The Set Up: Monica & Rachel live together. Joey & Chandler live together. Ross & Phoebe live alone.
Monica and Chandler have been dating for about six months or so, and everyone knows. Ross and Rachel are not dating.


The Sins of The Father

Chapter One~The Arrival

It wasn't an unusual day. In fact, one could say that it was a very ordinary day. The sun was shining, the birds were--well, there aren't many birds flying around New York City chirping, so, uh, the pigeons were crapping all over the sidewalk, and Chandler Bing was walking home from work, whistling off-key. He had managed to waste most of the day away, surfing the internet porn sites. It sometimes astounded him that he was getting paid so much for doing next to nothing. He bounced up the steps to his apartment, and walked in, dropping his nearly-empty briefcase on the kitchen counter, and pulled off his jacket and tie.

"Joey?" Chandler called out, hoping that his longtime roommate and best friend was home, so that they could engage in another fierce game of foosball. When he got no reply, Chandler sighed, and grabbed a bottle of beer from the refridgerator. He twisted off the top, and gulped down half the bottle, before heading into his bedroom to change into jeans and a Knicks t-shirt. When he re-emerged from his bedroom, he decided to see what his girlfriend was up to.

As he made his way across the hall, Chandler smiled to himself. He wasn't sure how he had managed to get so lucky. Monica was everything he ever wanted, but never thought he could have. She was smart, successful, strong, and the most beautiful creature he'd ever layed eyes on. He opened the door to her apartment, and was thrilled to see that she was sitting on her sofa, alone.

"Hey beautiful," he said cheerfully. When she didn't respond, he tried again. "Mon?"

"Oh, hey honey," Monica seemed startled by Chandler's sudden presence, and that unnerved Chandler a bit.

"Sweetie, are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm just...Chandler, I think we need to talk."

We need to talk. Chandler had been dreading those four words since the day he and Monica had started dating. It could only mean one thing, and that one thing scared the bejesus out of him. He didn't want to live, if he couldn't love her. This wasn't fair.

"Um, okay..." Chandler sat down stiffly, and tried to prepare himself for what was to come.

"Okay, um--God, I don't know how to tell you this, I really don't. See, the thing, well--"

"You don't love me. You think that we'd be better off as friends, right?"

"What? No. Did you think I was trying to break up with you?"

"Well--aren't you?"

"No. Chandler, I love you. But I think that what I am about to tell you may freak you out. So, okay, I am just gonna say it--I'm pregnant."

Pregnant. Monica was right, Chandler was freaking out. But not for the reasons that she was probably thinking. Chandler tried his best to hide his panic, and was even able to smile.

"How, um, how far along are you?"

"One month. Well, actually, six weeks. Chandler, I'm not expecting marriage or anything. You can be as involved as you want to be. No pressure, I swear."

Chandler nodded, but he wasn't really listening. The last thing he wanted was to be a father. He knew that he would just screw the kid up, or worse... Chandler didn't want to think about it. He couldn't. He wanted to stay with Monica, but there was no way he could be this kid's father. He had to make a choice.

That night, as Monica lay in his arms, sound asleep, Chandler lay awake, staring blankly at the ceiling. He was completely torn. He looked over at the alarm clock, and realized that sleep was not going to come tonight. He slipped out of bed, and padded back over to his apartment. He knew that it would be better if he thought about all of this alone. Joey still wasn't home. He was probably on another date. Chandler sat down at the kitchen counter, and stared at the white formica, as though it would magically give him the answer to his problem. Problems, plural. He sighed heavily, and then, in his peripheral vision, saw the red light on his answering maching blinking. He shrugged, and his the play button, only half-listening to Joey's message about the "hottie" he'd picked up. The machine beeped again, and a woman's voice came on the line. Chandler only consciously heard a few words the woman was saying, but the one's he did hear made him nausious. The blood drained from his face as her words echoed in his head over and over again. Father...New York...tomorrow.
He felt beads of sweat form on his brow, and his eyes were stinging. A single, fat tear made it's way down his face, as his brain opened up, and began filtering through the memories of a life that he had repressed for twenty years.


Monica layed alone in her bedroom, trying desperately to decypher Chandler's strange behaviour. She had honestly expected him to flip, to say something stupid, and to run out screaming. He had done none of those things. He had simply sat there, trying to be happy, but Monica could see that he was scared. It wasn't the type of fear that she was feeling. The strange anxiousness of being a parent for the first time. With Chandler, there was something else, she just couldn't put her finger on it. It unnerved her, the idea that she couldn't read what he was thinking just by looking at him. She knew him better than he knew himself.

Didn't she?


~24 Hours Later~

It was a week before Christmas, and Daniel was tasting freedom for the first time in twenty years. He wandered the streets of New York, taking in the beauty of the holiday lights and the crispness of the winter air. He looked down at the piece of paper in his hand, and smiled. He was looking forward to the visit. He stopped a passerby, and smiling warmly, asked for directions to 14th Avenue.

It only took him twenty minutes to get to 14th, so he decided to take a short walk before heading to the apartment. He wasn't quite ready. His mind wandered back to the day his family was taken from him. Never again, he vowed.

Never again.


Chandler sat at his desk, not wanting to go home, but not really sure what he should do. He closed his eyes, trying to will away his problems. Was it an odd coincidence that his father had showed up around the same time Monica got pregnant? He realized that he would have to tell his friends the truth about his family before his father made an appearance. He buzzed his receptionist, told her to go home for the day, and asked her to dial Nora Tyler Bing for him. He needed to talk to someone.


Daniel knocked on the door of Apartment 19. There was no answer. Strange, he thought for sure someone would be around at 7:30 on a Tuesday night. He turned to leave, just as a pretty brunette opened the door across the hall.

"Hi, can I help you with something?"

"Maybe. Does uh, Chandler Bing live in that apartment?"

"Uh, yeah. He isn't there?"

"No. I, uh, I'm his father."

"Oh! Wow, you are Chandler's father? Well, come on in, you can wait for him here if you want. I'm Rachel, one of Chandler's best friends."

"Pleased to meet you Rachel."

"MONICA!" Rachel yelled, causing Daniel to jump.

"What?" A pretty dark-haired woman came out of one of the bedrooms. Daniel was mesmerized. She was more than pretty. She was gorgeous.

"Monica, this is Chandler's DAD!" Rachel said excitedly.

"Wow. Hi, um, I'm Monica, Chandler's girlfriend."

"His girlfriend? Wow," Daniel smiled, all the while thinking that his son was a very lucky man.

"So, I hope you don't mind me saying so, but you really don't look like someone who dances in a gay burlesque show," Rachel said.

"I'm sorry, what?" Daniel asked, taken aback.

"Well, I seem a little too, uh, manly for a drag queen."

"Chandler told you I was a drag queen?"

"Oh my God, you're *not* a drag queen?"

"No," Daniel had to fight to control his temper. What the hell was Chandler thinking?

"I am SO sorry!" Rachel's face turned beet red.

"No, hey, it's not your fault."


Two hours later, Ross, Joey and Phoebe had shown up, each of them mistaking Daniel for a drag queen. It was almost ten, and still there was no sign of Chandler. Daniel decided that he had better leave, and Monica, feeling guilty for Chandler's absence, and the fact that he had told all of them that his father was a drag queen, took it upon herself to invite Daniel over for Christmas dinner. He said he'd be delighted, then excused himself and left. Chandler didn't show up for another hour. When he did finally arrive, his friends looked at him like he had run over the family dog.

"What?" he said, plopping down next to Monica on the sofa. She moved away from him, annoyed.

"Where were you?"

"At work."

"Bullshit. Where were you?"

"At work! Monica, what the hell is your problem?"

"Your father was here."

Monica's words hit Chandler like a brick. He had been here. He had talked to his friends. They now undoubtedly knew that his father was not a cross-dressing Vegas entertainer. He wondered how much they knew.

"How much did he tell you?"

"Everything. And frankly, Chandler, I can't believe you would just abandon your father like that."


"Yeah, Chandler, it's not like what he did was unforgivable," Joey added.

"You couldn't find it in your heart to visit him in prison just once?" Phoebe asked.

Chandler felt like he was in an alternate universe. His friends were siding with his father? How could this be happening? He was no longer listening to his friend's criticism of his behaviour. Once again, he felt his stomach churn, and his eyes sting. He felt like was sitting in quicksand, sinking into oblivion, with no one to help set him free. Images from his childhood flashed before his eyes, and he felt the room closing in on him. The voices of his friends were now nothing more than a distant buzzing. He stood abruptly, and wandered aimlessly to the kitchen. The buzzing in his ears turned into a high-pitched ringing. He felt himself breaking down. He felt the tears falling down his face, and he felt his body trembling. But he felt no emotion. His mind was blank, and he could not see the people standing before him. He needed to know that he was still here, that he still existed. He felt the nothingness consume him, but his desperation to hold on to reality took hold, and he let out a horrible, ear-piercing scream, before sinking into total darkness.