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A Reason To Fight

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He sat in his car, telling himself that if he saw and talked to her one more time, he could finally lay to rest the demon that was Jackie’s memory. Her memory still possessed him, despite the fact he knew absolutely no good would come from this, he had to try. Donna had tried to see Eric and Hyde had gone after her like an alpha wolf protecting the pack. She hadn’t even gotten to knock on the door, there would be no redemption for her. They were married now, but both had holes in their hearts. They missed the people they believed to this day they should have ended up with. He knew Donna had gone to try to talk to Eric, and he was okay with it, he wanted her to find her peace, because God knows he wants it badly. It has been four years, and he still wants to believe that she cares about him. He wants to explain to her why he did what he, and that it wasn’t fair for her to blame him for all of it. He can’t live his life imagining her hating him. He simply can’t. He strives daily to accept, she doesn't love him. He can’t and will never accept, she chose Hyde over him. He tries not to think of Hyde, and even though he knows better, he still tells himself sometimes Hyde tricked her. Kelso knows without a shadow of a doubt if Hyde catches him approaching Jackie, he is a dead man, but he must try. It was a long time before anyone but Eric knew where they were, but Kitty finally spilled it when she wanted so badly to show someone a picture of her grandchildren.

 

So here he sits, waiting, watching for some way to see her, to talk to her, to try to make it right. He has his head tipped back when he hears it……. that laugh. It’s been four years, but it could have been yesterday, no one laughs or giggles like Jackie.

 

He whips his head to glance out his window, slumping down to stay out of sight.  There she is, slapping at Hyde, who has her scooped up and making her giggle. Hyde puts her down, and she turns, and it is the first time in 4 years he observes her full on, and his breath catches. She will always be the most beautiful woman he ever beholds, but this version of Jackie is stunning. Her happy causes her to burn like the sun. His blood begins to heat, it’s been years, but this woman, God, he will never get the want for her out of his blood. She was the sweetest and most addictive substance he ever drank. He feels himself starting to shake like a 1 day, sober drunk just getting on the wagon. In this area, Hyde and Kelso are twins, they won’t ever get over craving her. 

 

 Just as she is about to turn back, Hyde catches her from behind and nuzzles her neck, and he runs his hands down her side, pulls her close and kisses her neck. He watches Jackie close her eyes in pleasure, and he wants to be violently ill. The perfect family picture is completed by an elfin girl who comes out the door. She is Jackie, all the way down to her tippy toes and he can see even from here, she has those gypsy eyes just like Jackie. He clenches as he watches Hyde pick her up and kiss her cheek. Then a little boy comes barreling out of the house and throws himself at Hyde’s legs. There is Hyde’s replica, a little sandy, curly haired boy with piercing blue eyes. Jackie kisses Hyde as he puts the little girl down, and he watches Hyde stride to the Camino. 

 

It’s late afternoon, Kelso watches Jackie play with her kids out in the yard. He takes a deep breath pushes open the car door, it's now or never. He stops on the sidewalk, and calls her name

 

“Jackie” 

He watches her stiffen, he knows she recognizes his voice. She turns, her face is hard. She scoops up her little girl and tells her to go in the house and get a cookie and watch Sesame street and that Mommy will be in a minute. She looks at the boy who has not moved and says

“SJ go inside right now”

Kelso watches Mini Hyde get closer to his mom and his eyes get cloudy. An expression Kelso would recognize anywhere. How many times has he watched Hyde’s eyes go gray, when he was about to hit someone.  SJ glances up at Jackie and says,

 

 “No mama, I stay with you. Daddy says it’s my job to look out for you and sissy. I stay.”

 

Jackie leans down and says, “SJ, it’s okay. You do as I say, I’ll worry about Daddy.” The boy sullenly marches into the house and keeps looking over his shoulder.

 

 She watches her babies go in like he is going to kidnap them, as soon as the door shuts she turns on him like a hurricane

 

“Get the Hell Out of Here. Leave Now.” Her voice is not quiet, and it strangely comforts him. He knows this Jackie, he thinks he knows how to handle her when she is pissed off. 

 

Kelso drops his voice to that soothing tone, hem has used a million times to talk her off the cliff, “I’m sorry to surprise you like this. I wanted to talk to you. There are things I need to say.” 

 

“You have things to say?! Fuck you Kelso. You can go straight to Hell.”

 

Kelso flinches, he is surprised by her swearing, she was never much for using curse words and he can’t believe she called him Kelso. He lives in an imaginary world that he is still the same person to her, that she was the night she left.

 

“Jackie, you owe me. You me left at the altar without a word.” Kelso patiently reminds

Jackie has her own temper, it is what has always driven Jackie and Hyde’s fights to be explosive. The words, “You owe me, cause her to explode,

 

 “I can’t believe you have the nerve to come here. I owe you? I OWE YOU ? You almost ended Steven and I. YOU lied, manipulated, and never gave a damn about my feelings or wants. YOU wanted me, it didn’t matter to you that I LOVED HIM . You hurt me to hurt him, YOU and that stupid bitch Donna. I don’t owe you anything you selfish bastard.”

 

This is not what Kelso imagined happening, not even close, and her response to him shoots up his usually placid temper through the roof

 

“Hey, Jackie,  you are misinformed, no one forced Hyde  to sleep with that nurse or run off. Don’t blame me for his fuck ups. Yeah, I might have set things up and interfered, but is that really worse than what he did?” Then he does something that takes it to a whole new level,

 

 “You need to face the facts Doll”

 

He watches her face go molten red “What did you call me?” 

 

Kelso knows this a special name Hyde calls her by, always has, and he always will. To Jackie to have something so precious to her befouled by this idiot snaps her last strand of restraint. Nothing, no knowledge, no amount of years could prepare him for what was about to come his way. 

 

Her face went cold, her mismatched eyes went a fire green and blue. She marched quickly up to him and slapped him as hard as she could. He stumbled back, in all their history she had never hit him, kick yes but that was totally Jackie. On instinct, he moved to grab her because he was pretty sure she was going to hit him again. In her rage, she pulled back as he grabbed her. The speed of her jerking and him grabbing her causes her to fall. He watches her go down forcefully and smack her head hard on the concrete. In his complete and total horror he fails to notice the little boy who had not done what his mama told him, but had done what his Daddy had told him, many times 

 

“If a man ever comes, and your mama gets really mad, and I’m not home… go get Uncle Eric or call 911.”

 

All he knew was that his mama never yelled like that and that man caused his tummy to hurt, so he told his sister to hide, and he went out the side door,

 

“Uncle Eric! Mommy is with a bad man.”

 

Eric had been in the kitchen when he heard SJ’s panicked voice. As soon as the words “bad man” registered, he bolted. He got outside just in time to watch in utter horror as Jackie’s head smacked the concrete,

 

“JACKIE!” He yelled

 

Kelso was stunned, all of it happened in seconds and now there was a hurt Jackie on the ground. He started to bend down to help her, 

 

“Jackie are you….”

 

He never got to finish the sentence because he got yanked from behind,

 

“You Mother Fucker”  was all he heard before he got punched in the face.

 

It had been awhile since Kelso had been punched that forcefully, the hit took him straight to the ground. In his dazed state he hears Eric yell,

 

 “SJ call Daddy!” He watches mini Hyde run by, and he sees through his rapidly swelling eye Eric pick up a still Jackie and carry her inside.

 

Eric turns and says coldly, “He will kill you. You have minutes.”

 

Kelso didn’t need to be told twice, he had no doubt Hyde would come after him.

Chapter Text

 

Hyde had only come into the store because he needed to do inventory. He almost always had his manger work evenings. He didn’t like to be away from Jackie and the twins at night. He still worried about her and having kids only ramped up his need to protect. It drove her nuts how protective of her he was. In his mind she and the twins would just have to deal with it. Anything  happening to them would destroy him, they were his whole world. He heard the phone ring, and he almost let it go, he grabbed it distracted by the numbers in front of him,

 

“Groo..”

 

It’s all he got out because what he heard stopped his heart,

 

 “DADDY! THE BAD MAN CAME!”

 

Hyde dropped the phone before even answering him and was out the door. He broke every speed limit and was home in minutes. He tore in the house, to find Eric holding a rag and ice to Jackie’s face. She didn’t appear all the way with it. Her eyes closed and not responding to Eric’s worried questions

 

“Come on Devil…. Open your eyes.’

 

Her not responding sends him over the edge and like always when Jackie scares the hell out of him he yells,

 

“WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?” 

 

He runs to Jackie and without thinking he body checks Eric to the ground. 

 

“Jackie, Baby.. I’m here. Talk to me.”  His heart is in his throat as he watches her struggle to open her eyes and answer him. He tries again to get her to respond,

 

 “Doll, open your eyes for me.”

 

At the word Doll, her eyes fly open, they are cloudy and confused,

 

“Hyde, he called me Doll, I don’t like it.”

 

He swings his eyes to Eric, horror starting to build in them, and they have a whole conversation without saying a word. Jackie has not called him Hyde since the night they got in a terrible fight only months after they got married. Her voice is higher, almost like when she first walked into the basement.

 

He gently rubs her hair and tries again, “Steven baby not Hyde.”

 

He watches her eyes grow confused, he has no doubt she has a concussion. Her scared and worried eyes turn to him, and she says the one thing he has dreaded since he picked her and carried to the Camino the night of her rehearsal dinner,

 

“Michael”

 

It had been a long time since the Black Rage had been off the leash, but instantly after of years,  of keeping himself in check, it came roaring back.  Eric watched Hyde go from the loving husband, a dad, a friend and a guy who was ten times calmer than he was four years ago, fall  back to that man who would and could kill someone without blinking. It is a truly terrifying thing to see, and to realize that somewhere inside his best friend, this monster, while chained, is always waiting to break free. 

 

He turned and looked at Eric, “Take Scarlett and SJ across the street.” his voice dead of feeling.

 

He has known Hyde for a long time, there was little that could calm him when he was like this, and one of the few things that could do it was on the couch quietly sobbing.

 

Eric had to attempt “Hyde, you need to….”

 

Hyde stood up and looked at him and for the first time in their whole lives Eric was scared shitless of this friend he called his brother

 

“Forman. Take them across the street.” 

 

SJ, thinking his dad was mad at him, started to cry, “Daddy, I tried to stay with Mama, but she said I had to go in. I told Sissy to hide and got Uncle Eric. I sorry Daddy.” 

 

For a minute Hyde softened “SJ you did a good job. Go get sissy and I want you to go with Uncle Eric.” 

 

SJ ran to Scarlet’s favorite hiding spot, his bed “Come on Sissy. Daddy wants us now.”

 

Scarlet and SJ came flying down the stairs, Scarlet took one look at her mama and a daddy who was furious and started sobbing. She was scared and when she was told she was leaving that part of her that was Jackie wasn’t having it,

 

“No! I stay with Mommy.”

 

Hyde’s eyes blazed at her defiance.  Eric had never witnessed Hyde even get stern with Scarlet. She very much had her daddy wrapped around her finger, and he didn’t want Hyde to regret this later, because he was scaring the crap out of him, and she was four. SJ grabbed his sister and went to Uncle Eric, He picked them both up, 

 

“Hyde! Rein it in.” Eric said harshly

 

He watched Hyde close his eyes and move to Scarlet, 

 

“Kathleen Scarlet Hyde, You will go with Uncle Eric and you will not argue with me. SJ take care of your sister and listen to your Uncle”

 

He was stern and his face was one that even in her innocent heart knew that her Daddy would not like if she argued.  Eric headed out, but he glanced back one more time and said,

 

“Don’t do it Hyde. Whatever you are thinking don’t.”

 

Hyde stared at him and the voice that came out was one he hoped to never hear again

 

“Go Now.”

 

Eric took the twins and went across the street  and went straight to the phone,

 

“Dad, Hyde’s coming to Point Place, and he’s going to kill Kelso. He hurt Jackie.”

Chapter Text

 

It took everything Hyde had to calm himself enough that he wouldn’t frighten her as he returned to her side. She was softly crying, her eyes less cloudy but still not her normal gaze. It looked like the bleeding on her head had stopped, it was not a serious scratch, but she had some bruising starting to form and it was inciting the black to take him over.

 

He dropped to his knees and swept her hair away from her face and gazed at her, 

 

“Jacks, I’m going to pick you and take you upstairs, and we will get you settled.”

 

He carried her upstairs just like he had all those years ago when she had been assaulted. Just like then he cleaned her scratches and bruises. He undressed her and put her in the shower, where he got in behind her and helped her stand, worried about her falling due to her unsteadiness. He let the warm water soothe her and wash the hurt away. He said not a word as he picked her up and wrapped her in a towel. He took her into their room, dried her off sweetly and gently, and he put her in his Zeppelin Tee and her favorite plaid pajama bottoms.

 

She was settled, her eyes were clear, and he needed to know what happened, and he was tired of waiting,

 

“Jackie, what did Kelso do to you?” he said it softly but sternly. 

 

“Steven, please can we talk about it tomorrow?” with hope in her voice for deflection and calming down.

 

“Jackie” He said with a growl

 

This was not a Steven that even Jackie would argue with. She told him everything. Her telling Kelso to go away, Kelso saying that she owed him, still blaming it all on him, calling her Doll and finally her hitting him. She tells him that Kelso grabbed her and yanked her back, causing her to fall. She only remembers falling and then things going black, the next thing she knew she was on the couch.

 

Hyde had to call on every part of him to not scream and throw things. 

 

“We will call the doctor in the morning and check to see if you have a concussion. I’m worried about how disorientated you were.”

 

Just like when he held her all those years ago, his grip was sweet and soft, but his mind was black. Nothing by utter hate and murderous rage. He felt her fall away into her dreams. He got up and started to slip out, when a voice stopped him,

 

“Steven, don’t. Please.”

 

He closes his eyes, he can’t give her what she wants,

 

“Not this time Jackie. It stops now.”

 

He went out, not looking at her, and Jackie began to sob. She crawled over in her bed to the phone and dialed her last hope,

 

“He’s coming, and He’s going to go after him. Don’t let him kill Kelso.”

 

The voice listened passively and asked back

 

 “Tell me what happened?”

 

She repeats the story and the person, on the other end, detects the same black rage inside of himself. More than the son that Kitty gave him, he understands and sees himself in the kid that became his son. He knows what it is like to have that ugliness inside of you that must constantly be tamed.  He says in a voice that is soothing but a complete lie,

 

“I won’t let him hurt Kelso”

 

She hangs up the phone and knows without a shadow of a doubt that Red Forman absolutely just lied to her.

Chapter Text

 

Michael Kelso had fought and tangled with Hyde most of his life, and he often thinks of the night that Hyde threw up him against the wall and started to choke him. He remembered how his eyes were blank and not a drop of his friend had been present. He always wondered what compelled Hyde to stop that night, but he does know that was before Hyde had the knowledge he has now about what he did. He feels a tremendous amount of fear pulsing in his veins, he knows there is no way this will go unanswered. Madison is only a 45-minute drive to Point Place, Hyde will be coming soon.

 

He is sitting in his bedroom with the door locked. He had breezed by Donna without a word when he got home, and now was silently sitting in their room, refusing to answer her repeated question,

 

“Kelso! What the hell is going on? Answer me damn it!”

 

Kelso hears a banging on the door and in a panic calls out to his wife

 

“Donna! Don’t answer the door! It’s Hyde!”

 

“Open this fucking door before I kick it in Kelso!” Hyde’s voice rages through the kitchen door.

 

Donna on instinct and shock at hearing Hyde’s voice opens the door despite Kelso telling her not to.

 

“Where the fuck is he Donna?”

 

She didn’t know this Hyde, she had not seen him in two years, but this was terrifying. This was an in shape, built like a bull pulsating with rage Hyde, and she was scared beyond belief.

 

He didn’t wait for the answer,  “COME THE FUCK OUT KELSO! OR I’LL KICK EVERY FUCKING DOOR DOWN”

 

Kelso decides to go out the widow, and he drops to ground to come face to face with Red Forman. He knows instantly that they coordinated this, and he is completely fucked. Red snarls at him,

 

“Going somewhere Dumbass? Steven out here.”

 

Before he can register the shock of Red standing in his back yard, a brick wall hits him. Hyde is on top of him, pounding him without mercy. No fight, not even at their worst fighting over Jackie, was like this. He knows it, Hyde will kill him. This is the Hyde all those years ago, Eric told him not to taunt. He’s close to losing conscious when he feels Hyde’s weight pulled off of him,

 

“He’s had enough.”

 

“THE FUCK HE HAS” rages Hyde

 

“It’s done” Red replies with a tone that brokers no argument.

 

“HE HURT JACKIE”

 

“And so will you if you go to jail for murder. Go to the house. Do it now.”

 

Even 25 years old, a grown ass man with twins , a wife, even in deep black rage, Steven Hyde knew that tone, and he stopped fighting him and did as he was told.

 

He turned to watch Red whisper something to Kelso and then glare at Hyde for not listening.

 

Hyde, marched back in the house, and Kitty takes one look at him, 

 

‘Steven, sit down!”

 

Years of instinct of loving Mrs. Foreman has him sitting without thinking, he says nothing as she cleans his knuckles and puts ice on him. He smiles just a little when she kisses his head and leaves him be. He wanted to kill him. He wanted him dead, and he would have done it. What type of man does that make him?  He didn’t realize he said it out loud until he was answered

 

“It makes you the type who doesn’t find it acceptable for his wife to be hurt. It makes you the type of man when I told you to stop, you did.”

 

“I wouldn’t have Red, if you had not pulled me off. I would have killed him.”

 

Red sighs deeply “Steven, I’ve actually killed men. I’ve ended their lives. I’ve done it in the name of this country and without even knowing who they were and what destruction I was reeking on those left behind. I did it for less reasons than you had tonight.  I would do it again. We all have demons we have to slay.” 

 

He patted Steven on the shoulder. He laid his head down on the table, he was so terribly tired. The phone exploded into sound. Red picked it up quickly, it was late, and he was more than sure it had to do with Jackie or Steven.

 

There was no mistaking who it was on the other line “SHE IS THE DEVIL! GOOD GOD! SHE IS ON HER WAY AND WHEN I TRIED TO STOP HER, SHE NAILED ME IN THE NUTS.”

 

Hyde popped up and basically ripped the phone out of Red’s hand

 

“What you mean she’s on her way? Damn it Forman! She weighs 100 pounds wet and you couldn’t keep her in one damn place? How is she even getting her? We only have one car!”

 

“All tell you how, she came into the house, all sweet and upset, and I believed her! I hugged her, she nailed me in the balls, and she stole my car keys. YOUR WIFE IS THE DEVIL! Also, Scarlett and SJ are sleeping, so don’t worry about that.” and then Eric hung up

 

Hyde closed his eyes and tried to find whatever shred of patience he had left, so he didn’t kill his wife on sight. She was mostly like suffering from a concussion, upset, coming back to a place she had not been in three years and to top it off she was a terrible driver on her best day. He was going to lose his shit on her, he just knew it.

 

No sooner than that thought had come into his mind, he heard the Vista Cruiser fly into the drive, and he just stood there and waited. She came flying into the house, her plaid PJ pants still on with his Zeppelin shirt. She looked like a crazed woman, and he knew she was, because his wife would never leave the house like this under normal circumstances. 

 

God he was pissed. So damn pissed and much of it was still left over from Kelso but God Damn it she could be so reckless, and he had less control than he imagined,

 

“WHAT THE FUCK JACKIE? WHY ARE YOU HERE?” 

 

He had been mad at her, he had been cruel, he had raised his voice when he was scared or pissed at her, but this he had never ever done. He never screamed at her once, in all the years they had known each other all the way back to the little girl on the street with the bloody knee. The darkest, most dangerous part of him had never been directed at Jackie. He watched her go still and her eyes go big, but he was past the point of caring, unconsciously and without thinking he took a step towards her and his hands came up,

 

“YOU NEVER DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD! GOD WE WOULDN’T EVEN BE IN THIS POSITION IF YOU HAD JUST DONE WHAT I ASKED YOU. TO STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM KESLO IF HE EVER CAME NEAR YOU. GOD DAMN IT JACKIE, OUR FOUR YEAR OLDS FOLLOWED BETTER DIRECTIONS THAN YOU DID. WHY COULDN’T YOU JUST ONCE  DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU ARE TOLD?? DAMN IT JACKIE!”

 

He sensed the black recede, it had been years since it had been this bad, and he forgot how it was almost like he was a different person when the anger evaporated. He shook his head and cleared his vision, because he had long stopped seeing Jackie. All he had visualized was hurt Jackie on the couch. He hadn’t even been the Forman’s Kitchen anymore, so when he looked at her what he saw was horrible.

 

She was white,trembling, tears falling,biting her lip and her eyes were darting everywhere. 

 

He took a step towards to touch her, and she took a huge step away from him bumping into the sliding glass door. Her eyes refusing to make eye contact, she was terrified of him. Nothing disturbed him more than a Jackie who wouldn’t look at him. It was a complete disconnect from her, and she was doing anything but looking at him now,

 

“Jackie, I’m sorry.”

 

 He reached out to touch her, and she flinched, he almost got sick. There was no scenario, no amount of anger, nothing that would ever compel him hit her. He had watched Bud hit Edna and Edna hit him, he had sworn, he would never as much as lay a finger on a woman, and he refused in everyway to spank or touch Scarlett and SJ with his hand in anger. She looked like a deer caught in the hunter’s rifle sight, she was frozen with nowhere to go, his already hurt wife was scared he was going to hurt her.  He stepped back, all the way almost to the kitchen swinging door, he put his hands in his pockets, and said quietly,

 

“Jackie, I’m over here. I won’t come any closer, but please look at me.”

 

He watched her, hoping that his distance and softer tone would convince her. She wouldn’t, she was flat out, refusing. She was trembling, but she kept her head turned, and he could see her chin going up, he was hoping she was less scared.

 

“Jackie, please look at me. Please.”

 

She had not spoken since she had flown in the room, but this came out loud and clear,

 

“No.”

 

He felt that all the way in his heart, she had never denied him, not really. They had moments where they would ask each other if they other looked away, but never flat out NO.

 

“Jackie… baby please.” he pleaded

 

She turned around and walked out. His heart plummeted, his body was hit forward by the door, and Red Forman came charging through. He glanced at Hyde and said,

 

 “Go to the basement, there is nothing else you can do son.”

 

He watched Red go after Jackie, he saw Red grab her. She clung to him. He could hear her sobbing. God it could have been all those years ago in the garage, after Kelso left.

 

He walked down the stairs, to a basement he hasn’t been in or wanted to be near since he left it. He laid his head back on the broken threadbare couch, God hadn’t he promised himself, he would never allow Kelso near her again. He had dropped his guard and Kelso had found her and then he did the other thing he said he would never do…. He let the black out on Jackie. He was startled by soft hands on him, it was Kitty.

 

“Red has his girl. I’m here for you, my sweet boy. Talk to me.”

 

For once, he does, he tells her everything, not that she could have missed him yelling at his wife like a psychopath. She simply pets his hair and lets him pour it out. She gently reminds him that his fear for Jackie doesn’t out weigh her fear for him. He must understand she fears losing him as much as he does her. He must stop being selfish and putting his worries above hers. He must stop assuming that he loves Jackie more than she loves him. She pats his head and says.

 

“You are a good boy. You will fix this, I know you will.”

 

He lays his head back, and tries to think about the next steps to take. Despite his absolute desire to never sleep in Point Place again, there is no way he or Jackie are going home tonight. He picks up the phone and calls Eric. He fills him in and Eric goes quiet when he tells him what he did

 

“Hyde, you were scary. I’ve known you my whole life, and I was confident, I would be hiding a body. I was scared, I can’t imagine how Jackie felt. Now get off the phone, and go fix it with that nut kicking devil, her and I have matters to discuss.”

 

He heads upstairs and finds Red waiting for him in the kitchen. He hesitates, because Eric and him joke about Red loving Jackie best, but it's true. Red never got over his disappointment in Laurie and her basically disappearing off the face of the earth with one of her random men. Jackie was his daughter, everything about her you would normally suppose would annoy the crap out Red, didn’t. He has always been soft with her and Hyde had just screamed his daughter into tears.

 

He looks straight at Hyde “She’s upstairs in Laurie’s room. She’s asleep.”

 

He starts to head that way when Red calls his name

 

“ Steven, Fix it.” His tone is severe and Hyde knows even more in that moment that Red loves Jackie with his whole heart.

 

He walks slowly upstairs, and quietly pushes the door open. There she is his tiny gypsy queen, her pants kicked off and her tee shirt riding up on her thighs. Even at this moment he feels heat for her start, but quickly snuffs it out, he knows that is so not happening. He kicks off his shoes and pulls off his shirt, but keeps his jeans on. He will in no way make her feel pressured, but he so badly wants to hold her if she will let him. He crawls in behind her and gently pulls her close. He feels her stiffen, he should have known. Bullshit she fell asleep, the woman only dropped off quickly if he laid with her first.  He starts to feel her move herself away, and he dies a little and pleads,

 

“Please Jackie. You don’t have to talk to me, look at me, or hold me back but please let me hold you. Please, Doll.”

 

He feels the indecision in her body, and he is lost. God, Jackie has never hesitated to let him touch her or hold her even when he was drunk and being a bastard all those years ago.

 

“I can sleep somewhere else Jackie, but we are going to talk at some point. Because I’m not losing you over this. I can’t lose you Jacks because I finally became Bud, I’ll do anything but I’m not letting you go.”

 

He feels her body scoot back, but she makes no sound, and has made no move to touch him herself, he pulls her as close and softly as he can. He doesn’t want to be rough and frighten her. He buries his face in her hair and breathes her in. He ponders for what seems like the millionth time in his life, what she does to him. He finds himself getting choked up, he has never cried in front of Jackie, but he can’t stop the tears this time. He whispers in her hair because he has laid with this woman since they were kids, and he knows sleeping Jackie, and he knows awake Jackie, and he knows she is still with him,

 

“I’m so sorry Jacks. God, I’m Sorry.” 

 

He feels the exact moment she forgives him, and he is thankful but also wishes simultaneously she didn’t forgive so easily. She leaves herself wide open, and he knows he doesn’t deserve it. 

 

He whispers, “Jackie, don’t, don’t forgive me yet. I want your forgiveness but I don’t deserve it right now.  I love you. I love you more than the anything but what I did was wrong. It doesn’t matter how scared I was. It doesn’t matter how mad I was at Kelso. None of that matters, it doesn’t justify what I did. Because nothing you could do would ever make what I did okay. So don’t forgive me, Jackie. This time I want you to hold on to it. I’m so sorry, it will never happen again.”

 

She begins to sob, heart breaking sobs, and he pulls her as close as he can and just holds her.

 

She’s crying for it all…….

 

For Kelso stepping in smudging her world

 

For knowing without a doubt that Kelso is lucky to be alive

 

For watching her husband finally forget he was better than what he did tonight and let that hate he has battled his whole life win

 

For knowing for a short time Steven was lost and the worst version of Hyde took his place. She hates Hyde, she always has and she always will.

 

For the first time in knowing Steven James Hyde that she was actually scared of him and thought he might hit her.

 

For knowing that no matter how much time would go by, Kelso will always trigger him. Even though these were terrible circumstances, and she understands why he flipped out, she knows he will never resolve his burning hate for Kelso and now it will burn forever like a scorching endless flame.

 

Every sob is a death for him, and he is grateful when she quiets and the hurt soothes out. Her breathing has evened and she finally speaks

 

“I was scared when I woke up on the couch, but what scared me the most was that you would lose it, and we would never be able to go back. I shouldn’t have nailed Eric and stolen his car, I shouldn’t have driven like a crazy woman down here. I knew you would be mad, but Steven nothing scared me more than you tonight.”

 

She pauses, he feels her tense, and then she says,

 

“I love you more than my own life, but if you ever do that again, I will pack up Scarlet and SJ  and I will leave without looking back. Don’t ever do it again… ever, but too damn bad I forgive you. You get no choice in it. Go to Sleep.”

 

He was shocked, and he knew she was serious, and he intended to make sure it never happened again. He pulled her close, and whispered 

 

“I’m sorry baby. I love you.”

 

“I love you too. Forever, you dumb ass.”

 

Early that morning while the house still slept Red Forman got up and strolled next door. He pulled up a lawn chair and simply waited, reading his newspaper. Eventually, a beaten to hell Kelso, who would need surgery to fix the bones he doesn't know are broken in his face, comes out the door. He halts when he sees Red, and reviews of what was whispered to him last night,

 

“I wouldn't be calling the cops if I were you, because I’m confident a man defending his wife will have the boys looking the other way, and I don’t recall them liking you. I do know though, they like me and will believe my side of the story.”

 

‘What do you want Red?” He tried to say braver than he felt.

 

Red calmly folds his newspaper and looks at Kelso without a drop of tone in his voice he states,

 

“My daughter came into my home with bruises on her face last night, and cried tears caused by you. She’s been hurt by you more than I should have ever tolerated. I am a man of my word Michael Kelso, I swear to you if she cries one more tear due to you…. I’m killing you. I’m not Hyde, I’ll just pull the trigger and bury your body.”

 

He walks back to his house and stops to watch the chaos in his kitchen. Kitty is bouncing around, thrilled to be preparing food for her chicks again. He can observe Jackie soaking up Kitty’s love and Steven’s face has no trace of the night before, only warmth for the woman he is staring at.

 

He’s heard Steven call Jackie his doll a hundred times, and as he watches this tiny woman who tripped her way into his heart by holding a flashlight, he thinks to himself 

 

“She might be your doll, but she’s my girl” and though his impossible face would never show it, inside nothing made him happier than to see his girl smile. 

 

She turns to look at him and smiles her Jackie smile, a smile that no mere mortal of a man can hold out against and says 

 

“Mr. Forman come sit next to me?”

 

He gruffly says “sure” 

 

After he sits down, she lays her head on his shoulder. An action most people wouldn't even dare to presume. He can’t help but be pleased he has a daughter again who wants to lean on him. Because Jackie has never been able to deny her heart, she whispers softly to the only man she considers her father,

 

“I love you, Mr. Forman. You will always be my dad.”

 

Red is a man who has seen some of the worst life can offer, and it has hardened him, but like his adopted son, underneath is a huge heart. He gruffly but quietly whispers,

 

“I love you too sweet pea. I think it is okay to call me Red or something else. You don’t have to call me Mr. Forman.”

 

Jackie smiles at the only man in her life that has never failed her and shyly whispered

 

“Okay, Daddy.”

 

Red couldn’t help it, an a smile spread across his face, he caught Steven grinning out of the corner of his eye and sharply growled,

 

“Shut it dumb ass”

 

Despite, the terrible last 24 hours Jackie and Hyde bask in the love of the only people who they consider their parents.

Chapter Text

It will take some time, but Hyde and Jackie will settle back into themselves and more than anything they are survivors and as long as they are together they can make it through. 

 

Jackie and Hyde produced children just like them, twins who will be close and always have each other’s back, Kathleen Scarlet Hyde, Scarlet to all and Steven James Hyde the Second. He like his father will hate his name and go by SJ. He will allow no one but his Mother and Grand Parents to call him Steven. Every part of SJ is his father, he will challenge, rebel and send his father over the “ God Damn Edge” , but just like Hyde he has a tiny whirlwind of woman he calls mom, and she will always be his soft place to land.  Hyde will fall in love all over again with Scarlet, who is Jackie in almost every way. She is a  firecracker, with a generous heart, and because life will be kinder to her than it was it Jackie, she will be softer of nature. Scarlet will be wrapped around Hyde’s soul, and in everything she does he will recognize the little girl with the skinned knee, and he will spoil her endlessly. 

 

He will lose his mind when Scarlett brings home a boy who could have been him even to the point that the damn kid goes by Haze. He has a fit, and says NO. Scarlett will cry, and he will “ yell over his dead body” , because he knows exactly how the hell he was at his age. Jackie will tell him to hush.

 

 He will continue to be hostile until one night when Scarlet is two hours late, and he is confident he is going to kill her, they will get a call. Scarlet has been in an accident. They will rush to the hospital, and find Scarlet okay but sobbing because the boy had jerked the car so it would hit his side and not hers. He will watch his daughter sit by the bed and brush her hand across the boy’s head and hear her say,

 

“ Caleb…. Shh, I'm here.” 

 

He’s never heard anyone call this kid Caleb, and he realizes it's his first name. He is Haze to everyone else, but to her he is Caleb. He will want to get sick because he will recognize Jackie in every brush and stroke of this kid's hair in his daughter. A part of him will die but appreciate deeply, when that damn kid opens his eyes and the first thing he says is,

 

“Baby are you okay?” 

 

Hyde will know his baby girl is finding her Hyde, her Steven, and it will hurt like hell to see her in love with someone besides him. Haze will be okay and Hyde will never say another word about him. He even attempts to be friendly.

 

 Jackie will have SJ, a boy who will try so hard to be different and stand against the tide, and she will have a lifetime of experience on how to tame that storm. They will be close and his mother will be the only one he can be open with, his father he claims “just doesn’t get it ”. That always makes his mom smile and say,

 

 “Oh SJ, It’s like seeing your dad all over again.”

 

 He will push the envelope in every way, one night he will wander in drunk off his ass and his dad will pounce. His mom will attempt to settle everyone down. He’s drunk , pissed, and he has so much of his father in him. He will look at Jackie and say,

 

“Shut the Fuck Up Mom.” and it will be the dumbest thing he ever does.

 

It will have been years but Hyde will come flying off the leash and have SJ up against the wall,

 

“NO, YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP. DON’T YOU EVER SPEAK TO YOUR MOTHER LIKE THAT OR YOU CAN GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE.” 

 

SJ will comprehend the very worst in his father’s eyes, and will know this is the guy who Uncle Eric says was legendary. This was the guy who was here when the bad man came.

 

His mother will half cry, half yell and half have a fit and say  “Steven Hyde drop my son now.”

 

His dad will but says,

 

“You will apologize. You will never do it again and you will stay the hell away from me, so I don’t end your punk life.”

 

Hyde will storm out. He will look at his mom and start to cry,

 

 “Mom…… I’m so sorry.” 

 

She will pull SJ into a hug, smack him on the head for being drunk, saying what he did but tell him she loves him. Jackie will close her eyes and ponder why she was cursed with such a hot headed husband and child. 

 

Hyde won't come back and Jackie will grow frantic and call Eric,

 

“He’s here Jackie, but he’s not coming home until he is settled down and right now he is far from calm. It’s best that he stays here.” 

 

She will lay in bed, worried sick, knowing that Hyde keeps himself away, so he won’t yell at her. He has kept his word. He has never yelled at her like that again, but she saw the rage when SJ said what he did. She will finally fall asleep, but feels him pulling her close to him. Her soul will relax, she will start to speak, and he will stop her, 

 

“Not tonight, Jackie, please. I can’t talk right now. Just let me hold you.”

 

She will nod and turn to him and notice his face is still dark, but she kisses him deeply and whispers,

 

 “Let me burn it away.” 

 

His face will cloud with instant hunger, and he will take her wildly but tenderly simultaneously. She will fall asleep, buried in his chest, with him murmuring into her hair.

 

She will wake up and hear voices in the kitchen and quietly step to discover what is going on and watch her husband who looks still none too pleased and a SJ who looks hung over and like he wants to die of shame.

 

“Look at me Steven” Jackie winces, it is rare for Steven to call SJ by his given name. He respects his desire to be called SJ just like the way he wants to be called Hyde.

 

She watches SJ struggle but he looks his father in the eye,

 

“You are going to fuck up. I know you are. I screwed up worse than you have, but I’m still your dad and just because I understand it doesn’t mean I will allow it. Now listen to me, and I will never repeat this again, I am serious, you are gone if you ever speak to your mother like that again, because your mother has had too many people in her life hurt her. She has had the people she loves the most betray her and be cruel for sport. You are like me in every way and I’ve been one of those people SJ, I’ve hurt your mom, probably the most. Don’t be me. I won’t let you be. Do you understand?”

 

SJ will look solemnly into his father’s eyes, piercing blue vs piercing blue and shake his head yes.

 

Jackie will run upstairs and cry, because her husband is the best of men, and she will never be sorry she left with him.

 

SJ and Hyde will have a difficult relationship, yet one day, Hyde, will be standing in the kitchen and watch SJ and his dumb ass friends talking to a bunch of girls. Hyde’s attention will follow one with moss green eyes and sunset red hair who he hears call her self, Anne Marie. This little slip of a girl will ask his son his name. True to form of the Hyde men, he will smirk and crack out,

 

“SJ”

 

She will quirk her head and raise an eyebrow and say, 

 

“What type of name is SJ? That can’t be your real name?” 

 

The smirk will widen and SJ will get a gleam in his eye and retort,

 

 “My real name is Steven, but everyone calls me SJ.” 

 

He will watch this pixie, look at his son and say,

 

 “I’m not everyone, and besides I like the name Steven.” 

 

His son will dumbly watch her walk away, and he will know in the deepest part of his heart his son just found his Jackie. He will watch his son fall in love with her. He will know every sign.

He will hear him call her special names, he hears SJ call her Annie, AM, and he swears once he hears him call her doll.  It will scare Hyde because he knows SJ is making this red haired green-eyed girl his. He knows the heart break that comes with falling in love, and they will start to fight, that SJ, is spending too much time with her. Jackie will roll her eyes and tell him to knock it off. 

 

 One night SJ will have his night of breaking curfew with an angry Hyde waiting on his bed. SJ will drop through the window and see his father and all the blood will rush out of his face, but Hyde will observe his son  with bruises forming and a cut lip,

 

“What the hell happened to you?” He will snarl

 

He will be surprised actually stunned when he sees his son eyes well up with tears,

 

 “They went after Annie, Dad. We were at the basketball game and two guys cornered her by the bathroom.They had her up against the wall when I found them.”

 

Hyde’s whole world will stop, and he will remember a Jackie screaming at a football game. He will grab SJ, pull him tight, and his son will sob into his arms. 

 

“SJ, Do I have to go kill someone? Is Annie Okay?” he says it with complete seriousness

 

“I stopped them Dad, but Dad…. They were going to….” he can’t get the words out.

 

Hyde will know exactly what he can’t say, he will clean up SJ and tell him that he is so fucking proud of him for protecting his girl, but he will stare at him and say 

 

“I don’t care if your mom yells, cries, or goes SUPER SONIC MOM on you, do not tell her what happened.”

 

He is like his father down to his core, and honesty is one of those traits,

 

 “I can’t lie to Mom, you know she would know anyway.”

 

He looks his son in the eye and rips another part of his innocence away,

 

 “I don’t care. This one time you tell mom to talk to me. SJ, do not talk to your mother about this. She needs to hear it from me.”

 

So young, so unaware in so many ways SJ replies, “I don't understand dad”

 

Hyde stares at him with the most serious tone SJ will ever hear out of his father

 

 “SJ, I know what you did tonight. I know you took her home. I know you cleaned her up. I know you put her in her bed and you climbed into bed behind her and held her tight. I know you glanced at the clock and said “Fuck Curfew” and stayed until she was asleep. I know you kissed her head and I know without a shadow of a doubt that tonight a basketball player is alive because Anne Marie screamed for you to stop.”

 

He watches his son swallow “How dad? I did that all. How?”

 

Even after all these years he feels the overwhelming urge to find that asshole and kill him,

 

 “Because I did the exact same thing for your mother. He tells SJ about a football player, a screaming Jackie, a sobbing Jackie, a Jackie put in the shower, then dressed and a Jackie he crawled into bed with. I will talk to her, not you. This one is for me kid. I’ve been taking care of your mom for a long time.”

 

He watches his son's eyes well up again, ‘Dad! Mom? He didn’t? Right? You stopped him?”

He grabs his son fiercely “Yes, no one hurts my doll and I have a feeling no one hurts yours.”

 

This terrible moment changes everything for Hyde and his son. SJ will finally see his dad inside of himself and get it. He feels stupid, but he can’t make the tears stop and looks at his dad and says 

 

“I call Annie my Doll. I don’t mean to but I do. She’s My Doll”

 

He glances at his dad trying to convey that Annie is it for him, just like Mom is for him. That Annie is his doll just like Mom is his. Hyde notices for a moment his wife in those blue eyes. Everything is right there, telling his dad how he feels.

 

Hyde grabs his son powerfully, hugs him and whispers,

 

“I know she is and don't ever let her go.”

 

Hyde crawls into bed and pulls the love of his life close to him, burying his face like he has done a million times, he never thought  his life would end up like this. He never even dreamed of being happy, but this woman laying next to him, sleeping peacefully changed his whole world. He hears her sigh and stir

 

“Everything okay baby?” she says sleepily 

 

Hyde smiles and says “SJ found his Jackie.”

 

She dreamily and still pretty much asleep replies “Lucky him.”

 

Hyde presses a tender kiss to Jackie’s neck and whispers into her ear 

 

“Lucky me, I love you Doll.”

 

Hyde lets sleep claim him, content that he is loved, he loves and his children will have a chance to love the way he does.