A/N: with this chapter, you'll see why I included a classic Gossip Girl quote at the beginning of every chapter :)

Everybody has them.
Some good. Some bad.
Some you wish you could forget.
Sometimes you realize you've outgrown them.
Sometimes you feel like they're finally coming true.


Dan and Eric were left staring at each other in silence long after Chuck had left the room.

Eric was the first one to snap out of it. "You have to do something!"

Dan only met his gaze blankly, looking oddly lost. "What would you have me do? Chuck has an engagement ring, Eric! I can't compete with that!"

"It's not a competition," Eric said earnestly, "It's about what Blair wants…you have to tell her how you feel—"

"She already knows," Dan mumbled, "She knows how I feel about her."

"But have you told her?" Eric pressed, "Really told her?"

Dan shrugged, making a noncommittal noise. "We're not together; not really."

Eric walked forward and gave Dan a slight push out the door. "I'm telling you this as your friend, and as your step-brother: if you really like her—which I know you do—then you have to fight for her."

Dan took a deep breath, "Okay. You're right." He looked down the hall, but it seemed that both Blair and Serena had disappeared. "Think they're downstairs?"

He had no sooner spoke the words when a sudden hush fell across the chattering crowd, followed by several gasps and whispering.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," Chuck announced, "I'd like to introduce you to the guest of honor tonight…"

Dan and Eric hurried down the stairs just in time to see the guest of honor step out of the elevator, looking particularly smug.

Jack Bass.


"Chuck," Blair hissed, hurriedly stalking across the room, "What the hell is he doing here?"

Before Chuck could answer, Jack appeared by their side with a smirk. "What's with the act, Blair? First you call me, then you don't show up…"

Blair winced and shot an apprehensive look in Chuck's direction. However, he didn't seem to be surprised. "Don't worry, Blair. I know you called Jack."

"Y-you do? And…you're okay with that?"

"I know you did it for me," Chuck reached out for her hand and brushed his lips across her fingers. "Because contrary to what you say, you do still love me…"

Blair pulled her hand away from him, looking confused. "Wait, so you went out of town to find Jack?"

"No," Chuck shook his head, "I knew Jack was coming to New York to meet you. I had already been in contact with him for several weeks. I went to Europe to follow up on a lead."

"Europe?" Blair repeated, "What's going on? Why have you been talking to Jack?"

"Chuck knew that I would be the only one who could help him find out the truth about the hotel fire," Jack supplied. "Lucky for him, I was privy to one of Bart's most well-kept secrets."

Blair looked between Chuck and Jack expectantly, "Well? Spill!"

"Mrs. Thorpe," Jack began, "Had an affair with Bart many years ago. She became pregnant with his child."

"Russell found out about it," Chuck picked up the narrative, "And he was, understandably, furious. He threatened to tell everybody about what she had done—it would have ruined her."

"Bart, in one of his rare gestures of sentimentality, decided to help her escape from Russell," Jack sipped at his drink thoughtfully. "As you may have guessed, Bart helped her set up a new life in Europe. He gave her a new identity, and hid her from the rest of the world."

"That's when Russell and my father had a falling out," Chuck continued, a faraway look in his eyes. "Russell swore that he would never forgive my father for what he had done. His wife was, essentially, dead to him. He told Raina that her mother had simply left, because he couldn't handle the truth of what had happened."

"He made up the story about his wife dying in the fire?" Blair frowned, "Why would he do that?"

"He knew how to hurt Chuck," Jack responded, glancing at his nephew. "The sins of the father…forever passed down to the son. He wanted the Bass family to pay for what Bart had done all those years ago. He wanted revenge."

"You went to Europe to find Raina's mother?" Blair asked, turning to look at Chuck.

"I went to speak to a P.I. that was a close friend of my father's," Chuck explained. "We knew she was somewhere but we couldn't pinpoint her exact location."

"I think I might be able to fill in the blanks on that end," a voice said behind them. The three of them turned around to see Nate standing there, his eyes narrowed. "I heard Raina's name and couldn't help overhearing."

"You said Raina was in Europe," Chuck reminded his friend, curiosity evident in his tone. "I'm guessing that's not a coincidence."

"Raina was looking through her father's files the other day and found a bunch of papers tracking someone in London. She connected the dots and figured out it was her mother," Nate admitted. "I wanted to tell you sooner, but she swore me to secrecy."

Chuck looked ecstatic, "Did she find her?"

Nate pulled out his cell phone, showing them a picture message sent from Raina. She was standing next to an older woman that looked uncannily like her.

Jack raised his eyebrows, "Looks like we found Mrs. Thorpe."


The next hour of the party was a flurry of activity as Jack leaked the story to the press, and Chuck spoke with the board of trustees for Bass Industries. William and Rufus had already taken the new developments to Lily's lawyers, and Nate was speaking to Raina and her mother.

To sum it up, Dan found it hard to get a minute alone with Blair.

She was busy orchestrating the whole showdown, as only a Waldorf could. Dan hung back and watched her with a faint sense of pride at how hard she worked to help her friends. Out of the corner of his eye, Dan became aware of Serena walking towards him. She had almost reached him when suddenly Chuck appeared in her path, a genuine smile on his face. "I just spoke with Lily's lawyers. This will help her case...she'll get a fair trial now that Russell Thorpe has been discredited."

"Thank you, Chuck," Serena said gratefully. "I know we might not see eye to eye on a lot of things, but you've gone out of your way to help my- I mean, our family." She smiled back at him, "I won't forget."

Chuck nodded back to her, and disappeared into the crowd. At that moment, Dan caught sight of Blair. Before he could go towards her, Serena walked up to him, looking serious. "Dan, we need to talk."

"Maybe later— "

"No," Serena caught his arm, "Dan. It's important."

He sighed when he looked back and couldn't find Blair. He turned back to Serena, "What is it?"

"I know I might not always show it, but I care about you," Serena squeezed his hand gently. "And I do want you to be happy." She hesitated, "And if Blair is the person that makes you happy, then...I'll be happy for the both of you."

Dan raised an eyebrow, surprised. "That's really...well, thank you Serena. That means a lot to me."

She smiled back at him excitedly, "So? Are you two really together? When did this all happen?"

He grinned, "I honestly have no idea. But there might not be an us if I don't find her before Chuck does..."

Serena frowned, "What do you mean?"

"He's planning on proposing to her," Dan explained in an undertone, "Tonight."

Her eyes widened and she gave him a shove, "What are you waiting for? Go find her!"


Dan had looked everywhere before finally climbing up the stairs. He walked down the hallway, noticing a flickering light coming from the room at the end. The door was slightly ajar and Dan paused outside to look through the crack.

He froze in horror.

Chuck was down on one knee. Blair was standing there, one hand covering her mouth.

The other hand was holding the ring.

Dan felt his heart stutter before twinging painfully. He turned on his heel and strode away.

Eric was standing on the landing of the staircase, looking confused. "Dan? What's wrong? Did you find Blair...?"

"Yeah, I found her," Dan said shortly, "She was with Chuck."

"What?" Eric tried to stop him, "Wait— "

"Let the record show, I put up a valiant fight," Dan pulled away and hurried down the stairs to the elevator.

He didn't look back once.



"Where are all the cabs?" Dan grumbled under his breath, waiting impatiently at the curb. It wasn't even that late out...

"Dan Humphrey," a familiar voice called out, "Just who I hate to admit I was looking for." The words triggered a sense of nostalgic deja vu and Dan turned around in spite of himself. Blair was standing about 50 feet away from him, having just exited the doors to the Palace.

"What are you doing out here, Blair?" Dan blew out a breath into the cold night air. "Come to tell me about your engagement to Chuck?"

Blair didn't come any closer, but she raised her voice so Dan could hear her. "A friend of mine once told me to decide what was more important to me: keeping my pride and getting nothing...or taking a risk and maybe having everything."

Dan recognized the words, but he didn't respond.

Blair took a few steps towards him, until she was standing under a streetlight that illuminated the expression on her face. "You told me once that I deserved to be with someone who made me happy," Blair said to him, "Do you still believe that?"

"I do," Dan's voice carried down the suddenly silent street, and he could hear her heels clicking against the hard pavement as she took several more steps.

Now she was less than 20 feet away.

"You know, I think I've officially gone crazy," Blair announced, "Because I'm starting to think it was right there all along...All the signs were staring me in the face."

Dan felt a twinge in his heart again, but this time it was for a different reason. He began walking towards her slowly, dredging up a long-forgotten memory. "Say life is giving you signs, and you're ignoring them because you're afraid of the thing they're signaling you to do. But then you think, what if these signs are here for a reason and ignoring them just makes me a coward?"

Blair's lips twitched, hiding a smile. "I may be a lot of things, Humphrey, but no one calls Blair Waldorf a coward."

"No one," Dan agreed, stopping 10 feet away from her. Blair took a couple more steps forward, her gaze meeting his intensely.

"I told Chuck a long time ago that I would kiss somebody one day," she whispered into the darkness, "And when I did...it would be for me." And then she had closed the remaining gap between them, her arms reaching around his neck to pull him in. Dan's arms encircled her waist in response, pulling her impossibly closer as their lips met in their first real kiss.

Several long moments later, Dan pulled back slightly. They were both breathing hard, their hearts racing in sync. "The ring?" Dan managed to ask, his gaze searching hers questioningly.

Blair shook her head, "I told Chuck I couldn't accept the ring...because I had somehow fallen for someone else." She glanced up at Dan, a smile playing at her lips. "Chuck and I may be a match made in hell, but I told him I didn't want that."

"Really?" Dan brushed a strand of hair out of her face before stroking her shoulder absentmindedly, "And what do you want, Blair?"

"Real love," she responded quietly, "Pure and simple love." Blair tightened her grip on Dan, "Because I do deserve to be with someone who makes me happy. And so do you."

Dan leaned forward, his lips brushing against hers lightly. "For some unknown reason," he said teasingly, "You make me happy, Waldorf."

Blair heaved a dramatic sigh, "I don't think anyone will ever understand us, Humphrey." As she reached up to kiss him again, she murmured, "But I'm okay with that. Because you are the one who makes me happy."

And sometimes,
it is the person you least expect-
who delivers the fairytale ending you've always desired.

You know you love me
XOXO Gossip Girl

*well i hope i delivered an epic ending! thank you so much to everyone that ever read & reviewed this fic! I had an awesome time writing Dan/Blair and let's hope the writers of GG don't ruin it for us! but even if they do, never forget: DARE TO DAIR :)