7 Drinks (A 7 Part Series)
Fandom: 30 Rock
Pairing: None yet (will go Jack/Liz)
Spoilers: Up All Night, general S2
Disclaimer: NBC et al own the copyright.
Summary: Liz at a TJ McGoodtime’s is a bad combination, basically.
“Malibu and Pineapple Juice”
Grown adults did not act like this. That was one thing Liz knew about her situation: she had willingly devoted her life to a career where nobody behaved like a grown up. Except there was not behaving like a stuffy corporate adult, and then there was having the one stuffy corporate adult in your life oscillating between being the one sensible person and the crazy man who actually took your drunk dials.
Not that Liz had ever purposely drunk-dialed Jack. That had been an accident. He was five on her speed dial, and Liz had meant to hit four and call…who was four on her speed dial? Liz didn’t remember. Two and three were Pete and Jenna, one was for her doctor in case of emergency, four was whoever Liz really meant to call, and five was Jack.
God, she had a pathetic social life if her boss was on speed dial.
Anyway, the point was that Liz was somewhat sauced and drunk-dialing because nobody ever did the right thing and took away her phone when they gave her white wine spritzers or Malibu and pineapple juice or amaretto sours. And ol’ Jack Donaghy had taken her call.
“Lemon, is that you?” he asked.
“Oh, did I call you?” Liz replied. “That was an accident. You’re not number four on my speed-dial. I think it’s either my mom or Tracy. I really hope it’s neither, though.”
Long pause. “Lemon, did someone give you a drink with an umbrella in it?”
Liz stopped twirling the pink umbrella she’d been playing with since the waiter had brought her the fourth Malibu. “No. Absolutely not,” she said.
“I’m sure,” Jack replied.
“Yeah, you are, because I don’t have a pink umbrella on a toothpick. Not me,” Liz said. “Okay, I’m gonna go now because you are not who I meant to call.”
“Yes, but I’m the only person who has the common sense to take the phone out of your hand when you’ve been drinking,” said Jack. “That means I’m fielding this drunk dialing intervention, Lemon. Where are you?”
“None of your business,” said Liz, hotly offended. “I didn’t mean to call you!”
“Is it that obnoxious family-friendly bar and restaurant near the GE Building that has the onion rings you like?” Jack asked. Damn him. He always knew! “Are you scaring children?”
“No. Just all the single men,” Liz replied, reminding herself to take Jack off her speed dial. “Any parent who brings a kid to TJ McGoodtime’s for happy hour is a bad parent anyway.”
Jack snorted. “One day, I will teach you why grown adults do not go to TJ McGoodtime’s for happy hour,” he said dryly.
“And on that day, will I be a man at last?” Liz asked, and then laughed. “I forgot, you think I’m mannish anyway. Liz Lemon, the enormous man-child woman.”
“Prove me wrong. Stop drinking sorority girl drinks at a frat boy bar while wearing Chuck Taylors and perhaps my mind will be changed,” Jack replied. Oh, he was taunting her. And okay, maybe TJ McGoodtime’s was a frat bar, but it was cheap and the onion rings were good and just because he could afford to pay twenty bucks a scotch didn’t mean Liz was going to waste her money that way.
“Just because I don’t dress up all the time doesn’t mean I don’t look damn cute and girly when I want to,” said Liz. “And I have seen you in worse places than TJ McGoodtime’s.”
Jack chuckled. “Yes, but you haven’t seen me drunk dial and announce that I was there. Except for when I was divorcing Bianca, but those were unique circumstances.”
The waiter — of course — got in Liz’s face then. “Ma’am, do you want another one?” he asked, all spit-polished and world-weary. Also cute and clearly gay and so over the frat bar where he worked while he waited for his big break.
“No,” said Liz. “I want the check. Hear that, Jack? I’m a grown adult and I know when to say when.”
“Yes, because I’m sure the waiter thinks you’re being very grown-up and not drinking alone because you got in a fight with me,” Jack parried. “By the way, he thinks I’m your boyfriend.”
Liz stiffened. Oh, that was…probably true. She grabbed the waiter’s arm. “Do you think I’m talking to my boyfriend?” she asked.
The waiter, bless his obvious gay heart, shrugged. “Maybe? Is he your boyfriend?” he asked.
“No, it’s my boss,” Liz said. The waiter gaped. “What?”
“You drunk dialed your boss? Girl, you are going to be so fired tomorrow,” said the waiter with a dramatic shake of his head.
“No way, I’m not going to be fired,” Liz said. “Am I fired, Jack?”
“No,” said Jack. “I like you. You produce decent copy for network events and you’re an acceptable fake date when I need an intelligent companion. Besides, nobody else at East Coast could manage Tracy Jordan without having a nervous breakdown. I know. I looked.”
“That’s right, they couldn’t,” Liz said, suddenly really proud of herself. She’d spent over a season wrangling Tracy Jordan and she hadn’t lost her mind yet! That was kind of an accomplishment. “Anyone else dealing with Jenna and Tracy would be drunker than me and there would probably be embezzling involved.”
“Do you still want me to get the check?” the waiter asked, reminding Liz that she’d accidentally dragged the waiter into her drunk dial with Jack.
“Yes, I do,” said Liz. “Thank you.”
The waiter went away and Liz went back to her conversation with Jack. “I think I really am hanging up on you now. Not that it hasn’t been fun, being told that I’m a frat boy, but I’m going home to watch the Real Housewives now and hate myself for it.”
“All right, Lemon,” Jack said. “I’ll see you and your hangover tomorrow.”
Liz ended the call, and suddenly about five different things Jack had said practically smacked her in the face. First that she was an acceptable “fake date,” and then that he wanted her to stop drunk-dialing people. Which Liz also wanted, because it was so dumb and led to drama. But Liz sometimes thought it was fun, and also it was easier to say things when she was drinking. Confessional time was always easier when sauced. Though she really shouldn’t have called Jack.
The waiter was back. “Here’s the check. Was that really your boss?” he said. “Because I didn’t want to say so, but you do talk like he’s your boyfriend, or maybe your about to be ex-boyfriend.”
“He’s really my boss,” Liz said. “We have a weird relationship. Here’s my card.”
That was that. Moderate humiliation, moderate relief, and now Liz was going to go home and sleep off the super-humiliation of being stood up at a TJ McGoodtime’s and then drunk-dialing a bunch of people, including her boss, to get over it.
Yes, sir. Liz knew when to say when.