Meanwhile, Dan's apparently been bugging Vanessa at work all day to whine about his family, because they are equal opportunity jerks, but she's supportive, and their friendship, on one level, is pretty good. I like them together when she's not pulling Jenga on his life, like this five-second spurt we're seeing now. She reminds him that the Humphreys are a pretty good family, and that Alison and Rufus do really love each other, and "in the meantime," he's always got Vanessa. Dan looks at the ground and is like, "At this particular 'meantime,' I have to go be with my girlfriend now," not pointing out or possibly noticing that he's already partially stood her up. Vanessa's like, "Great, I'm going to go jump off a bridge, have fun." Dan sets up a logic proof of his own with the following axioms: Vanessa likes Dan, Serena likes Dan, Dan likes Serena, Dan likes Vanessa. Therefore, he posits, S and V are supposed to be friends. "How can you not like each other? It's mathematically impossible." He has left out the fact that Vanessa is not very likeable, and Dan is an unreliable mathematician at best. He calls Vanessa out for not even trying to get to know Serena: "Why spend five minutes trying to be nice to Serena, when I can spend day after day forced to choose between the two of you?" Um, because you spend day after day forcing that outcome and being weird as hell so everybody feels uncomfortable all the time, because you secretly love it?
Vanessa's like, "I just had a Red Bull, so fuck it. You want to see me get my nice on? Let's do it tonight. Just you, me and Serena." I am so down with that. Give these girls five seconds to compare notes and they'll kick Dan's ass up and down Park. To his credit, Dan is also down with that, but tonight's not a good night. He explains that tonight is Blair Waldorf's birthday party, but apparently Vanessa didn't get the memo that Blair Waldorf is a psycho ninja who will murder Vanessa just for laughs, because she's like, "...And?" He employs the metaphor that they might want to start by dipping a toe in, rather than diving off of a cliff headfirst, into the rocks with the sharks. At least, Vanessa thinks it's a metaphor. You and I, and Dan, know that the sharks are all too real. True to her character, Vanessa ignores all warning signs and invites herself to the shark party, and Dan's like, "I am open to being best friends with your ghost, after Blair brutally kills you, so let's hop on that Vespa and roll."
Chuck approaches Blair sweetly on the balcony, asking if she's ready for her present. She assumes, and who could blame her, that he's being gross, so she grabs him by the hair and nearly crushes his skull against the balcony. "If you wanted to play rough, all you had to do was ask!" Some chick drifts by and Blair -- still with Chuck in her death grip -- smiles warmly and says hi, wishing herself a happy birthday. She leaves, and B releases him, boredly sighing, "You nauseate me." Chuck starts in on her: "All this talk about how you have to be with Nate or the world will end. Face it, it's over." She snorts about how he sounds like a jealous boyfriend, and he's totally fake and cute, like, "You wish!" But B always sees the weak places and goes for them, so a light bulb goes off in the Tiffany lamp above her head and she's like, "No! ...You wish!" She's very toothy and amused and fascinated by this turn of events. He's like, "You forget who you're talking to, I am the rapey one," and she's like, "You rape freshmen? I rape minds." He concedes the point, given her steely psychic insight, and she's like, "So. You like me." Staring at the floor like an Archibald, he spits, "Define like." Blair's two sides begin to wrestle. On the one hand, she loves seeing Chuck this fucked up and weird, because it's a train wreck and because she has the power and didn't even know it. On the other, though, how inconvenient. She's like, "Cut it out. Now." He whines about how horrible it is on his side of the crush, all, "I haven't slept! I feel sick! Like there's something in my stomach, fluttering!" She identifies the butterflies and starts into a serious meltdown; he just stands there, stricken. "Believe me, no one is more surprised or ashamed than I am." She gets control back and smiles scarily: "Chuck. You know that I adore all of God's creatures and the metaphors that they inspire. But those butterflies have got to be murdered." There's a momentary détente, but nobody believes it.