Summary: JH. Jackie's hanging out in the basement with the gang and looks around with a sense of contentment. Set shortly after 6x08. Short and fluffy oneshot.
Disclaimer: I do not own That 70's Show. Believe me, if I had, Season 8 would have played out a lot differently.
A/N: My first published story! Let's see how this goes…
She looked around with a sense of happiness and ease. They were all in the basement again; Michael's just come back from the restaurant.
She looked over at him.
He was standing by the big freeze trying to split a Popsicle in order to give the other half to Fez but was doing so unsuccessfully. Fez just rolled his eyes and went to grab a Popsicle of his own, knowing how it would turn out if Michael kept trying – with most of it on the floor.
After seeing Fez grab his own, Michael finally accepted defeat and happily started eating the orange treat. He headed towards the lawn chair at the other end of the room, all the while telling everyone that Brooke had decided to give him a second chance.
She was glad.
Over time, she'd found that she was completely over Michael. It was strange – it happened without her even knowing it.
She, Steven, Donna and Eric were in the basement when she'd realized it. Eric had asked where Michael was and Donna had told him he and Fez were at The Hub trying to pick up girls.
She was sitting on Steven's lap, listening, and could feel his strong arm holding her. It was possessive but also relaxed and comfortable, like it could easily fall away if she wanted to get up, but like he didn't want her to and held her there, keeping her with him.
She'd wondered what type of girls Michael and Fez would be able to pick up, imagining two pretty and giggly high-schoolers that hung on their every word.
It wasn't until she felt Steven's fingers lightly stroking the outside of her thigh that she had realized she didn't feel even a hint of jealousy or malice about Michael's whereabouts. She didn't care. She was over him. She had Steven and was happy.
She had been shocked by the revelation and looked up into Steven's face, wanting to let him know. What she saw surprised her, though. He was already looking at her with trepidation in his eyes. It wasn't until his fingers stopped moving and she could feel the tension in his arm and body that she realized he was afraid. He was fearful that her hearing about Michael's escapades would upset her.
She gave him a small smile and leaned forward to lightly kiss him on the mouth, trying to convey – for the moment – that she was all his and she didn't mind about Michael in the slightest.
She would tell him later, of course, but for right now this would have to do.
She pulled back, looked him in the eye and after still seeing his concern, and now a little confusion, gave him a slightly deeper kiss before pulling away. She kissed him on his cheek then shifted her weight so that she could sit closer, lifting her arm around and fitting him so that he was cradling her chest.
His arm had barely given her the amount of room needed to maneuver, still tense and holding her against him. In fact, she could feel that his whole body was still tense when she laid her cheek against the top of his head. He was still wary.
It wasn't until she had lifted her arm and threaded her hand through his hair at the back of his head and started playing with his curls that she'd finally felt his body release its tension and relax against her. He would never tell her so directly, but she knew he loved her hands in his hair.
She was pulled out of her memory by Eric's voice looming over her and Steven.
"I say we dig out the stash to celebrate. To Kelso!" he said, holding up his own popsicle in salute.
"To Kelso!" everyone shouted, Michael and Fez holding up their own Popsicles while Donna held up one of Eric's dolls that she had found on the end table.
Eric squawked, very unmanly-like.
"Donna! Give me that! You'll crush him," said Eric, grabbing the 'action figure' and cradling it against his chest before gently depositing it in a case with his other toys near the back of the room.
Jackie rolled her eyes. She could feel Steven chuckling. He squeezed her slightly for a second and she smiled at him in return.
How Donna put up with Eric's ridiculous antics, she'll never know.
"I'll grab it," Fez said, walking over towards the shower stall to grab the Scooby Doo thermos they kept the stash in while everyone gathered around the wagon wheel coffee table.
A half an hour later, Fez sat happily on the orange ottoman by the TV, jabbering on something about Barbara Streisand, candy and his 'stupid whore of a wife' while munching on a plate of brownies – he may have mentioned wrestling somewhere in there but Jackie wasn't really paying attention.
Michael, who was sitting to Fez's right on the lawn chair, was laughing hysterically at something Donna had said.
Eric, who was sitting next to Donna, was trying to explain to Steven, for what it seemed to Jackie like the six-hundredth time, about how closely mirrored his life is to that of a Jedi's, detailing the ways in which he must overcome the evil that is thrown his way.
Jackie kicked him.
Steven immediately smiled and leaned in to kiss Jackie to thank her, something that she was incredibly obliging to.
"Damn, Jackie! Your devil boots have sharp points and that hurt. How the hell do you deal with her, Hyde?" Eric asked indignantly, rubbing his shin.
"Easy. This," Steven said as he leant in to kiss her again, proving his point. He put more feeling into that kiss, she could tell. She leant into him slightly before pulling away, smirking.
"Something that you, skinny boy, will never be able to enjoy," she said with a flip of her hair.
Jackie knew that she was beautiful and poised, but she also knew that Eric didn't care. He loved Donna more than anything and would never consider Jackie as anything more than a part of the group – even if she strutted into the basement wearing skimpy, black lingerie and danced seductively, swaying her hips to D'yer Mak'er.
She just enjoyed arguing with him. She knew he had fun doing it as well. Their insults were harmless, meaningless and weren't laced with even a hint of disgust or hatred, only familiarity. It didn't begin that way, for sure, but over time the insults had lost their edge. It was their own little weird way of communicating. She knew it was Eric's way of welcoming and acknowledging her as a part of the group.
Donna noticed the exchange between her and Eric and smiled before turning back to Michael, who had managed to gain Fez's attention and was telling him about Brooke and his plans with her.
As Steven started talking to Eric about the latest Rolling Stones album, Jackie tuned them out and focused on the other side of the room where Michael was asking Fez and Donna how he should go about impressing Brooke. Fez had just suggested that he take her out for a romantic dinner.
"No. She's not ready for that yet. Besides, the last date didn't go too well," Donna said, referring to the disastrous double date that Jackie and Steven had gone on with Michael and Brooke. "I say just keep going to the library. Visit her. Help her out. Let her know that you want to be there, with her."
"Yeah. You can bring her by here, too," Jackie said. "If she's willing to give you a second chance then you should introduce her into your life and your friends. She'll feel more comfortable."
"Then you can start taking her out on dates," Donna added.
"Yeah? Where though?" Michael asked, paying rapt attention to everyone's suggestions.
"Well, you can start off with The Hub, then work your way up," Fez said.
"Oh! Take her to The Vineyard," Donna said, glancing at Eric out of the corner of her eye and smiling slightly. She placed her hand over Eric's before turning back to Michael.
Jackie smiled, eyeing the brief exchange between Donna and Eric, who had turned his palm up and laced his fingers with hers, still talking to Steven. Jackie knew Donna's first date with Eric didn't go exactly as planned, but that she treasured it nonetheless.
It was no wonder; Jackie felt the same way about her own first date with Steven.
"No way, Donna. The only thing I'd be able to afford at The Vineyard are the little mints they give you when you have to pay. And water. Man, this sucks," Michael said, shaking his head.
"You could take her to the restaurant at the hotel," Jackie suggested. "Eric and Steven will help you out."
At the sound of their names, both boys were pulled out of their own conversation and joined in to the group's.
"Help with what?" Eric asked.
"With Kelso and Brooke," Donna explained. "Once they start dating, he can bring her by the restaurant. It's not too expensive, but they still have a romantic atmosphere."
Neither looked very excited by the idea of helping set up a romantic evening for Michael and Brooke, but both knew that they'd have to help out anyways – Eric forced by Donna and Steven by Jackie.
"Not anytime soon, though," Michael said, getting up and heading over to the TV to turn it on.
"Yeah, he's gotta get her to like him again," said Fez, moving off the ottoman and sitting on the couch after Donna slid over to give him some room.
Jackie turned around in Steven's lap to face towards the TV while Michael flipped the channel over to The Price is Right. She could feel that contentment washing in over her again.
She knew she'd be graduating in a few months and everything would start changing soon, but for right now, everything felt right.
"You okay?" Steven asked her, peering around to look at her face.
She knew she was being quieter than usual at the moment and it was obvious her boyfriend had noticed. She smiled. He was used to her loud mouth, by now. Expected it, even. It was just another reason why she loved him. He knew everything about her and still accepted her, keeping her by his side.
"I'm doing great," she said to him, smiling at his concerned expression. She leaned in to whisper into his ear, knowing he would want what she said next to be kept private from everyone else.
"I'm happy, is all. I love you, Puddin' Pop," she whispered.
The arm that was holding her tightened while his right hand came up to cradle her head just as he leaned back slightly to capture her lips with his in a fierce kiss. Every time they kissed, there was a fiery passion behind each one that never failed to leave her lips tingly, but she knew this one held all of his feelings for her as well.
He was pouring out his emotions into the kiss so strongly, she could almost taste it. She kissed him back just as passionately, signaling that she understood him.
It was only then that Steven eased up on the kiss, slowing it down and savoring every pull of her lips. Finally, he pulled back and looked her in the eye, smiling slightly. He gave her another small peck before letting go of the back of her neck and laying his hand on top of her thigh, settling back to watch the show.
She snuggled into Steven's warm body and sighed, ready for another episode of The Price is Right with the gang.
A/N2: Hope you guys liked it – let me know.