"Make me a whore."

"Huh?" Serena mumbles, glancing up from her phone where she'd been in the process of texting Dan. "Sorry. I wasn't paying attention," she admits guiltily as she returns the cell to her purse and reaches for her cappuccino. "What were you saying?"

"Make me a whore," Blair repeats calmly.

Spitting out her mouthful of coffee in a decidedly unladylike fashion, Serena coughs, "Are you high?" The scalding liquid sprays onto the table and down the front of her blouse, totally ruining the luxurious silk. Not that she notices. Her wide cerulean eyes are too busy gaping at her friend as if she's lost her mind.

Across from her, sitting quite prim and studiously ignoring the blonde's incredulous stare, Blair sips a double skim sugar free vanilla latte as if nothing could possibly be out of the ordinary with her request. "Look, S," she sighs wearily, checking her watch. "I don't have much time. One always shows up at 5:30, and I have to be ready to intercept or it won't work."

"I'm confused."

The corner of Blair's mouth twitches. "So what else is new?"

"Hey!" Serena exclaims.

Blair breaks into a patronizing grin. "What? Don't act all indignant. You know it's true."

"No it isn't," Serena insists. "But even if it was, that doesn't mean you can just – "

Cutting off her objection, Blair snaps impatiently, "Back to the task at hand, S!" She reaches forward and clicks her fingers in Serena's face to punctuate her command to focus. "I've got two hours and I need to become a whore." Then her stern expression softens. "You're my best friend. Will you help me?"

Leaning back in her chair, shifting uncomfortably, Serena demurs. "B, I know that we're close and all but…"

"Not for you!" the petite brunette scowls. "For Chuck!"

"This is about Chuck?" the golden girl sputters.

"Of course it's about Chuck!" Blair seethes in irritation. "Who else would it be about?"

"Oh well, I just…" Serena stammers awkwardly. "I thought…"

Shoving away her untouched muffin, Blair announces, "Never mind. I'll do it myself!"

"B, wait!" Serena whines as her friend rises to her feet, her overly loud tone alerting the people in the surrounding booths that something is definitely amiss. "At least let me know what is going on! I can't help you if I don't know why you're freaking out."

With a forced laugh for the benefit of the gawkers Serena's indiscretion had attracted, Blair lowers herself back into her seat. "Don't you ever notice anything?" she hisses through her fake smile. "He hasn't been at school. Chuck has been absent for nearly a week!"

"Only because he is on suspension for smoking hash in front of Queller," the blonde reminds her with a dismissive flick of the wrist.

But Queen B is not about to be deterred. "That is entirely beside the point!" she fumes while still somehow managing to appear utterly at ease. "I didn't save his sorry ass just so he could lock himself away in his tower suite and kill himself slowly with booze and drugs and Thai hookers named Bo!"

"Wait. What?" Serena blinks, her BFF's train of thought far too fast for her to follow. "You saved him?"

Gripping the edge of the table so hard, her knuckles turn white, Blair cries, "Serena, get with the program! Last week at Victrola, remember? I found him on the roof? He was smashed and on the fucking ledge? He was this close to ending it all right in front of me before I talked him down? Ring any bells?" She rubs her temples in an effort to relieve her agitation. "Seriously, sometimes I swear you are more oblivious than Nate!"

Recognizing that her friend is much more upset than she appears if she is showing any signs of distress in public, S lets the implied insult slide and tries to soothe her. "Blair, chill. Okay? You need to breathe."

"I need to save Chuck!" she retorts. "He's self-destructing, and he won't let me be around because he knows I'll try to stop it."

Carefully, knowing Blair will not want to hear it, Serena says, "Maybe that's what's best, B."

In response, Blair stiffens, fury flashing in her chocolate eyes. "What is wrong with you?" she spits. "Chuck needs help! He needs me!"

"And what if he pulls you down with him?" S counters. "What then?"

"If my presence is the thing that keeps him from hurting himself, it is more than worth the risk," Blair snarls. Then something in her rigidly held frame cracks, and suddenly there are unshed tears glistening along her lashes as she whispers in a voice so terribly raw, "Serena, don't you understand? If something happened to him, I…" She shakes her head helplessly, mastering a shudder that is surely a silent sob. "I don't know what I'd do. I couldn't bear it."

Reaching across the table, Serena clutches her best friend's hand in sympathy. "Okay," she nods. "Why don't you go see him then? Tell him how you feel."

"Have you not been listening?" Blair wails abruptly, snatching her hand back. "I already told you he won't let me! He's all alone up there in that suite, and no one gets in or out except Jack and those cheap skanks Chuck's been ordering."

"How do you know who gets in or not?" S inquires, a suspicion dawning in her mind. "Have you been spying on Chuck's room?"

Blair scoffs, "Of course not." But the way she hastily avoids Serena's probing gaze says quite the opposite.

"Oh my God," the blonde groans. "How could you?"

"What? It isn't spying," the petite spitfire asserts emphatically. "Not unless I'm wearing a beret."

"Blair…"

"Don't you dare judge me!" B declares, her temper rising. "I've been monitoring, okay? Satisfied?" Then her shoulders slump slightly in defeat. "I didn't know what else to do. I had no choice."

Serena can't fully suppress her snort of disbelief. "No choice?" she repeats.

"Yes, Serena, I had no choice!" Blair grinds out through tight lips. "I had to gather Intel."

"Intel?" S laughs. "You're in high school, Blair, not the CIA!"

"Yes, well Chuck's suite is currently like Fort Knox atop the Palace Hotel," Blair explains. "And if it is the last thing I do, I am getting in there today." She tosses her chestnut curls over her shoulder and raises one slender brow in challenge. "So are you going to assist me or not?"

"I don't even know the plan yet B."

"You haven't figured it out on your own?" Blair drawls, sounding quite annoyed. "I'm going to pretend to be one of the prostitutes to get into the room."

"You're what?"

"It's the only way," B continues in a rush. "One comes at the same time every night and I've memorized the knock they use. It's got to be a signal because it's always the same rhythm every time. All I have to do is send the bitch packing before she makes it to his suite, and copy the knock myself. And since I'll be in disguise when Chuck looks through the peephole, he'll think I'm the slut he sent for and open the door." She glances away, her expression anxious and vulnerable for a second before transforming back into her mask of composed perfection. "And that's all I need really. For him to open that damned door and let me inside."

"You're seriously going to impersonate a prostitute?"

"Yes, and that's why I need your help!" Blair replies. "You've got more… experience in dressing like this than I do." She flips open her phone and slides it across the table so Serena can peek at it. On the screen is a snapshot of a woman wearing an outfit that reveals far more than it conceals leaving suite 1812. "See? I need to look like that, like you at the height of your bad girl days." She grimaces. "No offence."

Serena shrugs off the almost apology. "But what about Jack?"

"Well obviously I can't impersonate Jack," the brunette frowns, plainly thinking that the blonde is rather slow.

"No, I meant why don't you just talk to Jack?" S clarifies quickly. "If he's getting in to see Chuck, I'm sure he knows what's going on and is just as concerned as you are."

Immediately, Blair's face hardens. "I highly doubt that."

"Come on, B," the former wild child mutters. "He's Chuck's uncle."

"Yes he is," Blair acquiesces, her tone extremely cold. "But trust me when I say this, Serena. Jack Bass does not care about what happens to his nephew. If he did, Chuck would be back living with you instead of being trapped in that tower suite all by himself."

"He isn't exactly being held against his will, B," Serena points out.

"Says you!" Blair shrieks unexpectedly.

As the rest of the people in café again turn to stare, S winces. "Blair calm down," she admonishes. "People are watching."

"I don't give a shit," Blair bristles, although she does lower her voice. "Chuck isn't in his right mind. He's drunk, high, suicidal, and alone. And Goddamn it Serena, I am getting him out of there!" That said, she picks up her Prada bag and stands, looking at her friend with fierce determination blazing in her eyes. "Now are you in, or are you out?"

With an inevitable exhalation, Serena stands too. "I guess I'm in."

"Thank you," Blair murmurs, some of her anger fading as she gives the blonde a brief hug and then starts for the restaurant's exit.

Following along behind, the reality what they are about to do sinks in for Serena, and she bursts into giggles. "Let's make you a whore."

XOXO

"I look ridiculous."

"No you don't. You look fine," Serena insists.

"Fine? I've got on more eyeliner than Georgina Sparks!" Blair shudders. "And have you seen how short this dress is?" She rotates to give Serena a glimpse of the back. "In case you've forgotten, my ass is hanging out!" Scrunching up her face in disgust, she tugs at the hem in a vain attempt to get the fabric to cover more of her partially exposed derriere. "I look like a two-penny crack whore."

Removing her friend's hands from the edge of the material, Serena tries to placate B's frazzled nerves. "You're supposed to look like that," she says, a not-so-subtle reminder that this is after all the entire point. She'd wanted to look like a prostitute.

"I know. I know," B whines, scratching at the honey colored wig hiding her russet tresses for what has to be the hundredth time. "I just wish I could look more like a Julia Roberts at the end of Pretty Woman kind of whore instead of a Poppy Lifton kind of whore."

"Poppy is not a whore. She's a socialite," the former party girl and sometime friend of said Poppy sighs. Serena grasps that Blair is only doing it because she's extremely anxious, but regardless the constant nagging is starting to give her a migraine.

"Well forgive me if I don't see much of a difference," Blair retorts, her Queen B persona in full force as she grimaces at her reflection in the mirror. "At least not with her. She's certainly no Jackie O."

"And neither are you at the moment," S snaps, her annoyance giving way to anger as she kneels to pull a jacket from her Louis Vuitton duffle. "So shut up, quit fussing, and put this on! It's almost 5:30."

With a glare, Blair snatches the trench coat from her, belting it around her narrow waist with irritated movements, effectively concealing the barely-there outfit so that she doesn't get photographed looking like a skank by some random wannabe when she has to cross the Palace Hotel lobby. "Happy?" she asks sarcastically when the task is completed.

"Very," Serena quips, grabbing her friend's wrist and starting to drag her out of the bathroom and back into the hotel bar.

Before she can take more than a couple steps, however, Blair braces her palms on the doorframe. "Wait!"

"What is it now?" the blonde cries in vexation. If they are going to intercept the real escort heading to Chuck's suite, they do not have much time to dilly dally. "You're all dressed and ready!"

"But you're not," B declares, getting something out of her purse and extending it with an air of expectancy. "You need to put this on before we go." Clutched in her fist is a black woolen beret.

Crossing her arms in front of her chest, Serena lifts her chin in defiance. "No. I am not wearing that."

Instantly, Blair huffs. "You said you were going to help me."

"And I have," Serena points out, counting items off on her manicured fingers. "I got you the outfit, the shoes. I picked out the wig. I did your makeup. Hell, I'm going to help you keep this other girl from getting on the elevator. What more do you want?"

Blair's lips compress into an obstinate line. "I want you to wear the beret."

Pinching the bridge of her nose in an effort to stave off the headache she knows is coming, Serena groans. "Blair…" Her BFF always does this. She always makes things more difficult than they need to be, always chooses the weirdest, most inconsequential crap to become stubborn about, and if she doesn't get her way, she'll throw a tantrum until the other person just gives in to appease her. No wonder she loves Chuck Bass. He's the exact same way. If they ever do admit to what they feel for each other at the same time, they'll end up bickering one another to death.

"You're going to be spying," Blair elaborates in a tone that brooks no discussion. "You need the beret."

Knowing it's useless to resist, Serena holds out her hand wearily as Blair beams in triumph, proving once and for all that the 'B' in 'Queen B' stands for Blair and bitch.

XOXO

"That's her."

Beret now perched on top of her tousled golden waves, Serena glances at their supposed target through the leaves of a potted tree while she pretends to stretch. The approaching woman does have a rather oversexed saunter, and has been a bit too liberal with the mascara, but she is not dressed at all like the prostitutes in the surveillance photos had been, nor how Blair herself is currently attired beneath her floor length coat. "Are you sure?" she mutters, clearly dubious.

"Yes!" B hisses vehemently. "I'm positive."

Still, despite Blair's overwhelming confidence that the approaching woman is the prostitute they are waiting for, Serena is not yet persuaded. "How can you tell?" she whispers, peering at her friend. "Have you seen her here before?"

"Hardly," Blair snorts, rolling her eyes. "Like Chuck would deign to sleep with a whore more than once."

"Then how do you – "

"Look at her shoes!" the disguised brunette orders before Serena can even finish her question. "No way is a businesswoman or anyone on vacation going to be wearing five inch spike heels all damn day."

"True, but her clothes – "

"Are the same as mine underneath that knockoff Marc Jacob's jacket," Blair growls, her tone frosty. "Trust me." Her gaze narrows in a predatory manner at the woman, before she inclines her head towards Serena. "You ready?"

The blonde gulps. "I… I…"

"Christ, Serena! It isn't brain surgery!" B snarls with impatience. "All you have to do is bump into her and cause a scene. Demand that security throw her out of your step-father's hotel. The staff recognizes you. They know what happened to Bart. They're surely aware of what's been going on with Chuck. It shouldn't be that hard to convince them that you're crazy with grief too!"

For the space of a heartbeat, Serena stares into her friend's face, sees the desperation lurking there beneath the veneer of bitchiness. B really is concerned about Chuck. Then with an exasperated grumble and one final look at the petite brunette, Serena starts across the lobby, stomping all the way. Blair is so going to owe her for this!

XOXO

Waiting until the commotion is in full swing, Blair waltzes surreptitiously into the elevator. Watching Serena jut out a hip and scream at the call girl unfortunate enough to be summoned to the Bass suite today, she nods in approval as she pushes the button to take her to the 54th floor. Already the concierge is running to see what the problem is, and although the closing doors cut off her view of the altercation, she has no doubt that S will make sure that the hooker is escorted off the premises. That's what friends are for, she smirks in relief.

But as the elevator begins its ascent, Blair's upturned lips start to droop. Now, after all her preparations, she will find out if her plan shall come to fruition, if Chuck will be fooled into letting her inside.

The ride is over before she knows it and stepping into the hallway, she feels a wave of nausea. She worries for a moment that she might vomit, but as she considers getting back in the elevator, the feeling subsides. Just nerves after all, she tells herself. And Blair Waldorf is not about to let mere nerves get the best of her. Besides, if she chickened out now, Serena would never let her live it down.

Forcing herself to keep striding forward, she quickly reaches the door to suite 1812. Checking to make sure that there are no witnesses around, she unbelts the trench coat and adjusts the way it lays across her body so that her curves are on full display in the skimpy halter dress she has on beneath. That task finished, she raises one tiny fist towards the door.

It's now or never.

Steeling herself for the potential onslaught to come, she knocks upon the wood and then waits… and waits …and waits.

What the hell is taking so long? Did she inadvertently mess up the pattern? It was four sharp raps, followed by a pause, and then two final taps, the second significantly softer than the first. She couldn't have skipped one, but perhaps the pause between them had been too long, or that last knock might have been too loud. It's unlikely, but still possible.

Or maybe, it occurs to her with growing dread, maybe she was just too late and he… he wasn't…

Oh God.

Terror constricts her chest, making her hyperventilate, her breath coming in short little wheezes. She can't get enough air. It's like she's drowning.

Please no. Please let her not be too late. Please let him be okay. Please –

And before she can begin pounding on it frantically, the door suddenly flies open, and there he is silhouetted in the entrance, hair disheveled, eyes bloodshot, skin pale, suit rumpled beyond repair, but alive. And it doesn't matter that he looks like absolute shit and reeks of scotch and smoke and probably hasn't changed his clothes in days, she has never wanted to throw her arms around him so badly in her entire life.

But she doesn't get a chance to follow through on her impulse because before she can even breathe a sigh of relief, he is scowling at her. "What are you doing here?" he demands, the brightness of the hallway assaulting his retinas and causing him to squint.

For a tense moment Blair freezes, incapable of speech. It hadn't worked. Somehow, despite everything she and Serena had done to mask her identity, he'd instantly seen through the disguise. And now… now she is going to be forced to beg him not to slam the –

"I didn't send for a blonde," he continues, annoyance in his tone.

Oh shit. It seems like he doesn't recognize her after all, but the whole plan is still about to be derailed because she hadn't factored in his preference for brunette whores! Damn that motherchucker!

Interrupting her mental rant, he speaks again. "Let down your hair."

"Huh?" she squeaks, confused.

"Let down your hair," he repeats with an impatient gesture.

Maybe the scheme hasn't failed quite yet.

Heart fluttering like a caged thing in her breast, she reaches up with tentative fingers to the loose chignon Serena had coaxed the strands of honey hair into. Carefully, so as not to cause the wig to slip, she draws out the pins and shakes the long blonde tresses free so they cascade down her back. Then seeing his eyes narrow in scrutiny, she quickly lowers her chin so the bangs throw more of her face into shadow.

"Well at least your hair isn't straight," he drawls eventually, indicating with a slight jerk of his head that she should come inside.

Here goes nothing. Or rather, everything.

XOXO

Walking into the suite, Chuck trailing in her wake, Blair's eyes widen in dismay. With no real illumination except the flickering screen of the television and the late afternoon sun sneaking in around the edges of the closed drapes, it is fairly dim. But even without adequate light, she can tell the room is a disaster. It's usually so neat and orderly, everything in its proper place, with an almost sterile cleanliness camouflaging the debauchery that frequently occurs here. It's very much a reflection of the boy who lives in it whose impeccable suits and pleasantly indifferent smiles hide his perfectly inappropriate thoughts.

But now the suite, just like its resident, has lost its illusion of innocence. It looks like the location of an out of control party with dirty highball glasses scattered about, various trays of half-eaten delicacies from room service littering the floor, lines of what is probably cocaine on the coffee table, and a thin haze of smoke hovering over everything, the air thick with the smell of marijuana.

In a way, perhaps this has been the scene of a party. A party of one…

Or, she mentally amends as Chuck's hands remove her jacket with skillful precision and settle onto her waist from behind when her steps falter near the wet bar, a party of two. A revolving door of whores, of one-night stands, of meaningless notches on a bedpost, the next of which she will not be.

She may currently be dressed like a whore, but she most definitely is not one. She is Blair Waldorf and she loves him, even though she's not his girlfriend, even though he won't say he loves her back, even though he fled from the comfort of her arms the night of his father's funeral and disappeared, leaving only a note behind telling her not to seek him out. In spite of it all, the pain and the rejection and the heartbreak, she loves him still, loves him so much it consumes her, and she is not about to give up on him. She's here to help, and at the moment helping does not include sex. He's certainly had enough of that since his father died anyway.

When he strides forward to press into her back and his possessive caress drifts lower over her hips, however, his breath ruffling the flaxen waves of her wig before his mouth brushes that sensitive area along the ridge of her shoulder, she feels her resolve waver as her lashes flutter closed.

It's been too long since he's touched her like this. Since anyone's touched her at all except…

No, no she is not thinking about him. Not now. Not ever. That was a mistake. A moment of drunken weakness no one can ever know about, especially the broken boy presently dragging the hem of her dress up in a languid motion so he can dip his thumbs beneath the waistband of the thong Serena insisted she wear.

Then, with an abruptness that makes her gasp, he rips the skimpy wisp of lace to expose the apex between her thighs. In the mirror behind the bar, his gaze rakes over her reflection as his lips twist into a mockery of a smile. "You're not a natural blonde," he snorts against the skin of her neck seconds before his fingers plunge roughly into her.

She cries out, arching into his palm, reveling in the pleasure even as it is tinged with pain. She hasn't seen him like this. He was never this way with her. Even when what they did would be classified as fucking rather than making love, he was still tender. Attentive to her needs. Always careful not to hurt her. This is nothing like that. Now he's curt, callous, almost cruel. He doesn't care, and he makes no pretense otherwise. It's a business arrangement. No more, no less.

That knowledge almost makes her feel a little better about the other women she's seen enter this suite. Almost.

In an effort to hold her steady, not bring her closer into his embrace, he tightens his other arm around her as his digits continue to scissor into her sheath, stroking faster, harder. Each thrust is short, sure and to the point, but he isn't trying to get her off. He's merely making sure she's wet enough to get him off. And yet even as she realizes this, his ministrations are driving her towards that precipice whether that is his intention or not.

"Chuck," she moans, the word escaping before she can swallow it back down.

His hand stills. His gaze finds hers in the mirror over the wet bar and focuses on those familiar brown irises mostly hidden behind the fall of golden fringe obscuring her face. "Blair?" His eyes widen in stunned disbelief, and before she can prevent him, he whips her blonde wig from off her head, revealing her own hair woven into French braids tight against her scalp. "Holy fuck, Waldorf!" he exclaims, recoiling from her in shock, his expression livid. "What the hell kind of sadistic game is this?"

"Chuck, please, I can explain!" she begins. "I – "

"Don't even start," he snarls, propelling her towards the exit with a firm grip on her elbow. "I don't want to hear it and you need to leave." His voice drops to a dangerous growl. "Now."

"Bass, wait!" she wails, stumbling in her stiletto heels as she tries to keep up with his pace. "I – "

"Get the fuck out!" he roars, dropping her arm and wrenching the door open. "I don't fucking want you here!"

And without even stopping to think about it, she belts him across the face. "Well I don't want you to die, you selfish bastard!" she shouts, barely noticing the pain radiating in her hand.

"Christ, Waldorf, I'm – "

"No!" she shrieks, kicking the door shut and then whirling on him in fury. "Now you listen and you listen well, you ingrateful asshole! I've been worried sick about you while you've been holed up in here boozing and whoring and getting high!" She stabs her finger into his chest to punctuate her declaration. "I know you're upset and you think you're all alone and that nobody cares about you, but you're wrong and if you just opened your goddamned eyes, you would see that! I'm here, and I care. I care so much I dressed up as like fucking prostitute just so I'd have a chance of getting in here and talking some sense into you! If that isn't proof enough that I care, I don't know what is! And I'm not the only one, Chuck! I'm not the only one. Lily has been – "

"Do not mention that woman to me," he grinds out, making 'woman' sound like it is the filthiest word known to man.

"Okay. Forget I brought her up," Blair soothes. "But umm… there's Serena. She cares too. And Nate. And – "

"Please," he scoffs. "They don't care. I haven't seen either of them since the funeral."

"They do too!" she insists. "Serena just thinks you don't want to see her, and Nate…" She trails off, trying to come up with an acceptable excuse for why his BFF has been missing in action and failing miserably. "Well Nate's been kind of busy lately," she claims with a vague gesture. "But I'm sure that he – "

Chuck cuts her off. "Save it Waldorf. I already know what he's been busy doing. Or rather, who." His lips draw back in a disparaging sneer. "Instead of seeing me, Nathaniel been slumming with, to lift one of your more eloquent turns of phrase, that little troll Vanessa."

"Please take your own advice Bass and don't mention that woman to me!" she scowls. Then, because she can't quite squelch the flare of jealousy Vanessa's name from Chuck's mouth arouses, she asks, "Why would you even want to remember anything about that bitch anyway?"

"Because you said it," he answers with unanticipated candor. "And I remember everything you say Blair." He gaze locks onto hers, electricity crackling between them as he searches her face with an intensity that causes her pulse to beat a staccato rhythm in her throat, a certain three word, eight letter confession immediately leaping to the forefront of her brain. And almost as if he'd been reading her mind, he continues, "Was it true? What you said that day?"

"Yes," she whispers. "Yes it was."

For a long moment there is silence, and then he nods, a small almost forlorn movement that makes her decide to throw caution to the wind, hoping that maybe this last revelation will be the thing that finally gets through to him.

"It still is," she admits. "I lo – "

"Don't," he winces, shushing her with a gentle touch of his fingers to her lips. "Don't say it."

"But – "

"I don't want to see the hurt on your face when I can't say it back."

And despite his words, or perhaps because of them, she suddenly finds herself unable to blink away the stinging in her eyes, and tears escape to scald their way down her cheeks.

Cursing, he reaches for her, wrapping his arms around her as she struggles to push him off. Eventually, however, she just succumbs and allows herself to be brought against his chest. "Blair, baby please. Don't cry," he murmurs gently, which only makes her sob harder into his wrinkled shirt. "Please don't cry. Please. I can't stand it when you cry. I hate myself when I make you cry."

"Then stop."

"What?"

She lifts her chin, her face inches from his. "Stop hurting me."

"Blair, I… I can't say those words to you. Not right now. I can't… I can't feel anything. I don't want to feel anything. When I do, I… I start thinking about Bart and… and I…"

Then in a move that surprises them both, he kisses her, a tender press of lips conveying more emotion than a thousand declarations of love. Reaching up to cradle his cheek, she discovers it is wet. He's crying for her, for him, but especially for his father. Shedding those tears he'd mostly held back the night after the funeral when he'd sought the solace of her arms, at last allowing himself to mourn, to feel the pain a sudden tragic death had wrought. And as she breaks the kiss to envelop him in a hug, some secret fear within her subsides in a rush of relief.

He may not be ready to move back to Lily's quite yet, but he's crying and he's going to be okay. They're going to be okay.

Clutching him even tighter while he continues weeping silently into the cloud of her hair, she smiles through her own tears. The blinding grief that had driven him halfway around the world and had continued separating them when he returned is finally being acknowledged, his tears are setting them free, are healing them, and soon all will be as it should be. They'll scheme and seduce and tease and taunt because that's what they do. They'll be Chuck and Blair, Blair and Chuck once again.

And next week, when he has to attend the reading of his father's will, she will be there by his side as she has always been, supporting him and challenging him, just as he supports and challenges her, because somewhere deep down, they both know sometime in the future those three words, eight letters won't be difficult to say, and they won't signify the end of anything either and he'll drop to one knee and present her a Tiffany's ring and ask her to be his wife and she'll hesitate just long enough to make him anxious before flinging herself into his arms with a shout of yes, followed immediately by a complaint that it took him long enough.

It is inevitable, because they are inevitable.

And maybe, just maybe, this day will be one they'll tell their children about, the day they sobbed like children in each other's arms and started down the road to their happily ever after.

If only she wasn't dressed like a whore.