Warning: It's sappy and dramatic. If you are looking for comedy, you have come to the wrong place.

~Parting Ways~


"Thanks for coming over," Monica said, as she closed the front door.

"Well, I left a few cd's over here," Chandler laughed uncomfortably.

"How are you?"

"Eh," Chandler shrugged. "I got promoted again."

"Wow, um, congratulations,"

"Thanks. So, Mon, what did you want to see me about?"

"Oh. Well, I guess part of it was the stuff that I found," she gestured toward a small cardboard box, sitting on the coffee table, "but I, um--well, I just hate how we've left things, you know? I feel like so much went unsaid, and, well--I know that it was because you were so mad, but--now that we are kind of talking again, I thought, you know, we could have one last night together...to talk--you know, like we used to?" Monica looked at Chandler intently, trying to gauge his reaction.

"Yeah, uh, okay. I mean, honestly, I think we kind of left things weird too. And I wanted to talk to you anyway before..."

"Before?" Monica looked at Chandler quizzically.

"Mon, the promotion I got--it's in Vancouver."

"Oh. Well, um, when do you leave?"

"Saturday. Look, truth be told, I was looking for a way out of town. This promotion could not have come at a better time."

"Oh. Wow. Um, Chandler, do you mind if I ask you a question?"

"No, go ahead."

"If we were--I mean if this hadn't happened. Would you've still taken the promotion?"

"If we were still together? No."

"Really?"

"Mon, I don't know if you'd noticed, but my entire world revolved around you."

"Oh. But, I mean, it's your career."

"And you were my life."

"You know, maybe it's best we don't talk about what could have been," Monica said.

"You brought it up," Chandler replied shortly.

"I don't want to fight, okay? Are you hungry?"

"A little. I skipped lunch."

"Yeah, you look like you've skipped more than lunch, lately."

"Well, you know I can't cook very well," Chandler sighed.

"You can cook, you just don't want to," Monica smiled

"Whatever."

"What do you want to eat?"

"I don't care."

"So, Macaroni and Cheese?"

"You know me too well."

"I used to, anyway," Monica sighed.

"Yeah."

"So, um, I talked to Rachel today," Monica changed the subject, before her voice caught in her throat. She pulled out the ingredients for her macaroni and cheese, and began boiling some water.

"Oh yeah? How is she?" Chandler was more than happy to follow Monica's lead.

"Good. Tanner is walking now."

"Really? Wow," Chandler replied distantly.

"I know. She says that he is looking more like Ross every day."

"As long as he isn't *acting* like Ross," Chandler laughed.

"Have you heard from Joey since the nominations were announced?"

"Are you kidding me? I got three calls at work from him, yelling 'Oscar, baybee!' into my ear."

"I still can't believe they nominated him for a movie where he plays an Italian-American actor from New York."

"Well, he is in California."

"I'm glad he's at least moving on. I didn't think he was ever going to recover after Phoebe moved."

"That was kind of surprising. I mean, I used to live with the guy, and *I* didn't know he was in love with Pheebs."

"She never knew either. I don't think she would have moved to Minsk if she had known."

*

"Is it okay?"

"Yeah, it's great, as always. I was just...thinking."

"About?"

"This was the first meal you ever made for me."

"Wow. That is true. You told me I should be a chef," Monica laughed.

"I didn't think you'd actually do it. But I am very happy you did."

"I guess it is my dream career," Monica sighed.

"I have always envied that about you."

"What?"

"You have a job that you love. The career you've always wanted. I hate my job, and I loathe the fact that I'm not strong enough to leave it. I have security, and I guess that's more important to me at this stage in my life."

"I still think you should try to get back into writing. You are so good at it, Chandler."

"Not good enough."

"You don't give yourself enough credit."

"Maybe. After I move, I probably won't have time. I'm gonna be running an entire department."

"That's great!"

"I guess."

The minute of silence that followed felt more like an hour. Monica stirred her food absently, watching Chandler out of the corner of her eye. He seemed to be deep in thought and not very interested in his dinner, either.

"Do you wanna watch a movie or something?" Monica asked slowly.

"No, not really. Let's uh, let's just talk, okay?"

"Yeah, okay," Monica cleared the plates, and followed Chandler into the living room. They both took a seat on the sofa, and neither one knew where to begin.

"I hate this, Monica. I hate this so much. I used to feel comfortable here. Comfortable with you."

"I know."

"Remember when we first started going out? Even though we had known each other for, like, ten years, we would still stay up all night, just talking. Talking about nothing. Everything."

"I remember."

"When do you think it started?"

"What?"

"When did we lose what we had?"

"I don't know. Maybe we didn't lose it. Maybe we just...took it all for granted."

"We took a lot for granted."

"I know that we both changed after I lost the baby."

"Yeah," Chandler nodded sadly, "I have never forgiven myself for that, you know."

"Chandler, it wasn't your fault. The doctor's said that there was no way I would have been able to carry the baby to term. I never blamed you, you know that."

"Well, I wasn't exactly supportive, was I?"

"No," Monica closed her eyes, trying to shut out the bad memories and countless fights that had accompanied the miscarriage.

"I never ever blamed you, Mon. When I said that, that night--it wasn't me."

"I know. You have to understand, though, Chandler, whether you were drunk that night or not, it still hurt."

"I know. I hope you know how sorry I am."

"I do."

"I wish we could turn back time sometimes," Chandler sighed.

"Do you think that changing that one moment would have saved our marriage?"

"No. Because it wasn't one thing that caused all of this. Neither of us were very happy, Monica. We got pregnant to try and save our marriage. Obviously fate stepped in and showed us that we were doing this for all the wrong reasons."

"I thought you didn't believe in fate?" Monica raised her eyebrow.

"I didn't. But after all that's happened--"

"I think you and I have a lot to do with where we are now."

"Yes, I know. But I think fate helped guide us a little bit."

"Then why didn't fate guide us back together?"

"Maybe we aren't fated to be together, Monica. It hurts my heart to say that, but it could be true. I thought that you were the One. But maybe I was wrong. Maybe I'm not meant to spend my life with you."

"Maybe. I don't know."

"Are you still with Ryan?" Chandler asked, jealousy dancing in his deep blue eyes.

"Yes. But I don't think It's going to work out," Monica said quickly.

"Why not?"

"He's not right for me."

"Maybe you guys have lost the thrill," Chandler said matter-of-factly.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Maybe now that your relationship is out in the open, it's lost the only thing that made it exciting. Remember how exciting our relationship was when no one knew about us?"

"Yeah," Monica said dreamily.

"Well, you had that same excitement with Ryan. But after everyone found out, the excitement was no longer there for you. The thrill is gone, so to speak."

"Well, you certainly have put a lot of thought into this," Monica said, her eyes narrowing.

"Well, it was either sit in my sweats and think, or go on a shooting spree in Ryan's apartment building."

"That's not funny."

"Yeah, I know. I suppose that's the other thing," Chandler said thoughtfully.

"What?"

"Towards the end of our marriage, we laughed a lot less."

"We weren't very happy."

"That much is obvious."

"I do miss this," Monica sighed heavily. "I miss talking to you. I miss laying in bed with you on Sunday mornings."

"I miss Saturday nights," Chandler laughed.

"You would," Monica said, shaking her head. She looked at Chandler longingly.

Chandler looked at Monica, and immediately knew what she was thinking. "No, no way."

"What?"

"I know what you are thinking. There is no way we are having a bonus night."

"What? How did you--okay, even IF that was what I was thinking--and I am not saying that it is--how could you turn down sex?? You are a guy!"

"A guy who watched one of his best friends get his ex-uh-wife pregnant on bonus night," Chandler said.

"Well, Rachel wasn't on the Pill, and I am. Besides, you know I only have one functioning ovary. AND, you know that Ross and Rachel got back together two years after Samantha was born."

"Forget it."

"Fine. But you'll regret it when you are 80, and can't get it up anymore."

"Holy Moly. I am gonna be 80."

"Not for another forty years, Chandler, calm down."

"Whatever. Ya know what? You're right."

"Of course I am---Right about what?"

"We should have a bonus night. Get it out of our system. A fresh start."

"Chandler, I was kidding."

"No you weren't, Monica. You forget how well I know you."

"Right. Well, the moment is gone, anyway."

"Is it?" Chandler looked at Monica, and smiled slyly. Before either of them knew what had hit them, their lips were locked in a frantic, passionate kiss, and their clothes were being thrown about the room.

***

Monica awoke suddenly, her mind in a whirl. Last night was a dream--wasn't it? She looked around her room, which was covered with clothes, and realized that it wasn't. Monica smiled, as she recalled what had happened last night. It was, without a doubt, the best sex she had ever had. She really didn't think it would get any better with Chandler, but boy, had she been wrong. She scooted out of bed, and pulled a shirt over her head, before wandering into the living room. And that was when it hit her. Chandler wasn't here. He was not in the apartment, at all. Monica felt her elation deflate, and melt into a longing for things past. She missed Chandler now more than ever, but she also knew that last night was meant to bring them closure, not the other way around. Monica sighed, and sunk down onto a kitchen chair. That was when she saw the note on the kitchen table. A million thoughts raced through Monica's head in the seconds it took her to pick up the note. She unfolded the powder blue paper, and read the four simple words that filled the center of the page;

Thanks for the memories.


~~~~

"No fair. I don't even have one. How come they get two?"

"You'll get one."

"Oh yeah? When?"

"All right. I'll tell you what. When we're forty, if neither one of us are married, what do you say you and I get together and have one?"

"Why won't I be married when I'm forty?"

"Oh, no, no. I just meant hypothetically."

"Ok, hypothetically, why won't I be married when I'm forty?"

~~~~

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Okay, nope, no no no--wait! before you review (and you MUST!). That is the end. This is not going to be 15 chapters! (It ain't even gonna be two!)
I am working on a couple of my chaptered fics, but I will be leaving for New York City on Saturday, so no new fics from me for a while--but you can look for me in Times Square on New Years Eve--I'll be doing "The Routine" behind Dick Clark, LOL.
Happy New Year!!!!