A/N: And here is the final chapter. I would like to thank all the people who reviewed. Each review really meant the world to me. I hope you all enjoyed the fic.
Disclaimer: I do not own That 70's Show nor do I own the song Pain by Three Days Grace.
Enjoy the last chapter, everyone!
Pain without Love
When happiness doesn't work, trust me and take my hand.
Jackie had to be carried into the Forman house. Unfortunately for her it was Hyde who carried her. Her arms were crossed and a deep frown set on her face as he did so.
Well, he must be really friggin' happy about this. She thought in pure anger.
She didn't want him touching her. She hated him. She hated him so much… At least that's what she kept on telling herself.
Hyde carried Jackie up to Laurie's old room, Kitty followed closely behind them. Once in the room he placed Jackie on the bed gently and carefully. He was treating her like some fragile doll and although a year ago she would have loved that, she didn't right now. Right now she didn't want to be treated like something precious, like she would break at any moment. It was annoying and completely unnecessary. I'm perfectly fine. She thought ignoring the sight of her leg wrapped up in a cast.
"Okay now, Jackie, I want you to rest. Your body really needs a lot of sleep right now." Kitty said walking over and brushing hair away from the beat up girl's eyes. Jackie merely nodded. "Would you like anything to eat?"
"No." She replied simply.
"All right… I'm gonna go get your painkillers." Kitty said before walking out of the room to do just that.
Hyde stayed behind and stared at Jackie. She looked towards him and narrowed her eyes. He sighed deeply in what seemed like momentary defeat and then walked out of the room.
She continued to glare at the empty space where he once stood. That's right, you bastard, leave.
Jackie turned her head and stared up at the ceiling. She hated how she was acting. She hated being like this. She felt like she wasn't herself anymore. It was like when that truck hit her it also tore out the real her giving her no hope of ever recovering.
She wanted to cry but it felt like she ran out of tears.
A few weeks had passed by and Jackie was giving everyone the same treatment since the beginning. She barely spoke to any of them. The most she gave was fierce glares and sarcastic remarks. This wasn't Jackie. They knew that and she knew that too.
Jackie was able to walk a bit now, or rather wobble (due to the cast). She still needed to be carried around by Hyde, which she still hated.
Speaking of Hyde, he was rather devoted to carrying her around. In fact he was always near her in case she needed something. It was as if he were her slave. Once again a year ago Jackie would have loved that but right now she didn't. Right now she still hated him.
All of Jackie's thoughts were interrupted when she heard someone knocking on her door. She didn't look away from the ceiling.
"Steven, if that's you… go away." She said tonelessly. She's been telling him to go away a lot lately.
The door opened to reveal a newly redheaded Donna Pinciotti.
"Hey… it's me." She said nervously. Donna didn't know what to expect from Jackie. She had tried talking to Jackie on countless occasions. Jackie either ignored her or snapped at her, which Kitty said to then just leave her alone so she could calm down.
Jackie looked over to her. "Back to normal?" She asked indicating the hair.
Donna put a hand to her head and smiled slightly. "Yeah, I guess you could say that. Blonde wasn't really working out for me."
Jackie nodded her head once and that was it. An uncomfortable silence made itself present. Donna cleared her throat. She wanted to speak but she couldn't bring herself to do it.
"Did you come here to tell me something?" Jackie asked now looking back up at the ceiling.
For a moment, Donna felt like a deer caught in headlights; scared shitless.
"Well… um, I really… uh."
"Stop stuttering." Jackie demanded. "You sound like Eric."
"Yeah… sorry." Donna quickly apologized.
"Yeah, I know you are." Jackie muttered.
Donna suddenly felt determined. She needed to tell Jackie how she felt. She needed to get everything off her chest. This seemed to be like her only chance because Jackie was screaming and shouting at her or really ignoring her.
"Jackie… I wish you were back to your normal self." She spoke in a firm tone. She wanted Jackie to hear how serious she was.
"We all wish for things we can't have." Jackie replied simply and Donna sighed deeply.
"Seriously, Jackie, don't you think you've been angry long enough?" Her tone had turned into a soft one. She didn't want to sound harsh because she had no right to be.
"No, I don't think that I have." Jackie said refusing to look at her again.
"You can't stay angry forever." Donna argued.
"Yes, I can."
"Jackie… please." The redhead begged.
"What do you want from me, Donna?" Jackie asked tiredly. Her body felt restless. "Do you want forgiveness or something?"
"I… guess." Was all Donna managed to say.
"You guess? That's all you can give me?" Jackie asked suddenly looking at Donna, almost making the tall girl gasp. Jackie's eyes were so cold… and empty. "If that's it then perhaps you don't deserve forgiveness."
"Just leave, Donna. I'm tired." Jackie told her then went back to staring up at the ceiling.
Donna stood there for a moment feeling as if she were frozen. Finally she was able to move and she walked out of the room. She closed the door gently behind her and walked stiffly down the stairs.
Despite herself, Jackie was consumed with guilt. She hated treating her friends like this but whenever she was near any of them she would say things she didn't mean, which was why most of the time she chose not to speak at all. She spoke things she didn't mean at all; it was like word vomit.
She hated this. She wanted to be the old Jackie again.
Donna sighed deeply as she sat down on the couch in the Forman living room. They hardly hung out in the basement anymore because they all felt that they needed to be near Jackie… just in case of anything.
"What's the matter, big red?" Hyde asked not looking away from the TV. He was watching the Price is Right.
"She still hasn't changed." She said with a sigh.
"What? Did you expect her to magically go back to normal?" He asked and he only received a light grunt. "Cause I was hoping that would work for me and it didn't. In fact, I think she ends up hating me more and more every time I talk to her."
"Well, this is all your fault." Donna grumbled. Hyde looked over to her and glared.
"Thanks a lot, Donna." He said sarcastically.
"I'm sorry." She quickly apologized. "I just… I just want my best friend back." She said sadly. Hyde patted her shoulder.
"You're not the only one, big red." He said getting up and walking into the kitchen.
He opened the fridge and grabbed a beer. Just as he was about to open it he suddenly stopped. He looked down at the can. At this very moment, he remembered all the trouble this can had put him in. Because of some drunken stupor he married a stripper and obliterated his relationship with Jackie. Of course, he could have chosen not to stay with Sam but… he was an idiot. However, it was alcohol that started the whole thing.
Damn it! He hissed in his mind as he put the can back in the fridge. He walked back into the living room and fell back into the chair with his arms crossed over his chest. Even when she completely despised him, Jackie was some how making Hyde want to be a better person.
Jackie has been living in the Forman house for about a month now. She was able to walk now but she limped and hey feared that it was permanent.
The gang had honestly believed that in time Jackie would calm down, go back to her old self, and talk to them again. They were proved wrong. She avoided them like the plague. Most of the time she just locked herself in her room and didn't come out until it was dinner time… sometimes she wouldn't even come for that.
It was frustrating, especially for a certain Steven Hyde. He missed Jackie. At this point he didn't care id she hated him, he just wanted to see her. He wanted to be near her. Although they now lived in the same house, it was hard to be close to her through a closed door.
This was exactly why Hyde was pacing the basement floor with all his friends watching. This was one of those rare times when they all hung out in the basement because Kitty took Jackie to go see her physical therapist. This was one of those rare times when they didn't have to completely worry about Jackie. The not worrying about Jackie part wasn't really working out for Hyde.
"She hasn't talked to me in a month. A month! What the hell is that about?" Hyde exclaimed in pure confusion.
"You're not the only one she hasn't been talking to. We barely ever even see her." Donna said and the rest of them nodded in defeat.
"I live in the same house and I barely see her!" Hyde said as he stopped pacing. "This is ridiculous. She shouldn't be acting this way anymore. She needs to get over it!"
"Hyde… she can barely walk. I don't think she's going to get over it." Eric said seriously.
Hyde sighed deeply. He knew that; he was just venting right now. He was depressed. He's been without his Jackie for far too long and he knew that he had no one to blame but himself.
"I know… but this is unhealthy. She can't just stay locked in Laurie's room forever. She needs to go out… and do things." Hyde said finally sitting back down.
"We know, but we can't force her to do things with us. I think it would just makes her hate us even more. We just need to give her space." Eric suggested.
"Eric, we've been giving her space for a month now." Kelso piped into the conversation. "Anymore space they we might as well be strangers."
"As much as I hate to say this, but Kelso is right." Donna said. "We can't just leave her alone. It would feel as if we were giving up on her."
A silence then filled the room. As a group, they all inwardly made the decision never to give up on their raven haired friend. She needed them, now more than ever… even if she wouldn't admit it.
A few more weeks had passed and instead of isolating herself in Laurie's room like usual, Jackie was on the porch reading a book. She never really read serious books like The Great Gatsby; usually she was reading some Nancy Drew book. Not anymore though and she never would again. She found herself hating the young detective. Life was not that fantastic. No child was strong enough to survive in the real world and Jackie hated Nancy for not being smart enough to figure that one out.
Jackie was just finishing the part where Gatsby was named as the driver of the car that killed Myrtle when Hyde stormed out of the house.
"Jackie, what the hell are these?" The fury was easily heard.
Jackie peeled her eyes away from the book and looked at Hyde's extended hand which was filled with familiar white pills.
"My painkillers." She said knowing where this was going.
"Better question; why did Mrs. Forman find all of these under your mattress?" He asked eyes blazing.
He's not wearing his glasses. She thought looking up into his angry blue hues.
"I put them there." She answered him simply.
"Why?" He asked and she could hear the anger rising.
"Because I don't need them."
"What the hell do you mean you don't need them!" He exploded.
"You ask a lot of questions." She said instead of answering him.
"Of course I'm asking a lot. It's because I'm questioning your sanity right now." He said throwing her pills to the ground.
"My sanity?" She asked more to herself.
"Yes, your sanity." Hyde confirmed. "I don't even know who you are anymore." He stated and her eyes suddenly narrowed.
"You never knew me." She said standing up.
"I know you better than anyone else!" He argued.
"Yes, you knew how hurt I was when you stayed with the stripper yet you still treated me like crap." She wasn't yelling but she was close. "You're a sick human being."
"I'm sick?" He asked incredulous. "You're the one who's purposely putting herself in pain."
"Oh so you're the only one in the world allowed putting me through pain? You're such a selfish bastard." She said pointing an accusing finger at him.
"Jackie, will you listen to yourself!" He yelled. "This whole thing has just driven you crazy. There's no logical reason why you put yourself through all this pain."
"You really want to know? Fine!" Now she was yelling too. "I welcome the pain because it helps me forget about all the crappy things in my life. I forget about my parents, I forget about the fact I have no job or independence, most of all I forget about you!" She yelled then rushed back into the house leaving Hyde behind.
Jackie had lied. The pain didn't help her forget about him. She didn't really know why she wouldn't take the pills now. Maybe I am crazy. She thought as she headed up the stairs. She would have loved to storm up the stairs making it more dramatic, but the internal scar in her leg prevented her from doing just that. She went into Laurie's room and slammed the door behind her.
Hyde walked back into the house with slumped shoulders. Red, who was sitting at the kitchen table, gave him a knowing look.
"I told you not to overreact." Red told him disapprovingly.
"I know." Hyde said sitting down next to the older man and sighed. "I'm just… I'm just so worried about her."
"Steven, I know you are. We all know, but snapping at her like you just did is only going to push her away." Red told him. "You just need to give her time."
Hyde gave him a sorrowful look. "How long do I have to wait?"
"Beats me." Red said with a shrug. "That girl has been through a lot and she deserves all the time in the world." He continued and Hyde nodded slowly. "And don't you go doing anything stupid like sleeping around with random girls. If Jackie were to find out you did something like that again then you'll really lose her for good."
Hyde bowed his head in what seemed to be shame. It upset him that his family expected him to go and do something like that. However, he knew that he didn't really give them much of a reason to not to expect that from him. He's already done that twice to Jackie (first with the nurse, second with the stripper).
With a sigh of defeat and exhaustion, Hyde stood up and headed down to the basement. He needed some time to think.
That night Jackie was tossing and turning in her bed.
All around her it was only darkness. She walked through it shaking with fear. In her mind she felt as if something bad was going happen, like in horror movies how monsters just pop out of nowhere. But in her heart she knew nothing bad was going to happen to her. She knew that she would just be fine.
"Wait—why am I so scared? This is just a dream." Jackie stated and it echoed in the dark abyss.
Suddenly, there was a giggle (which also echoed) and she jumped a bit. "Well, that is true."
Jackie swiftly turned to come face to face with a tall woman who had long curly blonde hair. She was dressed in a loose why dress (or toga). Her soft blue eyes were filled with knowledge. There was something very familiar about her…
"Vee?" Jackie asked curiously causing the blonde to smile warmly at her.
"Hello, Jackie." Vee greeted. The echoing was gone now. "How have you been?" She asked in a knowing tone and Jackie shot her a confused look.
"Uhm… okay, I guess. What are you doing in my dream?" She asked curiously.
"Oh, this isn't really a dream." Vee stated. Jackie raised an eyebrow.
"What are you-"
"Look, that doesn't matter." Vee said firmly and Jackie could only nod. "It's time, Jackie."
"Uh…" Jackie began still very confused. "What do you mean?"
"I mean it's time to forgive Steven."
"What!" Jackie couldn't help but yell in shock.
"It's time to forgive all of your friends really, but Steven especially." Vee said in a soft tone. Jackie shook her head.
"This is one freaky dream. My former nurse is telling me to forgive some bastard." Jackie said more to herself.
"This isn't a dream, Jackie." Vee repeated. "And you don't really think Steven is a bastard."
Jackie looked deep into Vee's eyes and she knew that she couldn't lie. "No, I don't think he's a bastard." She agreed with the blonde.
Vee smiled in approval. "Then it's time to forgive him."
"Hold on," Jackie said putting her hands up. "Just because I don't think he's a bastard doesn't mean that I should forgive him."
Vee gave out a gentle laugh and Jackie felt herself calming. The blonde really did have such a wonderful and soothing laugh. "Oh, Jackie, don't be so stubborn. This bitterness must end now. You need those people."
"The gang. They are your family. They love you and you love them. It's time for forgiveness." Vee told her.
"I… I don't want to." Jackie said looking down at her feet.
"Can you imagine a life without them?" Vee asked making Jackie look back up at her.
"Can you imagine a life without them?" She repeated.
Jackie didn't need to think long on this. "No, I can't."
"Can you imagine a life without Steven?" Vee asked.
Jackie didn't even want to imagine something like that. "No."
"Then it's time." Vee encouraged with a smile. Jackie blinked twice.
"It's time." She repeated.
"It's time." It echoed.
And then she woke up.
Jackie shot up in her bed. She was breathing heavily and her skin was damp with sweat. Her eyes darted around the room in confusion. The only thing she could hear right now was her heart beating at top speed. After calming that down, she looked towards the bedroom window. It was still dark out. Then she looked over to the alarm clock. It was three-thirty in the morning.
Without a second thought, Jackie climbed out of the bed and walked out of the room.
She limped all the way down to the basement. She was on a mission.
By the time she got to the basement her body was exhausted but that didn't stop her; she snuck into Hyde's room. He was sound asleep. She kneeled down to him.
"Steven." She whispered putting her hand on his arm. "Steven!" She whispered harshly and she nudged him this time.
Hyde groaned a bit but sure enough his eyelids were opening.
"Jackie?" He asked groggily; she nodded her head. "What time is it? What are you doing up?"
"I forgive you." She stated.
"What?" He asked now fully awake.
"I said I forgive you." She repeated and she smiled at him even though he couldn't see it in the dark.
"You do?" He asked confused.
"Of course I do." She said still smiling. "I love you."
"Jacks…" She felt him grab her and her lips descended upon his.
This kiss was soft and passionate. They put their hearts and souls into it. They had been without each other for too long. They longed for this… they needed this more than anything. Once they pulled away from the kiss, Hyde pulled her into the cot with him and he held her close.
"I love you more than anything in the world." He whispered into her ear.
"I know." She replied softly.
"I promise I'll never do anything stupid to ruin our relationship again." He vowed running his fingers through her raven locks.
"I ruined the relationship too." She said sadly. "I should have never gone to Chicago. I'm sorry."
"Nothing's as stupid as marrying the stripper though… so I'm more sorry." He told her.
"Yeah, that's true." She said and they both laughed a bit.
"Jackie?" Hyde spoke after a moment of silence. "Do me a favor, okay?"
"Start taking your painkillers. You do need them." He told her and he felt her nod against him.
"Okay, I will." She promised him as she snuggled against him. "Steven, I'm also sorry I've been so out of character lately. It's just… it's with everything that's been happening lately… it made me feel different. It made everything feel different." As she spoke, she felt Hyde hold onto her tighter as if he would lose her at any moment.
"Jackie, it's fine. I understand." He reasurred her. "This whole thing had an affect on all of us. When… when Mrs. Forman said that you were hit by that truck I—" His body went stiff at the memory. "I was never so scared in my entire life. I just couldn't grasp the thought of losing you forever."
"You didn't lose me forever. I'm right here." Jackie whispered to him.
"I was close to losing you… and I never want to get that close again." He ended in a gruff tone. She smiled in content. "If you don't mind me asking… what made you decide to forgive me now?" He couldn't help but ask curiously.
Jackie's smile grew. "Something just told me that it was time."
A/N: There you have it, people. I would love to see your last feedbacks. Please review.