I know, I am evil, mean, and wrong for leaving you all hanging like that.
I have come to terms with the fact that I AM going to Hell. ;-)
Disclaimer: I own none of these fine people. The song in the last chapter was "Hold on",
words and music by Sarah Mclaughlin. The title of this fic and the lyrics in this chapter,
"Shadown In a Mirror", words and music by Chris Isaak. Now that I have covered my ass,
we can continue.

***Shadows In a Mirror Chapter 5***

Shadows In a Mirror
I'm watching somebody's heart break in two.
And wondering if somewhere you're crying too.
Shadows in a mirror tell me that I'm wrong.
Shadows in a mirror, tell me that we're through.

I'm watching somebody's world at an end.
And wondering if someday we'll love again.
Shadows in a mirror tell me that I'm wrong.
Shadows in a mirror, tell me that we're through.


Oh and I, I still need your love.
I can't see my life darling without you.
Shadows in a mirror, shadows in a mirror.


I'm watching somebody's world at an end.
And wishing that somehow we could love again.
Shadows in a mirror tell me that I'm wrong.
Shadows in a mirror, tell me that we're through.


Oh and I, I still need your love.
I can't see my life darling without you.
Shadows in a mirror.

****

"Time of death, 11:49 pm."
Monica was sure she was hearing things. Chandler was not dead. He couldn't be. There was still
so much that needed to be said. She shook her head, in an attempt to stop the echoing of the
doctor's voice in her head. It was not true. She would not accept this.
Moments later the doctor came out of Chandler's room. The look in his eyes said it all.
He had that look, the one that doctor's get when they have bad news. He was grim, and he spoke
softly.
"I'm sorry. We did all we could."
Monica continued shaking her head.
"No, no no no no! You are wrong! He is not dead! He is stronger than you can possibly know!"
She ran past the doctor and into Chandler's room.

**

Joey came around the corner, and saw Monica, in tears. The doctor came out moments later,
and told them that Chandler was dead. Joey's head suddenly felt light. He vaguely heard Monica
screaming at the doctor, and before he knew it, she had disappeared into Chandler's room.
Joey leaned up against the wall, trying to gather his thoughts. Images of the day's events
flashed through his head. The image of Chandler on the bathroom floor; the image of him lying
lifeless in the kitchen, as Phoebe and Ross struggled to save him; but the image that stuck was
Joey's last conversation with Chandler, just hours before they'd found him:

**Earlier that day**

"Hey man," Chandler walked into Central Perk, and took a seat on the couch next to Joey.
"Hey, Chandler. Whoa, you're in a good mood."
"Yep." Chandler smiled wryly.
"What's up?" Joey asked.
"What are you doing tonight?"
"Uh, I had a couple of dates...but it turns out they knew each other so...they're a little
pissed at Joey."
"Oookay. Hey, yu wanna do me a huge favour?" Chandler asked.
"Sure. Wait, do I have to be naked?"
"What? No. I uh, just need you to set up the apartment while Mon and I are out to dinner."
"Oh, the big anniversary!"
"Yep."
"Sure, I can do that."
"Kay. I'll leave all the stuff at your place, and I'll leave written instructions."
"Alrighty. Man, I am so happy that you guys are doing so well."
"Yeah." Chandler said dreamily.
"You are really lucky to have found two women that love you so much. I wish I could find..."
"Joey, I think I know where you are going with this...so stop it."
Joey chuckled. "Yeah baby."
"Anyway," Chandler said, "I gotta get going. Thanks for doing this, man."
"No problem. I'll uh, swing by in the morning, to see how it all went."
"So, you'll be wanting breakfast?"
"Hell yeah!"
Chandler laughed. Joey was certainly one in a million.
"See ya Joe."
"See ya man...have fun!"

**

It was such a normal conversation. Like the thousands of conversations that they had had
before. Of course Joey had totally forgotten to set up the apartment, because one of his two
dates had called. But it wasn't like he hadn't flaked on Chandler before.
He had actually thought about trying to avoid Chandler the next day, just in case.
He never thought that he would find his best friend half-dead on the bathroom floor.
What he couldn't understand was how Chandler had gone from being on Cloud Nine, to being so
depressed that he became self-destructive, in a matter of hours. It just didn't make any sense.

**

Phoebe had a horrible, forboding feeling in the pit of her stomach. Something was wrong.
Out in the hallway, she could hear commotion, and voices. One of the voices was Monica's.
She followed Ross and Rachel out into the hallway. Monica was crying, and Ross immediatly went
to comfort her. Phoebe knew what was wrong long before she saw Monica crying. When the doctor
came out of Chandler's room, she heard nothing that he'd said. She saw Monica run into Chandler's
room. Phoebe watched, as each of her friends broke down. They were all weeping. Phoebe
wasn't crying. Not because she wasn't sad. She was sad. She was sad, angry, and disappointed.
She was sad that she had lost one of her best friends. Sure, she teased Chandler, and she often
said mean things to him, but in her heart, she loved him dearly, and losing him brought back a
pain she hadn't felt since her mother's suicide. She was angry that Chandler could do this to
them, especially to Monica. How could he be so selfish? And she was disappointed that she
would never get to see Chandler again. She would never be able to tell him how much he really
meant to her. She prayed silently that he already knew.

**

Rachel was sleeping, or trying to anyway. Everytime she closed her eyes, she would see nothing
but a replay of the day's events;

She woke up on the couch, relieved that it had all been a horrible nightmare. But then she heard
commotion on the other side of the couch. She sat up, and saw Ross and Phoebe crouched over
Chandler, with Joey pacing nervously behind them. So it wasn't a nightmare after all.
She got up slowly, still a little dizzy from hitting the floor so hard. She walked around the couch,
and was horrified by what she saw. There was blood everywhere. Her first instinct was to run
into the bathroom. But halfway there, she realized that she couldn't go in there. In fact,
she wasn't sure she'd ever be able to go back in there.
Chandler made a small groaning sound, and Rachel turned her attention back to the horrid scene.
Ross was yelling, trying to get Chandler to wake up. Phoebe was cursing the ambulance for taking
so damn long, and Joey was seated on a chair, crying softly.
Rachel walked over to Joey, and stood behind him. She wrapped her arms around him and told
him it would be okay.
*
"Rachel!"
Rachel's thoughts were interrupted by Ross, who was shaking her lightly.
"What is it? Is he awake?"
"I don't think so," Phoebe replied flatly.
It was then that Rachel heard the commotion. She jumped up, and she and Ross followed Joey out
into the hallway. As soon as she saw Monica, she knew. Ross let go of her hand, and walked over
to Monica. Rachel watched in horror as the doctor emerged to give the bad news. All of the
sadness, anger, pain and sorrow that Rachel had been feeling since that day began finally
hit her, and she broke down crying. She had never lost someone like this, someone she was
so close to. And she wasn't even as close to Chandler as Ross, Joey and Monica were. She
couldn't even imagine the pain they must have been feeling.

**

Ross stared at his sleeping wife, and thought about all of the things that he was thankful for.
He had a beautiful wife, who loved him. And he had great friends. He had always thought that
nothing truly horrible could happen to them. But then Kathy was killed, and everything
changed. Chandler was never the same, and Ross sometimes found it hard to hang around with
him. He often felt guilty for feeling that way. Looking back, Ross felt that he should have
been more supportive. He was happy when Chandler finally started acting a bit more like
himself. Now he wondered if everyone had pushed him to hard. Maybe Chandler wasn't ready to
let go. Maybe he was doing it so that they would all feel comfortable around him again.

Under any other circumstance, Ross would have been furious that Chandler and Monica were dating.
But he could see that Monica was good for Chandler, and he seemed to make her happy. So he
wondered what had happened to change all of that. Things had been normal for a while, then
suddenly Monica is off at their parent's house, and Chandler...Ross shook his head. This was
just too weird. Suddenly, there was activity in the hallway, and Ross saw Joey jump.
Ross woke up Rachel, and followed Joey out into the hallway. When he saw Monica, his heart
broke. She was a wreck. He quickly walked over to her, and pulled her into a hug. The doctor
came out of Chandler's room, and looked at them all sadly.

"I'm sorry. We did all we could."

Monica freaked out. She pulled away from Ross, and started screaming. Ross didn't know what to
do. He watched as Monica ran into Chandler's room.

**

Monica flew into Chandler's room, shutting the door behind her. The room was blurry.
She rubbed her eyes, and walked toward Chandler. He looked like he was only sleeping.
Monica took his hand, and put her head on his chest. She closed her eyes, and started
sobbing silently.
"I love you," she whispered between sobs.
"I thought we could get through this. I thought we could get through anything. I don't know
how to do this Chandler. I don't know how to do this without you. Even at your weakest,
you were *my* strength. I can't live without you in my life."
Monica sat up, and looked at Chandler.
"So you see, you have to wake up. You can't leave me. This wasn't supposed to happen.
Wake up Chandler. Wake up!"
Monica again melted into sobs, and fell against Chandler's chest.
She stopped sobbing, and sighed deeply. Then she heard the whispering.
She didn't look up, because she knew it was her friends.
"Can you guys just give me a few more minutes, please?"
When there was no reply, Monica turned toward the door. There was no one there.
She shook her head, and looked at Chandler. She took his face in her hands, and kissed
him softly on his lips, and his forehead. It was then that she heard the whispering again.

**

Chandler walked through the door, and was immediately blinded by a bright light. He held his
hand up to his face, and squinted. Then, the lights dimmed, and he once again found himself in
total darkness. It was silent for a long time. Dammit, which door did he go through? He was
sure about what he wanted, but now he was wondering if he chose correctly. Where was he?
Suddenly, a voice echoed through him. He looked up, and tried to listen to the voice.
The voice was hard to hear, but the more Chandler listened, the clearer it became.
It was Monica.
"Wake up, Chandler. Wake up!"
"Monica," Chandler whispered, "Where are you?"
But she wasn't talking anymore. She was crying.
"Monica," Chandler tried to talk, but he felt nothing coming out.
"Can you guys just give me a few more minutes, please?" he heard her say.
What? Who was she talking to?
"Monica?"

**

"Chandler?"
Monica looked up, and saw Chandler's lips moving.
"Chandler, sweetie, I am right here. Open your eyes. Please, please open your eyes."
Chandler groaned slightly, as his eyes fluttered open.
"Monica?" he croaked. Damn, his throat was dry. And his lips burned. They were so chapped.
He needed water. The light was hurting his eyes.
"Shh, sweetie, don't try to talk okay?"
"Mon...where am I?"
"I'll be right back, okay?"
"Mon," Chandler whispered, but it was too late. She was already out the door. Where was she
going? Damn, he really needed some water.

**

Joey was now sitting on the floor, leaning up against the wall. He was totally numb.
Pheobe came and sat down next to him.
"Tell me this isn't happening Pheebs."
"It isn't supposed to happen."
"What?" Joey looked at Phoebe.
"This is not how it's supposed to happen. Chandler was supposed to live a long long time."
"Really."
"We all are."
Before Joey could respond, Monica came running out of Chandler's room.
"I need a doctor! Somebody! Please!!"
"Whoa, Mon," Ross said, grabbing his sister by the shoulders, "What's going on?"
"He's awake! Chandler is awake!!"
"What?" her friends said simultaniously.
Ross, Rachel, Phoebe and Joey all jumped and ran into Chandler's room. Meanwhile, a passing
doctor was accosted by a frantic Monica.
"You're a doctor, right?"
"Last time I checked."
"Come on!" Monica said, dragging the doctor into Chandler's room.

**

Monica awoke with a start. Her neck hurt from sleeping in a strange position. The room was
dark, and the winter wind was rattling the large picture window. Monica stood up
and stretched slowly. She pulled her chair closer to Chandler's bed, and sat down.
She sat there, for several minutes, just watching him sleep. Everyone else had left at about
1 am, after they were all certain that Chandler was alive, and was going to stay that way.
Monica sighed softly. She couldn't believe how close she had come to losing him. She had
felt such a range of emotions over the last 48 hours. She had gone from euphoric to angry to
sad to mad, to devastated to happy. She was exhausted, but at the same time, she was too
anxious to sleep. So she just sat in her chair, watching Chandler sleep.

Chandler had the feeling that he was being watched, and when he opened his eyes, he was happy
to see that that someone was Monica. He smiled warmly and reached for her hand.
"Hi there," Monica said softly.
"Hi", Chandler whispered. His throat was still hurting. The doctor had explained that his
throat would be sore for a few days, due to the breathing tube that they had been using on him.
"How are you feeling?"
"Like I've been sleeping for about four years," Chandler replied.
"You gave us quite a scare, you know that?"
"I'm sorry."
"Well, I am just happy that you decided to come back."
"I mean, I'm sorry for everything. I'm sorry that I have been so selfish. I'm sorry that I
haven't loved you as much as you deserve to be loved. I'm sorry that I broke your bathroom
mirror."
Monica sat there, tears welling up in her eyes. She finally saw the light in Chandler's
eyes, the light that had been missing for the past four years.
"I love you. I love you so much."
"I love you too, Monica. I love you more than I ever thought I could. I don't know what has
happened to me, but I do know that no matter what happens, I can get through it, if you are
with me."
Now Monica was full-on crying, as she leaned over and kissed Chandler passionatly. He pulled
her onto the bed, and wrapped his bandaged arms around her. They layed in silence for
several minutes. Finally, Monica sat up onto her elbow.
"You broke my mirror?"

**

Ross, Phoebe, Rachel and Joey decided that they had better try to clean up the mess in the
apartment before Monica saw it. But when they got the the warmth of the apartment building,
they all realized just how tired they were. Before any significant amount of cleaning could
be done, they needed a nap.

**
Monica talked to Chandler for a few more minutes, but it soon became clear that he was struggling
to keep his eyes open. Soon after he fell asleep, she decided that she really needed to sleep
in her own bed, if only for a few hours. She slipped out of Chandler's room and headed home.

It felt strange to be back in the apartment building. She had only been away a few days, but
so much had happened, that it felt more like a year had passed. She made her way up the
staircase, and up to the second floor. She fumbled around for her keys, only to discover that
the door was already open. She walked in, and was shocked by the sight before her.

There, on the kitchen floor, was Rachel...and she was actually...cleaning.

"Rach, what the hell are you doing?"
"Mon! What are you doing here?"

Ross and Phoebe came out of the bathroom, with cleaning supplies in their hands.
"Hey Mon."
"What are you guys doing?"
Before anyone could answer, Joey came into the apartment.
"This is all the stuff I have," Joey said, carrying a mop and a bottle of Windex.

Monica looked at her friends, and started laughing at the scene before her.
She didn't know why she was laughing, it seemed to be out of her control.
Her friends looked at her like she was insane. When she had finally collected herself, she
sighed heavily. It occured to her that her friends were only trying to protect her. The
apartment was in horrible disarray, and there was something all over the floor. And then it
hit her. This was where Chandler was when they had found him. She walked over to the bathroom,
and pushed open the door. Ross tried to protest, but Monica did not hear him.
Chandler had broken the bathroom mirror, and, although Ross and Phoebe had managed to pick up
most of the glass, Monica was astounded by the mess that had been left.
Her obsessive-compulsive side was freaking out, but at the moment, her rational mind and heart
were keeping her calm.
"Chandler must have been in a very dark place," she said more to herself than to anyone else.
The journey ahead was going to be tougher than she had realized. But Monica knew that if they
took the journey together, she and Chandler could get through this. Together, they could get
through anything.

***
I'll possibly write another chanpter, depending on interest.
please review!!