Wow...what a long ass sentence that was. Anyway, the new story. This came by after I recieved a lovely PM from Gypsy t. Potter, who was thinking of the Season 3 ep, TO without the ski trip, and, more specifically, the part where Chandler collapsed from shortness of breath. She thought 'hmm, more to it then the smoking?' and I thought 'how very interesting?' and then, well, this happened. So, this is completely Gypsy's idea, I'm just doing what she asked hehe, and writing it. It's gonna be a sickness fic, and I already have ideas swirling in my head, because it's an interesting place to put it, what with Ross and Rachel's breakup just happening, so hmmmmmm! But I'll shut up, and let you get on to reading the story. It hasn't taken off anywhere yet, but hopefully, give me time to make it better! Oh, and continuing with my recent 'Matthew Good Band' thing, the title of this fic is taken from one of their songs of the same name. I thought it was fitting. So please read and review, love you all!
I do not own friends/actors/characters, but I do own a sore back. Man, I gotta get outta this computer chair and into the great outside! Pah, yeah right.
Another cough splintered the air and Joey rolled his eyes.
"What?" Chandler managed innocently.
"You've been coughing the entire trip!"
"That's weird. It couldn't be because we've just been skiing…where it's cold…Where-"
"You were coughing before then!"
"It's winter time. It couldn't be because-"
"Okay, that's enough," Monica interrupted from the front of the cab.
"Thank God," Rachel muttered, then turned to Chandler. "Honey? Seriously. The smoking thing, it has to stop!"
"You're just jealous."
"Why would I be jealous of you doing such a filthy, disgusting-"
"Because of how cool and sexy I look doing it."
"Chandler, I don't think many people would find you coughing up a lung cool or sexy."
Chandler responded to Rachel by breaking out into another coughing fit. "Come on," he gasped between coughs. "How is this not sexy?"
"I wonder," Joey muttered. Monica let out a sigh and waited for Chandler to settle down.
"Seriously honey, what sort of an idiot starts smoking while they're just getting over a cold? Or at all?"
"Hey, it's Ross and Rachel's fault! They made me do it with their whole thing!" Chandler exclaimed, wheezing slightly.
"Yeah, well now I'm gonna make you undo it. As soon as we get home, I'm helping you quit!"
Chandler rolled his eyes. "Fine. Hey, Pheebs? Phoebe….Pheebi, Pheebs-a, P-"
"Huh? I wasn't listening," Phoebe spoke up from the driver's seat, almost oblivious to Chandler's ramblings.
"Can we stop soon?"
"No!" his friends exclaimed in unison. Chandler slumped back in his seat.
"Hello?" Rachel entered Apartment 19, glancing around as she smoothed out her work clothes. "Chandler? You home yet?" She received no answer and decided he must've still been at work. A glance back to the door revealed a note on the doodle board, in Joey's messy handwriting, saying, "gone to audition, date with hot girl from CP.'
"Guess he won't be home all night," Rachel muttered to herself, walking over to Chandler's room, tape in hand. She figured she would leave it on his bed, because, knowing her, she would forget about it.
Carefully, she opened both parts of the door, then glanced up and let out a gasp.
"You rang?" Chandler asked from under the covers, one leg sticking out.
"What are you doing in bed? Did you get off work early?"
"No, that would have involved actually going to work," he answered, wheezing slightly. Rachel sighed. He had to quit, she thought as she sat down on the edge of the bed.
"Why?" Suspicion suddenly filtered in and she narrowed her eyes. "Did you just feel like getting an extra long weekend? Because if you did…well, you could have told us schmucks who actually went to work, and we could have-"
"Rach…please, stop talking," Chandler interrupted, wincing and Rachel frowned.
"Did you drink last night?"
"What? No!" He winced again. "Ow."
"Oh…oh, you're sick!" she exclaimed suddenly and Chandler rolled his eyes.
"Well, that only took four hours to figure out."
Rachel let out an annoyed grunt, then leaned forward and felt his forehead. "Jeez honey, you're burning up! Why didn't you call someone?"
"Joey's here…well, he was." Chandler frowned, then let out a short cough. "Where is he?"
"Audition, date, most likely getting laid after."
"Oh…I must've been asleep." Chandler closed his eyes, taking in a harsh breath. "Ow."
"You don't sound good," Rachel commented, feeling his forehead again. Chandler pulled away.
"I'm peachy, I just…I think I might go back to sleep now."
"I'm fine, just a cold. And hey, I haven't smoked once today. Yay!" He raised a fist in celebration, then let it flop back down onto the cover. Rachel tsked, setting the tape down on his bedside table and stood up as he began to cough again. She waited till he was finished.
"Okay. We'll check up one you later, seeing Joey's got a hot date."
"'kay," Chandler said, sounding almost drowsy. "What's on the tape?"
"Oh, just something to help you stop smoking. If you feel the urge, just pop it on and voila."
Chandler nodded, then rolled onto his side, back facing her. Rachel shuffled her feet a couple of times, then turned and left the apartment, hearing Chandler cough as she stepped into the hallway. A cry left her lips as she collided with someone, then a groan as she saw who it was.
"Hi," Ross said softly. Rachel set her jaw.
"How was the trip?"
"Good." He stared at her for a moment and Rachel sighed, knowing she should attempt to make polite conversation.
There was a long pause as they both looked down at their feet, then Ross spoke. "Well, I'm just gonna go hang out with Joey and Chan."
"Joey's not here and Chandler's in bed."
"He has an audition."
"No, why is Chandler in bed?"
"He's sick, don't disturb him," she muttered, pushing past him, towards her door.
"Oh. Well, I'll just…he won't mind if I hung out, would he?"
Rachel paused, then turned to face her ex boyfriend. "Ross, why don't you just go home?"
"Hey, I have every right to be here as you do."
"No, you don't."
"Oh, uh, I think I do."
"Do you live here?" Rachel asked sweetly. Ross faltered.
"No. I do. See how that works?"
"What, so I can't even come here anymore?"
"Well, maybe when I'm not here."
"Were you not listening to Phoebe the other day? Saying how we had to make an effort to get along?" Ross questioned and it was Rachel's turn to falter.
"Don't you think we should try to do that? For our friends?"
She sighed, glancing down at her hands. "Yeah, I know."
"But…it's hard though."
"I know," Ross said softly, glancing up at the door to Apartment 19.
"You still can't go in there, he's sleeping."
"Oh…so, can I come in with you?"
Rachel rubbed her forehead, hating this, hating Ross, missing Ross, and knowing that she should do the right thing. For her friends.
"Yeah," she said tiredly, then turned and opened the door to her apartment, not waiting for Ross. He trailed in behind her, shutting the door.
"Just…watch TV or something, I'm going in my room," she muttered, not looking at him, but she just knew he was nodding. She didn't check and closed her bedroom door behind her. "Son of a bitch."
It wasn't getting easier, she realised as she flopped onto her bed. She still was torn between loving him and ripping his heart out, like he had done to her-
"Harsh image there, Rach."
-and she just didn't know.
Letting out an aggravated sigh, she rolled onto her stomach, pressing her face into her pillow and wishing the bed would just swallow her whole.