Title: Five Times Vanessa Sees Jenny And One That She Doesn't.
Fandom: Gossip Girl
Characters: Vanessa Abrams, Jenny Humphrey
Category: Drama, Romance
Word Count: 2,044
Spoilers: For the whole series, at least as much as I went by canon.
Summary: The title pretty much says it all.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the lady who's name I can't type who wrote them and the dude who's name I never can remember. Suffice it to say, neither of those folks is me. I'm making no money off of this, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Um, hi dirty_diana. I, uh, well I kind of spent a decent amount of time freaking out about this fic, because I didn't really feel like I could do justice to any of these prompts. So, eventually I just picked one and did it. I hope you like it. And for the record, I didn't know anyone was talking crap about Szohr's hair. *shrug* I've always thought it was very pretty.
Beta: infinitlight, dude! Thank you for tackling this. You saved me from some major stressing out and serious hair-pulling. *nods*
1. Dan Humphrey is her best friend. It's a fact like the sky is blue, or it always rains on the fourth of July. What Vanessa isn't prepared for is the blond haired little girl that sticks her head around the corner in the loft where Dan's family lives.
Because Dan has never mentioned that he has a little sister. It's an oversight, maybe. But she'd never thought Dan Humphrey would be this kind of tactless, careless boy. Or else he just hasn't gotten around to telling her yet. Despite the way they just seem to get each other so effortlessly, they haven't known one another that long.
She bumps his shoulder with her own and gives him a teasing smile and the benefit of the doubt. "Forget to mention something, Humphrey?"
"Oh, um, yeah," he stammers.
The girl pops out from behind the wall and walks up to them. Her arms seem a little bit too slender for her body like they haven't quite caught up with her yet, but her clothes don't dwarf her. Instead they just seem to fit.
"I'm Jenny," she says with a smile. She rolls her eyes where only Vanessa can see. Boys!
Vanessa has to stifle a laugh, because Dan is standing right behind her and he doesn't see. She sticks her hand out. "I'm Vanessa."
Jenny takes her hand, but it's awkward. She's probably never shaken anyone's hand before and she's not quite sure what to do with it.
"Jenny's my little sister," Dan adds, and Vanessa's eyes flick up to catch Jenny's and she smiles. Obviously! Vanessa's eyes seem to say, because, of course, who else would Jenny be?
Vanessa let's go, and then steps forward and pivots, until they're both facing Dan. She threads her arm through the younger girl and then smirks.
"Be afraid, Humphrey," she says doing her best movie impression. "Be very afraid." She glances over at Jenny, with a mischievous glint in her eyes. She tilts her head towards Dan and raises an eyebrow. "Spill. I want to know everything you have on poor Dan, here."
Jenny laughs, and Vanessa can't help but smile. Dan protests but Vanessa's not paying attention. Dan might be her best friend, but just this simply, this quickly, she and Jenny are connected.
2. "Do you like it?" Jenny is holding up a shirt when Vanessa walks into her room.
Vanessa gives the article of clothing actual consideration. She walks around Jenny, examining it carefully front and back. Finally she nods her head and steps back.
"It's cool," she says with a smile.
Jenny actually bounces up and down on the balls of her feet. "I made it. All of it."
Vanessa flops back onto Jenny's bed still smiling. "That's great, Jen."
"No, really." Jenny protests. "This is mine. I designed it," she adds proudly. "All of it. I didn't even use any parts of the patterns that I have."
Vanessa sits up. This is big for Jenny and she knows it.
"Go, Jenny! You'll be the only kid in class wearing one-of-a-kind designer clothes!"
Jenny laughs, but her heart isn't quite in it. "Not if Dad sends us to that private school on the upper east side that he's been talking about!"
"Oh?" Vanessa feels gutted. She knows what this means. At first it will just be school, but eventually Dan and Jenny will both fall in with a new group of friends and she'll be forgotten. "That's great." She tries to muster some enthusiasm as Jenny is obviously excited.
Jenny drops down beside her on the bed and throws an arm around her shoulders.
"That's why I want you to wear this." She pauses, giving Vanessa her best begging look. "Besides Dad wouldn't let me wear it to school anyway. And it would look great on you, I promise."
"I don't know, Jenny. It probably won't even fit."
"It's your size." Jenny states quickly.
Vanessa narrows her eyes. "How do you know?"
Jenny grins. "Just trust me."
So Vanessa does.
3. "Jenny? What's wrong?"
Instead of answering, all Jenny does is close her eyes and turn her face away. Lying, curled in on herself on her bed, Jenny looks small again, like she did when Vanessa had first met her. It seems like such a long time ago now.
Vanessa steps inside her room and goes to sit beside her on the bed. She reaches out gently to stroke Jenny's hair, worried that she might be sick. Her mother is gone, Dan is absent and somehow Jenny has a feeling that Jenny hasn't been talking to her dad much lately.
Jenny flinches at her touch, and Vanessa freezes.
"What's wrong?" She asks again, more forcefully.
"Why do you care?" Jenny lashes out. "You left, and you never even emailed!"
Jenny is shaking now and Vanessa is getting more worried by the moment.
"I left, but I'm not going anywhere now. I promise. I'm back." Vanessa reaches out again, and touches her shoulder. "Jenny, tell me what's wrong."
Jenny turns her face away and bites her lip. "You can't tell anyone," she says sharply. "I was at this party, and there was this boy..."
Vanessa doesn't need to hear the rest, really. She knows this story. She doesn't know this boy. But when she does find him, she's going to kill him.
4. "Are you happy now?" Vanessa asks, standing in her see-through dress, meeting Jenny's eyes in the reflection in her mirror. "Are we even?"
Jenny shakes her head, but it's not an answer. More like a denial.
"Did you really like him that much?"
Vanessa shrugs, not certain what to say, or even how she really felt.
"I shouldn't have done it," Jenny speaks boldly. "It was wrong, but.... I trusted you. More than Dan, more than anyone else, I trusted you, and you betrayed me."
Vanessa smiles, but it's sad and pained and not really a smile. "What would you have done?"
Jenny shakes her head. "Not that."
"Are you sure about that, Little J?" Vanessa asks mockingly. "I know the things you've done for Blair Waldorf. You're not so innocent yourself."
"Don't call me that," she snaps. From anyone else she can take it, but not from Vanessa.
"What are you gonna do? Humiliate me in front of everyone? Oh, wait!" Vanessa covers her mouth, miming forgetful horror.
"Shut up!" Jenny repeats, closer now, standing in front of Vanessa. "Just shut up."
"Or what?" Vanessa taunts. "Do you worst!"
And then Jenny kisses her and she has no idea what else to say.
5. Queen Jenny has a nice ring to it, that is if you like that sort of thing. Vanessa doesn't so much. She's had enough of this private school world and these Upper East Siders, simply by association. Oh, they're not all horrible like she thought at first. They're still regular high school kids. It just seems like their drama is somehow bigger and more life-altering.
Everyone else is gone. College and trips around the world to wherever they want to go. Not Vanessa. She's still working at her best friend's Dad's gallery, serving coffee. And now she gets to watch her best friend's little sister rule the roost of Constance Billiard School for Girls.
Except this time Vanessa doesn't want to watch. She doesn't particularly like the girl that Jenny is when she's Queen J.
Oh, she's different this time. Not so out of control. It's possible she's even learned a few things from Blair, but in the end, it's still hard to watch. Especially with the condescending, pitying looks that she keeps getting from the girls all around Jenny. She's happy with her life and where it's going, even if she doesn't have it all figured out yet. She might not have limos of a trust fund, but she's doing just fine.
Her shift is about to end, and Vanessa has the sudden urge to break the cycle of the past few weeks. Blair has told Jenny to forget boys, and Jenny has taken that message to heart. But what Jenny hasn't forgotten is her - Vanessa. Only, so far it's been on her terms.
Vanessa understands - she does, sort of. But she refuses to be anyone's dirty little secret. Not Nate Archibald's or Chuck Bass' or even Jenny Humphrey's.
So she brings Jenny one last cup of coffee, and bends too closely over her shoulder as she sets it down. Her lips brush the curve of Jenny's neck and her breath blows gently across the shell of Jenny's ear.
"I'm getting off work. Come back to my apartment. Ruby's at work." She keeps her voice low, but doesn't attempt to hide the flirty, cajoling tone of her voice.
Jenny stiffens, and shoots a glance at the girls across from her. Her eyes are flat.
"I can't. We have reservations."
It feels like a slap in the face. Vanessa locks eyes with Jenny, searching for the girl she used to know. She finds her there, staring back at her. It doesn't help. And, just like that, Vanessa is done. She isn't asking for much, no public declaration or PDA on the street.
She stands up and walks away. This time she doesn't look back.
6. Jenny sees her first, across the room, through a crowd. It's only a glimpse, but she would know Vanessa anywhere. It's been years since they've seen one another, since they so abruptly lost touch.
At the time, Jenny had brushed it aside. It lay forgotten as her life developed into a whirlwind of staying just ahead of everyone who had wanted to bring her down. It had taken her weeks to even realize what she had lost, and when she did it was too late to even think of getting Vanessa back. There was no way she could try to apologize. What could she say? And anyway, there was nothing she could do. She didn't want to change. She liked being Queen J.
But like Lil J, Queen J was all grown up and is no more. Now, she's simple Jenny. A small, independent designer, doing her own thing and making her way. She's getting more and more recognition these days. It's still hard, but she's succeeding, and she's pretty sure her step-mother's money and connections are only partially responsible for it.
It feels like an electric shock when she sees Vanessa. She tries to catch her eye, but Vanessa's eyes simply slide over her as if she doesn't even exist. She wonders just what Vanessa is doing here as she tries to slide through the crowd, but she doesn't really care. Jenny just wants to see her again.
Like a mirage, Vanessa just seems to disappear as Jenny gets closer. Friends, acquaintances and people she's never met before, stop her on her way across the room. Each time, it's more frustrating than the last. Usually she would be happy to be this much the center of attention. She thrives on this kind of thing now, lives for networking, but right now she doesn't care. She's only interested in one thing - one woman, to be precise.
She stumbles out on to the street, barely paying attention, following a glimpse of the bright colors that Vanessa is wearing. Just that quickly, she's standing on the middle of the sidewalk and Vanessa is staring at her, looking directly back into her eyes.
Oh, Jenny thinks because she remembers this, this connection that's been there between them since the first time they met. The difference is she recognizes it this time. She knows the fleeting nature of connections and this time she wants to hold on if she can.
"Hi," she says with a smile, feeling like a little girl again and holds out of her hand. "I'm Jenny Humphrey."
Vanessa shakes her head, but not her hand. Instead, she holds her hand in both of her own. She shakes her head again, and can't quite seem to find words, but that's okay.
Jenny leans forward and kisses her, not caring who seems them or what they say. Their lips touch, and Jenny can't help but smile into the kiss. This time she'll hold on. This time it will be different.