:I've decided to go back to my 'roots' a little. My earlier fanfics had the love-hate relationship between Monica and Chandler (refer to TOW The Scare War and Rivals At First Sight) and I've missed doing that. So, here is one I think fans of those fanfics will enjoy, and what my newer readers will hopefully enjoy too. I'm not going to reveal too much. Just that Monica, Ross, and Rachel are one group, and Chandler, Phoebe and Joey are part of the other. The two groups don't know each other…yet.:

To Catch a Thief

Chapter One – silent, slick and fast

"Oh man, oh god, this is beautiful." Joey whispered.

"I know can you believe it?"

"No."

Chandler turned to Joey and grinned. "You know what to do, right?"

Joey nodded, eyes dancing in excitement. "You bet I do!"

"Ok, I'll meet you round the back in the car; the trunk will be unlocked ready to put it in. For gods sake, don't take too long…those laxatives in the guard's coffee won't keep him in the bathroom for much longer."

"Didn't you put enough in then?" Joey asked, wide-eyed.

"Of course not, we only need a few minutes for this job." Chandler checked his watch, "Right, I'm going. Good luck man." He patted Joey's shoulder and ran down the hallway.

As soon as Chandler was gone, Joey immediately set to work. He pulled the painting off the wall, and covered it with a blanket to protect it. Groaning a little from the weight, he carried the painting along the corridor, keeping a look out for anybody watching him. As he reached the fire exit doors, a bright light flashed on his arm.

"Don't move!" a voice yelled behind him.

Joey's first instinct was to run. He crashed through the doors, nearly dropping the painting. The moonlight shone down on the sidewalk as he pounded towards Chandler's parked car.

"Get in quick!" Chandler yelled through the window. Joey threw the painting into the trunk of the car, ran round to the passenger side and leaped in. Chandler pressed his foot hard on the accelerator and the car sped off, leaving an angry security guard standing speechlessly on the sidewalk.

"Woohoo!" Chandler screamed as they sped around the corner. He pounded his fists on the steering wheel in excitement.

"We got it baby!" Joey yelled - his fists in the air.

"Their security sucked bad man!" Chandler said, laughing, "what a bunch of losers!"

"That has got to be our greatest job yet!" Joey said grinning.

"Did you see the guard's face when he swallowed that coffee?" Chandler asked, throwing his head back with mirth.

"It was your finest moment yet!"

****

"They got away with it again?!" the voice of Monica's boss bellowed down the phone.

Monica exchanged glances with her colleagues and they nodded at each other silently. The black panthers had struck again.

"Why do they call them the black panthers again?" Monica asked her colleague, Michael.

"Because they are as silent, slick and fast as the creatures they are named after," Michael explained, sipping his coffee.

"Agent Geller in my office now!" their boss, Geoff, called.

Monica walked into Geoff's office and shut the door behind her. "Yes sir?"

"The New York Museum of Fine Art had a major security alert last night," Geoff explained grimly, "It is to be believed the black panthers were responsible. They stole an impressionist painting worth up to $6,000,000."

"That's their sixth robbery in three months alone," Monica said, shaking her head. "And we're not any closer to finding them?"

"Well, the security guard on duty last night has a vague description of the thieves," Geoff explained wearily, "but nothing concrete. He described about a million other North American males."

Monica groaned. "What do you want me to do Sir?" she asked.

"I'm putting you in charge of the now nationwide search of the black panthers; put together a team of accomplished FBI agents. I want results, I want those S.O.B's found… you hear me?"

Monica nodded, swallowing hard.

****

"So you've done Montreal, Connecticut, California, San Francisco, San Diego and now New York?" Phoebe marvelled.

Joey grinned, swigging his beer. "Yes you blonde goddess that would be correct."

"Next stop…Vermont." Chandler said, looking at his map. "I would say a road trip would be the safest bet."

"You coming baby?" Joey asked Phoebe, wrapping his arms around her.

"You betcha!" Phoebe said grinning seductively at him.

Chandler groaned, turning away. "Give it a rest you two!" he complained, "I would say 'get a room', but that's impossible of course."

Joey surveyed their surroundings. The three friends had been staying in their beat up camper van for three weeks now. Every month they changed the way they travelled, to throw the police and FBI off the scent.

"The press are calling you the black panthers now," Phoebe observed, reading a paper she had bought in a newsagents in New York. As the police didn't know she existed in the gang, she could go wherever she wanted filling her friends in on the latest news.

"Cool, we've got nicknames!" Joey said, grinning. He caught Chandler's worried look. "What's up man?"

"Having a nickname is not good," Chandler told him, "It means people know who we are…and we don't want that."

"Chandler we have robbed 20 museums this year, of course people are gonna know who we are!"

"Yeah but when there were no names…there was no trail." Chandler explained, "We're not 'the wet bandits!'"

Joey's brow furrowed. "The…who?"

"Forget it," Chandler mumbled. Joey was supposed to be the mastermind of robberies, but right now he wasn't much better than the dumb one from 'Home Alone'.

"So, what are you guys going to do when you get to Vermont?" Phoebe asked.

"There's one more museum to visit, and it's a goldmine," Chandler promised, "When we get that painting, we're all set to cross the border to Mexico."

"Paradise," Joey said dreamily.

"Exactly," Chandler said, grinning, "We'll sell the loot and live in luxury."

"How much is the painting in Vermont?" Joey inquired, eyes staring at Chandler in anticipation.

"$100,000,000."

Joey dropped to his knees.

****

"They haven't injured anyone yet, no lives have been cost," Monica explained to her team of Agents, "they appear to be the most considerate robbers imaginable." She smiled wryly.

"Those considerate robbers have $50,000,000 worth of loot somewhere though," an agent added.

"That's why we need to find them," Monica said, "Go to every corner of North America. They're always on the move, they're sneaky. Don't trust a word they say."

****

"Black Panthers," The man looked at the headline and laughed. "They think they are the next Bonnie and Clyde!"

His friend laughed in agreement.

"Well, no pair of common robbers are going to outwit me," the man whispered dangerously. "Robert? Call Dave, Tommy, Tyler…the old gang. We've got to find these idiots…and soon."

"And…and then what?" Robert asked nervously.

The man laughed coldly. "Then we kill them."

****

End of Chapter One

:so what do you think? Can you see where it's going yet? Or are you clueless but intrigued? Give your opinions, they're greatly appreciated!: