This is my first ever Gossip Girl fic. But I'm totally excited about Dair (god, I hope it happens) despite being completely head over Jimmy Choos for Chuck Bass and his cheekbones of wonder.
I'm so nervous about posting this, but let me know what you think, good or bad. Please.
I took the stars from my eyes, and then I made a map
And knew that somehow I could find my way back
Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you
~Florence and The Machine
The first time she sees him after the 'W' incident (as she has taken to calling it in her head) is a week later at a party Lily throws for the anniversary to her marriage to Rufus.
She spots him, alone (of course), on the sidelines, nursing a heavy crystal glass of whiskey. Inhaling deeply (gathering her courage) she walks to him, nodding to Eric as she passes him. Stopping at his side, she takes a sip of champagne (her dutch courage, but she can't understand why she's nervous) before acknowledging him.
He replies, without looking at her. "Waldorf." A silence ensues. It's awkward and heavy and she's wondering why the hell she came to him in the first place. But he breaks it.
"I'm sorry. The sabotage-"
But she cuts him off, telling him to forget it, with a wave of her arm. She tells him she's still at 'W', so no harm done, really (but she did miss him on Sunday at the Morgan).
He nods and takes a drink and she leaves. She get no more than five paces from him, when she stops and turns back to face him. "Thank you." she tells him quickly, and walks away before he can even think about answering her.
Epperly stops her as she dismisses the interns after the morning meeting. She's quite the favourite intern after she acquired Jeremiah Harris (not that she acquired him, but the credit went to her and that's all that mattered).
There's a dinner party. That night. She's expected to be there.
"Why?" she hears herself ask, and mentally slaps herself. Do not question it Waldorf.
"Leslie Leigh will there. I hear she's a old friend of your mothers." Epperly half smiles, half smirks at her, in a way that can only suggest one thing. 'We need you to sweet talk her. We need the exclusive.' And she got the message loud and clear. "Bring a date." Epperly tossed her hair over her shoulder and left the room.
She stands rooted to the spot. A date? She shakes her head in an effort to clear it and picks up her folder. She'd think about it later (she always loved when life threw her a moment to be Scarlet O'Hara, but this?) and maybe she'd have something figured out.
It takes her four tries before she can manage it, but she scolds herself, closes her eyes and knocks on the door.
She opens one eye to see her tall, blond friend in the doorway.
She asks what Serena is doing here? Is she back with Dan? A dull thudding indicates her heart rate has dramatically increased, and only slows when Serena tells her no. Ben lives here too.
Oh. She narrows her eyes, not entirely pleased about that particular revelation about Serena's love life, but is all too confused about what her heart thought it was doing not two minutes ago. She shouldn't care if S and Dan were back together (but she couldn't figure out why she did).
She follows Serena into the loft, nods hello to Ben, before casually inquiring if Humphrey is about.
Serena's eyebrow shoot upwards in surprise, but she says nothing, only that he's not in. She nods and smiles and turns to leave as the door opens and in he walks.
He gives her that look, the one that says 'what the hell are you doing here?'. Or it used to say that, before Dan Humphrey got so damn hard to read. She wasn't entirely sure his expression was positive or negative, but she didn't have the time to give it any thought.
"Can I talk to you?" she asks, before adding it needed to be done in private. He nods and walks past both girls to his room. She follows, not allowing herself to look at Serena (she can't handle her questioning looks. Why is she here, to see Dan, with a garment bag?).
She closes the door to his room behind her and turns to face him. He's removed his navy pea-coat and is staring at her with an intensity that makes her slightly weak (but since when was she weak?).
She tells him she needs a favour and he scoffs. "Come to dinner with me." she blurts out, before realising her mistake. This wasn't a date, she reassures him, except he would be her date (she was even confusing herself now). She quickly explains her situation and he chuckles. Could she really not find anyone else.
"Believe me, Humphrey, you are my last resort." Chuck is still Chuck (and as far as she's aware, is still sleeping with the enemy, so to speak). Nate is dating Ellie, some lacrosse fan-girl from Buffalo (though, here she was in Brooklyn, so should she really be casting stones?). She'd even tried Eric, but he is MIA. She assures him, if he says no, she's going stag.
He nods and tells her he got another internship. At 'The New Yorker'. She gives him a forced smile and asks again if he'll go this damn dinner.
Again he doesn't answer her, but tells her how the internship was offered. "Apparently some crazy girl rang every phone in the office until someone gave her what wanted. Which was giving me an internship." He looks at her (stares, she thinks) but she shrugs one shoulder and rolls her eyes at him. She tells him maybe he has a Guardian Angel.
"Yes." he says quietly and she stares at him. He asks what time he needs to be ready and she smiles and tell him eight.
"And here." she hands him the garment bag she never put down. She tells him it's a suit and he tells her he owns one. She rolls her eyes again (she knows she does it a lot, but he has this habit of stating the damn obvious all the time).
"I know you own a suit." she tells him, "I've seen it about a thousand times." she grins and lets him know it's time to change it up a little. She quietly says thank you before leaving, grateful that Serena and Ben are no longer in, so she doesn't have to deal with, what ever this is yet (but she knows it has to happen soon).
She admits that he looks good in Tom Ford (or at least the back of him does) as she makes her way down the stairs. Hearing the clack of her heels on the marble, he turns and smiles up at her. A smile that makes her sort of melt (not that she'll admit it, even to herself. That or the fact those damn butterflies seem to be back).
He tells her she looks good and passively replies that he cleans up well (in an effort, she knows, to murder those butterflies).
The car ride is quiet (and for her) painfully awkward. She's envious of his apparent easiness at the situation. Why wasn't he feeling any of this tension (she suddenly realises to him, she's still just Blair Waldorf)?
They arrive and Epperly looks less than impressed at her choice of dinner partner, but she could care less (after all, as she remembers, Epperly needs her for this).
Leslie Leigh floats in (she's forgotten that Leslie had always floated) and she is swept up in a flurry of air kisses and compliments (well, her dress is a Leigh creation) and then she introduces her friend (though she's struggling to remember when that happened. Somewhere between the third and fourth movie?) "Daniel Humphrey."
"Dan." he automatically corrects her, shooting her another hard to read look. She doesn't know what to make of it, but has no time to wonder about it as they are ushered to their seats.
As dinner progresses, she tells Leslie about Columbia and her internship and then feels herself fill with pride as Dan discusses his own internship. Her smile falls suddenly because she knows she shouldn't be proud of Humphrey (but she knows that she is, despite her intuition).
Leslie agrees to the 'W' exclusive (something she feels was going to happen, regardless) and then floats out. She can feel him getting restless beside her, so they leave too (school is always such a good excuse), Epperly nodding her approval at her work on Leigh. Her car is waiting when they reach the street. He tells her he'll just catch the metro home but she stops him. "Get in the car Humphrey."
She slides in beside him and tells John, her driver, they'll be making a stop in Brooklyn. He tells her about a fiction piece he's writing for 'The New Yorker'. It all sounds completely cliched to her, but she thinks he's cute when he's excited (wait, what?).
They pull up outside the loft and he smiles at her, tells her he had good time and then leans in and kisses her cheek. He gets out before she can even comprehend what happened. She's halfway across the bridge when she realises, she doesn't want to kill him.
He looks lost and she soundlessly comes up behind him.
"Aren't you supposed to be slumming it at NYU?" she smirks and he turns and gives her a smile (one of those knee weakening smiles). He tells her he's here for a guest lecture that's open to NYU students.
He smirks and rolls his eyes at her comment about Columbia's falling standards. She offers to point him in the right direction, "so I don't have to suffer the humiliation of being seen with you." He laughs and asks where the Peile Building is. She frowns and asks what the lecture is about. Ginsberg. She tells him that's where she's headed and he can follow a few paces behind her.
He catches up and questions her. Since when did she like 'Howl'. She tells him it none of his business, but she's read it about forty times. He nods approvingly and tells her she has good taste. "Like you ever thought anything else." She teases and follows him into the lecture hall. It's pretty full, but there are three empty seats at the back and she nods for him to follow. She passes past the first two seats (setting her bag on the middle chair, she still has to ensure at least one empty space between them) and settles down. Not two minutes later and Ellie (the Lacrosse fan) appears and asks if the seat is free.
Sighing, she lifts her purse and he moves into the seat beside her. She tries not to concentrate on the smell of his colonge or his arm brushing hers as they share the armrest. Ellie's babbling on about how she never knew they were friends and how she tried to drag Nate here (and god, does she ever stop talking?).
The lecture starts and she ignores his presence beside her (she never did let a boy interfere with her studies) but every so often he would shift in his seat and the butterflies would be back and she'd have to start ignoring him back at square one.
The lecture ends and she rushes off, telling him she has to meet Serena (but she hasn't seen Serena in a while, since Ben is now her friend's focus) and then finish an assignment for Epperly (she does have an assignment, but she finished it this morning).
He shows up at the penthouse the next day, tickets for 'Charade' in hand. It's in Brooklyn, she sneers and he laughs, telling her to live dangerously for once. She's given John, her driver, the day off. It is Saturday and his daughter's birthday (and she wasn't planning on going anywhere), so it'll take her a while to get another driver. He tells her the metro is still running and she (to her surprise) agrees.
She goes to change, despite his protests that she looks fine, but she hasn't worn jeans in public since she was sixteen. She gets to her room and suddenly decides that if she can go to Brooklyn with Humphrey, she can wear denim in public. It's Chanel denim, after all. She grabs her coat and returns to him, with an excuse that she doesn't to ruin anything expensive on the train (plus, she's comfortable. Though she wonders if that has less to do with the outfit and more with the company?).
She sits beside him (the dinner and lecture weren't completely horrible) and she steals his popcorn. She glances over at him and thinks he has a touch of Cary Grant about him. She shakes her head in order to clear it and focuses on Audrey on the screen.
She can't be thinking about him this way. She can't. Because she loves Chuck and he loves Serena. And even if her feelings for Chuck are waining (it's getting easier and easier to stand the pictures of him and Raina on Gossip Girl), Dan is still destined to be with her best friend.
The movie ends and he invites her to dinner at the loft. He's made lasagna, but Ben's out for the night so it's a lot of food for just him. She agrees and slips her arm through his as the walk to his apartment.
Dinner is nice (the food is delicious but the conversation is nice, comfortable) and she finds herself smiling and laughing and being at ease (both with him and in herself). She looks through his DVD collection and spots one of her favourites (well that doesn't star Audrey Hepburn) and pulls it out.
"You like 'Jeux d'enfants'?" she grins and half skips to the kitchen where he is stacking the dishwasher. He looks up and shakes his head. Jenny bought it for him for Christmas a few years ago, when he was going through his French Cinema phase, but he never watched it. Seemed like a just another chick flick. But with subtitles.
She assures him it's not, it's bittersweet and beautiful and a must see. He asks if she wants to watch it and she grins in response. "You won't regret it." she calls over her shoulder as she sets up the DVD player.
He sits beside her and they watch. She toes of her pumps and tucks her feet under her legs and a while later she lays her head on his shoulder. At the end, she wipes away the few tears she has shed (Julien and Sophie never fail in taking her on an emotional roller-coaster). He chuckles at her show of emotion but then admits he likes it when she acts normal. She asks if he liked it and he did so she smiles and then tries to stifle a yawn.
It's after one am (and she has no idea how that happened) and it's raining. Perfect. It'll take forever to get a cab now.
"Stay." he offers and she blinks at him. He tells her he'll stay on the couch in the office, but his bed is available, if she wants it.
As she got under his sheets (wearing one of his shirts that smells so much like him, it makes her head spin) she wonders when he became such a gentleman. Was it always there and she never noticed? She checks her phone to find and unread Gossip Girl blast. Something about Chuck and Harry Winston but she's too tired (and if she's honest, too over it) to care.
She whispers goodnight to him, knowing he can't hear from his office on the other side of the garage door posing as a wall, but she feels compelled to say it anyway.
She wakes to the smell of fresh coffee and something she quite put her finger on. She wanders from his room to find him in the kitchen.
"Waffles?" he smiles and she returns it, perching on a stool, pouring herself coffee. She couldn't care about her bare legs and mused bed hair as she takes a bite of the waffle he set in front of her. But then he looks at her (another unreadable look) and she's suddenly aware that she can't be here, with him, with bare legs and bed hair.
She stands and makes some excuse about meeting her mom for brunch. Retreating to his room, she quickly dresses and rushes past him, a hurried thanks for breakfast (and the movie and dinner and everything).
The first time she sees him after the breakfast incident (as she's taken to calling it in her head) is a week later at a party Lily throws to raise money for The New York Opera.
She spots him, alone (of course), on the sidelines, nursing a heavy crystal glass of whiskey. She can't bring herself to go to him (not yet). She heads to the bar and throws her glance his way. Serena's found him and they're talking, heads together, laughing and smiling. She sighs because she knew it was only a matter of time before S went there again (and she should, he was Serena's first. Not that he's hers now).
Her walk to the bar is interrupted by the sound of Chuck's voice wishing for everyones attention. She spins round and there he is, Raina at his side and suddenly Chuck is on one knee (and she just isn't seeing this). Her eyes find him, but he hasn't noticed the floor show, he's simply handing Serena his keys.
She can't breathe and she needs air and she leaves, gasping in as she reaches the street. She knows Chuck is only proposing to stop Raina's father from destroying his company (and Raina's nothing more than a fool for not seeing that) but she also knows she's far more upset about Dan and Serena and that confusing thought only makes her more upset.
She turns to see him standing at the door, a concerned look on his face. He asks if she's okay and she shakes her head, no. He pulls her into a hug and she melts into his embrace (his arms, his scent, his warmth). He asks her is it's about Chuck and she can't lie to him, so she shakes her head again, but she can't tell him the truth either so she remains silent.
He pulls back and runs his hand along her cheek. "What's wrong?"
She jerks her head away and tells him to go back, Serena will be waiting. Serena left, he tells her, took his key and told him to make himself scarce, she was planning something for Ben.
She blinks back a tear and gazes up at him. "So you and Serena aren't...?"
He laughs and shakes his head. He tells her he likes someone else.
She can't say anything, too afraid she'll wake up if she does. "You." he tells her simply, with a shrug of his shoulder. She bites her bottom lip and half smiles up at him, before he leans down and brushes his lips against hers.
And she feels wonderful (and light and carefree).
She had left Chuck to find herself. He had left Serena to find himself.
She was meant to be with Chuck (who had just become engaged). He was meant to be with Serena (who was off with his ex-con roommate).
They tried to find themselves.
She's glad they found each other (not that she'll tell him that. Yet.).
And end. There we go, my first ever Dair (and Gossip Girl) fic.
BTW, I had started this before I knew Florence would be on the show (singing this song). Just one of those random happenings, you know. Also the french movie they watch is called 'Love me if you dare' in English. I thought it rather fitting.
Again, review, let me know what you think.