Disclaimer: I don't own.
Author's note: This is a future fic, will incorporate the canon of even (ugh) Season 8, though I will be playing a bit with some details of certain family relationships. As a warning, it revolves around a tragic event, and of course is angsty (come on, this is me!), but I think in the end it'll be a sweet and deep (I hope) love story. J/H pairing. The genre is more of a romantic suspense than anything else. The structure of the story is probably going to call for shorter chapters, but that could be good news. :)
November, 1982, Chicago, Illinois
"My kind of town, Chicago is my kind of town."
After two days of listening to it, Steven Hyde had finally grown violently tired of his cellmate's hoarse and far out of tune voice. He lifted his leg from the thin mattress he lay on and kicked it upwards, hard, to the equally skeletal and stained mattress of the bunk above him. "Enough of the serenade, jerk off!" His leg dropped and bounced on what supposedly passed for his bed. Bad enough he was trapped in this hell hole. Just his luck he had to have such an idiot for a cellmate.
"Aww, what's the matter, sweetie? You don't like my singing? Or is it just the song?" A pockmarked face, grinning wide like a crazy clown, hung upside down off the side of the bunks, and Hyde rolled his eyes. Two days, and this was about the twenty-ninth time his "roomie" had leaned down that way to chat with him. "I can sing something else if y'want. I know a bunch of songs." The guy's grin turned into a pout. "C'mon, man. Give me a break. I ain't got anything else to do."
Hyde glared at the moron, but instead of reaching out and popping him a good one, right in the eye, he rolled over to face the dreary concrete wall. "Whatever. Just don't sing that song. And sing into your pillow."
A few seconds later, Hyde rolled his eyes at the muffled singing wafting down from above. Idiot. Took everything he said at face value.
He closed his eyes. Wished he was somewhere else. Not that he was shocked to be here. He'd always expected to wind up in the slammer. Just never for this reason.
He rolled over onto his back again, eyes still closed, and against the darkness, her image came. Her face. Her beauty.
The look in her eyes when she'd learned.
He knew exactly what she'd been thinking of. He'd thought the same thing.
It happened again. He'd done it again. And this time, much, much worse, because this time, it was criminal. Allegedly.
He shook his head, a desperate wince painfully twisting every muscle in his face. If only he could figure out how in the hell it had happened! She was coming to see him today. If he could figure out what happened, he could tell her. And maybe...maybe he wouldn't lose her.
His eyes opened, but he still saw her face. Just three days ago, that face had nestled against his chest. Those eyes had looked at him with exhilaration. Those sweet lips had teased him into anguish, then comforted him into ecstasy.
Too bad. He'd had the silly thought that it was their time to make it to forever.
"Hyde. Up and at 'em. You got a visitor."
He sighed and forced his aching body, stiff and sore from the less than hospitable furnishings, to stand.
"Have fun, sweetie-pie!"
Hyde didn't even bother to acknowledge his wacko of a cellmate and headed straight for the bars. Cold, steel bars. A nasty-looking guard, outfitted with the tools of his trade, nightstick, guns. Handcuffs the guard was just about to slap on his wrists. Things meant to control. Beat down. Destroy. Kill.
Right. As if he wasn't dead already.
November, 1983, Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Jackie Burkhart sat on the window seat in her large, perfectly decorated bedroom, gazing out the window at the lake. In the summer, she watched the boats and swimmers, made up stories in her head about what those swimmers were doing, where the boats were going. Just in front of the lake was Grant Park, and she watched the kids playing, dogs on leashes leading their owners on runs. Chicago was a bustling city, with just the right amount of energy, just the right amount of aesthetic beauty. Glorious architecture, the Chicago River, Lake Michigan. And of course Michigan Avenue, which somehow managed to keep up with her love for shopping.
She loved it. She was thriving in it. All her dreams were coming true.
She looked down at the letter in her lap and smiled. It should make her nervous, a page with sentences composed by cut out magazine letters and words.
Dear Jackie. I love your television show. I really get you. And you get me. Someday we'll meet, Jackie, and I'll get you…if you know what I mean.
William had wanted to go to the police, but she refused. It wasn't necessary, she'd told him.
"Don't you know what this means, William? It means I've made it! I'm really a star! Fan letters are great, yeah, people like you. Blah, blah, blah. But stalker letters? People either love you obsessively or hate you obsessively! People think you have power! Power, William! I'm gonna influence this entire country, William!"
She wasn't frightened. It was a one-time thing, she was sure. If she sent this guy an autographed picture, he'd be satisfied. That's what the network executives had told her, after, she remembered with a swell in her heart, telling her what an incredible asset she'd become to them. How valuable she was. How much they, and everyone, adored her. How amazed they were by the ratings her show was getting.
How she loved the praise.
And needed it, because she sure as hell didn't get any appreciation at home.
Then again, that was her fault.
No. It was his fault.
Her mood darkened, a piercing anger erupting in her stomach. Her eyes skimmed the park once again, and to her chagrin, she wondered if he was out there. No. Of course he wasn't out there. And if he was, it wouldn't matter. Not anymore.
She flipped her head to William, his six foot frame stiff in the doorway to their bedroom.
"We need to get ready for dinner. We're expected at seven sharp."
She hesitated, and that was all the opening he needed.
He walked towards her, his face clouding. "Need I remind you of our agreement, Mrs. Bonner? You are to be my wife in every way, accompanying me to parties, making me look…"
Jackie stood, shaking her head. "Please, William. You don't need to go through all that again." She forced a compliant smile. "I'll be quick. I know you don't like to be late."
He nodded curtly, though a small smile raised the corners of his lips. "Good. Oh, and wear the blue gown. My boss likes blue, and you…" The smile broadened sexily. "Look so amazing in it."
He left, and she stood. Slowly, she turned and walked back to the window. So many people, living such happy lives, playing games or taking walks with people they loved. She blinked slowly, smiled sadly. If those people at the park could look up into her home, they'd probably guess that she was living a fairy tale. A life in which she wanted for nothing.
She wanted for something.
She wanted for him. And every day, despite her skyrocketing career, her increasing wealth, she wanted him more.