Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N - Stepping back into my comfort zone here with some Chuck/Blair. Thank you to Court and Ayr who helped me over a few hurdles with this. You ladies rock!

Thank you and special dedication to: Beth, TheMusicLives, my brain twin. Because you never say no to my incessant need for all things *you*, even when you should. And you let me steal your brilliant titles, even when you don't know it. ;) Love you, girl!

Blair sat on the tiny stool of her vanity, ivory hair brush running through her loose curls. As it'd repeatedly been doing since her feet had carried her aimlessly into her bedroom.

The girl in the mirror stared back at her, brown eyes rimmed with red and fat tears trickling down her cheeks; an old friend, hollow and lost, that she hadn't seen for quite some time now. Not since the night she'd placed her then future on her hand for Nate's drugged up father to admire; the night that had that been the start of all this… the start of her.

It was as if with one kiss, one look, one breath he'd pulled her from her forever reserved place at second best.

She hadn't stared at her own reflection, her eyes filled with this much hurt since. Hadn't wondered what it was about her that would fate her to a life of 'yes, dear's' and tight smiles, turning blind eyes to red lips on white collars. She hadn't felt the fight ebb out of her, her hopes and dreams slip like sand through fingers in a fist held too tightly. Not even as she lay on Kati's brother's bed at her own birthday party, publically humiliated, one half the whole she'd always been, did she feel the familiar hopelessness wash over her. Even then the tiny sliver of a thought, the one that she could now admit had always lurked in the dark corners of her mind, had slowly plotted and smirked and cared its way into the picture… until he'd been all that she could see.

And in that moment, when his fingers had brushed ever so slightly against the sensitive skin at her neck and his eyes had met hers without any flicker of disappointment or distraction, she'd let go of the girl now staring back at her in the mirror; felt her fall away into the same nothingness from which she'd been born.

But she was back now; with her vacant eyes and hollow heart. Because he'd gathered every last piece of himself he'd given her and had slipped away into the darkness…taking a little piece of her soul with him, a portion of the heart that now beat only for him. They'd bled into his heart, into his soul the second his lips had found hers and she'd never really gotten them back.

She barely even recognized the outline of the slim hand in the mirror as being her own, even as she watched it rise once more to drag the soft bristles through her thick locks.

She barely even recognized herself.

She'd let it happen again, let herself succumb to – no, caused… caused her own pain.

She'd caused her own pain then, believing that history and sensibility would win out over passion and lust. That what was and always had been would stand the test of what could be; that it would and could resist the allure and shine of the road never traveled.

And she'd caused her own pain now. Chasing after the memory of a boy who, despite all the reason why he shouldn't, had seen her; the memory of a boy who could no longer see himself.

The more she chased him, the more he retreated into himself until she no longer recognized him, until she could no longer chase after the shell of who he'd become.

He'd come with flowers, but it had been too little to make a difference, too late to matter. She was done; she could take no more. Just like strands of over brushed hair, rendered brittle and weak under the strain of the constant, monotonous act, she'd broken and snapped.

The boy she loved had given her life, but he didn't stare back at her from behind this boy's eyes; he wasn't there any longer.

So she'd thrown the pathetic offering back at him; she'd already been down this road once before, wouldn't go down it again. She wouldn't lose herself to find him, wouldn't wound her soul to heal his.

She couldn't sacrifice herself to save him.

Not when the boy masquerading as the one she loved was no longer the boy who'd knelt in this very room, before this very stool and had given her his heart without having to say the words.

Not when she knew the outcome was guaranteed be one of loss, of pain, of utter heartbreak, and of anything but relief. No. No more, she was done.

If only she could have thrown her heart at his feet as she'd thrown the fuchsia bouquet. But she couldn't because, just like the stranger who'd held the colourful flowers in his hands, the boy she loved held her heart.

As long as the sliver of hope remained that one day they would again be one and the same, that the flower toting stranger would follow the girl staring back at her from the mirror into the darkness, it would stay that way. Even as Charles sunk further into the bowels of her building, taking what remained of Chuck with him, she couldn't bring herself to toss it beside his feet.

Because it wasn't hers to throw anymore.

She'd given it to him with every whisper of life he'd breathed into her… and it would be his until he could breathe life back into himself.

It wasn't hers to throw anymore…

And she wouldn't take it back from him.

Even if she could.

A/N I feel I've purged my demons enough now to tackle something a little more light and fluffy. And just as a side note: I loved, loved, LOVED the episode. It was an epic turning point for Blair, and in time for Chuck, too, and even though she says she's done what she really means is she's done with this version of him. The one that that's hurt her. Because the person he's been lately, this version of himself that even he doesn't recognize, isn't who she wants to be with, anyway. Chuck needed to lose her to know that he could lose her. He needed to lose her to realize what he had to begin with.