A/N: So, this is an idea I got last night after writing Play Pretend and it would not leave my mind. So, I wrote it. And this one will be a longer, multi-chapter story :-) I hope you like it!
She let herself cry once. It was on the way to Prague, the sound of the aircraft so loud that only she could hear her tears. She let herself cry for the duration of the ride and then pulled out her compact, fixed her eye-make up and approached him with dry eyes. He looked so small in the hospital bed with all his tubes and monitors.
"He's lucky," the doctor told her. "The bullet just missed his heart."
"That's because he doesn't have one," she sniped.
That wasn't true, though. She remembered the way he looked at her when he found her at his apartment. His eyes were bright and she swore she could see his heart swell. And then at the hospital. She could hear his heart break. Or perhaps it was her own she was hearing.
Chuck was awake and seemed to pale even further when he saw her. She sat next to his bed and asked in a level voice, "How are you feeling?"
"I don't feel," he answered. "Not anymore."
"Don't be ridiculous." She replied, reverting to her defense of sarcasm. The truth was that the sight of him wrapped in bandages made her want to scream until her voice went hoarse. "You were shot, Chuck. Even you would feel that."
"Blair," he murmured softly. She noticed his hand move slightly and then his face contorted with pain. Despite herself she leaned forward and laid a hand on his forearm.
"Do you need the doctor?"
She began to rise from her seat but he stopped her. "No. Stay, please."
His face was so open then, honest and needing.He looked too much like the old Chuck, the one who had held her hand and kissed her cheek. She rose slowly from the seat and told him, "I should be going. I just wanted to see how you were."
As she turned she heard him say, "I love you, Blair."
She faced him again and in a voice entirely devoid of emotion said, "I know. Goodbye, Chuck."
She didn't know how she found herself at The Empire with Dorota next to her, the familiar but seldom used key card in her hand. It had all started when she talked to Serena the past week. Blair had casually inquired as to how Chuck was doing and Serena's lips pressed into a tight frown when she told her, "He is giving my mom a hell of a time. He refuses to stay with us."
Blair had looked at her with interest. "He's at The Empire?"
Serena nodded. "He hired some nurse or something."
Blair snorted and said, "Figures, it is Chuck after all."
Serena sensed Blair's ever present defense mechanism and told her, "Even if it were that, Blair, he can hardly move."
"Anyway, my mom is sick with worry. Chuck is like a son to her and she is constantly worrying over if he is taking his medicine, if he is changing his bandages often enough."
"I'm sure Chuck's nurse can take care of it all."
She wasn't sure, though, and that is how she ended up with Dorota at his room. She swiped the key past the sensor and a soft green light preceded her entrance. She walked in and inhaled sharply when she found a middle aged man standing in the kitchen.
"Who are you?" She asked immediately.
"I'm Mr. Bass' caretaker. And who may I ask are you?"
"I'm Blair Waldorf. You're…you're the caretaker?"
The man nodded.
"Oh, well, you will not be needed anymore," Blair told him. She took off her coat and strode past him to put it on the couch.
"Chuck have new caretakers," Dorota filled in, standing up straight.
"Mr. Bass is in a tenuous condition right now," the caretaker said slowly. "He needs a licensed medical practitioner and while I mean no disrespect, neither of you seem qualified."
Dorota sucked her cheeks in irritably and told him, "I take care of Ms. Blair for years and she turn out good. I can take care of Mr. Chuck."
"Mr. Bass hired me and I intend on doing my job," the caretaker replied levelly.
Blair was feeling increasingly nervous being back at the hotel and her nerves only sharpened her bite. She turned on the caretaker and told him in a voice that could cut metal, "Look, I'm sure you have been taking fine care of Mr. Bass but your services are not needed anymore. Dorota is more than qualified to take care of Mr. Bass. We are more than qualified to take care of him."
"He needs medical attention," the caretaker told her stubbornly.
"Which is why I arranged for his doctor to come here and pay him a visit daily." She smiled sweetly at his silence. "I may be young but I am not dense. Now, thank you for all your help up to now. Take your time gathering your things."
He bristled at her condescending tone but gave her an affirming nod, nonetheless. He walked over to the guest room and she could hear the shuffle of a bag and then clothes.
"Mr. Chuck is in room," Dorota said softly, pointing to his bedroom. Blair nodded and then forced her legs to take her to him. Nerves pulled taught within her and she felt as if she would crack with tension as she pushed the door open. There were no tubes this time, which made him look exponentially better. His eyes focused on her.
"I thought I heard you," he said.
"I brought Dorota."
"Why are you here?"
She stood at the foot of his bed and felt herself fidget. "Serena said you wouldn't stay at Lilly's."
"I like my home."
"Well, I figured it would make Lilly feel better to have someone she knows taking care of you. And everyone knows Dorota is more than capable. The doctor will make daily visits, of course."
"You brought me Dorota?"
"It was her idea," she said but both of them knew it was a lie. "We'll be staying in the guest room, if you don't mind."
"You know Dorota can't be separated from me," she said with a soft grin.
He still seemed in disbelief and murmured, "Of course not."
She nodded. "Alright, well, I will just go and unpack now. If you need anything, just, call for one of us."
She turned to leave but he stopped her. "Blair, wait."
"I will make it up to you. Somehow, I will make it all up to you."
She felt her stomach go into knots and she set him with a level gaze as she replied, "This doesn't mean I forgive you, Chuck. I don't. This is for Lilly. She's been through enough in the past few months. This is for her, not you."
She walked out without another word. Despite her intention to unpack she went to the sitting room and settled on the couch. She let her body relax into the cushion and casually turned her head against the upholstery. It smelled like him. Although every fiber in her body still rebelled against him she couldn't deny that it felt good to be back in the room. It was comforting to be surrounded by what she had grown so accustomed to.
She was home.
A/N: Please leave comments if you would like to see this expanded. Just so you know, I plan on this being around 5-6 chapters total. Also, feel free to leave comments about the finale and such. I love reading all of them and responding with my own thoughts :-) Thank you for reading!