Disclaimers: Same as before. I just own Jackie.


Author's Note: Did I mention I love angst? There's going to be plenty of that in this story ;) Just a warning heh.



Chapter Three

"That girl was so into me." Ben said as he and Luke returned from the mall. It was four o clock in the afternoon. Ben had been having a great day. Sure, he'd made friends at school...but well, Luke was his best friend. That counted for something.


Luke grinned and slapped Ben on the back. "Sure she was Benny. So what was your plan this time?"


"She's going to fall in love with me." Ben replied smugly.


"Owww." They heard a moan coming from the couch. Only, Ben and Luke weren't too sure, because the moan came from a pile of blankets. Ben looked at Luke, who shrugged. Ben walked over and poked the blanket pile.


"Owww." Came the moan again. "Go 'way." Carol's voice. Ben grinned and pulled the blankets down, showing a pale face, frizzy haired Carol Seaver. "Oooh!" Carol said grabbing the side of her head and ducking under the covers again. "Light! Make it go away!"


Ben laughed. "Oh my god. Carol is hung over!!"


Carol peeked out at Ben and Luke, with one eye opened. "I am not hung over." She said. "I'm just a little tipsy from drinking too much wine last night."


Luke shook his head but said nothing. Wine...beer...liquor. He hated it all. "Well. You'll remember not to do this again huh Carol?" Luke asked her. Carol nodded her head emphatically and her face turned a pale shade of green. "Oh." Carol moaned. "My insides are coming out!" She hopped up from the bed and made a bee line for the kitchen.


Ben laughed. "I gotta go find a camera. Could come in handy for blackmail later." He said an evil glint in his eye. Luke shook his head at Ben now and smiled to himself. Ben was blackmailing Carol...things were slowly returning back to...normal.


"Bye guys!" Jackie said as she was heading into the house, waving to some girls who dropped her off. She walked into the living room, hanging up her coat on the coat rack.


Luke turned. "Hey Jackie?"


"Yeah?" Jackie turned too, so now they were facing each other.


"About earlier today when I bit your head off...I didn't mean to." Luke began. "I have a lot on my mind too, and well you were just trying to be a friend....in other words, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to take it out on you."


Jackie nodded. "It's ok Luke." She said. "Really...you looked like you had something on your mind, so no biggie."


"Really?" Luke asked.


Jackie smiled. "Yeah. Really. I wouldn't lie."


Luke smirked at her. Jackie shrugged, trying to appear innocent looking. "Not much." She admitted. "Ok, just when it suits me." she said and they both laughed.


"So whatcha doing?" Luke asked her. Jackie frowned a moment. "Erm, I was just brought back from Alexia's." She explained. "And um...now?" She looked away guiltily. "I have a date."


"Oh." Said Luke, trying not to let it bother him. "Date kind of date? Or um, guy you're dating kind of date?"


Jackie bit her lip. "Just a date, date. Casual." She told him. "Nothing serious." Luke nodded. "Right." He said. "Well..." he paused. "Have fun." There. That's it. He encouraged himself.


Jackie frowned. Ooh, she'd hurt him. She could tell. "Luke..."


"It's ok." Luke said. "I mean, you should do that. Go on dates and stuff. Heck, I should do that now I'm..." he bit his words off. He'd about said 'in a stable home'. Jackie winced.


"Right." She nodded. "We're not dating anymore so we both need to...move on." She said. "Well...I need to go get ready...see ya..." She said and hurried up the stairs. Jackie got in her room, grabbing a cd and popping it in. She slipped on Aerosmith, sighing to herself.


Ok, she didn't really want to go on this stupid date, she'd rather stay at home. Jackie laughed at herself. A year ago, or two even, she would have called herself Carol Jr. And a spinster for staying at home on a Saturday. That had been when she'd been vain and air head-ish. Ok, so maybe her brother and sister knew what they were talking about when they said that. You just never wanted to hear bad things about yourself. Jackie sighed, and pulled out a new outfit, and started the shower.


So she'd go on this stupid, pointless date. Everyone thought she'd bounced back from her break up with Luke, unharmed. Because she was Jackie Seaver...because she was the flighty, air head of the family. She was like that.


Well...not anymore. When she started going out with Luke...and realized...there were other people in the world, she'd changed. With that resolved, Jackie yanked on the shirt, then the pants and started to apply her make up.


****

"Hey Luke." Mike said, walking out on the porch finding Luke there. It had been Luke's second day back with the Seavers, and from what Mike could see, Luke was adjusting pretty well. Which was good. He smiled. "How ya doing?"


"Pretty good." Said Luke, moving the porch swing with his foot.


"Are ya? Well, I'm glad." He said and sat next to Luke, who stopped moving the swing so Mike could sit. "So.."


"Look Mike–thanks for not um, telling Ben or Jackie about what happened between me and...George." Luke could no longer call George 'my dad'. It made him sick to think of calling him that. He said. "I don't know...what I woulda...said to them after they knew."


Mike nodded and patted his knee. "No problem Luke." he said with a smile. "Some things are hard to talk about."


Luke nodded. Yeah, no kidding. He thought. Mike knew pretty much everything about him–well, except one little thing.


But no one was gonna know about that.


"So whatcha doing out here?" Mike asked Luke. "How come you didn't go with Ben tonight?"


Luke shrugged. "Ah, I felt like staying home." he said. "Sides, there was a marathon of Teenage Mutant Cheerleaders on." he said with a wink. "I wanted to watch it."


Mike laughed. "Again? Between you and Ben, you've seen that movie how many times?"


"Twenty-five." Luke said. "And counting. So that'd make it twenty six." He laughed. He'd watched part of the movie, anyways. When he could turn his thoughts off. "So. Am I gonna be enrolled in school here, or back in Long Island?"


"Up to you buddy." Mike promised. "If you wanna come back and live with me and Boner, you can. Or you can stay here with Mom and Dad. Either way, it doesn't matter. But if you stay here, I'll come up to see you as often as I can." Promised Mike.


A car pulled up. Strange looking car. Luke frowned. "Who's that?" He asked.


Mike rolled his eye. "Probably some bone head friend of Jackie's." Luke nodded. Yup, it was her getting out of the car. She waved to whoever was inside, then headed up the steps.


"Oh. Hey. What's this? Meeting on the front porch?" Jackie asked.


"Nah...just two guys, hanging out." Mike replied. "Where'd you go?" he asked her.


"Date." Jackie said. "Which is over." She looked a little grateful for that. Cause Brad...boring. And, he was a smooth operator, but a swift I'm not going there look had stopped that.


"Ah." Mike nodded.


"Well...." Jackie said. "I guess I'm going back in the house." She said, smiling over at them and then walking on inside.


Luke frowned. Mike noticed it and turned. "Anything ya wanna talk about?" Luke turned over to Mike. "Not really...why?"


Mike shrugged. "Just wondering. Cause if you're having woman troubles, I'm just the guy to go to." he said. Luke laughed. "Why does everyone assume I have problems in dating?" he asked. "Just cause a guy wants to stay home for a change.."


Mike laughed as well. "Well...its just..." He sighed. "I'm gonna be honest, Luke. Not prying either, even if ya think I am. Why...did you and Jacks break up?"


Luke looked down at his sneakers, using his left one to push the swing, then switching to his right one. "Mike...I'd rather not talk about it...if that's ok?" he asked. "It's kind of raw. Just really a year has passed.."


Mike nodded. "It's Ok Luke." He assured him. "I just wanted you to know....if you wanna talk bout anything, I'm here. Ok?"


Luke nodded. "Sure thing Mike." he said. "But now, if you don't mind I think I'm gonna go to sleep."


"Ok." Mike stood too. "I think I might too...gettin' tired." he agreed. Mike turned off the porch light and started for the front door, Luke following. Luke walked inside, and said good night to Mike, who locked the front door before shutting off the lights. "Night Luke." he said.


"Night Mike." Luke echoed as he headed up the stairs and to his room.