Title: "All You Ever Wanted"
Character/Pairing: Blair, Blair/OMC, Blair/Chuck, various others
Spoiler: "Carnal Knowledge"
Summary: Blair can't be the girl her father wants her to be but she can be the person she's always been meant to be.
Disclaimer: Not mine, just borrowing them for a few paragraphs.
Author's Note: I put a moratorium on "Gossip Girl" fic but then I saw The Black Keys last week and they pretty much blew me away and per usual, inspired me to write fic. This is an idea that's been bouncing around in my head for awhile, but finally took root and evolved into a full-fledged story. It was supposed to be a one-shot but the middle sections began to run away with themselves so I had to break it up. Hope it works. Title, cut, and breaks courtesy of The Black Keys. Enjoy.
I. Ain't it just like dying? Except you can still feel the shame...
Blair destroys Ms. Carr (again, for real this time) and Chuck asks her to the prom. She doesn't know whether to feel honored or disgusted but still says yes; she doesn't know anything else.
She and Serena are trying on dresses at Bergdorf's before she has the guts to second guess herself, ask the questions she doesn't usually think let alone allow to slip from her lips. "Chuck asked me to the prom," she says and waits for the other shoe to drop, but Serena doesn't even look up from zipping her Nina Ricci gown.
Finally, Serena blows blond hair off her face and responds. "That's good, right? You're still in love with him. You should go with him to the prom."
Blair bites her lip, fiddles with a length of Zac Posen silk. "He didn't ask me until after I made Ms. Carr wish she'd never been born." Serena's face goes blank at the mention of the one teacher to believe in her and encourage her and rip her heart out in one fell swoop, but Blair presses on. This is her crisis; she needs an answer. "Do you think that's weird?"
It takes a moment, but Serena rolls her eyes and sighs. "B, wreaking destruction is like your mating call. You know you wouldn't have it any other way."
Blair wants to believe her, but she's not so sure anymore. "Is it what I want?" she inquires and her words are soft but there's no missing their meaning.
Serena rubs Blair's shoulder affectionately and turns back to the mirror, a Marchesa falling to the floor in curve-hugging folds. "Chuck is your prince and he's asked you to the prom. Why are you over thinking this?"
Blair forces a smile, tries to be the girl her father wants her to be. "A girl only gets one prom. I want mine to be for the right reasons."
Serena stands beside her, her red Marchesa shimmering in the light beside Blair's green Zac Posen like a tacky Christmas tree. Blair can't help but wrinkle her nose in disgust; she hopes it's not a sign of things to come. "You're going with the guy you love." It goes unspoken she can't say the same about her own date. "Be happy with what you have."
Being happy has never come easy to Blair but it's never too late to try. She smiles again and clutches Serena's hand in hers. "It's going to be the best night of our lives."
Prom isn't the best night of her life but it comes pretty damn close. She shares a limo with Nate and Vanessa and Serena and a boy from Collegiate and Chuck hovers constantly at her side. He drinks, but not too much, and tells her that she's beautiful and perfect and she even thinks he means it.
When Headmistress Queller calls her name and slides a tiara through her hair, she curls into Nate's arms like they're where she's always belonged. Chuck never takes his eyes from her but they burn with happiness rather than jealousy. She remembers that afternoon in the dressing room, the prophecy she unleashed, and she's Blair Waldorf so she pinches herself to prove one of her dreams is actually coming true.
She waltzes with Nate, his own crown sliding down his brow and into his eyes, and his hands are loose at her hips but she recognizes the look in his eyes. He's been waiting for this moment, expecting it since the moment he was born a Vanderbilt and an Archibald all rolled into one, and he accepts his destiny with the nonchalance he's afforded every other milestone in his life.
"I always wanted this to happen," he tells her and she has to blink back tears because all she's wanted her entire life was a future at Yale and a prince to whisk her off her feet and Nate Archibald to truly love her. There's a framed acceptance letter on her bedroom wall and Chuck lying in wait and Nate holding her close like she's the only thing that matters. "Even after we broke up, I only wanted to spend this night with you."
"It was inevitable, wasn't it?" she manages to say. Ten years she loved him and he barely noticed her existence and three months down the line she might never see him again. She's Blair Waldorf; she expects her dreams to come true in any way but how she intended them to unfold. "You and me, prom queen and king?"
His arms tighten around her and he pulls her close and it's like falling two years into the past. "I love you, Blair. I'm not in love with you any more than you're in love with me, but I love you. I'm sorry for my part in it all." He ducks his head and presses his lips feather-light to her forehead and she's had sex with this boy and felt every inch of his body beneath her hands, but she's never felt so close to him before.
Her father comes to mind, the disappointment in his eyes and the shame in his voice, and she finally gets it. "I love you too," she whispers. "I'm sorry too. I never should have lied. I know that now."
He smiles, the kind of smile that lights up his face and draws crinkles at the corners of his eyes, and readjusts her tiara. "We should have had this conversation months ago, but I'm still glad we had it. I wouldn't want to go to college with this hanging over our heads."
She smiles in return, because he's Nate and he makes her feel that way, easy and relaxed and like everything will work out, and straightens his crown. "I'm going to miss you, you know?"
"I'll only be a phone call away. You can call any time," he promises and she knows he means it. The Non-Judgmental Breakfast Club has been out of commission for a while but they're working on repairing their bonds.
College is an endless summer away but only three months down the line. She pulls him closer and rests her head against his shoulder, his heart beating even and steady beneath her ear. Her life is about to change; she hangs onto what she knows a little longer.
Chuck tells her he loves her the morning after prom.
They're in his old suite at the Palace and the morning light is just creeping in through the curtains and casting a golden glow over the angled planes of his face.
Her hair is a mess and she knows her make up is smeared but her heart beats faster when he cradles her face in his hands and tells her she's beautiful. "I love you," he whispers, so soft she can barely hear him, and then he says it again, shaky but louder, and gently brushes his lips against hers.
She wants to say it back. She's said it once and she should be able to say it again, but the words get caught in her throat. He's the same Chuck, but she doesn't want to be the same Blair. The words no longer hold the same meaning.
She pulls him closer and sighs as his bare skin slides over hers. This is what she knows, this is what they do. She can't have anything more.
She ends things a week after the prom.
She does it in public, so there can't be a scene, and he sits across the table from her, mouth agape, and simply stares as the tears roll down her cheeks. "I can't be with you anymore," she tries to explain. "We're going to college and everything is going to change."
He finally snaps out of it and reaches across the table to grasp her hand. "College isn't for three months. Why end this now?"
She remembers, their fingers entwined after Victrola and his hand clinging to hers like a lifeline on the roof, and she pulls back. She needs a clean break to sever the tie. "We hurt people when we're together," she says. "We play games with people's lives." Her father flashes before her eyes, and all she can see is his back as he walked out of her life again and again and again. The first time, she knows it wasn't her fault; she can't say the same about the last time. "I need to be a different person. I need to be better."
His hands slip into his lap and he looks like he might cry. "We can be better together," he says. "We can help each other."
She shakes her head. "I need to do this alone," she whispers and he doesn't say anything in return. She's glad he isn't fighting; she wouldn't be able to do this if he tried harder.
She walks away and won't let herself look back.
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