Author's Note: First Gossip Girl story ever! I really, really enjoyed writing this. The show just opens up so many possibilities ship-wise. And I personally have to say, I love Blair with everyone! Anyway, let me know what you think, since this is a new writing fandom for me!
Spoilers: There's not anything past the pilot, except for a few subtle references. This is, I'm warning you right now, very Blair-centric, and focuses kind of on the Blair/Nate relationship, but there's a little of some other ships thrown in here and there.
Enjoy (-cough- and review! -cough-) and thank you for reading!
Girl on the Wing
Serena glows, and Blair doesn't.
She's only six years old, but she figures it has something to do with her friend's shiny long, blonde hair, and big blue eyes. She's tall too, so she sticks out like a sore thumb. Blair's hair is a dark, curly mass that spills over her shoulders messily (no matter how many times Nanny tries to barrette it down) and her eyes are too boring to gleam like Serena's.
And everyone seems to remind her of this constantly. No matter what she does, it's never as good as Serena. And though this bothers her greatly, she's too young to truly feel resentment, so she just accepts it.
They swing back and forth simultaneously, and she giggles slightly because they're completely in sync. Serena laughs when she realizes the same thing, and they both chuckle as they swing back and forth.
Suddenly, Serena jumps off her swing, her hair flying wildly behind her almost teasingly. "Let's go draw!"
Blair looks off into the distance where the teacher has set up an arts and crafts station, and she makes a face. Serena's really not good with sticking to one thing at a time. "But I still wanna swing," she complains, but digs her heels into the ground to steady herself, knowing she'll give in in just a matter of moments.
"Come on, Blair!" It's like her friend doesn't hear her as she goes zooming off, and Blair follows her with her arms across her chest, staring longingly back over at the lonely swing set.
They sit and draw, and everyone comments on how wonderful Serena's lion is, even Chuck, who is very, very shy and almost never speaks. They flock around her and Serena just glows, glows, glows.
Blair pouts, and her eyes fall down at her own rainbow, nowhere near as good as Serena's lion.
"That's really nice," a voice says suddenly from beside her, and she doesn't even look up because she knows it's for Serena. Then, the person coughs, repeating himself again, and she can't help but look up.
"Are you talking to me?" She must not be able to mask her surprise, because he nods his head vigorously. A head full of sand-colored hair, and eyes shiny enough to rival possibly even Serena's greet her. She swallows.
"It's a rainbow." She says dumbly, and he laughs.
"Thank you." She blushes deeply and turns to look at Serena, mesmerizing everyone else. The boy beside her doesn't even allow his gaze to flicker over at the other girl. She likes his blue shirt, she decides.
"I'm Nate." He says, and he has her right there.
The fourth grade school play comes, and of course, Serena is cast as the star. Blair watches painfully as her best friend tries to sing a song that she clearly can't, and she shoots Chuck a polished glare when he snorts with laughter at her friend's voice.
She won't admit it, but a part of her is glad she's embarrassing herself for once. For right now, she's not Serena van der Woodsen, queen-who-can-do-no-wrong, she's Serena van der Woodsen, God-help-us-all.
They sit in the auditorium watching practice - their scenes aren't up yet, thankfully - and Blair taps her shoes on the ground impatiently after a while, annoyed with her surroundings. Everyone's still snickering at Serena, and it's beginning to annoy her now because all eyes are still on her.
Suddenly, she hears clumsy, rushed footsteps and Nate suddenly falls into the seat beside her.
She narrows her eyes. "Where have you been?"
He shushes her, and she realizes he's out of breath. "No where, no where.."
"Nate, tell me--!"
Nate places a hand over her mouth to quiet her down, and she sighs dramatically.
"Just keep your voice down," he practically whispers it, and she can't help but laugh.
"Because," his eyes flicker over to Chuck, obnoxiously pushing a friend of his over in his seat, earning himself a dirty look from Miss Scott. "Let's just say, Chuck's going to have a little surprise waiting for him when he gets back to class."
Gleefully, Blair leans closer to him. "What'd you do?"
"I stole a frog from the science lab--"
"--Serena, please don't slouch like that, it makes--" The teacher screeches in the distance, but all she sees is Nate.
"--And I put it in his lunchbox."
"You're amazing." She blurts out before she can help herself, and he shifts in his seat, moving even closer to her.
Shyly, she nods. "I--"
"Blair, did you see me up there?" Serena comes bounding down the stairs, running happily towards her best friend, and jerking her out of her reverie with Nate.
Blair smiles at her friend, and when she turns back to Nate, he's still staring straight at her.
The butterflies in her stomach refuse to cease for the next week, and a part of her can't believe that he didn't even move when Serena came near.
She's not sure she'll ever understand why he likes her.
It's her fourteenth birthday and Nate is officially her boyfriend.
Her parents decide weeks beforehand that they're going to France to celebrate both her birthday and Thanksgiving, and she doesn't really have a say so she goes.
Nate calls her every night at the chateau, and she buries herself in the closet and talks to him for hours. When she giggles, he comments on how she has the cutest laugh he's ever heard, and he tells her about how his parents have been fighting, and she tells him of how her parents have been fighting, and he tells her that he wishes she were home so he could kiss her, and her breath hitches in her throat every time because she's so taken aback with excitement she can't even respond.
On the eve of her birthday, he does not call. She sits by the phone (much to the dismay of her mother who thinks a girl should never wait for a boy's call) waiting anxiously, and even after dinner has passed, and her parents are going to sleep, he still does not car.
She shouldn't be upset, but she is and she can't help it. She longs to hear his voice and his laugh, and this isn't fair.
Blair falls asleep by the phone, and it jolts her awake a few hours later. When she looks at the old grandfather clock on the wall, she sees that it is exactly twelve AM. Nate had waited for her birthday to call her. Even though it's some ridiculous hour for him.
She lifts the phone to her ear, and he sings 'happy birthday' to her with an embarrassed chuckle at the end and it takes everything in her power not to squeal.
They talk for a long while, and she somehow goes off into a story of something that happened when her and her mother had gone shopping earlier, when he interrupts her, hesitantly. "Blair?"
"Will you go out with me?"
She holds the phone to her chest for a few startling moments and tugs on her father's coat, smashing it to her face, muffling her screams.
"Yes, I will, I will." She bites her lip and presses the phone to her ear.
This has been coming for years, and yet it still shocks her to her very core. Even so, she's never been so happy in her life. She feels like nothing can possibly get better, and for the rest of her life, she'll cherish this moment.
Hanging out with Nate and Serena together is possibly the worst thing that she's ever done. Serena plays the role of jealous best friend very well, and Nate plays the role of demanding boyfriend perfectly.
The three sit in her living room watching a movie, and Nate drapes his arm casually over her shoulder, and Serena sits stiffly staring straight ahead. Blair's just happy that the movie's on, otherwise the conversation would probably one worth witnessing.
When she excuses herself to make popcorn, she peeks around from behind a corner to see how they interact, and it's terrible. Nate looks bored, like his only reason for enjoying his time has been because Blair's been there, and Serena just looks annoyed to be in the room with him.
Something has to change, Blair thinks. (Though a part of her is still joyfully surprised to find that Nate doesn't want Serena!)
This is really all her fault, she reasons.
So what if Nate and Serena weren't really friends, if they didn't get along? They had an okay enough relationship, and it was stupid of her to intervene. A part of her that isn't self-loathing tells her that it isn't really her fault for trying to get them to be friends in the first place, because it makes sense! Why wouldn't she want her best friend and her boyfriend to get along? Doesn't matter anyway, because that's definitely not a problem now.
It starts one day when her and Nate are in her bedroom on her bed. He kisses butterfly trails down her lips and neck, hand slipping up her shirt when she pushes him away breathlessly.
"You and Serena should try to be friends." She's been thinking it for so long, and now is as good a time as any to get it out.
"What?" He makes a face. "Are you… you're thinking about Serena right now?"
Blair laughs. "Don't be so offended. I just -- she's my best friend. You two hardly talk."
"Well, we just don't really have a lot in common." Nate shrugs, clearly not understanding why this is even bothering her.
"I know, but… try, please? For me?" He agrees, and she smirks, and they kiss, and she doesn't even realize what she's done until almost two months later.
Serena and Nate begin hanging out, at first a little and then soon a lot. At first, it really doesn't bother her! She's just glad the three of them can spend time together without it being weird or uncomfortable. But pretty soon, she notices that Serena and Nate are doing most of the talking, and neither of them are so worried about claiming her anymore.
And before she knows it, Nate no longer spends hours complimenting her and telling her how much he loves her, but instead giving her anecdotes of his wonderful life with Serena. It's "Oh, Serena said this.." and "Serena likes this.." and all she can do is kick herself in the ass for being the reason they became best friends in the first place.
Gossip Girl is sure to comment on the relationship one day, showing a picture of the two laughing together in their uniforms with the caption, "Blair's boy toy and Serena: BFF's?"
Serena's in another school play, though thankfully there's no singing in this one, and when Blair and Nate attend her practice, Blair's surprised to find that he pays most of his attention to her today. She thinks that perhaps things have gone back to the way they were before, that this whole Serena-Nate jealousy thing has been a fabrication of her crazy mind.
Nate holds her hand and kisses her neck, and she holds his arm around her middle, playing with her little heart-shaped pin sewed onto the wrist of it.
"Remember when we were kids," he says suddenly. "And I put that frog in Chuck's lunchbox?"
This situation mirrors that one so closely that it's what was already going through her head, and she kisses him just because of it. "Yup. Did you and him even like each other back then?"
He snorts. "Please. We were like, complete rivals."
"Right, right," she wrinkles her nose. "Why, again?"
A sheepish smile crosses his lips. "You."
"Me?" She exclaims, but she can't stop the grin from spreading across her face. "You're such a liar."
"No, seriously. We both had a thing for you, and it was complete war between us. It wasn't until sixth or seventh grade that he became a 'player', and we became friends."
"That's so weird." Blair says, and tries to imagine a world where Chuck would have gotten her instead, but finds she can't.
"Yes, well him and I don't talk about those days, ever. I mean, the rivalry, sure, but never the reason why."
"I still can't believe I was the reason. I feel so privileged." She pecks his lips, and he opens his mouth to whisper something against her lips, as Serena comes bounding down the stage.
"Did you see me up there?" The girl's words are so painfully similar to the ones she uttered the last time they were in this type of situation that Blair can't help but look at her.
This time however, when she turns to look back at Nate, he's no longer looking at her. His gaze is focused directly on her best friend, and his grip on her has loosened almost entirely.
Her heart drops and she knows then that it's the beginning of the end, though she'll never let herself admit it.
When he tells her he's slept with Serena, finally, after Serena returns home from boarding school, her mind flashes almost instantly to one of the last timed the three of them had hung out together.
Nate and Serena had ended up pretty much wrestling, while Blair had ignored them, looking solely at her Vogue magazine, eyes trained on the pencil-thin bodies within it. Later, after Nate had gone home, Blair had found she could not help herself, and she had grilled Serena for answers on what was going on between them. Serena had blown her off, called her accusations stupid, and she'd been gone less than a month later.
Blair pushes Nate hard and he apologizes but it isn't enough. It'll never be enough, because he's ruined the one gift he's ever really given her.
It's not even the fact that Nate wanted Serena. This, she can understand. She's expected it from most people. But it's the fact that he'd wanted her first. That for so long, he'd looked straight through Serena at Blair, and it had been enough.
She doesn't understand why she's not enough anymore.
She doesn't understand what changed, or why it did. Why Serena suddenly glows more than she did in the eyes of the only person that had ever really mattered.
As he leaves, she crumples onto the floor and sobs.
In a way, this whole thing is her fault anyway.
She knows she'll forgive him even now when this pain literally shreds her heart to pieces. Because he's always been it for her, even if she's not it for him anymore.
Blair likes to remember when she was; when Nate saw her before anyone.