|The UES Killers
Author: DocteureCrane PM
Dan is a trained hitman, paid to rid the UES of rich criminals who think they are above justice. Everything runs smoothly until he realizes that Blair Waldorf, his high school nemesis, might not be a stranger to his activities after all.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Mystery - Dan & Blair - Chapters: 21 - Words: 88,302 - Reviews: 190 - Favs: 39 - Follows: 78 - Updated: 12-24-12 - Published: 02-10-12 - id: 7822328
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I am so very grateful to the reviewers who have been constant and faithful to my story. I got less reviews than usual (which made me a tad depressed) but it doesn't matter! As few as you are, you're a pure treasure to me!
Well, and every other reader is important too.
Alright, so here is the next chapter.
Also, thank you Kevin for your review. I am glad you are enjoying this story!
"Wake up! Humphrey, wake up." Dan heard. He felt someone nudging his shoulder.
Through a foggy vision, he discerned Blair's face. She was frowning. He mumbled something that both of them didn't understand before sitting straight.
"I thought we were supposed to watch the movie together? You missed seventy-five percent of it!"
"It's alright, I already watched it before." Dan said. "Plus, what would my being awake change? You seemed very much concentrated so the way I see it, I did you a favour. You always hated my comments and ramblings."
The ending credits were scrolling on the screen. His mug was half-full and hers was empty. It was a little after two in the morning and his neighbourhood was dead silent.
Blair was looking at him, understanding dawning slowly upon her features.
"You weren't really going to watch a movie, were you?" She asked.
He held her stare for a few seconds while he debated. If he denied it, Blair would know. He was a lousy liar in general and someone as excruciatingly clever as Blair would immediately see through it. But how does one explain to his nemesis that he had not wanted her to spend the night alone when the said nemesis could very well take it the wrong way?
Blair raised an eyebrow, urging him to answer.
But then, he remembered, she was no idiot. She knew what the answer was.
"I'm sure you already know the answer to this question Blair." Dan stated, crossing his arms on his chest.
Blair sat back, retiring to the extreme right once again, as if it were a territory she needed to defend. Her shoulders were bare and he vaguely wondered whether he should offer her a sweater. He remembered that she only wore clothes that rhymed with Armani and Vuitton. The mere thought of her skin being in contact with his Old Navy jumper would probably extract a screech of horror from her whole being so Dan put the idea to rest.
Blair looked hesitant.
"You thought I could use the distraction." She muttered. "Just like you thought I could use a hug."
Here we go. The awkward talk is coming.
He had hoped that it would have gone unnoticed, like a temporary glitch in a movie. It would startle them on the moment but be forgotten as those short and uncomfortable memories. Normally, if that had been Serena, he would have insisted on talking about it, on discussing its relevance or its consequences. He had always been wordy in his relationship with Serena, had always wanted to talk about feelings and conflicts. Serena had said it was adorable but she was more a woman of action. So while he was explaining himself to her, she would watch tenderly and mostly absent-mindedly until the opportunity of kissing him wordless showed itself. One thing would lead to another, and he would find himself lying naked next to her, satiated but still contained with words and messages he could not communicate.
But with Blair, he was unable to talk as freely. She had created a complex in him thanks to all the times in which she made fun of his ramblings. He had lived through interruptions, eye rolls, sarcastic remarks or just plain disregard. Dialogue between the two of them had therefore naturally fallen into this banter format, where for every sensible statement uttered, two or three mocking remarks would follow. Even the most serious topics could not escape this protocol.
"Look," Dan started, determined to clear things out with a minimal amount of talk."what did you expect? You came here, claiming you killed someone. You looked so out of it and you were trembling. It would have been ungrateful to let you go alone with those thoughts. I did what I felt was right, that's all."
Blair had that look in her eye, the one that he had seen in that corridor the day he had decided to cheer her up about her mother's choice of Serena.
"Serena always tells me of all the nice things you do for her and I always thought it was because you were trying to get inside her pants. But clearly, if you can find it in yourself to hug a person who murdered someone and who is the cause of your father's exile…it's…Well I find it hard to believe Humphrey. Let's not forget that we hate each other and that I wasn't always the most pleasant person around you in the past."
"You never were the most pleasant person around me." He clarified.
"How? How can one be so nice? It doesn't make sense to me. I would have probably shooed you away, had you come to my place looking for comfort. I would have called Dorota on you. Once, she kicked Chuck outside, he never dared come back since then."
A lot of it had to do with his mission, but he couldn't speak a word of it.
But I do care about her, Dan realized. He always had, even when he was still an unknown Brooklyn parasite to her.
"I don't hate you that much Blair." He brought himself to say, knowing that he couldn't prevent the rambling even if he tried."I get we don't like each other but you are the one who made it that way. Do you know how willing I was to get your good opinion? I thought, hey, this is Serena's friend and may be she isn't as bad once you get to know her. May be I could be friends with her. And you didn't notice, but I did try to dress better, not only because Jenny insisted on it, but also because I wanted some parcel of approval from you. And every time, I was met with that disdainful look of yours. So I stopped trying and started hating."
He stopped himself before the moment could turn into a Dr. Phil sort of situation.
"I'm sorry." Blair whispered from the other side of the sofa."And about your father too. I know you want answers but I wish I had anything to offer. All I know is that your father is not being trailed."
He wanted to ask more. He wanted her to say his name, Bart Bass. He wanted to hear the confirmation before he would go to Fawkes, begging him to assign him the man's murder. But it was still too soon.
They soon agreed that what had transpired between them would best remain tied to the context in which it happened. She apologized for forcing him into such a context and then promised him that her future missions will prove easier to bear. Yet, Blair was not ready to leave. He could see it in the way she sat, her legs folded comfortably on the sofa, her head cradled by her hand above the armrest. So they began discussing the movie. Blair had liked both Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy. Cleaver, as she explained, was every girl's fantasy and she could not blame Bridget for falling for him. Dan disagreed heartily, enumerating all the reasons why the man was a plain asshole.
"He cheats. He lies. He manipulates AND he thinks he can get away with it. I don't care how good he looks in his Ray-Bans, he is beyond redemption."
"You're just saying that because you'll never be as confident as he is. Just admit it, Humphrey! And for the record, he did regret it afterwards. He came back for Bridget! Although why anyone would go back to that clueless panda is beyond me."
Their disagreement kept them debating for a long while and Dan was almost exhilarated. Usually, he had nobody to talk movies with, except Vanessa (who had become increasingly more absent in his life as her relationship with Nate endured) mainly because they were either not that interested or were interested in the wrong kind of genre. Blair believed that Bridget changed Daniel Cleaver. He told her that men don't change unless they want to. Men like Cleaver don't have to at all because there will always be women willing to turn a blind eye. She insisted on making him rewind the dvd so that they could re-watch some of the scenes in order for her to prove her point. In the end, they just sat through the entire thing again. This time, however, they were not silent but gesticulating, arguing and laughing until the very end where they finally agreed to disagree.
When she was having fun (and Dan was convinced it had been the case), Blair could look close to endearing. Her scowl would disappear, her smirk would morph into wide smiles and laughs. Her hands would throw all kinds of gestures, each as theatrical as the other. Up to today, he had only seen her as passionate when she was dealing with her Queen of Constance business.
It was almost five in the morning when Blair decided that she had to leave. He stood awkwardly next to the door while she put on her coat. When she was done, she paused as if about to say something of great importance.
"Thank you Humphrey."She said instead.
"Will you be alright?" He asked.
"Dorota usually comes around seven in the morning."
"Good, I don't have to pretend to be her anymore. She must have a tiring job!" Dan said, pretending to be relieved.
"Don't be ridiculous. Dorota and I do not spend hours discussing a particular movie. Actually, I don't think I have done that with anyone. You're a first. Consider yourself lucky."
She smiled like she was gratifying him with the holiest compliment of all compliments. He was genuinely pleased.
And then, they smiled and bid each other a good night.
Dan didn't know that he wouldn't see Blair until the next fall.
It wasn't to say that he did not see her. Technically, he did. But they had barely been allowed enough time together to go past the usual greetings. She was always with Serena, a person who Dan was still slightly avoiding, or Chuck Bass towards the last week of school. He saw the two of them from afar, the unlikely couple, barely hiding the flirting from everyone else. He wondered what Chuck had done to be restored in Blair's good opinion in such a short lapse of time. As far as he knew, Dan had never stood her up, or publicly humiliated her for being too caring, and yet, she was still unwilling to admit that they could be friends. Blair had been avoiding him, he could see it.
As much as he thought it was detrimental to Fawkes' mission, he was also personally hurt by her furtive glances and her excuses about having some place else to be whenever he came around. Once, she had literally bumped into him, given no apology whatsoever and just walked away.
He was confused beyond words and aware that may be, she didn't want to pursue this friendship at all.
Once again, he regretted being the kind of person who cared too much.
July had come and he had heard that Chuck and Blair had gone to Paris. Serena was the one who told him after he had called to inquire after Blair. She then suggested they could go out and have fun, rapidly specifying that they should go "as friends" and nothing more. He accepted. They had gone out for ice cream before the conversation started to bore him. May be he had been too obvious but they never went out after that episode.
Vanessa was away on a small trip with Nate. Jenny refused to be present for more than an hour in his life. He felt everything was slipping away right through his fingers. His conversations with his father only made him more aware that they needed him back in their lives. Rufus was somewhere in Baltimore, staying up with a cousin Dan had never heard of. He had managed to get a job but he said he missed the gallery more than anything.
On the last week of July, Fawkes had asked him to visit her. He did so accordingly, actually excited for some form of action to happen in his uneventful summer.
It turned out she needed updates on his Blair Waldorf case.
"She hasn't told me anything new." Dan stated, lying backwards on the comfortable chair. New York was sunny that day and he could see it from the large bay windows of her office. Fawkes was also admiring the view as usual.
"Nothing? I should think it has been long enough since the unfortunate event concerning your father. You do know that Bart Bass is the one responsible, right? I would try to speed things up if I were you."
Dan could hear the dissatisfaction in her tone although she did try to mask it.
"She has been avoiding me since that time and now she is in Paris with his son." Dan offered. "I can't follow her there, can I?"
Fawkes remained silent. Her chair swivelled slightly sideways. He discerned the tip of her nose, a sight that had become the only familiar thing of hers.
"No, you can't." She said at last before adding, "I'm surprised she took him back. From what you told me, he sounded like an awful young man."
He had always liked it when Fawkes supported his opinions on people. She had once told him that his judgement was very important to her and it had felt like the most valuable moment of his life.
"Well, she was an awful young woman too. In their case, opposites do not attract." He tried not to sound bitter. Blair taking back Chuck felt more personal to him than it ever should and he did not know how to explain it. Perhaps it was because he had always thought that the bad guy should get to watch the girl he mistreated walk away with the man who had always valued her well. In that case, he had no idea who the nice guy was and he tried to convince himself that he was speaking about Nate, even though his friend was quite happy in his relationship with Vanessa.
"Try to sound less disappointed Daniel." Fawkes teased in her deep voice. "There will always be NYU, I suppose. As long as you do not forget what your priorities are. For now, I have to give you another training session."
He was climbing the ladder faster than he ever thought he could. His victims used to be the easy kind, clueless wealthy businessmen and businesswomen, oftentimes overcome with alcohol and unaware of his intentions. Those kills had scarcely required an elaborate strategy. All he had had to do was to make sure he was alone, in a camera-less place. But Fawkes had told him things were about to get serious. She said she would take him off the "infantile" missions, as she called them, and trust him with the real dangerous stuff. He was apprehensive at first, afraid that he could lose his life over people he could not care less about.
They would be the real guns behind the corrupted elite people. They were the men and women behind the schemes, people who knew they could be targeted and who most likely did not walk far without a weapon in their pockets. And then, there would be the other victims too: the killers, just like him, who made money from slaughtering the wrong people just so that their employers could take their secrets to the these victims would take more skills to combat, more discretion and strategy.
Dan knew how to use about every weapon, from snipers to shotguns passing by combat knives and pistols. What Fawkes meant by training was the use of his body and reflexes. He had learnt the basis of tackling and immobilizing, which could be used well against trainees like Blair but would prove highly inefficient against the professional killers.
He spent the whole of August in company of a man called Daryl. The first two weeks of the month had been spent sweating. Dan would run every day for two hours before doing a round of sit-ups, push-ups and everything else imaginable. A body that is ready is a body in safety, was Daryl's saying.
And Dan sure hoped he would be ready when his future victims would come upon his way.
The rest of August was devoted to the learning of combat. He was not taught how to tackle and stop an opponent; he was taught how to hurt without any weapon but his body. He was shown how to cut a man's breath short, how to crack the spine, how to split a leg. He spent days practicing on dull mannequins that had been discarded from shops who had gone bankrupted. Daryl had also tested the theory on Dan himself, only going so far as he could be allowed to.
After the shower he took everyday, Dan could see that his body was morphing into something he never thought he could have had become leaner, more defined but not anything remotely close to a Schwarzenegger. There were sinewy lines traversing his torso and his arms. He was now more muscled than Nate, he was certain but he doubted he looked better. His training had left him with several bruises where Daryl's feet and fists had landed. They were like blotches of ink on his skin, dark and purplish almost complimenting his own dark hair. He had a few scars too from having landed on the defective material of the warehouse they trained in.
Fawkes had never said it wouldn't hurt and he had never expected it to be otherwise.
He did not know when he had explicitly accepted to be part of these new missions but it seemed the only logical step. He had done too much to go back to a a life of Dan Humphrey, aspiring writer and future English major. Despite the danger, it gave him something else he could think of, something infinitely more exciting.
He had no doubt that the next school year would prove to be interesting.
Dan decided he did not need Blair's friendship to find Bart Bass. He didn't want to make an effort, to be the polite one and to give too much care to someone who obviously gave none. He was feeling afresh by the beginning of September. Fawkes had deemed him worthy of greater responsibilities. He would start a new scholarly experience, this time Serena-less and consequently, devoid of drama. He could focus on his writing, meet new people, kill the ones who deserved death. Really, Dan thought he should find no space for Blair Waldorf among all these prospects.
I have known people like Claire for far too long. They are egocentric, just like the designers or business moguls they worship. I thought I must have seen something different in her but just like Sabrina, I was once more disappointed. The grandiose Charlie Trout is once more her not-so-significant other and the two of them have gone of somewhere to be merry in Paris, the city of lovers. Paris is not discriminatory when it comes to the love stories it can host. It takes in everything: star-crossed lovers, amoureux des rues, old flames, new flames, one night stands, young couples, old couples, mistresses and affairs…Something as twisted as what Charlie and Claire have can be welcome open-armed in Paris because Paris does not care for common sense. Paris is the city of fantasies. Paris does not judge.
But I do and I do not approve even if my opinion has nothing to do with the fancy people. I judge nonetheless because what else can I do?
I do not matter enough to do anything else for her even if I wish I could.
I must end it here. So I decided to skip right away to the NYU business. As you can see, Dan is hurt and when he is in such a state, he writes!
Also to the Guest reviewer, you will get a scene of Dan saving Blair, although that won't be specifically how she finds out about his own secret :-P.
Next chapter will be a Blair's point of view. We all know why she has been avoiding Dan but now that she is back with Chuck (I'm still trying to respect the events of season 2) I wonder how that will play out…We will see :-)
Reviews are ALWAYS welcome dairlings.