A Gossip Girl fic by Gigi
Summary: What if the masquerade ball wasn't just for the teenagers? Lily and Rufus find themselves dragged to the ball by their insistent children--and bump into each other.
Chapter 1: Into the Fray
A/N: So, I really don't think there are enough Gossip Girl fics out there, especially of Lily and Rufus. This is TV-centric. I have never read the books (but they're on my list!!) so please no flames about inaccuracies.
A/N: BTW this is set AFTER 1.18, but Lily never went through with the wedding because Bart was called away for an urgent business trip that day. The wedding is still on, but postponed until further notice.
"Serena, please don't make me do this," Lily whined as her blonde vixen of a daughter handed her a silver mask similar to the gold on her own face.
"No, Mom," she responded, tying the mask around her mother's head. "You're going. Come on, you'll have fun."
"How can you be so sure?" Lily replied glumly, letting her blonde shoulder-length hair fall forward.
"Because, contrary to what you might believe, you're hot." That statement made Lily's head whip up to stare at her daughter in disbelief.
"You must be kidding," she sputtered.
"I almost wish I was," Serena admitted, "but even Chuck thinks so...but he does tend to look at anything with legs and boobs," she added thoughtfully.
"You really know how to comfort a woman," Lily replied dryly, adjusting her silver-tinged white dress. The dress gathered at her waist in an almost corset-like fashion and fanned out to the floor, giving her a positively royal demeanor. She had to admit, she did look amazing in that dress. "I just don't see the point in my going."
"And why not?" her daughter prodded as she brought her golden locks over her shoulder to go with her equally golden gown.
"Because no one will be interested in a woman in her late thirties."
"Ah, and that, my dear mother, is the beauty of a masquerade ball," Serena declared triumphantly. "Nobody will know who you are, so this is the perfect chance to see just how appealing you are to the opposite sex."
"Before I ponder why you are so insistent on my meeting guys, it hardly counts if the members of the opposite sex are half my age and completely drunk."
"Well, you'll at least know one guy there."
"Who? Dan? Eric?"
"Rufus." Lily did a double take.
"Rufus?! Why will he be there?"
"He doesn't want both his kids there without being there himself, especially since Jenny was about an inch away from becoming Chuck's latest victim," Serena said matter-of-factly, leaning over the vanity to apply some lip gloss. "You can hang out with him."
"So is that why you wanted me to come?"
"So Rufus will have a friend? Or shall I say distraction?" Serena looked over at her mother with a sheepish grin. "Sometimes I see a little too much of myself in you, Serena."
As Lily and Serena van der Woodsen entered the Palace ballroom, the effect was immediate. Lily couldn't help but smile as heads turned upon their arrival. It was a nice feeling.
A young man with brown hair and the mask of a devil soon made his way to the two--no, just Lily. She raised her eyebrow in amusement as he bent over her hand and placed a kiss on it.
"Hello, beautiful," he greeted in a sleazy, supposedly sexy voice.
"Hello, Charles." Lily's face broke into a smile when Charles, or Chuck, straightened, stumbling in surprise.
"Ms. Van der Woodsen!" he exclaimed in a slightly higher than normal voice. "It's very nice to see you."
"And to see you," Lily chuckled. "Enjoy the rest of your night, Charles."
"See?" Serena nudged her mother. "You just got here and already you've been hit on." She winked.
"You can stop trying to prove your point now. I'm already inside the ball. It's not like I can turn around and leave now."
The two women had developed a little following as they made their way to the drinks. One man, in particular, had eyes for Lily. As she laughed with her daughter, he made his way behind her an inhaled her scent. Familiar. Like lilies.
He whispered in her ear, "You know, a woman I loved used to wear that scent."
His hushed statement startled Lily, causing her to jump and whip around to the man. He was...gorgeous. He had wavy brown hair with bangs that fell in front of his liquid brown eyes; a boyish half-smile adorned his face. Even with the black and deep red mask on, Lily could tell who he was instantly.
She did all she could do at the moment. She flirted, "Well, she has good taste."
"She does at that. Do you know why she liked to wear that fragrance?"
"Because it matched her name."
"So I guess her name was Rosemary?" she joked.
"N-no." He was confused. "Lily."
"Don't be so worried, I know it's Lily."
Rufus suddenly realized who he was talking to. The woman was glowing, her short blond hair framing her perfect face. Most importantly, the eyes that held so much pain and openness. Combined with the scent, he mentally slapped himself for not seeing it sooner. It was Lily.
"I'm sure you do," he replied, amusement in his eyes.
This was going to be an interesting night.
Standing in the corner of the expansive ballroom, Lily's insides were twisting. What could she do? She was technically still engaged to Bart. But admit it, a snide voice commented in her head, you've never been more relieved in your life that he was called away that day.
"Not helping," she whispered to herself.
Rufus turned to look at her, confused. "What was that?"
"Nothing...ugh, here comes another drunk kid," Lily sighed at the sight of yet another boy licking his lips at her. She never should have let Serena pick out her dress for her.
"You are quite popular, aren't you?" Rufus asked, trying to pass it off as a joke, but Lily noticed the hint of jealousy.
"Well there's only one way to get them to stop." She looked at Rufus, pleadingly. "Dance?"
Rufus tried not to get too excited. Even if she wasn't engaged, it was already awkward enough. He nodded and pulled her to the floor, drawing her flush against him.
When Lily found herself crushed against his chest she realized what a mistake she had made. This was a man who had somehow found his way back into her heart--and bed, as of a week ago--and being plastered onto him wasn't the best way to rid herself of those feelings.
"This doesn't help things a bit, does it?" Rufus whispered in her ear, his voice low and husky.
"Nope. Definitely not helping." It wasn't until she opened her eyes--which she had not remembered closing--that she noticed he was talking about fending off the boys. Now they just made a whole room full of lustful teenagers jealous. "I don't think it's safe anymore."
"It's okay," he assured, tightening his grip on her. "I'll protect you."
Lily chuckled, "I meant for you. They will pounce on you the second you leave my side."
"Well I just won't leave your side then." Lily mentally slapped her forehead. Great. She had just made sure she had to spend all night with her ex (past and VERY recently) lover. Unconsciously, she drew further into him, scared of her feelings. "Hey, what's wrong?"
"Nothing..." Lily replied. She lay her head on his shoulder, thinking. Did she really want to open up another can of worms? Sure she had avoided it last week. Gossip Girl was slow enough that the photos of her kissing Rufus in the street weren't leaked until the day after the wedding and, fortunately enough, GG's credibility was shot to the point that people simply assumed they were photoshopped. Lily doubted she would be so lucky again if she allowed a repeat.
"Um, Lily?" Rufus' voice came through the haze.
"I'm getting some very threatening looks from some of these guys. I'm thinking they may not all be high schoolers."
Lily opened her eyes and saw what he was talking about. Some of the men had taken off their masks, looking at her with obvious lust and glares for the man with whom she was dancing.
"I told you, it's not safe for you," she said, worried a little.
"What do you mean? It's safer for me than for you," he pointed out with obvious concern in his voice. "You know what alcohol in a man in lust can lead to. And you looking like that doesn't help things at all."
"I could blame her for a lot of things," Rufus replied ruefully.
"What do you mean?" Lily asked, pulling back a little in surprise. "What has she done?"
"Dan told me why you didn't run away with me."
Those words shocked her to the core. Did he really have to find out that she didn't leave him again because she didn't love him?
"I was faced with another choice, I guess."
"Why is it that every time you and I start to get together again, you're faced with another 'choice'?" he demanded, a little pissed by the tone of his voice.
"It wasn't a matter of strength in this, though, Rufus," she pleaded. "You have to realize that twenty years ago, I wasn't strong enough to stand up for myself, let alone provide for and live by myself."
"What could I do? On one hand, I'm sacrificing something for someone else. But if I didn't, I would be sacrificing the happiness of my daughter. What could I do?" she repeated. "I could lose one love of my life or the other." The words were out of her mouth before she could stop them.
Rufus froze, the words echoing in his mind. I could lose one love of my life or the other. I could lose one love of my life or the other. I could lose one love of my life or the other.
"You still love me," he choked out, shocked at the revelation.
"Keep dancing," she hissed. The men had come closer when he stopped dancing. "We don't need to start a riot."
"You still love me," Rufus said again.
"Stop saying that!"
Without a word, Rufus grabbed Lily's hand and led her quickly off the dance floor.
"Rufus, where the hell are we going?" she demanded, trying to wrest free of his vice-like grip.
"We need to talk."
Rufus led her into a private room where everything was draped in crimson cloth and low lighting. As soon as the door closed behind Lily, she was pushed up against it.
Before she knew what was going on, she felt Rufus' lips crash onto hers. Lily couldn't help herself. She succumbed to temptation and kissed him back hungrily, weaving her hands through his hair and undoing his mask in the process.
Two masks fell to the floor, as well as a few more...articles.
A/N: Well, there's chapter one! This COULD be a one-shot, but I'd rather it not be, so please review and tell me what you think!