|With the Rich and Mighty, Always a Little Patience
Author: debdeb PM
Blair shows up at Dan's Brooklyn loft after Eric's 18th birthday party. A classic film will be watched. Pizza will be consumed. Someone falls asleep. Set at the end of 04x16 While You Weren't Sleeping . The title comes from the short story of Jimmy Stewart's character in "The Philadelphia Story."Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Blair & Dan - Words: 1,356 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Published: 07-17-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8331267
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
With the Rich and Mighty, Always a Little Patience
He tasks her with picking a movie while he orders their pizza. Two months before he knows she never would have considered pizza and a movie, much less a voluntary trek to the wilds of Brooklyn. Yet here she is, and to his quiet amazement, she fits right in. (He tries not to dwell on it, fears it will go away.) He understands her face-saving protestations about slumming it in DUMBO and cannot help but smile at her sharp, terse, rapid-fire critiques of his DVD collection. Under the circumstances...lost internship, failed test, Lily's near incarceration...she seems remarkably calm...for Blair.
She interrupts her own tirade about how overrated Jules and Jim is when she comes across The Philadelphia Story. She pulls it off the shelf. Knowing him, she checks to make sure the DVD is actually in the case. "Humphrey, how about The Philadelphia Story?"
It is one of his favorites, but he knows not to overplay his enthusiasm, so he casually leaves the choice to her. (He knows her now, too.) Coming up behind her, he tells her sweetly that after the day she has had, the least he can do is yield to her preference.
She graces him with a shy, grateful smile. Then her shield goes back up when she demands to know when the pizza will arrive.
"Well, delivery is a little behind. But it is just around the corner, so I'll go get it. Shouldn't taken me fifteen minutes. Twenty tops. Hang tight and I'll be right back."
"You're leaving me here?" She tries again, less shrilly. "I mean, want some company?"
"Blair Waldorf on the mean streets of Brooklyn? How could I refuse? Sure you're not too tired?"
"I keep telling you I'm not tired!"
"Well then grab your coat and let's go."
They walk in companionable silence for a few minutes. He finds himself chuckling.
"Do you want to share with the class, Humphrey?"
"Oh, it is just a day of firsts for us. My brief foray into flower-peddling and drug-running. Your fashion faux pas." Off her look of incredulity, he says, "Two different shoes, Blair. And now you walk amongst the commoners to procure your own dinner." He nudges her with his elbow, good-naturedly.
"I thought you were trying to cheer me up."
"Gallows humor, Blair. And we are here."
The return walk is quicker. Back in the loft, she automatically gets the movie set-up, while he grabs plates, napkins, and drinks. She dives in, to his great relief. He knows she cannot endorse the cuisine of choice (way too plebeian), but her efforts to tackle a third slice provides all the proof he needs that she likes it.
He expects her teasing and comparisons to Mike, and she does not disappoint.
She expects the night to end in tears and a lot of hard liquor. She is blindsided by his sincerity and kindness, but does not comment on it.
She starts to fade by the time Dex and Tracy opt for a second chance, listing against his shoulder, not quite asleep. This is new. He tries not to react. She is completely out by the movie's end.
Rest finally comes for Blair Waldorf and he marvels at how small and still she is, her mismatched shoes long abandoned under his coffee table. He reflects on her manic day, and does not have the heart to wake her. He knows he will pay for this later, but recognizes her need for sleep in the face of her denials. He falls asleep to the sound of her breathing, awash in the sweet smell of her perfume.
At some point she realizes that she is too still, too rested, too relaxed, a state she has avoided for weeks. Panicked, her eyes fly open and she takes in her surroundings. She is still in the party clothes from Eric's disastrous birthday. It is dark, save for the menu screen on Humphrey's computer. And there it is. Humphrey's loft. Humphrey's sofa. Humphrey's sweater-clad, obliging shoulder. There are no more phones to answer and fires to put out at W. And yet the current circumstance is not altogether unpleasant. But that is wrong. It must be.
A jab to the ribs wakes him up. "Ow! What the hell, Blair?"
"Why didn't you wake me? What time is it?" She wrests control of the situation, like a biological imperative.
"First, how about an I'm sorry for bruising your ribs, Dan? And you can deny it all you want, but you clearly needed the sleep." He turns the lamp on and checks his watch. Exasperated, he sighs, "It is not even 5:00. Go back to sleep. I will grab you a pillow, or just go lay down in my room. I'll stay out here."
"Now who is delirious from lack of sleep? I need to get back to the penthouse before Serena realizes I am not there."
"And before someone spots you in Brooklyn with me," he says annoyed, with an eye roll.
"You said it Humphrey. Besides, I do have class this morning. And with no internship, I can actually attend and not rely on Penelope's horrible notes. And I need to speak to my art history professor. Jessica didn't even make it to the right classroom-"
He stares at her, drowsy and struggling to keep up with everything she is saying. "How do you do that?"
"Emerge from sleep, fully functioning, with an internal to do list at immediate recall. All with no coffee."
"Oh, there had better be coffee. Good coffee. For letting me fall asleep in Brooklyn."
She freshens up in his surprisingly clean bathroom. She is tempted, but does not let him make her breakfast-too many implications. He makes unbelievably good coffee, and she gratefully accepts the giant cup of coffee in a to go cup. "You have lids?" she asks skeptically.
"One of the many perks of being the son of a former coffee bar owner."
"I'm sure it is passable."
"Come on. You know you love my coffee. I know you love my coffee. Oh, and I already have a cab waiting for you downstairs." She rewards him with a raised eyebrow.
He walks her down and opens the cab's door for her. Before he closes it, he hands her a banana and an apple from his coat pocket, snagged from the bowl on the counter while she was freshening up. "Provisions for the long journey back to civilization."
She takes the fruit from him, with some hesitation. She searches his face for some ulterior motive. Is it a joke? Is he making fun of her? He looks at her so unaffectedly, in his sock feet, with his ridiculous bedhead and morning beard. It occurs to her that he just wants her to have some breakfast because he cares about her.
"Thanks, Humphrey. For everything." It does not seem like enough, but it as much as she can say.
He smiles broadly, eyes crinkling at the corners. "You're welcome, Blair," he says sincerely. "Try to enjoy your day."
How can someone in this day and age be so earnest? She still finds it hard to believe.
"Call me after class. Maybe we can meet up at Film Forum this afternoon."
All she can do is nod.
He smiles at her again, then closes the cab door for her. When the cab makes the turn at the corner, she spots him still in front of his building, watching their progress. She smiles to herself, feels...light and a little carefree...until her alarm bells go off again. She shuts it down, and pulls out her Blackberry, feels a pang that she is down to a single cell phone when she pulls up her calendar to review her day. The cab is not across the East River and she has already pulled up the Film Forum schedule.