you won’t hear me cry (this i testify). rpf. blake lively/penn badgley. 1538 words. scenes of a breakup are just like any other: equal parts heartbreak and happiness.
They are all a lot more like their characters than they will admit to. He would be the first to say it.
Blake wins the breakup. Not that it’s difficult when she looks like she does – but still.
“We’re still friends right?”
It’s early and his eyes are blurry. They’re on set and she just got out of makeup, dressed head to toe in couture. He is still in his PJ’s, sipping coffee.
“Yeah, of course,” he enthuses and her face relaxes into a smile.
This moment isn’t for them so much as it is for everyone else. They got this out of the way weeks ago – before the news broke – and it was quieter, more comfortable.
Penny was on his lap and Blake played with the thread unraveling from her shirt. They were on the couch and he wanted, mostly, to hold her.
“Friends?” He offers first and her eyes raise to meet his.
Blake answers with a ferocity anyone rarely hears.
He goes out with Chace to some shitty bar in Brooklyn. Ed tags along reluctantly, muttering about something he thinks is more important. Penn rolls his eyes. Ed always thinks he’s more important.
It’s five in the afternoon on a Tuesday and Penn wonders if college is like this at all.
“Well as long as I’m here, we might as well get pissed.” Ed buys the first round and they rotate after that.
He spends the rest of the night somewhat bonding with them both but mostly getting extremely drunk off of Irish Car Bombs and Patron.
“I think I’m the only one not to date one of the girls.” Chace sounds surprised at himself, looks at the both of them in wonder almost and Penn can’t stop laughing.
“S’not worth it, mate,” Ed chimes over the top of his glass.
Penn can’t remember where Jess is – if she’s in New York, they’re together. If she’s in LA, then they’re not.
A fan wants a picture with all of them and Penn’s eyes shut just when the flash goes off.
“Sorry. We can try again if you want.” Ed and Chace do another shot, Penn tries to look friendly.
The girl’s blonde and leggy – she smiles politely and says, “No thank you, this is fine.”
Blake dates. A lot.
She dates (in no particularly order) (supposedly):
And he can’t catch a goddamn break.
While he was at home, probably eating mediocre take-out sushi and drinking lukewarm beer on his shitty futon, she was out cozying up to Leonardo fuckin’ DiCaprio in a bar.
That’s what the tabloid says at least.
“Tough break, man.” Chace patted his shoulder sympathetically and maybe even smiled a little, friendly though, sipping on his coffee. Ed rubbed him temples in the corner of the make-up trailer, fixing Penn with one look like the cat that ate the canary before continuing to take care of himself.
Chace had probably never been dumped in his life before, Penn thought.
Ed was a bitch when he was hungover.
Here’s the Emma story that no one will know.
When Penn kisses Emma, who is beautiful and funny and smart and witty and an endless amount of characteristics that are pretty irresistible, he thinks about Blake.
It’s not a particularly romantic notion. Then again, this isn’t a particularly romantic situation.
A director yells cut. They got it on the first try.
“Way to go, dude!”
Emma gives him a high five and maybe she wants to say something else but maybe she doesn’t.
“You want to go grab drinks? Jesse’s having a party later. I would kill for a pregame partner.”
He hesitates for a second too long – just stares like some kind of pre-pubescent tween who can’t talk around girls.
“I get it, I get,” she says in an exaggeratedly offended tone.
He laughs at this, because there’s nothing else to do.
“Don’t say I never gave you a chance,” she declares teasingly and she gives him a few finger guns before turning around into the sunset.
He thinks about this sometimes, later.
Blake doesn’t think of Penn when she’s kissing someone else. This is true when they are dating and she’s in character. It’s true of when they are not dating and she isn’t.
She doesn’t really think of anything except skin on skin and how nice it feels.
It isn’t true when they are dating and she isn’t in character – it isn’t true because she never does it, despite what they tabloids print. Or more accurately, what the anonymous blog.
You can’t believe everything you read on the internet.
She taps his shoulder with a copy of a magazine, Vogue if it’s a bad day or Cosmo if it’s good, and he turns around.
It seems like for a minute everyone around them freezes in order to listen.
(He knows he’s not crazy because Leighton admitted it with a roll of her eyes.
“Why do you think Chuck and Blair are so much more interesting not together? Sexual tension, Penn. They can’t get enough of it.”
She pushes her glasses up her nose and tucks her feet underneath.
“Do you know an seven letter synonym for rude?”
“What are you trying to say, Badgley?”
He wants to say: you sound like Blair and I sound like Dan.
But instead – “I can’t believe you’re doing a crossword at a time like this.”)
“Hey yourself.” He winces, because it comes out a lot more bitter than he thought it would.
She does that thing, the pouty puppy dog thing with her eyes. Her hand rests on the inside of his forearm and he flexes on instinct. She always seems to be trying to touch him, even now.
“Can we talk?” He nods curtly and follows her into her trailer.
“None of it’s true, you know. It was movie talk.” She assumes he knows what she’s talking about. He’s not sure which one, but he’d guess Leo.
There’s this tic she developed with him, a bad habit she can’t break of chewing her bottom lip whenever he’s around. He notices with some sort of pride she still does it.
“Blake, it’s really none of my business.”
“I swear – people are just trying to start rumors off of nothing. It’s just like high school!”
This, he laughs at. He knows almost everything about Blake: the curve of her leg and the smell of her breath in the morning and all the weird ways she eats. All of this and more stored in a now useless section of his brain. Most of all, he knows she is a flirt. There almost certainly was something there, a hair flip or talking too close or maybe even lip-biting. She’s allowed to do all these things. She’s single, after all.
It seems she can read his mind, because she sighs quietly into her hands and rubs her eyes tiredly.
“Not even Ryan?”
Ryan was single, at least, he knows. Don’t ask him how.
“Ok so maybe there was something – or at least I thought there was – or, I don’t know. He didn’t want me like that, is all.”
Her face is flushed and Penn’s heart constricts.
It’s one in the morning and both of them are naked in bed.
This is before.
Penny’s on the floor, snuggled into a toy duck, sleeping soundly.
“I don’t think we can do this anymore.”
“Yeah, I know.”
They’ve resigned to this by now; the most surprising part is that he says it first.
Blake’s equal parts hurt and surprised. Not by the breakup, which is sad enough when she really thinks about it. She just always kind of thought it would be her. They’ve had contests you see – who loves who the most, cringeworthy now, when she really thinks about it.
What bothers her is this: sure they were never really serious, usually done with teasing smiles and joking voices, Leighton always made fun, but even through all that he was the one who managed to say it last and best.
I love you, he would sneak in right before she fell asleep and she always believed him.
“We’ll figure it out tomorrow,” she sighed.
His arm reached for her but she turned the other way.
He still sneaks it in, a quiet quick love you when her breathing is steady enough to fake sleep that gently tears her heart in two.
This is before all of it.
They are young and have cooties. The lesson of the day is the Civil War.
He knows more than she does.
“Don’t be such a show off, Penn.” Her hair is just as long as it will ever be, and she kicks her feet under the table. Sometimes it finds his shin and usually he scowls but it puts a smile on her face.
She always beat him in times tables, which is something that she holds on to even through the after.
He always let her.