A/N: written from a prompt/challenge on LJ for the community burnthe_city. It was my first time doing something like this and it was a lot of fun:) The prompt was "today is a fairytale." You all should def. check the community out, it's amazing:)
("There's no such thing as love. It's a fantasy") – 500 Days of Summer.
Unlike her best friend, Serena wasn't focused on 'a happy ending.'
She didn't want an ending.
She wanted a now.
"I want you right now," purred into an awaiting ear.
(A quickie in the janitor's closet, an exam week fling, a summer romance or two)
She knew all her fairytales though.
(As if Blair hadn't hammered them all into her head)
"No, Snow White's evil step mother the queen gives her the poison apple." Seven-year old Blair corrects.
"But I thought you said it was the old hag."
"It was S! but she was…."
"But I thought you said it was the queen." Serena interrupts, blue eyes wide.
"Serena! How many times do we have to go over this?"
Sure, Serena knew her fairytales. It doesn't mean she never got them confused.
(Sleeping Beauty lived in cottage in the woods with the seven dwarfs, right?)
These things often happen when a nanny with a thick accent (when all you want is mommy or daddy) reads you all your bedtime stories.
She does not have an evil step-mother.
Instead she has (had) several step-fathers.
Never permanent fixtures that she'd could ever call upon when she needed a father. (to have a tea-party with, to set up field hockey drills, to buy a mother's day present for Lilly)
"Mommy, mommy where's daddy? I wanna show him my picture."
"Serena, "Lilly exhaled, kneeling down to her four- year olds level. "Your daddy went away."
"Like on a business trip to help sicky people?"
Lilly eyes glazed over as she stared at her daughters drawing, a messy crayon drawing of a flower and the sunshine and an all blue sky.
"Something like that, baby."
Serena tilted her head, confused. "So, when's he coming back?"
"I don't know. He might never come back." Lilly said standing up, the bones in her knees cracking (like Serena's heart, right in half).
Serena bit into her lip, hard, drawing blood. (Lilly's back turning).
It was last time they talked about her father leaving.
It was the day she decided that princesses and princes (let alone people like her) never fall in love.
They just fall flat on their face.
(humpty-dumpty sat on a wall…)
When she's fourteen she falls in love for the first time.
(love doesn't exist, remember?)
At nine he was the first boy she ever kissed.
"C'mon let's try it Natie!"
"I don't know S."
"It's just a kiss. The people on TV do it all the time." Serena says stepping forward.
"Okay. But that doesn't mean you're my girlfriend."
"Yuck." She says rolling her eyes.
And she presses their lips together, quickly, in the blink of an eye.
(1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi)
They pull apart. Nate wiping his winter chapped lips on his sleeve.
"Thanks, Natie." Serena smiles, turns on her heels, and walks away.
She watches him with her eyes across the room and feels her heart beating rapidly. Whatever this is- between her and Nate- is making her feel things she's never felt before.( causes her heart to swell with the sound of his voice and her palms sweat when she thinks about him and her heels to bounce up and down whenever she gets a glimmer of him.)
But he's Blair's.
(Nate kisses Blair right in front her. She closes her eyes but the image doesn't leave her mind. It's imprinted. It burns behind her eyelids, causing tears to form.)
Which causes all sorts of problems.
He's Blair's fairytale, her happy ending, her prince charming.
Only one girl gets to live happily ever after sweetheart.
She swallows another martini (and her feelings for him) and kisses Chuck full on lips just because she can.
Serena is sixteen when she goes to the Sheppard wedding.
Young, naïve, and fucked up.
She goes as a favor to her mother.
"I don't ask but so much of you Serena."
(And that's only because you're never here to ask anything of.)
"Alright Mom, I'll go."
"Thanks, darling." Lilly says smiling, happy about getting her way.
(Well, well, well, if she isn't just her mother's daughter.)
She puts on a yellow dress.
And does everything in her power to stress that fact that she's the golden girl.
(mirror mirror on the wall who's the fairest of them all?)
She's sunshine, bright light, blonde, beautiful.
But it's false.
She's not true gold.
A yellow metal that turns your finger green.
She doesn't plan what happens next.
Later, after vows and toasts, and dancing.
And champagne. It runs down her throat like water.
Glass after glass after glass.
It isn't until the bartender refuses to serve her (he claims it's because of her age, but she knows it's only because she won't flash him her tits) and Blair gives her the eye from across the ballroom that she decides to have some fun of her own.
"What's up B?"
Blair grabs Nate's arm and pulls him toward her.
"It's Nate, he's so drunk."
"C'mon Blair, I'm not." Nate slurs.
"You can barely put a sentence together."
Serena giggles and Blair frowns.
"And you, you breath reeks of alcohol. Take him and both of you go sober up."
Serena links her and Nate's arms and leads him away.
She doesn't know if she's the villain or the hero.
They explore only to find an adjoining ballroom that just so happens to have a fully-stocked bar.
"Didn't Blair say we should sober up?" Nate asks when Serena starts rummaging behind the bar.
"C'mon Natie! Don't be such a baby!"
She pulls out a bottle of champagne and pops the cork sending tons of bubbly towards the sky.
Nate smiles, she takes a sip, and hands him the bottle.
They drink so much they can barely think let alone speak.
She hops up on the bar, barefoot, and dances to a song she can hear though the walls that's playing at the reception.
"Don't let me fall Natie!"
She slips and falls right into his lap.
Champagne spills on her dress.
She smiles and he smiles.
And she kisses him deeply.
She starts to undress him and he starts to undress her.
It's quick, this dance they do.
He's inside her and she's moaning his name.
She's too drunk to think about what she's done.
Her best friend's boyfriend, virginity taken by her.
She kisses him again, again, and again.
Until guilt coats her tongue.
He in some sense was the poison apple that tempted her.
She took a bite and then some.
Georgina texts her after Nate's drifted off to sleep.
His head leaned up against the bar, his body sprawled out on the carpet.
She leaves in his white dress shirt without a word.
When she arrives at the hotel room there's enough cocaine and booze to kill a person.
(if she only knew then what she knows now)
She shoots up, laughs, and drowns herself in anything other than Nate and what she'd done.
She feels dirty and guilty.
(she pushes it down. Takes another drink, another hit)
And no matter what she drinks, she can still taste him in her mouth.
Pete leans in and kisses her.
But Nate. Nate's in her mouth.
She can't lose that, no.
She pulls away.
And the next thing she knows he's seizing.
At Georgina's urging she leaves, quickly dialing 911 on his cell phone, and then running out.
Just like that.
She watches from across the street as they pull Pete's dead body from the hotel.
She hugs herself tightly and goes to the train station.
Boarding school, she decides.
Run, run, running away.
(humpty- dumpty had a great fall….)
At seventeen she returns to the Upper East Side a changed person.
Some things have changed and some things are still very much the same.
(her long blonde hair, her guilt, her daddy issues, her long lean legs, her views on love)
She cried almost every night before she went to bed while she was away.
Over Nate and Blair and Pete and everything.
She got cleaned up and she never (always) looked back.
She meets a boy.
(Almost everything in Serena's life starts with a boy)
She smiles and giggles and flirts.
But catches on to the fact that they come from two totally different worlds.
(You want the golden girl, she's just a façade. I'm not golden at all.)
It's only when her world rejects her.
(Blair doesn't want her, Nate doesn't want her, Chuck doesn't want the her that she's trying so hard to be)
That she decides to let him in. Despite how it could all go wrong.
"You're really going to go out with some guy you don't know?"
She smiles, flips her hair. "You can't be worse than the guys I do know."
He's not who she thought he was.
He's funny and sensitive and sweet.
He rambles and she smiles. (blushes, even)
He's also a white knight.
Swooping in to have his sister from Chuck.
And when she grabs his hand she feels something deep down inside her.
She shakes her head and ignores it.
(he's not her white knight. Fairytales have no basis in reality)
Even so, she spends the whole night thinking about him.
(Dan. Dan Humphrey from Brooklyn. Dan and Serena. Serena and Dan.)
When she kisses him for the first time the world stops.
Or turns slower or something like that.
She refuses to think this is anything more than ordinary.
She's just a girl and he's just a boy.
But it's not the end.
It's only the beginning.
Stolen kisses, forgotten books, coffee in Brooklyn, home-made dinners, a cabbage patch named Cedric.
She trades in everything she's ever known for this.
She becomes someone she'd always hoped to be but never quite knew that she could.
They live in a bubble. Just her and him.
Until Blair comes back into her life trying so hard not to pass any more judgment that necessary.
"But S, he's from Brooklyn!"
"It's not some alien planet, B!"
It's a balancing act on a thin wire that could snap at any moment.
The old Serena and the new Serena always coming close to colliding.
He fills a room with candles to lose his virginity to her.
He kisses her and looks at her serious, always right in the eye and never anywhere else.
Her body literally shakes and he holds her face.
He chokes down a laugh, "Of me?"
She shakes her head, "Of me."
"I'm going to ruin us."
He presses his lips on hers and shakes his head. "Impossible."
"Nobody ever looked at me the way you just did. In fact I don't think they ever looked at me at all."
Dan holds her tightly in his arms without trying anything else. He just holds her.
She closes her eyes. And her heart hums.
She's never felt so safe.
Maybe she was wrong about prince charming and love and fairytales.
She decides she loves him then.
(Love might exist.)
A lone tear falls from her eye onto his bare skin.
The walls around her heart start to break down.
(And all the king's horses and all the king's men….)
Dan is her date to her cotillion.
Or at least he was supposed to be.
She buys a gold dress and he buys a gold vest.
Cece ruins it or she ruins or Dan ruins it.
("I'm going to ruin us," )
Somehow it gets ruined and Carter escorts her.
But in the end he shows up, for her.
He kisses her and she loosing track of her footing.
And her mind starts to conjure up word like forever and always.
Later, he literally sweeps her right of her feet.
Spins her around and she holds onto him tight.
"Don't let me fall,"
He smiles (and she laughs loudly) and carries her out of the hotel lobby bridal style.
She's so happy and in love and dizzy.
He makes her feel like she's gold.
Real genuine gold.
(You we're just a little tarnished, but still golden all the same)
She shines in the sunlight and she shines when she's with him.
"I love you,"
And he's able to tell her all the reasons why.
He fixes her, slowly but surely.
She's cracked and broken. All done by others before him.
But she's still beautiful.
He picks her up, kisses it better.
Later, he writes a short story.
She cries when she reads it.
He picks her up and spins her around.
Again, again, again.
They break up in the winter time when the sunshine runs out.
And she reasons that she ruined them.
"You didn't," he swears kissing her fingers.
He walks away.
Her heart always entangled with his.
(couldn't put humpty together again…)
((but he did, he fixed me…))
The story ends.
Ending, unhappy. Just like she wanted.