A/N: This is longer as requested. I've begun realizing that these chapter lengths will vary all the time when it comes to plots because there will be a lot coming right after another. So I don't know if any of you watched tonight's episode, but this fic just got a whole lot more complicated. If SOILER ALERT Evelyn is really still alive, this screws up my entire vision for this fic. I wanted to make this as realiztic to the show as possible, and this just screws it up. So I'm going to go on a hiatus until this mess gets cleared up so I can figure out what to do. This may mean the end of the season or just after Gossip Girl comes back. I don't really know. So enjoy this fic because it will be the last one for awhile.

Summary: "I was never afraid of love before you, you know," she responded. He was aware. "I thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world. Then you came along and made me so afraid to feel because I thought it would mean losing you."

Disclaimer: GossipVerse is all. Story is just mine. Un-beta-ed.

late 80's.

Evelyn really wasn't much for the morning after. In fact, she really wasn't much for staying with one guy at all. That wasn't what she did. Knock them down and move on. Its what her mother should have done instead of being subservient to one man her entire life only to just be cut down and distraught in the end. She promised herself that it wouldn't happen to her. And then she met that Bass. She didn't know what it was, but he did something to her that wasn't meant to exist.

Even her first time was just with a friend. A friend who was doing exactly what she was. Not caring what other people thought to get what you wanted. Evelyn wanted to not be a virgin anymore. Keith wanted to get laid. And Evelyn wasn't making any excuses on her part as to why that was. Keith was the one person you never thought would fall in love. And here he was pining for some chick who probably didn't even remember meeting him.

It was the Eleanors and the Harolds of the world who were the monogamists. Maybe the ones who were best suited for each other. Evelyn never thought she would join that little club. And then the most disgusting and sleazy of them all had to change that for her.

She still wasn't used to it. She was used to sleeping with dance instructors and hot Russian men who couldn't even speak the language, let alone have her stick around the next day. But now she was in a relationship. She knew that he wasn't used to it either. But soon his instincts kicked in. a hell of a lot faster than they did for her.

"Where are you going?"

It was three in the morning and Evelyn didn't have a stitch of clothing on. She knew what her usual response would be. But those were one night stands. And he was... something else. Something that she couldn't explain.

His icy eyes were surveying her as she froze. She really had no idea where she was going. She had no idea what she was doing. She wasn't the type. Then again, he wasn't either. And that was what made it all the more confusing. She tilted up her chin defiantly.


His tone was commanding. For some reason, Evelyn wanted to obey it. But that wasn't her. That was why she hated him. He made her want to do things that she normally wouldn't. And it wasn't fair.

"What are we doing?" she asked.

"You tell me."

"Can you even comprehend what my mother would do to me if I just didn't come home?" Evelyn asked.

"Then why do you stay with her?" he asked. "You're an adult. Your mother isn't doing you any favors."

"How do you know?"

She didn't know why she was defending her mother, but it just seemed like the right thing to do.

"That's just the deal. She helps me out and I could get in with a really good company."

"I could do that for you," Bart rolled his eyes.

"And why would you do that?" Evelyn sighed. Then she noticed that he was looking at her. Looking at her in that way that made her uncomfortable because she knew this was uncharted territory. She didn't know how to express herself that way. She knew it was difficult for him as well. But that didn't stop him from doing it.

"Because," he said steadily. "I..."

"Think very carefully about what you're about to say," Evelyn whispered.

"You're not ready for me to say it."

It wasn't a question because he wasn't asking her one. He already knew the answer.

"Are you?"

"Is that a challenge?" Bart smirked.

"Everything is a challenge to you," she replied dryly.

"Its just the truth."

"I've never..." Evelyn struggled to get the words out. "I've never... had these feelings for anyone before. Its just... hard."

"That's not the only thing," he hinted. She pushed him away slightly, but couldn't help but be warmed by his humor. It was true. She really hadn't been this way with anyone.

"I haven't either," he confessed.

"You make it seem so easy."

"There's a difference from making it seem easy," Bart said, "and it actually being easy."

"Which one is it, then?" she asked.

"I'll let you know."

Evelyn's shoes were in her hand as she crept across her mother's foyer. More and more did it seem that this penthouse belonged to her mother and not to her. More and more time was she spending with Bart. And the more time she did, the more home just seemed to be with him. It was frightening... but in a good way. And that was something that she was unfamiliar with.

Even before her mother said anything, Evelyn had the strong sense of deja vu. This was happening again. Even if this time it was different.

"Do you have any idea what time it is?"

Evelyn checked her watch.

"Exactly... 3:47," she replied.

"And you're just coming in now."

"Yes, Mother," Evelyn said. "You're observation skills are very prominent."

She knew she was digging her own grave. Even his snarkiness was rubbing off on her.

"Don't think I know where you've been all this time," her mother said angrily. "Whoring yourself out to that trash."

Evelyn clenched her jaw. It was a habit for her trying to gain control of herself. The strange thing was that she wasn't that offended that her mother called her a whore. She got backhanded comments like that all the time.

"Trash?" Evelyn repeated. "He is building an empire. In 20 years, everyone will know who Bart Bass is."

"And you?" her mother asked. "You'll be the queen of new money. Is that something you want to live with?"

And then it occurred to her. "Yes," she replied. "I could live with that."

"Giving up your dreams..."

"My dream was to be a dancer," Evelyn said. "That's it. Yours was to get me into some company to add millions to your own fortune. I just want to dance. That's it."

"Now where will you be when all of your money goes away?" her mother asked. "You'll be worth nothing."

"Is that what you're going to do to me, mother?" Evelyn asked. "Cut me off? I won't come back to you."

"You'll have to."

"I guess I just found myself a new financial backer."

Bart opened the door. He knew he was sinking deeper and deeper into this. It was strange how he suddenly didn't have a problem with succumbing to her. Coming to her beck and call.

There she was, leaning in his door. He took in her smudged make-up. Not to mention the bags that were at her feet.

"I don't think I have a reputation anymore," she said hoarsely. She had definitely been crying.

"Did you ever?" he smirked. She seemed so small when she was usually a force of nature.

"What happened?" he asked.

"I told my mother that I didn't care that you weren't old New York. And now... I don't even have a trust find anymore."

"So?" he asked.

"So..." she said timidly. "I guess I'm taking you up on that offer of a love proclamation."

"Is that what that was?" Bart teased. "I was just talking." Evelyn receded slightly from the door. Bart took a hold of her arm quickly. "Wait."

"You know I feel what you feel," she told him. "I'm just... scared."

"You don't think that I am?"

"I don't know," Evelyn replied. "You're kind of hard to read."

"Eve..." he whispered.

"Why do you call me that?" she asked curiously.

He smirked. "Because its your name."

And he took her inside. Maybe she was ready for some stability.

present day.

You didn't get stability with Chuck Bass. That just wasn't how it worked. But when his steady breath hit her side, she felt as though maybe it was. Maybe this was the place that she was meant to be. But maybe her mother would kill her if she came home smelling like scotch and a man's natural musk. Eleanor wasn't stupid.

She was wide awake on her back, staring at his ceiling. She heard him mumble in his sleep, (something incoherent about liking being pressed up against a painting in the back of the Vanderbilt estate) as the ghost of his fingertips trilled against her ribcage. She shivered slightly (covering an amused smile) and shifted the covers over her bare shoulders, turning her back on him.

She hated her train of thought right now.

The, maybe I can just sneak out's...

or, he'll never notice I'm gone's...

He always knew.

She felt his hand steady hers as she strapped back on her shoes.

"Somewhere you've got to be, princess?"

He always used that pet name with her snidely, but that didn't stop the husk of his voice to get her every time.

She hazarded a glance over her shoulder.



"What are we doing?" she asked.

"We don't have to be doing anything."

Wrong answer.

She sighed with annoyance and pulled away from him, pulling her dress on over her head.

"Do you think I want this to end up like last time?" he asked quietly.

"I don't know what to think anymore," she answered truthfully.

"Do you think that I don't want this?"

The expression in her eyes told him everything he needed to know.

"I will never leave you again," he promised. "I won't let anything happen to you."

"I'm a mess."

Out of everything, that was something he definitely hadn't expected to hear. So he told the truth.

"I know."

She scowled and he smirked at her look.

"And I couldn't be more in love with you."

That was what took her breath away. It was the way he said it so easily. He had said it before, but not like this.

"Chuck..." Blair said warily.

"What?" he asked in exasperation. "I'm saying it now. We're both ready now. Why are you running?"

"Well you can't say its not precedented," Blair sneered. She had hoped that would hit Chuck where it hurt. No such luck. He knew her too well for that and he just smirked at her defense mechanism.

"And you know that it doesn't work," he answered truthfully. "Stay."

"I was never afraid of love before you, you know," she responded. He was aware. "I thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world. Then you came along and made me so afraid to feel because I thought it would mean losing you."

"I'm ready now."

"I could lose myself again," she answered, suddenly realizing that her feet were drifting towards him as though of their own accord.

"I'll catch you," he promised.

"I know," she answered into his arms. "You always do."

"You're late."

Blair sighed. She didn't sound mad but then again, her mother was a woman of many talents. One of which she learned was to hide her emotions.

"Yes, Mother," Blair answered, not even bothering to hide her approach. She withered under Eleanor's gaze. But it didn't seem like an angry gaze. It seemed... understanding. That was just confusing.

"I was..."

"Don't bother with the excuses," Eleanor waved it away. "What I'm wondering is why you bothered to come home at all."

"What?" Blair asked, thunderstruck.

"Well," Eleanor replied. "If you had really wanted to keep it a secret, you could have at least lied and said you were at Serena's. Even if I would have seen right through that one."

"I don't understand."

That was a lie. Blair just felt uncomfortable with how her mother was still on Chuck's side. Maybe there weren't really sides anymore considering their new development, but it was still a betrayal of trust.

"He takes care of you, Blair," Eleanor sighed, as though reading her mind. Blair's brow furrowed.

"I'm scared," she admitted. "And he's done some pretty questionable things, if you haven't noticed."

"Do you want me to not approve of him?" Eleanor asked.

"Well it would make me feel like I deserved him more," Blair admitted. "You're not exactly known for your acceptance."

"Except when it comes to your well being and happiness," Eleanor said, ignoring the jab. It wasn't a lie. That was the complete truth. "If it makes you feel better, your father isn't that quite fond of him."

"Why is that?" Blair asked curiously. "I'm sure he doesn't know any of Chuck's exploits. He's not you."

"A tale for another time."

Blair didn't like that answer at all.

"I'm not one to control your life."

Blair snorted at this.

"I'm trying to be better," Eleanor amended.

"How do you know its right?" Blair asked. "He scares me more than anything."

"That's how I know," Eleanor nodded. "Because he invokes something so powerful in you that you come running to your mother."

Blair smiled wryly at this. "If I lost him again... I don't know if I could take it."

A current passed between the two of them like words and Blair knew. She just knew it was right. She sighed. "Goodbye, Mother."

"Not for long," her mother replied.

"For the nights," Blair amended.

For the nights, because she knew there would only be one person she would be spending it with.

As he opened the door, he knew exactly who it was. Victory never tasted so sweet when it tasted like Blair Waldorf.

"Don't get cocky," she warned, shoving her bags into his arms. He just kept up with that blase grin as he closed the door behind her, trapping her against it.

Yes, he decided. Victory tasted sweeter than he had remembered.

She pushed him away. "Chuck."

He watched slight fear flicker through her eyes before the confidence came.

"I love you too."

Well that went without saying.