A/N: Sorry that this took soooo long without it being super long, but here it is, the last of it! I hope you guys like it! I always have trouble with endings – both writing and reading them.

The Runaway

Chapter 14: Free

They sat in absolute silence and avoided each other's gazes. Even the southern blonde learned to shut her mouth. There was too much to think about and not even words to even begin to make sense of everything. The blood on her hands, it seemed, were never going to wash off. Bill looked at her like he was ready to protect Sookie and at any moment, which was fine. Logical. But Sookie Stackhouse had those damned pitying puppy dog eyes pinned on her and that, above all else, forced her gaze out the window.

Eric slid open the door to their train compartment and gave a dismissive nod. The other two filed out as he took a seat beside her. Her body shrunk away from his and she hugged her knees to her chest. "Chuck Bass is going to live." The cell phone clattered onto the table.

Her shuddering breath left a ghost of silence in the car. It was strange, the two of them. Upon reflection, they never did speak much, did they? There was an occasional tease here and there, but words between them were minimal at best. Still, there was always that look. Her eyes deep and penetrating when he came home late from Fangtasia and his territorial and adoring when she greeted him silently at the door. She would do his books for him, and he would leave a carefully warm bottle of Tru Blood on her desk. He would tear through walls just for a glimpse of her. Even now. Especially now...

His hand faltered when he reached out to brush a strand of hair behind her ear. He wasn't the hero, never was. He left that to the pansies. She was never one for heroes anyway. She wanted them, but she was no damsel in distress.

She peeked up at him, her eyes wavering and her lips mumbled repeatedly. "He's alive. He's alive. He's alive..."

"Yes, he's going to make it."

The corner of her lips drew down and the tears spilled down her cheeks. "He must hate me now. They all must..." She remembered the way Serena had trusted her enough to let her feed and now...

Now she was a monster.

His arms were clumsy as they wrapped around her shaking shoulder and he brought her into his lap and kissed her temple. He had seen this guilt from falling off the wagon too many times and he couldn't let this happen to her. "They don't hate you."

"How could they not?" She wailed softly.

"If they did, they wouldn't care about letting you know. They know you made a mistake and that you're sorry."

"Don't lie. I know you called them, not the other way around." Still, she buried her face into his shirt and there was a tiny part of him, the part free from guilt, that took pleasure in it.

"You could call them if you don't believe me." He picked the cell phone up and held it right before her face. She turned herself away from facing him, but still buried her back further into him. "Then just trust me. I wouldn't lie to you."

Blair sighed and stared at her ghostly reflection in the window, translucent against the blurred landscape. Minutes disguised as hours passed with her head rocking back against Eric's chest along with the lull of the train. "I'll never get over this. I'll never forgive myself," she murmured finally.

He kissed her forehead and he knew she would. They all did. Time did amazing things. In time, she would forgive him too for all of it. She just had to. "You'll learn to forget this when we get home. It'll be as if nothing ever happened"

"This wasn't nothing."

Eric sighed, she was still young. "Forever is a very long time." She sniffed and turned away. He didn't used to believe it either.

* * *

Blair stood in front of her bed, neatly made and dust-free. The past few weeks felt like a lifetime and she could hardly remember her life here... Was she happy? Cheerful? Depressed?

The only thing she could remember was the loneliness. The staying up late and the questions. Where was he? Who was he with? There were little sparks in her memory - the feeling of his arms around her bare torso still fresh as spring. His fangs brushing lightly against the back of her neck, worrying her lips. But that's all they were. Sparks. They didn't have a story. They never would.

And then there was Damon, the hundred year old vampire boy with whom she had... an adventure. Nothing glamorous or heroic, of course. People won't write stories or novels with spin off tv-shows about them. In fact, they were the pretty standard Anne Rice vamp story of debauchery and indulgence, roaming the city in the night. It was cliched, but it was something. And he loved her, she was certain. But how could he love her now, when doing so had cost him so much?

So now she had nobody. Nothing but a made bed and a shameful, failed attempt at freedom. She looked out the window, feeling the sun slowly creeping its way above the horizon and shrinking back as the rays crept in. The weight of eternity fell on her like a thousand, a million suns and she yanked the curtains shut, burning the very tip of her pinky in the process.

Everything was too much now. And it was all nothing.

* * *

He gave her two months. Every vampire went through this - the doubt, the realization, even if it's all a little delayed. Even if Eric wanted to believe that some being other than God had created her just so he could turn her into his, it was foolish.

She was fed in a mug that Pam left in front of her door every night. He tried hiding around the corner, peeping just to catch a glimpse of her to prove that she was real, but she always knew. She could leave whenever she wanted (and he had dreaded the possibility of finding the house empty every time he left for Fangtasia), but still she saw him as her jailer. The truth was, he was tempted to bash his shoulder through that door himself.

Her voice was so faint he could hardly hear her above the clinking glasses.

"I'm stuck," she whispered and she sidled up to his throne. Her legs were two pale sticks beneath her white summer dress. All of her was doused in the colors of the lights dancing on her canvas.

She looked so lost that for a quick second, he felt sorry that he had turned her without a thought of this moment when she finally realized the extent of what she was asking. Then he remembered he was a selfish bastard and would rather have her than not. He offered a hand, a little nervous that it may linger there, ignored. When she slipped hers in, he pulled her onto his lap, his other hand entangled in her hair. "We all are. Forever."

"What do I do now?" She buried her face in his neck like she used to when she was still shiny and new. Just as before, her moving lips sent tiny, delightful (very Blair-like) shivers across his skin cells.

He didn't have the answers. "You'll see him again. You have all of eternity." The vampire whose fangs she now wore around her neck on a string. "And you have me." He brought her hand up for a kiss.

They sat and observed the circus show of Fangtasia - the absurd crowd and noise. The admirers at their feet and food just within reach. She shifted so that her body wasn't completely pressed against his and whispered so the idea took form before her. "I think I should move out."

"Blair-"

"I'm not skipping town again." Her eyes glowed against a flash of yellow light. "But I can't just be your pet or your child either. Not anymore."

The remainder of the night was spent in each others arms, his hand stroking the head that once knew nothing of what it truly meant to be one of them.

The beginning of eternity was over. All she had to do now was face the rest of it, and her pride - that famous Waldorf trait, would never let her do it by relying completely on others. She wasn't heroine or even remotely close to the good side - not even by light years - but she would be Blair Waldorf once again.

And she would be worthy to pass the never ending time of forever with a viking warrior.

A/N: That's all, folks! Thanks for hanging on for as long as you guys did despite my update shenanigans. The end didn't really turn out the way I first imagined it, but I actually think that I like it better than a vanilla happy ending with sex-scene-syrup drizzled on top. I wanted things to be a bit more natural and hopefully/maybe it worked out. Thanks again for all the encouragement, guys. It really makes me feel a little less crazy :)

(Yes, the ending is open-ended. No, I have no idea what/if I will do anything with it.)