I know, I know, this is not what I should be working on but I couldn't help myself. This was written in response to a list given to me by my wonderful beta. I promise to get back to La Fête des Mères as soon as I can. I have a broken right hand that is seriously impeding my writing. FYI: hitting the wall when you're pissed is NOT a good idea.
For Sarvat, with love.
She is wearing her favorite pair of gold ballet flats when the news comes. Clad in simple blue jeans and a Petit Bateu blouse, she sits at the garden table on the terrace overlooking the grounds of her father's estate. Years ago, when Harold first purchased the property, he found that his new chateau came with a sickly vineyard. He set off to whip it into tip-top shape with the help of his then-boyfriend and now-husband Roman. The men had done brilliant work for the grapes grew beautifully under the French sun and the wine derived from them was nothing short of superb.
He sits beside her in gray slacks and a polo shirt, reading Nietzsche, a cup of coffee before him and the faint notes of tobacco hanging in the air. She is not a fan of the cigarettes; they always bring memories of his emo period in college, drinking pitch-black coffee and smoking Parliaments in obscure coffee shops in the outer boroughs. She is not a fan but she is not his wife, not his girlfriend, so she simply looks on disapprovingly and says nothing.
His BlackBerry rings as he takes a sip of his coffee. He sets the cup down and answers promptly. Blair notes that his voice is a tad deeper- a consequence of smoking, she's sure- but still genial.
"Hello, David," he says and then launches into conversation.
Blair focuses her attention on the stack of printed pages on the table before her, bound and thick as a brick. If there is some new and important information, he'll let her know.
He heads inside while Blair makes some notes in the margins of an altogether too long account of star-crossed lovers that reeks of pilfered Shakespeare; she feels like a high school English teacher correcting sub par essays instead of the talented and efficient literary editor she is. There are days when Blair truly hates her job.
When Blair finally heads inside an hour later she finds him sitting at the desk, typing away on his laptop. There is a new stack of papers next to the printer and Blair stops herself from groaning solely on account of good manners. She does, however, breathe a sigh of relief as she watches him pack the pages away into a large manila envelope.
"Check the bed," he instructs.
She makes her way into her bedroom and finds his notebook lying atop her pillow. There is a page marked with a fluorescent green Post-It. She opens the worn leather notebook to the indicated page and sits down to read.
It takes her all of forty-five minutes to get through the novella and she is simply blown away. Blair tucks away her critical brain, the part that makes her so valuable as an editor, and enjoys every flourish of his writing. The story is familiar- ours, she thinks- but she's never realized how romantic it is until she sees it spelled out in his nearly illegible lefty scrawl.
The female protagonist is a well-bred young woman from Manhattan's Upper East Side who is secretly crumbling under the pressure of her parents' legacies and expectations. She is unarguably brilliant and beautiful, an overachiever and an elitist. The other primary character is a young man from a working-class family in the artsy neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Mildly handsome- mildly, Blair scoffs mentally, considerably is more like it- but witty and intelligent, he struggles to prove himself to his classmates at an exclusive private school in the 10128. The circumstances are ideal for them to form an alliance, but neither is willing to cross that imaginary class division and they resort instead to antagonizing the other.
It is much later, after her best friend breaks his heart and his sworn enemy decimates hers, when they are tucked away at their first choice university, Yale, that the blinders come off and they see their potential. They fall in love over witticisms, literature, and dark chocolate, and when graduation comes…she marries the man that broke her heart and he marries the best friend.
Blair sighs. Even if it all ended there, the story would be a bestseller. After all, not everyone gets what he or she wants in life. But their story is not done.
More time passes by and she catches her husband in bed with her own worst enemy. She divorces him quickly, with full support from her closest friends, and from him. They spend a year masquerading as nothing more than friends when they both know they were made for each other. Eighteen months after her divorce he ends his own marriage. Neither he nor his wife is happy; they both love someone else.
They reunite in one of many little known bakeries in Brooklyn, a place so humble she would have never deigned to set foot inside during her prep school days, but the only bakery in the entire city that makes pain au chocolate that tastes like it just came out of a Parisian oven. She is reading Louisa May Alcott whilst sitting in the corner booth when walks in, sits next to her, and confesses he's always thought she was the Laurie to his Jo. She feels surprised, amused, complete. They have been blessed with a new beginning.
It is their story, Blair knows, and yet it's not. He has been careful to change various details so as to not hurt those nearest and dearest. She would have never expected something so beautiful and natural to come out of a relationship her mother referred to as "unexpected" at best. Blair Cornelia Waldorf and Daniel Jonah Humphrey follow no canon. Their backgrounds, temperaments, their personalities, their hopes and dreams and aspirations, are much too different to properly reconcile on paper without corrupting the nature of the characters. In theory, they could never work. Blair knows this is the wholehearted belief of their former lovers and oldest friends.
She also knows that the skeptics always forget to consider who Blair and Dan are now. They forget to factor in growth and, most importantly, they forget that relationships are not about changing who you're with but rather accepting them as they are. Blair Cornelia Waldorf and Daniel Jonah Humphrey follow no canon. In theory, they could never work. But in actuality, Blair realizes that she and Dan have the healthiest and most honest relationship she's ever been a part of. He helps her be a better person and Blair loves Dan for it. And if anybody could make that come across in print, it's Dan.
She turns the page once more, eager to know if he's started on a sequel and finds a fax, folded into thirds, also marked by a Post-It. She unfolds it with shaky hands; Blair has a lingering suspicion of what that paper might be and she is beyond excited.
It is a copy of the certificate of dissolution of marriage- his marriage to Serena van der Woodsen.
Blair stares at the document that represents their new beginning and smiles. True, Serena will always be her first friend, her bestie, but Blair knows Serena brought this all upon herself by sleeping with Nate. She pauses to think that maybe this is how things were supposed to always turn out, that maybe, if she and Dan had had the courage to admit their feelings in college, things would have never come to this point. Blair would have never been Mrs. Chuck Bass and Serena would have never been Mrs. Dan Humphrey.
Details were changed in Dan's story to protect those nearest and dearest. Blair and Dan were not Yalies; they attended NYU instead. Serena and Dan did not end their marriage amicably; they did so amidst accusations of infidelity, imaginary on his part and real on hers. But none of that matters now, now that she is free and he is free and they can finally be together after years of nothing more than pleasantries, longing looks, and vivid dreams.
When Dan walks into the room, he finds Blair still sitting at the foot of the bed. He smiles, kisses her forehead, and says, "Come on, B. We don't want to keep the baron waiting."
They have dinner with their parents- some of them, at least.
After her divorce from Rufus, Alison Essman, previously Humphrey, married a British aristocrat, Jacob Elliot, 6th Baron Heathfield. The two live quite pleasantly in an estate in Gibraltar. Blair and Alison don tea dresses and the men wear tuxedos. The restaurant is elegant and expensive, and all six- Blair, Dan, Alison, Jacob, Harold and Roman- enjoy their meal.
Dinner is followed by the opera. They sit in a box where Harold and Alison pretend not to notice how uncomfortable Dan and Blair are. It is blatantly obvious that they cannot wait to be alone. Harold knows full well that Dan and Blair are not a couple, not yet. Each still bears the scars of unfaithfulness and though Serena betrayed them both, neither is willing to stoop to her level to return the favor.
Intermission cannot come soon enough, and Alison pushes them right out of the box with instructions that they are to head on back to vineyard and not be seen for at least twenty-four hours. Blair blushes and the tips of Dan's ears turn red, but the two quickly make their way out of the Opéra Nouvel, hand in hand, and into the warm summer night.
They have waited too long for this moment and neither is willing to wait any longer. They stumble inside the chateau in a whirlwind of frantic kisses and hands desperately clutching for purchase.
Blair directs Dan to her bedroom because he is hers at last, and in her bed is where he belongs. It is fast and hard and passionate, not like the candlelight and roses in the novella, but Blair doesn't mind how it is because what is most important is that it finally is.
Dan sits with his back against the headboard, Blair astride him, knees digging into the mattress. He hears the faint familiar notes of Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight" coming from the general direction of the kitchen where Roman has a tendency to forget to turn off the radio, and cannot help but smile because Blair looks nothing short of spectacular on this night, wearing only her Agent Provocateur bra, her chestnut-colored hair mussed, big brown eyes bright and sparkling in the moonlight, lips plump and inviting.
Dan's lips brush the tender skin disclosed by her low-cut bra. Blair sighs in contentment as her fingers curl in his dark hair and her thighs clamp tighter around his hips. They've both wanted this so long, spent nearly a decade picturing how their bodies would fit together, how they would sound, feel, taste.
Blair moves with fluidity atop Dan, head thrown back, her fingernails drawing defined red lines across his back. One of his hands rests at her hip, holding Blair to him as they rock together; the other hand palms the soft flesh of one of her breasts. Dan's mouth greedily explores her body, peppering the generous expanse of skin offered at her breasts and that of her elegant neck with wet kisses. Dan grunts through a deep thrust and it is not long before her gasps turn into a litany of his name. He murmurs Blair's name against her skin, his nose nuzzling the tender spot behind her ear.
Blair comes with a shriek, sharp yet sexy, her arms around Dan's neck, holding him to her as she trembles.
Dan follows almost immediately afterward, with a long exhalation of Blair's name and his head drops forward to rest on her shoulder.
"I love you," Blair states and it's the first time she's said it.
Dan knows she has not uttered it in some post-orgasmic haze. The proclamation is a long time coming, borne of friendship, companionship, understanding and genuine love. It's taken them years to admit it, and he is not going to discount Blair's pronouncement as passing fancy.
Dan raises his head, meets her expressive eyes with his own, and says, "I love you too, Blair."
If Blair needs any more proof of her compatibility with the Brooklyn-born novelist, she receives it the next morning. She pauses in the doorway to the living room and takes inventory of the scene before her.
His and hers reading glasses lay nestled together on top of the coffee table beside a publisher's copy of Dan's latest bestseller and a printer's box full of invitations. An abstract painting by a little-known baroness hangs next to a genuine Pablo Picasso, and a simple gray scarf rests stop a printed silk shawl draped over the back of a wing chair.
Blair knows that the dedication in that copy is handwritten in Dan's trademark scribble instead of the publisher's antiseptic typeface, that the invitations are to a gala she's organized to benefit the children's wing of the Hôtel-Dieu, that the abstract was painted by Alison to compliment the Picasso Harold had acquired, that she bought the scarf for Dan at Barney's New York the last time they were in New York City, and that Dan purchased the shawl in a no-name shop in a little town outside Barcelona and that, despite of its lack of designer label, it is her favorite.
Blair curls up on the chaise by the large bay windows and watches the sun rise behind the vines, bathing the air in warm amber light. It is not more than five minutes before Dan joins her, sitting on the end like a faithful subject worshiping at the feet of his beloved queen.
"You are not my wife," he says calmly, "but I'd like you to be."
Blair kisses him, lips warm and soft. "Soon," she confirms. "I'd like nothing better."
Right. So...tell me what you think. This was kinda new for me and I'm pretty nervous about it.