"It's the big corporations, man," Hyde says, and he's probably still a little buzzed from earlier. "They just want money, man, and they don't care if they screw you to get it."
Forman's totally not even listening and he needs to know this; Hyde is trying to save him from a future as a corporate stooge. Fez is nodding along but he's grinning so Hyde can't tell how seriously he's taking this. This is serious, man.
"They've got, like, armies of lawyers," Hyde insists. "Just waiting, man. Waiting to get you and mess with you until you're just another clog in their corporate machine!"
Donna just flips a page in her magazine. Hyde shakes his head a little, tries to clear the fog from his brain. Kelso's new girlfriend is watching him; his girlfriend, he announced, like that was awesome, like he wasn't succumbing to society's rules on how they were supposed to interact. She's listening, at least. Maybe there's hope for one of them in this room. He directs his attention towards her.
"Fuck them!" he declares. "I'm not going to be caught. Fight the lawyers, yeah?"
Jackie crosses her arms and stares icily at him. "My father is an attorney," she says. Donna lets out a snort of laughter. Hyde sits back in his chair. They're doomed, all of them.
Jackie gets more annoying every time Hyde sees her, but as he watches Kelso look like a complete tool for, like, the fourth time today, he realizes maybe there's some good to having her around.
Jackie's crying and Hyde really does not know what to do with this. All he wanted this weekend was to do a little skiing, smoke a little weed, drink a load of Mr. Burkhart's expensive alcohol and hopefully steal his best friend from his other best friend. Listening to Jackie cry while Donna was in the next room with Forman was not at all on that list. He can see Jackie looking at him out of the corner of his eye. Hyde turns the page. Oh cool, Spy vs. Spy. Jackie whimpers again, louder, and Hyde sighs to himself. Kelso's a fucking moron. Sure, Jackie's annoying, but she didn't really deserve public humiliation in the form of Pam Macy. Hyde doesn't know how to comfort crying women, even if you'd think he'd have had practice with his mom. He wonders if she'd be up for a joint. It might not be super comforting but at least she'd probably stop crying.
Forman comes bursting through the door. He points at Jackie and demands shrilly, "What's going on?"
Hyde can't believe he's going to the prom, man, what a fucking joke. It's a corporate-sponsored suckfest, which only reinforces his blindfolded generation's moronic attachment to capitalist trappings and its belief in elections which are only ever fraudulent. But Jackie had cried on him again and goddamnit if it wasn't the third time that had happened. Hyde really needs to learn not to go to Forman's when Kelso's being a moron about Jackie. Or someone needs to make sure that she isn't in the basement when Charlie's Angels is on. Those interruptions are not cool when Farrah Fawcett is on-screen.
By the time he emerges from his room, dressed like every other moron at his high school, Edna is practically horizontal on the couch. He can't say for certain, but he's pretty sure the whiskey bottle has something to do with ol' "Uncle Joey" skipping town last week.
"What the hell are you wearing?" She peers blearily at him. Hyde smooths his hands over the ruffles.
"I'm going to prom, I'll be back late." He passes between her and the TV and she swipes at him.
"Why would you wanna do that?" she slurs out.
"Going with a friend," he answers shortly. As he gets to the door, she screeches from behind him,
"They're all gonna laugh at you!"
"Shut up, ma, you're making the night too damn special!" he shouts back.
Jackie's waiting on the porch. "Hey," he says, letting the screen door slam behind him. He looks her up and down. She's wearing her pink dress, just like she said ("so you can coordinate!") and it's soft and flowing. She looks amazing.
"Wow, you look beautiful," he tells her. He's not even lying, or saying it just because he's supposed to. Her hair is up but there are curls surrounding her face and he doesn't feel like he'd rather she weren't there, like usual.
"Oh my God, so do you," she says. She sounds surprised, but Hyde expected that. She looks back up at his face and she seems nervous now. She gestures awkwardly.
"Um, did you want me to go inside and meet your-"
Hyde tries to picture it, Jackie Burkhart meeting his mom when she's practically passed out in a drunken stupor. He wouldn't submit even Jackie to that.
"No, no, no," he reassures her, turning them both away from his house. "Trust me, she's lovely."
"No he didn't. Hyde, no offense, but with an alcoholic mom and an absent dad, you were bound to end up in jail sooner or later."
Hyde is mad at Forman, the life-ruiner, but that doesn't mean he can't spare a second to roll his eyes at Jackie when she says that.
"Hyde, I said no offense," she says again.
"Yeah, right." He never had a chance when the authorities and even his friends were turning against him. He bets Jackie has something to hide same as him. "Let's see what that file says about you, Jackie."
"Go ahead, I have a perfect record," she declares, hopping down from her seat and skipping over to him. She's always so fucking cheerful. Hyde scans the paper in front of him and when he sees that one little word, his eyes light up. He can't believe his luck. This is too great. He's so happy, he even giggles a little, and Steven Hyde does not giggle.
"Would anyone like to know what Jackie's middle name is?" Hyde can't keep the smile off his face. She actually screams. It's one of the greatest moments of his life. "Jackie's middle name is..."
"No!" she shrieks. It's totally worth her beating him with a flashlight when he gets to sit up and say,
When Jackie and Kelso finally break up, it's simultaneously one of the greatest and worst days of Hyde's life. It's great because Kelso's seriously trying to write Jackie a song, and there is no way this isn't going to be the most hilarious thing that has happened this year. But it sucks because Hyde ends up with Jackie crying at him again, like, what the hell, man, haven't they been through this enough times before? Kelso seriously sucks, because sure, she's shallow and mean and totally bossy, but no one deserves to be treated the way he treats her. Hyde doesn't have to like the girl to recognize that. He thinks she'll probably find someone to be with one day. Someone who'll like her for her. Someone who'll treat her good. Hopefully, someone who'll take her as far away from Hyde as possible.
So yeah, he's pretty surprised when she kisses him, but not nearly as grossed out as he would have thought. He tells her everything's going to be okay and spends the rest of the day admiring his new boots. They are pretty damn nice, after all.
Kelso's song is definitely hilarious.
He doesn't expect it and he'll deny it if anyone asks, but it was pretty cool teaching Jackie how to be Zen. Clearly, he has hidden nurturing skills which no one ever bothered to bring out in him. He gets a real kick out of watching Jackie spread her new Zen wings.
The cat fight is totally hot too, so he doesn't even mind that the lessons didn't take all that well.
When Jackie says she thinks he's one of the "coolest, sweetest guys she's ever met," he's kind of pissed off. Just because she's suddenly decided they're best friends, doesn't mean they are. Doesn't mean it's a good idea for a sophomore cheerleader to be strolling around Point Place with a bag of weed.
He's still totally shocked when the pig turns up and asks if there's a problem.
Jackie's new to all this, so he guesses it's natural to babble on about the bag the cop hadn't even noticed. And to use completely rational arguments such as "I have to cheer tomorrow!" He also guesses it was inevitable that he ended up having to do something. Stupid dumb Jackie with her stupid dumb bag.
"What are you doing, man? The bag is mine," he interjects, when that asshole grabs Jackie's arm. The pig looks skeptical, like this is such a fine moment in Hyde's life for people to start believing the best of him.
"Come on: cheerleader, dirtbag." His argument is compelling and the pig is dumb enough to believe it. Or maybe Hyde is the dumb one. He should probably be wearing the Stupid Helmet right about now.
"Oh my God," Jackie rambles in the background, like it didn't make total sense for him to take the fall on this. His life was screwed after the diorama incident anyway. And it's not like Jackie would survive a day in jail, Zen or not. Plus, at least this way he won't have to spend any more time with her tonight.
"Now, I love you!" Jackie declares. Hyde knew he'd regret this decision.
Hyde is kind of surprised by how much fun he's having. He was pissed off with Jackie for weeks after he took the fall for her. He was pissed off with her after she decided she loved him. He was even pissed off at Mrs. Forman for making him realize he liked her back in the first place. Because Jackie's mean and rich and bossy and popular and she made Hyde go to prom and shopping and she's actually totally smoking hot if you block out what she's saying and Hyde is having fun just hanging out with her tonight.
There's no way he wants anyone to know about it though. Not even Jackie. Especially not Jackie. Just because he lets her put his arm around her, doesn't mean anything, all right? He lends her his jacket because he's chivalrous and because she'd whine about it otherwise. That's all.
She leans in for a kiss and he's surprised again by how much he wants this. Her hand comes up to his face and he's about to go for a boob grab when she pulls away. She licks her lips and Hyde wants to do the same. He kind of likes how she tastes, sweet like the pop they'd been sharing.
"Huh," she says and that doesn't sound good. "Okay, I didn't feel anything."
Huh. That's. Huh. Hyde looks over at the bushes. He's usually pretty good at kissing, good enough to get to the next stage, at least.
"Nothing?" he asks.
"No, I mean the kiss was hot, but..." She breaks off to shake her head. "Well, I mean, did you feel something?"
Hyde contemplates telling her he can feel something right now but her expression is so skeptical. He can't imagine actually telling her that he enjoyed tonight, that he enjoyed kissing her, that he wouldn't mind doing it again.
In the end, he just says, "No."
Even Jackie telling him he was right isn't as awesome as he always thought it would be. She's still warm beside him and his jacket's going to smell of lavender for, like, days now.
"So what happens now?" she asks. Hyde looks her up and down. She's still totally hot. He figures he has nothing to lose.
"I'm not opposed to doing it."
As Hyde watches Kelso act like a moron with an egg, he thinks again that he might have dodged a bullet there.
Jackie is dressed up in some sort of Bavarian outfit and it's hilarious.
"Try the Swiss, you can't miss," Jackie calls. "Try the Cheddar, it's even better!"
Hyde grins wide as he draws near. He looks her up and down. "The floor's real shiny, I can see your heiny," he says and she actually hits him. "Hey! The cheese maiden hit me! Cheese guards, seize her!" He is having way too much fun with this. He has to sit down out of pure joy.
He knows they're all up there, waiting to celebrate his fate. Turning eighteen is, like, Hyde's worst nightmare. Yeah, he can buy beer now, but the Government is going to be keeping serious track of him now. They're going to be on his back to vote. They're going to want his money so they can pour it straight back out into plots to keep the youth of this country subservient, just so they can create their perfect little clones who'll go off to war to fight and kill in the name of a facetious democracy, and whoa, Hyde is getting dizzy just thinking about it.
He sighs in resignation and follows Red up the stairs.
The party actually looks kind of nice, if you're into that kind of thing, so Hyde can tell Jackie won the fight. She runs up to him and kisses him on the cheek. Her lips are soft and cool and she smells like lavender.
He'll only admit this on pain of death but this party might not suck too much after all.
They've watched Wheel of Fortune every day for the last week. Hyde is going to go crazy if he has to sit through Chuck Woolery for one minute longer, so yeah, the old lady can't even reach the wheel, but they are watching The Price is Right until he feels the same way about Bob Barker. Which is looking to be pretty soon. At first, he thought having to spend every day with Jackie would make this summer blow more than any summer yet, but apparently he's learned to tune her out over the years. She talks and talks and talks at first but eventually, even Jackie runs out of steam (or at least she gets bored of not getting a response) and they've barely said two words to each other in the last hour.
Jesus Christ, Hyde is so bored.
"This summer totally sucks." Agreeing with Jackie is probably one of the signs of the Apocalypse but damn it, she's right. "There's nothing to do!"
She looks over to him and he raises an eyebrow at her. She licks her lips and pushes her chest towards him slightly and yeah. He's totally up for this. They lean in and kiss, just once. It's kind of like how he remembers, her tongue sliding along his and her hand on his face. They pull back and face the TV again.
"I bid one dollar, Bob," the old lady says.
Jackie is better than this by a clear mile. Hyde leans in again.