The Letter, Chapter Four
"What Happened In The End"

Where we left off...

"I love you too."
Chandler heard the words, but had no idea what to think, feel, or do. He sat in the middle of the crowded pub, trying to figure out what to do with this new information. She loved him. Two years ago, this news would have been welcome. More than welcome, it would have been the best thing ever. His heart was racing, as half of him wanted to scream 'YIPEE!', and pull Monica into a deep, passionate kiss. But the other half, the more jaded, logical, skeptical, toughened-by-heartbreak half, was telling him that this was the woman that had nearly destroyed him, and that her feelings for him may not be as genuine as even she believed them to be. There was no doubt in his mind, however, that he needed to think.

Monica watched with curious anxiety, as Chandler's face contorted from confusion, to elation, to anger, to confusion again. He seemed to fall into a self-induced trance, and for a painfully long time, he was speechless. The rest of the gang watched the entire scene intently, as they eagerly awaited Chandler's response. When it finally came, the words were raspy, drawn and hollow.

"I...I don't know what to do with that. I need to--think," Chandler never took his eyes off of the floor as he stood up, and walked straight out of the pub.

Monica took a deep, shaky breath, and realized that her inebrated action may have just cost her a friend.

****

The gang did not see Chandler at all in the week leading up to the wedding. He was obviously in limbo, and wanted nothing to do with any of them until he figured out what he needed. Monica couldn't help but notice that Chandler and Bonnie's wedding day was fast approaching, and with no word from the groom-to-be, Monica had to assume that he had made his choice. Her assumption was confirmed, when she and Rachel and Phoebe ran into Bonnie in Soho.

"Oh, hi, guys, I've been looking everywhere for you! Chandler said you've been busy doing the whole 'tourist thing'," Bonnie laughed, as Rachel and Phoebe shot each other a panicked glance.

"What's going on, Bonnie," Rachel asked.

"Well, I am hoping that you will all be at the rehearsal dinner tonight," Bonnie said excitedly.

"Oh, yeah. So-so, that's still going on, then?" Rachel asked.

"Of course. Why wouldn't it?" Bonnie asked.

"Oh, um, because, uh, the last time we saw you there was, uh, catering trouble," Rachel stammered, trying to cover her glaring blunder.

"Oh, right. No all is well. So, we'll see you tonight at 8, then?"

"Yeah, yeah," the girls nodded, as Bonnie scampered off. (AN: scampered? what is she, a chipmunk? LOL)

"Huh," Rachel sighed, looking at Monica.

"Yeah," Monica said blankly, closing her eyes. It was over. He had made his choice.

****

~Chandler & Bonnie's Wedding Day~

"Chandler, do you take Bonnie to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, until death parts you?"

Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey & Phoebe sat on the hard wooden pew with baited breath, all of them knowing what they wanted him to say, and all of them wondering whether he would. He still had time to back out. He still had a chance. If Ross could destroy his London wedding, surely Chandler could as well. Sweat formed on Joey's brow, as he waited for Chandler to make the move. Whatever he said, he was going to break someone's heart. Joey knew it. And he knew that Chandler knew it too. In the moments prior to his response, the group watched, as Chandler slowly turned his head, scanning the room. His eyes fell onto Monica, and stayed there for a short second, though to Monica, it felt like an eternity. Chandler looked at Bonnie again, and Monica grabbed Ross' hand as Chandler responded to the query.

"I do."

Monica felt her entire world come crashing around her. It was her fault, she knew, for not seeing all of this two years ago, after London, and before Richard. She hadn't even picked up the signs that night in London, the night they had crossed that blurred line between friends and lovers. She did not hear the rest of the ceremony. The only thing she could here, were the words that Chandler had spoken to her on that fateful night in London, not so long ago. The words she had taken for granted, and the ones that, had she listened to, could have changed her life. She closed her eyes, and melted back in time, to the night in London that she'd found her prince. The night that had ended with the rising sun, and the flight home.

"I love you, Mon. I always have."

The words had been spoken in the heat of passion, and Monica had never taken them as anything but that. She could not have realized how wrong she would be. She had no idea that this would happen. It should be her up there, marrying Chandler. It should be her in that dress. But it wasn't. And she would have to live with that for the rest of her life.

(AN: Are you mad at me yet? LOL)

****

~New York City~

Monica couldn't even remember the flight home. She was barely aware of anyone's presence, much less her surroundings.

"Mon, are you gonna be okay?" Rachel asked for the fifth time since they had gotten off of the airplane.

"Yeah, I'll be fine," Monica said flatly, as she made a beeline for her bedroom.

Her four friends looked at each other, and sighed, defeated. They didn't know what to do for her, so they simply let her be.

*

It was raining, the kind of rain that pelts your skin and comes at you from every direction. Umbrellas are futile in this kind of rain, because they simply get blown inside out, and break or blow away. The rain that hit Monica's living room window sounded like a drum, beating at a rapid rate. The bleakness fit Monica's mood perfectly. She had been home for three days, and she was sure that she felt worse today that any other. Her friends were trying their best to cheer her up, an attempt that was sweet, if futile.

"Mon, it's your turn," Ross said, breaking into Monica's clouded thoughts.

"Oh," Monica said, and picked up the dice.

"Oh, go straight to jail! Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Sorry, Mon," Joey said.

Monica smiled slightly, and shook her head. Normally, she'd be totally fuming at the idea that she was losing at Monopoly, but at the moment, she could care less. Her friends were lucky she had gotten out of bed at all. A large clap of thunder caused everyone to jump, and made Rachel scream. The lights flickered, but eventually stayed on. Suddenly, there was a thud at the front door. It sounded as though someone had thrown something at it. The five friends looked at each other nervously, as Joey stood up bravely, and walked to the door. As he approached the door, there was a sharp knock, and Joey jumped back and let out a loud, high pitched scream. Suddenly, the door opened, and a frantic, drenched Chandler made his way through. He walked into the living room, and stood in front of a very shocked Monica.

"Why did you do that?" Chandler yelled above the rain and commotion of his other friends.

"What?"

"Why did you tell me that you love me? Tell me you didn't mean it, please."

"You know I meant it, Chandler."

"Why didn't you tell me before? Why did you go off and marry Richard?"

"I don't know," it was the best answer that Monica could come up with.

"You can't keep doing this to me. I was happy! I was happy with Bonnie! Then you had to go and tell me that you love me, and I had to tell myself that you didn't mean it just to get through the ceremony! I hate this, I hate not knowing what to feel, I hate that I would rather risk my heart with you, than stay in something that is stable, and secure, and--and I hate that I would rather get my heart broken by you, than spend the rest of my life with someone who I know loves me." Chandler wandered back into the kitchen, leaving a massive trail of water behind him. The others cringed, knowing that Monica was about to go postal. To their amazement, she ignored the water, and followed Chandler closely.

"Chandler--"

"Why is it always raining when you have to get all the way across town to tell someone that you love them," Chandler whined, and Monica smiled.

"It just adds to the drama," Monica grinned wildly, and walked up to Chandler, tears of happiness lining her bloodshot eyes.

Chandler pulled Monica into a deep, passionate kiss, dampening her clothes with his soaking arms and chest. After what felt like an eternity, he pulled away, and looked into her eyes.

"Do you love me?" Chandler asked, knowing that the answer was in her eyes.

"I do," Monica whispered.


~*~The End~*~

HA! Okay, I was actually gonna have Chandler marry Bonnie and be done with it, but I couldn't do it! I tried, but I just couldn't!! I know it ended predictably, but I just...I need the happy ending. At least for this one.