Disclaimer: I don't own Gossip Girl, if I did, Dan and Blair would be together :)

Warnings/Spoilers: Post Season 2. Un-beta'd – constructive criticism appreciated

Author's notes: I wrote this fic months ago, but abandoned it due to the xoxobigbang challenge taking up most of my time. I decided to revisit it again and voila here you go.

July, 2009 – New York

It happened in the summer of 09, Chuck had cheated on her with a set of twins he picked up at the Victrola; apparently alcohol, drugs and business partners had been involved. It was precursor of what was to come; other indiscretions followed and the Bass-hole had been set free. Blair had to give him credit; he lasted longer than last time. Maybe love doesn't conquer all.

Blair's world went into overdrive.

She needed a safe haven to lick her wounds; France was out of the question and Serena was away. Blair didn't want to summer alone in the Hamptons. There was no one she could call, no one to lean on, she was alone.

Like a stroke of luck, there was a post on Gossip Girl a few days later, it was about Little J's rise to the Upper East Side.

Serena had mentioned in passing before she left that Humphrey was staying in Brooklyn alone. Humphrey was the sort who would be sympathetic, plus, it was his fault she had opened up her heart to Chuck in the first place.

Humphrey's only friend - that boho barista Blair thought with distaste, was slumming it across Europe with Nate. Little J and Rufus were now nicely settled at Lily's; no one would find her in Brooklyn. It was the last place anyone would think to look for her.

Blair made her way to Brooklyn later in the evening on pretence that she was going out for drinks.

On arriving in Brooklyn, Humphrey opened the door and stared at her in surprise; his mouth agape, it reminded Blair of a gold fish. Blair shoved him out of the way, walked into the apartment and made herself comfortable on the blue leather sofa and bestowed Humphrey with her winning smile – this was going to be easy.

After the initial surprise, Humphrey closed the door and just looked at her intently. He didn't ask any questions.

He walked into the kitchen and came out of a few minutes later, holding a bottle of wine and two glasses.

Dan sat beside her, and poured wine into both glasses and then handed her a glass.

Blair looked at him and said, "I'll pass on the non premium liquor."

Humphrey smiled at her knowingly and replied, "Just drink up Waldorf."

A day turned to two days, two days to three days. On the third day, Blair decided that she could no longer live in Humphrey's boxers and t-shirts and sent for her things. She called Dorota and asked her to send her clothes (and other required items) inconspicuously via courier. A limousine or Dorota exiting the penthouse and arriving at the loft with Louis Vuitton bags would have garnered interest.

Blair called her mother and told her that she was summering at a friend's down South, without going into specifics. Brooklyn was South of Manhattan right? Thank God Upper East Side parents didn't ask questions. Rufus Humphrey would though, that's why Dan told her to never pick up the house phone. There hadn't been any visits to the loft either, maybe Dan had fed Rufus and Jenny some lies to keep them at bay.

Blair's belonging cluttered Humphrey's bedroom, most of his stuff had been moved to give room for hers. If Dan was disturbed by the encroachment, he didn't show it.

Humphrey wasn't at home most days; he worked a few times a week to help save towards college.

After the first week, Humphrey gave her a set of keys so that she could go and come as she pleased. Blair didn't think she was ready yet.

To pass away time when Dan was away, she raided his book and music collections. He listened to bands like Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Noisettes and Evanescence. Coldplay was her favorite, especially the song 42.

After a while, she started to take interest in his stories and poems, and somehow became his personal critic. Evenings were spent sitting in the living room with a bottle of wine, Dan would read things back to her and she would offer her opinions.

Out of boredom Blair started preparing meals for Humphrey while he was away at work. The first time she did this, Humphrey looked like he was going to have a stroke. He eventually calmed down and sat down to eat at the dinning table. As he put the fork into his mouth, swallowing his first morsel, Blair leaned over and whispered in his ear, the question you should be asking Humphrey, is if I put any poison in it.

The choked look on Humphrey's face was worth it – gosh he was so gullible. Before he could escape into the bathroom, Blair pushed him back into his seat and told him that if she wanted to kill him she wouldn't get her hands dirty.

Cooking for Dan became an almost everyday thing. Blair enjoyed doing it, she liked being needed.

Blair started to venture outside gradually. Initially she only walked a few blocks and then came back home. As time went by, she ventured further but not too far, she was terrified of being discovered. She often explored Brooklyn wearing Dan's shirt and jeans (held in place by her MIU MIU Crystal buckle belt), she rolled up the jeans up at the ankles, as they were too long. No one would recognize her in these clothes.

Thanks to Katie Holmes, wearing your man's jeans was in vogue.

Blair realized that the boundaries between Dan and her were shifting. It became apparent when she gave him a peck on the cheek as he left for work. They both froze momentarily; Dan was the first to recover and smiled at her knowingly. Blair was beginning to hate those knowing eyes

Cooking led to cuddling on the couch after dinner, cuddling led to kissing and kissing led to a whole new level of things that she couldn't yet name. Blair often wondered if it was too soon after Chuck.

Dan was very tender; he treated her like china. Their love making was like a fine piece of art; beautiful, colorful, provocative and timeless. Blair wished she could bottle it up for when he wasn't with her.

Blair now understood what Serena saw in Dan, why she couldn't let him go.

She thinks she could love him.

Blair's world came crashing down in the last week in August. Her period was a week late.

It can't be; they had been very careful; too careful in fact.

That night, while they laid down in bed cuddling, Dan mentioned that he was going to be at Lily's after work tomorrow. He mentioned something about family dinner and that he would be spending the night there in order to appease Rufus and keep him away from the loft. He would also be going straight to work the following day from Lily's.

He was worried that would be in the apartment alone. She hushed his worry wart tendencies with a kiss and told him, everything will be alright, you'll see.

It was Thursday afternoon; Blair went to the chemist and bought three different brands of pregnancy tests. She tried each one in the bathroom and commanded herself not to be pregnant, just like she had done two years ago.

Her commandments were futile, each test came back positive.

It was seven pm on Friday, Dan returned home after spending the night in the Upper East Side. The loft was filled with darkness; the lights hadn't been switched on. That was odd, Blair was usually in when he got back from work.

He told himself that she had gone out and would be back soon. He called her cell, and left a message on her a voicemail.

Dan then ordered take out and waited for Blair.

At around midnight, Dan gave up waiting and put the food in the fridge. He called her cell one last time and then entered their bedroom the first time that night.

Dan noticed that all Blair's things are gone. The bedroom was devoid of her existence, devoid of her ever being there.

Did I do something wrong?

Dan couldn't sleep. With tiredness, he dragged himself to the Upper East Side early in the next morning.

Dorota told him, Miss Blair is with her daddy in France and offered him nothing else.

Dan slunk out not defeated and decided to talk to Blair when they started NYU in autumn.

Autumn flew by and now it was thanksgiving, still no Blair.

During thanksgiving dinner, Dan summed up the courage to ask Serena about Blair. He made a joke of it, so that no one could detect that there was anything more to his question.

"I was expecting plots, fire and brimstone at NYU, what happened to Blair?" asked Dan jokingly.

Serena told him with pain in her voice that she hadn't heard from Blair, Blair wasn't taking her calls but, Eleanor had mentioned that Blair had decided to school in France.

Dan was stunned, he had expected bad news but, he never expected this.

I'm never going to see her again.

He focused his attention on his food, forced himself to eat and then gave up when he started to feel sick. When the main course was finished, he excused himself from the table and went to his room, feigning tummy ache.

Dan needed someone to talk to, but, he couldn't talk to anyone because no one was supposed to know. He thought about confiding in Rufus, but Rufus would tell Lily and somehow it would get back to Serena.

Serena must never know.

He thought of confiding in his best friend. Vanessa hated Blair, she wouldn't understand, plus, she'd tell Nate, Nate would tell Chuck and then there'd be Armageddon.

There was Jenny, if Jenny knew, everyone would know.

Serena crept into his room later that night when everyone was sleeping.

She told him she was missing Blair and felt guilty about not being there for Blair this summer.

I miss her too. Dan didn't dare say the words out loud.

Serena kissed him, telling him she needed comfort, she wanted to forget, she needed him.

Dan regretted what he did next, but he had to, or else Serena would know. He pushed her away from him and said some hurtful things that had Serena running out of his room.

For the first time since that summer night Blair left, Dan had a sleepless night. His eyes were filled with unshed tears and his heart felt like it would cave in.

In the morning, he packed his backs and headed off to Hudson. He left Rufus a note.

Hudson was a sanctuary; his mother didn't ask questions and left him to his own devices. His dad called to ask why he left, he told him that he had said some hurtful things to Serena the night before, he thought it was best to leave, making it less awkward for everyone.

When Dan returned back to NYU after the holidays, he requested a transfer. Staying at New York, NYU especially, was torture since Blair wasn't here. They had chosen their classes together over summer. Everything (including the loft) reminded him about her.

He got into Dartmouth on a partial scholarship. As it was still early in the freshman year, he was able to catch up.

Dan didn't return to New York for Christmas. He didn't return to New York at all, preferring to spend all his holidays in Hudson, much to his dad's chagrin.

Lies of omission about not getting over Serena, not being comfortable living with her as a step-sibling and Scott coming back from the dead was enough to keep his dad at bay for now.

Serena called him and told him that she had forgiven him for that night. She asked him to come home; home was with them on the Upper East Side. Dan spun the same lies he'd told Rufus, that seemed to pacify her.

Dan transferred his angst to his writing. He wrote long letters to Blair. He never posted them; instead he tore them up into tiny fragments and threw them in the bin. He wrote novels on lost love, broken hearts and missed opportunities, which he hid in the back of his drawer. He has written three novels in total.

Dan discovered that his mother had been going through his things when received a call from a publisher, who wanted to publish his novel, "The Unsigned Heart" and offered a ridiculous amount of moneythat could pay his entire college tuition. Dan accepted his offer

Dan realized that his novel was a modest hit when he received a check for a hundred thousand dollars in royalties. Lecturers were now vying for his attention, asking him to be the guest speaker in their classes.

He received another check from his publisher, this time it was for three hundred thousand dollars, an advance for his next novel.

With some of the money he had received in royalties, Dan visited France the summer after freshman year in search of Blair. He had no plan; neither did he know where to look. He gave up after a week, when his pidgin French led him no where and made an impromptu visit to England instead.

May 2012, Upper East Side

Author's Note: Try Listening to 42 by Coldplay when reading this bit, you can find it on youtube (apologies, ff dot net doesn't let you post links).

Blair Waldorf returned to New York, very aloof and European.

She didn't want to be here, but daddy, mother and Blair's therapist had insisted that she return to New York. She didn't know why, she was perfectly content in France.

Serena came over as soon as she heard that Blair was back, she was going to NYU now. She filled Blair on everything she missed while she was away including the fact that Dan was now going to Dartmouth and a successful writer.

Serena asked so many questions.

Blair didn't want Serena judging her or hating her, so she lied convincingly and told Serena that she left because her life was a mess as a result of losing Yale and breaking up with Chuck, and she went to France to put her life back together.

Blair had developed a bit of agoraphobia in the past two years she was away. In France, it wasn't too noticeable, as she was often spent most of her time in the gardens.

She decided to brave it outside one sunny afternoon. It became her undoing because every Starbucks within radius was selling Dan's books.

Out of curiousity she purchased "The Unsigned Heart", along with a strawberry and cream frappuccino (which was bound to go to her hips).

On getting home, she escaped into her bedroom and began to devour the book, after a few pages Blair couldn't breathe.

Blair opened her eyes disoriented; she must have fallen asleep whilst reading. She wondered why her room looked different, had her mother redecorated?

She turned from her side unto her back and saw five pair of concerned eyes belonging to Daddy, Eleanor, Dorota, her therapist, a Doctor and a Nurse staring at her intently.

"Where am I?" she asked still weak.

She then looked to her therapist and asked, "Mam'selle, que faites-vous ici?" (Mam'selle, what are you doing here?)

Her mother burst into tears. Daddy stroked her hair gently, trying to choke back the tears and Dorota was crying silently into a handkerchief.

"Blair bear, you've been unconscious for two days", said Harold.

Blair didn't know what to say. She stared at the ceiling and agonized internally whether this meant that she was going to be sent back to Clinique Médicale Sainte Anne.

The doctor and nurse ushered everyone out of the room, so that they could do some checks.

Once the doctor and nurse had finished, her parents and her therapist returned to her beside. Her mother, Blair noticed was attempting to look busy. She fluffed Blair's pillows, arranged flowers, after a while she went in search of more pillows. Blair pitied the poor hospital official she accosted.

Daddy sat beside her and held her hand, while her therapist talked about recovery and next steps. Blair tuned her out; like she always did when her therapist was giving her a long speech in rapid French. Blair tuned back in when the name Daniel was uttered in a French accent.

"Blair, vous avez besoin de parler à Daniel et lui dire tout. Peut-être désengorger tout peut augmenter la vitesse de votre récupération." Said Mam'selle Renard.

(Blair, you need to speak to Daniel and tell him everything. Maybe unburdening everything could speed up your recovery.)

"D'accord" chirped in Harold. (I agree)

"Non", shrieked a weak Blair.

Blair turned to her Harold and said, "Daddy, don't make me do it."

"Blair Bear, you can't go on like this. The postpartum psychosis doesn't seem to be getting better. I'm scared…we're scared that, if you don't confront this, you may end up back in the sanatorium."

"Please Blair Bear" pleaded Harold.

"Je vais parler à Daniel", agreed Blair defeatedly. She was too weak to fight this anymore.

(I'll speak to Daniel)

Later that evening Serena and Chuck came to visit her in the hospital, both distraught.

I guess bad news travels fast, thought Blair.

Apparently, daddy had gone to Lily's looking for Daniel and mentioned that Blair was in hospital asking to see Dan.

Chuck was pacing up and down; Blair was dizzy watching him, while Serena was beside herself in tears.

This is turning to a circus, thought Blair.

When Serena had calmed down, she asked, "Why is Harold looking for Dan?

Blair promised she'd tell Serena everything, once she'd spoken to Dan first.

Chuck and Serena left a few minutes later promising to come back tomorrow.

Blair woke up the next morning, the curtains had been drawn. She felt eyes on her and looked up. Dan was standing over her bed watching her, stroking their face gently like he always did when he was about to kiss her, how she missed that.


"Hey" she replied still sleepy, raising her right hand to cover the hand stroking her face.

"I missed you", Dan said.

Talk about making this hard, it would have been easier if he hated her.

"I missed you to", she replied.

"What happened…", Dan started to ask but Blair interrupted.

"Just hold me for a while, and then will talk, ok?"

Dan took off his shoes and crawled into bed with her, he held her close; Blair closed her eyes and whispered into his chest, never let me go.

Dan hadn't realized that they fell asleep until he opened his eyes and saw a pissed off looking Chuck shaking him violently. Serena stood behind Chuck, looking shell shocked.

"Humphrey, what is the meaning of this?" yelled Chuck

The noise must have woken up Blair, because she squirmed in his arms and turned to lie on her back. She got Chuck and Serena to leave, promising to talk to them later.

After Chuck and Serena left, Blair turned to face Dan and told him everything that happened. She told him about the baby, giving birth to a still born and having postpartum psychosis. She'd been in a sanatorium until January this year and had been having therapy. The only reason she was back in New York was because her therapist recommended that returning to the where Blair's problems originated could give her closure.

Dan asked her how she ended up in hospital and Blair told him.

Dan let everything sink in; funnily enough he wasn't bitter anymore. He was just glad to have her back.

Blair was discharged from hospital two days later.

They weren't over each other and decided to start over, taking things slow.

September 2012, Dartmouth

Blair enrolled at Dartmouth.

Blair's freshman year flew by quickly, but they were still together.

It was Dan's senior year; Blair was sophomore now; they decided to move in together.

Dan graduated in the summer of 2013 with honors and Blair by his side. Dan ended up taking a two year teaching assistant job at Dartmouth. Blair teased him that he took the job because he was still scared to let her out of his sight, in case she disappeared like that summer. At the time he denied it, but he knew she was right, he was terrified.

Summer 2013 was spent in France. Blair was ready to say her goodbyes; it had been four years in the making.

They visited Cimetière de Bagneux and laid a dozen white calla lilies on a marked grave. Blair had named her Holly Humphrey.

Holding hands they walked out of the cemetery never looking back and never to return again; they were both now strong enough to fully endeavor on new beginnings together.

1. I don't speak French, I used google translator. If the French in this fic sounds bad, please accept my apologies.

2. Cimetière de Bagneux is a cemetery in Montrouge, Hauts-de-Seine, France. As TV canon never mentioned where exactly in France Harold's chateau is, I improvised. In addition, I don't know if children/infants are buried in this cemetery, for the sake of this fic, please imagine it does.

3. Clinique Médicale Sainte Anne is a sanatorium in Haut-Rhin, I don't know what its specialty is. I googled sanatoriums in France and just picked the one. For the sake of this fic, let's imagine it specializes in postpartum psychosis.

4. I know diddly squat about postpartum psychosis, I got my information from /wiki/Postpartum_psychosis

5. I'll pass on the non premium liquor, is a nod to Rufus and Lily in Season 1 Episode 5. Another nod to Rufus and Lily is Blair staying at a sanatorium.