DISCLAIMER: 30 Rock and its characters are the property of Tina Fey. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For wizened_cynic, who requested babyfic as a form of payment for services rendered (take that where you will). If this story seems complely cracktastic then it's her fault and not mine. And now she's created a monster in my newly-founded 30 Rock obsession. Are you satisfied, brain? Are you? There's also a special reference in this story for Fewthistle, with whom I shared a fabulous New York dining experience. I'm not Tina Fey and can write neither as brilliantly nor as wittily as she can. If my version of her characters only bears a vague resemblance to the television show, so be it. That's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.
TIMELINE: Set a couple months after the events in "Blind Date."
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
So I Don't Have to Dream Alone
Liz woke up drenched in sweat. It was 4AM and her dream was quickly fading from consciousness. It was probably one of the usual nightmares: Jack taking over The Girlie Show for good (it was practically that way already). Frank making a pass at her (it wouldn't be the first timein dream or realityand it was never pleasant). Kenneth strolling in one day with a sniper rifle and killing them all (Jack had foreseen it and the thought freaked her out a little because he was so often, scarily right).
Liz groaned as she buried her face in her pillow. If she didn't get back to sleep now, she wouldn't be functional at work and Jack would make some sort of seemingly innocuous comment about it that would nevertheless stick with her all day and make her edgy. Then Jack would probably make a comment about her edginess, too, compounding the problem. So, sleep. Definitely what she needed to do.
After a minute or two, the haze of sleep started to drift in and Liz found herself dreaming again. She was in her bedroom, except the room was bright with late afternoon sun and she was sitting propped up on a stack of pillows, reading. Liz leaned back and smiled, resting her book on her stomach and reading aloud:
"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockleshells and pretty maids all in a row."
"Oooh," Gretchen cooed as she walked out of the bathroom in a deep navy robesilk and very clingyher long, blonde hair damp and hanging in limp ringlets around her shoulders. "That's one of my favorites."
"Why am I not surprised?" Liz smirked and then caught herself in the middle of one of those strange out-of-body moments one can only really experience while dreaming. Something seemed off, but everything seemed so right at the same time. She heard herself say,
"I thought our little girl might enjoy some Mother Goose today."
And then she looked down.
At first she thought she was in the nightmare where she suddenly became so morbidly obese she couldn't leave her bed and Pete and Jenna had to arrive with a stretcher to get her to work. But, no. Her body looked normal. Except. Except, the book she had propped on her stomach was at eye levelbecause it was resting on the giant swell of her taut, clearly pregnant belly. And she was naked.
Liz looked up at Gretchen, vaguely startled.
"And how is our baby?" Gretchen smiled wide, showing her teeth. As Gretchen approached, all Liz could think was that she looked beautiful, leaning on the bed with one bare knee.
The robe was short, low-cut and left little to the imagination as Gretchen slowly moved fully onto the bed, leaning to kiss Liz's stomach, belly-button protruding slightly and skin stretched tight. Gretchen's lips brushed feather-light, ephemeral, against her belly, and as she felt Gretchen's right hand inch slowly up her thigh, Liz found herself thinking, Is sex going to be okay for the baby?
And then she woke up. Drenched in sweat. Again.
Except this time, she remembered the dream.
Whoa, thought Liz, blinking into the sudden darkness of her real bedroom. What the fuck was that?
The alarm rang for the sixth time and she cursed under her breath when she saw the time. How long had she been hitting the snooze? Stupid dream. It had taken her an hour and a half to fall back asleep and now she was probably going to be late.
Throwing off the covers, Liz scrambled to get up, got her feet caught in the sheets, and fell out of bed.
Still, the fall woke her up sufficiently to get her into the shower, dressedsomewhat haphazardlyand out the door in record time. Even if she didn't have her dignity, at least Jack wouldn't be able to snark about her tardiness.
Strolling into 30 Rockefeller Place with forced casualness, Liz was so intent on looking calm and collected and alert that she didn't hear Jenna at first, coming out of wardrobe.
She was dressed as a giant bunch of grapes.
An oddly sexy bunch of grapes. Wearing purple fishnets.
"Good morning." Jenna sounded way too chipper. "What do you think?"
At Liz's blank stare, she continued, "For the Fruit of the Loom lingerie sketch? You know, the sultry grapes, the gay porn star apple "
"Sorry. Yes. Fruit of the Loom." Liz cut her off. "Jenna, I'm sorry, you look great. I'm sort of out of it today. How are you?"
Jenna smiled and shrugged congenially. "You do look a little tired," she said, with some sympathy, before one of the costume designers called her back to the wardrobe and she walked off with a quick wave.
Liz shook her head to clear the cobwebs and walked purposefully towards her office. She'd had sex dreams before. That wasn't so odd. She'd even had a few lesbian sex dreams, although, ironically, none of them had featured Gretchen in a starring role. And despite the fact that Liz wasn't even sure she wanted children someday, she'd be lying if she said this was the first time she'd dreamt she was pregnant.
But a lesbian sex pregnancy dream? That was a whole new level of weird.
"Did you say something, Lemon?"
Jack was looking at her quizzically, having appeared seemingly out of nowhere to block her path. Liz realized she must have said "whole new level of weird" out loud. At least she hoped that's all she'd said out loud.
"Nothing, Jack," she responded, adding, with as much poise as she could muster, "Good morning, though. How are you?"
He raised his eyebrows and moved aside so she could pass, "You look tense, Lemon."
"I didn't sleep very well."
"Clock ticking too loud?"
"What?" she turned again to face him.
"Your biological clock, Lemon. Women your age. The ticking just gets louder and louder the older you get."
And then he just walked away.
Liz stared after him for a moment. Looked to her left, looked to right, shook her head and turned towards her office. How did he do that? She wouldn't be surprised to learn one day that Jack had injected them all with some sort of mind reading bio-chip and that he spent each evening pouring over their every thought on his computer. It was the only logical explanation.
Of course, if Jack had installed a biochip, he would have known that all day all Liz could think about was Gretchen.
It was ridiculous, really. She hadn't even seen Gretchen in a couple months. Sure, she missed her sometimes; they'd had fun and she hadn't had that much fun with someone in a long time. She certainly didn't miss Gretchen's smile or her hair or her perfume or her sexy, confident stride. And when, every once in a while, Jack would pass her in the halls and say, "I had dinner with Thomas last night. She said to say hello," and Liz would respond, "Really?" in an utterly-too-pleased way, and then she'd kick herself for it when Jack would saunter away with a smug smilethat didn't mean a thing. Not really.
Later that evening, Liz couldn't stomach the take-out she'd order, and found herself shoving it in the fridge without even opening the little white boxes.
She sat down at her kitchen counter with a copy of The New Yorker and put it down after just a few minutes. God, she couldn't even concentrate on the cartoons.
Liz shot an accusatory glance at her phone, sighed and muttered to herself, "Stop being such a dork."
She picked up the receiver.
It disturbed her that she still knew Gretchen's number by heart. They'd only been friends for, what, two weeks, before Gretchen had unceremoniously dumped her. Dumped by a woman she wasn't even dating. When she wasn't even a lesbian. Somehow, thought Liz, that seemed oddly appropriate, considering. That was her life.
She took a deep breath and dialed.
"Hi Gretchen? It's Liz. Liz Lemon."
"Oh. Hi." Gretchen sounded wary, but there was a hint of something else to her voice that made Liz charge on.
"Hi. Um Do you ever hear your biological clock ticking?"
Gretchen sighed and Liz could almost hear her incredulously raised eyebrows and cocked head through the phone, "What?"
"You know. It gets louder and louder until you can't sleep at night and then Jack makes comments about your biological clock and 'women your age' when you look tired the next morning." Liz paused, mid-ramble, "Gretchen?"
Gretchen sighed again, but it was a nicer sigh. Exasperated, but indulgent. God, Liz thought, she really was Jack's friend.
"Yes, of course I do, all the time. In fact," and she heard Gretchen's voice change, slowly, from guarded and slightly annoyed to a more conversational cadence, "I actually had a dream just the other night thatyou know that girl from Heroes, the blondHallie or Hayden or something? Anyway, I had a dream she was pregnant with my baby; we were trying to decide how to work out the custody agreement when I woke up."
Liz gaped and it took a few moments for her to recover, "Do you often get girls pregnant in your dreams?"
"I guess you won't ever know this, Liz, but I'm just that good."
Liz didn't like Gretchen's husky tone, didn't like how her heart started beating just a little bit fasterso she changed the subject.
"Isn't she a little young for you?"
Gretchen laughed and Liz had to smile at the sound (not that she'd missed it or anything).
"Yes, definitely. Way too young. Probably very straight, too. And, you know, I'm not so into thatchasing after straight girls."
Her not-so-subtle signal came through loud and clear, but Liz had never been very good at aknowledging signals.
"No. Straight girls are just trouble." Liz paused. "Have you eaten dinner yet?"
"Haven't we been through this before?"
"Everyone has to eat."
"You know, you're not Oprah."
"You can be Oprah if you want."
"I'd rather be Gretchen."
"Okay, then." Liz took a moment to think about that. "Gretchen, do you want to get some dinner?"
In spite of herself, Gretchen smiled. And then she cursed herself silently. Sometimes it stunned her that Liz had no idea how irresistible she really was. But of course, if she knew, then she'd be even more insufferable and Gretchen would be in real trouble. This was just dinner. She should be able to handle dinner. After all, both she and Liz had made themselves very clear a few months ago. Liz liked hairy backsGretchen cringed again at the thoughtand she liked girlsgay girls, she clarified for her own benefit. But she was hungry and didn't relish the idea of eating alone again. Sometimes dinner is just dinner. Two people needing to eat and deciding to do so together. Something about that last thought sounded suspiciously like a double entendre, but Gretchen elected not to think about it too hard.
"All right," said Gretchen, tryingand mostly failingto sound annoyed. "Meet me in half an hour at Candle 79."
"Your treat," Gretchen added as an afterthought, and Liz couldn't help but smile widely when she hung up the phone.
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