Spoilers Through Roman Holiday [Nothing from School Lies or The Thin Line is in this story—except for the things that coincidentally resemble their story lines. And one line from the School Lies trailer of Blair talking to Vanessa.

Disclaimer: I own nothing

Chapter 1 : Mean Girls

"It's so nice what you're doing for your friend Dan," Blair said. She had found the scissors quickly enough. Now she was twirling them in her hand, giving Vanessa a friendly-snotty smile.

"Helping his girlfriend make his Christmas present," Blair continued. "Serena is so grateful because she likes to see the best in people. I like to see the truth." She ended with a no-nonsense tone.

"Yeah, and what's that?" Vanessa asked, trying to not let too much of an attitude show. Blair was a bitch. She had known that from the first minute she met her. She just hadn't expected this in-your-face greeting.

"I think you like Dan a little too much," Blair deadpanned. "Just thought I should let you know someone's watching." She gave Vanessa a smirk.

"Merry Christmas," Blair ended with a sugar-coated faux smile.

With that, Vanessa turned and left.

Blair had figured her out to a 'T'. Vanessa regretted leaving Dan last year and turning her back on him. It hurt her to see him with Serena but she was toughing it out. She really wanted to help Dan and Serena, but part of her also really wanted something to happen to break the two of them up so she could get another chance.

"Serena, what's wrong honey?" Blair asked.

She had received a call from Serena asking to come over. Blair knew something was wrong by the sound of S's voice.

Serena flopped on Blair's bed and buried her face in the pillow.

"I think Dan is losing interest," Serena's voice came out muffled.

"What are you talking about? Dan adores you! Everybody knows that. I bet he likes you more than Cedric, which is saying a lot," Blair said, hoping to bring a smile to Serena's face. Serena looked up, but there wasn't any smile.

"He just seems to be so distant lately. We had sex and now he seems to be nervous around me again, just like when we first met. Why? I asked Vanessa and she said she'd talk to him, but she never came back to tell me what happened. She just gives me these almost pitying like looks and makes some excuse to scamper away whenever she sees me!" Serena flopped over onto her back and threw an arm across her face.

"What happened? Everything was so great!" Serena said miserably.

Blair looked at her, thoughts racing through her head. She knew deceit when she saw it. She had warned Vanessa but obviously she hadn't taken heed.

"S, are you really going to believe what Vanessa says? This is the girl who loves Dan Humphrey—though I still have no idea why," Blair rolled her eyes. "Just ask Dan. You've always been able to talk to him about anything."

"I don't know B, what if he wants to end things?" Serena asked. She wiped at her eye, trying not to cry.

"Then he ends them. Why make yourself miserable over the what-ifs? You're Serena Van Der Woodsen. You back down from nothing," Blair encouraged.

Serena looked at her and determination came over her face.

"You're right B," Serena said. She rolled over and got off the bed. "I'm going to talk to him right now."

"Dan, hi," Serena said softly.

He had opened the door to the loft at her knock. He stood staring at her for a moment before responding.

"Serena! Come in, come in," he motioned for her to enter, surprised to see her.

She went straight to his room and he followed, not sure why she had come by without calling, but it was fine by him.

He closed the door and turned to face her. She settled onto the edge of his bed.

"Dan, I have to ask you something," she began, staring up at him.

"Well, okay…" he said, walking over to sit next to her. "What's up?"

"Do you still like me?" she asked hurriedly. He quirked an eyebrow in surprise.

"I mean, I thought that we were good—I mean really good—the last couple of weeks. But you've been so…different lately. Distant," she managed to get it all out very quickly.

Dan's mouth dropped open and he turned to look at the garage door, completely floored by her question.

"Dan?" she asked, hoping that she was wrong.

"Serena…" Dan finally managed to say. "I…I…I'm sorry—," he began.

Serena looked down quickly, her heart in her throat.

"I didn't mean for you to think that…It's just that, ever since Christmas I realized something and it's made me…scared," Dan said.

He looked over at her and saw her looking so miserable. The panic that had started in his stomach ebbed and he slowly smiled at her. He reached his left arm up and slid his hand down the side of her face, turning her to face him.

"Serena…" he whispered. She looked at him with huge luminous eyes.

"I love you," he said.

Her eyes grew wider and she finally understood everything. He wasn't pulling away because he didn't like her anymore. He was pulling away because he didn't know if she felt the same way.

Her smile was brilliant, she laughed with joy.

"I love you too," she said. His eyes smoldered at her. She leaned in to kiss him. His lips met hers. His arms came up around her and they fell back onto his bed.

Vanessa slammed the cups of coffee down onto the table. The customer looked up at her in confusion. She forced a smile, "Enjoy."

She hadn't meant to come up the fire escape again. She knew Dan had a problem with it, but she wanted to surprise him this time anyway. She knew from Jenny that there weren't any plans for Serena to come by. So she went up, being quiet as a mouse just in case she did interrupt anything.

She should have used the door.

"Order up, Table 12!" The cook hollered out. That was Vanessa's table. She sighed and went over to pick it up.

She hadn't spoken to Dan about Serena's concerns. She thought that if Serena thought Dan was pulling back, then he really was. No way was she going to encourage him to fix things with Serena. Not as long as there was a chance Dan would break up with her. Vanessa would give anything to be with Dan.

Evidently, he would give anything to be with Serena—even his heart.

She slammed the order down on Table 12 and called out. "I'm going on a break!"

She tore her apron off and went out front for some fresh air.

She had just settled into a lean against the wall, eyes closed, when the last voice she ever wanted to hear again called her name.

"Vanessa!" Blair exclaimed. "It's so wonderful to see you again."

Vanessa opened her eyes and turned to look at her. Great, just what the day needs, she thought.

"Wait a minute," Blair's faux joy turned to a glare, "No, it's really not."

Vanessa huffed and stood straight off the wall, turning towards Blair and preparing for a standoff.

"Because I told you to back off Dan and Serena and you didn't take heed," Blair said.

"Look, I really don't know what you're talking about and I kind of got to get back to work," Vanessa said. She started walking towards the entrance.

Blair reached out and grabbed her arm, swinging her back around.

"Listen to me because I will not repeat myself again. In this town, money is power. Serena and I? We have money. Serena wants Dan and I want Serena happy. If you even conceive of messing with that happy ending again, I will destroy you," Blair threatened. "You have no idea who you're dealing with."

Vanessa's mouth dropped open, her bottom dropped out of her stomach. No one had ever spoken to her like this before. Then the anger surged.

"Well, run along to your little job. Wouldn't want to get fired, would you? Can't spare a cent," Blair quipped.

She gave another sugar-coated faux smile, turned to walk to the street and hailed a cab. One pulled over within moments and she was gone.

Vanessa stared after her, feeling anger and hurt—and the sudden need for revenge.

She's still not sure why she did it. At the time it had no bearing on anything, but for some reason she couldn't help herself.

Vanessa had her first bonding moment with Serena at Blair's seventeenth birthday party. She had walked away to allow Dan and Serena a moment. She liked Serena…she hated that she did. It would have been so much easier if she could just hate her. But she couldn't.

Thirty minutes later, she found herself in desperate need of a restroom. She and Dan were supposed to leave at least twenty minutes ago, but Serena had disappeared down the hall to visit Blair and came back quickly. She hadn't said anything else about Blair but convinced Vanessa and Dan to do another round of Guitar Hero.

Vanessa went to check out the line at the guest bathroom. It was so long. She figured she'd use her new bonding experience for some relief.

She had gone to ask Serena about another bathroom. Serena had nibbled at her lip for a moment before directing her down the hall that Blair had disappeared down after her tearful exclamation. Serena said the restroom was on the left. She stressed not to go into the room on the right.

By the time she walked down the hall though, she couldn't remember which one Serena told her to go into. She remembered Serena saying the words "right" AND "left". Shaking her head, she decided that maybe "right" was the right choice.

It wasn't.

She had opened the door slowly and quietly, lest she had the wrong door and interrupted Blair crying. She hated people to see her cry and she could imagine Blair feeling the same way.

She stared in shock at the bed. The couple was completely oblivious to her.

He was on his back, half on the bed, his feet on the floor with his pants and boxers pooled around his ankles.

She was on top of him, straddling him. Her dress was still on, but judging from the panties and hose on the floor next to the bed, she was naked in the place she most needed to be.

Vanessa stared for a minute, watching Blair with her head tilted back, riding this guy. His hands were clenching her hips and his head was thrown back. Then the guy slid his hands under the dress and bunched up the sides and she could clearly see Blair's bare butt and hip, though—Thank God—not where they were connecting.

She quickly shut the door and let out the breath she was holding. She knew a lot about this girl. She didn't read that stupid website Dan had told her about, but she knew that Blair could really be a bitch when she wanted to be. Dan hadn't spared any detail when telling her about his girlfriend's best friend—especially not about the way she had treated him.

To this day she had no idea why she'd done what she did next, but she had.

She took out her cell phone and quietly opened the door again. They were still going at it, but their movements were becoming frantic. If she was going to do this, she had to do it now or never.

She set the video feature on the phone and started at his knees. She moved the camera horizontally along their bodies, catching a hip shot. She traveled up his covered chest. She nearly dropped the phone when he started shouting Blair's name, but she kept a hold of it and trained the camera on his face. Then she slowly retraced her path down his chest and traveled up the length of Blair's body before settling on her face. Right at that moment their frenzied movements stilled and Blair gasped before whispering the guy's name.

So that was Chuck. Jenny had told her about him. Asshole.

She quickly shut the door and managed to make nary a sound. She pressed Save on her phone and left as quickly as she'd come, no longer needing to use the restroom.

Fifteen minutes later the guy appeared at the entrance to the hall. He didn't pause, just walked briskly to the elevator.

Vanessa noticed that Serena was watching Chuck with a frown on her face. Then she said something to Dan. He nodded. Serena walked back down the hall as Dan came to tell her it was time to go.

Vanessa just nodded and left with him. Never knowing how handy her little sex tape would be in the very near future.

Chuck was standing off to the side near the entrance of the boy's school. He was chatting with some friends and trying not to glare across the courtyard at his best friend and his ex-gi—, well, he wouldn't call her a girlfriend. He'd never had one of those, and after what Blair did to him, he didn't want one.

Christmas had been rough this year. He ended up spending it with his best friend, but it was extremely uncomfortable for him. He felt guilty about lying to Nate…and try as he might, he couldn't block out the pain shooting through his stomach every time Nate smiled that secret smile—the one that let Chuck know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Nate and Blair had finally sealed the deal.

Coming back to school hadn't been as difficult as he thought, mainly because he went to an all boys school and she went to an all girls. But the buildings were next to each other. So he still saw her every once in a while…just like he was seeing her right now. Its lunch time and she's sitting on the stairs with Nate.

He still longed so badly to be sitting next to her. He had screwed up—just like he always does. His jealousy of Nate had gone out of control and he ended up hurting her and humiliating Nate. Nate still had no idea about Chuck and Blair's little affair. And as much as he liked to threaten her with exposure, he couldn't do it.

Chuck Bass, the lover of all things scandalous, was backing down. He didn't want to lose his best friend. Although he secretly wished he could steal Blair from Nate. If he thought she'd come back to him, he might've given it a go…but she was obviously in love with Nate. She wasn't going to leave Nate for anyone—especially not for a lowlife like him.

He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He reached down and pulled it out. It was a message from Gossip Girl. He looked up and around at everyone. No one else had gone for their phones yet. He wondered why she'd contact him alone. Then he saw Serena go for her phone. Huh, just me and Serena? He thought. He shrugged and pressed the button.

The great best friend swap—or didn't you know that N slept with S? Enjoy. You know you love me, XOXO Gossip Girl.

Feeling sick to his stomach, he pressed the button to see the attachment. It was a video entitled A Bday Present from C.

The sickness was spreading as he recognized his legs, her dress, and cringed when he heard his voice shouting her name. He looked up and it was like a waterfall. Cell phones around him started ringing out their tunes, everyone was reaching for them.

He looked over to the stairs. Nate's phone was going off now but Blair was still completely oblivious. That bitch didn't send it to Blair! He thought in horror. Blair wouldn't have any idea what was going on.

He snapped his phone shut and started walking really fast towards the steps. He looked toward Serena and shouted her name.

Serena looked up from her phone at him, still in shock from what she'd just read and seen. She saw him motion for her to come over to him. She realized he was going for Blair. Serena understood immediately.

She jumped away from the wall she was leaning against talking to Dan. She started walking away but turned back when Dan called out her name, confused. She ran up to him and his cell phone started going off. She looked at his pocket and back up at him. "Take care of Nate please," she said before racing to help Blair.

Chuck walked up the stairs quickly and grabbed her arm, yanking her to her feet. She looked at him, startled, "Chuck! WTF?"

"Leaving. Now!" he said. He turned to pull her down the stairs. She tried yanking her arm away but he wasn't letting go. Nate was no help. He had just opened his phone when Chuck arrived. He was dumbfounded that Gossip Girl had found out about him and Serena.

Blair kept trying to get away from Chuck but Serena showed up just then.

"Blair! We have to go, NOW," Serena said seriously.

Blair paused in her tugging battle and looked at Serena surprised. She followed Chuck down the stairs, looking in confusion at Serena. She finally got a glimmer that something was not right. Neither of them said anything to her. As she looked around, she saw everyone on their cell phones.

"What's going on?" she demanded to know.

They still kept their mouths shut. Serena raced in front of them and out of the school's street entrance. She tagged down the first cab she spotted. The cabbie pulled over and Serena opened the back door a split second before Chuck and Blair caught up with her.

Chuck got in, sliding to the other side. He's still holding Blair's arm, making her get in quickly and scoot over next to him. Serena got in and settled next to Blair. She slammed the door shut and told the driver Blair's address.

Serena looked over at Chuck. He was slumped back in his seat, shaking his head as if almost amused.

He wasn't.

"What the hell is going on?" Blair asked, glaring first at Chuck and then at Serena. She knew something was terribly wrong but she had no idea what it was.

Chuck turned his head toward her before glancing up at Serena. His lips quirked before he spoke.

"Do you want to tell her, or should I?"

To be continued