Disclaimer: I do not own Gossip Girl in any way, shape or form. If I did, ninety percent of the screen-time would be dedicated to Blair/Chuck.
Authors note: I know I shouldn't start any new stories right now, especially when I already have three that needs updating. But I just can't ignore the beauty of B/C any longer. This will be a chapter-story and it starts somewhere around episode 14. Now, without further ado:
How We Breathe
Chapter 1 – Happily Never After
Saturday, January 12th 2008
She's drawn to the mirror like a moth to a flame. Enthralled and disgusted at the same time.
Silently she succumbs to the daily routine. Strips herself down to the underwear and critically watches the reflection before her. She knows that what she's seeing is a distorted version of herself. It's her mind playing tricks on her, and the image in the mirror isn't real. At least this was what Serena, her mother and Doctor Sherman had kept telling her the last time. In real life she is apparently thin. Beautiful, dainty and gorgeous. And not anywhere near the bloated girl staring back at her. At least that's what they said.
But the last couple of weeks she has started to think that their reassurances are just empty words, and that the girl in the mirror is more real than they are letting her believe. The chunk of flabby flesh she holds between her fingers can't be something from her imagination, right? She wouldn't be able to grab a piece of her belly like this if this was only because of her distorted self-image…
They're lying, and therefore she doesn't have to feel guilty.
She's been good for months. With the exception of a few setbacks when her father left and when she found out about Nate sleeping with Serena, she hasn't binged, purged or made herself sick since treatment ended a year ago. Her 'condition' has been declared cured. And of course, she's managed this by keeping control, allowing only very small intakes of food, and even then, mostly fruits, vegetables and non-carbs.
But then, about seven weeks ago, the thanksgiving dinner happened. And although she really tried keeping it together, her mother's words just cut through her skin worse than usual. Deeper somehow.
Maybe it had been a combination of her absent father during the important holiday, the stress surrounding her relationship with Nate, and the way she never seemed to be enough in her mother's eyes. Either way, she found herself binge-eating a whole apple-pie straight out of the baking tin. Of course she made herself sick minutes later. And she had been so disappointed in herself when Serena came and found her crying on the bathroom floor. But the disappointed inner voice had fainted over the past weeks, until it was hardly more than a faint slur in her subconscious.
She pinches the fat at her midsection again and wonders if Serena has ever binged. Or shoved fingers down her throat. Probably not. Serena doesn't need to.
It doesn't matter though. She is not Serena and she needs to keep control over something in her life. This is the last sliver of her existence that she actually has some power over. Her body. The rest has gone straight to hell lately.
Kneeling over the porcelain bowl she sticks two fingers down her throat. Her gag-reflex is easily teased after so much practice and in seconds her dinner comes back up. She keeps forcing herself to throw up until she's sure that her stomach is completely empty, before getting up on slightly wobbly legs. Instantly she feels better. Lighter and less bloated.
The voice in her subconscious is hardly audible at all.
She avoids the mirror and simply washes her hands and rinses her mouth. Swallows two of her mom's 'happy-pills' that she found in a forgotten corner of her nightstand and spends a good fifteen minutes under the shower's hot water while they take effect. Then she heads for her enormous walk-in closet and retrieves tonight's outfit.
The black dress makes her look slim and she figures that the dramatically open back will take the attention away from her fat thighs. Sliding the thin and delicate nylon stockings up her legs and fastening them in the black lace garter-belt, she feels a little more relaxed. The hazy feeling from the two tiny tablets is welcomed, and even though she'll probably be drunk before she steps into the party, she needs this to so much as get ready.
And when she finally looks herself in the mirror a little while later, she almost thinks she looks pretty. Almost.
Serena, who just glides in through the door at least says she does. Gushes and awes and says that this is the Blair Waldorf she knows.
She smiles of course. Says that this old dress is nothing and that Serena is looking fabulous. But on the inside she can't help but cringe at the comment, because it means that either Serena really doesn't know her, or that she has been this slightly drugged up bulimic so long that it has become the real her.
To wash away the thought she pours champagne into two crystal flutes and hands one to her blond best friend. Serena, who really doesn't drink anymore, raises her glass slightly and smiles before taking a big gulp, and in some weird way she likes the fact that Serena is ready to go against Dan's wishes to make her feel better. Just so that she won't have to drink alone.
"Cheers to the life of an outcast" she says and takes a sip herself, and Serena laughs.
"Don't be so dramatic B. You know you're still the queen around here. People just need some time to digest your little love-triangle. I bet it'll all be back to normal tonight."
The blonde nods for emphasis and she shrugs back. Doesn't really care. It's been the same for two weeks now, ever since Serena convinced her not to get on that plane to France. No one other than Serena and Brooklyn talks to her at school. Nate goes out of his way to avoid her, and she has stopped looking him in the eyes, feeling way too tired of the constant disgust she sees there.
Although his eyes are not the ones she fears the most.
In the corner of her eye she sees the Erickson-Beaman necklace lying on its velvet bed in the box on her dresser. And she absentmindedly fingers the bare skin at her neck.
Something so beautiful deserves to be seen on someone worthy of its beauty…
She hasn't worn the necklace since that night. She is not worthy. Chuck made sure she understood that the night when she sought him out at the Palace bar.
Suddenly she feels nauseous again. And she can literally feel her body swell in the confinement of the slinky dress. Even though she knows that her stomach is completely empty, she still wishes that she could return to her earlier position hunched over the toilet.
But she can't, not since Serena is there and her friend would force her to go see Doctor Sherman the second she even tried shoving her index-finger down her throat. Instead she downs the entire glass of Moët and refills it. Hides her fear of leaving the apartment behind Serena's happy rambling about her precious Dan and their latest little outing.
The bubbly champagne finally starts to numb her, but it's not enough. There's a new voice in her subconscious and it keeps whispering.
Not pretty enough. Too fat. Too clingy and co-dependent.
Dirty, disgusting and inferior.
Not good enough or smart enough.
And when they are about to leave and she empties her second glass in one mouthful, she sees Serena watch her.
Her blonde friend's eyes are full of pity. And that's when she realizes that Serena knows it too.
It's the same as always.
The same people, same music, same lame ass cocktails and boring mingle. The same secret looks and 'ready to go' camera phones. Upper East Side is his home, but lately he's not sure he even likes it.
He's late to the party, but then again he always is. Usually he enjoys making a grand entrance, preferably with a gorgeous and easy girl on each arm, but tonight he settles for staying in the shadows and observing. After all, observing is one of the things Chuck Bass does best.
The usual glass of whiskey is securely tucked in his right hand while he plays with his scarf with the left.
He could kill for a blunt. He could kill for… well; he could kill for a lot of things.
Nate is here of course. His best friend is currently talking to that little skank Jenny Humphrey and he's seemingly enjoying it too. Nathaniel, his best friend that no longer wants that title, even though the last week it has at least not been open war anymore. The glares and insults are now down to a mutual ignoring, and tonight they even managed a civil 'hello'.
Maybe, but he's not sure he wants it anymore. At least not this way.
Kati and Is are on the dancefloor, behaving like fools as usual. And he thinks that he can spot Carter at the bar, but he has no desire to attract the cocky Basin-heir so he looks away. Keeps scanning the 'dressed to the T' crowd of spoiled teenagers. He doesn't see her and he is disappointed. This is the second big event in the social calendar that she's missing from.
It amazes him.
Blair Waldorf never misses an important party. And tonight is after all the annual Beginning of Spring-term Mixer.
Swirling the whiskey at the bottom of the glass, he thinks that it's not that he wants to talk to her, or even that he's worried. It's more as if her absence is making him uneasy.
When Blair is around, like in school; then he can concentrate on avoiding her or ignore her. She is there never the less, and her presence helps him pretend that life is still normal. When she is around he can hate her and plan how to ruin her further. Plot how to make her regret playing with him the way she had. And he can concentrate on keeping the butterflies dead and in their tiny little coffins.
When she's not around he's forced to acknowledge that she is absent, therefore in a way acknowledge her.
God, he thinks way too much.
He kicks back the last of the whiskey and heads for the smaller bar in the corner. Another drink and maybe then he should just call it a night? Lately, parties suck anyways, because truthfully, without Nathaniel and Blair it's just not fun.
He bumps into someone and looks up when hearing "Hey man, take it easy!"
He sighs. The last person he wants to engage in any type of conversation with is the fucking loser from Brooklyn. Serena's stupid savior.
"Shut up Hedgley, or whatever your fucking name is" he hisses, a lot more annoyed than he should be. "Why are you even here? Haven't your tiny brain recognized that blondie isn't around?"
Dan looks back at him with the same annoying look he always sports. The one that tries to say; 'I'm don't care because I'm more mature than this'. And when lonely-boy corrects him with; "Humphrey. My name is still Dan Humphrey", he hears himself huff in an annoyed way.
"I. Don't. Care."
There's no real reason for him to be this angry. He just doesn't like the guy, and pushing past Dan he orders another drink in an attempt to cool off. But it makes him curious though. What is the guy doing here when the infamous Ms. Van der Woodsen is nowhere to be seen?
When he turns back around, Dan is still standing there and he raises an eyebrow and smirks.
"You don't know where she is, right? You thought that my dearest future step-sister would be here, and she's not. That's pathetic…"
Dan's long face tells him that he's right and he can't help but let out a dry chuckle. Especially when he suddenly sees the blonde.
"Watch out Henley… Serena's trading up."
Dan gets ready to correct him again but he points towards the other end of the room and Dan follows his gaze to where Serena is walking across the dance-floor towards Nate.
"You better go save her" he says in a bored tone and gulps down half the new glass of whiskey. "She does look kind of drunk, don't you think?"
Dan sends him a death glare that almost impresses him and disappears quickly towards the girl. And he leans against the bar and goes back to playing with his scarf.
If even Serena is here, then where the hell is Blair?
She's not drunk. Not like she used to be anyways. A little tipsy maybe, but she can walk and talk without struggling, and she's very aware of her surroundings. Very.
One that isn't so aware though, is Blair. And they way her friend is acting is kind of scaring her. Blair never gets too drunk, she's always in control, always the one that manages the situation and is in charge. Blair's always been the one to take care of her in the past, whether it was getting her home when she was once again wasted beyond belief, or if it meant lending a shoulder or some kind of advise when she had problems.
The only time she had really needed to be there for Blair, the only time Blair had ever really cracked, was when Blair's 'condition' was discovered. And they were through that rough patch, right? Blair was fine now, wasn't she?
She has to believe that the thanksgiving-episode was a one-timer.
As she walks over the dance floor, she knows that there were more times when Blair had really needed her. When her father left, for example. Or when Nate told her that he had cheated on her and slept with someone else. But both of those times she had been useless in the 'best friends' aspect. The first time because she felt so guilty that she fled to Connecticut and the second time because that 'someone else' that Nate slept with had been herself.
She hurries her steps a little, and while walking towards Blair's ex boyfriend, she scans the room for a sight of Dan. In the back of her mind she knows that she should have been here a while ago and that there is a big risk that he's around here somewhere, looking for her, but she has to make sure Blair is okay first.
"Nate…" she says and touches his arm, and he turns.
She wishes that Blair hadn't asked her to get him. She knows that he is still too angry to help out. She'd much rather just call Dan. But she has promised Blair not to. Blair doesn't want people to know.
Nate smiles. It's obvious that he's drunk. Not high, just too wasted.
"Serena! I was just thinking about you."
She smiles back, a little stiff, but still. And she nods towards Jenny, curtly but yet with a glare that tells the younger blonde to get lost. And Jenny looks down into the floor and backs away.
She still can't believe how Dan's sweet little sister could be manipulating enough to not only eavesdrop on hers and Dan's private conversation, but also to run off to Nate and tell him all about it. To say that she's disappointed in Jenny is an understatement to say the least. And during the last couple of weeks, when the younger girl has basically done everything in her power to climb the social ladder even further, that disappointment has only grown.
"Listen Nate, I need to talk to you for a bit, okay?"
He nods happily, but when she ads; "It's about Blair…", then his smile drops and he face gets a bored expression.
"I'm done talking about her."
"Please, Nate? She could really use a friend and I could really use a hand with her… She's not doing good."
"Not my problem, Serena. Why don't you ask… I don't know… Chuck?"
He says the name sarcastically and she sighs. Nate is just as aware as she is that Chuck is the one that treats Blair the worst right now, and frankly she hates Chuck for it. He was just as guilty of creating this mess as Blair was, and yet during the last weeks he has acted as if Blair is just another one of his little whores that he can feel free to ignore.
"I mean it, Nate" she presses, ignoring his last remark. "You need to help me with Blair. I think… I don't know where to take her…"
For a second Nate's eyes looks worried. He frowns almost unnoticeably, but it's just for a second. Then he nonchalantly turns back to where Jenny just stood.
"As I said; not my problem. Call your little boyfriend instead. I bet he'll be happy to be your knight in shining armor. Maybe Blair can screw him too? That way you both will be even…"
His eyebrow shoots up at her meaningly, but behind the hard tone he speaks with, she thinks she's hearing hurt. It still annoys her that he can be such a hypocrite, act as if he is the poor victim.
"Come on Nate. Blair…"
She doesn't even get to finish the sentence this time. He just cuts her off with an irritated sigh.
"Blair Waldorf can fend for herself, Serena. She is not a child."
Then he leaves. And something about the stiffness in his shoulders, and the way his hands ball into tight fists at his sides, tells her that maybe he still does care. Just not the way her best friend hopes.
She watches him walk away before she picks up her cell phone to call Dan, and she realizes that Blair is going to kill her when she doesn't return with Nate, but instead with Cabbage Patch. That is if her friend is even lucid enough to realize. If she is, then she's pretty much screwed anyway since she has already entrusted the well-being of her best friend in the hands of her boyfriend's best friend. Vanessa.
This whole night is turning into a freaking circus.
She puts the phone to her ear, but before the signals are even going through, she can hear Dan's voice right behind her.
"Serena. Where have you been?" His arms snake around her waist, pulling her body close to him. "I've been calling you for over an hour… I even sent Vanessa out to look for you. I mean, she was going out to get some air anyways…"
He kisses the side of her neck lightly and she shivers. Wonders if he notices that she's been drinking.
"Well… about that…" she answers and turns in his arms, gently breaking free from his hold, "I kind of ran into her. And well… I think I need your help."
His facial expression says that he knows already that he's not going to like this. But he doesn't object or ask questions. Instead he grabs her hand and motions for her to lead the way. Knows that she is serious.
He wouldn't be her Dan if he didn't.
The drink is forgotten.
His hand no longer plays absentmindedly with his signature scarf.
Instead he is stealthily following Serena and her loser boyfriend out into the lobby of the Crowne Hotel and further on into the street. It's not that late and traffic around Times Square makes it easy to stay unseen.
It's fucking freezing outside and his coat is still at the party, but he sticks with his mission. He's too damn curious not to.
Something really weird is going on and he plans to find out what it is. He's tired of getting leftover news from that nosy 'Gossip Girl' whore.
And of course, there was also the look on dear Nate Archibald's face when they crossed paths in the bar, right after Nate had talked to Serena. He could have sworn that Nate looked worried. He figures that it must be because of something that Serena said. Hence the weird stalking.
He rubs his hands together to warm them and almost blows his cover. Because he's apparently been so caught up in his own trail of thoughts that he hasn't even noticed Dan and Serena stopping and now he almost runs right into the back of the Brooklyn-trash. Thankfully they don't seem to notice him either and he looks around. They're right outside one of their old hangouts on 6th Avenue. Just a stone-throw from the Crowne Hotel and the party. Why the hell was Serena stopping here?
From his spot a couple of feet away he can hear the blonde girl snap: "I don't care Dan. Blair is my best friend! I need to go in here, and I really need your help. But if you wanna go back and get Jenny, then do." She makes a frustrated hand gesture. "Just don't bring her back here. Your sister is a blabbermouth and I'd rather keep her out of this."
He can clearly see the Humphrey-boy hang his head. But like the whipped boyfriend he is, Dan follows. And so does he, now even more determined to get to the bottom of this.
Blair is my best friend! I need to go in here…
So Blair was here? What was she doing in this place? They hadn't hung out here in over a year…
It's a nice bar, not some dirty local sports pub, it's just not anywhere near the infamous Ms Waldorf's taste. Not classy enough anymore. But then again, what does he really know about Blair? She has surprised him a lot in the past two months.
He walks inside just in time to see Serena disappear into the ladies room in the back.
And he can't do anything but to follow.
Her head is spinning.
Round and round and round and there's a face that… that she thinks she recognizes, but she's not sure… and it spins and she feels nauseous again but nothing is left…
She's just empty.
And the face, the one that's framed with the black curls, is talking to her again, but everything is fuzzy around the edges and she can't focus. She closes her eyes but the spinning continues, only now in the dark.
Something hits her across the face and she opens her eyes again. It doesn't really hurt, just kind of stings. The unrecognisable face is not there anymore, instead there are waves and waves of golden blonde hair in front of her.
Serena is back…
"God… Blair, I can't believe I slapped you… But you need to keep your eyes open for me, okay?"
She pushes Vanessa out of the way and tries to steady Blair's body more securely against herself. But her friend is all limp and jell-o-ish and she realizes what a drag it must have been for Blair to always have to take care of her own drunken ass. This is different though. Blair isn't drunk and disorderly, wanting to dance on bars or trying to kiss unknown boys. Blair looks really pale and she's lying on the clinkered bathroom floor of a downtown bar.
Dan kneels down beside her and takes one look at her best friend before he starts to bombard her with questions. But she's too busy with trying to think of a place to take Blair. She can't bring her to the Waldorf-penthouse in this state. If it was just Dorota at home, then maybe, but typically Eleonore has chosen this weekend to stay home. And her own house is a no-no since her mother would just get Eleonore on the phone right away. Nate's place would have been perfect. Parent-free and anonymous. But since Nate refused… obviously not an option.
Dan keeps asking questions and since she doesn't answer him, he turns to Vanessa.
"Has she been like this all along? Why didn't you take her to a hospital?"
"Serena said not to… apparently it's 'complicated'…"
She hears the sarcasm in Vanessa's voice but she can't spit out a snide comeback because right now she owes the girl for taking care of her Blair.
"Sweetie…" she says and shakes Blair again. "Can you hear me?"
Blair slurs something not really audible but at least her eyes are open. She's kind of cold and clammy though, and the uneasy feeling in her stomach upgrades to worry. Blair hadn't been like this twenty minutes ago. If she had, then she would never have left her.
Twenty minutes ago, Blair had just been unable to walk because of her drunken state, and the brunette had requested Nate.
"Serena" Dan pushes beside her, "I really think she needs to go to a hospital…"
But she just shakes her head.
"She's just really wasted Dan… I've been worse than this so many times… she just needs to sleep it off somewhere."
It's true, right? Before boarding-school, she had been a party animal and she had done lots of stupid nights out with way too much alcohol. This was just one of those nights. Blair would be fine.
But then Blair's head slips on her shoulder and bobs towards the brunette's chest. And not even the sound of the door being swung open wakes her up again. She herself turns though, and she is both surprised and pissed off when seeing Chuck in the doorway.
"What the fuck are you doing here Chuck?" she hisses and glares at him. "Come to step on Blair while she's defenceless? Expecting her to put out to you again because she's drunk? Dream on, asshole!"
In the corner of her eye she sees Dan frown at her harsh tone, but she's had it with the entire fucking Bass-family. Especially with the bastard two feet away from her, since unconsciously, she blames him for this entire freak-show. If he would have left Blair alone in the first place, her friend wouldn't have been shunned by all of Constance Billiards, and she wouldn't have drunk herself into a stupor.
Chuck however doesn't even answer. He simply squints and turns to look at Dan.
"Get out of my way, Charity-case…" he says coldly but in an almost oddly calm voice. And maybe it is the calm that actually makes Dan stand up and take a step back.
Then Chuck bends down and slides an arm in between herself and Blair, the other one hooking beneath Blair's legs. She objects loudly, yelling "Hey, what the fuck Bass! Put her down!" but he doesn't even flinch. Instead he carefully stand up, Blair cradled in his arms in a strangely gentle fashion, before sending her the typical death-glare.
"You must be fucking stupid, S…" he hisses. "So many wild nights and you can't recognize an alcohol/drug-cocktail when it's practically thrown at you?"
Her face falls.
"But she can't have been drugged, Chuck… We were practically alone in the bar and no one even came close to the table…"
"And at home? What did she have there?"
There's a lump in her throat because even if she's still slightly intoxicated, she knows where Chuck is headed with this.
"She only had a couple of glasses of champagne…"
He just shakes his head as if he thinks she's naïve and she watches him struggle to get a better grip of Blair. She feels like crying, but she quickly gets to her feet. Chuck had after all tried to talk to her lately, and during the time he had lived in the Bass-Van der Woodsen home, he had actually acted almost 'polite'. But she had shrugged him off like an annoying bug. Now she wishes that she'd been nicer, because apart from Blair, Chuck is really the only one that shares her wild past and that knows how she used to act.
"I mean it Chuck..." she pleads. "She hasn't taken anything..."
He looks pissed as he puts Blair down so that she's leaning against him, and he holds her upright with one arm around her body, while pushing the bathroom door open.
He ignores her comment and instead he looks at Dan.
"You feel like helping out?" he drawls sarcastically and before she can react, Dan has put a hand on the door so that Chuck can get Blair through it.
Dan and Vanessa are right behind her and she hurries after Chuck as he helps Blair out of the bar and loads her into his limo. And she wants to tell him that this is not a good idea. Whatever Chuck Bass is thinking, having Blair around Chuck is just not a good idea…
But she doesn't say this.
"Is she going to be alright?" she instead says weakly and Chuck looks back at her, disgusted as if she's a stupid child.
"Do I look like a fucking Doctor to you?"
Dan says "Hey!" but Chuck puts a hand up in the air apologetically. Takes a deep breath and steps into the limousine. But he doesn't close the door.
"Are you getting into the car anytime this year?" she hears him huff from the inside. "Bring the garbage-boy. I'm driving you and Blair to his house."
She doesn't understand. The universe is upside down and hell has frozen over, but she doesn't object. She actually just looks at Dan and motions for him and Vanessa to get into the car. Then she silently follows them. Sits down next to her boyfriend, who looks extremely uncomfortable, and watches Chuck Bass cradle Blair's head in his lap in an almost human way.
Chuck lowers the screen to the driver and says "Brooklyn, Michael. And make a stop at the 26th street pharmacy."
She leans back towards Dan's shoulder, and feeling like a lost kid, she whispers:
"Dan… this is okay, right? That we're taking Blair to your house?"
And as the perfect guy she knows he is, Dan just kisses her temple and nods.
Across from her, Blair moves in Chucks arms and he hushes her gently. He looks worried, and if it weren't for the last weeks constant fighting with the guy, she would beg him to tell her why his forehead is in wrinkles. But after she practically shoved him out of their new home, he probably hates her enough to not share his thoughts.
He avoids them all nowadays. Her, Blair, Nate... And... Suddenly she realizes something.
"Shit... Dan, Jenny will be home. She'll tell everyone..."
Chucks head snaps up and he looks at them with coldblooded anger.
"If that little shrew says one single syllable, I'll singlehandedly make sure she regrets it for the rest of her entire life..."
Stiffening in Dan's arms, she waits for her boyfriend to object. It's after all his little sister that Chuck is silently threatening. But strangely, all Dan does is take out his cell phone, and after a short call, he turns towards Chuck and mumbles;
"Jenny won't be a problem. She's sleeping at Hazel's house."
Chuck only nods, and goes back to slowly rubbing Blair's upper arm. And she has to wonder what he's thinking. After his dad had thrown him out the other day, he was back to living in room 1812 at the Palace, and with the way he's holding Blair, she has to wonder why he doesn't just take her back to his own suite.
She guesses that it's a part of his usual masquerade though. Part of the facade that both he and Blair work so damn hard to keep in place.
For the first time she realizes how alike her best friend and this scumbag really are.
This is not his part of town. Sure, he's been to Brooklyn before, bought the occasional stack of weed or dropped off a girl, but he's never known anyone that actually lived here.
And when the car stops outside a brick-building that looks more like a factory than a house, he abandons the idea of just dumping Blair in the street. In a way he even wants to just turn the car around and take the sleeping brunette back to his own place. But he knows he can't.
He can't, and he doesn't want to.
First of all because Blair Waldorf would kill him if he did. Secondly, because he still hates the bitch for ruining his life. And thirdly, he really doesn't trust himself around her.
Still, when Dan reaches out to take Blair out of his lap, he reacts instinctively. He hisses "Don't you fucking touch her!" before he can stop himself, and he sends Serena a death-glare while struggling to get out of the limo.
It's easier than he though and again it surprises him how little she weighs. She's small, but he has at least expected to have his arms become more tired than this.
"Thanks… uhm…whatever your name is…" he mumbles towards the black-haired girl that holds the front door open, and she smiles.
He passes this Vanessa-girl and carries Blair into the elevator, closes his eyes for a second as he leans against the wall, and he's strangely annoyed by the lavender scent coming from the brown head of hair, currently leaned against his shoulder.
Suddenly he wants to just drop her to the floor.
Something moves deep inside him, and when he feels it he's so close to actually letting go of her that he's lack of self-control is starting to scare himself.
He breathes through his mouth and when the elevator doors open he gladly follows Serena into a loft-like apartment. And when looking around, he laughs dryly.
"You've got to be fucking kidding me…" he says slowly. "You can't be serious…"
If someone would have asked him what an apartment in Brooklyn looked like, this is probably exactly how he would have described it. Some artsy wannabe hippie styled attic, with weird furniture and flowers and art everywhere.
Serena gives him another glare and he just rolls his eyes.
"Oh, don't act like you don't agree S. This is hilarious."
He takes a couple of more steps into the apartment, suddenly feeling the weight from carrying Blair. "Where can I put her?" he mutters and Serena's boytoy shows up at his side.
The Humphrey-guy leads him into what he figures is the poor guy's bedroom and points to a queen-sized bed with pathetic football-sheets. He actually hesitates before lowering the girl in his arms down onto the fabric, wondering when the bedding was last washed.
But he finally does, and for the first time he catches a glimpse of Blair's face. And he fucking hates her for being so beautiful, even in this state. Even with her hair ruined, her dress wrinkled and her otherwise perfectly applied lipstick all smeared, she still looks like an upper class angel.
He tries to stand up but realizes that she's still holding on to the fabric of his shirt. Somehow the picture disturbs him and more roughly than he has intended, he shoves her arm away and takes an involuntary step back.
He can feel his heart thumping all the way up in his throat and he takes a deep breath.
"I'm out of here..." he mumbles and keeps retreating until he bumps into Serena. She gives him a look that he can't read, half-thankful and half-annoyed.
"Do I need to do anything?" she asks silently. "Is she going to be okay like this?"
He swallows and finally averts his eyes from Blair, instead turning towards his blonde step-sister.
"There's liquid charcoal in the bag from the pharmacy. Try to wake her up and give her that. If she had any drugs, that'll suck up the residue..."
He says the last part mostly for Savior-boy's sake. Serena knows. Then he walks backwards out from the bedroom.
"Just don't tell her I was here..." he mumbles. "This doesn't change anything."
And on the inside he feels as if his last sentence is more directed to himself than to Serena. He ignores her confused "But Chuck..." and simply repeats himself, a little harsher this time.
"Not a word, Serena. You hear me? This has nothing to do with Blair. There is no reason for her to know. Just tell her that you took a cab, okay?"
Serena nods hesitantly and he hisses out a sharp "That goes for you too, Brooklyn!" to Dan before he leaves them both standing at Blair's bedside. He doesn't look at the brunette again, he just wants to get away. Out of this house, out of this part of town, and back to the safety of his own suite.
He needs a drink and a good night's sleep, maybe even a couple of drinks. And hopefully he'll realize that the flutter in his stomach is just a figment of his imagination. A mere memory of before.
But honestly, he already knows. One of the tiny coffins, containing hidden winged creatures, has sprung a leak.
Author's note: That was the first chapter. I'd love to hear your thoughts since this is my first try at a serious Gossip Girl story.
Much love to all of you.