Chandler belatedly realized that they should stop, so he broke away and stammered, "N-n-no! We, we shouldn't. I mean, we're not gay, and I'm--I'm married!" He jumped up from the couch and backed into a stool behind him.

Joey nodded silently, feeling guilty and confused too. He was still very aroused and couldn't believe what had happened.

Chandler just stood there, staring at him and feeling scared to death. "We should, we should pretend this never happened."

"Right. Yeah." Joey blushed and got up from the couch too. "I'm sorry." He turned and retreated into his bedroom, shutting the door firmly.

Chandler leaned against the stool weakly and wondered what the hell was wrong with him, getting carried away like that. More disturbing than the mere fact of them kissing and necking was how hot it all was. How natural and right it felt, and how easy it would have been to go further. In fact, it was why-weren't-we-doing-this-before? good.

Panicking at that thought, Chandler ran out of the apartment and went home, deciding to keep himself glued to the porn channel until his wife came back and let him confirm that he was straight. He should only feel that way about Monica, not Joey.

On the couch, he closed his eyes and shivered. "Just Monica," he repeated to himself stubbornly. "Not Joey." Then he forced himself to watch the porn and tried to pay attention to it.

Across the hall, Joey crawled onto his bed and tried to calm down. He was very upset with himself and lost. What was it with him and his roommates, huh? Janine, Rachel, and now Chandler. Always aching for what he could not have.

Then Joey remembered his difficulties in getting intimate with Rachel recently. By the same logic, then, shouldn't it be impossible for him to touch and kiss Chandler that way? Weren't they too close of friends to cross that line? And yet, Chandler hadn't flinched from his thigh grazing the other day, nor had he slapped or kneed Joey no matter how intimate they got. He loved it; he wanted it.

Joey gulped and realized that he wanted it too. "Oh no!" He shook his head and tried to deny it. He couldn't be gay! He couldn't be. Even if he was, even if Chandler was too, it was still wrong. Chandler was married. Joey huddled under the covers and moaned, wanting to disappear somehow and forget.

But he couldn't. After a while, Joey decided to call up the girl he was currently dating and see if she could fix him. They had been going out for a while, the longest time that he had ever waited for sex from a girlfriend, so surely it was all right to do it with her now? But when he went to see Sheila and tried his usual six moves on her, he kept thinking about Chandler instead of her.

Using the excuse that he was anxious about his job, Joey made his apologies to Sheila and went home again to take a cold shower. Then he just lay awake in bed, clutching Hugsy and wondering what on earth he should do.

***

When Joey saw Chandler the next day, it was evident in his face that he too had a sleepless, troubled night. The guys avoided each other and tried to hang out with their other friends instead.

After Chandler left for work, Joey overheard Monica remarking to Rachel that she and Chandler should try going to Vermont again, for he had trouble relaxing in bed last night. Joey wasn't surprised.

Chandler readily agreed to the Vermont trip and also found a new sex thing in *Maxim* magazine to try, no doubt to take his mind off the moves that Joey had shown him recently. Of course, the Bings' plans to get out of town were ruined by Ross and Rachel announcing a birthday party for Emma at the last minute.

Everyone complained that they thought Ross and Rachel were having a private party and they'd already made other plans. But Rachel insisted that everybody stay for the party even though Emma was napping for hours and Emma's other grandparents weren't coming, nor were Carol, Susan, and Ben. It was just a very stressful party, and Joey was disturbed when he liked the erotic cake that Rachel had accidentally bought instead of a bunny cake.

He should only be turned on by an erotic cake of a woman, not of a guy's private parts, but all he could think about was tasting the creamy frosting that the others raved about. And when he accidentally glimpsed Chandler's penis in the bathroom, he couldn't stop thinking about tasting him as well. Maybe it would taste just as delicious as his mouth had. Still, Joey knew that such feelings were inappropriate, so he got away from the party as soon as he could.

After the whole disastrous celebration was over, the guests left for good and Rachel was up all night with Emma, who wouldn't fall asleep again after her long nap. Joey stayed up too and tried to help her, for it was the only distraction he had from thinking about Chandler.

Across the hall, the Bings unpacked their bags and didn't bother to drive to Vermont. They were too tired, but they stayed awake to talk about having a baby again. Monica really liked spending time with Emma at the party, and she still sort of wished that Emma was their kid.

"What if we, um, we trade them the Porsche for Emma? I mean, we are her godparents."

Chandler wasn't sure if she was serious or not, but he reassured her, "Look, we'll adopt soon, Monica. Who knows? Maybe, maybe we can ask Joe if his little sister Dina is doing all right raising her baby, or if she needs some help."

"Yeah, or we could try to convince Frank and Alice to give us one of the triplets. I hope they're not still set on this no-splitting-them-up rule."

While she rambled on, Chandler closed his eyes and tried to get to sleep. Maybe he should let Joey be a sperm donor for them after all. They could have a kid and name it after Joey, and be one happy family. They could make Joey godfather and have him read bedtime stories to the baby. Joey's gift to Emma tonight was genuinely moving. If only Chandler could stop thinking about Joey in other, non-godparently ways! He sighed and wondered when would things go back to normal again.

***

Day after day, the guys lived in uneasy, unhappy denial. Joey eventually was able to have sex with Sheila, but only if he gave in to his fantasies and imagined Chandler in his arms. Fighting the desire only made things difficult. Still, Joey felt bad for using his girlfriend that way, and for enjoying the thought of kissing and groping Chandler. Stripping him naked and bending him over to see if he liked that or not.

Joey also sometimes had flashbacks to sex with Kathy, his ex-girlfriend who had a lot in common with Chandler. She liked watching *Die Hard* with him and playing with the chick and the duck, and she was always talking about the same books and other stuff that Chandler talked about. She was so smart and funny, and always responded enthusiastically to him in bed. If he could, Joey might try to win back Kathy now, for being with her would be the closest thing he could have to being with Chandler. But perhaps it wouldn't be enough to make him stop yearning for the real thing, and perhaps Kathy wouldn't get along with Chandler, considering how bad their breakup was.

So Joey tried to stop thinking about that scenario too. He also felt guilty when he heard Monica or Chandler mention the adoption process they were going through. The Bings were gonna be a family soon, and Joey had no right to interfere in their happiness. He shouldn't keep wanting Chandler or trying to hear his voice moaning instead of his Sheila's.

Joey finally broke up with his girlfriend as nicely as he could, without confessing about his fantasies in bed. Then he started making plans to leave New York without telling the gang. Joey had to talk to his agent about job leads in L.A. and also convince the *Days Of Our Lives* writers to write him out again.

Maybe he should go and find his old flame Kate, or maybe he should see if any L.A. guys reminded him of Chandler enough that he'd be willing to go gay. He wondered if any of them would ever taste the way that Chandler did. He'd never know until he tried.

The End.

The lonely, miserable end that the NBC execs have backed me into with their lame, desperate spinoff idea.