Title: Family Dynamics
A/N: So this is what I'd like to happen after the mess they called a season finale – and the few eps before that. Focuses on the family dynamic of the Van der Basses after Chuck is shot. Chair, of course. Hints of Serenate.
Chapter 1 – The Shot Heard 'Round the UES
"Hello," Lily answered her phone.
"Mrs. Bass?" asked an accented voice.
"This is Eva. I'm a nurse at Prague Hospital. Your son Charles is here. I'm sorry. He's been shot."
"Shot?" Lily asked, shocked. She managed the few steps to the couch and sat down.
Eric had been walking through the main room toward the kitchen and froze – listening.
"Mug-gers I think you call them? Wanted to take his money."
"Yes. Thank you. How is he?" Lily didn't even try to hide the fear and worry in her tone.
"In surgery. He lost a lot of blood. We hope he will make it."
"I'll be there as soon as I can," Lily said. "Please take care of my son…" She paused. Of all the names in Charles phone, how had they known to call her? "How did you know to call me?"
Confusion was clear in Eva voice. "You are in his cell phone… 'Mom', the number says." 'How could his mother not know that?' Eva wondered.
Lily smiled despite the worry and fear she felt. Charles had labeled her number 'Mom'… Not Lily, but Mom.
"Thank you. Good bye," Lily said and ended the call. The phone dropped to the couch.
"Mom?" her younger son called.
"We need to get to Prague. Quickly. Charles has been shot. He's in surgery."
"Chuck's been shot?" Eric asked in disbelief. If he ever imagined anything happening to Chuck, it was like the roof scene after Bart had died - Chuck self destructing. Eric had never imagined that anyone, except perhaps Blair Waldorf, could really bring Chuck down.
"I'll get us tickets," Lily said. She picked up the phone again to call her travel agent.
"I'll call Serena and Nate… and Blair," Eric replied. No matter what was going on between them, they were the Non-Judging Breakfast Club. Blair would need to know. Heaven help anyone who got in her way now…
"Eric, if you're calling to plead for Chuck or Jenny-"
"Chuck's been shot," Eric cut in. "He's in a hospital in Prague. In surgery. Lily and I are going. We're booking you a seat. Serena and Nate too."
The line was silent for a moment, then Blair spoke in her cool Queen B tone. "Ok. Good. Text me the flight information. I'm going to start packing now," Blair replied. She had to remain calm an in control – she couldn't afford to lose herself to the emotions that wanted to rip through her. Right now she had to pack. Had to function. She couldn't help Chuck curled up in a ball crying or losing her breakfast in the toilet. "Eric… Thank you."
"You're welcome. See you soon."
"Yeah," she replied, then hung up the phone. Her knees suddenly buckled and she sank to the floor. 'No. I don't have time for this. I can't be weak right now,' she thought. 'I have to get to Chuck.' She forced herself to stand, and then quickly began packing. With Dorota still at home with her baby, Blair was doing her own packing for once.
Rufus walked into the bedroom to find Lily packing a suitcase. "What's going on?"
"Charles has been shot. He's in a hospital in Prague," she replied as she kept packing.
"You're going? After what he did to Jenny? You're going?" Rufus asked, anger in his tone.
"Of course I am going! My son is in the hospital! And Jenny told us that she went to Charles willingly… He had me in his phone as 'Mom', Rufus. After what happened with Bart and us… I never thought… But he had me listed as his mother. Do you know what it means for Charles Bass to do that? Do you have any idea? He's alone and hurt in a foreign country. I'm going to my son. Eric, Serena, Nate, and Blair are coming with me."
Rufus sighed. "I'm not. I know what Jenny said, but… I can't go see Chuck right now. And I doubt he'd want me there anyway."
Lily nodded. She hadn't booked him a ticket, knowing this would be his reaction.
"I love you, Lil," he said and kissed her.
"I love you," Lily replied, then closed her suit case. She didn't kiss him back. She loved Rufus, but she also loved her son. Rufus was just going to have to accept that. And to accept that Jenny was no longer his innocent little girl – just as she'd had to learn that with Serena, and Harold had with Blair. Jenny had been drawn to the Upper East Side like a moth to a flame, with predictable results. Lily sighed. Rufus would have to take care of Jenny for the time being. Right now Charles needed her.
As Serena approached the gate for their flight she saw Blair, and almost ran to her. The best friends hugged, offering and receiving comfort.
"Hey, Nate," Eric greeted.
"Eric. How are you?" Nate asked in a subdued tone.
"I'll be better once we see him," Eric answered.
"We all will," Nate agreed. "Do we know what happened?"
"He was mugged," Lily answered.
"And he got shot? Why? It's not like he couldn't afford to give them whatever cash he had…" Blair noted. "If he didn't fight, why would they shoot him?"
"They didn't want a witness," Eric said quietly. "He saw their faces and could identify them."
They all turned to the gate as the announcement was made to begin boarding. Blair sat at the window, Serena beside her. Lily and Eric sat across the aisle, and Nate was in front of them.
Serena looked through some magazines, but afterward couldn't have told you a single thing she'd seen. Nate played his iPod, but didn't really hear the music. Blair, Eric, and Lily didn't even bother to pretend. Blair and Eric just stared out their windows, while Lily closed her eyes and reclined the seat, but didn't sleep.
Blair wondered what she would do. This changed a lot, but not everything. It changed her thinking they could take their time to one day 'grow up' and work things out between them. Yet, she and Chuck still had issues that him almost getting killed didn't just make go away. But the thought of him dying, not knowing how much she still loved him? That wasn't acceptable. They'd have to find a way, she decided. He had to live so that they could find their way back to the happiness they'd once shared. After all, they were Blair and Chuck, Chuck and Blair. Inevitable.
Eric could no longer imagine his life without his big brother. He knew Chuck wasn't what most would consider the 'ideal' big brother, but in many ways he was the big brother Eric needed. He'd supported Eric and kept his secret until Eric was ready to share it with the world. And then he'd made sure Eric had the social protection of not only being Lily Van der Woodsen's son, but Chuck Bass' brother. And they actually had a lot of fun together. And conversations with Chuck were never boring – inappropriate, wide-ranging, eye-opening, and a lot of other things, but never boring. Eric had grown to love the brotherly conversations as he'd grown to love his adoptive brother. He considered adopting Chuck one of the smartest things Lily had ever done, as well as one of the best for Eric.
Lily hated the unfairness of it. While many would say Charles had lived a charmed life – and in may ways he had, she couldn't deny that – it hadn't been a happy one. She'd been so glad when he'd finally found happiness and love with Blair. Then the ghost of Bart - she had no doubt it had been Bart's memory whispering in Chuck's head as he made the deal that saved his Empire at the cost of Blair – had ruined that happiness. It simply wasn't fair. He couldn't die now. Not so young, with so much ahead of him. Not when she and the family still needed him so much. Not when she saw so much potential in him, if it was encouraged and guided the right way.
What felt like days, rather than hours, later they landed in Prague.
As they turned their phones back on 4 of them – all but Lily's - rang an incoming message. The picture showed the group as they'd been about to board the plane in New York.
Gossip Girl here,
It may have happened thousands of miles away, but it was The Shot Heard 'Round the Upper East Side. Our Dark Prince is in serious trouble. Of course, the UES Royalty has gone to his side. The Queen Mother, Prince Charming, our Golden Princess, and, of course Queen B.
You know you love me.
Hope you liked the beginning. Next chapter Chuck wakes up. His reaction to having his family there for him. And Blair finds out about the ring he had… (No, they aren't just suddenly going to be fine and get engaged on the spot. It'll take time.) I hate the name, so if anyone has any better ideas… Please…