Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. They belong to Cecily von Zeigesar and The CW.
Happy Holidays to everyone!
If you've read my story "Happiness in Unexpected Places" you'll notice a lot of similarities between that posting and this chapter. I could have directed you my other story, but I wanted to rework the story to match what I have recently written. I hope you all enjoy.
"Here is some coffee, Mister Bass," Eugenia stated as she handed him a cup of gourmet coffee that she had procured after she and others had suffered through numerous cups of the hospital variety as he took a seat in the nearly empty waiting area on the other side of the maternity floor. She had been waiting patiently. She knew he would disappear from public view when he could no longer stay with Blair. Nate was working with the hospital staff to get a private room set aside. He had a feeling that Chuck would be needing it later.
"Cedric's here," Chuck concluded as he took a sip from the cup, "And damn it, Eugenia, when we're not in the office, call me Chuck."
"I'm sorry," Eugenia apologized quickly, "You're right. Now is not the time."
"And I'm sorry," Chuck responded as he touched her hand gently as he looked at her with a sincerity she had never seen from him, "I shouldn't have snapped at you. You have no idea how much I appreciate you being here for me and Blair. You are our rock in so many ways."
"How is Blair?" Eugenia inquired as she reached out and rubbed his back gently.
"So far so good," Chuck responded as he inhaled and then exhaled slowly as he leaned in as her arm came around his shoulder. His head rested against her for a few moments. "How do people do this . . . how do they put their faith in people they barely know to take care of the people they care for most?"
"She's going to be okay, Chuck," Eugenia tried to assure him.
He merely nodded as he pulled away. They sat together in silence until Blair's father found them and coerced him into joining the rest of the family in the main waiting room. He reluctantly followed along.
Chuck's eyes became fixated on his wedding band as he plopped down in one of the uncomfortable plastic chairs. His foot was tapping nervously. Familiar faces gathered around to offer their heartfelt congratulations and well wishes. He tried to accept them with the eagerness in which they were given, but his brain wouldn't allow any emotion other than the fear he felt.
"You okay, Buddy?" Nate asked as he sunk down next to his best friend. He hadn't missed the terror in his friend's eyes earlier, and it was becoming more and more evident the closer Blair got to delivering their child.
"Yeah," Chuck responded promptly. It was the same response he had been giving to anyone who asked the question. It was becoming his automatic reply to most questions.
"Thinking about your mom?" he concluded as he watched Chuck twist his ring around his finger. Nate couldn't believe the transformation that had occurred in Chuck over the years. He was once the most irresponsible ladies' man, and now he was the most committed husband that anyone could ever meet.
He hardly even looked at another woman, at least for too long. He was still Chuck Bass after all. He still appreciated the beauty of the female form, but he found that none could live up to the perfection that was Blair Waldorf-Bass.
Chuck nodded as he ran his hands through his hair as he let out a shaky breath. He had been thinking a lot about her in the last three months. He tried to image what she would be like had she lived. Would the smile in the photographs change any in real life? Would the twinkle he saw in her eyes appear less special?
He also thought about how his life would have been so much happier and fuller. The only thing that saddened him was the idea that he probably wouldn't know Blair, Nate or any of the Manhattan elite that he had come to call his family. Evelyn Bass would have insisted that he have a normal childhood . . . public school, summer camps in the wilderness, homework at night, and chores on the weekend. He would have learned responsibility at an early age instead of it be thrust upon him before his eighteenth birthday when his father unexpectedly died.
"How's Blair?" Nate inquired.
"Cursing up a storm, last I checked," Chuck sighed as he rubbed his tired neck, "She kicked me out about ten minutes ago. Eleanor and Serena are with her."
"Are you sure leaving her with Eleanor is such a good idea?" Nate inquired. Everyone knew how delicate of a relationship the mother-daughter duo had.
"Eleanor wouldn't dream of pissing her off today," Chuck responded meekly as he shrugged his shoulders, "She's got a grandchild coming. She wouldn't risk Blair cutting her out of our child's life.
Chuck's eyes filled with tears that he had been fighting to hold in. His thoughts kept drifting to the worst possible scenarios.
"She'll be okay," Nate tried to assure his best friend as if he could read Chuck's mind.
Chuck nodded as he had every time someone tried to assure him of that fact. He wanted to believe the words, but he was a pessimist at heart. Blame it on his upbringing, but he always anticipated the worst happened. Perhaps that is why he was such a successful businessman. His life had mostly taught him about heartache, it had only been in the last eight years that he had truly known happiness. Eight years may seem like a lot of time to most, but to Chuck the years flew by in a blink of an eye. He lived in fear that any moment it would come crashing down. There was a monster in his stomach that told him that today was that day.
"Chuck," Serena's voice called out to him. The effect was the same as dousing him in ice-cold water. His heart froze. His eyes were full of pure terror. Serena smiled at him warmly in reassurance. "She wants to see you."
"I don't know if I can do that," Chuck responded as he looked at his two closest friends. Together they all made up three fourth of the nonjudgmental breakfast club. On most days, Chuck would have smirked at the brief memory of the first time those words had graced Blair's lips. Today wasn't one of those days.
"We'll be right there with you," Nate offered as Serena rubbed his back in an attempt to comfort him. Chuck agreed with a nod as Nate slung his arm around his shoulder and urged him forward. Serena followed close behind. All eyes in the room were on Chuck as the trio disappeared.
"Take a deep breath," Serena urged him as his pace slowed when they approached Blair's room. Eleanor saw them through the window and came out to hug Chuck. Eleanor's heart went out for her son-in-law. Although she had never really approved of the relationship, she could not deny how much he loved her daughter and provided her with the life that she deserved.
"She's doing great, Charles," Eleanor whispered into his ear as her arms came around his shoulders in the briefest of hugs, "It won't be much longer."
"Come on," Nate urged his best friend forward as Serena pushed the door open.
"Hey," Blair reached out for him as her eyes lit up at the sight of him.
"Hey," he mumbled in response as he covered the distance between them, taking her hand into his as he kissed it lightly. Her hair was piled high on top of her head, she had no makeup on, and she was sweating from exertion, but to Chuck she still looked breathtaking "You look beautiful."
"You are lying," Blair laughed, "But it's sweet of you to say so."
"How are you feeling?" he inquired as he rubbed her hand with his thumb gently.
"I'm fine," she assured him. "Everything that has happened up to this point is completely normal."
Chuck looked around the room hoping to see either a nurse or a doctor that could confirm her story, but they had both stepped out for another few minutes.
"Chuck, look at me," Blair demanded as his eyes began to glaze over in panic. He made himself focus on her.
"Nothing is going to happen to me," she tried her best to reassure him.
"I'm sure that is what my mom said too," Chuck replied as tears filled his eyes.
"We've talked about this, Chuck," Blair reminded him. "Your mother's pregnancy was more complicated right from the start."
"Have you decided what type of ring you'd like?" Chuck inquired as he kissed her hand again as he attempted to focus on something other than his current panic. He had been reading up on pregnancy from the expectant father's perspective. Upon reading of 'push' presents for the mother, Chuck insisted on doing that for Blair. She was decidedly against it, but she finally relented when he mentioned the idea of jewelry. He knew that she was a sucker for anything sparkly.
"Does it have to be a ring?" she groaned as a contraction suddenly kicked in. She reflexively gripped his hand tighter as the pain overtook her. The panic returned to his eyes as Serena went to the other side of Blair's bed to coax her through the pain. Chuck stood up suddenly and was about to make his escape from the room. Blair kept her tight grip on his hand as she continued to breathe through the pain, shaking her head to tell him that she didn't want him to go just yet.
Nate was at Chuck's side trying to get his friend to calm down by practicing the same type of breathing that Blair was currently using. As her breathing became easier, so did his.
"You okay?" Chuck asked as he sat back down once the contraction had subsided. Serena and Nate stepped away from the pair and into a corner of the room where neither Blair nor Chuck could see them, but they instinctively knew that they had to be nearby for the next contraction. Serena held up two fingers to Nate to indicate the contractions were coming two minutes apart.
"Better now," Blair responded as she reached out to touch his face softly, "Thank you for staying with me through it."
Chuck nodded as he leaned into her touch, closing his eyes as he reveled in the overwhelming sensations.
"I wish I could be there to help you through this," Chuck stated as he kissed the inside of her palm, "I just don't have the strength for it. I'll be more of a distraction."
"It's okay," she assures him as she reached for the necklace she had around her neck. On the chain is her wedding ring. "You'll be with me the entire time."
Another contraction overtook her suddenly. Blair wasn't ready. It wasn't time yet. She should have had at least another minute. Serena was by her side as a string of curse words escaped Blair's lips that would cause even the most seasoned sailor to blush.
Nate left to get the doctor. They were getting close, he could tell.
"Chuck, you have to leave now," Blair told him once the contraction had subsided. She knew this was happening as soon as the doctor came back. He wanted to refuse, to shake his head and tell her he would be brave enough to stay, but he couldn't. Instead he kissed her forehead, professed his undying love for her before he allowed Nate to pull him from the room. He blew her one last kiss as the door closed.
"What the hell is taking so long?" Chuck asked as he paced the room. Nate had taken him away from the standard waiting room so that Chuck could be away from the prying eyes. After a bad experience with allowing Eric to see him, Nate cut off all visitors to Chuck until they would receive the news that Blair and the baby were okay.
"Chuck, it's been an hour," Nate stated as he looked at his watch, the same watch Chuck had given him as a gift for being his best man just a few short years ago, "These things take time."
"Go ask for another update?" Chuck demanded as he motioned towards the nurse's stated that was on the other side of the wall from where they were.
"They updated us three minutes ago," Nate insisted, "Calm down."
"Calm down! The love of my life is in there having my child and perhaps dying, and you want me to calm down!" Chuck yelled out. He had finally said it out loud, what he had been dreading hearing since he was a small boy and was told by one of the many nannies he had throughout his childhood how his mother had really died.
"You have to believe that Blair is going to be okay," Nate insisted as he got into Chuck's space pushing a finger roughly into Chuck's chest to make his point. "She's a Waldorf for crying out loud."
"She's not a Waldorf, Nathaniel. She's a Bass," Chuck stated as he finally broke down into tears, "She's my Bass. She's my entire world. I won't be able to live without her."
"You won't have to try," Nate stated as he embraced him, allowing him to completely fall apart in his arms. Chuck sobbed into his best friend's shoulder as he let out all of the fear he had bottled up
"Chuck, there's someone that is eager to meet you," Serena stated as she entered the room with a small child in her arms. Chuck wiped the tears that clouded his vision. Serena came in closer and put the child in his arms after she encouraged him to have a seat. He held it awkwardly at first, afraid that he would break the little thing. Serena smiled as she helped him adjust to the warm presence in his arms, "It's a girl."
"She's beautiful," Nate responded as he took in the little child. She was the perfect mixture of Blair and Chuck. His dark penetrating eyes, her sweet nose and lips. Even less than an hour old, she seemed to have Chuck's intense stare down, the one that seemed to be able to see right into a person's soul as she locked eyes with her father.
The little girl cooed in his arms and fell asleep instantly as if she knew how safe she would always be with him.
"Blair," Chuck asked as he looked up at Serena suddenly. Tears still filled his eyes, but they were happier tears than they had been with Nate moments earlier.
"She's fine," Serena assured him as she gently rubbed his back, "We waited until the doctors were able to perform a thorough exam and were sure before we told you."
"Can I see her?" Chuck asked as the little child wiggled a little in his arms. He held on a little tighter for fear that she would wiggle right out and onto the hard floor.
"Of course," Serena responded with a bright smile as she helped him stand with the child still securely tucked into in his arms. He walked awkwardly afraid that if he moved the slightest bit in the wrong direction, he would crush the delicate angel in his arms.
Blair was asleep when Serena held the door open for Chuck. The sound of the heart monitor beeping rhythmically killed the monsters that had taken up residence in his stomach. Once he was safely seated, Serena pulled Nate out with her so that the new family could have time to themselves before their friends and family ascended upon them.
"Hello, there," Chuck whispered softly as his daughter's eyes opened unexpectedly, "I'm Chuck Bass. That will mean something completely different to you than it does to the rest of the world. To you it will mean, I'm your daddy . . . Your mother and I have been so anxious to meet you . . . we love you so much . . . and you will be the luckiest and most spoiled little princess in all of New York City."
The little girl made a cute little sound as she squirmed in his arms as if she was trying to settle in further to his embrace.
"Being a Bass is a large responsibility, but I promise you that I'll make it as easy as I can on you," he continued, "No ridiculous expectations . . . no impossible standards to live up to. You, my beautiful daughter, will be able to choose whichever path in life that you'd like to follow . . . but their will be a few rules that you'll need to live by."
"If it isn't daddy and his little angel," Blair smiled as she opened her eyes to see Chuck sitting in the chair next to her bed, whispering something that she couldn't make out to their little girl that was looking into her father's eyes captivated by his smooth voice.
"She's so little," Chuck marveled as he reached for her little hand. The awkwardness he originally felt was slowly subsiding with each passing moment he spent with her.
"She didn't feel so little thirty minutes ago," Blair responded sarcastically, smiling at the adorable picture the pair made. She quickly reached out for the camera that Serena had thoughtfully left near her bed and took the picture before Chuck could spot the lense.
"Are you okay?" Chuck asked as he eyes locked with Blair's.
"Completely healthy," Blair responded as she reached gingerly for a piece of paper, "I have a note from the doctor."
He laughed as he recognized the scribbled handwriting of her obstetrician.
"Are you okay?" Blair asked as she saw the bloodshot eyes and bruised knuckles on his hand.
"I am now," Chuck nodded as he continued to play with the tiny hand that was trying to grip his finger.
Blair looked at him, waiting patiently to explain the hand. She could figure out the bloodshot eyes.
"Eric," he responded regretfully as he nodded towards his hand, "He came in to see how I was doing. I think he was trying to lighten the mood with a joke. I'm not sure what he said, but it was the wrong thing at the wrong moment. Before I knew it my fist connected with his jaw."
"Is he okay?" Blair asked.
"I think so," Chuck nodded with a slightly devilish grin, "A male nurse came to his rescue. They're downstairs in the cafeteria getting coffee. I think he's going to be thanking me for the bruise in a few days."
Blair let out a breezy laugh.
"She needs a name," Blair stated softly as the little girl opened her eyes to look into his. Blair smiled at the connection they had already begun to form. Chuck stood up slowly and took up a seat next to Blair on her bed, shifting their daughter into Blair's arms.
"Which one will it be?" Chuck asked as he looked at her expectantly as he took a hold of their daughter's hand and kissed it gently before he leaned up and kissed Blair's forehead.
Blair studied their daughter for a few moments as she tried to make up her mind.
"Charlotte Evelyn Bass," Blair pronounced, "Charlee for short."
"Bass-Waldorf?" Chuck countered as he kissed her lips softly, "We can't have her forgetting her feisty mother."
"Waldorf-Bass," she sighed as she yawned.
"Thank you for naming her after my mother," Chuck responded as his lip quivered slightly as he tried to smile as Blair handed Charlotte back to her daddy. She was exhausted. She felt as if she could sleep for a week. Blair nodded as she put her head back and closed her eyes as Chuck slid off the bed and cuddled back in the chair with Charlotte in his arms. Blair fell asleep while listening to Chuck laying out the rules of being a Bass to their hour old daughter. The last thing she heard before she fell asleep was, "And you won't be dating anyone who wears a silk scarf. Ask you're mother, they are nothing but trouble."
Chuck looked at the two women who had taken over his life. How could he have ever let himself believe something this perfect could be terrifying?
After yearning for most of his life, he was finally part of a family . . . his family. Life was perfect.