My Best Friend's Girlfriend
Summary: Hyde has a picture of him and Donna in fifth grade tucked away in his dresser. Why has he held onto it for so long and what is the story behind it?
Donna stared down at the picture in her hands – it was her Christmas gift from Stephen Hyde and it was one of the loveliest, strangest parents she had ever received. They were having their usual Christmas get-together in the basement when he had given it to her. None of the other gang had gotten her a present except for Eric. Maybe that's what had made it so strange, or maybe it was the fact that the picture in the frame was of her and Hyde when they were ten.
They were on the tire swing at the park and they had their arms casually thrown over each other. Both were smiling and laughing and Donna couldn't help but let her memory travel down that road. Fifth grade had been a tough year – Hyde's mother had started drinking more and he was starting to wear the effects. Donna had been there for him, a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.
The picture brought back so many memories, too many actually. She had really liked Hyde and still did but Hyde was Eric's best friend – her boyfriend's best friend. It was just too weird. But then why did she smile whenever she looked down in her hands at that picture?
A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts.
"Come in," she called and in walked Hyde. His sunglasses were on as usual. Only she knew why he wore them all the time – to hide his eyes. She had once told him that eyes were the windows to the soul and he had responded in saying that he didn't want anyone to see his soul, to see him as he really was. Hence the sunglasses. Donna couldn't help but smile sheepishly as he walked over towards her in his usual prehistoric manner – slow, uncaring, casual.
"Hey," he nodded towards her, the usual greeting.
"Look – about the picture…I um…shouldn't have given it to you."
"What are you talking about?" Donna asked, a little offended by his remark, "I love it. Lots of memories are in this picture and I am surprised you actually wanted me to have it…"
"I can't hold on to it," Hyde shrugged.
"Well it was a nice present. Thank you," she said honestly, meaning every word of her thank you, "Do you remember the day this was taken?"
Hyde sat down on her bed and stared down at the picture, taking in the memories, "Yes," he said, "Fifth grade, at the park. I had decided to run away from home and you went looking for me when I didn't show up to school. You found me under the slide."
"You looked terrible," Donna remembered.
"And you told me that I was insane for wanting to run away because this is where my friends were and if they couldn't help me, nothing could. You were right, Donna."
"Usually am," she smirked, earning herself a half-chuckle from Hyde, "And my dad came looking for me when I didn't come home from school. We had spent the whole afternoon playing and he had snapped that picture of us. When it printed, I gave it to you. I thought you'd like it, to remember what I told you."
"You know, I am glad that I didn't run."
"Me too," Donna nodded, "I'm glad you kept it all these years."
"Yeah well, it's one of those things you can't just throw out, you know?"
There was a slight pause before Hyde said, "Donna, about what Fez said…"
"Oh, that," Donna shook her head with a slight laugh, "That's just Fez being Fez – he didn't mean it. Remember the time when he saw Kelso talking to Fat Rhonda and thought they were going out?"
"Freaky little foreigner," Hyde laughed, not meaning it in a derogatory way at all, "Anyways, I had better be going…"
"Merry Christmas, Donna."
Hyde turned and left leaving Donna alone with the picture. She stared down at the kids' smiling faces and called out, "Hey!"
Hyde opened the door and popped his head in, "Yeah?"
"Damn it, Hyde!" Donna cried, "Since when did things have to get so complicated?"
He smirked his casual smirk and walked over to her, put an arm on her shoulder and said, "Donna, you're my best friend's girlfriend."
"I know," Donna let her eyes fall to the ground, unable to look at him, "It's just…"
"I know," Hyde nodded, understanding, "I better go. See ya."
Hyde walked back to the basement with his mind swimming with thoughts. It just wasn't fair that lousy, scrawny, stupid Foreman got the girl and he didn't. He had loved her since that day when they were ten – Eric had been terrified of her up until a few months ago. It just wasn't fair. But then again life never was.
Once in the basement, he slumped into his chair with a popped beer and watched the blank screen on the TV. He didn't even hear Eric come in or see him sit down on the couch until he said, "Hey um, Hyde?"
"That thing with Donna today…"
"Yeah?" Hyde asked defensively.
"What was that all about?"
"She gave me that picture a few years ago and I gave it back. And since when is it illegal for me to give one of my friends a Christmas present?"
"Hyde…I didn't mean anything like…"
"Yeah well it was a stupid present. It didn't mean anything."
"Good," Eric nodded, feeling a bit more at ease, "She's something isn't she? Well, I better get to bed. See you in the morning."
As Eric stumbled up the steps, Hyde thought to himself – she's more than something, she's everything. He put the beer down, and crawled off to bed. He put the sunglasses on the nightstand and fell asleep with his eyes red with tears.
His last thought before drifting off to sleep was – stupid Donna and stupid Foreman and stupid Christmas! Damn it all to hell.
Unlike Hyde, however, Donna didn't sleep at all that night. She was too busy sitting up and staring at the picture wondering what it would be like if things were different. Maybe if she wasn't with Eric…she mentally slapped herself at the thought. How dare she think such a horrible thing! She was in love with Eric, she was happy with Eric, she wanted Eric!
Then why do I feel so…miserable?