A/N: I wrote this weeks before the finale but I'm submitting now because it seems like the perfect time. This takes place a couple years after the premiere, so keep that in mind.
Summary: The only time he knew the true meaning of predator was when he looked in the mirror. He was a stalking, predatory, feral animal. But if there existed something that was his match in every way, it was her. Even now.
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. All the glory is GG. Thanks to comewhatmay.x, my beloved beta.
The only time he knew the true meaning of predator was when he looked in the mirror. He was a stalking, predatory, feral animal.
But if there existed something that was his match in every way, it was her. Even now.
Even as the air turned dry and static crackled through the atmosphere. That was the way it always was with her. She was the only one who ever made him hot and cold at the same time—or at all. With everyone else it was just urges. Urges to be good, urges to dominate. But she made his body physically change. And because of that, he knew that along with respect, she created a touch of fear within him. Because he was her prey, and she had him in her sights.
She looked at him expectantly. He hated how he was never busy enough, never smooth enough when she approached him as a last resort.
At least on the outside. She had been waiting the entire night for him to make social pleasantries, but he was so far past that. He was past dignity and his bravado. He needed to avoid her because she had always been and always would be his only kryptonite.
It was getting shorter. She used to be able wait until the night was over to corner him and humiliate him into raising his temperature involuntarily for her.
It wasn't so anymore. Now she could barely wait hours to be in his proximity again—to force him into facing his undying and unwavering affection for her. He pretended that he was strong enough to stay away from her. Now he was sure she could smell the fear on him.
She spoke volumes without saying a word. He was very conscious of how close her hand was to his on the bartop.
He should be busier than this, being the owner of several hotels. He should be good enough to at least pretend that he didn't want to have time for her.
She wanted him to speak first.
He hated that expectant look.
This was the one night when he would not cave to her demands.
"I almost forgot how well you did this."
"No, you didn't."
"I haven't been to one of your parties in awhile."
"That was your choice."
"Remind me again why that was."
"If I could remember that, then I could at the very least remember how to avoid you properly."
Blair smiled victoriously.
"So you admit it now."
"I never denied it," Chuck answered.
"No," she agreed. "You never had time. You were too preoccupied with avoiding me."
Her hand was warm on his and he wished that he didn't miss that electric shock he knew was traveling up both their arms at just a mere touch between the two of them.
He pulled away.
"I hate it when you do that." He wished her voice were more hurt than vaguely amused. "What's your excuse this time? Is it still too painful for you to be near me because you love me so much?"
"You're going to mock me?" Chuck retorted. He felt the triumphant return of his former self. The one that was her match. The one that hated pushing her away because he had to and only took what he wanted. The one that hurt her because she hurt him first.
"Don't make me call you that word," she warned. "You know the word."
"I know the word," Chuck answered. "And it won't affect me now the way it did in high school."
"You're not going to grab me and shake all the bad feelings away?" She sounded disappointed. He missed this girl out for blood.
That was bad.
"I don't think you're a coward," Blair answered his silence. "You're just more cautious than I remember."
"You only do it to protect yourself."
"Is that so strange?"
"I know what's really beneath." Her hand slid up his shirtfront and he really did wish he was that seventeen year old that could shake her when she told him exactly what he hated to hear. "You pretend to be cautious. But you don't really want to be. You want what you want."
"I wish that had changed in the last half of a decade."
"No, you don't," she said. He remembered how victory tasted on her lips. They were breathing the same air and her hands were too adventurous.
He pined for the days when it was him sabotaging her relationships while she dwelt in denial.
His former monster breathed life to his core.
He was sure she could feel it.
"What are you doing here, Blair?"
"Do you have to ask?"
"I thought you had me out of your system."
"We never put it that way before."
"Maybe we should have."
"I've missed you."
Her hand was with his hand in an impossible intertwining of extremities and he wished he could remember how to extricate himself from her. She always clouded his judgment.
"That's all you have for me?" Blair asked condescendingly. She still wasn't letting go. "You're just going to throw me out to avoid the situation?"
"There is no situation," he said just as cruelly. "You aren't supposed to be here. You aren't supposed to be near me. You aren't supposed to be coming back."
He never remembered her this forceful before. That was probably due to the fact that she never had to be before. He always did that for her.
He twisted her wrist in his grasp, pulling her closer to whisper savagely in her ear.
"You don't want to involve yourself with me."
He wished he could pretend he didn't feel her tremor. He hated how everything he did just put him in a worse position. Even now, when all he was trying to do was the right thing, it only brought her closer. When it came to Blair Waldorf, she did the exact opposite of what he wanted.
She was the only one who ever did.
She saw right through him.
He pushed her away. She was still staring, still seeing. All he could do was wish she could just forget everything. He wished she could forget how he worked, how they worked.
He wished all of this could just stop.
"I thought you'd stopped being a coward," she said softly.
She said it. The word that she hadn't uttered since they found themselves in the back room of a graduation party. He felt it all rising up again. He felt the urge to grab her and shake her.
He felt her want him to do it.
He settled for pushing her away. He knew his animalistic tendencies always reached sadistic proportions, but he just needed her to get away. He needed her to stop caring. He needed her to stop wanting. He needed to make her stop making all of this so difficult.
He stepped away from her.
He should have known it would always take more than that.
Walking away from her was never an option. When she wanted to, she could cling to him so hard and so painfully that it was good. She would sink her claws into him the time that he couldn't want it.
He wanted the both of them to stop wanting so much.
She wasn't telling go.
"Just say it."
She was following him.
"Just tell me that you're too much of a coward to actually let me-"
"You don't get it," Chuck snapped, turning around to face her, "do you?"
Her eyes were as steely as his, and he knew that this was something that they would always be matched at.
"It's so easy," he said with his cool detachment. "It's so easy for you, Blair. You take men and you leave them as you please. You act happy," he continued, refusing to break. "But I never know if you are. You are a complete mystery but I know you better than anyone. You're an oxymoron and I'll love you until the day I die. Probably even after," he said determinedly. "But you can't let me in again. It's too hard to see you flit from man to man. Every time I feel as though I'm immune to you it just gets worse."
"I love you."
She was bright eyed. He couldn't understand how she still possessed that innocence about her. Even through all of the manipulation and deception, she still had that romanticism to her. Even when it came to him.
He had to break it.
"That's the whole problem," he replied. "Just stop. Stop loving me. Stop paying attention to me."
For once, he wished she could make this easy. He knew what she was trying to do—telling him the truth in hopes that it would catch him off guard.
The club might as well have been empty. They were always alone together, no matter where they were. To a degree where he found himself pulling her into seclusion.
"I want you so badly. I want to split you from the inside," he breathed against her.
He pulled away.
"But I can't."
She pulled him back.
"Maybe you can," she said in that breathy way that she knew taunted him excruciatingly. He tried to twist away.
"Stop torturing me," he said tersely.
"Stop blaming this on me," she accused. She could see through him so exquisitely and it was more than clear that this was just another excuse. They had just gone back to their eighteen year old selves, finding every reason not to be together.
They couldn't keep going in these circles. They couldn't keep hurting and pulling away and letting go and loving too hard to ever let go.
He wished it wasn't so worth it. He wished he could actually lie to her face, the way he used to, pushing her away for his benefit.
"If I don't then I might realize that being with you is the only option."
Her eyes sparkled with hope and he couldn't fathom how it had gotten to this point. He thought he was done. The only reason he thought severing ties with her so completely was the best course of action was because it would be the last. The last painful note in their tragic ballad. But he was starting to think that this wasn't a tragedy anymore. He was starting to think that everything wasn't always perfect, not just them. Things were hard. They were hard. Being perfect was just a mirage.
"Don't you want it to be?" she asked softly.
He couldn't lie anymore.
"More than anything."
He didn't want to.
"But we'll just crumble again."
"We crumbled because you wanted us to," Blair said. "You thought it would be easier. Less painful."
"You wanted that too."
"I did," she admitted. "I thought I did, at least. But it wasn't just about me. It never is when it's us. So tell me. Tell me what you want."
It was so simple. It was incomprehensible that she couldn't see it.
But she knew. They were selfish beings. She knew what this was about. It was about her. It was about him. It was about not needing to compromise anymore.
"Then stop making this so complicated," she said earnestly. "It's so simple. It can be so simple. We want each other. That's it. There is no other option."
"You have other choices."
"Not choices," she said. "Detours."
"Is that what you like to call it?"
"What do you call it?" she asked.
His breath was hot on her face and she had to wonder at how isolated they had become. They had ignored the crowds to return to something so intimate, that all it could be called was love.
"Admit it," he dared her. "You take immense satisfaction out of torturing me."
"You can be very stubborn."
"Blair Waldorf," he said strategically.
She opened her mouth to answer just as formally. She tried her back was hard against something she couldn't see and the notion escaped her. Nothing made sense and nothing mattered.
"I'm going to make you scream."
"Please," she panted.
It wasn't necessary. No barriers were removed, they were just breathing and loving on each other. But nothing was simple when it came to them. She knew he was testing her. He wanted her to run. He wanted her to save herself so he wouldn't have to take the blame for another crack in her heart.
She still said it.
"You let me in," he warned, "and there won't be any turning back."
"I wouldn't have stripped for you if I didn't know that without a doubt."
He tried to warn her. He tried to tell her. She always had to make things so difficult for him. She always had to be so beautiful, so innocent, and so evil. He loved her ways. He loved her. But he shouldn't. He should have let go of it all. That was the whole point.
Instead, there was this. There was always this. And he couldn't find anything wrong with it anymore.
He tried so hard to demean himself. He was always so good at self-deprecation and he could push her away and make her believe that they were actually wrong. Wrong and ugly.
Seeing her here, like this, he didn't think that anymore. And he couldn't remember how he ever could.
Her fingernails dug into his hand, dragging it up her thigh. Everything was distorted. He felt dizzy and breathless.
Everything was right.
Her lips were on his too much for him to even try.
He pulled away. He hadn't laughed. But she was so loving and here with him that he couldn't help himself. He couldn't help his smirk.
"I missed you."
"You didn't act like it."
"I'm a liar."
"I love you."
He pulled away again. But looking down on her, he knew that without a doubt, she had never said that to anyone else. Not like she did with him.
He knew it was the truth.
He opened his mouth to proclaim his own truth.
She stopped him. They were wrapped so tightly around each other and her breath was so hot in his ear that he couldn't remember. He could only feel.
"I've been so empty."
He stilled momentarily above her.
"Chuck," she said. "I feel empty without you."
Her face was buried in his bare neck. He could feel her need, need just as palpable as his.
"You are empty without me," he smirked.
Dark eyes glinted in the night, daring his audacity. But they soon rolled up with her moan as he made them nonempty again.
They were stripped before each other. Vulnerability bled through their pores, and yet again, he couldn't help himself. They were sweating and feeling and contracting around each other and he couldn't help himself.
It wasn't the first time that he had expressed urges within his heart unwillingly to her during such intimate intercourses. She did something to him. The way she grasped his hair, the way her voice crooned in his ear, rendered him unable to control himself. It wasn't who he was. That wasn't what he did. If anyone knew the need for control, it was the woman writhing beneath him. But she was always the anomaly. It was always her.
He should have had some semblance of self-restraint.
But that dissipated the night he dared her to rid herself of everything for him.
"What do you do to me?"
She couldn't help the coy smile.
Until the next thing came from his mouth.
"I could really..." he rasped, "impregnate you right now."
He felt her still just the way she had when three words slipped from his lips that he never intended on bequeathing to her again.
He thought she hadn't felt the same way at the time.
He wasn't sure if this moment was any different than that.
This time, however, she wasn't moved. Her eyelashes batted but she was looking at him in a way he had seen before. But he didn't know why this warranted her somberness.
"Chuck," she breathed, turning her head away from him. She wasn't being polite. She wasn't pretending that she didn't hear. "Don't."
But instead of pushing him away, her nails bit into his shoulders and he contracted beneath her touch.
"Why?" he whispered in her ear. "Because I already did?"
She was slowing this time. Her expression was conflicted, but she grasped the bed rail and all he couldn't see anything any longer. He wasn't sure if she had done it on purpose to avoid the conversation he hadn't even meant to start, but still couldn't stop.
She didn't pull away. She laid her head on his ribs and he hated that he couldn't see her eyes anymore. Even if trying to deduce her state of mind was near impossible.
He could apologize. But he wasn't sure what he did wrong.
"Why did you say that?"
Her voice was quiet in the darkness, but her breath was warm, and it was the only thing that was grounding him.
"Because it was true," he answered honestly. She looked up from her position. Her eyes narrowed and he knew it wasn't enough. She didn't have to say it. She never had to say those words anymore. He knew he wasn't giving her enough again. But he was trying his hardest to do so.
She crawled gracefully up the bed and he found himself in a paralysis of something he couldn't name. She caged him, bringing her hand to his face the way she did when she wanted the utter and complete truth from him.
Even if he had been putting in all of his effort into doing so to begin with.
"You don't want that," Chuck assumed.
"I always want too much when it comes to you."
"What does that mean?" he asked.
She was settling against him and for some reason, tranquility washed over him. She was looking at him like they were just beginning. She was looking at him and he couldn't look away.
"I want too much too," Chuck finally said, filling the silence.
"I could never take it back," she said.
"Neither can I."
Her eyes were fluttering closed and he knew that this was right.
"Tell me this is okay," he said quietly. It was more for his own peace of mind, not even caring if she didn't hear him.
But she did.
She always heard him.