Disclaimer: Don't own and am not profiting from either That '70s Show or any of the other shows that I'll be taking the mickey out of in the following chapters.
Summary: This is a J/H story which starts off with a happier ending to Season 7's Take it or Leave It. Hyde and Jackie become engaged on Hyde's condition that they wait until Jackie can afford her dream wedding. Hyde thinks this will buy him a long engagement, underestimating Jackie's single-minded resolve. Each chapter will be a cross-over to a different favourite TV show of mine, the common thread being Jackie's attempts at finding a way to make her dream wedding a reality. I intend this to be pure fun and minimum angst – a bit of light relief from that teenage soap opera I'm in the middle of. Also, I will completely ignore time settings and geography because I figure this is TV land and reality is what you make of it. The chapter titles will take the name of the crossover show.
Are you ready? Here we go!
"I don't think we're gonna find the answers to our problems in a keg of beer." Eric said to his friends sitting in a beer circle, each holding a tap to a keg. A look of revelation suddenly lit up his face. "Unless… they're at the bottom so drink up!"
"Reminds me of an ancient Chinese proverb," Hyde said. "It goes… something something something… crazy girlfriend…. something something… drink lots of beer."
"What's his problem?" Charlie the new guy said in an under-voice to Eric.
"Oh, his girlfriend gave him an ultimatum – marry her or she'd take a job offer in Chicago. I keep telling him, he never should have played her game. When Donna tried to ultimatum me, I was all 'yeah, you go date other guys, missy, but I'm a grown man and I can go to Africa if I want to so there!"
Kelso turned towards his conflicted friend. "Hyde, speaking as a man who has been in your exact same position may I repeat my earlier advice – RUN!"
"Yeah, run out on her and end up like you – all alone with a Jackieless future but one that is well on the way to leaving behind a string of illegitimate children from one night stands. Good luck with that."
"Really, Hyde, I would not have thought this would be such a difficult decision for you," Fez said as soon as he could talk after hosing a cascade of beer into his mouth. "Don't you remember how sad and lovesick you were when you and Jackie last broke up?"
"He was lovesick?" the new guy, Charlie, asked, finding that concept hard to imagine on the slightly threatening tough guy to his left.
"I was not sad and lovesick," Hyde objected.
"He was, you know."
"It was pathetic."
"Like a little puppy."
"Shut up! Look, I know I don't want her to go and… I guess I know I want her in my future. But marriage? I'm not ready for that, man. It's so… grown up and establishment." Hyde said with a shudder.
"Well, there is a compromise you could consider," Charlie offered. "Why not ask her to marry you on condition that you have a long engagement?"
The four young men gazed in amazement at the clean cut newcomer. Was that an actual sane and reasonable suggestion? And was it really made in a substance-abusing circle? This was a new first.
"My God, that's just crazy enough to work," Hyde exclaimed with rising excitement. "Yeah, I'll ask her to give me five years or so… maybe seven, don't want to rush it. What?" he said as his three oldest friends shot him doubtful looks.
"Do you really see Jackie waiting seven years?" Eric asked. "I think you've forgotten the spawn of Satan's modus operandi. Remember how set you were on not going to meet your real father until you felt ready? And how Jackie broke you in just a couple of weeks by constantly nagging you until you said you would just to stop her continuous yapping?"
"Ah yes, the old nag and wear down trick," Kelso said with a reminiscent smile. "Man, that takes me back. You know, that tongue of hers made me buckle to most of the dorkiest things I've ever done in my life. Remember the Fonzie jacket?"
"That was a good one," they nodded in agreement.
"Damn, you're right," Hyde said, falling back into despondency. "Unless… yes! I know how to make her agree to a long engagement." Hyde stood up from his chair purposefully. "Gentlemen, I have a crazy girlfriend to propose to but before I go, I'd like to thank that certain someone who has shown me the way out of the snake pit."
"That's OK, Hyde," Charlie replied with charming modesty.
Hyde ignored him and brought the beer tap to his lips, kissing its dripping nozzle affectionately. "Oh sweet nectar of the Gods, you have brought me home once again." With a "So long, suckers," he strode out of the beer warehouse to his destiny.
"Jackie, I'm sure Hyde will do the right thing," Donna reassured her best friend (and co-founder of their newly formed band, The Sandy Sandals).
"You know, I thought if I really put myself out there he'd see how much I love him and say yes right away," Jackie said sadly. "And then when he didn't I thought, OK, maybe he'll take a couple of hours and then say yes. Now I think he's only taking so long because he's gonna say no."
Hyde, walking into Donna's smoke filled bedroom, was moved by the honest emotion in his girlfriend's voice. "Jackie, one good thing about me is I don't make the same mistake twice," he said from behind her. "Especially when that mistake was only a couple of months ago and still pretty fresh in my mind."
"Steven," Jackie cried, jumping up to face him.
"So this time when you're asking me if I see a future with you, I'm gonna go with a yes." He smirked to see the hopeful smile that lit her face. It felt good to be the reason for that smile.
"Oh Steven," she breathed, "Are you saying you want… oh, please say the words, Steven! I'm so sick of doing all the work myself when it comes to proposals."
"Oh alright," he caved. "Jackie Burkhart, I ask you now before all the world and Donna, will you join with me on a permanent basis for a future of under-achievement, hot fights and hotter make-up sex?"
"I will," Jackie cried joyfully, launching her body at him so aggressively he fell back onto the bed.
"Wow, congratulations, you guys," Donna said, wondering if this was really happening or she had taken one too many hits. But then the way they ignored her and started frenching each other like the draft board was waiting outside to take Hyde away, that was too typical of them to be fantasy. When Hyde's hands started wandering to places on Jackie Donna didn't want bared to her eyes, she quickly made her exit.
Two hours later…
"Oh Steven, I am so happy," Jackie said, her head lying contentedly on his chest. As she listened to his heartbeat she put her hand over her own heart and was thrilled to find they were both keeping the same time.
"Well, if I'd known you were gonna do that if I asked you to marry me, you'd have been the only Junior at high school with a husband." Hyde stroked her arm as he floated on one of the best sexual highs of his life.
"I'm going to be so busy tomorrow," Jackie mused. "I have to start checking out caterers and registering us at the best stores. Plus I need to find out how to book the stallions we will ride to our wedding on that Hawaiian beach. Although I'm thinking now perhaps a castle would be more fitting than a beach… it's much more in line with my whole aura, you know, and then we could do like a medieval theme with jousting and sword fights. You know Michael and Fez would love that. Then I have to find just the right diamond tiara to shine against the midnight beauty of my hair – "
"Jackie," Hyde interrupted. "About that. You see, I probably should have mentioned there's just one little proviso to this whole engagement/marriage thing. I'm not paying for the wedding."
"What?" Jackie cried, her head snapping up. "What do you mean you're not paying for it?"
"First off, it would be a complete sell out for me to put a cent of my money into that commercialised clap-trap which is all one huge money stealing conspiracy run by reception hall and bridal shop corporations. Secondly, I don't believe in spending a small fortune on a huge glorified party which you don't get to really enjoy anyway because you're too unnerved about having everybody you know watch you recite some embarrassingly personal promises to each other and just waiting for you to mess up. And lastly, it's tradition that the bride's family pays for the wedding and you've always said you wanted a traditional wedding."
"Not that traditional," Jackie whined. "I can't believe this, Steven! I have dreamed about my perfect wedding since I was 5 years old and there is no way you're going to take that away from me."
"Hey, I'm not taking anything away from you," Hyde said, raising his hands in a gesture of innocence. "I didn't say you couldn't have your fancy wedding, just that I wasn't going to pay for it."
"Really? And where am I supposed to come up with that kind of money, Steven? In case you've forgotten, I'm not exactly the richest girl in Point Place anymore." Jackie's lip pouted in petulant frustration. "Although if there was any justice in this world I would be."
"I know, baby," Hyde humoured her, rubbing her back soothingly. "Look, now you've finished school you'll be getting a job. You just need to put a little aside out of your pay each week and in a few years time, you'll have enough for that special might-as-well-just-burn-the-cash day."
"You're not going to budge on this, are you?" Jackie realised, narrowing her eyes at her fiance.
"Fair's fair, Jackie. I'm giving in on the whole marriage thing. You have to meet me halfway on this one little detail."
Jackie sighed gustily, but knew this was not the time to push the issue. After all, the most important thing was she had finally caught her man. She would find a way around this annoying rider he had tacked onto the agreement.
"Fine," she said. "But we are going ring shopping tomorrow morning and you'd better reach for your wallet when that happens, buddy."
"Well, that all depends."
"On whether you're gonna do that thing you did before," Hyde said with a smirk.
Jackie raised an eyebrow. "Will you buy me a 2 carat diamond?" she bargained.
"Can you make it worth 2 carats?"
Jackie's reply was a sultry smile as she kissed her way downwards.
"I've got to hand it to you, making Jackie pay for the wedding is pure genius," Eric congratulated with an approving nod.
"Yep," Hyde said with a satisfied smirk. "That's what I do. Make tough life choices look easy."
"But what if she said she'd give up the expensive wedding and settle for something affordable?" Charlie asked. "Weren't you taking a risk there?"
The four basement old-timers stared at the dewy-eyed stranger just prior to bursting into gales of laughter.
"Man, you really don't know Jackie," Kelso guffawed.
"The beauty of it is I've left it in her control so she can't bug me about it," Hyde explained. "If she wants to get married sooner, she just has to earn more money. And everyone knows those first few years in a job you get payed slave wages and have hardly anything left over after paying the rent and utilities. Especially for a high school graduate. Looks like our wedding will coincide with the ushering in of the nineties."
"That's if she can even get a job in this small town," Eric said. "I mean, this isn't Chicago. Who's going to hire someone whose only talent is looking good?"
"Steven, I've found a job," Jackie yelled as she ran down the basement stairs clutching a newspaper. "And the best thing is I'm going to be paid just because of my extraordinary good looks!"
"Wow," Eric marvelled. "What were the odds she'd come in and say that just now?"
"What? What the hell are you talking about?" Hyde demanded, a slight note of panic in his voice.
"Look at this ad in the personals section. Wanted, petite brunette, must be highly attractive, required for modelling work. Apply to Seth Cohen. I mean, it's like it was written about me! This could be my big break, Steven, the start of my meteoric rise to fame in the modelling world. And you know the top models get like ten, twenty thousand dollars for one day's work. With this face, you and I will be married in a fortnight! Isn't that fantastic?"
"Super," Hyde croaked.
"Ah, it is so much fun watching you make life decisions, my friend," Fez said with a wicked smile. "Ah burn!"
"Y'know, Jackie, maybe you shouldn't rush into this thing," Hyde said. "I mean, an ad in the personals section? That sounds kind of suspect."
"Don't worry, Steven. I can tell this is above board from the address – see? It's in Wisconsin's own little rich and famous sanctuary – Ochre County."
"Cool!" Kelso said. "Welcome to the O.C., bitch." Everybody just looked at him. "What? I always wanted to say that."
A.N. Up next – The O.C.
Please let me know what you think – I love reviews!