Whatever You Say (30 Rock, Jack/Liz)
Fandom: 30 Rock
Spoilers: 'The Ones,' references to some S4 events
Word Count: 5,287
Notes: This is an AU in which Liz is a geologist. It was requested by peoplewantducks and inspired by Jack's 'what if' scenario in 'The Ones.' (In which he worried about cheating accidentally because he *has to*. Like, 'what if he finds himself stranded in a snow cave with a stern, but comely geologist, both of them knowing that their only chance at survival is the heat from their naked bodies'?) Bob = Bob Ballard.
Summary: "But here he was, stuck in a snow cave with a stern but comely geologist with the disappointing name of Elizabeth Lemon."
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't sue!
When Jack had mentioned the possibility of this scenario to Bob, he'd said it was impossible and advised him to marry Elisa.
("And if it does happen, then fuck the hot geologist. Nobody would ever find out."
"I don't believe you're appreciating the fact that I could end up being murdered by the woman I love."
"Then die in the snow cave! Jesus Christ, Jack, what is wrong with you? Can't you worry about actual problems?"
As a test -- for Jack -- and an evening of relaxation -- for both of them -- they went to a gentleman's club. No stripper's breasts were as appealing as Elisa's; he wondered if that was a sign of his devotion or only proved the perfection of her breasts.)
But here he was, stuck in a snow cave with a stern but comely geologist with the disappointing name of Elizabeth Lemon. Disappointing because in his imaginings, which became more detailed the more he rolled it (and other possible scenarios in which cheating would be not merely reasonable but *necessary*) around in his head, his earth-obsessed paramour had the sort of French-sounding name that rolled off the tongue.
Not that Elizabeth would sound *bad*, but he was calling her 'Lemon.' (She had started calling him 'Donaghy' and seemed to dislike being called 'Elizabeth,' so he mirrored her choice.) And, despite the fact that she wasn't everything he imagined -- he also thought the woman would have larger breasts and work for the oil industry, not an environmental consulting company that advised corporations on how to go more 'green' -- when she invited him to tag along on her trip into the Alaskan wilderness, he found himself hoping for this development. Not only because it would be proof he *wasn't* insane for worrying about such a possibility, but because he did find the idea of being stuck with this particular woman, ordering him to take his clothes off *now* or they would *die,* to be incredibly arousing.
She wasn't exactly his type, necessarily, with her dark brown eyes and rough edges, but he found himself attracted to her, drawn to her, liking her, for reasons he couldn't quite quantify.
Thankfully, he didn't end up marrying Elisa--
(After a disturbing disruption at a late-night meeting with Gretchen Thomas, who was helping him decide his next move when it came to his engagement since Bob was no help whatsoever and the breasts of strippers didn't answer his questions fully, he discovered Elisa had been stalking him and was 1) willing to jump to the conclusion that even lesbians could be persuaded to have sex with him* & 2) quick to grab a kitchen knife at the sight of him, fully dressed and not in seduction mode, standing in another woman's living room.
*Some could, he assumed, but Thomas wasn't bicurious. Furthermore, women who identified as gay probably only slept with men out of curiosity, not passion, and the hypothetical didn't appeal to him.
She was talked down, but regardless, love that irrational couldn't work. If he couldn't have a conversation with a lesbian without being threatened, how was Elisa going to deal with him turning on his charms for female shareholders, dowagers at Mitt Romney fundraisers? How could he ever trust her to trust him, especially when he wasn't sure if he had faith in himself?)
--so he *could* engage in the exchange of body heat both free of guilt and risk.
Though, actually, he shouldn't be here, shouldn't have followed Lemon, at all. This weekend was meant to be spent wooing Sarah Palin for a reality show about her home state... but it was probably too ridiculous an idea, even for NBC. What self-respecting, stern but comely political candidate would do such a thing?
(Side note: Lemon resembled Sarah Palin. He doubted she'd find the comparison flattering, but he intended to bring it up when he was in the mood to irk her.)
So. Yes. Lemon was the right one to pursue, since it would end up getting him *something.* Something without guilt. Without risk.
(Also: Upon sharing with her his plans while in the state, Lemon gave him a lecture on the various ways Palin had negatively impacted Alaska. On how Palin's push to expand offshore drilling was unconscionable.
"Do you know how sensitive these areas are? Do you have any idea what kind of havoc that could cause? Do you know how much that would negatively impact this state?"
His first thought was I don't care about Alaska. The one he went with was: "Don't you think having a governor--"
"Half-term governor! She quit. If Reagan quit, would you still have a mancrush on him?"
His affection for Reagan had come up fairly early into his and Lemon's association.
"If Reagan quit, he would have done so for a very good reason. And don't cheapen my respect of Ronald Reagan by referring to it as a crush."
"Oh, of course. I would not *dream* of coming between you two. Anyway. Don't I think what?"
"That having a former governor who has reached the national stage might legitimize your state?"
"Legitimize? That makes it sound like Alaska is America's bastard child."
"You said it, Elizabeth, not me."
She half-smiled, coolly said, "Really. Stop calling me Elizabeth.")
Fine. He would probably look forward to sleeping with her even if he were married and guilt and risk were involved. Perhaps it would have made the prospect more appealing, more dangerous.
He did enjoy danger, after all.
But, again, it's possible the thought of being stabbed to death would not have provided a sexual adrenaline rush. It was honestly hard to say.
"I think we'll be able to get out of here in a couple of hours," Lemon said. "It's really coming down now, and the gusts are unbearable, which *you* certainly know." Earlier, when a stiff wind had knocked him down, she laughed at him. Her laugh, at least in that moment, had a mean edge to it; he put it down as another thing he liked about her. Her 'heh'-type snicker was less boisterous, but still oddly appealing. "But, anyway, I can tell it's going to let up before sundown."
She declared this in a don't question me tone of voice that made him want to question her assessment though he knew *nothing* about it. But he stayed silent, partly because of the other effect her tone had on him, and how he couldn't stop thinking about the low-cut top that was underneath her bulky jacket; he didn't want to make her less likely to desire his body heat.
Lemon smiled at him. "Bet in the future you're going to think twice about going off with a stranger, huh?"
"I suppose it hasn't been entirely horrible so far."
"Man, Donaghy, you're full of compliments."
She bit her lip, and he was reminded of yesterday, the first time he spotted her: she had the end of her glasses on her bottom lip while she read a newspaper, and in that moment, before he knew who she was or what she did, he decided he wanted to sleep with her. So, honestly, the possibility of living out a rather specific worst-case-scenario-turned-fantasy was merely a bonus.
"Shouldn't we find a way to stay warm?" he asked.
She shrugged. "We're fine for now."
Lemon moved closer to him, their thighs touching.
"But..." she began. "Never mind."
When her hand started to rub his thigh, it was surprisingly unprovoked by him and, if her next words were any true indication, not meant to be erotic.
(Of course: He was disappointed.)
"So," she said, "are your legs cold? What is the deal, anyway, are these pants from a suit? You should've worn jeans. Long underwear."
"I don't own either."
She scoffed. "Everybody has jeans."
"I don't, Lemon; I make more than sixty thousand dollars a year."
"Is that the lowest salary you could think of?"
"It's the highest one where dressing like a construction worker while not at work is acceptable."
She squeezed his leg. Her thumb moved back and forth over the fabric. "Well, are your legs super cold?"
Perhaps this was meant to be erotic.
(Of course: Scientists, in his experience, were more awkward with seduction.)
"Maybe you're retaining heat better because of your, you know, bulk."
It was strange, having a woman comment on his weight, and he didn't know exactly how to deal with it. His first impulse was to be offended, but perhaps she intended it as a compliment; he was particularly well-built. "Bulk?"
"There's nothing wrong with it." There was an awkward pause. She let out a breath. "So you like cake!"
Perhaps it wasn't a compliment.
"Who doesn't like cake?" she continued. "I do. I like a good cake. I love a good cake." She let out another breath. "Maybe after this, we could have a cake together."
On the last sentence, her voice had lowered to something more flirtatious; either she was imagining them, naked and sated, lying in her bed and eating an array of desserts, or she considered eating to be a transcendent experience.
She shook her head. "So, speaking of food--"
Perhaps it was the latter.
(Of course, as previously stated: She could simply be terrible at seduction.)
"--I have granola bars in my bag. Want one? Before you call me a hippie, I'll have you know that they have chocolate chips and marshmallow in them."
"All you have in terms of food in your ridiculously oversized bag is granola bars?"
"I have plenty of stuff. I have jerky, but I didn't think you'd want that."
"And I also have cookies. But does a guy who doesn't want jerky and doesn't own jeans even *want* a half-sleeve of Oreos or is that too *common* and *sixty thousand dollars a year*?" She paused. "Also, I wanted to eat them. But, if you want my cookies, I can share them with you."
Her voice sounded flirtatious again. Then she muttered something under her breath.
"Just... Do you want cookies? I'll give you a couple if you want."
(Of course: He could proposition her. But he wanted her to move this forward.)
He held out a gloved hand. "Yes."
He was telling one of his favorite anecdotes about Jack Welch's motivational techniques -- it involved a sock full of quarters, an empty box and an imaginary prostitute -- when she roughly exhaled. She grabbed his jacket, pressed her body closer to his.
"Take your clothes off," Lemon ordered. They'd been in the snow cave for three hours and he was starting to think they wouldn't resort to what he desperately wanted to resort to. "We can use each other's body heat."
He tried not to smirk. "Could we?"
"I know what I'm doing, okay?" she snapped, apparently taking his reaction as skepticism. "Take your clothes off."
He began to do what she ordered, but didn't take his eyes off of her as she undressed. When he saw she was wearing a bra that closed in the front, he reached out to snap the clasp open, but she undid it before he managed to make it.
"I can take my clothes off," she said as she glanced at his hand, frozen in the air in front of her chest. "Take *your* clothes off. Really, how many times do I have to say that?"
He returned to unbuttoning his shirt, continued watching her disrobe. He let his eyes linger on her chest, on the hardened-from-the-cold nipples that he wanted to close his lips over. She groaned in irritation as she pulled at her long underwear, and smacked his hand away when he tried to help her.
"Take your pants off," she said.
Jack obliged, but followed her lead and didn't remove his socks. He assumed there was some good reason for those to be the only things she continued to wear. Finally fully naked, Lemon straddled him.
"Keep your boxers on," she said. "I don't want your testicles to go blue."
There wasn't any particular innuendo in her voice.
He found this troubling.
(But again: Scientist.)
More troubling was when she began to rub her chest against his. Her movements were so fast and businesslike that he thought she was, in fact, solely looking for the heat of his body and not to heat his body up any more than it was naturally. Perhaps her work boots were a sign she was a lesbian and all the flirting she'd done was merely by accident. Perhaps she wasn't inviting him out as a prelude to sex in front of a fireplace in the modest house he assumed she lived in, but just as a friendly outing. If so, it made his erection -- which she didn't seem to take note of; also troubling -- somewhat embarrassing, but it could be explained away as a natural response to a woman ripping her clothes off and pressing her body against him, and not him having misconceptions about what she was proposing.
(He wondered if Elisa would murder him after a scenario that involved nudity and touching, but none of it sexual on part of the woman, then decided the fact that he was certainly having a sexual response would be the important part. She didn't even want him talking to women. No scenario would allow for naked breasts to be rubbed against him.
He was extremely glad he didn't get married.)
Though he quite possibly wasn't going to get sex out of this rubbing of flesh, he did start to touch her -- after all, this still *would* have a purpose -- moving his hands over her body in the same quick way her chest stroked his.
"That's good, that's good," she said. He paused for a second to squeeze her ass. "That's good."
This had to be foreplay.
She confirmed this when her hand moved between their bodies, slipping inside his boxers and taking hold of his erection. She circled the head of his cock with her thumb, the movement somewhat tentative but still rather welcome. He muttered her last name in response.
"Call me Liz. It's weird if we're... you know, and you're calling me by my last name. And I will call you Jack. So. It won't be weird. Not that this all isn't weird, but you know."
"I'd prefer to call you Elizabeth."
"You're so annoying. Why do I like you? Don't answer that."
She kissed him, kept rubbing her body against his as she touched him.
"You should be on top," she said, hand traveling from his groin to his chest, the move signaling she was ready to shift to intercourse or, at the very least, foreplay that focused on her. "When we do it. You're, you know. Bigger. Which is fine! I guess. I didn't mean the 'I guess.' Oh God. You're just, you know, bigger than the other guys I've been with. I'm not talking about your penis. Though that's... it's bigger than some. Thicker than all of them, I think. I haven't dealt with a lot of penises. But I... I think it will do well. Why am I still saying things? I think you're attractive, is the point. And I'm sure you think, 'oh, who *doesn't* think I'm awesome?' but anyway. I like your face and the whole deal that's going on here." She grabbed his forearm, moved it so it was between them. He rested his hand on her shoulder as she caressed his arm with both of her hands. "I like your arms. You have beefy forearms. Which is a thing. That I like."
He curved his fingers around the back of her neck and drew her closer, kissing her in an attempt to relax her. It seemed to work, as her next words were calmer and more to the point.
"But, anyway, you get on top of me. Since you're bigger. Warmer." She paused. "Furrier."
He brushed his lips over her jaw. "I'm sure I can warm you up in any position, Elizabeth."
"Oh, wow. That was lame even by my standards, and my last boyfriend was a beeper salesman."
He kissed her neck. "I will admit that was far from my best."
"Well, let's hope that's not going to be true for every part of this."
He lifted his head up, his distracted-by-arousal mind finally taking note of her previous statement. "Beeper salesman?"
"I need to stop bringing Dennis up, because it *never* makes me seem awesome."
"Have you been alone since the '80s or is Alaska that far behind in technological advances?"
"Hey, buddy, technology is cyclical and why am I defending his stupid beepers?"
"I don't know."
"He wasn't my last boyfriend, either. Just the last one I was with for more than a couple of months."
He debated, for several moments, whether he should tell her about his most recent serious love affair. He decided it wasn't going to harm anything. "The last woman I dated for more than a month threatened to murder me. And also didn't tell me that she'd killed her husband."
"Okay. You win." She paused. "Though Dennis once--" She shook her head. "You know what? I don't want to talk about what TV show Dennis may or may not have been on."
She kissed him.
He ducked his head down. "I want my mouth on your breasts."
"One at a time, right? You're not going to smoosh them together and--" Off his confused look, she said, "I was kidding. And you're forward. Telling me where you want to put your mouth."
"You ordered me to disrobe."
"I'm just thinking of our *survival.* So."
He pressed one hand to the small of her back as she rocked forward on her knees, bringing her chest nearer to his mouth. Her body stayed close to his as his lips and tongue traveled over her chest. He continued touching her; Liz, however, kept her hands stationary at the back of his neck. He slid his hand over her backside and between her legs. She was, of course, wet -- he'd found that women were easily and extremely aroused at the prospect of having sex with him... again, of course -- and she squirmed against his fingers. He slid one slightly inside her and she squeezed his shoulder.
"We shouldn't fool around with fooling around too much, right? We're--" He pushed his finger in a bit more. "Have sex with me. Okay? Have sex with me."
He was unsure if her anxiety was caused by a disdain for digital stimulation, a rush of desire to move forward, or the realization they weren't doing as much as they should to share their body heat, but he withdrew his finger without questioning her motives. Pulled her hips down so her sex was right above his cock. She made a little noise that was somewhere between a moan of anticipation and a groan of irritation.
"Damn it," she grumbled.
"I don't have a condom," she said. "I'm on the pill... but you could have some sort of disease, couldn't you? I don't know where you've been."
"I have a condom."
Her face screwed up in annoyance. "You were expecting to get some today?"
"I always have condoms with me. You never know when you'll end up in a snow cave with a stern but comely geologist who needs the heat of your body--"
"Are you adapting this into a porno or something?"
"Why did you answer that like it was an actual question?"
"There are rumors GE might merge with a major porn provider. It's impossible to know what my new duties will be."
"I might be about to get done by a porn filmmaker. Neat."
"I'd still be an executive, not a *creative* type."
"Well, that makes me feel better." She titled her head. "Did you really expect we'd end up having sex? I mean, whatever, you always have condoms with you. But did you think *we* would take time out of the day--"
He titled his head back at her. "Are you honestly saying we never would have ended up in this position?"
She stuttered for a few moments. "Well, fine, maybe I was going to let you do stuff to me tonight and see where it went."
"It would have gone well."
She rolled her eyes, and he was somewhat impressed. Most women didn't have the ability to mock the idea that he would be able to seduce them while naked, incredibly aroused and moments past telling him to have sex with her.
"I'll get a blanket from my bag and you get a thing for your thing."
He watched her as she moved to her bag, hastily zipping it open and grabbing a blanket out of it. His eyes stayed on her ass while she leaned over; her jeans didn't do it justice in terms of roundness or firmness. As she threw the blanket down, he kept his eyes on her while he reached for his coat -- a puffy thing he'd purchased the day before on Lemon's insistence that he dress as if he were in Alaska while, in fact, in Alaska -- and unzipped a side pocket. He removed his wallet and retrieved a condom without looking, then tossed his wallet into the pile of clothes. She turned around, sat down on the blanket, and he moved closer.
She exhaled roughly. "I can't believe I'm doing this. Once my power went out and, boom, no heat, no anything, right, and Dennis wanted to do it so we could 'keep warm,' and I told him to drop dead. Long story short, I spent the night eating the ice cream in my freezer before it melted, which is what I wanted to do all along--"
"Sex makes you nervous."
She feigned nonchalance with an awkward shoulder shrug. "Why do you say that?"
"Because you've rambled more in the past ten minutes than you have for the past two days. And you were trying to seduce me before and kept pulling back--"
"You could tell?" She lightly smacked his leg. "Then you should have said something!"
"I wasn't certain. Now, I am. And, truthfully, I hoped it would get to the point where you would order me to take my clothes off which, thankfully, it did." He paused. "By the way, knowing what I know now, I'm pleasantly surprised you mustered the courage."
"I told myself to just go for it, so. It worked when I wanted to ask this guy out... and I am going to stop talking about guys I've dated." She shook her head, glanced at the ground. "I'm not the most comfortable person with sex," she admits. "But I'm working on it. I'm working on being more open. And... I don't need to ramble to you about what I talk to my therapist about, either. Anyway. You can be part of that. You can be my lusty snow cave session of sex." Now, she rolled her eyes in response to herself. "Or whatever. You can be something I do just because I want to do it. You."
He smiled. "Isn't this about body heat?"
"That too, yeah. But I wouldn't have sex with anyone for that. If Glenn Beck and I were in a snow cave--"
"You're not a Republican who watches Glenn Beck, right? You're not crazy, right? Tell me you're sane."
"Will do. Thanks, by the way," she said as she followed his request, "for calling me what I *want* you to call me."
Jack moved between her parted legs, rested a hand on one of her bent knees. "There's nothing to be nervous about."
"Well, that sentence undid years of neuroticism."
"We're two attractive, unattached people having sex in a snow cave--"
"This is so weird." The heel of her foot pressed against the back of his leg. "Come on, let's do it. I want to do it."
He slid his boxers down until they were halfway down his thighs before he ripped open the condom wrapper.
"That's not necessary, is it?"
"You don't know where I've been. And, quite frankly, I don't know where you've been outside of a beeper salesman, and that tidbit isn't particularly encouraging about your choices when it comes to sexual partners."
"No, no. That's needed. The boxers, I mean. You--"
"Oh. When possible, I prefer pelvis to pelvis contact."
"Don't say pelvis."
Jack leaned down to kiss her, his palms pressing against the blanket. He felt the snow shift under his hands, felt her body shift underneath his own. Liz wrapped a leg around his waist as he started to enter her. He eased into her slowly, her breath coming out in an excited gasp. She wrapped her other leg around him, slid her hands up his back. She touched him more than he might have expected -- specifically his arms, which he supposed didn't surprise him -- and, despite his recent fears about her comfort level with intimacy, she didn't keep her eyes closed the entire time. She was fully engaged, it seemed, so perhaps the lead-up to sex put her on edge more than the act itself.
Her fingernails dug into his flesh as he started to move faster, harder, and, as he got lost in the sensations of moving in and out of her, he found himself... feeling things, which tended to put *him* on edge. He wondered if this -- living out an admittedly strange scenario and having that scenario be enjoyable -- signaled this was fate. But he pushed the thoughts away; he was developing a tendency to go a little crazy while having sex with a woman whose company he actually enjoyed. It probably wasn't healthy, and had started to give him a reputation as a *romantic* who was influenced by *positive* emotions, a misconception a man of his talents at being ruthless didn't appreciate.
And in this case, making too much of this wasn't prudent. He wasn't going to move to Alaska -- which would have been worse than being thought of as a man ruled by his heart -- or squire a geologist away to Manhattan.
Well, fate didn't have to mean their connection would last *forever.* Sex was certainly important.
It might very well be saving their lives right now.
(Side note: He didn't believe this was necessary for their survival. But he did continue to enjoy the hyperbole of the excuse.)
At the very least, it was causing her to come, her muscles tightening around him as she cried out. That had to be *more* than enough importance, especially if Liz's sexual history was as unsatisfying as Jack believed it was.
He slowed his pace again as he got onto his forearms. He kissed her neck; her skin tasted of sweat.
"Rub your pelvis against me."
Part of him hoped she'd be more receptive to sentences that used the word 'pelvis' so soon after orgasm. Part of him wanted to rile her.
"Ugh." She pressed the heel of her foot harder against his leg, but her sock kept the act from having any impact. "I don't like you anymore."
"I don't believe you."
He kept moving, kissed her as her hips started to move in tandem with his.
Yes. Sex was enough.
They lay together afterwards, her body draped over his. They kept touching each other to keep their overheated flesh warm -- though he would admit he spent more time circling her nipple than he needed to -- and she reiterated, more than once, that what had happened was 'weird.'
"Just... I don't take men to snow caves all the time to boff them."
"I certainly don't believe you do. And," he added, "if you did, I would hardly think less of you."
It was a while -- ten minutes? twenty? -- before she looked outside.
"You know what? I think we can go."
The trek back to her truck felt long -- he fell again; she laughed harder than the first time -- partly because he insisted on carrying her bag. She took it from him halfway through. Said:
"I don't want you to get worn out."
"I can handle a bag, Elizabeth."
He was rarely called dude -- generally by deliverymen who didn't know their place -- and it was jarring to hear it come from a woman he'd recently had sex with. "Dude?"
"I can handle it, too. And maybe, if you're carrying less weight, you'll be able to focus on staying on your feet."
"I don't appreciate being called weak."
"I didn't say weak."
"You are a dude. Anyone can be a dude, and I'm not going to censor myself because you're too rich to be a dude."
She narrowed her eyes as she looked him over; smirked at him. "Maybe you *are* too weak, though."
He took the bag out of her hand and dropped it to the ground. Leaning forward as if to kiss her, he instead scooped her up. She laughed, but it came out more gentle; like a surprised squeal.
"Fine, you weirdo," she said. "You're a strong, manly man with big manly arms."
"I know very well how you feel about my arms."
"Oh God, is this going to be a thing? You should tell me something you like about my body so I can make fun of you."
"Recalling a previous statement isn't the equivalent of mocking, Liz, especially when you should appreciate my physical attributes."
He put her down. "And I like your ass."
She was frozen for a moment, her eyebrows raised and eyes widened in apparent surprise. "Well. I should make fun of you for that. Because it's a mess back there."
"You haven't seen it from my vantage point."
"I doubt I'd love my ass if I saw it from your eyes. Wow, that was a weird sentence."
When they were in her truck, there were a few moments of silence. He wondered if Liz found them awkward.
"So... wanna go back to my place? I have takeout menus and a bunch of wine, so I think we can make an awesome night out of that. Right? If you want to--"
He considered offering her his hotel, with room service and probably a decent selection of desserts for her to choose from, but he thought he may as well see where this woman lived before he left. "I do."
She nodded. "Good." She paused. "Don't assume you're going to use another one of your condoms. Okay, fine, assume it. And I usually don't bring guys I just met home for sex, either."
"Again, I wouldn't think less of you if I believed you did. You should never deny yourself something you want."
She pointed at him. Nodded. "Exactly what my therapist said!"
"Don't compare me to your therapist, Lemon."
"Fair enough, Donaghy."
She turned the ignition key. The truck started, thus ruining his suspicion that 'stern but comely geologist in a snow cave' was about to turn into 'intrepid guide in a remote area with a broken-down car.'
"If you would like to be pleasured in the back of your truck--"
"No. No, no, no." She sounded too horrified; he wondered if she assumed that was some sort of euphemism. "I've never done it on my couch, though. So maybe we could do that later."
It was a rather benign scenario, but it would do.