Fandom: Gossip Girl
Pairing: Nate/Jenny; Chuck/Blair
Word Count: 1,780
Author's Note: If you haven't read it yet, check out Sparks by youfadesofast . It's an incredible N/J fic that I'm completely in love with.
Read Previous Chapters
“Can we talk?”
Blair didn’t bother pausing as she headed down the street, grateful another day at school had slipped by into oblivion. She forced her chin parallel to the sidewalk and kept going, ignoring the annoyed growl that escaped his clenched teeth when she went by.
“Dammit, Blair—” His hand reached out, catching her elbow.
Blair spun sharply, jerking her arm away with much more force than was needed. Chuck rocked back on his heels, a muscle popping in his jaw as he ground his teeth.
“What do you want?” she demanded, her voice cool and wooden, emotionless.
“I want to … talk,” he said, weakly. Suddenly he didn’t look so sure of himself. He gestured to the waiting limo a few feet away. “Can I give you a ride?”
“No,” she replied flatly, looking away.
He exhaled hard. “OK, then. I just wanted to make sure you were OK.”
“OK?” she repeated stiffly, swinging her gaze back over to his. She arched a perfectly sculpted eyebrow. “You wanted to make sure I was OK?”
He took a step back, a shadow crossing his face. “Blair, I—”
“Save it,” she snapped, the words coming out in a hiss between clenched teeth. “I do not want nor do I need your concern. Don’t you have a slut to be servicing right now?”
He swallowed hard, trying not to retaliate, but she was making it harder by the second. “I was trying to be adult about this.”
Her hand cracked across his jaw before he could start the next sentence. She stared down at the offending appendage, wondering when it had started acting of its own volition.
Chuck’s eyes widened and he rubbed his face.
Blair found her voice first: “Don’t you dare tell me how adult you’re being!” Her tone raised with each word until she was nearly shouting, not bothering to take notice of the swell of students that were now standing and staring at them. She was beyond caring.
“I cannot believe you hit me!” he shouted back. “What the hell is your problem?”
“My problem?” she all but shrieked, eyes wild.
“Yes, Blair,” he ground out, glaring at her. “I’m not sure what the hell is wrong with you—”
“What the hell is going on?” Nate’s voice cut through their yelling. Both turned to see their friend standing only a foot away, flanked by Jenny and Serena. All three wore matching expressions of astonishment.
Serena moved around Nate, going for Blair. “Blair, let’s just go, OK?”
“Get off me!” Blair hissed, yanking her arm away from Serena’s hold. She stumbled a step in her heels.
“See?” Chuck looked at Nate and gestured to Blair. “She’s crazy!”
“Chuck!” Jenny and Nate snapped together.
“You aren’t helping right now,” Jenny added, quieter now. She looked at Chuck, her eyes pleading with him to shut up.
“Oh, I’m crazy?” Blair spun, her hair flying wildly around her face. She pushed it away, impatient, as Serena stepped into her field of vision. “S, would you—”
“No, B, I won’t,” Serena said softly, worriedly. Her eyes flickered nervously around the growing crowd of people. “You need to calm down. People are staring.”
“Since when does Serena van der Woodsen care about people staring?” Blair scoffed, her tone vicious.
“Blair,” Jenny tried, coming around to stand next to the brunette. “Let’s go somewhere and talk, all right?”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Blair announced, her expression daring Chuck to challenge her.
“Fine,” he finally said, throwing his arms up in exasperated defeat. “I’ll leave then.”
“It’s what you do best,” Blair replied with a mocking smile.
“You know what?” Chuck took a step towards her and was intercepted by Nate, who grabbed his arm and forcefully hauled him back three feet.
“Enough!” Nate snapped, shaking his friend. “Walk away, man.”
Chuck shrugged out of Nate’s hold and turned on his heel, stalking down the street. Nate turned and shrugged once at Jenny before taking off after Chuck.
Serena glared at the people openly gawking at them. “Ok, show’s over, people!” she shouted, waving them on. It took a moment, but the crowd began to disperse.
“Blair, what was that?” Jenny asked quietly.
“He’s an ass!” Blair snapped, breathing hard.
“Yeah, we all know that,” Serena agreed easily, nodding. “But—”
“Whatever,” Blair interrupted, shrugging her shoulders. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Serena and Jenny exchanged worried glances before looking back at their friend. Blair’s hands were shaking and she was definitely not OK. There was a haunted, vacant look in her eyes. Eyes that were ringed with dark circles.
“Why don’t we go get something to eat?” Serena suggested, trying to keep her tone upbeat. She forced a bright, toothy smile on her face.
Blair ignored her and looked at Jenny. “Are you ready to go?”
“Um … sure,” Jenny agreed softly, glancing once at Serena.
“Where are you going?” Serena asked, looking from one to the other.
“My place,” Blair explained in a rush, already moving to the street to hail a cab. “Jenny’s designing my prom dress, remember? We need to work on it.”
“Do you want me to come?” Serena offered, hopeful.
“No need,” Blair said, completely dismissive and oblivious to the pained expression that crossed her best friend’s face. The cab pulled to the curb and she opened the door, turning expectantly to Jenny. “Coming?”
“Yeah,” Jenny said quickly, moving forward with an apologetic smile to Serena. She got into the cab after Blair and sat back as it sped away.
“I can’t believe you got into a screaming match with Blair in front of the entire school!” Nate snapped as he let himself and Chuck into his apartment. He dropped his backpack and headed for the bar, needing a drink.
“She is a mess, in case you haven’t noticed, Chuck!” Nate spat, turning sharply to fix his best friend with a glare. “Did you even think this through?”
“Think what through, Nathaniel?” Chuck’s voice took on a decidedly petulant tone, his eyes narrowing with annoyance.
“Did you honestly expect Blair would be able to handle not only you rejecting her, but finding out you’re sleeping with Vanessa?” Nate hissed, his blue eyes flashing dangerously. He reached for the bottle of bourbon and sloshed some into a tumbler. He downed it in one rough swallow.
Chuck sighed and deflated somewhat. “I didn’t … Vanessa and I … I never meant to hurt her.”
“Well, you did,” Nate replied stiffly, setting the glass down. “And for what it’s worth? You hurt me, too.”
“How did I hurt you?”
“You know my history with Vanessa,” Nate answered, shaking his head. “You know how I feel about her.”
“I really didn’t think me screwing Vanessa would be a big deal to you. What? Are you saying you still have feelings for her?”
“That’s not what I meant, and you know it,” Nate retorted, his face twisting into a look of disgust. “I love Jenny, and we’re happy. What I mean is that you know, better than most, how many problems Vanessa caused for me and Jenny.”
Chuck moved the couch and sat down, resting his elbows on his thighs and tenting his fingers. He stared blankly ahead, slowly shaking his head. “I truly never meant to hurt anyone.”
“But you did,” Nate said, his tone softer, kinder. “You didn’t care how living with Vanessa would affect me or Blair—you only thought of you.”
“No,” Chuck started, shaking his head with more insistency. He looked up at Nate from across the room. “I wanted to help Blair. Vanessa was just … convenient.”
“How does sleeping with Vanessa translate to helping Blair?”
“I figured if Blair thought I moved on, she would, too,” Chuck muttered. “I never thought I would come home and she’d be…”
“Waiting?” Nate supplied, moving to the overstuffed arm chair adjacent his friend. He sat down and sighed. “Chuck, Blair loves you.”
“She seemed pretty emphatic about her hate of me today,” Chuck retorted bitterly.
“You hurt her,” Nate reminded him, “and Blair doesn’t handle being hurt very well. She lashes out. It’s how she protects hers.”
Chuck nodded slowly, letting Nate’s words sink in.
“Just the way you protected yourself by moving in with Vanessa when you came home,” Nate finished quietly.
Chuck’s head swung in his direction, immediately balking. “I—”
Nate held up a hand, stopping him. “Chuck, you forget that I know you. Anytime someone—especially Blair—gets too close, you shut down. You emotionally retreat. Like you did last summer when you and Blair were supposed to go to Italy. This thing with Vanessa is no different.”
Chuck rubbed his eyes, but stayed silent.
“You admitted to me that you loved Blair last year. Are you saying you don’t love her now?”
He had no answer. Chuck leaned back and stared up at the ceiling, thinking.
Nate let out a long breath. “You have to stop pushing her away. Sooner or later you’re going to push her too far and you won’t be able to get her back.”
Jenny set the sketchpad down on the coffee table and glanced for the tenth time at the stairs. Blair had been up there for nearly twenty minutes now, and she was considering going after her. They had only worked on the dress design for five minutes when Blair announced she needed a bathroom break.
Jenny stood up, stretching as Dorota came around the corner with a tray piled with tea and cookies.
“I bring snack for you and Miss Blair, Miss Jenny,” Dorota said with a trademark smile.
Jenny grinned at the older woman, snagging a peanut butter cookie from the tray as the maid set it down. “Dorota, I told you—it’s just Jenny.”
“Yes, Miss Jenny,” Dorota said, her eyes twinkling.
Jenny could only laugh as the maid headed back for the kitchen. She heard footsteps on the stairs and looked up to see Blair there.
Jenny moved to the foyer, smiling. “There you are! I thought you got lost or something.”
Blair hesitated at the top step by the landing, her fingers curling around the banister as she bowed her head.
Jenny lowered the cook from her mouth, her eyes narrowing with worry. “Blair? Are you—”
Before she could finish the sentence, Blair tumbled—head first—down the marble stairs. She fell until hard, her body hitting each step on the way down. Finally her body crumpled into a heap at the bottom. She didn’t move.