A/N: So I heard this song (On the Moon, by Peter Cincotti) and I thought of a scene which developed into this long one-shot. I wasn't sure how to divide up the parts, so I didn't. I figured before the writers of the show piss all over the characters and my alma mater, I should try to pay some respects, no?

On the Moon

Dan Humphrey stretches his legs as he walks up the stairs, two steps at a time, surrounding the very hollow center of Bobst Library. Five-six-seven. Elevator etiquette dictates that at seven p.m. at the start of midterms week, unless he's handicapped or with child, he should walk those two flights up to the literature floor even as he struggles with the five three-hundred page hardcover non-fiction books in unappetizing brown and puke green bindings about the history of Washington Square Park. He's careful to keep his eyes up lest he get vertigo from the winding stairs that go down, down, down to the black, white, and gray tiles that cover the foyer.

He waits on one side of the glass door for the two girls in skinny jeans and multi-colored ribbed tanks on the other side to push it open when it becomes apparent that he's on his own. He has so many words to say to them in his head, but years at St. Judes taught him to keep his mouth shut and he balances the stack on one hip while the other reaches blindly for the door handle. He yanks and puts his shoulder there just as the door is about to close and before he could just walk through, the girls stroll past him out the door.

You're welcome.

He walks around the periphery of the floor, looking for the table where he's about to spend the next six hours of his life writing about Henry James his use of the park, yada-yada-yada. Having been here for months, he has a checklist. He never sits at the open tables, opting for the concentration provided to him by the individual desks that face each other with wooden boards just high enough to keep each other from view. He ducks and curves to look for a seat near an electric outlet for his laptop and far away from the guy clearly munching on potato chips right next to the "No Food or Opened Beverages" sign.

Ah, there. In the corner. One of the overhead fluorescent tubes are out, but he can deal. There's no one at the desk facing him, just a pile of books and out of curiosity, he walks around to check out the titles. They're all by Thomas Pynchon - Vineland, The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, and a few others that he doesn't recognize. Either this person is on LSD or he must really want to kill himself.

Oh, and of course the research - Andrew Gordon's "Smoking Dope with Thomas Pynchon: A Sixties Memoir."

Nice.

He plugs in his laptop and drums his fingers while it powers up. A girl sitting with her back to him turns and glares at him and he wants to say back "if you don't like it, get off our floor, math major," but thinks better of it. Chances are he'll end up serving her coffee one day.

Coffee, now there's an idea. He walks past all the signs that warn him against leaving his personal belongings unattended and goes down in the silver elevator, the interior lined with bronze and silver metal that looks like small bullets, to the first level basement with the small circle of vending machines. The coffee drips out slowly and it tastes like crap, but it's better than something. That and he's vowed never to step inside the Starbucks right across the street. It's Oren's dark brew, crappy library coffee or nothing.

Upon his return, he finds a head of shiny brown hair bent over the stack of Pynchon, a book opened midway propped up by the others. He can't see her face but he watches the foot at the end of her long, crossed bare legs move in the air in a nervous rhythm. Her foot is small and from the big toe dangled a forest green kitten heel that he knows to cost more than his meal plan just from his experience of shopping with Serena.

He follows the white cords from her iPod to her ears, small with emerald studs and in her white cardigan and green full skirt, she's not like anything he's seen around this neighborhood.

In short, she has no business reading Pynchon.

He realizes that he's being a creepy peeping tom and his coffee is scalding his fingers so he slips back into his seat. What's he writing about again? Right, Henry James, WSP, good times. He stares at the pile of books he collected and turns his attention back to the computer to find every possible thing he can do to procrastinate. Times New Roman. 12 pt font. Insert header. Page numbers (Last name, page #). Yup, left-justified. He types out the heading.

Daniel Humphrey

October 25, 2009

Freshman Honors Seminar: New York Writers

Professor Wicks

Midterm assignment

He pauses and looks at it. It's missing something, right? He keeps going.

Mood: Caffeinated

Music: Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Clothes: Old Navy trousers, vintage Coca Cola t-shirt, loafers, yesterday's socks-

His head jerks up. A hum. Soft, high-pitched rendition of Moon River. Not quite as jazzy as it should be, Dan decides with a sip of his coffee, but he doubts this girl's from Tisch. He peeks slightly over the partition, his neck straining upwards, his ass rising out of his seat. The girl is swinging her head of curls slightly, almost as though she's having a mild seizure, but her hand swings in such a smooth way that he just wants to get wrapped up in the pale little thing. What better music to accompany his exploration of James' vintage New York descriptions?

When she tilts her head up for him, her eyes are closed and her plump lips in a soft, close-mouthed smile. He stares for a full second before ducking back down, hoping against all hopes that she wouldn't recognize him before gathering his things clumsily and stumbling out of the library wing, his laptop still open and the cord dragging noisily behind him.

That's the first time that Blair Waldorf makes his heart skip a beat.

* * *

She always has her legs crossed when he sees her, even when they're stretched out by the fountain in the park they're daintily crossed at the ankles. Even at this zip code, she keeps her head bands and her heels. Her pretty skirts and blouses and instead of ruling the adoring masses, she sticks out like a sore thumb.

She's always alone and he knows that she knows. Not a Bass in sight.

* * *

He finally approaches her at Kimmel, Center for Student Life or Student Center or whatever the whole name's called. He has a tuna salad sandwich and she has the pasta. He an orange juice and she a bottle of water. Fruit cup, brownies, chips. He puts his tray at the seat across from her and she hardly looks up from her book. When she does, she shoots him a puzzled look the likes of which he never thought he'd see grace her face.

He scarfs down his brownie and sandwich while he pours over his notes. He's not reading any of it, of course, but it's less awkward than sitting in silence with Blair Waldorf and watching her read, even if it's Dostoyevsky today. Something more... well, something more her.

He clears his throat once to announce his exit, crumbles up his bag of chips and wipes his mouth with the leaf thin napkin.

A small white hand reaches out from across the table, her eyes still trained on the text. There's no mistaking the tiniest of smiles on her face, however, when he takes the brownie from her and nudges his unopened fruit cup in her direction.

He goes back to his notes and she acts as though his offering magically materialized before her. She clears up the little trash she has and walks it over to the trashcan and gathers her things. He ignores her, just as she wishes. He gives away nothing except a tiny tug at the corner of his lips when she says primly, with a matter-of-fact nod, "see you tomorrow." The sound of her heels follow her out the door.

* * *

Two weeks later, he asks about the Pynchon. It's just not her. Psychedelic ninjas and car-fucking in Vineland scarred him for life when he was a teenager and to imagine Blair Waldorf of all people reading that...

"It's for my post-modern literature seminar."

"How'd you manage to get into that class?"

"You know, I'm no social pariah Nelly Yuki, but I still did pretty damned well at Constance."

It's bizarre to think that Constance Billards and St. Judes only stand less than ninety blocks north where teenagers they once were sit restless in the elaborate classrooms in their modified uniforms.

Dan rests his chin in his hand and watches her enjoy the aroma of her freshly delivered ramen before digging in. He has never seen a girl eat so quickly and delicately at the same time, her strawberry mouth widening around a thick patch of noodles. He thinks for a second that, for a girl who looked so good and so put together in her prissy school uniform, Blair Waldorf looks even more spectacular in a crocheted, oversized hat, heavy sweater and knee-length skirt with her cheeks red from the wind in a ramen shop on loud and hip St. Marks St.

"Stop watching me eat, freak."

"You're the freak. Freak."

* * *

There's an eerie silence that falls upon St. Marks on a Saturday morning. Shops are closed, trash litter the sidewalks, tattoo and piercing neon signs are shut off, and the occasional shop keeper sweeps the small part of the block out front before retiring home to recover from the Friday night and prepare for Saturday night. A small pocket of peace that echoes the quiet aftermath of a good time.

Only in that frozen silence, with his white breath and red cheeks, does Dan dare to reach out and hold Blair's little pink mitten hand in his. Like flower petals basking in sunlight, her fingers become boneless and relax in his grip and her head falls upon his shoulder, her footsteps depending heavily on his. He smells the fresh spring scent of shampoo and muses in the way it matches her pink flowered skirt and heeled ankle boots. Blair Waldorf has a certain scent and it's the strongest when it's reflected in her elegant attire.

At the corner, just before the street opens up to Cooper Square and beneath the unlit green and blue St. Marks Bookstore sign sticking out from the brick building, he stops, grips her hand, and pulls her back. Even as she stumbles into his embrace all curls and soft wool, he cups her cheek in his black leather gloved hand (a Christmas present from her, of course) and places a gentle kiss on her swollen, pink lips.

She tastes like tea and coffee cake.

* * *

That first Christmas somehow becomes a strange affair.

There are arguments at first -

"We can't tell them."

"I'm sick of this conversation."

"I don't want to be like Serena."

"Be honest with yourself, is that the real reason?"

"Daddy's home, I have to spend time with him."

"You let me know when you have time and room in your life for me."

"Don't be like that, I'll call you tomorrow."

- and he chows down angrily at Christmas Eve dinner.

They're about to break out the pie when he gets a teary phone call at nine and takes the subway to the penthouse apartment from which she had all but banned him.

He walks past Dorota at the elevator, doesn't say a word to Eleanor, Cyrus, Harold, Roman and the van der Basses and goes straight up the stairs to her room. If they're still at the dorm, Georgina would have broken in the bathroom door lock already for him.

She comes out eventually, doesn't even look at him, throws her arms around him and presses her cheek to his chest like a little girl. He holds her, he's not sure how long but eventually her fingers uncurl from the tight grip on his shirt and it feels like it's safe to loosen his hold on her without having her crumble to the ground in dried, cried out flakes. He leans back to look at her face - her lips swollen and red, her eyelids fallen half way down to cover her tired brown eyes. He offers a small, tired smile, his eyebrows knit in a helpless expression and she returns it with a mumbled apology. The side of her face is soft beneath his calloused fingertips and he likes the way she shivers slightly when he reaches the pulse point on her neck.

He pulls her in for a short kiss on the forehead before turning around and crouching. "Hop on." She climbs on awkwardly but settles into his warmth and inhales the smell of books and mint drifting off his skin. "You good?" He feels her hair on his neck as she nods slowly and tosses her bright red coat over his shoulder for her to drape over herself.

He leaves just as he came, ignoring everyone in his path with his heart in his hands. He carries her to a cab because on Christmas Eve, he would not subject Blair Waldorf to the subway and from there, he carries her to his Williamsburg apartment. His dad doesn't say a word at the sleeping girl on his back and his sister even offers him a small smile.

In the hot, musty apartment, he places her on the bed gingerly and flings off his shirt as she blinks and clears her eyes. She's a small girl but he's not exactly a big guy and his back is slick with sweat from the exercise in the dim light of his table lamp. He feels her eyes on him and rubs the back of his neck self-consciously - a habit she always teases him for.

"C'mere," she commands, and she reaches her arms out as though she's a little girl reaching for her favorite teddy bear and he doesn't know what to do but obey. He crawls up her tiny, tiny body until he rests his elbows on either side of her face and slowly leans down onto the cradle of her body. Her arms snake around his back and she whispers, "Thank you." He pushes the baby hairs from her face and kisses her softly.

He is quite positive that he is in love with her.

* * *

"Why are we here again?"

He can hardly believe that it's been nearly a year. A year of coffee dates, study sessions, and order-in dinners. A summer of museums, beaches, internships, quitting internships, and the big sophomore dorm move. Of course, there's the amazing, mind-blowing sex. Blair wasn't kidding when she said she never did anything half-assed.

"Oh, come on! It'll be fun! We can even get you a pair of horns. And there's jousting! You're telling me that you don't want to see some guy get knocked off a horse with a stick?"

She looks up at him - one of those moments when he realizes how much smaller she actually is than him - and uses her hand to shave her eyes from the sun shining out of the clear, perfect sky. "You're lucky you're such a cute dork, Humphrey."

"Well, thank you, your highness." He bends down in an exaggerated bow and she takes it in stride. As if people haven't been doing that all her life.

"Ooh! Look at that skank's corset!"

"There are children here!" He laughs anyway at the way the woman's corset seems to be near bursting at the seams from its effort in containing her gigantic bosom.

"Exactly! That's borderline obscene. This is why I never come this far uptown, Humphrey."

He secretly knows she loves the castle-like Cloisters and even as she complains about her sore feet and the dorky vendors, she's still dressed up as the princess that she is.

She leaves with a pair of horns tied on her head and a whisper as she yanks on his arm. "Let's follow the crowd to the station before we get mugged. Next year, we're bringing a bodyguard."

Dan can only smile at that. Apparently, the Medieval Fair at Ft. Tryon Park is going to become an annual event. Even better, they're going to still be good next year.

* * *

Sometimes she bursts into tears.

It's rare, but it happens and in a dorm, it's difficult enough to find a place to hide that Blair willingly goes to the single that he lucked into during the housing lottery. He's usually at his desk, either reading or typing away on his computer and when she comes bursting in, she ignores him and hurls herself straight on the bed with these gut-wrenching sobs that make him bite down his teeth and wonder for a split second before remembering what to do.

He curls himself around her and she pushes him away for a while before giving up and burying her face into his shirt. Sometimes it's about Georgina, who seemed to have latched on and wouldn't let go, or school, or the LSATs (those two points that her from a perfect 180), or her family. Sometimes it's even about him and those times, she doesn't like to talk about it and he has to coax it out of her. He guesses that's the perk about being your girlfriend's best friend.

Whatever the cause and whatever the solution, they usually end up naked.

"I did a terrible thing," she mumbles into the pillow.

"Hm?"

She turns her face to the side to look at him and when he feels her eyes on him, he turns his own head. "I did a terrible thing."

"Uh-oh, do I need to get the giant, a-human-body-can-fit-in-this suitcase and the getaway car?" His smiles drops when her lips remain in a pout, her eyes distant. He turns his entire body towards her and brushes his fingertips across her bare shoulders. "Hey, what's wrong?"

"I just finished my applications for school."

"Okay..."

"I applied to Stanford."

Oh.

It's not that Stanford isn't a good school and it's certainly not that Dan wants anything but the best for Blair, but that's just... far. He's practically a shoe-in for Harvard's graduate program after a few of his other pieces got published in major literary journals and they've talked about tentative plans of moving to the historic city but Stanford... well, that could put a wrench into their master plan.

"I mean, I might not even get in. It's just they have such a nice program and I... I don't know. I just kind of panicked. I probably won't even go." She presses her cheek against his chest as if to reassure him of her presence and he wraps an arm around her without believing a single word. From the way she's reacting, he already knows how this will all end. How they will end and damn, he wishes he could be more selfish just about this one thing.

Her acceptance letter arrives just a month before graduation.

* * *

"I won't ask you to stay, you know."

She nods her head and keeps her eyes on her fruit salad. University-wide graduation at Washington Square Park just ended and they're officially college graduates. College graduates still in love with each other. College graduates having brunch at Cloister Cafe by St. Marks.

College graduates headed to opposite ends of the country. They would normally go to Saint Alps, but then he would be tempted to get the Romeo and she the Juliet.

"So when are you heading west?"

"I have a few of my things packed. Daddy wants to spend some time with me there before I start school so..."

"Yea."

"And you? When are you going to um-"

"I'm heading up there this weekend to look at apartments."

"Oh."

"Yup, just taking the bus from Penn Station." She nods and chews some more.

"I'm flying out Saturday."

"I'll come see you off."

"I'd like that."

* * *

There was never a conversation. Never a 'maybe' or 'in the future.' No talk of trying long distance. It's as if they just knew that their time together was up and, brief and magical as it was, their feet slowly drifted back to the ground and the shackles around their ankles dragged them away.

He went to the airport that saturday, but he didn't say goodbye. He bought a cheap, bogus ticket just to get through security and stood behind a pillar and watched her watch for him in a tailored navy blue dress, looking every bit the movie heroine she was. When it came time to board, she picked up her white tote and passed the gate without a backward glance. He watched her until her chestnut hair was out of sight and when the attendant closed the latched door, he emerged from his hiding place to the large floor to ceiling windows that lined the wall and looked out at the planes.

He stood staring out the window until the sun set and the plane was long gone, his Blair Waldorf dream along with it. It may not have lasted forever, but he knew that every story he writes in the future would be affected by this singular event, cast in the background of a million beautiful memories together.

And he would remember the way she hummed Moon River and tapped her heels.

It was the day his world changed.

Fin

A/N: Thanks for reading! I'd just like to say that this whole story was inspired by this song: On the Moon by Peter Cincotti. They were always meant to fall apart, but it was wonderful to write them while it lasted.

You know I care for you
But pretend and lead me on, that's all you do
I try to still believe but now I'm through
And the only place I see is calling out to me
It's the only place I know
It's the place where I must go

On the moon, that's where you'll find me soon.
I'll be alone again
That's okay, I must be on my own again.
I'll be waiting on the moon for you

I sit and reminice for many hours
I miss the rain and all the pretty flowers
I dream of all the cities and their towers
And I hope you wonder why
I'm lying in the sky
I'll even let you in for free
If you come and visit me

On the moon, that's where you'll find me soon.
I'll be alone again
And all I'll do is to lie there till I die there
Waiting on the moon for you

Would you ever even dream to go to the extreme
And would you ever wanna be the one to rescue me

On the moon, that's where you'll find me soon.
All alone again
Unwinding there and praying that you'll find me there
Waiting on the moon for you
On the moon, that's where you'll find me soon.
And still your face will be haunting me
So if you're ever wanting me
I'll be waiting on the moon for you