Haunted, Conclusion
"The Past Is Far Behind"

"Erin," Chandler said quietly.

"Hi, Chandler," Erin smiled briefly.

"Come in, honey. God, it is so good to see you."

"It's good to see you too. We need to talk about what we want to do."

"I know what I want. I know what I need. I've spent the last week in a cold, dark hotel room, focussing on what my priorities are. And I hope you'll understand what I'm about to tell you..."

"Chandler, before you say anything, you should know that I went to see Monica today."


"I had to know. I had to know how she feels about you."

"What did she say?"

"She still loves you."

Chandler sighed and nodded slowly.

"Are you going back to her?"

Chandler looked up at Erin, his eyes filled with determination and his voice full of confidence.

"No, I'm not."


"Erin, I love you. And I do love Monica, but...it's not the same. What she and I had...it was special, and it was wonderful. But it...she's my past....YOU are my future. You are my wife, and the mother of my children. And I am so sorry for all that I've put you through. And I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me somehow."

"Chandler, it's not like you were having a fling with your assistant. I know how much she means to you and--"

"Okay, well, first of all, have you *seen* my assistant?"

"Chandler," Erin warned.

"Sorry. Look, Erin, I understand that this is very strange for you. Hell, it's strange for all of us. You said you spoke to Monica. Did she tell you that I wanted to cut her out of my life?"

"Yes. And Chandler, I appreciate that you are willing to do that but--"

"I know what you're going to say. And you're right. I can't just cut her out of my life. I lost fifteen years needlessly. Monica and I were together, but before we got together, we were friends. And I want that with her, with all of them, again. All romance aside, they were an intregal part of my life. I want that again. I need that again. Will you be okay with that? Can you understand that?"

"I'll tell you what I told Monica. I'll do anything for my family. I'll fight to hold onto you."

"You said that?" Chandler laughed.


"Nothing--you're just really cute when you get all...fiesty."

Erin smiled, and sank into Chandler's waiting embrace.

"I love you," she whispered.

"I love you too, Erin."


Monica made her way through Chandler's office building, and, after searching for the right department, finally stumbled upon his office. His assistant wasn't at her desk, so Monica made her way to the door. She was about to knock, when she heard muffled voices on the other side. She leaned into the door, feeling guilty as she eavesdropped on the conversation.

"How are the kids?"

"They think you're away on business. But...you'll be coming home tonight," Erin giggled.



"How did I get so lucky? I don't deserve you."

"I know. But I am too old to go out looking for a better model. I guess I'm stuck with you," Erin laughed.

"For the rest of your life Mrs. Bing."

Monica pulled away from the door, and fought off impending tears. She made a quick, quiet escape from an office building that suddenly seemed much smaller. As she made it down to the sidewalk, she let her tears fall freely. She was a fool to believe that he would leave his wife and family for her, no matter what they had shared before. Keying into her apartment, she sunk down onto her sofa, and let her mind wander back to a time when she was the only woman Chandler Bing loved.


"What do you wanna do tonight?" Monica asked as she finished clearing up the dinner plates.

"I want to do nothing, together," Chandler sighed, as he leaned his head back onto the sofa.


"C'mere," Chandler said, patting the seat next to him.

Monica shrugged and sat down next to him. He enveloped her into his arms, and relaxed against the sofa.

"Oh. *Nothing*," Monica giggled.

"I just want to be here, with you. Can we just sit here for a while?"

"Chandler, are you okay?" Monica turned and looked at Chandler, concern lining her blue eyes.

"Yeah, I'm okay. I just...I guess I'm..."


"Just being with you makes me happy. And I just want to be completely happy right now."

"You are so sweet. I love you."

"I love you too baby. Always."



"Chandler, hi, uh, come on in."

"Mon, I need to talk to you," Chandler said nervously, as Monica shut the apartment door.

"You're staying with your wife...what more is there to say?"


"I thought you didn't want to see me anymore?"

"That's what I want to talk to you about. Monica, before we were anything else, we were friends. You were my best friend, and I miss that. I miss us. I don't blame you if you can't, but I really want us to be friends again. I really want to make it work."

"That way you get everything you want, right Chandler?"


"Have your cake and eat it too?" Monica wasn't sure why she was taking out her frusterations on Chandler. Maybe it was because she'd lost, and her pride was hurt. Deep down, she knew it wasn't really her pride that hurt...it was her heart.

"Monica, please. I never wanted to hurt you. I never wanted this. If I could change the past, I would. But--" Monica could see that Chandler was hurting. His eyes were filling with tears, and he sounded like a lost child. It was then that she realized that there was no one to blame for this mess. They had all made assumptions, and they had all been hurt. Chandler was doing his best, and in the end, he had done the right thing--he stayed with his family, where he belonged. Monica sighed, and took Chandler's hand in hers.

"I don't want you to change the past. Our past was wonderful. I want to be your friend, Chandler, I really do. I'm just gonna need a little more time, okay?"

Chandler nodded, and smiled, relieved.

"I'm so, so sorry--"

"You have nothing to be sorry about, okay? Nothing."

Chandler nodded, and kissed Monica on the cheek, then left quietly. Monica sighed, and stared at the door for a moment.

Everything was the way it should be.



"Rachel Phoebe Bing, get down here, RIGHT NOW!"

Chandler and Erin's spirited, mischievious sixteen year old stomped into the living room.


"Do not talk to your mother like that," Chandler warned.

Rachel rolled her eyes, and arched her eyebrow.

"Would you like to explain why this plant smells like beer?" Erin asked in a warning tone.

"Maybe the plant is an alcoholic," Rachel said sweetly.

"Young lady, you are treading on VERY THIN ICE," Erin screeched.


"It's Phoebe, Dad."

"Ugh, WHY did we middle name you? Okay, PHOEBE, take that plant outside, and help your mother clean up this mess before everyone gets here," Chandler's voice was calmer, but much more effective.

"Fine. But Ross and Joey should be helping too, ya know."

"You don't worry about Ross and Joey. They have their own chores. Now move!"

"Whatever," Phoebe muttered, as she dragged the plant out of the house.

"Where did she pick up that stubborness?" Chandler asked, exhasperated.

"Someone lets her hang out with her Aunt Monica a little too much," Erin laughed.

"Point taken," Chandler sighed.


"Happy Thanksgiving!!" Phoebe and her husband David yelled, as they walked into the Bing house.

"Happy Thanksgiving!!" came the collective reply. The group was gathered in the living room, reflecting on holidays past.

"Pheebs, we were just talking about that Thanksgiving when Joey had 'VD'," Rachel laughed.

"Mommy, what's VD?" Christine looked at her mother curiously.

"It's a grown up thing, sweetie," Monica laughed uncomfortably.


"That's your Mommy's way of saying she'll tell you when you're twenty," Bryan, Monica's fiance whispered loud enough for everyone to hear.

"Bryan!" Monica slapped Bryan playfully.

"Okay, dinner's ready!" Erin called from the kitchen.

"I still think you should have let me help you, Erin," Monica said, as she made her way into the kitchen with Christine.

"No way. Chandler has warned me about letting you into my kitchen," Erin laughed.

"Oh really?" Monica laughed, as she shot a warning glare toward Chandler.

"What?" Chandler said innocently.

The two women laughed and shook their head.

"He's such a kid!"

"I know!!"


"Okay, Thanksgiving toast," Chandler stood, clinking his wine glass.

The table sobered, and looked at Chandler.

"I just wanna say, that I am thankful that I get to have a great Thanksgiving. I can actually eat most Thanksgiving food now, and I have to thank my lovely wife for that," Chandler winked at Erin. "But I am also thankful that I get to spend this time with my friends and family. You all mean the world to me, and I am very, very happy that none of you actually blew up," Chandler laughed and everyone else groaned.

"To friends and family!" Joey toasted, trying to smooth over Chandler's bad joke.

"To friends and family!" the rest of the table repeated, and clinked glasses.

"Horrible joke, Bing," Erin scolded playfully.

"Do you really expect anything less from me?"

"After sixteen years...no."

"And just think, you get to spend the rest of your life with my bad jokes!"

Erin kissed her husband, and looked out over the massive group that surrounded their table. She took his hand and whispered,

"I wouldn't have it any other way."

~*~ The End~*~

AN: Can you believe it? I am wrapping it up in less that 10 chapters!!!! I know, it's a freaking miracle.