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
Several months later
Liz arrives at Saks on a Saturday, and travels up to the personal shopping department. She has an appointment with her shopper, Leah. According to Angie, Liz sees Leah every three months and they work on that season’s “look”.
Sounds like torture to her.
However, this trip is part of Liz’s attempts to piece together the years she missed. Jack says that revisiting the places she used to go to might help her memory and it has been exhausting. Her motivation is that this appointment is the last one in her planner, then things can return to normal. Or at least something resembling normal.
She catches a glimpse of herself in a wall mirror. Her hair is a little less glossy now and cut shorter. Her t-shirt has a stain on it; her blazer is just slightly wrinkled.
Yep, Liz Lemon is back.
So what if she doesn’t fit into the skinniest of her (stupidly expensive) jeans anymore? She and Jack are friends again, and that’s good enough for her. And being VP isn’t as hard as she thought. Once Jack had Devon transferred to Connecticut (a place that in her mind, Liz equates with hell), she learned the job—for real this time—pretty easily. It’s mostly approving new shows and axing unwatchable ones, which Liz is great at. And her giant office is pretty awesome.
She even had a trampoline installed.
“Liz! How are you?” A voice greets, yanking her to the present as she steps into the reception area. Leah is petite, with close-cropped blond hair, and a perfume that turns Liz’s insides instantly.
“I was so devastated to hear about your accident!”
Liz attempts a smile and tries not to wish she were somewhere else.
“I’m fine. Thanks. All better now.”
“Good! Now, I have some fabulous pieces for you to see.” Leah ushers her into a room and presents a rack of clothes with a flourish. “You’ll see some new shapes and styles here, but I think you can pull them off…”
What is she talking about? They’re all suits in neutral colors. Not even blazers—suits. Yech. Who is she, Ann Romney?
“I think we’re done here,” Liz says, thrusting away the tan skirt and matching jacket that Leah is holding up against her. Without another word, she makes for the escalator. But when she reaches the bottom, her eyes roll on their own accord.
It’s not that she’s been ignoring Christmas; she’s just not in the mood for it this year. (Her track record for the holiday—well, every holiday, really—is not great.) Saks, though, could care less about her mood, because they didn’t stop at garland, which is everywhere. There are huge Christmas trees covered in ornaments, and a choir is standing on a mezzanine, belting out “Hark the Herald.”
In matching outfits and everything. Wow.
“Champagne?” A guy in a Santa hat offers a tray full of tiny glasses, and Liz takes one. As she wanders on, she realizes she is lost in the layout of the damn place, and has strayed into menswear. It could be worse, seeing as she’s not in a super hurry. Liz isn’t eager to return home to her huge, lonely apartment.
So she chooses Christmas Prison for now.
She walks around for a few more moments, finishing the champagne, listening to the Christmas songs playing and watching the lights twinkle…
Oh, god, they’ve got her. She has to leave, before she starts buying jumbo packs of scented candles and Bing Crosby CDs. She’s just looking for somewhere to put her empty glass down, when a bright voice greets her.
It’s coming from a woman folding sweaters in the men’s Ralph Lauren department.
“Uh…hi,” Liz says uncertainly. “Do I know you?”
“Oh no.” She smiles. “I just remember you from last year.”
“You were in here, buying a shirt for your…man.” She glances at Liz’s hand, which is as bare as ever. “For Christmas. We had quite a long conversation as I gift-wrapped it. I’ve always remembered it.”
Liz stares back at her, trying to imagine it. It would have been during her relationship with Jack, she realizes. When they were…intimate. She wonders if the sex was good. Jack never talks about it, always changing the subject. Then Liz pushes the thought from her mind, because they’re good friends again and she can’t mess it up, not again...
“I’m sorry,” Liz says after the silence. “I’ve got a crappy memory. What did I say?”
“Don’t worry!” She laughs. “I only remembered it, because you were so…” The lady pauses, mid-sweater-fold. “This will seem silly, but you seemed so in love.”
“Right.” Liz nods. “Right.” She brushes back a strand of hair, telling herself to smile and walk away. It’s a coincidence, that’s all. No big deal.
But as she’s standing there, with the lights twinkling and the carols blaring over the loudspeaker and a strange woman telling her what she did last Christmas, all kinds of buried feelings are thrusting their way up like steam. The tape is peeling up at the corner; she can’t keep the past in its place anymore.
“This may seem like a…weird question.” Liz wipes her sweaty hand on one jean-clad leg. “But did I say what his name was?”
“No.” The woman eyes her curiously. “You just said he was everything. You hadn’t had it all before. You were bubbling over with it, with the happiness of it.” She puts the sweater down and looks at Liz with genuine concern. “Don’t you remember?”
As if she isn’t tired of hearing that phrase.
But something is clenching at her throat. It was Jack. It has to have been.
Jack, whom she tries not to think about in that way every single day.
“What did I buy him?”
“It was a shirt like this, as I recall.” She hands Liz an ordinary navy shirt, and she holds it, trying to picture Jack in it; herself choosing it for him. Tries to conjure up the happiness. Maybe it’s the champagne; maybe it’s just the end of a long day. But she can’t seem to let go of this shirt. She can’t put it down.
“Could I buy it, please?” she says. “Don’t bother wrapping it.”
Liz doesn’t know what’s wrong with her. As she walks outside to hail a cab she clings to the blue shirt, holding it close like a comfort blanket. Her whole head is buzzing; the world is receding, like she’s getting the flu or something.
A taxi pulls up and she gets in, on autopilot.
“Where to?” asks the driver, but Liz barely hears him. She can’t stop thinking about Jack. Her head is buzzing harder now, and she wonders what the hell was in the champagne…
She doesn’t know what her head is doing. She’s humming a song she doesn’t know. And all she knows is it’s Jack. The song is Jack. It means Jack. It’s a tune she knows from him.
Liz closes her eyes desperately, chasing it, trying to pin it down…And then, like a flash of light, it’s in her head.
It’s a memory.
She has a memory! Of him. Her. The two of them together. The smell of salt in the air, his chin scratchy, a gray jacket…and the song. That’s it. A fleeting moment, nothing else.
But she has it. She has it.
“Hon, where to?” The driver has turned around. Liz stares at him as though he’s talking in a foreign language. She can’t let anything else into her mind; she has to keep hold of the memory…
“For Chrissake.” The cabbie rolls his eyes. “Where d’you want to go?”
There’s only one place she can go. She has to.
“Upper East,” she manages. As the taxi crawls through the city, Liz sits bolt upright, clutching the edge of the seat with one hand and the shirt with the other. She feels as though her she can’t think about the memory or else it’ll wear out. She can’t talk, or look out the window, or let anything into her brain at all. She has to keep this memory intact… she has to tell him.
As they arrive on Jack’s street she thrusts some money at the driver and gets out, immediately realizing she should have called first. She yanks out her phone and dials his number. If he’s not here she’ll go to wherever he is.
“Lemon?” he answers the phone.
“I’m here,” she gasps. “Jack, I remembered.”
There’s silence. The phone goes dead and the next minute the lobby door opens and there he is, in a button-down and khakis, looking heart-stopping-ly casual.
“I remembered something,” Liz blurts out before he can say anything. “I remembered a song. I don’t know it, but I know I heard it with you, at the beach. We must have been there one time. Listen!” She starts humming the song, not caring how crazy she sounds.
“Do you remember?”
“Lemon, what are you talking about?” Jack pushes his hand through her hair. “Why are you carrying a shirt?” He looks closer at the fabric in her fists. “Is that mine?”
“I heard it with you at the beach! I know I did.” Liz knows she’s babbling incoherently, but she can’t help it. “I can remember the salty air, and your chin was scratchy, and it went like this…” She starts humming again, but the hope drains from her and she knows she’s getting more inaccurate, scrambling for the right notes.
Jack’s face is twisted up, perplexed. “I don’t remember,” he says.
Which makes her mad.
“You don’t remember?” Liz stares at him in outraged disbelief. “You don’t remember? Come on! Think. It was cold, but we were kinda warm, and you hadn’t shaved…you had a gray jacket on…”
Suddenly his face changes. “Good God. The time we went to my place in the Hamptons. Is that what you’re remembering?”
“I DON’T KNOW!” she shouts helplessly, and Jack winces. “Sorry. Maybe.”
“We went for the weekend,” he nods. “We were on the beach, and it was freezing, so we wrapped up and we had a radio with us…hum the song again?”
Okay, she never should have mentioned the song. She’s a terrible singer. Mortified, she starts humming again. God knows what she’s singing now.
“Wait, is it that song that was everywhere? ‘Call Me Maybe.’ You loved it almost as much as I hated it.” He sings a line of the chorus, with a look on his face that is part disgust and part hope.
“Yes!” Liz says eagerly. “That’s it! That’s the song!”
There’s a long pause, and Jack rubs his face. “So that’s all you remember. A song.”
When he says it like that, it makes Liz feel ridiculous for speeding across New York. And all of a sudden, cold reality is crashing into her bubble. He’s not interested anymore, he’s moved on. He hasn’t mentioned any women lately but that doesn’t mean he’s not looking.
“Yep.” Liz clears her throat, trying unsuccessfully to seem nonchalant. “That’s it. I just though I’d let you know I’d remembered something. Just in case. So, um, anyway. See ya Monday. Bye.”
She twists the shirt with clumsy hands. Her cheeks are flaming miserably as she turns to leave. This is so embarrassing…she needs to get out of here, as quick as she can. She doesn’t know what she was thinking—
“Is it enough?”
Jack’s voice takes her by surprise. She turns around to see he’s come further onto the sidewalk, his face taut with hope. And at the sight, any lingering weirdness from the last few months seems to fall away. They’ve been slowly making amends, but in this moment it’s really just them again.
“I…I dunno,” Liz manages at last. “For what?”
“For us, Lemon. I know you’ve needed a memory. A thread linking us to…us.” He takes another step towards her. “Now you have one.”
Liz laughs just for the heck of it. She can’t believe it. Jack closes the space between them, taking her face in his hands, and just surveys her for a moment, silent and purposeful until her insides are hurting with want.
“Is there any chance you recall what happened after we went inside that day?” Jack asks playfully.
Liz can’t hold out anymore. She has to pull his face down to her for a kiss. And this one she won’t forget; this one she’ll keep forever.
“I’ll tell you,” she murmurs at last, her mouth nearing his. “I’ll tell you when I remember. Now kiss me.”