Things That Got Lost Without Anyone NoticingFandom:
Blair/Serena, Blair/Chuck, Blair/Jenny, Blair/Dan/Chuck, mentions of Blair/Nate (in roughly that order)Rating:
Sex with drug use that could be construed as dub-con, femmeslash, het, threesome. Slightly AU from somewhere in the middle of 2.05 The Serena Also Rises onwards. Slight spoilers for everything before that.Summary:
Blair always knew exactly what she wanted, so she never planned for anything else. She never thought she'd be
The last time she sleeps with Chuck Bass, Blair is a few weeks over eighteen. She’s drunk at some party (she doesn’t host them anymore), and she’s standing in the middle of a room full of people. She’s wearing the Manolos her father had brought her back from Madrid. They’d been wrapped in gold foil. He’d taken her out to dinner the week before, kissed her on her cheek and let her be his little girl again. He’d even left Ramone at home, just for her. Just so that they could go shopping together.
Her mother had given her a gift picked out by Jenny Humphrey, and when Blair found out about it, all her mother had said was, “I’m sorry, Blair, but I don’t have time. Just tell me what you want, and I’ll have someone go get it.” So Blair let her mother buy her a Givenchy dress and wore it in her bedroom, watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s
until she fell asleep on top of her covers, dreaming pieces of the movie wholly intact.
It was the first birthday Serena was in New York and didn’t call, and the first birthday in a long time in which she wasn’t with Nate. He sent her a box of Godiva chocolates and a small note that said, simply, Happy Birthday, and she didn’t know whether to be sad that he was gone or sad that he was gone in a lot of ways before he actually left.
The Givenchy dress is what she spills gin on. It is around her sixth martini, and she thinks with a bit of smug satisfaction (and a slight edge of regret) that she’ll probably throw up what she eats tonight, and she can blame it on drinking. So she periodically eats pieces of this and that, ignoring what they are and what they taste like (the truth is, she doesn’t care).
She notices Chuck standing out near a balcony, talking to five girls at once. Blair remembers something about a story in the New Yorker
, by Dan Humphrey no less, that might or might not have been about him. In the midst of all the rumors about the secret emotional life of Chuck Bass, Blair remembers it hitting her particularly hard, because she had all of the pieces (of course his mother died and of course his dad was unavailable. Didn’t she know? Didn’t Nate know? Didn’t Serena know?). It was just that she’d never bothered to put them together before. Perhaps it would have meant putting together her own pieces, pulling together the facts of her own sordid existence, to understand someone she had no desire to care about anymore.
Now, though, watching him near the window, she thinks that she knows anyhow, about herself, about Chuck. There is this moment (Isabel and Kati to her right somewhere, and if she approached them, they’d have a cordial, curt conversation. Serena and Poppy directing attention, flirting, glittering makeup and dresses that catch the light) when, despite herself (always despite herself), Blair knows that there was never any difference between her and Chuck. There was never anything she had over him, nothing that made her better. She talks to boys now, and she enjoys the attention she gets, simply because she can get it (is it her? She doesn’t know).
Her Manolos click as she walks over, martini half gone and gin spilled on her Givenchy dress. Her head is held high. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she hears a line about people needing people. When he turns his head, looks at her in that evaluative and guarded way, the smirk on his face (for a moment there is something else, more vulnerable), and sends the girls away… that is the moment she knows she’s going to sleep with him.
So Blair, newly eighteen, long jaded, says, “It’s been a long time.”
Chuck, still watching her, emotions coated in amusement, says, “It has been.”
They don’t kiss at the party. They drink in silence for a few minutes, and then Blair finally says, “Let’s get out of here.”
He offers his hand and says, “I thought you’d never ask.”
There are fifty people Blair should be directing at this moment, that she would have been directing a year ago, but now she is only in charge of one person. They get in his limo, and she takes off his blazer. Her fingers loosen his tie, catching themselves in the material as they undo the knot. Her Givenchy dress rides up her thighs.
There is a point when she wants to ask him if all that stuff Dan wrote about him is true, but she doesn’t. He undoes her dress, lets the back fall open. Each article of clothing feels like a page being turned, of some story she never bothered to learn before (except this is the same story, isn’t it?).
His hand slips up her back, and she can feel the slight graze of his wristwatch. His mouth is warm and soft, and Blair can’t remember the last time she kissed someone like this (she refuses to think it was Marcus. She refuses to count Serena). He stops kissing her to lift the large diamond pendant she’s wearing in his fingers. “You don’t have to impress anyone,” he says.
Out of the forty responses she can think of, only one is absolutely true. She holds his face in her hands. “I have to impress everyone.”
Blair doesn’t even remember why she’s in the limo with him, but his mouth is covered with her shade of lipstick. He’s looking at her like she’s in the only thing in the world that exists to him (not forever, but just for this moment. Maybe that’s all she needs… one moment). Her dress is undone, and she’s just now eighteen. Maybe the past didn’t matter (maybe her past with everyone was the same).
His hands are on her hips, his mouth on hers, when they reach the hotel. A year ago she would have let it end there, but it isn’t a year ago, so she’s the one to open the door. Her dress is open in the back, her hair is tousled, and Chuck (his own hair tousled, his shirt halfway unbuttoned) lifts her off her Manolos to take her inside.
As she watches the people they pass, some wearing Prada, some wearing Gucci, some following New York trends and some that look like they just got off the plane from Pairs. She lets her head lean against Chuck’s arm and just smiles at people, like she’s never had anything to worry about, like she’s in some advertisement for perfume.
In her movies, the heroine would never let herself be in this position, even if the hero carried her out of his limo. They’d sip one, single martini, tell him to go home (tell him life was too much to bear, but they were going to bear it anyway, their black and white earrings glittering, the fur around their collars). Chuck sets her down to press the elevator button.
In the elevator, his hands are on her breasts, and her fingers are laced through his hair. She wants to bite his lip open, lick the slight amount of blood off, leave some mark on him. Her fingernails scrap over his shoulders through his shirt. She has his lower lip between her teeth, but she just presses down slightly, not enough to inflict any damage.
They manage to make it through the hotel door. At this point her dress is down around her waist, and Chuck expertly undoes her bra. As it falls down, his tongue is already sliding across the salty skin between her breasts as he back hits the wall. She sucks in her breath, her hands sliding up across his shoulders, hair hanging down as she tilts her head back. (The first time, oh the first time, he was so hesitant with her, and he paused before his mouth closed around her nipple. He stroked her side. He didn’t say it, he didn’t need to, but she felt
Chuck stops, takes a step back from her. “Take off everything but the Manolos.” She watches him, head high, as she slips her Givenchy dress down along with her black lacy underwear down to her feet. It makes her notice the black of her heels (she feels embarrassed and empowered, like she always was with him, but she’d forgotten it was such a rush
He takes her by the shoulders and moves her to the bed. Blair sits down, eyes on his. She scoots back, purposely letting her legs end up farther apart.
Before she knows it, his mouth is travelling up her thigh, his hand is on her bare hip (he seems thirsty, like a man who hasn’t drunken for days). She pulls at the last buttons of his shirt that have been undone. “Just fuck me already.”
“I don’t remember you rushing things,” he whispers to her skin, licking the inside of her thigh (he reminds her of a cat, his voice, hair slicked back).
She pulls him up to undo his pants. “I’m not the same girl you fucked in the limo.” She manages to get him on his back, pulls his clothes off piece by piece, tearing open the condom wrapper (This is part of an older story, older than she is).
She doesn’t breathe until he’s inside her, and she closes her eyes as she moves her hips (She wants to forget.
Blair has her fingers on her own clit (this isn’t supposed to take long, this isn’t supposed to be an expression of love). Chuck and the impressionist painting on the wall and the slickness of the sheets are all lost in something else. Blair is a lost woman (she knows this), and she knows how he feels inside her, the way their hips touch (the way when she glances at him for just a moment, she feels like she is everything).
When she finally comes, her cheeks are wet, and she looks at him (she loves him in a way she can’t bear to be with him. What she wants to tell him, everything she has left inside of her to give him, are six words she can’t say. Six words that have to do with the Givenchy dress and the Yale applications and the elegantly hosted parties. They are the six words that connected their childhoods, that brought them together, that are the reason she doesn’t plan to repeat tonight again. “I was never good enough either”
Now that Jenny Humphrey has made it, she likes to wear her own designs, carry Marc Jacobs handbags and smoke constantly (she quotes, constantly to Blair, with this look like she knows something the world doesn’t, “Cigarettes are like girls. The best ones are thin and rich.”). She is thinner than she was, dress clinging to her straight-line figure, highlighting her chest that belongs more in a Victoria Secret’s ad than a runaway. She’s successful enough no one talks about her eating disorder or her chest (at least not in front of her).
By the time Blair graduates college, Jenny lives two blocks from Blair’s mother. Blair comes home for visits and holidays to find Jenny lounged on the couch, too much eyeliner, drink in hand. Sometimes the papers talk about her conquests (Once, Jenny, reading one, smiled and said, “People don’t sleep with me, but I sleep with everyone”).
This is the way their relationship starts. They are at the party after Jenny’s after party (At the after party, Blair had listened to how fabulous Jenny was, how ingenious. Eleanor had said, at some point, “I’d be proud to call her my daughter.”).
Jenny is lounging on a chair, watching Blair, drinking a vodka martini (how
Brooklyn of her
, Blair thinks). There are a few people still lingering, but they are starting to drift into corners or beginning to grab their jackets and disappear. Her apartment is too modern, too ‘I just got my money’
for Blair. The lighting is low. There is too much cigarette smoke in the air.
When Jenny offers her a cigarette, though, Blair takes it. Jenny motions to the chair beside her, and Blair resists (When does Jenny Humphrey tell her what to do? Except there was some moment, a long time ago, when the two of them developed some weary respect for each other). Blair drifts to the chair, makes a point of taking her time sitting down.
She takes the cigarette between her fingers and has Jenny light it. Some girl, probably a model, comes over to kiss Jenny goodbye. As Blair takes the first puff of her cigarette, she watches them, the pale pink and bright red of their lipsticks mingling. Jenny’s hand ends up on the model’s cheek, and the model says in some Eastern European accent, “I’ll see you later.”
After a few more people leave, Jenny looks at Blair, “Do you want to have some real fun?”
There was a time when Blair played truth or dare with Jenny. Then she had the upper hand. Now she is unsure whether that’s the case (she’s just someone with a prelaw degree that hasn’t been followed by anything. Asking why she should have to work for anything would be beside the point).
Blair, though, feels a bit like she’s in a movie, cigarette in hand at the darkly lit party. She’s more than a little drunk (sometimes she’s sad that there’s never anyone to ask,“Just how much have you drank, Blair?”
She used to ask Serena that… a long time ago). She takes Jenny’s outstretched hand, and the two of them get to their feet (Could she really ever back down?).
They move up the staircase (light wood, no banister) to Jenny’s bedroom. Jenny pulls open a dresser drawer, sorts through socks and underwear until she finds a packet of pills. “Get a couple of glasses,” Jenny tells (not asks) Blair, motioning her head.
Because she shouldn’t, Blair does, letting Jenny put the white pill in her hand. She watches it there, resting against her pale skin. Out of the corner of her eye, Jenny is pouring the vodka into the glasses (Grey Goose? Really?
Jenny hands her the glass, and the two of them look at each other (Jenny’s stare says, “You aren’t going to do this.”
Blair’s says, “I’d rather die than back down to you.”
). Jenny gives her a smile with a slight tip of the head, maybe a sign of respect, though it looks too smug for that. “On three. One… Two…” She doesn’t say three, just throws the pill into her mouth, tilting her head back as she drinks down the entire glass of vodka.
Blair is only halfway through her glass of vodka and queasy when Jenny is finished. Jenny takes the glass from her anyhow and kisses her. It feels strange but pleasant (It is not like how she kissed Serena before. Any of those times. Those times don’t count. Those times don’t exist for her anymore
Jenny puts her glass down on top of the dresser. “Have you ever had sex with a woman before?”
Blair tries to concentrate on the words, but her thoughts are hazy. She just laughs. “You can’t think I’m going to sleep with you.”
“Yes,” Jenny is suddenly close to her, breath is warm on her throat. It leaves tingles down the nape of her neck. Her voice is very quiet, almost non-existent as she puts her mouth right next to Blair’s ear. “I’ve always been kind of enamored with you, Blair.”
Even though Blair has trouble thinking straight, she recognizes the vulnerability of that statement (Blair knows vulnerability, can smell it a mile away, and deep down she knows she only learned this trait to protect herself… her own vulnerabilities). “So you drug me?”
“It’s what I do,” Jenny says. “The drugs, not the… drugging people.” Her words are a little sluggish. Jenny laughs, the kind of laugh that desperate people make (except she has the fame, she has the success… Blair has some leftover money and a disappointed mother). Jenny sits on the bed. She looks at Blair, head held high. “You win. You have the upper hand here. Isn’t it what you want?” She lets her hands fall to her sides. “I’ll do what you want, Blair.”
Blair, tired of losing pieces of herself to people, tired of disappointing, and nostalgic for a taste of personal power she has almost forgotten, steps over to the bed. She raises Jenny’s head in a sharp motion, one hand under Jenny’s chin. She smiles, shakes her head slightly. “You don’t want me.”
Jenny’s answer is to take Blair’s other hand, slide it down her (Jenny’s) body. Blair can feel the warmth under the silk. She pulls her hand away, slips it up Jenny’s thigh. They kiss, tasting vodka on each other, high on something Blair doesn’t even know the name of. She pushes Jenny’s dress up to her waist, kissing the skin she finds there, ignoring ribs that are just a tiny bit too pronounced (One of the questions that run through her mind is “Do you like it now you’re here?”
). Jimmy Choo personally gave Jenny the shoes that Blair takes off one by one, following the action by trailing kisses up Jenny’s thighs.
For a moment Blair thinks that every move she makes will be a page from Chuck’s book or Nate’s book (or Serena’s book
), and it laces the salty taste of Jenny’s skin with memories that both hurt and make her feel so terribly alive (and hurt). She pulls Jenny’s underwear down her legs and enjoys every noise and movement she pulls from Jenny (arching back, intakes of breath), because she caused them (her, Blair Waldorf).
She still has the taste of Jenny on her tongue when she finds herself pushed on her back, and all Blair can think (hair spread on the bedspread, feeling like nothing, nothing
will ever be wrong again) is “Why haven’t I done this before?”
Blair wakes up to her phone announcing a text. She props herself up on her elbow, for a moment glances at the passed out form of Jenny, the black eyeliner trail beneath her on her pillow, mouth half-open.
She sits up, and her phone feels heavy in her hand. She doesn’t have to look to know who texted her (how could she forget?). Still, she takes a minute before she opens the phone, decides not to check it, running her fingers through tangled hair, trying to piece together last night. She remembers a story about Kate Spade threatening to jump out a window (but then no, it wasn’t. Then the person telling the story threw up, and Blair tasted the bile in her throat. It was getting hard to remember the last time she’d kept down a meal).
Pulling herself into one of Jenny’s dresses, she brushes her hair, text message still unchecked as her phone lies on the counter. She puts on enough makeup to pass for decent (she’ll bathe afterwards, when things will need to be cleaned up). The skin under her eyes is darker than she likes, but she hasn’t found the will to care enough to change.
She borrows Jenny’s Jimmy Choo’s, finds the purse Michael Kors gave her himself (he loves her, they all love her, in a way she knows could die at any minute). There’s just enough actual cash in it for a cab.
In the cab, she deletes the message, looks out the window. She’s wearing Gucci shades just because they are big enough to hide her from any sunlight that might try to find her eyes. When she gets out, the cab driver says something to her, but she doesn’t hear him, just hands him the handful of bills. The hotel is in front of her.
Blair gets the key to room 319 from the front desk (at one point she wonders if Serena got her penchant for picking things based on dates from Dan, but that all seems too long ago). She puts her sunglasses in back in her purse as soon as she gets out a cigarette and lights it (She’ll smell like smoke, Serena will hate it).
By the time she gets down the hall (sometimes she stops, thinks about going back, leans against the wall. Her hands shake sometimes as she brings the cigarette to her mouth, but she’s not sure if it is because she usually trades dinner for alcohol or if it is the drugs or if it is... but she won’t think about that).
Blair slides the card key to open the door, and Serena (having gotten up from the bed as soon as she heard the door) grabs her and kisses her hard before she lets her go. There’s usually a line of cocaine on the bedside table. Serena picked up that habit from Poppy’s girlfriend who she fucks from time to time. There is never any trace of it on her when Blair meets her (and there was one night, when it finally occurred to Blair that Serena waits until after she is gone).
The rules are simple. Blair comes sober; Serena comes sober. It isn’t allowed to mean anything. Serena practically tears Jenny’s dress off Blair, pushing Blair so that her back hits the wall with a solid thump. Serena will say, “I love the smell of your skin” as she nips at Blair’s shoulder (there’s concealer in Blair’s purse). Her fingernails scrape through the material of Blair’s dress.
Somehow they will end up with Blair on her back on the bed, Serena straddling her, her hands tracing Blair’s hips. She says, “I love the way your skin tastes,” as she runs her tongue over the skin of Blair’s breasts (never as big as she’d like, but she can’t tell Jenny that). Another of the rules is that Serena doesn’t take off her clothes (but she always wears skirts, no undergarments, lets Blair touch beneath the material. Blair only does sometimes, when Serena smells just so, like the Chanel Serena used to wear because she heard her father tell Lily it smelled good on her. Blair remembers this story, and when Serena holds her arms down to the bed so tight that there are red fingerprint marks on Blair’s arms afterwards... Blair remembers Chanel and shopping at Barney’s together and feels like she needs to eat and throw up until she can’t feel herself anymore. To take all of the pills she can find). There’s nothing gentle about what they do, but she can’t help but say “Serena, Serena” over and over again as Serena bites her skin too hard, scrapes her nails lightly against her clit.
When Serena is finally done tasting, touching, leaving her marks (when Blair is finally so exhausted, she just lies shaking slightly, covered by lingering aches even though her muscles have completely relaxed), she lies beside Blair and takes Blair into her arms. Serena buries her nose in Blair’s hair. There was one night when they weren’t sober, and Serena had whispered, “I love you so much it hurts” (That was the night they’d made the rule).
Instead now they are both silent, lying together, curled around each other like they used to do at slumber parties. In a few minutes Blair will take the dress Serena brought her (she’ll put Jenny’s dress, in need of repair, in the shopping bag). Serena will sit on the bed watching Blair leave, looking like Blair imagines she does just before Blair opens the hotel door. Blair will drive to another hotel, take a shower with the water hot enough she comes out with her skin pale red (at first, she cried. Now she just takes the valium Jenny’s psychiatrist gives her and washes it down with fucking Grey Goose). She’ll look at herself, naked in the mirror, hair sticking to her shoulders. She’ll think about how Serena will have already finished the line beside the bed. In the back of her mind, Blair will remember a time she’d try to clean up those messes for Serena.
Eventually she walks back to Jenny’s place, Jenny’s Jimmy Choo’s ruined from the blocks of walking, blisters on her feet (she never takes enough money to ride back, because when she gets back, she needs to be exhausted enough to sleep). She still has Serena’s first message on her phone, not a text, but a voice mail. She doesn’t ever play it, but she remembers it, remembers the sound of desperation and oblivion in Serena’s voice. “Blair, I need you. I’ve always needed you. Come get me. I need you. I’m sorry. I need you. I’ve always needed you.”
That had been a Wednesday night in March. Blair had waited a day before she’d texted, “Meet me at St. Regis tomorrow.” It had been the nineteenth by then. Blair remembers Serena opening the hotel room door, and they were giving each other the same look that said, “You’ve really let me down. I really needed you, and you really let me down.”
There was a time when Blair envied Serena’s face in the newspaper, now she doesn’t even notice it. She can find her name some weeks if she looks, but she doesn’t.
She’s afraid to admit that her dream ends here. She went to Yale, but there was never the husband, the two kids who they’d build trust funds for together. She hasn’t seen Nate in years, though he keeps himself as inconspicuous as possible.
There’s a fundraiser that Jenny is hosting. She’s babbling excitedly while Blair watches her get ready (Dan is coming. It is the first time he hasn’t protested her lifestyle, her fame. Blair tries not to feel bored by the news).
At the party Blair is wearing a slinky little gold number she usually wouldn’t wear (one of the ones she found in Serena’s shopping bags. Serena had noticed, murmured, “Sorry, I was a bit out of it when I grabbed it at Bendel’s.”).
She can feel the eyes on her, and she knows that she looks poised, that most of the girls there envy her (there was one time when Jenny whispered in her ear, “You can have anything Serena has,”
but Blair hadn’t realized how much she’d meant those words… or what her meaning them would cost).
As she grabs a vodka martini from a passing waiter, she hears, “I always thought you were more of a gin girl” from behind her. She turns to see Chuck Bass, older (something different she can’t name about him).
“And I always thought you were more of a woman man,” she retorts, referring to various rumors in various newspapers. She doesn’t know why she still can’t avoid his name.
“I’m an equal opportunity employer,” he tells her, looking about the room, as if he’s about to tell her something no one else knows. Instead he turns back to her, looks her over. “You look good.”
“Better than you,” she says, curt smile, sips her vodka. It tastes even more wrong in his presence, and she looks for Jenny. She needs more than alcohol.
He holds out a pill to her, “I heard you were addicted.”
“I’m not,” she says, trying to look defiant, but she takes it from him anyways. He just smiles at her, enjoying knowing another weakness of hers, she’s sure.
He takes her by the shoulders, turns her around, and holds her against him. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. Chuck Bass is a separate flood of memories from Serena, but they are memories all the same. She almost feels like she could find them all by breathing in the scent of the collar of his shirt. He whispers, “Have sex with me tonight.”
Blair shakes her head. “I can’t.” She’s being honest (Blair hopes he can’t hear the edge of fear in her voice, because he holds some piece of herself she needs to stay together, and Chuck was always good at persuasive, never good at delicate).
“Then what can you do?” he asks, mouth against her throat, and she feels overcome with things that should be gone (they are gone. Why can’t they feel
She shakes her head again. She’s watching Jenny laugh with Dan, who looks out of place (he always looked out of place with Serena). She says, deadpan, “I can sleep with Dan Humphrey.”
Chuck laughs, his hands moving to her waist. “I love your sense of humor.”
She shakes her head for the third time. “I wasn’t being funny, Chuck” (She can feel him backing off. It’s what she wants, or at least what she needs to want).
“You expect me to believe you’d fuck the brother of your little girlfriend over there?” he asks her (he’s so damn smug, so damn amused).
Blair finally turns to him. “Would you want to watch?”
Something shifts in his expression, his eyes darken. “You were never good at being a tease.”
“I know you’ve slept with him,” she says. “Get him to agree to it, and you can do anything you want but fuck me.”
“What about his sister?” Chuck asks, and Blair looks at Jenny, smiling at Dan, the black barely concealed beneath her eyes.
She shrugs because the answer is painful, and she doesn’t want to touch it (Blair doesn’t want to ever know her reasons for anything. Not anymore).
She slips him a hotel room key. “Come together or don’t come at all.” Blair walks away from him before he can say anything else, moves over to Jenny, kisses her cheek as she says she’s going out. Jenny just gives her a smile (she’d said before, when she found Serena’s lipstick on her first ruined dress, “You don’t have to hide anything from me. I’m not your keeper.”
Except that Jenny still has that dress in the bottom drawer of her dresser, and sometimes Blair takes it out and smells the faint whiff of Vera Wang that Jenny’s taken to wearing).
Like Serena, she'd picked out a room number based on a date (the date where she made her first drunken mistake with Chuck Bass. She’d like to say that was when it all started, but she’d be lying. It started the first Christmas her mother had told Serena how pretty she looked in her dress, and Blair couldn’t remember the last time her mother had told her how pretty she looked. It was petty. She was six).
She takes off her dress, puts on Jenny’s red lipstick. She’s wearing the Manolos her father gave her when she was eighteen, scuffed but still intact. Blair sits on the edge of the bed, arms crossed over her chest. She glances at the clock, wonders if she’ll fall asleep and forget this in the morning (and she realizes that it would be the best thing for her, for that to happen, but she doesn’t, doesn’t want it to).
Blair is about to doze off when she hears the door click open. She rises to her feet, and by the time they enter the bedroom, she is waiting for them, naked but for her shoes and her lipstick. Dan is obviously drunk or high (or both. He is
a writer, and the ones Blair knows are usually both).
She looks at Chuck. “How do you want this?”
“I do everything but fuck you,” he tells her. Blair glances at Dan (she imagines he’s looking at her the way he once looked at Serena). Chuck nods at Dan, “Sit down for a moment.”
Dan complies. “If this gets written about, no one recognizes me,” Blair tells him in a firm voice, and he salutes her.
“You’re the one that wanted him,” Chuck tells her with an air of distain. He takes off his jacket and lets it fall to the floor. “So define fuck for me.”
“If anyone can define it as sex, it’s off limits,” she tells him, watching him as he circles her, fingers undoing his tie.
“There are a lot of things that I don’t define as sex,” he tells her. “It doesn’t mean most people would consent to them.”
“I’ll tell you if you go too far,” she tells him, and that seems to pique his interest more than anything. He unbuttons his shirt.
“There was a time you’d let me go as far as I wanted,” he tells her as he drops his shirt to the ground. He moves closer to her, and she backs up a little. It’s enough she can feel the bedspread lightly touching the back of her calves.
“Do you have any more on you?” she asks him, looking at his fallen jacket.
He takes a plastic bottle out of his trousers, “I assume you mean these.” Chuck tosses it to her. “Go to town.”
Blair takes two and puts the rest on the dressing room table. Chuck runs his hand over her side, along the curve of her thigh. “It doesn’t take much to turn you on,” Blair observes, motioning with her head at his trousers.
“Just seeing you turns me on,” he tells her, in that voice that is overly serious even as it tries to say, ‘I use this line with everyone’
. He kisses her, his hand on the small of her back, pulling her as close to him as she can imagine. She closes her eyes, moves her hips against him, and his hands move to her hips, guiding her movement. Blair puts a leg around him, lets him lower her to the bed, and they’re still moving against each other, just his trousers separating them. Her fingers curl around his shoulders.
“Am I just watching here?” Dan asks from the chair. “Because I can leave if you want.”
Chuck holds Blair still, looks back over his shoulder. He looks pissed Dan interrupted (or pissed that Dan represents all the barriers to what he wants). He whispers into Blair’s ear, “Let me fuck you.”
She shakes her head, and he lets out a frustrated sigh. Chuck stands up and slips off his trousers and his boxers. “Stand up,” he tells Blair with a flick of his head.
Blair does it, trying to ignore how much she wants to just let him have her. She stands watching him, ignoring the slight shaking of her muscles.
He moves behind her, and she can feel his cock brush against the back of her thigh. His hands run down her arms. He maneuvers her back onto the bed, lies back so that she’s resting on top of him, and she can’t stop the shiver from the skin to skin contact. “You said anything but fucking,” he tells her.
She licks her lips. “So what, are you going to have him fuck me on top of you?” she asks.
He hesitates, and she can feel his muscles tense. “I take what I can get. You should know that by now.”
“I’m not sure what kind of situation you’ve gotten me into-” Dan starts.
Chuck cuts him off with a quick, “I let you write the stories, so just shut up and make them already.”
Dan, in a resentful way, does just that. He takes off his shoes, then his shirt, then his pants, and all this time Chuck is cupping Blair’s right breast, his other on her side to help hold her up. She closes her eyes (there’s a moment where she almost thinks to stop this, but she’s so out of it that she lets the moment pass by).
Dan’s body is a warm weight on top of her, and she can feel every place Chuck is beneath her, the warmth of his skin (not warm enough to be suffocating. She loves the feeling. It makes her feel less alone). Chuck puts a hand under her thigh as Dan slips into her, and Chuck’s own erection is pressing against her bottom. She closes her eyes, letting Chuck’s thumb circle around her nipple, his teeth on her ear, his hips moving with her own.
She is so delirious from the sensations (and the drugs) running through her body that when Chuck starts speaking to her, she almost thinks she’s imagining it. “I know it’s too late,” he says, voice low so that only she can hear it. “But I did love you. I’m just not meant for it.”
She doesn’t look at him. She can’t. She just cries. There are hot tears falling from her eyes, and when she comes, she’s making these choked sobs that sound pathetic even to her. Dan doesn’t seem fazed, gets up to clean himself off. Blair doesn’t remember him coming, she only remembers the feel of Chuck against her back at the end, whispering, “You’re beautiful, and you never needed anyone, and you deserve whatever you want.”
She falls asleep on top of him, and in the morning she wakes to find him dressed and watching her. He tosses her a bag, “I got you the morning after pill. I don’t trust a drunk Dan Humphrey with a condom.”
Blair takes it groggily. She sits up, and she can still smell sex on the hotel sheets. “I ordered room service,” Chuck tells her as he grabs his jacket. “Everything they had. I didn’t know what you’d feel like.”
Her voice is small as she says, “Don’t go” (and Blair hates being small and hates being desperate, but the alternative in this case seems worse).
Chuck sits on the edge of the bed. “I’m not Nate, Blair. I don’t fit into a seven year plan.”
She watches him, frowns. “I don’t care,” she says, grabbing his hand from the covers. “I can deal with that.”
“Even if I believed I could settle down…” Chuck’s voice trails off as he looks out the window. “That was a long time ago.”
There’s a reason she and Serena drew a line with each other a long time ago, and Blair didn’t think she’d ever need this line. “I’m a drug addict living off my rich girlfriend, Chuck. How much worse could you be?”
“I can’t.” He looks her straight in the eyes. “There was a reason you said it last night, and there’s a reason I’m saying it now.”
“You said you loved me,” she accuses him, maybe because she figures he doesn’t want to admit it.
“I say a lot of things,” he says, getting up from the bed. “Call me in ten years. We’ll talk.”
That’s the last thing Chuck Bass ever says to her. “Call me in ten years. We’ll talk.”
She waits until she gets to Jenny’s to take a shower, dress intact this time. Jenny opens the door for her, looking sleepy. She doesn’t ask where Blair has been.
After Blair is clean, Jenny seemingly appears out of nowhere with a towel. She tells Blair as she rubs her hair dry with it, “He called me. Told me you’d need taking care of.”
Blair looks at herself in the mirror. “I’m fine,” she tells Jenny.
“Back when I used to be friends with Eric,” Jenny’s blue eyes meet Blair’s in the mirror. “One of his boyfriends decided it would be a good idea to try a threesome. I guess he was bisexual or something.” Jenny looks down at what she is doing, pushing a strand of Blair’s still damp hair over her shoulder. “Anyhow, so Eric’s really in love with him, so he asks me to do it, as a favor, and I think ‘sure’, you know, because I’m young and everything around me is crazy. So crazy, the request just seemed normal.”
Jenny swallows, and she stops for a moment to look down at the towel. “It was the last time he talked to me. He said it wasn’t my fault, but he couldn’t look at me after that.” Her voice quavers, and she bites her lower lip. Blair tries not to notice how blurred the blue of Jenny’s eyes has become. “I don’t know why you slept with my brother, Blair, and I’m not going to judge you for it. I just want to say that I know that I’m just a stopping point for you, and after Chuck called me, I thought maybe it was time to finally tell you that.”
Blair opens her mouth, but there aren’t any words. “I’m sorry,” she says, and she means it.
Jenny smiles halfway. “Don’t be. I wouldn’t change anything.”
(One night Jenny had whispered to her, after watching movies together, “You know the endings are never that happy when they are written down.”
She’d told her about Paul reading about Holly in the paper. She’d told her about Eliza marrying Freddy in the play. Blair thinks about that now).
Blair lets Jenny towel off the rest of her body. After Jenny finishes, she kisses Blair, smiles again. “Figure out what you want, Blair. I don’t care if you stay here, but I do mind you wasting your life out of some obligation to me. I’m doing what I love, that’s all I need.” Jenny wipes her eyes. “There’s never going to be another you,” she tells Blair, laughing, still smiling. “I’ve been making something for you. I want to give it to you when you go.”
Blair nods, ignoring how her vision is blurring at the edges. “I don’t know where to even start…”
“Then don’t,” Jenny tells her. She starts to leave the room and turns back, “Take my Louis Vuitton suitcases.”
“I couldn’t-” Blair starts, but she stops when the door closes behind Jenny. She sits down on the bed.
It is five months and twenty days before she figures anything out, and when she leaves Jenny hands her a bag. “I don’t want to watch you open it,” she says. She kisses Blair on the cheek. “It’s been fun,” she says with a smile.
The last time Blair sees Jenny Humphrey in person is behind closing elevator doors, a yellow dress on, a hint of mascara trailing down her cheek.
Five years later, Blair will see her in a yellow dress on a magazine, and she can almost picture the way the light hit her hair, the way the elevators slowly blocked out Blair’s view of her, until all that was left was a strip of yellow (and she’ll wish she could have loved Jenny Humphrey).
Serena opens her door, tousled hair, eyes slightly bloodshot. “What is it?” she asks Blair, and there is a small sound of annoyance (a ‘you shouldn’t be here’
“Do you have someone here?” Blair asks. She’s sober, has been for three months (she’d forgotten how harsh the world looked. How hard it was to not forget).
Serena shakes her head. “Look-”
“Do you remember when we were little, and I told you that you’d always be my favorite person in the whole wide world?” she asks.
Serena nods. “I remember, Blair, but I don’t see-”
“I want us to be sober together outside of a hotel room,” Blair says, in a rush, before she can lose her nerve. “I want us to grow old together, and I don’t know, adopt kids or something. I applied to law school. Harvard accepted me. I’m going. I want you to go with me. I want to live in Massachusetts together.” She can see Serena open her mouth to speak, but Blair holds up her hand. “Let me get this out, okay, because I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out how this goes, and all I can figure out is you, and if you don’t say yes then I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who I am without you.”
“Where is this coming from, Blair?” Serena asks, leaning against the doorframe.
“It’s coming from me,” she says. “It’s coming from a place I haven’t been in a long time, and a place which I’m honestly terrified of, but I had to ask you, because it’s you… and it’s me. You’re the only constant in my life.”
“I don’t know if I’m in the place you want me to be,” Serena tells her. She shifts away from the door, runs her fingers through her hair. “What do I do in this scenario? Stay home and play soccer mom?”
Blair smiles. “If you want. You could be a mechanic for all I care, so long as you go.”
“You’d never date a mechanic,” Serena tells her, but she smiles just a little.
“I took care of you, before, once, and you told me once that this wasn’t a place you wanted to go back to.” Blair grabs her hand.
“It wasn’t,” Serena admits, frowning. “Blair, we hate each other, though.”
Blair tries to smile, but it falters. “You told me once that you loved me, and perhaps I never said it back, but I wouldn’t have kept coming back if I didn’t care about you.”
“Are you saying you’re in love with me?” Serena asks her.
Blair looks at her for a moment. “Yeah, I guess I am.”
“Massachusetts?” she asks.
Blair laughs. “Yeah. It’s not too far from New York. You could even model and just live with me between shoots or something.”
She shakes her head. “I’ll think about it.” Serena sighs. “But why don’t you come in? We’ll get some breakfast.”
“I’d love to.”
Blair has already started her classes by the time Dan’s story comes out. She reads it, but the only phrase she remembers is “Inside her was the loneliest place I’d ever been.”
The words bring with them Chuck’s words in her ear that night. The way Jenny’s eyes met hers in the mirror the morning after.
Blair finishes the coffee she bought when she picked up the New Yorker
. There are a thousand different moments that might have led her to other places. For a moment those different lives seem as close and as far as the leaves rustling along the sidewalk.
In her briefcase is her mother’s invitation to Thanksgiving, along with the copy of Vogue where Serena first appeared in an advertisement for Les Best’s new perfume. There’s also a piece of stationary with the slanted, rushed looking scrawl of Serena’s handwriting. “I love you. I’ll see you, Saturday.”
She smiles at the thought. In her closet is a replica of the dress Jenny used to keep in the bottom drawer of her dresser. Along with it had been a card that had read in a loopy, cursive, “I kept the original. I hope you don’t mind.”
She still has the necklace Chuck gave her for her seventeenth birthday and the green sweater with the heart sewn in the sleeve she found in a box in the back of her closet the last time she went home. Blair sometimes takes them out, touches them one by one. Each person was a place she’d been, each person important in their own way (Serena had watched over Blair’s shoulder as Blair laid these things out on the floor of her old bedroom. “People need people,” she’d said, and Blair had just nodded, because even though she felt happier than she had in a long time, remembering still breaks her heart).