In the silk-lined pocket of his freshly pressed dark navy suit jacket lies a smooth velvet box. Today marks an extraordinary occasion – it is the second anniversary of a woefully misguided wedding that brought together two strangers who might not have ever met under ordinary circumstances. If they had, which Dan supposes is possible, both having lived in the same state, they would have remained perpetual distant acquaintances, connected by nothing save a brief nod acknowledging their mutual existence across a room.
Yet, spouses, they had been, if only for a week.
For their first anniversary, Dan had gifted Blair a vintage snow globe of the city where they first met. To Dan's chagrin, the ornate sterling-silver globe stand was slightly tarnished, but upon noting its imperfections Blair had remarked that only added to its charm. Inside, the city enclosed resembled little of present-day Las Vegas, given the snow globe dated back to 1961. But knowing Blair and her love of the time period in which movies had starred Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, he figured (correctly it would turn out) that it would make the gift all the more romantic.
It was remarkably easy falling into a relationship with Blair Waldorf, as Dan learned quickly in that first year. Perhaps it was the practice from their short-lived marriage or even the ruse of continued domesticity they put on for her mother during that turbulent Thanksgiving. But either way, things fell into place without turmoil.
Every now and then, Dan had found himself musing over how his life would be had he not agreed to the family trip to Las Vegas. Each time this thought strikes him, he feels a sharp dip in his mood and an urge to reach out, to touch Blair, to hold her. So now, he's decided it's time to demolish that worried feeling of losing her by taking them back to the very institute that had brought them together.
Checking that the box is still there, safely in his pocket, Dan steps away from the foggy mirror of the bedroom. Surveying his chronograph watch, he finds that it's time to head downstairs because Vanya will be waiting. Sure enough, Dan arrives to Vanya leaning against the shiny black car.
Vanya tips his hat at Dan and steps away from the hood of the vehicle to open the back door for him. "You look nervous, Mister Humphrey."
Dan lets out a breath. "This is the first time I'm asking a girl to marry me since technically Blair asked the first time around."
"You do fine," Vanya nods confidently. "Dorota say she and Miss Blair on the way to penthouse. We hurry. Dorota will stall her if necessary. So don't worry."
"Thank you, Vanya," Dan tries to sit back in the leather seat, letting his elbow come to rest on the door. He watches the city pass by as they cross over the bridge and into Manhattan.
A short while later, he's riding the elevator up to the penthouse and feeling his heart race as it makes its slow ascent. He briefly rethinks what he's about to do, fearing she'll say no. Maybe two years isn't long enough. Perhaps Blair will think they're rushing in. But then he remembers the conversation, from long ago, when their eyes had met in a sort of understanding.
I hope so.
There it was, the long ago answer to a question he had wondered since the moment the annulment went through: the possibility of a second attempt at marriage.
As his dress shoes echo across the marble floors, he replays that moment, again and again, willing his heart to slow.
It does, it halts in fact, when Blair steps out of the elevator after what feels like an eternity. Her hair is in loose curls and her lips are painted in a shade that reminds him of a raspberry. The very beauty of her reminds him of that first night, at the bar, when he wondered why this impossibly gorgeous girl would ever want to strike up a conversation with him.
Her glossy mouth falls open until curving into a smile. "I thought we were meeting at the restaurant," Her confusion is tinged with something like happiness.
Dan steps closer and they meet halfway in the foyer. He manages to shake his head, knowing that this is the moment. She's waiting for him to explain, mascara-lashed eyes blinking at him in anticipation. "Two years ago,"
He begins and he watches her expression morph into one of disbelieving wonder. As though she's not quite sure, but she is of course, once he takes her hands and draws her in closer.
"The most beautiful girl I had ever seen, sat next to me in a bar. You see, I was just a lonely boy from Brooklyn, suffering from writer's block and searching for a spark of inspiration. Then, came you. Turning in your bar stool, delicately holding your gin and tonic, and looking at me in a way I couldn't quite discern. When you had walked away to go back to your friends, I had the sharpest sense of disappointment but couldn't understand why. I hadn't even spoken to you, not really at least. You were a girl I had known for all of one minute."
Here, Dan smiles, remembering that fluttery feeling that took hold as she sidled up beside him. "You came back and I suddenly understood why I had been so disappointed. From that moment on, I knew I would love you. If not that very moment, then soon. I could feel the possibility of it as the blanket of writer's block was lifted and my vision cleared. Words flowed through me, words I didn't say to you. Instead, I let you lead the way, leading us toward a place that would bind us eternally. I was foolish enough to let you ask me to marry you. But now, Blair,"
Blair's hands tighten on his as her eyes blink rapidly in disbelief. Dan sinks to one knee and retrieves the ring box from his pocket, hands fumbling and struggling to grip it. "I know that you are the spark my life had been missing. I love you, more than I've ever loved anyone or anything, and I want to love you that way for the rest of our lives. Blair Waldorf, will you marry me?"
Her cheeks glisten with freshly fallen tears and her lips have spread into the best smile he has ever seen. She nods fervently and says through a tremulous whisper, "Yes."
The rings slips onto her finger, and he's kissing her. Kissing her like he should have the very moment he met her. Kissing her with the new knowledge and reassurance that they will never be strangers once more.
Thank you so very much to ASadAir for beta-ing this whole story and for making my descriptions far more vivid, my words flow better, and for taking out all the grammatical errors along the way.
I hope you all liked the conclusion to this story! More Dair stories to come soon. Currently working on one set at Yale with a twist on Blair's character so that will be my next multi-chapter fic. In the meantime, I'll finish Pearl Island and perhaps post a one-shot (if time allows.)
Thank you all for reading, means so much! :)