Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Gossip Girl.
A/N: In an act of rebellion, this is part of the series I now call "The CW Can Su*k It." For previous entries, see The Magnificent Archibalds Reloaded and Cold Clarity. Pretty much, I don't like the way Josh and Stephanie does things so I'm gonna write my own version to stick it to them. This one is about Blair and her ridiculousness in the coming episode (2.19 etc.) regarding the Yale sl, so obviously.. spoiler alert. I don't like the idea of Blair being annoying and pleading and all that so uh... yeah. Oh! And Harold Waldorf is also on probation. I dislike fair weather parents.
To Be a Waldorf
She was never going to trust Dorota or her inept, pie-baking ex-husband with anything ever again. A woman apparently could not even go away for her honeymoon without her entire household falling apart. As the maid gave her the update, Cyrus happily unpacked from their trip, occasionally sparing her a glance when the subject concerned his new step-daughter.
"I don't understand. Blair told me that she fixed the mess with Yale." She smiled briefly as Cyrus placed the statuette they'd purchased in Paris and placed it by the mantel before turning to her for approval. Dorota stammered her way through the story of the black-ops gone awry, aware of her temper. For goodness sake, the woman should know by now that she would never lose her job as long as her daughter had anything to say about it, and Blair always had something to say about everything. She sighed. Of course her daughter wouldn't take anything sitting down and this nonsense about 'integrity' was so 'Little House on the Prairie.' Nevertheless, perhaps this would teach her something.
"Well, I'm sure she's very upset. Where is she? We can give her her souvenirs and make her feel better. After that, we can talk about different options for her. Even if Yale isn't a possibility right now, I'm sure we can pull a few strings." These were the moments she loved Cyrus the most. Yes, Harold played nurturing father very well, but Cyrus was, well, useful.
"Yes, I suppose we should go see her. She's in her room, I assume?" The maid looked panicked again, and did that thing where she twiddled her fingers and her eyes go all around the room. "Oh, out with it, Dorota."
"Miss Blair is out, Miss Eleanor. She says don't tell Miss Serena or Mister Chuck-"
"Well, do I look like a 6 foot blonde or a flamboyantly dressed man?"
"Miss Blair say she go to this address. For her future." She grabbed the scrap of paper from her hand, clearly written in her daughter's script and waved her other hand, effectively dismissing the maid. That was one thing she liked about Dorota - she was loyal and well trained.
Cyrus walked over and looked at the paper from the side. "I know that address from somewhere." He wandered over to his Blackberry and scrolled through his client list. See what she meant about being useful? "Ah yes, Dean -- for -- College."
She couldn't possibly - . A Waldorf, a Waldorf-Rose, for that matter, did not settle for second best and she most certainly did not beg for it. "Oh for goodness sake. Dorota! Get my coat!"
"Dear, should I-"
"No, I've got this under control!"
Blair shouldn't have been so surprised to see her standing at the gate of the brownstone. After all, where did she think she learned her flair for entrances from? "M-mother. I thought you were going to be in Venice for another week."
"Well, I was. Then I ran into your father-"
"-who told me that I should get back as soon as possible." She held up her hand before Blair could even begin her rebuttal. "Dorota already filled me in on anything and since I heard it from her, I'm guessing that it's a side of the story that makes you look the best so don't bother spinning it. Now tell me, what exactly was your plan coming here tonight?"
Her girl was silent and in that moment, regressed back to the little girl who would dance around her work room in their penthouse while Harold was off at his office, the one who would look down guiltily when she knocked over a mannequin. Even with tired curls and dressed in a mournful black coat, she was still her little mischievous girl with her big watery eyes. "Mom. I- I just- My life is ruined!" And then everything came pouring out in a speed that left Eleanor's head spinning.
They weren't big on mother-daughter talks. Usually those stemmed from the aftermath of a disaster (see: last Thanksgiving), and those were avoided as much as possible. Marrying Harold, Eleanor knew that she would never be that nurturing maternal figure who would be waiting when the kid comes home with milk and cookies. For one, she'd never get caught in the housewife garb and second, she would probably kill the kid by burning down the house if she tried to cook.
But still, she listened as much as she could while her daughter mourned her former life (apparently, she was a big deal at her school, which was to be expected of course. She was her daughter, after all); the scheme that caused the demise of her future at Yale (she would have loved the opportunity to look down her nose at that Banana Republic-wearing hussy); her father's speech about disappointment (Harold was surprisingly tactless for a lawyer and the next telephone conversation she had with him was not going to be pleasant); and her failed attempt at rebelling against her old lifestyle. When the girl ran out of steam, she found those big brown eyes looking up at her, the nose that she'd inherited from her was read and sniffled and her face was just... leaky. Like it used to be when she was a picky, bawling baby.
She sighed and feeling completely awkward, put an arm around her and held her close, tucking her head beneath her chin as she leaned against the gate. "We'll figure things out, you'll see. You don't have to reduce yourself to pleading some second tier college for admission. Besides, frankly, I don't care if you end up at an Ivy League school. I'm a fashion designer - and while I did get a great education, the Ivys didn't exactly help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life. You're still young and maybe it's good for you to test things out. As you learned yourself this year, not everything goes according to plan and people will turn on you, you'll realize things about yourself. And maybe what was good for your father isn't good for you. Besides, if that Dean Barraby only cares about press, you don't want yourself a part of that institution anyway." Blair nodded, knowing that her mother's words were meant to be comforting and appreciated the gesture. "First things first. Give me a list of those girls who ratted you out."
Her daughter laughed and shook her head. "Mom-"
"It's not their fault-"
"Of course it is! You have backstabbing friends!"
"And how many times have I backstabbed them? I'm a terrible person. Face it, Mom. I have." She knew something was wrong when her daughter dug the toe of her Choos against the pavement. "And Daddy was right. I shouldn't like the person I am because I'm awful. I plot and I plan and I even tried to screw over my own best friend! What kind of person does that?"
"You were hurt-"
"And now I'm surprised about why everyone hates me? I should have seen in coming. For all my planning ahead and all my bravado, I should have..." Remember how she said she was not maternal at all? This was exactly what she meant. What was she supposed to do? She remembered having that moment of self-realization as a young teenager, but hell, she didn't exactly change too much, did she?
"Blair, I know it may seem like everything's falling apart and that life is horrible and that you're horrible and think you're going to hell-"
"-I'm going to hell? Great."
"I'm just saying - things will work themselves out. And if not, we'll make them work out because it's what we Waldorfs do."
"And what if we can't? Yale's gone, Mom, and even if I reapply, I doubt Dean Barraby would ever take me back. And word's already gotten around because apparently, deans of admissions gossip more than pathetic social-ladder-climbing freshmen. Who knows, maybe even this stupid second-rated school won't take me."
"Do you want to go to this school, Blair?"
"Of course not!"
"Well then what are you doing here?" Blair looked down again, her head of chestnut hair reflected in the streetlight identically to her mother's. She shrugged, her eyes concentrated on a specific crack in the sidewalk. "Never settle for second best, Blair. If things don't work out this time around, then try again later. Take a semester off. Travel, do an internship, you're in New York, Blair. There's no reason you should be idle and this way you can apply for something that you want because you want it, not because your father did it."
"But the scandal. If I don't have a school lined up, how am I going to show my face at school for the rest of the school year, Mother? You don't understand-"
"Remember that time when everyone found out that my husband's gay?" Blair fell silent. "People talk. It's what they do when they don't have lives of their own to occupy themselves with. If you let them dictate your actions, you're giving them all the power, which makes you their puppet. Do you want some mindless, unimaginative imbecile to control you?"
Blair shook her head. "I guess it wouldn't be all that bad to have time to figure some stuff out now that Yale is a complete bust." Eleanor practically preened at the idea that she may have done a fine job at parenting at that particular moment. This whole "mother" thing wasn't too difficult. She went for a kiss on the top of her daughter's head and began walking her towards the car around the corner.
The door suddenly opened and a man, presumably the one Blair had meant to speak to, shouted at them. "Can I help you guys with something or can you get off my property on your own?"
She fumed, how dare he interrupt her moment of maternal triumph? "Mind your own business! Besides, this is New York and you don't own the sidewalks. What are you, new?"
"Sorry! We were just leaving!" Blair pulled her in the direction they'd been walking and they fell in step again in silence. "Hey Mom?"
"Do you think I could work at the Atelier for a bit? You know, see if I like it there? Before I get my applications out and stuff. Maybe it'll amp up my resume. Or you know, if you think I'll bother you, I'll just be there part of the time and weasel my way into Cyrus' office."
Eleanor wasn't sure how to react. Her daughter had never really shown interest in her job before - sure, she liked the free dresses and the press and all that, but the business side of it and the idea of a future was never discussed. She was always so obviously close to her father that it was nearly a fact that she would follow in her father's footsteps. "You can do whatever you want." She paused. "As long as you promise not to do any sabotaging at the atelier." Anywhere else was game, of course.
She felt Blair tuck herself closer to her body like she hadn't since she was a child and she clutched onto the young lady who had grown up so fast when she wasn't looking. "But you have to really let me work. Like you do with Jenny. Except I can't sew, so you might have to teach me that. And I won't dress like Jenny either. Or you know, I'm not gonna not wash my hair."
She chuckled. Of course her daughter wouldn't like the little Brooklyn ingenue. "I'll teach you everything I know, how about that? My best secrets." She felt her little head nod and was satisfied.
"So before you hire me, I have a few confessions to make." Oh here they came... "So while I was having my, you know, 'new-Blair phase,' I may have hung out with Carter Baizen." She'd always told Blair to avoid that boy, but she supposed things could be worse. "And I may have stolen a pair of sunglasses..."
"What?" She stopped. Those sunglasses better be diamond-incrusted for her not to be able to afford them with the allowance she got.
"I know! They weren't even that great! It just felt like the thing to do at the time! I'll go back and pay for them!"
"And we'll bring Cyrus, in case they decide to press charges." They slid into the car and headed home. Yes, Cyrus was amazing. "And no souvenirs for you until this all gets cleared up."