Under Pressure

Summary: It's the terror of knowing what this world is about, watching some good friends screaming, let me out! C/M, R/R. please read and review.

A/N: The ages of Ross and Chandler in this fic are 17, and Rachel and Monica are 15. Just for the purposes of this fic. Sorry if it's not correct. This fic is based on the song "Under Pressure" by Queen. I don't own this song, nor do I own the characters in this fanfiction. (I WILL finish "If we Should Meet Again" soon, I promise.) Oh, and this fic is quite AU, in the sense that the timelines are different and different things happen. Lilian xXx

Chapter One: Pressure... Splits a Family in Two

The darkness had crept up on the small girl, sitting quietly in the park swinging gently back and forth, and she hadn't realised until it was too late that she had missed her curfew by at least an hour, if not more. Her parents would be angry. Her brother would jeer at her. She would cry quietly in her room, and not resort to food-remembering what happened last time she had eaten for comfort. In fact, she would probably starve herself, and wish time and time again that she had never been born.

Why wasn't there someone out there who was worse off than her? Why couldn't someone comfort her with words like "I know how you feel" and mean it? How she longed for someone to actually understand the pain she was going through... no one could though. At that moment, Monica Geller felt like the unluckiest person in the world.

But fate has a funny way of dealing the cards. There is always someone worse off than you, and although Monica struggled to remember these words of wisdom, when she did, she was filled with relief. Just because she couldn't find someone whose life was worse than hers, didn't mean there wasn't someone out there, wishing they were dead... just like she did.

Sighing, she dragged her weak body off of the swing and glanced at her watch, knowing there would be hell to pay when she returned.


Tension. He didn't like tension. He'd never felt it this bad before. Sure, there'd been times when his parents had argued, but hey, who didn't argue these days? Pushing his turkey around his plate, he looked up to see his father, smiling at him, and his mother, looking like she wanted to kill someone. But both of them were staring at Chandler, both had fake smiles on their faces... and he knew something was wrong.

"Honey, finish your turkey," his mother said soothingly. "Your father and I need to talk to you."

Chandler scowled. "Don't wanna," he said sulkily, feeling like a moody pre-teen when he was already 17, and practically an adult. He wanted to know what was going on, and now, instead of after he had finished eating the cooked bird. "Tell me now. What's wrong?"

Nora looked at Chandler, and smiled a rather genuine, sad, smile. "Honey... your father and I, we've been going through a rough patch." Chandler glanced quickly at Charles, his father, whose face was bowed down, not wanting to look at his son.

"So? A lot of people have a hard time in relationships. You'll figure it out," Chandler said hopefully.

Charles went a little red, and Nora coughed, trying not to laugh at Chandler. How could they work out their problems? It couldn't happen.

"Chandler... dear, things are a lot more complex than that. This isn't some little argument. In fact... it's not even an argument. We just want.. different things." Well, she thought to herself, it would make more sense to say that they both wanted the same thing. Wanting different things would have been no problem.

Charles felt he had to be honest with his son. "Chandler, I'm gay," he admitted, watching his son's face go from pink to white to red... to colourless.

Chandler stared at his father. Time stood still. Gay? How could his father be gay? It wasn't possible. He loved Nora. Nora was a woman. Chandler voiced his confusion, and Charles looked worried.

"Chandler, things change," he said, trying to explain. "I still love you and your mother very much. I'm just not comfortable here. You wouldn't want me to be somewhere I don't want to be, would you?"

"So.. you don't want to be with me?" Chandler asked quietly. Charles hesitated, knowing that Chandler made a valid point. He loved his son to bits, but he just couldn't stay with Nora much longer. It was driving him crazy.

Chandler stood up, his napkin still tucked into his shirt. "I'm gonna... just, go," he said, as he left the room. After a second, he popped his head round the door, a sad, destroyed look on his face. He looked straight into his fathers eyes before muttering "Thanks dad. This was a great Thanksgiving."


"WHERE have you been?" bellowed Jack, as Monica shut the front door quietly behind her. "We started dinner without you. You were supposed to be home FIVE HOURS AGO!"

Thanksgiving. In all her distress Monica had completely forgotten her favourite holiday of the year, such was the extent of her unhappiness. She looked up at her father, tears in her eyes, but he couldn't see the pain she'd been through over the past year. No one could understand. No one knew.

"I'm sorry," she said, looking back down at her feet, but her father would not let her get away with just an apology.

"Save it," he spat. "You've ruined and interrupted our dinner now. Just go to your room... I want to finish OUR Thanksgiving in peace."

"Thanksgiving is a time of forgiveness..." Monica said weakly, but Jack turned back round quickly, snarling.

"It is a time for thankfulness. So you be thankful that I haven't hit you so hard you want to cry some more, young lady," he yelled, as Monica shrank back. Jack had never hit her before-him and Judy did not believe in corporal punishment, and he would never have hit her now, especially as she was 15. But the threat was there, and Monica was terrified. She ran upstairs, as Jack watched her, and his heart sank as he wondered if he'd done the right thing. Monica used to be a wonderfully sweet and funny girl... but over the past year she'd changed dramatically. They'd tried to help her, but she wouldn't let anyone into her sad little world, and Jack was becoming annoyed and frustrated. He'd practically given up on her. But she was still his little Harmonica, and he loved her. He just wanted to know what was going on.

When Monica reached her room, she buried her face in the pillow and wept and wept, tears flowing from her eyes and soaking her bed. Why wouldn't people just leave her alone? Why couldn't people try to understand, if they wanted to invade her privacy so much? Why wouldn't someone hug her, and tell her everything was going to be ok, instead of shouting at her? Crying, sniffing and thinking, Monica fell into a deep sleep, still fully-clothed and her dirty shoes staining the bedspread.



He grunted in reply, and his mom entered his bedroom, walking slowly towards him. "Chandler... I'm sorry."

"How can he be gay?" Chandler asked, distressed. Nora sighed, and put her arm round her only son.

"Don't you think I ask myself that, every single day? Am I the one who turned him homosexual? Did I push him over the edge? Was I that bad a wife to him?"

Chandler hated himself for a moment, and hugged his mom. "Of course you weren't, mom," he said. "You're a great person. You couldn't make any man gay. Perhaps you could make a gay man heterosexual."

Nora laughed, and stroked Chandler's cheek. "You're sweet, Chandler," she said, acting as if he was barely ten. "I don't want you to hate your father though. He felt... under pressure. He couldn't stand to be with us. This isn't the right life for him. And I know he loves you very much."

Chandler shrugged. "I still hate him. He's cheated on you, hasn't he?"

"Oh no," Nora said hastily. "He's promised me he hasn't, and I believe him, Chandler. We have to respect his wishes, his feelings. You wouldn't have wanted him to stay here if he felt under pressure from different people to come out of the closet. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be a life. We have to help him, Chandler."

"Maybe you do, but I don't," Chandler said crossly, and turned away, feeling his world fall down around him. His perfect house. Perfect parents. Perfect life. He just knew that now it would all be ruined.


There are others out there who are unhappy, Monica told herself, staring out of the window. Maybe they don't have the same reasons as me, but they need comfort, just as I do. And one day, I'm going to find someone who needs me to listen to them, and who wants to listen to others.

Comforting herself with this promise, she went back to her bed, cursing as she saw the stains her muddy shoes had left on the cover. Her mom would have a fit when she saw it in the morning.

Under pressure, that burns a building down

Splits a family in two, puts people on streets


Hey! End of first chapter/introduction thing. I promise this will lead to C/M, but I just want to know what you think, and if I should continue or not. Please give your opinions. And my other fic shall be finished soon. Lilian xXx