AN: Yes, I know. I've officially fallen off the wagon. Gossip Girl fanfiction by bethaboo! This is going to be my "Sins of the Father is really epically angsty and hard to write" fluff that I write for fun. Don't know if anyone will even care, since I typically only write Twilight, but hey, why the hell not, right?
The timeline for Mistletoe Confessions follows: Chapter 1 takes place at the very end of Season 2, Episode 12, It's a Wonderful Lie, where Blair and Chuck decide to find each other dates to the Snowflake Ball and end up bringing a nearly identical doppelganger of themselves. At the end of the episode SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER (yes it aired like two years ago, but I want to be careful), Bart Bass is in a car accident and dies. This will not be happening. Instead, we see what could have happened if the accident hadn't occurred and Chuck hadn't gone off the deep end and Blair hadn't told Chuck she loved him at the funeral.
Spotted: Notorious exes B and C dancing at the Snowflake Ball. Are they burying the hatchet for good? Or just into each other? With these two, even an abudance of Christmas spirit couldn't force them to call a truce.
It all started with the stupid bet.
Blair wished she'd never even considered agreeing to Chuck's suggestion that they find each other dates for the Snowflake Ball. He'd baited her, and she'd let him, too ridiculously prideful to say no.
Since this was Chuck, and he was the only one she'd ever met who could equal her own manipulations, he'd used the bet to create a way in. Yes, it had only been a tiny hole, tinier than he should have been able to wiggle through, but he was apparently more flexible than she'd given him credit for.
"And what do we have, Chuck? You tell me," she demanded, more angry at herself than she was at him. Angry that after all these months, she still wished that things different between them. Angry that they could never be different. He was still the same incredibly emotionally retarded man he'd been back then. Nothing had changed, except that right now, she was too weak to walk away.
"Tonight." His eyes were dark and inscrutable as he gazed at her, and Blair felt her defenses weakening even further. She'd never been the kind of girl who was alright with short-term encounters, but they both knew that whatever it was they shared, it wasn't meaningless. No matter how utterly bizarre tonight had been, the same intense regret she'd felt all evening had been reflected in his expression—just like it was now.
"So shut up, and dance with me."
Blair wanted to believe that she could turn him down if she'd wanted to, but she knew better. Holding her head high, she took his hand as if she could care less whether he'd asked or not, but of course he saw right through her.
Blair realized it then; he wasn't ever going to stop wanting to ask, and she wasn't ever going to stop wanting to say yes.
"Have you decided what you'd like for Christmas?" Chuck asked smoothly, pulling her even closer, until Blair's fingers dug into the rough sequins of his tuxedo jacket. She'd been meaning to tell him the entire evening how ridiculously obscene this particular sartorial choice was, but she'd been far too absorbed in the unfolding mini-drama of their doppelgangers to say so.
"Not particularly," she told him, her chin finally coming to rest on his shoulder. The part of her brain that was still capable of coherent thought kept telling her that this was the worst idea she'd had in a while, but she couldn't seem to break free of him, of the spell he cast around her. His hands slid down the back of her dress, until they verged on the same tasteless level of his jacket, but she said nothing. What would be the point? He was Chuck Bass, and he would never change.
"Seeing as finding you a date was so easy, I used some of my free time to put some thought into your gift this year."
"I didn't realize that Chuck Bass did Christmas," Blair said slyly.
"When," Chuck murmured, his lips grazing her ear, "are you going to realize that when it comes to you, all bets are off."
Despite how amazing it felt to finally let him touch her, Blair pulled back a little so she could glare at him properly. "Does that mean you're conceding, then?"
"You know very well I'm not. Now, are you going to let me tell you about your gift?"
He knew her too well. She wanted to tell him to go to hell, but he'd also used the magic word, and her insatiable curiosity demanded she find out exactly what he'd chosen for her.
"If it's as appropriate as your choice of dates, then perhaps I don't want to know." Her voice could have frozen water, but he merely chuckled.
"Blair, play nice. We both know you're dying to know what I selected for you."
"Fine," she ground out, digging her fingertips into his shoulders much harder than was entirely necessary. "I'll permit you to enlighten me."
"You asked earlier why we couldn't work it out," Chuck said, smoothly transitioning their moving bodies into the next song. Blair realized, her brain descending into that particular fog-like haze that Chuck always induced in her, that she'd already danced with him for a whole song, and now a second was starting. This was bad news. One dance was permissible, two was indicative of clinging. "I wasn't aware we wanted to work it out."
Blair tensed, neatly caught in her own trap.
The reason we can't say those three words to each other isn't because they aren't true. I think we both know, the moment we do, it won't be the start of something, it'll be the end.
"Right," she said, forcing her voice to stay even and calm. "I forgot. What we like is this."
"Blair—" Chuck said, but Blair knew she didn't want to hear another word—couldn't hear another word—gift or no gift. She released him and wrenched her body away from his.
"No," she hissed. "I don't want to hear it. I'm sick of hearing how we can't be together. No more."
"Blair," he tried again, catching her arm in his hand, before she could completely turn away from him and run again. "You need to hear me out."
She stared up into his eyes, as dark as hers. A dark consort for a dark Queen. It was on nights like tonight, when the darkness threatened to envelop her, that Blair wished she could find her way back into the light again.
"No," she said unsteadily. "I believe I've heard all I need to." And she turned and walked away.
Blair didn't sleep. She tossed and turned all night, the ghost of Chuck's hands on her skin keeping her awake and restless.
When Dorota came to wake her in the morning, her eyes were still wide open. "Miss Blair, time to get dressed," the faithful maid said. "You have visitor."
"Who?" Blair asked suspiciously, sliding her arms into her silken white robe. "It's still early." Unlike the rest of her friends, Blair believed in rising with the sun and not wasting the opportunities daylight presented. Besides, it was only a week until Christmas, and she still had a number of presents to buy. Blair Waldorf was renowned in the Upper East Side for her gift-giving skills, but she had no intention of resting on her laurels. This year, she'd already decided, would have to be an even more fabulous Christmas than last year. Of course, last year hadn't exactly been fabulous. She'd spent the entire holiday terrified that Chuck would confess their sordid affair to Nate.
Dorota was rambling about something, half in Polish, half in English and Blair ignored her as she mentally castrated Chuck yet again for his numerous flaws as a human being. ". . . he say he will not leave until he see Miss Blair. I tell him to wait, that she is not awake yet. And Mr. Chuck, he wait, Miss Blair."
"What?" Blair squeaked, the number of times Dorota saying Chuck's name finally penetrating her castration planning. "He's here?"
"Well, yes, Miss Blair. I told you . . ." Dorota launched into another rambling explanation as Blair rushed over to the mirror and attempted to smooth her hair. It was useless. After her sleepless night, she looked like death warmed over. She needed a long hot shower and a facial and at least ten bone dry cappuccinos before she could even think about seeing him.
"Just tell him. . .I'm not here. I'm asleep. I'm busy. I don't want to see him."
"I already say those things. He say he prefer to wait for you." Dorota looked very proud of herself, but Blair rolled her eyes.
"Then you didn't try hard enough! Try again."
"Miss Blair," Dorota said with exaggerated patience, "he been waiting for six hours already."
"Six hours? You've got to be joking." Blair's jaw dropped, and her eyes grew round as saucers. "Chuck Bass doesn't wait for anyone for six hours."
"He wait, Miss Blair," Dorota said, clearly pleased that he hadn't given in and left. "He did sleep on couch. But I make him take shoes off first."
"You saved the upholstery but not my pride? You need to re-examine your priorities, Dorota."
"You will see him now, then?"
"No!" Blair yelled, realizing too late that her voice was likely to carry all the way down the stairs, right into the living room, where Chuck was no doubt sleeping, shoeless, on the sofa. "No," she hissed again. "Just. . .I don't know what you should tell him. Wait. No. Tell him to get out, or I'm going to call the police and demand a restraining order."
"The police? Don't you think you're being a bit hasty?" Chuck strolled into the room, his suit slightly crumpled, but otherwise looking totally unaffected by his six hour vigil. Blair told herself that she hated him on sight, but maybe she just hated what his appearance did to her stomach. Those damn butterflies were back, and they more ferocious than ever. All it had taken was a stupid bet and one and a half dances to make her want him all over again.
"Dorota," Blair said, her voice low-pitched and furious as she wrapped her robe tighter around her midsection, "could you please dial 911 and tell them there's an intruder in my residence?"
"Dorota, if you could please give us a moment. Blair and I have a matter of some importance to discuss," Chuck corrected smoothly, taking her arm and guiding her out the door. Before Blair could really realize what was even happening, Dorota was gone and she and the Basshole were facing off over her bed.
"You waited for six hours?" Blair decided to open with a salvo guaranteed to make him feel like an effing idiot for spending his entire night on her couch, waiting for her to emerge. She liked the flair it had. Six hours was indisputably significant, and clearly she held all the power if he was willing to wait that long.
"For the record, I was asleep for probably 90% of that time."
"On my couch, waiting for me."
Chuck opened his mouth to argue with her, but then he took a deep breath, attempting to not lose his temper, which with Blair, was always a difficult proposition. "Blair, I don't want to fight about this. I had something important to say to you last night, and you never let me say it. That's why I spent the last six hours tossing and turning on your couch."
"Well, then, I'm waiting." Blair crossed her arms over her chest and pasted a bored expression on her face, though in reality, she was thrilling with what must be so incredibly important that he'd been willing to camp out in her living room just so he could tell her.
"It's your Christmas present," Chuck said. "I discovered what I wanted to give you while I was finding you the perfect date."
"By my date, you mean the boy that couldn't keep his hands off your date?" Blair was so affronted that he couldn't help but chuckle at her indignity.
"The date was a ruse," he admitted. "I knew you wouldn't like him. He was me, but not enough like me. The whole point was to prove to you that if there's a perfect date out there for you, it's the real Chuck Bass."
"You've done your job then," Blair snapped. "Now explain to me what this has to do with my Christmas present before I have Dorota throw you out."
Chuck took another deep breath, knowing once he said the words, he could never take them back. "Last night, you said that everyone could work it out except for us. Maybe that's not true. Maybe we haven't been trying."
"That's my Christmas present? You insulting me by saying I never tried to make it work? You're the one who abandoned me in Tuscany!"
Chuck held up a hand to stop her, and skirted around the bed, to reach for one of her hands. "I know. I messed up. These last few months have all been me messing up. But I'm done doing that. I'm conceding to you, Blair. Tuscany was a huge mistake, I've apologized for it before, but to put it behind us once and for all, I'd like you to come with me. Somewhere we can be alone, somewhere we can figure out how to make this work."
Her heart was beating so rapidly, Blair was certain that he could hear it in the still, quiet room. She had never expected Chuck of all people to make this kind of grand gesture. But then, she realized, that was what he did. He screwed up, and then after all his other machinations and manipulations failed, he appeared with some incredibly romantic, monumental proof that he wanted her after all. The question, Blair thought as he intertwined their fingers together, was whether she was going to let him this time.
She'd let him at Lily and Bart's wedding; that incredible, spur of the moment speech about forgiveness and tenacity and never giving up. She'd never forgotten it or the way she'd felt as his dark eyes had sought her out, telling her everything she'd needed to know. It was impossible to deny that she felt something very similar now, but this time the stakes were higher. This time she knew she loved him—she knew it the very fiber of her being, in the marrow of her bones—and if he didn't love her the same way, their relationship would be doomed from the start.
Blair cleared her throat, and looked up at him. "Does that mean you're prepared to say it?"
"Three words, eight letters," Chuck said, rubbing the sensitive skin of her inner wrist with his thumb. "I'm ready to say them to you, but I want to prove it first. With my actions, not just by the words alone. Will you let me?"
Blair was dying to let him convince her, but she couldn't be sure until he said the words. She wanted to tell him to just say them now, because deep down, she thought he might be bluffing and he couldn't after all. But the accusation stuck in her suddenly tight throat.
"What do you have in mind?" she said instead.
"Bart just purchased some new property in upstate New York. A rustic, yet luxurious ski lodge perfect for a romantic Christmas celebration for two. Come with me."
Her heart wanted to melt, but she stayed firm. "I'm not sure. I'll have to take it under consideration. If you're worth me traveling all the way upstate."
Chuck's composure was beginning to crack, and Blair could see the impatience and the panic beginning to show. "Don't think," he said, grasping her hand and pulling her in towards him. "Just say yes."
"But Serena . . ." Blair hesitated.
"Serena's on her way to Buenos Aires, remember? With that unwashed miscreant artist?"
"Serena actually isn't." Blair and Chuck looked up from each other, shocked to see the blonde standing there. Unless Stephen Hawking had discovered how to exist in two places simultaneously, Serena definitely wasn't in Buenos Aires.
"S! What are you doing here?" Blair rushed over to her friend's side and wrapped her arms around her. "I thought you were leaving?"
"I couldn't go," Serena confessed, tossing her purse and her hat on Blair's dresser. "Dan and I. . ."
Blair could feel Chuck's eyes roll from across the room, and she was sure her expression was similar. "Dan. Again? Is that really wise?"
Serena crossed her arms over her chest and looked mulishly defensive. "We haven't decided anything. Only that we've decided to spend the holidays together. Like you two appear to be doing."
"That isn't official yet," Blair snapped. "I'm not sure I can leave New York."
"Don't be ridiculous, Blair," Chuck said, walking over to stand with them. "This isn't an open invitation that you can accept anytime. I'm asking you once to go with me, to work things out."
Blair glanced over at Serena, who was smiling and clearly enthusiastic about the whole idea, and she wanted to feel the same. But all she felt was a horrible, gnawing fear that by saying yes she would be giving herself up for Chuck to trample on all over again. She remembered so clearly what he'd said during the disastrous White Party at the end of the summer. The beginning of all this ridiculous three words, eight letters crap.
I was scared; scared if we spent a whole summer together, just us, you'd see . . .me.
She hadn't understood what he'd meant then, hadn't understood how deep you could fall for someone. After all, she'd been with Nate forever, and she'd thought she'd plumbed all the depths of love that you could. But whatever she and Chuck had, it was different, and it was infinitely deeper. She could stay here, mostly but not completely in love with him, or she could go with him for Christmas, and fall so deeply in love with him that she would never be able to pull herself out.
"I can't," Blair managed, her tongue thick and heavy in her mouth. "I can't. Not the two of us. But. . ." she paused, and saw the numbness begin to seep into Chuck's eyes—a symptom of her apparent rejection. "But, what if we brought some other people with us? We could still talk but there would be less. . .pressure. It would be easier."
"Are you saying you're too chicken, Waldorf?"
She was absolutely saying she was too chicken, but she couldn't ever admit that to him. To Serena, maybe. But to Chuck, never. "No. I just don't want to leave Serena alone at Christmas. And she wouldn't want to leave Dan."
"And what about Dan?" Serena piped up, her sunny smile breaking through the tension. "Perhaps he could come too?"
"Humphrey?" Chuck looked appalled at the idea of Brooklyn coming along on his romantic Christmas getaway for two, and Blair wasn't sure she blamed him, but at the same time, she just couldn't trust him enough.
"It'll be fun," Blair said with as much pseudo-cheer as she could infuse into her voice. She'd never imagined ever being cheerful about Dan Humphrey before, but she supposed there was a first time for everything. "A Christmas house party. The house is big enough, right Chuck?"
Chuck still looked stunned. Blair decided that this had been a very smart idea; she'd never seen him look so confused before. There was nothing like turning his plans sideways to convince him who the real powerhouse in the relationship was.
Not that they were in a relationship. At least not yet anyway.
"Chuck?" Serena prompted.
"Oh yes. Definitely big enough. Invite whomever," he said smoothly, snapping out of his shock. But his eyes told a totally different story than his words.
"Oh, I will," Blair said sweetly. "That's so nice of you to offer."
"Blair," Chuck hissed as Serena dug in her purse for her cell phone and walked off to a corner of Blair's bedroom, no doubt to invite the entire UES to spend Christmas with them. "You know this wasn't what I had in mind."
"It's what I had in mind, Bass. I'm not ready to go on a solo vacation with you. But I'll still go up there and we can still have our discussion. I'm amenable to that part of the plan."
"Fine," he ground out. "But just so you know, you just invited Brooklyn to spend the holidays with us."
"Believe me, I'm aware of it. Maybe he'll get cold feet and decide he can't handle Serena," she said innocently, taking a step closer to him. "Maybe you could suggest that to him. Strongly."
Chuck laughed, and Blair was relieved to see that he was taking this better. Even Brooklyn. "You invited him, Waldorf. I'm not getting involved."
"So when do we leave?" Serena said, approaching Blair and Chuck again. "I just called Nate, because I figured he should be there too. And he's insisting on bringing Vanessa."
"Vanessa?" Blair ground out. "Seriously?"
"Nate is insisting."
Blair sent Chuck a look. "You need to talk some sense into him."
"Believe me, I've tried."
"Vanessa's not so bad," Serena valiantly defended.
Blair rounded on her. "Not so bad in small, five second increments. But for a whole week? I would rather . . . "
"Rather what, Waldorf?" Chuck asked with a smirk. "Go upstate alone with me?"
"No," Blair snapped. "Fine. Vanessa is welcome too."
"We're leaving tonight. Pack your bags," Chuck said, reaching out to stroke Blair's cheek, as Serena turned back to her cell phone, no doubt calling Nate back to tell him that even Vanessa was permitted to join them.
"Tonight? So soon?" She still had shopping to do, and now she'd have to pack. Or tell Dorota what to pack.
"I'll be here with the limo at 7. Be ready, Waldorf."
"You know I'm always ready for you, Bass."
"You'd better be, because you have no idea what you're in for." With this pronouncement, Blair watched Chuck disappear out the doorway.
Serena walked over to Blair, who was still staring at his retreating back. "So we leave tonight?"
Blair nodded, and then turned towards Serena, fear written on her face. "Tell me I did the right thing, S." Her voice sounded scared and unsure but she couldn't hide it anymore, especially not in front of her best friend.
Serena wrapped her arms around her in a quick reassuring hug. "It was a big decision. You two have so much history, I think it's a good idea to take it slow."
"So I take it that Dan and Nate and Vanessa are duly informed and are planning to accompany us," Blair said bitterly as she slipped out of her robe and disappeared into her closet.
"Oh yeah. It's lucky that nobody had any plans that they couldn't break," Serena said, fingering a strand of pearls on Blair's dresser. "Dan especially sounded excited."
"S, of course he's excited. He's clearly never gotten over you, and now instead of you flying off to Buenos Aires with Aaron, you're spending Christmas with him."
"Not really with him. And I get why you said what you did to Chuck. It's a huge step."
Blair reappeared in the closet doorway. "I know. And this way, the pressure's off. We don't have to spend every single minute together. Maybe we can retain some. . .frame of reference. . .instead of rushing off into the deep end."
"But B, maybe that's what Chuck wants."
"Don't be ridiculous. Chuck's terrified of the deep end. He wants to dip his toe in the kiddie section."
"So what you're saying is that we're all going with you two so that you don't throw yourself into the deep end."
Blair paused, as she pulled a brush through her hair, and looked up at her best friend. "I knew you'd understand. I just can't do it alone, not until I'm sure he's there with me. He couldn't even say the words today. He insisted he could, but that he wanted to wait until he'd demonstrated that he really meant them. As if he could say them if he didn't. He can't even say them when he does mean them," she scoffed.
"He does, B, I know he loves you. He looks at you like you're the only woman in the universe."
"And still I ended up in Tuscany alone. This," Blair said, "is why I'm hedging my bets this time around. He can't get cold feet if we're all going."
"So you still don't believe him," Serena said sadly, and Blair wanted to shake her. Didn't anyone understand how difficult it had been for her not to throw herself at that motherchucker? It was taking all her vaunted self-control to stay strong and stay in control.
"No," Blair snapped. "Not precisely. The jury's still out."
"If you really think that spending a romantic Christmas with snow and sleighs and hot cocoa and evergreen trees is going to prevent you from falling any harder for Chuck, you're insane, B. It doesn't matter who comes along to distract you. In any case, I have some shopping to do if we're going to leave tonight. I'll see you later."
Serena picked up her purse and leaned in to give Blair another quick hug. "It'll be okay. It'll be more than okay. It'll be great," she murmured in her ear before she was gone, in a whirlwind of certainty and blond hair.
It appears Scrooge has finally vacated the penthouse, leaving Chuck Bass, repetant and romantic, in his place. Will B and C finally work out their differences or will their entourage distract them from making up before the New Year? Stay tuned, Upper East Siders, I think this one's going to be a snow fight worth watching.
AN: I'm not going to be updating this as regularly as Sins of the Father, but I hope to post a new chapter roughly every week or so.
Thanks to JosieSwan who betaed this, even though she isn't nearly as obsessed with GG as I am.
I have to also thank jandco for writing the inspiration for this story, Cullen's Island, which is one of the most epically hilarious Twilight fanfictions ever written.