|At Any Rate, Let Us Love for a While
Author: klingy12 PM
Accomplished author of exactly twelve short stories and a one-act play at twenty-seven, he had lived a lot of life. But today he remembered a time that seemed very long ago & he didn't know how it happened. So he took to his pen. Dan/BlairRated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Blair & Dan - Chapters: 8 - Words: 19,406 - Reviews: 121 - Favs: 125 - Follows: 80 - Updated: 08-13-11 - Published: 04-14-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5898066
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: My first GG fic in a long while. Dedicated to my new found home on the Dan and Blair thread over at fanforum. This will be a two-shot. Obviously as a disclaimer I own nothing. Enjoy! -Air
"At any rate, let us love for a while. For a year or so, you and me. That's a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try." -F. Scott Fitgerald
He couldn't tell you how it had happened, those four weeks during the summer of two thousand and ten, until he had written them down, pen to page and discovered each moment, each step. Dan Humphrey sometimes used an old typewriter when he wanted to be nostalgic; he said it made him feel like a real author. Something about the streamlined modernity of his MacBook didn't fit his mood. It was hot and all of New York sizzled with antiquity. He felt old. Accomplished author of exactly twelve short stories and a one-act play at twenty-seven, he had lived a lot of life. But today he remembered a time that seemed very long ago. He was freshly twenty, and he didn't know how it happened.
He dialed his phone and within two seconds of it registering he'd regretted it. He couldn't hang up now, his number would show.
"Well this is an unlikely and a not at all pleasant surprise." Her voice clipped in the sixteen-kilohertz quality of the signal.
"Blair," his voice dripped with ennui.
"You called me, Humphrey."
"Yeah. Yeah, so I was just wondering. Are you taking that 1920's American lit class next semester? Because seeing as you live the life of the lavish and disillusioned rich I thought you might, I don't know, be in to that sort of thing."
"I'm not following. Anyway, no matter. I'm transferring to Columbia."
"Oh? Humphrey, you're boring me."
"Listen, Blair….Want to get drunk tonight?"
He never could keep his mouth shut.
The Jazz bar in SoHo was artier than her tastes, but classier and more upscale than his usual dives. Celebration was the pretext, but they both knew better. They were alone, oddly enough, together. So when he and Vanessa had hit a rough patch due to creative competition he wanted to be alone. And yet, there was something sickeningly repulsive to drinking solitary in a bar. He imagined he would have enough of that in his later years. He didn't want pity; he didn't want to talk to someone who cared. He'd seen her on campus in passing over the past few weeks and had noticed how small she had looked now. She seemed to be withering away. And he then would wonder why he noticed such things.
He drank beer and she dry gin martinis. She told him beer was crass and lowbrow. So he ordered two more. When the bar didn't have smoked almonds she rolled her eyes and said no wonder, since he had brought her there. He almost got angry, but then he remembered how mousy she had looked entering the bar, how unsure of herself, like the night they arrived at the rooftop party. She was insufferable and he laughed.
When they were drunk, good and proper, it was strange, but not altogether disconcerting.
"I don't dance," she'd declared, though he could not for the life of him remember how they got to this point in the dialogue.
"Sure you do. I've seen it."
"You have not seen me dance, Humphrey. Galas and ballrooms aside."
"Oh, see that's funny you say that because I wasn't aware you knew there was another kind of dancing other than the foxtrot."
"Ok, Ok. And the waltz, you're absolutely right."
"You're snark isn't as charming as you think it is."
"You're bite is positively as bad as your bark is," he'd replied in an instant. He was quick on the uptake.
He'd never seen her drunk before. He'd told her as such and she denied it. She was actually a high functioning alcoholic. And then she laughed at her own joke. He didn't understand her. She didn't giggle at it, nor giggle a lot. But rather, with more alcohol she became more intellectual. Her superiority was still in tact, but her openness to discussion let out a flood of knowledge, from Baudelaire to Bourdieu, and some non-French people too.
"I'm going to London in the fall," he let out quietly after an argument over skinny ties. "I got in to, uh, study there. Well, at Oxford so I- I guess not London."
"Humphrey," she began and leaned forward. "Here's the thing. And I'm going to be honest with you because I don't care about being nice to you."
"Noted." He nodded, his face the very picture of serious and attentive, his hand holding his jaw and his elbow on the mahogany table.
"While I maintain Serena was and is still worlds out of your league, you can do infinitely better than Vanessa Abrams."
"Well, Blair. Coming from you, I'd say that's about the nicest thing you could possibly bring yourself to say. Did it hurt?"
"Only a little." And she smiled.
For some reason that night, before the room started spinning, he lay in bed and wondered, but really somehow knew, that he had gotten her drunk enough to not think about Chuck before she went to sleep. It was an odd thought, and one he wouldn't remember in the morning.
They seemed to find each other at Upper East Side gatherings from then on. She'd typically greet him among the hydrangeas and declare that his jacket was too beige, to be careful not to give in to tweed in London. Of course, before anyone knew, so he'd tell her to shut up and she'd spot the champagne from across the room. At brunch, he asked her if she'd already had her daily dose of girly evil when she hadn't touched a thing on her plate but for her mimosa. Vanessa snickered and thought it cute, while Blair remarked it was sub-par, even for him. At a glorified, catered outdoor barbeque gathering without any actual barbecue, they stood together side by side against the bar, shamelessly judging whoever happened to catch their eyes.
Looking back on that time, he guessed everyone seemed to take notice except for them. They weren't friends. They didn't like each other. And yet they'd spend minutes together, so many minutes here and there that they added up to a considerable mount of time.
When they showed up on Gossip Girl, Vanessa had thrown a fit. One that Dan found entirely without basis and which led Vanessa to leave for Vermont with no indication as to the status of their relationship. It didn't help that she'd recently decided to throw her phone in the Hudson for the summer, claiming that their summer was going to be free and disconnected. Come to think of it, the arrogance with which he handled the argument may not have helped the matter.
"If I were you, Humphrey, I'd be embarrassed that she dumped you. That's got to sting," Blair added a hiss as she strolled into the elevator with him, descending from the van der Humphrey's penthouse. "So what ran her out? Was it London?"
"No, actually. It was, uh, actually, it was…" he said finally, "…you."
He cleared his throat as they stood shoulder to shoulder, looking at the enamel of the elevator ceiling as people often do while riding one. And this one was always a long way down.
"Well, that's just, absurd," she said incredulously.
"That's what I said."
Her brow furrowed.
The elevator made a soft dinging sound every time it passed a floor. They remained silent through floors thirty-five to twenty nine. Somewhere between twenty-eight and twenty-three there was a flurry of movement, a sudden jolt that elevators rarely see, as they both collided together, like hot and cold air creating a storm. Arms wrapped around necks and hands grabbed hair and lips met.
The first kiss was feverish and pushed Dan against the wall of the elevator with its force. Her figure was flush against him, her small hands buried in his hair. When he felt it winding down his hands found her hips and flipped them around, so that he had Blair Waldorf, of all fucking people in the world, pinned between him and an elevator wall. His hands traced her curves lightly as they made their way up to her jaw line. His large hands framed her face, thumbs stroking behind her ears as the kiss became a second and a third and deepened and devoured. He almost pulled away for breath once but her hands fisted in the collar of his button down and held him in place. She was forceful and physical and tasted like mangos and summer.
When the loudest chime of the elevator rang and the gears and wheels began to hum and pull back the doors, they pulled apart with them. For a brief second they both remained in the box of the contraption. Dan reached a hand to the back of his head and scratched, a nervous habit. He dared to glance sideways for a brief second before Blair reached a hand out to stop the doors from closing and stepped out. Dan followed and countered her left with his right.
He supposes that's how it started.