DISCLAIMER: DON'T OWN ANYTHING.
Author's notes: Inspired by the movie "Sweet Home Alabama". Plus, this came to me while I was wallowing in darkness of my room after watching 3.18. F--K!!! *RAGE RAGE RAGE INDIGNATION* I am terribly displeased. I'M FUCKING PISSED OFF. So now, I'm in a depressive rut and trying to release tension and disappointment through fanfic writing. My comeback fic after months of only academic work. I'm working on this more than I'm working on my thesis this summer. X_x
Plus, the idea for this fic was also inspired by a comment by a Chair fan, who said that "Chuck and Blair are kismet…" I don't remember who and I don't remember where, but I would like to credit that person.
Constructive criticism is most welcome.
Butterflies and Wedding Day Blues
[Set in the future] Blair's not running away anymore. She's going to turn back and chase the elusive butterflies.
Chapter I: Runaway Blair
The congregation was waiting. The priest was waiting. The groom was waiting. They were all ready, and waiting.
Except for the bride. The bride who had locked herself away in the small room at the back of the church.
"Blair!" Serena knocked furiously. "We're behind schedule!"
"Just a few last-minute retouches!" Came the buffered reply from behind the wooden door.
"You arrived here with your hair and make-up done!"
"I still need a few fixing!"
"Then let me in so I can help you!"
"You'll only slow me down! Just get in line and I'll be out in a minute."
Serena sighed and turned to the bride's father. Harold shuffled closer and knocked softly. "Blair-bear? Are you alright?"
"Yes, Daddy! I'm fine! I'm just fixing my veil! I'll be out soon!"
"I don't understand why she's taking this long! Is she getting cold feet?" Serena whispered under her breath.
Harold just shrugged at his daughter's Maid-of-Honor. He then turned back to the door. "Alright, sweetheart, don't take too long. We'll be waiting out here until you're ready."
Dorota came to join the two by the door. "Miss Blair come out on her own time. She need to prepare alone. We must get in line because we walk first before Miss Blair."
"But I have to go to her—" Serena protested, but Harold gently but persistently led Serena away, who was resisting his hold on her shoulders. "It's obvious she wants to be alone right now. She's bound to come out sooner or later. Now all we can do is wait for her."
Serena could only nod in doubt as she let Harold lead her away, towards the awaiting procession of bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearer.
Blair breathed deeply and gazed at the small bouquet of peonies on the dresser, with a Monarch butterfly aloft a pink bloom, like a painting in still life. The presence of the bouquet was on the church's provision, as it symbolized prosperity, good fortune, joyful life, and a happy marriage.
Blair looked at herself in the mirror and felt liberated. She nodded at her reflection in determination and encouragement. Today, she was finally going to be honest. She was not running away anymore. She was going to turn back and chase the elusive butterflies. With one last wistful look at the butterfly-on-bouquet tableau, Blair walked to the door and unlocked it, just like her heart.
The entourage supposed to walk down the aisle before the bride turned at the sound of the door opening. The bride stepped out in a glorious ball gown dress and matching elbow gloves. However, the bride had no make-up on and her chignon was undone, her jewelry (consisting of her grandmother's diamond choker and matching diamond bracelet) was gone, the bridal bouquet was nowhere in sight and her veil was missing.
"Blair, what—" Serena went ignored along with Harold as Blair quickly slipped past the bridal entourage and strode down the aisle like it was a catwalk for a fashion show.
The musical band played a few notches faster so the bridal march could match the bride's pace, but their music dwindled halfway when they realized something was amiss. The congregation, mainly due to shock and confusion, did not bother to rise as customary when the bride entered.
Blair proceeded down the aisle up to the altar, not stopping for anyone even as her mother stood with her mouth open, unable to vocalize her thoughts into coherent words.
Her groom, Anthony, stood in front of the priest, not having moved from his position.
"Blair?" His head tilted to the side in confusion. He did not budge from his position, and Blair walked up to him, right where the bride is supposed to be. The priest looked baffled; he wasn't sure if he should start the mass or just stand and wait for whatever signal to be given to him to begin the ceremony, because the bride and the groom were in their respective proper positions, even though the traditional wedding processional wasn't followed.
Wordlessly, Blair held out her right hand. "This is yours." Between her thumb and forefinger, the square-cut diamond ring Anthony presented her when he proposed.
Anthony was stoic, unmoving. He blinked at the ring's diamond, Grade H princess cut, which glimmered as if boasting its worth of eight carats. But Blair would not be stopped by his silence.
"I'm supposed to feel ecstatic to start and share the following years with you. But I can't feel anything but dread on this day."
The congregation collectively gasped, and she could just feel the cringe in their expressions at the audacity of Blair's cruel confession. The priest took a deep breath and walked off to take a seat nearby, leaving the bride and groom in front of the altar to sort out their issues.
"You've always been so kind. Too kind, in fact." Averting her gaze, Blair's bare left hand reached for his and placed the ring on his palm, and closed his stiff fingers over the piece of jewelry. Blair let go, but his hand remained suspended in midair.
"And I've always been selfish and self-centered." Blair looked up at him. A deep breath, and Blair wiped away the fallen tear on her cheek and looked straight into the green eyes of her fiancé. "For the first time in our relationship, I'm going to think about you." Blair took a deep breath, and gently smiled in apology. "I don't believe we should get married, Anthony. It's not fair to you when I love you only half-heartedly."
Anthony was rendered speechless, he opened his mouth, but could not utter anything at all. Not a curse to his bride who was abandoning him in front of the altar, not a plea for his bride to reconsider, not a demand for explanation from his bride as to why she suddenly decided to cancel, on the day itself, the wedding she had planned meticulously for months.
Blair placed an affectionate hand on his cheek. "You're a good man, Anthony. I don't want you to settle for me."
They had been together for three years, had known each other for five. He was handsome, blonde with green eyes, an English literature major. He was pliant and gentle, like a Nate who was more affectionate, devoted, and faithful. He was every woman's dream, and she finally had her prince who doted on her. Blair had appreciated the doldrums of the relationship, and relished in the stability. It was only now that she realized their relationship was far from stable; it would never hold because of its feeble, scrawny basis. Better bored than ashamed of myself, she reasoned once, but love was not meant to be that way. If you love someone, they could be the grimiest person and still, the reflection they would see in your eyes would make them feel the fairest because they truly were in your eyes. She could now accept that the depth of love was nothing to be afraid of; it was one cliff that you could be safe jumping off, an abyss you should willingly fall into, because there was no bottom unless you searched for a way out.
Anthony, with all his kindness, never spoke a word of disapproval, but she could see it in his eyes, feel it in his averted gaze that always made her silently retreat to the bathroom in reprimand of herself. She realized how tiring it was, always striving to meet the approval of others, that she could not even live for herself. She wanted to find those secure arms where she wouldn't have to be judged when she admitted to being tired of being strong. Arms that welcomed her and accepted her even at her lowest, when even she could not accept herself.
"The truth is," Blair's eyes gleamed tearfully, "I gave away my heart pin to someone years ago, and in return he gave me his prized scarf." The admission pushed the tears from its barrier. "I never recovered my pin and I never returned his scarf." Blair's tears fell in nostalgia of that sweet, sweet summer in between an end and a beginning. And it was at that moment of illumination, that for all this time, her heart had been on a standstill when she had thought that she had moved on, that her feelings had been halted in flowing like a river with a dam. And at this moment, she was breaking that dam, and letting the torrents run through her veins, and for the first time in a long time, she felt refreshed, reborn, as this surge overtook her senses and sensibility.
"Are you sure?" Anthony's voice was hoarse as he looked away from the hand that clenched the engagement ring, and stared at his supposed bride.
"Yes. I won't deny anymore."
Anthony's eyes became glassy, but Blair could not feel guilt at setting him free. She had no remorse when she knew she would only chain him down to eventual unhappiness.
Blair never fought for anyone or anything. She pursued relentlessly to acquire what she wanted, but if it should slip from her grasp, she never bent to retrieve it. She could never fight to keep what she was losing especially when it was made clear to her that it was breaking away from her. She never did. She never struggled to grasp on a fleeting thing within her reach, because it hurt so much more to hold on. She should know from her relationship with Nate. She ignored the signs, and believed in the illusory splendor of their relationship. She held on to Nate for so long, she hurt herself and in turn, she hurt Chuck, who had wanted her to pull through her blindness that was damaging her.
Anthony picked up her hand and gently kissed her knuckle. "I wish you well on your quest then, darling." Anthony could never say no to her, could never scold her, could never say anything hurtful to her.
Blair threw herself into one last embrace of gratitude with Anthony. "Thank you," she breathed out before kissing him on the cheek and sprinting down the aisle once more. It was only now that the congregation, in disbelief, rose as the runaway bride made her exit, leaving flashes of camera behind her runway.
"1812!" Was the predominant shout amidst the scandalous whispers and indignant roar. Blair recognized Nate's voice. She would've thanked him, but she was in too much of a hurry. She had let years pass by, and the urgency that drove her stamina compelled her to waste not a day, not an hour, not a minute more.
Blair had never felt such an elation and freedom from running. She bypassed everyone, even Serena who called out the brunette's name and reached out a hand to grasp her elbow. But Blair shrugged her off without sparing a glance at the blonde's direction. Blair's vision could only see what was in front of her, like it was restricted by blinders with her determination to make it out of the stifling interior of the church. She would not be halted; she would not be sidetracked; she would not be delayed. As soon as Blair burst through the double doors, a cab stopped at the foot of the stairs.
"Sorry I'm late," Eric stepped out of the cab in confusion. "The limo broke down—"
"Hold that cab!" Blair shouted as she struggled down the cement steps, careful not to trip with her gown and heels as it impeded her haste.
"What are you doing?" Eric held the door open as Blair attempted to get inside the cab, her gown's volume making the task a tad bit difficult. "It's your wedding day."
"Not anymore," Blair huffed in exertion and adrenaline as Eric gathered the train of her dress and stuffed it on floor of the cab before shutting the door. "Cash!" She held out her hand and Eric obliged, taking out his money clip and surrendering the wad of cash to her through the window.
"To the New York Palace Hotel, the fastest that you can go," she dictated her destination to the driver, who took off hurriedly as she requested.
The yellow cab was now blending with the flow of New York traffic. Blair gripped the white satin of her dress. Her hands were shaking in trepidation, but mostly from the exhilaration she felt from the overwhelming desire that pumped her heart, causing the impassioned throbbing in her ears. It had been a long time since she had felt the presence of her heartbeat.
You can't tell me you ain't feeling butterflies...
Blair chuckled as the radio played "I Call It Love" by Lionel Richie. She laid her head back, and closed her eyes with a smile, savoring the words of the song.
Cause they call It
We call It
You call It
I call It Love…
The air in the taxi was stifling. Blair was sweating either from the heat or her physical exertion earlier. She fanned her face using her hand, and when she casually lifted her head after a sigh, the driver's license of the cabby caught her eye.
"Papillon?" Blair read aloud in disbelief as the song continued to play on the background. "Your name's Papillon?"
"Yeah," the male cabbie answered, curiously looking at her in his rearview mirror. "It's French."
"Meaning butterfly." Blair said as she laughed breathlessly. It was either glorious coincidence or the hand of kismet encouragingly pushing her back to her destination.
Blair should have known. Looking back now, the signs started appearing after she miraculously acquired an opening at the Plaza Hotel for the reception. Since then, she had been seeing random solitary butterflies fluttering from time to time, each encounter marked with a different kind of butterfly. A Pearl Crescent on the lamp by her bedside. A Dreamy Duskywing on the windowsill of her bedroom in the Waldorf penthouse. A Wild Indigo Duskywing perched on the store window of Tiffany's. A Sleepy Duskywing roaming at the Waldorf Designs atelier. A Persius Duskywing at a bench in Central Park. A Black Swallowtail fluttered across her path in front of Bendel's. A Spicebush Swallowtail spotted on the way to Sak's. A Zebra Swallowtail landed on her shoulder while hanging out in an outdoor café with Serena.
"A bit queer, isn't it?" The cabbie commented.
It didn't occur to Blair that maybe the male cabby's statement was pertaining to gender, but all she could think of was that out of the taxis in New York, Eric took a cab whose driver's name meant butterfly as the youngest van der Woodsen came late for her wedding, but just in time for her departure. "Queer, indeed," Blair said in awe as she let her back fall to the cushioned seat, a serenity accompanying her contemplation and recognition of inevitability that would make her realize that she had to turn back.
It was her turn to chase him. She had to do it, because he was the one who hadn't let go. It was her chance to chase after what she had left behind.
The cab stopped in front of the gates of the Palace hotel. With the gown presenting great difficulty, Blair stepped out and handed over all the cash Eric gave her (the driver's eyes widened at the thick wad of ten, fifty, hundred dollar bills) before she turned and hurried to the hotel.
"Hey, Miss! You overpayed!" the cabbie stepped out and shouted after her.
"There's no such thing as overtipping!" Blair shouted back, not bothering to glance back at the stunned but ecstatic cabbie. He was a butterfly; he deserved to be tipped generously.
When Blair made it to the lobby of Palace, she was panting from her run.
"Miss Waldorf?" One of the security men approached her. It was Rick, one of Chuck's most loyal employees, proven during the underhand takeover of the Empire. He was once a bouncer in one of the NJBC's favorite bar hangouts back in high school. Once Chuck acquired the Empire, Rick had been hired as security (he was head now). Chuck offered him the job with salary higher than the normal wage, having learned of the man's monetary difficulties as a single parent (his wife left him) in financially supporting his son. Rick was just like Arthur; he had witnessed Chuck and Blair together and was aware of a few discrete details of the relationship but never breathed a word about it.
"Rick! Chuck's here, right?" Blair asked breathlessly, ignoring the curious frown on the man's face.
"Yes, Mr. Bass is here, but he hasn't left his suite in a week."
"I need to see him."
"He's not seeing anyone right now and has given firm orders not to let in any visitor, even family."
"I have to see him right now," Blair tried to portray the urgency in her voice and words.
"I'm sorry, Miss Waldorf, but Mr. Bass' instructions were clear." Rick held firm, his staunch refusal conveying her lack of authority and attesting to his unfaltering fealty as that of a suit of armor standing guard.
"We let five years pass, Rick," Blair's eyes filled with tears of regret that she willed back, because she didn't want to cry in front of everyone in the vicinity. "I don't want to waste another unnecessary minute or hour and especially not a day. You have to let me see him, please." Blair had never begged someone with a blue-collar job before.
The intensity of her feelings, the seemingly limitless length she would go for him had intimidated her. That she would do everything, even compromise herself, for a person that she was not even obligated by blood to love. Not even for Serena would she do what she would do for Chuck. It frightened her, so she turned and ran away. She chose easy, comfortable. She did not let her mind wonder why with Anthony, it always felt lacking, when he did not even fall short of her expectations.
"He won't see anyone, Miss Waldorf."
"Please, I just need the key to 1812." Rick uncomfortably squirmed and looked around. "Please, Rick. You know Chuck, and you know me. You know us. Please, for once, make an exception," Because Rick never went against Chuck's orders. "Let me pass."
Rick studied her for a minute, seemingly weighing the situation. He had always been fond of Chuck, maybe because Rick understood the loneliness from the negligence of an absentee father. Despite the public's popular notion of the young billionaire, Rick knew first hand that Chuck was a good person and that he had been uncharacteristically despondent since Blair had left. Tentatively, Rick reached inside his coat.
"Return it to me later," Rick said as he pulled out the key and handed it in Blair's possession, entrusting the security of his job and his boss's possible happiness in the brunette's hands.
"Thank you," Blair breathed out in relief as she darted to the elevator. She jammed the down button and tapped her foot, willing the elevator to descend faster. Finally, a ding signaled its arrival
"Oh no!" A little girl cried as she dropped a plastic container, spilling its contents on the floor of the elevator. She knelt down to pick up what she had littered on the floor, but her mother took her hand and dragged her away, telling her to leave the mess for the staff to clean up later. Blair brushed past the mother (whose surprised gaze followed Blair) and daughter to get into the empty elevator, which ascended with her alone inside.
The heels were hurting her feet, so she took off her heels to leave it in a corner of the elevator, free for anyone's claiming. The floor was slippery due to her stockings, but she guessed that as soon as she stepped off the elevator and into the carpeted hallway, it would be much easier to walk. While Blair was lifting the hem of her dress to kick her heels to the side, she noticed that there were purple paper punch outs of butterflies on the floor.
"Like there's something in my stomach, fluttering," Blair whispered to herself, remembering the confession of a boy on the eve of her seventeenth birthday as she glanced at the purple paper butterflies scattered at the foot of the elevator. This must've been what the little girl spilled earlier. Blair wanted to laugh as it seemed that the unseen hand of Fortune was making sure Blair did not get lost on her way as it made the trail of butterflies.
The ding that signaled her arrival at her destination was like an alarm of a clock that was waking her out of a stupor, and now, however late it was, she realized that this was the inevitable confrontation she had avoided for five years.
It had been years since she trekked towards 1812. Bart had given Chuck the suite for his personal use when he turned 12. Since then, 1812 had become the NJBC's clubhouse. After graduation, Chuck moved into a new suite to commemorate a turn in his life (secretly, he found a new suite after his much delayed declaration of the three words, eight letters because he wanted to carry Blair across the threshold). 1812 had been a lair of hedonism for him, and he refused to go back and reside in a place that had reminded him too much of the lack of his father's presence. And although it was now vacant, Chuck never opened it for others.
Blair used the key Rick had given her to open the door to 1812. Tentatively, she opened the door, and the sight made her gasp. She lifted her gown and slowly stepped into the suite.
Littered on the floor were numerous different shapes of butterfly punch outs, and scattered all over the place were pictures of them, of Chuck and Blair. On every flat surface (on the floor, every table, every counter, even the couches) there was a picture of the two of them, even from before they were a couple, even before the night of Victrola. Blair realized, surrounded by a montage of their pictures, that Chuck and Blair existed even before Victrola. They had not only been lovers, they were friends, they were partners-in-crime, they were companions, they were allies.
Blair closed the door behind her and proceeded inside the suite. She took great care with her steps, cautiously tiptoeing inside the room to avoid as much as possible stepping on the paper butterflies and photos.
Was this what it felt like to be surrounded by memories? An onslaught of reminiscence engulfed her, like a tidal wave crashing on the surf to reveal a buried bottle underneath the sand, its glass cradling a hidden message. Like an amnesiac walking through an oneiric haze of the forgotten part of her, she gazed in nostalgia at all the fleeting moments framed forever in photographs.
She walked further into the room, and finally spotted him. There he was, laid out on the left side of the bed; the right portion of the bed was strewn with photographs and paper butterflies. The side table nearest him had an empty bottle of Scotch and she wondered how long it had taken him to empty the caramel liquid inside it.
She lifted her voluminous skirt and hurried to his side, suddenly fearful of his seemingly serene repose. She knew how destructive he could be, a habit she had in common with him. And just like with her form of self-punishment, she knew it could kill. She sat by his side, and even then he did not stir as the bed lowered under her seating. Chuck remained oblivious to her proximity.
Gingerly, Blair laid her hand on his cheek. She had always marveled how the lineaments of Chuck's countenance molded perfectly in the contours of her hands. Chuck remained somnolent, indicating how deeply drowned he was in alcohol. Wanting desperately to feel his skin against hers fingers, she hastily pulled off her gloves and unceremoniously threw it to the floor as if they were gauntlets cast down, though she was not sure if it were herself or him or fate she was challenging. Cradling his face in her hand as her other hand laid over his heart, she felt the burn of the alcohol on his face and his even breathing. Relief rushed within her as she drew a shaky breath, causing a few tears loose from her eyes.
She always thought she was the princess waiting by the balcony for a handsome noble to serenade her. She never thought she would be the knight rushing to the palace tower to seek a solitary prince confined in his chambers and save him from the curse.
So, she kissed him gently on the lips, waiting to see if she could awaken the slumbering prince and pull him from his dreamless sleep.
A/n: I am indebted to this fic (and Adam Lambert's "What Do You Want From Me" which I appreciated due to the Chair fic Fake Empire), coz it revived my drive to write. I'm working on my thesis (3 one-act plays+1 generic essay) so I really need my writing groove. I'm on a roll. I'm dedicating time to writing and resisting the temptation of spending the hours just reading Chair fics.
I burn for Chair. Especially now that it's being fed with the indignation of what the writers have done to Chair. Fuck THEM! XP
Do you feel my frustration? They made Chair so weak that they were easily torn apart. I fucking hate them. And what? They're going to win over viewers by replacing C with D? Who's next, E? Are they going through the whole fucking alphabet? FUCK THEM!!! What chemistry with Brooklyn?! That's bullshit!!! Compile all interactions of Blair with that Douche (and I mean EVERY SECOND) from all seasons and I doubt the compilation would reach the length of one episode. I never thought much about Dan, but my blood boils at the prospect of him with B. GRRAWR! I'm FUCKING PISSED!!! Fuck those shallow, shit-headed, unskilled writers!!! I'd rather read fics than watch the show. I've lost it for GG. They cut off the reason I bothered to watch and continued to watch the show.
This week's episode was unacceptable. After all Chair has been through, they let go that easily? I know what Chuck did was horrible, but it's OOC for Blair to just let go. This is the girl who held on for years to a boyfriend who loved and slept with her best friend and didn't really appreciate her. And let's look at Chuck's devotion to his father. Bart's the crappiest parent ever and yet Chuck did all he could to win his approval. Chuck and Blair aren't the type to let go and give up so easily. If S04 is gonna start with B and Serena's ex, GG may as well be cut off midway S04. Coz I'm not supporting GG anymore. All hail fanfiction!
 I already mentioned this in another Chair fic of mine, "A Lifetime's Repercussion of a Dare". I found the flower meanings on different sites. They all basically say the same thing. I do not own nor did I make it up.
 Think of it as a paraphrasing of the line in "Sweet Home Alabama":
Melanie Carmichael: You see the truth is, I gave my heart away a long time ago, my whole heart, and I never really got it back.
 These are real butterflies. I had to research about it. X_x There's a pattern: 1-4-3 for 3words8letters. XD
Pearl Crescent (Nymphalinae)
Dreamy Duskywing (Pyrginae)
Wild Indigo Duskywing (Pyrginae)
Sleepy Duskywing (Pyrginae)
Persius Duskywing (Pyrginae)
Black Swallowtail (Papilioninae)
Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilioninae)
Zebra Swallowtail (Papilioninae)
 Butterfly trivia (to better understand this fic) that you [readers] may be interested in cause it sure as hell did catch my eye and made the Romanticist in me tingly all over XD:
The Mandarin Chinese word for butterfly is "hu-tieh". "Tieh" means "70 years", therefore butterflies have become a symbol for a long life. In this culture butterflies have also become representative of young men in love.
In the Japanese culture butterflies are thought to be representative of young maidens and marital bliss.
There are many links with butterflies in mythology from all over the world, many of which, in particular Greek mythology, link butterflies to the human soul. The Ancient Greeks also considered butterflies as the souls of those who had passed away.
In ancient Greek the word for butterfly is "Psyche", which translated means "soul". This was also the name for Eros'* human lover and when the two figures are depicted they are often surrounded by butterflies.
There is also an Irish saying that refers to the symbolic meaning of butterflies. This saying is: "Butterflies are souls of the dead waiting to pass through purgatory."
There is a small town in Mexico that also associate butterflies with souls. It is to this town that Monarch Butterflies migrate every year, around the holiday known as the Day of the Dead. The people of this town see these butterflies as the returning souls of the deceased.
*Greek god of love, Cupid in Roman mythology