DISCLAIMER: I hereby declare that I neither own nor do I, in any way, profit from the Gossip Girl franchise and all creative rights belong to its original creators. All original characters, plots and/or whatnots are mine alone and their use without permission is heavily frowned upon.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

With My Heart On My Sleeve
By shyath


Chapter 1

"Don't," Serena whispers half-heartedly, her voice drowned by the pulsing music, her resolve weakened by the faint blush in Blair's cheeks, by the sheen of her wet lips, by the reckless flash in her eyes. Maybe she does not want Blair to hear her rejection.

Blair giggles and Serena feels it more than she hears it – a soft burr against her ear as Blair insinuates herself on a willing Serena's lap, her fingers threading through blonde hair and red lips trailing along Serena's jaw.

"Don't," Serena tells her again, this time louder as she feels that familiar sting in her eyes, her vision growing blurry as tears well in her eyes.

"Why not?" Blair asks, her hips grinding down, their chests pressing and her warm breath ghosting across Serena's rapidly heating skin.

Serena gasps and struggles weakly. "You don't mean it," she replies softly. "And we're in public."

"When has either ever stopped you before?" Blair hisses, tugging a lock of Serena's hair to expose her throat.

"I don't want it to be like that," Serena replies. "Not with you, B."

Blair makes a noise in her throat, something between disgust and disbelief, as she rakes the edge of her teeth against Serena's jumping pulse. "Take me home then," she says finally.

"You don't mean it, B," Serena repeats sadly.

Blair sucks hard on Serena's pulse, enough to break skin and leave a mark. Serena is strangely thrilled about that. "I do," Blair insists. Who is the desperation in her voice meant for?

"Kiss me then," Serena begs, leaning back to look at Blair. "And tell me you love me."

Blair stills and slowly pulls away. She has an unreadable expression on her face when she finally claims, "I love you."

Serena shakes her head, tears finally running down her cheeks. "Not like that."

Blair sighs exasperatedly, a glimmer of something in her eyes as she tracks Serena's tears. "I can't voice what I don't feel."

Serena sobs, "You're lying."

"I don't love you," she snaps, cupping Serena's cheeks and forcing Serena to look her in the eye.

"I love you," Serena returns sincerely, willing her voice, her eyes, her touch to convey all that she feels and finding them inadequate.

Blair's features soften for a full second before she composes herself again. She leans in close, her hands still on Serena's cheeks as her eyelids drop and her lips part. "I don't love you," Blair whispers, her tone much too tender, much too intimate to match her statement.

The kiss tastes salty from Serena's own tears, sweet from the taste of Blair and Serena simply aches for more – even if her heart were to squeeze painfully every single time. "I love you," Serena repeats defiantly when they finally part, the texture, shape and taste of Blair's lips imprinted permanently on hers.

Blair smiles sadly at her. "Take me home, S."

Serena nods mutely.


Chapter 2

Blair and Serena had found the penthouse empty when they had finally made their way back. They had moved in the dark, Blair cursing liberally as they stumbled over another table and Serena making a noise caught somewhere between a choke and a sob. Once they had crossed the threshold of Serena's bedroom, they had continued to forgo lighting, knowing by rote where Serena's bed was, seeking each other despite the spaciousness of the bed.

Breaths slowly and almost painfully evening out, they take stock of themselves: a mess of tangled limbs, of half shrugged coats, of loosening or missing altogether footwear. Yet, yet, their hands have somehow come together on top of a cleared space on the bed, a shaft of moonlight breaking through the gap in the curtains and winking off of Serena's bracelet and Blair's nail polish of the week.

Blair looks at Serena and whispers in an echo of Serena's earlier request, "Kiss me."

Serena wants to shake her head, her bottom lip trembling a little as her eyes struggle valiantly to land everywhere, here and there, anywhere but on Blair. She wants to, but knows she cannot (will not). So, instead, she will ignore the whispered words, pretend the alcohol haze is dissipating and she is finally succumbing to sleep.

In the silence of her bedroom, surrounded by knickknacks the outside world has no knowledge of (and Blair just the contrary – only Blair), illuminated by a lone moonbeam, Serena just cannot bring herself to say no. She cannot reject what her heart, her body, her soul wants, needs. She chuckles sadly. Such big words for a girl. Who would believe me?

"What's wrong?" Blair asks, the corners of her lips turned down a little as she reaches her other hand out to stroke Serena's cheek with the tips of her fingers.

"Nothing," Serena sniffs. And everything, it would seem.

Blair nods sagely and Serena wonders if the brunette really does understand or if she even believes the lie.

Serena sighs as Blair plays with a lock of her blonde hair, twirling it, tugging it oh so gently and, every so often, touching her ear and tracing her cheekbone – burning a trail wherever fingers meet skin. "I want to stay like this forever," Serena murmurs.

Blair smiles wistfully. "If only we could."

"Why can't we?" Serena asks with a pout.

"You know why," Blair sighs, sounding resigned.

"No, I don't. I love you, B," Serena declares fervently. "What's stopping you?"

Blair scoffs, patting Serena's cheek indulgently. "No, you don't."

"Yes, I do! I love you with all that I am, all that I was and all that I will be," Serena hisses, covering the hand Blair has on her cheek and squeezing it. "I love you so much that it hurts."

"Love shouldn't be painful, Serena."

"No, but it often is."

Blair purses her lips. "I hate seeing you hurt."

"You always say that," Serena says dejectedly.

"It's because I do," Blair says. "I do hate seeing you hurt."

"Why are you making this more difficult than it should ever be?"

"I'm not. I just … can't."

"Yes, you can. What is stopping you?"

Blair pulls away from Serena, sitting up and peering down at the blonde through thick lashes. "I'm scared that you'll hurt me."

Serena laughs aloud. "But it's okay for you to hurt me?" she returns, feeling angry suddenly.

"I don't mean to."

"But you do anyway." Serena has not meant it to come out so sharp, but by the flinch Blair gives away, it had obviously hurt Blair some.

"I'm sorry," Blair says almost meekly. She sighs and makes to move away. "I should go."

Fury deflating quickly, Serena tugs at Blair's wrist. "No, stay. It's late."

A bad excuse, they both know, but Blair nods after only a moment's hesitation and stays put. Serena scoots over and puts her head down on Blair's lap. Blair slowly runs her fingers through Serena's thick tresses, smiling softly when Serena lets out what can only be described as a purr.

"You used to do this a lot," Serena remarks so softly that Blair has to strain her ears to catch the words.

"Did I?" Blair replies noncommittally.

"Yes," Serena confirms, burrowing closer, exhaling happily. "What happened, B? What happened to make us change so drastically?"

Blair stills. "We grew up."

Serena shakes her head, clutching frantically at the material of Blair's dress. "I don't want to. I want things to be the way they were. I want you to love me again," she admits in a broken voice, tears welling up anew in her eyes.

"Don't cry, S," Blair begs, moving her hand away from Serena's hair and catching tears gently. "You know we can't just go back in time, we can't act like we're still kids. You've got to stop holding on to the past."

Serena leans into Blair's touch, soaking the warmth greedily. "I'm not. I just want you."

Blair sucks in a breath. "I can't," she reminds Serena.

"Why?!" Serena snaps, losing her patience, opening her eyes and willing, daring Blair to lie. "You know I won't hurt you. I can't. Not after Nate … Not again."

Blair averts her eyes. "I just can't."

"At least tell me you love me," Serena murmurs.

"Don't, S. Don't make me do this."

"Just three words, B, or tell me that you don't." Serena's tears run forth more vigorously at that. "Either way, I'll still love you. You're my better half, B. You always were and always will be."

Blair looks down and finally meets Serena's eyes. "Why do you say love so easily? Sometimes I can't help but think that you don't mean them."

"I do! You -"

Blair interrupts, "I know. I can't help but see it in your eyes when I see you." Blair bites down on her bottom lip and asks after a few seconds have passed, "What do you see in my eyes, S?"

Serena smiles through her tears, her hand moving up to cup Blair's cheek. "I know what I see. I see it everyday in the mirror when I think of you."

"Then why do you need me to say it?"

"Why won't you?"

"It makes it more real."

"Exactly why I want you to say it."

"I can't," Blair repeats. "You're the only one who can hurt me, S. I can't. I just – I can't let – I can't. I'm sorry."

Serena takes a deep breath and urges Blair to look at her again. "It's okay. We've got time. Just tell me I've still got you."

"Always," Blair confesses, turning a little and pressing a kiss against Serena's palm.

"Always," Serena repeats as she pulls Blair down, spooning Blair from behind in a gesture so familiar and yet so unfamiliar – thrilling and yet grounding. "Stay with me."

Blair nods mutely.


Chapter 3

"B," Serena murmurs, her breath tickling the outside of Blair's ear even as her arm tightens around Blair's waist, warmth quickly turning into heat where they touch.

Blair's breath hitches a little and she squirms ineffectively to free herself, not that she is trying all that hard to start with. She sighs and turns her face just so, settling her head more comfortably on Serena's arm and eyeing Serena's loosely curled fingers. She reaches a hand out and traces each digit with a fingertip, smiling when they twitch in response.

"I love you so much, S," she whispers softly. "Do you know that?" She tenses for a short while and then relaxes once again when Serena's continued gentle breathing assures her that the blonde is still asleep. "I'm sorry," she continues. "I wish I could tell you, I really do." She links their fingers together and squeezes Serena's hand. "I wish I could show you." She closes her eyes and forces down the tears. "I wish so many things," she mumbles, curling closer into Serena's body. "Please be patient with me."

Serena makes a sound that sounds suspiciously like a very unladylike snort. "No more waffles," she begs, her voice thick and rough from sleep.

Blair laughs. "No more waffles," she replies.

"B?" Serena pipes up, sounding a little more alert.

"I'm here, S," Blair tells her, turning in Serena's hold to face the blonde.

Serena's smile is blinding, her gaze warm and so full with promises of forever that she steals Blair's breath away. "You're here."

"I'm here," Blair repeats, bringing a hand up to cup Serena's cheek.

"I thought I dreamt you," Serena admits shyly, her cheeks tinting a little as she drops her eyes.

Blair feels her smile grow at the sudden display of bashfulness. "No, but I did dream of you."

"You did?" Serena asks, eyes moving up to catch Blair's again.

"I did," Blair replies honestly.

"Was it a good dream?" Serena enquires hesitantly.

"The best," Blair answers with a grin.

"Really?" Serena returns sceptically.

"All my dreams of you always are," Blair confesses.

Serena blushes. "I love waking up next to you."

"Me too."

"It's not a one-time thing, is it?"

There is a pause as Blair seriously considers the question. Finally, she says slowly, "No. I love having you here with me."

"I love you, B," Serena whispers, cupping Blair's cheek.

Blair drops her gaze, biting her bottom lip and urging herself to respond.

"It's okay. We've got time, haven't we?" Serena interjects, sensing Blair's unease.

Blair nods. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay. I can see it in your eyes."

"Yes, you can," Blair breathes before meeting Serena's lips halfway. I love you, S.

The End

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