Just something that came to me completely randomly a couple of hours ago, and just sort of wrote itself. Not the best I've written, and I could probably do a lot more with it, but I'm really supposed to be revising for a test I have tomor, and just wanted to try and get this done while it flowed and get it posted.

Hope you like…

Oooh, warning – one use of the F-WORD.
Just to notify :)


Title: Give Me A Pen, I'll Paint Your Picture To The World
Disclaimer: Don't own anything – shame really :(
A/N: It's not really important for the female writing the article to have a specific identity.
Summary: A female reporter writing an article on Chuck Bass tries to find out what made him the man he is today.

"Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future."
Gail Lumet Buckley

.

Patience.

He appears to have an abundance of it.

He's been sitting there, quite patiently, for some time now as he waits for her to reorganize her notes.

And his gaze doesn't seem to have strayed from her presence since she arrived.

It's unnerving, to say the least.

And yet at the same time, it is a complete and utter turn-on.

"I apologize for this," she fumbles over the words as yet another sexual thought enters her head; it's not the first time it's happened since their hands made contact, and it suddenly makes her wonder if he's pondering her competence at actually putting word to page successfully.

His lips curve slightly at the edges and he pacifies her with the words, "Patience in my household is a well-rewarded virtue."

And then he taps the edge of the photo on the desk between them as if it explanation enough and she breathes out, long and slow.

"It's the main shot for the article," she explains, relief coming in long bouts of those released breaths. "My editor chose it before she even chose me."

"My family tends to speak for itself," he informs her then. "Words rarely tend to do them justice."

It feels like his eyes will never stray from the image before him; and she coughs lightly to try and draw his attention away.

When he's ready, and not a moment before, he meets her eyes with an expectant look of his own.

"There's a saying," she says then, clearing her throat to address her final point. "That people reflect their families."

"Considering your own family," she suddenly feels like she should be walking on eggshells, like the glass in front of her will crack at any moment with these very words.

There's more than just rumors-abound about how fiercely protective Chuck Bass is of his family.

"Would you say that you are a reflection of them?"

-

He doesn't suppose this to be true.

He'd liked to think he had a little more personality that his father; but maybe outsiders view him in the same way. Those who know him understand that he has quite a few sides to his personality; but that's only natural, right? For you to have different faces that you show to the world. However else could you function in all the faucets of the world that you are connected to?

He'd also like to think that he didn't have as skewed a moral compass as his Uncle Jack; especially when it came to refusal. It's a well-known trait that he doesn't take no for an answer, but there's a time and a place for this to be put into literal effect. He understands where to draw the line: the past is the past, and with the air cleared, there's no need to sweep anything under the rug.

.

And yet his Uncle brought him back from the brink, and he meant it when he said he was grateful and that he owed him. He won't pay back that debt though; not because she did it well before he was even anywhere near US soil; but because what Jack took from him would always be far worse than if he'd ever left him in that place to rot. He's aware of the man's motives, but the outcome still remains; he is here because Jack bothered to pick him up from where he'd fallen.

And his father; his father gave him his company. Where his brother had simply failed to let it be taken away, his father had provided him with life. In so many forms and by so many means, that it was hard not to sympathize with the man who had struggled to cope with the concept of discovering the love of his life; nevermind having the promise of a dream being wrenched away before it had even begun, in exchange for a barren title of widower and the unprepared, unprecedented, arrival of single parenthood.

He supposes there are characteristics in both of the Bass men that he wouldn't mind holding within himself.

-

He's still not convinced though.

He thinks of those he grew up with.

The core four. The elite. The non-judging breakfast club.

Serena was the wild child, and so her mother may not have noticed; but her grandmother did. And one person noticing was better than none at all.

So he figured he'd give it a try.

It certainly got his father's attention when the checks he was making out to his son's school became ever more frequent alongside the increase in zero-count.

But to be this personality alone meant to incur Bart's wrath; and that wasn't exactly the most pleasant or sough-after response.

Besides, he was more than a little certain his golden-haired friend didn't have a whole entourage including a PI and a bodyguard following her every move. And with that sort of following, it was hard to be discreet about anything; and sometimes, he really needed to be discreet. Like when he spotted Blair in her beret: because really, how were they supposed to spy on anyone successfully when the motley-crew was chasing their shadows? Cancelled spying times did not equal a happy Blair Waldorf.

So, being Serena's constant companion was definitely out of the question; but that didn't mean he wouldn't accompany her for the ride when the mood took him.

.

Blair was the one who strived for perfection in everything she did.

He tried this out too; but it got boring after a while, and he found it required far too much effort to exact it in every contour of his life.

His father noticed however, just like Blair's did. When his grades improved, Bart told him it was pleasing to see that he was finally living up to his potential. But when his father was supposed to attend a prize-giving to award him for his notable improvement and achievement, he didn't appear. Harold Waldorf was too busy to show either; so he supposed he and Blair could add flaky fathers to the absentee mothers they already had in common.

Although he didn't get a multitude of gifts by way of apology for not being able to make it; it made him think that you had to have a much more… open father than his own. Years later, it turned out they had more in common than either child could have realized, of course; secrets apparently a highly thought-of ranking in both males' minds.

Instead he received a disappointing look from his father and a speech about consistency and told that if he ever wanted to rightfully inherit the Bass Empire he would learn that once he earned something worthwhile, it was best not to throw it away.

Later that week, he heard his father verbally reprimanding a nameless, faceless, man in his office and put the times and dates together in his head to discover that it was this man's incompetence that had caused the mix-up in appointments and Bart missing possibly the only ever (public) recognition of his son's success.

Chuck felt a little bad then about using what he'd learned in science the previous week (and the source of his recognized accomplishment) to blow a hole the size of a small crater into the ceiling of the lab. Only a little bad though; his father deserved something to happen to him, after all, for ever doubting Chuck Bass wasn't living up to his potential.

He supposed it was the Nathaniel in him that stopped him from feeling any worse; he could justify it all quite easily and tell himself he did no wrong.

It signified that he'd never really be able to rival Blair's perfect existence; but he could stand next to her with his head held high, because he shared more with this girl than anyone else would ever likely be given the chance to.

.

Nate was the one who skirted the line with little to no effort either way. The one who had everything handed to him on a silver plate with the shadow of his mother's legacy playing across in the distance.

He dazzled a smile when he couldn't talk his way out of something or casually mentioned a relative here or there.

So he gave that a shot too.

He charmed the ladies, and the men too, and was surprised with the ease at which they complied with his wishes. The only thing that trumped his lyrical words was his name; there wasn't even need to mention Daddy Dearest or beyond.

This worked extremely well in his favor; especially when he perfected the strategy of working for the least amount of time and exerting as little effort as he could and getting the maximum return. It was okay though, because he'd seen Nate cheat too.

And if Golden Boy could get away with it, then Chuck would make sure he could as well.

It was the reservation in the other boy that made him realize he'd never be able to fully embody Prince Charming. He didn't mind though; he much preferred to play the part of the villain. He knew it was the Serena in him that pushed him well over these lines that his dear friend Nathaniel rarely peeped a toe across. There was only ever one Prince anyway; and the die had been set long before Nate ever learned to pronounce the names of the families that encompassed his future.

Chuck preferred to make his own decisions; choose which rules to follow and which to discard, so he'd never be Nate: but he could treat his best friend to a present or two that he'd brought back for him from the forbidden planes.

-

He's not completely swayed, but he knows how he created the original Chuck Bass.

With a dash of Nathaniel: he became the boy who coasted through life as he pleased, flashed a smile and put on the charm; fell back on the family name to get his own way.

Spiked with a little Serena: he became the boy who rebelled against seemingly every type of authority and was as wild as they could come.

And shaken with a hell-of-a-lot of Blair: he became the boy who was always well-presented and perfectly made-up for any occasion; prepared for any eventually that should come his way because nothing got by him without at least some resistance.

So maybe it's a little true.

Though it's hardly a hindrance to admit as such when it's his best friends who are apparently his riding influence.

-

The entire conversion comes when he blinks and his family comes into view once more.

Not his father or his uncle.

Not his best friends.

His family.

There are moments that make a person, he thinks. Defining moments in your life.

Blair Waldorf has been around for all but one of his; but then, he was barely around for that one himself.

He remembers one Mother's Day, when he was attending school. The teacher had instructed them to create a card, which they would then hold up and show the rest of the class along with telling them a little about their mothers.

Looking back, he recalls how the woman never taught him again – or anyone else at the school – after that day. He hadn't told Bart about what had happened, but he knew himself that parents could be more insightful than they were given credit for.

He tried to think of something to write, honestly he did, but he just drew a blank. Nate's mother always seemed to look at him with something he now knows to have been pity – or as close to it as Anne Archibald could muster – and was rather cold and stiff, and not at all like his best friend's father. Serena's was barely around enough to leave more than a fleeting impression on anyone; but apparently she was beautiful and could make most men want to marry her. And Blair's – well, he'd rarely seen her around either; with all her jet setting and meetings and whatnot, it seemed that she worked almost as much as his father.

He was sitting next to Blair, having heard her huff for about the tenth time before she finally let out, "Would you just do something?"

He stared right back at her, before saying simply, in quiet confidence, "I don't know what it's like to have a mother."

She rolled her shoulders at him, and he remembers thinking she was going to rebuff him, before she said, "Don't worry. I don't either."

He thinks he might be the only person she's ever really shown herself to. Even the deepest darkest recesses of her soul. He likes knowing she opens up more to him than any other; that he gets to see all of her.

"Don't you have a nanny or a maid?" she asked him then.

He nodded and she smiled, "Me too, I have Dorota. She's wonderful, you know."

"I imagine that's what having a mother's like," she informed him at that.

"So you lie," he had caught on quickly then, a little smirk curving at his lips. "On a school paper."

He gasped like he was Blair and she'd just seen Serena do something awful, and reprimanded her in a faux version of their teacher's grating tone, "Blair Waldorf, what would your father say?"

She smiled smarmily back at him then, and replied haughtily, "He'd say winning over the audience is half the battle – and that well chosen words can be more useful in striking another's heart than any weapon can."

He'd scoffed at that, "Your father shouldn't read so many romance novels."

Her hands were on her hips and she huffed again, and he was fairly certain she stomped her foot beneath their table; he'd even go so far as to say she'd been aiming to bring her little heel down on his newly polished shoes.

"I'll have you know, Daddy is a wonderful lawyer and that's why he has such a way with words," she told him indignantly. "And he tells the best bedtime stories."

He'd let out a laugh, "So you'll be giving your card to him then, will you?"

The last thing he'd seen had been Blair's infuriated expression before she'd smacked him with her extremely heavy pencil-case and he'd fallen off his chair and been knocked out cold.

He woke up to her face swimming before his eyes and her promising words, "You owe me, Bass."

When you know you don't mind being indebted to someone, you realize something is going on. And Chuck Bass could spend the rest of his life being indebted to his wife. For agreeing to marry him, not to mention giving him all of his children: he is certain there are worse punishments than being under the thumb of Blair Waldorf. Well, maybe only for him.

After all, he was madly in love with the women.

.

He has three girls: thirteen, eleven and eight. Each one as beautiful and smart as their mother; and every bit the handful as well.

His wife is expecting their fourth child, and she swears that this time it's going to be a boy.

He suspects this might be because she really, really doesn't want to have to go through it all again. Not that the precursor, or the during for that matter, isn't… enjoyable, it's more the 'after' part that seems to get to her – the actual delivering the child part.

He doesn't think she'll ever truly believe him when he tells her she's even more stunning when she's carrying his child. He wouldn't have thought it was possible; he already finds her irresistible enough, without the added advantage, but it is. And it's so obviously true he can't help but capture it every time. He likes to keep the photos in his own albums that he has of his family: the one that started with just Blair and him, and now extends through four pregnancies.

There's all the milestones his daughters have passed – the times he can't believe have already come and gone – flanked by all those unique moments when an image tells him more about his child than anyone could ever possibly try to put into words.

And there are the ones of his wife too: ravishingly beautiful in every shot, at every angle, at every occasion. It amazes him how many emotions she can evoke in him with just a single glance; even the frozen image of her can make his lips curve and his heart swell.

He thinks he'll maybe show it to her one-day: when they're old and gray and no doubt mourning the apparent loss of some other such vain apparition of their former selves.

He wonders if she'll believe him then.

When his son comes wailing and screaming into the world, kicking his little legs indignantly, his hands in little fists; Chuck can hardly blame him. He'd see no sound reason to be separated from his wife either.

He gives his son the first preview; and the way the newborn's eyes stay transfixed to his mother's form tell him the younger Bass is in agreement.

The family photo this year is especially magnificent.

-

He's been mulling over the question for some time, when his eyes finally drag up to meet hers.

He smirks at her; in that completely effortless way that says you-want-to-fuck-me-don't-you. It's the kind only Chuck Bass could pull off in a crowded restaurant, as a married man with no intention of fulfilling his proposition; and get away with it.

She doesn't nod, but her eyes glisten, seemingly beckoning him to comply.

He raises his hand to his face, his left index finger touches his lips as he contemplates this a second longer than he needs to; the band on his second outermost finger catches the light brilliantly. It still seems to surprise everyone in the room, but him, and they all have to squint to get a look into his world.

"Darling," he drawls; and she thinks she's never been as jealous of anyone as she is in that single moment. His wife gets to hear this voice every morning, every night, see these lips as the words tumble from them. And there can be nothing more sinfully erotic, nothing more tantalizingly beautiful, than that.

And yet to be one of his children, and hear the endearment as he calls to them, gives them his full attention. How special it must be to be able to garner that: the complete, uninterrupted attention of Chuck Bass, from one single word. How privileged.

His eyes are shining like the moment he caught sight of the family photo she spilled from her possession creating a bridge between them.

And then he's speaking with a tone that's so akin to the one he used earlier when referring to them; that she nearly gasps with the sheer sincerity and love that emanates from what seems like every fiber of his being.

"If I'm a reflection of my family, I'm a far richer man than the Forbes list gives me credit for."

-

He doesn't read the article, doesn't even have his assistant bring him the envelope when he receives his advanced copy.

His wife does though, and so do his children.

Blair Bass looks down at the words describing her husband, his life, his work; but all she can ever see is him reflected back.

With their daughters surrounding her, and their son in her arms, they stare at the pages before them: drinking in the words, unable to tear their eyes from the images.

The main photo that accompanies the piece is undeniably stunning, so much so it takes more than one Bass woman's breath away.

There's an image inset that they all recognize instantly. It is the one that she carries around in her purse, the one her husband has framed on his desk in his office.

Her cheeks are wet, and her chest feels like it will burst: because the photo is of her husband sitting in a crowded restaurant, having lunch with a woman who is not his wife, but she had never seen someone look so happy without smiling before.

"Wow," their eldest whispers like a secret only they know.

"I know," her younger counterpart agrees.

"Look at it," the smallest of the female trio breathes out, mesmerized.

She nods, and joins in with the words of their children.

Everything surrounding her husband is blurred in the image, and he only has one finger gracing the top corner of the photo before him. His eyes are so dark you could drown in them, and the corner of his lip is barely curved upwards; and yet there is an unmistakable motion of pride and love that seems to radiate from his very core.

It is what makes the image so undeniably moving, so absolutely beautiful.

Makes him even more stunning that they already credit him with being.

Their son reaches out a tiny hand and places it on the page, exclaiming in unabashed delight, "Daddy happy."

And he is, he really and truly is.

And it is they that make him so.

And it feels beyond words.


The End.


Thank you so much for reading, and please let me know what you think – it means a lot!
Steph
xxx