The One Where Chandler Finally Experiments

By: Jana~

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CHAPTER ONE

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--Chandler stormed through the door, obviously upset, slamming his briefcase on the counter before grabbing a beer from the fridge.

Hitting mute on the TV first, Joey turned the swivel recliner around, facing his fuming friend. "Rough day?"

"The worst!" Chandler exclaimed, loosening his tie, then twisting the cap off his bottle.

"Uh-oh," Joey muttered, asking, "What happened?"

Averting his eyes as if embarrassed, Chandler sighed before he announced, "I was sexually harassed!"

Joey smiled, nodding in appreciation. "Nice."

"No, no," Chandler corrected, "Not nice!"

"Why?" Joey asked, confused. "Was she a dog?"

Chandler downed half his beer in three gulps, then kicked at the ground, hesitant to explain. It was so humiliating to him, he wasn't sure he wanted any of his friends to know. "No," he answered reluctantly.

"Then," Joey scowled as he tried to follow, "What?"

There was a moment where he considered lying, but Chandler found himself blurting out the truth instead. "She was a he!"

"Oh," Joey said with a nod, "So, you were…" He trailed off, unsure of what to say.

"Humiliated!" Chandler snapped, completing his unfinished sentence. "I mean, the guy just, grabbed my ass!"

"Why did he do that?" Joey questioned. "Did he say why?"

Chandler groaned before answering. "He said he thought we had 'a moment'."

Brows met as Joey's eyes narrowed. "What kind of moment?"

With a sharp exhale of breath, Chandler explained with an obvious irritation in his tone, "He thought I was gay! He thought I was interested in him, cause I asked him if he had seen my stapler! I swear," he huffed, "What is it with the people in my office?"

Joey just shrugged, standing to get a beer.

"Seriously, Joe," Chandler continued. "What is it about me? Why do people just assume I'm gay?!"

"I don't know," Joey returned, handing Chandler a second beer, moving around to the other side of the counter. "You- you have this-"

"Quality, I know," Chandler sighed. "I'm so sick of hearing that! I've heard it all my life! But I'm not!"

"I know," Joey assured him.

"I'm not gay!" Chandler continued his ranting. "I've never even had, you know, a… homosexual experience!" He sharply whispered the last two words, for what reason, he wasn't sure, since they were alone in the apartment.

Joey nearly choked on his beer, coughing and sputtering before responding to his friend's admission. "What?"

"You know," Chandler explained, "How some people experiment, like, in college?" Joey nodded. "I never even did that!"

"Really?" Joey asked, seemingly surprised.

Taking note of Joey's tone, Chandler asked, "Yeah, why?"

"No reason," Joey answered quickly, giving a subtle shrug of his shoulders. "It's just," he added softly, "I have."

A shocked expression accompanied a speechless silence as Chandler stared back at his friend. The revelation more than surprised him.

"You- you- you… have?" he finally asked, stuttering as he found his voice, and Joey nodded in response. "Uh, when?"

"I was a senior in high school," Joey shared, "And I was hanging out with a friend. We got to talkin about sex and stuff, and one thing led to another. And we ended up… experimenting."

"But," Chandler sputtered, "You- you're not gay!"

A smirk pulled at Joey's mouth. "I know that. People who experiment aren't necessarily gay."

"Well, yeah, ok, maybe, but-"

"I was curious," Joey interrupted. "I wanted to see what it was all about. You've never been curious?"

"Well," Chandler admitted hesitantly, "Sure, but I never acted on it!"

"Because you didn't want to?" Joey asked, "Or because you never had the opportunity?"

Chandler scoffed. "I attended an all-boys school for years. Of course I had opportunity."

"Then, why didn't you?"

"Because," Chandler shot back, "I'm not gay!"

Joey shook his head. "Neither am I! Neither are a lot of people who get curious and mess around!"

Chandler's head hung low as he confided, "All my life," he said with an inner pain that was obvious, "People just assumed, because of my quality, because of my dad— It was hard enough breaking away from that assumption. It was hard enough getting women to date me. I didn't want to add to the whispered rumors!"

"So," Joey asked cautiously, "The only reason you didn't experiment is because you were afraid people would think you were gay?"

Chandler shrugged. "People already thought it. I didn't want to give them reason to believe it."

"But, Chandler, stuff like that can be kept secret, ya'know?"

Shaking his head in disagreement, he said, "Stuff like that gets out. People talk."

"You didn't know anyone you trusted enough to keep it just between the two of you?"

"It's not as simple as that," Chandler muttered.

"It can be!" Joey insisted. "Let me ask you, if you had known someone that was willing, and that would have kept it a secret, would you have done it?"

After a moment's thought, Chandler sighed. He couldn't believe he was having this conversation. He couldn't believe he was about to admit this. "Maybe," he near-whispered.

"Do you trust me?" Joey asked, wincing slightly as he awaited his friend's answer.

Chandler's eyes widened as he realized what Joey was suggesting. "What- what are you saying?"

By Chandler's reaction, Joey could tell his friend knew very well what he was talking about. What he was suggesting. "I think you know," he said carefully.

"But," Chandler announced nervously, "We're not gay!"

Joey rolled his eyes. "The offer is out there," he told him, tossing his empty beer bottle into the trash. "The ball is in your court."

He left a stunned Chandler alone as he went to his room.

***

--There was no way he could sleep, not after the conversation he'd had earlier. Sure, he tried. He curled up in bed, in his t-shirt and boxers, blanket wrapped tight around him, but sleep was impossible. His brain wouldn't shut down, replaying Joey's words over and over again, refusing to give him a moment's peace from having to think about it.

Chandler didn't know how he was going to face his friend in the morning. If he was this uncomfortable, just after having a conversation, he could only imagine how awkward things would be between them if he actually took him up on his offer.

It was out of the question. Sex with friends was always a bad idea, anyway. Besides, he wasn't gay. He never imagined Joey was gay, either.

Actually, he would probably be considered bi, with as many women as Joey has slept with, Chandler thought to himself. Then he wondered, had he been with other guys, besides the one he admitted to? All of the sudden, Joey, his best friend, was a mystery to him. What else didn't he know about the man he'd shared an apartment with for years?

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--Staring up at his ceiling, Joey was starting to regret confiding in Chandler. He seemed really freaked out, about his admission, over his offer; there was no way he could take it back, it was already out there. Already threatening to destroy their friendship.

Chandler was his best friend, he couldn't imagine not having him in his life. Would he want to end their friendship because of this? Would he ask him to move out, or find another place to live?

Joey considered jumping up and running into Chandler's room to talk to him about it, but then another idea came to him. Pretend it never happened.

"When morning comes," he told himself, "Just act as if nothing is different."

He didn't consider the possibility that Chandler would bring it up, or what he would say if he did. Ignoring it seemed like the easiest solution, so that's what he decided to do.

TO BE CONTINUED

This is my first and possibly only slash fic. As a straight woman, I don't know all the inner workings and emotions of a homosexual man, or men, or women, for that matter, so I don't know how comfortable I would be doing this again. That being said, this idea just screamed at me, begging to be let out, so like all my stories, that's why I'm writing it. Cause it was in me, begging to get out.

I know slash fics don't usually get many reviews, but I have the 'allow anonymous reviews' button clicked, so you can review under anonymity, if you want. Just let me know if I should keep going or not. If there isn't much desire for me to keep going, I'll go ahead and stop and pull it.

Ok, so, to sum it up… please review!