Title: Little Drummer Girl

Disclaimer: Don't own, ain't getting paid – that goes for all the chapters

Pairing: J/H

Summary: Set at the end of Season 2 – Jackie is looking for a way to prove to Hyde that she is no square and finds a more effective method than buying pot.


It was your average Friday night down at the Hub. Fez and Kelso were trying unsuccessfully to hustle Leo at Foosball and Hyde was sitting at a table curling his lip at their stupidity, occasionally reading his comic book. Just as he was basking in the absence of the girl who had been as closely attached to him lately as a boil and about as welcome, she walked in through the door.

"Ohhh Steven," Jackie cried happily. "I'm SO glad you're here."

Hyde continued reading. "Jackie, please. I'm right in the middle of Smokey and the Band-Aid okay?"

This was less than the undivided attention Jackie felt her beauty deserved. Still, Steven was allowed some leeway seeing as how he put the loof in aloof so she decided to roll with it.

"Okay fine. But… I signed us up for roller-disco lessons at Skateworld tonight. Class starts in half an hour so we better hustle." Hyde stared at her. "You get it? Hustle?"

Hyde set down his comic. "Okay, let me explain something to you. On Friday nights, I don't roller-disco. I go out looking for roller-discoers to punch in the head."

"Okay fine, we won't roller disco. We'll do anything you want."

Hyde sighed. He might have known Jackie's skin was too thick for broad hints and cutting insults to penetrate. Time to get brutal.

"No we won't. Look man, you and I, don't have anything in common. You're like, a square you know. A cheerleader. So just roller-disco on out of here okay?"

Jackie was hurt by his complete dismissal of her. "Fine. Fine, I guess I'm not cool enough to hang out with you anymore."

"Now you're getting it."

The sickeningly familiar sensation of rejection washed over Jackie. To think, until her break up with Kelso this had been an unknown emotion to her. Then it started coming thick and fast. It began when her first boyfriend would vow eternal love to her face but make out with whorey Laurie behind her back – that still smarted. Then in her hurt she had tried to rebound onto Steven, whom she had always felt strangely drawn to. She would never forget the look of horror on his face when she had tried to kiss him. Those four terrible words he had uttered – I don't like you – had been a hell of a blow to her belief in herself as the greatest thing since hot rollers. She had taken solace in his assurance that he thought she was hot when she didn't talk. When she had thanked him for this bone thrown to her ego, there had been something about the twinkle in his eye when he had said "Anything for you, doll," that had given her new hope that perhaps he liked her more than he realised himself. It was not until he taught her his zen that she really felt maybe his judgment of her could be reversed. And she found she very much wanted him to have a high opinion of her, especially since he was fast becoming the most important person in her life. But now her dream of roller-boogieing into Steven's heart was dying because she wasn't cool enough for him.

"You know what Steven, you think you know me, but you don't. You don't know me at all!" Jackie stated angrily, flouncing out of the diner.

Hyde was not moved. "I know you like unicorns, soooo bye bye."

Jackie strode down the main street of Point Place, hands shoved in pockets and face frowning in anger at Steven and disgust with herself. That does it, she promised herself. No more making an ass of myself over guys who aren't worth my spit. If Steven's too dumb to realise I am the dream of his lonely orphan heart come true, then he's not worth my time. An empty soda can was so foolhardy as to lie in her path; Jackie lined it up and kicked it so hard and far that if she had her pom poms she would have cheered her own goal. The act of aggression had felt good, reminding her there was a more satisfying release for her anger available. But no, that was not an option. She had promised herself the last time she had to stop doing it, knowing if anyone found out her reputation would be shot. Still, after what just happened, these were special circumstances – one more time wouldn't make a difference. Looking around surreptitiously to make sure no-one was watching her, she slipped down an ordinary suburban street to a standard three bed fibro home. With satisfaction she noted a light showing under the garage roller door. Any doubts that something was happening behind that door were put to rest when sounds like a cat being put through a laundry wringer came screeching through. Staying in the shadows as much as possible, she quickly pulled the door up and slipped into the garage.

"Well, look who's finally come crawling back," drawled a skinny teenager, putting down the guitar he was tuning.

"Yeah, yeah, I know my visit has made your day. I felt it was wrong of me to deprive you of the sunshine of my presence for much longer. But Trev, this has to be the last time."

Trevor laughed sardonically. "Of course. Each time is always the last time. When are you going to admit you're hooked, Blue?"

"How many times do I have to tell you not to call me that," Jackie said, but her words had no bite – her eyes were distracted by something sitting in the corner of the garage that was pulling her in like a tractor beam.

"Would you prefer Beulah?" Trevor offered slyly. Jackie frowned forbiddingly at him, but tacitly allowed the nickname derived from her despised middle name.

"Whatever," she said, drawing on her zen lessons. "Sooo… where are they?"

"Why, what could you be referring to," Trev asked innocently. When Jackie advanced on him with her get-ready-to-clutch-your-shins-in-pain expression, he magically produced a pair of drumsticks from behind his back. "Is this what you were after?"

Without a word, Jackie grabbed the sticks and took her place behind the drum set that had been calling to her from three blocks away. She took a moment to savour the feel of the smooth wood between her fingers and then broke into a single stroke which soon graduated into a buzz roll. Faster than the eye could follow the beaters pounded on her old friends – the double bass, the snares, the floor tom and the hi-hat cymbals. With each stroke her anger seeped out of her troubled soul and into her playing and was finally exorcised with a fortissimo drum solo "wipeout". Panting slightly, she became aware of Trevor's slow handed applause.

"Whoa, Blue, I'd hate to be the guy who pisses you off," he said with a low whistle.

"Well, you're certainly a contender, dweeb," Jackie answered, catching her breath. With foreboding she felt something trickle down the side of her forehead. Oh please, let the roof be leaking in this rathole, she prayed. Unfortunately, the leak was purely self-generated. Wiping the sweat droplet away, she groaned as she remembered the main reason she had banned herself from this forbidden pleasure – it made her sweat. She considered throwing the evil drumsticks far from her and running away into the night to hide her shame but Trevor started up a tricksy little guitar tune that was just begging for a backbeat to bring it home. Before she knew it she was drawn into the music and all thought of her appearance was lost. Three hours later her blouse was soaked in perspiration, her hair was plastered wetly to her head and she had not felt so utterly at peace in weeks.

"So," Trevor said, handing her a can of soda. "what have you been up to?"

As Jackie launched into a description of the clothes she had bought, the hairstyles she had experimented with and the pressures of cheerleading, he listened with only half an ear. He always got a kick out of watching Jackie transform from an uptight pristine girl into a sweat-soaked kick-ass drummer. It was ironic how she was convinced the moisture made her hideous, when it fact it only made her sexy. He noted she was winding down from her diatribe – now that he had feigned an interest in her life, it was time to come to the point.

"So Blue, what would you say if I asked you to join my band?"


AUTHOR'S NOTE: Let me offer my apologies right now to anyone who knows the first thing about drums – I'm flying by the seat of my pants using an internet drum glossary. If I make any glaring errors, please let me know and I will fix them.