Before the final chapter commences, I have to say a few things. I've been writing ever since I was young, using my own characters and other characters (early fanfics, LOL). It's been something that I've always loved to do. Soon I'll be graduating high school, and I have many thoughts as to what I want to do career-wise. I always swore that no matter what I chose to be, I would be a writer on the side. Critique has always meant a lot to me since people are the reason why I write. That's why I want to thank all of my readers for taking such an interest in this story. Your kind reviews made me feel like I could achieve my goal someday. I don't know why I love writing about the characters of Gossip Girl so much, but I do know that I'm glad I started doing so. Your comments made it all worthwhile. I hope you like the last chapter and that you enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. :)
My Saving Grace: Final Chapter
The limousine contained more memories then either of them could count. Blair remembered that Serena said something about ghosts appearing in a place filled with emotional recollections. Blair visited places with Chuck before that brought back memories for them both, but he never fell asleep in any of them. She read numerous times that ghosts could talk to humans when they were in a peaceful state of sleep. As Blair gazed upon Chuck's pale face with astounded, misty eyes, she understood that there had to be both in order for conversation to happen.
"Yes Chuck, it's me!" Blair cried tearfully. "It's me!" She immediately saw Chuck's lips curve upward into a toothy smile, even though his eyes remained closed.
"Blair, how are you?!" Chuck asked, his voice overjoyed but in a sleepy whisper. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine Chuck, I'm fine!" Blair laughed at the irony of being dead yet feeling ecstatic. "I'm so fine you wouldn't believe it!" Her relentless tears rolled off of her face and fell onto his black sleeve, where they instantaneously dissolved. Chuck's face shone as if he was meeting with an old friend for the first time in many years.
"Where have you been?!" Chuck's mouth remained open as though he wanted to speak, but he was so astounded that he did not do so for minutes. "I've missed you so much!" he finally exclaimed. Blair wiped her eyes and gasped happily as she felt her stomach doing excited flip-flops. She knew that Chuck missed her, but he never actually told someone that he missed them. Chuck moved a little in the seat as though he was lying in bed. He declared exuberantly: "They were wrong! You're not dead!" Blair stopped smiling, feeling as though she had just been beaten. She did not want to tell Chuck that she was indeed not alive anymore. Her fingers clutched her skirt until her knuckles turned white.
"Do I have a choice?" she asked herself. The vividness left Chuck's face as he tried to decipher the reason behind the sudden silence.
"Blair? Are you alright?" he asked innocently.
"I'm so sorry, Chuck." Blair stopped for a minute and tried to control her cracking voice. "I am dead." Chuck's puzzled facial expression appeared as he pondered over what she said and what was happening.
"Then this is a dream," Chuck stated.
"No Chuck, it's not a dream. It's me, Blair Waldorf. I'm just not alive anymore." She sighed, thinking about how stupid she was going to sound. "I'm a ghost." Chuck's one eyebrow rose and Blair chortled. Chuck was still his dramatic self even when he was asleep.
"I'm a ghost. I've been with you this whole time, ever since the day I died. I got hit by that car and I was kept here." She leaned forward subconsciously. "I pushed you away from that truck, and I saw you praying for me. I beat up Georgina and I walked to school with you almost every morning. I saw you and Nate argue, and I saw you and Bart at your best and worst times, and I saw you wake up in the middle of the night because I was always right there next to you." She drew in a breath and then let it out. "Whoa, did I really just say all of that?" Chuck did not reply. Blair wondered if he was feeling skeptical. When she spoke again she moved her hands in a stressful manner. "I know it's a lot to take in, and I know it sounds unbelievable, but it's the truth. I've never lied to you, Chuck. I've done some bad things that I know hurt you, which I'm so sorry for, but I never lied. I was honest with you my entire life and I'm still being honest with you now." There was a long pause. A loud horn honk made Blair jump in her seat.
"That was you who beat up Georgina?" Chuck finally asked.
"Yes!" Blair exclaimed. She saw Chuck smirk.
"You were really POed, weren't you?" he asked. Blair's anxious expression turned into one of amusement and she laughed. The possibility of Chuck not believing her completely dissolved.
"That was the most upset I've ever been in my life. Or, not so life," Blair said. "I'm sorry that I scared you, by the way. I thought you would never speak to me again when you found out I was the one who did that."
"Don't apologize, you saved my life! Besides, she had it coming," Chuck said. "I'm glad to know that I'm not crazy. When I saw you beating her up I was certain that I was seeing things."
"I'm surprised your father didn't send you off to the mental institution," Blair said.
"Me too," Chuck agreed with a nod. The limo driver rolled up the glass that separated the back seat from the front, assuming that Bart's son sleep talked. The piano music muted, leaving Blair and Chuck soundless in the dark. "What else did you see, Waldorf?"
"Absolutely everything," Blair declared. "Except for the bachelor party; I missed that."
"Wow." Blair could tell by Chuck's tone that he was taken aback. "I feel so…" His mouth closed and he shook his head slightly as he searched for the word.
"What?" Blair asked.
"Violated," Chuck said.
"Hey, I was looking out for you," Blair snapped.
"I know you were. I'm glad you were, believe me. It's just a funny thing to hear that you've been unsuspectingly watched every day by a ghost," Chuck said. Blair saw his point.
"Not just any ghost, either," Blair said. She grinned fiendishly and decided to pester him with the one thing that shook him: emotion. "You love me, you love me! Chuck Bass actually loves me!" she sang, beaming. Chuck's face turned a vibrant red.
"You heard that," Chuck said, clearly feeling awkward.
"Yeah, so you can't turn it into a joke or lie and say that you didn't mean it," Blair said. "It was straight from the Arabian's mouth." Chuck recognized his own insult.
"Arabian…" He shook his head as though he was about to laugh. "Dear God." Blair laughed for him, enormously proud of herself. Chuck's face remained flushed. "I talk to you for three minutes and already I'm being taunted."
"Like you didn't miss it," Blair said. Chuck smiled charmingly.
"I did," he admitted. Blair blinked twice and her mouth twitched into a confused, uneven line. She was surprised that he replied what he did. Chuck knew that she was shocked at his blatant confession, and he smirked smugly. The way they talked to each other hadn't changed. "So you saw everything, hunh?" Chuck asked.
"Um-hum," Blair stretched out the words, smiling cheekily. "I was right there every step of the way. Oh, and may I add that you need to pray more often." Chuck did not respond. "I liked seeing you do that," Blair put in. "It was really sweet."
"I don't do it often," Chuck said.
"You should." Blair was silent as she decided to admit what she thought. "I've never seen you so vulnerable like that. You were really hurting. I felt so bad for you."
"Well, I felt bad for you," Chuck said. "You did die, after all."
"It was terrible the first few days, but after I saw you talk to the man upstairs I achieved a confidence. I took control of the situation," Blair said, prideful. Chuck laughed in his throat.
"Why am I not surprised?" he asked.
"You should have seen all the pranks that I played on people," Blair said. "I knocked an iced coffee on that blonde witch Hazel and I threw French fries at Nate. I even knocked your father's drink over when you left to go handle Georgina."
"I'll bet that all would have been awesome to watch," Chuck said with a certain appreciation in his voice. "You're funny, Waldorf."
"They all deserved it," Blair said.
"You did that just because they said or did something to me?" Chuck questioned. Blair nodded.
"Yep," she answered. "You should feel special," she added teasingly. Chuck grinned from ear to ear, not admitting that he did.
"Thank you for that. And for saving my life a billion times."
"You would have done the same for me." Blair pointed a finger at him, although he couldn't see. "Again, you can try to deny it and try to close yourself off but you would have."
"You know me too well," Chuck declared.
"And you know me too well," Blair said. She could not remember a time when she saw Chuck smile so much.
"When have I ever smiled this much?!"
"Did you say that you were in my room every night?" Chuck asked.
"In your bed, actually," Blair said.
"Too bad you didn't make your presence known," Chuck said in a husky whisper.
"Perv," Blair said. She perked up. "Wait, you're not!" She patted his shoulder and gasped delightfully. "Awwww, you didn't sleep with anyone else after I died!" She squealed and leaned back across Chuck's lap so that she gazed straight up at his face. She played with a strand of his dark hair and giggled. "You are so in love with me!"
"Quit rubbing it in," Chuck said, attempting to be gruff and defensive. Blair didn't buy it.
"I've felt so great this whole time because of that!" Blair sat up and watched as Chuck tried to conceal another smile. "I've been meaning to ask you: why the heck do you wake up in the middle of the night? It's the strangest pattern I've ever seen! It only happens once each night yet you look so terrified every time!" Chuck was quiet.
"I can't tell you," he finally said. "It's too embarrassing."
"Come on, Chuck!" Blair pushed herself off of his lap and placed herself right next to him on the leather seat. She leaned against him and laid her head on his shoulder. If Chuck was awake he would have stared directly into the pair of pleading, coffee colored eyes that he couldn't resist. "I've been dying to know this whole time. I think I have the right, since I worried about you so much and tried comforting you whenever it happened."
"You did?" Chuck asked.
"Of course! I wasn't going to just lay there and watch you suffer! What do you take me for?" Blair asked. "Come on, tell me!"
"I felt you," Chuck suddenly said. Blair stopped begging. She looked at him in shock.
"Well, I didn't exactly feel you, but I knew you were there. Actually, I didn't know it was you, but…" He craned his neck back slightly, deciding to think before he spoke. "After I woke up I always felt really, really good. I became at ease and I fell back asleep very easily. It was like a wave of relaxation came over my entire body. I didn't know why, especially since I did get really freaked out." He sighed. "Sometimes I imagined that it was your doing. You made me feel that way a lot. I didn't know that it actually was you." Blair's hand moved to his.
"You made me feel that way too. You were always there when I needed you; you always comforted me. I wanted to return the favor."
"It was never an inconvenience," Chuck said with a tiny smile. He moved slightly again, and his head turned away from the window and in the direction of Blair's voice. He moved it so that it laid directly over hers. Blair grinned. It was as though he could truly feel her.
"What did you dream about, though?" she asked. "Something bad, I'm guessing."
"It was," Chuck admitted. "I feel stupid for saying it."
"You can tell me anything," Blair said. Chuck's smile did not fade.
"I know." Chuck cleared his throat, and he did not say anything for a few minutes. His expression became very somber. He finally sighed and started to speak. "I would dream about you and me in the bar on the night I said those things to you. I would say what I did, and you would look at me, very sad and dejected. You'd start walking to the door to leave. I would keep looking away." He swallowed, the mental scenario getting harder for him to describe. "Then a honking car would crash through the door and hit you." He stopped talking for a minute. Blair rubbed the top of his hand gently in a circular motion with her thumb as she imagined it. "Sometimes it would end there and I would wake up," Chuck continued. "Other times I'd run over to see if you were okay. You'd be lying there, deformed and drenched in blood, not even looking like a human being." His eyes suddenly closed even tighter as if he was squinting. Blair turned her head slightly so that the top of her head rested gently against his cheek. She understood why he woke up in two different ways. Chuck swallowed again, commanding himself not to tear up. "I would just stare at you and cry like a wuss, asking myself what I did and hating myself. I think that's because that's how I really felt when you died." His chest heaved, though he kept his voice steady. "The last words I ever said to you were awful and couldn't be farther from the truth. Then you were just gone as if you were something insignificant that could just be taken away without needing a reason why. I felt horrible." Blair brought her arms over and hugged Chuck, hoping that he would sense the comfort that he did before. When she saw him start to breathe calmly again, she knew it worked.
"I know you did," Blair said. She lowered her arms and nestled her cheek close to his neck. She closed her own eyes, feeling relaxed being next to him. "It's okay, Chuck. Honestly, it's okay. You were angry that night, and you had every right to be with the way I treated you."
"I still shouldn't have said it," Chuck said. After a short pause, he added: "You left and I didn't get the chance to tell you goodbye." He stopped himself from sniffling. "I wished every time I had that dream that I could go back and say how I felt about you instead of what I did say."
"You have no idea how many times I've thought the same thing," Blair said. Before Chuck could inquire as to what she meant, Blair opened her eyes and asked another question. "Is that what you were going to tell Eric that day?" Chuck smiled a little.
"No. I was going to tell Eric that I wish you were alive again and that everything would go back to how it once was," Chuck said. Blair went back to making little circles on his hand. She looked down at their hands for a long time until she thought she saw a vortex form out of the circle that she made. A vortex that she and Chuck could jump through and they would land back in the good old days. Blair blinked, snapping out of her silly, fanciful thinking.
"I wish that too, Chuck. With my whole heart." Blair looked up and stared at the tinted dividing glass in front of them. "We can wish that, but things will never be the same." She looked back at Chuck. "You said something similar to Nate at the Palace bar."
"You really did see everything," Chuck said.
"I cried that day when you got out of his limo," Blair said. "I couldn't believe what he said to you."
"I couldn't believe what he said about you," Chuck said. "Though you probably know that already." Blair clicked her tongue against her teeth.
"I recall the slamming and the kicking of the door," Blair said.
"He should be thankful that slamming the door was all I did," Chuck commented.
"I wanted to throw a rock at him!" Blair exclaimed. Chuck snickered.
"That would have been great," he said.
"He really does want to be friends with you again," Blair said. "I know that you want that too."
"I don't know, Blair." Chuck paused for a moment before talking again. "Whenever I see him in the hallways, I think of walking up to him and saying 'I'll forget about it after all', or something like that. We've been like brothers ever since preschool and I really do want it to be that way again. Then I remember his tone in the limo that day and what he said about you, and I turn back to whatever I was doing. I just don't think I can ever forgive him for saying that." Blair remembered how miserable each of the two boys looked when they ended their conversation at the Palace.
"It's a hard thing to forget," Blair said. "He hurt me many times too, even before that. I don't think I'll ever forgive him. But the difference between you and I is that I'm dead and I can never start over as friends with him again. I died with many regrets hanging over my head, Chuck. I don't think you'll be joining me any time soon, but if you do and never try to make up with him, I know that you'll regret it. I know you will because despite everything that happened, you care about him and he cares about you too. You two always were the dynamic duo."
"Just like you and Van Der Woodsen," Chuck said. Blair smiled nostalgically.
"The four of us always were the ultimate foursome, weren't we?" she asked. Chuck smiled.
"We were the best. There was the naïve blonde Nate, and the carefree blonde Serena," Chuck went on. "And then there were us."
"The two brunettes," Blair said.
"The smartest ones who schemed all the time," Chuck added.
"The ones who never missed a party…the ones who were always overlooked compared to the other two…" Blair went on.
"And the sexiest ones," Chuck said with a growl to his whispery voice. Blair laughed.
"That too, that too!" she agreed. She stopped for a second as she recollected something else. "We always took pride in our appearance. I wouldn't go out until I looked perfect and you always had the clothes that only the successful could get away with wearing." Blair winced. "Serena sometimes walked into school with her hair unwashed and no makeup."
"Nate didn't care about anything," Chuck said. "Not school, not looking presentable…"
"You didn't care about school either, you naughty boy," Blair said. Chuck smirked.
"I think I was pretty learned in my trade," he whispered. "Unlike a certain Archibald, I'm sure."
"You're right about that," Blair said. She admitted in a hushed voice: "You probably already suspected it, but I had to fake more than my virginity that night."
"I'll bet you taught him a few things that you learned from our little get-togethers." Chuck laughed once in his throat. "I'll bet he didn't even know what an orgasm was." Blair laughed so hard that she fell to her side and started slapping the leather seat. "What? I was being honest!" Chuck joked. Blair sat back up again, trying to catch her breath.
"That was funny," she said. "He probably didn't, even with his experience. I could just see him and S finishing up at the Shepherd wedding and Nate asking what the heck happened."
"Blair?" Chuck asked. Blair loved when he said her name. He made it sound like music, and each syllable a note. She did not think she would ever hear that tune again.
"Do you know why I can't feel you?" Chuck asked.
"No," Blair replied. "You could if I put my hand through you or ran through you completely. I did it to Big Bad Bart once."
"Really?" Chuck asked inquisitively. "Do it."
"Let your hand fall through my hand. Or through my arm."
"Whenever I go through someone they get really cold. I think if I do that you'll shiver and wake up, and then you won't hear me anymore," Blair said. "You can only hear me when you're asleep and when you're somewhere where we both connected."
"You talked to me before at night though, right?" Chuck asked.
"Yeah, but you couldn't hear me since we never did anything special in your bed," Blair said. Chuck laughed a little.
"We could have."
"Yeah, we could have. Unfortunately, it's too late." She glanced down and realized she hadn't removed her hand from his. "My hand is resting on yours right now." Chuck tried to feel for a moment before he shook his head slowly.
"I don't feel it directly but I would probably sense that you were here if you hadn't said anything. And if we weren't in the limo," Chuck said. "I wonder how I could tell that you were there all those nights."
"I think because it was partially the sleep thing and partially because there was so much emotion from the both of us," Blair offered. "I went to the Constance library and kept trying to find information on how to communicate with you."
"You figured it out?"
"No, it just happened." She smiled. "And I'm so glad that it did." Chuck smiled back in agreement.
"Me too, Blair. I didn't think I would ever speak to you again."
"I'm full of surprises." Suddenly the limo stopped moving. Blair heard the driver getting out and saw him pass by the window. She heard the truck open. "I think we have a flat tire," Blair said.
"Good." Chuck grinned. "I don't want to be anywhere else but here." Blair felt her face turn red and her cheeks began to hurt.
"Me neither," she concurred.
"Why didn't you follow me to the bachelor party?" Chuck asked.
"I wanted to see how you would do without me," Blair said. "You woke up in the middle of the night, I'm guessing."
"Yes." Chuck took a deep breath. "No wonder I didn't fall back asleep effortlessly those nights. I thought it was because I was in a strange place."
"Nope, it was my absence." Blair sucked in air through her teeth. "Sorry. At least I know you can't live without me," she said playfully. Chuck smiled.
"What did you do while I was gone?" he asked.
"I tried to find out how I could talk to you. With a little help from S." Chuck seemed stunned.
"Wait, Serena knew about this?" he asked. Blair felt sick; she knew she should have left the last part out.
"I needed her help to find what I needed. I couldn't talk to her so I wrote notes."
"Why didn't you come to me?" Chuck asked. "You know how badly I wanted to hear from you." Blair felt awful. She sighed and looked down at the floor.
"I didn't because I watched you all the time, even in your most private moments. I felt for you and I basically got through each day knowing that you loved me. That's too deep of stuff to just grab a pen and write, 'hi Chuck, it's me, I'm baaaaaaack.' I wanted to talk to you the way we are right now. I wanted to hear you speak to me again and I wanted to let you know personally that I was always there." Blair looked back up at him. "You understand, don't you?" Chuck smiled at the corners of his mouth, feeling much less offended.
"I do enjoy this much better than if you wrote to me," Chuck said. Blair felt relieved.
"I knew you would," Blair said. "Because if you were the ghost I would prefer that you talk to me. We're too much alike."
"You say that like it's a bad thing," Chuck said.
"Who said it was?" Blair asked with a smirk. "I saw you cheat on the SAT, by the way."
"It was either that or study," Chuck said. "Which option is the easiest?"
"Or the more dishonest." Blair shook her head. "Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. Whatever will you do with yourself?" she asked. She meant for her comment to be taken with good humor, but Chuck took it literally.
"I don't know," he replied. "I have a feeling my father's going to leave Eric with Bass industries and all of its investments." Blair became confused.
"Why would you think that?" she asked. Chuck shrugged nonchalantly, but Blair knew that he cared more then he wanted to let on.
"I disappoint him too much. He won't leave me with all of that to manage."
"He loves you, Chuck. I know that deep inside he's proud of some of the things you've done. He just has a funny way of showing it," Blair said. "You're his son. He'll leave it all to you."
"How can you be so sure?" Chuck asked. Blair rubbed his hand gently.
"I don't know why I feel that way. I just do." She leaned back on his shoulder again. "You believe me, right?"
"I do," Chuck said. "I just don't know what he thinks sometimes."
"You'll be fine," Blair assured. She felt herself grow tense as she prepared to say the big words. "Chuck, I need to tell you something."
"Go on," Chuck calmly urged. Blair felt her heart beginning to race in her chest.
"When I first died, I had no idea why I was still here. I kept thinking about why I hadn't crossed over to heaven or wherever. It took me awhile but I finally figured out why." Chuck's captivated silence pressed her to continue. "I remained here to save you those few times and because I had to do something that I never accomplished in life."
"What was that?" Chuck asked. Blair breathed in deeply, and when she spoke again her voice quavered.
"I had to tell you how much you mean to me. I've wanted to do that ever since I left the limousine that night. I kept fighting the feelings that I had for you, and that was the biggest regret that I took to my grave. I was blind, Chuck. All I thought about was how dating Nate would be beneficial to my reputation. In the end it caused me nothing but misery."
"Blair, I…" Chuck could not find his words. Blair brought her arm behind his head and looked at him. Her other hand remained gently rested on his, her fingers stroking the fabric of his cuff.
"I wanted to tell you this whole time how sorry I was." She glimpsed downward for a minute at their hands, memories of the past flashing through her mind. When she looked at Chuck again her eyes were filled with tears. "I kept thinking this whole time that you needed me, but really I needed you. You got me through each day." She stopped for a minute to try to calm down. She did not want her tears to get in the way of her words.
"Blair, are you crying?" Chuck asked once she did not continue.
"No," Blair lied. Her weepy tone gave her away.
"Don't cry, Blair. I'm right here. It's okay," Chuck said.
"I know." She smiled and let out one tearful, blissful laugh. "You always were." She sniffled. "The truth is that I love you, Chuck." She wiped her eyes, her wide smile unfading. "I love you so much." Chuck's face lit up brighter then the reflections of the New York lights. Blair's heart fluttered and for a moment she thought that it was going to leave her chest and soar away. "I'm just so sorry that I never told you sooner. If I had then things would have been better when I left, I know it."
"It's okay, Blair. It's okay." Chuck moved his hand upward and tried to place it over her hand even though he couldn't feel exactly where it was. "I love you too." Blair nodded as she kept wiping her tears, her smile as radiant as ever. She knew that he loved her all too well.
Then Blair had a feeling that she knew that all sense would not conquer. Chuck would not feel her. It was literally impossible for him to feel her. In spite of that omnipresent knowledge, Blair moved her hand out from under Chuck's. She sat straight up and swung over so that she sat on his lap, her legs separated by his thighs. She looked down at him, his face still lustrous and calm. She felt the limo starting to move beneath them. Blair slowly brought her hands up and put them on each side of Chuck's face as if he was fragile. His skin felt soft and warm to the touch. Blair closed her eyes and felt herself lean downward. She gently brought Chuck closer into her. She parted his soft lips slightly with her tongue before pulling it back into her mouth and kissing him tenderly. The rare, sweeter then honey taste that Blair had unwillingly forgone for so long was finally in her grasp. The rest of the world around her vanished, the enveloping silence more apparent than ever before. Blair forgot where she was. Her brain did not think a single thought. A combined sensation of comfort, enchantment, and thrill tingled throughout her entire being. Even if it was only for a moment, Chuck was hers again. She never wanted it to end.
Reluctantly, Blair pulled her lips away to catch her breath. She opened her eyes and saw Chuck's face glowing. She couldn't recall a time when he looked happier.
"That was amazing," Chuck said, his voice dragging slowly over each of the words. Blair's mouth dropped open.
"Wait a minute…you felt that?!" she asked in sheer disbelief. Chuck nodded with a wide grin.
"I did. And it was incredible."
"How?!" Blair asked, bewildered. She wondered if the emotional factor that she mentioned had something to do with it.
"I don't know," Chuck said. His broad smile did not grow faint. "I've missed you so much, Blair. I'm so lucky."
"Lucky?" Blair asked curiously.
"That I'm actually talking to you again." Chuck did not plan to say what he did next, for he thought it would make him sound wishy-washy. Despite the self-conscious thought, the words flowed from his mouth. "And that you told me what you used to only in my dreams." Blairw rapped her arms around him, hoping that he felt her hug. She grinned and felt the butterflies that she once cursed returning to her stomach.
"I'm the lucky one, Chuck."
Blair felt nothing but the limo's wheels rolling against the rocky ground and Chuck's excited heartbeat against her own. It was only a matter of seconds before she felt a tingling sensation on her back. Blair groaned and sat up a little on Chuck's lap.
"Blair, are you alright?" he asked. He could tell that something was wrong.
"I-" Blair started. She felt something rise and break on her back as though her skin could erupt like a volcano. However, she did not feel pain at all. She glanced over her shoulder and gasped at what she saw. Suddenly, Blair felt all of her weight strangely leave her. She was as light as a feather. Then, she began to feel herself wanting to lift off. A strange force pulled from above. Blair gasped and immediately grabbed onto Chuck's shoulders. "Chuck, I have to go!" Chuck looked startled.
"I don't know!" Suddenly, a golden light appeared, drowning out the darkness. Blair looked up at it, realizing what was happening. "I don't have a clue!"
"Blair, don't go," Chuck said. His pleading voice was strained. Blair pulled herself close to him and latched on.
"Please go away," she thought to the light. "Please go away..." When it didn't she spoke again.
"I don't want to go but I think I have to!"
"Blair, please!" Chuck cried, his voice frantically trembling. Blair felt his shoulders heaving beneath her hands. "I just got you back! You can't leave again!"
"I'm so sorry!" Blair blubbered as tears returned to her eyes. "I've done everything that I was kept here for! I have to go on!"
"I don't know!" Blair fought the force pulling her upward, her hands tightly clinging to Chuck's shoulders. The light was beginning to blind her, but her blurred eyes squinted through it to see Chuck's face. "I don't know, but wherever I go, I want you to remember something." She breathed in and tried to speak calmly and confidently. "Remember that you'll be fine. I left you when you went to the bachelor party and you made it through. No one will ever mess with you, and nothing will ever be impossible." Her fingers dug into his shoulders. She felt warm droplets running down her face, and she forgot about speaking calmly. "You're Chuck Bass! You'll survive absolutely anything!"
"I know, but…" Chuck stopped. Blair saw a tear roll out of the corner of his closed eye before he spoke again in a desperate whisper. "I need you." Blair took her hand and wiped the tear off of his face, her heart breaking in two.
"Don't cry, Chuck. Don't cry." She sniveled. "I hate to see you so upset." Blair swathed her arms around Chuck's neck. She rested a moist cheek on his suit coat. "I promised you that I would always be with you. I'm never going to break that promise. I'll be farther away, but I'll still look out for you." The force was beginning to become greater and fiercer. She buried her face into his shoulder and tried to settle down. "I'll never go away. I'll never completely leave you."
"Blair…" He said her name shakily. She smelt his cologne and felt his soft hair under her fingertips for the last time.
"Yes?" she asked with a whimper. Chuck gulped, suddenly not knowing how to say what he wanted to. He sensed that it was getting harder for Blair to hold on. For the first time ever, he decided to go with his heart told him to say.
"I'll always love you."
Blair lifted her shoulder to her one eye and wiped tears away as she let out a sob of elation and pre-loneliness.
"I'll always love you too, Chuck." She pulled back gently and looked straight at his face, taking a mental picture. She quickly placed both of her hands on each of his, the way she had when he prayed. "No matter what you do and how you choose to handle things, I love you. And I'm never going to stop loving you."
She wanted more than anything to kiss him. If she couldn't stay with him forever, she wanted to leave him with a kiss even better and more memorable then the last one. She wanted to kiss him so much and so well that the feeling of his lips would be imprinted on her memory and would follow her everywhere for evermore.
The upward force yanked, and Blair was torn away.
The last thing she saw before she shot up into the sparkling light was Chuck's opening, misty eyes.
Blair uncrossed her legs and leaned forward to get a better view. She frowned as a bird passed by below, obstructing her sight. Once it passed she smiled happily at the scene below. She heard someone walking behind her, but she was too engrossed to notice.
"Hey B." Serena sat down next to her best friend on the fluffy cloud. She looked seventeen, the age she always thought of herself whenever she talked to Blair. "Are you watching Chuck again?" she asked. Blair laughed a little.
"Yeah. He just won some money at the casino. Nate was jumping up and down and screaming for him." Blair brought a hand back and played with the velvety soft feathers of her wings. "I didn't think Nate still had the vocal cords or the agility to do that."
"I didn't think either of them were gamblers," Serena said.
"They never really were until they hit their mid seventies," Blair said. "Now they go at least once a week. They're pretty good at it."
"Or just really fortunate," Serena said. "How's my granddaughter?"
"She just did read her poem at a poetry reading at college," Blair said. "I see she inherited Dan's skills." Serena nodded proudly. "She's graduating in two months, you know," Blair said.
"I'll be joining you here to see that. Dan too," Serena said. Blair sighed and tapped the tips of her shoes together.
"I'll never forget your wedding, S. You two looked beautiful together. It was the best wedding since your mom's and Bart's."
"After we broke up so many times I never dreamed that Dan and I were going to end up married!" Serena exclaimed. Blair smiled.
"Somehow I always knew. I saw you run back to Nate and all of those other guys, and cabbage patch had his Vanessa crush, but I felt that you two would be together in the end."
"You did not!" Serena said.
"I sure did!" Blair exclaimed back. They both laughed, and then were quiet for a few minutes.
"B, what do you think of Chuck's wife?" Serena asked. Blair stared ahead at the cerulean blue and white in front of her. A few people walked on the distant clouds. The rays of the glistening sunlight carved holes through some of the fluff.
"I personally think he deserves better," she finally said.
"Did she really cheat on him? Or was he just overly suspicious?" Serena asked. Blair's eyes darted downward. She felt like a knife had been stabbed through her heart. Serena realized what she had said and assumed the answer. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked you. I just never knew…no one really knew for sure."
"She did," Blair said. She looked up again. "That was terrible to witness." Serena nodded, making an effort to understand. Blair knew she was trying, but her best friend could never fully know what it was like to watch the man she loved confront his unfaithful wife.
"No one was better for him then you," Serena said, "but he had to move on."
"I know." Blair smiled wryly, despite the nagging feeling in her stomach. "I'm glad he did. His kids are adorable, too."
"They all look like him!" Serena exclaimed. "That pale skin and dark hair must be the Bass dominant gene.
"Don't forget the eyes," Blair added. Serena laughed.
"They did have gorgeous eyes. They were always so polite to me, too. I had some great nieces and nephews." The two heard prancing footsteps behind them.
"Serena, Coco Chanel wants to talk to you," Dan said. He passed away at the age of seventy-nine (before his wife), yet he looked like he was in his late twenties. "She wanted to hear your story about the photo shoot you took in high school." Dan looked down at the angel and smiled. "How are you today, Blair?"
"I'm not too bad, cabbage patch," Blair replied. Serena stood up and took her husband's hand. She immediately took the form of her twenty-seven year old self.
"Blair, you were part of that story. Want to come help me tell it?" Serena asked.
"I'd love to, but I'm not really allowed to leave my post," Blair replied.
"I think Chuck will be fine for a few minutes," Serena assured.
"It's not just Chuck. It's Chuck and his children and his grandchildren and your children and your grandchildren." Blair drew in a breath. "That was a mouthful."
"You put a lot of pressure on yourself," Dan said. "The other guardian angels just look after one or two people. It's nice of you to look out for others besides the person you were assigned to, but you need a break too." Blair looked at him solemnly.
"If I had taken a break a few years ago, your first-born son would have been dead." She turned away from them and stared ahead once again. "You guys have always been like my family. I would never ditch any of you."
"We appreciate it, B. Are you sure you don't want to come with us, though?" Serena asked. Blair nodded with a tiny smile.
"I'm sure. Thanks for the invite."
"No problem," Dan said. The couple turned and skipped away to another cloud. Blair lied down and, after ruffling a spot where she could place her head, watched Chuck and Nate buy drinks below her. She witnessed Chuck knock on Nate's door the day after she left him to cross over. She still laughed when she thought about Nate's flabbergasted facial expression and their awkward conversation. They were old men now and still the best of friends. Chuck's hair had turned grey, yet his pale skin did not become wrinkly. His deep brown eyes were still the same. Nate's golden blonde locks had become as white as snow, and although his once crystal blue eyes displayed his age, he was still very energetic. When she heard them laugh together, it was the exact same sound as when they used to laugh when they were teenagers. It was more low-key, but the same nonetheless.
Blair smiled as she thought about how quickly the new generation of Upper East Siders went by.
"There were little Chucks and Nates and Serenas running around and partying, and now there's even more. I never would have dreamed of that in a million years when I was alive."
Blair closed her eyes and remembered Chuck's face when she first leaned over to kiss him in the limousine. She remembered the way her heart raced when she stared him down, seeing him in a way that she never had before. She recalled the glint of curiosity and desire in his large eyes. She realized that his mind must have told him no a million times before he gave into what he wanted.
"One kiss led to something so much bigger," she thought. She remembered another kiss: the one that Chuck and his wife shared on their wedding day. His lapel with a white flower attached, the bride's auburn hair, and Nate the best man stood out clearly in Blair's mind. She wondered if Chuck had been thinking of her at that moment. Blair remembered the adoring way Chuck looked at his children and how he did practically anything for them. She remembered when he left his large, brown mansion the night he found out about his wife's adultery and went to the Palace with a pack of cigarettes and the scarf that he had not worn in years. Blair sighed.
"Things could have been so much different."
She felt a hand gently rubbing her shoulder. She moaned and stretched a little, her eyes still closed.
"Don't worry God, I'm not asleep. I'm just resting my eyes."
"Are all of you with wings this lazy?"
Blair's eyes shot open at the elegant voice. She looked up and gasped. Chuck was kneeling beside her and gazing at her with dazzling eyes. He looked seventeen and as spry as the day she left. Blair did not notice that the sky behind him had turned dark.
"I'm just kidding, Waldorf." Chuck's smile was as bright as the twinkling stars surrounding him. "You're the best angel of them all." Blair grinned in disbelief and stuttered before words finally left her lips.
"Chuck! Oh my God!" She sat up straight and Chuck immediately hugged her. He pressed her firmly to him as if he would never let go. Blair wrapped her arms around him. Her hands moved slightly down from Chuck's neck to his upper back, as if she was checking to make sure that he was real. She laughed joyfully, not believing that she could feel him under her fingers again. "I missed you so much!" She rested her forehead on his shoulder, remembering how great it felt to be held by him. Chuck brought his head down and close to hers.
"I missed you too," Chuck said. He spoke as though he was lifting a huge weight off of his chest with his words. "More then you could ever imagine."
"I knew," Blair said with a smile. "I kept my promise. You never left my sight."
"I never doubted that you would."
They both looked into each other's eyes intently, as if they were seeing each other for the first time. Blair rested her hands on his shoulders, and Chuck's arms remained wrapped around her waist. A steady wind blew and its blustery noise resounded throughout the midnight black sky.
"How did you die?" Blair asked incredulously. "I just saw you down there at the bar with Nate!"
"I think all of the excitement that Nate and I had at the casino had a delayed reaction on my heart," Chuck said. Blair's mouth dropped open.
"You had a heart attack?!" Blair asked. Chuck slyly turned his eyes away from her for a minute. Blair felt his shoulders rise beneath her hands as he tried to hold in laughter. "Why are you ready to laugh? What could possibly be funny about that?" Blair asked.
"I'm envisioning the headlines," Chuck explained. "I could just see it: 'Business tycoon Bass kicks the bucket over money matters.'"
"How did it happen?" Blair asked. "I didn't see." Chuck decided to seize the opportunity.
"Weren't you supposed to be watching?" he asked.
"Shut up," Blair said huffily. "This is the first time I've fallen asleep since I crossed over." Chuck grinned, and Blair realized what she had played into. "You wanted that reaction, didn't you?"
"I know how to push your buttons," Chuck murmured. "In more ways than one." Blair laughed subtly.
"You haven't changed at all," she commented. With a smile, she added: "Good." Chuck cocked an eyebrow and smirked devilishly.
"Being with you has an effect on me. I could never talk that way to-"
"Yeah. I know you couldn't," Blair said. She did not want to discuss her. She brought her arms up around Chuck's neck, not wanting to think about anything else other then the man in front of her. "So how did it happen?"
"We were getting off at the dock, I felt this sharp chest pain, and then I blacked out," Chuck clarified. "It was already evening when it happened."
"Did it hurt?" Blair asked.
"Only for a few seconds," Chuck assured. Blair looked down. Chuck pushed some of her hair back behind her ear and looked at her with conviction. "It was my time, Blair. You couldn't have stopped it. That's probably why you fell asleep while it was going on. Your duty had to end sometime." He grinned confidently. "Besides, thanks to you I lived a good, long life." Blair looked back up at him, a haughty expression on her face.
"Didn't I tell you that your father would leave the business to you and that everything would be alright?" She sighed exasperatedly. She leaned in closer to his face so that their
foreheads nearly touched and whispered: "Oh Bass, when are you ever going to listen to me?" Chuck smiled.
"I listen. I just act like I don't to annoy you."
"Typical," Blair said with an eye roll and a grin. They looked at each other in silence for a few minutes before she spoke again. "I'm glad you're here, Chuck."
"So am I."
Blair closed her eyes as she felt a familiar tension rising. The minute Chuck's lips touched hers she felt exhilarated, as if a spirit could leave her spirit. She kissed him back, craving more with each passing second. Suddenly Chuck turned her towards him by the waist and delicately laid her on the cloud. Their lips never separated as he moved her. The stars above and around them emitted a brilliant glimmer. Blair placed a hand on Chuck's cheek and ran it down his neck as her mouth sunk deeper into his. When they stopped, they gazed at each other until they both thought that they would never look away. Chuck's hand moved to one of Blair's wings. His fingers hopped lightly on separate feathers, making Blair ticklish.
"I could get used to this," Chuck said.
"Hands off the wings. I earned those."
"You really did."
Chuck lied down next to the woman who both changed and saved his life. His arm remained behind her shoulders. Blair curiously looked up at him.
"Are you afraid to let go of me, Bass?" she asked jokingly. Chuck's normally white face developed a hint of pink.
"After what happened last time, I might be a little concerned," he said.
"You're cute when you're nervous," she said, making Chuck blush even more profusely. "You're never nervous often." She reached her one hand up and took a hold of his. Their fingers linked together as they gazed up at the star dotted sky. They felt the cloud sink a little beneath them, making imprints of their figures.
"Does it always do that?" Chuck asked. Blair laughed a little.
"Yeah, but it won't break. Even if it does, we're both dead anyway." Blair smiled at him. "Don't worry anymore about anything, Chuck." The warmth of the air surrounding them contrasted the cold and rainy aura on the day of her funeral. Blair's eyelids grew heavy as she remembered the vow she made to Chuck that day.
"I'm here," she uttered. "I'll always be here for you."