Based on : Friends
Series: Straight after Wonderful Tonight. Joey and Chandler are together. Monica is understandably depressed.
Warning: This is not really a Joey/Chandler story. Oh no.
As always barely registers on the ratings scale. What's lower than G? (Don't say F - it's not that bad)
Disclaimer: Fill it in yourself.
Monica and Phoebe had arrived back home. Rachel and
Ross were on the sofa
waiting for their return.
Monica was crying as she entered the door. Her brother and Rachel both jumped up to comfort her.
"Oh my god, what happened?" Ross asked.
Monica shook her hand. She was still too choked up to talk. Phoebe spoke for her.
"Chandler and Joey," she said, as if that would explain everything.
Ross looked confused. Rachel gasped and put her hands over her mouth.
"Oh my god Pheebs - you mean, that thing? The thing we were talking about?" She finally said.
"Exactly!" Phoebe said.
"Thing? What thing?" Ross was confused.
"Will you stop!" Monica said. If you knew why the hell didn't you tell me?" she rounded on Rachel.
"No. It wasn't me. Phoebe. Phoebe told me. Phoebe not Rachel."
"Would somebody just explain to me what is going on?" Ross yelled.
"That slimeball Chandler has been with Joey all this time!" Monica said.
"No he hasn't," Phoebe said. "Nothing happened until after he asked you to marry him."
"Oh. Well that makes me feel MUCH better," Monica shouted.
"Chandler and Joey?" Ross was shocked. "What's Joey got that I haven't got?"
"What?" Monica glared at her brother, "Is that supposed to be a joke. Because I'm not laughing."
"Would it make it better if I said I was serious?" Ross asked.
"Well - no!" Monica shouted. "You know Ross you are sick. Your little sister is in pain and you want to be funny. You're not Chandler - he was funny. You're just stupid."
"Hey. I resent that," Ross and Monica were facing each other angrily.
"Well at least you stopped Monica from crying!" Phoebe said brightly, "I tried all the way from Poughkeepsie."
Rachel stood there with her arms folded. "So Chandler and Joey really are together? This isn't just some really elaborate plan to make Rachel look stupid?" She asked.
Monica turned to Rachel, "It's not all about you you know. There are other people in the world."
"Oh. Ok. As long as it's not about me. Fine," Rachel sat back down, sulking.
"People. People," Phoebe said, "Stop the insanity. You're tearing me apart! Damn that was good. I should have been James Dean," Phoebe smiled and sat down.
"I can't believe Chandler did this to me!" Monica yelled.
"You're serious then? Joey and Chandler?" Ross asked quietly.
"My god - that's unbelievable." It was Ross' turn to sit down.
The unbelievable pair were sitting on the couch in Chandler's father's hotel suite.
They had both started to feel very guilty about what had happened. Not because it had happened, but because of what it had done to Monica.
"Maybe the way it happened was bad," Chandler's father said, "but she had to know. Imagine how much worse it'd have been after you got married to the poor girl."
"Your dad's right. Listen to him," Joey said.
"Yeah I know, but..."
"Chandler you were going to hurt her whatever you did. Isn't it better that it happened now? If there had been children? You turned out OK son, but I know it was difficult for you growing up. "
"But I have to see her again to explain," Chandler insisted.
"Yeah sure you do. But she'll probably kill you," Joey laughed.
"It's not funny."
"I know. It's just what were you thinking? You and Monica? You've met her."
Chandler threw a cushion, but he wasn't really mad at him. He was right. What had he been thinking?
Ross and Rachel had left - both a little shocked and dazed and almost certain to end up in bed together, before regretting it, going on a break and getting back together again.
Monica was calm, in a bad way. She hadn't even taken any notice when Phoebe had deliberately put a hot cup on the phone table. Without a coaster.
"Come on, clean. You know you want to." Phoebe was waving cleaning equipment in front of Monica, but it wasn't working.
Suddenly Monica just started to cry.
"'Mon, yeah let it out - you'll feel better later. " Phoebe sat down and hugged her friend.
"Pheebs," Monica gasped between the tears, " Is it me - have I done something to change Chandler?"
"No. Chandler was confused. Don't blame yourself. You're an attractive woman, " Phoebe had heard people say stuff like this a million times. Standard breakup comfort. But she had a feeling that talking about lobsters might not go down too well this time.
"I love him Phoebe, but..."
"I think if he hadn't broken it up I might have. And I really really wanted to get married. Something wasn't right."
"Phoebe!" Monica hit Phoebe on the arm but there wasn't any force behind it.
"You remember when you said if you had to choose between me or Rachel as a girlfriend, you'd choose Rachel?"
Phoebe did. She had lied, " Vaguely."
"You don't really think I'm too high maintenance do you? You just said that not to hurt Rachel's feelings."
"Uh. Yeah." Phoebe shifted uneasily.
"Only I would pick you. Definitely."
"Well I'm flattered Mon, but it was only a game."
"I'm very good at games. I always win. And I think I could prove to you I'd be much better than Rachel ever could."
In spite of herself Phoebe gasped. She sensed Monica edging in to be kissed and jumped up quickly.
"No - you don't mean it. You're still upset."
"I do mean it Phoebe. I think it could work. Don't you reject me too."
Monica looked like she was going to start crying again. Phoebe couldn't stand it.
"Monica - if we started anything it might not last. You're looking for someone to hurt - I don't want it to be me - I definitely don't want it to be you. If we did get together I'd want it to last."
"Really? You mean you are interested - this isn't a game?"
'Busted', Phoebe thought. Damn she knew she shouldn't have stayed. this was bound to happen. Now she'd probably lost a friend.
"Maybe I should go, I've said too much," Phoebe gathered her coat.
"No! Stay. Don't go. I need you Phoebe. I don't want to be alone tonight. Please."
Phoebe knew this would probably be a huge catastrophe. But Monica just looked so lost and alone. How could she possibly say no?
"All right - but if this works we're not keeping it a secret."
"No. If it fails it fails - silly not to get things out in the open."
Phoebe smiled. Who knew - it might work at that.