AN: I told myself I would write Mr and Mrs Bass, but then Footsteps of Thy Soul hounded me. When I tried, I found that I was feeling too lighthearted to write Footsteps. So here is a light oneshot, going off from 2x19. I would say it's not for everyone, but I think it's pretty much established already. Polarizing stories and all that…

Because All Love Stories End

Characters: Blair, Nate, Chuck

Summary: Mixed metaphors and delusional allusions. This is who they are.

Once upon a time, there lived a fairy tale princess whom her father adored. She had the fairest skin and the dark, dark hair that brought out her lovely eyes. Her lips were full and red, like apples and strawberries and cherries. The princess wished she was an angel, with wings to fly into the sky. The day they met her she was sitting primly on a couch, her feet hanging on the air because her legs still did not quite reach the floor. Her shoes shone, sparkling and black with not one speck of dust.

"I'm Blair," she told them.

And Nathaniel thought she was perfect.

When Chuck dragged his friend away from the girl who looked down haughtily at him, like she could smell he was new money and would never quite be as special as she was, Chuck could not help but watch her from the periphery of his vision. She looked like the princess from the books his nanny used to read to him when he did not know better to complain.

If he pricked his finger, the blood would be the exact color of her lips.

"Snow White," he muttered under his breath, a little annoyed that he would even remember.

And when Nate heard, he repeated the same name, only this time his voice was filled awe, "Snow White."

Once upon a time, like the little distraction that she was, Blair was brought by her parents to the Vanderbilt house. Chuck and Nate had been playing baseball outside with the Archibald cousins. Nate had quit the game and raced to greet her a happy birthday. Her face broke into a big smile and then turned her expectant gaze at Chuck.

She acted like she was entitled to a greeting, and Chuck smirked and folded his arms across his chest. Her lips thinned, then she scrunched her nose. Chuck looked up at his reflection in the mirror and saw himself dripping wet with his straggly hair plastered over his head like he had been dunked in water. He glanced at Nate. The boy was pretty even when he sweated.

For Halloween she dressed up as an angel just like she always dreamed. And Chuck could tell by the darting looks she threw at all the girls who were not as pretty as her that she was actually a little devil. She had been early, and Serena had been late. Blair had waited on the wide couch and flipped through the pages of her little book. When Nate arrived with Serena, Blair's eyes grew wide at the sight.

"You look like Prince Charming," she exclaimed.

Serena wandered off in her hippie chick outfit and Chuck wondered how many brownies she had had. And he watched the blonde, very closely, like a vanguard. It was not even as if he cared. But she was one of them, and it was his job. When he turned to look at the other two, it was to see Nate offer his arm to the angel and the angel to take him up on his offer.

They had been perfect together, everyone said. When they were twelve years old Nate brought Blair home and took her to the wide Archibald ballroom.

She was in love. At twelve years old, she fell in love. And love was forever and ever, until death, through eternity and beyond.

At fourteen, Blair Waldorf knew she would be an Archibald. She would live in the large house with ballrooms and hallways full of dignitaries and governors. She would stand at his side when he ran for public office. And she would have her Yale degree, a husband who would be mayor before he thirty years old, and a baby on the way.

It would be easy. It would be a short period in the length of eternity.

At fourteen, Nate Archibald knew she would be his wife. She knew every part of him and he knew every dream she had, every peeve, every thought. While everyone he knew could hardly figure out their girls, Nate could predict what Blair would say before he even saw her. By the time he was thirty, he would have a baby in his arms while Blair stayed close behind him lending her brains to his speeches and his policies.

Together they would be formidable.

Through it all, Serena wandered in the background.

Chuck Bass watched from afar.

When Nate turned sixteen years old, the blow out was huge, an event for the entire Upper East Side. Blair was polished and respectable in her pencil skirt and silk blouse. Her pumps shone in much the same way that her shoes did when they first saw her. Her head was adorned with a white satin headband embellished with Swarovski crystals.

Once upon a time, Nate took a bite out of Eve's apple. And when the angel fell, she fell hard. Her halo broke in two, and from the background the devil emerged to pick up pieces of her. And he brought her back together.

There was no fairy tale of a devil and an angel. Stubbornly Chuck Bass wrote his own, forced his own, turned it into legend with a magic hand.

It was insane for them to be together, everyone said. She had a promising future with a boy who loved her, and he was barely tolerated by his own father. But butterflies had exploded in his stomach and made their way up his throat, and he spewed uncharacteristic nothing from his mouth.

Anything beautiful deserved to be on her. And frankly, nothing in the world was more beautiful than him. Chuck Bass deserved no one less than Blair.

And she wanted him. God, she wanted him. He could see it in her eyes, in the way she clutched at him. Even when she turned him away she wanted him.

Even in the most heated argument she wanted him.

In his version of the fairy tale, she never looked at the prince the same way she looked at him. Even though Nate had been perfect for her. In Chuck's own fairy tale, there was no one in the world who could make her as happy as Chuck Bass could.

Once upon a time, the devil did what the devil was created to do. And he had turned to himself. She loved him. She swore to him. Whatever he did, whatever he did not do, she would love him. And it was the best fairy tale he ever heard. Finally, there was someone waiting. For the first time in his life, he could do anything he wanted and not be terrified of losing someone's regard.

He never had it with his father. Never had it with Nate.

But Blair had promised.

And she loved him. He could do anything.

Once upon a time, Blair fell in love when she least expected it. It snuck up on her when she had not been looking. It was her weakness really. Someday she would learn to outgrow it. But she looked for love where it made sense to be perfect.

She loved him, almost like she loved Nate. It was not less, was not more. Because she loved her Prince Charming as much as she could love when she loved him. And she loved Chuck she thought as much as she could love when she loved him.

In fairy tales—

There were no fairy tales.

No love stories.

There was nothing in the world that was good or beautiful or real. There was only the paralyzing numbness of being slammed against the wall. And now it was the devil who shattered her, over and until she was pound into dust.

Once upon a time, her prince strayed and she held on tight. Once upon a time, her devil put all the world before her. Because she waited. Because she promised. Because she loved him.

What did Chuck Bass know about love?

This was what he gave her in return. And from him came the greatest lesson of all.

Never love like that. Never show your hand.

Never say I love you again.

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away, there lived a fairytale prince who found himself without a kingdom, without a title, without a destination.

Once upon a time, there was a devil in search of redemption.

Once upon a time, an angel lost her wings. And they buried her, deep in the earth where no one would find her again.

But love stories were made to last, to rise from the ashes of time, to never be forgotten.

One day, there would be a man—a prince, a devil, a scholar, a bandit. One day, a man would discover where she was buried, and would dig until his fingers bled. And with strength unseen before he would shatter the glass lid of her coffin and give her a kiss.

And it would be epic.

One day soon her eyes would flutter open, and Snow White would cough up her poisoned apple. And she would look up into the eyes of the man who brought her back.

Once upon a time, there was an angel who lost her wings. She was a fairy tale princess who loved a prince and a devil. She had the fairest skin and the dark, dark hair that brought out her sad eyes. Her lips were full and red, like blood and war and rage. The princess had tried to be an angel, with wings to fly into the sky. But a hurricane of butterflies had blazed into her path and ripped apart her gauzy wings, sent her tumbling down to the ground.

Dust collect over her grave.

And she waits.