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Written in honor of halfamoon: 14 Days Celebrating Women.

Title: Want and Water
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Gossip Girl
Character: Vanessa Abrams
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: That thirst has salted me.
Notes: Set during S3



Vanessa waited in the lobby of the financial aid office for thirty-five minutes before somebody could see her. She scooted against the scratchy fabric and fanned out her forms like a hand of poker. "I've never really had to do this," she confessed, "so if you could help me double-check everything, I'd really appreciate it."

The financial aid officer blinked, her smile thin but sincere. "Hon," she said, pulling the first form across the desk, "didn't your parents help you with this?"

Vanessa folded her hands together. "Not with this," she replied, and she managed to keep her smile bright for the rest of the appointment.

*


She skipped the afternoon Columbus Day protest, not because she didn't care, but because she was tired of protesting alone, and Dan was off being a writer with one of the girls from her hall. (She wouldn't mind it so much, but every once in a while, he made it capital-W Writer, which meant she had to tell herself, over and over again, that it would be rude to laugh in her best friend's face. Rude. Rude. Rude.) She took a bus to the new Humphrey Central, and Vanya's welcoming smile didn't make her feel any less out of place.

She found Jenny sprawled across the sofa, drinking ginger ale and flipping through Cosmopolitan, and Vanessa closed her eyes and thought, Rude. Rude. Rude.

"Hey, Vanessa," Jenny chirped, and she tossed the magazine aside like she didn't care. She looked at her cell, briefly, and frowned. "I thought you'd be out--"

"Yeah, I was." Vanessa flopped onto the sofa, slipping out of her sandals before settling her legs across Jenny's lap. "It's not really the same, you know?" She scrunched into a bow, covering her eyes with one arm.

"Yeah." Jenny clutched Vanessa's ankles for a second, a comforting squeeze. "Do you want me to go with you?"

Vanessa raised her head. "Would you?"

Jenny hesitated.

"It's fine." Vanessa waved a dismissal, then laid back down. "Whatever."

Jenny's phone clicked, open and shut. "I could order a pizza," she offered.

"We will both die young," Vanessa replied.

Jenny snorted. "So I won't get pepperoni."

Vanessa felt a stirring of conscience, or maybe her better angels. Then her stomach growled. "Whatever," she said again, and she listened to Jenny make the call.

*


Vanessa sipped her chai, reveling in the warmth of it, of being inside while it snowed. Her phone rang, and she flipped it open without looking at the caller ID. "Vanessa Abrams."

"Not even a hello?" Gabriela chided.

"Mom!" Vanessa set her chai down, and the tea sloshed, splashing a corner of her textbook. "Hey, how are you?"

"I have a daughter who never calls me," she replied. "I'm curious and very concerned."

"Sorry." Vanessa patted her textbook dry with the sleeve of her sweater. "Things are kind of crazy, you know?"

"Of course." Gabriela cleared her throat. "But I miss you."

"I miss you, too," Vanessa said. "And Dad."

"Well, then," Gabriela responded, "tell me about your day."

Vanessa shut her textbook and leaned back. She took a deep breath, and began.


###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from Meghan Hickey's Mutter. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

Linked on halfamoon.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
inalasahl
Feb. 2nd, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
Yay, Vanessa fic! I loved this, especially this part: Vanessa folded her hands together. "Not with this," she replied, and she managed to keep her smile bright for the rest of the appointment.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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