Log in

No account? Create an account
27 March 2008 @ 10:24 pm
Two Ears and a Heart (Which is Currently Breaking) [30 Rock; Jack/Liz]  
TITLE: Two Ears and a Heart (Which is Currently Breaking)
FANDOM: 30 Rock
SPOILERS: Upcoming season two spoilers


She's leaving. She's actually leaving. He can't say that he's surprised. She threatened to once before, but he'd been under the impression that was just because of his impending nuptials, because of her infatuation with him. Infatuation which she later (rather vehemently) denied. But no, as it turns out, she wants to leave for Floyd. The man with the unfortunate name that inadvertently took her heart the moment he mistakenly sent her flowers.

If Jack Donaghy were a jealous man, he'd wonder what's so great about Floyd that would make Lemon consider leaving not once, but twice. But Jack Donaghy is not a jealous man. That, and he knows what's so great about Floyd. He's young, charismatic, and an okay basketball player. In fact, he's nothing like what he expected a Floyd might be like. This Floyd does not live in his mother's basement and wear odd-colored suspenders, after all, nor does he yell at squirrels in the park. The more he thinks about it, the more he decides that this Floyd is a testament to what all other Floyds should aspire to be.

But Floyd is not the person that has Jack feeling unusually blue today. No, today he has Lemon problems. Much like nearly a year ago. Phoebe accused him once of being in love with her, but the laughing seemed to have calmed her down. Because really. Liz Lemon is hardly the type of woman a man like himself moons over like a lovesick schoolboy.

And yet he's still feeling oddly melancholy knowing that she's leaving. Floyd had come to New York on a business trip, and he and Lemon had reconnected. After the pregnancy scare that turned out to be nothing at all, Lemon suddenly decided she needed to re-evaluate her priorities. Apparently, the job she once held so dear was now a close second, possibly third, to marriage and family.

Two weeks ago she turned in her two-week notice. So for two weeks Jack has been in turmoil, wondering what he can say or do to get her to stay. Then, he's left wondering just why he so badly wants her to stay. It doesn't become clear until the second-to-last evening. He's at home, drinking scotch and flipping through the channels on satellite, when he comes across a Hugh Grant movie he'd forgotten about. "Two Weeks Notice," which he decides is a sign that he should watch it despite it being a romantic comedy.

So he sets the remote down and watches this film. Sandra Bullock is fed-up with Hugh Grant's rich playboy ways and she's quitting. As it moves further along, it becomes obvious that Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock are infatuated with each other. Well, their characters rather. Hugh Grant doesn't want her to leave. Jack can't help but identify.

When Sandra Bullock's character has left and Hugh Grant has come to her new workplace to try out a speech about not tearing down a community center, there is one section that grabs Jack's heart and squeezes it tight, almost stopping his breathing.

"But mainly because this person, despite being unusually stubborn and unwilling to compromise and a very poor dresser, is... she's rather like the building she loves so much. A little rough around the edges, but... when you look closely... absolutely beautiful."

Jack tilts his head...

"And the only one of her kind. And even though I've said cruel things and driven her away, she's become the voice in my head. And I can't seem to drown her out. And I don't want to drown her out."

And suddenly, to Jack, it all becomes clear. Phoebe, despite her general psychosis and lack of real emotion for him, was right in her assessment. He has somehow fallen unfortunately but irrevocably in love with Liz Lemon. And tomorrow she's going to walk out of his life for good.

Something must be done.


"Jack?" She knocks on his door and steps inside slowly. "You wanted to see me?"

"Yes, Lemon, come in." He lets his eyes travel over her for the last time while she turns to close the door. She's in a dress -- one that is undeniably sexy without being provocatively cut, flattering the gentle flare of her hips in just the right way. She's come a long way from the sea of navy blue shirts and jeans she wore when they first met. He hopes that was his influence but suspects Floyd might have something to do with it.

"You said something about my iPod. Did you... take it or something?"

"I did, Lemon, I apologize." He takes her iPod off his desk and unplugs it from his work PC. "I never meant to keep it, I just... wanted to make sure you had something to listen to while waiting for the train to take you to Cleveland."

"Oh." She makes a face, a little bit like she's contemplating his sanity or lack thereof and Jack can't really blame her. He really has gone insane if he's fallen in love with her. "Uh... thanks."

"You're welcome, Lemon." Against lastnight's urges, he is not going to do anything to stop her from leaving. He's not that type of man. She's made a decision and he's proud of her for making such a big decision on her own.

He's synced a new playlist to her iPod, from his. Some of the music that they both enjoy, random hits from the fifties and non-hippiesh songs from the sixties. There are even a few from the eighties in there that remind him of the glory days of Reagan and greed and all good things that were lost as soon as that saxophone-playing skirt-chaser came to Washington. The last song on the playlist he hopes she won't find until she's gone.

As a man with two ears and a heart he enjoys Phil Collins. And now there's one song in particular that will forever remind him of her. He listened to "Can't Stop Loving You" six times lastnight on repeat as he wished he were the type of man to chase a woman down at a train station and dramatically beg her to stay.

But Jack Donaghy is not that type of man. He'll see her off at the train station, he's already offered her a ride and will take her despite her insistence that she can haul her stuff with her on the subway (what is she - homeless?). He'll see her off at least until she's got a place where she can wait for her train to board, and then he'll go. He will not hug her goodbye, he will not shed a tear, and he will not make her promise to keep in touch.

He will let her go, and hope that eventually her voice will leave his head. He'll let her run off for an unfortunately-named man that's not nearly good enough for her and he'll just hope she'll remember to invite him to the wedding, or that she'll at least pass along a message through Jenna once she's had a baby. He'll let her go and just hope that for the rest of his days he doesn't secretly refer to her as the accidental love of his life.


He brings her to the train station in his limousine, and the ride is unusually quiet. He only asks a couple of times about her departure time and how long it will take to get to Cleveland. He doesn't dare ask if Floyd is looking forward to her moving out there. He's not sure either answer would make him feel better about this situation. He wants to ask her if she's sure about this, if she really wants to give up New York and the job she's been married to for a lawyer named Floyd.

At the station, she checks in and finds the way to her train. She stops in the middle of an atrium and pulls up her rolling carry-on suitcase behind her. "So, I guess this is goodbye," she sighs, and looks straight at him with those excruciatingly-intense brown eyes of hers.

Jack nods. "Yes. This is goodbye." He will not hug her. He will not.

She smiles at him and awkwardly holds out her arms. "Well... bye."

He smiles. "Goodbye, Lemon."

Lemon steps toward him then... she's not a hugger and neither is he, so this is bound to be awkward. Also there's the fact that he promised himself he would not hug her.

She starts to wrap her arms around his midsection and then must have decided halfway through to change position. Eventually her arms end up around his neck and his hands are on the small of her back, holding her tentatively. And it's oddly comfortable. Dammit.

"I'll, um... I'll miss you, Jack." He will not say it back. Absolutely not.

"I'll miss you too, Liz." This is not going well at all. At least he hasn't cried.

She pulls back and impulsively pecks his cheek in a goodbye kiss. "I can, uh... I can call you when I get to Cleveland."

He nods. "That would be lovely." What is wrong with him? Something about this woman takes away all his sense. Perhaps he'll have his driver play Phil Collins on the way back to work so he can properly mourn the loss of his sanity.

Her hands are on his shoulders and his are on her waist; it's the perfect positioning for him to steal a kiss... a real kiss. But he retains enough sense not to do that. Instead, he pecks her forehead and runs one finger down her cheek, murmuring another quiet, "Goodbye."

When she pulls back, he's surprised to note there are tears in her eyes. Surely she can't be upset about leaving him. She's made it very clear that her feelings for him do not extend beyond the professional. She just barely considers him a friend. She must be upset about leaving this home she's known for years, for leaving behind a show she loved to work on and friends that will fall apart without her.

He almost misses her choked-up whisper of "'Bye," before she ducks her eyes and busies herself grabbing her purse and the handle of her rolling suitcase. Then she heads off toward the waiting area where she'll catch her train, and Jack watches her go. He keeps an eye on her until she sits down and pulls out her iPod. Once she has the earbuds in, he turns and starts to walk away from what might very well be the most important person in his life.

Jack slips his hands in his pockets and sighs, wandering away slowly. He had been right all along. They weren't the type of people that could have it all. They differed in many areas, but this was not one of them. They both gave their all to their top priority. The big office or true love. He was right in that they each had to choose. He was a fool to think she would always choose work. They both chose work the last time. Now it seems only fitting that they should both choose love. Trouble is, the love he chose was the same love he would lose the moment she stepped on that train.

Jack wonders how it came to this. How Liz Lemon went from being a thoroughly-confusing thorn in his side, the antithesis of the typical woman... to suddenly being the subtly-beautiful center of his world. How did the change come about from him feeling the need to make all her decisions for her to suddenly being completely incapable of making a decision about his own life without her input?

Part of him would like to blame Bianca and Phoebe... both 'real' women by society's standards and both horrendously wrong for him... nearly lethal, in fact... in the long run. Liz goes against everything he'd ever thought a woman should be and yet he feels like she's the only one who truly understands him. His Lemon.

He hears his name but doesn't feel like turning around. He knows far too many people and he's in far too dire a mood to make small talk right now. He wishes to just hole up in his office with a barrel of cheese balls and wile away the next several hours googling Floyd and ordering a background check on the owner of that law firm in Cleveland.


His name is being shouted at him now and he turns when he recognizes the voice. "Lemon?"

She's running toward him... awkwardly while still trying to tow along her rolling suitcase and her purse. She's wearing the earbuds to her iPod, which is in the pocket of her jacket. He's surprised to see tears running down her cheeks, and he watches as she drops the suitcase and purse, ripping the earbuds from her ears and draping them loosely around her neck. He can hear Phil Collins and his heart drops to his feet. She looks downright devastated.

"Are you alright?" he asks instinctively, and watches her step toward him while she shakes her head.

She closes her eyes a moment and more tears squeeze out, before she goes toe-to-toe with him. "You stupid idiot," she chuckles tearfully, and then she grabs his face and kisses him.

Jack is surprised, and there's still a corner of his mind that registers the fact that Liz Lemon is not a person he should want to kiss, let alone continue kissing... but that part of him is far outweighed now by the part that loves Liz Lemon regardless of who society thinks he should be paired with, so he kisses her back. He holds her against him with his hands on her waist and she stretches on tiptoe to get closer, still holding his face in her hands.

Phil Collins is still going on and on through her earbuds about how he can't stop loving her and Jack winds his arms around Liz's waist. She, in turn, wraps her arms around his neck and lets him deepen the kiss. Slowly, he brings his hands up her side to her face, and he strokes his thumbs across her cheekbones gently, catching any stray tears.

She emits another tearful chuckle against his lips and breaks away, smacking him in the arm not even a moment later. "Why the hell didn't you say something?"

Jack smiles. She does understand him. Either that, or she's just read a lot into the Phil Collins song and has decided to take a chance. Either way, it makes him smile. "It wasn't my place to interfere with your happiness."

"And it didn't occur to you for even a second that maybe I wanted someone to give me a reason to stay?" Her tearful brown eyes charm him, beguile him... make him fall just a little harder. "That maybe there was this weird part of me that wanted you to ask me to stay?"

"Why, Lemon?"

She kisses him again, deeply. Aggressively. He kisses back until she gently shoves him away, obviously still battling with herself. She's probably feeling the same way he is -- she probably doesn't want to love him, either. "Because maybe there's this weird part of me, that... kinda can't keep from loving you, either. And believe me buddy, I've tried."

At this, he chuckles. "Believe me, Lemon, I know how you feel."

She smiles and he's about to tell her that he thinks she's beautiful. She speaks before he can say a word. "So... what now?"

"Now, Lemon, you are left to make that decision between work and love."

She palms his face again, "I just did," and kisses him one more time.

When they pull away this time, he hears something ripping and looks down to see her tearing her ticket in half. He smiles. "So, shall we head back toward Rockefeller Plaza?"

Lemon bites down on her lip and Jack gets the urge to kiss that lip. So he does, once. And quickly. "Actually," she murmurs against him and breaks away, "Can we stop at Macy's or something first? Because all my stuff is on the way to Cleveland."

He chuckles and takes the handle of her rolling suitcase while she grabs her purse. He places his hand on the small of her back and keeps it there until they reach the limo. "Of course, Lemon. Of course."


{x-posted to jack_liz and 30_rock}
flyingfantasticflyingfantastic on March 28th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
Holy wow! Everything you write is the definition of awesome!!!
a.: jack/liz; elevator sex plzregalish on April 1st, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Awww! Thank you so much! ♥
stephen@charleneforever.com: 30 rock: jack/liz & like a dreammichellek on March 28th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
Aww, I'm one of the people avoiding spoilers so I can't read this now. :( :( :( However, I totally love the title. It takes one of my favorite Jackie D lines and makes it aww-worthy. (My poor dude!)
a.: jack/liz; two sides of the same coinregalish on April 1st, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Oh bummercakes! That's right, I forgot you were staying away from the spoilers. *kicks spoilers*

If there was a way I could've done this spoiler-free I totally would've. Hopefully you'll be able to take a look soon, because I've got a companion piece planned! ♥

Kat: jack & liz_forpele on March 28th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
not much else to say other than...
This is friggin' adorable. Just so you know.
a.: jack/liz; black & whiteregalish on April 1st, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Re: not much else to say other than...
Heee! Thanks much! :)
Ashley: alec & tina gotham magashlified on March 28th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
i love them so.
a.: jack/liz; a decent setregalish on April 1st, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
As do I :D They're a rather irresistable pair.
bitterfool on March 28th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
That was brilliant.
And the Two Weeks Notice referencing was ace :D
a.: jack/liz; affectionregalish on April 1st, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed this.

I HAD to reference Two Weeks Notice, hahaha. Ever since I started shipping Jack/Liz, I think of them anytime I watch that movie.

van_canucksvan_canucks on March 28th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC)
Another marvelous story. I'm going to have to start using a thesaurus, because I need a new word to describe your stories other than "awesome", which it is, by the way.

Props for the Two Weeks Notice reference. I just had a Hugh Grant marathon last night: Notting Hill, About a Boy, and Love Actually.

I can't wait 'til Floyd comes back, and maybe they'll be some Jack/Liz moments. :)

Good luck on finishing Bend and Break, but I'm pretty sure, no matter how you end it, it'll be fantastic one way or another.
a.: ab/tf; photogenicregalish on April 1st, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
Awww, thanks! Hehehe. I was helpless to resist the TWN reference. Ever since I got into Jack/Liz, I've thought that movie was SO. THEM.

And yay you for the Hugh Grant marathon! I've never seen Notting Hill, but I love About a Boy and Love, Actually. Music & Lyrics is another good one too :D

There had better be some Jack/Liz when the Floydster comes back, lol! Some Jack jealousy would be amazing.

Aww, thanks. I'm about halfway through the next part of Bend and Break; I'll figure out how to end it eventually LOL.
Not suspicious, but merely Canadian.: 30 rock. | elevator sex please?podsnappery on March 28th, 2008 05:23 am (UTC)
Sigh. I so need this to happen on the show. Just saying.

So wonderful. ♥
a.: jack/liz; elevator sex plzregalish on April 1st, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'd kill for them to do something so dramatic and fluffy on the show. *sends plot bunnies to Tina Fey*

Thanks again! ♥
misslenaloo on March 28th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)
Fantastic fluff! Wait, this is not fluff at all! You write what all the shippers want. Keep up the great work! I always look forward to your fics... I have actually read your "Being a Donaghy" series.. twice. :)
a.: jack/liz; should've kissedregalish on April 1st, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
Awww! Thank you so much; that completely brightened an otherwise hectic work day! I always worry about toeing the line between fluff and sap in this fandom. 30 Rock has such a specific tone it's kind of nerve-wracking venturing into different territory haha.

I'm glad you liked it! And I'm thrilled you enjoyed Being a Donaghy too. That has been my absolute favorite 30 Rock fic to write thus-far. :D
(Deleted comment)
a.: liz; beautyregalish on April 1st, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
Awww, thanks! ♥ Glad you liked this bit of fluff.

And LOL I'm pretty sure Liz has been close to calling Jack a stupid idiot on a few occasions ;)
mybaloney on March 28th, 2008 07:47 am (UTC)
Quite possibly the sweetest thing I've ever read! It's the Jack/Liz equivalent of the Ross/Rachel relationship, and I absolutely adored it! I can totally see Jack refusing to tell Liz his feelings for her until the last second, and placing the ball in her court. Just the right combo of sweet and frustrating that is so undeniably Jack. I "awwwwed" all the way through!
a.: ab/tf; photogenicregalish on April 2nd, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC)
Awww thanks! It's hard to beat that whole Ross/Rachel "I got off the plane!" thing (which still makes me cry, lol), but I'm thrilled you enjoyed this.

I've got a companion piece for it, Liz's POV, coming up soon! Stay tuned ;)
courtney_mudie7: 30Rock: that is awesomecourtney_mudie7 on March 28th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)

<3'd it! so cute! please tell me there is more to come!?
a.: tina; is the queen of comedyregalish on April 2nd, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks much, sweetie! I definitely have a follow-up for this planned - a companion piece, really. A Liz POV on this exact same thing. I hope to have that up soon.

Glad you liked this! :)
do I dare to eat a peach?: (30r) a goofy pairstop_theworld on March 28th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
Aw, I love this! I love how you get into Jack's head at the beginning, with his ideas about Floyds and OMG, Two Weeks Notice! It's so applicable! Something must be done was awesome. He's still Jack on a mission, even if this one is a mission of unexpected love.

he's proud of her for making such a big decision on her own. <-- that melted me. And that entire section was absolutely heartbreaking, and god, how do you manage to make angsty Lemon-love so in character??

And of course, the whole scene at the train station is wonderful. You write them and their love so, so well.
a.: ab/tf; photogenicregalish on April 2nd, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks so much! I don't get to hop into Jack's head nearly enough. I'm glad you liked this. And OMG YES, Two Weeks Notice is SO Jack/Liz it's almost kinda scary, LOL.

I'm so excited you enjoyed this! Their love is so bewitching, hehehe. I've got much more to come.
Miamie: 30 Rock: Jack/Liz Shippercsi_miamie126 on March 29th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
She's wearing the earbuds to her iPod, which is in the pocket of her jacket. He's surprised to see tears running down her cheeks, and he watches as she drops the suitcase and purse, ripping the earbuds from her ears and draping them loosely around her neck. He can hear Phil Collins and his heart drops to his feet

You know those iPod commercials that show only the white earbuds, nothing but silhouettes? Damn you woman! Now I have the urge of photoshopping these two in that scene, arrrghh!!! The angst and fluff bunnies have pounced upon me!

Great story dear! I love every bit of it. And, yay! iPod placement! heehee.
a.: jack/liz; fireworks and sparksregalish on April 2nd, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
Haha, thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it.

And LOL, yep I couldn't resist some iPod placement. I'm all about the pos-mens :D
Dayna: 30 rock; alec/tina; classy in blackdaynawashere on March 29th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
Ohh, this was just....awwww! Seriously heartbreaking...until the end, which was so sweet ♥

He will not hug her goodbye, he will not shed a tear, and he will not make her promise to keep in touch. He will let her go, and hope that eventually her voice will leave his head. He'll let her run off for an unfortunately-named man that's not nearly good enough for her and he'll just hope she'll remember to invite him to the wedding, or that she'll at least pass along a message through Jenna once she's had a baby. He'll let her go and just hope that for the rest of his days he doesn't secretly refer to her as the accidental love of his life.

He almost misses her choked-up whisper of "'Bye," before she ducks her eyes and busies herself grabbing her purse and the handle of her rolling suitcase.

He can hear Phil Collins and his heart drops to his feet. She looks downright devastated.
Wonderful stuff ♥
a.: jack/liz; should've kissedregalish on April 2nd, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks sweetie! I'm glad you liked this bit of fluff. I'm a sucker for the big epic train station/airport scenes, hehehe. It was only a matter of time before I did one for Jack/Liz :D

A companion piece from Liz's POV is coming up next! Thanks again. ♥
(Deleted comment)
a.: jenna; poker faceregalish on April 2nd, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, thank you so much! I'm glad you liked this. ♥