Disclaimer - I don't own Gossip Girl, nor to I own Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf.
A/N- Set right after Summer Kind of Wonderful. The phonecall that should have followed Chuck and Blair's conversation at the front of the house after the White Party. Enjoy, and please review :)
Because I Love You
Chuck Bass has style. He has a style, he has his style, and until recently, it's worked just fine.
His dress code (contemporary classic for the record) isn't followed by many, it isn't really followed by any, and for that, Chuck's glad. It sets him apart and it makes him stand out in circles where only names are known, not faces.
His hair cut doesn't have a name, he simply directs the hairdresser around every contour of his head, scissors never cutting away more than a couple millimetres at a time. It's careful and it's precise and it's almost definitely classed as vain, but Chuck doesn't care. All he sees is a job well-done.
His mannerisms and etiquette are a result of his own fathoming. Before elementary school he wasn't told to open doors for women, wasn't taught to speak to them with nothing but respect and admiration, wasn't given any complimentary examples to follow.
He thinks, no actually, he knows that Blair Waldorf was the first woman to speak to him, (she was also the first girl to speak to him, pointing out that he had a shoelace undone, stating that she'd help him but to do so, she'd have to bend down and her dress might get dirty) stating on her sixteenth birthday that she was now a woman, and so he'd have to treat her like one.
"No more cursing" She'd instructed one day as they sat on a bench in Central Park after Chuck had received an angry call from his father to let him know that one of the maid's he'd taken to bed with him had stolen some jewellery from a guest's bedroom.
After Nate had once abandoned her only minutes before a shopping trip she'd been looking forward to for weeks, Blair had called him up, stating that as he should do the honourable thing and accompany her himself. Chuck had, of course, been busy with other...engagements, but due to Blair's newfound 'I'm a women therefore you should treat me like one' mentality, had dropped his latest conquest to be at the Queen Bee's side. He was, at that point, a newcomer to the world of women, and Blair being his first real encounter, Chuck had made careful effort to make sure he did things right.
Now, his style has failed him, to the point that he's not even sure whether he still has it.
And so, completely out of character (because the evening's earlier procedures seemed to indicate that he hasn't got much of one left anyway) he picks up his cell to call her, because he won't be able to sleep if he hasn't at least given the truth a shot.
She sounds groggy and confused and totally pissed off. But she still answers. "You'd better not be drunk dialling."
"Are you sure? Because I saw you at that bar a hell of a lot and..."
"Blair, I said I'm not drunk dialling."
"It's to apologize." He takes a deep breath. "For tonight, for everything because..." He's not really sure where to go until his mouth twitches and his eyes sting, and suddenly months of truths come rushing out.
"Because I thought that's how you wanted me to be. I thought that, the talk, the complacency, the no-strings, that's what you fell for, that's what you wanted. I thought that was the person you wanted me to be, that's the person I'm best at, and when we were supposed to meet at the airport, I wasn't sure how I was supposed to act."
He swallows and waits, but she still doesn't say anything, and so Chuck continues.
"I was scared, I was scared for myself, I was scared that you were scared, and..."
"Chuck, why are you calling?"
"Because you've taught me pretty much everything I know about women. Because I notice things about you that nobody else ever has, like the way you bite the sides of your mouth while you're thinking of the answer to a math question, and that little freckle on your..."
"Because even though you pretend you don't feel the same way, we both know you do. And because...because I love you okay?" Chuck gasps. "There. I said it. I love you Blair Waldorf, and I've loved you since before that night at Victrola, before you even suspected anything with Nate and Serena. I know I should have said it tonight when you asked, but I just...I don't want to let you down like Nate did. I wanted to be sure about us, about my feelings and after the whole thing with Amelia, I let you down and I couldn't do that again."
His heart beats faster and his eyes sting harder but he keeps going. "So I thought if I told you I loved you, then it's a commitment and when I mess up, there's more to break. But I should have done it before because I loved you then, I love you now and unfortunately for me, I'll probably love you until I die. Which, if you don't say something, could be very soon."
He can hear her breathing and he clenches his sweating fists, waiting, hoping for the same response.
"Tell me why."
"Tell me why you love me."
"I just did."
"Maybe I didn't catch it the first time."
"Then you should have been paying more attention."
"It's 2am. You just woke me up and it's kinda hard not to feel tired after the night I've had."
Chuck groans at the fact that she's probably laid in bed beside James or whatever the hell his name is, in just her negligee. Or her underwear. Or maybe even nothing at all. He's suddenly not sure whether or not he's going to gag.
"You'd better not have me on speaker phone."
"Well I don't want Lord...whoever to hear my confessions."
"What? No! I'm not... I mean, we didn't... he's not here. That's not who I am. I thought you knew that."
"Well I don't have much to go on. Only our first night together and look how that turned out."
"That was different. It was all about the moment and..."
"So you guys had no moment?"
"I don't feel comfortable discussing this with you. Especially over the phone at 2am."
"Then come over."
"Come over where?"
"To the hotel, I'll send a car..."
"Chuck, it's two in the morning."
"Then I'll come to you."
"But it's late. Or...early, depending on how you look at it, I guess."
"Blair, this is important."
"So is my beauty sleep."
"You asked me to meet you at the airport, and I didn't show. And then you asked me to meet you in France, and I didn't show. You asked me to give you a reason not to leave, I
didn't do it and now you've asked me to tell you why I love you and you're not letting me do it." Chuck gabbles. "I don't know if you're just trying to prove yourself right, or what, but I love you Blair and if you want to know why, there's a list a thousand miles long. But if it's too late, or...early or whatever, and you'd rather sleep, then say. But I think you've gotten enough beauty to last you a couple hours without sleep, and..."
"I'm listening." Blair interjects softly.
"Are you sure?" Chuck asks. "Because there're a lot of reasons, like, a lot of reasons."
"The more the better right?"
He's on number 37 (he loves her because she's the only person who appreciates his colour-coordinating of bow ties with socks) when there's a knock at her door. Ignoring it at first, Blair rolls her eyes as there's a second knock and a third.
"Hang on." She tells him with a sigh as she makes her way towards the door, one hand holding her cell to her ear, the other clamped around her waist to keep herself from shivering. "There's someone at my door, probably sleepwalking or..."
She stops talking when she opens it, and he snaps his own cell shut, the most genuine of smiles he's ever smiled playing at the corners of his mouth.
"Number 38." He begins. "I love you because you promoted me to number one on your speed dial, and I've never..."
She presses her lips onto his before he can finish, her body so close to his that she nearly trips over his feet, and he has to fall back against the wall just to steady himself.
"Even featured on anyone else's speed dial before." He finishes as she finally breaks away (still too soon) gasping for breath.
"I love you." She says softly, resting her forehead against his. "I haven't got a list of reasons why, but I just do. But it must mean something, right?" She asks.
"It means everything."
"Tell me you love me to my face."
"I love you."
"Say it again."
"I love you."
"Please?" She asks so innocently that he can't not.
"I love you."
They're in bed and he's got his arms shielding her. Her hair is fanned out on the pillow behind her so that she can rest her head in the crook of his neck without tickling him, and she can smell his cologne as she drifts in and out of consciousness. Her eyes flutter open, just for a couple seconds to look at his body against hers, and she's almost sure he's asleep.
But then he dips his head so that his lips rest against her earlobe and he whispers her three new favourite words.
"I love you."