The Not-So Lazy Days of Summer
Disclaimer: While this is an original piece of fiction, I do not own any of the character in this story. I have no affiliation with FOX or "That 70s Show." I'm merely a fan.
Author's Note: After the last chapter, I realize I've written each chapter as more or less a small glimpse into one day of summer, so hopefully the chapters don't seem too incomplete. In the timeline of the story, it's been almost two weeks since the last chapter.
Point Place. Wisconsin. July 6, 1978.
There was a dull pounding in her ears. After a few moments of her head spinning she came to the conclusion that it was her heart she heard pounding so heavily. The rhythmic beating sounded like a drummer playing his set while on an enormous amount of drugs. She thought to herself that if a Bee Gees song was playing the beating against her rib cage would be perfectly in time with the music. It was hard to say if she was zoned out on drugs or still watching the television which was the last thing she remembered before this consuming amount of heat was all over her.
It was like trying to decipher a riddle. She felt these puffs of hot air on her face. It sure was hot in that room, and moments ago it hadn't seemed like it. It was never hot in that room, she thought. It must have been the sudden excitement because she could feel that her body was flushed all over. There were small burns being left along her skin. They moved quickly and with purpose down her arm and under the hem of her blouse.
Maybe she needed help. She did feel kind of short of breath. The riddle became clearer when the clean smell of soap hit her nose along with something muskier like cigarette smoke. It was instantly recognizable to her, and she snapped herself out of what seemed like a dream. Her tiny hands reached up and pushed the intense heat away from her.
She was glad to breathe again.
"Ste...Hyde," Her voice now seemed deeper in her ears, and in between trying desperately to catch her breath, she kept her eyes glued to anything else but the two brown reflective ovals in front of her. "I don't know what you think you're doing."
Three hours earlier.
There distinctive sound Kitty Foreman's shoes made on the basement steps could be heard just over the sound of the television, and Jackie instantly turned around and smiled that extra-bright smile she had when something special pleased her. Steven and she were sitting on the basement couch watching television. It seemed like that's all she did these days. She kind of wanted to put herself out of her misery. That'd be better than being bored.
"Here you go kids," Kitty said with a high trill in her voice. She had a tray of food that she placed down on the basement table in a flourish. "Chips, sandwich, and Steven's favorite...brownies. I know how much he likes them."
"Uh actually Mrs. Foreman," Hyde's words were cut off when he felt Jackie nudging him in the ribs. "Yes brownies yum." He picked up the sandwich that was front of him.
"No mustard right?" Jackie said picking up one half of her sandwich and peaked under the top layer of bread.
Kitty Foreman gave the girl a semi-forced smile. "No mustard, Jackie. And I even cut the crusts off since they are brown...and I know how much you hate brown food." Kitty's laughter broke out for a couple of seconds, and Jackie nodded her head and took a small bite of her lunch.
"Mrs. Foreman I can tell you where she should stuff that sandwich...right up her," Hyde trailed off when Kitty slapped the back of his head lightly. The sad thing was that a similar exchange had taken place yesterday. Just replace the turkey sandwich with tuna salad and Jackie complaining about the taste of pickles, and that pretty much wrapped up their Wednesday afternoon.
It seemed all of the sudden that the days had grown extremely long with nothing breaking them up except commercials and the beginning and end of TV shows. Everyone had fallen into a routine of laziness thoroughly mixed with boredom. Jackie had even grown tired of visiting the mall every day. Instead, her days involved waking up, getting dressed, and making the trip to Eric's basement where the same thing took place day after day.
For two weeks, nothing exciting happened with the exception of Fez hurting himself every once and a while, and Kitty providing late breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Even the food had grown boring. Jackie missed Donna more than ever now. She almost even wished Michael returned from California. His stupidity might have shaken things up a little.
As far as the poor souls still stuck in Point Place with her, all of them seemed just as disheartened. Eric occasionally joined them in the basement. But he brought no interesting conversation. Just the same complaints about Donna, Hyde had even grown tired of hitting him.
"Thank you Mrs. Foreman. You're sandwiches are the best," Jackie said enthusiastically but she couldn't muster up enough energy to really mean it.
"Now you kids have fun. I'm going to go wake up Eric from his...nap," Kitty laughed slightly as she headed back up the basement steps. "I'll send him down. I think he needs company."
"God I hate when she sends him down here...he always smells and needs to shave," Jackie frowned for a moment and then glanced at Steven. "Like you." His stupid beard had really filled in since the beginning of summer. He looked like a Viking.
"We can throw stuff at him," Hyde suggested as he tossed a few potato chips in his mouth.
"I guess we could," Jackie responded with a shrug. They threw stuff at Eric yesterday.
Lately, Hyde and Jackie's conversations, if they could be called that, mostly consisted of short quips as they stared blankly at the television. Anyone else might wonder if they were even really talking to each other. But lately turning their heads back and forth to talk took up too much energy, and honestly it didn't seem worth it.
"I like throwing stuff," Hyde pondered briefly before the food on his plate re-caught his attention, and they both went back to eating in silence.
If summer continued that way Jackie just knew she would go crazy. There wasn't enough time to do anything really cool, like a road trip, not that she'd ever go on a road trip with any of the idiots left behind in Point Place. And how many times could she go to the mall, the pool, or the beach? School would be here sooner rather and later. It seemed like all she was doing now was buying time until something better came along. And at this point the something better was school no matter how depressing the thought was that she was looking forward to...school.
The sound of someone coming down the steps quickly tore Jackie from her thoughts, but this time she didn't even bother to look. She didn't care who it was; instead she continued lazily eating her sandwich with her eyes glued to the TV.
"Hey guys," Eric said sounding unusually upbeat. "What's going on?"
"Sandwich," Hyde responded, his voice sounded as bored as he was.
"Chips," Jackie said after him.
"Brownies," Hyde finished.
Eric raised an eyebrow before sitting down in the empty chair Hyde normally sat in and stared at them both for a moment. "I see it's a party down here," he said.
"It will be in a minute after I finish this," Hyde said holding up his sandwich in Eric's direction. He had every intention of throwing stuff at Eric's head after he was done eating.
"Well as much as I'd love to let you throw things at me...again...I think I'd rather do something else. Something great! You know it is summer you guys we should be having the time of our lives," Hyde and Jackie finally glanced over Eric. Each looking at him like he had something growing out of his head.
"Go away," Hyde shook his head in mild disgust.
"Ew," Jackie said at exactly the same time.
"What?" Eric looked at them both confused. "I've been complaining about Donna...and you guys kept telling me to get over it. So look...I finally did. And now I'm ready for the summer of my life."
"Foreman," Hyde tossed his sandwich back on the plate suddenly having lost his appetite. "Take a long around. This," Hyde gestured around the basement with his arms spread open. "This is summer. Stuck in the basement with the cheerleader watching The Price Is Right...which is about to come on," Hyde finished that last part with urgency and pointed at the TV.
"I'm on it," Jackie stood up from her chair automatically and went up to the TV. She clicked the channel until they heard the familiar theme music.
"The Price Is Right?" Eric said incredulously. "What happened? Where's Fez?" Eric asked in that rapid fire pattern of speech he had when he was excited. When had his friends become boring?
"We don't know," Jackie said staring at the TV.
"Yesterday we decided he hitched to Canada," Hyde said.
"Canada?" Eric looked over at Hyde suddenly. "What for?"
"I don't know Foreman. It's just what we decided," Hyde reached over to slug Eric in the arm. "Now either shut up or I'm going to kick your ass."
"Wait a minute," Eric held up his hands. "You're telling me to shut up. So you can sit here and watch TV with Jackie?"
"She's not the one annoying the shit out of me."
"What?" Eric said loudly in completely shock.
"Look man you can't just come down here with your summer and fun talk...we can't hear the TV," Hyde said. "I see you what you mean about that smell."
"Told you," Jackie shrugged.
"It's like this is some alternate universe where it's cool to hang out with Jackie," Eric didn't understand.
"Excuse me Eric but I've always been cool," Jackie said simply.
"If by cool you mean the spawn of Satan," Eric said with a mocking smile. "Then yes."
"Foreman don't you have some moping to do?" Hyde scowled at his friend.
"That's what I'm saying man," Eric's excitement was back and quickly patted Hyde on the shoulder. "I'm over being upset about Donna. She'll call eventually...but for now I can just enjoy my freedom from caring."
"Are you sure?" Hyde said slowly. "What if she is out in California hooking up with all these guys that are much cooler and better looking than you? What if...she never comes back?"
"That's true. I hear guys in California are total babes," Jackie added with a dreamy smile.
"What do you mean?" Eric said looking at them both.
"We mean...Donna's hot. It's summer. She's unattached...she hasn't called or anything. Maybe there's a reason," Hyde looked at his friend with sympathy.
"Hyde you're just messing wit me," Eric said shrugging him off.
"I really wish I was," Hyde shook his head slowly. "I was rooting for you two kids."
Eric sat for a moment thinking his feelings practically visible on his face until suddenly he shouted at Hyde. "You suck man." He then took off for the door and ran outside.
At the sound of the door slamming shut, Jackie and Hyde did a quick high-five, their attention never once wavering from the TV.
Two and a half hours later.
That afternoon there was a marathon of The Price Is Right, three entire hours of pricing household cleaners. Now that's good TV. Both Jackie and Hyde sat blankly staring at the television neither had moved since Eric had run out of the basement hours earlier, except to scarf down a couple brownies. At first the prospect of an entire afternoon with Bob Barker, the greatest game show host in history, seemed like the best thing to happen that summer since Fez hurt himself with a shovel. Quickly though, each of them discovered that The Price Is Right was a show best swallowed in small doses.
All the contestants screaming when they were called to "come on down" was giving Jackie a headache. Her! She was a cheerleader, and she was getting a headache from the incessant squealing of the morons on the television. She rolled her eyes and watched as an elderly lady bounced down the aisle with her fists pumping over her head.
"Another old lady," Jackie sighed annoyed and threw her hands up in the air. "She can't even reach the wheel," she shouted in the direction of the TV.
It was the beginning of the third episode of the marathon, and Hyde realized he'd just sat through two hours of a lame game show. He wanted to hurt something. "I can't watch another episode of The Price Is Right. I just can't," Hyde sounded like he was on the verge of going crazy and pulling out all of his hair.
Jackie shook her head and crossed her hands over her body. "This summer totally sucks." It was the worst summer ever in her opinion. "There's nothing to do."
There was no clear reason why after three hours of sitting with their gazes glued to the TV screen Jackie and Hyde chose that moment to turn their heads and look at each other. It wouldn't even become clear later that night when each of them tossed and turned in their beds trying to fall asleep. But Jackie found when she looked over at Steven he was looking back over at her. Something as simple as a glance had become an invitation to let eyes roam where they pleased.
Whatever it was that would have been said was communicated with raised eyebrows, a quick flick of a tongue over lips, and a small smirk. Out of the blue Jackie noticed that Hyde was looking particularly hot in that black t-shirt which under normal circumstances she wouldn't have thought about twice. She blamed the heat. Hyde on the other hand wondered how he missed that Jackie's tight lavender blouse accentuated every right place on her body. He blamed the heat as well.
They both hoped that the heat was a rational enough explanation for not looking away immediately. In reality it was only a couple of seconds, but it seemed like longer. Jackie could feel this gravitational pull on her body, and she found herself leaning forward towards Hyde. Perhaps it was the fact that in two weeks this sudden urge was the most interesting thing to happen in her life which caused her not to stop and think.
Hyde prided himself on his reckless behavior but what he was thinking was beyond reckless. It was stupid. But stupidity didn't matter. Hyde's body just automatically moved when hers did, and she just happened to be moving in the direction of his face. Their lips were touching before he truly comprehended what seemed to have transpired so quickly. Jackie was kissing him. They were kissing in Eric's basement. He expected a wave of panic and repulsion, but all he got was the beginning of feelings he had right before he stole something. Adrenaline.
Each of them pulled away at exactly the same time, and Jackie leaned back against the couch with a small sigh. The feeling of Hyde's lips on hers was still there. Kissing him wasn't like she remembered. Jackie bit the bottom of her lip slightly as she compared in her head the feeling of Hyde's lips back then on their date and now as he sat so close to her. The noises on the TV reminded her to try and focus on what was happening on screen, but she had trouble concentrating. She could barely remember what they were watching now. Maybe it didn't matter.
He turned just as she turned to reach for him bringing their bodies close together once again. It didn't seem right, but she could feel herself actively participating in the kiss. Her mouth opened and the warmth of his mouth became her own. Suddenly all of her senses were in overload compared to the past two weeks of boredom. That alone was intoxicating.
Hyde couldn't help himself. The right thing now was vague but it seemed like enjoying the taste of Jackie's mouth was now the right thing. Her taste was sweet and hot, and their mouths crushed against each other in excitement. It was much better than watching The Price Is Right.
They broke for air, a couple of deep and raspy breathes in between kisses. Soon Hyde's hand snaked down Jackie's arm until he found the bottom of her shirt. Warning signs finally began making their way to the surface just as his fingertips flickered over smooth skin. Jackie shivered involuntarily at the contact, and after the feeling passed she realized Steven had just touched her. She immediately pushed him backward and wiped her hand over her mouth.
"Ste...Hyde," Her voice now seemed deeper in her ears, and in between trying desperately to catch her breath, she kept her eyes glued to anything else but the two brown reflective ovals in front of her. "I don't know what you think you're doing.
After a couple of deep breaths, Hyde caught himself. He readjusted the glasses on his face and peered back at her not moving. She looked like she wanted to hurt him.
"I didn't do anything," Hyde finally said.
"Didn't do anything?" Jackie said loudly and stood from the couch. She was too close. "You kissed me."
"I did not," Hyde said firmly.
"Yes you did," Jackie looked at him like he'd lost his mind. She certainly didn't kiss him first. "You came on to me."
"You've lost it Jackie," Hyde crossed his arms over his chest. He looked like Hyde. Emotionless and staring at the TV.
"Just don't think well whatever it is you're thinking," Jackie grabbed her purse from the couch. "Especially not about kissing me."
"That you don't have to worry about," Hyde paused and then glanced in her direction. She was now standing by the door clutching her purse.
"Good," Jackie said slowly. She eyed him for a moment but quickly looked away feeling awkward.
"Fine," Hyde shrugged.
Jackie frowned slightly and reached for the door handle. She exited quickly and made it halfway up the stairs before collapsing with her back against the railing.
With a tentative hand, Jackie reached up and touched her fingers to her lips in thought.
A/N: The plot thickens. Hopefully this turned out okay. I hope you all can take the time to review! I'd appreciate it.