Title: Beth and the Bear
Disclaimer: Tina's etc
Pairing: Grizz/Liz, Jack/Liz
Summary: Liz has a secret admirer.
"How's that lovely fiancée of yours?" Jack asked after a few minutes of stretched silence.
Grizz looked over at him as they waited for the elevator to arrive. "Not my fiancée any more, Mr Donaghy."
"Oh. I'm sorry to hear that," Jack murmured as the doors swung open. "Still…plenty more fish in the sea."
"Not for me, I'm afraid," Grizz mumbled, following him onto the elevator.
"What's the problem, Grizz?" Jack asked buoyantly: "You sound heartsick."
Grizz placed himself against the back wall and sighed deeply. "Truth be told, sir, I found my fish years ago. From the first moment I saw her, I haven't been able to get her outta my mind. That's why Taneekah left me. She knew my heart belonged to another."
"I see." Jack nodded a few times slowly: "Well, that is quite a predicament."
Grizz nodded. "Yes, sir, it is."
"Does this special lady know of your….yearnings?" Jack asked carefully.
"It wouldn't be right," Grizz told him dolefully: "We're separated by circumstance. Like Romeo and Juliet -- and you know how that ended."
"I seem to recall it wasn't the happiest of love stories," Jack mused: "But if you love this lady as much as you say, you don't stand a chance unless you make a move."
"Oh, I've tried, Mr Donaghy," Grizz wagged his head at the floor: "She can be cold though – like an Ice Queen. But, I just know…underneath it all…she's as sweet and warm and cuddly as a cute little teddy bear."
Jack eyed him sideways for a second before suggesting: "Perhaps then, with this particular lady you need to be more direct. Women have a peculiar tendency to link love with sex, so perhaps telling her you love her first might achieve better results."
"I did tell her once…" Grizz admitted, running one hand over his head: "We were pretty drunk...She kissed me -- and for one incredible moment I thought my dreams were coming true. But…she also kissed my best friend that night. And a guy in a werewolf's costume, so..."
"Hm. Been there," Jack commented under his breath.
Grizz gave a forlorn shrug: "She didn't remember much the next day. I guess she blamed it on the alcohol."
"Well, why not try again?" Jack went on encouragingly: "Take her out to dinner, romance her a little. Champagne, roses, no woman can resist that routine."
Grizz turned to him, his speech becoming more urgent: "You don't understand, Mr Donaghy. A man like you -- you can get any woman you want. But this woman – she's not like other women--"
Jack scoffed, waving a hand: "Believe me, Grizz, all women are like other women."
"Anyway, it's no use," Grizz moped, bowing his head: "When I'm in the same room with her, even when other people are around, I can't think straight. I get all tongue-tied just looking at her, with her little white hands and her sweet, round curves and her black, shark's eyes."
Jack cocked his head. "I'm sorry, what now?"
Grizz continued dreamily, lost in thought: "All I wanna do is sweep her up in my arms and whisper in her ear 'Beth--'"
"Beth?" Jack interrupted, face and voice incredulous: "Beth as in Elizabeth? As in Elizabeth Lemon? That's who we're talking about?"
"Oops." Grizz put hand over his mouth: "I've said too much."
Jack shook his head, his smile wide: "You're…in love with Liz? She's your fish?"
Grizz nodded once. "I burn for her."
"You burn… for Lemon?" Jack repeated falteringly.
"She's an extraordinary woman," Grizz replied, his tone turning somewhat whimsical again.
Jack tipped his head to one side. "She is that."
"I don't know how you work so closely with her, Mr Donaghy. I really don't…" Grizz glanced about at the elevator walls in wonder: "You must have some powerful self-control to be around her so much."
"I manage," Jack replied mildly.
"I mean, she's just so…" Grizz bit his lip: "she's so--"
"So…?" Jack prompted.
"You don't think so?" Grizz asked, visibly perplexed.
Jack shrugged. "To each his own, I suppose…Er, why," he added curiously: "if I may ask, do you call her Beth?"
"Well…" Grizz hesitated before sharing in a tender voice: "At one of the after-after-after-after-after parties, when Tracy first joined the show, she told me about this story she wrote when she was young. About a little girl called Beth who ran away to a big jungle and married a grizzly bear." He grinned toothily: "I've called her Beth ever since."
"That is…" Jack murmured: "bizarre. Very much so. But touching."
"Mr Donaghy," Grizz looked him in the eye, his face creased with sincerity: "can I ask you something? Man to man?"
He nodded. "Of course, Grizzwold."
"Do you think," he began delicately: "a woman like that could ever fall in love with a big, dumb oaf like me?"
Jack gave him a sympathetic look then reached up high to pat him on the back: "Stranger things have happened, Grizz. Stranger things have happened."
Grizz nodded solemnly.
The elevator doors slid open, interrupting their moment.
"Oh, hey guys," Liz greeted from the other side.
"Morning, Lemon," Jack nodded, shuffling on the spot.
"Beth," Grizz mumbled, stepping past her.
Liz smiled at him as she inched past, punched a button then took her place beside Jack as they headed upwards. After a few long moments of Jack eyeing her rather curiously and rather obviously, Liz rounded on him.
"What are you looking at?"
"Nothing," he smiled, directing his gaze forwards: "Nothing at all…" A moment later though, his gaze wandered down to her boots, up her jeans and low-cut shirt then back to her face.
"What?" she snapped, head whipping towards him: "What, do I have cappuccino foam on my lip or something?"
She swiped her fingers over her lips, but Jack caught her wrist and pulled it away, leaning in to plant a light kiss there instead.
She pouted confusedly. "What was that for?"
"I just realized what a lucky oaf I am," he murmured with a lazy smile.
She narrowed her eyes at him. "I wasn't coming up to your office to make out with you, just so you know."
"As long as you intend on making out with me at some point today," he replied smoothly.
"Well, of course," she shrugged: "I even pencilled it into my diary."
Jack turned her, hands on her shoulders. "I need to ask you a favor, Lemon--"
"Not here, Jack," she hissed, looking around them: "we're in an elevator for crying out loud."
Jack took a beat then went on: "No. I was going to ask you not to let Grizz see your diary."
"Oh, okay," she sighed in relief: "I don't actually have a diary, I was kidding. Why can't he see it, if I had one?"
"You must realize he's smitten with you," he murmured, lips curving upwards.
"No!" Liz scoffed: "He has a little crush, that's all."
"He's head over heels," Jack commented dryly: "and parenthetically -- have you noticed how enormous that head and those heels are?"
"Wait--" she grinned, her eyes lighting up: "are you…scared…of Grizz?"
"Have you seen the man?" Jack answered bluntly: "Yes, I'm scared, I'm terrified. As any sane man would be -- especially if he's secretly sleeping with the woman he's pledged his Gargantuan soul to."
"You are unbelievable." She shook her head, laughing at him: "Grizz wouldn't hurt a fly. He's a teddy bear, you're actually frightened of that sweet, cuddly--"
Jack leant in and kissed her again, abruptly stopped her mouth with his. Then, slipping his tongue inside her mouth, he pulled her as close as possible. He released her a second before the elevator doors dinged and opened again.
Liz let out a breath. "Why do you always do that when I'm mid-sentence?"
"Because I can." Jack grinned down at her. "And because I'm your bear. And you're my fish."
"Oh, dude…" she groaned, eyeing him worriedly: "have you been taking Spaceman pills again?"
"I have not," Jack replied unequivocally, then went on without pause: "Now, Lemon, about those favors you offered…"
"Nice segueway, Jack," she muttered, slopping off the elevator: "and I did no such thing. And could you at least wait til we get to the office?"
Jack followed her, hand reaching for her elbow. "Then we'll discuss favors?"
"Then I will wait."