(Author Note: I think I lied about not updating quickly. :))
It was all part of the mission.
Dan doesn't like being the sacrificial lamb.
They say nothing to each other the rest of the ride, Dan staring out the window, watching the lights flash by. Blair glancing over at him now and then, and if he turned and looked at her, he would see worry that she'd gone too far etched across her face.
It was all part of the mission.
She walked out on him and broke his heart, and it was all for what was basically a job. It's not that he didn't want her to be a career woman, but toting around guns, running from bad guys and betraying the person who loves her the most wasn't Dan's idea of a good career move. He longed for the days at W when sabotage took the form of a latte flavored with Chanel No. 5 and Blair was still someone who turned out had a shocking ability to amaze him.
Not that he wasn't shockingly amazed at this latest turn of events.
It would have been easier to accept her walking away if he hadn't been in love with her. Who was Dan kidding, he was still in love with her which made this entire situation feel even more confounded.
"He sells weapons to countries who use child soldiers, you know. He's a terrible man. It's the right thing to do."
There is conviction in Blair's words, and Dan knows she is telling the truth. Sometimes there are things that need to be done no matter what the sacrifice. Still...
The car pulls to a stop outside a darkened house and Dan just sits, still staring out the window, not turning around, not wanting to hear any noble explanation for Blair shattering his heart into a million pieces, not wanting to admit that maybe she did what she did for the right reasons.
"You could get killed." The words make Dan choke a little and he thinks about the scar-faced man in the museum who looked like he is the type to have more than one person's blood on his hands, and what if Blair hadn't handed the packet to Dan, what if she'd been caught.
He's still not looking at her but Dan thinks he can her Blair grin.
"I'm careful. And well trained."
Yeah, Dan thinks. CIA summer camp. Spies and s'mores. He turns back to her and is confronted with her smile, brilliant and slightly sad, and he knows she's being flip because the reality of how dangerous her life has become is something she can't admit to.
"I loved you," Dan says quietly after a long period of silence.
"Past tense?" Blair asks, her voice shaking a little, and Dan knows she's afraid of his answer.
"No." Dan answers. He can't lie to her. Not now. "Not past tense."
Blair is silent again, digesting his words. She takes his hand in hers then leans forward and places a long, sweet kiss on Dan's lips. He shivers at her touch and wants more, but forces himself to gently kiss her back, not to consume her like he wants to, then breaks away.
"Do you want to come in?" Blair asks softly, her eyes searching his. "We're safe here. We could spend a little time together..."
He does, but he doesn't. Because no matter how fucked up this is, with Blair, Girl Spy and Lonely Boy her unwitting accomplice, Dan knows how this will end if he steps out of the car with her. He knows what it feels like to fuck her, to be inside her, and he wants that feeling again. He knows that his defenses are weak and his anger is thin, and getting thinner. And he knows he may not have another moment like this in a long time, maybe not ever again.
"No." Dan lies. "I don't."
Blair's face falls. Dan grips her hand even tighter. It is small and soft and doesn't feel like it could wield a gun and pull the trigger, sending a bullet into someone. Like so much of Blair Waldorf, it's a contradiction, and Dan can see how she makes the perfect spy.
"I'll complicate your mission," Dan tells her. Blair doesn't laugh, just looks at him then tells him that he already has. She's right. Things were less complicated when he was alone and trying to mend his broken heart. It was a clean cut. Now he knows that Blair still loves him, and she's married to someone else, and she's putting herself in danger for something bigger than both of them, and anything that makes Chuck or Bart doubt her loyalty will put her in danger.
Dan cups her chin in his hand and he leans forward to kiss her again, and this time it's hungry and wanting and when she kisses him back he just moans, and doesn't want to stop. Blair has a way of cutting down all his defenses and self control.
"Now, go." he whispers against her lips and rests his forehead against hers. Blair is breathing hard but she does manage to break away, pushing the car door open and stepping out into the cool evening. Dan doesn't watch her walk up to the house, just settles back into the leather seat and stares forward, trying to pretend this isn't his life.
Blair is back quickly and she slides next to him, a little too close, then tells the driver to take them back to Dan's flat. They hold hands the entire way back, not talking, not even looking at each other, and at least this is a better goodbye than the last time, when Blair walked out and into the arms of Chuck Bass. It is a small consolation.
"This will be over." Blair tells him as they pull up to the building where his flat is.
"And then," Dan asks. He's still holding her hand. Blair blinks back what appear to be tears.
"Then I'll figure out how much I have to beg to get you to take me back."
It's the closest she can come to acknowledging that her mission has made things much more complicated, and Dan knows that the answer to whether or not he'll take her back was given a long time ago when she asked if he would be there for her. Always. He won't tell her that right now.
When he gets home, Dan grabs his journal and writes furiously until he collapses into his uncomfortable, lumpy bed. His eyes drift shut almost immediately, but she's there in his dreams and so is the man with the scar, and Dan is holding the gun and he squeezes...
The room is dark and he is reaching out for her before he realizes she's not there, but this isn't unusual. It's the way he wakes up most nights, groping for Blair who is never next to him. What's unusual is the feeling that Blair is in danger, and Dan starts to realize that living like this isn't going to be easy.
Dan doesn't know when he'll see Blair again, so when there's a tap-tap on his door the next day he's surprised to find her standing on the other side. He's bleary eyed, holding his morning cup of instant coffee and opens the door to let her walk through.
"Um, isn't this kind of dangerous?" Dan asks as she breezes in. She looks fresh, almost dewy, certainly not like she had been running from the Russian mafia the day before. In contrast, Dan hasn't shaved and his hair is sticking up all directions, and he's still wearing the ratty sweats and t-shirt he wore to bed. She's the picture of a society wife and he's the epitome of the crazy writer, both of them playing their roles well.
"I live for danger, Humphrey." Blair retorts. She's a little too bright, a little too cheery, and Dan senses something is wrong. The last time he'd seen her this chipper she was busy living in denial that she could have feelings for Brooklyn's up and coming young writer, and although the outcome had been Blair's revelation that she had feelings for him, it had been painful getting there.
"I need your help." Blair tells him, perching on the same chair she'd sat on just twenty four hours before.
She told him more about why she'd come to London. Since rising from the dead, Bart had been doing most of his business dealings alone, but she found out that he was going to bring Chuck in on a deal with a contingent from Africa. Chuck had told her it was about building a resort hotel, but the CIA had contacted her and told her they thought something bigger was going down, so she'd convinced Chuck to bring her along on the merits of the shopping opportunities alone. Blair pauses her story to tell Dan how much she loves London fashion.
"When I returned to the suite last night," Blair continues, "a meeting was just wrapping up, and I recognized one of the men. It's not a hotel they're talking about. I had seen one of the men in some pictures they showed me before I started the mission."
Blair pauses and looks at him, her face suddenly serious.
Lords Resistance Army. Notorious for kidnapping children and turning them into killing machines or sex slaves.
"I'm impressed, Blair." Dan says. Blair rolls her eyes at him.
"Don't be, Humphrey. I can't wait to get back to my world where little girls dream of the first Louboutin's, fashion week and their only concerns are what's trending on twitter. Don't make me out to be some sort of crusader for the cause. They just made a good case, but I'm not heading into a career as a Goodwill Ambassador quite yet, and the only thing I'd really like to occupy any time soon is Bergdorf's."
Dan smiles. Despite the gun, possible combat training and knowledge that LRA isn't some sort of fashion house, she is still Blair Waldorf of the Upper East Side. Some things never change.
"And Chuck's involved?" Dan asks. He is sitting on the sagging bed that occupied one wall of the studio flat.
Blair sighs heavily and shakes her head. She is twirling a strand of hair over and over, then she stands up and starts pacing back and forth across the worn floor. Her posture is tense, shoulders hunched a little, like she's preparing to enter into battle. Dan thinks this isn't far from the truth.
"I think so. For all of Chuck's faults, this is a terrible thing to involve him in. But of course, Bart has never vied for the Father of the Year award. Chuck's always been somewhat on the up and up with his business dealings, but this...this, well, it's going to make his fortune into blood money."
Dan doesn't want to think too much about Chuck. If he does he'll remember that the woman he's in love with is married to him, sleeping with him, and even though the bigger picture is that Blair has made some difficult choices in order to do something that might save lives, it doesn't change the fact that Dan's heart was caught in the crossfire. It doesn't change the fact that when this is all over, they are going to have to deal with the fallout.
"I need to find proof that the people who were there last night are LRA. I need a diversion, and that's where you come in," Blair sighs and pauses for a moment, then ponders out loud, "if only this had gone down at home and I had Dorota and all her resources, but you'll have to do for this one, Humphrey."
Dan smiles at the slight, finding Blair's mild insults amusing as always and thinking that she's right. Dorota, with her accents and disguises, would be perfect for the job.
"You could fly her here." Dan suggests, he knows somewhat unhelpfully. Blair rolls her eyes at him again.
"Take this seriously, Humphrey."
Dan makes them some tea while Blair outlines her plan. They dip biscuits into the hot liquid between the details. He will show up at the suite, acting a little drunk, and confront Chuck about stealing Blair from him. They will do their usual adversarial song and dance, and Dan will try to punch Chuck, causing security to be called.
"Can I actually punch him?"
Dan gets a glare leveled in his direction for that one. Blair reminds him that Chuck is as much of a victim in this as he is, and neither of them say the reality that it's Blair who has victimized Dan as well as Chuck. And Bart dragging Chuck into his nefarious dealings makes things even worse. So no, Blair tells Dan, he may not punch Chuck.
Dan shrugs his concession to no punching being involved and they are back to the plan.
Blair in the meantime will slip into Bart's room and try to get evidence. Dan asks if she has any special spy gear and she glares at him again, telling him that this isn't some television show, but then admitting that yes, she does have a very small camera the CIA gave her that she can use and conceal very easily. Dan will be escorted out by security and it will all be over and done.
"And will this be what the CIA needs?" Dan asks, for the first time realizing that Blair's mission may not have any specific end date.
"I hope so." Blair says, sipping her tea from the chipped cup that had come with the flat. They are quiet for a while, listening to the sounds of the street drifting through the thin paned windows, muffled by morning fog. Finally Dan speaks into the silence, his voice somber.
"So tomorrow then." he says with finality.
"Yes," Blair answers. "Tomorrow. Go time."