This is part one of the sequel to my last DB one-shot "An Unlikely Two" so if you haven't read that yet, I suggest doing so. This is a bit lengthy and part two might be even longer, sometimes I get carried away but I want to personally thank every single person who takes the time to read my work. It means so very much. Oh, and please REVIEW, even if it's just a couple words, it helps me so much knowing what people really think. Thanks guys!
Doubts & Intimacy
Certain things by definition need to be properly analyzed and determined, they had to be studied and adequately classified. There was never any room for uncertainty. At least not for Blair. The level of control that she held so close to herself on a day-to-day basis was just as important as the jimmy choos on her feet or her berkin bag or her Hermes scarf. It was an identifying mark on who she actually was, who she thought herself to be and who she wanted to become. It's all about having the proper positioning and the knowledge to get something done. It was all about having the upper hand. That's how you get ahead in life. That's how you get what you want. That's how you win. Strangely enough, this wasn't at all how her relationship with Daniel Humphrey had manifested itself. The entire nature of their situation and what had been happening between them in the past four weeks was not explicitly stated nor defined by either one of them. It all just happened naturally, without pressure or overt obtrusion. Though Blair would fall into her perpetual neurosis and have minor meltdowns about them seeing each other, she was often over it and in his arms within a matter of twenty minutes. He didn't ask her to explain herself or how she felt. He would listen with his kind eyes and his reasonable notions would calm her. She had been at the loft incessantly in the last few weeks, Dan would suggest changes of scenery and she would emphatically protest the idea, switching back and forth between wanting to be with him uninterrupted and risking the inevitability that someone would see them and it would be all over Gossip Girl within a matter of minutes. They would of course bicker, about silly monotonous things, they would get frustrated with each other's lack of agreement or excessive, intentional denial just to attempt to prove the other wrong. They would spend entire evenings over wine or coffee and dinner, talking about the ocean and the sky, the Roman god's, childhood memories. They would discuss their favorite authors: Williams, Atwood, Bronte, Hemingway, Plath, and Byatt just to name a few. Dan would write, Blair would read. Sometimes his material, but most of the time he seemed shy about what he was working on and hadn't yet finished. They would watch movies, they would talk politics, they would tell jokes, they would play word games. They would just exist in each other's company so intrinsically confident and self-assured. So easily and unabashed. And yes, there was the physicality of certain situations. They would often find themselves in each other's arms and connected at the mouth, but things never went past second base. Both of them seemed to have an unspoken agreement that entering sex into the equation was likely to blow a lid on the entire operation. If they were to poll 10 anonymous people about whether or not they had been intimate, all 10 would have guessed yes confidently. They even slept together some nights; rather, slept next to one another. Blair's body curled up next to his, his arms around her, they would sometimes hold hands and he would play with her hair. They were this profound mix of indescribable comfort and normalcy and undefined and dangerously undisclosed verbal confirmations. An explosive combination.
"I'm surprised you've lasted this long." Dan spoke thoughtfully as he fixed his gaze on her. Blair looked up from the book she was reading and her eyes caught his. They hadn't been entertaining conversation for the past 20 or so minutes and she was mildly interested in what he meant.
"Excuse me?" She posed, propping her elbow on the couch as she studied his face, his eyes, his mouth, the line of his jaw. Both of her legs were strewn over one of his and bent at the knees, she was angled toward him and nearly in his lap but not quite. He looked at her with slight trepidation, anticipating the type of reaction his next statement was going to garnish.
"Cooped up in Brooklyn, in a loft no less." Dan offered easily. A small smirk played on Blair's mouth as she watched him. He was so unknowingly endearing.
"It's not that bad," Blair lamented loosely. "Besides, I couldn't possibly sneak you in and out of the penthouse this much. What with Dorota and Serena, my mother… we really couldn't risk it."
"There are other places we could go, we live in arguable the most incredible city in the country."
Blair's shoulders straightened as her arm fell across the back of the couch and her fingers gently grazed the back of his neck. She felt slightly guilty, but her intrinsic apprehension outweighed it.
"Humphrey, we've been over this. We really can't be seen in public together."
"You know, it does little for my ego that you feel the need to hide us like some secretive mission in the CIA." Dan replied, the underlining irritation was hard to miss.
"Dan.." Blair started.
"Blair, it's just kind of ridiculous," Dan interrupted. "We spend so much time cooped up here, I'm getting stir crazy. I want to take you out to dinner, I want us to be able to walk through Brooklyn…"
"Humphrey that's sweet but you know I'm not walking anywhere in Brooklyn." Blair cut him off seriously.
Dan looked away from her for a moment and a small chuckle escaped his mouth involuntarily because even when he was trying to get a certain point across she was there with her stubborn distinctive resolve.
"Point taken." Dan mustered, his hand rested on her leg as he looked back at her almost conceding. "I'd suggest the city but that seems almost unfathomable considering you're dead set on having no one spot us."
"You do realize that my reputation would be annihilated if it came out that we were seeing each other." Blair proclaimed seriously, her eyes darting over his face. She was trying to assess whether her words were getting through to him. Whether her plight was penetrating his intention for public displays.
"That's a tad bit melodramatic, Blair." Dan replied gently as he gave her leg a squeeze. She was starting to spin like a top, he could always tell when she was about to go on her tangents about social importance and maintaining images.
"It is not. My reputation would be ruined." She countered matter-of-factly.
"It doesn't matter," Dan sighed. The expression on his face was serious. "I don't care."
"Well of course you don't care," Blair sighed, tilting her head slightly as the hand that had been on his neck traipsed over the length of his shoulder. "You've never cared what people think about you. That used to irritate me. But I'm not like you. I'm not indifferent towards what people think and say. I'm not brave."
The last part came out in a bit of a whisper. Like a quiet self evaluation. Blair's eyes dropped as she picked at a loose piece of thread on his shirt. Dan instantly felt that he shouldn't have brought it up, that he shouldn't push her. But then he reasoned that they couldn't possibly stay hidden in that loft for all of eternity. But his heartstrings still pulled relentlessly inside of him. She was so unequivocally debilitating at times. His hand went to her chin gently, as he lifted her face to level her eyes with his.
"You're just fine." Dan assured her gently.
Blair was grappling with an unfamiliar feeling. She wasn't really sure what it meant or where it's root lay but it interrupted her thoughts every now and then as she tried to read. A Streetcar Named Desire was riveting beyond a doubt but her real life was dueling it for space in her consciousness. She felt unnervingly content physically in her current position. Her back was propped up against pillows as her legs sprawled out comfortably on the bed she was laying on, her right hand was holding her book while her left hand had a much more exciting physical occupation. It ran lightly through Dan's soft dark hair and gently over the tops of his shoulders. His head lay on her stomach, his arm wrapped firmly around her waist. His breathing was even, the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed was in total synchronicity with his. He'd been sleeping for at least an hour as she attempted to read, but between the excellence of Tennessee William's words and the immaculate warmth and satisfaction she felt running through her veins at their visceral connectedness, even though both of them were fully clothed, didn't keep her thoughts from overtaking her. Blair stared blindly at the pages as her mind raced and her fingers delicately grazed over him. She was trying to figure out when this all had happened. When they had arrived at this particular destination. If she wasn't already so affected by him she might've continued to try denial and refusal. How had they become so inherently compounded? How did it work so effortlessly? How was she going to make sense of all this? These feelings she was starting to feel grew from deep inside, at the pit of her stomach and reached up through her throat, threatening to spill out of her mouth if she wasn't careful. If she wasn't deliberate and thoughtful, if she didn't assess everything she would be risking for a guy from Brooklyn. She still dealt with moments of disbelief. I mean, come on. It was Daniel Humphrey for Christ's sake. Her clear nemesis, an irritating contrivance, her best friend's ex boyfriend. She felt slight guilt in her stomach when she thought of Serena. And whenever she thought of how she would react if she found out, her thoughts would then immediately switch to Chuck. On impulse and by habit she felt extreme perplexing uncertainty and doubt. A part of her felt so distant and cut off from the girl she had been not so long ago, always seeking his approval and his attention. Another part of her still felt very much enamored with the idea of him, with the idea of them. She had held it so close to her heart like a beacon for so long it felt foreign to think of the possibility that she had been wrong. That he had been wrong. That he had been wrong for her and to her. She tried to think about the two of them in a more objective and realistic fashion. It blew her mind how what she had with Dan wasn't anything at all like what she had been accustomed to with Chuck. Chuck was thick manipulation. Whether it was with power or money or sex. He had ran the game effortlessly and had managed to wrap her tightly and neatly around his finger. She still felt the effects of it, though they were lessening more and more as time went on. She cursed herself for the endless amounts of excuses she had delved out in his defense, she was still guilty of rationalizing his behavior in her mind from time to time and it almost infuriated her. Blair looked down at the top of Dan's head and a slight smile formed on her face, breaking down the tumultuous thoughts of Chuck. Dan was absolutely nothing like him. He was not manipulative in any way, shape or form. Though he didn't have the means to use as Chuck had. He didn't have the power or the money, at times that relieved her and at other times it made her uneasy. They hadn't had sex so that wasn't something he could use against her. Not that he would, in any case. If they were to have sex… Blair took a deep breath. Who was she really fooling? It was more like when they had sex. Her blood went a couple degrees hotter at the thought. She couldn't imagine the degree of complexity and the magnitude that would undoubtedly surface full force once they did sleep together. She had a hard time thinking about it as an inevitable occurrence. So many parts of her wanted to so badly but her more logical mind knew that they wouldn't be able to turn around once they went to that point. They would be in even further over their heads. Everything that had been working so seamlessly and amazingly would be quadrupled immensely. The intensity would be impossible to do anything but directly deal with. She didn't know if she was prepared for that. She was certain she wasn't prepared for that. Even though the way their bodies melded together on that bed sometimes made her desperately want otherwise. Suddenly Dan's entire body tensed up and he jerked in his sleep, scaring himself out of it. He squeezed her tighter to him as he rose his head to look at her. Her hand carefully traveling from his hair to the side of his face.
"Hey," Blair said gently, it had startled her when he twitched like that so suddenly. "What happened? Are you okay?"
"Yeah," Dan replied his voice laced with sleep, as his sleepy eyes adjusted to her face in front of him. "I was dreaming."
"About what?" Blair asked thoughtfully. She found it adorable and sweet that he had awoken from his dream in such a way, it made him seem so innocent and vulnerable. She felt this instant need to take care of him.
"It was about you actually," Dan sighed as he dropped his head back to her stomach and took a deep breath.
"Should I even be curious what was taking place?" Blair pondered aloud. "Judging from the way you woke, it wasn't positive."
Dan's hand moved over to her arm and his fingers tentatively grazed the sensitive skin on the underside of it as he recalled the images that had seemed so real to him.
"We were at a park. I don't know where, but it wasn't anywhere here I don't think." Dan began. "We were on the little merry-go-rounds with the handle bars, just talking."
"Hmm, obviously a dream you would have because I wouldn't subject myself to the germs on public park equipment." Blair offered lightly.
"Semantics." Dan replied with a wave of his hand.
"What were we talking about?" Blair implored as she began gently rubbing the back of his neck.
"Concert pianists. Rachmaninov in particular."
"Oh? Sounds like something we would discuss."
"I know," Dan whispered. "And then just like that you were gone. We were laying there, spinning around and all of a sudden you weren't there anymore and I was talking to myself." He paused and the silence between them hung in the air like pollen. While she was thinking of how to respond, he continued. "Then some little girl ran up to me and told me you had ran away."
"Don't you think I'm a little too old to be running away, Humphrey." Blair questioned.
"Literally, perhaps." Dan responded, tracing small shapes on her arm with his finger. "Figuratively is another story entirely."
"You think I'm going to run away?" Blair countered lightly. The tone that their conversation had suddenly taken was something unexpected.
"Haven't you already tried?" Dan answered honestly, as he looked up at her, wrapping his fingers lightly around her arm. Blair lost her clarity of thought for a brief moment, his eyes were drilling into hers, she wasn't sure how to properly respond to that question. She had in fact tried to, though weakly, dismantle their entanglement. She had been unsuccessful every time.
"Haven't you always stopped me?" Blair replied softly.
Their eye contact spanned the length of several seconds, neither of them uttered another word. Dan carefully lifted himself on his elbows on either side of her body as he leaned towards her, her eyes fluttered closed, and the expectation of the impending kiss was palpitating. No matter how many times they had kissed it was always new and different in some way. He brushed his lips with hers gently, not initially forcing any further contact. His lips captured hers suddenly and with purpose as she placed her hands on his shoulders, needing to stabilize herself, more so symbolically than in actuality. Blair breathed through her nose and responded earnestly to his slowly prying lips as she gripped his shirt. He always kissed her with such expertise, heightening all of her senses, thoroughly capturing and exploring her mouth. He kissed her with no expectation of anything more; he kissed her simply for the sake of kissing her. Because he couldn't help himself.
"I'm gonna tickle you if you don't let me be." Dan threateningly declared as he sat on the couch watching Blair's eyes gleaming with obvious pride.
"Oh stop it," Blair exclaimed excitedly. " It's such a good idea. Cedric needs someone to keep him company."
"Blair, I'm not going shopping for a Cabbage Patch kid."
"Why not?" Blair asked expectantly.
"Because I'm way too old for that and so are you."
"You aren't too old to still have Cedric. And to still address him as Cedric, no less." Blair reasoned. "What's the difference?"
"I'm not just going to throw him away." Dan exclaimed seriously, like the thought alone hurt him.
"I think you're being a bad sport." Blair said easily as she eyed him in a challenging way.
"Bullshit, I am not." Dan replied shortly.
"You know they say that people only use obscene language when they lack the creative capacity or vocabulary to reply intelligently."
"I just lack the energy." Dan countered, not missing a beat. He reached over and pulled her closer to him.
"Don't even try it," Blair replied seriously. "You're denying my fun idea." She looked up at him with a straight face. He looked at her and smiled.
"I just wanted you closer, that's all." Dan replied sweetly as she draped his arm around her shoulder.
"A likely story." Blair countered.
"Will you come with me?" Dan asked lightly as he continued looking at her.
"Where?" Blair asked confused.
"Did we suddenly change the topic of conversation without my knowledge?" Dan bemused sarcastically. "To go get Cedric's friend."
"If we enter and exit the store at different times." Blair admitted honestly.
"Waldorf, come on…" Dan exasperatingly exclaimed, as he rolled his eyes and pulled his arm back.
"Oh stop," Blair implored. "Let's not even start." She reached out to grasp his arm which had just left her shoulder.
"Blair," Dan sighed, he seemed tired of this charade. He didn't continue his thought verbally. She was gazing up at him with those doe brown eyes and clutching his arm in such a way he was infinitely distracted. The way she was looking at him instantly put him off balance.
"You have a good mouth." Blair murmured as her eyes fell on his lips.
"Stop," Dan whispered, fighting to find his voice and his nerve. "You're intentionally trying to change the subject."
"Regardless of what we were talking about prior to that proclamation, you still have a good mouth. That doesn't make it untrue. I rarely pay you… I rarely pay anyone anything that resembles a compliment. You should say thank you." Blair explained sweetly.
The corners of Dan's lips twitched as he fought back a smile. She was so damn charismatic and absorbing when she wanted to be. Underneath her toughness and impenetrably defiant exterior, she had the capacity for sweetness. Even though she wasn't naturally inclined to it. Dan leaned over slowly and brushed his lips against the side of her face. He pulled back to assess her reaction.
"Was that your display of gratitude?" Blair questioned, she had attempted to sound like she disapproved more than she had. It was a sweet, unexpected gesture that made her heart flutter just barely.
"Yeah, it was." Dan replied as he slowly pushed a lock of rich brown hair out of her face. "You should say thank you."
Blair felt a sense of unease, she knew where it stemmed from and what it meant and if she knew anything about herself she knew she wouldn't be able to hold it in. They had just shared a wonderful dinner and had finished doing the dishes, there was some random talk about something she couldn't even recall, though it had just happened. All she could think about and focus on was that he mentioned Serena casually and as soon as he had done so Blair's mind starting racing a mile a minute. She knew that she was probably grossly overreacting but before she could get a handle of her emotions, they were absolutely brimming at the surface. She leaned on the kitchen counter, her hands gripping it for leverage. Her back was to Dan as he was near the television, looking through DVDs trying to find one in particular. He was talking, she could hear the sound of his voice but she had completely tuned him out, she wasn't listening to the words that were coming out of his mouth. She took a deep breath, praying for the strength to not automatically turn into a raging insecure mess. She turned around to look in his direction and watched him sift through the movies, for almost a millisecond she thought of not saying anything but her emotion quickly won over that brief moment of sanity.
"What are we doing?" Blair asked pensively.
"We're about to watch 'Rear Window' if I can find it," Dan replied absentmindedly. "I swear it was over here som-"
"No," Blair interrupted him shortly. "What are WE doing?"
Dan didn't turn around, nor did he slow the intensity with which he searched for the movie. His hands worked quickly as we filtered through different movies and books, as well as miscellaneous objects that were just preventing him from locating what he was searching for.
"We as in, you and I?" He questioned distractedly.
"That would be the particular we I am referring to, yes." Blair responded, her voice laced with something unfamiliar and indistinctive. That permeated his preoccupation and made him turn to look at her. The expression on her face was a mixture of hope and fear and discomfort. Uncertainty was lining the angles of her cheekbones.
"What, Blair?" Dan asked quietly, trying to determine whether he should close the gap between them, he felt these conversations were always more effective when he was closer to her. "What do you mean?"
"What are we doing?" Blair repeated, her voice sounded both calm and frantic at the same time. "What is this thing?"
"Are you asking me to define it?" Dan questioned carefully.
"I'm asking you to make sense of it." Blair responded swiftly. "I mean, what are we doing really?"
"We're enjoying each other." Dan replied easily.
"This whole thing is just absolutely preposterous in nature." Blair exclaimed. "I mean we're cohabitating like we're married. We spend an alarming amount of time together in this god awful loft."
"Well let's go," Dan countered calmly. While her panic started to escalate, he remained as in control and un-reactive as he usually was when she started flying off the handle.
"What?" Blair questioned breathlessly, she was all revved up with delusions and attempts at blatant sabotage but his quiet, controlled presence made her hesitant.
"Let's go," Dan repeated softly. He took a couple steps towards her and paused, studying her face. He was trying to discern if he should continue to move towards her. "Let's go right now, anywhere in the city we can go right this second. Except…" He trailed off, his hands raised in a display of surrender.
"Except, I don't want anyone to see us." Blair finished his sentence lightly. She had lost half the punch of her ammunition but she wasn't giving in that easily.
"Ding, ding, ding." Dan replied with a slight smile, though his voice was heavy with something she couldn't quite place. "Tell the lady what she's won."
"Don't try to be cute," Blair breathed as she folded her arms curtly across her body. Closing herself off to him, just in case he started to move closer to her, which she would bet was an impending fact. "We're still being unreasonable and unrealistic. I mean, I'm playing house with Daniel Humphrey for goodness sake. My best friend's ex-boyfriend, while he's undoubtedly still in love with her."
"You shouldn't assume things." Dan replied firmly.
"Oh please," Blair scoffed. "I'm been living in the shadow of Serena Van Der Woodsen for the latter part of my life. I know when I'm filling in for her absence."
"You have no idea what you're talking about."
"Oh, don't I?" Blair replied. "You bringing her up over dinner didn't make it hard to miss."
"So because I mentioned Serena's name at dinner you are going to assume you're just a replacement for her?" Dan questioned, he was terribly offended that his integrity was being called to question, even though deep down he knew Blair was trying her best to throw a wrench in things because she was scared. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize mentioning her was going to cause you to completely fabricate what's going on here."
"You and Serena have been on again off again more times than I care to recall, you can't tell me there isn't something still there."
"One of the very first things I told you," Dan began as he slowly closed the gap between them. "Before any of this really started, was that you weren't just a substitute for Serena."
Blair pressed herself back against the counter in an effort to put as much space between them as possible. Dan didn't completely infringe on her personal space initially, he stopped a few feet in front of her. He searched her face and wondered why she felt the need to do this. Why she felt the need to bring up things that were such a cause for contention, why she would work herself into these frenzies and why she was so diabolically unsure of the two of them together. When, in actuality, they seemed to work magically when she wasn't trying to convince herself of their impeding doom.
"Why do you do this, Waldorf?" Dan asked softly.
"I'm not doing anything, Humphrey." Blair countered, mocking fictitious disregard.
"I would go anywhere with you right now. I'd walk the streets of Brooklyn, the city, hell even Madrid, all the while holding your hand. I'd scream your name at the top of my lungs for everyone to hear but I can't, because you don't even want to be seen with me. Because I'm not good enough for you. So really, who should be the insecure one?"
Dan's words, one by one, hit Blair in the face. The impact they carried was unexpected and weakening. Her heart raced and sank all in the same moment. She was overcome. She was in disbelief. She felt elated and horrible all in the same unexplainable second. Silence passed through the distance between them as his eyes pleaded with her, and her eyes softened in actual disbelief.
"You're right," Blair forced out in a whisper once she found her voice. "You're right and I'm wrong."
Dan took a deep breath and closed his eyes momentarily. Thankful that it appeared they had avoided implosion. He looked back at her briefly before lightening the tone of the conversation.
"Yeah well, that might happen a lot." Dan joked lightly. "Me being right and you being wrong."
"Where did you come from?" Blair asked in a bare whisper, clearly affected by his words. Her drastic change in focus floored her. She could be at a fifteen and he could take her down to a two in a minute flat.
"Brooklyn." Dan replied simply.