A/N: I'm thinking about finishing this story up soon, probably within the next chapter or so. It's all very hot and cold and I think it just needs to end. Just a heads up! Any quotes referenced are from Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. Thanks! xoxo
Blair takes a careful bite of food and glances up at Dan. "How's Henry Miller treating you these days?"
"A bit dirty for my taste," He says quietly. Serena glances between the two of them and smiles.
"You're from Brooklyn. I'd think you'd be used to dirty," Blair smirks at him and Dan narrows his eyes back at her.
"You know what I mean."
"To have her here in bed with me, breathing on me, her hair in my mouth-" Blair starts, sighing romantically.
"I count that something of a miracle," He finishes her quote, feeling a familiar stirring in the pit of his stomach. It was the only passage of the book that had significantly stood out to him. He had marked the page, highlighted, and underlined the quote, scribbling words about a feisty brunette next to it.
He takes a huge gulp of wine.
"You two have so much in common," Serena shrugs awkwardly, "I had no idea."
"Neither did we," Blair grins, shoving another bite of rice into her mouth. Her phone begins vibrating on the table and she silences it after one ring.
"Is that Chuck?" Serena asks and leans over the table slightly, "You can answer it, B!"
"I don't want to." Blair snaps and the table falls silent as Dan and Serena continue eating. Blair, however, shoves her food away and excuses herself from the table.
In these moments, Dan realizes just how little Serena understands Blair. She looks at everything in black and white. Blair loves Chuck so Blair should be with Chuck, no matter what he's done to her in the past. It's the same way she treats her relationship with Dan. She said they were forever, and maybe she was proving that to herself. It's not as though their relationship had been exactly smooth sailing since they got back together. Something was constantly lacking.
"Maybe you should go check on her," he says quietly.
"I don't know what I did wrong. I thought she missed Chuck."
"Why would she?" Dan asks, taking another sip of wine. "He abandoned her to go on their trip alone."
Serena's brow wrinkles in confusion and he realizes that she had no clue. Blair hasn't told her anything about Chuck. He immediately regrets disclosing Blair's secret so easily.
"Did she tell you that?"
"She might have mentioned something about it the other night. I probably shouldn't have said anything."
Disappointment flashes through her face before Serena says, "Maybe you should go talk to her then. Since you know more about the situation."
"Listen, I think she was just embarrassed about it," he can see the pain in her eyes about Blair choosing to confide in Dan rather than her best friend.
"Just go see if she's okay," Serena says softly and Dan stands up, pressing his lips to hers gently before making his way upstairs. He checks Blair's room and hears water running in the bathroom. Hesitantly, he knocks at the door, but only silence is returned. Dan turns the knob slowly and pushes the door open, finding Blair in a heap on the floor. Tears stream down her face and without thinking, he finds himself wrapping her up in his arms tightly. Her body convulses against his chest, and he smoothes her hair down gently as she cries.
"Nobody wants me," she mutters weakly, "Nate, Chuck, you..."
Dan shuts his eyes, listening to her sobs and he feels helpless. There's nothing he can do to make this better. For a writer, he's definitely lacking words of wisdom. So he just listens to her crying until she takes a few deep breaths and composes herself.
He helps her up from the floor and she hugs him one last time, for good measure. When she starts to pull away, Dan tightens his grip on her waist, meeting her eyes cautiously.
"You're wrong, what you said," He pauses to take a deeper breath, "I do, want you. My biggest problem right now is that I'm always wanting you."
"Me too," she whispers against his shirt.
They walk back downstairs and Serena is standing in the foyer, purse in hand and shoes on her feet.
"I think we should head out," she smiles, but something is off in her eyes. Dan glances at Blair who just shrugs.
"Alright," he sighs, wrapping an arm around Serena. "See you later, Waldorf."
The first thing she says on the way back to Brooklyn, literally the first thing that comes out of her mouth is, "Are you gonna tell me what you did with Blair?"
Dan can feel the anxiety building inside of him, but he has to stay calm if he wants to get through this. "She was crying about Chuck, I just comforted her."
Serena rolls her eyes and scoots away from him. "I heard you, Dan. I came up to make sure you guys were okay and that she hadn't bitten your head off, and I heard you."
"Heard what?" Wow. Was he really going to try and lie his way out of this one?
"I heard you tell Blair that your biggest problem is that you're always wanting her. Care to explain?"
"Not really," he mumbles, but the humor misses the mark and Serena scoffs loudly.
She redirects the driver to her own penthouse and wipes her eyes before any tears can surface. He will not see her cry again.
"I was trying to make her feel better! Every other guy in her life has abandoned her from what I can tell."
"Tell me what happened," she says quietly, her voice low.
Dan wrestles with himself over his next move, but in the end he can't lie to her again. They can't have the same conversation about different girls, it'll only distance them further.
"While you and I were apart, I slept with Blair."
Her eyes widen and it seems like actually hearing the words turned out to be way worse for Serena than just thinking them to herself.
"How could you do that to me?"
Dan wants to tell Serena that he did it because he missed her, because he still loved her and didn't know what to do about that and Blair was just there, someone to fill a void. But in truth, he had wanted to sleep with Blair. It was his hands that ripped at her clothes and lead her towards the bedroom. He knew what he was doing and he wasn't just doing it because he was sad about Serena. He liked it, liked the way she breathily moaned his name, liked how her fingernails dug into his shoulder to pull him closer.
"I don't know," he starts, defeated. "I don't know what I'm doing."
"With me or with Blair?"
The car pulls up in front of Serena's building and Dan can feel his moments slipping away.
"Both," he says, and she gets out of the car without a word, slamming the door behind her. As the car pulls away from the curb, he watches Serena walk to the door. She never turns around.
The same words play through his head over and over again.
"I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company."