I wasn't going to put this story up at first, seeing as the first chapter is pretty sad, but the others will be happier so I decided to do it. It takes place after the episode "The Blair Bitch Project," in other words before the SATs and before Georgina comes back. I hope you all like it!
Disclaimer: I do not own Gossip Girl, unfortunately. There just isn't enough Chuck/Blair/Nate drama on the show anymore for my liking.
My Saving Grace: Chapter I
She could see tires rolling by through hazy eyes. She blinked a few times, trying to adjust her vision. She heard a few loud horns honking, and it startled her so that she jumped up like an awaking jackrabbit.
"Where am I?" Blair Waldorf asked herself out loud. She stood up shakily and realized that she had been lying on a city sidewalk. She noticed how it--which was usually filled with bustling Upper East Side shoppers--was not crowded at all. Not one busy person passed by her. Blair's face scrunched as she tried to figure out what happened. "Did I walk here? Was I drunk? Did I pass out?" Blair realized that she wasn't dizzy and she didn't feel like throwing up. "But I must have been drunk. There's no other explanation." Blair shivered as she remembered what had happened the last time she got too drunk. She could just feel the gentle rocking of the limo, the warmth of Chuck Bass's breath on her neck, his talented hands caressing every inch of her body…
Blair started to walk down the street vigorously, trying to get Chuck out of her head. After what he said to her at the bar she vowed to never speak to him again, a vow that she had kept. She was tired of thinking about him, her ex-boyfriend Nate, and everyone else. She wished that things would return to normal. She tried to get her social queen reputation back, but her attempts had so far been futile. The only way to accomplish a rise back into popularity was probably to face the people that she was so sick of.
"What if I just went back in time and never went to Victrola," Blair thought, as if such a thing was possible. She suddenly realized that she was walking around aimlessly and decided to grab a cab. "Mom's probably freaking out." She raised her hand out and called for a taxi, but many just passed her by. Blair sighed. "Who would have thought it would be so freaking hard to get a cab in the largest city in the world?" she asked herself. Then Blair looked at the street sign and noticed that she wasn't too far from home. She shrugged. "I guess I could use the exercise."
Blair finally arrived at the steps of the building that contained her penthouse. As she walked up the building's steps and reached for the front door's handle, a man coming out threw it open. Blair withdrew her hand and looked at him incredulously.
"Way to nearly smack me with the door!" Blair exclaimed. She sighed angrily, reminding herself to try not to be so sarcastic towards people. However, the man didn't seem to notice; he just kept briskly walking away. Blair sighed again and shook her head. Then she turned and entered through the open doorway. The door was taking a little while to close.
"Someone ought to fix that," Blair thought. She walked up to the front desk. "Hey Cathy, I'm going up to my penthouse," Blair said to the check-in security clerk at the counter. The red-haired older woman kept looking down at the form that she was filling out. Blair raised an eyebrow. "Cathy?" she asked. The woman still didn't notice her. Blair turned around, perplexed. "That's weird. She's never ignored me before. Maybe her hearing's getting bad," Blair thought. She was walking towards the elevator when suddenly the elevator door opened and her mother came out, bawling into a tissue. Blair stopped in her tracks and watched her mother gasp through her sobs. Her mom's new love interest (the man who spent the night over at the Waldorf penthouse on Christmas Eve) walked with her, his arm behind her head.
"I don't believe it!" Eleanor suddenly exclaimed. She let out a whimper as if someone was hurting her. The two began to walk over to Blair slowly, when they suddenly turned and headed for the door. Blair watched them, not believing what she was looking at.
"Mom, what's wrong?" Blair asked. The response was an earsplitting cry. "Mom?!" Blair shouted again. Eleanor didn't seem to hear. Her boyfriend reached for the door and pulled it open. Blair ran over to them and exited along with them. Blair ran to her mother's other side as she walked down the steps. "Mom, what's going on?! What's wrong?!"
"She was so young…" Eleanor gasped. "She was so young…"
"Who?!" Blair asked. Her mother didn't reply. Blair shook her head slowly, trying to grasp onto some rationality. "Why is everyone ignoring me?!" she asked, coming up with no reasoning behind the situation. She followed her mom and her boyfriend to a taxi. She was about to climb in next to them when Eleanor closed the door. "Hey!" Blair exclaimed as she watched the cab drive away. "This isn't funny!" she called out. The taxi turned a corner. Blair remembered her mother's words about a young girl, and then she recalled all of the people who "ignored" her that day since she woke up on the sidewalk. Blair's eyes widened, and she suddenly felt sick.
"Don't be ridiculous," Blair thought. "This is just some big joke. You're not dead. You've been watching too many horror movies." That was when she realized that she hadn't seen a horror movie in a few years. Blair felt her heart beating faster, and she inhaled deeply. "Just relax. There's some explanation." She began to run down the street towards the Palace Hotel. "I'll go see Serena," Blair thought. "She'll let me know what's going on."
When Blair reached the Palace, she was completely out of breath. She bent down to regain air. Suddenly she heard a loud crash. She looked up to see Chuck, Serena, and Eric rushing out of the hotel. Chuck ran in front of his soon-to-be siblings and past a few walking bystanders. His trademark scarf flew behind his neck. He wore it even though it was springtime--though Blair couldn't tell that with the dark wintery clouds that were forming in the sky. Blair examined Chuck's face as he neared her, and she noticed that it looked even paler than usual. He was breathing so heavily as he ran that he could have been hyper venerating. His eyes seemed to bulge out of their sockets. Blair couldn't believe it. Chuck Bass, her old cool and composed lover, looked extremely worried.
"Chuck!" Blair called out, momentarily forgetting that she wasn't supposed to be talking to him. He stopped running right next to her. For a moment, Blair thought he heard her.
"Hurry up, Eric!" Chuck called out as he turned and looked behind him. Eric was trailing a while back behind his sister.
"I'm coming!" Eric called. As soon as Serena approached Chuck, Blair noticed that her eyes were filled with tears.
"Oh my God," Serena said as she stopped running. She was breathing deeply too. Chuck looked at her with sad, confused eyes. Blair knew he wanted to tell her something comforting. But he turned away, most likely realizing that he couldn't try to comfort someone else when he couldn't do the same for himself. Blair watched them with gaping eyes, as if she didn't know the people she was looking at.
"Serena, Chuck, can't you guys hear me?" Blair asked helplessly. She knew the answer, and couldn't explain to herself why she asked. Just as she suspected, neither of them heard her. Eric caught up with the two and tried to find his breath. Chuck quickly turned around and headed for the limo, which was already waiting for them. Serena sniffled, then slowly began to follow him. Desperate, Blair ran next to her. "S, it's me! Blair!" She reached her hand out to tap her best friend.
Blair's hand went right through Serena's arm as though it was air.
Blair's mouth dropped open as she died to let out a scream, but no sound escaped her dry throat. Serena's arm shook slightly and she frowned. She looked at her arm and rubbed it with her opposite hand.
"Are you okay?" Eric asked, noticing his sister's sudden arm rubbing. Serena looked at him and nodded.
"Yeah, I'm fine. My one arm just got a little cold for some reason." Eric looked at her as if she was speaking another language.
"Only one?" he asked.
"I don't know why. It's okay now, though." Serena grabbed her little brother's hand and ran for the limo. "Come on, we need to go." Chuck had already gotten in and was waiting for them. The two Van Der Woodsens entered and the limo sped off down the street. Blair watched it go as if all of her plans, hopes, and dreams for the future were physically inside it. She felt herself begin to shake.
"I'm dead. I'm dead."
She would never graduate from Constance Billard, and she would never go to Yale. She would never see the world, and she would never find out if she could make it in that world. She never would realize who exactly was her true love.
"I'm dead." She breathed in sharply. "I'm dead."
That was when Blair Waldorf discovered that ghosts could cry.
Blair never had a religion. She was a Christian by birth but she never went to any church, nor did she care to. She never thought about where she was going to go when she died because all she thought about was living greatly while she was alive. Blair did believe, however, that there was a place for the dead, and that it was most certainly not the Upper East Side of New York.
"Why am I still here?!" Blair asked herself. "Isn't there supposed to be some place that I get to go to and wear white dresses and halos or something?!" Then she remembered that halos belonged to angels. Blair doubted she was an angel, but she hated being a ghost.
After she had finished sitting and crying and wondering why she had to die, Blair rose and walked to the sidewalk that she had woken up on. By that time it was evening. Flashing police lights of scarlet and cerulean nearly blinded her as she approached the scene. She noticed that there wasn't any evidence of an accident and figured that it had all been cleaned up. Her mother was still there, and a policeman was desperately trying to get her to stop crying and talk to her. Blair spotted Serena and Chuck sitting on the curb. Chuck's one arm was around his crying soon-to-be stepsister, and his eyes were closed. Bart Bass and Lily Van Der Woodsen were there as well, speaking with a group of cops. Lily looked horrified, but Bart was his usual unexpressive self. Blair looked upon the scene through teary eyes, realizing why the sidewalk had been so bare. She didn't remember any policemen or trashed cars when she woke up, but then she realized that she had been too preoccupied with wondering how she got there in the first place.
"She was walking out of the restaurant," Blair heard the policeman tell her mother. "Mr. Baker's car lost control and moved onto the sidewalk. It stopped when it crashed into the restaurant, but unfortunately it had hit your daughter before the wall." Blair suddenly remembered that she had gone into the restaurant to throw up, because she had eaten some cheese fries earlier. Blair had been okay with her eating disorder until her social fallout happened. She had returned back to her old ways, and it had cost Blair her life. Eleanor continued to let out moans of devastation. The cop looked apologetic. "It was just a terrible accident," he continued. "I'm so sorry." Eleanor looked up at him, her face beet red.
"She's never coming back! She's never coming back!" Eleanor shouted. She broke into another fit of sobs. Her fists clenched and she banged them like a mental patient against her thighs. It was a fitting look, because for a brief moment Eleanor Waldorf had gone insane.
"I know," the policeman told her with a sad nod. "I know."
Blair felt tears running down her cheeks.
"Why wasn't I just happy with myself?"
She looked over at Chuck and Serena again. They seemed to be holding each other as if they would never let go. Blair sighed, knowing that she was never going to go shopping with Serena again or hear another smarmy Chuck Bass comment directed at her. Not that she had in the last few weeks.
"And not that I care."
On the day of the funeral, grey clouds accumulated over New York City and big raindrops fell from them. Up until that day, Blair had done nothing but wander around the Upper East Side, wondering why she was still there and feeling sorry for herself. Dogs always barked at her when she walked by, and she found it funny how they could sense such things. Blair went to her penthouse one time and found out when her funeral would be, but she couldn't stay there because her mother's depressed state made her feel even worse. Blair walked the streets, still one out of millions of passer byes, but the only one not alive.
Blair slept in Central Park. She never knew that ghosts could sleep. Being a ghost was like being alive, only it was much lonelier and she wasn't hungry at all. She was never even tired, but at least when she slept she wasn't feeling forlorn. She never dreamed; she just slept an uneasy sleep that she woke up out of frequently before drifting back into.
She hated not being able to talk to anyone. When her mother cried, she couldn't tell her that she was still there. Blair once tried to pick up a pen and write a message to her mom, but her hand had gone through the pen. She even tried going to her mom's laptop to type up a note but her hand went through the mouse and the keyboard. It frustrated and saddened her greatly. Being dead was bad enough; not being able to communicate with anyone made it worse. That ghost writer show she watched as a child was so inaccurate.
On her funeral day, Blair perked up a little bit. She was going to see her friends and her family altogether again for the first time in four days, even if they were coming to cry over her. When she got to the funeral home, she saw her mother there and the soon to be Bass-Van Der Woodesens. She caught sight of Nate Archibald, sitting in front and looking as glum as could be. Blair smiled, knowing that he had to regret dumping her now. Then her smile faded when she remembered that she would never get to hold him again. She would never get to kiss his lips again or listen to him say he loved her.
"Or not loved me."
Blair went into another melancholic period as she continued to look at her ex-boyfriend. A pastor got up and opened the ceremony by stating that everyone was moving to a cathedral nearby. The people got up to leave, some already crying. Blair was shocked to see Dan Humphrey there, but then she realized he was only there to comfort Serena. Jenny Humphrey was there too, and she sat close to Isabel Coates, Hazel, and a few other girls from Blair's school. Blair frowned and wondered just why they were there. She knew they couldn't care less about her.
"It's to keep up appearances," Blair thought. "I should know." She realized the sadness in the thought as she followed her guests out the door.
The funeral procession went by slowly, so Blair got to look at the other guests. Her father and Roman were there, and Eleanor must have been feeling truly needy for she allowed them both to sit next to her in front. Her love interest sat next to her as well, holding her hand and trying to console her. Rufus Humphrey was there too, sitting next to his daughter and her friends. Dan sat with Serena, who cried and cried into his shoulder. Dan wore a white dress shirt with black pants and a matching tie, and Serena wore an elegant black dress with a matching big hat and high heels. Practically everyone in the room was dressed in black, including Blair's parents.
Blair saw Chuck sitting next to his father. He wore a black suit like Bart did. Chuck sat leaning forward, his long legs parted. His arms rested on his thighs and his hands were folded so tightly that his knuckles turned white. Chuck lowered his head, only bringing it up to stand for a prayer. His eyes remained closed for a lot of the time he sat down. Blair wanted to think that he was stubborn and cruel for not crying for her, but for some reason she couldn't bring herself to do so. Instead she looked at Nate again. Nate wore a grey suit with a matching tie. He sat with his mother in the third row (his father was still not out of rehab). His mother looked distressed, but she could not compare to her forlorn son. Nate had to grab quite a few tissues and bawled his eyes out right there in the pew. Blair found herself smiling until her cheeks hurt, contrasting Nate's blubbering.
"You were wrong, Chuck. Nate really does care about me."
There were other people at the funeral: Eleanor's friends and business associates, Harold's friends, more people from Constance who came out of either sympathy or because they had nothing better to do. When Blair heard Hazel snicker about something near the end of the mass, Blair wanted to pick up a hymnal and throw it at her. Finally the mass ended and everyone was off to the graveyard. Blair didn't follow the group at first, for the whole thing was beginning to get to her. It was scary and surreal to be attending her own funeral and watch everyone be so sad for her. She didn't want to see her body be lowered into the ground. Blair sighed and looked at a burning candle for a little while before gathering the courage to go to the cemetery.
Blair discovered that there was one perk to being a ghost; she could imagine herself appearing anywhere and she would be there in the blink of an eye. Blair was at the cemetery in no time and surrounded by her family, friends, and ex-friends. The sobs of Eleanor, Harold, and Nate echoed through the area and traveled on the wind. Blair looked at her casket and suddenly turned away, wailing. She wasn't as ready to see it as she thought. She just didn't understand why it had to be her. She especially didn't understand why she had to witness it all and not cross over.
The priest adjourned the funeral and talked about where the after-luncheon would be. As people walked away, Blair kept staring down at her casket in haunted disbelief. She saw someone approach the casket out of the corner of her eye. She turned her head and saw Chuck standing over the grave, clutching a black umbrella in his hand. He looked down sadly, his eyes opened fully for the first time she had seen all day. His lips were closed and looked like ones out of a sad self-portrait. Chuck kept looking down with a drawn-out solemn face, appearing much older than he really was. Blair kept watching him, shocked at how upset he looked. They had been friends before their fling, but it had seemed all day that Chuck was still too angry with her to be sad.
Chuck turned around slowly and began to walk away. Blair watched him start to leave.
Chuck stopped in his tracks. Blair looked to see Nate running over to him, his blonde hair whipping back in the chilly wind. He didn't carry an umbrella, so the raindrops fell on his shoulders and wet his suit. He stopped running in front of Chuck, panting.
"How have you been?" Nate suddenly asked. Blair was surprised at the lightness in his manner. Chuck strained his eyes so he didn't look back at the casket.
"Not the best," he admitted. Nate put his hands in his pockets and sighed.
"I've been meaning to talk to you," Nate said. Chuck looked down at the soaking wet grass, not responding. Nate looked down too once he noticed that Chuck was averting his eyes. "It's sad now that Blair's gone, isn't it?"
"Yes," Chuck said simply. Blair crossed her arms, never taking her eyes off of them.
"She was a beautiful person," Nate said.
"She was," Chuck agreed. Blair loved to hear them say nice things about her, but she couldn't help but wonder what smart-aleck comment Chuck probably thought up in his head about Nate and didn't say. She smiled at the thought. There was a long pause. The sound of the raindrops hitting Chuck's umbrella seemed louder than ever.
"We haven't talked in awhile," Nate finally said, looking up again. Chuck looked like he wanted to say something, but he didn't. Nate smiled a little. "Chuck, what do you say we let bygones be bygones?" Blair was surprised at his words. Chuck was too as he looked back up at Nate with bewilderment.
"You're just going to let it go? After all of that?" Chuck asked.
"Come on man, we've always been best friends. I hated not talking to you and not hanging out with you. Blair got between us, but now…" Nate stopped. Blair's mouth dropped open, and Chuck looked at Nate in complete disbelief. They both knew what he meant.
"Nathaniel!" Chuck exclaimed with shock in his voice.
"What?" Nate asked. He acted as though he was oblivious to the statement he almost made. Blair felt like her heart was sinking to her feet. Nate certainly seemed to have found a silver lining in the dark cloud of his ex-girlfriend's death. He no longer looked sad and upset; in fact, he nearly grinned. All traces of tears had vanished from his eyes. Blair felt like crying herself.
Chuck shifted on his feet a little and looked down at the ground again. He sighed as he struggled to find words. Blair was curious to see what Chuck would say back.
"Do you think we could discuss this another time?" Chuck asked weakly, not meeting Nate's gaze once again. Nate nodded.
"Sure," Nate said. "You're coming to the luncheon, right?"
"I don't think so, Nathaniel." There was another pause. Nate looked like he wanted to ask why, but he didn't.
"Is Serena going to be there?" Nate asked. Blair scowled.
"I'm sure," Chuck said. He looked up at Nate, his eyes no longer sad but hardened. "With Humphrey," he added sharply. Blair found herself nodding at his words. Nate pulled down his grey suit jacket and gave Chuck another little smile.
"I guess I'll see you later then," Nate said. "I'll let you know if anything interesting happened at the luncheon." Chuck said nothing--he only watched Nate walk away. Blair felt her knees buckle, and she let herself fall to the ground. She began crying again and kept her blurry eyes on Nate as he walked to his limo. The man she thought she loved her whole life seemed to care more about the benefits of her being gone than her actual death. Blair was wrought with self pity, but she did manage to watch Chuck walk up to his father and tell him that he was going back to the Palace. Bart wanted to argue, but he didn't want to make a scene even more. He called up for a second limo, then left with his fiancée and her kids. Chuck waited there until the other limo showed up. Blair sat on the wet ground and was thankful that she couldn't feel the cold rain. Her tears stopped, and she soon became curious to see what Nate was doing at the moment.
"He's either sucking it up or laughing it up," Blair thought. She decided to go to the funeral luncheon after all. Blair imagined the place, and in a flash she was there. A waiter carrying trays walked through her and immediately shivered. Blair winced.
"Sorry," she said, although he couldn't hear her. She looked around and saw the large room where her funeral guests were. She walked into the room and immediately saw Nate and his mom sitting close to her dad.
"I hear France is lovely in the spring," Mrs. Archibald said. Harold didn't look like he was in much of a mood to talk.
"It usually is," he said. Blair smiled. She loved her dad, even if he did leave her and her mom. Blair looked over at her mom upon thinking of her. Eleanor occasionally spoke to a few of her friends very quietly, but for most of the time she sat and looked at her wine glass. Her glazed-over eyes gave the impression that she was mentally somewhere else. Blair realized that her mom really did love her, even if she had gotten on her case a lot. Blair looked and saw Serena and Dan sitting together. They were talking, but Serena looked extremely sad. Dan held her hand and stroked her fingers with his thumb gently. One time he leaned over and hugged her tightly. A few minutes before the food was served, Nate walked over to the two of them.
"Hi Serena. Dan."
"Nate, good to see you," Dan said. He reached his hand out and the two men shook hands.
"Nate, hi," Serena said. She stood up and gave him an awkward hug. Blair felt her eyebrows lowering, and she stopped herself, suddenly realizing that she had nothing left to be jealous of.
"I'm so sorry about Blair," Nate said. "You two were the closest best friends I've ever seen." Blair wondered which girl he was sorrier for.
"Despite everything, I know that she really loved you. We all cared about her," Serena said. Nate's eyes became bigger as he looked into hers. Serena sat down again, out of Nate's arms. "I just can't believe she's gone." Dan put his arm around his girlfriend.
"I know. It's a very sad thing," Dan said. Blair raised an eyebrow. Unless she missed his sarcasm, that actually sounded sincere.
"Does even cabbage patch feel bad?" Blair asked herself. Serena leaned into him, making Nate look like a third wheel. Dan cleared his throat and looked suddenly confident.
"She's alright though, you can guarantee that. Blair was a strong person. She could make it through anything," Dan said. Blair's stomach twisted into a knot, and suddenly she felt very guilty for treating Dan the way she had. Guys don't say personal comments like that just to make their girlfriends feel better. Serena looked at Dan and smiled a little.
"That's true," she agreed. She gave him a kiss on the cheek. Nate looked lost, and Blair couldn't help but smirk at that.
"I'm going to go sit back down," Nate stated. Serena reached out and took his hand.
"Blair loved you Nate, with her whole heart. I'm so sorry." Nate nodded and walked back to his seat. Blair noticed how Serena only spoke of how much she loved Nate and not the other way around. Blair leaned up against a wall and sighed as she watched Dan take a pitcher of water and refill Serena's glass as well as his own. She looked up at the ceiling and closed her eyes for few minutes. She looked at them all again as the waiters came in with food trays. She noticed Jenny Humphrey and her friends sitting at the far end of the long table, away from Jenny's father and brother.
"I don't like beef," Hazel commented. She sighed exasperatedly and looked at Jenny. "How much longer do we have to stay here?" Jenny looked at her empty plate for a minute, then back at Hazel.
"Did you want to go somewhere else?" she asked.
"Somewhere where the salads don't taste like cardboard," Isabel put in. Blair wanted to walk over and dump the mashed potatoes on all of their heads. Jenny sighed.
"Well…I guess we could go somewhere else." The other girls smirked, knowing they had won once again. Jenny stood up and grabbed her purse. "Let me just say goodbye." She walked over to Rufus, who was desperately trying to look at anything but Lily. "Dad, the girls and I are going to head out, okay?"
"Jenny, the food is here," Rufus said.
"I know. They all want to leave," Jenny said. She looked at him with puppy dog eyes, but she didn't press him further. She didn't seem her usual begging self. Rufus sighed and rested his chin on a knuckled hand.
"Alright, you can go. Just make sure you say goodbye to Mrs. Waldorf."
"I will. Thanks dad." Jenny slowly walked over to the other side of the table. Rufus and Dan looked at each other and slowly shook their heads. Blair couldn't believe how genuinely sad Jenny looked as she approached Eleanor. "Mrs. Waldorf, some of the girls and I have to leave." Eleanor looked up from her wine glass, though she still didn't feel like being perky and social.
"So soon, Jenny?" Blair was surprised. She didn't know her mother knew Jenny's name.
"Yeah, they have to do something. Thank you for letting me and my brother come, though."
"Think nothing of it," Eleanor said. Jenny began to turn around, then she turned back. "Mrs. Waldorf?"
"I'm very sorry. For everything." Eleanor smiled a little. Blair found it ironic that Jenny seemed to be apologizing for more than her mother knew.
"Thank you Jenny."
"Did you hear the pastor say how Blair made the most of everything that everyone gave her?"
Blair turned to see Isabel looking back and forth at all the Constance girls, eagerly awaiting an answer. Hazel laughed slightly.
"I'll say she did," Hazel replied in a whisper. "The pleasure from two different men in the same week says it all."
"At least she got to experience good sex and bad sex before she died," Isabel said. She leaned in. "Nate is gorgeous, but I don't think he would ever compare."
"How would you know, slut?" Hazel asked her. A few giggles were held in. Isabel smiled widely, and Blair couldn't tell if her following reply was a joke or a serious answer.
"Let me just tell you girls that Chuck Bass may be a man-whore, but damn does he do his job well!" The girls started laughing, unable to control themselves this time. Bart, Lily, and Rufus all noticed and looked at them disapprovingly. When Jenny came back to the table, they all ceased their laughing, stood up, and followed her out of the room obediently. Blair watched them go angrily.
"There they go. The people whose approval mattered so much."
Blair sat in Jenny's old seat and looked at everyone around her. She kept thinking about all of the things she was going to miss out on. At one point she tried to pick up a dinner roll and put it on Eric's plate randomly, but she still couldn't grab anything. Soon the luncheon was over. Blair watched as Dan and Serena kissed each other goodbye and as Eleanor and Harold said farewell to everyone. Blair walked out next to her mom, thinking that she must have felt much worse than she did.
When everyone was gone, Blair sat outside of the restaurant in the rain. She leaned down and looked at her shoes, thinking about what she could do. She felt lost, a ghost without a purpose.
"I should go somewhere fun. Maybe Hawaii. Then again, traveling is kind of purposeless when you can't really do anything." Blair thought about the ghosts in those movies that scared people and she wondered why she couldn't pick things up and have a little fun like that. She sighed. "I guess I could always go spy on people." Blair suddenly jerked up and smiled. "Yeah, I'll go do that." First she went to the Humphrey lot, because for some reason what Dan had said earlier was still on her mind. It wasn't very interesting. Rufus fell asleep on the couch and Dan wrote in a journal. Blair didn't want to find Jenny and her witchy friends, so she decided to take the alternative and see her ex. Nate was in his penthouse with his mother.
"This is awful. Just awful," Mrs. Archibald muttered. Nate sat down on the couch, still dressed in his grey suit.
"Mom, calm down," Nate said. He reached for his ipod which rested on the glass-top coffee table.
"The Waldorfs were crucial to our business," Mrs. Archibald said. "Eleanor is not going to want to do any work for a while in her distressed state." Nate turned his ipod on.
"Is that all you care about?" he asked. Mrs. Archibald picked up a nearby newspaper.
"What do you mean?" his mother asked. Nate looked at her, then slowly shook his head and looked away.
"Never mind." He forgot that his mom was good at reading his mind.
"Of course I care about Blair's death." Mrs. Archibald licked her finger and flipped a page of the paper. "You should too. She was, after all, supposed to be your perfect match. But you let your father and me down." Nate looked a little agitated.
"I care about her death too, mom. You know that." He let his thumb roll over the circle on the ipod as he looked at his playlist. "She just wasn't my future." Blair looked at the red rug on the floor, realizing how much his words hurt her.
"I suppose you were right." Mrs. Archibald sighed. "Unfortunately."
Blair didn't know that much drama went on in the Archibald residence, and frankly she couldn't care anymore. Obviously Nate wasn't as upset as he wanted people to believe. Heartbroken, Blair walked to the door and through it into the hallway. She was tired of being sad. She thought everyone would miss her so much, but it didn't seem that way unless she counted her family.
"Hey, maybe I can go see Serena," Blair suddenly thought. In a matter of milliseconds she was at the Bass-Van Der Woodsen suite in the Palace Hotel. Serena, Lily, and Eric were sitting on the couch watching a movie together. It was a Jim Carrey comedy, but none of the three looked in the mood to laugh. Serena was leaning against her mother, and Eric yawned and looked ready to fall asleep. Blair raised an eyebrow as she wondered where Chuck and Bart were.
Blair hadn't seen him since the early afternoon at the cemetery. She remembered how sad he had looked. Blair ran frantically through a wall, looking for Chuck's room. When she found it, she saw Bart standing outside of a closed bathroom door.
"I just can't believe that you would embarrass me like that in front of all those people, especially Mr. and Mrs. Waldorf," Bart said sternly. The bathroom door suddenly swung open, startling Blair. Chuck stood in the doorway, wearing a white t-shirt and a pair of dark green sweatpants. His dark brown hair was wet and uncombed; she guessed Chuck had just come out of the shower. Blair didn't know Chuck was capable of dressing so casually.
"He looks almost sexy," Blair thought. Images of the night of her seventeenth birthday suddenly flashed in her head like a montage, and she covered her face in her hands to hide an embarrassed and lustful smile that no one could even see. Chuck's dangerous, heart-stopping stare at his father interrupted Blair's thoughts and caused her to drop her hands.
"I couldn't go there," Chuck said gruffly. "Not when half of the room was filled with fakes."
"What in God's name are you talking about?" Bart asked. Chuck laughed sadly.
"You can't tell me that they care about her, father. Those bitches from Constance, Nate…"
"I don't know what happened between you and Nate Archibald, but he was such a good friend to you. Don't call him a fake, and don't call those girls bitches either," Bart said. His tone of voice remained composed even though his grey-blue eyes bulged with annoyance and impatience. Chuck couldn't say the same as he brushed past his father and went for a comb on his dresser.
"I'm so sick of them all." Chuck closed an open drawer loudly, and he literally looked disgusted. "They throw yogurt on her head as she walks into school and he doesn't treat her right for years, and suddenly they're all compassionate and sorrowful?! They're so full of shit!"
"You swear once more and you won't talk for a week," Bart threatened harshly. Chuck exhaled loudly, trying to control his inner rage. His nostrils were flaring and his mouth was formed into a furious grimace. "You can't help the way people are, Charles," Bart added. "Besides, you're not one to criticize. You're not the purest teenager on the Upper East Side yourself, much to my dismay."
"At least I can admit it," Chuck said fiercely under his breath. He grabbed the comb and brushed his hair. Blair couldn't believe the assuredness in Chuck's voice. Her eyes were frozen on him as if he were the main protagonist in some Greek tragedy, the one who spoke nothing but the truth. Bart shook his head disapprovingly at his son.
"All I know is that you had better not embarrass me like that again," Bart said. Chuck lowered the brush and placed it back on the dresser. He looked up at his father's image in the mirror.
"Blair's dead, and still all you can think about is how you look in front of everyone," Chuck stated loathingly. Bart walked forward until he stood directly behind Chuck.
"When it comes down to it, that's all that really matters," Bart said. Chuck looked at his own reflection as if he hated the person looking back.
"No it's not." Chuck turned to the side and walked away from the mirror and his father. He went to the center of the room, stopped and sighed. "Blair's dead just because she cared too much about that." Blair hated to hear that. The only thing she hated more was admitting to herself that it was the truth. Blair didn't know if ghosts had hearts or something that resembled them, but when she looked at Chuck she felt hers racing. He really did know her better than anyone.
"It all depends on who can handle the pressure," Bart said. He walked over again and patted his son on the shoulder. "Stop fretting over it." Chuck didn't reply. "I'm leaving for Seattle tonight," Bart said. "You'll be alright?" Chuck looked up at his father over his shoulder.
"Am I allowed to be anything but?" he asked. His father looked at him for a few silent minutes, then dropped his hand off of Chuck's shoulder.
"You'll be fine." Bart turned around and walked out of the room, closing the door behind him. Chuck stood alone for a few minutes, staring at absolutely nothing. Blair walked over to him slowly, as if she were afraid. She stopped when she got to his side and gazed upon him in disbelief.
"You really do miss me, don't you Chuck?" Of course, he didn't reply. Blair suddenly remembered what he had told her on her birthday. "Then those butterflies were real," she said to herself, her voice shaking. After a few more minutes, Chuck turned and walked to the bathroom. He shut off the light and went over to his bed. Blair watched him, a hole of regret forming in her stomach or whatever she had that felt like a stomach. Chuck lied down on his side and let out a soft moan, whether from tiredness or sadness Blair couldn't tell.
Blair walked over and sat on the side of the bed that he was facing. Chuck stared in front of him, and Blair could've sworn he was looking at her. The fingers on his one hand drummed the matress slowly for a little while and then stopped. Blair bent down and brought her face close to his at one point, and he didn't even flinch. Suddenly Chuck sighed and got up off the bed. He ran over to his bedroom door and locked it. Blair sat on the bed, twisting and turning as she watched him run back and forth.
"What is he doing?" she wondered. Chuck ran back over to his bed and suddenly he laughed a little.
"I can't believe I'm doing this," he said to himself. He sighed again and ran a hand through his hair. Blair could tell he was awfully nervous about something.
"Chuck? Nervous? Girl, you're imagining things," Blair thought.
"Now, how did mom say I should do this?" Chuck asked himself out loud. He rolled his tongue in his cheek as he tried to remember something he heard a long time ago. Blair became extremely confused--until she saw Chuck getting down on his knees. He folded his hands on top of the bed. Blair drew in a breath.
"No way. No f-ing way."
"Hi God. It's Chuck."
Blair swore that her brain exploded in her head, not being able to comphrehend the information that was transmitted. A surprised gasp involuntarily came forth from her throat. She looked at Chuck, absolutely flabbergasted.
"You have got to be kidding me!" Blair exclaimed. "This is so not happening right now!" She moved over on the bed so that she kneeled directly over Chuck. She pointed down at him with one shaking finger. "You're Chuck Bass. Chuck Bass doesn't pray."
"Just like Blair Waldorf doesn't go to confession." Blair's face fell, recalling that she had done a similar thing in a moment of crisis. One that involved him, ironically.
"I know it's been a long time. I don't think I've done this since I was...what, twelve? Thirteen?" Chuck wondered. Blair found it cute how he prayed out loud. Chuck's eyes were closed, and his mouth parted slightly as he drew in a breath. "You know better than anyone that I'm the last guy to be asking for any favors, but…I really need this." Blair leaned her face down close to his, and noticed how firmly his hands were folded together. He looked more serious than she had ever seen before in her life.
"I need you to take care of Blair," Chuck said. Blair was taken aback. Chuck stopped talking for a minute, and gulped before continuing. "Whether she's with you or not, I don't know. I don't know where we go when we're dead. Just please watch out for her. I don't know why she's gone…all I know is that I love her."
Blair brought both of her hands to her face and covered her gaping mouth.
"You love me?!" Blair's chest suddenly felt very heavy. She dropped her hands and looked at him in shock. "After all I've done to you?!" Chuck lowered his head down in between his arms and kept it there for a few quiet minutes. Blair let a heavy sob escape from her throat, not believing how he could still care about her so. She remembered all of the years she had known him, all of the times he had been there for her, and all of the cruel things they had said to one another. She knew she had broken his heart, and she had ignored it.
"And let her know I'm sorry." Chuck spoke in a barely audible voice, but Blair was able to make out his words. "Let her know I'm sorry for saying those things and for trying to make her give up Nate."
"No Chuck, I'm sorry!" Blair exclaimed, jumping forward and looking at him with large, teary eyes. "I'm sorry for all that I put you through! I'm sorry for never acting on what I felt!" Blair never took her eyes off of Chuck as she let the warm moisture flow down her cheeks. She remembered how she chose Nate over him and regretted it ever since. She remembered all of the times she had thought about Chuck as the days went by and how she tried to convince herself that she didn't have feelings for him.
"I'm sorry for never admitting that I loved you."
Blair suddenly thought she heard Chuck sniffle. Chuck raised his head up, though his eyes didn't open. He brought a hand over and wiped away the tears rolling down his cheeks, leaving his face wet. Blair felt her chest heaving; she hated to see him hurting so much. She wanted to reach over and hold him so badly. She wanted to let him know that she was there, but she knew she would just go through him. Chuck bit his lower lip and he rested his forehead on the bed. His shoulders went up and down once.
"Take care of her," Chuck said, his voice trembling slightly. "Wherever she is, take care of her and let her know that I love her." Blair continued looking at him, and when she spoke again her voice was hoarse yet tender.
"Don't cry Chuck. I'm here." Unable to resist any longer, she took her hands and gently laid them on his.
They didn't go through.
Blair felt a warmness overcome her entire being, and she knew what she was going to do.
"I'm here. I'll never leave you alone again."
End of Chapter I.