Yes, I know, it's a bit late for a Christmas story, but to be fair, I did have this written in mid December. I was just unable to post it, because it was entered in a fanfic challenge. The challenge is over now, and this story is the official winner of the 2nd Fanfic Challenge brought to you by Friends Cafe (as I have in the last few seconds decided to name the challenge) I actually won something! Oh, happy days! So here we go, here is my belated, but still meaning well Christmas story. Love Love Love!
It was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
The snow was falling, turning into something grey and New Yorky, the Christmas music was making ears bleed and Monica was being anal about the decorations.
Yep. Definitely Christmas. Chandler had even checked the calendar once or twice – maybe twelve times – just to confirm.
December 18th. Right there in big – okay, small – writing. Taunting him.
Seven more days, and yet to Chandler, it still felt like Thanksgiving.
He loved Christmas, got over-the-top happy about it. But he was in the midst of his Thanksgiving blues, which was why he had now checked the calendar thirteen times.
It was Janice's fault, naturally. No, it was her husband and his lips fault.
Right now, it was Ross and Rachel's fault.
Joey was asleep on the couch, half empty beer bottle held against him chest, slowly dripping onto his shirt and the cushions.
Monica hadn't noticed yet, thank Moses. Se was too busy rearranging the lights on the tree. Chandler snatched the bottle from Joey – he remembered the spaghetti on the bedspread incident too well and valued Joey's life too much.
He set the bottle down on the table, glaring at Ross and Rachel. They were snuggling. Snuggling. In front of him. Him without Janice or her big hair or . . .
"Hey man, you gonna eat that muffin?" Ross asked, managing to tear himself away from Rachel's neck.
Chandler picked up the muffin and bit into it, staring at Ross while he slowly chewed. They could take away his Christmas spirit with their happiness, but there was no way Ross would touch his delicious blueberry muffin. He couldn't snuggle, all he had was the muffins.
Ross raised his eyebrows. "Uh . . . okay."
"Something wrong, Chandler?" Rachel's voice was sweet, her eyes filled with concern and a hint of fuzziness from the copious amount of nog she had consumed.
"I like muffins." Chandler came off pissy, childish and he wondered how much nog he had drunk. A few more and he might have ended up soliciting sex from a callboy named Miguel. Or passed out on the bathroom floor, like his mom. Either way, he was morphing into his parents.
Joey snorted but stayed asleep as everyone else turned to the door. Phoebe set her bag down on the table, adjusted her Santa hat and gave a hearty wave.
"Nice hat, Pheebs!" Rachel called.
"Thanks, I found it in the gutter." Phoebe flopped down next to Chandler. He looked at her hat and shrugged.
It was still Christmassy, even if it was a bit dirty. He didn't even want to know what the brown stain was. But Phoebe was happy . . . too happy.
Chandler wanted to check the calendar again. It couldn't be Christmas. But the hat was there, taunting him.
"Son of a bitch," he muttered.
Ross and Rachel gave him odd looks, Joey snored, Monica muttered something about symmetrical tinsel and Chandler felt himself sink deeper into the couch, his metaphor for the pit of despair.
Phoebe just nodded. "Yeah, so you've been saying that for a while."
Chandler just looked at her. He couldn't even muster up a good comeback, no witty retort, no Chan attack. Nothing.
"So, anyway," Phoebe continued, "I got you a gift! Too cheer you up!"
"You didn't find it in the gutter, did you?" Chandler asked after a pause.
Phoebe shook her head. "No, I stole it from my neighbour."
She smiled, reached into her pocket and pulled out the gift with a proud little cry. Rachel leaned forward, peering close. "Is that a smooshed bit of mistletoe?"
"Ya huh!" Phoebe nodded, holding it above Chandler's head. She pressed her lips against his before he could protest. "There! Now that I'm done, it's your turn, Chandler Bing. Kiss away!" She handed the plant to Chandler. "Not Janice," she added. "Or me. You've done me. Well, I've done you, but you know. Maybe later, when we're alone."
She added a flirtatious wink, which elicited surprised looks from Ross and Rachel, another snore from Joey, and complete disregard from Chandler. Disgruntled, Phoebe stood up and walked into the kitchen.
"Hmm." Chandler eyed off the mistletoe. Maybe this could be fun. Maybe it would help him get into the Christmas spirit and away from the Thanksgiving blues . . . especially if he got to make out with some hot girl. Always a plus. Chandler looked up at Rachel thoughtfully.
She stared right back, a small smile playing on her lips. Was that look . . . was she flattered? Rachel Green, flattered by the attention, and the possibility of a kiss from the Chan Chan Man?
He must have been reading her wrong. Too much nog on both sides. But Ross was pulling Rachel closer anyway, a territorial look coming over his face as he noticed the silent flirting. "Uh uh."
"Hmm." Chandler looked back at the mistletoe. Phoebe was out, Rachel was out . . . for now, maybe later, when Ross was gone, but Chandler couldn't do that to Ross, they were best buds. Not best buds like him and Joey, but . . .
No, that would be . . .
He'd leave Rachel alone. It seemed like the moral thing to do. He wouldn't even think about Joey and mistletoe in the same sentence – they didn't want a repeat of the kiss from two New Years Eve's ago. That would be . . .
"Hmm." Chandler looked up at Monica, still oblivious near the Christmas tree. She was the only person left, and she was hot. He'd always had a bit of a crush on her, ever since that fateful Thanksgiving where she'd worn that little dress. Seeing her like that had almost made the loss of his toe worth it.
But she was pretty, sweet and when not obsessing over . . . everything, the perfect woman. Hotter than Rachel, in his opinion, and more accessible. Monica didn't have a boyfriend glaring at him . . .
Still glaring at him. Ross sure knew how to hold a grudge.
But it was decided.
"Say, Monica," he started. Monica didn't answer, so he looked over. She was rehanging one of the Christmas balls. Chandler sometimes worried about her mentality. He let out an exasperated sigh, got up and walked over to her. "Say, Monica," he repeated, two inches from her ear.
She jumped, spun around and slapped him on the shoulder. "Chandler! You scared me! What . . ." her voice trailed off as she looked up; found the mistletoe above her head. "Oh."
Chandler didn't let her say anything else, just swooped in for the kill, his lips meeting hers. He heard Phoebe and Rachel whoop in the background, but ignored the noise. Monica was important right now, her lips were important, and the fact that her knees had buckled was very important. Score one for Chandler Bing.
He held her up, pulled away slightly and looked into Monica's eyes. She was looking more than a little flustered and Chandler felt that his work here was more than done. He gave her a cheesy grin. "You can go back to your decorations now."
Chandler nodded, patted her on the shoulder. He turned around; attempting to ignore the niggling thought in the back of his mind that maybe he had enjoyed that kiss more than was normal.
He came face to face with Ross. Still glaring Ross. "Uh, hi."
"That's my sister," Ross said in a tight voice.
Chandler swallowed nervously. Damn. He hadn't thought of that. Now he was going to die.
"Wait!" Phoebe exclaimed from the kitchen. "I got mixed up! The hat was from my neighbour, not the mistletoe! That was totally from the gutter." She shrugged, popped a piece of candy in her mouth.
Chandler let out a disgusted shriek and tossed the mistletoe to the ground.
It was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
The snow was falling, turning into something grey and New Yorky, the Christmas music was making ears bleed and Monica was still being anal about the decorations.
Yep. Definitely Christmas. Chandler hadn't checked the calendar though . . . maybe once, but just to confirm that it was Christmas Eve.
But it actually felt like Christmas to Chandler now. Not Thanksgiving, that was in the past, along with Janice and her husbands lips.
He let out a happy sigh, nudged Joey in the side to keep him awake and smiled at Ross and Rachel. They were snuggling again, and Rachel was drunk again, still kinda flirting with Chandler. It was a good day, but Chandler couldn't flirt back. One, it was wrong with the moral code. And Two, he had eyes only for Monica.
Well, that was wrong with the moral code too, with the whole Ross being her brother issue, but they all had little secrets.
Monica was rewrapping her mothers Christmas present, third time so far, having to get it perfect. She was frazzled, and Chandler deftly moved the cushion to hide what appeared to be a new stain on the couch, compliments of Joey Tribbiani.
They all had their little secrets, and what Monica didn't know, couldn't hurt her.
She looked up, smiled at Chandler. He smiled back, gave her a wink and Ross glowered in the background.
Yep. Definitely Christmas.