For Love or Legacy
Hi ! So this is my new story! Just a heads up, it takes place four years after the end of season three but I changed a few things. The hotel thing still happened, Chuck and Blair still separated, he still got her into Columbia, he still told her to meet him at the top of the Empire State Building, but she didn't miss him because Dorota wasn't pregnant or having a baby or married at the time so in turn, the Jenny thing didn't happen. After she met him, they decided to figure things out together and all this will be explained as you read. Enjoy.
Blair clutched her oversized Balenciaga bag tightly to her as she made her way past the crowded gates at JFK airport. Her heart was beating rapidly despite the normal walking pace she kept as she inched that much closer to the exit and the city she hadn't seen in just over four years.
Leave, catch the next flight back to France, echoed loudly in her head but she couldn't give in, that wasn't an option. This contract would put her on the map, and besides, it would only be for a few weeks at most, she rationalized, but even that fact couldn't help calm her frantic nerves.
She had to focus, but try as she might, questions still filtered through, was he here? Was he in the city? Would he—no, she stopped herself, smoothing a frustrated hand through her updo and quickening her steps. She had buried all thoughts of him years ago, on that horrible night she'd lost—she'd lost herself and he hadn't been there. The automatic doors slid open and she stepped out, her thoughts floating away with the gentle August breeze.
She looked up, the sunshine momentarily blinding her, then she focused, seeing Dorota with a wide smile on her face in front of an awaiting limo.
"Did you air out my bedroom?" she asked in a monotone voice, relaying none of her emotions.
"Yes, Miss Blair," nodded Dorota eagerly as she followed Blair into the limo, sliding in next to her.
"I hope all my clothes have been pressed and put away, I sent you back first class for a reason," said Blair dryly, trying to fill the silence with trifle words and uncomplicated issues.
"Yes, Miss Blair," Dorota repeated but gave her a lingering, knowing look.
Blair closed her eyes momentarily and let out breath, "I'm sure you've located the hound of Basskerville by now, Sherlock, but know this, whatever you've spied, I don't want to know. You'd best remember that if you value your welfare, and your green card."
Dorota frowned, "I US citizen," she said, but Blair paid her no mind. The maid shook her head and tried again, "But Miss Blair—," she said then broke eye contact and looked away nervously.
Blair frowned, not missing a beat, "What is it, what aren't you telling me?" she asked with a sinking feeling. Was it Serena or Nate? She hadn't seen them in months, not since they each had visited her Paris, "Dorota," said Blair pressingly, needing to know exactly what was wrong.
"Everything fine," Dorota said, dodging her gaze, "When is big meeting?" the maid continued, changing the subject.
Blair sighed, "Tomorrow morning," she said, but it didn't fill her with satisfaction, not like it had hours ago, before she had time to second guess herself, three and four times. Her nerves were wearing thin and she tried to tell herself it was the long flight, but in the back of her mind a voice mocked an additional reason for her uneasiness. She shook her head and snapped at the driver, telling him to speed up, then brusquely placed her Fendi sunglasses on before Dorota could read anything more in her gaze.
She sat back and stared out the window, wishing she could hide from herself as easily as she was from Dorota, but she couldn't, and regardless of all her efforts, the painful memories rushed back…
Four Years Earlier
She'd convinced herself she'd reverted back to her bulimia. She was under stress, her love life was questionable at best and to make matters worse NYU wasn't working out. No one gave a damn about hierarchy or aristocracy. All they cared about was getting drunk, stale pizza, and being able to answer one question per class, which they did to attest to the fact that their baked brain cells weren't completely fried, she thought bitterly. She huffed away all the injustices as she shoved the results into her Birkin bag then continued walking to the end of the street.
She'd been wrong, she thought, so wrong, it wasn't bulimia. She looked up as the driver opened the limo door. Her eyes filled with tears which she quickly blinked back, "Arthur, take me to Bass Industries," she told him then slid into the back seat.
She looked out the window and after just a moment the limo took off, making her snap her eyes shut. The motion of the vehicle along with the rapidly moving people and buildings made her nauseous for the second time that day. She breathed in and out deeply a few times and placed her hand on her stomach, the tears she had thought were at bay slipped down her cheeks. Her eyes fluttered, clearing her vision, and despite her anxiety over telling Chuck, she smiled, "I'm pregnant," she whispered.
"Miss Waldorf, we've arrived."
Blair pulled herself out of her memories and turned towards Dorota, "Y—Yes?"
"We here," said Dorota quietly, looking at her with a worried expression on her face.
"Oh my gosh, B!" said Serena rushing up to Blair and engulfing her in a tight hug, "I wasn't expecting you for another few days," she said, pulling back, smiling so wide it hurt.
She was so happy to see Blair back where she belonged. She'd tried for so long to convince her without success, but right now she'd give anything to have her best friend anywhere else.
"My meeting was rescheduled," Blair explained with a smile, trying to walk past her, but Serena shot out a hand, stopping her.
"Nate!" Serena called out, "We were just about to go to lunch, but now we can go out to celebrate," she told her and Blair frowned but nodded.
"Blair," said Nate walking to the foyer to give her a hug of his own, "I can't believe you're finally home," he said and she stiffened, "I'm not home, I'm merely visiting. My life is in Paris," she reminded him and Nate could only nod.
"So…let's go," Serena told them, tilting her head towards the elevator, "Go?" Nate said, "Yes," Serena's eyes widened, "Lunch, remember?"
"Oh, yeah, sorry," he said, running a hand through his hair, "I must still be tired. This is the first day I've had off in a month. I guess Grandfather doesn't believe in nepotism."
Blair's eyes narrowed, staying silent for a moment, "I'd like to say hello to your mother, S, it's been years since I've seen her."
"And you will, later, she's out attending a benefit luncheon," Serena replied, then pulled Blair towards the elevator, giving her no other choice.
"Oh, I left my bag," Serena said, turning around, "B, you go on ahead, we'll be right down."
"We?" Blair frowned from inside the elevator, "I can't remember where I left it. Nate's going to help so we can be quick," she said and Blair nodded hesitantly as the elevator doors closed.
Serena took in a sharp breath as she heard the elevator start moving, "That was close," she told Nate who nodded back, "You think she knows we're hiding something?"
"Of course she does, it's Blair," Serena said, turning around, "What are we going to do?" Nate asked following her back into the penthouse.
"I don't know, it's her own fault anyway," Serena said, grabbing a couple of frames as she went around the living room, "She told us if we ever mentioned him she'd never speak to us again and after the three month silent treatment I got from her two years ago when I pointed out it was his birthday, I wasn't going to press the issue again, were you?"
"No," Nate replied as Serena thrust the photos at him, "But it's different now, she's here. I don't want to be the one to tell her that Chuck's—"
"You don't have to," Serena cut in, "She doesn't want to know, so we won't tell her. If she finds out, it won't be from us," she said then pointed to the console table, "Put them in that drawer," she said, then grabbed her purse from under the coffee table.
"Ready?" she told him and he nodded as he closed the drawer shut.
Blair sat looking appalled at her best friend while sitting at a table at Fifth Avenue's Café Sabarsky, "Serena, everyone's staring," she scolded, "Has Humphrey's deplorable dining etiquette and uncultivated Brooklyn ways finally rubbed off on you?" Blair asked, daintily dabbing the corners of her mouth as Serena shoved food in hers.
Serena grabbed her dinner cloth and smiled, swiping her lips, "I'm sorry, but I have a class in twenty minutes," she explained, "Not everyone can complete a four year degree in two," she told Blair who grinned, "Not everyone can complete it in four either," Blair teased, making Serena's lips part in mock indignation as Nate laughed.
"I'm graduating after this semester, it just took me longer," she defended, "Remember, I didn't start when you both did," she said, pointing between her and Nate.
Blair surveyed Serena for a moment and her brows furrowed, "If you were in such a rush why did you plan this outing?"
Serena paused mid bite, "I—I was going to ditch, but on the way here I remembered I had an exam."
Blair's lips curled wryly, "Not a smooth save S, I thought I taught you better than that."
Serena averted her gaze and Blair allowed her the escape. She knew something was up, but she wanted to avoid it at all cost. She was more than sure it had to do with—a person who was not her concern, she told herself then shifted her attention to Nate to get out of her useless thoughts, "So, Nate, how's the internship with your grandfather going?"
He lowered his drink and replied, "Brutal," he said, "He won't give me an official job until he feels I've earned it."
"Which you already have," Serena pointed out, "Your grandfather is just being hard on you," she said, then Nate shrugged and everything quieted awkwardly.
Blair looked between the pair, watched them fidget then heard Nate sigh. She saw as he tensed then parted his lips to speak, but she pushed back from the table nervously, cutting him off before he even began.
She couldn't take the strain of remaining nonchalantly aloof when she knew her two friends were a ticking time bomb over whatever it was they knew she didn't want to know.
"I'm sorry," she said, rising off her chair, "I—I have to go. I'm exhausted, jetlagged. I'm not much company right now," she said apologetically, "I'll see you both tomorrow," she promised, "We have some catching up to do," she said, clutching her bag, "S, we'll have lunch at my place after my meeting. I'm dying to show you this stunning Jean Paul Gaultier number I brought over from France for you," she said then turned to Nate, "And I want you to make a reservation for sometime this week and invite your grandfather. I'm sure I can persuade him to see how much of an asset you are to him," she said and Nate laughed and shook his head, "Not even back a few hours and already you're plotting something."
She laughed herself, but it sounded hollow even to her ears so she let it die on her lips then turned to go, but Serena gripped her hand, halting her progress, "You know, it really is great to have you back."
Blair gave a small, sad smile then pulled away, unable to say the expected response because to her, it wasn't great to be back, not in the least.
"Miss Blair, I run bath?"
"Not now," she muttered, looking around her living room, just taking it in. It hadn't changed at all. She picked up a picture frame from when she was six then put it down to run her hand over the top of the piano. All at once dozens of memories assaulted her, parties, birthdays, sleepovers, sleepovers…
She shook her head then bolted for the stairs, getting a wide-eyed stare from Dorota as she went, but when she reached her room, it wasn't much better. It was worse. The bed loomed in the middle of the room, making more memories she wanted to suppress resurface.
"Is Mr. Bass in?" Blair asked the secretary who looked new. She'd never met her before, "I'm Blair Waldorf his—friend," she said, chewing on the word. She really didn't know what they were.
After the hotel incident, that she preferred not to recount, they'd separated. She'd been too angry and hurt to forgive him though he'd apologized many times. They'd spent time apart, she'd missed him, but her trust was broken. She'd even tried to move on and failed completely. Through it all, Chuck had kept insisting. He even got her into Columbia, but she still kept her distance. After a while, he'd told her to meet him on the top of the Empire State Building or he'd finally stop trying, and they'd be over for good. She was wary, but she couldn't let that happen. Whatever pain she felt about what he'd done, it was tripled with the thought of never being with him again, so she'd met him, but she told him they'd take it slow. No demands, no labels, just time between them to figure it all out.
Of course they never did slow particularly well, or rather they did it very well, but not where it counted.
Despite everything they were actually doing well, but the subject was never broached again. So here she stood, in Bass Industries, not knowing where she stood with Chuck exactly.
She'd said the words herself, what was he going to say when she told him?
"I'm sorry Ms. Waldorf, but he isn't in. He left after lunch and said he wouldn't be back until tomorrow."
Blair frowned but nodded, turning around and retracing her steps back to the elevators. As she went she texted him, getting a reply almost immediately. He was in her penthouse waiting for her. She smiled and hastily caught the elevator right before the doors closed, then made her way out the building.
She made it back to her penthouse relatively quickly, except for a ten minute delay. She'd had to tell Arthur to pull over, then was promptly sick.
She felt a little better now, but her stomach still wasn't settled as she took to the stairs and met Chuck inside her room.
He turned when she walked in and she resisted the urge to bring her trembling hand up to cover her middle.
"How was your day?" he asked, attempting to kiss her lips after closing the distance between them, but she turned her face so that his lips brushed her cheek instead.
He frowned, "Is something wrong?"
"Not exactly," she said, taking her coat off and walking past him to head into her bathroom.
"Blair?" he said with confusion then knocked on the door, "I'll be right out," she told him, brushing her teeth quickly.
When she emerged she found his frown had deepened, "What was that about?" he asked and she looked away, the look in his eyes making her stomach turn violently. She swallowed hard and shook her head at his probing gaze, "I had an onion bisque for lunch," she lied, "How was your day?" she asked and went to lie on her bed.
Chuck paused, but he answered her, coming to join her on the bed, "It was frustrating," he replied, unbuttoning his suit jacket, "I'm trying to close the deal with Oppenheimer, but he keeps countering the contract," he said, loosening his tie, "The entire board is on me, demanding results," he said, and she pressed her lips together. Maybe it wasn't the best time to tell him.
"Now how was your day," he asked again, pulling her against him, "Uh—uneventful," she said, and he smirked, "That's not possible, but if it is, how about we make it a little more interesting?"
She smiled then trembled slightly when he brushed her hair off her shoulder to kiss the nape of her neck. She shifted and went to turn into him just as his hand slid and came to a stop on her midriff, she froze.
"Something is wrong," he said, pulling back, "No," she insisted, taking his hand in hers to remove it from their baby.
Their baby, the thought became all too real.
"I—I just, I want to talk," she stammered, unlike herself.
"Talk?" he said and she nodded, "I haven't declared a major and…I, I don't know what to do. I don't know what I want to do."
"You're just a freshman; you'll figure it out," he told her, and she shook her head, "Freshman year is almost over," she pointed out, "Next semester I'll be at Columbia, I'm going to be forced to choose," she reminded him, "I made so many plans. I wanted to go to Yale. I wanted it so badly, I wanted—," she flustered, "But it was all just an idea," she said, almost to herself, but it made her pause with the realization that it was all true, "I wanted Yale, for Yale's sake. I would've been as lost there as I am in NYU," she said, scoffing the university, "And it'll be naïve of me to think anything will change at Columbia."
"Stop this, you're not lost," Chuck tried to tell her, but she brushed him off, "I don't know where I see myself in ten years, do you?"
He looked away and shrugged, "Still running Bass Industries, I imagine, making it more profitable than my father ever did," he said and she stilled at his cold hard response, "That's it?" she said, pulling completely out of his arms and he shrugged again, "What else is there?"
Her lips parted angrily, "Friends, family, me?"
He stiffened then rose, pulling at his tie as he strode to the other side of the room, "Dorota, a scotch!" he called out, knowing the maid was spying outside the door.
He heard her steps falter then she replied, "Yes, Mr. Chuck."
He smiled mirthlessly, "Well?" Blair said, as she rose off the bed too, "Answer me."
"Of course I want you there," he bit out, "And Nate and Serena, but—a family is not in the cards, at least not in my deck."
Her eyes filled with tears but she forced them back, "You already have a family, Lily, Serena, me—"
"And look how well I've done with that," he retorted, "It's not going to happen, I won't let it."
She shook her head, "It might not be your choice, accidents happen—"
"We'd handle it," he told her, "Accidents can be rectified," he grated with an adamant stare that pinned her.
"Rectified?" her breath caught, and this time she couldn't stop her eyes from brimming, "Get out," she told him, pointing to the door.
"I said go!" she demanded sharply, "I may not know where I'll be years from now, but I know it's not with you."
"Blair, let's not fight over an unlikely happenstance," he said, walking up to her, but she pulled back, raising her hands to keep him away, "Please try to see the big picture. This argument is inconsequential. We're fighting over nothing," he nearly pleaded, outstretching his hand to touch her cheek but she turned away from him for the second time that day, "It's not nothing to me," she choked, "Get the hell out," she retorted and he let his hand fall away, "Fine," he told her, flexing his jaw tightly, "Call me when you've had time to think."
"No," she told him, "When you've done just that, you call me. If nothing changes, don't bother at all," she said and he walked out of her room, brushing past a worried looking Dorota with a scotch in hand.
"What I miss?" said the maid and Blair slowly lowered herself to the bed, "Dorota, pack, we're going to visit Daddy and Roman," she said, then her face crumpled and a sob escaped her lips.
Blair came awake with a start, "Huh? What?" Blair said, trying to clear her vision as she looked around.
"You fall asleep, I guess flight too much," the maid explained, looking back at her anxiously, "I come to wake for dinner and I hear," she said as Blair sat up, looking down at the rumpled clothes she hadn't changed out of. She couldn't even remember sitting on the bed, much less falling asleep, "What are you babbling on about? There was nothing to hear, just you interrupting my REM cycle," she said and Dorota looked down, "I hear crying."
Blair turned, lifting her hand to her cheek to find it wet with tears. She licked her dry lips and avoided Dorota's gaze, "I'll—I'll be having dinner in bed after a bath," she told her, "For now you're dismissed," she said and the maid hesitated, but ultimately knew to remain silent as she turned around and left the room.
"Miss Waldorf, I can't say I understood a word about your concept board, but if my wife loves it, then the job is yours."
Blair sat smiling the next day on a loveseat across from her newest clients, "Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor," she said, standing up and the couple stood to join her, "Call me, Frank," said the older man, shaking her hand.
"Alright, Frank," she said, her smile remained, "Then please, call me Blair," she insisted then went to shake his wife's hand, but the blonde woman waved it away, pulling Blair to her to drop a couple of air kisses on either side of her cheek.
"I love everything you have planned for the penthouse," Aileen Burrows said animatedly, "I can't wait for you to start."
"Well, as soon as she signs the contract then she can start as early as Monday," the mayor said and Blair produced an elegant ball point pen before they could change their minds.
They grinned as she bent to sign the contract on the coffee table then she stood up with a satisfied nod, "Everything is settled then. I'll start Monday morning promptly at nine. In the meantime I want you to make me a list of everything in your home you wish to keep, otherwise it's gone," she said.
"Donated, right?" Aileen said and Blair nodded, "Of course," she replied, "They do say charity starts at home," she grinned, "And if I can be so forward, Frank, the press will eat it up."
They all laughed and Aileen nodded, "I knew I liked you the moment we met in Paris."
"The feelings completely mutual, believe me," Blair said, using the social grace she'd honed since birth. "For now, I have a lot a planning to do," she said, stepping back, "I'll see you, Aileen on Monday with the list and you, Mayor—Frank," she corrected, "I'll see you at the charity benefit next week," she said as she shook his hand again and air kissed Aileen's cheek. She turned and stopped a moment to collect the concept board then retreated, trying to hold down the sprint in her high heeled step. She'd done it!
She walked out of the building, happier than she had been in—a while. She had her first New York client for Blair's Boudoir. She'd started her own interior design company right after graduating from the Université Paris-Sorbonne. Interior design hadn't even occurred to her until her father had jokingly mentioned it when she started redoing every single room in the chateau and something just clicked.
She'd immersed herself in it completely. She had her own studio, an assistant, and quite the clientele in Paris, but this job would open up so many doors and checkbooks in the States.
She walked up to the car that was waiting for her, then slid into the seat after the driver opened the door for her. She wanted to call her parents, but Daddy and Roman were vacationing in Italy and her mother and Cyrus were on a plane at that very moment. Her mother was flying into New York to check on Waldorf Designs and to consult with a few clients.
She wasn't disappointed though, she'd tell Serena. They were meeting for lunch, but not for another hour. She tilted her head, changing her mind about going straight back home, "Elliot, take me to Central Park instead," she said, she hadn't been there in so long. She missed the pond and the ducks.
"Right away Miss Waldorf."
She took in a deep breath and smiled as she looked around the park. She watched some people walk by, taking a stroll then jerked out of the way as a couple of children darted past her, laughing as they chased each other. She should have been annoyed, slightly appalled even, but she wasn't and despite the small ache she felt while watching the children play, everything felt right standing there, more than it ever had in Paris, but she tried not to pay that thought any mind.
She gripped the roll of bread more securely then walked up to the pond. There were about a half a dozen ducks several feet away from her, leisurely swimming around. She bent and pulled a piece of bread off then tossed it in the water.
Immediately, all six ducks went for it, creating a frenzy and making her laugh. She pulled another piece off and again she tossed it in, watching as the ducks fought for it.
"May I help?"
Blair turned, startled, and found herself looking into a pair of soft brown eyes.
Blair smiled at the little girl. She had a mass of long blonde hair with part of it held back by a champagne colored bow that matched her silk dress. The dress was embroidered at the hem with the words, once upon a time there lived a princess.
She grinned, completely taken in by the small face smiling back at her, "Sure you can help," she told the four or five year old. She pulled a hunk of bread off and handed it to the girl, whose eyes lit.
"Thank you!" she smiled, bouncing happily, making her golden locks bounce with her, "Daddy never lets me feed the ducks," she complained with a pout, tossing the bread into the pond.
"Then maybe you shouldn't," Blair told her and the little girl grinned, "But I haven't met my quota just yet."
"Quota?" Blair laughed, surprised the girl knew the meaning, "Yeah," she said, "I hafta make Daddy grouchy at least three times a day," she said, looking at her hand and putting up three fingers.
Blair's smile widened, remembering the times she'd exasperated her father, "But why would you want to do that?"
The little girl tilted her chin, "Cuz' it's a bunch of fun," she laughed a small melodic giggle, "'Sides, Grandma says that's my job," she informed her, matter-of-factly.
"Of course it is," Blair replied, in a mock serious tone, holding in a grin. The little girl was so beautiful, it made something tighten with the thought—but she banished it, focusing on the child in front of her. She pulled another piece of bread off and offered it to the girl, but she hesitated, pulling at her dress, "Uh—," she said, wrinkling the silk.
"What is it?" Blair asked with a small frown, "I—I'm not supposed to talk to strangers," she said, "Daddy get's really, really mad when I do that," she said, but shrugged, and outstretched a hand, "I'm—"
Blair tensed and dropped the roll of bread, losing her sense of gravity. She felt a horrible wooziness at the pit of her stomach and the sensation shot straight up to her head, making her grow hot and cold at the same time. She fought through the fog of shock to realize she knew that voice, she would know it anywhere, it was the voice she'd tried to drown out for four long years.
"Daddy, don't be such an Oscar, we were just playing with the ducks."
She nearly swayed on her four inch heels as she felt everything tilt with a blurred sense of vertigo.
It wasn't true.
It wasn't, her heart pounded…
But it was.
Slowly, she turned to meet a pair of hard, dark eyes she told herself she'd never see again.
A/N: Hello everyone! And if you've taken the time out to read this chapter completely, I thank you very much. This story isn't so black and white, there's a lot more layers and things to be revealed so I hope you'll put this story on your alerts since everything is about to get way more complicated and juicy. It isn't just about "oh, Chuck has a kid" and that's it, there's much more to the story as a whole that I have planned, so please give it a chance. So what exactly happened to Blair's baby? What happened to Chuck and Blair four years ago? All that will be shown very soon as well as Chuck's POV. Blair didn't just go to Paris and that was it. So stay tuned. Please review! Oh and if you have any questions you can ask in the review too ;)
P.S. Like with all my stories, I photoshop pics to go with them. I have two pictures of Cate one in her dress that she met Blair in and just another one of her. I added a pic of Blair in the outfit she arrived in New York in and also a pic of Chuck and Cate together. If you want to see the pics, go to my profile, copy the link to my photobucket page, then once you get to it, scroll down on the right side there should be a link there titled "For Love or Legacy"