No One But You
No One But You
Blair ran to Louis.
"Blair!" Louis pulled the door open, then promptly furrowed his brow, "I think you are a bit overdressed for breakfast," he joked.
"Louis! What have I done?"
He pulled her inside, concerned, and made her sit, "What is it?"
Blair clenched her hands in her lap, staring at them rather than Louis as she spoke, "Chuck… I was with Chuck."
"When? Just now?"
"Just now… last night…" Blair bit her lower lip.
Louis's eyes went wide a moment as he took in her meaning, "Is that all…?"
"Yes… no… maybe?" she struggled to hold on to her thoughts, or understand any of what had passed last night. You broke my heart.
"How stupid am I?" Blair said, dropping her head into her hands.
Louis shook his head and moved to sit next to her, placing his arm around her shoulders, "Love is not stupid. Fight it all you like, I don't think you would have gone if you were no longer in love with him."
"Don't… don't say that, Louis. That… doesn't matter here." She shook her head, "What do I do now? Oh god, what do I tell my father?" Blair became even more panicked.
"Tell him you were here. I can't imagine he'd be okay with you staying with Chuck. But if I were keeping you safe from Chuck?"
Blair threw her arms around Louis, "You are too good to me."
"I can't help it. You're too interesting." He smiled at her, "I suppose we should try and clean you up a bit before sending you home, and maybe feed you?"
"Please… distract me from thinking more on last night." Her eyes were somber as he directed her out of the room.
"Go, freshen up, and I'll get some breakfast for you. You will need your strength today I think."
She had Louis pull the zipper of her dress down part way for her before closing the bathroom door, alone at last. The sound of the zipper… seeing her reflection in the mirror, Blair wrapped her arms around herself, scared and uncomprehending. She was covered in his touch, his kisses and as she watched the spray of water fall from the shower head, she felt her heart tug, wishing to not wash him away.
These feelings only served to upset her more as she stepped under the deluge. Steam curled around her as she fought the memories of Chuck's fingers in her hair, his hands on her skin, and the look in his eyes. The harder she scrubbed, the more she began to sob. Slowly she sank to the floor, water still falling down upon her as she hid her face in her hands, wondering, what did I do?
She had heard of hate sex… and perhaps that is what the evening had started as. Their undeniable attraction leading to them slam into each other with the fury of all the hurt they had caused one another. But that was not how the night had ended, and she could not face the new raw emotions she now felt. Her breath shuddered as she acknowledged what she had seen. Last night, he had been her Chuck.
Suddenly, she felt emotionally exhausted all over again. Yet, she pulled herself from the floor and finished showering. Looking at the long, flowing gown, she sighed and stuck her head out the door, "Louis?"
Louis popped out of the kitchen, "Oui?"
"Do you have something else I might wear? I mean, have you seen the train on this dress?"
Louis chuckled, "I will lend you my pajamas and we can send Jean-Michael to pick you up something while we eat?"
Taking the pajamas from Louis, Blair inwardly sighed slipping the soft silk over her body. They looked so much like a set she knew Chuck owned and it made her pout a little at her reflection. After months, how could she still feel all these things so deeply?
Blair and Louis sat in the kitchen, eating the crepes he had just made. She saw him watching her, though she pretended not to. "Blair…" Louis started.
"These are really good crepes! Who knew princes could cook?" Blair smiled at him.
"Thank you, but you know I won't let this go until you talk to me about what happened. How did you end up going off with him?" Louis's eyes were full of concern.
"When I saw him at the opera, I ran. I had to get out, just knowing he was there. But he was waiting for me before I made it to the door. I was so upset, I ran straight into him… and that was it. In his arms, the sound of his voice… the smell of him… the feel of him…" Blair sighed.
Louis only smiled, "You love him, Blair. You still do."
"No." Blair snapped back from her recollection, "He's cruel, and possessive, and cannot love. He said as much himself, and has certainly proved it. How could I, after that night, and after all this time, still love such a self involved Basshole?"
"Because, Blair," Louis looked hard at her, "He made you happy. You were so happy together, with him, and that happiness? The way he made you feel? Cannot be forgotten so easily, or completely destroyed by a few bad choices. It means too much to you, and so still… you love him for that. For the man you saw he could be."
"But…" Blair slumped in her seat a little, trying to find a way to fight against what Louis was saying.
"No buts. What happened when you left the opera house?" Louis, knowing he had already won, continued eating his crepe.
"We… he… the look on his face." Blair felt her heart drop, "He… even said he was sorry."
"Really?" Louis said between bites, "You said he never apologized, not in his notes, or that day on the bridge."
It all snapped inside, hearing Louis say those things. Chuck had apologized. On the piano, they had had hate sex. But in his bed, they were old lovers reunited, and they had made… love… intense and emotional. Chuck had watched her and cared for her throughout, and when he had kissed her and whispered how sorry he was… Blair's heart swelled at the memory, cracking and breaking the walls she had put up around it.
Jean-Michael returned just then with a new dress for her. She ran to put it on, and Louis smiled at this, asking after her, "Where shall Jean-Michael take you to?"
Time could not move fast enough. Finally, Blair hurried out of Louis's car and back into the hotel she had fled from just over an hour ago. She pounded on Chuck's door, not knowing what she was going to say, only that there were things that needed to be said. There was no answer, and her heart felt as though it had stopped beating. Asking the concierge downstairs, she learned that Mr. Bass had left.
Slowly walking back to the car, she pathetically looked up to Jean-Michael and told him to take her home. What did I do?
It was the day just after Chuck had returned from Paris and Bart had scheduled for them to play squash. His heart was heavy, it ached, and it made him angry. He slammed his racquet against the ball and ran for it so hard, he kept colliding with the wall recklessly. Sweat poured down his face, his lungs burned, but he was still angry.
When Blair had left him without a word that morning, it had hurt him so much. It had felt like the right thing to do at the time- dragging his poor heart home after that. But he was doing it again; thinking of his pain, and not her or her pain. Maybe… if he had stayed, tried to see her again, tried something… different. He could not tell anymore what the right thing to do was. Just that he hurt and he did not know how to make it better.
Bart watched his son as they played. When the match closed, he clapped his hand on the boy's shoulder. "That was quite a performance today."
Chuck bristled. Really? Was his father really going to go there?
"Anything I should know about?" Bart inquired.
Chuck turned and met his fathers ice blue eyes. He was serious. Chuck stared back at his father and thought, oh, what the hell, why not. "A girl."
Bart's laugh was deep, like Chuck's own. He had noticed his son had returned to his… previous behavior with women. "Just one girl?"
Chuck sheepishly dropped his head. Bart's hand was still on his shoulder, and he jostled him. Chuck had no idea what to say next.
"Oh… that girl? Miss Waldorf has really gotten to you, hasn't she?" Bart spoke as they sat down on a bench. He watched his son nod his head in silent agreement.
"I saw her… in Paris, yesterday. It was…" Chuck shook his head as he stared at the ground, remembering how beautiful she was, how she had felt, and how his heart now ached more than ever before.
Bart could not help but smile at his son, "My, you are growing up."
He looked up at his father, seeing him smiling. It only added to his pain, he had failed Blair in Paris, and in turn, he was failing his father right now.
"Charles, you're my son. Men in the Bass family don't give up on the things they want. We persevere, because we know what is important to us. Watching you these past months… I'm thinking you will not give up on Miss Waldorf."
Patting his son on the shoulder, Bart began to stand, "I have a meeting soon, but… it was a good game, Chuck. Don't forget, we have dinner at Lily's tonight at 8."
Chuck waited, dressed and ready to leave for the Van der Woodsen's on time. Bart was impressed, but said little of consequence. Chuck inwardly was nervous, had Serena talked with Blair? He knew he would find out rather quickly if she had, and wondered if she would hide her ire while in front of their parents?
As Lily greeted them, Chuck watched his father and Lily, suddenly wondering at their friendship. The way they smiled at each other, and flirted. Was his father contemplating a relationship? But Serena disturbed his thoughts.
"Chuck!" Serena was happy to see him… a little too happy.
"Serena, how are you?" Chuck was polite, yet friendly.
"Well enough. Certainly better off than other people." Serena looked at him coolly.
"You are Serena van der Woodsen. I imagine you are far better off than quite a few other people." He tried to soften her with flattery.
Lily cut in at that moment, asking everyone to take a seat at the table.
However, Serena picked right back up where she had left off, "I hear you were at a concert this weekend. Some opera? How did you find it?"
Chuck had to stop himself from sighing. This, again? He thought. "It was quite beautiful. I always forget how opera makes me feel."
"Oh, very true. Though, I was not aware you enjoyed music so much. I always heard that either you love opera, or you do not. One can come to appreciate it, but you will never truly love it. Do you love opera?"
Lily and Bart were having their own conversation, ignoring their children's sparring match. Serena certainly had her claws out tonight, but Chuck fought to stand his ground this time, "I had not expected to ever feel anything exceptional, but I find I enjoy it more than anything else I have ever experienced. Even after all this time, my adoration for opera has not wavered."
Chuck took a long drink watching Serena over the rim of his glass. Her face visibly softened and it made him long to know what Blair had said. They were both quiet for several minutes and Chuck watched his father and Lily together. Trying to forget this was his father he was observing, he realized Bart clearly cared for Lily. The way he leaned towards her- was listening and smiling at her. Suddenly, Chuck began seeing his father in a different light. He might be distant now, but once… his father was a husband… his father had loved.
Too much of an epiphany to fully process, Chuck focused on his meal now that Serena had backed down. He went back to wondering about Blair- what she had told Serena. He thought perhaps he would try asking. "How is she?"
Serena quirked an eyebrow, "You're really going to ask me that? Is your imagination that lacking?"
"She's the one that left me… again, I might add." Chuck looked solemnly down at his plate.
"Well, I don't know what to tell either of you anymore. Not after that!" Serena stabbed the piece of pork on her place, "Just tell me though, are you done with her?"
Was he? Chuck thought back on what his father had said that afternoon; we persevere, because we know what is important to us. His heart thumped a little harder in his chest as he remembered Blair. Not the Blair from yesterday, but how she had been- how they had been in the beginning. How she would smile at him, and that day in the park when he first held her hand. He looked up and gazed into Serena's cool blue eyes, "Is she home, Serena? Is she in my arms, smiling at me? Until those things are fact, then no, I am not done. Especially after that."
Chuck worked to continue his duplicity. He began to diligently read the papers, his grades were rising- though he was still dismissive in class, and he continued to send Blair peonies, every Monday, with a handwritten note.
"Happiness is the longing for repetition."~ Milan Kundera
At night, he would lie in bed with a picture of her or look at the latest PI report. She seemed to be doing well at her new school, and she was still being seen with the Prince. Raking a hand through his hair, he cursed himself for never asking Blair about… that. Serena would not talk to him about it, and in all the photos, she just looked… happy, on the Prince's arm. When he slept he saw her… he felt her, those eyes, those lips- she tormented him.
He had planned an even bigger, more outrageous party for that weekend, hoping to distract himself from his failure the week before. He read the latest PI report before getting ready to head out. He knew it would hurt, but the temptation was too much as he gazed at the latest photos of Blair. She was beautiful, smiling up at him from the page. He stared a few moments before inhaling a shuddering breath and shoving the whole thing away. He wanted to be with her, so much… Shaking his head, he walked toward the bathroom in search of a refreshing shower.
However, she followed him. Standing in the shower, his memories reached back. Once upon a time… she had run to him, not from him. He had held her, made her smile… and laugh. And she had stood right there… Even feeling crushed inside, recalling the image of her naked body, soaking wet, standing there, Chuck became incredibly aroused. He reached out and placed his hand on the glass, where her hand had been that day, and remembered the flush of her cheeks, the water running down her back and shoulders, slipping and dripping off her breasts.
It was in his raw desire for her that his hand wrapped around his cock; wishing it was her tightness surrounding him. He thought of her crying out when she came for him, in this very spot, making him even harder as he stroked himself. But oh, if that had only been all, and he groaned as the memory of the night he first took her surfaced. He had tried to comfort her, and instead... Look what you do to me. It was the fourth time he had taken her in… less than twelve hours. He jerked himself even harder with that thought.
His head spun as blood pounded in his ears; he should have known then. He should have known that how he felt with her was special. The touch of his skin against hers, even just being in the same room… oh god, and how he had coupled with her that fourth time; it was so raw- how he had needed to possess her, the heat, the power, how he had poured himself into her. There was a delicious rush of blood to his cock, That… was what you do to me.
His voice cracked as he groaned, his legs trembling as he came. His mind was white with the haze of hormones and adrenaline, and it spun fast. The last time he stood in the shower with her. Cold. Broken. Empty. He had tried. He had… and she had cried. He saw her tears… streaming down her beautiful face. He gasped, half crying out in pain as his come surged from his body. He had hurt her so badly… his legs shook, slowly giving out beneath him. His hand slid down the glass as his body gave out and he met the floor.
The water rained down on him as he laid there, his eyes unseeing as he stared at the fogged up glass. He registered nothing for those several minutes. Just saw in his mind all her pain… at the dance, when she had sung, on the bridge, that night she had spent with him. Oh, and how she had run… from the school… from the bridge… from his arms. It consumed him, as he knew it had her, and his blood roared through his body once more. He needed to escape this, before it swallowed him whole.
So that night he fought to run from her. He drowned her out with liquor, tried to wipe her from his mind with drugs, and buried himself in the arms of other women. When he went upstairs to fully enjoy tonight's company however… something happened.
Or more correctly, something did not happen. He saw Blair's anger as he fucked her on the piano, her sorrow as she stood naked under the freezing water, and her tears as she sought to feel him inside of her. His heart cracked and bled and his body refused to cooperate, give him sensation, satisfaction, or relief.
There was an endless stream of women that night, and the weeks that followed, with whom he sought refuge and release. While impressive from the outside, every one of them had been paid extra to smile and keep their mouths shut. Chuck Bass… was broken. Fuck.
Serena found Chuck at Gilt Bar the first night of spring break. She was leaving to travel with Georgina through the end of March, and thought it prudent to check on him and his possible plans. She slid into the seat next to him, "Hey, Chuck."
"Come to torment and berate me?" he asked before drinking his scotch in one long go.
"Or to visit? Drown our sorrow together over our mutual loss?" Serena swirled the cosmopolitan that just arrived.
"Mutual loss?" Chuck let out a cruel laugh, "She talks to you. You're still friends. She still… cares about you."
"So?" Serena bit out, "So what? It is a small consolation when we have an entire ocean between us. She's like a sister to me and life sucks without her here. I hang out with Georgina Sparks or… you."
After that, they quietly drank for a time, drinking more… and more. They started talking about silly things; exploits from school, infamous social guffaws, and then Serena told some funny stories of her drunken escapades.
Chuck laughed and through his drunken depressed state he finally said it out loud. "I'm broken."
"What ever do you mean by that?" Serena downed the end of another cosmopolitan.
"I'm Chuck Bass," he drawled, "What is he known for?"
"Drinking, partying, and screwing whatever short skirt strikes his fancy," she rattled off the list.
"Yup. Maybe before my last visit to Paris." Chuck stared at his scotch and cruelly wondered which visit to Paris had truly broken him?
"Before Paris?" Serena glared at the fresh cosmopolitan in front of her like it was going to tell her the answer, "Well, you still drink… check… and party… check… and…"
She turned her head not really able to believe it. Blair had only alluded to what had happened between her and Chuck that weekend, "No."
"Totally broken. I've tried everything… and I mean everything." Admitting this, Chuck downed his fresh glass of scotch.
"Well…" Serena found this all a bit incredulous, yet, also saw some odd justice in it, "Only seems fair to me."
"Fair?" Chuck stared at her, "You're going to have to elaborate on that."
"You never saw her, Chuck. Her face… even weeks later, at Christmas; god… when she shoved that Cartier box in my hands…" Serena shook her head and in turn, her long mane of blonde hair.
"What?" Chuck latched onto her last few words, suddenly very alert, "What box?"
Her blue eyes grew wide as she realized what she had said… and to whom. His soft brown eyes were coal black as he stared at her, hard, and unyielding. His gaze trapped her, and she could not look away from him. He was every bit a Bass at this moment, immense power radiating from him.
"Tell me, Serena."
The intensity on his face was frightening, and his look forced the words from her, "That… box… she could not leave it," Serena swallowed hard, "But in the end, she could not handle it… so she entrusted me with it." Her mouth was dry and the words felt like sand as she choked them out.
He was angry; his blood boiled. He had reconciled himself to believe the necklace was in the family safe, while secretly, he hoped she had it tucked away in her bedroom in France. But now, to know she had chosen to take it with her… and then rejected it. This made his heart ache all over again. Yet to give it to Serena to safeguard… meant she wanted to keep it. She was not intending to return it to him- to send it back, and cut him even more.
He stared coolly at Blair's best friend for several moments before he completely shut down. This new information stirred so many emotions in him. Pushing his seat away, Chuck went back to his suite without another word. He lay down with a bottle of scotch and the photo of her from Thanksgiving, his necklace sparkling up at him, like her eyes. He gazed at her until his eyelids grew too heavy and he passed out.
After her elation and subsequent let down, Blair threw herself into her classes, before the long Easter break in April. Her new position of Queen was satisfying, and she used it to feel in control and find relief from the anguish in her heart. It was refreshing that no one could question her, since alone in her room, her heart questioned her constantly.
Blair should have known things were going too well, however. Her plans for the two weeks of Easter break were to visit Monaco with Louis. That is until Aileen sneezed on her at lunch on the very last day of classes. "That… was disgusting; didn't anyone teach you to cover your mouth?"
"I'm so sorry, Blair!" Aileen cowered, sniveling from her now runny nose.
"Move to another table, before you contaminate any of us further." She dismissed the disease-ridden girl.
That one sneeze ruined it all. Blair awoke the next morning feeling miserable. When she did not make it down to breakfast, her father came to check on her. She squinted at him as he entered her room, "Papa…"
"Oh, my Blair-Bear." Harold felt her forehead and inquired, "Are you feeling hot or cold?"
"Cold… and I ache, and my throat…" Blair stared up at her father as she pulled her covers tighter to her body.
"No Monaco for you I'm afraid. Just bed rest and fluids until this cold passes." Harold stood to go and prepare some tea and honey for her.
"But Papa…" Blair winced at how scratchy her throat was.
Harold only smiled at his daughter, shaking his head before heading down to the kitchen.
The cold hit Blair hard; she felt miserable when awake, congested, sore, and eating little. When she slept, it was fitful and as the days passed, her dreams of the holiday she was not to have with Louis in Monaco, strolling through the gardens twisted into memories of walking in Central Park, holding Chuck's warm hand. She felt helpless in her frail, weakened state and could not fight against the memories of him, so instead she soaked up the happiness. He made you happy.
One particularly rough evening, Roman brought up a light supper for her. Blair could hardly look at it, but there was something she had thought of retrieving, if only her head did not ache so badly.
"Roman, would you get something from that drawer for me?" Blair pointed to a deep drawer in her desk.
Opening the indicated drawer, Roman hesitated, seeing what lay inside. He looked up at her, but her eyes were insistent. He lifted the globe from its hiding place and sat it on the nightstand for her. Blair thanked him and he gave her a careful look. She seemed much too fragile to want to do such a thing to herself. Yet, she reached out and turned the key. Music poured forth and the couple waltzed in their perfect bubble. Her eyes were dreamy as she watched them, and Roman left her to her thoughts.
Blair's mind reveled in the way she felt that night. I love you. She had meant it, with all her heart, and four months later? She played back the memory of that stolen night in Paris with him. The way he had looked at her and touched her. Her heart ached and she suddenly missed him so much. Before sense could catch up with her, she was holding her phone and calling him; her eyes still transfixed on miniature Chuck and Blair dancing.
"This is Chuck Bass, and clearly, I have more important things to do than talk to you right now."
She smiled at the sound of his voice as it reverberated in her ears. Slipping it from her ear, she whispered, "Oh, Chuck…" as she set it down next to the globe, wholly forgetting to press the end button. Fatigue was setting in again, mingling with the nighttime medication she had taken. Turning over in her bed, she slipped away into her dreams.
Chuck was trying to relax with an afternoon massage. He did not see her call until a couple hours later. He thought he must have been hallucinating when he saw her name on the screen. Yet when he heard her voice, and the sound of the music coming from his globe, his heart ached and all he wanted was to talk to her, and know she was okay. Quickly saving the message, he tried to call her back, regardless of the hour. No answer. He tried several more times through the evening to no avail, always hanging up the second her phone went to voice mail; his frustration building each time he failed to talk to her. Why had she called him? He could not process a reason or meaning behind it. Exhaustion began to overtake him, and he resolved to leave a voice message, before passing out.
"Vous êtes bien sur le répondeur de Blair Waldorf, laissez un message après le bip."
His heart raced at the sound of her voice, yet ached all the same at the French that rolled seamlessly off her tongue, reminding him she was in Paris. "Blair… please, why did you…"
His brain stopped there. Why did she what? Write him that note? Leave him that morning? Call him tonight? He simply sighed and hit end, allowing sleep to claim him and pull him away from his sad reality.
Blair neglected her phone for the next several days as she slowly began feeling better. Set on finally having a chance to talk to Serena, the color left her face when she saw Chuck's half a dozen calls before then listening to his voice message. She was horrified; she thought that calling him had been a dream. Knowing she could not talk to him, for how could she explain herself? Blair pulled out her stationery.
Please forgive my momentary lapse of judgment during severe illness. I am a true Parisian now that I have survived their strain of the common cold. What we once had together will always be special to me, but I will not forget again that our time together is in the past.
Signed and sealed, she stared at the letter before tucking it away. It felt cruel, and part of her knew it was a half-truth. She could not bring herself to post it, not right now.
Chuck suffered in silence, Serena's only mention of Blair being that she had been sick during her spring holiday. How that should cause her to call him however, he had no clue. So his existence continued, pushing this question aside as best he could.
A few weeks after classes resumed, Blair and Louis, with some of his friends, went to Queen Club. The venue played a mix of electronica, with its thumping beats and ethereal lyrics. They drank and danced for hours, laughing and relaxing together. Exhaustion had begun to set in when the track changed and everyone swayed to a different tempo, raising their hands to move with the instrumentation. However, listening to the song, Blair suddenly felt dizzy, her ears ringing as she grasped Louis, so she would not fall.
There is no choice I belong to your life, because I will live to love you some day.
The memory flashed bright and brilliant: and you, Chuck Bass, will love me… some day. Some… day. Louis took her outside, and the cool air blasted her face with the naivety of the memory of her former self. Love… I love you. Saying she just must be tired, Blair headed home, angry at remembering their game, and the little girl she was when she had agreed to play. In her room, she retrieved the letter she had hesitated to send and placed it in the post. Our time together is in the past.
Less than two weeks until his birthday, Chuck was on the phone finalizing details for his most over the top party yet. Entering the hotel lobby, Maurice handed him a letter. Keeping his cool, he finished the call and waited until he was alone in his room. He revered it for several long moments like he had her first letter. But this note cut him deeply as he read it in the past? He was fighting for a place in her future, yet she was trying to relegate him to being part of her past? He had to try something different.
Blair entered her room Monday, expecting the usual display of pink peonies on her desk. When they were not there, she swayed a little in her Louboutins in confusion, as her Vanessa Bruno tote slipped from her shoulder to the floor with a gratuitous thud. Had her letter finally broken him? She felt odd at the thought- she wondered why she was not happy?
However, her eyes spotted a brown and white stripped box on her bed, a beautiful ribbon of brown with white polka dots urging her to unwrap it and see what treat had traveled across the ocean from Henri Bendel's just for her. Her heart fluttered a little, and she ached, thinking he had picked its contents just for her.
Gathering her strength, she opened his note first.
The symbol of a true Parisian woman.
Now you will embody the best of New York and Paris.
Blair felt the textured ribbon between her fingers as she released the bow. Lifting the lid, she trembled from the memory of the first Bendel's he had given her- the long sheer white robe hanging in her closet in New York. Inside lay a pretty silk scarf in one of Bendel's iconic prints. She smiled at his wit and care, imagining him in Bendel's, thoughtfully selecting the scarf that she now caressed with her fingers. She sighed; there was that heartache again. She wondered if it would ever go away?
AN: Story title borrowed from Chair4vr's fic where Chuck 'breaks' also, hehe.
I am an endless font of love to Georgia, greatest editor EVER. Hugs and kisses and exasperated shaking of my head to Alyssa, my cheerleader and Alicia, for reminding me you can never have enough smut :p
Song credit: Gigi D'Agostino's L'Amour Toujours, of which, obviously, the story title is borrowed from. YouTube code: watch?v=w15oWDh02K4