A/N: My usual inspired-by-the-current-situation. It's not my usual "fixing the situation" sort of thing that I do, but I'm really proud of it. I wrote it a couple weeks ago so it's sort of irrelevant now, but I hope you still like it.
Summary: She wondered why she bothered. She knew the love Blair had for her fiancé. But Serena also knew that the love Blair had for her brother was something entirely different. It was something that could never be explained.
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. All characters and love goes to my OTP Chuck and Blair and the rest of Gossip Girl. Thanks to my amazing beta comewhatmay.x.
It was strange. Looking into the dressing room mirror, something very distinct occurred to Blair. She knew that in a matter of hours she would cease being a Waldorf and soon become a Princess. It was the fairytale. And still, she stared at her own perfect reflection in her perfect wedding gown, noticing that something was strange.
She felt nothing. There were no frightful shivers or squirming delight in her stomach. She was about to permanently become a member of Monaco's royal family and she felt nothing.
In fact, she wasn't thinking about her future at all. She was thinking about the past. She thought about when she was seventeen and Bart Bass' many hotel ventures in foreign countries. At the time, she had been so afraid of social destruction that was now meaningless to her. She was thinking about the hurt boy who she had lost her virginity to and how he had flown to France. That was what she thought of when she thought of Monaco.
The feeling was just as distant as the memory.
All she felt was strange.
Blair was still narrowing her eyes curiously at herself in the mirror. She knew she looked perfect. She had never had such an acute sense of self-awareness. This was occurring to her as Serena appeared behind her, putting a gentle hand on her shoulder.
"Can you help me?"
Blair was suddenly standing, picking up her ivory skirts to turn towards Serena.
Serena looked lost in thought, as though she wanted to say something. But this day was about Blair.
"Help," Blair repeated succinctly. "I think my corset's too tight."
"What?" Serena asked again. Blair sighed in frustration, turning her back to her best friend and motioning to the ties at her back.
She felt Serena work at her dress, but she still felt nothing. Not even the constriction of her ribs.
"What's the problem?" Serena asked, her voice still dazed.
"My side just feels…" She didn't finish the sentence.
"I don't think it's too tight," Serena offered timidly.
Weight was always a sensitive subject. There was no exception for the present moment. It was more sensitive than ever.
Blair turned sharply around.
"My measurements are different."
"Can you breathe?"
Serena suddenly thought back to Scarlett O'Hara and her eighteen inch waist.
Blair always had to be perfect.
"Yes," Blair said indignantly. "A few inches don't make a difference."
But suddenly, she wasn't so sure. She did feel out of breath. She took a seat, finding herself absorbed in the mirror again.
"Are all the guests in place?" Blair asked conversationally.
"That's actually what I came here to tell you," Serena said.
Serena never had a way with words. Blair's expectant expression never helped. But there was knocking at the door and Serena couldn't help but find fault with her backup.
Nate and Dan came through the door.
"Did you tell her?" Nate asked.
One look at Blair and Dan knew the answer to that.
"Tell me what?" Blair asked impatiently.
She found their reactions dull at best and turned back towards the mirror.
"Serena," Nate chastised.
"There's not really any right time to say it—" Serena said.
It was at that moment that Blair recognized the missing member of their group. Although she didn't expect him to make social visits to the bride's dressing room, she found the whole situation curious.
"Actually—" Nate started.
"I was trying to—" Serena continued.
"He's not coming."
Dan's answer was blunt and to the point.
Serena looked horrified, but what she was most concerned with was her best friend. Serena wasn't exactly clear on the arrangement Blair had made with her step-brother, but it was clear that he was expected to at least make an appearance.
"Oh?" Blair asked casually.
Serena still didn't expect this. She didn't know what she expected anymore.
"It's not like that," Serena said sternly, casting Dan a cold look. "He would be here if he could."
"Right," Dan said. "He's not choosing to stay away because he cares. In fact, he doesn't really seem to—"
"Dan." Nate seemed even colder than Serena. And still, Blair showed nothing.
"He's not coming?"
She was fixing her hair in the mirror.
"Blair," Serena said steadily, "Chuck's in the hospital."
The room was silent with apprehension.
There was still nothing.
"Blair," Serena said again.
"So he's not coming, then?" Blair asked.
"Blair," Nate stated in disbelief. "He's in surgery."
"Nate," Serena said quietly.
"What?" Dan asked. "It's not like we're trying to hide the truth from her."
Blair blinked up at the three of them.
"Chuck crashed his motorcycle and punctured a lung," Dan told Blair plainly. He didn't know what he expected from her.
None of them did.
But even Serena didn't expect this.
"Oh," Blair said distantly. "Then would you go tell the wedding planner there will be one less at the van der Woodsen table?"
Blair combed her hair, silken curls brushing her ivory shoulders. The dress was stunning. She focused on that. The low voices on the other side of the door were irritating her. Her eyes itched.
She could hear Serena's voice the clearest of all.
She was waiting. She didn't know where her bridesmaids or future mother-in-law were. Somehow, she didn't feel the compulsion to control it. She knew they would either come or they wouldn't. She felt tranquil.
She had never felt anything like it before. The voices behind the door were fading away as Blair got to her feet. The closer she got to the door, the fainter everything became.
She felt nothing.
And then the dam broke.
Blair sat primly on the floor, smoothing out her skirt gently.
And she broke.
When Serena walked back into the room, she had one intention. She knew this was just what Blair did. She didn't know how she could possibly convince her best friend—shake her, shove her, slap her—to see any sense. But she wanted to. But upon opening the door, she found that it was too late for any action anyway as she saw her best friend curled up on the floor.
She should have known something was wrong. Serena quickly closed the door behind her before a sound could escape the room.
Without a word, Serena kneeled to the ground, raising Blair's head to put it in her lap as the petite brunette's body wracked with sobs.
Blair's manicured nails dug into Serena's silk dress. Serena just held her close, letting Blair's gasps wear out. She wished it could be that easy. But she knew this. She knew what this looked like. Blair had always been the best at denial, but Serena knew this wasn't some script she had written for herself. In a very real sense, Serena knew her best friend was helpless.
"Why would he do that?" Blair's voice was thick with distressed tears. All Serena could do was hold her. She didn't have the answers. She didn't know if she ever would. All she could do was stroke her best friend's hair, hoping she could pretend to understand the way they were.
"He told me he loved me."
Serena froze. Blair's little body still continued to shake despite the blonde's rigid posture.
Tears seeped into Serena's dress and she found herself resuming stroking Blair's hair.
She wondered why she bothered. She knew the love Blair had for her fiancé. But Serena also knew that the love Blair had for her brother was something entirely different.
It was something that could never be explained.
Serena—and everyone else—just had to accept that.
"He said he'd love me forever."
Serena should have known it was only a matter of time before Blair broke. None of this was natural. Nothing here was ideal.
She knew that was the reason for Chuck's behavior. And she knew that those two would be connected until they both perished.
That day wasn't today. If Serena could be sure of anything, it was that.
"Why does he hate me?"
Serena was sure it was a rhetorical question.
"He doesn't," Serena reassured her anyway. "He's just lost."
"He wants to punish me."
"Blair, he doesn't—"
"He's punishing me for losing his baby."
Everyone had seen Blair's tiny waist in November.
But Serena still knew.
"He could never hate you," Serena said. "You know why he's lost. He's been lost since—"
"Why doesn't he love me anymore?" Blair asked into Serena's skirt. "I'll love him for the rest of my life."
Serena did the only thing she could think of.
She told her the truth.
"He loves you, Blair," Serena said, her voice thick with emotion. "He'll always love you."
She knew that Blair couldn't hear her.
All that could be heard were the heart-wrenching sobs that filled the room.