A/N: The other prompt for dysenchanted2 . What's with all the doom and gloom? I know. What can I say? Prompt was: It's not a game, you're not going to leap out and surprise me. The bed is empty. I'm in it but the bed is empty
Here, We Disappear
It's cold where he lies.
The blankets and sheets are flat and neatly made beneath him, stretched taut by the hotel staff. His hands meet on his abdomen, fingers criss-crossing on the gray brocade waistcoat. His brown eyes dart from one corner of his ceiling to the other. Back and forth. They flutter shut when he starts to see her face projected onto the white.
He hears her. Maybe in the corner behind the dresser full of her jewelry and headbands. She calls to him sometimes and he hears her giggle and laugh.
He hears her moan.
Chuck! Where are you?
That's his question. He's not here. He goes to meetings but he's not here. He can't be here when he's always, forever, blindly waiting for her to appear in her one-of-a-kind Eleanor Waldorf Original, draped in Harry Winston jewels. Her mother slaved over that dress. The first garment that Eleanor Waldorf had handmade herself in 20 years.
Chuuuuck... I miss you.
He sighs. It gets harder to get up. As cold and empty (he's not here) as the bed is, the world is even more frigid. Everything frozen, moving in slow motion. He can't remember what it's like to move at a normal pace. His head spins when he thinks of it.
But she calls, and he has to. He just has to.
His bones move through the frozen air particles and he feels the resistance. He walks to the door and it feels like he's pulling a bus with him, but he forges on. She's waiting for him too.
He always hated Hide n' Seek. Unless she lets him hide with her. Being the seeker sucks. Walking around, calling, yelling and no one answers. Just pointing and laughing behind his back (Here I am, come find me). He thinks he's going crazy.
He scuffs his two thousand dollar shoes along the sidewalk and climbs into the back of their limo. Arthur knows well enough to just start driving. He wants to kiss her. She laughs at him.
Chuck, stop it. Arthur's watching!
He sees himself there, waiting. From the door frame, he can just see the outline of himself, perched on the edge of the bed. Those are the only moments where he feels just a modicum of liveliness. She's still warm.
Chuck, come here!
He takes the nail clipper from the drawer and sits down. Her hands are still as soft as ever and he carefully cuts each nail. Then two coats of Chanel Mica Rose. One dainty finger after another. She wouldn't like it if other people touched her or saw her like this. He blows delicately on her fingertips before setting them down lightly on the pristine white sheets.
He takes the diamond ring from his pocket and slips it onto her finger. He brushes back a lock of her hair.
Then kisses her on her forehead.
Kiss me properly, Chuck.
And her lips.
He lets out a small smile despite himself. "I love you."
I love you too.
She would say it if she could. He knows that. He's accustomed to the silence. The beeping doesn't bother him either. He carefully lies down beside her.
"She'll be here, man." What's Nate doing here?
"I know." He stares at the sea of faces he doesn't know. He knows she's late though, really late. A church?
An errand boy comes up and whispers something in his best man's ear. Nate's chiseled jaw flexes before he looks back at Chuck. "Chuck, listen. There's um, there's been an accident."
He wakes with a start. A nurse has her hands on him and he wants to fling her off before she tells him he needs to leave (her). Time to change Ms. Waldorf's sheets, her bath...
He strokes her hair back and whispers against her cheek. "I'll be back tomorrow."
I'll wait. Merry Christmas, Chuck.
"You too, Mr. Bass." He leaves with the ring in his pocket.
The world stopped moving a long time ago - the first time he was here an engaged man, worrying about his fiancee, crying over a ruined and bloodied white dress. The world stopped and emptied out.
He wraps his jacket closer around his body until it stretches at the seams. The air is frosty around him, and everywhere.