A/N: This is one of the most random things I have ever written. It's post midseason finale and as a future warning, those of you who are anti-Dair out there shouldn't be reading this. But either way, this is under the Chuck/Blair category so keep that in mind. This should have gone out sooner but I just didn't get around to doing it.
Summary: He never could have imagined that someone could love Blair Waldorf, but he was just starting to tolerate her. He wondered if this was just the beginning. What a sneering, arrogant playboy would see before he betrayed his best friend.
Disclaimer: None is mine. Title and some of Chuck's dialogue comes from a Nirvana song. I will be impressed if you recognize it.
"I'm sure she's furious that Juliet sent in that fake photo. Does she even know that it's fake?"
He watched her carefully as she pulled her laptop closer to her, her fingers flying across the keyboard.
For the first time since Dan had met her, he became suddenly aware that he did not detest Blair Waldorf. He watched her carefully constructed curls fall to her shoulders as her brow knit with concentration and he started to wonder. He wondered if this was what her friends saw. This determined, wry person that he was sure no one could love.
Dan wondered if this was what he saw when he looked at her. He wondered if this was the person that dark slanting eyes gazed upon with desire and—what Dan was starting to feel—admiration. He never could have imagined that someone could love Blair Waldorf, but he was just starting to tolerate her. He wondered if this was just the beginning. What a sneering, arrogant playboy would see before he betrayed his best friend.
It was in the moment that Dan realized it. This was trouble. This label whoring, mimosa swirling Medusa of the Upper East Side was trouble. She was a maelstrom of emotion and he was sure if he wasn't careful, he could just get sucked in. He didn't understand what exactly this feeling of his was, but when she batted her eyelashes at him so seemingly innocent, he knew that just like everything else in the neighborhood, she was not as she appeared to be.
"I am not what I am."
Dan looked up in confusion at Blair's quiet whisper. The laptop having been discarded after a hasty e-mail was sent to Gossip Girl, Blair was now going through her own closet just to slake her own boredom.
"What?" Dan asked, realizing he had been lost in his own reverie for the better part of 20 minutes. Blair started, obviously not aware that she had spoke. She smiled tightly and just shook her head.
"Othello," Dan said out loud. Her eyes narrowed and he had that insecure feeling that she was looking right through him. "What you just said..."
"I forgot," Blair replied. "You're actually somewhat intellectual that you've actually read Shakespeare."
"That makes me intellectual?" Dan inquired.
"It's a change of pace," she admitted.
From the flash of her eyes, he understood that was a loaded question.
"I was thinking of my first boyfriend, actually" Blair cut him off. "It was a change of pace when I realized that I didn't have to be completely dominant in every aspect of the relationship."
"You mean when you were first with Chuck-"
"You really don't know how to take a hint, do you?"
But instead of the usual ire lacing her words, he found it humorous. She was actually smiling at him and it made him uncomfortable.
"You don't want to talk about him."
Blair shrugged. "I just don't see a reason to."
Dan watched Blair continue to flip through her own dresses disinterestedly. He always thought of how empty the life of the girl before him and so many others lived. But he never thought that she knew it too.
"You miss him."
"What about not seeing a reason to talk about it, don't you get?" Blair asked tersely.
"I just assumed..." Dan said, looking past her closet. Blair followed his eyes and he felt the heat of her rage radiate off of her. He knew he had made a mistake.
"There was no reason for you to go back there," Blair said coldly.
"Sorry," he answered. "I didn't know. I just thought that if you had a man's paisley tie and purple jacket, you must just miss him."
"Why should it be?" Dan asked. "If you miss someone, you miss them."
"You hate him."
"I wasn't too fond of you either," Dan answered.
"Did something change your mind?"
"Not really," he responded. "But you care about Serena. And that matters."
"Yes it does," Blair answered, not breaking away from his gaze.
"So why do you keep it?"
"What?" Blair asked, confusion marring her expression.
"His clothes," Dan answered. "If it's all irrelevant to you, why do you keep clothes that he leaves behind? It seems that would cause you unnecessary pain for something that you could just give back."
"I never said it was irrelevant to me," Blair said. "It is to him. But even so, it's not like it would matter anyway."
"What doesn't matter?"
"Giving back his clothes and things would cause me more unnecessary pain," Blair answered, "for something that in a few months or a year, won't even matter. I might as well keep them."
"Because you know he'll come back," Dan realized.
"Haven't you ever just done something like that?" Blair asked. "You just know something beyond reason or logic that everyone else will call foolish but you just know. This is how things are."
"I understand," Dan said. "Why do you think I'm here?"
"Good," Blair answered. She was looking away from him again and he knew this bonding experience was coming to a close.
And he knew how dangerous this situation was definitely becoming. Blair Waldorf was dangerous. He understood it now. Complex people were dangerous. She was multi-faceted and surprising, and now he knew the exact extent Chuck Bass' obsession with her.
She was just too fascinating.
And that was danger in itself.
"I could understand it, you know," Blair spoke up after a moment. Dan looked up at her. "Iago."
"Figures," Dan muttered.
"Really," Blair answered. "He was cruel to Othello and everyone around him. Even his own wife. But he had a calling."
"He was a sociopath."
"Maybe," Blair smiled. "But he had a quest for vengeance. And you understand that more than you'd like to think."
Dan sighed. He couldn't answer because he knew she was right.
They were more alike than he would like to let on.
Dan listened to Blair flip through a magazine on her bed as her open laptop warmed his legs.
"This is excruciating," he finally spoke up. "What if she doesn't respond?"
He sound of Blair's e-mail sounded and he could smell her perfume as she leaned over her shoulder.
"Well," she said. "At least we have our mission."
And he knew how not okay it was that he was okay with her very close proximity.
Dorota hadn't announced him. But judging by the amount of liquor on his breath, she could have smelled him down the block.
"It's my favorite inside source."
Blair started as she closed her bedroom door behind her, his hand resting above her shoulder. It was clear the only reason for this was to support his own compromised weight. Blair's back was rigid with surprise as his body pressed against hers. His scent became more concentrated as she felt the evidence of his negligence to shave against her neck.
Blair's hands came in contact with his shoulders. "Don't."
Chuck pulled away, darkness coloring his already dark hued eyes.
She felt her heart crack at his innocent confusion but took a deep breath. She had been lucky that night in the limo, nights before Christmas break where everything changed. And after.
She had been so ready to break, so ready to let herself break down and cave to him again. But he had been strong for her and now she had to be strong for him.
She had to refuse him.
"It isn't time yet," she told him.
"But I want it to be," he said huskily into her ear, pulling at her blouse with his heated want for her, "so much." Blair leaned her head against her door, taking a deep breath before continuing.
"What about your girlfriend?"
"Ex-girlfriend," he corrected smoothly.
Even at her blasé tone, she knew he could sense it. Sense things that only he could in a single word.
"What are you hiding from me?"
She never broke eye contact.
"I'm not hiding anything."
Blair shook her head, trying to clear her mind of everything that was him, but she couldn't even remember where he stopped and she began anymore. She heard his sigh, full of melancholy, and his hand stroking down the side of her face. She refused to look at him, knowing that he knew the exact way to break her down.
"Darling," he said confidentially. He pulled a length of her hair from her shoulder, inhaling her sweet smell through the silky strands. "You look so beautiful when you're in pain."
Blair looked at him with furious tears, not able to shove him away any longer.
"Don't torture yourself," he said. "And don't torture me. Not any more."
"I'm sorry," Blair whispered. Chuck leaned away, more suspicion clouding his expression. She opened her bedroom door, careful to slip inside and slam it in Chuck's face.
She could be strong. At least for now.
She leaned her forehead against the door, fighting every impulse that told her to do what she usually did after an exchange such as that.
Break down in cry.
"I take it you lied to him."
Blair turned to face Dan Humphrey standing awkwardly in the middle of her room.
"I didn't lie," Blair said.
"So you told him what happened over Christmas?" Dan asked doubtfully. "He seems relatively calm for someone who's vowed retribution towards me on more than one occasion over something as little as a story. I wouldn't be surprised if he hired contract killers now that it's over you."
"You know that you and I aren't anything," Blair said. "And why should he care?"
"You know why," Dan answered. "And when he finds out he's going to come back with a lot more than scotch on his breath."
"But you knew that," Blair said coolly.
"We shouldn't keep it a secret," Dan said. "Around here, everything always comes out eventually."
"Maybe," Blair answered. "But even if it does, he has no claim over me."
"I noticed a paisley tie still in the back of your closet."
He didn't know where such venom had reached his voice but he knew that it would never make her back down. And he understood that he had no idea what he was doing in her room.
He had done exactly what he had sworn not to do. He had let himself be encompassed by her maelstrom. And now there was no way out.