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31 March 2008 @ 09:40 am
Lemon Problems [30 Rock; Jack/Liz]  
TITLE: Lemon Problems
FANDOM: 30 Rock
SPOILERS: Season one


"I suppose you're wondering what this is all about."

"I guess I'm just a little curious, yes. But it's nice to see you. How've you been, Jack?"

"Not well at all, actually. I'm having horrible Lemon problems."

"Don't you mean women problems?"

"No. Every other woman on earth I'm perfectly okay with. It's just one in particular. That's why I said I have Lemon problems."

"As in Liz?"


"I see. So, what's the problem?"

"She's started seeing someone -- some new guy named Jeff. They seem very happy together."

"Well I see no problem in that, Jack."

"She's shirking her responsibilities again. Just like with Floyd."

"Who's Floyd?"

"Her last boyfriend. How long has it been since you've seen her?"

"About a year."

"Ah. Yes. Well. In that time, she's had two relationships aside from this new one -- I suppose three, technically, if you count the short period of time that she dated a relative."

"I'm sorry, she what?"

"It was an accident."


"But that's beside the point. She's had three relationships within the past year, and the first two I took no issue with. The third, she started shirking her responsibilities. She constantly had her head in the clouds, and was always smiling which is so unlike her."


"And it's not that her smile is particularly off-putting. It's actually rather lovely, and she doesn't do it nearly enough. I guess... just... the constant smiling is upsetting."


"If I knew, I wouldn't have asked you to lunch."

"And here I thought you really wanted to see me."

"Well, that's part of the reason. But you're also a trusted advisor."

"I see."

"So the third relationship ended when they tried unsuccessfully to do something long-distance. He had transferred to Cleveland and she, of course, never intended to leave her job. And it took her awhile to get over it, but now there's this... Jeff... person. And he makes her just as happy as Floyd did. She's constantly smiling again and quite frankly, it's driving me insane."

"Do you want to know what I think?"

"Of course, that's why I asked you here."

"Jack, I think you're jealous."

"That's preposterous."

"Just... hear me out. Think about this before you immediately deny it. You need to ask yourself why it bothers you that she's happy. Isn't she your friend?"


"Don't you generally want to see your friends happy?"

"I guess it depends on the friend."

"Okay, but... Liz?"

"Yes, I want her to be happy. That's why I don't understand where this is coming from. She's happy, so therefore I should be happy. Instead, I've come to realize I'm miserable."

"Have you ever daydreamed about kissing Liz?"

"On the hand?"

"On the lips, Jack."

"I'm not one to wile away my time daydreaming. You should know that."

"Bad choice of words. Have you ever entertained the idea of kissing Liz? Or wondered what it would be like?"

"I suppose, on occasion. But that's natural. Out of every woman in my life, I see her the most often."

"How about... taking her out to dinner? Holding her hand?"

"I have taken her to dinner, several times. As far as holding her hand goes... I'm not one to engage in public displays of affection, but there was an instance where she grabbed my hand."


"Instinctively. Our star was having a manic episode, running around the studio, and she thought she was going to get trampled. She grabbed my hand, I tugged her to the side and she was out of harm's way."

"Okay. But romantically she's never grabbed your hand."

"No, of course not."

"Okay. What about these boyfriends? The ones that make her happy? Floyd and Jeff."

"Well to be honest, Floyd grew on me. He was a rather smart young man, very ambitious. He reminded me a lot of myself when I was his age. I actually spent quite a bit of time with him, to Lemon's dismay."

"Why would she be upset about that?"

"She thought I was hogging up all of his time, so he had no time left to spend with her."

"I see. And what did you say to that?"

"I got engaged to a woman from Christie's auction house."

"So... Liz gets upset with you, and you retaliate by proposing marriage to, I'm just guessing now, someone you barely know."

"That is essentially what happened."

"What did Liz think of your engagement?"

"She didn't think the woman I chose was good enough for me. The engagement ended, as did her relationship with Floyd, shortly after that."

"And you still don't see how I would think that you're jealous?"


"Alright, fine. What about this new relationship? What do you think of it? Of Jeff?"

"He's not good enough for her. He's not as smart as Floyd and he smells too much like pine for my taste."

"Have you mentioned this to Liz?"

"Only the portion about him not being good enough for her. I can only assume she's already aware of his pine scent."

"And what did she say?"

"Well, to borrow her frat house wording... she told me to suck it. And that I've chosen women far worse for me than Jeff is for her."

"I think you need to tell her how you feel, Jack."

"That's what I just told you. She told me to suck it."

"No, not about Jeff. About her. What do you think she would say if you told her you wanted to kiss her?"

"She'd probably wrinkle her nose in that way she does. Or she would frown. Perhaps both, one after the other."

"You don't think she'd want to kiss you?"

"Well... I am rather kissable. And she thought I was going to kiss her once before, at the end of an evening out."

"You mean a date?"

"No. She thought it was a date but it wasn't. I invited her to my friend Gerhardt's birthday party at the Pierre."

"And she thought you were going to kiss her."


"Were you?"

"No! Well... for a split second I suppose I considered it, but no. She's not the type of woman I would usually kiss."


"I date supermodels and socialites. Actresses. Anchorwomen for CNN."

"And how satisfying are those relationships for you, Jack?"

"They work quite splendidly for a time."

"But they don't last."

"Of course not."

"Well, then maybe that says something. I mean, you and Liz obviously get along. You see her for a large amount of time every day and you haven't yet gotten sick of each other. She's obviously able to handle you well enough. And you're not an easy guy to handle, Jack."

"I know. It's a flaw as well as an asset."

"So maybe you should think about why her being in a relationship, being happy, makes you unhappy. And think about the times you've considered kissing her."

"I suppose you have a point. Dear God. Could it really be true? Could I really have feelings for Lemon?"

"I think you could. And do."

"I knew I shouldn't have asked you here. You're far too insightful, Thomas."

Gretchen laughed and took a sip of her wine. "And yet you love me anyway, Jack."

"I do, I do."

She reached for the tab before he could. "This one's on me. Go talk to Liz."

"Very well." Jack bent to kiss her cheek softly. "Thank you."

"Don't mention it. Say hello to her for me."

Jack gave one last wave before he headed out the door, and Gretchen smiled, watching him go. When he had disappeared around the corner, she grabbed her cell phone from her purse and dialed a number she hadn't used in over a year.

She smiled to herself as the message machine picked up. "Liz, hi. It's Gretchen Thomas. I know it's been awhile, but I thought you'd want to know I just had a very interesting conversation with Jack Donaghy...."


{x-posted to jack_liz and 30_rock}
flyingfantasticflyingfantastic on March 31st, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
This was really good and cute!
a.: jack/liz; 10 secondsregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
stresseaterstresseater on March 31st, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
Alright, Gretchen Thomas!
a.: jack/liz; a decent setregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Haha! Glad you liked it :)
Uther Pendragon's Loyal Wench: andy frolffirthgal on March 31st, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
Aww, this was great, I loved it! Especially the bit about Liz's "frat house talk," hee.
a.: jack/liz; affectionregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Heee! Thanks so much. I love Liz's frat house talk LOL.
one mouthy sandwich girl: gretchen/jack pokerzuzubailey76 on March 31st, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
This is so good! I really enjoyed reading it. Also, 30 Rock fic seems to be either Jack/Liz or Gretchen/Liz; I think the world needs more Gretchen/Jack friendship fic. They have an interesting dynamic.

[Other than Jack and Liz, Gretchen is totally my favorite 30 Rock character. I know she's only been on the show once, but...she is really awesome.]
a.: jack/liz; balconyregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed this! And I agree, I think there needs to be more Gretchen/Jack friendship fic -- them as friends is totally perplexing and I wish we saw her more.

I hope Tina brings her back - Stephanie March is awesome :)
Whatever, Napoleon McComplex: east to the batcavefruitoftheloons on March 31st, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
aww, yay! Gretchen and Jack/Liz. Two of my favorite things!
a.: jack/liz; black & whiteregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks! I'm glad you liked this. :D
(Deleted comment)
a.: jack/liz; charadesregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
Haha, thanks! I love Gretchen, so I was excited to have an excuse to use her in a fic :D
mybaloney on April 1st, 2008 12:26 am (UTC)
Aw! So sweet! I want to see Gretchen again on the show. She's just a cool character. Great job! I always love reading your fics. Anymore coming up soon?
a.: liz; and her ham napkinregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I love Gretchen too, she was wonderful. I love Stephanie March, period. She was pretty kickass on L & O: SVU as well.

Glad you liked this! And there are plenty more coming up soon :D
Dayna: 30 rock; jack/liz; elevatordaynawashere on April 1st, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
LOL! Oh, I love Gretchen. And your Gretchen voice was VERY good - I could tell it was her by about the sixth line, which I think is pretty impressive characterization.

Anyway, this was great. I love the idea that Jack would talk to Gretchen about his feelings for Liz. And I loved the ending ♥
a.: jack/liz; elevator sex plzregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! And wow, good for you picking up on it right away. I was hoping to be able to fool you, but you're onto me ;D

I'm glad you liked this! I hope to use Gretchen in a future fic at some point, she rocks. ♥
stephen@charleneforever.com: 30 rock: jack/liz & from the sidemichellek on April 1st, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
Awesome! I love it. There should be more Gretchen-and-Jack fic.
a.: jack/liz; a decent setregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
Hehe, thanks! Glad ya liked it ;)

And I agree - there needs to be more Gretchen/Jack interaction in fics. Their dynamic is so intriguing.
lily barteverypoembreaks on April 1st, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
Gretchen! It took me far too long to figure out that's who Jack was talking to but that was totally my own stupidity. Great job. "I'm having terrible Lemon problems" really brightened my day. :D
a.: jack/liz; fireworks and sparksregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
Hehehe! Well, that was my goal - to keep you guessing until the end ;D

I'm glad you enjoyed this!
do I dare to eat a peach?: (30r) lemonstop_theworld on April 1st, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
YAY, I'm really glad it was Gretchen! I want her to come back. She'd be a terrific matchmaker.

"It was an accident." Heee!
He's not as smart as Floyd and he smells too much like pine for my taste." Your Jack dialogue is so wonderful. I love it. I love it so much I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. Sorry. Rewatched Hardball today.

Basically, this is a delightful fic and I loved it. :-D
a.: liz; beautyregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks sweetie! Glad you liked this. I adore Gretchen (well, Stephanie March really lol) and wish she'd come back too. I think she totally would see the whole Jack/Liz thing and do something about it ;D

HAHAHA. That is my fave Hardball line like ever. That and "Be a crab! Fight the worm!"
(Deleted comment)
a.: jack/liz; fisticuffsregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks much! I'm glad you're getting into 30 Rock -- it's an amazing show, and Jack/Liz are a pretty amazing ship!

There are places right here on LJ you can get the second season if you're interested -- only problem is, I can't mention them in an unlocked post :/
csiAngel: 30 Rock J/Lcsiangel on April 3rd, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
Ah! Gretchen Thomas! I was trying to figure out who it was all the way through! An excellent conversation. Poor Jack, all oblivious to his feelings :-D

I hope work eases up so you have some time to write. I know how much you love it ;-)
a.: jack/liz; followshipregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
Hehe, thanks Jac! And YAY, I was hoping I could stump at least a few people. I love Gretchen and I really wish she would've been on more than one episode. Y'never know who Tina will bring back in the future, though :D

And thank you - I really hope work eases up too. It's a good kind of stress, but it definitely sucks up all my energy by the end of the day, to the point where I can only stare at a TV screen or go to bed LOL.
I work, I function like i'm a girl.okelay on April 4th, 2008 05:32 am (UTC)
great fic! Iloved Gretchen,she was great!
I thought it might be her, since it couldn't be one of his exes and def not his mother.

really great work1
a.: jack/liz; should've kissedregalish on April 6th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I ♥ the Gretchen character, so I was eager to use her in a fic :D