Title: For Your Consideration

Author: Mindy35

Rating: T, sexual references

Disclaimer: Not mine. No money etc

Spoilers: Nope

Pairing: Jack/Liz only

Summary: They've both considered it.

A/N: For more stories by me, find me as mindymakru at Livejournal. Thankyou for reading!

-x-

So.

She can do this.

She's going to do this. She is. She's going to pour him a glass of wine. She's going to pour herself a glass of wine – a big one. Then she's going to walk into her bedroom where Jack is waiting and she is going to let whatever is meant to happen next just…happen.

Their date went well. Well…"well" would be a bit of an overstatement. It went okay, it went fine. It went…it went bad, actually. Really bad. Just awful. It was…pretty excruciating, pretty much from start to finish. And that was mostly her fault. She was at her most awkward all night. She couldn't help it for some reason. This was Jack. Jack. The man she was meant to be most at ease with. The man who could predict her every word and action. The one man with whom she was able to just put it all out there. And yet, she just kept saying stupid things, asking idiotic questions she already knew the answers to. The conversation kind of lagged from the outset, simply because they were trying to avoid any mention of the stuff they already knew about each other. As they knew almost everything about each other, it really didn't leave that much to talk about. Whose dumb idea had that been anyway? Right. Hers. Her dumb idea. What's more, the more awkward she got, the more cool and composed Jack seemed to get. He just wore this impassive, amused smile all evening which made it impossible for her to tell what, if anything, was going on beneath his handsome exterior. And he really did look so handsome and she'd never allowed herself to really notice that before, to really like that about him before. Just like she'd never allowed herself to enjoy his little touches before.

Whenever a large warm palm landed on her back at work, steering her off elevators or into urgent discussions, Liz usually just ignored it, chalking it up to Jack's usual gentlemanly ways. But having warned her of some less gentlemanly ways he might choose to implement on their date, she couldn't help waiting for them to occur. Hoping for them to occur. They never did though. The most he did was guide her in and out of the restaurant with that one courteous hand. Apart from this, Jack made no overt physical overtures towards her at all. Unless holding the cab door counted which she's pretty sure it didn't. Once in the car though, he didn't touch her. Despite his forewarning, there was no thigh-caressing on their way to the restaurant, nor was there any handholding under the table. There was nothing even mildly inappropriate in his conduct towards her. Everything seemed just about the same as it always had been. Nothing had changed. But Liz found herself privately wishing that it would.

Dinner was so awkward that, after she spilt a full glass of red wine on the pristine white tablecloth, they agreed to skip dessert. Actually. Skip. Dessert. Liz had had plenty of bad dates in her time, but that was definitely a first. Jack paid for their meal (and the ruined tablecloth) which did suggest that he was on board with the whole them being on a real date thing. But then, when guiding her to the car, his hand remained in the same fairly neutral position as when they'd entered. Again, making it impossible for her to guess what was going on in his head. The silence in the cab was thick and uncomfortable and getting more so by the second. So Liz, still hungry, suggested that they get dessert from a gelato cart near her place. Once on the street, licking at their icy desserts and walking the rest of the way amongst the eclectic New York throng, their verbal rapport began to pick up again. Before it died abruptly, the moment they reached her door. That was when things got really awkward. That was when the mounting awkwardness reached a whole new level of awkward. Because truthfully, despite how bad their date had admittedly been, Liz was still sort of hoping Jack would make a move. She was still hoping for that goodnight kiss he'd mentioned.

But that didn't happen either. Jack simply smiled his enigmatic smile and lied through his teeth, telling her he'd had a wonderful time. Spurred on by equal parts alcohol and desperation, Liz figured that if she could ask the man out, maybe she could also initiate a goodnight kiss. Maybe. She'd give it a shot, at least. Since they were already there. Facing each other. At her door. At the end of their first date. And maybe if she got them halfway there, he'd take the hint and just kiss her already. So she leant in slightly. But found herself almost immediately pulling back. She made another half-hearted attempt at it, hoping for a reciprocal response from him. But no. He didn't and she couldn't and it was all just too awkward and awful for words. She ended up tripping over her own tongue, muttering a hasty goodnight, before sticking out her hand for him to shake. Which he did, before heading to the curb to hail a cab. Then - from somewhere and Liz still doesn't quite know where - she heard herself call his name. She darted after him. She stopped him as he was opening the car door. And when he faced her, she took a breath. Held it. Her eyes ran over his face. She screwed them closed. Licked her lips. And lent in. She was just about to shake her head and retreat again when Jack finally put her out of her misery for the second time. He kissed her. His mouth landed on hers, warm and assured, her back was suddenly against the cab as his hands slipped inside her coat.

When he pulled back, she had no trouble asking him if he wanted to come up. The words just flew out of her mouth and Jack had accepted even before they totally had. He kissed her again in the elevator, in full view of Mrs Durakovic and her yappy little dog, who always asked why she never had gentleman callers. Her neighbour did, at least, not the mutt. It felt kind of good. The old witch witnessing the end of her date, even if it was one of the crappiest in history. Better though, was the actually kissing, which was not crappy in the least. Nor was Jack finally touching her in the way she'd waited for all evening, and longer, if she's totally honest. Once inside her apartment, he instantly and silently headed for the bedroom while she headed for the kitchen to pour them a drink. So really, their date can't have been that bad if she ended up with a handsome dude in her bedroom. Right…? But maybe he's there despite their evening and not because of it. Maybe Jack is in her bedroom now because of all that's passed between them before this night. At least, Liz is hoping that's why he's there. She hopes they are on the same page with this. She hopes what's happening here is the beginning of something, not its end.

She takes the two wineglasses and heads for her bedroom, her heart still pumping from their earlier making out and her gut beginning to swirl with fresh nerves. She stops on the threshold of her bedroom, leaning one shoulder against the doorjamb. Jack is standing by the window, hands on hips, gazing out at the streetlights. He has taken off his jacket and laid it across the end of her bed. It looks incongruous there. It looks…nice there. She likes it. Her eyes lift from the jacket to its owner as he turns, seeming to sense her presence. He smiles a relaxed smile, which only makes her more nervous. Liz shifts on the spot, her eyes dropping to the rug.

"Hey, you're not doing this-" She stalls, looking up, her brows knit. "Why are you doing this? Why are you here exactly?"

"Why are you doing this?" he counters, head cocked. "Why're you here?"

She shoots him a look. "I asked first. And I live here."

He smirks. "Maybe I've just always wanted to see your bedroom."

"Jack…" Liz takes a breath, stepping towards him slowly, coming only close enough to hand him his wine from an arm's length away. "I…I wanted tonight to happen because I have- because I thought-"

"Liz." His tone, soft and affectionate, makes her meet his eyes. "Relax. I would never compromise our friendship, for just…"

"A cheap thrill?" she finishes for him, arching a brow.

"I would never call this cheap," he clarifies quickly, "I did not say cheap."

"Well, I can't guarantee it's going to be thrilling either," she mumbles into her glass.

She expects a quick comeback in response to this, one of his classic Jack Donaghy witticisms on the thrills of sexual relations. Instead, what she gets is more of that enigmatic smile, his eyes roaming over her features with apparent affection.

"I like you," he tells her simply.

Liz gives a surprised, bemused laugh. "Is that why you're here?"

"Can you think of a better reason?" he asks.

"No. And I like you too." She lets out her breath, smiling. "Boy…well, that didn't take us long to get to, did it? What's it been, only like half a decade?"

"Actually," Jack murmurs, moving to the bed and taking a seat on the edge, "I seem to recall telling you that the first time we met."

She casts him a narrow-eyed look, tentatively taking a seat herself. "So then why was I the one who had to ask you out?"

"I was being chivalrous."

"For five years?"

"I was letting you make the first move, waiting until you were ready."

Liz rolls her eyes, sips her wine. "And that worked out great."

Jack pauses, eyeing her momentarily. "Actually, I think it worked out fine."

She meets his gaze. "Eventually."

He nods. "…Eventually."

"So, you're saying then…" Liz leans back, half-reclining on her side, "you've thought about this? I mean, you've actually considered it. Before tonight, before this week."

Jack copies her, facing her on the bed, one elbow propped beneath his body. "The evidence at hand would suggest we both have."

"Right. Well…since I was the one who made the first move," she goes on, waving a hand, gulping back some nerves, "by asking you out, maybe you should be the one to make the second move."

"I thought I already did," he replies, tone sly. "Downstairs. And in the elevator. Have you forgotten so quickly?"

Liz gives him an impatient glare. "Remind me, Jack. Make a third move."

He draws in a breath, regarding her a moment. "Is that what you'd like to happen now, Lemon?"

She takes a sip of wine, glancing about them. "Well…we're already in bed. I am half drunk and I did just admit that I like you so I think you've got a pretty good shot here."

"I was merely…" he studies her a moment more, pursing his lips, "savoring the moment."

"You were."

"I didn't want to rush anything tonight."

She tips her head at him. "Is that why you didn't put the Jack Donaghy date moves on me?"

"That," he muses dryly, "and frankly, I was afraid you'd disintegrate completely if I tried."

"I still might," she says, shrugging a shoulder. "There's only one way to find out."

"Believe me, Liz, it wasn't that I lacked the desire. It's simply that… " His eyes run over her briefly before returning to her face. "You do realize that after tonight, everything will change. Nothing will be the same between us again."

"Yeah…" she nods. "I was kind of counting on it, actually."

Jack shifts a little closer to her on the bed, one hand landing on her hip then skating deliberately over its curve. "And you think we're ready for that?"

Her breath catches. "I am. How about you?"

His lips twitch up in one corner. "Past ready, Lemon. Well past."

Liz leans over, sliding her glass onto the bedside table. Kneeling over him, she warns him impishly: "Then I'm making a move, Jack. I'm coming in…"

Jack lies back on the bed, a grin spreading across his face. "Bring it on."

He waits until she is leaning over him, one hand on the bed, her mouth hovering above his and just losing its certainty before he lifts his head from the mattress and captures her lips with his. Moments later, more wine is spilt.

Liz doesn't care.

Neither of them cares.

Later that night…

They collapse back, red-faced and panting. Liz rolls off Jack and onto her back, arms falling limply against the tousled sheets:

"Oh boy…"

"Indeed."

"Oh man!"

"My thoughts exactly. Almost…"

A full minute passes in silence. Aside from further panting.

Liz shakes her head at the ceiling, finally muttering: "So…what d'you say to a second date then?"

Jack chuckles, loud and long, one hand resting on his still heaving chest. "I say, why the hell not?"

"Yeah," she replies, eyes still wide. "Let's risk it. Can't be as bad as the first."

"It was not bad, Lemon."

"It was bad, Jack."

"You're right," he muses, releasing a large breath. "That was the worst date I've ever been on in my life."

"The worst." Liz turns her head on the pillow to look at him. "But at least it ended well. Right?"

Jack turns to look at her too. He grins. "Not with a whimper but a bang."

END.