Between Us~Chapter 1~This Cold Street

I'm back with something new! Sound the trumpets and beat the drums 'cuz Becca has made yet another creative breakthrough! Ok, maybe not a breakthrough…I just hope that it's all right. Hmm…I can't give much background right now, b/c most will be revealed in the upcoming chapters, but this is, of course, a Chandler and Monica fic. (come on, did u really expect anything else from me?) Chandler's 40, and Monica's 39 in this…to read this, u have to know that Mon and Chandler did sleep together in London, but left it as a one-night stand, only. Hmm…I guess that's really all I can reveal right now. Hopefully, questions will be answered in this upcoming 2 or maybe 3 chappies, but if not, u can ask me. Knowing me, I probably forgot something. All righty then, let's get down to business. Please read and review—hopefully this will be worth continuing, but still, I need to know what u, as the reader, think. Ok, chapter 1…

Disclaimer: Do I own them? Now, that is a very good question. Do I…do I own them? (pause) noooo.

Monica maneuvered her way through the snow-covered streets of Boston with determination burning in her hardened eyes. She tightened the scarf around her neck and rubbed her pink nose, as she hastily weaved through the people walking at steady paces ahead of her. Suddenly, she felt the traction underneath her disappear as she slid to the hard, cold street below her. She bit her lip in order to fight back tears and laid on her back for a moment, staring at the gray sky above her.

"Hey lady!" a man called angrily as he stepped around her, "This ain't no bed!"

Monica rose to her feet and brushed the snow off of her black coat. She shivered as her freshly soaked pants met the brisk, cold February air. Again, she started walking, this time being careful to keep her balance. She continued to shove through the crowds of people heading in all directions, and finally arrived at her destination.

          She slipped into the restaurant and sighed as her body began to adjust to the warmth of the interior. She grabbed a tissue and whipped her numb, running nose, as she walked to the back.

"Hey Monica," a blond haired woman behind the counter greeted cheerfully.

Monica merely groaned in response.

"You know, you're supposed to actually take off your clothes before getting in the shower," the woman joked.

"Haha. What would I do without your advice, Leslie?"

Monica removed her coat, scarf, and hat, and hung them up on a hook.

"I have no idea," she paused as she continued to stare at Monica with curiosity, "Ok, if it's not from the shower, then why are you soaking wet?"

"I slipped on the way here."

Leslie began laughing.

"It's not funny!"

She attempted to sober while wiping the tears of laughter from her eyes. "I'm sorry, Monica. It's just…you're so uptight and to see you lying on the street—" Leslie broke into another fit of giggles, and Monica rolled her eyes. 

"If you could be any more blunt..."

"I'm sorry. Hey, lighten up!"

Monica rolled her eyes again and moved into the kitchen.

After a moment, Leslie followed her into the kitchen and watched as Monica began setting up.

"Can I help you?" Monica asked, still aggravated due to her previous comment.

"I'm sorry if I've upset you."

"No, it's all right. You're right; I should lighten up a bit. It's just all that's been going on—"

Leslie cut her off and placed a sympathetic hand on her shoulder. "I know."

"Sorry about this, I'll—"

"Don't apologize, Mon. That's what friends are for."

Monica smiled. "Yeah, thanks. I really needed that."

She went back to work, while Leslie continued to study her intently.

"Monica?"

"Hmm?" Monica asked distractedly.

"Why are you still here?"

Monica scrunched her forehead in confusion. "I've only been here for five minutes. I have to stay 'till six." 

"That's not what I mean."

Monica looked up, the curiosity plainly written across her face.

"Why are you still in Boston?"

Monica shrugged. "Where else would I go?"

"Go back to New York!"

"You want to get rid of me?" she chucked, "Am I that bad of a chef?"

"No, but I know that you want to."

"No, I don't."

"You don't want to see your old friends? Well, you could've fooled me. I mean you constantly rave about them."

Monica smiled at the memories, but then frowned. "That's not it."

"What's holding you back then?"

"I left them to get married. I don't think I parted on the best of terms. I mean I haven't spoken to any of them in three years!"

"Then change that, Mon! I know that's what you want."

Monica shook her head. "It's not what I want."

"Monica, you only moved here because of Steven. But now, you're divorced. There are no children involved, so why are you still here?"

Monica looked down at the counter in front of her intently as she ran her fingers along the tile hesitantly. "Honestly, I…I don't know."

"Then go back to New York."

She shook her head. "It's not that easy."

Leslie sighed and turned away. "Right."

"Thanks for the concern though."

Leslie nodded and left the kitchen. Monica then sighed, trying to keep Leslie's words out of her head. She wanted to go back in order to see her friends so badly, but fear of her past kept her from doing so. Instead, she focused on the equipment in front of her, allowing all thoughts to disappear as she concentrated on the task at hand. 

*~*~*~*

          That night, Monica rushed through the train station in order to catch her train. She sighed in relief when she saw that the train was still there, and darted through the doors, right before they closed. She forced her way through the rush hour crowd, finding a small area of the railing, which she could hold on to. She gripped the cold metal as the train jerked her back and forth. At one point, she accidentally knocked into a tall, middle-aged woman in front of her. The woman turned around and sneered at Monica. Monica raised her eyebrows in amusement, but kept silent. Instead, she turned her attention to the scene passing by her through the dirty windows. She watched as the trees and bushes streaked by, leaving only the sight of brown and green mixed together in a hasty blur. Finally, the train pulled up to her destination. She fought her way through the mass of people and finally found herself on the station's platform. She jogged up the stairs and left the station in a hurry. She continued her hasty pace for sometime, but then slowed down. She had nothing to rush home to, so what was the point of hurrying?

Monica got to her apartment building and unlocked her silver mailbox. She grabbed the pile of mail, and began muttering to herself about bills. When she arrived at her small, one bedroom apartment, she threw the mail down on her coffee table, hung up her outer garments, and then grabbed a fleece blanket from her couch. She wrapped it around her body, and then walked into the kitchen. She filled a teapot with water and placed it on the stove. She then opened the cabinet above the stove and grabbed a box of herbal tea. After that, Monica sat down at the counter and leaned her head on her arms. After waiting for her tea to boil for twenty minutes, she looked up and realized that she had never actually turned on the stove.

"God damnit," she muttered as she turned the knob.

After that, she grabbed a light blue mug from another cabinet and flipped it over in order to study it.

"Number three," she told herself as she placed it down on the cream-tiled counter.

Once she poured the water into her mug and let the tea combine with the hot water, forming a golden brown liquid, she picked it up and brought it to her living room area. She settled down on the white couch and leaned her head back. She sat up to take a few sips of her tea, and then noticed her mail lying haphazardly on the table in front of her. Her instinct to tidy the mess caused her to sift through it quickly. However, a large, square envelope caught her attention. It was from New York. Her heart filled with hope and her stomach churned with anticipation, as she carefully separated the flap from the rest of the envelope. Monica grimaced at the brightly colored invitation that was inside and read the words written on it. A smile danced across her wind-chipped lips. She was going to visit New York!

Sorry that this chappie was short, but it's an intro…what do u want from me? Ok, and I've never been in Boston during the winter, so don't get mad at me if that's not realistic. Next chappie, find out what's up w/ our favorite Chandler. ;) Ok, I'm gonna go before I collapse of exhaustion…well I'm sitting down, so it's kinda hard to collapse… Please leave me a review. I need to know…should I continue? It's up to YOU. ;)