A/N: I don't know if anyone's seen HIMYM, but this is totally taken from that and molded to my CB needs. Since people seem to have a problem with multiple pairings in my fics, I'm warning you ahead of time. There's NB, NS, DV, and of course, CB because this is a CB fic. You have been warned. This is meant to be a little lighter than my previous ones so here we go.
Summary: "I must confess. I invited you out today for the sole purpose of seducing you."
Disclaimer: Literally nothing is mine. My awesome beta comewhatmay.x approves.
Four Reasons Why An Ex Wants To Meet For Lunch
1. They Want to Rub Your Face in How Well They're Doing
She looks sickeningly beautiful. It is unnatural for any person to look that perfect. Serena was beautiful in her carefree way as she twirled across bartops but Blair is different. Blair is Blair.
Blair smiles at him over her menu.
"I'm glad you decided to meet me."
Nate looks at Blair doubtfully who, once again, isn't paying him any attention. It never used to bother them but ever since prom, he can't help but need a sense of closure.
She doesn't seem to want to give it to him.
"Well you said it was important," Nate answers.
"I just wanted to catch up," Blair smiles sweetly.
She didn't just want to catch up.
"How was your bohemian trek through Europe?"
He can hear the disdain in her voice and he knows it's just a code for Vanessa.
"We hooked up one night in Prague, but it was no big deal."
Blair could put on the innocent facade like no one else.
"Your sexual exploits are of no interest to me," Blair states in a tone that is far too familiar.
"So why did you want to meet?" Nate asked.
"Like I said-"
"I mean really."
Her smile is cruel and he suddenly realizes why that drawl of hers sounds so familiar. It's the reason why she's here but neither of them are willing to say it.
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Of course," Blair smiles again.
"That entire time we were together..."
"You mean before the Shepard Wedding?"
"Blair," Nate says. "That entire time we were together. After the night at the Van Der Bilt compound, were you just stringing me along?"
For the first time, real emotion betrays her face and she looks confused.
"At prom it was just so easy for you," Nate says. "To break up with me. I was just wondering, for that entire time, did we mean anything to you?"
Blair's eyes are narrowed and he's forgotten how much she's a force to be reckoned with.
"Do you really want to know my reasons, Nathaniel?"
She's sounding too familiar and he just has to say it.
"Just tell me," Nate says. "Was it because of him?"
"Was what because of who?"
"Serena told me how Chuck was the reason you became Prom Queen."
Blair sighs and he knows that she isn't wearing her mask.
"It seems so trivial now," Blair says. "Doesn't it?"
"I was with you because I didn't know what else to do," Blair says. "Deep down I knew we weren't right for each other. But I had just lost Yale and being with you was all I knew. It was safe. But at prom, I didn't need that anymore. We were graduating and I knew what I had to do."
"So it was because of him," Nate says. "You just seemed to move on pretty quickly."
Nate knows that she is but she's smiling like he's never seen before in his life. She's smiling a real smile and he knows. This is for good.
"Maybe I should text Chuck."
Blair's eyes have a hint of not understanding again.
"I doubt that you told him about today," Nate elaborates.
"Chuck knows," Blair says. "Secrets are the first and most efficient way to end a relationship."
"You told him?" Nate asks in surprise. "And he let you come?"
"And why wouldn't he?" Blair asks, a little more sharply than is socially appropriate. "Chuck Bass doesn't dictate what I can and can't do."
"Blair," Nate takes a deep breath. "He loves you so much. More than I've ever felt about anyone. I mean it's Chuck. He betrayed me for you."
"Your point, Archibald?" Blair asks but this time Nate doesn't care how much she sounds like Chuck.
"Last summer, when you came home with the Lord, do you know what Chuck did?" Nate asks.
"Brought his stepmother to my garden party in attempt to humiliate me?" Blair asks curtly.
"Before that," Nate laughs. "He told his PI to tail your boyfriend for him."
Blair's eyebrows raise but they both know that she isn't surprised.
"He got Carter deported for you," Nate says. "And he was just okay with you having lunch with your ex-boyfriend who you dated for four years?"
Blair sighs and Nate has to grin.
"I will admit that there were some complications to that conversation," Blair says tersely. "It was our first fight."
"Your first?" Nate asks in surprise. "You mean that's the first time you've ever had a fight in three months?"
"Well if you don't count that time that blonde hussy was using him as a barstool," Blair rolls her eyes. "But I don't blame her. She was a mere catwalk model and we had been only dating a week. She obviously hadn't heard that Chuck was someone else's man."
"Did you ever stop to think that she was just a hussy?" Nate tries, liking how carefree Blair is now.
"The thought had occurred to me," Blair smiles. "That's why I poured my martini over the both of them."
"Both of them?" Nate asks.
"He deserved it," Blair says. "He just sat there, letting that skank rub all over him."
"And what is the proper time frame to throw a model off of you?" Nate inquires.
"He waited at least three seconds," Blair calculates.
"And what was his reaction to gin on his Armani?" Nate asks.
"Oh I wasn't worried," Blair waves it off. "I made it up to him. After he made it up to me, of course."
"Blair," Nate smiles, "your sexual exploits are of no interest to me."
Her laugh is something he's never really heard before. And he's glad. He's glad because finally they can move on.
"So you're happy?" Nate asks. Blair nods and Nate has to admit it.
She looks beautiful.
2. They Want to Give Your Stuff Back
"So where's Blair?"
Nate is avoiding her eyes and it's breaking her heart. Because as much as she meant what she said at the hospital, she wishes this wasn't that hard.
"She's at home," Serena says. "We're going to Paris."
"Well I hope you have a good time.
Nate's eyes are hard and icy and she's never felt this hated in her life.
"Nate, just stop it," Serena says.
"Stop what?" Nate asks innocently in a manner that would rival Blair Waldorf. "I'm just asking how the important people in your life are doing."
"If you're going to act this way, I'm just going to leave," Serena says. "I don't even know why you invited me to lunch."
"I actually invited you to get your stuff back to you," Nate answers. "You and I are officially done and I thought it was time."
Serena looks at the tablecloth, hating how her flighty heart vacillates so quickly from guy to guy. At the moment, Blair is crying over the same guy who has been breaking her heart since they were seventeen. It isn't fair.
"Come on, Serena," Nate sighs dramatically. "It wasn't like you didn't see this coming. You ended things, remember?"
"But I still care about you."
"Sure," Nate shrugs indifferently. She hates Chuck and the influence he's had over her perfectly innocent former boyfriend. "I guess I'll always care about you too. But Chuck says your stuff is cluttering the penthouse so..."
"Of course he did," Serena snaps. "Because Chuck only cares about himself and his own selfish needs. Right now Blair is probably binging on Godiva chocolates and crying over Breakfast At Tiffany's over what your best friend did."
"What Chuck did?" Nate demands. "Chuck makes mistakes. It's what he does. But two hearts were broken that night and you know it. At least Blair's still in the country. Do you know where Chuck is right now? Last time I checked he was in Prague, but by now, who knows?"
"Of course he's in Prague," Serena snaps, her defense for Blair influencing her rage. "Probably propositioning every hooker in the Red Light District he can."
"And why shouldn't he?" Nate asks. "You should be able to tell his smokescreen by now. It's good that he got out of the country. It's the only way he can distract himself from her. All he eats, drinks, and sleeps is Blair. He almost went over the edge that night, Serena. He needed to get out because he has no self worth when he's not with her."
"Well he shouldn't," Serena seethes. "He should be suffering after what he did."
"You know what?" Nate asks. "I'm not going to fight about this. You have your best friend and I have mine. Let's just keep it that way. I asked you here to give you your stuff back and here it is."
Nate shoves a box over the table and Serena can't even look inside, for fear of a heart that never makes sense to her. She still sees that box in Blair's room labeled 'Old Life' with pictures of a smirking devil and clothes and books and jewelry. Anything Chuck had ever touched, seen, or even been near was in that box.
It was huge.
Serena just can't handle it. She sees a holster from Nate's birthday Assassins game and she closes the box quickly. Nate is already up from the table, food untouched.
"You know what, Serena?" Nate asks quietly. "Chuck was going to propose to her. Chuck, the most comitophobic person I have ever met wanted to be with Blair for the rest of his life. Forever. And as much as he's hurt Blair, he'll only ever love her. And without her, all he has are those international indulgences."
Serena watches Nate walk away from her and for a moment, she is envious. She is envious of Blair and Chuck who knew without a doubt the thing they wanted the most in the world.
They just wouldn't let themselves have it.
3. They Want to Kill You
"How was Vermont?"
Dan can feel how awkwardly it comes out of his mouth and icy eyes meet his in response.
"Arlo and Gabriella are good?"
"Dan," Vanessa snaps. "I didn't invite you to lunch to discuss my family."
"Then why did you?" Dan has to ask, still perplexed as to what this meeting is about after everything that has happened.
"You don't think we get Gossip Girl in Vermont?"
Her voice is sad and broken and Dan wants to feel sorry for her but he just can't summon the emotion.
And then he realizes exactly why Vanessa has invited him out. This isn't some cordial meeting to catch up. This is an assassination.
"What ever you saw..."
"Blair Waldorf?" Vanessa demands. "I go out of town for a few weeks and you betray me for everything that is evil and unholy?"
"I didn't betray you," Dan placates, though his own anger is slowly rising to the surface. "In case you don't remember, we haven't been together since last year."
"You leaving me for Serena was one thing," Vanessa says, as though disregarding all the logic that Dan is trying to instill. "But Blair Waldorf? We hate her."
"I didn't leave you at all, Vanessa," Dan says. "Something happened over Christmas break and that's it. It's over now. And she's actually not that bad."
"Oh my god," Vanessa says in disgust. "You like her."
"No," Dan says hastily. "That's ridiculous."
"Of course it's ridiculous," Vanessa sneers. "Because if Chuck Bass were ever to find out he'd hire contract killers whose specialties are to make it look like an accident."
"For your information," Dan tries to say steadily, "Chuck already knows."
"Do you know what that makes you look like?" Vanessa asks. "You were just used by her until Chuck dumped his current entertainment. Not to mention Serena and god knows who she's with."
"Alright, just stop," Dan says. "If you came to berate me for something that happened months ago, congratulations. But it doesn't change anything. It happened."
"But it matters, Dan," Vanessa says.
"Don't worry, I'm over it," Dan says. "Chuck and I have already had our confrontation and that was all I was worried about."
"Well I'm worried," Vanessa says. "Despite the fact that you're nothing to Chuck after you've faced your humiliation at his hands, it isn't going away. I can tell just by looking at your face."
"What's wrong with my face?"
"You're not over her."
"This entire time we've talked about how Blair Waldorf is evil and repugnant," Dan starts, "but she's just a person. She was just a person who was lonely and heartbroken and so was I."
"If you think for one second that Blair has a soul-"
"Vanessa," Dan sighs, finally finding that pity that had so escaped him before. "You and I are done. But that isn't the same for some other people. Actually, Serena is on her way. I was going to take her to class."
"You and Serena?" Vanessa asks. "Do you really think she won't hurt you again?"
"You know the one thing that I've realized through this entire thing," Dan states, getting up to pay the check. "It makes you stronger. Blair came out to be a better person because of it. One who could actually voice her emotions. And so have I."
He feels Vanessa's scorned exterior melt away to the heartbreak interior. But she doesn't get to be scorned. They weren't together.
She doesn't get to be the girl who attempts to hide tears because of the man who travels around society parties with an heiress on his arm. Because it doesn't matter. One day that man will that down on one knee for that girl.
And that makes all the difference.
4. They Want to Get Back Together
"Lobster potpie for the lady and I'll have the same."
The waiter takes their menus and Blair can't help but stare. She knows that he's aware of her probing gaze but of course, he remains as indifferent as ever even though they both know that this is the first time they have had a truly cordial meeting in public.
"You are aware that I have the capability to order for myself," she says, if only to bring his attention back to her.
Though she is aware that she waited until the waiter left. Chuck's eyes snap to hers and although his face is void of emotion, she never mistakes that glint of mischief in his dark eyes.
"But why should you have to when I can just read your mind?"
He's smirking at her and she reprimands her heart for thundering against her ribs. Just because this is the first time in months that they are both unattached does not imply that they are about to disappear into his limo for immersion therapy.
Because she knows that no matter how much Chuck advocated for it, he really just wants to get her naked.
"Besides," he says, leaning back in his chair nonchalantly. "I do remember the last time you desired to dine at The Lyon."
"And you remembered just what I wanted?" she teases. But his face is serious and this time she knows it isn't just a facade.
"Then I suppose I should thank you for procuring another reservation," Blair replies coolly.
"That you did yourself."
He's smirking again.
"DeLucci was more than pleased to save us a table," Chuck says. "Especially when I mentioned who my company was."
"I wonder why that would be," Blair says innocently, taking a sip of water as she avoids Chuck's own probing gaze.
"Do you?" Chuck asks and she can't help but look back at him. "Because I'm certain it has something to do with the fact that you stripped in front of him the last time he saw you."
"What would give you that impression?" Blair asks. He's laughing and she hates that she's actually admitting to herself how much she missed it.
"He seemed to talk of nothing else when I mentioned your name."
She recalls that dark tone of his voice and how much it used to please her. How even after all of this time, something that happened when he was nineteen still bothers him.
"Do you know what I recall?" Blair asks softly. Chuck leans forward to hear her words but they both know it's the oldest trick in the seduction book that they both wrote. "How much you enjoyed it when I showed up to your party half dressed."
"I did," he smiles, his eyes dipping to the pendant hovering beneath her collarbone. "I also recall telling you I loved you."
At this, Blair sits up straight again, knowing that it is only a matter of time until something of this nature surfaced.
"Don't you remember?"
Blair can detect every nuance of Chuck's tones and she knows that he knows it's getting to her.
"Don't you remember what you said back?"
His smug expression only lasts a second.
"Chuck," Blair says a little more sharply than she intended. "Why did you invite me here?"
"Why wouldn't I?" he asks, his voice not as tantalizing as it had been moments ago. "It's the first time in a long while since you and I have both been free to have lunch."
"You mean single," Blair corrects.
Chuck laughs condescendingly. "You know that I am always single, lover."
Not able to stop the hurt from blooming through her chest, she looks away. But his hand slides instantly across the table at her gesture and she knows that even though he'll never say it, he will always be sorry when he hurts her.
"It's the first time that you've been without a rugby player or penniless writer," Chuck continues. She has to look up at the last noun because scorn laces his words too beautifully and she has to wonder why he ever thought any man could be a threat to him. "And it's the first time that you've let go of the fact that my indiscretions happen to have made public appearances."
"That is an eloquent way of putting it, Bass," Blair says, liking the way he tightens up when he thinks she's mad at him.
"And how would you put it, Waldorf?" he asks.
"You mean without using the word 'whore' or 'skank'?" she asks.
"You are always so articulate," he smiles slyly. "Then again, it wasn't as though you were waiting so devotedly for me."
"Well I couldn't let you win," Blair says.
"You know that just because my public face seems to insinuate that I wasn't exactly available doesn't mean that I wasn't waiting for you," he says. He's having a difficult time making eye contact and she knows that he's being as genuine as he can.
"I know," she says. "I'm just a mean person."
"I guess that's why you're sitting with me, then," Chuck says, "and not John DeLucci."
He smiles when she laughs and their fingers are still curled intimately together.
"I like that I'm sitting with you," Blair admits. He looks smug and self-assured but that's the way she likes him. His eyes flick to the side of the table where the peonies that he brought her when she arrived lay.
"Do you like them?"
"Always," she promises. He's looking at her expectantly and their barbed banter can't go on for much longer without the grand reveal that they must always stumble into.
He is always right. He reads her mind.
"And I can't think of any more excuses."
"Then don't," he suggests. "No one can accuse you of being an unaccomplished woman."
"I just didn't want anyone to accuse me of sleeping to the top."
She isn't sure if she's kidding or not and he isn't smiling anymore. His fingers are a reassurance, however, as they grip her even tighter.
"I would do anything for you," Chuck finally says.
"We can't ever have a normal conversation," Blair says, "can we?"
"I mean it," Chuck reaffirms. "Anything you want, I'll give it to you."
"Is that what you think this is?" Blair asks, trying to pull her hand away. He won't let her.
"I just don't know why you're trying to refuse me any longer," Chuck says. "There's nothing keeping us apart."
"I'll protect you," he promises. "From anything."
"That isn't what I'm afraid of."
"You're afraid of me," he assumes darkly. This time it's her fingers that pull his back, hating how at the slightest complication, he closes himself off from her.
"I'm afraid for what comes next," she says.
"What comes next?"
"I don't want to be your girlfriend."
It comes out harder than she expected and even on the face of Chuck Bass, she can detect the hurt that always threatens her in his presence. He's turning away and she forces herself to continue.
"I don't want to be those girls that are on your arm at parties who just suck the life out of you for the fame and the fortune."
"Do you do that?" Chuck asks doubtfully. "Why is this a problem now?"
"Because before I was the only one to really know you," Blair says. "But now you have this endless surplus of girlfriends. And I'm not special anymore."
He's smiling in that disarming way and she knows this must be how those girlfriends felt before they accepted whatever he asked them of.
"You are the only woman I've ever..."
She's pleased that he's having difficulty speaking because she doesn't know anything harder than sharing her feelings with him.
"You are always special," he says. "The most special. You are the only woman I have ever truly given myself to. You are the only woman that I would ever marry."
"Oh," Blair says in pleasurable surprise, flustered at how it just spills from his lips.
His hand tightens on hers.
"I want that, then."
"You want that?" Chuck smiles, knowing the true meaning of those words.
He leans back in his chair and she knows that he thinks he's won this battle and the war with it.
But she's going to make him work for it a little more.
"Excuse me," she says politely. He stands for her the way a gentleman should and even though he doesn't say anything, she can tell that he's worried because his eyes follow her all the way back.
She's just finished reapplying her lipstick in the bathroom when she notices something amiss. There haven't been anyone entering for the past five minutes and she thinks that maybe she hasn't won this one. But she exits the bathroom and knows that it isn't about winning anymore.
They both have.
She scrutinizes her reflection in the mirror outside the bathroom, not really concerned with those around her anymore because his eyes meet hers in the mirror and she knows that she's been waiting for him.
"I must confess," he says, fingers curling around her hips comfortably. "I invited you out today for the sole purpose of seducing you."
"Yeah?" Blair asks his reflection.
She turns, grabbing him by his expensive lapels.