This is it! The very last chapter of The Games We Play. I've enjoyed this journey with all of you so much. Thanks for everything! PS: I've added a Blair/Chuck family tree to my profile if you get confused at the end.
A note: I have photographs of Jocelyn's dress/bridesmaids, Serena's dress/bridesmaids, Jenny's dress/bridesmaids, and Blair's dress on my profile, you pretty much know the drill with that by now. They're under The Games We Play Extras. Also for anyone who's curious about the ages (I did this using a character from each group): Jocelyn's wedding: Jocelyn's 22, Blair's 20, Jenny's 18: Serena's wedding: Jocelyn's 25, Blair's 23, and Jenny's 21: Jenny's wedding: Jocelyn's 28, Blair's 26, and Jenny's 24. (Blair's is kinda self-explanatory: Jocelyn's 20, Blair's 18, Jenny's 16)
TO MY ABSO-FREAKING-LUTLY AHHHMAZING REVIEWERS: CarolinaGirl21, wrighthangal, annablake, Taiyo To Tsuki NO Megami, Krazy4Spike, ggff-fan, HnM skinnys, LitPrincess2787, SouthernBelle88, tvrox12, and CBBW3words8letters. You stuck with it all the way through to the epilogue and I couldn't be more grateful. I don't believe there's a more wonderful set of reviewers out there! I love you guys!
And to my AMAZING beta ggff-fan I couldn't do this without you! Seriously!
Disclaimer: I do not own Gossip Girl
Chuck stood next to Blair in the mirror, both of them smiling at their reflection. His arm wrapped around Blair's waist, his tie perfectly matching her strapless pink dress. "So this is a lot more informal than the last two weddings." Chuck said softly into Blair's ear. They were with all of the rest of the wedding party in the dressing tent outside the botanical gardens. The old rule book on weddings had practically been tossed out the window for Jenny and Nate's, particularly the age old rule of not seeing the bride before the ceremony as Nate and Jenny were standing to the side, where he was adjusting the silk bow on her flowing white gown.
Blair smiled as she leaned back into Chuck. "No kidding. It's about time someone other than us had their wedding outside though."
Chuck nodded in agreement, stepping behind her and putting both his arms around her still tiny waist. "You know I think this is the first wedding you've been in that you weren't pregnant." Chuck spoke, completely serious.
Blair frowned slightly. The delivery with the twins had been rough and the doctor had told them she shouldn't have any more children, that any other pregnancy would be high risk. Blair had wanted to try again anyway, she'd always wanted a big family, but Chuck had been insistent that it wasn't worth risking her to have more children. They had their hands full as it was. Ella had just turned eight, Evan six, and the twins had had their third birthday only a few months ago. While Ella and Evan had retained their dark blond locks and the looks that combined both Blair and Chuck, the twins couldn't have been more opposite, little Scarlett was the spitting image of her mother, while Clark looked exactly like his father. So far they had noticed no exceptions to this, it was almost eerie. Chuck had wanted to name them after themselves but Blair said that that was tacky when Ella and Evan's middle names were Blair and Charles respectively. Chuck had settled for Blair's choices however, remembering how he watched Gone With the Wind the night he remembered everything. The movie now held a special place for him so the names of the protagonist and lead actor seemed to fit. Blair loved all of her children more than she could have thought possible and she knew it was the same for Chuck, so she quickly replaced the frown with a smile; she had so much to be thankful for. But she was pregnant again, a couple of months along according to the doctor. She knew that she needed to tell Chuck but she didn't know how; she knew he'd want her to have an abortion so she knew it would only cause a fight. Looking around at Jocelyn in her green dress and Serena with her blue each accompanied by their matching husband, she stifled a laugh. "However, it appears that I'm the only bridesmaid not pregnant."
Chuck looked at what Blair had seen and couldn't help but join her laughter. This would be Serena and Dan's first child as they had wanted to wait until they were settled in L.A. before they started a family. They'd been relocated for over a year now due to the fact that Dan's publisher was West Coast based and Serena could be a publicist just as easily there as she could in New York. Then there was Marcus and Jocelyn, who were on their second child. Their first child Thomas wasn't at the wedding as he was at the summer home with Kate and her children. In truth, Chuck hadn't even known that Jocelyn was pregnant again but he now noticed the slight bulge under her dress. Both couples had flown in a couple of weeks ago to help prepare for the wedding. The group didn't see each other as much as they used to but they did usually manage most of the major holidays as well as one group vacation every year. Then Chuck's eyes shifted to where Eric was standing with his partner Christopher, both wearing suits with lavender ties, and his laughter grew. "You know if you count Eric then you aren't the only bridesmaid who isn't pregnant."
Blair just rolled her eyes. She'd completely supported Jenny's decision to have Eric as part of the bridal party and his boyfriend Chris as one of the groomsmen. "You Chuck Bass are incorrigible."
"But you love me anyway." He spoke with a smirk. He couldn't deny that his life was as perfect as it could get. He had Blair, the one woman he'd ever loved as his wife and they had four beautiful children whose closest thing to a nanny was Dorota who was really part of the family. Bass Industries was thriving under his hand, he'd taken over the helm three years ago when his father had suffered a heart attack. Bart Bass wasn't in the grave yet (a simple heart attack couldn't do him in) but it'd made him realize that it was time to retire and spend his time with Lily while Chuck took over the business, while he was still around to guide him. Waldorf Designs had continued to grow into a major fashion house, with Blair controlling all of the business ventures and Jenny now as head designer, Blair had even made the younger girl a partner. While his friends weren't all on the same street anymore, they were no more than a ride on the Bass Jet away and Jenny and Nate were permanently residing in New York as Jenny wouldn't leave the fashion house and Nate was preparing for his run as Congressman in the next election. There was nothing in this world that could have made him a happier man; they truly seemed to have it all.
Blair just smiled as her mind ran away with itself, doing its best to wander back to her own wedding and she found herself speaking without really thinking. "You know this dress kind of reminds me of the one Jocelyn wore to my wedding." Her voice was almost dreamy and she was surprised when it was Jenny who responded.
Jenny laughed at Blair and Chuck, really that was the only thing to do with those two. They were pretty much in their own world 75 percent of the time. "The color's the same actually, the style itself was more similar to the blue one Serena has on. I was inspired by your wedding when I was designing the dresses for mine."
Blair turned to face her friend and smiled. "These are all beautiful Jenny. You did a wonderful job."
"I kind of went all out for my own wedding I suppose." Jenny said with a smile. Blair's wedding had been the only one that she hadn't done the bridesmaid's dresses for. She'd made Blair's dress but the girls had just worn dresses of their own as the wedding was fairly casual and definitely short notice. All of the other girl's weddings had been completely her. The sounds of children's laughter wafted through the tent as Lily led her grandchildren inside. "Oh no, here come the holy terrors." Jenny said in a voice clearly exaggerating the situation.
Blair laughed shaking her head. "Don't even go there Jen. I was against this from the start and you know it. I would be perfectly content with my children sitting in the audience with everyone else. You're the one who insisted that they ALL be in the wedding." Once more Blair had thought the twins too young but Jenny had insisted that Evan and Clark be ring bearers together and Ella and Scarlett share the duties of flower girl. She designed lovely canary yellow dresses for the girls and adorned the boys with matching ties. The children looked like angels, too bad they'd been acting crazy for the past forty eight hours at least. They were all as stubborn as Chuck and Blair themselves so they didn't do well with following any orders not given directly by their parents. "I'll take care of it." Blair said rolling her eyes as she collected her children and gave them specific instructions on what to do until the start of the ceremony.
Jenny remained standing there with Chuck. "So we finally made it." She spoke with a smile, letting her fingers run through the gauzy fabric of her dress.
"We finally made it." Chuck repeated taking Jenny's hand placing a kiss on it. "You are a beautiful bride."
Jenny smiled at Chuck. "Thank you." She turned and looked at her figure in the mirror, knowing that it wouldn't be too long before she lost it the same way her friends had. She and Nate had waited so long to get married, he'd waited for her for eight years, and they weren't waiting for anything else. She'd gone off birth control just over a month ago, they were officially trying to have a baby. "I can't wait to be pregnant." She spoke, excitement in her voice. "I never thought I'd say that but I want to have a baby."
Chuck returned her smile squeezing her hand. "It's pretty amazing. Those kids and Blair, they're everything."
"You know, there was a time when I thought none of us were ever going to be happy." Jenny spoke as she began to fiddle with her hair. She was wearing it shorter now than she used to, in a style she hadn't worn it in since her freshman year of high school. Almost absentmindedly she began to pin it up, before snatching a flower from the flower arrangement on a nearby table and placing it in her hair. Perfect, she thought to herself.
Chuck nodded solemnly in response. "I know." He looked over at Blair with his children. "We had to grow up too fast. I don't want that for them."
Jenny turned smiling softly. "Those children are going to have everything and you and Blair, you're great parents, I've watched you. You guys are not going to make the same mistakes that your parents did."
Chuck shook his head. "That's easy for you to say. As far as parents come, you and Dan had it the best. Sure Rufus and Allison are divorced but they always cared. What if Blair and I get to a point that we don't know what to do, or how to do it right?"
"I know." Jenny said as she fixed Chuck's tie. "Dan and I were lucky. But you and Blair have been doing this for eight years now, I've never seen better parents than the two of you. And you know what, one of the things that makes you great is the fact that the two of you are so determined not to make those mistakes. You know what not to do, and everything you guys have been through has made sure that you don't take anything for granted." Jenny spoke reassuringly. She knew that this would always be a struggle for Chuck, the one struggle he kept quiet from Blair. He never wanted her to know how much he feared that he would turn into his father. So he shared this with her and she in turn shared with him the one thing she could never share with Nate.
"So you're still not wearing the Vanderbilt Diamond I see." Chuck said gesturing at her hand which instead held a simple skating ring. Jenny had refused the diamond from the start, much as she had refused the proposal.
Jenny simply shook her head. "I will never wear that ring. It's not anything against his family or the Vanderbilt's, I actually adore his grandfather but I'm not accepting anything from them. I won't be made their puppet and the first step towards that is that ring." She spoke reaching up to take the pins out of her hair as a way to express her mild bout of frustration.
Chuck reached up and stilled her hand. "Leave it up, it's beautiful." That was however all he said as he knew that Jenny had more to say herself.
"I will always support Nate in whatever he wants to do. And I will do what I believe is necessary to help him, but I will not become a Stepford Wife." She said adamantly. She knew that Chuck already knew that she'd rejected the proposal until the day that Nate had stopped proposing with the Vanderbilt Diamond.
Chuck turned Jenny toward Nate. "That guy over there waited eight years because he wants you as his wife not some perfect Stepford version of you." Of course he knew all about Jenny's fears concerning the Vanderbilt's but he also knew that she'd held off for so long because she didn't want to damage him while she was still in the process of growing up. She needed to be settled, she needed her life to have order before she could really marry him.
Honestly Jenny had no idea what had made Nate go out and buy a regular ring, maybe he was desperate enough to try anything; but the day he had was the day that Jenny realized that Nate didn't want a Stepford Wife, he just wanted her. "You're right. I know you're right. But thanks for reminding me anyway." She said with a smile before leaving Chuck's side to go help get the flowers pinned in Ella and Scarlett's hair.
"Anytime." Chuck returned a smile as Jenny walked away. Turning back towards Nate, his best friend, he walked over. "So man, how's it going?"
Nate smiled at Chuck and shook his head. "You know, I really just want to get this going. I'm still a little afraid she'll walk out and won't go through with it."
Chuck shook his head. "Jenny's not going to walk out. She wants to marry you more than she wants anything."
Nate sighed, leaning his head back. "Easy for you to say, you didn't propose five times before Blair said yes. Hell Blair was married to another man when you proposed to her and you still got a yes."
Chuck put a hand on each of Nate's shoulders and leveled him with a stare. "You Nathaniel have nothing to worry about. She wouldn't have said yes the fifth time if she didn't want to marry you. She would have just said no again." He said with a classic Chuck Bass smirk.
Nate couldn't help but laugh. "You know, you have a point."
"I always do." Chuck said backing up. "Now perhaps we should go out and get this party started?"
Nate smiled, motioning Marcus, Dan, and Christopher over. As Marcus approached Nate just shook his head. "Remember the day you exited the van at the photo shoot and I said, 'I don't like you?'"
Marcus nodded. "Of course. And I didn't expect you to."
"Things have changed a lot in the last eight years. Because seriously, I like you now." Nate said, ever having trouble organizing his thoughts.
Everyone burst into laughter at Nate's words and the men turned to leave with parting glances at their ladies, or in Christopher's respect their man.
Jocelyn and Serena had been left just the two of them as Dan and Marcus walked away from the foursome that they had had going. "Well, looks like this wedding's finally going to happen." Jocelyn spoke, adjusting the green straps of her dress. Even with as much as they had in common now, friends, pregnancy, marriage, all included, they still found that they didn't have so much to say to each other. So while friends, they were better when operating within the group dynamic.
"It's about damn time." Serena said with a smile. "Let's go see if Blair or Jenny need any help." They were walking towards the girls when Eric intercepted them. Serena smiled, it was good to see her brother after so long apart. He'd grown up so much in the last couple of years. After graduating from Columbia like the rest of them, he'd gone into law school at Harvard. It had taken him away from them for a good portion of the year anyway and with Serena out in California with Dan, they had gotten to see very little of each other in the past few years. "Eric!" She exclaimed, hugging him with a big smile on her face.
Eric beamed in return. His life as of late was completely golden. He and Christopher had a good thing, they'd met at Columbia and both were now at Harvard law. They'd just moved in together. He did miss his sister though. Even with pretty much unlimited access to the Bass Jet, he didn't see her as much as he would like. "I think they're ready to start."
The girls nodded, a little relieved. As much as they'd all been saying that there was no chance of Jenny calling this thing off, they were all still a little worried deep in their gut. The girl was still fiercely independent. Jocelyn walked quickly over and placed her arm around the waist of the girl who had at one time succeeded Blair; that all seemed so long ago now. "So little J, are you ready to join the ranks of the married women?"
Jenny looked at Joss and smiled. Up until she'd realized that she was called little J in reference to Jocelyn, she'd hated the name; but now she adored it, especially when it was used by Jocelyn herself. "I'm ready." She spoke, her voice and smile confident. She turned back to Blair. "You should tell Chuck soon you know. It's not fair to keep this from him."
Jocelyn was suddenly aware that she had no clue what they were talking about. Apparently she'd walked in on quite the conversation. "Whoa what's going on here?"
Blair sighed and looked up at one of her oldest friends. "I might be pregnant."
"Oh." Jocelyn spoke rather at a loss for words. "Chuck's not going to be happy about that."
"That's exactly what I'm afraid of." Blair replied, placing the last flower in Scarlett's hair. "I want another child and I know what Chuck's going to want me to do. Either way, it's going to lead to a fight."
Scarlett turned her head to look at her mother. "Why doesn't Daddy want me to have any more siblings?" She asked, the picture of innocence.
Blair's eyes went wide. Oh shit. It was Jocelyn who spoke Blair's thoughts out loud. "Little pictures have big ears."
Blair lifted Scarlett in her arms and placed her on the table in front of them, kneeling so that they were at eye level. Luckily Scarlett was the only child who was paying attention. "It's not that Daddy doesn't want you to have a little brother or sister, he's just worried about me because the doctor thinks it's a bad idea. The doctor thinks it might hurt Mommy."
"But I want a little sister." Scarlett said, crossing her arms.
Jenny chuckled slightly, knowing the situation was serious but unable to refrain from her next statement. "Little pictures have big mouths too."
Blair sighed, knowing this could get out of control quickly. It had been the terrible twos with Ella and Evan but for Scarlett and Clark it had been the terrible threes. "I know you do sweetheart. I need to ask you a favor though. Can you do a favor for Mommy?" Scarlett nodded repeatedly. "Okay, then I need you to promise me you won't talk to anyone about this, especially Daddy. Can you do that for me? Can this be our little secret?" Scarlett looked at her with critical eyes as though she were considering the pros and cons of the deal before nodding again. "Thank you, now go with Ella and your brothers with Eric, I'll be right behind you." With that she lifted Scarlett off the table sending her scurrying behind her siblings.
As Blair looked up, she noticed that Jenny, Serena, and Jocelyn were all looking at her. "I'll tell him tonight." She said with a sigh. The girls all visibly relaxed. Even after eight years they knew Blair and Chuck still had their little games, but Chuck wouldn't see this as a game. Even if it wasn't something he felt as strongly about as this particular issue, after an unfortunate incident involving a surprise party they'd agreed never to have their children keep secrets from each other for them.
"Good." Serena said, giving Blair a hug before following Eric out.
Jocelyn walked up to her next. "It'll be okay Blair, you guys will figure something out. You always do."
"Thanks." Blair spoke as Jocelyn turned and followed Serena. Blair then turned to Jenny only to see the panic they'd all been praying wouldn't come in her eyes. "Hey, hey, stop this. You're ready for this remember."
Jenny nodded inhaling deeply but her insecurities suddenly began to spill out. "What if I screw up? What if I do something to damage Nate? What if his family is right to think that I need to be more like them?" And then she was gasping for breath.
Blair could see that Jenny was having a panic attack, and she knew that Jenny needed one thing right now and that was Nate's reassurance. So she sent Chuck the S.O.S. text she was afraid that she would be sending. "Just hold tight." She said placing a hand on Jenny's shoulder.
"What the fuck Blair?" Chuck said, walking into the tent tugging Nate behind him. "We were already at the front of the audience. Two minutes more and the kids would have started down the aisle . . ." When he saw Jenny he stilled but pushed Nate forward.
Nate's eyes widened and his stomach dropped as he saw his bride sitting with her hands on her knees practically hyperventilating. He rushed forward and kneeled at her feet, taking her hands in his. "Hey, hey Jen. Talk to me. What's wrong?"
Jenny looked up at Chuck pleadingly, he knew what she wanted him to say. He walked forward to stand closer to the other three. "She's scared that you want a Vanderbilt wife rather than her, she's scared that your family will want to change her to make her into the kind of wife they think you need." Nate looked at Jenny imploringly and Chuck knew there was more that needed to be said, more that Jenny hadn't actually voiced to him. "But more than that, she's scared that they are right." At Chuck's words, three pairs of wide eyes turned to him and just like that they all knew he'd hit the proverbial nail on the head.
Nate reached up with one hand, and lifted Jenny's eyes to his. "I want you. I've wanted you to marry me for eight years. I would never want you to change. As for my family, they love you the way you are and if they didn't then I still pick you. I'm asking you to be an Archibald not a Vanderbilt. I thought we were past that when I put the Vanderbilt ring in the safe and proposed with a ring that was just for you."
Jenny's eyes lit up at Nate's admission. So it hadn't been something he'd done on a whim. He knew what he was doing when he stopped using the family ring, he was actually aware of the fact that Jenny didn't want to be a Vanderbilt at all.
Before Chuck and Blair could blink, Jenny was in Nate's arms and they were hugging and kissing happily. "Okay, okay, we are officially behind schedule." Blair spoke to break them apart. "You guys have forever to do that after the wedding."
Jenny looked at Blair, her happiness evident in her smile. "Cause today's just the first day of forever right Blair?"
"Right." Blair spoke before her face blanched. "Oh my God I have a catch phrase. That is so not okay."
Chuck laughed and pulled her to him. "At least it's a cute catch phrase."
Blair simply groaned in response.
Once more the wedding was beautiful, Jenny's earlier breakdown excluded and the cake at the reception was the most magnificent anyone had ever seen. Scarlett was particularly enamored with it. Chuck realized this right before his little girl tried to touch it and rushed over, lifting her into his arms. "Wait just a minute there missy. There's no messing with the cake."
Scarlett simply crossed her arms and leveled him with a stare that was more like her mother's than any he'd ever seen. Seemingly he'd made his daughter quite angry.
"Hey what's wrong?" He asked turning her to face him.
Scarlett just shook her head. "I'm not talking to you. I'm mad at you."
Chuck lifted an eyebrow. "For taking you away from the cake?" Chuck was proved wrong about Scarlett's earlier stare, when she gave him an 'are you stupid' look that had to be straight out of Blair's arsenal. "Then what my little princess is the matter?"
Scarlett opened her tiny mouth to let him have it before remembering her promise to her mother and shutting it once more. "I can't tell you." She said finally. "Mommy made me promise not to."
Worry invaded Chuck like a parasite, what could Scarlett know that Blair didn't want him to know? Chuck could only think of one thing, it was the only thing that Blair would keep from him. Setting his daughter down, his eyes immediately sought Blair's. On instinct his gaze drifted toward her stomach. If she was pregnant she wasn't showing, but that wasn't saying much for Blair. She'd gotten away with no one knowing she was pregnant with Ella for a long time and with Evan she didn't have to start wearing maternity clothes until the seventh month, even with the twins you couldn't tell until well into the second trimester. Walking over, he tried to force himself to stay calm. Wrapping an arm around her waist he whispered in her ear. "Can I talk to you for a second?"
Blair nodded, excusing herself from her current conversation before leaving with Chuck. She'd heard the tone in his voice, she knew what was coming. She shot a quick glance at Scarlett who was watching them with wide eyes and her suspicions were confirmed.
As they came to a stop in the corner Chuck took one of her hands in his. "What does our daughter know that I don't?" He asked, rather than accusing her of keeping the one thing from him that he would ever be truly angry about.
Blair inhaled, not quite meeting Chuck's eyes. As she looked back, she unconsciously placed a hand on her stomach. Chuck looked down, then back up at her face. "Are you pregnant again?"
Blair bit her lip and nodded.
"How long have you known?" Chuck asked trying to keep his cool. He didn't yell at Blair, ever but right now the temptation to do so was more difficult to resist than ever before. Didn't she see she was being stupid? Nothing was worth risking her own life.
Blair exhaled. "I wasn't sure until yesterday when I got the test back from the doctor. I'm two months along." Chuck inhaled sharply and she continued, holding his hand tightly in hers. "The only reason Scarlett knows is because she overheard me and Jenny this morning. I was going to tell you I just didn't know how."
Chuck heard her voice break on her last words and pulled her to him, placing his forehead on hers. He was scared. More scared than he'd been since the birth of the twins when she'd gotten so sick. He didn't want to lose her, he couldn't lose her. "Please don't do this Blair. Please. I'm begging you."
Blair swallowed. She loved Chuck with all her heart but she wanted this baby, she had thought that she could be okay with not having any more children but once it was inside her she couldn't destroy it; she already loved it. "I'm sorry." She whispered.
Chuck sighed. "You're not going to change your mind are you?" He asked sadly. Blair just shook her head. "Then we'll do whatever it takes to make sure that you and the baby are both healthy."
Blair sighed in relief and wrapped her hands tightly around Chuck. "Thank you. Thank you so much."
"I love you." He spoke softly into her ear.
"I love you too." She said pulling away and looking around the room. "You know what?" She started.
Chuck just smiled. "Ours was better."
At that, Blair began to laugh, hugging Chuck to her once more.
Hello my lovely UES, what a beautiful day for a wedding. After a slight hiccup this morning our Little J and N made it down the aisle and what's this I hear, B, S and J are all pregnant? Hmm, perhaps Little J will join their leagues before much longer. I wish all of you the best. In other news I'm happy to announce my retirement. This is officially my last official post, I'm passing the torch along to someone quite a bit younger as it seems I've outgrown the gossip. So adios my darlings, I think it's time for what is it that Blair says? Oh yes, the first day of forever.
you know you love me
8 years ago
"You should have waited a week and let me do the bridesmaids dresses too." Jenny spoke, adding a couple of last minute touches to Blair's dress.
Blair looked at the younger girl and smiled. "I don't want to wait any longer. Chuck and I have waited so long already. If you remember, I wanted to get married in a white sundress, it was a big concession to let you make me another wedding dress."
Jenny nodded, it was true, she'd had to beg Blair to let her do the dress, so when Blair had said that she just wanted the girls to wear nice dresses to the wedding, they'd all agreed. After all, the only people who were there were Chuck, Blair, Jenny, Nate, Serena, Dan, Jocelyn, Marcus, Eric, Harold, Roman, Bart, Lily, and the preacher. Graduation had only been a week ago. Jenny smiled as she looked out the window of the cabana, she'd always heard that St. Thomas was beautiful but she'd never been before. When Chuck and Blair had decided that they wanted to do a Destination Wedding to avoid any potential press issues, they'd narrowed a quick list of island locations down to St. Thomas and Figi. St. Thomas had won so that they could take the Bass Jet without having to stop and refuel. "You're right of course. There I'm done." She said, standing and letting the decorative hem of Blair's dress fall to the ground. "You look beautiful."
"Thank you." Blair said with a smile. "Where are the rest of the girls?" She didn't really have bridesmaids, there were the girls at the wedding and then there were the guys. That was basically it.
"I'm right here." Jocelyn said, slipping into the cabana. "Sorry I went to grab the flowers." That's when she caught sight of Blair. "Oh my little ingénue you look absolutely gorgeous."
Blair smiled brightly to see that Serena was in the doorway behind Jocelyn. "Thanks Joss." Then shifting her gaze to Serena she smiled. "Are we ready?" She asked.
Serena shook her head. "Actually there's someone here who wants to see you."
Blair looked at her curiously, but all of her questions were answered as Bart Bass walked into a room. Blair inhaled quietly, trying to hold back her surprise.
Bart was confident in his gate but there was still a certain amount of hesitance in his features; he knew that Blair didn't like him, and she had every right not to after some of the things that he had said to her but he wanted to change that. "These ladies are correct Blair, you look beautiful."
"Thank you, but I have to ask Bart, what are you doing back here?" She asked, unafraid.
Bart nodded, the girl always got straight to the point. "I wanted to apologize, for the things I've said to you in the past few months. You were right and I didn't want to hear it. You were right about everything."
Blair nodded slightly. She was thrown by Bart's admission; this was not a man who admitted when he was wrong. "Thank you but I'm not the one you need to apologize to." Blair said, knowing he would get her meaning.
"I know, but you must know that this is difficult for me." He spoke looking away. "I want to be part of my son's life. You accused me of not caring, I do, I just don't know how to show it." He paused swallowing and for the first time Blair could remember, Bart Bass looked uncomfortable. "So I guess what I am asking for is your help."
Blair's jaw dropped open. Not only was the great Bart Bass standing in front of her humbling himself, he was asking for her help. She couldn't deny him that, not when he was saying that he wanted to be a part of Chuck's life. If there was one thing she'd learned from the death of her mother it was that you had to make amends with your parents while you still could. "I'll do what I can." Blair said with a slight nod.
"Thank you." Bart spoke appearing relieved. "You don't know what that means to me."
Blair smiled. "I think I do. Maybe after the wedding you could tell Chuck how you feel, tell him you want to change. He'd appreciate that." Bart looked like maybe she was asking too much but seeing this she spoke again. "You asked for my help, this is me giving it to you."
Bart nodded, she was right. That's why he'd come to her, he'd known she wouldn't go easy on him. It also didn't hurt that in getting to know Chuck, he wanted to get to know her too. He wanted to be part of his granddaughter's life and to do that he had to make amends with the mother. "Thank you." He said again before turning and leaving.
As he left the girls stood around the room in shock. Jenny looked at Blair both of them still gaping. "That was pretty much the last thing I expected." The blond said finally finding words.
"No kidding." Blair replied just as her father walked into the cabana.
He smiled brightly. He'd been ecstatic when Blair had called him just over a week ago. This is what he'd always wanted for his little girl, the good man, the good marriage, the children. He'd been so happy he'd managed not to give a piece of his mind to Marcus who had come at Blair's behest. Harold had been surprised to see him there, surprised to find that he and Blair were apparently friends. So he'd instead settled for a few pointed looks in Marcus's direction, he would never forgive that man for hurting his daughter like he had. But today was about Blair. "Are you ready BlairBear?"
Blair nodded, smiling brightly. "I've been ready. I've been ready for so long." She couldn't believe it was really happening now.
"Then let's do this." Jocelyn spoke a huge smile on her face.
Blair could feel her heart pounding in her chest as she followed the girls out of the cabana and down the steps to the beach. She gasped at seeing the decorations. A pathway had been made through the sand, lined by stones and wildflowers, ending in an archway. "It's beautiful." She spoke softly.
Harold just smiled in return. "I wish your mother could be here to see this."
"She is." Blair responding, tears glistening in her eyes as she looked briefly up at the sky. She knew her mom was watching and she had to think that she'd be happy for her.
Harold took his daughter's hand gently and placed it on his arm. "You couldn't be more right." As they approached the walkway he leaned over and whispered in his daughter's ear. "I feel as though I have to say that I'm happy to be giving you away to someone who deserves you, someone you love."
Blair turned her still sparkling eyes on her father. "You don't know how much that means to me Daddy. Thank you."
Harold placed a quick kiss on her cheek before they started down the make shift aisle, the sound of the ocean the only music. His eyes were immediately drawn to Chuck's face where he saw a look that made his own heart soar. That young man loved his daughter, it was evident in the way he clasped his hands, the way he smiled, and most definitely in the intensity in his eyes. He looked like he believed he was the luckiest man in the world. Harold knew he couldn't in good conscious part with her for anything less, he'd learned that the hard way as he'd regretted walking her down the aisle to Marcus every day. Giving Blair another kiss on the cheek he left her there with Chuck and went to stand with Roman as the ceremony began.
Blair knew the minister was talking, she knew on some level that she was speaking but she didn't really register any of it. All she could see was Chuck and he was all she wanted to see.
Chuck was lost in her eyes. She was finally standing before him at the alter, she was finally marrying him. He'd known, he'd known for years before they were together that she was it for him, that no other girl warranted more than a one night stand and now she was about to be his and his alone, for the rest of their lives. As it was time for the vows he began to speak from his heart, much as he'd done with his best man speech at his father's wedding. "I think everyone here can testify to the fact that no one ever thought I would get married, and honestly neither did I until you. I thought that marriage was the end of so much; I thought that my life would be over if I were tied to one woman for the rest of my life. But now I can't imagine ever being with someone else. You Blair Cornelia Waldorf are it for me. This isn't the end of anything, it's the beginning of everything. I love you Blair, every day I think it couldn't be possible to love you more, but every day I do. And as I watch you grow with my child, our baby girl, my love just continues to grow. I am going to love you every day for the rest of our lives. Come what may, always and forever, you will never have to doubt that I love you. I always have and I always will."
Blair smiled with tears glistening in her eyes. "I wanted to start by reading you something." Blair spoke as she pulled out a slip of paper that she had tucked inside her bouquet. "Oh, why you look so sad? The tears are in your eyes, come on and come to me now. Don't be ashamed to cry, let me see you through 'cause I've seen the dark side too. When the night falls on you, you don't know what to do, nothing you confess could make me love you less. I'll stand by you, I'll stand by you, I won't let nobody hurt you, I'll stand by you. So, if you're mad get mad, don't hold it all inside come on and talk to me now. Hey, what you got to hide? I get angry too, well I'm a lot like you. When you're standing at the crossroads and don't know which path to choose, let me come along 'cause even if you're wrong I'll stand by you. I'll stand by you. Take me in into your darkest hour and I'll never desert you, I'll stand by you. And when the night falls on you baby, you're feeling all alone, you won't be on your own. I'll stand by you."
As Blair spoke, so many things, so many memories ran through his head. It was all so true. Blair had seen him at his very worst, she'd been with him on more than one of his birthdays when he was at his lowest. She'd faced the brunt of his darkest most twisted depths in the form of a few choice words about his father's Arabians or when he abandoned her in Tuscany or even when he'd dismissed her after he caught her with Marcus the first time. And when he confessed his affair with Jenny, she'd stayed true to those words to the point that he truly did believe that there was nothing he could say that would deter her love, it was unconditional. As she spoke the second verse of the song he couldn't help but remember their fight and subsequent make up in Nate's living room when she reminded him that it was okay for them to get mad at each other, okay for them to fight. And he knew that sometime down the road there would be decisions that he would have to make, decisions that would be difficult and he would lean on her for support. God he loved her.
Blair finished reading the lyrics and slipped them back into her bouquet as she spoke the rest of her vows. "The worst thing you've ever done, the darkest thought you've ever had, I'll stand by you through anything Chuck because I love you. I love you more than life itself. You complete me. I'm not Blair Waldorf without Chuck Bass and I wouldn't want to be. What you said earlier is true. This isn't the end of anything, it's the start of everything. This is the first day of forever and I want to spend every single day of forever with you."
The priest turned to Chuck. "Repeat after me." As the priest spoke, Chuck repeated.
"I, Charles Bartholomew Bass, take thee, Blair Waldorf, to be my lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, to love honor and cherish; from this day forward, until death do us part." As Chuck spoke, he relished the words as they slipped from his tongue, he relished the way the felt, the way they sounded, and everything they meant.
The priest turned to Blair and spoke the same.
Blair smiled. "I, Blair Cornelia Waldorf," She paused for only a second knowing that in only a minute's time she would no longer be Blair Waldorf, "take thee, Charles Bass, to be my lawfully wedded husband. To have and to hold, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, to love, honor and cherish, from this day forward until death do us part." Blair exhaled as she finished waiting excitedly for the priest's next words.
Nate stepped forward presenting them with their rings. Blair looked into Chuck's eyes and smiled, happy tears glistening as they slid down her cheeks as she took the ring from Nate and placed it on Chuck's finger. "With this ring, I thee wed."
Chuck picked up his own ring, rubbing it between his fingers before taking her left hand in his. "With this ring, I thee wed." Chuck repeated waiting for her to notice, and notice she did.
Blair gasped as she saw what was on her finger. She knew what it was because on one birthday Chuck had pulled it out of his safe and shown it to her; they couldn't have been more than thirteen at the time. It was his mother's wedding band a perfect ring of diamonds. As it slid onto her finger her eyes connected with his and she was lost. So lost she almost didn't hear what the preacher said next.
The preacher smiled, seeing the excitement and intensity in both of their eyes. "With these vows spoken and symbols of love exchanged, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride." He took half a step back as the young couple practically jumped into each other's arms, sharing a kiss that would have been entirely inappropriate if they had been in a church. Watching as they broke away he spoke to the few witnesses they had gathered. "Friends and Family gathered, I take great pleasure in introducing for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bass."
Blair's heart soared and she looked at Chuck seeing that he felt the same. Pulling him to her once more, she placed a kiss on his lips, a kiss that promised many more to come. Pulling back slightly Chuck gazed into her eyes a smirk on his face. "Mrs. Bass, I believe we have an aisle to walk."
Blair couldn't help the beaming smile that appeared at the sound of her name. "I love you Mr. Bass, every day of forever." She whispered before taking his and walking through their friends only to be embraced by hugs all around. She looked around her friends and then back at Chuck, a big smile forming on her face, they'd finally made it.
50 years later (from wedding date)
"Granddaddy, Granddaddy, tell it again!" Blair Gemma Astor giggled. "Please Grandpa Chuck, please!" She added earnestly.
Chuck shook his head slightly. "Not tonight Blair Bear. Tonight it's time for bed."
Gemma's youngest daughter pouted, she wanted to hear the story again, it was her very favorite because it told not just about her grandparent's wedding but of how she came to be because if Grandpa Chuck hadn't let his Blair have the fifth baby, she wouldn't be here. However, she knew that Grandpa Chuck was intractable, from what she'd heard, he was quite the business man in his day, maybe even better than her own daddy or Uncle Evan and Uncle Clark. They had taken over Bass Industries from Grandpa Chuck only about ten years ago, while Aunt Ella, Aunt Scarlett, and her mommy had taken over Waldorf Designs with Nana Jenny's daughter Kathryn. "Fine." She said, easing her pout and allowing Grandpa Chuck to tuck her into bed.
Chuck smiled at the ten year old. Gemma's family was staying with them in the brownstone they'd lived in for the past thirty years, not seeing a point in putting them in a hotel room when there were plenty of rooms here. All of the family had come into town to celebrate their special occasion and Chuck had the pleasure of tucking in his youngest descendant for the night Just as Chuck was tucking his youngest granddaughter under the covers, Blair snuck her head in the room. "Goodnight Little B." She said with a smile and a kiss on the young girl's forehead.
"Goodnight Grandma B." She said back, her eyes closing sleepily. Right as the young girl's eyes closed, they snapped open with the beep of a cell phone.
Chuck withdrew his old phone slightly confused. It was a text message, something that was practically archaic in their current times. The only reason he kept the old phone around was because of his generation's inability to catch up with all of the new technology, especially Former Senator Nathaniel Archibald. Opening the phone he couldn't help the smirk that lit his face. He flipped the phone towards Blair, unable to stop the smile that was quickly forming. In turn Blair laughed, allowing her eyes to scan the text message and absorb its information.
"What was that?" Little Blair, asked curiously.
Blair simply smiled in return, watching the little one's eyes begin to close once more. Nothing could keep her awake for long when she was tired. "Just a message from an old friend."
Gossip Girl here . . . the original one for those of you too old to figure that much out for yourself. I'm signing on for the first time in several years to wish Class of 2009's Queen and King of the Upper East Side a Happy Golden Anniversary. You're one of very few who's made it to the big five oh without at least a divorce or two. Cheers! Remember, your adoring fans continue to love you; always have always will.
A/N: So that's all folks! I hope you loved reading it as much as I loved writing it. Thanks for sticking with me! Reviews are especially appreciated this time as it's my very last chapter of my baby. Hopefully, I'll see some of you soon on one of my other fanfics.