Spoilers: Refers to events from 2.08.
Characters: Dan, Blair
Summary: He didn't care about Blair Waldorf, but he has been battling with the guilt of his sabotage.
AN: I want to do this multichap, but am still too involved with Promise that I have to hold off this idea. If I have time and the drive is still there, this is the prologue.
She was in love with Chuck Bass.
In love with Chuck. Bass.
Someone was in love with the ass.
The bits and pieces of the realization repeated in her brain, like a broken mantra chanting through his subconscious as guilt ate away at his gut. Even the unsettling knowledge that the girl who was once the love of his life was now set on pursuing the possibility of another love did little to offset the gnawing pain. Dan walked through the streets of Brooklyn, away from Serena, aimlessly processing what he had done that night.
"I did it for you," he had yelled at Serena the moment he realized he was the one at fault. "I don't care about Blair Waldorf!"
Serena had warned him about the split second judgments, the tendency to view the Upper East Siders as people who were far removed from his own experience. Dan had been so proud of himself the entire day, despite the annoyance of being on call to Serena's best friend. He had suspended snap decisions and listened to Blair complain, and he had shared with the brunette his own experience at confessing his feelings.
Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass—actually in love.
Singlehandedly, he had sabotaged what could probably have been the only real relationship those two could ever have, given the improbability that either would find anyone else that they could actually care for. Dan sighed and rubbed his eyes as he got into a cab. There was the judgment again, and he vowed to work on it even harder.
He found himself a little later standing a few yards away from Blair's building, mulling on how to approach the girl. Dan had never once had a problem with telling the rich kids off when he needed to, but this time, he was the one at fault. He could still remembering the trusting look she had given him at the gallery, when she thought he was still giving her valid, unadulterated advice.
The black limo pulled up, and just when he expected Chuck Bass to step out of the vehicle, he saw instead Chuck striding out of the building. When the boy had departed, Dan threw a gaze up, towards the penthouse windows. The curtains were closed, and he could see one dim yellow light. He released a breath that was unsteady with trepidation, then made his way across the street.
Knocking on Blair Waldorf's bedroom door and pushing it open were among the two most difficult actions he had ever done in his life. It was true what they said about guilty consciences becoming heavy burdens, and Dan wanted to much to unburden himself. He was still too young to be carrying such a heavy weight around.
"Chuck!" Blair exclaimed the moment the door opened.
"It's Dan," he clarified as he peered inside.
Blair Waldorf still wore the lace dress she wore to the gallery as she lay on the bed, only holding herself up with an elbow. "It's you," she said with venom. "What are you doing here?" she demanded.
Dan took the question as an invitation to stay. He slowly made his way towards her, towards the bed that was covered with sheets luxurious enough to pay for remodeling their entire kitchen. Idly, he pushed the thought away, because he did not come to this girl's bedroom to compare their lifestyles.
"Earlier today when my father spotted you at the gallery, he wondering if we were," he stammered, the way Rufus did, "you know…" She made a face of disgust. "And I denied it. I said it would be sick."
"Thank you," she said bitterly. "And the point being?"
Dan sighed, then sat down on the bed. "I'm here to apologize."
"For being a very bad counselor?" She laid down her head against the sheets. "Don't worry. I'm not coming to you for advice anymore."
"Not about that," Dan clarified. He turned and looked at Blair, and saw a teardrop seep from the corner of her eye to the bedsheet. "The advice I've given you were all spot on."
"Well they didn't work!"
"No. What I'm sorry for is the fact that I didn't consider that it could ever be real. I didn't consider that it's really possible for Blair and Chuck to have feelings for each other." He shook his head. "You were right when you said you could hear judgment in my voice. And I am trying to work on it, slowly and rather unsuccessfully," he added, irony evident in his tone.
Blair turned on her back, staring up at the ceiling. "It doesn't matter anyway," she said. "He just left. We're not going to happen. Not anytime soon."
Dan watched the way she blinked back the moisture that rose to her eyes. Blair forced a smile and turned it at him. "It wasn't your fault. Obviously, Chuck and I had much bigger problems to start off with."
She looked suspiciously like a girl who was suffering through a broken heart, and the concept of that was odd juxtaposed to what he knew of Blair Waldorf. Dan shifted uncomfortably from one foot to another, then said, "Hey. For what it's worth, I'm really sorry."
She quickly reached a hand up to brush away at the moisture. "It's not really worth anything coming from you."
She turned to her side, with her back to him. Dan took it as a gesture of dismissal, and was about to turn around to leave when he saw her pull her knees up to her chest and bury her face into a pillow. And then he could hear the muffled crying. And yes, this was what broken hearts looked like even to people from Brooklyn. The guilty feeling that had been clawing at his gut since Serena had told him off at the gallery only escalated until he could feel the acid like heartburn.
He had been so good at advice, at taking pride in the fact that he had experienced what Blair had asked for his opinion on. Dan decided to take it through. He had experienced falling in love, saying it to someone else, even hearing it said back to him. At the same time, he thought as he watched Blair Waldorf come undone, he had been through this broken heart as well.
He took off his jacket and laid it on top of her dresser, then walked over to her. He sat down right next to where she had buried her head in the pillow. He reached out almost reluctantly, then laid his hand on her shoulder.
"There now," he muttered. "It's all gonna be alright."