I own none of the "Friends" characters used in this fic.

The Key

The image in his head was so vivid. He was standing in a large room, surrounded by a group of people. He didn't recognize anyone, but he felt completely comfortable there. He turned, to see a woman walking toward him. She was dressed in white. A thin veil covered her delicate face.  He smiled, as his heart filled with love, passion, and devotion.

It was always at this moment that he woke up to the sound of a blaring alarm.
He hit his snooze button, and turned and looked at the clock. It read 5:45. He yawned, and rolled out of bed.  His apartment was bitterly cold. Mental note, he thought to himself, call the landlord about the heater today.  The hot shower was a welcome relief. He stayed in as long as he possibly could. He dressed hurriedly, and headed out into the crisp San Francisco morning.

A few hours later, he was concentrating on his latest project when the phone rang.


"Hey baby."

"Hey sweetheart!"

"Am I interrupting?"

"Nah, its only work."

"Are we on for lunch later?"


"Okay. I'll meet you at SRO?"


"I love you."

"I love you too baby. Bye."

Jason hung up the phone, and smiled broadly. He was so happy he had finally found someone to spend his life with.

It was noon, and SRO was crowded, as usual. Jason scanned the room, looking for Chelsea. He smiled, when he saw her standing in the sandwich line at the other end of the room.

"Hey you." He said softly.


Chelsea kissed her boyfriend tenderly. She was so happy she had found him 2 years ago. Deep down, she was still concerned that he would leave her. Until that day comes, she vowed to herself, I'm going to revel in every moment.

Hours later, Jason and Chelsea were seated on Jason's sofa, watching a movie.

"Hey," Jason said suddenly, "I have an idea."

"It's about time," Chelsea joked.

"Har har. Anyway, you know how you were saying that your lease is up on your place?"


"I was thinking. Why don't you just move in here with me? You're always here anyway, and it's closer to your work, and…"

"Okay." Chelsea interrupted.


"Yeah. Hey, I'd much rather live here in the Marina...and with you." she finished shyly.

Jason smiled. He wasn't sure Chelsea would go for it, but he was so happy she did.

"I have news too." Chelsea said.

"What is it?"

"Well, a woman came by the studio today. She liked my work, and she wants me to bring my portfolio to her boss in New York!"

"Honey, that's great!" Jason kissed Chelsea lovingly.

"Do you wanna come?"

"Yeah! I've never been to New York. At least I don't think I have." Jason laughed.

Chelsea smiled. Finally, everything in her life was going right.


Jason and Chelsea arrived at LaGuardia airport a week later. Jason stared out of the taxi window, in awe of the city that stood before him.  As the taxi pulled up to the hotel, he was suddenly had a feeling of deja vu.

"What is it, honey?" Chelsea asked, noticing Jason's reaction.

"Hmm? Oh, nothing, it must be jet-lag." he lied.

He shook his head and carried their bags up to the hotel.

After dropping off their bags, Jason and Chelsea decided to explore the area. They ate dinner at an Italian restaurant, and took a walk through Central Park. Jason couldn't shake the eerie feeling that he'd been here before.  That feeling was magnified when they walked into a small coffee shop adjacent to the Park.  Jason ordered two latte's and walked toward the window seat where Chelsea was sitting.  He suddenly had the feeling that he was being watched. He turned to see a man staring at him, with a look of shock and anger on his face.  Jason opened his mouth to speak, but the stranger interrupted him.

"I can't believe you came back. You've got a lot of nerve, you know that?"

"Do I know you?" Jason asked honestly.

The stranger laughed and shook his head. He balled up his fist and swung at Jason, hitting him square in the jaw.
Jason was shocked by the sudden reaction, and was unprepared for the attack. Chelsea screamed.

"Jason!" She ran to his side, and took his face into her hands.

"Jason, are you okay?"

"Yeah," he whispered.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Chelsea turned to the stranger. "Why did you hit him?"

"Well, I...uh," the stranger suddenly seemed flustered.

"C'mon Jason, let's go." Chelsea grabbed his hand and led him out of the coffee shop.

Jason was still in shock. He wanted to talk to the stranger in the shop. He was sure that he knew him, and that he could help him remember his past.


Joey sat down, still flustered by the incident that just took place. Why was that woman calling him Jason? Why didn't he stop them when they left? Joey needed to know what was going on. He wasn't sure he should tell the others about this.