DISCLAIMER: Gossip Girl and its characters are the property of Cecily von Ziegesar and Warner Bros. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Through Ep. 1.03
Serena checked the time on her cell for the fifth time in the past hour. She knew from Blair's text messages that she and Eleanor should be finished with dinner and would be retired to the living room for post dinner coffee.
She hoped her timing was right as she stepped onto the elevator to the Waldorf penthouse apartment. She wasn't surprised to be greeted by Dorota as the doors opened.
"Miss van der Woodsen, good evening." The maid took Serena's jacket and beckoned her to follow. "Miss Blair and Mrs. Waldorf are in the living room. Would you like an espresso or a cup of coffee?"
Serena declined and remained a step behind Dorota, eyes to the floor until she was announced. She instinctively glanced to her left and saw Blair reclining on the chaise. She had to remind herself to breathe. Blair's hair was up with a few tendrils framing her face. Serena thought she looked stunning.
She found she had to drag her eyes away from the lovely vision and toward the approaching Eleanor.
"Why, Serena. What a nice surprise." She glanced back at her daughter who was slowly getting to her feet. "Blair didn't mention you would be stopping by."
Serena stepped forward and hugged Blair's mother. "It's good to see you again." Her gaze returned to a mute Blair. "I apologize for dropping by unexpectedly and interrupting. We have a chem test tomorrow and I need to borrow Blair's lab notes so I don't fail."
Blair arched an eyebrow at the blatant and easily told lie. Her eyes never left Serena's face but her expression was carefully neutral.
Eleanor took Serena by the elbow and turned towards the seating area. "Blair go retrieve your notes and Serena and I will catch up." She missed the frustrated expression that momentarily marred the blonde's features.
She squeezed Eleanor's hand before carefully disengaging from the older woman. "No, I'm already interrupting your first evening home. Let me just run upstairs with Blair, get the notes and I'll be on my way." Serena edged away as quickly as was polite and joined her best friend on the stairs.
Blair spoke for the first time since Serena arrived. "I had forgotten how quickly and easily you can weave a lie." She paused at the top of the stairs and looked down at the blonde before continuing down the hall to her room. "As long as you don't lie to me, I can consider it one of your charms."
Serena stepped inside as Blair held the door open for her. "B, I told you yesterday. I'll never lie to you again." She turned after she heard the door shut.
Blair was looking at her oddly and Serena rushed to fill what felt like an uneasy silence. "And I'm sorry I dropped by without giving you a heads-up. I just I needed to see you, Blair."
"I figured that out when you told my mother that we have a test in a class we took last year." Blair's tone was controlled, too controlled.
Serena felt her world start a slow tilt. She feared the Blair sitting on the edge of the bed was not the Blair she had kissed the previous day. She tried to find her voice, "Are you upset with me?"
Blair heard the hesitant hurt in Serena's voice and shook her head. "No, S, you haven't done anything wrong." She looked up at her friend and smiled sadly. "Spending today with my mother was not high on the list of things I wanted to do. I am really glad to see you, too."
"I just need a minute to recalibrate."
Serena took the three steps needed to reach the bed and knelt in front of her friend. She took Blair's hands into her own and squeezed. "Anything I can do to help?"
Blair closed her eyes and absorbed the heat from Serena's touch on her skin. "You're doing it."
Serena continued to caress Blair's hands. She took advantage of the closed brown eyes to study Blair's face. Her pale skin was flawless and Serena ached to stroke it with her fingertips. She corralled the impulse and squeezed Blair's hands a bit tighter.
Blair opened her eyes and Serena fell into pools of brown. Serena saw the unshed tears, surged up and wrapped her arms around Blair's waist to pull her close. "I've got you."
In the safest place she knew, Blair finally let the tears fall. She cried for the joy she felt in Serena's loving embrace and for the pain caused by a mother's well intentioned, yet poorly executed love.
Serena held fast, her hands moving in a soothing pattern on Blair's back. Blair found the anchor she needed in Serena's touch and gentle approval to push down the devastating feeling of inadequacy only Eleanor's presence could generate.
Blair realized her hands were balled up in Serena's shirt and released the material. "I hate how easily she gets to me." She wiped the tears from her cheeks and stepped sideways out of Serena's loose hold.
She sat down at her dressing table and took a shaky breath. "I'm a mess." The reflection in the mirror tear-streaked and red-eyed. Serena's heart constricted at the self-loathing she heard in Blair's voice.
She bit her tongue. She wanted to tell Blair that she was wrong, that she was beautiful but she knew somewhere deep inside that wasn't what her friend needed to hear, no matter how badly Serena wanted to say it over and over again until Blair believed it.
Instead she pulled a tissue from the box so she could gently wipe away the mascara at the corner of her eyes. Her actions tender compared to words she spoke into the silence.
"Your mother needs a reality check. If I thought it would help, I'd gladly be the one to give it to her." Serena walked into the adjoining bathroom and ran a wash cloth under cold water. She took a deep breath before she launched into a full-scale verbal assault of Eleanor's parenting skills.
She returned and placed the cloth over Blair's eyes hoping the coldness would relieve the puffiness. "Here, you'll be as good as new."
Blair pressed the cold material firmly against her eyes. "Thanks. I'm glad you're here even though rescuing me wasn't why you came over." She pulled the wash cloth from her eyes when she heard Serena bite off a laugh.
Serena knelt next to her. "Actually, I had visions of doing just that this morning. Me and my trusty steed." She watched as a grin tugged at the corners of Blair's mouth.
"I missed you today, S." Blair threaded her hand into the blonde mane and closed her eyes. Serena leaned into the touch, content to follow Blair's lead as her confidence returned.
Strong fingers sifted through her locks and massaged her scalp. "I missed you, too." Her whisper the only sound other than their breathing that broke the silence in the room.
Serena felt Blair's fingers slide from her scalp down to her jaw line where her thumb began a lazy stroke against Serena's cheek. Her breath hitched at the intimacy of the touch. With a single caress, Blair Waldorf turned Serena van der Woodsen from crusading friend to lovesick suitor.
With Blair so close, touching her so softly, Serena wasn't strong enough to resist the desire to taste the lips she had thought about all day. She rose up on her knees to close the distance between them. She smiled when Blair met her halfway.
Lips met slowly, the shift in their relationship still too new for anything more urgent after a day's absence. Serena inhaled the scent that was uniquely Blair and savored the feel of the soft, wet mouth moving against her own.
Blair cradled Serena's face in her hands and even through the haze of physical sensations coursing through her body, she knew she was holding her heart as well. It was a heady realization and Blair slowly pulled back from the kiss.
"Miss Blair. Miss Serena." Dorota's voice filtered into the room followed by a knock.
They stayed where they were, confident the sanctuary would not be breached. "What is it Dorota?" Blair's voice sounded foreign to her own ears.
"Your mother sent me up to assist you in your search for the class notes."
Serena captured Blair's hands and kissed each palm. "That's my cue." She stood and pulled the brunette with her. She wrapped Blair in a hug and whispered quickly, "I don't want to get you in trouble with your mother. We can't have you getting grounded, especially not this Friday."
"Please tell mother we found them. I'll be down in just a moment." Blair called over Serena's shoulder.
"What's special about this Friday?"
Serena gave Blair a final squeeze before releasing her. She needed to see her reaction. "I'd like to take you out to dinner. Someplace quiet, with great food and an even better wine selection."
Serena stepped away, unable to decipher the endearment. "Too soon, right? This is just it's new, too new. I should have waited."
Blair reached for her hand. "No, it's not too soon. I'm still getting used to this, this change and I haven't thought much beyond all of the kissing." She felt the heat rise on her neck with the confession.
"I know. That's why I want to take you out." She turned towards the door. "I need to get to know my best friend, again. And while I really, really like learning about the kissing side of you, which I hope we'll revisit often," Serena leaned in to press her lips against Blair's cheek, "it's more than that for me."
Blair tugged at the hand she still held, her heart breaking a little when Serena couldn't quite meet her eyes. "That's the sweetest invitation I've ever received." She hesitated until Serena's eyes reached her own. "I'd love to have dinner with you."
It was date, an evening filled with promise and sealed with a kiss.
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