AN: This is a series of drabbles (or one shots-some of them are a bit longer than drabbles) that I wrote based on a song, "Nothing More to Say" by Jessie James. The song's pretty neat, but the lyrics especially grabbed me as being so appropriate for Chuck and Blair. There will be ten chapters in total, each inspired by a section of lyrics from the song. Link to the song is up on my profile-I suggest you listen to it at least once, because it really is a lovely song. Lyrics are at the beginning of each.
And if you want to read these, be prepared for some angst. As a joke, I told a friend that I'd titled this "Chuck and Blair's Ten Worst Moments."
Thanks to comewhatmay, who is such a wonderful cheerleader, and also to JosieSwan, my beta extraordinare.
Anatomy of a Reign
You used to be my King
There were very few things that Blair Cornelia Waldorf depended on, and the social hierarchy of the Upper East Side was near the top of that list. She herself had begun to solidify position at a young age. First, she'd befriended Serena Van der Woodsen and Nathaniel Archibald, both who had pedigrees equal to her own. Blair had then become friends with Charles Bartholomew Bass, an unfortunate and rather disdainful boy who had bucketfuls of brand new, newly-minted money, but not much class.
It had been understood from almost the beginning that Blair and Nate would eventually marry, and she had loved the automatic respect that their relationship had generated. Nate was widely considered the golden prince of the Upper East Side, and by his side, she assumed her own rightful position as his princess.
Once she'd began at Constance-Billard's School for Girls, there had been a brief, bloody, and ultimately successful overthrow of the monarchy, and she'd emerged, with Chuck Bass's help, as the Queen B. Nate, however, had stayed a prince—and not even a very eager one—which had infuriated Blair.
Didn't he understand? She was a Queen; he was supposed to ascend to his own position as King. But he hadn't.
Instead, he'd grown sulky and resentful of what he should have embraced and finally, after the debacle with the Captain, Blair had had to face reality. Nate simply wasn't King material. He was sweet, and charming—if you liked your men endearing and rather dim—and definitely one of the handsomest boys on the Upper East Side, but he lacked a certain killer instinct.
Unlike Blair's ascension to Queen, the role of King was filled in a bloodless coup d'etat, with Nate abdicating voluntarily, though she was secretly convinced that he hadn't even known what was going on.
But then, neither had Blair Waldorf, which was inexcusable.
She'd first noticed the difference in the winter of their junior year, when after hosting a party in the school swimming pool, a large portion of their class had been threatened with expulsion. After the assembly, she'd gathered the group on the steps, and in a queenly manner, had clarified the time-honored tradition that had served the courts of Constance-Billard and St. Jude's for decades.
"So we all know how this works?"
"No one talks, no one gets into trouble," Chuck finished for her smoothly, making sure each courtier knew with a single glance that he was deadly serious.
"So who did break in anyway?" Nate interrupted.
Blair only refrained from rolling her eyes because she was asserting her power and it wouldn't do for the Queen to demonstrate how little intelligence she thought Nate had sometimes. But Chuck had reacted differently, casually belittling him with the same flair that she herself often used with those less fortunate than she.
"Guess we don't have to worry about Nate cracking under pressure."
"So are we all agreed?" Blair asked again, pinning each of her girls with a sharp look. If someone confessed, it wouldn't be a Constance minion; she would bet on that much. They all knew they had much more to lose than simply their education.
"Look Blair, I know you have your sights set on Yale, but don't you think this Skull and Bones stuff is a bit much?" Dan asked.
"Maybe. But it works, every time," Blair informed him with a dismissive look.
Besides, if she was going to bet on someone cracking, it would be Dan Humphrey. She wasn't the only one who'd noted the skepticism in his voice, and when the group had gone their separate ways, she'd cornered Chuck in an empty hallway.
"I need to talk to you," she'd said.
But this time it was his eyes pinning her—and Blair was suddenly, uncomfortably aware that somehow, without her knowledge, there'd been a power shift at St. Jude's.
"If you're worried about Humphrey, I've got the situation under control," Chuck said, prowling one step too close and nearly trapping her against a wall of lockers. "You worry about your Constance girls, and I'll make sure Brooklyn doesn't squeal."
Her worst fears coalesced into reality; instead of Nate assuming control as she'd hoped for so long that he would, Chuck had taken over instead. Blair wracked her brain, trying to think of a single moment where Chuck had advertised his intentions and she'd missed it, but there was nothing.
The only thing Blair could think of at that moment, with him standing too close, his hair falling in a messy wave across his forehead -as if he'd just come from some girl's bed- was their fateful limo ride. His mouth on hers. His hands on her skin. The feel of the leather under her naked hips—the feel of him under her.
Blair shook her head as if she could clear it; as if she could permanently dispose of the memory so she'd never have to revisit it. Of course she could think of nothing. He was Chuck Bass; if he was going to stage a takeover of the throne, he wouldn't publicize it to the one person with enough power to stop him.
"If you think you can actually stop Dan Humphrey, you're more egotistical than I thought you were," Blair said, with a calculated toss of her dark curls.
Chuck's eyes narrowed, his power distilling into one look that spoke of unlimited power, unlimited resources, and maybe, Blair thought with a quiver deep in her stomach, unlimited lust for her.
"I said I'd take care of it," Chuck said coldly. "You've never doubted me before. You should know better than anyone, Princess—I get the job done."
Blair shoved him hard, catching him off balance. "You disgust me," she sneered, but as she walked away, she couldn't help but rail at herself for not seeing this coming. Chuck's little ultimatum over Nate had been bad enough when he'd simply been wantonly creating destruction, but now he truly had the power to carry out what he'd promised.
In fact, he'd have the power to do whatever he wanted, Blair thought with resentment.
If Blair had ruled Constance with a firm hand, Chuck was the iron fist—not only over St. Jude's, but the entire Upper East Side. And when Bart Bass had died the next winter, the transformation of the womanizing, party boy billionaire to the powerhouse of Manhattan was complete.
Blair was still without her King, but now, it wasn't just the position she craved—but the man himself. She'd fought a long, hard, bitter campaign, and in the end, she'd finally forced him to wave the white flag, convincing him to shower her with diamonds, flowers, and most importantly, three words and eight letters. And after that kind of a protracted struggle, she'd expected more both from him and from herself.
It had all started so well—Chuck and Blair destroying uppity models and socialites, twisting Chuck's tarnished reputation for their own purposes; Chuck and Blair moving onto new frontiers to conquer; Chuck and Blair remaining a steadfast pillar of strength they could always fall back on.
And then, suddenly it wasn't strong; they weren't strong. In a series of maneuvers that even Chuck and Blair couldn't have foretold, everything but the monarchy had fallen apart.
The Sotheby's auction had started it, and that had been followed up by Blair's own desperation to fit in at NYU and the subsequent kiss she'd wrangled out of Chuck. That had been bad enough, but in her need to prove her worth to him, she'd pushed them both too far when she'd asked for Jack's help.
Chuck had said he'd forgiven her after that incident, but Blair knew deep down, in a place she never went, that he'd never let her in after that. He'd kept his cards close to his chest, and suddenly, it hadn't been Chuck and Blair against the Upper East Side.
It had been Chuck and Blair against each other.
Instead of tearing others down, they'd only managed to destroy themselves. Instead of a King and his Queen stronger together than apart, they'd undermined, manipulated, and ultimately betrayed each other.
In the bloody, cataclysmic aftermath, they were still royalty, but they were a King and a Queen who ruled separately, who believed in the same things but couldn't seem to find a shred of common ground.
And in the end, it was a Queen and a King who met in Paris and divided the spoils of the Upper East Side and the territories of New York. He was still a King—he'd finally realized that he could never be just a Prince—but Chuck Bass's days of being Blair Waldorf's king were, for all intents and purposes, over.
AN: Dialogue was taken from episode 1x12, "School Lies."