And a Christmas o/s for my rock and octopus, Bella. Sorry for the lateness.
Chuck Bass was awake.
It had been awhile, but that was the first time he could say that. Or, if ever.
Winter had a cold front that washed over everything. New York had slush and, at times, storms. All Chuck had known was darkness. His father had always been on one business trip or another. Nate had been with his family and the only time Chuck had really had a good time was when he ran off to Monaco with his best friend.
But even then, it wasn't good. Even then he had been paranoid, manipulative, and blackmailing.
He never thought that he would have a family – especially with the girl that had slept with his best friend and cast him aside. (That's where the blackmail came in.)
Happiness had not seemed to him to be on the menu at that age. But at this point in his life, Chuck Bass was awake. He saw the brilliant lights and as much as he detested the music and hated the people he didn't know pretending as though they did, he was happy.
But like all previous years, Chuck was tense.
"Where the hell is my wife?"
Although at this point in his life he was the happiest he had ever been, in this particular moment, his teeth were about to break with how hard he was clenching them.
There was mistletoe everywhere and even though his best friend was at his side – for the purpose of keeping him calm for some reason, he was sure – he had never been more tense.
Nate looked over at him and gave him that genuine smile that made Chuck even more frustrated.
"Relax, man," Nate said. "It's—"
"I swear, Nathaniel," Chuck said through gritted teeth that he hoped looked like a smile. "If you spout something about holiday cheer, this party will get infinitely more depressing."
Nate shrugged. "I'm sure you'll see her around."
Chuck eyed the blonde for a moment.
He was suspicious.
The so-called Mrs. Bass may have had holiday paranoia, but he knew there was one person behind Nate's nonchalance.
Chuck was being deterred.
And there was only one woman that could exert such control over his best friend. Even if that woman was supposed to be married to him now – he said supposed to because for the past weeks she had been almost spitefully distant.
He would not calm down.
Especially when he knew who was behind this.
"No," Chuck snapped before stalking off into the crowd.
Nate was usually one to let him cool off, but Chuck's suspicions were confirmed when Nate followed instantly in pursuit.
"I really don't think you have to worry," Nate said as Chuck scoured the party.
"I didn't even come here with her," Chuck said. "How do I know she'll even show up?"
"Of course she will," Nate said. "Why wouldn't she?"
"Are you really going to pretend you don't know the answer to that question?"
"What are you talking about?"
Chuck had to hand it to the guy, he was so genuine that he really didn't know if Nate was lying, or that he really just didn't know anything that was happening around him.
"What did she say to you?" Chuck asked.
"What?" Nate asked.
"Blair," Chuck said sharply. "How did she convince you to keep her from me?"
Nate stopped short. Chuck would try and read his expression, but it was a common look he had and he couldn't be bothered to sift through that confusion.
"I'm sure everything's fine," Nate said, struggling.
Chuck rolled his eyes, heading straight towards the Ladies' Room – the only place where he wasn't allowed.
Though history had proven different.
As soon as he reached it, it burst open.
He shouldn't have been surprised to see his sister blocking his entrance.
"This isn't my first day on the job," he told her shortly.
Serena eyed Nate coldly.
"I thought the point was to keep him away from the bathroom."
"He figured it out!" Nate protested.
For the first time, Chuck's stomach dropped. He felt the disgust at his selfishness seep into his bones.
Of course he should have thought of her first.
"Is she okay?"
Serena finally looked over at Chuck and sighed.
"She'll talk to you when she's ready."
But in that moment anger churned through Chuck and he forgot all about the potential selfishness.
She was infuriating.
"I'm not going to be punished for something I have no knowledge of," Chuck seethed, pushing into the bathroom.
He knew Blair, and she wouldn't risk random partygoers in the same room as she was. This proved convenient so no one would call security on him.
"No, Chuck," Serena protested, trying to pull him back. "That isn't what this is about."
He rounded the corner, pulling Serena with him. But he stopped short, not seeing anything.
But he heard her.
He cringed at the retching sound before Blair walked out of the stall to wash her hands.
"Fancy meeting you here," she said coldly.
"I would say the same thing except I've barely seen you for the past week," Chuck retorted.
"Thanks, S," Blair retorted to her best friend, ignoring her husband. "That really wasn't what I had in mind when I said 'please keep Chuck away from the bathroom.' In fact, it's pretty much the opposite."
"You shouldn't be keeping anything from me," Chuck said. "In fact, I find it quite insulting that you tell everyone but me what's going on."
"If you stopped to even think about it, you would realize I'm doing you a favor," Blair said, whirling around to face him.
"I fail to see the truth in that."
"Well you tend to overreact in situations like this," Blair said.
"Look," Chuck sighed. "I'm sorry about whatever I've been doing lately."
"What?" Blair asked in confusion.
"I will do whatever I can to fix this," Chuck said. "Maybe we rushed into marriage too soon. I wish I knew why this is wrong, but I understand if you need a change. You deserve someone who will be considerate of you at every waking moment—"
"We've only been married a year, you idiot!" Blair exclaimed. "You think I want a divorce?"
"You've been hiding from me," Chuck said, "talking to our friends behind my back—"
"This is exactly why I didn't want to tell you!" Blair said. Chuck was vaguely aware of Serena trying to edge away. "You blow everything out of proportion!"
"Tell me what—"
Blair's watch chimed. She walked towards the counter and Chuck stared.
He didn't even see the stick lying on the counter.
"You freak," Blair muttered.
Chuck took a tentative step towards her. She cast him a warning glare.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Chuck asked.
"I thought you would understand," Blair said. "The last time this happened it didn't exactly go well for any of the parties involved."
He really was a selfish bastard.
"I just wanted to be sure," she said softly.
"That's why you've been avoiding me?"
"I wish you could understand how unbelievably scared I am—"
"I do understand, Blair," Chuck said gently, finally making his way to his wife. He took her hands in his. "And I will never let anything like that happen to you again."
"If it had been yours and that happened," Blair said, "I wouldn't have survived it. The things you said before about being there for me even when it wasn't yours – no one has ever said anything like that to me before. But if that happens again – now – I won't survive it."
Chuck cupped her face in his hands.
"I won't let it happen," Chuck said. "They will have to rip our child from my hands."
Blair pulled away, smirking.
"Hold your horses," she said. "We don't even know yet."
"Yes, we do," he laughed. "You were just throwing up at Lily's holiday party."
She wrinkled her nose at him.
He wanted to kiss her.
He never thought marriage would be exactly the same as him at seventeen.
"I'm sorry," he said. "About my actions."
Blair shook her head. "Dramatic bastard."
"I'm dramatic?" Chuck asked. "We promised we would be here this year, Blair. And you disappear on me for a week."
"Oh, so it's my fault we missed this party last year?" Blair asked. "It wasn't my fault our one week anniversary was on Christmas Eve."
"Everything occurs to you," he teased. "You didn't want to marry me because of spousal confidence. You wanted our anniversary on Christmas."
"I wanted to marry you because I love you, you bastard," Blair replied. "And don't act like you weren't just as hot and bothered to get into that marriage bed."
Chuck kissed her furiously.
"How convenient that we happen to be all alone in here."
"Is it?" Blair asked innocently.
"I think we're going to have to apologize to Lily for missing her party again."
"Why?" Blair blinked. "It's not our anniversary."
"It will be."
Everyone knew better than to enter a bathroom at a party that the Mr. and Mrs. Basses were attending.