A/N: So here it is! It's all in Serena's POV, and sort of where she ends up in all of this. I completely understand if this is not the Afterword everyone was hoping for, but I really wanted to do something different and I actually like Serena a lot- she just got royally screwed by the writers.
Anyway, let me know what you think! Thanks so much to everyone who read and reviewed this story! It turned out a lot different than I was originally expecting, but I think I'm okay with that.
Serena sits in the waiting room, her fingers drumming the arm rest on her chair impatiently. She had been imagining this day for years and it was finally here.
It's funny, she'd never imagined herself in the hospital bed, it was always Blair. Serena would be off helping orphans in Nigeria, flying back to New York the minute she received word. The path didn't end up as straight as she had imagined it at thirteen, but most paths never do.
"Have you heard anything yet?" Nate sits down next to her, handing her a steaming styrofoam cup of coffee. She shakes her head and smiles at him.
That's another thing. She'd always imagined Nate in the room with Blair. The image of it haunted her in the early years of high school. Blair would talk about baby names and Serena would feel a twisting in her stomach, a want for something she would never have. Funny thing about the word never…
Four years ago she gave up on the one person she thought she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. It's hard to believe that the naive twenty three year old who giggled as he slipped the ring onto her finger would be the same one to maturely hand it back to him only months later.
Nate takes her hand in his and she's reminded of Dan and Blair's engagement party. Tears dropped from her eyes, but she wiped them away quickly, refusing to let on to the fact that her heart was crushed. Carter offered to buy her a drink, but she was sick of using alcohol to erase her problems.
Nate found her in a corner booth, watching the people around her dance and laugh and she wondered how she could be so happy for her best friend, and yet so entirely miserable at the same time.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Yeah," Serena sighed and met his blue eyes, "It's just hard realizing you were never enough for someone."
The words came out shakier than intended and she knew any moment she would crack. Nate took it as his cue to move to her side of the booth and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
"Don't say that."
Serena buried her head against his chest as she let out a sob she had been holding in since Blair left for Rome almost four years ago. Her hand gripped his sweater as she pulled him closer to her body.
"You are enough, Serena," Nate whispered against her ear, "For me, you are. You're more than that. You're everything."
It took her months to move on from the fact that she had been nothing more than an obstacle in the course of Dan and Blair's relationship. Blair had once said "I'm not a stop along the way. I'm a destination." Serena hoped that one day she could believe the same about herself.
Eventually, she did.
When they see Dan walking down the hallway, Serena nearly drops her coffee on Nate's lap. His eyes are glassy with tears and the grin on his face is infectious. She can already feel her chest tightening with joy.
"It's a girl," he says, and when Serena throws her arms around him, he cries into her shoulder. Somewhere in the past few years, Serena learned to love Dan the way she was probably always meant to.
"I'm so happy for you," she mumbles against his neck. Then, "Can we see her?"
Blair's hair is sticky against her forehead, eyes red and weary. Nate snaps a picture with his phone to blackmail her with later.
"If you want to hold her, sanitize yourself at least three times. Did you get tested like I asked in my email?" She glances up at Nate.
"Blair, I thought that was a joke," he says and she rolls her eyes.
Serena follows the instructions and takes the baby in her arms, cradling the tiny bundle gently. She's as beautiful as Serena would've imagined for the two of them, wisps of brown hair already curling on her head.
"What's her name?" She asks quietly.
"Violet Eleanor," Blair says as Dan moves to the side of the bed to stroke her shoulder.
As Serena smiles down at the little life in her arms, she thinks about how utterly impossible it is to plan your entire life. Ten years ago, if she had told Blair her name would eventually become Mrs. Humphrey, she would've said never.
Violet's fingers touch Anne Archibald's ring, glistening in the sunlight.
Funny thing about the word never.