Title: Cross My Heart
Summary: "Spotted: B & C leaving JFK airport with more than matching clothes. Is that a gold ring on your ring finger, B? And it seems that C has one too. Could it really be? Are our former queen and UES's notorious playboy...married?"
Disclaimer: As always, I don't own Gossip Girl.
A/N: Well, this is a long time coming, but hello to everyone! I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who's stuck by this story. It really means a lot that you have and you are all the reason why I sat at my computer typed this chapter. I have to admit, I did stop watching the show after Season 2 and the only episode I saw after was the series finale, so I'm a bit rusty on writing these characters. Chuck and Blair will always hold a special place in my heart and so I hope to have this story wrapped out soon. A quick reminder that the events in CMH do take place in Season 1 and become AU as of 1x13 hence a non-psychopathic Bart and other things. Enjoy!
It took less than ten seconds after Chuck had entered the room for the nurse to exclaim that everyone minus Bart had to leave the room.
"It's our mother," Serena pouted, but the nurse glared at her, pointing to the door and proclaiming that it didn't take a village to give birth to a baby. Despondent, they emptied the room, settling in the waiting room as a silence fell over them.
Sitting next to Serena on the uncomfortable plastic chairs, Blair continuously glanced at Chuck's direction, unsure what to feel now that he had returned. He looked the same, dressed in an impeccable suit but as he caught her gaze, she noticed the all-familiar look of disdain evident in his eyes. It was the same look he shown her a year ago when she had come to him in need, but he had offered no pity.
With a clear voice and her head held high as she did when she needed to assert herself, she asked him, "Where have you been?"
"Were you worried about me?" Chuck replied, raising an eyebrow.
"Why would I be worried? After all, this is all coming to an end," Blair said coldly, clutching her bag tighter as the unsigned papers lay inside.
Chuck tightened his jaw. Even though he hated to admit it, the words stung harder than he would've thought. Just weeks ago, he and Blair had been happy, they had made something out of this arranged marriage that had seemed almost real, but here they were now, two broken people with one failed sham.
"Which one did you sign?" Chuck asked, curious to know how their marriage would end, but as Blair's eyes dropped to her bag, there was a shriek and they all turned their heads to find Lily being wheeled out of her room, an exasperated Bart by her side.
"She's coming," Lily cried out to them as the nurses pushed her to the delivery room.
Serena was the first shriek, hugging Eric as tightly as she could. Even Chuck couldn't stop smirking, knowing full well that soon he would have a new sibling, one that he would always cherish. It had amused him even more to see his father with his collar undone and his sleeves pushed to his elbows, sheer anxiety over his face as he disappeared with Lily down the hallway, but he knew that Bart would be strong. That's what Bass men were born to be.
As Serena moved to hug Blair, he wondered what it would've been like if Blair had really been pregnant. True, there had been part of him that had been absolutely terrified when she had told him, but another part had thought that maybe this was how it was always meant to be. He imagined that in half a year's time they could've been the ones in the hospital, Blair luminous even through childbirth and him, the doting husband ready for fatherhood. They could've had a family – they would've been a family.
"Are you excited?" Eric asked, siding next to his step-brother.
Chuck simply nodded, watching as the girls began to walk away and as he began to converse with Eric, if he had turned his head, he would've seen Blair giving him one last glance.
"So, what happens now?" Serena asked, picking up the water bottle from the vending machine and linking arms with Blair.
"What do you mean?"
"I was aware of that, S. I do have eyes." They stopped in front of the nursery, peering through the glass at the newborn babies.
"You told me you love him."
"Actually, I nodded when you asked me. The words did not slip from my lips," Blair replied. She remembered that moment before everything had gone completely wrong, before Nate had kissed her and Chuck had disappeared. It seemed a lifetime ago when in fact it had only been a week.
"Then do something. You're Blair Waldorf, remember?"
Blair looked at Serena inquisitively. "Since when did you support my marriage?"
"Ever since I realized that you and Chuck might actually belong together."
"I'm still being cautious about a Waldorf-Bass world takeover. But admit it, B, for some God knows reason, he makes you happy, doesn't he?"
Just as Blair was about to reply, she saw the devil himself making his way towards them. Serena noticed as well and tilted her head at him before excusing herself, knowing that it was about time the two finally talked.
"Where is she off to?" Chuck asked, eyeing as Serena 'casually' looked back at them as she walked off.
"Does it matter?" Blair asked.
Chuck looked down at her, watching as she turned her gaze to the babies in front of them. "I suppose not."
They stood quietly before Blair opened her mouth, unsure if now was the right time to bring up a topic that for long they had pretended to forget. "Do you ever wonder what would have happened if I had been pregnant?" Blair said, her tone pensive. She watched as a nurse lifted one of the crying babies and soothed it in her arms.
"I didn't realize we were on sentimental terms now, Waldorf."
He straightened his posture and shoved his hands into his pockets. "I do," he replied.
"Can you imagine us as parents, though?" Blair said with a chortle.
Without missing a beat, Chuck said softly, "You'd be wonderful," and Blair looked up at him, hope evident in her brown eyes and as she took one large sigh, ready to declare it all, when he quickly added, "I suppose it just wasn't meant to be."
And with just eight words, her heart stopped and Blair closed her eyes, the ghost of a smile lingering on her face.
"At least now, you can get what you always wanted," Chuck said.
Blair paused. "And what would that be?"
"Don't play games, Blair. You know exactly whom I'm talking about. Your Abercrombie prince," he said scornfully, but even she could hear the hurt evident in his voice.
Blair shook her head slowly, inhaling deeply as she let his words sink over her. She should've known that he had seen the kiss. He had seen them and that was why he had left and served her with the papers. And once more, he was pushing her away, believing that Nate was best for her.
She knew it was easy to simply walk away at that moment, to let this whole charade come to end, their marriage would be over and she would never have to worry about Charles Bass ever again, but she was Blair Waldorf and Blair Waldorf never gave up when her heart was telling her to fight.
"Chuck Bass," she began. He looked at her intrigued by the sudden strength in her voice, but then his gaze moved past her.
"Chuck, Blair!" Serena's voice called out and Blair groaned, as once again events occurred before she could speak. "It's happened!" Serena cried out as she ran towards them, her blonde hair flying behind her. "Mom's had a baby!"
Without delay, Chuck broke out into a grin, his attention fully on his stepsister. "Are you serious?"
"Would I be kidding about this?" Serena replied with a smile equally as big. "Come on!"
As Serena ran off with Chuck about to follow suit, he turned to Blair first and asked, "Were you going to say something?"
Blair considered it, but knew she couldn't spoil this moment for him. "I'll tell you later," she said and he nodded, chasing off after Serena.
"Congratulations, father," Chuck said proudly. He stood next to his father in Lily's room and watched as the baby girl was passed from a cautious Eric to an ecstatic Serena. Together, Serena and Blair cooed over the baby, giggling and chatting to a drowsy Lily.
"She's a beauty. Just like her mother," Bart replied and Lily looked up at him, laughing at his words. "If only we could figure out a name for her."
"You mean, you two haven't decided already?" Serena interrupted and her mother shook her head.
"Well, we did," Bart said, "but then up to ten minutes ago, Lily decided that she didn't like the name. She would've been Cadence Bass."
"How about Sophia?" Eric suggested, but once again Lily refused.
"Brandy?" Chuck joked, and both Serena and Lily glared at him.
"She could be an Anna?" Serena offered, but Lily shook her head once more.
After the suggestion of several more names, Lily took her baby into her hands and gazed at her daughter, "I want her name to mean something to our family, our large and crazy, but loving family. Chuck, you haven't held her yet." She looked up at her step-son who seemed alarmed by the thought but instantly moved to sit beside her. Lifting the baby gently, she placed her in Chuck's steady arms.
If there was one word to describe his baby sister, it was gorgeous. Just like Lily, she already had tufts of blonde hair sticking up on her head and her cheeks were red and puffy. She kept her eyes closed, but lifted her tiny hand and Chuck smiled, curling his finger over hers. Already, he could tell that she would be a heartbreaker when she grew older and if anything, she would always have a big brother ready to break some jaws if necessary.
"What about Hope?"
They all turned to look at Blair and she explained as the sight of Chuck and the baby warmed her heart. "If you name her Hope, then it could be a reminder that through it all, your family all came together in the end. After all," she kept her gaze firm on Chuck although this was unbeknownst to him, "it's hope that keeps us believing that good things will come in the end."
Lily and Bart both shared a look, and as their daughter was rocked to sleep in her brother's hands, Bart nodded and Lily said proudly, smiling at her family surrounding her, "Everyone, meet Hope."