AN: I swear I am working on my other stuff—but I couldn't resist this fanfics challenge for Merge! Hee hee. This is an alternate version of The One In Vegas.
The One With Two Marriages and a Divorce
"I can't believe we're doing this!" Chandler hopped back and forth excitedly in the lobby of the tacky Vegas chapel.
Monica looked up at Chandler, and smiled before standing herself. It was strange, this idea that they were just going to elope, without their friends and family, without any kind of plan.
This was nothing like her. It was completely spontaneous, off the cuff—and she was Monica! This wasn't her at all…
Yet that was what excited her about it. It wasn't like her, and it went against everything she'd ever said she wanted.
She looked over at Chandler, who was now staring at the closed chapel doors impatiently, and she recalled his hasty, albeit incredibly romantic pseudo-proposal underneath the Craps table an hour ago.
It really had been a four. She knew it the moment she saw it, but she knew that he had to be the one to say it first.
She had gotten very used to Chandler's sudden attacks of insecurity—his bouts with his commitment-phobia that were at first kind of endearing, but then slowly became slightly aggravating. She had learned how to meticulously work around his quirks, and now she felt that they had a perfectly balanced relationship.
They were totally ready for this.
The doors of the chapel swung open, and a drunken, loud, young couple stumbled through the doorway and slammed through the outer doors. Monica shook her head, and looked over at Chandler, who, she noted, was looking more and more terrified with each passing second.
"You okay, honey?" Monica asked as soothingly as she could.
Chandler jerked his head to the right, and smiled tightly.
"Totally," he said, in a tone that made Monica a little suspicious.
"We don't have to…"
"Geller-Bing?" a woman emerged from the chapel, clipboard in hand.
"That's us!" Chandler jumped and shot his hand in the air, and before Monica could protest, he grabbed her hand and pulled her into the chapel.
It was unbelievably gaudy. The walls were covered in gold wallpaper with a white velvet pattern overlay, and the carpet was a deep, red shag. The altar was decorated with several gold candelabras, and white candles glowed from each stand. A fake plastic garland hung just above the altar, and a large, gold crucifix hung on the back wall—which was, incidentally, painted bright red. Monica cringed as the clipboard woman pulled her away from Chandler, and shoved a bouquet of white silk roses into her hands. She looked up to see Chandler being dragged to the altar, where clipboard woman pinned a matching boutonnière on his sweater. Monica shoved away the fleeting thought that the pin from the boutonnière likely ruined Chandler's sweater, and tried unsuccessfully to make eye contact with Chandler.
Clipboard woman walked back toward Monica, and picked up a small cassette player that was sitting on one of a dozen white wooden chairs that were scattered throughout the chapel. She hit the play button, and a scratchy, vanilla version of the Wedding March started.
The woman glared at Monica, indicating that that was her cue, and Monica turned and walked unsteadily down the aisle. She again pushed back a fleeting thought that her father should be walking with her, and smiled at Chandler.
He watched her approach, a large, goofy grin on his face. She couldn't help but giggle, and in that moment, all of her concerns seemed to melt away. Despite the gaudiness that surrounded her, she was truly happy that Chandler was the person that was standing before her.
A large, sweaty priest, dressed in a white and gold robe (of course) emerged from a back room, reeking of cigarettes and whisky. He read from a script robotically, inserting her and/or Chandler's name in all the appropriate places. They both said their 'I do's', and just like that—they were married.
She felt like she was in a dream-state. She hardly noticed when Chandler took her hand, and led her back out into the lobby. She was barely aware that the Wedding March had turned into the Recessional, and that she was now standing in the lobby, in her large, stolen sweatshirt, signing a document that made it all legal. Only when she was back outside, in the cool desert night, did her vision come back to her, and her mind float back to the present.
"You okay, babe? Or should I call you, Mrs. Bing?" Chandler giggled.
"Chandler, you do realize that we are actually married, right?" Monica replied, wide-eyed.
"Uh, yeah, hun, I think that was the point of the whole, "I Do" part," Chandler chuckled.
"I mean, we aren't even living in the same apartment, Chandler, and we're married!" Monica rambled.
"I know…we'll figure it all out when we get back to New York. Mon, are you okay?" Chandler grabbed Monica's shoulders and squared her so that she was facing him.
"Everything's gonna be okay," he said softly, and smiled that smile that always melted her heart. She took a deep breath, and sighed.
"I'm fine, sweetie. I know, everything's gonna be fine."
"Good. Now let's get to that honeymoon!" Chandler took her hand and led her back toward Caesar's.
"Penny for your thoughts," Chandler whispered into her ear, and it was only then that Monica realized that she was staring blankly at the hotel room ceiling.
"Only a penny?" Monica smiled, and wrapped her arms around Chandler's neck.
"A penny…and…me?" Chandler smiled, and pulled Monica toward him as he lay back down on his pillow. Monica settled her head on his bare chest and looked up at him.
"Do you have any…regrets about what we did?" Monica asked hesitantly.
"Regrets?" Chandler echoed shakily, and Monica worried that she had hit a nerve.
"I mean…I love you, and I so want to spend the rest of my life with you—I just—I mean, I never thought that my wedding would be in a big gold room with some guy who smelled like a pack of Marlboros, ya know?"
"Yeah, he did smell nice," Chandler smiled dreamily. His smile faded and he looked down at Monica. "Maybe we could have a big reception or something when we get back to New York."
"Yeah, I guess we could do that," Monica sighed, "I guess I just…I just…"
"Want perfection," Chandler finished, as he propped himself up onto his elbows as Monica sat up.
"Honey, it's okay that you want a perfect wedding. I mean, honestly, I was starting to freak out just a little bit too," Chandler smiled shyly, "Like you said, we don't even live together."
"So then we're agreed: we should get a divorce?" Monica asked softly.
"Well, I think we can do an annulment—I should ask Ross, he's the expert on this stuff."
"Can we—not tell anyone? I just…I'd rather everyone think that when we do get married, it's the first for both of us."
"Yeah, sure," Chandler smiled, then pulled Monica toward him again, "mind if we lay here for a little while longer as a married couple though?"
Monica giggled, and snuggled into Chandler's arms, "not at all."
They lay in silence for several minutes, before Chandler whispered softly.
"Maybe we could…see about the living together thing."
"Yeah," she whispered in reply.
"Man, where the hell were you two last night?" Joey asked, as he dug into an enormous pile of scrambled eggs.
"Yeah, we were looking all over for you!" Phoebe added.
"We were…uh…" Chandler looked at Monica, who was calmly sipping coffee.
"We were playing Craps," Monica finally said, and Chandler sat back in relief, "yeah, we got pretty lucky last night," Monica smiled at Chandler slyly.
"Yeah, baby!" Joey cried, and Phoebe slapped him on the arm.
"Morning," Ross and Rachel said quietly, as they each took a seat at the table.
"Hey, it's the Geller's!" Joey grinned.
"What?" Ross, Rachel, Monica and Chandler said simultaneously.
"Yeah," Phoebe laughed, and looked over at Monica and Chandler, "you missed one hell of a wedding last night."