She was six months in.
Comprehending that simple fact, Dan could feel nothing but disbelief and fear.
She was only six months in.
"Can you come and get me? Please."
Her voice crackled almost incomprehensibly over the phone line and he knew that she was crying.
"Where are you?"
Her frame was so small that even upon looking at her, it was impossible to tell that she was carrying a royal heir.
Dan stood, unable to process what was happening. He focused on Blair's determined eyes brimming with tears.
"Just get me to the hospital."
He had seen Blair Waldorf cry before. He had seen her cry while eating pizza over his humming laptop. But he had never seen this. He had never felt her bone-crushing grip as the ambulance sirens shattered his eardrums.
He had never seen this pain. He had never seen her writhing in a hospital bed, needles sticking from her arms, mascara running down her face. Nurses brushed him away and he stood in the corner of the room, watching helplessly.
"He's not the father," Blair said through gritted teeth. Dan wished he could block out her cries of pain.
But he didn't miss the look she shared with the doctor.
"Has he been called?"
All Blair could do was nod vehemently.
They never asked if anyone was actually coming.
It was all Dan could wonder. He couldn't think of anything else. He couldn't think about how he was the one that Blair had called to pick her up or why he was the one she trusted. All he could think of was he had no idea what was happening.
"You were with Miss Waldorf?" the doctor asked.
"Yes—" Dan started, before remembering. "—No. She called me to come and get her."
"But you're not the father," the doctor stated.
"We can't give out medical information if you're not family."
"I just want to know what's going on," Dan said. "She's my friend."
"Her condition is confidential."
"Condition?" Dan asked. "What's wrong?"
"Why don't we call the father," the doctor suggested, looking through his records, "and he can sign off on it—"
"Just ask Blair."
The doctor looked up sharply.
"Miss Waldorf is being sedated."
"I just need to know what's wrong with her," Dan said. "She didn't call her husband, she called me. I just need to know."
"It isn't anything she wasn't already aware of," the doctor said. "She was warned that this was a possibility."
She wasn't in pain anymore. At least, she wasn't showing any signs of it on the surface. He saw a tear leak from the corner of her eye and down the side of her face, but he wasn't sure if that was due to pain or something else.
"Did you know?"
"You talked to the doctors, I presume," Blair said in a hoarse voice. Dan didn't want to know how long she had been screaming.
"Did you know, Blair?" Dan asked strongly. She finally looked over at him.
"Does it matter?"
"I know what they said," Blair snapped. She still sounded feeble and his heart ached. "They told me after my first ultrasound."
"But you kept it anyway."
The tears falling were now those of anger. He knew he had no right, but he couldn't stop himself.
"You knew it was dangerous—"
"Yes, I knew," Blair spat. "Of course I knew. I know that I'm the one that's killing this baby. If it weren't my past habits then this baby would be fine. If it wasn't for me, then…"
Her voice was thick and Dan wished he didn't say anything.
"It's my fault," she continued. "It's my anatomy that can't nourish this baby."
"They're going to deliver it today," Dan said quietly.
"They have to," Blair said. "Or it'll die."
"Or you will," Dan said. "Blair, this isn't your fault."
"Tell that to its father."
"Did you call Louis?" Dan asked. Blair looked away again.
"He's not coming."
"What?" Dan asked in disbelief.
"He's in Monaco."
"So?" Dan asked. "He can't hop a jet for his wife? Did you tell him—"
"Of course I told him," Blair said. "I told him that I went into labor."
"He's just not coming, okay?" Her voice was shrill and her limbs were shaking.
"You said you called—"
Her eyes clenched shut, her knuckles turning white against the guardrails of the bed.
"Sir, you have to wait outside."
The monitor beside her bed was beeping frantically.
He didn't think he would have heard it if he wasn't being forced out by doctors.
"Will she be okay?" Dan asked.
They shut the door.
"Will she be alright?"
Expensive loafers clacked against the linoleum of the hospital floor. Dan had been sitting in the waiting room for what seemed only a matter of minutes before he saw what could only be construed in this situation as a savior.
Dan caught the tailored jacket Chuck tossed into his arms. He was still walking quickly down the hall, shrugging into a hospital smock accompanied by hurried steps as Dan followed.
"You're here," Dan said breathlessly.
He knew that there was no time to spare, but he couldn't suppress his curiosity. Chuck paused, but Dan could feel his impatience.
"She called me."
Dan just stood there, holding Chuck's jacket, watching him throw open the doors to Blair's room. Dan walked towards the room, looking in through the transparent glass of the window.
Blair's eyes were bleary but as she looked up, everything seemed to stop. Chuck was immediately on his knees beside her, holding her hand. They stared at each other for a moment before Blair curled in on herself, shaking with agony.
Chuck put his hand to her hair, stroking away every bad feeling.
"Everything is going to be okay." They were the first words out of his mouth, and for some reason, she believed him.
He wiped her face clean of salt tears.
"I'm sorry," Chuck said. "I'm so sorry."
"Please," she whispered, "make it stop."
"We'll do what we can, miss," the doctor said authoritatively.
"What did I do?" Blair asked. Every staff member seemed to fade away. They were the only two in the room.
"You didn't do anything wrong," he assured her. Her hand tightened around his and he just held fast.
"I could have stopped this."
"You're going to be okay," he said.
Without preamble, he kissed her hairline fiercely. It was inappropriate; it was wrong; it wasn't their arrangement.
But she was crying and he was crying and everything hurt.
Dan had never seen Chuck Bass so shaken. But when he stepped out of that room, he let the smock slide off of his body, not even accepting the jacket Dan was holding.
He didn't answer.
He just stared at nothing.
"Chuck, is she alright?"
Chuck finally looked at Dan.
Dan had never seen Chuck this way.
Dan had never seen Chuck cry.
"They took the baby away," Chuck said. "They don't know…"
"Is Blair alright?" Dan asked.
"That depends on your definition," Chuck said darkly, turning away. Dan didn't now if he was coming back, but he had to see for himself.
He had to see her.
When he walked into the room, she was sitting up. She was pale and perspiring in a hospital gown that she undoubtedly hated. She didn't look good.
"Where's my baby?"
Dan stopped at the door. "Blair."
"Where is she?"
He couldn't bear to see her start crying again.
"What did you do with her?"
"I didn't," Dan protested. He felt the doctor at his elbow.
"I need to speak with her," the doctor said gravely.
"Where is she?" Blair asked. Dan could see what remained of the drugs taking its toll on her. He let himself be pushed out of the way.
But he didn't leave this time.
"Your daughter needs a blood transfusion," the doctor said. "The records say the father is 0 Negative."
Blair's eyes just wavered helplessly.
"That's a universal blood type," the doctor said. "He can give your daughter the transfusion."
"Will it save her?" Blair asked, her voice cracking.
"She can't survive without it."
"But he's not even—" Dan started.
"We'll tell him immediately," the doctor said. "Will he do it?"
"Of course," Blair said in as much disgust as she could muster. "He'll do anything."
"We'll alert him immediately."
"Blair," Dan said, feeling the doctor pushing beside him. "How will Louis—"
But Blair's eyes silenced him. She was looking behind him into the hallway and Dan knew suddenly that he didn't need to turn.
"Blair," Dan said in disbelief.
Dan saw the chart hanging from the bed, a birth certificate clipped to the top. Blair didn't stop him. She just looked at him with pleading eyes as he looked at the birth certificate.
Father's Name: Charles Bartholomew Bass
"What are you saying?"
"0 Negative is—"
"I know that," Chuck said impatiently. "Blair asked me to give her child a blood transfusion?"
The doctor sighed in frustration. There needed to be a decision now and the mother had been reassuring that there would be full cooperation.
"Maybe you should talk to her," the doctor said.
Chuck shouldered past Dan aggressively before walking into the room. His indignant feelings melted away the moment he saw Blair. He should have known as much. But he still didn't understand. He knew that Blair could never ask this of him. But she was looking at him with such reverence he knew that she didn't have a choice.
She was frail, still shaking from everything. Blood still stained the sheets.
He couldn't help but refuse to believe she would put him through this pain.
She couldn't possibly ask him to give his life source to her daughter that wasn't his.
"I called Louis too," she said. Her voice was weak and tender. But he still couldn't help any of this. He couldn't help but wonder, even if it was to save her child, how she could do this to him.
"You mean you called him first," Chuck said sharply.
"I did," Blair said. "To tell him that I went into early labor."
"Early labor?" Chuck repeated in disbelief. "Blair, you could have died. You were—"
"And then I called you," she said.
"Why?" Chuck asked. "You called Humphrey too. Was Nate next on the list?"
"No," Blair said. "I called Dan because there was no one else. Louis' in Monaco and you—"
"Aren't the father," Chuck said. "Why did you call me?"
He hated seeing her so fragile and unable to defend herself. He hated it all. He remembered how he had curled in on himself, finally able to feel, but only be wracked with pain. He could only feel the tears sliding down his face.
"I need you," she said, her voice choked. "I need you so much."
"Because I have a universal blood type," Chuck said coldly. "Did you know? Did you know before that she would need a transfusion so you called me just in case—"
"You have the same blood type," Blair burst out in exhausted frustration. The room was spinning from the drugs and her emotions, but she knew what she was doing.
"What?" Chuck asked cautiously.
"I didn't know what your blood type was, Chuck," she said. "They just told me that she didn't have my blood type…so she had to have her father's."
"You can look at the birth certificate if you want," she said. "You can look at the paternity test. You can have your own drawn up."
He didn't hear it. He didn't care about any of that.
"You said…" Chuck said. "Louis."
"Louis isn't coming back," Blair said. "Ever."
"You lied to me," Chuck said. He wasn't sure if he should be surprised or not. He knew what Blair did when she felt she was threatened.
But he remembered that night. He remembered feeling hurt for the first time since he could remember.
"I'm not lying now," Blair said. "The paternity test said it was yours—"
"You lied to me," Chuck said. "You told me it was Louis'."
"I didn't think you wanted this," Blair said. "Please, Chuck."
"Please, what?" he asked. "Please believe you? Please forgive you?"
"I don't care," she said. "I don't care about any of that. Just save our daughter. Please. I know you care that much."
"You don't know how much I care," Chuck said. "You have no idea."
"You were relieved," Blair said. "That night…"
"I said you were relieved," Chuck said. "But when you left, I felt the first thing since I let you go. Even if it was pain, I felt it. It felt like…like she was already dead."
"She's right here," Blair said. "Even if you never forgive me, just save her."
"It felt like she was killed."
He studied her. He knew how much the adrenaline had drained. He could tell how exhausted she was. He could tell how painful everything still was for her.
"I never thought you wanted this."
She was tired and she was hurt and she knew there was nothing else she could do.
He felt it. It was still there like it had been months ago. He could still feel himself in the dark, confusing tears running down his face.
The thought of his hypothetical child as dead. But unlike the death of his only blood relation that meant anything to him, Blair hadn't been there. She couldn't hold his head and still him. She was getting married.
But it was the first time he noticed; she wasn't wearing her engagement ring. She wasn't wearing any ring. She was just looking at him imploringly and he knew there had only ever been one answer.
She was lying in an incubator. Chuck didn't know her name but he, without any reasonable doubt, knew that she was his. Just looking at her perfect face, he knew she belonged to him.
He rolled up his sleeve.
"Did you know?" he asked, not even flinching as the needle sank into his arm.
"No," Dan said. "She told everyone that the father—"
Dan was quiet. She was frail and shaking. She was just like her mother. Chuck knew what his silence met.
"What if she doesn't survive?"
It wasn't what he had been expecting. He rarely heard vulnerability form Chuck Bass. But the nurse pulled the blood bag from Chuck and Dan knew that it wasn't physical pain that made his eyes water like that.
"Blair didn't tell anyone," Dan said. "Even about—"
"She wanted to keep it," Chuck said. "Did she know all along? Or did she just assume that it was his?"
"She had the paternity test," Dan said. "When I came to you to stop my book from being published—that was when she had it."
"She didn't think I wanted it," Chuck said, letting the nurse bandage him up.
"You were paying guys to beat you up."
"That's the point," Chuck said. "The minute she told me it wasn't mine…"
And Dan understood.
Even if it was pain, it was still feeling.
She was lying down when he returned, facing away from him. He hesitated at the door, not even sure what he wanted to happen next. She was pale and cold and he wished he could do everything to make it okay.
He loved her.
He proceeded into the room.
Quietly and carefully, he lay down onto the bed next to her, putting his arm around her, tucking the blankets around her.
"You don't have to," she said. She wasn't facing him but they could always sense each other.
"I don't blame you," he said. "I understand why you felt you had to do it."
"I could never," she said, rolling to face him with difficulty, "be relieved that it wasn't yours. I wanted it to be yours. I knew that I shouldn't, but I'm glad that it's yours."
He just studied her face with something like fascination.
He felt her faint hand travel up his arm, stroking where his bandage met his elbow.
"You didn't tell me," Chuck said. "You could have died."
"I couldn't get rid of it," Blair said. "It's you. It's you and it's me. And I can't kill that. I never will."
He put his hand to her hair again.
"Are you alright?"
"I don't know," she said. He held her tighter as her voice wavered. "I'm so scared."
"I won't let anything happen to her," he said. "I won't let anything happen to us."
"Do you want it this way?" she asked. "Is this…"
"You're not wearing your ring," he said, holding her left hand.
"That's not for me anymore."
"I ruined your dreams."
"I want this," Blair said. "I'm never giving her up. I'm never giving this family up."
"Neither am I," he said. "You make me feel…everything."
She closed her eyes, leaning her head against his. "Promise me."
"I promise," he said. "I'm going to protect us."
"I promise she'll be okay."
"You can't know that."
"I know," Chuck said. "This is the way things are supposed to be. I won't let anything happen to it."
For some reason, she was happy. And he knew that.
"I love you."
He hadn't heard those words in a year. He never thought he would again. And for the first time, something like hope bloomed within him.
"I love you too."
A/N: Obviously mostly inspired by last episode. I had this idea in mind, but 5x03 really shaped it for me. It wasn't beta-ed, so I won't be surprised if it's not that great. But I hope you like it anyway. All belongs to GG.