Attracted to Jack

Rating: U
Summary: Sometimes you just can’t blame the air conditioning…
Pairing: Jack/Liz
Disclaimer: 30 Rock characters are not mine. I’m simply borrowing them.
A/N: This is my first 30 Rock fic – and I blame Caroline for getting me writing for yet another TV show ;-) Please be gentle with me, but I welcome constructive feedback on characterisation etc. Enjoy!

The first time Liz noticed the unusual reaction was when his hand brushed hers as they both reached for the same pen in the writers’ room. Generated where their skin had touched, a shiver ran along her arm, and down her spine. But, the air conditioning was playing up, and the temperature was falling by the minute. She put it down to that.

Two days later, he snuck up on her as she watched a rehearsal of the latest sketch, placing his hands on her shoulders as he whispered ‘boo’ into her ear. Coupled with her surprise, she had a tingling sensation radiating from his touch – and she could still feel it when he took his hands away. In fact, her shoulders suddenly felt very cold without them. However, the air conditioning had packed in completely three hours earlier, so Jack’s cool hands had obviously been a welcome relief to her heated skin. At least, that’s what she told herself.

The next day, in a crowded elevator, Jack reached his right arm over Liz’s shoulder, and rested his left hand on her hip, as he leaned forward to press for his floor. Her instant reaction was to tremble, it taking a second or so for her mind to register that she should have tensed. When her mind did catch up, she shifted – the mere centimetres that she could – away from his hand, only to shiver again when he whispered ‘Sorry, Lemon’ as he lowered his arm.

It was as she considered the audacity of him touching her, rather than asking her to press the button for him, that it occurred to her he had been a lot more tactile recently. His hand was always on the small of her back when they walked anywhere together; he would grasp her elbow when he needed to usher her away quickly; he had no qualms about removing the food from her hair himself – and then fixing her hair afterwards; and when a sketch had gone disastrously wrong last week and everyone in the studio had ended up covered in cream, he had willingly wiped the cream of her face, before doing his.

Liz closed her eyes and let out a small sigh as she realised that was actually the first time she had noticed her reaction to him touching her had not been one of annoyance. She had found herself momentarily entranced, staring (most definitely not gazing!) into his face as he tenderly scooped the cream away, and then laughing slightly when he plopped a blob onto the end of her nose when he had finished.

She sighed again as it hit her that her new unusual reactions just might mean that she was… attracted to Jack. She shuddered at the thought and opened her eyes as the elevator stopped and the other inhabitants filed out.

“Isn’t this your floor, Lemon?” Jack asked her, tapping her gently on the shoulder, alerting her to his continued presence.

She trembled again, his voice reminding her of the rumbled declaration - “There. All done.” - that he had bestowed upon her once her face was free of cream, and she tried to convince her mind that her body was just playing a cruel trick on her, and she was definitely not attracted to Jack.

The elevator doors had slid closed during her silence, and she heard Jack mutter to himself, “Apparently not.”

Her hand swept forward and punched the emergency stop button, shaking the elevator to a stand still, as she turned on him and demanded: “It has got to stop!”

Jack’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly, the only sign that he was at all bemused. “I think you’ve accomplished that,” he commented.

She frowned. “What?... No! Not the elevator! You! Getting in my personal space; touching me; holding my arm; helping me!”

“You want me to stop helping you?” he asked, infuriatingly calmly.

“Yes!... No!” Internally she screamed at herself for allowing him to get her this flustered. She forced herself to calm down, taking a deep breath before smoothly saying, “I just need my personal space, and lately you’ve been encroaching on it.”

“Ah,” he nodded. “Okay. I understand.”

“You do?”

He nodded again. “I was just being friendly, but if it makes you uncomfortable, I’ll stop.”

“You don’t have to stop being friendly,” she responded, perhaps a little too quickly.

“Yes, Lemon, I meant I’ll stop touching you.”

Slightly embarrassed, her mouth formed an ‘oh’ shape, and she nodded.

“We’ll be friends who never touch,” he reassured her. “Now would you mind starting the elevator again? I do have work to do.”

“Sorry,” she muttered, feeling her face flushing as she turned her back on him and released the elevator.

She absently drummed her fingers against her thigh as she cringed at the replay of their conversation that was going on in her head. Why had she brought it up? Why could she not trust herself to be normal around him lately?

He stepped up beside her – keeping a sensible distance – and disembarked once the doors opened at his floor. Liz let out a sigh of relief, ignoring the – tiny – part of her that wanted to follow him just to be in his presence.

Just as the doors were sliding closed again, and Liz was pushing the button to go back down to her floor, Jack’s hand appeared between them and they reopened.

“Oh, Lemon… Would you like me to talk to your staff?”

Liz frowned again, just wishing she could curl up and die in this hole she had dug for herself. “About what?” she asked wondering where the hell this had come from.

“Well, I’ve noticed Jenna hugs you a lot – ”

Ah. “That’s different,” she replied, thinking quickly, “We’ve known each other a long time, so that’s okay.”

Jack nodded, pursing his lips thoughtfully. “And Tracy – ”

“Well, that’s different, because he’s crazy!” she cut in, inwardly kicking herself for how lame that sounded.

He nodded again. “I see… Okay. Well just say the word if you’d like me to do a memo.”

Liz forced a smile and nodded her thanks, and Jack stepped away from the doors again. Liz sighed again, dropping her head into her hands, horrified to find it did actually feel as flushed as she had been hoping it wasn’t.

“And Lemon…”

Her head shot up, to find Jack holding the doors open again.

“I’ve been assured that the air conditioning will be fixed by the end of the day, so we’ll get these shivers and hot flushes of yours under control again.”

His eyes had latched onto hers and her horror must have been conveyed on her face – it was so strong that it couldn’t possibly have been kept hidden.

She nodded numbly, knowing of nothing she could possibly say to make the situation any better – and also knowing if she tried to speak she would no doubt make it infinitely worse.

He nodded also, and his lips quirked into the smallest of smiles, as something akin to amusement flashed in his eyes. Liz shivered.

“I shall see you later, Lemon,” he said, his knowing smile widening, as he stood clear of the doors. “But not touch you!” he added before they closed completely.

Liz slumped back against the wall of the elevator, still seeing the look in his eyes even as she closed hers. Damn him! She dropped her head back against the wall.

It really didn’t matter if he never touched her again: his voice and his smile had the same damn effect on her body – and he knew it.

She dropped her head against the wall again. Hard.