?

Log in

 
 
22 March 2008 @ 03:17 pm
Eff Buddies [30 Rock; Jack/Liz]  
TITLE: Eff Buddies
PART 4
FANDOM: 30 Rock
PAIRING: Jack/Liz
SPOILERS: Season two, pre-C.C.
RATING: R
SUMMARY:


*****

The remaining half of the month is spent awkwardly trying to deal with Jack's pseudo-proposal and Liz's brief, accidental foray into arson. "The, uh... the new carpet looks nice. I stopped by the office today. Are they done with it?" she asks around a bite of pizza.

Jack shakes his head and sighs, "Not for another week. I decided to have them redo the entire thing -- floor to ceiling." He looks around his makeshift office -- one of the emptied out offices one floor below where his usual one resides -- and Liz realizes he's just not himself without his office. "It should look even better than the last redo."

"Oh. Cool." Liz looks down at the half-finished pizza they're sharing and wishes she were someplace else. It hasn't been this hard to talk to Jack since he found out about that Gopher fantasy. They'd had a few odd Loveboat-ish role-playing nights afterward and it got less awkward.

"Lemon, I don't think this is working."

Not wanting to admit to the obvious, Liz goes to her failsafe avoidance tactic. "Well, y'know, we could get some of your other office furniture down here so it feels a little bit more like 'home' for you, and--"

"No." Jack shakes his head and looks down at the pizza box. He grabs another piece and is about to take a bite when he suddenly throws it back into the box and stands, starting to pace. "Liz, everytime we reach a milestone, you panic and either run out of my office or set it on fire."

"For the fiftieth time, it was an accident!" She folds her arms across her chest and contemplates another piece of pizza. "Way to make me sound like a pyro, Jack."

"My point is, anytime we reach a remotely-pivotal moment in our relationship, you pull away emotionally."

"But we're--"

"Not in a relationship?" Jack finishes with an upward lilt, quirking an eyebrow. "That's exactly my point. Liz, it's time for you to wake up. For the last nine months, we have been engaging in a relationship. Though rather unconventional and consisting mostly of sex, it is still a relationship. And I can't speak for you, but for me? It's come to mean something."

She draws in a breath. "Jack... I--"

"I'm not expecting you to say anything, Lemon, you've made your feelings perfectly clear over the last few weeks as have I." He leans one hand against his makeshift desk (which actually folds up as a space-saver) and plants the other on his hip in a fist. He looks serious and Liz really wishes they were kissing instead. "It seems we've reached a cross-roads in the relationship. Considering the fact that you don't consider it to be one, that tells me exactly where we're headed from here."

Please say it's a bedroom, she thinks, because she doesn't really like where she knows this is headed.

"I think we should cease any sexual activity from here on out, and go back to being colleagues. Nothing more."

Liz blinks... grabs another piece of pizza and tears a chunk out of it. "You're breaking up with me?"

Jack chuckles, only it doesn't sound terribly happy. "No, darling, of course not. We were never in a relationship, remember? We were just having sex. For nine months, without dating anyone else." He wipes his hands on his napkin then and grabs his BlackBerry. "Now if you'll excuse me, Lemon, I have a meeting with Don Geiss. I'll catch up with you later."

Liz watches him go and frowns, tearing another chunk out of her slice of pizza as she contemplates what the hell has just happened.

**

Three weeks later, Liz and Jack are having a meeting in his newly-refurbished office about the latest Tracy debacle: he has gotten into some legal trouble due to the fact that he's been attempting to sell salamanders online as Gary Coleman.

"And Gary Coleman's pissed," Liz sighs, and scrubs a hand over her eyes. "If Tracy ends up going to jail for this, he'll be gone for at least ten months, if not longer."

"Nonsense, Lemon, I'll hire the best lawyer I possibly can for Tracy and we'll settle this out of court. He should have to pay no more than half a million."

"Really?" She makes a face and stops pacing in front of his desk. "You don't think I'll need to have everyone write him out of the show?"

"Of course not. How many other scrapes has Tracy gotten into and come out of unscathed?"

Softly, she replies, "I stopped counting after fifteen."

"Exactly." Jack stands and walks her to the door with a hand in the neutral place of her middle back. "Within a week's time, this will have disappeared. It's nothing to stress-eat over."

"You're right. Thanks, Jack." Without thinking, she stretches up and pecks his lips, not realizing what she's done until Jack pushes her away.

He looks offended, like she's just insulted Bill O'Reilly (douchebag) or something. "I'm... sorry, Jack, I wasn't thinking. I just--"

Jack kisses her and presses her to the wall of his office before she can say another word. Liz grabs his face and tries to pull him closer, though there's not even a sliver of light passing between them now. She wants to tell him that she missed this, she missed him and might possibly have feelings for him that go beyond liking to do it with him a lot. Instead, she just makes him lock the door.

She can always tell him later.

**

"So I think we can safely say we have done a backslide into our former habits," Jack sighs when they collapse against each other in his bed several hours later.

"Yeah, I think maybe you're right." Liz is far too tired to argue or even banter with him.

Since that accidental kiss in his office, they did it on his desk, the limo on the way to his penthouse, in the elevator going up to his penthouse, against the wall in the living room, and then his bed. Liz doesn't remember them doing it that much, that many times in a row, before now. It was kind of awesome. But now she thinks she might be halfway dead.

"I can't move," she complains, draped diagonally across his chest and stomach, her head resting over his heart. "You've murdered all my muscles."

"Any muscular homicide was accidental," Jack assures her. "And I didn't hear you complaining."

"God, no." Oh jeez, she can't even listen to herself anymore. She's like... one of those people that has a lot of sex with rich dudes. And enjoys it. Oh crap, she's Jenna. "I might have to call in sick tomorrow if I still can't move, so you can't get mad at me."

Her head moves along with Jack's chest as he chuckles, and he runs his fingers down through her hair. "Noted. And considering that you're lying on top of me, if you're immobile tomorrow I'm afraid that leaves me no choice but to call in as well."

"Deal." After a moment in which Liz almost falls asleep but wakes herself up before she starts to drool, she leans her chin on Jack's chest and peers at him curiously. "Did we just... decide to play hooky together?"

Jack gives this a moment's thought while continuing to stroke his fingers through her hair, before he replies, "I believe we did."

"Huh." Liz absorbs that before she smiles. "Good, so we can sleep for awhile then?"

"Absolutely."

**

They don't discuss the implications of them having sex again for another week. A very strange, tenuous week. It's a week devoid of sex (except for that day they played hooky, and... kind of had sex for a large part of said day) and Liz isn't quite sure whether she should approach Jack (since she's the one that technically caused the initial breakup) or if she should wait for Jack to approach (since he did all the breaking up).

Finally, at the end of the week, she can't take it anymore and has an outburst in his office. "What are we doing, Jack?"

Jack looks up at her slowly, engrossed in a brochure about the next Six Sigma conference. "What are you accusing me of, Lemon? I believe I've just been sitting here, quietly, while you've been pacing back and forth like a caged animal."

"Well okay, but it's been a week."

"Yes...?"

She raises her eyebrows. Did he forget all the awesome sex? She left claw marks on his wall. Liz Lemon is not the type of woman to claw on walls. Unless, maybe, she's being held captive.

Which, okay, has never happened, but she likes to think she's scrappy enough to claw her way through a wall if she's being held by a--

Y'know what, this is a really weird train of thought and it's got to stop. So she sighs. "Jack, it's been a week since we had all that sex, and you haven't said anything about it or proposed marriage even once since then, and... frankly, it's kind of weirding me out."

He purses his lips and looks up at her in that 'I-have-no-idea-what-to-do-with-you' kind of way. After a moment of silence, he speaks. "The fact that I haven't proposed to you this past week is what's alarming to you?"

"Yes!"

"Why?"

"Because, that's... it's just... it's what you do!" she finally spits out, and she's gesticulating rather violently. She can tell Jack's happy he's behind his desk and not in the war path. "You do it all the time!"

"I've only proposed to you once, Lemon. And we both know how that turned out. So..." He shrugs and goes back to his brochure. "We'll just have to keep this casual."

"Right. Okay." She paces a little more and gives this some thought. She thinks about the last time her and Jack had sex, that day they played hooky. She thinks about how good it felt, him there with her, inside her, whispering things to her. She remembers lying there, tangled up with him, her hands on his shoulders while he moved within her... she remembers looking at her left hand on his shoulder and imagining a ring there. How it really wouldn't be much different than how it was now. It would be her wearing a ring. And him wearing a matching one.

And instead of checking the 'single' box on those surveys or software registration cards, she'd just have to check the one that says 'married.' And at parties they'd just introduce each other as 'my husband Jack' or 'my wife Lemon' or -- no wait, that doesn't sound right. 'My wife Liz' or 'my wife Elizabeth' sounds much better.

She's thought about this all week, about that imaginary ring and everything that would go along with it. And they wouldn't bicker any less -- it's just their routine -- and it's not like they'd suddenly turn into an episode of Mad About You, because well... who would want that? They'd still be them, just... with strings. And rings.

She's quiet so long that Jack has to ask if she's still there. She responds with a rather terse, "Yes," before stopping her pacing and looking down at him. She watches him take a sip of his coffee, holding the mug in his left hand. She can see an imaginary ring there, too, and suddenly she can't stop herself. "Jack, what would you say if I wanted to marry you?"

Jack not only spits out the coffee, he spills it -- "What?!" -- all over his new keyboard.

Liz shrieks as it starts shorting out and Jack vacates the desk area as yet another small office fire starts. Jonathan is prepared this time with a fire extinguisher and soon Jack's desk is covered in foam. Jonathan glares at Liz, expecting the fire is her fault yet again, as he stalks out wiping errant bits of foam off his suit.

Her and Jack stand in the middle of his office looking at his irreparably-damaged computer and desk. At least the entire office won't have to be redone this time. She looks up at Jack and bites her lip, hands clasped in front of her.

Jack inhales slowly while he looks at the damage, and sighs out just as slow, "We need to stop hypothetically proposing marriage to each other, Lemon."

She nods once. "Agreed." And then she turns to him, looking up at him through her lashes. "Jack, about what I said--"

"You can take it back if you wish." He dismisses the make-believe proposal with a wave of his hand, his left hand, and Liz can still see that imaginary ring.

She grabs that hand before logic kicks in and makes her think this is a bad idea. "That's the thing, though, Jack. I don't want to take it back. I meant it. I wanna be married to you."

"You do."

Liz isn't sure if that's a statement or a question. Either way, she nods. "Yeah, I do."

Jack stares at her in disbelief and squeezes her hand. "After skirting around this relationship and basically denying its existence for nearly a year, Lemon, suddenly you're prepared to head to the altar?"

She makes a face at him. "It's not sudden. I've been thinking about it."

"For how long?"

"A week... consciously. But I dunno, maybe longer?" She shrugs and sighs, toying with his fingers as she looks down at them. "Look, I've just been thinking that... we're better when we're together. Separately we're a mess."

Jack scoffs. "Speak for yourself."

When she glares, he smirks.

"So, we'll get married."

Liz nods and allows Jack to pull her into his arms. "Yes."

"May I still propose to you properly in the near future?"

"Absolutely." She leans up for a kiss and throws her arms around his neck. "We can still be copulation colleagues if you want, too," she grins.

Jack's eyes widen and he suddenly pushes her away. "That reminds me, we start shooting 'Copulation Colleagues' in fifteen minutes and I'm supposed to be downstairs to oversee."

"Wait, I thought that was a reality show."

"It was, but we changed it. It's now a sitcom. Gary Coleman agreed to play the wacky neighbor... provided Tracy and his salamanders don't go within a five-hundred foot radius."

She feigns a smile. "It sounds like a winner."

"Let's hope so. Until later, Lemon."

He kisses her quickly one more time as he runs off. Liz watches him go and can't help the smile.

Until one last big spark from Jack's keyboard startles her and she bolts out of the office.



FIN



{x-posted to 30_rock and jack_liz}
 
 
 
van_canucksvan_canucks on March 22nd, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Why is it every time I finish reading one of your fics, my mouth starts to hurt from all the smiling? The answer: because you are made out of so much awesome, that's why.

You constantly amaze me how you are able to write so many chapters from different stories in such a short time, and keep the tone for each story the same. Honestly, I don't think you're human. But I'm not complaining :)
courtney_mudie7: 30Rock: wrong ideacourtney_mudie7 on March 23rd, 2008 08:53 am (UTC)
i always find myself smiling after reading them too!!

awesome fic! looking forward to more in the future:D
a.: jack/liz; a decent setregalish on March 30th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! :D
a.: jack/liz; 10 secondsregalish on March 30th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Awwww! Thank you so much! And honestly, I'm kind of surprised my eyes haven't crossed from trying to write so many fics at once, LOL! Thank you again :)
mybaloney on March 22nd, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
I'm running out of ways to say how awesome your fics are! Love Tracy's latest legal trouble. Selling salamanders as Gary Coleman? Haha! Liz is right, she and Jack ARE better together. Love how Jack is the one that started the fire this time. So is Copulation Colleagues a sitcom about Jack and Liz? And Coleman playing the wacky Tracy character? Cuz that would be amazing.
a.: liz; lemonregalish on March 30th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, hehe! I'm glad you liked this.

And LOL, I guess I never thought of Copulation Colleagues becoming a sitcom about Jack and Liz, but that would've been pretty cool! :D
amelia: books: hp dudleyxanya on March 23rd, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
Ha, and now I just read all the chapters of this one because, you know, essay writing can wait but Jack and Liz CLEARLY can't. I love it. Liz's reactions are not only spot on, but, um, exactly how I would act in such a situation (oh, would that I were ever in a situation where Jack Donaghy wanted to marry me!). All the details of this are wonderful. You definitely have a way with these characters and it is very much appreciated, especially since it's been so long since we've had any new episodes... Great work and thank you for posting!
a.: jack/liz; affectionregalish on March 30th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much! I'm thrilled you enjoyed this series; it was a blast to write them. And LOL I'd probably act quite like Liz did if Jack ever proposed to me ;D
stresseaterstresseater on March 23rd, 2008 03:39 am (UTC)
Enjoyed the non-angst. :) And the accidental kiss. Haha! Old habits die hard. And the Jack spit-take was cool, too.
a.: liz; beautyregalish on March 30th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
Thanks much! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I work, I function like i'm a girl.: liz in wedding dressokelay on March 23rd, 2008 06:03 am (UTC)
awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
i loved this
the freak-outs,the hypotheticals proposals, the new show, it was amazing
you fracking rock!
a.: liz; and her ham napkinregalish on March 30th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
Heeeeee! Thanks muchly! :)
Kat: daisies_forpele on March 23rd, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
Awww cute. I'm slightly brain dead right now so all I have to say is: awesome.
& I really liked this part...
They'd still be them, just... with strings. And rings.
I think the rhyming appeals to my inner child or something ahha.
a.: olive; dances like no one's watchingregalish on March 30th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
Hehe, thank you so much! I'm glad you liked this final part. And the rhyming ;)
csiAngel: 30 Rock J/Lcsiangel on March 26th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
Awww! Love how they end up sleeping together again, and love Liz's 'proposal' almost causing another fire. Hee hee!

Twas a great fic. I am sad it has ended. But you'll write more brilliantly perfect Jack/Liz right?? Right??
a.: jack/liz; black & whiteregalish on March 30th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
Heee, thanks Jac! I'm so happy you enjoyed this final part.

There will DEFINITELY be more Jack/Liz to come. I'm totally obsessed with them right now :D
NMnm42 on March 27th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Oh crap, she's Jenna.

That made me laugh and recreate my own Jack spitting on his keyboard except that didnt happen on my keyboard and instead hit my Zune :(. Its fine though, it was worth it!
a.: huddy; destiny or chemicalsregalish on March 30th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
LOL! I'm glad you liked that part, but I sure hope your Zune survived the spit-take :D
stephen@charleneforever.com: 30 rock: jack/liz & just a littlemichellek on March 27th, 2008 06:03 am (UTC)
Three weeks later, Liz and Jack are having a meeting in his newly-refurbished office about the latest Tracy debacle: he has gotten into some legal trouble due to the fact that he's been attempting to sell salamanders online as Gary Coleman.

I swear, that made me laugh for a full minute. It was so delightfully strange that it killed me for some reason.

The rest of it was awesome, too. Of course. :D
a.: jack/liz; balconyregalish on March 30th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
Hahaha! Thanks, I'm glad you liked that part! I was trying to think of the most off-the-wall thing I could, since it is Tracy of course :P
{when god is gone and the devil takes hold}: BtVS: Wesleyseularen on May 24th, 2008 07:54 am (UTC)
This fic is amazing. The only thing that would make it better was an epilogue involving wacky wedding hijinks and Jack being adorable.
a.regalish on May 25th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it :D

And if I weren't already in the midst of writing like a million fics (900,000 of which are Jack/Liz), I would most definitely do an epilogue, because that fic was so much fun to write! :)