A/N: I was recently asked to write an actual canon piece and lo and behold! Here it is. I was moved after last night's episode to write something. This season is full of fluff so I do not promise that here. But it is concluding. And happy Limoversary!
Summary: Contact had been the catalyst from the very beginning. A slight shoulder nudge. The close proximity in the backseat. Contact meant unleashing something that could never have been contained, never restrained even if she wanted it to. She hadn't wanted to then and she didn't want to now.
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. Characters belong to Gossip Girl. No beta because I am lazy.
"You're living with him."
It wasn't a question. Things with Chuck were never questionable anymore. There had been a time when all Blair saw when she looked at that destructive boy were questions. But she was a child then and now she couldn't be more certain of where she was meant to be. And she knew that she could never confuse Chuck. He knew everything about her.
Chuck wasn't questioning her.
He knew the answer already.
He knew every inch of her polarized soul like it was his own.
Even when she was doing something he couldn't fathom.
He knew the moment that she walked into the Debutante Ball with Dan Humphrey at her side. But just because Chuck knew the answer didn't stop the hurt that crossed his face.
And it broke her heart.
Even then, there was something else. A flash of heat that she could identify as jealousy. But in an instant it vanished, replaced with something else. She knew the only man she was supposed to be living with was him, but this wasn't like that at all. He knew that as well as she did. So his eyes turned cold and hard.
Blair stood with Chuck, secluded as always, even when she felt the dark eyes of the interloper on them both.
"No," Blair protested at first. "Well, yes, but—"
Chuck took a step away from her.
He wasn't angry.
That was what scared her most of all. It was his complete and cool detachment that was tearing her heart out and she didn't know what to do.
His eyes weren't even on her anymore. They bypassed her shoulder and she knew exactly what he was looking at.
"He's living with me," Blair tried again. "Sort of. He's in Serena's room."
"You realize what he's doing, don't you?" Chuck asked. Blair stopped. He wasn't even concerned with her at all.
He still wasn't looking at her.
"This is what he wants."
Blair finally forced herself to look away from him and turn around.
Dan was watching them intently and she felt a wave of disgust penetrate her stomach.
Of course she knew what he was doing. Of course this was exactly what Dan had planned on all along. He admitted to everything he was doing to the people around him. No remorse. Not a care in the world.
And what had she done?
She let him right in.
But with Chuck standing right before her, she couldn't make herself care.
All she had ever cared about was standing right in front of her, shutting himself off from her yet again. She longed to snap him out of it – slap him, shake him, but any sort of physical contact was the wrong contact.
They couldn't do that yet.
"Chuck." She still didn't know what to say. There was no denying this. But he had to have known this wasn't any sort of attack on him. This wasn't meant to hurt him or treat him with any sort of apathy.
She still wasn't prepared.
Chuck's hand was sudden, the way it always was. Her hands curled around his shoulders as he pulled her to him by the small of her back, sharp and savagely.
Contact was bad.
Contact had been the catalyst from the very beginning. A slight shoulder nudge. The close proximity in the backseat. Contact meant unleashing something that could never have been contained, never restrained even if she wanted it to. She hadn't wanted to then and she didn't want to now. It always released the beast within her that only he could see. And their twin beasts ravaged each other until they were bloody and sated.
And they had outlawed it.
Even though thing that had always been consistent with Chuck was that he made everything bad in the world feel so damn good. The fact that it was forbidden made her crave that thing she became when she was only with him. She shed her skin in the backseat and evolved into a supreme animal. And being this close to him without any hint of a payoff was making her feral.
"You drive me insane." His voice was husky in that way that made her shiver and she found herself involuntarily leaning in to hear it. "You know that?"
She could smell him for the first time and feel him against her finally. It felt as though it had been ages – years, decades, millennia.
She heard what he was saying but all she could do was feel that current between them. All she could do was be drawn into his eyes, no matter how much it hurt to look at them.
There was that darkness there that made her uneasy. Darkness that she hadn't seen in even longer.
She was reminded of other cotillions - the cotillion - that had started this entire melodrama.
There were no words. There was only the magnetism and the inability to draw away from one another.
There was something here that they hadn't had since their last time in the back of his limo and it wasn't fair. Between them, it never was. She drank it in like she had been in a drought and she wasn't sure she could stop. She never could. Lately, it was always him who had to suffer the responsibility of being strong.
But now, neither of them could. Neither of them wanted to. She knew what this was. This was him wanting to grip her tight, venting all of his frustration and need into her.
She wanted that.
Looking at him now, locked in this tight and inescapable embrace, closer than was socially appropriate, all she wanted was for him to give in.
But she knew that he wouldn't. And he never could. Especially not now.
Chuck brought a hand up to the side of her face. His fingers curled around her head, digging into her meticulous hairstyle.
He peered into her eyes, holding her there and refusing to let go.
"I love you so much." Chuck pressed his lips fiercely to her forehead before pushing away from her and stalking down the hallway.
Blair stood there, stunned for a moment. She crossed her arms as chills ran up and down them, holding herself.
She steeled herself, feeling him making his way towards her.
"I marvel at the fact that you thought that would actually work." Blair didn't even deign to give him a glance as she walked towards the ballroom.
She wasn't so deep in denial that she was oblivious to it. She knew why she invited Dan in and why the one room she gave him was connected to hers by a bathroom.
That didn't mean she was going to admit it.
She could never admit missing Serena and she knew she was doing what she always did. She replaced one love for a lesser replacement and sooner or later, it would all fall apart.
She was betting sooner. Dan wasn't Serena and nothing could ever replace her. And Blair could never cut out the one person she loved just as much as Chuck.
She was done with it all. Dan's shadow over her vulnerability had melted away with surprising ease. There wasn't any scenario where she would allow any destruction to her livelihood.
The comforting thought was that she knew for a fact that Chuck was at that same conclusion. He hadn't even questioned Dan's presence and what he was doing. He knew all of it. And he knew that he wasn't going to let anything tear them apart again.
Blair just loathed how unnecessary all of this was.
She wished this wasn't a situation to begin with. She knew Chuck wasn't threatened. But she also knew this was just a deep wound that she was salting by being at cotillion.
She was sure that he thought she had forgotten. She hadn't. Just like she knew he couldn't forget either.
And just like he had been standing back then, he was standing there in front of her on the dance floor. He never looked away, never lost that stony look on his face.
Maybe she would have liked it if he had been smug.
Maybe she wouldn't have liked it at all.
And she was seventeen again, confused by every man in her life and what she should be feeling and what was right. But she wasn't that lost girl anymore. She still took that step onto the dancefloor and the music still started up immediately.
He wasn't wearing white gloves but she still saw that sixteen-year-old boy behind his eyes. Those dark penetrating eyes that never failed to twist her into knots.
She never could ignore him.
She could never be away from him.
And like their teenage selves, they gravitated towards each other, her hand in his and his arm around her waist.
"I think I had hoped we wouldn't be in the same place five years later."
They moved easily with each other the way they always did. Even angry and seething, they never missed a beat. They moved perfectly with each other, always anticipating each other's movements instantaneously. But she wasn't angry tonight. His actions were just as strange as they had been back then, but she knew for sure she was in the right arms.
"Had you hoped to be rid of me?" she asked.
He finally looked at her, hard in the eyes. "You know that's not true."
"Do you think that's how I felt?"
"I think you didn't know how you felt," Chuck answered. "Do you now?"
"Of course," she said sadly. "That you think that I don't—"
"I know you do," Chuck said. He gazed at her for a moment before speaking. "You look exactly the same. You even put your hair up."
"I hope I picked a few things up." She couldn't even make that sound light in her head. She knew that it wasn't. "I'm not wearing a custom made gown by my mother."
She knew she wasn't making it better.
"We always end up here."
"Don't make that sound like a bad thing," Blair said. "Please don't. You're making this sound so final."
"It isn't," Chuck said. But that was it.
"I should have told you," Blair finally admitted.
"You don't owe me anything."
She hated that.
"Then what is this?" she asked.
"This is me," Chuck said. "For the first time, unable to restrain myself from you."
She stared at him in wonder; finally able to penetrate that exterior that he had proclaimed she had to begin with. He had been so strong, wanting them to take time to work to be together while all she wanted was the shortcut to him.
It was only a matter of time before it was his turn. And she had no doubt in her mind that he wanted her as much as she wanted him. This was the way that they always were. Partners in crime. Always equals.
Blair held him closer and she felt his grip tighten.
"It's just this," he said. "This place. Where we are. What we're doing."
"Is it so easy to remember?"
"Is it easy for you to forget?" Chuck replied. "That night changed everything for me."
Blair was quiet for a moment. She remembered that part of herself. The Virgin Ice Queen, lying to the boy she thought she loved and bearing everything for the one she thought she hated.
She was so confused and in denial then.
But she wasn't now. She knew exactly what she wanted.
"I hated you so much," Blair said. "I never thought that you could actually hurt me. I hated you for that."
And the boy emerged. "I never wanted to hurt you. I just wanted you to see…"
Blair couldn't help but smile. He was studying her but she couldn't stop.
"You wanted me to pick you over Nate."
"I certainly didn't enjoy seeing you go into a hotel room with him."
Her heart sank for a moment, envisioning what he had seen, even when the reality was clear to her.
"Did you love me then?" She knew the answer.
"I loved you always. I was just too stubborn to realize it."
"So was I."
Chuck finally smiled. She knew this wasn't final at all. Even if the music stopped, they would keep on dancing.
They would dance forever.
"I know what he's doing," Blair said.
"But you're too good." Chuck shook his head. "You can't turn away a friend no matter what he's done."
"Me?" Blair asked. "Good?"
"To the people who touched your life," Chuck said. "Yes. You can't help yourself."
"Well it did work so well for you," she smirked. "And then where would I be if I hadn't taken pity on you?"
"Was that pity?" Chuck asked. "Because it tasted like cold revenge."
"We come in many flavors."
She missed that smirk of his.
"He can't hurt us," Chuck said. "I've always known that."
"Not when it comes to us," Chuck said. "No matter how malicious, I love you. And it's always been your decision."
Blair's eyes narrowed. "I know that."
"And I know you won't let it."
"You're the most formidable force there is, Waldorf," he replied. "No matter what sort of maternal instinct you have, that same instinct tells you to tear your enemies apart."
"Is he one?"
"No matter how hard he tries," Chuck said, "he can't even come close to being my enemy. No matter how much he wants it. He can't court me."
Blair smiled brilliantly. There he was. Of course she could never love anyone else or ever let anything come between them. He was Chuck Bass. And she would be as taken with him when they had grandchildren as much as she was on that couch, that stage, that car.
"Let him," Chuck sneered. "Let him live with you and do whatever he can. It'll never be enough. And if he does one thing that you don't want, I'll rip him apart."
Blair stroked the hair at the back of his neck and he leaned in as they danced. Their foreheads rested together as they stared at each other. She blinked furiously as her eyes began to well up.
It was a strange biological tendency when she was around him. No one ever made her cry like he did. And it wasn't because she was sad or angry or confused. It was just Chuck. The way he made her feel was so intense that she knew she could never feel as acutely and as powerfully as she did when they were together.
It made her still feel that darkness within him. She could still see in his eyes how his thoughts strayed to sixteen and so painfully and confusedly in love. They had no idea what they were doing. They would hurt and scratch and make love because it was the only thing they knew how to do. They didn't know where they were going. But that feeling was still fresh.
"It's still tonight," Chuck said. She couldn't tell if his eyes were wet as well.
"Tonight?" she asked softly. She wanted this to be better. She could tell by his tone that it wasn't. Not yet.
Maybe they were a little bit wet.
It wasn't final, but dramatic proclamations were always their forte.
"I have a nasty habit of having to watch you walk away from me on the dance floor," Chuck said.
Blair closed her eyes, hating that she knew exactly what he was going to say. She still leaned into him, refusing to let him go. It wasn't forever, but she just wanted it to be over now. She just wanted to be with him now. And she hated how he was forcing himself to be the realistic one. She just wanted to live in this gothic romance of theirs. But she wouldn't die in hysteria and he wouldn't try and breed their offspring for revenge.
"One of us is going to have to walk away here," Chuck said.
Blair pressed closer. "Not yet."
Please don't make me.
"We can't dance here forever."
"Just a little while longer," Blair insisted.
She could finally smile as he gave in.
He wound his arms around her fully, pulling her in. She inhaled him in the way her seventeen year old self never would have allowed.
And Chuck held her even closer, dancing like they had all the time in the world.
Never thinking of the time when one of them would have to walk away.