A/N: Omg, I cried so hard at the finale. That was terrible, but it was an amazing eppie just like all GG finales are. So I just had to write this just because. I know this is going to be a really cliche SL for fics during the summer, but I just had to get this out when I saw Chuck bleeding on the street.
Summary: "I could tell her," Nate said. It wasn't offer. To Chuck, it sounded like a threat. And Chuck had heard threats. He heard them shouted in Czech as a bullet traveled through his back.
Disclaimer: Nothing is ine because I could not have made that amazing ending and OMG september has to come soon now.
I thought you didn't love me anymore. I didn't care if I lived or died.
-- Last Tango, Then Paris
At first, he really did think that he was dead.
But not before his heart was ripped out of his chest.
He saw the betrayal and tears streak down her face. The velvet box that was always meant for her had lay on the ground as the hospital's floor collided with his back like Dan Humphrey's fist collided with his face.
The third time he was assaulted by him and it just felt like going through the motions. Because he didn't care how his hair was mussed and the bruise on his cheek would last less than a week. The woman that he knew he loved more than anything, the only woman he could ever love, who could have been his forever if she would just have him, had been broken to.
The woman who could have been his fiancé, his wife, left him behind as he screwed up once again. But he spoke nothing but the truth to her. He tried to rationalize. He tried to make excuses. But really, the only thing he was trying to do was convince her that they were forever.
If he spent the rest of his life making it up to her, it's what he would do. He would be glad to because she would become his wife.
And then it was all over.
His heart shattered again as she walked away.
The next week was a blur of private jets and liquor that was specifically designed to erase his memory.
Trying to forget.
That's what he said to a girl whose virginity wasn't the first he had taken.
But only one had mattered. And it wasn't little Jenny Humphrey.
Three years ago he had attempted the same thing and once again, Dan Humphrey's fist still permeated his face.
And he just didn't care.
Because she was crying again and he knew that this was something that she couldn't forget.
This night never happened.
And that wasn't even the worst part.
He liked Prague, had been there before.
He liked the international life. It was the only way. He knew she was off to Paris and they were still the same. The Czech Republic was his only comfort when she was barely countries away. So he spent the rest of his life in a haze of booze and drugs just to wipe away something that could never be cleansed from his soul.
The only time he had ever truly contemplated suicide was in another haze of alcohol. His father was dead and he was teetering off the edge of a building. And then she was there and he knew the real reason. The real reason was because he had spent a month whoring around Bangkok in Asian opium dens and she told him that she loved him.
Now he would do anything to hear those words.
Now he was being mugged and the only thing of value on him was a diamond that belonged to one person and one person only.
And it wasn't the mugger in Prague with a hidden gun.
Because money was money. It had no value except for the limos that held memories that he treasured and drugs that would erase those memories. The diamond pressed against his chest had more value to him than all of that. The sentimental value of something that meant the world to him was once again. It represented her and if it was torn from him, then he would truly be dead.
He didn't even register it. He was drunk and it should have occurred to him that muggers didn't just walk around demanding money.
They had insurance. But then again, what did he know? He lived on the Upper East Side. He had never been mugged before.
He didn't care.
I have lots of money.
Because they couldn't take what was already smashed to pieces.
I'm Chuck Bass.
And hands ventured towards the pocket that held his entire existence and he didn't know what he was doing anymore. He didn't sense the impending danger and that his life hung in the balance. Because he just didn't care. Whether he was alive or dead, it didn't matter. Because she was the only thing that ever gave his life any meaning.
They ventured towards the pocket that held his entire existence and he lost it. He lunged and fought with the rich boy strength that he attempted to have and he heard a popping sound.
He didn't feel it at first.
He would give them money.
But they couldn't have that.
Just let me keep the box.
He didn't feel it at first but there was a loud popping sound and he he stopped. He just stopped. He looked down, knowing something was terrbily wrong. He wondered why his arms weren't moving. His love for her was so strong that he would do this. He would fight them.
But he was falling.
The cowardous bastard shot him right in the back.
And then he did feel it.
A searing pain shocked through him when he felt warm wetness sliding down his back. His expensive shirt that he hadn't changed for a week was wet. He looked down, confused because there was nothing. There was nothing to tell him that there was something wrong.
But there was something so very wrong because he was falling and he couldn't stop.
He dimly registered them opening the box that he would kill them for, unable to move. He stilled, aware of how the bullet tore through his back and the pain drew him to his knees.
It was a physical pain that he was aware of. It matched the pain in his heart almost exactly.
But not quite.
The muggers that stole what was worth everything to him fled as he collided with the street of Prague. His tunnel vision narrowed and all he could see was the cobblestone streets and one question.
Was Chuck Bass truly supposed to go out like this?
And then there was nothing.
Nothing but her. Like there always was.
One image flashed before his eyes as he struggled to regulate his breathing. What if he perished on this poor street and she just never heard from him again?
All he saw was her dark hair and eyes and the fourth finger that should have carried his ring for the rest of their lives.
All he could think of was her.
What if she never knows?
What if she never knew how sorry he was?
What if she never knew how he loved her so consumingly and completely?
What if she never knew he was dead without her?
He was suddenly stricken with the reality of that literal meaning.
It didn't matter. She was gone and he really was dead. Because he was telling her the truth. Without her, he really was nothing. Without her, he was dead.
He began to bleed out, wondering if those whores on the street would care that some little rich boy was dying.
And he would die with only one face in front of his eyes. The same face he saw when he realized what he was meant for.
I love you too.
Maybe if she didn't know that would be better.
But he couldn't help but wonder if she did know, would that be enough for her to come back to him?
It would have been worth it.
At first, he really did think he was dead.
Maybe that would have been better.
Maybe she could leave him for good.
But he opened his eyes again that day, knowing he was still in Prague.
And she still wasn't there.
When she saw him again, she knew something was different. She wasn't sure what it was but his eyes were darker than she remembered and his walk was more fluid and deadly.
She wanted to hate him.
He walked into her father's vineyard that day and she really wanted to hate him.
But she was suddenly reminded of the day that she last saw him with his lost eyes and hair mussed that he looked like the little boy that she lost her virginity to. The little boy that followed her around in his limo and said romantic speeches.
He looked lost and vulnerable.
And he looked like death.
He walked towards her that day and it was the one thing that she could think, unsure of why she felt that way. His skin was just as pale and his features just as dark. But he looked at her and all she could see was death.
"You need to come home."
She shook herself out of her thoughts and stared. Even his voice seemed different. And something else happened. She never should have underestimated the effect he had on her but this was something different. This wasn't just his impish charm or the way he smirked at her.
This was truth.
And the truth was she needed to come home, no matter what the reason. She knew it and he knew it.
She wanted to hate him.
She still sort of did.
"Did you tell her?"
Chuck was more irritable of late. He was sure it didn't have anything to do with the stitches in his back.
It vexed him how callous Nathaniel could be and he knew he would use Chuck's black book for evil. Death put things in perspective. Things already put in perspective the minute he bought that ring.
That was as good as gone. He was never going to see it again. Might as well. He brought Serena and Blair home as per request and he was done. He knew what people saw when they looked at him. He was a walking corpse. An empty shell that had no purpose. A zombie that took orders from a master. He was a minion to other's desires because what he wanted didn't matter anymore.
It wasn't possible and he would never have it again.
"And how was your summer?" Chuck asked coldly, the only inflection he really had anymore. He watched Nate swallow guiltily and felt a flicker of something he once was. He just pushed it down.
"I could tell her," Nate said. It wasn't offer. To Chuck, it sounded like a threat. And Chuck had heard threats. He heard them shouted in Czech as a bullet traveled through his back.
"How about you get a bullet tunneling through your insides and get back to me on that," Chuck advised. "So don't pretend to know what happened on that street in Prague. And don't pretend that this is an easy fix."
The door slammed and he should have known.
"I'll leave you two alone," Nate said, passing Blair and her vacant expression.
She slammed the velvet box on the table.
Waking up in that decrepit hospital in Prague was the single most terrifying experience of Chuck's life. It meant that he was still alive. It meant that Blair still would never forgive him. And it meant the only remembrance he had of her was gone as well.
He might as well be dead.
And he wished he was.
Lily's frantic phone call pulled him back to the brink as they bandaged him. He knew he should be on suicide watch considering how worthless he felt but it wasn't like they knew that unless he was toppling off the side of a building again.
And he knew that she still wouldn't be there to save him.
So he listened to Lily plead for him to come home. Things were bad. Not that Chuck cared about the Humphrey that landed one square in his jaw but Serena needed to come home.
And so did Blair.
So Chuck discharged himself and walked onto the roof of the hospital. As luck would have it, or lack of it, there was an orderly he didn't see on his smoke break.
That delayed his discharge by a couple of months.
No one called to tell Lily that her step son was on suicide watch.
He told them he was an American orphan with no valuables on him.
Otherwise he would have been to Paris sooner. Otherwise he would have brought her home sooner.
"Where did you get that?" Chuck asked hoarsely as the diamond glittered up menacingly at him. It couldn't have been the same one. That one was lost. Pawned. They didn't know the true value of it.
"What happened in Prague, Chuck?" Blair asked quietly. He refused to look her in the eye and it killed her. He was different than when he left. She saw that the minute he sauntered back into her life.
Now she understood. She hated him but she still understood.
"Where did you get that?" he asked again.
"You were going to propose," Blair said, never looking from Chuck's face on the off chance that he would look back at her. "That day..."
Both of them couldn't even think it.
"Irrelevant," he replied, taking measured steps to what represented them more than anything else. His hand hovered over the box before slamming it shut. "You knew what I was asking that day. And it's still irrelevant."
"Why?" Blair asked. Her voice was still soft in soothing as though he were some skittish gazelle. "Do you not want to anymore?"
"You never did," he said, finally forcing himself to look at her. "That's why it's irrelevant."
But that wasn't what she said.
"What happened to you in Prague, Chuck?" Blair asked again instead. "You just disappeared."
"Did you come looking for me?" Chuck asked with his adopted coldness.
"I didn't have to."
"Where did you get that?" Chuck asked for the third time. She didn't answer verbally. There was nothing more to say. Because she knew what had happened to him. She just needed evidence.
He would have run from her. Things were different and yet they were the same. The only thing that would ever bring him back was her love. Considering getting married just out of high school wasn't something that was done. But he would do it for her.
He would run from her. There didn't seem to be any other options but she was walking towards him for the first time since that punch landed and he found himself backed into a corner.
She always made him feel defenseless.
Her hands trembled at the buttons on his shirt and anger charged through him in an attempt to stop her.
"Don't," he snapped angrily, grabbing her shoulders roughly. She didn't listen. She never did. Still, he held her harshly as she tried to find the evidence. "Satsified?"
Blair looked at his bare chest, not seeing what she was sure was there. He wanted her to leave. He couldn't be like this before her. He couldn't show her his weakness. His weakness spread across his back like a white web that would never heal.
She never listened.
She grabbed his face suddenly, staring into his eyes. He squirmed beneath her touch and he knew this had gone too far. She already knew. She didn't know what she knew, but she definitely knew.
"Where did you go?" she whispered.
"Let go," he uttered darkly.
"Don't try to hide from me."
"You don't want this anymore," he said, shoving her away. "You've made that blatantly clear."
He didn't expect it. He knew that she still hated him for what he had done. But he also knew that he had taught her how to make a point.
So she did.
She grabbed his face again, pressing her lips fiercely to his.
"Stop, Blair," Chuck said, knowing her hands tended to venture when they were so close together. She saw the intent in his eyes and kissed him roughly again. He tried to restrain himself. But when he was with her, it just wasn't possible.
He grabbed her back, knowing that maybe she still hadn't forgiven him but she was in his arms again and she was the only thing he thought of when that bullet burrowed beneath his shoulder blade.
He felt her freeze under his touch knowing it wasn't the bullet he was feeling but her hand. She wasn't looking at him. Over his shoulder she was staring and he knew that there just so happened to be a full length mirror behind him. Her hand ghosted across his scar as she stared at the reflection that she just knew was there.
"Why didn't you tell me?" she asked. He was certain that those couldn't be tears in her eyes, her throat choked with sobs.
"Because it had nothing to do with you," he said, grabbing his shirt to cover his vulnerability. He wrenched himself away from her comforting embrace, trying to find the buttons.
And he stopped.
The back that was turned to her, marked with permenance, stiffening as he waited.
"And I didn't even have to match your eyes and your mouth to know it," she taunted.
You're doing that thing where your eyes don't match your mouth.
"They hurt you."
"Stop," he said darkly, not able to turn to face her.
"They went after you because you were rich."
"I said stop," he snapped, finally turning.
"They saw that you had money and they found that ring."
"Don't do this," he said angrily.
"And they almost killed you for it."
In a rush if passion he grabbed her shoulders as though to shake her. And she looked relieved.
"There," she said breathlessly.
"What?" he asked in confusion, backing away slightly.
"I really thought you were dead in there," she answered advancing on him like she was the predator. "You came back and I thought you were truly empty."
"What was the point of living if you weren't there?" he asked.
She put her hand to his scar that almost throbbed as much as his heart. He closed his eyes, feeling her lean her forehead against his.
"I don't know," Blair answered honestly. "I would have died to."
His back was to her, still able to smell her all over him. Her even breaths hit the nape of his neck but he knew she wasn't asleep. He felt her. Her fingers traced the white web of scarring, branching out from the raised center where the bullet went underneath his left shoulder blade. He stroked her hair softly and breathed in deeply.
"You could have died," she whispered against his skin.
"I was dead to begin with."
"Don't say that."
She was looking back up at him, her eyes fearful.
"Please don't say that."
He was serious.
He would spend the rest of his life making it up to her.
She went back to tracing the scar of his love and his loss. He felt her lips brush across the pain and he knew everything was better.
"Chuck," she whispered.
"If you had died..."
He knew she was close to tears. He remembered bleeding out on the street, able to think of only one thing.
"I would have died to."
She settled against him and he didn't need to have it explained. He understood. He always felt the same way. That was always the way it was. On that street it wasn't the bullet that would have killed him but her rejection of him.
Then they both would have been dead.
He felt her lips on his scar with the knowledge that she went in search of that ring. The ring nestled into the black velvet that he was relieved to be in his possession again.
She went in search of him.
"Just so you know," she whispered to him in the dead of night. "I would have said yes."
And she still would. When he asked her again, he knew that she would say yes.
Our scars remind us that our past is real