Blair had always been considered one of the most beautiful women in New York. When she was single, really truly single (not yearning after Nate or waiting around for Chuck), men flocked to her penthouse to escort her to all the most prestigious functions and banquets.
But after the accident everything changed.
She was only twenty years old, in the middle of her second year at NYU, when it happened. She was driving around the city with one of her college friends when they got into a terrible accident. Blair was thrown from the car, breaking her arm in four places and fracturing her skull. Both injuries required surgery. While she would never be able to fully extend her arm and it would always be a little weak, by far the worst ramification of the accident was the damage done to her face. Her beautiful, flawless, timeless face had been rendered hideous and scarred. The surgery on her skull fracture had caused her to lose basically her entire left eyebrow and made her left eye droop slightly. She had scars from the glass cuts and stitches that went from the center of her hairline down across her forehead, cheek, and down to her left jaw line. The road burn she got when she landed also caused severe damage and scarring along the left edge of her face and on her ear. And a deep gash that went from the edge of her mouth to the corner of her jaw had required hundreds of stitches by itself and left her mouth slightly downturned and her smile, if she were to ever smile again, would always be crooked as a result.
Blair spent two weeks in a coma and then four more weeks in the hospital getting surgeries on her arm and on her face. When she was finally released from the hospital, about the only time she left the penthouse was to go to the hospital for her check-ups and follow-ups.
Her hospital stay caused her to miss too much school to finish out the year, and after the damage that was done to her appearance she could not bear to return to NYU. In fact, Blair could not bear to be out in public at all if she could avoid it. And when she was forced to venture from the penthouse she always wore big sunglasses, kept her hair down and around her face, and walked with her head down. Gone was her trademark headbands that kept her hair back and her face clear, and gone was the proud, upturned-nosed Waldorf walk that turned every head. She wanted to blend in as much as possible and hide the hideousness that was her face.
Those men, all the rich Upper Eastside boys, they didn't want her anymore. Not that it mattered. She had no heart for balls and galas, or dinners and dates. She had become a recluse; her only social contact being with her mother and Serena.
After about a year of seclusion, her mother decided this type of withdrawn behavior was no longer acceptable. A Waldorf needed to be present in society. She needed a respectable career. She needed to be married. So Eleanor gave Blair a job with her clothing line and took it upon herself to get her daughter back out into society. Eleanor began dragging her out to all sorts of functions and events, despite Blair's protests and how uncomfortable she was under the scrutiny that is always present in the Upper Eastside.
Eleanor made it her personal mission to find her daughter a respectable, well-established husband. She was always setting Blair up on dates or introducing her to men at the society events she dragged her too. When they met Blair, the potential suitors always had one of three reactions. They either:
Made a quick excuse and left
Stared blatantly at Blair's scars
Avoided looking at Blair at all
Needless to say, there were never any second dates.
Despite the immense humiliation these attempted set-ups caused her daughter, Eleanor refused to be discouraged. She kept introducing Blair to men who continued to be horrified by her appearance. Her mother might still have had hope that Blair would find the ideal man and become the perfect society wife, but Blair knew better. She was 28 years old and she knew she was destined to spend the rest of her life just as it was now: ugly, alone, and living with her mother.
Chuck Bass had always kept Suite 1812 under his name. He hadn't been in it in over 9 years, but it still was and always would be home to him. After he and Blair broke up in the middle of her first year of college, he had left the city and focused on making Bass Industries a force to be reckoned with in every major city around the world. He wanted to leave the city, and all that it once held for him, behind. He had no real ties to the city after things ended with Blair, so he didn't have any real need to visit. Although, he did occasionally check in with Eric. He would call the boy every few months, just to keep up to date, and to have some human contact with someone he wasn't paying, but he had no desire to return to the city. When he did have to make a trip to New York for business, he stayed just as long as was necessary, which was never long enough for him to stay overnight.
But now he was back; possibly for good. It all depended on how the night went.
As soon as his plane had landed, he had called Eric to see if the boy would know where Blair would be that night. He wanted to see her as soon as possible so that if things didn't go as he hoped he could waste as little time as possible in the city.
Eric informed him of the party Lily and Serena were throwing that night at their apartment, which Blair and her mother would be attending. When he heard Chuck's intentions, Eric told him he was more than welcome to attend as well. This was why Chuck was again in 1812, busy making himself presentable in one of his outrageous, fashionable suits.
Later that night, when he entered the Vander Woodsen apartment, he saw her immediately. She was over in the corner talking to her mother and some other man who Chuck did not recognize.
Blair had strategically placed herself so that the more scarred side of her face was turned towards the wall so it would be more hidden. She had been abandoned by Serena, who was busy playing hostess, and her mother had ambushed her with another uninterested suitor. As soon as she was able to get a word in edgewise with her mother, Blair excused herself to get some air and went out onto the balcony.
She was standing with her hands on the railing, looking out at the city. When she heard the door open behind her, she assumed it was Serena or her mother coming to talk to her so she didn't bother to turn around.
When she heard that deep, seductive voice she hadn't heard in almost a decade, she immediately spun around with wide eyes, forgetting for just a second that she no longer looked like the girl she had been when Chuck had left. Of course, she recovered quickly, lowering her face and angling it so that the majority of her scars where facing away from Chuck.
"Chuck, what are you doing here?" She tried to speak with her old Waldorf attitude, but it was just not as dignified as it once was.
"I had to see you; to make sure you were okay." Chuck's voice still had that cocky undertone it always had, but there was an element of tenderness to it that had only ever surfaced when he was speaking with Blair.
Blair scowled. "Why? After all this time, what made you decided to come back here now?" She was so confused. And angry. She couldn't understand why he was there. And she could not fathom why he would think she was ever okay. Couldn't he tell how miserable her life was? Was he just there to gloat? To take pleasure in the disaster her life had become while he was a jet-setting, wildly successful, world renowned playboy?
"I was in France working on some business, and I ran into your father." That was not what she had been expecting. "We had lunch. He told me how you were going through a pretty difficult time"
Blair snorted. "I'll have to thank him for saying such lovely things about me; to someone like you no less." Blair waited for him to continue, but he was just looking at her intensely, unnerving her. She was used to people staring, but not like he was, he was staring straight into her eyes. He wasn't looking at the scars at all. It was like he didn't even see them. She wanted to look away, but she didn't want to show any more weakness, so instead she asked bitingly "So, what? You thought you could play hero and come back here and make my life all better?"
Chuck placed his elbows on the railing and looked down at his hands, "Not exactly. You're father made me realize that maybe if I came back here, you would be more welcoming to my return then I had always thought. When we broke up, you told me you never wanted to see me again and I've always tried to give you everything you wanted, so I left New York and I stayed away. I should have known that when you're in the heat of the moment you've always been one to say the exact opposite of what you really want." He paused and turned his face to meet her eyes again, "I thought you were happier here with me gone, even in these last few years, but your father, he said that you weren't happy at all. He said that I was wrong in thinking that; that if I came back it might make things just a little bit easier for you. So I'm here. Because I could never stand it if I knew you were unhappy and I didn't do anything about it."
Blair's scowl deepened as she shouted "Don't give me that bullshit about you caring about me. If you really cared about me you wouldn't just be coming back here now. Where were you 8 years ago, Chuck? When I was in a coma? And when I was having dozens of surgeries? When I had to leave the hospital with this as my face? Where were you then? You weren't there to help me; to hold my hand and care about me. I don't know where you were, but you weren't there."
Blair went to walk around Chuck, but he grabbed her arm and spun her around. "I didn't find out about your accident until you were already out of the hospital. When Eric told me about it, he said you were doing fine, but I had to see for myself. I flew home as soon as I got off the phone with him to make sure you were okay. My limo went right from the airport to your building. I thought you still didn't want to see me, so I waited outside for hours in the limo until I saw you leave your building. When you came out, you looked like the same old Blair Waldorf that I always cared about. You were dressed in a one-of-a-kind, tailored dress; your stunning hair was curled down your back; and you had your head bent over your phone. It was so typical Waldorf that I knew, well I thought, you were doing just fine. After I saw you, I went right back to the airport and left, because the last thing I wanted to do was make you upset by seeing me."
Blair shook her head and looked away. "No Chuck, you saw what you wanted to see. Look at me. Really, truly look at me. I'm nowhere close to the Blair Waldorf you used to know. What makes you think you could just come back here and make everything alright?"
It was Chuck's turn to look down. He may have had an ego, but when it came to Blair, he's self doubts tended to come out. "Your father said something. He told me how he could always tell when you cared about someone. Apparently when you feel strongly about someone, you can't stop talking about them when you call your father. He said he knew you were done with Nate before you were even aware of it, because you stopped bringing him up…" Chuck glanced back up and saw that Blair was looking at him quizzically. "He-, he said that you still mention me when he calls. That you relay any information Eric gives you about my phone calls like it is important news. He said he was sure you still felt something for me, whether you wanted to admit it or not."
Blair turned away from him and stood facing the city again. "Why does it matter? Look at me. I'm nothing anymore. I'm 28 years old and I still live with my mother. She had to give me a job because I couldn't do anything else with my life. I'm completely hideous. I'm not the same girl you fell in love with."
Chuck leaned against the railing facing her and placed a gentle hand on her arm to get her to look at him. She turned her head just a fraction so she could meet his gaze out of the corner of her eye. "Blair," he sighed, "When I said I love you, you know how hard it was for me to say those words; to admit to those feelings. It was a big deal to me. When I said I love you, it didn't mean 'I love you right now because you're young and hot and skinny.' When I said it, what it meant was 'I'll love you, even if you get old and wrinkly, even if you get fat and your boobs sag to your hips, even if you lose all sense of fashion," Chuck paused taking a second to look into her eyes, "…even if there's a horrible accident and you never look exactly the same, I'll love you. When I said it, I meant it forever, not just for that moment."
Blair turned to face him, with silent tears streaming down her face as she shook her head. "You forget how well I know you. You're Chuck Bass, and I know you're trying to be noble or something, but let's be real, looks matter to you. You have always been about the superficial and beautiful. Why would you ever want me? You could never be content with me." She finished as she turned her face away once again.
Chuck reached up and cupped his hand to her cheek. Her left cheek. Her ugly, scarred cheek. His thumb gently stroked the scar along the edge of her mouth. The deformed, downturned edge of her mouth. "You are beautiful. The scars, they-"
"If you say they give me character, I swear to God-"
Chuck let out a short laugh, "No, they're reminders. Reminders that you almost died. That I almost lost you. That I fucked up, again, and almost missed out on the chance to be with you. And they are reminders that you survived. That I got a second chance. I'm not going to fuck up again. I promise."
Blair looked into his eyes, her voice breaking, "You could have anyone. I still don't understand why you would ever waste your time with someone like me" She tried to turn her head away, but his hand stayed firmly on her cheek.
"Because you're perfect"
"Yes, you are. You've always been perfect. Perfect for me. When I was completely lost and unlovable, you were there. You loved me first. You saved me. You knew I had a soul before I did. Me and you Waldorf, we're perfect."
Blair's eyes were wide in shock when Chuck leaned forward and kissed her. He was kissing her; on her ugly, crooked mouth, as his hand stroked her hideous, scarred cheek. And Blair was kissing him back. Her arms wrapped around his neck and drew him closer as his other hand went to the small of her back. This was where they belonged. When they drew apart for air, a big crooked, imperfect smile appeared on Blair's face for the first genuine time since her accident.
She may not have a perfect, beautiful face anymore, but here, in his arms, in his eyes, she was perfect and she was beautiful. With him here, by her side, it didn't matter what the rest of the world saw. She knew what he saw and as long as she remembered that, remembered that loving look in his eyes when he saw her, she could hold her head high and be the Blair Waldorf she used to be.