A/N: Short little o/s that I almost named What Is Gossip Girl, but this made more sense. It's pre-series so no actual Chuck/Blair overt sexiness, but hopefully you can read between the lines. Or just the ones that are on your computer screen.

Summary: Dark and shiny curls shifted over the shoulder of her blazer as she turned to face him. He looked into her wide, dark eyes and something happened. He wasn't sure what it was but he had a strange feeling that he had never had before.

Disclaimer: Universe is not mine and of course beta-ed by comewhatmay.x. The first two definitions are taken from . The last one I made up.

"What's Gossip Girl?"

One sentence. That's all it took. This was the sentence that could be heard everywhere the first day that they stepped foot in the upper school of Constance Billiard School for Girls and St. Jude's School for Boys.

Chuck Bass looked to his his best friend, Nathaniel Archibald, who was looking over his shoulder as he scrolled through his phone. Pictures spotted the homepage of a website that had gone to the phone of every freshman student that day. Most of them were of a free spirited blonde beauty, if that was even Chuck's thing. No, he much preferred the mysterious allure of the brunette persuasion.

The picture was at the bottom. Henri Bendel bag on one arm, the dark haired reminiscence to Golden Age Hollywood was pictured at the top of the stairs leading up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with two or three girls just steps below her.

With the incoming freshman dubbed Queen B grappling for social status, has a new hierarchy been dictated?

"Lucky your girlfriend is so photogenic," Chuck said, tossing Nate his phone. Nate's blue eyes narrowed as he scoured the screen.

"Serena looks really pretty."

Chuck rolled his eyes, snatching the phone back.

"Anonymous girl sends rumors about girls that don't matter," Chuck drawled. "Who cares?"

"I don't like what they're saying about Serena," Nate said, obviously not listening to his best friend. "It's mean."

"What?" Chuck asked. "That she's a slut? It's true. Just like your charming significant other is a-"

"A bitch?"

Nate turned with his usual slow gait while Chuck looked towards the voice at his own lazy pace.

Blair Waldorf stood, not angry in the least, which was a surprise. Then again, she always looked at Chuck with the same amount of ire, no matter what he said.

"Blair," Nate said in that hazy way, offering her a kiss. For once she didn't seem to be stumbling all over herself for his attention. Her eyes were locked on Chuck until Nate realized there was a problem.

"Are you two ever going to be..." he trailed off, searching for words.

"Civil?" Blair suggested. "It seems unlikely, if not impossible at this point."

"You are just going to have to face the facts that you will never have me," Chuck grinned.

"And you are just going to have to get over your arrogant ego," Blair parried. "Not everyone wants to sleep with you."

"But it only matters that you do."

"I hate you," she told him blankly.

"Blair," Nate said, but had to force himself to even sound stern.

"Not to worry, mon amour," Chuck said instead. "I hold for you the same contempt I hold for any perfect society princess without an ounce of fun."

"Just because I don't instantly fall at your feet like those brainless waifs without an ounce of self respect doesn't mean you're safe," she warned.

"Since when did you ever have any self respect?"

His last comment made the playful atmosphere collapse on itself as she stared down her nose at him.

"You're lucky you're the one thing that Nate has some moderate affection for," Blair smiled sweetly. "Otherwise you'd be in the ground already."

Chuck stared after he as she walked away, finally understanding that she knew exactly where Nate's true attentions lay. And he seemed to like Chuck more than he liked Blair. It almost made him feel sorry for her.

Until the blast came.

He felt the eyes on him all day. It was not entirely unwelcome and it wasn't something that was completely unfamiliar. Then again, that was before he read the blast. That was the day when he really came to know the meaning of the word.

blast [blast, blahst] n.

1. a vigorous outburst of criticism

2. any pernicious or destructive influence

3. rumors or gossip sent through the internet to unsuspecting "victims" for enjoyment or to prove a point

Chuck was personally a fan of the third one. This much was clear as he made it across the Girls' hall during his almost illegally obtained free period to the courtyard, avoiding glares of the Headmistress.

The first day and already he was becoming a troublemaker.

So said Gossip Girl at least. Whoever that chick was, she had it in for him.

Or someone else did.

He leaned against the brick wall, hearing the familiar chirping of the two girls he had known all of his life. Two girls he thought he knew pretty well.

He was wrong. About one of them, at least.

"That was really mean."

"And what are you? The picture of virginity and chastity?"

"Everyone's talking about him."

"At least it wasn't Nate who I targeted."

"Why would you target your own boyfriend?"



"Nevermind, Serena."

"You don't have to hate him all the time, you know."

"Why not? Everyone else does."

"I don't."

"Right. How could I possibly go against the grain when Serena van der Woodsen is involved?"

"Why are you talking to me like that?"

"Like what?"

"You sound like him."

"Like who?"

Like who, indeed.

"Didn't think you had it in you."

Dark and shiny curls shifted over the shoulder of her blazer as she turned to face him. He looked into her wide, dark eyes and something happened. He wasn't sure what it was but he had a strange feeling that he had never had before. Not unless it preceded a pounding migraine at least.

Blair was looking at him expectantly and he knew he was staring. He didn't know why and he certainly didn't condone it but out of all of the identical uniforms all of the Constance girls had to wear, hers looked the best.

"And I didn't think you had it in you."

She was talking to him and he had to clear his head.

"What?" he asked in confusion.

"I thought I was the repugnant, shrill, and needy girlfriend," she smirked in a way that made her red mouth seem even redder. "I didn't think you could actually force yourself to stand to look at me longer than five seconds."

"Despite my utter disdain for you," Chuck covered easily, "I cannot ignore an alluring woman when I see one."

"Did you just compliment me?" Blair asked doubtfully.

"I never called you unattractive, Waldorf," he pointed out.

"No," she responded. "You just can't stand my upstanding ways in public, Bass."

And as she lazily rolled his last name on her tongue, he was very aware of her use of in public and how it was becoming clear that he didn't know her as well as he thought. In fact, this was a woman that he could stand to be around. This woman was fascinating and intriguing and for a frightening second, he forgot that she had her boyfriend that happened to be his best friend.

Then he realized she was talking to him, a pastime he only indulged with females for the most limited amount of time.


"I said," she said distinctly, suspicion marring her eyes as she took in his distracted expression, "do you think I'm a society princess with at least a little amount of fun now?"

"Fun," he repeated.

"Did you even read the blast?" she asked, an amused look on her face that he never saw her use with Nathaniel. "I'm assuming that you have since you're deigning to speak with me."

"You always had quite the talented tongue, Waldorf," he admitted. "It makes me wonder what other uses it could have."

"Are you..." she was looking at him with something close to confusion. "Are you hitting on me right now?"

"A little," Chuck shrugged.

"Was there a reason you came here to speak to me?" she asked, her voice guarded.

"I came to tell you I'm impressed," he said, "if not a little disappointed."

"Well you have gained some notoriety for the acknowledgment," Blair nodded. "But backlash is what can be expected when I'm spreading rumors about you."

"Then I have to say I'm impressed," he said. "You've set back my progress with the upperclassmen of Constance by several months at least."

"Again, you're complimenting me," Blair said. "I have to ask what I did to deserve it."

"I have to ask what I did to deserve the attention," Chuck answered.

"You know," Blair said and he knew he had hurt her, not that she would ever display such emotion. "We hate each other."

"No we don't," Chuck said. "We tolerate each other. For now."

"If that's the way you want it," Blair shrugged indifferently and it suddenly occurred to him why he never tried anything. Not solely because of his loyalty to Nate but something else.

She wasn't like all of those other girls.

She was different. And that was something to be valued.

"I don't need to spread rumors about your chastity to hurt you," he advised.

"I hurt your game," Blair sneered. "I didn't hurt you. That's enough for me for now."

"Well I like this game," he said. "Far more interesting than the seniors' attempt at a come-on."

"I don't know if you're trying to flatter me again," she said dubiously.

"Whatever works," he smirked, liking how it felt on his face. Without a second thought, he leaned in swiftly, placing a chaste enough kiss beneath her ear. Her face betrayed nothing but shock as he pulled away.

"That's a good look for you," he observed before turning away from her. And it was watching her empower herself with those sad little girls worshiping the ground she walked on while simultaneously smiling tightly as she watched Nate and Serena interact with each other.

He really had almost pitied her. Until the pity turned to quickly to admiration with an opening of a phone.

Of course they hated each other. They were the same.

"Did you ever think..."



"What, Serena?"

"You grate on each other because you have the same personality."

"I'm not looking to get psychoanalyzed by you."

"What about the other night at my party?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Yes you do."

"As much as it's hard to narrow down your parties..."

"It was the one that Nate couldn't go to."


"You got drunk. That doesn't happen often."


"You said that you were alone upstairs when he-"


"You said he was drunk too. It's a party. Sometimes things just-"

"Serena. I have no idea what you're talking about."