December 31st, 1999
Forman Living Room. 3:45PM
"I'm not joking! Cut it out, now!" Steven Hyde, in all his glory, stood just outside of the kitchen swinging door. Sitting on his hip was his three year old son, Dylan, and dotting the living room in front of him was his two other kids, one of Eric and Donna's kids, and Kelso's son. He was pointing out to the four, his lips in a tight line. He was still sporting his favorite jeans and a button down shirt.
"Daddy!" Katrina Hyde, with her brown curls and beautiful blue eyes, twisted in her grandfather's chair, she knelt so she could see her father over the top. "We're just having fun!"
"Katrina, don't even try." Hyde stated, his voice even. "I will get your mother in here."
Katrina, as well as her brother and two cousins, instantly shut their mouths. Hyde nodded his head curtly and turned back into the kitchen. He waited up against the other side of the door, listening to see if his children would go back to yelling or lower their voices.
He was satisfied when there was only a murmur from the living room, rather then their previous booming voices.
"You sure told them." Donna smirked from her position at the kitchen table. "I will get your mother. That's classic."
Hyde gave her a threatening look, but then dropped it as his son stared at him. "Jackie's shrill voice is very useful. We've had the police at our house three times, this year alone."
"I want mommy." Dylan stated, his lip curling downwards. Hyde looked at Dylan, sighed, and then brought his son around, so he could pat the child's back.
"When is Jackie getting here?" Donna asked, standing up and gently taking the tiny child from his father. Dylan had no realistic objections.
Hyde looked at her and then down at his watch. "Around six? I guess. She's really going crazy with this case. And I beg of you, do not to mention the 'f' word." Donna stared at him blankly. "Forty."
Donna's eyes lit up and she mouthed 'oh'. She nodded her head and walked back to the kitchen table, her nephew safely in her arms.
"Mommy." Nicholas Forman walked into the kitchen, his thumb was pointing towards the living room. "Katrina called me a baby."
Donna stared at her ten year old son, looked over to Hyde, and then watched as he sighed and marched back into the living room. She shook her head and then gave a heavy look to her youngest child.
"Nicky, what did I say about tattle-telling?"
"To only do it if I'm hurt." He stated. He began shaking his head. "But she hurt my feelings."
Effin' Eric and his feelings crap. But Donna smiled and nodded her head.
"Why don't you put on your jacket and go play with Tina and Betsy outside?" That was the good thing about having Betsy around, at twenty she was worthy to be trusted with the rest of the kids.
"Because Tina is being mean to me too." Nick stated, folding his arms. Donna stared at her son for a long minute.
The slider opened and a very red faced Eric walked through, pulling the hat off his head. "I swear to god. Why can't he just get rid of that stupid car. I don't know anything about cars. Why do I have to help him?"
Hyde walked back into the kitchen, Reggie, his twelve year old son, walking at his heels.
"And then, I told Kyle he wouldn't make the team. But he totally made the team." Hyde paused at the counter, turned, gave his son a smile, patted his head, and then pointed to the slider.
"Go play outside." Reggie looked at his father and shrugged. He walked back into the living room to grab his jacket. Hyde shook his head and turned to Nick who was staring up at him. "You go play outside too."
Nick looked at his uncle, turned to his mother and father, and then followed his cousin.
"I love how you do that." Eric stated, peeling his jacket and scarf from his body. "I tell them something and they completely ignore me."
"Because you have no back bone, Forman." Hyde stated. He sighed and flopped down onto one of the kitchen chairs. "Your kids are well aware that Donna wears the pants in your house."
"So," Eric sneered, walking over to Donna and holding his hands out for Dylan. "Jackie wears the pants in your house, as well."
Hyde held up a finger. "We both wear the pants in my household, my voice just can't hit those high notes the way her's can."
Kitty's laugh could be heard from the living room and the three adults, with their laugh lines and crow feet, all turned to see the smiling blonde mother-hen.
"I love it when the house is full. I wish you didn't live so far." She gave a pointed look to Hyde, who instantly put his hands up in defense.
"It's only a three hour drive, Kitty. My god." She looked at him, giving him a mock scolding expression. A smile erupted across her face as she eyed her youngest grandchild. "Dylan! How's my baby?"
The three year old squirmed against Eric, rushing as he hit the floor to his grandmother's legs.
"I want mommy." Kitty made a sympathetic face, scooping the child into her arms.
"Come on baby. We'll get you something fun." She began walking towards the dining room.
"No sweets!" Hyde yelled after her. He registered the wave-off that Kitty gave him, as he listened to the baby talk she began with his son. "Now he won't take a nap."
Donna shrugged, standing to walk to the stove. She grabbed the kettle from the back burned and moved towards the sink. She looked up and was met with her husband's green stare.
"I love you." She couldn't help the smile that formed over her lips. She leaned forward and she and Eric shared a tight lip kiss.
Hyde made a noise of disgust, standing abruptly. "I'm going to see what Red is doing."
Donna eyed Hyde as he moved out into the driveway and then gave a wink to Eric. She moved back over to the stove, placing the kettle over the front burner.
"Where did Kelso and Brooke disappear too?" Eric asked, moving out of his seat to collect some mugs from the cabinet.
"They went to get some liquor for the punch." Donna smirked. "We can't deprive your mother from her liquor."
Eric made a face, opening the fridge. "I hope they don't get that discount vodka again. Christmas was basically ruined."
"Oh," Donna puckered her lips, waving it off. "So your mom got a little irritated. I wouldn't go as far as ruined."
"She didn't take it out on you." Eric accused.
"I was holding Dylan. We go over this every holiday. You always find Dylan." Donna shook her head. "She won't kill the children."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Eric stretched up. "All I'm saying, is there better not be any discounted liquor."
Jackie froze as arms fitted around her waist. She spun around in the arms, melting as her eyes met the clear blue eyes of her husband. Her arm lowered and her keys jingled as they hit his upper arm.
"I thought you would be here after six." He gently leaned in and kissed her.
"Mm, I'm the head lawyer on the case." She was talking through the kiss. "I get to make the rules."
"You should have been here at four then." Hyde mumbled, his hands squeezing her tightly. "Your children have been running amuck."
Jackie giggled into his mouth, pulling away. "I thought you were going to handle them while I was at work."
"My voice doesn't go that high." He smirked as her hand came into a sharp contact with his arm.
"Ste-ven!" He laughed, and pulled away slightly to point at her throat.
"See, that, that's what I'm missing." He laughed again as another hit was launched.
"How was my baby?" Jackie asked, leaning away from him, turning towards the door.
They both walked in, Hyde's hand wrapping around Jackie's. "He was fine. He got whiney a couple of hours ago. Last I saw of him, Kitty was trying to get him to sleep."
"What do you mean the last you saw of him?" Jackie's eye brow raised as she pulled her hand away, heading towards the stairs. "He's your child."
"So," Hyde shrugged. "I rarely knew where Kit-Kat and Reggie were when they were younger."
Jackie stared at her husband, shaking her head.
"Well, hello! Hello!" Jackie froze on the third step, looking over the banister as Hyde turned to the kitchen door. Kelso stood, his hair cut short, and a child hanging off of his long leg. He was smiling his normal, goofy smile, that was a ghost of his younger days. At the delicate age of forty, Kelso was still Kelso.
"MOMMY!" Hyde rolled his eyes, as he and Kelso both winced. Dylan had inherited a bit more then just Jackie's black locks.
Jackie bounced off the staircase, gently hefting her son up, catching him the short distance he flew. "How was my baby boy?"
Dylan giggled and then began talking very fast and slightly incoherently. Hyde walked past his wife and son and made his way to Kelso, who was standing with his feet apart and his arms folded over his chest.
"Where was he?" Kelso looked at Hyde, shrugged, and lowered his stance.
"I walked into the kitchen and he attached himself to my leg."
Hyde rolled his eyes. "That's just fantastic. At least he didn't leave the house."
"Dad!" Both men turned to Betsy Kelso, as she hung between the kitchen and the living room. "Aunt Kitty is complaining about the vodka you and mommy bought."
Kelso's face went white as Hyde's eyes grew wide. Jackie looked away from her son and smirked.
"Kelso." Hyde closed his eyes, his hand going to his temple. He was getting too old for this type of bullshit. "What kind of vodka did you buy?"
Kelso stood, his face in a dumbfounded expression.
Red, Bob, Eric, Kelso, Hyde, and Fez, sat in the basement, all watching the large screen TV Red had bought a few years prior. The basement had been re-done almost six years ago. It was now carpeted, with a bar right as you walked in from the back door. The washer and dryer were pushed back to where Hyde's old room use to be and there was now a white washed wall covering it. Instead of the beat up furniture, there was a shiny leather couch and two lazy boy chairs on either side. Sitting in the middle, between the TV and the chairs was a polished wooden coffee table, suitable for holding chips and beers.
They couldn't dislike it or even feel remorse about not having the old room because each of them had gotten a piece of the once were. Such as Eric getting the old couch or Jackie taking the small round table.
They weren't eighteen and living out of Eric's parent's basement anymore. Now they were adults and their own children were living out of their homes. Red had finally gotten his revenge.
"Damn Packers." Red swore, lifting the can to his lips. He looked over to the couch, where Hyde, Fez, and Eric sat. "They don't ever play this bad."
"Dad, you can't blame your team doing badly on us." Eric stated, lifting his own can of beer.
Kelso, who was sitting at one of the bar stools, shook his head. He pointed to the TV with his ice cream sandwich, the one he had begged his daughter to get for him, and began gesturing in random directions. "That quarterback is really fudging this whole thing up."
"Fudging?" Hyde questioned.
"Yeah," Kelso rolled his eyes, taking a bite out of his snack. "Brooke is trying to keep the curses to a bear minimum. Even though, I kid you not, Kyle knows WAY more stuff then I knew at his age."
"Don't sell yourself short Kelso," Eric smirked. "Kyle knows more then you know at your current age."
Kelso stare at his friend and tilted his head from side to side. "This is very true."
Donna and Brooke sat at the kitchen table, a deck of cards in the middle and each other them with a hand. Jackie was helping Kitty with various recipes and plates, as the older woman mumbled to herself about parties and children.
And, speaking of the children, all of them, from Jackie and Hyde's three, to Eric and Donna's two, to Kelso and Brooke's two, and finally Fez and Cori's three, were either in the living room watching the Dick Clark special or up in Laurie's room playing on the computer or playing a video game.
Cori walked in from the dining room, gently tucking some of her strawberry blonde hair behind her ear. Her cheeks were rosy and her eyes were much more mature then they once had been. She sighed and smiled brightly, her extra skip present as she made her way to the table.
"The kids are fine. Kyle tried to teach Reggie and Nicholas about the game craps." Donna and Jackie spun their heads to look at Brooke. A sheepish smile appeared over her lips, even though red was illuminating from her eyes.
"I'm sorry. Kyle is just, so," Brooke made a motion with her hand, unable to think of a correct word. "He's so special."
"It's not a real big deal," Jackie stated, even though her tone was clearly disagreeing with her words. "Reggie is the same age as, um, Kyle."
"Nicky is two years younger." Donna stated. Her eyes glassing over with anger. "He's still has footsies in his pajamas."
"I'll talk to Kyle. I promise." Brooke shook her head. "I don't know if it's because Betsy is away at college, or if he's trying to fit in with some friends. Michael thinks it's because we named him Kyle. Apparently Kyles are usually bad."
"We had a dog named Kyle." Cori stated. "Daddy had to put him down."
There was a moment of silence as the four other woman processed Cori's words.
"Was Katrina behaving herself?" Jackie's voice was flat, and when she made eye contact with Kitty she rolled her eyes. "That child will be the death of me. She's spoiled and cocky, and I just want to send her to some Swiss boarding school."
"You can not send my baby away!" Kitty stated, gently taking the tray of quiches from Jackie. "She's just being a teenager. Laurie was just like her." Kitty bit her lip and then laughed. "Besides Laurie being a tramp and Rini being, well, not a tramp."
This little schpeel did nothing for Jackie's sanity.
"Before you know it, she'll grow out of it." Brooke reassured her friend. "Remember how bad Betsy was? I really thought we were going to have to bring in a priest and have him do an exorcism."
Jackie nodded her head, looking over to Donna and then Cori. "Tina and Daphne aren't this bad?"
"Justine's only hyper when she's around Rini." Donna commented, looking at her cards. "I'm thankful that she has yet to reach that lovely age of fifteen where she's a bit of a terror."
"Daphne was never that bad, not until she hit seventeen, last year. Darrell, on the other hand," Cori whistled. "He was a terrorist."
"On the subject of children, totally stray the conversation." Brooke sent an apologetic look towards Jackie who shrugged. "It still amazes me that you and Fez Don't have more then just Darrell, Daphne, and Courtney."
"No," Donna intervened before Cori could answer. "I'm amazed that you and Kelso don't have like a bazillion kids running around."
"I'm amazed she didn't name Courtney with a 'D' name." Jackie mumbled, leaning into the oven to check on the pie.
"First and foremost." Cori cleared her throat. "Fez wanted to stop after Daphne, I had to push for Courtney, and that was fairly recent, the child's only nine. And she was named Courtney because it had been so long since we had, had a baby, it seemed right to not give her a 'D' name."
"Had you played this right, you should have named her something with an 'E' or a 'G'. That way your family's initials would have been taken straight from the alphabet." Cori gasped slightly and then nudged Brooke. All four girls giggling as Kitty smiled along.
"It's been a long, strange trip in your basement Forman." Kelso said, as he walked behind the leather couch, his hand running across the smooth material. "We've been hanging out here for almost forty years."
Jackie winced from her position on Hyde's lap. He snarled and sent a threatening look in Kelso's direction.
"Oh my god. I'm going to be forty."
"Not for another couple of years." Eric stated, motioning with his hand for her to calm down. "We all turn forty well before you do."
Jackie opened her mouth but closed it, pushing herself further into the lap of her husband.
Fez, who was sitting on the opposite lazy boy, looking tired, yawned. He turned to look at the blank TV and then back at his friends.
"Should we be watching for the New Year?"
Eric looked at his friend and then at his watch, shaking his head. He leaned into the couch, smiling as Donna laid her head against his shoulder. "Someone's tired."
"I'm exhausted. It took forever getting Justine and Nicholas ready for your parents. Not to mention having to walk your dogs." Donna scoffed. "I miss Mr. Whiskers the fourth."
"That's so sad." Hyde shook his head. "You had four Mr. Whiskers."
"We all can't be lucky and have pugs. Hyde."
"Hey!" Hyde pointed his finger in Donna's direction. "Dobby was a very sweet and loveable animal. Just as Kahlúa is, currently, a sweet and loving animal."
Donna stuck her tongue out at him.
There was a set of foot steps on the stairs and the six adults turned to see Courtney standing at the first landing. Fez stood up.
"What's wrong princess?"
"I want you to read to me." There was a slight infliction in her voice. And Kelso turned to Eric and Hyde, making a whipping motion with his hands. Just as he had done this though, two extra pairs of feet made their way downstairs. Brooke holding Kyle by the ear.
Fez looked at Kelso, smirked, and then began walking up the stairs. He gently turned Courtney, his hand on her head.
"Come on princess. Let's go see what books you bought."
Brooke smiled at Fez and Courtney and then turned with a heat in her eyes. She gently shoved Kyle into the spotlight, eyeing Kelso as she talked.
"Your son is now mouthing off to me. And I am sick and tired of his stray ways."
Kelso opened his mouth, turned to his four friends, who were all making use of their finger nails, hair, and the TV remote, ignoring his wide eyed expression.
"I, um, Brooke," Kelso gave her a pleading look and then sighed as he realized she was not going to back down. "Kyle, you just have to go and ruin all the fun!" He walked up the few steps, walked past Brooke, grabbed Kyle's shirt sleeve, and then made his way up the rest of the stairs.
"Man," Donna shook her head, turning away from the stairs. "How weird is it that we have kids? To see Fez and Kelso as dads?"
"We have been having that conversation for decades at this point." Hyde stated, leaning into his lazy boy, his arms moving around Jackie's thighs. "And it's getting old."
"It's reminisce of the great Jeanie vs. Samantha debate." Eric stated, looking at his wife. "It is getting kind of old though."
"It is weird." Jackie jumped in, agreeing with Donna. "I'm with you."
"Someone has to be." Donna stated, giving Eric an evil eye. "Doesn't it just feel, like, I don't know." Donna waved the situation away.
"Sometimes it feels like old times." Hyde said, looking around the redecorated room.
"DADDY!" His head dropped to his chin as Jackie looked at him, a smile dancing across her lips.
"Other times," Hyde started, nudging Jackie so he could stand. "It feels like a whole different time."
Eric laughed, watching as Hyde walked up the stairs. Jackie smirked, snuggling into the warm chair. "At least we're all together, right?"
Jackie stood up, dusting herself off. She laughed and ruffled Eric's hair as she walked towards the back door. "I'm going to make sure Red Isn't still trying to work on that car. You want to come and help me Donna?"
Donna gave the aging brunette a look but then shrugged. "Anything to get the new year here faster. The twenty-first century, pf," Donna shook her head, following at the heels of her friend. "Blows my mind."
Eric laughed as the girls left, and he looked around.
"ERIC! Get up here and control your child!" Hyde's voice echoed into the basement.
Eric looked over his shoulder and sighed, his eyes giving the basement another once over. "It has been a long and strange trip, hasn't it?" And without a second thought, Eric was heading up the stairs, away from his former childhood sanctuary.