A/N: Another one-shot because I seem to have this weird fixation with Dair. But don't worry, this is filed under Chair and it shall be Chair. As always. Just something I came up while thinking of these two (GG) quotes.
Summary: "I don't like this, Blair. I don't like this sway that he has over you.""You didn't have a problem with it when it came from you.""I never wanted you subservient. All I ever wanted was just you with me."
Disclaimer: Quotes and pretty much everything but the dialogue belongs to me. Beta-ed by comewhatmay.x who makes everything better.
There's no love lost between me and Chuck Bass but I gotta believe he deserves to know.
He does have this weird influence over her.
-1.13, A Thin Line Between Chuck and Nate
He had never been one to notice it. He didn't spend time with Chuck or Blair as a general rule and he never really ever wanted to. However, in this respect, he accepted Serena's judgment at face value because it made sense. It made sense that Blair would listen to Chuck. Those two were the same and Dan Humphrey would get this weird feeling that when they looked at each other, they were reading each other's mind.
It made sense.
What didn't make sense was a tinge of jealousy he got when he caught sight of the two of them now. It wasn't that he coveted her. She was a pretty face but there was something so prideful and snide and elitist about her, that he never found himself able to think of her in that way.
What made him jealous was the way she looked at him. Chuck Bass didn't deserve it. Didn't deserve someone so devoted and perfect for him. Dan was never looked at that way by a girl. And he didn't think that he ever would be.
"So how is he?"
If there was one thing that was fascinating, however, it was Blair Waldorf. He didn't know how they had come to this place where they could actually speak cordially, but it had happened. It had happened around the time that she had returned from Europe with a reformed Bass right behind her, with a French girl on his arm.
Blair refused pity. But Dan recognized the girl who was afraid to tell the degenerate Bass that she loved him. She looked just as vulnerable, and now, a million times more hurt. Because now Chuck had done something that was ultimately unforgivable. Selling her to his own uncle had been child's play compared to his. Because now he was going around, loving someone else. That's what Blair claimed. Those of them who weren't blinded by fragmenting heartbreak knew better.
Now Dan felt her crying on his arm and he didn't know why. Why she was here. Here with him of all people. Maybe because doing that with Nate would be awkward and Serena was as tactful as a girl who would get into cat fights, push best friends into cakes, and subsequently, get pushed into fountains themselves.
Lucky him, he was the default. So now they were in this awkward place of pseudo-friendship and although Dan Humphrey was sure there was a special place in hell reserved for people like Chuck Bass, he had to ask. Because it was the only way he could really see the soft side of Blair Waldorf.
"So how is he?"
"I don't know," she said delicately, though not having to question exactly who they were talking about.
"You haven't talked to him?"
"He had a girlfriend," Blair said. "It seemed... tacky."
"Well he doesn't anymore."
"Are you pushing me to do something, Humphrey?" she smiled cattily. He found himself smiling back, though he couldn't understand why.
"No," he finally said. "I was just wondering."
"Why?" Blair asked. "Even when he was with her... It wasn't him. He wasn't the same person. There's really no point to speaking with him ever again."
"Except that you spoke with him at Serena's party the other night."
Blair raised her eyebrows. "You really are the ultimate insider."
"No, I-" Dan said uncomfortably. "It's not that. It's just that Serena said that he's... reverted."
"Reverted," Blair repeated.
"Not completely," Dan responded. "They aren't together anymore and he's buying his hotels. But then he spoke to you and..."
"And?" Blair asked.
"Serena just said after he spoke with you he seemed more... cocky."
"You seem oddly interested," Blair said. "Could it be that you're writing another piece for The New Yorker?"
"No," Dan said again. "Forgive me, but I've never actually met someone with Split Personality."
"It's not Split Personality," Blair rolled her eyes. "I don't know what happened. He seemed fine. More than fine, actually. I asked him about the break up like the proper society lady I am and then he ordered a scotch and..."
"I just thought he was drunk," Blair answered honestly. "I didn't really think anything of it."
"He misses you," Dan said. "He likes being with you."
"So I guess there's no danger of the two of you having anything in common," Blair smirked.
"Maybe he feels more at home with you," Dan suggested.
"You are really bordering on psycho-analyzing us here, Humphrey," Blair pointed out.
"Did you ever think that he wasn't acting like a self absorbed, vain, society whore because he wasn't with you?"
"You are getting really close to insulting me," she warned.
"It was just a question."
"I guess I'll never know."
"So you're not going to..." Dan trailed off.
"Jump his bones?" Blair sneered. "No thank you."
"I wasn't going to go as blunt as that, but essentially, yes."
"So I can be Chuck Bass's sloppy seconds?" Blair stated. "I don't think so."
"He doesn't think of you that way," Dan said.
"I'm not going down that rabbit hole again," Blair said. "And what's going to happen next? You and I will watch Charade while I cry on you arm again if I even see him talking to another girl with a smile on his face? No."
"I don't think he's in any danger of smiling if you refuse to talk to him again," Dan said.
"I didn't say that," Blair said. "I'll talk to him. To be honest, I miss my friend. The one who I plotted and schemed with. But I can't let him in too close. Not yet, anyway."
"So you think eventually..."
"I can't see another way," Blair said softly. "I can't see myself in the future with him not there. In whatever capacity. He's always been in my life. I can't see that changing."
"I know we're getting dangerously close to being friends now," Dan said, "so I'll stop asking personal questions."
"Surprisingly," Blair said. "I don't really mind. With Nate it's awkward, minions are minions, and Serena isn't the best person to ask for advice. Though you're judgmental and live in Brooklyn, you're a good common ground."
"I guess," Dan said. "But aren't you supposed to be hunting the city for a boyfriend or something? You're almost halfway done with college. You'll need a husband soon to plan society events and stuff."
"Despite your lame attempt at humor," Blair answered, "I actually feel better."
Dan didn't really know what to think of that. Blair Waldorf was sort of his friend now. Maybe there was a reason that he and Vanessa were growing apart.
Blair was actually moderately attractive when you shut out the punishing sarcasm and superior fluttering eyelashes. That was how he found himself at a party thrown by Chuck Bass that seemed a little suspect. Suspect in the manner that it was at a large hotel and Chuck Bass was nowhere to be seen.
And neither was she.
He didn't mean to happen across it. But when he did, he had a sudden urge to protect her. Like the Big Bad Wolf was salivating over dinner when it was really Chuck Bass with love in his eyes. With Chuck, there really wasn't much of a difference
And he knew suddenly that Chuck Bass had too much sway over Blair Waldorf. Their past conversation was thick in his mind and he knew he was watching a very private moment.
"Not very polite for the host to hide in his room."
Chuck was sprawled over the couch as Blair sat primly on the other end, though watching him carefully. Chuck had not once moved his eyes from her face and Dan was waiting for the world to explode.
"I was waiting for you, darling."
"For me?" Blair asked doubtfully, ignoring the pet name that he hadn't yet earned back the right to use.
"I was thinking about the other night."
Blair was looking at her lap before Chuck moved on the couch so he was closer to her.
"At Serena's," Chuck added. "I really liked talking to you."
Blair still hadn't responded.
"Oddly enough," Blair finally said, looking up, "I thought that you wouldn't."
"Why?" Chuck asked in genuine confusion. "You can't think that I wouldn't remember you of all people?"
"You seemed drunk," Blair shrugged. "I didn't think..."
Dan's pulse jumped as Chuck took hold of her hand and he didn't know why. Blair made no move to remove it.
"I wasn't," Chuck said. "What I said... I meant it."
"It's too soon," Blair shook her head. "I can't handle this right now."
"You don't believe me."
"It doesn't matter why you did it, Chuck," Blair said. "All that matters is that you did."
"When it comes to the subject of us, I don't lie to you," Chuck said. "Nothing could ever have compared."
"You also said some other choice words," Blair said pointedly. A lascivious grin crossed Chuck's face and Dan wanted to turn away.
"I missed you, Waldorf," Chuck said. "I needed a way to articulate it clearly."
"I understood without the powerful visual that you provided," Blair answered.
"I needed you to understand," Chuck said, "that I was never that person without you. And you were talking to me like you could stand to be around me again and it just... came out."
Blair looked down at their intertwined hands and attempted to hide a smile.
"There she is," Chuck murmured, his hand tightening over her own. "I can't help but be who I am when I'm around you."
Blair sighed, but retracted her hand. Disappointment colored Chuck's face but let her peel herself away from him.
"I understand," Blair said, "where you're coming from. And I feel it too. That doesn't mean that it's a good idea right now."
"Then when?" Chuck asked impatiently.
"I don't know," Blair said a little shortly. "Do you want me to map out a timeline?"
"That would be preferable."
Blair looked at him incredulously but started to laugh anyway. Dan could tell by Chuck's face that he liked her laughing like that. Because of him.
"You are so petulant sometimes," Blair smiled.
"Only with you," Chuck said like some sort of promise. But she was moving farther away and Dan could tell that Chuck didn't like it.
"I should go," Blair said, knowing that any other words could lead to loss of clothing.
"Wait," Chuck requested, taking hold of her hand again. "Please."
"What?" Blair asked gently.
"Stay," Chuck answered. "With me."
"I don't think that's a good idea..." Blair said but Dan knew the moment that Chuck had opened his mouth, Blair was sold. He was tugging on her hand and she sat by him, though closer this time.
"Just stay with me."
"Chuck," Blair said uncomfortably but his face a portrayed a picture of cockiness that proved this was happening.
"I promise I won't try anything," Chuck said as some sort of joke. She laughed lightly and he pulled her closer.
"We need time..."
Dan couldn't watch anymore and turned away. It was then that it really resonated with him how much sway Chuck Bass had over Blair Waldorf.
What just happened with you and Blair...
Is none of your business.
No, it is, actually. Look, I don't know how you feel about her, but I do know how she feels about you. She was going to tell you until I stopped her.
-2.08, Pret a Por J
"I think it's better this way."
Her smile was sweet and painful and suddenly he was very, very angry. Chuck stiffened as Blair placed a chaste kiss on the side of his face before walking away. Towards her boyfriend.
Dan Humphrey had been watching the exchange tentatively and now Chuck knew exactly where this was coming from. He had been waiting too long, been shot too many times (once was enough), and been punched in the face by Dan Humphrey more than was necessary for this. He couldn't just let her walk away. He wouldn't.
But it was happening and he knew that Blair would have been dancing around him tauntingly if she wasn't weighted with that moral chain around her neck, pulling her pretty personality to the bottom. He had been rid of his and he was ready. He knew that they were ready. Not just to start again, but to start anew. He was ready to stop hurting her, but all he could feel were angry claws, raking at his chest in a mixture of fury and jealousy.
She had done it. She had made the impossible possible. She had made him jealous of Dan Humphrey. Because he had something that Chuck could never. The reassurance that he would never hurt Blair Waldorf.
Chuck knew the truth. He knew why she was doing it. It was safe. Safe and dull and she would soon get bored.
But Chuck wasn't going to wait that long. He could barely stand the seconds that ticked by with his loss of breath at his disbelief as she walked arm in arm with someone who was native to Brooklyn.
"It must be hard commuting from NYU to Columbia."
Confusion flashed in her eyes as he caught up with her. It had been difficult getting her alone considering she had her own personal watch dog but Blair could go places that Dan couldn't.
Places of the social elite. Almost like a trap he had set for her himself, Blair turned to face him at the bar in the middle of Victrola's party.
"I don't understand," she said politely and it made him nauseous that he could hear none of the snark that he missed so desperately.
"Having to go back and forth from The Village," Chuck said, taking a seat beside her where the bartender instantly recognized him and slid him a scotch. He watched her eyes flick disdainfully for moment to the bar, making him feel more at ease. If only for a moment. "I remember during your temporary stint with Nathaniel for the third time. He seemed quite concerned. Like you would have to be in a long distance relationship. The fact that I suggested you sleeping at my suite at The Palace, didn't exactly help, I suppose."
"Nate seems to make it back to your suite at The Empire without time constraints," Blair smiled. "I'm not worried."
He bit back his retort.
You should be.
He hated how nothing was working on her the way it used to. Like she really was devoted to being this perfect, boring girlfriend. And he knew exactly her frustration when they came back from Paris. It just wasn't fair.
"Listen, Chuck," Blair said pleasantly, putting, what he assumed her to think, a comforting hand over his on the bar. "We've talked about this. We both thought it was a good idea that we not spend time with each other for awhile."
"Did we?" Chuck asked, relishing the feeling of her hot hand on his, hoping she wouldn't remove it. "It seemed that I was on the receiving end of that conversation. And so were you."
"What does that mean?" Blair asked, her eyes narrowing into that usual precious face of contempt that he adored as she unfortunately retracted her hand smoothly.
"Don't think me fool enough to actually believe this was your idea," he said with amusement.
"And why shouldn't it?" she demanded. "It's what's good for both of us."
"Consider the fact that whenever we were apart, with or without other people, we seem to be pulling at each other in rooms at blackouts or meeting, or not meeting, each other on top of roof tops, I understand where you're coming from," he answered. "We always seem to be in each other's way."
"Then why are you protesting?"
"Because it's not you," he said sharply. "And the fact that even if you actually meant it, it would be impossible. It's impossible to be without each other for months at a time. If you really wanted to be apart, then at least I could understand why you're doing this. But the fact is, you don't. And you never will."
"You can't make that assumption," Blair replied. "You did. You wanted to be away from me."
"I wanted to be away from you so I wouldn't have the chance to hurt you again," he nodded in affirmation. "But the fact is, that type of selflessness could only last for so long. I tried it before and it never works out. Besides. I like the way I am. And I know you do too."
She should have recognized his plan all along but he was suddenly moving more intimately towards her and she knew that trying this boring thing was wearing on her instincts.
"In fact," he said, putting a hand on her thigh, finally feeling the soft material under his touch that he had denied himself for so long. "I know you love the way I am."
He watched her familiar body contort in a delicious way that told him he could be so close to having her again. But he knew he had to take things slow if he was going to work this again. She would have to get bored of Humphrey first. So for now, he was just trying things out.
"Why pretend?" he asked.
"You did," she offered.
"I was shot in a foreign country, convinced the woman I wanted to marry was over me," he shrugged. "I overreacted."
Her face betrayed shock, as though she hadn't known. But he had to ignore it. He would get her in time. All he had to do was be patient. Though it wasn't a trait he was known for. Blair slid off her chair, his hand dropping from her thigh.
"I think we should limit our time together," Blair said shortly before turning away.
"I don't know how he's done this to you," Chuck said and she paused. "He has this sway over you and I don't like it."
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"I know he doesn't want you to see me," Chuck said. "And I know why."
"You're a bad influence."
"You're in love with me," he said. "And he knows that. He's threatened by it because he knows at any moment I could just come and take you away."
"Like I'm just some helpless school girl, victim to the charms of Chuck Bass?" Blair sneered. "Don't make me laugh."
"Better not talk like that in front of him, princess," Chuck grinned. "He won't think you're boring anymore."
Blair's face dropped and her eyes grew hard. It was becoming clearer to him that the strength he coveted and loved about her was just buried the way his was. That was going to be dealt with.
"Where's your Brooklyn boy tonight?" Chuck asked conversationally.
"He wasn't invited," Blair said shortly.
"That's right," Chuck said with mirth.
"I cannot believe you," she said, not leaving him like she had planned. "This whole party was a scheme. Who does that? Who plans a party just to..."
She didn't want to say what he was so good at. What she always seemed to fall victim to.
It was what Chuck Bass did best and right now, Chuck Bass was smirking at her in that seductive way.
"I guess Chuck Bass really is back," he commented. "Because you know exactly who does that. And you'd never tell your pathetic lover how much you love it."
He watched her react to that simple word.
He knew he had her.
"Tell me, Waldorf," he said almost conversationally. "Can he make your eyes roll to the back of your head with the effortlessness that I instinctively possess?"
"If you must know," Blair stretched out painfully, "we haven't done anything of the sort. I suppose he just doesn't turn me into a slut."
"No," Chuck commented. "He doesn't turn you on at all."
"Maybe he did suggest it," Blair finally answered Chuck's accusation, "but that doesn't mean that he's wrong."
"That you find me irresistible and it's only a matter of time before we succumb to each other again?"
"That we need time to heal," Blair answered. "And I can't do that if you're always there-"
"Wanting you?" he asked as quietly as he could in the middle of a burlesque club. "Because that will never change. It was true from the moment I realized I could feel something like that and it will never change."
"You need time to heal too, Chuck," Blair said.
"Why do you think I was with someone else?" he asked. "I'm all for you healing so we can start again, but not with him."
"That's it, isn't it?" Blair asked, that familiar glint in her eyes. "You just can't stand that I'm with him."
"I hate him."
"Maybe I don't."
"Yes, you do," Chuck answered. "He's beneath you. You deserve better."
"Like you?" she sneered.
"You deserve someone who doesn't judge you," Chuck answered. "Tell me he doesn't look down on you with those pretentious eyes of his whenever he says my name. Whenever you say my name."
"I'm not doing this to hurt you."
"You trying to forget me is doing that for you," he answered maliciously.
"And what about me?" Blair asked. "When you went gallivanting off with her in Central Park with everyone to see? What was that about?"
"I told you," he said. "I thought I was doing you a favor."
"Great," Blair said darkly. "In the future, I'd be careful about how many favors you try to do for me. In the mean time, just stay away from me."
"I don't like this, Blair," he told her. "I don't like this sway that he has over you."
"You didn't have a problem with it when it came from you," Blair answered.
"I never wanted you subservient," he answered. "All I ever wanted was just you with me."
All I ever did was love you.
It was almost cruel the way he could call back to her most painful memories. It was almost cruel the way she still loved him.
She could have said something. She would have said something but it wasn't right. There were burlesque strippers everywhere and she hated being in the place where she first felt genuine pleasure towards him and being so far away from him.
So she backed away. Any more talking and she knew. She just knew that they would talk. Talk about everything that had gone right and wrong with them. She knew that she could let them be in love again.
This was easier. Boring was easier. It was easier to be away from him when she knew she was just that much closer to being with him again.
Walking away was easier.
"I think I owe you an assault."
Dan Humphrey would know that dark drawl from anywhere and as he felt it crawl up his spine, it just didn't have to wonder anymore how that man got things done for him so quickly.
"What?" Dan asked as he turned to face him. It was strange to see Chuck Bass in Brooklyn, but then again, this was a loft and anyone could just walk in.
"I was thinking about it the other day," Chuck answered, "and just remembering the number of times that you've assaulted me. I think it's time that I owe you one."
"Well you can't say that you didn't deserve them," Dan answered.
"Sure," Chuck shrugged. "Maybe the first one. But then I recalled our precious time in jail together when you were writing about me. Crashing my father's funeral. More importantly, sabotaging Blair's chance to tell me that loved me on that roof. Bravo. Not to mention punching me again in the face at a very crucial time in my life. I have to say, Humphrey, you're timing is impeccable."
"You mean at the hospital?" Dan asked. "You can't say that you didn't deserve it then."
"I was about to propose to her," Chuck said. "If you must know."
Dan felt his insides turn to ice at the equally cold stare that he was being threatened with and suddenly, for the first time in his life, wished that he had a doorman.
"I would have already punched you in the face if it wasn't so beneath me," Chuck commented. "Like you are to her."
"Chuck Bass is threatening me with violence," Dan commented. "This is an interesting turn of events."
"Interesting," Chuck repeated.
"You must be really out of ideas how to manipulate your way back into her good graces," Dan said, "if you've come this far."
"I don't need to manipulate her," Chuck smirked. "But apparently you do."
"You did sway her into thinking that being around me wouldn't be beneficial for her," Chuck said. "I'm afraid I would have to disagree with you. I don't need to manipulate her. She'll come to me when she's ready."
"Not this time," Dan answered. "You went too far with loving someone else. She'll never forgive you for that."
"Really?" Chuck asked. "Did she tell you about her coming to my club, then? She knows perfectly well that little display was for her benefit only."
"You invited her," Dan said. "She wasn't trying to betray me."
"She has really got you wrapped around her finger," Chuck said with gratification. "This will be so much more satisfying when she crushes you."
"She won't," Dan said, but he could feel the worry in his voice. He saw a flurry in Chuck's eyes and for a moment, really did fear that he would try a hand at bruising his face.
"You actually like her," Chuck said in disgust. "You... care about her."
"Threatened?" Dan asked with as much courage as he could.
"You might just be my worthiest adversary yet," Chuck said. "But just like all the others, I will destroy you if you get in my path."
"You really are threatened by me," Dan remarked. "Huh."
"I don't know what spell you've put her under," Chuck warned, "but it's going to stop. Even an hour in my company and already she looks at me like she's about to moan."
"Thanks," Dan said. "I'm going to have to get scientific help to get that image out of my brain."
"The fact is that you're threatened by me," Chuck continued, "not the other way around. That's why you've made her do something that she never has before."
"I know what you're doing," Dan said. "You just can't stand the fact that when she's not with you, she can actually be a good person."
"Hardly," Chuck bit out harshly.
"I know her more than you can," Dan said proudly. Chuck snorted.
"You're not serious," he said. "Have you even met her? Seen us together at all?"
"I know her in a way that you can't," Dan said. "I've seen a side to her that you don't even know. You're afraid that she can actually be happy. More importantly, without you."
"You're doing this to get back at me," Chuck smirked.
"Like I said before," Dan said. "Though you wouldn't be undeserving, Blair isn't a bad person. She just seems that way."
"She's never been a bad person," Chuck said. "Just a tortured one. And although you can go around thinking you've found the hidden Blair, you can't know her like I do. You can't know all of the fascinating facets of her that make her the way she is. You may know one side to her, but I know all the sides. I know everything that she's thinking while you wonder if she's playing you. You think I make her depraved. But when she's with me, she isn't like that. You think she can be good. Well I know she's perfect."
Chuck had turned his way towards the door before Dan found himself doing that thing where he never stopped speaking.
"I never understood," Dan announced as Chuck paused, "how the two of you could hurt each other so much and yet just take comfort in each other."
"You always hurt the one you love," Chuck answered distinctly. "That's why. You can never hurt her. Not as much as I can. I will always be the one to hurt her the most because she loves me the most. And I love her in the exact same way."
But Chuck wasn't looking satisfied or vindicated. He was just looking.
"What?" Dan asked, wishing he would just leave already.
"If I find out that you really slept with her, I don't think I have to illustrate how badly that would go for you."
Dan didn't need an articulately painted picture to know exactly what that would entail.
"You would be in a world of pain," Chuck said. "And maybe I will come through with finally assaulting your face."
"You're just going to let me go around with her?" Dan asked hesitantly.
"For now," Chuck said. "I'm going to let you have a false sense of security before I strike."
"Were you really going to ask her to marry you?" Dan couldn't help but asking.
"Oh, I still am," Chuck grinned. Dan felt that familiar chilling feeling and wished he knew as much as Chuck Bass. Because he was right. There was no way Dan could know as much about Blair as he could. "It won't last so enjoy her while you can. Just not too much."