Disclaimer: I do not own Gossip Girl.

I know it's a bit cliche to write this, but I've always wanted to do my take on it.

finding yourself in the lost and found

He ends up in Tuscany, of all places.

It's very confusing, and he feels like he's nearly wasted wherever he goes, even if he hasn't had a drop. Her essence, her presence, haunts him, and every time he closes his eyes the image of Blair drowns him, dragging him into the darkest depths until he cannot breathe, he cannot feel. He doesn't want to feel anymore, anyway—it's too much pain, knowing that he's hurt her, he's hurt him, he's hurt everyone and there's nothing he can do about it because they don't want him anymore.

(Secretly, he blinks every few minutes because even if it makes his sick excuse of a heart hurt, the memory of her angelic face is comforting.)

His luggage has been packed, unpacked, repacked, thrown across the room, and repacked again, over and over again. Finally, he decides on bringing his boring grey suits and brown slacks, white polo shirts and black dress pants (simply because it's not the same, wearing those calming pastels and brilliant shades of purple, because it was always Blair that made the color in him shine.)

Wandering around the Italian countryside, he is nothing but a stray, a lost hound looking for his owner, whom he'd long since abandoned. It's like he is seeing everything through an old movie, with bad special effects and cheesy music, the soft, subtle whirring sound in the background. The kind that Blair always loved, loves. The ones she made him watch on those lonely Saturday nights when it was pouring rain outside, and the "loyal best friend" and "adoring boyfriend" were too busy deciding how to screw her over to make her feel wanted enough to spare a night. They'd cuddle up against each other, feeling the warmth radiating, pillows and blankets surrounding them, a bowl of popcorn between their legs as they watched Holly and George millions of times, never tiring of they way the story turns out. Because it's consistent; you don't watch a movie ninety-nine times, and suddenly during the hundredth the ending changes. In a movie, you always know how things turn out. In life, you'll never know what to expect.

Tuscany becomes too much (it's the first time he really screwed up, enough to lose her. The start of a chain of inevitable events) and he leaves, off to Germany, where he was sure there would be no memory of Blair.

Germany, however, is not much of an improvement.

Everywhere he looks, there is a petite brunette with a brilliant fashion taste, haughty and confident as she stalks through the town, heels clacking against the ground. They remind her so much of him he almost calls her name out loud ("Blair, please," he wants to say, and he doesn't even know what he's begging for, all he wants is her), restraining himself at the last minute when he realizes that she's not here, she would never be here.

He spends an entire day walking through foreign villages, feeling like a fish out of water in his dull brown suit. For the first time ever he watches everyone around him and realizes how many people don't have the life he has. He throws in countless Euros to every tragic pair of eyes he finds and each meager smile of gratitude makes his heart swell until he's so very sure that it could almost be counted as a real and true beating organ.

(Almost, because it doesn't count if there's no one who'll love you back)

Suddenly, he comes across a tiny stand loaded with most delectable chocolates he could have ever found. The tender—a little girl just barely younger than Jenny, with ocean blue eyes and wild tan hair—smiles and watches silently as he fingers the wrapped boxes, lips parted but never speaking. The chocolates, these candies, were the only ones she'd be able to keep down during those horrible moments when he held back her chocolate curls and watched the most perfect angel he's ever known surrender herself to rumors and jealous opinions.

"Perfect for the one you love." The girl utters suddenly, her English accented but so close to perfect. Chuck nods, fingertips already brushing against the paper in his pocket.

"Just what I need," He murmurs with a grin, taking two boxes and throwing $100 bill the girl's way, not even bothering to count out the Euros he'd converted. The girl calls out a breathless "Thank you!" nevertheless as he sprints towards the road, reaching out his hand for a cab.

(He'd say it's like finally finding the reason to be, but he'd realized who it was a long, long time ago)

Zooming around Europe, he grabs anything and everything that gives even the slightest memory of Blair—whether it be her (and his) favorite pair of soft and stretchy tights, or a brand new copy of Pride and Prejudice (to replace her battered and ripped one). When he ends up back in his old suite at the palace, the room is filled with books and dresses, jewelry and flowers. He grabs the ones he was absolutely sure would win her over, and walks down the stairs, finally letting the confidence fill him and feeling (for the first time in a while) like Chuck-fucking-Bass.

(Still, there's that little zip of insecurity that chills down his spine, the little voice warning that sorry and some gifts aren't always going to be enough)

For minutes, he sits in that lobby, peonies in hand (she tells everyone white roses are her favorites but he knows she adores peonies), multiple gifts in the other, contemplating whether or not it's worth it, to risk his whole entire life and being out there (because that's what she is, his whole world). What if everything breaks when he hears that word that he knows is going to stop everything.


He stops breathing for a second.

He begins to see it as a challenge, because even if Chuck Bass can be an ass he's still very clever. When it becomes a challenge, a dare, something to prove him wrong, Chuck Bass will never step down. And therefore, he finds himself leaning against the cool metal of his prized limo.

Inside, he's probably sweating and shaking and panicking. In his mind, he's already picturing himself, hangdog and broken, walking back to his suite to down every bottle of scotch in the room. It hurts to know that this is a very plausible possibility.

But suddenly, he sees an image of him and Blair. That one night in the limo, arms wrapped around each other, lips fused together, fingers tangled in hair, so wanting and needing and finallyfinallyfinally, after years of pining away and doing what she deserved (giving her her fairytale) and secretly resenting his best friend, he gets the girl, even only for a night.

This makes him stay instead of running away again when he spots her, glowing and smiling genuinely for the first time in a while, strolling down the street.

Waking up, slow and disoriented, he forgets where he is for a moment.

The sheets are rumpled, the ends pulled up enough so that his feet stick out, a pale size ten. His head aches for a moment, making him wince and close his eyes, but the feeling disappears nearly seconds later. There is a lump in the covers next to him, and he realizes with a pang that he's completely naked, remembering the feeling of bare sheets against heated skin. Suddenly, the lump utters a soft, gentle, content moan, slightly muffled from the blankets covering the figure, but the music floats through Chuck's ears, making him grin and swing around, facing her.

"Good morning, babe," she murmurs affectionately, head popping out from the covers. Her hair is splayed this way and that, so imperfect and fussy. No makeup disguises her features—she's completely bare and naked and nothing but herself, and he's never known anything so beautiful. Her voice, commanding but melodic, is so familiar (he hears it every day) and yet every time the record plays, it makes his fingertips tingle and heart beat and breathing raise.

"Morning," he mumbles back, kissing her forehead, then lowering down to peck her chastely on the lips, savoring the fresh taste of strawberries that always seem to linger there, even without lip gloss or chap stick.

The sound of a baby crying echoes through the hallway, barely making it to their ears through the thick wooden doors. "Ahh," she groans, sitting up straight to lean against his chest, savoring the heat of skin on skin. "Charlotte's up early. Your turn to get her—I took her last night."

"Are you sure, because I'm pretty sure we were a little busy last night." He winks conspirationally, the Bass smirk on his lips. "Don't tell me you've forgotten already."

She rolls her eyes, but her cheeks color anyway, eyes amused and playful. "Yes. Now go get your daughter." She commands, but he gives her a look. "My satisfying, sexy, Love God of a husband." She adds, rolling her eyes again but laughing and kissing his lips gently.

"I love you," he says seriously for a moment, amber eyes focused on her.

"I know," she replies without missing a beat, smiling and beaming. He wonders what he did to deserve her.

Twenty years later, and he hasn't ever regretted that one day he told her he loved her.