I don't know what exactly inspired this possibly crazy endeavor. Maybe it's the depressing state of Chuck and Blair's current relationship. Or the glimmer of hope offered in next week's promo. Either way I'm excited/terrified to live up to this commitment.

Disclaimer: I own nothing, obviously.

Prompt 1

Weddings

She feels the looks in the small of her back, the heat that radiates from one hundred and eighty nine eyes staring directly at her. It makes her nervous, makes her want to cringe. However, nothing is worse then the grip on her wrists. What was once a desired life raft suddenly becoming a threatening anchor. Dragging her underwater with ever increasing speed.

She knows she should say something. Recite her line like she did last night at the rehearsal. Disregard the ninety three missed calls on her cell phone, the reports of a millionaire harassing Palace employees until the police were called, and Serena's pleading expression as she'd whispered the declaration.

He just wants to say goodbye.

She closes her eyes, contemplating a life that, until this very moment, had been achingly appealing. A blonde, beautiful husband. A man who has never publicly humiliated her, tried to trade her for a hotel, or made her wait a year for an I love you. A man who has no idea how to spar with her, how to use his own wicked tongue to turn her words and body against her, a man who has never braved the dark depths of her mind and loved her all the more for what he found.

Blair?

Her knight in not so shining armor says the name awkwardly. For the past year its been a barrage of sweet hearts and babys and darlings. Her last name and her first have fallen to the wayside. So distant in her mind she's forgotten what they even mean. What they, and the girl they brand, truly stand for. Truly want.

Her dress is too tight. The church too small. Still she doesn't speak. Instead, she turns her head to her golden maid of honor who, to her shock, is smiling broadly. A groomsman too is forcing back a look of triumph. She can't decipher her mother, although Cyrus seems to gleam with pride. Dorota, her daughter in her lap and husband at her side, suddenly bursts into tears of relief.

The engagement ring slips off her finger easily. Always has. She places it in his palm. The least she can do is return the bauble. It never really belonged to her anyway.

I'm sorry.

She's not. But she'll feign it in order to keep up a sense of propriety. She doesn't want to hurt him. But she can't marry him either. Not if she ever wants to be able to look in a mirror.

Weakling.

It defined her once, and until a second ago she had deserved the label once again. She can't pick a husband so she'll have someone to hide behind. A principle to defend as she says no over and over again. She'd put her faith in him then too. Demanded that he step up and be the man she deserved. The man that loved her too. And this time she's sure he won't disappoint her.

The fabric of her gown whispers around her legs as she turns and walks quickly down the aisle. The church is already erupting in whispers and questions. Her now ex fiancé attempts to follow her. But the groomsman gets in the way. Smoothly laying his hands on the frantic man's shoulders in order to buy his friend more time to escape.

She nearly runs right past him. Rumpled but painfully sober and sitting on the church steps. He regards her as an apparition, a taunting mirage. Not real. The true woman of his dreams is standing at an alter, sealing her fate to a man who probably deserves her more but loves her less. He must be dreaming. She'd smugly vowed to him only a week ago that the combined might of heaven and hell wouldn't be enough halt her impeding nuptials.

But then he feels a sharp pain is his shin. And the look of urgency and indignation is pure Blair Waldorf. Something so unique and clear he couldn't make it up if he tried.

What the hell are you doing? They're coming.

It's not the plea he'd been expecting. In fact he'd vaguely thought she'd come out here to tell him that security was on their way. But he's not going to object to a dream come true. He's standing before she can land another blow. She's always been stronger then she thinks.

The limo is just across the street. And she laughs, diving into her past and future without looking. Her veil falls off as she hits the leather seat. He helps her undo the hundred little buttons at the back of her dress, unlaces the corset under the fabric, and presses his forehead against the searing hot skin of her left shoulder blade. And when she turns, wrapping herself in his arms like the habit its always been, she can breath again.

She'll look back on it years from now and still not be able to remember which of them spoke as the limo sped off. Only that six months later, when he gets on his knee and hands her a classic, sparkling diamond, she repeats the same question. Her mouth hot against his ear.

What took you so long?

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