I Don't Even Need Your Love
'No matter what, this baby was conceived out of love.'
- Blair Waldorf.
'And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough.'
- Somebody That I Used To Know, Gotye.
"How is she?"
Once a month, he calls her.
He knows not to call more frequently.
"How are you?"
Or to go looking for her.
Blair puts down the phone, runs her eyes up and down the newly painted lavender walls of her new apartment and rocks her new daughter in her arms. This was a mistake, a life-ruining mistake that lost her Louis – though he was already gone – Dan – though he was never there – and even Chuck – though that was her fault, he alleges, for running away. For taking the baby. Blair blows newly cut bangs which match the new paint and the new apartment out of her eyes and looks down at his mouth. His mouth is ripe and sharp, and their daughter has it.
"What have you called her?"
This is the second time this week.
That makes her nervous.
"I should've known."
Like he can smell where she's hiding.
There are things that naturally have to change as the growing hairs shade from blonde wood to hardwood and the child starts to ask questions. She meets 'Daddy' at a prearranged spot, couriered by Cyrus who can't keep hold of her hand when she sees her father. She likes to tug on his coat, dig through the pockets for presents or macarons. Chuck knows how to charm a Waldorf, a Waldorf who is Waldorf in name but whose chin is Bass-shaped. Blair's ever-optimistic stepfather smiles in commiseration and walks a few steps with them.
"How is she?"
"She's doing well. There's another new investment specialist on the table this week."
"Ready for dissection."
Audrey is too young to know that Blair Waldorf has man friends and that Chuck Bass wants them killed. She's more than happy to return home, lips purple and sticky with sugar.
"I miss you."
It's the first time she's called him in years.
She doesn't want affection.
She wants that.
"You've just come to terms with the fact that you get off on the sound of my voice."
How the mighty fall when she has to call him to get her kicks, when her daughter is precocious enough to understand that the sound of low laughter through the wall means Mummy and Daddy. She excels at preschool, one day picked up in a town car and the next in the infamous black limo. She doesn't know what it means to sit in her mother's seat, only that her father seems more preoccupied than usual. He shows her a secret, a downy lock of hair: it's buried in a compartment beneath the leather, along with something shiny and something silky.
It's back to the point where they make each other sweat.
Down the phone.
"Talk to me."
From across the city.
Blair ends the call so she can have a shower, so she can shave her legs before date night since there's no time for a bespoke appointment. This lawyer is more important than the rest, so much so that he is fit to meet the fairest flower in the field, currently sitting on the toilet seat as her mother goes to work with a blade like an assassin. They both wear black velvet, and Blair slips out to make drinks. Martini, whisky sour, pomegranate crush; she debates cold medicine tonight. Is it a night for her daughter to be sound asleep, or awake as a deterrent against nighttime activities?
"She hit him."
He wants to laugh.
"Across the kneecaps."
He needs to laugh.
"Because he wasn't Daddy."
He doesn't want to laugh anymore.
"Keep the visits short, Chuck."
Chuck takes Blair to court, partly because he wants to see the child, his daughter, their daughter, and partly because he wants to see Mummy and her glossy hair and her glossy eyes and her heels banging along the polished floor, a symphony of not wanting to be there. She fights hard, Blair Waldorf against Chuck Bass, because it really is more than their daughter, however selfish that may be. This is about the Chuck who paid off Blair's dowry and didn't even tell her so, who was thanked only the once and who gained a baby into the bargain. She wants to punish him for that, and he wants to punish her for running. These lawyers sit back comfortably, and the lawyer who was more important leaves a note in her lavender painted apartment on softly scented notepaper and never comes back.
The answerphone clicks in, and Serena van der Woodsen strokes the hair of the sleeping child in her lap and pulls the blanket up to cover both of them.
"I'm considering throwing myself off this balcony."
There are stars.
"I'd only follow you."
How brightly shines the moon.
"I don't want my remains mixed with yours, thank you."
Their hands creep towards each other along the rail.
"She's half mine, you know."
Or all theirs.
Nobody accepts an invitation to dinner, to a suite, a glass of champagne, an evening on a balcony, the removal of a familiar black velvet dress, the burn of connection, the hellfire of a screaming match that happens in flagrante with slaps and snarls and the quiet of a pale morning afterwards and doesn't promise something in return.
"Is this it?"
She stands in the doorway, her ripe and sharp mouth frowning.
Blair smiles, raises her head from his shoulder.
"You'll get used to it it."
Chuck doesn't move; not when she is lying beside him in orthodox pyjamas. A small, squirming body lands on his chest, and he merely clamps an arm around it and orders it back to sleep. She'll learn to like his suite eventually, or else whine at him to buy a penthouse or townhouse like she whined at him for those fur trimmed bootees…
"Don't you dare try and kiss me with our daughter in bed with us."
Ever the ray of sunshine.
"The minute we're married…"
That's happening, apparently.
"I'm going to divorce you."
"Not if I divorce you first." She makes a small snuffling sound, oddly like their daughter, then goes to sleep in the crook of his arm.
It is no surprise to anyone that Chuck and Blair's marriage lasts. It may have something to do with enduring love…or that being overheard fighting gives them a remarkable tendency for bruised kneecaps.
I dedicate this fic to those who encouraged me to repost. Yes, this may not be one hundred percent believable in terms of Gossip Girl, 9/8 Central on the CW, but it's AU. Surely being fiction mitigates it not being exactly like the show. Timeline: Audrey was born when Blair was twenty-two, and Chuck is allowed to see her before she begins preschool, aged two or three, so Chair therefore reunite at about twenty-six.