Taking Chances

Summary: Chandler and Rachel find themselves in an interesting situation...to say the least.

Rating: Will most definitely be PG-13 and above in a later chapter.

Spoilers: TOW The Flashbacks

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, but I do take them out to play with them from time to time...how I wish they were mine!

Author: E. Quackenbush aka NephilimEQ aka edq-ocd18

Author's Notes: This is my first Rachel/Chandler fic, so please be gentle!

Too Many Stains

Rachel looked up as she talked to Phoebe and she saw him.

His smile captured her attention...and she felt an odd sensation about her chest. Almost a tightening of the muscles, like an ache wanting to be released.

Then she saw that Chandler was talking to Monica. They weren't together, but she had a distinct feeling that her friend definitely liked him.

However, at the mere thought of them together she had an uncomfortable feeling. She didn't know where it had come from, but she knew that there was something there that she didn't want to think about or look at too closely. Another glance in their direction had her relieved, as he was now making his way over to her.

A small smile made its way across her lips, and she couldn't help to contain it.

There was something about him, and she had never been able to figure out what it was. There was something about his mouth...the way he tilted his head, the way that his eyes lit up.

She wondered, briefly, what it might be like to kiss him. His mouth was so mobile and looked so soft...No.

Rachel drew herself back in, holding herself back from the urge that had come from nowhere. Well, it had come from somewhere, and she knew that it did, but she shoved it down, not wanting to see it.

He maneuvered himself over to where she was talking to Phoebe, and she became fascinated with how the corner of his mouth twitched into an awkward grin as he listened to Phoebe relate her story of when she tried to run from the NYPD. Rachel, too, was trying to keep from grinning as she listened to Phoebe continue to rant.

Phoebe soon finished, but Rachel hadn't heard a single word of what she'd said, as she'd been completely distracted.

Chandler walked towards her, a drink in his hands and his lopsided grin on his face.

"Hey, Rach..." Those two words seemed to be filled with wonderful endearment, and she tried not to blush like a schoolgirl. "You doin' okay?"

Rachel nodded, barely aware that the drink in her hand was dangerously close to spilling.

At that point, he noticed that it was about to go, so he quickly reached out and grabbed it, to prevent it from falling. Rachel looked up in surprise, not fully aware of what had just occurred. Chandler saw the slightly glazed over look in her eyes and became slightly worried, wondering why she was so out of it.

That was when he noticed that some of it had gotten onto her shirt.

"Rachel? You got some on your shirt." At that point she came to her senses, and noticed what had happened to her shirt.

"Oooh, not this one! This is one of my favorite shirts!"

Monica, using her super-sonic "accident-impending" hearing, was over there in an instant. "What just happened? What just spilled? Did it ruin my carpet? Please tell me it was clear!"

Chandler gave her an amused smile. "Gee, it's so nice to see that you were so worried about us, Mon." He gave her a look, and then motioned towards Rachel's shirt. "Rachel accidentally spilled some of her drink onto her shirt. Any suggestions, oh Cleaning Lady?" Monica looked at it, and then spoke.

"Uhm, get that into cold water immediately, but not here. Go over and use the guys' place." With that she left them to it.

Chandler went with her, opening the door to his apartment and putting a hand on Rachel's lower back, guiding her through the doorway.

Rachel was so intent at looking down at her blouse that she barely noticed that she was in a different apartment.

He led her to the bathroom and watched as she closed the door behind her, wondering how a girl could be so distracted by a small stain. It wasn't as though it was the end of the world. After a few moments, she came out of the bathroom, her shirt in her hand, wearing nothing but her bra and her pants.

"Chandler, do you have a shirt I could borrow? The stain isn't coming out."

It took him a moment to regain the power of speech, but he finally managed to stutter out, "Y-Yeah...o-okay, I can do that."

He quickly made his way to his room, trying with all of his might to get the image out of his head, but to no avail.

As pulled a shirt from his dresser drawer, he briefly remembered an instance in college in which he'd made out with a girl...and then he realized that the girl had been Rachel. He practically pulled the whole drawer out as he recalled the memory, and it was enough to make him stop and think about what was going on at that moment.

Rachel was in his apartment half-dressed...and single. Joey wasn't there, and no one was expecting them back at anytime soon.

He could just...Whoa! He could just what? Did he even want to finish that line of thought?

Chandler shook his head, clearing it of the errant hormones that had somehow managed to make themselves known, and he closed his dresser drawer, shirt in hand.

He walked back into the main room. "Hey, Rach...here's a shirt you can use." She was nowhere to be seen. He tentatively called out. "Rach?"

Her voice came from the bathroom. "In here, Chandler. But don't come in...I had to take off my pants because apparently some wine got onto them as well. Not exactly sure how, but it did." At the sudden mental image of Rachel in his bathroom wearing nothing but her bra and panties, he felt a part of himself begin to take interest.

He quickly tried to envision Roseanne Barr naked in order to make it go away...it worked.

Rachel continued to speak. "Hey, Chandler? I'm using your robe that was in here...that's okay, right?"

His problem quickly came back, and he had to suppress a groan.

Why was the universe taunting him in this way? He looked up towards his ceiling, silently pleading for help, completely unsure of what to do.

Chandler made his way back into his room, pulled out a clean pair of boxers from the drawer, and then walked back into the living room, making his way over to the bathroom. He tentatively knocked on the door; his hand that held the clothes was outstretched, and he turned his head the other way, not needing the actual visual of seeing her in his robe.

The thought was enough of a problem...he didn't need the actual memory of seeing her in it as well.

He felt a slight draft as the door opened, and as she reached for the clothes her fingers brushed against his. Rachel held back the slight shiver than ran through her body at the contact and took the clothes.

As she changed, she tried not to think about the situation that she was in...and she failed miserably.

The boxers and the shirt were slightly warm where he had held them in his hand, and it seemed, for a moment, as though he were actually touching her.

She relished in the thought, and then quickly shook it off. She started to fold her shirt and pants, but realized that there was no way that she would be able to get the stain out of them, so why bother? Well, she could always give them to Monica...who could probably stare the stain into disappearing.

Rachel took the clothes and threw them out through the still partially opened bathroom door.

The robe went back onto its' hook, and then she just stood there. She couldn't believe that she was in this situation...she just couldn't believe it.

After a moment, she finally found the courage to leave the bathroom.

As she walked out, she saw Chandler sitting on his couch, his hands in his pockets, waiting for her.

She finally found something to say. "Hey..."

His eyes snapped up from where they had originally been focused on the coffee table, and he gave a half-smile at hearing her soft tone. "Hey..."

Rachel made her way over to the couch, trying to hide the fact that she was slightly uncomfortable with the situation. "So...thanks for the clothes." He gave another hesitant smile. "Not a problem, Rach." With those words, the tension seemed to dissipate, and he lifted his arm to the back of the couch, silently inviting her to sit next to him.

She accepted it, and quickly tucked herself into his side, giving him a friendly hug.

After a brief moment, she raised her head to say thanks once more, but at the same time he turned his head to say something as well, and they suddenly found their lips a mere breath apart.

His blue eyes seemed to catch hers...and he leaned in...

Part 1/?