In Defense of Chaos
Post Season 3 Finale.
When they were growing up, he loved her and hated her in ways that only a big brother could.
He hated the way she hogged the bathroom. At eleven it was unbearable; she would spend hours in there applying unnecessary makeup and taking excessive time brushing every strand on her head. By thirteen he was dodging her hairbrushes as she dodged his insults, the kind that only an older brother can say and get away with. (Yeah...as if those five pounds of makeup are gonna help your face). It usually ended with excessive eye-rolling on her part and a door slammed in his face as he had to wait yet another forty minutes to get into the washroom, something that would have taken thirty-seconds had she stopped brushing her hair and adjusting her clothes for half a minute and let him go in and out and be on his way. By sixteen he learned that it was easier just to get up later and brush his teeth when she was out the door.
He hated the way she monopolized things in their family. Movie night should have been renamed "Lets let Jenny whine until we give in a watch her choice night". When she was little it was understandable, and she would always fall asleep halfway through "Princess Bride" and then he and his dad could watch something with guns, or as he got older, something with depth and meaning and most likely in a foreign language. Once she was old enough to stay awake till eleven, well....by the time he started dating Serena, he had built up a stamina for chick flicks that was more than impressive. Occasionally he would fight her; would go to the movie store and pick out something before she could call home and whine. Then she would arrive home in her Constance uniform, babbling about so and so and such and such, until he could take no more and the subject of movie night would be broached. But the minute she saw the foreign art house flick on the counter, she would launch into some story about how he had promised that he would watch this film ( something girly) with her and that he always gets his way ( never, ever). He would argue, she would pout and whine and somehow, come eight-o-clock, she would be holding the popcorn and smiling while he grimaced through another romantic comedy. But thems the breaks hey? And occasionally her choices weren't half bad, not that he would ever admit it.
She irritated him in ways that only a little sister could. Her bitchy moods irritated him, her chatty friends irritated him. The way she would interrupt him while he worked drove him crazy. And he hated it when she stole his shirts without asking.
Her dresses and fabrics and perfumes cluttered the house, and she always had a way of dragging theatrics and drama into the calmest of situations.
When he was younger he used to whine about trading her for a brother; someone to play catch with, someone to watch cooler movies with, and someone who wouldn't spend a freaking decade on her hair every morning.
He never could understand her need to make it in the Upper East Side and every time he wound up in some scheme he would berate her after, because somehow she always dragged him into it. He hated the way she wanted to be like those girls. "You're fine just the way you are" he would tell her, "Our life is here, is in Brooklyn. Trust me it's happier on this side". He hated the way she would roll her eyes and tell him that he didn't understand.
Now that he's been there. Now that he's lived on the other side with her, he still doesn't understand. There's always been a restless, self destructive streak to her, and he hates her for living like that, for wanting those things and not caring whether she hurts others, whether she hurts herself to get them. He wanted to protect her from those bright lights and those girls with sharp nails and sharper words; but she was never one to listen, and he was never one to push a fight.
They had always been polar opposites. He chastised her need for material things and superficial recognition. She teased him for being a clichéd little starving artist. But somehow, they got along- their inside jokes at the dinner table, their sibling rivalry, their coping methods for when things got tough; it wasn't close to Brady but it suited them just fine.
He loved her in a way that only a big brother could, in that protective, teddy bear way that requires lots of hugs, punches in the arm, and when the situation calls for it, the patience to sit through a girly movie and listen to her list her problems into with a box Kleenex and a pint of ice-cream.
He hated her selfishness, he hated the way she didn't see the consequences of her actions until it was too late, until something was broken, and it was up to someone else, usually him, to fix it. But he was her big brother; he was supposed to pick up the pieces, because how can he not be there for her? It's in his blood; he's hardwired to always be there for her.
They used to be closer. They used to fight more too. He doesn't remember when they began to drift apart, but he knows it was after the divorce, and somewhere in between the time that his life got consumed by the girls he was dating and her life became a giant game of Machiavellian politics. They're more like strangers now. He has his own life and she has hers and somehow they don't connect the way they used to. Water becomes thicker than blood.
When they were growing up, he loved her and hated her in ways that only a big brother could.
This morning he hated her in a way he never felt before. It wasn't irritation, it wasn't hate over not understanding her motives; it was true hate for her as a person. She was not his sister this morning, she was a terrible, cruel, selfish bitch and the moment the picture she snapped appeared on Gossip Girl, he cast aside family loyalty and drew an invisible line. He hated her the way you hate a strange killer on the news. He didn't know this girl anymore.
Selfish enough to pit family against family for her own benefit; careless and callous enough to try and capitalize on a floundering relationship; lying, stealing, sneaking around and now this, betraying her own brother so that she can have a shot at prince charming. It was pathetic, and he hated her in a way that no brother should ever feel.
When Eric corners him he considers ignoring his step-brother's plea. "Jenny needs help". So fucking what? His little sister has proven herself more than capable at destroying pretty much everything on the Upper East Side and now Brooklyn too. He hates this girl and he doesn't want to think about her, let alone help her.
But somehow he finds himself seeking her out, she's slumped over in the corner and when he sees her he quickens his pace without realizing. With every step he reminds himself that he hates her, that he's angry, that's selfish, that she all but sold him out. But the niggling little fact the she's his little sister begins to veto all his mantras before he's even realised it.
She doesn't look up at him when he stands in front of her. He sits down beside her and he really doesn't want to hear another one of her fucking sob stories about how she messed up and how she's so sorry. But then she looks up at him, and there are more tears than he can count. She looks up at him and his heart breaks. Suddenly, he's the brother he hasn't been in a long time. Because it's not just her, he's been selfish too. And maybe if he'd been there for her a little more, like a big brother should, then maybe she wouldn't be in this situation.
Her story comes out in little chokes and sobs. She tells him everything and when she gets to the end, he pulls her in for hug that lasts long enough for her tears to dry and her breathing to even out. She pulls away with a shaky sigh, looking at him and he notices, perhaps for the first time, just how lost she looks. He wonders how long she's been that way.
He's suddenly reminded of the fact that she is so much younger than him. She's still a little girl, and even though she's been cold and dark and acting like a precocious bitch, she's still his little sister and it seems he neglected her long enough for her to fall victim to herself; caught up in breaking things and trying to fix then but making them worse instead. He should have been there for her.
He's the one that is shaking now, angrier than he has been in a long, long time. Angry at himself for forgetting that family sticks together, and that big brothers are supposed to be there and he hasn't been for a long time. But mostly he is angry at Chuck, just the thought of him and Jenny makes him see red, and his fists clench unconsciously.
The fight is a blur, but when his fist connects with Chucks face, he feels vindicated, like he's doing the right thing for the first time in a long time. He punches him again and pictures Nate's face and Damien's face and the faces of every person that has ever hurt her; he pictures his face as well, because he knows he's hurt her too. The moment ends and it's painful to watch the rest of the scene unfold. Jenny's crying again, and Blair is yelling and Chuck is looking like he just lost everything. He's thrumming with conflicting emotions; at once angry and caring and justified and guilty.
His sister is a mess. She's rash and irresponsible and selfish to a fault. Everywhere she goes, she leaves a tornado of hurt feelings, lies and mistakes in her wake. He hates her for it, in the way that only a big brother can, because he is the one the gets to pick up the pieces. But he loves her, in the way that only a big brother can, because he is the one that gets to pick up the pieces.
He pulls her aside, away from Chuck and Blair, because their story is a whole other saga and she was nothing but the catalyst to this particular fight.
She's blaming herself, and as much as she deserves it, he knows she's overwhelmed and the last thing she needs is more self-hate.
"Jenny, I forgive you"
He doesn't say anything more and she doesn't answer. But somehow he knows the worst is over.
She hugs him after they leave the wreckage of her final act. He holds her tighter than he has in a long time, and this time he's the one to suggest a shitty movie and a pint of ice cream. She smiles and it makes his anger disappear.
So....the season finale was....interesting to say the least. There were parts I adored and parts where I just kind of scratched my head and was like , uh okay? One of the parts I did LOVE was when Dan defended Jenny because....they barely act like siblings ever, and I always have a soft spot for protective older brother Dan, he should come out to play more often.