I mean, so far I've kept it in my brain and not gone on a fanfic tour, but that brain has gone wild (and is now more bitter than ever that his stupid paranoia re: Michael/Jackie is both the thing that ruined them AND NOT EVEN HER ENDGAME). Every moment where it turns out Steven has a soft, puddin' pop center where Jackie is concerned, that is my catnip. Is there a name for when the guy is like a big grumpy dog and the girl is an an energetic-to-obnoxious cat/kitten who can get away with doing anything to him that no one else would be allowed to try? Because they are the epitome of that trope. (I mean so are Red and Literal Kitty, but Jackie is so much more of a spoiled-princess-cat that it's more fun)
Odd highlight of season 5: I was waiting for the gut punch that even my teenage self loved, that awful moment where Hyde cheated, because unlike a certain relationship on Glee, it was not the end of the world. It was actually totally worth it just for the sickened look on his face and rare removal of the dark glasses and let's just not even try to talk about what his voice sounds like when he's honestly sorry. But I also really loved Jackie's "that is EXACTLY what Michael used to say" response. And also, when he tries to get her back by admitting he loves her? SO MUCH SECRET VULNERABILITY!
In less secret terms, it is just my favorite background acting in the world whenever the gang is sitting around and she's just curled up on his lap. Which is all the time. They kinda end up with a ridiculous amount of physical affection by the end. Remember that one in season 6 where she bugged him to go the Christmas dance, he said no four times in a row, then crumbled without resistance to her pouty lower lip? And took the time to give her a sweet kiss, ignoring their friends' mockery, before ordering them to shut it because they're coming too? (or that other time where she took lessons in training your man and successfully got him to drop his ice cream and go buy her a Vogue? We laugh, but that is a legit useful skill.)
Also, man they have a lot of pretty kisses. Both the sweet kind and the hot kind, the latter being nearly impossible to pull off in a way that does not make me grimace, so kudos on your chemistry.
And as you all know, it takes me like 5 minutes to go from shippin' it to hurt/comfort tropes, so...that's what my dreams have been up to for the past four nights in a row. Anything that makes him admit he cares about her is my favorite. Oh! Like right after her father goes to jail and she sneaks into the basement to spend nights with him so she won't be alone, until everyone catches them curled up asleep like little baby cats. Right in the Favorite Things File, and I'm pretty sure my favorite moment of all their moments.
(I especially like the credence that Jackie's oversized flannel pajamas lend to "nothing was going on," at which point I realized I have seen this relationship as basically 0% sexual. Which is almost definitely untrue by the end of their relationship, but they tend to reference making out a lot and tend not to reference anything else*; ergo, in my head they are handsy makeout fiends but Jackie wants to wait a few months on anything else. Since this show's timeline is so nebulous and slow, that could theoretically be forever in canon.
*A bit of internet research has brought up a couple of points to the contrary, but I'm choosing to ignore them until I'm ready to deal with any other thoughts.)
Here, have a bunch of fun scenes in one video, including but not limited to the sleeping and the I love you's. The beginning's not great, but it improves around the 2-minute mark.
...and then I went and spoiled it all by looking at the Wiki, which has ruined all my hopes and dreams by telling me that instead of the 2 good seasons I assumed I had left with them, I might have only the 1, because season 7 was "very inconsistent" for their relationship, evidently reversing or contradicting a lot of their emotional growth. I also learned that another reason season 8 sucked so hard was that they got new showrunners who were bastions of evil and were delighted by the opportunity to break up Hyde and Jackie forever, which was not how it was supposed to go down. I was also instructed to think of season 8 as "an alternate universe," which actually...makes sense.
I am SO glad I watched [season 8] when I did, even if it was accidental, because I'm not sure I could go back to it after this shipping bliss. Plus the last half a dozen episodes really WEREN'T fun -- aside from Randy turning out to have an adorable dog; who the heck turns down a chance to live with a cute dog!, after Red's retirement episode, it felt like almost every second was taken up by Fez/Jackie grossness or really dumb storylines for the parents. (I did greatly enjoy Hyde getting ownership of Grooves, but that was about it.)
By finale time I remembered why I didn't come out of it totally hating Eric ("I thought about you every day"), but I also still kind of wanted Donna to storm out of the driveway and go home the second she saw his face, to really drive his cowardly awfulness home. I will say that as series finales go, that was a pretty good one given how bad finales tend to be lately. More or less tied everyone back together but didn't stamp down anything permanent for new relationships, and also didn't introduce any huge, sudden changes.
I do recommend finding a way to watch the set tour that is on the season 8 DVDs. Between that and Kitty's in-show tour through the house's interior (at least the lower level), I LOVED finally getting a sense of of what all the different sets look like as well as a clearer sense of the house blueprints. That's always the thing I'm most curious about on any TV show that isn't set in a workplace, and this fulfilled all my dreams.
And now back to my daydream cocoon with Cat Scratch Jackie and Puddin' Pop, sexy makeout fiends. (I guess we're temporarily abandoning the hurt/comfort then, huh brain?)