A/N: Short little chapter, 'cause I can't really go much further without a decision... and I'm waiting on the Mandate Of The People.

I was surprised to find that people wanted Phoebe and Chandler to get back together in the 'present' (Season Three) of the fic. It wasn't what I'd planned, but I'd be glad to do it. If you care either way, pro-or-anti P/C in the present, leave a comment.


November, 1988

"Hey, Chandler, is that a 'Playboy'?" Carol asked, lounging across his bunk and examining underneath.

"Yes, but I *only* jerk off to the articles."

"Dude!" Ross cried in disgust, hitting Chandler in the shoulderpad. "That's my *girlfriend*, tone it down!"

Carol laughed, pulling the magazine out from beneath Chandler's guitar case. "Lighten up, sweetie... it was funny." She cracked the magazine, whistling appreciatively. "Ohhhhh man... Pia Reyes! Ross, c'mere, this chick is stupid hot."

"Sorry, sweetie, we've gotta head here in a minute." Ross adjusted his bright blue suit and chartreuse t-shirt, running a hand over his carefully maintained stubble. "How do I look?"

"Aww, you look just like Sexy Smurf," Carol laughed, pulling him down to the bunk for a kiss. "You look nice too, Chandler."

"You don't think I look like a peppermint?" he worried into the mirror.

"Well yeah, but in a good way." Carol grinned, throwing her beer can into the trash. "I'm sure if your... *secret girlfriend* could see you, she'd think you were real hot stuff."

Chandler whirled, glaring at Ross. "I do *not* have a *girlfriend*."

"Sorry, sorry," Ross laughed. "I'm sure if your secret, 'girl you sleep with and spend all your time with yet won't admit you're dating' could see you..."

"Hey, look... if it were up to me, we *would* be dating," Chandler said, plucking at the lapel of his white suit. "But thanks for rubbing it in, man."

"So, wait," Carol said, crawling into Ross' lap and slinging an arm around his neck, "You're sleeping together... you see each other all the time... but she won't date you?"

Chandler turned from the mirror with a sigh. "She says if we're not dating, we can't break up, and she can never lose me. She's got some... understandable issues about losing people."

"That's what he needs, too, a girl with more issues than him," Ross played with Carol's hair. "You shoulda seen the death wish this guy used to have. Y'know he used to go on midnight walks through the Park with a machete in his boot? And wouldn't *ever* tell me why?"

"Ooooh," Carol teased. "Sounds like Mr. Comedian's got a dark, mysterious side...!"

She bounced off Ross' lap, giving him a goodbye kiss and patting Chandler's chest on her way out the door. "Don't worry, Chandler. In the hot pink shirt, no one will guess."


Phoebe hit the hospital doors in a hurricane of blonde ringlets and hippie skirt, pelting down the hallways, zig-zagging around pedestrians.

410... 412... 414...

She slammed the door open, chest heaving. Chandler was asleep in the small white bed, curled up against a pillow.

"Who was she?" Phoebe demanded.

His eyes fluttered open, and he reached for her. "Hey, Pheebs."

"Don't 'Hey Pheebs' me, buster. Who is she?"

"Who's who?" Chandler murmured groggily.

"The bitch who cut off your toe! Gimme a name, I'm gonna kill her."

Chandler reached out, took her hand in his. "Don't worry about it, Pheebs."

"Don't... don't *worry* about it?" Phoebe sputtered. "Um, hello? People keep cutting parts of you *off*! You're gonna be the Tin Man if I don't do something!"

Chandler laughed. "It was an accident, okay? She dropped a knife, it went through my shoe."

"An accident," Phoebe repeated darkly, crossing her arms. "Sure."

"She's not like that," Chandler murmured. "You don't know her, Pheebs, she's so... sweet... and naive... she wouldn't do that."

Phoebe's eyes narrowed. "'Sweet' and 'naive', huh? She must be mega-hot."

"Oh, trust me... she is," Chandler laughed, falling back into his pillow.

Pheebs felt a lump in her throat and forced it down. "So who was she?"

"Ross' little sister," Chandler sighed dreamily.

"Ross' little sister... the whale?" Phoebe said dubiously.

"Hey, don't talk about her like that! She's lost a *lot* of weight!"

"Ladies and gentlemen, Chandler Bing," Phoebe spat. "The Shallowest Man Alive."

"Hey, I always thought she was nice! I just wasn't attracted to her before!"

"Uh-huh," Phoebe glared. "Yeah, *that's* what you kept talking about when you got back last year. How *nice* she was, sure."

"I may have been... a little derogatory..."

"Oh *please*, Chandler! Now you're the Biggest Hypocrite Alive!"

"What do you care?" Chandler huffed. "You're the one who keeps saying we're not dating. So what if I think Ross' little sister is cute?"

"You don't think she's 'cute', Chandler... you're all," Phoebe put both hands to the side of her head and sighed deeply, doing her 'lovesick Chandler' impression, "Ohhhhh... ex-whale-girl... ohhhhh!"

"Her *name* is *Monica*."

"Oooh sorry! Ohhhhhhh Moooooniiiicaaaa, then!"

"Did you come here to cheer me up? Because you're doing a shitty job."

"Look, Chandler. I think it's time we stopped sleeping together."


"Well, if you're 'branching out', I don't wanna get some *disease*."

"I didn't sleep with her! I talked to her for five minutes, and then she *cut off* my *toe*!"

"Whatever. That's not the point."

"You don't *have* a point!"

"Bite me, Bing," Phoebe spat. "I have to get the cab back."

"Pheebs, wait... Pheebs, don't go, please..."

"Seeya around," Phoebe called, slamming the hospital door open.


Phoebe ran down the hospital corridor as quickly as she'd run in, hurling herself around corners and through doorways. She reached the cab, threw herself inside, and stared blankly at the steering wheel...

Before putting her head down on it and sobbing.