A/N: Okay this fic is driven from an awesome idea of Katelyn's (Fanforum) as is the final bit of dialogue. It's her take (and a bit of mines) of how Chuck and Blair exchange 'I love you's. Hope you guys like it.

Disclaimer: I own nothing of Gossip girl, sadly. If I did though Chuck Bass would be mine, Ha!

XXX

The first time Chuck Bass realized he loved a certain petit brunette named Blair Waldorf was at the said brunette's dinner party. He sat at the long Waldorf table with Blair herself to his right, where she chattered profusely and elegantly with the members seated close to her. Blair, in her black lace and embroidered ivory headband was the epitome of an Upper East Side society lady, and only at seventeen. Chuck knew he couldn't adore her anymore than he already did, and that was when her small hands snaked up his thigh, right underneath that table.

Blair still chattered in that same cool elegant manner. Her dark eyes betrayed nothing as her hands, or rather finger tips, teased Chuck along the length of his groin. He watched her in amusement and amazement as nothing in her stature had changed, leaving none the wiser of their naughty activity underneath layers of expensive table cloth. There was then a pause in the conversation at which time her head turned to meet his eyes with her own. And there she was, his Blair, and she leaned in to whisper in his ear. She drew back again, her bedroom stare there for a second before it flickered away. And she went back, just like that, to the pristine uptight little UES bitch he adored. Chattering again with her dinner guests as though a mere second ago she had not made a breathy offer of a later liaison in her second floor bathroom.

It was Chuck's hand that travelled to her lap next. There he found her hand and intertwined his fingers with hers. He was in love alright.

The first time Chuck Bass wanted to tell Blair Waldorf that she was indeed the object to his most sincere and ardent affections was when she was over at the van der Bass house and was seated on a couch in their living parlor, with the rest of his family. While Chuck himself was engorged into a mass of teasing sibling rivalry with Serena and Eric in the middle, Blair was engaged in conversation with big bad Bart. Chuck could remember watching her and his father, Blair highly animated as she spoke. He remembered catching Bart's eye, whose gaze had then travelled to his son. A flash of blue on hazel and Bart gave a small nod towards Blair, father and son's eyes still locked. And then he beamed. Bart Badass BEAMED.

Chuck was caught off guard, understandably so, and his own face fell into a gigantor grin. It was at this moment when Blair turned around, and having caught the look on Chuck's face her own formed an uncharacteristically similar smile. She looked adorable. Chuck was sure he was about to say it, it was at the tip of his tongue—I love you—

But he hadn't. It was at that moment when Eric's hand clapped his back, his blond head snapped back and laughing hard. Their moment was gone, all thanks to Serena and her recent characteristically blond actions.

The first time Blair Waldorf came to realize she was in love with Chuck Bass and that she was in love for the first time, so above and unlike her Archibald fantasies of childhood past, was the day before Thanksgiving. Her father and Ramon were in town, and at her house. Eleanor had invited them and Charles to a quiet family dinner. Blair had been more than glad to have Chuck. He proved to be the one capable of smoothing over Eleanor's ripples most successfully. Even Eleanor was not repellent to Chuck Bass' charms, and certainly not when the young hotel heir was so eager to please.

In any case the evening went by beautifully and (thanks to Chuck) without the usual glitch that were the 'famous Eleanor Waldorf meltdowns'. Roman was happy (and probably horny), Eleanor pleased and substantially tipsy, and Blair herself enjoying the warmth her father's gifted wine had spread out through her. It was however in the corner of Chuck and Harold where the young Bass had made Blair come to terms with her heart and her dear affections for him.

Harold had brought with him a gift for Chuck, a carton of cigars that the young Bass was groping and nuzzling. They sat now discussing whatever manly thing Blair herself found mundane and a bore, but she did watch them. And it there, the look in Chuck's eyes…his mannerism. Blair knew she was in love.

Chuck had noticed her watching and turned to her with a small smile, he clearly had no idea what was the source from which Blair's eyes had grown so bright. He could only guess that it was him having acquired her father's approval, even more perhaps than a said Archibald had. But it wasn't. It was Chuck's approval that had struck her so. His ability to look and talk and be around Harold with sincere equality. It was the first time Blair had seen a member of the Upper East Side look at her father that way, treat him naturally, no lingering look of pity…no judgment.

Blair had found herself drawing close to Chuck, entangling their arms, and resting her chin on his shoulder. She watched him carry on with her father and smiled to herself. She was in love alright.

It was weeks later before it came; the first time Blair Waldorf had the urge to utter those three little words.

It was at the van der Bass residence. It was a warm Sunday afternoon and Lily was pregnant. This period of Lily's life was distinguished by the lovely blond being insufferably nagging, sentimental, and incredibly nostalgic in terms of her family. It was no surprise that when tea was served Lily was more than demanding that they all sit together and watch for the first time her and Bart's wedding film. Chuck and Eric groaned visibly and Bart offered both a sharp look. In any case the entire family and Blair were seated about watching the plasma screen as they were served by two dozen or so servants that roamed around the place at all occasions.

Blair took notes…secretly. Having had 3 perfect UES weddings and one extraordinary one down her belt, Lily was clearly the master at this. Blair recognized game, and she wasn't afraid to take a few pointers herself. In any case she laced her fingers with Chuck's when he returned from his 10 minute long bathroom trip, clearly stoned.

One thing I've learned is that in the face of true love you don't just give up; even if the object of your affection is begging you too.

Blair watched Chuck, the one on the HD screen. She watched him as enchanted as she had been that first time. When she had seen him say those words, the look in his eyes, the break in his voice….he was as stripped as she had been on the Victrola stage. He was perfect. And for the very first time, Blair Waldorf had realized how deep and unusual her feelings were for Chuck. She had been so completely bewitched; she had forgotten all the bad, all the ugly…because it just didn't matter anymore. Blair now smiled quaintly and turned to the real flesh and blood Chuck, longing to tell him of her affections, of the love that she was not ready to recognize that night. Really it was at the tip of her tongue—I love you—

But it never happened. Chuck was glazed. He was clearly high and her words would have been wasted, so she bit them back and saved them for a more special time.

It was weeks after said incident when something peculiar happened. Chuck Bass was put out, sick with the flu. Blair could not believe her ears. She couldn't remember the last time Chuck was sick….or well the last time he admitted to being sick. She assumed illness never affected the great Chuck Bass; that it was a chink in his impressive silver armor.

What Blair didn't realize is that Chuck did succumb to illness from time to time, but he would never admit to it. It was always a hangover that remained. But there was no fooling Lily Bass, and so the illness would be made known this time.

In any case, the lovely Blair Waldorf undermining the severity of Chuck Bass' condition would find herself at his suite door an hour after school. She held in her hand a takeout order of seaweed soup from her favorite sushi spot (which she wrongfully believed appropriate for occasion), and wore her Burberry trench with red heels and only black lingerie underneath.

Having made sure the hall was empty, Blair opened her trench and adjusted her lace La Perla bra before curling her small fist and sending a blow to the door of 1812. She smiled seductively and held out her treat as the door clicked and widened to show—LILY BASS?!

"Blair?"

Blair stood frozen for a second before squealing and covering up herself as quickly and with as much dignity as possible. Knotting her trench belt tightly she turned to Lily again, ignoring her burning cheeks, and faked a wide smile.

"For the poor sick boy."

Blair had not meant to sound so sarcastic, but this was Chuck's fault. She then placed her bag into Lily's hands, who accepted, her bemused smile still in place. Blair was then invited in of course, still blushing, and she followed Lily in to see Serena and Eric and two young maids roaming around the large bed onto which Chuck was sprawled about.

Blair's expression softened at the sight of him. Chuck was clearly very sick. His face was chalk white and glistened all over with perspiration. And he was still in his school uniform, or what vaguely resembled them, as his yellow shirt and khakis were sweaty and wrinkled and generally gross. Blair smiled affectionately. Her Chuck Bass would never be caught dead looking such a mess; he had to be terribly sick.

Blair walked over to the bed now; waving Serena off who was sprawled on the couch with her homework, and smiling at Eric who was seated on the bed Chuck occupied (playing some sort of game on his cell phone). Chuck blinked up at Blair as she settled about by his side, and he mumbled a hello. Blair sighed and smoothed away a damp fringe of hair off his even more damp forehead. But their tender moment (the tenderness purely on her side) was broken by a blond maid exiting Chuck's bathroom and demanding that Mr. Bass was to take his hot bath that moment.

And that was when Chuck, quite unwillingly and with the help of Eric and the maid, was rid of his sheets and pulled to his feet. As the maid was about to drag him to the bathroom however Chuck seemed to pause having felt a certain material with his fingers. He pulled away a second and pulled off his famous scarf, he then placed it into Blair's hands, who in her shock forgot to be grossed out at the sensation of the damp material.

Thirty minutes later Chuck would join the family and Blair on his couch, where Lily would thrust into his hands the 'seaweed' soup Blair had graciously brought (the van der Bass' had had a good laugh at that one). Seeing him look so rosy and fresh faced and handsome, eating the now disgusting cold soup (though granted pulling grossed out faces and throwing a good many snobby remarks), Blair could not help but grin. He really did look cute. And so she found herself snuggling tight against him, breathing in his irresistible scent—

"I love you."

And there they were, those three little words uttered. Blair had not realized she had said them at first, and snuggled a moment too long before it sunk in—and her whole body stiffened.

Blair pulled back hoping against hope that Chuck was unaware and had succumb to dozing…but oh no. That shower had done him wonders, and he stared at her wide eyed face with a peculiar jaw-hanging look on his.

Faking a cough, or a few, Blair pulled back quickly as though stung and grabbed her purse and very literally ran out. She was not sure if the van der Basses had heard, but she was not sticking around to find out.

It was three days before Blair would see Chuck again, and when she did she had hoped she hadn't. It was before school the first time, out in the courtyard. Their eyes locked and he walked over to her. She had wanted to run, but somehow her feet were glued to the spot. Boy did she wish she had run. When Chuck actually did come over he tried to act like things were cool that there was no pink elephant in the shape of Blair's untimely blurt out…but Chuck was not very good at pretence and delusion. He just ended up looking awkward and watching her with suspecting eyes and all the while wearing that ever present smirk. It was enough for Blair to wish a car would drive off the road and hit him!

The second time was during their lunch hour when he and Eric bumped into Blair and her posse near the Met steps. Chuck and Blair locked eyes and made a silent agreement to act the perfect couple, so he leaned in and she let him, and he left a quick peck on her cheek…so unusual for them. And of course everyone seemed to notice that. But Chuck smirked, looking the ever serene and started with a "hello my delicious little creature, my lovely—

Well except he stopped immediately there and blinked repeatedly at Blair, whose eyes were directed anywhere but, her usually pale features afire.

Well it seemed Chuck had had enough. That afternoon he showed up at Blair's ready and cool knowing it was time to confront it and ride the baby out.

Blair of course was not pleased to see him. She glared profusely and ordered that he leave her living parlor. To which of course Chuck did not abide.

"You've been avoiding me Waldorf."

"I have not." Blair had said a little too quickly. She did however ignore his smirk and start up again. "I've been busy Bass. And I know it's hard to comprehend with that monstrously large ego of yours, but my life doesn't revolve around you. So if you don't mind, I am busy still at this moment, so leave…please"

"No need for the claws Blair. I'm not here for a fight…well unless doing it rough would be categorized as—"

"I'm not doing anything with you Bass, and least of all am I doing you."

"And what's changed? You showed up at my place when I was puking and sick, in my favorite trench of yours…and now this. Talk to Chuck baby, what's on your mind—"

"What's on my mind?"

Chuck was still grinning looking ever the more cocky, and infuriating her ever the more. Blair could scream.

"I hate you! I hate you Chuck Bass…that's on my mind!"

Chuck's smirk faltered like she had hoped and now he glared, his expression identical to hers.

"Fine. I hate you too."

"Good."

"Great. Guess we're even."

Blair did not expect this. She could kick herself and him for uttering those stupid three words. Why she had—

Still pondering her stupidity Blair had not realized that Chuck was kissing her…or that she was responding. It was typical, her brain took a moment longer than her body to respond to him. Typical.

What was not typical was the kiss. His mouth was hot, his tongue teasing, and Blair very nearly melted into his embrace. It was like all the bad had washed away, a perfect moment in which they could be together far from the ugly…the mundane things that dirtied up their raw beautiful affections. And it was done.

Blair was back staring into the smug face of Chuck. The smug face of Chuck Bass to which she had uttered her love. He was starting to smile and was first to talk.

"I still hate you."

"I hate you more."

"Impossible."

Blair glared and was about to stomp on his foot—but he kissed her again, his hands running through her silken waves. His lips then traveled to her neck and up to her earlobes, where he sucked and teased gently as he breathed into her ear.

"I fucking love you Blair. You should already know."

It didn't take much after that to get Blair to reconsider her words. And then they were off, stumbling up the steps worst than a hungover Serena and falling, already half naked, onto the soft dressings of her bed. This was love alright, defected, and wrong…and oh so delicious, especially at that moment.