characters/pairing: nate/jenny (but maybe more nate and jenny and less nate/jenny? dunno)
summary: because how fun would it be for jenny to find out that her brother is marrying blair fucking waldorf? THIS MUCH FUN! (please don't judge me, i'm on cold meds)
She comes home for her brother's wedding.
He spots her out behind the church, smoking a cigarette and nervously tugging on the hemline of her dress. She's wearing something flimsy and floral and it reminds Nate of high school. Her hair is darker though, pulled up in a high bun that's slowly coming undone in the heat.
“Hey,” he says.
“Nate, hey! Hi,” she says, smile bright. She holds the cigarette loosely between two fingers, bringing it up to her mouth for a quick puff, and Nate notices that both her nails and her lips are painted a rosy sort of pink. She blows out a stream of smoke from the corner of her mouth and says, “I know it's gross, right? Eric says that it's gross. But everyone in London does it, I swear. And, wow, that sounds like a really lame excuse.”
“No excuses needed,” he tells her, guiltily producing a joint from his coat pocket. “You’re in good company. Got a light?”
“Yeah, of course.” She dips into her tiny handbag and hands him a pack of matches that have the name of a hotel that Nate’s never heard of scrawled across the front.
“Thanks,” he says. He lights the joint, pockets the matches and takes a long and slow pull before he asks, “So, how've you been?”
She shrugs, moves a piece of hair off of her neck. “Well, my brother is marrying my sort-of-arch-nemesis. So you know, awesome, I guess.”
Nate lets out loud and choked laugh. Smoke empties from his mouth. “Blair is not that bad.”
Jenny responds with a smirk and lights up a second cigarette using the tip of her first one, then flicks the butt to the ground and crushes it beneath the toe of her shoe.
“She’s not,” Nate insists. “C'mon she makes Dan happy. Like really happy. Anyone can see that.”
She scowls, but Nate can tell that her heart's not in it. “Well, whatever. I still don't have to like her.”
“You’re here, though. I think that says a lot.”
“It says that I love my brother,” she says, half-haughty and half-sentimental, and Nate thinks that she's too old for the former, but too young for the latter. Which was always Jenny Humphrey’s problem; being too old and too young, never in between. She sighs. “Well, that and Eric made me.”
“Those van der Woodsens can be pretty persuasive,” Nate agrees with a nod.
“Is that wistful reflection I hear in your voice?” she teases, her dislike of Blair momentarily forgotten.
He shakes his head and smiles. “Nope.”
“You know, I always thought that you and Serena would be the first to get married.”
“Yeah, me too. I mean, back then. Not now. Not for a long time, actually.”
“Oh, well. Yeah,” she says, hurriedly. She takes a final drag off her cigarette and then pulls her phone out of her purse. She makes a face. “Shit. I have like five missed calls and Eric’s been texting me non-stop wondering where I am. I should go.”
She spins around on heels so high that it makes Nate dizzy just to look at them (and so high that she almost towers over him, all long and bare legs, and he tries to remember if he'd forgotten that about her after she'd left) and starts to totter away.
“Jenny, wait!” Nate calls out. He tosses his half-smoked joint to the ground. “Wait up, I’ll come with you.”
She smiles again. “Sure.”
They walk around to the front of the church with Nate’s hand cupped around her elbow. It's hot and they're both kind of sweaty, but she doesn't pull away and he grips her a bit tighter as they climb the steps to the front doors.
He offers her his last piece of gum before they go in and she pops it in her mouth and says, “Thanks.”
“Um, yeah. No problem.”
She fidgets, first tapping her fingers over the 'J' clasp on her necklace and then tugging on her hem again.
He puts his mouth to her ear and says, “You look really beautiful, did I tell you that?”
“You look the same,” she tells him, pulling on his tie instead of her dress.
Nate laughs, presses his lips to her cheek in a kiss, and says, “Save me a dance later?”
She winds a chunk of gum around her finger, bites it off, and then slides it into his mouth. He laughs and chews slowly and Jenny giggles and now it totally feels like high school.
This entry was originally posted at brin_bailey. Comment wherever using OpenID.