I refuse to claim any ownership of That 70s Show, unless my involvement meant that season eight was actually pretty good and the season viewers saw was just a long prank until the writers felt the real one deserved to be shown on screen.

But, seriously, I do not own any part of this, except for the latter part of the plotline.

One thing to note: In this fic, Jackie/Fez NEVER happened. That in itself was just wrong.

--

She had dreaded coming to the basement for weeks. Once her safe haven, the gang's headquarters now seemed a mousetrap. Out of the six friends, only four remained in the sleepy town. One of them had acted completely out of character for the past several months; the other was constantly wrapped around her new beau. The third had been a better confidant than the girl could have ever hoped for, but she knew he had his own life to deal with.

It was hard to describe the pain she felt every time she saw her guy with that trashy blonde. Her first ex-boyfriend's routinal cheating was just a chipped corner compared to what she was faced with everyday. At least then the clueless brunette had done it behind her back. But this...this stabbed a thousand needles all over her soul. It was as if she forgot how to breathe. Each snide coment he threw her way, each obvious burn, caused tears to automatically form in her mismatched orbs. But she remained strong. She had to be strong.

There finally came the day that her ex found out he was not legally devoted to that Vegas stripper. The slut packed up her bags and left, bringing her gold-digging ways with her as she returned to her older husband. The girl did not expect him to apologize to her, but was still hurt when he continued to insult her at every possible moment.

Eventually, she decided to put it all behind her and try to move on. A talent scout came by her pathetic little town, and upon seeing her, decided she had a knack for modeling. He offered her a position at a universally-known agency in New York, and after careful consideration, she accepted.

There was not really anyone for her to say her goodbyes to except for her makeshift parents and foreign friend. Her real mother and father had skipped town a few years previous; her mother off gallivanting around the world, her father disappearing from view after a stint in the slammer. The two elderly adults had been like the parents she had always secretly longed for, and she would miss them terribly. The former foreign exchange student had not only become her roomate, but also her shoulder to cry on. She regretted leaving him behind with her former best friend and the man she still loved, but his persuasion that she deserved to go and make something of herself convinced her. There was one person she could not bring herself to bid "hasta la vista" to. Him.

He suprised her, however. Her candy-obsessed friend had told him about her permanent impending departure, and he had actually come to apologize. The infuriating shades were off, he was down on his knees, and looked about as uncharacteristic and pleading as he had the day he told her about his night with the nurse.

Say you're sorry, that face of an angel

Comes out just when you need it to

As I paced back and forth all this time

Cause I honestly believed in you

Holding on the days drag on

Stupid girl, I should've known

I should've known

He confessed he royally screwed up, but said he still loved her. He admitted to wanting to ask her to stay the first time she left, but of being too scared of rejection to let go of his nonchalant attitude. He said that he was going to ask her to be his forever and always, but that his heart broke when he saw her with his best friend. He declared himself an idiot for getting drunk in unknown territory, and then for staying with his "so-called" wife when he had the chance to kick her out. He explained that all of his cruelty to her had in actuality been anger at himself; how he thought that if he dissed her enough, she would believe she was better off without him and his trust issues. He said more than she had ever heard come out of his mouth before, and she responded with the first idea that popped into her mind.

"I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairytale

I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet

Lead her up the stairwell

This ain't Hollywood, this is a small town

I was a dreamer before you went and let me down

Now it's too late for you and your white horse to come around."

She told him her feelings for him would never cease, but that he could not expect to make amends so easily after so long. His blue pools stared directly at her, attempting to maneuver around the newly formed hard shell covering her heart.

Maybe I was naïve, got lost in your eyes

And never really had a chance

My mistake, I didn't know to be in love

You had to fight to have the upper hand

I had so many dreams about you and me

Happy endings, well now I know

Twirling her raven hair--a nervous habit she had recently developed--and biting down on her lower lip, she remembered a forgotten fantasy of him in armor and holding a beer on an almost unicorn-like creature. It was followed by the image of her in skintight black pants and him doing an impression of John Travolta. She allowed herself to indulge in the erased dreams for a moment, but was harshly brought back to reality when he used his old nickname for her. A name she had not heard since her ultimatum had first taken her from his sight.

Holding back a meltdown, she repeated her earlier phrase.

"I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairytale

I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet

Lead her up the stairwell

This ain't Hollywood, this is a small town

I was a dreamer before you went and let me down

Now it's too late for you and your white horse to come around."

Having always believed herself a long-lost member of some royal clan, it took a lot for her to admit she was not a princess. She was still plagued with high maintenance, but her wishes of true love and fairytale romances had long since vanished.

And there you are on your knees

Begging for forgiveness, begging for me

Just like I always wanted, but I'm so sorry...

He still apologized, and she decided to reiterate the mantra once more, with a few alterations.

"Cause I'm not your princess, this ain't a fairytale

I'm gonna find someone someday

Who might actually treat me well"

With her luggage piled up by the door, she gave him a teary goodbye peck on the cheek and softly shut the door behind her. After silently bidding adieu to the only home she had ever known, and hugging the matronly woman and her gruff husband one last time, she threw her possessions into her car and backed out of the drive.

This is a big world, that was a small town

There in my rearview mirror disappearing now

And it's too late for you and your white horse

Now it's too late for you and your white horse

To catch me now

She watched him until he was just a dot on her side mirror, and reminisced about when her life had been better even after she had reached the next city's limits.

Oh try and catch me now

It's too late to catch me now

--

I have not abandoned Picnic Gone Wrong, nor do I have any intentions of doing so, but while watching the AMAs last night, I found this song a perfect fit for these two. The idea would not go away, and so, after writing up most of it whenever I could during school today, I have decided to send it out to the fan fiction universe.

The song is White Horse by my all-time favorite artist, Taylor Swift. (And, yes, I understand that is quite ironic, as the Zen master is all-out rock and basically hates country. But, nonetheless.)

I hope you enjoyed.

Luv, April Dawn