I don't own Friends. Duh.

Joey knocked carefully on the door, tapping his foot nervously. It wasn't like he really knew these people. After a week in the city, he still hadn't landed himself a gig, even though he'd been going to at least three auditions a day. Plus, Chandler seemed to…hate him.

Monica opened the door and Joey plastered on a smile. "Hi. I was wondering if I could borrow some butter."

Monica smiled. "Sure. You know, you can just open the door. We don't lock it." She went to the refrigerator, digging out two sticks of butter, "What are you making?"

Joey took the butter, trying not to think about how hot Monica was. "Umm…cookie dough. I had kind of a rough day and…and I have no idea why I'm saying this to you." He laughed uncomfortably for a second.

"I know what you mean." Monica was nodding like she did know. "I don't usually tell people this, but I used to be the…fat girl."

Joey looked her up and down. Fat must have been a relative term. This girl was slim, probably not weighing more than a hundred and twenty pounds. He turned his attention back to her. "Anyway, I got teased a lot in school and afterwards I'm come home and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer while eating cookie dough." She looked at him seriously. "Don't laugh."

"I'm not laughing." He had completely forgotten about the sticks of butter and hopped onto the low counter. He stared at Monica for a second, noticing how hot she was…had he mentioned that already? Trying to take his mind off of it, he said, "I have an odd question. Do you know why Chandler hates me?"

He hadn't meant to ask that. He had been about to ask whether or not she would like to join him for an evening of cookie dough and Die Hard. Yet now that the question was out, he found he desperately wanted to know the answer.

Monica turned sharply. "He doesn't hate you. What gave you that idea?" But she felt a sinking feeling in her stomach and sighed. "Well, hate might be a strong word."

Joey folded his arms, looking at her intently.

"Listen, it's got nothing to do with you. Chandler's really possisive about some stuff and one thing is his apartment. Anyway, Ross kind of egged him on to get a roommate, you, and he didn't like that. He probably would have gotten one eventually but…" She looked at Joey, pleading. "It's childish. I guarantee he'll get over it, and he really is a nice guy in a quirky way."

Joey got down. "Yeah, just give it some time, right?"

Monica smiled tentatively. "That's the general idea, yeah."

Joey smiled at her, though his mind was clearly in another place. "So…I'll see you later. Thanks for the butter. I'll be sure to save some cookie dough for you, Buffy."

He left, closing the door behind him, leaving Monica more confused than ever.

No, it isn't a Joey/Monica story. Just a little chapter. Next week there should be some action. A lot of Joey bashing. Then we can get to the friendship we all know and love.