Title: Rabbit hole

Rating: K+

Author: Jen

A/N: Takes place post ep 3-10. Jenny's gone down the rabbit hole, and Chuck's the only one who can drag her back out.

Be careful, Jennifer Humphrey. If you come down the rabbit hole, it's going to take more than Blair Waldorf and your army of minions to drag you back out.

This takes place at the van der Bass Humphrey home – a few months post 3-10

Chuck wished he could say he was surprised when he saw that Jenny was the only member of the van der Bass Humphrey clan missing.

"Charles. Thank you for coming," Lily greeted as he walked in.

"It sounded important. S. Eric," he greeted. "Rufus. Dan," he added to be polite.

Once they were all seated Rufus spoke. "I'm worried about Jenny. I think she might have gotten involved with something. Gotten in over her head."

"She's been 'in over her head' for more than a month," Chuck answered.

Rufus stood, and all but yelled, "You've known and you've just let it happen! Do you really still hate me that much!? I thought we were passed that!"

"Dad," Dan said, grabbing his father's arm.

Chuck looked Rufus in the eyes. "We are. Calm down and I'll explain."

Rufus let out a deep breathe. If Jenny was involved in the kinds of things he feared she was, Chuck was the best one to deal with it. Maybe the only one who could deal with it. It was part of the reason they called him. That, and Lily had long refused to have any family event without inviting Chuck.

"One of the tools she's spending time with has diplomatic immunity. That's given her some immunity as well – so far. The cops haven't paid any attention to them."

This time it was Dan who spoke. "You're leaving my sister's protection to some-"

Chuck cut him off. "I'm Chuck Bass. Of course I wouldn't trust Jenny's protection to some euro-trash punk. And cops are the least of my concerns for her. I have people keeping an eye on her. If anything happens I'll know. I've also made sure the appropriate people know Jenny is under my protection."

FLASHBACK

"The Chief will see you now," said the woman, smiling at Chuck and leading into the office of the New York City Police Chief.

"Mr. Bass."

"Chief. Thank you for meeting me," Chuck greeted as they shook hands.

"Of course. Please have a seat," the Chief directed, returning to sit behind his desk.

"I have a… situation. It may end up requiring your help."

The Chief just raised an eyebrow.

"My… step sister, Jennifer Humphrey, has been spending time with people she shouldn't. So far she's avoided trouble. But if she ever get brought in by your men…"

"I'll make sure they know to treat her as a witness, not a suspect - and contact you immediately."

Chuck smiled. "Thank you. I'll talk to Lily and Blair about holding a charity event for the policeman's widows and orphans fund. And make a large donation myself, of course."

"Thank you, Mr. Bass," the Chief said, smiling. "My daughter adores your step sister, Serena."

"Call me and we can arrange for them to meet," Chuck replied.

A few hours later Chuck stood in the club owner's office, looking through the 1 way glass into the VIP area. Nick, the club's owner, stood beside him.

"See the blonde?" Chuck asked, indicating Jenny.

"Of course. She's become a regular. But I heard you had a girl. Smokin' hot brunette from the pictures of your two I've seen in the papers," Nick commented.

Chuck smirked. "And I'd like to get back to my smokin' hot girl. Just let people know the blonde – Jenny Humphrey – is under my protection. If they have a problem with her, bring it to me, not Jenny. I have people watching her, so I'll know if they don't do as I ask."

"Of course, Chuck. I'll spread the word."

"Thanks, Nick. I have a few other people I have to see about this issue. I'll talk to you later."

"Chuck… If Jenny isn't your girl…"

"She's family," Chuck said before leaving.

Nick decided he'd have a meeting with his bar tenders and bouncers after the club closed. He had to make sure they knew to take care of Jenny Humphrey. Because messing with Chuck Bass' family was the definition of 'dangerous'. And he didn't think ignorance would be accepted as an excuse.

END FLASHBACK

"So what are we going to do?" Serena asked. Eric noticed she was looking at Chuck, not their mother or Rufus. They all knew Chuck was the only one who could help Jenny now.

"We bring her home!" Rufus said.

"If we drag her back kicking and screaming she'll just wait a bit then disappear down the rabbit hole again. This time even deeper," Chuck said.

"Hate to say it, but he's right," Dan agreed.

Lily and Serena both nodded in agreement.

Chuck continued, "She's safe for now, and I'll make sure she stays safe. We have to wait until she's ready to come home."

"And do everything we can to make her want to come back home," Lily added. "We find ways to make her want to be here with us."

Serena smiled brightly and nodded her agreement. Dan and Rufus also relaxed. Chuck and Eric shared a look. They both knew the others were being naive, but neither said anything.

Finally Rufus looked at Chuck. "I know I'm going to regret asking this… but what, exactly, has Jenny been doing?"

"She isn't a dealer, but she's been present at more than a few drug deals. As a witness… and a buyer. She's going to clubs, and other places, that… no father would want his daughter going to. She's drinking more than is healthy."

"Guys?" Dan asked.

"Just one guy. But… yeah."

"How could you know that?" Rufus asked.

"The guy bragged about it," Chuck admitted.

"To you?" Eric asked in disbelief.

"Of course not. He's an idiot, but not suicidal. I heard it second hand, but I trust the source. And their behavior in public makes it very believable."

"It's a miracle that hasn't hit Gossip Girl yet," Serena noted.

"Remember that with us, Gossip Girl kept some of the best scandals to use at the right time," Chuck said.

"You think she knows, but is holding the story," Eric said.

"It makes sense," Dan agreed.

"Our best way to save her, at least from Gossip Girl, might be to have a bigger scandal that overshadows hers," Serena put in. "I can at least take care of that part."

"Serena…" Lily said.

"Not me as the scandal. Just finding one we can use," Serena said. She shared a look with Chuck. If it came down to it, she would use herself as the scandal to protect Jenny, and they both knew it.

"Why are you so willing to help Jenny?" Dan asked Chuck, suddenly curious.

"I owe her. I'm sure you remember that night…I didn't protect her then. But I will now. I owe her that much."

Serena and Dan both flashed back to being on the roof the night of the Kiss on the Lips party.

"What are you talking about, Chuck? Dan?" Rufus asked, looking between them.

"A couple years ago I didn't protect Jenny. I betrayed her trust and came… far too close… to hurting her. Thankfully, Dan, Serena, and Blair arrived before any damage was done."

Dan turned to his father. "Dad, nothing happened. Don't worry about it." He was surprised to find himself defending Chuck, but then, the Chuck in the room tonight was very, very different from the Chuck who had been on the roof that night.

Just then they heard the door open. Several, seemingly endless, seconds later she walked into the living room where the others were gathered. "What's going on?"

They all noticed she was a bit high. In truth, she was coming down form the high, and had come home to crash and get some sleep.

"We were just spending family time together. Talking," Serena answered.

"About rabbit holes, and girls who disappear down them," Chuck added, staring into Jenny's eyes. He then looked at the rest of his family. "'Night," he said before leaving.

"I'm going to bed," Jenny said. "If you want to lecture me, you can do it in the morning." With that, she headed to her room.

Chuck was happy to find Blair waiting in his suite. She moved into his open arms, and he held her close for a few minutes, both remaining silent. He pulled back and kissed her lips gently before leading her to the couch.

"How are they?" Blair asked from her position curled up in his lap.

"Worried."

"About Jenny? It's about time. She's lucky to have you looking out for her."

"She's family."

"I know. I just wish I could do more to help."

A memory of something he'd told Jenny months before flashed in Chuck's mind.

Be careful, Jennifer Humphrey. If you come down the rabbit hole, it's going to take more than Blair Waldorf and your army of minions to drag you back out.

"So do I, Blair," he agreed.

"Let's go to bed. You look exhausted."

"Exhausted but not sleepy," he murmured suggestively, running his hand up her leg.

"Then we definitely need to go to bed," she said, standing up, and holding her hand out to him in invitation.

He took it and followed her to the bedroom.