Title: it was not your fault but mine, and it was your hearts on the line

Characters: Chuck/Serena; with Chuck/Blair; Dan/Blair; Serena/Blair; Serena/Nate; Serena/Dan with illusions of Nate/Blair Georgina/Chuck; and Jenny/Nate

Rating/Word Count: pg-13/ 3368

One-Line Excerpt: Chuck use to wonder when he turned soft, how he's lying here, collecting Serena's tears like they're his salvation.

Note: Fill for jada_jasmine. This is I have no idea really. It somehow got really out of hand and sprawled into this. I hope you like this, bb. Like I'm crossing my fingers and praying you enjoy. You are so talented and I enjoy your writing so much, that if you don't like this I might cry. Sorry I took so long!

I've also never really written anything that was Chuck-driven. Please tell me what you guys think! Also Future Fic isn't something I do too much. So yes, this is all kinds of new for me.

This is also unbetaed. All mistakes are clearly mine. Title is from song "Little Lion Man" by Mumford & Sons. Which are all kinds of amazing, in case you were wondering.

….

Peter: I want always to be a boy, and have fun.

Wendy: You say so, but I think it is your biggest pretend.

(-Peter Pan)

Once, he teeters to the edge of a ledge.

Stands at the foot of the rooftop and prepares himself to jump.

This happens, once.

One time, when he forgets he's Chuck Bass.

The world is always pretty when it spins, when the colors of the city blur together, when his feet move without his permission, when he looses all control as his scarf falls to the ground.

(Serena loves to spin, she's perfected the art by now.)

He spins and spins, like he's playing ring-around-the rosy, does it until instead of vodka he tastes childhood in his mouth.

ashes-ashes-we-all-fall-down

She appears, like an angel. Pledges her love for some boy doesn't dare exist. Doesn't dare want to.

I'm Chuck Bass. I'm Chuck Bass. I'm Chuck Bass.

Glass shatters, hearts break, his foot slips, her hand takes hold of his.

This is what happens: he breaks things. He ruins everything.

(I kill people. My name is Chuck Bass. And i'm a murder.

You're Chuck Bass- and I love you. )

Please- Blair's voice hits the point of no return, tears stream down her perfect face.

(She has always been too good for him. Fluttering and all)

He takes her hand, steps away.

His cheeks burn, his tears steaming, the winter air of New York City biting away his flesh layer by layer.

This is what really happens later: he regrets it. He regrets everything, lets it build up in him, until his pores just about burst with it.

He goes home to his perfect wife, his perfect life, and I'm Chuck Bass mantra.

He teeters to the edge, once, twice, three times, until in his drunken state he can no longer count.

Then, once, he falls.

ashes-ashes-we-all-fall-down

….

He looses his virginity to Georgina Sparks when he is eleven.

He likes to think his error of his ways started then.

Even Chuck Bass can be wrong.

…..

But aren't we getting ahead of ourselves, here?

Or perhaps going too far back?

Once, Chuck Bass falls in love.

This is a fact he is always sure of.

But what is love anyhow?

New York City stops spinning sometime around 3 AM, when the weed and whiskey and whatever the hell those pills he popped were, faded oblivion into nothing but the numbing beat of his own heart.

A heart. Who knew monsters had them.

He sure as hell didn't.

…..

Once Upon A Time...

All great stories start with them.

He picks up a Times and a Post on his way to the office, the day before he's put into full command of Bass Industries.

He's only interested in two pieces of black and white.

Blair's engagement announcement is sprawledacross the society section, full of glory, full of smiley faces, and her hand tucked sweetly into his.

Humphrey has a new short story in the Post, he can read between the lines, catches himself on the Once Upon A Time.

The way their names feel mixed in his mouth turns every word he speaks that day to ash.

…...

Numerous things of importance happen in the fourteenth year of his life.

He goes to school completely hammered for the first time.

He fucks a girl, a woman, someone who actually knows what the hell they are doing.

He smokes weed every day for 365 days, get's Nathaniel hooked.

He catches his father with a woman other than his nanny, his teacher.

And Nate and Blair become the NateandBlair.

He kisses Serena full on the lips, sloppy, hands roaming her body, fingers dancing over the hem of her skirt.

"What are you doing Chuck?" She says pulling away, catching her breath.

"What does it look like, S?" He finds himself drawn to her, wanting to kiss her, even more then he had initially planned.

"Oh, sweetie," She says smiling, kissing his cheek. "Let's get another drink."

She drags him to the bar and they spend the night getting so drunk, they can barely see anything but blurring colors out of their eyes.

This happens again when they are twenty-nine.

Serena laughs, blonde hair sprawled across his pillowcase, dress hiking up her legs, as they both lay fully-clothed on his bed.

"Don't you think it's about time we grow up, Chuck?"

Her laughter chimes in his ears. "Oh, sweetheart, i'll never grow up."

"But, you're you," her voice catches for a moment. "You have an empire for god's sake!"

"And you're you," He laughs, tucks a stand of hair behind her ear. "Since when did that mean anything other than ruining our parents images and running a muck?"

This time when they have sex, they don't blame it on the drinking.

They don't really blame it on anything.

This is what it is. I'm lonely and you're lonely. Loneliness deserves company, sweetheart.

….

Nate and Blair used to be golden.

He remembers those days, and limos, and sneaking around, and being in so much over his head.

Nate and him joke about it now, look past it like it never even happened.

There's a diamond on her finger now, neither of which is either one of their families heirlooms.

He takes another hit of the joint, hands it to Nate.

He blows the smoke out of his mouth, watches if disappear.

Perhaps, Nathaniel was right when he said something or other about their lives already feeling like they were planned out for them.

Perhaps, they were all doomed from the start.

…..

Fate intervenes somewhere between acts two and five.

Blair Waldorf is probably the only thing, Chuck has ever considered a weakness.

(the drugs, the drinking, the women, they all were assets in the flawing of his moral character.)

But, Blair. Blair was Blair. Blair was...

He catches her coming out of Tiffany's the day of her thirtieth birthday. She is beautiful and ravishing and so much like he remembers.

"Putting some items on hold for Daniel?" he calls out to her, limo window rolled down, eyes wide, wind blowing his signature scarf around.

She laughs out loud, and she feels seventeen as she tucks a curl behind her ear.

"Basshole," And she's muttering and wishing she had some sort of cocktail to throw in face on a count of that smug grin he's wearing.

"Can't you just be happy for me, Chuck?" She asks, pulling her bag higher up her shoulder, looking him straight in the eye.

He's silent, takes her in, drinks her up. "Waldorf,"

She wants to cry, even if she's not sure why, she spins her ring around her finger and sighs.

"G'bye, Chuck."

She walks away, heels clicking loudly in his ears, until she reaches her car and climbs in.

For some reason, he saves this moment in his mind, locks it in.

Her town car speeds away down fifth avenue, past his limo, past his heart.

"Back home Kenneth,"

He tries to let Blair go, let the game they've played for so many years now, end. But for some reason he can't. There has to be some reason why he can't let her go.

Blair was and had always been the squashing of the aftertaste of all of his sins.

Serena shows up to his apartment five years before in tears.

She's crying over Humphrey for god's sake.

"I love him, Chuck. I wanna be with him forever."

He tries to show sympathy to his step-sister, friend.

But it's Humphrey for god's sake.

"Sis,"

"Chuck," Serena says chocking on her tears. "He was the boy I wanted to marry,"

His thoughts jump to Blair. She's in Paris, visiting her father, establishing what she said was much needed space.

"I wanna marry you, Chuck. I want to be with you forever and you don't want that. You don't want me."

Chuck Bass doesn't want to get married.

"You'll never grow up. You just want to act like a kid for the rest of your life."

And Chuck Bass certainly doesn't want to grow up.

The moment he leans in and kisses Serena's salty lips is the moment the world learns how to revolve backwards.

It's the beginning of the end, really.

…..

Blair Waldorf marries Dan Humphrey on Christmas Day the year they are all thirty.

Serena is the maid of honor, Nate the best man, and Chuck an on-looker: sitting in the very last row on "her" side of the church.

She's beautiful. He keeps thinking it. The words spinning around in his mind.

She's so beautiful, So beautiful, God, she's so fucking beautiful.

Ashes-ashes-we-all-fall-down

She's poised when she says her vows, but crying, and smiling, and in love.

"He makes me happy, Chuck. Really happy. He wants to give me all the things you can't."

The ring is placed on Dan's finger, her " I do" fresh and raw in the air.

"And do you, Daniel, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife in sickness and in health for richer or for poorer as long as you both shall live?"

He watches her carefully, her eyes on Dan the whole time, hoping that she might just glance back at him.

She doesn't.

"I do,"

When Dan kisses Blair he feels his heart do the strangest thing, break all over again.

"I do. I do. A thousand times over. Yes, i'll marry you."

…..

It's just so fitting that after the wedding ceremony, it starts to snow.

Chuck catches a flake on his tongue and takes another sip of the flask he had concealed in his coat pocket.

He never makes it to the reception, in fact he had never even RSVPed for the wedding itself.

How could he if hadn't ever subscribed to her heart?

All I ever did was love you...

….

No one talks to him for three months afterward.

He starts his first quarter of the new year traveling abroad, blowing his money on hookers, cocaine, and endless volumes of alcohol.

No one wonders why.

…..

Once upon a time in a land full of rich and beautiful and fucked up people there lived a boy.

He had mommy issues and daddy issues and so so many other issues he could drown in them.

He had fallen in love with a beautiful girl and they fucked that up. (really he fucked it up)

Again and again and again until it was so broken there was no way either of them could fix it.

Some broken things are never made to mend.

Chuck learns this lesson so many times he can barely count.

He learns and he forgets, over and over and over again.

It never really sinks all the way in.

…..

Nate and Serena get together and in turn break up six times that year.

Back and forth and back and forth, until they break up for good and become friends with benefits when one or the other really need a good fuck.

Blair and Dan's marriage stays stable and happy, there's talk around town that the two are thinking of having a baby.

The best year of Blair's life is Chuck's worst.

The Empire is behind on it's bills, the stocks for Bass Industries tank, and employes of Victrola are under police investigation.

But that makes sense. Doesn't it?

…..

Jenny get's pregnant that April.

It's Nate's.

Serena cries on his shoulder and he wonders how they got here.

He always wonders how they got here.

It 's natural how it happens.

Serena stays over one night and never leaves.

He gets used to the way her hair feels in his fingers, her smell all over his sheets, how she constantly torturers him by walking around in only her underwear.

Blair announces her pregnancy and Jenny has her baby.

Their world has somehow become about marriage and babies and domestic life.

Chuck and Serena still go out and party like they did when they were sixteen.

The only difference is they come home to each other.

…..

Pause. Stop. Remember.

Chuck's life heart is stolen from him by a little girl named Scout Kathleen Humphrey.

She has brown eyes and copper hair and a wide easy smile that melts the ice off his heart.

Serena is her favorite person in the world, she wears her high heels all around the penthouse, scuffs the floor, and laughs.

She looks so much like her mother he can hardly breathe. She laughs like a childhood Serena. Is naïve and trusting like Nate. And she's smart...like her father.

Five Years Before:

Pause. Stop. Remember.

Serena comes home with mascara stained cheeks, tears black like tar, dripping down her cheeks.

She lays on his chest, stains their white bed linens, his shirt, his fingertips, with her tears.

"What happened?" He says holding her close, feeling her shaking deep down inside of himself.

"C'mon S. Baby."

It's funny now, how good they've gotten at loving each other.

"I still love him," she says sobbing, gulping for air in lungs filled with tears. "I feel like it's never gonna stop, it's never gonna end."

He nods, places kisses on her scalp, and wipes more tears from her eyes.

"He named her after me...the baby." She says finally, after the silence settles. "To Kill A Mockingbird was my favorite book in high school. He wrote notes in the margins."

Chuck use to wonder when he turned soft, how he's lying here, collecting Serena's tears like they're his salvation.

"He kissed me," she sobs into him, sobs like she's going to fall apart in his arms. "When will I ever stop being this girl?"

Blue eyes under thick lashes peer up at him. "Kiss Me," he says vulnerable. He can't think of the last time he's ever asked a woman to kiss him.

"Kiss me, and i'll tell you."

Their lips meet, their tongues tangle, clothes are removed.

They never get the mascara out, it stains everything.

(Maybe both of their hearts stain black, too. Or maybe they've been that way for so long now, they can't tell the difference.)

Later: when he thinks she's asleep he'll whisper a secret into her ear.

"It doesn't end. It's gonna be like this forever. And we'll always be that way. That will never end."

Pause. Stop. Remember.

Scout calls him Uncle Chuck; her Aunt Serena.

She says that they are her favorite.

Thirty Seven Years after his first breath and everything is worth it as long as it's untangled with the sound of her little girl laughter.

Chuck doesn't know much.

(Actually he knows more than he could admit. Understands more than he could ever really say out loud.

That's the thing with the truth: it rots once its spoken.

It spoils. Turns bad. Ruins and ruins.

He knows this, now.

This is why he doesn't know much at this point of his life.

He'd just rather not associate himself with anymore poison.)

But he knows (for certain, it's the only thing tangible) that Blair loves Serena.

And Serena loves Blair.

"I'll always love you best, B."

"We raised each other."

"What's you is me."

"And I love you, S"

They are timeless, kiss on cheek, you're my bestfriend, Audrey weekends, and shopping dates.

Scout and Violet lie on their bellies, barbies in hands, laughter filling up Scout's pink bedroom.

Chuck peers through the door and watches Blair and Jenny's daughters, relive the childhood of Serena and Blair.

He passes Serena a glass of champagne, arm around her waist, and places a kiss on her lips that tastes like yesteryear.

Chuck absorbs the way her cocktail dress clings to her body, absorbs how this scene seems to reoccur with out requiem.

Don't you see silly naïve children, yesteryear is where your heart really resides?

They are thirty-eight and he feels like he's already lived thirty-eight different lives.

But that's okay.

Breathe In. Breathe Out.

….

"I'm pregnant."

The words slow down, pick up, spin circles around his mind.

"Chuck? I'm pregnant."

There's a plastic wand in her shaky hands.

I don't wanna be my mother.

I don't want to be my father.

How many positives does it take to get to the center of your own unfolding?

Answer: a bathroom counter top, a long neat row.

Plus. Plus. Plus. Plus. Plus. Plus. Plus. Plus. Plus.

(forever really. Past infinity. Past the universe. Past the stars. Past heaven. Past anything you could possibly even grasp, and more.)

"Are you going to say anything?" She asks pushing her hair off the crown of her head.

"Let's get married then." he says it like a statement, like a fact, nothing even close to a question.

Serena runs away from him ( runs because it's what's she's good at.)

She runs away to their bedroom. (Not Madrid, Not Paris, Not Brooklyn, Not California, Not Fuji) and sobs.

He buys peonies lilies and tries to make it all better.

It doesn't work.

Blair picks up Serena's pieces.

Like, always.

Don't you think we're too old for this, B?

Oh, don't you see Serena? Chuck Bass will never grow up.

:"What if I told you I loved you?"

(Would that be enough for you? Is that what you need?)

It's over dinner, low lights and bloody red meat, something kind of close to romantic.

"Then you'd be a liar," She bites back.

"Serena," he pleads. "Please"

(And he swears in that moment he's transported back to that night on the rooftop.

Whatever you want to do to yourself, please don't do that to me.

Please. Please. Please. Don't jump.)

"Serena, I love you. We both know it's not..."

"I know," She sobs.

(Serena I still...

The elevator doors won't will themselves to close.

I know me too.

Ding.

I love you.)

He's on his knees and there's a diamond and instead of being on her fifth marriage like once predicted, she's pregnant with Chuck Bass's child out of wedlock.

She's waited all this time for what?

Dan? Nate? Dan, again?

What the fuck is she waiting for?

"Serena, will you marry me?"

She smiles, places her hand on her abdomen, bites down on her lip.

"Yes."

There's a ring on her finger, a kiss on her lips, a baby in her belly.

She tries so hard: in the blur of tears not to think about him.

Chuck closes his eyes and kisses her hard enough to try to make the image of her leave his mind.

This is and will always be enough.

Mason Cornelia Bass is born two decades after this story begins.

She has her mother's eyes and her father's hair and lips.

And she is probably the most beautiful and breakable thing Chuck Bass has ever bore witness too.

She coos in Serena's arms as he places a kiss on her lips.

"We made her," Serena stays stunned.

"Yeah," Chuck says focusing on her face, on her eyes, on the beautiful innocent human being he helped bring to the planet. "We did"

Here's the moral.

No, wait. Here's the regret.

There's a building and a rooftop and too much vodka.

He loves his daughter and he loves Serena and he's accepted what comes to be.

But then he drinks. Drinks too much and can't accept anymore.

He bursts with regrets, bursts with the aftermath of his mistakes.

In some other universe he has a fate. A fate different then this one.

One where he tumbles down the ledge and falls to his death.

But in this one, Chuck goes to all Mason's ballet recitals and rules an empire and let's his life roll by.

Chuck Bass will never grow up.

No Wait:

Chuck Bass goes home.

He plays ring around the rosy with his daughter.

They land safely on the carpet.

Muddle limbs, happy smiles.

Laughter- it squashes everything.

Even regret.

ashes-ashes-we-all-fall-down

Fin.