Disclaimer: I own nothing
Notes: A bit of a short chapter this time around, but I'm just please I could get this out on time. :P Thanks to all who reviewed last chapter, and anyone can feel free to drop me on this chapter
Chapter 9 – History Repeats Itself
Tuesday, January 19, 1983 – 2:35 PM
"Well that was … pleasant." Heather's voice was flat as she gave the now shut door one more glance. "Is she always that jumpy?"
Silently, Hyde shook his head and hung up his jacket as his girlfriend went to make coffee. Easing his way towards the living room, he kept his eyes on Heather's still turned back. He figured if he could make his way to the couch and plop down and watch TV before she caught him, he might be home free. For the next few minutes, anyways. Unfortunately, a squeaky area of the floor gave him away, and he cursed himself for losing concentration and giving himself up so easily.
Slowly, Heather turned around to face him. "What's her name, Steven?" she asked softly.
Hyde stared at her silently. She had switched moods fast. "Is that a trick question?" he asked cautiously, wondering what she had up her sleeve.
"What?" Her expression was pure confusion. "No."
"Oh." He paused, trying to figure out if she was lying or not. He knew she was good at mind games. "Sophie."
"Sophie what?" Heather's eyes were narrowing.
It struck Hyde that he had never bothered to find out. It had never even crossed his mind. He'd just assumed Jackie gave her Doug's name, since she'd reminded him time and time again about how Doug was really her father. "I don't know," he replied, taking a seat at the table. He figured this was going to take a while. "I never asked."
Heather slid into the chair across from him. "That would've been the first thing I said," she mused, twisting her ring around on her finger. He had to keep from scoffing. Of course it would've been. Heather was so damn practical. She was so neat; she was so calculated; she was his complete opposite. People thought that him and Jackie were different – but they'd never met Heather. She had grown up the same way she lived now, and he wondered what the hell it was about her that attracted him. Maybe it was just that – the complete lack of spontaneity balanced out his unpredictable way of life.
The pair remained silent for the next few minutes, until the point when Hyde began to wonder if she was just going to drop it then and there. God, he wished she would. They both knew he'd screwed up, hell, everyone knew he'd screwed up. Why couldn't she just leave it at that?
"I can't believe you did that, Steven." Her voice was quiet, and she kept her eyes fixed on the table. She never made eye contact when she was upset with him. Everyone else, she'd stare down, but the most he ever got was the occasional flickering glance towards his face. "After all the stuff that happened with your dad, you were the last person I'd ever expect that from."
Hyde winced when she mentioned Bud. He'd never told her about Edna running off, figuring that in the long run, it didn't really matter. He'd always kind of meant to tell her, but the thought was buried at the back of his mind, and it never really became an urgent issue. Sometimes, on the hot summer nights when they were lying awake for hours, the blankets kicked aside and the breeze coming in through the window, he'd thought about it. He'd always preferred telling her things like that in the dark, so he didn't se how she reacted. It was easier than just coming out with it right away and risking people thinking that maybe he was just telling them for sympathy.
He hated sympathy.
Hyde sighed heavily. "Yeah, well, you were wrong," he replied flatly, not bothering to try and defend himself just yet.
Heather got up to get coffee and didn't speak again until she sat down. "God," she expelled. "What the hell were you thinking?"
Hyde rolled his eyes. "Why are you so worked about it?" he ground out. "She's not your damn kid!"
"Because, Steven," Heather shot right back at him without missing a beat. "If we ever get married and have kids, I want to know that you're not going to run out on them! I need to know that you can break away from this mould that you've set for yourself. You're so damn positive that you'll end up like Bud, Steven, and I want to see if it's true."
Damn it. He'd never told her any of that. He'd never given her any inclination to think any of the things she'd just voiced. Hell, they weren't even true. He was fairly convinced that him turning into Bud wasn't a real threat – if anything, having a father who acted like that reinforced his desire not to have history repeat itself. "I never walked out on any of them," he informed her quietly. "Sophie hadn't met me before this weekend. Jackie left me."
She rolled her eyes. "Whatever makes you sleep better at night, Steven."
God, she was frustrating. "Heather, I'm not here to play your mind games," he finally ground out. "Jackie gave me an ultimatum when we were younger. She left before I gave her my answer, and she took off to Chicago. I went after her, but chickened out before I could get to her motel, figured I could spend the rest of my life without her, got a room, and stayed the night. The next morning, I went home. Stayed for a few weeks, found out from Jackie's best friend that she was pregnant – with my kid – and then I left. I went with my friends to Madison, and when they finished school, I moved here."
"You still knew," his girlfriend observed quietly.
"Heather, I don't have to put up with this. I told you what happened. You have no idea about any part of my relationship with Jackie, so just drop it, okay." Leaving his chair, he grabbed his jacket as his girlfriend watched him storm out.
Fuck. She wanted to come home to a relaxing afternoon with her boyfriend. Rubbing her eyes tiredly, she forced herself to keep back tears. It didn't look like that would be happening any time soon.
Sunday, July 10, 1969 – 6:42 AM
Point Place, Wisconsin
A sharp bang and a loud curse woke up the little boy sleeping in the next room. He squeezed his eyes shut, and willed sleep to come again, but the noises were growing more insistent. There was a constant series of rustles and bangs, with a few choice words thrown in for good measure. The young boy opened his eyes and focused on his Cowboys and Indians sheets. If he tried hard enough, he could imagine he was Deputy Hyde, and he had to chase the Indians away from the white man's land.
However, no amount of pretend games could silence his father's loud voice, and against his better judgment, he left the warm comfort of his bed to peek out into the living room. "Dad?" he said in surprise, as Bud Hyde dragged a stuffed suitcase towards the door. Getting no answer, he stepped into the room occupied by his father. "Dad," he asked, suddenly frightened. "Where're you going?"
Startled by his son's voice, Bud almost dropped the suitcase. "Out," he replied simply.
Steven nodded, his eyes wide. "When're you coming back?"
Bud laughed hollowly, no trace of humour detectable in his voice. "Never."
Steven bit his lip as he watched his father walk out the front door before turning around and running back to his bed. Bud had never been nice to him, but he'd never hit him, either. Burying his face in his pillow, he felt the first few tears leak out. He'd left because he hated him, Steven was sure of that. He drove his own father away. He was always complaining about how they had to pay extra for groceries because of The Kid, and how they could be spending money on something worthwhile if they didn't have to clothe The Kid. He talked about how he could be doing great things if he didn't have a kid.
Clutching his pillow, Steven buried his face in the centre of it. He'd driven his own father away forever, and his mother would just have another reason to hate him.