This is it. The end. I could cry. I'm getting ready to leave to go home for two weeks – I'll have all kinds of time to write while home, too far out in the country to do much else! - but I wanted to get this posted before I left Nashville. I'd hoped to get it posted earlier as well as the outtake, but there was a tornado (I'm fine!) on Monday and with winding down my internship and packing, I didn't have much free time. This is full of fluff and love and happy and I giggled reading it, so I hope you all like it.
I'll be replying to all of your reviews this weekend, but I wanted to say thank you once more for making this story such a success. I loved writing it and I hope you all loved reading it. Stay tuned for much more. :) Thank you all again – much love for ALL of you!
THINGS I OWN: Far too many sorority t-shirts. THINGS I DON'T OWN: Gossip Girl
As Blair blinked her eyes open, she realized two things almost instantaneously. Firstly, by just a hair, she realized she had woken up to silence. Secondly, and far more disturbing than the silence she was no longer accustom to waking up to, was the fact that the bassinet that had held her soundly sleeping infant daughter when she had closed her eyes two hours earlier was now empty. She wasted no time in rushing from the bedroom and down the staircase, hoping, praying, that Dorota had the child. What she saw as she rushed into the living room made her stop in the door frame.
"See this one?" Chuck was saying to the tiny bundle of pink and yellow resting on his shoulder, as he pointed to a photo on the fireplace mantle, "This one is me and your mommy on our wedding day." Blair stepped into the shadows so she could watch them without his knowledge, a soft smile on her face. Though only a week old to the day, their daughter had Chuck wrapped around her bitty finger. "I tricked her into marrying me," he continued. "Or maybe she tricked me into marrying her. Either way, marrying your mommy is the smartest thing I ever did. It got me your mommy and you." Blair's heart melted as Chuck placed the softest of kisses on the baby's tuft of brown hair.
"This one? This is one of my favorites. This is your grandma, Lily. She would have loved you so much. Aunt Serena is a lot like her, more than she would ever admit. But you know what? Even if Grandma Lily isn't here, she's still watching over you, keeping you safe. And maybe your other grandma, grandma Elizabeth, and your grandpa Bart are too." Blair wiped at the dampness in her eyes as she listened to Chuck talk in a hushed voice of his deceased parents. He picked up another picture and chuckled.
"I don't know why your mom insists on keeping this one around," he continued. "We were in high school in this one. The non-judging breakfast club, your mom named us. I promise we were quite fashionable when this was taken. Me in pink argyle, Uncle Nate with his bangs, Aunt Serena playing the role of saint. And your mom with that obnoxiously large headband. Though I do have a certain regard for a certain headband..." Chuck trailed off as he adjusted the baby in his arms. "Remind me to tell you when you're older why you should never, ever, under any circumstance, get into limos with boys." Blair bit her lip to keep her laughter from escaping. She wasn't a fortune teller but she knew enough about Chuck Bass to know his daughter would, if he had his way, live the most sheltered of lives. Of course, she was their child and if she wanted to ride in limos with boys, she would undoubtedly do it, just as her mother and father had before her.
"See these two photos?" he was asking now, turning to the side so the baby, who Blair wasn't sure even had her eyes open, was facing the mantle. "These people are your family. This one is your mom's side of the family. That's grandpa Harold and grandpa Roman. And this is grandma Eleanor and grandpa Cyrus. Eleanor wants you to call her Nan or something like that, but I want you to call her grandma, just because it'll make her mad and daddy enjoys seeing grandma Eleanor fuming. But don't tell mommy that." Blair had to fight again to keep her laughter concealed as she listened in.
"Mommy's side of the family is a little strange. People might ask why you have so many grandpas. Just tell them it's because you're loved more than they are." Blair rolled her eyes. Chuck would tell their child to say something like that. "Oh and these people? These people are really important. That's Dorota and Vanya and Amelia. They might help take care of us, but they're family all the same, especially Amelia. She's me and mommy's goddaughter. She's going to be an extra special friend to you as you grow up." Chuck turned his attention to the second of the two family photos.
"The people in this photo? This is daddy's side of the family. This is Rufus. You can call him grandpa if you want to. I think he would like that. And this is your aunt Jenny. Whatever you do, don't take makeup tips from her. Or hair tips. Or tips about anything else for that matter. I'm not sure all the wires connect in that mind of hers." Blair silently agreed with everything he had said about Little J.
"This is Dan. He's a famous writer now. We used to not get along all that well, but he's not that bad. You can refer to him as your uncle but I'd prefer it if you called him 'Brooklyn.' Uncle Brooklyn would due as well." Blair bit down on her fist to contain the laughter.
"And this is Uncle Eric. Uncle Eric can be your second favorite uncle, but we'll tell him he's your favorite – but make sure Uncle Nate can't hear you before you say that though because he'll get offended. This guy? He's Uncle Eric's boyfriend." Chuck stopped for a second. "You're really going to have a rough time explaining your family tree," he told the baby. "Grandpas with life partners, uncles with boyfriends, aunts that look like raccoons... Just tell them you're a Bass and that should scare them off from questioning you any more. If it doesn't, tell me and daddy will fix it.
"Anyway, the last two people in this photo are the most important. This is Aunt Serena and Uncle Nate. They are your godparents. They're going to get married when Uncle Nate finishes his law degree. He's going to be my lawyer when he finishes. After the stunts his dad pulled, he knows more about the legal system then you would think. I guess the blond hair and lack of common sense keeps people from finding out he's actually not that dumb." The baby fussed. Blair made to step forward, but Chuck cooed to her softly and bounced her ever so lightly, quieting her down within moments.
"You must have gotten a good look at Uncle Dan's plaid shirt," he said. "Uncle Nate wears them too, but at least Uncle Nate pays a notable price for his. Uncle Dan still likes to buy his at thrift stores despite the influx of money into his bank account after two bestsellers. But he's still dating Miss Save the World Vanessa so clearly his tastes have not changed despite his upgraded social class.
"Aunt Serena though, she's a good one to go to for advice. Well, maybe. You should probably go to me or mommy first, or maybe Dorota, but Aunt Serena is good for that stuff too. She's a publicist for an entertainment firm. She gets all dressed up and goes to red carpet events all the time and gets her clients out of jail before the press finds out. But she's got a good heart and she's been just a like a sister to your mom for as long as I can remember." Chuck paused. "She was there for you mommy when I wasn't."
Blair's smile fell slightly. Everything that had happened with the hotel and Jack was years behind them and yet she knew there was a small part of Chuck that held tightly to those memories, carried them as reminders of all he stood to loose and everything he had learned along the way. She herself barely gave them thought anymore, preoccupied with first school then wedding planning and most recently, the baby. She looked at those memories as battle scars, proof that she and Chuck had fought for one another and always would. She remained in the shadows as he carefully sat down on the sofa. He propped his feet up on the coffee table and left the baby resting on his chest.
"Do you have any idea how much I love you, Charlee Bass?" he asked the infant. "Because I do. You and your mommy mean absolutely everything to me. I promise you, you will never for a moment know what it's like to have a parent who you think doesn't love you." Blair watched him as a soft smile played across his lips and the most peaceful expression fell over his face. Their daughter was the one thing in this world, Blair realized, that Chuck loved more than her. And she was more than okay with that. It was, in her opinion, how it was supposed to be.
She was content to watch them for as long as she could get away with it. The loves of her life sitting quietly together on the sofa was far more entertaining than anything else she could think of. But Charlee had other ideas. She started whimpering and within moments, she was wailing.
"What's the matter, princess?" Chuck asked, moving the baby from his shoulder so he could cradle her in his arms.
"She's probably hungry," Blair said, walking into the room. "She didn't eat much before she fell asleep." She sat down next to Chuck and he passed the baby off to her. It was his turn to watch in awe as Charlee's cries fell to whimpers and then ceased, the only sound the quiet suckling as she ate. Chuck smiled and leaned in to kiss Blair's cheek.
"She wanted her mommy," he commented.
"She wanted her mommy's chest," Blair corrected.
"One more thing she got from me." Blair rolled her eyes.
"Isn't enough that she's nearly your spitting image and is named after you?"
"She's a Bass," Chuck answered with a shrug.
"You do realize that the second you tell her she can't ride in limos with boys, she'll be paying off the driver with daddy's money so he doesn't tell on her when she stops to pick up whatever boy has her attention that week? She is, after all, a Bass." Blair looked at Chuck with a raised eyebrow.
"You were eavesdropping," Chuck realized.
"I was," Blair confirmed. "You did not trick me into marrying you either."
"Then you tricked me," Chuck bantered. "But either way, it worked out in the absolute best way possible." He leaned in to give Blair a quick kiss while the baby nursed.
"It did," Blair agreed, smiling down at her baby. She looked back to Chuck. "You're home much earlier than I thought you would be. It's barely three in the afternoon."
"I missed you two," Chuck confessed with a bit of a sheepish grin. It had been his first day back at work since the birth of his daughter and all he had been able to think about was his little girl and his wife, at home without him. "I have some stuff that has to get done tonight, but I thought I'd work from home, be here if you needed anything since you insisted Dorota take the day off." Blair smiled at him.
"This is where I should probably encourage you to go back to the office and tell you we'll be fine, but I'm too selfish to do that," she said.
"It's not being selfish if there's no place I'd rather be," Chuck countered. "How are you feeling, by the way? If you want to finish your nap after she's eaten, she can hang out in my office with me."
"I'm fine," Blair said. "My nap earlier will hold me over until bedtime and maybe I can get a few hours of sleep before she wakes up again. By the way, it scared me to death to wake up and see her gone from her bassinet." Chuck grinned with a bit of guilt.
"You looked so peaceful sleeping that I didn't have the heart to wake you. I know too well how sleep deprived you are. I'm right there with you. I was going to lay down with you, but Charlee was awake when I checked on her so we came down here and did a little daddy-daughter bonding."
"I thought the daddy-daughter bonding was rather sweet."
"Being a daddy's girl yourself, I'm sure you did," Chuck replied, but with a smile to show her he was joking. Blair rolled her eyes and started fussing over the baby's tiny outfit. Chuck grew silent, watching the love of his life feed the life their love had created. Even now, almost five years after he had made what would forever be the single biggest mistake of his life, he still marveled at the fact that Blair Waldorf had given him another chance. And somewhere along the way, she had become his wife and given him the one gift that was more precious than anything they could buy.
"You okay?" Blair asked, noticing his silence. She moved the baby to her shoulder as she finished her meal and gently patted her back, waiting for her to burp.
"She's going to ask about us one day," he said. "She'll want to know our story."
"We tell her the edited version," Blair replied. "Daddy offered to take mommy home when she was really upset and mommy realized there was more to daddy than purple and 'I'm Chuck Bass.'"
"Funny," Chuck replied. "But what else do we tell her? I don't want her to know about – everything." Blair locked eyes with Chuck. It had been a long time since either of them had brought up what had happened with Jack. She should have known the birth of his first child would stir things within Chuck.
"We tell her the truth," Blair told him. "Not all of it, obviously, but we'll tell her that we made mistakes and it took losing each other to find one another again. And most importantly, we'll teach her to love without abandon."
Chuck reached for the baby and rested her on his chest. It amazed him, how much he loved this little girl and how protective he felt over her.
"I just want her to know how much I love you both," he admitted. "And that you both are the most important things in my life."
"She already does," Blair said confidently. She slid over to Chuck and rested her head on his shoulder. He put an arm around her, happy to hold his two girls. "We both do." Chuck smiled and kissed the top of Blair's head while she rubbed the baby's back.
Once they had returned from Bora Bora, they had settled into a routine. When Blair had started Columbia, they had struggled at first to find a balance between her schoolwork, Chuck's business ambitions and their time together. It had taken them some time to work out how to spend time together while attending to their commitments, but they had worked it out, setting aside Friday afternoons through Sunday evenings to be with one another as well as at least one day during the week, more if they could work it out.
Chuck had asked Blair to marry him the night of her graduation. He had asked permission from both Harold and Roman and Eleanor and Cyrus and even Dorota. He had spent the day on pins and needles, something Blair had noticed. Her irritation had rose until she had finally snapped, causing a bit of a scene at her graduation party. In the heat of the moment, while Blair was accusing him of not being happy for her accomplishment, he had pulled the ring from his coat pocket and proclaimed "I was going to ask you to marry me, dammit."
Blair had stopped in her tracks at his declaration as the room had fallen silent, family and friends no longer trying to pretend they weren't listening in. Her eyes had grown wide and Chuck had found himself on one knee, presenting her with the ring and asking her to be his wife. It wasn't the proposal he had planned – he had procured the Empire State Building with plans of presenting her with macaroons from France and stockings from Germany and one very expensive Harry Winston – but she had said yes with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face and surprised everyone, himself included, when she had bypassed the ring to throw herself at Chuck. Nate had subtly coughed 'ring,' which had reminded the pair that there was, indeed, a very large diamond with Blair's name on it to slip onto her finger.
The wedding had, of course, been the event of the year. No expense had been spared in making Blair's dream wedding into reality. Both of them had cried during their personally written vows and kissed before the minister had told them to, but neither of them had ever been happier. Until, just over 9 months later, Charlotte Lillian Bass had been born.
It had been a surprise for Blair to discover she was pregnant and she had been terrified to tell Chuck for fear that it would be too much too soon with the marriage and all. Instead of fleeing to a far away land like Blair had envisioned in her worst case scenario, Chuck had broke into a big smile and pulled Blair into his arms, spinning her around and spending the rest of her pregnancy making sure she was waited on hand and foot, whether by him or someone he had hired – or whether or not she was insisting on doing something herself. He could admit now that he had been a bit overprotective, but Blair was his world and he would make sure it went smooth for her. He was also, admittedly, a little afraid as childbirth had been what deprived him of his own mother.
Life now was what they had both longed for – simple and routine. Chuck went to the office every day and was home in time for dinner nearly always. Sometimes there was a dinner meeting or a business trip, but Blair was always his date for dinner and he had talked her into accompanying him on his trips a number of times. When she didn't, he made them as quick as possible. Blair herself had earned a reputation as one of Manhattan's premiere event planners. It wasn't the career path she had set out on and her degree in psychology had more or less nothing to do with her career, but she loved what she did. It made sense, even, as she had always loved to plan a party.
She would return to planning parties in a few months, but she was determined to spend the first few months of her child's life as completely present. Dorota who now worked for them with Eleanor and Cyrus in Paris nearly year round, was always willing to help with the baby, but Blair refused a nanny and Chuck was all too happy with her decision. Dorota and and a string of nannies had raised Blair and Chuck and they were determined to do everything their parents hadn't for their child and the others they would inevitably have.
"Don't you have some work to do?" Blair asked.
"Yeah," Chuck said, his voice full of regret. "And it can't really wait another day. But I don't want to move." Blair sat up though and reached for the baby.
"Go work," she directed. "The sooner you get it done, the sooner you can lounge around with Charlee and me. We'll go watch a movie while you work and I'll see about something for dinner afterward. You'll be done by dinner?" Chuck nodded.
"If not before," he confirmed. "What movie? Maybe I'll work in the media room while you watch."
"Breakfast At Tiffany's," Blair replied with a smile.
"Exposing our girl to Audrey already," Chuck mumbled. "I think I'll be more productive in my office." Blair laughed as she stood and started towards the media room. Chuck stood as well and headed in the opposite direction to his office.
"Hey, Bass?" he called across the room. Blair turned.
"Yes, Bass?" Chuck grinned.
"I love you." His eyes fell on his daughter. "Both of you." Blair kissed the baby's head with a soft smile.
"We love you too, Bass."
The end. :(