He's teetering off the edge, drunk and confused and lost, all sad eyes and knotted hair and disheveled clothes. He's a mess; she's there. It's all that takes.

She picks him off the ground and carries him like a baby, swaying him gently in her arms and singing silent lullabies. He's safe and thus so is she, because one is not really the same without the other.

He's not Chuck Bass without her.

She's... never really been...

(Sometimes, she doesn't know exactly who she is, with or without him.)

(Sometimes, she wishes she had pushed him off instead.)


If Blair Waldorf had a crime, it'd be arson. Destructive, earth-shattering, yet leaves no trace. She can walk away from arson with the wind in her hair and a smirk on her lips, and no one would know.

She burns everything he's ever given her.

She's always been fascinated with fire, always been entranced by the dancing flames, the tendrils of smoke, the jumping color and light. She burns it all and leaves the ashes to rot in the alleyway.

She separates her life cleanly down the middle, choosing which memories to preserve from the time Before Chuck Broke Her Heart. She remembers Nate and Serena and Humphrey, and it's all she really needs to remember.

Arson is Blair Waldorf's crime. She sets fire to the past and leaves no trace of what once was.


Paris is gorgeous. She wants to live in Paris forever, drown herself in culture and architect and fashion. She doesn't need New York (New York needs her); she would be perfectly happy in Paris for the rest of her life.

But the city always catches up with her (them) and everywhere they go, they're never alone. Gossip Girl still watches them, the world still waits for their next move.

Blair doesn't miss New York, doesn't miss her mother, doesn't even really miss Cyrus. She could break off from them forever, become a recluse in some discrete part of the town, eat croissants everyday and learn French. Adieu, ma ville.

But New York is everywhere; it's in Dan's eyes when he flies in, it's in the elusive texts from Gossip Girl. When Chuck arrives with a whore on his arm and a limp in his step, it's there, too.

She'd rather burn her name, burn everything about her, and become someone else.


She's done this a thousand times before. It's almost like a little methodical dance.

Kneel, purge, wretch. It's a dance she's known since she was twelve. Like a waltz. One, two, three. Quick and fleeting and simple. Kneel, purge, wretch.

She can't control Chuck and she can't control Serena, she can't control Eleanor or anyone else. But this is something she can handle. This is something she can manipulate.

Kneel, purge, wretch. It's her favorite dance in the world.


She ends up true to her word and kisses someone one day (but it isn't for her; not really). It's late at night and he's heartbroken and she's there. And it isn't a kiss to remember. Not really. It just happens.

She kisses him but he doesn't kiss her back; it's so quick and soft and meaningless that he simply smiles.

"That was weird," says Dan Humphrey.

"I know, right?" laughs Blair Waldorf. (But she's not laughing, not really. She wants someone to want her and it's not him. Not now.)


Arson is the perfect Blair Waldorf crime. But hasn't she already said that?

She burns all her bridges with her family. And that's the simplest thing to do. They're just words; simple, breezy words.

("I'll miss you, B," says her best friend. "Maybe I'll come visit you in Paris.")

("Why did you kiss me?" says her other best friend. She doesn't tell him. "Why are you leaving?" She still doesn't tell him.)


Kneel, purge, wretch. It's her waltz. There should be a beat to it. It'd be a quick beat, rapid and soft and mysterious. No one would know the beat.

One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three.

Quick and endless and painless. Ongoing forever.


Arson is silent but deadly. It doesn't take much to set fire to anything. Fire spreads so easily, but it makes no sound. No one knows a thing.

Blair Waldorf's past is nothing but a memory, nothing but a pile of ashes outside her backdoor.

(Even Chuck isn't invincible. Even he can't withstand the heat.)