Title: Truth

Fandom: Gossip Girl

Pairing: Serena/Blair/Dan

Rating: M, SL

Word count: 17,350

Author: Harper

Disclaimer: Not mine. No profit. No harm meant.

A/N: This is a follow-up to my earlier story (which you can find here at the cut that I don’t know how to make pretty: http://harper-m.livejournal.com/17396.html#cutid1 ). I don’t think anyone was clambering for a follow-up, but I’m kind of enamored with this trio at the moment, so I guess you could say that I’m the one doing the clambering. There’s a fair amount of sex here, all of it with a boy involved (in case that kind of thing squicks you out.) So, enjoy. Or not.

When Blair passed him in the courtyard on Monday, the way she muttered Humphrey sounded almost friendly.

The day before, he’d woken up alone with Serena. Blair was nowhere in sight, and he took a moment to indulge the fantasy that he’d imagined the entire thing. Only, that didn’t really make sense. He’d never had fantasies about Blair Waldorf before. He knew some guys were into that kind of thing – cold and bitchy and unattainable – but he’d never been one of them. But then, unable to stop the aimlessly tumbling line of thought once it started, he thought about how she apparently wasn’t cold at all, how her skin had seared pressed against his, how her lips had burned against his lips and against his cock.

Serena’s voice had been low and silky as she’d slipped her knees on either side of his hips, sinking down on to him easily and, god, he’d already been ready for her. “Good morning to you too,” she murmured with a lazy and amused smile, leaning forward so that her hands were pressed against his chest even as she did something with her hips that almost made him choke.

After that, he forgot to ask the questions that had been weighing on his mind, like “Why?” or “Please explain,” or even a helpless, “I don’t understand.” When he remembered them again, Serena was hustling him out of the door with dire proclamations of what would happen if Lily caught him there and he’d been flustered and a little terrified of Serena’s mom and his brain was still so scattered from all the pieces that he couldn’t make fit together that none of the words spilled out.

At school the next day, Serena remained elusive, nothing but a flash of blonde hair and a bright laugh that he could never quite catch, deftly avoiding any and all attempts at being cornered. He’d had classes, of course, and was still self-conscious about the way people’s eyes followed them whenever he was with Serena, but part of him openly acknowledged that there was an edge of fear to him that allowed her to get away with it. Because he didn’t understand. He wanted to know why. He wanted someone, anyone, to explain it all to him.

So he waited for her rather morosely on the steps, ignoring the way people varyingly either looked speculatively or completely ignored him, until everyone was gone and he was alone. He waited until he couldn’t ignore the bite of the cold anymore, until he was finally able to accept the fact that he’d been thoroughly and skillfully avoided.

“She’s gone again.” Behind him, Blair’s voice was bitter, and it took a moment for Dan to pull himself out of his haze of self-pity long enough to realize that it was her, and that she was talking to him. “I came home to a note. We were supposed to have brunch.”

He almost didn’t respond. There were things he recognized, like the sound of the traffic and the cutting sharpness of the bitterly cold wind and the warmth of Blair’s body as she sank down onto the steps beside him, but none of them tethered him to the moment. None of them prepared him for the reality of Blair Waldorf disclosing things to him as if they were longtime friends, of her seeking out his company in a public venue.

“A note?” he finally managed, voice strangled.

“Milan, again.” The sound Blair made was ugly, caught between a scoff and a hiss. “For business, or so she’d like me to believe.”

Which meant that she was talking about her mother, not Serena.

Shrugging, he offered a weak, “Well, she is in fashion.”

“And she needs to be in Milan to work on her line? She can’t find inspiration here, in the City?” He recognized the stony blankness that swept over her features and thought back to only days before, to the sudden realization that social classes didn’t have anything to do with a parent’s ability to be blithely cruel, and it chilled him, more so than he ever would have thought possible when it came to her. Money clearly didn’t make disappointment and abandonment go down any easier. “No, of course she can’t. The only thing she has here is a daughter whose very image might just tank the entire brand. In Milan she can drink herself into oblivion at parties and embarrass herself with male models half her age. Who wouldn’t make the same choice?”

Though he wasn’t sure he liked the idea that he’d somehow become Blair’s confessor, cheerleader, and shoulder to cry on, he still couldn’t help saying, “If she really knew what she was doing, she’d be here with you and for you. None of those things are more important than that.”

The galling part was that he’d meant every word.

She cocked her head, mouth shifting into a smirk, and he braced himself for whatever cutting remark she was preparing to send his way.

“Come on. My driver’s waiting and so is Serena. She’s at my now conveniently empty penthouse, probably wondering where we are.”

When she got to her feet, looking at him expectantly, he ignored the twinge of disgust he felt at just how readily he wanted to follow.


“One of you has to explain.”

He’d almost waited too long to say it. The driver was already slowing and Blair was shifting restlessly in her seat and Dan sensed his window of opportunity slipping away with every passing second.

“One of you has to tell me what it means.”

The restless movements stopped, the scenery stopped, time, itself, might have stopped. Blair’s eyes focused on him, dark and icy, and for a second, his heart stopped too.

“You mean you don’t already have it all figured out?” she questioned mirthlessly.

His jaw tightened, cheeks flushing with anger.

She was hard now, like marble. Not like the fragile and breakable thing that had sat down beside him. “Let me put it in its simplest terms,” Blair said drolly, eyes dark and cutting, pinning him to the seat. “Some people need things that other people have the ability to give.”

“The two of you… you’ve done this before,” Dan accused, as bitter as Blair had been when she’d joined him on the steps. “With Nate, or Chuck, or…”

“No.” The single word cut through his vitriol like a knife. Or, maybe it was the look in her eyes, suddenly hurt and a little vulnerable. “We’ve never done this before.”

“So I’m supposed to believe that I have something you need.” He said it flatly, every ounce of disbelief he was feeling coloring the words.

The look flashed in her eyes again. It was the second time he’d caused it, caused the hurt and vulnerability to surface, and he didn’t mean to feel bad about that, but he did.

“Believe whatever you want,” she said dully, turning away from him to look out of the limo’s window as if already bored with the subject, and the dismissal stung. “Are you coming up or not?”

For the second time that day, Dan followed.


Serena’s uniform was a disheveled, charming mess. Her shirt was rumpled and halfway undone, part of it tucked sloppily into her skirt and part of it hanging free, and her tie looked on the verge of coming unknotted. She was without shoes, wearing only those striped, knee-high athletic socks that made her look more like she belonged on film than on a field hockey team, and he told himself not to pay attention to any of it.

“There you are,” she said happily, as if he’d unknowingly kept her waiting.

“I looked for you all day,” he said, and he tried to keep the words stern, but Blair was pulling his jacket off from behind and Serena was approaching him with purpose and the words lost a little of their edge. He tried again, tried to catch Serena’s eyes but she was focused on the way her fingers were pulling his tie free, and he ended up sounding frustrated and helpless. “I wanted to talk to you.”

She did look up at him then, her expression both frank and amused. “You don’t want to talk to me, Dan,” she murmured, shaking her head slightly as if gently disappointed. “You don’t want to talk about this.”

“No,” he protested, then stopped abruptly, startled by the small hands that had reached around him from behind, gripping the fabric of his shirt and tugging it free of his pants with an uneven series of jerks. “I do. I do want to talk about it.”

Blair stepped up behind him more closely, her body burning into his back. Her fingers flicked open the bottom button on his shirt and her teeth found his ear, biting down less than gently. “We already talked about it,” she said lowly, the words almost like a warning.

“See,” Serena said, nipping sharply at his chin before finding his lips with her own, “you already talked about it.”

He wanted to say no. Wanted to say that they hadn’t really talked about it at all, but Serena’s tongue was in his mouth, hot and bold and almost overwhelming, and Blair’s fingers were still nimbly undoing the buttons of his shirt, trailing up along his skin as she worked her way up.

There was a chance, when Serena pulled away from him, both panting wildly as their foreheads dipped together, that he could have asked her again. But then she was sliding away from him, finding Blair over the curve of his left shoulder, and his ear was filled with soft moans and wet smacks; her hand drifted down to his crotch, cupping him through the fabric of his slacks, and he gave in with a moan of his own.

He would wait, he decided later, looking down at the inviting curve of Serena’s ass below the rumpled line of her plaid skirt. They were all in various shades of undress. Blair, flat on her back on the bed with Serena’s face between her thighs, had managed to lose her tights and skirt somewhere along the way, but her shirt was still on, unbuttoned far enough to hint at the ivory lace of her bra; her headband was hanging on precariously, on the verge of slipping free of her hair. Serena, bent over with her chest pressing into the bedding and her tongue hard and flat against Blair’s clit, had somehow managed to stay fully dressed. He’d rucked her skirt up over her hips and pulled her tiny little thong panties down around mid-thigh, but that was as far as Dan had gotten. And then there was him, shirt hanging open, tie discarded, and pants opened wide in a vee, pushing into her slowly from behind.

He heard her moan, heard Blair moan along with her as the sound vibrated through the place where Serena’s mouth met her flesh and he moaned too, completing the trifecta. His hands found Serena’s hips, fingers digging into the flesh as she wiggled, her feet sliding farther apart to accommodate him, but his eyes were locked to the way Blair slid her fingers into Serena’s hair, gripping hard and holding her still.

“Go on,” Blair urged, the sharpness of her voice prompting him to jerk his eyes up to meet hers. Her lids were heavy, eyes hot and dark, and he swallowed convulsively. “She likes it hard.”

It was disconcerting, watching the way her eyes traced down his torso to the place where his hips met Serena before drifting back up to his eyes. He felt like he was on display, or, more accurately, on audition. Blair was watching him hawkishly, as if expecting a virtuoso performance, and Dan felt the same little twinge of self-disgust again when he realized he wanted to give it to her.

It was later, when his ears were ringing and sweat was running down his chest and his thigh muscles and buttocks were beginning to ache, that he started to run through the rationalizations in his head. The devil on his shoulder was whispering things into his ear, the silky voice insidious and rich. Why would you want to talk about this? Don’t mess this up. Don’t question it. Just go with it. Go with it as far as it’ll take you.

And then the voice was drowned out, lost somewhere amid Serena’s broken cries, Blair’s keening moans, and the frantic pulse of his heartbeat.


Blair was the first to stir.

“Dorota left dinner,” she said tiredly, raising her hand and making a sweeping gesture that Dan imagined was a vague indication of the direction of the kitchen. “I told her to make enough for three.”

Serena’s head lifted infinitesimally, a hint of interest in her eyes. “What did she make?”

“You were here when I got here,” Blair said with a sigh. Dan could almost feel the roll of her eyes on his side of the bed. “Did you see me go into the kitchen?”

“How can you be bitchy now? This is afterglow,” Serena pouted. “It’s supposed to be full of glow, B.”

“You can glow enough for the both of us,” Blair retorted, though there wasn’t any actual heat in her words. “I’ve got to study. We’ve got an econ test on Wednesday.”

Serena said her name like a whine. “Blair.”

“No, she’s right,” Dan felt compelled to say, rolling up into a sitting position. He looked down, saw the way his pants had collected just above his knees, and frowned at how ridiculous he was sure he must look. “I need to study too.”

“There you go,” Blair murmured smugly, rolling up onto her side and sitting up. Her back was facing them, the once crisp white of her shirt hopelessly wrinkled, and Dan couldn’t help but stare. “Humphrey needs to study too, so we’ll be in the kitchen studying and enjoying whatever delicious thing Dorota left for dinner. Feel free to stay here and destroy your future.”

“Oh, no,” Serena moaned, looking lazily from Blair’s back to Dan’s face. “No, no, no, no, no. That’s the part I forgot. Now there are two responsible people in the position to join forces and make my life miserable.”

“I didn’t say anything,” Dan protested, surreptitiously trying to slide his pants up over his hips.

The tinkling of his belt drew Blair’s attention. She turned, focusing on him over the curve of her shoulder. “There’s a shower in the guest room down the hall. You might want to use it.”


“What, Serena? I’m just being practical. You could stand a shower yourself.”

“You’re like the antithesis of romance.”

Blair shook her head in amusement. “Funk isn’t romantic, S. Not in the middle of the afternoon.”

“See,” Serena said on a sigh, looking up at Dan with a comically pleading expression, “the antithesis of romance.”

Wincing slightly, Dan offered an apologetic shrug. “I actually wouldn’t mind a shower.”

Collapsing back into the bedding dramatically, Serena moaned, “It’s a disaster.”

“Oh, stop being such a queen. It’s down the hall to your left, Humphrey.”


When he finally found the kitchen after his shower, Dan drew himself up short. Blair was sitting on a stool by the counter in a short, silky robe, hair pulled up low on her neck in a twist.

“There’s quinoa and black beans,” she said without bothering to look up from the book spread out in front of her. “I think there’s salad in the fridge, too, if you want. Would you like a glass of wine?”

“Uh, no,” Dan stammered, unsettled to find himself alone with Blair. “Uh, water’s fine.”

Not quite sure what else to do with himself, Dan used one of the plates that had been left out on the counter to fix himself dinner. “So, econ, huh?” he said uneasily, standing a good ten feet away from Blair, hips propped against the counter by the sink.

Without looking up, Blair held up her hand and crooked her finger, beckoning him closer. “Sit. You’re making me nervous.”

“Probably because I’m nervous,” Dan blurted, his tendency for nervous babbling rising to the fore. “Blair, what are we doing here?”

With a sigh, Blair put down her highlighter and turned slowly so that she was facing him. Dan made sure to focus only on her face, completely ignoring the creamy expanse of skin left bare by her slip and robe.

“Studying, Humphrey. Having dinner,” she said, words edged with a hint of impatience. “It’s not a live action version of the Spice Channel 24/7.”

“No, that’s not…” he began, then lapsed into frustrated silence.

“Think about it,” Blair said slowly, a slight smile teasing at the corners of her mouth as she watched the red creep up his neck. “We’re a package deal now, Humphrey. It’s all or none.”

“I don’t remember being consulted.”

“You were,” Blair replied, voice dry and sharp, eyes flicking down to his crotch. When she looked at him again, it was with a wicked smirk. “You offered an emphatic yes.”

His cheeks flared bright red, the blush burning down to his bones. “Why are you here, Blair? You don’t even like me.”

She offered a careless shrug, the look in her eyes hard to read. “You’ve grown on me.”

“Look, if you wanted to be my friend...”

Blair scoffed. “And they say that we have a sense of entitlement.”

“What I have is a sense of confusion.”

“Haven’t you ever heard that saying about looking a gift horse in the mouth?”

“Yeah, I don’t appreciate the assumption that just because I’m a guy, I’m suppose to accept this without question and bow down in subservience to whatever deity decided I was worthy,” he muttered angrily, dropping his plate to the counter with a loud rattle that echoed through the room.

“What you need to be thinking about is your relationship with Serena,” Blair replied coldly, her words clipped. She made her way to him and he pressed back further into his corner. “What you need to be thinking about, specifically, is whether or not you want one. Surely you’ve figured it out by now, Humphrey. She and I have a history together. That’s not going to go away and it’s not going to stop.”

He felt nauseated, suddenly, as he considered the implications.

“So, since she and I got together…” he began hoarsely, jaw clenching tightly.

For a moment, he saw something that looked suspiciously like sympathy flit across her face. “It took us a little while to reestablish closeness after she returned,” Blair said softly. A second later he felt fingers twining with his own, and he looked up, openly shocked. “Look, Humphrey...”

He needed to know more.

“How long have you two…” Even as he waved his hand in a vague motion that could mean anything but that clearly meant only one thing, Dan couldn’t figure out why he was suddenly being so shy about saying the words.

For a moment, Blair looked uneasy. She shifted nervously on her feet, lips turning down in a tight frown, and the uncharacteristic expression made Dan feel uneasy along with her. He was on the verge of telling her that she didn’t have to answer, that it really wasn’t any of his business when she said slowly, precisely, “Serena has always been sexually precocious.”

He blinked, trying to parse an actual answer out of the words, and then firmly decided that he didn’t actually want to know.

“We were very young the first time,” Blair continued, voice strained, cheeks tinged with a light blush. Dan stared, transfixed; he’d thought nothing embarrassed these people. “We didn’t even know what we were doing, really. We were just curious; she’s always been the kind of girl who ventures forth blindly with reckless abandon and I’ve always been the kind of girl who was inclined to follow her. We’d always been close, since before pre-school even. I guess it just brought us closer. Once we’d done it the first time, it didn’t seem to make sense to stop. When we got older, when our feelings and the rest of our worlds started to make it harder – that’s when we didn’t know what to do.”

“What do you mean?” Dan prodded, though part of him thought he might know the answer. When left to their own devices, with full knowledge of their feelings but not enough emotional maturity to handle them, chaos reigned – and then they were just two people so in love they couldn’t help but fuck it up. People always fucked those kinds of things up.

Blair shrugged her shoulders carelessly, gaze flicking away from Dan’s intense stare though her grip on his fingers tightened. “Nate happened. Parties and alcohol and drugs and a pervasive sense of permissiveness and all of the things you want to do – are practically expected to do – when you’re young and rich and beautiful and privileged happened. It’s surprisingly easy to be tempted, Humphrey. You should know that,” she finished tartly.

And suddenly, he was the one who was blushing. Again.

“I still don’t understand why I’m here.”

“Serena had already gotten involved with you,” Blair said neutrally, as if the explanation was a rote recitation of the facts. “She likes you.” She paused, then amended with a wry smile, “She likes you a lot.”

“But you…”

“I no longer find you completely heinous. Your fashion sense is still tragic, though. We’re going to have to work on that.”

“This is still crazy.”

“But palatable,” Blair pointed out, eyes cutting down to their joined hands. “So what do you say? Kiss and make up?”

“I don’t…”

With an aggrieved sigh, Blair gave him a sharp tug. Dan almost stumbled into her, his free hand finding her shoulder for balance, his startled admonition disappearing as her lips found his. She kissed him gently, her tongue just barely skimming the surface of his bottom lip in a move that made the part of him that reacted purely on instinct want to beg for more, before pulling away.

A low chuckle from the doorway drew their attention, cutting off anything Dan might have been about to say. “Now this is the kind of thing I like to see,” Serena teased, smirking. “You two feel free to continue. I’m going to grab something to eat.”

Dan took a quick step back, not able to quite meet either Blair or Serena’s eyes.

“Don’t tease, S,” Blair murmured, finally letting go of his hand. “Can’t you see? He’s shy.”


It wasn’t until that Friday when Serena appeared alone for their date that something finally dawned on Dan.

“Where’s Blair?” he asked cautiously, half expecting her to pop out from behind Serena.

“Out with Nate,” Serena replied, giving him a look that suggested that the answer should have been self-evident. “She’ll catch up with us later.”

“Nate?” he choked, having not even given a single thought to Blair’s erstwhile boyfriend. He wasn’t sure how he could have overlooked the fact. Everyone knew that Blair and Nate were the UES golden couple. There had been no news of a collapse of that dynasty, so of course, “She’s still with Nate?”

“Don’t judge,” Serena said, and there was something hard and cold about her eyes that gave Dan pause. “Nate doesn’t love her.”

It wasn’t that he particularly liked Nate. He didn’t. The boy floated along on his good looks and his name and, while he wasn’t actively malevolent like a sizeable majority of the boys at St. Jude’s, he still seemed content to let things fall into his lap whether he earned them or not.

That didn’t mean that Dan felt good about betraying him, though.

“I’m the other man,” he said jumpily, glaring at Serena accusingly. “You’re the other woman. Nate’s the dupe.”

“Don’t worry,” she muttered dismissively, though he saw her stiffen at the words. “Nate actively embraces the role of the dupe. You know, he’s never slept with her – not while they were together before I left, not during the year I was gone, and not since I got back. He just doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about her.”

“Caring and sex aren’t the same thing,” Dan said flatly, feeling a hint of unease crawl up his spine – he wasn’t sure these people realized that, wasn’t sure they were able to separate the two. “Maybe he’s an honorable guy. Maybe he wants to wait. Maybe he values the experience as something more than just another thing he should be doing because everyone else says that he should.”

Serena’s laugh was low and dark and almost unpleasant to hear. “Trust me, that’s not it.”

“How do you know?”

She paused, and he could see the tension building in her in the way her shoulders stiffened. “Because he slept with me.”


Defensive and defiant, Serena nodded. “It was a long time ago.”

“How long.”

“A year. It happened just before I left.”

“But you and Blair,” he said slowly, eyes narrowing, “you were together then.”

Looking away from him, she sighed. He watched as her jaw jumped, as the tendons in her neck flexed and pulled against words she didn’t want to speak. “It wasn’t my finest hour,” she said finally, bitter with self-recrimination. Her chin dropped close to her chest, giving her the look of a belligerent penitent.

He pulled away from her slightly, the sense of stunned he’d been feeling creeping over into shock.

“Why would you do that?”

“I don’t know. I was drunk. I wasn’t thinking about consequences. Maybe I was jealous.”

“Jealous?” he said cautiously, picking up on the way she’d hissed the last word like it was something vile. He wished she would look at him. He wanted to see her eyes. “Of Nate?”

When her head swung around to face him, he got his wish. What he saw there was cold and shuttered and angry. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“What about Blair? Does she know?”

 “She knows.”

Dan laughed shortly, shaking his head in disbelief. “And you’re still alive?”

“She was angry,” Serena allowed, the words an understatement. “She was very angry with me.” She amended, then paused, quirking a rueful smile. “She was angrier about the fact that I’d abandoned her for a year than she was that I’d slept with her boyfriend.”

Dan felt the truth of that. It resonated with what he thought he already knew. “She doesn’t love him either,” he said softly, lips twisting into a bitter smile. “Why do you play these games?”

Serena shrugged. “It’s just what we do.”


“I was told there was a Humphrey in a snit,” Blair said airily, the light, sharp click of her heels tracking her approach.

“And you’re the reinforcements?” Dan drawled, stirring slightly and putting the television on mute. After their tiff, there had been a seemingly unspoken agreement that kept Dan and Serena at the Palace instead of out on the town. Serena had flipped through channels lazily before settling on a patently idiotic movie about genetically modified killer fish eating people somewhere in backwoods Louisiana. They’d lain spooned together in the dark, mostly silent, and Dan had tried to force himself to think about his relationship with Serena and, by extension, his quasi-relationship with Blair, but the truth was that, in comparison to the chaos that awaited him there, watching Frankenfish was actually preferable.

But then there was a quiet knock at the door and Serena had wiggled out of his hold and he’d been left alone to sit through the beginning of a re-run of Lake Placid by himself.

“You’re more high maintenance than a girl,” Blair sighed, plopping down tiredly onto the couch alongside him. “Is that the downside of sensitive and caring when it comes to guys?”

Dan chose to ignore the dig, instead leveling her with an arch glare. “Where’s Nate?”

“Stoned somewhere, probably. My guess is that he’s about a joint away from being passed out on Chuck’s couch by now.”

“That doesn’t bother you?”

“He knows that I don’t agree with his drug habit,” Blair replied blithely, toeing out of her shoes.

“I mean the whole thing.”

“It’s touching, really, that you’d get so worked up on my behalf,” Blair purred, though there was a hint of sharpness to her tone. “And though I do appreciate the indignant, moralistic sentiment behind the misplaced outrage, there are far better targets.”

“Maybe my outrage isn’t actually on your behalf.”

“So you feel bad for Nate. Is that it?”

Unable to admit to that, primarily because it wasn’t true, Dan remained silent.

“Oh, Humphrey,” Blair sighed fondly, reaching over to place her hand against his thigh in a way that would have been a pantomime of comforting if he hadn’t felt it so acutely in his groin. “There’s a certain small-mindedness to you that’s not at all attractive.” She paused, letting her words sink in while she gave him a small, encouraging smile. “I’m hoping you’ll grow out of it. Serena, of course, doesn’t even realize it’s there, and so she takes all the blame for your neo-puritan disapproval onto her shoulders like it’s yet another thing for which she has to atone. And Nate… Nate doesn’t deserve your outrage.”

Her voice grew steely, as did her eyes. “I’ve forgiven Serena for the little mishap with Nate. I don’t see any reason why you should try to hold her accountable for it too.”

“If you don’t love him, why do you keep him around?”

For a moment, Blair looked wistful. But then the expression vanished, leaving behind the coolness by which Dan knew her best. “Just because I don’t love him the way you think I should doesn’t mean I don’t love him. Nate has his uses for me and I have my uses for Nate. And these things…” She looked around, hand fluttering vaguely. “There’s no promise they’ll last forever.”

Something about the moment felt oddly weighty, and Dan wanted to say something, something brilliant enough to make his point yet subtle and layered enough to be the catalyst for some sort of epiphany, but he couldn’t. He didn’t have the words. He didn’t even really know why he was so bothered.

“So then, McPoutyPants, it’s been a long night for me, believe it or not, and there’s a gorgeous and very eager blonde around here somewhere who just wants to make it all better. If you can bring yourself to stop judging us, maybe you’d like to join us.”

She left him there, her footsteps whispers now, and he looked down at her haphazardly discarded shoes with a wry smile. Leaving the television on so that the giant, man-eating crocodile could continue to wreak silent havoc, he stood, the shoes now dangling from his fingers as he trailed along behind her.

That he was a hypocrite didn’t escape his notice.


“Humphrey,” Chuck said coolly, doing as little to acknowledge Dan as possible. Dan almost wished that he’d ignored him completely. It would have saved him from the trouble of having to mutter, “Chuck,” in reply, or of offering him a tight smile and a nod of the head.

Serena’s acknowledgement was rather cool as well, as if her association with Dan had somehow tainted her, but when Chuck saw Blair, his smile brightened.

“Blair,” he said smoothly, bowing slightly and placing a kiss on the back of her hand, and Dan wondered if girls really fell for shit like that, as if Chuck were a reformed rake or the dashing hero of a romance novel just waiting to be tamed. Not that Dan read romance novels, per se, but he’d caught the back cover of a few that Jenny had left lying around and… whatever. Blair wasn’t stupid enough to fall for Chuck’s ramped up suave routine. “A vision, as always.”

Her answer was a single raised brow and an only slightly haughty, “Chuck.” It wasn’t nearly as venomous as Dan would have liked, and he felt his lips purse and his brows raise and was one second away from reaching out to wrap his arm around Blair’s waist in a less than subtle warning to Chuck to back off when he remembered it wasn’t his place.

“And where is Nathanial tonight?”

Blair’s look shifted into something almost like disgust. “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

“Doesn’t he know better than to leave you unguarded?” Chuck smirked, sidling up alongside Blair so that his arm was the one around her waist. “Why don’t we get you a drink. You can tell me all of the things that Nate is doing wrong and I’ll list all of the many things that I could do right.”

At Blair’s appraising stare, Dan nearly leapt forward to physically separate them. He might actually have done it, had it not been for the tight squeeze of Serena’s fingers around his wrist.

“Blair is a big girl,” she murmured in his ear as he watched Chuck lead Blair to the bar. “She can take care of herself.”

“Chuck is slime.”

“You think she doesn’t know that?” Serena laughed throatily, then rolled her eyes. “And anyway, what were you planning on doing? As far as Chuck knows, Blair isn’t yours to claim.”

“Is she?” Dan challenged, unable to keep his eyes from flicking over to check on Blair. He didn’t trust Chuck in the slightest, and something about watching the way the other boy was lazily running his palm up and down Blair’s bared arm was making his guts clench. “Is she mine?”

The look Serena leveled him with was serious, though her lips were quirked in a slight smile. It had been a little over four weeks since the first night they’d all been together. She’d seen the turmoil brewing in Dan’s eyes, watched the way he’d started tracking Blair with his gaze as she lorded over her clique at school, and had seen the battle between restraint and desire being waged with ever increasing frequency each time they were all together. He’d been attracted to her physically since the start and had let that, combined with something else – something she couldn’t completely identify – slowly start to suck him into the kind of relationship Serena had been hoping for from the start.

Before, he’d accepted Blair as a part of their relationship, a part Serena was unwilling to do without. Now, he wanted her.

“Is this what Dan Humphrey looks like when he’s possessive?” Serena teased, leaning closely into his side and wrapping both of her hands around one of his. “Do you want to go over there and tell Chuck to get away from your girl? Punch him, maybe, or cause some kind of scene?”

Dan willed himself to calm down. He wasn’t even sure where the surge of emotion had come from. It was just that when he’d seen Chuck step forward and take Blair’s hand, he’d been immediately, unaccountably jealous. “If I did punch him, he’d deserve it.”

“Aw, baby,” Serena cooed, brushing the tip of her nose against his ear. “I thought you were a lover, not a fighter.”

“I’m not sure if you’re trying to mock me or provoke me.”

“I’m just trying to point out that what you’re feeling here,” she whispered, hand sliding over so that it was flat against his tensed abdomen, “should be telling you something. If that were me over there with Chuck, how would you feel?”

“Jealous,” Dan replied immediately. “Angry.”

“And seeing Blair with Chuck… how does that make you feel?”

This time, the answer came more slowly. “Jealous,” he admitted bitterly. “Angry.”

“Why don’t you think about what that means while I go get our girl,” Serena murmured slyly. “I think we need to cut this party short.”


“Explain to me again why I got all dressed up for only 10 minutes of press time?” Blair asked irritably, hands on her hips.

Serena had been uncharacteristically silent on the matter, pulling Blair away from Chuck under the guise of an urgent emergency and then hustling her back to the Penthouse, Dan in tow. She’d had a gleam in her eyes the entire way, and even though Blair had asked – had in fact asked multiple times – she’d refused to share the reason why. Dan had been less than helpful, slouched in the corner of the cab in a sullen pout, and Blair had long since gotten impatient.

“I have a special announcement to make on Dan’s behalf,” Serena said cheerfully, and she looked so thrilled that Blair expected her to start jumping and clapping at any moment.

“Can’t Humphrey make a special announcement on his own behalf?”

“No, he’s too busy working through the ramifications,” Serena said dismissively, reaching forward to snag Blair’s hands. She took a long step forward even as she tugged, and somehow they ended up together, Blair’s hands on her hips, her own arms wrapped tightly around the other girl’s waist.

“Ramifications?” Blair questioned archly, fighting back the urge to reach up and place a kiss on the underside of Serena’s chin. It was especially hard – she’d always had trouble resisting Serena when she was giddy – but the memory of Dan’s sulk kept her keyed into the task at hand. “Of what?”

“Tonight, when Chuck tried to charm you, Dan got jealous,” Serena said smugly, her smile so wide it seemed to stretch across the entire expanse of her face. “He got possessive. He wanted to let Chuck know that you’re hands off.”

Blair looked both peevish and taken aback. “He did?”

“Chuck’s a bastard,” Dan muttered in his defense.

“I’m fully aware of both facets of Chuck’s personality,” Blair shot back. “Smug and bastard. I don’t need protection from you, Humphrey.”

“You people are missing the point,” Serena moaned, aggrieved. “I thought you were supposed to be the smart ones in this relationship.”

“I get the point,” Dan snapped.

Serena looked down at Blair and shrugged apologetically. “He’s had longer to think about it than you. I’m sure you’ll figure it out too.”

It took a supreme act of will for Blair to keep from rolling her eyes. “You’re trying to insinuate something about changing relationship dynamics. Is that what you’re trying to do here?”

Serena’s smile slid into a smirk. “See, I knew you were brilliant.”

“He doesn’t look very happy about it,” Blair observed.

“Give him time. It takes Dan a while to process. He’s kind of high maintenance.”

“I’m still here,” Dan said grouchily. “Right here, listening to everything you’re saying.”

Blair sighed, ignoring the outburst. “Does this overly dramatic revelation have a point, S?”

“Of course,” Serena protested. “To commemorate this momentous occasion, I think it’s time I show Dan Humphrey everything he needs to know about making Blair Waldorf happy and keeping her that way.”

“Do I have a choice?”

“Not tonight, B,” Serena said with a wicked smile. “Tonight you’re donating your body for scientific exploration. Think of it as a philanthropic endeavor.”

Dan’s voice was still crabby when he said, “Do I have a choice?”

“The demonstration is more effective when it’s interactive,” Serena said beguilingly. She used her grip on Blair to slowly begin to turn the other girl, stopping only when Blair’s back was pressed tightly to her front. She still kept her hold around Blair’s waist with one arm; the other hand skimmed lightly up Blair’s side before coming to rest on her far shoulder, trapping Blair in place.

“The first thing you need to know about Blair Waldorf,” she began, lowering her head and pushing aside Blair’s hair to bare the curve of her neck, “is that no matter how many times you tell her she’s beautiful, she won’t believe it for long. You won’t be lying to her. She is beautiful. She just can’t let herself believe it.”


“Shh,” Serena interrupted, chastising gently. “I’m in the middle of a tutorial, B.”

Her eyes flicked up, catching Dan’s. “Come here,” she said, voice husky.

Compelled by the sound of her voice and the piercing vulnerability in Blair’s eyes, Dan stepped forward, stopping only when he was standing directly in front of Blair.

“Touch her,” Serena instructed quietly. “Put your hands on her hips.”

The vulnerability turned defiant as he drew closer, his hands settling just above her waist. The backs of his fingers brushed against Serena’s abdomen, barely able to slide into the tight space between them.

“Now this one’s important,” Serena cautioned, her eyes burning into him over the curve of Blair’s shoulder. “Only say it if you mean it.”

“You’re beautiful,” he blurted earnestly, anticipating Serena’s next words. “You are. You’re beautiful.” His eyes slid up to meet Serena’s, open and honest as he said roughly, “She’s beautiful.”

“Don’t be afraid to tell her that. She’ll forget.”


This time it was Dan who cut her off, his finger pressing against her lips to silence her.

“Do you know what else you can do?” Serena asked, smile turning soft and eyes going dark. “You can make her feel beautiful. I don’t have any proof, but I think the she forgets that less easily.”

His voice was hoarse when he asked, “How do you do that?”

The hand she’d placed on Blair’s shoulder shifted, fingers trailing down over the brunette’s collarbone to dip into the collar of her dress.

“Her skin’s soft, isn’t it?”

Dan reached up tentatively, tracing Serena’s path. He chanced a look up at Blair as he did it. Her eyes were hooded, dark, and unreadable.

“Very soft,” he agreed, running his fingers up along Blair’s neck and then back over her shoulder, mapping out all of the skin bared by her dress.

“You have to touch her,” Serena said, suddenly somber. “She likes people to think she’s cold and aloof. She likes people to think she’s untouchable. It’s our job to remind her that she isn’t.”

She paused, looking at Dan with challenge. “It’s an important job. If we don’t do right, she might turn into the person she wants everyone to think she is.”

“That’s not who she is,” Dan muttered softly, and though the words sounded like a confirmation, they were, instead, a realization.

Serena nodded solemnly. “That’s right.” She shifted again, this time running her fingers along Blair’s arms from wrist to shoulder, leaving a wave of goosebumps in her wake. “See that,” she said, doing it again even as Blair caught her breath, a barely audible whimper teasing past her lips. “Not cold. Not aloof.”

“No,” Dan agreed. He brought his other hand up so that he was cupping Blair’s face, his thumb tracing softly over her bottom lip. “She’s not.”

When he looked in Blair’s eyes again, she looked almost stricken.

“Do you know what one of her favorite things is?”

Dan shook his head slowly, a silent negation.

“She likes to be kissed.”

Serena slithered out from behind Blair like the most graceful of snakes, gently nudging him out of the way. Her hands replaced his on Blair’s jaw; her thumb traced the same path his thumb had traced.

“She likes all kind of kisses,” Serena whispered conspiratorially, slowly closing the gap between Blair’s lips and her own. “Soft kisses, deep kisses, wet kisses, hard kisses. You don’t have to pick just one.”

Dan found that he was the one on the verge of moaning when Serena finally brought her lips to Blair’s. She started gently, with a series of teasing, brushing kisses that drew a needy noise from the back of Blair’s throat as the other girl swayed forward in search of more. Serena didn’t rush, though, deepening her kisses in layers until Blair was tugging desperately at the back of her dress, silently begging.

When Serena pulled away, her eyes were nearly black and her lips were shiny and bruised red. “Now,” she said, her voice rough like gravel, “you try.”

He wanted to start slowly, just like Serena had done, but Blair wrapped her hands in his shirtfront and pulled him to her. So he started with her lips, with his tongue sliding against hers and his teeth nipping, before pulling away to trail kisses over her jaw and down her neck. Her fingers were in his hair, nails digging into his scalp as he bit and licked and sucked every inch of skin he encountered.

They were both panting, the echo of their breath so loud in the stillness of the room that he almost missed the distinctive rasp of Blair’s zipper being slowly lowered.

“You don’t want to skip any lessons,” Serena admonished them, pushing Blair’s dress over her shoulders and past her hips. Blair stepped out of it daintily, losing her heels in the process so that when Serena straightened, the dress still in her hands, they towered over Blair.

Dan was used to seductive underwear. Serena and Blair wore things under their school uniforms that most women didn’t even wear on their honeymoons, but something about the almost simple combo of silky black corset, panties, stockings and garters she was wearing that night made it nearly impossible for him to breathe.

“These things,” Serena was saying, her hands running along Blair’s sides, the slight hiss of her skin against fabric making it even more difficult for Dan to regain his breath, “are beautiful, but restrictive.”

Blair’s eyes fluttered shut as Serena unsnapped the garters holding up her sheer black stockings. She gasped as Serena’s fingers moved steadily up the line of clasps holding the corset together and moaned loudly when the blonde pulled it away.

“She might not admit it,” Serena murmured, running her hands along Blair’s ribcage and up to her breasts, “but she likes being free. Everyone tries to make her live by rules. I think she gets tired of the rules.”

And then Serena met his eyes for a brief moment. She let her gaze fall to his lips before they looked at him again, one brow arching as she cupped Blair’s breast in offering, willing him to understand.

There had been a number of times, particularly since the start of his three-sided relationship, when Dan had been rather slow to catch on. For once, he understood immediately.

He felt Blair shiver against him as his lips wrapped around her nipple. Serena’s moan of approval washed through him, as did her chiding, “Not too hard. Not at first.”

He lost track of what Serena was doing. He was vaguely aware of her hands, of the way one constantly roamed Blair’s torso while the other remained busy with her other breast, but his focus was on the flesh beneath his tongue. It was pliant and soft and yet, conversely, hard, and his writer’s brain wanted to make it into a metaphor.

It was an indeterminable amount of time later when someone pushed him away. He didn’t know if it was Blair or Serena, but he looked up with a slight pout to see Blair looking back at him ravenously.

“Put her on the bed,” Serena said, voice ragged with desire, “then take off your clothes.”

She was already naked. He supposed she’d accomplished that while he’d been otherwise indisposed, but he was only too happy to comply with her demand. Blair fell back onto the bed with only the softest of pushes, and he rushed to slip out of his sweater as Serena crawled up after her. Her mouth found the nipple he’d neglected, and the way that Blair writhed when she dug her teeth into the sensitive skin was almost enough to make him forget what he was supposed to be doing.

But then Serena was looking at him, curled over Blair in a half crouch, the expression on her face almost animalistic. “Help me take them off,” she demanded, inching down so that her fingers slid into the waistband of Blair’s panties, and he joined her, stepping awkwardly out of the tangle of his pants. Together, they slid the scrap of fabric down Blair’s legs, then rolled off the silky stockings.

“Don’t be fooled by the reserved exterior,” Serena was saying, her voice harsh and breathless. “You can make her come apart. You just can’t let anyone else know you can. She covers her insecurities up with pride, so don’t you dare damage that.”

“Serena, god…” Blair hissed, frustrated and verging on angry.

“This she loves,” Serena promised, absently running her hands up and down along the inside of Blair’s thighs as if the other girl hadn’t spoken. “Pay close attention.”

And then she leaned forward, running her tongue along the length of Blair’s sex in long, lazy strokes. She took her time, refusing to apply enough pressure at the spot that the arch of Blair’s back and the roll of her hips seemed to beg for until Blair spoke again; this time her voice was deep, aching and needy. “God, Serena, please. Please, just do it.”

At the words, Serena’s eyes met Dan’s, glinting mischievously. He watched, entranced, as she wrapped her lips around Blair’s clit and sucked hard, earning a yelp of approval from the other girl, then pulled free with a smack.

“Your turn.”

His heart nearly skipped a beat at the sight of Serena’s swollen lips, shiny with the evidence of Blair’s arousal.

He wanted that for himself, so even as the helpless sounds Blair couldn’t help but make seemed to beg him for more, he followed Serena’s example exactly. He teased and he tasted, arms looped under Blair’s thighs and hands tight on her waist as he tried to still the erratic thrust of her hips, until finally he heard Serena rasp in his ear, “Do it. Let her come.”

It didn’t take much – a little suction and his tongue hard against her clit – before Blair screamed, her thighs clamping down hard on either side of his head.

A hand on his jaw tried to pull him away even as he continued his movements. He felt the swipe of a soft tongue along his jaw and over his chin and then deep in his mouth as Serena licked the taste of Blair off of his skin. Her nails were digging into him but he didn’t care. He pressed into her mouth carelessly, the sound of Blair’s frantic attempts to regain her breath nearly driving him out of his mind.

“I want to see you on top of her,” Serena said, pulling away from him, and her voice was low and wild and a little dark. “Hold her down. She has to be strong all of the time. Sometimes she likes to know you’re stronger than her.”

So he did. He slid his hips between Blair’s parted thighs and wrapped his hands around her wrists, pressing them into the bedding above her head. She struggled slightly, the buck and roll of her body illicitly thrilling.

“Touch her,” Serena murmured, and he looked over to find her propped on her side alongside Blair.

He transferred Blair’s wrists to a single hand, letting the other skim down her body until it was between her legs. He felt her wetness envelop his fingers, imagined it was his cock there instead, and shuddered.

“I’ll show you how.”

He looked over quizzically when Serena’s hand pressed against his, but she was watching the way their fingers joined together to slide over Blair’s wet skin. She trapped his forefinger between two of her own, guiding him into a quick rhythm that soon had Blair straining hard against his unmoving hold, and soon Blair was coming again, her lips pressed roughly to his as she strained up into him. He moaned into the kiss, barely registering Serena’s movements until he felt their joined fingers slide deeply into Blair.

Blair hissed, her teeth biting down on his lower lip sharply, earning a yelp.

“You know what to do,” Serena said, slipping her hand free. “I know you’ve watched me do it.”

He had, and he’d even imagined himself in Serena’s place but this – actually being inside Blair for the first time – nearly made him ache. He wanted to pull his fingers free and replace them with his cock, but Blair had laid out the rules on that first night, and as far as he knew, they were still in effect. So, instead of doing what his body was almost demanding that he do, he slid another finger into Blair and began to thrust.

“That’s it,” Serena praised, and he could feel the bump of her fingertips against him as she found Blair’s clit once again.

Later, when he felt Blair’s body clamp down hard around his fingers, he nearly joined her in climax. As it was, he knew that the skin of her inner thigh was wet with him, but he couldn’t help it.

“That’s enough,” she moaned, muscles still quivering finely. “No more.” But Dan couldn’t bring himself to pull free of her, the wet warmth of her around his fingers like a treat he might not ever be offered again.

“You don’t stop until she says that,” Serena said breathlessly, rolling onto her back beside Blair and spreading her legs wide. “That’s when you know you’ve made her as happy as you can. Now, fuck, Dan. Fuck me.”

He obeyed, barely aware of the way Blair watched them intently. It was fast and frantic and rough and later he could only be glad that he’d heard Serena’s moan a split-second before his own.


After that night, things changed.

For one thing, every time he saw Chuck, he couldn’t help but smirk.

It was true that he liked the puzzled, slightly discomfited look that Chuck adopted in return, but the real change, of course, was geometric. They may have started out as an isosceles, but their triangle was slowly moving into equilateral territory.

Before, although they’d technically all been together, there had been a natural division of things. Serena and Blair touched one another and Serena and Dan touched one another. Dan and Blair touched one another as well, but there was an almost intermediary quality to it. Serena was Dan’s and Serena was Blair’s, but Blair wasn’t Dan’s and vice versa.

After that night, it was strange and it was untested, but there was a settling, a leveling out of the various sides that felt fresh and new and scary in the same way that had gripped him in those first few weeks after Serena reappeared in the same train station as him, looking wistfully out over the teeming mass of humanity to which he invisibly belonged.

There were still things he wasn’t allowed to do – well, just the one thing really, but he adjusted. He tried not to obsess.

He’d asked Serena, murmured the question, “She said I wasn’t allowed to fuck her, but…” He’d found he couldn’t finish it, trailing off with a nervous smile as he remembered watching Serena fuck Blair in just the same way that he’d finally been allowed to do and wondering just where that left him standing.

“You can only push Blair a few steps at a time,” Serena had answered with an almost naughty smirk, and he’d realized that she hadn’t understood what he’d been asking. “Any more and she revolts.”

He had wanted to correct her, to explicate the direct connection he’d made in his head and then press for an update of the status report, but in the end, he’d chickened out.

They slowly became a unit in a way that reminded him uncomfortably of the triumvirate of Serena, Blair, and Nate. Gossip Girl treated them with scathing affection, marveling at the miracle that must have occurred for B to let S bring Lonely Boy around so often without reprisal, and the less than subtle hints that Jenny began dropping – regarding him using his newfound status as a tolerated body in orbit around Blair to improve her own social fortunes – made the unease crawl farther up his throat in a way that made the times he spent with Serena and Blair in private seem like even more of an escape.

The fact was that he did, indeed, consider an evening spent in Blair’s company as an escape. He was aware of the irony in that.

They weren’t always together, the new, unwieldy trio that the UES didn’t know quite how to handle. Blair was sporadically absent, escorting Nate or appeasing her mother or keeping up appearances with the girls. He knew there were times when he was the missing link, when Blair and Serena disappeared by themselves and he usually spent whatever occasion had warranted his absence – his father’s request for more family time or an evening devoted to trying to maintain friendships that weren’t in any way connected to his relationship – trying desperately not to think about what they might be doing. He was usually only minimally successful, each occasion yielding a moment when he would grimace and shift uneasily in his chair, swallowing hard and trying to fight down the blush crawling up his neck.

There hadn’t been any times when he had been with Blair alone; he didn’t know if there ever would be, though the thought that he might like that began to come with increasing frequency.

Serena and Blair had a bond that predated his association with either of them by a wide margin. He knew they shared secrets, that sometimes Serena would give Blair a look full of teasing and issue a silent dare that would leave Blair blushing, eyebrows shooting upward in surprise and mock affront.

 “I want you to fuck me.”

His heart immediately began to race when Blair said the words, and he was on the verge of saying, “Yes. God, yes, I want to fuck you,” when he realized that she hadn’t been talking to him.

Which left him confused, really, because there was a weight to Blair’s gaze, as if she were answering a challenge or making a declaration, and it wasn’t until he heard Serena catch her breath lightly and murmur, “Really?” in a hopeful sort of way that he realized that this was another of those times when he’d been left in the dark. It was a continuation of a conversation to which he hadn’t been privy, and he was on the verge of growing petulant, when Serena said, “You’ll let him watch?”

The question stopped any protest. Curious, he bit his tongue, watching with interest as Blair looked at him carefully before looking back at Serena. Her gaze was open, a little hesitant, and infinitely trusting as she nodded a cautious yes.

That didn’t mean he understood. It went back to his earlier question, the one he hadn’t yet figured out how to ask. Serena fucked Blair all of the time, and he’d watched countless times as Blair came with Serena’s fingers deep inside her. The insinuation that this was something new, something he hadn’t yet witnessed, was frankly baffling.

“I’ll be right back,” Serena promised, giving Blair a soft kiss, before turning to pin Dan with a sharp glare. “You stay there.”

And he did, even though Blair was naked and aroused only a few feet away, until Serena returned. It was then, as his eyes dropped down to focus on the thick, cream-colored artificial cock dangling between her legs that he understood.

Something about it made him uneasy. Maybe it was the comparison, which he lost (though his mind protested that it wasn’t a fair comparison at all, because those things could be bought in practically any size or shape or even color possible and he could only ever have what he’d been born with) or maybe it was some kind of primitive, masculine thing that he’d always assumed he was above. That didn’t mean that he wasn’t transfixed, though, unable to tear his eyes away when Serena finally wrapped her hand around the base of the thing and used her hips to drive it slowly into Blair.

Once she’d pushed in as far as she could, Serena leaned forward and kissed Blair hungrily, and he got the uncomfortable feeling he’d been getting less and less frequently, that he was intruding on something private, something he really shouldn’t be witnessing. It had been endemic in the beginning, the silent communication and the longing stares and the undeniable connection between the two making his stomach tighten in a way that forced him to recognize the little voice in the back of his mind whispering, “Interloper,”, but the night Serena offered him the keys to Blair’s happiness – at least in the carnal sense – he had felt that, together, they’d started to create a new culture.

But this – the way Blair’s eyes fluttered shut and her lips parted as she sucked in the tiniest of involuntarily breaths as Serena pressed into her – thrust him right back to the beginning of their relationship when he’d still, unknowingly, been on the fringe looking in.

Part of him watched clinically. Was that what he looked like? he wondered, watching the clench and flex of muscles in Serena’s back and buttocks as she began to thrust.

Later, as she reared above Blair, her hips a blur as beads of sweat ran freely down her face and neck and the furrow of her spine, he stopped thinking entirely. Instead he focused on the ferocious intensity in Serena’s eyes and the look of determination in Blair’s. He listened to the ragged pant of their breath and the slap of their bodies together and jumped in tandem with Serena when Blair ran her nails down the blonde’s chest, leaving behind four angry red lines. He gasped along with Blair when Serena paused to pull her sweaty blonde hair into her hands in a fleeting ponytail before shaking it free in a loose cascade down her back. When Blair came with an almost feral scream, he joined her.

When his surroundings settled back into place around him, Serena was plastered to Blair, whispering something in her ear that sounded distinctly dirty. He thought they’d never looked more beautiful, sweaty and exhausted and still joined together. It reminded him that first night, when he’d lain on the bed and wondered why he was even there at all. And then Blair’s eyes slid over to meet his. She looked happy; her smile wasn’t fake or pinched or used to obscure what she was actually thinking. It was, instead, open in a way that made her look younger and carefree in a way he hadn’t thought Blair had the capacity to be.

“Are we too messy for you, Dan?” she teased, the sound of his first name coming from her lips in such an intimate setting tugging at his heart in a way that was decidedly unmanly. “Are you not cuddling tonight?”

“Maybe he’s too messy for us,” Serena drawled, her eyes tracing over the line of semen bisecting his abdomen.

Dan blushed, immediately grabbing a sheet and using it to wipe himself clean.

“Smooth,” Serena chuckled, rolling her eyes at the sight of the crumpled, improperly used linens. “Can you imagine what housekeeping is going to think when they find that?”

“Chuck’s father owns this hotel,” Blair said dryly. “They’ve seen worse.”

“You still better hope Lily doesn’t decide to cut short her mysterious night away from the Palace.”

“Hardly mysterious,” Blair huffed, rolling her eyes. Then, “Seriously, Dan, are you going to join us or not? You look too much like Lonely Boy sitting there all by yourself.”

“I’m not entirely sure where I fit,” Dan answered honestly.

Serena smiled faintly, her eyes meeting Blair’s for a moment before focusing on him. “We’ll make room.”

Later, when limbs had been rearranged and accoutrement had been retired and the three settled into an arrangement that left Blair in the middle with Serena at her front and Dan at her back, Dan felt the slow unwinding of the part of himself that hadn’t been able to relax until that moment.

He felt settled.

“So, uh…” he began, his hand sliding down Blair’s thigh, fingers hooking under knee to bring her leg up so that it was slung over Serena’s hips, “when do I get to see Blair do that to you?”

Serena threw her head back and laughed, pausing only long enough to murmur huskily, “Yeah, Blair. When does he get to see that?”

He didn’t have to be facing Blair to know she was blushing.

Of course, moments later he was the one blushing deeply, Blair’s mumbled, “I don’t know, S. When do I get to see you do that to him?” ringing in his ears.


When Serena met him alone at the bar in the Palace, Dan looked around in confusion.

“Where’s Blair?”

“She cancelled. I got a last minute text.”

As if his phone would provide him with different information, Dan pulled it out, scrutinizing the display. “I didn’t get anything,” he murmured peevishly.

“Uh, I guess she thought I’d tell you.”

“Why do you get a text and I don’t?”

Serena snorted, unable to hold back an eye roll. “You’re too sensitive,” she teased. “Maybe it was an accidental oversight. Maybe she just didn’t know you’d be such a baby about it.”

Dan scowled then straightened, trying to regain an aura of manliness. “Why did she cancel anyway?”

“She’s going to see Nate.”

“But this was our night,” Dan protested, then slipped his phone back into his pocket with a sigh. “She cancelled on us for Nate?”

Serena nodded solemnly, trying not to smile at Dan’s sulk. “All signs point to trouble in Blair and Nate-land. My guess is there was a fire she felt the need to put out.”

“You mean he remembered he was in a relationship long enough to actually create some kind of trouble between them?” Dan scoffed. “I thought he forgot they were dating.”

“No, you like to pretend they’re not.” Serena’s suppressed smile broke free, though instead of a smirk, it was instead softly teasing. “It helps you deal with your moral quandary.”

“Hey, I think I should be commended for how well I’m dealing with my moral quandary.”

Serena chuckled dryly. “Yeah. You’re doing a beautiful job.”

“Are we going to go out or not?”

For a moment, Serena thought about teasing him further. In the end, she refrained. He could get touchy about things so quickly. Blair could deal with his moods, squashing them in an instant, but Serena always felt mean when she tried.

So instead, she gave him a gentle shove and a teasing smile. “Your lead.”


They were stuffing their hands in their pockets, shivering slightly against the cold night air as they emerged from the movie they’d settled on, when Dan asked somewhat miserably, “Is it wrong of me to hope they break up?”

“No,” Serena replied immediately, tone starkly honest. “If it is, we’re both wrong.”

“I know this is going to sound silly considering, but I don’t like having to share.”

“Me either,” Serena murmured bitterly. Then she scoffed, frowning fleetingly, “You know that even if they do end it, she won’t be able to be with us publicly. God, could you imagine it?”

Dan snorted. “The UES has weathered bigger scandals.”

“Blair would have you shot for even thinking it. And, even if she didn’t Eleanor would.”

“I thought all publicity was good publicity,” Dan muttered derisively. “Eleanor would probably turn it into good press for her new line.”

“Right. Because ‘Designer’s Teenage Daughter in Gay Threeway’ is exactly the kind of buzz she’s looking for.”

“Why does it have to be gay? What about me?”

“Gay sells,” Serena said dismissively, “but don’t worry. I’m sure you’d get a lot of play too.

“Because that’s exactly what I need. My dad would have a coronary.”

“A 90s rock star? He’d probably be psyched you were carrying on the family tradition of outlandish sexual exploits,” Serena scoffed.

“He’s forgotten all about that. These days, Rufus is on the straight and narrow.”

Serena laughed, freeing her hand from her pocket long enough to loop her arm around Dan’s. “Like father like son,” she teased, then groaned. “Lily, on the other hand, would ship me off to boarding school, involuntarily this time.”

“But Jenny would be thrilled,” Dan said neutrally, holding back a smile for all of a second before he and Serena broke into laughter together.

Serena gave him a friendly bump with her shoulder, causing them to momentarily weave in a wobbly, unpredictable pattern that frustrated the other pedestrians around them. “It would probably put a strain on our relationship when Blair tore her into tiny bits.”

“She might be nice about it for my sake.”

“She might,” Serena agreed, fishing in her pocket as her cell began to ring, “but don’t hold your breath.”

“Is that Blair?” Dan asked, even though he recognized the distinctive ring tone that marked any call from Blair. “Tell her that this change in plans didn’t receive the proper prior authorization and she is ordered to report back to us immediately.”

“B. Hey, what’s up?”

Dan watched as Serena’s goofy smile started to fade, her face growing pinched as she asked a series of questions that made his gut tighten with worry.

 “Are you drunk?”

“B, where are you?”

“Chuck owns a what?”

“We’re coming to get you. Stay there. Don’t go anywhere with Chuck. Blair!” The last was somewhat dramatic and Dan jolted, his worry prompting him to send a glare Serena’s way that she was too busy to notice. “Promise me. Promise me you won’t go anywhere with Chuck.”

“Why is she with Chuck?” Dan asked angrily as soon as Serena slid her phone closed. She was already on the curb hailing a cab and he caught up with her just in time to slide into one behind her.

“I don’t know,” Serena spat, glaring at him. “She sounded upset. She’s drunk. Did you know Chuck bought a club?”

“How would I know that?”

“Victrola,” Serena said, directing the name to the cabbie. “Do you know where it is?”

He nodded, executed a u-turn that made Dan’s hair stand on end, the rear end of the cab jostling as he brought them into a steady stream of traffic.

“I thought you said she was with Nate,” Dan accused.

“That’s what she told me.”

“And you think she’s drunk?”

“Drunk or high or both, though she should know better than to take anything Chuck Bass tries to give her.”

“If that bastard tries to take advantage of her…”

“She promised me she wouldn’t leave with him.”

“This is Chuck Bass we’re talking about.”

“Even Chuck knows there are some lines you don’t cross.”

“I think you give him too much credit.”

“This it?” the cab driver interrupted, pulling to a stop in front of a discreetly lit entrance.

“Yes,” Serena said, already out the door. She reached back in, handing the man a wad of cash that she’d pulled from her pocket. “Stay here. We’ll be right back.”

This time, Dan led the way.


“S!” Blair said brightly, and Serena cut her eyes from the nearly empty bottle of champaign on the table to Chuck, mouth tightening at the self-satisfied smirk he was wearing. “You’re here! And you brought Humphrey!”

“Get away from her, Chuck,” Serena growled, taking a threatening step forward.

In response, Chuck tightened his grip around Blair’s waist, his lips ghosting across her neck. “No, I don’t think so” he murmured, the flutter of his tongue against Blair’s skin drawing a giggle from the brunette. “It doesn’t seem like something I want to do.”

“Stop that,” Blair chastised, then giggled again. “You can’t do that in front of them.”

“Then why don’t we leave?” Chuck suggested smoothly, arching a brow at Blair in question.

“I think they came to rescue me,” she said, with the serious gravity that only the drunk can manage.

“I don’t think you need rescuing.”

“I do,” Dan said dryly, stepping around so that he was on Blair’s other side. “Come on, Blair. Let’s go.”

“You’re like a little gnat,” Chuck sneered, tightening his grip again. “Always buzzing, buzzing, buzzing.”


“I’m not going to go with Chuck,” Blair interrupted, shooting Serena a look that clearly read ‘duh’.

Chuck nuzzled her neck again, keeping a sharp eye on Serena as he murmured, “Don’t give in to their negative, party-killing peer pressure.”

“Dan,” Serena said, voice steely, “take Blair outside. I want to have a chat with Chuck.”

Dan looked at her askance, not quite sure how he was supposed to extricate Blair from Chuck’s grasp. He was fairly certain that Blair would never forgive any of them if he caused a scene and this whole incident ended up plastered on Gossip Girl and so he wavered, stymied.

“Come on, Dan,” Blair said huskily, and his head whipped around at the hint of seduction in her voice. “Take me outside.”

“I think you’d rather stay here,” Chuck said sharply, shooting Dan a warning look, “with me. Where it’s warm and where the company is of a decidedly higher class.”

Taking a deep breath, Dan held out his hand. “Blair?”

“Humphrey’s going to take me outside,” Blair said in a high, teasing sing-song voice. “But don’t be jealous, Chuck. He’s…”

“Blair,” Serena interrupted sharply, brows knitting in concern. “Just go with Dan, okay?”

When her hand settled in his, it felt warm and sticky, but her movements were decidedly ladylike and precise as she stepped out of the booth. “She doesn’t get bossy often,” Blair confided as Dan pulled her to her feet. “When she does, it’s best just to listen and follow orders.”

“You’ll be okay?” Dan questioned, his eyes catching Serena’s above Blair’s head.

She shook her head in amusement, then turned with a droll, “Don’t worry about me. It’s only Chuck.”

“That’s exactly why I’m worried.”

“Go,” Serena reiterated, cocking her head toward the door. “Make sure our cab is still there.”

Dan didn’t know if Blair had a jacket, and even if she did, he didn’t figure that she was in any shape to retrieve it. So, he slipped his jacket off of his shoulders and slid it onto hers as they stumbled out of the club’s front door. Their breath immediately began to fog, leaving icy white trails in their wake as he steered her over to the still waiting cab idling at the curb.

“What were you doing here, Blair?” he asked, some of the anger and tension he’d been feeling bleeding into his voice as he helped her into the cab. She made it as far as the middle of the seat before stopping and immediately curling into him, her hands fisting the front of his shirt in a tight grip.

With a sigh, she laid her head against his shoulder. Her breath was hot against his neck, almost scorching, and he was uncomfortably aware of the way she had molded herself against him. “I just wanted some time alone to think,” she answered with a sigh, her hands falling away so that they were wrapped tightly, almost uncomfortably so, around his midsection.

“Where’s Nate?” he prodded, trying to arrange the tail of his jacket over her legs. He could feel fine shivers running through her, but he didn’t know if they were from the cold or from the alcohol, and all of the nervousness that had been trapped inside him since her call to Serena escaped through fidgeting. “I thought you were with him tonight.”

Blair sighed again. This one was long and wistful, and her face pressed even harder into his neck. “We broke up. I think we broke up.”

The part of Dan that wasn’t soaring with elation at the words felt an immediate, crushing sense of guilt. This was what he’d wanted, this event that was obviously causing Blair so much distress.

“Nate sucks,” she continued succinctly, then laughed bitterly. “No, Nate’s life sucks. Nate sucks too, though. He’s still in love with Serena.”

“Still?” Dan asked, his voice a little strangled, still reeling from Blair’s revelation.

“She’s always gotten everything.” This time, her laugh was dark. “The joke’s on him. He’ll never have her, and he won’t even know why.”

Dan processed that for a moment, thought about the convoluted trail of hidden feelings, lies, and betrayals Serena, Blair, and Nate had created. He wanted to point it out to them all, the ways they’d gone about making their own lives pointlessly miserable, but he couldn’t. It wouldn’t help Blair to hear it, and he wasn’t even sure he had the right to say it anymore. “Blair, why didn’t you call us earlier? Why come here? Why come to Chuck?”

For a long moment, Blair was silent. Dan was beginning to think that she wasn’t going to answer, or, more likely, that she’d passed out when she finally spoke, her voice whisper soft. “Everything’s so complicated. Nate, Serena, you… complicated. Too complicated.”

Dan’s heart constricted, fear running through him. “What do you mean?”

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” Blair said sadly, pulling away from him far enough to look up at him. She looked lost, uncertain, and he unconsciously tightened his grip. “It wasn’t supposed to be scary. It wasn’t supposed to hurt.”

“With Nate?”

Blair shook her head sadly. “With all of you.”


“You shouldn’t care about us,” Blair interrupted fiercely, her grip tightening so hard and so fast he almost winced. “Not people like us. We don’t know how to love. We’ll hurt you. You’re a nice guy, Dan. A sweet guy. We’ll hurt you. We can’t help it. It’s all we know how to do.”

“That’s not true,” Dan protested, as much for himself as for Blair.

She pressed her face back into his neck, no longer able to look at him. “It’s just the way it is.”

His voice grew stern. “Then I’ll teach you how to do things differently.”

“We’ll hurt you,” she repeated, and Dan felt something hot and wet seep through his shirt. “We won’t mean to do it, but we will. Or maybe we will mean it.”

“Then you do whatever you think you have to do,” Dan said, voice stiff and stark. “If I fall in love with you and get hurt, it’ll be my own fault.”

He felt Blair shift and thought she was going to say something in response to what he’d just said, to the truth he felt was evident in his voice – that maybe it was too late. Maybe he was already a little bit in love.

The crack of the opposite door being pulled open startled him. He hadn’t seen Serena’s approach, and when she slid into the cab, he almost wished she could have waited another minute. He wanted to know what Blair had been on the verge of saying.

Instead he felt Blair settle silently against him again, and he sighed. “Everything go okay with Chuck?”

Serena flashed back to their little confrontation, to her warnings to Chuck to stay the hell away from Blair. She smiled wryly as she remembered his biting replies, his insinuation that her possessiveness toward Blair had long ago inched over the ‘just friends’ line and her defiant shrug in return. Chuck was always hard to read but she’d seen his muted surprise and the burning anger that followed.

It struck her that Chuck probably cared for Blair in a way even he didn’t understand.

Serena rattled off the address for the Palace to the cab driver then slumped over, curling herself around Blair from behind. “Yeah, it was fine,” she said tiredly, pressing her face into the back of Blair’s neck. “Chuck told me you ended things with Nate.”

“No more handsome fairy-tale prince,” Blair muttered, and Dan again felt the sting of a hot tear seeping through his shirt.

“Hey,” Dan joked, thoroughly discomfited by the thought that Blair Waldorf might actually be crying, and in his presence, no less, “what about me? I know I’m no prince…”

“More like the stable boy,” Blair interrupted, her voice a weak sneer.

“Stable boys are supposed to be handsome and virile,” Serena reminded Blair, using her nose to push aside enough long hair to clear enough space for a soft kiss. “They’re not all bad.”

Blair sniffed. “So what are you, then?”

“The girl who loves you best.”

With a sigh, Blair twisted in his arms, turning so that she was half facing Serena. “Nate doesn’t love me.”

“I know, baby,” Serena offered, hands cupping Blair’s cheeks. She wiped away the tears there with her thumbs, then leaned forward to kiss Blair softly. “But I do. I always have. I always will.”

Dan started to get that uncomfortable feeling again, and he looked up to catch the cab driver looking back at them in the rear view mirror, one brow raised and an appreciative grin on his face. He offered a tight, sheepish smile and a shrug in reply and was about to try to wiggle away from Blair and Serena’s ostensibly private moment when he felt Blair’s hand settle lightly on his forearm, the ghost of a grip holding him firmly in place.

With a sigh of defeat, he kept his tight hold on Blair and pressed a soft, lingering kiss into her hair. He didn’t say it aloud, but the thought chased itself through his mind in a dizzying spiral.

 I think I do, too.


Blair put on a brave face, like the public demise of her relationship with Nate was ultimately inconsequential, and Dan nearly went crazy. He had to almost physically restrain himself from rushing across the courtyard at school to pull her into a hug or hold her hand or do something, anything, to comfort her. Serena was allowed to do those kinds of things; she could drape herself all over Blair with nary an untoward comment being sent their way – with perhaps the exception of Chuck, who glared and murmured things about just how close they must be in private if they were putting on this kind of show in public – but Dan had to wait until they were behind closed doors and away from the eyes of others. And every time he did it, every time he wrapped her up in the hug he’d wanted to give her all day, she would pout and stiffen and try to push him away for as long as it took for her to realize he wasn’t letting go. Then, only after he’d worn through her defenses, she’d collapse against him, her body going soft and limp in a way that only made him want to squeeze more tightly.

Serena usually watched with a small smile, eyes sparkling with affectionate amusement, but Dan didn’t care. Blair Waldorf had cried against him, for god’s sake, and now he had to watch her standing there every day in the midst of her cronies – each of them only an inch away from sliding over into backstabbing betrayer territory – and he just wanted to comfort her. He wanted to provide her with a place that was safe. He wanted to protect her.

It was ridiculous, really, that he – Dan Humphrey – wanted to try to shield her from the same people who’d been walking all over him all of his life.

He could always tell when Blair reached the place where she couldn’t quite deal with his compassion. She began to squirm, to try to wiggle out of his hold. She’d pull herself back together, straighten her spine, and drawl out something only vaguely insulting.

When she did, he’d let her pull away. He’d ignore the way she scowled and smoothed down her outfit and wait until she was every inch herself again, and the he’d follow. Shopping, homework, aimlessly goofing off, sex… whichever way Blair or Serena led, he’d be right behind them, no twinges of self-disgust in sight.


The day that he asked her, Blair was off at some function for her mother and they were tucked in the back corner of a coffee shop, warming their hands around steaming mugs of, at least in his case, coffee.

“Where do I fit?”

Serena’s eyes narrowed in puzzlement, and he pressed on, trying to make her understand the question to which he increasingly needed an answer.

“With you and Blair. You love her. She loves you. Where do I fit?”

The puzzlement in Serena’s eyes deepened. “We love you too,” she said, as if it should be obvious.

He felt his heart lurch at the words, but struggled to remain outwardly calm. “If so, it’s the first time you’ve said it and really, you can only speak for yourself, can’t you?”

“She might never say it,” Serena said with a low chuckle and a shake of the head, “so hearing it from me will have to be enough. I love you, Dan. Blair loves you. It’s not a question of how or where you fit. You just do.”

“That doesn’t feel like enough,” he said honestly, eyes skidding off to the side. “I don’t mean that as an insult. I love you. I love Blair. I just don’t understand.”

After a moment of frustrated silence, Serena sighed. “Okay, it’s like this. Imagine you’ve got a car. It’s a classic, like a Steve McQueen Mustang, and it’s gorgeous. I mean, it’s perfect, right? The perfect car.”

“Okay,” Dan drawled slowly, eyes drifting back to Serena hesitantly.

“But the car… sometimes things go wrong with it. Sometimes little things break or sometimes you try to steer it right and it goes left. And then one day, the car meets a mechanic. The mechanic doesn’t sweep in and fix everything, but he takes the car and he makes it more perfect. When the car runs hot, he knows how to fix it. He pays attention to the little things. He notices stuff, like when the car needs to be waxed so it can shine.”

“Okay,” Dan repeated, confused.

“So you take the mechanic away and the car doesn’t shine and sometimes it drives itself right off the road. And the mechanic… what’s he doing, all alone now that he doesn’t have the car to love? Maybe he tries to find another car, but it’ll never be like it was before. He’s got chemistry with this car. He keeps it running smoothly. He loves the car and the car loves him. Together, they’re all better off. They’re good for one another.”

She looked at him hopefully, willing him to understand.

He began to think that maybe, in a way, he might.

Blair’s explanation came later and, true to form, was much more direct.

“Serena told me about your little chat,” she said dismissively, easing onto the bed beside him. She’d come straight from Eleanor’s shindig and was wearing something silky, a cranberry sheath of a dress belted low across her waist, and she looked so incredibly beautiful that his mouth went dry. Serena had disappeared, a surreptitious peek at her phone precipitating a sudden need to get something from the kitchen, and Dan hadn’t protested the obvious, flimsy ruse. He’d known that she was going to talk to Blair about it at some point, and sooner was probably better than later. “You’ve got to stop being so insecure, Humphrey. When you’ve got something, don’t question it. Focus on not losing it; quit thinking you don’t deserve it. If you think you don’t deserve it, then maybe you’re right.”

“Did Serena tell you that I told her that I love you?” Dan asked dryly, mostly ignoring her only halfway peevish diatribe.

“She did,” Blair said shortly.

“Did she tell you that she told me that you loved me too?”

At that, Blair rolled her eyes. “Serena has always been sentimental.”

After their somewhat confusing talk about Mustangs and mechanics, Dan had spent the remainder of the day thinking about what Serena had meant. Blair, in her own way, had only confirmed things.

“I think you do,” he said with a gentle smile, rolling over onto his side so that he was looming over her, his eyes focused on hers. “I think I deserve it.”

She returned his stare steadily, her face for the most part blank. And then she smiled in return, shaking her head in amusement. “Dan Humphrey comes of age,” she drawled, then let him kiss her.


Blair hadn’t admitted anything, but she’d let Dan continue to kiss her until they were both breathless, until her dress was wrinkled and hiked up high around her waist, until his shirt was pushed halfway up his torso and his erection was pressing against her urgently.

He didn’t even realize that Serena had returned until Blair broke away from him, lips curled up in a smirk as she said, “I know you like to watch, S.”

“I do,” Serena growled, stalking closer. “Don’t stop now.”

“You can’t watch tonight.”

Serena stopped short, quirking a questioning brow. “I can’t?”

“No, you can’t,” Blair purred, sliding out from under Dan. “Your attendance at this event is expressly required.” She pushed up to a sitting position and slid her legs over the side of the bed, turned in profile so that she was half facing Serena and half facing Dan. The skirt of her dress inched up over her thighs, and she followed the way Serena’s eyes traced the exposed length of flesh with an amused smirk.

“It’s time.”

Blair was watching Serena as she said it, and so was Dan.

Serena’s head snapped up, her eyes meeting Blair’s. “You’re sure?” she questioned, her voice lowering to a raspy scratch.

Blair nodded shallowly, and Dan couldn’t clearly see her face, but he could certainly see Serena’s. She looked both elated and aroused, the two emotions combining to give her an oddly alluring glow that was at once both innocent and decidedly, devilishly decadent.

Blair rose smoothly, wrapping her arms around Serena’s waist as she looked up at the blonde. “I’m sure,” she said slowly, reaching up on her tip-toes to place a lingering kiss on Serena’s lips, “but I want us to do it together.”

“Do what?” Dan asked hoarsely, shrugging out of his sweater. He was hot, on the verge of sweating, and the way that Blair turned, her gaze focusing on him in unison with Serena’s, did little to alleviate that.

“You heard her, Dan,” Serena said wickedly, leaning forward to press a hot, wet kiss against the side of Blair’s neck. “It’s time.”

Blair’s dress seemed to slide off of her shoulders as if it had been split in half, pooling around her feet as Serena’s hands ran in opposition, sliding up Blair’s torso until they were wrapped securely around the other girl’s chest. Blair was wearing very little underneath it, a fact which was imprinted firmly into his brain as one of Serena’s hands traced its way back down again, slipping unerringly beneath the waistband of Blair’s ridiculously tiny panties with the ease born of long practice. His jaw clenched tightly as he watched Serena’s fingers begin to move, the circular counterpoint of her wrist belying thing things he couldn’t quite see.

Blair gasped, her head falling back limply to rest on Serena’s shoulder as her hips rocked into the other girl’s hand and Dan pulled his knees up, pushing up onto his elbows so that he was almost crouched in a ball.

“Come here,” Serena said softly to him, the words a command.

He stood so quickly he was momentarily dizzy.

When he recovered, he kissed Serena first, his body pressing hard into Blair, then slid his lips down Serena’s neck. At some point, Serena’s skin transitioned into Blair’s, and he slid his hands between them, fumbling with the clasp of Blair’s bra even as he bit down on a hard nipple through the thin, scratchy fabric. Blair gasped, head shooting up and hands clamping down hard on Dan’s shoulders as he struggled to pull the garment free.

“Help him out, B,” Serena murmured, then used her free hand to pull Blair’s head to the side, bringing their lips together in a kiss that was almost desperate.

Blair let her hands fall, let Dan strip her of the bra. He could feel the back of Serena’s hand moving against him, could feel the gentle back and forth of Blair’s hips as her body rocked into the touch. It was almost too much, and he moaned, biting down on Blair’s shoulder with a sharpness he knew would bruise. He was startled when the move prompted a flurry of motion, when Blair’s hands slid down his belly to find the buckle of his belt, but soon his jeans were halfway down his hips and Blair’s hands were wrapped around his cock and he was meeting her hips thrust for thrust, Serena’s hand trapped between them.

“Stop,” Blair said, the word barely a whisper as she tore her lips away from Serena’s. “Stop.”

Stricken, paranoid, Dan froze.

Serena pulled free of Blair as if coming out of a fog, her eyelids heavy as she looked up at Dan. From behind Blair, she put a hand on his sternum and gave a sharp shove, sending him flying onto the bed, and he reared up in indignation only to fall sharply into silence as Blair and Serena crawled onto the bed after him, their hands wrapping firmly around the waistband of his jeans as they pulled his pants and underwear down and off.

It was only when Blair moved so that she was straddling him, her knees digging into the mattress on either side of his hips and his cock poised at her entrance, that he finally understood what she had meant.

He lay almost helplessly, overwhelmed by the reality of what was about to happen, as Blair knelt over him. Serena immediately knelt behind her, one hand wrapping around Blair’s waist as the other found Dan’s cock, steadying him, and he groaned as they sank in unison. Blair’s eyes widened as he pushed into her and her mouth dropped open slightly and he worried that he was going to come – she was so hot and so tight and so wet and so perfect – so he closed his eyes and gritted his teeth and pretended that his heart wasn’t on the verge of beating out of his chest.

He opened his eyes when Blair began to move. Serena was still perched behind Blair and they were rocking together, her hips pressed flush against Blair’s buttocks, one of her arms still slung low around Blair’s hips. Her free hand had dipped between Blair’s legs, her fingers moving in a way Dan could almost feel in the way Blair tightened around him; his hands found Blair’s hips as he began to thrust up to meet her, all of his muscles pulled tight as he tried to control himself.

He kept his rhythm as slow as he could, even as he felt Blair clench tight around him, crying out as she pitched forward helplessly, her hands landing on his chest. He moved in a gentle, shallow rhythm until she caught her breath and looked up at him, Serena looming over her from behind, her features twisted into an expression of unadulterated want. He darted up, wanting to kiss her, wanting to cement their connection, and she met his lips with hers in a kiss that moved from gentle to uncontrolled and rough as he felt Serena’s hand begin to move again. She tore away, pushing back up so that she was astride him again, turning her head back over her shoulder to kiss Serena as well, and as he watched Blair’s teeth bite fiercely into Serena’s bottom lip, he began to thrust again. His fingers tightened their grip on her hips; he used Serena’s hold on Blair’s waist and the natural spring of the mattress to begin a quick rhythm that soon had Blair’s head hanging forward even as her body tilted backward into Serena for support and her nails dug desperate paths into the skin of Serena’s thighs. His hair was damp with sweat – as was Blair’s, as was Serena’s – and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to hold on much longer. He was, in fact, surprised that he’d been able to hold on as long as he had, and he closed his eyes, no longer able to look at the way Serena was plastered to Blair’s back, the two of them moving in frantic yet still perfect harmony. The sounds Blair was making were coming with increasing frequency, each one more high pitched than the last, and he realized with futility that he was on the fast track, no hope of stopping.

He was grateful when she came with a sharp scream, delirious with joy for that split second before he joined her, his body pumping into her in a release so all-consuming he thought he might actually expire.

Blair pulled off of him gently, too sensitive to allow the continued connection, and he crushed her to his chest as they both struggled to draw in air. Seconds later he jumped, arms tightening reflexively around Blair with a strength that made her gasp, as he felt something warm and wet against the side of him not pressed against the cleft of Blair’s buttocks.

“Serena,” he said, the name a rumbling moan when he realized that what he felt was the swipe of Serena’s tongue against his cock, cleaning away the mixture of himself and Blair coating his skin.

Blair raised her head weakly, twisting so that she could look over her shoulder, then chuckled. “I think she’s always wanted to taste us together,” she said, the words disappearing into a shiver as Serena’s tongue continued its path up along Blair’s lower back. “And she’s been very patient.”

Dan wanted to protest, wanted to point out that he’d been the one who’d been very patient, but Serena was smirking at him from over Blair’s shoulder. “She has been very patient,” she agreed, bending down to nip at Blair’s shoulder at the spot just above the still visible indentations Dan’s teeth had left earlier, careful to leave her own mark in complement to his, “and now she thinks she deserves a reward.”

Blair gasped at the pain of the bite, though her eyes were twinkling mischievously when they met his. “I don’t know, Dan. Do you think she deserves a reward?”

He shrugged carelessly, careful to keep his expression neutral. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Maybe we should give her one anyway,” Blair teased, wriggling slightly in an indication that he should loosen his grip. He did, nearly groaning at the loss of her skin against his as she slithered free. “There’s something I’ve been thinking you might want to watch.”

Moments later, as he watched Serena kneel over Blair’s face, slowly lowering herself down onto the other girl’s waiting mouth, he found he whole-heartedly agreed.


Dan lay back on the bed, arms behind his head and ankles crossed as he watched Blair hold up one dress after another, studying it in the mirror before throwing it onto the ever growing pile in the chair.

“Come on, B,” Serena cajoled, wrapping her arms around Blair’s bare waist from behind and propping her chin on the other girl’s shoulder so that they were almost at eye level as they stared at one another in the mirror, “that last one was perfect. They’ve all been perfect.”

He’d cheerfully let Serena dress him for their night out earlier and even if he’d never have picked the outfit for himself – slim cut charcoal trousers, tailored white button down with turned up sleeves, a loosely knotted tie, and a tight-fitting charcoal six button vest (Serena had undone the two buttons on bottom and one on top in tandem with a teasing kiss that made him feel better about the apparent mistake) –the appreciative once over Blair had given him as he’d doffed his coat and laid it over the foot of her bed made it worth it.

“If she can’t decide, we could always stay in,” Dan suggested, surprised when both Blair and Serena turned to him in affront.

“We can’t stay in,” Blair said sharply, shaking her head in what would have been disgust had she actually meant it.

“It’s New Year’s Eve,” Serena continued with a roll of her eyes.

“It was just a suggestion,” he muttered, lips sliding into a smirk. “Take as long as you want. I don’t mind watching.”

“Perv,” Blair teased playfully, turning to face him fully and watching with an amused smile as his eyes traced over her body, catching momentarily on the nearly transparent sheerness of her underwear.

“Maybe he has a point, B,” Serene murmured huskily a moment later, her hand stealing slyly around the curve of Blair’s ass. “We can make our own party right here.”

Blair slapped it away with a warning glare. “I expect this kind of behavior from her,” she said, sending Serena a pointed look before turning to look at Dan, “but not from you.”

When Serena’s hand reappeared, undeterred, Blair sighed, though she didn’t move it away. “Seriously, we’re going out.”

Despite the temptation offered by Serena’s suggestion, Dan agreed. “You look beautiful, Blair. It doesn’t matter which one you pick.”

His excitement about the party had been gathering momentum in his head for the past week, once he’d realized that when the clock struck twelve and tradition kicked in, he’d be able to kiss both Serena and Blair in the middle of the half-drunk crowd and no one would be able to say a thing. And besides, old wives’ tales would indicate that whatever you did on New Year’s you did the whole year long. He’d kind of gotten used to secretive, girlish giggles and the press of soft skin against his own. He’d gotten used to the way his heart skipped a beat when Blair’s eyes turned dark, and the way his breath always caught in his throat when he watched Serena press Blair against the wall and kiss her hungrily until they were both gasping for air. He liked the way they didn’t do things for him, no matter that they liked to feel his eyes on them as their bodies moved together.

He liked, too, that sometimes it wasn’t about those kinds of things at all. Sometimes it was about secrets and about the way they could be in private – open and free with one another – and the way it felt when he saw them together in the courtyard at Billard, heads bent together, their voices a whisper before one of them would see him and smile.

“You know he’s right, B,” Serena said softly, her hand shifting through the pile of clothes before snagging and pulling free a silvery sheath that had flowed over Blair’s curves like water when she’d tried it on earlier. She held her hand out, tugging Blair into her when the other girl took it tentatively, then smiled down at her, placing the lightest of kisses on Blair’s lips. “Anyway, if I have to watch you walk around like this for even one more minute, there’s no way you’re getting out of this room tonight.”

Blair arched an eyebrow arrogantly, her lips curling into a smirk as she tossed the dress back on the pile, her voice low as she murmured, “Then you’ve got fifty-nine seconds left before I put that on.”

He watched with a soft smile as Serena moaned and melted into Blair, pulling the shorter girl to her as she murmured in reply, “I can do a lot in fifty-nine seconds.”

So, yeah. He wanted this. He wanted it that night. He wanted it the next morning. He wanted it next year. Blair had said that there was no promise that this would last, but he was the kind of guy who secretly believed in forever; if he could get it, he wanted that too.


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