He is her white knight and she is his fairy girl. Post season 8.
I like to think of this as a continuation of the themes in Black Dog. I wasn't going to start another story but this and a much, much happier story I'm in the middle of writing just wouldn't let me go. The next chapter is done and will be posted in a couple days to give you all time to read and review this one. It's one of the most emotionally brutal things I've written, and I'm the person who made Jackie drown!
Thank you to my readers and reviewers. You're all amazing and I couldn't do it without you.
It should go without saying that this isn't owned by me.
The lyrics separating sections are all from various songs. Credit is given. –please pay attention to these as they help tell the story.
It should be noted that this is a character study, so I'm not going to worry about the legalese which was taken from having seen every episode of Law and Order ever.
On with the story...
A one-way street, she's walking to end of the line- Concrete Blonde, Tomorrow, Wendy.
Jackie Burkhart watches silently as the police drag her father off in handcuffs. She hugs herself as they lifted the gurney and slid the black bag containing Pamela Burkhart into the coroner's van. She says nothing as one of the men gives her a number to call the next day to find out the cause of death and to make arrangements. She doesn't need them to tell her how her mother died. She knows. She had seen the blood, the gun.
The detectives want a statement. Want to question her, want to make sure she wasn't involved.
"I came home to find my mother on the floor and my father was standing over her." She wonders what's going to happen to her dad now.
"Did he say anything to you?" the man who asks her is young, desperate to solve his first case and it shows in his tone.
"I don't even think he knew I was there."
"Do you live here?"
What kind of question was that? "No, I was just visiting."
Jack Burkhart was in shock they said. He was barely conscious of what he had done.
Jackie turns her head a little and sees the news reporters with their cameras. It suddenly feels like two years ago all over again only worse.
The police declare the Burkhart property to be a crime scene and tell Jackie she needs to vacate while they do their investigation. She doesn't know why it matters, it's not like she lives there anymore anyway. Someone advises her to see one of the EMTS but she sneaks away, for the first time in her life, not wanting the attention.
So you can wipe off the grin, I know where you've been- Phil Collins, In the Air Tonight.
This was the burn to end all burns. Perfect family first ruined by embezzlement and bribery, and then destroyed with murder. Some would say that Jackie Burkhart got what was coming to her.
Not one of those people really knew Jackie Burkhart. Those people watched together in horror as a news reporter tried to get into Jackie's face. Those people saw the redness in her eyes, the way she kept looking around and hugging herself. Those people saw how Jackie was struggling to keep it together.
Those were people who saw Steven Hyde leave.
Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me- Coldplay, The Scientist.
Sometimes Steven Hyde wonders if anyone else has noticed how close Jackie is to breaking down. It's actually kind of fitting that he be the one to see it, given that it's partially, okay, mostly his fault. He wants to shake her and demand that she snap out of it. Be Jackie again.
He knows he doesn't have the right to say anything. Instead, he finds ways to hang out with her. Sure, they're usually joined by Fez or the new guy, Randy but never alone.
They never talk about Sam, or Chicago, or their relationship. It's almost as though those things had never happened. It's like they're both trying to forget.
So as he watches her on the news, staring at the direction of the coroner's van with her mother's bloodied, dead body inside of it, he knows that this is it; this is the thing that will set her off.
He's lost her before; he's not going to lose her again. Not like this.
We could steal time, just for one day- David Bowie- Heroes.
She's alone when he finds her. She's sitting on the ground, overlooking the lake, contemplating what she's going to do next when he pulls his car up next to her, gets out and sits next to her.
"My shrink keeps asking me about you." It's an odd hello, even for her.
He blinks. "Your shrink?"
"Donna's, but he wants me to talk about you, I bet that's going to change." Her voice his laced with sarcasm.
He notices the blood on her hands.
"You're bleeding." He takes her hand, concerned, but she shrugs him off.
"Not my blood."
"Not right now." Jackie puts her finger on his lips. "Right now I just want to sit here with a friend, okay?"
On any other day, he'd comment about the friends' remark, but today is not any other day. Instead, he just let's her scoot closer to him and they sit together.
I won't be made useless or be idle with despair- Jewel, Hands.
Kitty Forman glanced over at her husband. He was sitting in his chair, his eyes glued to the T.V. His face was expressionless but Kitty knew what he was feeling. He was angry, probably the angriest he had ever been. His hands were clenched together and the vein in his forehead was close to popping. She shot her son, Eric a look to tell him not to make any of his sarcastic comments, but even Eric wasn't speaking.
At least Steven had gone to get Jackie. He would bring Jackie here and she'd be with the people who loved and cared for her. She would be with her family.
We'd Share Each Other Like an Island- Snow Patrol, Set Fire to the Third Bar
Donna went into the kitchen with Mrs. Forman to help her cook. She couldn't watch anymore. Couldn't watch as the news reporters speculated on what drove Jack Burkhart to murder his own wife, couldn't watch as they mentioned Jackie like an afterthought.
She knew she had been guilty of the same crime, but Jackie really was her best friend and even though she never showed it, she was grateful Jackie being in her life.
Still, she wasn't sure what she was supposed to do now. Hyde had taken one look at the news and had left to get Jackie while she had just sat there. Even after everything that had happened between them, he was still her protector. Donna wasn't sure what her role was yet. She knew that Jackie hated being coddled and would want to pretend that everything was fine, but how was that even possible?
It's the same the whole world round. - XTC, Dear God
"I'd be careful what you say." Red gives Eric a warning.
"I know, I'm just wondering what's going to happen now."
Red looks his son. "I don't know." He admits. "I guess it'll depend on what Jackie told the police."
"But from what it looked like, it looked like Jack Burkhart did it."
"Well," Red sighs. "In that case, they'll arrest Jack and put him on trial for Pam's death and he'll go back to prison."
"She'll have to testify."
It was no secret that Red Forman considered Jackie to be his favorite of his son's friends. She was handy with a car, she was bright, opinionated, a real go getter. He loved Jackie like a daughter and seeing her get trampled on the past year had been horrific to watch.
It was his fault really, for letting Steven stay with Sam. He'd never begin to be able to make it up to her.
Get to know the feeling of liberation and relief- Crowded House, Don't Dream it's over.
"Um, so, everyone is back at the Formans." Hyde says. "We uh, we were going to throw you a surprise party."
"Really?" Jackie asks. "I thought you didn't…"
"Of course we did." Hyde replies. "We did and we do and we will."
They both know they're not having a conversation about birthdays.
"Well thank you." She says sincerely. "I guess we should go then."
"Only if you're ready." He tells her.
"Okay, um, can we stop by my place for a minute? I want to take a shower and put on some new clothes."
He gives her a smirk and a mock salute which makes her smile for the first time in weeks. "Sure thing, dear."
We've been poisoned by these fairy tales- Don Henley, End of the Innocence.
The cake was mocking him, Fez was sure of it. He was jealous really, it had been Hyde's idea to throw the party for Jackie and get her the unicorn cake and now, now it was staring up at him with its blue icing eye. At first, he had wanted nothing more than to sneak a taste, to dig into the delicious white frosting.
How was Jackie going to look at unicorns ever again when all of her innocence was gone?
Well I dug you up a rainbow- Our Lady Peace, Bring back the sun.
Hyde sits on the couch in Jackie and Fez's apartment, waiting for Jackie to finish taking her shower. Bored, he starts going through the large stack of magazines on the coffee table. They're mostly Vogues and Cosmos, but soon he finds a bunch that aren't magazines at all.
They're college guides. University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, NYU, Berkley, Texas, Florida, there are guides and applications to nearly twenty colleges around the country.
He swallows and puts everything back like he found it. He's not sure what upsets him the most, the fact that she was going to go away, or the fact that now she can't.
"Hey, you ready?"
He looks up at her, she's showered and dressed and he knows that nothing is ever going to be the same between them ever again.
"Yeah, uh, I called the Formans, Kitty says she expects you to stay there, just until…"
Jackie nods, "Oh, okay. I guess I'll go pack some stuff then."
Surprisingly, Jackie packs light. Just two suitcases of clothes, make up and other necessities. He sees her looking at her collection of unicorns and other stuffed animals. On her bed.
"What is it?" He asks carefully.
Hesitantly, she picks one up. It's a small pink elephant that he won her once at Six Flags. They had argued the day before, just like they had argued every day in the last three months of their relationship but then the next day she had suggested they go to Six Flags and he had won her that stupid pink elephant as a peace making gesture.
She gives it a look before stuffing it under her arm.
Of everything she could have chosen she picks the damn elephant.
I pour the drinks and crush the flowers- Pet Shop Boys, What Have I Done to Deserve This.
Jackie's aware that she's being embraced. Strong arms are enfolding her from all directions.
"Can't breathe." She gasps and they let go and mutter their apologies.
"So, I heard you guys were throwing me a party." She says cheerfully before heading into the living room.
The group all look at Hyde lost. He just shook his head.
"Kids, do you know what the five stages of grief are?"
Donna, Eric and Hyde all nod at Kitty. Fez shakes his head, confused.
"Sweetie, they're the stages that people go through when something bad happens. I think Jackie is in stage one, denial."
"She won't talk about it." Hyde states.
"And no one is going to make her." Red adds. "Got it?"
They nod one by one and go to join their friend in the living room.
She opens her presents eagerly, trying to cast out the memory of today. Beside her, Donna's trying not to shake and Eric just has his hand on her shoulder.
"Oh, this is beautiful." She holds up the tangerine colored scarf Donna got her.
"You like it?"
"I love it!" Jackie claims and hugs her friend. "Okay, what's next?"
"Cake!" Kitty exclaims. She and Donna go into the kitchen, a minute later they come out with Jackie's unicorn cake.
"Oh wow!" Jackie says. "I can't believe you got me a unicorn cake!"
"It was Hyde's idea." Eric tells her.
Jackie hugs Hyde. "Thank you!"
"Eh, it's nothing." He says. "I just saw it in the bakery window and knew your birthday was coming up. Really, it's not a big deal."
Jackie just smiles at him. "Okay."
For the rest of the night, they eat and drink, and make each other laugh and it's almost as though nothing's wrong.
Now well try to stay blind, to the hope and fear outside, Duran Duran, Come Undone.
Hours later, Jackie yawns and Kitty orders her to go sleep in Laurie's room. She doesn't say anything but thank you.
"There you go." Kitty says to Jackie as she helps Jackie undress and get into some old flannel pajamas.
"Thank you, Mrs. Forman." Jackie says, so softly that Kitty barely hears it.
"Oh sweetie." Kitty can't help but hug Jackie. "You don't have to talk if you don't want to. Let's just go get you cleaned up, okay?"
"Okay." She follows Jackie into the bathroom.
"Oh Red." Kitty sighs and lets her husband hold her in his arms as soon as they're in their own bedroom. "One of my babies is broken and I don't know how to fix it."
"We'll figure it out." He promises her as he kisses the top of her head.
Her only comfort is that he's usually right.
It's like the whole world's out of sync- Go-Gos, Head over Heels.
The rest of them sit in the basement, silent.
"Someone should call Kelso." Eric says finally.
"I already did." Donna says. "He said he'll come tomorrow."
"Good, Kelso… Kelso…he should be here." Eric says with a tone of finality.
"Guys, what… what do we do about Jackie?" Fez asks. "Miss Kitty explained about grief but…what do I say to her?"
"You say I'm sorry and then you ask if she needs anything." Donna answered, "I guess."
"I don't know if there's anything we can do, Fez." Eric tells him.
"This isn't going to be a rehash of the give them space argument is it?" Hyde asks, rolling his eyes.
"No." Eric responds, "I think space is probably the worst thing we can give Jackie right now. I just don't know if making her talk about it is the right thing to do either."
There's more silence as they all contemplate Eric's words. He's right, there has to be a balance.
She always breaks my heart in two, it happens every time, The Everly Brothers, When Will I be Loved.
"Can I talk to you?" Fez asks Hyde privately.
"Uh, sure." Hyde says, dreading what Fez is about to ask.
"You…went after Jackie after you saw her on the news."
Hyde nods, slowly. "Yeah."
"Can I ask you why?"
No. ask me anything but that.
He shrugs. "It just looked like she needed help."
"Oh, even though you hate her, you still went."
He doesn't hate Jackie. He never has and never will. Instead he says. "Yeah." Because right now it's still easier to pretend.
You make me feel like I'm whole again- The Cure, Love Song.
She comes to him in the middle of the night. Laurie's bed is too strange and every time she closes her eyes she sees her mother's eyes, wide open and surprised looking at her from the floor.
He doesn't say anything. He just moves over and gives her some room.
She can almost swear she feels him kiss the back of her head.
He holds her while she dreams and when she wakes up sobbing, he turns her over so that she's facing him and rubs his hands over back soothingly as he lets her cry into his chest.
He told her once that he wasn't that guy. He wasn't the knight that she decreed him as, but honestly, he likes being the guy Jackie runs to. He knows that others don't understand it, hell, even he doesn't understand it, but he understands enough to know what he and Jackie have is more than what most people get. He's lucky that he has her. That even through all of his fuck ups, she hasn't stopped caring about him. Hell, she was even there when Sam left. She had just sat there and listened to him yell; she didn't even say a word, even though he knew they were on the edge of her lips, just waiting to spew out. She was just there, listening.
The next day she decided she was in love with Fez and his heart had broken all over again.
"Steven?" She asks quietly.
"What did the news say?"
He doesn't want to tell her.
"Steven?" she asks again.
"They said that you found your mom and your dad standing next to her."
"Oh." Jackie says after a minute. "Did they say where?"
"No." he's not going to ask her.
"That's good… um, did they say anything else?"
He contemplates lying to her, but knows that's not what she deserves. "They said that no one's sure what role you had."
Jackie squeezes her eyes shut tight. "Oh god, they think that?"
He pulls away from her so he can look into her eyes. "No one here thinks that. You know the media; they're just trying to sensationalize an already sensational story. They're jerks."
Soon, Jackie falls asleep.
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding- Oasis, Wonderwall.
A detective shows up the next day wanting Jackie to go down to the police station.
"Is something wrong?" Red asks.
"No, no." The detective says, placating Red. "We just wanted to clear up some details of miss Burkhart's statement."
"Can we do it here?" She asks quietly.
The detective shakes his head, "Sorry, policy, someone can come with you if you want though?"
Jackie looks up at Red. "Will you come with me?"
The older man gives her a slight smile and agrees. He kisses his wife on the cheek and begins to follow the detective and Jackie out of the door. Before leaving, he turns around and says, "I'll watch her." The words are directed to Hyde.
The one in the hat, that's me- Ani Difranco, Studying Stones.
The interview room is cold and Jackie can't stop shivering. Red is sitting calmly beside her and the detective is an older gentleman who kind of reminds her of Barney Miller which is oddly comforting. There's a tape recorder on the table and he has a pad and pen in front of him.
"Does she need a lawyer?" Red asks, thinking of the reporters speculation into Jackie's involvement.
The detective waves him off. "No, no, Jackie's alibi checked out, she's fine." "I'd like to go over what happened yesterday if that's okay with you." The detective says kindly.
Jackie nods, "Okay." She really doesn't want to do this.
"What time did you arrive at your parent's mansion?" She knows they're establishing not only the time of death, but her whereabouts as well.
"Yes, I had gotten my hair done at three that day and it usually takes forty five minutes, and then I drove straight to their house. It's a fifteen minute drive."
The detective scribbles something down onto the note pad. "Okay, tell me what you were doing there."
"It was my birthday." Jackie tells him. "My father has been out of prison for a month, and my mother came back from Mexico two weeks ago. He, my father, called me that day and said he had a surprise for me."
"A surprise? Do you by any chance know what that is?"
Jackie shakes her head no. "No."
"That's fine," the detective reassures her. "Just tell me what happened after you entered your parent's house. Take your time."
Jackie lets out a breath and beings talking. It's automatic and to both Red and Detective Brewster, it sounds far away and emotionless.
"I yelled for them when I came in… I knew they were home because their cars were in the driveway, and I could hear music playing."
"What was the music?"
"The Beatles, I think." Jackie says. She wonders if she'll ever be able to listen to them again. She slowly continues. "But I couldn't hear my parents. I walked around the house, searching for them. The housekeeper, Natalia was gone, I think."
Jackie shrugs, "I'm not sure. I haven't seen her for a while but I just assumed she had the day off."
Detective Brewster makes a special note of the information. "Go on."
"I went up the stairs, thinking they might be in their bedroom. I was about to knock on the door when I saw that my room was open."
"You normally keep your door closed?"
Jackie nods, "Yes." "But it was open…not all the way but just enough so that I could see the light was on. I went and opened it all the way… My father was standing in front of the doorway. He's a large man so I couldn't see in.
"It's okay, Jackie." Red consoles her. "Just tell him what you saw."
"I couldn't see behind my father at father so I tapped him on the shoulder, just to get his attention."
"What happened then?"
"Jack responded to your touch?"
"Yes, but not…he didn't say anything. I was just able to get around him. I…" she doesn't want to do to this. She doesn't want to remember.
"Her eyes were open." Jackie says in a rush.
"Where was she?"
"She was on the floor. There was blood… coming out of from behind her head, and some more on the front of her shirt."
"Mommy?" "Mom?" She felt for a pulse. "Mommy?" Jackie shakes the memory from her head.
"And what was your father doing?"
"I turned to him… he was standing there. I think I said something, and I think he blinked at me, and then he raised his gun."
"He pointed the gun at you?"
Jackie quickly shakes her head. "No, no, he just lifted it. Then he dropped it to the floor and started crying."
"What time did you call 911?"
"Right after that."
"And did Jack say anything to you?"
"No. He didn't say anything."
The man nods and puts down his pen. "That should be okay for now. Thank you for coming in."
Red nods. "Jackie will be staying at our house, just let us know if you need anything else."
"I will." The detective promises.
AN- I really need to stop killing off Pam. Maybe I should start killing off Sam instead...oh frick. Anya was right about those damn bunnies.
P.S- If you want part two of Denial, you got to ask for it! I'll even put it up tomorrow if you ask politely.