A/N: A/N: Response to neverevered birthday prompt: "Hmm. Chuck and Nate reconciling over the ridiculous bullshit that was the BCN. Not quite sure how, but I bet you'll make the whole thing make a semblence of sense!" It's late, I know!! Sorry, bb! And I'm not sure if this is what you wanted, but it's what I got!


Some people are meant to be friends. No matter how much they claw into the distance, their backs are stuck together and so they are, like two sides of a coin, always together, but never seeing eye-to-eye.

It's no secret that Chuck is no good for Nate. His family's said it, his ex-girlfriend's said it, but he's just one of those people in his life that he can't shake, like a bad habit. But for a long time, it's the one bad habit that kept him sane.

Sure, he introduced him to alcohol, weed, skipping class, and almost got him arrested when they're both sixteen - pretty much everything his parents were ashamed of - but without all that, he'd just be a cookie-cutter Vanderbilt. He watched his Grandfather turn Tripp from an ambitious, cool guy with endless dreams to one of his mindless drones in perfectly cut suits and a timid little wife.

He laughs. The only thing that Chuck would allow would probably be the suits.

But he won't lie. For a while, it all looked pretty good. Knowing where he's going in life, having his family's approval, going home to a girlfriend whom he could spoil rotten - he was just starting to realize he easy it is to keep Blair happy when she's in love with you. Of course, this was before he lost her again. For the last time, judging by the look of things.

His fingers are numb from the cool of the condensation dripping from the brown bottle.

There's a rock in the middle of the rushing stream at his feet. The water is white when it crashes and drips into the crevices before leaking silently back into the dark green of the main flow. His shoes squeak when he steps in and his feet nearly slip out of them altogether. He thinks he feels his age when he bends over the ankle deep water and lifts the obstruction.

Lift with your knees, Archibald.

He tosses it but it only goes about five feet away. He stares a while, confused. It's a stupid rock, how difficult can this be?

"I hope this isn't a suicide attempt, Nathaniel, because all you've done is ruin your pants." He can hear the smirk without turning around. He can't remember a time when he didn't hear it.

"I'm trying to move that damn rock." He says it like he's telling his best friend about colleges he's trying to get into, things he's planning with his girlfriend, important lacrosse matches coming up. Probably because they've missed all of it.

"Just leave it alone." And he's that boy who leaves his homework to go hang out with his friend. He waddles back to the grass, kicking droplets of water from the darkened stain at his cuffs. Maybe it's out of spite or maybe he just wants to dry up already, but either way Chuck doesn't flinch. He hardly ever does and his nostrils only flare when it has something to do with the little brunette they shared.

He's sure he's stained the elbows of his pale yellow sweater when he leans back. He can feel the cool dirt through the fabric. He takes the offered joint between his fingers and inhales deeply. The scent fills him to his toes and they're just two boys lighting up in suburban Connecticut by his family estate.

It feels good.

"Don't you have business meetings or something to get to?" A girlfriend, maybe? He passes it back.

Chuck holds it in and watches the smoke as he exhales. "Your mother called. Apparently she was going to call the cops if I didn't know where you were. And you know how much I hate cops." Nate knows, because he still has that scar on his left hand from that time when a Chuck pissed a cop off so much that he almost struck him. Nate took the blow and Blair wouldn't talk to Chuck for weeks, even though Chuck tackled the guy after he saw the cut on his hand.

It was the most pathetic attempt at a fight he'd ever seen.

Nate is inherently a guy's guy and so in the silence, he says the one word he can think of to fill it. "Fuckin'..."

"You kiss your mother with that mouth, Nathaniel?"

"You sound like Blair." And there it is. That name that plagues the two of them. Only one can be happy while the other watches longingly. He suppose that person's been Chuck for a long time.

"Well, like calls to like."

The clouds move above them, matching in pace to the slight haze falling over his eyes. The rush of the water dulls into a gurgle that tickles his ears and his feet - damn, his feet itch for some reason. "Nathaniel, what are you doing?"

He stops squirming, but roughly brushes his heel against the dirt. "My feet itch."

Chuck gets up with a sigh. "All right, let's go. But if you have tics or something, you're not getting in my limo. I hate your obsession with this 'nature' crap."

He forgets how docile he becomes when he's high, and nods along, taking great concentration to avoid the little stones along the way. He just looks at Chuck's feet, wrapped in expensive Italian leather, and feel the dirt between his toes.

"Uh, yea... me too."

Nate's not sure when Chuck grew up. Hell, he's not sure what's happening to him either - with his life, with Blair, with Vanessa. but it's nice to know he has someone to lay back and watch the clouds with.

And maybe Chuck will get him some new pants.