A/N: I was driving home tonight listening to Brooke Fraser's "Arithmetic." It got me thinking. I sat down and wrote this. It's by far the shortest thing I've ever written, but I wanted to get it out. This relies heavily on spoilers for the finale, so don't read further if you somehow have managed to avoid the spoilers thus far. But I have faith in Chuck and Blair, and this is me making it right. Their love is bigger than anything thrown their way. This is me trying to prove it. I highly suggest listening to the song (or at least checking out the lyrics). A few lyrics are reflected in the fic. Neither the song nor Gossip Girl belong to me!
Blair Waldorf plays games and keeps score, and then she grows up.
She's not going. She's made up her mind as soon as he's named the terms. Because really, Chuck Bass is in no position to be making ultimatums. Chuck Bass has wronged her far more than she has ever wronged him. (The worst thing I ever did, the darkest thought I ever had).
But she's thinking about changing her mind. And that scares her. It scares her because all her life she's wanted something to hold onto. Something permanent. Something lasting. Something stronger than herself. At times it was Nate. At times it was a finger down her throat. And then for all-too-brief a time, it was Chuck. But now he is leaving her adrift, and she's afraid.
Blair Waldorf likes games. She likes schemes. She likes to win and she likes to add up the points. Because Blair Waldorf likes to see things in simple, easy concretes. It's why she's always loved grades. They tell her, in no uncertain terms, who she is and how much she is worth. (Everything worth knowing about me in that file. I made sure of it.) It's why she loves the scale and steps on it dutifully every morning. The numbers tell her if she's pretty, if she's thin, if she's perfect.
So she writes it all down. She whittles away the nighttime hours with numbers. The numbers tell her that she's right not to trust him, right not to give him another chance. The numbers tell her what her heart can't.
She's told him that she loves him 52 times.
He's said it back 54 times.
She's told other people 14 times.
He's told other people 3 times (that she knows, anyway).
She's pulled approximately 13 schemes on him (and with these things, one can never be entirely accurate).
He's played 22 on her.
She made him kiss a guy. Once.
He made her sleep with his uncle. And she thinks that should count as at least two because the first time, he left her and it hurt so bad she didn't know what else to do. And even if she didn't follow through on the second, it's the thought that counts. And maybe that should make it worth three.
She looks up at the stars above New York City and thinks of all the tears she's cried because of him. She could cry herself back to him if the night sky only stretched that far.
So she looks down at the numbers and she counts. She adds and she subtracts and she multiplies and divides. She counts her wrongs and she counts his, and it all adds up to too much. Too much hurt, too much pain. They fight and they play games, they scheme and they plot and they twist what should be lovely and pure into something that breaks her heart each time she looks into his eyes.
She looks down at the numbers, and Chuck loses. Chuck loses every time.
But there's something else, too. Something she can't number. After all the arithmetic, something doesn't quite add up.
It's only him.
It's forgiving him. It's growing old with him. It's crawling into his arms after the 22nd scheme he's played on her and loving him anyway. She adds, subtracts, multiplies, divides, and the numbers don't add up but he does. One and one doesn't equal two anymore, and she doesn't know what it means, but if she reduces him to numbers she can't factor in the way she feels when he kisses her, the way she feels when her 13th scheme is forgiven and she is still his.
If she reduces him to numbers, she misses what it's like to be with him. She misses the feeling of not needing numbers at all. Because when she's with him, it doesn't matter what the scale says. The number on that latest history test vanishes. She is just Blair, and he is just Chuck.
So she adds up all the numbers again, and she decides the answer is simple.
The answer is one.
And it is Chuck.
She changes her mind. She goes to him, and he isn't there. So she searches for him, and she hates him all over again.
He sleeps with Jenny. (Don't say her name.) Or maybe he doesn't. It's another strike against him, another number on a page. It hurts and she cries and she counts how many nights she's cried herself to sleep because of Chuck Bass. 27.
562 kisses. 107 I love yous. 1000 regrets.
But the sum is always one.
She can add and she can subtract, she can multiply the hurt he's given and divide it by the times she's hurt him back. But at the end of the day, she wants him. So she throws away the paper, abandons the numbers.
Blair Waldorf plays games and keeps score, and then she grows up and grows old with Chuck Bass.