AN: Alright, I finally sat down and started working on that Friends/Moulin Rouge! fic I've been writing and re-writing for months…uh, I am pretty much ripping off Moulin Rouge! here, so uh…yeah. This fic takes place in modern day though, and Chandler is the only one from New York, and Monica and Ross are not related.
I own no "Friends" characters, and the awesome and wonderful Baz Luhrmann is the man responsible for the wonder that is Moulin Rouge!
This one's for Vixie Bing, who wanted me to do this ages ago…hope it was worth the wait, babes.
The Nightclub of Your Dreams
Chapter One: Chandler Arrives
It was a city of lights, filled with dreams of instant fortunes, and a life less ordinary.
Featured in countless books and films, Las Vegas was a city like no other, and it was the one place where anyone could be anything.
Chandler Bing stepped off the train, and smiled. He looked around at the dazzling lights and pumping music, and knew that if he could make it here, his life would forever change. Chandler had come to Vegas to try his hand at writing. He was tired of being a data processor. It was dull and boring. That wasn't what he wanted. He wanted to do something… Something interesting and fulfilling, not just sit around all day staring at a screen and working a dull company where it made no difference whether he showed up or not. Maybe out here, he could matter. Maybe here he could make a name for himself. He could write fantastic performances and the best heart-breaking, soul-lifting stories. People would watch and be amazed at the twists and turns in his magnificent plots and be begging for encores. It was a wonderful dream. Chandler was just naïve enough to believe that dreams could come true.
He looked down at the piece of paper in his hand. "L'Hôtel de l'Amour," he mumbled aloud. He looked up at the building he was now standing in front of and then back at the paper at the scribbled down address. He sighed heavily. Yep, this was the right place. It was a dreary, depressing place that seemed to lean to one side. Moss…or something that resembled moss, covered the walls, and several windows were broken or boarded up. Chandler walked through the front door and approached the front desk. A miserable looking elderly woman, sitting behind the desk, barely acknowledged him as he approached.
"Pardon me, but um, is there a room available?" Chandler asked softly.
The woman didn't respond, she simply tossed a key, attached to a large plastic key chain, onto the desk.
"Um, how much---"
"45 a night, and no noise after 11. No smoking in the room, no animals, no hookers," the woman muttered robotically.
Chandler shrugged, and made his way up the stairs and down the dark hallway.
He looked at the number on the faded tag, and found his way to his room. The room was small and dark, and was just what he needed to work on his play with no distractions. And besides, the best writers were often penniless writers, weren't they?
He took his belongings over to the small bed in the damp corner of the room and opened up the bag. He took out the small, cheap laptop that he had bought with the remaining portion of his salary and saving before heading off to Vegas to live a penniless existence. He sat down to begin to type the first of his many gripping stories of adventure, comedy, angst and above all things: love. Then suddenly, it hit him; he'd never experienced any of these things. Nothing exciting, funny or dramatic had ever happened to him and he had never, ever been in love. He slumped down on the bed, not knowing what to do next. Without inspiration he couldn't write.
"I suppose I could go out and actually look for inspiration," He thought aloud. He got up and walked out the door. As he turned the corner, he slammed into someone, and fell to the floor. Chandler groaned as he hit the hardwood floor, and as he struggled to stand, he looked to see whom he had run into. A young, handsome man lay on the floor where Chandler had knocked him over. He grumbled as he stood up and looked at Chandler. Chandler smiled apologetically and the man held out a hand to help him up.
"You ok?" the man asked.
"I'm fine, thanks. Sorry about that though," He said as he brushed dust and dirt from the floor off of his clothes.
"No problem man, things happen," The man said warmly and as they shook hands, the man introduced himself.
"Chandler Bing," Chandler replied.
"Good to meet you Chandler," Joey smiled, "So, what brings you to Vegas?"
"Well," Chandler said, "I'm a writer, and I'm hoping to write the next great show!"
"You're kidding! That's great! Look, my friends and I are trying to put together a show right now! You gotta come see what we've done! Come on!" Joey pulled on Chandler's arm, leading him up to the apartment that sat directly above his.
The apartment was slightly larger than his own, and devoid of any furniture, save for a small rickety bed. In the far corner of the room, sat a strange, eclectic-looking set, that included a hastily painted sky, and what appeared to be a castle.
"Everyone, I'd like you to meet Chandler Bing," Joey announced, as they walked through the front door, "Chandler, that's Ross, Phoebe, and Gunther," Joey pointed to the three people that were standing in front of the painted set.
"Hey," he waved.
"Chandler is a writer," Joey smiled.
The faces of the other three lit up, and they approached Chandler enthusiastically.
"This is perfect!" Phoebe exclaimed.
"Our last writer quit on us, when we suggested that doing a play that's set in the medieval period may not fit into the whole 'Parisian' theme," Gunther explained.
"I mean, wouldn't that play work better at the Excalibur?" Ross added.
"I don't—uh—" Chandler stammered.
"Have you ever written a play before?" Phoebe asked.
"N-no!" Chandler shook his head.
The others looked at each other, and Joey shrugged.
"Well, we need to write a story about…well—"
"I think it should be a revolutionary play about truth and freedom during the revolution!" Ross boomed.
"No! It should be about the beauty of Paris!" Phoebe cried.
"It should be about love!" Chandler blurted out.
"What?" Joey asked.
"It should be…about love," Chandler smiled.
"Yes! Love!" Phoebe danced around happily.
"Okay, but is Jack going to buy it?" Ross asked.
"Uh, who's Jack?" Chandler asked.
"Jack Geller is the owner of the Paris casino," Joey replied.
"And The Paris is putting on the show?"
"Well, we're hoping they will. They have a nightclub, but Geller wants to turn the club into a theatre. His dream is to bring Broadway shows into the house, but he can't do that until he established this place as a viable, authentic theatre," Ross said.
"I see," Chandler scratched his head. What the hell was he getting himself into?
"Jack isn't gonna like the fact that we are changing everything…including the writer," Gunther shook his head.
"We'll just have to convince him that Chandler is the hottest young writer to come out of…where did you say you were from?" Joey asked.
"New York," Chandler smiled.
"Perfect! He's the hottest young writer to come out of New York since…Jonathan Larson!"
"And how are we going to do that? He doesn't listen to any of us!"
"Yes, but he does listen to Monica," Phoebe smiled slyly.
Chandler furrowed his brow, "Who is Monica?"
"She's the star of the current show…actually, she's the star of all of the Rouge's shows," Ross said.
Off Chandler's look, Ross continued, "The Moulin Rouge is the name of the club."
Chandler nodded. Yep, he was definitely in over his head.
"Richard, I'm so happy you could fly out," Jack Geller smiled, as Richard stepped out of his black stretch limo.
Richard Burke was Hollywood's hottest producer, and well known as a maverick in Hollywood circles. He often took large, risky chances that most producers wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. But he always succeeded, and had managed to make a name for himself—along with millions of dollars—in just ten years.
"Consider this a favour that you owe me, Geller," Richard smiled, and straightened his jacket, "So, this is your latest venture, huh?" Richard peered up at the replica of the Eiffel Tower—The Paris Casino's pride and joy.
"This is it," Jack beamed, "Come on in, I'll show you the Moulin Rouge…you're gonna love it."
"I'm sure I will," Richard sneered, and followed Jack inside.
Monica stared at herself in her dressing room mirror, and sighed sadly. She was definitely losing weight, but it wasn't enough. There was no way she was going to get noticed if she didn't lose at least ten more pounds. She sucked in her cheeks slightly, in an attempt to accentuate her already prominent cheekbones.
The news that The Richard Burke was going to be in the house tonight only made matters worse. Sure she was the star of the show, but would Richard take notice of her? Would she finally get the break she'd been longing for? Would she finally be able to leave this God-forsaken oven of a city? Sighing again, she put on her most charming smile, and walked out into the club.
AN: Okay, the first part is a lot like the film, but it will deviate a bit later on. Let me know what you think…reviews are more helpful than you'd think!