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The 30 Rock lost last holiday episode

“Love is weird, and sometimes gross.” - Liz Lemon, head staff writer, TGS


December 20th, 7:48 pm

“Have you been a good girl this year, Liz Lemon?” Tracy asked, tilting his head like he wouldn’t believe the answer either way.

Liz winced. “‘Good girl’ has such an ooky Fifty Shades vibe to it.”

“A good person, then,” Tracey amended. “The kind that Santa Claus would not tie up as part of a sexual game.”

Liz was ready to call it a night. Tomorrow was the TGS Christmas charity telethon, and she’d have to be at the studio at five am to finalize the skit scripts. The weather forecast looked terrible, too. She fervently hoped they wouldn’t have a total shitshow on their hands, but the network holiday party was set to start after the ‘thon and she figured nothing would matter after a couple of glasses of pinot noir.

She adjusted her glasses. “Define good. I mean...sure.” Tracy gave her a doubtful look. “You don’t think so?”

“I think you can be too cynical, like the economy,” Tracy said.

“That’s...cyclical. I’m pretty sure you mean ‘cyclical’.“

“People can’t be cyclical, Liz Lemon. It’s not like we have wheels.” Tracy rolled his eyes. “Paralympians are the exception that proves this rule.”

“So I’m a cynic. So? What does that have to do with being a good person? How are you even tying these two things together?”

“Your cynicism means you have a lack of faith in humanity. Which gives people unattractive wrinkles between their eyebrows because of making this face.” Tracy scrunched his forehead. “Also, this one.” He looked bored. “Which is ‘cynical ennui’.”

Liz folded her arms. “The second one doesn’t really look that facially strenuous.”

“Because it’s French. You know what I mean, though.”

“Are you kidding, Tracy?” Liz protested, smoothing a path between her eyes with her finger. “There are worse things than being a little misanthropic. At least I don’t go around saying what I really think, like Jenna does.”

“Kenneth does that, and he is a prince,” Tracy said.

“And there’s another one who’s not cynical, but who makes other people cynical.”

“I bet you can’t be non-cynical for one day, LL,” Tracy challenged her. “It’s almost Christmas.”

“Ugh, that’s so stupid. Christmas has no meaning anymore. It’s so commercialized and...” Liz paused. “Am I starting?”

“Yes. I will personally donate ten thousand dollars to dolphins if you can manage this for 24 hours, starting now. Wait. 24/7, which is 31 hours.”

Now Tracy had her attention.“Dolphins? Is this a serious offer? You know there is a specific dolphin-related charity that I support.”

He shrugged. “Fine. Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender dolphins. Whatever you want, Liz Lemon. Ten grand.”

“I can do this!” she threw over her shoulder as she left Tracy’s office.

Liz took a deep breath, clutched her messenger bag, and headed for the bank of elevators. “Transgender dolphins,” she muttered under her breath. “I’m doing this for you.”

 

December 21st

Liz wasn’t merely dressed up; she was decked out. The “Holiday Hotties” segment on the Today show had been a 20-minute time-filler. With the arrival of the storm, three of the four makeover subjects had been unable to make it to the studio. Plus, the mayor had advised New York (all of New York) to stay indoors once the weather went to hell.

Freezing sleet and howling nor’easter wind meant that the “NBC GE Charity Cheer-A-Thon” guest celebrities had been essentially penned inside the building and were climbing the walls.

Worse, there was no studio audience for anything, nor crowds clustered outside by the massive Christmas tree; the stylists had no frumpy tourists in college football team sweatshirts to trawl and they’d had to reject the Rockettes because “they already look presentable.”

So the Today crew had pulled Liz in by the hoodie, taped a “before” video, and then done...things to her hair involving heat and hot rollers and plastered on camera-worthy makeup. And then, and then...she’d fit into the dress like it had been made for her.

Made for her...by angels.

This wasn’t just some dress. It was some dress. Brian Williams had given her a hallway high-five, and even Jack Donaghy noticed when she dropped off a handful of telethon script approvals before lunch, kicking up a whirl of frothy midnight blue with her matching satin crisscross heels.

“That’s some dress, Lemon,” he said, narrowing his eyes.

“This old rag?” Liz purred, full-on Bette Davis. “I was going to give it back to the stylist but Jenna threatened to steal it and have a waist inserted after the dry cleaners scrub my ‘uncelebrity germs’ off, and there’s no way I’m giving up something with a built-in bra that doesn’t create underboob. So I’m wearing it until the party.”

“You’re going?” Jack lifted a brow. “What about the writers’ customary Ludachristmas bash?”

“Merged into this one. Open bar. And of course I’m going. How could I miss Frank’s horny Santa? He’s been practicing suggestive triple-ho’s all week.” Liz perched on the arm of the leather chesterfield and tossed her head back. This dress even made comfortable perching look effortlessly elegant.

She might start wearing it daily.

“Are you going?” Liz asked. “What are you even doing here? Why aren’t you in the Pampas or in Aspen having a Ralph Lauren Christmas? I saw that coat you picked out, with the Navajo blanket pattern and the lynx fur trim. Which is insensitive, by the way.”

“The airports are closed, Lemon,” Jack said glumly. “Even the secret airports that the one percent use exclusively. It’s a very democratic blizzard.”

“You used democratic as a modifier in a positive way. I’m very impressed,” Liz said, because compliments were things that were offered non-cynically.

“Well, I was describing a nasty and inconvenient blizzard, not a delicious, wonderful thing, like a crème brûlée covered in gold leaf.” Jack stood and plucked a box from his desk, then handed it to her with a flourish. “Your Christmas gift, Lemon.”

She slid the lip of the box open and gawked. It was a watch. And it looked impressive. Gems set along its bezel winked at her enticingly when she lifted the watch from its velvety nest, and it fit around her wrist perfectly. “Oh. This is actually very pretty, Jack,” Liz marveled, “and useful,” she added, noticing that the time was off. “I’ll just set it and...” She poked around the rim of the watch, then slid if off her wrist and examined the back. “How do I wind this?”

“You don’t,” Jack said. “Factory second. But it looks fantastic, doesn’t it?”

She’d left her glasses in her office, so she squinted at the tiny lettering on the dial. “Does that say...is this a Rolex?”

“K’rolex, actually. It’s Korean. Korea is making all of the good stuff now, like the Kia, which only exploded onto the public consciousness after they stopped making them in Iowa and omitted the apostrophe.”

Liz wanted to ask Jack why he was importing fake luxury goods from places that weren’t France, because wasn’t that against the rich guy code? But instead, she took a deep, cleansing breath and held her cynicism in check. “It’s lovely, anyway,” she said, turning her wrist so the cubic zirconia could catch the light. And hey, that wasn’t so hard.

“And it’ll be right twice a day, which isn’t a bad average. Nobody can be right all the time, Lemon. Remember that.”

“O...kay. I um, I got you something, too.”

Jack folded his arms. “Is it a zero-dollars present?”

“...yes!” Liz confirmed, stalling. “I’ll give it to you later. At the party.” Damn. Well, she had all afternoon to write a song or find a plateful of cookies to regift.

Jack rolled his eyes. “I can’t wait.”

Stepping into the hallway, she nearly ran into Kenneth, who was carrying a huge box overflowing with balsam-scented greenery.

“What are you doing with that?” she asked. Not caring, really. Just displaying polite curiosity, which was a thing non-cynical people did.

“Party decor, Ms. Lemon-Chros,” Kenneth replied sunnily.

“It’s. Just. Lemon. I kept my name when I got married and...separated,” Liz clarified through gritted teeth. “Post-marital cold feet can inspire some people to want to leave in the middle of the night and start up a vegetarian taco truck in a terrible place like Boston. It’s a thing. Boston is full of Megans, did you know that, Kenneth? So many Megans.” She forced a smile, “So anyway, the greenery?”

“All the tours are cancelled today, and everything has already been tidied, so I’m on decorating duty.”

“Is there a theme this year?”

“Oh yes!” Kenneth confirmed. “Hazel won the holiday party theme contest. It’s a surprise!”

“Hazel doesn’t work here anymore,” Liz pointed out.

“I know,” Kenneth said icily, his mouth dipping into a moue of disappointment before he brightened again. “But the contest was in July. She’d been stockpiling weapons for months!”

“Don’t hotglue stockings to the monitors this year, Kenneth, okay?”

“Will do,” he agreed. “I mean, will don’t. Or is it...will won’t?” He considered the options, shrugged, then smiled. “You look very nice today.”

“Thank you, Kenneth,” Liz replied, feeling sincerely complimented. You could say a lot of things about Kenneth, but he tended to be sincere.

“You look as pretty as a painted whore!” he added cheerfully, as he hefted the box and backed into Studio B.

“It’s true,” Frank said from behind her. “I can’t even see your bunion surgery scars because of where the sandal straps are placed.” He was wearing a trucker hat that said North Polish.

Liz gave him a high-five.


“From the top!” Jenna shimmied from her seat above the keys of the grand piano as the party raged on. Liz noted the presence of Michael Bublé, gamely accompanying Jenna’s torch song as Hornberger curled up underneath the bench cradling a giant promotional bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Jenna was pleased with herself, as usual. Maybe more than usual. Her autotuned telethon collaboration with Lonely Island, ‘Deck The Balls With Balls and Balls,’ was already spiking on iTunes and trending on Twitter, and Michael Bublé was now motorboating her cleavage. Liz guessed Paul didn't mind, since he was recording the proceedings with his camera phone.

“Wonder gin powers, activate!” Jenna shrieked.

“Form of an aspirin,” Liz muttered, as she ducked into the copy room to escape the fracas. She wasn’t the first partygoer to have the same idea; Jack Donaghy, perched on the shredder and cradling a highball glass in one hand, cocked his head in greeting as she entered.

“‘Die Hard: A Nakatomi Plaza Christmas’ is an altogether odd theme for a holiday party,” he stated.

“It’s festive, though,” Liz replied. “Sort of? Tough luck Bruce wasn’t available, but his daughter’s doing a great job.” Rumer Willis had randomly appeared to wisecrack into a walkie-talkie as she sidled barefoot around corners wearing a soiled white tank top. Liz hoped the “blood” on her feet was makeup, because if not, maintenance was going to toss a bitchfit in the morning.

“That kid is a good sport,” Jack said with a nod.

“I guess.”

“You know, there’s mistletoe, Lemon,” Jack pointed upward.

“Huh. Why is there mistletoe in the copy room?” No one even comes in here during a party, unless they want to gossip, and that’s not really conducive to kissing. Is it?” Liz paused. “Hey, so how do you think Pete ripped his pants horizontally?”

“Even secretaries and interns deserve to let their hair down once a year. For a few festive hours, during the portion of the holiday party they’re permitted to attend.” Jack stood and set his scotch down on the supply cabinet. And he was eyeing her. Weirdly eyeing. Like he wasn't going in for a high-five.

And Liz...Liz could have said something cynical then, but the time wasn’t up, and there were dolphins out there who needed her support. “Did you know that 30 percent of dolphins are actually bisexual?” she asked.

“That certainly explains the name ‘Flipper’,”Jack said. “But awkward non-sequiturs aside...” he directed his chin at the sprig of greenery dangling from the ceiling. “Mistletoe.”

A cynical person would scoff at mistletoe and all of the opportunistic tradition it represents. “Well, I guess we’re supposed to kiss, then,” she said gamely as Jack leaned in. Because of the bet. Because of ten grand. Because of the dolphins.

“Oh. Oh...Jack,” Liz managed. She wasn’t being falsely sincere. Donaghy was...a very good kisser. Surprisingly good.

“Lemon,” he rumbled back, against her jawline, both hands pushing a layer of frothy georgette of her dress onto her thighs where they pressed against the Xerox, and she suddenly remembered she wasn’t wearing underwear because of the stylist’s over-dramatic faux seizure of horror over grandma panty lines.

(A thong had been available in wardrobe, but Liz suspected that it had once been worn by Lutz.)

(Probably more than once.)

She shook her head to clear it, but Jack was mouthing at her earlobe, whispering “Lemon,” over and over.

“Really? You’re calling me by my last name while you’re doing that with your hand?”

Jack raised a sultry eyebrow. “Elizabeth,” he murmured.

“Uh. Go with Lemon,” Liz gasped, but it was kind of pointless as an instruction anyway, because Jack was kissing her neck and then along the line of her bared collarbone and not talking at all, and she was suddenly having trouble getting enough air into her lungs. Did Jack have...two hands or something? Holy crap.

“Look at you, Lemon,” Jack murmured. "God, just..look at you."

Liz could see an eyelash floating in front of her pupil. She tipped her head back. “Whoa.”

“Whoa as in ‘halt, you prancing, winsome show pony’?” Jack asked her cleavage breathlessly. “Or whoa as in an expression of delight?”

“Shut up, Jack,” Liz said, and briefly considered that maybe that was rude, so she tempered it by shoving his shoulders down. Politely. Her eye caught something shiny jammed in the paper load slot. “Is that Ann Curry’s lariat pendant?”

Later, when she reflected on this moment again, she would be almost certain that it had been.

 

December 22nd

“Oh my god,” Liz said, lifting her head and looking around frantically. She dropped her head back to the caramel leather sofa after noting with relief that the dress had been laid carefully over the chair in front of Jack’s desk. It appeared to be unharmed.

(Because there was screwing your boss — and your friendship — at the holiday shindig, and then there was screwing up a dress you had actually considered adopting as a sort of formal daily uniform.)

“Mmmm,” Jack murmured softly into her bare shoulder and she shivered. Completely involuntarily. The faux fire had gone out. “I love that you kept the shoes on.”

She flexed her ankle. “This was a mistake, Jack,” Liz said.

“Still. Well-played, Lemon. Your ankles look almost lithe.”

“No, I mean what...happened. Between us.” Jack shifted, and Liz flailed to reach the back of the sofa to keep from tumbling off, but couldn’t quite reach. Her hand death-gripped his thigh. “And I’m not feeling you up.”

“How can you say that? I know I felt something. I mean, last night. I think you did, as well.”

“I...we don’t even like each other like that.” Liz wrinkled her nose. “It was just the makeover and the dress. And the tuxedo and the alcohol and the stupid mistletoe. And there was the raging storm, and ‘Baby, I Love Your Way When It’s Cold Outside.’ I mean come on, Peter Frampton and Buster Poindexter? Doing a medley? Panties dropped.”

“Lemon,” Jack cut in. “You didn’t have that much wine.”

“But I’d turned off my natural cynicism. See, I was making a special effort last night to be sincere and open to new things. So that really wasn’t me. What time is it?” She glanced at her K’rolex, then pulled Jack’s wrist upward and squinted at the correct time. “Hooray. My 31 hours of non-cynicism are up.”

“Lemon.”

“I’m usually ‘negative, pessimistic, and sour’. Those are your words.”

“I find it incredibly sexy when you quote me.”

“No, don’t find things sexy. Let me finish.”

“Fine,” Jack said, but he kept stroking her side under the TGS-branded snuggie, and Liz felt a little something trip-dance down her spine. Which was so wrong. “But you know, last night you didn’t want to stop.”

“I, I told you. I-”

“I distinctly heard you shout ‘YOLO!’ at one point. Two points.”

“The acronym? Seriously? Wait. We did it twice?”

“Not technically, Lemon, but you climaxed twice.”

She shuddered. “Don’t ever say ‘climaxed’ again, unless you’re talking about the end of an action movie.” Liz squinted at Jack. “It would probably be better if we just forgot this happened. We could negate it. Call a...what do you call it when something doesn’t count?”

“An annulment?”

“I’ve had one of those, but I don’t mean that,” Liz said.

“You’ve had two of those. Your marriage to me and your marriage to...” Jack paused. “Criss.”

“No one is supposed to say his name in front of me, since the thing. But I meant like in golf. The doesn’t-count thing in golf.”

“A mulligan.” Jack said. “But why? Why deny that there are feelings at stake?”

“I am not...there are no feelings here. Oh, that...feels...so good.” Liz sucked in a breath. “No. No, wait. I think that we had a lapse in judgment,” she managed, because Jack was doing that incredible thing with his hand again. “We should discuss this rationally. You’re not my type. You went to a college with admissions standards. You eat dinner at a table, every time. You watch the stock report on Squawk Box when the remote isn’t missing and you can actually change the channel.”

“Lemon,” Jack interrupted.

“And I’m not your type, either. I once thought dressage was a condiment. And I’m neither blonde nor Asian.”

“Well, I’m no Swiss prostitute myself, but you seemed to enjoy it. Twice. You can again. Or we can stop and discuss this further.”

“Unf,” said Liz, arching her back.

“You do realize that after calling a mulligan, you get a do-over...”

“You know what? Don’t stop doing that,” Liz gasped into Jack’s shoulder. “I can multitask.”


“I have hickeys,” Liz muttered as she dressed. “You gave me hickeys. Are you fourteen? Was Def Leppard at the party, too?”

“I got carried away,” Jack frowned into the mirror. He turned his head and pointed to his temple. “Look. You etched your name into my flesh.”

“It’s not a prison tattoo or anything,” Liz snorted. “I used a whiteboard sharpie. Don’t be a baby.”

“I’ll just stay here,” Jack cleared his throat. “You can retrieve my pants from the copy room.”

“Oh no you don’t, Donaghy,” Liz said. “If my hickeys and I are doing the walk of shame down the hallway, you’re coming with us.”

“Stride of pride, Lemon,” Jack corrected her as he fastened his bowtie. “Stride of pride.”

“Hands up!” Liz reminded him.


“Oh my god. My retinas,” Grizz managed, after Liz and Jack had strolled past.

“Is it April Fool’s?" Dot Com asked. “I mean, is it? I’d check my Kimex, but it’s stuck on January 1.”

Grizz shook his head. “Appalling.”

 

December 24th

“What? I am not marrying you again,” Liz told Jack as he knelt in her office. “I’m not marrying anybody again. Ever.”

“But what if our illicit union results in a child?” he countered.

“I threw up that morning because I ate five lobster tails,” Liz said. “I’m not pregnant.”

“Of course you’re not, Lemon,” Jack sniffed. “We did it standing up in a copy room the first time. Oh, Conan’s annual special from Kabul is on tonight. I love Christmas Eve. Hey. You never gave me that song you promised.”

"Song?"

"Your zero-dollars present. It was a song again, right? And you didn't actually write one, did you?"

Liz hesitated. "Sure I did, It's uh...tied up in legal. Taylor Swift wants to record it," she lied.

Jack clapped her on the thigh. "Excellent. Hold out for twenty percent of digital revenue."


Liz cornered Tracy in the studio.

“Alright, pay up.” Liz held out her hand, palm up, and wiggled her fingers.

“Is this about the milkshake on Wednesday?” Tracy asked, looking perplexed. “I didn’t even enjoy it because I’m lactose intolerant. You may have bought me that milkshake, Liz Lemon, but I’m the one who paid.”

“No, the bet, Tracy.” Liz tapped her foot. “I was non-cynical, for 31 hours. For gay dolphins. Ten grand.”

“Oh. There was a caveat to that agreement, though,” Tracy said.

“Caveat? There was no caveat mentioned.”

“The Mayan calendar. We’re not even supposed to be here,” Tracy said emphatically. “I didn’t think I would actually have to fulfill my end, what with the world entering a new cycle of rebirth and destruction.”

Liz tilted her head. “Really, Tray? You made a bet with me thinking you wouldn’t have to pay up because of Mayan armageddon?”

Tracy shrugged. “Maybe I did.”

“You still have to pay up.”

“Did we put this in writing?” Tracy asked. “Do you have a video recording? My hair was parted very artfully that day.”

“No, Tracy,” Liz said, triumphantly. “I don't. Because I wasn’t cynical enough to make a recording.”

He sighed, vexed. “Damn you, Liz Lemon.”


“You know, it’s not that I’m actively repulsed by this,” Dot Com said from the wings as Tracy and Jenna rehearsed the Wizard of O skit. “I just don’t get it.”

“You think the bondage rack is too much?” Pete asked. “Because it’s kind of the point, here.”

“No, I mean...that.” Dot Com angled his head towards the couple leaning against the rail. “That...canoodling over there.”

“Yeah,” Lutz nodded. “Jack and Liz are like brother and sister. Or you know, with the whole mentorship thing, maybe father and daughter. It’s just weird.”

“Why would that be weird?” Kenneth looked bewildered.

Lutz peered at Jack and Liz again. “Wow, it’s not that cold in here.”

“Oh lord, he has his hands in her pants pockets.” Dot Com moaned.


“I’ve been thinking very hard about us, Lemon, and my concession to our relationship is to agree to live together.”

“No.” Liz grimaced. “No! What? How is that a concession? Are you on drugs? We don’t even have a relationship.”

“Because I’m Catholic, and Republican, I don’t believe in drugs or cohabitation. I believe in liquor and serial matrimony,” Jack said logically.

“You believe in one-night stands! You’ve been with tons of women!” Liz sputtered.

“You’re not a woman. You’re Lemon,” Jack said, his gaze exasperated, but startlingly fond.

“Oh god. You’re going to kiss me again, aren’t you?”

“Yes.”

Why?” Liz asked the ceiling. And the universe.

 

December 26th

Liz had some time off Christmas and the new year. The Tracy Jordan show was on one week hiatus because NBC was running its remake of The Thorn Birds, starring Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, Luke Hemsworth, and Lindsay Lohan.

(It had been taped in 2009.)

It was going to be a good week. It would be a week of relaxation, in her own cozy, linty apartment, away from TGS and away from Jack Donaghy. Surely he’d come to his senses in the meantime.

Liz plopped onto her sofa with her laptop. Her first order of business was to catch up with her Sims.

“Oh dear god, no,” she wailed, taking in the scene of destruction: the bloody digital body parts of the tragic family of five were strewn all over their split-level suburban Sims house. The virtual murderer had written DEREDRUM on the mirror in blood. “Not again!”

 

December 28th

“Are you having a good vacation, otherwise?” Jack asked her over the phone.

“I’m having an amazing vacation,” Liz stated. “Did you know they now make Sabor de Soledad in zesty chipotle ranch?”

“Are you just...sitting alone in your spinster flat eating snack foods?”

“Of course I’m not,” she scoffed. “I’ve been to the IMAX. And the dry cleaners.”

“What would you say,” Jack ventured, “if I told you I was downstairs with a salad of fall apples and lucky sorrel, and a Perigord duck foie gras from Per Se?”

Liz hesitated.

“And I also brought a pizza, for you.”

“Fine.” Liz sighed. “Just give me a minute.”

“Good god,” Jack said when she opened the door. “I was afraid I’d have to stand out there holding up a boom box blaring your favorite song.”

“You don’t even know my favorite song,” Liz smirked.

“Isn’t it Rump Shaker, by Wreckx-N-Effect?”

Liz took the pizza box. “That’s in my top two. I’ll give you that.”

“Lemon?” Jack inhaled audibly. “Are you...wearing shorteralls?”

“Yes.”

“Are you wearing shorteralls to repel me sexually?”

“...yes,” Liz admitted as Jack pinched the bridge of his nose and looked away. “Is it working?”

Jack hesitated. “I-I don’t know.”

“Oh goddammit,” Liz huffed, throwing an afghan over her legs as she settled down on the sofa with the box of pizza.

“I’ve been thinking,” Jack said between bites of salad,”about what Colleen said to me before she died.”

“Which thing?”

“About wanting me to be happy. I think she might have been sincere.”

“Jack. No. Probably not.” Liz shook her head. “This is your mother we’re talking about. Uh, no offense. She loved you. In her own way.”

“It just got me thinking. What makes Jack Donaghy happy?”

“Gated driveways?” Liz shrugged.

“I’m happy when I’m with you,” Jack finished.

“That’s because we’re...friends now. Friends happily hang out. We have that banter thing happening. It's platonic. It’s intellectually stimulating but not that other kind of stimulating, right?”

“But I do find you attractive. To be honest, I’m as surprised by that as you are.”

Liz set down her slice and bit her lip, eying Jack saucily. She then flung back the afghan dramatically, giving Jack an eyeful of shorteralls.

Jack shuddered, pressing his fingers to his brow. “I am...so...conflicted right now.”

 

New Year’s Eve

“Look, Jack, are you going to stop with the wooing, or what?”

“This? This isn't wooing. It's courting. Courting is entirely different.”

"Well, it’s a New Year. Almost. So make a resolution to stop doing that.”

“Surely we can come to an acceptable compromise here, Lemon.”Jack sprawled on the loveseat.

“What compromise? No to marriage, no to cohabitating, no to’ pied-a-terre love nest.’ Also, yuck, by the way.”

“Your resolution should be to stop sabotaging your own love life,” Jack said, and Liz gave him a dirty look.

“Come on, Jack. It would never work out between us. In a couple of years, I’m going to start getting random chin hairs.”

Jack eyed her closely. “Start?”

“...and then you’ll just leave me, and become one of the Bush daughters’ second husbands.”

“I will never be any other woman’s second husband again, Lemon.” He looked up at her. “Unless it’s yours. Technically, third, now. Two annulments, however, so maybe those don’t count. First.”

“Repellent.” Liz grabbed the remote and turned the sound up on the TV, and joined Jack on the loveseat. “It’s almost midnight,” she pointed out.

“What do you want?” Jack captured Liz’s hand.

The crowd countdown rang out on the screen. “Ten! Nine!”

She pressed her lips together. “Yes to friends.”

“That’s fine. That’s a given.”

Seven! Six!

“Okay. Good.”

“With benefits,” Jack added.

Liz frowned. Four! Three! “How is that different than a relationship?”

“The fact that you could be anywhere when that big illuminated apple drops in Times Square, but you chose to straddle my lap just now suggests you like me, Like that.”

“...maybe.” Happy New Year! “This doesn’t make us each other’s sex idiots, Right? Or does it?”

“Lemon.”

"Wait. Does it?"

Jack considered that. "It...actually does." He nodded slowly. "Yes, it does."

“Fine,” she said, and when they kissed, it was a little bit late, and a little bit messy.

So it wasn't a perfect ending, but real life isn't like a TV show, after all.


FADE TO BLACK

CUE: VIOLIN BREAK

VO: LIZ LEMON: "No. Seriously? Come on."

FADE IN: EXT. 30 ROCKEFELLER CENTER - HOLIDAY TREE - NIGHT

CUT TO EXT. TIMES SQUARE - NIGHT. CROWDS CELEBRATE [SLOMO]

CUE SNOWFALL

CUE CROWD NOISE FADE OUT/FADE IN MUSIC (Secrets, One Republic)

VO: LIZ LEMON: "Oh, goddammit."