A.N. I have a new story to offer, set after Season 8. This story is going to have some of my favourite elements – pregnancy, a forced marriage and plenty of Jackie and Hyde heat. I hope you enjoy and let me know what I do right (and wrong).
Chapter 1 - Prologue
September 30, 1980, Chicago
"We'd like to get married, please."
The judge's clerk looked up from her paperwork to confront the young couple volunteering for a lifetime of connubial bliss. Strangely enough, they did not look all that thrilled about the prospect. The bride looked particularly pissed off, as though her partner was signing her up for indentured servitude instead of marriage. Although sometimes there's not that much difference, Marian the clerk thought. Perhaps her obvious lack of enthusiasm for marriage explained why she was dressed in a casual black pants suit, an unusual fashion choice for a bride.
"Certainly, the judge will be able to see you in just a few minutes. If you'd like to complete these forms then we can… oh my, aren't you Jackie Burkhart?" Marian moved her ample form from around the desk to take the hand of the pretty brunette. "You are, of course you are! Well, this is an honour. I have to tell you, Miss Burkhart, that my Lucy watches your show every morning. She will just be over the moon when I tell her that I have met you in person."
The bride-to-be smoothed the scowl from her lovely features to smile graciously on the motherly fan. "Thank you. It is always a pleasure to hear about the joy I bring to children."
"Could I trouble you for an autograph? I'm sure you must be pestered for them all the time, but it would really mean a lot to my little girl."
"Of course," Jackie replied, reaching into her handbag. "I just happen to have a publicity photo with me."
"There's a surprise," her fiancé muttered. Pausing only to shoot a glare at her betrothed, she pulled out a marker and wrote an effusive message to the unknown Lucy on the photo. Just as she was signing her name with a sweeping flourish, the intercom buzzed on the clerk's desk.
After speaking briefly into the intercom, Marian stated "The judge will see you now. Do you have anybody with you to witness your marriage?"
"NO!" Jackie blurted. "No one can know about this. We don't want any witnesses."
"That's right," her fiancé added sarcastically. "This is a drive-by wedding."
"Well, you have to have a witness to make it legal," Marian said a little nervously, again wondering at the angry vibe between the engaged couple. "How about I stand in for you? One autograph for another, so to speak."
So that was how it came to be that Marian Patterson found herself witnessing one of the strangest marriages on record. If the young man had a foreign accent, she might have taken it for one of those green card arrangements but he seemed to be of pure American stock and not unappealing, with those well developed biceps, the slightly broadened chest tapering into a nice flat stomach and slim hips; Mrs Patterson started to feel a little flushed as her mind wandered to what uses she would find for the brooding bridegroom if she were in Jackie Burkhart's place.
"Now, Miss Burkhart, if you'd just repeat after me – I guess that's the last time anybody will be calling you by that name now, won't it?" The elderly judge smiled broadly as though he didn't make that same joke five times a day. He was somewhat thrown when the bride did not blush and giggle as expected but just looked impatient, as though her schedule was filled with much more important things than something as trivial as a wedding. He cleared his throat and began,
"I, Jaclyn Beulah Burkhart,"
She turned furious eyes on her fiancé. "You wrote down my middle name?"
"Jackie, just say the freaking vows," he hissed back. Levelling another evil eye at the young man the judge was feeling more sorry for by the second, the young woman said,
"I, Jaclyn Burkhart,"
The judge wisely glossed over the shortening of her name. "Take thee, Steven James Hyde,"
"Take thee, Steven James Hyde…"
As she recited the standard vows, she managed to make them sound more like death threats than holy promises. Her husband parroted back his vows with all the feeling of a school kid reciting the pledge of allegiance for the thousandth time. What's more, he had not once taken off his aviator sunglasses throughout the entire ceremony. Perhaps that's why his young lady seems so aggravated, the judge thought. Ah, but he would need to take them off for the final part of the ceremony. There was not a young man out there who would give up his chance to kiss this lovely creature, no matter how "cool" he wished to appear.
Just as he predicted, Steven Hyde plucked the glasses off his face as soon as the judge said the fateful words "You may now kiss the bride." The judge and his clerk looked on a little apprehensively, as though afraid the angry sparks flying between the young couple might set the office alight. Certainly the bride was looking less than receptive as her new husband put his arms around her; to be exact, her eyes had that "Don't you dare" look, a look familiar to experienced husbands everywhere. A wise man would have backed away to a safe distance. Or at the very least, worn a cup. This young fool merely smirked, held her face between his two hands and kissed her long and hard, slanting his mouth with bold possession over those pouting lips.
CRACK! The judge winced at the sharp slap that rang through the office as the new Mrs Hyde hauled back and served her husband a powerhouse right, sending his head turning a full 90 degrees.
"Don't you EVER do that again!" she shouted furiously as he rubbed his cheek in pain. She turned her wrath on the judge and his clerk, making them startle backwards. "Where's the damn marriage certificate?" The judge motioned a nervous finger towards the piece of paper on his desk. Jackie scrawled her name in the bride section, her intent obviously being speed rather than a pleasing calligraphy. She thrust the pen at her husband. "Here, sign the stupid thing. Now – stay the HELL out of my life!"
As the three occupants of the judge's chamber watched as the door slammed violently behind her, the judge and his clerk turned amazed eyes on the man who had just shackled himself to a fire-breathing headcase.
"Er… you did want me to marry you two, didn't you?" the judge asked tentatively. "I mean, you didn't come here for a divorce instead and… mixed the two up?"
"No," the curly-haired groom replied with a wry smile, "I really did want to marry her."
"I don't wish to intrude but it didn't seem like the feeling was exactly mutual."
"She'll come around," Mr Hyde said. He tossed a brief thanks to the civil servants and then followed after his charming bride.
"Oh dear," Mrs Patterson sighed. "She seems so… different on television."