Disclaimer: 'Gossip Girl' belongs to Cecily von Ziegesar, Josh Schwartz, and the CW. No copyright infringement intended. Title from Backstreet Boys' Not For Me.
Timeline: post 2x11
Summary: The kids hear a fight that may break their family apart.
Eric van der Woodsen stared back and forth between the closed doors of his siblings' bedrooms. He shut his eyes and took a deep breath. It had the opposite effect. Instead of the yelling quieting, it grew louder. His eyes opened with a sigh.
He turned right and opened the door to his sister's room. She looked up and their eyes met for a second before he moved away and went left towards his stepbrother's room.
Again, Eric opened the door, but instead of standing at the door, he entered and climbed onto the bed beside Chuck.
Chuck looked up from the book he was reading and watched his stepbrother's movements.
The only sound came from somewhere downstairs from their parents.
Serena watched her younger brother and saw him enter Chuck's room. She knew what he wanted. Standing up, she left her bedroom, closed the door, entered Chuck's room and quietly closed the door behind her to try to muffle out the sound.
It did. Slightly.
Serena moved toward the king-size bed. Chuck put his book on the nightstand and moved left to make more room. Eric followed and their sister hopped in, lying against a pillow.
The threesome lay in their own silence as they listened to the argument unfolding below them.
A minute passed. Two. Five. Ten minutes went by before anyone broke the inner silence.
It was Serena.
The blond sat up and turned to her brothers. "So, you read now, Chuck?" she asked, nodding to the book on the nightstand.
"On occasion," he replied without a witty comeback to her obvious bate. He didn't have the energy in him to try to banter the yells away.
Serena took a deep breath, crossed her legs Indian style and faced the boys. "Is this bad?"
Eric closed his eyes.
Chuck nodded. "What do you think?" he asked her sincerely.
"Yeah. But when mom and the latest husband or boyfriend get into a shouting match, we're usually out of here before it gets this bad and lasts this long." Serena took a deep breath. "That's gonna be a sign, right?"
Chuck lifted himself up on his elbows. "Sure, Serena, a sign. That a divorce is coming."
Eric opened his eyes and shook his head. "No. I don't believe it. The fact that they're still having a conversation -"
"It's not a conversation," Serena whispered.
"But you just said…"
"No, maybe Chuck's right. I'm sure the only reason they're still at it is because Bart's not like the others. It's only a matter of time," Serena fell to her side and uncrossed her legs. "It really seemed like it would last this time around," she mumbled into the bed.
It was Eric who shot up this time. "Since when have you ever cared about this marriage, Serena? Remember the house-warming party? And before then, with the rules? You purposefully went against them to rebel against the family. Why do you care all of a sudden?" he shouted, enraged.
Serena turned to lay flat on her back and stared up at the ceiling. "I. I… I don't know. Because after the party, mom seemed like she really was trying this time around. It really felt like a family," she chocked on a sob.
The room went silent again. And instead of more disaster waiting to happen, Chuck grabbed the remote control off his nightstand and turned his flat screen on. He went up the channels until he spotted Casino Royale on Showtime. It was only the beginning, and the action-packed car chase was able to drown out the voices from their parents.
Eric lay back down on the bed between his siblings and focused on the screen.
They would just have to weather the storm together.