It feels pretty good to have her job back. Granted, she was only unemployed for 12 hours but it was a freighting 12 hours – chock full of witnessing her idol drink wine out of a thermos, getting harassed by loiters in Little Chechnya and realizing winning a slew of awards in no way guarantees long-term financial security. But she now has her old job back and Jack has promised to show her how she can turn money into more money. So, being a follower and writing poop jokes on a mediocre variety show has its upside.
She is in her reclaimed office unpacking the box of knickknacks that Jonathan hastily put in a box when he gleefully told her she was fired. That nerd broke her Chewbacca figurine and she'll have to find a way to get back at him for that. Maybe have Frank fart in his chair, or better yet, have Frank sit on Jonathan and fart on him while he's in his chair. She snickers at the thought, and is startled when she hears a quiet knock on the door.
"Lemon?" Liz turns around and sees Jack standing in the doorway looking rather pensive.
Her face drops and she immediately fears the worst, "Oh no, you're gonna fire me again."
"I fired Rosemary! And I wrote two product integration sketches this morning so…"
"Lemon, you're not fired." His interruption is hasty, but measured.
"If I'm not fired, then why are you looking like you have awful news to tell me? Ugh, do I have to fire other people?!" She panics.
"Liz, nobody is getting fired!" He barks impatiently, which causes Liz to pout and sink down in her chair.
"Then what's wrong?"
"I still feel…unsettled after our disagreement yesterday."
"Yes, as if things are still tense. Up in the air." He casually crosses the room and leans his hip against the desk while Liz looks up at him and frowns in confusion.
"We had a drink last night and you rehired me. I think things are…fine." She replies hesitantly.
"A moment ago you were under the impression that I was about to fire you again. I believe that indicates that things are far from fine."
"Okay, I'm a little on edge. But it'll go away and then everything will be back to normal." Her hand reaches up to playfully smack his chest and she forces a smile. "We'll be buddies again. Yay!" When he doesn't respond to her over-the-top enthusiasm, her smile falters and she adds, "or not."
"I have no doubt that things will right themselves in time, Lemon. But I've never been a man to simply wait for dynamics to alter naturally. I believe we need to be proactive about this, so we can put this matter behind us and resume our healthy working relationship."
"Okay," she exhales. "That sounds good. How do we go about doing that?"
"Well, in the past, when I had a dispute with a coworker we would usually engage in some physical activity to duke it out. A good show of sportsmanship in golf or squash would usually do the trick."
"I don't want to play golf or squash with you, Jack. Those games are totally gayballs. We could play capture the flag!"
"I don't know what that is, nor do I care."
She crosses her arms and attempts to continue their brainstorming session. "We could pig out on junk food together. We both love to stuff our face."
"While this is true, neither of us can afford to indulge in said activity." He looks her up and down critically before adding, "you especially."
She glowers at him and then yells in frustration, "Well, why don't you come up with some genius idea? Isn't that why you get paid the big bucks? To manage your employees?"
He takes a moment to ponder additional scenarios and Liz stares at him anticipatorily. "Perhaps an innocuous show of affection should suffice?"
Liz grins knowingly- this she understands. "You want to hug it out?"
Jack cocks his head to the side, considering her request – this wasn't exactly what he had in mind – but he decides to give it a shot. "Yes…let's try…hugging." He says, as if the concept is foreign to him.
Liz gets up from the chair and eagerly extends her arms and wraps them around Jack's middle. Jack, for his part, is not a hugger and this becomes increasingly obvious when his arms encircle her stiffly. It's almost as if she's hugging a corpse.
"Well…that was pretty anti-climatic." She observes disappointingly once she breaks away from the awkward embrace.
"Yes, I believe things are worse now. So, thanks for that, Lemon."
"Hey! That was a decent hug right there. I did the lean in and mid-section squeeze and everything. It's not my fault you are bad at innocent and platonic displays of affection."
At that, Jack's face lights up, as if he's suddenly had an epiphany. "That's it!"
She stares at him blankly, "What's it?"
"I'm horrible at platonic displays of affection, true. But romantic displays of affection are…" He puffs out his chest arrogantly and smirks, "my forte."
"Please tell me you're not saying what I think you're saying."
"We should have makeup sex." He says evenly, without a hint of sarcasm.
"Oh, gross." She plops back in her chair and covers her eyes. "Not happening, Jack. Never ever. Ever." She opens her eyes and he's still smirking. "Ever!"
"I don't understand why you are so vehement in your objection. In my experience after fighting with a female, the best method for remedying tension and negative feelings is through a passionate bout of intercourse."
"Do you know how messed up that is, Jack? That you can only fix a dysfunctional relationship with a woman by sleeping with her? Don't you think the sex would just add to the problems you're already experiencing?" She asks incredulously.
"Spoken like someone who has never had satisfactory make-up sex before."
She opens her mouth to protest, but she knows it's true. Whenever she'd fight with Dennis, he'd make it up to her with food. Conan would write a song and serenade her. Since chili and hearing your boyfriend sing in a high-pitch, feminine voice aren't exactly aphrodisiacs, she never felt the need to jump a guy after a fight in order to defuse the tension. She's never fought with anybody so passionately that she even felt an urge to do something physical with him once they've made up. But Jack is different. When they do fight or bicker – which happens on a weekly basis – she admits that it ignites something within her that she never felt before. She always assumed that this is because no man has managed to infuriate her to such an alarming degree. Regardless, she's seen enough soap operas to know that a passionate tryst with the boss is never a good idea.
So she musters up all the conviction within her and declares, "Despite the tenuous status of our relationship, I will not and cannot have sex with you, Jack. And you can't make me, because that would be sexual harassment."
He frowns, "I have no desire to coerce you into sex, Lemon." He actually sounds pretty dejected when he says, "I was merely trying to restore balance to our dynamic."
She tenderly places her hand on his shoulder and says, "I appreciate it. But I think we're just going to have to wait this one out."
He brushes her hand aside and rises to his feet swiftly, as if he didn't just propose they have sex and as if she didn't abruptly reject his proposal. "Very well. I suppose I will see you around." His neutral tone of voice causes Liz to peer at him sadly, but she doesn't stop him from exiting her office.
For the next two weeks, whenever Liz feels guilty for rejecting him, she consoles herself with the fact that Jack's a big boy. He can't go around thinking sex solves every single female related problem for the rest of his life. Her guilty conscience gets the best of her though, because she hasn't seen Jack since the afternoon in her office and she kinda feels like she handled his suggestion like a jerk. He's clearly avoiding her and now things between them even more strained than before. During this tense time, they've taken to corresponding through email or using Pete as an intermediary. This isn't helping because Liz has never really been super responsive with her emails and Pete is still scared to death of Jack. So essentially nothing is getting done, she feels horrible for making her friend fell like crap, and yeah, she misses talking to him everyday. She decides, against her better judgment, to take one for the team. After all, things can't get anymore awkward then they are right now.
When she reaches the 52-second floor in late in the afternoon, she brushes by Jonathan and ignores his persistent claims that Jack is too busy to see her. ("Shut up, nerd." Is her response to, "Mr. Donaghy is very busy right now…").
When she knocks a gruff, "Come in," is heard from behind the door. She flashes Jonathan a spiteful smile and tentatively opens the door before quickly closing it shut. She doesn't want Jonathan to hear any of this conversation.
"Hey, Jack…long time no see." She says awkwardly.
Jack doesn't even bother looking up from his desk when he says, "I'm in the middle of something, Lemon. If you have a point to reach, I'd appreciate if you would get to it quickly."
"What's with the passive-aggressive d-bag tone, Jack?"
This comment certainly succeeds in gaining his attention, because he angrily throws his pen on the desk, looks up and scowls at her, "You dismissively rebuffed my attempt to repair our relationship. How else would you expect me to behave?"
"I…I don't know. But now things are so much worse. I want to fix it." She whines and Jack lets out an exasperated sigh in response.
"I want that very much too, Liz. But aside from transferring you to another division, sleeping with you or ignoring you, I'm fresh out of ideas. I've never mentored a woman, so this…tension…is new to me."
His earnestness and despair clinches it for Liz and she decides to make a bold (for her) decision. "Okay, let's do it."
"The second option. The make-up sex. I'm down." She nods her head decisively and Jack looks at her like she might be insane.
"I'm going to need you to repeat that." He says slowly, and Liz glares at him in frustration.
"You heard me. Let's do it. I mean, you're not horrible to look at. And you definitely know what you're doing when it comes to sex stuff and I've slept with worse people for less than noble reasons. Did I tell you that the last time I slept with Dennis was because he killed a cockroach in my apartment? I probably shouldn't have said that." She cringes at her word vomit and then shakes her head in order to get back to the discussion at hand. "So, I think we should do this. Unless…you've changed your mind?"
"That is probably the most sensible thing you've ever said." He stares at her seriously, rises from his desk and crosses over to her. "And I most certainly have not change my mind."
He places his hand on her hip and his eyes drift down to her mouth. He begins to lean forward but Liz's hand on his chest pushes him away. "Whoa, Jack. What are you doing?"
Perplexed, he says, "I was going to kiss you. That is usually what people do to each other before engaging in sex."
"Yeah, we're not boffing in your office. If we do, I'll constantly think about me being naked on your desk every time I come in here."
"I fail to see how that could be a problem." He smirks, but then realizes she might change her mind again if he's unable to put her at ease. "Where would you like to do this then? You're apartment?"
"No, let's go to your place. I've never been, but I assume it's nicer than mine."
"Having been to your place, I can confirm that it is most definitely nicer than yours." He ignores Liz's eye roll, and places his hand on the small of her back while ushering her to the door.
"You want to do this now? I mean…I have work to do…"
"As your boss, I'm giving you permission to take a half day." When he opens the door, he bellows to Jonathan, "Hold all my calls for the rest of the day. Ms. Lemon and I will be indisposed."
"Yes, sir." He murmurs meekly. Before Liz can have a chance to rub it in the twerps face, Jack gently and impatiently pushes her toward the elevator doors. So, this is definitely happening. Yikes.