Baby, I'm Drowning in Blood
Disclaimer: If I owned Gossip Girl, then I would be married to Chuck Bass, but my ring finger is still disappointingly bare.
He rubs the mud out of his eyes and tries to wipe his face clean with his hand. It's even dirtier and does nothing except make it worse. He spits, noticing vaguely that his saliva is brown, mixed with the grime that is everywhere. He really wishes that he had his helmet but it was lost a week ago in the confusion. He'll just have to make do without it.
It amuses him to think about how these eight months are the very opposite of how he has lived the rest of his life. Luxury used to be never-ending, now it would mean a drink of clean water, starving used to mean craving, now it means real intense hunger gnawing at him. His musings are interrupted when one of the other men he is with yells,
"Sergeant!" He snaps his heard around to look sharply at the man calling him.
"Yes, Burry?" he asks testily, displeased by the disturbance.
"Hey, genius, you have the map. Want to use it to give us directions?"
the third man in their group asked sarcastically. This treatment would never have been tolerated towards a senior officer except for two things, one, they're lost in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do except tease each other and walk, and two, they've known each other before their "military careers".
The sergeant groans inwardly wondering how Mistress Fate could have been cruel enough to assign the third man in his platoon. Enough blood had been in their past and when he had received the new, he was sure that they would have killed each other without even going into battle. Fate had then been even crueler by losing them in the unfamiliar terrain of a strange country, isolated from all friendly contact and surrounded by enemies. But it turns out that when two men who dislike each other intensely must face hunger, despair and death together, banter fueled by real hatred becomes friendly exchanges.
"Corporal Humphrey, I gave you everything you needed an hour ago. Walk straight."
"Ah, a rare insight into the sergeant's great mind of geography." Corporal Humphrey replies, "Which if I'm correct, you failed in high school." with a playful punch at the sergeant's arm.
The sergeant smirks, trying to stop his features from twisting into a grimace of pain as the corporal accidentally hits his secret wound. It was a purplish green around the edges of where the bullet had entered. He had bound it tightly in private, it wasn't necessary for the others to know about it when they had so much more to worry about. He would get it treated if they found the rest of the American Force.
He changes his statement, in his mind, from if to when, because he knows he must find his way home and into her waiting arms. Every step he takes, his injured arm pounds with pain, his legs rebel, his feet protest and his stomach screams with emptiness. They only reason that he doesn't drop to the ground right now, give up on blind faith and everything he's clinging to for a week full of overpowering despondency, and refuse to ever move again is the thought of her in her safe, usual surroundings. It's funny how the thought of her and their home together are enough to make him feel ecstatically. It used to take so much more than that, but now even the least can satisfy him. He's determined to return to her, to feel, taste, smell, see and hear her once again and forget that any of this has ever happened.
He's seen so many things he's never expected or wanted to see, men dying, blood pouring and pain screeching. To be with her might make him forget although all of this is much too memorable, the merge of every terrorism group in the world, the attack upon Washington that took more than five thousand live leading to the declaration of full out global war which is now officially World War III, is much to hard to forget.
People had expected this to blow past, for the militants to be crushed in a month by the rest of the Word. Yet two years and twenty million live of now-dead soldiers later, the war still rages. Almost every man over the age of 18 in the world has now enlisted and fighting in various part of the world, all far away from home, no matter where that was. But the sergeant's home had always been le meilleur, had always seemed invincible, irreplaceable and most of all, unchanging. But even the mighty Upper East Side had been touched by the war of the millennium. The rich and wealthy had been dragged into the muck too because you're not elite anymore when terrorists have annexed your billion dollar empires. La crème de la crème were fighting in the gutter along with everyone else they had stuck up their affluent noses at all those years. Money meant nothing at a time where death was snapping at everyone's heels.
Social hierarchy was still there at the beginning when everything was calm, orderly and right. It's the only reason that his rank is so much higher than it should be. Now the world is in chaos and Sergeant Chuck Bass is remembering the day he entered it.
Eight months earlier
She doesn't know until he comes back in uniform. He calls her names and asks her to come into the living room of their extensive, luxurious townhouse. She comes in muttering about outfits.
"…the necklace would go perfectly-YOU ENLISTED?"
she bursts out when she first catches a glimpse of him. Her mouth is hanging open in surprise, she never expected him to volunteer for anything athletic. It's true, he's not much of the fighting type with good reason as the army doesn't even allow his scarves.
"Look, there's no reason to be upset. I'll probably be an officer, there's not much of a chance they'll send me out on the field." he says, knowing the words are lies but not really caring. He'll do anything to make her feel reassured.
"That's fine. But why, it's so dangerous?"
"Blair, this war isn't ending by itself. I have to do something, people need me."
Blair pulls him into a hug and whispers into his ear,
"You sound like a perfect hero."
Two months later
It's a typically beautiful day, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and in the world around them, the war is still raging. Maybe beautiful is a slight stretch, but for the past year or so, that has been the closest they can get as the war is never-ending.
She's coming home from a grueling day of shopping, wrestling with wrong shoes sizes and un-stylish clothing. He meets her at the front door, takes her many bags and hands her a glass of red wine. He knows he's go to get her good and drunk for this.
He places his hands over her eyes and leads her out into the garden. This is going to maybe soften the blow and give him a chance that his eardrums are still intact when he drops this bomb on her (figuratively as he'll be doing plenty of that later). When he removes his hands, she squeals delightedly at the sigh in front of her. It's an exquisite fountain of spewing butterflies created of the finest white marble. There's a bench, just large enough for two, very in-love people. She exclaims over its perfection, gushes over the butterflies and finally falls silent, looking at him expectantly, her eyes suspicious.
He shrugs at her glance as if to say "What?". He's really dreading this moment.
"What do you want to say?" she asks, "it's something bad isn't it.
"You know me too well."
he says, seating her on the bench and kissing her affectionately on the cheek.
"What?" she says exasperatedly, "Did you sleep with some army girl on steroids? Because I really-"
"Blair." he says quietly and shuts her ramblings up. He reaches silently into his breast picket and hands her a folded sheet of paper, staring at his feet. He thinks that maybe he should have brought earplugs and mentally prepares himself. But what he expect doesn't happen and all he hears is a sharp intake of breath and when he looks up, she's already gone. He blinks, surprised and then follows her inside the house. He finds her in their bedroom, tears streaming down her face. She looks up when he enters and sits beside her on the bed, taking her hand in his.
"You said you wouldn't have to go." she says, with a slight note of accusation.
"Things have changed. I really didn't expect o." He replies softly, playing with her engagement ring.
"But now you're leaving in ONE week!" She wails, throwing a pillow against the wall.
He's surprised again, she had been so quiet before. The only time he's ever seen her lose control like this was when they were choosing their engagement ring at Cartier. She had thrown her purse at the salesman, exclaiming loudly that nothing was perfect enough. A quick visit to Tiffany's had fixed that problem easily. He had been quite amused then but now it doesn't seem quite as funny.
"Where are you going to be stationed?" she asks, suddenly calmer.
Uh-oh. Bad news, Blair.
"China." he mumbles.
"CHINA?!" she screams, "THAT'S SO FAR AWAY! HOW LONG?"
Chuck looks away. " A year term."
"WHAT?" she seethes,
" A YEAR ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD?! GET OUT! LEAVE ME ALONE!"
she yells, throwing another pillow and plopping herself face down on the bed.
As he walks slowly and hesitantly away, he thinks Damn, it started out okay.
Think what you want if it makes you feel better.
"Hmmm?" he asks, dazedly.
"I was saying it's dark now. we should find somewhere to camp. Corporal says he thinks he sees a barn."
"Dark or not, there's really no difference. The sky is gray all the time, a thick fog fills the air as if an eerie omen. The ground is soggy and snatches greedily at their feet and makes it harder to move at a time where nothing should be more difficult. But dark only signifies that it's time to sleep, to toss and turn forlornly in the desolate air, dreaming fervently of home.
"Where did you see it?" the sergeant asks wearily.
Corporal Humphrey points into the distance and sure enough there's a shapes remotely close to a building. The three men stumble towards the shape. They get lucky, really, really lucky. It's not a barn, it's a storage building, once full with excess. It's much emptier now but it's a lot more than the three men have seen in a week of barrenness. There are canned foods, a couple of dusty waterbottles and packages of other preserved foods. They eat as if they've never eaten before and they haven't, not for a week anyways. He regretfully tells them to save some of it and they stow food in the army issue backpacks and curl on the dusty floor for the first night without hunger.
He closes his eyes and falls into not sleep, but the closest he can get to it. He swims, lives in his memories.
He listens as everything breakable breaks in the path of her fury. He thinks worriedly that the maid will have a lot to do and that he'll have to do a damages assessment before he leaves. Some of the things in there were really quite valuable like the historical vase showcased. He shakes the thoughts out of his head, dismissing them as stupid. He notices with mass proportions of relief, the fact that the crashing, shattering and ripping had stopped. The sounds of water running comes from upstairs, she's taking a bath. Destruction probably is tiring and deserves relaxation. His head runs with thoughts, preparation thoughts, departure thoughts, war thoughts, love thoughts, anxiety thoughts. They're so confusing and so demanding, like Blair and he doesn't notice she's finished her shower and has come down the stairs. So when he jumps out of his skin when she places her hands on his shoulders.
"Fuck!" he exclaims. "Blair, you scared the shit out of me."
She giggles and pulls his hand down to sit with her on the couch. She looks at him intensely with those gorgeous eyes and says,
"Look, I just wanted to say sorry about upstairs. I don't want you to leave."
She cuddles into his chest and continues.
"Hey, I don't want this week before you leave to be all depressing. We're going to be happy and have fun like nothing's happening."
"Thanks. That's great."
Chuck says relieved, kissing her passionately on the lips. He pulls away when he's hit with an idea. He finds he's unable to be his usual snarky self.
"Listen, I was thinking….maybe we should have our wedding before I leave."
She gasps, surprised. She's wanted it for forever, ever since they were engaged two years ago, but he's always been so afraid of the commitment.
"Really?" she blubbers excitedly, clapping her hands like a little child.
He smiles at her antics. "Really." he says.
"Oh my god, I'm going to be so rushed. The caterer, the flowers, the guest, WHERE ARE WE GOING TO HAVE IT?"
"Relax, B It doesn't have to be huge. All we really need right now is a priest, our backyard and ourselves. We can have the event of the year when we get back."
"Okay, that's fine I guess. But my parents have to be here. And Serena and Nate."
"And along with Mrs. Humphrey comes Mr. Humphrey too. Cabbage Patch's coming, I suppose."
Chuck groans. "Blair, please, a black eye isn't really the wedding accessory of the year."
"Serena's never going to forgive us if we don't invite him. She'll drag him here anyways."
On the other side of the world, Blair Bass is rummaging through her memories. She's sitting on her cream colored suede couch, a book limp in her hands. These days she's always sitting or lying down, there's not much else she can do in her condition. She tiredly runs her hand over her swollen belly and smiles, thinking that the baby will be a little devil. Witty, manipulative and snobby all in doubled proportions from her mother and father. Blair sighs, the father. She misses Chuck Bass so damn much, more than she ever knew was possible. And she's so scared, and so worried and she feels emotions to extremes she's never felt before. She feels like a psychiatrist, examining her own feelings. She's scared because bombs are dropping and bullets are flying and he might be dying. But oh, no, she can't think that. She's worried for the same reasons but she can't think that either. Oh, she feels sad too, but the reason's obvious. She's tired, tired of waiting, tired of hoping, tired of everything.
Tired of pacing around the front door of her house and wrenching the door impatiently open when the thump of the newspaper is delivered, tired of scanning throw the MIA, Dead and Injured Soldiers column for news, and tired of haunting the post office in desperate hope that the mail service had been resurrected. Tired of him not knowing.
It's three months after he leaves when she gets the news. She's been throwing up in the mornings and she blames it on stress. But the doctors tell her it's a mini-Blair growing inside of her and when she rushes to write him a letter (there's no email reception there), the mail service has broken down from the last week she's been there. So he has no idea that he has spawn.
Her heart is tugging weirdly as it always does when she thinks of him. It yearns to be with him, even if it means no showers, disgusting bugs, thick slimy mud and stiff ugly clothes. Okay, her heart yearns a little less about that stuff. But she still wants him, wants him so bad that if she could, she would go back through time and force him to un-enlist. People might need him, but nobody needs him more than her.
The wait is so agonizing, made even more painful by lack of knowledge. She can do nothing except count the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and months till his return. It's a repetitive minute after minute of moping around, twiddling her thumbs and wishing for and imagining his touch, his kisses, his words, his quirks, his everything. But for now, all she can do is reminisce about every moment with her love.
Their wedding day is as gorgeous as the bride and groom themselves. That's a lot to say when a rosy-cheeked Blair was a radiating whirl of a romantic 20, 000 dollar wedding gown, tantalizing perfume and happiness. Hovering half-beaming and half-smirking around her was a triumphant and proud Charles Bass, slightly incredulous that he had managed to capture this glowing, splendid creature.
It managed to meet the standards though, with the sun glowing as much as the happy couple, illuminating the bright blue sky which was adorned with fluffy, cheerful clouds. With the sun's heat, it still wasn't overtly hot because of a light flowing breeze that caused the trees to sway in beat and the flowers to dance. A gold plated archway had been constructed and the sun glanced off the reflective surface, throwing blinding light everywhere.
The guests had all arrived, there weren't very many. Bart Bass, Mrs. Bart Bass aka Mrs. Lillian van der Woodsen (fourth time is a charm), Harold Waldorf (alone, Blair had insisted that Roman should have to go through the risk of the peril-filled flight from Paris. As if she gave two shits about his safety), a slightly crest-fallen Nate Archibald, an unbelieving Dan Humphrey and Serena van der Woodsen (Blair Bass, her best friend is so full of surprises) and a disapproving Eleanor Waldorf. To her, quiet simple wedding to socialite is equal to love to Chuck Bass. It shouldn't happen but it does.
"B! I can't believe this is the last time I'll ever talk to Blair Waldorf."
"We've been engaged for two years, Serena. That's a year longer than you and Brooklyn."
"Hey, he said he was just to shy to ask." Serena said reproachfully.
"I had to ask him to ask me. At least your was a surprise and you got TWO ENGAGEMENT RINGS. One for the proposal and one you actually liked. From Chuck Bass?!
"The proposal ring was actually pretty nice. I just wanted two since he offered."
"Blair, you haven't changed." Serena laughs.
"Offering two rings, that's so thoughtful.But Chuck Bass?! I never dreamed that you would marry him. Maybe not dreamed, nightmared more like. I mean, eww?!"
Serena wrinkled her nose and the bride laughed.
"Hey, don't insult the groom on his wedding day. He's the man I'm marrying that I never expected either. But he's changed, S, he can be so sweet and not perverted sometimes. He makes me sick in a good way. I don't want him to leave tomorrow."
There was a thoughtful silence as the best friends felt a funny little wave of nostalgia. Both of them didn't notice as someone slipped into Blair's room.
Chuck slipped his arms around her waist and simultaneously whispered into her ear.
"Ready for our after wedding celebration?"
Grinning, Blair commented to Serena.
"I take back what I said."
Serena snorted. Chuck nipped Blair playfully on the ear.
"Talking about me were you? Telling poor Serena how pleasurable it is to enjoy my sexy boy. Don't worry, S, you can have a free sample right now. Humphrey doesn't even have to know."
"If he knew about this conversation, you would be sporting a black eye. Bass, you're still disgusting."
"It's why I'm getting married today, isn't it? Now the reason I'm here isn't for a secret rendezvous, although I really wouldn't mind."
Chuck winked suggestively and Blair slapped him on the arm.
"Aggressive, huh? You can take your anger out on me after the ceremony, I'm all yours. Anyway, I came to tell you that the ceremony's starting and it's no used without the bride and the maid-of-honor."
Blair whines, suddenly nervous.
"I'll warm you up later, I promise."
Blair rolls her eyes, there's no doubt in her mind that he will.
Five minutes later, she's walking slightly unsteadily down the aisle. When she reaches the alter, uncertainty gnaws at her. This hasty marriage, it couldn't be because he was sure he wasn't coming back, could it? Was he so sure he was going to his death, that he wanted to fulfill his life? The minister begins and concentration, usually so easy for her, runs out of her grasp. When the minister turns expectantly to her, she's confused and can't speak the two words.
"Chuck." she whispers. He looks surprised and bewildered.
"I can't do this, Chuck, because this means you don't think you're ever coming back when you leave tomorrow."
His eyes soften.
"No, believe me. I'll be back. All I want is a Mrs. Bass waiting for me at home."
She stares into his espresso colored eyes, smoldering with emotion and nods slowly.
"Let's do this." she whispers. "I do."
They're married a few minutes later. Together they equal one whole, but a whole that has so much more than the others.
"FUCK!" Chuck yelled. He knew these sounds, having heard them way too may times. Bombs are dropping, there close by. Someone from up above has spotted them and it's not just, merciful God.
"RUN!" he shouts, upset that they're in a plain field with no cover. They take off at a sprint towards the trees nearby and the ditch. He's been leading the way, determinedly trudging in front of them in a trance so he's closest to safety. Dan has been close behind his fervent steps, eager but not obsessive to find his way back to Serena. The young Burry has been far behind, following their tracks, shy and still slightly uncomfortable. Something explodes in front of him, hurling back violently turds of earth. He spits and blows his nose frantically while running so he can breathe. He runs throw the haze of dust and swirling dirt and throws himself enthusiastically into the ditch. There's no chance the men in the helicopters can see him now and they probably assume he's turned into particles by the missile and its impact that narrowly missed him.
He's panting and his heart is beating so loudly that a doctor wouldn't need a stethoscope to hear that he's almost having a heart attack. He hears similar noises coming from Humphrey a hair's breadth away from him and expect to hear a third man. There's not a third set of breathing and he turns his head expectantly to the side and notices that Burry is about ten meters away. The bombs have stopped falling and Chuck breathes a sigh of relief. They're all fine. Terrified and about to pee in their pants, but alive. That's when it starts.
It's a low whistle at first. Whhhooooooooossssshhhhhh. It gets slightly louder as it nears the ground. Whoooosh. Whoooossh. Whooooshhh. WHOOOOSSSHHH. He watches on horrified as the ground tears itself up around the private. Bullets from machine guns.
"No!" he yells. He gets up to run to Burry, to do something, except for watch a guy that he's survived through everything die. He halfway onto his feet when he finds he can't get up. He looks back to see if his uniform is hooked onto something and finds that Dan is holding on to him and saying something. Chuck watches his mouth move dazedly but can't actually hear him over the noise. He struggles, wriggling to get out of his grasp. Dan keeps his grip and pull Chuck down to his level.
"You can't save him if you kill yourself." His voice is splitting with emotion.
Chuck meekly stops his struggle, not moving as he watches the bullets raining down. A few minutes later, the commotion is over and the dust settles. In the distance is a familiar crumpled figure.
"FUCK! NO!" he yells as he charges to the body. He cares so much about the life and death of a person he doesn't really know right now. He's by his side quickly and the body is obviously lifeless, full of glistening holes. Chuck refuses to accept it.
"Fuck, man, you're alive. Come on, I know you're fucking alive." He half-begs, half-declares. Chuck reaches for the pulse, knowing he was hoping desperately and stupidly that he would feel a beat. There's nothing.
"No, no, no…NO." Chuck is screaming hysterically and irrationally. Tears are surprisingly filling his eyes and his vision is blurred, Burry's curly brown hair, his red lips splattered with blood, his surprising long eyelashes remind him of someone else. He knows Blair can't be here, she's at home, safe and sound. And the tears keep flowing.
He spends the next few days sleepwalking. There's not much that can wake him up.
"Ugh. Oh, no. Morning." she says in reply, moving her head off his bare chest.
"You're cheerful after the best night ever." He comments slightly sarcastically.
"You're l-leaving today." She trembles and he melts at the sight.
"Hey, I'll be back." He catches a glimpse of the clock on his beside table. "Shit! I gotta go!"
"I'll come." Blair says determinedly.
He looks at her briefly and shrugs.
It's half an hour later and they've just recreated their first night together. Limo, check. Kissing, check. Clothes off, check. They're both grinning although Chuck's is mixed slightly with a smirk and Blair is desperately trying to tug down the corners of her lips. It becomes much easier when she looks out the window. They're at the airport with the helipad and the limo stops.
"Um, so I guess I have to go." he deadpans.
She nods and says sweetly, "Aren't you going to be happy when you're back?" she sighs.
"That depends." he say, "On what you're wearing. Or rather, how much you're wearing."
"If I was you, I would be wearing a scarf."
He covers his heart with his hand. "Ouch, that hurts."
" You'll miss me won't you?" she says, batting her long lashes.
"I'll need some persuasion on that." he taunts.
She leans in and grabs his messy dark hair roughly, crushing his lips and pressing her body closely against his. When they come up to breathe, he says,
"A great argument. Hey,"
he says, running his fingers over her bra, "Don't I get a souvenir?"
She says playfully "Get out! Bye." Her hands are shaking though and she's trying to hide it.
He complies, hoping that she'll come after him. He's halfway to the helipad when he hears the footsteps running towards him. He turns around and is ambushed by Blair's arms wrapping themselves around his neck. She kisses him hungrily and buries her head in his shoulder.
"Don't go." she murmurs, her voice muffled by his chest.
"I have to." he says comfortably to her.
"What if you don't come back? What will I do?"
"Don't forget, no matter what happens to me, the butterflies won't die." She looks up from his shoulder and into his smoldering deep eyes. He leans in slowly and their lips meet.
He regretfully pulls his lips away, turns around and walks away.
Before he gets on the plane, he twists around to look back behind him. She's standing there, the white gown she's wearing and her hair swirling around her with the wind, looking like a bride escaped from a romance novel. She's a lone figure, standing there like she's lost from her perfect story. It's true; she's strayed out of it a long time ago. He doesn't mind, perfect stories don't have passion. He touches his lips in remembrance of her kisses. This isn't a perfect story alright.
Chuck Bass's mind blanks as he sees the run-down airport. From far away, he had no idea what it was, probably a deserted empty factory. He's wrong and a Bass is supposed to hate that. But he's never been more happy to be mistaken. It's an airport, shabby from years of low-maintenance and continuously damaging firepower. Bustling with soldiers returning home after the retreat, Bass sighs. Home, he's going to be there soon. Home where the heart is.
There's only about two dozen meters between him and the airport and he can't take it anymore. He sprints towards it with Humphrey yelling and running behind him. He reaches its doors and bounds through them. He's standing a foot in front of the entrance, hands on his knees panting. Dan joins him and does the same.
"We're here!" Dan yells joyously.
Chuck cracks a smile.
"Yeah…we're here." Almost there. Almost to Blair.
He drops to his knees, suddenly exhausted. It feels so weird, not having anything to move to anymore now that's he's here. Like he's been moving to outrun fear and exhaustion and to have it now all catch up with him.
"Hey, you ok?" Dan asks worriedly.
"Un, fine. Just …a lot." Chuck says worriedly. Then he smiles. He's here, why not loosen up? "These soldier chicks aren't all that bad." He says, pretending to study an Asian with a perky ass.
"What would Blair do to you if I told her that?" Dan said.
"She'd probably end up having kinky sex with her dead husband."
"Yes, the dead part courtesy of Dan Humphrey."
"I miss her." Chuck says suddenly.
Dan looks surprised. "Yeah." he says quietly.
They're sitting uncomfortably on a plane two hours later. It's quiet even though there are more than 300 men on it. An announcement crackles overhead.
"Any one with minor to moderate injuries, we have a medical team on board with us today. They are located in the back area. Please attend to them for treatment. Thank you."
Chuck stands up awkwardly. Dan looks up at him and says "when?"
Chuck shrugs. He doesn't want to discuss this. His knees feel weak and his head is swimming. His thoughts are fuzzy and when he takes a step, he wobbles like he's drunk even though alcohol is something he hasn't seen in a year. His arm feels like it's on fire and he waves it stupidly as if he could put the imaginary fire out. Shit, he thinks, I could really use some Advil.
He stumbles his way to the back and there's a cot laid out for the patients. He drops onto it and the grim doctor looks on disapprovingly.
"Injuries?" he asks.
"My arm. Left." he tries to say, but his tongue feels heavy and swollen.
The doctor leans in worriedly. "Are you okay? Where is it?"
Since his tongue has mutinied, he lifts his right hand to pull back his left sleeve to reveal the wound. Both arms feel like they are made of lead and his head is buzzing angrily.
The doctor, Doc. Carlson, furrows his brow as he examines it.
"It's badly infected." he says. "That's bad news, really bad. How do you feel, son?"
Chuck shrugs and notices his shoulders are both burning. The doctor's face looms over him, an anxious look on his face.
"You're flushed." The doctor comments, placing a hand across his forehead.
"Shit, you're burning up! This is nasty. Come on, boy, stay with me."
The doctor's words wash over him, failing to penetrate the haze of fever. He drifts off, not to sleep but to troubled, sick dreams.
"Blair? What are you doing here?" he asks. She shouldn't be here, she's not here.
"Shhh." she murmurs comfortably, laying a cool hand on his hand when everything feels too hot. "I'm not here. Just enjoy me."
She leans him and presses cold lips against his. "Blair." he breathes, reaching for her. Everything feels fine, he looks to his arm and the bullet wound is gone. This is so wrong, pleasurably so. She pulls away and turns to a television he hasn't noticed before in this …room? If you could call it a room, he's not really sure what it is. Breakfast at Tiffany's is playing and Blair is immersed.
He dares to speak when it goes on commercial.
"If you're not here, why am I seeing you?" She sighs.
"I'm you. Your imagination, to be precise. "
He snorts. "If this was a dream you wouldn't be wearing this." he runs his hands over her silky slip.
"Bass, only you can be frisky with a hallucination."
"I'm not dreaming, you're so real." he says, caressing her hand.
"I guess," she says quietly, "you wanted to see me one more time before you die."
"….dying." Dan says. "Please, Chuck, you can't be dying. We're so close. Come on, talk to me."
"Ahh," Dan sighs, relieved, "you're back in full glory."
"Not for long." Chuck says slowly.
"What do you mean?" Dan asks, bewildered.
"Bye, Humphrey." he says pointedly.
"You're kidding, right?" Dan asks. Chuck Bass is a permanent fixture of life. Not death.
Chuck smiles tiredly.
"Come on, for Blair. Please, we've been through so much. Not so close. For Blair."
"Blair." Chuck breathes, his eyes unfocused. He closes them.
"For your wife. Just do it for her. Blair, she loves you."
"Blair," he murmurs, "I love her. Tell her that. I can't."
"NO, CHUCK! BLAIR, SHE'LL BE SO SAD. SHE WANTS YOU BACK. CHARLES! CHUCK! ASSHOLE!"
Humphrey may have hated him before, but death changes things. He'll miss him, weirdly. Chuck's been sort of a….friend these past months. He can't die now.
A tiny smile graces Chuck's lips. "Bye, Blair. I love you."
Blair's on the porch when the messenger comes. Apparently the sun is good for the baby. He comes into view, the bearer of bad news. But she doesn't know that yet.
"Cabbage Patch. Aren't you supposed to be with Chuck?"
she says, standing. "If you're back, he should be too."
"Blair, he's not going to be back."
"What do you mean?" she pouts, not understanding. "Did they extend his term?"
"He was hurt and…" Dan trails off, not wanting to finish.
"How bad?" Blair presses him, worried and trying to read his face.
Dan won't look into her eyes, he's looking anywhere but there.
"He's dead, isn't he?" Blair whispers. They don't sink in yet, but they will in a second.
Dans looks up, his face all the answer she needs.
"NO!" she yells. "It's not true."
"Blair, he's dead." Dan insists. She feels ripping pangs of loss and pain and suddenly she gives out a cry.
'My water, it broke." she screeches.
Dan catches on. "You're pregnant. "
He's answered with a earsplitting cry.
The maid comes running out where Blair is breathing deeply and screaming and immediately starts coaching her.
"He's gone?" Blair hisses through cries.
"The baby, focus on the baby." Dan says anxiously. "You want it to be okay, right?"
She can't concentrate on anything while the labor drags on except for the fact that he's gone. Won't ever be back. He won't curl her brown locks around his finger, kiss her neck, deeply inhale her scent or trace her lips with his tongue. Her cries of labor are mixed with anger and loss. She's sobbing too and the baby is far away from her thoughts while her mind remembers Chuck's defined high cheekbones and his sexy jawline. They're taking away an angel in disguise. Her angel.
Blair wants it to be okay, so that a very little piece of Chuck will be with her. But the gods, or god or fate seems to be intent on tearing every bit away and in the process, carving her heart into painful little parts. She wants him so bad, and everything hurts so much. Death has stolen everything and waterfalls of tears slide down her cheeks when she holds the lifeless tiny body of her dead child.
Maybe the butterflies aren't dead, but everything else that matters is.