Inspired by all those damn jewelry adds I keep hearing. Driving with Jackie was a dangerous thing…
"Women find Valentine's Day to be the most romantic day of the year to get engaged." The voice over for a local jewelry store claimed as Hyde and Jackie drove. Annoyed, Hyde turned the radio down.
"They said the same thing about Christmas." He scoffed, "Jackie?"
Jackie looked over at her ex. The last year had been hard for them both, but after her break up with Fez, somehow they had gotten to the point where they were friends again. It was an awkward friendship, to say the least, but they could talk to each other without it turning into hurtful burns, and even went so far as to hang out with each other. A movie here and there, dinners out, they had even gone to a couple concerts together. Mostly though, they hung out in the basement or in her apartment. It was almost like it was when they had dated, only without the sex.
In fact, there was barely any touching at all. When there was however, it was like lightning between them.
"Yeah, Steven?" She hadn't been paying attention to the radio. Listening to ads for diamond rings only served to remind Jackie of what she didn't have.
"Do girls really think that getting engaged on Valentine's Day is romantic?" Hyde was actually curious about this, for reasons he couldn't quite explain.
Jackie shrugged, "Most girls, yes."
"What about you?" Hyde knew it was dangerous territory to go down, but he thought he must.
"Of course." Jackie replied, "Although…" she trailed off before her mouth could finish the thought.
"No," Hyde said, "Although what?"
Jackie blushed, embarrassed, "Well, when you and I were together, I always pictured you proposing rather spontaneously. There wouldn't be any so called romantic holidays; you'd just… do it." She shrugged again as to say, but that's over now and there's no use dwelling on the past.
Hyde nodded, unable to think of something to say other than, 'wow.'
"So I'd just propose out of nowhere?" Hyde asked curiously.
"Mhmm." Jackie replied. "I always pictured you doing it in your room, just the two of us."
On one hand, Hyde thought it was good that the two of them could talk about this stuff without it becoming an issue for them, but on the other hand, he knew that was complete bullshit. It was still an issue for them, and always would be. Sure, they no longer yelled at each other, but there was always an ache in the pit of Hyde's stomach when he was around the girl next to him, like something was missing from their relationship, no matter how deep their friendship was.
"I'm sorry." Jackie said apologetically.
"I'm the one who brought it up." Hyde reminded her.
Jackie smiled, "That's right, you were! In that case, you have to tell me a secret of yours."
"Fine." Hyde muttered, "I'd follow you to the ends of the earth."
Jackie laughed and shook her head, "That's hardly a secret, come on; tell me something I don't know."
"I'm pretty sure you already know everything." Hyde told her. "I've got nothing."
"Hmm..." Jackie tapped her chin thoughtfully, "I got it."
"I hate that tone." Hyde mumbled to himself, "that tone means you're up to something."
Jackie grinned, "You know me so well, Steven." The two grinned at each other.
"What did you really think about our first kiss?" Jackie asked.
"It was good." Hyde said vaguely.
"That's it?" Jackie asked, "Just good?"
"Well, what did you think of it?" Hyde countered.
"I asked you first." Jackie stated stubbornly.
"Fine, since I know what you're really asking, I'll tell you, but this doesn't leave this car, got it?"
"You know better than to hold me to any such promise." Jackie said with a roll of her eyes, "Tell me."
"I felt something." Hyde said quickly.
"I knew it!" Jackie exclaimed, jumping up and down in her seat. "I knew you loved me!"
"I did not love you." It was Hyde's turn to roll his eyes.
"Oh, you so did love me!" Jackie was grinning like a loon, "You loved me and it broke your poor wittle heart when I went back to Michael."
"It did not." Hyde said unconvincingly even to his own ears. "And stop the baby talk."
Jackie continued to smile, "You couldn't wait to steal me from Michael, could you?"
"Jackie." Hyde warned. They were already in dangerous territory as it was, they didn't need to go aggravating the sharks.
"Oh, Steven, that's so romantic." Jackie sighed.
"I didn't plan anything." Hyde tried to tell her. He knew it was useless though, Jackie was in her own little world. Any minute know she was going to start making kissy noises.
"How much longer till we get there?" Hyde asked to try to change the subject.
"You tell me," Jackie said, "You're the one with the map."
"No, you're the one with the map." Hyde said.
"Um, no, you are." Jackie replied.
Hyde took a deep breath and then quickly scanned the El Camino for the map. "We didn't bring a map, did we?" He asked fearfully.
"Nope." Jackie said with a nod. "You have no idea where we are, do you?"
"Of course I know where we are!" Hyde snapped. "We're… uh… well, judging by the amount of trees, I'm going to go with the upper Midwest."
"So we're either in Wisconsin, Michigan or Minnesota." Jackie thought aloud, "That narrows it down."
"Well, just watch out and make sure we don't drive into any lakes." Hyde stated.
"Steven," Jackie said with a small whine, "this is hardly the time for jokes. We have no idea where we are and the nearest gas station is twenty two miles away."
"Twenty two miles?" Hyde nearly yelled, "What the hell, it's like they want you to run out of gas here."
"Right." Jackie said, "Government conspiracy, yadda, yadda, yadda."
"Hey, you used to love my conspiracy theories." Hyde reminded her.
"Steven, it wasn't your theories I was in love with. I always thought of them as being your little quirk that I had to put up with in order to get to the good stuff."
"And it was good stuff." Hyde said with a leer.
"Not what I was talking about, and seriously, what are we going to do?"
"We're going to do what my uncle John did back in the great road trip of sixty six." Hyde told her, "We're just going to keep on driving."
"Even if it means we don't get to where we're heading?" Jackie asked worriedly.
Hyde raised his eyebrow. "Especially if it means we don't get where we're heading."
"Steven, we promised Donna and Eric we would be there." Jackie tried to reason with Hyde. "It's a very important day for them; they are our best friends you know."
"They're having a kid," Hyde said, "And I don't know about you, but having to listen to Donna scream at Forman for twenty two hours does not sound like my idea of a good time."
Jackie agreed with him, but she wasn't about to admit it. "I'm beginning to think you got us lost on purpose."
Hyde laughed. "No," he said, "but I'm not complaining."
Jackie rolled her eyes but nevertheless let the matter drop. Besides, she had more important matters to discuss with Hyde, namely, his old crush on her.
"So when did you know you loved me?"
"Oh god," Hyde muttered, "Jackie I swear to God I will stop this car right now and make you walk to the gas station."
"I'm shivering in my boots, just tell me."
"August tenth, nineteen seventy nine."
"That day has no special significance." Jackie said thoughtfully.
"I know, it's just a random date I pulled out of my ass just now." Hyde said sarcastically, "I didn't just magically fall in love with you Jackie, and there wasn't some grand moment when I realized my feelings."
"Of course not." Jackie agreed, "Because they were already there."
Hyde blinked. He needed to change the subject and keep it changed. Unfortunately everything he could think of would inevitably remind Jackie of the past and more damning questions would arise. He couldn't afford to answer any more of her questions, lest he say something he would regret.
"It'll be easier for the both of us if you just admit that you adore me." Jackie said cheekily.
"I will do no such thing." Hyde stated.
Jackie laughed and playfully swatted Hyde's shoulder. "That's a yes!"
Hyde sighed. The girl next to him knew him inside and out. None of his zen tricks would get past her. He gave her a sideways glance. She was sitting with her knees bent into her chest, her long hair was pulled up into a pony tail. She looked innocent and sweet, but Hyde knew better. Underneath that sweet girl exterior was a devil. A super hot devil that, if memory served him right, could do things that made his eyes want to pop out of their sockets. He could feel her eyes scan over him, and suddenly Hyde had the urge to suck in his stomach in order to make him more attractive to her.
"You know," Jackie finally said in order to break the tension, "this is nice."
"What, being lost?" Hyde queried.
"No," Jackie replied, "Being with you. I like being with you, Steven."
Figuring that he was already screwed from the earlier conversation anyway, Hyde smiled softly and said, "I like being with you too."
She didn't squeal in her seat like an excited cheerleader, she didn't tease him and claim that his admission was a confession of love, no; she simply smiled that damn gorgeous smile of hers, the one that made him weak in the knees. Hyde gulped and tried to keep his eyes on the road.
"There's a sign." Jackie pointed ahead, "Welcome to Minnesota, oh my god; we're in the right state!"
"How 'bout that." Hyde shook his head in disbelief, "I would have sworn we would have ended up in Canada."
"Me too!" Jackie agreed. "Now it's only two more hours to Duluth."
Hyde shook his head, "Remind me why Forman and Donna moved there anyway."
Jackie shrugged, "Eric got a job there and Donna wanted to go with him because she loves him."
"Huh." Hyde said, leaving it at that.
"Love makes people do crazy things, Steven, including moving to Duluth for one's scrawny nerd of a boyfriend." Jackie said knowingly.
"I never did anything crazy." Hyde argued.
"Steven, you married someone else because I had hurt you." Jackie reminded him softly, "You know, I knew that you still cared about me."
"Jackie, I was a dick to you back then, hell, I'm still surprised you're speaking to me right now."
"Steven, if you didn't still love me, you wouldn't have been so mean. You would have just moved on with your life."
"I could say the same thing about you." Hyde countered.
Jackie nodded, "And you would be right."
Hyde was silent for a moment as he thought about the year before and Jackie's careful analysis of their actions during it. However, it wasn't the memory of using Sam to taunt Jackie that came to him, it was the day Fez had dumped her, and she had come crying to him in the basement.
Hyde sat awkwardly in his chair as the sobbing brunette cried into his chest. He awkwardly patted her on the back, mentally cursing Donna or anyone else for that matter for not being there.
"Uh, Jackie, shouldn't you be um, crying on Fez?"
"Fez is the reason I'm crying!" Jackie sobbed.
"What the hell did he do?" Hyde roared, his protectiveness was rising to the surface.
"He broke up with me." Jackie cried, "He said his expectations were too high, and now that he knows I'm just me he doesn't think we can be together." She then threw her arms around him again and continued to cry. This time though, he shifted in his seat and pulled her against him, holding her tightly as she wept.
Things had changed dramatically between them that day. After she had stopped crying, they had sat down on the couch and talked, about everything. All the things that probably should have been said in the beginning were finally said that day, and unlike Hyde's original fear, that they would drive Jackie further and further away, it had only made them closer.
"What are you thinking about?" Jackie asked.
"How you always cry on me." Hyde answered.
Jackie blushed, "Yeah, I know you don't like it."
"It's not that, I always just kind of wondered why it was always me."
Jackie smiled softly, "When I was a little girl, I was afraid of the bogey man. My dad would come into my room and tell it to go away, but I could always tell that he never really believed that it was real, so I knew it would still be in my closet. When I dated Michael, I knew that he would run away at the sight of the bogey man, but with you, I knew you'd protect me from anything, including the bogey man."
"I've done a kind of suck ass job lately."
Jackie shook her head and put her hand on his leg, "You did better than you think."
Hyde looked down at Jackie's hand which still rested on his thigh, "Um,"
Jackie followed his eyesight to her hand. "Oh!" Jackie said, pulling her hand back, "Sorry."
"No, um, it's okay…" Hyde shrugged, "You should be flattered."
"Who says I'm not?" Jackie grinned.
This was the reason they didn't touch. Hyde reminded himself as he shifted in his seat. It made it harder to hide his reaction to her.
"I think we're getting closer to the gas station, do you still want to stop?" Jackie asked.
"So… what happened to your uncle?" Jackie asked after a minute.
"Which uncle?" Hyde replied, not really listening.
"Oh," Hyde said, "Uh, he ended up shacking up in Montana."
"Where was he going?" Jackie asked.
"Indiana." Hyde replied with a laugh.
"Those are no where near each other." Jackie stated, "Why didn't he just come back once he realized where he was?"
"Well," Hyde said as he stretched his back, "He figured that he was meant to go where he did. He didn't believe in accidents."
"So he just stayed in Montana? That's crazy." Jackie said thoughtfully, "I don't think I could just drive without knowing where I was going and then just stay there."
"He was a free spirit." Hyde said with a shrug.
"So was he your favorite?" Jackie asked, "I mean, it sounds like you care about him."
"He was cool," Hyde agreed, "I think out of all my relatives he's the one I'm most like."
"Except for the fact that you never go anywhere." Jackie reminded him.
"Touché" Hyde said.
"Men, don't know what to get your special lady for Valentines Day?"
"Come to Big Bob's Cubic Zirconium Surplus Store." Hyde joked.
"Where all the rings are guaranteed to turn your skin green." Jackie laughed.
"Why don't you blow her away with a three stone heart pendant made especially for Valentine's Day?"
"Show her that you have little to no imagination." Hyde said.
"Didn't Eric get one of those for Donna last year?" Jackie asked. The two shared a look before bursting out laughing.
"You know he called me yesterday wanting to know if he still needs to get her something even though she's having his kid." Hyde informed her.
"And you said yes, right?" Jackie pressed him for an answer.
"Now, what kind of friend would I be if I did that?" Hyde said seriously.
Jackie shook her head and refrained from commenting.
"Jackie, just accept that our friend's are stupid."
"I accept that you're stupid." Jackie countered.
"Me?" Hyde exclaimed, "Why am I stupid?"
"Because," Jackie said with the utmost seriousness, before saying in a sing-song voice, "You won't admit that you love me."
"Damn it!" Hyde yelled, hitting the steering wheel, "I walked right into that one."
Jackie laughed, "Sure did."
"Well played, Grasshopper." Hyde congratulated her for the burn.
"Thank you." Jackie said, leaning over to kiss Hyde on the cheek. She pressed her lips to his skin and the two became aware of the moment that had just been created. Not knowing what to do, Jackie stayed where she was, her face just inches away from his. Hyde tried to remain stoic and keep his attention on the road so they wouldn't crash, but all he wanted to do was turn and kiss her. She pulled away slowly and turned back into her seat.
"Sorry." She said softly.
Hyde's heart was pounding out of his chest to the point he couldn't ignore it anymore. Mentally cursing himself as he did so, he pulled over to the side of the road and put the El Camino in park.
"What're you…" Jackie was cut off though by Hyde putting his hand behind Jackie's head and pulling her towards him. Their mouths met instantly, like two old lovers finally reunited. If it wasn't for the need for oxygen, neither of them would have pulled away.
"Hee." Jackie giggled, "Wow."
Hyde just nodded, trying to stay in control. They remained apart for a full thirty seconds before reaching for each other again. Somehow they ended up with her laying flat on her back with him on top of her, her legs wrapped around his waist as they continued to make out. He leaned in closer to her, and doing so his erection brushed up against her center, making Jackie gasp.
"Take off your pants." Jackie ordered huskily.
Not wanting to argue with her, he used one hand to unbuckle and unzip his jeans, then he unzipped Jackie's jeans and she raised her hips to allow him to pull them off. Once the offending garments were gone, he leaned down and kissed her furiously as he entered her slowly.
"Fuck" He moaned.
"Yeah," Jackie agreed breathlessly as she tightened her grip around his curls. She raised her hips to allow him to penetrate deeper. He didn't need to be told what she wanted, he matched her motions with his own, thrusting hard and fast.
"I'm not going to last." He told her as her toes pressed into his calves.
"So don't." Jackie replied, "Just make sure I come with you."
They drove the next two hours in an awkward but still comfortable silence. Both pondered what had just happened. They had both been so careful not to let their feelings get in the way of their new found friendship. Both of them knew that they wouldn't be able to take the heartache again. So why had they risked it?
"Donna said to take a left at the first light." Jackie informed him.
"Eric said to take a right at the post office." Hyde said, pointing to the building in question.
"It's behind the light." Jackie said, stating the obvious.
"So which way do we go?" Hyde questioned.
"Left." Jackie claimed, "On the grounds that Eric is directionally challenged."
"You mean stupid."
"Tomato, Tomato." Jackie said with a wave of her hand.
Hyde never the less followed Jackie instructions, turning left at the light.
"Wait," Hyde said after a minute, "Were we supposed to meet them at their house or at the hospital?"
Jackie remained silent for a minute before stating, "I don't know."
The two looked at each other and shrugged. "Communication has never been a real strength of theirs." Jackie sighed.
"What, you don't call arguing about the same thing over and over again communication?" Hyde asked sarcastically.
Jackie shook her head. "At least you and I argued about real things."
"Very true." Hyde agreed, "We were good."
"We were very good."
There it was again, the tension. One would think that sex would have alleviated it, but no, it had just made it stronger.
"I think that's their house up there." Jackie said, pointing to a one story ranch with green shudders, "isn't that the cruiser?"
"Great," Hyde muttered. "Let the screaming commence." He said as he pulled into the driveway. The need to stretch her legs and talk to her best friend caused Jackie to jump out of the car as soon as it was stopped.
"Oh good, you're finally here!" Donna exclaimed at the doorway.
"Donna, we need to talk." Jackie said, pulling her friend into the house. Eric looked over at Hyde who shrugged.
"You had sex." Eric accused.
"No." Hyde denied.
"Yes, you did!" Eric claimed, "I can't believe it, why would you do that? You said you wouldn't do that!"
"What, have sex?" Hyde asked, "I never made any promises not to have sex."
"Not to have sex with Jackie!" Eric yelled, "You had sex with Jackie even though you said you wouldn't! You called it the sacred oath."
"Forman, could we not talk about this?" Hyde asked, looking around Eric's driveway.
"You wanna go inside and talk about it?" Eric asked, "'We could talk about it with Donna and Jackie."
"I'd rather not talk about it at all." Hyde replied, "So um, did you get Donna something for Valentine's Day?"
"Yeah, because she said if I didn't she'd roast my head on the new grill Dad got her." Eric pulled a black velvet box out of his pocket and showed Hyde the diamond heart pendant inside. "Nice, huh?"
Hyde scowled at his friend. "Seriously, you keep getting Donna those stupid pendants, they're just as bad as when you kept buying her rings."
"And yet, she's now wearing one." Eric grinned, "So the jokes on you." He glared at Hyde, "And you're trying to change the subject!"
"Fine, we had sex, happy now?"
"Of course I'm not happy! Unless, you're happy, in which case I guess I could pretend to be understanding about the whole thing, but really I think you're making a huge mistake. You can't have casual sex with Jackie, you know that."
Hyde sighed, "It's not just sex."
"I don't know whether that's better or worse." Eric admitted, "So what're you going to do?"
Inside, Donna paced in the living room with her hands on her expanded belly as she finished lecturing Jackie.
"So what're you going to do?" She asked.
Jackie shrugged, "He's the love of my life."
"Who hurt you." Donna reminded her.
Jackie sighed, "I know, but… it's different now. We talk and we hang out and we're closer now than ever."
"Jackie, do I need to remind you about what happened the last time you gave Hyde another chance? He's one of my best friends, but he isn't so great at relationships."
"I know." Jackie agreed, "But I love him."
"Speaking of love," Donna said, "I think my water just broke."
The two girls looked down at the wet spot beneath Donna's feet.
"Weren't you supposed to be induced tomorrow?" Jackie asked as she went to comfort her friend.
"Yeah," Donna said slowly, "Guess I won't need to be doing that." As the contraction hit, she dug her nails into Jackie's hand.
"Yeah," Jackie squirmed, "This is definitely a job for Eric." She looked towards the door and yelled his name.
Eric and Hyde came running in. "What's going on?" Eric asked frantically.
"We're having a baby." Donna said through her teeth.
"You just now figured that out?" Eric laughed, "I've known for about nine months now."
"I meant right now you dillhole!" Donna yelled at her husband.
Jackie looked over at Hyde who shook his head. "I'll drive." He said as the four made their way to the cruiser.
Jackie got into the front seat and looked at Hyde, "Do you think there's a moral to this story?"
"Yes," Hyde answered, "Don't be there when your friends ask you to be there for the birth of their kid."
"It's what you get." Eric explained, "For not helping us move."
Several hours later, Jackie and Hyde were sitting in the hospital waiting room. Hyde's eyes were glued to the hockey game on the television and Jackie was twirling her hair around her finger as she hummed an ABBA song to herself. The hockey game went to commercials and Hyde was about to make small talk with Jackie when the shot of a man proposing to a woman appeared.
"Be her special valentine," it said in white letters over a black screen, "and she'll be yours."
Jackie put her head against Hyde's shoulder and closed her eyes. Hyde stared at the screen, his mind still fixated on the commercial. It was crap, he reminded himself, mindless crap directed at both men and women to buy expensive jewelry during a holiday that was invented to sell greeting cards and chocolate in heart shaped boxes.
"Jackie," Hyde asked softly, not wanting to wake her up if she was asleep.
"What?" Jackie asked.
"Should we talk about what happened?" he asked.
"We had sex, Steven, there's really not much to say." Jackie said with a yawn.
"So you really don't want to talk about what it means?" Hyde asked, surprised.
Jackie looked up at Hyde, "I already know what it means; the question is, do you?"
"Let me guess, that I love you." Hyde said pretending to be annoyed.
"Something like that." Jackie smiled.
"So what do we do?" Hyde asked, "Because you remember the last time."
"I do," Jackie allowed, "and I remember what our issues were."
"Jealousy, fear of commitment and stubbornness." Hyde listed.
"Exactly," Jackie agreed, "So we should probably try to avoid those issues this time, I mean, if there's going to be a this time."
"Uh, yeah, sure." Hyde said awkwardly, "You know, I want to be with you."
"Really?" Jackie asked with a smile.
"Yeah, I was kind of thinking, I'm not a diamond ring kind of guy, and I'm never been sure about marriage and all that, but um, we could you know, not get married and be together for um, ever?" Hyde knew he sounded stupid.
"You get me a ring, it doesn't have to be a diamond, and I will gladly not marry you." Jackie agreed, "But only if you swear you'll never sleep with any other women and will be the father of my children, if and so when we choose to have them."
"I guess I can do that, but only if you promise the same thing." Hyde stated.
"It's a deal." Jackie said. The two leaned in and kissed. Hyde leaned back and Jackie put her head against his shoulder again.
"What do you want to bet Forman's fainted?" Hyde asked as he took Jackie's hand.
Jackie just laughed, "Michael and Fez are so getting the next one."
"Hell yeah." Hyde agreed.
Later, Jackie held onto her new niece and smiled. "I thought she was supposed to be a boy."
"Turns out the thing they thought was a penis was just one of her fingers." Eric told them, "Does this mean we get to name her Leia instead?" he asked Donna excitedly.
"No," Donna glared, "It means I get to choose the name, you know the deal."
"Fine," Eric pouted. "But just so you know, I think she looks like a Leia."
"You should name her something to commemorate Valentine's Day." Jackie told them.
"Val?" Eric asked Donna.
"That's my sister's name." Donna reminded him.
"Oh yeah, "Eric remembered, "What ever happened to her?" "Tina?" he suggested again.
"Other sister." Donna informed him.
"Seriously, where the hell did you put these mysterious siblings of yours?" Eric asked his wife.
Jackie looked down at the unnamed baby girl, "Those are your parents." Jackie told her, "Just to give you a heads up, they are always like this."
"We'll come up with something." Donna huffed. Eric walked over to Jackie and took the baby from her. "Yeah, you'll see, we will."
Jackie laughed as she sat down next to Hyde who was watching the whole thing with great amusement.
"We're naming our kids Emily and Jacob, okay?" Jackie asked.
Jackie smiled and kissed Hyde on the cheek, "Happy Valentine's Day."
"Whatever." Hyde said, kissing Jackie back, both ignoring the cries of protest from their friends.
Happy Valentine's Day everybody!