Chapter 11 of Castaways
Disclaimer: I do not own Gossip Girl, its characters, or anything.
Summary: Before they kissed, before the night at Victrola, they were going to meet Nate at St. Croix. That is, before their plane crashed, and they were left the only two survivors on an island with no other inhabitants. Chuck/Blair, of course.
Rating: Mostly PG-13, maybe R at one point
A/N – Always thanking my BETA, Tati, because she totally deserves a medal.
"All brave men love; for he only is brave who has affections to fight for, whether in the daily battle of life, or in physical contests."
Blair blinked and looked down at Maximus, who was waiting to be picked up. She reached down and pulled him up. She felt his forehead and found he certainly had a fever.
Nate stared at the little boy.
"Who that, mommy?" Maximus asked, staring at Nate.
Blair took a deep breath.
"He does have a fever," she told Chuck.
Nate turned to look at Chuck.
Chuck cleared his throat. "Wow. Awkward."
"You…" Nate stared back at Blair. Then at Chuck. "You son of a bitch," he whispered then launched at him.
Chuck easily grabbed Nate, turned him around, and pinned him against the wall. Nate tried to dislodge him, but to no avail.
"Do you mind not cursing around my kid? He repeats everything!" He snapped and shoved him, letting him go.
Blair cried Chuck's name. "Stop it."
Nate stumbled back, still enraged, and glared at Blair.
"How long, eh? How long before you two just couldn't keep your hands off each other?" He cried.
Maximus looked anxious, and Chuck noticed.
"We've have a very long day," he snapped to Nate. "And my kid's got a fever."
Blair stepped forward and placed her hand on Chuck's arm. "Nate, please… We can talk about this tomorrow."
"I can't believe I felt guilty…" Nate shook his head. "All these years… You two have been breeding…"
Blair reeled back, as if slapped, and held Maximus tighter.
Chuck opened the door and held it for him. Nate walked to it and both men held each other's gaze, dangerously close.
"That's my family you're talking about," Chuck hissed in a low and dangerous voice. "And we never set out to hurt you. If I remember correctly – you're the one who never showed."
Nate got on his face. "Yeah. Thanks for taking care of her. You're the best."
And he walked out. Chuck stood there, his jaw twitching, and looked at the floor. Blair stepped to him slowly.
"Chuck?" She whispered. Maximus whimpered in her arms, holding on closer to her.
"You ok?" He asked her.
She nodded. "C'mon. Let's get him to bed."
The bed felt incredibly wrong. Entirely too large and too soft. Maximus lay between them, and they were curled into each other, staring at him as he fitfully went to sleep.
They didn't want to give him medicines. He'd never seen a doctor, and he'd never taken medicine before. He's gotten sick a couple of times on the island and, using the oranges and limes, they had they had toughened up his immune system. That had been it.
They had made him drink two glasses of fresh-squeezed orange juice that Lily had brought to them, and Blair continued pressing his forehead with a cool, wet washcloth.
"Want go home," he kept saying, and Blair continued to look at Chuck worriedly.
Blair leaned forward and pressed her lips to his small forehead.
"Let me wash this," Chuck took the washcloth and rinsed it in the bathroom once more, bringing it back fresh and cool. When he returned, Blair had stripped and Max was laying over her as she softly sang to him. Max's eyes were blinking sleepily. Chuck lowered himself next to her and got as close as he could, using the washcloth himself. On Max's forehead and around his neck.
"Oh, hush thee, my baby, thy sire was a knight, thy mother a lady, both lovely and bright." It was the song she always sang to him to get him to sleep. Because it was the only one she knew – her father used to sing it to her as a little girl. Chuck, of course, knew none and just let her do the singing.
"The woods and the glens, from the towers which we see, they all are belonging, dear baby, to thee," she sang quietly, and Max's eyes slowly began to close as Chuck continued to rub the cool cloth behind his ear.
"He's asleep," Chuck whispered to her, and she sighed in relief. He glanced at the clock. "It's 3:40."
"What does that even mean?" She asked him as he helped her lower Maximus on the bed between them.
"No clue…" Chuck agreed as they covered up the baby.
"I'm sorry about Nate," she whispered to him, and he looked at her dark eyes in the night. They were wide and sad.
"Me too," he replied, swallowing. He hadn't wanted to think about it. He'd known Nathaniel would be upset. He'd just known it. He understood his side. He really did.
When Nate stormed into her apartment, she instantly knew something was wrong. She stood up and stared at him as he went straight to their little refrigerator and took out the milk and started drinking out of the container. She paused, staring at him.
"How did he look?" She asked.
He set it down, placed both hands on the kitchen counter, and pounded once.
She jumped back.
He took a shaky breath.
"They have a kid."
She stood staring at him.
"Nate?" She asked softly.
He turned and she walked to him. He looked genuinely hurt. He looked at her and sighed.
"A kid," he said softly. "They were… stranded in an island… and now they have a kid."
"They were there for three years," she reasoned, leaning next to him. He turned and looked at her.
"He looks just like them…" He whispered.
She looked down and studied her neon pink nail polish. "Do you… Do you still love her?"
He took a sharp breath. "No," he said with certainty.
"It's just… All this time… I had this memory of them and now… Now he's a dad, and she's a mom and they're… They're together and different." He took a deep breath. "You didn't know them before… They're so different."
"Maybe that's what they needed," she reasoned.
He stared at her.
"What if… All the time they were meant to be, and it just took this to get them to finally be with each other?" She continued. "I mean, if I were in a relationship with someone and I didn't love them… Who else to care for that person rather than your best friend?"
"You don't know Chuck," he explained.
"Well… Maybe neither do you," she said and took his hand. He let her. "Maybe it's time you get to know your best friend again."
He stared at her. Her eyes were always clear and ready to give. He nodded slowly and pulled her to him. "You're beautiful, you know."
She smiled into him and wrapped her arms around his neck. "So are you, which worries me."
He laughed, and she kissed him.
"I still don't have the pretty woman complex." She pulled back.
"That's ok. I'm not rich." Her laugh warmed his stomach.
When he woke, he found she was gone. His son was sprawled on top of him, and it was evident that he didn't have a fever anymore. He carefully placed Maximus on the bed, and the little boy rolled over, sighing into the pillow.
He stood and found her in the bathroom. He stopped when he saw her. His heart beat rapidly. She looked up to find him staring.
"My mother," she said by way of explanation.
She was sitting with a skirt, a silk blouse, her hair back to its old chestnut brown curls, her make up done – she looked cleaned and polished and like the girl he saw growing up.
It was at that very moment that, after all these years, he realized that he'd always wanted her. Wanted her when she was with Nathaniel, wanted her as she would sneer at him, when she would plot with him, and when she would walk around with her high moral stick. He'd always wanted her.
In two steps, he grabbed her and kissed her – kissed her fiercely and possessively. Leaving her whimpering into his mouth as she grabbed onto his hair. He pulled back and pressed their foreheads together. She smelled so insatiably good.
She had trouble catching her breath, but she did and stared at him, wide eyed.
"I've always loved you," he told her, and she flushed pink.
"Bass…" she breathed and kissed him back passionately, pressing herself against him until she had backed him into the wall.
They both freeze as they turn to see their 24 month old staring at them, blinking questioningly. He looks adorable in his large white t-shirt and hair a mess.
Chuck chuckled and kisses her neck. She glared at him, pushing him back and turning to Max.
"Let me check on you," she grabbed Max as he stared at her, confused. She pressed her hand to his forehead. The fever had broken around 5am.
He touched her dark hair and looked at her.
"I changed a little, but it's still me, baby," she assures him as Chuck came up behind them.
"And guess who's getting a haircut?" He teased Maximus.
"No!" Maximus protested, wiggling out of Blair's arms and running to the room. He's about to go after him, but Blair pressed a hand to his chest.
"Donato is downstairs waiting for you," she informed him.
"Now?" He pouted slightly.
She raised a brow. "Go. Come back handsome."
He chuckled and walked out.
Blair busied herself teaching Maximus how to brush his teeth (which was hell on earth), and what socks were. She decided to start with socks. Which he actually liked. Now he was in a white t-shirt and little white socks.
That was all she was pushing him into today.
She took him downstairs and found Bart and Lily with Serena and Eric. The family turned to her.
"Oh, B!" Serena squealed happily. "You look like your old self!"
"Chuck is with Donato now," Blair told them as she set Maximus down, and he walked around the room, studying it. Bart eyed the little boy and stiffened a bit when he touched Bart's pants.
"Pants," he informed Bart Bass, as if the man didn't know. He looked at his own outfit. "No pants."
Eric and Serena found it funny, and Blair apologized.
"It's quite alright," he assured Blair.
"Brunch is ready," he told them, and then Maximus grabbed onto Bart's pants.
"Sing ABC," he demanded.
Blair went forward. "Maximus."
Lily chuckled. "He's more relaxed than yesterday."
Blair picked Max up and nodded. "He'll get used to it."
Lily nodded. "He's still a baby – he won't remember the island."
This made Blair sad as they all sat around the large table and a plate of fruit was offered to her and Maximus. Maximus happily dug in, making nonsense talk with Serena, who continued the conversation as if it made sense. He even fed her a banana.
"Oh! He ate some of my egg!" Serena looked anxiously at Blair.
Blair turned Maximus' face to her. "What did you eat?"
"I'm sure he'll be fine." Lily stated, knowingly.
"Egg." Maximus told her, showing Blair his little tongue to reveal bits of scrambled egg.
Blair breathed. "I'm sure we'll find out if he'll be alright pretty soon."
"It's strange to have a baby around," Lily confessed, but looked pleased. Bart continued staring at Maximus.
Blair took a bite out of her papaya. "Well, he's a handful."
"Oh, he's great," Serena assured her, and Maximus surprised everyone when he let Serena pick him up and place him on her lap.
"You're going to spoil him," Blair reminded her.
"Of course I am," Serena said happily. "Wait until the toys are delivered."
Chuck walked in then, and Blair and Bart stopped. He was once more combed and cleaned, hair cut, dressed in a sharp gray suit. Blair couldn't take her eyes off him. Bart looked pleased.
"Chuck!" Serena exclaimed happily.
"Chuck!" Maximus repeated.
Chuck was taken aback by Maximus on Serena's lap as she fed him grapes.
"Someone feels better this morning," he told Blair, taking a seat next to her.
"Charles," Bart nodded at him. "You look more like yourself."
Chuck stared at his father. "Yes… I admit, it's still strange to have on this much clothing."
Lily nodded sympathetically.
"So, what type of stuff happened in the island?" Eric inquired. The table stared at Blair and Chuck.
"A, b, c, d, e, f, g," Maximus sang softly as he squished the grapes on Serena's plate. He let out a laugh.
"Loads of things," Chuck answered, and Blair reached out and held his hand, squeezing it gently.
Bart cleared his throat.
"Blair, perhaps you would like to come with me and see the apartment Bart has found. I think it would be perfect."
Blair nodded, grateful for the change of subject. That's when the brunch was interrupted.
"Mr. Archibald for you, sir," the butler told Chuck.
Chuck sighed, and Blair looked at him with wide-eyes. Bart looked stiff.
"We are having a family meal." Bart explained.
"It's alright, dad." Chuck stood. "It'll just be a moment."
Chuck's hands were slightly clammy, but he pushed the feeling back as he walked into the waiting room where his friend was sitting.
"Nathaniel," Chuck greeted. Nate turned around slowly.
"Hi," he said and looked at him. "You cleaned up."
Chuck nodded and stuck his hands in his pockets. "It was always me, Nathaniel."
Nate nodded and took a seat. Chuck decided to do the same, and they stared at each other.
"I'm sorry about yesterday… I didn't mean to go off in front of your son," Nate began.
Chuck stared at him and finally nodded. "I'm sorry about the way you found out."
Nate shifted and finally sighed. "Do you love her?"
Chuck was taken aback. He studied his friend. "Always did."
Nate smiled and looked down. "Yeah… You did."
"This is not a game for me, Nathaniel," Chuck assured him.
Chuck's heart felt relieved. He didn't realize he'd been holding onto this horrible chip on his shoulder since he had first kissed Blair – this horrible feeling that he'd ruined his relationship with Nate.
"So… It's Sunday." Nate continued. "The weather's nice… Let's show your kid Central Park. It's not right that he's never seen it."
Chuck smiled and nodded. "He'd like that."
Blair entered that moment, searching for Chuck and Nate stood to greet her.
"Blair," he said and Chuck turned to her.
"Nate. Why don't you join us for brunch?" Blair veered and Chuck looked pleased at her.
Nate looked uncomfortably between the two but before he could answer Maximus trailed in behind Blair, not looking so good and once he reached Blair he promptly puked on the carpet.
"No egg." Maximus said, grimacing.
Blair and Chuck rushed forward. "He had some of Serena's eggs." Blair explained as Chuck picked Maximus up who looked like he felt better now that he had puked.
"When?" Chuck asked.
"Just now." Blair touched Maximus' forehead but he pushed her hand away.
"I ok, mommy," he told her.
Nate starred at them, stuffing his hands in his pockets. "Maybe he's allergic to eggs." Nate suggested and all three of hem turned to look at Nate. "I used to be when I was little. I can handle them now."
Chuck looked at Max who was using his new shirt to clean his tongue.
"Well… that breaks the ice, doesn't it?" Chuck stated, pulling Maximus' shirt out of his mouth. "Want to go to the park?"
Maximus' eyes went wide. "Park?"
"Yeah. To play." Chuck told him.
Maximus nodded. "Ok. We go now."
Harold arrived before Lily and Blair made it out the door and, after a fury of tears, she finally introduced him to Maximus.
Maximus had stared up at him doubtfully. Harold had kneeled to study the child.
"Maximus… Now that's a good name," he had told the boy. Max had offered Harold a smell of his blankie. From that moment on, he started his road to spoiled-hood.
Serena bought him about fifty toys. Bart catered to his every need. Harold coddled the child more than Chuck would like, and it took Eleanor only two weeks for her to hug the boy. Blair thought it was an accomplishment. Nate and Serena became the official godparents and that only led to him being spoiled even more rotten.
Their family and friends embraced them very quickly and, before they knew it, they had their own place, and Maximus was wearing clothes without much of a protest. Much.
That's when Chuck decided to drop the bomb.
"I'm buying the island," he told her after another disastrous potty training exercise with Maximus.
She paused and turned to look at him.
"W-what?" She asked, hands on her hips.
"And I'm giving it to you," He continued.
She blinked, staring at him. "What are you talking about?"
He smirked – that same smirk that melted her – but she held her ground. He was talking crazy.
"Come here, kid," he said to the door and in walked Maximus with a little box in his hands. Chuck picked him up and lifted him to Blair's face. Maximus hair was now buzzed short, showing up off its smooth caramel color.
"Ok, say it," Chuck murmured to him. Maximus smiled, as Blair stared at the box in his hands.
"Marry daddy, ok?"
Chuck looked at her behind Maximus' shoulder.
Blair flushed as she looked at the men in her life. Chuck knew the answer already, but it was the way he incorporated their love, in his hands, before her.
"Not bad, Bass," she smiled widely. Blair took the box from Maximus' hands. Maximus leaned forward and gave her a watery kiss. She smiled and opened the box. It was a perfect Tiffany ring.
"What's the island for?" She asked.
"That's where the wedding's going to be," Chuck told her and set Maximus down – the little boy went running back into his toy room.
"I haven't said yes – you're entirely too cocky," she snapped.
"So is that a No?" He asked, coming closer.
"No." She smiled, and he took the box from her, taking the ring out and tossing the box.
"Is that a yes, then?" He asked, taking her hand.
"Perhaps." She smiled as he slipped the ring onto her finger.
"Good enough," he murmured and kissed her. She melted into him, enjoying the feel of him and his cologne around her. Then she pulled back.
"With one condition," she said.
She rolled her eyes. "Build me a summer home there. I want our son to always know the island. It's what made him."
Chuck touched her face.
"I like that," he admitted.
"Mommy! Daddy! Look!"
They stopped, paused, and sighed. Interrupted once more. They looked down at Maximus, who had stripped naked.
"Where are you clothes?" She demanded.
"They suck," Max spat. "Look, pee-pee." He pointed at his pecker.
"Hum…" Blair looked at Chuck. "He refuses to be potty trained but he can drop his clothes to show off his penis. Definitely yours."
"Like you mind," Chuck smirked at her, then went to grab Max, but he sped off running and laughing, almost killing Bart who was entering the suite and got a full view of his naked grandson.
Preview for the Next Story:
Title: In Love & War
Summary: Post 1.13. Chuck Bass left New York after he lost Blair, and he and Nate fought. Years later, a deep economic crisis has left the world's economy in shambles and the only family in the UES with money left? The Bass family and its sole heir: Chuck Bass. Eleanor convinces Blair to marry Chuck for his money, but all the feelings Blair left buried a long time ago start to surface when she realizes he's not the man she thought he was.
"It's been some time, Waldorf," he drawled out, dressed impeccably, as always, in his black suit and green bow-tie.
"Chuck Bass," she smirked and hoped that he didn't notice the run in her stockings. He did.
"I heard Nathaniel and yourself reconciled," he purred, scotch in hand and smirk in place.
"For a minute," she nodded and turned from him, then cursed because he would be able to see the façade of her outfit. This was one of her last decent outfits. In the crowd they swam in, it didn't matter because everyone was scrapping by and pretending they weren't. But Chuck was different. The Basses had invested in the one item that hadn't plummeted in the stock market crash. Corn. Loads of it.
The last wise investment Bart Bass made before he died and left his empire to his only son. But that was years ago. They were twenty-four now, twenty-four and still proud.
"I'd ask about your mother, but she came to see me," he drawled.
She froze, feeling a chill up her spine. Her mother wouldn't. Couldn't. Shit, she would. Eleanor was as desperate as ever. With no one buying fashion these days, Eleanor Waldorf's designs were as useless as petroleum. As useless as cars. With her father dead after his money had depleted, they had exactly $298 in the house. Cash. Banks were for rich bastards like the one before her. That money would have to last them as long as it could… Until she could find a job. The money was to be used for such frivolous things such as food and wood for the fireplace. But when Eleanor had learned Chuck Bass was back in the UES, she had seen endless possibilities. Like marrying her daughter off to the last millionaire left.
"My mother's not well. I hope you didn't take anything she said seriously," she spat.
"Still on a high horse," he leered. "Quite an accomplishment for someone with a run in their stockings." His voice was low and poignant.
She reeled back and stared at him. "Why are you here? Why are you talking to me? You left, and you didn't even look back to see how your friends were."
"If I remember correctly, I didn't have any friends left," he snapped.
"Your own doing," she countered.
"No thanks to you," he hissed.
"How long are you going to blame me?" She asked.
"How long are you going to pretend you haven't used your once-lovely hands for manual labor?" He stared at her once-manicured hands.
Her eyes went wide, and she cursed. She should've worn her mother's gloves. Yes, they had a tear, but at least they would cover her hands. "I hate you. I hate you, your money, and everything you say."
"Hate is a powerful emotion." He walked away from her. "I'm sure you'll find me when you need something."
Her mother's words were ringing in her ears. 'You were raised to be a princess. He's the only prince left. Marry him. Marry him, Blair.' Her mother was wrong. There had to be another way. She'd rather die than marry Chuck Bass and let him sweep her off to his Scottish estate were he was rumored to live.
A/N - I wanted to thank everyone who took time out to leave some feedback and those of you who gave the fic a chance even though it was rather outlandish. I'm glad you enjoyed it!! Thank you once more!