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20 March 2008 @ 06:49 pm
(If Only I Don't) Bend and Break [30 Rock; Jack/Liz]  
TITLE: (If Only I Don't) Bend and Break
FANDOM: 30 Rock


Liz thinks maybe she should stop eating the shrimp toast. A true rarity for her. It's starting to taste like... nothing. Plus, any time she goes near any of the waiters, they always ask, "More shrimp toast, Liz?" and she has to say, "No thanks, Jeremy," or "No thanks, Tim." And that's bad, right? Being on a first-name basis with the wait-staff?

Yeah, that's bad. Probably not as bad as being on a first-name basis with the bartender and having him tell you that you've had enough, but... y'know. It's right up there.

What she has to end up doing with her half-eaten, final piece of shrimp toast is -- after she's looked to make sure nobody's below her -- she tosses it over the balcony and watches it hit the pavement below, smiling almost a little gleefully. She's never flung appetizers off a balcony before, nor has she ever flung appetizers at a fundraiser for the Obama campaign. So. A night of firsts all around.

It goes right along with never realizing she's in love with Jack. That's probably the biggest first for tonight. Although y'know, maybe she's not in love with Jack. Maybe it's just a mix of Celine and champagne and shrimp toast, all conspiring against her like that 'chaos theory,' butterfly effect thing. The actual theory, not the horrible Ashton Kutcher movie.

She can hear Seal's "Waiting For You" drifting out from inside, and maybe she should have bid a little higher on some of the stuff at the auction, because well... Obama's got a pretty widespread palette when it comes to music. She can totally get behind that.

She still has a little champagne left, sitting on the balcony ledge in one of those pretty crystal champagne flutes, and Liz looks over the edge almost wondering how satisfying it'd be to drop a glass.

Not that she'll do it, but she's not ashamed of entertaining the thought. She swirls the champagne glass by the stem and throws a casual glance over her shoulder, looking for Jack. She doesn't need to see him or anything and she's not like, aching to see him, but... she kinda would like to see him. He's over by the bar, way on the other side of the ballroom from where the balconies are, and still they catch eyes.

There has been no one brighter than you

Jack smiles at her, says a few parting pleasantries to the bartender, takes his Nancy Drew (Jack says for guys it's a Hardy Boy, but... pssh, whatever, he likes chick drinks) and starts crossing the ballroom. Liz's heart jumps into her throat and she really wishes it hadn't. It's stuff like that that could make her think she's in love with him. And she's not.

I can't deny these things that I do

Jack's eyes never leave hers, and Liz hates to admit to herself that it's one of the most intense things she's ever experienced. She makes herself look away, and finishes off her champagne with one tip of her head. Maybe the champagne bubbles will relax her enough to properly deal with this. She turns back over her shoulder again and Jack's eyes are still on her as he nears the French doors now.

Feels like the world's at stake, 'cause I have been waiting

His eyes are that dusky, look-how-sexy-I-am, kind of blue and it's sort of annoying how that makes her heart skip. As does the way he says, "Lemon, there you are."

I have been waiting for you

Liz smiles with her lips clamped shut and does a lame little wave. "Here I am."

"I've been concerned about you, you left so abruptly from the dance floor and didn't even take more shrimp toast with you," he says all in one breath, and it's kind of amazing how he can start off saying something so sweet and by the end makes her think he's just a complete asshat. How could she possibly be in love with him if she thinks of his sporadic asshattedness?

It'd probably be better if she wasn't occasionally not annoyed by the asshattish stuff he says, but... still. She's not in love with an asshat.

Asshat or not, though, she owes him an apology. She also should stop inwardly using the word 'asshat.' "Jack, listen," she leans one arm on the cement ledge of the balcony and tries not to think about how cold it is out here, "I'm sorry about what happened on the dance floor. I... think maybe I had a little too much champagne, and the shrimp toast wasn't mixing well with it, and--"

"Lemon, there's no need to apologize. I was actually more surprised than anything else."

"Why?" She might need more champagne for this conversation. Where the hell is Jeremy?

"Well, I... guess I was taken aback by the fact that you were vehement enough about my lovelife to storm off like that." He sighs and shakes his head, smiling like he's proud of her. "All without gorging on shrimp toast."

She rolls her eyes. "Whatever, the point is... I overreacted. It shouldn't matter who you date and whether or not you get back together with your ex."

"You're right, it shouldn't."

She has no idea how to respond to that. So she nods, once. "Okay."

"And yet... it did, didn't it?"

Liz sighs and closes her eyes, clenches her fists against the cement ledge as she wishes she never would've even agreed to come here with him. Why did he need her in order to ambush C.C. anyway? Quietly, she finally responds, "Yeah. It did."

"Why, Lemon?"

Seal keeps going on and on about how he's been waiting for... whoever. Probably Heidi Klum. And Jack's looking at her expectantly, as if she has an actual answer.

"I'm not in love with you."

Jack raises his eyebrows at this. "This is why you're upset about a possible reconciliation between C.C. and myself? Because you're not in love with me?"

"Right. I'm not. I just..." She sighs again. Huffs. actually. "I just, lately, have been thinking that... maybe you're not the devil."

"Well... thank you, Lemon. I think. Was that a compliment?"

She frowns. "I don't know. The point is, I don't want to punch you all the time anymore."

"Again, I thank you for the warmth you're exuding in this moment. Really, I'm ecstatic."

Liz rolls her eyes again but can't help but laugh. "Will you just listen to me?" She reaches out to smack his chest with the back of her hand.

To her surprise, Jack grabs her hand and holds it to his chest. "Yes. I'm sorry, Lemon, please continue."

"When we were dancing, I just got to thinking, and... yeah, for some reason I don't like the idea of you getting back together with C.C."


Liz sighs heavily again. "Jack, do you really need to know why? Can't this just remain confusing and hard-to-understand, like... the second season of Lost?"

"I'm not sure I understand the reference."

"Well, in second season, Lost w--"

He holds up a hand and feigns a smile. "I wasn't asking."


"But if you know the answer to my 'why', Lemon, then why not share?"

"Because maybe I don't know the answer. Alright?" She shoots him a look, and wiggles her hand a little inside his. It doesn't feel all that terrible. And he's kinda stroking her knuckles with his thumb.

Jack nods and releases her hand. "Very well."

Maybe she does know the answer. Maybe the sinking of her heart when he lets go of her hand is the answer.


Song referenced: Waiting For You by Seal

{x-posted to jack_liz and 30_rock}
van_canucksvan_canucks on March 21st, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
I absolutely love the references in this chapter. The crappy Ashton Kutcher movie and LOST-- I don't watch it, but just by going with the previews it does look confusing.

Can't tell you how much I love your writing and your stories, and that sadly, I check here every day hoping for more. Selfish, I know, but that's just how I roll.
stresseaterstresseater on March 21st, 2008 06:53 am (UTC)
Sadly, I check here every day hoping for more.

Yeah, same here. I'm starting to think I should get a life. :))

Still. Can't wait for the next chapter!
a.: angela; goofballregalish on March 22nd, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
Awww. That makes me grin like a fool, seriously. Glad you're still enjoying this! :D
a.: jack/liz; followshipregalish on March 22nd, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
Haha, thanks so much! I've never seen the Ashton Kutcher movie (but heard it was absolute crap) and I've never seen Lost but have heard enough from my Dad for it to thoroughly confuse me, lol.

I'm so thrilled you're still enjoying these! I feel like everyone might be getting sick of me and my fics, lol.
amelia: 30 rock: j/l black tiexanya on March 21st, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
I just read all the chapters of this story so far and I love it. Oh, poor Liz. But soon enough she'll realise that Jack's got as big a thing for her as she has for him. And that will make us all (most epsecially ME) happy, which is the important part, after all. I really enjoy your writing and your characterisation. C.C. isn't so bad, right? She's kind of cool. Well, anyway, keep writing and keep being excellent, okay? Thanks!
a.: jack/liz; two sides of the same coinregalish on March 22nd, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! So glad you found this story, and that you're liking it. I only wish I could've kept C.C. in it a little longer; I like her too, she's cool. She's not the one for Jack (obviously, hehe) but she was fun.

More soon!
Kat: katie couric sucks_forpele on March 21st, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
"Jack, do you really need to know why? Can't this just remain confusing and hard-to-understand, like... the second season of Lost?"
LOVE THIS! ahaha it's so Liz. I also love that she starts to explain it and he tells her to stop.
And yeah, as predictable I enjoyed this :) haha
Looking forward to your next update!
a.: mariska; giggleregalish on March 22nd, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC)
Haha, thanks so much! Liz and her TV loves, I couldn't resist :D

More soon!
Jay Auris: Lovednighthawkms on March 21st, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
God, you're just... just awesome, you realize that? This story is like, one of my top fave 30 Rock fics of all time. PLEASE continue ASAP! :D
a.: jack/liz; a decent setregalish on March 22nd, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
Awww thanks! Hehehe. I'm so glad you're enjoying this, despite the short chapters, lol. More soon!
stephen@charleneforever.com: 30 rock: jack/liz & it was on salemichellek on March 21st, 2008 07:09 am (UTC)
I am running out of interesting ways to compliment you. But it's also three in the morning, so perhaps I will be more apt to be compelling if I read the next chapter at an earlier time. So. I love this. As always. :D
a.: jack/liz; balconyregalish on March 22nd, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
Dude, I'm in the same boat, LOL! I have NO idea how to compliment you in an original way anymore. Hahahaha.

Glad you're still liking this ;D
courtney_mudie7: 30Rock: Laughing in their sweaterscourtney_mudie7 on March 21st, 2008 07:58 am (UTC)
aww... ME WANT MORE!!
a.: jen; cherryregalish on March 22nd, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
Hehe! More soon :)
(Deleted comment)
a.: emjay; love in an elevatorregalish on March 22nd, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
PLM!! I love it! :D

So glad you're still enjoying this. Isn't that Seal song great? And I heart balconies too, so there'll be plenty more balcony stuff :D

More soon!
flyingfantasticflyingfantastic on March 21st, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
I don't know what to say! I will say though that this fic is the reason that I come on-line to check updated fics right now...I think that's a good thing. :) Keep writing!
a.: liz; and her ham napkinregalish on March 22nd, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks much! I feel like everyone's getting sick of me, lol, so that's wonderful to hear. I hope to have more of this one ready soon!
csiAngel: 30 Rock Liz poutcsiangel on March 26th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
*cries* I really need more *sniffle* I just read 4, 5 and 6 so I'm really into this right now and then... nothing. I don't think that's healthy, you know! ;-)

I totally love this fic. The angst is priceless. Jack's "Why, Lemon?" - my heart skipped a beat at. A brilliant moment!! Well done. You rock!!
a.: liz; beautyregalish on March 26th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
Awww! I'm sowwy Jac! Work's been insane this week otherwise I would've had more already, lol. This weekend!

Glad you like this :)

Puckface: Jack/Lizpuckhiggins on April 14th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
*flails arms and tries not to cry because this story is so cute*

fivebyfive: sierrasweet_cleopatra on May 27th, 2010 10:19 am (UTC)
"Jack, do you really need to know why? Can't this just remain confusing and hard-to-understand, like... the second season of Lost?"

I know other people have quoted this BUT I DON'T CARE!!!

Because by the hammer of thor that is such a liz-esque thing to say- haha you legend!