A/N: This came pretty randomly to me. Just because I know that they aren't going to have Chuck and Blair get right back together, if ever. And this seems pretty realistic to me-as far as GG standards go.
Summary: "You get to have her in matrimony," Chuck said. "You get to have her marriage bed. You get to have her children. I let her go."
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. All characters are GG, only the words are mine. Thanks to my awesome beta, as always, comewhatmay.x. Title is taken from "I Can Feel a Hot One" by Manchest Orchestra. Yes, that amazing scene from Dark Night. Because 2.03 is the best.
She was unfaithful.
He had never truly understood it before, but with a canary diamond on her left hand, he knew it more than anything else.
She didn't cheat on her fiancé like that. Not like she had at bar mitzvahs, but even so, she was unfaithful.
She was unfaithful with him. It had taken him this long to realize that it wasn't something they could change between them. She may have been engaged, but this wasn't a physical relationship between them. But they couldn't change the past. And they had been emotionally engaged before she had even left her first love.
She was having an emotional affair with him, but the truth was, they never really stopped.
She was getting married, but that couldn't stop the inside scheming and the depraved smirks. Nothing could sever that tie.
And it was clear that he wasn't the only one who knew that.
"She smiles at you."
The solace Chuck had taken in releasing the only woman he would ever truly love was short-lived. He could find comfort in the fact that he would never see them together. They would be off ruling in Monaco.
And yet, Chuck wasn't surprised that his torture was still to be infinite.
"She smiles at a lot of people," he answered.
"She smiles at you."
Her fiancé's emphasis was stronger this time, and Chuck had known what he had really meant all along.
"She smiles at you in a way that I have never seen her before."
Chuck knew what he meant. He knew that smile.
She better not show her face again.
You have got to be kidding.
Lucky that someone wasn't as lecherous as you, or you'd still be stuck on that roof.
I know what you're doing, Bass.
You really don't think I'll go up there.
Guard my drink.
Thanks for the lift home.
He knew that smirk. That smirk held her most devious and attractive qualities.
Of course Louis had never seen it.
That was Chuck's smile.
It wasn't just the prince. No one saw that smile.
No one saw that smirk.
Break a leg.
He carried his bruises with pride He couldn't apologize for that. He never would.
"You should go back to Monaco."
"I want all of her," Louis said.
"I'm not trying to keep her from you."
"That's just it," Louis said. "You don't try to, but whenever you're around her, you can't help it."
"There's nothing I can do about it."
Chuck hated it. The guilt. He had let her go so she could be happy and he was causing more trouble than when he actually tried to pursue her. It was a curse he would suffer for the rest of his life.
He knew that.
"You have that part of her," Louis said. "There's that part of her that I don't know. I can't see it. I'll never meet it. But whenever she's around you, I get a glimpse of it. And then she looks at me and it just vanishes."
"I pull her into the darkness."
"You pull her into the darkness."
But for the first time, her fiancé didn't seem convinced of Chuck's underhanded intentions.
He was just sad.
"I want to know all of her."
"I want to know that smile."
"You have no secrets," Chuck pointed out.
"She tells me everything," Louis agreed. "But there are still parts of her that are secret. I want to know that smile, no matter what it means. I want it all."
For the first time it was Chuck attributing the quality to someone other than himself, and he knew it was the truth.
"I'm missing parts of her," he said. "She does show those secret parts. She tries to."
"You get to have her in matrimony," Chuck said. "You get to have her marriage bed. You get to have her children. I let her go."
"That was very selfless."
"I try to be," Chuck said. "So let me be selfish this once. Just let me have this one thing. Let me have her smile. It will make a lifetime without her just a little bearable."
"Then I suppose we are both selfish."
"She brings out the worst and best in people."
"I can't reach her sometimes," Louis said. "She's so distant. She gets this look on her face and I know she's thinking of something only you would understand. I can't touch her. And you love that part of her. You love all of her. Everything and the parts I can't understand."
"You knew that from the beginning," Chuck said darkly.
"I suppose I thought..."
"It was just a phase?" Chuck asked more antagonistically than he was proud of.
He couldn't be mature all of the time. All he had was her smile. He had a right to be petty.
"I suppose I thought she would let you go."
"She has," Chuck said. "She has you now. She doesn't need my hooks in her."
"You can't love someone when part of your heart was always meant for someone else."
"She loves you."
They both knew it was true.
"But she still loves you."
"You're greedy," Chuck couldn't help but smirk. "You can't have it all."
"You seem to like me better when I'm selfish."
"I do," Chuck replied. "It deludes me into thinking maybe you're not better than me after all."
"I don't know who I am anymore."
She was beautiful. Tragically so, and it was painful to find that he was falling deeper in love with her than ever before.
Her gaudy diamond blinked glaringly at him, and yet, there was nothing in him that could be willed to move.
She stared at him expectantly.
"You shouldn't be here."
"Where is here?"
"You know why."
"We're not doing anything wrong," she protested. But they both knew she was making excuses.
She had always been unfaithful.
"Why don't you tell him all the things you tell me?"
"I tell him," Blair conceded. "And he accepts me. But he doesn't understand. He can't understand. I confuse him."
"You're not that easily deciphered, Waldorf."
Old habits die hard.
"I'm two different people," she said. "And they're both tearing me apart inside."
"I can't give you advice."
"But you do anyway."
He couldn't have an emotional affair with her.
But he did it anyway.
"I'm an emotional contradiction," she said. "And I can't reconcile any of it."
He had always liked her better that way.
He didn't know if it was a rationalization or just the truth. Either way, he knew he didn't like it. He wasn't sure if it was much better. He didn't know if having to travel across the Hudson instead of the Atlantic was much better.
At least she didn't have a ring on her finger anymore.
Yet again, she had thrown him for a loop.
"Simple," he repeated. Her smile was sad and he knew that she was just trying to make him feel better.
The heart he had thought was already too scarred to feel pain any longer still throbbed with desperation.
She shrugged and now he knew she was done placating him. She could always turn in an instant and he knew that he had no right to question her.
Even if the situation had changed vastly.
"No one can accuse me of social climbing when my boyfriend lives in Brooklyn."
He hated it. He hated that she referred to trash that was so beneath her as that.
It was better than husband.
"I need that right now," she said. "Until I become that person I've been striving for."
"You already are."
She had been looking at him, and he knew that she expected him to reply.
It wasn't his smile, but it still made him pathetically happy.
"I've already told you," he said, his tone now what was placating. "You were always powerful. You're the strongest woman I know."
She looked sad again and he knew they were just circling back around.
"But not everyone sees what you see," she continued. "No one really sees me."
"They will," he replied. "Even if it takes Humphrey for you to get there."
Her eyes were clouded and he had always hated not knowing what she was thinking. Not when he was usually so good at figuring her out.
"What?" he asked self-consciously. Her eyes were burning into him and he had the sudden fear that their roles were reversed.
He played his so well.
At least when he was sabotaging her at every turn.
"You're not condemning him."
"Do not mistake my politeness for acceptance," Chuck warned. "He's still a Humphrey. He's still unworthy of you."
And there it was. There was that smirk and he finally felt at home.
"I made certain allowances for him-your prince," he clarified. "You were going to be married and that was it. You were going to be royalty. What you always wanted. But now you're not. And I don't know how to proceed."
"Not everything has to be a calculation, Chuck," Blair said.
"I can't keep this up any longer," he said stiffly. "You're back here. And I don't know how much longer I can pretend to be strong for you. I can't pretend that things haven't changed because they have."
"You're the strongest man I know," she said teasingly.
But it wasn't a joke. It never was.
"I know that more than ever," Blair said. "Before now you just tried to humiliate him."
"He doesn't deserve you."
"No more than you?" she asked.
"He's not a prince," Chuck said. "And he's not the one you're going to end up with."
"I know," she said. "But you're still letting me go."
"I'm letting you be happy," he said. "That's not the same thing."
"This won't make me happy."
He always had to know. He would do anything to make it true.
"Everything you just said."
She was sitting on his couch and his blood ran cold. She had that look on her face. It was that look that he could never decipher. He was so used to her weeping with her head on his shoulder, his laptop whirring, that he didn't know anything but her wearing her heart on her sleeve.
She didn't look like that. Her face was completely devoid of any emotion.
She knew he was there.
She finished the last page and placed it back on the table.
"What was that?"
He couldn't answer for a moment.
"Humphrey," she snapped. He couldn't remember the last time she had addressed him so antagonistically.
"My novel," Dan blurted, suddenly swayed by her explosive emotions that he never realized she had. "It's...It's my novel."
"Your novel," she sneered condescendingly, rising to her feet. "That's a little ambitious, don't you think?"
"A publisher just sent back an edited piece," Dan said. "I didn't even know they had a copy."
"Did they hold a gun to your head?"
She was so cold and so lethal that he found himself lost. He was so lost all he could do was lash back.
"Why are you even upset?" Dan asked.
"Why do you think?"
"I know that I betrayed you," Dan said.
"You always were the ultimate insider," Blair said icily.
"I know I used personal things for my work," Dan said, "but you should be happy."
"Happy," Blair stated blankly.
"I portrayed you favorably," Dan said.
"Me," Blair said.
"I know that Serena won't be-"
"I'm not even talking about Serena," Blair retorted.
Dan understood. He understood what he had been trying to avoid all along. Everything that hurt about this whole situation.
"You mean him."
"It's like you don't even know me," she said disdainfully.
"I thought you were over him."
"You really think it's that easy," she said callously. "You think I can just wipe away two decades of history. I've known him for my entire life. And I've only even considered caring about you for the past year."
"I'm going out," Blair said, shouldering her bag before heading for the door.
"I told the truth, Blair," Dan said. "Everything I wrote was the truth."
"According to you."
"He goes out every night and gets drunk at sex clubs with prostitutes," Dan said. "I'm not going to write him as some saint."
"And what about me?" she asked. "How did you write me?"
"You already read-"
"Because almost everything he does in there, I've done too," she said. "And you're just deluding yourself. You can't make me sympathetic and leave him for the wolves."
"It's a work of fiction."
Blair's laugh was cruel and cutting, and he couldn't look her in the eyes.
"You really are a part of this world now," Blair said. "You lie to yourself more than the rest of us combined."
When he wasn't even trying, Chuck Bass still sabotaged his every move.
She was crying.
He could tell that she was trying not to.
"No, I'm here." She was assuring. But not to Dan.
Dan hesitated outside of the doorway, listening to her soothing words that he had never heard in his life coming out of Blair Waldorf's mouth.
"Just...stay where you are."
Blair paused as she listened into her phone.
"Of course I'm coming."
"You can't tell me what to do."
She sounded legitimately angry and as sure had he been before, now Dan just didn't know what was happening.
"If you didn't want me to come, why did you call?" she demanded, then listening intently. "You couldn't have talked to Nate?"
No matter how spiteful he had heard Blair's voice in the past, he had never heard her so offended.
But her tone was quiet now.
"You say you don't want to influence me," she said. "You say you don't want to sabotage my relationships. But you called me."
"You're not hurting me," Blair cried desperately. "I'm just so worried about you when you get like this."
"I miss you too."
She said it so quietly, Dan was sure she knew he was listening.
"No, Chuck, don't hang up-" Blair exclaimed. But her voice was cut off and she threw her phone in aggravation down on the bed.
He waited several moments because he knew she was composing herself. He had always wondered why she looked so perfect on the outside, when he knew that she was a complete mess. And he was starting to think that she was actually right.
Chuck Bass could actually be a human being.
Just like her.
The door creaked and Dan looked up as Blair exited. No one would ever know about her desperate cries.
Her eyes flicked around the room before finally landing on him again.
She had no shame.
"We talked about this."
"Who was on the phone?" Dan asked gruffly.
"We talked about this," Blair repeated tersely.
"You can't give me an ultimatum," Dan said.
"I told you if you published that thing I would leave."
He had never heard her so spiteful and disgusted.
The finished cope of Inside lay on the table.
"This is my career," Dan said.
"Then maybe you belong with Vanessa," Blair said. "You wouldn't be here without her."
"And what about him?"
"You don't know me at all."
Her hands were soothing. The way they always were. He couldn't quite remember where he was, but he could always recognize her.
"Come on, Bass."
She sounded strong. But he knew. He knew what he had made her do when he had undoubtedly hung up.
Somehow, he always managed to make her cry.
Chuck groaned as Blair rolled him over. He looked at the night sky, stars fading as black turned to blue.
"You know how much it scares me when you do this."
"I didn't mean to take you away from him," he said. "This wasn't a plan."
"I know," she answered. "That's why I came."
His head was pillowed in her lap and he finally felt safe.
"I don't remember..."
"It's okay," she assured him. "Please just don't do it again."
"Does he know you're here?"
"Yes," she said.
He actually had the ability to look surprised.
"And you two..."
"It was inevitable."
Chuck didn't like that word. Not when she was talking about Dan Humphrey.
Even if she was talking about their end.
The gravel on the roof was uncomfortable on his back.
"I hate doing this to you."
"So don't do it anymore."
"I can't be good for you, Blair," he said. "It's just not in me."
"I don't need you to be good," Blair replied. "I just need you to not be dead. It would kill me. I couldn't bear it."
"Stop it," she said gently. "Just stop. I'm selfish."
"I couldn't even let you go," she said. "When you told me to, I couldn't do it."
"I couldn't either."
"We're a matched pair," she said. "Why are we up here?"
"Because oblivion is better when I see you with him," he said. "I shouldn't have called you."
"I don't know what I would have done if you didn't," she said. "If something actually happened to you this time. I hate thinking about you up here."
"I know who I am with you," she said. "I'm not so many different versions of myself. You know everything. And I'm strong now."
"You always were."
"You're better than this," she whispered.
"Sometimes," he said. "Sometimes I just wish I was selfish again."
"Because then I could be doing something instead of watching you drift away from me."
"You could do it before."
"I thought you were happy."
"So did I," Blair said. "But I realized I would rather be up here with you, then pretend to be different people down there."
"So are you," she said.
And he believed her.
Her fingers were in his hair and the stars had faded away completely. The rays of the morning sun just started to shine and they were both bathed in the golden light.
And she smiled.