A/N: The dialogue in chapter one is taken almost completely from the show. Kind of lame, I know, but this will not be repeated to such an extent in this fic, and I really wanted to show Blair's feelings for Chuck while she and Serena have this conversation/argument. (A side note: Do you like the chapter title? Heehee. I do! First of all, I think I'm clever in a Gossip-Girl-episode-title kind of way, and also, it is relevant: Serena won't be joining the Waldorfs for dinner…and neither, as we all know (or should know) is Blair's beloved daddy).
Chapter One: Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase
—T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"I have to find this recipe before my dad gets here," Blair said excitedly, brandishing the recipe card box. She circled the kitchen island to sit on her stool.
"Harold Waldorf's famous pumpkin pie," Serena laughed, as she folded a napkin.
Blair paused from rifling through the recipe cards. "Well, it may have been Bobby Flay's, but that didn't stop my dad from taking credit for it," she said, grinning widely. "I can't wait to see his face when he walks in and the pie's already in the oven. It will be the best welcome home present! It's going to be perfect!"
She'd find the card, bake the pie (or supervise as Dorota baked it), and greet her daddy just as it came out of the oven. It would be perfect. How could it not be? Her father was finally visiting her—and it was Thanksgiving, her favorite holiday!
Thanksgiving had always been Blair's favorite holiday. Following immediately on the heels of her birthday, it was a special day where family got together and ate good food before the mad rush of the Christmas season. The trees were ablaze with color, waiting for the first snowfall, the air was crisp with autumn goodness, and she finally got to show off her new cashmere sweater that she'd gotten for her birthday. And this year's holiday would be even better than last year's. Blair just knew it. How could it not be?
She couldn't wait to see Daddy! It had been too long, and she was too much of a daddy's girl to not resent the long wait. The divorce had been hard enough (Blair didn't even want to think about it—how her parents' perfect marriage had been torn apart), but having her father live across the Atlantic was completely intolerable. This would only be the fourth time she'd even seen him since he'd moved out, and the first since he'd moved to France (Blair thought it was vaguely ironic that her divorced parents both spent so much time in the same foreign country—though for completely different reasons…).
"Look at you. Quite the chipper sous-chef," Serena said, folding another napkin.
"Well, I'm in a good mood. It's been known to happen," Blair replied, leaning forward and raising her eyebrows. Contrary to popular belief, Ice Queen B was actually happy sometimes. "Sometimes because I increase my Lexapro, sometimes because my dad's in town." Today, definitely because her dad was coming to town.
"And sometimes, mostly, because things are good with a boy," Serena commented knowingly.
Blair pursed her lips, not looking at her friend. She did not like where Serena seemed to want the conversation to lead. She did not want to talk about boys with Serena. It was difficult to talk about her imperfect predicaments when Serena's glowingly love-sick face smiled a foot away from her. Not to mention she didn't want Serena to find out about what she and a certain friend of theirs—er, hers—er, Nate's—had done recently…during her birthday party…when she was supposed to be feeling bad about everyone knowing about her very recent breakup with her long-standing boyfriend of nearly a decade…
"You and Nate get back together?" Serena asked.
"You mean since Gossip Girl published pictures of him and some skank?" Blair replied bitingly. Yeah, that had been the perfect birthday present. Just because she and Nate had broken up didn't mean it hadn't hurt.
"So that's a no…" Serena glanced at her friend. "What's Chuck doing today?"
Blair felt a cold bucket of panic douse her happy mood. This conversation was going from bad to worse. Was that an innocent question? Or did Serena know something? But how could she know? Blair hadn't told her. And she highly doubted Chuck had said anything to the golden princess who hated his guts. She'd have to treat this delicately.
"Why are you asking me?" she asked innocently.
Serena gave her a knowing look. "Well, you guys are friends," she said, as if unable to comprehend why anyone (particularly, any girl) would want to be friends with, or even be acquainted with, Chuck Bass. "And Blair, look, you know you can tell me anything."
Blair bit her tongue in frustration. Sure. She could tell Serena anything. But if that was truly the case, then why had Chuck been the first person Blair had run to and told about her breakup with Nate? If she could tell Serena anything, then why had her best friend not been there when she needed her? God, Serena was never there when she needed her. First she left for boarding school without even saying goodbye, and didn't even call or text or email once, not even to check up or apologize. And where had Serena been when her best friend's parents were getting divorced? She certainly didn't think that the same rules applied to her—Serena didn't feel like she could tell everything to Blair: who had been the one to admit to what had happened during the Sheppard's wedding? Not Serena.
"I'd be the last person to judge anyone—"
"With good reason," Blair interrupted.
The look they shared was a power struggle.
"Blair, I saw you with Chuck."
Somehow, Blair had known that as soon as Serena had said "boy" she'd meant "Chuck."
God. She'd seen them? What did that even mean? At her birthday party? Just kissing on the bed or… doing more? So much more. Blair felt herself flush at the memory of those orange bed sheets and Chuck groaning beneath her. And then he'd offered her a limo ride home from the party and it had started all over again… That had been three days ago, and Serena was just bringing it up now? Chuck hadn't even called her since then. What was wrong with her? Why had she allowed him to sweet-talk her again? Why had she listened? She couldn't even wholly blame him for taking advantage of her—she'd been the one to initiate the two kisses that had led to so much more. It was really her own fault…but she'd been unable to resist the temptation he'd offered.
"I don't know what I was thinking," she admitted finally. "I mean, sleeping with him once, maybe I could understand, but twice—?"
It had actually been more than just twice, if Blair was being completely honest. Sure, it had been two different instances on two different days (er…two nights in a row, really…), but they'd definitely gone more than one round in that bedroom during her birthday party. And the ride in his limo after had been a very pleasurable, educational experience. She'd never dreamed of what he could do to her with his mouth… And that first night in the limo after dancing on the stage at Victrola… Blair had always heard that the first time was painful and awkward and once was enough. But for her, it had been…exhilarating. They had fit in such a way, and it had felt so good, that once had definitely not been enough. And neither had twice. Or three times.
"Wait, you slept with him?" Serena screeched.
"What happened to no judging!?" she exclaimed.
"I'm not, but I thought you wanted to wait, take it slow! I thought you wanted to make things special!"
Blair felt anger burn in her stomach. What, just because she and Chuck had done it in the back seat of his limo, that didn't make it special? The way he'd whispered "Are you sure?" had been special. The way he'd drawn her slip over her head had been special. The way he'd touched her and grasped her hips and groaned her name when he'd climaxed had been special. The way he'd held her afterward had been special.
The way he'd actually come to her birthday party and bought her the Erikson Beamon necklace and admitted to liking her and having butterflies had been very special. Much more so than her recent ex-boyfriend who hadn't even been bothered to call her at midnight, let alone even show up at her party.
Sure Blair had wanted to wait. But she'd changed her mind. And it had felt good. Both the changing of her mind and the experience itself.
And who even cared if she wasn't a virgin anymore? Honestly, Blair was glad to finally not carry the burden of never having had sex. She'd thought Serena would be a little more interested in the act, or wonder how it had gone, or be proud of her for finally doing it almost impulsively when it had been something she'd obsessed over for so long and had wanted to plan to perfection and even been a little scared of. She'd thought Serena might be even a little interested in that way where you're disgusted but can't look away no matter how much you want to—because that was definitely how Serena felt about all sentences that contained both the words "Chuck" and "sex." She'd thought "free-spirited" Serena would be somewhat understanding. What the hell had happened to the non-judgmental breakfast club? Serena had had more sex with more guys than Blair had fingers.
And why wasn't anyone blaming Nate? No one ever pointed fingers at him. He was too effing pretty, people always forgot he was in the wrong. Hell, even Blair looked over some (most) of his misdeeds when he'd give her that confused, innocent deep-eyed gaze from beneath his man-bangs.
Did Serena forget that just three nights ago—the same night she'd seen Blair and Chuck in the bedroom—Gossip Girl had published a picture of Nate and some blonde girl? When Blair had been waiting for him, ready to patch things up, prepared to give him a second chance?
Fuck. If he could move on, why the hell couldn't she?
"Oh, so Nate gets the free pass and I'm the slut?"
What a fucking double standard.
"Tell me you didn't sleep with Chuck for revenge," Serena winced, closing her eyes against what she expected Blair to admit to.
Blair was affronted. Was that the only possible reason Serena could imagine to explain why Blair had slept with Chuck? Blair might have been conniving and bitchy at times, but she'd never stooped to using sex as a weapon. And she knew Chuck seemed heinous and hardened and somewhat perverted to Serena, but he wasn't.
Not if he admitted to having butterflies.
God. What would Serena say if she knew Blair had slept with him because he was nice to her? Because he got her and she got him? Because he was a good kisser? Because he'd been there when no one else had and told her she was amazing and bought her a necklace from Tiffany's for her birthday? She'd never hear the end of the surprised, thinly veiled disgusted comments coming from Serena's mouth: 'Was she sure? Was she doing the right thing? This was Chuck Bass they were talking about.'
God. She did not need Serena breathing down her neck right now.
"Well, it wasn't because I like his natural musk," she lied.
Let Serena think she wanted revenge. If that was what her best friend thought of her… then let her think that. Serena and her "no judging" attitude was far from neutral—that stupid Brooklyn boyfriend of hers must be rubbing off on her.
"Besides," Blair added nastily, "nothing hurts more than sleeping with the best friend, right S?" If Serena wanted to play, then Blair would counter act every move she made.
Serena stared at her and then abruptly stood up. "Way to prove a point."
What the fuck? Did she honestly think she could bring up a sleeping-with-the-best-friend conversation and not expect to be burned? Especially with that non-welcoming, judgmental attitude she wielded so forcefully?
"Well I learned from the master," Blair said sweetly.
"If you're sleeping with Chuck, I'd say the student's become the master."
"What? Are you jealous?" Blair spat angrily. "You didn't get to sleep with him first? There ought to be somebody left on the Upper East Side."
There was a ringing silence between the two girls. Blair knew it had been mean, but she was feeling bitchy. Who was Serena to tell her to not put out, or to take it slow, or to avoid Chuck Bass? She didn't need anyone else telling her what to do. Her mother fit that controlling description well enough.
In fact... speak of the devil, and she doth appear.
"Blair, darling! Are you going to help me at all?" Eleanor's voice called out in the silence as she entered the kitchen. "Serena," she continued, "do you know when your mother's arriving?"
"She's not," Serena answered snottily, grabbing her purse. "We're not doing Thanksgiving here anymore."
"Because I uninvited them," Blair said sweetly. When she caught Serena's eye, the fake smile dropped from her face. She gave her a little wave, a clear dismissal.
Serena glared at her and then turned to leave. "Happy holidays, Eleanor," she said.
Blair simply gave her mother a what?-don't-look-at-me face and then continued to search through the small box of cards for her father's famous pumpkin pie recipe.
Who cared about Serena? Blair didn't. If she wanted to leave, fine. Good. Thanksgiving would still be perfect. Blair would see to it.
A/N: What do you think? Tell me in a review!