Title: a heart breaks louder in an empty room

Characters: Dan/Serena; implied Nate/Serena; Serena/Ben

Rating/Word Count: R/2,049

Summary: what do you do when you love someone who's not really who you thought they were? Love them anyway.

Notes: fill for spentnights. Written for prompt meme over on my journal. DS just couldn't wait anymore. And I'm sorry if this is super angst and not exactly what you wanted but the fluff will come one day. Until then, I really hope you like this, bb.

Also this is slightly inspired by dysenchanted2 fic: I taste the truth in all your lies, the lies in all your truths over on LJ. This story is honestly a BAMF. I cried almost all the way through, it just amazed me. Everyone should read this!

"Let's have a baby,"

He's smiling at her then, like they're sixteen, and the world is at their feet.

Only they aren't sixteen anymore, they're thirty-three respectively, and married, and by god how's she changed.

"Dan, I..." And her thought hangs into the air of their loft, becomes stale, and hushed, but there.

His face turns angry- she hates when he's angry. She tucks her legs under her body, keeps herself perched on the bed, in his reach.

(i'm always going to love you,)

His back is turned to her, anger built up in the ridges of his back. She touches his shoulder, he flinches, and she can feel it deep inside of her chest.

(it's worse than a blow, worse than a lie, worse than anything that could go wrong between them.)

"Dan, please..." And shes biting down on her lip, hard, until copper fills her mouth, and tears fall from her eyes onto his skin.

He turns to her then, when water droplets trace patterns into his flesh, sits up in bed, and wipes them away.

(the night before he marries her he has a dream: she's in her wedding dress and there's a gaping bloody hole where her heart belongs.

You stole my heart; you stole my heart; you...

she collapses into his arms, blood covers his hands, and he wakes up.

Blood on his hands.

I love you.

What have I done?

He marries her anyway because he loves her, and she loves him, and he doesn't know what his life would be if she weren't in it.

Serena I still...

If it's his heart she breaks then he deserved it.

I know, me too

Her heart is a jig-saw puzzle. He needs to fix her. Rings on fingers; fate sealed)

She's trying not to cry then, but it it isn't working, her husband keeps wiping her tears away, shhs and apologizes over and over again.

If you're not ready, I understand. I can wait.

Baby, I understand if you don't want to be like Lily. You won't, I won't let you.

I'm sorry, Serena. I love you. We don't have to.

He sings her name like a song: SerenaSerenaSerena. Wipes her cheeks like he's scrawling a poem onto her face.

She tugs on the hem of his NYU t-shirt that she wearing and wraps her arms around his neck, leaning her weight into his body.

"There are so many things you don't know about me," She whispers into his neck.

His eyes widen, although he shouldn't be surprised, Serena's secrets are as vast as the ocean.

They hide in the depth of her eyes.

(what do you do when you love someone who's not really who you thought they were?

Love them anyway. )

He tangles his hands in her messy blonde bed head and sighs.

He's never claimed to completely know Serena van der Woodsen but sometimes he thinks he should. When you marry someone you except that you and this person are completely bound and tied.

As much as he writes about his wife, he feels like he should know her better.

I know you enough.

Like he's reading a book he's written.

She's laying on his his chest and he's gingerly tracing her knuckles and then her wedding rings.

"It's not that I don't want to," she says finally, letting the words gather in her throat until she's about to choke on them. "I love you."

He places kisses in her hair, on her cheek, on the delicate skin of her wrist.

"I love you too,"

She grabs hold of his hand and bumps their rings together.

"You're the best thing I've ever loved."

( here's a secret: you're the only thing i've ever really loved. )

He kisses her neck, finds her pulse, feels the rhythm of her heartbeat through his body.

"Dan?" She whimpers but not from pleasure but from pain.

The kind that lives deep down inside of her soul, the kind of pain that he hardly ever saw, the kind that only came out when her bubbly fun façade crumbled down to nothing but the salt of her tears.

Their eyes met, legs tangled, fingers intertwined.

"I can't have a baby, Dan. And it's not because I don't want to... I can't."

And then he understands, he kisses her eyelids, and a story escapes her lips.

…...

It's two months after the Shepard wedding.

Boarding school and way too much partying.

She missed her period but doesn't notice.

Pretends it away...

She downs another drink, takes another pill, and goes off into the woods for another party.

Her tears collect on the pillow case and she realizes she has no one else to blame.

There is an affair with an English teacher and more drugs than she can even remember.

(he reads her Auden and Fitzgerald before they fuck. She pretends it has substance but in all honesty it has none.

All sins tend to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is damnation.

You're my addiction, Serena.

She shakes her head; she's played this game before.)

Her memories are hazy now but she knows what her addiction truly was in all that mess.

She was addicted to breaking her own heart.

(Once your heart breaks how do you fix it?

How does it mend?)

She thinks about changing, about that baby that may or may not be inside of her.

Serena marks another X on her calender, hikes up her skirt, and leaves the dorm for another party.

She's a hated figure at Waverly. Girls dislike her, all the boys want to fuck her.

She continues to see the teacher and doesn't form any bonds.

Four months after the wedding she collapses in a pool of her own blood.

She is weak and dizzy and the room is spinning and then it's black.

Serena is rushed to the hospital- informed she's having a miscarriage.

She doesn't take time to cry, figures it's a waste, she looks inside of herself, remembers the drinking and the drugs and the all that anonymous sex.

I'm so so sorry. - she blubbers. Says it to anyone who listen. To the nurse, to the doctors, to her mother, to herself, and lastly to the baby inside of her.

After the anesthesia wears of her mother asks who the father is:

"I don't know,"

Her mother nods, not sure if it's a lie or a truth. Either way there is no baby. Nothing to worry about, no one to contact.

They doctors later tell her the baby was a girl and that because of the traumatic effects of the miscarriage she can no longer bear children.

She doesn't know which news is worse: the fact that she had a daughter or that she could never be mother.

She takes in stride the fact that she never wanted to be her mother. She probably would have become her somehow, someway.

Lily sighs, tries to soothe her, running her fingers through her hair. It's too little too late.

She remembers when this was all she wanted.

I wanted you to love me.

Lily eventually leaves after the hush money's been paid and she's assured that her daughter is going to be okay.

Later when she retraces the steps of her life lived she'll come back to this moment.

"G'bye darling, see you this Christmas."

Lily's purse is high on her shoulder and her hair tied in perfectly crafted bun on her head.

Stay. Fix me. Save me.

Mommy, please.

She's a scared little girl, bones shaking, eyes wide.

Serena watches her mother leave. She should be so used to goodbyes now.

She knows she should.

She returns to Waverly after her hospital stay and changes.

In the grand scheme of the things this is where the new Serena comes in. The good girl. The better version of herself.

(Ben grabs her shoulders: asks about the baby.

"Was it mine? Was it mine? Did you tell anyone about us?"

He shakes her when she doesn't answer. Like a rag doll in the wind.

"No."

no-no-no-no-no

He let's her go. He goes: like another mistake she can't believe she made.

I keep making the same mistake over and over again.

She thinks of Gatsby: how she really could have been Daisy. She was blonde and flighty and spoiled and a child in almost every sense of the word.

She thinks of her daughter. Of the baby that could not be.

I hope she'll be a fool—that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.

If nothing describes her better- than those words.

A beautiful little fool- how quickly they unravel.)

Three weeks later she gets a call from her mother.

There first thing she hears is Eric and her ears are already perked up in high alert.

"He tried to kill himself, Serena..."

The next thing she knows she's packing bags and boarding trains and going home.

….

"And then I met you," He kisses her tears away and breathes her in.

"I'm so sorry,"

She kisses him then, throws herself into it, all that emotion and heart ache and pain.

(There's a secret that no one ever tells her:

you can be happy. you can almost have it all.

He can love her despite everything. Despite her mistakes and her bad choices and who she used to be. )

"When I married you, I never thought..."

He's silent then, listens to her gulp on her tears and feels her heart beat under his palm.

The life they've built weighs down on the springs on the mattress they now lie on.

He's a New York Times bestselling author, with a bookshelf full of novels he's written. The critics call his words poetic, and painful, with a spot of true love does exist mixed in for good measure. She's an ex-model who now does photography because she found she enjoys it. He married his muse, you can find her in almost anything he's written. She's a lost little girl, with trust fund money she doesn't even spend.

They live in the Village, because it's a stone skip from the upper east side and vast plain from Brooklyn. It's a big loft with big windows, designer clothes in her closet and and a room full of bookshelves.

They've never been a perfect couple, but after four years of marriage they've learned how to co-exist, she's always going to be Serena van der Woodsen, men are always going to double take at the beautiful blonde on his arm. And he's always going to be the lonely boy from Brooklyn who clawed his way into a world he didn't belong.

"I'm sorry, baby. I want to make you happy, I wanna be-"

He haults her words with a kiss.

"You make me the happiest man alive,"

"You promise?" her voice is child-like and soft and afraid.

He laughs in spite of himself, runs his hands along her body, "I promise."

(what do you do when your heart is broken and a boy who you adore wants to fix you?

Let him.)

Her secret settles like ash after a volcano in their bedroom. He places his hand on her heart feels the pieces of it come together underneath his palm.

"I love you so much," she whispers, puts her nose to his.

He closes his eyes, rubs their noses together, and for a brief moment thinks of the baby that use to be inside of her, of blood pouring out of her heart.

"I love you too,"

(can you love too much? too little? just enough?

can you measure how far it stretches? how do you know when it ends?

I'd go to the ends of the world for you. I'll love you until my heart stops beating in my chest. forever and ever, I promise.

Someone once said: love is like a thief in the night. it comes in and steals your heart, never to give it back.

You and I belong to each other...

-Folie à deux they say it was.

Folie à deux

fin.