This takes place directly after 306, The One With The Flashback, in which Janice asks the Friends to solve a "dirty math problem" -- which of the six of them has slept with the six of them.

Edited slightly after a discussion with someone who was actually Chandler's and Phoebe's age then. Boyfriends! So useful.


"And then I missed the exit, a-and they asked what I was thinking about... and I told them, um, Barry," Rachel finished.

"Interesting," Chandler coughed, hiding a spreading grin behind his hand. It was quickly extinguished by Ross elbowing him painfully in the ribs.

"Soooo," Janice said slowly, pointing her finger from pair to pair, "Friends in high school... brother and sister... roommates in college... ad in the paper... I'm *almost* caught up, I think."

"I sublet my grandmother's apartment when she moved to Florida, and that's when I met Kip, who lived across the hall. We started dating..." Monica supplied.

Ross took over. "Yeah, and Kip's roommate bailed a few months later. He asked me if I knew anyone looking for a place, and Chandler was..."

"So Chandler moved in with Kip, and I was having problems making rent by myself, so Phoebe moved in."

Janice nodded. "Okay, so, how'd you meet Phoebe?"

"You know, I don't... actually... remember," Monica said in confusion. "Pheebs, help me out here."

"I don't remember either," Phoebe said quickly. "Anyone need more coffee?"

Monica ignored her. "Oh, man... this is gonna drive me nuts! I wouldn't have placed an ad, I... but I know I didn't know her, I do remember that... someone... someone..."

Monica snapped her fingers in victory. "Chandler recommended her to me!"

"Oh, really?" Janice said. "Chandler, how'd you know Phoebe?"

Chandler and Phoebe shared an uneasy look. "Oh, you know, from around," Chandler said casually.

"Whoa-whoa-whoa," Joey interrupted. "*You* knew Pheebs before anyone else? How come we never heard this story?"

"You guys never mentioned this, ever!" Rachel accused. "I mean, you even... I can remember specifically... you acted like you barely knew each other!" A suspicious look grew in her eyes. "Oh my god, did you guys used to date?"

"How'd you meet?" Ross asked curiously.

"At a restaurant," Chandler replied.

"At my massage clinic," Phoebe said at the exact same time.

The other five stared at them suspiciously.

"Fine. Fine! We've known each other since high school," Phoebe said. "Are you happy now?"

"Whoa," Monica breathed.

"Whoa-whoa, not possible," Ross announced smugly. "Chandler went to an all-boys high school, and you, you said you'd been living on the streets since you were fourteen!"

"You don't know *everything*, Dr. Geller," Phoebe muttered.

"Look, guys, you gotta tell us the story," Joey begged.

"Let me phrase it this way," Janice said, squeezing Chandler's knee. "I know every part, and every word, to 'Les Miserables'. You guys start telling the story, or the concert begins in thirty seconds."

"Janice..." Chandler begged.

"I'm the poor convict Jean Valjean," Janice threatened. "I'm so hungry, I just gotta sing high notes..."

"You want to start?" Chandler turned to Phoebe in despair.

"Nah," Phoebe replied, sitting back with a resigned sigh. "You go."



Nora Bing leaned against the doorframe and stared at her teenaged son, shaking her head.

"Darling, I don't know what disturbs me more... that you're wearing eyeliner, or that it used to belong to your father."

Chandler looked up from tying his boots with a glare. "You send me off to be a weatherboy in a gay burlesque show for two months, but this, *this* bothers you."

"Well, couldn't you have chosen a different Village Person? Why not the cowboy, o-or the construction worker? Who exactly do you think is going to attack you, here with the pointy things?"

She reached out and spun several studded leather bracelets that were attached around Chandler's wrist, then let her fingers brush through his newly-dyed black hair.

"I just can't decide if you're supposed to be Elvis or Priscilla, darling, and I don't think it's a good look for you. Your hair was such a lovely color."

Chandler grabbed his backpack, glared one more time for good measure, and stabbed one black-polished fingernail towards a poster of Robert Smith.

"Oh, darling, is *that* who you're supposed to be? She's pretty."

She was cut off by the sound of the door slamming and sighed.


Chandler slumped down on a bench outside the rec hall, pulling a box of Sobranies out of his backpack and lighting one.

Ah, August. The month where his mother ran out of places to ship him off to. The month of 'Teens in Trouble' camp... because there just wasn't a problem that couldn't be fixed by the friggin' ropes course.

And talking, of course. Lots and lots of talking. Endless hours of group sessions, endless hours of whining, endless hours of impossibly perky counselors who wanted you to share, share, share your way to inner light and deeper meaning, as expressed in a never-ending stock of stupid cliches.

Compared to this, dodging the drunken advances of his father's other backup dancers had been Disneyland on Ecstasy.

"Hey, Goth Boy," a voice said behind him. "Can I bum one?"

"Whatever," he muttered, shoving the box towards the redhead who sat down next to him.

"Oh, I know you," she said, lighting one and inhaling deeply. "Gay dad, romance-novel-writing mom!"

Chandler raised an angry eyebrow. "And you must be no dad, dead mom."

The girl let out a fake shudder. "Ooooh, it speaks. And it's so *mean*!"

She poked his notebook with a finger. "Lemme guess. Filled with deep, meaningful poetry about how no one understands your tortured soul."

"Oh, you know me *that* well."

"Well, you're kinda screaming it, what with the entire outfit from the 'no one understands my tortured soul' collection."

Chandler snorted. "Uh-huh. And you're *so* original."

"I just might be."

"Okay, sure. Let's see. Scanning database... scanning... why, you're a vegetarian, Wiccan, Kate Bush fan. The red hair is a dye job 'cause you desperately wish you were Irish. You dress up as a fairy at every chance you get, you go through a pot of glitter a month, and in that purple backpack is..." he paused, smirking, for effect, "a battered copy of 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull'... an even more battered copy of 'Illusions'... and at least one rose quartz."

The girl's face fell. "Screw you."

"No-no, screw you," Chandler spat back.

She stubbed out the cigarette angrily. "I think our break's over, so you'd... you'd better finish up your poseur, black, Russian cigarette, which, by the way, I should tell you, you are not actually inhaling."

"I am *too*."

"You are *not*. C'mon, suck it all the way in, this should be funny."

She crossed her arms and watched him. Chandler took another drag. What was wrong with the way he smoked?

The girl hit him lightly across the solar plexus, and Chandler inhaled sharply from surprise. Immediately, he began coughing, and his head swam.

"Oh, that *was* fun. See you inside, Vampire Boy."


To be continued...