Disclaimer: 'Gossip Girl' belongs to Cecily von Ziegesar, Josh Schwartz and the CW. No copyright infringement intended.
Word Count: 1,184
Author's Note: To all my readers: I appreciate you sticking with me through this. I know I haven't updated since June. I hope it doesn't turn you off from continuing to read this story. Please leave me a review to let me know that you're still with me and what you like about this.
"So, I'm going to be your bag boy?"
Serena shrugged. "For the moment, you're going to be the coffee boy." She hadn't been joking about needing her coffee.
"I'm afraid to ask. What does that mean?"
The trio got off the elevator, waved to Vanya, and headed to the closest Starbucks.
"B and I will find a table while you get us the caffeine."
Eric rolled his eyes. "I so cannot wait for the day I get to boss the baby around. You've taught me so much," he said sarcastically.
"I think you need a better big sibling role model," Blair commented.
Serena made a face. "Ew. Just do the exact opposite of Chuck."
"I mean me," Blair smirked, tightening her arm in Eric's.
He nodded. "I can do that. Minus the I-will-blackmail-and-destroy-anyone-who-harms-you thing."
"That's fine," she sing-songed. "My job!"
"And Chuck's," he mumbled before turning to his sister. "Also, S, stop knocking on him. You have no idea the help he's been for me this past year. It's something I do want to emulate," he stated with maybe a hint of resentment to the blonde.
They walked the rest of the way in silence; Eric irritated with Serena, and Blair not touching that subject.
They entered the coffee shop and Eric wiggled out of Blair's grasp. "Go find a table," and he went to stand in line.
The girls plopped down at a table in silence. Five minutes later, Eric, carrying a tray of three drinks and a brown bag, found them. He sat down and slowly placed a cup in front of everyone.
Serena grabbed her cup out of his hand and drank, not caring about the heat. Eric waited for her reaction and smiled when it happened. His sister coughed and groaned. "Will no one let me drink my coffee in peace?"
Blair took a sip and grinned in suspicion. "Let me have the bag."
Eric smiled back and opened it, pulling out three croissants. Blair took one.
"Eric, you will make the best big brother," she said, taking a bit into the pastry.
He slightly blushed and drank before replying. "I'm always listening to you. And I think we all need to cure the mean reds. No more fights?" he asked.
Serena took a croissant and held her cup out for a toast. "Deal." The other two clinked cups.
"I'm hungry." Nate pouted, sitting back against the wall.
Chuck was lying down beside him, staring at the ceiling. "What do you have to eat?"
"Chuck…" When the other boy didn't respond, Nate smacked his best friend's shoulder and whined. "I'm poor. I have no food!"
Chuck slowly leaned up with his arms holding him up. "Nathaniel," he drawled out slowly, staring at the blond.
"How is it you've been living like this for this long?"
Nate shrugged. "Donno." He looked like a puppy when he stared at Chuck. "I'm sorry for being a bitch to you when you tried to help."
"That doesn't matter. As long as you never shut me out again. I can give you a better payment plan than the Duchess, anyway," he deadpanned.
Nate nodded. "Thanks."
Chuck removed his arms and fell back on the floor.
Nate looked down and frowned. "Dude. I need food. I'm a growing boy."
Chuck scoffed. "You're high."
"That too!" He nudged the brunet.
Chuck sighed and tried to lift himself up without success. "Can't get up."
Nate huffed, stood up, and extended his hand. Chuck took it and let the blond pull him up. With Nate's strength and Chuck's complete lack of movement, Chuck ended up colliding into Nate.
"Is that how you get the girls?" Chuck leered, patting Nate's chest.
"Are you saying it doesn't work?"
Chuck chuckled and stroked Nate's cheek. "Works every time," he winked and walked out of the room.
The trio walked down the street. The girls were listing some of the items they wanted when a loud "hey!" called from behind. The girls stopped mid-sentence from the voice and turned around to see a beaming Nate and a blank Chuck.
"Hey guys," Eric smiled.
Nate, high and oblivious, didn't feel the tension. "What are you up to?"
After a beat of neither girl answering, Eric replied sarcastically with "shopping."
"Oh, fun, fun. I think I need to buy new running shoes. Mine are all worn out."
"You know what," Chuck began and all eyes turned to him. "Why don't you come to the park with us," he said to his stepbrother.
And all hell broke loose.
Serena put her arm around her brother and glared. "He's busy. He's with us for the day. We're having fun!"
Chuck rolled his eyes. "I see that. He looks so ecstatic. But if he really wants to shop, he can pick out a pair of sneakers since Nathaniel has no sense of style and the gay boy obviously," he eyed Eric up and down and looked disgusted by the jeans, "has style."
"He's not my stylist. He's my brother; that's why he's with me."
"He's bored to tears. Stop babying him." Chuck moved forward and grabbed Eric's arm to pull him away from Barbie's clutches.
"I am not! He was with me first!" she shouted and pulled her way.
"Actually, he was with me. We were making plans before breakfast."
"And then you left him to hang out with Nate."
"Hey, I want to hang out with Eric, too. I'll share Chuck-time," Nate cut in, though neither of the arguing siblings heard.
Instead, Chuck let out a bitter laugh. "I left him? Are you fucking kidding me? I wasn't the one who ran off to boarding school leaving everyone behind without a call, an explanation, when life went to shit. You left and never bothered to find out how any of us were dealing with reality while you pretended to be someone different," he spat at her.
Serena let go of Eric and stepped back in shock. Sure, Blair had yelled at her; that was understandable. But Eric never had, and he had plenty of reason to do so. What she was suddenly confused about was Chuck's tone claiming to be hurt by her absence.
After a minute of silence, Eric cleared his throat. "Does anyone care about what I want to do?"
"What do you want, Eric?" Blair asked.
Nate was nodding in agreement.
His siblings were silent. Eric sighed and turned to face Blair. "Thanks for the invite. But I'm not in the mood to shop. Maybe we can hang out some other time."
She smiled. "We'll have a full-blown Tiffany's day; just you and me."
He nodded and turned to Serena and Chuck. "Please don't use me in whatever issues the two of you have with our parents. Deal with it by talking together – or go drinking together. Just leave me out of it." And he walked past them, pulling Nate's shirt to signal for the boys to follow.
Nate waved and said "bye."
Chuck finally took his eyes off Serena and, without glancing at Blair, caught up with his boys.
A/N: I know what you're all thinking: An LB story with no Lily or Bart? How dare you! That's the only reason I read this. I'm sorry for disappointing my loyal fans. Alas, I hope you call all forgive me. ;)