Title: Five Times Gretchen Was a Recurring Guest Star
Rating: K+ (profanity)
Disclaimers: All characters belong to NBC and "30 Rock".
Summary: Short scenes from five Season One episodes where things might have gone differently for Liz if she had been dating Gretchen. Loose sequel to "Adorable Little Lesbian".
Spoilers/Season/Episode etc : Spoilers for Season One through "The 'C' Word".
"Why don't you put something on the television?" Gretchen asked as she went into the kitchen. "I'll open the wine."
"Okay," Liz said as she picked up the remote and turned the set on. "Ooh, To Catch a Predator is on."
"I've never heard someone so excited to see child molesters on TV," Gretchen said, her voice floating out of the kitchen.
"I'm not excited, I'm just . . . " Liz's eyes almost popped out of her head. "Just, uh," she said, once her voice started to return, "glad to know this is on so I won't put NBC back on by mistake." Hurriedly she changed the channel. "Because, you know, like you said, they're child molesters. Sick, twisted, unreliable, technologically obsolete men who prey upon the innocent and try to get them to do three-ways with strange tramps they pick up in bars."
Gretchen slowly came back in, a concerned look on her face. "Liz, are you all right?"
Liz ignored the outstretched wineglass, grabbed the bottle from Gretchen's other hand, and took a healthy swig. "Yeah, why?"
Up All Night
"Is there someone I should know about?" Gretchen asked. She help up for Liz the small, squat vase filled with reddish blooms.
"Ooh, cute," Liz said, smelling them. "Not exactly in keeping with the rest of your display, though."
"That's because they're not from me. They were hidden behind the ones I got you," Gretchen explained, gesturing to the dozens of roses that Liz had found when she entered her office.
"I never noticed them. I was too busy being overwhelmed by yours."
"I hope it wasn't too over-the-top. It's been a while since I had someone to do this for on Valentine's."
Liz smiled shyly. "No, actually, it was very cute and romantic of you. Although Frank thinks it's a sign of the apocalypse that I got more than Cerie did. Who does the card say those are from?"
Liz and Gretchen turned to see the unfamiliar man in the doorway. "Sorry, I'm Floyd," he said. "My girlfriend's name is Liz Lemler, and she works down in Accounting. I guess there was a mix-up at the florist's."
"Can't imagine why," Gretchen said dryly. "It's the slowest time of the year for them."
Liz rolled her eyes. "Remind me again why you don't work for me?" She took the vase from Gretchen's hands and offered them to Floyd. "Here. I hope your girlfriend wasn't too . . . why do you have a camera?"
"How's the hand?" Liz asked.
"Ask me again tomorrow," Gretchen said, keeping her right hand carefully submerged in a champagne ice bucket. "Christ, she must have an iron jaw."
"Well, there's certainly something wrong with her head," Liz replied. "All I did was tell Bianca that Jack and I were engaged, and she tries to maul me!"
Gretchen stared at her. "You told her what?"
Liz swallowed. "It's not true."
"Well, I should think not."
"Jack was just depressed that Bianca seemed to have gotten over him so easily, and I wanted him to see that he was wrong," Liz explained.
"Ah," Gretchen said. "I suppose that was nice of you."
"Nah, I just wanted to be the one who was right for a change," Liz said flippantly.
Gretchen chuckled. "Try not to provoke any madwomen in the future. I might not be there to pull them off of you next time."
"I'm sorry," Liz murmured, touching Gretchen's wrist. "I never imagined it would lead to you getting hurt."
"It's okay," Gretchen told her. "I spent the night pretending to be Jenna's date so we could be together while you were pretending to be Jack's date. Now that'spain."
The "C" Word
Lutz almost splashed coffee on his wrist as the greetings came almost right behind his ear. "Wha - oh, Gretchen, hi," he said weakly, drying off the handle of his coffee mug. "Are you here to see Liz?"
"Thought I'd surprise her," Gretchen said as she leaned back against the counter, right next to the toaster. "I have this little romantic getaway planned. Taking her by Amtrak."
Lutz blinked. "I never really associated romance with Amtrak."
"I like trains," Gretchen replied casually. "Takes me back to my first year of college. You might not know this, but every first-year engineering student at an accredited college needs to learn how to drive a train with twenty cars or more."
"Really?" Lutz asked, astonished. "But why - "
"So," Gretchen continued, leaning towards him, "when I tell you that if I ever hear you've called someone I love that word again, I'll run over you with a train? You'll know I'm serious."
Lutz blanched as he saw no trace of humor in Gretchen's eyes. This time there was no "almost" about it as he dropped his cup and got coffee all over his shoes. "I, um, well, yeah, I wouldn't - "
Gretchen patted him on the shoulder as she turned to go. "Just be more careful at railroad crossings, okay?"
In time Lutz's phobia would grow so great that he wouldn't even enter Grand Central Station.
The Baby Show
"Isn't she cute, Gretchen?"
"Liz, what are you doing in my office with a strange baby?" With a glassy, drugged look in your eye, I might add.
Liz seemed to come to her senses suddenly. "Oh - my - GOD!" she said, gaping at Gretchen. "I was backstage a minute ago!"
"Unless Jack has finally put those personal jetpacks into mass production, Liz, I sincerely doubt that."
Liz looked helplessly at her. "Godda - " She stopped and looked at the infant in her arms. "Gosh-darn it, someone says the words 'biological clock' to me and now I'm a baby-snatcher!"
"Let's get you back there before somebody puts out an Amber Alert, okay?" Gretchen suggested.
On the way back, Gretchen finally got the nerve to ask something that was on her mind. "You mentioned your biological clock. I guess that means you want children?"
Liz looked at her. "Well, yeah, it never seemed all that likely to happen, but I do want children - someday. Don't you?"
"I never really thought about it," Gretchen admitted. "I was never in a relationship long enough."
They were silent for a minute before Gretchen quietly added, "I think I'd like to have yours, though."
Liz wouldn't have a chance to show what that remark meant to her until that night - all night.
Author's Note – I wanted to do a sequel to "Adorable Little Lesbian", even though I hadn't posted it yet. Since by now, I'd seen most of the rest of Season 1, I wanted to incorporate later episodes, but I didn't want a big production. So, as I'd read a lot of "Five Things… " stories by then, I thought it would be a good compromise. These scenes were arranged by the order of the episodes they were based on, except for the last one. I thought that would make a good ending. But since I never posted "ALL", posting this didn't make a lot of sense.