A/N- Thank you. insert standard disclaimer here.
Now well try to stay blind, to the hope and fear outside, Duran Duran, Come Undone.
Jackie kisses Red on the cheek and says she's going to go take a nap in Hyde's room. Upon hearing their arrival, the others trail in from the kitchen and watch along with Red as Jackie goes down to the basement before turning all their eyes on him.
"Red?" Kitty knows that look. After he had come back from the war, he'd get that far away look and she would know instinctively that he wasn't with her, but back on the battle field.
He doesn't say anything. Instead he opens the refrigerator and pulls out a pack of beer and hands on to everyone except Kitty, who he turns to and says,
"You might want to pour yourself a glass of wine."
She gives him a questioning look but doesn't say anything as she obeys Red's suggestion.
"So, dad, what happened?" Eric asks.
"Drink." Is all Red says as he cracks open his own beer and slugs it down.
He waits till everyone is done.
Then he tells them.
He doesn't say anything. He doesn't reprimand Eric for using the F word, doesn't say anything to oh my gods and the what the hells, he doesn't even look at Kitty who's shaking silently beside him. His focus is on Steven.
His back is turned from the others and he's looking outside, but Red can see the way his back is tight, the way his knuckles are becoming red just from being squeezed to hard. He knows exactly what his surrogate son is feeling, because he's feeling it too.
What he does do is follow him outside after Steven walks out, telling the kids and Kitty to wait.
"I wouldn't drive if I were you." He tells him who is standing at the El Camino, his hand on the door handle.
Slowly, Hyde lets go of the handle and walks away from the car. He's not sure what to do though. He knows what he wants to do.
Red speaks softly. "I've got some beer in the garage, how about you and me sit down and have one?"
Hyde knows what Red is doing, and is silently grateful. They're both silent as they drink two beers apiece before Hyde can't contain himself any longer.
"I want to kill him."
"Son, the police have him." It's the only thing that's keeping Red from killing Jack Burkhart himself.
Hyde stands up from the box crate he's sitting on and turns to Red. "In her bedroom, Red! In front of all of her unicorns and Peter Frampton posters and on her pink carpet!" he yells.. "How…So what I'm supposed to just let the police do their job? Great."
"No." Red says. "What you're supposed to do is…"
"Is what, Red? Tell me what am I supposed to do? Go be with her? I can't…I can't be with her when I'm feeling like this and I won't stop feeling like this until Jack Burkhart is dead."
Red knows. Dear flipping God does he know. Years from now when he looks at Jackie, he's going to see the image of her standing over her dead mother, her father pointing his gun at her. He doesn't care if it was only for a second, it happened.
Red begins to talk, "Once, when she was about five or so, I was in her neighbor hood and I could see her playing in the back yard of her house, alone. She was wearing a cute little pink dress exactly like one Laurie used to have, and she was holding a bunch of tiny white clovers as she hummed the wedding march and pretended to be getting married to one of her teddy bears. Inside her house I could hear her parents yelling and I wondered how such a sweet looking girl could still play like that. Moments later I saw her mother come out and drag Jackie back in, yelling at her for getting dirty."
"Because Burkhart girls don't get dirty." Hyde finishes.
Red nods. "Wait here." He orders Hyde before walking out of the garage and back into the house.
"Red?" Kitty asks hesitantly. He gives her a small nod that says it's okay and she breathes a sigh of relief.
"Eric?" He says. "Come with me."
Eric just shrugs at Donna and follows his dad back out into the garage.
"Sit down." Red commands.
Eric sits on another box and waits for what his father is about to say.
"The girls…they've been through a lot, especially from you two." Red tells them. There's no argument from either of them. "And Lord knows they deserve better, but they are yours and it's your jobs to protect them."
Eric hates to be the one who has to ask, but he knows he has to. "What if it's too late? What if we can't?"
Hyde looks up at Red, wanting to know the same thing.
"Then you be men and help them get through it. It might be too late to stop what happened to Jackie, or all the times you've fucked up with Donna, but from now on, you go running when she calls your name and you hold her when she needs holding, kiss her when she needs kissing and you get off your lazy ass and marry that girl." He says to Eric before turning to Hyde. "And you, I don't care what your beef is with Jackie, none of that matters anymore, got it?"
Hyde doesn't even need to be told.
If anything could ever be this good again- Foo Fighters, Everlong.
When they go back into the house, Jackie is on the phone while Kitty and Donna stand near her. Bob is sitting at the table, watching them.
"What?" Red starts to ask.
"She's on the phone with the coroner's office." Bob whispers.
A minute later Jackie hangs up and sighs. "They said it'll be a couple days before they can release her."
"Did they say anything else?" Kitty asks cautiously. She's gone through this before, she knows how it works.
"Uh, yeah, he said that they're not sure how she died."
"They're not sure?" Donna asks.
"Uh, I guess after she was shot she hit her head, so they're still trying to figure out which one actually killed her."
"Oh." Donna doesn't know what to say.
"Jackie, honey, would you like something to eat?"
Jackie shakes her head, slowly. "I just want to sleep."
"You can sleep in my room if you want." Hyde tells her even though they know she doesn't need permission.
"Thank you." She says, leaving.
Moments later, Fez and Kelso all come up the stairs. Kelso's head is low and he's shaking it sadly.
"What's with him?" Hyde asks.
"Jackie didn't say hello to him." Fez answers.
"Man, I wish I was still a police officer." Kelso snaps. "I'd go in there and kick his ass."
"Get in line." Eric tells him. "I can count at least four people who are ahead of you." Pointing to Hyde, his father, Bob and himself.
"Make that Five." Fez says.
"Six." Donna says, crossing her arms.
"Seven." Kitty says.
"Actually you'd be eight." Hyde tells her. "On account that I'd go twice."
This gets a small smile from Donna as she stands up. "I'll be right back; I just want to check on her."
The others don't say anything.
Why can't we be ourselves like we were yesterday- New Order, Bizarre Love Triangle.
When Donna finds Jackie in Hyde's room, she's high as a kite and lost in a fit of giggles. The smoke blinds Donna's eyes for a moment and she can feel herself get high just off the smoke alone.
"Jackie?" She asks the cackling girl. "Are you smoking?"
Jackie giggles and holds up Steven's stash. "I was looking for a shirt to wear and found this."
Donna grabs the bag and looks inside. "Did you smoke the whole thing?"
Jackie puts her finger on her lips, "Shhh!"
"Oh shit." Donna says, taking the hot pipe from Jackie's fingers. "Shit, this is bad."
"No, not bad, Donna." Jackie shakes her head like a little kid.
"Jackie, you can't smoke this much, you're… small and also, Hyde's going to kill you."
"Pppht." Jackie says, waving her hand dismissively, "Steven, won't do anything. He loves me."
Donna wasn't going to argue with that point. "He's still going to be angry that you hurt yourself."
Jackie shakes her head again, "Woo, I got to stop doing that." She steadies herself before looking at Donna. "You have a really big forehead."
Donna decides to ignore that comment and sits next to Jackie on the cot.
"Well?" Jackie asks impatiently.
"Well what?" Donna responds.
"Are you going to sit there and just hold Steven's pipe or are you going to smoke it?"
Donna hesitates for a second before deciding that she can't let Jackie be high alone. She takes a hit and leans back against the wall.
A short time later, the girls are laughing about absolutely nothing. Everything is funny, and for a second, Donna can't remember why they're there.
Oh right, Jackie's parents.
"I'm really hungry." Jackie complains suddenly.
"We can't go up stairs." Donna tells her. "The Forman's are up there."
"Huh." Jackie thinks. "What about The Hub?"
"You really want to go to The Hub?" Donna asks. Even high, she's conscious of the fact that people are going to want to know what happened, will want to ask Jackie questions, will say things that Jackie just isn't prepared to deal with now.
"Yes." Jackie says. "Now get your big lumberjack feet up and let's go."
The girls hold each other as they leave through the basement door. Donna takes a look in to the kitchen and sees Eric and Hyde talking. She gets Jackie into the cruiser and tells her to wait before she goes to the kitchen door and knocks on the glass.
Eric opens the door and instantly sees Donna's red eyes. "Are you…?" he asks.
Donna grins at her boyfriend and turns to Hyde. "Jackie found your stash."
"Shit." Is all he says. "How much?"
"All of it…I shared the last with her."
Hyde mutters something under his breath.
"Anyway, we're going to The Hub."
"What?" They both hiss at her. "You can't go there!"
Donna shrugs, "Jackie wants to go…so that's what we're doing." She leaves no room for argument.
"Fine." Eric concedes. "We'll go with you."
"Where are Kelso and Fez?"
"Went to Fez's, I think." Hyde says, "I wasn't really listening."
Jackie's singing with the radio when the others get into the car. She's either unaware the others are watching her, or she doesn't care.
"Hands!" she grabs Eric's hand. "Touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you!" "Sing!"
"Uhh." Eric says, looking at Hyde and Donna for help.
Jackie's already singing the chorus. "I've been inclined…" she looks at Eric pointedly.
Eric gives up, "to believe they never would."
The two start to get into it together and finally begin to sing in unison. "Sweet Caroline!" Eric sings loudly.
"Bah bah bah!" Donna joins in.
Hyde just watches. "Forman, stop being a girl and drive already."
Jackie nods, "Yeah, drive. I'm starving!"
My only comfort is the night gone black- Garbage, I'm Only Happy when it Rains.
Jackie's still blazing when they enter The Hub. Their usual table is empty and Hyde drags Jackie over to the booth before she can stop him.
"But I need to order." She complains.
"Tell Forman what you want." Hyde orders.
"Fine, I want…get me one of everything." She decides.
"Uh, everything?" Eric asks hesitantly. "Um…"
Jackie holds up her purse and pulls out a large wad of cash. "I've got money." She says, "If that's what you're worried about. Just get one of everything, and whatever you guys want as well. My treat." She hands Eric the cash.
Eric looks at Hyde for help, but he's too busy glaring at the bunch of busy bodies who are pointing at their table and whispering.
"Right." Eric says, "One of everything it is."
As he walks away, Jackie calls out to him, "And a vanilla milkshake!"
"Got it!" Eric replies.
He and Donna walk up to the counter. "What do you want?" the surly short order cook asks.
Eric looks at Donna and back at cook. "One of everything."
"That's a joke, right?"
Eric and Donna shake their heads. "Nope, we want one of everything."
"Not remotely." Eric says, "We'll also take three more double chili dogs, two orders of chili cheese fries, four cokes, and a vanilla milk shake."
The man leans over the window and looks at the booth. "There's only four of you."
"And?" Donna asks. "Just make us our damn food."
The man knows to back off. "Fine…"
Donna gives the man another glare and then takes Eric back to the booth after Eric pays.
He gives Jackie the rest of her money and she stuffs it back into her purse. Eric then leans in toward Hyde.
"How long have they been staring?"
"Since we got here." Hyde answers.
"Well, I wish they'd just come up and say something instead of sitting there like cowards." Jackie remarks. "Where's my damn food?"
The other three look at Jackie in shock.
"What?" she asks. "I'm depressed, and when I get depressed, I eat. Skinny girl with fat girl problems, remember?"
There's a small snicker from the group watching them. "Don't know why." One of them mutters softly but loud enough to be heard, "Mommy probably left a good size life insurance policy for you."
"If she didn't drink it all away." Another one comments.
Hyde's already on his feet but they're interrupted by the short order cook saying that some of their food is ready.
"Finally!" Jackie jumps up and runs to the counter with the other's following her. They all grab as much as they can.
"She really gonna eat all that?" One of the on lookers asks.
Another one, one of the popular girls who's always had it in for Jackie makes the motion of sticking her finger in her mouth. And the other nods understandingly.
"Ignore them." Eric tells Hyde. "We can't hit girls."
"I can." Donna says, loudly.
Jackie waves them off, her mouth full of food, she swallows. "Please, that rumor has been going around me since tenth grade."
"I didn't know that." Hyde says.
Jackie shrugs, "That's because you never paid attention to what happened with the popular crowd, but, I know everything." She mouths the word everything again to the crowd.
Eric can't help but laugh, "Like what?"
Jackie turns to her geeky friend and grins, "Well, like the time Stacey Livingston here," she nods at the girl who made the bulimia comment. "Gave Mark Thompson a hand job but squeezed his thing too tight."
The guys all wince. "Oww."
"Yeah, well… at least my dad didn't kill my mother." Stacey has nothing else to say.
"Or how about Luke," Jackie ignores Stacey and points to the guy who made the remark about her mother drinking away Jackie's finances, "and how the only way he could lose his virginity was to pay a hooker."
"Damn, even Fez didn't do that." Hyde says. He knows that Jackie is hurting, beyond all measure, but she's fighting like the way his Jackie would. It gives him hope.
"Fucking bitch." Luke spits.
Hyde stands up from the booth. "That's it."
One of the others, a guy named Alex laughs. "Oh that's good, you're going to be Burkie's knight in rusted armor now? Everyone knows what you did to her."
"Yeah, good job." Another guy nods. "It was funny when Kelso kept cheating on her, but marrying a stripper behind her back! That's classic man."
"I especially liked the part where she was passed off to the foreign kid." Alex states.
All the world's your ashtray, I'm just your Marlboro.- Artificial Joy Club, Sick and Beautiful.
Red sighed as he looked through the bars into the jail cell where his kids were sitting.
"Eric?" He says finally.
"Dad." Eric replies. "Good to see you."
"What are you four doing in here?"
"Uhh… well, we went to The Hub."
Red can feel himself get mad. The kids should have known better than to go to that place now.
"I know, I know!" Eric says as though he can read his father's mind, "But Jackie… she really wanted to go and we knew we couldn't stop her so we went with her."
"Right." Red responds.
"Uh, and then, well there were some kids there… and they said some stuff."
"What kind of stuff?"
"Uh," Eric looks back at Jackie hesitantly. She's ignoring him though. Finally he leans in though the bars and whispers into his dad's ear.
Red glances over at Jackie and Hyde. "They said that?"
"You're paying me back for this." Red says. "Be grateful I'm not going to charge interest."
Eric nods, gratefully.
I would give my life just for a little death- Melissa Etheridge, Angels Would Fall.
When one has time on their hands, and is able to look back and reflect on what's he done, one often finds they have regrets.
Jack Burkhart regrets not being able to shoot his daughter and then himself. It would have been beautiful, poetic even. Finally, they would have been a real family.
Tell me sexy, loving lines. Dolly Parton, It's All Wrong but it's Alright.
"You okay?" Hyde asks Jackie as they slip into his bed.
"Perfect." Jackie answers, "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Jackie, you can't…"
Jackie silences him with a kiss. "I can, I will, and I am."
He knows it's wrong. This isn't the way it's supposed to happen, but he's missed her like mad and it's felt, right, almost too right to just be near her again and he can't stop himself from giving in.
I've found you strength in your moments of weakness-Rascal Flatts, I'm Moving On
"I'm sorry." Donna tells her boyfriend as they sit on top of the Vista Cruiser together.
"For what?" Eric asks. He wasn't aware Donna had done anything wrong.
"For pushing, for not pushing, for making you leave, for making you come back, for all of it."
"Oh, that." Eric says, "I know you want to blame yourself for what happened, but you can't, it's not your fault."
"Isn't it?" Donna asks. "Isn't it?"
"You didn't kill Jackie's mom." Eric reminds her.
"I know." Donna snaps, "But, this past year while you were gone, it was like we were all completely different people. I was different. I'm just worried."
"Hey, it's not like Jackie's alone right?" Eric says to comfort her.
The electric sheep are dreaming up your fate-Incubus, Talk Shows On Mute
Jackie lay in Hyde's arms, wide awake as he slept peacefully beside her. She longed for sleep.
If only the screaming would stop.
I don't know when part three will be up, but hopefully soon. Chunks of it are written, I just have to make it flow. And I have to find the proper lyrics to go with each section. This is not an easy fic to write!
Thanks for the reviews; you guys are made of rock!