Chandler hurried when he heard knocking on the door. He quickly pulled on a pair of pants and a t-shirt, and flattened his hair to make it less disheveled. It was Friday night, there always was an electric energy in the dorms on Friday nights, the prospect of an epic party constantly looming. Maybe it could even be Gandalf. No one, much less Chandler, wanted to miss out on such an opportunity to avoid another weekend night spent watching TV and reading comics.
He opened the door, only to be left disappointed by the sight of Monica.
"Oh, it's you," he said in a deflated tone.
"I'm here to see Ross," she frowned. They had gotten over the toe cutting incident from the year before―by never talking about it again, but it was still tense and awkward at times between them whenever she visited Ross at NYU.
Monica nudged him, and entered the dorm room Chandler shared with her brother; in her hand a bag of cookies resulting from her baking class of the day. She put it on Ross's desk, and couldn't help but pick up a few items of clothing spread on the floor.
Chandler sighed. It was no good trying to fight her about that. "Please, just make yourself comfortable," he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
A few minutes later, Ross came in with his girlfriend, Carol. The four of them chatted for a while about their classes, Ross and Carol snuggled together in his bed. Monica sat on his desk chair, reluctant to get on Chandler's messy, undone bed where he was lying, with his hands over his head.
"Shall we go out to some bars?" he proposed when the conversation steered towards their plans for the night.
Monica furrowed her eyebrows, visibly upset. "That's unfair. You know I'm not old enough to get into bars."
"It's fine, I'll get you a fake ID," Chandler said with a shrug.
Monica gaped at him. "What? No. I'm not some kind of ... drifter," she stammered, outraged by his solution.
"Relax, it's just a fake ID. Everybody does it, even Ross."
The guys smiled at the memory. It was probably the most stressful thing Chandler's ever done, but he wanted to appear casual about it around his friends. It was a rare cool story to tell.
"Well, I'm not Ross and I don't want to commit a felony."
Chandler inhaled, growing annoyed by her obsession with following rules. Dealing with one stubborn Geller during the week was hard enough. "Monica, it's Friday night. You expect me to stay inside?"
"Oh yeah, because you got hot dates every Friday night," she retorted with a smirk and Chandler felt a blush creeping across his face. She didn't even know him that well and already pinpointed a sore spot. Was it so obvious his life was empty?
"Noooo," he wobbled. "But I could .. get a hot date. And I sure won't get any if I stay here!"
Chandler dared to fix his eyes on her, as if to challenge her. Unsurprisingly, Monica didn't flinch and held his gaze, daring him to defy her.
"Actually, I don't feel like going out," Carol interjected, breaking the growing tension. She yawned and turned to Ross. "We could stay here and play some games."
"How about Scrabble?" Ross suggested enthusiastically.
Chandler rolled his eyes at the couple, there was little chance in the first place he wouldn't get pushed over by the two Geller siblings, but Ross only needed Carol to bat her eyes at him and he would be on board with her wildest offer. Or the dullest one, in this case.
Outnumbered, he resigned himself as he picked up the Scrabble box. They sat on the floor in the middle of the room, Ross naturally siding with Carol.
"So you picked this game just to win," Chandler remarked.
Monica nodded in agreement and turned to Chandler, "Ross won't pick any kind of game that involves physical prowess, he knows I would destroy him," she said with a pleased grin.
Ross mimicked her words until Carol gently scolded him. "Let's see how well you two do against a paleontologist and a lit major. No offense, guys," he teased.
Monica leaned to Chandler and whispered to his ear, "He's playing mind games, don't let him intimidate you." She squeezed his shoulder and he smiled. Chandler guessed if he had to pick between playing against her or with her, it was for the best to be on her team.
Two hours later, he ended up rejoicing and thrilled. He and Monica were crushing their opponents. Chandler was rivaling Ross by coming up with equally impressive words, despite Ross initially gloating about his vast knowledge of scientific words. In fact, Chandler showcased his talent and (hidden) love of words, including a mastery of the two-letter ones, while Monica held herself as well. The long nights of word puzzles and Pyramid marathons were paying off.
A fatal combination of "Qi" and "Jujutsu" was the decisive blow to beat the couple. Monica shrieked, with a smug grin plastered on her face directed specifically at Ross, who was fuming while his girlfriend was indifferent to the outcome of the game.
Monica high-fived Chandler and hugged him in her euphoria.
Chandler was pleasantly startled. He loved beating Ross for once, he enjoyed himself and enjoyed seeing Monica lighten up like that. He couldn't deny her energy was addictive.
Friday nights in a dorm room weren't so bad after all.
I started writing this as a way to unwind and I couldn't stop anymore. I know there are many pre-Mondler stories in the archive - and I love them. This is just my spin on it, and hopefully, some moments/hints/easter eggs that haven't been written about before. Some will have a bit of romantic subtext, some won't.
I have already written a couple of chapters, hoping to update consistently. You can send me your prompts, ideas for post-script episodes, or particular scenes either in the reviews or by private message. The only requirement is to respect the canon timeline.
Thanks for reading. Tell me what you think :)