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That After Show

Chapter Text

After Steven found Jackie and Kelso alone in a hotel room, it took him a really long time to forgive, or even be around Jackie again. He took off to Vegas to try and clear his head, but she was always in there.

When he was ready, he pulled up in the Foreman’s driveway, grabbed Jackie’s hand, and led her to the car. They drove in silence, to the water tower.

Once there and parked, Jackie immediately started spewing an explanation, while also telling him off for leaving so suddenly. He just let her berate him, while slowly removing his sunglasses. He couldn’t look at her. He knew she’d be able to see he had been crying.

“Jackie. I’m sorry.”

“What?”

“I’m sorry, okay? When I saw Kelso in that hotel with you, I just. I remembered everything. You two dating, when you yelled ‘get off my boyfriend.’ And in my head, you chose him. You’d always choose him.” Steven couldn’t hold back the quiver in his voice.

“Steven, I-“ Jackie wanted to tell him how wrong he was, but he cut her off.

“Please Jackie. Let me get it out, before I lose my nerve.” He took a deep breath, trying to organize his thoughts. “I ran away to Vegas, thinking a good time would help me forget about you. But it didn’t. You’re all I think about. I thought about how we met as kids, and you were somehow louder and bossier back then.” He laughed thinking of the memory, while trying to subtly wipe the tears away. “I thought of the first time you ran to me after Kelso broke your heart. The first time you held my hand, our first kiss, our first everything. One thing I couldn’t get out of my head, no matter how much I drank, or smoked, was you in that wedding dress at the mall.” He paused, trying to swallow the lump in his throat.

“God, you know, no matter how zen I try to be, you make me soft, Burkhart.” He exclaimed with a chuckle. Jackie loved that laugh.

“Jackie, I know I’ve been crappy, and I know I don’t deserve you. Especially after running off. But you’re my girl. You’ve always been my girl. And I probably won’t say it very often, but I love you, Jackie.” He finally looked at her. Her eyes were welled with tears, and she had her hand covering her mouth.

They just looked at each other for a moment, letting it all soak in. Jackie let the tears run down her face, and Steven might have let a few fall as well. Finally, he lifted his hand to her face, and wiped her cheek. Letting his hand rest there for a moment.

“Steven.” She choked on the lump in her throat, trying to not sob. “Steven. I’m so sorry. I didn’t ever want to hurt you. I was just-“

“Hurt?” He finished her sentence. Knowing that was the one thing he hadn’t apologized for yet. “I know. I can’t even begin to tell you I’m sorry, or make it up to you. I hurt you, and then I left. But if you’ll give me the chance, I wanna make it right.”

He started to dig in his pocket, pulling out a simple gold ring, with a small diamond in the middle.

“This is a lot, considering I don’t even know if you’ll have me, but if you do, I want to make a promise. A promise that one day this ring will be better, and more up to your standards. An engagement ring. And one day a wedding ring. We’re too young and stupid for all of that right now, but I think a promise would be okay.” He looked up at her face, falling into her eyes.

“I can’t believe this.” She finally gasped out. She didn’t know what to think, or do. All her life, all Jackie has ever wanted was a husband. Someone to love, dote on, and take care of her. Steven had really hurt her, but he also loved her more than anyone in their entire lives. And she loved him.

Without thinking, Jackie sprung forward, crashing her lips on Stevens. He didn’t even have time to react before she pulled away, and buried her face into his chest. He wrapped his arms around her, feeling her shake as she cried, and the front of his shirt becoming wet. When she pulled away from him, she looked him straight in the eye, and it honestly scared him a little.

“I will accept this promise. But Steven, you hurt me one more time, we’re done. I’m serious.” She couldn’t lie to herself, she was insanely excited to be pre-engaged to the love of her life, but she couldn’t let him feel like he was getting off easy.

Without a word, Steven took her hand and slid the ring on her finger, and couldn’t help the thought of how it would feel to be slipping a wedding band on there as well. He kissed her hand, then pulled her towards him and kissed her forehead, before hugging her tightly.

They headed back to the Foreman’s, where everyone was surprised to see them back together.

When they told Kitty and Red, they were afraid they’d be angry. Instead, Kitty was her usual excited self, although still upset about Steven just up and leaving. Red said he wasn’t mad, and then told Steven to meet him the garage.

“Well, lay it on me Red.” Steven was terrified of Reds wrath, but he knew he deserved it.

“What were you thinking? I’ll tell you, you weren’t. You had Kitty in there worried sick, and you know who had to deal with it? Me.” He looked at Steven angrily.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Forman. I wanted to call, but I honestly didn’t know if I was coming back. Didn’t know if I could. Figured if I wasn’t, what’s the point. You know?”

Red sighed and ran his hand over his head. “Steven, you’re a good kid. Now, I understand what Jackie did hurt you, but you can’t be running off like that. Kitty was worried, and I had to hear about it the whole time.” He paused. Even though Steven wasn’t his biological son, he still loved him like one. “Now you get your dumbass back in the house, and apologize to Kitty.”

“Yes, Mr. Forman.” Steven turned to head back inside, knowing Red was relieved he had come back.

When he got back to the living room, Mrs. Forman was chattering away with Jackie. He caught the word wedding, and hurried to interrupt them. “Uh, Mrs. Forman.” He wasn’t too sure what to say. “I just wanted to apologize. You know, for running off.” He could feel his hands getting clammy. He never was good at showing his feelings.

“Oh, Steven. Come here.” Kitty said as she stood up and outstretched her arms. Steven sheepishly walked you her, and they hugged. “I was so worried about you, but I’m so glad you’re home.”

That night, Jackie snuck into the Formans. She lightly tapped on the basement door, and Steven let her in. He grabbed her hand, and pulled her in for a kiss, then led her back to his room. They laid together in silence, studying each other’s faces.

“You know your eyes are two different colors?”

She laughed, “Well yeah. They are my eyes. Are you just now noticing this?”

He smiled at her. “No, just wanted to hear you laugh.” He leaned in and kissed her. “I’ve always known about your eyes. Remember how we used to have staring contest? That was just an excuse so I could look at you.”

She rolled her eyes at him, but still leaned in for another kiss. “I really love you.”

“I know, doll. Go to sleep.” He said as he kissed her forehead.

She turned over and scooched up against him, while he wrapped his arm around her, and held her hand.