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you’re an open door (but you won’t let me in)

Chapter Text

The mansion was huge. Yes, it needed a lot of work, but it definitely could work, Chase thinks, as he inspects room after room.

When Nico says they are safe, he believes it. They are. At least now they have an actual place to sleep. As that thought crosses his mind, he chances a glance at Gert whose shoulders are hunched, her arms crossed in front of her chest. Her eyes inspect everywhere.

“Let’s get some rest and tomorrow we’ll decide what’s our next move,” Nico says. Everyone nods and agrees, too tired for anything else.

That first night they all sleep in the living room, too creeped out by the rest of the mansion to split into rooms just yet. And then Chase is trying to get the power back on. Then, he’s talking to Gert, and actually talking about their feelings, finally getting on the same page.

And honestly, by the time night time comes around again, Chase feels pretty confident. It has been a great day, all in all. When Nico, who has taken over the role of leader, says they should go find a room and sleep, he’s more than ready to crash.

As he walks by the room Gert has chosen for herself, he sees her sitting at the edge of the bed, biting her nails. She is thinking about Molly and how Gert seems incapable of being there for her.

He walks to the door and knocks in the open door.

“Hey,” he says.

Gert startles, but nods her head, saying a soft “hey” back.

“Are you OK?” he asks next, walking into the room and towards her. From the corner of the room, Old Lace roars. Chase looks at the dinosaur, quietly murmuring, “hey girl.”

He sits next to Gert. It is then that Gert stops biting her nails and exhales.

“I guess,” she admits quietly. “Something’s happening with Molly and she doesn’t seem to want to talk to me anymore.”

Chase remains silent, waiting for her to continue. When she doesn’t seem to want to say anything, he starts.

“She’s had a rough couple of days,”

“More like weeks, I’d say,” Gert interrupts.

“Right, we’ve all had I suppose. Give her some time, tomorrow you can try to get her to talk to you,” he advises.

Gert nods. Remains silent. She bites her nails as she contemplates something. Chase waits for her to talk.

“Have you picked a room yet?” she asks, softly, not meeting his eyes.

Chase puts his hand behind his back on the bed and smiles.

“Not yet,” he says, sitting straight and inching closer to Gert. “Though I’m liking this room, if you’re willing to share,” he adds in a whisper.

Gert turns to look at him. “You mean... you want to... share a room?”

“Yes? But only if you want. We do not have to, I also don’t want you to think I have any ulterior motive, I just thought company might help, you know?” he struggles to explain. “This place is kinda creepy-”

Gert reaches for one of his hands, stopping him.

“Chase, I get it. Yes, we can share the room,”

Chase smiles, that puppy smile that Gert loves so much. And she could kiss him right now. She realizes she can, so she grabs him by the back of his neck and kisses him. It’s soft and short.

Once they break apart, he offers her a smile that she returns.

He’s not sure how, but she eventually starts talking about feminism and where it started. He tries to keep up but eventually he gets lost. He knows she notices, but she needs the distraction and he understands that. So he tries his best to pay attention and ask questions.

When he eventually falls asleep, hours later, he does so with his face and body facing her. Gert stops mid-rant and smiles once she realizes he’s fallen asleep. She caresses his cheek. Maybe things are going to be fine after all.

Chapter Text

Chase dries his hair, as he steps into the room he shares with Gert. It’s been a long day, with going back to Atlas and keeping an eye on Topher. He still doesn’t trust him, but Molly does. And deep down he hopes she’s correct. If only so she doesn’t get hurt.

Gert sits on the bed, biting her nails, thinking about how she was so close to get her meds back. And yet she failed.

“Sometimes, I just want to have a day where nothing life-threatening happens to any of us, you know,” Chase says, plopping onto the bed.

Gert ignores him. His voice takes her back to that afternoon. To her failing to recover the meds, just to find Alex outside the gender neutral bathroom. Then Chase leaving the bathroom moments after, followed by Eiffel. And she can’t help but fall down the stereotypical path and succumb to jealousy.

Because no matter how progressive she tries to be, she’s still a teenager struggling with anxiety and self-esteem issues. And she knows that guys like Chase don’t end up with girls like her; she knows Eiffel fits more the stereotype.

(But he’s chosen you and has proven he really cares about you, a voice in her head reminds her). She ignores it.

Chase scoots closer and taps her arm. “Gert?”

Finally she turns around to see him. She lowers her gaze to the ground before she softly speaks.

“How did you get the key from Eiffel? At Atlas?”

Chase sighs. And Gert, against her best judgement, jumps to the worst possible scenario. I knew it!

“She asked me for a selfie,” he says.

“Oh,” she says, completely caught off guard. “OK.”

Chase does a double take, surprised. “OK?”

“That was not what I was expecting.”

“What were you expecting?”

“It’s Eiffel. And she clearly likes you, so I would’ve thought she would’ve taken advantage of a situation like that, that’s all,” she explains, a small shrug at the end.

Chase smiles softly, scoots a little closer to her. Reaches for her hand.

“Even if she had asked me for anything, I’m with you, Gert. I’m dating you and only you. I’m not a cheater. I’m all in on this, baby,” he says.

And Gert wants to believe his words so much. But not having her meds makes everything so much complicated than it should. Makes believing him so much harder.

As if reading her mind, Chase continues.

“I know it’s hard without your meds to accept what I’m saying, but I’ve wanted to do this for a long time- I didn’t lie when I said I always saw you. I did. And yes, I was an idiot after Amy, but that didn’t mean I stopped seeing you,” he pauses.

He takes a deep breath, turns her face to him. Gert meets his eyes briefly.

“I want to do this,” he says. “The last thing I’d ever do is hurt you.”

Chase stops, afraid if he keeps talking he might tell her how much he already loves her. And he knows he definitely will scare her off if he blurts that out.

Gert bites her nails, still not meeting his eyes. Everything he just said makes her heart beat a little faster. Still, she hesitates to believe. But she has to try. For him.

After a while, she finally meets his gaze.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to accuse you of anything, it’s just-”

“Hey, I get it, okay?” he interrupts her. “It’s fine. I just ask you to have a little more faith in me. In us.”

Gert nods, giving him a soft smile. Chase smiles back, leaning closer, slowly so as to give her the chance to push him away if she wants to.

Instead, Gert puts her hand on his cheek and brings him in closer for a kiss.

Gert knows it will take a while, but she hopes to believe him. Chase vows to remind her constantly that he won’t go anywhere.