A/N: I got a lot of requests to continue this fic, and since I have a sudden spark of inspiration for it, I'm going to do just that!
Sorry that it took me so long, but I'm glad people are liking it! Thank you for reading and for your reviews! don't worry, I haven't forgot about this fic and I do plan to finish it eventually. :)
Chandler woke up in a great mood the day following his 'date' with Rachel. He had really enjoyed himself, and she seemed to have enjoyed
herself too, which made him happy. He was glad he could take her mind off of everything that had happened with Ross, even just for a little while.
Chandler doesn't see Joey anywhere when he gets up, which meant he had already left the apartment, and was probably downstairs at Central Perk. He decided to join him for coffee. As he gets dressed and ready for the day, he starts thinking about the night before and smiles to himself. 'Who knew that Rachel could be so much fun?' he thinks. It was one of the best dates he'd ever been on. He had even got a kiss at the end of the night. But remembering that part gave him an uneasy feeling. 'That didn't mean anything. Or did it?..of course not! Don't be so stupid. She's just your friend. I have got to stop thinking about her.."
Chandler goes into the bathroom to brush his teeth and comb his hair before he leaves the apartment and makes his way down to Central Perk. He sees Joey, sitting by himself on the couch with a coffee and a muffin.
"Hey." Chandler says as he sits down next to him. Joey looks up.
"Hey." he says. "So, uh..how did shopping go last night?"
"Fine.." Chandler answers, picking up on the suspicious tone of Joey's voice. He remembers how he was awake when he got home last night.
Joey keeps looking at him. He raises his eyebrows. "Really?" he says, as he sets down his coffee cup. "It's just, you seemed so excited about it when you got
home last night."
"Well, yeah.." Chandler picks up a newspaper off the coffee table, not looking at Joey. "I was excited because I found some laundry soap for half-price, I mean, hello!
Who wouldn't be excited? Sometimes you gotta learn to enjoy the little things in life, Joe."
Joey smirks, shaking his head. "If I didn't know better I'd say you were on a date!"
"I was not!" Chandler says, immediately getting defensive and lowers his newspaper. He clears his throat. He really doesn't want Joey to know that he was starting to have feelings to Rachel. "I was...uh...I just ran into a friend while I was out, but it wasn't a date!"
"Oh? What friend?" Joey asks.
"Nobody you know.."
"Why don't you wanna tell me?"
Chandler sighs, annoyed that Joey's not letting up on this. He tries to think of a way to answer him that will end this conversation.
"She must be cute." Joey carries on, as he takes a bite of his muffin. "I bet that's why you don't wanna tell me, cause you're worried that I'm gonna try to steal her away from you!"
"Yes, that's exactly why, Joey." Chandler replies, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Joey laughs. "I wouldn't do that to you, man. Although if she meets me and happens to like me, I can't hold myself responsible!"
"Oh, shut up.." Chandler mutters and continues to pretend to read the paper. He flips to the comics to read the jokes.
"Anyways..have you talked to Ross or Rachel lately?" Joey asks.
Chandler glances up, somewhat nervously. "Um...yeah. I did kinda talk to Rachel briefly, yesterday. Why?"
Joey shrugs. "I dunno. I've just been kind of worried about them since their big fight. They haven't been speaking to each other, and it just doesn't seem right, you know? I'm so use to seeing them together."
Chandler shrugs. "Yeah..but I mean, you can't expect them to stay together after something like that, Joe. What Ross did was kind of...hard to overlook. I would think, anyways."
"I know.." Joey said. "But I feel bad for him. I mean, everybody makes mistakes, right?"
"Well.." Chandler begins, setting the newspaper aside. "There is such a thing as making one too many mistakes, Joe. I mean, think about how Rachel must feel. Like..ok, say some girl who you really cared about repeatedly screwed up your relationship, by because of other men, and then you guys break up...but you suddenly have a change of heart, and want to work things out, because you love that person...and you find out that they've already moved on and slept with someone else. Wouldn't you be just a little upset, Joey? I mean, wouldn't you feel like you were meaningless, and disposable to that person, who you really cared about? I'm just saying...Rachel is a person, with feelings, not just a peice of trash! And not only that, but she's a great girl, you know? She
really deserves so much better than that!" Chandler stopped his rant when he noticed the strange, confused way Joey was looking at him.
"Wow.." Joey said. "You alright, man? Did you forget to take your happy pills today?"
Chandler rolled his eyes, picking up his coffee and news paper again.
"Look, I get what you're saying." Joey told him. "But, they're both our friends. I just hope that they can work it out, or at least be friends again."
"Yeah.. I guess." Chandler says, just as he notices Ross walking into the coffee shop.
"Speak of the devil.." he mutters to Joey. Ross doesn't look happy. In fact, he looks down right miserable, but Chandler is pretty much used to seeing his
best friend in that state.
"Hi.." Ross says in his typical meloncholy tone that he always uses when he's upset.
"Hey." Chandler and Joey both reply, and Ross takes the seat next to the couch. He sits their for a while, not saying anything.
"So..how's it going?" Joey finally asks, as it seems appropriate for someone to speak.
Ross lets out a sigh. "Not good. I just...I really want to talk to Rachel about what happened, but she won't talk to me. She won't return my calls or anything. I thought maybe she'd be here, but I doubt she'd talk to me, even if she was. I just want a chance to explain myself. I mean... is that so much to ask?" he sighs again, and stares off for a moment.
'Way to play the victim, Ross..' Chandler thinks, with becoming annoyed. He doesn't say anything. He's going to have to try as hard as he can to bite his tongue this time, no matter how hard it is. The last person he needs to find out about how he's starting to feel about Rachel is Ross.
"Don't worry, she'll come around, man." Joey says.
"Yeah...just give her some time to cool off. I mean, it only just happened a few days ago, right?" Chandler says, because he feels like he needs to say something somewhat encouraging.
Ross shrugs. "I guess...she always does this, though. It's just...this has been so hard, you know? Not being able to see her, or be around her...it's not making this any easier, for me, anyways. The hardest thing is.. I still love her. And not having her around anymore is going to be really, really hard. I mean, what if she starts dating other guys?"
'Then she might have a shot at actually being happy, for once!' Chandler says in his mind. He can't think of an appropriate response to that question, that would make Ross feel better. He suddenly doesn't want to talk about this anymore.
"Yeah..that's gotta be rough." Joey says, shaking his head. "I don't really know what I'd do in your shoes, to be honest."
Ross sighs once again, resting his head in his hands. Nobody says anything else for a few minutes until he looks up at Chandler.
"Chandler, you're being pretty quiet today." he notes.
Chandler feels his face growing warm as he looks away, avoiding eye contact with Ross. He clears his throat. "Am I? I, uh...hadn't noticed."
"Oh, yeah!" Joey pipes up. "Chandler has a crush on someone, but he won't tell me who it is."
Chandler's face lights up even more. "Nuh-uh! I so do not have a crush on anyone!"
Both Ross and Joey look amused by his sudden defensive response.
"Oh yeah?" Ross says. "Who is she?"
'God dammit, Joey..' Chandler thinks. He's very uncomfortable being put on the spot like this. Especially under these circumstances. "It's not a crush!" he insists. "I...I just...bumped into somebody I knew last night, and Joey's making a big deal out of it, and it's not a big deal at all! Nothing happened!"
Ross and Joey exchange a look and laugh. "Oh, sure, Chan." Ross says. "You expect us to buy that? Come on! Tell us who it is. That cute girl in your office?"
"Oh, I know who it was!" Joey says. "I bet it's Janice!"
Both he and Ross seem to find this hilarious and they crack up, but Chandler isn't at all amused. He hates being the brunt of the joke, and he sure doesn't want either of them to know the truth.
"Oh, Ha-ha, very funny!" Chandler snaps at them, and gets up. "God, you guys are so immature!"
He leaves them, still laughing at him, to get order himself a coffee from the front till. After he orders his coffee, Chandler hears the door open again while he's waiting for it. He turns around, and his heart begins racing when he sees Rachel walk in. She makes breif eye contact with him, and gives him a small smile, before she sees Ross, and just stands their, frozen in her tracks. She turns around to leave when Ross quickly gets up and goes over to her. "Rach..please don't go."he says. "Please? I just...I need to talk to you. Just for a minute, ok?" After a moment, he leads Rachel towards the couch. Joey stands up and comes over to where Chandler is.
"Maybe we should uh..go outside for a minute and let them talk." Joey mutters to him. Chandler nods and follows Joey to the door. Part of him wants to hear what's going on.
From outside, he can see them in the window. Joey stands in front of them, so its not obvious they're watching.
"What's going on, can you see them?" Joey asks.
"Yeah..they're just talking." Chandler tells him as he looks over Joey's shoulder through the window. Joey turns around to watch, as well. From the looks of it, Ross is doing most of the talking. Rachel looks so upset. She won't even look at Ross. Chandler feels bad for her, knowing how hard it must be for her to face him. Ross keeps talking for a few minutes. He puts his hand on top of hers, and Rachel suddenly looks very angry. She stands up, yelling at him. And then Ross stands up, too. He says something, and Rachel turns away from him. She storms towards the door.
"Oh God..they're coming! They don't look happy!" Chandler tells Joey, and they both turn around, looking around and trying not to look suspicious.
"It's over, Ross! I'm done!" Chandler hears Rachel say as the door opens. He sees her walking quickly away in the opposite direction.
"Oh, well...fine!" Ross calls after her. "Have it your way, you always do!" and as he watches her leave, his expression softens. Like he knows he shouldn't have said that.
With a heavy sigh, he turns towards Chandler and Joey. He hangs his head, in silence.
"Ross? You okay?" Joey asks. He pats Ross on the back. "Listen..why don't we see if we can score some tickets to tonights Knicks game? We should do something to try and take your mind off this."
"..Ok." Ross replies, sounding depressed. He and Joey start walking away, but Chandler stays where he is, staring off in the direction Rachel went. She turned the corner, and he lost sight of her, but he doesn't feel right leaving when he saw how upset she was.
"Chandler, you coming?" Joey asks, looking back at him.
"Huh?" Chandler says turning around. "Yeah...just, uh...I'll catch up to you guys. It's kinda windy out, I'm gonna go upstairs and grab a warmer jacket."
"Alright, man. We'll meet you there." Joey says, and they keep walking down the street towards where the store that sold the tickets was. Chandler turns into the enterance of the apartment building and just stands near the door for a minute. He checks around the corner to make sure they can't see him anymore before he heads off to where he saw Rachel go. He realizes he might not be able to find her and he stops at the corner where she disappeared. He looks around, and is about to turn around and catch up to Joey and Ross, when he sees her, standing with her back against the brick wall, and crying. She doesn't seem to notice him, so he approaches slowly, with caution.
"What!?" she says, quickly. Clearly, she's still very upset, and why shouldn't she be? Ross had no right to talk to her the way he did. If he was trying to win her back, he sure wasn't doing a good job.
Chandler takes another step towards her. "Um...a-are you alright?"
Rachel looks down, as tears fall down her cheeks. Her mouth turns down in a sad way, and she shakes her head. Chandler doesn't really know what to do to make her feel better. He's usually not very good at this kind of thing, but he has to do something.
"Awh, Rach.. I'm sorry." he says, and hesitantly reaches his arms out towards her. He's taken by surprise when she falls into them, returning his hug. She rests her head against his shoulder, still crying, softly.
"Oh Chandler, I just don't know what to do.." she says though the tears.
"Shh...come on, now. It'll be ok." Chandler says, sympathedically. He puts his hands on her shoulders and gently pulls back to look at her face. "Listen, Ross is just...well, I'm not gonna lie, he's being an ass right now. A huge ass! Like..so big that, if you could find a pair of pants big enough for him, you'd have to iron them in the street! That's how big of an ass Ross is!"
Rachel lets out a quiet laugh. She wipes her eyes with the back of her hand. "Yeah.." she says quietly.
"I mean..he's making a lot of huge mistakes right now that I know he's going to regret," Chandler tells her."But..he's the one who should feel bad right now, ok? Not you."
Rachel looked down for a moment, and back up at Chandler with a smirk. "Chandler..why are you being so nice to me? I mean, not that I don't appreciate it. But why? You're Ross's friend. You don't have to feel sorry for me."
Chandler takes a deep breath. He hesitates for a moment, thinking of how to answer her. "Well I...guess I just do. I mean..I don't think it's right for Ross to hurt you like this. I mean, just because you're beautiful, doesn't mean you don't have any feelings.."
Rachel looks up, giving him a smirk. "You really think I'm beautiful?"
"Well...uhm.." Chandler stammers, nervously. He clears his throat. "I..I guess. I mean..don't you? You own mirrors, right?"
She laughs again, shaking her head. "Chandler, you really surprise me, sometimes. I didn't know you could be so sweet."
Chandler smiles and gives a shrug. "Neither did I. Then again, you're probably the first person to call me sweet. I usually get "socially awkward" or "sarcastic bastard" you know..those sorts of things. But I'm glad I can help. You know, you look so much prettier when you're smiling." he reaches over, gently wiping the tears from her cheeks. "Not that you don't look pretty all the time.."
Rachel smirks again and glances up, catching his gaze and holding it for a moment. He can't look away from those beautiful blue eyes of hers. Even though they are full of tears, they're still so beautiful. There is a silence between them, for several seconds until it is broken by someone else.
"Rachel!" Hearing Phoebe's voice, Rachel quickly turns around, seemingly startled by the sudden interruption. Behind her, Chandler see's Phoebe and Monica walking towards them, quickly.
"There you are! I thought you said you would meet us downstairs?" Monica says.
"Oh..I..I, uhm, I did, I was going to..I just.." She stammers.
"Are you crying? What's wrong?" Phoebe asks, and shoots Chandler an intimidating glare. "Chandler, what did you do to her!?"
"N-nothing, guys. He didn't do anything. I'm fine. Really." Rachel quickly answers.
"Well, what's wrong, Rach?" Monica asks, looking at her friend with a concerned expression. "Is it Ross?"
Rachel nods, sniffling a bit and wiping her eyes. "Yeah. But...I'm ok, now. Chandler was just uh..well, he made me feel better."
Phoebe turned to Chandler, curiously. "Really? You can do that?"
Chandler gave a shrug. "Apparently. Believe me, I'm just as surprised as you are."
Monica put her arm around Rachel, in a sympathetic way. "Awh, Rach, I'm sorry my brother is such a big jerk. Come on, let's go get some coffee. You coming Chandler? We're going shoe shopping afterwards."
"Gee, I think I'll pass this time. See, I'm getting my nails done this afternoon, and I already have more high heels than I can shake a stick at. But you ladies have fun!" he says, with a wave and walks past them. He figures he should catch up with Ross and Joey before they start to wonder where he is, but he pauses before he walks past Rachel, placing his hand awkwardly on her shoulder.
"Hope you feel better.." he says, quietly. She quickly pulls him in for another hug. It takes him slightly by surprise when she also kisses him on the cheek.
"Thanks Chandler. I already do." when she lets go, he notices Monica and Phoebe exchange a puzzled glance at each other. Rachel looks at him with a smile before she joins them again.
"Bye, guys." Chandler mutters as he keeps walking, hoping that Monica and Phoebe don't suspect anything. He has an uneasy feeling as makes his way towards the ticket shop where Ross and Joey are. He sighs as he approaches a cross walk. 'How much longer am I going to be able to keep this a secret?' he thinks. 'What if I just told her? Just got it out, and told her exactly how I feel? I wonder what she would say?'
He didn't know what to do about this anymore, but he realized talking to somebody about it might be the only choice he had right now.