Title: Remember Me?
Timeline: Post season-6 finale.
Summary: When Liz wakes up in the hospital having lost three years of memory, she’s about to find out just how much things have changed. Inspired by Sophie Kinsella’s novel of the same name. All belongs to her and Tina; I own nothing!Pairing: Jack/Liz
Liz climbs into the waiting town car, and Angie scoots in after her. The newly-freed amnesiac bounces a little on the leather seat, inexplicably nervous to be going home. The driver is already navigating the traffic without having asked for an address, but she realizes that he probably already knows where she lives. With that, she settles into her thoughts.
Angie had said before that she’s used to Liz acting…serious. What does that even mean? She underwent a crazy personality change because of TGS ending?
Or was Criss leaving the last straw? whispers her annoying brain.
“Did I ever finish renovating my apartment?” she asks out loud, hoping that she didn’t give up after Criss left. That would be inconvenient, and pitiful, and…well, not unlike her.
“Renovations? What renovations?” Angie looks confused.
“I bought the neighboring apartment a few years ago in order to—ah, forget it,” Liz mumbles. She doesn’t know why she’s asking this girl, really. Except that her curiosity is killing her. That might be it.
“Now that I think of it, I think you brought it up once. But that was in your old apartment, Ms. Lemon, the Riverside Drive one,” she says kindly.
“My…what? Wait, what happened to my place?”
Angie looks amused. “You sold it ages ago. You have a penthouse on Park,” she shrugs.
Liz feels a pang, because she really loved that place. It has been her home for almost a decade, and now it’s all gone.
She props her head on one hand and spends the remainder of the ride staring out the window. Soon, the landscape turns greener as they arrive in the Upper East Side area.
“This is my home? But it’s giant! Look at it!”
“Well, it is the penthouse.” Angie nods. “It’s a nice size.”
A nice size? Her apartment would fit on one of those rugs.
Oh, right. This place is her apartment now.
As Liz walks around, she finds herself in an awestruck state, feeling very much like she’s touring one of those places on Selling New York. (Actually, now that she thinks about it, this place was probably in an episode she saw once.)
She patters in and out of the massive rooms, leaving Angie on the couch to busy herself. Every space she comes across is light and airy, decorated in tasteful neutrals, and accented by enormous windows that overlook the city. This place is much too classy for it to be hers, and Liz just feels like a guest in someone else’s home.
When she finally makes her way back to the main room (truthfully, she got lost there for a moment), Angie stands with an intent look on her face.
“Do you remember any of this?” she asks earnestly. “Is it triggering anything?”
Liz sighs. “It’s stunning. But no.”
She looks around the room once more, unable to help frowning when she realizes that she can’t see many signs of her. There are no brightly colored Slankets, no box sets of DVDs that have been left out, no ‘Dry Clean Only’ items of clothing that have been haphazardly thrown near the door in hopes that she would someday actually take it to the drycleaner’s…In fact, the beautiful-yet-stark apartment terrifically reminds her of Jack’s home. Clean and tasteful, but impersonal.
Oh, god, has she turned into the female version of Jack Donaghy? She nearly passes out at this latest thought, and settles for flopping back onto the amazingly comfortable couch. She doesn’t want to think about any influence that Jack may or may not have had on her choice of housing. Liz is still trying to get over the part where the freaking elevator opens right into the apartment.
Angie must notice her distress, because she immediately suggests some activities to take her mind off of things.
“Ms. Lemon, do you feel up to going out? I could schedule a restful massage for you, or a nice gentle stretch class. What do you say?”
Fresh air is looking good to her right now, and she is itching to change from the tight skinny jeans.
“Okay, I guess.” Then she hesitates. “Actually, this is a little embarrassing…but I don’t know where my clothes are. All the drawers in the bedroom just contain paperwork and stuff. I can’t find anything.”
Angie looks utterly horrified. “You don’t know where your clothes are?”
Liz raises her eyebrows as if to say yeah, so? while the girl takes a deep breath to compose herself.
“I’m sorry, I’ve just realized how scary this must be for you. To come home and have forgotten your entire wardrobe.” She claps her hands once, immediately focused on her newest task. “Come on, Ms. Lemon. I’ll show you.”
Well, the reason she couldn’t find her clothes is they’re not in a dresser; they’re in a whole other room behind a concealed door that looks like a mirror. And the reason they need a whole other room is because there’s so effing many of them.
As Liz stares at the racks, she feels faint. She’s never seen so many clothes, outside of a store (or Jack’s closet, that one time she helped him decide on a tuxedo). Crisp white shirts, sleek tailored pants, blazers and jackets in shades of gray and black. Chiffony eveningwear. Tights rolled up in their own special drawer. Folded silky underwear with La Perla labels. She can’t see anything that doesn’t look brand-new and immaculate—no stains or rips, no baggy sweaters, no comfy cupcake pajamas.
She flips through a row of jackets, all pretty much identical apart from the buttons. She can’t believe she’s spent so much money on clothes and they’re all versions of gray.
“What do you think?” Angie is watching her, eyes sparkling.
“Leah has a great eye.” She nods wisely. “Leah, your personal shopper.”
Liz shakes her head. “I have a personal shopper. Of course I do.”
“I can see that you’re a little overwhelmed by the clothes.” Angie looks thoughtful, then her face lights up. “Try the shoes. You have to remember your shoes!” she winks.
Angie then heads to the other side of the room and flings open a door. And Liz stares in disbelief. She’s never seen so many shoes. All in neat rows, most of them high-heeled. What is she doing with high-heeled shoes?
“This is stupid.” She turns to Angie. “I can’t even walk in heels, god knows why I bought them.”
“Yes, you can.” Angie looks puzzled. “Of course you can.”
“No,” Liz shakes her head. “I’ve never been good at heels. I trip, or even fall over, I look stupid…”
“Ms. Lemon.” Angie’s eyes are wide. “You live in them. You were wearing these when you did that merger last week.”
She pulls out a pair of black pumps with four-inch stiletto heels. The scarlet soles are scuffed. The inside label has been rubbed away. Someone’s been wearing these.
“Put them on,” suggests Angie. “Just think of something distracting, and let instinct take over.”
Cautiously, Liz slips off her ballet flats and steps into the shoes. She thinks of all the things she’s going to say to Jack when she sees him—well, maybe ‘say’ is too gentle a description—and before she knows it, she’s strutting across the room in confidence.
“You see?” Angie smiles. “Now let’s get going; there’s so much to fill you in on!”
About week later, after she has been sufficiently prepared and drilled by her assistant (boy, she’s still getting used to that) on every aspect of her job, Liz goes back to work. Or, at least, she goes back to the office. The elevator ride to Fifty-Two seems endless, and when she finally reaches the floor, she proceeds to freeze in the doorway with a jolt of—sadness? —and simply stare at the room.
Angie had informed Liz that her closet-sized office on Six no longer existed. Instead, she’d (logically) moved to the one belonging to her job’s predecessor. The idea of working in a space occupied by Jack for so many years thoroughly creeps her out, and as she surveys it now, she can’t help but feel like his ghost is lurking around somewhere.
No, that’s dumb. Of course there’s no Jack-ghost. He’s still alive, for one thing.
Her hair is straightened and glossy. Her dress and jacket are perfectly coordinated, with nary a wrinkle or spot in sight. She can do this. She’s ready.
Ignoring the rising hysteria in her chest, Liz carefully lays her jacket and bag on the desk and slowly paces the room, noting the changes. The office has had a total facelift, right down to the new cream-colored pillows, but some things are still familiar, such as the large windows and hidden bathroom. When she remembers the secret wall panel, she immediately opens it with interest. Liz doesn’t know what she expected to find—some leftover ties, maybe—but it instead contains a single sleeve of Double-Stuf Oreos.
Ha, so she still has a secret junk food spot! The quantity of the contents are not ideal, but it will do for now.
She rips open the package, and shakes a few cookies out. When was the last time she ate an Oreo? After popping one in her mouth, Liz glances down at her dress, automatically checking for stains. There are her legs, in all their unfamiliar toned glory. It has to be said—they look like they don’t know what an Oreo is.
At that moment, Angie breezes into the room, arms full of fun-looking documents, not.
She eyes the Oreo in Liz’s hands, but says nothing. (Wisely.)
“Here’s some urgent paperwork for you to review, Ms. Lemon. You also have several appointments today that can’t wait—”
“Cancel everything,” Liz interrupts loudly. “I’m going to see Jack.”
“Mr. Donaghy is—”
But Liz’s glare leaves no room for negotiation, and with a sigh, Angie nods slowly.
“Yes, Ms. Lemon. I’ll set it up right away. I believe he just arrived back in New York this morning,” she adds.
“Good. Now go and get me some more Oreos,” Liz orders. “It’s going to be a long day.”
Liz is a little surprised to discover that Jack’s New York office is in the 30 Rock building. It’s actually a little smaller than his old one, but decorated almost identically. When his assistant—a new one that she doesn’t recognize—lets her in, she breathes deeply at the familiar scent of leather and scotch. Finally, something she can wrap her mind around.
“Mr. Donaghy will be up shortly. He’s running a little late,” the young man says politely, and then leaves her alone. She arranges herself on a plush chair, crossing and uncrossing her legs, then her ankles. Liz has no idea why she feels so nervous. Maybe because she’s got a sneaking suspicion that there is a very good reason why Jack hasn’t inquired after her these past few weeks.
When he finally strides through the double doors, she automatically straightens up. He looks good, in a handsomely cut suit and slightly shorter hair, which he’s stopped dyeing since she saw him. She wonders why he made the switch.
“Jack!” she rises, unsure whether to shake his hand or hug him or what. She settles for hanging back, somewhat awkwardly facing him.
“Liz,” he nods, sounding oddly formal. “I heard about the accident, and was relieved to hear you were all right. How are you recovering?”
She frowns slightly at his tone—it’s not quite unfriendly, but not exactly chummy—and shrugs uncomfortably.
“I’m, um, well. Thanks.” She eyes him warily, definitely weirded out by his behavior.
Consequently, everything she had planned to say to/shout at him immediately flies out the window.
Jack gives her a small smile. “Excellent. And everything is fine at NBC?” he asks briskly, as if this is a routine question.
“Yes, it’s all okay. Look, Jack, I—”
But he interrupts, somehow missing the confusion written all over her face.
“—Liz, I am very busy, as are you, and if there is something in particular you wish to discuss, I do suggest reaching your point.”
Now she’s staring at him openly. Jack is only this aggressive when he’s really upset, and even then he rarely takes it out on her for no reason.
“What’s wrong with you? No, first let me tell you what’s wrong with me. I’ve had amnesia since the accident, and I came here for answers, not detached questioning.”
She lets out a breath, not entirely sure why he’s treating her like a colleague and nothing more. Her uneasiness is not helped by the fact that Jack is now eyeing her closely.
“Amnesia, really? How many years have you lost?”
Liz crosses her arms. “Three. Back to about right after—”
“—After Criss left,” he finishes for her.
They lock eyes for a long minute, neither having a clue where to begin. Jack cocks his head, thinking that if she is telling the truth, then this could most definitely change things for him. For them.
In 2015, he and Liz are not friends. But they are in 2012.