Pst! Okay, here's a quick rundown in case you need one to refresh your memory.
The story takes places at the end of Season 5. Jackie & Hyde are broken up; Eric & Donna are still ED; Kelso finally gets it - Jackie's in love w/ Hyde; Fez & Laurie are married and have to look for a place to live; and Red & Kitty are dealing with the doctor's orders about better health as a result from Red's heart attack. Jackie & Donna scheme on how Jackie should make Hyde pay for his wrong doing, while Hyde tries giving Jackie space in order to try and get her back.
And now, I give you . . .
Chapter Nine – Knock Three Times
Oh my darling!
Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me
Twice on the pipe if the answer is no
OH my sweetness! (clank, clank, clank)
Means you'll meet me in the hallway
Twice on the pipe means you ain't gonna show
"Ooh," breathed Fez as he sat at the breakfast bar in the Forman's kitchen looking over the classified ads with Laurie three days later. "What about this one? It has appliances."
Looking up from her paper, Laurie asked, "Does it include utilities?"
Shaking his head sadly, Fez replied, "No, it does not, sweet thing. It has W D hook up, though." Pausing for a moment Fez asked, "What's that?"
Grimacing to herself, Laurie explained. "W D hook up means you can hook up a washer and dryer. We don't necessarily need that. What we need is a place with utilities included."
"Ah, I see," Fez slowly said as the light bulb inside his head clicked on. "So what are utilities?"
Laurie grimaced again before answering. "Utilities are things like electric, water, and trash pick up, Fez."
"Oh, I get it," Fez replied. "So they are free with the rent?"
"Only if the ad says utilities are included," she answered as she continued to look through her paper. "And we have to make sure it's in our budget."
"Bud jet? Where did Bud jet off to?" Fez snickered as he cracked a joke.
Laurie rolled her eyes. "A budget, Fez, is when you figure out how much money you have and how much of it you can spend on things you need."
"Oh, okay," he said slowly. He looked back at the ads. "How much can we afford?"
"Huh, not much," she returned as she continued her search. "Ooh, this one sounds good! Utilities and appliances for three seventy-five."
"That does sound good. Where is it?" he asked.
"Um. . .over on Meyer Avenue."
"This one sounds good," Fez announced. "Utilities, water, and trash pick up as well as washer and dryer hook up for four hundred fifty."
"Hmm," Laurie said in thought. "Where's it at?"
"Uh, 324 Lincoln Drive."
"Ooh. Maybe not Fez."
"Not the right kind of price range for us. Not unless you get some high paying job."
"Well I thought your job was high paying."
"What job? I don't have a job."
"You mean you don't work the corners in the evening?"
"Oh. Then never mind."
. . .
(Guitar riff intro to "Bring It on Home" blaring from the El Camino's speakers)
Outside on the driveway, Hyde was washing his vehicle. The sun was shining brightly and a gentle breeze was blowing every now and then. Making soapy circles on the hood of his car with the sponge, Hyde jammed along with the song lost in nothing but the sweet rhythm and beat of the song.
Try to tell you baby, what you tryin' to do?
Tryin' to love me baby, love some other man too.
Bring it on home.
Bring it on home.
Dipping the sponge back in the bucket, Hyde glanced up when he heard footsteps clicking up the driveway. Wearing a cute baby doll top, jeans, and wedges Jackie strode up the driveway with Donna. Squeezing the sponge to drain it of excess water, Hyde found it rather hard to breathe and tried concentrating on his chore shaking his head ever so slightly just knowing that Jackie Burkhart would be the death of him.
Went a little walk downtown, messed and got back later;
Found a note there waiting, it said, "Daddy, I just can't wait."
Bring it on home.
Bring it on home.
Bring it back home,
Bring it back home to me baby.
Smirking slightly to herself, having noticed Steven's inability to squeeze the sponge inside the bucket and instead having the soapy water run onto his boots and the driveway, Jackie tossed her head a little – in a Charlie's Angels style – to remove some hair from her shoulder. Pretending she hadn't noticed Hyde, Jackie followed Donna over to the porch where they each sat down in a chair.
Tell you, pretty baby, you love to mess me 'round;
I'm gonna give you lovin', baby, gonna move you out o' town.
Bring it on home.
Bring it on home.
Continuing his chore as if he hadn't notice the girls walking across the driveway, Hyde washed the driver's side of the El Camino his back to the porch.
"Donna, what time is Eric suppose to be home?" Jackie asked as she tried to look anywhere but the driveway space occupied by Hyde and his vehicle.
"Soon," Donna replied as she watched Hyde washing his vehicle. "And as soon as he's cleaned up and Hawk arrives, we'll head out."
"Good, but I don't want to be late," Jackie said as she folded her arms across her chest. "So Eric better get here soon and get his rear in gear."
Sweetest little baby, daddy ever saw;
I'm gonna give you lovin' baby, I'm gonna give you more.
Bring it on home.
Bring it on home.
Bring it on home.
Bring it on home to you.
Donna chuckled a little before answering. "I know. This is an important deal. Blah, blah, blah," she said with a roll of her eyes.
"Donna!" Jackie cried as she backhanded her arm.
As Hyde got the sponge soaped up again and started washing the passenger's side, Eric walked up the driveway. Giving a nod, he greeted Hyde, "Hey Hyde."
"What's going on Forman?" Hyde greeted him back.
But before Eric could answer, Donna and Jackie shot up out of their chairs. "Eric!" Donna exclaimed as she rushed towards him, linking arms. "It's about time you got here!"
"About time? Donna, I'm on time; I'm like clockwork, okay?" he replied rather confused.
"Whatever, just hurry up and clean up so we can go," she urged him as they walked to the porch, clearly aware that Hyde's ears were tuned in as well as his eyes to the scene.
"Clean up?" Eric asked bewildered.
Jackie glared at him for a moment. "Eric, please tell me you didn't forget about my double date with you and Donna."
Still looking perplexed by the girls' funny behavior, and luckily having his back to Hyde, he answered with sideway glances at Donna, "Of course I didn't. I'm just a little tired from work."
"Well, you better hurry up and clean up. I don't want to be late for this date," Jackie insisted.
"What date?" Eric couldn't help but ask.
Donna and Jackie's eyes widened. "You don't remember?" asked Donna.
"Uh," was all Eric could say.
"My date with Braden Hawkins," Jackie coolly returned.
"Braden Hawkins? You mean the Hawk?" Eric questioned. "He's going on this, I mean, our double date?"
Donna nodded. "Yes; now go get ready." And with that she gave him a small forceful push inside the house before following him in. Jackie stood on the porch for a moment, watching Donna follow Eric through the swing door.
"So, you're going on a date tonight?" questioned Hyde who was soaping up the sponge once again.
"Yes. Why, do you care?" Jackie asked as she turned around to face him crossing her arms over her chest.
Walking to the back end of the Camino, Hyde started washing it. "Of course I care, Jackie."
"Huh, really? Cos you sure didn't seem to a month ago when you slept with some cheap skanky nurse," she retaliated back.
Hyde let out a heavy sigh. "Look, I know I said I'd give you space, but just because I'm giving you space doesn't mean I stopped caring about you," he informed her as he made soapy circles on the tailgate.
Jackie nodded her head in thought. "Fine," she replied coolly with zen and turned to head into the house.
Hyde groaned inwardly to himself before throwing the sponge at the bucket. "Dammit," he breathed as he picked up the hose to spray off the car.
Inside the house, Jackie walked through to the living room where she found Donna sitting on the couch. As soon as the door swung shut behind Jackie, Donna stood up. "Okay, I've got Eric cleaning up," she informed her friend.
"Good," Jackie replied with a wicked grin, "because Steven's fuming."
"Nice," Donna said with a nod of her head.
"I know," Jackie beamed. "Isn't it great? He so deserves it too," she said as her eyes darkened.
"Yeah, totally deserves it," Donna agreed as she rolled her eyes.
"Donna, this is a good sign," Jackie assured her tall redheaded friend. "If Steven's fuming that means he cares about me. And if he still cares about me, then he'll do something to show me how much."
Donna stared at her friend in mild confusion. "Jackie," she said after a moment from gathering her thoughts, "isn't that like poking the bear?"
Raising an eyebrow at her, Jackie questioned, "So? Steven's the type that just needs to be provoked. He needs to know how much better off he is with me than without."
With a small grin edging along her lips and a tiny chuckle almost escaping from them too, Donna commented, "But what if this back fires and he finds out that he's better off without you?"
Jackie laughed. "Ha! Trust me, he's way better off with me."
"Well, don't say I didn't warn you," Donna informed her short brunette friend. "But, I have to agree with you; Hyde's better off with you."
Touched by Donna's words, Jackie gave a small lop-sided smile. "Thank you, Donna!"
"Yeah, sure; whatever," Donna replied with a shrug. "Well, as soon as Eric gets down here and Hawk shows up, I guess we're ready to roll."
Just then the doorbell rang. Jackie and Donna shared a look. "Omigod," Jackie gasped.
"Okay, take a deep breath, and open the door," Donna instructed her. "Remember, you're Jackie Burkhart—prettiest girl in Point Place."
Jackie smiled an appreciative and knowing smile. "You're right, I am." She took a deep breath and said under it, "I can do this," as she walked to the door. Opening it she saw Braden Hawkins (aka the Hawk) standing on the Forman's front porch smiling politely at her; his bright blue eyes piercing back at her. Braden Hawkins was six feet tall, athletically built with blond hair.
"Hey, Jackie right?" he greeted her as he held out a hand.
"Yeah," Jackie breathed as she took his hand and shook it. "Um, come on in. Eric should be ready soon," she said the last word with emphasis to Donna.
Donna merely rolled her eyes. "Yeah, he just got home from work and is cleaning up," she informed Hawk. "I'm Donna by the way."
"Hi Donna," Hawk greeted her with a smile and a handshake. "I'm Braden, but most people call me Hawk."
"Hi," she returned the greeting.
The three of them looked around at each other not knowing what to say. Breaking the silence, Hawk finally said, "So, Donna, Jackie said you and Eric just graduated?"
"Yeah, class of '78," Donna replied. "You're in Jackie's class?"
"Yeah, class of '79," Hawk returned.
As another brief moment of silence fell on the three, Eric came trampling down the stairs. "Okay, Donna, I'm ready to go," he announced as he bounded down the stairs. Looking around at the three standing around awkwardly in his living room, Eric broke the ice. "Oh hey, Hawk, right? Jackie's date? I'm Eric," he greeted Braden Hawkins with an extended hand.
Taking hold of Eric's hand, Hawk shook it answering, "Yeah, nice meeting you."
Taking back his hand and shoving both into his front pockets, Eric replied, "So, are we ready to roll?"
Looking around at the girls, Hawk answered, "Yeah, I think so."
"Alright, well, let's head on out."
"Wait; Eric, I can drive if you want," Hawk offered. "I got the tickets."
"Yeah man, if you want," Eric replied.
"Wait, you got tickets?" questioned Donna. "To what?"
"Well, after talking with Jackie the other night. . ."
"Which is when I suggested a double date," Jackie jumped in.
". . .I thought about some things as a group we could do. Well, thanks to my dad being on the county fair board, I got tickets to the circus."
Jackie raised an eyebrow. "The circus?"
Eric and Donna bit their bottom lips from snickering out loud having an inkling of Jackie's thoughts about a circus.
"Yeah, I figured it's a fun place where we can all hang out and talk," Hawk answered.
"But it smells," Jackie said wrinkling her nose.
Not seeing anything wrong with that, Hawk remarked, "So does my dad's farm."
"Yeah, but you don't smell like stinky animals."
Hawk laughed. "Because my dad farms grains not animals, and I shower every day."
"Oh," Jackie found herself saying for lack of anything else.
"So, are we leaving or what?" asked Donna as she glanced at her watch.
"Yeah, we're going," Jackie answered and walked over to Hawk taking his hand before leading him out the door.
Looking over at the other two, Hawk shrugged and let Jackie lead the way outside. Donna and Eric followed sharing a look before they headed out the door. Once outside they headed towards Hawk's 1977 red Ford pickup truck, which was parked behind Eric's Vista Cruiser on the street.
Watching the quartet head towards the shiny red truck, Hyde let out a heavy sigh as he continued to dry off the El Camino with a clean rag. Clearly he didn't like what was going on.
As she was getting into the truck on the driver's side, Jackie looked over her shoulder at Hyde; a small smile graced her lips before she hopped inside the vehicle and scooted over to let Hawk in. Smiling at him as he sat next to her, Jackie couldn't help but think maybe this wouldn't be so bad. He was cute and anti-Hyde in a lot of ways; maybe her plans with Donna would work. She looked over at Donna, who was sitting next to her, and wondered if she was ready for this.
"Is everyone alright? Not to squashed?" asked Hawk, breaking Jackie out of her thoughts.
"Nah man, we're good," Eric replied while the girls nodded their heads in agreement.
"Okay," Hawk returned before turning on the ignition and switching gears from park to drive.
Watching the truck full of his friends drive away, Hyde brooded as he stopped drying his vehicle. Walking through the garage, seeing the shiny red truck pull away from the curb, Fez and Kelso headed over to Hyde.
"Hey, who was that?" asked Kelso pointing to the red Ford as he stood on one side of Hyde.
"And why was Jackie, Donna, and Eric with him?" asked Fez standing on the opposite side of Hyde.
"Braden Hawkins," Hyde remarked as he bunched up the rag. "They're going on a double date."
Not missing the jealous tone in his answer, Kelso and Fez shared a look. "Ouch! So where are they going?" asked Kelso.
Hyde shrugged his shoulders.
"You don't know?" questioned Fez.
"No," came Hyde's curt answer as he turned around and headed into the garage tossing the rag.
"How do you not know?" Kelso asked.
Giving an annoyed shoulder shrug, Hyde didn't respond verbally.
Turning around to watch Hyde struggle with his emotions, Fez asked, "Jackie didn't tell you?"
"No," Hyde said soaked in sarcasm, "she failed to mention that on her way over to here to meet up with her date."
"Burn!" Kelso cried softly as he crossed his arms across his chest. "Wow, Jackie's really putting out all the stops on you, man."
"Yes, and she's doing it out of love," added Fez.
Sighing in exasperation, Hyde rolled his eyes as he walked out of the garage. "Love my ass; she's doing it out of spite."
"Man, if Fez and I weren't going to the Molly Hatchet concert tonight, I'd so go with you to stake it out," Kelso told Hyde as he followed him to the porch.
"What?" Hyde guffawed as he sat down in a chair.
"Yeah man, stake them out. See what happens," Kelso responded.
"Yes, and if he gets kissy faced with her, break it up," Fez added.
Kelso nodded his head in response.
Hyde took in another deep breath and exhaled. "And if she sees me, how is that trusting her?"
"Dude, screw that crap," Kelso began, "I've been around the block several times with Jackie to know how she operates."
Hyde raised an eyebrow and nodded his head in response.
"Look, she's just seeing this guy to get back at you. She wants you to feel like she did."
"So, how do I bypass that?"
Kelso thought about that for a moment. "Yeah, that's usually the part I screwed up."
"Yeah, like ninety-nine percent of the time," quipped Fez.
Kelso frogged Fez. "Ay," Fez responded as he rubbed his arm. "At least she took you back."
"Yeah, that's true," Kelso said thoughtfully. "Well, hey, if she was willing to take me back after all those times I screwed up, she's bound to take you back too, Hyde."
Hyde sighed in annoyance. "Kelso. . ."
"Look Hyde, if you want Jackie back you're gonna have to do some unpleasant things," explained Kelso. "And if that means embarrassing yourself while you're ruining Jackie's date and risk being yelled at and hit at, then that's just something you're gonna have to sacrifice to do. I mean all's fair in love and war."
Puzzled at his friend's statement, Hyde looked up at Kelso confused. "Kelso, are you saying I should spy on Jackie and if need be ruin her date?"
"Yeah man, that's what I would do if I was in your shoes," Kelso answered.
"I don't know man, I told her I'd give her space."
"Space? She does not want space. She wants you, so go and get her you fool!" Fez cried.
"But Fez –"
"I said you're a fool," Fez replied with an upturned hand.
Sighing in defeat as he stood up, Hyde replied, "Alright, fine; I'll go and track them down and keep watch. But if anything funny happens, his ass is getting kicked!"
"That's the spirit, Hyde!" cried Fez as he punched his fist in the air.
"Ah, damn it, I'm going to miss Hyde kicking some other guy's ass!" Kelso cried in disappointment.
"So, any ideas where they could have gone?" asked Hyde.
"The circus!" came a female voice from inside the kitchen. The three shared a look before looking through the glass door. Standing at the sink rinsing off the dirty dishes that were left in it was Mrs. Forman. When she noticed that it was quiet outside, she glanced up and saw the boys staring back at her. "What? The screen door was open and I heard you boys."
The boys continued to stare at her. "And I was in the kitchen working on the dishes when I heard them talking in the living room." (a beat) "Oh, it's not like you boys ever overhear a conversation around here."
The boys looked at each other and nodded their heads in agreement before Kelso and Fez left to go to the Molly Hatchet concert. Hyde grabbed the basketball that was sitting in the other chair and dribbled it a couple of times before shooting it towards the basket. Missing the basket, Hyde let out an exasperated sigh.
"Go get her, you fool!" Fez shouted back at him.
Hanging his head while gripping the bridge of his nose, Hyde knew Fez and Kelso were strangely right. This is going to be painful, he thought before heading for the El Camino and getting inside.
. . .
After parking and eating, Hawk, Jackie, Donna, and Eric found their seats in the grandstands. Sitting about midway down the grandstands and four rows up from the walkway, Hyde spied them in their seats laughing and talking together. Not wanting Jackie to know that he was there, Hyde walked up the stairs about halfway up the grandstands before walking over so he could sit above them. Finding a seat, six rows up from them, Hyde sat down and began his vigil watch. He exhaled deeply; this sucks, he thought as he watched Jackie and Hawk sit and talk.
"So Braden, what are your plans after high school?" asked Jackie as she played with the straw to her soda.
"Well, I'd like to continue helping my dad farm," he began thoughtfully as he looked out towards the arena before glancing sideways at Jackie, "but I'd like to become a fireman too; join the town's volunteer department."
Jackie perked up after hearing 'fireman'. "Really?"
"Yeah, I like helping people, and I figure with the farming schedule, it's flexible enough that I could do it."
"So you'd have to do some training then?"
"Yeah, till I'm certified, I suppose."
"Wow; I guess I never saw you doing that," Jackie admitted after a moment.
"Why's that?" he asked with a chuckle.
Jackie turned to face him, observing him for a second. "Well, I guess I just never saw you as the fireman type. I mean, the farming I could see, being that's how and where you were raised, but the fireman thing is kinda surprising. I just assumed you'd go off to college with your friends."
Hawk smirked. "Yeah, I guess I can see why you'd think that of me. And I'm still thinking about college. Maybe getting an agriculture degree or something, but I've got senior year to worry about first."
"Yeah, that's true," Jackie grinned as she looked down. "Anything can happen in a year."
"Yep," Hawk nodded his head. "So, since you asked me, what about you? What are your plans?"
Jackie's eyes got wide for a moment as she stared through the opening between the floor and the next row. "Y'know, I never really gave it much thought," Jackie admitted while Donna and Eric about choked on their popcorn or soda. Jackie gave them a quick glare before rolling her eyes and continuing. "I mean, I've thought about being a weathergirl or a model –"
"Don't forget Dallas Cowboy cheerleader," interjected Donna as Eric nodded his head in agreement.
"—or a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader. But somehow, they seem like shallow careers. Not that I couldn't attain them, but just like I'm not sure if that's something I really want to do anymore."
Hawk nodded his head as he processed her words. "Well, you're right; it's not like you can't attain your dreams, but is it something that you really want to do?" he paused for a moment to let his words sink in. "I mean, I'd rather do something that I love doing than something that I like to do, but could care less about it."
"Yeah," Jackie replied softly as she thought about things for a minute. They sat there in silence for a moment as she pondered over things. Since dating Steven Hyde, Jackie had found herself becoming deep. But Braden Hawkins wasn't the first guy to ask her what she wanted to do after high school; Hyde had too. And that was months ago some time after they were officially boyfriend girlfriend. Back then when Jackie readily answered, she was confident about her options and choices; then Steven Hyde grounded her, and ever since she's realized that she needed to be a little more practical and real.
Just then Braden nudged her. "Hey," he softly said, "I think they're ready to start."
Jackie gave a small smile as she focused her attentions to the center of the arena where the three rings of the circus lay.
The mayor of Point Place was perched on top of an elephant which was standing close to one of the rings. "Welcome ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls to the Shriner Circus!"
The large crowd, which now filled the entire grandstands, applauded. The mayor continued. "As mayor of Point Place, I'd like to welcome you all for coming out this evening. I hope you enjoy this fantastic show they are about to perform tonight. All proceeds go to benefit the Shriners and their hospitals for children. So let's give them a big hand!" Once again the audience applauded. As the applause was dying out, he finished up his speech, "Now, let the show begin!"
As the mayor left on top his elephant, the Master of Ceremonies entered the center ring and greeted the audience. "Thank you, and welcome to the Ainad Shriner's Circus! This evening you will see splendors beyond your imaginations; animals from exotic places, and even death-defying stunts. In the ring to my left, we have Ignacio and his terrifyingly tame tigers!"
As soon as she announced them, the spotlight switched on to Ignacio and the six tigers as the show began.
. . .
Standing by their seats at the Molly Hatchet concert, Kelso and Fez jammed along to the blaring music; one hand holding onto a beer the other curled into a fist punching it high in the air almost in time with the music.
"Isn't this awesome or what?" Kelso yelled to Fez over the music.
"This is rockin'!" Fez shouted back.
"Man, I gotta use the john," Kelso announced suddenly. "I'll be back."
"Okay, but hurry back!" Fez replied. "Ooh, and grab some more popcorn!"
Kelso nodded his head as he inched his way out of their row. Once at the end, he hurried down the stairs, almost tripping, and hurried towards the bathrooms. Looking ahead he could see that there was a line. "Ah, man!" he groaned as he approached the line. The line was heterosexual, which only meant one of two things – a broken down bathroom OR too long of a line at the lady's restroom.
"C'mon, c'mon," Kelso muttered under his breath as he watched a female exit the men's room and three guys scurrying inside. The line moved up a little, and Kelso realized there was another female in line two people ahead of him and two guys ahead of her. Quickly the line moved and the female was inside; all the guys in line groaned in unison.
"Man, why can't they just use their freaking restroom?" one guy growled.
"Hey, at least she didn't travel in a pack," another man added.
"Yeah, then we'd be waiting even longer," a third guy grumbled.
"Man, I can't wait any longer," Kelso cried, "and I'm not about to go in my pants!" And then he cut in front of the guy who was in front of him and dashed inside, too much in a hurry to go to hear the guy he cut grumble about butting in line and not giving the girl a little privacy.
Once inside, Kelso quickly ran to a urinal, undid his pants and relieved himself. Sighing in relief as he did himself up, Kelso was surprised to hear someone clearing their throat. Turning to see who it was, he was again surprised to see that it was the girl. Smiling sheepishly, he said, "Sorry, couldn't wait."
"Oh, that's okay," she said. "That's why I jumped in your line."
"Yeah, bathroom lines suck," Kelso agreed as he started for the door.
"Um, aren't you going to wash your hands?" she asked as she wrinkled her nose.
Kelso stopped in his tracks cringing at the fact that he was caught before slowly turning around to face her. "Oh, uh. . ."
"Y'know, there's a lot of germs on your hands right now," she informed him.
"So, why do you care if my hands are dirty or not?" he asked her as he went to the sink and turned the faucet on, letting his hands get wet.
"Don't forget soap," she instructed him as she pointed to it. "And I care because you're really cute and may have potential," she answered his question as she began to wash her hands at the neighboring sink.
Kelso smiled; he liked that idea. "So I have potential?" he questioned her as he lathered the soap on his hands before rinsing it off quickly and flicking his hands dry.
"Maybe," she replied with a coy smile as she grabbed some paper towels, handing Kelso a couple to use.
"Thanks," he said taking them from her and drying his hands. "You're really hot, you know that, right?"
She blushed as she threw her towels in the trashcan. "So I've been told," she replied before heading out of the men's room.
Kelso quickly threw his towels away and caught up to her outside of the restroom, ignoring the annoying grumbles of the other guys in line. "Hey," he said as he reached her, "you look familiar, like I've seen you somewhere before. What's your name?"
She snickered to herself and smiled. "Yeah, I look familiar because you just saw me in the men's room."
"No, I mean, besides there," Kelso pushed as they walked together. "Have we met before?"
Grimacing she shook her head in response. "No, we've never met before."
"Where do you go to school; maybe I saw you there."
"Oh, well where did you go to high school?"
"Point Place High."
A light bulb clicked on inside Kelso's mind. "Ah-ha! That's where I know you from! I just graduated from there."
She smiled. "Yeah, class of '76."
"Okay, okay," Kelso said as he nodded his head, "that makes sense now."
"Well, congrats on graduating," she offered. "So, aren't you going to kiss me now?"
"Huh?" Kelso uttered taken by complete surprise.
She smirked a little. "Well, I just thought that after meeting in the bathroom, you've wanted to kiss me."
Kelso smiled. "I do, but I don't kiss random strange girls without knowing their name first."
"Brooke," she simply replied as she stopped walking and turned to look at him.
Kelso stopped walking and turned to look at her. "Well, Brooke, it's nice to meet you."
She smiled. "Glad to finally meet you, Michael Kelso," she said to his astonishment.
Taken aback from the shock of learning that she knew who he was all along, Kelso said, "You know me?"
"Well, you were the biggest flirt of your class; kinda hard not to know who you are," Brooke responded.
"So, could we stop talking for a moment, cos I'd really like to kiss you now," Kelso asked her.
Brooke chuckled her answer. Before she knew it, Kelso's lips were gently touching her own caressing them in a manner she was surprised that she liked. Just as quickly as he kissed her, he stopped and slowly pulled away. "Whoa," he uttered under his breath.
"Wow," she breathed as her eyes fluttered open.
"So um. . ."
"That was. . ."
"Do you wanna find some place quiet?"
"And continue this?"
"I like the way you think."
Brooke smiled. "C'mon, I think I know a spot we can go," she said to him as she grabbed his hand and pulled him through the crowd with her. After weaving in and out of the crowd for a couple of minutes, Brooke finally stopped in front of a door.
Kelso eyed the area for a moment. "Wait a minute," he said assessing the setting, "is this the ladies' room?"
"Yes, pretty appropriate, don't you think?" she winked. "Okay, I'm going to check and see if anyone's inside and then I'll come get you."
Leaning against the wall to the ladies' room while waiting for Brooke to give him the all –clear, Kelso looked around, sometimes watching the entrance of the bathroom in anticipation. It was taking her longer than expected, so Kelso, who was tired of waiting, went to grab two beers at a nearby vendor. Just as he turned around to check and see if she was out or not, there she was standing in the doorway signaling for him to hurry up. He nodded his head, turned and grabbed the two drinks, and started heading towards her.
Halfway there he was stopped by Fez. "Kelso, where have you been?"
"The bathroom man," he answered quickly as he eyed Brooke again who was motioning to him to hurry. "And then I met this hot chick, so if you'll excuse me, I gotta get this beer to her."
"What hot chick?" Fez asked as Kelso started to walk away.
Kelso merely pointed with his beer towards Brooke by the ladies' room.
"Foxy lady," Fez complimented but Kelso didn't hear him. So, he followed him. "Kelso, don't be long. Remember Fez needs a ride home, too."
"Yeah sure, whatever," he replied shrugging Fez away as he neared Brooke. Approaching her, he held out her beer. "Thought you might be thirsty," he said as he took a drink of his own. As he was finishing his swig, Brooke grabbed his elbow and tugged him inside the bathroom. With a look of surprise, Kelso willingly followed her.
Watching all of this, Fez shook his head in amazement. "Lucky bastard," Fez remarked before taking a swig of his beer as he continued to pout in awe.
. . .
Twilight was falling upon the spectators as the circus continued its show. Through the smoke tint of his aviators, Steven Hyde kept a vigil watch on the thing he prized most and didn't have – Jackie Burkhart. Although, some people may disagree that his sunglasses were merely smoked-colored due to the smoldering glare he was shooting through them. But he couldn't help it.
His girlfriend – ex-girlfriend – was on a date with some other guy—some other guy who was trying to put the moves on her too. Hyde clenched his fists tightly for a moment before stretching his hands really wide. He took a deep breath as he continued to watch them in disgust, just like all those other times he had to watch her with Kelso or Chip or any other guy for that matter. Exhaling in impatience, he tried to dismiss those thoughts and concentrate on what was going on in the moment.
Sitting six or so rows down from him was Jackie and Hawk along with Donna and Eric. Jackie and Hawk had their fingers entwined as they held hands watching the act that was performing. Hawk occasionally would take a sideways glance at Jackie, a sly move Hyde recognized, and would quickly look away if Jackie caught him doing so. Hyde took in another strained breath through his nostrils and held it for a second before exhaling. He knew what this guy was thinking, planning on doing, and yet here Hyde sat, fuming in agony knowing he couldn't do a thing about it because he knew Jackie would be pissed off that he interfered.
On the other hand, that didn't seem so bad. She would be yelling at him, of course, but her attention would be on him, not some other guy. And if Hyde played his cards right, she might even make contact with him, via a kick in the shin or a slap on the arm or chest or face. That might be worth it.
But just as Hyde was deliberating over what he should do, he found himself paralyzed by the sight in front of him right now, in this very moment.
There six rows down, Jackie and Hawk sat, no longer with fingers entwined, but Hawk gently stroking Jackie's soft smooth cheek with the pad of his thumb and Jackie shyly smiling as he did so.
Hyde swallowed and tried to look away, but found that he couldn't. His eyes were magnetized to the sight of them. It made him sick to his stomach, too.
Just as Jackie shyly smiled, she looked up at Hawk who she found was matching her gaze. He smiled shyly back before they found themselves leaning in towards one another.
Quickly Hyde offered the kid sitting in front of him five dollars. "Hey kid, I'll give you five dollars if you'll through some popcorn on that couple down there trying to kiss."
"Ew, gross!" the kid exclaimed and took a handful of popcorn from his paper bag and chucked it down at them. "This isn't the movie theater!" he cried at them.
Hyde immediately ducked when he saw the kid grabbing the popcorn. No need to be seen by Jackie and accused of ruining her date. This was more fun ... and entertaining.
Braden Hawkins slightly chuckled as he looked up towards the kid shaking his head. Jackie looked too, and glared. "Crazy kid," Hawk commented as he turned to face Jackie again. Jackie turned back around too and took his hand in hers. Hawk looked down at their hands and smiled.
Hyde sat back up and grinned. "Nice job, kid," he praised the boy as he patted his shoulder and slipped him a five dollar bill.
Needless to say, Hawk didn't try anything again until intermission.
As soon as intermission was announced, Jackie stood up and stretched as some of the crowd made their way down and off the grandstands for the break. "Wow, I didn't realize how long I've been sitting," Jackie said as she stretched.
Braden nodded his head in agreement. He was about to speak when Donna stood up and cut him off. "Hey Jackie, you wanna go with me to grab a snack?"
Jackie wrinkled her nose and rolled her eyes. "God, it figures you'd be hungry two hours after eating."
Donna bit her tongue and swallowed her pride. "Yeah well, you know me; big red-haired giant always hungry," she said sarcasm induced.
Jackie gasped. "Omigod! Donna, you just took your first step in realizing your faults!"
Donna gaped at her in stupor. Eric stood up and grabbed Donna's arm, hoping to quickly put space between her and Jackie. "Hey, sweet thing, why don't you come with me to get a soda cos, ahem, man is my throat dry!"
Before she could respond, Donna found herself whisked away by her fiancé. Soon they were gone and Jackie and Hawk were alone.
"So," Braden Hawkins paused for a moment, "do you want to take a quick walk before the show starts up again?"
"Sure," Jackie agreed shrugging her shoulders. Braden stood up and followed her down the stairs and off the grandstands. They walked around the concession stands and games for a bit until Braden asked Jackie to take a walk around the grounds before the show started again.
Hyde, meanwhile, watched them from afar. He was about to follow them from a distance around the grounds when he felt someone grab his arm. Startled, he turned to find Eric and Donna standing behind him; Donna's hand on his arm.
"Hey man, what are you doing here?" Eric asked.
"Y'know man, just came to catch the show," Hyde replied.
"Really?" questioned Donna. "Which one?"
Hyde merely glared at her and tried to walk away.
"Hyde, don't do it, man," Eric advised fully knowing why he was there.
"Hyde, let her go," Donna told him. "Let her deal with him."
Exhaling a heavy sigh, he glared first at them and then down at Donna's hand on his arm. "Yeah, I don't think so," he grumbled as he shrugged Donna's hand off his arm.
Eric stepped in front of him. "Look man, Jackie doesn't know you're here, and if she finds out you're spying on her… hell's gonna freeze over."
"So, you're telling me, Forman, that I should just stand by and let some other guy put the moves on her and kiss her? Are you freaking kidding me?!"
"Man, it's not like she's drunk and can't think clearly; she's sober and she'll stop him if and when she wants to."
"Right, because a guy like Braden Hawkins is going to listen to Jackie," Hyde said as he rolled his eyes.
"Hey, you're around his size and yet you've listened to Jackie before," Donna pointed out. "She may be a ninety-five pound cheerleader, but she can take care of herself."
Hyde sighed again. "Man, she's just pissing me off," he said in aggravation.
"Good," Donna said. "Maybe now you'll understand how she's felt."
"That's bullshit," he snapped.
"No, it's not," Donna volleyed back. "Maybe now you know how she felt. So go sit in your seat six rows up from us and watch in agony."
Hyde and Donna glared at each other briefly before Hyde turned to leave. "Fine," he said as he turned to face them once more, "I'll go, but make sure Jackie doesn't know I'm here."
"Agreed," Donna said before watching Hyde head back to the grandstands.
Eric sighed next to her. Donna looked at him. "What?" she asked.
"I just hope that Braden doesn't try anything again," Eric replied. "Cos I don't think popcorn is going to be the only thing thrown."
Donna frowned and nodded her head in silent agreement.
Halfway around the fairgrounds on their walk, Braden and Jackie walked in silence. Breaking the silence after a fourth of the way around the track, Braden said, "Look Jackie, I know you're still hung up on Hyde, but," he stopped walking to look at her. Stopping in her tracks, Jackie looked up at Hawk. He sighed before continuing, "But, get over it. There's plenty of other guys around."
Blinking and slightly cocking her head to the side, Jackie stared at him for a second. "Other guys? Of course there's 'other guys'; I'm Jackie freaking Burkhart."
Hawk chuckled. "I know you are," he said as they continued their slow pace. "And that's what I like about you."
Jackie stopped for a second. "Like about me?"
"Yeah, you're such a girl and you're blunt," he said frankly.
"And you like that?" she questioned.
"Yeah, I mean a little honesty is refreshing. But, y'know, being a pretty cheerleader is a perk too," he winked.
Stifling a laugh, Jackie pursed her lips and nodded her head. Hawk smirked as he caught her reaction.
They walked a little ways before Jackie spoke. "Y'know, this is nice. Thanks," she smiled.
Giving a small smile, Hawk replied, "You're welcome, but the date isn't over yet."
"Yeah, I know," Jackie nodded.
"Y'know, I never did get to finish what I started earlier," he commented quietly as they reached the halfway mark.
Puzzled Jackie answered, "And what was that?"
Hawk sighed before he stopped walking and gently grabbed Jackie's wrist. As Jackie stared down at her captured wrist, Braden went in for the move. He deftly maneuvered his free hand to cradle the back of her head as he leaned in to kiss her lips. By the time Jackie realized what he was doing, his lips had made contact with hers, gently caressing them. Jackie closed her eyes.
His kiss was light and appealing, hungry too. For some reason, unbeknownst to Jackie, she let him deepen the kiss much like Steven had that fateful Veteran's Day. Yet just as quickly as it had begun, the kiss ended with each pair of lips slowly tearing away from the other. Images of Steven Hyde danced inside her mind as she stood there with closed eyes. Hawk slowly fluttered open his eyes and found her standing there with hers closed. A second later, she opened hers and found him staring at her. Blushing just a little, Jackie felt obligated to tell him how she felt at that moment. "Braden, that has to be one of the top three best kisses I've ever had, but," she began before looking down at her hands, which she now had folded together in front of her, and sighed.
Hawk nodded his head before he put a finger under her chin and lifted it up so he could look her in the eye. "But, bad timing, I get it. It's alright; maybe another time, if you weren't still in love with your ex-boyfriend."
Jackie looked up in amazement at him, shocked at what he had said.
He sighed and gave a sad small lop-sided smile. "Jackie, maybe tonight wasn't really about making Hyde jealous; maybe it was to show you that there really are other guys out there interested in you. And if I had to sacrifice myself for the team, so be it; it was well worth it."
Jackie eyed him with an arched eyebrow. "I'm not trying to make him jealous," she flatly told him.
Hawk chuckled as he started to walk again. "Yeah, you are. I saw how frustrated he looked as we were getting into the truck earlier to leave. It's obvious that you don't have to try so hard to either. Clearly you two are still crazy for each other; so just, do yourselves a favor and make up."
Jackie walked with him and listened. "See, now that's where the problem lies. HE cheated on me because he didn't trust me to be alone with Michael."
"Kelso?" questioned Hawk.
Jackie merely nodded her head.
"Pft! I wouldn't trust him!" he announced. "He's such a ladies' man. I bet in a past life he had a harem of women."
Jackie snickered and Hawk chuckled. A minute ticked by before either one spoke. "So," Hawk began as they reached the three-quarter mark around the fairgrounds track, "you wanna catch the second half?"
"Sure," Jackie answered. "Because the later I'm out with you the more jealous Steven will get," which is the ultimate goal, she added to herself, "and the more time I get to spend an evening with another guy who thinks I'm hot," she ended with a wink.
Hawk laughed. "Gee, I feel so honored," he said.
"It is an honor when you get to be in the presence of Jackie Burkhart," she replied with her chin up.
"I'm sorry; you're right. It is an honor," he confessed.
As they grew closer to the grand stands, talking lightly about different things, Jackie noticed a curious thing; someone tall with curly fro-like hair walking down the middle ramp. Even though they were far away from it, she knew that hair style anywhere . . . and to whom it belonged. Narrowing her eyes she carefully concocted a new plan. "Braden," she said sweetly, "would you mind helping me with something?"
Hawk eyed her mysteriously trying to figure out just what exactly she meant by something. "I guess," he answered apprehensively, "what do you need me to do?"
. . .
Eric Forman followed his fiancé back up the grand stands, his conscious clearly on something else. As Donna sat down back at their seats, she stared at him wondering why he wasn't doing the same. Puzzled, she asked, "Eric, aren't you going to sit down?"
"Huh?" he questioned shaken out of his thoughts, "oh, yeah. Um, actually Donna, I need to talk to Hyde. Be right back, sweet cheeks," he said as he gave her a quick peck on the cheek before racing up the stairs, two at a time.
Hyde saw Forman coming up the stairs, so he greeted him with his usual arched eyebrow and arms folded across his chest. "What now, Erica?" he grumbled.
"Hyde, man I can't believe how insane you are. Here you sit at some crappy circus just so you can spy on your ex-girlfriend, who you still want to be your girlfriend, and seethe in a silent jealous rage as you watch her and this guy on a date. Why torture yourself, man?"
Hyde sighed. "Forman, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. And if I need to ruin her date with Mr. Farmall, then that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for the sake of my shins," he answered.
Eric wrinkled his brow. "Man, you've changed. You use to be all zen and cool, but now, now you're falling right into Jackie's plans," he informed him. "The old Hyde would never have succumbed to this, unless it was to humiliate a good friend. He never let Jackie be in charge."
Puckering his lips tightly in thought, Hyde slowly nodded his head. "You're right, Forman. It's time little miss sunshine toed the line instead of me."
"See? Exactly!" Eric exclaimed as he clasped a hand on Hyde's shoulder.
Hyde eyed Forman's hand on his shoulder waiting for his best friend to remove it. Quickly Eric removed it. "Yeah, I don't think so, Forman. So, bye-bye!"
Standing up in frustration, Eric turned to leave. "Okay, do it your way, Hyde," he said to his friend, "but you'll find out that you'll get burned playing her game." With that, Eric left leaving Hyde with his parting words.
Rolling his eyes beneath his smoked tinted aviators, Hyde let out a frustrated sigh. "Damn it," he muttered to himself. He waited a moment before standing up and slowly descended the grand stands, making sure he was no where near Eric and Donna. He didn't want Forman to actually think he might be right.
Exiting off the ramp, Hyde made a left heading for the El Camino not knowing that he'd been spotted. He'd had enough for one night – spying, being advised, getting annoyed – he was ready to go find some zen. Getting into his car, he settled in and turned on the engine. Blaring from the radio, a guitar riff with a groove to his taste, Hyde revved the engine before peeling out, Dukes of Hazard style, leaving the fairgrounds and the Shriner's Circus.
You don't think that I know your plan,
What you trying to hand me?
. . .
Making it back to Point Place at eleven thirty-five from the concert, Fez dropped off a rather exhausted yet satisfied Kelso at his house before heading back to his. Still not understanding why Kelso disappeared for a good hour, Fez knew that the mysterious hot chick Kelso had left him for a good portion of the concert had to be the only reason why he had a satisfied look about him. Fez sighed. Lucky bastard, he thought as he drove home, he meets some random girl and makes out with her. Me, I'm married to the town's bicycle; everyone's had a ride on her. Oh wait, so have I, he recalled as he smiled at that thought.
Turning into his driveway, the headlights shone on a skinny blonde who was standing in front of the garage door. Walking over to the driver's side of the car, she waited for Fez to cut the engine and get out.
"About time you showed up," she greeted him once he exited the car.
Shutting the door, Fez coolly greeted her. "So Laurie, is it my turn tonight or are you just hard up for some cash?"
Folding her arms over her chest, she narrowed her eyes at him. "Whatever. Look, I've been waiting for you to get back; I think I've found the perfect place for us. Meet me at this address at seven thirty a.m. sharp," she instructed him as she handed him a slip of paper with an address scribbled upon it.
"Seven thirty? Ay! Can't I sleep in for once?" Fez whined.
Sighing, he replied, "Fine. I'll meet you at this stupid address."
"Good; see you then, Fezzie," Laurie waved goodbye as she started walking down the driveway.
"Wait, just where do you think you're going?" Fez demanded to know.
"To a couple of local watering holes; someone's gotta help close them down for the night," Laurie replied as she kept walking.
"Okay fine; but no more whoring around town!"
"I said no whoring around!" Fez shouted after her, a hand rose in the air as if stopping traffic. Watching her disappear down the street before heading inside the house, Fez sighed heavily to himself. "Ay, she is going to whore it up," he said to himself before slowly entering the house for the night.
. . .
The next morning, at the breakfast table, the Formans – minus Laurie – and Hyde were sitting down eating some scrambled eggs and French toast, except for Red who was served a bowl of Cheerios and milk. Kitty insisted on following the doctor's orders and informed him that maybe a bowl of Cheerios would add a little cheer to the soul. They sat in silence for a while, everyone busy eating their food before Red spoke from behind his newspaper.
"Steven, you'll get Laurie's room once she's moved out," he announced.
"Really?" Hyde questioned as he stuck a forkful of scrambled eggs in his mouth.
"Yep, she'll be moving out soon, and then you can have it," Red assured him.
"So this isn't going to be like last time where you told me I could have the room, and then like five minutes later gave it back to her?" he asked.
"Nope, I mean it. She's finding a place to live with her weirdo foreign husband. So the room's yours," Red assured him again.
"Cool," Hyde replied as he took a bite of his French toast dipping it first into the pool of maple syrup he had on his plate.
"Hey Hyde, a word of advice," Eric after he took a drink of his milk, "before you move into her room, have it exorcized by a priest first."
Hyde grimaced and laughed.
"Oh no, no, no," Kitty said as she scooped up a forkful of scrambled eggs, "you don't need to get a priest. Just ask Pastor Dave, I'm sure he'll do it for you."
Hyde and Eric shared a look as they laughed. Red and Kitty looked over at each other before sharing a smile. Soon everyone was laughing just as Laurie and Fez walked in.
"What's so funny?" asked Laurie.
"Brewers baseball," they answered before sharing a look with each other that seemed to say they were surprised with their collective answer.
Fez and Laurie shared a weird look. "Okay," she said slowly. "Well good news!"
"Laurie and I found an apartment!" Fez announced.
"And we can move in this weekend," Laurie added with a jump and clap.
"Yay!" clapped Kitty before she giggled with delight. "Oh I am just so darn proud of you two." She laughed again.
"Well, Steven and Eric will be happy to help you two move in," Red said with a devilish smirk. "Isn't that right you two?"
In shock, the boys looked at each other before responding. "Yes pop."
"Pft, I guess."
"Good, it's settled then," Red said with a grin. "Saturday morning we'll move your stuff out, kitten."
"Okay, well I need to go pack," Laurie announced before heading out the kitchen door.
"Yes, I need to too," Fez added before leaving. "I have many things to pack."
Once Fez and Laurie were gone and out of ear shot, Eric commented, "Man, that's going to be the creepiest apartment with those two living in it."
"Eric," Red said sternly as he pointed his spoon at him, "keep it up and you'll be living there too."
. . .
Meanwhile at the Pinciotti's house, Jackie and Donna were sitting at the table eating their breakfast, discussing last night's events. "So, we walked for a while, and then he kissed me," Jackie said with a cay sera sera shrug of the shoulders.
"Wait, he kissed you?" Donna questioned. "Did you stop him or kiss him back?"
Raising an eyebrow in disbelief at her friend, Jackie replied, "Kissed him back. Duh, Donna, it was Braden freaking Hawkins; of course I kissed him back."
"Omigod! I think you just made this whole payback thing ten times worse!" she exclaimed.
"Pft! Whatever, Donna," Jackie remarked in disgust. "Look, it's not like I wanted to kiss him, he just kissed me, and the natural thing to do was to kiss back," she explained. She sighed. "Yeah, he definitely ranks in the top three best kisses I've ever had list."
Donna shook her head and blinked her eyes. "Unbelievable! So, what happened after the kiss."
"Well, I told him that it was a great kiss, but I wasn't ready for anything," Jackie continued with her story. "And he kinda figured that out, so he's cool with just hanging out."
"So that's it?" Donna asked curious if they had a run in with Hyde or not knowing that he must have left before the second act started.
"Yeah," Jackie answered, not wanting to tell Donna about how Hawk told her – and tried to show her – that there were other guys out there for her, willing to date her and treat her right.
"Huh," Donna said before taking a bite of her toast. After chewing and swallowing, she added, "well, I guess operation Make Hyde Jealous bombed."
Jackie looked up from her omelet. "Are you kidding? It worked! Remember how he acted before the date even started? And who says Braden Hawkins won't make a couple more appearances?"
Now it was Donna's turn to look up from her omelet. "What do you mean a couple more appearances? Jackie, just what do you have planned?"
Smiling coyly she merely replied, "Oh a little of this, and a little of that."
AN: The chapter's title is taken from the Orlando & Dawn song, "Knock Three Times" from their 1970 single. Led Zeppelin's "Bring It on Home" is from their 1969 album, Led Zeppelin II, track # 9. James Gang's "Funk Number 49"is from their 1970 album, James Gang Rides Again, track #1.
Yes, I know I promised more prompt updates; fact is I get side-tracked by life (a move, ear infection then a week later came down with mono, then mix in the three weeks leading to Christmas with kindergarteners. . .yeah, it's been fabulous! Thank God for the holiday break!). So I get out chapters as fast/soon as I can. The mood has to hit me to write . . . well, that and finding the time. Anyway, my apologies for not updating this like I should. Hope those of you still reading this (and trying to remember this story) are still enjoying it. More to come as I continue to hammer out things! Lots of thanks for reading and reviewing!