DISCLAIMER: I don't own That 70's Show. So stop sending me hate mail! I wasn't the one to make the worst final season ever. Jeez!
Summary: Jackie/Donna friendship fic at the start of The Season That We Do Not Speak Of. One shot, maybe?
Title: Suddenly I See
It wasn't possible. There was no possible way that Hyde was married to a stripper after he didn't want to marry her. None. The fact that there was a stripper in the Forman's living room didn't change that.
Except it did. It was real. It was happening.
To most, Jackie Burkhart was the tiny girl with the loud mouth and even louder emotions. But now, there was no emotion that could express the pain she was feeling. There was nothing.
Jackie sat on Donna's bed, facing the closed door. She had no tears in her eyes. Her face was stone cold. She didn't think she could breath but she was, calmly. Somehow, her attention was completely focused on the small crack in the door from years of wear and tear. She studied it silently, bringing her eyes from it's most southern point to the northen edge, where it slanted off to the side and stopped. She thought about how easily it would continue to crack until one day it shattered into a million tiny splinters of wood, each one a part of the once reliable but wholly useless door. After all, doors didn't keep people out. Not like they were supposed to.
At some point during her examination, the scene changed from a door to tacky clothing and she figured Donna had followed her. She didn't say anything but continued to stare at the same spot, even if it was a different picture.
"Jackie..." Donna started but, what could she say? Hyde was married. And it didn't look like he was going to get out of it. Dillhole, she thought.
"So," she said after slowly making her way to the bed and sitting down a few inches away from Jackie. She knew how much Jackie liked to be comforted but she also knew that Jackie was more complicated than most people assumed and sometimes she liked being left alone.
"Yup," Jackie replied.
Donna didn't know what to say. She hoped that Jackie would see her "So" as an invitation to unload. She either didn't see it or didn't want to use it, and Donna figured it was the latter. Nodding slowly, she moved her head so it was staring at the door, clasped her hands together and just sat there.
Three hours later, Donna got up. She had to pee. She stood and stretched her back a little before moving through the door and into the hallway. After going to the bathroom and washing her hands, she resumed her place on the bed, looking at the wall. It didn't seem as though Jackie even noticed, which wasn't a good thing. But, Donna decided, she was going to let Jackie come to it on her own time. No matter how long it took.
They continued their stare-fest until Bob called them for dinner. Donna brushed her pants off and stood, looking at Jackie for her reaction. Nothing. She simply continued to stare. "Want me to bring you something?" Donna asked her semi-catatonic best friend.
"No," was the simple reply.
After dinner, Donna took out the trash. She saw Hyde talking to Sam through the glass double doors leading to the Forman kitchen. He smiled a bit and laughed at something, presumably something about his wedding that he was just finding out about. Donna sighed. If only he knew, she thought. Anger passing through her head, she straightened and started her death march to the Forman kitchen but stopped in the driveway with one thought: What if he doesn't care. Suddenly she understood the years of pain that Jackie had relayed to her. With Eric, she always knew that he cared. Always. It was getting harder with him being in Africa, but she could still feel it in her bones, a silent comfort that she could always hold close. It made her feel safe and loved and beautiful and so much more. It built her up. But Jackie...
She never understood until this moment that Jackie never felt that. She wanted to feel it so badly that she forced Kelso to reassure her that he loved her and wanted her. Every time he cheated, he only reaffirmed the fact that he didn't, a fact Jackie already knew. True, Jackie wasn't innocent in that relationship, but it was because she never felt loved.
Hyde tried, just not hard enough. He didn't believe that love existed and it frightened him when he realized it did. It was the reason why he only said "I love you" once and why he rarely told her how he felt.
Her sadness at the thought that Jackie was never loved was nothing compared to the rage she felt when she realized what Jackie's ultimatum meant. Jackie wanted "I love you" from Hyde, but Hyde couldn't even give her that. He never could and he never would. "Oh my god," she muttered to the air and slumped her shoulders. She knew what needed to happen.
When she reached her room, Jackie wasn't on the bed. Donna looked around but couldn't find the petite brunette. Furrowing her brows in confusion, she turned to find Jackie walking in the room with a bag of her toiletry items. It took her a moment, but Donna recovered from her surprise and looked around the room. Half of Jackie's belongings were already in bags and the rest were on her small cot.
"I'm sorry Donna," she said, her voice void of any feeling.
"I know. I wasn't going to let you stay here anyway. You're too close to him and he's poison," she replied.
"Yup." Lazily but deliberately, Jackie placed her items in a bag and zipped up the side. Donna grabbed the next bag and started folding clothes to be placed inside. For over an hour they folded and packed clothes, both taking their time. Not because they wanted to savor their last moments as room mates, but because both felt as they lived through the entire history of world without a break and they were tired.
Bob wanted to cry, he did more than a man should ever want to. But he didn't. She wasn't crying and neither could he. He grabbed twenty dollars out of his wallet and pressed them into her delicate hands. "For whatever," he explained.
"Okay. Thanks Bob," Jackie said and gave him a stiff hug. But he understood. From the little Donna would tell him, he knew that Jackie had left the building. She needed a break from herself and she was currently running on auto-pilot. After what happened, she didn't need to take the controls any time soon.
To his left, Donna loaded the last make-up case and closed the car door. She gave her dad a quick but sad smile and got into the drivers seat. With one last look, he watched Jackie, his surrogate daughter for the passed year, turn her back on him and the house she'd called home and walk to the other side of the car. He saw her eyes flash. Jackie wanted to look at the Forman house, desperately, but just for a moment. As quickly as it came, the flash was gone and her beautiful mismatched eyes shown dull once again. A few minutes later, Donna pulled out of the driveway and drove down the street.
In the Forman household, Kitty served a plate of meatloaf to her "son and his new "bride". She always hoped that one day she would have two grandchildren: one with bright red hair and the other with curly black. But it seemed as though that wish wasn't going to come true. She sighed and looked out the window just in time to see Donna's headlights. She didn't have to know whose car the lights belonged to to know who was in the car. Silently, she said "Goodbye," and continued to serve dinner.
Author's Note: I might do more if people want me to. I'm still trying to get the sequel to "The Leaving Song" out and I have another JH fic that I want to do. But I noticed that there weren't a lot of Donna Jackie friendship fics, so I wanted to do one. If I do more, I'll have more JH in it. So, please review.