He's sick of hating sycophants instead of being one. He's sick of the rain. He's sick of waking up to coffee that tastes like ash and cigarettes that taste like nothing.
The flannel chafes on the back of his neck and the solution is easy. Get a game, get some players, roll the dice and pray for snake eyes. And pray for blue or brown or whatever fucking color Nate Archie's eyes are, because he's not the kind of twat - a word he picked up on the shoddy side of the atlantic - that remembers this shit. The opposite of Bass, who probably sits up in the suite of his seven-hundred star hotel sipping mimosa and writing love poems about the baby blues, deep browns, or sea greens that his little boyfriend bats whenever he wants a hit off a joint or a joy ride in Uncle Bartholomew's shiny, black jet.
Carter remembers the loop-de-loop with the two kids, how Nate had pressed his nose to the window to get a glimpse at all the little people in their little cars on their little roads, not for any sense of self-importance, probably, but just to prove to himself that it's still down there waiting for him, while his big brothers whoosh him off to Paris, and will still be when he returns, smelling of smoke and sex and those little eclairs that he likes so much.
Chuckie Cheeseball is the opposite, with his fourteen-year-old head held tall and high and ridiculous, like he's their fucking majesty and the world below them had only gotten down there by kneeling and not by aerodynamics or the genius of the Wright brothers or anything. Except his fingers had dug into the armrest like he'd been having his dick sucked or something, but Carter's pretty sure he'd been the only one to fully grasp Big Bad Bart's flight attendants' above and beyond definition of service, at least on that trip, which leaves only the possibility that poor Charles was having his head fucked with in a completely different way.
Chuck Bass is afraid of heights the way that Chuck Bass is afraid of everything: quietly.
And Carter had wanted to grab Nate by the collar and haul him back as he kicked his other half out of one of those tiny windows and watched him fall like a sack of overdressed rocks, limbs and yells and Prada everywhere, maybe just to see how he'd land.
Except that'd leave himself up in the air with the open mouth and wide, terrified, unidentifiably-colored eyes of a kid too many years his junior for it to qualify as all that consensual of him to take advantage of said open mouth. Besides, he wouldn't know what to do with him when he's done, and Archibald's hardly the kind of stray that makes it very long on his own, especially thousands of feet above solid ground.
So, they'd landed in Paris, all three of them safe and sound and high as planes. Then they'd landed back in New York. Then Carter had taken off not a few weeks later and had landed on every surface that the moccasins he'd traded his Gucci loafers in for could reach.
Now, once again, he's landed in this city, the one that looks so great from a bird's-eye-view, but once your feet hit it, they stick to gum-spotted sidewalks and everything starts to smell like afternoon trash.
And it won't stop raining and he can't pay his fucking rent.
So he gets a game, gets some players, and heads to a party that'd he'd have thrown not too many years ago. And there's that kid, in a sweater and laughing and looking a hundred years younger than Carter has felt since he last saw that laugh and a sweater that was an eerily similar shade of blue.
Not much has changed, he thinks.
And there's Bass, nipping at his heels with razor sharp teeth and a tumbler clutched in the soft hands of a boy who's led a sheltered life. Carters rubs his own thumb against his palm, rough and callused in a way that he would have probably found sexy if he didn't have to feel it every cold day of every cold winter of every cold fucking year.
Archie laps up after him and Bass shits himself trying to keep his boy-toy in the plastic-wrap bubble that Carter would happily re-enter if it meant he'd get a decent breakfast just one day a week.
So, he takes blue eyes - because that's the color staring back at him, and as soon as he sees it he thinks he must have known all along, in some deep, foggy part of his head, because how could he not? - by the proverbial hand, leads him into his proverbial den of thieves, and everything gets proverbially fucked-up in a way that isn't even fun,
And then super-flamer is there to save his damsel in distress using his famed powers of money and pretending to give a shit about baseball, which work a lot more effectively than Carter would readily admit to anyone who's ever met the asshole. And still he knows he can win. Bat his eyelashes and sweet talk his way into little, orphan Archie's maybe not orphaned but seriously neglected heart and get a room and friend and some grade A pot.
One kick of his foot and Bass is out in open air, falling and counting down the seconds to the inevitable splat! and scrambled ascot and blazer. And the pinstriped little fucker knows it, too, because his hands shake nearly imperceptibly in those four seconds before his darling Nate comes running.
Chuck Bass is afraid of losing Nate in the way that he is afraid of nothing else: truly.
Carter wants to realize this fear like he wants shoes without holes, but where will it leave him? Archie's still not legal and Carter still doesn't really know what to do with him. Frankly, he'd rather stay on solid ground than risk the Bass Air Force team shooting him and blue eyes down.
Not much has changed, he knows.