Author's Note: I haven't written any Gossip Girl fic before and I've been a somewhat intermittent watcher of the show, but Dan and Blair have completely sucked me in with their glorious combination of witty repartee and sweet romance. This is my take on what could happen at the end of this season... From Serena's POV and half of it's in present tense, just because it came out that way. I guess Serena's a 'live in the now' kinda girl. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Gossip Girl, obviously; it belongs to Cecily von Whatsherface and the CW
Spoiler alert: This fic assumes certain events at the end of this fourth season based on some spoilers that have been floating around. If it turns out I've got it exactly right, I can look forward to a new career as a psychic, but anyone trying to stay spoiler-free might want to steer clear...
Reviews are always welcome!
Serena can still remember the day she watched her best friend and her ex-boyfriend go speeding away from a society wedding in an antiquated little white car. It's permanently emblazoned on her memory as a haze of flowers and ribbons; solemn introductions and one very loud 'I object'; tears and smiles and confessions of love (and more than a few accompanying expressions of shock and confusion).
Of all the reasons she'd thought Blair rushing into marriage with Prince Louis was a Very Bad Idea, 'Because you're really in love with Dan Humphrey' hadn't even made the list. But there it was. No one who'd been present at the wedding that day would soon forget the vision of Blair Cornelia Waldorf pulling off her veil, stuffing her bouquet hurriedly into Dorota's arms, turning to Louis to offer a quick but heartfelt 'I'm so sorry' and then hitching up her skirts to run back down the aisle towards a somewhat dishevelled Dan, whose grin at her approach could have lit up all of Manhattan. In the end, after all, she'd chosen love.
Serena had to admire her for that. Blair was usually the one who was all about responsibility and practicality. To watch her throw caution to the wind and fully embrace her hopelessly romantic side in a whirl of tulle and emotion had been strangely moving. It should have been harder for her to be happy for them, she thought. Given the history between her and Dan, not to mention the whole Nate situation that still sometimes overshadowed her relationship with her best friend, she thought that she should have felt bitter that Blair had taken over that place in Dan's heart that had once been hers alone.
Watching them together that day, though, she thought it more likely that Blair had carved out a new space all of her own, his love for her possessing him to the exclusion of all who'd come before. Serena thought that that was probably fair, all in all. Blair deserved to be adored; loved unconditionally, and placed before all else by the man she gave her heart to. God (and Serena) knew it had been trampled on enough times before.
The summer had passed like a long and weary exhale, sapping the energy from those UES alumni who remained in the city. Serena had caught up with Nate a few times, and they'd shared their astonishment at their friends' romantic escapades. They'd each received the occasional text message: 'Kerouac should have tried spending five weeks on the road with Blair Waldorf – he'd have really gone schizo then.' and 'Dan thinks I should go to a truckstop bathroom! I could catch hepatitis! I miss my en-suite…' The pair have yet to return though and, when Serena does finally manage to get hold of Blair on the phone, she ends up unable to determine if they're desperately in love or about to murder each other.
"S!" is the familiar cry of greeting and Serena feels a rush of warmth to hear her best friend's voice at last.
"Oh my god, B! Finally! I've been trying to get hold of you for over two weeks now." She's been trying not to worry too much, telling herself that Dan was with Blair and that surely he could manage to keep her from antagonising the locals into tarring and feathering her. Wherever they were.
"Ugh, I know. Network coverage out here in the ass-end of nowhere is frankly pathetic. I'm lucky if I manage to stay in a coverage zone long enough to send the occasional text message to you or my Mom."
"You could always use a payphone," interjects the amused tone of Dan Humphrey, who sounds like he's standing fairly close to Blair.
"Please, Humphrey," she scoffs. "Have you seen them? They ought to be painted with biohazard warning signs. How you always manage to find the most revoltingly fetid little holes for us to stop at, I don't know. You must be gravitating to your natural level.'
"Nah, word's got 'round. The nice places won't let me bring you any more."
Serena listens in growing bemusement. They sound just like they always did and she's struggling to reconcile this snarky interplay with the couple who fell into each other's arms just a few scant weeks before.
"Are you two okay?" she asks hesitantly. "Are you fighting?"
"What?" Blair sounds genuinely puzzled. "No, why?"
"I think Serena's confused by us fawning all over each other in such abject adoration," Dan suggests with sardonic amusement. "It's probably embarrassing her."
Blair's peal of laughter startles Serena. "Oh, S, please… what were you expecting? Dan and I haven't changed who we are just because we were unfortunate enough to discover an unexpected chemical compatibility."
"You can call it falling in love, you know. It won't kill you." Dan's exasperation makes it clear that this is an ongoing argument.
"It sounds positively plebeian. I prefer to say that I… formed an amorous attachment."
"You know that means the same thing, right?"
"Maybe, but it sounds much more dignified."
"Yeah, you weren't worrying too much about your dignity last night, when you were riding me like a…"
"I'm just saying…"
"Well, I'm sure your ex-girlfriend Serena doesn't want to hear the details."
Serena chuckles on the other end of the line. "Actually, it's better than cable. You guys are hilarious. Are you always like this?"
Blair sighs. "Sadly, Humphrey fails to show me the proper respect and appreciation on a daily basis."
"Hey! I appreciate the hell out of you."
Blair's giggle is girlish and happy. "All right, that may have been a slight exaggeration. Honestly, S, we're just fine. Actually, we're on our way back. We should be back on the Upper East Side in just over a week. We both have school starting soon and there's a lot to sort out before the new semester." She hesitates. "So… how is everyone?"
Serena knows 'everyone' mostly means 'Chuck'. He'd been unhappy enough about the planned royal wedding. His reaction when he found out about the unexpected gatecrasher and the romantic escape had been… hard to read. On the one hand, Serena hoped he was learning to put Blair's happiness first for a change. But on the other hand, it would have been easier to lose her to a loveless marriage than to a blistering affair. And with Dan Humphrey, no less! Chuck had become a virtual recluse since the wedding and Nate and Lily were the only ones able to get through to him at all.
She didn't want to go into all of that with Blair over a cell phone connection that could drop out at any moment. "They're fine," she says instead. "Mom and Rufus are okay, especially now that the perjury case looks likely to settle out of court."
"Yeah, we heard. That's great news!" Blair says.
"Nate's been hanging around the city for the most part. Raina came to visit from Chicago, so that cheered him up for a while."
"I'm sure it did. Poor Archibald… in thrall to the Queen of the Windy City. How long before he transfers to Northwestern?"
"Who knows? This is Nate." Serena shrugs, never sure whether Nate is hopelessly in love or just hopeless.
"Fair point. It'll probably be over by Thanksgiving, then." Blair notably doesn't ask about Chuck. Or Vanessa. She lets out an exasperated sigh, instead. "Humphrey is eyeing his watch in an extremely unsubtle manner. I think we need to get back on the road, which means I'll probably lose my signal in a matter of minutes."
"All right. Well, text me when you get closer to the city, okay?"
"We will." The line goes silent for a moment and Serena wonders if the connection has been lost already. Then, "I missed you, S. Are… are we okay? You and me? You know… about all this?"
The worry in Blair's voice dissolves that last little hard ball of resentment in Serena's stomach. "Absolutely," she says, and means it. "You know all I've ever wanted is for you to be happy, B. You are happy, right?"
Serena smiles. "Then, that's enough for me. Now hurry up and get back here, so I can catch up on the whole story. I can't believe my best friend had the romance of the century and I'm totally out of the loop."
"I'd hardly call it 'the romance of the century'," Blair scoffs.
"It made Vanity Fair," Serena says slyly.
"Really?" Blair was obviously trying not to sound too excited.
"Uh-huh. They called you the Taylor and Burton of the Upper East Side."
"Well, it's not the most apposite comparison, but I suppose it will do."
"As long as you don't end up getting married twice like they did."
Blair is quiet for a moment. "Let's hope not," she says eventually. "What would anyone do with two complete china services?"
"Knowing you, throw a party for the entire Upper East Side," Serena laughs. "Take care, B. I'll talk to you soon."
She hangs up the phone and sighs, feeling suddenly melancholy as she reflects that it has been several months now since she has been in a relationship. Speaking to Blair had just highlighted how alone she had been feeling lately, particularly in the last few weeks with most of her closest friends out of town and Chuck in self-inflicted solitary confinement.
It will be good to have Blair and Dan back in town, she reflects. Just like old times. She pauses, and considers the conversation on which she had been an unwitting eavesdropper. Well, okay… maybe not exactly like old times.