A/N –

Hi everyone! Most of you probably know that I am an E/D fan, but I always thought of the idea of J/E as tantalising too. Stories on this site inspired my imagination and I wanted to try my hand at writing a cute & hot encounter between the two of them – the only time period within the 8 seasons that I could see this happening was possibly right after Donna and Kelso leave for California when Eric has every reason to still be upset about Donna being infatuated with Casey for months right before that summer. Jackie during this time period, of course, has every reason herself to not feel anything anymore for Kelso beyond friendship.

But I wanted to write about J/E leaning on each other and yes, having a steamy night together, at this time, all without closing the door to J/H and E/D being together (again) at the beginning of S5, if that makes sense. Read and tell me if you think I managed to pull that off!

So, not only do I hope J/H and E/D will find this readable and inoffensive to their ships, but I certainly hope that J/E fans will enjoy this!

This will be a three chapter 'story' or a three part mini-shot if you will. SO, chapter 2 and 3 will both follow within the next day or two.

Chapter 1 – Come on Closer

Summer of 78

Point Place, Wisconsin

Eric Forman sat in his basement completely immobile, his eyes fixed on the television set, but his thoughts a thousand miles away.

It was almost a week now since Donna had left for California. The night she had left, all of them had been out of their minds with worry, as the hours had passed by and there was no sign of Donna.

Eric had spent the whole night in Donna's room ….wondering how he could have turned her away earlier that day when she had come to him in tears….he had been in pain the whole of that spring seeing her parade around town with Casey Kelso, and despite the relief he had felt when Casey had walked out of Donna's life, all he had felt was a strange emptiness right after that …..not the soaring joy that he had thought he would feel ….

In the early hours of the next morning, Bob had answered the ringing phone and found himself talking to his erstwhile wife.

Midge was calling to say Donna had phoned her in the middle of the night from the road to tell her that she was on her way to California.

Eric had actually hoped to talk to someone about how confused and mixed up he was feeling.

But Hyde wasn't around either, just a day after Donna and Kelso had left, Hyde had been invited to go along on a 10 day vacation with Leo and his friends.

Hyde had a kind heart when any of his friends needed anything, and he knew none of Leo's gang could be trusted to drive on a long road trip so he had agreed to go along with the boss whom he thought of as a dad to him.

Eric was now wishing Hyde had stayed back, his friend would have burned him several times over the 'drama' of the past couple of weeks …..His friend would have been scathing over Eric moaning all the time about Casey and then finally getting another chance with Donna only to turn away …

But after all the burns, he knew his oldest friend would have shared some insight with him …told him maybe why he had done what he had,

Eric was struggling that badly to understand his own emotions right then…

The door opened and Jackie Burkhart walked in.

Eric groaned inwardly.

Great, all he needed right now was a shallow cheerleader talking about her shoes or her hair.

Jackie B was one of those girls who couldn't have stopped looking gorgeous even if she had tried her best to do so …she had obviously been crying and had thrown on a simple jeans and tee shirt, before leaving her house that morning without a scrap of make up on her face, after yet another sleepless night.

But she still looked breathtakingly beautiful as always …..

Eric was the only male in the basement whose heart didn't usually do a double flip when she walked in ….

She sank down into the sofa at the other end.

'Where's Fez?' She asked after a few minutes of silence where both of them stared lifelessly at the TV.

'I have no idea, but when I see him next time I'll be sure to tell him you came by looking for him'

The sarcasm dripping from his voice was uncalled for, he knew that, but he really wanted to be alone and miserable right now.

'Hey quit being rude, Eric ….Why are you even looking so miserable anyway?

You got what you wanted didn't you, that idiot Casey is gone now. Donna wants you back. Why aren't you looking happy, you loser?'

Eric didn't move his glance from the TV ….but her question pierced him ….oddly enough, she was the only one who had asked him that question in the past week.

He had been walking around looking like someone had died for days now, and everyone had assumed it was only because Donna had left.

The words he spoke next shocked him much more than it did the girl sitting next to him ….

'That evening when Donna came here to tell me she wanted us to get back together …..it only hit me then …..That I was mad at her …..I was angry and I only realised it then, but all of this spring…not only had I missed her ….but at the same time, I was furious with her ….

I had thought the whole time that if she came back to me , I would be so happy and grateful ….and I was happy to hear her say she wanted to be with me , but all these other feelings I had buried inside the whole time we were broken up came welling up and all I could think about how disappointed and hurt I had felt those past few months …'

Complete silence filled the basement for some minutes …Eric had spoken the words in a rush and then stopped abruptly ….Was he actually opening up to this person who had never really been his friend, just the girlfriend of his friend …..Damn, he must be losing it, he thought …..There was no way this superficial rich girl would understand his broken heart …

When Jackie eventually spoke, her voice was softer than he had ever heard it, she kept her gaze on the TV as well …..

'Eric…..Donna's my friend…..and I love her and all ….but of course you were still mad …she broke your heart when she refused to wear your ring, we could all see that. …and all of us were a bit surprised when she took the Casey thing beyond just casual dating …'

It was hard for her to know if he was talking to her or himself right after that. His voice was barely audible.

'Jackie, I heard him tell her one day that he loves her …and she looked like she was almost about to say it back to him right then …..I mean what if he hadn't broken it off with her that day, would she still be with him right now ?...'

She didn't know what to say… she knew she might have felt the same way had she seen Michael dating someone else right after their break up ….

Except now she didn't think she had ever really loved Michael the way she knew this nerdy, yet kinda cute, boy loved her friend …

' Eric, despite the fact that you're still mad at her right now ….you know you still love her as much as you ever did, and you know you want to get back together again just as much as she does…..'

They didn't speak a while after that ….but the silence suddenly was a comfortable one ….. For a few minutes he wasn't thinking despondently about Donna ….he was wondering how he had never noticed before that Jackie had this rather mature and sweet side to her ….

Hmmm, the devil was possessed by a human girl temporarily?

She gave a deep sigh as she looked at the TV…and for the first time since she had walked in, he turned and looked at her.

Damn, her eyes were red and there were loads of tear streaks on her face.

It struck him that what she was going through was very like what he had been going through for a while now ….she had worn her heart on her sleeve and had asked for commitment from Kelso ….and then watched as the person she loved had nonchalantly moved on …..

'Hey Jackie, you know what? We shouldn't be sitting here like this, crying our eyes out …..The two of them are on a road trip of sorts …why shouldn't we at least try and do something to cheer ourselves up?'

Jackie narrowed her eyes 'Eric I am not coming to see Star Wars again ….'

'No Jackie, why don't we go to Funland …..Just the two of us …and Fez, if we can find him …I didn't get to come along when you guys went last time'

She bounced off the sofa with a smile that made him smile back automatically

'Okay, come over and pick me up in an hour's time …I need to change …Funland, here we come!….'

Evening of the same day

They had both expected to spend the day pretending to forget about their woes but it had surprised them how much of a nice time they both had.

Eric had shown up at Jackie's driveway in the Cruiser on time, in a plain white tee shirt and jeans, ready to take on Fun land. Jackie had surprised him by being punctual as well in a summery short dress that floated about her knees and with petite spaghetti straps to hold it in place on top.

Neither of them had been able to locate Fez …they wondered if he had actually gone with Hyde.

Had they had been so wrapped in their misery that they hadn't even noticed that he had been gone for days?

Eric would never admit it to anyone….but her girlish excitement when he miraculously managed to win her a cuddly toy at one of the shooting stalls, her sparkling eyes when he came back to her with cotton candy in both hands …her cries of mirth and fear all mixed up when they rode the Ferris wheel, the way she clutched his hand for courage …all of it was just the tonic he needed that particular day for the illness he had been fighting this whole week.

There were things Jackie would never admit to either. She secretly had always prided herself on falling for a 'bad boy' ….a part of her enjoyed the heated fights and then the making up …but today, just for this one day ….it was nice to be with someone, a boy , who was …so sweetly nice ….

She could see he liked making her smile, bringing things for her to eat and taking care of her on the scary rides ….. How would it feel to be have a boyfriend who was like this? ….

It was late evening by the time they drove back home.

Dusk had fallen by the time they pulled into the Forman driveway.

Jackie had said she wasn't ready to go home yet when Eric had asked if she wanted to be dropped off. Maybe Fez would be in the basement now or Mrs Forman might be making something interesting in her kitchen this evening …..She wanted to come back to Eric's house, but she didn't want him to feel like he had to hang out with her either, she wasn't even sure she was coming back to hang out with him as it were.

They sat in the car for a few minutes before getting out; both of them had had a fun few hours after a long long time ….and neither wanted the spell of that to break right away. Real life and hard decisions waited for them back in the basement.

'Eric, thanks for taking me to Funland, I had a nice time…' She really did look nice when she smiled, almost like a kind, caring and sweet person, he thought.

One side of his mouth turned up to return her smile. She had a bit of cotton candy on her cheek very near her lips, and without thinking, he reached out to brush it away with his fingers.

The silence in the car seemed to change in quality a little …..the air becoming a little more still and warm …she turned away when his eyes continued to linger on the spot where his fingers had brushed …..

It was the first time she had noticed what long tapering elegant fingers this 'geeky' boy had …. Almost girlish and at the same time undeniably masculine …this boy who was her best friend's boyfriend, she firmly reminded herself and opened the door to get down.

'Eric, if your mom's around I would like to spend some time with her, why don't you go play with your dolls?' She went into the house having managed a successful burn to defuse the situation.

She hung out for a while with Mrs Forman and as always found herself wishing her mom could be more like Eric's mom. Eventually, she found herself going down into the basement again …..

A/N – As I said at the start, there will be two more chapters, the next one will be where they end up spending the night together.

I had to add here that I was wondering how I might feel writing J/E , but I was very surprised at how natural it actually felt. They really are so alike in many ways , i.e , in what they want from relationships that it made writing them very very enjoyable to do. I am looking forward to writing chapter 2 , pls do review ! Its always encouraging to read a review, J/H and D/E fans please tell me if you think this is not staying true to my original promise ?