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06 April 2008 @ 10:00 pm
(If Only I Don't) Bend and Break [30 Rock; Jack/Liz]  
TITLE: (If Only I Don't) Bend and Break
CHAPTER 7
FANDOM: 30 Rock
PAIRING: Jack/Liz
SPOILERS: 2x10
RATING: PG
SUMMARY:


*****

Without the aid of shrimp toast or another glass of champagne, Liz is left to deal with the awkward feeling of not knowing what to say to Jack all on her own. It feels like it's been hours since he let go of her hand, when really maybe a minute or two has gone by. She wishes for someone else to come out on the balcony with them. She almost wishes for Gary or Lance or Bob or Steve to come out and start talking about their golf hookers, just so she could escape from this awkwardness unscathed.

Jack is looking around the balcony area, looking up at the night sky with just a slight smile, and it's a tad unnerving. She watches him run his hand along the cement ledge, looking over it toward the ground below. Then she sees his brows furrow. "Is that a piece of shrimp toast?"

It makes her smile sheepishly, for just a second. "I didn't want it anymore."

"Y'know, Lemon, I thought you were more eco-friendly than to carelessly litter like that. And at a Democratic event, no less."

She rolls her eyes. "There's gotta be a bird somewhere that would want it."

"...It's January."

"Still!"

Jack's smirking at her in that smug, asshat way he smirks when he knows he's starting to tick her off. And it's not as cute as he thinks it is. Maybe only a little. Piano music starts up from inside and it takes Liz seconds to figure out it's Coldplay. The lead singer starts singing about how he's sorry, and Jack smiles at her as Coldplay goes on about how she doesn't know how lovely she is.

I had to find you, tell you I need you, tell you I'll set you apart

"So Lemon, since we've established that you're not in love with me, dare I assume you'd be able to handle another dance?"

Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions, now let's go back to the start

Liz sighs as Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow Coldplay guy sings about how nobody said it was easy. Yeah, it's definitely not. Not with Jack Donaghy in your life it's not.

He's standing there with his hand outstretched, smirking at her, and she wonders why she has any kind of feelings for him whatsoever. "Okay," she acquiesces, and takes the proffered hand. And then when she's in his arms, she's finds the answer to that why.

Because he's Jack. And despite him being very Jack-like at times, he has this weird ability to make her stomach flutter when he gets close; when he drops his voice down low, in that way where he could probably recite a grocery list and it would sound like porn.

"Okay so far?" Jack asks her, and she'd hit him if he wasn't using that super-low porn voice. Maybe she should hit him anyway.

Instead, she rolls her eyes and drapes her left arm limply over his shoulder. "I'm fine, Jack."

She feels the rumble from his chest, vibrating against hers, as he chuckles. "Good." His hand slides up her back a little bit, just enough to nudge her the remaining few inches until she's resting against him.

She's able to keep her head from hitting his chest, even though it's pretty heavy already from all the champagne, and... well Jack probably wouldn't mind. But still. She keeps her head away from his chest. And his shoulder.

"Lemon, I feel I should apologize for something."

She sucks in a breath and wonders if he's gonna come clean about the whole C.C. thing. Does he even know that she knows? "Okay..."

"I never told you how beautiful you look tonight."

She leans back slightly to look at him skeptically. "Really? That's what you wanted to tell me?"

"Yes. I'm sorry for not saying something sooner."

She's perplexed. Jack doesn't normally think she's beautiful. Maybe he's had too much champagne and shrimp toast too. "Well... thanks, Jack."

"You're welcome." He nudges her against him again by sliding his hand firmly up her spine, and this time she gives in and lets her left cheek touch down against his chest.

She's facing their clasped hands, which are resting over his heart, and marvels for a second at the size differential. She wiggles her hand a little inside his, readjusts it to clasp his more firmly. As if in answer, his other hand rubs up and down her back, and Liz thinks yet again that she could easily fall asleep like this.

Why does that not alarm her more? She has no time to think about it, because just as she closes her eyes, Coldplay fades out and a song that is unmistakably Van Morrison fades in. Liz sighs. If only this had played earlier, she wouldn't have fallen for Jack. Damn Celine Dion.

She feels Jack smiling against her and feels his brief, "Hm."

"What?" Her voice is already thick with drowsiness, and oh she is so screwed. Maybe Van Morrison is just as bad for her.

"I requested this song."

"You did?" She leans back. "I thought you hate this sixties hippie-dippie stuff."

"Van Morrison is one of the few exceptions. I think he is a testament to the fact that not all Irishmen are brooding drunks. And even if they are, they can still make beautiful music."

"Yeah, but... 'Tupelo Honey'?"

"It's a beautiful song, Lemon. It's about finding happiness in simplicity."

"Oh. Right, yeah, that's totally you." She rolls her eyes against his chest.

"I caught that." Jack sighs now and Liz's head moves with the motion of his chest. "I'm changing my strategy in love, Lemon. Simplicity is what I crave. Something so complex and layered but still able to be reduced to the lowest common denominator."

"What about C.C.?" Now maybe he'll tell her.

"There's no simplicity there I've realized. Yes, we had feelings for each other, but there were too many complications."

"Had?" She lifts her head off his chest.

"C.C. and I are not reconciling, Liz. I'm sorry for misleading you. I guess I just... wanted your opinion on it." He raises his eyebrows. "And I got it."

Liz frowns, glad that he's admitted to the lie but not sure what to do now. She lays her head on his chest again and closes her eyes, listening to the song, listening to Van Morrison talk about the woman that's as sweet as tupelo honey.

"Liz..."

"Hmm?"

"Will you tell me why you got so upset about C.C.?"

"She wasn't good enough for you, Jack," she says after a good minute or so has passed.

"You said the same of Phoebe. I'm sensing a common thread here."

Liz closes her eyes even tighter. Was she jealous of Phoebe like she is of C.C.? Maybe. Oh God, maybe she was in love with him even then. "I know. I just... I think maybe there's someone out there that's better for you than C.C. And definitely better than Phoebe."

He chuckles about the dig at Phoebe, and she's glad he sees the light about her -- that she's bonkers. "And who would that be?"

"I don't know." Yes, she does. No way in hell will she tell him. Besides, she doesn't necessarily know that she's better for him than any of these other women. She can just barely handle him sometimes as it is. What the hell would happen if she were dating him? "Maybe you're onto something about the whole simplicity thing."

"Really."

"Yeah." She rests her chin on his shoulder. Both arms are around his shoulders now, and her right hand is on the nape of his neck, toying with the short hair there. She almost doesn't realize she's doing it. "Maybe it doesn't have to be as complicated as we make it. Maybe we can have the good job and love. Maybe we don't have to compromise one for the other."

"Hmm." Jack's voice sounds thick with drowsiness too, and maybe he's enjoying what she's doing to his hair. His hand slides to the middle of her back. "You make a good point, Lemon."

"Thank you." She turns her face in to his neck and wishes he didn't smell so good. She wouldn't be thinking about kissing his neck if he didn't smell so good.

"So how do we go about finding this simplicity then?" he asks next, and from the sound of his voice she thinks maybe he's given her an opening. He slides his hand down to the small of her back then, anchoring her in place. "Do you have any brilliant ideas?" Yeah, he's definitely given her an opening.

So she completely disregards that little voice at the bag of her head screaming at her not to do this, and nods against him. "Yeah. I do." She kisses his neck once just above the collar of his tux, and then once under his jawline. She feels the tremor in his hand as he sucks in his breath, fingers fluttering against her back. She kisses his jaw, then his chin, and ends up at his lips.

Liz pulls away before she feels him respond, though she feels the shock riddle his body. She leans back and looks up at him with wide eyes, disbelieving she actually did that. "Uh-oh," she breathes.

"Yes," Jack nods, and he's using that porn voice again as his free hand slides to the back of her neck. He just barely smiles as he echoes back, "Uh-oh." Then Jack kisses her and she sucks in her breath sharply because of the way her stomach seems to tilt.

Yeah okay, she's maybe definitely in love with Jack. Because she's actually thought about kissing him before... but every time she imagined their first kiss, it was a lot more awkward than this. This one is slow... deep. Intense.

Her hands move to his shoulders and his right hand keeps her pressed against him at her lower back while the other one slides down her side. Soon he's cradling the small of her back and her hands are on his face. This first(-ish) kiss still hasn't ended, and it's growing more dizzying by the second. Liz is certain that can't be the champagne anymore.

Van Morrison goes on about how 'you can't stop us on the road to freedom' and Liz contemplates the simplicity of this. It's then that she pulls away and takes a route she never thought she'd take with Jack in a million years. "This is a hotel, isn't it?"

"Yes," he replies instantly in that low gravelly voice. Her knees feel weak already, dammit.

"Okay." She still hasn't regained her breath, her heart is thumping in her ears, and Jack's hands drawing lazy circles on her hip bones gives her ideas that she really shouldn't have about a man she hasn't officially dated. "Good."

"Liz..." The sound of her first name draws her eyes up to his, and she sees him smirking just slightly. "Are you suggesting that we get a room?"

He sounds bemused, and she immediately hangs her head. "Oh God you're right. This is too weird, isn't it? This is just--"

"I'll pay," he says quickly, and drags her off by the hand.



TBC


Songs referenced: The Scientist by Coldplay; Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison.

{x-posted to jack_liz and 30_rock
 
 
 
van_canucksvan_canucks on April 7th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC)
You are my heroine, and by heroine I mean lady hero; I don’t want to inject you and listen to jazz. But if you continue to write awesome chapters and stories, I just might want to.

when he drops his voice down low, in that way where he could probably recite a grocery list and it would sound like porn. --- Love this, cause it's totally true. <3 Alec/Jack.
a.: alec; a dashing leading manregalish on April 11th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! I love that Liz line about heroine - one of her best :D

I'm glad you liked this! And I fully believe Alec could read a grocery list and it would sound like porn. ;)

More soon!
mybaloney on April 7th, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
he could probably recite a grocery list and it would sound like porn?
It IS true! Love the ending too btw. Can't wait for more!
a.: ab/tf; lolregalish on April 11th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
It so is true, isn't it? Ahh, the Baldwin voice.

More soon!
chameron4eva on April 7th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
OMG! You are my idol! I loved this chapter so much. I was already at the edge of my sit waiting to see what happend, and i fell off when they kissed. Perfect. Great job! Can't wait to read the love scene.
a.: jack/liz; fireworks and sparksregalish on April 11th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much! I know this chapter took forever and a day for me to finish, but I'm so glad you liked it!

More soon :)
Kat: liz: ham napkin_forpele on April 7th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
There is so much to love about this! Especially him telling her she's beautiful, and giving her the opening :)
Liz surprised me in the end, too, but in a good way!
I basically just love this, and also, it's really nice out here today so I'm on a weather high which makes me even more enthusiastic.
Conclusion: good job, can't wait for part 8!
a.: liz; called that boyfriendregalish on April 11th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked this chapter. I wanted to do something where Liz makes the first move, since so many fics seem to have Jack making the first move. :D

And lucky you for getting to be on a weather high! It ended up snowing here yesterday :/

More soon!
stephen@charleneforever.com: 30 rock: jack/liz (and looking down)michellek on April 8th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
And despite him being very Jack-like at times, he has this weird ability to make her stomach flutter when he gets close; when he drops his voice down low, in that way where he could probably recite a grocery list and it would sound like porn.

It's funny because it's true. I just recently said to a commenter on my fic that Baldwin has a sex voice. (Uh, I did have a reason for saying that. I didn't just randomly bring it up to someone who'd commented on a fic.)

The last part of this chapter, with the kissing and everything made me feel all sigh-y and happy. Thank you for that, my friend.
a.: alec; a dashing leading manregalish on April 8th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Heee! Why thank you, my friend. And I ♥ you for the Baldwin comment -- do you really need a reason for pointing out Baldwin's hot voice? Hehehe. I totally could bring it up unprovoked.

"So what did you do today?"

"Nothing much. By the way, Alec Baldwin has a sex voice." See? It fits easily into any conversation, with or without prompting.

That said, I'm so glad you liked this chapter! I'm obsessed with Jack and Liz kissing whilst being dressed to the nines. ;)
stephen@charleneforever.com: 30 rock: jack/liz & winemichellek on April 8th, 2008 05:27 am (UTC)
"So what did you do today?"

"Nothing much. By the way, Alec Baldwin has a sex voice." See? It fits easily into any conversation, with or without prompting.


Ha, you're so very right. :)
csiAngel: 30 Rock J/Lcsiangel on April 13th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
"I'll pay," he says quickly, and drags her off by the hand.

LOL!!! So Jack!!

*runs off to next chapter*
a.: jack/liz; mind gamesregalish on April 14th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Hahaha! Thanks much, doll :D
Puckface: Jack/Lizpuckhiggins on April 14th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC)
I love this fanfiction. Gaaaaaaah!