Disclaimer: I own only Amelia Waldorf-Bass, Katherine Archibald, and Jackson and Daniella Humphrey. All other recognisable characters and places are the property of their respective owners.

SPECIAL NOTE: It should be made clear that in my version of events, Vanessa never existed. She's my least favourite character by far, and I can't stand the though of having to write her. So let's just all pretend that she never returned from wherever she was in Season 1, okay? Thanks.

Chasing Butterflies

Chapter One: Introducing…

Amelia Waldorf-Bass couldn't believe the company she was keeping. Even if she had grown up with these people, she didn't have to acknowledge them in public…did she?

Katherine Archibald was chasing Daniella Humphrey up and down the steps of the Met in an attempt to retrieve her scarf, and Jackson Humphrey, Ella's twin, had his latest 'friend' (of the feminine persuasion) pressed up against a wall; they had yet to come up for air.

Ella collapsed down beside Amelia and shook out her long, blonde curls. Those curls, so like her mother Serena's, had always reminded Amelia of Rapunzal. They were literally the colour of spun sunshine and had always hung down her back in natural waves.

Ella's brown eyes sparkled as she waved the scarf in her best friends face and giggled. "I think I'll keep this for a couple of days. It'll match the skirt Aunt Jenny gave me the other day. What do you think, Mia, will Katie mind too much?"

Mia wrinkled her nose delicately and leaned away from the scarf before its tassels ended up in her low fat yoghurt. "I think Katie's likely to respond with physical violence if you keep stealing her clothes. The last time you decided something of hers would match something of yours, it was never seen again."

"Isn't that the truth?"

The two girls looked up at Katie who stood before them, hand firmly wrapped around Jackson's wrist. Katie's hair, while blonde like Ella's, had always had a more golden hue to it. Mia's mother claimed it was exactly the same shade that Nate's had been when he was younger. Katie's eyes though, were her mother, Jenny's.

Jackson, or Jack, was the splitting image of his father, Dan, dark haired and dark eyed. Mia had never needed anyone to point this out to her, having seen numerous photos of Dan and Serena in their youth around the Humphrey home.

And then there was Mia, who her parents where forever arguing about. Blair claimed she looked like Chuck, Chuck claimed she looked like Blair. When she looked in a mirror, Mia was convinced her father had the right of it. Porcelain-skinned and ruby-lipped, she had the chocolate brown curls her mother had been, and still was, known for. The only things she seemed to have inherited from her father were his eyes and the infamous Bass smirk.

Katie turned to Ella and made another grab for the scarf while Mia turned to Jack.

She cast a glace at where he and his most recent flame had been just moments before, only to find the girl gone. She smirked. "Finished already? I thought you were a real man, Humphrey."

Jack lowered himself down to the step beside her. He looked over the array of food spread out on her lap and stole a carrot stick from its container. He crunched down on it and said, "I am a real man, Bass, she just wasn't woman enough for me."

Mia scoffed. "Since when are you picky?"

He finished the carrot stick in a second bite and helped himself to her apple before she could slap his hand away. "I'm not picky, not generally, but I've been thinking lately that it's time I refined my tastes. I want a strong, independent woman, not one content to follow you around like a sheep."

"Good luck. I think you'll find most girls here are exactly that: sheep. They all want to follow me around, remember?"

"Well then maybe I should go straight to the top." Jack sent her a crooked smile and leaned in towards her, eyeing her mouth.

"Ugh." Mia turned her head, leaving Jack with a face full of her hair. "You're heinous. Are you sure you're not my twin, accidentally switched at birth? According to our parents, you're exactly like Daddy was, before Mother."

Jack gave a low chuckle and didn't answer. Instead, he pressed a soft kiss to her ear and took a deep breath.

"You smell different, Bass, did you change your shampoo?"

Mia's mind was already turning over frantically, trying to find just the right comeback. It had been this way since they were old enough to talk. The two of them could coexist with Katie and Ella in perfect harmony, (but Mia secretly thought this might have something to do with the fact that Jack was biologically related to Katie and Ella), but had never learnt to get along together, not like regular people anyway. They were always arguing, mostly in jest, and always trying to one up each other. Chuck and Blair had watched on with pride, while the Humphrey's, particularly Dan, had felt only concern. Serena spent much of her time lamenting over the many hours she'd spent in Chuck's company during her pregnancy, feeling that was the only explanation for her son's Bass-like behaviour.

As much as Jack could irritate her, Mia enjoyed having him around, if only because he kept her mind sharp. It was refreshing to have someone who didn't simper and faun, and could match her, quip for quip.

Comebacks flew through Mia's mind, readily available and quickly dismissed, but before she could decide on any one of them, Katie looked at her watch and gasped. "Ohmygosh! We're going to be so late for class if we don't get a move on!"

With a firm tug, she pulled her scarf out from between Ella's hands and tied it around her neck. She picked up her bag and hurried down towards the sidewalk. "Come on, come on!"

Ella grabbed her own bag and bounded down towards Katie, looping their arms together when she reached her, and the two of them began walking towards Constance and St Jude's.

Jack leapt to his feet and held a hand out to Mia. She glanced at it from the corner of her eye, zipped up her bag, straightened her headband and pushed herself up on her own.

She stood on the step above him to bring them eye-to-eye, and smirked as he retracted his hand and shoved it in his pocket.

"You smell different, Humphrey, did you finally discover soap? It's no wonder you go through girls like I go through headbands."

With an innocent expression on her face, Mia waved her fingers in front of her nose as if to wave away a nasty smell, and started down the steps.

Jack shook his head and sighed in feigned disappointment. "Is that the best you could do? I though you were better than that."

Mia didn't reply, she just sent a flirtatious smile at him over her shoulder and hurried to catch up with their friends. Jack followed at a more sedate pace.

When she drew even with Ella and Katie, Mia turned to the Humphrey girl. She said, "Your brother is terrible. How can you stand all those girls always hanging around him?"

Ella laughed and looped her other arm through Mia's. "They seem to bother you more than they bother me. I don't really mix with them, unless I have to hide them in my closet."

Katie giggled. "What?"

Ella turned to her. "Yeah. Sometimes Jack doesn't get them out early enough, and he knows Dad doesn't approve of them, so he makes me shove them in my closet. It's actually pretty funny. And, you know, he makes sure to keep me on his good side. The day he doesn't is the day I shove the girls out of my closet and into the hallway."

"You're so manipulative, Ella."

Ella laughed and squeezed Mia's arm. "I got nothin' on our Mia though. Speaking of…" Ella turned to face Mia and said, "You're parents are having their wedding anniversary soon, right?"

The contented smile that had been sitting on Mia's face dropped and she turned her gaze to the concrete in front of them. "Yeah. It's right after New Year. It'll be twenty years for them. Crazy, right?"

Katie sent her a sympathetic smile. "Yeah, everyone thought after the last time—"

"Yes, well," Mia said, forcing a smile onto her face and cutting Katie off, "it didn't happen, did it? So everything's all right."

Ella, sensing the awkward pause about to ensue, said, "So, what are you going to get them? Twenty years is pretty impressive for the average couple…for Chuck and Blair it's right up there with the Second Coming."

Mia shrugged and pursed her lips. "I don't know. I want to get them something special, but what do you get the people who have everything they already want? If they really wanted something, they could buy it themselves."

The girls were silent, thinking hard, as they stepped through the Constance gates. The girls around them gave them a wide berth, but still managed to shoot hesitant smiles at Mia, hoping for some sign of approval.

Like her mother before her, Mia ruled the Constance girls with an iron fist and a cold glare. Jack was her male equivalent, even during the times Mia had boyfriends. She always chose someone weaker than her, someone she could order around, and someone who couldn't hold his own against the other St Jude boys. Jack had always been the strongest one.

Together, the girls climbed the steps and stopped just inside the wide front doors. Mia turned to Ella and Katie, and said, "I want you two to keep thinking about a gift for my parents. Get Jack in on it too. Even his one-track mind might be able to come up with something. Let me know if you think of anything."

"Sure, no problem. We'll see you later!" said Ella, before Katie grabbed her arm and dragged her down the hall to their class.

Mia turned away to head towards her locker but stopped when her eyes met Jack's as he stood in the courtyard. The girls swarmed around him, fluttering their eyelashes and smoothing their hair.

Mia's eyebrows rose but she turned away from the spectacle. It wasn't unusual to see girls clamouring for Jack's attention. Even in pre-school it had been that way. There was something about his personality and careless attitude that attracted the girls like bees to honey.

As she strode down the corridor, Mia dug her phone out of her purse and her thumbs flew over the buttons as she texted.

I thought you said you were refining your tastes –M

A moment later, her phone beeped and she flipped it open to read his response.

Baby steps, M, baby steps –J


A/N: Ok, wow. For a scene that came to me over a dinner of fried rice, this didn't turn out so bad. I'm particularly proud of Jack. It might have been my obsessive stalking of Chuck during the holiday Gossip Girl drought, but Jack came out a lot stronger and more defined than I had planned. But I like it, and I like him. Mia, too.

This is purely an experiment at the moment, because I'm not really sure I can write a multi-chapter GG fic. So, if you like this so far, let me know via review and I might be inclined to continue it. I don't particularly want to waste time planning a story that no one wants to read.

So, DID you like it? Which characters did you like best/least? Why/why not? What would you like to see in the story?

Let me know, and if I get enough interest, I'll see what I can do.