What Men Want
A/N: Yeah, I know what you're going to say: FINALLY! I wanted to update this exactly a month from the last one, because it wouldn't have been updated, like, at all, if I didn't, because I'm neurotic like that. But it's okay, cause this is the end. Aww, time to say goodbye to What Men Want. Just go out and rent the Mel Gibson movie if it bothers you that much. I have another idea that I'm starting to develop, so that's going on my to-do list. No guarantees that I'll be updating as often as I used to. It might even be this spaced out. I haven't a clue. We'll just have to wait and see! Thank you SO much for the reviews, you guys. You make my spirit whole! And in honour of that, this chapter is EXTRA long. So, in a way, it's SuperSize Friends! :) Yeah, that was lame, I know...
"turn around, bright eyes…" that song has been stuck in my head ALL DAY LONG. "…ooooo, a total eclipse of the heart…"
…what? You don't want me serenading you with my beautiful *hack* voice? Eh, your loss. Fine, here's your STORY. *huff* …I LOVE YOU GUYS ANYWAY! :)
Mini Disclaimer: There's this awesome line. I wish it were mine. Wow, poetry. Sezzy...
"Mon! You're gonna be late again!" Phoebe called from the living room, as Monica took two steps out of her bathroom and glared at her. Phoebe attempted to look serious, but it was troubling her because of the state her friend was in. Monica had on a black slip that came down to her thighs, knee high pantyhose, one shoe on, a towel around her head, and a toothbrush in her mouth. "Okay," Phoebe put her hands up, "I'm sorry, I was kidding."
Monica rolled her eyes, and pulled the toothbrush out of her mouth. She strained to speak, because she was trying not to swallow her toothpaste. "I can't believe you set me up on a blind date." Phoebe stifled another giggle as the towel began to fall.
"I can. You wanted to meet this guy, right?"
Monica nodded. "Mm-hmm."
"And you'll probably want to date him?"
"So why not spare you both the effort and get them both done at the same time?"
Monica held up a finger, before turning around and spitting her toothpaste out. "I guess you have a point," she called from inside, and pulled her towel off her head. Her damp hair fell in clumps around her face, and she grimaced as she noticed something in her reflection. "Of all the times," she groaned, examining her face.
"What is it?" Phoebe came into the bathroom.
"I have a zit," she sighed.
"Oh, you do? I didn't even notice."
Monica stared at her. "You lie SO badly."
"No, I'm serious. You can barely see it."
Monica looked pleased. "Okay."
"Ooh, what's this?" Phoebe picked up a long chain next to the sink on the counter.
"Oh! The mind-reader necklace?"
"That's the one."
"Can I?" she held it up.
"You MAY." Monica replied. Phoebe ignored the obvious correction, and slipped the chain around her neck. She fastened it, and the usual flicker of lights made Phoebe jump slightly. Monica, however, was thoroughly used to it. She finished drying her hair, as Phoebe admired herself in the mirror, and ventured out into the living room. "Don't go too far," Monica warned, "I don't want to lose that baby, especially tonight."
"You are so damned lucky to have this, you know that?" called Phoebe, stepping back into the bathroom.
"Yeah, I know." She paused. "Hey, listen, I'm sorry I've been so flirty lately. I know I've probably come off as a slut or something -"
"Oh, sweetie -"
"No, I agree. I've been pretty slutty. I've just been – well, I've been trying out the necklace, and it seems to have gotten the best of me. And I'm sorry. If tonight doesn't go well, I'm going to swear off the 'seeing random guys' thing, at least for a while. It's probably for the best."
"Are you sure?"
"Aww, that's so sweet of you!" Phoebe smiled, and pulled her into a hug. At that precise moment, Joey stepped into sight.
"Oh MY," he said, leering perversely.
"Shut up, Joey!" they said together. He continued to stare at them, smiling. Suddenly, Phoebe whipped around and glared at him.
"We said SHUT UP!" she said, sternly.
"No you didn't! You just said that y -" she glanced over at Monica, who was beaming. "Oh!" she said, in typical Phoebe fashion, her expression changing, "sorry Joey."
"S'okay." He looked like he was sulking, until he shot her a double take and smiled again. Monica noticed a hint of pink rush to his cheeks as he turned heel; he took one last glance at Monica before he left. An open-mouthed Phoebe turned around to look at her friend.
"Oh – my – GOD!" she breathed, "I mean, I always knew Joey was perverted, but this is just TOO FAR."
"I know, right?" Monica nodded her head frantically.
"Did you hear him?" She asked with widened eyes.
"No, but I can imagine. What'd he say?"
"Well, first, when we told him to shut up, he was saying something like 'you know, if you're lesbians, it's really okay. I don't mind.''"
Monica rolled her eyes. "What about after that?"
"Oh, he thought you looked 'stop eatin' hot' in that black slip."
"Charming," Monica remarked, sarcastically.
"Yeah, and um – last question: does Joey have a crush on me?"
"Really? Cause he said he had a crush on me."
"Yeah, he does." Monica grinned sheepishly.
Phoebe hit her on the arm. "How could you not tell me?!"
"Well, I didn't tell you. I think that would accomplish the not telling."
"You know what I mean, Monica Vellula Geller," she admonished her sharply.
"My middle name is NOT Vellula!"
"Well, it WAS when you bought that BED!" Phoebe commented with a triumphant laugh.
"YOU signed for it!"
Phoebe's smile froze. "Oh." She was quiet for a moment, before shaking herself internally. "Hey! Don't get off topic!"
"Who's off topic?" Monica continued to avoid the question for another two minutes.
"Okay, you listen Monica – whatever your name is – you are going to listen, and you are going to listen good. Now, you'd better tell me what's going on RIGHT NOW, or -"
The phone rang. Phoebe looked like she was about to kill.
Monica grinned and picked it up. "Hello?" she listened on the phone, "oh? What's up?"
Meanwhile, Joey was across the hall, on the other end of the line, panicked. "I heard you guys over there yelling, and it sounds like she was trying to get you to tell her about my you-know-what."
"Uh y-yeah," stuttered Monica, trying to cover for the fact that she had already told her, and was just attempting to get out of the doghouse.
"Do you need me to bail you out?"
"Yes, please!" Monica smiled.
"Okay, then tell her that I need you for something."
"Will do. See ya." She hung up the phone. "That was Joey," she told Phoebe, "he has a crisis, and I'll be back later – maybe," She added as an afterthought. Monica flashed her another smile, and ran as quickly as she could across the hall, though it was difficult to maneuver with only one shoe on. Phoebe followed her as quietly as she could, and when Joey opened the door, she darted into the apartment before Monica could.
"Ha! You're trapped!" Phoebe said triumphantly, and Monica just stared at her.
"I have my own apartment, you know." She stuck her tongue out, playfully, and shut the door, scampering back across the hall and locking herself in her own apartment. Joey and Phoebe were left alone, both staring at the Magna Doodle on the back of the door, which read 'Honesty is the Best Policy'. They looked at each other, blushing slightly, and stood in an awkward silence. Joey decided to speak first, a moment later.
"I have a confession to make."
Phoebe gave him the brightest smile she could remember giving anyone in a long time.
"How do I look?" Monica spun around, looking to the cab driver for support. He merely rolled his eyes, and drove off. She watched him leave in disbelief. "And THAT, my friend, is why I didn't pay the whole fare." She smiled, "oops!" And with that, she turned around and prepared to enter the restaurant. Inhaling deeply, she pulled her purse onto her shoulder, flicked her hair out of her face, ran her tongue over her teeth, smoothed out her black dress, and exhaled. Two steps to the door of one of her favorite restaurants, Javu. It had always been her dream to work there. Opening the door, she closed her eyes briefly, and spoke to herself in her head.
Just relax, she thought, you're going to be fine. Okay, now – she looked around the room, he said he was going to be wearing a – a – what was it? A red flower? No, he was going to HAVE a red flower, not WEAR it. Her eyes darted from table to table, until they landed on a man at the far side of the restaurant, who had a beautiful rose on the table in front of him. He was sitting alone. She smiled, and took a few steps towards him. His face was about to come into focus, when he put up his menu. Monica immediately stopped to wait, so she could see his face, but every time he looked up, something would pass in front of him, and she couldn't see whether or not he was the person she was looking for. After nearly a minute, she decided to give up, and walked all the way over to the table. She instinctively put her hand to her neck, to make sure her necklace was on, and she then plastered on a smile.
"Robert?" she asked, approaching the edge.
"Yes?" He lowered his menu, and looked up, and Monica felt her breath catch in her throat. He was probably the dreamiest guy she'd ever known in real life. He had short brown hair, dark eyes, and the most amazing figure. He looked well built. She stood and stared at him in admiration for a few seconds, before she realized she was stalling.
"U-um, hi," she extended her hand, "I'm Monica. Phoebe's friend?" You know, that girl who I now worship?
"Oh, yes. Hello." He took her hand in his, and kissed it gently. She smiled, and met his eyes again. "Won't you join me?"
"Of course!" Monica then realized she had been standing there like an idiot, and tried to recompose herself. Robert stood up and pulled out her chair for her, and set her napkin in her lap, without even a word. Monica found it incredibly polite of him. She then hung her purse on the back of the chair, and the waiter came up to take their orders.
Half an hour later, Monica was just starting into her dessert, when Robert brought up an interesting, but potentially dangerous topic of discussion.
"So," he started, smiling, "do you like me?"
"Do I like you?" she repeated, stalling. Sure, she liked him. She thought he was amazing since he glanced up from his menu only half an hour ago. They had so much in common, she discovered, and he was as charming as she could imagine. He seemed –
- perfect, for lack of a better word. Too perfect. In fact, there was some kind of flaw she knew was there, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it.
"That's what I asked."
"Well -" how am I supposed to respond to that? If I tell him 'yes', he'll think I'm easy. If I tell him 'no', he'll never want to see me again. "I think so." Nice save. No trap – no rejection. Booyah.
"Good." He smiled.
"Do you like ME?" She retorted.
"I think so," he mocked, and she grinned.
"Good." Score one for me!
They returned to eating. As she took another bite of her fudge cake, he glanced up at her, and thought, too bad I have to go back to England for good tomorrow.
Monica suddenly found it very difficult to breathe.
Hey eyes wide, she put her hand to her throat, her fork dropping to her plate. Robert's eyes shifted from seduction to concern.
"Oh my God, Monica, are you choking?"
She shook her head violently, trying to play it off.
"Are you sure?" he asked again.
Another nod. Monica coughed, and swallowed hard. She took a long drink from her glass, and gasped, then blinked, as if she were trying to bring the room back into focus. "Yeah, I'm sorry."
"You sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine, I just -" deep breath, "I need to go to the ladies' room. Would you excuse me?" Dammit, why do I keep using this excuse over and over again? It's silly – but practical.
"Of course." He stood up when she did.
So polite… I hate that. "Thank you." She tried to walk as coolly as she could away from the table, but inside – inside she was jelly. The bathroom was unoccupied, and she fell straight against the sink, shaking and gasping, both from the incident, and the news. Her face looked pale, and she stood up straight, trying to stop her tears from coming. She inhaled deeply, and closed her eyes, letting out a shaky breath. He's leaving? she asked her reflection. Another deep breath. Okay, head up, Monica. You're gonna be fine. Just finish the date, and go home. That's all. Another breath. Let's go. She smiled falsely, and attempted to fix her appearance. Flicking her hair out of her eyes, she noticed that one of her earrings was missing. She glanced around the bathroom. Nothing. "That's weird," she said aloud, then jumped at the sound of her own voice. She took a step out the door. Where the heck did it go? Her eyes followed the floor pattern. There, a few feet to her right, underneath a table, something was glinting silver. Aha! Not really caring who was watching, she reached behind her, gathered her dress up, and squatted down. She took a couple slow steps forward, trying to stay out of sight of the couple who was chatting over the table she was about to venture under, so not to disturb them, whoever they were. She hadn't seen their faces. She reached out to grab it. The woman above her was talking non-stop, and the man visibly shifted. He then started thinking, and Monica froze where she was.
God, how BORING can you be?! I wish Mon were here. We'd be having a good time, at least. Let alone the fact that I think I'm in love with her. Whoa, did I just think that?
It was Chandler.
Monica clapped her hand over her mouth, and shot up, her head slamming straight into the wooden underside of the table above her. She recoiled, hardly able to see, the pain was numbing, something broke, someone jumped, and someone screamed. Monica fell backwards, sprawling on the carpet in front of the table, but somehow remembering to close her legs. Two heads peered over the edge of the table, and down at her. One of them belonged to Chandler, and the other – well, the other belonged to a woman who reminded her of Elle MacPherson. She was shocked. Wow, not only is this woman on a date with CHANDLER, of all people, but Chandler finds her BORING, and he'd rather be with me! She could've danced.
However, given the circumstances, Monica pushed 'dancing' further down on her To Do list. She then settled for smiling weakly up at the woman she now felt superior to, and the man who was staring at her like she'd just won a beauty pageat, not humiliated herself in front of a restaurant full of people. At this point, though, Monica didn't care if her whole incident was caught on tape and broadcast across the United States. Chandler thought she was BETTER than that Elle MacPherson wannabe.
She's not even that pretty, really. "Hi," said Monica, unnecissarily.
"Hi," he responded, raising an eyebrow. She expected him to comment, but he didn't. In fact, he didn't even think about it. They both looked at each other for a minute, before Chandler's date broke the silence.
"Well, I'd better be going," she said, picking up her purse, and scooting out of the booth they were seated in.
"Why?" Chandler snapped out of the trance-like state he was in.
"Because of – the -" she stammered, "- cause um – the – the other – y'know – thing, yeah…" her voice trailed off, and she muttered something he couldn't understand, and by the time he thought to open his mouth to say something, she was gone. He visibly blushed, and glanced down at his best friend, who was still watching him with a sympathetic expression on her face.
"Sweetheart, if you help me up, I give KILLER hugs," she said. He mentally shook himself, and reached over and helped her up and into his arms. Had they been a couple, she would have kissed him. And as soon as that thought went through her mind, she wondered, why the hell not? "Do you -" Monica started, then changed her mind.
"Do I what?"
"Do you want to get out of here?" she whispered.
"I would love to," he whispered back, relieved.
"Great, let me just go pay my half of this date."
"Wha – what date?"
"You didn't think I came dressed like this alone, did you?"
"No, but I figured that -"
"Chandler, I'd rather go home and sulk with you all evening over our horrible love lives, than spend it with some British chippy who's going to dump me in the morning for a Yoko Ono lookalike from Liverpool."
"I don't know where in God's name you found that example, but you have a hell of a way of cheering me up."
"It's a gift." She smiled, and he reciprocated. It was in that second, that she realized what Robert's flaw was.
He wasn't Chandler.
He was just another guy. Another random guy that was out to break her heart, and call again a week later, hoping to get lucky. She wasn't about to be someone's "Racquetball Buddy". And it was horribly cliché, but, then again, that's what life is, isn't it?
She gave Chandler another hug, and they separated. She crossed thr room while Chandler paid both halves of an originally Dutch date. Approaching the table again, Robert now had his nose in the daily paper. He glanced up, and Monica suddenly noticed the fact that the flutter she got in her stomach when he looked at her was gone.
"Did you pick that up while I was in the ladies' room?" She inquired, seriously.
"No, why would you think that?"
"Don't get off the subject! Now, the point is, you're going back to England tomorrow, and you didn't bother to tell me!"
The entire restaurant had now stopped what they were doing to watch. Kind of like dinner theatre, Monica idly thought, though she was more focused on the conversation at hand.
"Wha – who told you that?!"
"Um -" dammit, I should've come prepared! "Ph-Phoebe -" she stuttered, "c-called me, while I was in the bathroom, and – and TOLD ME what you'd done." She gained more confidence, "Did you think I was some kind of cheap date? Because, I tell you something, Bobby -"
"Robert -" he corrected.
"- whatever, I am NOT, and I repeat, am NOT a cheap date."
"I – I don't know what to say, Monica."
"How about 'sorry', for starters."
"I'm – I'm sorry." He looked almost irritated. She glanced over at the window to the restaurant. Chandler was smiling at her.
"Now, I don't know how you British folk work, but, around here, it takes a HELL of a lot more than a cup of coffee, and a plate of chow, to get a sophisticated woman like me into the sack." She straightened herself up triumphantly, then added, "THAT"S for damn sure."
Stunned, Robert sat gaping at her, as Monica Geller turned her heel and walked right out of the restaurant, accompanied by mad applause from the females who were dining there.
"Should I even ask what you said to him?" Chandler asked, grinning, when the cab had finally gotten away from Javu.
"Then I won't."
"Aw CRAP!" shouted Monica, looking into her purse with distaste.
"I left my earring on the floor of the restaurant."
"No, don't worry. I got it." He pulled it out of his pocket, and handed it to her.
"Oh, thanks," she said, as she was putting it on.
"Oh, and I found this, as well -" He pulled out a long silver chain, and held it in front of her, "is it yours?"
"Um, yeah," she grinned. So that's why I couldn't –
"Here, let me put it on you." He reached forward, but she put her hand up, smiling.
"No. Don't worry about it." She gently took it from his hands, and put it in her purse.
"So, what's up?" He asked, as the cab was at a near stand still in traffic. Chandler leaned back in his seat.
"Not much. Just bummed out about being alone again."
"You don't need to worry about that. You'll find someone."
"Okay, well, where have YOU found someone?"
He met her eyes. "Maybe you're not looking in the right place."
They then suddenly became aware of the song playing on the radio station. He shot her a look that clearly stated, that's cliché for ya, though she never heard him think it. Monica smiled. And, when she thought the cliché couldn't be more so, she found herself being pulled into a long, sweet kiss. A genuine one. The kind she hadn't found in the sports fanatic, or the weirdo. The kind she hadn't found in the dirty sexaholic, the sensitive guy, or even in the ideal man's man. She'd found it in Chandler. Funny, sweet, commitment phobic Chandler. The Chandler that was now having an effect on her she never thought he'd have. It was hard to comprehend, for Monica, that in all the time she'd spent in his arms, supposedly in or out of love with one of those random guys, she'd never known the secret thoughts of the most comfortable place in the world.
It was a night oo-oo what a night
It was it really was such a night
The moon was bright oh how so bright
It was it really was such a night
The night was alight with stars above
Oo-oo when she kissed me
I had to fall in love
Oh it was a kiss oo-oo what a kiss
It was it really was such a kiss
Oh how she could kiss oh what a kiss
It was it really was such a kiss
Just the thought of her lips
Sets me afire
I reminisce and I'm filled with desire
But I'd gave my heart to her in sweet surrender
How well I remember, I'll always remember
It was a night oo-oo what a night
It was it really was such a night
Came the dawn and my heart and her love
And the night was gone
But I'll never forget the kiss
The kiss in the moonlight
How well I remember, I'll always remember
Such a night…
And that's how it's done. Don't forget your reviews, people. They DRIVE ME FORWARD! Lots of love!