I was listening to Papa Roach's "Scars" (an excellent song, btw, I was thinking about it constantly as I wrote 'What If'), and this popped into my head. I know you've all read a million London stories (well, I have) and maybe the reason they're so popular is that 1) Mondler is just so cute 2) They include Chandler, and we all know he's the best thing since canned bread 3) We all love vacation stories!
So I thought I'd write one of my own. Read the damn summary. :sorry, didn't mean to snap…: Unbetaed. I need to get a beta reader. Seriously.
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, not one teensy bit.
Dedicated to Kathleen, even if she thinks that Major Davis is cuter than Chandler.
I felt the material of the blanket between my fingers. I was still sitting, frozen, on that bed, staring at the door that Monica had just left through. My other hand was leaning on the mattress, supporting my stunned body.
Suddenly aware that I was naked, I crawled out of bed (avoiding the window) and pulled on a pair of boxers, staring into space, only one thing entering my mind.
Now, usually, I don't use words like that. Sure, I use 'damn', 'hell', etcetera, etcetera, but this certainly seemed like a moment to use a curse word with slightly more magnitude; then again, I hadn't actually said the word aloud- I had just thought it. So, does that really count?
I shook myself and glanced around the room. Last night's clothes littered the floor- I winced as I recognized the cowboys on my infamous pajamas only worn when the chance of running into a girl was as possible as me getting transferred to Hawaii and being waited on by bikini-clad cheerleaders. Monica Geller, before last night, hadn't counted as one of those girls I had to hide the jammies (Joey insisted on mocking my cowboys to no end, and this was his nickname for them) from. Sure, it would have been embarrassing if she'd seen me in them, but it wasn't like she was someone I was trying to have sex with.
Of course, this was all before last night.
With a sigh, I picked up the pajamas and stuffed them into my suitcase. I ran my hands through my hair as I thought of my behavior the previous night (I wasn't even about to get started on hers). Had I really stripped in two seconds flat while I lay next to one of my closest friends? Had I actually agreed to have sex with her? I only have vague recollections of the time before the actual sex; I fought back a smile as that particular part of last night came back full force.
Smiling was inappropriate. It meant I had enjoyed our mistake, and I most certainly hadn't.
I stood and walked into the bathroom, feeling I needed to take a long, cold shower. Alright, so I had enjoyed it. What man couldn't? It was Monica, for god's sake; she was hot and sexy and not that bad in bed, I admitted to myself, knowing that I wasn't doing her one bit of justice on the last point. But still- I shouldn't be saying that Monica's the best I've ever had, because she's, well… Monica. She's always been 'just Monica', beautiful and unattainable- same as Rachel. Phoebe's different. She's pretty and all, but I'd never consider going out with her.
I locked the door and stripped (which didn't take long, considering I was only wearing boxers). Jumping in the shower-slash-tub, I turned the water on, enjoying the lukewarm droplets falling onto my body. It was like I was washing off last night's memories, at least for the moment.
I quickly turned off the water.
I didn't want to erase last night.
Leaning against the wet wall, I glared up at the showerhead, irritation growing inside of me as a trickle of water fell into the drain, making a quiet but annoying noise.
"Stupid symbolic water!" I muttered, and turned the water back on, deciding that the water was not, in fact, washing away last night- I was just taking a shower.
I began to wash my hair, trying not to think about what I obviously could not not think about. I let out a moan as I realized that today was Ross's wedding day. We'd started the thing I was promising myself not to think about last night, on the eve of what was supposed to be the happiest day of his life, and it most certainly had not ended at exactly 11:59; what Ross would do to me if he realized I had done his sister on his wedding day, I wasn't sure- but it would probably start with him hitting me over the head with a jackhammer.
And I'm not even sure if I deserved that. I mean, yeah, it takes two, and I was half of the equation. But I hadn't initiated it; that was one hundred percent her fault.
Washing the shampoo out of my hair, I tried to recall all of last night's events. Well, first she'd gotten drunk. I'd seen that at the rehearsal dinner. In fact, I was the only one who knew how much alcohol she'd downed- I'd promised myself to let her keep her dignity and not let her be embarrassed by acting like the usual Drunk Monica.
Therefore, I had put myself in charge of watching over her. I tailed her like a dog does his master- slipping in next to her when she talked with someone, grabbing her hand and steering her away from the crowds when her words got too slurred. Half the people at that dinner must have thought we were a couple, what with the hand-holding and her tendency to lean back against my chest for stability after another drink.
At one particular point, her parents had walked by, apparently searching for Ross. I'd been half-talking to Mr. Waltham, and half-watching Monica; it wasn't until she nearly at her parents' side that I realized she was no longer next to me. With a quick wave at Mr. Waltham, I had rushed over to her and grasped her hand tightly just as she opened her mouth. I began to tug her out of the room, knowing that, if she were sober, she would not want her parents to ever see her completely wasted.
"Gerroff…" she murmured, and stopped as we passed a tray. She attempted to grab a bottle of wine, but I pried it out of her hands.
"C'mon," I muttered into her ear, and pulled her into the hall.
Her usually bright eyes were dull and bloodshot. Her raven hair was messy and was falling out of her once-neat bun. I sighed and walked behind her, fixing her hair, wishing that Phoebe or Rachel had been here, since they were the experts in this sort of thing. I was beginning to regret letting her drink away her troubles- wouldn't a real friend have taken her away from alcohol and bought her some premium ice cream?
I blocked these thoughts, knowing that anyone would have considered me an excellent friend. I had, after all, saved her pride- which was a fairly important achievement, considering this was Monica Geller. Stepping in front of her again, I put my hands on her shoulders, leaving about two feet between us. I asked her quietly, "Want to go back up to your room?"
A goofy smile appeared on her face and she poked a finger to my chest, "Not with you, silly goose."
She began to step towards me but stumbled; I caught her before she fell. Lifting her up, I put an arm around her for support, "That's not exactly what I meant."
As I headed for the elevator, she grinned wider, her eyes half closed, "Ohhh."
We reached her room without any more incidents, unless you count me taking the tiny flask she'd managed to hide in her purse. At the door of her room, she turned to me, looking rather confused. Her brow was furrowed from pain, "Ow."
I nodded and reached into her purse, taking out a bottle of aspirin and the key, "Take two of these."
She nodded and then stopped; she motioned for the key and I handed it and the painkillers to her, looking down at her worriedly. She didn't move; her bloodshot eyes were looking up at me, a tinge of sadness hidden behind the cracks of red.
"Come here," I murmured, and pulled her into a hug. Her arms wrapped around my neck and her head buried into my shoulder. As we broke the embrace, I brushed back a strand of hair that had managed to escape my poorly designed bun, kissed her cheek, and said softly, "It's going to be okay, Mon."
Monica, looking tired and a little puzzled, whispered back, "Thanks, Joey."
My heart sank.
Had she thought it had been Joey all along? Even after several liters of alcohol, I thought she would have at least recognized me. Didn't she know it was me who had stayed by her, comforted her, while Joey had flirted with that bridesmaid? Would she ever know, or would Joey always be the white knight in shining armor, with me to the side, offering some sarcastic quip?
It took me a while to realize the door was closed; Monica was gone. I bit my lip and formed a fist, controlling my anger. It wasn't anger at her, most certainly; it was a bitter resentment at myself for letting her get so drunk that she didn't even recognize me. Or was I just not that important to her? She had recognized her parents; she probably would've known Rachel, Ross, or Phoebe.
But she didn't know it had been me.
I walked away, a ringing in my ears.
Monica didn't know me from Joey, and that hurt.
I jumped as I realized I'd left the water running for twenty minutes. Feeling slightly guilty, I picked up the hotel's free bar of soap. Hope England doesn't mind I just wasted half its water, I thought with grin.
I washed myself and found my mind straying back to last night. How could it not? And suddenly, I was reliving the moment she'd knocked on my door and had come in; how I'd told her she was the most beautiful woman in most rooms-
Blood rushed to a certain area of my body and I suddenly felt like there wasn't enough oxygen in the world as my mind began to replay the exact moment she'd kissed me. Quickly changing the water temperature to freezing cold, I shoved those thoughts out of my mind.
I needed to focus on what I was going to do.
Turning off the water, I took a towel off the rack and stepped out of the tub, drying myself. A few beads of water trickled down from my wet hair and I patted my face dry, putting on the hotel's soft bathrobe. I tied it shut and ran my hands through my hair.
So, I didn't have a plan. I didn't know what I was going to say to Monica, simply because I didn't know what I wanted. What we'd done was completely stupid, insane… and it was Monica, after all- Ross would kill me, maybe with that jackhammer I mentioned earlier.
I turned the doorknob and sighed. How could we have let this happen? How I could I have gotten into this position, where I was confused and unsure of what to do?
But I knew one thing. I sure as hell was going to tell her that it had been her annoying, sarcastic friend Chandler that had been right by her side all of the rehearsal dinner- not Joey.
So there y'all are! I thought it'd be fun to do this, so I took a break from writing my (crappy) essay and (even crappier) story. So… my own little take on London. You all know what happens after that- Joey is in the room. Reviews are always beyond welcome, they make me happy and I do a dance that is vaguely reminiscent of the Chandler Dance.
School starts tomorrow. Bleh.
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