[This is the sequel to "Our First Year", which continued the "Something to Talk About" storyline. Joey and Chandler have been lovers for a year, and now, since Joey's new play is successful, Chandler has agreed to quit his job and let Joey support him. Monica and Pete are still a couple because he never did the Ultimate Fighting Champion thing. Ross, Rachel, and Phoebe are all single.

These events take place from late season 3 to the end of season four.]





"Hey," Joey said, as he woke up his newly unemployed boyfriend. "Isn't this better than waking up to your alarm?"

"Yeah," Chandler smiled at him. "No more getting up early, no more wearing a suit and tie, no more messing with numbers in spreadsheets, and no more having to work late worrying about the WENUS."

Joey laughed. "Who picks those abbreviations at that company?"

"I don't know. Maybe somebody who's not getting enough sex."

"That's definitely not you." Joey kissed him and crawled nearer under the covers.

Chandler grinned. "Looks like somebody's WENUS just woke up. Ooh, there's goes another one!"

They had a fun romp in bed that morning, before heading for the shower, where they fooled around a bit more. Finally they settled down, and Joey cooked some eggs for breakfast.

"So," Chandler asked, "how long before you have to get to the theatre?"

"Well, now we're not having daytime rehearsals anymore. I just have to be there every night when the curtain opens. Plus the weekend matinee."

"So you'll be here all day?"

"No, actually, Estelle's still getting me auditions for little things like commercials and stuff. Anything I can do without interfering with the play's schedule."

"Oh, I didn't know that."

"Yeah, I wanna keep earning as much money as possible, so you won't have to worry about paying the bills."

"That's nice, Joey. I have a lot of money saved up from my job, too, in case we need it for emergencies or something."

"Ooh, no emergencies! At least, try not to, because you don't have any health insurance anymore."

"Oh yeah," Chandler realized. "I forgot that when I quit I lost my health benefits. Damn! Well, at least they'll transfer over my retirement account."

"You're not sorry you quit, are you?"

"No, it's okay. I mean, I quit that job once before already, before they lured me back with the promotion. If things get tough, I can get a part-time job to help us out, you know."

"But I thought I was gonna support you?" Joey looked disappointed.

"You will! I'll totally sponge off your paycheck for now. It's just, if we ever need to, can't we be a two-income household? It's not like I'd go back and get my old data-processing job. I could try something new and different. It could be fun."

Joey shrugged. "Okay. But only if you actually like it. I'd rather borrow money from Monica's millionaire boyfriend than have you keep a job that you hate."

"Really? I never knew you hated me hating my job so much."

"Well, I wanna take care of you, you know, and make sure you're happy."

"I'm already happy, just being with you." Chandler kissed him.

***

After breakfast, Joey and Chandler went through their bills and tried to figure out their new monthly budget based on Joey's expected income. For simplicity's sake, Chandler suggested that they get a joint bank account, so they went down to the bank together, and Joey proudly announced, "We want a joint account!"

They signed off on everything, then Joey had to leave for an audition, so Chandler kissed him goodbye and went home alone.

As Chandler puzzled over their finances, he realized ironically that he was still messing with numbers in a spreadsheet. Oh well, at least they were numbers he cared about. Like how much pizza and beer they consumed, how much money they spent on sports and other entertainment, and how much pet food the chick and the duck needed.

He would have to break the news to Joey that they needed to stop getting so much take-out food, and not go out to games as much. Oh well, at least Joey could cook, and they could always watch sports on TV.

The bigger problem would be the issue of health benefits. Sure, Chandler was pretty healthy now, having stopped smoking again and gained some weight, but even routine checkups cost money.

***

Joey came home for lunch, so Chandler caught him up on the budget.

"Okay. I can, like, make a big batch of pasta or something on Sundays so that we'll have leftovers to reheat the rest of the week. And we can always make sandwiches too, or eat at Monica and Rachel's."

"Yeah, I guess. Maybe I should learn how to cook too, so I can help out."

"No, you can just wash all the dishes afterward."

"Oh, right." He frowned. "You sure I can't just ask Monica to do them?"

"You can try, but she's always pissed when Rachel doesn't do their dishes."

"Yeah. Well, I guess it's scrubbing pots and pans for me."

"Don't worry. It's not so bad. You'll still have time to do all your writing and stuff. By the way, what are you gonna write?"

Chandler thought about it and realized that he didn't know. "Um, I'm not sure yet."

"Well, you'll figure it out. I bet it's smart and funny, just like you."