Rachel Kelso is about to rock Steven Hyde's world, though probably not in a way he wants it to be rocked...
Btw, I don't own That 70's Show. All recognizable characters belong to the original creators!
Rachel Kelso took a deep breath. She stood outside the door that led to the Foreman's basement where she and her friends always hung out. Her life was changing, and it was changing fast. At the beginning of the summer, she had moved in with her cousin, Michael Kelso. She was immediately accepted by his friends, Donna and Eric Foreman, Fez, Jackie, and Steven Hyde, who had been taken in by Mr. and Mrs. Foreman. Hyde was... different than anyone she'd ever met. For the first few weeks she had been in Point Place, Wisconsin, they had treated each other indifferently, with a very Zen- like attitude, if you will. His catch phrase was "Whatever". It was his answer to everything for everyone. But after three weeks of that, she had gone into his record store, searching for a certain album, the artist of which just happened to be his favorite. Suddenly their relationship turned from one of casual acquaintance to that of a boyfriend and girlfriend. Though often rough around the edges, he was the sweetest, most interesting guy she knew. He wasn't too bad on the eyes either. Even though they had only been together for seven months, she knew she was in love. And now, she was about to rock his world. Though probably not in a way he wanted it to be rocked. But he had to know. He deserved to know. That much was certain. So with a shaking hand, she turned the door knob, and entered the Foreman's basement.
"Hey Rach," Kelso said from his usual place in the lawn chair nearest the door. Hyde sat across the room from him, the only visible difference in his expression when she entered the room was the smile that now spread across his face.
Eric sat on the back of the couch and nodded to her, but Fez stood up in greeting and kissed her hand. "Hello Rachel," he said, with what he obviously hoped was a sexy smile. Hyde threw an empty coke bottle at his back. "What? I was just saying hello, you sonofabitch!" Fez cried indignantly as he turned to face Hyde. Rachel looked to her boyfriend who was laughing at his foreign friend's angry pout.
"Hey guys," she tried to smile as she greeted all of them, then asked awkwardly, "uh, could I talk to Hyde for a sec?"
"Sure," Kelso said, the three of them still glued to the TV.
"She means alone, you idiots," Hyde said, standing up and shutting off the TV.
"Hey," Eric whined. "It's my basement."
"It was your basement. You moved out when you married Donna. I still live here, so technically it's my basement," Hyde said with a smirk. "Now get out."
The three guys marched up the stairs to the living room, groaning and grumbling. "Sorry," Rachel said quietly.
"Don't worry about it. Those jerks will get over it," he said, crossing the room to stand before her, cupping her cheek with his hand and kissing her softly. His gentle touch sent shivers down her spine. "So what did you need to talk to me about?"
Rachel's heart began to gallop wildly within her chest. "Uh, sit down Steven," she said slowly.
"Ok, you never call me Steven," he said cautiously. Mrs. Foreman called him Steven. Red called him Steven. His ex-girlfriend Jackie had called him Steven, actually, she still did. But he had always been Hyde to Rachel. "What's wrong, Rach?"
Tears sprang to her eyes and she crossed her arms protectively over her chest. "I'm pregnant, Steven."
The room spun. Hyde fell onto the couch, wishing he had sat down when she told him to. He took off his trademark aviator sunglasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Oh God, I'm too young for this," he muttered to himself. "Ok, I gotta go," he sighed, getting up off the couch and heading for the door.
"Where are you going?" she asked, her voice thick with tears she didn't dare allow herself to cry.
"I don't know, Rachel," he said, perhaps a little too harshly. But that was just the way he worked. Whenever something happened, when he had emotions he didn't want to deal with or face, he shut everyone out. Even those closest to him.
Steven Hyde walked out of the basement, pulling his coat close as he trudged through the slush covered December ground. There was only one place he could go. The one place he could think and truly be alone. The Point Place water tower.
After climbing up the ladder, he sat down on the edge and leaned against the guard rail chains. Pregnant. The word echoed in his ears and mocked him. How the hell could she be pregnant? Better yet, what the hell was he going to do about it?
He would be stuck in this small, dull town for the next eighteen years at least. Not like he had any big plans for his life, but he had wanted to travel a bit. Rent a trailer, hitch it up and go wherever he pleased. California, New Mexico, Las Vegas, anywhere really. But not now. Now he had a child. He had to be a responsible adult, because at the tender age of 19, he was becoming a father. "There goes my life."
When he got home about an hour later, Mrs. Foreman was waiting for him in the living room. "Steven," she said, "we should talk."
"Later, Mrs. Foreman," he said, trying not to be rude to the woman who had been more of a mother to him than Edna ever had. But he truly did not want to discuss this with her. How she had found out he didn't know, and he didn't honestly care.
"No," Kitty Foreman said firmly, putting her foot down, something she seldom ever did, but when it happened, the kids knew she meant business. "Now, Steven."
Hyde sighed wearily and sat down on the couch. She sat beside him. "So I guess you know everything then."
"Maybe more than you do," she nodded, her blonde hair bouncing. "I found Rachel alone in the basement, crying her little heart out."
He hung his head. He had made her cry. God, that was the last thing he had meant to do. "Where is she?"
"She left," Kitty said solemnly.
"I don't know what to do," Hyde groaned, placing his hands on his knees, and twisting his fingers up in his curly hair. "I'm not ready to be a father!"
"Well neither was Michael, but things do happen," she said, placing a soothing hand on his back.
"But Kelso's an idiot," Hyde pointed out a fact that was obvious to everyone who knew the lovable jerk.
"That may be, but whether you like it or not, Rachel is having your baby. You and she have to decide what to do about it."
"Yeah, I guess," he muttered.
"She did tell me though, that you don't have to be involved if you don't want to. She just wanted you to know."
Something within Hyde snapped into place at the thought of not being involved with his son or daughter's life. He couldn't bear it. As crummy of a father as he very well might turn out to be, and even with everything he'd be giving up to do so, he knew without a doubt that he wanted to be a daddy. "I have to go," he said, jumping to his feet.
He ran to the door, then turned and ran back to her. "Thanks Mom," he smiled, leaning down to kiss her cheek before running all the way to Kelso's house.
"Hey," Kelso grinned when he opened the door to his parent's house for Hyde. "What's up Man?"
"Where's Rachel?" he asked, breathless from running.
"Upstairs in her room," Kelso shrugged. He was confused. Why did everyone seem so uptight today?
"Thanks Man," Hyde said, darting inside the house and taking the stairs two at a time. He opened the door to Rachel's room and found her packing her suitcase. His heart gave a painful lurch. "What are you doing?"
"What does it look like, Hyde?" she snapped. "I'm leaving."
"No, you're not," he said, going over to her suitcase and beginning to unpack her things.
She scowled and began to repack what he was unpacking. "Yes I am."
"No you're not!" he said, picking up the suitcase and dumping it's contents onto the floor before flinging it across the room.
"Why?" she cried, desperately trying not to cry. "Why should I stay?"
"Because I want to be a father!" he shouted, meaning every word. "I want to hand out cigars in the waiting room! I want to buy out a baby store! I want to change a thousand dirty diapers and get up at any God- forsaken hour of the night to feed the kid and sing it a really out of tune lullaby to get it to go back to sleep! I want to teach it to play catch even though I suck at sports, and I want to yell at it for doing all the stupid shit that I did when I was a kid! I want to worry about paying for college, and..."
But he was cut off by her lips being pressed against his. When they broke apart she sighed happily, "I want you to do all that stuff too."
Hyde grinned and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her towards him and kissing her again. "I love you Hyde," she whispered.
"Whatever," he said, and she laughed at his "Zen" response. He kissed her again and again and again.
Nine months later, Steven Hyde stared through the nursery window at little Naomi Katherine Hyde. "Hey baby girl," he said softly, in complete awe of his new daughter. She was so beautiful, she took his breath away. Beneath the pink cap on her head were tiny curls that matched his own, even in their light brown- reddish shade. Her lips were red and she had her mother's huge eyes and cute little nose. He couldn't believe she was his.
Grandma Kitty entered the nursery then and beckoned him inside. After scrubbing up, he sat down in a chair and was handed his precious daughter. His chest swelled with pride as he looked down at her. Naomi yawned, and snuggled deeper into her father's arms. "Naomi Katherine Hyde," he whispered as tear after tear rolled down his face, "I promise that I will love you forever, and I will be the best damn father that I can be."
Hyde watched Naomi play with her stuffed bear on the floor. He could only shake his head in disbelief. Never in a million years did he ever think he would be a father. Kids were something he'd sworn off a long time ago for fear of turning out to be a terrible father like his own had been. But Naomi, she was his world. He would do anything and everything for her. She was his princess, and he was helpless but to obey her every command.
Rachel had music playing in the kitchen as she got dinner ready. He turned his head and watched the mother of his child dance around as she sang along to the song that was on the radio. He immediately recognized it off the album that had brought her to his store three years ago. He couldn't help but smile. It hit him then. He loved her. He had always loved her ever since she entered his life. How could he be so stupid? He had thought he was so grown up, being a father and holding down a stable management job at the record store. But if he was so grown up then why was the mother of his child living in a different house than he was? Why were they already acting like a divorced couple when they hadn't ever even been married? Because he had been scared that's why. Naomi had been all the change that he could handle three years ago. But now, now it was time to make things right.
Quickly grabbing the notepad by the phone, he scribbled down a note. "Naomi, come here," he smiled at his daughter. His perfect angel turned around at the sound of her daddy's voice and toddled over. He handed her the note. "Go give this to Mommy, ok?"
Naomi nodded, her curls bouncing just like her grandma Kitty's did. She ran as fast as her little legs would carry her into the kitchen, the sound of her daddy's laughter ringing in her ears as she tugged on her mommy's pant leg. "Hello Princess," Rachel said, bending down and scooping her daughter up in her arms. Naomi handed her the note from Hyde. "Well, what's this?"
Will you please marry Daddy?
Rachel gasped and looked up to see Hyde standing in the doorway. She looked down at her daughter and said, "Yes Sweetie. I will."
Grinning, Hyde took both his girls up in a hug. For the first time in all his life he felt whole.
After dinner, Hyde played with his daughter on the floor until Rachel came in. "Time for bed, Princess. Tell Daddy goodnight."
"G'night Daddy," Naomi said with a sleepy smile.
Hyde's heart just about melts when she kisses his cheek. "Goodnight baby girl. I love you."
Hyde watched as Rachel led their daughter up the stairs by the hand. What a perfect picture. A picture of his whole world.
Hyde watched anxiously as his one and only daughter opened up an envelope addressed to her. His thirteen year old twin sons, Jesse and Joshua, were out of the house, Jesse at guitar lessons, and Joshua at baseball practice. Naomi had both of her parent's undivided attention. Her heart beat faster and faster, and right before she completely unfolded the letter, she changed her mind. "I can't do it," she said, shaking her head. She threw the letter down on the counter. "I can't."
"What do you mean, Princess?" Rachel said, very confused.
But Hyde knew what she meant. Not only did his daughter have his hair, but she had unfortunately inherited his temperament too. She was scared, too nervous to see what the letter said about her future. The look on Naomi's face was a familiar one, the exact same expression he wore just before he shut out the world. "Do you want me to look for you?" he asked her.
Naomi looked at her father and nodded, watching with wide eyes as Hyde scanned the letter. "Congratulations baby girl," he grinned. "You're going to the University of Southern California!"
Naomi squealed and jumped into her father's arms.
The day had finally come. Naomi was leaving for college. The car was loaded down with everything she could possibly need, and Hyde had checked the oil and filled it with gas the day before. Everything was ready. Hyde slipped and arm around his wife's waist and kissed her cheek as Naomi began to say her good-byes. And there were plenty of people to say good-bye to. Donna and Eric came with their children to see her off. Kelso and Jackie were there with their son. Fez and his wife with their five children had stopped by too. And Red and Kitty, though they had grown much older, had also come to see Naomi off to college.
At last, Naomi approached her father. "Guess this is it."
"Guess so," he nodded. Rachel nearly laughed at the two of them. They were so much alike.
Naomi suddenly threw her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly. "I love you, Daddy."
Hyde closed his eyes and wrapped his arms just as tightly around her waist, holding her close to his heart like he had the day she was born. "I love you too, baby girl." She kissed his cheek, and he let her go before he had time to change his mind.
Jesse and Joshua waved, and Rachel had tears in her eyes as Naomi hopped in her car and disappeared down the road. Everyone began to disperse, headed back inside for a long overdue family dinner. But one very special person would be missing. As much as he'd miss her though, Hyde couldn't be prouder of his Naomi.
He stood alone on the front lawn, eyes fixed on the lonely road. He sighed. "There goes my life."
Hyde suddenly felt Rachel beside him, and when he looked down at his wife, she reached out to wipe the tears away from beneath his aviator sunglasses. She stood on her toes to press her lips to his. "I love you Hyde."
He laughed and said, "Whatever," before leaning down to kiss her again.