gossip girl. 2000 words. r. dan/blair. for welurklate. they are both fond of traditions, of creating patterns and falling into them, of playing by their own rules.
I know of her what I’ve always known of all girls:
that she works, that she’s sad, and that, if I asked her,
“Do you want to die tonight?” she’d say yes.
“And our little affair?” “Our affair’s something else,
it’s only for now.”
[WORDS FOR A GIRLFRIEND - cesare pavase]
He takes her to see Howl on their first proper date which proves to be a mistake because he had been meaning to see that for ages and they don’t get to actually watch much of it. The cinema is small, out of the way and they are two of the only people in the room and she is impatient, bored, tapping red nails against the arm of the chair and leaning over the seat to press her mouth against him before the opening credits have even rolled past. He feels her mouth against his, the slick smearing of lipstick between their skin and his go around her waist, tugging her all the way out of her seat and into his lap, bare legs framing his denim clad hips and she lets out a low, surprised squeal of laughter against his bottom lip, teeth nipping at his lower lip.
“You know,” he says, finding the zip of her dress, uncovering the length of her spine to wandering fingers, splayed across the warmth of her back under parting columns of silk, “We could probably, erm, get kicked out for this. Like - “
Her teeth press harder against the flesh, mouth opening against his own to swallow the groan that rises when she undoes the front of his pants in one quick gesture, probably a trick she picked up when she was with - he forces himself to kill that thought.
“I don’t want you to prove your reputation as a wimp, Humphrey,” she husks, palming his dick in her hand.
“I don’t - “
She is laughing now and he lifts an arm to twist over her waist, drag her body closer to his own and her fingers tighten their grip and his tongue falters on its path down her neck, resting in her collar bone and staying there as she lowers herself onto him and his eyes look out over her shoulder, through the thick, dark curls of her hair to the empty theatre beyond them, pictures on the screen going hazy as their hips beat together.
“That probably wasn’t very ladylike,” he says, when he picks up her coat off the floor, fingers closing around her elbow as they head to the doors.
She jostles it out of his hold and sticks it between his elbows. Hard.
They have fucked exactly six times before she agrees to go out with him.
She is pulling her tights on in the grey morning light of his bedroom and he is naked, still on the bed and his throat works up and down as the words come out, curling out of his mouth in a tangle and she gives him a blank stare; not the imperious one with the arched eyebrows but the one that he’s come to learn is reserved truly for him, the one that wonders how its possible he even exists (or how its possible she even speaks to him, or makes out with him in the coat closet of his step mother’s apartment or sleeps with him, in her bed, in his bed, behind the stacks of the library, in the bathrooms of - )
“Something you’re trying to say, Humphrey?”
“I was going to see Howl on Saturday. Saturday night. I - I have two tickets. If you want to come with me.”
She stands, half dressed, the light curving around the shape of her body, the soft weight of her breasts in the lace bra and she puts her hands on her hips.
“Would this be a date?”
His mouth opens and closes again, dry, warm; he nods.
Blair huffs, tosses her hair over one bare shoulder and says “Yes,” somewhat begrudgingly followed by a series of warnings of how this does not mean she’s ready for anyone else to know about this or for him to go around showing Nate the hearts he drew in his journal with Mr. Humphrey-Waldorf written on them and Dan, if there’s even the slightest chance we’re going to be seen in public together, you cannot wear plaid again.
He takes her wrist into his hands and tugs her down to the bed, letting her fingers fold through messy hair and kisses her.
“If this is a date,” he drawls, lazily, “You can’t sit three rows away from me.”
Two months into their relationship (or what she likes to call their dirty, tawdry affair) Serena finds out and from then, the deluge begins, like a falling of dominoes, the cat letting itself out of the bag and circling around the legs of all your dinner guest, biting an ankle or two as it goes.
“How long has this been going on?” she demands, burning blue eyes and all the drama of a scorned wife.
Blair rolls her eyes lightly. “Is that really important, Serena? This isn’t a particularly serious - “
“What Blair means to say. Is that it isn’t anyone’s business. Blair and I were both unattached when we started - “ (fucking constantly, reading each other’s essays on Saturday afternoons, while still in bed and trading comments half helpful half sarcastic as they roll over in the sheets) “ - seeing each other, so we don’t owe explanations to anyone.”
To his surprise, Blair chimes in her agreement and a disgruntled Serena turns the shape of her lips downwards.
The news spreads like wildfire. They teach themselves not to care.
They are both fond of traditions, of creating patterns and falling into them, of playing by their own rules and movies together become one of these traditions, for weekends and anniversaries and holidays.
They watch The Great Gatsby together and later, over dinner, he is quiet and Blair puts her eyebrows up across the table.
“Hit a little to close to home?” she says, softly, menacingly.
He chokes into his napkins, answers, “what’s that supposed to mean?” into the cloth and he sees the muscles of her shoulder coil from wit-held tension, biting back a volley of accusations of him still being in love with Serena, of the Daisy and Gatsby dynamic hitting nerves of old love and it is so ridiculous that he doesn’t know where to start answering it so he just stabs at his steak with a fork and reaches for his wine.
(On some level, he understands, perhaps, but that would mean they are even more alike that they know and he cannot admit that.)
They don’t make love that night, falling asleep on top of the covers, still fully dressed and tired from the weight of not fighting.
“It was terrible adaptation,” she says into the dark.
The morning after that, he starts writing again, for the first time in months.
He will finish his first, his only novel during the time he is with Blair, but they do not know that right now.
On Blair’s twentieth first birthday, they get drunk on champagne and the party is bright and opulent and slightly too much but she is beautiful and sly, her hand creeping up his thigh over dinner and he ignores everything, her mother glaring at him over the hors d'œuvres and later, after they have sex in his narrow white bed, they are both restless and they do not want to sleep and Blair kicks off her heels and sits up amongst the pillows, her hair tumbling gloriously over her dress and she demands that he entertain her, so he sticks a film in and it’s The Godfather and there is still enough fizz in their blood that everything is amusing and they laugh till the sun comes up, red in the dirty sky.
He asks her to marry him before they finally go to sleep, sometime around noon.
Later, they pretend it didn’t happen.
The last film that they watch together is Breakfast at Tiffanys, in Blair’s bedroom, the sheets stripped off the bed and tangled around them on the floor, the two of them pressed together in the darkened room, Audrey stalking around in her heels on the screen, lights flickering brightly against half shut eyes.
He doesn’t look at the screen, he is staring instead at her naked back, the line of her shoulder, the pale birthmark on right arm, committing everything to memory, the frame of her bones and her face, eyes, lips.
She catches him staring. “This is something of an insult to Audrey,” she breathes, leaning over him again, pushing him back on to his back. Her knees press into his sides.
“I don’t think she’d mind so much.” He kisses her lips. “Audrey was a romantic.”
“Is that so?”
“Mmm.” She tastes so familiar by now, the slap of her tongue conjuring up memories of ink stained pages strewn over desks, of eyes locked across university halls, of empty bottles of gin, perfumed skin and he tilts his mouth into her, pressing down lightly on the swing of her hips with his thumbs. “I don’t think she’d begrudge us our last night together.”
“No. She wouldn’t.”
Her head presses into his chest and she settles against him, body warm, soft and gentle and on the screen, George Peppard is in the backseat of a cab with Audrey and they are racing across the city dripping with rain and he is telling her that he loves her and he is telling her not to be afraid of love. Love is not a trap, he says. Love is not a trap.
Blair sighs into his skin, her mouth moving with the dialogue and they are pressed together but Blair is in the movie, not in his arms and he is not really there, either, his head is already in the clouds, on the plane that he will take in the morning, that will take him away from New York.
He had gotten in the job offer after graduation. She sat in his arm chair, drinking tea out of a mug when he told her.
“London.” Her breath was trapped in her lungs. “That’s far away.”
“Well,” she continued, clearing her throat, “It sounds like a wonderful opportunity.”
“England is lovely in this time of the year.”
“I’ve never been.”
“I think you'll like it.”
(I suppose that is all that is left to discuss. Goodbyes go unsaid between them.)
In the morning, she will sit in the unmade bed as he dresses and leaves, she will not kiss him goodbye, only smirk with lips red and sore and she will wish him luck and pretend not to mean it and maybe, when the door shuts behind him, she might cry and he might punch his fist into a wall and wish she had asked him to stay and he will hesitate at the desk, when he is checking in his luggage in the stupid hope that she came after him and he will sleep on the plane and dream of her mouth. Blair will call Serena and she will not cry but the two of them will sit in an empty hotel room and smoke cigarettes and flick through copies of all the glossy fashion magazines that Blair would never even think of working at, Nate will shuffle around awkwardly bringing coffee and lukewarm consolation and Chuck will come around the next day and offer to let her work her aggression out on him and maybe she’ll turn him down and maybe she won’t.
Soon enough, they will both move on.
There will be no movies made about them.