She didn’t need them.

She didn’t need anyone. Not the হারিয়ে গেছে boy with dirty blond hair, অথবা his disgrace of a best friend. Not the thoughtless drones she used to call friends. Certainly not Jenny Humphrey, অথবা any other member of her low-rent family. Her mother caused আরো harm than good, and even if she did need her Dad, he had other things to attend to.

In the movie of her life, the one that ran on repeat in her head, she needed two people. Nate and Serena. Serena and Nate. Her support system, her strength.

That was a lie.

When Serena had left, she’d survived. She’d আরো than survived, she’d thrived. It was when she returned that everything started going wrong again. And Nate. She wanted to need him. She wanted to crumble without him, to fall into disarray, like চিরশ্যামল গুল্মবিশেষ Golightly without Paul Varjak. But that wasn’t how it had been at all. If anything, she crumbled আরো with him than without him.

In the movie of her life, it had been both Nate and Serena who rushed to stop the plane that night. She would’ve cried on Nate’s shoulder while Serena patted her back. They would have never looked at each other, never thought of each other. She would’ve let Nate carry her into his car, wedding-style, and everything would’ve been fine.

At least she got one half of it.

She let Serena take her home, let the Serena be the strong one. Lord knows, she needed a break.

So the plot of the movie changed; two strong, unstoppable women against the world. But she knew the new plot wouldn’t last.

Because the old plot never really went away. Maybe it never could.

She didn't need them. Maybe that was the lie after all.


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The coffee was cold.

Her hands were colder.

And he was late.

"Nate."

The conversation was cold too, awkward and forced. Bright smiles from her, a steady gaze at the floor দ্বারা him.

There was a sharp pain in her stomach when the door swung shut and he left.

She smiled. This feeling was proof that she needed him.


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The first দিন back was hardest.

Serena and Dan dropped her off at the penthouse, ignoring her repeated assurances and taking her up.

"I'm not a child, Serena."

She didn't miss the knowing glances shared between them, অথবা Serena's whisper into Dorota's ear.

When they'd gone, she marched to the kitchen. Small hands wrenched open the fridge. A চকোলেট gateau later, she was hunched over the toilet.

Whispers in her head reassured her: it's not wrong, আপনি need this.


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A মাস later, she's back where she should be. The শীর্ষ of the MET steps, surrounded দ্বারা the ones she'd forgiven, half a stone lighter and her best friend at her side. Little J languishing at Serena's old boarding school.

Everything was how it should be. Two people were missing, of course. Chuck, only communicating with her through unrepentant glares, and Nate chasing after that slut from Brooklyn.

Nonetheless she was the queen. She had Serena. The only one she needed anyway. The two of them against the world.

Right?


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It was just a line in a poem. Less than ten words scribbled in his cheap notebook.

She didn't even know he'd written it, didn't know he'd thought it. Serena should be his muse. Serena was everyone's muse. Not her. Never her.

Stupid, lower-class idiot couldn't even close a notebook.

There's a plea for forgiveness, a rebuttal, and he leaves.

Her best friend looks down at her.

"Get out."


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The old Serena emerges. No longer sitting on the steps of the MET, but staggering past them at two in the morning. There's a brief affair with her step-brother. Blair tries to pretend that doesn't hurt.

Old boarding school বন্ধু come and go. Jennifer returns, no longer Little J, with a repertoire of filthy stories and a newfound fondness for partying. An alliance is formed, of course.

One joint overdose later, and they're both back to boarding school.


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So she dates him.

He's from Brooklyn, and her best friend's ex-boyfriend, but she's the কুইন and she can make the rules now.

He writes her আরো কবিতা and she drags him to Bendel's, it shouldn't work, but it does. She fights the feeling of happiness: her and Cabbage Patch?

But she is happy, and there's no denying it.

They double-date with Nate and Vanessa. It's all smiles and laughter and fun. It shouldn't work, but it does.

Maybe it's what she needed all along.


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It's বড়দিন and she's curled up on the sofa in Vanessa's postage stamp of an apartment.

The age-old problem of what to get Dan Humphrey for বড়দিন resurfaces.

"I think that his পছন্দ present was when I got his story published in the New Yorker. আপনি know, the one about meeting Se-"

She stops, but it's too late.


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Her gift turns out to be a letter.

Another বড়দিন ruined.

They're over. It was inevitable.

He was just another boy fooling himself that he loved her.


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The rest of senior year, she just focused on working. Working hard and getting into Yale.

She's still the queen.

That's all she needs.


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It's Prom Night.

Dan's not here. She shouldn't care about him anymore.

Chuck's not here. She really shouldn't care about him anymore.

Nate's not here, and Vanessa's getting drunk in his absence. Vanessa whispers to Blair that she thinks it's over, and that Nate only liked her for her dark eyes and dark curls, anyway.

Blair chooses to ignore her, instead mentally formulating a new plot for her movie: young girl wows Yale University, and then the world, without ever needing anyone to help. Perfect.


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It's the summer, and she's in France, when he arrives on her doorstep.

"Nate."

He paces the room, explaining how he loves her. It's always been her, apparently.

"I'll see আপনি at Yale, Nate."

There's shock, and then faux-humor, as he jokes that it'll be just like old times; the four of them together again.

The four of them?


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They run in different circles. It's definitely not like old times.

Nate gets high with his lacrosse buddies. Serena jumps from one tortured artist to another. Chuck's turned his charm to politics; leading his fraternity দ্বারা the সেকেন্ড semester of freshman year. And, Blair? She's just trying to live the plot of her movie, as always: perfect boyfriend, perfect academic record, perfect life.


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They're all back in New York for the Humphrey-van-der-Woodsen wedding. It's taken Rufus and Lily years, but finally their love's official.

Dan and Vanessa are together now, but his eyes don't leave Serena all night.

Blair's mouth aches from the fake smiles and she's tired of it all.

She needs to escape.


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He's at the hotel bar, of course, nursing his signature scotch.

"What are আপনি doing in here, Waldorf?"

Five মিনিট later, they're in his suite.


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It's hardly an epic romance, but it works for them. They flirt, and they fight, and they fuck.

No one knows.

She tells herself it's exactly what she needs, just a sub-plot of the movie. It's just to empower herself, nothing more.

And most days, that's all it is. But some days, she needs him just a little too much.


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It's a Sunday of sophomore বছর when Serena turns up outside her apartment, armed with the traditional coffee, croissants and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

"I missed you, B."

Serena comes in, feet on Blair's coffee table, and begins the usual cheerful banter. Her and Dan are back together; engaged, in fact. Blair fights the urge to mention that the reunion is now slightly incestuous.

They talk about old times, then about Nate, finally skirting uncomfortably around the subject of Chuck.

Serena comes every Sunday after that.


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They're in her bed. It's three in the afternoon. His scarf and her knickers lie ট্যাঙ্গেল্ড on the floor.

"When are আপনি going to tell him?"

"What?"

"For fuck's sakes, Waldorf, when are আপনি going to tell Nathaniel that আপনি still প্রণয় him?"

He always could read her like a book.


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Serena agrees with Chuck.

"It's always been আপনি and Nate, B."


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She meets him on the docks from his annual sailing trip, the summer before their final বছর at Yale.

"Blair..."

She laughs at his surprise, then tells him: she loves him, it's always been him.

It feels good to চুম্বন him again.


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It's the wedding she's always dreamed of.

Serena's the maid of honor, Nate's the perfect groom and Chuck the best man.

It's perfect.

সেকেন্ড before the pianists strike up and she needs to walk up the aisle, she checks herself in the mirror and smiles. She doesn't need to do this. But she wants to.

"I do."