AN: A miscellany of the past, the present, quite possibly the future. No real spoilers, just a quote taken from the script of a future episode. Thank you to bethaboo, beta extraordinaire.
It is such a secret place, the land of tears.
-Antoine de Saint Exupéry
"Three words. Eight letters. Say it, and I'm yours."
It's a simple truth, a qualification of any betrayals, and a means to an end.
They have worked so hard for those three words, eight letters.
They crafted a game around it, said it in hopes of making the other stay, and skirted around it till the words ran dry.
"I don't love you anymore."
She's not as weak willed as she was before—Blair Waldorf has learned to stand on her own, to thrive in Columbia's thorny social scene, and to rid herself of old jealousies and petty recriminations.
On the outside, she is as perfect as ever. Not a hair out of place, her Hamilton House key proudly displayed on a slender neck, and her visage a perfect illusion of happiness.
Inside, she is drowning, barely afloat, reaching for her island, the land of tears.
"How could I still love you after what you did?"
She can count on one hand the number of times Serena's seen her cry. Serena will pat her gently on her back and tuck a stray brown curl behind her ear.
And yet, the blonde hardly knows the real reasoning behind her tears.
Serena whispers words of consolation, yet they are empty and only serve to highlight the nuances of Blair's pain.
Because she's not crying over him, over this new Chuck Bass, she's not crying because she misses him, or because she wants him back.
But Serena never could see past what was in front of her, and Blair floats, alone in her land of tears.
"When you were beautiful, delicate, and untouched."
Not even the end of her toothbrush hitting the back of her throat can provide lasting relief.
If anything, the relief is short-lived and out-weighed by the enormity of the situation.
She doesn't cry, only stands and smoothes her skirt in front of the mirror, tucks a wayward curl behind her ear, and takes a deep breath.
Leaning forward, she deftly begins to apply concealer, tiny, precise strokes to cover up dark circles and red eyes.
"It's time to let go of your fantasies."
When it comes down to it, when she sheds the layers of artifice and rids herself of a delicately wrought masquerade, she'll never stop loving him.
But it is such a secret place, the land of tears.
"Well, that's too bad."
There will be no more tears shed over him, she decides one morning, sitting pale faced in front of an unsympathetic mirror.
There is a dark, foreboding silence within her room when she makes her resolve.
But then she tips her head forward, dark curls tumbling in front of her face, shielding a tear from view.
And she knows that these tears are merciless.
"At least we won't be lonely in hell."
The silly, childish, thing is she knows they are inevitable. It's been drilled into her brain and clutched between her shaking fingers, but it's hard to acknowledge the truth.
They are a match made in hell, and no one knows this better than Blair Waldorf herself.
"We don't have to do those things. We can do the things we like."
They don't do trivialities. There are no half-measures or simple gestures of inconsequence.
Manhattan is their playground, and they'll burn every seesaw and swing until they destroy each other.
Everything is heightened, every action enunciated, and simplicity forgotten.
Three words mean too much, another set of three words mean too little.
They never did anything halfway.
"But the game's not over."
They are both too stubborn to admit as much.
Betrayals, apologies, hatred, and love, all blending together within the tallies of their scoreboard.
No matter how many times they wave white flags or declare war, the game's never over.
"Please don't leave with him."
He pushes. She pulls.
He dares her to ascend those steps, dares her to smile seductively at him over a bare shoulder, dares her to lose all insecurities and live. If only for a night.
He tells her to do one thing. She does the opposite.
"I chased you for long enough, now it's time you chase me."
The chase is tiring. It is exhausting, it is draining.
The end is a promise that's always a little farther out of reach.
When it comes down to it, they both need to catch their breath. And perhaps the break is needed.
Perhaps it is necessary, that one must take a break and catch their breath, must slow down before the scenery passes us by so quickly we have forgotten our destination.
She always did leave him breathless.
"Because I love her and I can't make her happy."
Selflessness could never be used to describe either of them.
Bred in a world where selfish thoughts were taken by the spoonful, both had never really been truly selfless.
Yes, there were benefits and galas, enormous sums of money donated to nameless charities and nameless faces.
But in the Upper East Side, those benefits were more selfish than the new Nanette Lepore bought to impress the masses.
Maybe he can't make her happy, but he was never selfless enough to allow her to be with someone else, no matter what he claimed otherwise.
And benevolence had never been strong in Blair's rather sizeable vocabulary.
They're both too selfish to be meant for each other.
But when it comes down to it, they always defied expectations and paved their own way.
"Chuck and Blair holding hands?"
The cards sit comfortably in his hands, fanned out in perfect sequence, his eye appraising them carefully.
The same hands that handed her a loaded gun and an ultimatum, the same hands that clutched peonies so tightly on the roof of the Empire State Building that the stems nearly gave way to the pressure.
The same hands that graced her fingers in parting, hands now empty of her, while still unknowingly holding on to a piece of her heart.
Hands that are curled round another girl's fingers, hands that are now gripping onto other women, hands that left a trail of fire in their wake and burned away every bit of her that was good.
She used to love holding his hand.
"On me you'd be so much more."
Without her, he's just Chuck, a little boy lost in need of Daddy's approval.
He cannot begin to grasp exactly how much she's changed him, because Chuck Bass doesn't do feelings, and to tread upon the far reaches of his mind seems an awfully big adventure.
Wading through the wreckage she has left him in, he can barely hold his head above water.
He is drowning, and Blair Waldorf is his lifeguard.
"Your eyes are doing that thing where they don't match your mouth."
Chuck's always been the only one to see past the gilded veneer and reach Blair Waldorf from the depths of her despair.
And she wonders, why he believes her so easily when the truth lay in the depths of her tear-filled eyes.
She is trying to convince herself, attempting to annihilate those fluttering creatures.
You can never really stop loving someone.
"I'll just imagine she's you."
Perhaps, perchance, mayhap, if only…
Was it possible, then, that she still loved him?
Despite his harsh, cruel words, perhaps the piece of her heart he had carved out and embedded himself in still remained.
Despite his pretences and pretends, perchance a few butterflies had remained, fluttering their wings weakly, but defiantly.
Despite his deluded misgivings and numerous betrayals, mayhap her heart pin had remained sewn to a favored sweater.
"Then why does it feel like I lost?"
Their game is a circle, cyclical, a bouquet of perennials.
She hurts him; and he hurts her.
They both lose; and they both win.
She retaliates with newfound vigor, being the only one privy to the real Chuck Bass.
He takes a loss; she scrambles onto a teetering win.
He knocks her off her pedestal, only to help her up another.
He loves her; and she loves him too.
"I'm sorry, I screwed up."
They don't do apologies. Not usually.
They do grand romantic gestures and pretty, glistening baubles.
Writhing bodies slick with sweat, long red scars down his back.
Tangled curls and bruised lips; kisses placed down the column of her neck and over her collarbone.
Apologies manifest themselves in quiet, breathy, moans, fingers tugging at navy ties of silk robes, and fitful sighs.
"Because I know you better than I know myself."
She knows every piece of his twisted, shadowy soul. She knows every inch of his past and every millimeter of his emotions.
She's tread on every corner of his, apparently non-existent, heart; embedded herself into his skin and infiltrated his senses.
All unintentional, of course.
"I love you so much it consumes me."
She hates him so much it consumes her.
So many different forms of hate, so many struggles against disgust and revulsion.
She hates the way his talented fingers leave her breathless and incoherent; hates the way he can draw emotion from a single glance; hates the way he looks at her as if he can see through the polish.
Mostly, she hates the way he makes her feel.
He hates her too.
He hates the way she is always in the back of his mind; hates the way his eyes are drawn to her, not unlike a moth to a flame; hates the way she looks so delicate, yet is unreasonably strong.
Mostly, he hates the way she makes him love her.
"It wouldn't be my world without you in it."
She couldn't bear it, if he were removed from her life permanently.
Neither could he.
Their world would turn on its head, emptying out contents of injuries and love. Diamond necklaces would fall from pockets, and minuscule heart pins would shatter upon contact.
Solace would be found in porcelain bowls and empty, rattling, bottles.
Medically speaking, livers would be destroyed and electrolyte balances thrown out of order.
Emotionally speaking, there would be emptiness. Empty thoughts, empty smiles, empty hearts.
Their worlds would never be the same.
"Destroying me won't make you happy."
They were happy, once upon a time.
But there's a reason why fairytales never have sequels.
The continuation of a Happily Ever After isn't very joyful.
There's a reason why fairytales end mid-story, before the King has a chance to hurt the Queen, to yank her throne from underneath her.
Their happiness is skewed, it is tilted, and it is nearing an apocalypse.
Yet neither had known true happiness before an impromptu striptease and the backseat of a limo.
She knew Manolos and Lanvin; Tiffany's and Cartier. He knew weed and sometimes cocaine; aged scotch and willing bodies.
Neither had known true unhappiness before each other.
Once upon a time.
"Tomorrow's another day."
Tomorrow is a promise that's easily kept.
It is more betrayals and a little more hurt. It is more sacrifice and a little less narcissism.
Tomorrow is white flags and proclamations; it is two sets of three words, eight letters, meaning the same thing in the dictionary of Chuck and Blair; it is the backseat of limos, silk scarves, and bowed headbands.
Tomorrow is more tears; a land of secrecy only one can truly breach.
Tomorrow is a promise that they will be together again.