Title: 60 Days
Disclaimer: Not mine
Spoilers: Not really
Summary: Liz gets her deepest wish.
A/N: Idea lifted from "Lie to Me".
"Tell me I can do this."
"You can do this."
"Tell me again. And be convincing."
"Just tell me, Jack!"
"You can do this."
"Now tell me you're not just telling me that because I told you to."
"Yes. I am."
"I can do this."
"Of course you can."
"I guess I just…I can't believe this is finally happening."
"It's been a long time. But you're ready."
"Yeah, I am…Oh. They're calling me now."
"So hang up the phone. Hang up and go get your boy."
"His name is Seth. Did I tell you that already?"
"Only a few hundred times."
"I'm really nervous. Did I tell you that too?"
"You can do this, Lemon."
"Okay...I gotta go now and be a mom."
"Don't say 'good luck', it's bad luck."
"Break a leg then."
"He is so beautiful, Jack. He looks nothing like me. Except for the glasses."
"He wears glasses?"
"Yeah, not good ones though. I need to get him a new pair because he likes his books. He's spent most of the day with his nose in a book."
"I thought you said he was only three years old."
"Nerds don't develop, Jack, they're born."
"What else does he like?"
"I don't know yet."
"What do you mean you don't know yet?"
"He's shy. He's…still getting used to everything."
"Well, that's understandable."
"He likes his room."
"That's good. You put alot of effort into setting it up for him."
"He likes the bed stuff you picked out."
"With the cars?"
"Yeah. He likes that."
"Cars aren't so nerdy."
"I'm…not so sure he likes me."
"I know, I know. It's early days."
"The kid's been through alot. Give it some time."
"You're gonna be great at this. He's gonna love you."
"What kind of food does he like?"
"Okay, now, I tried to cook…"
"It did not go well. The upshot being, Seth likes peperoni pizza. This much I know."
"Do you think he'd like to go out and get some?"
"Or whenever. My treat, of course."
"Oh, Jack. I really want him to meet you, but…"
"I think so. I will ask him about it though."
"Please tell him I look forward to getting to know him."
"He's three, Jack. Not forty-seven."
"Well…tell him I'm happy he liked the cars."
"In fact, if he wants more cars-"
"I think we're set for cars. But thanks."
"Is there anything else you need? Anything else I can do?"
"Just…tell me what Frank's hat says."
"You're asking the wrong person."
"You're still planning on coming back soon, right?"
"Miss me that much?"
"It's okay, it's fine, you don't have to admit it."
"I don't plan to."
"I was actually thinking of bringing Seth in before that. You know, so he can meet everyone, get used to the place. I mean, he's probably gonna get real familiar with it."
"That sounds like a good idea."
"Hey. Can I tell you something crazy?"
"I'm certain you can."
"I've known this kid for a matter of hours, there's so much about him I don't even know. And I don't really feel like his mother yet. But-"
"Do you think it's crazy to love him so much already?"
"Knowing you, Lemon, I'd expect nothing less."
"Because I really do. Isn't that crazy?"
"Not at all. I can't wait to meet him."
"Well…I guess we'll see you soon. Both of us!"
"See you soon, Lemon."
"I'm a bad mother!"
"It's three in the morning."
"It's three in the morning and I'm a bad mother! I usually do my best work at three in the morning. I suck at this!"
"What's going on?"
"Seth has a fever."
"And he's vomiting. I cooked, Jack! Why did I cook? Do you think I poisoned him?"
"Yes, Liz, I think you inadvertently poisoned your new son."
"Sarcasm does not help me!"
"Support me, goddammit!"
"Okay, I'm hanging up the phone and calling a doctor. I'll have someone there within the hour."
"You can do that?"
"I can have the CDC sweep your entire apartment, starting with the kitchen, but I think we should start with a regular doctor."
"He's in Israel renewing his credentials."
"Thank God. What if Seth's allergic to peanuts or mushrooms or shrimp?"
"Did you feed him peanuts and mushroom and shrimp?"
"Then I think it's a moot point. Go and be with Seth."
"You'll call someone?"
"Immediately. Don't worry."
"I'm sure he'll be fine."
"Call me when the doctor arrives."
"Go now, Lemon."
"Hey, I thought you guys were coming in today."
"We skipped it because Seth's tummy is still not great."
"Oh, I see."
"He's doing lots better though."
"That's good to hear."
"And it was not my cooking, for the record."
"I don't believe I said it was."
"Then why'd you send me the Working Woman's Simple and Tasty Cookbook?"
"Hm. So anyway, I'm glad you called cos I wanted to ask you something."
"Do you think it's weird to not have Seth call me 'mom'? I mean…he already has a mom. He remembers her, he talks about her, he has a picture of her on his nightstand. And I don't him want to, you know…resent me for trying to take her place or anything."
"What does he call you now?"
"I think that's fine."
"And perhaps an alternative will come up, in time."
"It's an odd situation. For both of you."
"I guess so..."
"Liz, I know Seth's circumstances are unique and…difficult. And it may not be quite what you envisaged when you decided to adopt-"
"Jack. Don't…Please. Don't even."
"I'm just saying…I believe he is exactly where he needs to be right now."
"I think so too. Or at least, I hope so."
"Seth likes Space!"
"I beg your pardon?"
"We just talked for like, a whole hour about Space."
"Well, maybe not an hour, he is three, but he's really smart, Jack. And he loves space!"
"Lemon, what do you know about Space?"
"So what were you talking to him about?"
"I dunno, rockets and junk. Jupiter and…some of the others ones. I learnt alot. The point is…Seth likes Space. He told me so."
"Oh, and excellent news."
"More? Should I alert the media?"
"I cooked something from the cookbook you sent over. And when I say I cooked, I mean I did not burn it, drop it or replace any essential ingredient with cheese. And guess what?"
"I couldn't possibly."
"He liked it!"
"He said so. He ate the whole thing. So I'm gonna make it again tomorrow."
"You're due back at work tomorrow."
"You are ready to come back, aren't you?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm ready."
"Is Seth ready?"
"He's gonna be with me as much as possible. And Cerie will help out."
"You know, the new daycare facilities are excellent. I saw to it myself."
"I can't believe you set that up just for me."
"You are not the only mother to enjoy the benefits of GE's generosity."
"You're still trying to tell me that it was pure chance that your decision to provide childcare coincided with me becoming a single parent?"
"It's good for company morale."
"Not so bad for it's taxes either."
"You know, I haven't forgotten that you made all this possible."
"What are you talking about?"
"I wouldn't even be contemplating the logistics of balancing a job and a child if not for you. I wouldn't have Seth if you didn't pull whatever strings you pulled in order to get them to consider me. None of this would be happening if not for you. I'll never forget that, Jack. Never."
There was a long pause on the other end of the phone line.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Lemon."
"See you tomorrow, Jack."
Liz wasn't in her office when Jack entered. But, turning to leave, he noticed a small figure pressed, cross-legged into the far corner of her couch, an open book on his lap, which was covered in a blue blanket. The little boy blinked at Jack through a pair of owl-like glasses, his plump hands tightening on his picture book.
"Oh." Jack shuffled to face him. "Ah…hello. You must be Seth."
Seth continued to blink up at him. Apart from this, he did not respond.
Jack put a hand on his chest. "Hi, I'm Liz's-"
"Hey there." Liz appeared behind him, slipping in the door and heading over to Seth with a juice box in her hand. "Here you go, buddy." She ruffled his unruly, blond hair, squeezing onto the edge of the couch as he sipped and eyed Jack warily. Liz glanced between the two of them. "So you guys have met, huh?"
Jack cleared his throat. "Not quite."
"Oh. Seth…" She held out a hand, speaking softly: "this is my very good friend Jack."
Seth was silent a moment. He turned quickly to whisper something in Liz's ear that Jack did not catch.
"No, no," she murmured with a chuckle: "just friends, best friends. Like, um…like Bert and Ernie."
"Yes, that's right." Jack inched closer, sitting down on the opposite end of the couch. "Liz here would be Ernie. And I'm Bert."
Seth laughed shyly. Which made Liz smile.
"I ah, brought you something, Seth," Jack said, laying his gift on the blue blanket and immediately retracting his hand. "I hear you like Space, is that right?"
Seth glanced up at Liz who nodded encouragingly. Then he leant forward to peer at the shiny silver rocket lying on the blanket. "Yes."
"Well," Jack told him, pointing to the toy: "that is a genuine replica of a Apollo Command and Lunar Module."
"Wow," Liz hummed, picking it up and placing it in Seth's hands: "That's pretty cool, right?"
"Yeah," he breathed, beginning to explore it with bright blue eyes and small inquisitive fingers.
Liz sent a smile Jack's way as she smoothed her hand over his hair again. "Can you say thankyou to Jack?"
Seth looked up. "Thankyou for the rocket, Jack."
Jack smiled at him, nodding. "You're very welcome, Seth."