Kissing a Fool

Prologue: The Truth Will Set You Free

Do you remember your first crush?  The first guy that filled your every thought, the one you couldn't get out of your head, even if you tried…the guy that you were so sure you would eventually marry, you would write out your name…with his surname attached, of course—over and over…

Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.  So here's the thing.  My first real crush…the guy that I was certain I would spend the rest of my life with…he was this amazing, handsome guy, with striking blue eyes and a killer smile.  He was funny and charming and well mannered.  He had great style, and was popular and smart and…

He did not even know I existed.

Okay, yes, I'll admit it.  My first crush was on a movie star.  A movie and television star.  He had this show, it was on every Wednesday night, and my older brother and me would sit down every week and watch it together.  When his first movie opened, I made my parents take me to see it five times.  I actually saw it twelve times, but after five my parents flatly refused to take me so they made Ross—that's my brother—take me instead.

He was my dream-guy.  And I swore I would love him until the day I died.

But of course I was a fickle teenager, and a few years later I was barely aware that he was alive.  I had moved on, as teenagers do, to other guys, guys that weren't all the way in Hollywood, guys that…had seen Star Wars a few too many times.

I can't help but to think of that crush today, twelve years later, sitting on a park bench in Central Park, alone.  Alone not by choice, mind you, but alone nonetheless.

I let the love of my life slip through my fingers this afternoon.  It wasn't intentional, but I am the only one to blame.  I can't blame Rachel for talking me into this whole stupid thing, and I can't blame him for his insecurities—we all have them, right?

No, I did this—I caused this mess, and for what?  Why couldn't I just tell him the truth?

Because the truth hurts…the truth kills…

The truth will set you free.


Twelve years earlier…

"I don't care what the script says, my character would never say that!!"

"Alright, calm down, Mr. Bing, I am sure that the writers can—"

"Screw the writers!" Chandler huffed, and threw his script to the floor, before storming off the set.

"He's got quite an attitude…even for a fifteen year old," the director mumbled.

"Tell me about it," William Hargrove replied flatly, "I thank God every day that he's not my real son."

Hargrove, a seasoned stage actor, had been lured to the sitcom world by the show's producer, an old friend of his, with promises of a steady paycheck and a professional cast.

Well, one out of two wasn't bad.

The cast had clicked right away, and he had formed a parent-child relationship with all three of the young actors who played his children immediately.

But the show became wildly popular in only one short year, quickly becoming the most watched sitcom in the country.  The entire cast had become megastars overnight, but only one of them hit the stratosphere.

Chandler Bing had gone from unknown actor to teen idol in a flash.

He had not handled it well.

Temper tantrums were common on the set; everyone was miserable, but the network kept pressuring them to sign on for another year.  And it only got worse when the little brat started doing movies.  He demanded so much attention, and yet he was never on set when they needed him to be.  Chandler was out of control, with no one there to guide him, to tell him that the fame was fleeting, and that he shouldn't burn bridges he had yet to build.

Then again, if anyone had been there to tell him, it's doubtful that Chandler would have listened.

It was no secret that the fifteen year old was already lacking in parental supervision.  His mother had gotten him the job because she had been sleeping with a network exec at the time, but she would certainly never win any mother of the year awards.  She spent more time with her boy toys than with her child.

Rumors around Hollywood were that Chandler's father had left his son and wife, and had fled to Arizona with their pool boy.  The rumors were never confirmed, but no one had ever met Chandler's father.

William sighed, and looked across the room, where Chandler was presently screaming profanities at the director-of-the-week.  He was amazed that that stubborn, spoiled child could play a character that the entire nation loved.

He certainly did not want to be there, when Chandler Bing's world came crashing down.

AN: That's the set up.  Lemme know what you think…if ya like it, I'll continue it!