"Tonight, the ice girl lays down her arms and exposes her throat, and she will either be killed when the bluff is called, or the masks will all come off, and she will relax for the first second in her entire frightening, hard, painful life. And the heart she hid so long ago, she'll take it from a velvet-lined box, inlaid with gold and mother-of-pearl, and she'll give it to the prince. It will beat so fast. And in that moment the sun comes out, and his monstrous form will fall away, and he will be revealed, in his glory, and the ice girl will know love.
"They will build a kingdom without fear. They won't even remember all the pain and lies and terror that it took, to come finally to this place: the place called love. And her ice will melt, and the briars retreat, and armor will fall, and she will fall into his arms, and his kiss will wake her. She will learn how brave she is, and take her reward, which is love, and her triumph, which is life. She will learn to dance, where anyone can see her."
"But I don't know that bitch. Gimme a drink and shut up."
Dan doesn't even bristle, now that he can see the story, and see how tenuous her grip's becoming. He offers to find her drink, and the smile she shoots back is only grateful. In the café, Vanessa mopes around like Aschenputtel, like Cinder Jenny sweeping the atelier, making dresses she'll never get to wear, relying on a fairy's false word for her escape.
"So first Nate's a part of the family, and then I see you've invited Blair to my opening? Seriously?" When you put it together that way, Vanessa, I do see your point. He apologizes once again, and once again treads lightly on the gift: "I didn't invite her, but Serena and Blair tend to be a package deal." He thinks about that, the unfairness of it, and admits to Vanessa that he's been learning about Blair. Vanessa trips out on it, explaining about last week and how -- conveniently omitting the part where she presented Blair with her most recent and in some ways most painful defeat for no fucking reason, and fucked with her, and got in over her head with the blackmail again, and basically begged for her own destruction like always -- Blair and Chuck "just used [her] as catnip for one of their twisted little games." Vaguely, she adds, what they did was "really messed up." Dan asks why she didn't tell him, and she admits that she was embarrassed, but that she was weirded out to find that Chuck ended up being "the more human of the two," because at least he felt a little bad.