They're in his room in the basement, curled up together on his bed. They are not cuddling—Steven Hyde does not cuddle—but he has to admit, having Jackie tucked into his side, her head buried in the crook of his neck…well, it's not the worst feeling in the world.
He turns his head. He's not smelling her hair because that would be weird and Forman-y, and he is not either of those things. It's not his fault that her hair is naturally fragrant enough that he gets a whiff of jasmine. And sure, she smells nice. But of course she does. She's Jackie. That's what she does.
And, okay. Maybe he kind of missed her while they were broken up. And perhaps he was sort of thrilled when she came into the basement and told him she'd chosen him. And there's a good possibility that he only went on a date with that chick to prove a point, and not because he was interested in her at all.
Not that he plans to tell Jackie any of that, but still.
"Hey, Jackie," He says, nudging her head with his shoulder, "why'd you pick me over Kelso?"
She groans and doesn't move. Her voice is muffled as she says into his neck, "We haven't even been back together twenty-four hours. Can't we fight later?"
He shrugs, jostling her head again. "Why wait?"
"Steven!" she pulls away and props herself up on her left elbow, looking down at him. "Why does it matter? I chose you, end of story."
He reaches up and brushes a strand of hair behind her ear. Not because he has missed touching her, or anything, but because she digs that romantic shit. He lets his hand drop and then looks away from her, muttering, "Whatever."
She groans again, and he knows he won. It is very hard to conceal his smirk of victory.
Jackie collapses back onto the bed and turns completely on her left side. He mirrors her and puts his hand on her hip. It's so warm and small, but he's only touching her because it looks like she's hesitating to tell him, and he thinks this might reassure her. He's definitely not doing it because the last few weeks without her have really sucked, or anything.
She bites her lip. He stares and tells himself he has not missed it when she does that. With a sigh, she says, "You're going to think it's stupid."
That makes him smile. "Probably."
"Steven!" she says, smacking him on the arm. It stings—he genuinely hasn't missed that. After a moment, she adds, "Well, I guess it all comes back to the fact that I love me most."
He quirks an eyebrow. "Not following."
She rolls her eyes. "Well, the reason I had so much trouble deciding is because—I don't know how to explain it. Michael needs me—or someone like me. He needs someone to take care of him. And," she moves uncomfortably, "well, I like to be needed. It's nice. And you're so independent. You don't really need me at all."
Maybe she was right, and they are not ready for this fight. Steven kind of feels like someone just kicked him in the stomach. What the hell does she want? Is he supposed to admit something here? Because if that's what she's fishing for, she can go straight to hell.
But when he looks at her—really looks at her—he can't see any hidden agenda. She's flushed with embarrassment and avoiding his eyes and somehow radiating the truth. He doesn't know what to do, so he does nothing. His grip on her hip gets tighter.
"But, the thing is, you kind of make me…different. Donna told me that since we've started dating, I stopped quoting Nancy Drew, and sometimes I really think about all the things you say and all those stupid conspiracy theories you care about…I think you help me. I think I need you." She pauses, then looks him straight in the eye. "You make me better. And I want to be better…because I love me most."
He says nothing; he can't think of anything to say. For a long moment, he simply stares at her. She's embarrassed, he can tell, but she doesn't look away. He wants to tell her that she's wrong, that he needs her, too, but he's never said those words to anyone, and they're just too big and frightening, so instead he leans down and kisses her.
He'll say them some other time.
Disclaimer: I do not own That 70's Show.