Chapter 7 - He can't be impatient.

Steven Hyde had spent the day in his bedroom. His sanctuary. He'd been listening to Led Zeppelin all day. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You currently filled the otherwise silent room. He was sitting with his legs spread out in front of him with a shoebox placed in-between them. It was a shoebox that had once held a pair of boot that a certain petite brunette had given him, but these days the box held so much more...at least it did in his eyes.

He had spent the entire day thinking about her. Thinking about the pain he had caused her with his fucking stupidity, but he had eventually come to the conclusion that what he did didn't really matter anymore. He didn't think she would forgive him after all the damage he had done, but she did have a heart of gold that many had failed to see and she had an uncanny ability to forgive. She had an amazing heart that just seemed to expand as time went on. She seemed to accommodate the size of her heart to allow more people in. He didn't understand how she did it. She had always been his guardian angel. She was the only person who tried to understand him. No one, but her bothered to question the tough guy exterior he had always used to shield himself from the cruelties of the world around him. She had always been able to forgive him. She had been able to see he was much more. She always said that everyone made mistakes. Then again everyone had a limit, even her.

His thoughts were then interrupted as his friend walked into his room.

Eric walked in to find Hyde sitting against his cot with a shoebox in-between his legs. The question left his lips before he could stop them.

"What the hell is it with the two of you having shoeboxes? I mean...what the hell did I miss? You don't have some pictures of me in there too...do you?"

Hyde looked up at his friend with an aggravated, yet confused expression.

"What the hell are you talking about Twitchy? Why the hell would I have pictures of you? What the hell did you mean by the two of you? Who were you talking about?"

Eric realized his mistake, and immediately tried to change the subject.

"Hey, what did I tell you about calling me Twitchy?"

Hyde didn't take the bait.

"I asked you a question, Foreman? Who the hell were you talking about?"

Eric wasn't going to tell Hyde the truth. Jackie had confided in him when she talked about the shoebox that held so many great memories for her. He wasn't going to break the trust that Jackie had bestowed upon him, so he did the only thing he could do. He lied.

"Uh…I'm talking about Donna."

Hyde didn't seem to buy it. His friend seemed a little jumpier than usual to be telling the truth.

"Donna?"

Eric couldn't stop the slight shaking in his voice, but he hoped Hyde wouldn't notice.

"Who else would I be talking about?"

Hyde couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. He had been thinking about the possibility of a certain raven-haired beauty possessing a box similar to his.

"No one. I just…no one. Sorry."

Eric sighed in relief.

"It's cool man, so what are you doing in here?"

Hyde's emotionless answer came out before he could stop it.

"I didn't know that I needed a reason to be in my bedroom, Foreman."

Eric knew what Hyde was doing. He'd heard responses like that his entire life.

"You know that's not what I meant. I was talking about what you're doing with that shoebox."

Hyde sighed deeply.

"I-I was just thinking...She trusted me. She loved me. She wanted to save me. She cared about me, but I let her down. I-I disappointed her...I hurt her."

"Jackie?"

Hyde lowered his head.

"I was never good enough for her, but she never gave up on me. She believed in me. She saw me as her Prince Charming, her knight in shining armor…the love of her life. I still can't believe I said I don't know when she asked me if I could see a future with her."

Hyde let out a bitter laugh that sent a chilling pain through his body.

"I used to dream about our wedding day….seeing her in a beautiful white dress walking down the aisle to met me at the altar in-front of all of our friends and family, living in a house with a white picket fence like the ones she used to look at in her stupid catalogs, the day she'd tell me I was going to be the father."

He smiled at the thought. He looked up Eric before he continued.

"I still have those dreams every once-in-a-while. I wake up and realize that they're just that. Dreams. Dreams of what could have been. What I gave up. My life has become a complete nightmare, and the worst part is I can't wake up from it. I-it's all my fault."

Eric shook his head sadly.

"Hyde, you have to stop beating yourself up like this. You're never going to get her to forgive you and give you another chance if you keep drowning yourself in self-pity. She needs to see that you're willing to change for her, that you can see a future with her, that she means everything to you…that you love her."

"She's leaving. How am I supposed to show her that I'm not going to be an inconsiderate jackass, that my life isn't the same without her in it…that she is my life. She'll be thousands of miles away from me, she'll find someone who's not afraid to publicly love her Someone who can give her everything she deserves. Someone who will give themselves to her without putting up a wall. Someone who doesn't have a wall to put up to keep her from discovering all of their insecurities that they so desperately try to hide."

He choked on his next words.

"She'll eventually forget all about me, but m-maybe that's not such a bad idea. Maybe i-it's for the best."

Eric thought about telling Hyde that Jackie had decided that she wasn't going to move to New York, but he'd already promised his best friend that the two of them would tell everyone tomorrow. He didn't know how Hyde was going to react when he found out that he would be living with Jackie in Madison. He knew Hyde had would overreact. Hyde always had a difficult time controlling his jealousy, even though he didn't think there was anything to worry about. There couldn't be...could there? absolutely No, because he loved Donna...right? Yes, he loved Donna. Jackie was his best friend in every sense of the world. He was just trying to protect her, like a big brother would protect his little sister. Eric realized he was thinking too much about stupid things and he still hadn't said anything to Hyde.

"Hyde, I'm glad you're finally letting everyone see that you do have a heart, but you shouldn't be telling me these things you should be telling Jackie-"

"She doesn't want to talk to me. She won't listen-"

"Make her listen."

Hyde suddenly stood up from his previous place on the ground feeling a strange combination of desperation and aggravation. He didn't know why, but he ended up releasing all of his pent up emotions on Eric.

"How the hell am I supposed to do that? She's in pain right now…and it's all because of me. I don't know what to do. I'm just…I can't just apologize to her anymore. She has a certain strength that helps her protect herself from the world around her and she doesn't even realize it. She's shielding herself from everyone…everyone, but you."

"I already told you that I'm going to try to help you, but I'm not going to pressure her into anything she's not prepared to do. You're just going to have to be patient."

"I know. I-I just don't want to lose her."

"Just give it time."

"Fine."

"Hey, I just realized that you didn't actually answer my question."

"What question?"

"What are you doing with that shoebox?"

Hyde sat down on his cot and gingerly picked up the shoebox from its previous place on the ground. He looked inside one more time before he looked up at Eric.

"I have everything that reminds me of Jackie in this box...even the shoebox itself reminds me of her."

Eric seemed shock at his friend's admission.

"Really?"

"Yeah…it's mostly pictures of us. I used to spend nights looking at them whenever Sam feel asleep. She almost caught me a few times, but I couldn't help looking at these pictures time and time again. It's my escape, but at the same time it's also my torture."

Eric was once again confused. Why the hell did he surround himself with complicated people?

"What?"

"I don't really know how to explain it with sounding like a complete love-struck moron…or you."

Eric laughed sarcastically and momentarily glared at Hyde.

"Ha. Ha…We already talked about this Hyde you have to be honest-"

"With Jackie, not you."

"Well, these days it's pretty much the same thing because she tells me everything..so I'll eventually find out all about the little conversations the two of you have whether you like it or not."

Eric couldn't help but childishly stick out his tongue. He'd won and he knew that his friend knew it.

Hyde stared getting irritated. He wasn't okay with the idea of his friend and the love of his life being so fucking close.

"Whatever. I don't want to talk about this anymore, so just drop it."

"You're going to have to talk about it eventually."

"Yeah, but eventually doesn't mean today."

Eric voice suddenly turned babyish. It actually seemed to resemble the babying voice Kitty Foreman reserved for him.

"Aw...is little Steven getting upset?"

Hyde was becoming more and more aggravated by the second.

"Don't call me Steven...and get the fuck out of my room before I kick your ass.

Eric smirked evilly before he answered.

"I think you would be making a mistake if you did that. I don't think Jackie is going to be very happy with you if you kick her best friend's ass. I'm just saying...do you really want to take that chance?"

Hyde couldn't hide his annoyance as he gave his response.

"Whatever. Just get out."

"Why don't you try saying please?"

"Don't push it."

"Yeah, it'd probably be in my best interest to stop."

Eric started walking towards the door when he suddenly remembered what he had talked about with Jackie.

"Hey, make sure you're in the basement tomorrow."

"Where else would I be?"

Eric thought about it for a second before nodding his head.

"You're right, but I'm just making sure."

"Why?"

"Don't worry about it right now…just make sure you're here tomorrow."

"Whatever."


Eric left Hyde's bedroom closing the door behind him. He couldn't stop the smile from forming on his lips. He'd finally started to see that Hyde was willing to breakdown the walls he'd spent years building to keep the world out, just to get the love of his life back. Things were drastically changing, and even though Hyde would continue to hide behind what was left of his wall for the time being…Eric knew that eventually Hyde would realize that he could let his loved ones know that he did have a heart, and that he had a place for every single one of them in it without compromising his tough-guy exterior. Eric was one-hundred percent sure that everyone would soon get their happily ever after.It would just take some time...at least that's what he wanted.