Jackie stalked into the Formans' basement, went to the freezer to get an orange popsicle in hopes that the sugar would relieve some of the buzzing in her head. At the very least it would give her hands something to do for the inevitable argument that would come with Steven storming in behind her over what she said in the driveway. She figured it would take him about fifteen seconds to catch up to her and let her have it.
With her back still turned as she tried to open the popsicle wrapper, she heard him storm into the room and slam the basement door. "Good to know?" he fumed. "That's it? That's all I get after the way you sounded off on me before I left?"
"Sucks, doesn't it?"
Hyde let out a sound that was somewhere between a a scream and a screech. "Damn it, Jackie, I can't- I jus-what...what the hell are you tryin' to do to me?"
"I'm only giving you a taste of your own medicine, Steven. How does it feel to have someone you care about and you hope you can trust treat you with such blank coldness?"
"You think I treat you with coldness?"
"No I don't, which is why I didn't understand what that whole display on Friday was about." Jackie gave up trying to unwrap her popsicle and just leaned against the freezer. "It's been a long time since I was actually this open with a guy."
"Bullshit, you were open with Kelso about every damn thing that went through your head."
At this, Jackie snorted. "Yeah, right, like I'd share really personal things with him. He barely even knew me, since he was always cheating on me with sluts like Laurie and Pam Macy. There was no way I'd trust him with the really personal stuff, like about my grades or my parents or anything."
Hyde took a deep breath as the true meaning of her words began to sink in. She'd shared genuine worries of hers with him, not Kelso, meaning there was a much higher level of trust she'd put in him. He doubted if she'd ever shared those thoughts with anyone other than him. And him, being such a guarded individual by circumstance - letting people in meant there was a risk of being let down by them - had barely given her any outward sign that he'd had no intention of hooking up with any other woman that weekend he was away. Dragging his hands over his face, he muttered, "Okay. Okay."
Crossing to her, he pulled her into an embrace that was more comforting than romantic. Hyde could feel the tense muscles in her back and realized there was something else that was troubling her. "What else?"
"What do you mean?" When Hyde simply pulled back and arched an eyebrow at her, Jackie relented. "I guess I was also a little worried that since you and I haven't...you know, yet, you'd be getting a little antsy to...set your swimmers free in a public pool before coming home to me."
"Ah." And there it was, Hyde realized, the ultimate miscommunication in their relationship. Where she'd interpreted the lack of actual sex in their relationship as him not really being interested in banging her like a hammer on a nail, he'd seen it as an imperative need to take the physical stuff slowly now that they were in a real relationship. While neither of them were lily-white virgins, Hyde knew that his experience with sex was much more...extensive, for lack of a better word, than Jackie's. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her, both physically and emotionally; he'd seen the way she'd written Kelso off afterwards and be damned if he'd let that happen between them.
Tracing his fingers lightly over her back, he nibbled at her earlobe and whispered, "I can safely say that I didn't do any swimming this weekend. In fact, I was thinking of you when I was...treading water in the shower in the morning."
"That's so hot." Jackie pressed her lips to the sweet, weak spot she knew he had right under his jaw and felt a shiver of satistfaction when she felt his body tense against hers. "Listen, I was thinking, maybe I could...stay over this Friday night and we could have some time together...you know?"
"I'll keep the beer cold and the music hot."