Author's note: I've been writing Dan/Blair pieces like crazy lately, generally just random scenes that don't add up with one another. In any event I randomly got the idea for this tonight and simply couldn't not write it, so here we are. It is, hopefully, the first chapter of many. I suppose I'll see how you all respond and if that fuels my motivation to carry on with it. The story is obviously AU. As far as the history of the characters goes just presume that most canon things have happened, with the exception of anything relating to Dan. Dan has never dated, or even spoken to Serena. Rufus and Lily's history is in tact but their present relationship has yet to come to form. Everything that has happened between Nate/Blair/Serena and Blair and Chuck has happened up to a certain point that will become more apparent in future chapters. I will address Jenny's role in things later. That all aside, I hope you enjoy my tentative drabble.

1. First Meeting

Blair had never seen the point in group projects. They universally pertained to a power struggle, an advantage for those who were academically disadvantaged, and a disadvantage to those who weren't. Her determination to maintain a flawless academic record had been what had led to her taking the lead. She would order mercilessly, hand out tasks enforced with a strict hand that her peers had learnt to abide to. Securing her Queen B status had come naturally. She liked to be in control, even when she wasn't at all; she always maintained the image that she was.

But being an elitist at college got you nowhere and Blair found herself at Yale, friendless, but far too busy to care. She video chatted with Serena when she was lonely, who was at Brown, braids in her hair and flowing skirts hiding her gloriously long legs. It didn't make a difference though. Serena had been on more dates in one month than Blair had during the two years she had spent at Yale. Not that she hadn't been asked. She was alone at Yale, with no Serena to outshine her, and so arguably, she was well considered by the vast majority of males. Her reputation proceeded her though. She is Blair Waldorf after all, a tyrant, beautiful but deadly. She's intimidating, too much for any college boy to handle and really Blair doesn't want a boy at all. Blair wants a man.

Though her and Serena's friendship is better than it ever has been (apparently the distance serves its purpose beneficially) Blair's competitive streak with her still runs deep. Serena has only ever dated boys, immature, lovesick fools whom Serena quickly loses interest in. Blair is determined that she will find a man first, someone intelligent and witty, maybe a business major, maybe a prospective lawyer. She's not sure just yet; all she knows is that she hasn't met him. If she's going to find him anywhere other than New York though, Blair concedes that surely it will be Yale.

Serena had been badgering her about 'putting herself out there' the night before and so as Blair sits in her comparative literature class her thoughts are otherwise preoccupied by the suggestion the vivacious blonde had pressed upon her about attending the party she had been invited to. Blair had argued 'what was the point?' and Serena had simply responded that college was meant to be fun. Blair disagrees. College is meant to be an important stepping stone, a place in which she can better herself and step in the right direction of the career she so desires. Fun is not on the agenda.

She continues reasoning this to herself until her thoughts are invaded by the dreaded words of her T.A; 'I'll be pairing you off at random…' Immediately she wishes she'd chosen another class because if this class condones a practice that rightfully should be abolished in all colleges then Blair isn't sure that she really wants to pass this course anyway.

It turns out that the T.A's definition of random is to pair them alphabetically by first name. There are no C's in her class and so Blair is paired with someone called Dan Humphrey. She's never paid any attention to the other students in her class, this one or any of the others for that matter, because she is simply not interested. As a result she has no idea who Dan Humphrey is but her T.A instructs her to raise her hand so that Dan can identify her.

She inwardly scoffs, rolls her eyes and thinks to herself that it's not as if she needs to be identified. She idly considers allowing her stubbornness to encourage her defiance to comply with her T.A's wishes. The thought however, is short lived and she reluctantly, and half heartedly, raises her hand just enough that a pair of brown eyes find hers for the briefest moment of acknowledgement.

As the class is called to an impromptu end, for them to become acquainted with their partners and work out schedules Blair gathers her belongings and begins organizing them carefully in her handbag. She is considering making a discreet exit and avoiding 'Dan Humphrey' until the next class (after all this assignment isn't due until the end of the term and she has plenty of time to put off the inevitable) when she is suddenly cast in the shadow of a figure. Blair realizes with a certain amount of disdain that her plan won't be carried out quite as easily as she had envisioned.

Though his presence is obvious she refuses to acknowledge him until he clears his throat. Her brown eyes, slowly, lift from her bag to rake up the tall figure of Dan Humphrey until they settle on sharp cheek bones, chocolate hued eyes and dark curls. He is smirking and it makes her narrow her eyes at him. A part of her wants to ask him what he wants. The smarter and more logical part begs to reason that there's no reason to make this situation any worse than it needs to be.

Grimacing, she plasters a falsely sweet smile on her face and folds her hands on her desk. "You must be Dan" she states, lacking any sort of indicative tone for Dan to gauge how she feels about working with him. Despite the lack of clues he's relatively confident that Blair is not happy.

"Of course you don't know me" he replies, smiling wryly and grabbing the chair that is pushed in behind him. He turns it around, falling into it gracefully, one ankle settling on the opposite knee, his bag being discarded on the floor. Blair notes that he at least doesn't straddle it. Every time she sees someone straddling a chair she has to resist the urge to roll her eyes. It's not as if it's actually sexually appealing at all, let alone charming; it makes people look moronic. Do you know how to sit in a chair? She thinks.

Returning the smirk that Blair discovers he has abandoned in favor of what she hates to admit is really a rather charming smile she leans forward surreptitiously, one eyebrow quirking as if to challenge him as she asks, "why, should I know you?"

Dan, shaking his head, pushes his long fingers through his hair and returns her gaze. "No" he answers, "I suppose not."

Of course he knows her. Everyone knows her. They went to high school together, technically; he went to St. Judes and she attended Constance. But Blair Waldorf was the embodiment of an upperclassmen and Dan simply was not so they never crossed paths. He kept his head down and she held hers high.

They were on opposite ends of the spectrum. For a portion of time he had a passing interest in her best friend. She inspired a few stories, but that was the extent of things. The idea of approaching Serena van Der Woodsen was a relatively terrifying concept and Dan had spent his high school career remaining anonymous. He had seen no reason to change that fact for what was likely to be a mild case of humiliation. True, never taking a chance left you exactly where you had always been with precisely what you had always had but Dan reasoned that for the sake of his writing at least one unrequited love was necessary and his would be Serena.

Blair glows in self indulgent satisfaction, her smile growing implicitly wide. "So, how do you want to handle this?" she inquires, bypassing the small talk that the students around them are engaging in and cutting straight to the point.

Dan, undeterred by her direct approach relaxes visibly in his seat and smiles in amusement. "Something tells me that you already have a plan in mind." If he knows her as well as he thinks he does then he should be right. He does concede that he shouldn't really know her at all. All he knows of Blair Waldorf is the impression she gives, and the reputation she has.

"I thought it would work better for each of us if we simply divided the work equally and made sure it added up before we had to hand it in" Blair proposes, her eyes gleaming with a spark of hopefulness that Dan Humphrey will agree with her without argument. She's not that lucky and she doesn't know why she's surprised.

Dan smirks again and, uncrossing his legs, leans forward, his elbows resting on her desk and his gaze holding hers readily. "Isn't the whole point that we work together?" he counters.

"You don't want to work with me" Blair is quick to say.

Raising one brow he smiles at her once again and she is caught off guard for a split second when she finds herself thinking that he's really quite attractive. But he's not her type at all. He's unshaven, he's wearing scuffed boots and worn out jeans and polyester. She's just having a lapse of judgment because he does have a nice smile, aside from that he is all wrong. "What makes you think you're in a position to judge what I do or do not want?" Dan remarks and Blair can see he is clearly enjoying this which only succeeds in irritating her more.

She opens her mouth to respond, but her lips part and nothing comes out. She falters and if this were any other situation she would have groaned audibly in frustration, clearly put out by his lack of cooperation. Dan seems to delight in her silence. "Have I honestly rendered Blair Waldorf speechless?" He says her name with an emphasis that she can't quite place but his words over all make her frown, a crease forming between her perfectly sculpted brows as she crosses her arms and leans back in her seat, away from him.

"Don't flatter yourself" she scoffs.

Shrugging his shoulders indifferently and wearing a smug smile (which is not anywhere near as attractive as the one he had adorned earlier) Dan mimics her position. "We can meet on Friday" he proposes.

"What makes you think I'm free?" Blair defies looking at him in annoyance.

Dan has the nerve to laugh at her. "The fact that anyone who tries to make any sort of plans with you ends up turning to stone. Does Medusa know you stole her withering stare?"

Blair's mouth drops open in outrage. Who does he think he is, speaking to her like that? "Oh, how very clever of you quippy" she rolls her eyes and grabs her bag, swinging it onto her shoulder as she pushes her chair back abruptly and stands. She's walking away from him within seconds and Dan scrambles to grab his bag and chase after her.

"Blair" he calls after her, his brisk pace failing to bring him any closer to her. Calling her name once more as he begins to run, well that's a generous term, he supposes, he's in a hall filled with students milling around, (his motion is more comparable to a one person waltz than a run,) he notices her shoulders tense, a testament that she is choosing to ignore him. Slipping between people, and pushing past others Dan eventually falls into step beside her, his fingers reaching out to grasp her arm.

The action earns him another glare from Blair who huffs in apparent frustration. "What?" she hisses out, pulling her arm from his grasp and desperately trying to ignore the way her skin burns where his fingers once were. It means nothing. She's angry and it's his fault, it's no wonder her blood is boiling.

Heaven forbid he smiles at her once more. "I'll see you on Friday, at half past eight."

And just like that he's gone and Blair is left well and truly baffled.

let me know what you think?