If You Think I Want You, Think Again
Summary: Takes place a month after "Much I Do About Nothing." Serena and Nate separately convince Blair and Chuck to come to the Hamptons for the rest of the summer. Mainly CB with some definite leaning in the NS direction. More than anything, I guess it's CBNS :)
Ch 1: Friends Don't Let Friends Be Emo
Serena Van der Woodsen rolled her eyes good-naturedly as she participated in the umpteenth "Chuck hasn't called yet" conversation that summer. It had already been a month since Chuck left Blair stranded in Italy, yet these conversations had been taking place at least once a day. At least. If Blair Waldorf, her best friend, kept this up, Serena would just have to fly to France and kill them both with her bare hands.
"—Just who does he think he is?" Blair was asking vehemently. "I give him a chance, you know, and he just throws it in my face! If he thinks I'm even so much as looking in his direction the next time we meet, he's got another thing coming—"
Serena took this as her opportunity to play matchmaker once more, though she had no idea why she would even consider it, since she had never been a big proponent of 'Chuck plus Blair 4eva' in the first place. But she had to admit that one week where they were carefree and together had been the happiest she had ever seen Blair, so she was prepared to do almost anything to make it happen again. "Must I remind you, B," she chided her friend lightly, "That you were the one who turned him away when he flew all the way to your father's chateau just to speak with you?"
She heard Blair's grumbling on the other line. Was she really going to deny that she didn't even give Chuck the opportunity to explain himself? As angry as Serena would have been in her place, she would have let Dan explain if he apologized. Not that Dan ever apologized… Stop thinking about him! She almost slapped herself, knowing that's what Blair would do if she could hear Serena's thoughts right now. "What was I supposed to do, S?" Blair nearly whined, "I have some self-respect, you know." Ouch. Serena was pretty sure she herself didn't have any, then.
"Okay, here's what we're going to do," Serena began in a gushing tone, "You're going to leave your dad's tomorrow morning—you guys have had enough of each other by now, I swear—and you're going to come party it up in the Hamptons with me!" She giggled to punctuate her excitement. It was time her best friend was back by her side, she didn't care if that was a little bit selfish. They were both suffering from broken hearts, although Serena was sure Blair's was less hurt and more easily fixable than her own, and could definitely use each other's company. "You'll forget all about, ugh, my step brother, when you see all the totally gorgeous guys I'm surrounded by constantly." Well, the gorgeous guys and Nate Archibald…. But it was best to leave him out of the picture for now, even if Blair was supposedly over him. Serena and Nate had been hanging out a lot over the summer, and she wasn't entirely sure how okay it was for her to be friends with Blair's ex. When they saw each other again in the Hamptons, though, she was sure everyone would get along and they could all be best friends once more.
Blair looked around her very own room in her father's French cottage and gave a little sigh. She had exhausted all of the tourist activities in France. As much as she loved her father and her cat, and Roman, too—he kept trying to get her to work in the vineyard, and she was afraid that she would crack and give in if she stayed another day. Overall, the summer had been a bust so far. There were a bunch of adorable garçons vying for her attention, but she hadn't been able to pay adequate attention to any of them. None of them were scarf-wearing, self-absorbed, pseudo-reformed bad boys, so how could they possibly hold her interest? Okay, that was a lie. Some of them did wear scarves, were self-obsessed, and had promised to change their lifestyles to suit her mood… but none of them were Chuck Bass. And that was a fact. It was unfortunate that she had let the movie in her head get the best of her once again; she should have known Chuck wouldn't want a real relationship, no matter what he had said at Lily's wedding. She just wished he could have been man enough to admit it to her instead of lying and sneaking around and humiliating her in front of his father's employees by leaving her all alone at the helipad. Finally, she snapped out of her gloomy thoughts and remembered she was on the line with Serena. "I guess I could use a little New York sun," she conceded. It would be good to spend time with her only real friend and make sure she didn't get into any trouble. Blair always forgot about her own problems when she was focusing on Serena's.
"Come on, man. Join me, please. I'm dying here with only Serena as company," Nate pleaded jokingly into the phone as he spoke with his newly reinstated best friend, Chuck Bass. It was a lie that Serena's company was anything less than spectacular, but Nate thought it would be a good way to simultaneously convince Chuck to come and remind himself that Serena was nothing more than a good friend. Besides, he knew Chuck needed some relief. He hadn't really talked about what happened with Blair all summer long, but from what Nate could gather from Serena—it hadn't been pretty.
"I don't know, Nathaniel," Chuck resisted on the other line, "You know how I feel about my luxuriously pale complexion. I'm afraid the harsh Hampton sun will mess it up for me." He stretched himself out on his king-sized bed in his father's Monaco hotel and racked his brains for another reason to skip out on all the fun. "Besides, French girls are way hotter. You should come here instead."
Nate shook his head and almost laughed at his friend's lame excuses. "No way, man. We already did Monaco. It's time for me to take you on a vacation." Fearing he was making little progress, Nate decided to go in for the kill instead. "…You'll be further from Blair this way," he said cautiously.
Chuck scoffed, "Like I care where Blair is. I don't need some girl in my life trying to control me and making me feel guilty for every little thing I do. I'm not you, Nathaniel." Of course, he had to admit that for the week he had been with Blair, there had been nothing controlling or stifling about it. She had been totally loose and free and happy, and he had thought he would never feel so blessed again. Then his dad had made him see he really wouldn't. Sooner or later, she would turn into Blair Waldorf again and he would have to mold himself into her perfect high society boytoy or lose her forever. It was better if he pulled away before getting too attached, right? Definitely right. If he had gone on that trip with her, everything would have fallen to pieces (not that it didn't, anyway). He didn't regret anything he did, ever. He was Chuck Bass, after all. Yeah, but if you didn't regret it, the annoying voice in his head wondered, Why did you go after her and apologize? Now there was something to think about.
"That really hurt, Chuck!" Nate pretended to fall over with an arrow through the heart. "Are you really telling me that you and I momentarily broke up our eternal bromance because of your love for Blair, and now she means nothing to you?" He had momentarily considered getting angry at Chuck all over again when he first heard about the immature way he was treating Blair, but now that he had his best buddy back—he knew that there was practically nothing that could make him let Chuck go a second time.
"I'm afraid that exactly what I'm saying, Nathaniel," Chuck agreed quickly, although he wanted to kick himself for being so cruel when he knew he'd much rather have Blair back by his side than be partying it up in Monaco. "I can't be tied down. I was a fool to kid myself like that. Chuck Bass has to spread the love."
Nate rolled his eyes at all the bravado, knowing he sometimes wished he himself could get away with it. However, now it was just starting to grate, seeing as it was so obvious Chuck didn't mean a word of it. "If you're so intent on 'spreading the love,' how is it that you haven't been with a single girl since Blair?" At this, he almost shuddered, aware that he meant the first time with Blair. A first time that Nate hadn't known about for months and that, incidentally, should have been her first time with him. But Nate was the kind of guy who let bygones be bygones, so he shook off his ill feeling a second after it appeared.
"How would you even know that? I could have two girls with me right now."
Chuck let a few seconds go by without answering. He really wished he had two girls with him right now, just to prove Nate wrong. And because they would be really hot, and I'm really horny, he reminded himself. But, sadly, he only really wanted to be with Blair—no matter how many girls he convinced himself he could now sleep with guilt-free.
He hadn't even been able to hook up with that interior decorator chick. What was her name? Anna? Whatever. He had led her into his suite and then realized how ridiculous he was being. Wasn't flirting enough? Even though Blair hadn't exactly declared her undying love for him yet, he knew that anything more would hurt her. While that revelation had surprised him, what surprised him even more was that hurting her was the last thing he wanted to do. In fact, just in that moment, he had realized the lengths he would go to in order to not hurt Blair. So he had immediately started actually talking about designs for his room, totally weirding the hell out of what's-her-face. Which, hello? That was her job, so he had no idea what her problem was. Then he had booked a commercial flight to Tuscany and ended up getting there a day late. He made the mistake of not telling Blair when he was leaving, though, so of course the minute he stepped off the plane, a text arrived from Blair herself: Bored. Going to dad's. B. That had been the first time Chuck actually felt any sort of panic about the situation. No XOs, no flirting. She was clearly pissed and he was going to pay. He couldn't even understand why she was so angry; she had to know it would be hard to find a commercial flight to Tuscany on such short notice.
So then he had gone from Tuscany to her father's chateau in the French countryside without skipping a beat, especially when he heard from the staff at the hotel they would have been staying at that a young Bass employee named Ben had escorted Blair on the flight to her father's. A terrible sense of debutante ball déjà vu had overcome him, and he determined to find Blair before she thought it would be a good idea to sleep with someone else just to express her anger. When he finally arrived at the cottage, however, she did not answer the door. He called her from outside and she picked up, her voice coming clearly from the other side of the door—which was utterly ridiculous and such a Blair thing to do that Chuck couldn't help but laugh. That didn't go over well with her.
"Please open the door, B. I'm sorry I was late, okay?"
Her voice had been brittle and cold when she responded. "You really think I'm that petty, huh? You think I'm angry because you were a couple of hours late to meet me?"
Chuck had felt his stomach drop just then. "What the hell are you talking about?" She couldn't possibly know about the girl… especially since there was nothing to know, now that Chuck had realized he was the biggest pansy this side of the Hudson.
"Since Gossip Girl hates me so much," she spat out, "She didn't miss the opportunity to inform me of your little tryst with some girl named Amelia."
So that was her name. But how in the world would Gossip Girl have gotten that information. Bitch was crazy, that was for sure. She either had to have hotel spies or someone had video access to his suite. "Huh? Nothing happened, Blair, I swear!" He had explained immediately, glad he was going to be able to get it all out in the open. Maybe they could even sit down and have a heart-to-heart in which she would assure him she never wanted him to change and that Bart was crazy for even suggesting it. That would be much easier to do if she would just open the door. "She's my decorator, we were talking about plans for my room in the new apartment."
He could hear Blair start to choke up on the other end of the phone (and the other side of the door) and had felt like the biggest jerk of all time. How was he supposed to make her feel better if he couldn't hold her in his arms? And why couldn't she just believe him, anyway? "Spare me your excuses, Chuck," she finally said, when she had regained control of her voice. "I always knew you were heartless, but I didn't think you would ever lie to my face." Technically, it's not your face, he thought, but now was not the time for snark. "I can't believe I trusted you. Please leave." She had said this last part with all the calm in the world.
She was so calm that Chuck could almost have believed she didn't care. But he had heard her sob before, and he knew he wasn't going to win unless he made her understand exactly what was happening. "Okay, Blair, I panicked about the trip and that's why I was late. I'm sorry I lied about my dad, but I promise you that Amelia and I—"
And that was all he ever got out, because just then he heard the phone click off and Blair scream, "LEAVE!" with such force that he was instead rooted to the spot out of both fear and guilt.
The door opened and he thought about running like the wind, away from Blair Waldorf's sharp claws, but it was thankfully Blair's father who walked out instead. "Sir, please let Blair know—"
But even Harold hadn't cared to hear what Chuck had to say, and he just said as grimly as possible, "I think it's best you go, Charles. You're disturbing Cat."
Now he didn't even know if Blair was hooking up with that Ben guy or with one of the many French suitors she must have acquired over the course of the month. And here he was, having gotten exactly what he wanted by no longer having to be a one-woman man. And yet all he wanted was to have that one woman again. Thanks a lot, karma. Or Gods of Irony, whatever.He shook off all the flashbacks running through his head and went back to his conversation. As much as he wanted to say something about tapping that ass, he couldn't lie, so he just answered Nate with a defeated "…No."
"You can't see me right now, but I'm doing a victory dance," Nate said, gloating a little more than necessary. "Since you're not having wild, crazy sex with hotel employees, I suggest you get your sexy self down to the Hamptons ASAP." And with that, he hung up to go ask the staff to set up a room for Chuck.