Title: Bringing Up Baby
Disclaimer: I do not own Gossip Girl and Chuck Bass is not locked in my closet. But Blair might be ;)
Spoilers: Post 2.16. After avoiding one another, they arrive at the Van der Bass home to find a small child left for the Bass family. This follows the first 48 hrs adjusting to having a small child to care for, with C & B realizing they're anything but over one another.
A/N – This will be a much lighter piece, full of fluff and fun moments as the hours tick by, and Chuck & Blair realize what it takes to be a family. A special thank you to Tati, my always faithful beta *kiss*
Blair Waldorf lived entirely through plans.
These plans were segregated by steps.
Step 1 – Call Serena.
Step 2 – If Serena does not answer, invade her private space, kick Brooklyn out, and demand girl time.
She was, after all, semi-grieving. It was only fair that she would require BFF time. When Serena broke up with Dan for maybe the fourth time (She couldn't remember, they'd broken up so many times), she had been there, listening and grimacing at the mundane and monotonous blabbering. It was only fair that Serena do the same for her.
So when Serena still didn't pick up her phone after the seventh ring, Blair decided to take matters into her own hands. She dressed in her new Chanel dress and pretty matching flats and trotted her sad self down to the Van der Woodsen place.
It was a safe zone for at least the next couple of days, since Chuck had not yet moved in to invade their sanctuary. No Chuck meant a happy Blair.
Dexter nodded to her as she trotted into the lobby and threw him a wave, a wave to a well-behaved manservant. The elevator was closing, so she jumped forward.
"Hold the elevator!" She cried and slipped in, sliding her thin body between the doors with a satisfied smirk. There was nothing Blair Waldorf didn't get. Except for, you know… What she didn't get, which was quickly dismissed as unnecessary.
And what she needed was air. Maybe vodka. Vodka would be good. Seeing as her need to enter the damn elevator had stuck her with none other than the object of her non-affection. Chuck Bass.
Dressed in casual slacks, an opened yellow shirt, and a questioning look in his handsome eyes. She opened her mouth to speak and then decided against it.
Why did it have to be an elevator? Why couldn't it be a ferry, a public bus, or a horse-drawn carriage? No. It had to be an elevator. Their first interaction since the elevator was in an elevator.
Fate hated her.
Fate was out to destroy her.
Her life sucked.
She couldn't breathe.
Damn, he smelled good.
She was suffocating. She pressed her hand to her chest. She felt dizzy, but she had to keep her composure. She was over him. SO over him. He and his colored shirt had no affect whatsoever on her. None. Nada. Zippo.
"Evening, Waldorf," he drawled, looking ahead, not looking at her. Casually leaning against the wall with a hat in his hand.
Why was he not dressed to go out? It was Friday night. For that matter, why wasn't she dressed to go out? Dammit! She should've worn her vintage Lagerfeld dress. She should've. But she hadn't. Because she had not counted on Chuck being at the apartment yet. He was supposed to move back in next week. Not this week. Her plan had been drastically changed. Drastically altered, and Blair Waldorf didn't deal well with changes in the plan.
Her nostrils flared. She couldn't be rude. She needed to say something equally nonchalant.
She took a sharp breath. "Bass."
Perfect. Last name basis. Of course, they were always on last-name basis. When friends, when lovers, when 'friends', always last names. Dammit. She was going to have to talk to Lily about the horrible air conditioning problem in this elevator. It was obvious that there wasn't enough circulation.
She glanced at the floor.
They were on 15.
Twenty more floors to go. She couldn't take it.
Why did Bart Bass have to chose the top of the damn world? Pissed her off! She wasn't supposed to be pissed off at a dead man, but he seemed to be mocking them now from the grave.
Her brows furrowed and she could almost see the man smirking.
"Relax. I promise to pretend we don't know each other," he said quietly, and her heart clenched because they were so utterly far from where they had been just a few weeks before. She could hardly stand it. It was slowly eating her alive. It was finally having a connection with someone, and then having it yanked away by her own self-preservation instincts.
She wished things were different. She wished they could just be two high school teenagers in love with one another, and just act like it. Act all in love, like Serena and Dan could. Hold hands without all of these messy issues rearing their ugly heads all over the place.
But they were not like that. It was not them.
He was right. It was only a matter of time before one of the messed it all up, and they would end up like this. Stuck in a place neither wanted to be, with oceans between them and a hundred words of anger and apology unspoken in the mists of thick air.
That's what they were. Chuck and Blair. Blair and Chuck. Never starting and always unending.
When the elevator finally rang, she let out the breath she had been holding and nearly stumbled out of the confined box. His presence was right behind her, making her skin prickle. She walked forward, intent on finding Serena and either taking them out of the apartment or locking themselves in her room.
Of course, the plan was instantly foiled by the oddest thing she had ever seen in the Van der Bass home.
Chuck spotted it, too. Without noticing, he stood next to her as they both looked on, transfixed on the object on the floor. They studied it, as if the thing was alive and would jump out and attack them.
"What is it?" She asked softly, confused as hell.
His brows were furrowed. He walked forward, his head tilting as he studied the small red box with a metal winder on the side.
She wanted to say 'be careful,' but it was no longer her place. He'd made sure she knew her place. The box could explode for all she cared.
And of course that's exactly what the box did when he touched it with the tip of his Italian leather caramel shoe. Blair screamed, Chuck cursed loudly and they both jumped (of course, Blair was merely grasping his arm to steady herself because she was sure they were both dying).
They didn't die. In fact, she didn't know if she should laugh or kick the damn box.
From out of the box, a smiling and very freaky clown was protruding. It was laughing.
"HAHAHAHAHA," it said as it bounced, staring at them.
Chuck looked downright pissed.
"Oh, my God, that is horrible!" Blair exclaimed, her heart at her throat (she quickly dropped Chuck's arm, as it was obvious he wasn't going to protect her from the evil 6 inch clown).
Chuck touched it with his foot, and the box with the clown fell back and continued laughing.
"Make it stop!" Blair demanded, still freaked out by such a thing left in the foyer. "Who would leave that there? Where's Lily?"
"She's in Spain," Chuck explained, distracted and reaching for the box. She watched him as he attempted to put the clown back in the box. Horrible thing.
But then that's when they both paused. Chuck was squatting down with the box in his hands and Blair froze, eyes wide.
"What was that?" Chuck whispered.
Blair's mouth felt dry. She should've stayed home. She swore if they found another box, she would get back in the elevator and not visit until their home was properly exorcized.
They heard it again. An… odd sound. Like a giggle and a cry.
"Ok, I'm leaving," she declared, turning on her heels. She didn't need girl bonding time that badly. But that was when the object of horror came into view. She gasped, and Chuck stood up sharply, clown forgotten on the floor.
There, peaking from behind their Italian couch was a child. A small child. A knee-high type of child. Blair stepped back, and so did Chuck.
"Are we in the right apartment?" Blair asked almost breathlessly.
The little boy (at least she thought it was a boy) with wide hazel eyes studied them and then grew shy and hid his face against the couch. His pacifier had been dropped on the carpet and drool painted the couch.
Both Blair and Chuck looked on with horror-stricken faces.
"That's going to stain," she assured him.
"Whose is it? Why is it here?" Chuck demanded, nearly angry.
"I don't know!" She snapped. "Where's its mother?"
They looked around and the apartment was eerily quiet.
"Hello!" He yelled into the room. "Bonnie! Annette!"
Blair was still staring at the child, wide-eyed. He peeked out and looked right back at them. His light brown hair falling on his forehead.
"Gerard!" Chuck continued bellowing for the help.
"Chuck…" Blair tucked at this arm as the baby walked slowly towards them. Chuck spotted the movement, and they both scrambled out of the way, tripping over the table in an attempt to avoid the child's wet hands.
The child babbled of things that made no sense, and Blair hid behind Chuck when the baby spotted their forms. It soon became bored with them and waddled to the couch, pulling itself up slowly and staring at them from the couch.
"I think it's trying to communicate with us," Blair said.
Chuck threw her a look. "It's not an alien, Blair. It's a child. You know, a very tiny human being."
"Well, I've never been around children!" She snapped.
"Oh, and I have?" Chuck retorted.
"It's fine. It's ok. It's like that one time Nate's little cousin visited us in the Hamptons in 9th grade, remember?" She suggested.
"Willy was ten, Blair. This one is tinier," Chuck reminded her.
"I know it's tinier!" She spat out. "We just have to treat it the same."
"We locked Willy in a closet," he smirked.
She blinked innocently at him.
He rolled his eyes. "Let's just find its mother, ok?"
"Ball!" The baby shouted, and Chuck and Blair jumped back.
"It can talk," she exclaimed.
Chuck gulped. "Where is your mother?"
The baby stared back at them, and then let out a watery laugh. Blair looked around and spotted a blue bag with yellow polka dots.
"Look!" She cried and went to it, carefully eyeing the child to make sure it made no sudden movements. She picked up the bag, which had some baby bottles in it, what looked like diapers and… An envelope!
Chuck went to stand by her as she dropped the bag on the floor and opened the envelope. It was plain college-ruled paper, torn roughly from a notebook. The writing was choppy and anything but refined.
"Dear Bass family," Blair began. "I can't take care of my baby. Please look after him, and please don't call the cops," she trailed off and stared at Chuck. Chuck was gaping at the note. He yanked it from her as he scanned it.
"… The baby's name is Richard, but he likes Richie. Please make sure he knows I loved him. Thank you, and sorry! Kay," Chuck finished reading, a stunned tone in his voice. He looked at Blair and then they simultaneously looked at Richie. "Kay was our maid…"
Richie rubbed his eye as he tugged a sock off.
"Oh, my God…" Blair whispered. "… I didn't think these types of things happened anymore…"
"I'm calling Lily," Chuck announced.
Blair stood by him, wriggling her hands as he waited for Lily to pick up. They would glance at Richie every once in a while. The little boy had slid off the couch, grabbed the blue bag, and was now dragging it all over the living room, making the contents spill out of it, leaving a small trail of diapers, bottles, and wet things.
"He's making a mess," Blair told Chuck, as if he couldn't see it himself. She had never seen the house in such a state. This child had been there for an hour and it was already a disaster. The baby began walking towards them, babbling more nonsense. They both simultaneously moved back, shielding themselves against a couch.
And that was when it happened. He let go of the bag and scrunched up his face and started bawling.
"Oh, no," Blair cried. "Is she answering?"
"No!" Chuck snapped, grimacing at the noise the child was making. "It goes to motherfucking voicemail!"
"Don't curse!" Blair chided.
The baby wailed louder, hiccupping and making his little chest rise and fall rapidly.
"Make it stop!" Chuck cried.
"I don't know how!" Blair countered.
"Aren't you supposed to know how to handle these things?" He asked.
"Why, because I'm a woman?" Her hands were on her hips, but they both froze when the little boy walked to them and raised his arms at them, still crying.
"It's trying to communicate," Chuck said doubtfully.
"Oh, really?" She asked mockingly.
"It wants you to pick it up." He shoved the child at her.
"Oh, no! He's not mine. He's yours. He was left to the Bass family, and last I heard, you're the only one left," she spat angrily.
"Well, I'm not picking him up. I don't like children," he said easily.
The baby cried louder, and Blair covered her ears.
"Neither do I!" She cried, louder than the wailing.
But the baby made the decision for them as he latched on to Blair's leg and mumbled something as he tried to get her to pick him up.
"It's touching me! Oh, my God, this is Chanel!" Drool and tears were now staining her silk skirt. Chuck grimaced and then jumped up when his phone rang.
"It's Lily!" He cried delightedly and quickly picked up the call.
Blair attempted to back away, pulling the little fingers off her skirt. He grasped on to her hands, making her blanch.
"Lily! Thank goodness you called," Chuck breathed into the phone. The child's cries became louder.
"Charles, what on earth is that noise?" Lily asked.
"It's a child – a baby. It's here in the suite. It was left here, and now it's crying," he explained easily, helping Blair untangle herself from the baby.
"Who left it? What are you talking about?"
"The maid, Kay. The one who flirted with Eric last month, remember?" He replied, pulling Blair with him as they evaded the child and hid behind a couch. "She left her kid. It's tiny, and it's crying. She left a note – ow! Blair!" She had stepped on his foot in her attempt to prevent the baby from reaching her once more.
"Yes! Blair's here. It was left to us, and I – watch it!" He barely escaped the baby's wet paws as they made their way to his slacks. "Lily – you need to come home now. I can't handle this mess –"
"I'm sorry, Charles, but the meetings go on until Sunday afternoon," she explained.
"What exactly am I supposed to do?" He snapped angrily as Blair climbed over a sofa. "It won't shut up, and it wants to touch us."
He could hear Lily laughing in the other end.
"Lily… This is not funny," he ground out. "We don't know anything about kids and we're liable to kill it."
"Just call a nanny in the morning. I think you can manage that. And for tonight… Well, for tonight just… If he cries, it's one of three things. He's hungry. He's tired. Or he's got… A wet diaper. How old is he?"
Chuck was too busy disbelieving the situation to counter. "It's about as tall as my knee… maybe taller."
"My purse, Chuck! My purse!" Blair cried as a large snot bubble from the baby's nose fell on it. They both groaned.
"It's leaking all over the place," Chuck said darkly. "From all places."
Lily laughed. "He's probably a little over a year. He's still a baby. Now, clean him up. Hold him and check his diaper."
"What? Where are the maids?" Chuck asked.
"Well, since I'm in Spain, and Eric is with my mother, and you were not supposed to be moving in until next week, Serena said she didn't need them, so I gave them the weekend off," she explained. "But don't worry. Hilda will be in the morning. Call the nanny, you'll be fine. I'll sort through this when I get back."
And with that she hung up.
"Is she coming? When? When is she coming?" Blair demanded, and he glanced at her, then at the baby, who continued sobbing. He was getting a headache.
"She's not," he sighed. "And there's no nanny service until the morning."
"Where are the maids?" She asked in horror.
"They're off," he said darkly, rubbing his temples.
"What are you supposed to do?" She wondered, staring at him doubtfully.
"Me? You're helping me out. It likes you." He pointed at the baby who had, without her notice, latched onto her skirt. Blair yelped and yanked the fabric from its fingers, making it sob louder.
"Mama!" It yelled.
Blair and Chuck gasped and stared at it. Blair slowly turned to glare at Chuck.
"Charles Bartholomew Bass, you make this child stop wanting me, or I swear to God, I will make your life a living hell!" She cried.
Chuck glared at her, and she glared back.
And that was when he spotted it. A little brown… pebble on the carpet. On the pristine ivory carpet.
He scrunched up his face and walked to it, ignoring her glowing looks. There were… a lot of pebbles. A little trail of them.
"Oh, fuck no…" he whispered with realization.
The baby wailed, and Blair blanched.