Chapter 17:

Major stuff been going on, I'm at university in Aber, Wales. I'm a cheerleader (seriously, I'm wearing my uniform right now, Jackie would be proud) and I freaking love it here!

I know I've been really bad not writing but I've just had so much going on J/H had to take a back seat to life (and lust! ;-).)

It was December 29th and Jackie was feeling fine again, the boredom she'd suffered had probably bin the foot in the as her immune system needed to get rid of that bug. Two days of bed rest, special soup and vogue supplied by Steven had done wonders for her. She hadn't felt so relaxed in a long time, perhaps it had something to do with the fact that she and Steven were on stable ground again.

She sorted out everything for the move and told the Forman's about it. Red was happy to have two more empty rooms in the house. Kitty was delighted that they were living together despite Jackie's instance that it was in no way a romantic relationship. Steven had been of no help, in fact Jackie was pretty certain that she'd seen him mutter 'yet' to himself.

He'd also gone off to help Red clean the corvette leaving her to talk with Kitty who'd spent the whole time talking about how much better she was than Sam. A great subject but a little awkward, especially when Kitty insisted on knowing where Jackie painted her toe nails. And was delighted to here bathroom or bedroom, alone. She was also overly excited at the fact they were pink, candy pink, not hot pink. It must have been one of Kitty's strange quirks.

She was surprised at Steven's confidence, and also at the fact it didn't worry her more than it did. He was completely certain that they would get back together, in the future of course. Jackie was admitting that their happy ever after was now a possibility, but his belief somehow made it seem all the more real. And the reality made it dangerous.

Her vision of their future together had changed. There was no vintage dresses or harp playing in the corner. It was a long shot away from Steven's idea of them living in the Forman's basement. With them moving out, that was very unlikely and she would never be fat! Genetics stated that was impossible, she would not allow it!

But a comfortable life, a job she enjoyed and Steven making the good money he was now; that was within reach. Some night she could suspend her doubts and fears and imagine a beautiful white wedding, romantic Hawaiian honeymoon and sweet children. It didn't seem like a distant fantasy now. She even thought, in the dark nights when she was wrapped up warm, that maybe Steven would give her the future she wanted. If she was able to trust him again, the way they both wanted.

She was sat in the basement, only half watching I Dream Of Genie and contemplating how she was able to picture their future so clearly while the thought of trusting him so completely was terrifying to her. A shout from Red interrupted her thoughts. She picked up the phone and hearing the lively voice on the other end, stretched out across the sofa for a chat. She was grateful for her new found friendship with Laurie. It was nice to have a female friend that was interested in clothes that weren't previously worn by Paul Bunion. Over the past year they'd both grown up a lot and become far less shallow. Although sometimes it was like no-one else could see it.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Laurie asked barely ten seconds into the call.

"You mean Steven, right?" Jackie confirmed. "I'm still kind of figuring it out myself? How did you hear?"

"From Hyde." Laurie answered. "He told us about him moving into Bob's house and said that you were moving in too. Fez went to help him get a non-water bed." They laughed at the idea of Hyde sleeping on something that tacky. "So I saw that letter but what exactly is happening? Are you two officially back together or what? Hyde was pretty vague about it, but he did make us promise not to let anyone but little brother know." Jackie sighed in relief and told Laurie all of he detail. There was a moment's thinking before Laurie shared her opinion. "I think it's a good thing you're doing. And he's thought about it a lot so you know he's serious. Just one thing; how long do you expect to be able to keep this secret?"

"I don't know, not as long as we did before." She admitted reluctantly. "I know that Steven doesn't want to hide it at all and I'm not great with it either but I need to. I know it's a little crazy but I can't be having anyone else's doubts adding onto my own. I know that when it all comes out not everyone is gonna think it's a good idea but I want to believe Steven over them." She said slowly. "I'm not sure whether that makes much sense."

"I believe him." Laurie offered. "Really."

"I don't know yet." Jackie replied, smiling slightly at Laurie's reply.

"O… O, o! I know what you guys should do for like a date!" Laurie said excitedly. "Have a half-naked picnic on the floor. Me and Fez did that on boxing day, we had fondue and watched Willy Wonka. I felt so fat the day after, it'll be another week before I'm up to eating chocolate again, so no drama until then." Jackie laughed. "Well there's been a lot of ups and downs with you two, and that's just since I've been around. What's it like when you're together?"

"Crazy. But never dull." Jackie replied giggling, she wondered briefly how she'd look in a genie outfit, better than Sam or Donna. "Sounds like fun but wouldn't a half-naked picnic lead to hot, naked sex?" She said reasonably.

"Yeah." Laurie said, not seeing a problem.

"I guess he didn't tell you that part." Jackie grumbled. "We're not having sex." She announced.

"Why not?" Laurie asked, confused and surprised.

"He want's it to mean something." Jackie quoted. "No. No, Laurie no awes. Laurie stop it, Oh come on!" Laurie continued squealing down the phone but eventually quietened. "That was unnecessary."

"Oh he is so gonna get you back." Laurie said with an audible grin. "I'm serious you know, you can see what he's doing, how hard he's trying. I know he hurt you but once your head and heart get on the same page It'll all work out."

"I hope so." Jackie told her. "I want to trust him but it's too hard right now."

"Give it time." Laurie said sympathetically. "He is, so should you."

"When did you get so smart?" Jackie asked.

"You can learn a lo from daytime TV." Laurie told her. "You think you got problems?" She laughed with a scoff.

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"How are you eating that?" Hyde asked, while Fez swallowed a solid chocolate bar, Scooby-doo style. "I thought you 'needed recovery time' after boxing day."

"What I need my friend, is sugar to keep up with my beautiful Goddess of sex." His foreign friend grinned.

"Whatever." Hyde said, not wanting to et anymore information on Fez's sex life. "Why do I need so many scented candles again?" He asked annoyed.

"Well you're refusing to try the sexy picnic you can at least be romantic." Fez told him. "I can't believe you would refuse to enjoy a dark eyed beauty like Jackie."

"Her eyes aren't even brown Fez." Hyde told him, knowing he'd be ignored.

"If it were not for my golden haired princess I would jump to fulfil any physical…"

Hyde cut him off there. "If you don't steer that sentence the hell away from sex with Jackie, I'm gonna have to kill you." He clapped his friend on the shoulder as they entered a video store.

"But Hyde," Fez whined. "you are not giving her sexy time! You have no right to declare her off limits."

"You're a married man." Hyde pointed out.

"And if Eric were having this conversation with you?" Fez asked.

"I'd break his scrawny neck." Hyde replied. Fez rolled his eyes as Hyde grabbed a copy of popcorn and a copy of The Wizard Of Oz. He saw Fez about to comment on his movie of choice but was cut off. "Not one word, Fez."

"Then what was the point of a guy's shopping day?" Fez wailed.

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Eric nervously straightened his tie as he awaited his interview with the editor. He tried to remind himself that this was a newspaper that did a full page story on Kelso winning the van. It even reported him falling off the water tower, the first six times anyway. It was also the only paper to do a report on their water tower art.

Still that wasn't going to help him now. He began to sweat, fingering the sheet of paper he'd brought. Roughly five hundred words on his decision to go to Africa. The resident columnist of the Pont Place Report was getting on in years and her columns were about peach cobbler and knock off pearls. The advertisement for a new staff member had come at the perfect time for Eric and it seemed their were only two other people applying.

One was a six foot tall ice blonde in, what looked to be, an expensive dress. Her article would probably be on fashion or cosmetics, granted that wasn't an area covered by newspapers but there was no lack of magazines in Point Place. He could remember more than a few rants from Steven about the collection Jackie had stashed under his cot. Hopefully the editor preferred petite brunettes.

The other guy was the exact opposite. Spiky orange hair on a pale kid, all those spots made his look like he was still in high school. He was wearing a smart jacket but underneath a star wars t-shirt. Eric would've probably got on well with the guy, but wearing that t-shirt to a job interview probably wouldn't work in the kids favour. Eric was very glad that he'd chosen the subject of Africa over the evil empire for his own article, he could see doodles of Darth Vader and the death star along the edges of the kids article.

By the time the smiling receptionist called him in, he felt slightly more confident. Behind the desk was a tall portly man with an almost comical comb-over. Eric came forward outstretching his hand. "Mr. Causer. It's a delight to meet you, I'm Eric Forman."

"Yeah, yeah." He responded, not bothering to shake his hand or look up from a rubix cube. "You here for the columnist position?"

"Yes, sir." Eric sat down nervously and placed his article on the table. "This is just the first one. I spent a year on Africa, teaching. So I have plenty issue's worth of writing."

Mr. Causer had at least put his toy down to read the article. "This Donna, 'Hot Donna', from the radio?" Eric nodded. "Add on a physical description, make sure the reader knows it's a local celebrity and cut out all of mommy dearest's tears. Bring it back tomorrow and we'll talk." He handed back the article and went back to his cube. "Go!" He added after a few seconds, Eric left before he had a chance to change his mind.

As he was leaving the leggy blonde was called in. That had gone well in a way. He hadn't got the job yet, and his editor seemed more interested in 'Hot Donna' than Africa, but so what? He ad shown an interest and given him a sort of call back. He could get printed, and that was all he needed.

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"Why are you throwing out the water bed?" Kelso asked, barely helping Hyde move it onto the back seat of his car.

"Because beer and weed make the bed move plenty by itself, I don't need waves adding to that." Hyde responded, grunting under the weight.

"So, do you think if you go out to dinner with the mother of your kid but don't have sex with her with her after, is it a date?" Kelso asked, dropping the bed. Hyde dropped his end too and sat on it.

"Only you could ask that question." He muttered. "Why don't you ask Brooke?"

"God Hyde, it was hyperactive!" Kelso insisted.

"I think you mean hypothetical." Hyde answered. "Well then I don't know, ask Brooke." He said again.

"No that would be way too awkward." Kelso said laughing nervously. "I mean what if she thinks I mean her and says no? She might not let me live there anymore." He flopped down across the bed, making it jiggle in waves. "And I, um I mean hyperactive guy, can't sleep with anyone else until it's sorted." He complained.

Hyde scoffed. "Yeah cause 'hyperactive' you was never the kind to cheat." He said sarcastically.

"That was like forever ago Hyde!" Kelso yelled, getting up.

"Oh, are we gonna move the bed now?" Hyde asked, Kelso looked confused. His friends could be so complicated sometimes.

"I thought that was why you called me over here?" Hyde considered making a smartass reply but decided not to bother. "Did Fez invite you out tonight?" Hyde shook his head, Fez had ended up sulking most of the morning. "We're having a guy's night down at Susan's tonight, the Australian bar. Are you in? No chicks!"

"No, thanks man." Hyde said. "I need to sort out some more stuff for this place." He lied. "Bob left way too much of his cheesy stuff here." Unfortunately that wasn't a lie.

"Okay." Kelso shrugged. "Are you still doing it with Jackie?"

"No." He answered. "She got bored or something." Kelso looked at him suspiciously, before letting out a short burst of laughter.

"Sorry." He apologized, swallowing more laughs.

"Thanks." Hyde responded drying. They heaved the wet mattress up, laying it across the back seat of Kelso's car. "You know it seems a shame to take something with so much damage potent ional to straight to the dump." Hyde observed.

"Hey I know!" Kelso yelled in excitement. "We can drive it to the water tower and then I'll sit on it and you guys can push it off!" He grinned.

"Just take it too the dump." Hyde told him. Kelso pouted but did so anyway.

"Thank God you got rid of that tacky old thing." He turned, smiling, to see Jackie walking up the driveway. "It's great for freaks like Bob and Midge but just too strange for normal people."

"Yeah." He agreed. "Something a little Freudian about it. Are you doing anything tonight?" He asked.

"Not really. Laurie said she would call if any of the clothes turned up under Fez's bed but I think I got it all when I left there." She paused. "When did sentences like that become normal to me?" She asked laughing. He shook his head laughing too.

"You wanna watch a movie? Eat take-out on the floor and all that?" He asked.

"What's the dress code?" She asked with a small smile.

He laughed nodding. "Women talk. Fully clothed." He promised, knowing he'd never be able to keep his eyes or hands to himself. He was sure a brief flash of disappointment crossed her face. "I got a tape of 'The Wizard Of Oz'" He added. He added. She nodded happily.

"I think I'm convinced, see you seven?"

He nodded. "Seven." He stood watching he walk back to the Forman's. He grinned when she turned to look at him before going inside. She wanted him.

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Kelso could hear the sound of Abba as soon as he reached the hallway and knew exactly what he'd see on entering the apartment. A cartoonish grin spread across his face as he walked in, as he'd expected the girls were dancing in the living room. Betsy was wearing her favourite white dress with the angel costume Jackie had bought her and her mini shades. She's smeared red lipstick around her mouth and painted her cheeks like a clown.

Brooke looked breathtaking. Her curly hair was loosely pinned up, exposing her elegant neck. Her make-up was pristine and she wore her finest jewellery. She was wearing the stunning one shoulder red dress she'd worn to the Molly Hatchet concert. Her body had snapped back into shape after her pregnancy and that dress clung to her every contour the same way it had that night. Kelso could remember how it had shimmered under the strobe light and how easily it has slid up over those swaying hips.

This was a strange game the girls had. Getting all dressed up and disco dancing barefoot in the living room, silly but fun. Brooke turned down the music and came to sit by Kelso on the couch. Betsy continued her twirls and jumps with her eyes closed. "Long day?" Brooke asked.

"Yeah, Hyde threw nearly everything out. I wanted to fly off the water tower on the water-bed, but he made me take it to the dump." He whined, Brooke smiled at his childish expression.

"I'll have to thank him for that." She teased. Kelso huffed, flying from the water tower seemed like a great idea to him. It's not like he'd die or anything! "You might have been sea sick." She soothed. Kelso nodded, that really was a good point, she was so smart. They sat quietly watching their child twirl to Voulez-Vous. "What time are you meeting the guys?" She asked, tugging the clips out of her hair, letting it tumble freely over her shoulders.

"About seven, I heard the bar is names after this girl who slept with Australia." Brooke humoured him with an impressed face. "Hyde won't come, he's working on the house. It's weird, him living with Jackie, there not even doing it anymore." He gasped when he realised what he'd said but she seemed to assume he'd been referring to when they were together. He kicked off his shoes and relaxed. "Especially 'cause they were all over each other all the time when they were together. Even I thought it was gross!" They both had to admit that took a lot.

"Well, it is the seventies, the eighties in a few days." Brooke reasoned. "But are you sure there's nothing going on between them?" She asked. "There was something strange about them on Christmas day." Kelso shrugged and looked away. Brooke raised her eyebrows, knowing what his evasiveness meant. "Betsy, sweetie, are you hungry? She asked. Betsy stopped twirling to nod. Brooke turned to Kelso. "Fish fingers or turkey dinosaurs?"

"Both?" He asked hopefully, she shook her head. "Okay… dinosaurs." Brooke pushed herself off the sofa and went into the kitchen.

"Wash your hands." She called over her shoulder. "And can you get Betsy changed? I don't want ketchup on her best frock."

"Come on Betsy bear." Kelso said, lifting her over his head as she squirmed and giggled. "Let's go get you into a ketchup coloured dress." Betsy didn't want to wear red, she was determined to wear white for some reason. After a lot of foot stomping on both sides, she was finally wearing her pink skirt and yellow t-shirt. She was still wearing her angel accessories and shades.

They stayed in her room, playing with the stuffed animals while Brooke cooked. Kelso had tried to help before but had only mad a big mess and come very close to starting a fire. After the zebra and frog had a beautiful wedding ceremony, Betsy asked her father. "Are you and Mommy married?"

"No, we're not honey." He asked, fearing would come next.

"Why not?"

"Um, it's that thing… Complicated. Yeah, it's complicated." He replied with a proud smile.

"What's that?" Betsy asked, her head cocked to the side.

"I think it's something that grown-ups say when they don't know." He said quietly.

"I think you should ask Mommy to marry you then I can have a little brother. She said, Kelso wondered why she thought a marriage was required for a little brother when she herself was born out of wedlock. He decided not to question the matter in case it led to difficult questions.

"Not a sister?" He asked instead.

"Maybe after, but a brother first." She said nodding. "But the wedding before anything else."

"Maybe one day." He said.

"Then that's what I'll ask Santa for next year." She decided happily as Mr and Mrs Frogglesworth shared their first dance.

"Okay, come eat these dinosaurs before they eat you!" Father and daughter bolted into the kitchen, leaving toys everywhere.

Brooke was still in her dress but had safely tucked her jewellery away. The three settled down to a simple dinner of chips, beans and turkey dinosaurs. Kelso coated he and his daughter's food in ketchup before the two of them began chasing each others dinosaurs around the table. "Eat those before they get cold." Brooke asked, after catching a particularly red Terex that had flown out of Kelso's hands. He sheepishly took it back and began eating more calmly until Brooke turned to wipe ketchup off her hands, The second her back was turned a pterodactyl landed in his lap, leaving a thick trail of sticky red on his white shirt. When Brooke turned around she burst out laughing, he looked like a naughty little boy caught with his hands in the sugar bowl. "Honestly, I always think to change Betsy but never you. Isn't that the shirt you wear for 'important business thingies'?" She laughed. "Take your shirt off, it'll need soaking if that will ever come out."

Kelso slowly peeled his shirt off, careful not to get any of the gooey condiment in his hair. "Are you sure this isn't just a cheap ploy to see me without my shirt on?" He asked with a charming grin.

Brooke raised an eyebrow, but blushed slightly too. "You're the one who stained it." She pointed out. With the shirt left to soak in the sink, the rest of the meal was finished with no further drama.

After dinner Kelso took a shower to stop himself smelling of tomatoes at the bar. He was glad tonight's drinking buddies were both attached. Single guy's night revolved around hitting on as many big-breasted blondes as possible. Something Kelso excelled at. But he wasn't interested in that, not tonight, He figured that technically if he were to hook-up it wouldn't be cheating. Even if the dinner had been a official date it had only been one night and there had been no mention of a follow up, yet; they were clearly not an official couple. The problem was, he wanted that, to be an official couple, a proper family. It would be nice to have to love him and take care of him. That was why he worked so hard to keep Jackie despite the unstoppable need to sow his seed.

That need was gone now, possibly it was because he was a Daddy now, or perhaps he had finally matured past that stage. He quickly washed his hair and covered himself in citrus lather, there was no way to get the girls he got without being clean. There was quite a bit of work went into being as spectaculary man-pretty as he, something Kasey didn't know. He spread the gel over the lean muscles of his arms and shoulders. Moving down he swept circles over his hard, toned torso. Stretched out his long legs, his large hands moved upwards from his ankle to his firm ass. After rinsing he stood beneath the racing jets of water, enjoying the thick steam that engulfed him.

Shutting off the water he stepped out, shaking droplets from his glossy wet hair. He wrapped a towel round his waist, the benefits of living with a practical girl, fluffy warm towels. He began checking his handsome face for flaws when Brooke walked in. "Okay, that was totally on purpose!" He shouted gleefully as she blushed Scarlett.

"I...Um. I thought you might need a towel for your…Um, hair. So…Here." She stammered, handing him a towel. She backed out of the room, eye firmly fixed on the floor.

Kelso turned back to the mirror, satisfied with his perfect skin, he greeted his reflection. "Hello Handsome!" He continued smiling and posing for the mirror as he dried himself off. If he ever had to be with a guy it would have to be himself. He couldn't really blame Fez for fantasising about a sponge bath from him, who on earth could resist a body like his? Once his hair and body were dried off he dropped to the floor for his exercises. He tightened the towel in case he as interrupted again, there was a line between showing off the goods and just plain flashing. The second was very bad. Placing his hands behind his head he raised his upper body to meet his bent knees. The muscles in his stomach tightening and flexing as he worked up a light sweat. He then flipped over onto his front to begin press-ups. He concentrated on the movement of his developed biceps, lowering his face to the floor before pulling away, letting his mind empty completely. Contrary to his friends beliefs there were quite a lot of thoughts in his head, they were just what would happen if a jellyfish ate jelly and other strange questions. But still they were there.

When his towel slipped away he got up and wiped the sweat from his body before tugging his jeans back on and adding the right amount of gel to his dark locks. To a stranger he could be preparing for a hot date but this was the Kelso way of praying. It would be a crime not to share and celebrate the great looks the Good Lord gave him.

Brooke glanced at his bare chest when he finally came out of the bathroom, her cheeks still a little red from her earlier embarrassment. "What takes you so long in there?" She asked, though it was painfully obvious she appreciated his appearance.

"You gotta make the most of what God gives you!" He told her grinning. Rather than find a shirt he picked up the dark blue one she'd just ironed. "How do I look?" He asked, after half buttoning it up.

She did up another button and straightened his collar. "So how late do you think you'll be out?"

"I dunno, late?" He shrugged.

"Okay, but be quiet coming in." She told him. "Have fun." She added with a quick kiss on the cheek. Kelso was confused again, after an awkward hug and a kiss for Betsy he headed to the bar for a second and third opinion

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Jackie lay back in the hot water, her body sinking below foamy bubbles their fruity floral scent filling the room. She sunk her dark hair below the water, it waved and twirled like an exotic plant. Reaching for her regular shampoo she poured a generous amount on and threaded it through her thick curls, coating every inch in strawberry luxury. The sweet smells tangled together in the air, mixing with the steam and turning the bathroom onto a misty cocoon of relaxation and warmth. It was safe, comforting.

Jackie slipped further down, letting the shampoo work it's magic, she stretched her long legs out of the water, coating them in vanilla bath cream. She liked her legs, they weren't ridiculously long, just in proportion to her tiny body. Her muscles were strong and toned from years of cheerleading and clever use of the sun, combined with good genes, kept them slightly darkened all year round. She rinsed her hair with a blast of cold water from the shower, gasping as it hit her skin. It spread into the water, turning lukewarm at her nipples, they hardened at the temperature difference. She moved her upper body was out of the water and massaged the cream down her arms, weaving it between her slender fingers and delicate wrists. She spread the white mixture over her shoulders and down over her pert breasts. They were one of her favourite features, along with her hair and mouth. They were perfectly round and pert, noticeable but not so large they'd be in her shoes one day. She rubbed the cream over her hardened nipples, feeling the nerves respond even to her own familiar touch. She moved her hands lower, over her flat stomach and round her tiny wasp waist. She coated her back before sliding back below the surface into the warm heat, washing away the cream but leaving the soft scent clinging to her skin.

She clipped up her hair to let it dry while she stayed in the water. It felt too heavenly to leave just yet. She twirled her fingers through the thick layer of bubbles, they smelt like apples and roses, like the garden when she was very small. Her eyes flickered to the clock; it was six. If she wanted her hair to have it's usual shine and bounce, she'd have to get out now and blow dry it. Not wanting to, she turned her face away.

It was then she realised that her blissful relaxation had not been consumed by endless thoughts of Steven. She was having what was technically a date with him and it felt normal. She would've loved to believe this was the click, everything had slid into place and life was normal. But the likelihood was that in a couple of days time, some tiny insignificant action would tip her over into a whirlwind of thoughts and feeling. She would be swept up into a storm, like Dorothy, tossed and throw around with no ending in sight. Trapped inside her own mind and the questions that clawed at it. She surprised herself by laughing at that. She had no idea what was going to happen in her future but she felt no dread at the uncertainty. Instead a bubble of elation ballooned below her breast, spreading up into the throat. It was how she'd felt that long hot summer the day after they'd kissed. Giddy excitement at what had happened and what could be coming in the next couple of hours; but with no foresight beyond that, no complications or what ifs? If at this moment everything seemed fine then why not let it be? Just enjoy how easy and fun everything was right now and worry about confusing situations when they occur.

With that thought in place, she got out of the tub and wrapped herself in a thick towel. She'd need to buy some just like these, they were fantastic. Flipping her hair forward she blasted it with hot air while gently combing her finger through the tangles. Once it had completely dried she put it into pigtails like Dorothy's, she used to watch the movie in full costume but over the years that dress had gotten very tight and the amount of leg it showed off had reached indecent levels. Still it might be fun to wear something Dorothy themed, it was a shame she'd never be able to convince Steven to dress as the tin man. She had a blue and white checked top that she'd bought because she looked like a hotter Judy Garland in it. With her cute white jeans she was like a modern Dorothy only way cuter. After applying only the amount of make-up needed for the flawless natural look; she headed off to the house she would soon live in.

She stopped off in the kitchen when she saw Kitty covering up a ham. "Could I use some of that tin foil, Mrs. Forman." She asked sweetly, with the hint of an evil smile.

Kitty gave her a concerned look. "You're not going to attempt cooking again are you?" She asked tentatively.

"Of course not. I promise your kitchen is completely safe." Jackie laughed lightly.

"Not the kitchen I'm worried about, those cookies did some damage." She sang, handing Jackie a large sheet. When she caught sight of Jackie's confused but offended face she added her trademark laugh. Jackie rolled her eyes, but took the sheet.

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"Come on guys, can we just have one toast?" Eric whined, banging his pint glass on the bar top.

"If we toast your boring work thing then will you help me! God Eric you're meant to be the fix it guy already!" Kelso slurred, pouting at his own beer. It was half eleven so all three guys were holding up pretty well considering how much they'd had to drink the past four and a half hours.

"Kelso, my beautiful friend, we have listened to your problems." Fez told him sympathetically. "Even Hyde has listened and we have all told you the same thing."

"You have to ask Brooke!" Eric finished. "Women, especially the tall clever ones, they know everything." He insisted drunkenly. "Now, come on. Clinky clink." He knocked his glass against his friends when they made no move to do so themselves. Kelso continued to pout at his pint while Fez had found some peanuts to munch on. "Come on Kelso! Buck up!" He playfully punched his friends arm to no effect. "Either go ask Brooke or forget about it and go chat up that blonde giving you the eye." He gestured to a table of three collage girls in cheerleading outfit's a few feet away.

Fez leaned back to look. "Eric the blonde is looking at you. The red head has noticed our attractive friend. Where as their dark haired friend," He paused, smirking smugly. "she lusts for hot chocolate. Ah but this chocolate is marked." He beamed tugging his shirt collar aside to reveal a large hicky.

"Nice!" Kelso remarked, temporarily distracted from his own drama.

"I didn't need to see that." Eric said in disgust, looking a little green at his slutty sister's handiwork. "Are you sure that girl's looking at me?" At that moment all three girls noticed that they were being watched and made there way over to the bar. Fez's assessment turned out to be correct as each girl draped themselves over a guy. They had evidently had quite a bit of drink as well.

"You know, I just love chocolate." The short dark girl who was supporting herself on Fez purred. She leaned forward, unsteadily, to draw attention to her breasts.

"My dear as desirable as you are, I am a married man." Fez sighed, showing his brand again. The girl pouted then moved to join her friend by Kelso.

"What about you?" Cooed the blonde sweetly, stroking a nervous Eric's hair. "Not married are you cutie?"

Eric spluttered like a kettle before replying. "Er…No but my girlfriend is very tall and could stand on my head 'till I die so I need the stroking to stop… please?" He added hopefully. The blonde shrugged and began admiring Kelso's hair instead.

"Tell us at least one of you is single right?" The fiery haired girl asked Kelso, practically licking his ear in the process.

"Well technically…" He started, but the girls interrupted with loud celebratory cheers.

"That's great!" The red head yelled jumping. "I'm Candy, to your left is Britney." The blonde gave a flirtatious wave. "And shorty over here is Tiffany." The shorter girl giggled and lightly smacked her friend.

"You look tall." Britney said, pushing her chest against him. "All of my family is really tall, just how tall are you? Six foot, Six one?"

"Not his height I'm interested in." Tiffany grinned, sliding a hand up his thigh. "The three of us are like sisters, really. We share absolutely everything." She said suggestively, the others giggled in agreement.

"That's a really nice offer, ladies." Kelso said, he was cut off before he could continue.

"Oh, honey! It's not an offer. It's an iron-clad guarantee." Candy told him, her lips brushing his neck.

"Okay!" Kelso announced, wobbling to his feet. "This is the best thing to ever happen to me in a bar, really. Probably the best offer of my life, and I've had a lot! But I need to go home, there is a tall, clever and sexy girl there and she knows everything; says Eric." With that he purposely attempted a strut out of the bar, that was more of a stagger, his arms raised high above his head. Eric and Fez roared there approval as the girls looked on in disappointment.

"Try the bartender." Eric suggested. "He's Australian."

"That's exotic." Fez agreed. "His girlfriend just broke up with him, he could use comforting." The girls immediately brightened and strutted off, chests out and hips swinging, towards there next prey.

"Lucky guy." Eric said nodding. "What do you think of Kelso's decision?"

"Ai, I am so horny, those devil women have given me needs." Fez responded. "Bye Eric." He said, suddenly leaving.

Eric raised his glass. "To me!"

******************************

The first thing Hyde saw when he opened the door was that evil grin, the one that meant she had a plot against someone, he was the only one here. "What?" He asked warily. The grin was replaced with mock innocence.

"And what is that suppose to mean." She asked. He stood back to let her in, noticing that she kept her hands behind her the whole time.

"I know that grin, it's evil. What'd behind your back?" He asked. She pouted at him.

"Well it was a present for you." She said sulkily. "But I'm not sure I want you to have it now." Hyde, smirked a little. The innocent act didn't fool it but it did make him curious, he played along, watching her trying to suppress the smile tugging at her lips.

"I'm sorry." He said, moving closer. She kept her face turned from him though he could see her lips twitching wildly. "Really, I am." He insisted with mock sincerity. She looked up at him doubtfully, but with the tiniest smile in place.

"Close your eyes." She commanded sweetly. He complied with a half-smirk and felt something balanced on the fro. "Tadaa!" Jackie announced as he opened his eyes.

"There's a tin foil hat on my head isn't there?" He asked dryly. She didn't just giggle she full out laughed like a mad person. Hyde tried to stay stoic but she was bent over double with tears rolling down her face. It had been a long time since she'd laughed like this and it usually involved Kelso and glue. "Yeah, very cute." He muttered, fighting back a grin of his own. "I bring you Cosmo and sneak non liquid foods past Kitty and this is the thanks I get?" He asked lightly.

"It's my thank you present." She gasped through laughter. Hyde rolled his eyes, grinning himself, he put his shades back on and guided her into the living room.

"Chinese is here and pizza on it's way." He told her taking off the hat.

"No, you have to wear your hat!" She whined forcing it back on his head.

"I'm not wearing a piece of tin foil."

"Yes you are." She insisted, trying to keep it jammed on his head. It quickly dissolved into a playful wrestling match with ended the way most did. She was laid across the sofa with him on top, pinning her wrists. Both of them breathless from laughing. Their faces were so close his shades did nothing to hide the effect their proximity was having on him. She brought out the big guns. "Pwease Hyde?" She pleading, sticking out her bottom lip. She saw defeat in his face immediately, he gently pecked her lips before sliding onto the floor, leaving her cold from the loss of contact.

"Anything for you, doll."

******************************

Kelso stumbled into his apartment, shushing the door as it closed. He need Brooke to be happy when he spoke to her and that meant coming in quietly like she asked. However the reason for her requesting quiet hadn't entered his mind. He wobbled into her room, where she had slept through his clumsy entrance. He smiled goofily, leaning on a wall, she really was very beautiful even without make-up. He thought about girls he'd known, Pam Macy, Laurie, those girls in the bar tonight, there was no way they'd look this beautiful asleep with their hair all over the place. He tried to creep over and gently wake her, this failed when he tripped over a slipper and instead landed on top of her with a comical "Oops!".

She sat bolt upright attacking the large object in her lap, eventually calming down when she realized it was only a slightly tipsy Michael. To be truthful, she was surprised this was the first time it had happened, that didn't change the fact that it was midnight and she didn't want to be woken up. "Michael, what are you doing in here?" She asked quietly.

"Why are you whispering?" He asked confused, not bothering to lower his voice.

"So you don't wake up Betsy!" She answered before he finished his sentence.

"Oh, okay." He whispered back before nosily bouncing off her and lying down beside her. "I need to ask you a question. Brooke lay back down sighing. She was tired.

"Can it please wait until morning?" She moaned, Kelso rolled over to look at the clock, it ticked over to one minute past.

"It's morning!" He announced, remembering to whispered this time. "And besides I need to know now because there are these cheerleaders at the bar, they're not that pretty but there's three of them and they seem super-friendly and…"

"Michael, what do you want to know." She asked, her eyes already dropping.

"I need to know if we're a couple." He told her. "Cos I wanna be and I don't wanna go with the cheerleaders but if we're not then I think I should or I'll be really depressed and this is not a face that should look sad." He insisted. She rolled ever to face him, opening her eyes.

"You wanna be a couple?" She asked, he nodded. "No sleeping with other girls, cheerleaders or any other sort?" He nodded again. "Okay then." She smiled. He grinned, his whole body bouncing on the bed. "If you still want this in the morning." She added, rolling over and yawning. He kicked off his clothes and crawled under the covers with her, curving his body against hers and wrapping and arm around her tiny waist. He considered trying to initiate sex but he wasn't sure if he was sober enough to be at his best and Brooke's breathing had already fallen into a steady rhythm. "Oh and Michael, if you ever wake me up in the middle of the night again you're sleeping in the spare room." He nodded and drifted off.

There we go at last, I didn't abandon you although I expect I've lost some readers. I am truly sorry but here is the first post from my new writing base of Aberystwyth campus. Celebratory 'special' brownies for all!!!!!!!!!!