Well I can't regret it

Can't you just forget it?

I started something I couldn't finish

And if we go down

We go down together

Best friends means

Well best friends means

-Taking Back Sunday-

Heart beating a staccato rhythm in his chest, Chuck anxiously drums his fingers upon the leather upholstered seats, the muscles in his jaw clenching tighter with every passing second.

Christ can't this limo move any faster? He could walk faster than this!

Rubbing his temples, he tries to will his racing pulse to slow, to ease his taunt shoulders, to tell himself she is fine. But it isn't working. He keeps remembering her last words to him on the phone.

"Hurry Bass. I need you."

She needed him. Him. Chuck Bass. Nobody ever said they needed Chuck Bass, not unless it was in the throes of passion and they were begging to be fucked until they saw stars. But Blair hadn't been desperate for sexual release. No, no this time she'd just been desperate, her voice bordering on hysteria, and she had turned to him in her panic and by all that is holy he is not about to let her down by being late!

Sitting forward, he jabs his thumb into the button for the intercom. "Arthur!" he snaps. "What the hell is taking so long?"

"Sorry sir," his chauffer replies. "There appears to be an accident in the road ahead that's causing delays."

"Can't you go around it?"

"I've been trying to sir, but the gentleman in the blue SUV next to us has been refusing to let me change lanes."

Chuck peers out the tinted glass at the guy in the Escalade. The prat is either too absorbed in his Blackberry to notice that he is obstructing traffic or he just doesn't give a shit, but if Chuck had to bet, he would place his money on the latter. Snarling in frustration, he jerks the cuff of his sweater back to check his watch and his lips compress into a grim line when he sees the time. He cannot afford to be even one minute late, and he is going to be extremely late unless that mother fucker in the SUV lets Arthur over, and from the way the smug asshole keeps smirking at the limo, Chuck doubts that will happen anytime soon.

Goddamn it.

Glancing at his watch again, he makes a mental calculation and comes to a swift decision. "Do what you can to get to Blair's as soon as possible, and just circle the block when you arrive," he instructs his driver before wrenching his door open and sprinting up the street, almost losing his hastily donned hat as he runs.

He is not going to be late.

And he isn't. He flies into the lobby with a good forty-five seconds to spare and luck is with him because the elevator doors are just starting to slide shut. Dashing forward, he thrusts his hand into the gap to prevent them from closing and steps inside with something akin to triumph… until his gaze lands on Nathaniel.

Then it hits him. Blair hadn't only called him. She must have phoned her white knight as well.

Fucking typical.

"Hey," Chuck offers in greeting. It comes out at a volume barely audible, almost as if he is choking. And perhaps he is choking. Choking on words unspoken.

I'm sorry. I shouldn't have. I couldn't help myself. I loved her. I love her still. I miss you. Please forgive me.

Chuck can feel them there hovering, all those things left unsaid, and maybe Nathaniel does too. But the blonde isn't ready to listen. He just shifts his blue eyes away, like Chuck hadn't spoken at all.

How very mature.

And yet Chuck doesn't really blame him for not responding. After everything that had happened, the unofficial rules of male friendship that he had been broken, a one word salutation is a rather pathetic attempt at extending an olive branch. He probably wouldn't have responded either, at least not right away.

But when the silence between them grows increasingly awkward as the elevator climbs slowly to the Waldorf penthouse, he can't help but feel a stab of annoyance. Yes, Nate has a reason to be angry because exes were off-limits, but it isn't like he had actually loved Blair. He'd only wanted her back because she'd become happy and vivacious without him, and he couldn't see that being with him was what had made her sullen and insecure in the first place or that the reason she'd blossomed with confidence was because she'd finally found someone who didn't make her feel like she was inferior to her blonde haired best friend.

And it isn't like Chuck had seduced her or gone after her deliberately. He had tried his damnedest to resist her attraction and deny his emotions, but he hadn't been any more successful than Nathaniel himself had been at ignoring what he'd felt for Serena. And while sleeping with Blair may have been a betrayal of the BFF code, it wasn't any worse than Nate's hookup with S had been, and if Blair could forgive Serena, why can't Nate forgive him?

After what seems like an eternity because of the palpable tension between them, the elevator finally stops and the doors slide open. They get out and look around in mutual puzzlement because it appears that nobody is home.

"Maybe this is Blair's idea of a perverse double date," Chuck speculates aloud, once more trying to draw Nathaniel into conversation, but the golden boy is having none of it.

Then Dorota bustles in from the kitchen. "Miss Blair asks that you should wait here," she explains in her highly accented English. "She's on her way now."

Nate, never one for being particularly astute, furrows his brow in astonishment. "She's not even here?"

The maid just shrugs and exits, leaving them alone in the foyer. Nathaniel stands there for a few seconds in stupefaction, but Chuck strolls over to recline upon the chaise, figuring he may as well make himself comfortable. "Well this ought to be good," he muses sardonically, feeling like a fool for rushing over as it now seems obvious that while Blair Waldorf can't lie worth a damn in person, that trait apparently does not extend to telephone conversations. She'd conned both himself and Nate into coming here by acting panicked, and they had fallen for it. They had been skillfully played.

Bitch.

She probably thought if she got them in the same place they'd settle their differences, kiss and make up as it were. Well if that was her intention, however, fat lot of good it's doing. Even months after their friendship had imploded Nate was still spoiling for a fight.

Could that have been what she expected to happen? Had she planned this whole meeting hoping they would come to blows over here? Well, if that is what she wants, she is going to be sorely disappointed. He's already had his ass kicked once because of her, and he isn't about to make it twice.

"I can't believe this," Nate mutters to himself, breezing past Chuck to stare resolutely out the window.

The minutes pass slowly with both former best friends studiously trying to ignore the other's presence and being unable to. They keep stealing covert glances on one another, unwilling to breach the silence, the strain between them becoming suffocating until finally a ding signals the arrival of the elevator, and they both look over expectantly in time to see Blair emerge.

"Well is something actually wrong?" Nate demands. "Or is this just some ploy to get us both here?"

"I meant what I said on the phone," Blair answers. "I need your help." Then a shadow passes behind her eyes. "We need your help."

She loiters outside the elevator in a way that clearly indicates there is something within she wants them to see. Nathaniel stalks forward, Chuck trailing in his wake with growing trepidation, and together they peer inside.

"Oh my God," Nate gasps, and Chuck couldn't have summed it up better himself for Serena is sprawled shoeless on the floor, huddled into a corner, her hair a tangled mess, and her head lolling on her neck in the manner of one heavily intoxicated. But it's her eyes which are the most disturbing. They're glazed and vacant, as if she has no idea of where she is or even who she is.

Oh my God indeed.

Crowding around Serena, the two boys hoist her to her feet and sling one arm over each of their shoulders as they drag her limp form into the penthouse.

"You okay?" Chuck asks, speaking it right into the shell of her ear, and she doesn't react, almost as if she hadn't heard him at all, so he turns his attention to Blair. "What's wrong with her?"

But the petite brunette doesn't give him an answer. Instead she barks out a frantic command, "Take her upstairs." Then she yells for her maid to make coffee before moving to assist with Serena.

Between the three of them, they are able to maneuver the blonde up the steps to Blair's room. The last few feet she even becomes lucid enough that she stops being a dead weight and is able to stumble to the bed with assistance. Once she collapses upon the mattress, however, she's seemingly incoherent again.

"Serena!" Chuck shouts, shaking her by the arm in an effort to rouse her. "What did you take?"

Nate, ever one to point out the obvious, declares, "She's drunk man."

"Clearly Nathaniel," Chuck hisses. "But her pupils are dilated, and that is not caused by alcohol." He reaches down and slaps one of her cheeks lightly, then again harder until her unfocused eyes open a crack. "Serena, tell me what you took. Was it ecstasy? Coke? I need to know."

She groans, slurring something unintelligible before her lids drift shut and she buries her face back into the blankets.

"Damn it," Chuck scowls. "Keep her awake."

He's out the door and halfway down the hall when Blair catches him by the hand. "Where are you going?" she demands, and there is a haunted quality in the depths of her chocolate eyes, one that plainly says, "Please don't leave me alone with this."

He squeezes her fingers in reassurance. "I'm just stepping out to get supplies. I'll be right back."

She nods, but her features still look terrified, and suddenly her lower lip trembles and unshed tears glimmer along her lashes, and without even hesitating, he pulls her into a hug. "Keep it together, princess," he murmurs as he rubs her tense shoulders in soothing circles. "I need you to be strong right now." He draws back a fraction to peer into her face. "Can you do that for me? For Serena?"

"Yes," she sniffles, visibly rallying, blinking away her tears, and regaining her composure.

"That's my girl," he breathes, impulsively leaning down to press a quick kiss on her forehead as he cradles her cheek.

"I'm not your girl," she frowns, pulling away.

"Sure you're not," he smirks. "Now go take care of Serena, and I will be back before you know it."

"I am not your girl Bass!"

His only response is to laugh as he heads down the stairs to the elevator, already speed dialing Arthur so the limo will be waiting at the curb for him when he gets there.

Fifteen minutes, a speedy trip to the nearest grocery store, a brief detour at a bakery, and a thorough check of the partied-too-hard-last-night emergency rations he keeps stowed under the seats, and Chuck is once more setting foot in Blair's room with two bulging shopping bags. "So we have every hangover cure known to man," he drawls. "Plus bagels. They should help soak up the alcohol and whatever else she took." Or was slipped, he mentally adds, feeling pretty damn confident that a certain psychotic bitch had to be involved since the timing between Georgina's outing of Eric and Serena's meltdown is too coincidental otherwise. No, no the two events had to be related somehow. And although he doesn't mention it either, the bags also contain a bottle of the morning after pill from his private stash. After the alcohol fueled bender she's been on, he wouldn't be surprised if she'd fucked someone without protection, and it is always better to be safe than sorry in his estimation.

"Thank you. I'll take it from here," Blair says as Nate aids her in moving Serena into the bathroom. Then she's tugging the blonde's wrinkled dress off over her head, and although Chuck doesn't desire Serena and never really has outside of trying to bang her as a way to upset Blair, his gaze habitually drops, raking over her exposed skin before Nathaniel exits the bathroom and shuts the door with an accusatory glare.

"Just like old times," Chuck wryly states.

Still staring at him in disdain, Nate crosses his arms over his chest. "You know, why do I get the feeling you're actually enjoying this?" he sneers, condemnation dripping like venom off his words, making it quite clear that he believes his onetime best friend capable of getting off on seeing Serena stripped down to a bra, never mind that he's seen it dozens of times already and the sight of her pathetically disheveled and wasted and smelling faintly of vomit is not in the least bit arousing.

Judgmental prick.

Before he can formulate an appropriate response, the distinctive sounds of retching filter through the closed door. Glancing toward the noise and then back at Nathaniel, once again thinking how absurd the idea of him wanting to fuck Serena in her present condition is, Chuck deadpans, "Call me sentimental."

He intends the statement to be mocking, but as soon as it leaves his mouth, he realizes that it is also true. He is sentimental. This is the first time the four of them have been together, really together, united in a cause since… well, since the pool incident. But he supposes that hardly counts as he'd been blackmailing Blair at the time. So really, the actual last time would have been… when they were kids, when he'd been eleven, when the hell spawn had announced they'd slept together during a game of 'Never Have I Ever.' Ironic that the whore who had driven them apart in the first place was now the individual bringing them back together. There was something almost poetic about that. Life coming full circle.

Nate scoffs unconvinced, shaking his head in disgust as the toilet flushes.

Then Blair exits the bathroom, clutching Serena's dress. "We may not need those bagels after all," she announces, hooking a thumb towards the doorway.

"What's going on with her?" Nathaniel asks.

"She was here last night, scared," Blair explains. "She… she told me something totally crazy but was too freaked out to find the words to explain it." She pauses to riffle through the bags Chuck had brought seeking out a bottle of water. "I went upstairs to find my mom's valium to calm her down, but when I got back she was gone. Took me all night to find her."

Chuck's gaze narrows in suspicion. "What exactly did she say to you?"

"That's beside the point," she declares. "We're here to help Serena no matter what the problem is."

Despite the conviction in her tone, Chuck notices that she suddenly avoids looking at either himself or Nate directly, and then it hits him. She knows. Serena's deep dark secret, the one Georgina has been holding over her head. Blair knows what it is. That has to be it. Georgina using Eric the previous evening must have convinced Serena to end the slut's hold on her, so she had confessed to her BFF, and whatever she'd started to reveal had frightened Blair, so she'd ran and tried to party the whole thing away.

What on earth could be that bad?

"Blair – "

"I'm going to go see what's taking Dorota so long with the towels," she interrupts, her tone overly bright, the way it always is when she's feeling particularly overwhelmed before she scurries into the hall and away from the questions in his eyes.

Instinctively, he starts after her, and is almost all the way across the room when Nate moves to block his path. "Where do you think you're going?"

"I… I was just…" Chuck stammers. Then he spots the abandoned grocery bags, and snatches one up. "I'm going to get the bagels ready."

"I thought Blair said we wouldn't need the bagels."

Great. Today is the day the golden boy decides to become observant.

"She did," Chuck shrugs evasively. "But just in case." And before Nate can form a reply, he hurries downstairs, searching for Blair.

He finds her in the dining room, leaning heavily against the oak table, her shoulders slumped, exhaustion etched into her features. "Hey," he murmurs, altering her to his presence and instantly she straightens, all traces of weariness disappearing behind her veneer of perfection. "How you holding up?"

"I'm fine."

He nods absently, choosing not to comment on the lie. Instead he reaches into the depths of the plastic bag and pulls out a tiny paper sack. "Here," he says extending it to her.

Gingerly, she takes it from him, their fingers accidently touching, threatening to ignite a blaze within him until she draws her hand back. "What is it?" she inquires, her voice just the slightest bit husky, proof that he wasn't the only one affected by the brief skin on skin contact. She might feign and try to deny their spark, their heat, their fireworks, but she feels it just as strongly as he does.

Secure in the knowledge that she will be his eventually, he smirks. "A surprise."

Her brows knit together. "For me?"

"Naturally."

"Why?"

He sighs, for once tiring of the verbal repartee. "Twenty questions after you open it, Waldorf."

Scrunching up her nose in an adorable fashion, she peers into the sack as if afraid of what it contains. Then she blinks in astonishment. "You got me a croissant?"

"Close," he yawns nonchalantly. "I got you a pain au chocolat."

Her eyes light up. "This is a – "

"Chocolate filled croissant, yes," he grins.

"But… but why?"

"I know they're you favorite, and you almost never let yourself indulge in them, and unless I am greatly mistaken, you haven't eaten anything since you started searching for Serena last night, and if you faint, you won't be able to help clean her up. And although I joke about the prospect of sibling bathing, I think the reality of that would be fucking awkward, so please just eat it and spare me and Serena the trauma."

Laughing, Blair pulls the pastry out and bites into it. "Mmm," she moans as she chews, a look of pure bliss covering her face. "It's still warm."

"Good," he smiles. "I hoped it would be." Then he reaches out to brush an errant crumb from the corner of her mouth before he can suppress the impulse. She gasps softly, a quick intake of air, and his thimb lingers on the fullness of her bottom lip for a moment as he meets her eyes and sees a hunger there that has nothing to do with food.

"Chuck?" she breathes.

He swallows. "Yeah?"

"I… I…"

And suddenly they're only inches apart, electricity crackling between them, a veritable firestorm of pent up desire waiting to be unleashed, and her irises are ebony pools he would happily drown in, and the sensual little whimper that escapes her throat is all the consent he needs to close the distance and crush her to him.

Before he can lower his head to kiss her like they've both been craving, however, Dorota walks in. "Miss Blair, I… oh!"

Immediately, Blair leaps backwards as if scalded, and even though the maid had already gone, the spell is broken. "Oh my God!" she exclaims, a blush rising in her cheeks.

"It's okay," Chuck soothes. "She didn't see anything."

"That isn't the point!" Blair huffs. "What if that had been Serena? Or Nate?"

His jaw tenses in unexpected rage. "Oh, so we're back to that again?" he snarls. "I'm the guy who's good enough to screw so long as nobody ever finds out?"

"Chuck, I didn't mean – "

"Fuck you Waldorf!" he grinds out. "I'm done being your dirty little secret!" And without another word, he leaves her standing there as he stomps to the kitchen. He spends forever in there, calming himself down, getting his emotions firmly under his control again.

Once he's accomplished that, he walks back towards the foyer, carrying a plate stacked with bagels. As he rounds the corner, he spots Dan Humphrey. That does not bode well. The eavesdropping bastard must have put the pieces together and figured out where his missing girlfriend was.

"Huh. Guess I missed a chapter," Dan muses. Then his gaze focuses on Chuck moving forward rapidly to flank Blair. "Or four." He gestures between the three of them with an almost comically confused grin. "Don't uh… don't all of you hate each other?"

They answer almost simultaneously.

"Yes."

"Absolutely."

But Chuck's voice rises about the others' affirmations. "No!" he announces with a shake of his head as he lays his dish upon the end table. He doesn't hate them. He can't hate them. But even if he did, he would never admit that in front of Humphrey. Not right now. Standard operating procedure for saving Serena's ass: keep a united front. Blair and Nate seem to have forgotten that, but he hasn't.

Nonplussed by their lack of a cohesive agreement about the nature of their relationships, Dan mutters, "Well that's fascinating and ripe for a psychiatrist's case study somewhere but um… I am looking for Serena."

Chuck's response is immediate. "She's not here."

"I think she is," Dan retorts.

"No she just left," Blair chimes in. "You must have crossed paths."

The Brooklyn boy sets his jaw in stubborn determination. "I don't believe you."

"Fine," Blair sighs, and Chuck knows from years of experience that she is stalling for time, giving herself a couple seconds to come up with a more credible lie. "I… I didn't want to have to tell you this but… she doesn't want to see you."

"Come. Really?" Dan snorts in disbelief.

Blair nods, a pitying expression on her face. "Yes. Really."

The charity case looks at the three of them as if deliberating, then he strides towards the stairs. "Serena!"

As one, they move to block his path.

"She's telling the truth man," Nate insists, and although Chuck knows it is a lie, it sounds pretty sincere, especially coming from the golden boy.

"Are you really gonna stop me from seeing my girlfriend?" Humphrey demands. He stares at them each in turn, and when they say nothing, he exhales loudly and tries to break through to the steps until Chuck pushes him firmly backwards. "Come on!" he shouts.

A voice drifts down to them. "What are you doing?"

They all turn, and there stands Serena above them wrapped in a purple robe, her haggard appearance making her appear frail and sickly. "S!" Blair starts in concern as the blonde descends the steps.

But Serena is quick to appease her. "It's okay." She draws her boyfriend slightly apart to talk.

"What's happening?" he asks.

"Dan – " Serena begins.

He cuts her off. "Something's going on and I just want to be let in on what it is."

"It's hard to explain."

In frustration, Dan starts to bury his face in his hands, then stops the impulse. "Well let me make it easy for you," he grinds out. "I know you're keeping something from me, and I'm sick of being the only one you don't talk to about it."

"I'm not talking to anyone," the blonde says, trying to reassure him.

"Then what are they doing here while I get a call from a bartender who says you left a bar at two in the morning with a bunch of guys?" he snaps. "What guys Serena? Who… who were they?"

Serena swallows. "I don't know."

"Did something happen last night?

"Please don't," she whimpers, a fearful entreaty for him to let this subject go for now.

Dan, however, isn't about to let it go. "Is that… is that what you're so afraid to tell me? That you cheated on me?" He pauses, waiting for Serena to reply, but she doesn't. "Did you cheat on me last night?" he inquires after a few moments of silence, and once again the seconds stretch out as Serena refuses to answer. "All I need is a yes or a no," he breathes with supreme control. "Did you sleep with someone else?"

For the longest time, Serena does nothing. Then finally, she gives the smallest of nods. "Yes. Yeah."

For a tense second Dan doesn't respond, and Chuck actually has to glance away from the look on his face. It is so painfully raw, like peering into someone's soul as their world shatters, and it just feels wrong to stare. And although Chuck doesn't like him, and probably never will, his heart kind of goes out to the guy, and he wonders if that is what his own expression had been like when he saw Blair kissing Nate the eve of her cotillion.

"I'm done," Humphrey says at last. "I'm done."

And without another word, Dan leaves, fleeing from the scene where his dreams had died probably as fast as Chuck himself had fled from that damned debutant ball, and even though Chuck has never been much of a gambling man, he would bet money that if the Brooklyn boy had access to a private jet, he'd probably be on his way to Monaco too.

As soon as the elevator doors slide shut, however, Serena sobs, swaying on her feet as if she is going to faint, and even though they all start forward to catch her, it is Blair who reaches her first and prevents her from collapsing upon the tiled floor until she regains her balance and turns to regard them all.

"I can't believe I just did that," the blonde gasps, hugging herself and shifting her weight from side to side in extreme agitation.

"Then why did you?" Nate asks. "I mean, did you cheat on Dan?"

"No," Serena insists. "I remember last night, and I didn't do anything."

"Then why would you say that to him?" Blair inquires, her tone puzzled.

Chuck isn't puzzled though, and he doesn't have to ask why Serena lied to her boyfriend. He's pretty sure he already knows. After all, he had done something quite similar to Blair way back when they were kids, when she had confronted him about why he was suddenly acting like a different person shortly after Georgina had entered their lives, and he had sneered that it wasn't any business of hers so that she didn't get dragged into the malicious bitch's web with him.

"Because I would rather Dan think I cheated on him than know what I really did," Serena explains, confirming Chuck's suspicions. She'd hurt Humphrey now to prevent him greater hurt later on.

"What you really did?" Nate echoes in bafflement.

"Dan puts me on a pedestal," Serena wails. "If he knew the truth, he would never look at me again." Covering her face, she attempts to flee but they just follow her into the next room, clustering around her.

"You're starting to scare even me," Chuck admits. "What did you do?"

"Come on. You can tell us," Nate encourages.

Blair sits beside her on the couch. "We've seen you with vomit in your hair making out with investment bankers in the men's room at PJ Clark's," she half teases. "You don't have to hide anything from us."

"She's right Serena," Nate says. "I mean none of us are saints."

"Yeah," Blair concurs, gesturing at Chuck. "I had sex with him in the back of a limo."

"Several times," Chuck notes with wicked glee.

"I had sex with you at a wedding while I was her date," Nathaniel volunteers next, tossing a challenging look in Chuck's direction. "Once."

And Chuck has to fight an impulse to laugh because that would not help matters, even though he finds Nate's pseudo self-righteous behavior hysterical. The golden boy acting all high and mighty because he'd only banged Serena once? Please! Everyone in this room knew it had only been a onetime thing because S had fled to boarding school and refused to give it another go when she'd returned. Nathaniel would have cheated on Blair with her best friend again without a second's pause if the blonde had been up for it, and they all knew it, even if he was the only one willing to acknowledge it.

Then Blair peers at Chuck expectantly, raising her eyebrows to indicate that it is his turn for a deep, dark secret confession.

"I'm Chuck Bass," he sneers, and Blair's gaze narrows slightly, perhaps with the remembrance of when he had thrown that phrase back in her face when she had made him seem the epitome of evil.

"You can tell us anything," Blair insists, focusing her attention back onto Serena. "We don't judge. We're the non-judging breakfast club. We're your best friends. Anything you do is something we do too."

Serena hesitates, looking at each of them in turn, her gaze lingering on Chuck a second longer than the others. "If I tell you, it can never leave this room."

As one, they nod in agreement, and then Serena exhales deeply, partly in relief, partly in resignation. "You all know Georgina Sparks."

"Some of us better than others," Blair quips, giving Chuck a significant look as his expression quickly transforms into an unreadable mask. "It's not like you didn't lose your virginity to her in seventh grade."

"Sixth actually," Chuck corrects, his lip curling slightly with contempt. "And I've been avoiding her ever since. The bitch is a psycho."

Blair bristles, probably about to hurl out some nasty comeback seeing as she'd discovered the slut at Chuck's suit two weeks prior, but Nate interjects. "What about her?"

"Well something happened the night of the Shepard wedding," Serena mutters.

"We're all aware of what happened that night," Blair points out, shifting uncomfortably.

"No, something else," the blonde clarifies. "Something I've tried to escape, but Georgina won't let me. And now she's blackmailing me."

"Blackmailing you?" Nate repeats incredulous, and Chuck is reminded once more of just how very sheltered his friend's upbringing has been. Blackmail is almost as common as divorce and substance abuse in Manhattan. Hell, it's practically the preferred currency of the Upper East Side.

"With what exactly?" Chuck asks, getting right to the crux of the problem.

"Well it started when Blair thought you and I had too much to drink," Serena continues, directing her monologue at Nathaniel. "She told us to go outside, get some air, sober up. Instead, we went into the empty bar. I opened a bottle of champagne…"

"We can skip that part. Okay?" Blair grimaces, clearly not desiring to know any more details about the hookup.

"Go ahead. I'll fill her in later," Chuck prompts with just a hint of innuendo, earning himself a sharp look from Blair that sets his butterflies into overdrive. God he loves when she's bitchy.

Oblivious, Serena rambles on. "I left in a hurry. I felt so terrible, so guilty for what I had just done. I just… I had to get out of there. Georgina and I had plans to meet up after, so I headed straight to her. Little did I know she had a surprise waiting for me. She had a room for us at the Eastview Hotel and Pete Fairman was with her and they had all this cocaine and I didn't know it at the time, but she was taping me. Lucky for me, I was, I was too stuck on what had just happened to be too much fun for anyone. But Pete was insistent and he kept touching me and we started kissing and… making out and… and then…"

"You starred in an amateur porno?" Chuck snorts. "And here you had us all worried for nothing."

"You are not helping!" Blair hisses, her temper flaring. "Serena has every right to be mortified.'

"About a low budget porno? Please," Chuck scoffs. "What's the worst that could happen? Whoregina puts in online? Big deal. It'll get lost in a sea of better porn within twenty-four hours."

"Well I'm sure you know all about the porn industry!" Blair accuses.

"Like you've never taken matters into your own hands!" Chuck spits.

"How dare you imply that – "

"Hey guys?" Nate cuts in. "We're here for Serena, remember? Now is not the time for this." He runs his hand through his shaggy hair and offers the blonde an apologetic smile. "So is Chuck right? Is that what happened? Did you unknowingly make a sex tape?"

Serena shakes her head vehemently. "No. No it's nothing like that. We didn't do anything. We just… I just…" She stops, failing to master a shudder that effectively takes all the fight out of both Chuck and Blair.

"What is it?" the brunette whispers.

Crumpling in upon herself, Serena buries her face behind her manicured hands. "I can't."

Blair reaches out to rub one of her quaking shoulders. "Yes, yes you can."

"I'm scared," Serena whimpers.

"We're right here," Blair reminds her.

"I wasn't in the mood, so told Pete to snort some lines, hoping he'd get distracted enough to leave me alone, and it worked," Serena whispers as if in great pain. "But then he started convulsing like he was having a seizure and there was this white froth coming out of his mouth and… and… and…" She breaks off stuttering, unable to complete the sentence, unwilling to describe the scene.

But Chuck doesn't need more details; he knows the signs. "He overdosed," he says, sparing her from having to speak the horror aloud.

Serena tosses him a grateful look. "Yes, and I was scared and Georgina panicked because there was blow all over the room and if the cops came and found us there, we could get arrested. So we gathered up our stuff and I used Pete's phone to call 911 and then we left him there. We made it to the lobby, and then Georgina told me we had to split up. She said that people might be looking for us. But I, I couldn't go. I just couldn't. So I, I waited near the hotel across the street. All I wanted was to see the paramedics helping Pete. But that's not what I saw. I didn't know what to do. I, I just knew I had to leave right away. I took a train heading north and I got a room and convinced my mom that boarding school was a good idea and – "

"Never said goodbye," Blair finishes. "It makes sense now."

"But what does she even want from you?" Nate inquires.

"Well when she came back I told her that I had moved on from the lifestyle that she was still in, but she didn't like that," Serena explains, and somehow Chuck thinks Georgina not liking her protégé moving on without her is the understatement of the century. "So somehow she became friends with Dan and Vanessa and, and called herself Sarah."

"Why don't you just tell Dan about her?" Blair says.

"Because she has that tape of me, and she'll use it," Serena whines. "It's practically a snuff film."

Chuck grits his teeth at that, realizing for the first time how utterly the hell spawn has played on Serena's guilt. The poor girl is practically calling herself a murderer. "We need to find her," he growls.

"No please!" Serena begs, grasping Chuck's hand and then reaching out to take hold of Blair's as well. "Promise me please. Promise me you won't do anything," she sobs. "Because if you do then she'll show Dan. If he even ever speaks to me again. God what have I done?"

"We won't do anything," Chuck soothes, but his dark gaze locked with Blair's proposes exactly the opposite, and with a minute lowering of her chin, the petite brunette silently agrees.

Georgina Sparks must be dealt with.

A/N: Special thanks to Sam for her continued support. Even when her life gets difficult, she always finds time for me. *hugs* Also, I am going to be starting my move back to Arizona tomorrow, so I won't be updating again for about a week. Take care, and I'll see you when I get settled.