Year Of Jackie
Jackie’s lips were soft and tasted like cherry, at least they did back in 1976; she had smiled after and her giggle had make her feel weak in her spot for some reason.
After that night, she understood the kind of spell the midget had on every man who put their eyes on her and she wondered if, if had she been a guy, he would have gone for her too.
This was the first thing Donna thought when she heard Hyde’s laugh at Fez, who had just explained his horrible experience at trying to have a spark with the small brunette and truly start their relationship, but it didn’t happen for either of them.
Their kiss had lasted seconds, both had looked away immediately and both had looked up at the other’s eyes with shame. No, it wasn’t right. And a part of the blonde was relieved to hear they had finally realized this.
Now, Hyde’s laugh. She knew that laugh. She wanted to share that laugh, the ‘I have kissed Jackie Burkhart and know it is the best damn thing in the world’ (with a bitter and pathetic side of ‘and I lost her because I’m a fucking moron’ for him) laugh, but her concern was suddenly personal and palpable thanks to the now fresh memory; hearing Fez has thrown her away.
Her now again boyfriend was laughing too, and so was Kelso. Jackie had decided to help Mrs. Forman in the kitchen, probably running away from all of them like she often did now and her fingers ached to touch her friend’s shoulder, ask if she was fine.
Why wouldn’t she do that before? What was wrong with her?
“Man, this means every guy on the gang but me, has kissed Jackie?” Eric asked, disgust in his voice. “Oh god, what is wrong with you people?”
“Well, like I said before, she makes you stupid.” Hyde and his awful ‘stach said. Donna felt a soaring wave of rage. Like if having Eric near her had finally brought back the person she was.
But to be honest, she had noticed her own bitchiness before today.
She had wanted to talk to Jackie too, tell her she was sorry, that she understood she hasn’t been herself in a while and she was just– sorry. Hell, maybe if she had been there for Jackie, she wouldn’t have dated the new guy and Jackie wouldn’t have believed she and Fez were a good idea.
Donna could have thrown Hyde into that river, instead of letting him basically throw Jackie. She glanced up the basement stairs, knowing she was going up, when Kelso’s excited yell woke her up.
“DONNA, YOU KISSED JACKIE!?”
Silence. Even Hyde was looking at her with surprise, ‘till it was replaced by a dirty smirk. “That little Jackie, she made her way with almost all of us. Whorey girl, after all.”
Eric looked at him with wide open eyes. Oh yeah, poor guy hadn’t see the monster their best friend had become. But Donna had, and she had had enough too. Fast, her fist found his stomach and he let out all the air on his lungs, one arm around his belly.
“Say one word about her again, and I’m going to take off that fucking ‘stach with Jackie’s hot wax in your hangover!”, she pointed her finger at him threateningly and looked at Kelso next, “Don’t even think about that, it’s not true!”
“Donna, please, Jackie told me.” Fez said, too damn sure of himself. “You know, she says very interesting things when she is drunk. And she is drunk a lot with me.”
Fuck, Donna wasn’t sure if she was now worried about what things Jackie could have said while drunk or the fact that she spent so much time in that state without her knowing. She frowned. “No, listen… Eric,” he looked at her, not sure what was going on. “Okay, it’s true.”
“YEAH!” Kelso exclaimed, then ran behind Hyde when the blonde looked at him. “Damn, Donna! You don’t have to be such an angry brat about it, we all here - minus Eric - have kissed Jackie! She’s a good nail, isn’t she?”
“Nail and kiss are very different things, dillhole!” But Donna looked back at Eric, she didn’t have much energy to go hit Kelso. At the moment. “We just met, and I went to that stupid slumber party for her 16th birthday…” The cheerleader slumber party, Donna still wondered why she said yes in the first place. “Her stupid friends started talking about experience and whatnot, they just asked if I had ever… you know, kissed a girl. I hadn’t.”
“This is the good part!” Fez said, chewing on his festive candies as Kelso hugged a still in-pain-Hyde, excited to hear the rest of the story.
“Fuck…” Donna murmured, but Eric smiled a little to her. He wasn’t mad, she could tell. But since the thing was out, better tell them to shut it with the rest of it. “Just… it was a joke. Look, cheerleaders are crazy, okay? Almost all of them had kissed girls! And then Kat Peterson said the ones who haven’t should get kissed, and they started to choose partners! And Jackie and I were just cornered by them, none of us had ever done it and suddenly, we were the only ones…” Her voice faded there, and she just nodded. “So, we just…” she motioned with both her hands, signaling a quick kiss, a smooch. “And that was it!”
“Aw, Donna…” Eric hugged her as if comforting her. “You were a victim of the mean cheerleaders!”
Donna rolled her eyes, listening to Kelso’s declaration that it was the hottest image he has ever pictured in his mind’s cinema. She knew Eric could tell she lied, maybe one day she would tell him the truth, or he will discover that she did say what happened, just reserved the rest to herself. From Fez’s reaction, she could tell he didn’t know the rest of it, too. So. It was still something between her and Jackie.
At midnight, the couples had kissed and Fez had tried to kiss Jackie again.
She ran and hid behind Michael, and then Fez went for Michael’s lips and she sighed. She wasn’t that desperate for better luck in the new year. Everyone was saying their good wishes for 1980, she waited for Steven to even look at her but it never happened and, slowly, she let herself leave behind all the happy laughs and cheers until her butt sat down alone in the Pinciatti’s porch. She had asked Donna earlier that day if she could sleep at her home, but with Eric now here, she wasn’t sure if her friend would remember that request.
Jackie didn’t blame her, though. In her place, she wouldn’t let go of Eric– eww, she shook her head—… she wouldn’t let go of her boyfriend if the bastard had come back from Africa after so many months.
Yet, the idea of going back to her shared apartment with Fez was driving her crazy. She was also scared, she didn’t know what this meant for her and her friendship with Fez. She wasn’t sure if she was hurt or only disappointed, because she truly thought that maybe something good would come out her hell of a year. But no.
Plus, Jackie didn’t know if Fez was truly okay or if he was hurt, confused or just as disappointed. What with the rest of her friends knowing she put herself through this, Steven was probably enjoying the show.
There, she sat, all alone in the Pinciotti’s porch. The place was quiet with everyone cheering and playing in front of the Forman’s, it was the perfect spot to be blue for the night. Again.
Looking up, Donna was there with an honest smile, the first one Jackie had seen sent to her way from her friend in a long time. “Hey…”
“Why are you here? Not feeling festive?”
“Oh, yes. I’m the soul of this party!” She said with her best sarcastic tone, Donna smiled a little and tried to make herself small, Jackie just rolled her eyes. “Just… I don’t know. Today is not what I expected it would be, is all.”
“Well, it’s a brand-new day. And a brand-new year.”
“Are you drunk?” Donna shook her head, and Jackie saw the way her eyes were shining. No, she wasn’t drunk. Just in love. And happy. It made Jackie sick. “Oh, god. Just go and manhandle your skinny geek, would you? I think I’m going home anyway…”
“No, wait, Jackie–” Jackie looked back at her, she had already stand up but Donna had taken her arm. “I just… Well, I figured I should start with my new year’s resolution, you know?” After a few, Jackie sat down again. “So…” She punched Jackie’s arm without force, just a little touch. “I’m sorry. I haven’t been a good friend.”
“No, you haven’t.” Jackie admitted after an entire minute of silence. “Go on…”
Donna smiled, probably because that was more like her. “I punched Hyde in the stomach and he couldn’t eat as much as he wanted during dinner because of it.”
“Well, you know…” She shrugged, “talk shit, get hit.”
Jackie remained silent for a few seconds, like she was trying to hide her amusement until her giggling echoed through the space and surrounded Donna in familiar warm.
This was better, way better.
Donna sighed, she could do this, it was also the right thing to do. Not only for Jackie, but for herself. If Eric was going back to Africa to finish his self-discover travel, she will need a supporting shoulder. And that was Jackie’s. Just like her friend could use one, too.
“So, you and Fez…”
“Oh, God. Donna… I don’t want to talk about that. Like… never.” She said. Donna was a little taken aback to find real shame on her voice. “I know I seem desperate, it’s just…”
Donna nodded after heavy seconds of silence, “Yeah…” she said, playing nervously with her hands. “I know. It sucks to feel alone and… you know, like you don’t matter.”
“Uh…” She looked at her friend, “at least yours came back and admitted to be an idiot. He shouldn’t have broken up with you at all.” Donna nodded, Jackie put a hand on her thigh. “I’m glad he came back. For you. Not him. He can go, drown in mosquitos if he wants.”
It was Donna’s turn to laugh. Yeah, she needed this. “God, I’ve missed you.”
“I missed you, too.” She answered, squeezing her thigh before taking her hand with her other fingers, playing with them. “God, I can’t believe I didn’t have a kiss at midnight!” She said, suddenly. Donna looked over at her. “This is the first time since me and Michael started to go out that I don’t get kissed, you know. It feels weird.”
“Come on…” Donna elbow her playfully. “Maybe this will be the year for Jackie!”, her friend looked at her with a half real, half mocking, bitch expression. “A year for self-discovery, and no guys, and only Jackie!”
“Donna, I have told you a million times. I already love myself, frenching someone is the good plus. If I could french myself, I’ll do it.”
“Ew!” Donna’s face contorted in disgust “I don’t… I don’t like that image, how…? Ew, no. Take that away, take that away…”
“Oh, god… Ew, you are right. No, not like that.” They went silent then, until Jackie sighed. “I just thought I would get kissed tonight. That it would mean… I don’t know. Luck? For this year… Donna, what I’m supposed to do now? I just…”
There was a sudden movement and then, Donna’s lips were on Jackie’s. She tasted like Mrs. Forman’s cheap wine and that cherry flavor she had felt on their actual kiss, the morning of Jackie’s 16th birthday.
Jackie closed her eyes, kissed back with little surprise and a knowing smile forming on her lips.
When the cheerleader’s team made them kiss, Jackie’s curiosity had increased instead of die down. So, the morning after, when the girls were out of her house and only Donna remained in the room, she had asked if she truly had never kissed a girl. It was an experiment, a favor for both of them, experience. And then, their friendship truly began, somehow.
“There,” Donna said with a small smile. She tended to do those kind of stuff, just crazy actions, when she didn’t know what to say. Or an arm around her shoulders, but this was fine too, she hoped. “you had your kiss. Now, this will be the year of Jackie.”
“Yeah…” Jackie nodded, smiling at her and leaning her head over Donna’s shoulder, she put hers over Jackie’s. “The year of Jackie.”