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I'm gonna pop your bubblegum heart

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There's a party raging outside, but Blair needs to breathe. She hears a cheesy pop song blasting from the first floor, bass making the floor tremble just a little, and she turns up the volume on the television. Breakfast at Tiffany's is on and she takes it as fate, a sign from the gods that this is where she should remain for at least one hour: on Lily's bed, feet tucked beneath her, sipping from a champagne flute she dug from the mini bar hidden beside Lily's shoes in the closet.

It's not that the party is bad , exactly, but Nate was being annoying in the way he gets when he smokes a little too much, clinging to Chuck's jacket and laughing at all his jokes, and Blair can't stand Chuck long enough to play into that. She tried looking for Serena – after all, it is her house –, but she gave up when she found Georgina making out with a blonde freshman girl in the first-floor guest bathroom. So she retreated to Lily's bed, where she and Serena liked to watch romantic movies and drink stolen champagne, a safe space to gather her strengths before she has to go and play nice with Kati and Is or, god forbid, Nelly Yuki . She shudders at the thought and takes another sip, but her lips come up dry, the flute empty. She sighs and fills it a little more, trying to catch up on the party's drunkenness, having refused the cheap and disgustingly sweet vodka-whatever shots – what's the point of having money if it isn't to drink decent liquor? Another shudder, another sip, bubbles tingling on her lips.

Tiffany's is at one of her favorite parts, when Holly sings on the balcony. It feels so quaint: a balcony, a headscarf, a guitar. If it was anyone else doing that, Blair would turn away, but Audrey Hepburn was just so elegant – she could pull off anything and make it look sophisticated, like she was always meant to be there. And, yes, Blair knew Holly Golightly was a call girl, she's not a silly teenager who's swept up by the romance and unable to understand the premise of a movie, thank you very much, but still. Audrey. Blair could watch her for hours.

"Moon River" is cut short by the party's music bursting into the room, and with it Serena. For a second, while she opens the door, she looks distracted, almost a little sad, but Blair blinks and she's smiling again, the drunk Serena charm, admired and written about through all five boroughs. Blair wants to roll her eyes, to make it clear she was annoyed at the interruption, but Serena is contagious and maybe she had sipped one too many flûtes, because she feels a giggle – an honest to god giggle – bubbling up inside her, slipping past her lips, as Serena exclaims:

"Blair! There you are! I was looking for you!"

It's obviously a lie, Blair knows Serena enough to tell, but it sounds convincing, so convincing that by the end of the sentence Serena had convinced herself too.

"And where were you , pray tell?", asks Blair, a smile still tugging at her lips, another sip to hide it or loosen it.

Serena shrugs and waves her hand, noncommittally, before dropping down on her back in the bed next to Blair, her blonde hair spread around her head like a halo.

"Dancing. Cute boy. The works", she mumbles. Once again, blink and you'll miss it, a shade of boredom, near sadness. And then, again, a giggle as she props herself up on her elbows, looking up at Blair. "And you? Hiding ? Where's your cute boy, huh? Huh?" Not satisfied with teasing, Serena tickles Blair, nimble fingers poking at her stomach, slightly scratching at the silk blouse right at her ribs, where she knew Blair to be the most sensitive. Blair's giggle reappears, slowly turning into what she would never admit being a cackle, and she tries to duck, escape Serena's attack, her right hand stretched out and up, holding the champagne flute far from the silliness.

"Ooooh, Blair! Let's go back to the party! Dance! Cute boys!" Serena continues, now more nudging than tickling, trying to make Blair tumble, lose composure, trying to give her momentum to leave, to go back to the crowded living room and the music and the cheap shots.

"You can go. I'll be right out!", Blair responds, trying to imbue her sentence with sincerity.

Serena mock pouts, widening her eyes, lifting her brows, shaking her hair a little, pleading in a way she knows would work, always worked. Blair smiles a little, rolls her eyes, takes the break to lower her glass on the bedside table.

"I promise ! Go! I'll just retouch my lipstick and meet you downstairs, ok?"

Serena smiles, victorious. Or she would have, on a sober night. Tonight, the victory makes her more than smile, makes her laugh, makes her throw herself entirely at Blair, on top of Blair, a bear hug, fine strands of golden hair slipping into Blair's mouth as she herself laughs and sputters, falling back and thrown off balance.

"Serenaaaa!", Blair whines between laughs, trying to catch her breath, as Serena mumbles enthusiastic platitudes in the pillow, a chain of "You're my best friend , I knew I could count on you to dance! With cute boys!". "Serena!", a new attempt. But this is no ordinary night – or, actually, it is a too ordinary night – and, at the sound of her name, Serena withdraws for a second, only to pounce again.

With a kiss smack on Blair's lips.

It is a second, two, a fraction, and thoughts have never run so fast or so haphazardly in Blair's mind. By the time she parts her lips, even sighs a little, Serena has withdrawn from it, giggling once more and, finally, jumping off the bed. She shakes her hair once more and, as Blair tries to gather her thoughts, is gone in a second, throwing a "You promised! Dancing! Shots!" behind her as she runs through the hallway. Blair touches her lips and cleans it down with another sip of champagne and another layer of lipstick before standing up and going back to the party too.

After all, she promised.