This is the last chapter of AWHL besides the epilogue :( So sad, I know. But have no fear, the sequel will quickly follow! This chapter has a bit of a time jump because I feel as though I need to end the arc of the story effectively. This story is not about Beth and Scarlett: it's about Audrey. So…I hope you like the ending to this story and don't be too sad. Scarlett and Beth's story (What We Have Now) will be up soon because it is summer!
It was coming up on the first anniversary of Audrey's death. Blair and Chuck both knew it, but none of them said a word to each other about it. They went about their usual routines. The babies were a handful, even more so as they grew. They kept them occupied and away from their thoughts. The days slowly crept upon them, and before they knew it, the date had come. Blair looked at the calendar in the kitchen as she warmed up Beth's bottle and her heart sank.
November 15th, 2012.
Chuck had been off extra early to work in the morning, and now Blair knew why. She wondered if he was even at work at all. She knew how he was during his father's death anniversary and didn't expect him to be any different on this day. She texted Serena and asked her. After Blair hit send, Beth started kicking in her chair and started to whine. Blair sighed and walked over to her baby girl. Scarlett was still sleeping, so it was just Blair and Beth. It was 7:15 in the morning, the usual time the babies got up. Blair never thought of herself as a morning person until the twins forced her to be. After nearly two months of it, she really didn't mind. She plopped down on the kitchen floor and sighed. Blair placed the bottle on her chair table. Beth grabbed for the bottle, but ended up hitting her hand on the table. She started to cry.
"Shhh fille." Blair whispered, picking up her daughter from the chair. Blair picked up the bottle and rocked her daughter back and forth. Beth started to calm down in her mother's arms, nudging her silky brown hair into her mother's shoulder. Blair walked into the family room and took a seat on the couch, sitting Beth on her lap. Beth, still in her green-flowered long sleeved-shirt and pants which she wore to bed, started to rub her eyes. Blair sighed and stared into her daughter's eyes.
"You had an older sister, Bethie. Her name was Audrey." Blair murmured. Beth cocked her head, as if she understood. Blair smiled and looked at the ground.
"She passed away today. She never got the chance to meet you or Scarlett." Blair couldn't believe she was talking to her infant daughter, but she was the only one around to talk to.
"Now you have to be the oldest Bass. Okay Elizabeth? Protect Scarlett? I know she's only two hours younger, but you still need to protect her. I can already tell she is going to be a wild one." Beth reached out and touched her mother's lips. Blair took her hand in hers and kissed it.
"Maman loves you so much Bethie. You are my little miracle." Beth held out both of her arms, as if to offer a hug. Blair felt her eyes well with tears. She held her baby girl close, feeling her shallow breathing against her chest. Blair began to sob. Her tears fell and wetted her daughter's hair. Beth relaxed against her mother's chest and tugged at her mother's tendrils. After a few minutes, Blair gathered herself and detached her daughter from her chest. She reached for the bottle she had set on the end table and cradled Beth in her arms. Her daughter willingly sucked at the bottle, making a small clicking noise. She curled her legs up on the couch and watched her daughter eat, tears still flowing down her face. She leaned down and kissed the top of Beth's head and smiled.
She was the most thankful girl in the world.
Chuck stared at his computer screen blankly. He had a PowerPoint presentation open for his meeting tomorrow, but it had no words on it. He focused on the blinking line where he was supposed to write text. His mind was just…empty. He would be lying if he said it wasn't because of a certain anniversary that was today. He tried to push it out of his head, but it was useless.
Today was the day his little girl died.
He thought that avoiding Blair and going into work early would change that. But fact was fact. He had to face it. He heard a soft knock at the door.
"Come in." He murmured, rubbing the bridge of his nose with his hand.
Serena poked her head through the door and pushed it open slowly. He didn't meet her eyes.
"Blair wanted me to check on you." She admitted softly. Chuck continued to keep his eyes fixed to the floor.
"Well you can tell her I'm fine. Just another day in the workplace." Chuck waved his hands as he spoke. Serena walked over to his desk and leaned on it.
"Chuck, it's okay to grieve. Just please don't run away from it. And from her." Chuck looked at her.
"If you'll excuse me, I have a meeting to attend to." Chuck got up briskly from his chair, nudging Serena with his shoulder on the way out of his office.
Serena watched her step-brother walk out into the hallway, knowing very well he wasn't going into a meeting.
Blair had just finished feeding Scarlett when the elevator rang open. She placed the baby on her shoulder and pushed Beth in her chair into the living room. She was met with the face of her mother.
"Mother. What a surprise." Blair said with a hint of sarcasm. Eleanor held out her arms, offering her a vase of hydrangeas.
"I know they are your favorite." Blair took them and rolled her eyes.
"They actually aren't, but I appreciate the maternal effort." Blair set them down on the entable and returned her gaze to her mother. Eleanor took a step.
"Bear…" Eleanor started.
"Just because today is the anniversary of my daughter's death does not give you the right to pretend to actually be a parent to me! That is just disrespectful on your part." Blair boomed. Eleanor sighed.
"Blair." She corrected herself. "You know how sorry I am about the past…" Blair shifted her weight and Scarlett on her shoulder.
"But I always have cared about you. You are my daughter and… I know you are hurting today. So I was going to offer to take the children so you and Chuck could go do what you have to do." Blair rubbed Scarlett's back and looked at her mother.
"Like you know how to take care of A child, let alone two. I for one would know." Blair shot. Eleanor scratched her nose.
"Well…I did ask Dorota to help me." Blair let out a stiff laugh.
"But I genuinely want to be with my grandchildren Blair. It's another chance to be the mother I never was to you. A chance to take back the biggest regret I have. If Dorota can teach me a few things and then I won't need her anymore." Blair scoured her mother from head to toe, contemplating whether to trust her or not.
"Lesson #1: How to hold a baby." Blair started. She held out Scarlett, smirking. Eleanor took hold of the baby clumsily and tried to prop her on her shoulder. Scarlett immediately started screaming. Blair touched Scarlett's back. She immediately stopped. Blair removed her hand, Scarlett wailed.
"It's the motherly magic that you never possessed!" Blair exclaimed, sarcasm dominating her voice. Dorota had witnessed the whole encounter and was laughing.
"Miss Eleanor have lots to learn." Dorota murmured. Blair nodded her head in agreement. Dorota walked over to Eleanor and embraced Scarlett in her arms. Scarlett stopped crying with the exception of a few crackles here and there.
"I'll only trust her if you are here too Dorota." Blair proposed.
"Of course Miss Blair." Dorota agreed. Blair cracked a small smile. Kissing each of her two daughters on the head, she walked over and slung her bag on her shoulder. Then, she walked over to the vase and picked out two hydrangeas, each a different color.
"They are beautiful Mom. Thank you." Blair murmured softly. Eleanor and Dorota watched as she walked into the elevator silently. They both knew where she was headed.
Blair sighed loudly of relief. She had not remembered the walk up the hill being so steep. She didn't remember a lot of things from the day she let her daughter's ashes into the whistling wind, nor did she want to. It was one of the hardest things she'd ever had to do. Brushing a wisp of hair out of her face, she made her way to the tree, marking where her daughter's soul remained for eternity. She stopped dead in her tracks as she got close.
Chuck was sitting to the left of the tree, his head buried in his knees. He was still in his suit from work, and by the looks of it had been there for a while. It didn't appear as if he was crying. He was in deep thought. Blair slowly made her way towards him, taking residency next to him. He looked up from between his knees. She smiled faintly.
"Hi." It was all she could muster.
"Hi." He replied. She wrapped her arm across his back and leaned into him.
"I always thought this was the most beautiful part of the city. Now I am certain it is." Chuck smiled faintly and looked at the ground.
"Chuck, I don't think you and I will ever be over this. There are always going to be regrets, the could've dones and should've dones, the broken promises, the deep-rooted hurt. No matter what we get in return, we are always going to miss her. And that's okay. We are human. We are allowed to." Chuck looked at her.
"But that doesn't mean we need to stop our lives because of it. And I think you and I have learned that. I never knew that I would be having children with Chuck Bass someday, and if I did, I sure as hell wouldn't enjoy it." Chuck smirked.
"We pour every ounce of love we have all over Elizabeth and Scarlett. They are our daughters, our two miracles. The doctors were never sure I could even have children again, let alone two. I thank God every day for them, but something always brings me back to this spot." Blair looked at the sky in deep thought. Chuck did the same. Minutes later, Chuck spoke.
"I know you said we let go, but it doesn't feel like it at all." He practically whispered. Blair looked at him.
"That's because we never did Chuck. And that's okay. Dead or alive, she's still our daughter. We can still feel ties to her and love her. I used to think that was a bad thing and that I was just being plain delusional, but when you really think about it, it's not. She's just as important to us as Elizabeth and Scarlett because she is our daughter. We can move on from the hurt, but not from her. And it's all still okay." Blair felt tears well up in her eyes, but these were not tears of hurt.
They were tears of joy.
Chuck felt them prick his eyes too, and for the same reason. After a few moments of just looking at each other, he spoke:
"You always know just the right things to say, Blair Bass." Blair laughed heartedly. Chuck took his hand in hers, rubbing her thumb.
"Thank you. For everything. Just thank you." Blair nodded.
Chuck slowly leaned in and kissed her. She still felt the same butterflies she had always felt. She doubted they would ever fly away. Through thick and through thin, the only thing that had remained the same was their love. Even if they came out in the end as transformed people, their love was always there. It was far from being pure and simple. In fact, it got more and more complicated as the days passed. But Blair realized in the end it was all she wanted. Just her, Chuck, their love, and the things their love brought them. Sometimes, their love brought scary things to the table, but in the end it was all worth it.
The wind blew a big gust, sending leaves in the air around Chuck and Blair. It took the hydrangeas Blair had brought and took them with it. The orange and gold leaves surrounded Chuck and Blair, falling around them. Pure bliss surrounded the couple as they parted. They both had the same thing on their minds. Breathing in one last moment, they smiled at each other.
"Hi Audrey," Blair whispered.
So I hope this was a satisfying ending to this story. Like I said before, I wanted this end to be focused around Audrey because it was the main arc in the story. This story will get a small epilogue that I already have in mind and should be up soon. However, I felt as though this was a more appropriate "ending" making this the ending and the epilogue something that will carry on into the sequel, "What We Have Now". I promise to update way more often over the summer as I have more time on my hands and have more time to think more clearly with an open mind.
I just wanted to thank ALL of the readers of this story. I will probably do an author's note after the epilogue, but in short THANK YOU SO MUCH! You guys are what urge me to write and to aspire to be a screen-play writer one day. I wouldn't be this confident or experienced without you guys.
You should know I love you by now XOXO, Becca