One Thousand Suns
Summary: I had you, I lost you, but all that's been on my mind is getting you back.
Disclaimer: I don't own Gossip Girl or this couple.
Dedicated to: All my reviewers! After putting up To Write Love on Our Arms, I was showered with incredibly encouraging reviews. Thanks so much! I really needed the confidence boost.
It had been exactly one thousand days since he last saw her. One thousand suns had set and one thousand moons had risen without her. Each day was worse to handle as he somehow became a better person on the outside but crumbled on the inside.
He had messed things up, and he knew it.
"Tell me how to make things better." He pleaded, his voice slurring and his breath smelling entirely of hard liquor.
"Stop drinking." She said abruptly, her eyes tired and worn, as if they had the conversation before.
He lets his scotch glass fall to the ground and shatter. He stands up and his eyes meet hers.
"Fine, if that's what you want."
He'd do anything for her. The problem was, this was one thing that he couldn't just stop abruptly.
He was slowly hitting rock bottom.
He went walking in Central Park, just as he did every day.
He had gone on walks with her too, before everything went bad.
But this day was completely different. The sun was shining, there were no clouds in sight, and the noise of children rang in his ears peacefully.
Usually, he was annoyed by all three.
And that's when he saw a little girl, only about two years old, being pushed in a stroller. She had gorgeous hazel eyes, dark brown hair, and incredible porcelain skin. Probably the most distinct thing about her was the Burberry headband on top of her head.
He only saw the little girl until he heard someone call his name.
"A lot of people are saying I should just give up on you." Her eyes have no light in them. "I don't want to, but you're just making promises that you can't keep."
"I'm sorry, okay?" He's drunk. He's always drunk.
"You're sorry now." Her eyes are dark, only dark. "You're sorry for a little while. But you just keep drinking yourself to an early grave."
He knows he is. He's also bringing her down with him.
"Chuck?" Her voice intrudes into his thoughts.
"Wal-" He stops himself. They're not friends. "Blair."
She smiles, a genuine smile, one that he hasn't seen in a long time.
"You look great." She offers, and it seems like she really means it.
He better look great. God, one thousand days sober, he should.
"Thanks." He thinks of the immediate response. "You too."
She nods, and he knows she's contemplating whether she should introduce the young girl.
"This is Holly." She's still smiling.
He looks at the young girl once more. She's giggling, her chocolate curls bouncing.
He doesn't see Holly. He sees Blair Waldorf.
Then Holly smirks, and a cold realization shoots through him.
He was in a drunken stupor when he stumbles into his suite, knowing she's waiting for him.
He digs through his pocket and takes out a little black box, fumbling with his fingers to open it.
He attempts to kneel down, but falls on both knees instead. He doesn't bother fixing himself.
"Marry me." He doesn't ask, he demands it of her.
"Chuck, you're drunk-"
"Marry me." He repeats himself.
"Let's get you cleaned up-"
"Marry me!" He yells. He doesn't want excuses.
She stops dead in her tracks. This is the first time he sees her turn cold, frigid.
"No." She answers. She grabs her bag, walks out of the door, and slams it behind her.
That's when things turned sour.
"She's your daughter?" She's our daughter?
Blair nods without flinching. She takes Holly out of her stroller when she starts making a fuss.
That's when the flashbacks really start coming.
"I'm pregnant." She announces, neither of excitement nor disgust.
But Chuck is truly disgusted. And drunk, like always.
"What?"He glares at her.
She decides to repeat it for him. "I said-"
"Abort it." He gives her no option, no decision.
"Excuse me?" She says indignantly.
"I said to abort it." He snarls. "I don't want a fucking kid."
"What if I don't want to?" She's defying him. She always does.
He stands up, getting more terrifying in his drunken state. "When I said to abort the kid, I meant it."
"No." She's not backing down.
He raises his hand, and slaps her straight across the face.
He's immediately sorry for it, and that's the one moment he realizes that he has to stop drinking, stop treating Blair like crap, stop being this terrible person.
But it's too late. Blair's eyes fill with tears. She says nothing, but he knows that he has completely ruined things with her.
He goes to the bathroom, looks at himself in the mirror, and passes out.
She's gone in the morning.
He pours all of his liquor down the bathroom sink, hating himself completely.
It hadn't crossed his mind that Blair had the baby, let alone kept it after the entire ordeal.
He should have known this. He should have known all of this. But she disappeared off the face of the earth, and he hadn't bothered to find her, knowing somehow that he would hurt her more than he did the night she left him.
Eventually, people stopped talking about her. She only kept in contact with Serena, and she would never tell him anything. Serena never forgave him for hurting Blair.
"How come I haven't seen you around?" He asks, his eyes wandering, trying not to look at Holly.
"After I graduated from Yale, I went to live in France." She says, her eyes flickering with light. She's happy, content, by herself, he can tell.
"So she was born in…"
"France, yeah." She smiles again. "Her first words were French, actually." She laughs a bit.
He doesn't ask what her first word was. That was too personal, too fast.
He knew Blair personally, but he knew nothing about Holly. And she was who really mattered in this situation.
"I've been sober for a while." He offers, hoping that she's proud of him.
She nods. "That's good." She's treating him like a six year old who just showed her a picture to hang up on the refrigerator.
And that's how he should be treated, now that he thinks about it. He wonders why she's even talking to him.
"How long?" She asks.
"One thousand days." He replies.
She raises her eyebrows at the odd response, but once she realizes that the number has some sort of significance, she nods.
"I should get going." She says, putting Holly back in her stroller. "I have a lot of things to do today." She's not blowing him off, at least he hopes not. She seems more genuine today than any other day he's ever had a conversation with her.
He nods solemnly. He wishes he could hold Holly, but that would be pushing it.
His daughter is beautiful. He knows it, Blair knows it.
He just wishes he could have known sooner.
So, acting on impulse, once Holly is in her stroller, he embraces Blair, taking in the scent of vanilla. He smiles to himself when she doesn't pull away.
"You really do look great, Chuck." She seems much older, more mature than he's last seen her."I'm proud of you."
He smirks. "That's always good to hear."
She rolls her eyes, and for one second, it seems like they're teenagers again, but then she grabs the stroller and starts to leave.
"I'll see you around." She smirks.
"You can bet on it." He's going to make sure of it.
She waves, then turns around and walks away, leaving some sort of mystery shrouding her. She had definitely grown up, gotten wiser. She didn't need to hang onto anyone anymore.
He had made a lot of mistakes in his life. But he would not make this his biggest. He would fix things, he was sure.
Chuck promised himself right then and there that he would get to know his daughter. Eventually, he would get Blair back and everything would be okay again.
All in good time. After all, Manhattan was a very small island.
Author's Note: So, here's another oneshot, mixed with angst and a bit of hopefulness at the end.
I really want to thank you guys for reading. I haven't been as confident about my writing as I was before, and you guys are really lifting up my spirits.
Review! Reviews make me smile. Thanks, Cass