I was filled with the sudden urge to write Seth/Blair. I don't even know why cause I cant find the first common thing between them. But that didn't stop me from pouring out around 2500 words about them. The characterization is a little off, especially Seth (cause it's only been forever since I've seen the O.C) so forgive me. This is more of an experiment and if I don't get reviews I can understand. I haven't done these two justice. But the muse is relentless. Also the time line is superbly distorted. So all more reason for you to hurl tomatoes.
Disclaimer - I barely own the plot and Fashionable Femme and the Fashion Police. Nothing else.
The first time he sees' her in school; he's stunned because she looks like she's just stepped out of a high fashion society magazine. Her muted colors of black, gray, navy blue and cream make her stand out as do her pearls, headband and flats. In sunny laid back Cali, she looks like a Stepford wife, polished and perfectly coiffed, except instead of the wide smiles they sport; she sports a mysterious enigmatic smile. It's like she knows a secret that no one knows.
He comes to know that she's Blair Waldorf who's descended on sunny California all the way from the Upper East Side, home to the rich and fabulous. She's here because her parents think she needs a change of scenery and there are whispers that float behind her, murmuring about a boyfriend and best friend and a smidgen of heartbreak and betrayal and another boy who just couldn't stay around.
He sometimes gets the feeling that this is not where she wants to be but then again, she would rather be here than back in New York because in her he recognizes the same pride as Ryan , except Ryan doesn't carry it off as quite as well as she does.
It's natural that she gravitates towards Taylor because she's the only other person in the entire school who wears headbands and pearls and sometimes he thinks that they discuss whose headbands are better and whether the wide banded headbands offer better support as opposed to the thin banded ones. He knows that they must be discussing something high-brow and intellectual but still, its fun to assume that there's a battle of the headbands going on.
And because Taylor is with Ryan and good manners dictates that she cannot leave Blair alone, he comes into the picture. And the first few times he escapes but today he doesn't have a plausible excuse and that's how he ends up spending an awkward evening in front of the TV with her.
She walks in and smiles politely, makes small talk to his parents and then sits down on the couch next to him. His parents are impressed and drop him a line or two about how he needs to cultivate some manners and maybe she could teach him a thing or two. He shrugs it off and waves them out of the house because awkward would be the four of them sitting around in the same room and trying to discuss something none of them really gives a shit about.
For a while he flicks through channels and politely offers her refreshments (because Taylor asked him to) and she politely declines. And the temperature in the room feels frigid because of the silence between them.
So he tries to make conversation because Taylor said something to Ryan and Ryan threatened him and he feels it has something to do with Taylor not allowing Ryan within a foot of her. Basically it boils down to this, if he doesn't talk to her or if he dosen't treat her nicely, then Taylor will be sad which make Ryan mad and which in turn will make him sad.
He does if for self-preservation.
"So Newport doesn't compare to UES huh?" It's not the best of openers but he has never let that stop him.
"Nothing ever would but it does come close." And he's really surprised to hear that because he got the feeling that she missed the UES. And he knows Newport is made of the rich and preppy but they do not have the glitz and glamour of the Upper East Side.
She cocks her head to one side and regards him appraisingly and he colors a bit under her intense gaze.
"You remind me of this guy back in Brooklyn." He's a little confused. Geography is not his strongest suit but he was always under the impression that Brooklyn existed away from the Upper East Side. Maybe he should just go with the flow and not question everything. This is Summer's advice.
"Your friend?" he enquires mildly. She sends him a look of distaste and her nose wrinkles daintily.
"Heavens no. He was S's boyfriend." He looks confused and she further elaborates.
"Serena van der Woodsen. Best friend and worst enemy since kindergarten." He doesn't understand how she says it so causally. He's never known a friendship where there was also enmity. But then again he never really knew a friend until Ryan. Obsessing over comic books really doesn't leave you much time for the real world. But they do give you someone to idolize in a world which has no time for kids prone to acute flights of fantasy. He thinks that maybe that's how everything is in the Upper East Side. Black and white with a healthy dash of grey.
"Did you like him?" and he doesn't know why but he pushes it forward.
"I envied him." She says with a wistful smile. He must look confused because she further elaborates. "He had a friend he didn't have to compete with and he had a family that didn't foist expectations on him. He had everything and he wasn't even from the Upper East Side."
"Maybe you'll find a friend here." She smiles at him and he smiles back suddenly feeling very shy. And just so you know, shy is not a word you associate with him. Oblivious, a little self-absorbed, geeky, sarcastic but not shy.
"You wanna watch a movie? He asks suddenly, in this spirit of friendship and all.
"Which one?" She asks cautiously.
"Return to the Batcave. Believe me, it's hilarious. Or you can beat me up if you don't like it." And he's pretty sure she can do cause she's just about the same height as Summer, well maybe a little taller but he' sure she weighs somewhere around the same and Summer could always beat him up very well.
They spend the next two hours watching the movie and he helpfully fills her in on the Batman universe, pointing out villains and gadgets and heroines and sidekicks. During the movie he snatches glimpses f her especially when laughter comes tinkling out of her prettily painted mouth. He doesn't realize his ears are straining to hear it and that he likes listening to her laugh and making her laugh. When the movie finishes he turns towards her expectantly and waits for her response.
"The costumes just scream gay but I enjoyed it." And he smiles widely. She's just passed the first test of approval. He introduces her to Catwoman and she does agrees that Catwoman' costume does her more justice to her than Robin's costume does to him.
Woman in shiny black leather body-con suit equals to hothothot.
He shows her the Justice League and he smiles knowingly when she immediately feels a connection with Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is royalty thrown into a world she dosent always understand. Okay he's pretty sure Blair can understand the world but she shares the same traits as Wonder Woman. Both of them are haughty and proud and plebians are so not that style. But underneath all that shiny veener he's pretty sure there beats a good heart. It's just that pride sometimes gets in the way.
He always connected with Batman himself. He may not have Batman's spectacular good looks or his incredibly muscled body but what they both do have is that whole misunderstood angst thing going on. Amongst all of them, Batman was the only one with no powers. Sort of like an outcast. And he's never fully fitted in either. But it doesn't matter because he likes himself for who he is and nothing, no amount of ridicule is ever going to change him. Batman and him both. Oh and he's pretty sure that his moral compass doesn't exist in a gray area as Batman's always does. He has his moments though. Can you blame him? He's a teen with hormones. Something is bound to go wrong somewhere.
The only part he doesn't understand is how Batman and Wonder Woman have feelings for each other.
The princess and the black knight who rides an unconventional steed?
It all sounds very cliché to him.
Ryan scolds him when he comes to know that he showed her cartoons. He blinks, confused. He doesn't see what the problem is. They were nice, no they were excellent cartoons and she enjoyed watching them. What's wrong with that?
Ryan tells him, 'She's not that kind of girl.'
'Well what kind of a girl is she?' he asks because he's known only two kinds of girls, Summer and Marissa and while Summer was the poster child for spoiled Daddy's girl turning it around, Marissa was the poster child for tragic. He hopes she's the first kind because if she were the second kind, well that would simply be too tragic.
'She's the fancy kind.' Ryan answers vaguely. Yeah, that is extrmely helpful.
'Like Summer?' he questions helpfully.
'Fancier.' Says Ryan with a shudder because for him all this fashion and fancy stuff is a little too much to take.
'I don't mind,' he says.
He thinks she looks very nice and pretty. Besides the most important thing is that she appreciates cartoons and comics, in his eyes, she's awesome.
Taylor starts throwing him together with her for no reason. He doesn't understand why and when he questions her, all he gets is a strangled blush and Taylor going off onto a tangent about how Blair's the new girl and how lonely she must feel and it goes on. But it's okay. He actually enjoys spending time with her. From cartoons they have progressed onto the wonderful world of comics. And just for her he trawled through numerous comic stores and engaged with unhygienic comic nerds to get her the one type of comic she asked for.
'Aren't there any about a superhero who saves the world from bad fashion? Cause the world so needs it.'
Granted he doesn't see the point. You have clothes, you waer them. As long as you are not naked as a jaybird people around you are pretty happy about what you wear. But when he gives her the comic , the smile on her face is alone is worth all the palms he had to grease with his special editions in order to get information about the few existing copies of 'Fashionable Femme and the Fashion Police'.
There are some points of time when he feel they are inexplicably close with nothing dividing them, nothing hanging over them and there are times when there's a gaping distance between them that he cannot bridge. At that time, her sarcasm comes up as a unwanted defense (because really, he's never wanted to attack her) as does his and he wonders, if her heart still aches a little for what she left behind.
And try as he might, he cannot get through that solid wall of defense.
Sometimes he thinks he just shouldn't. Someday she'll tell him and she'll listen.
One day when they at school, she walks up to him, hands him a notebook and walks away. He wants to call her back and but she's gone before he can even open her mouth. Her heels clickaway leaving behind a trail of lavender and sandalwood.
He opens the book to find it illustrated like a comic book and it's titled Gossip Girl. He reads the entire thing during lunch and skips the next few classes after lunch because he has been sucked into a world where there seems to be a lot of backstabbing and fake smiles, decadence and lust. He reads of S, once the it girl but now redundant and irrelevant. He reads of N, the golden boy who was once the Prince Charming and who became the whore, of C , cynical and debauched who become the coward, of D, the outsider who had become the ultimate insider and of B, once the manipulative and beautiful Queen and now fallen from her pedestal.
The maliciousness of it all really affects him and it hits him like a punch to the gut when he realizes that she essentially told him her story, stripped herself of all defenses and laid her self bare. This where she comes from, this where's she grown up and he wonders if this is all she knows, that life is one big game of Russian Roulette not meant to be played by the rules.
He's confused and a little angry because is she fucking around with him? Playing a little game to appease her manipulative mind because here in Newport there's a stunning lack of things to do for someone who is used to visiting high end stores in the day and exclusive clubs in the night.
He reads over the novel again and some of things that people do make him sick with disgust. He wonders if she actually liked being a part of this huge web of lies, spinning and growing day by day till they almost becoming nooses around the necks of people who said them.
He wonders whether the four of them were ever like this?
In the evening he walks to her house and sits on the porch and waits for an hour before going in. He needs to think and sort everything out.
She opens the door, dressed in sweats (fancy ones all the same) and he wonders if it's a trick of the light or did he really see faint tear tracks on her face. She motions him in and he awkwardly sits down on the couch, careful not to sit on the rug lying there. The TV is still crackling from being switched off and he sees a DVD cover of Breakfast at Tiffany's lying on the coffee table. She sits down next to him and draws her legs up under her, looking strangely vulnerable and hesitant.
"You were B, weren't you?"
And she nods. And everything clicks into place.
"Did you like being like this?" His voice is hesitant and unsure because this question might open up a can of worms but he needs to ask because it's important for the future.
She nods almost imperceptibly and strangely enough he can find himself understanding because which good person hasn't been swayed by power. Comic-verse has a huge array of people who toe the line of villains but are somewhat repentant. There's Catwoman, Deadpool, Wolverine…and a quite a few more. But what he needs to know is that, has she left that Blair behind or if this is just some temporary thing, till things at the Upper East Side cool off and she drops off Gossip Girl's radar. (And Gossip Girl is just like any other villain, unsure and insecure about herself and scared of what will happen if she doesn't have control. Someday she's going down.)
"I'm tired," and he looks up askance, "I'm tired of playing a part and I'm tired of lies and deception," she sighs heavily and he can almost feel his heart constrict a little, "I just for once want life to simple and uncomplicated." He grins, if there's any place for simple and uncomplicated, it's here with him and Newport Beach.
"You can make it simple," he says with a questioning gaze in her eyes, asking if she's willing to make it simple with him. She scoots closer to him and tucks her arm through his and leans her head on his shoulder. He leans back into the couch and she snuggles up against him.
She turns her face up to him and he can see a genuine smile on it, wide and happy which makes something akin to happiness well up inside him.
And he knows that they can.
I'm cringing, as I'm sure you are.