A/N: I've been avoiding writing this for a few days now... it became unavoidable. I'm gonna be soo tired at work tomorrow. NO SPOILERS, all aired episodes are fair game. Set sometime after episode 208: Pret-a-Poor-J. Chuck and Blair, of course. One-Shot. Not beta'd.
Disclaimer: I don't own Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass or Blair Waldorf. If I did, they'd go to the movies, hold hands, and plot social destruction. Together.
It was amazing how many things decide to go wrong just because it's Blair Waldorf's birthday.
Seeing as how this was her eighteenth, more than usual blew up in her face because of the momentous occasion. The details were long and depressingly many, but she couldn't care to wallow over them. She really felt nothing about the day's events now that all was said and done, but she couldn't stop the tears over what was really bothering her...
So, there she was, lying across her bed crying much like the end of last year's party, and she was absolutely certain that Chuck wouldn't be coming to fix the disastrous night this time.
She had no reason to expect him last year, but even less of a reason this year; they were nothing. Sure, they had been trying to be friends... but it was all a lie.
It isn't possible for you to be just friends with someone you love.
Especially if you know that person loves you in return.
All that she had to hang onto after their last brutally emotional conversation was two words she'd never thought Chuck's vocabulary included: wait and future.
When he'd come to her room, when she'd cried in front of him and she'd sworn there was a tear threatening to escape his own broken eyes, waiting sounded like a mediocre idea.
Now it sounded even more ridiculous.
The kiss he'd left on her lips felt like goodbye and the pain of never had overwhelmed her, causing her to cry into her 'dry clean only' bed sheets.
Just like the sheets she was currently ruining, waiting for Chuck to swoop in and rescue her from her bad birthday luck... knowing that he wouldn't be coming.
The clock next to her bed struck midnight, and the official start of her adult years, but there was no call, no knock...
Maybe she should have let Serena stay to comfort her like she'd offered to. The blonde wanted to cheer Blair up, but wallowing was all that appealed to her at the moment. Without 'Serena Sunshine' trying to brighten the atmosphere her room seemed more conducive to the crying she'd known she'd do. Blair's sorrow-filled chest had felt heavier with her friend's energy around to show the contrast between their two dispositions.
The day had been draining, the party a disaster, and now would be a perfect time to cry herself to sleep.
Just as Blair turned over to face the window the air in the room shifted, causing the hairs on the back of her neck to stand up...
She wasn't alone anymore.
"Now, why does this seem so familiar?" Chuck's soft words washed over her, but they missed the joking lilt that he'd obviously meant to use; like he couldn't expend the energy.
Lifting herself up on her elbow, she stared at the empty fireplace and said nothing. There wasn't really anything to say.
A few soft footsteps announced his progress as he approached her. When he finally rounded the bed and sat down on the edge beside her, he didn't look at her when he breathed her name.
She sighed, pulling her feet close to her body and sitting upright next to him. Voice cracking slightly from the rough tears she'd shed, she asked him quietly, "What are you doing here?"
He wasn't supposed to be. There was no reason for him to be. Why would he bother?
There was obviously nothing here for him now.
His sharp intake of breath told her nothing, but he sounded offended when he flatly replied, "I can leave."
She turned her head and studied his face, the one that never showed emotion, yet seemed ridden with it nowadays; it reflected an injury.
"I didn't think you'd come," her voice was shaking; carefully checked emotions were starting to spill through her eyes.
Chuck's eyes met hers and a thumb brushed the tears from a cheek, "That was silly." The tear or the thought, Blair couldn't be sure which he was talking about. "Like I would miss our anniversary," he tried to smirk, but it was more of a grimace.
"That would have been last night," she jokingly deadpanned.
He rolled his eyes, "Work with me here."
The slight levity in the air faded. "I'm trying to."
She sighed, "Don't. Just... thank you for coming." Patting his knee with her hand, she tried to smile, "This has been the worst birthday ever."
His hand covered hers, "It's up to me to salvage it again?"
"Maybe it's not supposed to be salvaged," her brow furrowed, "I've just got the worst luck when it comes to birthdays." His eyes were boring deep into her own, so she finished seriously, "It's not your responsibility to make my birthday memorable."
The hand that wasn't covering hers brushed hair away from her face, "What if I want it to be?"
"What if I just want you to make up your mind?"
"I did... but that doesn't mean that I'm happy with it."
"No one's happy."
"Maybe I can do a little something to change that." Reaching into his jacket pocket, he pulled out a black box. Smaller than the box he'd presented her with the previous year, it was rectangular in shape.
The mirroring of events, matching those of her seventeenth birthday, didn't escape her notice... it was just more meaningful now; they actually meant something to each other.
Even if that something didn't have a name, it still counted.
Blair heard the crack from the hinge of the box, but her eyes didn't leave Chuck's until he broke eye contact, directing her attention downward. Sitting on the velvet cushion inside the box was a string of forty or so tiny, diamond-crusted butterflies, set in gold and just the right size for her wrist.
She was speechless. "That..." she breathed deeply and tried again, "that wasn't on the list."
Yes, a silly detail, but...
"I know," his voice was unreadable, "When I saw it, the shop keeper told me you refused to reserve it even though he'd caught you admiring it."
Her eyes slammed into his, the question of why bouncing around in their depths. "I thought of you when I saw it and I was sure you wouldn't come..." she sighed, tracing his jaw with her fingertips as her eyes watered, "It wouldn't be right to accept them from someone else."
Suddenly she felt the cool metal on her wrist, contrasting with his warm fingertips as he closed the clasp. "Perfect fit," he announced in resignation, "Like it was made for you."
They shared a long, deep gaze before he leaned forward and kissed her forehead.
Her heart was beating rapidly as she fought to keep all the words she longed to say inside; the protestations over how silly they were being, the three words they'd basically agreed not to say… they were all bouncing around, driving her mad. Breathing deeply, she finally got her thoughts under control. Squeezing the hand that was now turned over and holding his, she settled for two words: "Thank you."
"You're welcome," he smiled wanly, "But I'm not done."
"I don't need anything else, Chuck." Except him, which was out of the question; he wasn't hers, probably wouldn't be for a long time... if ever. They'd agreed it was for the best; rather than crash and burn quickly, they'd drag it out as long as they could.
Unless something changed.
"It's not a thing; it's something you deserve to know." His hands cupped her face, "Now that the games are over, I want you to tell you..."
She was frozen, her eyes glued to his as licked his lips then breathed deeply, "I love you, Blair."
A wave of numbness washed over her; she couldn't move, couldn't breathe, but her eyes filled up with tears. When they started to fall, he took her into his arms and held her.
After the shock of the words had worn off, a happy, hopeful glow filled her chest as she pulled away to meet his gaze, "Chuck, I..."
His finger shushed her lips, "No."
Chuck shook his head, "You don't have to. I didn't..." he took a breath, "you don't have to return it. It's a gift."
Her heart sank to her toes. "This doesn't change anything, does it?"
His silence was her answer.
Blair's voice rose in pitch; "Then why say it at all, Chuck?!"
She couldn't control herself, not after that emotional whirlwind that his confession sent her through. "To... torture me?" Sobs were working through her chest, causing her to gasp through her words, "Because... that's all... this is... torture! It... hurts!"
"You think I'm not hurting too, Blair?" His tone was filled with sorrow, "I just don't see any way that it could work between us right now."
Taking a deep breath, tears were streaming down her cheeks as she choked out, "But I love you, too." She sniffled, "It's supposed to work."
His lips were on hers, her mouth falling open, desperately tasting as much of him as she could before he pulled away to crush her heart: "I wish it were that simple."
Blair buried her face in his neck, "It doesn't have to be so complicated." She breathed in his scent, memorizing the way his arms were wrapped around her.
It was only a matter of time before he let go.
"It wouldn't be us if it wasn't." He stood up and kissed her forehead once more, "Happy Birthday, Blair."
She was alone again.
The only evidence that he'd been there was the bracelet around her wrist, the one she couldn't take her eyes off of.
It'd been a year since he'd confessed to butterflies; now it was love they were going through.
Tears fell as she changed out of her party dress and slipped between the sheets, her heart aching, yet whole.
Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf are in love.
With each other.
The truth was a wonderful, life-altering thing...
It could only be a matter of time until nothing could keep them apart.
The three words were finally spoken; the same ones that they'd tried to demand and manipulate and tease out of each other.
That changed everything... no matter what Chuck said.
A/N: Well, that's it... not much, but I think it came out pretty well. Please let me know what you think... and your estimation on how many episodes this 'waiting for the future' crap is gonna last... I think they're trying to kill me.