You're Choking Me With Your Beauty
"If you love someone, let them go. If they come back, they were always yours. If they don't, they never were."
This isn't doing me any good. I can feel the tension in the air – it's thick, I can feel it choking me. I don't know how to handle this. So, I open the window and try to breathe in some air. The sweet yet dangerous air of Manhattan invades my nostrils but this does nothing to me. I can still hear her movements. I can still feel her heated and unmoving gaze upon the back of my head. It's almost like she's trying to burn a hole in the middle.
My back was facing her. I can no longer look at her and not do anything.
"Is something wrong?" she demands softly.
I'm silently begging for a miracle – any kind of miracle – just to stop this awkward meeting she wanted to have. I made the mistake of letting out a quiet, frustrated groan. "No," I whisper harshly. I didn't mean for it to sound that bad. It was supposed to be a simple answer – a yes or a no. Get your head out of the fucking gutter, Dan!
I heard her Manolo Blahniks come towards me and her hand makes the mistake of touching my shoulder. This isn't helping at all. Her fingers staying there are making things worse.
I can feel her very presence behind me. Her scent – her sweet, luscious scent starts to make me feel different again. It's making me remember things I should never look back to – things that happened years ago. "Then, why? Why are you acting like this?"
And then she does the inevitable – she does something that makes me want to jump off the twenty-storey building her family owns. I'm not sure if she knew she was doing this, but suddenly her thumb starts stroking an area of my shoulder. This kind of action regularly calms someone down . . . but, God, it was doing the exact opposite for me.
"Acting li-like what? I'm not doing –" She hits a particular spot, forcing me to stop in the middle of a sentence. "– anything."
I suck. I'm the worst liar, ever. At least now, I know I can never be an actor.
Her thumb stops abruptly and her hand leaves me completely. I should be thinking along the lines of, "Finally, thank God," but, oh man, no. I can still feel her on me – her fingers, her warmth on my shoulder. I can still breathe in her scent and I can still feel her aura next to me. I still couldn't face her.
Her voice sounded incredibly confused and pained when she asks, "Okay. Then, why have you been avoiding me all night?"
Of course I've been avoiding her. That's been my plan ever since, why change now? My hands gripped on the window frame harder now. I needed control over myself. I needed to build a wall to prevent her from destroying everything I've worked hard for.
I stayed silent, refusing to comment on her question. I think she noticed because she started to speak again. "Fine, don't answer that. Another question: why have you been ignoring me all night?" I can detect the frustration in her voice as well. The tension's growing thicker and thicker.
What the hell? Ignoring her? That's what she thinks I've been doing? I've been ignoring her? She's being an idiot. She thinks that when she tries to talk to me, I'm ignoring her. When I hear her breathing my name, she thinks I'm ignoring her. She thinks that whenever I feel her touching me, I'm ignoring her.
God, I wish I could ignore her because that would make things much, much easier. If she only knew what I feel whenever she's there – it's so fucking far from ignorance, so painfully and abnormally far from it.
"I'm not ignoring you," I mutter quietly.
From my peripheral vision, I can see her hair move from side to side and I knew she was shaking her head furiously. "Don't lie to me," She argues. Her voice sounding like she knows how I feel, like she knows why I act the way I do. "I haven't talked to you since graduation and the night I finally manage to get you alone to catch up, you barely utter a word –you barely even looked at me tonight. You just keep turning your back on me, like I'm some sort of monster you can't bother to look at. What the hell is your problem, Dan? What did I ever do to you?"
My left eye twitched when I heard the tears in her voice. And that was all it took for me to turn around and confirm what I suspected. She was crying. I wanted to stare at her and at the same time tear my eyes away from the sight. The scene before me made my heart ache. The sight of her crying was nowhere near bearable. But I should know, the only woman in this world that can maintain her beauty even when she's crying is Serena van der Woodsen.
And lo and behold, here she is. This is the closest she'll get to being ugly because she can never manage to look ugly. I've seen and heard her at her worst and even at that moment, she looked like a reincarnation of some Greek goddess.
I reached out an arm, ready to engulf her in a comforting hug, but I stopped before I could even touch her. Maybe there should be some space between us because I knew that the feel of her would cause something I've been fighting all night. "You never did anything, Serena." I stared at her pained face. "You can never do anything wrong, you know that."
"I-I'm not perfect. Just tell me wha-what I did wrong." She sounded as if she was choking. It was painful to listen to, actually. She isn't breathing well, that I noticed out of all the things.
"Serena, breathe. Come on, calm down, please." I started to plead because I'm scared for her health. I think she's hyperventilating and honestly, it's scaring the shit out of me.
She drops her gaze from me and starts to do what I say. My words finally got through her thick skull. I start to feel lighter for awhile. But then, she suddenly speaks again – this time, panic was obviously evident in her face. Thus, worry fills my body as I waited for her to talk. "You hate me, don't you?" she questions, tears continued to run down her flawless face. "You hate me. You hate me. You hate me. Just say it, you hate me."
For a second, I thought I've gone brain dead when I heard her statement. "I can't say it. I'm not going to." I wanted to yell at her, to tell her how stupid she's acting. She thinks I hate her. How can I ever hate someone like her?
"You don't need to lie to me, Dan!" She's screaming now. Her makeup's ruined; her face smudged in it, dark lines trailed down from her eyes to her lips. "Just say it, I know you want to!"
"No!" I'm starting to think that maybe the heat of the city is getting to her. I mean, the weatherman did say that this was, in fact, the hottest summer in years. Citywide blackouts were happening almost every day. "I'm not going to say I hate you, Serena!"
"Say it!" she screams again. "You obviously do. I haven't had the faintest clue on what the fuck did I do to make you hate me, but it's been painfully obvious all night! You're acting like . . ." She's gasping now. "Like – like you don't want to be seen with me, like you don't want to be with me!"
Her statement, though I knew what she meant, had a different effect on me. I wish she meant it the way I wished she meant it to be. So, then, I could argue with her and tell her I do want to be with her. But I can't – I can't argue against something she has no idea she's been talking about. She thinks I don't want to be around her. God, that is incredibly far from the truth.
I watched helplessly as the wall I built to keep me away crumbled before my very eyes. My hands shot towards her wrists, completely pulverizing any control I had left. She flinches and I loosened my hold. I didn't –I didn't mean to hurt her.
"Shit, Serena." I start to mutter, desperately wanting to lean my forehead on hers, to have a part of her close to me. We stood so close to each other – the closest we've ever been since I could remember. "Just – God, I'm sorry. If you just knew – if you just had the slightest idea of what you do to me . . ."
As soon as the words left my mouth, my gaze drops towards the floor. I wasn't supposed to mention anything about that. I'm not even supposed to be talking to her. This whole thing is wrong. This isn't the time or place to talk about that. It's a forbidden topic – I just crossed the fucking line. The line I swore I would never cross. God, how could I be so stupid? Why now, of all the times, why do I mention it now?
"What I do to you?" I saw little droplets of tears hit the carpet. The cycle never ended. As soon as one dropped, another would, and then another again. "I'm not doing anything to you! What? Am I annoying you or something? Is that why you hate me? Do you really hate my lifestyle that badly?"
I glared at the crème carpet below us. "Just stop saying that I hate you, Serena. I don't, I swear, I don't." I suddenly lose my energy as I softly whisper to her. "If I could just hate you, then, maybe things wouldn't be so complicated. I wish I could hate you, Serena."
"How is this complicated?"
"Do you understand how much I had to endure just to be here? God, if you just knew what I'm going through right now just to make you happy. You pleaded with those – those wide, emerald orbs, and I had to do something! If – if Vanessa finds out where I am, she'll freak. She thinks I went to the fucking bathroom! I'm not supposed to – not after what I – God, this is incredibly wrong."
Her eyes darkened. "So, what, she hates me, too?" She pauses before she talks again. "You're doing the murmuring thing again, Dan! You're talking about things only you can understand. Just tell me. Tell me you hate me, you despise me, anything! Just tell me why on Earth you are acting like this."
My irritation grows and I start to feel like Manhattan just got hotter. The breeze from outside suddenly stops – as if it stopped just for us, for our fight. "I don't hate you, would you just stop saying that? Get it through that thick skull of yours. You're starting to drive me fucking crazy!"
Oh, shit. What the hell did I just say?
As soon as I heard it from my own set of ears, I knew it was wrong. Just when I thought I've seen her most devastated state, I've been proven wrong again. A hurt and shattered look appeared on her face – one that made my mind throb and my heart break into millions of pieces. I think my face turned pale at the sight.
Tears were endless now. Her lips were in a frown, and that look in her eyes – like her world solely depended on me and I just shattered the said world. My wide eyes watched in surprise when she closes her eyes for a second before turning around. She starts to walk away from me, her long legs walking with intense speed. And all I can do is stare at her retreating figure. I open my mouth only to close it again after finding out that my voice decided to disappear. I couldn't utter a single word. I wanted to yell out, tell her everything, confess to her everything but it's – it's too complicated.
No, no, no. This is wrong. God, I'm dead.
She left the door wide open and I follow her in panic. I can see her running – running away from me. I felt like someone stabbed me in the back because she was running away from me. Control's not an issue anymore; I've long passed that stage.
"Serena! Please, stop, Serena!" My mind suddenly went into autopilot as my heart took over. My legs start to run, run towards her. I can clearly see her gasping for air as she waits for the elevator. We were separated by a sea of people – people that I would never get along with no matter how much I try. I've said too much already, she can't just leave now. People are looking at me, but I don't and won't care anymore. They looked at me, so what. For the moment, Serena and I lived in a different world where only the two of us existed. That's all that matters to me right now.
I stepped inside the elevator before the doors closed our only chance. Right now, I wasn't sure if fate was with us or against us. The doors closed, leaving us alone. Nobody was there to stop anything that might happen. The tension was thick and all I could hear was my heart beating out of my chest – no sobs, no sighs, nothing but the beating. All of a sudden, she drops to the floor, heaving in wrecked sobs. I rush to her and my mind begs for control but my heart stops and shuts everything down. I allow myself to touch her, to take her in my arms, as I tried to help her stand again.
My pulse beats erratically once my skin touches hers, as soon as my body collides with hers. This, now this is why I drew a line. This is why I didn't let myself touch her – I swore that there would be no physical contact. But now, God, I couldn't just drop her now.
I don't even know the meaning of the word anymore.
"Da-Dan," she chokes on my name. We slowly slid down the wall until we're both sitting on the cold, metal floor. With my arms wrapped around her protectively and her head on my shoulder, I helplessly watch the numbers above light up one by one as we descend down the building.
All this time, I thought it was her who was shaking, and only her. But I could feel my shoulders shake with intensity as my chest heaved up and down. I was resting my head on the wall when I watched her arm shoot up towards the elevator's control.
"What are you doing?"
I watched in horror as her fingers abruptly pressed the big, red button and the elevator suddenly stopped.
Me and her, alone.
She leans against my shoulder and this, again, does nothing good to me. If anything, this makes it much, much worse. "Dan," she splutters. "I'm sorry for everything. I'm sorry if I annoy you, I'm sorry that you hate me. I'm sorry." Her voice sounds so weak and tired.
I started to stroke her hair through my fingers, watching in amazement as it went through it with ease. "Stop it," She buries her head deeper into my shoulder. And the effect was sickening. My posture went rigid as soon as I felt her move. "You're not annoying, I don't hate you. I can never hate someone like you. You might actually be the most wonderful woman I've ever met."
I began smiling like some insane person when I heard her response. It was so childish, yet so incredibly her. "I wish I was –" I stop altogether now because her arms snaked it's way around my waist. She has to stop. God, why isn't she unwrapping her arms? This is bad, so bad.
I rip my arms away from her as if I've been burned. I stood up and moved until I reached the other side of the elevator. It wasn't far, but it was enough for now. The moment I moved away, I felt empty – completely and utterly empty. My body yearns for her warmth, her bright sunshine. "I can't do this," I breathe heavily. Big mistake. Inhaling her sweet and luscious scent just made it worse.
She stares at me with her emerald eyes – the eyes too deep for words to describe. Her tears were momentarily missing. Gazing at her reminded me of a deer in headlights, frozen and disbelieving. "Can't do what?" Her voice shaking with what I thought was grief. I watched in awe and in fear as she slowly stood up, her knees shaking.
"This," I let out a soft sigh. "Be close to you – be in the same room as you."
She begins shaking her head. "Is this because of Vanessa?"
"No." I deadpan. "I don't care what she thinks. I wish I do care about what she says. I wish I cared whenever she screams at me. But I don't."
She runs a hand through her wavy hair. I close my eyes, mulling over the consequences if I happen to lose all of my control right now. "Wishes aren't going to take you anywhere, Dan." I can feel her voice was close to yelling again. I could trace the frustration and confusion in it.
I unconsciously swallow a lump in my throat. "God, Serena, stop making things so complicated!" Her gasp fills my ears and I just knew I've already lost this fight. My eyes snap open to stare at hers. This was it.
"I can't help that I'm still so fucking in love with you!"
I've always thought I had control wrapped around my finger. Since senior year, I've been in control over my emotions, over my will and that was three years ago. I don't think I can do this. Before, it was just something that could never happen again. Lies were made and it was too much drama for us to handle. But now – now, it's different. The situation is much more complex.
Back then, it was just – you weren't allowed to love someone who's lied to you time and time again. Now, it was that you couldn't love her because of the past and because she belonged to someone else, not to mention you do, as well.
I didn't know how long we sat there, staring at each other with undecipherable expressions. But all it took was a sharp intake of breath from her to cut the tension into two. Snap.
One second, I was standing on the other side. And the next, I'm throwing myself at her, trapping her lips with mine, my arms pulling her closer. I loved the feeling of having her warm, soft lips on top of my cold, dry ones. Her fingers were on my head, roaming around, allowing my hair to stick up on all ends.
"Stop this right now, you idiot!" I could hear my mind scream at me. "This is wrong! She has someone, you have someone!" And it was right, this was wrong, but I just didn't care anymore. It's what I've been dreaming about. It's what I've been craving for years. It's like I'm living in another world, another dimension where the population only consisted of her and me.
I've missed the feeling of having my arms around her petite waste, the feeling of running my hands over her back, the feeling of having her lips on my skin. The dreams I've had didn't do her justice. She was sweeter than I remember her to be. God, I'm totally and undeniably helpless to this woman.
My hands were locked beneath her as I hoisted her around my waist. Her legs wrapped themselves around my waist. She's surrounding me, suffocating me. My mind's probably off somewhere along with my control. For all I knew, I might have been brain dead at the moment.
The room's hotter now. I'm not sure if it's just because of the activities or if it's because of the weather. I find my legs buckling as we slowly slid down the wall onto the cold, metal floor. Our breaths were haggard whenever we came up for air. I don't know how we're actually breathing since we minimize the time our lips are apart.
I don't know how long we've sat there, battling each other, wanting dominance. She's sitting on top of me, her legs wrapped around my waist. Everything she did was beautiful, magnificent even. God, this is going to be hard once we were done. I don't think I can control myself after this. It took years to master a control that strong and now, it's gone, destroyed.
I don't know why but I suddenly find myself pulling away from her adoring lips. She tries to recapture them again but I carefully push her away from me. Control.
She looks at me blankly, her breathing heavier than before. I looked at her appearance and – what the fuck? Every button of her white long-sleeved shirt was undone – every freaking piece. I couldn't even remember removing any buttons. She scoots away from me and she begins to blink faster and faster.
"Dan," I suck in a breath, mentally preparing myself for whatever was to come. "What just happened?"
My head found its sanctuary on the wall, leaning on it. "Nothing," I dragged my hand over my face, trying to compose myself. "I'm sorry – I went out of line. Ju-Just forget it ever happened. Don't worry."
I don't want to forget about it.
She glares this time, finally, an emotion on her face – her flawless face. "What the hell do you want me to do, Dan?" Her voice grows louder with every word she utters. "We almost had sex on an elevator and you want me to just forget about it?" I felt myself blush at her words. She can be frank when she wants to be. Childish, I know, but I find it odd that she can openly talk about that and not feel embarrassed.
"I wasn't going to let it go that far." I mutter, refusing to meet her eyes.
She scoffs. "Right, so I just happen to undo my own zipper?"
My eyes begin to blink furiously as I gaze at her pants, pulled slightly downwards and her zipper completely undone. Oh, shit. We were just about to do it.
"Forget about it," I grit my teeth. "You have Aaron, I have Vanessa. We need to pretend like nothing ever happened. Nobody will know that we cheated."
Regret fills my body. I don't ever want to forget about this. I want to remember the feel of her on me.
Her eyes widened all of a sudden and her hand covers her mouth. "Oh, dear God." She whispers. "Aaron – I can't – we just cheated on them! You can't expect me to just forget about what we did and what we were just about to do. This –" Her hands waved around. "– meant nothing to you!"
Her eyes were burning furiously. "Are you that stupid, Serena?" I find myself saying. Oh, God, stop right now, please. "I just told you I'm still in love with you after all these years and you think it meant nothing to me. It meant everything, Serena! If it's anything, it's you who thinks it means nothing at all when all you can think about right now is how sad your artistically inclined asshole of a boyfriend will be once he finds out."
"It's the same problem all over again, Dan." she chokes. "This just proves it, we can never be. I can't do this, I can't love you back. We can't fight destiny. I'm tired of trying again and again only to find myself alone in the end. I don't want to reach the point where my heart's been beaten too much and I can't love anymore."
"Serena . . ."
Tears were running down her cheeks. It might not stop anymore. "I can't love you back, Dan." She whispers, passing by me like wind - a soft, light Manhattan breeze.
It stings when she says that. I love her. She can't love me back, ever. She's giving up, that's what she's doing.
"W-Why?" The word rolls off my tongue easily. My voice softens. I can feel something completely heart-wrenching is going to happen next. And God, was I right.
People need it to survive. Unfortunately, I lost mine and the worst happened.
Serena raises her left hand, slowly revealing the band of gold on one of her fingers. Married. She's fucking married.
AN: Okay, first of all, "AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!" on the first DS scene for quite awhile during the "Chuck in Real Life" epi. I literally jumped off my seat and squealed like the teen I am. It was so inspiring, it made me write several DS fics that I'll slowly publish one by one. :D
Next, if there are any grammar mistakes or anything, alert me as soon as possible. I don't really have a beta for my GG fics, so my fic hasn't reached it's full potential. :D Thanks.
And last, Aaron Rose. He reminds me of Peter Petrelli from Heroes. Must be the hair or something. BTW, I don't like him. He's cute and all, but there's just that weird, bad vibe I get whenever he's on screen with Serena. Must be the whole 'being a DS fan' thing. :))
Reviews are appreciated. :D
Oh, and this is a reposted fic, seeing as the website is acting all weird and funky on my computer. :(