Title: Dirty Pictures
Summary: He'll help just a little, he supposes. Just to get her out of his system…er…hair. J/H
Author's Note: After lurking in this fandom for almost a year, I've finally decided to try my hand. Here is the result.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with That 70's Show, Thanksgiving, or the Ice Capades.
Steven Hyde wasn't a dreamer. He refused to pull on the wishbone at Thanksgiving, and he'd laugh in the face of somehow who dared to hold an eyelash out to him. Lately, though, he'd found himself wishing for all sorts of things... things that he would never have, and things that he wouldn't even want. It pissed him off. So he decided to make a deal with God, or Buddha, or whoever. He promised to stop thinking about stupid girly crap like unicorns necklaces, if God would just make her change.
He thought that was probably why he couldn't get her out of his head. She was still exactly the same as she was at seventeen, and it was sickening, and it was pathetic, and it was forcing him to relive the god awful time he spent with her over and over until he thought his brain might explode. What kind of nineteen-year-old woman still wore pigtails anyway?
His mind started to float at this thought, and, before he could stop himself, she was there, plunked down on his lap. It was summer, and the basement was hot because Red's way too big of a cheap ass to buy a fan. Jackie was squirming in his lap, giggling at the rerun of 'The Partridge Family' she had somehow conned him into watching. Her shorts were riding up with each movement, and he couldn't help but stare. A trickle of red, syrupy juice fell from the Popsicle in her right hand, and traced a path from the top of her thigh to the inside corner, disappearing into the pink cotton of her shorts. He could see a little bit of her underwear, peeking out from where the shorts stood out from her leg. It was white, with little yellow flowers and green leaves, and he'd seen sexier panties before, but he'd never wanted to touch anything so badly. Instead, he reached up and grabbed one of the thick curls hanging from her left pigtail.
He blinked to clear his mind, and then looked down to see his fingers moving, fingering slowly through imaginary brunette strands that he would never actually touch again. This was exactly why he needed God to make her change. He wasn't picky, really. Maybe she could move to Nantucket and start a pig farm. Maybe she could get into roller derby and get all muscular and mannish. He really didn't care, as long as she stopped doing what she was doing currently. He couldn't stand another day of her prancing into the basement, covered in ribbons and lace, gabbing about Donny Osmond's comeback. Yesterday, she had worn a green shirt, with a pink sweater vest over it, and he had nearly snapped. It wasn't so much the outfit, though, as it was her complete disregard for its sanctity. He refused to believe that she didn't remember. The image of him tugging that vest over her head had to be as firmly ingrained in her mind as the image is in his, or else he was crazy. She had to remember the feel of his fingers pushing that pink shirt over her bare shoulders as well as he recalled the feel of her flesh under his, or else he was the only one still holding on.
Steven Hyde didn't do 'holding on'. He was a free man; free to do whatever he wanted, and spend as much time in the circle as he wanted to, and to fantasize about the glory days of high school as often as he saw fit. So he had pretended not to care about the way that she absently tugged on a loose thread, causing a small hole to form in the hem. He knew she would be mad when she saw it. He was glad.
So today, when she flounced into the basement and plopped down with a sigh, he was not at all curious as to what was going on in her little brain. He looked over slyly and swallowed when he saw her short, flowered sundress. He supposed one day is pretty quick to receive an answer to prayer. He would allow a few more days for Him to think over the offer.
She sighed again.
"God, Jackie, what's your problem?" he groaned. He was always pissed off when he talked to her lately.
"Nothing," she harrumphed.
"Good," he snapped, grabbing his sunglasses from their spot on his lap and pushing them on. "Then I don't want to hear any more whiny freaking sighs from you. I want to watch TV in peace."
"That's cool," she said, shrugging her shoulders, and suddenly, he was mad. He was really mad.
"Don't try to pull that Zen crap on me, Jackie," he said, and his voice was a little louder than he meant it to be. "I invented Zen."
"Whatever," she lilted.
He opened his mouth, but then closed it.
"Fine," he said, leaning back in his seat.
He could tell she was smiling.
It pissed him off.
"What are you doing here?" he asked after a moment, because he just couldn't seem to let things be.
"Waiting for Donna," she answered quickly, her attention never wavering from the television set.
"Where's Fez?" he asked.
"My guess would be either eating candy that he found under our couch or perving over dirty pictures of me."
"You let him take dirty pictures of you?" He quickly shrugged afterward, hoping that his voice didn't sound as indignant as he thought it might have. She never let him take dirty pictures of her.
"He took them while I was asleep," she shrugged. "But anyway, he's my boyfriend and our love making is our personal business."
He remembered her saying something similar to Kelso about their relationship at one point.
"Believe me, I don't want to know anymore than you want to tell me," he said, attempting to convey his disgust at the idea.
"I'm surprised, actually," she said. "I would think the idea of two people as good looking as Fez and I getting it on would be like fantasy material to your perverted mind."
"Oh, I think Sam left behind enough images to satisfy me for a good long while," he said, never turning his eyes from the television set.
Dropping the name of his biggest mistake had its desired effect. She shut up.
After a few more moments of watching television in silence, she got up and left. For once, his eyes didn'tt follow her, and he felt really proud. Then he heard her footsteps on the stairs, one trudging slowly after the other, and he felt like a jerk.
She used to be bouncy.
He distinctly remembered her being bouncy.
And then he didn't know what to do, because even though he hated her, he never meant to steal her bounce.
Sighing, he removed his sunglasses and rubbed his hands over his eyes, thinking hard. Then he was struck with inspiration. It's Fez. It's gotta be Fez, not him, who was getting her so down. Why had she come down there in the first place? To talk to Donna! Probably to whine for hours about her relationship problems! Why would she care what he, Hyde, said to her? They were way over and there was no way all that stripper crap was still bothering her the way it was still bothering him. No, it had to be Fez.
"But what do I care?" he said aloud, before quickly looking around furtively and turning up the television a little. He knew that inside he's driving himself crazy with memories, but he'd be damned if he's going to have to be labeled as the guy who talks to himself by someone like Red or Kelso.
He heard footsteps on the stairs again, and quickly put his hands behind his head, leaning back.
Donna slipped into the room and gently closed the door behind her. Her movements were uncharacteristically graceful. Something was up.
"What's with the sneaking?" Hyde asked, causing a startled Donna to whirl around.
"God, Hyde," she exclaimed, coming over to sit next to him on the couch, "way to give a girl a heart attack."
"So?" he asked after a moment.
"So… Jackie's on the prowl," sighed Donna. "She's after me to let her give me a makeover, and quite frankly, I don't think my self esteem can handle it today."
"She seems kinda weird lately."
"Who are we talking about? Jackie!"
"Why would you be talking about Jackie?" Donna sat up a bit, looking interested.
"I don't care about her," Hyde said quickly, then immediately chastised himself. "Um… that is to say, she's being a little more annoying than usual lately, don't you think?"
"Yeah, I guess," Donna said slowly after a moment of looking at him strangely. "A little."
He stared at her.
She stared back.
He wished that he had paid a little more attention to Foreman and all of his crap about 'The Force'. If only he could have just waved his hand in front of Donna's face and made her spill her guts.
"I guess things with Fez just aren't working out the way she thought," Donna finally offered.
"I figured," said Hyde, hiding a small smile. It's not that he wanted Jackie unhappy, necessarily. He didn't care. He just didn't want her happier than him.
"Why do you care, anyway? Are you looking for something new to throw in her face?" asked Donna, no real malice in her voice.
"No reason," he said nonchalantly, feeling slightly smug. "I'm just sick of listening to her moaning."
"Yeah, well, okay," said Donna, standing up and stretching. "I've got to get a move on. I can't stay in one place for too long. She should work for the FBI, seriously. No criminal would ever stand a chance."
Hyde remained in the same spot long after Donna left, thinking. So Jackie and Fez weren't the dream couple after all. Well, big surprise! He could have told them that from day one. Really, it served her right, after everything that went down in Chicago. She didn't deserve to be happy. Still… he thought of the sound of her footsteps on the stairs, and the way her legs had looked in those pink sandals she had been wearing earlier.
He'd help a little, he supposed. Just to get her out of his hair. Not because he never meant to steal her bounce or anything. He would never say any girly crap like that. Who said that anyway? Donna?
He'd always known what to do to make Jackie happy. He just... hadn't tried. He was lazy, and he was not romantic, and if she'd really loved him, she'd have stuck by him no matter how he treated her. If she had done that, he would have known for sure, and then maybe he could have... but this isn't about his and Jackie's failed relationship. This is about Jackie and Fez, and his last chance to get her out of his system... er... his hair.
He picked up the phone and dialed.
"Hey Fez," he says after a moment. "I hear the Ice Capades are in Kenosha this weekend. Oh, you already got tickets? I should have known. But anyway, I had this idea... it's about Jackie..."