Except Nate can very distinctly remember one time where Blair Waldorf didn't kiss Chuck Bass, and the weird thing is that, for once, he actually saw it coming. The weird thing is he was probably six hours south of telling Vanessa he loved her, and Blair was probably a good twelve to fifteen south of ruining her life.

Not that Nate actually thought that Blair's life was ruined—not everyone successful goes to Yale, and well, not everyone who goes to Yale ends up successful. So they huddled together, each as confused as the other as Nate finally crept his way up the ladder of achievement at the same time as Blair herself plummeted down. They always made an odd pair, he knew, but something about it just felt right to them both. It always felt right, with Blair Waldorf.

And Nate, for one, could appreciate Blair's demise for what it really was—after all, he didn't know self-destruction like Chuck knew self-destruction—the distance was imperative in the understanding of the situation, really. Not that Nate would have been able to express his feelings in quite as many words.

So he just held her hand, gently, and draped his ridiculous family jacket across her always-bare shoulders as they reminisced about the past. Because Nate knows as well as any thorough bread Upper-East Sider: mutual experience trumps almost anything, really. And they both know how this movie turns out, essentially. Sure, there were variations and minor blips to work out along the way, but you don't start life as a descendant of the great Vanderbilt and finish it as something other than—you don't.

And he can't help but smile to himself, just a little, as Blair tells Dorota to send anyone but Chuck up to see them, and he can't help but smile when he hears the footsteps that signify Chuck getting turned away. After all, victory tastes significantly less sweet when you're the only one left playing the game.

The apocalypse doesn't come again that cold March morning when he kisses her in Central Park—the apocalypse doesn't really apply to this situation after all. Nate knows history repeats itself, painfully, consistently. The circular flow model leaves him on top for the moment, but he doesn't ever know what next week's spin of the wheel will bring: no one ever really can.

Nate knows he's not as stupid as they always make him out to be. So he decides, well, fuck it. Fuck Vanessa and her unwillingness to accept him for who he is, fuck his parents, fuck Chuck and his inconsistencies. Fuck Serena, Serena never knows what she wants, really. Nate always knows what he wants; he just never seems to be able to figure out how to make it happen. And in this moment, it's happening, finally, for once.

So he kisses her as importantly as he can bring himself to—because what if it's neither the beginning nor the end of their story—what if it's merely the middle? Anything could happen tomorrow, and Nate's done with hesitations, with regrets.

So he kisses her, and she kisses him, and just for the moment, the world tilts and teeters and borders on apocalyptic—but then Blair pulls away, and the ground pulls itself back into the correct position beneath his feet, and Nate doesn't think he could stop his smile from spreading to save the entire human race.

A/N: Sorry for more or less forgetting about this story, guys. It's finished now, though! Anyways review if you want to make me smile :)