A/N: Pre-series o/s influenced by the awesome sexual tension that should be happening with Chair. Sept 13, don't disappoint me.

Summary: Somewhere during his seduction speak, his hand had found its way to her waist again. As though if he didn't think, all of a sudden he would have taken her virginity. And then he would have told her he loved her and then married her. If he didn't control himself, he didn't know what he would do.

Disclaimer: Plot is pretty basic. Nothing special and also not mine. Awesome beta by comewhatmay.x. My depression over Season 4 has settled in again. This may cause a problem.


"I need your help."

At the sound of that sweet gravelly voice she remembered a time when she would sneer a The Great Chuck Bass is pleading for my help.

Not so much anymore. Now, those four words were code for something that her pretty boyfriend could never understand and could never want to.

"Again?" Blair sighed in exasperation.

She was trying to finish The Tale of Two Cities for the final and here he had to come with another problem. It didn't matter if she relished in it.

"Don't act so put out, Waldorf," Chuck replied, sitting down on the highest step. No one dared to even attempt infringing on her hierarchy. He was not one of those people. Chuck reached over into her fruit cup to pluck out some of her lunch. She slapped at his hand instinctively. "It's just a girl."

"It's always just a girl," Blair said in annoyance. "Why can't you just do it yourself?"

Chuck looked at her this time and she knew the answer. The answer that no one would say right to Blair's face. The fact that her life was falling apart.

"Because you need me."

Another code. Just saying something that no one else would understand but them.

"Excuse me," Blair said, finally putting down her book. "You came to me. Apparently, Bass, you're the one who needs help with something."

Something.

They both knew what that meant.

"Come on, Waldorf," he said in that voice that most women would find sexy. She was not most women. She was immune to his charms.

Or so she used to think.

Because it was just starting to occur to her that she was spending more time with her boyfriend's best friend than her actual boyfriend. But that didn't mean anything. Nothing whatsoever.

"Don't make me beg."

"You already are begging," she pointed out smugly. His eyes narrowed but she knew this little dance they had choreographed with each other was beneficial to both parties. No matter how weird it was.

"Who is she?" Blair sighed.

"I know you couldn't resist me," Chuck smirked, throwing an arm around her slight shoulders. Blair rolled her eyes, pretending that this was completely normal. She should be this familiar with her boyfriend's best friend. They had to spend time together. She shouldn't, however, know the exact brand of cologne that clung to his clothing.

He proclaimed it was his natural musk.

Charming.

So she did none of the sort. She didn't know what designer brands he got from Tokyo or what cologne he wore. She didn't know his favorite movies and what he did every night that led to him needing her assistance.

But she did know that he needed it.

Not that she cared.

She felt him looking disdainfully down at her lunch.

"Is that all you're eating?" he asked. He didn't sound critical or demanding. Just a lazy question from the lazy person that he was.

"Thanks, Mom," Blair rolled her eyes.

"Don't fool yourself," he said. "I care more about you than your mother does."

"Thanks for reminding me," Blair snapped, shoving him away. "And that isn't saying much anyway."

"Help me, dearest?" he said in an adorable way that she failed to witness him use with other girls.

Not that she was looking.

"What would you do without me, Bass?" Blair asked as confirmation.

"I don't know."

She wished he would stop looking at her like that.


"Where were you last night?"

Nathaniel Archibald was leaning outside of St. Jude's School for Boys as Chuck patted his lapel in search of a lighter. After finding himself successful, he blazed up, placing the joint between his lips.

"Unfinished business," he said, his speech muffled by the joint before inhaling it and passing it along. "Why?"

Nate shrugged as he inhaled, as though he really didn't remember.

"Did you ask what Blair was doing last night?" Chuck asked, not as dull as Nate when they lit up.

"No," Nate said. "Why?"

"Is it strange that you ask me more about myself than you do with Blair?" Chuck couldn't help but ask. He didn't know why it bothered him so much. It didn't used to. They had been freshmen and Blair was just some clingy little princess.

Only a year had passed. But suddenly he was spending more time with her than his own best friend. And he knew that it was the same for the blonde next to him. All Nate was spending time with was his brooding thoughts. That couldn't be healthy. Then again, he was strangely wondering about what was healthy for Blair and those small salads she ate more than anything else.

"If something was wrong then she would have told me," Nate replied.

Chuck snorted. "You so don't get women."

"And what about you?" Nate asked. "What is this unfinished business?"

Chuck smirked. "You know me well."

"Not really," Nate smiled. "I've dated more than you have and I have less drama than you."

"Everyone has drama, Nathaniel," Chuck said. "You just have to see it."

He shouldn't be giving Nate subtext, especially when they were getting high. But it was too hard not to. This was also confusing. He was just starting to feel it.

That was why when Blair Waldorf descended the steps of Constance, he was okay with looking. Because he was high and she must look that good when his judgment was impaired. She must have that delicious uniform on as she slid her hand under that lock of hair that was tucked under her collar to make it as pristine as the rest. Her neck must look that magnificent.

"What are you doing?"

Chuck started, almost dropping the roach as Nate looked at him expectantly. It was then he realized that Nate was actually looking at the paraphernalia in his hand and not Chuck's eyes all over some girl.

"Sorry," Chuck mumbled, passing it again.

"Oh, look. There's Blair."

Nate's voice didn't have even the slightest hint of delight. Chuck wanted to think it was the narcotics going through his system. He knew better.

Blair had just reached the bottom of the stairs as she locked eyes with Chuck. He pushed himself off the wall but she held up a hand, a nonverbal cue that business was not finished. He looked around in paranoia and saw exactly what he wished was gone from his life. A quaint little dark haired freshman and Chuck ducked behind the wall, pulling Nate with him.

"Hey," Nate protested in subdued exclamation. "Isn't it that girl who you went home after the party last-"

"Yes, Nathaniel," Chuck said in a stage whisper. "And please be louder so she'll hear us."

Nate looked back just in time to see the show. A show the resulted in Blair's unmoved expression as the girl burst into tears. He heard the end of that conversation.

"I don't even know what I did."

It was pathetic.

Apparently Blair agreed with his silent statement because she just rolled her eyes without bothering to ask the girl if she was okay. Most likely because it was Blair's apathy to the entire situation the resulted in emotional females.

Chuck straightened nonchalantly as Blair walked over towards them and Nate followed suit.

"What did that girl ever do to you?"

Nate was looking at her with judgment in his eyes as a flash of hurt was betrayed across Blair's face. Chuck wasn't sure if it was his propensity to be her savior now, or his perceptible intoxication, but he slid a hand under her soft hair, pulling her towards him. He kissed her chastely but it was only after pulling away that he considered his faux pas. Friends usually kissed each other chastely on the cheek, not the neck. But she just looked so tasty.

He did all that was in his power not to relay this information out loud.

Nate didn't seem to notice.

"You're my favorite," he promised Blair. She pushed him slightly on the chest so he would remove his hand from her shoulders.

"You get so handsy when you're high," she said in distaste.

"You would know," Chuck leered. Blair sighed, observing his disheveled look. Without warning, she leaned foward and straightened Chuck's tie. When she finally pulled away, Chuck released the breath he hadn't even known that he was holding in.

"What was that about?"

Nate asked with a dazed look on his face and Chuck remembered that he was still there. His body had stiffened but by Blair's bored expression, it was evident that Nate wasn't even talking about her maternal act.

"That was about how your best friend his a coward and won't break up with girls properly," Blair said instead.

"I shouldn't have to break up with them when we're not even in a relationship," Chuck drawled. "They should realize this by now."

"I guess that notorious reputation of yours is a work in progress," Blair smiled. She had the prettiest mouth and Chuck was starting to think that getting high around her was dangerous. He found it in himself to frown when he really felt like smiling. A rare, but not unprecedented occurrence.

"I shouldn't have to work at it," he answered. "It's called a disreputable reputation for a reason."

"Your logic is slightly faulty at this stage," Blair answered. She was looking at Nate now and Chuck wished it wasn't such a painful car crash to witness.

"Have you talked to Serena?" Nate asked suddenly. Chuck watched Blair's hand tighten on the strap of her bag convulsively.

"I'll see you later," she said, turning away without a second look at Nate.

"What did I say?" Nate asked in confusion.

"Nathaniel," Chuck sighed, taking the joint back. "Don't be stupid."

Blair was still close enough for him to yell after her.

"Waldorf," he said. "I'll see you tonight. I might need you again."

Blair turned and he saw that conceited look on her face that was always on his.

"Oh, Bass," she said coolly. "You always need me."


The noise of the party sounded outside of the room, but Blair was alone. She couldn't exactly recall whose bedroom or even whose party she was at, but it was better this way. It was better than Nate's inane questions about why Serena hadn't called and Chuck's probing gaze that she had yet to decipher. She didn't need this. She didn't need anyone. But he kept acting like she did and it was weird. She wished there were rules when it came to him but now it was just confusion.

She hated having that posse of girls always surrounding her and yet knowing how truly alone she was. Her only true friends were two stupid boys. One of them couldn't bear to be in the same proximity as her for more than two minutes. The other was developing the startling habit of her not able to decipher anything that he did anymore.

"Have you seen Blair around?" Nate asked, looking around casually as Chuck leaned up against the bar. Though he had been wondering the same thing, he instantly wished he wasn't.

"At least you're taking an interest," Chuck said into his drink. Her boyfriend should be worrying about her. Not him.

Nate was looking at him with that perplexed look on his face again and Chuck couldn't take it.

"You never really told me what you were doing the other night," Nate said. "I tried calling."

"Busy," Chuck answered, really not wanting Nate to know, despite his indifference.

"Yeah, you said," Nate said. "I thought you meant you were breaking things off with that clingy girl."

"That was Part One of the take down," Chuck said admittedly. "Sometime's they're a little hard to shake." Nate laughed like he understood. And Chuck didn't like that at all. It wasn't fair. And he shouldn't be caring about it anyway.

He was telling himself this as he trolled the upstairs bedrooms. He didn't know what he was looking for (or who) but he knew when he found it. And he knew exactly what he didn't want to find.

"I've been looking everywhere for you."

Chuck turned and cringed. He wished he remembered that girl's name, if only to insult her with it.

"I can't imagine why," Chuck answered. "I saw you crying and I thought you took a hint."

"But when that girl said all those things..." she said. "I thought she was just jealous."

"Of you?" Chuck couldn't help but laugh. "There is no one that Blair Waldorf needs to be jealous of."

"Wow, Bass. If I didn't know any better, I would take that as a compliment."

Chuck didn't recognize this rush of relief as he turned to see a Blair Waldorf sans uniform, leaning in the doorway.

"Sweetie," Blair said condescendingly, turning away from Chuck. "When a guy gets his friends to dismiss you, that should send a message. You're not worth a face-to-face."

The second time that day that girl had cried and because of the same girl. Chuck turned to offer his gratitude to see that Blair had retreated back into the room.

"What are you doing?" Chuck asked, though closing the door so the room was shrouded in darkness. He liked it in the dark. She seemed to be comfortable there. Just like him. He sat on the bed next to her. "There's a party and much humiliation to be dealt."

"I'm not in the mood."

"Since when?"

"Nate's here."

"Shouldn't that be a reason to go back?" Chuck asked. He knew what he wanted her to say but didn't know why.

"It's so... exhausting," Blair said. "I'm just so tired talking to him like I'm speaking a foreign language. It's just too hard."

"Are you going to leave him?"

Chuck didn't like how his voice sounded at the question. He liked her. He was sure that was it. She wasn't nearly as insipid as these other girls and she wasn't intimidated by him. Quite frankly, she was the opposite. He could talk to her about intelligent things and he liked how her laugh sounded.

That last one was a little suspect but he was sure that she was the only woman he could really respect. He liked how that was. It was refreshing. And she could take it all away.

"Do you want me to?"

Her question struck him as odd but he couldn't see her expression clear enough to understand it fully.

"Why would it matter to me?" Chuck asked.

"Then why did you ask?" Blair snapped. She sounded worked up and he put his hand gently on her shoulder. He didn't know why and he didn't know what he was doing, but he did it. He hadn't accounted on the fact that it would be bare from the warm weather and how much he liked it. His hand curled around her shoulder and he knew that he was enjoying the feeling of her warm skin against his far too much.

"What friends would you have if you left Nate?" Chuck asked. He knew it was cold and completely uncalled for. It was too soon but he had to ask.

"I don't know," she whispered to herself like she couldn't feel his hand.

"Oh, I get it," Chuck suddenly said, pleased with himself. "You're bored of him."

"What?" Blair asked, sitting up straight suddenly so that Chuck's hand fell to her waist.

"You wanted the perfect boyfriend but when you got him you didn't realize you'd be seduced by his dapper and suave best friend."

He felt her posture relax under his touch and he was glad he covered his tracks.

"You're totally right, Bass," Blair answered sarcastically. "I'm so in love with you I'm just going to beg you to take my virginity. Right here and now."

"So you're still a virgin," Chuck couldn't help but note.

"Why do you care?"

"Because my best friend needs game," Chuck said. "And you are seriously impeding that."

"Maybe if he wanted me things would change," Blair answered.

"He wants it."

Blair didn't like the assurance in his voice.

"And I thought you wanted to wait."

"Did he tell you that?" Blair asked.

"No," Chuck answered. "You did."

"When?"

"Last night," Chuck reminded her. "When we were planning to get rid of that little number that you did so spectacularly not two minutes ago."

"You didn't tell Nate about that, did you?"

"I did," he answered. "But just skillfully omitting a few minor details."

"So you didn't tell him that I fell asleep in your bed."

"Why does he need to know?" Chuck asked.

"Right," Blair answered. "That's good."

"No need to wound my ego," Chuck said.

"But it's so easy," she replied and he could tell that she was smiling. It wasn't until that he realized he had been stroking her hair down her back the entire time did he try and retract his hand. He felt her recoil and he knew she took offense.

"He's an idiot," Chuck said. "If you weren't dating my best friend, I would nail you in a second."

"Charming," Blair said, but he knew he was making her feel better. He could do that better than anyone. Even if he couldn't remember where he learned it. "You mean if I was single."

"No," Chuck said. "You just so happened to be dating my best friend. However, if you were dating any other lacrosse stick like Andy Clark or Keith Nelson, I would seduce you in a second. And you would like it."

"You're so sure."

"You'd be bored of them," Chuck said. "You need someone..."

"Like you?"

Somewhere during his seduction speak, his hand had found its way to her waist again. As though if he didn't think, all of a sudden he would have taken her virginity. And then he would have told her he loved her and then married her. If he didn't control himself, he didn't know what he would do.

"If you were so inclined," Chuck said into the darkness, "I would not object."

"Okay," she said. "So someone like Carter Baizen."

"What?"

She smiled, knowing what sort of reaction it would cause In him.

"Well if I can't have you..." she teased.

"That's where I put my foot down," he said. "No Carter Baizen."

"Whatever you say, Bass," she smiled, thinking that Chuck had a more intoxicating presence than Carter Baizen did anyway. And she was suddenly starting to think that she must be intoxicated herself if she was thinking that.

"So you didn't tell Nate about what we talked about."

"You haven't told him yet?" Chuck asked. Chuck felt her shift and she was laying on her back across the bed.

"Should I?"

He laid down next to her so they could speak properly. With hushed tones and close proximity like they had before. This felt right. This felt appropriate. Even though it wasn't.

"He's your boyfriend, Waldorf," Chuck said. "If you told me, you have to tell him."

"That's the thing," she answered. "I tell you something and I expect your indifferent and blasé reaction. Nate does it and... He should love me. Shouldn't he?"

"You're asking the wrong person."

"He'll find out," Blair said. "Eventually."

"Don't you think that would be a perfect opportunity?" Chuck asked. "Tell him your sob story about your father leaving and of course he'll jump your bones."

Her frame shook with her laughter. She sighed and he could feel her pensive waves radiating off of her.

"He keeps talking about her."

"You know I'm not your shrink, right?" Chuck asked. He couldn't do this. He couldn't listen to this when he knew everything. He knew the right thing to do. But since when had he ever done the right thing? He couldn't tell Blair that her boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend. But he wanted to.

"I wouldn't hate you," Blair said. "If you were hiding something from me."

"What are you saying?"

"I don't know," Blair said. "It's not that I would expect it. But it wouldn't surprise me. And I'd forgive you. But I'd never forgive him."

It was in that moment that Chuck knew. He knew that Blair knew something. She didn't know about Nate and Serena on top of a bar, but she knew something. And she would forgive him. He knew he should alert Nate but he couldn't. He just wouldn't.

"I don't want to stop being your friend," Blair said.

"Was that going to happen?" he asked.

"I don't remember starting to be friends with you, but I don't want to stop," Blair answered. "I want to believe that Nate and I will last. But I can't."

"You'll feel different in the morning," Chuck said.

"I know," Blair replied. "But as long as I'm feeling this now..."

"What are you feeling now?"

His breath was at her ear and she realized this compromising situation just as Nate Archibald walked into the room. The shaft of light fell across the bed with Chuck and Blair laying across it and Nate just stared.

"Hey, guys."

His eyes were hazy with that familiar glazed look. He seemed suspicious but he didn't look angry.

"I was looking for you." It wasn't clear which person he was talking to.

Blair sat up slowly, feeling Chuck doing the same at her back. She stood up from the bed, straightening her skirt that had somehow rode up her thighs.

"And you immediately came into a dark bedroom?" Chuck asked. But that made it look even worse. Laying intimately across a bed with his best friend's girlfriend was not something that you did.

"Well you were in here."

"Plotting," Blair said, crossing her arms over her chest.

"About what?"

"Unfinished business," Chuck smirked at her while he walked with Nate. "Don't worry about it."

So Nate didn't. Blair followed them out of that room, knowing something had changed while seemingly staying the same. The entire basis for her and Chuck's relationship was code. It was all a code like they were planning on doing something underhanded.

They were always doing something underhanded but now it seemed really deceitful. And Nate didn't have a clue.

"I need your help": It's time for a take-down.

"You need me": No one understands but us.

"Unfinished Business": I like you more than I should.