Sitting on the plane heading to Europe he felt horrible, like every inch of his body was bruised and broken. They had ended things. They were going to be apart for ten months. He had to be in Europe to further Bass Industries internationally and she had to stay in the city for school. He knew it was for the best. It wouldn't have been fair to either of them to try and make things work out long distance for that long.

So they had spent the entire summer together before they had to be apart. They spent it on a private island that he had booked just for them. It had been absolutely perfect. So perfect that it had made him never want to leave. It had almost been too perfect. It had made it hell for him to think about leaving her behind.

When they boarded the plane to head back to New York, he realized that was it. They had that one more plane ride together, and then they were done. As they flew home, he silently begged the pilot to fly slower, to make the trip last as long as possible. He knew as soon as they landed he had to give her away, and he wasn't sure if he could.

But he did. Less than a week later, he let her go and he flew off to Europe to work on his business. Even though throughout the whole flight everything seemed to be calling for him to turn back and stay; from the in-flight movie, to the other passengers' conversations, to the music coming from his neighbor's iPod, it all reminded him of what he left behind. But he went anyway and he stayed. It hurt like hell to leave her, but he knew that if they were truly inevitable, then everything would work out. He had to hold on to that small hope in order to make it through the ten months he stayed away from her.

He still followed her; through Gossip Girl and through Nate. Before he left, she had tried to tell him she would wait for him to come back, but he had rebuffed her. He told her to focus on her studies like the good student she was, but to also go out; to get drinks at the hippest bars with Serena and stay out late into the night. They weren't ending things so she could sit around waiting for him. He wanted her to be free. When she tried to protest, he told her that she was still young; that they would find their way back to each other eventually, and she couldn't just waste away waiting for that to happen.

So while he was away, he checked on her, making sure she stayed active in the Upper Eastside social scene. As the months passed, she managed just fine. She was her typical Queen B self; the center of attention at all the hottest parties. But in every picture he saw, she seemed different. Only he could see past her perfectly crafted façade. He could tell that she wasn't being genuine; she wasn't really happy.

And he couldn't blame her. He was just as miserable as she was. He didn't go out, he didn't see the sights of Europe; he didn't do anything but work and drink alone in his hotel suite. It wasn't supposed to be this way. It wasn't supposed to hurt like this. They had broken up to make being apart easier, but all he wanted was to hear her voice. Talking to her on the phone, or over the internet, even through text message, anything would be better than nothing at all.

On another lonely night a few weeks before he was scheduled to return to the city, he was shocked when his phone rang and saw her name on the display. His heart began to race, and he couldn't help but get excited as he pressed the green button, "Hello Waldorf, to what do I owe this pleasure?" He tried to sound smooth and calm, but inside he was a wreck.

"Hi Chuck…" she sounded almost nervous.

"How are you?"

"Good, good. I'm actually at Mickey's." She said with false-cheeriness that he could see right through.

"Mickey's?" He asked in confusion, "You mean the bar where I…"

"Where you called me a sweaty horse? Yeah. It's your favorite, right?"

"Um, yeah. Why are you there, if you don't mind me asking? I didn't think you liked that place that much." He was really confused now. She hated that bar. She had refused to show her face there since that night when he almost drove her away to France. She always asked him why he insisted on going there, and he never gave her a straight answer, instead saying something about the drinks or the service.

"You were right." She stated simply.

"Excuse me?"

"The drinks and the service here are amazing!"

He could tell she wasn't telling him everything. "Blair, cut the crap. What is going on?"

"I miss you." She whispered

"What?"

"That's why I'm here. I miss you. Even though I hate this place, it holds enough memories to make me feel like you're closer without being overwhelming."

"Blair…"

"Look Chuck, this was a mistake. I've been miserable. I can't put on a strong face anymore. I've been counting every minute since you've been gone. We shouldn't have ended things; it didn't make it easier."

He pinched the bridge of his nose as she quietly waited for some sort of answer from him. When he didn't respond, she decided to keep speaking, "Chuck-"

"The reason I like Mickey's so much is because of its location."

"What are you talking about Bass?"

"It's not because of the drinks or because of the service. It's because it's so close to your penthouse."

"Are you drunk?" She asked skeptically.

"I would go there because I could feel close to you. I could hope that maybe there would be a chance that you would walk by and I would catch a glimpse of you. It's the closest bar to your house. That's why I always went there." He paused for a second as he sighed, "I miss you too, Blair."

"Chuck?" She asked tentatively.

"Yeah?"

"I'm going to wait for you now. I'm done keeping up appearances and acting single. I'm going to wait for you, and don't try to convince me not to again."

"Blair?" He asked just as tentatively as she had been moments before.

"Yes, Chuck?"

"I've been waiting to be back with you this whole time."

She didn't say anything, but he could feel the smile that he was sure was gracing her face.

*********

When he was flying back to New York, he couldn't help but hope that his conversation with Blair a few weeks ago had been true; that she would be willing to go back to where they were before he had left. He wouldn't blame her if she had moved on. It would hurt, but it was what he had always expected, girls like her didn't stay single for long.

After his flight landed, he began making his way to the pick-up area, looking for Arthur. As he searched the crowd, he saw her. She was standing there in a short, bright dress with her hair in loose curls. She looked perfect, as always.

He came to a dead stop when her eyes locked with his. She smiled shyly, praying that he still wanted her here, that her surprise appearance would be welcome. She was quickly reassured when he broke out into a huge grin and began striding towards her. She took a few steps forward to meet him as he wrapped his arms around her.

He brought her lips to his and kissed her deeply. When they broke apart, she rested her forehead on his and looked into his eyes, "No more business trips like this, okay Chuck?"

He chuckled, as he placed a quick kiss on her brow, "Sure, Princess."

She looked at him with a devilish smirk that only he could have taught her, "Unless I get to come with you."

His grin matched hers as he grabbed her hand and they made their way out of the airport and back to the city they both loved.


A/N: Based off Jack's Mannequin's song "Bruised."