When the Clock Strikes Noon

AN: Well, this is an idea that I came up with totally out of the blue today and decided to write it. It's only this part, with a possible second part, but you'll have to let me know if I should write another part. (You'll understand what I mean after you read it) Anyway, please let me know what you think, and don't worry, this is not a 'Cinderella' clock strike twelve story. I just needed the noon part and thought the title was catchy, (again you will understand after reading.) Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or any of the television shows mentioned in the dialogue. I am not making any profits off this piece of writing.

            Monica groaned and rolled over, burying her face in her pillow. It was Saturday morning and she had no plans other than sleeping in with her boyfriend. She glanced to her left at the alarm clock. It was 7:00 AM. She groaned again and rolled her head back so it was face down once again. She reached out with her right hand to drape it over Chandler's chest. She often did this in the morning. He would wake up and pull her closer, so that her head was resting on his shoulder and they would often fall back to sleep like this. It was so perfect.

            But, today was different. When Monica reached out, she felt nothing but a cold, empty bed beside her. She shuffled closer to the other side of the bed and reached out again, still half asleep. Still, there was nothing. She lifted her head off of the pillow and peered at the empty spot beside her. Where was Chandler?

            Monica flipped herself onto her back and sat up. She was aware of a slight headache and felt exhausted. She peered around the room and noticed that it seemed very tidy, tidier than it had been since Chandler had moved in. it wasn't that it was messy with him living there; it was just more lived in. Monica loved it, the way their stuff clashed with each other's. It was such a perfect mix.

            Monica nodded to herself as she realized she really truly was alone in the room. She groggily got herself up, and out of bed and made her way towards the door. She stumbled out, into the living room, half-expecting to see Chandler curled up on the couch. He occasionally fell asleep there while watching late night movies. However, this morning he wasn't there.

            Monica made her way over to the bathroom and knocked twice before entering. It, to, was empty. She turned around, now genuinely confused. Did he have an early meeting that she had forgotten about? No, that couldn't be it. She would have woken up when he left, wouldn't she? Monica shook her head as she made her way over to the kitchen. She decided to make breakfast. She was sure Chandler would either call or be home shortly.

            Monica lost herself in preparing breakfast as she hummed along to the radio, quietly playing in the background. She was startled at the sound of the guest room door opening. She spun around to see a very groggy Rachel stumbling into the living room.

            "Rachel?" Monica asked, confused.

            Rachel's initial reply was incomprehensible. She walked over to Monica and collapsed onto on of the chairs, her face resting on her hands, on the table. "Monica," she groaned. "Do you know what time it is? Why do you have to be up so early?"

            "Okay, first of all, Rach, it's almost seven-thirty. Second, not that I mind, but what are you doing here?"

            Rachel seemed to tense slightly, but didn't look up. "What do you mean what am I doing here?"

            "The question is pretty self-explanatory."

            "O-kay," Rachel said, slowly. "I'm here because I live here."

            "I'm sorry?"

            Rachel finally lifted her head up, off of the table and looked up at Monica. "I live here, remember?"

            Monica stared at Rachel for a few seconds, not sure of what to say. Could I be dreaming? Monica silently asked herself.

            "Are feeling okay, Monica?" Rachel asked. She got up and walked over to Monica, reaching up to feel her forehead.

            "I don't know, Rachel. I feel kinda weird."

            "Weird how?"

            "Like I'm dreaming."

            "What do you mean?"

            "Like, I don't remember you moving in?"

            Rachel laughed. "Monica, I've lived here for the past six years. How can you not remember me living here? I moved in after I broke up with Barry, remember?"

            Monica shook her head. "No, I remember you moving in, but…didn't you move out a couple months ago?"

            Rachel shook her head. "No, the only time I moved out of here was when we lost the apartment to the guys. Do you remember that?"

            Monica nodded. "Yeah, I remember that, but didn't you move out when Chandler moved in?"

            Rachel nodded. "Yeah, we moved out and Chandler and Joey moved in."

            "No, I remember that, but what about after that."

            "After that we moved back."

            "After that."

            Rachel paused. "I don't know what else to tell you, Mon. No one else has moved since then, well, except for Ross. He moved in across the street, remember?"

            Monica nodded. "But, Chandler moved in here," she repeated.

            Rachel laughed slightly. "Why would Chandler move in here?"

            "Because…" Before Monica could answer, the front door opened.

            Both girls turned to see Phoebe walk in the door.

            "Hi Guys!" Phoebe said brightly.

            "Hi Pheebs," both Monica and Rachel said.

            "What's for breakfast?"

            "Pancakes," Monica answered.

            "Sounds good."

            "Yeah, they're Chandler's favorites," Monica answered.

            "O-kay, is there a reason you told me that?"

            "No, I just wanted to make something nice for him this morning."

            Phoebe and Rachel exchanged glances. "Okay," Rachel said, nodding.

            "So, what's up this morning?" Phoebe asked a few moments later.

            Rachel laughed slightly. "Monica must have had a dream or something, because when she woke up she thought I had moved out and Chandler had moved in."

            Phoebe laughed. "Why would you and Chandler switch rooms?"

            Rachel shrugged. "I don't know, ask Monica. It wasn't my dream."

            "Okay," Phoebe said. She turned to Monica. "Why would Rachel and Chandler switch rooms?"

            Monica paused for a moment. "Well, they didn't exactly switch rooms."

            Again, Rachel and Phoebe exchanged glances. "What do you mean?"

            Monica hesitated. "Well, Rachel moved out and Chandler moved in, with me."

            Rachel laughed. "You mean like moved in with you, as in moved into your room with you?"

            Monica nodded.

            Both Phoebe and Rachel burst out laughing.

            "Wow! Monica, what a dream," Phoebe exclaimed.

            "Hey," Monica said, standing up for Chandler. "What is so funny about that?"

            "What's so funny? Monica, it's Chandler. What are you on?"

            "I'm not on anything. I love him and I can see us living together eventually."

            Both Rachel and Phoebe were silent for a few seconds.

            Rachel finally stepped forward. She placed her hand on Monica's forehead again. "Monica, I think you have a bit of a fever. Are you feeling okay?"

            Monica nodded and shrugged Rachel's hand away. "I'm fine. What's wrong?"

            Phoebe walked up to her as well. "You did seem a little out of it yesterday. A high fever would account for your weird dream."

            "How was that a weird dream?"

            "Monica, you dreamt that you were in love with, and moved in with Chandler."

            Monica paused, the severity of the situation sinking in. Did this mean she and Chandler weren't together? Monica felt her world seem to disappear and she stumbled over to the table and sat down. "But…I…How…"

            "Shhh, sweetie," Phoebe said, giving her a hug. "It was just a dream, don't worry about it. Lot's of people have weird dreams when they have fevers. You'll forget about it in a day or two."

            "But I don't want to forget about it," Monica said, feeling tears come to her eyes. How could she and Chandler not be together?

            "Oh, Mon," Rachel said, wrapping her arms around Monica as well. "Don't cry about it. You'll look back at this in a couple weeks and laugh about it."

            "But we were so happy," Monica said. A thought hit her. "Maybe we haven't told you guys yet," she said.

            Rachel and Phoebe exchanged looks. "What do you mean?"

            "Maybe I dreamt that we told you guys, but in real life we haven't."

            "Again, what do you mean?"

            "Chandler and I got together in London. We were together for, like, five months before we told any of you guys."

            There was a pause. "What were you doing in London?" Rachel finally asked.

            "What do you mean what were we doing, Rachel you were there too."

            "What?" Rachel asked.

            "For Ross' wedding?"

            "Ross got married?"

            Monica paused, her last shred of hope disappearing. "We didn't go to London?" She asked softly. Rachel and Phoebe shook their heads. "And Ross didn't get married to Emily." Again, the girls shook their heads. "Oh, my God," Monica said, burying her face in her hands. "How could it have seemed so real?"

            "Dreams can seem really real sometimes," Phoebe said. "But don't stress over it, honey, it's only Chandler."

            Monica pulled back. "How can you say that? He's so perfect, so amazing."

                        *                      *                      *                      *                      *

Meanwhile…

            Chandler awoke and unconsciously reached out for Monica. After a few moments he realized that she was not beside him. He shrugged and rolled over to see the time. She would often get up before him, as she was an early riser and he was not. He had to blink a few times, to insure he was seeing the correct time. It was just after seven. She wasn't usually up this early, especially on a day they both had off. On these days they would usually stay in bed together late into the day. He loved the time they spent together. It was so special to him.

            Chandler groaned and began forcing himself out of bed. He felt exhausted, but nature was calling so he struggled onto wobbly feet and staggered, half-asleep through the living room, past the two brown barkaloungers and into the bathroom. It wasn't until he was exiting the bathroom that he realized he was not in his apartment. He was in Joey's apartment, his old apartment.

            Chandler stopped and looked around the living room. Why was he here? Did he and Monica have a fight? Chandler shrugged. If they did, he didn't remember it. Collapsed onto one of the chairs and sat, debating the situation and his options. He had a headache and still felt very tired. It was early, but he knew he shouldn't be this tired. He struggled to remember the night before, but was drawing a blank. It wasn't long before Joey came out of his bedroom.

            "Hey, man," Joey said.

            "Hey, Joe."

            Joey meandered over and collapsed into the chair beside Chandler.

            "Aren't you going to ask me why I'm here?" Chandler asked.

            Joey gave him a confused look. "Why would I ask you why you are here? You live here, dude."

            "No, I don't."

            "Yes, you do."

            "No, I don't." Chandler's voice was getting defensive.

            "Well, then thanks for telling me you moved out."

            "What are you talking about? I moved out a couple months ago."

            "Chandler, what are you talking about?"

            "I moved in with Monica."

            Joey started laughing. "Good one, man. Yeah, sure, you moved in with Monica, right."

            "I'm not joking, Joey. I mean, come on, you helped me move my stuff."

            "Chandler, no one moved your stuff. It's all in your room."

            "Yeah, in my room across the hall."

            Joey sighed. "No, it's in your room right here."

            "No, it's not. Here, I'll show you," Chandler said, walking into his old room, Joey behind him. He flipped the switch and stood out of the way so Joey could see his stuff was no longer in the room, however when the light came on, he realized he was wrong. He spotted his sheets and blankets on the bed. His laundry basket was on the other side of the room, more dirty clothes on the floor beside it than actually in it. All of his personal items and nicnacs were scattered about the room.

            "What the…?"

            "Are you okay, man?" Joey asked.

            Chandler couldn't answer. He simply stood stock still, staring at the room.

            "Chandler?" Joey tried again. He stuck out his hand and placed it on Chandler's shoulder.

            Chandler jumped at the feeling and turned to face Joey. "I didn't move out?"

            Joey shook his head.

            "I didn't move in with Monica?"

            Joey laughed slightly. "You, move in with Monica? That's funny Chandler."

            "But, I did. I could swear I did."

            "You must have dreamt it, man," Joey said. "Must have been a pretty great dream if you were with Monica." Joey raised an eyebrow suggestively.

            Chandler shook his head. "It wasn't like that. We were in love. We were supposed to be together forever."

            Joey raised an eyebrow and tilted his head. "Wow, Chandler in love. Now there's something you don't see every day."

            "But Monica and I are…are…"

            "Are friends," Joey finished for him.

            "But we were so much more."

            "Chandler, are you feeling okay? You're acting really weird."

            "How could I have dreamt the whole thing?" Chandler asked, mostly to himself.

            "I don't know, man. You can dream some pretty weird stuff."

            "It seemed so real. We got together in London. You were the first person to find out about our relationship. We went to Vegas for our anniversary and almost got married, but decided to move in together instead."

            "That's quite some dream, Chandler."

            "How could it all be a dream?" Chandler sighed. "I have to talk to her."

            Joey stopped him. "What are you going to say? Oh, Monica, I had a dream where we were together and now I'm in love with you and want to move in with you." Joey said, mocking Chandler. "Chandler, what do you think she's going to say? She's going to think you're crazy."

            "I guess you're right."

            Joey led a dejected Chandler back out into the living room where the two settled onto the chairs, neither saying a word. They both jumped at the sound of the door opening.

            Ross walked in, looking tired. "Hey guys, what's up?"

            Chandler was silent.

            "Not much," Joey said. "Only Chandler having steamy dreams about your sister."

            "What!" Ross exclaimed loudly.

            "Joey!" Chandler exclaimed. He sighed and turned to Ross. "They were not 'steamy' dreams. I just had a dream that Monica and I were together."

            "Like a couple together?"

            Chandler nodded.

            Ross laughed. "That'd be the day."

            Ross didn't seem too worried about Chandler's dreams and suggested the three of them go over to the girls for breakfast. He had seen lights in their apartment before he had come over.

            Chandler was hesitant to go over to Monica's apartment, but didn't want to seem to wrapped up in this dream thing in front of the guys. He never let them see his vulnerable side. The only person who ever got to see that side of him was Monica. No, he told himself. Monica had never seen that side of him. It was all just a dream. He silently cursed at himself for thinking, even for a second, that someone could see the real him and still want to stay with him.

            The girls were all seated around the kitchen table munching on pancakes; the remainders were in the oven, keeping warm. They all looked up as the guys entered and greetings were traded. The guys pulled up chairs and sat down at the table. Everyone noticed that Chandler sat as far away from Monica as possible. Joey and Ross exchanged a small smile. For a few minutes there was silence, the only sound were yawns.

            "My God," Phoebe finally said. "Is everyone tired?"

            Everyone nodded.

            "Oh," Phoebe said, yawning. "Me too."

            Everyone laughed. It wasn't long before they finished breakfast and crashed around the coffee table. The girls shared the couch and Ross took the chair. Chandler and Joey sat on the floor across from the couch. Ross, Joey, Rachel and Phoebe managed to get a conversation going, but both Chandler and Monica were very quiet, both stealing glances at the other when they thought no one was watching.

            Rachel noticed Monica staring at Chandler and nudged Phoebe, who looked over in time to see Chandler look over at Monica, their eyes meet and both look away blushing. Phoebe and Rachel laughed slightly.

            After a while, Joey suggested they turn on the television, since it was now nine o'clock and he wanted to watch Looney Tunes. Everyone agreed and he and Chandler moved around the table to the side, so they were out of the way. They ended up watching two hours of cartoons, before Rachel finally begged Joey to change the station.

            "Joey, will you please change the channel so we can watch anything other than cartoons. I don't think I can handle it anymore."

            "Oh, but Rach, X-men are on next." Joey pleaded.

            Rachel sighed. "No, Joey. We have watched two hours of your shows. Lets watch something more mature, please?"

            Joey sighed. "O-kay." He tossed her the converter.

            Rachel smiled and began flipping through the channels, before settling on a favorite soap opera.

            "No, not a chance," Ross said. "I will not sit here and watch one of your soap operas. I would rather watch Joey's cartoons."

            "Yeah," Joey said. "Soap operas suck. Put the cartoons back on."

            "Joey, you're on a soap opera." Rachel said.

            "So? Just because I'm on one doesn't mean I like them."

            Rachel wasn't sure what to say. "Fine, Ross, you decide what we watch."

            Ross caught the converter, which Rachel tossed over to him and flipped to the nature channel. It took less than a second for the entire gang to start complaining. "What?" He asked.

            "We're not going to watch some nature special," Chandler said. It was the first sentence he had said since entering the apartment.

            "Why not? It happens to be very informative."

            No one said anything. Phoebe simply jumped up and grabbed the converter right out of Ross' hand before he could say or do anything.

            "Hey!" Ross said as Phoebe sat back down on the couch. "That was so not fair."

            "Hey, I got it fair and square."

            Ross huffed and turned slightly in his chair to put.

            "Now," Phoebe said. "What do we want to watch? Monica, Chandler, any input?"

            Monica and Chandler both looked up at the mention of their names. They made eye contact, which they held for a few seconds, staring deep into each other's eyes.

            "Guys?" Phoebe said.

            They broke out of their trance and immediately looked apart.

            Phoebe almost laughed at the awkwardness.

            "What ever is fine," Chandler said.

            "Yeah, I don't care what we watch," Monica said.

            Phoebe flipped until she found a sitcom everyone could agree on and they settled in to watch.

            Monica couldn't keep her attention on the television. She couldn't keep her eyes off of Chandler. How could she have dreamt a whole life with him? It had all seemed so real. She realized that it was too good to be true, but it still seemed so real. She was sure Chandler was wondering why she kept staring at him, so she became determine to keep her focus on the television.

            Chandler kept running his hands through his hair. He was nervous. Normally, he would be making jokes to calm his nerves, but right now he didn't want to draw attention to himself, as he couldn't keep his eyes off of Monica. She had always been attractive to him, but now, all he wanted to do was pull her into his arms and hold her. He felt such strong feelings towards her. Was it possible to fall in love from a dream?

            Rachel almost laughed at the obvious tension between Monica and Chandler.

            The show ended and the argument as to what to watch was on once again. After spending a good deal of time arguing, they settled on a news station, which they stuck with for a while.

            "…And what a lovely day it is for the beginning of April," one newscaster was saying to the other.

            "Yes, Carl, you are right," the other one said. "And to all you practical jokers out there, only a few minutes left until the clock strikes noon and then you'll have to wait for next year…"

            Suddenly, all of the friends went silent. No one said anything for a good minute, until Rachel started laughing.

            Phoebe hit her gently from her spot beside her, but Rachel kept on laughing; now laughing even harder. It wasn't long before Ross joined in.

            "You guys," Joey said. "What's so funny?" He asked, through clenched teeth.

            "Yeah," Monica said. "What's going on?"

            This was too much for Joey and he started laughing as well. Phoebe joined in, leaving only Monica and Chandler not laughing.

            "Okay, is someone going to let us in on what's going on?" Chandler asked.

            "Oh my God," Rachel said. "I can't believe it worked! I mean we spent so much time planning it."

            "Planning what?" Monica asked, now becoming very suspicious.

            "Look at the facts, Monica," Ross said. "You and Chandler both had dreams last night where you lived together. Coincidence? I think not."

            "You mean…you guys tricked us?!" Monica exclaimed.

            Everyone cracked up even more.

            "You moved all of my stuff back into my old room?" Chandler asked.

            Phoebe nodded.

            "How the hell did you get me in there?" Chandler asked.

            Phoebe shrugged. "Your easy to move when you're drunk."

            "I'm sorry?"

            "We just made sure you two kept drinking last night and we slipped you some sleeping pills. You were out like a rock. We got all of your stuff out of the room while both of you were sleeping and we managed to move you into your old room."

            "That would explain the headache," Chandler said.

            "Oh, I hate you," Monica said, jokingly. "I hate all of you." She jumped up and walked around the coffee table and collapsed onto Chandler's lap. Chandler wasted no time in wrapping his arms around her and pulling her in close. He planted a kiss on her temple and closed his eyes as he leaned his face against her hair and breathed in, deeply.

            Monica placed her hands on Chandler's, which were around her waist. She intertwined her fingers with his and closed her eyes, reveling at the feeling of being in his arms again. She had thought she would never get to do this again. Actually, she had thought she had never done this before and would never get to do it again.

            There was silence as the gang watched the couple 're-unite.'

            Rachel was the first to speak up. "You guys aren't mad at us, are you, cause it was just a joke."

            Monica sighed and opened her eyes. "No, we're not mad. Just relieved."

            "Good," Rachel said. "Because it was hilarious. "You two spent the whole morning being all nervous around the other. It was very entertaining to watch.

            "I'm glad our discomfort was entertaining to you," Chandler said.

            "It was pretty funny," Joey said. "Especially when Chandler went into his little speech of 'we were in love. We were supposed to be together forever'."

            "Okay, we don't have to tell everyone everything I said," Chandler said, blushing slightly.

            "Oh, don't worry Chandler," Phoebe said. "You should have heard Monica. She was all 'I don't want to forget about it. We were happy. He was so amazing."

            "Okay," Monica said. "We can stop now." She was also blushing.

            The gang laughed.

            "Okay," Rachel said. "Should we clear out so you two can 'catch up'?" She asked.

            "Uh, no," Monica said. "You guys have to move all of Chandler's stuff back over here."

            "Why?" Joey asked.

            "Because you were the one who moved it in the first place." Chandler told him.

            "But it was so much fun the first time," Phoebe said. "When you've had a little bit to drink and you're afraid of getting caught. It won't be any fun now. Plus, we have to move Rachel's stuff back too."

            "Why is Rachel's stuff here?"

            "Because we had to make the guest room look like Rachel's room in case you looked in it."

            "We didn't bring all my stuff over," Rachel said. "We left the clothes and hoped you wouldn't open the closet. I even put my toothbrush in the bathroom."

            "Well, it sounds like you guys have a lot to do," Chandler said. "You had better get started."

            The gang sighed and got up. Monica and Chandler ended up helping them. They carried everything back over to Monica and Chandler's apartment and left it at the door, for Chandler to put away. Everyone except Monica and Chandler took a load of Rachel's stuff back to her and Phoebe's apartment.

            Monica and Chandler were left alone.

            Monica sighed as the door shut behind their friends and she walked over to Chandler, who was staring facing away from her, staring into their room. Monica smiled and wrapped her arms around him from behind.

            Chandler immediately took both of her hands in his and the two stood there for a few seconds, neither saying a word.

            "I love you," Monica finally said.

            "I love you, too," Chandler said. "When I woke up this morning and Joey told me…" he trailed off as his voice cracked.

            Monica turned Chandler around and wrapped her arms around his neck.

            "I was so scared," Chandler continued. "I couldn't believe that we weren't together. It feels so…right when we're together. I just couldn't believe that it was all a dream."

            Monica smiled and placed a quick kiss on his lips. "I know the feeling," she said, tightening her arms around his neck and leaning her head against his shoulder. "I actually cried this morning. I missed you."

            "You cried?" Chandler asked.

            Monica nodded and blushed. She looked down. "I know it's stupid, because it was all just a joke, but…"

            Chandler cut her off by placing a finger on her lips. "I felt like crying," he said.

            "Really?" Monica asked, looking up.

            "Really," Chandler said nodding. "I was scared to think of my life without you."

            Monica looked into his eyes, surprised. "A committal statement from Mr. Commitment-phobic?" She asked, sarcastically.

            Chandler shrugged and tilted his head to give her a kiss. "I don't know," he said after pulling back. "I guess it just put some things into perspective."

            "Like what?"

            "Like how important you are in my life. You're the most important person in the world to me. I'm not going to let anything get in the way of that."

            Monica smiled, feeling a tear come to her eyes. "I've never seen this side of you before."

            Chandler smiled. "Well, loosing you brought it out in me."

            Monica laughed. "So, I guess this trick was a good thing."

            Chandler nodded. "Yeah, I guess it was, but we're getting them back next year, right?"

            Monica nodded. "Oh, yeah, definitely."

            Chandler laughed as he pulled her in closer and captured her lips with his own. He knew they had a long day ahead of them, full of putting all of his stuff back and planning revenge on their friends, which he knew Monica would want to get started on right away, but first he wanted to spend some quality time with the amazing woman in his arms. The woman that he had thought he would never have. He smiled to himself as she pulled him towards the bed. He was confident now that this was the woman he would spend the rest of his life with, and he would let nothing get in the way of that.

AN: So? What did you think? Was it funny at all? This was my first attempt at putting comedy into the dialogue, so please let me know. Was it realistic at all? Did it make sense? I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know what you think, oh, and should I write another chapter with M+C getting back at the gang? If so, do you have any suggestions on what they should do?