Liz walked into Jack's office one morning with one thought on her mind.
"Jack… do you remember what you said about me hating other women because I instinctively see them as competition?"
Jack turned to face Liz. She hadn't knocked, and had been quiet when she walked in. "Well, Lemon," he started as he quickly glanced over her person and forgot what he was going to say.
Lately, Liz had been wearing clothes that fit her properly. She had started dressing in clothes that had absolutely no hint of ambiguous nature. Of course, she had lady clothing that she wore, but it was never on a consistent cycle. Now, she was consistent with her style, making Jack wonder what was going on. He didn't know how to interpret this new habit of Liz Lemon's, and therefore, was distracted.
"Are you going to finish that statement?" Liz asked him.
"Perhaps. Why do you ask if I remember that discussion?"
"Because I still think you're wrong."
She was wearing a pair of black tailored slacks with a dainty-looking blouse the color of mint ice cream with a gray sweater. Her usually curly hair had been straightened, and the front was clipped back with a simple silver clip that matched the shirt. As Jack tried to covertly scan over Liz once again, he noted that she was wearing a pair of black pumps.
"Liz," Jack started, ignoring Liz's response, "is there a reason why you are dressed up today?"
Liz looked down at herself and then back at Jack. "Um… no. Why?"
"You look strangely decent today."
"Uh… thank you, Jack. I think. But did you not hear me? I think you're wrong to think that I instinctively hate other women."
Jack walked toward her. "And I think you're wrong about the reason why you're dressed up today."
Liz sighed. "Why are you hung up on what I'm wearing today? It's just a bunch of clothes."
"But it's not. Your hair is done today. And it must take a lot of time, given the whole… situation with your hair. You deliberately chose to look like this today."
"So? You deliberately chose to look like that today," Liz pointed out.
"But I always look this good," Jack sniffed as he adjusted his tie.
"Like I told you before, if I roll my eyes, my ocular muscles will spasm, and my eyeballs will fall out of my eye sockets. But imagine that I am rolling my eyes. With a lot of exaggeration."
Jack tried to disguise his amusement by turning to face the window again. "Is there a new man in your life?" he asked her.
Liz sat down on the arm of a chair near her. "Not really," she replied thoughtfully.
"So, there is a man.
"I didn't say that," Liz pointed out.
"I know, but you said not really… insinuating that there was someone in your life, but not necessarily new. It's someone you know."
Liz cocked her head and made a noise of thoughtfulness. "How do you do that?"
"I have my ways."
"Or you have someone spying on me," she muttered.
Jack turned to look over his shoulder at Liz. "When were you in Vermont?" Jack asked himself quietly.
"What?" Liz asked in confusion, overhearing Jack's conversation with himself.
"Croissant?" Jack said quickly, trying to cover his mistake, as he pointed to a platter of breakfast pastries.
Liz stood up, but looked skeptical as she helped herself to one of the pastries on the platter. "Jack, what is your point?"
"Does this gentleman friend of yours work with women?" Jack queried.
"He has a few female co-workers, but that's irrelevant."
"How old do you think these co-workers are?"
"I don't know… twenty-five, twenty-six?"
"And what is the proportion of blondes to non-blondes?"
"Jack, what kind of question is that?" Liz asked in exasperation.
"How many blondes are there?"
"They're all blonde," Liz replied sheepishly.
Jack walked over to the chairs and sat down in the chair that Liz was not sitting on. "So, young, blonde twenty-somethings. You feel threatened, as a forty-year-old brunette who is reaching the end of her prime. You do everything you can to look younger, look more appealing, for this mystery man. And by the looks of it, you're doing something right, because, Lemon, this look works for you."
Liz's face feel. "Oh my god… I hate women," she murmured in realization.
"It's not your fault, it's your genetic composition that makes you hate other women."
Liz's face returned to a sharp expression. "Would you stop with that? It's not like I'm proud of this… and maybe I'm just jealous. Or they're jealous, because I'm sleeping with their boss-slash- co-worker. It's not genetics, it's not competition, it's just… I really like him. More than I thought I would. A lot more than I thought I would, because when we first met, I hated him."
"It's not Dennis, is it?"
"God, no. I think Dennis went to jail. And I didn't hate Dennis until the end."
"Well, whoever he is, he must have some magical power that can move mountains."
"Yeah, something like that," Liz replied airily.
A lull in conversation fell between them. Liz tore off bits of the croissant she had taken a few minutes earlier, and Jack stood again to look out the window. "You really do spend an inordinate amount of time staring out that window. When do you get any work done?" Liz asked him.
"It's not me, is it?" he asked urgently.
"You? Wait, you think I'm all dressed up because of you?" Liz laughed. "No, Jack, it's not you."
She scratched her head and smoothed down her hair absently. Jack stood, feeling like an idiot for thinking that she would have a thing for him, but couldn't help but wonder who it was. He wanted to personally thank the man who made Liz Lemon a little more feminine than she had ever been.
He found himself realizing that he secretly wished that Liz was dressing up for him. Maybe the jealous ex-wife syndrome was hitting her, and even though they had hardly had anything to constitute a marriage maybe Liz was dressing to impress Jack to show him what he had missed out on. Maybe she was trying to insinuate a steamy affair that would take place in his office in the late hours of the evening, or during lunch, or any other time throughout the day—Jonathan could schedule it so that no one was around. Maybe Liz was dressing for the job she wanted, and she wanted Jack's job.
He secretly hoped that she was secretly lusting after him, and since he was off the market, it would have been… exhilarating… to know that another woman was lusting after him. He craved the thrill, the rush of lust and desire, and since this component of his relationship with Avery was dying, he found himself hungry for his life force. He didn't know why he had expected that he was the man that made Liz competitive and vicious towards other women, and that she would be the source of that life force he relied on so much.
He didn't know why he was disappointed that she had laughed when he asked. Maybe it was because he figured he was always the best man in Liz's life, the only man capable of making her instinctual competitiveness emanate from her. Maybe it was the thought that there was someone better, someone other than Jack Donaghy, a man that could make women like Elizabeth Lemon become organized, driven, and powerful, that made Jack green with envy.
"Jack?" Liz asked in concern. "Are you okay?"
He snapped to attention and glanced to her face. "I'm fine, Lemon."
"You look a little hurt," Liz noted. "Like you expected that it would be you."
"Don't be ridiculous, Lemon."
She shot him a skeptical look, but said nothing more on the matter. "Well, I'm going to get going. We have to rewrite a few sketches. And by a few, I mean, we have to rewrite every single sketch. The writers seem to be losing their touch."
"You mean, you haven't lost your touch completely?" Jack asked jokingly.
"I'm going to ignore that remark and leave now," she told him in an amused tone.
Liz was about to walk out of the office before she stopped and turned back to look at Jack. "I should have probably verified this earlier, but our divorce is final, right? Because, it would really suck to get to City Hall and find out that I can't get married because our divorce hasn't been finalized yet. It's already going to be a pain dealing with Immigration."
Jack filed through the mental-Rolodex he kept for Liz, trying to figure out who she would have been associated with who would be foreign. As he clicked to realization, his eyes flashed up at Liz. "Wesley? Your mystery man is Wesley?"
Liz nodded, smiling slightly. "I told you, I hated him when I first met him."
"But you hated me… never mind. You're getting married?"
"That's to be determined," she replied slyly as she ducked out of the office and closed the door behind her.
Jack found himself fighting the urge to go out and destroy Wesley Snipes so the Liz Lemon, who walked around with lettuce caught up in her unruly curls, would come back. It was Jack's job to make Liz be better than Liz, and suddenly, there was an imposter who could do the job better.