-1Alright, guys, sorry it took longer than usual, but this is it, the final chapter! I decided to finish it up 'cause it wasn't getting a whole ton of responses, so I hope those who did read it enjoyed and I hope to have a new story up soon!

Hold Me Down

You're the metaphors I can't create

To comprehend this curse that I call love

Hyde's specialty had always been words. He didn't say a lot, which meant that whatever did leave his mouth always seemed to mean more to people. He could stay silent throughout a debate and, at the last possible second, drive his point home in less than ten syllables and leave everyone in awe of his wisdom.

Which was why, right now, he was astounded that he couldn't think of anything at all. He knew he had to speak to Jackie. He knew he had to tell her how he felt. But he couldn't even fathom how to begin.

Of course, in order to begin, he'd have to be allowed to see her first. Hyde hung his head and pounded on Donna's bedroom door for the fifth time. "Jackie? Would you just let me in? We have to talk."

"We are done talking," she declared from the safety of the bedroom. "So why don't you run along home and leave. Me. Alone!"

Hyde took a deep breath. "Not gonna happen, Jackie. You're gonna have to leave the room eventually and I'll be right here when you do."

The door swung open.

"Oh, now you're ready to be there for me?" Jackie hurled the words at him as if they were daggers. "Now you're willing to give up everything and sit outside my door for as long as it takes? How dedicated of you, Hyde! Where was that a few months ago when all I wanted was an answer to a simple yes or no question?"

"That was anything but a simple question." Hyde, who had slouched against the wall in preparation for a much longer wait, straightened up. "You were asking me to decide my entire future. Me. I'd never made a good decision in my life!"

"And why break tradition for me?"

His foot thrust out lightning-quick to catch the door just before it could shut firmly in his face. "Not so fast. I have some things to say."

"Yeah, you had a lot to say at the mall, too," she retorted, not backing down a bit. They faced off in the threshold, her hands planted firmly on her hips, his balled into fists and hanging by his sides. "I think I remember something about me needing to find an even bigger loser than you to marry me, but I somehow doubt that'll happen."

"Okay. Fair enough," Hyde allowed. "I was out of line for saying that."

The noise she made was full of frustration. "I don't have time for your lame, half-assed apology about some stupid burn, Steven Hyde. So if you could just get out of my life and stay out, that'd be great."

"You don't want me out of your life," he told her matter-of-factly.

Jackie laughed in his face. "You have no idea what I want from you, Steven! You never did. That's why we're over."

"You're right about that much," he admitted. "I never knew what you wanted from me. I thought you were trying to make me like all the other stupid pretty-boys who'd taken you out. What else was I supposed to think? You were always pushing me to do things I didn't want to do.

"But," he continued, raising his voice to silence her protests. "I get it now. You wanted me to be the best person I could be. I don't know how you saw that guy before I even realized he existed. And for the life of me, I have no idea why you were the one to bring him out. But ... you did. You constantly made me try harder, do better, want more."

He stopped then, wanting to judge her reaction. There was a long moment of silence, then she shrugged. "Well, it went both ways, you know," she informed him, focusing her gaze on a point just above his head. "You helped me a lot, too."

"How?" She didn't answer, but didn't fight back when he stepped forward and gained total entry into the room. "Jackie, look at me. How?"

"God, Steven, I don't know. You want specifics? I guess ... I guess you were the one who finally got me to see that the world didn't revolve around me. As much as I'd still like it do," she added wryly. "But you didn't put up with me being so shallow, you made me ... I don't know, you made me start being real."

Hyde was floored. Totally, utterly, at a loss for words. He'd only just realized in the past few weeks without her how great of an impact Jackie had on him. To think that he had the same kind of effect on her - on anyone, really - was mind-boggling.

"And you made me realize I don't need a boyfriend to survive," she finished. "When you ran off and married Sam, I was more devastated than I ever thought I could be. But it was for the best, I guess. You're where you want to be and I ... am getting there. And I don't need you, or Michael, or anyone else to be happy."

"Good for you, Jackie. I'll leave you in that enlightened state of mind. Oh. One little thing ... Sam's gone."

He counted to three as he pretended to walk away and halted his progress when Jackie's voice, soft and clear, reached his ears. "Wait."

Hyde turned to face her again, trying to keep the smirk off his face. "Yes?"

She closed the distance he'd put between them, raised her hand to his cheek ... and slapped him, hard, across the face. Hyde's head snapped back and his eyes watered at the sting.

"You have some nerve," she told him angrily as he sputtered, "To come here and make me relive all this crap again and then drop a bombshell like that and just walk away. You're still the same old Hyde. You thought you could weasel your way out of telling me how you really feel by slipping in the fact that Sam's gone and making me come running back to you? Newsflash - not. Gonna. Happen."

"Jackie, I -" He didn't really have a defense. She would see right through any flimsy excuse he could come up with, just as she'd seen through this plan. "Okay. You may be slightly, a little bit, correct."

"You're a coward," she declared. "And all I ever wanted from you was honesty. So listen up, Steven, because this time, it really is an ultimatum. You tell me, to my face, how you truly feel about me and what you intend to do about it. Or you get the hell out of my life and try not to ever come in contact with me again because I swear on my shoe collection, I will rip you apart."

And that was that. The gauntlet was thrown. Jackie had never looked better than right now, with fire in her eyes and an edge of passion to her voice. There was no question about it, he loved this girl more than he ever could've dreamed.

"Okay. Okay." Hyde ducked his head, collected his thoughts, and finally put his heart on the line. "Jackie. I don't know."

"Oh, you absolutely moronic waste of -"

"I don't know how to put into words everything you make me feel," he broke into her tirade before she could gain momentum. "I don't know what I'm going to be doing in ten minutes, never mind ten years, but I want you with me. I don't know why I was so scared to say it before because every time I look at you, I fall in love all over again."

"Steven." The smile on her face was the most heartwarming sight he'd ever laid eyes on. "That's the most beautiful thing you've ever said to me."

"Yeah, well," he began, swamped with relief that she'd been moved.

"It took you long enough," she cut him off. "I mean, really, you could've saved me a whole lotta trouble if you'd just said it before I went to Chicago. You have a lot of groveling to do. And I mean, foot massages, chick flicks, the whole nine yards. Don't think that just 'cause I love you, you're gonna get off the hook -"

"Jackie, shut up for two seconds," he ordered, "And say that last part again."

"You're not getting off the hook?" she repeated, confused.

"No." Hyde shook his head, a grin spreading from ear to ear. "The part about you loving me."

"Oh. I love you, Steven. You know that. I've always loved you - when you wouldn't even date me, when you weren't sure if you wanted to marry me, when you married someone else." She shrugged. "I've been trying to forget about you since you left the hotel in Chicago, and it hasn't worked yet. And I usually get what I want, so I figure, I don't really want to forget about you at all."

"How 'bout I give you something worth remembering, then?"

Jackie rose to her tiptoes in expectation of his mouth lowering to hers. Instead, Hyde got down to one knee and pulled from his pocket a small velvet box. "Oh my ..."

"I'm sorry it took me nearly losing you to figure out what you mean to me," Hyde said, as honestly as he knew how. "And I'm sorry I've hurt you so -"

"Shut up," she interrupted, swatting at his shoulders. "Steven, just shove the speech and ask me."

Chuckling, he complied. "Jackie, will you marry me?"

"Yes! Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!" Shrieking, Jackie yanked him to his feet and smothered him with kisses. "Omigod, Steven, are you sure? I mean, this is big, this is - this is forever."

"I've been carrying that thing around since I brought it to Chicago," he told her. "So, yeah. I'm sure. Forever."

Bending his head, he brought their lips together and sealed the deal.