She tells them she's not dating Chuck Bass, and it's the truth

AN: So. Since I am such a disappointing fool, I'm actually updating. And completing. This. Lol. I suck assssssss. But I like how I ended it. It's kind of me making it come full circle. And it's a little fluffy. And five months too late?

She tells them she's not dating Chuck Bass, and it's the truth. Not like anyone believes her, but it is the truth. She's not surprised they don't believe her anyway: The UES always has a way of believing lies and not believing the truth.

Instead of dating him, they're repairing their friendship. Not because she has someone to take down (yet), but because they missed each other, and they're finally ready to admit it to each other, thanks to some major coaxing on both sides from Serena. But they're recuperating their relationship before they do anything else.

After Chuck forces Nate to go and apologize to her (at least they made up) he asks her if it's true, they really are dating.

"Nate. Me and you are over, and we have been for a really long time," she says with finality, thinking he was asking out of jealousy.

"No, I'm just curious," Nate replies, holding his palms up. "You're free to date him. It's just that I might have to kill him if he does anything to you." He smiles, and she realizes that maybe, Nate could be a friend. He didn't have to be her boyfriend, future husband, soul mate.

She likes the possibility of a guy for a friend other than Cabbage Patch and (sort of) Chuck. It's interesting. And all of a sudden, it's even more appealing than that godforsaken Vanderbilt ring.

She smiles back.

--

Kati and Is won't leave her alone about it.

"So you're dating Chuck?"

"That's cool."

"He's actually hot, if you look past the-"

"Kati, shut up!"

"Oops, sorry. But anyways-"

She stops them at this point. "No, I'm not dating Chuck. I swear."

"You know, you could tell us-"

"Yeah, we wouldn't tell anyone-"

"You know we can keep a secret!"

She actually snorts daintily at this, and dismisses them, calling after them "I'm really not!" Not like they'd believe her, but it was worth a try.

It's soon on Gossip Girl about how she denied going out with Chuck and different speculations on why. She rolls her eyes when Chuck shows her on his Blackberry.

"They won't shut up. They're so annoying sometimes. Care to bring out some of your lovely qualities and make them stop talking?"

"I'll save that job for you. Personally, I think your techniques might be more helpful."

"I'd appreciate your help anyway."

Chuck smiles, a real one, not the notorious Chuck Bass smirk, but a smile.

"I'll do what I can."

She notices the butterflies in her stomach having what seems like a gymnastics tournament and mentally orders them to stop, but they're just as persistent as Kati and Is, so she tries to ignore them while she and Chuck walk, talking amicably.

She wonders what would happen if she consented to go out with Chuck, and finds she isn't terribly against the idea. Maybe the butterflies would be happy with that, she thinks, and a little voice in the back of her head tells her, "You know you would be too."

She smiles in her mind.

--

Even Serena's waiting for them to admit they're dating.

"So, how's Chuck?" her best friend asks, her voice laden with hidden but intended meanings, and she can't help but think back to a time months ago when Serena asked the same question, but in a different context. That was a memorable Thanksgiving, she thinks, and smirks at the memory of Cabbage Patches and innocent girls wanting her family to be even slightly normal.

"Fine, I guess, why do you ask?"

"Just wondering. How are you, B?"

Suddenly the conversation has taken a turn onto the wrong road and the headlights are off, and they can't see anything. She turns around and stares at her friend, begging her to take it back, because she just wants to forget and start over and move past it, praying that Serena will just let it go. At least for now while everything's calm.

"S, leave it alone."

"B, we thought it was gone beforeā€¦"

"S."

"I just want to make sure you're healthy. I get worried about you sometimes, you know?"

She can't help but smile at Serena, and she wonders what she'd do without her. Serena ends up being a lot like a makeshift mom sometimes, but that's okay. She's incredulous at the inane role reversal that's occurred in their relationship but she can't say she minds not being the mom anymore.

Oh, how things change.

--

And now she comes full circle, standing at Carter Baizen's door.

She sharply raps against the wood paneling of the hotel room in the Plaza (never the Palace; Chuck would pitch a shitfit). She adjusts her crushed-velvet headband, tweaks a curl, and holds her breath.

A very hungover Carter opens the door.

"Blair?..." he mumbled, confused, but still able to make eye contact.

"Hey Carter," she smiles, the smile that could break clouds of volcanic ash based on pure glow. "I wanted to talk to you."

So they do. She explains to him the whole situation.

"I'm sorry for accidentally making you into a Red Herring."

"Hey, it's okay," Carter grins softly, ever the same easygoing spirit. (She suppresses a thought about how he pulls it off better than Nate ever would, because that doesn't matter anymore.)

"So. What's up with Chuck?"

Rolls her eyes. "What am I, the Basses' personal Rosetta Stone?"

"What I mean is, why aren't you dating him."

"Good question."

"Get to it, girl."

A bleary-eyed smile goads her on, willing her to grasp the closest thing this princess will ever get to a fairy tale ending, and she has never been more thankful for Carter.

She can't act surprised. After all, they are old friends.