Nathaniel retires to the parlor, remote in hand, excited to have hunted and captured the elusive "four games at once" goal to which he'd previously set for himself. He sits, and his two friends stare at him, clearly having discussed and come to a conclusion about his reticence regarding his familial obligations. Vanessa asks once if he won't reconsider, and Daniel suggests that though the van der Bilts "weren't cool to" Nathaniel and his mother in their time of need, it seems clear now that Trip is attempting to make amends. "Unless he's armed with an engraved apology from my grandfather," Nathaniel assures them, "I do not care." Vanessa sits, brow furrowed with well-intended condescension, and attempts further chastisement. "They're making an effort now," Nathaniel admits, "But where were they when we needed them?"
Vanessa resorts to an emotional appeal. "You've told me about your summers with your cousins, about your grandfather teaching you to sail. How much you used to look forward to Christmas." Nathaniel is stricken by memories of comfort and luxury, for a moment, before the memories fade and his eyes go blank again. "You loved them. Now, if you really don't want to go, fine. But don't pretend you don't care." Her sentence structure having been perhaps a bit too taxing, Nathaniel stares at her -- this strange lovely creature from across the bridge -- and briefly attempts to remember what they are discussing.
In the Bedford Avenue Gallery, its proprietor and head moral administrator admits to Mrs. van der Woodsen-Bass that his relationship with Miss Simon was shallow at best. "You might have mentioned that," Lily snips, "Considering that she works for me. It was humiliating." Rufus turns a blind eye to his beloved's discomfort: "Well, I've been meaning to tell you." Mrs. van der Woodsen-Bass ironically notes that they spend time only with one another, ignoring their children altogether, and wonders at his time management acumen. At this, he makes a strangled and not altogether unattractive sound of defeat. "Are there any other exes I should know about?" Lily asks, hurt pride making her words starker and more harsh than perhaps intended: "My trainer, my accountant?"
Rufus immediately, as is his custom, reverses the line of questioning, pointing out that they have never assembled for each other, or demanded from one another, lists of their past romantic attachments. Lily, outpaced by her pride, offers in a moment of pique to create one for him that very day. Rufus, realizing he has overextended them both, attempts to retract the accusation, but she'll have none, eyes flaming. "Do you think I wouldn't?" Once again, Rufus asks that they leave the topic far behind, but Lily smiles, hard as the chandelier-crystal teardrops hanging from her ears. "Let's make lists!" Rufus says her name, just once, but he's pushed too far to turn back now. "Look, you clearly have some idea about my past, and I'd prefer to dispel them. And this way I won't be blindsided again. Unless, of course, there's something that you don't want me to know." It is a form of kindness on Lily's part to even admit as hypothetical the concept of Rufus keeping any secrets at all; he wears his emotions and his thoughts upon his bangs. Cornered, Rufus gives his assent, though he warns her that only disaster can result. She smiles, leaving a flowery laugh behind her, though they both know he is correct.