DISCLAIMER: 30 Rock and its characters are the property of Tina Fey. No infringement intended.
TIMELINE: Takes up where the episode "The Baby Show" leaves off. Sequel to So I Don't Have to Dream Alone.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Baby Love
By tremblingmoon




"Do you want to explain to me what you're doing on my doorstep?"

Liz looked up into Gretchen's brilliant blue eyes—contacts, maybe, or was it possible for someone's eyes to be that blue naturally?—and blinked. She was, indeed, on Gretchen's doorstep. Or, rather, just outside on the front steps that led up to the foyer of her building, where the friendly doorman was trying very hard to pretend not to listen to their conversation through the propped-open door. And though Liz had a vague memory of leaving the studio after the embarrassing baby stealing incident and walking in the park for a while because she didn't want to go home to her empty, baby-free apartment and eating a hot dog and a doughnut and a pretzel (and some hot candied pecans), Liz wasn't quite sure how or why she'd ended up here, twenty blocks uptown from her apartment, on Gretchen Thomas's doorstep (or the front steps of her building, or whatever). She guessed she'd taken the subway. Maybe she walked (her feet were a little sore). Either way, she was definitely going to have to ask Dr. Spaceman about these blackouts.

"Liz? Are you okay?" Gretchen somehow managed to look irritated, concerned and amused all at once, which Liz thought was quite a feat of facial nuance.

"Not really, but to explain why I'm on your doorstep might be a little difficult."

"Try me." Gretchen leaned back gracefully, resting her hand on the stone railing. Standing one step above her, Gretchen seemed to tower over Liz. It didn't help that she was already quite a bit taller anyway. Liz tried to surreptitiously slide her feet up the steps so she'd be on equal footing, but ended up tripping a bit and had to grab the head of a stone gargoyle on the opposite railing for support.

"I'm not really sure why I'm here, actually," Liz said, righting herself. "I've had a rough day," she added, as if that explained everything.

Gretchen nodded and cocked her head, indicating that Liz should continue.

"I stole a baby," Liz blurted in frustration, her eyes focused on the impeccable crease in Gretchen's grey and blue pinstriped trousers. She barreled on without looking up to see what she was sure would be a look of utter horror and disgust on Gretchen's face.

"I thought I'd gotten over wanting to be a mother, that I didn't need a baby to fulfill some sort of stupid societal rule that says you can't be a woman without a child or a husband or both. That my job was enough. I mean, it's a good job. It's a great job! I mean, careers are good, right?"

Liz didn't wait for an answer. Gretchen didn't have one anyway. She was too confused.

"And then Cerie—pretty much a child herself, and she's young, hot, blonde, my writer's can't stop staring at her…"

"I remember," Gretchen interrupted, smirking when Liz threw her a disbelieving glare that clearly said, not you, too.

"Yes. Her," Liz answered pointedly, sighing to regroup and then continuing her rant. "And then Cerie is getting engaged and wants to be a young, hot mom and I'm way past that young, hot mom stage, you know? Actually, I don't think I ever had a young, hot mom stage. And can you believe she wants to name her baby Bookcase? Is that a name? And Jack is being harassed by his mother constantly--and I tried to help him fix that, but the idea of having a little Jack someday really terrifies me. That's all I can think of when I look at him now. Carrying him to term in my womb and dying during childbirth because he'd claw his way out already wearing a suit and tie or, knowing Jack, a tux, because one's birth is an occasion that surely calls for black tie!"

One of Gretchen's neighbors, who had been waiting for an opportunity to sneak by the two women, leapt forward when Liz paused to take a breath, throwing Gretchen a pitying look as he pushed passed. But Liz was only just gathering steam and didn't really care anymore that the doorman had perched himself on the edge of his desk in order to better eavesdrop on their conversation.

"And Jenna told everyone in the studio that I was looking for a sperm donor and I spent all day fending off men—and that one crazy animal trainer lady—who just see me as some body to incubate little copies of themselves, so they can propagate the world. And I am not an incubator! If I want a baby, I wouldn't go to any of them anyway. I'd want to do it with someone I love, except I don't love anyone right now because I'm completely pathetic and alone and slowly my womb is going to shrivel up and my opportunity for motherhood will slip through my fingers. So, I stole my makeup artist's baby. But I didn't mean to steal her. I was holding her and she was so cute and, God, I don't even know what happened."

Liz groaned, doubling over with her hands on her knees. Gretchen put her hand lightly on Liz's elbow and pulled her towards the door.

"Come inside. You're causing a scene." It wasn't really an accusation, more a statement of fact. And Liz tried to ignore the grinning doorman as she passed him, calming a bit as she rode up Gretchen's spacious and very plush-looking elevator. Gretchen's hand still on her arm, Liz followed her down the hall to her apartment door.

But as Gretchen put the key in the lock, Liz's mind suddenly flashed back to that dream she'd had a few weeks before—Gretchen, in that seductive robe, her own very pregnant belly—and she pulled her arm abruptly away. Gretchen looked at her inquisitively, door to her apartment slightly open and hinting at a cozy, lived-in interior. The sheer comfortable domesticity of that sliver of apartment she could see through the doorway made Liz's eyes narrow. She looked sharply into Gretchen's face, suddenly angry.

"This is all your fault, you know? Yeah, your fault," Liz pointed wildly in the direction of Gretchen's chest. "Because you had to go and be nice to me and I thought we were having fun but then because I'm not a lesbian," she drew haphazard scare quotes in the air, "you tell me we can't spend time together anymore and everything's fine for a while but I start having dreams that I'm pregnant and it's not Jack or Toofer or Pete whose the father, but you. The mother, father, whatever. Your baby. Which isn't even possible. So I wake up and I call and invite you to dinner because I'm clearly a masochist and then we have dinner and then…and then you never call! And then? Then I steal a baby. See?"

Liz huffed out a breath, half-defeated, half-irate, but one look at Gretchen's face—pissed off didn't even begin to cover it—took all the wind out of her sails. Oh, shit.

"Let's recap here, shall we?" Gretchen looked as stern as Liz had ever seen her, now blocking her path into the apartment. Liz couldn't decide if Gretchen's expression was scary or made her want to laugh nervously. Or both.

"A few weeks ago, despite our mutual agreement to not to do this," she gestured between herself and Liz with a wave of her hand, "anymore, you called me and asked me to go out to dinner."

Liz nodded and swallowed hard. Okay, so she wasn't laughing.

"Against my better judgment, I let you buy me dinner. And I'll admit that I flirted with you shamelessly..."

"You were very charming," Liz tried to add, her voice conciliatory, but Gretchen spoke right over her.

"…even though you're completely straight. You're still straight, right?"

Gretchen's eyes met Liz's coolly, and Liz tried to nod. Except it came out more of a circular, half-nod, a I'm-not-quite-sure-how-to-answer-this- question-or-maybe-I-just-need-to-stretch-my-neck nod and Gretchen's eyebrow quirked slightly.

"Okay. We'll get back to that," she paused, took a breath, "Regardless, that was at least three weeks ago, and I haven't heard from you since."

Liz opened her mouth to defend herself.

Gretchen winced, "Please don't say you've been busy at work, because that is such a lame excuse."

Liz closed her mouth and bit her bottom lip.

"And now," Gretchen continued, "You show up on my doorstep babbling about kidnapping babies and how this is my fault because of something you had a dream about?"

"That about covers it," Liz nodded, a contrite look on her face, "although you forgot to mention the part where I tied you to your desk chair and beat you about the ears with a wet noodle in front of all your co-workers."

Gretchen laughed. A genuine laugh. And for a second—barely a second, Liz argued with herself, more like a millisecond—Liz thought how wonderful it was, how she might never get tired of hearing Gretchen laugh like that.

"No," Gretchen smirked, "I think that was my dream. Minus my co-workers, of course."

"Of course," Liz smiled back, fighting down a grin.

They smiled at each other stupidly for a moment more, and then realization seemed to dawn over Gretchen's face and her eyes widened.

"Did you say earlier that you dreamed about my baby? As in, in your dream I had a baby and let you kidnap her occasionally for kicks, or, as in I forced you to adopt a baby from Taiwan, or…"

"…as in, you got me pregnant," Liz finished the thought for her, adding quickly, "In my dream."


"First time I've known you to be at a loss for words."

"Shut up, Liz."

Liz held her tongue for just a moment, and silence enveloped the two women until a slamming door down the hall shook them out of it.

"You'd better come in," Gretchen pushed the door open a little wider and made room for Liz to slip by her into the warmly-furnished interior of her apartment.

The End

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