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03 May 2008 @ 02:05 pm
Does Anyone Have a Map? [30 Rock; Jack/Liz]  
TITLE: Does Anyone Have a Map?
FANDOM: 30 Rock
PAIRING: Jack/Liz
SPOILERS: Sandwich Day (2x14)
RATING: PG
SUMMARY:


*****

How did they get here? How the hell did they get here? And she doesn't mean 'here' as in the Earth or the airport (because Jack's not at the airport with her) or even New York. How did they get to this moment in time from where they started? One day they're meeting and he's re-tooling her show and she's calling him 'sir' and 'Mr. Donaghy.' Then, in what feels like the blink of an eye, he's the only person she can trust and count on (when they're not playing mind games with each other). He's stopped messing with her show (or at least not as much as he used to). He's become one of her closest friends, and he's just simply... Jack.

Liz can't for the life of her figure out how they got from point A to point B. It's kinda hard to think right now anyway, because she's running through the airport looking for an exit (any exit, really). She's thinking of the fact that she let Floyd keep her key (and she really really shouldn't have let him keep her key) and one of her best friends is about to leave her.

Or something less melodramatic.

At any rate she soon finds an exit and hails a cab -- tells the driver to take her back to 30 Rock. Her mind races the entire way there, which is probably good considering it takes her mind off of the fact that her cab driver is under the mistaken impression that he's driving a pod racer. What if Jack is already gone? What if he's on his way to D.C. right now without so much as a goodbye? Is Jonathan going with him? Because the poor kid is obviously in love with him. Liz certainly isn't. In love with Jack, that is. Really. But Jonathan totally is.

And who is this new CEO, the one that sent her the link to the creepy cat site? Oh God, what if it's Devon? She will not work with that man. Will. Not. Liz refuses to work for someone she doesn't respect. Or that's what she'll tell people anyway when she quits. But really it's because she doesn't want to smell self-tanning creme and listen to long-winded anecdotes about Project Runway.

If Jack quits then she's going to quit. She doesn't want to do this without him. Which is... kinda weird for her to think, given how they started out. Sure she's said the same thing about Pete (to Pete) before, but... her and Pete go back ten years and he's the best producer she's ever worked with. She's known Jack for a year and a half. Seriously -- how the hell did they get here?

She finally tells the driver to let her out a block away from 30 Rock; she's getting queasy sitting in this cab, and her hands kind of hurt from gripping the door handles so tight. When she gets out and starts jogging toward the building, she formulates her plan (while realizing that she really should use her treadmill more often).

She'll quit and then tell Jack that she's going with him. Pete can handle the show on his own anyway, she has total confidence in him. Jenna would be pissed but she'd get over it. Liz could find a place in D.C. close to the capitol so her and Jack could still spend time together. She's got enough money that she could afford to take some time off -- she could maybe swing a year or two without a job. In the evenings they could have dinner and share a glass of wine out on the balcony (she'll have to look for a place that has a balcony), and. Wait.

Liz furrows her brow as she gets on the elevator. She just thought about moving to D.C. with Jack. For Jack. What the hell is the matter with her brain? She and Jack are just friends. Close friends, sure, but just friends. Really and truly. She couldn't even get up the courage to leave her job for Floyd when he was her boyfriend. And suddenly she wants to upend her life for a guy who's just a friend?

Okay, so maybe Jack is a little more than 'just' a friend. Maybe he's the only person that can really see through her. Maybe he's the only person that has total faith in her and wants to help her be the best person she can possibly be. Maybe she can tell him more than she can tell her 'just' friends. And yeah, he's not bad to look at either, and maybe he makes her skin tingle when he touches her arm or her back. And maybe....

Oh blerg. Maybe Jack's not so much a friend as he is, well... a dude she's mildly interested in. Y'know. That way. Maybe that's why she can see herself upending her life for him. Maybe Jack, as bonkers as he is sometimes, is the only guy that gets her. Totally and completely. Crapballs. How the hell did they get here?

The elevator lets her off on her floor and Liz heads for her office, brow still furrowed. What the hell is she going to do about Jack? He'd probably think she was nuts anyway if she brings up the whole 'moving-to-D.C.-with-him' thing. And he'd shake his head in that 'you poor thing' way that he does sometimes. And then he'd point out that she's not the type of woman he dates before he goes on to list all the types of women he's okay with dating. And then she'd just roll her eyes and get annoyed with him, and they'd part on bad terms.

Yeah, Liz doesn't want that. So she should maybe not mention the whole D.C. plan. Maybe she should just say congratulations and goodbye. Yes, that sounds like a good plan. She might even shake his hand.

She opens the door to her office and jumps, "Meert!" when she sees Jack lying on her couch.

He sits up. "Lemon." And he looks kinda tired. She hates that she got all wrapped up in Floyd again when Jack obviously needed her. Floyd's not worth it, he proved that much to her over the past couple days. She's gonna ask him to mail back her key and she's gonna do it like an adult.

Or she'll send him an e-mail.

"Jack."

"How did things go at the airport with Floyd?" He looks kind of sad when he mentions Floyd's name, and again Liz wonders how the hell they got here. Jack never used to care about her lovelife.

Well... that's not true. He's never seemed depressed about her lovelife. "I caught up with him just in time to tell him I don't want him to die in an explosion."

Jack nods and presses his hands into the couch cushions, pushing himself up. "I'm sure he was glad to hear that."

"I let him hang on to my key, but now that I think about it, that was a really bad idea. I'm gonna ask him to send it back."

Again he nods, then looks up at her. "I do hope you're planning on confronting him over the phone rather than writing an emphatic e-mail."

It kinda sucks how well he knows her. "Yeah, definitely over the phone. Like I'd even think about sending an e-mail." She blows a puff of air, sort of a chuckle, through her lips while she gives Jack her best 'you're crazy' look.

It makes him smile, at least. "Good."

"Why didn't you tell me you were leaving GE?" She takes a step toward him, intruding on his personal space like she did just a few weeks ago when they were playing mind games with each other. And just like the last time, Jack doesn't step back but rather takes a step forward so they're in each other's space even more, and really -- how did they get here? A year and a half ago she didn't even want to go within five feet of Jack Donaghy, and now she's just willingly standing super close to him, all up in his personal space.

"It wasn't something I intentionally kept from you, Lemon. This is just something I impulsively decided to do."

She shakes her head. That answer is unacceptable. "No. No. Remember the last time you did something impulsive, Jack? Remember when you impulsively decided to get married?"

He doesn't answer, but his eyes shift downward, a little like he's ashamed. And he should be. Phoebe was a total nutcase.

"Do you remember how well that turned out for you, Jack?"

"I admit it wasn't my best decision, but--"

"So what makes you think that this is?" she cuts him off.

"Lemon, I've been demoted," he tells her, "Kathy Geiss has been named CEO. I was exiled to the twelfth floor."

And now a crapload more of the puzzle pieces have fallen into place. "You really didn't press the wrong button."

Jack shakes his head. "I wish that I had." His voice gets a little quieter, like he's telling a ghost story. "It was awful, Lemon. Any stories that you've heard about the twelfth floor and how terrible it is are completely true. It was bleak."

"So you're just gonna leave? You can't."

"There's nothing else here for me to do, Lemon."

She takes one more step forward and her heart starts to beat a little quicker. How the hell did they get here? "You can't go, Jack."

"I have to. My work here is done. I've gotten your show back to the level of popularity it should've been at, I've single-handedly designed a number of new microwave features, and I've gone as far as I can go with the trivection oven. The quadrivection oven is still decades away from being ready for the general public."

Liz feels a lump in her throat, and it's kinda hard to get her voice above anything but a whisper. "What about me?"

Jack's smile is warm, wistful, as he takes another step toward her. The toes of their shoes touch. "I've made great strides with you, Lemon. I have no doubt that you'll continue on the path toward success, both personally and fiscally speaking."

She shakes her head. "Not what I meant." Why is it so hard to talk now? "Jack, please don't go." Oh God, she's begging him? After only a year and a half she wants to beg him to stay?

"You'll do fine, Liz. I know it." The fact that he calls her by her first name makes it that much harder to talk.

And she has no idea what else she can say short of confessing her whole D.C. move idea. So instead, regardless of how 'ethnic' it is, Liz takes one more step forward and wraps her arms around Jack. Just like the last time she can feel his smile over her shoulder, but this time she can't smile back. She closes her eyes and hangs on to him and wonders how he went from being this totally annoying jerkface to someone she's crying over.

His hand slides up her back and her breath hitches. It kinda comes out as a half hiccup, half sob. And she can tell from the look on Jack's face when he pulls away that it's totally weirding him out. They stand there staring at each other while Liz contemplates how they got here. She contemplates what he said to her earlier, about having no regrets. That's the last thought in her head then as she blurts out, "Kiss me."

"What?" He looks genuinely perplexed, and a little like he thinks she's crazy.

"You said to never have regrets, and I think... no. I know. That I would regret not knowing if there's something actually happening between us or if I'm imagining it. So." She nods once, definitively. "I think you should kiss me."

"Liz..." He's still looking at her like he doesn't know what to do with her, and hearing her first name from his lips again snaps something inside of her.

"You kiss me, Jack Donaghy!" she demands (yells really -- it's a good thing her staff is gone for the day), and there's pointing and a little bit of crying... maybe some annoyance thrown in as well. "You kiss me right now, and kiss me like you mean it! None of that pathetic little peck-on-the-lips stuff. I mean a real kiss, with the holding and the full lip action and everything. You do it now or so help me God--"

She never gets to finish threatening him, though, because that's when Jack grabs her face and kisses her. And it's not that pathetic little peck-on-the-lips stuff. It's not awkward and it's not weird. It's immediately deep and intense... maybe a little desperate and aggressive. And maybe Liz still cries just a little bit while they're kissing. Maybe she has to choke back a sob or two and Jack holds her tighter. Maybe she even asks him to come home with her.

And she still has no idea how they got here from where they started. Nor does she have any clue where they're headed. Right now, though, she's pretty okay with that. As long as she and Jack end up in the same place.



FIN



{x-posted to jack_liz and 30_rock}
 
 
 
Uther Pendragon's Loyal Wench: 30 rock our yearfirthgal on May 3rd, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, my heart! This was absolute perfection, particularly the ending. I loved her demanding that he kiss her, and that last line is pure brilliance. Beautiful fic. So full of emotion. Loved it! I so wish this is what would happen in the next episode (and then the pregnancy scare would be JACK'S baby! Oh, how awesome that would be. *dreamy sigh*)
a.: jack/liz; don't let go of my handregalish on May 13th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks so much doll! I'm so glad you enjoyed this. These last several episodes have been just infinitely inspiring. I pretty much owe my life to Tina Fey now lol!
Dayna: 30 rock; jack/liz; so nut up!daynawashere on May 3rd, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHOMG. I just melted. I'm a puddle. Your Liz voice was perfect - so neurotic. And then Liz's breakdown! I would die to see that happen on the show - Jack comforting Liz while she cries. Aw, them clinging to each other ♥ This was seriously lovely.

(Also? Your icon? SO. FABULOUS. I LOVE the manip ♥)
a.regalish on May 13th, 2008 02:52 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, sweetie! I'm glad you liked this one. It was written totally on a whim, LOL. These eps were way too inspiring I say! ♥

(And thanks much! LOL it took FOREVER to make, but it was totally worth the time and effort! ♥)
30_rock_office30_rock_office on May 3rd, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
I really liked that story! Why won't it happen on the show? Curses! Lol. :)
a.: jack/liz; black & whiteregalish on May 13th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! Haha, I'm glad you liked it! :)
NMnm42 on May 3rd, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
Awesomeness, I was already ina good mood (went to go see Ironman...total geek when it involves comics *whispers*</> but you never heard that from me)...Aaaaaanyways!

Amazingness, awesome JIZ kiss...how I like wish that Tina were to do something. Seriously why tease us like this when "nothing is going to happen?!?"

sigh*
a.: huddy; stay with meregalish on May 13th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, I'm glad you liked this one!

And I personally think Tina Fey is warming to the idea of Jack/Liz. If these last several episodes are any indication, I think Alec is making her see the light, hehehe.
NMnm42 on May 3rd, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
That icon is the HOTTEST icon I have EVER seen....
a.regalish on May 13th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'll be posting it soon :)
I work, I function like i'm a girl.: DT FNP Jokingokelay on May 3rd, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
awww! amazing fic! so cute
in character! her demanding the kiss, her thinking about moving to dc for jack when he's just a friend-
i lvoed it.
a.: jack/liz; it was the cheese curlsregalish on May 13th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Thanks very much! Glad you enjoyed it :)
amelia: 30 rock: liz dressxanya on May 4th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness, this is SO GOOD. This is one of the best Jack/Liz stories I've ever read. Seriously, you CRUSHED IT. Fantastic. And it seemed like it could really, really happen. My heart was in my mouth as she confronted him and I could see them both doing this and YAY! They kissed. So yeah, this was excellent. I loved all of it. It made me sad because I tried to write a Jack/Liz post Sandwich Day story but I don't think it's anywhere near as good as this so I'm just going to give up. But mostly it made me happy because it was so wonderful to read. Thank you for sharing it!
a.: liz; luffs jackregalish on May 13th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC)
Heeee! Thanks so much! I love crushing things, lol. I'm glad you liked this - I totally wish Tina would give us uber-shippy stuff like this too, but I'm kind of enamored with the stuff she has been giving us. I dare say she's warming to the idea of Jack/Liz :D

Either that or it was her plan all along lol.

And don't you dare give up! We need more Jack/Liz writers out there.
Jay Auris: Happynighthawkms on May 4th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
*glee* MADE OF WIN. ^_^ Awesomesauce job, I loved it.
a.: jack/liz; affectionregalish on May 13th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
Hehe! Why thank you my friend :D Glad you liked it!
(Deleted comment)
a.: jack/liz; handsregalish on May 13th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad I'm not the only one reading into that moment, haha. I think it's all Alec's fault :D If he wasn't playing Jack as so Lemon-smitten then we wouldn't be drawing these conclusions!

Hehe, anyway thanks much for the review! :)
(Deleted comment)
a.: jack/liz; it was the cheese curlsregalish on May 13th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Then again, Tina did write that he flew 200 miles to see her... maybe it's her subconscious?

That is precisely why I think Tina is just pulling our leg with the "no Jack/Liz" thing. She is far too brilliant to be oblivious to the dynamic relationship she's writing. And she's far too brilliant to be oblivious to the chemistry she has with Alec Baldwin.

If the post-strike shows are any indication, she may have just changed her mind during the strike :D Either way, I'm loving every bit of what she's doing!
(Deleted comment)
a.: jack/liz; finally friggin' huggedregalish on May 13th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed this one! :)
csiAngel: 30 Rock J/Lcsiangel on May 4th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
Aww, wow! This is just so brilliantly perfect! That is exactly what will have happened right after that episode. You rock for writing it!! :-D
a.: jack/liz; made the same choiceregalish on May 13th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
Heee! Thanks, Jac! Glad ya liked it. And oh I WISH this is what went down after the episode, hahaha. But I almost think what we got was even better. :D
stresseaterstresseater on May 4th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
I really don't see this happening on the show.

Which is horrible! Haha. It's lovely. I'm not into Floyd-bashing, though. He's a nice guy (with his own flaws). I would let him keep the key. I think Liz can be friends with him and still realize that she is only meant to be with Jack. :)
a.: jack/liz; mind gamesregalish on May 13th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
That's a shame you didn't enjoy it. Maybe the next one!

And I was actually on the fence about Floyd until this episode. What he did was really smarmy, and if he were my ex I would never even think of letting him hang onto my key. No way, not after that, lol.
stresseaterstresseater on May 13th, 2008 09:17 am (UTC)
Aw, no. I totally enjoyed this! I just don't see this happening on the show (which is the really horrible part, because this was such a lovely fic).

Sorry for the misunderstanding!
a.: jack; misses his lemonregalish on May 15th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
Oh, okay! I gotcha now. LOL OH, COMPUTER- YOU CANNOT CONVEY TONE.

No probs, it's all good :D
dsm89 on May 5th, 2008 05:38 am (UTC)
Great story and what a hot ass icon!
Alec's eyes look so intense and Tina looks so happy! Tell me why Tina insists that they cant be together? That is totally made of win!
a.: jack/liz; are the best otpregalish on May 13th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the fic (and the icon, hee! - it'll be posted soon)!

And I really think Tina's starting to warm to the idea of Jack/Liz. Or if she's not we can definitely tell Alec is. He'll get her to come around :D
stephen@charleneforever.com: 30 rock: jack/liz & shut it downmichellek on May 5th, 2008 06:32 am (UTC)
Aww, this was so lovely.
a.: jack/liz; let it goregalish on May 13th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
Hee, thanks muchly! :)
lz1982lz1982 on May 5th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. I also like Floyd, but I'd be happy to see this turn of events. I think you did a great job of showing Liz's thought process. I love how the show has slowly had Jack and Liz become better friends without being sappy about it.
a.: jack/liz; huggy hugsregalish on May 13th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed this.

And I'm with you - I love the subtlety with the Jack/Liz relationship, how you can tell they've gotten much closer but the show doesn't really smack you in the face with it like other shows do with some OTPs (*cough*Jam*cough*). Hehehe :D
lz1982lz1982 on May 13th, 2008 01:01 pm (UTC)
A-freakin-men.
a.regalish on May 15th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
Hahaha! I've got a bucket all ready to hurl into if the Jam gets too heavy tomorrow night :D
courtney_mudie7: 30Rock: that is awesomecourtney_mudie7 on May 13th, 2008 09:42 am (UTC)
awww... squee!!! no words can express my love of this fic!!
a.: liz; executive vs. creativeregalish on May 15th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
Heee! Thanks, sweetie!
lydiandmelydiandme on June 26th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
That was just great. I loved it. The ending was awesome. Just overall a great story!!!
Irene: Liz excitedlisa_grey on January 24th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!
This is P-E-R-F-E-C-T!!!