A/N: I cannot believe what happened in that finale. I never even considered that Rufus and Lily would not have their perfect ending… just seemed absurd. Rufus and random? Lily and William?
Here is the ending from me. I don't like to rewrite the ending, so this meshes in to the finale. It's not fantastic but it is a better ending for Rufly. This is what I prefer to think happened. I just don't know why it would have been so hard to have Rufus and Lily together at the wedding at the end.
Please read and review, I've never written for Gossip Girl before.
The reception after Dan and Serena's wedding was a grand affair. Anyone, everyone the couple knew was there. On Dan's side that meant a couple of people associated with his books and his family. On Serena's side, that, however meant half the city, all of whom she greeted with a radiant smile.
Rufus watched on from afar as Serena made the rounds with Dan, who had shuffled awkwardly behind her at first, before slowly but surely charming the guests himself as they moved on through the rooms. He had become part of her world absolutely, and in the way that he wanted to be.
Jenny tapped his shoulder. "Hey, dad."
"Hey, Jenny. We haven't had much chance to talk have we?"
"Not really. How've you been, dad?"
Rufus shrugged. "Me? I'm good. I'm happy with Lisa. We're having fun."
Jenny rolled her eyes. "You and Lisa...? Really, dad?"
Rufus narrowed his eyes at his daughter. "Never mind me. Today is about your brother and Serena."
There was a lengthy pause as they watched the newlyweds talking to Eric and Jonathon, who threw his head back laughing at something Serena had said.
"Can you believe they got married already?" Jenny said, shaking her head.
"Yeah, I can believe it. They were always meant to be together, everyone knew they were supposed to be, like… Chuck and Blair were, or…"
"Like you and Lily, dad?" Jenny caught the look on his face and rolled her eyes again before sauntering away. Rufus thought he could just make out her muttering under her breath something about, "whatever" and "obvious."
It had been five years since his marriage with Lily had been dissolved, through his own unintentional doing so. His brief fling with Ivy had made him realize more than anything how he missed her by his side. While there were things about her that drove him crazy, the flood of social gatherings that could not be missed, and the need for everything to be perfect on the outside before the inside, he loved her. Undeniably, unquestionably, he loved her.
In those five years, he had seen her back with William after Bart's death. She looked… not quite happy, but content with her lot. He was powerful, wealthy, and everything that Cece would have wanted for her, and had taught her to want for herself. And yet… those many times they had bumped in to each other as a result of being parents of the golden couple of Dan and Serena, when they had talked, it was hard for him not to want to get closer to her. To want to be with her.
He remembered their conversation at the launch party of Dan's fourth book two years ago. They had stole a moment together by the staircase.
"Rufus. I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see you here. Daniel's doing very well for himself, isn't he?"
"He is. I'm very proud of him."
They had looked at each other then, wistfully, but at the same time with an intensity laced with passion that couldn't be acted on.
"How've you been, Lil?"
"Me? Oh, you know. I'm keeping busy. Little Henry is the most precious child, have you met him?"
"No, I haven't. I've seen pictures."
They lapsed in to a silence again, which dragged.
"I miss you, Rufus."
"Me too. We should talk sometime, you know, drinks, like the good old days."
"Oh, Rufus." Lily laughed, but then she became quiet and patted his arm. "I don't know if we should."
"Is it William?"
"Is what William?"
"Come on, Lily."
"He may have gotten unpleasantly aggravated when I suggested that we invite you over for Thanksgiving last year."
Rufus took a deep breath. "Are you happy?"
"I don't know. I think I am. I don't feel like I did when I was with you… like I was free and able to do anything… But I feel good. I think that's how I'm supposed to feel, isn't it?"
He made to walk away, saying, "I'll see you around, Lil," before she cut him off.
"Rufus? Let's get together some time. How about lunch?"
He paused, a smile spreading over his face. "I'd like that."
"Even if we can't be together, that's no reason for us not to see each other. I don't care what William says."
Why shouldn't they be together though?
The thought brought him back to the present, and the reason they had resolved not to see each other. Dan and Serena were so happy together, and they couldn't complicate that by getting in the way of it. And at the time, it felt like they'd played out their relationship to its limits.
They'd talked, though. Week after week, meeting at restaurants and at the Brooklyn apartment he had never been able to sell. They'd talked mindlessly at first about Dan and Serena and Jenny and Eric and what they were up to. It took them a few weeks before they were able to open up enough to talk about something more. It had been strange to adjust to being close again after being apart. But they'd gotten used to it.
He'd moved on, with Lisa. She was nice, artsy, a musician like him, and they'd toured together, happily for a few months, before their relationship had become a steadier thing, she stayed the night once in a while, they went out for dinner… Normal couple stuff, and that felt good. But it lacked passion… It lacked the spark.
And so, while he wasn't proud of it, he'd seen Lily on the side. Lunches, drinks, walks in the park. They didn't act on it… they didn't act in a way that would make them ashamed of the people they'd become, longing for each other's company. They weren't going to cheat. They were just having fun. As friends, confidantes, it didn't have the pressure that they'd always had. They could just let loose and free.
He smiled as he remembered that night the last year when Lily had let her hair down for the first time, literally, in what seemed like months. They had danced in the bar. He remembered the song. White Flag by Dido. The lyrics: "There will be no white flag above my door. I'm in love and always will be." They'd leaned closer together, so close that he could smell her hair, and they'd almost touched lips. He'd pulled away at the last moment, and she had looked away and they'd made nothing of it.
The next day however, brought what he'd simultaneously dreaded and longed for. Lisa held him back after breakfast – trusty waffles – and had talked to him. Painfully, slowly, but honestly. We're drifting apart, she'd said. Why? Why aren't we moving forward. It'd been hard for him to say anything. They couldn't say anything. But he'd wanted to for so long. And at that moment he wasn't able to stop himself. Lisa knew about his meeting with Lily, but she also knew of her being with William, so when Rufus said they'd simply met as friends, Lisa had thought nothing of it. So he felt he owed it to her to explain. To tell the story of them. Their love, all the way back to the days when she'd followed Lincoln Hawk around in a miniskirt at sixteen. Is she who you wrote all your songs for? she had asked. Every time you walk away or run away you take a piece of me with you there. Is that for her? Lisa didn't hate him for it, surprisingly. They were solid enough friends before they'd become something more that she wasn't mad. There was an uneasy period between them, but it thawed quickly enough that they were able to move on and continue to collaborate musically.
Lily was another story. She'd avoided him for two weeks, booking every social gathering to which she could gain entry, ignoring his texts. When he'd finally caught up with her it was outside her cab. He refused to budge and she'd told the driver to go on without her, that she'd hail the next one.
"What, Rufus? I'm really quite busy."
"Lil, I want to be with you."
"Rufus. You can't be serious. We've talked about this before." She looked at him, as though trying to gather whether he was being honest.
"We have. But we… are right together. When I'm with you, I feel like I'm home… I'm at the right place at the right time. Like I belong somewhere. Tell me you don't feel the same way, Lil, and I'll leave you alone."
"But… Rufus, what about Lisa… and William?" She had spluttered, shaken by his sincerity.
"Lisa and I are just friends. Seriously. And you and William? Really, Lil? I mean, William, the man that gave you fake cancer just to get you back… the guy that left you to raise Serena and Eric by yourself? Do you actually feel anything for him?" It actually made him angry, outraged, that she could stay with such a man.
"Oh, Rufus. I… don't know. I'm telling you again. I can't just leave."
"Why not? Lil, do this for us."
"I want to, Rufus. But I can't. What about Daniel and Serena? They're getting married in a few months. We can't spring this on them. Maybe Daniel would understand, but Serena would think it was me putting my own interest before her own. Again."
"She would understand… They're old enough and mature enough, both of them, to get it now."
She'd stepped closer to him, and grabbed his hand then and pulled him in to a deserted sidewalk.
"Do you really still want to be with me? After everything horrible I've done?"
He took a deep breath. "Look, Lil. At the time, I said some pretty harsh things too. And remember Ivy? I've hardly been a saint. We can put it behind us, we can move on."
Lily leaned up to him and kissed him on the cheek. "Rufus. I don't know how to do this. Tell me what to do."
"Do you want to be with me?"
"More than anything I want to be with you again." She smiled and he felt his heart soar. Every time you walk away or run away you take a bit of me with you there… Come back to me… Smile and you make my life complete…
"I think we'd better wait till after the wedding to tell Dan and Serena."
Lily laughed without the smile in her eyes. "Oh, yeah. Serena would never forgive me for dropping a bomb like that mere months before her wedding."
Rufus raised his eyes at 'months', but frowned. "And there's William."
Yes, there was still William indeed.
He looked around, noticing Blair and Chuck with Henry on his lap, talking conspiratorially to Jack and Georgina… the vile beings. Jenny was over with Eric now, getting a drink and pointing out handsome freshmen from his class. William was by himself in the corner, talking in a hushed tone in to his phone. Rufus had never liked him, he was a shady bastard. His actions over the years had only contributed to this view. Lily was… where was she? He craned his neck to try to catch her through the crowd but she wasn't in the room. She must have gone out to –
Good place to pause, I think. One more chapter, almost done now.
Also, was Rufus' random called Lisa?