AN: There isn't any J/H interaction in this chapter, it's really just a set up for the next. But fear not… the next chapter we get to see the beginning of my favorite things: Hyde wooing and Hyde groveling. And yes luvcali-I also enjoy a suffering Steven. So…on with the show.
Fez knew from personal experience that being beaten on by Hyde was painful. Aiii one frogging and I'm teary. So he really should keep his mouth shut about Hyde's "redecorating". But as many a candy bag could attest…Fez has no self-control.
Donna bolted out of her kitchen, sure she was going to find Fez trapped under a car or something. He'll crawl under anything for a stray tootsie roll. Only to see her jumpy foreign friend standing in her yard literally twitching. "Fez! What the hell!!" she smacked him upside the head.
"Aiiii Donna! I am sorry but there is news. And it is the biggest news since sliced cheese."
"The saying, it's 'biggest thing since sliced bread', not cheese."
"What is so fabulous about sliced bread, it's always sliced."
"It-nevermind. So what is this news?"
"Brace yourself. Hyde has bought," he drew in a dramatic breath "… a bed."
"…Fez, how is that news?"
"IT'S A BED FOR HIM AND JACKIE!!!! Must I spell out everything?"
"Wait, wait! Start from the beginning." Jackie and Hyde?
"Okay Hyde needed to buy a bed for his new house and-"
"WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hyde BOUGHT a HOUSE?!?! What rock have I been living under?
"Yes Donna, try to keep up. You're supposed to be the smart one sheesh."
"Wait, are Hyde and Jackie even speaking?"
"Well her news channel is doing a story on Grooves so she has to talk to him."
"Donna if I have to keep stopping for you to catch up we'll never finish the story. So…"
Donna decided to hold her tongue til the end, this seemed like a long story.
Meanwhile at Hyde's new place:
Hyde stood back looking over his new furniture. Fez had picked him out a couch, coffee table, bed, and kitchen table. Not bad. I guess Fez couldn't be this girly for nothing.
Hyde had been pleased that his office plan had worked. Jackie hadn't said anything but he'd made her nervous. That's how he knew he still had a shot. The Jackie who'd walked into Grooves a few days ago wasn't nervous about anything or anyone. Just like Jackie when she'd been with Kelso. He could see it now. Kelso had never made her nervous, or excited, or anxious. But he could. When he wasn't being an asshole he could make her jumpy with just a look. Jumpy and ready to jump you. You really are a dumbass, dumbass.
He knew it wasn't an automatic in. A nervous Jackie could still tell him to drop dead. But it was a sign. Maybe this all wasn't in vain. He had a trump card, something to keep up his sleeve til the end. But he had three days left to make his case. Three days to attempt to do this with my Zen still intact.
NEWSCHANNEL 6:A FEW FEET AWAY FROM JACKIE'S UNOCCUPIED DESK
"Hey Marcus, how's life in the news business."
"Not bad Barnett, not bad at all. Well I guess if there was no bad we wouldn't have much to report now would we." The two men shared a laugh.
"So how's my favorite secretary doing these days?"
"You haven't been checking up on her?"
"No, those two are unbelievably stubborn. It's best to tread lightly and-"
"push with a big stick?"
"Hey man it's not pushing, I'm just playing cupid."
"How did I get suckered into this?"
"Look Marcus it's just a little gentle nudging. All I, or rather all we did was put them together in the same place in a way that made it impossible for them to escape."
"I think that's the rationalization used by zoos…and kidnappers."
WB heaved a weary sigh. My genius is seriously underappreciated. "Okay, has Jackie been doing a bad job? Messing things up? Slacking on her office work?"
"No quite the opposite. She's still the best assistant I've ever had and she shows a real knack for producing. After this is done we have a production trainee program I'm going to try to get her in."
"So you still have your great assistant, Jackie gets a shot at a promotion, Steven gets a second chance to plead his case, and I get the satisfaction of never again having a stripper for a daughter-in-law."
OUTSIDE JACKIE & FEZ'S APARTMENT
Donna wasn't sure what planet she'd be living on these past few weeks but it seemed like the world as she knew it had turned inside out. Her shallow sappy best friend was working as a serious hard-hearted newswoman. And her lazy establishment-hating best friend was buying a house and 'settling down'. Is there something hallucinogenic in the water these days?
Donna knew that she'd been wrapped up with Randy and Eric leaving, but she was starting to think she was farther down the hole than she thought. Well Eric was in Africa and Randy was a manwhore so it was high time she got her head out of her ass. Which was why she was now knocking on Jackie's door.
The door opened, and Donna was surprised that Jackie's face showed no surprise. Or any other emotion really. "Hey Jackie."
"Donna. Can I help you?"
Donna was expecting a fight, a lecture about being a bad friend. A well deserved lecture no less. But Jackie was talking like she'd opened the door to find a vacuum salesman. "Um, can I come in?"
Jackie opened the door to let Donna enter. "Would you like a drink?"
"What? No, No. Just listen Jackie, I'm sorry I've been such a bitch lately. I just haven't been myself since Eric left."
"Alright apology accepted. Is that it?"
"What! No Jackie we are going to fix this right now. You are going to bitch and I am going to apologize for being stupid."
"What does it matter Donna? What is the point of bitching anymore? This is what happens. I'm an adult now I understand that all this childish 'friends forever', 'true love' stuff doesn't hold up anymore."
Donna was heartbroken seeing her friend so disillusioned. She'd often wished that Jackie would grow up, but not like this. She'd just wanted a more mature less unicorn-loving version of the real Jackie. Not some hopeless workaholic. "Jackie you can't believe that, what about Hyde?"
"What about him? Don't you think there's no greater evidence than Steven Hyde that 'happily ever after' doesn't exist?"
"But what about how he's changed? His work at Grooves, his house, he-"
"-STEVEN HYDE OWNS A HOUSE?!"
AN: Sorry everyone. I promise there will be plenty of Jackie and Hyde in the next chapter. New Jackie, Old Jackie, Zen Hyde, Groveling Hyde. So please review, you've been soo wonderful so far.