Title: Coming Home
Author: Me, duh.
Summary: Steven Hyde ran from Point Place, away from the memories, from Jackie. Now it's five years later and he's back, like it or not.
Author Note: I just started writing in this fandom, and I'm taking a little creative license with the plotlines. This starts during the final season.
Disclaimer: I don't own "That 70's Show" or anything like that. I do own an awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe, though. But it's just not as fun to write about...
"This time I think I'm to blame. It's harder to get through the days.
You get older and blame turns to shame"- Sorry by Buckcherry
It was too quiet in the basement, he decided. It made Hyde feel antsy, uneasy. He was use to the hustle and bustle of his friends, their easy conversation serving as comforting background noise. But everyone was busy, off doing something else. So it was just Hyde, all alone. He wasn't use to that sort of quiet.
He needed something to break up the silence. He wasn't in the mood for music, so that just left one option. Sighing, he stood to flip on the television. It wasn't much, but it was better than nothing. As he reached the knob, the side door opened suddenly, letting in a cold blast of air from outside. He glanced up and that was when he caught sight of her in the doorway.
Her cheeks were flushed from the cold, a pretty pink that he thought looked much nicer on her than the blush she applied religiously. But he wasn't supposed to be noticing that anymore. It wasn't his place.
He assumed she'd come down to the basement to confront him. He could see the gleam in her eyes, so he readied himself for a fight, ready to be verbally beaten down by her sharp tongue. He was use to the fighting now. It was all they seemed to do.
"Jackie, don't you have somewhere else to be?" he asked the girl, settling back into his chair. "Somewhere that is not here?"
"Steven..." She stepped cautiously into the room. "I want to talk to you."
"Um, no," he said flatly, ignoring the pleading note hidden in her voice.
"No?" she repeated, and he heard a hint of her usual, fiery attitude. But her fire seemed dimmed now. It was his fault, he knew.
"I just have something to say. Please," Jackie sighed, seeming more upset than annoyed.
He looked at her then. She looked so damn sad. It was just too much. Hyde had an urge to hug her, to pull her into his arms right there. Instead, he snorted, "I'm not your boyfriend anymore, Jackie. I don't have to listen to you."
"I know," she said, her voice breaking slightly, as if she was about to cry. She swallowed hard before she continued, "But I'm hoping you'll still talk to me."
He started to reply, to remind her that he had better things to do than listen to his ex-girlfriend whine. But he couldn't. Not when there were tears shining in her eyes. So he swallowed too, refusing to say anything at all.
She took it as permission to continue.
"Everything happened so fast, Steven, we haven't even had a chance to talk about it. About Michael and Chicago. And about Sam." She paused, grimacing, then continued.
"I'm not ready to just give up on us," she said firmly. "Not if we have a chance. You matter too much to me, Steven. I want to be with you."
Hyde's stomach felt heavy. "Whatever, Jackie," he shrugged, trying to ignore the turmoil on the inside.
"I'm going to keep talking, Steven," Jackie said, her hands moving to her hips. The tears were still bright in her eyes, but she seemed determined. "No matter how much you pretend not to care. I'm going to fight for us."
He glanced up at her, into her beautiful eyes. For a moment, he was lost in them. But in the back of his mind, he kept replaying the bad moments of their relationship. The tears she'd cried over him. The fights. Everything. All the pain. And he knew what he had to do. He knew if she couldn't be strong enough to walk away from their disaster of a relationship, he'd have to make her.
Standing now, he faced her, making sure to keep eye contact so she wouldn't doubt the words he said. "Jackie, I don't want you to fight for us. There is no us, not anymore. What I want is for you to leave me alone."
"What?" Confusion crossed her face as she regarded him.
"I want you to just move on, Jacks. We're done, for good."
Silence returned to the basement as the pair faced off. Jackie seemed to be trying to see through his words, disbelief coloring her eyes. His mask stayed in place. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, she spoke.
"You want me to move on?" Jackie asked, her voice just above a whisper. "Is that what you really want? Honestly?" Her eyes were wide, pleading.
Hyde's jaw tensed. He realized he wouldn't be able to go on any further if he looked straight in her eyes, so he stared at the wall behind her instead. "I'm married, Jackie. So, yes, I want you to move on. For good."
"But..." she began, her eyes filling with tears once more.
"No, Jackie. No more." His voice didn't shake. That was something to be proud of. "I'm with Sam. Forever. End of story." He'd managed to put real authority behind the words, so much so that he'd almost believed them. Almost.
But then Jackie did something that wiped away all signs of Hyde's control. She kissed him. A hard, fierce kiss full of the words neither one could say. He hadn't had time to react before her small form was molding itself so well against his.
And he didn't stop her. He couldn't. Not when her arms reached up around his neck. Not when she began to tug at the buttons on his shirt. And not when she led him to the bedroom, still tangled in his arms.
He waited until she was asleep to leave. He figured he owed her that. It was well after midnight by then, so he'd quietly left the basement through the back door. He left Sam a simple handwritten note;
"I'm leaving. I won't be back. Go home. Thanks for everything."
It might read as callous, but he knew she'd understand. When they'd met, she'd told him about her failing marriage. He'd agreed to the sham wedding anyway, needing his own escape. But they'd both known it would end at some point. Now was as good a time as any.
He didn't leave a note for Jackie. There was nothing he could put down that would make her understand.
Hyde debated on packing a few things, but there was nothing he wanted to take. If this was going to be a clean break, he needed to leave everything behind. So, with the clothes on his back and his wallet in his pocket he left.