Lungs of Steel
Story Summary #1: "One day, you're going to realize that you don't hate me, Waldorf," he said smiling. "Don't hold your breath," she said back. DanBlair.
Author's Starting Notes: I'm not a big fan of this chapter. I mean, I was okay with it at first, but then I reached a point where I wasn't quite sure whether or not I should keep this. The ending is pretty random, and I'm positive that I'll update sooner with chapter seven than it took for chapter six. This chapter begins with a small recap seeing as I took so long to update. Hopefully, you guys are still interested in reading this. So, here it is!
Time Stamp: Updated August 30th, 2008
Chapter Summary: Gossip Girl has dropped the bomb, and now, the aftermath
"Dan, I didn't know it was you," Blair said
"Who did you think I was?"
"Nate, or Chuck, either one,"
"Why would you run from them?"
"That would have been giving in to what we both agreed would never happen," Chuck said
"What?" Blair asked
"Me having feelings for you,"
"Dan has some issues with my re-arrival. … He's-"
"Attracted to you?"
"Yeah. … It's actually kind of… flattering,"
"I came onto you," Dan said
"And why on Earth would they do that?" Blair asked
"Because, well, um… you're, kind of, well…"
"Look, everything you do affects someone else directly and simultaneously," Blair said
"…. I've been in your world long enough to know that," Dan said
Her response was direct and, surprisingly, passionate. If you hadn't guessed, her response was a kiss.
Depending on where you live on our great planet, it can feel as if you live in a different world. The world for someone in California is different than a person in Florida, and both of which are very different for another person in New York. Even two sides of basically the same zip code have different worlds. In Brooklyn, things were settled in arguments, fights, and the like. On the Upper East Side, everything was settled and discovered using the website of an online blogger named Gossip Girl. GossipGirl seemed to know everything about everyone before most people truly did, or were ready to tell. In a world controlled by an anonymous insider, it was very hard to have any privacy. It seemed the only way to have such was to separate yourself for a day. Serena van der Woodsen and her younger brother, Eric, were doing just that.
"Alright, so, we'll go to breakfast here, then head there to shop, then eat lunch, then go to the zoo in Brooklyn, then come back up here for dinner at Butter," Serena explained pointing all over the tourist style map she had picked up at the Palace. Eric van der Woodsen watched with interest as she pointed to all the places they would go. It was the beginning of the school year and it didn't seem to bug her at all that she was skipping a day to play hooky with him. It'd be a day to remember without a doubt.
"Serena, how about we head by the ice cream parlor before dinner? There isn't a good one in the zoo," Eric said
"True, but it would ruin your appetite," Serena said
"Now, you sound like Mom," Eric said knowing it would change Serena's mind instantly. The last thing the blonde wanted was to become her mother. Lily Bass - so hard to say that those days - was not exactly 'Mother of the Year' and with good reason. She neglected her children at times, always was off spaing or spending, and married more men than she had toes. Little Eric could clearly see the change in Serena once he said that.
"Alright, we can get ice cream. But, really, did I truly sound like Mom?" Serena asked
"Yeah on her good days," Eric said
"Well, let's get going," Serena said stepping into the street to hail a cab. While she did so, Eric waited pulling out his phone as a text message rolled in. He looked at the screen mentally cursing the bad timing of the blogger's return. Why did she have to pick that day of all days? Eric wondered for a moment if he could pretend he hadn't heard just so he could have his day with his sister. What was the worst that could happen? Well, Gossip Girl could be telling the truth and Serena would be dumped for her best friend causing her to be emotionally scarred for life. She'd probably return to her old ways resulting in her leaving again and…. He was going to tell her.
"Um, Serena, do you have your phone?" Eric asked going to her. She had just found a cab too.
"No, why? And what's with the face? Last time you had that face Gossip Girl sent a-oh…. She's back?"
Serena sighed. All good things must come to an end, it seemed.
"So, who's her unlucky target? Blair, right?"
"Yes, Blair, you… and Dan," Eric said
"Dan? What could she possibly say about Dan?" Serena asked
"Oh, nothing, nothing at all," Eric said, Serena obviously didn't believe him. He went on, "Just that he, um, cheated… on you,"
"With who?" Serena asked. Eric gave her a look and she felt like laughing. Wait, GG comes back with weak stuff like that? The blonde expected more. There was no way anything would happen with Dan and Blair. Never. She thought Eric was playing a joke, but as she took his phone she found that it wasn't. Gossip Girl seriously believed that Dan and Blair were…. She could not believe her eyes.
Well, well, Upper East Siders, you'll never guess what I just heard! My lovely source, mark37, has just told me the greatest news of all. You guys know of the return of ex-Queen B but it looks like we now know why she came back. Gosh, doesn't she know that eavesdropping is the new black? They say nothing hurts more than the best friend and the boyfriend, but we're not so sure that's what B had in mind. You'll clear this up for us, won't you, hon? If not for me, at least for S, something tells me she won't be too happy.
Won't be too happy? Saying she was pissed would be an understatement! Serena was beyond angry. She could not believe the nerve of that lie-spreading witch. Serena slapped the phone shut and shoved it into her brother's hands. She stormed into the cab slamming the door behind her.
Eric quickly stopped the cabbie from driving away and waited for Serena to roll down her window.
"Serena, you may want to think this through. You can't just go running off. And what about our day together?" Eric asked, Serena's eyes flashed for a moment.
"Eric, I love you, I really do, but I have to do this," Serena said, Eric sighed. She always had to do something without him those days.
"What are you going to do?" Eric asked
"I'm going to neuter my boyfriend," Serena said rolling up the window and urging the cabbie to drive away. Eric watched her go feeling bad about telling her the truth. Not because of their day together though. He just knew that when Serena was done with Dan. There'd be nothing left for the two best friends to fight over. And, really, what was a catfight without a prize for the winner?
The room was eerily silent. The silent click the phone made when closed was louder than anything Blair Waldorf had ever heard in her life. She couldn't believe it. What was the world coming to? What kind of place did she live in where you couldn't even keep one little kiss private? And, really, why did it have to come then of all classes? She turned her focus to Dan who had just finished reading the text message. His eyes showed the same amount of fear as hers did. They hadn't really done anything wrong, per say. But convincing Serena of that… they were so dead.
Blair dropped her head to her desk groaning as she did so. Dan gave her a look meaning 'You-can't-get-out-of-this-that-easy' but she didn't really notice. He closed his eyes tightly hoping everything would just go away when he did so. Maybe if he closed his eyes, when he opened them, it'd be summer again and he'd be relaxing with Serena in the Hamptons instead of being targeted with Blair in his Lit class. He opened his eyes and found that it didn't go away. Something did come though. It was Johnny who was clearly curious as to what had such an effect on his class. He grabbed Blair's cell phone maneuvering through it quick enough to find the text. He scanned it and nearly lost his footing.
"Dan, Blair, what is the meaning on this?" Johnny asked, Dan looked up at him blankly and Blair groaned unmoving.
"It's nothing," Dan said mutely
"Nothing? Since when did my prized pupil and my… Blair hook up?" Johnny asked, Blair's head shot up at his words. Ewww!
"Okay, there are so many things wrong with that sentence that I can't even begin," Blair said, she could just see the cell phones coming back out. "First of all, why is he your prized pupil? He doesn't do anything! The last few days all he's done has been sitting there and staring into space. Doesn't do a thing," Blair said
"I resent that," Dan said
"No one cares! Secondly, your Blair? Come on, Johnny. Just because you and my mom are friends doesn't give you like claim to me, or something? And it certainly doesn't mean you know what's going in my life. You not knowing about my return was proof enough of that. And, finally, I did not, nor will I ever, hook up with Daniel Humphrey. Serena may be slumming it up in Brooklyn with him and his no-taste posse but I sure as hell am not! I'd sooner marry Chuck Bass than I'd do anything with Cabbage Patch!"
Maybe she had been a bit too harsh. Maybe she shouldn't have blown up. Or, maybe, she just needed a good break from the UES again. She'd been there, what, a week and already her full-on bitch exterior was back and in full swing. She just told off her favorite teacher, insulted someone she was sort of growing to tolerate, and caused yet another scene for the ranting of that nosy scandal hag. No wonder Gossip Girl loved her. She was always full of surprises.
Dan looked on truly hurt by what Blair had said. He thought they were building a bridge. What was everything on Tuesday and Saturday? They had been talking, friendly even. Now, suddenly, she was back to tearing him down and treating him wrong. What was he thinking saying he'd help her? She was a horrible person. A truly, disgusting human being. But if she was all that, why did it seem like she regretted it?
"Well, Miss Waldorf," Blair winced hearing the term, "I think you might find a trip to see the Headmistress beneficial. I'm sure she'll be dying to hear what you just told me,"
"It is Mr. Price to you and no, before you start. Leave. I'm done with you disrupting my class,"
It was obvious she had cracked something in Johnny. He had never once told a person to call him by his last name. He was always so nice. Chuck and Nate almost started a fight in his class and all he did was tell them to cool it. Blair had definitely hit something. The others just hoped it wasn't too deep of a gash. They certainly did not need another angry teacher.
Before Blair could try to speak again, the door opened. Nate Archibald, looking golden as usual, walked into the room with his head held high. He was no longer faking sick. Oh no, now, he was after finding the truth. The scene he was greeted to was pretty odd though. Johnny looking tense and rigid, Blair looking hurt and conflicted, and everyone else looking shocked. The odds were certainly leaning in Gossip Girl's favor there and that didn't look too good for him.
"Um, Dan?" All eyes went to the front of the room where Nate stood, "Mind telling me what's going on?"
"Yeah, Dan," Serena said stepping into the room and pushing past the semi-bewildered Nate, "What is going on?"
Dan looked around the room to find everyone now staring at him. There were plenty of things he could have been thinking but the one they least expected was-
"Shit," Dan whispered
Author's Ending Notes: Okay, there was the chapter, I hope you-psych! I know, bad joke, not funny. Just stalling for a second. You can scroll down now.
SEASON TWO STARTS IN TWO DAYS!
"Shit," Dan whispered. Blair leaned over in her seat.
"The best tactic is to hit the ground running," Blair advised
"What does that mean?" Dan asked quietly
"It means don't lie to her. Then, I'll have to tell the truth later," Blair said
Dan sat up straight. He was about to speak when Serena started up again.
"Dan, Blair, I think it'd be best if we left the room now." Serena said.
The two rose from their seats without question and followed the blonde out of the room. Nate came as well. They went a bit deeper into the school before Serena looked at them waiting for one to speak.
"Now, Serena," Dan began
"You're cheating on me with my best friend!" Serena roared
"Serena, I would never do that," Dan said quickly
"You've been around us long enough. I wouldn't be surprised. I cannot believe you would do this to me," Serena said
"This was just a huge misunderstanding, S," Blair began "You see, we were at a party-"
"Wait, we as in you and Dan?" Nate asked
"That is usually what we means, Nate. Two people, one of which being whoever is speaking," Blair said a bit condescendingly. Nate huffed at her and turned his gaze to Dan.
"Dan, what happened?" Nate asked
"Did you cheat on me?" Serena asked
"Yes!" Blair said a bit louder than she expected. It was supposed to be just for her to hear but apparently, the others did as well. "Yes, Serena, he cheated on you, but not as badly as GG made it out to be. We only kissed,"
"So it was you! You helped my boyfriend cheat on me," Serena said stepping closer to her friend out of anger.
"Actually, she initiated the entire thing," Dan said
"Oh, did you now?" Serena asked sounding pretty damn hysterical
"Way to help, Humphrey!" Blair said sarcastically
"I'm serious, you have one more time," Dan said warningly, Blair rolled her eyes turning to Serena
"It was to avoid Chuck, if you must know. I really didn't like the idea of dealing with him. The other day, after dinner, I went to go and tell him we needed to put the past behind us and that jerk seemed to think I had come 'crawling back to him'. He's an ass, Serena," Blair urged
"An ass you seemed to enjoy being with not so long ago," Nate mumbled loud enough for the others to hear
"Guys, you should know by now that a few months can be a lifetime. I've changed since then," Blair said
"I don't think you have," Serena said, "I think you wish you changed. You came back and look at what you've managed to do in a week. B, you're the same girl you were back in junior year, just a little older,"
"Am not!" Blair screeched
"Then how do you explain what happened back in the room? Johnny looked pretty pissed for you to have been a good little girl," Nate said
"Who was talking to you?" Blair snapped, Nate held up his hands defensively
"Don't yell at Nate, Blair. I was thinking the same thing," Serena said
"Well, maybe you two can go have a chat about it and then he can drool over you like he always does! If you have a problem with me being back then tell me and I will gladly go back to France. I'm oh so sorry that I borrowed your boyfriend for, what, like an hour at a party. I gave him back, and you can keep him. He's not a good kisser anyway!" Blair said heatedly
"Ouch," Dan mumbled
"Save your feelings of pain, Cabbage Patch!" Blair yelled
"Okay, what the hell is with you today? You're snapping at everyone. It's like you're a ticking time bomb that goes off every three seconds!" Dan exploded frustrated
"It must be a new experience for you seeing as with dear Serena there are never any emotions except for lust and happiness," Blair hissed with an eerily pleasant smile
"See, there it is again! You were fine before class," Dan said
"Well, before class was different," Blair said
"How so?" Dan asked
"Before class they didn't know anything," Blair said
"They? Who's they, Blair?" Serena asked
"Nate, Chuck, you, everyone! Gosh, I came back, and instantly, Chuck is everywhere I turn, Nate's popping up this way and that, and you are like attached to my hip! I get it. I was gone. You missed me. Now, let me breathe! I needed a break, a place to hide. I went out to Brooklyn for some party. Chuck was there. I tried to hide. Your boyfriend just found me. Chuck came close and to get him to back off I kissed Dan. No one could tell it was your boyfriend. Most of them thought it was Nick. Evidently, one person didn't and realized, whatever. Hate me if you want, but a cheater I'm not. And neither is Dan. It was a little misunderstanding, but I really don't regret it. Because for one moment, I didn't have any of you guys breathing down my back. It was heaven. Even if I had to kiss your dirty little friend to be there," Blair raved looking down when she finished her explanation.
The other three were silent having nothing to say in response. In fact, Blair didn't have anything to say either. It wasn't until footsteps were heard in the hall that the group snapped out of their reverie. For a fleeting moment, Blair hoped it'd be someone she could tolerate easily. The faint smell of a familiar cologne told her otherwise.
"Something tells me I missed a chapter," Chuck said looking at the four from the end of the hall
"Go away, Chuck," Blair said not even bothering to hide her disdain for the scarf-clad jerk
"Aww, is that all you have for me after last night?" Chuck asked a knowing look on his features. Blair's face paled a little.
"Chuck, go away," Blair repeated sounding just a tad bit shakier
"Now, why would I do that?" Chuck asked waltzing over to her and throwing an arm over her shoulder
"Maybe because she told you so," Dan proposed
"If Chuck did everything people told him to, he would have been dead the day after he met Blair," Serena said
"Ah, yes, she told me to jump off a cliff," Chuck recalled
"And I wish I could do the same thing now," Blair said shrugging off his arm
"Really? I didn't think you could change your mind so fast. The other day all you wanted was for me to go fa-"
"Chuck!" Blair said loudly blocking his next word. She looked around seeing uncomfortable, fuming, confused, and smug faces littering the group. She sighed, and began walking away. Leave it to Chuck to ruin everything.
"Blair," Dan called
"And leave it to Brooklyn to follow me," Blair mumbled turning around, "What?"
Dan gazed back at the three watching them curiously, and flashed Blair a small smile.
"So, uh, you and Chuck again?" he prompted, she frowned
"I'd say no, but you probably wouldn't believe me, would you?"
"Not really," Dan admitted
"I figured as much," Blair said dejectedly, "Look, I'm now going to walk away. So, turn around, act like your usual self, and pretend that this whole friendship, blanket thing didn't happen,"
"We hung out once, and look what happened. I don't know about you, but I'm sick of being talked about," she said, "Later, Humphrey,"
Without waiting for another word, she turned around and walked away. As she left, she found herself saying the same thing that was crossing Dan's mind right then.
"Damn that Gossip Girl,
A/N: The ending wasn't my favorite, but hopefully you guys liked it. Please let me know if you're still interested in reading this, if I don't get more than a few reviews, I'm not going to continue.
What's Next on Lungs of Steel:
While the problem is settled within the group, the outside world seems to be just a bit too into the new "couple". Problem is, their reasons actually make sense.
© Dezi. While everything above was written by myself, the characters and the world they live in do not belong to me. I don't own a lot of things, this may surprise you, but I didn't come up with Gossip Girl, Cecily came up with it.