truth. When she looked into his eyes she knew she'd find him there. He couldn't hide that he had a soul. Maybe that was why he always wore sunglasses, even in the dark. He didn't want anyone to know. But she knew.
"I'm going to go take a shower," he said. Jackie nodded and reluctantly sat up, straightening her dress.
"Are you going to shave that beard off while you're at it?"
He gave her a look. "Are you ever going to stop being bossy?"
"No, I don't think so."
"Then the beard stays." But as he got up off the cot he lifted her chin with his finger—a rare show of affection for him—and gave her a wry smile. She watched him pad over to his dresser to grab a few things. Taken by a whim, she got up and intercepted him before he left the room. Jackie reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling his face towards her for a kiss.
"Don't be long," she said, betraying more emotion than she had intended.
His face was unreadable, but he kissed her back with surprising intensity.
"You can join me if you want," he added a second later, raising an eyebrow suggestively.
She slapped at him. "You wish. Now hurry up."
But when he had left she considered his suggestion again, blushing when she realized that she regretted her decision.
Stop it, she scolded herself. Today was going to be hard enough as it already was, what with seeing Michael again and having to end it with Steven. There was no point in making things more complicated.
She had broken off the engagement via the U.S. Postal Service, and for all intents and purposes they were over, but a little voice in the back of her brain—one that disturbingly sounded a lot like Steven—told her that where Michael was concerned, it was never over. When he got back he would probably want her back. Maybe he wouldn't want to marry her still, but he'd want her back as his girlfriend. They had done this dance a hundred of times before, different steps, but they had always ended up together again. She didn't know if she wanted him back though, but there was so much tied up in Michael. She didn't know if she could stop wanting to be with him
Steven soon reappeared at the door, and all thoughts of Michael disappeared from Jackie's mind. Steven stood in the doorway, a white towel wrapped around his waist and nothing else. His chest was still wet from his shower and he looked fresh and cleaned. He smelled like soap.
She had him pressed against the wall in seconds, her hands running up and down his wet muscles, her fingers snaking around his hips and playing at the towel that was already beginning to slip off. His beard was still damp, but she didn't mind. It chafed against her sensitive skin less now, and she made a mental note to have him wet it down in the future whenever they were about to have a heavy make-out session, letting herself forget for a moment that things like that were never going to happen between them again.
In their weeks together, despite all the heavy petting and groping, they hadn't had sex. It didn't matter how much both of them might have wanted it. It didn't matter that they were often alone together and had more than enough opportunities. They knew it would make things too complicated. Jackie suspected that while Steven wanted to do it more than she did—but by only a little—he also didn't, probably because he thought she would be the one to get too attached, too emotional, and he didn't want that kind of baggage.
But now she wanted him and she didn't care. She pulled at his towel, kissed him, sucking at his bottom lip, and looked into his face, wondering if he knew what she was getting at.
Jackie always knew that he was smart and he didn't disappoint. He grabbed he by the waist and flipped her around so that her back was against the wall. He began to hike-up her skirt, the soft linen folds gathering around her hips. Her heart was beating wildly and she closed her eyes in anticipation.
But even with Eric and Donna and Michael gone for the summer, the basement was never much of place to find privacy. They both heard the back door creak open, and they both knew that it was probably Fez. Scrambling around, Jackie quickly retreated to a hidden corner of the room and Steven crossed the room quickly to get dressed.
"Hyde, are you awake?" they heard Fez call from the other room.
"Yeah," Steven said, pulling a t-shirt over his head. "I'll be out in a second." He turned around and glanced at her before he left the room. When he left she snuck over closer to the door to listen to what was being said.
"Kelso, Donna, and Eric are coming back today," she heard Fez say happily.
"Yeah," she heard Steven reply. A moment longer, then she heard him say, "Hey Fez, is that the ice cream truck I hear?"
"Yeah, it sounds like it's just turning down the next street. You know, I heard that they have candy sprinkles now."
She heard the shuffling of feet, the slam of the door, and then feeling brave, walked out of the room. He was standing there, arms crossed and looking proud, when she came out.
"He'll be gone for a while. Fez's isn't going to stop until he finds some candy-coated goodness." He laughed and reached for her hand, pulling her towards him. "C'mon. I want some candy-coated goodness for myself too."
And so they were back on the couch where it all started, for however long, she couldn't recall. Just not long enough. Then at half-past noon they heard Kelso's van pulling into the Forman's driveway and everything turned into pumpkins and mice.
He sat up and got off her, letting her free. She swallowed hard and then nodded her head for no reason, trying to compose herself.
"I guess that's it then," she said, not daring to look at him.
"Yeah. We probably should go outside and see them or something."
"Whatever," she said, feeling inexplicably angry. Her shoulder tensed up.
"Hey," he said, taking her hand and lacing their fingers together. "For what it's worth, Jackie. It's been fun, this summer." He coughed. "With you."
She stared at him. He hadn't put his sunglasses on yet. She tried to look into his eyes, find out what he was thinking.
"Hey, where's Jackie?" she heard Michael shout. Her chest tightened and she ripped her hand from Steven's. "And where's Hyde?"
She stood up and took a deep breath. So okay ,she told herself, time to face Michael. Time to say goodbye to Steven. Jackie turned once more to look at him. He had his hand out, not to hold her hand, but gesturing to the door, telling her to go first.
So it was already over for him, she thought. All right. Fine then. She quickly straightened her dress and then her shoulders. Her head held high, she strode towards the door and went outside, not bothering to look behind at what—and who—she was leaving.