Title: Her Will, Be it Their Peace
Category: Gossip Girl
Disclaimer: Gossip Girl and all immediate characters, themes and ideas are registered trademarks and belong to Cecily von Ziegesar, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. No profit is being accumulated from this writing piece.
Word Count: 2,981
Spoilers: Yes (Seasons 1&2)
Summary: Once upon a time there lived a girl, and a boy, and a girl.
Notes: Meme fill. For wigbee71583.
Once upon a time, there lived a girl. And a boy – naturally. And a girl – two girls there were… no more, no less.
Once upon a time there lived a girl, and a boy, and a girl, and this is where their story begins. Their story of friendship, and heartache.
Of how they lived and laughed and cried… oh how they cried. Of how they challenged the world – though really, it was the girl… the Queen, who was the first to do so – and sought to make it their own. To turn it into a place known for happy endings, and princesses and knights in shining armour. Wherein the hero – heroine – always wins in the end despite any and all obstacles; tried and true and perhaps all too often unfair.
Truly, theirs was an all too grand a tale. Epic, even. One to be revered and adored by poets and romantics alike; spread far and wide and deep into the realm of the fantastical, where anything is possible.
Set the stage… pull back the curtains, cries the heroine with all the confidence needed to take on everything and everyone and win.
For love. For glory.
At least, that’s what Blair had always hoped for – she gambled on the outcome, and lost. There is no such thing as happily ever after in the real world – so she comes to learn, and all too cruelly at that.
Such stories only exist in fantasies, after all.
The Queen is idealistic.
Blair loves Nate.
Blair loves Serena.
It’s simple really, but love is nothing if ever simple. She knows this; has engraved the theory into her very being so as not to forget. But she misconstrues somewhere along the line, and meaning seems perpetually lost.
Love is never simple, the world says, each word slamming against her protective barrier of wilful bliss and make-believe. She doesn’t listen – but Blair will find out soon enough, so really, it doesn’t matter.
She’ll live the dream as long as she can.
The Queen is loving.
As a general rule, Blair tries not to over think.
To do so is perilous, as fantasies can easily shatter in the face of truth only to unearth harsh realities. Can make memories both untainted and good morph into something foul and sinister.
Unfortunately, she has a lot of time on her hands these days, and falling into the trap of deep deliberation comes all too easy.
She has a lot of time because she finds herself all alone; abandoned and nursing a trying sense of emptiness – but it’s a sentiment she’s been acquainted with for a long time now, and one that can only be staved off when in the presence of agreeable company.
Said company is nowhere to be found.
Blair doesn’t understand. Doesn’t want to understand.
Walks blindly down a path of recollection; of better days and smiles and promises – I love you, B… I could never leave you, ever – all of which seem set in a place so far removed from the present.
You did leave.
And in her solitude she reaches out, grasps onto no one, and suddenly begins to fall.
Down the rabbit hole she goes.
Finds herself overwhelmed by life, and by those small irritating details so easily disclosed to one’s best friend, but vehemently shrouded from one’s boyfriend – gone is the trusted outlet for all her temperaments and moments of insanity.
Cannot help but obsess over suspicions better left unearthed and buried deep underground, and before she can set herself up for total ruin, wonders whether she truly wants to know the answers calling out to her oh so mockingly from the shadows.
But then she sees the poignant look of guilt on Nate’s face, remembers Serena’s absence, and suddenly begins to over think.
And the world turns to ash.
The Queen is livid.
He is late.
He is late and she’s all alone – once more – and so Blair sighs.
It is, after all, the automatic response; a reaction born out of an accumulation of disappointments throughout the many months past. The lies and scandal and Serena’s absence… all have dulled the senses to the point where she can no longer employ instances of irritation, but idleness – in thought, and practice.
Nate, Serena. Nate, Serena. Nate, Serena all over again, and there really is no rest for the wicked. As the memory of Nate’s shameful confession plays on the back of her mind – add one unspoken promise for penitence – and Blair grows weary with every minute she is forced to wait.
Perhaps her heart has turned cold somewhere along the line, but she doesn’t care. She’s long since resigned herself to hurt and betrayal, and this waiting – eternally – is all out of habit.
Habits took a long time to die.
Of course, when he shows up at her door like some little boy lost and wandering about the big bad world, all weak and vulnerable and wide eyes, she can’t help the slight pang deep in her gut. Nor the light flutter that follows soon after. The sentiment causes her pause, and so she bites her lip and thinks.
She could easily hurt him, just as he has hurt her with his stinging betrayal – the image still fresh in her mind – but the sight of his guilt-ridden form moves her to sympathy in an all too familiar pattern – girl forgives boy, the lights go out and reason too.
Even apathy has its limits, and so she reaches out – for she’s still alone, and Serena’s still gone.
Stares him down… waits. Remorse fills the room, and blue orbs plead leniency.
Blair wordlessly forgives.
Habits took a long time to die.
He should feel so fortunate.
The Queen is merciful.
Sometimes, Blair would recall an earlier memory of Anne Archibald tending to her prized roses.
She had been a mere child of ten visiting the family’s Hampton manor, haughty even in youth, and disinterested with the immature play her friends had deigned ‘exciting’. With a scowl, she’d walked away as Chuck and Nate had begun to chase after Serena – always Serena – and found the ever poised Mrs. Archibald arranging a vase in peaceful solitude.
At first glance, there had been something unequivocally reverent as to the way she took care of the long stems; cutting them short and snapping off excess leaves with meticulous ease. Back then, she’d thought the display almost mystical in its beauty, but Blair could now reason that Anne’s actions had less to do with art, but an exercise in caution."Every rose has its thorns," so said the older woman after pricking one of her fingers. A warning, clearly, against carelessness and idleness. One of which Blair had failed to see. Or heed.
"Not all of them. The ones back in the city don't."
Anne's answer had puzzled her at the time, since the refined roses her mother decorated the penthouse with had been as real as any other she'd encountered. It is only years later that Blair realises she hadn’t been speaking about literal roses at all, when the weak, spineless Manhattan masses fall pitiably to their knees before the might of a Queen – the Queen.
An eye for an eye, so the saying went, and Blair achieves ample satisfaction with every blow landed.
Watches the mean girls inflict petty pain, all in a bid to please their sovereign. Stands idly by, unperturbed, as a city turns its back on it’s once heralded ‘it’ girl; forsaken wholly for her sins.
See, Serena left.
But unlike all others before her, the blonde remains firm; unyielding to even the most devastating of storms, her stem firm and petals unshrinking.
Brushes off every wound and fights fire with fire – unsurprising, she is her friend after all. A vision of gold so far removed from the spineless. The weak.
All roses have thorns. Blair shouldn’t be surprised.
The Queen is vengeful.
Mirrors were prone to telling lies. To exposing the untrained eye to half-truths and sugar-coated pretences.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall….
Blair’s reflection is impressive to be sure. Regal, polished, and never is there a hair out of place. The closest thing to mortal perfection, the mirror will say.
...Too bad it is all a lie.
Everything she sees; from fine darkened curls, to lips as red as a full-bloom rose amidst the snow, all are nothing more than a well-conceived farce. A mask against countless insecurities. And in this lie… this shell of a girl she sees staring back at her, exists an epiphany more profound than she ever knew.
For the punishing glint in her eye, once so satisfying, inspires little fanfare. Her smile, having lost all malice, crumbles.
And her resolve with it.
Blair knows – fears to admit it, but she’s being practical for once – that there are no happy endings in the real world. That moments of peace can shatter in the blink of an eye.
Even so, she sometimes fancies moments of bliss.
Fancies day in and day out, and wonders if all can be made right again: absolution and a return to better days. To a time before a knight’s tragic fall and a golden beauty’s guilt-ridden flight.
Truly, things may never be the same, but when Blair looks upon her image once again – upon the lies – it’s all the more difficult to deceive herself. To accept what her reflection deems true; a glimmer of satisfaction and a streak of delight, neither which she feels.
That Serena’s absence from her life hasn’t hurt. Hasn’t left her with a sinking feeling of emptiness more profound than any sickly attempt at release, and really, she’s been suffering for a while now.
All alone, divorced from her first one and only – because really, Nate came after.
And in that moment, Blair decides that the time has come to wave a white flag. And pray for peace.
The Queen is forgiving.
Blair wakes up one morning with the sun’s rays warm on her face.
The sensation is far from new, but it is different somehow.
The world is different.
Serene, perhaps; it hasn’t been so in a while. Nor carefree, nor joyful, and every surprising sensation seems to have been lifted from the very pages of one of her fairytales. Laid out, just for her, like a well-made buffet ripe for the picking. A doting gift for the Queen.
The concept is almost foreign.
Still, she revels in it because Blair knows how rare moments like these are. Lounges upon her bed like some majestic feline and basks in the knowledge that all is well, peaceful. That relationships have been reconciled; unwavering in the face of possible turmoil and destruction and made stronger – closer – than before.
Next to her, Nate and Serena shift, smiling also.
The world freezes then, waits for her like it never has before and Blair moves her hand, soft sheets brushing against fingers as she seeks the hand closest to hers. Finds it, and follows suit with the other. Laces her fingers with each of them, and brings their hands to a rest under her breasts. The action feels like the most natural thing in the world and she breathes, breathes deep.
It’s almost like she’s dreaming.
“I don’t want this to end,” she says, the smile on her face growing wide.
Their grip tightens.
The Queen is content.
There aren’t many sure things in the world – in her life.
But Yale… Yale is perhaps the one thing she could claim unequivocal certainty towards. The one thing she had always believed definite against all else. Or rather, was the one thing.
Once upon a time, when she was young and brilliant and still under the delusion that privilege and wealth actually meant for something in this day and age. When she was Queen B. A Perfectionist. An overachiever.
When Yale was hers.
When she was Blair Waldorf.
Now, she is nothing. Nothing but a casualty of life’s all too cruel and underhanded game. A victim of all the lies she’d been fed since birth, of status and power, and how it all came to mean nothing in the end.
It doesn't matter if she thinks about what could have been, because it all would have come to naught. Perhaps none of it ever meant anything.
Blair can’t be sure if she even cares.
Wake up and face the world in the endless sunlight or sleep and pretend to dream of better days. She can’t decide which is worse, and just maybe, they’re both as pointless as each other.
As useless as martini after martini.
Inebriety is a lonely affair, after all, and she wastes minutes wondering where they are – that boy and that girl – in all too familiar pattern. Wonders why they are not there, with her, tending to her sorrows like friends – lovers – do and almost laughs at the familiar turn of events. All alone, once again.
A sudden, sinking depression swallows her and deep down she suspects she should care.
Blair finishes another drink.
The Queen is broken.
It’s odd how easily she slides through the days that follow, now that she feels nothing but a twinge of sickness at times. The brunt of rejection, the end of a dream, the stench of yet another failure… all has taken its toll. Morphed her into something she’s not and the person staring back at her in the mirror is unfamiliar at best, a phantom at worst, and the end is near.
The sight of her very ruin is enough to turn her into a beast; yearning for blood.
And so, Blair will scream.
She will howl.
She will destroy.
And the world will cry.
The Queen is ruthless.
Her bitter spiral of descent lasts a little more than a week.
On the last day, her ire exhausted, Blair begins to wonder what happened to herself. In between waking and dozing – though she never truly sleeps – she has lapses of silence that could easily be mistaken for insanity. These are troubling, as acts of wrath and recklessness are merely symptoms of the disease.
Of this madness that has enslaved her.
Stillness beckons thought, and she’d rather not have to think. Not in her state. But she is tired; tired of trying to forget… tired of life. Craving pain, she remembers what she has lost and mourns all over again.
Her well-wrought defences slip at the onset of acquiescence, and soon enough she finds herself all alone in an unused ballroom. Outside, the weather matches her mood; the sky made sombre by dark clouds, heavy with rain… waiting to spill like unshed tears.
Blair folds her hands in front of her, shoulders stiff. Tells herself firmly she will not cry. Rather, she allows silence and solitude to creep up on her, oppressively so, and submits to the familiar sensation of being broken down, inch by inch. In that moment, she is gone – lost – ablated into the crisp winter air without remnants of anything but loathing and tragedy.
But Nate is there, suddenly, calling out to her. Calling her name – Blair – over and over again as if to bring her back. To salvage what may still remain.
She answers him, like she always does.
“This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I don’t know who I am anymore.”
And he reassures her, like he always does.
“You… are Blair Waldorf.”
Then he smiles, all genuine, because he’s seen into her very soul and knows there is still greatness there. And she smiles back, a small sad smile, because his words, both said and unsaid, sing true against all doubts. All insecurities.
Later he will take her home. Will comfort her, and whisper loving nothings into her hair and she will wonder: is this real?
The next day Serena will come, a mocha latte in one hand and Tiffany’s in the other. She will hug her best friend in earnest, laugh with her and she will feel whole again. She’ll curl up next to her, hold her hand, lean her head on a shoulder and Nate will watch from the sidelines, strangely at ease, until they call him over. And they will sit, the three of them, side by side… bound indefinitely and Blair wouldn’t have it any other way – till death do us part.
They will take her pain and heal her scars.
And she will survive, with Nate and Serena forever by her side.
The Queen is saved.
Like all little girls, Blair was read fairytales during her childhood; grand tales of the majestic and the wonderful, and it was those stories that shaped the world around her. That inspired dreams, oh so childish, and visions for the future – but the stories weren’t real, never would be.
A year ago, she stopped believing in such romanticised tales and started believing in herself.
In Nate and Serena.
They repainted the world joyful; turned it into white warmth and cool blue and endless sunshine. Sometimes she thinks it’s all too good to be true… just another fairytale.
And she’ll retreat into her castle with its high white walls only to then realise that those walls have already crumbled. There’s no need to hide, an angel and a prince will always be standing by.
Blair will see their smiles and feel their love and remind herself that it’s really their world now.
They can write their own tale, and just maybe, it will end with they all lived happily ever after.
Long live the Queen.