Author's Note: Whoa. I haven't written fan-fiction like in literally years, but I found myself itching to write after yesterday's Gossip Girl. Yup, I am officially converted to the Dan and Blair relationship. What can I say? They are amazing. Also, since the show will definitely ruin them, I felt like I had to make up their ending myself.

This is basically their story through my eyes, hopefully everyone enjoys.

For readers of my other stories, I still think of you! I hope I can someday find inspiration to finish those stories, but for now, here's this.

Spoilers: Up until and through 3x17 with my take on what happens next.

Please leave feedback! Also, forgive the typos since it's 4AM!

Real Love

There's something wrong with our hearts

When they beat pure they stand apart

In the black room, the light, watch the seabird fall

Real love, it finds you somewhere with your back to it

- Beach House, "Real Love"

She doesn't remember when she started feeling an attraction to Daniel Humphrey.

For Blair Waldorf, this is unusual. With Nate, it was simple. They had been children, five or maybe six, and she had seen those blue eyes and messy hair and she had known. Her attraction to Chuck had been even simpler, albeit buried so far within her for so long that when their lips had first touched, the feelings exploded through her, and nothing had ever been clearer or made more sense.

But with Dan, she doesn't remember. She doesn't want to remember.

She thinks it must have something to do with the fact that there is no way they can ever be together, plausibly. There is no way she can love him. They are polar opposites, he makes her blood boil, and for God's sake, she can't even remember when she started feeling an attraction towards him.

Blair Waldorf and Dan Humphrey's love story is no Breakfast at Tiffany's or Gone with the Wind, and so maybe it doesn't exist.

But Blair thinks maybe it does.

She hates him the most when he is Serena's date to her Kiss on the Lips party.

They glide in past her as if it's not even her party, and Serena's hands are locked tightly into his.

Blair recognizes him from school and she knows—knows—he is not one of them. He does not belong here, and that is what attracts Serena to him and attracts everyone to Serena.

He is poor, and the worst part about is that it makes Serena look so cool. She wants to scream and shout and literally physically attack him because he is singlehandedly the reason why no one's attention is on her.

Her friends giggle and stare and speculate.

Nate stares too, but for entirely different reasons. His brow furrows in unmistakable jealousy and longing, and she knows her face must look similar.

She can't even think of his name but she knows she will hate him forever.

The day her mother chooses Serena to model in the photoshoot she promised to her, Blair sits in the hallway of the studio, forcing herself not to cry and trying to be more angry.

She wants to feel rage, but she just feels sorrow. She doesn't understand why she is never enough because she tries so hard to be better, to be the best.

She stares at her legs, thicker and shorter than Serena's, and she knows she will never be the best.

When she sees Dan coming to join her, she can't help but feel annoyed at Serena's attempt to be a good friend. Still, she tries to avoid directly meeting his gaze. Pointless as he may be, she doesn't like to appear weak in front of anyone, and she's already kind of losing that battle.

"Serena sent you down here to talk to me?" She questions softly.

"Believe it or not, I actually came here myself," He says it lightly and tries to offer her a smile.

She wants to hate him but she feels too stupid to hate anyone expect herself, so she tries to muster up some cruelty, but it's a halfhearted attempt and there are still tears in her voice when she says, "Normally I wouldn't be this close to you without a tetanus shot."

Blair meets Dan's gaze and instantly regrets the comments, though she can't be sure what effect it has on him. When their eyes meet, she sees no satisfaction in his eyes, only perhaps pity combined with the slightest bit of curiosity. She realizes after a moment that he feels sorry for her and it is so unbearable she looks away.

He sits beside her with a sigh. She doesn't know if she wants to speak with him anymore, but for some reason she does not want him to leave. She doesn't want to be alone.

"My mom kind of left us a couple of months ago," he begins, and she eyes him suspiciously, unsure of where this is going, "Only my dad and my sister don't really see that, 'cause she told us she had to go away for the summer to, uh, to follow her dreams and be an artist. But it's not summer anymore and she's still up there. And that's all she seems to care about right now. Every time I go to see her, I tell myself this time I'm going to tell her what I think. This time I'm going to look her in the eye, and say... either come home or leave for good." He pauses at the end, caught up in his own story.

She knows it is for her own benefit, and though she hates that he is telling her this because he thinks he can make her feel better, she kind of appreciates it, so she patiently listens.

"And so there I was, just the other day," he continues, "I was sitting across the table from her, and I looked her straight in the eye and I didn't say anything." His eyes are cloudy and troubled, and she wonders why he didn't tell his mother how he felt.

"Why not?" She hears herself ask him.

Surprised probably that she was even listening, he is taken aback by the question. "Uh," he shakes his head, "I don't know. But I wish I had. Because even if it didn't change anything, she'd know how I felt."

He offers the words so kindly and she feels oddly comforted in her misery and she knows that soon, this moment will be over.

They sit together in silence, and she thinks that maybe someday they'll be friends.

She cannot believe she is at a movie with Dan Humphrey. More specifically, she cannot believe this is the fifth movie she has seen with him in the past two weeks.

The first time had been extremely uncomfortable. They had both expected to see each other there and yet there was this inexplicable shock when their eyes met. She knew Dan from school and destruction and Serena. The fact that they shared a hobby felt wrong. They had sat four seats away from one another and pretended the other did not exist, but she found herself sometimes turning to look at him out of interest. The fact that Dan Humphrey—of all people—loved something she did, other than Serena, was simply astounding. She had never brought Serena to one of these, mostly because Serena had seen about ten movies total, and would not understand the complex nature of the films Blair loved. Chuck had refused to come, and once Nate had tagged along but he had been stoned and hadn't understood a thing. His unwarranted laughter at every scene had filled the theater so obnoxiously she had bowed her head as they exited the theater like a celebrity avoiding paparazzi. And yet Dan—Dan!—sat enjoying the film so thoroughly that she couldn't help but feel slightly fond of him.

And now here they are, seeing a movie together so comfortably that when their knees brush together in the old theater's tiny seats he doesn't even bother to pull his leg away. He places his popcorn between the two of them so she can easily reach over to grab some, and he occasionally sips at her drink without asking if it's okay first.

Blair likes this sense of comfort, and she doesn't think she's ever felt it with another boy. She's felt a lot of things, but never complete ease.

In the dark lights of the movie theater, Dan Humphrey becomes maybe the best friend she's ever had.

She wakes up in Brooklyn in Dan's arms and for a moment doesn't remember what is so wrong about this. Her arm is draped across his middle and his somehow rests casually on her shoulders. He is warm and his heart beats calmly and she can't remember the last time she woke up next to someone else.

But then she remembers who she is and who he is and she leaps away from him with such abruptness that he wakes up.

Startled, he eyes her with one eye open and the other closed, his hair messy and his arm imprinted with the pattern of her flowery blouse. She finds him adorable in that moment and panics.

"We fell asleep," she says, though that much is obvious.

"Okay," he stretches his arms out, clearly not that bothered by what's going on.

"Okay? This is your fault, Humphrey. I knew I didn't have it in me to watch two movies last night, but you just had to insist. And I had to wake up this morning practically embracing you. I'll have to shower twice when I get home."

Dan is clearly taken aback by her tone and the cruel things she says, and she feels guilty. Last night she had spoken with him so candidly she had surprised even herself. They had eaten pizza and joked and laughed and she had remembered feeling content. Now, in the harsh morning light, in last night's clothes, with her makeup smeared, she feels as if he has seen her naked.

He rubs at his eyes. "I didn't do it on purpose, so calm down."

She shakes her head, knowing it's not his fault. "Sorry," she says meekly.

He cracks a smile. "So you're cranky in the mornings. Good to know."

Blair wrinkles her nose as she grabs her things and prepares to go. He holds the door for her as she is leaving, and she thinks it probably looks as if they're lovers parting.

"Thanks for last night," she offers at the door.

He looks down at her through sleepy, kind eyes and she realizes how close they are standing to each other and thinks he might kiss her goodbye.

"No problem," he nods.

She can barely hide her disappointment as she leaves.

When he finally does tell her he wants to kiss her, she tries to act disinterested but her heart pounds through her chest so hard she actually worries it will burst through. Her shoulder tingles from when he laid his hand on it, and she can't believe all of these stirrings are coming because of Dan.

"I suppose that would work," she blinks and then nods, trying to keep calm, "one kiss. That's that."

"One kiss, and that's that." He agrees, his gaze traveling from her eyes to her lips then back. "So.."

"So," she feels desperate for it to happen and self-conscious and her voice fails her and she clears her throat, all of herself just waiting for him.

He hesitates and when she can't wait any longer she rolls her eyes, "Oh, for crying out loud, Humphrey."

As their lips crash together, her thoughts leave her mind. He pulls her close and her hands travel to his neck. She is surprised at what it feels like to kiss him and realizes she has never really wondered what it would feel like before. She feels his heartbeat, pace in pace with hers, and when they finally pull away, neither of them can breathe.

She doesn't know where to look and she suddenly feels extremely awkward. She finds that she is literally speechless.

"Well," he clears his throat. "Should I go first?"

She stumbles to find her words, and she wants so badly to remain cool. "If you feel inclined to do so."

Blair looks to the ceiling and then to the floor and her gaze stays there as the silence between them lengthens. She can feel him looking at her and she wonders if his lips are still burning like hers are.

"Blair," he says, grabbing her chin. His grasp is gentle but firm, like his kiss. She realizes she wants to kiss him again and hopes that her eyes don't betray this as she finally brings them to meet his.

Dan stares at her with a look of intensity very unlike anything she's experienced before. She doesn't know what he's thinking—if he liked it or if he just knows she did and feels sorry for her. Is he comparing her to Serena, whose level of experience outranks her by hundreds?

"What?" She barely manages to get out.

Before she knows it, he has kissed her again, and she holds him so tightly because she does not want to—cannot—let him go.

His lips are soft and warm and she thinks they fit with hers better than anyone else she's kissed before. Chuck's kiss was always strong and passionate, but always forceful in a way she both loved and hated. Nate's kiss was relaxed and open-minded. He never took control of the situation, but rather preferred to follow where he was led. Dan was so unlike either of them—both taking charge and allowing her to lead him.

Blair kisses Dan Humphrey and she feels transformed and magnificent and wonders how she didn't let it happen sooner.

They lay together, a tangled mess in her sheets. This is not the first time he's spent the night, and she figures it won't be the last. They haven't told anyone, still, and she can't ever see there being a time where they will.

He is, after all, Dan Humphrey, from Brooklyn, Serena's ex-boyfriend.

He is also Dan Humphrey, the only person who likes the same things she likes and can make her laugh so hard she cries and who stays the night with her and tells her how beautiful she is, how he's so surprised that she wants him.

Dan is asleep, and she runs her fingers through his hair and over his sleeping face.

She wishes that she could tell him how beautiful he is and how she's so surprised he wants her. He could have Serena if he wanted, especially now that she and Ben are over. He could certainly have any other girl, this she now knows.

"What is this?" She whispers to his sleeping figure.

He stirs and awakens, his fingers squeezing her hip. "Good morning,"

"Morning to you,"

He kisses her cheek and her neck and buries his face in her hair.

"We should probably get up," she starts, but he pulls her down.

"Not a chance."


"Waldorf. Shut up."

She bites her lip but allows him to hold her and traces her hand absentmindedly over his arm.

"You're so pretty," he grins at her, and her heart skips a beat. She has never been called pretty by a boy before and finds it is ultimately more satisfying than being called 'hot' or 'beautiful' or 'cute'.

"You'll have to leave soon," she says.

"Soon," he repeats, and they drift back to sleep.

"I can't do this anymore."

Blair's heart drops as Dan says it but she's been expecting it. After all, he is Dan and she is Blair and those two words being used in the same sentence is like an oxymoron.

They stand in her living room after returning from a party in which she had spent the evening actively trying to ignore him.

"Fine, go."

"I can't fucking believe you," he shakes his head in disgust. "Are you that ashamed by this? You can write me off that easily and it means nothing to you."

"Well, what do you want me to say?" She exclaims. "This had to end at some point, anyway."

He steps close to her and he is so angry that for the slightest moment she thinks he'll hit her. "I'm not going to do this. I'm not going to make you be with me. I'm not going follow you around parties like a fucking puppy dog. I could take the abuse about who I am before because it didn't mean anything, but now it does."

He is hurt and she wishes so terribly that things were different. She wishes they could guiltlessly be together. She wishes she didn't care so much about hurting Serena. More importantly, she wishes she didn't care so much about getting hurt herself. She wants to love him and maybe she even does, but she can't get her heart broken again and he'll break it, he will. He'll leave her like Chuck did. He'll trade her for Serena in a heartbeat. He'll realize she isn't as pretty, that she's not worth it. He'll move on and she'll be left behind with nothing left.

"I can't be who you need me to be," she says finally, and she feels the tears filling her eyes.

Dan nods. "Okay, well then this is it. I'm going to leave, Blair. And I'm not going to come back. I'm not going to let another girl treat me like this. I'm not going to chase you more than I already have."

He begins to walk away and she reaches for him without even realizing it, an involuntary reflex.

"Please," she says desperately, her grip on his arms tight.

He takes her face in his hands. "I can only love you if you let me. I can't if you do this. If you ruin us because you're scared. I'm not Chuck, I'm not Nate. You're not Serena. And that's why we can do this."

"Please don't go," she says again and the tears stream down her face. "I want you, I want you more than I can explain. So don't go."

"I won't leave you, but if we're gonna do this, we have to do it right. Even if that's terrifying."

"I don't know if you've noticed, but as it turns out, I have no idea how to do anything right." She gives him a watery smile and he pulls her in for a hug.

"I don't know if you've noticed, but neither do I."

"That must be why we work."

"Must be."

Blair Waldorf doesn't remember when she started feeling an attraction to Daniel Humphrey.

As time goes on, she thinks that aspect of their relationship is the least important one.

Because she doesn't remember a time before him when she was safe. She can't remember ever feeling so loved, or feeling like she deserved to be loved. She can't remember a time where she was so attracted to someone who was entirely her opposite whilst somehow managing to be her equal. She can't remember having a better movie partner, or a better friend. She can't ever remember kissing lips as soft as is. She can't remember a time where she didn't know all the local coffee shops in Brooklyn.

She knows they are no typical love story, but in the end, she reasons, those are the ones that end up being the most romantic.