AN: Yay! Here's my last chapter for this story. I'm so happy that I finished this. I've really, really loved writing it and getting the wonderful feedback I've received for it was just awesome.
I'd like to specially thank my reviewers that have been with me from the beginning: sooki28, luvcali76, She'stheDevil, debbie325, pokey, sometimestheycallmejackie, kezztip, and last but certainly not least, elphabachan. And to any of you that have left me reviews for any of my chapters, I thank you as well, especially anonymous reviewer Celest. All of your reviewers have been incredibly encouraging and detailed, just like I like them.
I hope you guys really, really like this. Read and review please. It's the last time you can, you know.
Chapter 13: You're My Angel
4 months later…
Jackie stared at herself in the mirror. She had always thought she was beautiful and there weren't many women that could hold a candle against her, but at this moment, Jackie was positive she was the most gorgeous woman in the world. Her makeup was done to perfection and she had spent careful hours making sure it was the very best it could be. Fez had come upstairs earlier to help her do her hair which was in a curly ponytail with tiny white flowers on the sides of her head. Her long white gown was even more beautiful than the day she had tried it on when she had declared that it was the most perfect dress for her, better than in her dreams. Today was her special day, her wedding day, and it was going to be more than perfect.
Well, maybe being more than perfect was a bit of an exaggeration. She was having her dream outside wedding, but it wasn't on the beach or in a flowery valley like she had planned so long ago. Instead it was in the Forman and Pinciotti backyards. And then of course there weren't hundreds of people in attendance to awe at her magnificence. Everyone attending was just the gang, their families, and a few acquaintances that had stuck around Point Place for awhile. Her honeymoon wasn't going to be spent in Hawaii or some island she couldn't find on a map, instead she and Hyde were going up to a cabin near the Canadian border that sat on the shoreline of one of their many lakes. No, this wedding wasn't at all how she had pictured it as a little girl who had spent years making sure each tiny detail was just right.
Surprisingly though, Jackie didn't really care so much. There were other things about this wedding that she hadn't anticipated but had made everything better. Michael Kelso had already set something on fire which was quickly put out by Bob and Red. Red then proceeded to chase him around the driveway, yelling obscenities and threatening his typical "foot in the ass". Donna, Brooke, and Kitty had spent all morning getting ready with her, gossiping about their men and other womanly topics that they enjoyed. Kitty also had pulled her aside at one point and given her a beautiful speech that almost made her mascara run from the tiny tears that trickled from the corners of her eyes. She told her about her own wedding day and how she had always seen her and Steven as little mirror images of what she and Red used to be. She promised Jackie that the rest of her life would be just wonderful because she was spending it with the man she loved. Jackie figured that despite her weddings shortcomings, she should be incredibly happy because this wedding had one thing that the previous ones she had made up in her head never did and that was a family to share it with.
Jackie turned her head away from the mirror and looked at the occupants in Laurie's bedroom with her. Kitty had left a little bit ago to make sure the boys were ready and didn't get any food or dirt on their tuxes, so it was just Donna, Brooke, and the newly arrived Fenton with her. Apparently he had tried to hang out with the guys, but was quickly kicked out after one too many of his questionably uncomfortable remarks. He seemed much happier now though as he fussed over Brooke's long curly hair that she was going to wear down with her bridesmaid dress.
"Bouncy." Fenton said with a hum as he played with her auburn curls.
"So are you nervous at all, Jackie?" Brooke asked as she leaned forward on her knees, flashing an excited grin Jackie's way.
"A little." Jackie admitted. Despite how wonderful she knew the physical attributes of this wedding would be, every time she thought of walking down that aisle to Steven, she felt like vomiting a little. She guessed it must have been what people described as cold feet, but if this was cold feet, Jackie wondered what it was both Eric and Donna experience the day before their wedding. Jackie was more than certain that she wanted to go through with this, but she still felt insanely anxious. She was also slightly worried about how her other half was holding up. He wasn't good with formal events, especially when he had to be center of attention. A tiny little voice in the back of her head also kept annoyingly reminding her that it was possible he'd might freak out and not want to go through with this. He never was able to handle pressure very well. He'd always get real jittery and more paranoid than usual. She could just picture him now sitting in the basement, his foot wildly bouncing up and down as he stared at some distant object that he really wasn't even paying attention to. Jackie gulped at the thought. She just hoped that whatever he was feeling, it was the same as her. The past four months she had spent being with Steven had been amazing. Jackie kept trying to reassure herself that he thought they were amazing too. She figured that this was normal though, the sweaty palms and tickling bubbles that danced inside her stomach.
"Fenton," Jackie began as she turned her head his way. "How did Steven look when you were last down there with the guys?"
"Sexy." Fenton smiled, not feeling the slightly disturbed eyes that were staring at him for a few moments. When he finally did and realized that wasn't exactly the answer Jackie was looking for, he cleared his throat and straightened his tie. "He looked okay."
"Did he seem nervous at all?" Jackie asked, her voice hitching from persistence.
"No, not really."
Jackie leaned back in her chair and sighed. Now she wasn't even sure if she liked that answer or not. Maybe she wanted Steven to be just as nervous as she was.
"It's okay, Jackie." Donna reassured from her seat on the bed. "Hyde wants to do this."
Jackie gave a not so convincing snort as she tried to play off like she didn't ever doubt anything. "Of course he wants to do this, Donna. He's marrying me! I'm quite a catch." Jackie darted her eyes around, looking at all three of them at once. "Right?"
"Of course you are." Brooke replied, smiling again. "Hyde is more than lucky to be with you and I'm sure he knows that."
"Thank you, Brooke." Jackie nodded sincerely. "Michael is lucky to have you too. And I'll be sure to tell you the same thing when you guys get married."
"Well, I don't know about all of that. I mean, Michael is great and he's really starting to mature, well, sort of, but I'm not sure I'm ready to get married yet."
"Well, I hope that one day you guys do because you're really great for Michael."
A tiny blush started to build in Brooke's cheeks. "Well, thank you Jackie."
Just then, a tiny knock sounded at the door. "Are you lovely ladies decent?" Fez asked.
"Yes." All three of them called.
The girls rolled their eyes and Fez entered the room. He had a sly grin on his face as he looked at Jackie. He seemed very proud about something.
"I did what you told me." He announced, and he pulled Hyde's sunglasses out of his jacket pocket. "And trust me, it definitely wasn't easy."
"How did you end up getting these from him?" Donna asked, as she laughed at the rose colored aviators that were being handed to Jackie.
"Oh, Kelso had this brilliant idea to get Hyde back for hitting him in the face with that vase when we went to clean out Jackie's ski cabin a few years ago, so he got Hyde to take his sunglasses off by asking what the tiny writing on the bottom of a Zeppelin record says. Of course Hyde told him there was no writing and took the record to prove it to him. That's when I snatched the glasses and made a run for it."
"Wow," Donna said, amazed by Fez's story. "Kelso thought of that all by himself?"
"Yeah," Fez sighed, his voice ringing dreamily in their ears. "He's really something."
Fenton scoffed from his seat behind Brooke, receiving squinted, angry eyes from Fez.
"Do you have something to say to me, Fenton?"
Fenton crossed his arms and puckered his lips, getting ready to lash out at the foreigner, but the pleading eyes he had intercepted from Jackie stopped him from proceeding.
"No." Fenton sighed as he stood up from his seat, obviously forcing himself to restrain an insulting remark from being let loose. "Do you think we could talk alone for a second?"
Fez's angry stare soften to perplexed confusion. He gulped, his Adam's apple bobbing up and down as he contemplated Fenton's request. After a few silent seconds, he stiffened up again, continuing to be on the defensive.
"No. Whatever you have to say to me, you can say in front of them." Fez gestured to all of the nervous ladies in the room.
Fenton rolled his eyes, hesitating for a moment, frustrated that Fez was making him do this in front of everyone.
"I just want to call a truce for Jackie's wedding." Fenton looked to the other side of the room, his mouth still in a sour pucker. "After that, we can go back to hating each other again."
Fez looked downwards with his eyes still holding his head high. He carefully considered Fenton's offer, realizing quickly that they had to do this for Jackie's sake.
"Okay." Fez reluctantly agreed. "But only for our beautiful Jackie on her special day."
Jackie relaxed, smiling at the two men and the small sacrifice they were making just for her. The wedding of her dreams be damned. What was going to make this wedding perfect were the wonderful people that loved her.
Hyde paced in his spot in front of the white lawn chairs that were starting to fill with people attending the wedding. When he woke up that morning from a long night of partying with his friends for his bachelor party (which he made sure that Kelso didn't invite any strippers. It was way too early for something like that between he and Jackie, and he respected that needed space.) he didn't feel nervous really. It felt like any normal morning should when recovering from a hangover. The other guys had crashed in the basement that night so they were all together to get ready for the wedding. As he put his tux on, he still didn't feel nervous. It was just like getting ready for any other formal gathering that Jackie forced him into. He didn't even really feel nervous as he recited his vows from memory. Jackie thought it would be much more romantic if they professed their love for each other their own way, which somewhat caught Hyde off guard. Jackie had been all about keeping things very traditional while planning their wedding (except for it being outside).
No, Hyde hadn't been nervous at all. But right now, he was. The more people that started to sit down, the more real the whole situation became for Hyde. There were flowers everywhere, filling Hyde's nose with their powdery scent. The white painted arch way that he and Jackie were to be married on stood tall and intimidating above him. The blinding white paint beat the sun's rays down on top of him, and the Wisconsin summer afternoon felt a lot hotter than usual. He kept thinking over and over in his mind about the vows he had to recite in front of all of these judgmental people. If it were up to him, he would have gotten hitched.
But, it wasn't up to him. It was up to Jackie, and if it were really up to him, he wouldn't go through with that plan anyways. This whole day was about her and making her happy, and Hyde would hate to ruin it all for her. She had been dreaming of this day since she was a little girl. Sometimes when she would spend the night with him on his cot in the basement, she'd talk about this day as he tried to fall asleep. It was the only time of the day he would let her because he was just too tired to fight with her about it. After a while, he kind of began to look forward to her descriptions. The way her voice would stay in a steady tempo, bouncing in his ears at a slow and lethargic pace. Her promises of forever soothed his heart and his body, rocking him into a pleasant slumber filled with dreams where his insecurities and pessimistic reasoning didn't plague his thoughts.
This day was momentous for both of them, and Hyde didn't want to screw anything up. However, everything happening all at once was really making it hard for him. Eric bothering him earlier about all those people staring at him as he professed his love for Jackie, Fez taking his sunglasses so he couldn't even pretend to be aloof, and then there was Red staring at him from across the lawn. His look was penetrating and deadly to Hyde's already shocked nerves. Hyde made eye contact with his surrogate father and quickly noticed Red's gesture asking him to follow him into the garage.
Once Hyde entered the drafty enclosure, he noticed the look in Red's eye that told him they were about to have a serious conversation. They hadn't had too many of these, only when he talked to him about getting arrested for possession which didn't turn out well at all and on his eighteenth birthday when he was positive he was going to get kicked out of the house. The tickling sensation in his fingers and toes heightened and he could feel his blood pressure rising.
"How are you feeling?" Red asked, his own exterior very calm and collected.
"Nervous as hell." Hyde answered honestly, which got a little chuckle out of Red. However, his laughing features quickly hardened again as began his speech.
"I've been thinking a lot about what Eric said a while ago, about how Kitty and I never talked to you when you married Sam. At the time I thought that it was the best for the both of us that I didn't give you my opinion about your marriage. But now I see that maybe that wasn't the best decision. I see you as a son, Steven, and I should have treated you like a son then."
Red closed the large distance between then, resting his hand on Hyde's shoulder.
"And just like I see you as a son, I see Jackie like a daughter. Both of you needed fathers in your lives and you came to me to be that person. I think I've done a pretty good job for the most part, but I'm not proud of turning my back on you two when you needed guidance the most. Well, I'm not turning my back on either of you again. I want you to know that."
Hyde nodded, the sentimentality of the situation pulling at the corners of his heart. He was hoping this whole thing would be over soon. Lucky for him, it was Red talking to him about this instead of Kitty. She was guaranteed to be a huge mess during this conversation.
"You're going to have to meet me halfway though, Steven. You can't run away from that girl again. You have put her through enough already, and you should be very serious about the decision you're about to make."
For the first time during the whole speech, Hyde looked up and into Red's eyes, feeling more determined than ever to prove just how much he had changed to the people who cared about him. He didn't give a damn what anyone in this world though except for them. "I'm very serious about this, Red. I love her."
Red patted Hyde on the shoulder, smiling at him before he turned around to leave the garage. Hyde stood there for a few moments as he pulled everything that had just happened into perspective. He straightened up and marched out of the garage, ready to prove to the world that he loved Jackie Burkhart.
Everyone stared in awe and fascination as Jackie made her way down the aisle, holding Bob Pinciotti's arm. She was certainly the most beautiful bride anyone of them had ever seen. A shudder felt by everyone in attendance washed through as Bob announced he was the one to give the bride away and Jackie made her way up the tiny steps to stand next to Hyde in front of Pastor Dave.
"We are gathered here today to witness the holy union between Jackie Beulah Burkhart and Steven J. Hyde." Pastor Dave announced his voice whimsical with the soft wind of the summer afternoon. "They have decided to write their own vows to express their love for one another. Jackie…"
Everyone patiently waited as Jackie stared up at Hyde, her eyes dancing as he stared at her and her soul burning as she took in the moment she was living in just for a second. He gave her an encouraging smile and she soon began her speech.
"Steven, you have always been there for me when I needed you the most. Even when we weren't together, I always felt safe with you and you never failed to brighten even the darkest moments. We grew up together and fell in love, and being with you is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and that's why it hurt so much when I thought I had lost you forever a year ago."
Hyde reached across and held Jackie's hands in his, giving her palms a slight squeeze. Jackie's heart filled with courage once more and she continued.
"But despite everything we've been through, we still found a way to make it to each other again. You were right when you said that everything that happened between us was meant to be. I think our love is the rarest and most special kind there is, and I want to spend forever living in it with you."
Little sniffles erupted through the silence as Kitty Forman cried in her handkerchief she had conveniently handy. Some of the other attendees were also seen dabbing their eyes including Fez and Donna who stood up front. Watery pools of tears had built in the corners of Jackie's eyes but they still hadn't spilled over onto her perfect cheeks. Hyde waited for a moment as he gathered his thoughts again, feeling his heart beat wildly in his chest. He took a deep breath and started speaking, his voice shaking. Everyone subconsciously leaned forward a little, curious about what the notorious bad ass had to say about his love for the tiny, bossy brunette princess.
"When I woke up in the hospital after my accident, all I could feel was total darkness. But then a vision came to me forcing me back into this world. At first the image was blurry, and all I could see was a beautiful woman who I assumed was an angel. In that week that I couldn't remember two years of my life, the image became clearer and I soon realized that it was a memory of you looking exactly like this. But I wasn't wrong with my first assumption. You are my angel, Jackie, and you saved me from myself."
Hyde let go of one of Jackie's hands to wipe the tears that now streamed down her face with his thumb. She closed her eyes, smiling under his touch.
"The rings." Pastor Dave called to Eric who stepped forward to give Jackie and Hyde their rings to put on each other's fingers.
"Do you, Jackie Beulah Burkhart, take Steven J. Hyde to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, as long as you both shall live?"
"I do." Jackie said, barely above a whisper. Her eyes were completely transfixed on the man standing in front of her.
"Do you Steven J. Hyde, take Jackie Beulah Burkhart to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, as long as you both shall live?"
"I do." Hyde answered, his blue eyes never leaving Jackie's mismatched ones.
Pastor Dave instructed them to put the rings on their fingers. After they had both had slipped the gold bands on, Pastor Dave said the words that they had both been anticipating.
"I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Hyde cupped Jackie's face in his hands, his lips delicately brushing against hers as he captured them in a soft kiss. He felt Jackie sighed happily beneath him, and he deepened the kiss as he wrapped his lips around hers once more. Everyone was cheering and clapping around them, but they couldn't hear a thing. To them, they were the only two people in the entire universe, loving each other unconditionally.
Donna held the bouquet that she had just caught tightly in her fingers. Sure she had to push some scrawny girls out of the way to get it, something she always used to think was so stupid of women to do at weddings, but she was bigger than most of them anyways which made the task hardly a struggle. Happiness pumped through her veins and she clutched the flowers closely to her, silently hoping that maybe the myth of the bouquet was true. She and Eric had come a long way in the past 4 months. She let go of her need to always be right, and he allowed himself to be a little more confident in their relationship. They talked about the past a lot but what they mainly focused on was their future. College was only a few weeks away, and they were going to be living together soon. Really living together this time too. They were a team again, working together instead of leaving the other in their footsteps.
Donna felt a familiar hand touch her on her shoulder and she turned around to come face to face with the man that she was just thinking of. She smiled giddily at him and showed him the bouquet.
"I saw you push some of those girls down. I haven't seen you throw an elbow like that since you were on the boy's JV wrestling team."
Donna felt a warm blush rush into her cheeks as she looked downward and slightly giggled from her boyfriend's teasing. "I just really wanted to catch it." She answered, flipping her hair a little over her shoulder.
Eric smiled back at her, understanding what she meant. He grabbed her hand in his and leaned in to kiss her. They stood there for a moment, just kissing each other and enjoying the happiness that they had felt during this entire day filled with love.
"Dance with me." Eric whispered once they had broken apart. Donna nodded and allowed him to lead her to the dance floor where they discovered something they thought they would never see.
Right in the middle of the floor was Fenton and Fez getting their groove thing on together. Donna covered her mouth, laughing at the sight.
"I think they're both really drunk." Eric explained, feeling a little disturbed by the sight.
"Let's hope so." Donna agreed, as she dragged Eric off in the opposite direction of the dancing odd couple.
Hidden amongst the crowd was the bride and groom themselves. They held each other close as they danced to a song that was a little too fast for slow dancing. They didn't give a damn though. They were having fun just talking and kissing each other spontaneously from the joy that kept bubbling up inside of them. However, both of them were getting a little restless being at the reception. They just wanted to go up to their cabin and make love to each all night long for the first time as husband and wife.
Hyde kissed Jackie's exposed neck, sucking and nibbling at her pulse point, trying to get his message across to her.
"Steven," she whimpered. She tried to push him away but the muscles in her arms just didn't seem to have the energy to do so.
"Let's get out of here, Jackie." Hyde whispered into her neck, his hot breath sending chills up and down Jackie's spine.
"We can't just ditch our own wedding reception, Steven." She tried to reason more to herself than to him.
"Why not? Nobody will even miss us. Besides, I think Fenton and Fez will have everyone's attention for a while."
"That or they'll be scared away and leave early themselves."
"Both ways work in our favor, doll." Hyde said and kissed her sweetly on the lips.
"Steven," Jackie began, and Hyde noticed that little shine in her eyes that always appeared whenever she wanted to talk sweet with him. "Am I really your angel?"
Hyde rolled his eyes, but he just didn't have the heart to pretend that he hadn't said something sweet and Forman-y to her. "Yes doll, you're my angel."
Hyde watched carefully as Jackie's shy smile quickly changed into his favorite look of hers. She looked up at him through her eyelashes, her sex kitten eyes causing his body to ripple with very unholy sensations on this holy day of theirs.
"Alright, let's go."
The two snuck off without anyone noticing, giggling and whispering dirty things to each other.
In a world full of unforeseen obstacles and debilitating confusion, people feel as though they are nowhere but lost. It isn't until they find their other half when they realize why this life is worth living.
AN2: That's it folks! I'm really going to miss this story, but I'm super excited about my new AU fic that I should be posting within a few days. All of you should check it out. It's going to be called Sixteen Candles, for very obvious reasons. : )