Holding the Elevator

Rating: PG
Summary: Liz takes drastic measures to show herself that she isn’t attracted to Jack. Well, she tries to…
Disclaimer: I do not own 30 Rock – but as soon as I remember to, I’m going to buy the DVDs :-)
A/N: This is a sequel to my other 30 Rock fic, “Attracted to Jack”, you should really read that first.
Date: 05/04/08


“Hold the elevator!” Liz shouted as she ran towards it – well, stumbled as quickly as she could while trying to put her shoe back on. The doors were open when she reached it, and she muttered a thank you as she hopped inside, not looking up at the person who had responded to her request.

“You’re very welcome, Lemon… But perhaps if you dressed before you came to work you wouldn’t require such assistance.”

Liz dropped her chin to her chest and closed her eyes. Of course she would run into Jack right now. It was the way her world worked. Whenever she encountered disaster, she would soon after encounter Jack.

“My heel got caught in a grate outside,” she explained.

“I figured that, Lemon. I don’t really think you fail to dress yourself before you leave the house.”

Liz rolled her eyes, and straightened up, pushing the button for her floor, and watching the doors close.

“Of course if you watched where you’re going when you walk – ”

“Yes, yes. Thank you.”

Jack was silent now and so Liz spent the entire time suspiciously awaiting his next comment. She was two seconds away from the safety of her floor when Jack’s voice spoke quietly in her ear, “You’re very snippy today, Lemon, is everything okay?”

Her arm swept forward and hit the stop button, and she felt Jack take a step backwards before she turned on him.

“Okay! This stops now!”

“Again, I think you’ve accomplished that,” he responded, waving his hand towards the elevator controls.

“No! You, Jack!”

He held up his hands defensively. “Lemon, I haven’t touched you in over three weeks. When I bumped into yesterday it was an accident; Tracy had pushed me – ”

“You know exactly what you’re doing, Jack!”

“I assure you I don’t – ”

“Stop talking to me like that.”

“You’d like me to stop talking to you?” he frowned.

“No. Just stop using that voice.”

“I can only speak to you with the voice I have, Lemon – ”

“You know what I mean!” she exclaimed, exasperated.

He took a step towards her. “Lemon, I really do not…” Then he raised his hand as if to place it on her shoulder, and lowered his voice, “Elizabeth, are you okay?”

Liz glanced towards his hand. It had stopped millimetres from her arm, respecting her wish for him not to touch her, but his voice was exactly the tone that she was trying to talk to him about.

“That voice, Jack,” she said quietly.

He simply frowned.

“That voice that’s all caring, and concerned, and lacks the sarcasm that our exchanges are usually full of. The voice that’s low and rumbles straight to – ” She stopped because the look in his eyes finally registered. She sighed. “Maybe I’m not okay.”

It wasn’t because he’d touched her. It wasn’t because he’d spoken. It was just a look this time that had her insides trembling. So, no, she wasn’t okay. Her attraction to Jack was more advanced than she’d thought.

“Jack I need you to continue not touching me, and to not talk to me, and, also, to not look at me.”

Jack frowned and asked, “Are these the terms of some kind of restraining order?”

She frowned as well. “What the – . No! Unless I’m going to need one to get you to comply?”

“No. But I do think we should call Doctor Spaceman, because you may be having some kind of midlife crisis.”

Liz’s eyes widened and she tried with all her might to feel anger at him for that remark; but instead she found her heart was fluttering at the genuine concern in his voice and eyes. She closed her eyes and sighed heavily. “Oh for God’s sake.”

Opening her eyes, she took a deep breath and looked directly at Jack.

“Okay. I either need you to not touch me, talk to me or look at me… Or I need you to kiss me.” That should do the trick. He wouldn’t kiss her. So, she would get her way. Or, if, in some bizarre twist, he did kiss her, she wouldn’t feel a thing and she would know once and for all that she wasn’t attracted to him. Because she couldn’t actually be attracted to Jack, she was obviously just misreading her own reactions to him.

“You realise those are very different alternatives?” Jack stated, his brow still furrowed in confusion.

“I do,” she responded confidently.

“And those are my only choices?”

“Yep.”

“And I don’t get out of this elevator until I’ve chosen one?”

Liz narrowed her eyes at him, proud that her heart was not yet fluttering when he made facetious comments.

“Okay,” he stated. “If this is the way you want to do this.”

And he took a step closer to her.

Liz’s heart skipped a beat.

“You realise that in order to kiss you, I have to touch you?” he asked softly.

And it skipped another one. “That’s the option you’re going with?”

He nodded once. “It’s the only one that makes sense.”

He took another step towards her, effectively backing her into a corner.

“Why?” she asked, the question almost sticking behind the nervousness in her throat.

“Because we have to work together, Lemon. There’s no way that can work if I can’t speak to you or look at you.”

“Oh,” she nodded, conceding that point.

“So…” He raised one hand and gently cupped her cheek, stroking his thumb along her cheekbone as he lightly tilted her face up towards his.

Her heart was beating faster than she had ever experienced previously, and as she felt her tongue flit out and moisten her lips she realised that perhaps she had been less than honest with herself about her feelings.

He was so close that she could almost feel his lips on hers when she whispered, “Jack…”

He stopped. “You offered me this option,” he whispered back. “Have you changed your mind?”

His fingers stroked the back of her neck and she shivered. “No,” she sighed out, barely audibly.

“Good.” He wrapped his free arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him. “Because it has been hard enough not being able to touch you these three weeks. The thought of not seeing you, or speaking to you, is unbearable.”

Their lips met as he finished speaking so Liz didn’t have time to process his words before she melted into his touch.

Her hands came to rest, naturally, on his shoulders as his lips moved over hers. It was gentle, it was soft, and it was most definitely not free of feeling. In fact when he pulled back seconds later, Liz immediately missed the contact.

“So do I get to continue looking at you and talking to you, now?” he asked, and when Liz realised she couldn’t see the smirk that she could hear in his voice it occurred to her to open her eyes.

She found him smiling down at her. “I guess that was the deal.”

“You guess?” he frowned.

“Well my plan failed.”

“Your plan wasn’t to get me to kiss you?” he smirked again.

“No,” she smiled – she couldn’t help it. “My plan was to convince myself that I’m not attracted to you.”

“You had a strange way of doing that.”

“I didn’t expect you to choose to kiss me.”

“Ah. So you hadn’t taken into account that I might be attracted to you?”

She laughed out loud. “No! Because you have pointed out to me many times that I am not the kind of woman you date.”

“Well, yes, that remains true.”

“Gee, thanks, Jack.”

“But,” he said, sliding his hands round her waist as he spoke, “I’ve missed being able to place my hand on the small of your back; or take hold of your elbow to guide you away from obstacles that you fail to see when you don’t look where you’re going; or accidentally brush up against you in the corridor without having to pay Tracy to push me – ”

“You paid – ”

“My point, Lemon,” he interrupted her, “is that while obeying your crazy request, I came to realise that I may be attracted to you.”

“Oh,” Liz said, “That’s… weird.”

“Yes. I called Doctor Spaceman to see if there was anything he could prescribe, but he just sighed and started singing ‘It Must Be Love’ – I think he may test his new medications himself, Lemon.”

Liz nodded – she’d been convinced of that for quite a while. “So what do we do now?”

“Well, I guess we accept our fate, and we go on a date.”

“Did you intend for that to rhyme?”

“I did not. You must be bringing out my romantic side.”

“Okay. So, a date. That sounds… weird. But good.”

“It does indeed… And is the embargo on me touching you lifted now?”

Liz nodded. “Providing you kiss me again.”

“Now crazy requests like that, I can live with.”

So he kissed her again, and the people waiting on the various floors, bashing the buttons to call the elevator, waited another ten minutes before finally taking the stairs.

THE END