DISCLAIMER: Gossip Girl and its characters are the property of Cecily von Ziegesar and Warner Bros. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: AU-ish as most of my fics tend to be. My only defence for such a non-seasonal and angsty fic is that my muse has been cranking out fluffy pieces lately that this must be her way to compensate. Oh, and she's a grinch and E. Scrooge rolled into one. Hope you like it and do comment if you do!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Thorns Entwining Our Hearts
By shyath


The dying rays of the sun come through the tiny gap between heavy curtains to splash half-heartedly across Serena's still bare skin, over Blair's rigid back – painting one and all in shadows and lights, reds and oranges. Serena thinks it is a painfully beautiful sight, hates the decidedly conclusive taste to the image (because she can read the farewell or something similar – or worse – in the tense set of Blair's shoulders, in the way she refuses to face Serena).

Serena wonders if she could fool herself into believing that this weak warmth cloaking her, enveloping her is in fact Blair. If she were to just close her eyes and imagine hard enough, if she were to just focus on that sweet scent that is Blair still lingering in the air badly enough, maybe, maybe this outline of a phantom body she sees in her mind's eye if not in reality can pass as Blair. She moves her hands up to trace curves that are not exactly there and feels - as expected – only empty air greeting her hopeful fingers. "Are you leaving?" Serena asks, dropping her hands limply by her sides and opening her eyes reluctantly to see what she has not wanted to see: Blair standing by the foot of the bed, detached as she smoothes away imaginary wrinkles from her clothes.

"You know what my answer will be," Blair replies with a hint of a warning, keeping her back to Serena and her shoulders tensing even more – if that were even possible. There is something like unease, maybe fear, more likely guilt in the way her fingers clench and unclench at the hem of her blouse.

Serena closes her eyes again, swallowing back disappointment. Her heart squeezes like it is about to break, like it is about to give way. But not yet, maybe a little more and it will finally break, she thinks.

"I'll see you next week?" Blair asks, her tone hovering awkwardly between commanding and imploring. Somehow, somehow her voice seems closer all of a sudden, a lot closer to Serena than it should ever be considering the circumstances. "The usual time?" Blair whispers, her soft exhalations skimming the tops of Serena's cheekbones, her fingers tracing Serena's jaw line so lightly that Serena cannot decide whether the sensation is simply a figment of her imagination or not.

"The usual place," Serena grits out by way of an answer as she pulls away quickly, curling into the pillow that still smells like the two of them. Her skin burns furiously where Blair has (maybe) touched her. She feels it like a physical blow when Blair pulls away and she tells herself to keep her eyes closed, to do her best to block any noise. She does not want nor does she need to see or hear Blair leave.

The End

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