A/N: Why this scene even entered my imagination is beyond me. But I have been itching for some drama, I know that much. Could school be more monotonous?
But, anyway, most importantly - IT'S SNOWING! MY PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED!
Spanish soap operas were always funniest when they were drunk. It all would happen sometime typical – New Year's, Thanksgiving, the Fourth. All of them, even Phoebe, were long past the reckless days of stupid parties interlaced with pirated booze. Drinking meant a problem. Drinking meant a broadcast. In college, nobody noticed if you were wasted – half the population was frantically "trying to deal" anyway. Now the only excuse was a celebration. Monica in particular found the irony overwhelming.
None of them were extremely susceptible to the sweet beck of alcohol. Phoebe enjoyed her limoncello every now and again. Chandler and Joey had their easy grab-and-go stock of beer. Rachel liked her red; Monica liked her white (it didn't leave stains). Even Ross loosened up enough for a glass of champagne around the holidays. It was all very structured; so structured, in fact, that it took tremendous willpower to keep her spirits tucked away for safekeeping. But of course, they were always there. Just in case.
They were all different. Gracelessness was Rachel. Composed insanity, Phoebe; Ross, sluggish stupidity. Chandler talked with endless riddles and run-on sentences. Joey bar-hopped, drunk out of his mind.
Maybe she was a little bit of all of them.
He broke her heart. She broke her heart. Of course she had been subject to heartbreak before, of course. What was perfection without struggle? She had struggled for decent grades. She had struggled with her weight. She had struggled with her nit-picky, overbearing, bitching mother for eighteen years. She had struggled through relationship after relationship until it finally came down to him – and she swore to herself she would make it work no matter what.
But she had not expected this.
She needed children. And so she closed down the bar that night.
Chandler rapped gently on the door. Slipping inside with the assurance of a softly murmured greeting, he closed the door and set a glass of ice water on the bedside table. Monica looked up half-heartedly as he sunk comfortably onto the foot of her bed.
"As a rule, I didn't think Monica Geller threw up."
Monica cough-laughed and leaned back against the headboard. "Chandler, I think I drank Manhattan."
Monica peered at him through weary eyes. "Aren't you going to ask why?"
He shrugged and carefully smoothed the washcloth over her forehead. "My dad slept with our pool boy. Sometimes answers don't solve everything."
Monica shook her head, a simple gesture that okayed Chandler proceed with his ministrations. "You're incredible. If Rachel got drunk and passed out on my floor, I'd be interrogating her."
Chandler studied her face. "Do you want to tell me?"
"I –" Monica stared at her hands, then looked up tearfully. "I want a baby, Chandler."
He wordlessly handed her the ice water.
"Chandler . . ."
He continued to press the washcloth gently to her temple.
"Chandler," she pleaded desperately. "You said you would."
He lifted his eyes and held her gaze. "You can't be serious, Monica."
She faltered. Angry tears glistened in her eyes.
"You're backing out?" she breathed.
Chandler cast his eyes away; he swirled the water, and the ice clinked cheerily against the glass. Monica drew a shuddering breath.
"Okay," she breathed. "Okay."
"Mon," he began, logically, "I mean, we've been over this, and I just don't think –"
"Okay," she said defiantly. "I said it's okay."
"Listen, you're holding me to something that I said years ago, and in totally different circumstances –"
"Totally different circumstances?" Monica said in sudden asperity. "Don't even try to pull that shit on me."
"Tell me," said Chandler quietly, in blood-boiling calm. "Tell me what kind of shit you think I'm pulling."
"You promised," she repeated vehemently. She flung the washcloth from her forehead as if it had done her a personal wrong. "You promised! I thought you were supposed to be my friend, stick by me through sickness and in health –"
"Unfortunately, platonic vows don't work like that," Chandler said levelly. "There's no way I'm going to let you make this kind of decision when you're drunk."
"You're not going to let me?" Monica challenged, as Chandler collected the washcloth from the floor. "I could have you right here, right now. I could make you weep for more."
Chandler stood. "I'll be in the other room."
And then he walked away.