Title: History Rewritten
Disclaimer: Don't own, ain't getting paid – that goes for all the chapters
Pairing: Starting off as E/J but anything can happen (and it usually does!)
Summary: What if Hyde got his Season 1 wish and stole Donna away from Eric? And then what if Eric had turned to a certain tiny cheerleader instead? Be prepared for a long, strange journey as history is rewritten. It begins shortly before the pilot episode.
A.N.Hello, back with a new story and a new direction, compared to my other ones. For me, the E/J fanfic stories run a very close second to the H/J ones so I thought why not do both in the one story? However, not promising who will end up with who at this stage as it is too early in the game to predict. Another thing, have you ever noticed how Jackie is influenced by the guy she dates? Where Jackie seems out of character in this story it's because Eric is rubbing off on her.
It was the day after Eric Forman's 16 year old world had been smashed to pieces that he met Jackie Burkhart.
Eric had harboured a secret love for Donna Pinciotti since he was 5 years old. That is, he thought it was a secret and strenuously denied it when people called him a "Donna lover". How could he admit to being in love with the same girl who used to beat him up and make him eat dirt? Granted, their relationship had grown into a close friendship, but she still treated him with the same good natured camaraderie that she extended to Hyde and Kelso. Just lately, however, he had caught a certain look in her eye which boosted his slender hope that this smoking hot girl could ever be attracted to a spindly dumbass like himself, and he had been slowly building his courage up to the point of asking her on a date.
Yeah, right, like Donna would ever look twice at a dork like me, Eric thought sadly to himself. In his mind's eye the horrific events of yesterday afternoon kept replaying in a loop that never ended. Eric had been playing basketball with his three oldest friends, Hyde, Kelso and Donna and attempting to teach the game to the new foreign exchange student they had befriended last week. It was just after his Dad had come out and yelled that every kid there who he wasn't legally obliged to house and feed should get his or her ass back home that it had happened. Donna had given Eric one of those confusing looks she had been treating him to lately, almost as if she was trying to tell him something. Of course, that something obviously wasn't the something Eric was hoping for as she then turned to Hyde and uttered the words that rocked the foundations of his existence.
"So Hyde, what time are you picking me up for our date tonight?"
Eric's eyes widened and his mouth gaped while all the while his best friend smirked knowingly at Donna. "Wha – you guys are – are you guys" – with a supreme effort Eric pushed the ugly word past his lips "dating?"
"Well sure," Donna replied with a toss of her red mane. "I mean, I think it's about time I started dating, don't you? I am sixteen, after all."
"What's the matter, Forman?" Hyde asked with his usual sarcastic inflection. "You didn't think a hot number like Donna was gonna sit around at home the rest of her life?"
Eric turned back to Donna, trying to regain his cool. He couldn't let her see how much this development was killing him. "I… I'm just surprised, that's all. I never knew there was anything like that between you two."
Donna avoided Eric's anguished eyes as she answered, "Well, I always thought it would be nice to have a boyfriend who started out as a close friend." She then raised her gaze to Eric's, again shooting him one of those pointed looks that he was too innocent in the ways of women to decipher.
"I'll see you at 8.00 tonight, babe," Hyde said casually, snaking an arm around Donna's waist and drawing her closer. He quickly planted a kiss on her lips which seemed to take her by surprise; she opened her mouth as if in protest but then, after a darting glance at Eric, remained silent. "Let's leave Forman to his own exciting plans. What is it tonight, man – leggoes or GI Joes?" With a parting smirk, Hyde walked away and with a guilty look, Donna returned to her house leaving a stunned Eric hugging a basketball to his broken heart.
Now it was the end of a crappy school day, where all he had to look forward to was hanging out in his basement listening to Hyde describe to him in detail exactly which base he had made it to last night with the girl Eric secretly adored. With his usual fairmindedness, Eric reminded himself that he could not blame Hyde for dating Donna as Hyde was not to know Eric had feelings for her (such was Eric's faith in his powers of concealment). Before he could face his best guy friend and best girl friend, he would need a place of solitude to pull himself together – his own bat cave, as it were. This was why he headed for the football field, seeking the traditional sobbing ground known to teenage students as "under the bleachers". This dark and hidden setting had witnessed more adolescent angst than he'd had foot-in-ass threats, which was why it should have come as no surprise to the downcast youth when he found a dark-haired girl weeping forlornly at his chosen destination.
"Oh… s-sorry," Eric stammered, embarrassed to stumble across her sorrow. He looked her over in the thin beams of light filtering through the planks above them. Her face was in shadow but he could make out long raven hair and a small, neat figure in a cheerleader outfit which displayed to perfection a pair of very fine looking legs. Dragging his eyes back to her face, he tentatively asked "Are you alright?"
The girl hastily swiped her sweater sleeve across her face and then faced the intruder with a haughty glare. "Of course I'm alright! Can't a girl have a minute to herself without some nosy doofus spying on her?"
"Hey, get over yourself, princess," Eric retorted. "I just came here for a bit of quiet time myself. Finding you here wasn't on the agenda." Eric regretted his words as he saw her lower lip start to wobble and a fresh wail pierce the air. "Oh God, please stop doing that. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry…" Later Eric would look back and try to pinpoint exactly how the girl had come to be wrapped in the comfort of his arms – had he opened them to her or did she just wiggle her way in? But however it happened, the boy found himself hugging this inconsolable maiden whose hair smelled pleasantly of cinnamon and vanilla. After a few minutes, the tear storm began to subside and the girl pushed herself away just enough so she could look up at her companion. She saw a sharp featured face, shaggy brown hair, a mouth a little too long and amazing green eyes. It was the kind of face that skirted a fine line between being handsome and homely. It only took the girl a quarter second to decide it was the former.
Eric stared into the girl's face and thought her very pretty. He wondered how much prettier she would be when her eyes were not red and her mouth smiling instead of drooping. He had the strangest impulse to find out. Without thought, he brushed a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Are you OK now?" he asked gently. The girl was silent, looking up at him with wide misty eyes. He suddenly remembered his manners and reached into his back pocket. "Here's a handkerchief for you so you can… you know…" Eric mimed wiping his own eyes. When the girl remained transfixed and did not take it, he assured her "It's clean – my mom gives me a fresh one every day."
The word "mom" seemed to shake the girl out of her trance, and she took the handkerchief from Eric and shyly dried her face with it. When Eric gestured towards a bench just outside their shadowy sanctuary, she nodded and followed him to it.
"So, I'm Eric, by the way – Eric Forman."
"I am Jackie Burkhart", the girl replied regally. When Eric failed to appear properly impressed by her announcement, she clarified "You know – Jack and Pam Burkhart's daughter? The richest family in Point Place?" When Eric still remained unmoved, she elaborated "One of the most popular girls in school? Voted best fan kicks by the other cheerleaders? Come on, you must have heard of me!"
"Sorry," Eric answered with a bemused little smile at this strange girl's overconfidence. "I don't really hang with that crowd."
Jackie sighed gustily. "Well, you're better off," she said gloomily. "They're mostly bitches," she added by way of explanation.
"Whoa, harsh words, Jackie. Are they the reason why you were crying?"
Jackie did not answer straight away. The real reason why she was crying was because her parents had had another huge fight last night involving a lot of shouting and breaking of liquor bottles, finally concluding in her mother angrily announcing she was leaving for somewhere hot and Latin where the men knew how to appreciate a beautiful woman with a flawless tan. How do you explain that to a strange boy with the kindest eyes you have ever seen? The answer – you didn't. Especially not if you were Jackie Burkhart, the girl with the perfect life. She settled for confessing the recent skirmish that had been the last straw to a bad day.
"Um… yeah," she said. "Cat Peterson was making fun of me because I've never… I mean, I'm not experienced like…" Jackie's tongue tied itself in knots of embarrassment as she realised how personal was the information that was slipping out. Way to go, Jackie, announce to a total stranger you're a virgin! "She was just jealous of my hair, the colourless blonde skank," she finished lamely.
Eric pretended not to notice her slip, though he smiled at the thought that he was not the only person who got burned by his own words. Nor was he the last virgin in the school, apparently. He was starting to feel a weird sense of kinship with this Jackie Burkhart.
"Ah yes, Cat Peterson – isn't she the Head Bitchleader?" He was pleased when his joke enticed a watery chuckle from Jackie. "I wouldn't waste my time on anything she has to say. The girl is drunk with head cheerleader power."
"If she could be taught not to use her power..." Jackie murmured to herself. Eric looked at her curiously. Did she just - ?
"She will use it always," he responded formally. Jackie looked startled for a moment before fixing him with a challenging eye.
"And she would destroy you and your kind…"
"…or you would be forced to destroy her, to save yourselves," Eric chimed in at the end, pointing an accusatory finger at her. "Star Trek, Season 1, Episode 8! Oh my God, You're a Trekkie!"
"Sshhh! Not so loud! You'll blow my cover," Jackie admonished. "Only geeks watch Star Trek. Or at least, only geeks admit to it."
"Oh really? Well, I'm starting to think that underneath all the cheerleading and popularity, you're a closet geek," Eric teased. He congratulated himself on his earlier assumption; she was much prettier when she smiled. Breathtaking, even.
Jackie slapped Eric's arm. "Shut up! I am not!"
"Any girl who can quote the Trek like that has definite geek tendencies," Eric stated. "Welcome to the other side."
"For your information, I hate space.. I only like that show because Captain Kirk's shirt gets torn in a fight in just about every episode. And that man has some sexy abs," Jackie waggled her eyebrows comically as she said this, sparking more laughter from Eric who was fast forgetting his depression.
"You know, I hear there's this big movie coming out later this year sort of like Star Trek, but with awesome special effects. It's called Star Wars."
"Yeah, it should be pretty cool. Maybe we could go see it when it's out."
"What, you mean like a date?" Jackie asked.
"What? D-date? I didn't mean… I mean, if you were going to see it anyway and you wanted some company I could…"
Jackie cut Eric's blundering excuses short, simply saying, "I'd like that."
"Sure. Except it might be some time before this "Star Wars" (Jackie made the quotation marks gesture with her fingers) comes out. Maybe we could see a movie that's out now – you know, like a practice run."
"Why, Miss Burkhart! Are you asking me out?"
"Oh no! Pretty girls like me don't have to ask boys out. Of course, they have been known to drop subtle hints…"
And so the boy and girl laughed and flirted with each other, each glad to turn away from their sorrows to find solace in a new friendship which had the potential of becoming something more.