My father died a week after Ryan and I got back from our honeymoon. The doctors said it was a massive, sudden heart attack, but Aunt Serena insists that his broken heart finally gave out.
At his funeral, Serena gave the eulogy.
"One of my favorite memories of Chuck is not so much unique as it is a testament to his character. It was about one year after Audrina was born and I had been watching her for the evening. When I went over to the Bass apartment, their maid let me in and I ventured into the house calling for them. Knowing Chuck and Blair like I did, I knew I had to be careful turning corners, never completely sure what I would walk in on."
Everyone chuckled knowingly at this statement.
Serena continued, "Well I wasn't disappointed. I entered the living room to find Chuck with one hand up his wife's skirt and the other inside her shirt as he was kissing her neck. When Blair saw me she immediately pulled away, while Chuck just looked back, grumbled 'Oh it's only her' and tried to pull Blair back to him. She pushed him back again saying 'AND Audrey. Please behave yourself.' With a spark in his eye Chuck responded in typical Bass fashion saying 'She has to learn how she came about eventually, might as well be now.'"
Once again, everyone laughed quietly at the scene they all could clearly imagine.
"Of course Blair stood up anyway, rolled her eyes and said something about him being disgusting as she kissed his forehead. She took Audrina and thanked me before turning back to Chuck. As I was walking out, I turned around to take one more look at the happy family and saw Blair holding the baby and sitting on Chuck's lap as she fawned over Audrina. But I was focused on Chuck, who could not tear his eyes away from his wife and child, with that fire still present in his eyes. I knew Chuck for basically my entire life, and I had never, ever seen such life and passion coming from him. Just seeing him with Blair and Audrina, with a family, anyone could tell that he was a man that could not get happier. In that moment, sitting in that room, he had everything he could ever want or need.
"Most of the world will remember Chuck for Bass Industries or for his dramatic turnaround from an unmotivated playboy to a majorly successful business man, but I will always remember him as the lost boy who never felt love until my best friend swept him off his feet in a burlesque club, as the boy who loved my best friend the way she always deserved but had never been loved before, as the boy who completed my own dysfunctional family."
By this point, Serena had tears streaming down her cheeks, and had to pause to keep from breaking down.
"After Blair died, Chuck was never the same. I'm not saying he had given up on life, because he hadn't. Whenever he looked at his daughter, whenever he saw her succeed, saw her smile, saw her happy in a way that he never was as a child; at those moments just a hint of that spark could be seen in Chuck Bass.
"I knew Chuck when he was a drugged out, careless teenager. I knew him when his father died and he discovered his heart. I knew him when he was finally happy, and I knew him after the source of that happiness was taken from him. Knowing Chuck like I did, I can honestly say that I believe the only reason Chuck lived for as long as he did was for his daughter, Audrina. If she had not been born I can guarantee that he would have left to be with Blair long before this. When she died, his heart broke, but it held itself together this long so that he could keep the promise he made to Blair: To take care of their daughter. To give her the love and support they never had. To make sure she was happy. And once he was sure she had all of those things and was able to survive without him, his broken, beaten heart stopped fighting for survival so he could finally be where he belonged all along: with Blair.
"Today I can honestly say that Chuck was not only my step-brother, he was my friend. Back in high school I never would have thought I'd say this but..."
A sob broke her voice and she had to take a minute to compose herself.
"I loved Chuck Bass like he was my actual brother and I am going to miss him and his smarmy, inappropriate comments, his cocky attitude and even his condescending smirk every day. Thank you."
After Aunt Serena spoke I wanted to say something for my dad. I got up to the microphone and began:
"I always knew my dad missed my mom. I don't remember what he was like before her death, but I could just tell that he wasn't whole without her. It was obvious from the way his eyes would shine and his face would light up when he talked about her. Or the way he would get a distant look on his face when I would say something, do something, or wear something that would remind him of her. Or in the way he would never even glance at other women when we were at a party or a restaurant, no matter how much they threw themselves at him. But it was especially in the way he would always, without fail, take the day off on her birthday and on the day she died, letting me stay home from school so we could go visit her grave and then just sit at home the rest of the day and watch old Audrey Hepburn movies and eat the pumpkin pie that we would make from her father's old recipe.
"My father made sure my life was nothing but happy, but I could tell there was nothing he wanted more than to be with my mom again. After he passed away I found a box of letters he wrote to my mom after she died. After reading them, and seeing how hard it was for him to get through a day without her, or how he would visit her grave everyday during his lunch hour, or how he constantly doubted his ability as a father, or how hard it was for him to look at me without remembering her, I realized that while I am going to miss him every day for the rest of my life, I'm actually happy for him. I don't need him anymore. He raised me to be confident, independent, and strong. I am happy and healthy. I have a wonderful job and a great husband. I don't need him. I would love to still have him here with me, for when I need help in my professional life, or when I need to figure out how to deal with my husband who is so much like my father was, or when I just need someone to back me up without question. I know I am the only thing that held my father to this world, and yet at first I still wished he would have stayed with me, because let's face it, I am half Waldorf and half Bass so of course I am selfish."
Everyone smiled as I paused to wipe a few tears from my cheeks before I continued.
"Despite that desire, my father raised me right, which I know might be quite shocking to many of you, and I think that after 20 years of sacrifice for me it is about time that he gets to be where he needs and deserves to be: with my mother."
After the funeral, I was sitting in the Palace bar, where my mother and father had so many memories, with a martini in front of me, just thinking. Aunt Serena had told me earlier that after my mother died, a lot of reporters talked about how in the long run it was probably the best thing that could happen to my father, because of his playboy history and her fiery temper, they were bound to end up divorced and she would take half of his wealth with her.
But after living with my father for the 20 years after Blair's death, I know that he had not been better off without her. Sure they fought and they both had their faults, but together they were explosive. They came together to create these wonderful fireworks that kept both of them alive. Without my mother's fire to spark with his own, Chuck's flame had slowly dimmed until it was almost impossible to detect.
As Ryan came over to join me and get me up to head home, I came to the realization that a love like my parents was once in a lifetime. I'd like to think that Ryan and I have even a fraction of the love that my parents had. My father thought we did. Before my wedding, Serena told me how she had thought my father had pushed me and Ryan together. She said that she had known my father had always wanted me to date Ryan, and she confronted him about it. She said "I told him, 'You can't make them into you and Blair. You can't just force that kind of love' and he just looked at me with the condescending smirk of his and said 'I don't need to force anything. They already have it. Without the games and the insecurity. I wouldn't want to make them into me and Blair; they're already better.'"
I don't know if I can agree with that, knowing what I did about my parents. Their love was the kind of love you see in the movies, or read in books; the kind of love you find in fairytales. It was the kind of love that seems made up; that people claim can't possibly exist in real life.
It was the kind of love that didn't make sense to an outsider. It wasn't rational, it wasn't sweet. But while it might have confused you, it still made you a little happier to see the true love that just radiated off them.
Chuck and Blair. Blair and Chuck. Their love may not have played out like a fairytale or a movie, but it was the kind of love that we all envy and all search for. It was the kind of love that we all desire to possess.
A/N: So that's it. I was thinking of doing one more short chapter after this, but I'm not sure about it. Maybe if enough people ask about it, I might add it, I'm not sure though.
Thanks to everyone whose been reading and who took the time to review, especially TriGemini, all your comments and feedback was amazingness. Thanks so much! :)