Six Months Later
Her lips were dry again. Blair unclasped the latch on her bag and drew out her lip balm, then swiped it on her lips. She glanced up at the clock and noted the long hand moving to the next short line at the edge of the circle. Blair craned her neck to see through the glass doorway and saw the doctor walking towards the office. She involuntarily sucked in her breath.
"Chuck," she whispered nervously.
Beside her, sitting ramrod straight in his chair, Chuck reached for her hand and squeezed it in reassurance. He smiled down at her, but Blair could see the edges of his lips tensed. "It's all going to be alright. You'll see."
"You look worse than I do," she teased lightly, her tremulous voice belying the words.
Chuck kissed her nose and replied, "Nobody looks worse than you do right now."
"Thanks," she muttered.
"Don't be nervous. Charlotte's got a great chance of getting over this."
She nodded. The doctor stepped into the office with a brown folder in his hands. At the sight of Blair clutching Chuck's hand looking up apprehensively at the doctor, the older woman smiled. At the sight of the curved lips, Blair exhaled violently. "Really?" she gasped. When the doctor's smile did not falter, Blair blinked rapidly as tears blurred her vision. "Oh my God!" she exclaimed.
"Blair, she hasn't said anything yet," Chuck cautioned, afraid to hope, terrified that Blair had jumped to a wonderful conclusion that wasn't correct.
But Blair had snatched her hand from his and covered her face, succumbing to the sobs that she had been holding in her chest since the call she received that morning telling her that Charlotte's test results were released.
He looked at the doctor, who now took out sheets of paper from the envelope. Chuck shook his head. "Is it—"
"It's clean, Mr Bass." His breath caught in his throat. He could not respond. "Lottie's bloodwork shows no traces of the disease."
"Are you serious?" Chuck's fingers rose to his temples.
"I'm very serious, Mr Bass." She handed him the white sheet of typewritten paper. Her signature at the bottom was done with such flourish, he thought. Then again, these words deserved
flourish. Charlotte was clean, he read. "You can take her home now. But you do have to bring her back every six months for a full workup. I know it's expensive—"
"Not an issue," was his quick answer. He felt like he was floating in a dreamlike state. Chuck glanced at Blair, who now watched him wide-eyed as he spoke to the doctor.
"And it would interfere with having a normal life for Charlotte, being carted to another country every time. But if the disease does return, we need to catch it immediately."
"I understand," he replied, his voice strangled.
The doctor walked around her desk and went to Blair, whom she had met long ago with Nate Archibald. She leaned down and said, "You did a wonderful job through all this. I'm happy for you."
Blair sobbed and stood up, throwing her arms around the older woman who had taken care of her daughter through the last half year. "Thank you so much. I can't ever repay you."
The doctor patted Blair's back, then pulled away. "Let me go ask the nurse to bring Charlotte in. I'm sure you're excited to take her home."
Blair nodded. When the door closed behind the doctor, she turned to the now empty seat where Chuck had been sitting. Blair turned around to search for Chuck, only to find him leaning heavily forward by the window, his hands gripping the metal railing. She walked over to him and placed a hand on his back. She felt his body move under her palm as he breathed deeply, in and out.
"She's going to be okay," she said. "She's really going to be fine."
It was the last ray of hope that she needed to get the courage to take the folded up papers inside her bag. Blair pushed her hair back behind her ear, then handed the papers to Chuck. He slowly turned his head and saw the papers that she offered to him.
He slowly reached out and took the papers in his hands. He unfolded them and read the title, then skimmed through every last sheet to see her name signed at the bottom. "Divorce papers," he recognized.
Blair nodded. "I'd been waiting for this. I didn't want to tie you down in case she didn't make it," she confessed.
He folded up the papers again, then waved them. "This is it."
She nodded. "File them."
"Great," he whispered.
The door opened to Alicia, Charlotte's personal nurse, and the little girl herself. "Ma!" the girl squealed excitedly. "Da!" Alicia set Lottie down on the floor, and the little girl scampered over towards them. She latched on to Chuck's leg and wrapped her arms around it.
Chuck picked her up. "Perfect timing," he said to Alicia. "Will you give us a moment?" Alicia nodded and smiled before leaving the room. When they were alone, Chuck grinned at his healthy daughter. "Lottie, tell mommy to marry daddy."
Blair's gaze slammed into Chuck over Lottie's head. "What?"
"Don't tell me this comes as a surprise," he commented. "You know I've been in love with you for years. Even before you married Nate."
Blair flushed. "But you've always asked me to run away with you. Marriage wasn't ever on the table."
"It is now." With one hand, he balanced Charlotte against his chest and with the other he drew out a small box from inside his pocket. He flipped the top open and presented it to Blair. His eyes fell on the ring on her finger. "It's not the Vanderbilt diamond. It doesn't have a long history of different brides and different proposals from different men," he told her.
Blair slid the ring off her finger. "That's a relief. I want something that's all mine." She took out the ring Chuck offered her and replaced it with the Vanderbilt diamond, then closed the box and placed it in her bag. "Let's take this one to Serena when we bring the divorce papers over." Blair handed Chuck the ring and presented her hand. The ring easily slid onto her finger.
"Is that a yes?" Chuck asked.
"Yes!" Charlotte chimed in.
"Yes," Blair laughingly answered.
"Yes!" Chuck exclaimed.
"Yes, yes, yes, yes!" the baby sang.
The door opened and Alicia peeked into the room. "The discharge papers are ready, Mrs Archibald."
"Alicia," Chuck's voice rumbled, "practice calling her Mrs Bass." He kept a straight face on even when Charlotte started trying to touch his eyeball again. "Lottie, stop," he groaned.
The young woman's gaze went to Blair. Blair smiled and nodded. "You heard what the man said."