Spoilers: Goes AU after 1x8 but includes some 1x9 spoilers

Timeline: A few months after the prequel, Possibilities, ends.

The Third Option

Six-thirty AM. Blair's alarm blares. She smacks her hand down on the snooze button, knowing that it is a futile gesture. Dorota, the housekeeper, is always in her room within five minutes anyway to make sure she is not running late. It gives Blair just enough time to put her other hand over her mouth as she rushes towards the bathroom, her morning ritual.

As Blair heaves into the toilet, with Dorota coming in behind her and rubbing her back gently, she thinks that maybe it is time to take another pregnancy test.

Blair sashays up the stairs to her school, her prim skirt swishing around her thighs. She kisses her boyfriend-redux of three months, Nate, softly on the lips before quickly detaching and sipping her nonfat Starbucks latte.

Nate takes her books from her and carries them, like a tv-sitcom boyfriend, as they walk through the halls to Blair's first class. Blair can see all the familiar, envious stares of her classmates and she is satisfied.

Nate notices the small grin on Blair's usually perfectly composed features and asks, "Everything going well, Blair?"

She pauses for dramatic effect, and to give herself a second to come up with a reply, before telling him, "Guess what." It is not a question, it is a command.

"What?" Nate plays along obediently.

"My dad is coming into town!" Blair squeals happily.

Nate knows the happiness that would be accompanied by that event, and is sure that it would not have been displayed only in a small grin. Blair had always been a drama queen and in the past, initial excitement at such news would be expressed through the immediate calling of everyone she held dear. It was because of this knowledge that Nate knew that Blair had found out about her father's visit long before and had only just thought to tell Nate. However, nowadays there was plenty that Nate did not tell Blair that he would have formerly considered paramount to tell her first, so he says nothing.

While he ponders this, Blair prattles on in the background, painfully aware her boyfriend is not paying any attention. "He has promised to take me shopping on Saturday afternoon at Barney's after lunch, but he wants to know if you want to have dinner together at 7pm at his hotel. I told him yes, of course, is that all right?"

"Is what all right?" Nate asks, having caught only the tail end of the sentence.

Blair knows this and rolls her eyes. "Dinner. With my father. At 7pm. Saturday. The Ritz. Try not to be late." With this last directive, she takes her books from him and strolls into her first period class.

Nate sighs. There was no pleasing Blair anymore.

Blair taps her pencil in APUSH as the teacher turns on the overhead projector and slides the DVD on the Civil War into the computer. As Mrs. Warner presses play, Blair's pencil is poised and ready to take notes on every detail of the political tension leading up to the secession of South Carolina.

Yet as Blair's pencil scratches against the paper, dutifully transcribing the important points of contention in Congress, her mind is in a very different world.

It has been two and a half months since she took the pregnancy tests at Chuck's suite. Since then, she had dismissed her daily vomiting as stress. After all, she was trying to be the perfect girlfriend for Nate in spite of the constant media attention on his father's court case and attempted suicide. Trying to be an automaton would be difficult for anyone. However, it was clear that there was at least some sort of sickness involved after three months.

Still, Blair doesn't think she is pregnant. She took the test. She probably just caught a persistent flu bug from all those skanks she sees at school. Blair decides to make an appointment with the family doctor after school.

Nate walks slowly back to his part of the school. He trudges into his regular old Chemistry class, collapsing on the stool next to his lab partner with a sigh.

"Bad day, Nathaniel?" His lab partner asks.

"You have no idea," Nate mumbles.

"I didn't catch that, Nathaniel. You'll have to speak up," Chuck, his lab partner, admonishes him lazily.

"Shut up."

"Harsh language, Natie-boy. Trouble in paradise, perhaps?"

Nate glares at him. "Fuck off, dickwad."

Chuck brushes imaginary lint off of his shirt. "Ouch. Blair must have been really mean today."

Nate sighs again. "She wasn't mean, exactly. She never is. It's just…"

The teacher stands over them. "I don't want to interrupt you boys' conversation, so I'll make it quick. Are either of you interested in participating in the completion of today's experiment, or should I just give you an 'F' on it now?"

The family doctor idea is a bust, Blair realizes while talking to Kati and Iz at lunch in the cafeteria. If the…problem…turned out to be an STD or something equally embarrassing, the doctor would most certainly call her mother. But there was no way Blair could go to a Planned Pregnancy clinic, which would keep quiet. After all, what if somebody saw her there? As far as anybody knew, Blair was still a virgin.

Well, except Chuck. Blair is reluctant to deal with him again. She knows that Chuck will find it hilarious that she hasn't consummated her relationship with Nate yet, and she is reluctant to tell him.

Blair has always been embarrassed to admit to anyone that her relationship with Nate is less than perfect. Still, the fact that she went further in one night of charged hormones with Chuck than in over a year of dating Nate was telling. Chuck will laugh at that, Blair knows, and she does not want to inflate his ego anymore than it already is.

Nate and Chuck carry their pizza slices and Pepsi and retreat to furthest picnic tables outside in the courtyard. It is freezing cold, but it is worth it to avoid the gawkers. Ever since Nate's father was arrested, Nate has been the subject of endless gossip at school.

"So what is up with you and Blair, anyway?" Chuck asks carelessly. "You two have been all Stepford-Wives lately. It's like you can't be bothered to engage in actual conversation. Or fun, for that matter."

Nate takes a gulp of his Pepsi before replying. "I don't know. Blair's been really stressed and I think she's actually starting to make herself sick."

"Um, Nathaniel, no offense meant to your intelligence here but…you do know about Blair's little problem, right?" Chuck mimes sticking his finger down his throat.

Nate rolls his eyes. "Obviously. No, it's like she's so stressed her immune system is breaking down, or something. She gets queasy and wants the weirdest food sometimes."

Chuck's eyebrows rise. "You sure she isn't just going mental or something?"

Nate shrugs. "I don't know. It's like our relationship is a job to her, a chore she has to complete before moving on to the next task."

"Is it still fun to be with her?" Chuck asks cautiously.

Nate snorts. "Are you kidding? I barely get a kiss out of her these days. I'm lucky to get to second base."

"Are you kidding? When's the last time you got laid, man?"

Nate ponders. "It's got to be during those few days that we broke up."

"That long ago?" Chuck asks hopefully.

"Well, Blair's not exactly putting out. Hell, you probably got more action with her when we broke up than I'm getting now."

You have no idea, Nathaniel, Chuck thinks. He tries to remember why he told Nate that he kissed Blair drunkenly the night Nate and Blair broke up. Then he remembers: it was Blair who told him, when Nate mentioned that Chuck already knew about the break-up, completely ignoring the perfectly good excuse Chuck had given. "Hell no, Nathaniel. She was frigid even then, trust me."

Nate chuckles. "Thank God. It would be karma to have her screw my best friend, like I did Serena, but it would suck."

"Yeah." Chuck doesn't know what to say to that.

"I know I've screwed up, but I really want this to work, you know?"

Chuck adopts a disinterested tone. "Uh-huh."

"I just don't know what to do to make us better. I'm having dinner with her father and her on Saturday. Any ideas? " Nate asks.

Chuck shrugs helplessly. "Sorry, dude, you know I barely even see Blair anymore. I have no clue."

Chuck hadn't been lying when he told Nate he didn't see Blair anymore. Ever since Nate and Blair got back together, Blair and Chuck had been careful to limit their public appearances together. Today, however, constitutes a valid exception to this rule, Chuck decides as he sidles up to Blair at her locker after school in full view of the entire junior class at Constance Billiards.

Blair looks up from her locker mirror and nearly jumps. "What are you doing here, Chuck?" She asks accusingly.

"Hey, keep your voice down and act normally," Chuck says sotto voce. In a more normal tone, he says, "Just chatting with my best friend's girlfriend, is that a crime?"

"It is when it's you!" Blair hisses. Louder, she replies "Did Nate send you or something?"

"I don't think Nate knows I might have gotten you pregnant," Chuck spits back quietly. For the benefit of the gossips surrounding them, he answers more clearly, "No, darling, he just seemed so nervous about meeting your father again as your boyfriend that I thought maybe I'd do some scouting for him."

"I took the test! There's no way!" Blair whispers to him.

"Nate just told me you are even more sick than usual and that you have weird food cravings." He raises an eyebrow, bringing his face very close to hers. "Need another test?"

Blair sighs. "Fine. Give it to me tomorrow, okay? And be discreet."

Chuck saunters off. "Oh, I will."

"And don't forget, tell Nate my father has missed California red wine the most!" Blair shouts loudly in his direction.

Chuck gives her a thumbs up before turning and strolling down the hallway, out of sight.

Author's Note: I hope you all like the sequel to this story so far! I worked pretty hard on it. I already have the next few chapters outlined but Real Life is taking my time up so I will probably not be able to update more than once a week at the most.

Also, thanks so much to my super-fabulous beta, Daniellea! This chapter is so much better because of her.

Feedback for this newbie author is always appreciated!