Title: Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
Summary: High school is a thing of the past for Blair Waldorf. She is now one of the most respected and well known interior designers in New York, but when her past comes calling, will she be able to ignore the call or will feelings she thought she'd pushed down resurface? C/B. AU Future fic
Disclaimer: Not mine… unfortunately.
Chapter One: He Wasn't You
She stared at the newly finished home with a satisfied smile. She's spent the better part of her year in London repainting, rebuffing and refurnishing the mansion of one Lord Marcus Beaton.
She eyed the dark red walls that gave the sitting room a more regal appearance, and eyed each piece, huffing in annoyance when one of the frames on the wall was tilted. Walking over she straightened the frame and eyed it critically before stepping back and looking at the rest of the room.
"It looks marvelous, Blair!"
She turned and saw the tall blonde figure walking towards her. She resisted the urge to beam with pride; she had always loved it when people praised her work. Instead of the giant smile she wanted to plaster onto her face, a slow smirk made its way to her lips.
The lord smiled as he hugged her. "When you told me you wanted to paint the walls red, I thought you'd gone mad. I see now what you mean by regal."
"I went with the chaise off to the side, gives the room a more relaxing feel without losing the power. I'd love to give you a tour of your new home, my lord."
"Please, Blair, enough with the formalities, call me Marcus."
"Marcus," she nodded, still looking at the room.
"So why don't you give me that tour, show me everything that was wrong with this place and what you've changed."
Blair laughed. "I would love to, but I have a flight to catch."
"In the morning," Marcus nodded.
For the first time since he'd walked in, Blair turned and looked at him. "I-"
"Yes, my flight is in the morning, how did you know?"
"I asked your assistant, she's a squirrelly one," he laughed.
"You asked my assistant when I was leaving?" She asked her tone iced over. She didn't give out private information for many reasons, namely one.
"Oh, don't be angry, Blair, you've been remodeling my house for almost a year now, we've gotten to know each other pretty well."
"We slept together once, Marcus." And she still regretted it.
"And you've been distant ever since. What secrets do you hold, Blair?"
His blues eyes stared at the side of her face and her eyes made sure the sitting room was perfect. She refused to leave her projects until it was deemed perfect in her eyes.
"Have dinner with me."
"I don't have dinner with clients," she said moving the tapered candles to the center of the table.
"Yet you sleep with them."
She straightened and stared at him, her eyes cool and calculating. "My work here is done, Lord Beaton. My assistant will bill you later this week. Any other communication about the remodeling will be done by her. Have a nice life, lord."
"Blair," Marcus sighed. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry."
"And you didn't," she patted his shoulder. "I have an early flight. It's been a pleasure." She grabbed her black Fendi messenger bag and shouldered it. She left out the front door, messaging her assistant to come to the Beaton manor and show the lord around.
Sliding into the town car, she slid on her Dior sunglasses and leaned her head against the headrest as the driver drove her off the property and into town to her hotel.
She'd been staying in a flat in London for the year she'd been working on the project. But the week she'd found out all she had left to do were touch-ups, she moved into the hotel and booked a flight home. She was ready to see New York again. And as much as she found the idea hilarious, she actually missed her mother.
Twenty minutes later she found herself in front of The Connaught and stepped out once the driver opened the door.
"I'll be here at five am to pick you up, Miss Waldorf, unless you need me later tonight?"
"No, Billings, it's fine. I'll see you in the morning," Blair said grabbing her bag and smiling lightly at the driver before walking into hotel, being greeted by name by the doorman and the concierge.
"Any messages for me?" She asked the receptionist.
"Only two," the young girl said, handing over the paper messages as Blair started for the elevators. One was from Serena, telling her to call her the minute she got back into town, and the other was from Genesis, her assistant in New York, telling her about a new client interested in her work.
She'd call Serena once she got back from London, hoping that her best friend hadn't relapsed again, and Genesis in the morning before she boarded the plane. She stepped off the elevator and pulled the key from the top pocket of her bag and slid it in, opening her door and immediately kicking of her heels and dropping the bag.
She dumped the messages in the trash and went straight to the bathroom, stripping off her black pencil skirt and white blouse. She started running the water for a bath as she pulled the pins out of her hair and let her chestnut hair fall down her back in curls.
"I always preferred your hair down."
She turned her head at the sound of the voice and sighed in relief when she found her room and bathroom empty. Taking off her undergarments, she lowered herself into the warm water, shutting the taps off.
She'd been hearing his voice everywhere, little clips and pieces from their high school days when they'd been together. Ever since the group had separated she'd heard his voice.
Then there were the times when he'd call and she'd actually hear his voice and for some reason hearing his actual voice always hurt less than hearing it in her dreams. And that was the reason she always answered her phone or always opened her door, because for that moment, when even though they'd be talking in circles for hours on end, the vice grip that squeezed her heart when she didn't hear from him, loosened as she screamed at him to leave her alone.
She was a masochist that was for sure. She always looked forward to the moment when he'd call and yell at her for changing her number and not giving him a courtesy call or text.
He got the best of her and he'd been the only one that she ever allowed, willingly or unwillingly, to mess with her mind. She remembered it was just that, which had caused her to walk straight into Lord Beaton's arms and into his bed. But as he always pointed out, he hadn't made her do anything.
She stood in the middle of her room, towel-drying her hair, in her silk robe her father's boyfriend had given her for Christmas that fitted her body like a glove. She smiled wistfully as she watched Aubrey Hepburn on the TV yell "Timber!"
She couldn't help the giggle that escaped her lips as she watched. Smiling she left the room at the commercial break and padded her way to the kitchen to pour herself a cup of tea.
The knock on the door had her pausing for a split second before detouring, passing the kitchen and towards the front door. Only her closest friends knew she was in London and she hadn't been in town long enough to get to know anyone but her client, who'd been quite persistent in taking her to dinner.
She peeked through the peephole and couldn't help the gasp of surprise when she saw who was on the other side. He definitely wasn't supposed to know where she was.
The knock came again, along with a husky laugh that always caused shivers to run up and down her spine.
"Too late to pretend you're not home, Waldorf. I heard you gasp."
"Go away, Bass," she said looking through the peephole again, only to see him looking straight at her with a smirk.
"Open the door and I might just do that." She stayed staring at him, causing his smirk to grow. "Waldorf, if you don't open the door, I'll open it myself."
"You don't know how!" She said her voice full of indignation.
He laughed and leaned into the door, his voice quieter. "How do you think I would get into your room after we fought, even after you locked your bedroom door? Basses don't do windows."
Groaning and knowing she really didn't have any other choice, she opened the door. He pushed it open wider and walked in.
"Very gracious of you," he said as he walked past her and looked around.
"What are you doing here, Bass?"
"I was in the neighborhood, thought I'd pay my dear friend a visit."
"Shanghai is nowhere near the neighborhood."
He grinned looking at her. "Asked about me, did you?"
"Hardly," she said with a scoff as she walked further into the apartment. "Serena mentioned it when I talked to her last. I didn't bring up the subject." She followed him as he reached the bedroom. "Again, I ask, what are you doing here?"
He looked over at her, then at his watch, then back at her with a frown. "Did I get my dates wrong?"
"What?" She asked confused.
He looked back at his watch and sighed. "God, I'm sorry, Blair, I'm a month off. Oh well," he shrugged, a smirk making its way across his face "might as well get it over with, what's a month anyway." He fell back on the bed. "Let's skip the argument and get straight to the sex. Or better yet, let's argue while we fuck, that always did get us turned on, didn't it?" He smirked at her. "You are so hot when you're pissed."
She glared at him. "I think you've got me confused with one of your whores."
He leaned up on the bed, resting on his elbows. "Don't play dumb, Blair, it's not flattering."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," she said crossing her arms over her chest. "Now leave, I was watching Tiffany before you so rudely interrupted.
"Great, we'll watch it together. You can call me an arrogant jackass, we can have sex, and then I'll leave, and we'll repeat the cycle in six months."
"Every six months we find ourselves in the same room, talking. Then we argue over why we broke up."
"You cheated on me," she said, her jaw ticking.
"Every six months," he continued, "We sleep together. It's like clockwork, ever since graduation. It's like a tradition."
"Yeah, well, I happen to not like this tradition."
"So you ran away?" He asked standing. "Instead of telling me that you couldn't do this anymore, you ran all the way to London?"
She glared at him. "I tell you every time we're together, I can't do this anymore. You don't listen."
"Ah, I don't choose to listen. I happen to like the chase. You know that, Blair. I don't make you do anything and I most certainly don't make you lay on your back."
"Bastard," she said going to her bathroom and slamming the door shut.
The light knock had her glaring as she sat on the toilet seat. "You're predictable, Blair. If I hadn't come tonight, you would have found a reason to visit New York in a month when you found out I was back. Blair, come out, we'll finish the movie and we'll talk."
"I'm done talking," she said loud enough for him to hear. "Like you said, Chuck, we talk each other in circles and we get no closer of coming to an agreement. I don't want to be with you anymore."
"We're not in high school anymore, Blair. I'm ready for this."
"No, you're not."
"Blair, give me a chance."
"I gave you a second chance, Chuck, and a third and a fourth and, I believe, even a fifth one. That's more chances than I gave anyone else. God, just leave."
"Why, why should I leave?"
She opened the door and knew the minute she said the words she'd regret them. "Because I have a date."
He stared at her with incredulous eyes before he replaced it with a glare. "A date? You haven't been in London a week. I know you, Blair, the only people you've gotten to talk to here are your assistant and your client."
She raised an eyebrow.
He scowled. "You don't date clients."
"He's very charming," she said pushing past him, hoping she could get a minute alone to call Marcus and hope to god he didn't have plans already. "A real gentleman and a lord to boot."
"A lord?!" Chuck laughed as he watched her flip through her clothes. "There are still lords in this world?"
"Of course. He's well read too. He's read Ulysses like ten times."
"He must be a bore then."
"You don't even know who wrote the book." She pulled out a red dress from her closet.
"You're lying" he said narrowing his eyes.
"I am not!"
"Your eyes are doing that thing where they don't match your mouth."
"That doesn't mean I'm lying!"
"That and you just put on Breakfast at Tiffany's, and…" he took a whiff of the apartment, "And you're making popcorn, you had no intention of going out."
"Leave!" She told him as she passed and closed the bathroom door. She pressed her ear to the bathroom door, hugging the dress and her cell phone close. She could hear him breathing on the other side, then heard a crash and winced, knowing he'd punched something before the front door slammed.
She pulled her phone to her ear dialing quickly and sighing in relief or annoyance, she wasn't quite sure which, as he answered the phone.
"Hello, Lord Beaton, it's Blair Waldorf. I was wondering if that invitation for dinner was still open?"
An hour later she found herself sitting across from Lord Beaton, a tight smile on her face.
"Have I told you look quite ravishing tonight?" He asked.
She looked down and nodded. She was wearing her Carmen Marc Valvo black ruched off the shoulder silk dress that she'd seen in the window and loved. She hadn't planned on debuting the dress on a lame date.
"Lord Beaton, is it?"
She straightened, her eyes widening when she saw Chuck standing at their table, staring at her date.
"Yes, and you are?"
"Charles Bass, I'm good friends with Blair." He smiled at her "You didn't tell me you were in London, Blair!" he said in mock surprise.
He turned away and looked at Marcus. "Do you think I can steal her away? She tends to turn off her cell phone during dates and our good friend Nate has been trying to get a hold of her. His fiancée has a drug problem, you understand." He pulled Blair's arm as she stood up, her worry for Serena winning over her logical thought.
"I'm sorry, Marcus, I'll be back once I get this straightened out," she said putting her napkin on her plate and following Chuck out.
Before she knew what was happening, Chuck had her pushed against an alley wall and his lips were on hers. She responded gripping his shirt in her fist and pushing herself forward. It was only a natural response when he kissed her, but once his hands pushed the hem of her dress up, she pushed him away, gasping for air.
"What are you doing!?" She asked pushing her dress down and fixing the strap.
"What are you doing?" He asked pointing to the restaurant. "You're with him to prove something and I have no idea what."
"You used your sister's drug problem to… to what? Lure me out? That's low, Chuck!"
"Oh please, as if you haven't used Serena before."
"I'm on a date, just like you… well, sleep with people. I like to get to know the people I'm going to sleep with."
"You're going to sleep with him?" Chuck asked.
"You just said-"
"I said…" she looked at Chuck and reran her words. "Yes, yes, I'm going to sleep with him."
"You're going to sleep with your client?"
He walked over to her slowly, his hand finding hers and leaning her back against the wall. He leaned in, his lips near her ear as he whispered, "What incensed him more inwardly was the blatant jokes of the cabman and so on who all passed as a jest, laughing 1530 immoderately, pretending to understand everything, the why and the wherefore..." He trailed his lips down nipping her chin as he reached the other ear, "And in reality not knowing their own minds." He sucked the lobe lightly, his teeth biting down, causing a moan to rip through her throat. "Page 1072 of Ulysses."
He pulled away and stared at her. "Leave."
She shook her head. "I can't. I have to get back." She pushed away and walked back to the restaurant.
Blair groaned as she dunked her head in the water. Stupid mother chucker, she thought sitting back up and pushing her hair back. She pulled the plug with her toe and stood up grabbing the towel to wrap her body.
She'd only slept with two guys to spite Chuck and both times she had been on the losing side of things. She'd slept with Nate, Chuck's best friend and her ex at the time for so many different reasons, but the underlying and main reason was to prove Chuck wrong, that she didn't need him. Same with Marcus.
With a groan, she walked out of her bedroom and changed into her nightgown, crawling into bed, not bothering to dry her hair or even untangle it. She lay on her back in the dark, the only light was the moon shining in from her windows, too exhausted to bother shutting them, and the only sounds was the London traffic outside.
Marcus had been… disappointing and lacking. She'd left before he'd woken and went back to her flat, got into the shower and cried (embarrassingly enough) as she scrubbed her body vigorously for an hour.
The next day involved an awkward meeting with Marcus, where she had put an end to any and all feelings he had for her, before she had tracked down Chuck.
She had the speech prepared, the yelling, the slapping, the accusing. But when he'd opened the doors and stared at her with his caramel-colored, un-accusing eyes, he'd only asked two questions before she's fallen into their usual cycle.
"Why did you sleep with him?" He asked quietly staring at her. He didn't need to ask whether she had slept with him, that he already knew.
"He wasn't you," she said quietly, tears running down her cheeks. She rubbed her palms over her cheeks pushing them away.
"Then why are you here?"
"Because he wasn't you," she said before launching herself into his arms and kissing him with all that she had. She barely registered the door closing or him pushing her against it.
She rubbed her legs together in frustration, groaning and grabbing her sleep mask from the nightstand and pulled it on, covering her head with the comforter. Unfortunately that couldn't stop her from remembering the way his fingers felt on her or how the weight of his body on hers when he'd laid her on the bed had felt right and welcome. Or the fact that unlike the other times, it hadn't been gentle, but rough and fast, something that they had always loved, seeing as their personalities always made it out to be a contest of dominance.
She rubbed her face in agitation. She also couldn't help but remember his face of hurt and disbelief when she left in the morning, telling him she was done. And that she meant it that time. She wouldn't answer his calls, she wouldn't answer the door, and she wouldn't ask for him anymore. She was done.
And surprisingly to both of them, she'd kept to her word. She'd changed her number, not giving it out to anyone but her office aides who had strict instructions not to give it out to anyone. She'd moved flats as desperate as it made her seem. She'd done everything possible to cut one Chuck Bass out of her life, and she had succeeded. There was no six month romp in the bed after the last incident, but now that she was on her way back to New York, she wondered if she'd be able to avoid him just as successfully.
"Looks like I'm throwing myself at work once again," she muttered, before forcing herself to sleep.
I've always loved doing AU's, so I thought I'd try my hand at a Gossip Girl one, that and the idea wouldn't leave me alone.
The title was taken from John Mayer's song "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" and when I heard it I instantly though of Blair and Chuck.
Also, the quote that Chuck says is from Ulysses, my beta made sure I had it correct.
One more thing, it is AU, so personalities might be a bit skewed, but I'm keeping them as close as possible, if Chuck or Blair do something that you know they would never do, remember it's AU, and I do everything for a reason lol.
I hope you all enjoy it, I'm hoping the next chapter will be up soon!
Please review, I'd love to know what you all think!