Pairing: Blair/Chuck

Disclaimer: I don't own Gossip Girl

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So what if she was engaged?

Maybe she wanted to be engaged. Maybe she didn't care that it wasn't to Nate Archibald, the way she had always envisioned when she was younger. Maybe it didn't matter that it wasn't to Chuck Bass, the man that she really lov—

"Blair, darling?"

Blair tore her gaze away from the photo album spread across her lap and called out, "In the bedroom."

Her fiancée walked in a moment later, fumbling with the knot on his blue tie. "I can't seem to get this—" He shot her a helpless look.

She rolled her eyes. "Come here."

No. She was in love with Joshua McCormick, CEO of the wildly successful McCormick Banks. And they were engaged.

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So what if she was married?

It had been a beautiful ceremony—everyone had said so. Jenny had designed her dress, and Blair had eaten nothing but tofu and rice for weeks in advance to fit into it. Chuck had laughed at her. They were sitting together in the kitchen, empty shot glasses and a half-full bottle of whiskey between them.

"It amazes me, the lengths to which women will go just to shed a few pounds for one day."

"One very important day. I have a husband now," she reminded him. The words sounded strange and foreign, when placed in that order.

"Certainly." He allowed. "Which is why you're spending the night you get back from your honeymoon with me. Drinking."

She smacked him on the shoulder, and he dutifully winced. "Shut up, Bass."

He just smiled and poured her another shot. "Yes, Mrs. McCormick."

His eyes gleamed as he looked at her, that familiar predatory look still in place. Of course. Just because she was married didn't mean she was gone.

She downed the whiskey in a single gulp.

---

So what if they were fighting?

Everyone knew the course of true love never did run smooth, after all. And she knew from experience that a successful marriage was not tied to love, but to maintaining the illusion of devotion.

And, despite all her other flaws, Blair did illusions very well. Well enough to fool anyone in the world. Except, perhaps, Chuck Bass.

"You're late."

Blair sighed dramatically, tossing her coat onto the leather sofa and sinking down next to him. "Just get me a drink."

"I see now," he teased, "You're just using me for the free booze." But he got up and poured her a shot of tequila.

"Damn!" she said brightly, accepting it, "You caught me."

He paused at the forced cheerfulness in her tone, and looked at her more closely. "Trouble in paradise?"

"Ask me no questions," she told him, downing her drink, "and I will give you no bullshit."

"I think the line is, 'tell you no lies'," he corrected absently, still looking at her. She frowned, fidgeting under his scrutiny. He raised an eyebrow. She crossed her arms, shirt sleeves riding up past her wrists with the motion. He stared.

Just above her wrist there were five, purplish, finger-shaped bruises.

She saw him looking, and tugged her sleeves down again, anger and embarrassment written clearly on her pretty face.

He got a good glimpse of that expression, and understood. He put his arm around her, and pulled her in close to his side. They didn't need words. They didn't need anything besides each other, and she knew it.

He knew it, too, and it was killing him.

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So what if she was divorced?

Divorce was quite common, nowadays. Marriage, it seemed, just wasn't what it used to be. Or, at least, that was what she kept telling herself. And it had been overdue, anyway.

That was why she shed no tears. That was why she had no qualms about throwing away the books and clothes she found every now and then, lying around, that had belonged to him.

Wasn't it?

She'd done quite well, overall—they'd kept a joint bank account, and she had come out with half. Half of a billion dollars? Enough for the moment. But she didn't let that stop her from accepting the generosity of several of her closest friends.

"I bought you a gift. It was supposed to be for your birthday, but I suppose a divorce is memorable enough to warrant something special."

"What is it?" Blair can hardly keep herself from snatching the box away and shaking it, like a small child.

He stifled a smile. "Open it."

She did. And squealed. "Thank you, Chuck!"

He gave her a look. "Come on, Waldorf, you can do better than that."

So she kissed him, full on the lips. He stiffened in surprise, but relaxed and responded to her touch almost immediately. And it felt more right than anything else in her broken, backwards life ever had.

So she did it again. And again.

---

So what if she was engaged?

Chuck had almost been ready to skip the engagement, and get married immediately.

"I've been waiting for this long enough already," he argued.

"Then you can wait a month longer," she said firmly. "I need to buy a dress."

He glared at her pointedly. "No diets?"

"I make no promises."

xoxo

Fin.

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