When the Fairytale Ends
Her chest is heaving by the time the elevator doors slide open, her hands clutching at the white, embroidered silk that threatens to suffocate her.
It's strangled and filled with agony, a rush of panic flooding her veins as the elegantly decorated living room swirls in front of her.
She wonders why he looks so surprised when he suddenly appears in front of her.
Did he really expect her to go through with the wedding?
Did he not dream of the moment when she would rush in to his penthouse in a white gown, refusing to be anything other than his?
His tone of surprise feels like a bullet in her chest.
How did he not see this coming?
Didn't he understand that they were inevitable?
She wonders why he looks the way he does; like the walking dead.
His shirt is wrinkled and half un-tucked, his hair is wild and the circles under his eyes suggest that he hasn't slept in days. It suddenly occurs to her that this day was just as big of an event for him as it was for her. The day she publicly declared herself to another man would be the same day she severed herself from Chuck Bass.
She sinks down into the lace and tulle of her heavy skirts, her legs folding underneath her as she gasps out a sob.
Her hands stretch across her rounded stomach in agony.
"I don't want it."
Confusion flashes in his eyes and within seconds he is on his knees in front of her, hands reaching for her trembling shoulders.
She clutches violently at the fabric until it starts to tear, her breaths coming so heavily now that she wonders why she hasn't passed out yet.
"Get it off, Chuck," she begs. "I don't want it… get it off of me now. Please."
Now he understands. She's talking about the dress. His hands search her back for the zipper and hooks but he isn't fast enough.
Her skin is flushed and itchy, her body is physically rejecting the dress that she had been laced into just a few hours ago.
The sound of torn lace and aged silk soothes her, her skin prickling in relief as she tears the bodice of the dress away. Chuck watches helplessly until the fabric pools around her waist, just the cream colored silk of a Dior corset covering her heaving breasts and gently rounded stomach.
His eyes search her anguished face, demanding her attention.
"Blair, calm down. Please," his hands run down her arms soothingly "This isn't good for the baby, just breathe."
She can't help but clutch at her stomach at the mention of her baby. She felt like she was crumbling to pieces and yet her child still slept soundly inside of her. How was that even possible?
The baby had been kicking non-stop for days, it felt like her insides were being battered to pieces during the days and nights leading up to the wedding. But today there was nothing but stillness, silence.
Her breathing slows in response but her tears are endless, shining tracks that fall down her cheeks and land like black rain on Monaco's Royal gown.
He murmurs the words gently, hands automatically cupping her cheeks, fingers brushing at her mascara stained skin. He can't wipe it off, but he tries anyway.
She hiccups loudly and offers him a sad half-smile.
"You were right" her voice is soft but sure "I'll never marry anyone else, Chuck."
His brow furrows in response.
She inhales steadily, waiting for a reaction that doesn't come. His face is unreadable.
"I know you love me, that's why you let me go" her eyes search his, endless depths of emotion painted against a blank mask "But I just couldn't."
She swallows a sob. "It doesn't feel right. It's like I'm – tearing off a part of myself, trying to let you go. I just can't."
His hands drift away from her face, one settling over her collarbone as the other cups the back of her neck, his fingers threading through the base of her elegantly twisted chignon.
"What about Louis?" he questions calmly, his face completely stoic, only his eyes betraying the sense of hope rising within him.
"On his way back to Monaco" she replies in a whisper, her eyes shadowed with guilt.
"He knew I was still in love with you, but he was going to marry me anyway. He said it didn't matter, that it would be enough for him."
She looks down, her hands clutching the shredded bodice of her wedding dress as she swallowed thickly. "But it wasn't enough for me."
The silence between them is heavy, almost as suffocating as the dress was.
His fingers lace with hers amongst the remains of her gown, her eyes turning up just in time to see his mask crack with emotion. The slightest tightening of his jaw, his lips parting wordlessly, he exhales in relief – as if he had been holding his breath since May.
"I'm sorry" she blurts out suddenly, her hands gripping his desperately "I should've never let it get this far… planning a wedding, the dress" she motions to her lap as her eyes well up with tears again.
He interjects quickly, his hands gripping the tops of her thighs "It's my fault, I should have never let you go in the first place."
"I shouldn't have let you…" she shakes her head with a small laugh "… let me go."
"I should have never given you so many reasons to walk away," he counters solemnly.
"I should have been stronger" her reply is sad, weak.
His hands slide up to her hips and somehow he pulls her closer, their knees pressed together as his face hovers over hers. "I think we both know who's going to win this argument, Blair" his voice is almost teasing now, a self-deprecating smirk on his handsome face "It's my fault, all of it. For every time you've screwed up, I've done it a hundred times worse."
The light in her eyes dims slightly and she looks away, unable to steady the trembling of her hands as they slide across her stomach, her heart clenching in anguish.
"Not every time."
His heart sinks in his chest but he still reaches for her hand, holds on tighter when she tries to pull away.
"It's not yours," she says woefully, shuddering as the truth falls heavily between them. "I went to three different Doctors… had three different tests. They all said the same thing. It's Louis' baby."
"I know," he answers automatically.
It's true, he had known it for a while now, but part of him was still wishing that it wasn't. That the test could have been wrong, or that she had simply lied. Although he knew she wouldn't, not about this. When she had said she wanted it to be his, he had believed her, because he had wanted it just as badly.
Gentle sobs start to shake through her small body once again. "I'm sorry" she shakes her head slowly "I'm so – so sorry. We could've fixed anything, Chuck. Anything but this."
She says it with so much finality that it scares him, like this might truly be the end. Like she can't possibly see how this situation could ever work out.
"Are you moving to Monaco?"
His voice is sharp, there's an edge to it that surprises even him.
It would make sense. She's may not be marrying Louis but she's still having his baby, it's not like the Prince of Monaco would live anywhere other than Monaco. Right?
In his mind he's already planning the relocation of Bass Industries. He could open hotels anywhere in the world, Monaco would be just fine. Or he could run the company from an International office, people did it all the time. Hell, he could just give the company to Lily and be done with the whole mess once and for all.
Twenty-one was the perfect age to retire as far as he was concerned. Once upon a time he had struggled to make a decision between Blair and The Empire, but now it didn't even seem like a choice. The choice was Blair, no matter what the other option was.
There was no other option, the last six months had proven that.
"I'm not leaving New York," she answers firmly, her eyes shining with more tears as she clutches her stomach protectively.
Even as his heart soars in his chest, he can't help but be confused.
It doesn't make sense to him. How could Louis be in Monaco if his child was here? Was he really going to allow that?
"He promised to visit as often as possible" Blair explained softly, her eyelids were heavy as she let them drift shut for just a moment. "And of course he'll send a check every month, although I already told him it wasn't necessary. Since we won't be married, the baby is considered nothing more than a love-child. A bastard. There's no claim to the throne so… she's nothing to them."
His heart stills in his chest.
Her lips press tightly together as she jerks her head in confirmation.
"I had an ultrasound yesterday. Louis couldn't make it." She says the last part as an afterthought, as if it hadn't even concerned her until now.
Suddenly another sob escapes her lips, before he can think of a way to respond or at least comfort her.
"She isn't even born yet and I'm already failing her." Her hands jerk away from his grasp and she wipes violently at the tears on her face, ashamed that she couldn't just make them stop. "She was supposed to have everything, but… but she won't. She's already lost one parent. What kind of Father lives half way around the world and offers to send a check every month?"
She looks up at him angrily, as if she was demanding an answer straight from him.
"What kind of Man does that?"
Chuck swallows heavily, knowing that he doesn't have to point out the obvious.
Her Father had done the exact same thing to her.
Before she can protest, before she can push him away, his arms wrap securely around her waist, nearly pulling her in to his lap as he embraces her tightly.
She says his name hesitantly, a faint hiccup leaving her lips as she sniffles against his shirt.
He holds her tightly against him, hoping she can feel his racing heart, his hand trailing a soothing path down her back as he presses his cheek against her bare shoulder.
"It's just not fair" she whimpers against his chest "It's not fair to her. She's so innocent and she's done nothing to deserve this. A Father that doesn't love her, a Mother that.. that can't even - "
Chuck lets out a slow breath, not daring to pull away, not even to make eye contact.
"A Mother that what, Blair?"
Silence stretches between them for what feels like forever, just before he starts to pull away she lets out the most heartbreaking sob he swears he's ever heard.
"I don't want to look at her the way Bart looked you at you" she cries shakily, her words were muffled against his shirt but he heard every one of them, his arms stiffening around her but not letting go.
"I already love her so much, but - but I'm afraid that when I look at her, I'll only see what she cost me. The same way Bart did when he looked at you."
"Blair" his hands had stilled against her back, his mind racing as he tried to understand what she was saying "My Mother is... dead. She died when I was born, I'm the reason she's gone and that's why my Father couldn't look at me. This is completely different."
His words did little to soothe her, in fact the mention of his Mother brought fresh tears to her eyes, he could feel them seeping through the front of his shirt as she shook her head at his words.
"It wasn't your fault Chuck, no matter how much your Father blamed you. Just like it won't be her fault that you and I can't be together. But what if every time I see my Daughter, all I see is the man she lost me? What if I only see you and the fact that I couldn't have both of you, and so I chose her?"
Her body starts shaking all over again, as if verbalizing her biggest fear was causing her to re-live it all over again.
Chuck presses his nose against the top of her head, inhaling the sweet scent of her shampoo as the glossy curls surround his face. He speaks before he can even give himself a chance to consider what he's about to offer.
"You won't have to choose."
Her sobbing quiets down considerably, but she says nothing, holding her breath as she waits for him to speak again.
"Louis can keep his money, we have plenty of it," he says matter-of-factly, her body stills against him but he continues to speak anyway. "And of course he can visit as often as he wants, or if she wants to visit him… when she's older, the Bass Jet will always be at her disposal, for both of you."
He pulls back when she doesn't respond, her eyes finding his as they study each other silently.
"I can be her Step-Father, Blair. If you'll let me. I'll never abandon her like Louis did, like your Father did to you. I promise to love her like she's my own, just give me a chance."
Her lips part in shock and she stares at him silently, her eyes searching his frantically, as if she doesn't recognize him or understand the offer he just made to her. To both of them.
"But…" she feels her throat tighten with emotion and she forces it down, swallows it until she can speak again "But she's not yours, Chuck. She never will be."
She says it with anguish, wishing it could be different.
He flinches slightly, obviously hurt by what she's said. The thought of Blair marrying another Man had been unthinkable, yet it had nearly happened earlier today. The thought of another Man's child growing inside her nearly brought him to his knees, and that was something that couldn't be taken back. It was already too late. But he can accept it, he will learn to accept it.
"I know" he replies, the sadness in his voice matching hers. "But she's yours… and you're mine, and that's enough for me, Blair. It's more than enough."
She eyes him with scrutiny for a few moments longer until her eyes fill with clear tears, his heart swelling inside his chest as he tightens his grip around her swollen waist.
"You're sure?" she whispers, exhaling harshly between them as her forehead touches his. Begging him to understand the implications of what he's saying, what he's offering them. Because once the baby is born, there's no going back. He won't go back because he wouldn't hurt a child like that, not her child.
"I'm sure," he says solemnly, his gaze is steady "I love you, Blair. And anything that's a part of you, I'll love too. I wouldn't be able to stop myself."
His palm presses against her belly warmly as lips graze her cheekbone, searching out her mouth blindly as his eyes start to blur.
"I already do," he murmurs against her mouth, kissing her soundly even as she cries against his lips. He kisses her patiently and insistently even as she continues to cry, her breath catching in her throat as her hands grip tightly to the front of his shirt.
Finally, he pulls them off the floor in a single movement, the remains of her dress falling around her feet.
Her cheeks redden as she finds herself in nothing but her corset and panties, white stockings stretching from mid-thigh down to her toes, her heels had already been kicked away.
A shy smile stretches across his face as he pulls her to his chest, wrapping an arm under her legs as he lifts her delicately off the floor, slender legs kicking playfully in the air as he sweeps her in to his arms.
He doesn't kiss her again until they're in front of his bed, so intent on getting her there safely that he won't let himself get distracted by her pink, swollen lips and mussed hair. She's still tucked safely in his arms as he crawls on to the bed, holding her against his chest as he lays them down, his eyes drifting shut as if he was simply intending to take a nap.
Dainty fingers trail down his chest, undoing the buttons of his wrinkled shirt as she presses kisses against his face. His eyes remain shut and a small smile graces his lips, a look of contentment on his face that she has never seen before. Her bare legs intertwine with his and she presses her body closer to his, feeling his arousal against her hip as he sighs, smiling in to her shoulder as he holds her closer.
"Chuck" she says his name playfully, nudging him away slightly so she can tug his shirt from his pants, her heart hammering in her chest as she reaches for his belt.
Her efforts are thwarted, however, as he pulls her flush against his chest, her hands trapped between them.
"Let me hold you, Blair" he murmurs against her ear, his lips grazing the skin there as a shiver races down her spine.
A sneaky grin spreads across her face as she finds the hardness at the front of his expensive trousers and squeezes gently "Only if I get to hold you first" she replies teasingly.
He smiles tightly, arching his hips towards her, letting the friction of her hand momentarily soothe the fire racing through his veins.
"Are you sure it's safe?" he asks hesitantly, his hand resting at the side of her waist, thumb tracing the curve of her belly ever so slightly.
His concern for the baby makes her smile, tears threatening to fall once again before she blinks them away.
"Just be careful" she responds, suddenly shy about her body pressed so intimately against his. He hadn't seen her like this, not since before the pregnancy, she had changed so much since then.
Images of her and Louis from the last few months flash briefly in front of her. The sight of her nightgown pushed up over her hips, the strain on his face as he tried to make her comfortable, never seeming to be able to get her in the right position, her belly always creating too much space between them. He was always quick and very much a gentleman when they had sex, flashing her a sheepish smile afterwards as if she was doing him a favor.
A gasp escaped her mouth as Chuck turned her with deft, economic movements on to her side, his lips blazing a trail across her shoulder and down her neck as his hands quickly undid the hooks of her corset. They were both finally naked as he pressed himself against her back, she could feel him everywhere, hands brushing every inch of her skin as his hips arched against her backside. She glanced back over her shoulder and caught him staring down at her, eyes dark and endless as he pressed a slow, wet kiss against her jaw, his hands gripping her thighs and pulling her flush against him.
She exhaled his name loudly as he finally slid inside of her, stretching and filling her until she had to close her eyes against the pleasure, afraid she would crest too soon. He sensed her hesitation and stilled inside of her, holding her small rounded body against him as she purred, stretching like a cat against him before arching her back against his lean chest.
"Don't stop" she pleaded, her hand reaching back and cupping the side of his face, willing him closer as she rocked against him, silently begging him to continue.
In all the times they had been together, she couldn't remember him ever being so gentle, so attentive to every sound, sigh and gasp she made.
His hands were everywhere, all over her except for one place, not until she laced her fingers with his and pressed his palm against her stomach. Letting him know that it was ok, that she was his now, they both were.
They fell asleep tangled together like that, his heart beating strongly against her back as his hand pressed protectively against her stomach.
He woke up hours later with a ghost of a smile on his lips, uncertain of what had roused him from sleep as he blinked, studying his surroundings silently.
It was completely dark, a stillness in the room that should have unsettled him but didn't, it was calm. Peaceful.
Blair slept soundly by his side, her body had turned in the night and she faced him now, her eyelashes creating shadows against her cheekbones.
He shifted slightly, leaning down to press a kiss against her smooth forehead, pausing when he felt the chill of wet sheets between them.
He reached under the covers and felt around curiously, then as if in slow motion, brought his hand back up to study it in the sliver of moonlight streaming through his windows.
She stirred next to him immediately and he felt his chest tighten in horror, the injustice of it all making him want to scream, to curse the entire world and the cruelty of a God that had done nothing but hurt, disappoint and abandon him. He didn't know why he thought this time would be any different.
The whites of her eyes flickered in the darkened room and he could tell from the sharp inhale of breath that she knew, that she could see the vibrant streak of crimson against his palm, feel it soaking in to the sheets and spreading rapidly between them.
One look between them and they both knew that it was too late.
Before it had even started, it was over.
Blood smeared against her cheek as he reached for her, grabbing for her almost violently in his desperation to keep her there. Her legs curled against her clenching stomach, her nails piercing the back of his hand.
And then she screamed.