Title: Twenty-Four Hours

Author: Tamara

Rating: PG for language and thematic elements.

Pairing: Blair/Serena, Waldsen

Disclaimer: I own not.

Summary: The laws of attraction were made to be broken. Post Seventeen Candles.

Author's Notes: I love this ship so much, it's embarassing. They just reek of femslash potential. I've had this stashed on my HD for a while, hoping to work on it more, but I haven't posted in way to long, so here. Few things to keep in mind, though.

A) Blair did not sleep with Chuck (ew!) they just made out a little bit,so when Serena went to check on Blair at the party, they weren't kissing, just talking really close together.
B) Blair and Nate stayed broken up.
C) Things with Serena and Dan haven't progressed to the point they are on the show i.e. they aren't officially dating, he's just making a lot of moon-eyes.
D) I can't remember which episode Eric came home at so we'll say he's still at the center.

All that being said, feedback is love. Un-beta'd, all mistakes are my own.Enjoy.

--

Waldorf Brownstone. 10:17am.

Blair wakes to warm breath soft at her neck and surprisingly strong arms wrapped around her waist. She lays like that for a few moments, eyes closed; basking. It isn't until she opens her eyes to blonde hair and tanned skin that it all comes rushing back.

Serena.

Then Blair has to close her eyes again against the torrent of recollection that follows. Memories rise unbidden to her mind and all she sees is Serena's bare body beneath her, all she hears is her name tripping from Serena's mouth in breathy moans, and it's all too much. But Blair is afraid to move, she's completely wrapped up in Serena and completely terrified that she'll wake her.

Blair can't deal with this. Panic seizes her quickly and she feels like she can't breathe. It takes a conscious effort to move slowly, but Blair untangles Serena's long limbs, one then the other. Once she's free, Blair takes a deep breath and tries to decide what the hell to do now. She's not sure how to leave, if she should, if she can. For all her panic and all her terror, she can't say that the press of Serena's body at her back is entirely unpleasant.

Ever so slowly, Blair sits up and steps out of the bed. She looks back for a moment and sees Serena shift into the warm spot Blair left and it's enough to make Blair want to crawl back under the covers with her. But she can't. She absolutely can't. So Blair does the only thing she knows how to when she can't cope: she runs. Blair finds some clothes and her coat and quickly throws on what she can to look decent. She heads towards her door and she can only hope that Serena will be gone when she comes back. Blair pauses, hand on the doorknob, and considers. Everything is different now.

So she goes, because what else can she do? She looks back one last time because she needs to see what she's leaving behind. Blair pushes the door shut as she notes, unbearably, that Serena's eyes were open and focused and hurt.

--

Serena took a cab home, watched New York pass by through a dirty window. She hated cabs, she would've walked if she thought her legs could carry her. She's afraid to close her eyes now, afraid of what she'll see. Either Blair naked and writhing or Blair terrified and leaving. She isn't sure which would be worse right now. No, no. The latter would most definitely be worse.

Serena remembers falling asleep curled up around Blair, she can't understand how Blair could be so close to her and then get up and walk away. Just like that. Like Serena hadn't spent a night under her skin, hadn't known her inside and out. Waking up in bed alone and watching Blair disappear had felt worse than anything, worse than the thing with Nate. It hurt more than anything and Serena was tired of hurting, even if last night threw everything sharply, violently into focus. She wanted to scream, she wanted to drink, but she couldn't do either. Serena just wanted to be home again.

The Palace. 11:34am.

Serena's mother had her fingers wrapped around a champagne flute when she walked into the suite's living room. "Little early, isn't it, Mom?"

"I can't have a mimosa with breakfast?" Serena put her hands up in defeat, she does not have the energy to pick a fight. She just fell onto a chaise and threw her head back. "Did you have fun at the party?" But Serena had stopped listening. "Serena? Serena."

"Fine. I'm fine."

"Good, it's good that you're fine, but I asked you how the party was."

"Oh," Right. "It was fine."

"Do you have any plans today? I think I'd like to get some shopping done."

"No, I wanna stay in, I don't feel like doing much." Serena thought about it and added, "I might go and see Eric later."

Lily finished the last of her drink and rose from the couch. "Alright, then I suppose I'll see you tonight."

"I don't know, Chuck's having a thing, I was gonna go."

"Oh," and Serena thinks she actually hears disappointment in her mother's voice as she crosses the room. "Then have fun."

"Yeah... fun."

--

Steps of The Met. 1:02pm.

Blair's non-fat latte is keeping her hands warm. She forgot her gloves in her haste this morning, is lucky she remembered her jacket, and is afraid to go back for them even though she knows Serena has to be gone by now. She called Nate about an hour ago, she was tired of being alone with her thoughts, and now she's starting to regret it. She feels like she's cheated on him, even though they've so broken up already, and added guilt is the last thing she needs right now. Now Nate is looking at her like he wants to get back together again and Blair doesn't want to say yes but she doesn't know how tobegin to explain why she'd say no.

But Blair wants to say no. She doesn't want to be with Nate. And not wanting to be with Nate has nothing to do with her wanting to be with Serena. Because she doesn't want to be with Serena. She can't want to be with Serena. Except for... she kind of wants to be with Serena. A lot. But what the hell is she supposed to do about that?

"Blair... Blair!" Nate's voice snaps Blair out of her reverie. She looks up at him and he looks confused and hurt and his face is uncannily similar to the one Serena made this morning when Blair left. It's enough to make Blair flashback to soft smiles and moonlit skin and she nearly gets lost in dangerous thoughts again. "Did you even hear a word I said?"

"No, I'm sorry. What?"

Nate sighed and looked a little wounded before her started again. "I said that maybe we were a little rash when we ended things, maybe we should've thought it through a little more."

"What are you saying, Nate?"

"I'm saying that I'd like to give us another chance. I think we could be good again."

"I don't," the words were out of Blair's mouth before she even knew she was thinking them which, Blair reasons, means they're true.

"Blair--"

"No," Blair stands, discards the coffee that's cooled in her hands, tosses the last words over her shoulder. "I'm sorry, but this is over. It has to be."

It has to be. Blair can't stayed mired in the past. She's spent too much time with Nate, he's all she knows, and Blair knows that whatever else she wants, Nate is not it. She knows she wants Serena, that's not debatable, how she wants her is what Blair needs to figure out. She knows she needs Serena, more than anyone. That, she's already figured out.

--

Ostroff Center. 3:34pm.

"So, are you gonna tell me what's wrong or am I gonna have to guess?"

"What makes you think something's wrong?" Serena was on her back, laying lengthwise across Eric's bed, her long legs hanging off the side.

Eric turned his head to face his sister. "You look like someone kicked your puppy."

"I do not."

"Then you look like someone just stole your favorite Chanel tote bag."

"I would never carry a Chanel tote, shows what you know," Serena scoffed.

Eric laughed. "Are you gonna tell me or not?"

Serena sighed and sat up, quickly becoming fixated with a stray thread on the bedspread. She picked at it, eyes down, as she spoke, "Something happened."

"What kind of something?" Eric pulled himself off the floor and took a seat next to his sister. He crossed his legs Indian-style and waited for an answer.

"Something stupid."

"Stupid good or stupid bad?"

Serena looked up sharply at that, "When is stupid good?"

"When something good comes of it," Eric shrugged. "So, good or bad?"

"I'm not sure. Both? I don't know."

"Serena, what happened?"

Serena took a deep breath and dove in. "At Blair's party, things kind of got out of hand. One thing sort of led to another and Blair and I ended up together." Serena waited for her brother's reaction but he seemed entirely unimpressed, so Serena thought she should clarify. "We slept together."

Eric's face didn't change, he only lifted his eye brows like he was waiting for more. "Yeah...?"

"What do you mean, yeah?"

"I mean, duh. As in, it's about time. You two have always been kind of..." and Eric made a sort of swirling motion with his hands, "...with each other. Should I be surprised?"

"Well, aren't you?"

"Not really."

Serena fell back against the bed again. She couldn't believe that whatever this was with Blair had been so obvious that her little brother had seen it when Serena couldn't. No, Eric was just unreasonably perceptive. "It was bad, Eric."

"It... was bad?"

"Ew, no." Serena was not talking about that, that was very good. "This morning was bad. She just left."

At that, Eric seemed genuinely surprised. "Wow."

"Yeah," Serena closed her eyes. "What am I supposed to do now?"

"What do you want to do?"

"I don't know," but she did.

--

Bass Penthouse. 8:43pm.

Blair looked good. Her hair was flawless, her dress was perfect, and her makeup was immaculate. She looked good. So she should be feeling good. But she wasn't. She felt anxious and tense and nervous and kind of sweaty. She didn't like feeling any of those things. And she was pretty sure that Serena was avoiding her. Blair didn't actually think that Serena would show tonight, Blair's not sure whether she's relieved or disappointed that she has.

Blair has spent most of the night pretending to listen Isobel and Kati talk about nail appliqués and eye-pencil sharpeners or something else as mind-numbingly dull. Sometimes, Blair can't actually believe that these girls are her friends. She misses Serena. Blair looks over to where she saw Serena last, in the corner where Chuck and Nate are, but she doesn't see Serena anywhere. She scans the crowd for a mane of blonde hair, finds plenty, but none of them Serena.

Blair can't listen to her friends anymore, their voices have stopped sounding like words and turned into a droning whine, like bees buzzing or TV static. It's giving her a migraine. Blair doesn't make much of an excuse before leaving, just enough so the girls don't follow. She heads to the bar for some more Vanilla Vodka. She's only alone at the bar for a couple minutes when Nate takes the stool next to her, asks her if she's alright.

"I'm fine."

"Are you sure? 'Cause if you wanna talk, I'm still here."

Blair has to fight to keep her voice even, to keep from snapping at Nate. She knows he's here because he's always here, right at her side, even when he's not wanted. "Thanks, but I'm fine."

She hopes he'll leave, but he doesn't. He just keeps sitting there, making Bambi-eyes at her, so Blair leaves. She wades through the sea of people gyrating to bad music and finds the stairwell to the roof access. Blair thinks some fresh air might clear her head, make her stop seeing blonde hair and cobalt eyes everywhere.

The icy air makes Blair wish she'd brought her jacket up with her but the soft lights and quiet are a welcome escape. For the first time all night, Blair feels like she can breathe. She crosses the tar-paper rooftop towards the ledge to sit and halts abruptly, surprised to find someone perched on the roof's edge, legs and hair bouncing in the wind.

"Serena."

--

Penthouse Roof. 9:27pm.

"Serena."

She'd heard the footsteps coming, guessed who they'd belonged to, Serena just didn't turn until she'd heard her name called. It had come out like an accusation, nearly made Serena wince. She turned to see Blair standing behind her, surprised and uncomfortable.

"I thought nobody would be up here."

Serena didn't need to be told twice, or once even, because she can take a hint. She braced her hands on the concrete beneath her and prepared to stand when Blair's voice startled her again. "No, I didn't mean―you don't have to go. It's a big roof. Stay."

"Because you sound so enthusiastic about the idea," Serena slings a barb and looks up for Blair's reaction. Serena sees her biting back a sarcastic response and watches as Blair takes a seat on the wall and then a deep breath.

Blair looks at Serena purposefully, says quietly "Stay."

Serena thinks that in the night light, with her eyes shining and the cold air painting her cheeks pink, Blair looks like a china doll. It isn't fair that Blair's so beautiful.

"You're cold," Serena says. Blair is shivering and Serena can see the goosebumps rising on her skin. Serena pulled off her coat and draped it over Blair's slight shoulders.

"Don't you need it?" Blair asks, even as she pulled the wool jacket tighter around her.

Serena just shook her head no. Idly, she reached over and lifted Blair's hair from beneath the collar, smoothed it back. It was so soft. Serena almost didn't notice that Blair was leaning in. Almost. Serena turned her head before Blair's lips could catch hers. "Seriously, Blair, I do not have the strength to get into this with you again."

"What does that mean?" Blair was still too close. Serena scooted over a bit.

"It means that I can't keep getting involved with you like this if you're just gonna walk away from me afterwards."

"That's not what I--"

"What would you call it?"

Blair said nothing to this, presumably because she knew Serena was right. And Serena was right. Blair couldn't just throw her smiles and touches around and not care where any of it landed.

"Do you have any idea how dirty and cheap and used that made me feel?" Serena shook her head, her lips curling in a humorless smile."Do you care?"

"Of course I care," Blair said through clenched teeth. Dammit, she does. Serena knows that Blair can see how hard Serena has been working to turn over this new leaf, Blair knows better than anyone how much Serena being dirty and cheap and used damages everything. How could she not? "Why are you making this harder for me?"

"I'm not trying to make this harder for you!" It was hard for Serena, too. "I'm just trying to understand how we got here."

"I don't know," Blair's voice was shaking. She watched Blair take a deep breath and bury her hands in the pockets of Serena's coat. Inside a jacket that was too big for her, nervous and shaky, Blair looked all of twelve years old. It was oddly endearing. "I was really upset about Nate and you were there, looking at me the way I'd wished he would and I―I just..."

Serena rolled her eyes and stood. She needed to put some space between herself and Blair.

"No, no," Blair started, "you're getting the worng idea."

Serena turned back to look at Blair, her voice cold. "Because you keep saying the wrong things!"

Blair groaned in frustration. "What do you want me to say?"

"I want you to say that last night wasn't about Nate! I want you to say that you don't regret it. I want you to want to say it," Serena sighed, because it would mean nothing if Blair didn't want it, too. This thing that they had, it was bigger than sex. It was more than a mistake spawned from scorn and convenience. It had to be. The closeness, the intimacy, that was between them, it had to be something real. It had to, or it wouldn't hurt this much.

Honesty fell out of Serena's mouth. "B, I want you to tell me that I'm not alone in this."

Blair didn't hesitate. "You're not."

Serena saw a window and she didn't hesitate either. She reached out for Blair's shoulders and pulled her impossibly close. One hand on her face, Serena kissed Blair soundly, until the soft lights and the cold quiet went away.

--

Waldorf Brownstone. 10:17am.

Blair wakes to warm breath soft at her neck and surprisingly strong arms wrapped around her waist. She lays like that for a few moments, eyes closed; basking. It isn't until she opens her eyes to blonde hair and tanned skin that it all comes rushing back.

Serena.