Ritualistic Wall Pounding
Ritualistic Wall Pounding
The clock on the wall read 1:00pm. Chuck stumbled towards his phone, fumbling to open it. There was a text message. Opening it at last, he saw a photo of Blair, Serena at her side.
The scene at last night's ball is already a legend.
C bragging about how he took B's V-card
While taking her dignity, too
Poor B, did no one tell you?
Fairy tales never come true
When you bet on a Basshole.
Your know you love me,
Chuck stared at her face. Blair's eyes were hard, her face unsmiling, she should always be smiling. It was as though the dress she had chosen to wear was deliberate in showing her barren neckline; she had taken off his diamond. Anger humming in his veins, his hand curled around the small device. Suddenly the phone splintered to pieces against the wall.
Nate groaned from the sofa, "What the fuck man?"
Earlier that day:
Blair sat before her vanity. Serena and Dorota had managed to get her showered and dressed, but she felt hollow and numb. The girl in the mirror was unrecognizable. The diamond around her neck glimmered, and her awareness of it caused it to suddenly weigh heavily around her throat. Disgusted, her hands reached back and unclasped the jewel. She had never taken it off in all these weeks and as she removed it, it felt like a lead weight was being lifted from her chest. Blair dropped it unceremoniously onto her vanity.
Serena walked back into the room just then, and her eyes instantly fell to the spot where the diamond had once sparkled, "B…" But Blair gave her friend a hard stare and Serena said nothing on the subject.
She needed to cheer her friend up, take her mind off of last night. "I thought maybe we should go out for lunch? Perhaps do a little shopping?"
Blair did not really have an opportunity to argue. Serena was determined to keep her busy, and her mind off of wallowing and crying over Chuck. They walked through the city arm in arm and she did feel a little more alive next to her bubbly friend. She absorbed and admired the city that was her home. New York was where dreams came true, it inspired greatness, and nothing was impossible here. But its brightness felt tarnished for her, now. Memories of Chuck were tucked in every corner, and the thought of seeing him- running into him, gripped her heart and made her stomach roll.
They were playing at Bendel's and Blair smiled at the iconic space that surrounded her with a tinge of sadness, "S, I'm going to Paris."
"I know, B, you're going for the holidays, to spend Christmas with your dad and Roman."
"No. I'm not coming back." Blair's face was blank; she knew it was the only way.
Serena dropped the cocktail ring she had been toying with. "Blair, you can't…" She threw her arms around the brunette, "You can't leave me."
"I know, but I'm sorry, S. I just… I can't be here right now." Blair hugged her friend tight before they pulled apart. She saw tears threatening to break free from those blue eyes. "Hey, you're not allowed to cry! You're much too bubbly for that!"
"And you're not supposed to leave me!" The blonde pouted.
Blair shook her head, "Gertrude Stein said America is my country and Paris is my home town. I need that feeling of comfort, and safety… I need my father, and a city free of…" her eyes drifted to the floor.
Serena hugged her friend again. "I want to crush him."
The brunette, "Oh S, as if revenge would make my heart ache any less."
The girls ended their embrace and Serena had a thought, "I think you would be surprised how good a little revenge can make you feel. What do you say, should we perhaps make one go at him before you leave?"
Blair pursed her lips, "I don't know, S…." yet, the idea of sharing a little of her pain with him, showing him how much he had hurt her, made her curious to hear what her friend had to say, "Do you have something in mind?"
Presently in suite 1812:
Nate haphazardly sat up, "What's your deal?"
"It's over…" Chuck growled.
"What? You and Blair? Um, yeah, I'd say you took care of that pretty well." Nate laughed.
"Fuck you, Nate," Chuck spat.
Nate instantly stopped laughing, a look of shock on his face. "It was a game, you said so yourself. She was just another piece of ass."
"She made me happy." Chuck said it.
The words sat between the two boys. Nate was startled; Chuck had never been concerned with things like happiness. Sex, drugs, and the pleasure money could buy, that was Chuck. But… happiness?
Saying it aloud had made it real at last for Chuck, and the knowledge of it tore at him. He sat down on the sofa next to his friend.
"I…" Nate was at a loss. He came to Chuck to experience the things the world offered, to learn the secrets underneath the glowing façade around him. What did he have to offer Chuck Bass?
"I know…." Chuck murmured.
"What was the phone about?" Nate asked softly.
"Let me see your phone." Nate pulled it from his pocket, and Chuck showed him the Gossip Girl blast.
"Shit," Nate uttered.
Nate pulled a pair of joints out of the box on the coffee table. He looked at his friend; out of all the times, he had seen Chuck hungover, coming down from various highs, he had never seen him look as bad as this. He handed him a joint. "I think you could use one of these?"
Chuck laughed disparagingly, "Just one?"
They lit up, minutes slipping into hours in a haze of smoke. Chuck pondered exactly all that had happened since last night.
At first all he could think was fuck, over and over, fuck. Blair had pushed him. He took a long drag from the joint. The things she had gotten him to do. The ball. That damn bow tie. She had made him weak. And for what? His thoughts were derisive; Blair was not the prettiest girl he had ever met, nor the best sex he had ever experienced.
Nate was quiet, letting Chuck unwind. He watched as a range of emotions passed over Chuck's face. "Mm… so what now?" he wondered.
Chuck was so angry with Blair, he was hardly able to process that Nate had spoken, "What?"
"What's next? It's the end of term tomorrow; we have the whole holiday break ahead of us. We could have a lost weekend? Chase tail in the Caribbean, or Europe? Maybe Asia?"
"I don't know. I'm still too pissed to see straight," Chuck grumbled.
It was clear by now to Nate that what had happened last night was eating at Chuck, "Aren't you going to talk to her? I can see you're thinking about Blair. If it's bothering you this much, you should go to her and apologize."
"Me? Apologize? She was the one who pushed me, the things I did for her..." Chuck huffed.
"Were because you like her. If you did not want to do something, no one could have made you do it. Hell, you defy Bart Bass more than you listen to him."
Chuck was silent as he tried to find a flaw in Nate's argument, trying to think of a possible example of when Blair had been pushy with him. Yet, all he could recall were the last words she had said to him yesterday morning: be strong.
Nate continued to watch through thick lashes as his friend struggled with his thoughts and feelings.
"Oh well," he sighed, "Don't worry about her. Sure, you were harsh, but she'll recover. More than that, I bet at school tomorrow she'll have a line of guys waiting for her after what you said." Nate mused. If Chuck wouldn't admit his feelings, and that he should apologize, jealousy was an age old means of spurring a man into action.
Chuck furrowed his brow in confusion, "How do you figure?"
"Last night, yeah, you thoroughly tore her down, but you also declared to every guy at school that you had her- multiple times. You gave Blair Waldorf a pedigree no other girl on this island has. You tell me other guys are not going to be curious to see what she's got going on that you didn't kick her out of bed like all the others?" Nate smiled at his eloquent assessment, taking another hit from his joint.
Chuck's stomach turned at his friend's words, and something stabbed him in his chest. He stood and poured a glass of scotch, tossing it back. The image of Blair's legs wrapped around some other guy made him violently ill. The scotch burned, but it could not burn the image away. He had to do something. I am yours, Chuck- only yours. He stubbed out his joint and hastened to his room, barking at the prostitutes to get out as he entered the bathroom to shower.
Nate simply pulled out a second joint, chuckling as he lit it.
Clean and dressed, Chuck simply nodded to Nate as he left.
"Go get 'em." Nate called out before he heard the door close.
Slipping into the limo, Chuck went to find Blair. But first he found that pink bow tie peaking out from between the seat cushions. He pulled it free, and felt the silk between his fingers. Silky, soft… like her hair, her lips, her skin when he touched her. God, what have I done?
He flew up the stairs to her room. But he only found Dorota, packing. "Dorota! Where is she?"
The maid gave him a cold, hard stare, "She is out with Miss Serena. I hope you never find her…" Dorota began grumbling in Polish.
Chuck was momentarily distracted by the maid packing Blair's suitcase. "What are you packing Blair's things for?"
"Holiday." Dorota refused to say another word, and panic began to lay in to him.
Serena and Blair spent the rest of the afternoon shopping with a single-minded determination. Blair had to find the perfect dress. Barney's, Bergdorf's, and a myriad of their favorite boutiques, they searched. It was exhausting, but it was the kind of exhausting Blair needed. Serena was massaging her temples, fending off a headache when she heard Blair gasp and dash towards the dressing rooms.
"B?" Serena walked into the dressing area, "Did you find something?"
"Yes… yes, this is it." Blair unlatched the door.
She stepped on the dais and looked into the mirrors. Serena thought she was the most beautiful, yet ghostly image she had ever seen.
Blair held the box tight as they returned to her home. In her room, they sat on her bed, and she held Serena's hand, "S… help me finish packing?"
"Of course, B… of course."
Standing, Blair closed her door, locking it. She feared the world outside her door and its infinite possibilities. The two girls wrapped themselves in a cocoon of couture and memories, lovingly tucking them into suitcases.
Chuck searched for Blair at Serena's, the park, the Met, Bergdorf's. He burned the rest of the day away hoping to find her. Night had crept over the city before he realized it, and he made one last attempt to find her, returning to her home. His heart thudded in his chest when he saw her door closed. His fingers tingled as he touched the doorknob, and he imagined seeing Blair at her desk studying, or perhaps already sweetly sleeping in bed? But the door did not give way: locked. He snapped at being denied access to her and pounded his fist on the door, "Blair!"
The two girls looked at one another across the suitcase they were packing. Tears instantly welled up in Blair's eyes, and Serena pulled the girl into a hug, "Hush, don't cry. He might hear you."
"Blair!" His voice was harsh in his throat. He had no idea what he was doing, he just needed to see her,
"Please… it only makes sense that you are there if the door is locked."
Serena could not believe he had the nerve to be here. His boldness and demands rankled her as Blair sobbed against her. Enough. "Stay here, B. I'll get rid of him."
She exited through the adjoined bathroom and entered the hallway without Chuck seeing her. She was careful to block the door, just in case he deduced where she had come from. He was pathetically leaning against Blair's door when she spoke.
"You need to leave, Chuck." Her voice was clear and firm.
His dark hair was a mess, falling over his forehead, his eyes black and hollow when he turned to look at her, "I need to see her."
Serena laughed, "After last night? Really? You think she's going to open that door and fall into your arms, after that?"
"Please, Serena… you don't understand." There was a note of pleading in his voice.
That pleading broke Serena, "No, Chuck, you don't understand. You didn't find her collapsed on the floor last night or held her while she cried herself to sleep," she paused, trying to restrain her sadness.
The image Serena painted was painful, and it only increased his resolve to see Blair for himself. His voice was cool as he stared her down, "This is between Blair and me. So get out of my way."
Serena's sorrow quickly turned into anger, her next words were caustic and loud, "No, you fucking son of a bitch, get out!"
Her blue eyes were icy; he would leave, but he would also have the last word, "You cannot keep her from me forever. See you both at school tomorrow."
He pushed passed her in the hallway, and she watched him go down the stairs, dejected. She dared not breathe until she heard the elevator. She stayed with Blair again that night, trying to guard against the memory of Chuck's words. Serena promised herself as they drifted off to sleep, he will not touch you tomorrow.
Chuck tried to sleep that night, but it was fitful, the image of Blair's face as the horror of his words struck her burned in his mind. Serena's words also haunted him; he could vividly picture Blair shredding the dress from her body as she wept and how Serena must have tried to comfort her friend. He continued to fight for sleep, but the pain only increased as he recalled the happiness they had together, the feel of her, and the pain he had now caused her. His whole body ached as he realized how empty he felt. He missed her... he had screwed up, and he missed her.
Serena held Blair's hand as they stepped through the gates of the school. Though they had tried to arrive as late as possible, the crowd in the courtyard was still large- as though they were waiting to see if Blair would show up. The noise level dropped as everyone turned to stare.
Blair's heart pounded in her chest, one period, I just have to get through one period. She only had to make it through homeroom before preparations for the talent show began. The whispers and stares were overwhelming; boys were smirking at her and leering, as though they could see through her uniform. Serena squeezed her hand and kept her moving.
A group of students began to part and Blair's heart ached, knowing... Chuck emerged from behind them, his deep caramel eyes locking on hers. Her breath went shallow and her head felt light. Keep moving, she commanded her feet.
"Blair... Please!" Chuck voice was barely above a whisper as he grasped the sleeve of her blazer.
"No!" Blair jerked her arm away from him, "You've already had your say, Chuck. Just leave me alone!" Her feet were firm on the ground as she walked away from him into her half of the school.
Even in her humiliation and pain, she was so beautiful and it clawed at him. The murmur of voices floated around him as he stared after her. His eyes narrowed at the students who were now whispering about him. Turning on his heels, he retreated to homeroom.
The talent show was one more opportunity for students to compete for an award while showing off those private lessons their parents forced them through. Chuck flopped down in his seat next to Nate. He never competed - Chuck figured the faculty would not approve of drinking and fucking on stage, and Nate did enough sports, he hardly needed another award.
"Did Blair tell you what she's going to sing?" Nate prodded his friend.
"How would I know? It's not like I was her boyfriend, I just fucked her, remember?" Chuck was bitter and sarcastic. He could only think of how much he wanted everything to go back to the way it had been, back when they had been happy. Maybe over the break, with some time, they could go back? Yes, if he had some time, he would get her back and he could be happy again…
Before Nate had a chance to ask anything more, the show began. It was a mini Carnegie Hall performance. Piano, violin, flute, dance, voice, every student had been taking lessons for years. Normally Chuck would have snuck off with Nate for a joint, but he had to see Blair. He mentally groaned, how much longer?
Back stage, Serena fixed Blair's hair to be just so, and smiled at her friend, holding her hand. "You're going to do beautifully, B."
"I feel like I'm going to cry already," She stared into Serena's blue eyes, "How can I go out there in front of… everyone?"
"It's going to be okay. You'll be safe on stage. Just think of Chuck. Show him. Give him some of your pain, and then…"
The stagehand cut Serena off, and with a whirl, Blair was taking the stage.
The students in the audience all murmured, after everything, no one thought she would really perform today; Chuck looked up. There she was, in a beautiful blue dress, the same blue… he realized, as that first set of lingerie he had bought for her all those months ago. The heart he thought he did not have ached. Blair looked sad- maybe not to everyone else, but he saw it, and the music began, the crowd growing quiet.
If I could take this moment forever
Turn the pages of my mind
To another place and time
We would never say goodbye
Chuck thought back to when he had first seen the video of Blair singing karaoke, Serena's insistent eyes as she spoke, you don't get it, do you? She still thinks about you all the time. Was she thinking of him now? Trying to push his pain aside, he focused on listening to her words.
If I could find the words I would speak them
Then I wouldn't be tongue-tied
When I looked into your eyes
We would never say goodbye
She looked into his eyes, and it was all Chuck could do not to shout how sorry he was. He felt panicked; he wanted to go and stop her. When he went to move, Nate stopped him, holding him back and giving him a what do you think you are doing look. It was torture having to sit there and watch this beautiful angel rend his newfound heart to pieces before him.
If I could stop the moon ever rising
Day would not become the night
Wouldn't feel this cold inside
And we'd never say goodbye
Don't. Chuck thought, Don't say goodbye, don't leave me, Blair!
I wish that our dreams were frozen
Then our hearts would not be broken
When we let each other go...
Did she really have dreams for them? Let each other go? No. No, he would not let her go! She was looking at him again, and he hoped she could see all the pain he was feeling. He was struggling to breathe, his chest felt so tight.
If I could steal this moment forever
Paint a picture-perfect smile
So our story stayed alive
We would never say goodbye
Chuck watched her flee the stage when the song ended and pushing Nate away, he went after her. In the hallway, he saw Blair exiting the school with Serena's arm around her. Horrified by the realization that she was truly leaving, he ran, so very un-Chuck Bass like. Bursting through the doors, he was in time to see the sleek town car pull away, as he shouted "Blair!"
Serena stood where the car had just been, and she turned to give him an icy stare, "She's gone, Chuck."
"No!" The sound escaped him, hoarse and laced with pain and disbelief.
"What? You thought she was going to stay here? Suffer the pain of being anywhere near you everyday? She said she loves you! And you told her it was a game, called her a whore, and humiliated her in front of everyone. You don't deserve her, Chuck."
He stumbled, catching himself on the brick wall. The street was a blur of gray tinged with the red of taillights. Serena's words echoed through his mind: you don't deserve her… she's gone.
AN: Chapter title from one of Isabelle's pretty o/s. Never Say Goodbye is performed by Hayley Westenra, on her debut album Pure.
Continued awesomeness to be blamed on Georgia's fantastic editing :)