This doesn't follow the traditional "Friends" timeline, and it is only Monica & Chandler. Also, for the record, I am officially against Valentine's Day. It's totally bogus and contrived and lame. LOL.

"The Dance"

Monica smiled half-heartedly, as Rachel made her way out the door. After the door closed, Monica sighed heavily. She was the only one without a Valentine's Day date. Rachel was going out with some guy she met in the coffee shop, Phoebe was going out with her current flame, Ross was going out with some girl he had been dating for about two weeks, Joey was going out with God-knows-who, and Chandler was going out with Kathy. It wasn't fair. She wasn't supposed to be alone and miserable on Valentine's Day! She grabbed a bottle of Merlot, and a glass, and plopped down in front of the television. She flipped on the tv, and surfed through the channels. They all seemed to be showing love stories, and that just made her feel worse. How many Meg Ryan movies are they allowed to show in one night? Suddenly, the door behind her opened, and a very solemn looking Chandler walked in, wearing sweats and a ratty NYU shirt.

"Oh, hey Mon," Chandler said, as he made his way toward the fridge.

"Chandler, what are you doing here?"

"I'm outta milk. I thought you'd be out on a date...oh, is your date, uh, here?" Chandler scanned the apartment.

"No, I, uh, decided not to go out this year. It's a lame Hallmark card holiday anyway," Monica stated.

"Oh. Whatever." Chandler opened the fridge and began to dig around.

"Chandler, why, uh, why aren't you out with Kathy?"

Chandler stopped, and stood up, closing the fridge door. His face was remarkably paler, and he looked like he was going to cry. A second later, he snapped out of his trance, and ran a nervous hand through his matted hair.

"Kathy and I broke up," he said quietly.

"What?"

"Yeah. Uh, two days ago."

"Oh, God, Chandler, I didn't know. Why didn't you say something?"

"Well, I've been a little busy, you know, feeling sorry for myself and stuff."

"Are you okay?"

"No. I uh, I haven't told anyone else but you. I guess I just needed alone time."

"Not even Joey knows?"

"He's been kinda busy lately, so he's hardly noticed that I've been in my room for two days...and I probably haven't been very pleasant to be around," Chandler shrugged, as he played with the corner of a kitchen chair.

"Do you wanna talk about it?"

"No."

"Okay."

A strange moment of silence fell upon the room. Monica turned back toward the television, which was now showing "When Harry Met Sally..." Monica shook her head and switched channels. Damn Meg Ryan.

"She's in love with somebody else."

Monica turned and saw Chandler making his way into the living room, before plopping down onto the sofa.

"Aw, honey, I'm so sorry."

"I guess I got what I deserved, huh?"

"That's not true."

Chandler laughed, and shook his head. "I hate Valentine's Day."

"Me too."

"I mean, what is up with this stupid day, anyway? The only thing it's good for is making single people miserable."

"I know!"

"We should have an anti-Valentine's Day," Chandler said brightly.

"Okay!"

"Okay, so, what, uh, what should we do?"

"Uh, okay, let's um, get really drunk, and watch something that is not related to love at all--like, uh..."

"Porn?" Chandler suggested.

"No!" Monica laughed.

"Maybe, uh, maybe we can just talk," Chandler suggested quietly.

Monica looked at Chandler sadly, and nodded. She grabbed another wine glass, then snuggled down next to him, and let him talk. He talked about everything, from Kathy to his childhood. and Monica just listened. When he finally exhausted himself, she talked. Before they knew it, the sun was rising, and the sounds of early morning activity began to fill the room.

"I, uh, I guess I'd better go," Chandler said, pulling himself off of the sofa.

"Yeah, I should try to get some sleep."

"Sorry I kept you up."

"Oh! No, don't be sorry! I had a great anti-Valentine's night," Monica smiled.

"Kay. Hey Mon," Chandler said, as he opened the door.

"Yeah?"

"What do ya say we do this again next year...ya know, if we're both still, uh, hating Valentine's Day."

"Sounds like a deal."

***

~One Year Later~

"It's not that I don't like you, I just don't think I'm in a place where I can commit to someone..."

Monica wasn't even listening to Dan, as he rattled on about his "issues". She was too busy scolding herself for agreeing to go out with him a fourth time. She didn't even really like him that much...she was just...lonely. And now, here *he* was, dumping *her*! And on Valentine's Day no less! Monica sighed and downed the rest of her wine, before standing up and walking out of the restaurant, leaving Dan in mid-sentence.

*

"That bad, huh?" Chandler was lounging in his brown leather chair, images of "Terminator 2" flashing on his muted television screen. Monica had come in in a huff ten minutes earlier, to replay the gory details of the evening.

"I didn't even really like him. I just hate that *he* dumped *me*!"

"Yeah, I really didn't think he was good enough for you," Chandler nodded.

"I mean, would it be too much to ask for me to have ONE decent Valentine's Day? Just one?" Monica was off into a ramble, and Chandler sat back in his chair, a lopsided grin on his face. When Monica finally slowed down and took a breath, Chandler chuckled loudly.

"What are you laughing at?"

"What happened to our 'anti-Valentine's Day' rule, Mon?"

"Oh my God. I totally forgot about that!" Monica's aggitation melted, and a goofy grin spread across her face.

"So, what do ya wanna talk about?"

Monica giggled, and made herself comfortable in Joey's chair. After a moment of silence, Chandler looked up.

"What is your idea of the perfect date?"

"What? That is not very 'Anti-Valentine's Day' of you," Monica laughed, "And it sounds like someone has been watching 'Dating Game' reruns."

"Okay, fine. Let's talk about your worst date ever."

"So, the perfect date..." Monica started, as Chandler laughed.

***

~One Year Later~

"Okay, have fun guys," Monica said, as Ross and Rachel made their way out the door for their Valentine's Day celebration. She sighed and shook her head. Alone again on the Big V-Day. Yet surprisingly, she wasn't as upset as she thought she would be. She knew from talking to Joey that, once again, Chandler was also date-less. She was looking forward to their Anti-Valentine's celebration. She walked into her room, and pulled on a pair of sweat pants and a baggy t-shirt, then pulled a pint of Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk out of the freezer, and wandered over to Chandler's.

As she opened the door to the apartment, she was surprised to find it dimly lit. There was a fancy dinner on the counter, and candles scattered throughout the apartment. The stereo filled the room with the soft sounds of Miles Davis' 'Kind Of Blue'. Monica felt her heart drop. Chandler obviously had a date that Joey hadn't known about. She was about to leave, when Chandler, dressed in a sleek black suit and a striking blue shirt and tie, walked out of his room, fidgeting with his cuff links.

"Hey Mon," Chandler said cheerily as he made his way across the room.

"Hey. Uh, I--I didn't know you had a date...I--uh, I'd better go."

"Wait, come in. Please?" Chandler stood next to the kitchen counter, a sly grin on his face.

Monica hesitated, then walked fully into the apartment, closing the door behind her. She stood next to the door, her hand on the handle, all the while wondering what was going on.

"I thought that this year, we could do Valentine's Day right," Chandler said, pulling a dozen yellow roses off of one of the green barstools, and holding them out for Monica to take.

"What?"

"Look, I'm not coming on to you. But I just remembered how upset you were last year about not having a decent Valentine's Day. So, I thought I'd give you one. And look," Chandler took the ice cream Monica was holding and replaced it with the bouquet, "The roses are yellow--for friendship."

Monica smiled and put the roses to her nose, inhaling the sweet scent deeply. She looked back up at Chandler, who was now standing in front of her, his hands shoved deep into his pockets, and a hopeful look on his face. "So," Monica raised an eyebrow playfully, "You've been planning this for a whole year?"

"Kinda," Chandler shrugged, and bowed his head. Monica saw his cheeks flush, and giggled.

"You are so sweet," she said, and scanned the room again. "Okay, let's have a real Valentine's Day."

Chandler practially jumped from excitement, and led Monica to her stool.

"Should I go change? You're all fancy."

"Nope, you look gorgeous," Chandler said honestly, as he pulled his stool into the kitchen area, and sat across from her.

Monica shrugged, and began to dig in to her meal. "Did you cook this?" she asked, surprised.

"If this were an actual date, I'd say yes," Chandler grinned, "But since you know me better than my own parents do, I'll tell the truth. Yep, I made it all by myself."

"Yeah, okay," Monica laughed.

"What, I made it home from the store with it!"

Monica laughed and shook her head. "That was lame."

*

Monica and Chandler finished their meal, and took cups of coffee into the living room. Monica was about to sit down in Joey's chair, when Chandler grabbed her hand, taking her by surprise.

"What are you doing?"

"We have to dance. It's part of the date."

Monica smiled, and watched as Chandler pulled off his jacket, and layed it onto the chair. He fumbled with the remote, pushing buttons until he found the track he was looking for. He grinned and set down the remote. "I Know" by Jude started, as Chandler took Monica's hand, and led her to the middle of the room. Monica leaned her head against Chandler's chest, and took in the moment, grateful to have someone to dance with that night.

~

"I Know" (Jude Christodal)

You've got such a pretty smile
It's a shame the things you hide behind it
Let 'em go
Give it up for a while
Let 'em free and we will both go find it

I know there's nowhere you can hide it
I know the feeling of alone
I know that you do not feel invited
But, come back, come back in from the cold

Tell me how you really feel
Tell me what is on the inside of you
All the somethings you conceal
Only keep away the ones who love you

Step away then from the edge
Your best friend is life is not your mirror
Back away, come away
Back away, come away...

I am here and I will be forever

I know there's nowhere you can hide it
I know the feeling of alone
Trust me and don't keep that on the inside
Soon you'll be locked out on your own

You're not alone
You're not alone
And don't say you've never been told
I'll be with you 'til we grow old
'Til I'm in the ground and I'm cold
I'm not sitting up here on some throne
Like a dog you can always come home
Dig up a bone
Look around...

~

For a moment, Chandler let himself forget that the line of friendship was drawn between them. Everything about the moment felt right, and, when he closed his eyes, he could pretend that tomorrow, things would be just like they were at that moment. He felt Monica's head pull away from his chest, and he opened his eyes to find that she was looking up at him. He smiled, and pulled her closer.

"Thank you, Chandler," she whispered softly.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Monica," he replied.

She smiled, and cocked her head to the side, studying his face. The music had stopped, and yet they continued to sway to the music in their minds. Chandler wondered what Monica was thinking at that moment. Did she want him to kiss her? He was afraid to cross the line, because he knew that if she rejected him, it would break his heart, and he just may never recover. She was his best friend and confidant, and he wasn't sure it was worth the risk. But his heart was telling him that he had to take a chance. If he never tried, he'd never really know, and he'd regret it forever. In the end, his heart won the argument, and he leaned down, and kissed her, crossing the sacred line, and praying that she wanted him to do it.

She did. She deepened the kiss almost immediately, and found herself throwing all caution to the wind. They kissed for several minutes, before Monica began pulling Chandler into his bedroom. They staggered into the bedroom, and Monica kicked the door closed. Chandler pulled away suddenly, his eyes asking the question his lips wouldn't allow. Monica nodded silently, and pulled Chandler toward the bed. She stopped short when she saw that a dozen red roses lay on the foot of the bed. She turned and looked at him quizzically.

"I was holding out hope that you'd prefer the red ones," he whispered softly.

That was the moment she fell in love with him.

***

~One Year Later~

Chandler and Monica swayed to the familiar tune, each smiling contently. Monica stretched out her arm, and admired the sapphire bracelet that adorned her wrist, a gift from Chandler. Chandler pulled away from Monica just enough to look into her eyes.

"Happy Anniversary," Chandler whispered.

"This is better than any Valentine's Day," she smiled.

"It is. Thank you."

"For what?"

"For taking the chance. For crossing the line. For dancing the dance."

"I can't imagine dancing it with anyone else."